In Ni-Mn-Ga ferromagnetic shape memory alloys, Co-doping plays a major role in determining a peculiar phase diagram where, besides a change in the critical temperatures, a change of number, order and nature of phase transitions (e.g., from ferromagnetic to paramagnetic or from paramagnetic to ferromagnetic, on heating) can be obtained, together with a change in the giant magnetocaloric effect from direct to inverse.Here we present a thorough study of the intrinsic magnetic and structural properties, including their dependence on hydrostatic pressure, that are at the basis of the multifunctional behavior of Co and In-doped alloys. We study in depth their magnetocaloric properties, taking advantage of complementary calorimetric and magnetic techniques, and show that if a proper measurement protocol is adopted they all merge to the same values, even in case of first order transitions. A simplified model for the estimation of the adiabatic temperature change that relies only on indirect measurements is proposed, allowing for the quick and reliable evaluation of the magnetocaloric potentiality of new materials starting from readily available magnetic measurements.
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