The recent discovery of Iron-Gallium alloy (Galfenol) as a “large” magnetostrictive material (as high as 400 ppm) offers a particularly promising transducer material that combines largely desirable mechanical attributes with superior magnetic properties [1]. The high permeability of this material makes it easy to magnetize, however it also causes a relatively low cutoff frequency in dynamic applications, above which eddy currents form and introduce significant power losses. To reduce the eddy current losses, magnetostrictive drivers used in dynamic applications are commonly laminated. A second transducer design consideration is the introduction of an initial alignment of domains inside of the material to maximize the magnetostriction performance. It is common to achieve this by imposing an external compressive prestress to align magnetic moments perpendicular to the direction of actuation. An alternative to the application of an external prestress is to build-in a uniaxial magnetic anisotropy through stress annealing [2]. Stress annealing is a high temperature process with simultaneous application of an external load and subsequent cooling under load in which the magnetic moment alignment developed at temperature is retained upon removal from the stress annealing fixture. The external load needed to build in a useful uniaxial magnetic anisotropy in Galfenol is greater than the buckling load for Galfenol laminae sized for use in high frequency dynamic applications. In this study, prior work on stress annealing of solid rods of single and polycrystalline samples of Galfenol is successfully extended to thin laminae of Galfenol by introducing fixtures to avoid buckling of the laminae under compression during the heat treatment process. Values of the uniaxial anisotropy, cubic anisotropy, saturation magnetic induction, and saturation magnetostriction were obtained from measurements of the magnetization and magnetostriction of stress-annealed Galfenol strip as a function of compressive and tensile stress. These values were derived from fitting magnetization and magnetostriction curves to the energy expression formula [3]. Data are presented that demonstrate the magnetic uniaxial anisotropy developed by stress annealing of laminated Galfenol rods. An annealing temperature of 500 °C and a compressive stress of 200 MPa produced a uniaxial anisotropy of 11.3 kJ/m3 in this study.

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