Tailoring the performance of ceramic-metal piezocomposite actuators, 'cymbals'

J. F. Fernández, A. Dogan, J. T. Fielding, K. Uchino, R. E. Newnham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


A unique design of metal-ceramic actuators exhibits very high displacement and large generative forces. This new metal-ceramic composite actuator design, the 'cymbal', consists of a piezoelectric disk sandwiched between two truncated conical metal endcaps. The radial motion of the piezoelectric ceramic is converted into flextensional and rotational motions in the metal endcap. Based on previous studies of ceramic-metal composites, a simplified model has been developed to evaluate the properties of cymbals and to aid in materials selection. The influence of the stiffness of the metal, the piezoelectric coefficients of the ceramics and the characteristics of the epoxy bond on actuator performance have been evaluated. It is found that the higher the transverse piezoelectric coefficient, the higher the displacement of the actuator. The stiffness of the metal reduces the displacement but allows the composite to support higher loads. There is a thermally induced displacement of the piezocomposite with the temperature that is related to the thermal expansion mismatch between the metal endcaps and the ceramic. By selecting appropriate materials, it is possible to avoid this thermally induced displacement. Very low or negligible temperature dependence of the displacement is attained by using PZT ceramics with temperature-independent properties together with metal caps having higher Young's modulus and lower thermal expansion coefficients than the ceramics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-237
Number of pages10
JournalSensors and Actuators, A: Physical
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Mar 15 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Tailoring the performance of ceramic-metal piezocomposite actuators, 'cymbals''. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this