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Piezo automotive actuators


As today’s vehicles incorporate more and more sophisticated driving aids and sensing technology technology, industrial piezoelectric components are becoming increasingly important to manufacturers. In fact, automotive technology is currently the second-largest market for piezoelectric ceramic products. APC International is proud to help the automotive industry develop smarter and safer cars with applied piezoelectric automotive sensor technology. We offer a number of solutions for manufacturers and subcontractors, from piezoelectric powders to complete sensor assemblies. Contact our team directly to discover what we can do for you!

Direct and Indirect Automotive Applications

Piezoelectric materials are used in two ways within the automotive industry: directly and indirectly. Both have a major impact on how cars are made and operate, but are significantly different in their applications. Thanks to our ability to create custom piezoelectric materials for a wide range of applications, we can support the design and manufacturing of the custom materials and forms you need for all of your automotive uses.

Consider the two types:

  • Direct: Directly applied piezoelectric materials are those that are incorporated into a vehicle for a variety of functions. These can be actuators, injectors and sensors controlling, adjusting and sensing a wide range of systems. Our piezoelectric materials are used to manufacture the equipment that goes into your vehicle, and they allow for precise, reliable control with repeatability and accuracy after billions of cycles. This is a huge advantage for automotive applications, especially in systems related to fuel economy, performance and safety, where failure could lead to major problems.
  • Indirect: Indirect uses of piezoelectric materials in the automotive industry include machines and robots that are used to design, manufacture and test vehicles. The high accuracy and precision of our piezoelectric materials that go into a wide range of transducers, sensors and actuators makes them perfect for indirect automotive applications. From the equipment that’s used to aim the headlights to the precise positioning of a robotic arm for the installation of components, piezoelectric technology has an important role to play in the automotive industry.

As a leading manufacturer of piezoelectric materials, APC International gives you the building blocks for your automotive equipment. Whether they’re for direct or indirect applications, we can create custom solutions that meet your requirements in terms of size, shape and electrical or dimensional accuracy.

Choosing quality piezoelectric ceramics for your car sensors, fuel injectors, air transducers or tire pressure sensors allows you to guarantee accurate and reliable products for your customers.

Piezo Car Actuators

Piezo auto actuators play a large role in a number of different vehicle components. An actuator converts an electrical signal into a precise physical movement called a stroke. This stroke can finely adjust lenses, mirrors and other components, and it can act as a small volume pump or trigger a hydraulic valve. You'll find piezoelectric car actuators in any application where simplicity and reliability are required; piezo actuators are maintenance-free and can be operated billions of times without incurring wear or deterioration. APC International manufactures a variety of actuators used in automobiles.

Piezo Fuel Injectors

Fuel injectors using piezo technology are said to be more accurate than their conventional equivalents. Using piezoelectric elements the pintle in the fuel injector is able to open and close more rapidly than in a conventional fuel injector allowing for a more precisely controlled spray of fuel. Fuel injectors incorporating piezo techniology have been proven to provide improved fuel economy and reduced emissions. APC’s hard materials with their higher stability are ideal for use in the harsh environment that exists within an automobile engine.

Piezoelectric Pressure Sensors, Piezo Level Sensors & Air Transducers

Ultrasonic sensors are another important piezoelectric automotive product used in several different applications. Sensors respond to pressure, acceleration or other input by producing an electrical signal. This signal can be used to relay vital information to a vehicle's computer about a range of different factors. Examples include piezoelectric tire pressure sensors, engine knock sensors, backup sensors, dynamic pressure sensors, and many of the other important safety features found on most of today's vehicles. APC International offers complete turnkey solutions for the design and production of custom piezoelectric pressure sensors in our Pennsylvania facility. Custom orders are built to exacting tolerances and rigorously tested to ensure the highest level of quality.

What's Next for the Automotive Industry?

As the push continues for further improvements in terms of fuel economy, safety and connectivity, the demand for piezoelectric materials and components for the automotive industry will only continue to grow. We see focus within the industry in these major areas:

  • Fuel Economy: Increasing fuel economy can be accomplished in many ways. Lighter vehicles with more compact sensors and equipment can help increase fuel mileage. More accurate monitoring of speeds, fuel rates and operating parameters and real-time adjustments can all be made possible with continued improvements of our piezoelectric materials.
  • Safety: Increasing automotive safety comes down to creating more reliable and faster-acting controls for braking, crash avoidance and safety devices, like airbags. The ever-increasing reliability and repeatability of piezoelectric materials means they will continue to push automotive safety in the future and allow for further advances.
  • Connectivity: Automotive connectivity is giving drivers a new way to experience their cars. Piezoelectric sensors and actuators are a key component in proximity sensors and automated driving features. As automakers move towards fully autonomous vehicles, our piezoelectric materials will continue to prove their importance.

An added advantage of incorporating piezoelectric materials into your automotive systems is their extreme reliability. They can run billions of cycles without showing signs of fatigue. The small amplitude of mechanical force applied means our PZT ceramics are not subject to the same wear and replacement requirements as other mechanical components on your vehicles and automotive equipment.

Piezo Solutions That Suit Your Applications

Each of our automotive customers has a unique problem to solve. That’s where our custom approach to piezoelectric materials and products is a big advantage for your business. As new challenges arise, we can work with you to find a unique solution that meets the tough demands and requirements of the automotive industry.

We can also supply raw materials, including our proprietary ceramics, composites and unprocessed powders, to clients throughout the automotive industry. Our piezo materials are unmatched in their consistency and quality, due to years of research and development. For more information about all our product offerings, browse our online knowledge base or contact a sales representative directly.