Smart Interface: Piezo Components with Flexible Printed Circuit Boards
It is time-consuming and risky to provide piezo components with strands and to contact them on printed circuit boards yourself. PI Ceramic takes on this step for customers and supplies piezoceramic components with flexible printed circuit boards.
Control electronics plays a key role in the performance of piezoelectric actuators. In addition to universal control electronics, highly suitable for most fields of application, PI offers a wide range of piezo amplifiers geared towards particular purposes.
Drivers and Controllers for PICA Stack/Power/Thru Actuators
Piezo amplifiers for PICA Actuators offer a voltage range of up to 1100 V, which is available as unipolar or bipolar voltage. Amplifiers with high output current allow dynamic operation of the actuators and precise positioning while requiring low power.
Drivers and Controllers for Picoactuator® Actuators
Picoactuator® actuators are operated with a bipolar voltage of ±500 V. The output voltage range of the PICA amplifiers can be set accordingly to suit this purpose. For smaller displacements, it is possible to use amplifiers for PICA Shear actuators of ±250 V.
Ultrasonic sensors emit high-frequency sound pulses and receive signals reflected from objects. The time the echo signals take to arrive is processed electronically and can be used for a wide range of applications in metrology.
Piezoceramics can be used to generate ultrasonic waves in the frequency range of power ultrasound (20 to 800 kHz). They can be used in different diagnostic and therapeutic applications, for example in tartar removal or lithotripsy, but also in ultrasonic technology.
Piezo components have become firmly established in modern science as drives and ultrasonic transducers. They work reliably even under extreme conditions such as magnetic fields, cryogenic temperatures or ultrahigh vacuum.
Piezo elements pump and meter small liquid or gas volumes reliably and precisely in the range of a few hundred milliliters to a few nanoliters. The piezo elements can be adapted to each application environment.
Medical technology and related life-science disciplines require drive components that have to be fast, reliable and energy-saving. In these fields as well, progress goes hand in hand with increasing miniaturization. Piezoceramic drives combine exactly these characteristics.
If an external force acts on an elastic medium such as a gas, a liquid or a solid, an undulating propagation of pressure and density fluctuation occurs in space and time, starting from the point where the force is applied. This known as sound.
No other company in the world offers a broader and deeper portfolio of precision motion technologies than the PI Group. Continuous growth through the development of novel products and technologies is one of the main characteristics of the PI Group.
PI offers sound training in technical and business careers with a future. Pupils, students, graduates and professionals can get involved at PI and will be supported by us in their professional and personal further development.
Training, Dual Curriculum Education, and Internships
Skilled employees are a crucial asset – which explains why we have been training specialists in technical and commercial professions for many years now. At two locations in Germany, PI offers apprenticeship positions as well as a dual study program for applicants who have acquired a secondary school leaving certificate or a qualification for entrance to a technical college or to university.
Unlimited Resolution Piezo actuators convert electrical energy directly into mechanical energy and vice versa and allow for motions in the subnanometer range. There are no friction elements that limit resolution.
Stiffness, Load Capacity, Force Generation To a first approximation, a piezo actuator is a spring-and-mass system. The stiffness of the actuator depends on the elasticity module of the ceramic (approx. 25% of that of steel), the cross section and length of the active material, and other nonlinear parameters. Typical actuators have stiffnesses between 1 and 2,000 N/μm and compressive limits between 10 and 100,000 N. For tensile stresses, a casing with integrated preload or an external preload spring is required. Adequate measures must be taken to protect the piezo ceramic from shear and bending forces and from torque.
No Wear and Tear A piezo actuator has no moving parts, like gears or bearings. Its displacement is based on crystalline solid-state dynamics and shows no wear and tear. PI piezo actuators have gone through several billion cycles in endurance tests without measurable changes in their behavior.
Operation at Cryogenic Temperatures The piezo effect continues to operate even at very low temperatures close to 0 Kelvin.
Vacuum and Clean Room Compatible Piezo actuators neither cause abrasion nor do they require lubrications. The all-ceramic insulated PICMA® actuators have no polymer coating and are thus ideal for ultrahigh vacuum applications.
Operating Voltage Two types of piezo actuators have become established: Monolithic-sintered PICMA® multilayer actuators (low-voltage actuators) operate at voltages up to about 130 V and are made of ceramic layers from 20 to 100 μm in thickness. Classical high-voltage actuators (PICA high-power actuators) are made from ceramic layers of 0.5 to 1 mm thickness and operate at voltages of up to 1000 V. PICA actuators can be manufactured with larger cross sections, making them suitable for larger loads than the more compact monolithic multilayer piezo actuators.
Low Energy Consumption Static operation, even holding heavy loads for long periods, consumes virtually no power. A piezo actuator behaves very much like an electrical capacitor. When at rest, no heat is generated.
Rapid Response Piezo actuators allow response times of a few microseconds. Acceleration rates of more than 10,000 g can be obtained.
High Force Generation High-load piezo actuators capable of moving loads of several tons are available. They can cover travel ranges to 300 μm with resolutions in the subnanometer range.
Position Resolution The piezo ceramic itself works free of friction and theoretically has unlimited resolution. In practice, the resolution actually attainable is limited by electrical and mechanical factors: a) Sensor and servo-control electronics, amplifiers: Amplifier noise and sensitivity to electromagnetic interferences (EMI) affect positional stability. b) Mechanical parameters: Design and mounting precision issues concerning the actuator, preload and sensor can induce microscopic friction which limits resolution and accuracy. Piezo actuators reach subnanometer resolution and stability.
No Magnetic Fields The piezoelectric effect is related to electric fields, piezo actuators do not produce magnetic fields nor are they affected by them.
Travel Range The travel ranges of piezo actuators are typically in between a few 10 to a few 100 μm for linear actuators. Bending actuators can achieve a few millimeters.