Hochschule Karlsruhe Hochschule Karlsruhe - University of Applied Sciences
Hochschule Karlsruhe Hochschule Karlsruhe - University of Applied Sciences

Institute for Digital Materials Research

MFW: Substitution of toxic materials for thermoelectrics through the production of magnesium silicide from infiltrated metal foams (MagicMetal) - joint project with the AG of Prof. Dr. Norbert Jost of the Offenburg University of Applied Sciences

Contact: Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Britta Nestler
Funding: Ministry of Finance and Economics Baden-Württemberg (MFW)
Start date: 2015
End date: 2017

The overall objective of the "MagicMetal" project is the production of different open-pored metal foam structures, which are infiltrated in a defined manner in subsequent manufacturing process steps and are thus available as a hybrid composite material for targeted and property-adjusting solid-state transformation. In this process, a corresponding stoichiometric composition of all elements involved in the metal foam and in the matrix is selected, which first corresponds to the Mg2Si compound and then to the Mg2(SiSn) compound. Accompanying simulations of the microstructure formation are used to analyse interactions between material properties and process conditions for the individual processes of metal foam production and infiltration. For the theoretical considerations, a phase field model is further developed and simulation studies are carried out. While the model is validated and refined on the basis of experimental data, the material simulation provides the possibility to scan an extensive parameter space in a controlled and detailed manner and to derive specific indications for the experimental design. The further production steps still necessary for the final manufacture of a TEG, such as the addition of suitable doping elements to achieve the p- or n-conductive properties, are not relevant to the project here, as they fully correspond to the current state of the art.