Piezoelectric materials have long been used for active flow control purposes in aerospace applications to increase the effectiveness of aerodynamic surfaces on aircraft, wind turbines, and more. Piezoelectric actuators are an appropriate choice due to their low mass, small dimensions, simplistic design, and frequency response. This investigation involves the development of piezoceramic-based actuators with two bimorphs placed in series. Here, the main desired characteristic was the achievable displacement amplitude at specific driving voltages and frequencies. A parametric study was performed, in which actuators with varying dimensions were fabricated and tested. These devices were actuated with a sinusoidal waveform, resulting in an oscillating platform on which to mount active flow control devices, such as dynamic vortex generators. The main quantification method consisted of driving these devices with different voltages and frequencies to determine their free displacement, blocking force, and frequency response. It was found that resonance frequency increased with shorter and thicker actuators, while free displacement increased with longer and thinner actuators. Integration of the devices into active flow control test modules is noted. In addition to physical testing, a quasi-static analytical model was developed and compared with experimental data, which showed close correlation for both free displacement and blocking force.
SPIE Conference, Las Vegas, NV, March 21-24, 2016