Magneto-rheological (MR) elastomers contain micro-/nano-sized ferromagnetic particles dispersed in a soft elastomer matrix, and their rheological properties (storage and loss moduli) exhibit a significant dependence on the application of a magnetic field (namely MR effect). Conversely, it is reported in this work that this multiphysics coupling is associated with an inverse effect (i.e. the dependence of the magnetic properties on mechanical strain), denoted as the pseudo-Villari effect. MR elastomers based on soft and hard silicone rubber matrices and carbonyl iron particles were fabricated and characterized. The pseudo-Villari effect was experimentally quantified: a shear strain of 50 % induces magnetic induction field variations up to 10 mT on anisotropic MR elastomer samples, when placed in a 0.2 T applied field, which might theoretically lead to potential energy conversion density in the mJ cm-3 order of magnitude. In case of anisotropic MR elastomers, the absolute variation of stiffness as a function of applied magnetic field is rather independent of matrix properties. Similarly, the pseudo-Villari effect is found to be independent to the stiffness, thus broadening the adaptability of the materials to sensing and energy harvesting target applications. The potential of the pseudo-Villari effect for energy harvesting applications is finally briefly discussed.
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