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Physik Instrumente (PI) positioning and linear actuators operate on the basis of piezo ceramics and are suitable for use in high and ultra-high vacuum at pressures down to 10-10hPa (mbar).

This is because the motion is based on displacements in the crystal structure.

Therefore, no conventional mechanical elements such as shafts or gears are necessary, which means no maintenance or lubrication is necessary either.

In addition, there is no danger of an outgassing of the materials used.

The Picma actuators used by PI fro Karlsruhe are manufactured by its subsidiary PI Ceramic.

They are completely encapsulated in ceramic and do not use a polymer insulation.

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) could not detect any measurable outgassing rates during appropriate testing.

The ceramic insulation additionally 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 – lend themselves to larger travel ranges.

Depending on the version, positioning systems equipped with piezo stepping drives are suitable for travel ranges up to 30 or up to 125mm and more.

The positioning systems can cope with considerable loads.

Heavy load versions achieve drive forces of up to 600N, versions optimised for speed drive with speeds of up to 10mm/s at a drive force of 10N.

Other characteristics of piezomotors can also be advantageous: they 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.

PI piezo stages are fit for use in high vacuum

Physik Instrumente (PI) positioning and linear actuators operate on the basis of piezo ceramics and are suitable for use in high and ultra-high vacuum at pressures down to 10-10hPa (mbar).

This is because the motion is based on displacements in the crystal structure.

Therefore, no conventional mechanical elements such as shafts or gears are necessary, which means no maintenance or lubrication is necessary either.

In addition, there is no danger of an outgassing of the materials used.

The Picma actuators used by PI fro Karlsruhe are manufactured by its subsidiary PI Ceramic.

They are completely encapsulated in ceramic and do not use a polymer insulation.

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) could not detect any measurable outgassing rates during appropriate testing.

The ceramic insulation additionally 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 – lend themselves to larger travel ranges.

Depending on the version, positioning systems equipped with piezo stepping drives are suitable for travel ranges up to 30 or up to 125mm and more.

The positioning systems can cope with considerable loads.

Heavy load versions achieve drive forces of up to 600N, versions optimised for speed drive with speeds of up to 10mm/s at a drive force of 10N.

Other characteristics of piezomotors can also be advantageous: they 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.

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