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Analysis of Piezoelectric Transducers and Ultrasonic Tooling

The application of finite element methods in the design of high power piezoelectric transducers can result in dramatic improvements in the performance of the system while greatly decreasing the number of prototypes necessary for a robust design. Potential problems that will reduce the efficiency and fatigue life of the design can be identified and resolved in the analytical model prior to the manufacture of the part.

Branson Ultrasonics Corporation asked CAE Associates to investigate several different piezoelectric transducer geometric configurations for ultrasonic welding applications. Finite element models of the various designs were generated and modal analyses were conducted to obtain the natural frequencies and mode shapes in the 20 KHz frequency range. The sensitivity of each design to several key variables was examined. As a result, several design configurations were removed from consideration based on their performance. Without the modeling effort, each design would have been prototyped and tested by Branson Ultrasonics. Through the use of finite element analysis, CAE Associates helped the customer save testing time as well as significant prototype manufacturing costs.