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1. WO2007108733 - DISPOSITION DE VOLANT DE DIRECTION

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 steering wheel arrangement comprising:
a steering wheel element (16) for supporting a rotatable steering wheel frame (21); and
a mounting element (4) for fixedly mounting a steering wheel component relative to the rotatable steering wheel frame (21),
the steering wheel element (16) being mounted for rotation with respect to the mounting element (4) and operably connected to a first annular gear (15) for co-axial rotation therewith; the arrangement further comprising:
a second gear (17) mounted for co-axial rotation with the first annular gear (15), the second gear (17) being spaced axially below the first annular gear (15) for attachment to a vehicle steering column (23) aligned co-axially with the second gear (17) and the steering wheel frame (21), characterised in that
the mounting element (4) extends into the space between the first and second gears (15,16) to define a mounting portion (9) for fixedly mounting the steering wheel component at the central region of the steering wheel frame (21); and
the first and second gears (15,17) are linked via an intermediate gear arrangement (19) such that rotation of the steering wheel element (16) rotates the second gear (17) in the same direction.

2. An arrangement according to claim 1 , wherein the first, annular gear (15) is formed integrally with the steering wheel element (16).

3. An arrangement according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the steering wheel element (16) is an annular element mounted on a corresponding first annular bearing element (13) for rotation about the mounting portion (9).

4. An arrangement according to any preceding claim, wherein the second gear (17) is mounted for rotation on a second annular bearing element (18).

5. An arrangement according to any preceding claim, wherein the first and second gears (15,17) are mounted within a single housing (2), the housing further being configured to define the mounting element (4) between the gears (15,17).

6. An arrangement according to claim 5, wherein the housing (2) supports the first and second annular bearing elements (13,18).

7. An arrangement according to any preceding claim, wherein the intermediate gear arrangement comprises a transfer pinion (19) mounted for rotation with respect to the mounting element (4) about an axis off-set from the coincident rotational axes (A) of the first and second gears (15,17), the transfer pinion (19) simultaneously meshing with the first and second gears (15,17) such that rotation of the first gear (15) causes rotation of the transfer pinion (19) and, in turn, the second gear (17).

8. An arrangement according to any preceding claim, wherein the transfer pinion (19), first gear (15) and second gear (17) are all mounted within a single housing (2), the housing further being configured to define the fixed mounting element (4).

9. An arrangement according to claim 7 or 8, wherein the transfer pinion (19) incorporates a pair of anti-backlash gear discs (26a,26b) resiliently mounted at the upper end of the transfer pinion (19) for ensuring positive meshing engagement between the transfer pinion (19) and first gear (15).

10. An arrangement according to any of claims 7 to 9, wherein the transfer pinion (19) incorporates a pair of anti-backlash gear discs (28a,28b) resiliently mounted at the lower end of the transfer pinion (19) for ensuring positive meshing engagement between the transfer pinion (19) and second gear (17).

11. A steering wheel arrangement according to any preceding claim, the arrangement being provided in a vehicle, wherein the steering wheel element

(16) supports the steering wheel frame (21) of the vehicle, the second gear

(17) is operably connected to the steering column (23) of the motor vehicle co-axially below the steering wheel frame (21), and the mounting element (4) is fixedly mounted to a fixed part of the vehicle (24).

12. An arrangement according to any preceding claim, wherein the steering wheel element (16) is attached to the steering wheel frame (21).

13. An arrangement according to any of claims 1 to 10, wherein the steering wheel element (16) is formed integrally with the steering wheel frame

(21 ).

14. An arrangement according to any of claims 10 to 12, wherein the second gear (17) is fixedly attached to the upper end of the steering column (23).

15. An arrangement according to any preceding claim, wherein an airbag unit is fixedly connected to the central mounting portion (9).