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Title:
A WINDSCREEN WIPER DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/006978
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A windscreen wiper device comprising an elastic, elongated carrier element (4), as well as an elongated wiper blade o(2) f a flexible material, which can be placed in abutment with a windscreen to be wiped, which wiper blade is of the flat blade type and includes at least one longitudinal groove (3), in which groove a longitudinal strip (4) of the carrier element is disposed, which windscreen wiper device comprises a connecting device (5) for an oscillating arm (6), wherein said oscillating arm is pivotally connected to said connecting device about a pivot axis near a free end thereof, with the interposition of a joint part (7), wherein said oscillating arm has an at least substantially U-shaped cross-section at the location of its connection to said joint part, and wherein said joint part is positioned at least substantially within the U-shaped cross-section of said oscillating arm, with the special feature that said oscillating arm and said joint part are interconnected by introduction of said joint part between legs of the U-shaped cross-section of said oscillating arm in longitudinal direction of said wiper blade, wherein an end side of said joint part facing towards said free end of said oscillating arm closes said U-shaped cross-section thereof from the outside.

Inventors:
TAILLARD ARTHUR (FR)
Application Number:
EP2016/066307
Publication Date:
January 11, 2018
Filing Date:
July 08, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
FEDERAL-MOGUL S A (BE)
International Classes:
B60S1/40
Domestic Patent References:
WO2010017861A12010-02-18
Foreign References:
US20140338143A12014-11-20
EP1795406A12007-06-13
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HOOIVELD, Arjen Jan Winfried et al. (NL)
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Claims:
A windscreen wiper device (1) comprising an elastic, elongated carrier element, as well as an elongated wiper blade (2) of a flexible material, which can be placed in abutment with a windscreen to be wiped, which wiper blade (2) is of the flat blade type and includes at least one longitudinal groove (3) , in which groove (3) a

longitudinal strip (4) of the carrier element is

disposed, which windscreen wiper device (1) comprises a connecting device (5) for an oscillating arm (6), wherein said oscillating arm (6) is pivotally connected to said connecting device (5) about a pivot axis near a free end thereof, with the interposition of a joint part (7), wherein said joint part (7) comprises at least one resilient tongue (13) engaging in a correspondingly shaped hole (14) provided in said oscillating arm (6), and wherein said resilient tongue (13) is rotatable along an hinge axis between an outward position retaining the wiper blade (2) onto the oscillating arm (6) and an inward position releasing the wiper blade (2) from the oscillating arm (6), wherein said oscillating arm (6) has an at least substantially U-shaped cross-section at the location of its connection to said joint part (7), and wherein said joint part (7) is positioned at least substantially within the U-shaped cross-section of said oscillating arm (6), characterized in that said

oscillating arm (6) and said joint part (7) are

interconnected by introduction of said joint part (7) between legs (11) of the U-shaped cross-section of said oscillating arm (6) in longitudinal direction of said wiper blade (2), wherein an end side (18) of said joint part (7) facing towards said free end of said oscillating arm (6) closes said U-shaped cross-section thereof from the outside.

2. A windscreen wiper device (1) according to claim 1,

wherein said oscillating arm (6) and said joint part (7) are interconnected by introduction of said joint part (7) between legs (11) of the U-shaped cross-section of said oscillating arm (6) in longitudinal direction of said wiper blade (2) from the outside.

3. A windscreen wiper device (1) according to claim 1 or 2, wherein said oscillating arm (6) and said joint part (7) are interconnected by sliding said joint part (7) between legs of the U-shaped cross-section of said oscillating arm (7) in longitudinal direction of said wiper blade

(2) .

4. A windscreen wiper device (1) according to claim 1, 2 or 3, wherein said end side (18) of said joint part (7) is flush with said legs (11) and a base (15) of said U- shaped cross-section of said oscillating arm (6) at the location of said free end of said oscillating arm (6) .

5. A windscreen wiper device (1) according to any of the

preceding claims 1 through 4, wherein the hinge axis of said joint part (7) is facing towards the free end of said oscillating arm (6) .

6. A windscreen wiper device (1) according to any of the

preceding claims 1 through 4, wherein the hinge axis of said joint part (7) is facing away from the free end of said oscillating arm (6) .

7. A windscreen wiper device (1) according to any of the

preceding claims 1 through 6, wherein the hole (14) of said oscillating arm (6) is provided in a base (15) of the U-shaped cross-section thereof.

8. A windscreen wiper device (1) according to claim 7,

wherein the hole (14) has a closed circumference.

9. A windscreen wiper device (1) according to any of the

preceding claims 1 through 8, wherein said joint part (7) is made of plastic.

10 A windscreen wiper device (1) according to any of the

preceding claims 1 through 9, wherein said joint part (7) is attached to said connecting device (7) by pivotally engaging protrusions (16) of said connecting device (5), at the location of said pivot axis, in recesses (17) provided in said joint part (7) .

11 A windscreen wiper device (1) according to any of the

preceding claims 1 through 10, wherein said joint part (7) has an at least substantially U-shaped cross-section at the location of its attachment to said connecting device (5), and wherein said joint part (7) in each leg of said U-shaped cross-section is provided with a recess (17) provided coaxially with said pivot axis.

12 A windscreen wiper device according to claim 10 or 11, wherein the protrusions (16) extend outwards on either side of said connecting device (5) , and wherein the protrusions (16) are at least substantially cylindrical.

Description:
A WINDSCREEN WIPER DEVICE

The present invention relates to a windscreen wiper device comprising an elastic, elongated carrier element, as well as an elongated wiper blade of a flexible material, which can be placed in abutment with a windscreen to be wiped, which wiper blade is of the flat blade type and includes at least one longitudinal groove, in which groove a longitudinal strip of the carrier element is disposed, which windscreen wiper device comprises a connecting device for an oscillating arm, wherein said oscillating arm is pivotally connected to said connecting device about a pivot axis near a free end thereof, with the interposition of a joint part, wherein said joint part

comprises at least one resilient tongue engaging in a

correspondingly shaped hole provided in said oscillating arm, and wherein said resilient tongue is rotatable along an hinge axis between an outward position retaining the wiper blade onto the oscillating arm and an inward position releasing the wiper blade from the oscillating arm, wherein said oscillating arm has an at least substantially U-shaped cross-section at the location of its connection to said joint part, and wherein said joint part is positioned at least substantially within the U-shaped cross-section of said oscillating arm. Particularly, said wiper blade comprises a spoiler at a side thereof facing away from the windscreen to be wiped, wherein said wiper blade and said spoiler are preferably made in one piece through extrusion. Said longitudinal groove is

preferably a central longitudinal groove accommodating said longitudinal strip. Said longitudinal strip is also called a "flexor", while said connecting device is also indicated as a "connector". In the framework of the present invention said connector is preferably made in one piece, also called a "one piece connector". Said joint part is preferably made of plastic .

It is noted that the present invention is not restricted to cars, but also refers to rail coaches and other (fast) vehicles .

Such a windscreen wiper device is known from international patent publication no. WO 2010/017861 (Volkswagen). This prior art windscreen wiper blade is designed as a "yokeless" wiper blade or flat blade, wherein no use is made of several yokes pivotally connected to each other, but wherein the wiper blade is biased by the carrier element, as a result of which it exhibits a specific curvature. The wiper blade and the

oscillating arm of said known windscreen wiper device are interconnected through a so-called "bayonet connection" wherein the resilient tongue on the joint part is initially pushed in against a spring force - as if it were a push button - and then allowed to spring back into the hole provided in the oscillating arm, thus snapping, that is clipping the resilient tongue into the hole. By subsequently pushing in again said resilient tongue against the spring force, the wiper blade may be released from the oscillating arm. The oscillating arm of said known windscreen wiper device is provided with an opening at its free end for sliding the joint part through this opening in order to connect the wiper blade to the oscillating arm thereof.

A disadvantage of the windscreen wiper device known from the above international patent publication is the following. In practice the joint part and the oscillating are made of mutually different materials, namely often plastic for the joint part and often metal or other type of plastic for the oscillating arm. Under the influence of UV light, rain, dust and ice, for example, these materials age over time, resulting in discoloration thereof. Mutually different colors for the joint part and the oscillating arm, due to said discoloration over time, is esthetically unattractive and, therefore, not accepted by the public.

It is an object of the invention to obviate this disadvantage, in the sense that at minimum costs - without using complex machinery and additional tools - a simple though effective windscreen wiper device is proposed, wherein the effect of said discoloration is minimized.

Thereto, according to the invention a windshield wiper device mentioned in the preamble is characterized in that said oscillating arm and said joint part are interconnected by introduction of said joint part between legs of the U-shaped cross-section of said oscillating arm in longitudinal

direction of said wiper blade, wherein an end side of said joint part facing towards said free end of said oscillating arm closes said U-shaped cross-section thereof from the outside. Thus, said oscillating arm has an at least

substantially U-shaped cross-section at the location of its connection to said joint part, while an opening of said U- shaped cross-section facing towards said free end thereof is closed off by said joint part. Preferably, said joint part is introduced, particularly slid, between said legs from the outside in order to connect said joint part to said

oscillating arm in a reliable, controllable and safe manner, when the oscillating arm is in its parking position. Hence, the location of the joint part inside the U-shaped cross- section of the oscillating arm with only said end side of the joint part being visible from the outside, ensures that, in case of any color differences between the joint part and the oscillating arm, only said end side has a different color (compared with the oscillating arm) visible from the outside.

The present windscreen wiper device is preferably a rear window windscreen wiper device.

It is noted that the present invention is not restricted to the use of only one longitudinal strip forming the elastic carrier element that is particularly located in a central longitudinal groove of the wiper blade. Instead, said carrier element may also comprise two longitudinal strips, wherein said strips are disposed in opposite longitudinal grooves of the wiper blade. Said groove (s) may be closed at one outer end .

Further, it is noted that in the invention use is made of a mounting head fixed for rotation to a shaft, wherein said shaft is rotatable alternately in a clockwise and in a counter-clockwise sense carrying said mounting head into rotation. Thus, in turn said mounting head draws said

connecting device into rotation and thereby moves said wiper blade. In the alternative, said mounting head is fixed for translation to a carriage, wherein said carriage can be translated alternately in a one linear direction and in another counter linear direction carrying said mounting head into translation. The present invention can therefore be used for circular or linear movement of said mounting head.

In a preferred embodiment of a windscreen wiper device in accordance with the invention said end side of said joint part is flush with said legs and a base of said U-shaped cross- section of said oscillating arm at the location of said free end of said oscillating arm. Hence, the oscillating arm does not exhibit on said base any seams between the oscillating arm and the joint part. On the contrary, said seams are only visible on a free end side of the oscillating arm extending perpendicular to said legs and said base. Thus, edges of said end side of the joint part are covered by said base and said legs of the oscillating arm.

In another preferred embodiment of a windscreen wiper device according to the present invention the hinge axis of said joint part is facing towards the free end of said oscillating arm. In the alternative, the hinge axis of said joint part is facing away from the free end of said oscillating arm.

In another preferred embodiment of a windscreen wiper device in accordance with the invention the hole of said oscillating arm is provided in a base of the U-shaped cross-section thereof. Preferably, the hole has a closed circumference.

In another preferred embodiment of a windscreen wiper device according to the present invention said joint part is attached to said connecting device by pivotally engaging protrusions of said connecting device, at the location of said pivot axis, in recesses provided in said joint part. Particularly, said joint part has an at least substantially U-shaped cross-section at the location of its attachment to said connecting device, and wherein said joint part in each leg of said U-shaped cross- section is provided with a recess provided coaxially with said pivot axis. Preferably, the protrusions extend outwards on either side of aid connecting device, wherein the protrusions are at least substantially cylindrical. The invention will now be explained in more detail with reference to figures illustrated in a drawing, wherein:

Figures 1 through 4 show various successive steps for fitting the joint part /connecting device and the oscillating arm of a windscreen wiper device together according to a preferred embodiment of the invention;

Figure 5 is a schematic, perspective bottom view of the windscreen wiper device of figure 4;

- Figure 6 corresponds to figure 5, but without showing a wiper blade connected to the connecting device. With reference to figures 1 and 6, the windscreen wiper device 1 is arranged to be fitted on a rear side of a vehicle in order to wipe a rear window thereof. The windscreen wiper device 1 is built up of an elastomeric wiper blade 2, in the longitudinal sides of which opposing longitudinal grooves 3 are formed, and of longitudinal strips 4 made of spring band steel, which are fitted in said longitudinal grooves 3. Said strips 4 form a flexible carrier element for the wiper blade 2, as it were, which is thus biased in a curved position (the curvature in operative position being that of a windscreen to be wiped) .

The windscreen wiper device 1 is furthermore built up of a connecting device 5 of plastic material for pivotally

connecting an oscillating arm 6 thereto, with the

interposition of a plastic joint part 7. Alternatively, the connecting device 5 may also be made of metal, such as steel or aluminum. The connecting device 5 may comprise clamping members 8 that are integral therewith, which engage around longitudinal sides of the strips 4 that face away from each other, as a result of which the connecting device 5 is firmly attached to the unit consisting of the wiper blade 2 and the strips 4. Although not illustrated in all detail, but clear to a person skilled in the art, the windscreen wiper device 1 according to the invention comprises a plastic or metallic mounting head 9 which can be fixed for rotation to a shaft (not illustrated) driven, via a mechanism not illustrated either, by a small motor. In use, the shaft rotates alternately in a clockwise and in a counter-clockwise sense carrying the mounting head 9 into rotation also, which in turn draws the oscillating arm 6 in rotation and thereby moves the connecting device 5 and thus the wiper blade 2 attached thereto. The mounting head 9 is detachably connected to the oscillating arm 6, as shown in figure 4. A spring (not shown) is hooked with its first end to a transverse bridge 10 between legs 11 of a U-shaped cross- section of the oscillating arm 6, whereas the spring is hooked with its second end on a pin 12 on the mounting head 9 to ensure that the oscillating arm 6 and thus the wiper blade 2 connected thereto is pressed onto a windscreen to be wiped.

With reference to figures 1 through 4 the joint part 7

comprises one resilient tongue 13 extending outwardly, while the oscillating arm 6 has an U-shaped cross-section at the location of its connection to said joint part 7, so that the tongue 13 engages in an identically shaped hole 14 provided in a base 15 of said U-shaped cross-section.

Referring to figures 1 through 3 the connecting device 5 comprises two cylindrical protrusions 16 extending outwards on either side of said connecting device 5. These protrusions 16 pivotally engage in identically shaped cylindrical recesses 17 of the joint part 7. Said protrusions 16 act as bearing surfaces at the location of a pivot axis in order to pivot the joint part 7 (and the oscillating arm 6 attached thereto) about said pivot axis near one end of the oscillating arm 6. The protrusions 16 are preferably in one piece with the connecting device 5. In the alternative, the protrusions 16 are part of a single pivot pin perpendicular to the connecting device 5. Figures 1 through 4 show the steps of mounting the connecting device 5/ joint part 7 with the wiper blade 2 onto the

oscillating arm 6. Said oscillating arm 8 and said joint part 9 are interconnected by sliding from the outside said joint part 7 in longitudinal direction inside the U-shaped cross- section of said oscillating arm 6. During this sliding

movement the resilient tongue 13 is initially pushed in against a spring force and then allowed to spring back into said hole 14, thus snapping, that is clipping the resilient tongue 13 into the hole 14. This is a so-called bayonet- connection. The oscillating arm 6 together with the wiper blade 2 is then ready for use. By subsequently pushing in again said resilient tongue 13 against the spring force (as if it were a push button), the connecting device 5/ joint part 7 together with the wiper blade 2 may be released from the oscillating arm 6. Dismounting the connecting device 5/ joint part 7 with the wiper blade 2 from the oscillating arm 6 is thus realized by sliding the connecting device 5/ joint part 9 together with the wiper blade 2 in longitudinal direction away from the oscillating arm 6. The hinge axis 17 of said joint part 7 is facing away from the free end of said oscillating arm 6.

As can be seen from figure 4, in mounted position an end side 18 of the joint part 7 closes said U-shaped cross-section thereof from the outside, wherein said end side 18 being only a very small part of the joint part 7 is visible from the outside. Said end side 18 of said joint part 7 is flush with said legs 11 and said base 15 of said U-shaped cross-section of said oscillating arm 6 at the location of said free end of said oscillating arm 6. Hence, edges of said end side 18 of the joint part 7 are overlapped by said base 15 and said legs 11 of the oscillating arm 6. The invention is not restricted to the variants shown in the drawing, but it also extends to other embodiments that fall within the scope of the appended claims.