Electromechanical sensors and actuators are important components appearing in all disciplines of engineering. Transducer is a commonly used generic term for those components. In this respect, two important classes of materials are discussed: firstly, ferroelectric and piezoelectric materials, and secondly, magnetic and magnetostrictive materials. In order to predict a transducer’s behavior, the utilized materials have to be characterized precisely. The two most decisive aspects in characterization of those materials are the physical models used to describe the material behavior as well as the measurement methods for the determination of the model parameters. Both aspects are closely linked and, therefore, have to be taken into account simultaneously.
This talk starts with an introduction of the material classes and their properties. The use of these materials for well known applications like piezoelectric stack actuators, ultrasonic transducers and electrical power transformers is presented. Furthermore, the talk highlights the most modern fields of applications like magnetostrictive thin film micro-actuators for micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) and piezoelectric smart materials. After this overview, the talk focuses on magnetic materials, especially on magnetic large signal hysteresis effects. The scalar Preisach model is discussed and compared to other approaches. The motivation for its vectorial extension is given. The methods and measurement setups for parameter identification are explained, with focus on the Vector Vibrating Sample Magnetometer. The talk closes with an outlook on future applications of large signal models in numerical simulation and control engineering.