The curie’s simple experiment in the 19th century involving basic items like tinfoil, glue and a saw lead to the discovery of Piezoelectricity which unleashed the age of modern sensor technologies. The basic principle of mechanical stress inducing electric current was realized by two materials, namely crystals along with ceramics.
1. Ceramics and piezoelectric current
Ceramics produce electricity due to the presence of Perovskite crystals inside them. These Perovskite crystals contain metal ions like titanium and zirconium which are surrounded by a larger network of ions, normally barium and lead. Oxygen atoms might also be present in this network. The ceramics form when these metal ions combine in powder form.
The powders are first heated and then molded into whatever shape is required. While heating, you can see the crystallization taking place in the powder which steadily increases in density. The powder’s mix also makes the substance more polarized due to the formation of dipoles in the material. Any pressure applied on the ceramic causes the flow of energy within the ceramic.
Types of Ceramics
Ceramics are classified as either hard ceramics or soft ceramics. Soft ceramics have couplings that are larger than hard ceramics. They also possess greater dielectric constants than hard ceramics. Soft ceramics are called “soft” because they can easily lose their functionality if they are deformed or lose their originally set polarization. This typically occurs in high energy environments so it’s best to not use these ceramics in such environments.
On the contrary, hard ceramics are perfectly capable of handling these high energy environments thanks to their lower piezo constants and their higher melting point. Thanks to these features, they are harder to deform and their polarization cannot be easily tampered with.
Piezoceramics with Different Shapes We offer:
- Piezoelectric Ceramic Ring
- Piezoelectric Ceramic Disc
- Piezoelectric Ceramic Tube
- Piezoelectric Ceramic Cylinder
- Piezoelectric Ceramic Ball/Hemisphere
- Piezoelectric Ceramic Square/Rectangular
2. Crystals and piezoelectric current
Crystals can also generate piezoelectric current fairly well. Some common crystals are quartz, tourmaline and gallium. Crystals also fulfill the role of acting as sensors for mechanical stress, producing piezoelectric current whenever pressure is applied.
This phenomenon basically manifests itself as an electrical polarization along point where the pressure is being applied. While some crystals can be found naturally as ores, others have to be specially made in laboratory conditions. For example, a quart is a crystal that can be found in nature. But aluminum orthophosphate has to be made in the lab by adding sodium to the basic material.