Patent Number: 6,294,859

Title: Electrostrictive or piezoelectric actuator device with a stroke amplifyingtransmission mechanism

Abstract: An actuator device (2) includes a piezoelectric or electro-strictive solidstate actuator element (6) that is elongated upon application of anelectric voltage thereto, and a transmission mechanism (8) that amplifiesthe stroke displacement of the actuator element. The transmissionmechanism (8) includes a plurality of rigid frame members (12), includingunitary frame members (12.1, 12.2) and divided frame members (12.3), andelastically flexible joints (10) that respectively interconnect the framemembers. Each one of the divided frame members (12.3) is made up of aplurality of separate parallel link rods (16). Each flexible joint (10) ismade up of a plurality of individual parallel hinge members (18) thatrespectively connect an end of each one of the link rods (16) to theadjacent unitary frame member (12.1, 12.2). By this division of theflexible joints and of the divided frame members into parallelsub-components, the cross-sectional thickness of each individual hingemember is reduced, and thereby the bending stiffness and the outer fiberstrain of the material of the hinge members is significantly reduced whileproviding the same total tensile strength and tensile stiffness. The linkrods of each divided frame member effectively form a parallelogram linkagefor moving and guiding the output members (12.1) in a parallel manner.

Inventors: Jaenker; Peter (Garching, DE)


International Classification:

Expiration Date: 09/25/2013