There can be many different applications of piezoelectric materials in various mechatronic systems. Also, as an actuator too piezoelectric material can have plenty of scope if the designers can think of out of box solutions.
These multilayer piezo actuators can be classified in many different types:
- Piezoelectric actuators
Generally, these actuators are used in internal combustion engines for controlling fuel injection system.
- Electrochemical actuators
It has use in airbag expansion systems.
- Artificial muscles
You can find in humanoid robots this is used for manipulation and mobility features.
- Shape memory actuators
You can find these actuators are used in robotic hands and fingers.
Many more developments are taking place and many other unconventional applications of such actuators are expected based on electrostatic, electro and magnetostriction principles.
What are the benefits of piezoelectric actuators
Following are few attributes of these actuators.
- Its resolution is very high and therefore with very little change in supply voltage it can be either converted or detected for linear motion.
- It is possible to attain very high actuation force without any loss of precision.
- You can get very high response time even below one milli second.
- Since there is no moving part involved hence there is no question of friction or wear and tear etc. and therefore after 500 million cycles too there is no fatigue or aging possible.
- Very low power consumption.
- During its operation, no magnetic field is generated.
Due to the above attributes, they are popularly used in various precision mechanical engineering applications, optics systems, medicines and microelectronics applications.