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Q & A: Does magnetism affect hardness?

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Most recent answer: 10/16/2012
Q:
Does change in the magnetic moments of atoms or molecules in antiferromagnetism effect the hardness of material ?
- Veerendra (age 35)
India
A:
In principle, magnetic states need not have the same mechanical properties as non-magnetic states. In fact, there's a name, magnetoelasticity, for coupling between magnetic and mechanical properties.

Here's an example of a paper on this topic, concerning the mechanical effects of the antiferromagnetic transitions in chromium and its alloys: .

I can't, however, quickly think of any material in which the antiferromagnetic transition makes a big difference, the sort that would be easily noticed without careful measurements,  in hardness or other mechanical properties. If any reader thinks of such a case, please follow up with a note.

Mike W.





(published on 10/16/2012)

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