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Publication numberUS3811474 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 21, 1974
Filing dateJan 26, 1973
Priority dateJan 26, 1973
Publication numberUS 3811474 A, US 3811474A, US-A-3811474, US3811474 A, US3811474A
InventorsBauer P, Bowles R
Original AssigneeBowles Fluidics Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Miniaturized fluidic element and circuit construction
US 3811474 A
Abstract
A miniaturized fluidic element is formed from a stack of thin laminations wherein passages and ports are defined as straight-edged through openings. A power stream is issued from a nozzle in a plane parallel to the laminations and is selectively deflected out of that plane. Critical element dimensions are defined by one or more lamination thicknesses and are repeatible from element to element. An integrated fluidic circuit includes a layer of multiple identical co-planar elements bonded to one or more interconnection layers. Each interconnection layer is a stack of multiple laminations through which passages are defined for interconnecting the elements. Multiple integrated circuits form a module with plug-in terminals which permit plural modules to be interconnected in a compact stack.
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[11] 3,811,474 1 May 21,1974.

United States Patent [191 Bauer et al.

[ MINIATURIZED FLUIDIC ELEMENT AND CIRCUIT CONSTRUCTION [75] lnventors: Peter Bauer, Germantown; Romald Primary ExaminerWilliam R. Cline Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Rose & Edell E. Bowles, Silver Spring, both of ABSTRACT Md.

A miniaturized fluidic element is formed from a stack Assignee: Bowles Fluidics Corporation, Silver f thin laminations wherein pass fined as straightages and ports are deedged through openings. A power 3 .7 d9 M1 8 $62 m d PmZ 8J3 0 N P MP FA 1 l] 32 7 22 l [l stream is issued from a nozzle in a plane parallel to the laminations and is selectively deflected out of that plane. Critical element dimensions are defined by one huesinfihm if I w mweemwumm a. lmme ecmm .lpm p n m O E M b-f .lpu h wma u u fi ummmwn m a en 18 .l. r d n es u de o d 8 nt dna :l amkm mt F m m mm g e ta H et n p sm nawm m w mn mnw mmm m .m m m gm D .wnh msum 0 hnu a ti 11 f e I P m h 6 a m m 6f O i o u e o m al cw wt In a IO C .m w n m e-w m w m m m u a o d l fgOd m nm e omtil m r. b t. e .m Ca dS He 1 mmmmmm mmm mm mm m QfimEncfPs 00000 X wmw 8338 /5 33 7 7 7 63 3//3 53 1771 18 "BB" 3 W m..m 3 S m W T 3 u N muam 1 m E nun I d mu A "um". a n mmtm mm CS Mn S m m, mmm mTmmmn mum mAMh M u" rT o.w0 "m" .NSODRC e m R E9003 6777 m l mwq Ln NH//H 0 U wn .M e 7 0 UI -h 35MO 11]] oo4Ol 2.100 6 6353 555 5 4.5,57, 3333 u m m T Y c E R TL NE m r m PM C R 1... EM H V mu m SEPRRRTlON PLATE INT ERmNNECTION LAYER savanna-non PLATE PATENTEMM 21 m4 SHEET 1 0F 3 PATENTEBIAYZI 19M 3 1 1,1 7

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COVER PLATE ELEMENT LAYER \NTERCONNECTION LAYER SEPARATION PLATE \NTERCONNECHON LAYER sEPnnpTmM PLATE vide a method of reliably fabricating BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to improvements in fluidic elements and circuits. In particular, the present invention provides a miniaturized fluidic element which is reliably constructed and which is employed in a compact integrated circuit structure.

Conventional fluidic elements are formed in a plate which is covered on both sides. The element power stream is issued in the plane of the plate and is selectively deflected in that plane. Miniaturization of these fluidic elements has been limited by the method employed in forming element passages and ports. The most commonly used method of forming these passages and ports involved photo-etching the various passages into the element plate; however, this process becomes more inaccurate as the required passage size is decreased. Very often, small fluidic elements simply do not operate as intended because of irregularities in the passage configurations, dimensions, etc.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a fluidic element capable of being constructed to an extremely small scale. I

It is another object of the present invention to provide a microminiature fluidic element in which critical dimensions and configurations are easily and reliably controlled.

It is another object of the present invention to prominiature fluidic elements.

The prior art inability to provide microminiature fluidic element is related to prevalence of relatively large fluidic circuits and systems. These systems are space consuming and have a relatively high power consumption per element. A particularly strong factor mitigating against miniaturization is the need for large vent passages in many fluidic elements.

It is therefore an object of the present invention provide an integrated fluidic circuit requiring less space and power than was possible in the prior art.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a modular approach for fluidic circuitry which results in less space and power consumption than was heretofore possible. i

nection plates interconnect the various elements to define substantially any logic function. A terminal strip provides input and output signal connection, as well as pressurized supply fluid, to the integrated circuits. The terminal strip is adapted to plug into like terminal strips for other integrated circuits. whereby plural integrated circuits can be stacked in a compact space. An overall package density of over 2,000 elements per cubic inch is made possible by this invention. The final element, although originally formed from a stack of laminations, may be treated to effect diffusion bonding or the like so that the transitions between adjacent laminations are not discernible.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS bodiment of the fluidic element of the present inven- It is another object of the present invention to provide a fluidic element in which the relatively large-vent passage of the prior art has been omitted without degrading element performance.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The fluidic element of the present invention is formed by straight-edged openings cut through laminations arranged in a stack. All critical dimensions are determined by lamination thickness rather than by the vagaries of conventional processes. The element power stream is issued in a plane parallel to the laminations and is selectively deflected out of that plane.

A universal microminiature element is a NOR gate in which the power stream, when deflected, is vented directly through an opening in the element cover plate, thereby eliminating space-consuming vent channels. A multiplicity of these elements may be arranged side by side and bonded to one or more multilamination interconnection plates. Passages defined in the intercontion constructed as part of an integratedcircuit;

FIG. 3 is a top view of the element of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a cut-away view in prespective of the element of FIG. 2;

FIGS. 5 and 6 are side views in section of the element of FIG. 2, eachillustrating a different operational mode of the element;

FIG. 7 is a plan view of an integrated circuit module employing the element of FIG. 2;

FIG. 8 is an exploded view showing the details of various layers of the module of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a view insection of the module of FIG. 7, taken along lines 9-9 in FIG. 7, and illustrating the details of the module-to-module interconnection capability of the module terminals; and

FIG. 10 is an exploded view illustrating the moduleto-module plug in feature of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS I lamination l2 and into an interaction region 17. The interaction region is bounded on one side by lamination 14 and is vented to ambient on the opposite side through a vent opening 18 cut in lamination 11. An additional vent passage 15 is cut through lamination 14 proximate the downstream end of interaction region 17. The downstream end of. interact-ion region 17 is terminated in an outlet passage 19 defined between laminations I1 and 14 and from which the element output signal (P is derived. Outlet passage 19 is aligned with power nozzle 16 so that the power stream,'when undeflected, is received by the outlet passage.

Control ports 21 and 22 are defined through lamination 14 and are arranged to issue respective control streams into interaction with the powerstream at a location proximate the upstream end of interaction region 17. Each control stream, when present, is capable of deflecting the power stream through vent opening 18 so that substantially none of the power stream is received by outlet passage 19. Since the power stream is received by outlet passage 19 only in the absence ofa pressure signal at either control port, the element performs'the logic NOR function. If only one.control port is utilized, the output signal (P is always in an opposite state of pressurization from the control port; the element thus serves as a logic inverter.

The most important characteristic of the element of FIG. 1 is the fact that the power stream is deflected out of the plane of the laminations ll, l2, l3, and 14. In

conventional fluidic elements the power stream is deflected in the plane of the plate or lamination in which the element is formed. Such elements have critical passage dimensions'and contours which are formed by inaccurate etching and other cutting processes. In the element of FIG. I, all critical dimensions and contours are straight-edged openings through one or more complete laminations. These dimensions are thus con trolled by lamination thicknesses and therefore are much more accurately obtained.

There are a number of possible variations for the element of FIG. 1 within the scope of the present invention. For example, the number of control ports may be varied from one to any number. although deflection efficiency may be reduced significantly if more than three control ports are employed. The direction of the supply passage for power nozzle 16 may be varied in that it may be cut through lamination 11 instead of laminations l3 and 14, or it may extend all the way through lamination 12. The direction of outlet passage 19 may be In addition to being deflected out of the lamination plane. another important feature of the power stream is that it is confined on three sides between nozzle 16 and outlet passage 19. These ,three'sides include lamination 14 and the two multilaminar boundaries (not visible in FIG. 1) extending parallel to the plane of power stream deflection. The vented fourth side 18 permits the power stream to be vente'd directly to ambient. thereby eliminating the space consuming vent channel required by conventional fluidic elements. Vent passage 15 minimizes the possibility of pressure build up at the entrance to the outlet passage and thereby enhances flow recovery.

The contour of the element is exceedingly simple, formed as it is from straight-edge openings through thin laminations. Interaction region 17 is formed by an indexed assembly of laminae which may be etched, cut. sliced or otherwise processed to form the various straight-edge openings. The thicknesses of the laminations "-14 may be on the order ofa thousandth of an inch and. as mentioned above, may be the same for each lamination or may differ as necessary.

Another version of the NOR element of FIG. 1 is illustrated in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 as part of an integrated circuit structure. While this element is illustrated and will be subsequently described as having its passages formed through specific numbers of laminations, it is to be understood that these numbers are by way of example only and that the number of laminations employed in each portion of the element and circuit can be varied. Further, the laminations, although illustrated as having the same thickness, may have different thicknesses as desired.

As will be described in detail subsequently, the integrated circuit employing the element illustrated in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 includes multiple identical elements arranged side-by-side in one or more rows. The illustrated integrated circuit includes a stack of thin laminations 31 through 54 inclusive. A cover plate for the circuit includes the top two laminations3l and 32. The fluidi'c elements are formed in the next four laminations 33 through 36. A first interconnection layer, in which fluid passages connecting various elements are formed, is defined by laminations 37 through 44; a second interconnection layer, separated from the first interconnection layer by lamination 45, is defined by laminations 46-53, inclusive, A bottom lamination 54 serves as a cover plate at the bottom of the second interconnection layer. The number of interconnection layers may be one or more, depending upon the. size and complexity of the circuit.

The fluidic element includes a power nozzle 61 defined at its upstream end between laminations 32 and 35. Pressurized fluid is supplied to the power nozzle via a manifold 62 defined between laminationsand 54 and which feeds the power nozzles in all elements arranged in the same row as the illustrated element. A downstream throat 63 in power nozzle 61 is defined between'laminations 32 and 34.

Downstream of throat 63 is an interaction region 64 into which a power stream is issued from power nozzle 61. Interaction region 64 is defined alongits top side by lamination 31, along its bottom side by lamination 35, and has each of its other pair of opposing sides defined by the edges of laminations32, 33 and 34. At

throat63, bottom lamination 34 extends slightly farther downstream than top lamination 32.

A vent opening 65 is defined through lamination 31 on the top side of interaction region 64. The upstream end of vent opening 65 is located somewhat downstream of the termination of power nozzle throat 63. Vent opening 65 widens very slightly in a downstream direction and extends the entire length of the interaction region.

Lamination 32 projects in an upstream direction into interaction region 64 to define a flow divider 66 for the power stream between vent opening 65 and an outlet passage 67 defined between laminations 32 and 34. Since outlet passage 67 and power nozzle throat 63 are both aligned between laminations 32 and 34, the power stream, when undeflected, is normally received by the outlet passage. Outlet'passage 67, somewhat downstream of flow divider 66, becomes suddenly deeper and gradually wider.-The depth increase is provided by cuts down through laminations 34, 35 and 36. The gradual widening of the outlet passage is in the planes of the laminations 32 through 36fand terminates in an outlet manifold 68 extending into the two interconnection layers.

Three control nozzles 71,72 and 73 are defined by through-openings of decreasing size in laminations 39, 38, 37.. 36 and 35. The control nozzles terminate at successive locations downstream of power nozzle throat 63. Each of control nozzles 71, 72 and 73-receives control fluid from respective input signal passages 74, 75 and 76 and issues 'a resultant control stream into interaction region 64 where it deflects the power stream out through vent opening 65. Input signal passages 74 and 76 extend into the first interconnection layer (laminations 37-44) and are arranged to receive signals in that layer from other elements in the integrated circuit or from a terminal block to be described. Input signal passage 75 extends through the first interconnection layer and into the second interconnection layer in which it receives signals from another element in the integrated circuit or from a terminal block.

Downstream of the control nozzles lamination 35 is cut through to define a vent passage 77 which extends around both sides of the element and communicates with vent openings 78 and 79 defined through laminations 31 through 35. The downstream end of vent passage 77 is defined by laminations 34 and 35; consequently the downstream wall section 80 extends upwardly, much like a cusp 80, to a level higher than the upstream wall of vent passage 77. A further vent passage 81 is defined down through laminations 34 and 35 at a location just downstream of cusp 80. Vent passage 81 extends around both sides of the element to communicate with respective vent openings 82 and 83 defined through laminations 31 through 35. .T he downstream end of vent passage 81 terminates in vertical alignment (as viewed in FIG. 2) with flow divider 66.

Operation of the element of FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 is diagrammatically illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6. Referring to FIG. 5,'when a control signal is present at any one or more of control ports 71, 72 and 73, the power stream issued from power nozzle 61 is deflected beyond flow divider 66 and out through vent opening 65. Substantially none of the power stream is received by outlet passage 67 in this condition. Referring to FIG. 6, when none of the control ports 71, 72 and 73 receive a signal, the power stream remains undeflected and is received by outlet passage 67. A portion of the power stream is vented via vent opening 65 and vent passage 81 in this mode; however most of the power stream is received as an output signal from. the element.

The element of FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 has a number of features not present in the element of FIG. 1. One such feature is provided by the step in lamination 34 at throat 63 at the downstream end of power nozzle 61. The upward step in lamination 34 tends to impart a slight upward (as viewed in FIG. 2) bias in the issued power stream. This bias of itself is not enough to deflect the power stream from its position of alignment with outlet passage 67; however. the bias does lower the threshold pressure at which a control stream can deflect the power stream out through vent opening 65. This is important because the relatively high ambient pressure, which acts against the power stream'through vent opening 65, opposes the effect of control streams issued from control nozzles 71, 72 and 73 and would necessitate a relatively large control pressure. Another bias which assists in lowering the switching threshold pressure is provided by the region designated in FIGS. 2 and 5 and is formed in the cut-away portion of lamination 32 upstream of vent opening 65. When deflection of the power stream toward vent opening 65 is initiated, a boundary layer attraction is developed in region 85. This attraction is a well-known phenomenon in fluidics and is caused by the creation of a low pressure bubble in region 85 when the downstream end of that region becomes closed off from ambient by the power stream. Thus as the power stream begins to defleet toward vent opening 65, the low pressure created in region 85 aids the deflection and reduces the control stream pressure required to fully deflect the power stream.

Wall section is still another feature which lowers the switching threshold. By peeling off and venting a small part of the power stream, wall section80 increases the pressure in the otherwise low pressure region between the power stream and lamination 34. The ambient air thusly admitted via vent openings 78, 79

and vent passage 77 lessens the boundary layer'attrac tion between the power stream and lamination 34.

The presence of flow divider 66 provides for more definitive isolation of the outlet passage than is present in the element of FIG. 1. Specifically, when the power stream is deflected into vent opening 65, substantially all of the power stream is vented; outlet passage 67 receives a negligible portion of the power stream. Likewise, when the power stream is undeflected, flow divider 66 maximizes the pressurerecovery at the outlet passage. Another expedient to maximize pressure re-. covery is the gradual widening of interaction region 64 in a downstream direction (as viewed in FIG. 3). An

additional aid to pressure recovery is' the downstream widening of outlet passage 67.

Vent passages 77 and 81 do not necessarily have to extend up and around the element; rather the vent passages may extend parallel to the plane of the laminations, or may extend down through the interconnection layers.

As is the case with the element of FIG. 1, the element of FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 can be easily and repeatedly mass produced by virtue of the fact that all critical demensions depend upon lamination thicknesses rather than delicate cutting or etching processes. The laminations may be cut or etched in any suitable manner; if etching is employed the laminations are preferably made of stainless steel, copper, brass or other easily etchable material. Lamination thicknesses on the order of a thousandth of an inch may be employed, resulting in extremely small yet reliable elements. For example, if lamination thicknesses of 0.004 inch are employed throughout, the element of FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 has a depth of less than 0.1 inch, including the two interconnection layers. Such an element requires only approximately 0.040 inch of width (i.e., between ventopenings 78, 79 in FIG. 3) and less than 0.200 inch length. The overall volume required by the element is therefore less than 0.0008 cubic inch, permitting a density of well over a thousand elements per cubic inch.

The NOR element, which also serves as a logic inverter when only one control port is active, can be used as a universal logic element because it can be combined with other NOR elements to provide substantially any logic function (reference: The Logic Design of Transistor Digital Computers" by G. A. Maley and J. Earle, Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1963, Chapter 6). Consequently, the NOR element of FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 can be utilized repeatedly, in conjunction with required interconnection layers, to construct a fluidic logic circuit capable of performing any desired function.

An integrated circuit structure employing multiple universal NOR elements of the present invention is il lustrated in FIG. 7. Specifically, the integrated circuit structure includes four multi-lamination element layers 101, 102, 103 and 104. Element layers 101 and 103, are mounted on the same side of an interconnection manifold 105; element layers 102 and 104 are mounted on the other side of interconnection manifold 105, opposite element layers 101 and 103, respectively. The interconnection manifold 105 comprises a series of stacked laminations in which one or more element interconnection layers are defined. The number of interconnection layers depends upon the circuit complexity and element interconnection requirements. Element layers 101 and 103 are spaced by a terminal block 106; element layers 102 and 104 are spaced by a terminal block 107. The terminal blocks each contain multiple fluid-conductive terminal passages which communicate with respective interconnection passages in manifold 105 and which are adapted to provide connections between the integrated circuit structure and external components.

An example of the configuration inside a portion of the integrated circuit structure is illustrated diagrammatically in FIG. 8. A cover plate 111 comprising one or more laminations is secured on one side of an element layer 112; both together may form an element layer, for example, 101, in FIG. 7. The other side of the element layer is secured to one side of interconnection layer 113. The other side of interconnection layer 113 is secured to interconnection layer 114. Additional interconnection layers are provided, as needed, to form manifold 105. The entire structure is backed by another element layer (not illustrated), for example 103.

The elements illustrated as part of element layer 112 are identical and are the same as the element of FIGS. 2, 3 and 4. The passages defined in interconnection layers 113 and 114 provide flow communication between various element outlet passages and control nozzles as required for the particular circuit. The cut-out region 115 in both interconnection layers 113 and 114 serves as a supply fluid manifold for the power nozzles in the element layer 112.

The multi-lamination interconnection manifold 105 of FIG. 7 also serves as the main body of the integrated circuit module, onto which the floor element layers 101-104 and terminal blocks I06, 107 are bonded. In contrast to the element layers 101-104, which are identical, the interconnection layer passages vary with circuit demands. Importantly. the dimensions and configuration are nowhere near as critical as the dimensions and configurations of the elements. Therefore, the critical components of the module can be mass produced with great accuracy; the non-critical components, namely the interconnection passages, are not mass produced but can be formed without requiring highly accurate processes. 1

Terminal block 106 includes multiple socket (i.e.. female) terminals 116 and a centrally disposed supply fluid socket 117. Each socket terminal 116 communicates with a respective passage in interconnection manifold 105. Supply fluid socket 117 communicates with supply fluid manifold 115 (FIG. 8). As best illustrated in FIG. 9, terminal block 107 is positioned directly opposite terminal block 106. Terminal block 107 includes multiple plug (i.e.. male) terminals 118 and supply fluid plug 119 oriented in the same manner as the orientation of socket terminals 116 in block 106. Plug terminals 118 communicate with respective passages in interconnection manifold 105 and are adapted to plug into respective sockets 116 in another integrated circuit module. Likewise supply fluid plug 1 19 is adapted to plug into the supply fluid socket 117 in an other module. In this manner, and as best illustrated in FIG. 10, variousmodules can be plugged into one another in piggy-back fashion. Specifically, and referring to FIG. 10, an integrated circuit module 121 can be plugged into another such module 122. Additional modules may be plugged in, as desired, with the bottom module being plugged into a base unit 123 having a terminal strip 124 containing multiple socket terminals 1 16. The entire assembly is secured together by means of screws 125 extending through suitable holes in the terminal blocks and threadedly engaging base unit 123.

The integrated circuit module is thus compact, includes a plug-in feature, and is easily fabricated. In a typical embodiment based on relatively large power nozzles (0.004 inch X 0.008 inch), employing elements in each element layer (520 for the entire module), the entire module envelope, including terminal blocks, had the following overall dimensions: height: 0.398 inch; length: 2.950 inch; and width: 2.500 inch. When smaller power nozzles are used the entire package can be scaled down in size.

The present invention has thus provided a universal fluidic logic element which is easily manufactured with assured operational reliability and repeatibility. In addition, the element is capable of utilization in an integrated circuit structure wherein multiple identical elements can be interconnected as desired to effect any one or combination of logic functions. The elements and integrated circuit structure are small and permit extremely high element packaging density.

Although the elements and circuits as described herein are formed in stacks of laminar sheets, the final product may be so treated that the individual sheets are no longer discernible. In this regard, a diffusion bonding technique may be employed to strengthen the final product after the individual passages and regions have been formed as described herein. For example, the end product may be made by assembling thin slices of sapphire and then treating the slices to form a single piece; the final product would therefore not contain discernible laminates but rather a solid body having crystals oriented in parallel. Alternatively, although starting with laminar sheets, the end product might take the form ofa solid ceramic body having no defined crystal orientation; or it may be a diffusion-bonded metal body; or it may be made from injection molded layers which are assembled and processed (as by ultrasonic welding, for example) into a single bonded structure. Other alternative processing to form an integral end product includes: the use of chemicals to solvent-bond the individual layers; etc.

While we have described and illustrated specific embodiments of our invention, it will be clear that variations of the details of construction which are specifically illustrated and described may be resorted to without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.

We claim:

1. A fluidic logic circuit comprising:

a first stack of thin planar laminar sheets forming a plurality of individual fluidic logic elements, each logic element including: a power nozzle for issuing a power stream of fluid in a flow plane parallel to the planes of said laminar sheets; a receiver for receiving said power stream in said flow plane when said power stream is undeflected; and control means'for selectively deflecting said power stream out of said flow plane;

a second stack of thin planar laminar sheets forming a plurality of individual fluid flow interconnection passages for interconnecting various ones of said logic elements, said second stack of laminar sheets being positioned against and secured to one side of said first stack of laminar sheets;

and further comprising a plurality of said fluidic circuits, each including: a plurality of plug-type fluidconducting terminals communicating with various. ones of said interconnection passages; and a plurality of socket-type fluid-conducting terminals communicating with others of said interconnection passages; wherein said plurality of plug-type terminals for each circuit are arranged to be received by said plurality of socket-type terminals for each of the other circuits in said plurality of circuits.

2. A fluidic logic circuit comprising:

a first stack of thin planar laminar sheets forming a plurality of individual fluidiclogic elements, each logic element including: a power nozzle for issuing a power stream of fluid in a flow plane parallel to the planes of said laminar sheets; a receiver for receiving said power stream in said flow plane when said power stream is undeflected; and control means for selectively deflecting said power stream out of said flow plane; I

a second stack of thin planar laminar sheets forming a plurality of individual fluid flow interconnection passages for interconnecting various ones of said logic elements, said second stack of laminar sheets being positioned against and secured to one side of said first stack of laminar sheets;

wherein said second stack of laminar sheets is larger in the planes of said laminar sheets than said first stack of laminar sheets. said circuit further comprising:

a third, fourth and fifth stack of laminar sheets, each forming a plurality of said logic-elements and secured to said second stack, said second stack including additional interconnection passages for interconnecting various fluidic elements in said first, third. fourthand fifth stacks. said third stack being positioned on the same side of said second stack as said first stack, said fourth and fifth stacks being positioned on the opposite side of said second stack.

3. The fluidic circuit according to claim 2 further comprising fluid-conducting terminal means communieating with various interconnection passages in said second stack and being adapted to be plugged into terminals of a similar fluidic circuit.

4. A fluidic element formed'from a stack of thin planar laminar sheets by through-openings through integral numbers of said laminar sheets. said element comprising:

a vent opening defined through an end sheet of said stack;

an open interaction region defined on one side by said vent opening, on the opposite side by the surface of one of said laminar sheets. and on two remaining sides by edgesof the laminar sheets lying between said end sheet and said one sheet;

a power nozzle formed between two of said laminar sheets and arranged to receive pressurized fluid and issue same into said interaction region as a power stream, said power streambeing issued in aflow plane which is parallel to the planes of said laminar sheets; i

a receiver disposed at the opposite end of said interaction region between t'wo laminar sheets and aligned with said power nozzle in said flow-plane to receive the undeflected po'wer stream; and

a control nozzle defined through at least said'one of said laminar sheets and arranged to receive control fluid and issue same as a control stream into said interaction region, said control nozzle being oriented to cause said control stream to deflect said power stream through said vent opening.

5. The fluidic element according to claim 4 wherein said receiver is defined on one side by a second laminar sheet immediately adjacent said end sheet, said second sheet projecting into said interaction region to serve as a flow divider for said power stream between said receiver and said vent opening.

6. The fluidic element according to claim 4 further comprising a first vent passage communicating with said interaction region upstream of said receiver and extending through said one laminar sheet to ambient.

tions alongside said vent opening and into communica-' tion with said interaction region through said one laminar sheet.

8. The fluidic element according to claim 6 wherein one side of the downstream end of said, power nozzle is defined on one side by a third laminar sheet immediately adjacent said one laminar sheet, said third laminar sheet being stepped toward said one laminarsheet at the upstream end of said interaction region.

9. The fluidic element according to claim 8 wherein said receiver is defined on another side by said third laminar sheet.

10. The fluidic element according to claim 9 wherein said first vent passage extends through said one and said third laminar sheets immediately upstream from the entrance to said receiver.-

ll. The fluidic element according to claim 10 further comprising a second vent passage communicating with said interaction region through said one laminar sheet at a location upstream of first vent passage, said first andsecond vent passages being spaced by co-extensive portions of said first and one and third laminar sheets.

12. The fluidiccircuit accordingto claim- 11 wherein the downstream end of said power nozzle is defined on another side by said second lamination, said second lamination being stepped toward said end lamination between control nozzles of certain elements and receivers of other elements.

15. The fluidic element according to claim 4 wherein adjacent laminar sheets are diffusion bonded to one another.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification137/833, 137/884
International ClassificationF15C5/00
Cooperative ClassificationF15C5/00
European ClassificationF15C5/00