Patents Assigned to American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
  • Patent number: 9902263
    Abstract: A clutched device can include a differential and first and second conduits. The differential can transmit differential power to first and second outputs. Clutch plates can rotate through a clutch cavity and transmit power between the second output and a third output. An outer carrier and an inner carrier can be coupled for rotation with the second and third outputs, respectively. The first conduit can be open to a first peripheral region of the clutch cavity and fluidly couples the first region to a cavity separate from the clutch cavity. The second conduit can be open to a second peripheral region that is circumferentially spaced apart from the first region. The second conduit can fluidly couple the second region to a central region of the clutch cavity. Rotation of the outer carrier in opposite rotational directions slings lubricant to the first and second conduits, respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2018
    Assignee: AMERICAN AXLE & MANUFACTURING, INC.
    Inventor: Christopher D. Pump
  • Patent number: 9895971
    Abstract: An AWD driveline includes first and second sleeves. The first sleeve is axially translatable between first, second, and third positions; the second sleeve is coupled for translation therewith. When the first sleeve is in the first position, the first sleeve couples an input of a differential to an intermediate member, and the second sleeve is rotatable relative to the first sleeve and couples first and second outputs members. The first output member can be an output of the differential. In the second position, the first sleeve is rotatable relative to the input or the intermediate member, and the second sleeve is rotatable relative to the first sleeve and couples the first and second output members. In the third position, the first sleeve is rotatable relative to the input or the intermediate member, and the second sleeve is rotatable relative to the first sleeve and the first or second output members.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2018
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey L. Kincaid, Thomas Paluch, Ryan Baeder
  • Patent number: 9895931
    Abstract: A method for forming an axle shaft that includes friction welding a tubular shaft to a shaft portion of a wheel flange. Portions of the joint members on the tubular shaft and the wheel flange are extruded into an annular weld cavity in the wheel flange during the formation of the friction weld. A related axle shaft is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2018
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventor: John C. Hibbler
  • Patent number: 9899132
    Abstract: An actuator can include a housing, core assembly, and first and second electromagnets. The housing can have a first pole piece, second pole piece, and central pole piece disposed between the first and second pole pieces. The central pole piece can have a central body and a bridge. The bridge can be between the first and second pole pieces and axially movable relative thereto. The core assembly can be received in the housing. The core assembly can be movable along a first axis between a first core position and a second core position. The core assembly can include a permanent magnet, a first core, and a second core. The first and second cores can be coupled to the permanent magnet for common axial movement. The first and second electromagnets can be spaced axially apart by the central body and can have opposite polarities.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2018
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventor: Curt D. Gilmore
  • Patent number: 9890808
    Abstract: A propshaft with an universal joint, a first tubular member and a second tubular member. The universal joint has first and second yoke arms that are pivotally coupled to one another. The first tubular member is fixedly coupled to the first yoke arms and has a plurality of first teeth. The second tubular member slidably received over the first tubular member and includes a plurality of second teeth. The first and second teeth engage one another when the propshaft is in an extended condition. The second teeth engage the first yoke arms when the propshaft is in a retracted condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2018
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventor: Dawhorng Dennis Wang
  • Patent number: 9890819
    Abstract: A clutched device including an actuator and a clutch. The actuator can include a housing and a piston having a first, second, and third face. The first face and the housing can define a first chamber. The second face and the housing can define a second chamber. The second face can have a greater surface area than the first face. The third face and the housing can define a third chamber, isolated from the first and second chambers. A conduit can couple the first and second chambers. A vent can be coupled to the third chamber. A pump can pump fluid from a reservoir to the first chamber. A valve can selectively inhibit fluid communication between the second chamber and the reservoir. A shift element can be coupled to the piston for common translation and can move a clutch member between first and second positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2018
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert J. DeGowske, Paul J. Valente, James P. Downs
  • Patent number: 9862289
    Abstract: A limited slip electric drive system for a motor vehicle is disclosed. The system uses an induction motor having a stator, and first and second rotors disposed for independent rotation within the stator. The rotors are each independently associated with one wheel of the vehicle and are able to slip when the vehicle goes around a turn. A traction inverter and control system monitors angular speeds of the rotors and determines which of the rotors is turning slower than the other, and controls the induction motor in accordance with the rotor having a lower speed so that a torque signal is generated in accordance with the rotor having the lower speed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2018
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventor: David Crecelius
  • Patent number: 9803731
    Abstract: An actuator device having a motor driven cam, a follower coupled to an output member and driven by the cam, and a controller for controlling operation of the motor. The cam has a first cam surface, a second cam surface and a lift portion between the first and second cam surfaces. The controller is configured to identify a predetermined point on the lift portion as the follower is moved relative to the cam along the lift portion toward the second cam surface. The controller identifies the predetermined point based on a rate of change in the position of the output member along an output member axis as a function of the rotational position of the cam about a cam axis. The controller controls operation of the motor based on the predetermined point to position the follower on the second cam surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2017
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventor: Curt D. Gilmore
  • Patent number: 9783035
    Abstract: A vehicle axle assembly including an electric motor, an electric power source, a mode shift gearset, an actuator and a differential within a housing. The motor can include a first output member. The mode shift gearset can include a second output member and a shift member. The shift member can transmit torque between the first and second output members when the shift member is in a second position. The actuator can be coupled to the shift member to move the shift member between first and second positions. The differential can include a differential case and a differential gearset. The differential case can be drivingly coupled to the second output member to receive rotary power therefrom. The differential gearset can transmit rotary power between the differential case and first and second output shafts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2017
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventors: Zugang Huang, James P. Downs
  • Patent number: 9776508
    Abstract: An all-wheel drive vehicle driveline that includes a housing assembly with a housing structure and a cover. In one form, components of the driveline can be assembled to the housing structure and cover in such a way that an intermediate shaft, which is assembled to the cover, and an input shaft, which can be rotatably mounted to the housing structure, can be slidably engaged to one another. In another form, the cover defines a reservoir that is configured to feed fluid to a pump that is mounted to the cover.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2017
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventors: Mario Amerla, Christopher D. Pump, Paul Reichert
  • Patent number: 9777818
    Abstract: A drive module that includes an electric motor, a differential assembly with a differential input member and a pair of differential output members, a multi-speed transmission assembly, which transmits rotary power between the electric motor and the differential input member, and a pair of axle shafts that are each coupled to an associated one of the differential output members for rotation therewith. The multi-speed transmission assembly and includes a housing, a two-speed planetary transmission stage, a plurality of clutches and a transmission output member that provides rotary power to the differential input member. The two-speed planetary transmission stage has an input sun gear, which is driven by the motor, and employs a set of planet gears having compound planet gears that provide a gear reduction between the sun gear and the transmission output member. The clutches are employed to control an overall reduction ratio.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2017
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul J. Valente, James P. Downs
  • Patent number: 9772004
    Abstract: A method for balancing a shaft assembly having a shaft member. The method can include providing a balance weight having a body portion that is formed of a material that permits transmission of ultra-violet (UV) light therethrough, the body portion having a perimeter; applying an UV light-curable adhesive to at least one of the balance weight and the shaft member; positioning the balance weight to the shaft member such that the UV light-curable adhesive is abutted to the balance weight and the shaft member; and transmitting UV light through the balance weight to cure at least a portion of the UV light-curable adhesive that is disposed inwardly of the perimeter of the body portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2017
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventors: Charles G. Stuart, John C. Hibbler
  • Patent number: 9746064
    Abstract: A vehicle driveline component having a dual friction clutch differential assembly and a hydraulic circuit for operating the friction clutches. The hydraulic circuit includes a pair of normally open, solenoid operated valves that are selectively closed to control the fluid pressure that acts on the friction clutches. The hydraulic circuit provides a simplified and cost-effective means for providing disconnecting and/or torque vectoring capabilities to the vehicle driveline component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2017
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventors: Kent A. Shoemaker, Charles G. Stuart, James P. Downs
  • Patent number: 9744805
    Abstract: A shaft seal for an axle assembly can include a support body with a circumferentially-extending outer wall member and a radial wall member coupled to the outer wall member and extending radially inwardly therefrom. Sealant disposed on an outside circumferential surface of the outer wall member can form a seal with a surface of a housing bore. A lip can be coupled to the radial wall member and extend radially inward thereof. The lip can form a seal between the radial wall member and an outer surface of a shaft. An annular flange can be coupled to the outer wall member and extend radially outward of an intersection of the outer wall member and the radial wall member, while having a maximum diameter that is smaller than a maximum diameter of the outer wall member. The flange and outer wall member can cooperate to define an annular channel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2017
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Cabaj
  • Patent number: 9746069
    Abstract: An axle assembly that is configured with reduced weight and an internal configuration that is configured to reduce losses through, for example, higher efficiency gearing, low viscosity lubricant and reduced lubricant levels as compared with current production automotive axle assemblies that are configured with a similar overall gear ratio and capacity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2017
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey L. Gerstenberger, Gregory J. Hilker, William G. Hunt, Eugene A. Rodden, Blair J. Swanson, Gregory E. Woodside, James M. Purington, Libu M. Thamarappallil
  • Patent number: 9733059
    Abstract: A method that includes: providing a structure that is movable along a first axis; coupling a sensor assembly to the structure, the sensor assembly comprising first and second eddy current sensors and first and second targets that are mounted to the structure for movement along the first axis; sensing the first target with the first eddy current sensor and responsively generating a first sensor signal; sensing the second target with the second eddy current sensor and responsively generating a second sensor signal; and using the first and second sensor signals to determine a location of the structure along the first axis in a manner that is insensitive to coordinated movement of the first and second targets along a second axis that is perpendicular to the first axis and a third axis that is perpendicular to both the first and second axes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2017
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventor: Curt D. Gilmore
  • Patent number: 9731597
    Abstract: A disconnectable vehicle driveline having front and rear axle assemblies and a power take-off unit (PTU). The PTU includes a coupling, which is configured to selectively transmitting rotary power between an input shaft and a first gear, and a brake element. The coupling includes a first coupling portion, which is coupled to the input shaft for rotation therewith, and a second coupling portion that is coupled to the first gear for common rotation. The second coupling portion can be translated into and out of engagement with the first coupling portion. The brake element is configured to engage the second coupling portion when the second coupling portion is not engaged to the first coupling portion to thereby resist rotation of the first gear and elements of the vehicle driveline that are drivingly coupled to the first gear.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2017
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventor: Frederick E. Zink
  • Patent number: 9732841
    Abstract: A driveline component with a housing, which defines a sump, a power-transmitting device received in the housing, a reservoir coupled to the housing, and a reservoir level control device (RLCD). The reservoir has an inlet and outlet and defines a cavity. The RLCD has a skimmer and an outlet port flow control (OPFC). The skimmer is coupled to the housing for movement between a first position, in which the skimmer is positioned relative to a driven component of the power-transmitting device to skim the lubricant from the driven component, and a second position. The OPFC can be operated in a first condition, in which fluid flow from the outlet port is substantially blocked to thereby inhibit a flow of the lubricant in the cavity to the sump, and a second condition, in which fluid flow through the outlet port from the cavity to the sump is permitted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2017
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventor: Paul J. Valente
  • Patent number: 9726239
    Abstract: A power transmitting component can include a friction clutch, a ram, a pump, a fluid storage device and a valve. The ram can have a piston chamber and a piston movable therein between a first and second position to engage the friction clutch. A first inlet/outlet of the pump can be fluidly coupled to a reservoir. The fluid storage device can hold pressurized hydraulic fluid. The valve can be fluidly coupled with the piston chamber, a second inlet/outlet of the pump, and the fluid storage device. When in a first mode, the valve can permit fluid communication between the pump and the fluid storage device, inhibit fluid communication between the piston chamber and the pump, and inhibit fluid communication between the piston chamber and the fluid storage device. When in a second mode, the valve can permit fluid communication between the pump, the fluid storage device, and the piston chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2017
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert S. Kleinhardt, John C. Hibbler, Charles G. Stuart
  • Patent number: 9695923
    Abstract: A power transmitting component with a housing, a pinion rotatably disposed in the housing, a flange and a retainer. The pinion has a stem that defines male threads and a plurality of first teeth that intersect the male threads. The flange has an internal aperture that defines female threads, a plurality of second teeth. The female threads are threadably engaged with the male threads. The retainer is insert molded between the stem and the flange and includes a body, a plurality of third teeth, a plurality of fourth teeth and a retainer member. The third teeth extend from the body and engage the first teeth. The fourth teeth extend from the body and engage the second teeth. The retainer member is engaged to one of the flange and the stem. A method for coupling a flange to a stem is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2017
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventor: Enrico Heller