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issue: February 2007 APPLIANCE Magazine

Technology Report
On High Alert

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A new audio transducer allows engineers to obtain a higher dB level in appliance applications with alarm functions.

A new piezo ceramic audio transducer from Transducers USA has been designed to allow for higher drive voltages, which produces greater sound output. “The combination of ceramic depositing and advanced bonding were the design features that helped this product achieve the higher sound pressure level (SPL),” Joseph Sieracki, vice president and general manager, tells APPLIANCE.

Transducers USA of Elk Grove Village, Illinois, U.S. has released a new dual-sided bender, piezo ceramic audio transducer for appliance applications that require a high audio alarm. Designed using a unique ceramic process, the series TRPB transducers can reportedly be used with higher voltage drives, thereby producing higher dBA sound output.
“We were able to attain this achievement by utilizing the piezo crystal deposit on both sides of the metal disc,” explains Joseph Sieracki, vice president and general manager. “This doubled the size of the ceramic without increasing its overall size. By increasing the drive, we were able to drive this higher mass of crystal and increase the sound output. This will give the engineer the ability to obtain higher dB sound level…without damaging the crystal, as was the problem in the past.”
Specifically, the new audio device allows for drive voltages in excess of 60 V DC @ 40 Ma max., producing an output of more than 100 dBA at a frequency of 2,500 ± 500 Hz. “The higher mass of ceramic needs a higher voltage to be useful,” Sieracki notes. “The resonant frequency…is a function of the mechanical configuration of the ceramic thickness, diameter and the metal disc.”
According to Sieracki, most competitive products are made with single-sided ceramic piezo crystal and can’t achieve such a high output or handle the higher voltage drive. Achieving such performance, he says, is no easy task.
“The procedure for depositing the ceramic on both sides of the metal takes special care to assure consistent capacitance of the piezo,” Sieracki explains. “We refined our screening and curing process to stay consistent within the parameters of capacitance. Also, the curing of the ceramic bonding was critical. We worked in conjunction with our bonding supplier to formalize and develop a bonding product that had the elasticity for the higher drives.”
Potential applications for the transducers include security and fire alarm systems, as well as outdoor refrigeration units for high and low temperature alerts. Sieracki says that design engineers looking to implement the device have to first determine the package configuration, which helps set the resonant frequency. “The engineer would then select the drive frequency and voltage levels to provide maximum output from this package,” he continues.
The TRPB series units are housed in black thermoplastic with a diameter of 45-mm by 13.5-mm deep. Mounting is via PC pins. Custom-designed units can be furnished with or without feedback and with special terminations and package configurations.


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