Piezoelectric Transducers

What are Piezoelectric Transducers?

Transducers are the “opposite” of actuators: they convert mechanical energy into electric energy, which can be read or transformed with an actuator. Their applications vary greatly. Microphones and guitar pickups convert sounds or vibrations into electrical energy; keyboards sometimes use piezoelectric transducers to detect keystrokes; the list goes on. The most canonical use was actually in World War I, where quartz was used to construct a sonar device for British use against submarines and ships.

Why would you use a Piezoelectric Transducer?

Piezoelectric transducers are extremely volatile and flexible in application. Whereas traditional transducers face issues with operational conditions and shapes (one likely can’t easily make a banana-shaped traditional transducer, for instance), piezoelectric transducers have close to no restrictions in these regards. Furthermore, they are extremely responsive to change, both in terms of speed and range.

Why is Piezo Direct the Best Choice?

As mentioned above, transducers have the ability to take on a large variety of shapes and sizes. On top of that, operational input and output ranges may also need to be changed in order for a design to work, and other solutions such as transformers and amplifiers can easily introduce error and design complications. Piezo Direct’s high degree of customizability allows for high degrees of freedom when working with such applications, and even offers extremely competitive pricing.

By | 2018-08-24T19:31:14+00:00 August 28th, 2018|piezoelectric products|0 Comments

Piezoelectric Sensors

What are Piezoelectric Sensors?

Piezoelectric sensors are transducers that convert environmental conditions into readable and usable electrical signals. There are two types: active and passive. The former sends ultrasonic signals and waits for a response, after which it releases an electrical signal. Information regarding distance and depth can be obtained when analyzing the delay. The latter only send signals when they receive inputs and do not do anything otherwise, hence the name. More details regarding the mechanics can be found here.

Why would you use a Piezoelectric Sensor?

Piezoelectric materials stay operational within a very large range of conditions (i.e. temperature, magnetic fields) and thus hold high value in collecting extreme data, such as those in explosions. Sensors are, in essence, transducers, and many of the other benefits also hold here: the lack of shape limitations, the wide operational ranges, extreme responsiveness, etc. This, combined with very linear input/output relationships, makes piezoelectrics invaluable to laboratory settings.

Why is Piezo Direct the Best Choice?

Designing around a piezoelectric sensor can be extremely difficult at times, especially when considering the predetermined input and output operational ranges. Piezo Direct lets you work around that. Instead of designing an experiment around a sensor that only works between 1 and 20 atm of pressure, why not find a sensor that works between your experimental design? Our customizability is something that no other competitor can offer.

By | 2018-08-15T20:31:56+00:00 August 15th, 2018|piezoelectric products|0 Comments

New Class of Piezoelectric Actuators and Assemblies from Piezo Direct

Interesting Information on a New Class of Piezoelectric Actuators and Assemblies from Piezo Direct

Author – Hunter Liu – Contributing Editor, Piezo Direct

Many companies who are thinking about integrating piezoelectric components into future products often ask many questions regarding how piezoelectric actuators function in a wide array of products. Here are some interesting information facts about how this growing class of actuators perform.

Piezoelectric actuators work just like any other actuator – they convert mechanical energy into electrical energy, or vice-versa. This is made possible by the unique lattice structure of piezoelectric crystals, as internal electric forces interact with elastic mechanical forces acting on the crystal. What sets piezoelectric actuators apart from other types is its incredibly fine precision. Some modern applications require precision to the scale of micrometers. Furthermore, the variegated designs of these actuators fulfill the requirements for a very wide and expanding range of applications.

Why would you use a Piezoelectric Actuator?

Piezoelectric actuators have extremely broad applications, and similarly, wide operational ranges. Heat, pressure, magnetism, and wear all affect piezoelectric actuators much less than they do other types of actuators. They see the most use in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), where their precise control and simplicity provides volatility and ease of use when compared to other legacy actuators. The variegated designs of piezoelectric actuators allow for a wide range of operational voltages; working efficiently in ranges from hundreds to thousands of volts.

Why is Piezo Direct the Best Choice?

Piezoelectric actuators may have a very wide range of viable applications in MEMS, but that also entails specificity of design. As MEMS require extremely precise movements and even more precise design, it follows that those looking to use piezoelectric actuators need to be able to produce pieces that can fit any space, voltage, or power requirement.

That’s where Piezo Direct shines – we offer one-stop-shop customization on our piezoelectric products, allowing clients to build their products without limitations from individual piezoelectric components. In many cases Piezo Direct becomes involved in helping design and build complete assemblies, or sub-assemblies, that house the piezoelectric actuator component. No other company can provide this type of integrated design capability, often reducing overall cost of production and continuous improvements if necessary.

Feel free to call Piezo Direct today, at our Burlingame headquarters, by dialing 650-375-7003.

Learn more about our Piezo Actuators here: http://piezodirect.com/piezo-actuators/

By | 2018-08-08T21:45:31+00:00 August 8th, 2018|piezoelectric products|0 Comments

Piezoelectric Product Applications

The possibilities are endless for the future of piezo technology. Just last month, NASA announced a collaboration with Georgia Tech Research Institute to build a 40,000 square foot outdoor footpath using piezoelectricity. This project is to show the public how this new and innovative technology could lead us to having self-powered cities. This will be demonstrated at the NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Visitor Complex.

How does this project help us to understand the value of piezoelectricity?

One of the unique characteristics of the piezoelectric effect is that when stress is placed on a piezoelectric material, they will generate an electric charge. This effect is also reversible, meaning that this material will generate mechanical stress when an electric charge is applied to it.

The footpath will operate on solar panels, piezoelectricity, and a small rechargeable lithium battery storing energy. When a visitor steps on the tile, the piezoelectric element will create energy which will light up the LEDs on the footpath. The energy will also be used to power Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for it’s visitors.

How much energy does each step generate?

Each step only generates a tiny amount of energy, but imagine if this technology was utilized for heavily populated cities like San Francisco and New York. The whole city could potentially operate using the energy produced by piezoelectricity.

I believe this technology is the future for modern energy companies. Being able to harness solar energy while utilizing the energy from piezo materials will allow us to have a sustainable energy source in the future. It’s time we start turning over to renewable energy sources in order to prevent our planet from unbalancing our “Carbon Budget” to the point of no return.

As our knowledge of this amazing material grows, so will the applications of piezo technology.

What PiezoDirect does

If you are in the market for piezo ceramic products, then look no further. PiezoDirect provides both custom and turnkey piezo components and assemblies. We can make even the most complex piezoelectric components and assemblies to your exact requirements.

 

Written by Felix Lau

By | 2018-01-15T23:13:20+00:00 January 15th, 2018|piezoelectric products|0 Comments