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External stresses alter the magnetic properties of ferromagnetic materials such as iron and steel, a fact that has been the basis of substantial study in nondestructive testing. Existing theories and models have so far not proven reliable or accurate enough to develop a practical means of using the developed theory relating stress and magnetization to measure biaxial strains without prior knowledge of the strain or magnetic history of the sample. A deterministic model of ferromagnetic hysteresis and the effects of external stresses in materials such as iron and steel is introduced by this study. Changes in hysteresis loops due to stress are explained via changes in the magnetocrystalline anisotropy at the crystal-unit level, and are extended to the macroscopic effects that are seen in experiments. An original equation is presented which accurately describes experimentally acquired major hysteresis loops and directly relates two parameters to the two perpendicular principal strain axes thereby providing a technique able to determine the absolute stress/strain experienced by the sample. This model will potentially enable quantitative, nondestructive stress measuring devices to be developed.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2009