Piezoelectric materials suit high-temperature operation

Paul Boughton

Morgan Advanced Materials has launched of a range of piezoelectric materials that deliver reliable sensing and monitoring in high-temperature environments above 200˚C.

Based on the proven properties of lead zirconate titanate (PZT), the new materials are suitable for both vibration and pressure sensing for applications in process and plant control, power generation, automotive and aerospace.

Also suitable for long-term non-destructive testing (NDT), they allow in-situ continuous fault detection at temperatures of up to 250˚C.

Previous materials of this kind have had to offer a compromise between piezoelectric activity and maximum operating temperature, with rapid thermal degradation taking place at temperatures above 200˚C.

However, the new products are temperature-stable and rated for continuous use at up to 250˚C with an intermittent maximum of 300˚C. Available in tailored formulations, they boast piezoelectric charge coefficients (d33) exceeding 400pc/N.

The use of modifying dopants to produce both soft and hard materials enables further customisation of performance attributes, extending performance boundaries.

Testing has also shown outstanding resistivity at elevated temperatures, enabling a large sensing bandwidth in high-sensitivity applications.

Paul Turnbull, of Morgan Advanced Materials, explained: “In-house testing of the new materials has shown that at 250˚C, the decrease in piezoelectric properties is negligible, making this technology suitable for a far broader range of applications. This temperature stability is highly significant in sectors where continuous operation or prolonged electrical/stress/ cycling is vital to device construction and operation.”