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5 August 2003 Smart composites based on piezoceramic tubes
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Piezoelectric materials are well known as actuators and sensors for smart structures. In the past many designs with different shapes and electrodes have been developed. For distributed actuation usually thin piezoceramic plates or fibers are used. Especially for the actuation of fibers very complex electrode structures are necessary. In this paper a new and very simple concept for the manufacturing of smart composite materials is presented. The new design is based on piezoceramic tubes with inner diameters of 200-400 μm and outside diameters of 300-800 μm. The length of the tubes is 150mm and they are provided with inner and outer electrodes to work in the lateral d31 direction. The core of the tube consists of a load carrying and electrically conductive fiber material (e.g CFRP) that is also used to contact the inner electrode. Since the piezoelectric material itself insulates the inner and outer electrode no additional insulation material is necessary. Usual insulation materials like Polyimide are relatively soft (3GPa) what reduces the strain transfer from the piezoceramic to the surrounding material. The design of the smart composite has been optimized using a finite element micro-mechanic model. First samples have been build and tested and show good performance.
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Peter Wierach, Stefan Muehle, and Bjoern Nagel "Smart composites based on piezoceramic tubes", Proc. SPIE 5056, Smart Structures and Materials 2003: Smart Structures and Integrated Systems, (5 August 2003);

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