Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Materials Science and Engineering


Materials Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Iver E. Anderson


In order to enable liquid hydrogen fuel cell technologies for vehicles the cost of hydrogen liquefaction should be lowered. The current method of hydrogen liquefaction is the Claude cycle that has a figure of merit (FOM) of 0.3-0.35. New magnetocaloric hydrogen liquefaction devices have been proposed with a FOM>0.5, which is a significant improvement. A significant hurdle to realizing these devices is the synthesis of spherical rare earth based alloy powders of 200µm in diameter. In this study a centrifugal atomization method that used a rotating disk with a rotating oil quench bath was developed to make gadolinium and gadolinium-yttrium spheres. The composition of the spherical powders included pure Gd and Gd0.91Y0.09. The effect of atomization parameters, such as superheat, melt properties, disk shape, disk speed, and melt system materials and design, were investigated on the size distribution and morphology of the resulting spheres. The carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen impurity levels also were analyzed and compared with the magnetic performance of the alloys. The magnetic properties of the charge material as well as the resulting powders were measured using a vibrating sample magnetometer. The saturation magnetization and Curie temperature were the target properties for the resulting spheres. These values were compared with measurements taken on the charge material in order to investigate the effect of atomization processing on the alloys.

Copyright Owner

Tyler J. Slinger



File Format


File Size

62 pages