Thermo-electro-mechanical Performance of Piezoelectric Stack Actuators for Fuel Injector Applications
SENOUSY, M. S.
Gadala, Mohamed S.
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Piezoelectric actuators are increasingly used in fuel injectors due to their quick response, high efficiency, accuracy, and excellent repeatability. Current understanding of their thermo-electro-mechanical performance under dynamic driving conditions appropriate for fuel injection is, however, limited. In this paper, the thermo-electro-mechanical performance of soft Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT) stack actuators is experimentally investigated over a temperature range of -30°C to 80°C, under driving electric fields of up to 2.0 kV/mm (using an AC drive method and a biased DC offset), different frequencies, and a constant preload of about 5 MPa. Experimental results show that the dynamic stroke of the actuators increases with the magnitude and frequency of the applied electric field, as well as ambient temperature. The dynamic stroke was also found to increase with decreased driving field rise time, which is equivalent to increasing the driving field frequency. At driving frequencies lower than the resonance frequency of the test apparatus (~500 Hz), the strain-electric field behavior under different temperatures agreed well with previously obtained quasi-static results. The duty cycle was found to have a minimal effect on dynamic stroke but significantly affected the amount of heat generated under high electric field magnitudes and/or frequencies. The temperature increase due to self-heat generation under a continuous AC driving field (100% duty cycle) was very high, and limited the maximum driving field magnitude and/or frequency. Reducing the duty cycle significantly decreased the amount of heat generation.