Stress-anneal-induced magnetic anisotropy in highly textured Fe-Ga and Fe-Al magnetostrictive strips for bending-mode vibrational energy harvesters
Magnetostrictive Fe-Ga and Fe-Al alloys are promising materials for use in bending-mode vibrational energy harvesters. For this study, 50.8 mm × 5.0 mm × 0.5 mm strips of Fe-Ga and Fe-Al were cut from 0.50-mm thick rolled sheet. An atmospheric anneal was used to develop a Goss texture through an abnormal grain growth process. The anneal lead to large (011) grains that covered over 90% of sample surface area. The resulting highly-textured Fe-Ga and Fe-Al strips exhibited saturation magnetostriction values (λsat = λ∥ - λ⊥) of ̃280 ppm and ̃130 ppm, respectively. To maximize 90° rotation of magnetic moments during bending of the strips, we employed compressive stress annealing (SA). Samples were heated to 500°C, and a 100-150 MPa compressive stress was applied while at 500°C for 30 minutes and while being cooled. The effectiveness of the SA on magnetic moment rotation was inferred by comparing post-SA magnetostriction with the maximum possible yield of rotated magnetic moments, which is achieved when λ∥ = λsat and λ⊥ = 0. The uniformity of the SA along the sample length and the impact of the SA on sensing/energy harvesting performance were then assessed by comparing pre- and post-SA bending-stress-induced changes in magnetization at five different locations along the samples. The SA process with a 150 MPa compressive load improved Fe-Ga actuation along the sample length from 170 to 225 ppm (from ̃60% to within ̃80% of λsat). The corresponding sensing/energy harvesting performance improved by as much as a factor of eight in the best sample, however the improvement was not at all uniform along the sample length. The SA process with a 100 MPa compressive load improved Fe-Al actuation along the sample length from 60 to 73 ppm (from ̃46% to ̃56% of λsat, indicating only a marginally effective SA and suggesting the need for modification of the SA protocol. In spite of this, the SA was effective at improving the sensing/energy harvesting performance by a factor of ̃2.5 in the best sample. As with the Fe-Ga strip, improvement in performance was quite varied along the strip length.