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1. WO1998056620 - DISPOSITIF DE DEPLOIEMENT D'AIRBAG A TRAVERS UN PANNEAU RIGIDE

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

[ EN ]

I claim:

1. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10, 10', 10", 10s) for an automotive vehicle, the apparatus comprising:
an interior vehicle panel (12, 12', 12", 12s);
an air bag deployment door (16, 16', 16", 16s) integrally formed in the vehicle panel (12, 12', 12", 12s), the air bag deployment door (16, 16', 16", 16s) having a perimeter, at least a portion of the perimeter defined by a frangible marginal edge (18, 18', 18", 18s);
an air bag dispenser (20, 20', 20", 20s) supported adjacent a door inner surface (38, 38', 38", 38s) opposite a door outer surface (22, 22', 22", 22s);
an air bag (24, 24', 24", 24s) supported in an air bag receptacle (26, 26', 26", 26s) of the air bag dispenser (20, 20', 20", 20s), the air bag (24, 24', 24", 24s) having an inner end (27, 27', 27", 27s) operatively connected to the air bag dispenser (20, 20', 20", 20s) and an outer end (30, 30', 30", 30s) disposed adjacent the air bag deployment door (16, 16', 16", 16s); the apparatus (10, 10', 10", 10s) characterized by:
a reaction plate (28, 28', 28", 28s) disposed between the air bag (24, 24', 24", 24s) and the air bag deployment door (16, 16', 16", 16s) to receive the force of air bag deployment from the dispenser (20, 20', 20", 20s) and to direct and distribute that force against the door inner surface (38, 38', 38", 38s) to separate the door (16, 16', 16", 16s) from the vehicle panel (12, 12', 12", 12s) along the frangible marginal edge (18, 18', 18", 18s) of the door (16, 16', 16", 16s).

2. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10, 10', 10", 10s) as defined in claim 1 in which the door (16, 16', 16", 16s) and vehicle panel (12, 12', 12", 12s) are integrally formed as a single unitary piece by injection molding.

3. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10, 10', 10", 10s) as defined in claim 1 in which the reaction plate (28, 28', 28", 28s) includes a marginal outer edge portion (32, 32', 32", 32s) having a shape generally identical to and aligned with at least a portion of the frangible marginal edge (18, 18', 18", 18s) of the air bag deployment door (16, 16', 16", 16s).

4. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10, 10', 10", 10s) as defined in claim 1 in which the reaction plate (28, 28', 28", 28s) is attached to at least one of the air bag dispenser (20, 20', 20", 20s) and the vehicle panel (12, 12', 12", 12s) along a reaction plate inner edge (34, 34', 34", 34s) and in which an outer portion (35, 35', 35", 35s) of the reaction plate (28, 28', 28", 28s) is outwardly pivotable away from the air bag dispenser (20, 20', 20", 20s) by bending the reaction plate (28, 28', 28", 28s) along a first hinge line (36, 36', 36", 36s) extending parallel to the attached reaction plate inner edge (34, 34', 34", 34s).

5. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10, 10', 10", 10s) as defined in claim 1 in which at least a portion of the reaction plate (28, 28', 28", 28s) is disposed adjacent the door inner surface (38, 38', 38", 38s).

6. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10, 10", 10s) as defined in claim 5 in which at least one rib (40, 40s, 112, 114) extends integrally inward from the door inner surface (38, 38", 38 s) toward the reaction plate (28, 28", 28s).

7. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10, 10', 10", 10s) as defined in claim 1 in which the frangible marginal edge (18, 18', 18", 18s) of the door (16, 16', 16", 16s) comprises a region of reduced cross section.

8. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10, 10') as defined in claim 1 in which the air bag deployment door (16, 16') includes a rear marginal edge that forms a liinge (44, 44') between the vehicle panel (12, 12') and the door (16, 16').

9. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10) as defined in claim 1 in which a flexible skin (69) covers at least a portion of the vehicle panel (12) in a layered disposition.

10. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10) as defined in claim 1 in which a foam layer (71) covers at least a portion of the vehicle panel (12).

1 1. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10, 10', 10", 10s) as defined in claim 1 further including a first flexible tether (50, 50', 50", 50s) connected to the door (16, 16', 16", 16s) and fastened to at least one of the air bag dispenser (20, 20', 20", 20s) and the vehicle panel (12, 12', 12", 12s).

12. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10s) as defined in claim 1 1 in which the first flexible tether (50s) slidably engages the door (16s).

13. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10s) as defined in claim 12 in which a flexible strap (126) is fastened to the door (16s) at first and second spaced attachment points (128, 130), a portion of the first flexible tether (50s) slidably extending between the door (16s) and the strap (126) and between the first and second attachment points (128, 130).

14. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10s) as defined in claim 13 in which:
first and second bosses (144, 146) extend integrally inward from a door inner surface (38s) to the respective first and second attachment points (128, 130); and first and second fasteners (152) attach the strap (126) to the respective first and second bosses (144, 146).

15. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10s) as defined in claim 13 in which the first flexible tether (50s) engages the reaction plate

(28s).

16. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10s) as defined in claim 15 in which:
the reaction plate (28s) is attached to at least one of the air bag dispenser (20s) and the vehicle panel (12s) along a reaction plate inner edge (34s);
an outer portion (35s) of the reaction plate (28s) is outwardly pivotable away from the air bag dispenser (20s) by bending the reaction plate (28s) along a hinge line (36s) extending parallel to the reaction plate inner edge (34s);
the first flexible tether (50s) includes a tether loop (157) extending from at least one tether loop attachment portion (156, 158), the tether loop attachment portion (156, 158) fastened to at least one of the air bag dispenser (20s) the vehicle panel (12s) and the reaction plate (28s) adjacent the reaction plate hinge line (36s);
a middle tether portion (160) of the first flexible tether (50s) is disposed between the first and second tether loop ends (156, 158) and slidably engages the outer portion (35s) of the reaction plate (28s); and
an outer portion of the first flexible tether (50s) disposed between the middle tether portion (160) and the first tether loop end (156) slidably extends between the door (16, 16', 16", 16s) and the strap (126).

17. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10s) as defined in claim 16 in which an upper edge portion (44s) of the frangible marginal edge (18s) of the door (16s) extends generally parallel to and is spaced from the reaction plate hinge line (36s).

18. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10s) as defined in claim 16 in which the first flexible tether (50s) slidably extends through an opening (168) in the outer portion (35s) of the reaction plate (28s) adjacent a reaction plate outer marginal edge (32s).

[The tethers 50s, 51s pass through respective outer reaction plate slots, representatively shown at 168 in Figs. 12 and 13. The outer slots 168 are spaced parallel to and adjacent the reaction plate outer edge 32s. The tethers 50s, 51s also pass through respective inner reaction plate slots, representatively shown at 170 in Figs. 12 and 13. The inner slots 170 are spaced parallel to and adjacent the hinge line 36s.]

19. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10s) as defined in claim 12 in which at least one additional flexible tether (51s) slidably engages the door (16s).

20. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10, 10') as defined in claim 4 further including a first flexible tether (50, 50') having an outer end portion (52, 52') fastened to the door (16, 16') and an inner end portion

(54, 54') fastened to the air bag dispenser (20, 20') at a point adjacent the reaction plate inner edge (34, 34').

21. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10, 10", 10s) as defined in claim 11 in which the first tether (50, 50", 50s) has an inner end portion (54, 82", 82s) fastened to the air bag dispenser (20, 20", 20s) at a point adjacent the reaction plate inner edge (34, 34", 34s).

22. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10) as defined in claim 11 in which the first tether (50) has an outer end portion (52) fastened to the door inner surface (38) by at least one heat-staked pin (68), the pin (68) extending integrally inward from the air bag deployment door (16).

23. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10') as defined in claim 11 in which the tether (50') is fastened to the door inner surface (38') by a screw threaded into a boss, the boss extending integrally inward from the air bag deployment door (16').

24. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10', 10") as defined in claim 11 in which the door (16', 16") includes at least one fastener bracket extending integrally inward toward the air bag dispenser (20', 20") from the door inner surface (38', 38"), the fastener bracket including an attachment surface spaced inwardly from the door inner surface (38', 38"), the first tether (50', 50") attached to the attachment surface by a fastener.

25. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10', 10") as defined in claim 24 in which the fastener bracket includes a fastener aperture disposed tlirough the attachment surface of the bracket and in which the fastener comprises a rivet having a shaft portion extending through the aperture.

26. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10', 10") as defined in claim 24 in which at least one of the fastener brackets extends integrally inward from the door inner surface (38', 38") adjacent a lower marginal region of the door (16', 16") to a point adjacent the reaction plate (28', 28").

27. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10') as defined in claim 11 further including a second flexible tether (80) having an inner end portion fastened to at least one of the air bag dispenser (20') and the vehicle panel (12'), the outer end portion of the first tether (50') fastened to a forward portion of the door (16') adjacent a forward marginal edge of the door (16'), the second flexible tether (80) having an outer end portion fastened to an aft portion of the door (16').

28. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10') as defined in claim 27 in which a single sheet of flexible material comprises both the first and second tethers (50', 80).

29. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10, 10', 10", 10s) as defined in claim 8 in which the air bag receptacle (26, 26', 26", 26s) includes a mouth disposed adjacent the air bag deployment door (16, 16', 16", 16s), the mouth having a width measured across the mouth in a direction peφendicular to the hinge, the hinge spaced from the mouth a distance equal to at least half of the mouth width.

30. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10', 10") as defined in claim 4 further including a stop member (96, 96") operatively connected between the reaction plate (28', 28") and at least one of the air bag dispenser (20', 20") and the vehicle panel (12', 12").

31. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10', 10") as defined in claim 30 in which:
the stop member (96, 96") is connected to the reaction plate (28', 28") at a stop point disposed between the first hinge line (36', 36") and a reaction plate outer marginal edge (32', 32") opposite the reaction plate inner edge (34', 34"); and
an outer portion (35', 35") of the reaction plate (28', 28") is outwardly pivotable away from the air bag dispenser (20', 20") by bending the reaction plate (28', 28") along a second hinge line extending adjacent the stop point and generally parallel to the first hinge line (36', 36"), the second hinge line spaced between the first hinge line (36', 36") and the reaction plate outer marginal edge (32', 32").

32. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10', 10") as defined in claim 30 in which: the stop member (96, 96") includes a pin having an elongated shaft portion (104, 104") and a stop flange (108, 108") disposed at an inner distal end of the shaft portion (104, 104"), the shaft portion (104, 104") having a central longitudinal axis and a width measured across the shaft in a direction peipendicular to the axis, the stop flange (108, 108") extending integrally and radially outward from the shaft portion (104, 104"); and in which
the air bag dispenser (20', 20") includes an elongated slot (98, 98") having a slot width slightly greater than that of the stop member shaft portion (104, 104"), the stop member shaft portion (104, 104") slidably disposed within the slot (98, 98"), the stop member (96, 96") movable between a stowed position and a deployed position under the force of an inflating air bag, the stop flange (108, 108") being engaged with the slot (98, 98") in the deployed position.

33. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10", 10s) as defined in claim 1 in which the frangible marginal edge (18", 18s) defines the entire air bag deployment door perimeter.

34. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10", 10s) as defined in claim 33 in which at least one rib (112, 114, 112s, 40s) extends integrally inward from the door inner surface (38", 38s) to a point adjacent the reaction plate (28", 28s).

35. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10", 10s) as defined in claim 33 in which a plurality of ribs (116, 116s) extend integrally inward from an inner surface of the vehicle panel (12", 12s) adjacent the frangible marginal edge (18", 18s) of the door perimeter and are spaced apart around the door perimeter.

36. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10", 10s) as defined in claim 33 in which the frangible marginal edge (18", 18s) of the door (16", 16s) comprises a region of reduced cross section.

37. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10", 10s) as defined in claim 33 in which the reaction plate (28", 28s) includes a marginal edge portion (32", 32s) having a shape generally identical to and aligned with at least a portion of the frangible marginal edge (18", 18s) of the air bag deployment door (16", 16s).

38. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10", 10s) as defined in claim 33 in which the reaction plate (28", 28s) is rigidly attached to at least one of the air bag dispenser (20", 20s) and the vehicle panel (12", 12s) along a reaction plate inner edge (34", 34s) and in which an outer portion (35", 35s) of the reaction plate (28", 28s) is outwardly pivotable away from the air bag dispenser (20", 20s) by bending the reaction plate (28", 28s) along a first hinge line (36", 36s) extending parallel to the rigidly attached reaction plate inner edge (34").

39. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10", 10s) as defined in claim 33 further including a flexible tether (50", 50s) fastened between the door (16", 16s) and the reaction plate (28", 28s).

40. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10") as defined in claim 39 in which the tether (50") includes an inner end portion (82") fastened to the door (16"), an outer end portion (84") fastened to the door (16") and a middle portion (83) fastened to the reaction plate (28", 28s), the middle portion (83) of the tether (50") disposed between the inner and outer end portions (82", 84") of the tether (50").

41. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10") as defined in claim 39 in which the door (16") includes a fastener bracket (70") extending integrally inward toward the air bag dispenser (20") from the door inner surface (38"), the fastener bracket (70") including an attachment surface spaced inwardly from the door inner surface (38"), the tether (50") attached to the attachment surface by a fastener (76").

42. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10") as defined in claim 41 in which the fastener bracket (70") includes a fastener aperture disposed through the attachment surface of the bracket (70") and in which the fastener (76") comprises a rivet having a shaft portion extending tlirough the aperture.

43. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10") as defined in claim 39 in which the tether (50") is fastened to the door inner surface (38") by at least one heat-staked pin (76"), the pin (76") extending integrally inward from the air bag deployment door (16").

44. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10") as defined in claim 39 in which the tether (50") is fastened to the door inner surface (38") by a screw (76b) threaded into a boss (67), the boss (67) extending integrally inward from the air bag deployment door (16").

45. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10") as defined in claim 38 further including a flexible tether (50") fastened between the door (16") and the reaction plate (28") and a stop member (96") operatively connected between the reaction plate (28") and the air bag dispenser (20").

46. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10") as defined in claim 45 in which:
the stop member (96") is connected to the reaction plate (28") at a stop point disposed between the first hinge line (36") and a reaction plate outer marginal edge (32") opposite the reaction plate inner edge (34");
the outer portion (35") of the reaction plate (28") is outwardly pivotable away from the air bag dispenser (20") by bending the reaction plate (28") along a second hinge line (102") extending adjacent the stop point and generally parallel to the first hinge line (36"), the second hinge line (102") spaced between the first hinge line (36") and the reaction plate outer marginal edge (32"); and
the tether (50") is attached to the reaction plate (28") between the second hinge line (102") and the reaction plate outer marginal edge (32").

47. A passive supplemental restraint apparatus (10") as defined in claim 46 in which:
the stop member (96") includes a pin having an elongated shaft portion (104") and a stop flange (106") disposed at an inner distal end of the shaft portion (104"), the shaft portion (104") having a central longitudinal axis and a width measured across the shaft in a direction peφendicular to the axis, the stop flange (106") extending integrally and radially outward from the shaft portion (104"); and in which
the air bag dispenser (20") includes an elongated slot (98") having a slot width slightly greater than that of the stop member shaft portion (104"), the stop member shaft portion (104") slidably disposed within the slot (98"), the stop member (96") movable between a stowed position and a deployed position under the force of an inflating air bag, the stop flange (106") being engaged with the slot (98") in the deployed position.