Tata Motors has been granted a patent for an active diffuser mechanism for vehicles. The mechanism allows the diffuser body to be moved between a stowed position and a deployed position, with the airflow surface of the diffuser body spaced further away from the vehicle body in the deployed position. The diffuser assembly includes a mounting mechanism with a linkage mechanism and a coupling near the leading edge of the diffuser body. The diffuser body also has a rear surface that extends between the vehicle body and the trailing edge of the diffuser body when in the deployed position. GlobalData’s report on Tata Motors gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Tata Motors, hybrid powertrains was a key innovation area identified from patents. Tata Motors's grant share as of September 2023 was 55%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Active diffuser mechanism for a vehicle

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Tata Motors Ltd

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11772722B2) describes an active diffuser assembly for vehicles. The assembly includes an active diffuser mechanism and a diffuser body that can be moved between a stowed position and a deployed position. In the deployed position, the diffuser body is spaced further away from the vehicle's body, creating an airflow surface. The mounting mechanism of the assembly includes a linkage mechanism that allows the diffuser body to be returned from the stowed position to the deployed position. Additionally, a coupling near the leading edge of the diffuser body ensures that the leading edge moves in a forward direction during deployment. The diffuser body also has a rear surface that extends between the vehicle's body and the trailing edge of the diffuser body when in the deployed position.

The patent also describes various features of the active diffuser assembly. The coupling near the leading edge of the diffuser body can be offset from the leading edge and may include a pivot or a linkage means with pivoting linkage arms. The linkage mechanism can include a Peaucellier-Lipkin linkage, and an actuator is coupled to the mounting mechanism to move the diffuser body between the stowed and deployed positions. A shock protection mechanism, such as a clutch or a damper, is included to absorb shock forces and prevent damage to the actuator. The diffuser body may also have collapsible side surfaces.

Furthermore, the patent discusses an active diffuser system that includes the active diffuser mechanism, a controller connected to the actuator, and at least one sensor. The controller operates the actuator based on signals received from the sensor, which detects parameters of the vehicle's operation. For example, a speed sensor can trigger the actuator to deploy the diffuser body when the vehicle's speed exceeds a certain threshold.

The patent also mentions that the active diffuser assembly can be incorporated into a vehicle, along with an undertray. In the deployed position, the leading edge of the diffuser body is positioned close to or above the adjacent trailing edge of the undertray. The diffuser body can be coplanar with the undertray's trailing edge or have a slight planar angle difference. Additionally, the lowest part of the diffuser body can be at or above a line extending tangentially from the rear wheel to the lowest point of the vehicle's rear.

Overall, this granted patent describes an active diffuser assembly and system that can be used in vehicles to improve aerodynamics and airflow management.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.