Piezoelectric materials are characterized by their ability to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy and vice-versa in a reversible manner. The direct piezoelectric effect is known as the generation of electrical charges in a response to an externally applied mechanical stress. The indirect piezoelectric effect is the generation of mechanical strains resulting from an applied electrical field. A typical piezoelectric material is lead zirconium titanate (PZT).

The dimensional change of a piezoelectric element is proportional to the applied electrical field. Typically piezoelectric elements exhibit a maximum stroke of 0.15% of the element’s length at electrical field levels up to 3 kV/mm, with forces up to 100 kN. These typical numbers make that piezoelectric elements are ideal for the use in nanometer precision actuation systems. On the other hand, piezo elements can also be used in sensing applications, where electrical signals can be measured in a response to extremely small mechanical deformations.

PZT elements can be used in three operation modes: longitudinal (d33), transverse (d31) and shear (d15). In these three modes, different types of deformation occur upon the application of an electrical field. Furthermore, various types of PZT materials are available for optimization towards a specific application. Please contact HEINMADE for more information regarding your specific application.


To get a feeling for the typical dimensions associated with d33 piezo actuators, you can design your own actuator using the form below. Please fill in the required force at maximum stroke, the required stroke and the required stiffness and find out what the dimensions of your actuator should be.

Required force at maximum stroke: [N]
Required stroke: [µm]
Required stiffness: [N/µm]
Piezo actuator dimensions: 0 x 0 x 0 [mm³]