Magneto-mechanical actuation of ferromagnetic shape memory alloy/epoxy composites
Ferromagnetic shape memory alloys (MSMA) exhibit magnetic field- and stress-induced twinning when processed into single crystals, but are brittle and difficult to shape. Embedding slender single crystalline MSMA elements into a polymer matrix can thus provide composites with adjustable magnetic strain actuation behavior. Ni-Mn-Ga single crystalline rods were characterized for their magneto-mechanical behavior and embedded in two different types of epoxy matrices with different volumetric fractions. The magnetic actuation of the composites was measured and shown to depend on the Ni-Mn-Ga volumetric fraction and the matrix stiffness. This behavior was well predicted by finite element simulations of the composite using a simple material model for the strain of the MSMA as a function of the magnetic field and applied stresses. Guidelines for composite behavior prediction could thus be proposed. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.