PICMA Benders: A Disk-Shaped, Multilayer Bending Actuator Complements the Product Line

The PICMA® Bender product line now offers a disk-shaped, multilayer piezo bending actuator. PI Ceramic manufactures the Ø44 × 0.65mm bending actuator for a displacement of up to 270µm. The all-ceramic insulation is still warranted by the manufacturing process, and this ensures the proven characteristics of PICMA Benders. The all-ceramic insulation protects the active layers from humidity and failures due to increased leakage current. This increases the reliability and lifetime considerably compared to common polymer-insulated actuators.

PICMA multilayer bending actuators are characterised by a large travel. A low transversal change in length of the active layers is converted into a large bending displacement in a direction vertical to the contraction. In this way, displacements of up to two millimeters can be achieved with response times in the millisecond range.

The high resonant frequency of the multilayer bending actuators offers the best prerequisites for highly dynamic applications.
The manufacturing process makes PICMA Benders possible in almost any shape and size. In addition to different geometries, PI Ceramic offers customised versions. The height of the active layers is variable, for example, starting at a minimum height of 15μm, so that even operating voltages of only 10V can be used. A one-sided displacement is possible if the actuators are attached to a substrate, this allows a higher stiffness and a larger displacement in one direction than is possible with bidirectional bending elements. Linearity and repeatability in position-controlled operation can be improved by using position sensors. Multilayer contracting plates can also be placed on the customer’s own substrate (metal, silicon).

Their reliability and low operating voltage makes PICMA bending actuators ideal for dosing and pumping applications, for optical beam deflection, and when minimally dimensioned, for use in portable devices.

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