Optimal Material Selection for Transducers
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When selecting an active material for an application, it is tempting to rely upon prior knowledge or commercial products that fit the design criteria. While this method is time effective, it does not provide an optimal selection. The optimal material selection requires an understanding of the limitations of the active material, understanding of the function, constraints and objectives of the device, and rigorous decision making method to ensure rational and clear material selection can be performed. Therefore, this work looks into the three most researched active materials (piezoelectrics, magnetostrictives and shape memory alloys) and looks at how they work and their difficulties. The field of piezoelectrics is vast and contains ceramics, plastics and cellular structures that couple the mechanical and electrical domain. The difficulty with piezoelectric ceramics is their small strains and the dependence of their coefficients on the ferroelectric domains. Giant magnetostrictives materials couple the mechanical and magnetic domains. They are generally better suited for low-frequency operations since they properties deteriorate rapidly with heat. Shape memory alloys are materials that couple thermal and mechanical domains. They have large strain but are limited in their force output, fatigue life and cycle frequency. Optimal material selection requires a formalized material selection method. In mechanical material selection, the formal material selection method uses function, constraints and objectives of the designer to limit the parameter space and allow better decisions. Unfortunately, active materials figures of merit are domain dependent and therefore the mechanical material selection method needs to be adapted. A review of device selection of actuators, sensors and energy harvesters indicates a list of functions, constrains and objectives that the designer can use. Through the analysis of these devices figures of merit, it is realized that the issue is that the simplification that the figures of merit perform does not assist in decision making process. It is better to use decision making methods that have been developed in the field of operational research which assists complex comparative decision making. Finally, the decision making methods are applied to two applications: a resonant cantilever energy harvester and an ultrasound transducer. In both these cases, a review of selection methods of other designers provides guidance of important figures of merit. With these selection methods in consideration, figures of merit are selected and used to find the optimal material based upon the designer preference.
Cite this version of the work
Gregory Seviora (2018). Optimal Material Selection for Transducers. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/13003