A flexing or bending actuator is designed to produce a relatively large mechanical deflection in response to an electrical signal. Two thin strips of piezoelectric ceramic are bonded together, usually with the direction of polarization coinciding, and are electrically connected in parallel. When electrical input is applied, one ceramic layer expands and the other contracts, causing the actuator to flex. Deflections are large, but blocking forces are low, relative to forces developed by stack actuators. Parallel electrical configuration ensures high sensitivity to input; bias voltage circuitry can prolong the life of the actuator by eliminating the potential for depolarizing the ceramic layers.
Stripe Actuator: Better Performance and Longer Lifetime
- Superior layering technology, for
greater range of deflection
useful blocking forces
- Varnish layer protects surface from humidity and dust
Advanced layering technologies have enabled APC International, Ltd. to develop the Stripe actuator, a flexing actuator that achieves greater deflections than conventional designs. Stripe actuators derive their name from a white stripe that denotes the positive surface.
A standard sized Stripe actuator secured in a cantilever mounting configuration has a deflection range of up to >2.5 mm, in response to a 150 V (maximum) input. If deflection is blocked, a Stripe actuator will develop a useable force. The relationships discussed in technical note Performance of Stripe Actuators determine the deflections and blocking forces for these actuators.
Vulnerable surfaces of a Stripe actuator are coated with a special varnish that electrically insulates the surface and protects it from humidity, dust, and other hazards that can shorten the working lifetime of the actuator. A solderable electrode is bonded between the plates.
Additional information about Stripe actuators is available in the following Stripe Actuator Technical Notes: