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Piezoelectric Accelerometer for Condition Monitoring

Technology Overview

Condition monitoring is important to realize self-diagnostic functionality for civil structures, vehicles and machinery arrangements. Using piezoelectricity is an alternative approach to strain sensing, which typically requires a fast resposne time whilst consuming low power or even having no external power source. Piezoelectric sensors are normally bonded or assembled on the surface of the object, however, such bonding is difficult to conform to curved surfaces and may thus affect the strain coupling.

MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) techniques have been applied to produce micro-piezoelectric accelerometers, with the aim of further miniaturization. Piezoelectric micro-cantilever and diaphragm structures have been conventionally used to produce miniaturized accelerometers. However, cantilever structures are brittle and often deform due to large residual stresses, while diaphragm structures are rigid and limitated in sensitivity at small sizes.

The present invention avoids these issue through the innovative method of forming the piezoelectric material as a layer, directly onto the object surface.

 

Technology Features & Specifications

The present technology include:

  • The method and process of deposition of thin piezoelectric polymer layer on the surface of the object to be monitored
    • Ferroelectric polymer films are deposited by solution coating, followed by thermal treatment
  • The design of new geometric features for the miniaturized MEMs piezoelectric accelerometers
  • Establishing micro-fabrication process to mass production

Potential Applications

Potential applications of this technology includes, but are not limited to the following:

  • Structural health monitoring for civil structures, vehicles and machinery
  • Strain monitoring and vibration monitoring for machinery and system with moving parts

Customer Benefits

Advantages of the invention include:

  • No surface mounting or adhesive layer required
  • Consistent strain and long term stability
  • Enabling extremely thin and large piezoelectric layers to be formed
  • Different orientations and shapes of piezoelectric sensor array for comprehensive analysis
  • Real-time continuous monitoring
  • Improved structural robustness and sensing performance
  • Enhanced electrical output
  • Precise control of thickness and device specification for mass production

 

We are looking for interested industry partners:

  • To be collaborators for further development research projects
  • To be licensee for self development into new products and implementation for specific applications

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