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Modeling and Control of Piezoelectric Actuators



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Piezoelectric actuators (PEAs) utilize the inverse piezoelectric effect to generate fine displacement with a resolution down to sub-nanometers and as such, they have been widely used in various micro- and nanopositioning applications. However, the modeling and control of PEAs have proven to be challenging tasks. The main difficulties lie in the existence of various nonlinear or difficult-to-model effects in PEAs, such as hysteresis, creep, and distributive vibration dynamics. Such effects can seriously degrade the PEA tracking control performances or even lead to instability. This raises a great need to model and control PEAs for improved performance. This research is aimed at developing novel models for PEAs and on this basis, developing model-based control schemes for the PEA tracking control taking into account the aforementioned nonlinear effects. In the first part of this research, a model of a PEA for the effects of hysteresis, creep, and vibration dynamics was developed. Notably, the widely-used Preisach hysteresis model cannot represent the one-sided hysteresis of PEAs. To overcome this shortcoming, a rate-independent hysteresis model based on a novel hysteresis operator modified from the Preisach hysteresis operator was developed, which was then integrated with the models of creep and vibration dynamics to form a comprehensive model for PEAs. For its validation, experiments were carried out on a commercially-available PEA and the results obtained agreed with those from model simulations. By taking into account the linear dynamics and hysteretic behavior of the PEA as well as the presliding friction between the moveable platform and the end-effector, a model of the piezoelectric-driven stick-slip (PDSS) actuator was also developed in the first part of the research. The effectiveness of the developed model was illustrated by the experiments on the PDSS actuator prototyped in the author's lab. In the second part of the research, control schemes were developed based on the aforementioned PEA models for tracking control of PEAs. Firstly, a novel PID-based sliding mode (PIDSM) controller was developed. The rational behind the use of a sliding mode (SM) control is that the SM control can effectively suppress the effects of matched uncertainties, while the PEA hysteresis, creep, and external load can be represented by a lumped matched uncertainty based on the developed model. To solve the chattering and steady-state problems, associated with the ideal SM control and the SM control with boundary layer (SMCBL), the novel PIDSM control developed in the present study replaces the switching control term in the ideal SM control schemes with a PID regulator. Experiments were carried out on a commercially-available PEA and the results obtained illustrate the effectiveness of the PIDSM controller, and its superiorities over other schemes of PID control, ideal SM control, and the SMCBL in terms of steady state error elimination, chattering suppression, and tracking error suppression. Secondly, a PIDSM observer was also developed based on the model of PEAs to provide the PIDSM controller with state estimates of the PEA. And the PIDSM controller and the PIDSM observer were combined to form an integrated control scheme (PIDSM observer-controller or PIDSMOC) for PEAs. The effectiveness of the PIDSM observer and the PIDSMOC were also validated experimentally. The superiority of the PIDSMOC over the PIDSM controller with σ-β filter control scheme was also analyzed and demonstrated experimentally. The significance of this research lies in the development of novel models for PEAs and PDSS actuators, which can be of great help in the design and control of such actuators. Also, the development of the PIDSM controller, the PIDSM observer, and their integrated form, i.e., PIDSMOC, enables the improved performance of tracking control of PEAs with the presence of various nonlinear or difficult-to-model effects.



piezoelectric devices, modeling, control systems



Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering


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