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Dokumentenidentifikation EP0908358 03.06.2004
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0000908358
Titel Aufblasbarer Sicherheitsgurt
Anmelder Takata Corp., Shiga, JP
Erfinder Suyama, Yoji, Echi-gun, JP
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
DE-Aktenzeichen 69823447
Vertragsstaaten DE, FR, GB
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 02.09.1998
EP-Aktenzeichen 981165509
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 14.04.1999
EP date of grant 28.04.2004
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 03.06.2004
IPC-Hauptklasse B60R 21/18

Beschreibung[en]

The present invention relates to seat belt devices for protecting automobile passengers during collisions, and more particularly, to an air belt device having a bag-like portion, which is inflated by a gas generator. Further particularly, the present invention pertains to an air belt device that copes with erroneous functioning of a gas generator.

JP 3-85301 A and US 5 346 250 A respectively describe a prior art air belt device according to the preamble of claim 1. Fig. 6(a) shows a perspective view of the air belt device. Fig. 6(b) shows a cross-sectional view of the air belt device taken along line B-B in Fig. 6(a).

As shown in the drawings, an air belt 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 to the left side of the passenger. The lap belt 3 extends from the right side of a passenger to the left side. The buckle 4 is arranged, for example, on the vehicle floor. The tongue 5 is engaged with the buckle 4 when fastening the seat belt. The intemediate guide 6 guides the shoulder belt 2.

The shoulder belt 2 includes a normal belt 2a which is an ordinary seat belt, and a bag-like belt 2b, which is connected to one end of the normal belt 2a. The normal belt 2a slides freely through the intermediate guide 6. The other end of the normal belt 2a is connected with a seat belt retractor 7 having an emergency lock system (ELR)mechanism. The normal belt 2a is wound into the seat belt retractor 7.

The bag-like belt 2b is located at a portion that contacts a passenger and is connected with one end of the tongue 5. The opposite end of the tongue 5 is not connected with the normal belt 2a.

The lap belt 3 is formed by a normal belt, which is an ordinary seat belt. One end of the lap belt 3 is connected with the tongue 5. The other end of the lap belt 3 is connected with the seat belt retractor 8 (ELR). The buckle 4 is connected with a gas generator 9, which generates high pressure gas during emergencies, such as when a collision occurs.

The gas generated by the gas generator 9 flows toward the bag-like belt 2b through a passage extending through the tongue 5 and the buckle 4.

The bag-like belt portion 2b of the shoulder belt 2 has a body 2c. The body 2c, for example, may be folded and covered by a cover 2d, as shown by the solid line in Fig.6(b). The sides of the cover 2d are sewed to each other such that a stitching 2e is formed. This keeps the shoulder belt 2 in a strip-like state under normal situations. The stitching 2e of the cover 2d is easily opened by the inflation force of the shoulder belt 2 when the gas generator 9 is actuated. The bag-like belt 2b inflates, as shown by the dashed line in Fig. 6(b).

In the prior art air belt device 1 described above, if the gas generator 9 is actuated when the tongue 5 is not inserted in the buckle 4, the generated gas is discharged upward from the buckle 4.

Accordingly, the first objective of the present invention is to provide an air belt device that discharge gas sideward or downward, if a gas generator is actuated with the tongue and buckle in a separated state.

A second objective of the present invention is to provide an air belt device which prevents foreign matters from entering buckle.

To achieve the above objectives, the present invention provides an air belt device including an inflatable air belt, a tongue to which an end of the air belt is connected, a buckle engagable with the tongue, gas passages respectively formed within the buckle and the tongue and a gas generating device for supplying gas to the gas passage of the buckle, said air belt device being characterized in that said tongue includes cylindrical plugs each having the gas passage therein, aid buckle includes plug receiving bores each receiving the plug and having a check door inwardly openable based on reception of the plug and outwardly unopenable, said buckle includes a gas release port for discharging the gas from the gas supplying device downward or sideward, and said gas is introduced into the plug upon the operation of the gas generating device in a tongue-connecting state in which the plug is inserted in the buckle, and released from the gas release port upon the operation of the gas generating device when the check door is in a closed position and the tongue is separated from the buckle.

In such an air belt device, an tongue receiving opening of the buckle is closed with a check door, when the tongue is not engaged with the buckle. This prevents foreign matters such as dust, dirt and sand from entering the inside of the buckle. If foreign matters in small sizes should enter the inside of the buckle, these foreign matters can be discharged from a relief ports. When each relief port is arranged in the downward direction under the buckle, the foreign matters that enter the inside of the buckle fall down from the relief port.

In the present invention, it is preferable that ducts and valves are respectively disposed in the buckle, each of said ducts includes a gas inlet and a gas outlet, wherein said gas outlet is located in the vicinity of the associated plug receiving bore, each of said valves is disposed in the gas outlet of the duct, wherein said valve is open based on gas pressure and closed without load of the gas pressure; and said plug received in the buckle and the gas outlet of the duct are capable of communicating each other when the tongue is received in the buckle.

It is preferable that said valve comprises a plurality of shoulder portions each deformable to open the gas outlet based on the gas pressure.

Under the above configuration, it is preferable that each of said shoulder portion has a distal end entering the plug received in the buckle when the shoulder portion is deformed by the gas pressure in case the tongue is coupled to the buckle. The shoulder portions having ends in the plug causes the connecting portion of Lhe duct and the plug to be covered by the shoulder portions, thus, the gas come out from the duct flows smoothly into the plug.

The features of the present invention that are believed to be novel are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. 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:

  • Fig. 1(a) is a cross-sectional view showing a tongue and a buckle of an embodiment of the present invention;
  • Fig. 1(b) is an enlarged cross-sectional view of Fig. 1(a) taken along line B-B;
  • Fig. 2 is an enlarged cross-sectional view showing the buckle;
  • Fig. 3 is a cross-sectional view showing the engagement between the tongue and the buckle;
  • Fig. 4 is a cross-sectionalo view showing the buckle separated from the tongue when a gas generator is actuated;
  • Fig. 5(a) is a perspective view showing the buckle with gas flowing when the gas generator is actuated while the buckle is engaged with the tongue;
  • Fig. 5(b) is a perspective view showing the buckle with gas flowing when the gas generator is actuated while the buckle is not engaged with the tongue; and
  • Fig. 6 is a perspective view showing an ordinary seat belt configuration.

An embodiment of the present invention will be described in the following with reference to the accompanying drawings.

Fig. 1(b) is an enlarged cross-sectional view of Fig. 1(a) taken along line B-B; Fig. 2 is an enlarged cross-sectional view showing the buckle; Fig. 3 is a cross-sectional view showing the engagement between the tongue and the buckle; Fig. 4 is a cross-sectionalo view showing the buckle separated from the tongue when a gas generator is actuated; Fig. 5(a) is a perspective view showing the buckle with gas flowing when the gas generator is actuated while the buckle is engaged with the tongue; Fig. 5(b) is a perspective view showing the buckle with gas flowing when the gas generator is actuated while the buckle is not engaged with the tongue; and Fig. 6 is a perspective view showing an ordinary seat belt configuration.

An air belt device includes a tongue 10, a buckle 12, a gas generator 16, and other parts. The rear end of the tongue 10 is connected with an air belt 14. The buckle 12 is inserted into the tongue 10. The gas generator 16 supplies gas to the buckle 12 through a hose 15. The tongue 10 includes a tongue base 18, hollow cylindrical plugs 20, a tongue plate 24, an anchor 26, rings 28, 30, a plastic cover 32, etc. The tongue base 18 is hollow. The hollow cylindrical plugs 20 protrude from the front end of the tongue base 18. The tongue plate 24 and the anchor 26 are each connected with the tongue base 18 by a connecting pin 22. The rings 28, 30 fix the air belt device 14 to the tongue base 18. The plastic cover 32 covers the tongue base 18.

When the tongue plate 24 is inserted into a tongue receiving opening 34 (Fig. 5) of the buckle 12, a latch hole 36 of the tongue plate 24 is engaged with a latch of a latch mechanism 38 housed in the buckle 12. The latch is disengaged from the latch hole 36 by pressing a button 40 arranged on the buckle 12. The tongue plate 24 is forcibly separated from the buckle 12 by a spring (not shown).

A hole 42 is defined in the anchor 26. A lap belt 44 is connected with the anchor 26 by inserting one end of the lap belt 44 into the hole 42 of the anchor 26. The rear end of the lap belt 44 is arranged so that the lap belt 44 is wound into a seat belt retractor.

In this embodiment, the air belt device 14 constitutes a portion of the seat belt. The rear end of the air belt 14 is engaged with the front end of a webbing which constitutes a portion of the shoulder belt. The rear end of the webbing is arranged so that the webbing is wound into the seat belt retractor.

The buckle 12 is housed in a housing 46. An opening 34 for receiving the tongue plate 24 and bores 48 for receiving the plugs 20 are arranged in the front end of the housing 46.

The plug receiving bores 48 are closed by check doors 50. Each check door 50 is pivotally connected with the housing 46 by a hinge pin 52 and is forced to a closed position by a spring 54.

When each plug 20 is inserted into the corresponding plug receiving bore 48, the check door 50 is pushed open by the plug 20 as shown in Fig. 3. When the plug 20 is pulled out of the bore 48, the check door 50 returns to the closed position by the force of the spring 54.

When each check door 50 is located at the closed position as shown in Figs. 1, 2, the distal end of the check door 50 is engaged with a stopper 56 arranged in the housing 46 so that the check door 50 is prevented from opening outward from the housing 46.

Gas relief ports 60 and a port 62 for receiving a hose 15 are arranged at the rear (lower) end of the housing 46. A duct 66 is arranged in the housing 46. An gas inlet 68 of the duct 66 is inserted into the hose receiving port 62. An end of the hose 15 is fixed to the gas inlet 68 of the duct 66 by means of a ring 70.

The inside of the housing 46 is devided into two parts. The duct 66 is bifurcated accordingly. A check cover 74 is arranged on a gas outlet 72 at the distal end of each part of the duct 66.

Each check cover 74 includes a plurality of flexible pieces 76 that are fixed to the end faces of two separated parts of the duct 66, by applying an adhesive or by fusing the pieces 76. The flexible pieces 76 contact one another to close the gas outlets 72 when gas pressure is not applied to the flexible pieces 76. The distal ends of the flexible pieces 76 are separated from each other when gas pressure is applied so that each check cover 74 is opened as shown in Fig. 3, 4.

When the flexible pieces 76 are deformed to open with each plug 20 inserted into the corresponding plug receiving bore 48, as shown in Fig. 3, the distal end of each flexible piece 76 enters the plug 20.

A bracket 80 is arranged to protrude downward from the housing 46. The buckle 12 is fixed to a body member of a vehicle by inserting a bolt into a hole 82 that is arranged in the bracket 80.

In the above air belt device, the tongue 10 is engaged with the buckle 12 as shown in Fig. 2. The tongue plate 24 is inserted into the tongue receiving opening 34 and is latched with the latch mechanism 38. The distal ends of the plugs 20 enter the plug receiving bores 48 and enagages the gas outlets 72 of the ducts 66. The check doors 50 are pushed open into the housing 46 by the plugs 20.

If the gas generator 16 is actuated when the tongue 10 is connected with the buckle as shown in Fig. 3, the gas passes through the hose 15 and the duct 66. The gas advances by deforming the flexible pieces 76 and by opening the check covers 74. The gas, then, flows into the insice of the air belt device 14. This inflates the air belt device 14.

In this embodiment, the distal ends of the flexible pieces 74 are inserted into the plugs 20. The portion connecting each plug 20 and the associated duct outlet 72 is encircled with the flexible pieces 74 so that the gas inside the ducts 76 can be smoothly provided into the air belt 14 through the plugs 20.

If the gas generator 16 is erroneously actuated when the tongue 10 is separated trom the buckle 12, the gas flows into the duct 66 through the hose 15. The gas, then, flows into the housing 46 by opening the flexible pieces 76. Since the check doors 50 are closed and do not open outward from the housing 46, the gas passes portions connecting the ducts 66 and the housing 46. The gas is finally discharged downward from the relief ports 60. Accordingly, if the gas generator 16 is erroneously actuated when the tongue is separated from the buckle, the gas is discharged from the buckle 12 downward. This prevents the passenger from being blasted by the gas.

In this embodiment, when the buckle 12 is not engaged with the tongue 10, the check doors 50 close the plug receiving bores 48. Therefore, foreign matters are prevented from enter the housing 46 through the plug receiving bores 48. If holes are formed in the check doors 50 when the foreign matters enter the housing 46, the foreign matters would fall down from the relief ports 60. Moreover, the gas outlets 72 of the ducts 66 are closed by the check covers 74 so that foreign matters can not enter the ducts 66.

Foreign matters are prevented from entering the housing 46 and the ducts 66. Therefore, the tongue 10 engages the buckle 12 smoothly. Foreign matters carried by the gas when the air belt device is actuated are also prevented from entering the air belt device.

In this embodiment, the relief ports 60 open downward under the housing 46. Alternatively, the relief ports 60 may open sideways or diagonally downward. However, if the relief ports 60 are arranged with the downward openings, the gas is discharged downward. This ensures that the gas discharged from the relief ports is prevented from being blasted against a passenger. Moreover, if foreign matters enter the inside of the housing 46, the foreign matters fall down from the relief ports 60, as described above.

It should be apparent to those skilled in the art that the present examples and embodiments are to be considered as illustrative and not restrictive and the invention is not to be limited to the details given herein, but may be modified within the scope of the appended claims.


Anspruch[de]
  1. Aufblasbare Gurtvorrichtung mit einem aufblasbaren Gurt (14), einer Zunge (10), mit der ein Ende des aufblasbaren Gurtes (14) verbunden ist, einem Schloss (12), das mit der Zunge (10) in Eingriff treten kann, Gasdurchlässen, die jeweils in dem Schloss und der Zunge ausgebildet sind und einer Gasgenerierungsvorrichtung ausgebildet sind, zum Zuführen von Gas zu dem Gasdurchlass des Schlosses; die aufblasbare Gurtvorrichtung ist dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Zunge (10) zylindrische Stecker (20), die jeweils den Gasdurchlass aufweisen, umfasst,

    das Schloss (12) Steckeraufnahmeöffnungen (48) umfasst, die jeweils den Stecker (20) aufnehmen und eine Absperrklappe (50) haben, die nach innen beim Aufnehmen des Steckers (20) geöffnet werden kann und nach außen nicht geöffnet werden kann;

    das Schloss (12) eine Gasauslassöffnung (60) zum Ausströmen des Gases aus der Gasversorgungsvorrichtung nach unten oder seitwärts umfasst; und

    Gas in den Stecker (20) bei Aktivierung der Gasgenerierungsvorrichtung in einem Zungen-Verbindungs-Zustand eingeleitet, wobei der Stecker (20) in dem Schloss (12) eingeführt ist und aus der Gasauslassöffnung (60) bei Aktivierung der Gasgenerierungsvorrichtung abgeleitet wird, wenn die Absperrklappe (50) in einem geschlossenen Zustand und die Zunge (10) von dem Schloss getrennt ist.
  2. Aufblasbare Gurtvorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass Leitungen (66) und Ventile (76) jeweils in dem Schloss (12) angeordnet sind;

    jede der Leitungen (66) einen Gaseinlass (68) und einen Gasauslass (72) umfasst, wobei der Gasauslass (72) in der Nähe der zugehörigen Steckeraufnahmeöffnung (48) liegt;

    jedes der Ventile (76) in dem Gasauslass (72) der Leitung (66) angeordnet ist, wobei das Ventil (76) aufgrund von Gasdruck geöffnet wird und ohne Belastung durch den Gasdruck geschlossen bleibt; und

    der Stecker (20), der in dem Schloss (12) aufgenommen wird, und der Gasauslass (72) der Leitung miteinander in Verbindung treten können, wenn die Zunge (10) in dem Schloss aufgenommen ist.
  3. Aufblasbare Gurtvorrichtung nach Anspruch 2, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das Ventil (76) eine Vielzahl von Schulterabschnitten aufweist, die jeweils zum Öffnen des Gasauslasses aufgrund von Gasdruck verformbar sind.
  4. Aufblasbare Gurtvorrichtung nach Anspruch 3, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass jeder der Schulterabschnitte ein distales Ende aufweist, das in den Stecker (20), der in dem Schloss (12) aufgenommen ist, eintritt, wenn der Schulterabschnitt durch den Gasdruck verformt wird, sofern die Zunge (10) mit dem Schloss (12) verbunden ist.
  5. Aufblasbare Gurtvorrichtung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche,dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Entlastungsbohrung (60) in einem unteren Abschnitt des Schlosses nach unten gerichtet ist.
Anspruch[en]
  1. An air belt device including an inflatable air belt (14), a tongue (10) to which an end of the air belt (14) is connected, a buckle (12) engagable with the tongue (10), gas passages respectively formed within the buckle and the tongue and a gas generating device for supplying gas to the gas passage of the buckle, said air belt device being characterized in that said tongue (10) includes cylindrical plugs (20) each having the gas passage therein,

       said buckle (12) includes plug receiving bores (48) each receiving the plug (20) and having a check door (50) inwardly openable based on reception of the plug (20) and outwardly unopenable;

       said buckle (12) includes a gas release port (60) for discharging the gas from the gas supplying device downward or sideward; and

       said gas is introduced into the plug (20) upon the operation of the gas generating device in a tongue-connecting state in which the plug (20) is inserted in the buckle (12), and released from the gas release port (60) upon the operation of the gas generating device when the check door (50) is in a closed position and the tongue (10) is separated from the buckle.
  2. An air belt device as set forth in Claim 1,characterized in that ducts (66) and valves (76) are respectively disposed in the buckle (12);

       each of said ducts (66) includes a gas inlet (68) and a gas outlet, (72) wherein said gas outlet (72) is located in the vicinity of the associated plug receiving bore (48);

       each of said valves (76) is disposed in the gas outlet (72) of the duct (66), wherein said valve (76) is open based on gas pressure and closed without load of the gas pressure; and said plug (20) received in the buckle (12) and the gas outlet (72) of the duct are capable of communicating each other when the tongue (10) is received in the buckle.
  3. An air belt device as set forth in Claim 2,characterized in that said valve (76) comprises a plurality of shoulder portions each deformable to open the gas outlet based on the gas pressure.
  4. An air belt device as set forth in Claim 3,

    characterized in that each of said shoulder portion has a distal end entering the plug (20) received in the buckle (12) when the shoulder portion is deformed by the gas pressure in case the tongue (10) is coupled to the buckle (12).
  5. An air belt device as set forth in any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that said relief bore (60) is directed downward in a lower portion of the buckle.
Anspruch[fr]
  1. Dispositif de ceinture à air comprenant une ceinture à air gonflable (14), une patte (10) à laquelle est connectée une extrémité de la ceinture à air (14), une boucle (12) qui peut venir en prise avec la patte (10), des passages de gaz formés respectivement dans la boucle et la patte, et un dispositif générateur de gaz pour fournir du gaz au passage de gaz de la boucle, ledit dispositif de ceinture à air étant caractérisé en ce que ladite patte (10) comprend des prises cylindriques (20) comprenant chacune un passage à l'intérieur,

       ladite boucle (12) comprend des alésages (48) pour recevoir des prises, chacun recevant la prise (20) et ayant une porte de contrôle qui peut être ouverte vers l'intérieur à la réception de la prise (20) et ne peut être ouverte vers l'extérieur ;

       ladite boucle (12) comprend un orifice de sortie de gaz pour évacuer le gaz depuis le dispositif générateur de gaz, vers le bas ou vers le côté ; et,

       ledit gaz est introduit dans la prise (20) lorsque le dispositif générateur de gaz est actionné dans un état de connexion de la patte dans lequel la prise (20) est insérée dans la boucle (12), et est évacué par l'orifice de sortie de gaz (60) lorsque le dispositif générateur de gaz est actionné alors que la porte de contrôle (50) est dans une position fermée et que la patte (10) est séparée de la boucle.
  2. Dispositif de ceinture à air tel que présenté à la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que des conduits (66) et des soupapes (76) sont respectivement disposés dans la boucle (12) ;

       chacun des conduits (66) comprend une arrivée de gaz (68) et une sortie de gaz (72), conduits dans lesquels ladite sortie de gaz (72) est disposée à proximité de l'alésage (48) de réception de la prise associée ;

       chacune des soupapes (76) est disposée dans la sortie de gaz (72) du conduit (66), où ladite soupape est ouverte en présence d'une pression de gaz et fermée en l'absence de charge de la pression de gaz ; et,

       ladite prise (20) reçue dans la boucle (12) et la sortie de gaz (72) du conduit étant capables de communiquer entre elles lorsque la patte (10) est reçue dans la boucle.
  3. Dispositif de ceinture à air tel que présenté à la revendication 2, caractérisé en ce que ladite soupape (76) comprend plusieurs parties coudées chacune déformable pour ouvrir la sortie de gaz en présence d'une pression de gaz.
  4. Dispositif de ceinture à air tel que présenté dans la revendication 3, caractérisé en ce que chacune de ces parties coudées à une extrémité distale pénétrant dans la prise (20) reçue dans la boucle (12) lorsque la partie coudée est déformée par la pression de gaz dans le cas ou la patte (10) est couplée à la boucle (12).
  5. Dispositif de ceinture à air tel que présenté dans l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, caractérisé en ce que ledit orifice de décharge (60) est dirigé vers le bas dans une partie inférieure de la boucle.






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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