|Multilayer laminated piezoelectric bending actuators: design and manufacturing for optimum power density and efficiency||3.17 MB|
In previous work we presented design and manufacturing rules for optimizing the energy density of piezoelectric bimorph actuators through the use of laser-induced melting, insulating edge coating, and features for rigid ground attachments to maximize force output, as well as a pre-stacked technique to enable mass customization. Here we adapt these techniques to bending actuators with four active layers, which utilize thinner material layers. This allows the use of lower operating voltages, which is important for overall power usage optimization, as typical small-scale power supplies are low-voltage and the efficiency of boost-converter and drive circuitry increases with decreasing output voltage. We show that this optimization results in a 24%–47% reduction in the weight of the required power supply (depending on the type of drive circuit used). We also present scaling arguments to determine when multi-layer actuator are preferable to thinner actuators, and show that our techniques are capable of scaling down to sub-mg weight actuators.