Piezoelectric shell and beam structures
Piezoelectric materials are characterized by the direct and the inverse piezoelectric effect. The inverse piezoelectric effect describes the generation of mechanical strain by applying an electric field and the direct piezoelectric effects denotes the internal generation of an electric field by applying an deformation. The most popular materials for piezoelectric devices are ferroelectric ceramics, which show strong material nonlinearities. Piezoelectric devices are widely used in the actuator and sensor technology. Typical devices have a shell or beam like structure. Due to the electromechanical coupling special finite elements have to be developed for the analysis. The chair of structural analysis and dynamics is concerned with the computational modelling of such structures.
In The Figure below a telescope actuator is shown. It consists out of conical located piezoelectric cylinders, which are subjected to an electric voltage. The deformed telescope actuator is shown on the right hand side.