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Effect of Composition on the Phase Structure and Magnetic Properties of Ball-Milled LaFe11.71-xMnxSi1.29H1.6 Magnetocaloric P...

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Magnetocaloric alloys are an important class of materials that enable non-vapor compression cycles. One promising candidate for magnetocaloric systems is LaFeMnSi, thanks to a combination of factors including low-cost constituents and a useful curie temperature, although control of the constituents’ phase distribution can be challenging. In this paper, the effects of composition and high energy ball milling on the particle morphology and phase stability of LaFe11.71-xMnxSi1.29H1.6 magnetocaloric powders were investigated. The powders were characterized with optical microscopy, dynamic light scattering, X-ray diffraction (XRD), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). It was found that the powders retained most of their original magnetocaloric phase during milling, although milling reduced the degree of crystallinity in the powder. Furthermore, some oxide phases (<1 weight percent) were present in the as-received and milled powders, which indicates that no significant contamination of the powders occurred during milling. Finally, the results indicated that the Curie temperature drops as Fe content decreases (Mn content increases). In all of the powders, milling led to an increase in the Curie temperature of ~3–6 °C.