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Title:
SPINDLE DRIVE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/182080
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention is directed to a spindle drive for an adjustment element (2) of a motor vehicle, comprising a drive motor arrangement(3), a spindle gear (5), a first drive connector (6) and a second drive connector (7) for the output of linear drive movements along a geometrical, drive axis (8), wherein the spindle gear (5) comprises a rotating drive spindle (9) with an outer thread (10) and a non rotating spindle nut (11) with an inner thread (12), wherein the outer thread (10) of the drive spindle (9) meshes with the inner thread (12) of the spindle nut (11), wherein by rotating the drive spindle (9) with the drive motor arrangement (3) the spindle drive (1) may be adjusted with respect to the drive connectors (6, 7) between a retracted state and an extended state. It is proposed, that the drive spindle (9) comprises a hollow spindle tube (13), which at its outer surface comprises the outer thread (10).

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Inventors:
HONG SEONG-JUN (KR)
JEONG SANGYONG (KR)
KIM BACK-SOO (KR)
Application Number:
EP2016/058871
Publication Date:
October 26, 2017
Filing Date:
April 21, 2016
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
BROSE FAHRZEUGTEILE (DE)
International Classes:
F16H25/20; E05F15/622
Domestic Patent References:
WO2014079593A12014-05-30
Foreign References:
EP1538066A12005-06-08
DE102010041233A12012-03-29
US20060266146A12006-11-30
DE20108882U12002-10-10
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GOTTSCHALD, Jan (Am Mühlenturm 1, Düsseldorf, 40489, DE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. Spindle drive for an adjustment element (2) of a motor vehicle, comprising a drive motor arrangement (3), a spindle gear (5) as well as a first drive connector (6) and a second drive connector (7) for the output of linear drive movements along a geometrical drive axis (8), wherein the spindle gear (5) comprises a rotating drive spindle (9) with an outer thread (10) and a non rotating spindle nut (1 1 ) with an inner thread (12), wherein the outer thread (10) of the drive spindle (9) meshes with the inner thread ( 12) of the spindle nut (1 1), wherein by rotating the drive spindle (9) with the drive motor arrangement (3) the spindle drive (1) may be adjusted with respect to the drive connectors (6, 7) between a retracted state and an extended state,

characterized in

that the drive spindle (9) comprises a hollow spindle tube (13), which at its outer surface comprises the outer thread ( 10).

2. Spindle drive according to claim 1, characterized in that the drive motor arrangement (3) is at least partly arranged in the hollow interior ( 14) of the spindle tube (13), preferably, that the drive motor arrangement (3) is fully arranged in the hollow interior ( 14) of the spindle tube (13).

3. Spindle drive according to claim 1 or 2, characterized in that the outer thread (10) is provided along at least a main portion of the longitudinal extension (15) of the spindle tube (13) along the drive axis (8), and/or, that the longitudinal ex- tension (16) of the outer thread (10) is at least the longitudinal extension ( 17) of the drive movement of the drive connectors (6, 7) between the retracted state and the extended state,

4. Spindle drive according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the longitudinal extension (18) of the inner thread ( 12) along the drive axis

(8) is smaller than the longitudinal extension (18) of the outer thread ( 10) along the drive axis (8), preferably, that the longitudinal extension ( 18) of the inner thread (12) along the drive axis (8) is smaller than the diameter of the inner thread (12). 5, Spindle drive according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the spindle nut ( 1 1 ) together with a tubular section ( 19) extending from the spindle nut (11) along the drive axis (8) add up to a hollow spindle nut tube (20), which is arranged concentrically with respect to the spindle tube (13),

6. Spindle drive according to claim 5, characterized in that the second drive connector (7) is coupled to the end of the spindle nut tube (20) opposite to the end, at which the spindle nut (1 1 ) is arranged, 7. Spindle drive according to claim 5 or 6, characterized in that in the retracted state the spindle tube (13) and the spindle nut tube (20) largely overlap each other along the drive axis (8).

8. Spindle drive according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that in the retracted state the spindle nut (1 1 ) is at the end of the spindle tube ( 13), which is facing the first drive connector (6), preferably, that in the extended state the spindle nut (1 1 ) is at the end of the spindle tube ( 13), which is facing the second drive connector (7), 9. Spindle drive according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that a carrier arrangement (2 1 ) is provided, which carries the drive motor arrangement (3) and which is coupled to the first drive connector (6), preferably, that the carrier arrangement (21 ) comprises a hollow carrier tube (22), which receives at least part of the drive motor arrangement (3), further preferably, that the carrier tube (22) is aligned to the drive axis (8), further preferably, that the spindle tube ( 13) and the carrier tube (22) largely overlap each other along the drive axis (8).

10. Spindle drive according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the drive motor arrangement (3) comprises an output shaft (23), which is aligned to the drive axis (8), preferably, that the output shaft (23 ) is located at a side of the drive motor arrangement (3), which is facing away from the first connector (6), further preferably, that the carrier tube (22) comprises an opening (24) and that the output shaft (23) is reaching through the opening (24) of the carrier tube (22).

1 1. Spindle drive according to claim 10, characterized in that the carrier tube (22) carries a rotational bearing (25) for the output shaft (23) of the drive motor arrangement (3). 12, Spindle drive according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the spindle tube (13) is arranged concentrically with respect to the carrier tube (22), preferably, that the carrier tube (22) provides a longitudinal guide for the spindle tube (13) along the drive axis. 13. Spindle drive according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the spindle drive (1) comprises a housing (27), which receives at least the drive motor arrangement (3), preferably, that the housing (27) provides a longitudinal guide for the spindle nut tube (12), 14. Spindle drive according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the spindle tube (13) and/or the spindle nut (14) and/or the spindle nut tube (20) is/are made from plastic material, preferably, that the spindle tube (13) and/or the spindle nut (1 1 ) and/or the spindle nut tube (20) is/are being produced by plastic injection moulding.

15. Hatch arrangement of a motor vehicle with a moveable hatch (2) and a spindle drive ( 1) for motorized movement of the hatch (2),

characterized in

that the spindle drive (1) is designed according to any one of the preceding claims.

Description:
Spindle drive

The present invention is directed to a spindle drive for an adjustment element of a motor vehicle according to the general part of claim 1 and to a hatch arrange- ment of a motor vehicle according to the general part of claim 15.

The application of spindle drives has become popular in recent years especially for the motorized movement of adjustment elements such as hatches, in particular of liftgates and deck lids. Here, a very compact design is desirable in order to keep the packaging space requirements low.

The known spindle drive (WO 2014/079593 Al), which is the starting point of the invention, comprises a drive motor arrangement and a spindle gear with the components spindle and spindle nut. While the spindle with its outer thread is of small longitudinal extension along the drive axis, the spindle nut is of large longitudinal extension along the drive axis. The longitudinal extension of the spindle nut basically defines the area of movement between a retracted state and an extended state of the spindle drive. In the fully retracted state the tubular spindle nut with its inner thread overlaps the main portion of the drive motor arrange- ment, which serves to drive the spindle of the spindle gear.

While the known spindle drive is of considerable compactness with respect to its overall longitudinal extension along the drive axis, the production of this spindle drive is to be considered a challenge. This is particularly because the tubular spindle nut comprises an inner thread, which is of considerable longitudinal extension. An inner thread with large longitudinal extension is often costly to manufacture, in particular, when the spindle nut is of plastic material.

It is therefore an object of the present invention, to further develop the known spindle drive such that the resulting costs for production are reduced.

The invention is based on the general idea that the drive spindle is designed as a hollow spindle tube, which at its outer surface comprises the outer thread. With this hollow design of the drive spindle, the hollow interior of the drive spindle may well be used to receive various components of the spindle drive, which generally may increase the overall compactness of the spindle drive. With the proposed solution a new structural design of the spindle drive is possible, particularly allowing that the inner thread of the spindle nut is relatively short, while the outer thread of the drive spindle is relatively large, each with respect to the drive axis. Accordingly, the respective threads are relatively easy to manufacture.

In the preferred embodiment according to claim 2 the hollow interior of the spindle tube is used for receiving at least part of the drive motor arrangement. With this it is generally possible that the drive motor arrangement is fully arranged in the hollow interior of the spindle tube such that the drive motor arrangement as such does not require any additional space other than the space provided by the hollow interior of the spindle tube. This leads to a particularly compact overall construction.

According to a preferred alternative of claim 3 the longitudinal extension of the outer thread of the drive spindle defines the longitudinal extension of the drive movement of the drive connectors between the retracted state and the extended state. With this it is possible to reduce the extension of the inner thread of the spindle nut to a minimum as proposed by claim 4.

Claims 5 and 6 are directed to preferred embodiments, which provide a hollow spindle nut tube, which at one end comprises the spindle nut (claim 5) and which at the other end is coupled to the second drive connector (claim 6).

The most compact overall construction may be achieved with the further preferred embodiment according to claim 7, which is based on the idea of the spindle tube and the spindle nut tube largely overlapping each other along the drive axis, when the spindle drive is in its retracted state. The expression "largely" in the present context generally means, that, if any, only minor sections of the respective components are not overlapping each other.

An easy to realize construction may be achieved by the preferred embodiment according to claim 9, which includes a carrier arrangement for the drive motor arrangement, which carrier arrangement in as especially preferred embodiment comprises a hollow carrier tube. The carrier tube, the drive spindle tube and the spindle nut tube may be telescopically nested within one another which as a result leads to a high degree of radial compactness with respect to the drive axis.

A second teaching according to claim 15 is directed to a hatch arrangement of a motor vehicle, which hatch arrangement comprises a moveable hatch and a spindle drive according to the first teaching. All explanations given regarding the first teaching are fully applicable to this second teaching.

In the following the invention is explained based on the drawings, which display a preferred embodiment only. In the drawings show:

Fig. 1 the back section of a motor vehicle with a proposed hatch arrangement, which comprises a proposed spindle drive,

Fig. 2 the spindle drive in the retracted state in longitudinal section,

Fig. 3 the spindle drive according to Fig. 2 in the extended state and

Fig. 4 the spindle tube and the spindle nut tube in a disassembled state.

The spindle drive 1 shown in the drawings serves for motorized adjustment of an adjustment element of a motor vehicle. In the shown embodiment, the adjustment element is the hatch 2, in particular a liftgate, of a motor vehicle. Alternatively the adjustment element may be a deck lid, a side door, a back door, an engine hood or the like.

In the following, the invention is explained referring to an adjustment element which is the hatch 2 of the motor vehicle shown in Fig. 1. All explanations given regarding the hatch 2 are fully applicable to all other variants of the adjustment element.

As shown in Fig. 2 and 3, the spindle drive 1 comprises a drive motor arrangement 3. The drive motor arrangement 3 comprises an electric motor 4, which may be controlled by an electric hatch control, which is not shown in the drawings. The electric motor 4 drives a spindle gear 5, which serves to generate linear drive movements. Between the electric motor 4 and the spindle gear 5, prefera- bly, an intermediate gear 4a is provided. For example, the intermediate gear 4a may be a planetary gear or the like.

The proposed spindle drive 1 also comprises a first drive connector 6 and a sec- ond drive connector 7 for the output of the linear drive movements, which linear drive movements are aligned along a geometrical drive axis 8. The first drive connector 6 is coupled to the body of the motor vehicle, while the second drive connector 7 is coupled to the hatch 2. The spindle gear 5 comprises a rotating drive spindle 9 with an outer thread 10, which outer thread 10 is displayed in Fig. 4. The spindle gear 5 also comprises a non-rotating spindle nut 1 1 with an inner thread 12, which inner thread 12 may be taken from Fig. 4 as well. Fig. 2 shows that the outer thread 10 of the drive spindle 9 meshes with the inner thread 12 of the spindle nut 1 1 , which is generally known from a spindle gear 5 for generating linear drive movements along the drive axis 8. Accordingly, by rotating the drive spindle 9 with the drive motor arrangement 3, the spindle drive 1 may be adjusted with respect to the drive connectors 6, 7 between a retracted state (Fig. 2) and an extended state (Fig. 3). The expression "with respect to the drive connectors 6, 7" means that the linear drive movements take place between the drive connectors 6, 7. In other words, the linear drive movements are relative drive movements between the drive connectors 6, 7. Accordingly, the drive connectors 6, 7, here and preferably, are arranged on the drive axis 8.

The overall structure of the proposed spindle drive 1 is such that the drive connectors 6, 7 define the longitudinal extension of the spindle drive 1 along the drive axis 8. With this overall structure the integration of the spindle drive 1 is simple in most cases.

It is of importance for the proposed solution that the drive spindle 9 comprises a hollow spindle tube 13, which at its outer surface comprises the outer thread 10. This is shown, for example, in Fig. 4. Fig. 2 and 3 show, that the drive motor arrangement 3 is at least partly arranged in the hollow interior 14 of the spindle tube 13. In the shown embodiment the drive motor arrangement 3 is even fully arranged in the hollow interior 14 of the spindle tube 13. The drawings taken together show that with this overall structure the drive motor arrangement 3 does not require any more packaging space than is provided by the spindle tube 13. This leads to a considerable degree of compactness.

The outer thread 10 of the drive spindle 9 is preferably provided along at least a main portion of the longitudinal extension 15 of the spindle tube 13 along the drive axis 8. In general, the longitudinal extension 16 of the outer thread 10 pref- erably is at least the longitudinal extension 17 of the drive movement of the drive connectors 6, 7 between the retracted state and the extended state. This means that, as shown in the drawings, the longitudinal extension 17 of the drive movement of the drive connectors 6, 7 is defined and possibly even restricted by the longitudinal extension 16 of the outer thread 10.

While the longitudinal extension 16 of the outer thread 10 is of considerable length, the longitudinal extension 18 of the inner thread 12 is relatively small with respect to the longitudinal extension 16 of the outer thread 10. As shown in the drawings, the longitudinal extension 18 of the inner thread 12 is smaller than 0,5 times the longitudinal extension 16 of the outer thread 10, further preferably, the longitudinal extension 18 of the inner thread 12 is smaller than 0,25 times the longitudinal extension 16 of the outer thread 10.

Here and preferably, the longitudinal extension 8 of the inner thread 12 is in the magnitude of the diameter of the inner thread 12. Further preferably, the longitudinal extension 18 of the inner thread 12 is smaller than the diameter of the inner thread 12.

An interesting realization of the spindle nut 11 is shown in Fig. 4. Here, the spin- die nut 1 1 together with a tubular section 19 extending from the spindle nut 1 1 along the drive axis 8 add up to a hollow spindle nut tube 20, which is arranged concentrically with respect to the spindle tube 13. While the spindle nut 11 is arranged at one end of the spindle nut tube 20, the second drive connector 7 is coupled to the end of the spindle nut tube 20, which is opposite to the end, at which the spindle nut 1 1 is arranged. This coupling here and preferably is a rigid coupling. The spindle nut tube 20 makes is possible to arrange the drive connectors 6, 7 on the drive axis 8 as shown in Fig. 2 and 3.

The spindle nut 1 1 and the tubular section 19 may be combined in a one piece component adding up to the spindle nut tube 20. However, those two components may be connected to each other in a form fit manner and/or a force fit manner and/or a bonded manner.

In the retracted state, which is shown in Fig. 2, the spindle tube 13 and the spin- die nut tube 20 largely overlap each other along the drive axis 8. It may be taken from Fig. 2, that with such telescopically nesting of the spindle tube 13 and spindle nut tube 20 into each other a rather short extension of the spindle drive 1 along the drive axis 8 in its retracted state is realized. With the spindle nut 1 1 being arranged at one end of the spindle nut tube 20, in the retracted state, the spindle nut 1 1 is at the end of the spindle tube 13, which is facing the first drive connector 6. This is shown in Fig. 2. In the extended state, which is shown in Fig. 3, the spindle nut 11 is at the end of the spindle tube 13, which is facing the second drive connector 7. With the spindle nut 1 1 traveling between both ends of the spindle tube 13, a maximum longitudinal extension of the drive movement between the drive connectors 6, 7 is possible.

In order to fix the drive motor arrangement 3 in the hollow interior 14 of the spindle tube 13, a carrier arrangement 21 is provided, which carries the drive motor arrangement 3 and which is coupled to the first drive connector 6. This coupling here and preferably is a rigid coupling.

The carrier arrangement 21 preferably comprises a hollow carrier tube 22, which receives at least part of the drive motor arrangement 3. Here and preferably, the carrier tube 22 receives the complete drive motor arrangement 3, as shown in the drawings. The carrier tube 22 is aligned to the drive axis 8, just as the spindle tube 13 and the spindle nut tube 20.

The drive motor arrangement 3 comprises an output shaft 23, which is aligned to the drive axis 8. As shown in Fig. 2 and 3, the output shaft 23 is located at a side of the drive motor arrangement 3, which is facing away from the first connector 6. In order for the output shaft 23 to be able to contact the spindle tube 13, the carrier tube 22 preferably comprises an opening 24, wherein the output shaft 23 is reaching through the opening 24 of the carrier tube 22. The output shaft 23 is coupled to the spindle tube 13 in order to drive the spindle 9 for retracting and extending the spindle drive 1 as noted above. This coupling here and preferably is a rigid coupling.

For a compact and noise reducing arrangement, the carrier tube 22 also carries a rotational bearing 25 for the output shaft 23 of the drive motor arrangement 3. The bearing 25 is preferably arranged in the hollow interior 26 of the carrier tube 22.

As the spindle tube 13 here and preferably is arranged concentrically with respect to the carrier tube 22, it is further preferred, that the carrier tube 22 pro- vides a longitudinal guide for the spindle tube 13 along the drive axis 8.

Here and preferably, the spindle tube 13 and the carrier tube 22 largely overlap each other along the drive axis 8, again leading to a high degree of compactness. As a result, in the retracted state, which is shown in Fig. 2, the spindle tube 13, the spindle nut tube 20 and the carrier tube 22 largely overlap each other along the drive axis 8.

As also shown in Fig. 2 and 3, the spindle drive 1 comprises a housing 27, which receives at least the drive motor arrangement 3. The housing 27 here and prefer- ably also receives the carrier arrangement 21 and the drive spindle 9 of the spindle gear 5. In the fully retracted state of the spindle drive 1 (Fig. 2) the housing 27 also receives the main portion of the spindle nut tube 20.

As an alternative or in addition to the above noted longitudinal guide of the spin- die tube 13, it may be advantageous, that the housing 27 provides a longitudinal guide for the spindle nut tube 20, which again has a guiding effect on the spindle tube 13.

It is also preferred, but not shown in the drawings, that the spindle drive 1 com- prises a spring arrangement, which produces a preload force between the drive connectors 6, 7. This may be a force, which urges the spindle drive 1 into the ex- tended state, or which urges the spindle drive 1 into the retracted state. It is well preferred that the spindle arrangement is located within the housing 27.

In the shown and insofar preferred embodiment the spindle tube 13 and/or the spindle nut tube 20 and/or the carrier tube 22 is/are of basically circular design in cross sectional view, as may be taken from Fig. 4. Fig. 4 also shows, that the cross sectional design of the spindle tube 13 deviates from an exact circular design only insofar, that the spindle tube 13 comprises two flat portions 28, that are each extending along the full longitudinal extension of the spindle tube 13 and that are arranged on opposite sides of the spindle tube 13, again seen in cross sectional view. Those flat portions 28 simplify the demoulding process, in case the spindle tube 13 is being produced by plastic injection moulding.

In terms of simple and low cost manufacturing, it is preferred, that the spindle tube 13 and/or the spindle nut 1 1 and/or the spindle nut tube 20 and/or the housing 27 is/are made from plastic material. In this context, it is further preferred, that the spindle tube 13 and/or the spindle nut 11 and/or the spindle nut tube 20 and/or the housing 27 is/are being produced by plastic injection moulding. It may generally be advantageous, that the tubular section 19 is made from plastic mate- rial, preferably by plastic injection moulding, whereas the spindle nut 1 1 is made from a different material such as metal. In this case the spindle nut 1 1 is connected to the tubular section 19 in a form fit manner and/or a force fit manner and/or a bonded manner as noted above. It may be summed up that the proposed solution is preferably applied for a hatch 2 of a motor vehicle. However, other applications are possible as indicated above. For example, the proposed spindle drive 1 may be used as a drive of a seatbelt presenter or the like. According to another teaching, the hatch arrangement of a motor vehicle with a movable hatch 2 and a proposed spindle drive 1 for motorized movement of the hatch 2 is claimed as such. All explanations given for the proposed spindle drive 1 are fully applicable for the proposed hatch arrangement.