Analysis of piezoelectric smart composites using a coupled piezoelectric-mechanical model

Xu Zhou, Aditi Chattopadhyay, Rob Thornburgh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


A two-way piezoelectric-mechanical coupled theory is used to investigate the multiple field interactions of composite laminates with surface-bonded piezoelectric actuators and sensors. A higher order electrical potential field is used to accurately describe the nonuniform distribution of electric potential through the thickness of piezoelectric layers. A higher order laminate theory is used to describe the displacement fields of both composite laminate and piezoelectric layers to accurately model transverse shear deformation which is significant in moderately thick constructions. A finite element laminate model with surface bonded/embedded piezoelectric actuators or sensors is developed to implement the theory. Induced deformation, charge and current are investigated to evaluate actuation and sensing effects of piezoelectric materials. The results obtained using this coupled theory are compared with those obtained using an uncoupled theory. Numerical results indicate that two-way coupling effects affect the prediction of structural deflection, stress distribution and electrical signal significantly. The thickness ratio of piezoelectric layer to plate structure is a critical parameter that governs the significance of coupling effects. The coupled piezoelectric-mechanical theory is capable of accurately modeling the characteristics of thick piezoelectric layers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-179
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering


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