Joseph, J., Raja, S., and Lu, Y., "Finite Element Analysis of Piezoelectric Composite Actuators," SAE Int. J. Mater. Manuf. 4(1):328-339, 2011, doi:10.4271/2011-01-0218.
Piezoelectric materials are smart materials that can undergo mechanical deformation when electrically or thermally activated. An electric voltage is generated on the surfaces when a piezoelectric material is subjected to a mechanical stress. This is referred to as the ‘direct effect’ and finds application as sensors. The external geometric form of this material changes when it is subjected to an applied voltage, known as ‘converse effect’ and has been employed in the actuator technology. Such piezoelectric actuators generate enormous forces and make highly precise movements that are extremely rapid, usually in the micrometer range. The current work is focused towards the realization and hence application of the actuator technology based on piezoelectric actuation. Finite element simulations are performed on different types of piezoelectric actuations to understand the working principle of various actuators. The displacements produced by the multilayered actuators are sometimes insufficient compared with the total displacement requirements such as in injector control valve applications in automotive engine environment, therefore it calls for design of an amplification system to increase the stroke using existing multilayered stacks. Thus FE simulation procedures play key role in designing such smart actuating systems. Investigations on various types of displacement amplification systems have been made.