FINITE ELEMENT MODEL OF A PIEZO-FILM ACCELEROMETER
Piezo-film sensors are being increasingly applied in the development of many structures. But in developing these components, it is difficult and costly to rely only on experiments. Fortunately, the availability of computer software as finite element analysis programs, can be used to predict and develop the performance of these devices. The aim of this research was to develop a finite element model for a unique, low-cost robust acceleration transducer. The accelerometer under study was used for low frequency vibration monitoring, using piezo-film sheets. The finite element model was developed using the commercial software package, ADINA. The finite element model was validated by comparing the model results to laboratory and theoretical results. The responses for all three approaches were similar for a constant acceleration. In addition, the natural frequency of the system calculated from the theoretical and numerical results were within the percentage error limit. The stress on the piezo-film sheets was also studied via the finite element model. It was found to be within the piezo-film yield strength, ensuring no breakage of the piezo-film sheets. Finally, as this sensor could be used in other applications, the finite element model was utilized to change some of the sensor design parameters and study the effect of these changes with respect to natural frequency of the system to suit other sensor applications.