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1. WO2021110272 - SPRING BRAKE ACTUATOR AND RETAINING DEVICE FOR SUCH SPRING BRAKE ACTUATOR

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

[ EN ]

SPRING BRAKE ACTUATOR AND RETAINING DEVICE FOR SUCH SPRING BRAKE ACTUATOR

The present invention relates to a spring brake actuator, in particular a parking or emergency spring brake actuator for use in a commercial vehicle, said actua tor comprising a cylinder housing comprising a cylinder housing base, a spring brake piston located in said cylinder housing for applying a braking force, a spring guide being attached to the spring brake piston and a compression spring located between the cylinder housing base and the spring guide of the spring brake piston, said compression spring being effective to push the spring brake piston away from the base, wherein the spring guide comprises a valve and a retaining device for retaining the valve, the retaining device comprising a basic body and clamping means for clamping the device to a spring guide.

Spring brake actuators of the aforementioned kind are used in the commercial vehicle industry to provide a parking and/or emergency brake capability. Spring brake actuators are regularly connected to a service brake actuator and often act upon the same brake components which transmit the brake force to the ve hicle wheel. Utilizing these two brake types together leads to the challenge of ensuring that only one of the brakes is activated at a time. This is because whenever one of the brakes, such as the parking brake, is activated, adding additional brake force by the second brake, such as the service brake, potential ly causes damage to the brake components. Activating the two brakes together is also called compounding.

To reduce brake forces in case of compounding, overpressure valves are used in modern brake systems. In spring brake actuators, for example, overpressure check valves are utilized which are regularly arranged in the spring guide of the spring brake piston.

To retain such valves to the spring guide, a combination of a circlip and a plate is utilized in the prior art. Circlip and plate help to retain the valve and also to ensure that air may pass through the retaining components and reach the valve.

There are, however, certain drawbacks associated with this solution. First of all, it has been found that the assembly of the two parts is rather difficult and time-consuming as these parts need to be assembled in the correct order, correct orientation and they need to be centered within an accommodation space of the spring guide. Furthermore, the airflow through the circlip/plate combination has found to be uneven and a turbulent airflow may be generated, which is general ly unwanted.

Consequently, it has been an object of the invention to provide a spring brake actuator of the aforementioned type having a retaining device which is easier and faster to assemble and which improves the airflow characteristics through the device.

The invention attains this object by providing a retaining device according to claim 1. In particular, the invention attains this object in an embodiment where the clamping means are arranged at the basic body and along a circumference of the basic body and wherein the clamping means are spaced apart from each other forming slits between the clamping means to allow for a circulation of air through the slits.

The invention is based on the finding that by combining the basic body and the clamping means into one component, the likelihood of erroneous assemblies can be reduced significantly. Furthermore, the design allows for a self-centering capability of the retaining device in the accommodation space of the spring guide. Additionally, the slits allow for an increased and even airflow through the retaining device towards the valve. Based on the number, geometry, and width of the slits between the clamping means, the airflow characteristics may be in fluenced individually depending on the valve type and the assembly conditions.

In a preferred embodiment, the basic body has a shape of a disc. With the help of this, the retaining surface of the retaining device is increased while the basic body at the same time provides enough stability to securely retain the valve.

According to yet another alternative embodiment, the retaining device compris es a circular groove being arranged circumferentially around a longitudinal axis of the basic body. This has been found to be beneficial to facilitate the clamping functionality of the clamping means as the groove provides room into which the clamping means may be bended when the retaining device is assembled into the accommodation space of the spring guide.

In a preferred embodiment, the circular groove is V-shaped. This has been found to be beneficial to maintain the stability of the retaining device while at the same time providing enough room for the clamping means to bend to the inside when the retaining device is assembled.

Preferably, the retaining device has a first side and a second side, the second side being arranged axially opposite of the first side, wherein the circular groove is arranged at the first side, only. This ensures that at the second side, which is preferably used to retain the valve, the retaining surface is maximized. On the other hand, on the first side, which is preferably the air inlet side of the retaining device, enough room is provided for the clamping means to bend inwardly when assembled without closing the slits between the clamping means.

In a preferred embodiment, the clamping means extend diagonally outwards from the basic body in an angle of 1° - 60° relative to the longitudinal axis, pref erably 25° - 40°. By designing the clamping means in a way that they extend diagonally outwards from the basic body, the retaining device may be clamped securely into an accommodation space. This helps to ensure that the valve is kept in place during operation. Furthermore, the retaining device may be easily assembled and dissembled while the clamping means help to center the retain ing device in the accommodation space.

In yet another preferred embodiment, the clamping means are integrally formed with the basic body. In other words, it is preferred that the clamping means and the basic body are manufactured as one piece. This not only reduces manufac turing costs but also ensures a lower part-complexity.

Furthermore, it is preferred that the basic body comprises 5 - 20 clamping means, preferably 8 clamping means. This number of clamping means has been found to be beneficial to ensure that the retaining device may be securely fixed in an accommodation space, center itself and provide a reasonable airflow through the device while the complexity of the device is kept low.

In a preferred embodiment, the slits between the spaced apart clamping means have a width of 0,3 - 2 mm, preferably 0.7 mm. This dimensioning of the slits has been found to facilitate a sufficient and mostly unturbulent airflow through the valve. Furthermore, the slits support the bending capabilities of the clamping means facilitating the assembly of the retaining device in the accommodation space.

In yet another preferred embodiment the basic body has a thickness tb of 0,5 mm - 2 mm, preferably 1 mm. This keeps the dimensions of the retaining de vice low and ensures that it may be utilized in accommodation spaces at which the room available for the accommodation of the retaining device is limited.

Furthermore, it is preferred that the clamping means comprise a circular shoul der for positioning the retaining device in a spring guide. Such a circular shoul der ensures that the retaining device may be properly secured to an accommo dation space which also preferably has a correspondent shoulder. This helps to ensure that the valve is safely retained with respect to the spring guide.

In yet another preferred embodiment, the retaining device is partially or com pletely made of plastic material, sheet metal, or a combination of the above. Preferably, the plastic material is a crystalline or semi crystalline plastic materi al, particularly preferred polypropylene terephtalate (PPT), polyamide (PA), pol-yoxymethylene (POM), polyphthalamide (PPA), or polypropylene (PP). It is fur thermore preferred that the sheet metal is steel, a steel alloy, aluminum or an aluminum alloy. This selection of materials has been found to be beneficial for the proposed application of the retaining device.

According to a preferred embodiment, the retaining device is fitted to the spring guide by at least one of the following: press fit, snap fit, threaded fastening, ad hesive bonding, shrink fitting and wobbles riveting. These different ways of fit ting the retaining device to the spring guide have been found to be beneficial for various applications of the retaining device at vehicle brakes.

According to a further aspect, the invention also relates to a retaining device for retaining a valve, the retaining device comprising a basic body and clamping means for clamping the device to a spring guide.

According to this further aspect, the clamping means are arranged at the basic body and along a circumference of the basic body, wherein the clamping means are spaced apart from each other forming slits between the clamping means to allow for a circulation of air through the slits. The retaining device takes ad vantage of the same benefits and preferred embodiments as the spring brake actuator comprising such a retaining device according to the invention. In this regard, reference is made to the above explanations and their content is includ ed herein.

For a more complete understanding of the invention, the invention will now be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawing. The detailed description will illustrate and describe what is considered as a preferred embod iment of the invention. It should of course be understood that various modifica tions and changes in form or detail could readily be made without departing from the spirit of the invention. It is therefore intended that the invention may not be limited to the exact form and detail shown and described herein, nor to any thing less than the whole of the invention disclosed herein and as claimed here inafter. Further, the features described in the description, the drawings and the claims disclosing the invention may be essential for the invention considered alone or in combination. In particular, any reference signs in the claims shall not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention. The wording “comprising” does not exclude other elements or steps. The wording “a” or “an” does not ex clude a plurality.

This invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying draw ings which illustrate, by way of example and not by way of limitation, one of several possible embodiments of the clutch servo proposed herein, and where in:

Fig. 1 : shows a preferred embodiment of a spring brake actuator according to the concept of the invention in a sectional view;

Fig. 2: shows a detail of the spring brake actuator according to Fig.

1 showing a retaining device according to the concept of the invention;

Figs. 3 and 4: show a preferred embodiment of the retaining device ac cording to the concept of the invention in perspective views; and

Fig. 5: shows a sectional view of the retaining device according to the concept of the invention.

Fig. 1 shows a cross-sectional schematic view of a spring brake actuator 2. The spring brake actuator 2 comprises a cylinder housing 4. Inside the cylinder housing 4, a compression spring 8 and a pressure chamber 23 are arranged. The compression spring 8 rests on the left side of Fig. 1 against a cylinder housing base 6 and on the opposite side on a spring guide 12 of a spring brake piston 10. The spring brake piston 10 is in Fig. 1 held in a brake release position by a positive pressure inside the pressure chamber 23.

The spring brake piston 10 is adapted to act upon a diaphragm 24 of the spring brake actuator 2 which transmits the inflicted force to a rod 26 which, in turn, transmits the applied power to the wheel brakes (not shown).

The spring brake actuator 2 furthermore comprises a release bolt 29. The re lease bolt 29 is utilized to release the spring brake actuator 2 in case of mal functions, for example. The spring brake actuator 2 moreover comprises a flange 18 which is utilized to connect a service brake 27 to the spring brake ac tuator 2. The service brake 27 comprises a service brake pressure chamber 25 into which a pressure may be built up to generate a force upon the service dia phragm 28 which transmits the inflicted force to the rod 26.

In case both the spring brake actuator 2 and the service brake 27 are operated simultaneously, pressure is released from the service brake pressure chamber 25 through an internal breathing valve 20 and via a tubular stem 22 through a retaining device 16 and a check valve 14 into the pressure chamber 23. With the help of this, it is avoided that whenever the spring brake actuator 2 and the service brake 27 are operated simultaneously (which is also called compound ing), the braking forces of the two brakes add up and damage the rod 26 or parts of the wheel brakes.

Fig. 2 shows a detailed view of a part of the spring brake actuator 2 comprising the retaining device 16. As can be seen from Fig. 2, the retaining device 16 re tains the check valve 14 and attaches it to the spring guide 12. The retaining device 16 holds the check valve 14 in place and also allows for a passage of air through the retaining device 16. The retaining device 16 is attached in a receiv ing space 30 and held in position with the help of a receiving space shoulder 32.

Fig. 3 shows a detailed perspective of the retaining device 16. The retaining device 16 comprises a basic body 34 and clamping means 36. The clamping means 36 are arranged along a circumference 38 of the basic body 34. The clamping means 36 are spaced apart from each other forming slits 40 in be tween the clamping means 36 to allow for a circulation of air through the slits 40. The slits have a width ws. In Fig. 3, a first side 44 of the basic body 34 is shown. Furthermore, a longitudinal axis 42 of the retaining device 16 is illustrat ed. The basic body 34 comprises eight clamping means 36. Also, the retaining device 16 comprises a circular groove 50 being arranged circumferentially around the longitudinal axis 42. The groove 50 facilitates the capability of the clamping means 36 to be bendable inwardly towards the longitudinal axis 42 to allow for an easy assembly of the retaining device 16.

Fig. 4 shows the retaining device 16 from another side showing a second side 46 of the basic body 34. It can be seen from Fig. 4 that the clamping means 36 comprise a circular shoulder 48. This circular shoulder 48 may be brought into alignment with the receiving space shoulder 32 (see Fig. 2) to center and ac commodate the retaining device 16 in the desired position.

Fig. 5 shows a cross-sectional view of the retaining device 16 comprising the basic body 34 and clamping means 36. The retaining device 16 comprises the circular groove 50 being arranged circumferentially around the longitudinal axis 42 of the basic body 34. The circular groove 50 is V-shaped 52. Furthermore, the circular groove 50 is arranged at the first side 44 of the basic body 34, only. The basic body 34 has a thickness ¾ while the clamping means 36 extend di agonally outwards from the basic body 34 in an angle 54.

List of references (part of specification)

2 spring brake actuator

4 cylinder housing

6 cylinder housing base

8 compression spring

10 spring brake piston

12 spring guide

14 check valve

16 retaining device

18 flange

20 internal breathing valve

22 tubular stem

23 pressure chamber

24 diaphragm

25 service brake pressure chamber

26 rod

27 service brake

28 service diaphragm

29 release bolt

30 receiving space

32 receiving space shoulder

34 basic body

36 clamping means

38 circumference of the basic body

40 slits

42 longitudinal axis

44 first side of basic body

46 second side of basic body

48 circular shoulder

50 circular groove

52 V-shape

54 clamping means extending angle

ws width of slits

tb thickness of basic body