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Title:
SPRING ASSEMBLY FOR ISOLATOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2015/010187
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
In an aspect, a spring assembly is provided for an isolator, and includes first and second helical compression springs, a retainer and a spring housing. The first helical compression spring has a central aperture and has a first end and a second end. The second helical compression spring having a central aperture and having a first end and a second end, wherein the second spring is coaxial with and nested within the first spring. The retainer has a base and a post that extends from the base into the central aperture at the first end of the second helical spring. The spring housing that has an interior space in which the first and second springs are positioned, and further includes a base-engaging aperture that holds the base of the retainer. The spring housing includes a drive wall that is engaged with the first ends of the first and second springs.

Inventors:
DELL, James, W. (295 Binns Ave, Newmarket, Ontario L3X 1T6, CA)
Application Number:
CA2014/000587
Publication Date:
January 29, 2015
Filing Date:
July 25, 2014
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
LITENS AUTOMOTIVE PARTNERSHIP (730 Rowntree Dairy Rd, Woodbridge, Ontario L4L 5T7, CA)
International Classes:
F16F15/123; B60K25/02; F02B67/06; F16F1/12; F16F3/04; F16H7/18; F16H55/36
Domestic Patent References:
WO2010099605A12010-09-10
Foreign References:
EP0349267A11990-01-03
Other References:
See also references of EP 3025072A4
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MILLMAN I.P. INC. (401 Bay St, Suite 1220 Box 6, Toronto Ontario M5H 2Y4, CA)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS:

1. A spring assembly for an isolator or other torque transfer device, comprising: a first helical compression spring and a second helical compression spring, wherein each of the helical compression springs has a central aperture and has a first end and a second end, wherein the second spring is coaxial with and nested within the first spring; a retainer having a base and a post that extends from the base into the central aperture at the first end of the second helical spring; and a spring housing that has an interior space in which the first and second springs are positioned, and further includes a base-engaging aperture that holds the base of the retainer, wherein the spring housing includes a drive wall that is engaged with the first ends of the first and second springs.

2. A spring assembly as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the retainer is made from a polymeric material.

3. A spring assembly as claimed in any one of claims 1 and 2, wherein the spring is made from a metal.

4. A spring assembly as claimed in any one of claims 1 , 2 and 3, wherein the base extends across the first end of both the first and second springs.

5. A spring assembly as claimed in any one of claims 1-4, wherein the spring housing is made from two pieces

6. A spring assembly as claimed in claim 5, wherein the spring housing includes a first piece and a second piece that together define the base-engaging structure and provide a press-fit with the base of the retainer.

7. A spring assembly as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the first and second springs are arcuate and have the same arc length.

8. A spring assembly as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the first and second springs are arcuate and have different arc lengths.

9. An isolator for isolating torsional vibration between an input member and an output member, comprising: a first rotary drive member that is engageable with one of the input and output members; a second rotary drive member that is engageable with the other of the input and output members; a first helical compression spring and a second helical compression spring, wherein each of the helical compression springs has a central aperture and has a first end and a second end, wherein the second spring is coaxial with and nested within the first spring; a retainer having a base and a post that extends from the base into the central aperture at the first end of the second helical spring; and a spring housing that has an interior space in which the first and second springs are positioned, and further includes a base-engaging aperture that holds the base of the retainer, wherein the spring housing includes a drive wall that is engaged with the first ends of the first and second springs.

Description:
TITLE: SPRING ASSEMBLY FOR ISOLATOR

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS:

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/858,172, filed July 25, 2013, the contents of which are incorporated by reference as if fully set forth in detail herein.

FIELD

[0002] The present invention relates to isolators and in particular isolators for use between the engine crankshaft and an endless drive member such as a belt.

BACKGROUND

[0003] An isolator is usually used for isolating a crankshaft pulley and its associated belt (e.g. an accessory drive belt) from torsional vibration from the crankshaft that is a result of reciprocation of masses (e.g. pistons) in an internal combustion engine, and in particular engines with certain cylinder counts such as four- or- three cylinder engines, and diesel engines. Some isolators incorporate two pairs of springs, where in each pair there is one outer spring that has a central aperture and one inner spring that is positioned in the central aperture of the outer spring. Such isolators suffer from noise issues however, due to sliding movement of the inner spring in the central aperture, since in many cases the inner spring is shorter lengthwise than the outer spring.

SUMMARY

[0004] In an aspect, a spring assembly is provided for an isolator or any other suitable torque transfer device, and includes first and second helical compression springs, a retainer and a spring housing. The first helical compression spring has a central aperture and has a first end and a second end. The second helical compression spring having a central aperture and having a first end and a second end, wherein the second spring is coaxial with and nested within the first spring. The retainer has a base and a post that extends from the base into the central aperture at the first end of the second helical spring. The spring housing that has an interior space in which the first and second springs are positioned, and further includes a base-engaging aperture that holds the base of the retainer. The spring housing includes a drive wall that is engaged with the first ends of the first and second springs.

[0005] In another aspect, an isolator is provided that includes the spring assembly described above.

[0006] Other features and advantages will be apparent by following the description with references to the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION ON THE DRAWINGS

[0007] The foregoing and other aspects of the disclosure will be more readily appreciated by reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

[0008] Figure 1 is an elevation view of an engine with a crankshaft, a driven belt and an isolator including a spring assembly in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

[0009] Figure 1a is a perspective right-side view of the isolator shown in Figure 1 ;

[00010] Figure 2 is a perspective exploded view of the isolator shown in Figure 1a;

[00011] Figure 4 is a perspective exploded view of first and second springs and a retainer that are part of the isolator shown in Figure 1a;

[00012] Figure 5 is a perspective unexploded view of the springs and the retainer shown in Figure 4 assembled together; [00013] Figure 6 is a perspective view of the springs and retainer shown in Figure 5, mounted in part of a spring housing;

[00014] Figure 7 is a perspective view of the springs and retainer shown in Figure 5, mounted in the complete spring housing, thereby forming a spring assembly;

[00015] Figure 8 is a perspective view of an alternative retainer that can be used with the isolator; and

[00016] Figure 9 is a perspective view of the two springs with the retainer shown in Figure 8.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

[00017] Reference is made to Figure 1 , which shows an isolator 10 for transferring power between a crankshaft 12 on an engine 14 and an endless drive member 16, such as an accessory drive belt, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The isolator 10 isolates the endless drive member 16 from vibrations or other sudden changes in torque in the crankshaft 12, and vice versa.

[00018] As seen in Figures 2 and 3, the isolator 10 includes a pulley 18, a driver 20, first and second isolation spring assemblies 21 , which include at least one pair of first and second springs 22 (shown individually at 22a and 22b), a retainer 39, and an optional spring shell 24.

[00019] The driver 20 is fixedly mountable in any suitable way to the crankshaft 12 for rotation about an axis A. For example, a shaft adapter 26 may be provided that mounts to the crankshaft 12 via a plurality of threaded fasteners (shown at 28 in Figure 1) such as four spline socket head cap screws that pass through apertures in the adapter 26 and into threaded apertures 32 in the end of the crankshaft 12.

[00020] The driver 20 may be made from any suitable material such as a suitable metal, such as steel. [00021] The shaft adapter 26 may include a support surface 34 for supporting a bushing 36 that in turn supports a bushing engagement surface 38 on the pulley 18 so as to permit relative rotation between the pulley 18 and the crankshaft 12, the shaft adapter 26 and the driver 20. The bushing 36 may also include a radial lip that acts as a thrust bushing portion that is engaged by and supports the pulley 18 in the axial direction. The bushing 36 may be made from any suitable material such as nylon.

[00022] The pulley 18 is supported for rotation relative to the crankshaft 12 and is engageable with the belt 16. It will be noted that the term 'belt' is used for convenience, but instead it may be any suitable endless drive member. Analogously, the term 'pulley' is used for convenience, but instead it may be any suitable rotary member that is engageable with the endless drive member.

[00023] The pulley 18, in the embodiment shown has a belt engagement surface 40 that is configured to engage a poly-V groove belt. The pulley 18 may be made from two elements including a main portion 18a and a cover member 18b that is connected to the main portion 18a via any suitable means (e.g. by means of a press-fit). The pulley 18 may be made from any suitable material such as a suitable metal, such as steel.

[00024] The spring assemblies 22 elastically deform to isolate the endless drive member 16 and the crankshaft 12 from vibrations or other sudden changes in torque in one another. The spring assemblies 22 in the examples each include first and second arcuate, helical coil compression springs 22a and 22b wherein one is nested within the other, and a retainer 39.

[00025] While two spring assemblies 22 are shown in Figure 2, it will be understood that the isolator could alternatively have a single spring assembly 22 or three or more spring assemblies 22.

[00026] Figure 3 shows only one spring assembly 22 in the spring housing 24, for simplicity. Referring to Figures 3, 4 and 5, each spring 22a and 22b has a first end, shown at 42a for spring 22a, and 42b for spring 22b. Each spring 22a and 22b has a second end, shown at 44a for spring 22a, and 44b for spring 22b. The first spring 22a may be referred to as the outer spring 22a, and has a central aperture 46 in which the second, or inner, spring 22b extends. The second spring 22b also has a central aperture 47, as shown in Figure 4.

[00027] Referring to Figures 4 and 5, the retainer 39 includes a base portion 102 and a projection 104. The post 104 extends from the base 102 and fits snugly into the central aperture 47 at the first end 42b of the second spring 22b. The spring housing 24 has an interior space 106 in which the first and second springs 22a and 22b are positioned, and further includes a base-engaging structure 108 that holds the base 102 of the retainer 39. The spring housing 24 includes a drive wall 110 (made up of first and second drive wall portions 110a and 110b) that engages the first ends 42a and 42b of the first and second springs 22a and 22b directly, so that force transfer between both of the springs 22a and 22b and the spring housing 24 takes place directly and not through the retainer 39.

[00028] As can be seen in Figure 5, the base 102 extends across the first ends 42a and 42b of both the first and second springs 22a and 22b.

[00029] When the springs 22a and 22b are positioned in the spring housing 24, the first spring 22a will be in a slight state of preload or compression. This pins the base 102 in the base-engaging structure 108 and ensures that there is no movement between the first spring 22a and the retainer 39. The second spring 22b remains fixed in position relative to the first spring 22a by virtue of being snugly mounted to the post 104 of the retainer 39.

[00030] The springs 22a and 22b may be made from any suitable material such as a suitable metal such as steel.

[00031] The retainer 39 may be made from any suitable material such as a polymeric material, such as nylon, or some other flexible material that permits it to be snugly inserted into the central aperture 47 of the second spring 22b.

[00032] While the spring housing 24 is shown as being a separate structure from the pulley 18, it is alternatively possible for the spring housing 24 to be integral with the pulley 18. The pulley 18 may engage the spring housing 24 in any suitable way, such as by lugs on the pulley that engage lug receiving apertures in the spring housing 24, and/or by a press-fit connection.

[00033] The driver 20 has a central body 48, a first arm 50a and a second arm 50b. Each of the first and second arms 50a and 50b has a first side 52 and a second side 56. The first side 52 is engageable with the spring end 44a of one of the first springs 22 so as to transfer torque therebetween. Furthermore, if the torque transfer between the driver 20 and pulley 18 is sufficiently high to cause a large amount of compression of the spring 22a, the first side 52 of the arms 50a and 50b is engageable with the spring end 44b of the second spring 22b, at which point both springs 22a and 22b act to transfer torque between the driver 20 and the pulley 18. In general torque transfer may take place from the driver 20 to the springs 22, and from the springs 22 to the pulley 18 through the spring housing 24 substantially without transferring any of the force through the retainers 39.

[00034] The retainers 39 serve to prevent the inner spring 22b from sliding around in the central aperture 46.

[00035] Referring to Figure 3, the spring housing 24 may be made from two spring housing portions 24a and 24b, which may be assembled together in any suitable way, such as by use of one or more clip members on either or both housing portions 24a and 24b that engage clip receiving shoulders configured to lockingly receive the one or more clip members. The two housing portions 24a and 24b may together define the base- engaging structure 108 and may provide the press-fit with the base 102 of the retainer 39.

[00036] In the embodiment shown, the isolator 10 further includes a seal member 88, a seal biasing member 90 and a dust shield 92. These cooperate to prevent leakage of lubricant (e.g. grease) out from the interior space of the pulley and to inhibit dust and debris from entering into the interior space of the isolator 10. The seal member 88 additionally acts as another thrust bushing which is urged into engagement with the pulley 18 (specifically the cover member 18b), by the seal biasing member 90, so as to urge the pulley 18 and the bushing 36 over to a datum point against a shoulder on the shaft adapter 26 at one end of the support surface 34. The dust shield 92 could instead be some other component such as a torsional vibration damper that is connected indirectly to the crankshaft 12 via the driver 20a and the shaft adapter 26 to reduce the amplitude of angular reciprocation of the crankshaft 12 during torsional vibration thereof, particularly at higher RPM.

[00037] A projection 94 (Figures 1a and 2) on the shaft adapter 26 may be passed through apertures in the dust shield 92, the biasing member 90, and the driver 20 to ensure alignment of these components with the axis A. The projection 94 could be staked afterwards so that all these components remain mounted to the shaft adapter 26 to form a subassembly.

[00038] Reference is made to Figure 8, which shows a retainer 139 that is similar to retainer 39, and has a base 102, but which a post 111 that has circumferentially extending recesses 112. The recesses 112 engage coils from the inner spring 22b so as to better retain the inner spring 22b thereon.

[00039] While the arc lengths of the springs 22a and 22b are shown to be different (such that the arc length of the second spring 22b is shorter than the arc length of the first spring 22a), it is alternatively possible for two springs 22a and 22b to have the same arc length.

[00040] In the embodiment shown, it has been described for the isolator 10 to be installed on the crankshaft 12 of an engine 14. It will be noted that the isolator 10 could alternatively be installed on the shaft of an accessory that is driven by the belt 16, such as, for example on a shaft of a steering pump. In such an embodiment, torque transfer would generally occur from the pulley 18 to the driver 20 and shaft adapter 26 through the isolation springs 22. The driver 20, in such an embodiment, would drive the shaft of the accessory instead of driving the pulley 18. Put more broadly, the isolator 10 may be used on any engine for isolating between any suitable input member (such as a belt, or a crankshaft) and any suitable output member (such as an accessory input shaft, or a belt). Additionally, the driver 20 is just one example of a first rotary drive member, and the pulley is just one example of a second rotary drive member. For example, the pulley 18 could instead be a gear that drives a gear train and that is driven be the engine crankshaft via the driver 20 and through the isolation springs 22.

[00041] While the engine 14 may be a vehicular engine, it will be understood that it could be a stationary engine used for an industrial application or the like.

[00042] While the above description constitutes a plurality of embodiments of the present invention, it will be appreciated that the present invention is susceptible to further modification and change without departing from the fair meaning of the accompanying claims.