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Title:
IMPROVED SENSOR DEVICE AND USE OF THIS DEVICE FOR DETECTING OSCILLATIONS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/166856
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A sensor device (1, 100) comprising a support plane (2) made of insulating material, a hollow casing (3, 31, 32) made of electrically conductive material, having an open end (3a, 31 a, 32a) and arranged resting against a first surface (2a) of the support plane (2) on the side of the open end (3a, 31a, 32a) so as to define a closed empty chamber (4, 41, 42), an electrical terminal (6, 61, 62) defined substantially coplanar to the first surface (2a) of the support plane (2) in the closed chamber (4, 41, 42) and electrically insulated by the hollow casing (3, 31, 32), such electrical terminal (6, 61, 62) having an electrical contact (6a, 61a, 62a) exiting from the second surface (2b) of the support plane (2), and lastly a plurality of conductive elements (7, 71, 72) shaped to form a rotation solid and arranged freely and at contact with each other in the closed chamber (4, 41, 42).

Inventors:
DAL BELLO, Mario (Via Vittorio Bottego 12, Ferrara, 44124, IT)
BERTOLDO, Bruno, Massimo (Via Crosara 8, Carre’, 36010, IT)
TAVANO, Graziano (Contrada Grimani 15, Palmanova, 33057, IT)
Application Number:
IB2018/051282
Publication Date:
September 06, 2019
Filing Date:
February 28, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
DAL BELLO, Mario (Via Vittorio Bottego 12, Ferrara, 44124, IT)
BERTOLDO, Bruno, Massimo (Via Crosara 8, Carre’, 36010, IT)
TAVANO, Graziano (Contrada Grimani 15, Palmanova, 33057, IT)
International Classes:
G01H1/00; G01H11/06; G01V1/00; G01V1/18; H01H35/02; H01H35/14
Foreign References:
JP2006302854A2006-11-02
US6396012B12002-05-28
US2198677A1940-04-30
US20080110733A12008-05-15
US20100288605A12010-11-18
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MARCHIORO, Paolo (Studio Bonini Srl, Corso Fogazzaro 8, Vicenza, 36100, IT)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1 ) Sensor device (1 , 100) characterised in that it comprises:

- a support plane (2) made of insulating material;

- at least one hollow casing (3, 31 , 32) made of electrically conductive material and having an open end (3a, 31a, 32a), said hollow casing (3, 31 ,

32) being arranged resting against a first surface (2a) of said support plane (2) on the side of said open end (3a, 31 a, 32a) so as to define a closed empty chamber (4, 41 , 42);

- an electrical terminal (6, 61 , 62) defined substantially coplanar to said first surface (2a) of said support plane (2) in said closed chamber (4, 41 , 42), said electrical terminal (6, 61 , 62) being electrically insulated by said hollow casing (3, 31 , 32) and having an electrical contact (6a, 61a, 62a) exiting from the second surface (2b) of said support plane (2) opposite to said first surface (2a);

- a plurality of conductive elements (7, 71 , 72) shaped to form a rotation solid, each of said conductive elements (7, 71 , 72) being defined with dimensions such to occupy a volume comprised between 1/10 and 1/40 with respect to the volume of said closed chamber (4, 41 , 42), said conductive elements (7, 71 , 72) being arranged freely and at contact with each other in said closed chamber (4, 41 , 42) in a number such to occupy between 75% and 90% of said volume of said closed chamber (4, 41 , 42) and in a manner such that:

- when said sensor device (1 , 100) is in inoperative condition, said conductive elements (7, 71 , 72) obtain the closure of the electrical circuit between said hollow casing (3, 31 , 32) and said electrical terminal (6, 61 , 62);

- when said sensor device (1 , 100) is subjected to mechanical oscillations exceeding a predefined threshold, said plurality of conductive elements (7, 71 , 72) rises and detaches from said electrical terminal (6, 61 , 62) causing the opening of said electrical circuit between said hollow casing (3, 31 , 32) and said electrical terminal (6, 61 , 62).

2) Sensor device (1 , 100) according to claim 1 , characterised in that each of said conductive elements (7, 71 , 72) is ball-shaped.

3) Sensor device (1 , 100) according to any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that each of said conductive elements (7, 71 , 72) is obtained using diamagnetic material.

4) Sensor device (1 , 100) according to any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that said hollow casing (3, 31 , 32) is hollow cylindrical- shaped.

5) Sensor device (1 , 100) according to any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that said plurality of conductive elements (7, 71 , 72) is present in said closed chamber (4, 41 , 42) in a number such to occupy at least 80% of the volume of said closed chamber (4, 41 , 42).

6) Sensor device (100) according to any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that it comprises:

- two of said hollow casings (31 , 32) arranged on said support plane (2) so as to define a first closed empty chamber (41 ) and a second closed empty chamber (42), said hollow casings (31 , 32) being electrically insulated with respect to each other;

- two of said electrical terminals (61 , 62) each defined substantially coplanar to said first surface (2a) of said support plane (2) in each of said first closed empty chamber (41 ) and said second closed empty chamber (42);

- a first and a second plurality of said conductor elements (71 , 72) each shaped to form a rotation solid, said conductive elements (71 , 72) being arranged respectively inside said first closed empty chamber (41 ) and said second closed empty chamber (42).

7) Sensor device (1 , 100) according to any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that it comprises a magnetic sensor (9) arranged on said first surface (2a) of said support plane (2) arranged adjacent to said at least one hollow casing (3, 31 , 32).

8) Chambranle (22) for doors, windows and shutters characterised in that it comprises, applied externally or internally with respect to one of the sides thereof, at least one sensor device (1 , 100) according to any one of the preceding claims.

9) Use of the sensor device (1 , 100) according to any one of the preceding claims as a seismic sensor for detecting oscillatory motions exceeding a predefined threshold.

Description:
IMPROVED SENSOR DEVICE AND USE OF THIS DEVICE FOR DETECTING OSCILLATIONS

DESCRIPTION

The invention regards a sensor device preferably for detecting oscillatory motions on doors, windows and shutters, chambranles, walls and/or glasses. The invention also regards the use of the aforementioned sensor device as a seismic or vibration sensor for detecting oscillatory motions.

Furthermore, the invention regards the chambranle for doors, windows and shutters comprising at least one aforementioned sensor device.

It is known that anti-theft systems for homes and/or buildings, in general, provide for the use of some types of sensors both for implementing the so- called“perimeter” surveillance and for implementing the“motion” surveillance in environments inside the same buildings.

In particular, as regards the perimeter surveillance, it is obtained by jointly or alternatively using two main type of sensors: the so-called magnetic sensors, also referred to as proximity sensors, and seismic sensors also referred to as vibration sensors.

As regards magnetic sensors, they comprise two elements which are applied and coupled in proximity of the opening of doors or windows (access points), one on the wing of the door, window and shutter and one on the chambranle. In particular, a first of such elements is capable of generating a magnetic field, such as for example a permanent magnet, while the second element is capable of detecting the aforementioned magnetic field when it is in proximity of the aforementioned permanent magnet. Should the two elements be moved apart from each other, the electronic control unit, connected to the second of such elements, is capable of detecting the change of status of the latter and thus it is capable of generating an alarm signal in case of unauthorised opening of the shutter or door. Most magnetic sensors available in the market are based on the Reed technology.

On the other hand, as concerns seismic or vibration sensors, applied to the chambranles, the function thereof consists in detecting the vibrations, more generally the oscillatory motions, caused by impact or movements of the structure to which they are applied. These oscillatory motions are generally caused by break-in or batter down attempts.

On the one hand, such seismic sensors can be obtained by exploiting the piezoelectricity property of some materials, i.e. the ability to generate a potential difference when they are subjected to mechanical deformation.

Alternatively, a further category of seismic sensors are of the electromechanical type, i.e. they provide for two electrical contacts independent from each other which - in the inoperative condition of the sensor - are at contact with each other thus closing the electrical circuit. On the contrary, when the seismic sensor is subjected to a vibration, the two contacts tend to mutually move apart from each other up to the complete detachment thereof. No longer guaranteeing the closure of the electrical circuit, this latter situation is interpreted by the electronic control unit, to which the seismic sensor is connected, as an abnormal situation.

Even more particularly, such latter category of seismic sensors of the electromechanical type may provide for that electrical contacts be obtained by means of two flexible and independent metal strips, normally at contact with each other when the sensor is in inoperative condition, while the two strips are moved apart from each other when the latter is subjected to vibration. Alternatively, the seismic sensors of the prior art may provide for, instead of the flexible strips, a first electrical contact of the static type while the second contact is defined by a movable conductor element, such as for example a ball which is at contact with the static element in the inoperative conditions of the seismic sensor, while the movable conductor element tends to move away and separate from the aforementioned static element in case of vibration, thus opening the electrical circuit.

However, both such solutions of the known type used for obtaining seismic sensors of the electromechanical type reveal some drawbacks.

Firstly, the electromechanical seismic sensors of the known type have considerable dimensions, considering the fact that they are designated to be applied on or in the chambranles of doors, windows and shutters.

Furthermore, such type of sensors, especially those with flexible strips, are strongly subjected to wear. In particular, the fact that the aforementioned strips can be subjected to the oxidation process and/or deformation with respect to the original shape over time can lead to the reduction of the electrical contact points between the strips, which can in turn increase the possibility of inadvertent opening of the electrical circuit in the inoperative condition of the sensor thus leading to the activation of false alarms. As specifically concerns the seismic sensors of the electromechanical type which provide for a movable conductor element, such solution disadvantageously still guarantees a low number of contact points between the surface of the movable element and the fixed contact, thus causing the risk of activation of false alarm in this case too.

The aim of the present invention is to overcome all the aforementioned drawbacks.

In particular, one of the objects of the invention is to provide a sensor device, preferably for detecting vibrations, that is small in size with respect to the seismic sensors of the prior art.

Another object of the invention is to provide a sensor device capable of guaranteeing high reliability of electrical contact when the sensor device is in the inoperative conditions.

Last but not least, an object of the invention is to provide a sensor device that is highly sensitive to the actual abnormal events that cause an oscillatory motion of the structure to which the device is coupled.

The aforementioned objects are attained by providing a sensor device according to the main claim.

Further characteristics of the sensor device of the invention are outlined in the dependent claims.

The use of the aforementioned sensor device as a seismic sensor for detecting oscillatory motions exceeding a pre-established threshold is also part of the invention.

The chambranle for doors, windows and shutters comprising at least one sensor device of the invention is also part of the invention.

The aforementioned objects and advantages to be outlined hereinafter will be apparent from the description of some preferred embodiments of the invention provided by way of non-limiting example with reference to the attached drawings wherein:

- fig. 1 shows a first embodiment of the sensor device of the invention in axonometric view;

- fig. 2 shows the cross-sectional lateral view of the first embodiment of the sensor device of fig. 1 ;

- fig. 3 shows the top cross-sectional view of the first embodiment of the sensor device of the invention; - fig. 4 shows an axonometric view of the hollow casing of the sensor device of fig. 1 ;

- fig. 5 shows a second embodiment of the sensor device of the invention in axonometric view;

- fig. 6 shows the cross-sectional lateral view of the second embodiment of the sensor device of fig. 5;

- fig. 7 shows the cross-sectional lateral view of the first embodiment of the sensor device of fig. 1 in presence of oscillatory motions on the structure on which the sensor device is applied;

- fig. 8 shows a chambranle of the invention to which the sensor device of the invention is coupled.

The sensor device of the invention is represented according to a first preferred embodiment in figs. 1 to 3 and in a second preferred embodiment in figs. 5 and 6, where it is indicated in its entirety with 1 and 100 respectively.

Considering the aforementioned first preferred embodiment, as observable in figs. 1 and 2, such sensor device 1 comprises a support plane 2 made of insulating material, on a first surface 2a thereof there is arranged a hollow casing 3 made of electrically conductive material having an open end 3a, as represented in the detail of fig. 4.

In particular, such hollow casing 3 rests against the aforementioned first surface 2a on the side of such open end 3a so as to define a closed empty chamber 4. The hollow casing 3 made of conductor material is also electrically connected to a track 5 defined on the support plane 2 so as to enable the electrical connection of the hollow casing 3 to a terminal of an external electronic control unit (not shown in the figures), capable of managing the signals coming from the aforementioned sensor device 1. The hollow casing 3, as observable in fig. 4, is preferably but not necessarily hollow-cylindrical- shaped.

As observable from the lateral section of fig. 2 and from the top view of fig. 3, the sensor device 1 of the invention further comprises an electrical terminal 6 defined substantially coplanar to the first surface 2a of the support plane 2 in the aforementioned closed chamber 4. Such electrical terminal 6 is preferably defined exactly coplanar to the first surface 2a of the support plane 2. Furthermore, such electrical terminal 6, in particular, is obtained electrically insulated by the hollow casing 3 and it provides for an electrical contact 6a exiting from the second surface 2b of the support plane 2, opposite to the first surface 2a, as observable still from the section of fig. 2.

This enables to electrically connect the electrical terminal 6 too to a second terminal of the aforementioned electronic control unit.

Lastly, the sensor device 1 of the invention provides for a plurality of conductive elements 7 shaped to form a rotation solid arranged at contact with each other in the closed chamber 4.

More precisely, such conductive elements 7 are obtained so as to be electrically conductive at least at the outer surface 7a thereof.

Furthermore, due to reasons to be outlined hereinafter, such conductive elements 7 are preferably but not necessarily obtained using diamagnetic material.

According to the preferred embodiment of the invention, such conductive elements 7 are ball-shaped.

However, according to different embodiments of the sensor device 1 of the invention, it cannot be ruled out that such conductive elements 7 can be cylindrical-shaped or take any shape other than ball or cylindrical shape, as long as the shape in question is a rotation solid, i.e. it provides for at least one curved surface.

Furthermore, according to the invention, each of the conductive elements 7 is defined with dimensions such to occupy a volume comprised between 1/10 and 1/40 with respect to the volume of the aforementioned closed empty chamber 4 in which it is arranged. More precisely, the expression volume occupied by the conductive elements 7, in the present context, is used to indicate the volume of the rectangle parallelepiped in which the single conductive element 7 is inscribed.

As a matter of fact, such characteristics enable to obtain, when the plurality of conductive elements 7 is arranged inside the aforementioned closed chamber 4, multiple electrical contact points between the conductive elements 7 as well as with the inner surface 3b of the hollow casing 3 and the electrical terminal 6 defined on the aforementioned first surface 2a of the support plane 2. Thus, such multiple contact points enable obtaining and maintaining the closure of the electrical circuit between the hollow casing 3 and the electrical terminal 6 in the most safe and efficient manner when the sensor device 1 is in inoperative condition, i.e. when there are no oscillatory motions on the structure in which or on which the sensor device 1 is applied.

The aforementioned conductive elements 7 obviously being free to move in the closed chamber 4, when the sensor device 1 of the invention is subjected to mechanical oscillations exceeding a given pre-established threshold, as indicated by the arrow V in fig. 7, they tend to rise and, thus, no longer being at contact with the electrical terminal 6, hence causing the opening of the aforementioned electrical circuit between the hollow casing 3 and the electrical terminal 6.

In particular, the specific dimension of the previously indicated conductive elements 7 advantageously enables the same plurality of conductive elements 7 to be more sensitive to the oscillatory pulses even of extremely low intensity with respect to the use of conductive powders as provided for in the prior art.

As observable in fig. 7, such effect is attained also due to the fact that the aforementioned electrical terminal 6 is defined coplanar to the first surface 2a of the support plane 2.

The opening of the electrical circuit is interpreted - by the electrical control unit connected to the aforementioned sensor device 1 - as an abnormal situation and thus an alarm signal is generated.

Such characteristics of the sensor device 1 of the invention advantageously enable guaranteeing, during the inoperative condition of the sensor device 1 , an electrical continuity between the hollow casing 3 and the electrical terminal 6 and they simultaneously enable the same sensor device 1 to be highly sensitive to the actual mechanical oscillations, even of low intensity.

Obtaining the constant closure of the electrical circuit during the inoperative condition of the sensor device 1 obviously requires that the conductive elements 7 be present in the closed chamber 4 in a number such to obtain the electrical contact between the inner surface 3b of the hollow casing 3 and the electrical terminal 6 at different degrees of inclination of the sensor device 1. In other words, the higher the number of conductive elements 7 in the closed chamber 4 the higher the assurance of closure of the electrical circuit for various inclinations of the sensor device 1 with respect to the horizontal position of the support plane 2.

The sensor device 1 of the invention preferably but not necessarily provides for that such plurality of conductive elements 7 be present in the closed chamber 4 in a number such to occupy between 75% and 90%, preferably at least 80%, of the volume of the closed chamber 4.

In particular, according to the invention, the minimum number of conductive elements 7 arranged inside the closed chamber 4 is five.

This enables the sensor device 1 of the invention to be able to ensure the closure of the electrical circuit between the hollow casing 3 and the electrical terminal 6 even when the device 1 is arranged inclined up to 90° with respect to the aforementioned horizontal position.

Simultaneously, the volume of the closed chamber 4 not occupied by the aforementioned conductive elements 7 still enables the conductive elements 7 to rise and detach from the conductive terminal 6 in case of mechanical oscillations even of minimum entity so that the aforementioned electrical circuit opens.

In particular, the structure of the sensor device 1 of the invention, as described up to now, advantageously enables detecting mechanical oscillations, even of minimum entity, that cause the rising of the conductive elements 7 and thus the opening of the electrical contact even for minimum time intervals, preferably comprised between a few tens of ps and a few hundreds of ms.

A further advantage lying in the fact that the conductive elements 7 are shaped to form a rotation solid consists of an effect of constant “renewal” of the electrical contact between the conductive elements 7, the inner surface 3b of the hollow casing 3 and the conductive terminal 6, upon the occurrence of an oscillatory motion on the sensor device 1. As a matter of fact, upon the occurrence of such oscillatory motion, the conductive elements 7 tend to rotate on themselves given that they are curved. Such mutual rotation of the conductive elements 7, in turn, causes the occurrence of some sort of rubbing between the aforementioned curved surfaces hence avoiding the occurrence of oxidation thereon. Thus, such rubbing effect enables maintaining the aforementioned electrical contact intact over time.

Back to the preferred embodiment of the invention, the sensor device 1 is provided with an outer container, not shown in the figures, made of electrically insulating and waterproof material.

Now, proceeding to the second preferred embodiment of the sensor device 100 of the invention shown in figs. 5 and 6, the difference with respect to what has been described above regarding the first embodiment lies in the fact that it comprises two hollow casings 31 and 32 arranged on the aforementioned support plane 2, so as to define a first closed empty chamber 41 and a second closed empty chamber 42.

In particular, in this second embodiment of the invention, the two hollow casings 31 and 32 are electrically insulated with respect to each other and each of them is electrically connected to a relative electrical track 51 and 52 obtained on the support plane 2 so as to enable the connection, in an isolated or parallel manner, of such two hollow casings 31 and 32 to the aforementioned external electronic control unit.

Furthermore, as observable from fig. 5, the sensor device 100, according to such embodiment, clearly comprises two electrical terminals 61 and 62 too, each of which is defined substantially coplanar to the first surface 2a of the support plane 2 in one of the two closed empty chambers 41 and 42.

In this case too, each of the electrical terminals 61 and 62 provides for a relative electrical contact 61a and 62a exiting from the second surface 2b of the support plane 2, opposite to the first surface 2a, still as observable from the section of fig. 5, so as to enable the external electronic control unit to be suitably connected to the electrical terminals 61 and 62 too, in an isolated or parallel manner.

Furthermore, such second embodiment of the invention provides for a first plurality and a second plurality of conductive elements 71 and 72 shaped to form a rotation solid and arranged respectively inside the previously described first closed empty chamber 41 and second closed empty chamber 42. The function and advantages obtained by using such plurality of conductive elements 71 and 72 are clearly the same as the ones described regarding the conductive elements 7 regarding the first embodiment of the sensor device 1. The fact of having two symmetric structures on the same sensor device 100, each comprising the hollow casing 31 and 32, the electrical terminal 61 and 62 and the plurality of conductive elements 71 and 72, enables advantageously obtaining a redundant system capable of further reducing the risk of false detections and, on the contrary, reducing the possibilities of failing to detect the actual oscillatory motions.

Such second embodiment of the sensor device 100 of the invention further provides for that between the two hollow casings 31 and 32, on the aforementioned first surface 2a, there also be arranged a magnetic sensor 8.

In this case, as outlined hereinafter, besides serving as a seismic sensor, the sensor device 100 of the invention also serves as a magnetic sensor, particularly for anti-theft systems for buildings, by mounting the sensor device 100 on or in the chambranles for doors, windows and shutters present in such building.

Advantageously, the structure of the sensor device 100 of the invention, according to the latter preferred embodiment, enables to understand and perform all the aforementioned functionalities while simultaneously maintaining the space required for the application thereof on or in the chambranles reduced.

Furthermore, the fact that the conductive elements 71 and 72, as previously mentioned, are made of dielectric material prevents the displacement thereof in the closed empty chambers 41 and 42 from being influenced by the magnetic field generated by the aforementioned magnetic sensor 9.

Lastly, even the second embodiment of the sensor device 100 provides for an outer container made of electrically insulating and waterproof material.

As previously mentioned, the chambranle 200, schematically shown in fig. 8, for doors, windows and shutters provided with a sensor device 1 or 100 having the characteristics described up to now, applied outside or inside one of the sides of the same chambranle 200 is part of the invention too.

Lastly, the protection for the use of the sensor device 1 or 100 of the invention having the characteristics described above as a seismic sensor for detecting the oscillatory motions that occur on the structure, in particular on the chambranle 200, on which or in which such sensor device 1 and 100 is applied, is also claimed herein.

In the case of the second embodiment of the sensor device 100 of the invention, besides use thereof as a seismic sensor, the use thereof as a magnetic sensor is claimed too.

Thus, in light of the above, the sensor device 1 and 100 of the invention attains all pre-set objects.

In particular, the object of providing a sensor device, preferably for detecting vibrations, that is small in size with respect to the seismic sensors of the prior art is attained.

The object of providing a sensor device capable of guaranteeing high reliability of electrical contact when the sensor device is in the inoperative conditions is also attained. Lastly, the object of providing a sensor device that is highly sensitive to actual abnormal events that cause an oscillatory motion of the structure to which the sensor device is coupled, is attained.

In particular, the object of providing a sensor device that is highly sensitive to abnormal events that cause an oscillatory motion of the structure to which it is coupled, is attained.