The reliability of piezoelectric multilayer actuators is an important issue for industrial 24/7 applications. Two
completely different load cases have to be distinguished when reliability parameters of these actuators are specified. One is the AC-driving were the actuators have to generate extreme accelerations. The other one is the pure DC-load which is typical for applications which are taking advantage of the ultrahigh resolution of closed loop piezoelectric positioning systems.
This paper explains DC- and AC-degradation mechanisms as well as the unique design of the PICMA co-fired actuators which is properly adapted to both load cases. Besides some characteristics of the actuators results of DC- and AC-reliability investigations are presented.