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Fatigue Resistant Miniature Piezoceramic Actuators



Stephanie A. Hooker, Jens Mueller, Clayton Kostelecky, K. Womer


Piezoelectric ceramics are desirable actuator materials for many biomedical applications due to their ability to generate precise, controlled motion with applied voltage. Herein, we report the fabrication of miniature piezoceramic actuators and their subsequent performance testing under high electric fields. Actuators were produced by tape casting sub-micrometer lead zirconate titanate (PZT) powder, followed by electroding, laminating, and dicing to form multilayer devices. The resulting devices were comprised of ten active (PZT) layers, each of which was approximately 50 ¿¿m thick. To evaluate the effect of microstructure on performance, the components were heated to temperatures ranging from 1175-1325 ¿XC and held at temperature for 24 minutes. Fatigue resistance was determined by monitoring changes in polarization during continuous cyclic operation. Actuators sintered at lower temperatures possessed smaller grains and exhibited improved fatigue resistance. In these specimens, polarization decreased by less than 15 % compared to more than 50 % for devices processed at higher temperatures. These results indicate that sintering control can be effectively used to minimize performance degradation, improve reliability, and promote long-term stability.
Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing


actuator material, biomedical applications, piezoelectric ceramics
Created May 17, 2006, Updated January 27, 2020