Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3477-3492; doi:10.3390/s140203477
Article

Modeling of the Through-the-Thickness Electric Potentials of a Piezoelectric Bimorph Using the Spectral Element Method

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Received: 10 December 2013; in revised form: 3 February 2014 / Accepted: 12 February 2014 / Published: 20 February 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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.
Abstract: An efficient spectral element (SE) with electric potential degrees of freedom (DOF) is proposed to investigate the static electromechanical responses of a piezoelectric bimorph for its actuator and sensor functions. A sublayer model based on the piecewise linear approximation for the electric potential is used to describe the nonlinear distribution of electric potential through the thickness of the piezoelectric layers. An equivalent single layer (ESL) model based on first-order shear deformation theory (FSDT) is used to describe the displacement field. The Legendre orthogonal polynomials of order 5 are used in the element interpolation functions. The validity and the capability of the present SE model for investigation of global and local responses of the piezoelectric bimorph are confirmed by comparing the present solutions with those obtained from coupled 3-D finite element (FE) analysis. It is shown that, without introducing any higher-order electric potential assumptions, the current method can accurately describe the distribution of the electric potential across the thickness even for a rather thick bimorph. It is revealed that the effect of electric potential is significant when the bimorph is used as sensor while the effect is insignificant when the bimorph is used as actuator, and therefore, the present study may provide a better understanding of the nonlinear induced electric potential for bimorph sensor and actuator.
Keywords: spectral element method; piezoelectric bimorph; electric potential; sublayer; piecewise linear
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dong, X.; Peng, Z.; Hua, H.; Meng, G. Modeling of the Through-the-Thickness Electric Potentials of a Piezoelectric Bimorph Using the Spectral Element Method. Sensors 2014, 14, 3477-3492.

AMA Style

Dong X, Peng Z, Hua H, Meng G. Modeling of the Through-the-Thickness Electric Potentials of a Piezoelectric Bimorph Using the Spectral Element Method. Sensors. 2014; 14(2):3477-3492.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dong, Xingjian; Peng, Zhike; Hua, Hongxing; Meng, Guang. 2014. "Modeling of the Through-the-Thickness Electric Potentials of a Piezoelectric Bimorph Using the Spectral Element Method." Sensors 14, no. 2: 3477-3492.

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