Abstract: A safety belt or harness warning system generally having a laminate-like structure and positioned on the safety belt to expose an underlying one of the lamina indicative of a belt-applied stress above a predetermined stress, and further indicating a belt replacement. The preferred laminate has an underlying adhesive layer, which may be easily adhered to the belt for ease of application, and an interior layer indicating that a high stress force has been applied to the belt.
Abstract: An automotive safety belt retractor comprising a remotely-operable, electromechanical tension-relieving system. The tension-relieving system is shifted into a tension-relieving mode by a conveniently located manual switch. Movement of the user to extract more than a predetermined length of belt while in the tensionless mode shifts the electromechanical actuator from an active to a released position. The electromechanical actuator is normally de-energized and is only energized momentarily when shifting between the tension-relieving and nontension-relieving modes. A second, automatic switch shifts the retractor out of tensionless mode upon opening of the vehicle door.
Abstract: A safety belt retraction apparatus is provided for use in a vehicle having at least one door and a chassis. The apparatus includes a safety belt retractor mechanism mounted on the vehicle door, and having a reel about which the webbing of the safety belt is wound. The reel is adapted to take up and let out the webbing. The safety belt retraction apparatus further inlcudes a resiliently compressible bellows of blow-molded plastic. The bellows is mounted at one end to a housing containing the retractor mechanism, and has an opposite web-engaging free end adjacent the reel. The bellows is dimensioned so that its free end is spaced from the reel during initial take-up operations. Thereafeter, upon continued winding of the webbing about the take-up reel, the free end of the bellows engages the webbing, and with continued winding is compressed so as to exert a friction force on the webbing during continued take-up. The friction force precludes loose winding of the webbing about the reel.
Abstract: An improved tip assembly including a tongue plate insertable into a buckle is provided for a safety belt system in which a continuous retractable belt length provides both a lap portion and a shoulder portion. The tip assembly through which the belt passes has a snubber slide engaged with the tongue plate and slidable relative thereto. When the belt is drawn across the occupant's body, the belt shifts the snubber slide rearwardly on the tongue plate to a point where the belt is firmly gripped between a surface of the tongue plate and a surface of the snubber slide, whereby that portion of the belt which extends across the occupant's lap cannot expand. When the belt is retracted so that a run of the belt is substantially vertical, the weight of the tip assembly causes its front end to tip downwardly causing the slide to fall vertically along the tongue plate releasing its grip on the belt, whereby the tip assembly freely falls to a lower position along the vertical belt position.
Abstract: A seat belt retractor assembly includes lighting means for illuminating areas of a vehicle floor adjacent the retractor assembly. The preferred retractor assembly includes a plastic housing which has an opening with a lamp mounted on it to shine light through the opening. Herein, a pair of forward and rearward lamps are mounted on the same housing that covers an internal retractor assembly having a pair of seat belt retractors for a lap belt and a shoulder belt portions of an elongated seat belt. The lights are electrically connected to switches having sensing means for determining whether the vehicle doors are open or closed so that the lights may be selectively activated depending on whether the doors are opened or closed.
Abstract: A seat belt buckle having a buckle frame and a pivotal latching member mounted therein includes an improved actuating system which locks the latching member and which assists in ejecting a tongue plate from the frame when the latch mechanism is in its open position. The actuating system includes a stirrup-like linkage including a cylindrical ejector member joined at each end to a pair of pivotally mounted arms. A locking cylinder also extends between the arms. A generally U-shaped retainer includes flat plate-like walls which are pinned to the pair of arms. The ejector member making up the central portion of the stirrup is mounted for sliding reciprocation in a slider member which is attached thereto with a snap-lock action. The slider member includes a sliding tail which reciprocates back and forth in the buckle frame.
Abstract: A passive seat belt system is provided with a door mounted retractor operable by a remotely located inertia sensing device on the vehicle chassis. The door mounted retractor has an electrically operated means to lock the retractor reel against turning when operated by the inertia sensing device. The retractor is also provided with a mechanically operated web sensitive device to lock the reel against belt pay out at high reel angular accelerations. The web sensitive device includes an inertia wheel secured on the portion of reel shaft and mounted on the shaft so as to be rotatable with respect thereto. A coiled spring concentric with the shaft has its first end fixed to the shaft and its second end fixed to the inertia wheel so as to prevent relative rotation between the inertia wheel and the shaft. An annulus is mounted on the shaft so as to permit rotation of the shaft with respect thereto.
Abstract: A safety belt retraction apparatus is provided for use in a vehicle having at least one door and a chassis. The apparatus includes a safety belt retractor mechanism having a reel about which the webbing of the safety belt is wound. The reel is adapted to let out and take up the webbing. The safety belt retraction apparatus further includes a ratchet wheel associated with the take-up reel and a locking member mounted on a frame of the retractor mechanism for engagement with the ratchet wheel to stop protraction of the belt therefrom. An inertia member having a movable head is mounted on the frame, and the head is movable with inertia forces. The head is supported by a threaded adjustment member which is movable in discrete steps. The safety belt retractor mechanism also includes a transfer bar pivotally mounted on the frame and having a portion engageable with the head of the inertia member.
Abstract: A safety belt retractor is provided with a frame that rotatably supports a reel carrying a rolled safety belt and with a pair of ratchet wheels on the opposite ends of the reel. A locking bar is pivotally mounted with respect to the frame for travel into engagement with the ratchet wheels to prevent protraction of the safety belt from the reel. An inertia-sensitive device is mounted on the frame and is movable with respect thereto to actuate the locking bar for engagement with the ratchet wheels. A block-out device for preventing the locking bar from engaging the ratchet wheels when the vehicle door is opened includes a solenoid with a plunger movable in response to the opening of the car door. A rock lever is pivotally mounted with respect to the frame and operatively connected to the plunger.
Abstract: Disclosed is a safety belt buckle including a switch which is preferably located between the buckle frame and a bottom cover of the buckle. An ejector for the tongue plate slides on a bottom web of the buckle frame and the ejector is displaced by entry of a tongue plate into the buckle frame. The ejector includes a portion projecting through an opening in the buckle base to a switch mounted in a cavity in the bottom cover and this portion engages a movable switch contact to open and close the switch.
Abstract: A locking safety belt retractor includes an actuating mechanism which employs tension on the safety belt to shift a locking pawl into locking position in response to rapid deceleration of a vehicle accompanied by protraction of the safety belt. A clutch prevents overloading of the actuating mechanism.
Abstract: Seat belt retraction apparatus including a seat belt retractor mechanism including a reel about which the strap of a seat belt is wound and which carries ratchet wheels. The retractor mechanism is adapted to take up and let out the strap and is provided with an inertia weight locking mechanism to lock the reel against paying out the strap. The retractor mechanism is for mounting in a vehical door and the inertia locking mechanism will not lock the reel at a lower force level such as 0.7G, when the door is swung. However, the retractor mechanism will operate at this lower 0.7G level to lock the reel against belt pay out when the vehicle chassis decelerates at a 0.7G level as at the time of an accident. Preferably, an inertia operable switch is located on the vehicle chassis but at a location not effected by the swinging of the vehicle door. A magnetic force holds the inertia weight locking mechanism against locking as the door is swung at the lower force level of 0.7G and in a range up to 2.
Abstract: Seat belt retraction apparatus including a seat belt retractor mechanism, an inertia sensor and an electrical circuit interconnected with the inertia sensor and the retractor mechanism. The retractor mechanism includes a reel and a reel locking mechanism for locking the reel against unwinding of the strap of the seat belt wound around the reel. The illustrated reel locking mechanism includes a pawl which is engageable with ratchet wheels on the reel to prevent the reel from paying out the strap. This pawl is movable between a first position in which the pawl is out of locking engagement with the ratchet wheels and a second position in which the pawl engages the wheels to lock the reel against extension of the strap. An electromagnetic device including a coil is provided for controlling movement of the pawl. The inertia sensor is carried on the vehicle chassis and has a piezoelectric disc.
Abstract: A safety belt buckle includes a switch which comprises a compact, substantially enclosed subassembly. The switch is preferably located between the buckle frame and the bottom cover of the buckle. The switch includes a sliding plunger which is adapted to be displaced by entry of the tongue plate into the buckle frame.
Abstract: An improved tip assembly which includes a tongue plate insertable into a buckle is provided for a safety belt apparatus in which a continuous retractable belt length provides both a lap portion and a shoulder portion. The tip assembly through which the belt passes has a snubber slide engaged with the tongue plate and slidable relative thereto. When the belt is drawn by the passenger over his body, the belt shifts the snubber slide rearward on the tongue plate to where the belt is firmly gripped at normal loads between a surface of the tongue plate and a surface of the snubber slide, whereby that portion of the belt which extends across the passenger's lap cannot expand. At heavy deceleration loads, e.g. 150 lbs on the lap belt, a portion of the snubber slide deflects to decrease the gripping action to allow transfer of belt from the shoulder belt into the lap belt.
Abstract: A seat belt buckle having a buckle frame and a pivotal latching member mounted therein includes a single spring for biasing a push button toward an outer position and for ejecting a tongue plate from the frame when the latch mechanism is in its open position. The preferred spring is a coil spring which is loaded in tension in an extended configuration. In the preferred embodiment, the spring additionally provides biasing force to lock the latch mechanism in its latching position after insertion of the tongue plate into the buckle frame and provide biasing force to maintain the latching member in its open position prior to insertion of the tongue plate.
Abstract: In a passive restraint seatbelt assembly, a first belt, attached to the interior of the vehicle through an inertia sensitive locking retractor reel, and a fixed length slideable belt are joined by a snubbing slip ring which allows free sliding of the slideable belt therethrough in normal conditions but frictionally restrains the slideable belt in emergency situations. The snubbing slip ring is formed with a snubbing bar slideable within a housing by a reverse bend portion of a looped end of the first belt. During tension of the belts, the reverse bend tends to straighten out forcing the snubbing bar against the slideable belt.
Abstract: A safety belt buckle employs a pivoting latch plate for retaining a tongue plate tip within the buckle interior. A locking means for securing the latch mechanism in a latched position includes a sliding member mounted on the pivoting latch plate and urged forward by spring means.
Abstract: A one-piece plastic safety belt buckle cover employs integral structural members depending from the inside of the top portion of the cover to support it and give it strength and rigidity to resist crushing under vertical loading. The preferred structural members comprise a latticework or honeycomb of intersecting walls and ribs defining supports at the front, sides and rear of the cover. The front support is positioned above a tongue plate and spaced therefrom to engage the tongue plate when the front of the cover is deflected downward. The preferred supports include walls which extend downward inside the cover shell and are positioned to engage various surfaces of the buckle when the cover is deflected downward due to vertical loading, and include ribs which do not extend as far downward, but which also support the outer shell of the cover.
Abstract: In a dual spool seat belt retractor system where one retractor reels in a shoulder belt and another retractor reels in a lap belt and at least one of the retractors, e.g., the shoulder belt retractor, has an associated tension relieving mechanism which relieves the winding spring tension from the belt worn by the occupant, a device associated with the tension relieving mechanism for releasing the mechanism from its tension relieving mode is actuated by a cable extending between the two retractors. One end of the cable is connected to the release device and the other end is connected to the lap belt retractor in a manner that is senses full lap belt retraction. In a preferred embodiment, the cable is looped partially around the windings of the lap belt retractor so that as the diameter of the lap belt winding increases during lap belt retraction, the cable loop expands causing the other cable end to pull on the release device.