The use of porosity to modify the functional properties of piezoelectric ceramics is well known in the scientific literature as well as by the industry, and porous ceramic can be seen as a 2-phase composite. In the present work, examples are given of applications where controlled porosity is exploited in order to optimise the dielectric, piezoelectric and acoustic properties of the piezoceramics. For the optimisation efforts it is important to note that the thickness coupling coefficient kt
will be maximised for some non-zero value of the porosity that could be above 20%. On the other hand, with a good approximation, the acoustic velocity decreases linearly with increasing porosity, which is obviously also the case for the density. Consequently, the acoustic impedance shows a rather strong decrease with porosity, and in practice a reduction of more than 50% may be obtained for an engineered porous ceramic. The significance of the acoustic impedance is associated with the transmission of acoustic signals through the interface between the piezoceramic and some medium of propagation, but when the porous ceramic is used as a substrate for a piezoceramic thick film, the attenuation may be equally important. In the case of open porosity it is possible to introduce a liquid into the pores, and examples of modifying the properties in this way are given.
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