Monitoring of Failure Mechanisms in a Composite Bending Actuator during Cyclic Loading by Acoustic Emission
The objective of this work is to investigate the influence of electromechanical cyclic loading on the performance of a bending piezoelectric composite actuator. We have analyzed the fatigue damage mechanisms in terms of the behavior of the AE event rate. It was found that whether the actuators are subjected to purely electric loading or electromechanical loading, the initial fatigue damage of the bending piezoelectric composite actuator was caused by the transgranular fracture in the PZT ceramic layer; the final failure was caused only in the case of PCAWB under electromechanical loading by a local discharge, which critically affected the performance reduction of the actuators. As the number of cycles increased, a large reduction in displacement performance coincided with a high AE event rate, which was identified via microscopic observations.