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A piezoelectric sensor is a device that uses the piezoelectric effect to measure pressure, acceleration, strain or force by converting them to an electrical charge.
Piezoelectric sensors have proven to be versatile tools for the measurement of various processes. They are used for quality assurance, process control and for research and development in many different industries. In the automotive industry, for example, piezoelectric elements are used to monitor combustion when developing internal combustion engines. The sensors are either directly mounted into additional holes into the cylinder head or the spark/glow plug is equipped with a built in miniature piezoelectric sensor.
Even though piezoelectric sensors are electromechanical systems that react to compression, the sensing elements show almost zero deflection. This is the reason why piezoelectric sensors are so rugged, have an extremely high natural frequency and an excellent linearity over a wide amplitude range. A piezoelectric transducer has very high DC output impedance and can be modeled as a proportional voltage source and filter network.