Expansible Solid Structure Or Composition Of Material Patents (Class 337/393)
  • Patent number: 10365122
    Abstract: A device for monitoring the temperature and tightening of a screw includes a temperature detector positioned near the screw head for measuring the temperature of the screw, a detector of the tightening of the screw, including a sensor member including a first part, positioned on the screw head so as to be rotationally fixed to the screw, and a second part, fixed relative to the first part and arranged to generate a detection state representing a position of the first part relative to the second part, and a first detection unit connected to the sensor member and arranged to determine a degree of tightening of the screw as a function of the detection state of the sensor member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 30, 2019
    Assignee: SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC INDUSTRIES SAS
    Inventors: Josep Lopez, Alain Perrin
  • Publication number: 20150077885
    Abstract: Temperature protection device for use in an electrical power circuit for protecting said electrical power circuit against heating, comprising a first contact element and a second contact element, which are connected to one another by the ends thereof, and are designed in such a way that the ends of said first and said second contact elements that are connected to one another separate from one another when a limit temperature is exceeded because of a mechanical pretension between the two ends, thereby interrupting the electrical circuit, wherein at least the ends of the contact elements have a material with a higher recrystallization temperature than pure copper.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 19, 2013
    Publication date: March 19, 2015
    Inventor: Uwe Hartmann
  • Patent number: 8779886
    Abstract: A device, such as a switch structure, is provided. The switch structure can include a contact and a conductive element each respectively disposed on a substrate. The conductive element can be composed substantially of metallic material, and can be configured to be deformable between a first position, in which the conductive element is separated from the contact by a separation distance, and a second position, in which the conductive element contacts the contact and stores mechanical energy. The conductive element can be further configured such that, subsequent to being deformed into the second position at a temperature between about room temperature and about half of a melting temperature of the metallic material for a cumulative time of at least 107 seconds, the separation distance in the absence of external forces varies by less than 20 percent over the cumulative time. Associated methods are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2014
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Marco Francesco Aimi, Shubhra Bansal, Christopher Fred Keimel, Kuna Venkat Satya Rama Kishore, Sairam Sundaram, Parag Thakre
  • Patent number: 8534912
    Abstract: An apparatus for determining and/or monitoring at least one measured variable. The apparatus includes: at least one measuring unit; and at least one securement unit for holding the measuring unit in contact with an object. The securement unit is embodied in such a manner, that the securement unit has at least two stable shape states, wherein, for transition between the at least two states, application of a mechanical force to the securement unit is required.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2013
    Assignee: Endress + Hauser Wetzer GmbH + Co. KG
    Inventor: Dieter Schmidt
  • Patent number: 8525633
    Abstract: A fuse element includes a substrate disposed between first and second terminals. The substrate includes an electrically insulative material. A conductive film is disposed on a first surface of the substrate and in electrical contact with the first terminal and second terminals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2013
    Assignee: Littelfuse, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen J. Whitney, William Travis, Jeffrey P. Youngblood, Sarah M. Book, Edward D. Barriball, Milea J. Kittle
  • Patent number: 8368503
    Abstract: A temperature sensor for a radiant heater has a first tubular expansion element which is connected to its housing and contains a second rod-like expansion element, the two expansion elements having different coefficients of thermal expansion. The temperature sensor has two switching springs for different switching points. In order to adjust a second switching spring, which is fastened to a second switching spring base, the second switching spring base can be moved in the longitudinal direction of the rod and is then permanently fixed by bending or welding.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2013
    Assignee: E.G.O. Elektro-Geraetebau GmbH
    Inventors: Philipp Pérez Castillo, Willi Reichert, Bruno Schlenker
  • Patent number: 8319596
    Abstract: A circuit protector includes first and second conductive members. An active material alters at least one attribute in response to an activation signal. The active material is operatively connected to the first and second conductive members to alter the electrical resistance between the first and second members.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2012
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Nicholas W. Pinto, IV, Paul W. Alexander, Nancy L. Johnson
  • Patent number: 8245391
    Abstract: A MEMS hysteretic thermal device may be formed having two passive beam segments driven by a current-carrying loop coupled to the surface of a substrate. The first beam segment is configured to move in a direction having a component perpendicular to the substrate surface, whereas the second beam segment is configured to move in a direction having a component parallel to the substrate surface. By providing this two-dimensional motion, a single MEMS hysteretic thermal device may by used to close a switch having at least one stationary contact affixed to the substrate surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2012
    Assignee: Innovative Micro Technology
    Inventor: Paul J. Rubel
  • Patent number: 8245896
    Abstract: A hand-operated drive-in power tool for fastening elements is disclosed. The tool has a drive arrangement for a drive-in ram displaceably arranged in a guide, which has at least one drive element for the drive-in ram made at least partially of an elastomer that is tensible via a tensioning device. To improve the drive-in power tool, a heating device for the at least one elastomer drive element is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2012
    Assignee: Hilti Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Hans Gschwend, Robert Spasov
  • Patent number: 8081058
    Abstract: A thermally activated electrical interrupt device incorporates a thermally activated portion engaging with an electrical interrupt portion. The thermally activated material expands when heated, causing an interrupt control rod to open an electrical contact. When the interrupt device is placed into an interrupt state, a reset mechanism maintains the interrupt control rod in the interrupt state until specifically reset. An actuating shaft is in operational communication with at least one electrical contact. The actuating shaft is maintained in a thermal monitoring position until an interrupt control rod is moved via a thermally expanding material and engages with the actuating shaft, releasing it from the thermal monitoring position. The actuating shaft is projected via a biasing member to cause a change in state of the electrical contact. The actuating shaft remains in the interrupt state until the user resets the switch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 20, 2011
    Inventors: William C. Neilly, Kevin L. Gabrey
  • Patent number: 7764159
    Abstract: A shape-memory actuator device comprises means for interrupting electrical supply to a shape-memory element when the axial load applied to said element exceeds a predetermined threshold value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2010
    Assignee: C.R.F. Societá Consortile per Azioni
    Inventors: Alessandro Zanella, Stefano Alacqua, Francesco Butera
  • Patent number: 7752866
    Abstract: A thermal conduction switch includes a thermally-conductive first member having a first thermal contacting structure for securing the first member as a stationary member to a thermally regulated body or a body requiring thermal regulation. A movable thermally-conductive second member has a second thermal contacting surface. A thermally conductive coupler is interposed between the first member and the second member for thermally coupling the first member to the second member. At least one control spring is coupled between the first member and the second member. The control spring includes a NiTiFe comprising shape memory (SM) material that provides a phase change temperature <273 K, a transformation range <40 K, and a hysteresis of <10 K. A bias spring is between the first member and the second member. At the phase change the switch provides a distance change (displacement) between first and second member by at least 1 mm, such as 2 to 4 mm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2010
    Assignee: University of Central Florida Research Foundation, Inc.
    Inventors: Rajan Vaidyanathan, Vinu Krishnan, William U. Notardonato
  • Patent number: 7755899
    Abstract: The present invention is a thermally controlled switch with high thermal or electrical conductivity. Microsystems Technology manufacturing methods are fundamental for the switch that comprises a sealed cavity formed within a stack of bonded wafers, wherein the upper wafer comprises a membrane assembly adapted to be arranged with a gap to a receiving structure. A thermal actuator material, which preferably is a phase change material, e.g. paraffin, adapted to change volume with temperature, fills a portion of the cavity. A conductor material, providing a high conductivity transfer structure between the lower wafer and the rigid part of the membrane assembly, fills another portion of the cavity. Upon a temperature change, the membrane assembly is displaced and bridges the gap, providing a high conductivity contact from the lower wafer to the receiving structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2010
    Assignee: ÅAC Microtec AB
    Inventor: Lars Stenmark
  • Patent number: 7652553
    Abstract: A thermally activated electrical interrupt device incorporates a thermally activated portion (110) engaging with an electrical interrupt portion (120). The thermally activated material (114) expands when heated, causing an interrupt control rod (140, 180) to open an electrical contact (123, 125, 126/132, 134). When the interrupt device is placed into an interrupt state, a reset mechanism maintains the interrupt control rod (140) in the interrupt state until specifically reset.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2010
    Assignee: Thermal Interrupt Devices, Ltd.
    Inventors: William C. Neilly, Kevin L. Gabrey
  • Patent number: 7545252
    Abstract: A switch for providing a control function is provided. The switch is comprised of an actuator. The actuator comprises a base portion, a cantilever beam connected to the base portion, and an actuator cell adjacent to the cantilever beam. The actuator cell comprises a first metal electrode positioned on the cantilevered beam, a second metal electrode positioned near the first metal electrode, and phase change material between the first and second metal electrodes, wherein the phase change material connects the first metal electrode to the second metal electrode, wherein applying a burst of energy to the phase change material causes the phase change material to change between an amorphous state and a crystalline state, causing the cantilevered beam to move between a first position and a target position and wherein the cantilevered beam remains at the target position upon removal of the energy thereby activating the control function.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2009
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventor: Mark Alfred Lantz
  • Patent number: 7522029
    Abstract: An actuator is provided. The actuator comprises a base portion, a cantilever beam connected to the base portion, and an actuator cell adjacent to the cantilever beam. The actuator cell comprises a first metal electrode positioned on the cantilevered beam, a second metal electrode positioned near the first metal electrode, and phase change material between the first and second metal electrodes, wherein the phase change material connects the first metal electrode to the second metal electrode, wherein applying a burst of energy to the phase change material causes the phase change material to change between an amorphous state and a crystalline state, causing the cantilevered beam to move between a first position and a target position, wherein the cantilevered beam remains at the target position upon removal of the energy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2009
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventor: Mark Alfred Lantz
  • Patent number: 7345572
    Abstract: A temperature sensor for a radiant heating element includes a first expansion element, e.g., a tube, connected to a housing of a switch, which is permanently connected to a second expansion element, e.g., a rod in the region of its free end. The two expansion elements have different thermal expansion coefficients, and the switch has at least one contact spring, which is pre-tensioned against a point and carries a contact. The contact spring is implemented as a snap spring. The first expansion element has a spring acting in its axial direction applied to it. To avoid rapid fatigue of the contact spring, the second expansion element acts on the contact spring on one side and the spring acting in the axial direction of the second expansion element acts on the contact spring on the other side, with the spring acting against the second expansion element via a support.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2008
    Assignee: Electrovac, Fabrikation elektrotechnischer Spezialartikel Ges.m.b.H.
    Inventors: Paul Losbichler, Christian Auradnik
  • Patent number: 7119654
    Abstract: A temperature sensor for radiant heating units with a heating coil disposed in a cup includes a tube with a first end connected to a housing of a switch with a movable contact cooperating with stationery contacts in the housing. A two-section rod, which extends into the housing of the switch and operates the movable contact, is supported inside the tube. The tube and the rod have different thermal expansion coefficients. To prevent a shift in the switching point, the section of the rod that operates the contact terminates outside the hollow space of the cup, and the temperature-induced length changes of this section and of the housing are matched to each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2006
    Assignee: Electrovac, Fabrikation elektrotechnischer Spezialartikel Gesellschaft m.b.H.
    Inventor: Paul Losbichler
  • Publication number: 20040252005
    Abstract: An method and apparatus for dampening microelectromechanical system (MEMS) devices is disclosed. A typical method or apparatus embodiment of the invention includes a microelectromechanical system (MEMS) device including an actuator and a movable element and having a frequency response. A shape memory alloy (SMA) material is applied to the movable element of the MEMS device to provide passive damping to the frequency response of the MEMS device. The applied SMA material typically provides no actuation of the MEMS device. A chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process can be used to apply the SMA material.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 10, 2003
    Publication date: December 16, 2004
    Applicant: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Robert L. Villhard, Robert J. Atmur
  • Publication number: 20040178878
    Abstract: A temperature sensor for radiant heating units with a heating coil disposed in a cup includes a tube with a first end connected to a housing of a switch with a movable contact cooperating with stationery contacts in the housing. A two-section rod, which extends into the housing of the switch and operates the movable contact, is supported inside the tube. The tube and the rod have different thermal expansion coefficients. To prevent a shift in the switching point, the section of the rod that operates the contact terminates outside the hollow space of the cup, and the temperature-induced length changes of this section and of the housing are matched to each other.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 10, 2004
    Publication date: September 16, 2004
    Applicant: ELECTROVAC, FABRIKATION ELEKTROTECHNISCHER SPEZIALARTIKEL GESELLSCHAFT M.B.H.
    Inventor: Paul Losbichler
  • Patent number: 6744344
    Abstract: A disconnect switch for the load circuit of a vehicle battery, includes a movable contact element (81) and a stationary contact element (64) that are linked with a locking mechanism. For releasing the locking mechanism a shape-memory alloy release element (4) is used that contracts when heated. For closing the locking mechanism a shape-memory alloy spring element (110) is provided that induces closure of the mechanism by expansion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2004
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Markus Geuder, Stefan Kautz, Matthias Marondel
  • Patent number: 6724294
    Abstract: A switch head is disclosed that can be attached to a temperature sensor having elongated expansion elements with different thermal expansion coefficients. The switch head further includes a device for measuring the displacement of the expansion elements relative to each other. Attachment means are provided for attaching at least one additional switch head. At least one opening for receiving a transfer member to transfer the relative displacement of the expansion elements to the at least one additional switch head is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2004
    Assignee: Electrovac, Fabrikation elektrotechnischer Spezialartikel Gesellschaft m.b.H.
    Inventor: Hans-Peter Morbitzer
  • Patent number: 6703916
    Abstract: The invention relates to a microswitch containing conductors located on a first level and conductors located on a second level, where the conductors on the first level are supported by a deformable element which can switch by means of an actuator with a bimetallic effect, and where the effect of this switching is that the gap between the conductors on the first level and the conductors on the second level is modified, characterised in that the actuator with a bimetallic effect consists of resistors in close and localised contact with the deformable element, and in that the resistors are capable, when traversed by an electric control current, of expanding sufficiently under the effect of the heat produced by the passage of the electric command current to cause, by the bimetallic effect, the deformable element to trigger before the heat produced in the resistors has been able to propagate into the deformable element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 9, 2004
    Assignee: Commissariat a L'Energie Atomique
    Inventors: Pierre-Louis Charvet, Michel Dufour
  • Patent number: 6685303
    Abstract: An apparatus for a thermal actuator for a micromechanical device, especially a liquid drop emitter such as an ink jet printhead, is disclosed. The disclosed thermal actuator comprises a base element and a cantilevered element extending from the base element and normally residing at a first position before activation. The cantilevered element includes a first layer constructed of an electrically resistive material, such as titanium aluminide, patterned to have a first resistor segment and a second resistor segment each extending from the base element; a coupling device that conducts electrical current serially between the first and second resistor segments; and a second layer constructed of a dielectric material having a low coefficient of thermal expansion and attached to the first layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2004
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: David P. Trauernicht, Edward P. Furlani, John A. Lebens
  • Patent number: 6583711
    Abstract: A temperature sensitive circuit breaker includes two contacts electrically mounted on a circuit board and an insulating pivot seat attached to the circuit board between the two contacts. A lever has a first end pivotally connected to the pivot seat and connected to one of the contacts, and a second end electrically connected to the other contact. A non-metallic expansive rod is mounted on the circuit board below the lever to push the lever upward to make the second end of lever separate from the contact when a high temperature on the circuit board is transferred to the expansive rod. The breaking member causes a high temperature to melt itself when a current passes through the breaking member to open a circuit on the circuit board.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2003
    Inventor: Chin-Chi Yang
  • Patent number: 6504467
    Abstract: In a semiconductor element, in particular for switching an electrical connection, a substance which expands to a great extent when heated is arranged on the element in such a way that if the element is overheated, the electrical leads of the element are disconnected by the expanding substance or are interrupted by the melting of a conductive material with a low melting point which forms the leads.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2003
    Assignee: Mannesmann VDO AG
    Inventors: Reinhold Berberich, Wolfgang Bay
  • Patent number: 6483419
    Abstract: A micrometer sized, single-stage, horizontal and vertical thermal actuator capable of repeatable and rapid movement of a micrometer-sized optical device off the surface of a substrate. The horizontal and vertical thermal actuator is constructed on a surface of a substrate. At least one hot arm has a first end anchored to the surface and a free end located above the surface. A cold arm has a first end anchored to the surface and a free end. The cold arm is located above and laterally offset from the hot arm relative to the surface. The cold arm is adapted to provide controlled bending near the first end thereof. A member mechanically and electrically couples the free ends of the hot and cold arms such that the actuator exhibits horizontal and vertical displacement when current is applied to at least the hot arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2002
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Billy L. Weaver, Douglas P. Goetz, Kathy L. Hagen, Mike E. Hamerly, Robert G. Smith, Silva K. Theiss
  • Publication number: 20020149465
    Abstract: A temperature limiter includes a switch head with a switching contact and a temperature sensor having elongate expansion elements of different thermal expansion coefficients. The expansion elements are fixed relative to one another in one end zone and movable relative to one another in the other end zone. Slidably supported in the switch head is a ram which abuts against the movable expansion element and has an end portion constructed to allow application of welding or soldering. A switch sleeve is placed over the ram end portion and adapted to actuate the contact. The switch sleeve is movable relative to the ram during a calibration phase, until reaching a position which is determinative for calibrating a desired response temperature of the switching contact. In this position, the switch sleeve is then securely fixed to the end portion by fusion welding or soldering.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 15, 2002
    Publication date: October 17, 2002
    Applicant: ELECTROVAC, FABRIKATION ELEKTROTECHNISCHER SPEZIALARTIKEL GESELLSCHAFT M.B.H.
    Inventor: Hans-Peter Morbitzer
  • Patent number: 6404321
    Abstract: An actuator for a device such as a valve controlling coolant for an automotive engine. The actuator has a base body on which is supported an electrically heatable thermostatic operating element having an operating piston that moves a motion transfer member that is in actuating engagement with a moveable actuating element of the device being actuated. The motion transfer member has a flange on which is supported a compression spring that maintains the motion transfer member in following engagement with the operating piston. The components of the actuator are enclosed within an outer housing that has a window of transparent material located so that when the components are in the Inactivated condition, the flange will not be visible through the window and when the components are activated, the flange will be visible through the window, thereby providing an indication of the condition of the actuator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Assignee: Behr Thermot-tronik GmbH & Co.
    Inventor: Immanuel Buschatz
  • Patent number: 6396382
    Abstract: A micro miniature solid state mechanical switch device operated by thermal energy for the control of thermal and electrical energy is shown. A gap in an energy path is bridged by an energy conductor that is mechanically moved into and out of operative position with the gap in the energy path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2002
    Assignee: Levingard Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Steven J. Ross
  • Patent number: 6304165
    Abstract: According to the invention a switching device (11) for an electric heating device is provided with a rod-shaped temperature sensor (15) formed by a ceramic rod (17) and an extension tube (16). The temperature sensor (16) operates a snap-action switch (22) located in a base (12) by means of an actuator separate from the said switch, which has at least one actuating part (41), which is loaded in the actuating direction by a leaf spring (34), the actuating part (41) and leaf spring (34) being in one piece. In a further development of the invention the leaf spring (34) or actuating part (41) can be a receptacle for an adjusting device, preferably an adjusting screw (38).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2001
    Assignee: E.G.O. Elektro-Geratebau GmbH
    Inventors: Heinz Petri, Siegfried Mannuss, Eugen Wilde
  • Patent number: 6255934
    Abstract: An actuation device capable of changing its operating condition between a stable rest position and a stable work position has a monostable actuation unit with a body and at least a shaft movable as a function of the energization available to the actuation unit, and a kinematic motion assembly for converting the movement of the shaft into a bistable actuation, the kinematic motion assembly including a slider linearly movable in response to action of the shaft and a device for converting subsequent linear movements of the shaft in the passage of the slider between the stable positions and the maintaining of the same.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2001
    Assignee: Eltek S.p.A.
    Inventors: Costanzo Gadini, Daniele Cerruti
  • Patent number: 5990777
    Abstract: A switch (10) is provided that has a housing (12), an actuator (20), a contact blade (18), first and second shape-memory wires (28,30), and first and second contact points (70,71). The actuator (20) has a first end portion (52) pivotally coupled to the housing (12), and a second end portion (22) with first and second generally opposed arm portions (24), (26) extending therefrom. The contact blade (18) has the first contact point (70) positioned thereon, and is coupled to and moveable with the actuator (20). The first and second shape-memory wires (28,30) respectively extend between the first and second arm portions (24,26) of the actuator (20) and the housing (12). The second contact point (71) is coupled to the housing (12) and is electrically engageable with the first contact point (70) in response to movement of the actuator (20).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 23, 1999
    Assignee: The Whitaker Corporation
    Inventor: Robert Neil Whiteman, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5977858
    Abstract: An actuator that uses electrothermal energy to switch between a first latching position and a second latching position. The actuator contains a leaf spring capable of latching into two distinct positions and two shape-memory wires. The shape-memory wires contract when heated and direct the leaf spring toward the two latching states. Once positioned in a latching state, the leaf spring will remain latched in that position until directed toward a different latching state by one of the shape-memory wires.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 2, 1999
    Assignee: Hughes Electronics Corporation
    Inventors: Robert Morgen, Harold H. Yee
  • Patent number: 5897055
    Abstract: An actuator with an electrically heatable operating element, the housing of the operating element being held stationary in a mount of a base body, and a transfer element, which comprises two plastic molded parts, is provided between the piston and the element to be adjusted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 27, 1999
    Assignee: Behr Thermot-tronik GmbH & Co.
    Inventors: Roland Saur, Matthias Fahr
  • Patent number: 5396213
    Abstract: A control device, parts therefor and methods of making the same are provided, the control device having a temperature sensing unit comprising a rod and tube means utilizing a heat expandable and contractible polymeric member disposed between one end of the rod and an abutment of the tube to tend to cause an outer end of the rod to move toward an actuator of the control device upon the unit sensing decreasing temperature and to tend to cause that end of the rod to move away from the actuator upon the unit sensing increasing temperature, a biasing member being operatively interconnected to the unit to continuously place the tube under compression between an open end thereof and the abutment thereof and to continuously place the rod under tension between the opposite ends thereof to tend to reduce the temperature differential of the control device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1993
    Date of Patent: March 7, 1995
    Assignee: Robertshaw Controls Company
    Inventor: Jay R. Katchka
  • Patent number: 5294907
    Abstract: A control device, parts therefor and methods of making the same are provided, the control device having a temperature sensing unit comprising a rod and tube means utilizing a heat expandable and contractible polymeric member disposed between one end of the rod and an abutment of the tube to tend to cause an outer end of the rod to move toward an actuator of the control device upon the unit sensing decreasing temperature and to tend to cause that end of the rod to move away from the actuator upon the unit sensing increasing temperature, a biasing member being operatively interconnected to the unit to continuously place the tube under compression between an open end thereof and the abutment thereof and to continuously place the rod under tension between the opposite ends thereof to tend to reduce the temperature differential of the control device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 1993
    Date of Patent: March 15, 1994
    Assignee: Robertshaw Controls Company
    Inventor: Jay R. Katchka
  • Patent number: 5208574
    Abstract: A rod sensor (1) has in the vicinity of a sliding guide (17) of an outer tube (2) a bolt-like, smooth abutment (4) for an inner rod (3), which prior to the insertion of the inner rod (3) and prior to the constructional joining of the temperature sensor (1) to a switch base (10) is adjusted with a measuring screw (36) against the tension of a spring (39) to a predetermined adjusting amount (30) and is firmly connected to the outer tube (2) by a welding mechanism (40) or the like. Thus, a very accurate adjustment is obtained in the case of a simple construction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 1991
    Date of Patent: May 4, 1993
    Assignee: E.G.O. Elektro-Gerate Blanc u. Fischer
    Inventors: Siegfried Mannuss, Heinz Petri
  • Patent number: 5119061
    Abstract: A guide member is slidably mounted on a rod, a resilient seal bag is provided around a first end portion of the rod and secured to the guide member, and a tubular sealing member is slidably mounted on a second end portion of the rod. The rod is inserted in a heat conductive cylinder secured to the guide member, and wax is provided in the heat conductive cylinder. The seal bag has a base portion and a bag portion, and is engaged with the rod only at the base portion to form a gap between the bag portion and the rod. The gap is charged with lubricating oil. The sealing member has a tubular body, a skirt portion, a closed head portion, and a plurality of annular grooves formed in an inner wall of the body. The base portion is secured to the guide member, and the head portion is engaged with an end of the second end portion of the rod.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 1991
    Date of Patent: June 2, 1992
    Inventor: Yoshikazu Kuze
  • Patent number: 5020128
    Abstract: A tubular electric resistance heater includes a tubular sheath enclosing an electric heater coil. As protective overheat safety device is provided at an end of the sheath and includes an electrically conductive tube disposed in a cavity in the end of the sheath and having a closed end electrically connected to the heater coil. A rod-shaped member made of a thermally deformable material extends through the tube from the closed and projects out of the other end of the tube into activating engagement with a normally closed switch located externally of the tubular sheath and electrically connected in series with the tube and thereby the heater coil. Excessive heater coil temperatures cause the rod-shaped member to deform and actuate the switch to its open position to deenergize the heater coil. The rod-shaped member may be made to a memory-alloy or a plastic which changes its structure, e.g., shrinks, or melts at a certain temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 1988
    Date of Patent: May 28, 1991
    Inventor: Ingo Bleckmann
  • Patent number: 4949061
    Abstract: An electromechanical relay for the activation of at least one operating circuit, has an activator (10, 110) for example in the form of a helix made of a material having form-restoring or shape memory properties. A reset element (17, 117) holds the actuator in a distorted position opposite to that of its original position as long as an electrical heating current does not flow through the actuator. When the heating current, also referred to as switching current, is passing through the actuator, the latter returns to its original position or shape against the force of the reset spring thereby activating, through an operating member, a number of contact pairs of an operating circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 1989
    Date of Patent: August 14, 1990
    Assignee: Messerschmitt-Boelkow-Blohm GmbH
    Inventor: Safa Kirma
  • Patent number: 4839479
    Abstract: An article in the form of a projectile, a shock-sensitive switch or a sabot having an active component of shape-memory alloy which exhibits the shape-memory effect to provide a mechanical movement in response to a pressure wave passing through the article is disclosed. A thermal enhancement component which rapidly generates heat to initiate the shape-memory effect is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 1988
    Date of Patent: June 13, 1989
    Inventor: Thomas O. Davis, Jr.
  • Patent number: 4675642
    Abstract: A temperature switch has an expansion element which consists of a metal alloy in which a martensitic structural transformation takes place within its working region, the phases concerned, austenite and martensite, having ordered lattice structures and the slightest possible difference in form. The expansion element preferably has the shape of a coil compression spring (7) which rests at one end against a bottom surface (9) of the housing (1) of the temperature switch and at the other end against a ram (4). This ram (4) serves to actuate a snap-switch mechanism (3) by which a switch contact (5) can be switched for movement against a fixed contact (6) or away from it.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 1985
    Date of Patent: June 23, 1987
    Assignee: VDO Adolf Schindling AG
    Inventor: Norbert Reiferscheid
  • Patent number: 4665334
    Abstract: A rotary stepping device includes a rotatable shaft which is driven by means of a coiled spring clutch which is alternately tightened to grip and rotate the shaft and released to return it to a resting position. An actuator formed of a memory metal is used to pull the spring clutch to tighten it and rotate the shaft. The actuator is activated by heating it above its critical temperature and is returned to an elongated configuration by means of the force of the spring clutch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 1983
    Date of Patent: May 12, 1987
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Robert S. Jamieson
  • Patent number: 4642599
    Abstract: A control device having a control element that can be actuated by a thermostatic working element has a multipart structure which includes a primary housing which is preferably made of plastic and a secondary housing which is preferably made of metal. The primary housing is generally U-shaped in cross-section and is provided with an exterior shoulder. The secondary housing is also U-shaped and is provided with an edge which is plastically deformed around the shoulder of the primary housing to secure the housings together. A movable working element extends through a wall of the primary housing and contacts the control element. The secondary housing includes a chamber for receiving a thermally expandable material which is positioned adjacent to an end of the working element. An elastic membrane is disposed between the expandable material and the working element and is secured in position by the primary and secondary housings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 1985
    Date of Patent: February 10, 1987
    Assignee: Behr-Thomson Dehnstoffregler GmbH
    Inventor: Roland Saur
  • Patent number: 4551974
    Abstract: Disclosed is a shape memory effect actuator. The actuator comprises a biasing means which is normally biased in a first position and a shape memory alloy actuator element cooperatively engaged with the biasing means. The actuator element in a first unactivated condition is biased in the first position by the biasing means. In a second unactivated condition, the actuator element biases and retains the biasing means in a second position. The actuator element in an activated condition biases the biasing means in the second position. Also disclosed is a method of assembling an actuator and a cooperating apparatus and a method of operating the actuator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 1984
    Date of Patent: November 12, 1985
    Assignee: Raychem Corporation
    Inventors: John R. Yaeger, Robert K. Morgan
  • Patent number: 4541735
    Abstract: A thermal sensing element containing a heat responsive material having a very high negative coefficient of thermal expansion. The heat responsive material contained therein is a methanol saturated copolymer of hexafluoropropylene and vinylidene fluoride. This thermal sensing element can detect minute temperature changes and can be packaged in a compact container for use in applications where space is limited.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 24, 1984
    Date of Patent: September 17, 1985
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Ismat A. Abu-Isa
  • Patent number: 4244140
    Abstract: Toys of any shape which recover their original shapes after deformation when they are heated by electrical or thermal stimulus are introduced. The deformation and shape recovery action can be repeated. The form regaining action is achieved by a special characteristics of the shape memory alloys, for example, nitinol, which change their phase and thereby change their shapes when their temperature is raised beyond their transition temperature. Toys are covered by a soft plastic to enhance the look of them.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 1977
    Date of Patent: January 13, 1981
    Inventor: Kibong Kim
  • Patent number: 4225841
    Abstract: A temperature-dependent switch is provided with a substance, which expands when heated in a housing, and a transmission part. The transmission part is displaceable by a diaphragm, a sealing part, accepting a beaded edge on the diaphragm with an annular groove is included. The integral housing serves to accept the substance which expands or contracts as a function of temperature, the sealing part, the diaphragm and the transmission part. A prong plate is fastened to housing for at least one electrical prong. The scaling part is provided with at least one recess to accept an insulating part. The transmission part is effectively connected with an electrical prong.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 1978
    Date of Patent: September 30, 1980
    Assignee: Behr-Thomson Dehnstoffregler GmbH
    Inventors: Roland Saur, Manfred Kurz
  • Patent number: 4117442
    Abstract: A differential-temperature-sensitive device particularly useful for controlling an electrical switch in response to a difference in temperature comprises a first lever arm pivotably mounted at one end to a base member, a second lever arm pivotably mounted to the opposite end of the first arm, and a pair of temperature-sensitive elements each coupled to one of said lever arms for pivoting same in response to the temperature sensed, the control member, preferably an electrical switch, being actuated by the opposite end of the second lever arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 1977
    Date of Patent: September 26, 1978
    Inventors: Benjamin Bar-On, Eldad Paz