Integral piezoactuator system with optimum placement of functionally graded material - A topology optimization paradigm

Ronny C. Carbonari, Glaucio H. Paulino, Emílio C.N. Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Piezoactuators consist of compliant mechanisms actuated by two or more piezoceramic devices. During the assembling process, such flexible structures are usually bonded to the piezoceramics. The thin bonding layer(s) between the compliant mechanism and the piezoceramic may induce undesirable behavior, including unusual interfacial nonlinearities. This constitutes a drawback of piezoelectric actuators and, in some applications, such as those associated to vibration control and structural health monitoring (e.g., aircraft industry), their use may become either unfeasible or at least limited. A possible solution to this standing problem can be achieved through the functionally graded material concept and consists of developing 'integral piezoactuators', that is those with no bonding layer(s) and whose performance can be improved by tailoring their structural topology and material gradation. Thus, a topology optimization formulation is developed, which allows simultaneous distribution of void and functionally graded piezoelectric materials (including both piezo and non-piezoelectric materials) in the design domain in order to achieve certain specified actuation movements. Two concurrent design problems are considered, that is the optimum design of the piezoceramic property gradation, and the design of the functionally graded structural topology. Two-dimensional piezoactuator designs are investigated because the applications of interest consist of planar devices. Moreover, material gradation is considered in only one direction in order to account for manufacturability issues. To broaden the range of such devices in the field of smart structures, the design of integral Moonie-type functionally graded piezoactuators is provided according to specified performance requirements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1653-1668
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures
Issue number16
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanical Engineering


  • actuator
  • FGM
  • optimization
  • optimization.
  • piezoelectric
  • topology


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