Panasonic. has filed a patent for a load sensor that aims to improve accuracy in measuring loads. The sensor includes a first and second base member, an electrically-conductive elastic body, an electrically-conductive member, a dielectric body, and a component that adjusts the contact area of the dielectric body based on the load. This adjustment helps to achieve a more linear change in capacitance between the elastic body and the conductive member as the load increases. GlobalData’s report on Panasonic gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Panasonic, Hydrogen storage alloys was a key innovation area identified from patents. Panasonic's grant share as of September 2023 was 22%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Load sensor with linear change in capacitance for increased load

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Panasonic Holdings Corp

A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230314242A1) describes a load sensor that aims to accurately measure changes in load. The load sensor consists of a first and second base member facing each other. An electrically-conductive elastic body is placed on the opposing face of the first base member, while an electrically-conductive member is positioned between the second base member and the elastic body. A dielectric body is placed between the elastic body and the conductive member. The patent claims that a component is included to change the contact area of the dielectric body as the load increases, resulting in a change in capacitance that closely resembles a straight line.

In one embodiment, the dielectric body has a varying density of pores on its contact surface, which changes as the load increases. This design allows for more accurate measurement of load changes. Another embodiment adjusts the surface roughness of the dielectric body to change its surface density in the direction of contact advancement with increasing load. This adjustment helps improve the accuracy of load measurement.

The patent also describes the inclusion of a cutout in the initial contact region of the dielectric body, which further enhances the load measurement accuracy. Additionally, the relative permittivity of the dielectric body can be changed by using different materials or adjusting the density of fillers in the contact surface direction. This change in relative permittivity aids in accurately measuring load changes.

Furthermore, the thickness of the dielectric body can be modified in the contact surface direction to improve load measurement accuracy. The electrically-conductive member can be a wire or a member with a spherical surface shape, and the dielectric body can be set to cover the surface of the wire member.

Overall, this patent presents a load sensor design that aims to accurately measure changes in load by utilizing various techniques such as adjusting the contact area, changing the relative permittivity, and modifying the dielectric body's thickness and surface characteristics. These innovations have the potential to improve load measurement accuracy in various applications.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.