Piezoelectric composites are a significant research field because of their excellent mechanical flexibility and sufficient stress-induced voltage. Furthermore, due to the widespread use of the Internet of Things (IoT) in recent years, small-sized piezoelectric composites have attracted a lot of attention. Also, there is an urgent need to develop evaluation methods for these composites. This paper evaluates the piezoelectric and mechanical properties of potassium sodium niobate (KNN)-epoxy and KNN-glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) composites using a modified small punch (MSP) and nanoindentation tests in addition to d33 measurements. An analytical solution for the piezoelectric composite thin plate under bending was obtained for the determination of the bending properties. Due to the glass fiber inclusion, the bending strength increased by about four times, and Young's modulus in the length direction increased by approximately two times (more than that of the KNN-epoxy); however, in the thickness direction, Young's modulus decreased by less than half. An impact energy harvesting test was then performed on the KNN-epoxy and KNN-GFRP composites. As a result, the output voltage of KNN-GFRP was larger than that of KNN-epoxy. Also, the output voltage was about 2.4 V with a compressive stress of 0.2 MPa, although the presence of the glass fibers decreased the piezoelectric constants. Finally, damped flexural vibration energy harvesting test was carried out on the KNN-epoxy and KNN-GFRP composites. The KNN-epoxy was broken during the test, however KNN-GFRP composite with a load resistance of 10 MΩ generated 35 nJ of energy. Overall, through this work, we succeeded in developing piezoelectric energy harvesting composite materials that can withstand impact and bending vibration using glass fibers and also established a method for evaluating the electromechanical properties with small test specimen.
Bibliographical note© 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license 4.0
The authors greatly acknowledge the support of this work by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), Core-to-Core Program, grant number: JPJSCCA20200005, and Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A), grant number: 19H00733. We also would like to thank Nippon Chemical Industrial Co. Ltd. for providing KNN particles.