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Piezo Theory

Piezo Theory book

APC International’s book Piezoelectric Ceramics: Principles and Applications covers a wide range of topics including:

  • principles of piezoelectricity and behavior of piezoelectric ceramic elements
  • fundamental mathematics of piezoelectricity
  • traditional and experimental applications for piezoelectric materials, and related physical principles for each application: audible sound producers, flow meters, fluid level sensors, motors, pumps, delay lines, piezo transformers, other apparatus
  • introduction to single ceramic crystals, composites, and other latest-generation piezo materials.

In this section of our website we provide to you, free of charge, an abstract of some of the topics covered in Piezoelectric Ceramics: Principles and Applications. Please follow the links below to the topic or topics that you would like to learn more about.

Piezoelectric Constants
Soft vs. Hard Ceramics
Piezoelectric Element Behavior
Resonance Frequency
Theory Applications
New Materials
Modes of Vibration
What is PZT?
What's a Transducer?
Piezo Theory Accelerometers


What is Piezo?

Piezo is used to describe materials that accumulate a charge as a result of the piezoelectric effect. Piezo materials, including crystals and ceramics generate a voltage in response to an applied mechanical stress. In what is known as the inverse piezoelectric effect, these same materials will lengthen or shorten in response to an applied voltage.

The voltages, movements, and forces generated by piezo materials are small and usually require amplification. For example, a typical disc of piezolectric ceramic will increase or decrease in size by only a small fraction of a millimeter. In spite of this minor change of thickness, piezoelectric materials are used in many far-reaching applications.

Piezoelectric ceramics are a preferred material choice due to their ability to be tailored to meet the requirements of a specific purpose. Currently, PZT (lead zirconate titanate) materials are the most widely used piezo ceramics. They offer greater sensitivity and higher operating temperatures than other piezo ceramics.