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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
COVER ASSEMBLY FOR A VEHICLE WHEEL
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2005/021289
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A cover assembly (1) for a vehicle wheel comprising a wheel cover (3) mounted to a support member (4), said support member (4) being carried by the vehicle wherein said wheel cover (3) is mechanically separated from said vehicle wheel, said vehicle wheel is mounted to a rotatable hub (5) and said support member (4) extends through said hub (5).

Inventors:
Diab, George (225 Fowler Road, Guildford, NSW 2151, AU)
Application Number:
PCT/AU2004/001154
Publication Date:
March 10, 2005
Filing Date:
August 27, 2004
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
Diab, George (225 Fowler Road, Guildford, NSW 2151, AU)
International Classes:
B60B7/06; B60B7/20; G09F21/04; (IPC1-7): B60B7/20; B60B7/06; G09F21/04
Foreign References:
US4981329A
US2935361A
US3495347A
US2548070A
US6164678A
GB225660A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Hodgkinson, Mcinnes Pappas (Level 3, 20 Alfred Street Milsons Point, NSW 2061, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS
1. A cover assembly for a vehicle wheel, said cover assembly comprising a wheel cover mounted to a support member, said support member being carried by the vehicle, and wherein said wheel cover is mechanically separated from said vehicle wheel.
2. A cover assembly for a vehicle wheel as claimed in claim 1, wherein said vehicle wheel is mounted to a rotatable hub, and said support member extends through said hub.
3. A cover assembly for a vehicle wheel as claimed in claim 2, wherein said hub is rotatably connected to an axle assembly and said support member extends into said axle assembly.
4. A cover assembly for a vehicle wheel as claimed in claim 3, wherein said cover includes an illumination device.
5. A cover assembly for a vehicle wheel as claimed in claim 4, wherein said illumination device is an electronic screen.
6. A cover assembly for a vehicle wheel as claimed in claim 1, wherein said cover is used for decorative purposes.
7. A cover assembly for a vehicle wheel as claimed in claim 1, wherein said cover is used for displaying indicia.
8. A cover assembly for a vehicle wheel as claimed in claim 2, wherein said wheel cover is removably mounted to said support member.
9. A cover assembly for a vehicle wheel as claimed in claim 4, wherein an electrical cable supplying power to said illumination device from said vehicle electrical system extends through said support member.
10. A cover assembly for a vehicle wheel as claimed in claim 3, wherein a bearing means is included intermediate said wheel cover and said vehicle wheel.
11. A cover assembly for a vehicle wheel as claimed in claim 10, wherein said bearing means is located near the periphery of said wheel cover.
Description:
COVER ASSEMBLY FOR A VEHICLE WHEEL TECHNICAL FIELD The present invention relates to wheel covers and in particular to a cover assembly for a vehicle wheel. The invention has been developed primarily for use with automobiles and will be described hereinafter with reference to this application.

BACKGROUND A number of various wheel cover assemblies are known. One type of wheel cover is a stationary wheel cover that is mounted on the hub cap of the vehicle wheel, such that it remains in a stationary, non-rotating position, while the wheel and hub cap of the vehicle rotates. Such a cover permits inscriptions, names, designs, and the like, to be attached or inscribed on its outer surface so that it is readily visible to motorists, pedestrians and others. The cover remains in a substantially stationary upright position, notwithstanding the rotation of the wheel and hub cap of the vehicle.

The main disadvantage in the above mentioned prior art wheel cover assemblies is their lack of stability, and their tendency to oscillate about the axis of rotation of the hub caps on which the assemblies are mounted. This is because they often use a disc with an offset mass mounted thereon to achieve pendulum like stability. Such assemblies include those disclosed in US Patent No's. 4,388, 771 (Lalonde), 3,769, 729 (Engler), 2,754, 154 (Solow), 2,954, 629 (Matin) and 6,536, 848 (Goodman).

US Patent No 4, 280, 293 (Kovalenko) discloses a wheel cover that uses mercury in a dampening arrangement to help minimise the above mentioned oscillatory effect.

Nevertheless, it is unable to dampen the oscillatory effect to the extent desired.

The present invention seeks to provide a wheel cover that will overcome or substantially ameliorate at least some of the deficiencies of the prior art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to a first aspect of the invention there is provided a cover assembly comprising a wheel cover mounted to a support member, said support member being carried by the vehicle, and wherein said wheel cover is mechanically separated from said vehicle wheel.

Preferably, said vehicle wheel is mounted to a rotatable hub, and said support member extends through said hub.

Preferably, said hub is rotatably connected to an axle assembly and said support member extends into said axle assembly.

Preferably, said cover includes an illumination device.

Preferably, said illumination device is an electronic screen.

Preferably, said cover is used for decorative purposes.

Preferably, said cover is used for displaying indicia.

Preferably, said wheel cover is removably mounted to said support member.

Preferably, an electrical cable supplying power to said illumination device from said vehicle electrical system extends through said support member.

Preferably, a bearing means is included intermediate said wheel cover and said vehicle wheel.

Preferably, said bearing means is located near the periphery of said wheel cover.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Preferred embodiments of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which: FIG 1 is a plan cross-sectional schematic view of a cover assembly for a vehicle wheel according to a first preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG 2 is a side view of the cover assembly for a vehicle wheel shown in FIG 1.

FIG 3 is a plan cross-sectional schematic view of a cover assembly for a vehicle wheel according to a second preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG 4 is a plan cross-sectional schematic view of a cover assembly for a vehicle wheel according to a third preferred embodiment of the present invention.

BEST MODE OF CARRYING OUT INVENTION FIGS 1 and 2 depict a first embodiment of a cover assembly 1 for a vehicle wheel mounted to a differential hub assembly that is mounted on the frame 2 of a vehicle. The cover assembly 1 includes a wheel cover 3 that is mounted on a support member 4. The support member 4 extends axially through the centre of a hub and drum 5 and through the centre of a vehicle axle 6. The support member 4 is fixed at one end to the frame 2.

The wheel cover 3 is disposed substantially within the inner diameter of a wheel tyre 7.

Since the wheel cover 3 is mechanically separated from the hub and drum 5, the axle 6 and the tyre 7 and is fixed to the frame 2, it does not rotate with the above-mentioned components when the vehicle is in motion.

A bearing member 8 is disposed on the rear surface 12 of cover 3 in an annular fashion, such that it is intermediate the wheel cover 3 and the tyre 7. Another bearing member (not shown) may be provided intermediate the support member 4 and the inside surface of the axle 6. Both bearing members serve to minimise friction between the respective adjacent surfaces if they inadvertently come into contact due to vibration while the vehicle is in motion.

The wheel cover 3 is removably mounted to the support member 4 so that the hub and drum 5 are easily accessible. Furthermore, the wheel cover 3 may be retrofitable to a vehicle in which the support member 4 has been previously installed.

The wheel cover 3 can thus display various designs, monograms, logos, indicia and advertising in an upright stationary position whilst the car is in motion.

The wheel cover 3 also includes an illumination device 10 that is connected to the power supply of the vehicle. Cables 11 extend through the support member 4 and electrically connect the illumination device 10 to the vehicle's power supply. Whenever the wheel cover 3 is detached from the support member 4, the cables 11 disconnect from the illumination device 10 so that the wheel cover 3 can be completely removed.

The illumination device 10 may provide a decorative lighting arrangement or assist in the display of designs, monograms, logos, indicia or advertising, particularly in the dark.

The wheel cover 3 may be manufactured from a metal alloy, plastic, fibreglass or any other suitable material. The support member 4 may be manufactured from steel or any other suitable structural engineering material with a relatively high degree of stiffness.

FIG 3 depicts a second embodiment of a cover assembly 1 for a vehicle wheel mounted to a front wheel drive hub assembly. Like reference numerals to those depicted in the first embodiment denote like parts.

FIG 4 depicts a third embodiment of a cover assembly 1 for a vehicle wheel mounted to a differential drive hub assembly. Like reference numerals to those depicted in the first embodiment denote like parts. Whilst in the abovementioned first and second embodiments the braking arrangement of the hub and drum 5 have been omitted for clarity purposes, the third embodiment depicts a braking arrangement 15. Also, the axle assembly differs in configuration to that of the first and second embodiments.

It should be understood that in the abovementioned embodiments, the various components of the cover assembly 1, and the other vehicle components such as frame 2, hub and drum 5, axle 6 etc may also vary in shape and configuration.

The foregoing describes only same preferred embodiment of the present invention and modifications, obvious to those skilled in the art, can be made thereto without departing from the scope of the present invention.

The term"comprising" (and its grammatical variations) as used herein is used in the inclusive sense of"having"or"including"and not in the exclusive sense of"consisting only of'.