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How to select

When selecting a piezoelectric element for a quasi-static actuator application, the main parameter to observe is the load, i.e. the force vs. position characteristics of the load.

Start with force vs. displacement

There might be a number of actuators that can fulfill the displacement vs. force requirements, i.e. whose characteristics include the load curve. A first starting point for selecting candidates can be the comparison of the different actuator designs based on actuator blocking force vs. free displacement or stroke - also to be found in the section Different actuator designs.

What is the target of your design?

In order to choose from these options, it is important to know the optimization parameters. For example, is the target to optimize volume/mass, one particular dimension or stiffness/frequency response?

In addition, there might be other requirements, such as environmental conditions, response time, drift. It is of course important to consider these requirements as early as possible in the design process in order to make sure that the objectives are met.

Operate in the best conditions

Finally, the actuator must be used in the best conditions. Typically, an actuator can tolerate a certain range of external force. For example, we do not recommend to use linear stack (NAC20xx-Hxx or NAC21xx-Hxx) in tension. This means that, if the load has to be both pushed and pulled, a preload must be added in parallel to the actuator, to make sure that the actuator is only submitted to compressive stress. Such a preload should be designed to have a stiffness much lower than the actuator (factor 10). This ensures that the preload does not ”divert” too much of the strain energy from the piezoelectric actuator.

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