Magnetostriction effect, i.e., deformation under the action of a uniform applied field, is analyzed to detail for a spherical sample of a magnetoactive elastomer (MAE). A close analogy with the field-induced elongation of spherical ferrofluid droplets implies that similar characteristic effects viz. hysteresis stretching and transfiguration into a distinctively nonellipsoidal bodies, should be inherent to MAE objects as well. The absence until now of such studies seems to be due to very unfavorable conclusions which follow from the theoretical estimates, all of which are based on the assumption that a deformed sphere always retains the geometry of ellipsoid of revolution just changing its aspect ratio under field. Building up an adequate numerical modelling tool, we show that the ‘ellipsoidal’ approximation is misleading beginning right from the case of infinitesimal field strengths and strain increments. The results obtained show that the above-mentioned magnetodeformational effect should distinctively manifest itself in the objects made of quite ordinary MAEs, e.g., composites on the base of silicone cautchouc filled with micron-size carbonyl iron powder.
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