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What are actual applications of printed piezoelectric materials?

There are many ranging underwater sound detection to vital signs monitoring to micrphones. In this short video, Mickaël Pruvost, PhD from Piezotech, Arkema Group showcases a breadth of applications. But first some background: Piezotech has two types of materials

1) P(VDF-co-TrFE) is a interested fluorinated copolymer able to convert mechanical demonstrations into transient electrical signals and vice versa. It is also sensitive to temperature variations through the pyroelectric effect. It can thus act as an excellent transducer of motion - from body motion to acoustic waves- into electrical signals

2) The terpolymer versions (P(VDF-TrFE-CFE/CTFE) are ale to also convert electrical signals into large deformation via the electrostriction effect. Here, larger movements can be produced compared to the co-polymer versions, and so this is better suited to actuation applications.

These materials are produced as powders which are then formulated into printable inks. The inks will need to sandiwched with two conductive (Ag, PEDOT, etc) electrodes and are then annealed and (in the case of FC coplymers) poled to produce piezoelectric properties

These materials are thus able to produce flexible, thin sensors and actuators on a variety of substrates printed into arbitary shapes.

They are very robust. For example, they survive 1000hrs @105C and 85%RH, do not degrade under hot water test (one hour under 99,9C), and withstand thermal shock test (30min @-40C followed by +85C for 11 days!). Furthermore, they show no degradation after 4million bending and 2.5million pressure cycles!

So what are the actual applications of this very unique material? The video below explains many demonstrator and commercial product examples. These include

  • Vital signs monitoring in smar insoles, pulse wave monitoring, and hear beat/breadth monitoring in bed sheets

  • Human machine/object interfaces: smart poeple counting and perhaps energy harvesting surfaces; shock labels, VR interfaces, etc

  • Acoustics: accoustic patten detector, guitar tuner, mobile phone finger print recognition, underwater military equipment,

  • Printed speakers


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