Vibration Piezo Sensors – Piezoelectric Discs and Piezoelectric Rings

Piezo discs and piezo rings

Piezo Discs and Piezo Rings as Piezoceramic Vibration Sensors

Piezoelectric sensors are unique devices that can transform a mechanical input into a proportional electrical output. By harnessing the piezoelectric effect, piezo sensors can measure dynamic changes in pressure, vibration, acceleration, strain, and force, and produce an electrical charge directly proportional to the strength of the input. We will explore the effects and applications of vibration piezoelectric sensors. Vibration in piezoceramic sensors is measured by converting the vibration movement into an electrical charge (AC voltage). Piezo sensors are best for dynamic pressure receptiveness. Vibration piezo sensors are ideal for measuring vibration, shock, and frequency. These piezoelectric ceramic measurements are useful testing data for electronic and mechanical systems and machinery. Vibration piezoelectric sensors can withstand the continued exposure that stress and shock these systems, making piezo sensors the ideal source to measure the health of machinery. Vibration piezoelectric sensors can also be equipped with weights to help encourage vibration for higher potential voltage in energy harvesting application. Piezoelectric ceramics are extremely sensitive and versatile in their sensing capabilities.

piezo discs in vibration sensors
Piezo discs are used in many optic sensing devices, such as measuring corneal pressure.

There are two main shapes used for vibration piezoelectric sensors: piezo discs and piezo rings. Piezo ceramic discs detect changes in dynamic environments very rapidly and accurately, making them a useful piezo sensor for infinite applications. In the automotive industry, piezoelectric discs are implemented into many vehicle systems. Vibration piezoelectric sensors can measure acceleration and detect vibrational inputs to make automatic adjustments to the vehicle. For example, piezo discs are used in engine knock sensors to sense the detonation frequency through vibration and translate it into an electrical signal that the piezo sensor sends to the vehicle’s computer system. Another example of piezo disc sensors can be seen in microphones and contact microphones. Piezoelectric discs sense incoming sound waves from voices or instruments and produce a digital voltage that can be amplified or recorded. The sound waves create the vibration input that the piezo ceramic disc in piezo sensors pick up. Piezoelectric discs are found among many commercial and industrial devices that utilize piezoelectric sensors.

Piezo ring sensors
Piezo sensors, such as piezo rings, are found in many automotive systems.

Another common piezo sensor shape is the piezo ring. Piezoelectric rings carry the same properties as piezo discs, with the additional ability to measure ultrasonic vibrations. As piezo sensors, piezo rings are often utilized in data acquisition systems and applications to actively and immediately analyze vibration data from machinery. Piezo rings can be found in aerospace, manufacturing, automotive, and medical as vibration piezoelectric sensors. Many optic medical applications utilize piezoelectric rings due to their ability to accurately measure sensitive areas such as the eye whether directly in contact with the eye or not. As corrective vision technology and industrial machinery advance, piezo rings and piezo sensors will continue to play an important role.  

Piezoceramic sensors are undoubtedly one of the most useful and beneficial tools for measuring dynamic changes such as vibration. Monitoring vibration is extremely important in many systems and devices to ensure the health and safety of each operation, and piezoelectric ceramics provide the most accurate measure of vibration. Piezo elements, such as piezo discs and piezo rings, can be configured for almost any piezo sensor application.

Piezoelectric sensor ring
Engine knock piezoelectric sensor.

Piezo Direct is an experienced partner in designing and manufacturing custom piezo sensors, piezo actuators, and piezo transducers. If you are interested in designing a piezoelectric disc, piezoelectric ring, or any other piezoelectric sensor, please contact Piezo Direct at 650-375-7003 or [email protected] for more information.

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