(19)
(11)EP 2 952 014 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
26.06.2019 Bulletin 2019/26

(21)Application number: 14707961.0

(22)Date of filing:  19.02.2014
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
H04R 7/00(2006.01)
H04R 7/02(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/EP2014/053217
(87)International publication number:
WO 2014/131668 (04.09.2014 Gazette  2014/36)

(54)

ELECTRO ACOUSTIC DIAPHRAGM

ELEKTROAKUSTISCHE MEMBRAN

DIAPHRAGME ÉLECTROACOUSTIQUE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 27.02.2013 GB 201303514
30.05.2013 GB 201309619

(43)Date of publication of application:
09.12.2015 Bulletin 2015/50

(73)Proprietor: GP Acoustics (UK) Limited
Maidstone, Kent ME15 6QP (GB)

(72)Inventors:
  • OCLEE-BROWN, Jack
    Tonbridge Kent TN12 6AE (GB)
  • DODD, Mark
    Woodbrisge Suffolk IP12 2DD (GB)

(74)Representative: MacLean, Martin David et al
Downing IP Limited Grosvenor House 7 Horseshoe Crescent
Beaconsfield, Bucks. HP9 1LJ
Beaconsfield, Bucks. HP9 1LJ (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A2-03/009640
GB-A- 2 055 528
US-A- 1 859 782
DE-A1-102007 023 512
GB-A- 2 086 586
US-A1- 2005 078 850
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION



    [0001] The present invention relates to a diaphragm for converting electrical signals into sound, such as a diaphragm for a compression driver loudspeaker, a direct radiating loudspeaker in the form of a closed loop, or a concentric drive loudspeaker.

    BACKGROUND ART



    [0002] In electro-acoustics there is a need for a system which simultaneously provides good quality high and low frequency bandwidths, whilst being relatively simple, robust, reliable and cheap. Maintaining the high frequency output of a compression driver requires a phase-plug closely spaced to the diaphragm to avoid an excessive acoustic compliance. The smaller this spacing the more extended the high frequency bandwidth will be. This phase plug to diaphragm spacing also limits the maximum diaphragm displacement since if the diaphragm contacts the phase plug gross distortion or even mechanical failure will occur. Since lower frequencies require larger volumes of air to be displaced, the smaller the phase plug spacing the less low frequency output is possible.

    [0003] Consequently, increasing the low frequency output of a compression driver while simultaneously maintaining the high frequency bandwidth extension cannot be achieved by increasing the maximum diaphragm displacement.

    [0004] In principle, increasing the size, and hence radiating area, of a diaphragm increases the low frequency output without reducing the high frequency bandwidth. However, practical diaphragms suffer non-pistonic vibrational modes at high frequencies which cause response irregularities and limit the usable high frequency bandwidth. Increasing the diaphragm size decreases the frequency of these modes thus limiting the diaphragm size possible for a particular material and geometry. Consequently, compression drivers of a similar size diaphragm and diaphragm material have similar limitations on acoustic output and bandwidth.

    [0005] Conventional compression drivers with bandwidth extending to high frequencies fall into two main categories of diaphragm geometry. The diaphragm is either in the form of a spherical cap, or is an annular diaphragm which typically has a V-section, as in US6804370 and US5878148.

    [0006] Document GB2055528 discloses an electro-acoustic transducer comprising: an annular diaphragm; an outer edge and an inner edge each respectively adjacent the outside and the inside of the diaphragm for suspending the diaphragm; an outer fixing area adjacent the outside of the outer edge for fixing the diaphragm to an outer supporting member; an inner fixing area adjacent the inside of the inner edge for fixing the diaphragm to an inner supporting member; first and second sets of pleats arranged continuously along the circumferential directions of the outer and inner edges of the diaphragm.

    [0007] Document GB2086586 discloses a diaphragm for a transducer with straight or curved wrinkles arranged randomly or in regular patterns.

    [0008] Annular diaphragms are usually only a centimetre or so wide and thus may be fabricated from lightweight material such as mylar film. The area is not as large as a spherical cap compression driver of the same diameter but extended high frequency response may readily be obtained.

    [0009] Where extended bandwidth from one source is required, a coaxial configuration of two drivers is a somewhat complicated but viable option. In this configuration one large and one small diaphragm is driven through an electrical dividing network so the high frequencies are generated by the small diaphragm and the low frequencies by the large diaphragm. The output of the two diaphragms is combined using a complicated network of acoustic paths. Since the output of one diaphragm may travel down the entrance to the other diaphragm there are a number of additional acoustic resonances which may limit sound quality and bandwidth. The diaphragms also couple: the radiation from one causes the other to move. US5878148 teaches that the use of two annular diaphragms results in a compact design with relatively short acoustic channel lengths between the diaphragms and the manifold where the acoustical outputs are combined. However, even in this instance the acoustical interactions between the diaphragms are a significant limitation to the performance of coaxial drivers. None the less, this configuration is frequently preferred to a single large spherical cap type driver due to the poor sound quality resulting from structural resonances within the diaphragm, former and surround of the latter.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0010] Accordingly the present invention provides a diaphragm for a loudspeaker, wherein the diaphragm is formed generally in a closed loop around a central void, the loop lying in a plane so that the diaphragm is generally planar,, the diaphragm having an axis in a direction orthogonal to the plane along which axis the diaphragm is arranged to be driven in use, the diaphragm having inner and outer circumferential edges which are adapted, in use, to be fixed in position, wherein a portion comprising at least 90% of the radial width of the diaphragm between the inner and outer edges is shaped in the direction of the said axis so as to protrude from the general plane of the diaphragm in either or both directions along the axis, wherein said protruding shaped portion when viewed along the direction of the axis comprises at least one series of curves formed of radial and circumferential modulations protruding axially from the surface of the diaphragm (2) in either or both directions along the axis, and wherein the curves extend either uninterruptedly across at least 90% of the radial distance between the inner and outer edges of the diaphragm, or across at least 90% of the radial distance between at least one of the inner and/or outer edges and a region, between the inner and outer edges of the diaphragm, which is configured for coupling to a coil for driving the diaphragm in the said direction.

    [0011] For convenience, the present invention is principally described below with reference to a circular diaphragm in the form of a substantially planar ring with a central hole, however the invention applies equally to non-circular diaphragms, such as elliptical or race track shaped diaphragms, or any shape being symmetrical in two orthogonal directions lying in the general plane of the diaphragm and having a central hole. Accordingly, unless clearly indicated otherwise, any use in this description or in the claims of the terms "annular", "circumference", "circumferential", "circumferentially" or "around" should not be construed as being restricted to a circular shape, nor as necessarily being centred on a single axis but instead construed broadly as any substantially two-dimensional shape bounded by a closed loop. Similarly, the term "appears sinusoidal" should not be construed as limited to a strictly sinusoidal shape, but instead construed broadly as encompassing any substantially smooth series of substantially continuous and substantially cyclical, or rotationally periodic, curves.

    [0012] The protruding, shaped portion may comprise a series of curves in the form of radial and circumferential modulations, which protrude axially from the general, or overall, surface of the diaphragm, and which greatly increase the geometric stiffness of the diaphragm in the axial direction while allowing circumferential stretch. Since the diaphragm is driven by an axisymmetric force there is little benefit in circumferential stiffness and it is the axial stiffness which determines the frequency of the modes. By controlling the depth, number and shape of the modulations the mode frequencies and shapes may be adjusted, in a manner which would be understood by those skilled in the art. Analysis has shown that by using sufficiently large modulations the diaphragm vibrational behaviour can be controlled to give a favourable acoustic output. This allows the use of a diaphragm with larger area, thus allowing a diaphragm providing extended high and low frequency bandwidth.

    [0013] The diaphragm may comprise a surface region extending around a substantial part of the diaphragm, between the inner and outer edges of the diaphragm, and adapted and/or configured for coupling to a coil for driving the diaphragm in the direction of the axis, such as by glue or other adhesive. The surface region may extend circumferentially around the loop substantially uninterruptedly, and may be substantially axisymmetric, flat and/or substantially co-planar with the loop lying between inner and outer edges. This enables the diaphragm to be driven around substantially all of this circumferential region, which allows the reproduction of high frequencies and inhibits vibration round the circumference of the diaphragm. Alternatively, the diaphragm could be driven via the protruding, shaped portion using a suitably shaped voice coil drive bobbin, particularly if the protrusions were small, although assembly of such a driver/diaphragm arrangement would be difficult and might necessitate driving the diaphragm over only the parts of the circumferential region projecting towards the voice coil.

    [0014] The shape of the diaphragm may be defined by a series of curves which in general follow contours of constant value in the direction of the axis, or of constant protrusion from the general plane of the diaphragm.

    [0015] There may be two or more series of curves extending circumferentially around the diaphragm, at least one series of curves being disposed either side of the surface region for coupling to a drive or voice coil. The or each series of curves may extend substantially uninterruptedly around substantially the whole of the diaphragm.

    [0016] A substantially planar portion may extend substantially uninterruptedly around the annular diaphragm adjacent the inner edge and/or outer edge thereof. Such planar portions act as hinges, and the protruding, shaped portions in between act as rigid links, hence the linearity of the restoring force may be controlled by altering the mean shape of the diaphragm and radial modulations. The or each planar portion may blend smoothly into the or each series of curves.

    [0017] The shaped portion(s), or circumferential modulations, may comprise convolutions formed in the diaphragm; these convolution shapes may be in the form of a succession of substantially continuous curves, which may have a sinusoidal appearance. Where there are two or more circumferential series of curves, these may be in radial alignment. The convolutions protrude from the general plane of the diaphragm in either or both directions along the said axis; if the protrusion is away from the driving magnet only (i.e. in the direction of acoustic waves generated by the diaphragm), this avoids any impingement on the poles of the drive coil magnet, however protrusions in both directions would be feasible if there are sufficiently numerous convolutions. Generally, the number of convolutions is not critical to the quality of the sound generated by a loudspeaker using such a diaphragm, it being understood that an increase in their number can enable a decrease in their size in the axial direction and vice versa. Fewer modulations of the same height would be less satisfactory vibrationally, and a very small number of very tall modulations would be a problem since the radial stretch during manufacture would be too great; in practice, selection of the number of convolutions is likely to be a compromise between the factors of rigidity/strength, sound quality and ease of manufacture. The modulations are intended to remain substantially rigid in the axial direction in use, in order to increase axial stiffness of the diaphragm, while allowing a degree of circumferential stretch. The protrusions may be smooth, as this facilitates manufacture, or they may be smooth only where they blend in to the planar portions and otherwise present a sharp or discontinuous appearance when viewed in cross-section, as this is better acoustically.

    [0018] We have found that having large areas of the diaphragm which are not shaped so as to protrude are undesirable, as such areas, even though useful as "hinges", can act as springs so that the rigid curved diaphragm acting as a mass can resonate on these. Accordingly, any unclamped planar regions at the outer and inner edges of the diaphragm, and the central surface region suitably comprise a minor part of the complete diaphragm; therefore the protruding shaped portion must comprise at least 90 % of the radial width of the diaphragm, more preferably 95%, and the curves (or the combined curves, where there are two or more series thereof) extend radially across substantially all of this shaped portion. To facilitate glue application and adhesion of the drive coil to the surface region, the surface region in the vicinity of the glue joint may be flat or it may be V-shaped, W-shaped or M-shaped in cross-section, however we have found that all these shapes lack radial stiffness (which is undesirable), and it is easier to eliminate or at least minimise this if the surface region is flat rather than V-shaped, W-shaped, M-shaped or any other shape.

    [0019] The shape and configuration of the diaphragm is beneficial since, unlike conventional axisymmetric geometries, diaphragms in accordance with the invention do not rely on 'hoop strength' to provide the stiffness so it is possible to use non-axisymmetric geometries. For example, in another less simple manifestation the voice coil may be race track or elliptical. In this case the modulations are defined as perpendicular and tangential to the voice coil. A race track geometry is of particular use where a linear acoustic source is required. A further benefit of the new geometry is that, due to its smaller radii of curvature, it may be possible to use a thinner material while maintaining geometric stability during handling and manufacture.

    [0020] Suitable materials for the diaphragm are titanium, aluminium, beryllium or plastic films such as polyether ether ketone (PEEK), polyethyleneimine (PEI), polyethylene naphthalate (PEN), polyimide (PI) or polyethylene terephthalate (PET), particularly biaxially-oriented PET such as that sold by EI du Pont Nemours & Co under the trade mark mylar. Titanium is beneficial because it is resistant to fatigue and has a high specific modulus, similar to Aluminium. Beryllium may also be suitable although it would be extremely expensive and fatigue might be a problem. The plastic films are likely to be useful for smaller diaphragms, where the low mass/area allows higher efficiency. PEEK is advantageous because of its thermal stability and accuracy of formed components.

    [0021] In another aspect, the present invention also encompasses a loudspeaker incorporating a diaphragm as described herein, and to such a loudspeaker also comprising a phase plug which is complementarily-shaped with respect to the diaphragm. If the convolutions can be made sufficiently small and numerous, it would not be necessary acoustically for the phase plug surface to follow the convolutions of the diaphragm surface.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0022] Embodiments of the present invention will now be described by way of example, with reference to the accompanying figures in which:

    Figure 1 is a perspective view of a diaphragm in accordance with the invention;

    Figure 2 is a plan view of the diaphragm of Figure 1 showing curves on the diaphragm with equal axial value;

    Figure 3 is a cross-sectional view of the diaphragm of Figure 1, and

    Figure 4 is a schematic view similar to Figure 1 but illustrating where the diaphragm may, in use, be fixed in position.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS



    [0023] The diaphragm 2 shown in Figure 1 lies generally in the Y-Z plane as illustrated, and is in the form of a thin ring, or annulus, with an outer circumferential edge 4 and an inner circumferential edge 6

    [0024] Between the outer and inner edges is a planar circumferential portion 8 to which, in use, a drive coil (not shown) would be attached and arranged to drive the diaphragm in the X direction so as to generate acoustic waves; again, any shape or configuration would suit this portion 8 provided the drive coil can be easily attached thereto, such as V-shaped, M-shaped or W-shaped in cross-section, though in practice a substantially planar form is most easily manufactured. This portion 8 is in the region of the glue joint fixing the diaphragm 2 to the drive coil bobbin (shown in Figure 3).

    [0025] Either side of the circumferential portion 8 are a series of smooth circumferential modulations, or convolutions, formed in the thin diaphragm, so as to protrude from the general plane of the diaphragm in the X direction. Ignoring these modulations, the general, or overall, shape of the diaphragm between the outer edge 4 and the circumferential portion 8, and between the circumferential portion 8 and the inner edge 6, is substantially planar, and the circumferential portion 8 is shifted axially relative to the outer and/or inner edges 4,6 by a small amount (by about 0.1mm in the 164mm diameter diaphragm described below) to give the most linear variation of force with displacement of the diaphragm; preferably the axial shift is in the positive X direction (as shown in the drawings), although it may be beneficial in some arrangements for the shift to be in the opposite, negative X direction.. Between the outer circumferential edge 4 and the outer modulations 10, and between the inner circumferential edge 6 and the inner modulations 12 are outer and inner planar regions 14, 16; a major portion of these regions is, in use, clamped so as to fix the diaphragm in position, the remaining, minor portion of these regions, indicated at 22,20, and located adjacent the outer circumference of the outer modulations 10 and adjacent the inner circumference of the inner modulations 12 function as hinges, allowing the modulations 10, 12 to remain as substantially rigid acoustic generators when the diaphragm is driven in the X direction. The circumferential portion 8 (the area of which is also small in relation to those of the inner and outer series of curves 10, 12) may also act as a hinge.

    [0026] Figure 2 shows the diaphragm 2 schematically in plan view, with the series of curves 10, 12 indicated by a number of contours L joining points equally positioned in relation to the X axis. Both the outer modulations 10 and the inner modulations 12 are shown in the form of a succession of continuous, periodic curves described circumferentially around the diaphragm at contours of axial value. Each of these series of curves, which appear sinusoidal, extends circumferentially around the diaphragm 2. As shown, the curves are in alignment, with the troughs and peaks of the inner series 12 and outer series 10 in radial alignment, however for some applications it may be preferable for the two series to be displaced so that the respective peaks and troughs are out of alignment. For some applications it may be favourable to have a different number of corrugations in the inner and outer series.

    [0027] Figure 3 shows the diaphragm 2 in cross-section, with a voice coil 18 connected at the circumferential portion 8 by means of a bobbin 19 for driving the diaphragm along the X axis

    [0028] Figure 4 is a schematic view, showing where in use the diaphragm 2 is clamped in position. The outer and inner planar portions 14, 16 are shown darkly shaded; it is over these shaded areas that the diaphragm 2 is clamped. Barely discernible in the drawings are very small outer and inner planar portions which are not darkly shaded, indicated generally at 20, 22; these unshaded portions are continuations of the portions 14, 16, and in use are not clamped, so that they may act as hinges, as described above. It is these unshaded portions 20, 22, together with the modulations 10, 12, which comprise the moving portion of the diaphragm. It is this moving portion of the diaphragm 2, of which at least 90% as shown is shaped so as to protrude (in this actual diaphragm 95% is modulated more than 0.05mm) and across substantially all of which moving portion the modulations extend in the radial direction - that is to say that the curves in the outer series of modulations 10 extends across substantially all of the radial distance between the outer planar portion 20 and the planar portion 8, and the curves in the inner series of modulations 12 extends across substantially all of the radial distance between the planar portion 8 and the inner planar portion 22. Given the ratio of radius to area, the curves therefore extend over at least about 97% or 98% of the radial distance between planar portions (or, in the example 5 inch (127mm) diaphragm described below, at least 99.5%). Also shown in the inner planar portion 16 are two holes 24 in the diaphragm; these allow the diaphragm to be accurately positioned rotationally before the diaphragm is clamped in position for use.

    [0029] The number and depth of the modulations or convolutions are generally inversely related, that is to say that as the number of convolutions is increased their depth can be reduced, and vice versa, and the sound quality should be approximately equivalent. In practice there will be limits which are largely dictated by the properties of the material from which the diaphragm is made and/or the manufacturing/forming process used: if there are too may convolutions, their profile becomes too small to be accurately made, and if there are too few convolutions their depth becomes greater than the material can be stretched.

    [0030] We have found that diaphragms such as that illustrated in the Figures enable a high quality acoustic output with extended bandwidths at high and low frequencies simultaneously. For example, a diaphragm which we have constructed in accordance with the principles of this invention and which performs well acoustically has a series of sinusoidal curves, much as illustrated in the Figures, and is for use with a 5 inch (127mm) drive coil; it has an outside diameter of 164mm, a width (between the inside and outside diameter) of 38mm, a modulation height (along the X axis) of about 2mm and unclamped flat planar regions of 0.2mm width (in the radial direction) or less. Those skilled in the art will appreciate how alternatively shaped and/or sized diaphragms may be constructed in accordance with the invention.

    [0031] Although not shown, it will now be understood by those skilled in the art that the illustrated diaphragm could be used with a phase plug having a complementarily-shaped and/or configured surface adjacent the diaphragm, so as to maintain a suitably small distance between the phase plug and the diaphragm when the diaphragm is at rest, so that when the diaphragm is driven the volume of air enclosed can be kept sufficiently small to avoid loss of high frequency output due to acoustic compliance but to allow the diaphragm to move with the largest displacement to achieve maximum low frequency output, and give good acoustic performance without the diaphragm impinging on the phase plug.

    [0032] Typically the phase-plug to diaphragm spacing is in the region of 0.1mm - 1.2mm and the ratio of the effective diaphragm radiating area to phase-plug entrance area, also called compression ratio, is between 5 and 10. The mean flux at the voice coil is limited by the saturation of the iron poles and is between 1.2 Tesla and 2.1 Tesla depending on the magnet size and cost. The majority of conventional compression drivers use a titanium diaphragm and an aluminium voice coil, which is often copper clad to improve electrical connectivity. Preferably the height of the modulations in the diaphragm is a significant proportion of the airgap between the diaphragm and the phase plug, at least 25%.

    [0033] It will of course be understood that many variations may be made to the above-described embodiment without departing from the scope of the present invention. For example, the or each series of curves could be interrupted, or only extend around parts of the circumference (though preferably any such interrupted arrangement would be symmetrical about the axis). Also, one or other of the series of curves could be omitted, or either or both could be formed in some other, essentially repetitive or rotationally periodic shape, such as one or more series of circular, elliptical, triangular or lozenge-shaped "dimples", or rows of dimples of any shape and/or of curved outline, or even pleats; the term "curves" used herein should be interpreted accordingly. It will be understood that, where the convolutions shown in the drawings are replaced by dimples, there will be a greater area between the dimples which could resonate, accordingly the proportional area of such a dimpled diaphragm which does not protrude in the axial direction will be greater than the 5% in the illustrated embodiment, up to about 30-40%. Just as with the two curved modulations, it is preferred that dimples extend across a majority of the entire radial distance between the planar hinge portions 20, 22, or between one or both of these portions and a planar portion 8, either in a single series, or loop, of dimples, or in two or more series. It may be practicable to reduce the radial extent, in the case where there is only a single series of curves, to a bare majority, i.e. just above 50%, although in practice the smaller the area which is modulated then the less effective the geometry. Where straight and/or tangential pleats are provided, there may be substantially no axially non-protruding regions, as the pleats adjacent the clamps merge into the clamps in a "roll", as is known in the art. The curved modulations or the dimples are most easily manufactured/formed by shaping a membrane which is initially flat and/or of uniform thickness, at the same time that the diaphragm is shaped to form the shallow M shape described above; alternatively, the modulations or dimples could be formed as protrusions on (or cavities in) the surface of such a membrane, which is then shaped to from the shallow M shape. A further dome or annular driver can be provided in the hole in the centre of the diaphragm, as will be appreciated by those skilled in the art. Also, the diaphragm has been described with reference to a unitary diaphragm, all formed of the same material, however it might be suitable in some applications for different materials to be used: for example, the planar sections which act as hinges and flex in use might be made of a material which is chosen for its resistance to fatigue or to get a lower modulus of elasticity, whereas the shaped portion(s) may be of a material chosen for its high modulus. Alternatively, the diaphragm might be made in two parts and arranged to be joined appropriately, such as along the region where there is a glue joint for joining the diaphragm to the drive coil bobbin. Whilst the outer and inner regions 14, 16 are described above as planar, and are shown as lying in substantially the same plane, it should be understood that the portions of these regions closest to the outer and inner circumferential edges 4, 6 might be non-planar (so as to facilitate the clamping of the diaphragm, for example), and that the outer and inner regions 14, 16 may be shifted axially by a small amount relative to each other without significantly detracting from the performance of the diaphragm. Furthermore, where different variations or alternative arrangements are described above, it should be understood that embodiments of the invention may incorporate such variations and/or alternatives in any suitable combination.


    Claims

    1. A diaphragm (2) for a loudspeaker, wherein the diaphragm (2) is formed in a closed loop around a central void, the loop lying in a plane so that the diaphragm (2) is generally planar, the diaphragm (2) having an axis in a direction (X) orthogonal to the plane (ZY) along which axis (X) the diaphragm (2) is arranged to be driven in use, the diaphragm having inner and outer circumferential edges (6, 4) which are adapted, in use, to be fixed in position, characterised in that a portion comprising at least 90% of the radial width of the diaphragm (2) between the inner and outer edges (6, 4) is shaped in the direction of the said axis (X) so as to protrude from the general plane (ZY) of the diaphragm (2) in either or both directions along the axis (X), wherein said shaped portion when viewed along the direction of the axis (X) comprises at least one series of curves (10, 12) formed of radial and circumferential modulations protruding axially from the surface of the diaphragm (2) in either or both directions along the axis (X), and wherein the curves (10, 12) extend either uninterruptedly across at least 90% of the radial distance between the inner and outer edges (6, 4) of the diaphragm (2), or across at least 90% of the radial distance between at least one of the inner and/or outer edges (6, 4) and a region (8), between the inner and outer edges (6, 4) of the diaphragm (2), which is configured for coupling to a coil for driving the diaphragm (2) in the said direction (X).
     
    2. A diaphragm according to Claim 1 comprising a planar region extending radially between the radial extremities of the or each series of curves (10, 12) and the inner edge (6), outer edge (4) and/or said region (8), said planar region (s) extending radially for less than 3% of the distance between the radial extremities of the or each series of curves and being, in use, unclamped.
     
    3. A diaphragm according to Claim 1 or 2 comprising a surface region (8) extending around the loop, between the inner and outer edges (6, 4) of the diaphragm (2), and configured for coupling to a coil (18) for driving the diaphragm (2) in the said direction (X).
     
    4. A diaphragm according to Claim 3 wherein the surface region (8) extends uninterruptedly around the loop.
     
    5. A diaphragm according to Claim 3 or 4 wherein the surface region (8) is flat and/or co-planar with the loop.
     
    6. A diaphragm according to any of Claims 3 to 5 wherein there are two or more series of curves (10, 12) extending circumferentially around the diaphragm (2), at least one series of curves (10, 12) being disposed either side of the said surface region (8).
     
    7. A diaphragm according to any preceding Claim wherein the or each series of curves (10, 12) extends uninterruptedly around the whole of the diaphragm (2).
     
    8. A diaphragm according to any preceding claim, further comprising a planar portion (16) extending uninterruptedly around the diaphragm (2) adjacent the inner edge (6) thereof.
     
    9. A diaphragm according to any preceding claim, further comprising a planar portion (14) extending uninterruptedly around the diaphragm (2) adjacent the outer edge (4) thereof.
     
    10. A diaphragm according to Claim 8 or Claim 9 wherein the protrusions forming the or each series of curves (10, 12) blend smoothly into the or each planar portion (14, 16).
     
    11. A diaphragm according to any preceding claim wherein the or each series of curves (10, 12) comprises curved protrusions formed in the diaphragm (2).
     
    12. A diaphragm according to Claim 11 wherein the or each series of curves (10, 12) is continuous.
     
    13. A diaphragm according to Claim 11 or Claim 12 wherein the or each series of curves (10, 12) extends circumferentially around the whole of the loop.
     
    14. A diaphragm according to any preceding Claim wherein the or each series of curves (10, 12) is periodic.
     
    15. A diaphragm according to Claim 13 or Claim 14 wherein the curves (10, 12) are described about a closed loop on the surface of the diaphragm (2).
     
    16. A diaphragm according to Claim 15 wherein the curves (10, 12) appear sinusoidal when viewed along the direction of the axis (X).
     
    17. A diaphragm according to any preceding Claim wherein the diaphragm (2) is annular.
     
    18. A diaphragm according to any preceding Claim wherein the portion of the diaphragm (2) between the inner and outer edges (6, 4) which is shaped in the direction of the said axis (X) so as to protrude from the general plane (ZY) of the diaphragm (2) in either or both directions along the axis (X) comprises at least 70% of the surface area of the diaphragm (2).
     
    19. A loudspeaker comprising a diaphragm (2) according to any preceding Claim.
     
    20. A loudspeaker according to Claim 19, further comprising a phase plug.
     
    21. A loudspeaker according to Claim 20, wherein the surface of the phase plug adjacent the diaphragm (2) is shaped and configured so as, in use, acoustically to complement the or each surface region and/or shaped portion of the diaphragm (2).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Membran (2) für einen Lautsprecher, wobei die Membran (2) in einem geschlossenen Kreis um einen zentralen Leerraum ausgebildet ist, wobei der Kreis in einer Ebene liegt, sodass die Membran (2) im Allgemeinen planar ist, wobei die Membran (2) eine Achse in einer Richtung (X) orthogonal zur Ebene (ZY) aufweist, wobei entlang der Achse (X) die Membran (2) angeordnet ist, um in Verwendung angesteuert zu werden, wobei die Membran innere und äußere umlaufende Ränder (6, 4) hat, die angepasst sind, um, in Verwendung, in ihrer Position fixiert zu sein, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass ein Teil, umfassend mindestens 90 % der radialen Breite der Membran (2) zwischen dem inneren und äußeren Rand (6, 4), in der Richtung der Achse (X) geformt ist, um aus der allgemeinen Ebene (ZY) der Membran (2) in eine oder beide Richtungen entlang der Achse (X) herauszuragen, wobei der geformte Teil, wenn entlang der Richtung der Achse (X) betrachtet, zumindest eine Serie von Kurven (10, 12) umfasst, die aus radialen und umlaufenden Modulationen gebildet sind, axial von der Oberfläche der Membran (2) in eine oder beide Richtungen entlang der Achse (X) herausragend, und wobei sich die Kurven (10, 12) entweder ununterbrochen über mindestens 90 % des radialen Abstands zwischen dem inneren und äußeren Rand (6, 4) der Membran (2), oder über mindestens 90 % des radialen Abstands zwischen zumindest einem der inneren und/oder äußeren Ränder (6, 4) und eine Region (8), zwischen dem inneren und äußeren Rand (6, 4) der Membran (2), die zum Koppeln einer Spule zum Ansteuern der Membran (2) in die Richtung (X) ausgelegt ist, erstrecken.
     
    2. Membran nach Anspruch 1, umfassend eine planare Region, sich radial zwischen den radialen Extremitäten der oder jeder Serie von Kurven (10, 12) und dem inneren Rand (6), dem äußeren Rand (4) und/oder der Region (8) erstreckend, wobei die planare Region (s) sich radial weniger als 3 % des Abstands zwischen den radialen Extremitäten der oder jeder Serie von Kurven erstreckt und, in Verwendung, nicht eingespannt ist.
     
    3. Membran nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, umfassend eine Oberflächenregion (8), sich rund um den Kreis erstreckend, zwischen dem inneren und äußeren Rand (6, 4) der Membran (2), und ausgelegt zum Koppeln einer Spule (18) zum Ansteuern der Membran (2) in die Richtung (X).
     
    4. Membran nach Anspruch 3, wobei sich die Oberflächenregion (8) ununterbrochen rund um den Kreis erstreckt.
     
    5. Membran nach Anspruch 3 oder 4, wobei die Oberflächenregion (8) flach und/oder koplanar mit dem Kreis ist.
     
    6. Membran nach einem der Ansprüche 3 bis 5, wobei es zwei oder mehr Serien von Kurven (10, 12) gibt, die sich umlaufend um die Membran (2) erstrecken, wobei zumindest eine Serie von Kurven (10, 12) auf jeder Seite der Oberflächenregion (8) angeordnet ist.
     
    7. Membran nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei sich die Serien oder jede Serie von Kurven (10, 12) ununterbrochen rund um die ganze Membran (2) erstrecken.
     
    8. Membran nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, ferner umfassend einen planaren Teil (16), sich ununterbrochen rund um die Membran (2) angrenzend an den inneren Rand (6) davon erstreckend.
     
    9. Membran nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, ferner umfassend einen planaren Teil (14), sich ununterbrochen rund um die Membran (2) angrenzend an den äußeren Rand (4) davon erstreckend.
     
    10. Membran nach Anspruch 8 oder Anspruch 9, wobei die Vorsprünge, die die Serien oder jede Serie von Kurven (10, 12) bilden, gleichmäßig in den oder jeden planaren Teil (14, 16) übergehen.
     
    11. Membran nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die Serien oder jede Serie von Kurven (10, 12) in der Membran (2) ausgebildete gekrümmte Vorsprünge umfassen/umfasst.
     
    12. Membran nach Anspruch 11, wobei die Serien oder jede Serie von Kurven (10, 12) stetig sind/ist.
     
    13. Membran nach Anspruch 11 oder Anspruch 12, wobei sich die Serien oder jede Serie von Kurven (10, 12) umlaufend rund um den gesamten Kreis erstrecken/erstreckt.
     
    14. Membran nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die Serien oder jede Serie von Kurven (10, 12) periodisch sind/ist.
     
    15. Membran nach Anspruch 13 oder Anspruch 14, wobei die Kurven (10, 12) um einen geschlossene Kreis auf der Oberfläche der Membran (2) beschrieben sind.
     
    16. Membran nach Anspruch 15, wobei die Kurven (10, 12) sinusförmig erscheinen, wenn entlang der Richtung der Achse (X) betrachtet.
     
    17. Membran nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die Membran (2) ringförmig ist.
     
    18. Membran nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Teil der Membran (2) zwischen dem inneren und äußeren Rand (6, 4), der in die Richtung der Achse (X) geformt ist, um aus der allgemeinen Ebene (ZY) der Membran (2) in eine oder beide Richtungen entlang der Achse (X) herauszuragen, mindestens 70 % der Oberfläche der Membran (2) umfasst.
     
    19. Lautsprecher, umfassend eine Membran (2) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche.
     
    20. Lautsprecher nach Anspruch 19, ferner umfassend einen Phase-Plug.
     
    21. Lautsprecher nach Anspruch 20, wobei die Oberfläche des Phase-Plugs angrenzend an die Membran (2) geformt und dazu ausgelegt ist, in Verwendung, die oder jede Oberflächenregion und/oder den oder jeden geformten Teil der Membran (2) akustisch zu komplementieren.
     


    Revendications

    1. Membrane (2) pour un haut-parleur, la membrane (2) étant formée en boucle fermée autour d'un vide central, la boucle reposant dans un plan de sorte que la membrane (2) soit généralement plane, la membrane (2) ayant un axe dans une direction (X) orthogonale au plan (ZY), la membrane (2) étant agencée le long dudit axe (X) pour être excitée lors de l'utilisation, la membrane ayant des bords circonférentiels intérieur et extérieur (6, 4) conçus pour être fixes en position lors de l'utilisation,
    la membrane étant caractérisée en ce qu'une partie comprenant au moins 90 % de la largeur radiale de la membrane (2) entre les bords intérieur et extérieur (6, 4) est formée dans la direction dudit axe (X) de manière à faire saillie par rapport au plan général (ZY) de la membrane (2) dans l'une des deux directions ou dans les deux directions le long de l'axe (X), ladite partie formée, lorsqu'elle est vue le long de la direction de l'axe (X), comprenant au moins une série de courbes (10, 12) formées de modulations radiales et circonférentielles faisant saillie axialement par rapport à la surface de la membrane (2) dans l'une des deux directions ou dans les deux directions le long de l'axe (X), et les courbes (10, 12) s'étendant sans interruption sur au moins 90 % de la distance radiale entre les bords intérieur et extérieur (6, 4) de la membrane (2) ou sur au moins 90 % de la distance radiale entre au moins un des bords intérieur et/ou extérieur (6, 4) et une région (8), entre les bords intérieur et extérieur (6, 4) de la membrane (2), qui est configurée pour s'accoupler à une bobine pour exciter la membrane (2) dans ladite direction (X).
     
    2. Membrane selon la revendication 1, comprenant une région plane s'étendant radialement entre les extrémités radiales de la série ou de chacune des séries de courbes (10, 12) et le bord intérieur (6), le bord extérieur (4) et/ou ladite région (8), ladite ou lesdites régions planes s'étendant radialement sur moins de 3 % de la distance entre les extrémités radiales de la série ou de chacune des séries de courbes et étant, lors de l'utilisation, desserrées.
     
    3. Membrane selon la revendication 1 ou 2, comprenant une région superficielle (8) s'étendant autour de la boucle, entre les bords intérieur et extérieur (6, 4) de la membrane (2), et configurée pour s'accoupler à une bobine (18) pour exciter la membrane (2) dans ladite direction (X).
     
    4. Membrane selon la revendication 3, dans laquelle la région superficielle (8) s'étend sans interruption autour de la boucle.
     
    5. Membrane selon la revendication 3 ou 4, dans laquelle la région superficielle (8) est plate et/ou coplanaire avec la boucle.
     
    6. Membrane selon l'une quelconque des revendications 3 à 5, comprenant au moins deux séries de courbes (10, 12) s'étendant sur la circonférence autour de la membrane (2), au moins une série de courbes (10, 12) étant disposée de chaque côté de ladite région superficielle (8).
     
    7. Membrane selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle la série ou chaque série de courbes (10, 12) s'étend sans interruption autour de la totalité de la membrane (2).
     
    8. Membrane selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, comprenant en outre une partie plane (16) s'étendant sans interruption autour de la membrane (2), adjacente à son bord intérieur (6).
     
    9. Membrane selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, comprenant en outre une partie plane (14) s'étendant sans interruption autour de la membrane (2), adjacente à son bord extérieur (4).
     
    10. Membrane selon la revendication 8 ou 9, dans laquelle les protubérances formant la série ou chaque série de courbes (10, 12) se plient sans difficulté dans la ou dans chaque partie plane (14, 16).
     
    11. Membrane selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle la série ou chaque série de courbes (10, 12) comprend des protubérances incurvées formées dans la membrane (2).
     
    12. Membrane selon la revendication 11, dans laquelle la série ou chaque série de courbes (10, 12) est continue.
     
    13. Membrane selon la revendication 11 ou 12, dans laquelle la série ou chaque série de courbes (10, 12) s'étend sur la circonférence autour de la totalité de la boucle.
     
    14. Membrane selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle la série ou chaque série de courbes (10, 12) est périodique.
     
    15. Membrane selon la revendication 13 ou 14, dans laquelle les courbes (10, 12) sont décrites autour d'une boucle fermée sur la surface de la membrane (2).
     
    16. Membrane selon la revendication 15, dans laquelle les courbes (10, 12) apparaissent sinusoïdales lorsqu'elles sont vues le long de la direction de l'axe (X).
     
    17. Membrane selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, la membrane (2) étant annulaire.
     
    18. Membrane selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle la partie de la membrane (2) entre les bords intérieur et extérieur (6, 4), formée dans la direction dudit axe (X) de manière à faire saillie par rapport au plan général (ZY) de la membrane (2) dans l'une des deux directions ou dans les deux directions le long de l'axe (X), comprend au moins 70 % de l'aire de la membrane (2).
     
    19. Haut-parleur comprenant une membrane (2) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes.
     
    20. Haut-parleur selon la revendication 19, comprenant en outre une prise de phase.
     
    21. Haut-parleur selon la revendication 20, dans lequel la surface de la prise de phase adjacente à la membrane (2) est formée et configurée de manière, lors de l'utilisation, à compléter acoustiquement la ou chaque région superficielle et/ou la partie formée de la membrane (2).
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description