Advanced Electro Ceramics

Piezo Ceramic Components

CeramTec presents a wide range of PZT and dielectric materials for all of your capacitor, sensing and transducer requirements.

With the acquisition of the Electro-Ceramics Division from Morgan Technical Ceramics, CeramTec has broadened its range of materials and products. Please visit the SONOX® range of piezo-ceramic products too.

Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT)

Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT)’s attributes of producing an electrical charge when mechanically compressed or vibrating when an electrical charge is applied, make it very conducive for passive sensing, active transmitting and mechanical displacement applications.

We utilise three predominant types of piezoelectric materials, each providing a set of unique properties suitable for a range of applications. These three types of piezoelectric ceramics include our High Power “Hard” variant, our High Sensitivity “Soft” variant and also custom made materials.

High Power “Hard” Piezoelectric Materials are ceramics able to withstand high levels of electrical and mechanical stress and are particularly suited to high voltage and power applications.

High Sensitivity “Soft” Piezoelectric Materials are particularly useful for sensing applications due to its high sensitivity and permittivity. As such these piezoelectric ceramics are frequently used in low power applications as transducers, receivers and generators.

Custom Piezoelectric Materials from CeramTec are tailored to exacting customer specifications whilst still falling into the DOD standards used to define piezoelectric ceramics. We perform this through extensive consultation to ensure that our engineers find an appropriate and high performance solution.

PZT is a machineable ceramic and can be precision dimensioned into tubes, rings, discs, plates, and hemispheres. The PZT material is also versatile from a forming aspect as it can be net shaped by pressing, extruding and casting into these same shapes as well as complex components including, co-fired bimorphs and multilayer actuators. Sizes range from microns to centimetres. Electrode choices are extensive including fired silver, electroless nickel, sputtered or vacuum deposited Nickel-Chrome, Gold, Tin, Aluminium and Vanadium.

Typical PZT characteristics include:

  • Wide range of frequencies in transmit and receive (sub-audible, audible, ultrasonic)
  • High output, low drive material
  • High frequency, fast response time
  • High sensitivity for active or passive use
  • Ability to use with low voltage or high voltage drive circuits
  • Good mechanical and acoustic coupling
  • Wide variety of shapes and sizes that can be customized to meet specific requirements and applications
  • Wide variety of compositions that can be selected to meet specific requirements and applications

Quality of each PZT component is ensured by a rigorous testing regimen. Characteristics such as frequency, capacitance, dissipation, coupling, d33 and mechanical properties are measured and verified against our / customer provided specifications.

Typical PZT applications include:

  • Undersea exploration (sonar, beacons, imaging, current meters)
  • Aerospace (gyroscopes, accelerometers, level sensing)
  • Medical products (Doppler blood flow, oncology therapeutics (high intensity focused ultrasound), imaging, level sensing, intra-operative tools for ophthalmology (phacoemulsification), dental descaling, general surgery, tissue ablation, medication delivery, hearing enhancement, bubble detection)
  • Consumer products (ultrasonic toothbrushes, jewellery cleaners, contact lens cleaners, computer hard drives, touch screen displays, integrated, ultra-thin speakers and cosmetic enhancement)
  • Industrial and Commercial (flow and level sensors, ultrasonic cleaning, ultrasonic welding, intrusion alarms, fabric needle positioning, solder dispensing, machine vibration monitoring, bubble detection, sonochemistry for improved chemical mixing)
  • Telecommunications (optical switching of telecom lines, buzzers and alarms, Haptics feedback, mobile phone cameras)
  • Automotive (power seat controls, reversing/collision avoidance sensors, anti-knock sensors)
  • Scientific research (nano positioning stages and analytical tools, scanning probe microscopy, advanced acoustics)
  • Oil Exploration (flow and level sensors, down hole drill tool monitoring)

Our applications engineers work closely with our customers on how new solutions can be found using piezoelectric materials. For further information on how our piezoelectric ceramics could be utilised in your market specific applications, contact us today.