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Publication numberUS20060143868 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/545,290
PCT numberPCT/DE2004/000182
Publication dateJul 6, 2006
Filing dateFeb 4, 2004
Priority dateFeb 11, 2003
Also published asCN1777524A, DE20302226U1, DE112004000266D2, WO2004071805A1
Publication number10545290, 545290, PCT/2004/182, PCT/DE/2004/000182, PCT/DE/2004/00182, PCT/DE/4/000182, PCT/DE/4/00182, PCT/DE2004/000182, PCT/DE2004/00182, PCT/DE2004000182, PCT/DE200400182, PCT/DE4/000182, PCT/DE4/00182, PCT/DE4000182, PCT/DE400182, US 2006/0143868 A1, US 2006/143868 A1, US 20060143868 A1, US 20060143868A1, US 2006143868 A1, US 2006143868A1, US-A1-20060143868, US-A1-2006143868, US2006/0143868A1, US2006/143868A1, US20060143868 A1, US20060143868A1, US2006143868 A1, US2006143868A1
InventorsThomas Bauer
Original AssigneeOlho Sinsheim Gmbh
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Component for vehicle interiors, in particular roof handle
US 20060143868 A1
Abstract
A component (10) for vehicle interiors comprising a first fixed assembly (12) that can be mounted on the wall (18) of the vehicle interior and a second assembly (14) that is displaceably attached to the first assembly (12), the second assembly (14) being displaceable in opposition to the action of elastic elements (20) from a resting position into a position of use and vice versa and the second assembly (14) being displaced from the position of use into the resting position, or being maintained in the resting position by the sole action of the elastic elements (20), has the distinguishing feature that the elastic elements (20) take the form of at least one elastically extensible strap or cable or an elastically extensible cord.
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Claims(24)
1-21. (canceled)
22. A handle component for a vehicle interior, comprising:
a first assembly adapted to be mounted to the wall of a vehicle interior;
a second assembly attached to the first assembly and movable between a resting position and a use position; and
at least one elastic element adapted to bias the second assembly toward the resting position and to resist movement of the second assembly toward the use position, wherein the elastic element comprises at least one of an extendible strap, cable, or cord.
23. The handle component of claim 22, wherein the at least one elastic element is located between the first assembly and the second assembly.
24. The handle component of claim 22, wherein at least one of the first assembly or the second assembly is injection molded, and the at least one elastic element is co-molded with at least one of the first assembly or the second assembly.
25. The handle component of claim 22, wherein the at least one elastic element comprises an elastomer material.
26. The handle component of claim 25, wherein the elastomer material is at least one of rubber, Elastan (registered trademark), Dorlastan (registered trademark), or thermoplastic elastomer (TPE).
27. The handle component of claim 25, wherein the at least one elastic element comprises silicone.
28. The handle component of claim 22, wherein the handle component is adapted to attach to a roof of the vehicle interior, and the first assembly comprises a fixed bearing unit and the second assembly comprises a movable stirrup handle.
29. The handle component of claim 28, wherein the stirrup handle is adapted to at least one of translate or rotate with respect to the fixed bearing unit between the resting position and the use position.
30. The handle component of claim 22, wherein the second assembly has a projection unit, and the at least one elastic element extends from the first assembly and around the projection unit in the form of a loop.
31. The handle component of claim 22, wherein the at least one elastic element comprises an elastic limit stop for the second assembly against the first assembly when in the resting position.
32. The handle component of claim 22, wherein the at least one elastic element comprises an elastic limit stop for the second assembly against the first assembly when in the use position.
33. The handle component of claim 22, further comprising a reel attached to the second assembly and adapted for rotation of the second assembly with respect to the first assembly; wherein the at least one elastic element is at least partially wound onto the reel when rotating from the resting position into the use position.
34. The handle component of claim 33, wherein the reel is attached to the second assembly by a positively interlocking connection.
35. The handle component of claim 33, wherein the reel is integrally formed with the second assembly.
36. The handle component of claim 33, further comprising a damping unit located inside the reel, wherein the damping unit exercises a damping effect on the rotational movement of the second assembly with respect to the first assembly.
37. The handle component of claim 36, wherein the damping unit comprises a viscous damper.
38. The handle component of claim 22, further comprising at least one elastic damping unit formed onto the at least one elastic element, wherein upon movement of the second assembly, the at least one elastic damping unit slides along a wall of the first assembly and thereby produce a damping action on the movement to the second assembly.
39. The handle component of claim 38, wherein the at least one elastic damping unit comprises at least one elastic tab.
40. The handle component of claim 38, wherein the at least one elastic element and the at least one elastic damping unit comprise an integrally co-molded component.
41. The handle component of claim 33, wherein the at least one elastic element is molded onto the reel and is anchored to the first assembly.
42. The handle component of claim 22, wherein:
the second assembly has a projection unit, and the at least one elastic element extends from the first assembly and around the projection unit in the form of a loop; and
the at least one elastic element includes a projecting area that acts an elastic limit stop for the second assembly against the first assembly when in at least one of the use position or the resting position.
43. The handle component of claim 22, wherein:
the second assembly has a projection unit, and the at least one elastic element extends from the first assembly and around the projection unit in the form of a loop; and
the at least one elastic element has an annular or oval profile that acts an elastic limit stop for the second assembly against the first assembly when in at least one of the use position or the resting position.
44. The handle component of claim 22, wherein the at least one elastic element includes an elastic limit stop for the second assembly against the first assembly when in at least one of the resting position or the use position, wherein the elastic limit stop is molded onto the at least one elastic element.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a component for vehicle interiors comprising a first fixed assembly that can be mounted on the wall of the vehicle interior and a second assembly that is displaceably attached to the first assembly, the second assembly being displaceable in opposition to the action of elastic elements from a resting position into a position of use and vice versa and the second assembly being displaced from the position of use into the resting position, or being maintained in the resting position by the sole action of the elastic elements.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART

For roof handles in the interior of vehicles use is made of so-called pull handles, which on the one hand allow the roof handle, when not required, to rest closely against the internal wall of the vehicle and which, when in use, afford more manual freedom to grip the handle securely, owing to the relative displacement between the fixed first assembly and the displaceable second assembly. On release, the pull handle automatically returns into the resting position under the action of the elastic elements.

Metal springs are known to be used as elastic elements. Metal springs, however, have a tendency to generate unwanted noise during operation. In addition, the settling behavior of the metal springs changes with age, so that over time the movement characteristics of the handle vary. Furthermore such metal springs have a tendency to corrosion, so that solutions have had to be developed which provide metal springs with an additional coating. This leads, however, to increased manufacturing costs, which make their use uneconomic.

In order to ensure a good limit stop behavior of the pull handle, a two-component part is usually formed, that is to say an elastically pliable limit stop unit is additionally molded onto a plastic carrier part. This again means an increased manufacturing cost.

Roof folding handles are also known, which are subject to the action of elastic elements.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Proceeding from the state of the art described, the object of the present invention is to specify a component for vehicle interiors which is economic to manufacture, which avoids the disadvantages referred to in the state of the art, which ensures consistently reliable functioning and which imparts an agreeable operating sensation.

The inventive component of the said type is endowed with the features of the independent claim 1. Advantageous developments and further embodiments form the subject matter of the subordinate claims.

Accordingly, a distinguishing feature of the component according to the invention is that the elastic elements take the form of at least one elastically extensible strap or cable, or an elastically extensible cord.

According to the invention therefore, the metal spring prone to problems is replaced by an elastic strap or cable or an elastic cord which can be readily molded on.

A distinguishing feature of an especially preferred development is that the elastic elements are already biased towards the resting position.

A distinguishing feature of an especially preferred alternative development, which is economic to manufacture, is that the assemblies take the form of injection molded plastic parts and the elastic elements are provided as elements molded onto the first assembly or second assembly.

Possible materials for the elastic elements include elastomers such as rubber, Elastan (registered trademark) or Dorlastan (registered trademark) or thermoplastic elastomers (TPE).

Silicone is a material especially preferred for the elastic elements. Silicone not only possesses outstanding mechanical characteristics and can be readily injection molded but also in its material properties behaves consistently at different temperatures.

The component according to the invention may be configured as any kinematic component in the vehicle interior.

In this context a distinguishing feature of an especially preferred design variant is that the component takes the form of a roof handle, the first assembly taking the form of a fixed bearing unit and the second assembly that of a displaceable stirrup handle, the stirrup handle performing a translational movement and/or a rotational movement from the resting position into the position of use and vice versa.

A distinguishing feature of an embodiment that is particularly easy to implement in design terms and ensures a consistently reliable functioning, and which moreover makes the two assemblies easy to put together, is that the second assembly has a projection unit, the elastic elements being attached to or molded onto the first assembly and enclosing the projection unit in a looped shape.

According to the invention, it is possible and particularly advantageous for the elastic elements to be formed (in an injection molding process, for example) in such a way that they simultaneously constitute an elastic limit stop in the resting position and/or in the position of use.

A distinguishing feature of an especially advantageous embodiment is that the second assembly performs a rotational movement and has a rotational bearing, in particular a reel, onto which the elastic elements are at least partially wound on the outer surface of the rotational bearing or reel when moving from the resting position into the position, or from which they are unwound in the opposite direction.

At the same time the rotational bearing or reel may advantageously be attached by a positively interlocking connection to the second assembly. It is also possible, however, for the rotational bearing or reel to be integrally formed with the second assembly.

In an advantageous development the reel itself may be provided with a damping unit, which takes the form, for example, of a viscous damper, permitting an overall damped movement of the second assembly.

A distinguishing feature of an especially advantageous design variant, which in an especially simple design permits a damped movement of the second assembly, is that at least one elastic damping unit is formed onto the elastic elements, said unit under the movement of the second assembly sliding along a fixed wall of the first assembly, so that the friction produces a damping action on the movement of the second assembly.

An advantageous further embodiment permits an especially economic form of manufacture in that the elastic elements and the elastic damping unit take the form of an integrally molded component, the elastic damping unit preferably having at least one elastic tab.

According to an advantageous development the elastic elements are molded on the reel of the second rotatable assembly and are anchored to the first assembly.

With the component according to the invention it is possible to obtain substantial advantages compared to the state of the art, as will be described in the following examples:

With the component according to the invention the spring noises deriving from the metal springs during operation are completely suppressed. A separate stop buffer can be entirely dispensed with, since through an appropriate design of the elastic elements the stop buffer may take the form of a single, preferably molded component. The usual metal spring and the requisite spring cover can be entirely dispensed with. A distinguishing feature of the component as a whole is a shallow spring characteristic curve, imparting an agreeable operating sensation. The additional molded attachment of an elastic damping unit means that the elastic elements themselves can transfer a certain damping action to the displacement of the second assembly.

One significant embodiment resides in the fact that silicone, which can not only be used without any injection molding problems and has outstanding mechanical characteristics but also has material properties that do not vary with temperature, is used as material for the elastic elements.

Further embodiments and advantages of the invention will be inferred from the features described further in the claims and from the exemplary embodiments specified below. Unless they are obviously mutually exclusive, the features of the claims may be freely combined with one another.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention and advantageous embodiments and developments thereof will be described and explained in more detail below with reference to the examples represented in the drawing. According to the invention the features set forth in the description and in the drawing may each be applied individually, or severally in any combination. In the drawing:

FIG. 1 a, b shows a schematic perspective view of a roof handle for vehicle interiors, which takes the form of a pull handle and is subject to the action of elastic elements, in a resting position and in a position of use,

FIG. 2 a, b shows a schematic perspective view of a roof handle for vehicle interiors, which takes the form of a folding handle and is subject to the action of elastic elements, in a resting position and in a position of use,

FIG. 3 shows a schematic section through the roof handle according to FIG. 1 along the section line I-I in a resting position, showing the elastic elements,

FIG. 4 shows a schematic section through the roof handle according to FIG. 1 along the section line I-I in a position of use, showing the elastic elements,

FIG. 5 shows a schematic section perpendicular to the section line I-I in FIG. 1 (plan view), showing the elastic elements,

FIG. 6 a shows a schematic and transparent perspective view of a detail of the roof handle according to FIG. 1 in the bearing area, with elastic elements in the form of a loop,

FIG. 6 b shows a schematic perspective view of the elastic elements according to FIG. 6 a detached,

FIG. 7 shows a schematic section through the roof handle according to FIG. 2 along the section line II-II in a resting position, showing the elastic elements and

FIG. 8 shows a schematic section through the roof handle according to FIG. 2 along the section line II-II showing the elastic elements, in the position of use.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIGS. 1 a and b shows a component 10, which takes the form of a roof handle 10 for vehicle interiors, the roof handle 10 being configured as a so-called “pull handle”, which can be brought manually from a rest position (FIG. 1 a) into a position of use (FIG. 1 b).

The roof handle 10 has a first fixed assembly 12, which takes the form of a bearing unit 12 and which in the assembled state is fixed to the wall 18 of a vehicle interior. Attached to the bearing unit 12 is a second assembly 14, which is displaceable in a translational movement basically perpendicular to the wall 18 and which takes the form of a stirrup handle 14. The two end areas of the U-shaped stirrup handle 14 are attached to corresponding bearing units 12 at both sides. Elastic elements, which will be further described below, act on the stirrup handle 14 in the area of the bearing unit 12. In using the roof handle 10, the stirrup handle 14 is first gripped in the resting position according to FIG. 1 a and is drawn out in the direction of the arrow Z basically perpendicular to the wall 18 in opposition to the action of the elastic elements. The clearance between the stirrup handle 14 and the wall 18 is thereby increased, ensuring greater manual operating freedom. As soon as the stirrup handle 14 is released when no longer required, the action of the elastic elements causes it to perform an automatic return movement R and it thereby returns from the position of use according to FIG. 1 b into the resting position according to FIG. 1 a.

The schematic construction of the stirrup handle 14 in the area of the bearing unit 12 along the section line I-I in FIG. 1 a with the elastic elements is represented in more detail in FIG. 3.

A laterally extending projection unit 22 is formed onto the stirrup handle 14 in each end face area. A plate unit 28, onto the top of which elastic elements 20 are formed, is attached to the bearing unit 12 arranged in areas beneath the projection unit 22. The elastic elements 20 take the form of a loop-like strap surrounding the projection unit 22. On the upper side of the projection unit 22 the elastic elements 20 have a protecting height Ü, compared to the outer surface of the projection unit 22, which forms an upper elastic limit stop 30 for the drawn-out position according to FIG. 4. A lower limit stop 32, which is oval in shape and which is connected to the plate unit 28, is integrally formed onto the underside of the loop-shaped elastic elements 20 basically perpendicular to the plane of the loop. The lower limit stop 32 serves as elastic stop on the underside of the projection unit 22 in the resting position according to FIG. 3.

The stirrup handle 14 can be displaced in a translational movement relative to the bearing unit 12 basically perpendicular to the wall 18 (arrows Z, R). For this purpose guide devices, which are not shown in further detail in FIGS. 3 to 6, are provided on the wall of the bearing unit 12.

In using the roof handle 10 the stirrup handle 14 is gripped and is displaced upwards in the direction of the arrow Z according to FIG. 3. This draw-out movement Z can be effected until the upper limit stop 30 of the loop-shaped elastic elements 20 impact elastically on the upper inner side of the bearing unit 12. The position of use is then reached. If the stirrup handle 14 is released in the state according to FIG. 4, under the action of the elastic elements 20 it will automatically return in the direction of the arrow R into the resting position according to FIG. 3, until the underside of the projection unit 22 impacts elastically against the lower limit stop 32, which is formed onto the elastic elements 20.

The loop-shaped elastic elements 20 are led around the projection unit 22 preferably already biased towards the resting position according to FIG. 3.

FIG. 6 a shows a detailed perspective view of a detail of the attachment of the elastic elements 20 in the area of the bearing unit 12, the bearing unit 12 itself being omitted.

FIG. 6 b shows a schematic perspective view of the elastic elements 20 with their lower limit stop 32 and the plate unit 28, which form their base. Alternatively, elastic damping units 24, which take the form of elastic tabs 26, as indicated by dashed lines in FIG. 6 b, may be molded, preferably in one piece, onto the webs of the loop of the elastic elements 20. These elastic tabs 26 are in contact with the inner wall of the bearing unit 12. As soon as the stirrup handle 14 is displaced, the tabs 26 also move owing to the elasticity of the loop-shaped elastic elements 20, with the result that a frictional force builds up between the tabs 26 and the inner wall of the bearing unit 12, the force ultimately exerting a damping action on the extending and retracting movement of the stirrup handle 14.

FIG. 6 b further shows an alternative schematic representation of the lower elastic limit stop 32. Whilst retaining the oval shape of the lower limit stop 32, upward-pointing stop projections 34, which clearly define the stop position of the projection unit 22 of the stirrup handle 14, are formed onto this stop.

FIGS. 2 a and b show a schematic perspective view of a roof handle 50, which takes the form of a folding handle, in the resting position and in the position of use. A first fixed assembly 52, which takes the form of a bearing unit 52, is attached to the wall 18 of the vehicle interior. The bearing unit 52 has a base plate 64 and forward-projecting bearing flanges 66, which are spaced parallel to one another and each have a bearing recess 68. A second, displaceable assembly 54, which takes the form of a U-shaped stirrup handle 54 is furthermore provided. The end face areas of the flanges of the U-shaped stirrup handle 54 are rotatably supported in the recesses 68 of the bearing flanges 66 by way of a rotational bearing not represented in more detail in FIGS. 2 a and b. The stirrup handle 54 can thereby be swiveled about the axis of rotation 56 formed by the bearing recesses 68 in the direction of the arrow D1 or D2 from the resting position into the position of use and vice versa. In so doing the stirrup handle 54 is under the influence of the elastic elements 60, in opposition to the action of which the roof handle 50 can be swiveled from the resting position into the position of use, and which cause the roof handle 50 to be automatically folded back into the resting position when it is released from the position of use.

The elastic elements 60 are shown in more detail in FIGS. 7 to 9.

Inside the stirrup handle 54, in the area of the attachment to the bearing units 52, a reel 62, which is supported in the bearing recesses so that it can rotate about a pin structure, not represented further, is attached to the stirrup handle 54. The elastic elements 70 take the form of an elastic strap 70. The elastic strap 70 is on the one hand attached to the bearing unit 52 and on the other is molded onto the reel 62.

Integrally formed on to the elastic strap 70, in what is in FIG. 9 the left-hand end area thereof, is a T-shaped anchoring unit 72, by means of which the elastic strap 70 can be anchored in a corresponding recess on the bearing unit 52. The end area 74 of the elastic strap 70 situated opposite the anchoring unit 72 is formed or molded onto the reel 62. At the same time the geometry of the attachment is designed so that when the stirrup handle 54 is turned from the resting position (FIG. 7) into the position of use (FIG. 8) areas of the elastic strap 70 are peripherally wound onto the external contour of the reel 62.

A return force thereby builds up inside the elastic elements 60, which when the stirrup handle 54 is released in the position of use according to FIG. 8 causes it to be automatically folded back into the resting position according to FIG. 7.

The elastic strap 70 is preferably fitted so that it is already biased towards the resting position in FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 shows the deformation of the elastic elements due to rotation of the stirrup handle 54 and the reel 62 about D1, represented by a dot-and-dash line. FIG. 9 furthermore shows projection units 76 which at the end are formed onto the reel 62 and which ensure a positively interlocking connection between the reel 62 and the stirrup handle 54.

According to FIG. 9 a splined unit 78 is formed onto the outside of the reel 62, said unit permitting an extensive attachment of what in FIG. 9 is the right-hand area 74 of the elastic strap 70 and at the same time ensuring that the elastic strap 70 rests tangentially on the external contour of the reel 62 in the resting position. This allows an attachment of the elastic strap 70 to the reel 62 which is economic to manufacture, whilst at the same time ensuring a consistently reliable functioning.

Silicone is preferably used as material for the elastic strap 20, 60. However, any other elastomer may also be used.

The exemplary embodiments represented show roof handles. However, the present invention is not limited to use in roof handles. The use of elastic elements of the type described can be used in any kinematic components for vehicle interiors, such as ashtrays, cup-holders or movable coat hooks etc.

The elastic elements shown represent only exemplary embodiments. Strap, cable or cord-like elastic elements of widely varying geometry may be used.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7677614 *Jun 21, 2005Mar 16, 2010Huf Hülsbeck & Fürst Gmbh & Co. KgDevice for operating locks on doors or hatches of vehicles
US7744141Jan 18, 2007Jun 29, 2010Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.Retractable assist handle for a vehicle
Classifications
U.S. Classification16/438
International ClassificationB60N3/02, A45C13/22
Cooperative ClassificationB60N3/023
European ClassificationB60N3/02B