Patents by Inventor Yoshikuni Sato

Yoshikuni Sato has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20090173152
    Abstract: The present invention provides a liquid state detecting sensor that is free from a problem of increase in the number of parts and a problem in assembly and furthermore capable of, in support of electrodes, absorbing an error and supporting both electrodes, even in case an inner electrode has at a surface an insulation layer, without causing any damage to the layer. The liquid state detecting sensor includes an outer tubular electrode 10 shaped tubular and formed from a conductor, an inner electrode 20 in the form of a shaft and disposed along an axial direction G and within the outer tubular electrode, and a base end support member 40 that supports, at base end sides of the both electrodes 10 and 20, the both electrodes 10 and 20 while holding the electrodes insulated from each other, and detects a level of liquid within a tank 1, etc.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 18, 2005
    Publication date: July 9, 2009
    Inventors: Yoshikuni Sato, Takashi Yamamoto, Takeo Sasanuma, Yuki Mizuno
  • Publication number: 20090090178
    Abstract: A liquid state detecting sensor is provided in which a level detecting unit for detecting the level of a liquid and a concentration detecting unit for detecting the concentration of a particular component contained in the liquid are integrated. In a liquid state detecting sensor 100 capable of measuring the level and a urea concentration of a urea aqueous solution, a level detecting unit 70 and a liquid property detecting unit 30 are connected in an insulated state. An outer cylinder electrode 10 and an inner electrode 20 for forming the level detecting unit 70 form a capacitor, and level detection is performed on the basis of the electrostatic capacity which changes in response to the level of the urea aqueous solution which is present therebetween. A holder 120 for holding a ceramic heater 110 is fitted to a leading end portion 21 of the inner electrode 20, and the holder 120 is supported inside a leading end portion 11 of the outer cylinder electrode 10 by a rubber bushing 80.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 30, 2006
    Publication date: April 9, 2009
    Applicant: NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Takeo Sasanuma, Yoshikuni Sato, Takashi Yamamoto
  • Publication number: 20080205478
    Abstract: A urea sensor includes a detecting portion which, in use, is immersed in a liquid accommodated in a urea solution tank for detecting the thermal conductivity of the liquid to detect whether the liquid accommodated in the urea solution tank is an aqueous urea solution; and an enclosing member enclosing a periphery of the detecting portion and including one or more vents penetrating the enclosing member. At least one of the vents is a lower vent being of a configuration and size such that a first hypothetical circle having a diameter of not less than 3.5 mm can be wholly contained within the lower vent. At least a portion of the lower vent is positioned below the detecting portion when the urea sensor is positioned for installation in the urea solution tank.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 18, 2008
    Publication date: August 28, 2008
    Inventors: Takeo SASANUMA, Yoshikuni Sato, Akihiro Yoshida
  • Publication number: 20080173074
    Abstract: A liquid state detecting sensor includes: a state detecting element including a heating resistor; an energization unit; a first output acquiring unit; a reference acquiring unit; a first calculating unit; a state detecting unit; a second output acquiring unit; a second calculating unit; an excess-temperature-rise determining unit; and an energization terminating unit. The energization termination unit terminates energizing of the heating resistor by the energization unit before the end of a detection time period in response to a determination by the excessive-temperature-rise determining unit that an excessive temperature rise has occurred in the state detecting element.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 14, 2008
    Publication date: July 24, 2008
    Inventors: Takeo Sasanuma, Yoshikuni Sato, Takashi Yamomoto, Hisashi Sasaki
  • Patent number: 7337662
    Abstract: An electrostatic capacity type liquid state detecting sensor includes an outer tubular electrode, and an inner electrode disposed within the outer tubular electrode and having an insulation layer at an outer surface portion to be brought into contact with liquid contained in a container for detection of a state of the liquid, wherein the thickness of the insulation layer is less than 500 ?m and not less than 100 ?m.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2008
    Assignee: NGK Spark Plug Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yoshikuni Sato, Takashi Yamamoto, Takeo Sasanuma
  • Publication number: 20080038153
    Abstract: A liquid state detecting sensor for detecting a state of a liquid including a liquid concentration detecting element, a holder member, and an enclosing member as defined herein, wherein the holder member has a configuration in which respective portions of a lower end surface facing the enclosed region are located higher than or at a same height as a lowest hole periphery at the rim of the element holding hole from which the detecting element protrudes, and at least one of circulation holes formed in the enclosing member is a bubble-discharging hole which has an upper end located higher than the lowest hole periphery and a lower end located lower than a surface peripheral edge of the lower end surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 7, 2007
    Publication date: February 14, 2008
    Applicant: NGK Spark Plug Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Takashi YAMAMOTO, Yoshikuni Sato, Takeo Sasanuma, Akihiro Yoshida
  • Publication number: 20070227887
    Abstract: The present invention provides a capacitive liquid state sensor configured to release a pressure in an intervening gap by providing slits to an outer tubular electrode while inhibiting decrease in strength caused by forming of the slits. The outer tubular electrode 20 disposed with a predetermined distance from an inner electrode 20 is formed with a plurality of slits 14, 15 and 16 along a generator (indicated by one-dot chain line A) extending from a front end portion 11 to a rear end portion 12. Between the slits 14, 15 and 16 are positioned intermediate no-slit formed areas 17 and 18. Circulation of liquid between the inside and the outside of the outer tubular electrode 10 and in the axial direction of the same electrode 10 is attained through the slits 14, 15 and 16, so that a pressure accompanied by volumetric expansion of liquid at the time of freezing and existing in the intervening space can be released to the outside.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 18, 2005
    Publication date: October 4, 2007
    Inventors: Yoshikuni Sato, Takashi Yamamoto, Takeo Sasanuma, Hideki Toyoda
  • Publication number: 20070193345
    Abstract: A liquid-condition detection sensor (1) includes a concentration sensor element (260) for detecting the condition of liquid to be measured; a wiring board (40) including a driving control circuit (41) disposed above the concentration sensor element (260); a cable (50) mechanically connected to the wiring board (40), extending downward from the wiring board (40), and establishing an electrical connection between the driving control circuit (41) and the concentration sensor element (260); an inner tube (221) surrounding at least a portion of a cable (50) in a loose condition; and a fixing holder section (94) fixedly holding a portion (51) of the cable (50) located between the wiring board (40) and the concentration sensor element (260).
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 30, 2007
    Publication date: August 23, 2007
    Applicant: NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Takashi Yamamoto, Takeo Sasanuma, Yoshikuni Sato
  • Publication number: 20070169544
    Abstract: A liquid-condition detection sensor (1) including a sensor element (51), at least a portion of which contacts a urea aqueous solution; connection terminals (52) fixedly attached to the sensor element (51); connection cables (53) which electrically communicate with the concentration sensor element (51) via the connection terminals (52); an inner tube (42) which holds the concentration sensor element (51) at a distal end portion (421) by use of a holder member (55) and surrounds a portion of the connection cables (53) and the entire connection terminals (52); and a separator formed from a material having rubberlike elasticity (54) including a terminal-inner-tube-insulating portion (542) which intervenes between the connection terminals (52) and the inner tube (42) to thereby insulate the connection terminals (52) and the inner rube (42) from one another.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 16, 2007
    Publication date: July 26, 2007
    Inventors: Takashi Yamamoto, Takeo Sasanuma, Yoshikuni Sato
  • Publication number: 20070125663
    Abstract: A liquid-condition detection element is provided which exhibits good sensitivity while having appropriate strength. The detector element forms part of a liquid-condition detection sensor in which breakage of the detection element is combated and which can accurately detect the condition of liquid. The detection element includes first and second ceramic insulating layers formed by simultaneous firing and a heat-generating resistor sealed in a liquid tight manner between the insulating layers. The resistor has a resistance varying with temperature, and is, in use, immersed in liquid. The first insulating layer is thinner than the second layer. A detection section of the liquid-condition detection sensor detects the condition of a liquid (e.g., the concentration of a particular component in the liquid) on the basis of an output signal from the heat-generating resistor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 29, 2006
    Publication date: June 7, 2007
    Inventors: Takeo Sasanuma, Yoshikuni Sato, Yuki Mizuno
  • Publication number: 20070113625
    Abstract: A liquid state detecting apparatus including a detecting element which outputs a signal associated with a concentration of a particular component of a liquid contained in a liquid container; an abnormality determination unit which determines whether or not the liquid is in a particular abnormal state based on the output signal of the detecting element, a level detecting part which outputs a signal according to a level of the liquid contained in the liquid container; and a static state determination unit which determines whether or not the liquid in the liquid container is in a static state based on the output signal from the level detecting part, wherein the determination made by the static state determination unit is reflected in the determination made by the abnormality determination unit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 9, 2006
    Publication date: May 24, 2007
    Inventors: Takeo Sasanuma, Yoshikuni Sato
  • Publication number: 20070110618
    Abstract: A liquid state detecting apparatus including a detecting element having a heating resistor which generates heat when energized and being disposed in a liquid container for containing a liquid, the apparatus calculating a first difference between a first corresponding value corresponding to a first resistance of the heating resistor acquired after energization of the heating resistor is started and a second corresponding value corresponding to a second resistance of the heating resistor acquired after the heating resistor is energized for a predetermined detection time and obtaining a first concentration of a particular component included in the liquid, the first concentration being associated with the first difference, the apparatus including: an abnormality determination unit, a determination concentration acquiring unit, a concentration difference calculation unit, and a static state determination unit, all as defined herein.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 9, 2006
    Publication date: May 17, 2007
    Inventors: Takeo Sasanuma, Yoshikuni Sato
  • Publication number: 20070006639
    Abstract: A liquid state detection sensor in which temperature information of a urea aqueous solution is obtained on the basis of a voltage value acquired after the start of energization of a heating resistor corresponding to a resistance value of the heating resistor (S1-S6). Damage to the heating resistor is prevented by suspending the energization if the thus-obtained temperature is lower than or equal to the freezing point (S7: yes and S8). If the temperature is higher than the freezing point (S7: no), a voltage value corresponding to a resistance of the heating resistor after a lapse of 700 ms (S10 and S11) and a urea concentration of the urea aqueous solution are determined from a difference ?V from the previously acquired voltage value. A more accurate urea concentration can be detected by making a correction using the previously obtained temperature information of the urea aqueous solution (S13-S18).
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 7, 2006
    Publication date: January 11, 2007
    Inventors: Takeo Sasanuma, Yoshikuni Sato, Shunsuke Tamura, Shinji Kumazawa, Hisashi Sasaki
  • Patent number: 7082810
    Abstract: A gas sensor (10) including a measurement chamber (28) into which a gas GS is flown and a detection element main body (40) facing the measurement chamber (28). The detection element main body (40) includes an element case 42, and a protective film (48) is adhered to a bottom surface thereof. An acoustic matching plate (50) and a piezoelectric element (51) of a substantially columnar shape and a tube body (52) provided in a position surrounding the acoustic matching plate 50 and the piezoelectric element 51 are housed in the element case (42). A filler is then introduced into the element case (42), whereby the acoustic matching plate (50), the piezoelectric element (51), and the tube body (52) are sealed by a filled layer (99).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2006
    Assignee: NGK Spark Plug Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Masashi Sakamoto, Yoshikuni Sato, Keigo Banno, Katsuya Otake, Takeshi Morita, Hideki Ishikawa, Noboru Ishida
  • Patent number: 7080543
    Abstract: A detecting-element assembly (40) is configured such that a piezoelectric element (51) is housed in a casing body portion (43) of a casing (42), and is attached to a housing portion (22) of a flow path formation member (20) via a flange portion (41). Therefore, the path between the piezoelectric element (51) and the position of attachment of the detecting-element assembly (40) is elongated, whereby ultrasonic waves which leak into the interior of the detecting-element assembly (40) from the piezoelectric element (51) become unlikely to reflectively return from a joint. Thus, the influence of, for example, noise stemming from reflected waves is reduced, thereby enhancing the accuracy of detection. An average clearance of 1 millimeter or more is provided along the outer circumferential surface of the casing body portion (43) of the detecting-element assembly (40), whereby a problem of collected foreign matter is unlikely to occur.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2006
    Assignee: NGK Spark Plug Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hideki Ishikawa, Yoshikuni Sato, Keigo Banno, Masashi Sakamoto, Noboru Ishida, Takafumi Oshima
  • Publication number: 20050285608
    Abstract: An electrostatic capacity type liquid state detecting sensor includes an outer tubular electrode, and an inner electrode disposed within the outer tubular electrode and having an insulation layer at an outer surface portion to be brought into contact with liquid contained in a container for detection of a state of the liquid, wherein the thickness of the insulation layer is less than 500 ?m and not less than 100 ?m.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 25, 2005
    Publication date: December 29, 2005
    Inventors: Yoshikuni Sato, Takashi Yamamoto, Takeo Sasanuma
  • Patent number: 6923902
    Abstract: A method for detecting the concentration of a specific component in gas discharged from an internal combustion engine, which includes detecting the concentration of the specific component under certain driving conditions to determine a zero point, which indicates a zero concentration of the specific component, of the detection output; calibrating the detection output of the gas sensor based on the determined zero point; and detecting the concentration of the specific component in exhaust gas based on the calibrated detection output.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2005
    Assignee: NGK Spark Plug Co, Ltd.
    Inventors: Masashi Ando, Noboru Ishida, Satoshi Sugaya, Takafumi Oshima, Norihiko Nadanami, Takaki Otsuka, Yoshikuni Sato, Tatsuo Okumura, Yasuhisa Kuzuya
  • Patent number: 6892565
    Abstract: A gas sensor includes an element case 42 with an internal peripheral surface formed as a taper surface 100. A portion of a housing section 43 surrounded by the taper surface 100 and a protective film 48 is filled with a filler 49. When the filler 49 thermally expands at high temperature, the filler 49 is subjected to a component of force in an upward direction by the taper surface 100. Therefore, projection of an element portion 44 involving deformation of the protective film 48 is suppressed, a change ?L of a propagation distance L to a reflecting section 33 is also suppressed, and a detection accuracy never decreases. In addition, reverberation is reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2005
    Assignee: NGK Spark Plug Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yoshikuni Sato, Hideki Ishikawa, Morio Onoda, Takeshi Morita, Noboru Ishida
  • Patent number: 6892566
    Abstract: A gas concentration sensor includes a measurement chamber for measuring a concentration of a specific gas component in a gas under measurement; an inflow path for allowing inflow of the gas under measurement thereinto and an outflow path for allowing outflow of the gas under measurement therefrom; a reflection wall for reflecting an acoustic wave; and an acoustic wave transmitting-receiving element having a transmitting-receiving surface adapted to transmit an acoustic wave toward the reflection wall and receive an acoustic wave reflected from the reflection wall. The concentration of the specific gas in the gas under measurement is detected on the basis of a propagation time between transmission of the acoustic wave and reception of the reflected acoustic wave. When a predetermined member having the sensor attached thereto is placed in a horizontal plane, the transmitting-receiving surface faces downward. A recess is formed in a peripheral portion of the reflection wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2005
    Assignee: NGK Spark Plug Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Masashi Sakamoto, Yoshikuni Sato, Hideki Ishikawa, Keigo Banno, Noboru Ishida
  • Patent number: 6886412
    Abstract: An ultrasonic-wave propagation-time measuring method and gas concentration sensor are disclosed in which a reception wave which has been transmitted and received by an ultrasonic element 5 is subjected to full-wave rectification in order to obtain a full-wave-rectified wave, which is then integrated by an integration circuit 37 to obtain an integral value. A peak value of the integral value is held by a peak-hold circuit 39. As to detection of gas concentration, a threshold-level calculation section 21e sets a reference value on the basis of the peak value, and a point in time when the amplitude of a reception wave having undergone full-wave rectification is judged by a comparator 43 to have reached the reference value is regarded as an arrival time. Subsequently, a gas concentration is determined on the basis of a period between the emission time and the arrival time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2005
    Assignee: NGK Spark Plug Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Keigo Banno, Hideki Ishikawa, Yoshikuni Sato, Noboru Ishida, Takafumi Oshima