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Proceedings Paper

Comparison of amplified piezoelectric actuators based on topological optimization
Author(s): Philip W. Loveday
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Paper Abstract

Various solid-state mechanisms for the amplification of the small stroke, produced by piezoelectric materials, have been presented in the literature. A designer tasked with designing a device such as a micro-positioner must choose between these mechanisms. In this paper, the use of topological optimization to produce characteristic functions for amplification mechanisms, forming a basis for comparison of different designs, is investigated. The optimization problem was formulated as a variable thickness sheet problem where the stiffness was maximized subject to a constraint on the free stoke. Apart from specifying the design domain, no volume constraints were imposed. The design domain, comprising a piezoelectric and a metallic region, was discretized with eight-noded, plane-strain finite elements. This formulation was found to produce designs with negligible intermediate thickness. These designs are non-unique and repeatedly solving the problem from different starting material distributions results in slightly different 'optimal' stiffness values. The resulting maximum stiffness can be plotted as a function of free stroke producing a curve that is characteristic of the amplification mechanism. Irregularities in this curve would indicate that a local maximum with poor performance has been found. The method is demonstrated by computing the characteristic curve for two amplifier mechanisms.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 July 2002
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 4701, Smart Structures and Materials 2002: Smart Structures and Integrated Systems, (15 July 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.474679
Show Author Affiliations
Philip W. Loveday, CSIR (South Africa)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4701:
Smart Structures and Materials 2002: Smart Structures and Integrated Systems
L. Porter Davis, Editor(s)

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