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18 March 2019 Design optimization of flexible piezoelectric PVDF unimorphs for surface pressure transducer applications
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Piezoelectric elements serve as a preferred candidate for measuring dynamic pressure owing to their high sensitivity, signal-to-noise ratio, high natural frequency, and suitability for miniaturization. Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) is a mechanically tough, flexible, low density polymer commercially available as a film. Being mechanically compliant and minimally invasive to the host structure, PVDF can be conformed to a variety of surfaces using adhesive bonding, thus making it a suitable candidate for surface pressure mapping and acoustic pressure measurement applications. However, PVDF sensors in compressive mode are insufficient for the low frequency and high sensitivity requirements of vehicle surface pressure measurements. Under steady flow conditions, cantilever and clamped-clamped unimorphs with segmented electrode coverage configurations serve as alternative candidates for differential pressure measurements. This paper presents an analytical and computational design framework for optimizing the performance of PVDF unimorphs. Electrode coverage, thickness ratio, and elastic modulus ratio are optimized for cantilever and clamped-clamped configurations for a given sensor geometry. The goal of the optimization procedure is to maximize charge sensitivity of the pressure sensor while minimizing deflection. A closed-form solution is derived for deflection and charge sensitivity of cantilever and clamped-clamped configurations based on Euler-Bernoulli beam theory. For a given deflection sensitivity target and sensor geometry, the charge sensitivity of the optimized cantilever sensor is three orders of magnitude greater than compressive (d33 mode) design and 3.15 times higher than the clamped-clamped configuration with segmented electrodes.
Conference Presentation
© (2019) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Arun K. Ramanathan, Leon M. Headings, and Marcelo J. Dapino "Design optimization of flexible piezoelectric PVDF unimorphs for surface pressure transducer applications", Proc. SPIE 10973, Smart Structures and NDE for Energy Systems and Industry 4.0, 1097307 (18 March 2019);

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