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1. WO2020109622 - ENSEMBLES DE VERROUILLAGE DE COMPARTIMENTS DE RANGEMENT DE VÉHICULES DOTÉS D'UN ACTIONNEUR EN ALLIAGE À MÉMOIRE DE FORME

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

[ EN ]

Claims

1. A latch assembly (1 ) for an access door (2) of a storage compartment (3) in a vehicle (4), the latch assembly (1) comprising:

a locking bar (5) configured to be movable into (i) an engaged configuration which enables the access door (2) to be placed and held into a closed position and (ii) a disengaged configuration which permits the access door (2) to be placed into an opened position; and

an automatic locking mechanism (8) including a shape memory alloy (SMA) actuator (9) configured to be coupled to the access door (2), the automatic locking mechanism (8) further including a locking feature ( 10) operably coupled to at least a portion of the locking bar (5, 5’), the locking feature (10) configured to engage and disengage the SMA actuator (9) as the locking bar (5, 5’) respectively moves between the engaged and disengaged configurations, wherein when the access door (2) is placed into the closed position and the locking feature is engaged with the SMA actuator (9) and the SMA actuator (9) is electrically energized to move into a locked position to prohibit the locking feature (10) from moving, the locking bar (5, 5’) is prohibited from moving and locks the access door (2) in the closed position.

2. The latch assembly of claim 1, wherein

the SMA actuator (9) and the locking bar (5, 5’) are arranged at the access door(2), the locking feature (10) being oriented with a central axis (13) parallel to a central axis (12) of the locking bar (5, 5’), the SMA actuator (9) having a receiving opening (14) to receive the locking feature (10) and having a locking slider (15) movable in a direction perpendicular to the central axis (13) of the locking feature (10).

3. A latch assembly (1) for an access door (2) of a storage compartment (3) in a vehicle (4), the latch assembly (1) comprising:

a locking bar (5, 5’; 26, 27) configured to be movable into (i) an engaged configuration with the storage compartment (3), which enables the access door (2) to be placed and held into a closed position and (ii) a disengaged configuration with the storage compartment (3), which permits the access door (2) to be placed into an opened position; and

at least one shape memory alloy (SMA) actuator (9), wherein when electrically energized, the at least one SMA actuator (9) is configured to move the locking bar (5, 5’; 26, 27) into the disengaged configuration with the storage compartment (3) and permit the access door (2) of the storage compartment (3) to open.

4. The latch assembly of claim 3, wherein

the SMA actuator (9) comprises a support structure (23) attached at the access door (2), a locking bar (5, 5’) to be movable guided in the support structure (23), the locking bar (5, 5’) being connected to a SMA wire (21, 22) held in the support structure (23), the SMA wire (21, 22) being electrically connected to an electrical power supply (123).

5. The latch assembly of claim 4, wherein

the SMA wire (21 , 22) comprises two ends (21.1, 21.2; 22.1 , 22.2), each of the two ends (21.1, 21.2; 22.1, 22.2) of the SMA wire (21 , 22) is connected to a connector attached to the support structure (23) and wherein the locking bar (5, 5’) comprises a deflection point (30) or a deflection pulley (31) at which the SMA wire (21 , 22) is deflected.

6. The latch assembly of any one of the claims 4 to 5, wherein

the locking bar (26, 27) is provided with a slide cam (121) interacting with an electrical switch (122) fixed at the support structure (23) switching off the electric current provided to the SMA actuator (9) when the slide cam (121) engages with the electrical switch (122).

7. The latch assembly of any one of the claims 4 to 6, wherein

the support structure (23) houses two SMA wires (21 , 22) connected to the support structure (23) to operate two locking bars (26, 27) arranged at opposite ends of the support structure (23).

8. The latch assembly of any one of the claims 4 to 7, wherein

the movable locking bar (5, 5’; 26, 27) is engaged with the support structure (23) in a first end position against a spring force of a preloaded biasing element ( 102; 27, 28), the first end position enabling an engaged configuration with the storage compartment (3¾PSI], which enables the access door (2) to be placed and held into a closed position.

9. The latch assembly of claim 8, wherein

the movable locking bar (5, 5’; 26, 27) is engaged with the support structure in a second end position against a spring force of a preloaded biasing element (102; 27, 28) and against the force of the SMA wire (21, 22) heated by an electric current, the second end position enabling a disengaged configuration with the storage compartment (3), which enables the access door (2) to be placed into an opened position.

10. The latch assembly of claim 9, wherein,

the SMA wire (21, 22) is preloaded with a force lower than the force of the preloaded biasing element (102; 27, 28).

1 1. The latch assembly of any one of the claims 4 to 10, wherein

the thickness of the SMA wire (21 , 22) is between 0,05 mm and 0,5 mm, preferably 0,25 mm.

12. The latch assembly of any one of the claims 4 to 1 1 , wherein

the cooling time of the SMA wire (21, 22) heated to a temperature above the transformation temperature of the SMA wire (21 , 22) to fall below the transformation temperature is between 0,01 and 2 s, preferably less than 1 s.

13. The latch assembly of any one of the claims 4 to 12, wherein

the cooling rate of the SMA wire (221 , 22) is at least 30 K/s after having been heated up to 1 10°C.

14. The latch assembly of any one of the claims 4 to 13, wherein

at least one of the following has a high thermal conductivity: support structure (23), locking bar (26, 27), connector (24, 25) of the SMA wire (21, 22).

15. The latch assembly of any one of the claims 4 to 14, wherein

the SMA wire (21, 22) is made out ofNiTi.

16. The latch assembly of any one of the claims 4 to 15, wherein

the locking bar (26, 27) of the SMA actuator (9) is engaged with the storage compartment (3) by intermediary of a locking bar (5, 5’) attached to the access door.