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Dokumentenidentifikation EP0305444 24.09.1992
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0305444
Titel SICHERHEITSGURTSCHLOSSANORDNUNG.
Anmelder General Engineering (Netherlands) B.V., Utrecht, NL
Erfinder QVINT, Peter, S-447 00 Vagarda, SE;
ANDERSSON, Tommy, S-441 51 Alingsas, SE;
EKSELL, Lennart, S-502 64 Boras, SE
Vertreter Boehmert, A., Dipl.-Ing.; Hoormann, W., Dipl.-Ing. Dr.-Ing., 2800 Bremen; Goddar, H., Dipl.-Phys. Dr.rer.nat.; Liesegang, R., Dipl.-Ing. Dr.-Ing.; Münzhuber, R., Dipl.-Phys., 8000 München; Winkler, A., Dr.rer.nat., 2800 Bremen; Tönhardt, M., Dipl.-Phys. Dr.rer.nat., Pat.-Anwälte, 8000 München; Stahlberg, W.; Kuntze, W.; Kouker, L., Dr., 2800 Bremen; Huth, M., 6228 Eltville; Nordemann, W., Prof. Dr.; Vinck, K., Dr.; Hertin, P., Prof. Dr.; Brocke, vom, K., 1000 Berlin; Schellenberger, M., Dr., Rechtsanwälte, O-7010 Leipzig
DE-Aktenzeichen 3873858
Vertragsstaaten DE, FR, GB, IT
Sprache des Dokument En
EP-Anmeldetag 26.02.1988
EP-Aktenzeichen 889022588
WO-Anmeldetag 26.02.1988
PCT-Aktenzeichen SE8800084
WO-Veröffentlichungsnummer 8806543
WO-Veröffentlichungsdatum 07.09.1988
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 08.03.1989
EP date of grant 19.08.1992
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 24.09.1992
IPC-Hauptklasse B60R 22/22

Beschreibung[en]

THE PRESENT INVENTION relates to a seat belt buckle arrangement and more particularly relates to a seat belt buckle arrangement intended for use in motor cars.

It is now conventional to provide seat belts for use in a motor car, the seat belts each being provided with a tongue which is to be inserted into a respective buckle.

Where such a seat belt is fitted to the front seats of motor vehicles, it is common for the buckle to be mounted on a rigid steel strap, or on a substantially rigid wire, so that the buckle is always in a suitable position, adjacent the side of the seat, with an open mouth of the buckle being readily accessible to facilitate the insertion of the tongue into the buckle.

It is now becoming more common to fit seat belts to the rear seats of motor vehicles. It is also becoming common for the rear seats of vehicles to be adapted to be folded down to increase the load-carrying capacity of the vehicle. Such folding seats are present in motor cars of the "estate car" type and are also present in motor cars of the "hatch back" type. Indeed such seats are sometimes found on motor cars of the type which have a separate boot.

When a safety belt system is fitted to a rear seat of this folding type it is not possible to utilise a rigid steel plate or a substantially stiff wire to hold the buckle for the safety belt in such a position that the mouth of the buckle is presented in such a way that the mouth is readily accessible to receive the tongue of the safety belt. Instead it is conventional for such safety belts to be mounted on portions of webbing strap, often made of the same material as the rest of the safety belt. The buckles thus lie relatively loosely on the seat, which facilitates the folding of the seat, but does not facilitate the introduction of the tongue into the safety belt. Indeed, with the buckles lying loosely on the seat it is often the case that a person getting into the rear seat actually sits on the buckle, and may not then be able to fit the tongue into the buckle without significant inconvenience. In such a case the person may not even bother to wear the safety belt, which is clearly undesirable.

It is also to be understood that the rear seats of motor vehicles are often designed to accommodate three people, and if such a seat is provided with safety belts, with buckles substantially rigidly mounted in position protruding above the level of the seat squab, any person who is to occupy the middle seat must effectively climb over at least one projecting seat belt buckle. This can be very inconvenient.

Thus the present invention seeks to provide a seat belt buckle arrangement intended especially for use in the rear seat of a motor vehicle which overcomes the disadvantages of prior proposed buckles as described above. However, a seat belt buckle arrangement of the invention may be used with a buckle on any seat.

According to this invention there is provided a safety belt arrangement incorporating a buckle defining an open mouth to receive a tongue, the buckle comprising means to retain the tongue therein, the buckle being connected by a flexible connection to an anchoring point on a motor vehicle, wherein said flexible connection comprises two or more interconnected rigid open links and that a resilient member is provided connected to the anchoring point and to the buckle adapted to hold the buckle in a position in which the open mouth of the buckle is presented to receive said tongue, and to permit the buckle to move relatively freely in all directions.

In one embodiment said links form a chain, one end of which is connected to the buckle and the link furthest from the buckle is associated with a bolt to secure the flexible connection to the anchoring point. Alternatively one said link is an apertured plate secured to the buckle, another link extending through the aperture. Preferably said another link comprises an element which is secured to the anchoring point and which has a projecting bight with two substantially parallel arms, said bight passing through said apertures. Conveniently said element is associated with a base plate, the arm of the bight remote from the anchoring point passing through an aperture in the base plate.

Conveniently the resilient member is formed of rubber or rubber-like material. Advantageously the resilient member is in the form of a sleeve surrounding the flexible connection. Conveniently the sleeve is an integrally moulded sleeve.

Advantageously the end of the sleeve adjacent the buckle is closed, so that the sleeve engages part of the buckle to present the buckle in a predetermined manner.

Conveniently the end of the sleeve remote from the buckle is notched to receive means connected to the anchoring point.

Alternatively the resilient member is an elongate strip of spring metal. Conveniently one end of the spring metal strip is mounted on the buckle and the other end is secured directly or indirectly to the anchoring point.

In one embodiment the resilient member is a wire spring.

In order that the invention may be more readily understood, and so that further features thereof may be appreciated, the invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

  • FIGURE 1 is a diagrammatic side view of one embodiment of the invention, with parts cut away;
  • FIGURE 2 is a sectional view taken on line II-II of Figure 1;
  • FIGURE 3 is a sectional view taken on line III-III of Figure 1;
  • FIGURE 4 is a front view of another embodiment of the invention;
  • FIGURE 5 is a side view of the embodiment of Figure 4;
  • FIGURE 6 is a sectional view taken on the line VI-VI of Figure 5 with the position of the buckles shown in phantom; and
  • FIGURE 7 is a perspective view of part of the embodiment of Figures 4 to 6.

Referring to Figures 1 to 3 of the drawings it can be seen that one example of a seat belt buckle arrangement in accordance with the invention comprises a conventional buckle 1 adapted to receive the tongue of a safety belt. The buckle comprises an outer housing, which defines a mouth 2 through which the tongue may be introduced to the buckle. The buckle contains a mechanism adapted to engage and retain the tongue until a release button is pressed. Buckles of this type are conventional.

The end of the buckle remote from the open mouth is securely connected to a connection means 3 comprising one of a plurality of substantially rigid interconnected open links, the links being in the form of a chain 4. The link 5 end of the chain remote from the buckle 1 is intended to be secured to an appropriate anchoring point formed on a motor vehicle body, by means of a bolt 6. The bolt may be associated with an appropriate washer, which may be flanged to engage the link 5 of the chain. The link 5 is cranked whereas the remaining links are substantially flat oval links.

The chain is, of course, flexible in that the links can move relative to each other, and the links of the chain are so designed that the chain is strong enough to withstand any force that may be applied thereto under accident conditions.

Surrounding the chain is a shaped sleeve 8 formed of a resiliently deformable material, such as a moulded rubber material. At the end adjacent the buckle, the sleeve is substantially closed 9, so that part of the sleeve engages the part of the buckle remote from the mouth of the buckle. The sleeve is of generally cylindrical configuration, and at the end of the sleeve remote from the buckle, the sleeve defines an open mouth 10 and part of the end end of the sleeve is cut away or "notched" the notch (11) being dimensioned to receive the last link of the chain which is connected to the bolt.

It is to be understood that the sleeve 8 will, in ordinary circumstances, stand erect, the open end of the sleeve engaging part of the motor vehicle adjacent the anchoring point to which the chain is connected, the sleeve thus serving to hold the buckle in an erect position with the mouth of the buckle presented in such a way that insertion of the tongue into the buckle is facilitated. However, the sleeve is resiliently deformable and the buckle is thus able to move relatively freely in all directions, as indicated by the arrows 12, 13, 14, if sufficient force is applied to the buckle to deform the sleeve. Thus if, for example, the buckle is mounted in position on a rear seat of a motor vehicle, with the buckle projecting up above the squab of the seat, and if a person wishes to slide along the squab of the seat past the buckle, the buckle will be moved, against the resilient bias of the sleeve, from its initial projecting position, so that the buckle will not significantly inconvenience a person sliding across the seat. However, when that person has slid across the seat, the sleeve will re-assume its initial position, thus again holding the buckle in a position where the mouth of the buckle is readily accessible to the tongue of the buckle.

If a person accidentally sits on top of the buckle, the sleeve 8 will resiliently collapse, so that the person will not suffer severe discomfort. If the buckle is mounted on a foldable seat, as the seat is folded the resilient sleeve will be deformed so that the buckle can occupy an appropriate position when the seat is in the folded condition. However, when the seat is returned to the upright position the buckle will return to the erect position.

Whilst the invention has been described above with reference to one embodiment in which the chain has only a few links it is to be appreciated that the chain may have more links in certain circumstances, or may have fewer links. Also, whilst the invention has been described with reference to an embodiment in which a moulded cylindrical sleeve is utilised as a resilient member, it is to be understood that the resilient member may take many different forms. For example, the resilient member may be in the form of a resilient rod lying parallel with the chain, or may be in the form of a resilient member in the form of a helix wrapped helically around the chain.

Referring now to Figures 4 to 7 of the accompanying drawings a second embodiment of the invention is illustrated. In this embodiment two buckles 15 are provided, each of a conventional design and having a slot 16 to receive the tongue mounted on a safety belt, and a push-button 17 operable to eject the tongue from the buckle. Each buckle 15 has secured thereto and projecting therefrom an elongate plate 18 which is provided with an elongate aperture 19 therein.

Passing through the aperture 19 is a bight 20 forced of two parallel arms 21,22 which are formed on a securing element 23. The arms 21,22 are substantially vertical and are substantially parallel, the upper ends of the arms being interconnected by an arcuate portion 24. The arcuate portion 24 is illustrated as passing through the lower part of the aperture 19.

The securing element 23 has a substantially horizontally extending central portion 24&min; which is provided with an aperture through which passes the shank 25 of an anchoring bolt 26. The other side of the securing element is provided with a similar arrangement mounting the second buckle.

It is to be noted that mounted under the horizontal part 24&min; of the securing element 23 is a horizontal part 27 of a mounting plate 28. The shank 25 of the bolt 26 passes through an aperture formed in the central region 27 of the mounting plate 28.

The mounting plate 28 is of elongate form, the ends 29 being raised above the level of the central portion 27. The raised regions 29 of the mounting plate 28 are provided with apertures through which pass the free ends 30 of the arms 22 of the bight portions 20.

The apertured plate 18, in combination with the bight 20, forms a connection between the anchoring point and the buckle, this connection being flexible in that the buckle may readily be moved relative to the anchoring point.

The buckle 15 is biassed towards the illustrated elevative position by means of a resilient element formed by a strip 31 of springy or resilient metal. One end 32 of the strip passes through the aperture 19. This end may be of "tee" configuration so that the end of the strip engages the aperture and cannot be readily disengaged therefrom. The other lower end 33 of the strip, which is again of "tee" configuration, passes through an aperture formed in the free end 30 of the arm 22.

Thus the springy strip effectively has one end connected to the buckle, and the other end connected indirectly to the anchoring point. The springy strip 31 provides a resilient bias to the buckle 15, biassing the buckle to the presented position. If a downward force is applied to the buckle 15, the buckle will move downwardly, compressing the springy strip. The arcuate portion 24 of the bight 20 will thus effectively move upwardly within the aperture 19. The buckle 15 may also be moved in a pivotal direction, for example in the direction indicated by the arrow 34 in Figure 7. In this case the springy strip will again be compressed. However, the buckle may be moved to a horizontal position and may then even be lowered slightly.

It will be appreciated that many modifications may be effected to the embodiment illustrated in Figures 4 to 7 of the accompanying drawings. For example, the springy strip 31 may be replaced by a ire spring, preferably with the same shape as a safety pin, so that the buckle can move downwardly and also be moved in any pivotal direction.


Anspruch[de]
  • 1. Sicherheitsgurtanordnung mit einem Schloß (1;15) die einen offenen Mund (2;16) zur Aufnahme einer Zunge ausbildet, wobei das Schloß Mittel zum Halten der Zunge in diesem aufweist und das Schloß über eine flexible Verbindung mit einem Verankerungspunkt (6;26) eines Kraftfahrzeugs verbunden ist, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß die flexible Verbindung zwei oder mehr miteinander verbundene steife, offene Verbindungselemente (3,5; 18,20) aufweist und daß das nachgiebige Element (8; 31) mit dem Verankerungspunkt (6;26) und mit dem Schoß (1;15) verbunden vorgesehen ist eingerichtet zum Halten des Schlosses in einer Position, in der der offene Mund (2;16) des Schlosses zur Aufnahme der Zunge präsentiert ist, und zum Ermöglichen einer Bewegung des Schlosses relativ frei in alle Richtungen.
  • 2. Anordnung nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß die Verbindungen (3,5) eine Kette bilden, deren eines Ende mit dem Schloß (1) und das Verbindungselement, das von dem Schloß am weitesten entfernt ist, mit einem Bolzen (6) versehen ist, um die flexible Verbindung mit dem Verankerungspunkt herzustellen.
  • 3. Anordnung nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß das Verbindungselement eine geöffnete Platte (18) ist, die an dem Schloß (15) befestigt ist, und sich ein anderes Verbindungselement (20) durch die Öffnung (19) erstreckt.
  • 4. Anordnung nach Anspruch 3, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß das andere Verbindungselement ein Element (23) aufweist, das an dem Verankerungspunkt (26) befestigt ist und einen vorspringenden Bügel mit zwei Armen (21,22) hat, wobei der Bügel durch die Öffnung (19) der Platte (18) verläuft.
  • 5. Anordnung nach Anspruch 4, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß die Arme (21,22) des vorspringenden Bügels im wesentlichen parallel sind und einen verbindenden Bogenabschnitt (24) aufweisen, der sich durch die Öffnung (19) der Platte (18) erstreckt.
  • 6. Anordnung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 5, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß das nachgiebige Element ein länglicher Streifen (31) aus einem Federmetall ist.
  • 7. Anordnung nach Anspruch 6, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß das eine Ende des Federmetallstreifens (31) an dem Schloß (15) befestigt ist und das andere Ende direkt oder indirekt an dem Verankerungspunkt (26) gesichert ist.
  • 8. Anordnung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 5, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß das nachgiebige Element eine Drahtfeder ist.
Anspruch[en]
  • 1. A safety belt arrangement incorporating a buckle (1;15) defining an open mouth (2;16) to receive a tongue, the buckle comprising means to retain the tongue therein, the buckle being connected by a flexible connection to an anchoring point (6;26) on a motor vehicle, characterized in that said flexible connection comprises two or more interconnected rigid open links (3, 5; 18,20) and that a resilient member (8;31) is provided connected to the anchoring point (6;26) and to the buckle (1;15) adapted to hold the buckle in a position in which the open mouth (2;16) of the buckle is presented to receive said tongue, and to permit the buckle to move relatively freely in all directions.
  • 2. An arrangement according to Claim 1, characterized in that said links (3, 5) form a chain, one end of which is connected to the buckle (1) and the link furthest from the buckle is associated with a bolt (6) to secure the flexible connection to the anchoring point.
  • 3. An arrangement according to Claim 1, characterized in that one said link is an apertured plate (18) secured to the buckle (15), another link (20) extending through the aperture (19).
  • 4. An arrangement according to Claim 3, characterized in that said another link (20) comprises an element (23) which is secured to the anchoring point (26) and which has a projecting bight with two arms (21,22), said bight passing through the aperture (19) of the plate (18).
  • 5. An arrangement according to Claim 4, characterized in that the arms (21,22) of the projecting bight are substantially parallel and have an interconnecting arcuate portion (24) passing through the aperture (19) of the plate (18).
  • 6. An arrangement according to any one of Claims 1 to 5, characterized in that the resilient member is an elongate strip (31) of spring metal.
  • 7. An arrangement according to Claim 6, characterized in that one end of the spring metal strip (31) is mounted on the buckle (15) and the other end is secured directly or indirectly to the anchoring point (26).
  • 8. An arrangement according to any one of Claims 1 to 5, characterized in that the resilient member is a wire spring.
Anspruch[fr]
  • 1. Dispositif à ceinture de sécurité présentant une boucle (1;15) délimitant une embouchure ouverte (2;16) pour recevoir une languette, la boucle comportant des moyens pour y retenir la languette, cette boucle étant reliée, par une liaison flexible, à un point d'ancrage (6;26) sur un véhicule à moteur, caractérisé par le fait que ladite liaison flexible comprend deux ou plus de deux chaînons rigides et ouverts (3, 5;18,20) en liaison mutuelle ; et par le fait qu'il est prévu une pièce élastique (8;31) reliée au point d'ancrage (6; 26) et à la boucle (1;15), et conçue pour retenir la boucle dans une position dans laquelle l'embouchure ouverte (2;16) de cette boucle est présentée afin de recevoir ladite languette, et pour permettre à la boucle d'effectuer des mouvements de manière relativement libre dans toutes les directions.
  • 2. Dispositif selon la revendication 1, caractérisé par le fait que lesdits chaînons (3,5) forment une chaîne dont l'une des extrémités est reliée à la boucle (1), et le chaînon le plus éloigné de la boucle est associé à un boulon (6) pour fixer la liaison flexible au point d'ancrage.
  • 3. Dispositif selon la revendication 1, caractérisé par le fait que l'un des chaînons précités est une plaquette évidée (18) fixée à la boucle (15), un autre chaînon (20) traversant l'évidement (19).
  • 4. Dispositif selon la revendication 3, caractérisé par le fait que ledit autre chaînon (20) comporte un élément (23) qui est fixé au point d'ancrage (26) et présente une anse saillante munie de deux bras (21,22), ladite anse passant à travers l'évidement (19) de la plaquette (18).
  • 5. Dispositif selon la revendication 4, caractérisé par le fait que les bras (21,22) de l'anse saillante sont sensiblement parallèles, et présentent une région curviligne de solidarisation (24) passant à travers l'évidement (19) de la plaquette (18).
  • 6. Dispositif selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 5, caractérisé par le fait que la pièce élastique est une bande longiligne (31) en métal formant ressort.
  • 7. Dispositif selon la revendication 6, caractérisé par le fait que l'une des extrémités de la bande (31) en métal formant ressort est montée sur la boucle (15), et l'autre extrémité est fixée directement ou indirectement au point d'ancrage (26).
  • 8. Dispositif selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 5, caractérisé par le fait que la pièce formant ressort est un ressort en fil métallique.






IPC
A Täglicher Lebensbedarf
B Arbeitsverfahren; Transportieren
C Chemie; Hüttenwesen
D Textilien; Papier
E Bauwesen; Erdbohren; Bergbau
F Maschinenbau; Beleuchtung; Heizung; Waffen; Sprengen
G Physik
H Elektrotechnik

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