Lightweight high voltage electronic circuits for piezoelectric composite actuators

Onur Bilgen, Kevin B. Kochersberger, Daniel J. Inman, Osgar J. Ohanian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The purpose here is to enable peak-to-peak actuation of piezocomposite devices to perform shape control of structures, specifically bimorph variable-camber control surfaces on small aircraft. One of the major drawbacks in implementing control with piezocomposite actuation is its asymmetry in the positive and negative voltage directions. To remedy this situation, a novel, solid-state electrical circuit employing diodes and resistors is proposed. The circuit allows a single bipolar amplifier to control a bimorph composed of two piezoceramic composite actuators known as Macro-Fiber Composite (MFC). The MFCs have an asymmetric actuation range of -500 to 1500 V; hence an MFC bimorph with conventional serial or parallel electrical connection limits the actuation to the -500 to 500 V range. The proposed circuit allows the division of the input voltage so that: (1) The MFC that is in extension receives 1500 V, and (2) The MFC that is in compression receives -500 V. The circuit also allows the actuation in the opposite direction without any physical changes (i.e., not using any electromechanical switches) The input-output relationship of the circuit is characterized experimentally. An MFC bimorph is used to further demonstrate the capability of the circuit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1417-1426
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures
Issue number14
StatePublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering


  • Macro-Fiber Composite
  • active composites
  • actuator.
  • bimorph
  • morphing
  • piezoelectric


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