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PZT/epoxy Composites
Controlling Torsional Motion


of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
State University of New York
Buffalo, NY 14260-4400



ABSTRACT: Thin layers of the piezoceramic PZT (Lead Zirconate/Titanate) have been used to actuate and sense bending motion of thin, flexible structures. However, because of its transverse
isotropy (mm6 symmetry), a pure PZT piezoceramic is unable to
generate or sense twisting motion for applications including
beams, plates or shell panels. The use of a polyvinylidene fluoride
) polymer possessing orthotropy (mm2 symmetry) allows
sensing of twisting, but is not stiff enough to provide actuation
because of its low modulus and typically low thickness. One possible method for generating a more powerful twisting actuation is to
construct a piezoceramic/polymer composite element which is orthotropic in the plane and stiff enough to provide actuation. With
the requirement of orthotropy in mind, composites have been fabricated by cutting rods from a PZT plate and placing them in an
31 and d
epoxy matrix. The piezoelectric coupling coefficients d
have been measured for these composites. The ratio d
1 is ap2
proximately 2, which demonstrates the required orthotropy and
thus demonstrates our ability to produce the desired twisting actuation. A plate theory analysis provides information on the optimum
orientation angle of the PZT/epoxy composite to provide twisting
actuation and sensing. This theory predicts that the PZT/epoxy
will demonstrate a factor of 40 improvement in actuation power
over the PVF
2 for a sample geometry.

eccentrically loaded (Umland et al., 1991), and also in cases

where a flexible structure is involved in a slewing maneuver
(Leo, 1992; Leo and Inman, 1993). See Figure 1, where the
twisting in question is a rotation about the x-axis. The requirement for serving as a twisting A/S is that the material
involved must be orthotropic, that is, it must possess an
mm2 symmetry (notation of Nye, 1960). A polyvinylidene
fluoride (PVF2) material possesses such symmetry, and can
be used as a sensor (Lee, 1987). The PVF2 material is very
compliant, and is normally made very thin because of its
high poling field; it has little actuating ability. In this paper,
we review the material symmetry requirements for a twisting A/S. We then discuss the fabrication of a novel
PZT/epoxy actuator and demonstrate its efficacy through a

plate analysis.


Consider a thin lamina of a piezoelectric material. Under

the assumption of a state of generalized plane stress, we may
write the piezoelectric constitutive equations applicable to a
thin plate (Lee, 1987; Lee and Moon, 1989). These constitutive equations for the (in-plane) strains S, and the electric
displacement D, in the Voigt-contracted form are

of &dquo;thin&dquo; structural elements such as beams,
and curved panels have been successfully
used with piezo-electric actuators/sensors. These actuators/sensors (A/S), typified by thin lead zironate-lead
titanate (PZT) plates, supply an in-plane expansion or contraction which can cause or sense the local bending of the
element. There are many control issues that arise in the
application of the A/S, but the basic types of motion which
can be supplied or sensed are restricted. If PZT elements
are placed on the top and bottom of the structure, they can
supply a bending motion if acting in opposed fashion, or
can supply an extensional (in-plane) motion if acting in the
same fashion. The PZT plates cannot, however, supply or
sense twisting motion, because of the innate material symmetry they display after their normal fabrication and poling.
Controlling twisting is important in cases where a beam is


*Author to whom



s are the compliances at constant electric

field; T, are (in-plane) stresses; E, are electric field compo-

where the s,, --nents.

equations can be further simplified. If we consider

a particular symmetry class, the number of non-zero coefficients (s,,, d,,, €,~) is reduced. We examine the equations as
applied to a piezoelectric material possessing an orthotropic
symmetry (class mm2) like PVF2. This class is of particular

interest to us because its arrays of material constants are

similar in form to materials possessing transverse isotropy
in the xix~ plane (class mm6). This fact, as will be shown
later, will be a prime motivation towards developing a
PZT/epoxy composite. For an orthotropic material, Equations (1) and (2) become

should be addressed





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From these equations it is seen that the normal and the shear
strains are uncoupled in the materials coordinate system.
The form of the piezoelectric constitutive equations remains
the same for a transversely isotropic material like PZT, but
the number of independent non-zero constants is reduced by
the following equalities.




field is



the 3 direction

(with E3



Equation (7),
given by

the stress and strain transformations


with transformation matrices

(thickness direction) only. This is a reasonable assumption

because normally only the 3 direction is sufficiently thin to
permit poling and to enable sufficiently large electric fields.
We may invert Equation (3) to get it in the stiffness form

= cos
sin 6; 0 is rotation angle about the 3 axis
0, n
into geometric (primed) axes.
The stiffness matrix and dielectric coupling coefficient
vector are given in the geometric coordinate system by

Equation (6) is in the materials coordinate system. In the

geometric or primed coordinate system obtained by rotating
the geometric axes with respect to the material axes by an
angle 0 about the z-axis, the constitutive Equation (6) will


Under Kirchofps assumption that plane surfaces remain

plane and perpendicular to the mid-surface, we can now
write the stresses acting at any point on the lamina with a
rotation angle 0 in term of the midplane strains and curvatures

Figure 1. Structural elements requiring torsional actuation: a) flexislewing frame; b) eccentrically loaded beam.



(Lee, 1987; Whitney, 1987)

where Sl, S 2, S6 are the midplane strains and x;, x2, x66
are the curvatures. Having obtained the equation for the
stresses acting on a lamina, we proceed to find the forces
and moments acting on a composite laminate of height h
made of &dquo;n&dquo; orthotropic laminae (like PVF2) stacked
together in the 3 direction. (This laminate may include
laminae which are not piezoelectric.)
Using standard definitions for force and moment resultants on a plate (Whitney, 1987), we may write the laminate
constitutive equations in the matrix notation

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with laminate stiffness matrices



force and



where (zk-,, zk) are signed distances from midplane to (bottom, top) of kth lamina; zk = (zk + zk-1)/2 is signed distance to lamina centroid; hk is the thickness of the kth
lamina; ~3 is the electric field applied across the kth lamina.

Figure 2. PZTlepoxy actuator construction.








rotation of the PZT about its


generate the required twisting moment, it is necessary

a material where d31 is different from ~32; the trans-

to have

To generate a twisting moment M6 in the geometric coordinate system (twisting along the x-axis shown in Figure
lb), it is sufficient to generate in-plane shear strains 1: ~2
which are unequal in at least two laminae. In accommodating the unequal shear strains, the laminate will twist.
The critical test, then, for a twisting actuator material is to
determine if a non-zero shear strain can be generated.
It is seen from Equation (17) that to generate the desired
shear strain under the application of a field E3, the material
must have a non-zero d36 piezoelectric coupling coefficient.
A transversely isotropic material does not shear under the
application of an electric field E3 if its material coordinate
axes coincide with its geometric axes [Equation (3)]. Let us
see if it is possible to have a non-zero value of d3, by rotating
the geometric axes with respect to the material axes. The d36
coefficient is given by

isotropy of the PZT must be destroyed. One of the

ways of doing this is by making a composite of PZT and an
epoxy polymer with the required orthotopic material symmetry. One possible way to do this would be the &dquo;slice and
dice&dquo; technique (Savakus et al., 1981) with the spacing of
slices and the width of epoxy fill made different in the xl and
x,. directions. This would create a composite with 1-1 connectivity ; each phase is continuous in only one spatial direction (the x3 axis). A stronger mismatch of ~31 and d32 (and
thus larger and more desirable d36) can be created by making a PZT/epoxy composite with 2-2 connectivity. See
Figure 2; each phase is continuous in two spatial directions.
The required orthotropic symmetry is thus created in a
material with reasonable stiffness and thickness, suitable for
actuation as well as sensing. This material has been produced and its coupling coefficients measured while applying
an electrical field (Panthalingal, 1992). In the following, the
amount of twisting which can be generated by the
PZT/epoxy is determined by a laminated plate analysis and
compared with PVF2.




transversely isotropic

material like PZT d31 = d32;

be non-zero under an in-plane rotation about
axis. Hence a twisting moment can never be pro-


can never

the poling



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laminate with the


Table 1. Elastic and



piezoelectric coupling properties.

Typical actuator configuration.

sequence: PZT/Ep at +0, Al, PZT/Ep at -0. The top and

bottom PZT/Ep actuator layers are positioned with their
poling directions opposed, so that their surfaces which
adhere to the Al beam can be connected to the common
ground (See Figure 3). For simplicity, the actuator is
assumed to completely cover the Al. The entries of the
terms of Equations (15) and (16) experience reductions in
form since the laminate is balanced and antisymmetric. The
laminate stiffness matrices simplify to

Starred (*) properties of the PZT/Epoxy were measured

by electrical resistance strain gage; other properties are
calculated from micro-mechanics models (Panthalingal,
1992; Halpin, 1984). A typical actuation voltage of 300 V is
applied to both actuators. In Figure 4, we see the twisting
curvature x6 which can be generated, given as a function of
the actuator off-axis angle 0. A peak is reached over a wide
range of angles, starting at approximately 0 = 25 . This
relative insensitivity to the actuator angle offers a useful
design flexibility. To compare the actuating ability of this
PZT/Ep with a PVF, actuator, a similar calculation was performed for PVF2. The PVF, is essentially mechanically isotropic ; see Table 1 for properties (Lee, 1987). The same
layer thicknesses were used, although fabricating a 0.76 mm
thick PVF, would be problematic. The same available voltage of 300 V was applied. The results are plotted in Figure
5, and indicate a much smaller useful range of actuator


Because of the nature of Equation (21c), there is no coupling

between bending and twisting. For the voltage excitation
shown in Figure 3, the expansional piezoelectric force and
moment resultants N~, MP simplify to

Using the case of no applied mechanical loads, we may

invert the system of Equations (15) and (16) to solve for the
midplane strains and curvatures. Of particular interest is the
twisting curvature x6. Determining the twisting curvature
thus involves not only the generated piezoelectric twisting
moment M~ but also the stiffness of the laminate, including
the PZT/epoxy composite actuator layer. Unlike the compliant PVF2, the PZT/epoxy possesses a significant stiffness.
A series of calculations has been performed for the threelayer laminate using the properties of Table 1. All layers
have equal thickness of 0.76 mm (0.030 in).

Using laminated plate theory, the material symmetry requirements for a torsional actuator have been reviewed. A
PZT/epoxy composite possesses the required symmetry as
well as significant stiffness. Such a composite has been
made and its orthotropic piezoelectric properties measured.

Figure 4. Twisting curvature for PZTIEP Actuator.

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Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606, Japan


Department of Civil Engineering

Osaka Technical College
26-12 Saiwai-cho
Osaka 572,

Neyagawa City,


Figure 5. Twisting curvature for PVF2 Actuator.

Using a numerical study, it has been demonstrated that the

PZT/Ep is capable of on the order of 40 times greater actuation power than PVF, for a sample laminate. The orientation of the actuator is important to ensuring its proper performance, although there can be considerable design
flexibility in the orientation angle.
HALPIN, J. C. 1984. Revised Primer on Composite Materials. Lancaster,
PA: Technomic Publishing Co., Inc.
LEE, C-K. 1987. "Piezoelectric Laminates for Torsional and Bending
Modal Control: Theory and Experiment", Ph.D. dissertation, Cornell




Bridge Design Department

Hitachi Zosen Corp.
Sakurajima 1-3-40
Konohana-ku, Osaka 554, Japan
ABSTRACT : In this article, an attempt is made to apply the
fuzzy set theory to structural vibration control of earthquakeexcited and wind-excited oscillations. The numerical examples of
SDOF and 2DOF models show that the fuzzy control technique is
useful for reducing the amplitude and acceleration of structural
oscillation due to earthquake. Experiments on structural vibration
control are conducted using a system of prestressing tendons with
springs connected to a stepping motor system with fuzzy control
rules. The model is subject to base motions produced by a small
shaking table, and a fluctuating flow generated by a fan. These experimental results confirm the efficiency of fuzzy control for structural vibration problems.


MOON. 1989. "Laminated Piezoelectric Plates for

Torsion and Bending Sensors and Actuators", J. Acoust. Soc. Am. ,
LEO, D. J. 1992. "Active Control of a Sewing Frame", MS Thesis,
LEO, D. J. AND D. J. INMAN. 1993. "Modeling and Control Simulations of
a Slewing Frame Containing Active Members", Smart Mater. Struc. J. ,
NYE, J. F. 1960. Physical Properties of Crystals, London: Oxford Univ.
PANTHALINGAL, N. 1992. "Piezoelectric Composites of PZT/Epoxy for
Sensing and Actuating Torsional Motion", MS Thesis, SUNY-Buffalo.
SAVAKUS, H. P., K. A. KLICKER AND R. E. NEWNHAM. 1981. "PZTEpoxy Piezoelectric Transducers", Mater. Res. Bull. , 16:677-680.
UMLAND, J. W., D. J. INMAN AND H. T. BANKS. 1991. "Damping in Coupled Rotation and Bending-An Experiment", Proc. Amer Control Conf.,
Boston, MA, Amer. Auto. Contr. Council 91CH2939-7, (May 1991) V. 3
p 2994-2999.
WHITNEY, J. M. 1987. Structural Analysis of Laminated Anistropic Plates.
Lancaster, PA: Technomic Publishing Co., Inc.

Analytical and Experimental

Investigation on Fuzzy
Active Control
Department of Civil Engineering

Kyoto University




buildings, towers,
bridges, have already been designed using

passive or active vibration suppression as part of the

total design. Recently, active control has played an important role for the control of vibrations due to earthquake or
It seems that many researchers are trying to reduce vibration response as much as possible even if the system of active control should become complicated. On the contrary,
the present study has been carried out aiming to develop a
simple and practical system with sufficient efficiency and
robustness. From this viewpoint, fuzzy control is applied.
Since the algorithm of fuzzy active control (FAC) is very
simple, the calculation time is short. The simplicity of the
structure of the system can provide high reliability and
robustness. It is very easy to change and modify control parameters to adjust any vibration condition.
The present article starts by setting fuzzy control rules
and selecting adequate membership functions. Then tuning
of various parameters is done through some numerical
simulations. Finally, the efficiency of fuzzy control will
be proved based on the experimental results of a small

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