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We have investigated how plastic deformation changes the yield stress and the magnetic properties of an ultralow carbon sheet steel. Plastic strains up to 10% nearly doubled the yield stress from 150 to 290 MPa (22–42 ksi), and the coercive field from 0.17 to 0.31 kA/m (2.1–3.9 Oe). The effects on other magnetic properties, such as the Barkhausen signal and permeability, were also determined. It was found that a single magnetic parameter could be related to the yield stress with residual standard deviations as low as 1 MPa (0.2 ksi). Observations using a high-resolution interference–contrast colloid technique revealed a fine intragrain magnetic domain structure with the walls more effectively pinned in the 10% strained material. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.