Multi-Material Heat Sink/Storage


Project ID: TECH-2023-33


The purpose of a heat exchanger is to dissipate waste heat caused by the operation of electrical or mechanical devices. This waste heat can build up and cause failures in a device or reduce its overall performance if it is not moved away from the component. Heat sinks work by increasing the heat producing device’s working surface area and the amount of low-temperature fluid that moves across its enlarged surface area. Heat exchangers make use of the principles of conductive, convective, and radiative heat transfer to move heat from a hotter source to a lower-temperature fluid. A passive heat sink makes use of natural convection, while an active heat sink makes use of the forced convection created by a fan or pump to rapidly transfer heat from the heat-producing device. Phase change materials (PCMs) have been used in latent heat storage systems. PCMs absorbent release thermal energy during a phase change, e.g., melting and freezing. Solid-to-liquid and liquid-togas PCMs have been used in the heat exchanger industry. However, these types of PCMs suffer from certain drawbacks. For example, materials which change to liquid generally need to be encased or otherwise enclosed, and if damaged, can leak. This can also contribute to high maintenance costs. There remains a need for new and improved heat exchangers and methods of manufacturing heat exchangers.

Invention Description

Researchers at the University of Toledo have developed a technique for producing high efficiency multilateral heat sink/storage using additive manufacturing of NiTi-Cu. With this technology they were able to overcome the challenges with PCMs by coupling SMAs with a material with high thermal conductivity (copper) using additive manufacturing techniques.



            Wide range of applications in heat sink/storage for satellites, telecommunication antennas, refrigeration, and overshoot controllers.


  • These PCMs can result in systems with lower maintenance costs and increased safety.
  • Benefit from SMAs as a material with solid-to-solid phase transformation addressing the risks of leakage and maintenance costs.
  • Overcome challenges associated with machining and joining of SMAs to copper
  • Benefit from solid-solid transformation of SMA and high thermal conductivity.

IP Status: Patent Pending

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Yuriy Yatskiv
Licensing Associate
The University of Toledo
Mohammad Elahinia
Mohammad Pourshams
Keyvan Safaei Baghbaderani
Behrang Poorganji
Fatemeh Kordizadeh Zavareh