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Prelaunch: Damage tolerant actuator stacks for critical applications

Noliac introduces damage tolerant piezoelectric actuator stacks with a significantly higher reliability than conventional piezo actuator stacks. The technology is designed to maintain functionality even when a section of the actuator is damaged, consequently preventing so-called catastrophic failures.
Prelaunch: Damage tolerant actuator stacks for critical applications

A unique solution for critical applications
Constant functionality is vital for a long range of applications. Cedric Goueffon, Global Sales Manager at Noliac, explains:

- When a production line stops unexpectedly due to a malfunction, the repairs can be time consuming and therefore quite expensive, since there is no time to plan an alternative production. In industries such as space, aerospace and transportation in general, an unscheduled stop due to a breakdown is both unsafe and expensive. Thanks to the fuse technology of Noliac's damage tolerant stacks, the functionality of the application declines gradually instead of stopping suddenly. This allows for a scheduled stop, which is by far the most cost-efficient way to maintain the application. The technology is available on stacks of a large cross-section and is relevant for plate and ring actuator stacks above a certain height, where the loss of one element is not critical. We see a great potential for this new technology, and we are looking forward to discussing piezo-based applications with this feature.

Fusing out damaged elements to allow further operation
The fuse technology of Noliac’s damage tolerant stacks works in the same way as a regular fuse. Charles Mangeot, Senior R&D Engineer at Noliac, has been leading the development work on the damage tolerant piezo actuator stacks. He explains the technology:

- Standard piezo actuator stacks consist of a number of ceramic elements. If one element is damaged, the whole stack is likely to fail in short circuit. In the damage tolerant version, the complete breakdown due to the failure of one element is avoided. Here, the damaged ceramic element is effectively fused out, avoiding short circuit and allowing further operation of the actuator since the rest of the elements continue to operate. Further, one single failure does not lead to failures in the neighbouring elements.

Graph showing the gradual decline of the functionality of the actuator due to the fusing out of damaged elements

Product range
The standard product range will consist of plate actuator stacks with an operating voltage of 200 V. The plate stacks can be delivered in a wide range of heights. These are the standard sizes:

  • 9.56 x 9.56 mm (length x width)
  • 12.8 x 12.8 mm (length x width)
  • 17.9 x 17.9 mm (length x width)

The damage tolerant actuator plate stacks can be delivered mid-March 2016.

Damage tolerant actuator ring stacks are available as a custom solution and will be added to the standard product range at a later stage.

Contact us for further information
If you want to know more about damage tolerant piezo actuator stacks, please contact us using our Request for Quote form or contact sales.

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