Active PZT fibers, a commercial production process

H. B. Strock, Marina R. Pascucci, Mark V. Parish, Aaron A. Bent, Thomas R. Shrout

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT) active fibers, from 80 to 250 micrometers in diameter, are produced for the AFOSR/DARPA funded Active Fiber Composites Consortium (AFCC) Program and commercial customers. CeraNova has developed a proprietary ceramics-based technology to produce PZT mono-filaments of the required purity, composition, straightness, and piezoelectric properties for use in active fiber composite structures. CeraNova's process begins with the extrusion of continuous lengths of mono-filament precursor fiber from a plasticized mix of PZT-5A powder. The care that must be taken to avoid mix contamination is described using illustrations from problems experienced with extruder wear and metallic contamination. Corrective actions are described and example microstructures are shown. The consequences of inadequate lead control are also shown. Sintered mono-filament mechanical strength and piezoelectric properties data approach bulk values but the validity of such a benchmark is questioned based on variable correlation with composite performance measures. Comb-like ceramic preform structures are shown that are being developed to minimize process and handling costs while maintaining the required mono-filament straightness necessary for composite fabrication. Lastly, actuation performance data are presented for composite structures fabricated and tested by Continuum Control Corporation. Free strain actuation in excess of 2000 microstrain are observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-31
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1999
EventProceedings of the 1999 Smart Structures and Materials on Smart Materials Technologies - Newport Beach, CA, USA
Duration: Mar 3 1999Mar 4 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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