US 7,438,030 Bl Oct. 21, 2008
(54) ACTUATOR OPERATED MICROVALVES
(75) Inventor: Robert S. Okojie, Strongsville, OH (US)
(73) Assignee: The United States of America as
represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, DC (US)
( * ) Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this patent is extended or adjusted under 35 U.S.C. 154(b) by 141 days.
(21) Appl.No.: 11/213,604
(22) Filed: Aug. 26, 2005
(51) Int. CI.
FOIL 9/04 (2006.01)
(52) U.S. CI 123/90.11; 251/11
(58) Field of Classification Search 251/11,
251/129.01, 61; 123/90.11 See application file for complete search history.
(56) References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
An actuator operated microvalve and the method of making same is disclosed and claimed. The microvalve comprises a SiC housing which includes a first lower portion and a second upper portion. The lower portion of the SiC housing includes a passageway therethrough, a microvalve seat, and a moveable SiC diaphragm. The SiC diaphragm includes a centrally located boss and radially extending corrugations which may be sinusoidally shaped. The boss of the SiC diaphragm moves and modulates in a range of positions between a closed position wherein the boss interengages said microvalve seat prohibiting communication of fluid through the passageway and a fully open position when the boss is spaced apart from the seat at its maximum permitting communication of fluid through said passageway. The actuator includes a SiC top plate affixed to the boss of the diaphragm and a first electrode and the second upper portion of the SiC housing further includes a second electrode.
50 Claims, 23 Drawing Sheets