Force sensor is small but impact resistant

Offering high impact resistance and a small form factor, the HSFPAR004A is a force sensor from Alps Alpine. According to the company the small sensor enhances impact resistance and offers high linearity and high resolution, making it suitable for use in stylus pens and other input devices for electronic blackboards and tablets.

In board rooms and classrooms, stylus pens are used to present information. The pens contain force sensors that trace the trajectory of the pen tip and then reproduce different thicknesses in the artwork corresponding to the pressure applied. Stylus pens require a sensor with high resolution and linearity, but also need to be sturdy enough to not break if the pen is accidentally dropped.

The HSFPAR004A has a high impact resistance; it has been tested to a breaking load of 55N. It detects a micro force of less than 0.01N. It has an operating life of more than one million cycles and is resistant to external magnetic fields and electric fields, says Alps.

The improved impact resistance of the sensor is achieved with an extended actuator diameter of the sensing zone or tip of the sensor which is pressurised, which has increased from 0.20 to 0.40mm, while at the same time keeping the rounded peripheral edge to disperse impacts. This reduces the breakage risk of the sensor in stylus pens while still guaranteeing smooth pen pressure expression without spoiling the easy integration into end products, says Alps.

The HSFPAR004A is in mass production today.

Alps Alpine was created by the integration of Alps Electric and Alpine Electronics in January 2019. The company has over 42,000 employees and specialises in core devices, system design and software development for the automotive market, mobile devices and consumer electronics, as well as new sectors such as energy, healthcare and industry.

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