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We describe a novel magnetic force control method. The method employs a mechanical stress applied to a magnetostrictive material to control the attractive force between fixed and movable members of a magnetic circuit that includes a permanent magnet. The method has the advantage over electromagnet control that a constant force can be maintained without energy consumption. We discuss the variation of the magnetic force with compression of several magnetostrictive materials. The experimental results agree with theoretical predictions of magnetic force based on analysis of an equivalent magnetic circuit and the piezomagnetic properties of the magnetostrictive materials.
Date of Publication: May 2004