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27 April 2007 Analysis, construction, and testing of a large displacement bistable piezoelectric actuator
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Piezoelectric structures are used in a variety of applications where instant response, high energy conversion efficiency and accurate control are required. However, in the actuation domain they present an important drawback, which is the small displacement capacity. In the present work non-linear mechanics and more specifically snap-through buckling are used to transform a traditional bimorph structure with two piezoelectric layers and an aluminum substrate into a non-linear high displacement actuator with increased combination of force/displacement output. Large displacements are attained with the transition of the structure from one equilibrium position to another. A closed form analytical solution for the snap-through behavior of piezoelectric/composite beams is presented. The effect of piezoelectric actuation is introduced in this model through equivalent bending moments produced through the bimorph setting of the piezoelectric actuator. Classical Laminated Plate Theory (CLPT) is used for the elaboration of an equivalent single layer structure that takes into account the influence on the stiffness of the structure due to the piezoelectric layers. During the development the importance of boundary conditions has been revealed and thus it has been modeled too. Results from finite element analysis as well as the actuators' construction and the experimental setup and subsequent results are presented.
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J. Monreal, G. Giannopoulos, and J. Vantomme "Analysis, construction, and testing of a large displacement bistable piezoelectric actuator", Proc. SPIE 6525, Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2007, 65251Y (27 April 2007);

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