Accurate Motion provided by Piezoelectric Motor Without Gears or Magnets

When engineers hear the word “motor,” they will typically think of “electromagnetic.” Traditional motors use coils and magnetic materials to provide rotary or linear motion. For example, AC or DC motors, brushed or brushless, stepper, or other configurations. The interaction between magnetic fields and materials converts electrical energy into mechanical motion.

The alternative to the electromagnetic motor which is finding its way into an increasing number of applications is the piezoelectric motor, also called a piezoelectric actuator or piezo motor. Its principles of operation is the well-known piezoelectric effect.

Implementing small-scale and precise motion, engineers often first consider a very small motor like a stepper, and this is typically accompanied with a drive chain and electrical brake. At smaller scale, electromagnetic motors are hard to control and lack both reliability and precision. Furthermore, the accompanying gear sets create more issues like size, weight, cost and mechanical backlash.

These issues do not exist in motion control systems based on a piezoelectric motor, because such systems are designed to be direct drive. Furthermore, an electrical brake is not required because a piezo motor will hold its position at full torque/force without any power.