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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
ELECTRIC MOTOR.
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2010/032185
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
An electric motor (1) comprises a casing (2), a stator housed in the casing (2), a sealing cover (10), a rotor (6) rotatable inside the casing (2) and equipped with a commutator (7), a circuit (8) for powering the commutator (7) comprising two brushes (15) in sliding contact with the commutator (7); the motor (1) comprises two brush holder sleeves (14) in which the brushes (15) slide and two springs (17) operating between the brush holder sleeves (14) and the respective brushes (15) in such a way as to push the latter towards the commutator (7); both the sleeves (14) and the springs (17) form part of the circuit (8) for powering the brushes (15).

Inventors:
DE FILIPPIS PIETRO (IT)
Application Number:
IB2009/053985
Publication Date:
March 25, 2010
Filing Date:
September 11, 2009
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SPAL AUTOMOTIVE SRL (IT)
DE FILIPPIS PIETRO (IT)
International Classes:
H02K5/14; H01R39/41; H02K11/02
Foreign References:
US20070210672A12007-09-13
DE29803270U11999-07-15
DE19750038A11999-05-20
US3025421A1962-03-13
EP1075076A12001-02-07
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PUGGIOLI, Tommaso (Via Goito 18, Bologna, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. An electric motor comprising: a casing (2); a stator housed in the casing (2); a cover (10) which closes the casing (2); a rotor (6) which revolves inside the casing (2) and which is equipped with a commutator (7), a commutator (7) power circuit (8) comprising at least one brush (15) in sliding contact with the commutator (7); at least one brush holder sleeve (14) in which the brush (15) slides; at least one spring (17) operating between the brush holder sleeve (14) and the respective brush (15) in such a way as to push the brush (15) towards the commutator (7); the motor being characterized in that the power circuit (8) comprises the sleeve

(14) and the spring (17) for powering the brush (15).

2. The motor according to claim 1, characterized in that the spring (17) comprises at least one first coating (24) of conductive material.

3. The motor according to claim 2, characterized in that the thickness (S) of the first coating (24) is between 1 μm and 10 μm.

4. The motor according to claim 2 or 3, characterized in that the coating (24) comprises copper.

5. The motor according to claim 4, characterized in that the thickness (S) of the first coating (24) is between 5 μm and 10 μm.

6. The motor according to any of the foregoing claims, characterized in that the spring (17) comprises a second protective coating (24a).

7. The motor according to claim 5, characterized in that the second coating (24a) comprises nickel.

8. The motor according to claim 7, characterized in that the thickness (Sl) of the second coating (24a) is between 1 μm and 2 μm.

9. The motor according to any of the foregoing claims, characterized in that the spring (17) has a central portion (18, 18a) for making electrical contact with the brush (15).

10. The motor according to claim 9, characterized in that the central portion (18a) is curvilinear.

11. The motor according to any of the foregoing claims, characterized in that the brush (15) has a rounded rear portion (25) for maximizing the points of contact with the spring (17).

12. The motor according to any of the foregoing claims, characterized in that the spring (17) has at least one end portion (19, 20) for making electrical contact with the sleeve (14).

13. The motor according to any of the foregoing claims, characterized in that the spring (17) has at least one end portion (19, 20) rolled in a spiral which, when rewound onto itself, keeps the brush (15) pressed against the commutator (7).

14. The motor according to any of the foregoing claims, characterized in that the power circuit (8) comprises a mounting plate (9) and a plurality of SMD type components (13, 14) attached to the plate (9).

15. The motor according to claim 14, characterized in that the plate (9) is fastened to the cover (10) in order to dissipate heat through the cover itself.

16. The motor according to any of the foregoing claims, characterized in that the sleeve (14) is of the SMD type.

17. An electric motor brush holder spring defined by a metal strip having e central portion (18, 18a) and at least one end portion (19, 20) rolled in a spiral, the spring being characterized in that it comprises at least one coating (24) of electrically conductive material.

18. The spring according to claim 17, characterized in that the central portion (18a) has a curvilinear profile.

19. The spring according to claim 16 or 17, characterized in that it comprises a second protective coating (24a) on the strip (30).

Description:
Description

Electric motor

Technical Field

This invention relates to a brushed electric motor and, in particular, to a brushed electric motor for automotive applications.

Background Art

Known in the prior art are low-power brushed electric motors with built-in filters for suppressing electromagnetic noise due to motor operation and a motor power supply circuit, in particular for powering the commutator attached to the rotor. The filters and power supply circuit are mounted between the motor casing and cover.

The commutator is powered by the power supply circuit which comprises brushes mounted in suitable holder sleeves along which they are pushed towards the commutator by springs which contribute to brush wear.

The brushes are connected to the external power supply by a braided conductor, normally of copper, and noise is suppressed by simple inductors connected in series with the brushes.

These motors have operating temperature limits in that they cannot operate at temperatures greater than 80°-85° without drastically reducing performance and, moreover, they are not satisfactory in terms of electromagnetic compatibility (EMI) because there is very little space inside them for filters other than the basic, and not very sophisticated, traditional inductors.

These aspects are even worse in the case of a sealed motor because the heat that develops inside the motor cannot be removed by forced air flows.

Another shortcoming of these motors is due to the presence of the braid, which must be especially soldered to the power supply circuit.

Disclosure of the Invention

In this context, the main technical purpose of the present invention is to propose an electric motor which is free of the above mentioned disadvantages.

This invention has for an aim to provide a compact electric motor whose cooling system is optimized compared to prior art motors.

Another aim of the invention is to provide an electric motor that is satisfactory in terms of electromagnetic compatibility.

Yet another aim of the invention is to provide an electric motor that is quick and easy to mount.

The stated technical purpose and aims of the invention are substantially achieved by an electric motor as described in claim 1 and in one or more of the claims dependent thereon.

Brief Description of the Drawings

Further features and advantages of the present invention are more apparent in the detailed description below, with reference to a preferred, non-limiting, embodiment of an electric motor, as illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:

- Figure 1 is a schematic, partly exploded, perspective view of an electric motor according to this invention;

- Figure 2 is a schematic perspective view of a detail of the motor of Figure 1 ;

- Figure 3 illustrates the detail of Figure 2 in a schematic, partly exploded top plan view;

- Figure 4 is an enlarged top plan view schematically illustrating a part of the detail of Figure 2; - Figure 5 is a schematic top plan cross-section of a detail of the motor of

Figure 1 ;

- Figure 6 is a schematic top plan cross-section of a second embodiment of the detail of Figure 5;

- Figure 7 is a circuit diagram, partly in blocks, representing the power supply circuit of the motor according to the invention.

Detailed Description of the Preferred Embodiments of the Invention

With reference to the accompanying drawings, the numeral 1 denotes an electric motor according to this invention. The motor 1 comprises a casing 2 which houses stator magnets suitably positioned and mounted to form a stator unit or stator that is not illustrated since it is of substantially known type.

A rotor 6, equipped with a commutator 7, is housed in the casing 2 and is mounted in such a way as to rotate relative to the stator. Substantially at the commutator 7 the motor 1 comprises a power supply circuit 8 or brush holder circuit 8, illustrated in particular in Figures 2, 3 and 4.

An electric circuit diagram of the circuit 8, partly in blocks, is shown in Figure 7 and is described below.

The power supply circuit 8 is made preferably according to prior art "surface mount technology" (SMT).

The power supply circuit 8 comprises a board 9 for mounting the components, described in more detail below, made according to SMT and thus referred to as "surface mounting devices" (SMD).

In a first embodiment, the mounting board 9 is in the form of a traditional printed circuit board.

Alternatively, to further improve the heat exchange capacity of the board 9, the latter may be in the form of a prior art isolated metal substrate (IMS). The IMS comprises a metal base, a dielectric isolator and a conductive copper layer.

Generally speaking, as schematically illustrated in Figure 7, the board 9 has etched on it the electric tracks that make up the motor 1 power supply circuit 8.

The motor 1 comprises a cover 10 for sealing the casing 2 and the board 9 is fixed to the cover 10.

Advantageously, the cover 10 is made of thermally conductive material, such as aluminium. The board 9 is connected to the cover 10 in such a way as to maximize the heat exchange surface between the board 9 and the cover 10.

Preferably, the board 9 has a flat surface 11 for coming into contact with the cover 10. The cover 10 also has a corresponding flat inside surface 12 for coupling to the board 9. The contact between the surface 11 and the surface 12 is such as to guarantee the maximum heat exchange.

The circuit 8 comprises an electromagnetic noise suppressor filter 13.

The circuit 8 also comprises the brush holder sleeves 14 in which the brushes 15 slide. The motor 1 illustrated by way of an example comprises a pair of brushes 15 mounted opposite each other along a diametric line D.

The filter 13, as schematically illustrated in Figure 7, comprises a set of three capacitors Cl, C2, C3 and a pair of inductors Ll, L2 connected as shown in the diagram. Preferably, between the capacitors Cl and C2 there is a common potential node 16.

The node 16 is electrically connected to the aluminium cover 10 which constitutes the electrical reference for Cl and C2.

Preferably, the cover 10 is connected by a screw 26 which is also used to fasten the board 9 to the cover 10.

A second screw 26a acts in conjunction with the first screw 26 to fasten the board 9 to the cover 10.

As mentioned above, the capacitors Cl, C2 and C3 and the inductors Ll and L2 are SMD components of substantially known type. It should be noted that the inductors Ll and L2 are of the type comprising a sealed magnetic circuit to minimize magnetic flux dispersion. These inductors are known as "shielded" inductors.

According to this invention, the brush holder sleeves 14 are also made in such a way that they can be assembled with the rest of the electric circuit 8 using SMT.

Thus, construction of the circuit 8 is considerably simplified since all the components, namely the capacitors Cl, C2, C3, the inductors Ll, L2 and the brush holder sleeves 14 are placed on the board 9 and subsequently soldered by placing the assembly in a heating tunnel. The circuit 8 thus has a pair of terminals A and B for powering the motor 1 and through which the motor 1 can be connected to an external power source, not illustrated.

It should be noted that construction of the brush holder circuit 8 using SMT also significantly reduces assembly time compared to mounting of traditional brush holders.

To make the most of this advantage, it is also important to dispense with the traditional braided connection used to connect the brushes to an external power circuit.

The motor 1 according to the invention comprises springs 17 operating between each brush holder sleeve 14 and the respective brush 15 in order to keep the latter in contact with the commutator 7.

Each spring 17 is also used to power the respective brush 15.

According to the invention, as clearly shown in the diagram in Figure 7, each spring 17 provides an electrical connection between the brush 15 and the respective holder sleeve 14 which can in turn be connected to the external power source. hi other words, in the motor 1 according to the invention, the springs 17 are multipurpose, that is, each applies to a brush 15 a constant pressure towards the commutator 7 and at the same time ensures electrical contact between the brush 15 and the sleeve 14.

Referring for simplicity to a single sleeve 14 - spring 17 - brush 15 assembly, attention is drawn to the following.

As shown in Figures 5 and 6, the spring 17 is in the form of a suitably shaped piece of metal tape 30. The tape 30 is made of spring steel, preferably stainless.

As will become clearer as this description continues, the tape 30 forms a first layer of the spring 17, to which two other layers of metal are applied, according to the invention.

The spring 17 has a central portion 18, 18a and two end portions 19, 20. The end portions 19, 20 are curled, that is to say, they have a coiled shape or are wound in a spiral and are used to connect up with the sleeve 14. hi the embodiment illustrated in Figure 5, the central portion 18 of the spring 17 is substantially rectilinear. hi the alternative embodiment illustrated in Figure 6, the central portion 18a is curvilinear for the purposes that will become clearer as this description continues.

It should be noted that in Figures 1 and 3 the spring 17 is shown in the operating configuration, as if it were inserted in the sleeve 14.

The portion 18 is designed to make contact with the brush 15 and to push the latter towards the commutator 7. As mentioned above, the pushing action is preferably constant.

Looking in more detail, the brush holder sleeve 14 has a central groove 21 inside it which partly houses the spring 17 and in which the brush 15 runs.

The sleeve 14 also has a first and a second seat 22, 23 for accommodating the above mentioned end portions 19, 20 of the spring 17. With reference In particular to Figure 4, it may be observed that, in practice, once the brush 15 has been inserted into the groove 21, the central portion 18 of the spring 17 is pushed In direction Vl along the radial line D, thereby at least partly unwinding the end portions 19, 20. In the case of a spring 17 according to the embodiment of Figure 5, the rectilinear portion 18 adopts a curved shape and the portions 19 and 20 are partly unwound along the walls of the groove 21. hi other words, the rectilinear stretch 18 bends into the groove 21 to allow the spring 17 to be inserted into the groove. hi the case of a spring 17 shaped like that shown in Figure 6, the central portion 18a keeps its curvature substantially unchanged.

In use, the springs 17 are inserted into the brush holder sleeves 14 with the portions 19 and 20 inserted in the seats 22 and 23.

The spring 17 is pushed Into the groove 21 and part of the tape 30 is unwound from the spirals at the ends.

Figure 4 shows how, once the commutator 7 has been fitted, the portions 19 and 20 tend to curl, that is to say, the tape 30 winds up again, imparting to the central portion 18 a motion in direction V2 in the groove 21 along the line D. This motion pushes the brush 15 in direction V2 against the commutator 7 to enable operation of the motor 1.

It should be noted that the spring 17 made in this way makes it possible to use the full length of the groove 21, allowing use of springs 15 of a length such that the motor 1 can be classified as a "long life" or "very long life" device. hi order to guarantee the electrical connection between brushes 15, springs 17, sleeves 14 and external power supply circuit, the sleeves 14 are made of metal.

Advantageously, also, the springs 17 are coated with a conductive material since the steel they are normally made of does not provide satisfactory electrical performance.

As illustrated in Figures 5 and 6, the brush 15 has a coating 24 made of conductive material.

In the preferred embodiment illustrated, the coating 24 is applied to the spring 17 by plating, that is to say, the spring 17 is plated with the conductive material.

By way of an example, the coating 24 is made of copper, silver or gold. Preferably, the copper coating has a thickness S of between 5 μm and 10 μm. In order to enhance the durability of the conductive coating 24 and protect it, for example, from weathering, each spring 17 is provided with a second, protective coating 24a over the first, conductive coating 24.

Preferably, the second, protective coating 24a is made of nickel which, besides protection, also provides mechanical strength and good conductivity.

Preferably, the second, nickel coating 24a has a thickness Sl of between 1 μm and 2 μm.

The spring 17 thus takes the form of a multi-layer spring 17.

A spring steel core in the form of a piece of tape 30, constitutes a first layer and confers on the spring 17 good mechanical strength combined with the elastic properties of steel; the coating 24 of conductive material constitutes a second layer, making the spring 17 satisfactorily conductive so that the springs 17 can be correctly powered; and, lastly, the second coating 24a, besides not hindering conductivity, constitutes a third and last layer which protects the conductive coating 24 and enhances its durability. hi order to guarantee a good electrical connection between the spring 17 and the respective brush 15, the latter has a rear portion 25 that is rounded so that the surface that comes into contact with the spring 17 is as large as possible.

In other words, the curvature of the brush 15 maximizes the points of contact between the spring 17 and the brush 15, thus optimizing the electrical conductivity between them. hi particular, optimal contact is obtained with the central portion 18 of the spring 17 which, as mentioned above is also curved inside the groove 21.

It should be noted that, advantageously, if the portion 18a is also curved, as shown in Figure 6, electrical performance is further improved.

In practice, as shown in Figure 3, the spring 17 has an inside surface 18b that comes into contact with the brush 15. hi particular, the internal contact surface 18b is located at the central portion 18, 18a of the spring 17. The brush 15 also has a surface 15a of preferential contact with the spring

17.

Advantageously, the contact surface 15a is located at the rounded portion 25.

Contact between the spring 17 and the sleeve 14 occurs especially at a zone 22a and a zone 23a of the seats 22, 23, respectively. In practice, it is no longer necessary to provide a metal braid to power the brush 15 and follow its movement along the sleeve.

Assembly is thus considerably facilitated since, after soldering the SMD components with SMT, it is sufficient to slot the sleeves 14, springs 17 and brushes 15 into place.

The use of capacitors Cl, C2, C3 and shielded inductors Ll, L2 allows the construction of a filter 13 with enhanced performance which guarantees good electromagnetic compatibility for the motor 1.

The brush holder circuit 8 constructed on the board 9 and directly in contact with the cover 10, preferably of aluminium, dissipates heat very effectively, allowing the motor 1 to operate even at temperatures in the order of 120°-125° centigrade.

It should be noted that this thermal performance can be obtained with a motor 1 of the sealed type, which is the preferred embodiment of this invention. The invention can advantageously also be applied to open motors.

The invention described above is susceptible of industrial application and may be modified and adapted in several ways without thereby departing from the scope of the inventive concept. Moreover, all details of the invention may be substituted by technically equivalent elements.