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Review of Integrated Piezoceramic Transducers in Smart Materials and Structures
There has been extensive research to study and improve the integration of piezoelectric elements in smart materials and structures since the early 1990s. The unique properties of piezoceramics to efficiently generate an electric potential from an induced mechanical strain while reversibly, produce stress from an applied voltage, appropriately placed these elements as favoured sensors and actuators. Research is also motivated by commercial interests in noise and vibration control, shape control, and structural damping, particularly for civil and aerospace applications. In the last decade, the field has extended to structural health monitoring for the detection and quantitative evaluation of in-service and manufacturing defects. This short review arrives in a timely manner to outline the present progress of the technology by compiling the studies conducted and summarising the significant contributions made. Fabrication and manufacturing methods for piezoceramic attachment are consolidated while addressing the aspects of material selection, safe design, performance and durability. This is followed by the descriptions of testing techniques available to simulate in-service loading and to evaluate the manufactured smart product through various measured parameters. Important test results and analysis from past studies are presented to understand the failure modes and the operation limits. Literature on key modelling approaches to study the integrated piezoceramic transducers are briefly highlighted, showing the evolution of the simple analytical one-dimensional models to more complex and numerical two/three-dimensional models.