Finite element formulation of a piezoelectric continuum and performance studies of laminar PZT-patch-modules
Efficient application of piezoelectric sensors and actuators requires extensive investigations of their loading limits, failure-behavior and life-span under service conditions. Here the performance of laminar PZT-patch-modules is studied, applying a combined approach of experimental and numerical tests. Four-point bending tests are used to evaluate the sensor performance. Linear electro-mechanical coupling is implemented in an 8-node brick user element of the research finite element code FEAP to develop a flexible FE-tool for piezoelectric problems. Comparative FE-analyses of the bending test are carried out in order to assess the capability of the implemented FEAP user element versus the commercially available FE-code ABAQUS. FE-results show good agreement with the experimental tests, different element types yield slight deviations which are discussed.