This paper shows a practical design method for a displacement amplification mechanism for a piezoelectric actuator which employs a buckling-like phenomenon. This mechanical singularity realizes a substantial displacement magnification, at least 50 times, within a simple structure. An SMA preload mechanism essentially provides potential for full range push-pull actuation to the piezoelectric actuator. This integrated actuator performs a high energy transfer ratio and is suitable for brake mechanisms due to their requirement of high force, specific displacement and energy efficiency. A practical design method is shown and is evaluated by comparing the analytical model with finite element analysis and experimental hardware performance. The actuator properties obtained by these methods fit well each other with errors less than 13%.
The experimental actuators are applied to a brake for a commercial motor and its properties are evaluated. The brake can produce more than 2.5Nm in the displacement range of 0.5mm. These experimental results suggest that this novel piezoelectric actuator has potential for use in a wide range of applications.