Examples of these possibilities are shown in the accompanying Drawings; it is worth noting here that the different forms have different deformations when activated. In operation the device of the invention, which has portions in groups that are spatially separated across the notional median plane, bends as the result of any dimension change of the piezoelectric-layer portions in the group on one side. If, instead, all the trough portions (in the bottom group) were caused to expand, the body’s dimensions on its lower side would increase, and it would bend up, normal to the median plane, away from that side-it would become convex, with that lower side on the outside. If, alternatively, all the peak portions (top group) were caused to contract, the body’s dimensions on its upper side would reduce, and it would bend up, towards that side-it would become concave, with that upper side on the inside. Moreover, any piezoelectric portion dimension change in a group on one side of the median plane tends to bend the whole device in the opposite direction to the same-sense piezoelectric portion dimension change in the group on the other side of that median plane.
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FIGS. 2A, B also show how the piezoelectric portions are arranged in two essentially planar groups defined by the dashed boxes U and L which are so disposed as to face each other across the median plane and wherein the portions in one group expand while the portions in the other group contract. In low volumes, this approach will also reduce the manufacturing cost, since the costs of custom tooling will be reduced. This is distinct from a unimorph device, where there may be a single piezoelectric layer but there is also another, albeit inactive, layer. 10 the corrugations 102 are straight (and at 45 degrees), but the strip has itself been curved/dished to take on a three-dimensional aspect, best seen at the fixed end 107. Arbitrary cross-sections 108 along the device show the superposition of the arcuate strip and any curvature introduced by the corrugations. Such a body is an elongate body-with a length greater than its width-which is generally planar but has been uniformly corrugated for its entire length (that is, the lines of corrugations run the length of the body) across its width-that is, in a direction across its length.
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The body of the single layer device of the invention is physically shaped-if the body has a length greater than its breadth then this shaping is conveniently though not necessarily in a direction lying across the length of the body-so as to have separate, distinct, piezoelectric portions disposed in two generally planar groups one on each side of a nominal median plane through the whole body (by “generally planar” is meant that, while the individual portions in either group may not be either flat or disposed to be co-planar with each other, the group as a whole extends over a plane). This median plane may notionally be anywhere within the body-provided, of course, that there are indeed two piezoelectric-portion groups one either side of it-but most conveniently it will be co-planar with the device’s neutral axis plane. The device of the invention has a simple, single layer of piezoelectric material physically shaped so as to have separate, distinct piezoelectric portions in two groups one on each side of a nominal median plane through the whole body.
And in each case, the simple, single layer acts as though it were a bimorph-if elongate and beam-like, bending along its length, one end moving up/down, or back/forth, relative to the other-but without any need for the middle, internal, electrode. This type of structure, novel and inventive in its own right, demonstrates a device geometry that significantly amplifies the normal relatively small deformation of piezoelectric materials to produce a large displacement.. A que se debe dolor de espalda