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Title:
A TORSIONALLY RIGID SPRING, RELATED SUSPENSION, RELATED FRONT CHASSIS, AND RELATED MOTOR VEHICLE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/123379
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A torsionally rigid spring (3, 3') for suspensions of motor vehicles comprising a plurality of annular lamellae (2) stacked on top of one another, wherein adjacent lamellae (2) of said plurality are connected to one another in at least one pair of connection points (5), and according to an axial direction, each pair of connection points is angularly staggered with respect to an adjacent pair of connection points. A suspension (10) for motor vehicles comprising a torsionally rigid spring (3, 3'), a tube (9) and a rod (11) configured to mutually slide in a coaxial manner. A related front chassis (20) and a related motor vehicle (30).

Inventors:
RAFFAELLI, Andrea (Viale Rinaldo Piaggio 2, Pontedera Pisa, I-56025, IT)
Application Number:
IB2018/060446
Publication Date:
June 27, 2019
Filing Date:
December 20, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PIAGGIO & C. S.P.A. (Viale Rinaldo Piaggio, 25 Pontedera, Pisa, I-56025, IT)
International Classes:
B60G15/06; B62K25/00; F16F3/02
Foreign References:
GB2389161A2003-12-03
US2551505A1951-05-01
US2729443A1956-01-03
US6336647B12002-01-08
EP0238768A11987-09-30
SU1208368A11986-01-30
SU1573251A11990-06-23
US0361298A1887-04-19
US5558393A1996-09-24
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MITOLA, Marco et al. (Via Berchet 9, Padova, I-35131, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A spring (3, 3’) for suspensions comprising a plurality of annular lamellae (2) stacked on top of one another, wherein adjacent lamellae (2) of said plurality are connected to one another in at least one pair of connection elements (5), so that according to an axial direction (Y), a pair of connection elements (5) is angularly staggered with respect to an adjacent pair of connection elements (5’), wherein said connection elements (5,5’) are rigidly connected to said lamellae (2,2’).

2. A spring (3, 3’) for suspensions according to claim 1 , wherein said pair of connection elements (5) is angularly staggered by 90° from said adjacent pair of connection elements (5’).

3. A spring (3, 3’) for suspensions according to claim 1 or 2, wherein said annular lamellae (2) are spaced apart by means of spacers (7) positioned at the connection elements (5) of the annular lamellae (2).

4. A spring (3, 3’) for suspensions according to claim 1 or 2, wherein each annular lamella (2’) of said plurality of lamellae is shaped so that the connection elements (5) of the same lamella to an adjacent lamella are axially spaced apart.

5. A suspension (10) for motorcycles comprising a tube (9) and a rod (1 1 ) configured to mutually slide in a coaxial manner and a spring (3, 3’) according to any one of the preceding claims interposed therebetween.

6. A suspension (10) for motorcycles according to claim 5, wherein said spring (3) comprises two annular end lamellae (22, 23) axially opposed to each other and connected to end-stroke elements (24, 25) of the tube (9) and rod (1 1 ), respectively, so that said annular end lamellae (22, 23) can vary the mutual distance while maintaining a coaxial alignment of the annular lamellae (2).

7. A suspension (10) for motorcycles according to claim 5 or 6, wherein said tube (9, 17) covers said spring (3, 3’), in use.

8. A suspension (10) for motorcycles according to one or more of the claims from 5 to 7, further comprising a damper interposed between said tube (9) and said rod (1 1 ) and configured to dampen the elastic effect provided by said spring (3,3’).

9. A suspension (10) for motorcycles according to claim 8, wherein said damper (26) is of the hydraulic type and is arranged inside said tube (9) so as to at least partially penetrate said spring (3, 3’).

10. A suspension (10) for motorcycles according to one or more of the claims from 5 to 9, wherein bushings (27) are interposed between said rod (1 1 ) and said tube (9) to facilitate the mutual sliding.

11. A front chassis (20) being connectable to a frame (12) of a motorcycle comprising at least one suspension (10) according to one or more of the claims from 5 to 10, said suspension (10) being arranged coaxially to the rotation axis of the front chassis (20) with respect to the frame (12) of the motorcycle (30), said front chassis further comprising a handlebar (18) connected in a torsionally rigid manner to a fork or a single arm (15) by means of said suspension (10).

12. A motorcycle (30) comprising a front chassis (20) according to claim 1 1 or a suspension (10) according to one or more of the claims from 5 to 10.

Description:
“A TORSIONALLY RIGID SPRING, RELATED SUSPENSION, RELATED FRONT CHASSIS, AND RELATED MOTOR VEHICLE”

FIELD OF APPLICATION

The present invention relates to a spring for suspensions, a suspension for motor vehicles, and in particular, to a front chassis and a motor vehicle comprising a suspension.

BACKGROUND ART

As is known, motor cycles comprise one or two front wheels, each connected to the steering by a fork or by a single arm comprising a suspension system.

The suspension system is normally arranged at the single arm or at the fork.

The suspension of a motor vehicle is the assembly of components by means of which the frame is connected to the wheel(s) of the motor vehicle.

The suspension generally comprises two slidingly connected elements and an elastic element interposed between said elements. In order to avoid the relative rotation about the suspension axis, said elements are normally connected to each other prismatically or by means of a pair of connecting rods. The geometry of the prismatic connection or the arm created by the connecting rods prevents a rotation of the steering from being completely transmitted to the wheel(s).

A prismatic connection between the upper and lower elements of the suspension can results in jammings of the suspension and significant frictions, with a consequent suspension inefficiency.

A connection of the upper and lower elements of the suspension results in an overall increase in size of the front chassis, with a consequent increase in the manufacturing costs of the vehicle.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

The need is thus felt to overcome the drawbacks and limitations of the prior art.

It is a first object of the present invention to provide a spring capable of overcoming the drawbacks of the prior art, and in particular a spring for suspensions comprising a plurality of annular lamellae stacked on top of one other, wherein adjacent lamellae of said plurality are connected to one another in at least one pair of connection points and according to an axial direction, each pair of connection points is angularly staggered with respect to an adjacent pair of connection points. Further objects of the present invention are represented by:

- a suspension for motor vehicles comprising a tube and a rod configured to mutually slide in a coaxial manner and a spring interposed therebetween, comprising a plurality of annular lamellae stacked on top of one another, wherein adjacent lamellae of said plurality are connected to one another in at least one pair of connection points and according to an axial direction, each pair of connection points is angularly staggered with respect to an adjacent pair of connection points;

- a front chassis being connectable to a frame of a motor vehicle comprising: a suspension with a tube and a rod configured to mutually slide in a coaxial manner and a spring interposed therebetween, comprising a plurality of annular lamellae stacked on top of one another, wherein adjacent lamellae of said plurality are connected to one another in at least one pair of connection points, and according to an axial direction, each pair of connection points is angularly staggered with respect to an adjacent pair of connection points, said suspension being arranged coaxially to the rotation axis of the front chassis with respect to the frame of the motor vehicle, said front chassis comprising a handlebar connected in a torsionally rigid manner by said suspension to a fork or single arm, which is connected, in turn, to the front wheel;

- a motor vehicle comprising a front chassis or a suspension as described above. DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the description reported below of preferred, non-limiting embodiments thereof, in which:

- figure 1 is an axonometric view of a first embodiment of a torsionally rigid spring;

- figure 2a is a plan view of the spring in figure 1 ;

- figure 2b is a section view of the spring in figure 1 ;

- figure 3a is an axonometric view of a second embodiment of a torsionally rigid spring;

- figure 3b is an axonometric view of a lamella of the spring in figure 3a;

- figure 4a is a plan view of the spring in figure 3a;

- figure 4b is a section view of the spring in figure 3a;

- figure 5 is an axonometric view of a motor vehicle comprising a suspension according to the first embodiment of the spring;

- figure 6 depicts a detail of the front chassis of the motor vehicle in figure 5; - figure 7 is an axonometric view of a steering-free motor vehicle comprising a suspension according to the first embodiment of the spring;

- figure 8 depicts a detail of the front chassis of the motor vehicle in figure 7.

Elements or parts of elements in common to the embodiments described below are shown by the same reference numerals.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A spring 3, 3’ represents a first object of the present invention.

With reference to figure 1 , 2a and 2b, a spring according to a first embodiment is indicated by numeral 3.

In particular, said spring 3 comprises a plurality of annular lamellae 2 stacked on top of one another so that the center of said annular lamellae lies on a common axis Y. Each lamella 2 is connected to the neighboring lamella 2 in at least two connection points 5. Adjacent lamellae are indicated by reference numeral 4 for greater clarity.

A lamella 2 can be connected to one or two adjacent lamellae.

The connections of a lamella 2 to the adjacent lamellae are mutually angularly staggered. In particular, each pair of connection points 6 is angularly staggered with respect to the adjacent pair of connection points 21 , as shown in figure 2a.

The connection points 5 of subsequent lamellae 2 are alternately rotated by 90°.

Said pair of connection points 6 is thus angularly staggered by 90° from said adjacent pair of connection points 21.

The lamellae 2 are made of flexible material, therefore the portions of lamellae 2 not affected by said connections 5 can bend.

Said bending of the lamellae 2 allows the generation of the elastic effect which is typical of springs.

The lamellae 2 in figure 1 and 2b are connected by means of connection elements 8 and are spaced apart by spacer elements 7.

The lamellae 2 have a flattened annular shape. Said lamellae 2 are preferably equal to one another. The connection points 5 of the lamellae 2 can comprise holes arranged diametrically opposed to one another every 90°.

Preferably, said holes can be six in number and arranged every 60° from one another. In this case (not shown), three holes arranged at 120° from one another will be used to connect the lamella to the lamella arranged downstream, while the remaining three holes will be used to connect the lamella to the lamella arranged upstream. When the holes are four in number, two diametrically opposite holes are used to connect the lamella to the lamella downstream, while the remaining two holes are used to connect the lamella to the lamella upstream. The terms upstream and downstream refer to the longitudinal development along axis Y.

The lamella 2 shown in figure 2a comprises connection points 5 having, in pairs, a different distance from axis Y. This arrangement of the connection holes allows a mutually simplified assembly of the lamellae 2.

The spring 3, thus formed, allows an elastic bending along the axial direction, thus avoiding a torsional rotation thereof. Spring 3 is also highly lightweight.

The lamellae 2, thus conceived, can be particularly thin and therefore easy to be obtained by means of punching or molding.

The connection element 8 can pass through the spacer element 7. The connection element 8 can also form an integral part of the spacer element 7. The connection element 8 can be obtained by means of any known mechanical connection, such as, rivets, bolts, etc.

A second embodiment of the torsionally rigid spring 3’ according to the present invention is shown in figures 3a, 3b 4a, 4b.

In this version of spring 3’, the lamellae 2’ are not flat as in the first embodiment.

As shown in figure 3a, each lamella 2’ comprises substantially planar portions 28 at the connection points 5. Said planar portions 28 lie on parallel planes which are spaced apart. Said planar portions 28 are connected by curved or inclined portions 29.

Said annular lamella 2’ is flexible in order to planarly extend when subjected to compression along axis Y.

Each lamella 2’ is connected to the next one in connection points 5 by fixing means 8, such as rivets or welding.

As in the first embodiment, each annular lamella 2’ is connected on one side to the next lamella in connection points 5, and on the opposite side, to the previous lamella in connection points 5, which are angularly staggered with respect to the previous ones (fig. 4a, 4b).

Since the lamellae 2’ are sequentially fixed, a compression of the ends of the lamella pack results in an elastic deformation of the single lamellae 2’ without torsional deformation. This effect also applies to the first embodiment of the spring. The term lamella pack means the assembly consisting of all the lamellae 2, 2’ connected to one another.

With reference to figures 5, 6, 7 and 8, a suspension 10 represents a second object of the present invention, comprising two elements sliding with respect to each other, referred to as a tube or sheath 9 and a rod or shaft 1 1 , between which a spring according to the first object of the present invention is connected.

Said tube 9 and said rod 1 1 are configured to slide coaxially, one on top of the other, by means of a cylindrical-type coupling.

One or more bushings 27 can be interposed between tube 9 and rod 1 1 , as seen in figure 8. Said bushings 27 facilitate the relative sliding between said elements without jammings.

Said rod 1 1 and said tube 9 have end-stroke or abutment elements 24, 25 to which the lamella pack is connected by means of annular end lamellae 22, 23.

The annular end lamellae 22, 23 are those lamellae positioned at the opposite ends of the lamella pack. Said annular end lamellae 22, 23 can be equal to the others or have further portions for the connection with rod 1 1 and tube 9, respectively.

Said annular end lamellae 22, 23 are connected to rod 1 1 and tube 9, respectively, in order to prevent a relative rotation thereof. Since the spring 3 described above is torsionally rigid, and since rod 1 1 is connected to spring 3, as well as tube 9, a relative rotation of rod 1 1 with respect to tube 9 is impossible. This allows to manufacture a compact suspension, which is not prismatic, is easy to be manufactured and highly lightweight.

The suspensions shown in figures 6 and 8 comprise a spring according to a first embodiment, but in a completely similar manner, a spring according to the second embodiment can be replaced for that shown.

Suspension 10, comprising spring 3, 3’, rod 1 1 and tube 9, is configured to elastically shorten the length thereof.

By compressing rod 1 1 towards tube 9, the lamellae 2, 2’ of spring 3, 3’ are deformed, while keeping an axial alignment and a torsional rigidity, thus allowing the elastic compression of suspension 10.

Said spring 3, 3’ can be covered, in use, by a tube 9 which is appropriately shaped to avoid debris or dirt from entering the lamella pack. In fact, said debris can compromise the operation of the lamellae 2, 2’.

In an alternative embodiment, said tube 9 is connected to a cover 17 acting as a shield for spring 3, 3’. Suspension 10 can further comprise a damper, preferably a hydraulic damper 26, to dampen the elastic movement of spring 3,3’.

As shown in figure 8, said damper 26 can be arranged inside spring 3, which is arranged, in turn, inside tube 9. The positioning of the damper inside the cylindrical cavity of the lamella pack allows the size of suspension 10 to be optimized.

A front chassis 20 represents a third object of the present invention, comprising a suspension 10 according to the second object of the present invention. Said front chassis 20 is partially shown without the handlebar in figure 7, and shown as a whole in figure 5.

Said suspension 10 is arranged coaxially to the rotation axis of the front chassis 20 with respect to the frame 12 of the motor vehicle. The front chassis 20 comprises a single arm 15, or fork (not shown), a front wheel 13, a handlebar 18 and a suspension 10.

Suspension 10 is connected on one side to the handlebar 18 and on the opposite side to the single arm 15 or fork.

In particular, tube 9, or alternatively rod 1 1 , is connected to the handlebar holder 16 to which handlebar 18 is then connected. Rod 11 , or alternatively tube 9, is connected to a single arm 15 or fork (not shown) which is connected, in turn, to the hub of wheel 13.

The rod 1 1 and/or the tube 9 can be rotatably connected to frame 12 in order to allow the steering movement.

In figure 8, tube 9 is integrally connected to frame 12 and the outer cylindrical portion thereof acts as a steering head for the vehicle.

In figure 6, cover 17 is integrally connected to frame 12. Cover 17 is then pivotally connected by means of bearings 31 to rod 1 1 and tube 9, respectively.

The front chassis, thus conceived, is torsionally rigid and compact.

Suspension 10 is arranged so that the rotation axis of the steering coincides with the axis Y of spring 3, 3’. The front chassis being indeed the steering of the motor vehicle.

As shown in figure 6, the handlebar holder can be connected to tube 9 in an offset manner.

With reference to figures 5 and 7, a motor vehicle 30 is a fourth object of the present invention, comprising a front chassis according to the third object of the present invention. In order to meet specific, contingent needs, those skilled in the art can make several modifications and variations to the motor cycles described above, all contained within the scope of the invention as defined by the following claims.