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Proceedings Paper

Composite sensors and actuators
Author(s): Robert E. Newnham
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Paper Abstract

Composite materials have found a number of structural applications but their use in the electronics industry has been relatively limited. As the advantages and disadvantages of electroceramic composites are better understood, we can expect this picture to change. In this paper we review some of the composite sensor and actuator studies carried out in our laboratory during the past two decades. These functional composites make use of a number of underlying ideas including connectivity patterns leading to field and force concentration; the use of periodicity and scale in resonant structures; the symmetry of composite structures and its influence on physical properties; polychromatic percolation and coupled conduction paths; varistor action and other interfacial effects; sum, combination, and product properties; coupled phase transformation phenomena; and the important role that porosity and inner composites play in composite materials. These ideas provide a basic understanding of functional composites and have been discussed previously. In the present paper, we describe several composite piezoelectrics and their applications. Several of these transducers mimic the geometries of the sound-sensing organs of fish: elongated feelers, vibrating air bladders, and spherical inner ears.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 February 1996
PDF: 3 pages
Proc. SPIE 2716, Smart Structures and Materials 1996: Smart Materials Technologies and Biomimetics, (9 February 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.232163
Show Author Affiliations
Robert E. Newnham, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2716:
Smart Structures and Materials 1996: Smart Materials Technologies and Biomimetics
Andrew Crowson, Editor(s)

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