Oxide Ceramics – Piezo-ceramics

Ceramic as an Electromechanical Transducer

Piezo-ceramics are used to convert mechanical parameters, such as pressure and acceleration, into electrical parameters or, conversely, to convert electrical signals into mechanical movement or vibration.

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With the acquisition of the Electro-Ceramics Division from Morgan Technical Ceramics, CeramTec has broadened its range of materials and products. Please visit the new range of piezo-ceramic products too.

Piezo-ceramic materials are categorized as functional ceramics. In sensors they make it possible to convert forces, pressures and accelerations into electrical signals, and in sonic and ultrasonic transducers and actuators they convert electric voltages into vibrations or deformations. Piezo-ceramic materials are classified according to their chemical composition on the one hand, and by the specific application conditions on the other. CeramTec distinguishes between the following material categories:

  • Materials for power transducers (ultrasonic applications)
  • Materials for sensors (ultrasonic transmitters and receivers)
  • Materials for actuators (precision positioning or injection systems)
  • Materials for special applications

Contacting of the metalized piezo-ceramics can be made using conductive adhesives, conductive rubbers, spring contacts or via soldering.

Worth knowing:

Selection of Piezo-ceramic Properties

  Power transducers Sensors Actuators
Relative permittivity ε33 τ/ε0 1,000 – 1,300 1,500 – 1,850 1,800 – 3,800
Loss factor tan δ 2x10-3
3x10-3
12x10-3
20x10-3
15x10-3
16x10-3
Frequency constant NP,
KHz⋅mm
2,210 – 2,280 2,020 – 2,050 1,960 – 2,010
Coupling factor kP 0.55 – 0.57 0.59 – 0.62 0.65
Charge constant d33,
10-12 C/N
240 – 310 390 – 450 475 – 680
Voltage constant g33,
10-3 Vm/N
26.9 – 27.1 26.9 – 33.1 20.2 – 28.5
Elastic compliance S11ε,
10-12 m2/N
11.4 – 14.9 16.3 – 18.5 15.8 – 17.9
Elastic stiffness C33D,
1010N/m2
15.9 – 16.2 14.5 – 15.8 14.7 – 15.2
Density g/cm2 7.65 – 7.70 7.65 – 7.80 7.70 – 7.83
Quality Qm 500 – 1,000 60 – 90 75 – 80
Aging rate Cε, % -4.5 to -3.0 -2.3 to -0.3 - 1.6 to -0.8

Piezo-ceramics have a wide range of uses. Piezo-ceramics are used in the automotive industry in a number of applications such as in knock and oil level sensors or as actuators for precise control of injection processes in engines. In medical technology piezo-ceramic components can be found in lithotripters, devices for plaque removal and in inhalers. Common applications in mechanical engineering include ultrasonic cleaning, ultrasonic welding and active vibration damping. Pickups for musical instruments or piezo-electric gas igniters are examples for the use of piezo-electric technology in consumer applications