News Column

Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Vibration Actuator", for Approval

February 19, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventor SMIRNOV, Viatcheslav (Suwon, KR), filed on September 14, 2012, was made available online on February 6, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Samsung Electro-mechanics Co., Ltd.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to a vibration actuator, and more particularly, to a vibration actuator using a piezoelectric element.

"Recently, as personal digital assistants having large liquid crystal display (LCD) screens provided for user convenience have been released onto the market, a touch screen scheme has been adopted therein, and a vibration motor for generating vibrations at the time of a touch has been used therewith.

"A vibration motor, a component converting electrical energy into mechanical vibrations using the principle of generating electromagnetic force, is mounted in a personal digital assistant to thereby be used for silently notifying a user of call reception by transferring vibrations thereto.

"According to the related art, a brush type structure using a commutator or a scheme of periodically generating electromagnetic force according to a resonant frequency to generate vibrations has been used.

"However, in the brush type structure using the commutator, since a brush passes through a clearance between segments of the commutator at the time of motor rotation, mechanical friction and electrical sparks may be caused and foreign objects may be generated, such that a lifespan of a motor may be reduced. In addition, since a certain amount of time is required to arrive at a target vibration amount due to rotational inertia at the time of the application of voltage to the motor, there are limitations in implementing vibrations appropriate for a touch screen.

"In addition, in the case of a linear vibrator, contact between components vibrating in an internal space and noise therefrom may be generated, such that performance and characteristics of the vibrator are changed, effecting the performance of a portable electronic device using the linear vibrator.

"Therefore, research into a vibration actuator that may be slimmed in accordance with the market trend for miniaturization and slimness in portable electronic devices, may be efficiently produced, and does not have a negative effect on performance and characteristics of a vibrator even in the case in which several factors act has been undertaken.

"The following Related Art Document (Patent Document) discloses a vibration generator generating vibrations using a piezoelectric element."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "An aspect of the present invention provides a vibration actuator capable of satisfying demand for miniaturization and slimness in portable electronic devices, increasing a vibration amount, and decreasing power consumption.

"Another aspect of the present invention provides a vibration actuator including a cooling system capable of cooling heat generated in a process of driving the vibration actuator.

"According to an aspect of the present invention, there is provided a vibration actuator including: a housing providing an internal space and including holes formed to allow the internal space to be in communication with the outside; a diaphragm disposed to separate the internal space into first and second chambers; a mass body coupled to the diaphragm; and a piezoelectric element coupled to one inner surface of the housing and disposed under the mass body.

"The mass body may be disposed in the second chamber.

"The holes may be formed in the housing such that each of the first and second chambers is in communication with ambient air surrounding the housing.

"The diaphragm may include at least one bent portion formed in one surface thereof and having a hemispherical shape.

"The diaphragm may have elastic force.

"In the piezoelectric element, a single piezoelectric film may be used.

"In the piezoelectric element, a plurality of piezoelectric films may be used.

"One inner surface of the housing may be provided with an outer wall protruding to correspond to an outer diameter of the piezoelectric element.

"The mass body may include a protrusion portion formed by protruding at least a portion of an upper surface thereof upwardly, the protrusion portion being coupled to the diaphragm.

"The vibration actuator may further include a support portion disposed between the housing and the diaphragm and elastically supporting the mass body coupled to the diaphragm.

"The vibration actuator may further include a first elastic member disposed between the piezoelectric element and the mass body, wherein the piezoelectric element may be disposed to be spaced apart from the mass body by a predetermined interval.

"The vibration actuator may further include a support portion disposed between the housing and the diaphragm and elastically supporting the mass body coupled to the diaphragm.

"According to another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a vibration actuator including: a housing providing an internal space and including holes formed to allow the internal space to be in communication with the outside; a piezoelectric element coupled to one inner surface of the housing; a mass body disposed on an upper portion of the piezoelectric element; and a diaphragm having one end coupled to the mass body and the other end coupled to the housing to separate the internal space into first and second chambers together with the mass body.

"The mass body may include a horizontal portion, a protrusion portion protruding upwardly from a central portion of the horizontal portion, and an avoidance portion extended downwardly from an outer side of the horizontal portion.

"The diaphragm may have one end coupled to the horizontal portion.

"One inner surface of the housing may be provided with an outer wall protruding to correspond to an outer diameter of the piezoelectric element.

"The other inner surface of the housing may be provided with a projection portion protruding to have an inner diameter larger than an outer diameter of the protrusion portion.

"The mass body may include a horizontal portion, a protrusion portion protruding upwardly from a central portion of the horizontal portion, an avoidance portion extended downwardly from an outer side of the horizontal portion, a seat portion extended from the avoidance portion in an outer radial direction, and an extension portion extended downwardly from the seat portion

"The diaphragm may have one end coupled to the seat portion.

"The vibration actuator may further include a second elastic member having one end coupled to the housing and the other end coupled to the seat portion to elastically support the mass body.

"The vibration actuator may further include a second elastic member having one end coupled to the housing and the other end coupled to the protrusion portion to elastically support the mass body.

"The mass body may include a horizontal portion, a vertical portion extended from an outer side of the horizontal portion in a vertical direction, and a seat portion formed to be bent from a lower portion of the vertical portion in an outer radial direction.

"The diaphragm may have one end coupled to the seat portion.

"The vibration actuator may further include a support portion disposed between the housing and the horizontal portion and elastically supporting the mass body.

"The vibration actuator may further include a second elastic member having one end coupled to the housing and the other end coupled to the seat portion to elastically support the mass body.

"The vibration actuator may further include a support portion disposed between the housing and the horizontal portion and elastically supporting the mass body.

"The other inner surface of the housing may be provided with a projection portion corresponding to an outer diameter of the support portion, and the support portion may be inserted into and fixed to an inner portion of the projection portion and the horizontal portion.

"The mass body may include a horizontal portion, an avoidance portion extended downwardly from an outer side of the horizontal portion, a seat portion bent from the avoidance portion in an outer radial direction, and an extension portion extended downwardly from the seat portion.

"The vibration actuator may further include a support portion disposed between the housing and the horizontal portion and elastically supporting the mass body.

"The other inner surface of the housing may be provided with a projection portion corresponding to an outer diameter of the support portion, and the support portion may be inserted into and fixed to an inner portion of the projection portion.

"The vibration actuator may further include a first elastic member disposed between the piezoelectric element and the mass body, wherein the piezoelectric element may be disposed to be spaced apart from the mass body by a predetermined interval.

"The mass body may include a horizontal portion, an avoidance portion formed to be bent downwardly from an outer side of the horizontal portion, and a seat portion bent from the avoidance portion in an outer radial direction.

"The vibration actuator may further include a second elastic member having one end coupled to the housing and the other end coupled to the seat portion to elastically support the mass body.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"The above and other aspects, features and other advantages of the present invention will be more clearly understood from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

"FIG. 1 is a schematic cross-sectional view showing a vibration actuator according to a first embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 2 is a schematic cross-sectional view showing a modified example of a mass body and a piezoelectric element of the vibration actuator according to the first embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 3 is a schematic cross-sectional view showing a modified example of a mass body of the vibration actuator according to the first embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 4 is a schematic cross-sectional view showing a form in which the vibration actuator according to the first embodiment of the present invention further includes a support portion;

"FIG. 5 is a schematic cross-sectional view showing a modified example of a support portion and a piezoelectric element of the vibration actuator according to the first embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 6 is a schematic cross-sectional view showing a vibration actuator according to a second embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 7 is a schematic cross-sectional view showing a modified example of a hole position in the vibration actuator according to the second embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 8 is a schematic cross-sectional view showing a modified example of a hole position and a mass body in the vibration actuator according to the second embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 9 is a schematic cross-sectional view showing a form in which the vibration actuator according to the second embodiment of the present invention further includes a support portion;

"FIG. 10 is a schematic cross-sectional view showing a modified example of a support portion and a piezoelectric element of the vibration actuator according to the second embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 11 is a schematic cross-sectional view showing a vibration actuator according to a third embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 12 is a schematic cross-sectional view showing a modified example of a mass body of the vibration actuator according to the third embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 13 is a schematic cross-sectional view showing a vibration actuator according to a fourth embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 14 is a schematic cross-sectional view showing a modified example of a second elastic member of the vibration actuator according to the fourth embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 15 is a schematic cross-sectional view showing a vibration actuator according to a fifth embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 16 is a schematic cross-sectional view showing a form in which the vibration actuator according to the fifth embodiment of the present invention further includes a second elastic member instead of a support portion;

"FIG. 17 is a schematic cross-sectional view showing a form in which the vibration actuator according to the fifth embodiment of the present invention further includes a second elastic member;

"FIG. 18 is a schematic cross-sectional view showing a vibration actuator according to a sixth embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 19 is a schematic cross-sectional view showing a vibration actuator according to a seventh embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 20 is a schematic cross-sectional view showing a form in which the vibration actuator according to the seventh embodiment of the present invention further includes a second elastic member disposed on a mass body, instead of a support portion;

"FIG. 21 is a schematic cross-sectional view showing a vibration actuator according to an eighth embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 22 is a schematic cross-sectional view showing a vibration actuator according to a ninth embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 23 is a schematic cross-sectional view showing a form in which the vibration actuator according to the ninth embodiment of the present invention further includes a second elastic member;

"FIG. 24 is a schematic cross-sectional view showing a vibration actuator according to a tenth embodiment of the present invention; and

"FIG. 25 is a schematic cross-sectional view showing a modified example of a second elastic member of the vibration actuator according to the tenth embodiment of the present invention."

For additional information on this patent application, see: SMIRNOV, Viatcheslav. Vibration Actuator. Filed September 14, 2012 and posted February 6, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=5235&p=105&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140130.PD.&OS=PD/20140130&RS=PD/20140130

Keywords for this news article include: Electronics, Electromagnet, Samsung Electro-mechanics Co. Ltd.

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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