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Sensors 2013, 13(7), 9174-9182; doi:10.3390/s130709174
Article

Piezoelectric Driving of Vibration Conveyors: An Experimental Assessment

1,* , 2
,
1
 and
1
1 School of Mechanical Engineering, Federal University of Uberlandia, Campus Santa Monica, Building 1M, Av. Joao Naves de Avila 2121, Uberlandia, MG 38408-100, Brazil 2 Petroleo Brasileiro S.A., Rua General Canabarro, 500, Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, CEP 20271-205, Brazil
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 June 2013 / Revised: 4 July 2013 / Accepted: 7 July 2013 / Published: 17 July 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Piezoelectric Sensors and Actuators)
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Abstract

Vibratory feeders or vibratory conveyors have been widely used for the transport and orientation of individual parts and bulk materials in many branches of industrial activity. From the designer’s standpoint, the current endeavor is to conceive efficient vibratory feeders, satisfying constraints of power consumption, vibration transmission and noise emission. Moreover, the interest in the reduction of maintenance cost is always present. In this context, this paper investigates experimentally the concept of vibratory conveying based on the use of piezoelectric materials for motion generation. A small-size prototype of a linear conveyor, in which lead-zirconate-titanate (PZT) patches are bonded to the resilient elements, is described. One of the main design goals is that the prototype is intended to be fed directly from the electric network, aiming at avoiding the use of electronic equipment for driving. To comply with this feature and, at the same time, enable to adjust the transport velocity, a mechanical device has been conceived in such a way that the first natural frequency of the conveyor can be changed. It is shown that the transport velocity is determined by the proximity between the excitation frequency and the first natural frequency of the conveyor. The experimental tests performed to characterize the dynamic behavior of the prototype are described and the range of transport velocities is determined.
Keywords: vibratory feeder; vibratory conveyor; automation; piezoelectricity vibratory feeder; vibratory conveyor; automation; piezoelectricity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Rade, D.A.; de Albuquerque, E.B.; Figueira, L.C.; Carvalho, J.C.M. Piezoelectric Driving of Vibration Conveyors: An Experimental Assessment. Sensors 2013, 13, 9174-9182.

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