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A process chain for integrating piezoelectric transducers into aluminum die castings to generate smart lightweight structures

: Stein, Stefan; Wedler, Jonathan; Rhein, Sebastian; Schmidt, Michael; Körner, Carolin; Michaelis, Alexander; Gebhardt, Sylvia

Volltext ()

Results in Physics. Online journal 7 (2017), S.2534-2539
ISSN: 2211-3797
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG
TRR 39; SFB Transregio 39 "PT-PIESA"
Fertigungstechnologien für integrierbare piezoelektrische Funktionskomponenten
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IKTS ()
Active noise reduction; laser assisted wire bonding; smart structures; Piezoelectric transducers; die casting; Lightweight design

The application of piezoelectric transducers to structural body parts of machines or vehicles enables the combination of passive mechanical components with sensor and actuator functions in one single structure. This approach has high potential for smart lightweight constructions. To obtain the highest yield, the piezoelectric transducers need to be integrated into the flux of forces (load path) of load bearing structures. Application in a downstream process reduces yield and process efficiency during manufacturing and operation, due to the necessity of a subsequent process step of sensor/actuator application. The die casting process offers the possibility for integration of piezoelectric transducers into metal structures. Particularly favorable are aluminum castings due to their high quality and feasibility for high unit production at low cost. Such molded aluminum parts with integrated piezoelectric transducers enable functions like active vibration damping, structural health monitoring or energy harvesting resulting in significant possibilities of weight reduction, which is an increasingly important driving force of automotive and aerospace industry due to increasingly stringent environmental protection laws. In the scope of those developments, this paper focuses on the entire process chain enabling the generation of lightweight metal structures with sensor and actuator function, starting from the manufacturing of piezoelectric modules over electrical and mechanical bonding to the integration of such modules into aluminum (Al) matrices by die casting. To achieve this challenging goal, piezoceramic sensors/actuator modules, so-called LTCC/PZT modules (LPM) were developed, since ceramic based piezoelectric modules are more likely to withstand the thermal stress of about 700 °C introduced by the casting process. The modules are made of low temperature cofired ceramic (LTCC) tapes with an embedded lead zirconate titanate (PZT) plate and are manufactured in multilayer technique. For joining conducting copper (Cu) wires with the electrode structure of the LPM, a novel laser drop on demand wire bonding method (LDB) is applied, which is based on the melting of a spherical CuSn12 braze preform with a liquidus temperature Tliquid of 989.9 °C providing sufficient thermal stability for a subsequent casting process.