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1. US20180010664 - Lateral support elements, gas spring assemblies, suspension systems and methods

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

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Claims

1. A gas spring assembly having a longitudinal axis and comprising:
an end member;
a flexible wall extending peripherally about said longitudinal axis between a first end and a second end spaced longitudinally from said first end, said flexible wall including an inner surface and an outer surface with said inner surface at least partially defining a spring chamber; and,
a lateral support element including an element wall having a cross-sectional profile with an exterior surface and an interior surface at least partially defining an element chamber within said lateral support element;
said flexible wall extending at least partially around said cross-sectional profile of said element wall and permanently attached along said exterior surface thereof such that a portion of said lateral support element is encapsulated by said flexible wall with some of said flexible wall along said first end thereof disposed between said end member and said lateral support element.
2. A gas spring assembly according to claim 1 further comprising a quantity of adsorptive material disposed within said element chamber of said lateral support element.
3. A gas spring assembly according to claim 2, wherein said lateral support element includes a passage extending through said element wall in fluid communication with said element chamber, and said gas spring assembly further comprises a retaining assembly secured across said passage that is operative to retain said quantity of adsorptive material within said element chamber.
4. A gas spring assembly according to claim 3, wherein said retaining assembly includes a retainer body secured along said element wall, a filter element extending at least partially across said passage and supported on said retainer body, and a compressive element disposed in abutting engagement with said quantity of adsorptive material and operative to maintain said quantity of adsorptive material in a packed condition that at least partially reduces settling and movement of the material within said element chamber.
5. A gas spring assembly according to claim 2, wherein said quantity of adsorptive material includes activated carbon particles having a particle size of less than approximately one (1) millimeter.
6. A gas spring assembly according to claim 1, wherein said gas spring assembly is laterally displaceable between a neutral position and a laterally-offset position such that in said neutral position said second end of said flexible wall and said lateral support element are disposed approximately coaxial alignment with one another and in said laterally-offset position said second end of said flexible wall and said lateral support element are disposed in laterally-spaced apart relation to one another.
7. A gas spring assembly according to claim 6, wherein a portion of an annular area of said outer surface of said flexible wall is disposed in abutting engagement with a portion of an annular area of said exterior surface of said lateral support element and the remaining portion of said annular area of said outer surface of said flexible wall is disposed in spaced relation to the remaining portion of said annular area of said second surface of said lateral support element in said laterally-offset position.
8. A gas spring assembly according to claim 1, wherein said element wall includes at least three wall portions, and said flexible wall extends around said cross-sectional profile of said element wall along at least two of said at least three wall portions.
9. A gas spring assembly according to claim 8, wherein said flexible spring wall includes at least one layer of fabric-reinforced material with said at least one layer of fabric-reinforced material extending around said cross-sectional profile of said element wall along said at least two of said at least three wall portions.
10. A gas spring assembly according to claim 1, wherein said flexible wall extends substantially-entirely around said cross-sectional profile of said element and substantially-entirely around the periphery of said lateral support element such that said lateral support element is substantially-entirely encapsulated by said flexible wall.
11. A gas spring assembly according to claim 10, wherein said cross-sectional profile of said element wall includes at least three wall portions, and said flexible wall includes at least one layer of unreinforced, elastomeric material with said at least one layer of unreinforced, elastomeric material extending along each of said at least three wall portions.
12. A gas spring assembly according to claim 1, wherein a passage extends in fluid communication between said element chamber and said spring chamber such that pressurized gas transfers therebetween.
13. A gas spring assembly according to claim 1, wherein said end member is a first end member, and said gas spring assembly further comprises a second end member secured across said second end of said flexible wall such that said spring chamber is at least partially defined by said flexible wall between said first and second end members.
14. A suspension system comprising:
a pressurized gas system that includes a pressurized gas source and a control device; and,
at least one gas spring assembly according to claim 1, said at least one gas spring assembly disposed in fluid communication with said pressurized gas source through said control device such that pressurized gas can be selectively transferred into and out of at least said spring chamber of said at least one gas spring assembly.
15. A gas spring assembly according to claim 1, wherein said flexible wall terminates at one or more edges such that a portion of said lateral support element remains outwardly exposed by said flexible wall.
16. A method of assembling a gas spring assembly, said method comprising:
providing a lateral support element having an element wall with an exterior surface and an interior surface that at least partially defines an element chamber within said lateral support element;
providing a flexible wall having a longitudinal axis and extending peripherally about said longitudinal axis between first and second ends to at least partially form a spring chamber;
extending a portion of said flexible wall around said lateral support element and permanently attaching said portion of said flexible wall to said exterior surface said element wall thereby encapsulating at least a portion of said lateral support element;
providing an end member; and,
securing said lateral support element and said first end of said flexible wall to said end member with at least a portion of said flexible wall along said first end disposed between said first end member and said lateral support element such that a substantially fluid-tight connection is formed therebetween.
17. A method according to claim 16, wherein extending said portion of said flexible wall around said lateral support element includes embedding substantially all of said lateral support element within said flexible wall.
18. A method according to claim 16 further comprising operatively connecting said element chamber with said spring chamber such that pressurized gas transfer can transfer therebetween.
19. A gas spring assembly comprising:
a flexible wall having a longitudinal axis and extending peripherally about said longitudinal axis between a first end and a second end spaced longitudinally from said first end, said flexible wall including an inner surface and an outer surface with said inner surface at least partially defining a spring chamber; and,
a lateral support element including an element wall with an exterior surface and an interior surface that at least partially defines an element chamber;
a portion of said flexible wall extending around said lateral support element and permanently attached along said exterior surface said element wall such that said lateral support element is at least partially embedded within said flexible wall.
20. A gas spring assembly according to claim 19, wherein a passage in fluid communication between said element chamber and said spring chamber extends through said element wall and said flexible wall.