Explained: What is elastocaloric effect?

2 min read

News:According to researchers, the elastocaloric effect, if harnessed may be able to do away with the need of fluid refrigerants used in fridges and air-conditioners.

Facts:

  • The fluids used in fridges and air-conditioners are susceptible to leakages and can contribute to global warming.

About Elastocaloric effect:

  • When rubber bands are twisted and untwisted, it produces a cooling effect.This is called the elastocaloric effect.
  • In the elastocaloric effect, the transfer of heat works much the same way as when fluid refrigerants are compressed and expanded. 
  • When a rubber band is stretched,it absorbs heat from its environment, and when it is released,it gradually cools down.

How will elastocaloric effect help?

  • In order to figure out how the twisting mechanism might be able to enable a fridge,the researchers compared the cooling power of rubber fibres, nylon and polyethylene fishing lines and nickel-titanium wires.
  • They observed high cooling from twist changes in twisted, coiled and supercoiled fibres.
  • They reported that the level of efficiency of the heat exchange in rubber bands is comparable to that of standard refrigerants.