Performance of tonpilz transducers with segmented piezoelectric stacks using materials with high electromechanical coupling coefficient Public

Tonpilz acoustic transducers for use underwater often include a stack of piezoelectric material pieces polarized along the length of the stack and having alternating polarity. The pieces are interspersed with electrodes, bonded together, and electrically connected in parallel. The stack is normally much shorter than a quarter wavelength at the fundamental resonance frequency so that the mechanical behavior of the transducer is not affected by the segmentation. When the transducer bandwidth is less than a half octave, as has conventionally been the case, for example, with lead zirconate titanate (PZT) material, stack segmentation has no significant effect on the mechanical behavior of the device in its normal operating band near the fundamental resonance. However, when a high coupling coefficient material such as lead magnesium niobate-lead titanate (PMN-PT) is used to achieve a wider bandwidth with the tonpilz, the performance difference between a segmented stack and a similar piezoelectric section with electrodes only at the two ends can be significant. This paper investigates the effects of stack segmentation on the performance of wideband underwater tonpilz acoustic transducers. Included is a discussion of a particular tonpilz transducer design using single crystal piezoelectric material with high coupling coefficient compared with a similar design using more traditional PZT ceramics.


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