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Title:
ANTI-SKID SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2015/136054
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Anti-skid system for aiding vehicle traction, characterised in that it comprises a rim (2) for supporting a tyre (1), a series of seats (4, 24, 28) produced in said tyre (2) and a series of claws (5A, 5A', 5B, 5C) adapted to be fastened removably in said seats (4, 24, 28), each of the claws (5A, 5A', 5B, 5C) comprising, on one side, an arm (8, 8', 21, 26) provided with means (9) for snap fitting in said seat (4, 24, 28) of the rim (2) and, on the other side, one or more fingers (6) adapted to be positioned on the surface of the tyre (1) supported by the rim (2), so as to ensure effective grip of the tyre (1) on the road.

Inventors:
GUARNIERI PASSERINI, Stefano (Viale Arezzo, 3A-7, Genova, I-16146, IT)
Application Number:
EP2015/055234
Publication Date:
September 17, 2015
Filing Date:
March 12, 2015
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
GUARNIERI PASSERINI, Stefano (Viale Arezzo, 3A-7, Genova, I-16146, IT)
International Classes:
B60B21/02; B60C27/02
Foreign References:
DE722452C1942-07-10
FR350799A1905-06-26
DE3715266A11988-11-24
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PORSIA, Attilio (Via Caffaro, 3/2, Genova, I-16124, IT)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1 . Anti-skid system for aiding vehicle traction, characterised in that it comprises a rim (2) for supporting a tyre (1 ), a series of seats (4, 24, 28) produced in said tyre (2) and a series of claws (5A, 5A', 5B, 5C) adapted to be fastened removably in said seats (4, 24, 28), each of the claws (5A, 5A', 5B, 5C) comprising, on one side, an arm (8, 8', 21 , 26) provided with means (9) for snap fitting in said seat (4, 24, 28) of the rim (2) and, on the other side, one or more fingers (6) adapted to be positioned on the surface of the tyre (1 ) supported by the rim (2), so as to ensure effective grip of the tyre (1 ) on the road.

2. System according to claim 1 , characterized in that said rim (2) comprises a series of spokes (3) and said seats (4, 24, 28) for housing the claws (5A, 5A', 5B, 5C) are produced in a uniformly distributed manner on said spokes (3) and/or in the spaces produced between two consecutive spokes (3).

3. System according to claim 1 , characterized in that in the end portion (12, 12', 22, 27) of the arm (8, 8', 21 , 26) there is positioned at least one button (9) provided with elastic means (15) for outward thrust, said button (9) being adapted to be snap fitted into a hole (14) produced in said seat (4, 24, 28) of the rim (2), by means of insertion of said end portion (12, 12', 22, 27) of the claw (5A, 5A', 5B, 5C) into an opening (30) produced in said seat (4, 24, 28).

4. System according to claim 1 , characterized in that said seat (4, 24, 28) comprises an opening (13, 25) located on the opposite side with respect to the side for insertion of the arm (8, 8', 21 , 26) of the claw (5A, 5A', 5B, 5C).

5. System according to claim 1 , characterized in that upstream of the end portion (12, 12', 22, 27) of said arm (8, 8', 21 , 26) of the claw there are positioned one or more limit stop elements (1 1 , 23, 32).

6. System according to claim 1 , characterized in that said claw (5Α') comprises an arm (8') curved towards the outside with respect to the rim.

7. System according to claim 1 , characterized in that said arm (26) of the claw (5C) is bent towards the inside of the rim (2).

8. System according to claim 1 , characterized in that said claw (5B) comprises an end portion (22) for insertion into said seat (24) that is produced in a direction substantially orthogonal with respect to the direction of the arm (21 ) and preferably lying on a plane orthogonal with respect to the plane on which said arm (21 ) lies, so as to be positioned substantially in axial direction and towards the inside of the rim (2) and so that the button (9) projects laterally from the spoke (3) of the rim (1 ).

9. System according to claim 1 , characterized in that on the surface of the fingers (6) there are produced treads (7, 7') for further aiding traction.

0. System according to claim 1 , characterised in that it comprises a cap (33) to be inserted removably into said seat (4, 24, 28) of the rim (2) when the claw (5A, 5A', 5B, 5C) is not used, said cap (33) being provided with means (9') for snap fitting in said seat (4, 24, 28).

Description:
TITLE

ANTI-SKID SYSTEM

DESCRIPTION

The present invention relates to an anti-skid system for aiding vehicle traction, to be used in particular on roads with snow or ice, but also on muddy roads or the like.

Various systems to be fitted to the wheels of vehicles to aid traction, for example on roads covered with snow or ice, are available on the market. The simplest and most widely used anti-skid system is probably represented by snow chains, which are fitted to the driving wheels of the vehicle. Although manufacturers have attempted to improve and develop these snow chains, it is a well known fact that they are rather complicated to fit and require a certain amount of expertise by the person who has to fit them, often also in bad weather conditions.

Other types of anti-skid systems for aiding vehicle traction also exist. Some known systems are provided with kinds of claws that are fastened to a supporting disc connectable by means of bolts to the central part of the rim of a vehicle wheel.

Other known systems comprise even more complex supporting structures, generally always circular in shape, to fit to the central part of the wheel rim. From these supporting structures there extend spokes of various shape connected to kinds of retractable fingers, which are positioned on the surface of the tyre.

So, for instance, from DE 722452 an anti-skid and traction aid system for vehicles is known, comprising a rim for supporting a tyre, a series of seats realized in said rim and a series of claws able to be fixed in removable way in said seats, each of the claws comprising on one side an arm and on the other side one or more fingers able to be positioned on the surface of the tyre supported by the rim so that to ensure an efficient grip of the tyre on the road, and from DE3715266 a rim for passangers car wheels is known in which at least at one edge of the shell of the rim a plurality of uniformly spaced anti-skid elements are secured around the perimeter of the rim. These last described systems are also somewhat complex, relatively costly and always require the use of equipment and tools to be bolted or fastened to the vehicle wheel. At times, the complexity of these systems can negatively influence their performance, as there is a risk that they will not be fitted correctly.

The main aim of the present invention is to produce an anti-skid system for aiding vehicle traction, typically for use on all driving wheels of the vehicle, so as to ensure adequate grip on potentially slippery roads due to the presence of ice or snow, but also on rough or muddy roads, and which can be rapidly and efficiently fitted without the use of any tools or instruments.

This aim is achieved by the present invention by means of an anti-skid system for aiding vehicle traction as claimed in claim 1 .

Advantageously, the present system comprises an "ad hoc" rim in which there are produced a series of seats for snap-fitting of a series of claws provided with fingers, adapted to be appropriately positioned on the surface of the tyre. These claws are therefore fastened removably to the rim without the aid of equipment or tools, but simply through pressure by the user and insertion of the end part thereof into the relevant seats of the rim. In substance, once the "ad hoc" rims provided with seats have been mounted on the vehicle, when required the appropriate number of claws are simply removably fastened to these rims as a function of the road conditions. This system is therefore very efficient and quick to install and remove.

The seats for removable fastening of said claws can be produced on the spokes of the rim and/or in the spaces produced between two consecutive spokes.

On each end portion of the claw there can be positioned at least one button provided with elastic means that thrust it outwards; this button is snap-fitted into a hole produced in the seat of the rim, by inserting this end portion of the claw into an opening produced in this seat.

Each of the seats produced in the rim comprises a further opening, located on the opposite side with respect to the side into which the end portion of the claw is inserted.

In order to limit any oscillation of the claw, upstream of the end portion of said arm of the claw there are produced one or more limit stop elements.

Moreover, each claw can comprise an arm curved towards the outside of the rim, so as to absorb any lateral distortion of the tyre.

The end portion of the arm can also be bent towards the inside of the rim, to limit the external dimensions of the system.

The end portion of the claw that is inserted into the relevant seat of the rim can be produced in a direction substantially orthogonal with respect to the arm of the claw and preferably lying on a plane orthogonal to the plane on which this arm lies, therefore transverse with respect to the plane of the arm, so as to be positioned substantially in axial direction and towards the inside of the rim and so that the button projects laterally from the spoke of the rim.

On the surface of the fingers there can also be produced treads for further aiding traction.

The system preferably comprises a series of caps to be inserted removably into the seats of the rim when said claws are not used, these caps being provided with means for snap-fitting into these seats.

Further features and advantages of the present invention will be more apparent from the description below, considered by way of non-limiting example and with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

- Fig. 1 shows a perspective view of an anti-skid system for aiding vehicle traction according to a first embodiment of the invention and comprising a rim provided with a series of seats into which there are inserted claws provided with fingers that can be positioned on the surface of the tyre;

- Fig. 2 shows a perspective view of one of the claws of Fig. 1 ;

- Fig. 3 shows a sectional view of a claw of Fig. 1 , which can be provided with an arched part to adapt to any lateral distortion of the tyre;

- Fig. 3A shows a sectional view on an enlarged scale of the means for snap fitting each of the claws to the rim;

- Fig. 4 shows a partial front view of a second embodiment of the present invention;

- Fig. 5 shows a partial perspective view of the end part of a claw according to the variant of embodiment of Fig. 4;

- Fig. 6 shows a sectional view of one of the claws, considered along the line VI-VI of Fig. 4;

- Fig. 7 shows a further sectional view of one of the claws, considered along the line VII-VII of Fig. 4;

- Fig. 8 shows a partial front view of a third embodiment of the present system, in which the seat for the claws is produced in the space produced between two consecutive spokes of the rim;

- Fig. 9 is a sectional view of the variant of embodiment of the system of Fig. 8, considered along the line IX-IX of Fig. 8;

- Fig. 10 shows a perspective view of a cap that can be snap fitted into the seats of the rim when the claws are not used.

With reference to these accompanying drawings and with particular reference to

Figs. 1 and 2 thereof, the number 1 indicates a tyre of a wheel of any vehicle. This tyre 1 is supported by a rim 2 provided with a certain number of spokes 3. On each of these spokes 3 there is produced a seat 4 into which there is snap fitted a claw 5A provided with a pair of fingers 6. This claw 5A will preferably be made of metal and therefore have a certain degree of strength. The fingers 6 are adapted to be positioned on the surface of the tyre 1 and in substance represent the actual elements for aiding vehicle traction and therefore advantageously prevent the tyre 1 from slipping. On the surface of the fingers 6 there can be produced treads 7 to enable further improvement of their anti-skid function. Each of the claws 5A is substantially L-shaped and the fingers 6 are produced starting from an arm 8 provided with an end portion 12 with a smaller section for insertion into the seats 4 of Fig. 1 . Between the arm 8 and the end portion 12, there are produced a pair of limit stop elements 1 1 , adapted to abut against the upper surface of the seat 4, once the end portion 12 has been correctly inserted therein. In this embodiment, these limit stop elements 1 1 are two steps produced in diametrically opposite positions with respect to the arm 8, but they could also be substituted by a single annular step that surrounds the whole arm. These limit stop elements 1 1 or this step have the function of limiting any oscillations of the arm 8 once the end portion 12 has been correctly inserted into the relevant seat 4. The two fingers 6 are produced in symmetrical position with respect to this arm 8 and on the end portion 12 there is positioned a button 9 adapted to be snap fitted into a hole produced in the relevant seat 4, as will be specified hereunder. This button 9 can have any shape and can comprise a recess 10 to facilitate pressure thereof by the user. The arm 8 is positioned substantially in radial direction with respect to the rim 1 of Fig. 1 , while the number of fingers 6 of the claw 5A can differ from the number illustrated; for example, this claw could be provided with only one finger 6 or three or more fingers. As can be seen in Fig. 1 , the number of claws 5A and of fingers 6, and the distance between these fingers, have been selected by way of example, so as to have a uniform distribution of fingers over the whole of the surface of the tyre 1 . The angle of the fingers 6 can also differ from the angle illustrated; in fact, in this case the two fingers 6 are facing in a direction substantially orthogonal to the rolling direction of the tyre, but could also have a different angle of inclination. The present system will typically be applied to the driving wheels of the vehicle.

Fig. 3 shows a variant referring in particular to the first embodiment of the system, but which could also refer to the other embodiments that will be described hereunder. In this variant, the claw 5A' comprises an arm 8' that is inclined and/or curved outwards. This curvature and/or inclination of the arm 8' enables a certain amount of space to be left between the claw 5A' and the tyre, so that any lateral distortion of the tyre 1 can be contained and absorbed within this space. With respect to Fig. 1 , the seat 4 produced on each spoke 3 is also suitably inclined.

Fig. 3A shows in enlarged scale a longitudinal section of one of the seats 4 of Fig. 1 or of Fig . 3. Each of these seats 4 is a sort of pocket comprising on the bottom an opening 13 from which, if necessary, there can also project a part of the end portion 12' of the claw 5A'. This opening 13 is also visible in the seats 4 of Fig. 1 . In the seat 4 there is produced a hole 14 from there partially projects the button 9. This button 9 houses an end of a spring 15, the other end of which is engaged on a closing plate 16 of a housing 18 produced in proximity of the bottom of the end portion 12' of the claw 5A'. This plate 16 in substance forms the bottom of this housing 18 and can be fastened to the end portion 12' by any means, such as screws 19 or the like. The button 9 comprises, in the part that remains inside the housing 12', a ring 20 that abuts against the inner wall of the seat 4. Therefore, the spring 15, in the situation illustrated, tends to push the button 9 outwards, so that it abuts firmly against the seat 4. Moreover, the limit stop elements 1 1 will advantageously abut against the upper part of the seat 4. Naturally, any other elastic means that tend to push the button 9 outwards could be used in place of the spring 15.

Insertion of each of the claws 5A or 5A' inside the relevant seat 4 produced on the rim 2 takes place as follows. In a first step of insertion, the user grasps the claw 5A or 5A' and holds the button 9 lightly pressed against the action of the spring 15, so as to insert the end portion 12 or 12' into the pocket-like seat 4 produced on the rim 2. Once the button 9 has entered the seat 4, the user releases it and when this button reaches the hole 14 it is thrust outwards by the action of the spring 15, until reaching the situation shown in Fig. 3A. Once the button has snapped into place, positioning of the claw 5A or 5A' is complete and the fingers 6 are correctly and firmly in contact with the outer surface of the tyre 1 . To remove the claw 5A or 5A', it is sufficient to press the button against the action of the spring 15 and push the end portion 12 or 12' of the claw 5A or 5A' upwards due to the openings 13 produced under the seats 4, so as to remove this end portion 12 or 12' of the arm of the claw from said seat 4. The operations to insert or remove the claw 5A or 5A' into/from the relevant seats 4 of the rim are thus very quick and simple and do not require the use of any equipment or tool.

In the second embodiment of the present system, see Figs. 4 and 5, the claw 5B comprises an arm 21 from which there extend the fingers 6 that are positioned on the surface of the tyre 1 and comprise the additional treads 7'. The arm 21 is positioned in a substantially radial or slightly inclined direction, just as in the previous embodiment, and comprises an end portion 22 that is instead positioned in a direction substantially parallel to the rotation axis of the rim 2 and towards the inside of this latter, therefore substantially orthogonal to the arm 21 . Moreover, as can be seen, this end portion 22 is produced transverse with respect to the arm 21 , i.e. on a plane orthogonal with respect to the plane on which this arm 21 is produced. Between the arm 21 and the end portion 22 there is produced a limit stop element 23 having the function of the elements 1 1 described for the previous embodiment, i.e., to prevent any unwanted oscillation of the arm 21 of the claw 5B. The end portion 22 of the claw 5B is adapted to be inserted into a seat 24 produced on one side of each of the spokes 3 of the rim 2.

In the section of Fig. 6 it can be seen that at the opposite end of the seat 24 with respect to the end into which the end portion 22 of the arm 21 is inserted, there is produced in the spoke 3 a discharge hole 25 for any residual water or the like present in the seat 24; to this end, the hole 25 has a slight downward inclination.

The section of Fig. 7 provides a better view of the limit stop element abutting against the outer surface of the seat 24, which ultimately, in this case, is the outer surface of the spoke 3. Just as for the previous embodiment, the button 9 cooperates with the spring 15 positioned inside a housing produced in the end portion 22 of the arm 21 and closed on the bottom by means of the plate 16. The discharge hole 25 produced on the bottom of the seat 24 can have dimensions such as to enable the user to push the end portion 22 of the arm 21 outwards once the button 9 has been pressed.

Naturally, the spring 15 tends to thrust the button 9 outwards, so that the operations to insert and remove each of the claws 5B are the same as those described for the claws 5A or 5A' of the first embodiment; therefore, in a first step of insertion of the claws the button 9 must be pressed lightly so that the end portion 22 enters the seat 24. For removal, in this variant, see Fig. 4, the user can hold the spoke 3 and, using the thumb or index finger, act on the button 9 to remove each of the claws 5B from the relevant spoke 3.

Figs. 8 and 9 show a third embodiment of the system according to the present invention. The claw 5C comprises an arm 26 from which there extend the fingers 6 provided with the treads 7' and which are curved towards the inside of the rim 2. This arm 26 comprises an end portion 27 with downward inclination, or which could even be horizontal. The claw 5C of this third embodiment is substantially C-shaped. Also in this case the system will comprise a certain number of claws 5C, the end portion 27 of which will be inserted into a seat 28 that in this embodiment is produced on the upper and inner part of the rim in an area between two consecutive spokes 3. As can be seen, the end portion 27 is provided with a button 9 with relevant recess 10 and comprises internally the housing containing the spring for outward thrust of this button 9, just as in the preceding embodiment

It should be noted that the seat 28 into which the end portion 27 of the arm 26 is inserted has an opening 30 shaped so as to facilitate passage of the button 9. This shaped guide opening 30 is also present in the two previous embodiments of the present system, see in particular Fig. 1 , where it is not expressly indicated, and Fig. 4. The seat 28 comprises on the bottom, hence at the opposite end with respect to the end for insertion of the end portion 27 of the arm 28, the opening 31 . The function of this opening 31 is to allow any residual water to be discharged from the seat 28 and to enable the user to thrust the claw 5C outwards. Also in this case, between the arm 27 and the end portion 17 there are produced limit stop elements 32, adapted to abut against the outer surface of the seat 28 when positioning is complete.

Fitting of the claw 5C to the wheel and subsequent removal thereof are the same as those seen for the previous embodiments, in particular the embodiment of Figs. 1 and 2, with the difference that this time insertion does not take place in a radial or substantially radial direction, but in an axial direction, i.e., the C-shaped claw 5C, as can be understood, will be inserted with a movement from the outside to the inside of the rim 2, until the button 9 is snap fitted in the relevant hole of the seat 28, similar to the hole 14 of the seat 4 of Fig. 3A, and the fingers 6 will be suitably positioned on top of the surface of the tyre 1 . Therefore, with the third embodiment of the system described above there are obtained claws 5C, the end part of which is housed inside the wheel, thereby minimizing parts that project outward. Fig. 10 shows a cap 33 adapted to be inserted into any of the seats 4, 24 and 28 shown in the previous figures. This cap 33 is inserted into these seats in place of the claw 5A, 5B or 5C, when these latter are not used, to avoid any dirt or the like from depositing in the seats 4, 24 and 28. The cap 33 is inserted into and removed from the seats 4, 24 and 8 by means of the same snap-fitting system provided for the claws; in fact, it comprises a button 9', preferably provided with a recess 10' to improve hold. This button 9' is thrust towards the outside of the cap 33 by means of a spring, not visible in the figure, housed therein, similarly to the springs shown for the end portions of the claws. The button 9' also comprises the rim 20' for abutment against the inner wall of the cap 33. Considering, for example, the first embodiment of the present system, to remove the cap 33 from the seat, after pressing the button 9' appropriately it can be pushed from below through the opening 13 of the seat 4.

As mentioned initially, the present system will be typically fitted to the driving wheels of the vehicle on roads with snow or ice or on muddy or slippery roads; therefore, in substance automobile manufacturers will, for example, produce "ad hoc" rims at least for the driving wheels, i.e. rims comprising seats for snap fitting of the claws. Moreover, as can be understood from the accompanying figures, numerous variants can be adopted for the present system, without departing from the inventive concept. For example, the button 9 could be provided with a known system which, once pressed, remains in the depressed position until it is pressed again twice in quick succession, therefore a button provided with a sort of double click system.

Moreover, the treads 7 provided on the fingers 6 can be of any shape and facing in any direction, can be raised or in relief, fixed to the fingers subsequently or produced in once piece with these fingers. With regard to their extension, preferably they should stretch just beyond the central part of the wheel, so that mounting of the claws is not excessively complicated.

As seen, the claws, which can be normally stored, for example, in the luggage compartment of the car, are simple and quick to fit. A further advantageous aspect of the present system is, see for example Fig. 1 , that the user could decide to fit only two or three claws to each wheel and not all five as shown, for example on roads with only a light covering of snow. Also with regard to the rim 2, the number of seats in which to fasten the claw may differ from the number illustrated, for example due to a different number of spokes and therefore also of spaces produced between them, or also because the seats for fastening the claws are not produced in every spoke, but only in one out of two spokes or two spaces between spokes. All these variants do not change the inventive concept of the present system, namely a system that, by means of a dedicated or "ad hoc" rim and a certain number of removable claws, can be used without the aid of particular tools and accessories and ensures satisfactory road holding performance of a vehicle on rough or potentially slippery roads, for example due to the presence of ice or snow.