Design, Simulation and Experimental Evaluation of Tri-Phasic Piezoelectric Composite Transducers




Tamez, Juan Pedro

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Piezoelectric ceramics exhibit excellent piezoelectric and dielectric properties that is the basis of practically all transducers and piezoelectric devices, but their inherent properties, such as brittleness, non-ductility and poor shapeability may limit their applications in areas such as vibration sensing, impact detection, structural health monitoring and other reinforced structures and energy harvesting. To compensate for such limitations, the 1-3 piezoelectric composites transducers have become the material of choice for many high performance ultrasound transducers since it was invented in the late 1970's [ref. Newnham/Cross]. Extensive studies on 1-3 composites have been performed since then to improve the performance of a transducer by modifying their electromechanical coupling, bandwidth, quality factor, and flexibility and by reducing or eliminating the cross talk, i.e., induced noise between the active piezoelectric elements, especially in high power and low frequency applications. These fundamental issues, their possible solutions and their wide impact underline the motivation of the current work in this dissertation report. The motivation for this dissertation was to study and provide a foundation to designing multiphasic piezoelectric transducers that could be useful for multitude of applications. The goal was to improve the 1-3 diphasic composite transducer by eliminating the cross talk between the active piezoelectric elements while maintaining and improving the figures of merit of the design.

To achieve the ultimate goal, the steps outlined below were followed:

i. Understanding the theoretical and mathematical modeling for tri-phasic piezoelectric composite.

ii. Implement Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and simulations of tri-phasic piezoelectric composites where the different active piezoelectric material PZT-5H and PMN-30%PT is surrounded by a vacuum phase that is enclosed by a hexagonal polymer walls.

iii. Propose a redesign of the tri-phasic transducer to improve the Figures of Merit (FOM) for non-destructive evaluation (NDE) applications.

iv. Explore the performance of the diphasic and tri-phasic transducer for energy harvesting applications.

v. Perform analysis and quantification of the transducers in a laboratory environment to analyze their performance for Non-Destructive Testing (NDE) using pulse echo acoustics and Electro-Mechanical Impedance (EMI) measurements.

The findings of this research are reported in this dissertation indicate that the measured piezoelectric properties of the fabricated tri-phasic transducers are in good agreement with those of the predicted designs. The simulation of the designed transducer has acoustic energy channeled in the d33 mode at resonance, with weak or no shear mode cross talk behavior from the other modes. The mechanical displacements measured were large and highly aligned along polar direction consistent with d33 mode. This implies that multiphasic piezoelectric transducer performs as a single device with improved mechanical and electrical response for sensing, actuation or single device transducer applications. Testing in a laboratory environment demonstrated that they can be highly useful for both the contact and air coupled noncontact Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) and nondestructive testing (NDT) applications.


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multiphasic, Piezoelectric, Transducers, tri-phasic



Electrical and Computer Engineering