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- Rate dependent nonlinear properties of perovskite tetragonal piezoelectric materials using a micromechanical model (2006)
- Nowadays piezoelectric and ferroelectric materials are becoming more and more an interesting part of smart materials in scientific and engineering applications. Precision machining in manufacturing, micropositioning in metrology, common rail systems with piezo fuel injection control in automobile industry, and ferroelectric random access memories (FRAM) in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) besides commercial piezo actuators and sensors can be very good examples for the application of piezoceramic and ferroelectric materials. In spite of having good characteristics, piezoelectric and ferroelectric materials have significant nonlinearities, which limit the applications in high performance usage. Domain switching (ferroelastic or ferroelectric) is the main reason for the nonlinearity of ferroelectric materials. External excessive electromechanical loads (mechanical stress and electric field) are driving forces for domain switching. In literature, various important experiments related to the non-linear properties of piezoelectric and ferroelectric materials are reported. Simulations of nonlinear properties of piezoelectric and ferroelectric materials based on physical insights of the material have been performed during the last two decades by using micromechanical and phenomenological models. The most significant experiments and models are deeply discussed in the literature survey. In this thesis the nonlinear behaviour of tetragonal perovskite type piezoceramic materials is simulated theoretically using two and three dimensional micromechanical models which are based on physical insights of the material. In the simulations a bulk piezoceramic material which has numerous grains is considered. Each grain has random orientation in properties of polarization and strain. Randomness of orientations is given by Euler angles equally distributed between \(0\) and \(2\pi\). Each element in the micromechanical model has been assumed to have the same properties of the real piezoelectric grain. In the first part of the simulations, quasi-static characteristics of piezoelectric materials are investigated by applying cyclic, rate independent, bipolar, uni-axial and external electrical loading with an amplitude of 2 kV/mm gradually starting from zero value in virgin state. Moreover, the simulations are undertaken for these materials which are subjected to quasi-static, uni-polar, uni-axial mechanical stress, namely compressive stress. The calculations are performed at each element based on linear constitutive equations, nonlinear domain switching and a probability theory for domain switching. In order to fit the simulations to the experimental data, some parameters such as spontaneous polarization, spontaneous strain, piezoelectric and dielectric constants are chosen from literature. The domain switching of each grain is determined by an electromechanical energy criterion. Depending on the actual energy related to a critical energy a certain probability is introduced for domain switching of the polarization direction. Same energy levels are assumed in the electromechanical energy relation for different types of domain switching like 90º and 180º for perovskite type tetragonal or 70.5º and 109.5º for rhombohedral microstructures. It is assumed that intergranular effects between grains can be modelled by such probability functions phenomenologically. The macroscopic response of the material to the applied electromechanical loading is calculated by using Euler transformations and averaging the individual grains. Properties of piezoelectric materials under fixed mechanical stresses are also investigated by applying constant compressive stress in addition to cyclic electrical loading in the simulations. Compressive stress is applied and kept constant before cyclic bipolar electrical loading is implemented. In the following chapters, a three-dimensional micromechanical model is extended for the simulation of the rate dependent properties of certain perovskite type tetragonal piezoelectric materials. The frequency dependent micromechanical model is now not only based on linear constitutive and nonlinear domain switching but also linear kinetics theories. The material is loaded both electrically and mechanically in separate manner with an alternating electrical voltage and mechanical stress values of various moderate frequencies, which are in the order of 0.01 Hz to 1 Hz. Electromechanical energy equation in combination with a probability function is again used to determine the onset of the domain switching inside the grains. The propagation of the domain wall during the domain switching process in grains is modelled by means of linear kinetics relations after a new domain nucleates. Electric displacement versus electric field hysteresis loops, mechanical strain versus mechanical stress and electric displacement versus mechanical stress for different frequencies and amplitudes of the alternating electric fields and compressive stresses are simulated and presented. A simple micromechanical model without using probabilistic approach is compared with the one that takes it into account. Both models give important insights into the rate dependency of piezoelectric materials, which was observed in some experiments reported in the literature. Intergranular effects are other significant factors for nonlinearities of polycrystalline ferroelectric materials. Even piezoelectric actuators and sensors show nonlinearities when they are operated with electrical loading, which is much lower than the coercive electric field level. Intergranular effects are the main cause of such small hysteresis loops. In the corresponding chapter, two basic field effects which are electrical and mechanical are taken into account for the consideration of intergranular effects micromechanically in the simulations of the two dimensional model. Therefore, a new electromechanical energy equation for the threshold of domain switching is introduced to explain nonlinearities stemming from both domain switching and intergranular effects. The material parameters like coercive electric field and critical spontaneous polarization or strain quantities are not implemented in the electromechanical energy relation. But, this relation contains new parameters which consider both mechanical and electrical field characteristics of neighbouring elements. By using this new model, mechanical strain versus electric field butterfly curves under small electrical loading conditions are also simulated. Hence, a rate dependent concept is applied in butterfly curves by means of linear kinetics model. As a result, the simulations have better matching with corresponding experiments in literature. In the next step, the model can be extended in three dimensional case and the parameters of electromechanical energy relation can be improved in order to get better simulations of nonlinear properties of polycrystalline piezoelectric materials.