Study of Thermo-Electro-Mechnical Coupling in Functionally Graded Metal-Ceramic Composites
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Piezoelectric actuators have been developed in various forms ranging from discrete layered composites to functionally graded composites. These composite actuators are usually made up of differentially poled piezoelectric ceramics. This study presents analyses of thermo-electro-mechanical response of piezoelectric actuators having combinations of metal and ceramic constituents with through thickness gradual variations of the metal and ceramic compositions. This is done in order to achieve better performance. The piezoelectric ceramic constituent allows for electro-mechanical coupling response and higher resistance to elevated temperatures while the metal constituent provides more ductile composites. The gradual variation in the ceramic and metal composition helps to avoid high stress concentrations at the layer interfaces in composites. A functionally graded composite is analyzed with discrete layers of piezoelectric ceramic/metal composite. Each layer in the functionally graded composite has a fixed ceramic/metal composition. The governing equation for such a piezoelectric functionally composite beam is presented based on a multi-layer Euler-Bernoulli beam model and the overall displacement response of the beam under thermal, mechanical and electrical stimuli is predicted. The variation of this response is studied with respect to functional grading parameter, number of layers, thermal and electrical and mechanical stimuli applied. It is found that the displacement due to thermal and mechanical effects can be mitigated to some extent by the application of an electric field. It is also observed that layers of varying thickness may be assumed to model the functional grading more accurately i.e. use thinner layers where the grading changes rapidly and thicker layers where the grading changes gradually. In addition to the above parametric studies, the change in the material properties with temperature is also studied. It is found that the temperature-dependent material parameters are important when the actuators are subjected to elevated temperatures.
Doshi, Sukanya 1988- (2012). Study of Thermo-Electro-Mechnical Coupling in Functionally Graded Metal-Ceramic Composites. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from