Piezocomposite transducers for smart structures applications
This paper gives a summary on advanced piezocomposite transducers and the perspective of their applications in the field of smart structures, health monitoring and diagnostics. At present, three different low profile piezocomposite actuator types are commercially available. The designs are arising from the R&D work at MIT in the years 1991/92 funded by the US Department of Defence. Smart Material is manufacturing Macro Fiber Composites (MFC), licensed by NASA in a full-scale production. A new MFC- design using the 3-1 coupling has been developed, recently. It allows for the reduction of drive voltage down to 360 V. Fraunhofer IKTS focused its development on custom shape composites making use of PZT tubes and plates. New actuator devices for active interfaces have been introduced for the first time. All piezocomposite design forms show different performance data, which are summarised in the present paper to provide design engineers with necessary informations in view of intended applications.