DuraAct™: Piezoelectric Patch Transducers for Industry and Research
Adaptronics—Industrial Applications of Tomorrow
The development of self-correcting, adaptive systems is receiving more and more attention in modern industrial research. Structures using “smart materials” which integrate sensor and actuator functions are taking on growing importance in this field. These systems are designed to detect and react to changes in their operating environment, like impact, pressure or bending forces.
With a long history as adaptive materials, piezo actuators have been especially popular for the monitoring and active damping of high-frequency vibration. The novel DuraAct™ patch transducers now offer a compact solution in this area.
Applied directly to a substrate,or used as part of the structure itself, DuraAct™ patch tranducers can detect and produce vibrations or contour deformations at the source, inside the structure. The magnitude of usable deflection depends strongly on the substrate properties, and extends into the millimeter range.
Piezo-Electric All-Rounder DuraAct™ Patch Tranducers
Piezoelectric components like the DuraAct™ patch transducer transform electrical to mechanical energy and vice versa. Possible applications are in high-precision bender actuators, high-dynamics sensors or as power sources.
DuraAct™ patch transducers are extremely compact units based on a thin piezoceramic foil between two conductive films, all embedded in a ductile composite-polymer structure. In this way, the brittle piezoceramic is mechanically prestressed and electrically insulated, which makes the transducers so robust that they can be applied on curved surfaces with a bending radius as low as 20 mm. The patch transducers are glued to the surface and can be used for various purposes.
Even in high-dynamics applications, the rugged design ensures reliability, high resistance to damage and a lifetime well over 109 cycles. Wear and failure rates are low, as the solid-state actuators contain no moving parts.
Miniature Electric Generator for Autonomous Systems
DuraAct™ patch transducers can extract electric power from mechanical vibrations of up to several kilohertz, thus acting as energy harvesting devices. The power, in the milliwatt range, can supply miniature electronics like LEDs, sensors or mini RF transmitters for remote data transfer.
Custom Versions for Any Application
DuraAct™ technology allows high flexibility in actuator design. This means that DuraAct™ is also ideally suited for research and prototyping. In addition to the range of standard designs, highly individualized structural shapes can be realized to meet different requirements of geometry, flexibility, stiffness or operating temperature.
Standard DuraAct™ patch transducers consist of one piezoceramic layer only. For special applications, multilayer devices can be made available. In an actuator, multiple layers result in higher force generation with the same operating voltage. If the layers are wired separately, both sensor and actuator functionality can be used simultaneously.
The piezoelectric transducers can be designed to fit the application exactly, including even transducers with arrays of multiple ceramic elements. Such custom products can be produced very efficiently, even in low quantities.
Tailored Control Electronics
Depending on the application, different demands are made on the electronics. To operate a high-precision, high-dynamics positioner, a low-noise, broadband amplifier is required. Active vibration damping requires fast servo-control with bandwidth sufficient for close-coupling the generated force to the structural mass to be damped.
PI offers special, high-resolution amplifier modules for DuraAct™ patch transducers, and can always create custom versions to meet special requirements.
In addition to DuraAct™ patch transducers, PI manufactures a large variety of high-performance, high-load piezo actuators (multilayer stacks, highvoltage stacks, multilayer benders, etc.)
Download DuraAct™ Transducer Brochure