The Stacked HYBATS (Hybrid Actuation/Transduction system) demonstrates significantly enhanced electromechanical performance by using the cooperative contributions of the electromechanical responses of multilayer, stacked negative strain components and positive strain components. Both experimental and theoretical studies indicate that, for Stacked HYBATS, the displacement is over three times that of a same-sized conventional flextensional actuator/transducer. The coupled resonance mode between positive strain and negative strain components of Stacked HYBATS is much stronger than the resonance of a single element actuation only when the effective lengths of the two kinds of elements match each other. Compared with the previously invented hybrid actuation system (HYBAS), the multilayer Stacked HYBATS can be designed to provide high mechanical load capability, low voltage driving, and a highly effective piezoelectric constant.

The negative strain component will contract, and the positive strain component will expand in the length directions when an electric field is applied on the device. The interaction between the two elements makes an enhanced motion along the Z direction for Stacked-HYBATS. In order to dominate the dynamic length of Stacked-HYBATS by the negative strain component, the area of the cross-section for the negative strain component will be much larger than the total cross-section areas of the two positive strain components. The transverse strain is negative and longitudinal strain positive in inorganic materials, such as ceramics/single crystals. Different piezoelectric multilayer stack configurations can make a piezoelectric ceramic/single-crystal multilayer stack exhibit negative strain or positive strain at a certain direction without increasing the applied voltage. The difference of this innovation from the HYBAS is that all the elements can be made from one-of-a-kind materials.

Stacked HYBATS can provide an extremely effective piezoelectric constant at both resonance and off resonance frequencies. The effective piezoelectric constant can be alternated by varying the size of each component, the degree of the pre-curvature of the positive strain components, the thickness of each layer in the multilayer stacks, and the piezoelectric constant of the material used. Because all of the elements are piezoelectric components, Stacked HYBATS can serve as projector and receiver for underwater detection. The performance of this innovation can be enhanced by improving the piezoelectric properties.

This work was done by Ji Su of Langley Research Center, Xiaoning Jiang of TSR Technologies, and Tian-Bing Zu of the National Institute of Aerospace. For more information, download the Technical Support Package (free white paper) at under the Physical Sciences category. LAR-17671-1

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the January, 2011 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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