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Proceedings Paper

Design and development of a new class of piezoelectric actuators for force improvement
Author(s): Diann E. Brei
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Paper Abstract

Piezoelectric actuators are useful for smart structure applications because they are light weight, compact and fast compared to other types of actuators. The two most common configurations, bimorph and stack, have significant limitations on the available force and deflection, respectively, which can be produced. This paper describes a new class of piezoelectric bimorph actuators that supply larger force than the traditional straight cantilever beam bimorph design. These actuators, called C-blocks because of their half circle shape, can produce approximately five times the force of the traditional design with only a slight decrease in the deflection. In addition, they can be combined in series or in parallel like building blocks to form larger actuators that provide improved deflection and/or force capabilities. This paper presents a mathematical model that provides an approach to designing and predicting the force performance of a C-block architecture. This paper also summarizes a set of manufacturing techniques developed to fabricate C-block architectures from polymeric piezoelectric material Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVdF). These techniques were used to manufacture prototypes used in a Force-Voltage experiment that was performed to measure force performance. The results from these experiments confirm the mathematical model is accurate and the force performance of a C-block architecture is substantially increased in comparison to the force generated from a traditional straight beam bimorph.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 February 1995
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 2427, Active Materials and Smart Structures, (2 February 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.200929
Show Author Affiliations
Diann E. Brei, Univ. of Michigan (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2427:
Active Materials and Smart Structures
Gary L. Anderson; Dimitris C. Lagoudas, Editor(s)

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