A microvalve matrix is proposed for controlling gas flow. Mircovalves in the matrix are controlled independently and each one handles a very small gas flow. The microvalve matrix can thus control gas flows precisely in very small steps, over the range from zero flow to fully-open flow, by digitally opening and closing the appropriate number of microvalves. The microvalve proposed for this matrix has a compact and simple design for a high degree of integration. This valve is normally closed and is opened by using the deformation of the port caused by the piezoelectric effect. Calculations show that a microvalve smaller than 1×1 mm can handle a maximum gas flow rate of the order of 10-4 Pa m3/s (Air, 20°C). It is easy to reduce the flow rate. Therefore these results indicate that a microvalve matrix can achieve wide dynamic-range flow-control in small flow steps.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Hardware and Architecture
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering