These and other objectives are attained with a piezoelectric actuator operable over a temperature range, and a method of operating a piezoelectric actuator. The piezoelectric actuator, generally, comprises a support structure, a piezoelectric material supported by the support structuer, and an insert disposed between the support structure and the piezoelectric material. The piezoelectric material and the insert are positioned in series, the piezoelectric material and the insert each have a respective length, and together the piezoelectric material and the insert have a combined length. The length of the piezoelectric material changes in response to a voltage applied to the piezoelectric material. Also, the respective lengths of the piezoelectric material and the insert change, in opposite directions, in response to the same change in temperature, and, in this way, the insert mitigates changes in the combined length of the insert and the piezoelectric material due to temperature changes. Preferably, over a given temperature range, changes in the length of the insert due to temperature changes are substantially equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to changes in the length of the piezoelectric material due to the same temperature changes, so that these temperature changes do not substantially change the combined length of the insert and the piezoelectric material.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Published - Apr 22 2004|