Heat Or Buoyancy Motor Actuated Patents (Class 251/11)
  • Patent number: 11009273
    Abstract: An expansion valve is provided with a valve body including an inlet hole through which a refrigerant flows into a valve chamber, and a valve hole through which the refrigerant flows out of the valve chamber; a valve element configured to adjust an amount of the refrigerant flowing through the valve hole; a power element that is mounted to the valve body and configured to drive the valve element via a valve rod; a first vibration isolation spring provided in the valve chamber and configured to prevent vibration of the valve element; and a second vibration isolation spring that is in contact with the valve rod and configured to prevent vibration of the valve element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2021
    Assignees: FUJIKOKI CORPORATION, DENSO CORPORATION
    Inventors: Naoki Kamata, Kinya Okutsu, Takashi Mogi, Kurato Yamasaki, Shigeki Ito
  • Patent number: 10982783
    Abstract: A valve is provided and includes a valve body defining a pathway, a diaphragm and a wire. The diaphragm is configured to assume first or second conditions in which the diaphragm blocks or permits fluid flow through the pathway, respectively. The diaphragm is biased toward assumption of the first condition. The wire is coupled to the diaphragm. The wire has an uncontracted length in an unheated state whereby the wire permits assumption of the first condition by the diaphragm due to the bias and a contracted length in a heated state whereby the wire pulls the diaphragm toward assumption of the second condition in opposition to the bias.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2021
    Assignee: HAMILTON SUNSTRAND CORPORATION
    Inventor: Vinay Kumar Srinivasa Murthy
  • Patent number: 10948097
    Abstract: A valve arrangement includes a housing with pump and consumer connections, and first and second actuators arranged symmetrically. Each first and second actuator includes one base plate; one actuating element having first and second end sections, and a sealing element in the first end section; one connecting element; and one SMA element having a U-shape with first and second ends, and a middle section between the ends. The actuating element is at least partially arranged on and connected to the base plate via the second end section. The connecting element is conductively connected to two points of the SMA element. The middle section is connected to the first end section of the actuating element so that shortening the SMA element causes a stroke of the sealing element. A related pump mechanism is disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2021
    Assignee: Akfmeier Präzision SE
    Inventors: Erich Dörfler, Ronny Gehlmann, Helmut Auernhammer, Matthias Mitzler
  • Patent number: 10935149
    Abstract: Temperature-actuated valves, devices including temperature-actuated valves, and related methods are described. In an embodiment, the temperature-actuated valve includes a heat-shrink film defining a perforation extending at least partially in a first direction. In an embodiment, the temperature-actuated valve is configured to open when a portion of the heat-shrink film including the perforation is heated above a threshold temperature to contract the heat-shrink film along a second direction perpendicular to the first direction to define an aperture, in an open configuration, providing a fluid a path through the heat-shrink film. In an embodiment, the temperature-actuated valve includes a leakage-mitigation feature configured to limit fluid flow through the perforation when the valve is in a closed configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 2, 2021
    Assignee: University of Washington
    Inventors: Paul Yager, Joshua Bishop, Michael Purfield
  • Patent number: 10875512
    Abstract: A method for boosting a braking force in an electronically slip-controllable vehicle brake system, as well as an electronically slip-controllable vehicle brake system. Vehicle brake systems of this kind are at least equipped with a power brake unit and electronic slip-controllable vehicle brake system. In the case of a malfunction of the power brake unit, the traction-slip control device (92) takes over the boosting. A method for determining a composite signal which is adjusted by controlling a drive of a pressure generator of the slip-controllable vehicle brake system accordingly. To this end, an electronic control unit records two mutually independent input quantities, converts these input quantities into evaluation signals and sums the evaluation signals mathematically to yield a composite signal. The latter represents a setpoint brake pressure that the slip-controllable vehicle brake system supplies by controlling a pressure generator accordingly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2020
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Florian Haag, Herbert Vollert, Jens Kolarsky
  • Patent number: 10850144
    Abstract: A thermal trigger assembly for remote mechanical actuation of another fire protection system component includes an activation component with a distal base, a distal movable member, a proximal base, a proximal movable member, and a bias member biasing the proximal movable member from a preactivation position to an activated position located proximally of the preactivation position. A thermally responsive element is retained by the distal base, loses structural integrity under occurrence of a predetermined thermodynamic condition, and thereby allows the distal movable member to move from a preactivation position to an activated position with respect to the distal base. A flexible connector connects the proximal movable member to the distal movable member. Upon the loss of structural integrity by the thermally responsive element, a biasing force from the bias member causes a movement of the proximal movable member from the preactivation position to the activated position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2020
    Assignee: VICTAULIC COMPANY
    Inventors: Stephen J. Meyer, Thomas Edwin Archibald, Kevin Desmond Maughan, Yoram Ringer, John Desrosier
  • Patent number: 10824177
    Abstract: A bypass system has a source of a fluid to be cooled and a heat exchanger for selectively cooling fluid. A piston is moveable along an axis allowing movement of a valve poppet toward and away from the valve seat. The piston moves with a rigid seal carrier. The rigid seal carrier and the piston move within a valve housing. A wax element is disposed on an opposed axial side of the rigid seal carrier relative to a chamber, such that the wax element expands as a temperature of the fluid to be cooled increases, and causes the valve poppet to move against the valve seat. A bypass valve is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2020
    Assignee: Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation
    Inventor: William W. Butcka
  • Patent number: 10697646
    Abstract: An exhaust gas collection system for a gas burner assembly includes a plurality of concentric rings surrounding the gas burner assembly. Each concentric ring defines a support surface for supporting a cooking utensil, with the height of the support surfaces increasing further away from the gas burner assembly. The concentric rings define a plurality of plenums that are fluidly coupled with an exhaust fan for collecting and discharging exhaust gases. In this manner, the exhaust fan traps, collects, and discharges exhaust gases regardless of the size of cooking utensil being heated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2020
    Assignee: Haier US Appliance Solutions, Inc.
    Inventor: Hans Juergen Paller
  • Patent number: 10682643
    Abstract: A method of making a fluid flow device comprises: providing a substrate of porous material (2) impregnated with a light-sensitive substance (5) in a first state and which is configured to change from the first state to a second state when exposed to light (3), the second state being a solid state that is resistant to a solvent and the first being removable with the solvent; the substrate having a fluid flow channel (7) defined therein, the channel having a depth; exposing a beam of light (3) onto an area of the substrate surface within the fluid flow channel to deliver energy to a volume of the substrate below the area to change the light-sensitive substance to the second state; during exposure, creating a partial barrier to flow of fluid along the channel by controlling the amount of energy delivered to the volume below at least part of the area to change the light-sensitive substance to the second state in a volume of the substrate within the fluid flow channel that has a depth less than the depth of the fl
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 16, 2020
    Assignee: University of Southampton
    Inventors: Collin Lawrence Sones, Robert William Eason, Ioannis Nikolaos Katis
  • Patent number: 10573801
    Abstract: A piezoelectric linear actuator comprising a laminated piezoelectric actuator having a cylindrical shape; a lower support member supporting the laminated piezoelectric actuator and extending laterally to the left and right of the laminated piezoelectric actuator; a pair of displacement transfer members extending along the left and right sides of the laminated piezoelectric actuator, respectively, to slidably intersect the lower support member and transferring displacement due to the piezoelectric effect of the laminated piezoelectric actuator; and an output part locked to the pair of displacement transfer members below the lower support member and coupling lower end portions of the displacement transfer members, wherein the pair of displacement transfer members are formed to have a width dimension that is the same or substantially the same as the width dimension of the laminated piezoelectric actuator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2020
    Assignee: FUJIKIN INCORPORATED
    Inventors: Kohei Shigyou, Takashi Hirose, Kouji Nishino, Ryousuke Dohi, Naofumi Yasumoto
  • Patent number: 10207619
    Abstract: The present invention provides a SMA valve for controlling pressurized air supply to an air cell in a vehicle seat comprising: a valve housing, a valve element (4) which is moveably suspended in the housing to be moveable between a closed position and an open position, a spring element adapted to exert a bias force on the valve element urging it to the closed position, and a SMA wire (1) extending between a part fixed in the housing and the valve element and arranged such that shortening of the SMA wire upon exceeding its threshold temperature exerts a force on the valve element which pulls the valve element away from the closed position against the bias force of the spring element, characterized in that the valve element (4) is suspended by a connecting link (10, 10?) connected with one of its ends to the valve element (4) and with its opposite end to a stationary component (8) in the housing by a hinge (12, 12?) enabling pivotal movement of the connecting link (10, 10?) between a first and second position o
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2019
    Assignee: Kongsberg Automobile AB
    Inventors: Frank Dankbaar, Anders Grönhage
  • Patent number: 10174859
    Abstract: The invention concerns a valve, in particular a regulating or shut-off valve, for liquid or gaseous media having a valve housing (12), which has at least one through hole (14), having a valve seat (17), which is closed by a valve closing component (31), having a drive (35) that is connected to the valve housing (12), which has at least one control element (39) made of a shape memory alloy for controlling the opening and closing motion of the valve closing component (31), and operates the valve closing component (31) to open or close the through hole (14), and the control element (39) is formed of at least one wire element is at least partly encompassed by a protective cover (45).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2019
    Assignee: OTTO EGELHOF GMBH & CO. KG
    Inventors: Krzysztof Kurowski, Juergen Sohn
  • Patent number: 10155250
    Abstract: A method of fabricating an elastomeric structure, comprising: forming a first elastomeric layer on top of a first micromachined mold, the first micromachined mold having a first raised protrusion which forms a first recess extending along a bottom surface of the first elastomeric layer; forming a second elastomeric layer on top of a second micromachined mold, the second micromachined mold having a second raised protrusion which forms a second recess extending along a bottom surface of the second elastomeric layer; bonding the bottom surface of the second elastomeric layer onto a top surface of the first elastomeric layer such that a control channel forms in the second recess between the first and second elastomeric layers; and positioning the first elastomeric layer on top of a planar substrate such that a flow channel forms in the first recess between the first elastomeric layer and the planar substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2018
    Assignee: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Hou-Pu Chou, Stephen R. Quake
  • Patent number: 10016140
    Abstract: When employing a valve in a medical device in or near a bore of a magnetic resonance (MR) scanner, MR-compatible materials are employed to minimize the susceptibility of the valve to the strong magnetic fields generated by the MR scanner. An MR-compatible actuator comprises a shame memory alloy (SMA) wire or member (12) that is actuated by application of a constant power signal. The constant power signal is supplied by a control circuit (50) that is generated using a power feedback signal derived from measured current and voltage feedback signals. Once the SMA member is actuated, the power signal can be reduced and pulse width modulated to maintain the SMA member in an active state, which in turn maintains the valve in a closed state until the power signal is terminated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2018
    Assignee: KONINKLIJKE PHILIPS N.V.
    Inventors: Francis Patrick O'Neill, Ronald Paul Consiglio
  • Patent number: 9970564
    Abstract: SMA valve for controlling pressurized air supply to an air cell in a vehicle seat comprising: a valve housing; a valve element (4) moveable between a closed position in which it is in sealing abutment with a valve seat, and an open position; a spring element urging the valve element to the closed position; a SMA wire (1) extending between a fixed point and the valve element (4), and which is arranged such that shortening of the SMA wire upon exceeding its threshold temperature exerts a force on the valve element (4) pulling it from the closed to the open position; a conductor (20) arranged to close an electrical circuit when the valve element reaches its open position; a control unit for supplying electrical power to the SMA wire for opening the valve and to detect closure of the electrical circuit, and arranged to reduce the electrical power supply to the SMA wire when detecting closure of the electrical circuit, wherein the suspension (8, 10, 10?, 12, 12?, 14, 14?) of the valve element is arranged such that
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2018
    Assignee: KONGSBERG AUTOMOTIVE AB
    Inventors: Frank Dankbaar, Anders Grönhage
  • Patent number: 9958081
    Abstract: A Shape Metal Alloy actuated valve assembly is provided with a support structure having electromechanical connection points arranged on its surface. Actuation of a SMA element, arranged to provide a connection between the support structure contact and the contact on the plunger, will cause the plunger to either move from an open position a closed position or vice versa. The support structure is provided with multiple contact or connection points for engaging an SMA element so that the valve assembly can be configured to provide a normally closed (NC), a normally open (NO), proportional or a latch valve assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2018
    Assignee: FLUID AUTOMATION SYSTEMS S.A.
    Inventor: Nicolas Deperraz
  • Patent number: 9951879
    Abstract: A valve includes a lower valve housing, a diaphragm, and an upper valve housing. A top surface of a piezoelectric pump is bonded to a bottom surface of the lower valve housing. A circular hole portion is provided in a central portion of a region of the diaphragm that opposes a projecting portion of the lower valve housing. The diaphragm is bonded to the upper valve housing and the lower valve housing, and a divided interior of a valve housing configures a first lower valve chamber, a second lower valve chamber, a first upper valve chamber, and a second upper valve chamber. A groove is located in a wall portion of the upper valve housing that opposes the diaphragm in the first upper valve chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2018
    Assignee: Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kenichi Kotani, Takenobu Maeda, Atsuhiko Hirata
  • Patent number: 9931461
    Abstract: A wearable infusion pump assembly includes a reusable housing assembly, and a disposable housing assembly including a reservoir for receiving an infusible fluid. The wearable infusion pump assembly also includes a releasable engagement assembly configured to allow the reusable housing assembly to releasably engage the disposable housing assembly. A switch assembly of the wearable infusion pump assembly is configured to effectuate a functionality of the infusion pump assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2018
    Assignee: DEKA PRODUCTS LIMITED PARTNERSHIP
    Inventors: Dean Kamen, Larry Brian Gray, Gerald Michael Guay
  • Patent number: 9810340
    Abstract: A device for opening or closing a seal seat of a valve arranged in a pipe for liquid or gaseous media includes a one-time only activation of the valve using a shape memory actuator. The shape memory actuator changes its external shape abruptly when a transformation temperature is reached that is dependent upon its alloy composition. The transformation temperature can be generated by a controllable electrical heating device of the device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2017
    Assignee: Astrium GmbH
    Inventors: Stephan Kraus, Thomas Maier, Markus Wolf
  • Patent number: 9677681
    Abstract: A valve assembly for an in-space propulsion system includes an inlet tube, an outlet tube, a valve body coupling the inlet tube to the outlet tube and defining a propellant flow path, a valve stem assembly disposed within the valve body, an actuator body coupled to the valve body, the valve stem assembly extending from an interior of the valve body to an interior of the actuator body, and an actuator assembly disposed within the actuator body and coupled to the valve stem assembly, the actuator assembly including a shape memory actuator member that when heated to a transition temperature is configured to enable the valve stem assembly to engage the outlet tube and seal the propellant flow path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2017
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Daniel J. Ramspacher, Caitlin E. Bacha
  • Patent number: 9664304
    Abstract: A normally closed valve for microfluidic components includes a polymer substrate and a polymer membrane film arranged on the polymer substrate. The polymer substrate has a first chamber, a second chamber, and a fluidic barrier element configured to separate the first chamber from the second chamber. The first chamber is fluidically coupled to the second chamber by the polymer membrane film, and, in an initial configuration, a connection of the polymer membrane film to the fluidic barrier element prevents a fluidic communication of the first chamber to the second chamber. The first chamber is at least partially filled with a substance in the initial configuration, and a transfer of the substance from the first chamber into the second chamber takes place by applying a pressure to the substance. The pressure is chosen to be great enough to disconnect the connection of the polymer membrane film to the fluidic barrier element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2017
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Franz Laermer, Jochen Rupp, Daniel Czurratis, Tim Gumbel
  • Patent number: 9507391
    Abstract: A heat sink comprises a plurality of fins that may be positioned in a plurality of orientations relative to a heat-generating electronic component to which the heat sink is thermally coupled. A controller may be used to detect an elevated processor temperature and to activate a drive member to automatically adjust the orientation of fins on the heat sink. The fins may be moved and aligned with an air flow made over the heat sink. The adjustable-fin heat sink affords added flexibility in arranging a processor or other heat-generating electronic component on a circuit board. The orientation or position of the heat sink fins may also be automatically changed in response to a change in the air flow direction as manifested by a rise in the temperature of the heat sink or the heat-generating member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 29, 2016
    Assignee: Lenovo Enterprise Solutions (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.
    Inventors: Diane S. Busch, Michael S. June, Chunjian Ni, Pradeep Ramineni
  • Patent number: 9492612
    Abstract: A patch-sized fluid delivery device may include a reusable portion and a disposable portion. The disposable portion may include components that come into contact with the fluid, while the reusable portion may include only components that do not come into contact with the fluid. Redundant systems, such as redundant controllers, power sources, motor actuators, and alarms, may be provided. Alternatively or additionally, certain components can be multi-functional, such a microphones and loudspeakers that may be used for both acoustic volume sensing and for other functions and a coil that may be used as both an inductive coupler for a battery recharger and an antenna for a wireless transceiver. Various types of network interfaces may be provided in order to allow for remote control and monitoring of the device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2016
    Assignee: DEKA Products Limited Partnership
    Inventor: Larry B. Gray
  • Patent number: 9228441
    Abstract: An airfoil includes an airfoil body having an internal cavity. A thermostatic valve is located at least partially within the internal cavity. The thermostatic valve is configured to passively control fluid flow into the internal cavity in response to a temperature within the internal cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 5, 2016
    Assignee: United Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Lane Thornton, Thomas N. Slavens
  • Patent number: 9206789
    Abstract: Improved actuator apparatus and methodologies for manufacturing and using the same. In one exemplary embodiment, the actuator apparatus includes an SMA filament that: (1) minimizes size and increases stroke length via a serpentine-like routing of the SMA filament within the device itself; (2) reduces power consumption as a result of a relatively flat stroke force as a function of stroke displacement operating profile; (3) enables the actuator assembly to remain in a fully actuated state, at a consistent stroke force, for longer periods of time; and (4) is also fully reversible so as to be capable of use in both push-based and pull-based actuator applications. Methods of operation and manufacturing associated with the aforementioned actuator apparatus are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 8, 2015
    Assignee: Autosplice, Inc.
    Inventors: Leonid Foshansky, Robert Bogursky
  • Patent number: 9156676
    Abstract: A sensor assembly includes a first wafer having a cavity formed therein and a second wafer bonded relative to the first wafer to form a diaphragm over the cavity. A trench is formed in the second wafer in or around the diaphragm and the trench may be filled with an isolating material to help thermally and/or electrically isolate the diaphragm. The diaphragm may support one or more sense elements. The sensor assembly may be used a flow sensor, a pressure sensor, a temperature sensor, and/or any other suitable sensor, as desired.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2015
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Carl Stewart, Scott E. Beck, Richard A. Davis, Gilberto Morales
  • Patent number: 9161473
    Abstract: A surface mount electronic component that includes a resin case, metal terminals, and a sealing metal plate that are molded integrally by insert molding. A hollow casing part and a through hole are formed in the case. The through hole leads from the hollow casing part to a surface of the case. The metal plate seals the through hole. The metal plate has a coefficient of linear expansion that is different from a coefficient of linear expansion of the case so that deformation to unseal the through hole occurs when heated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2015
    Assignee: MURATA MANUFACTURING CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Koji Hayashi, Masatoshi Arishiro, Seiichi Morita
  • Patent number: 9121521
    Abstract: There is provided a valve comprising a body, a passageway, a sealing member, a trigger, and a temperature responsive trigger actuator. The passageway is defined by the body, wherein the passageway includes an inlet and an outlet. The sealing member is configured for movement between a closed position and an open position, wherein in the closed position, the sealing member prevents fluid communication between the inlet and outlet of the passageway, and in the open position, the inlet and the outlet of the passageway are in fluid communication.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2015
    Assignee: Emcara Gas Development Inc.
    Inventor: Erick Girouard
  • Patent number: 9085454
    Abstract: Apparatuses and method are described to create a reduced stiffness microstructure (RSM). A RSM is made by forming a first buckled membrane along a first buckling direction and forming a second buckled membrane along a second buckling direction. The second buckling direction is opposite to the first buckling direction and the first buckled membrane is in contact with the second buckled membrane over a contact area. Within an operating zone, a stiffness of the reduced stiffness microstructure spring is less than an absolute value of a stiffness of either the first buckled membrane or the second buckled membrane when the contact area translates along either one of the buckling directions. In the operating zone the stiffness can approach or equal zero.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2015
    Assignee: DUALITY REALITY ENERGY, LLC
    Inventor: Jeffrey Paul Baugher
  • Patent number: 9080682
    Abstract: A latching valve is provided. The latching valve comprises a valve seal movable between first and second positions to selectively open a fluid communication path between fluid inlet and outlet ports. The latching valve also includes a first pilot valve seal movable between first and second positions. The first pilot valve seal selectively provides a pressurized fluid to a pilot control chamber, wherein pressurized fluid within the pilot control chamber biases the valve seal towards the first position. The latching valve also includes a second pilot valve seal movable between a first position and a second position. The second pilot valve seal selectively exhausts the pressurized fluid in the pilot control chamber. The latching valve also includes one or more shape memory alloy elements to actuate one or more of the first and second pilot valve seals between the first and second positions upon heating above a transformation temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2015
    Assignee: Fluid Automation Systems S.A.
    Inventors: Nicolas Deperraz, Stephane Hager
  • Patent number: 9076961
    Abstract: Apparatuses and method are described to create an energy harvesting microstructure, referred to herein as a transduction micro-electro mechanical system (T-MEMS). A T-MEMS includes a substrate, a first buckled membrane, the first buckled membrane has a buckling axis and is connected to the substrate. The first buckled membrane further includes a transduction material, a first conductor, the first conductor is applied to a first area of the transduction material; and a second conductor, the second conductor is applied to a second area of the transduction material, wherein electrical charge is harvested from the transduction material when the first buckled membrane is translated along the buckling axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2015
    Assignee: DUALITY REALITY ENERGY, LLC
    Inventor: Jeffrey Paul Baugher
  • Patent number: 9046093
    Abstract: A fluid control device includes a vibrating plate including a first main surface and a second main surface, a driver that is provided on the first main surface of the vibrating plate and vibrates the vibrating plate, and a plate that is provided on the second main surface of the vibrating plate and has a hole provided thereon. At least one of either the vibrating plate or the plate is positioned between the hole and a region of the vibrating plate facing the hole, and includes a projection projecting in a direction intermediate between the hole and the region of the vibrating plate facing the hole.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2015
    Assignees: Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd., Omron Healthcare Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yukiharu Kodama, Atsuhiko Hirata, Takenobu Maeda, Kenta Omori, Yoshihiko Sano
  • Patent number: 9038983
    Abstract: A drain plug assembly that has particular application for sealing a drain hole in a high voltage battery compartment on a vehicle. The plug assembly includes a plug that inserted into the drain hole. The plug assembly further includes a return spring coupled to the plug and causing the plug to be biased into the drain hole. The plug assembly also includes at least one shape memory alloy device coupled to the plug and a support structure. The SMA device receives an electrical current that causes the device to contract and move the plug out of the drain hole against the bias of the return spring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Craig A. Kollar, Xiujie Gao, Alan L. Browne, Paul W. Alexander, Nancy L. Johnson, Shawn G. Quinn, Milind S. Gandhi, Scott R. Webb
  • Patent number: 9033304
    Abstract: An apparatus includes a light foil device configured to move based on radiation pressure associated with light received by the light foil device. The apparatus includes a mechanism configured to transition between operational states in response to the movement of the light foil device, or includes a valve configured to control a flow of material through a conduit based, at least in part, on the movement of the light foil device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: Intellectual Ventures Fund 79 LLC
    Inventor: William Neil Robinson
  • Patent number: 9027903
    Abstract: Power-efficient actuator apparatus and methods. In one exemplary embodiment, the actuator assembly utilizes a shape memory alloy (SMA) filament driven by an electronic power source to induce movement in the underlying assembly to actuate a load (e.g., water valve). In addition, a circuit board is included which allows the actuator assembly to be readily incorporated or retrofit into a wide range of systems such that the signal characteristics of the supply line can, among other applications, be conditioned in order to protect the SMA filament. Furthermore, the circuit board can also readily be adapted for use with “green” power sources such as photovoltaic systems and the like. Methods for manufacturing and utilizing the aforementioned actuator assembly are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2015
    Assignee: Autosplice, Inc.
    Inventors: Chaitanya Arekar, Leonid Foshansky, Kyle James Ovard, Jr., Robert Bogursky, George Marc Simmel
  • Patent number: 8991191
    Abstract: A thermally actuated venting system includes a thermally actuated vent for opening a vent outlet in a gas turbine engine associated compartment with a passive thermal actuator located in the compartment based on a temperature of the compartment. Outlet may be located at or near a top of a core engine compartment, a fan compartment, or a pylon compartment. Actuator may be operably connected to a hinged door of vent for opening outlet. Actuator may be actuated by a phase change material disposed in a chamber and having a liquid state below a predetermined actuation temperature and a gaseous state above the predetermined actuation temperature. Actuator may include a thermal fuse for closing door during a fire. Thermal fuse may include at least a portion of piston rod or a cylinder wall of actuator being made of a fuse material having a melting point substantially above the predetermined actuation temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Carlos Enrique Diaz, Daniel Jean-Louis Laborie, Stephen Dennis Geary
  • Publication number: 20150083944
    Abstract: A actuating device includes a fixed portion forming a frame including an inlet intended to receive a fluid, a main outlet and a sampling outlet and a return device for exerting a mechanical force on a movable portion; a movable portion including a shutter moving between an open position and a closed position; a thermostatic device including a conical turning disc, the turning of the disc above a known critical temperature driving the shutter to the closed position of same; a control device allowing a holding force for holding the shutter to be generated, the control device being able to be controlled in such a way that below the critical temperature, the opening or the closing of the valve results from the balance between the holding force and the mechanical force.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 29, 2013
    Publication date: March 26, 2015
    Inventors: Huguette De Wergifosse, Eric De Wergifosse
  • Publication number: 20150083367
    Abstract: An aviation bypass valve for use in a heat exchanger apparatus, including a shape memory alloy material. The heat exchanger apparatus further including an air-cooled oil cooler disposed in a bypass fan duct of an aircraft engine. The heat exchanger apparatus including a bypass valve in fluid communication with the air cooled oil cooler. The bypass valve including a valve body, a piston disposed in the valve body and moveable therein and an actuation component. The actuation component including a shape memory alloy. The actuation component responsive to a change in at least one of a thermal condition and a pressure exerted thereon so as to move the piston, thereby opening and closing the bypass valve.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 30, 2013
    Publication date: March 26, 2015
    Applicant: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Carlos Enrique Diaz, William Dwight Gerstler, Michael Ralph Storage
  • Patent number: 8988065
    Abstract: According to an embodiment, a microprobe includes a base and a lever. The base includes a first electrode provided on a surface thereof. The lever is supported by the base and includes a second electrode and a third electrode. The second electrode is connected between the first electrode and the third electrode. The third electrode is formed to project from the second electrode in a first direction in a main surface of the lever. A width of the third electrode in a second direction perpendicular to the first direction in the main surface defines a width of an electrical contact area when a scanning operation is performed by use of the third electrode in a third direction perpendicular to the main surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventors: Yongfang Li, Yasushi Tomizawa
  • Patent number: 8958139
    Abstract: The invention relates to a thermo-pneumatic actuator having a cavity defined by walls and being hermetically sealed, which is inflated with a working medium that alters the gas pressure thereof when a temperature change occurs. A wall region of the cavity is constructed as a ductile membrane, which can be deflected in at least two working positions located on both sides of a neutral position, in which the membrane is curved in opposite directions to one another. In order to alter the gas pressure in the cavity, and to adjust the membrane from one working position to the other working position, a tempering device is heat-conductively connected to the working medium. In the neutral position, the membrane is compressively loaded such that respectively, it maintains its position in both working positions if no outside force impacts the membrane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2015
    Assignee: Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
    Inventors: Peter Woias, Till Huesgen
  • Publication number: 20150028235
    Abstract: Provided is a valve formed of a shape-memory polymer disposed in a flow channel, in which a flow of fluid in the flow channel is adjusted by deformation of the valve.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 10, 2014
    Publication date: January 29, 2015
    Applicants: The University of Tokyo, NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Takanori ICHIKI, Hiroaki TAKEHARA, Hirofumi SHIONO
  • Publication number: 20150028234
    Abstract: A device for opening or closing a seal seat of a valve arranged in a pipe for liquid or gaseous media includes a one-time only activation of the valve using a shape memory actuator. The shape memory actuator changes its external shape abruptly when a transformation temperature is reached that is dependent upon its alloy composition. The transformation temperature can be generated by a controllable electrical heating device of the device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 24, 2014
    Publication date: January 29, 2015
    Inventors: Stephan KRAUS, Thomas MAIER, Markus WOLF
  • Patent number: 8939427
    Abstract: An arrangement is disclosed for adjusting a valve which has a tappet which is under the effect of a restoring spring. In a housing (9) which is to be attached to the valve, a temperature-dependent actuating element (11) which interacts with a working piston (13) is arranged. The actuating element is a metallic component (11) which is composed of an alloy and has an impressed shape memory which extends essentially transversely with respect to the direction of movement of the tappet of the valve. Including the working piston (13) it can be adjusted in the direction of movement of the tappet between two end positions which correspond on the one hand to the open position of the valve and on the other hand to its closed position. The metallic component (11) assumes a shape corresponding to the impressed shape memory when it is heated in its first end position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2015
    Assignee: Mohlenhoff Warmetechnik GmbH
    Inventors: Frank Geburek, Christian Seelmann
  • Patent number: 8939165
    Abstract: A microvalve, in particular for a micropump, is described, which includes a valve member which is adjustable between an open position and a closed position, in contact with a valve seat in its closed position. The valve seat is made of a polymer material. A micropump and a manufacturing method are also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2015
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Ralf Reichenbach, Peter Rothacher
  • Publication number: 20140339448
    Abstract: A fluidic control system includes featured layers. The featured layers include two or more features which collectively form at least one functional component.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 7, 2014
    Publication date: November 20, 2014
    Inventors: Joerg Zimmermann, Jean-Louis Iaconis, Duhane Lam, Jeremy Schrooten, Gerard F. McLean
  • Patent number: 8863740
    Abstract: A heat pipe comprises an evaporator section 5 having a radiation absorbing plate 6 a portion of an elongate tube 7, and a condenser section 10 at a distal end of the elongate tube 7 remote from the evaporator section 5. A flow control valve 20 is provided between the evaporator section 5 and the condenser section 10 to selectively interrupt communication between said sections when the temperature within the condenser section 10 exceeds a predetermined maximum. A temperature sensitive member, (coil of memory metal 34?, or discs 34?) acts between a support plate 26 and a seat 36 located on a valve pintle 30 to urge the valve head 22 towards the valve seat 24 when the temperature of the temperature sensitive member 34 exceeds a predetermined limit. A return spring 38 is provided to bias the valve head 22 away from the valve seat 24.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2014
    Assignee: Kingspan Holdings (IRL) Limited
    Inventors: Thomas Patrick Williamson, Boris Bauer, Paul Thomas McEntee
  • Patent number: 8857785
    Abstract: A thermo-hydraulically actuated valve including a housing; a closure member capable of preventing and permitting fluid flow through the housing. An actuation fluid chamber disposed at the housing and sealed from an external environment. A motive force transmitter in force transmissive communication with the closure member. The transmitter being in fluid communication with the actuation fluid chamber; and a heating element in thermal communication with the actuation fluid chamber. The valve being devoid of a dynamic seal between an area of the valve to be contacted by a managed fluid within the valve and an environment outside of the valve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 14, 2014
    Assignee: Baker Hughes Incorporated
    Inventor: Terry R. Bussear
  • Patent number: 8851443
    Abstract: Actuator apparatus having a multi-stable element actuated by memory alloy actuating elements. In one embodiment, the multi-stable actuator comprises a bistable (two-state) diaphragm element adapted to alternate between two stable configurations via forces exerted on the diaphragm by more than one memory alloy filaments in response to thermal activation. The bistable diaphragm element is coupled to a magnetic actuator element resident on a dry portion of a valve fitting, while a plunger actuated by the magnetic actuator element is resident on a wet portion of a valve fitting. Methods for making and using the bistable actuator apparatus are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2014
    Assignee: Autosplice, Inc.
    Inventor: Leonid Foshansky
  • Publication number: 20140291558
    Abstract: A normally closed valve for microfluidic components includes a polymer substrate and a polymer membrane film arranged on the polymer substrate. The polymer substrate has a first chamber, a second chamber, and a fluidic barrier element configured to separate the first chamber from the second chamber. The first chamber is fluidically coupled to the second chamber by the polymer membrane film, and, in an initial configuration, a connection of the polymer membrane film to the fluidic barrier element prevents a fluidic communication of the first chamber to the second chamber. The first chamber is at least partially filled with a substance in the initial configuration, and a transfer of the substance from the first chamber into the second chamber takes place by applying a pressure to the substance. The pressure is chosen to be great enough to disconnect the connection of the polymer membrane film to the fluidic barrier element.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 19, 2014
    Publication date: October 2, 2014
    Applicant: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Franz Laermer, Jochen Rupp, Daniel Czurratis, Tim Gumbel
  • Publication number: 20140273790
    Abstract: A valve includes a housing and vane that is movable to a predetermined position. An actuator mechanically couples to the movable vane. The actuator is a wire device fabricated from shape memory alloy which, when activated, urges the movable vane toward the predetermined position. A power supply is configured to activate the actuator in response to an activation command and an indication that the movable vane is not in the predetermined position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 14, 2014
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicants: DYNALLOY, INC, GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: PAUL W. ALEXANDER, XIUJIE GAO, ALAN L. BROWNE, MARK A. VOSS, DEREK L. PATTERSON, JOHN N. OWENS, JAMES HOLBROOK BROWN, BRIAN D. HU