Design and performance of a high force piezoelectric inchworm motor

Jeremy Frank, Gary H. Koopmann, Weiching Chen, George A. Lesieutre

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


A linear inchworm motor was developed for applications in adaptive, conformable structures for flow control. The device is compact (82×57×13 mm), and capable of unlimited displacement and high force actuation (150 N). The static holding force is 350 N. Four piezoceramic stack elements (two for clamping and two for extension) are integrated into the actuator, which is cut from a single block of titanium alloy. Actuation is in the form of a steel shaft pushed through a precision tolerance hole in the device. Unlimited displacements are achieved by repetitively advancing and clamping the steel shaft. Although each step is only on the order of 10 microns, a step rate of 100 Hz results in a speed of 1 mm/s. Since the input voltage can readily control the step size, positioning on the sub-micron level is possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-723
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Issue numberII
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999
EventProceedings of the 1999 Smart Structures and Materials - Smart Structures and Integrated Systems - Newport Beach, CA, USA
Duration: Mar 1 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


Dive into the research topics of 'Design and performance of a high force piezoelectric inchworm motor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this