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Overview of Different Piezo Motor Design Principles

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The basic principle of the piezo ceramic motor has been known for almost 100 years. However, it took decades to get from an idea to a reliable, industrial product. Just like with electromagnetic motors, many different types have been developed and tested over the years. Today, one can say that piezo motors have become mainstream driving elements in industrial and commercial applications. The reason why it took much longer and more effort to get to this point, compared with traditional electric motors, lies both in the precision required of mechanical parts and in the complexity of the drive electronics, which only became available with the abundance of high-powered digital chips at reasonable costs.

All piezo motors generate motion based on small deformation of a piezoceramic material caused by a change in the applied electric field. There are a number of linear and rotary principles based on slow or high-frequency oscillatory motions. Basically, piezo motors can be grouped into three main types: resonance-motors (ultrasonic drives), inertia-motors (stick-slip principle), and piezo-walk drives. Read the full article here.

Piezoelectric oscillating element to obtain mechanical movement as described in an early US Patent by Meissner, US Patent 1,804,838 A, 12 May 1931.
Piezoelectric oscillating element to obtain mechanical movement as described in an early US Patent by Meissner, US Patent 1,804,838 A, 12 May 1931.

 

 

Operating principle of an ultrasonic single mode excitation resonance motor, using a cylindrical piezoelectric element (Image PI).
Operating principle of an ultrasonic single mode excitation resonance motor, using a cylindrical piezoelectric element (Image PI).
Watch Video Animation >

 

 

Single-mode excitation type ultrasonic piezo motor from Physik Instrumente (PI). The excited single mode of the stator makes the pushing point to have a sloping impact to a sliding element.
Single-mode excitation type ultrasonic piezo motor from Physik Instrumente (PI). The excited single mode of the stator makes the pushing point to have a sloping impact to a sliding element.
Watch Video Animation >

 

A Piezo-Walk linear piezo motor. This type of motor combines high forces with sub-nanometric resolution. (Image PI).
A Piezo-Walk linear piezo motor. This type of motor combines high forces with sub-nanometric resolution. (Image PI).
Watch Video Animation >

 

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RydSojhrur8?rel=0" target="_blank">Mini-Rod stick-slip motor: watch animation&gt;</a> These inertia drives are used in compact linear actuators, such as the <a href="http://www.pi-usa.us/products/Piezo_Motors_Stages/Linear-Motor-Precision-Positioning.php#N422" target="_blank">N-412 and N-422 drives</a>.
Mini-Rod stick-slip motor: watch animation> These inertia drives are used in compact linear actuators, such as the N-412 and N-422 drives.

 

Piezo ratchet drives are a special form of inertia motors based on the stick-slip effect. A small piezo ceramic actuator embedded in a precision mechanism drives a high resolution screw. The drive principle relies on a quasi-saw tooth signal with a slow expansion phase and a fast contraction phase. This expansion leads to a small rotation of a high resolution lead screw (see animation). When the piezo element has reached its maximum expansion, a much shorter contraction phase follows – too fast for the screw to follow, because of its inertia.
Piezo ratchet drives are a special form of inertia motors based on the stick-slip effect. A small piezo ceramic actuator embedded in a precision mechanism drives a high resolution screw. The drive principle relies on a quasi-saw tooth signal with a slow expansion phase and a fast contraction phase. This expansion leads to a small rotation of a high resolution lead screw (see animation). When the piezo element has reached its maximum expansion, a much shorter contraction phase follows – too fast for the screw to follow, because of its inertia.

 

Piezoelectric Motors, an Overview >
Read the full article: Piezoelectric Motors, an Overview >

 

 

> Additional Piezo Motor Papers

> SEE piezo motor product examples

> LEARN more about piezo motion

>WATCH more piezo motor animations

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About PI

PI (Physik Instrumente) is a leading manufacturer of precision motion control equipment, piezo motors, air bearing stages and hexapod parallel-kinematics for semiconductor applications, photonics, bio-nano-technology and medical engineering. PI has been developing and manufacturing standard & custom precision products with piezoceramic and electromagnetic drives for 4 decades. The company has been ISO 9001 certified since 1994 and provides innovative, high-quality solutions for OEM and research. PI is present worldwide with fifteen subsidiaries, R&D / engineering on 3 continents and total staff of more than 1,000.

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