Piezoelectric accelerometer sensor/transducer utilizes the piezoelectric effect of certain materials to measure dynamic changes in mechanical variables. (e.g. acceleration, vibration, and mechanical shock). There are two common methods used to manufacture accelerometers. One is based upon the principles of piezoresistance and the other is based on the principles of piezoelectricity.

Piezoelectric materials used for the purpose of accelerometers are two types: crystals, and ceramics. In applications when low sensitivity piezoelectrics are used, two or more crystals can be connected together for output multiplication. The proper material can be chosen for particular applications based on the sensitivity, frequency response, bulk-resistivity, and thermal response. Due to the low output signal and high output impedance that piezoelectric accelerometers possess, there is a need for amplification and impedance conversion of the signal produced.

Applications of Piezoelectric Accelerometers

Piezoelectric accelerometers are used in many different industries, environments and applications. Piezoelectric measuring devices are widely used today in the laboratory, on the production floor, and as original equipment for measuring and recording dynamic changes in mechanical variables including shock and vibration.

  • seismic vibration:- Piezoelectric accelerometer sensors are used for measuring ground, building, or bridge vibration on very large structures to detect structural changes caused by earthquakes, construction, mining activity, and large transportation vehicles.
  • Package testing:- Piezoelectric accelerometer sensors are used for measuring the shock experienced by a packaged product compared to the level of actual shock exposure allows determination of the effectiveness of a packaging material. Package testing can also be used to monitor vibration and shock that a product may experience during transport.
  • Shock:- Piezoelectric accelerometer sensors are used to determine maximum impact acceleration levels experienced by vehicles and crash dummies. Shock accelerometers also measure shock exposure experienced by space vehicles and cargo during stage separation.

A wide variety of piezoelectric accelerometer configurations are available. Each method has its own particular advantages and disadvantages for different applications.