Three-Dimensional Bending Analysis of Functionally-Modified Bimorph PZT Actuator for cm-Scale Flapping Wing

Report No. ARL-TR-5581
Authors: Jaret C. Riddick and Asha Hall
Date/Pages: July 2011; 20 pages
Abstract: Army combat operations have placed a high premium on reconnaissance missions for micro air vehicles (MAVs). An analysis of insect flight indicates that in addition to the bending excitation (flapping), simultaneous excitation of the twisting degree-of-freedom is required to manipulate the control surface adequately. By adding a layer of angled piezoelectric segments to a Pb(Zr,Ti)O3(also referred to as PZT) bimorph actuator, a bend-twist coupling may be introduced to the flexural response of the layered PZT, thereby creating a biaxial actuator capable of driving wing oscillation in flapping wing MAVs. The present study presents numerical solutions to governing equations for quasi-static three-dimensional bending of functionally-modified bimorph designs intended for active bend-twist actuation of cm-scale flapping wing devices. The results indicate a strong dependence of bimorph deflection on overall length. Further, the width and angle of orientation of the angled piezoelectric segments may be manipulated in order to increase or decrease the length effects on bimorph deflection. The relationships of geometry and orientation of the angled segments with bimorph flexural response are presented.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: July 1, 2011