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Title:
LIFTGATE INNER DIE CAST PROFILE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/100454
Kind Code:
A4
Abstract:
A liftgate (18) for a vehicle and a method of making the liftgate are disclosed. The liftgate (18) includes a die-cast inner panel (110). The die-cast inner panel (110) includes an upper section (134) and a lower section (138). The upper section (134) has a header member (150) and a pair of supports (154) extending from opposite ends of the header member (150) to partially define a window aperture. The lower section (138) includes a pair of side portions (210) and a base portion (214) that define a generally "U" shaped aperture. Each side portion (210) is coupled to a respective one of the supports (154) and the "U" shaped aperture opens into the window aperture.

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Inventors:
REJC SCOTT W (US)
EBERLE CLIFFORD L JR (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2015/066004
Publication Date:
August 11, 2016
Filing Date:
December 16, 2015
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
FCA US LLC (US)
International Classes:
B60J5/10
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WANGEROW, Steven D. et al. (Dickey & Pierce P.L.C.,P.O. Box 82, Bloomfield Hills Michigan, US)
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Claims:
AMENDED CLAIMS

received by the International Bureau on 22 June 2016 (22.06.2016)

1 . A liftgate for a vehicle, the liftgate comprising: a unitary cast inner panel including:

an upper section having a header member and a pair of supports extending from opposite ends of the header member to partially define a window aperture;

a lower section, the lower section including a pair of side portions and a base portion that define a generally "U" shaped aperture, each side portion being coupled to a respective one of the supports and the "U" shaped aperture opening into the window aperture;

wherein the inner panel has an outer peripheral edge, and a nominal wall stock thickness "T" that is less than or equal to 2mm, and wherein a maximum radial distance between the "U" shaped aperture and the outer peripheral edge is defined as less than or equal to 200 * T.

2. The liftgate of Claim 1 , wherein each of the side portions has a respective side edge that forms a respective side of the "U" shaped aperture, and the base portion has a base edge that forms a bottom of the "U" shaped aperture, wherein the base edge is longer than each of the side edges.

3. The liftgate of Claim 1 , further comprising:

a pair of bumpers adapted to be mounted to a body of the vehicle, each bumper having a first bumper surface and a lip;

wherein the inner panel defines a pair of shoulders, each shoulder having a first shoulder surface and a second shoulder surface, the first shoulder surface being configured to contact the first bumper surface to stabilize the liftgate relative to the vehicle body in a fore and aft direction when the liftgate is in a closed position, and the second shoulder surface is configured to contact the lip to stabilize the liftgate relative to the vehicle body in a left or right direction when the liftgate is in the closed position.

4. The liftgate of Claim 3, wherein the inner panel defines a pair of rims, each rim extending along an opposite side of the lower section proximate to a periphery of the lower section, each rim having a generally "U" shaped cross-section that protrudes in a fore direction from a fore face of the lower section to define a trough in an aft face of the lower section, wherein each shoulder protrudes from a respective one of the rims.

5. The liftgate of Claim 1 , further comprising a beltline panel, the beltline panel spanning between the side portions across a top of the "U" shaped aperture.

6. The liftgate of Claim 1 , wherein each side portion defines a taillight can adapted to receive a taillight mounted directly to the taillight can. 7. The liftgate of Claim 1 , further comprising an outer lower panel and an outer header panel, the outer lower panel being coupled to the lower section to cover an aft face of the lower section and the "U" shaped aperture, the outer header panel being coupled to the header member to cover an aft face of the header member.

8. The liftgate of Claim 1 , wherein the inner panel is magnesium.

9. A method of forming a liftgate for a vehicle, the method comprising: heating a quantity of a first metal until the first metal is in a molten state; injecting the first metal in a molten state into a pair of dies through a series of gates, the gates being disposed about an interior of a window aperture and about an interior of a "U" shaped aperture that is open to the window aperture;

flowing the first metal in a molten state between the dies;

solidifying the first metal in the dies to form a liftgate inner panel that has: an upper section having a header member and a pair of supports extending from opposite ends of the header member to partially define the window aperture; and a lower section that includes a pair of side portions and a base portion that define the "U" shaped aperture, each side portion being coupled to a respective one of the supports;

forming a first outer panel separately from the inner panel; and

mounting the first outer panel to the inner panel to cover an aft side of the inner panel including the "U" shaped aperture.

10. The method of Claim 9, wherein the inner panel has an outer peripheral edge, and a nominal wall stock thickness "T", and wherein a maximum radial distance between the "U" shaped aperture and the outer peripheral edge is defined as less than or equal to 200 * T.

1 1 . The method of Claim 9, wherein the first metal is magnesium and the first outer panel is formed of a second metal that is different than the first metal.

12. The method of Claim 9, wherein the forming of the first outer panel includes stamping the first outer panel from a metal sheet. 13. The method of Claim 9, wherein the flowing of the first metal in a molten state between the dies includes flowing the first metal through areas where the dies are separated by 2mm or less.

14. The method of Claim 9, further comprising:

forming a beltline panel separately from the inner panel; and

mounting the beltline panel to the inner panel across a top of the "U" shaped aperture;

wherein the first outer panel covers an aft side of the beltline panel. 15. The method of Claim 9, further comprising:

forming a seal between the first outer panel and the inner panel along a periphery of a taillight can that is defined by the inner panel.

16. The method of Claim 15, further comprising:

mounting a pair of taillights directly to the inner panel.

17. The method of Claim 9, further comprising:

forming a seal between a window pane and the inner panel.

18. The method of Claim 9, wherein the inner panel defines a pair of shoulders, each shoulder having a first shoulder surface and a second shoulder surface, the first shoulder surface being configured to contact a bumper that is mounted to a body of the vehicle to stabilize the liftgate relative to the vehicle body in a fore and aft direction when the liftgate is in a closed position, and the second shoulder surface is configured to contact the bumper to stabilize the liftgate relative to the vehicle body in a left or right direction when the liftgate is in the closed position.