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1. US5997058 - Bumper, and the fabrication thereof

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[ EN ]
I claim:
1. A bumper for a vehicle, said bumper comprising:
an elongated body which, upon collision, is adapted to absorb collision energy and forces,
said elongated body being prepared from a hollow blank so as to have a generally arched longitudinal extension which is provided with different cross sections along its length,
wherein said elongated body has a compressed or folded cross section at each of terminal end portions thereof, said elongated body having a central portion and intermediate portions on either side of said central portion,
wherein each of said intermediate portions has a basic cross section which is substantially unchanged from the cross section of the hollow blank, and said central portion has an outwardly pressed cross section relative to said basic cross sections of said intermediate portions.
2. The bumper as claimed in claim 1, wherein:
said basic cross section of each of said intermediate portions comprises an outer wall portion, an arched inner wall portion, and yoke portions extending substantially perpendicularly from said outer wall portion;
said cross section at said central portion is substantially trapeze-shaped, and said cross section at said central portion comprises an outer wall portion having substantially the same height as said cross sections at said intermediate portions, and an inner wall portion having a height which is less than the height of said outer wall portion, and substantially slanted yoke portions connecting said inner and outer wall portions of said central portion; and
said cross section at each of said terminal portions comprises an outer wall portion having substantially the same height as said cross sections of said intermediate portions, an inner wall portion, and intermediate yoke portions connecting said inner and outer wall portions of said terminal portions.
3. The bumper as claimed in claim 1, wherein said inner and outer wall portions of each of said intermediate portions have a wall thickness which is larger relative to a wall thickness of said yoke portions of said each of said intermediate portions.
4. The bumper as claimed in claim 1, further comprising attachment portions connected to said terminal portions, respectively, each of said attachment portions having a surface which is parallel relative to a surface of a vehicle side beam.
5. The bumper as claimed in claim 1, wherein said elongated body is formed so as to be substantially symmetrical about a center plane running in a longitudinal direction of the vehicle, and said elongated body includes an outer mantle of plastic material.
6. A method of fabricating a vehicular bumper, said method comprising:
processing a hollow blank so as to form an arch-shaped elongated body having a generally uniform cross section, said elongated body being adapted to absorb collision energy and forces;
processing opposite terminal end portions of said arch-shaped elongated body so as to form a compressed cross section at said terminal end portions; and
processing a central portion of said arch-shaped elongated body so as to form an outwardly pressed cross section at said central portion,
wherein the basic cross section at intermediate portions of said arch-shaped elongated body, located on opposite sides of said central portion, are substantially unchanged following the processing of said central portion and said terminal end portions.
7. The method as claimed in claim 6, wherein the shape of said cross section at said central portion, following said processing operation, is substantially trapeze-shaped and comprises an outer wall portion having substantially the same height as said cross sections at said intermediate portions, and an inner wall portion having a height which is less than the height of said outer wall portion, and substantially slanted yoke portions connecting said inner and outer wall portions of said central portion; and
said cross section at each of said terminal portions, following said processing operation, comprises an outer wall portion having substantially the same height as said cross sections of said intermediate portions, an inner wall portion, and intermediate yoke portions connecting said inner and outer wall portions of said terminal portions.
8. The method as claimed in claim 6, wherein said inner and outer wall portions of each of said intermediate portions have a wall thickness which is larger relative to a wall thickness of said yoke portions of said each of said intermediate portions.
9. The method as claimed in claim 6, further comprising forming an attachment portion at each of said terminal portions, wherein each of said terminal portions merges into said attachment portion which is designed so as to have a surface which is parallel relative to a surface of a vehicle side beam.
10. The method as claimed in claim 6, further comprising processing said elongated body so as to be substantially symmetrical about a center plane running in a longitudinal direction of the vehicle, and forming an outer mantle of plastic material on said elongated body.
11. The method as claimed in claim 6, wherein said elongated body is processed by mechanical tools.
12. The method as claimed in claim 6, wherein said processing of said blank initially includes stretching or pressing said blank into said arched-shaped elongated body.
13. The method as claimed in claim 6, wherein said blank is processed by hydroforming.