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How to Buy the Best Piezoelectric Crystals

17 Feb, 2016 Piezo Ceramic
best piezoelectric crystals

Piezoelectric crystals have been promoted to a wide range of application fields. Face so many manufactures, how to successfully purchase the best piezo crystals at lower buying cost? Being a knowledgeable customer is the key. Here are several things to you should know.

What's the best piezoelectric crystals

Most of the piezo crystals on the market have their own formulation and performance standards, there's no exact definition of the best piezo crystal. Sometimes various parameter values tend to achieve a state of equilibrium, it means that excessive demand on one or two indices is purchased at the price of the other indices. As a manufacture, we often face a situation just like that, one client bought a type of piezo ceramics from us, after being used for some time, they found out that the sensitivity is too high and reach the saturation level which are unavailable for their applications. We tried to take a change of some crystals with lower properties which are marked as unqualified products in stock, It was amazing that the result was quite good.

Let's come to conclusion that we can't simply judge piezoelectric crystals as the worst or the best. As long as they reach a certain performance, the most suitable is the best. So the point is that we must make detailed investigations to both property of piezoelectric materials and demand of application before buying them.

Price factor in buying decision

Price is one of the most important factor for customers in buying piezo crystals. Generally, because the manufactures have high fixed costs but low variable costs, there is a strong relationship between buying quantity and price. So, as production increased, the manufacturing costs for each unit will be reduced. Even the prices for same products is variable in different batches of production.

As a buyer, especially in case of some small quantity purchases, if the demand is not strict, we should try to choose the piezo crystals which are approaching to our requirements in stock. Because compare to the high price of customized products, most of the stock are the rest of batch production at a very low-level cost, it will help us easily get the best price or discounts from manufactures.

The materials of piezoelectric crystals

Due to the wide range of possible shapes, Lead Zirconate Titanate(PZT) has become the most broadly used piezoceramic materials. PZT crystals are composed of two kinds of crystals, i.e. lead titanate (PbTiO3) and lead zirconate (PbZrO3). According to the difference of performance, they are often broken into three groups, PZT-4, PZT-5 and PZT-8. Different groups of materials have their respective areas of application. Knowing about this point is crytical for us to buy the best piezoelectric crystals.

PZT5 piezoelectric materials have charactor of high sensitivity and large displacements, mainly used in many kinds of piezo products such as pressure sensors, accelerometers, flow meters, level sensors, medical ultrasonic testing, microphones, etc.

PZT8 piezoelectric materials have high mechanical quality factor and stability but low piezoelectric response. This type piezo crystals can be used for high power or high temperature applications such as ultrasonic cleaning, ultrasonic welding, ultrasonic drilling, ultrasonic liquid processing, ultrasonic cutting, ultrasonic motors, etc.

Closing to PZT8, PZT4 piezoelectric materials have higher mechanical quality factor and electromechanical coupling factors, typical applications include: ultrasonic atomizers, ultrasonic cleaner, high frequency transducers, ultrasonic sonicators and many kinds of high-power sensors.

Other technical parameters of piezoelectric crystals

In addition to the materials of ceramic elements, we need to learn about some key performance indicators before buying:

1) Shape & Dimension: Including square, rectangular, disc, ring, tube, bar, cylinder, ball, hemisphere and other Irregular shapes, this is the most basic requirement.

2) Piezoelectric modes of vibration: Piezoelectric elements have exceedingly complex vibration modes such as radial mode, length mode, width mode, thickness mode, longitudinal length mode, thickness shear mode, torsional mode, etc.

3) Resonance frequency: The frequency at which the amplitude of the crystal vibration can reach its maximum. Frequency matching is significant for the final performance of piezo products.

4) Piezoelectric constant: As one of the most important index, piezo constant indicates the conversion ratio about the electrical energy converted into mechanical energy, or vice versa.

However, there are a number of other influence factors such as working temperature, limiting voltage, resonance impedance, static capacitance, displacement and so on. All these factors will determine whether you can buy the best piezoelectric crystals.

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