B2.3 - Design of Sensors and Actuators Utilizing Computer Tools

SENSOR+TEST Conferences 2011
2011-06-07 - 2011-06-09
Proceedings SENSOR 2011
B2 - Sensor Design and Modeling
S. Rupitsch, A. Sutor, T. Albach, A. Hauck, R. Lerch - Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany), M. Kaltenbacher - Alpen-Adria University Klagenfurt (Austria)
240 - 245


With the aid of computer tools, the efforts for the design and optimization of actuators and sensors can be remarkably reduced. Possible approaches for the computer design are based on the finite element method (FEM), boundary element method (BEM) as well as lumped circuit elements (LCE). In this contribution, we will concentrate on FEM and LCE. While for LCE the analogies between different physical fields (e.g., electric field, mechanic field) are applied to build up a network of lumped elements, FEM requires the coupling of these fields.
To predict the behavior of actuators and sensors, both, geometric dimensions of the devices and reliable material parameters of the involved materials are necessary. Usually, sensors can be designed applying linearized material behavior. On the contrary, actuator devices require in the majority of cases the implementation of non-linear material laws for the computer based design. These material laws should allow the description of hysteresis behavior, drift and creep phenomena. A major task within the framework of the computer based design of sensors and actuators is the verification of the calculated results. In doing so, the reliability of the simulations for the design approach can be confirmed. An appropriate way to verify the simulation results is the comparison to measurements for prototypes of the devices. For instance, the electrical impedance, surface velocity and acoustic pressure can be used for those comparisons.
We present some examples for the computer based design of devices, which were conducted at the Chair of Sensor Technology in recent years. In particular, these examples are a MEMS-device based on the magnetostrictive effect and a ferroelectret material utilized to emit and receive ultrasound waves. Comparisons of measurement and simulation results clearly verify the computer based design methods. Finally, we give a brief introduction to the simulation based identification (Inverse Method) of material parameters for piezoceramic materials.