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Dokumentenidentifikation EP1273487 06.05.2004
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0001273487
Titel Aufblasbare Sicherheitsgurtvorrichtung
Anmelder Takata Corp., Shiga, JP
Erfinder Takeuchi, Hiroyuki, Echi-gun, Shiga 529-1388, JP;
Suyama, Yoji, Echi-gun, Shiga 529-1388, JP
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
DE-Aktenzeichen 69822899
Vertragsstaaten DE, FR, GB
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 02.09.1998
EP-Aktenzeichen 020226049
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 08.01.2003
EP date of grant 31.03.2004
Veröffentlichungstag der Übersetzung europäischer Ansprüche 28.05.2003
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 06.05.2004
IPC-Hauptklasse B60R 21/18

Beschreibung[en]

The present invention relates to a seat belt for protecting automobile passengers during collisions, and more particularly to an air belt with gas releasing means having a bag-like portion, which is inflated by gas generated by a gas generator.

Japanese Unexamined Patent Publication No.5-85301 describes a typical inflatable safety harness. Fig.12(a) is a perspective view showing the inflatable air belt. Fig.12(b) is a cross sectional view of the air belt shown in Fig.12(a) taken along line B-B.

An air belt device 1 includes a shoulder belt 2, a lap belt 3, a buckle 4, a tongue 5, and an intermediate guide 6. The shoulder belt 2 extends diagonally from the right side of a passenger's body to the left side. The lap belt 3 extends across the passenger's body from the right to the left. The buckle 4 is secured to a floor, or the like of the vehicle body. The intermediate guide guides the shoulder belt 2.

The shoulder belt 2 has an ordinary belt 2a similar to the conventional seat belts, and a bag-like belt portion 2b attached to one end of the belt 2a. The intermediate guide 6 slidably supports the belt 2a. The other end of the belt 2a is connected to an emergency locking retractor (ELR)7,which is secured to the automobile body The ELR winds and retracts the belt 2a.

The bag-like belt portion 2b engages with the passenger's body when in use. It has the tongue 5 at its free end opposite to the end that leads to the belt 2a.

The lap belt 3 is an ordinary and commonly available belt. One end of the lap belt 3 is connected to the tongue 5 while the other end of the belt is connected to the ELR 8,which is secured to the automobile body. The buckle 4 has a gas generator 9 to generate a high pressure gas upon accidents such as collisions.

A passage extends through the tongue 5 and the buckle 4 to allow flow of gas from the generator 9.

As shown in Fig.12b, the bag-like portion 2b of the shoulder belt 2 includes a folded belt body 2c, as indicated by solid lines, and is enclosed in a cover 2d, the two edges of which are sewn to each other to form stitches 2e. Accordingly, the structure of the bag-like portion has a strap-like shape. Upon activation of the gas generator 9, the stitch 2e tears as the shoulder belt 2 inflates, and the bag-like portion 2b expands as shown by the double dotted line.

Employing a retractable webbing, which is attached to one end of the shoulder belt and is wound by a retractor, the air belt device described in Japanese Unexamined Publication No.5-85301 ensures a large degree of freedom with respect to the passenger's upper body movement, where the webbing extends and retracts in response to the movements of the passenger. It would be required, however, that the winding force of the retractor 7 in the air belt in Japanese Unexamined Publication No.5-85301 not be too strong to prevent the belt from pressing the passenger with excessive force. Due to the limitation on the winding force, the gap arises between the shoulder belt 2 and the passenger's body, requiring further expansion of the bag-like portion 2b upon a collision.

Accordingly, it is an objective of the present invention to provide an air belt device that works without applying excessive force on the passenger's body.

The present invention provides an air belt device. The air belt device includes an inflatable air belt and a gas generator for supplying gas to the air belt to inflate the same. The air belt has a bag-like belt folded in a strip-like state and a cover for covering the bag-like belt. The air belt device being characterized in that the gas releasing means gradually releases the residual gas in the air belt after the inflation of the air belt by the gas generator.

The gas releasing means gradually releases the gas from the air belt to reduce the impact that applies on the passenger upon a collision. FR 2 520 238 A discloses a gas releasing system whereby one end of the air belt includes a piston attached to the vehicle. When high forces acts on the belt vents are freed and gas released.

The invention, together with objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description of the presently preferred embodiments together with the accompanying drawings in which figure 11 discloses the present invention.

  • Fig.1 is a perspective view of an automobile seat with an air belt device.
  • Fig.2 shows various components of an air belt Fig.3 shows an air belt according to the present invention, shown as inflated;
  • Fig.4 shows different weaving patterns of a knit cover according to the present invention;
  • Fig.5 shows the structures of a tongue and a buckle according to the present invention;
  • Fig. 6 shows the tip arrangement of an buckle according to the present invention;
  • Fig.7 is a perspective view of a buckle and a tongue according to the present invention, connected to each other;
  • Figs.8 are cross-sectional views of a buckle and a tongue connected to each other;
  • Fig.9 shows another arrangement of a buckle and a tongue connected to each other;
  • Fig.10 shows the gas flow direction in the arrangement shown in Fig.9;
  • Fig.11 shows the structure of a connection of a tongue and a buckle used in another embodiment;
  • Fig.12 shows a prior art air belt device;
  • Figs.13(a) and 13(b) are comparative pictures of an air belt, showing the air belt under normal conditions and the belt that is inflated; and
  • Figs.14(a) and 14(b) are comparative pictures of another air belt, showing the air belt under normal conditions and the belt that is inflated.

Fig. 1(a) is a perspective view showing an automobile seat with an air belt device. Fig. 1(b) is an perspective view of the air belt device. Fig. 2(a) is a plane view showing the region around the joint between a shoulder belt and a lap belt, and Fig. 2 (b) is a plane view showing a bag-like belt portion. Figs. 2(c), 2(d), 2(e) are cross-sectional views taken along lines C-C, D-D, E-E, respectively in Fig. 2(a). Fig. 3(a) is a plane view showing the shoulder belt that is inflated. Fig. 3(b) is a plane view of the bag-like portion that is inflated. Figs. 3(c) and 3(d) are cross-sectional views taken along lines C-C and D-D respectively in Fig. 3(a). Fig. 4 shows weaving patterns of an air belt cover.

Since the air belt device is essentially the same as the air belt device shown in Fig. 12 except for a bag-like portion 2B that comprises a shoulder belt 2, the arrangements of the air belt 2B will mainly be discussed.

As can be seen in Figs. 2 and 3, the air belt 2B includes a bag-like belt 10 and a tubular knit cover 12 enclosing the bag-like belt 10. The bag-like belt 10 has a greater width in the part that fits to the passenger's body over the region from the chest to abdomen. The enlarged portion is folded on top of itself to form a long band shape as shown in Fig 2.

The knit cover 12 has considerable elasticity in the direction perpendicular to the belt's longitudinal direction whereas it virtually doesn't expand longitudinally. The weaving patterns of the knit cover are shown in Figs. 4(a), 4(b) where Fig. 4(a) shows a simple warp knit pattern and Fig. 4(b) shows a pattern into which inlay threads are introduced to increase the strength and allow the thinner structure. Either pattern can be used in the present invention. The knit cover 12 is made virtually unexpandable in the longitudinal direction by applying the thermal expansion process.

The air belt 2B and lap belt 3 are sewn to each other. Both the bag-like belt 10 and knit cover 12 are sewn to the lap belt 3. The knit cover 12 is sewn to a webbing 2a as well as to a tongue 5 to reduce the tension that acts on the belt.

Since all the other features of the embodiment but the points described above are essentially the same as the air belt device shown in Fig. 12(a), the air belt 2B inflates when a gas generator 9 is activated with the tongue 5 engaging with the buckle 4. Upon the activation of the gas generator 9, the knit cover 12 contracts in the longitudinal direction of the air belt 2B, causing the belt 2B to tightly fit on the passenger.

Figs. 13 and 14 show how the knit cover 12 contracts longitudinally when the air belt 2B, or bag-like belt 10 inflates. As was mentioned above, the knit cover 12 is made virtually unexpandable in the longitudinal direction of the belt by means of the thermal expansion process. When the belt 10 inflates, the knitted loops of the knit cover 12 expand in the direction perpendicular to the longitudinal direction of the belt. This shortens the knit cover 12 longitudinally, and consequently the air belt 2B.

Embodiments of a tongue and a buckle will now be described with reference to Figs. 5 through 11.

Fig. 5(a) is a cross-sectional view showing a tongue 14 and a buckle 16. Fig. 5(b) is a cross-sectional view taken along line B-B in Fig. 5(a). Fig. 6 is a perspective view of the upper part of the embodiment. Fig. 7 is a perspective view showing the whole of the tongue and buckle joined together. Figs. 8(a) and 8(b) are enlarged cross-sectional views of the joint.

The tongue 14 has a tongue base 18, a seal 20, a tongue plate 24, an anchor 26, a ring 28, a plastic cover 32, and so on. The tongue base 18 has an internal cavity. The seal 20 closes the front end of the tongue base 18. The tongue plate 24 and anchor 26 are connected to the tongue base 18 by connecting pins 22. The ring 28 attaches the air belt 2B to the tongue base 18. The plastic cover 32 encloses the tongue base 18. The seal 20 is provided with a tear line 33.

When the tongue plate 24 is inserted into the buckle 16 through a port 34 ( Fig. 6 ), a latching pin of a latch mechanism 38 inside the buckle 16 is locked in a latching hole 36. By pressing a button 40 on the buckle 16, one can unlock the latch and subsequently release the tongue plate 24 from the buckle 16 with a help of a spring.

The anchor 26 has a port 42 through which the tip of the lap belt 3 is inserted and is connected to the anchor 26.

The buckle 16 has a shell comprising a housing 46, on the top surface of which are provided the port 34 for the insertion of the tongue plate 24 and a gas port 48.

The gas port 48 is sealed with the seal 50 having a tear line 52.

Inside the housing 46 are provided a duct 56 and an inflator 58. A flap 54 is pivotally supported at an end of the duct 56 and can be opened.

When the inflator 58 is activated, the flap 54 pushes the seal 50, causing the seal 50 to tear apart along the tear line 52. Subsequently, the seal 20 breaks apart along the tear line 33 and the gas is supplied to the air belt 2B, inflating the air belt 2B immediately.

Though the embodiment features the seal 50 that is inclined to prevent dust from accumulating on it, it is also possible to have a seal 50A with a level upper surface as shown in Figs. 9 and 10.

Fig. 9 shows a tongue and a buckle under normal operation, and Fig. 10 shows the condition where the inflator is activated. Figs. 9(a) and 10 (a) are perspective views showing upper parts of the buckle 16'. Figs. 9(b) and 10(b) are cross-sectional views showing the joints between the tongue and buckle.

In Figs. 9 and 10, it can be seen that a cylinder 60 with a flap 62 is placed in the buckle under the seal 50A. The cylinder 60 is connected to a duct 56 via a stopper 64. The other reference numbers in Figs. 9 and 10 correspond to analogous parts in Figs. 6 and 8.

When the inflator 58 is activated, the cylinder 60 moves forward (upward). This breaks the seal 50A and subsequently, the seal 20. The flap 62 then opens up in the tongue base 18 to permit the gas flow into the air belt 2B. At this point, flaps 20F and 50F resulting from the breakage of the seals 20 and 50A cover the inner surface of the tongue base 18 at its entrance, preventing gas leakage.

Figs. 11(a), 11(b), and 11(c) are cross-sectional views of the present invention of a tongue and a buckle. In this embodiment, vents 70 are further provided to the embodiment described in Figs. 9 and 10. The vents are formed at the tip of the tongue. Upon the activation of the inflator, flaps 20F and 50F cover up the vents 70 as shown in Fig. 11(b), allowing the gas to flow into the air belt 2B and inflate it. As the amount of the gas generated by the inflator decreases, the pressure inside the air belt 2B exceeds the pressure of the incoming flow, which causes the flaps 20F and 50F to move back to their original positions. Consequently, the vents 70 open up to let the gas in the air belt 2B out gradually. The gradual release of the gas from the belt minimizes the impact that applies on the passenger's body when the body is pressed against the belt upon a collision.

As described above, the air belt device according to the present invention provides an air belt that can comfortably be fastened on the passenger's body while it protects the passenger upon collisions. The impact applied on the passenger's body can be reduced significantly by providing vents in the tongue to gradually release the gas after the completion of the belt inflation.


Anspruch[de]
  1. Aufblasbare Gurtvorrichtung mit:
    • einem aufblasbaren Gurt (2B) mit einem taschenförmigen Gurt (10) und einer Abdeckung (12) zum Abdecken des taschenförmigen Gurtes (10);
    • einem Gasgenerator (9) zum Zuführen von Gas zu dem aufblasbaren Gurt (2B), um diesen aufzublasen;
    • einer mit dem aufblasbaren Gurt (2B) verbundene Zunge (14);
    • einem Schloss (16), das mit dem Gasgenerator (9) versehen ist und lösbar mit der Zunge (10) in Eingriff steht; und
    • mindestens einem Dichtungselement (20, 50A), das - unter normalen Umständen - einen Gasstrom zum aufblasbaren Gurt (2B) sperrt, jedoch geöffnet wird, wenn der Gasgenerator (9) aktiviert wird, wodurch die Gaszufuhr durch einen Gasstromkanal (56) des Schlosses (16) und durch einen inneren Hohlraum der Zunge (14) zu dem aufblasbaren Gurt (2B) sichergestellt ist;
    gekennzeichnet durch Gasfreigabemittel (70) zum allmählichen Entlassen von Gas, das sich in dem aufblasbaren Gurt (2B) befindet, nachdem der Gasgenerator (9) in Betrieb gesetzt wurde, um den aufblasbaren Gurt (2B) aufzublasen, wobei die Gasfreigabemittel (70) in der Zunge (14) ausgebildet sind.
  2. Aufblasbare Gurtvorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Gasfreigabemittel Entlüftungslöcher (70) umfassen.
  3. Aufblasbare Gurtvorrichtung nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, wobei ein erstes Dichtungselement (20) in der Zunge (14) vorhanden ist, das den inneren Hohlraum der Zunge (14) verschließt.
  4. Aufblasbare Gurtvorrichtung nach einem der voranstehenden Ansprüche, wobei ein zweites Dichtungselement (50A) in dem Schloss (16) vorhanden ist, das einen Gasdurchlass (48) des Schlosses abdichtet.
  5. Aufblasbare Gurtvorrichtung nach einem der voranstehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Zylinder (60) eine Klappe (62) aufweist, die sich zur Ermöglichung eines Gasdurchflusses öffnet, nachdem das erste und/oder zweite Dichtungselement (20, 50A) geöffnet wurde.
  6. Aufblasbare Gurtvorrichtung nach einem der voranstehenden Ansprüche, wobei das erste und/oder zweite Dichtungselement (20, 50A) mindestens eine Bruchlinie (33, 52) aufweist.
  7. Aufblasbare Gurtvorrichtung nach Anspruch 6, wobei das erste und/oder zweite Dichtungselement (20, 50A) eine klappenförmige Form hat, die durch das Aufreissen der entsprechenden Bruchlinie (33, 52) entsteht.
  8. Aufblasbare Gurtvorrichtung nach Anspruch 6 und 7, wobei mindestens ein Entlüftungsloch (70) von mindestens einer Klappe (20F, 50F), die aus dem ersten und/oder zweiten Dichtungselement (20, 50A) gebildet ist, abgedeckt ist, wenn Gas dem aufblasbaren Gurt (2B) zugeführt wird, wobei das Entlüftungsloch (70) nach Beenden des Gurtaufblasvorganges unbedeckt ist.
Anspruch[en]
  1. An air belt device comprising
    • an inflatable air belt (2B) having a bag-like belt (10) and a cover (12) for covering the bag-like belt (10);
    • a gas generator (9) to supply gas to the air belt (2B) to inflate the same;
    • a tongue (14) connected to said air belt (2B);
    • a buckle (16) provided with said gas generator (9) and removable engaged with said tongue (10); and
    • at least one seal member (20, 50A), which - under normal circumstances - closes a gas flow to the air belt (2B), but will be broken when the gas generator (9) is activated, thereby ensuring gas supply through a gas flow duct (56) of the buckle (16) and an internal cavity of the tongue (14) to the air belt (2B);
    characterized by gas releasing means (70) for gradually releasing the gas staying in the air belt (2B) after the gas generator (9) has operated to inflate the air belt (2B), wherein said gas releasing means (70) are formed in the tongue (14).
  2. An air belt device according to claim 1, characterized in that said gas releasing means includes vent holes (70).
  3. An air belt device according to claim 1 or 2, wherein a first seal member (20) is in the tongue (14) closing said internal cavity of the tongue (14).
  4. An air belt device according to one of the preceding claims, wherein a second seal member (50A) is in the buckle (16) sealing a gas port (48) of the buckle.
  5. An air belt device according to one of the preceding claims, wherein said cylinder (60) has a flap (62) which opens for permitting gas to pass through after breaking said first and/or second seal member (20, 50A).
  6. An air belt device according to one of the preceding claims, wherein said first and/or second seal member (20, 50A) has at least one tear line (33, 52).
  7. An air belt device according to claim 6, wherein said first and/or second seal member (20, 50A) has a flap-like shape resulting from tearing the corresponding tear line (33, 52).
  8. An air belt device according to claims 6 and 7, wherein said at least one vent hole (70) is covered by at least one flap (20F, 50F) formed from said first and/or second seal member (20, 50A) when gas is supplied to the air belt (2B), and said vent hole (70) is uncovered after the completion of the air belt inflation.
Anspruch[fr]
  1. Dispositif de ceinture de sécurité gonflable comprenant
    • une sangle gonflable (2B) ayant une sangle analogue à un sac (10) et une enveloppe (12) pour envelopper la sangle analogue à un sac (10);
    • un générateur de gaz (9) pour alimenter en gaz la sangle gonflable (2B)pour la gonfler ;
    • une patte (14) reliée à ladite sangle gonflable (2B);
    • une boucle (16) munie dudit générateur de gaz (9) et engagée de manière amovible avec ladite patte (14); et
    • au moins un organe d'étanchéité (20,50A), qui - dans les circonstances normales - ferme un écoulement de gaz dans la ceinture gonflable (2B), mais qui est cassé lorsque le générateur de gaz (9) est activé, de manière à assurer l'alimentation en gaz à travers un conduit d'écoulement de gaz (56) de la boucle (16) et d'une cavité interne de la patte (14) de la ceinture gonflable (2B);
    caractérisé par des moyens d'évacuation de gaz (70) pour évacuer graduellement le gaz présent dans la ceinture gonflable (2B) après que le générateur de gaz (9) est fonctionné pour gonfler la ceinture gonflable (2B), lesdits moyens de libération de gaz (70) étant formés dans la patte (14).
  2. Dispositif de ceinture de sécurité gonflable selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que lesdits moyens d'évacuation de gaz comprennent des évents (70).
  3. Dispositif de ceinture de sécurité gonflable selon la revendication 1 ou 2, caractérisé en ce qu'un premier organe d'étanchéité (20) se trouve dans la patte (14) fermant ladite cavité interne de la patte (14).
  4. Dispositif de ceinture de sécurité gonflable selon l'une des revendications précédentes, caractérisé en ce qu'un second organe d'étanchéité (50A) se trouve dans la boucle (16) rendant étanche un orifice de passage de gaz (48) de la boucle.
  5. Dispositif de ceinture de sécurité gonflable selon l'une des revendications précédentes, caractérisé en ce qu'un cylindre (60) possède un volet (62) qui s'ouvre pour permettre au gaz de le traverser après la rupture dudit premier et/ou second organe d'étanchéité (20,50A).
  6. Dispositif de ceinture de sécurité gonflable selon l'une des revendications précédentes, caractérisé en ce que ledit premier et/ou second organe d'étanchéité (20,50A) comporte au moins une ligne de déchirure (33,52).
  7. Dispositif de ceinture de sécurité gonflable selon la revendication 6, caractérisé en ce que ledit premier et/ou second organe d'étanchéité (20,50A) a une forme analogue à un volet, résultante de la déchirure de la ligne de déchirure correspondante (33,52).
  8. Dispositif de ceinture de sécurité gonflable selon les revendications 6 et 7, caractérisé en ce que ledit au moins un évent (70) est recouvert par au moins un volet (20F,50F) formé à partir dudit premier et/ou second organe d'étanchéité (20,50A) lorsque du gaz s'écoule dans la ceinture gonflable (2B), et ledit évent (70) est découvert à la fin du gonflage de la ceinture gonflable.






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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