PatentDe  


Dokumentenidentifikation EP1181161 20.12.2007
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0001181161
Titel KONSTRUKTION BASIEREND AUF VERSTÄRKTEN KEIL-INSERTS FÜR REIFEN MIT NOTLAUF-EIGENSCHAFTEN
Anmelder The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Akron, Ohio, US
Erfinder NGUYEN, Gia Van, B-6730 Rossignol, BE;
COLANTONIO, Laurent, B-6600, BE
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
DE-Aktenzeichen 69937503
Vertragsstaaten DE, FR, GB
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 03.02.1999
EP-Aktenzeichen 999056617
WO-Anmeldetag 03.02.1999
PCT-Aktenzeichen PCT/US99/02270
WO-Veröffentlichungsnummer 2000046047
WO-Veröffentlichungsdatum 10.08.2000
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 27.02.2002
EP date of grant 07.11.2007
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 20.12.2007
IPC-Hauptklasse B60C 17/00(2006.01)A, F, I, 20051017, B, H, EP
IPC-Nebenklasse B60C 9/09(2006.01)A, L, I, 20051017, B, H, EP   B60C 13/00(2006.01)A, L, I, 20051017, B, H, EP   

Beschreibung[en]
TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention relates to pneumatic radial-ply runflat tires and ways to increase the bending stiffness of sidewall wedge inserts.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Various methods have been devised for enabling the safe, continued operation of unpressurized or underpressurized vehicle tires with the intent of minimizing further damage to the uninflated tire and without simultaneously compromising vehicle handling over a distance from the location where the tire has lost its pressure to a place desired by the driver, such as a service station where the tire can be changed. Loss of tire pressure can result from a variety of causes, including puncture by a foreign object such as a nail or other sharp object piercing the pneumatic tire installed on a vehicle.

Pneumatic tires designed for sustained operation under conditions of unpressurization or underpressurization are also called runflat tires, as they are capable of being driven in the uninflated, or what would generally be called the "flat" condition. A conventional pneumatic tire collapses upon itself when it is uninflated and is carrying the weight of a vehicle. The tire's sidewalls buckle outward in the circumferential portion of the tire where the tread contacts the ground, making the tire "flat".

The term "runflat" is generally used to describe a tire that is designed such that the tire structure alone, in particular the structure of the sidewalls, has sufficient rigidity and strength to support the vehicle load when the tire is operated without being inflated. The sidewalls and internal surfaces of the tire do not collapse or buckle onto themselves, and the tire does not otherwise contain or use other supporting structures or devices to prevent the tire from collapsing.

In general, runflat tires incorporate sidewalls that are thicker and/or stiffer than a conventional non-runflat tire so that the tire's load can be carried by an uninflated tire with minimum adverse effects upon the tire itself and upon vehicle handling until such reasonable time as the tire can be repaired or replaced. The typical methods used in sidewall thickening and stiffening include the incorporation of circumferentially disposed wedge inserts in the inner peripheral surface of the sidewall portion of the carcass, which is the region in the tire usually having the lowest resistance to deformation under vertical loading. In such runflat tire designs, each sidewall is thickened in such a way that its overall thickness is increased in the region between the bead and the tread shoulder. The inserts in each sidewall, in combination with the plies, add rigidity to the sidewalls in the absence of air pressure during runflat operation. Such reinforced sidewalls, when operated in the uninflated condition, experience a net compressive load in the region of the sidewall that is in the road-contacting portion of the tire. Also, the bending stresses on the sidewalls are such that the outer portions of the reinforced sidewalls experience tensile forces while the inner portions experience compression stresses during runflat operation.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,368,082 ('082) of Oare et al , having a common assignee with the present invention, discloses a low aspect ratio, runflat, pneumatic radial ply tire which employs special sidewall inserts to improve stiffness. Approximately six additional pounds of weight per tire was required to support an 800 lb load in this uninflated tire. This earlier invention, although superior to prior attempts at runflat tire design, still imposed a weight penalty that could be offset by the elimination of a spare tire and the tire jack. However, this weight penalty becomes even more problematic in the design of tires having higher aspect ratios. The '082 Patent teaches a sidewall construction for runflat tires in which the tire is constructed with two plies, an inner liner and two reinforcing wedge inserts in each sidewall. The two inserts in each sidewall are disposed such that one insert is located between the two plies while the other insert is located between the inner liner and the first or innermost ply.

U.S. Patents Nos. 5,427,166 and 5,511,599 of Willard, Jr ., and assigned to Michelin Corporation disclose the addition of a third ply and the addition of a third insert in the sidewall to theoretically improve the runflat performance of a runflat tire over that of the '082 Patent discussed above. These two Michelin patents discuss some of the load relations that occur in the uninflated condition of the tire and demonstrate that the principle disclosed in the `082 patent can be applied to additional numbers of plies and inserts.

However, use of large amounts of rubber to stiffen the sidewall members, as in the Michelin patents previously discussed, usually increase flexure heating and lead to earlier tire failure during runflat operation. This is especially so when the tire is operated at high speeds. Therefore, one goal of runflat tire design is to minimize the number of wedge inserts used to stiffen each sidewall and reduce the total amount of elastomeric wedge insert material used in a runflat tire.

While the increased resistance to compression deflection of the multiple inserts tends to prevent the collapse of the uninflated loaded tire, the use of multiple plies and more than one reinforcing wedge insert in each sidewall, has drawbacks which include the above mentioned increase in tire weight and flexure-induced heat build up. Such designs also increase the tire's complexity in ways that adversely affect manufacturing and quality control.

U.S. Patent No. 3,464,477 of Henri Verdier , assigned to Michelin Corporation and considered as being the closest prior art to the tire of claim 1, discloses a pneumatic tire particularly for off-highway (OTR) use wherein the inflated tire is to be protected against damage such as cuts and abrasion to the sidewalls when the tire is used on rocky or rough ground. Although this is not a runflat design, there are useful teachings presented since the inventor has determined that sidewall damage from such OTR operation can be ameliorated by reinforcing the tire sidewalls:

  • "surprisingly ... the sidewalls should be reinforced inwardly of the carcass plies." The disclosed reinforcement of each sidewall is a single reinforcing wedge insert ("elastomeric reinforcement") which has a maximum thickness at the mid height of the sidewall of the tire between about 1% and 3% of the overall maximum width of the tire, the reinforcement tapering toward its edges, that is toward the tread and toward the corresponding bead of the sidewall and extending about half of the height of the tire. The elastomeric composition is not very important other than that it should not have a hysteretic loss greater than 25%. The elastomer may contain one or more plies of elastic cords of metallic or non-metallic type arranged radially or only slightly inclined to the radial direction, for example at an angle between about 10 and 30 degrees to the radial (claim 3 reads "not more than 30 degrees"). Suitable elastic cords for reinforcing the internal layer of the tire are polyamide cords, such as nylon, or elastic metallic cables, preferably having a modulus of elasticity less than 5000 DaN/mm2. The preferred embodiment of the sidewall reinforcement "layers" is summarized in claim 6 and includes "a pair of plies of elastic polyamide cords, ... the cords of one ply crossing the cords of the other ply, said layers and said plies therein terminating short of said bead and the edge of said tread adjacent to said sidewall." There is no discussion or specification of the length or position of the ends of one ply relative to the other ply in the pair of plies. The disclosed design, with specific limits on insert thickness and insert ply cord angles, provides sidewall reinforcement suitable for providing "surprisingly increased resistance to damage ... [such as] cutting or gashing by cutting objects" when operating an inflated tire on rocky terrain.

Clearly, the goal in runflat tire design is to provide a low-cost, light-weight tire that gives good runflat vehicle handling as well as good service life during runflat operation.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a pneumatic, radial runflat ply tire as defined in one or more of the appended claims and, as such, having the capability of being constructed to accomplish one or more of the following subsidiary objects.

One object of the present invention is to provide a pneumatic radial runflat ply tire with a simplified design that allows for improved manufacturing quality control.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a pneumatic radial runflat ply tire having a reduced weight as compared with prior art designs.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a pneumatic radial runflat ply tire having a reduced heat generating potential during runflat operation as compared with prior art designs.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a pneumatic radial runflat ply tire having good normal inflation handling and ride characteristics as well as good runflat handling properties and runflat durability and operational life.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a pneumatic radial ply runflat tire having a tread, a carcass comprising a radial ply structure, a belt structure located between the tread and the radial ply structure, an inner liner and two sidewalls each reinforced by a single wedge insert that contains a pair of wedge-insert stiffener layers circumferentially disposed therein as defined in the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The structure, operation, and advantages of the invention will become further apparent upon consideration of the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

  • FIGURE 1 is a cross-sectional view of a prior art runflat tire design incorporating multiple wedge inserts in each sidewall and multiple plies in the ply structure;
  • FIGURE 2 is a cross-sectional view of a runflat tire in accordance with the present invention;
  • FIGURE 3A is a cross-sectional detail view of the reinforced sidewall wedge insert for the runflat tire of the present invention;
  • FIGURE 3B shows the crossed wires of the respective wedge-insert stiffening reinforcements;
  • FIGURE 4A shows a square section beam being loaded in compression and deformed;
  • FIGURE 4B shows a cross-sectional view of the beam of FIGURE 4A;
  • FIGURE 4C is a diagram of the stresses within the beam of FIGURE 4A;
  • FIGURE 5A shows a square section beam, with compression-bearing elements, being loaded in compression and deformed;
  • FIGURE 5B shows a cross-sectional view of the beam of FIGURE 5A; and
  • FIGURE 5C is a diagram of the stresses within the beam of FIGURE 5A.

DEFINITIONS

"Apex" means an elastomeric filler located radially above the bead core and between the plies and the turnup plies.

"Aspect Ratio" means the ratio of the section height of a tire to its section width; also refers to the cross-sectional profile of the tire; a low-profile tire, for example, has a low aspect ratio.

"Axial" and "Axially" means the lines or directions that are parallel to the axis of rotation of the tire.

"Bead" or "Bead Core" generally means that part of the tire comprising an annular tensile member of radially inner beads that are associated with holding the tire to the rim; the beads being wrapped by ply cords and shaped, with or without other reinforcement elements such as flippers, chippers, apexes or fillers, toe guards and chafers.

"Belt Structure" or "Reinforcement Belts" or "Belt Package" means at least two annular layers or plies of parallel cords, woven or unwoven, underlying the tread, unanchored to the bead, and having both left and right cord angles in the range from 18° to 30° relative to the equatorial plane of the tire.

"Breakers" or "Tire Breakers" means the same as belt or belt structure or reinforcement belts.

"Carcass" means the tire structure apart from the belt structure, tread, undertread over the plies, but including the beads.

"Casing" means the carcass, belt structure, beads, sidewalls and all other components of the tire excepting the tread and undertread.

"Circumferential" most often means circular lines or directions extending along the perimeter of the surface of the annular tread perpendicular to the axial direction; it can also refer to the direction of the sets of adjacent circular curves whose radii define the axial curvature of the tread, as viewed in cross section.

"Cord" means one of the reinforcement strands, including fibers, with which the plies and belts are reinforced.

"Crown" or "Tire Crown" means the tread, tread shoulders and the immediately adjacent portions of the sidewalls.

"Equatorial Plane" means the plane perpendicular to the tire's axis of rotation and passing through the center of its tread; or the plane containing the circumferential centerline of the tread.

"EMT" means "extended mobility tire," which means the same as "runflat tire."

"Footprint" means the contact patch or area of contact of the tire tread with a flat surface at a given speed and under a given load and pressure.

"Gauge" refers to thickness.

"Inner liner" means the layer or layers of elastomer or other material that form the inside surface of a tubeless tire and that contain the inflating fluid within the tire.

"Insert" means the same as "wedge insert," which is the crescent-shaped or wedge-shaped reinforcement typically used to reinforce the sidewalls of runflat-type tires; it also refers to the elastomeric non-crescent-shaped insert that underlies the tread.

"Lateral" means a direction parallel to the axial direction.

"Normal inflation pressure" means the specific load at a specific inflation pressure assigned by the appropriate standards organization for the service condition of the tire.

"Normal load" means the specific load at a specific inflation pressure assigned by the appropriate standards organization for the service condition for the tire.

"Ply" means a cord-reinforced layer of rubber-coated radially deployed or otherwise parallel cords.

"Radial" and "radially" mean directions radially toward or away from the axis of rotation of the tire.

"Radial ply structure" means the one or more carcass plies or which at least one ply has reinforcing cords oriented at an angle of between 65° and 90° with respect to the equatorial plane of the tire.

"Radial ply tire" means a belted or circumferentially-restricted pneumatic tire in which at least one ply has cords which extend from bead to bead and are laid at cord angles between 65° and 90° with respect to the equatorial plane of the tire.

"Runflat" or "runflat tire" is a pneumatic tire that is designed to provide limited service while uninflated or underinflated.

"Section height" means the radial distance from the nominal rim diameter to the outer diameter of the tire at its equatorial plane.

"Section width" means the maximum linear distance parallel to the axis of the tire and between the exterior of its sidewalls when and after it has been inflated at normal pressure for 24 hours, but unloaded, excluding elevations of the sidewalls due to labeling, decoration or protective bands.

"Shoulder" means the upper portion of sidewall just below the tread edge.

"Sidewall" means that portion of a tire between the tread and the bead.

"Tangential" and "tangentially" refer to segments of circular curves that intersect at a point through which can be drawn a single line that is mutually tangential to both circular segments.

"Tread cap" refers to the tread and the underlying material into which the tread pattern is molded.

"Tread width" means the arc length of the tread surface in the plane includes the axis of rotation of the tire.

"Wedge insert" means the same as "insert," which is the sidewall reinforcement used in runflat tires.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Prior Art Embodiment

With reference to FIGURE 1, a cross section of a typical prior art, pneumatic radial runflat tire 10 is illustrated. The tire 10 has a tread 12, a belt structure 14 comprising belts 24,26, a pair of sidewall portions 16,18, a pair of bead regions 20a,20b and a carcass structure 22. The carcass 22 comprises a first ply 30 and second ply 32, a gas-impervious inner liner 34, a pair of beads 36a,36b, a pair of bead filler apexes 21a,21b, a first pair of sidewall wedge inserts 40a,40b, and a second pair of inserts 42a,42b. The first or innermost wedge inserts 40a,40b are located between the inner liner 34 and the first ply 30, and the second wedge inserts 42a,42b are located between the first ply 30 and second ply 32. The fabric overlay 28 is disposed beneath, or radially inward of, tread 12 and on top of, or radially outward from, belt structure 14. The reinforced sidewall portions 16,18 of carcass structure 22 give the tire 10 a limited runflat capability.

As can be seen from FIGURE 1, the structural reinforcement in the sidewall area of the tire 10, i.e., the wedge inserts 40a,40b,42a,42b, substantially increase the overall thickness of the sidewall portions 16,18. This generalized prior art runflat tire design shows the more or less uniformly thickened sidewalls that characterize runflat tire designs. The insert-reinforced sidewalls are necessary to support the tire's load with minimal sidewall deflection when the tire 10 is in an uninflated or underinflated state. Such runflat tire designs provide good vehicle handling and performance under conditions of full inflation, and they give acceptable runflat vehicle handling and runflat operational life when the tire is underinflated or uninflated. Runflat tires generally weigh more than equivalent non-runflat-capable tires, and their greater structural complexity results in additional time consuming manufacturing and quality control.

FIGURE 2 shows a cross-sectional view of a tire 50 employing the features of the present invention. The tire 50 differs from prior art tire 10 of FIGURE 1 in one significant way: it has only a single wedge insert 59a,59b in each sidewall 77,78, respectively, and each of those individual wedge inserts is reinforced by two stiffening reinforcement layers 72a,72b and 73a,73b, respectively, which are herein referred to as wedge-insert stiffeners. The structural details of the wedge-insert stiffeners 72a,72b are shown in greater detail in FIGURES 3A and 3B. Basically, each set of wedge-insert stiffeners 72a,73a is made of parallel-aligned nylon or wire monofilaments or metal cords which are arranged as shown in FIGURE 3B.

Stresses in Wedge Inserts

FIGURE 3A shows a schematic, detailed cross-sectional view of the wedge insert 59a depicted in FIGURE 2. Wedge insert 59b has essentially the same construction as wedge insert 59a and therefore is not discussed in detail herein. When the tire 50 of FIGURE 2 is partially or completely deflated, the portion of the wedge insert 59a that is in the ground-contacting portion of the tire 50 experiences large vertical compressive forces that cause the wedge insert to bend as the sidewall undergoes partial collapse. In FIGURE 3A, the neutral bending axis A-A, which is the interface between the portions of the wedge insert 59a that are in compression and tension, is shown. More specifically, referring to FIGURE 3A, the portion of the wedge insert 59a that is to the right of the neutral axis A-A undergoes compressive stresses, while the portion to the left of the neutral axis experience tensile stresses. The two stiffening reinforcements 72a,73a are located in the compression-load-bearing side of the neutral bending axis A-A within the wedge insert 59a.

The wedge-insert stiffeners 72a,73a provide the wedge insert 59a with additional resistance to compression-induced strain. If the wedge insert 59a were not reinforced with the stiffening reinforcements, the bending stresses would be such that a maximum compressive stress would arise in the approximate center of the right-most (or inner-most) edge of the elastomeric compound of which the circumferentially disposed wedge insert 59a is made. Such compressive stresses would be of a cyclical nature during runflat operation. That is, during runflat operation, the combination of extreme compressive stresses of a cyclical nature with the inherent hysteresis of the elastomeric compound, induce heat buildup and fatigue of the elastomeric material of which the wedge insert 59a is made. Failure during runflat operation is, in other words, hastened by a combination of cyclical-flexure-induced heating and flexure fatigue failure of the elastomeric material.

The incorporation of the compression-load-bearing wedge-insert stiffeners 72a,73a allows a large portion of the cyclical compressive loading on the wedge insert 59a to be borne by the stiffeners which remove a large portion of the cyclical compressive loading from the elastomeric compound of which the wedge insert 59a is made. Accordingly, the maximum magnitude of the compressive stresses in the wedge insert can be reduced, which means that the amount of flexure-induced heating will be reduced, as will the cyclical maximum compression stress which otherwise contributes to fatigue failure during runflat operation. The tire will thereby achieve an improvement in its runflat service life. Additionally, the wedge-insert stiffeners, when made of metal, will, by means of thermal conductivity, tend to distribute and dissipate flexure-induced heating to a larger portion of the total tire body.

Structure of the Invention

The reinforcing layer 72a, shown in FIGURE 3A, comprises parallel cords 76, shown in FIGURE 3B. The reinforcing layer 73a, shown in FIGURE 3A, comprises substantially parallel cords 75, shown in FIGURE 3B. The cords are preferably aligned in a parallel configuration because it leads to the best shear stress distribution, which provides the best resistance to compression. Referring to FIGURE 3A, the vertical extent of the wedge-insert stiffener 72a is preferably in the range of 25 percent to 60 percent and most preferably in the range of 30 percent to 50 percent of the total radially oriented span L of the respective wedge insert 59a (and 59b in FIGURE 2). The vertical extent of the stiffener 72a is no greater than 60 percent because the inflated handling of the tire will be affected by the too high sidewall stiffness and it is no less than 25 percent because the contribution to compression resistance would be negligible. The vertical extent of the wedge-insert stiffener 73a is preferably in the range of 60 percent to 90 percent and most preferably in the range of 70 percent to 80 percent of the total radially oriented span L of the wedge insert 59a (and 59b in FIGURE 2). The vertical extent of wedge-insert stiffener 73a is no greater than 90 percent because of the risks of reduced durability at the edge of the stiffener and no less than 60 percent because of the necessity for a step off from 72a to prevent the localization of two weak points at the edges of the stiffener 73a, which could cause a high stress concentration. The respective parallel-aligned monofilaments, aligned nylon or wire monofilaments or metal cords 75, 76 of each set of wedge-insert stiffeners 72a, 73a, respectively, are preferably oriented at an angle of between 20 degrees and 55 degrees (extending through the insert and centerline C-L as shown in Figure 2) with respect to the circumferential direction (CD), as shown by the angles &agr; and &bgr; in FIGURE 3B, which is a view of the wedge-insert stiffeners from a direction that is more or less perpendicular to the curved plane of the two sets of layers of stiffening reinforcements 72a,73a. The parallel-aligned cords 75, 76 of inserts 59a,59b respectively, lie in transverse relation to each other. While shown as being nearly perpendicular to each other, it is within the terms of the invention to change their relation with the angle ranges mentioned before. The angle of the wedge-insert stiffeners 72a,73a is no more than 55 degrees with respect to the circumferential direction because the monofilament or cords may be affected by a poor durability to buckling and no less than 20 degrees because the resistance to compression will be negligible.

Before explaining in detail the compression-bearing dynamics of operation of the wedge-insert stiffeners, it should be borne in mind that the radial ply 70 shown in FIGURE 2 experiences and bears cyclical tensile loading during normal inflated operation and especially during runflat operation when the portion of the sidewalls that are most adjacent to the ground-contacting portion of the tire undergo the greatest deformation.

Dynamics of Operation of the Inventive Concept

The dynamics of operation of the inventive concept that underlies the use of wedge-insert stiffeners can be understood by reference to FIGURES 4A, 4B, and 4C and FIGURES 5A, 5B, and 5, which show the compressive stresses associated with the bending of elastomeric beams that are subjected to opposing forces of compression.

FIGURE 4A shows a square-section beam 80 of elastomeric material that is loaded in compression, and deflected in bending, by opposing forces F. Beam 80 represents an idealized segment of the wedge insert 59a shown in FIGURES 2 and 3A without the wedge-insert stiffeners of the present invention. It should, of course, be acknowledged that the actual wedge inserts 59a,59b are crescent-shaped in cross section and, being circumferentially deployed, are essentially endless. FIGURE 4B shows the beam 80 in cross section. The main body 82 of beam 80 is an elastomeric material while the upper region is a tensile-stress-bearing layer 84 that corresponds to the radial ply layer 70 of the tire 50 shown in FIGURE 2. Tensile-stress-bearing radial cords 85 are shown in cross section in layer 84 of FIGURE 4B. FIGURE 4C shows a stress distribution curve for the cross-sectional portion shown in FIGURE 4B; the location of the neutral axis is chosen for diagrammatic purposes only and does not reflect actual stress-strain data.

The stress distribution curve shown in FIGURE 4C reflects the predominance of compressive stresses in that the area 88, which lies on the compression-stress side of the stress diagram, is much larger than the corresponding tensile-stress area 86. For the sake of clarity, it is acknowledged that the integrated multiplicative product of the compressive (or tensile) stress and the corresponding distance from the neutral axis is related directly to the resistance of beam 80 to bending flexure. In other words, the area 88 represents a compressive force which acts through a moment arm that is distributed across the region located between the neutral axis and the point &sgr; max where maximum compressive stress is experienced in the elastomeric material of main body 82. A corresponding moment arm for tensile stresses also exists, but for the purposes of explaining the benefits of this invention, the limiting of the maximum compressive stress &sgr; max is of specific interest.

FIGURES 5A, 5B, and 5C represent the effects of the incorporation of the present invention upon a compression-loaded beam 90 that is otherwise comparable to the beam 80 depicted in FIGURE 4A. In FIGURE 5A, opposing forces F place the beam 90 in compression and in a bent state of deflection which, as with the beam 80 of FIGURE 4A, induces compressive and tensile stresses that are described in more detail as follows. FIGURE 5B shows the beam 90 in cross section. In particular, FIGURE 5B shows the tensile bearing layer 92, which corresponds to the radial ply layer 70 of the tire 50 shown in FIGURE 2 and cords 97 embedded in elastomer 91 and corresponding to the radially aligned reinforcing cords of the radial ply layer 70. FIGURE 5B also includes an idealized view of the two layers that correspond to the stiffening reinforcement layers 72a,72b,73a,73b shown in FIGURE 2 and FIGURE 3A. Referring to FIGURE 5B, layer 93 corresponds to stiffening reinforcement 73a in FIGURE 3A and layer 94 corresponds to stiffening reinforcement 72a.

The purpose of the wedge-insert stiffeners 72a,72b,73a,73b is to bear significant portions of the compressive stresses which the wedge insert 59a, as shown in FIGURE 3A, experiences during runflat operation. Accordingly, the stress distribution curve shown in FIGURE 5C shows the respective layers 93,94 (which correspond to the stiffening reinforcements 72a,72b,73a,73b of FIGURES 2 and 3) bearing large portions of the compressive load of the deflected compression-loaded beam 90 of FIGURES 5A and 5B. The maximum stress &sgr; max experienced by the elastomeric material 91, at the location most distant from the neutral axis, is less than the corresponding &sgr; max shown in FIGURE 4C, wherein wedge-insert stiffeners are not used to carry the cyclical compressive loading.

Since the maximum compressive stress &sgr; max is less in the instance wherein the wedge-insert stiffeners of the present invention are deployed within the wedge inserts than when such stiffeners are not used, the elastomeric component of the wedge insert undergoes a reduced magnitude of cyclical compression, especially during runflat operation. Thus the incorporation of wedge-insert stiffeners in the wedge inserts, as set forth in the present invention, reduces the maximum compressive stress &sgr; max and accordingly reduces the heat buildup due to the cyclical nature of the compressive loading during runflat operation. Fatigue failure resulting from cyclical flexure is also reduced because the maximum strain associated with the stress &sgr; max is also reduced.

Materials

The respective parallel-aligned cords 75,76 within the stiffening reinforcements 72a,73b (FIGURE 2) can be made from solid wire monofilaments or from metal cords. The inventors recognize that instead of wire monofilaments or metal cords, the wedge-insert stiffeners can also be made of nylon monofilaments, which also have substantial compression-load-bearing capacity in comparison to the elastomeric material 91 (FIGURE 5B) of which the wedge inserts are made.

The inventors also recognize that by designing an appropriate sidewall wedge gauge distribution in conjunction with the physical properties (e.g., rigidity, tensile-stress-bearing properties) of the wire/cord wedge-insert stiffeners 72a,72b,73a,73b, the tire designer can tailor the operational properties of tire 50 (FIGURE 2) to a variety vehicle types and tire use applications as well as ride characteristics and vehicle handling characteristics in both normal-inflated operation and in runflat operation.

The present invention also includes the incorporation of the wedge-insert stiffeners 72a,72b,73a,73b with the tire designs having two or more radial plies that are reinforced with metal wires/cords and/or organic fibers/cords or combinations of metal and organic reinforcing fibers/wires/cords.

Manufacturing Sequence, Compared to Prior Art Tire

Another benefit of the present invention is its contribution to a potentially reduced number of manufacturing steps and the corresponding quality control associated with each. The manufacture of prior art tires having a multiplicity of sidewall inserts 40a,40b,42a,42b, as shown in prior art tire 10 shown in FIGURE 1, entails the following sequence of manufacturing steps in the part of the manufacturing process that takes place upon a tire assembly drum. First, the inner liner 34 is laid upon a conventional tire building drum (not shown), followed by the beads 36a,36b, followed by inserts 40a,40b, then by ply layer 30, inserts 42a,42b and then ply layer 32. Other tire components, which are not a part of the present invention, such as for example, the outermost elastomeric portions of the sidewall portions 77,78 and bead filler apexes 38a,38b can then be added.

In the present invention, as shown in FIGURE 2, the use of a single wedge insert 59a,59b, each containing two stiffening reinforcement layers 72a,72b,73a,73b, accordingly simplifies the manufacturing process. That is, the use of single wedge inserts within each sidewall, eliminates the need to orient the two or more inserts in each sidewall portion such that they are optimally and uniformly positioned in relationship to one another and to the other tire structures.

The invention is intended to embrace all such alternatives, modifications and variations as fall within the scope of the appended claims.


Anspruch[de]
Radialluftreifen (50) mit Notlaufeigenschaften, mit einer Lauffläche (52), einer Karkasse (61), die eine Radiallagenstruktur (56) umfasst, die sich zwischen zwei unausdehnbaren ringförmigen Wülsten (36a',36b') erstreckt, einer zwischen der Lauffläche und der Radiallagenstruktur befindlichen Gürtelstruktur (58), einer Innenisolierung (74) und zwei Seitenwänden (77,78), die jede durch einen einzigen Keileinsatz (59a,59b), der zwischen der Radiallagenstruktur und der Innenisolierung angeordnet ist, verstärkt sind, und einer ersten und einer zweiten Keileinsatz-Versteifungslage (72a,72b,73a,73b), die jeweils in Umfangsrichtung innerhalb jedes Seitenwandkeileinsatzes (59a,59b) angeordnet sind, wobei - die ersten Keileinsatz-Versteifungslagen (72a,72b) eine radiale Breite aufweisen, die in dem Bereich von zwischen 25 Prozent und 60 Prozent der gesamten radial orientierten Spanne L des jeweiligen Keileinsatzes (59a,59b) liegt; - die zweiten Keileinsatz-Versteifungslagen (73a,73b) eine radiale Breite aufweisen, die in dem Bereich von zwischen 60 Prozent und 90 Prozent der gesamten radial orientierten Spanne L des jeweiligen Keileinsatzes (59a,59b) liegt; und - die ersten und die zweiten Keileinsatz-Versteifungslagen (72a,72b,73a,73b) parallel ausgerichtete Korde (72,76) umfassen, die aus der Draht- und Nylon-Monofilamente und Metallkorde umfassenden Gruppe ausgewählt sind. Reifen (50) von Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die erste Keileinsatz-Versteifungslage (72a,72b) in Umfangsrichtung zwischen der zweiten Keileinsatz-Versteifungslage (73a,73b) und der Innenisolierung (74) angeordnet ist. Reifen (50) von Anspruch 2, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die ersten Keileinsatz-Versteifungselemente (72a,72b) eine radiale Breite aufweisen, die innerhalb des Bereichs von zwischen 30 Prozent und 50 Prozent der gesamten radial orientierten Spanne des jeweiligen Keileinsatzes (59a,59b) liegt. Reifen (50) von Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die zweiten Keileinsatz-Versteifungslagen (73a,73b) eine radiale Breite haben, die bevorzugt innerhalb des Bereichs von zwischen 70 Prozent und 80 Prozent der gesamten radial orientierten Spanne L des jeweiligen Keileinsatzes (59a,59b) liegt. Reifen (50) von Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Winkelorientierung des ersten und zweiten Satzes parallel ausgerichteter Korde (72,76) zwischen 20 Grad und 55 Grad in Bezug zur Umfangsrichtung CD liegt. Reifen (50) von Anspruch 5, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das erste und das zweite parallel ausgerichtete Kord (72,76) in Bezug zueinander quer orientiert sind. Reifen (50) von Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Keileinsatz-Versteifungslagen (72a,72b,73a,73b) aus parallel ausgerichteten Draht-Monofilamenten konstruiert sind. Reifen (50) von Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Keileinsatz-Versteifungslagen (72a,72b,73a,73b) aus parallel ausgerichteten Metallkorden konstruiert sind.
Anspruch[en]
A radial ply runflat tire (50) having a tread (52), a carcass (61) comprising a radial ply structure (56), extending between two inextensible annular beads (36a',36b'), a belt structure (58) located between the tread and the radial ply structure, an inner liner (74), and two sidewalls (77,78) each of which is reinforced by a single wedge insert (59a,59b) being disposed between the radial ply structure and the innerliner, and first and second wedge-insert stiffener layers (72a,72b,73a,73b) circumferentially disposed within each sidewall wedge insert (59a,59b) respectively, wherein - the first wedge-insert stiffener layers (72a,72b) having a radial width that is within the range of between 25 percent to 60 percent of the total radially oriented span L of the respective wedge insert (59a,59b); - the second wedge-insert stiffener layers (73a,73b) having a radial width that is within the range of between 60 percent to 90 percent of the total radially oriented span L of the respective wedge insert (59a,59b); and - the first and second wedge-insert stiffener layers (72a,72b,73a,73b) including parallel-aligned cords (72,76) selected from the group comprising wire and nylon monofilaments and metal cords. The tire (50) of claim 1 characterized in that the first wedge-insert stiffener layer (72a,72b) is circumferentially disposed between the second wedge-insert stiffener layer (73a,73b) and the inner liner (74). The tire (50) of claim 2 characterized in that the first wedge-insert stiffeners (72a, 72b) have a radial width that is within the range of between 30 percent to 50 percent of the total radially oriented span of the respective wedge insert (59a,59b). The tire (50) of claim 1 characterized in that the second wedge-insert stiffener layers (73a,73b) have a radial width that is preferably within the range of between 70 percent to 80 percent of the total radially oriented span L of the respective wedge insert (59a,59b). The tire (50) of claim 1 characterized in that the angular orientation of the first and second set of parallel-aligned cords (72,76) are between 20 degrees and 55 degrees with respect to the circumferential direction CD. The tire (50) of claim 5 characterized in that the first and second parallel-aligned cords (72,76) are transversely oriented with respect to each other. The tire (50) of claim 1 characterized in that the wedge-insert stiffener layers (72a,72b,73a,73b) are constructed of parallel-aligned wire monofilaments. The tire (50) of claim 1 characterized in that the wedge-insert stiffener layers (72a,72b,73a,73b) are constructed of parallel-aligned metal cords.
Anspruch[fr]
Bandage pneumatique à nappe radiale permettant le roulage à plat (50) possédant une bande de roulement (52), une carcasse (66) et comprenant une structure à nappe radiale (56) s'étendant entre deux talons annulaires inextensibles (36a, 36b), une structure de ceintures (58) disposée entre la bande de roulement et la structure à nappe radiale, un calandrage intérieur (74) et deux flancs (77, 78), chacun étant renforcé par une pièce rapportée cunéiforme unique (59a, 59b) et étant disposé entre la structure à nappe radiale et le calandrage intérieur, et des première et deuxième couches de renforcement de pièces rapportées cunéiformes (72a, 72b, 73a, 73b) disposées en direction circonférentielle au sein de chaque pièce rapportée de flanc cunéiforme (59a, 59b), respectivement, dans lequel - la première couche de renforcement de pièce rapportée cunéiforme (72a, 72b) possédant une largeur radiale qui représente une valeur se situant dans la plage entre 25 % et 60 % de l'étendue totale L orientée en direction radiale de la pièce rapportée cunéiforme respective (59a, 59b) ; - la deuxième couche de renforcement de pièce rapportée cunéiforme (73a, 73b) possédant une largeur radiale qui représente une valeur se situant dans la plage entre 60 % et 90 % de l'étendue totale L orientée en direction radiale de la pièce rapportée cunéiforme respective (59a, 59b) ; - la première et deuxième couches de renforcement de pièces rapportées cunéiformes (72a, 72b, 73a, 73b) englobant des câblés disposés en alignement parallèle, choisis parmi le groupe comprenant des monofilaments de fils métalliques et de nylon et des câblés métalliques. Bandage pneumatique (50) selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que la première couche de renforcement de pièce rapportée cunéiforme (72a, 72b) vient se disposer en direction circonférentielle entre la deuxième couche de renforcement de pièce rapportée cunéiforme (73a, 73b) et le calandrage intérieur (74). Bandage pneumatique (50) selon la revendication 2, caractérisé en ce que la première couche de renforcement de pièce rapportée cunéiforme (72a, 72b) possède une largeur radiale qui représente une valeur se situant dans la plage entre 30 % et 50 % de l'étendue totale L orientée en direction radiale de la pièce rapportée cunéiforme respective (59a, 59b). Bandage pneumatique (50) selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que la deuxième couche de renforcement de pièce rapportée cunéiforme (73a, 73b) possède une largeur radiale qui représente une valeur se situant dans la plage entre 70 % et 80 % de l'étendue totale L orientée en direction radiale de la pièce rapportée cunéiforme respective (59a, 59b). Bandage pneumatique (50) selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que l'orientation angulaire des premier et deuxième groupes de câblés (72, 76) disposés en alignement parallèle représente une valeur qui se situe entre 20° et 55° par rapport à la direction circonférentielle CD. Bandage pneumatique (50) selon la revendication 5, caractérisé en ce que les couches de renforcement de pièces rapportées cunéiformes (72a, 72b, 73a, 73b) sont orientées en direction transversale l'une par rapport à l'autre. Bandage pneumatique (50) selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que les couches de renforcement de pièces rapportées cunéiformes (72a, 72b, 73a, 73b) sont constituées par des monofilaments de fils métalliques disposés en alignement parallèle. Bandage pneumatique (50) selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que les couches de renforcement de pièces rapportées cunéiformes (72a, 72b, 73a, 73b) sont constituées par des câblés métalliques disposés en alignement parallèle.






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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