Cermaic Insulation Increases Actuator Performance

Picma actuators, used by Physik Instrumente (PI) and manufactured by its subsidiary PI Ceramic, are completely encapsulated in ceramic and do not use a polymer insulation. The ceramic insulation increases the usable upper limit of the temperature range to 150C - an advantage for baking out in vacuum applications. Piezo stepping drives from the Nexact or Nexline range - also manufactured completely in ceramic and vacuum compatible - can be used for larger travel ranges.

Depending on the version, positioning systems equipped with piezo stepping drives are suitable for travel ranges up to 30mm, 125mm and more. The positioning systems can cope with considerable loads. Heavy-load versions achieve drive forces of up to 600N, while versions optimised for speed drive achieve speeds of up to 10mm/s at a drive force of 10N.

Piezomotors do not need electric power once the position is reached. There is therefore no undesirable heat generation in the vacuum. Additional brakes are not required because piezomotors are self-locking when at rest. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) could not detect any measurable outgassing rates during appropriate testing of these actuators.


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