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Martensitic Ni-Mn-Ga single crystals are easily twinned and the twin boundaries can be displaced by applying a mechanical stress or magnetic field. Twin boundary motion is a highly dissipative process. Composites of aligned Ni-Mn-Ga particles in a polymer matrix show evidence of stress-induced twin boundary motion that results in stress-strain curves with significantly greater hysteresis than for Fe-polymer composites or polymer samples. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.