Fatigue device driven by a three degree of freedom tripodal piezoelectric actuator


Generally, various structural components and materials are susceptible to various failure modes. For instance, multiaxial stresses are among the main causes of materials failure. Therefore, regarding the continued technological advancement leading to the development of more advanced materials for specific applications, the development of more effective technologies for predicting and managing failures in materials is highly desirable. This can be achieved through proper understanding of the failure mechanisms, multiaxial fatigue properties of materials and associated influencing factors which will ensure the durability and safety of structural materials in a variety of environmental conditions. This will further ensure development and utilization of effective multiaxial high cycle fatigue testing instruments.

Scientists previously considered the possibility of using the multi-degree of freedom platforms for performing multiaxial fatigue tests considering the fact that they are effective for nanoscale positioning and high-pressure manipulation. Unfortunately, the application of high-frequency fatigue tests has remained a challenge due to the mechanical inertia induced by the reciprocating movement. Alternatively, studies have shown that most of the presently available piezoelectric components applications based on the fatigue tests are generally based on the impact tests, uniaxial tension, and compression. However, due to the continued development of multi-degree of freedom piezoelectric actuators, embracing the use of piezoelectric actuator on combined loading fatigue tests is inevitable. To this end, researchers have been looking for alternatives and have identified a three degree of freedom piezoelectric device as a promising solution.

Recently, Jilin University researchers: Dr. Zhichao Ma, Xijie Du (MSc Candidate), Xiaoxi Ma (MSc candidate) Professor Hongwei Zhao, Professor Fu Zhang, and led by Professor Luquan Ren developed a three-degree freedom based miniature piezoelectric-driven fatigue device. Fundamentally, the developed device was an integration of two different fatigue testing functions: uniaxial tensile fatigue and tensile bending fatigue. This helped in determining the various parameters such as maximum load, tensile amplitudes, displacement and bending vector components for the combined fatigue loading effects. Furthermore, by describing the tensile bending loading principle, the author assessed the possibility of determining the vector component displacement along with the perpendicular directions as well as investigating the various anisotropic fatigue properties and their corresponding influence. The work is published in the journal, Review of Scientific Instruments.

From the experimental results, the authors observed that the reduction of fatigue life was as a result of the tensile bending combined stress while on the other hand, the displacement amplitude was decreased by the bending component. Consequently, an increase in the synchronous frequency and voltage amplitude enabled achievement of high-frequency tests which could not be achieved initially using the earlier developed models. This was attributed to the fact that they resulted in the frequency increment and stabilization respectively.

The device can be used for research on fatigue test related to multiaxial mechanical-thermal coupling condition and could beneficial to guarantee the long-term safety of structural materials under complicated and changeable cyclic loading conditions” Said Dr. Zhichao Ma in a statement to Advances in Engineering.

In summary, the Chinese researchers demonstrated the effectiveness of a three-degree freedom piezoelectric actuator. To actualize their study, they accessed the displacement and fatigue life responses of combined fatigue loading modes. Interestingly, they recorded a maximum load and displacement amplitude of 16.9N/22.8µm and 3.3N/5.6µm respectively thus validating the accuracy of the developed actuator. Altogether, the study will pave the way for the advancement of various scientific measuring instruments.

Fatigue device driven by a three degree of freedom tripodal piezoelectric actuator - Advances in Engineering Fatigue device driven by a three degree of freedom tripodal piezoelectric actuator - Advances in Engineering

About the author

Dr. Zhichao Ma, Associate professor, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Jilin University, Changchun, P.R. China. Dr. Zhichao Ma obtained his BS and Ph. D degrees (ahead of time) from School of Mechanical Sci & Eng, Jilin University, China in 2009 and 2013, respectively. His interests involve: in situ mechanical properties testing of materials, mechanics of materials at micro/nano scale, multi physical field coupling driving/testing and bionic materials. So far, he has published over 50 research papers in journals indexed by SCI. More than 20 Chinese invention patents have been authorized. Also, 2 US patents, 1 European Patent and 2 Chinese industrial standards have been authorized.

He is responsible for several scientific research projects, such as National Natural Science Foundation of China, Special Project for Development of National Major Scientific Instruments. Furthermore, he won the Science and Technology Award by Ministry of Education of China (1st Prize, Second author) and Technology Invention Award by Jilin Province (1st Prize, Second author).

Email: [email protected]

About the author

Xijie Du received his BE in School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Jilin University (Changchun, P. R. China) in 2016. Since 2017, he is a master degree candidate in School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Jilin University. He is mainly engaged in research on thermal coupling fatigue testing.

Email: s[email protected]

About the author

Xiaoxi Ma is a MSc candidate of mechanical engineering from Jilin University in China. Since 2016, he is a master student in Jilin University. Her research focus on the effect of fatigue loading and nanoindentation on crystallization of amorphous alloy.

Email: [email protected]


About the author

Dr. Hongwei Zhao, Professor, was born in China, in 1976. He received a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Jilin University, China, in 2006. Since that, he was appointed a teacher in the college of Mechanical Science & Engineering, Jilin University.

He is currently the dean and a professor in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. His current research is in the in situ test and the precision machinery. He was elected to the National Ten Thousands Plan, he is also a Chair Professor of Cheung Kong Scholars Programme-Chu Jian.

Email: [email protected].

About the author

Dr. Fu Zhang, Professor, National Key Discipline of Mechanical Engineering, and Deputy Director of Department of Mechanical Manufacturing and Automation, Jilin University. He graduated from the former Jilin University of Technology in 1988 with a major in mechanical manufacturing process equipment and automation.

He has undertaken and participated in more than 10 national major scientific instruments and equipment development projects, national major science and technology projects, national natural science funds and military projects, and has published more than 10 papers in well-known domestic and foreign journals, and applied for 1 international patent, authorizing the country.

Email: [email protected].

About the author

Prof. Luquan Ren, Professor, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, he is Vice-director of the Academic Board at Jilin University, and well-known scientist in the field of Bionic Sciences and Engineering in China. In 1967, Professor Ren graduated from the Department of Agricultural Machinery and Engineering at Jilin University of Technology. In 1981, he received his Master Degree from the same school.

Professor Ren’s research interests include the adaptability of living creatures to nature, bionic design and manufacturing aiming at the engineering components, the basic theory of engineering bionics such as bionic non-smooth surface, bionic materials, bionic electric-osmosis, bionic flexibility, bionic configuration, coupling bionics, etc. So far, Professor Ren has published 5 books, about 300 academic papers and reports.

Email: [email protected]


Ma, Z., Du, X., Ma, X., Zhao, H., Zhang, F., & Ren, L. (2019). Fatigue device driven by a three degree of freedom tripodal piezoelectric actuator. Review of Scientific Instruments, 90(3), 036102.

Go To Review of Scientific Instruments

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