Low-Cost Structural Thermoelectric Materials:

Report No. ARL-TR-7167
Authors: Mark A Tschopp, Kris A Darling; Mark A Atwater; Laszlo J Kecskes
Date/Pages: January 2015; 28 pages
Abstract: The US Army requires the ability to generate electrical power on-the-move, operating in all environmental conditions and at all times of day. Waste heat from Army vehicles is a rich source of energy that usually is exhausted to the environment. Therefore, an opportunity exists to capture this waste heat and convert it into energy, thereby supplementing power generation and increasing output. The research objective of this seedling effort is to examine the feasibility of experimentally processing half-Heusler thermoelectric materials using existing powder processing capability at the US Army Research Laboratory. Two candidate low-cost half-Heusler thermoelectric materials were examined herein: Fe–Al–V and Ti–Ni–Sn. These materials were processed using conventional powder metallurgy techniques with equal channel angular extrusion (ECAE) processing used for consolidation. Two studies were pursued and showed that ECAE temperatures above 400–600 C resulted in microstructure evolution that complicated the ECAE consolidation process. A copper canning material aided in the degree of powder consolidation, but further work is required to better understand the microstructure conditions that led to the poor consolidation in these alloys using ECAE consolidation.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: January 1, 2015