Patents Assigned to American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
  • Patent number: 9696233
    Abstract: Methods for correcting a rotational imbalance of a shaft are disclosed. The methods include determining a rotational imbalance of an unbalanced shaft, determining an imbalance correction and mapping the imbalance correction to predetermined points on the shaft. The imbalance correction can be implemented through the addition of mass to or the subtraction of mass from the shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2017
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventor: John D. Overholt
  • Patent number: 9677656
    Abstract: An axle assembly having an input pinion with a pinion gear, which is received in an axle housing and rotatable about a first axis, and a pinion shaft. The pinion gear is meshed with a ring gear that is coupled to a differential assembly. A head bearing, which is disposed on a first axial end of the input pinion, supports the input pinion for rotation relative to the housing about the first axis. A tail bearing supports the input pinion for rotation relative to the housing about the first axis. The pinion gear is disposed axially between the tail bearing and the head bearing. A bearing groove is formed into the pinion shaft and the bearing elements are received into the bearing groove such that an inner bearing race of the tail bearing is unitarily and integrally formed with the pinion shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2017
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventors: James P. Downs, Paul J. Valente
  • Patent number: 9651097
    Abstract: A friction clutch having first and second clutch members, a plurality of first clutch plates, a plurality of second clutch plates and a first electromagnet. The first clutch member is formed of a first magnetically susceptible material. The first clutch plates are axially slidably and non-rotatably coupled to the first clutch member and are formed of a second magnetically susceptible material. The second clutch plates are axially slidably and non-rotatably coupled to the second clutch member. The second clutch plates are interleaved with the first clutch plates. The first electromagnet has a first pole that is magnetically coupled to the first clutch member. The first clutch plates are driven apart from one another when the first electromagnet is operated to generate a magnetic field.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2017
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventor: Curt D. Gilmore
  • Patent number: 9651131
    Abstract: A locking differential can include first and second locking dogs and an actuator system. The first dog can include a set of first teeth fixed to a side gear of the differential. The second dog can be axially movable between first and second positions and can include an annular body coupled to a differential case for common rotation and a set of second teeth. In the first position, the first and second teeth can be disengaged. In the second position, the first and second teeth can be engaged, inhibiting relative rotation between the side gear and the differential case. At least one sensor can detect the angular position and angular velocity of the second teeth relative to the first teeth. An actuator can move the second dog from the first position to the second position based on the detected relative angular positions and velocities of the first and second teeth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2017
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventors: Satyanarayanan Raghavan, William Wang, David Crecelius
  • Patent number: 9651153
    Abstract: A seal for an axle assembly can include a support, sealant layer, lip, and flange. The support can include an outer member and a wall. The outer member can extend axially. The wall can extend radially inward from a first end of the outer member. The sealant layer can coat an outer surface of the outer member to form a fluid-tight seal between the outer surface of the outer member and a bore of the housing. The lip can extend radially inward of the wall. The lip can form a fluid-tight seal between the wall and an outer surface of the shaft. The flange can extend radially outward of a first end of the outer member while not forming a fluid-tight seal with the interior bore. The flange and the outer member can define a channel axially between the first end of the outer member and the sealant layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2017
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Cabaj
  • Patent number: 9649882
    Abstract: An axle assembly having an axle housing, a wheel end cover and an axle shaft. The axle housing has a tubular member with an end flange coupled thereto. A pair of axle bearings are mounted to the axle shaft and the end flange and support the axle shaft for rotation relative to the axle housing. The wheel end cover is mounted to the end flange and carries a seal that is engaged to the axle shaft. A method for assembling an axle assembly is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2017
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventors: James P. Downs, Paul J. Valente
  • Patent number: 9630451
    Abstract: A hollow axle shaft for transmitting rotational motion from a prime mover to a wheel of a vehicle comprises an elongated member. The elongated member extends along an axis between a first end and a second end. The hollow axle shaft further comprises a flange at the first end and extending radially away from the axis for receiving the wheel. The flange is integral with the elongated member. A method of manufacturing the hollow axle shaft comprises the step of providing the elongated member comprising a material and defining a bore extending along the axis between the first and second ends, and the step of forming the flange with the material at the first end.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2017
    Assignee: AMERICAN AXLE & MANUFACTURING, INC.
    Inventors: John A. Pale, David I. Alexander
  • Patent number: 9593757
    Abstract: An axle assembly with a housing, a pinion, a ring gear, a bearing and a pair of shafts. The pinon is mounted to the housing for rotation about a first axis. The ring gear is received in the housing and meshingly engaged with the pinion. The bearing supports the ring gear for rotation relative to the housing about a second axis and also handles thrust loads between the housing and the ring gear that are directed (in both directions) along the second axis. The bearing has a plurality of bearing elements and is abutted against a shoulder formed on the housing that is positioned along the second axis between the first axis and the bearing elements. The differential assembly has a differential case, which is coupled to the ring gear for rotation therewith, and a pair of output members that are coupled to the shafts for common rotation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 14, 2017
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventors: James P. Downs, Paul J. Valente
  • Patent number: 9593756
    Abstract: A bearing assembly and a related power transmitting component. The bearing assembly includes a first bearing, which is an angular contact bearing, and a second bearing, which is a tapered roller bearing. The first bearing has a first inner bearing race, a first outer bearing race and a plurality of spherical bearing balls disposed between the first inner bearing race and the first outer bearing race. The second bearing assembly has a second inner bearing race, a second outer bearing race and a plurality of tapered bearing rolls disposed between the second inner bearing race and the second outer bearing race. One of the first inner and first outer bearing races is fixedly coupled to one of the second inner and second outer bearing races for axial and rotational movement therewith. The first and second bearings are configured to handle thrust in a common axial direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 14, 2017
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventors: Gregory J. Hilker, William G. Hunt, Gregory E. Woodside, Douglas J. Chemelli
  • Patent number: 9593762
    Abstract: A power transfer device can include a housing, first and second input members, first and second output members, a differential, and a pump. The housing can define a sump. The first input member can receive rotational power and rotate about an axis. The second input member can be meshingly engaged with the first input member and can rotate through the sump. The differential case can be drivingly coupled to the second input member. The differential gearset can transmit rotary power between the differential case and the first and second output members. The pump can be disposed about the first input member and can have an inlet, outlet, and pump element. The inlet can be coupled for fluid communication with the sump. The pump element can be drivingly coupled to the first input member and can pump the fluid from the sump when the first input member rotates about the axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 14, 2017
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventors: Adrian M. Lenczewski, Robert Degowske
  • Patent number: 9517658
    Abstract: An axle assembly with a Salisbury-type axle housing that includes a carrier housing. The carrier housing is constructed with a system of reinforcements in selected areas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2016
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventors: Chih-Hung Chung, Dajun Zuo, Adrian M. Lenczewski, Robert Chisholm, Brian Demos
  • Patent number: 9512888
    Abstract: A power transmitting component can include a friction clutch, hydraulic ram, and an actuator. The actuator can include first and second pistons, and a resilient member. The resilient member can translate the first piston to provide a high volume of fluid at low pressure to the ram when a pressure in a first chamber is less than a predetermined pressure and the second piston is translated in a first direction. The resilient member can compress between the first and second pistons to permit relative motion between the pistons when the pressure is equal to, or greater than, the predetermined pressure and the second piston is translated in the first direction. The second piston provides a low volume of fluid at high pressure to the ram when pressure in the first chamber is equal to, or greater than, the predetermined pressure and the second piston is translated in the first direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2016
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventors: James P. Downs, Paul J. Valente
  • Patent number: 9512909
    Abstract: An actuator assembly with first and second sleeves, a barrel, a follower, a groove, a spring, and an output member that is coupled to the second sleeve. The first sleeve has a first externally toothed body, a first flange, which extends radially outwardly from the first body, and a first bore. The barrel is received in the first bore and is rotatable therein. The follower is fixed to one of the barrel and the first sleeve and is received in the groove, which is formed in the other one of the barrel and the first sleeve. The second sleeve has a second body with an internally toothed second bore. The second sleeve is disposed about the first sleeve such that internal and external teeth are meshed to axially slidably but non-rotatably couple the first and second sleeves. The spring is disposed between the first flange and the second sleeve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2016
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventors: Frederick E. Zink, Brian A. Calomeni, Peyman Moradshahi, Robert D. Hopp
  • Patent number: 9512886
    Abstract: An actuator can include a coil spring, a plunger, and a rotating member. The coil spring can include a plurality of coils disposed about an axis. The plunger can include a body and a follower. The follower can be fixedly coupled to the body. The body can be disposed about the axis. The follower can be received between adjacent ones of the coils. The rotating member can be rotatable about the axis and drivingly coupled to one of the coil spring and the plunger to rotate the one of the coil spring and the plunger about the axis. Rotation of the rotatable member can effect translation of the plunger, compression of the coil spring, or both translation of the plunger and compression of the coil spring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2016
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventors: Curt D. Gilmore, Daryl Beesley
  • Patent number: 9511666
    Abstract: A vehicle driveline that includes a differential assembly, a two-speed transmission, a power take-off unit, a range sleeve, a mode sleeve and an input shaft. The range sleeve is non-rotatably but axially slidably coupled to the input shaft. The range sleeve provides rotary power to the two-speed transmission and is movable into different positions to control the gear ratio in which the two-speed transmission operates. The two-speed transmission outputs rotary power to the differential assembly. The mode sleeve is selectively movable into a position where it transmits rotary power between the range sleeve and a PTU input of the power-take off unit. Movement of the range and mode sleeves can be coordinated to provide a two-wheel drive high speed mode, a four-wheel drive high speed mode and a four-wheel drive low speed mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2016
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventors: James P. Downs, Paul J. Valente
  • Patent number: 9512514
    Abstract: A method in which a cutting tip is ground to form an intermediate cutting tool; a first predetermined portion of the intermediate cutting tool is masked; a wear-resistant material is deposited onto the exposed portion of the intermediate cutting tool to form a sharpened cutting tool; and a workpiece is cut with the sharpened cutting tool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2016
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventors: Gregory L. Stout, Miguel Morfin Diaz, Mauro De Donno
  • Patent number: 9500268
    Abstract: A locking differential assembly having a locking dog that is mounted in a differential case in a manner that permits the locking dog to be translated along an axis between a first position, in which the locking dog is disengaged from a side gear in the differential case, and a second position in which the locking dog is engaged to the side gear. The locking dog is coupled to the differential case in a manner that permits an increasing range of rotation of the locking dog relative to the differential case with axial movement of the locking dog toward the second position. An axle assembly with the locking differential assembly and a related method for forming a locking differential assembly are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2016
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventor: Joseph S. Balenda, II
  • Patent number: 9500237
    Abstract: A power transmitting component having a actuator with a lead screw, which is driven by a motor and a transmission, a pusher assembly driven by the lead screw, and first and second clutch forks. Translation of the pusher coordinates movement of the first and second clutch forks along respective axes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2016
    Assignee: American & Axle Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventor: James P. Downs
  • Patent number: 9493069
    Abstract: A vehicle with a primary driveline that is configured to distribute rotary power to a first set of vehicle wheels and a power transmitting device that can be selectively operated to transmit rotary power to a secondary driveline. The power transmitting device has an input member, which is driven by the primary driveline, and an output member that is selectively coupled to the input member to receive rotary power therefrom. The secondary driveline comprises a differential, a pair of shafts, and a side shaft coupling that selectively interrupts power transmission between the differential and one of the shafts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2016
    Assignee: AMERICAN AXLE & MANUFACTURING, INC.
    Inventors: Gregory A. Marsh, James P. Downs, Richard S. Silbert
  • Patent number: 9478339
    Abstract: An actuator can include a housing, plunger, core assembly, biasing member, and first and second electromagnets. The housing can have two end poles, and a central pole therebetween. The plunger can be configured for axial translation relative to the housing. The core assembly can move between first and second positions and can be coupled to the plunger. The core assembly can include first and second cores spaced apart by a permanent magnet. The first and second electromagnets can be spaced apart by the central pole and can have opposite polarities. The biasing member can bias the plunger toward a first plunger position when the core assembly is in the first position, and can bias the plunger toward a second plunger position when the core assembly is in the second position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 25, 2016
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventor: Curt D. Gilmore