Patents Assigned to TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
  • Patent number: 7695001
    Abstract: A vehicle occupant protection apparatus (10) includes an inflatable occupant protection device (18) and a member (20) that defines a deployment opening (22) through which the inflatable occupant protection device (18) is inflatable. The vehicle occupant protection apparatus (10) also includes a cover (30) having an attachment portion (34) and a deployment door portion (36). The attachment portion (34) is securable to the member (20) for positioning the deployment door portion (36) for closing the deployment opening (22). The cover (30) also includes a rupturable portion (134, 136, and 156) that ruptures for enabling inflation of the inflatable occupant protection device (18) through the deployment opening (22). At least a part of the rupturable portion (134, 136, and 156) is formed at a union of the attachment portion (34) and the deployment door portion (36).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2010
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Angelo Adler, Robert R. Debbs
  • Patent number: 7651134
    Abstract: An apparatus (12) includes a primary housing (20) constructed from sheet metal by stamping, a primary inflation fluid source (100), a secondary housing (70) constructed from sheet metal by stamping, and a secondary inflation fluid source (200). The primary inflation fluid source (100) is located in the primary housing (20) and is actuatable to effect a primary flow of inflation fluid out of the primary housing to inflate the inflatable device (14). The secondary housing (70) is disposed within the primary housing (20). The secondary inflation fluid source (200) is located in the secondary housing (70) and is actuatable to affect a secondary flow of inflation fluid to supplement the primary flow of inflation fluid. The secondary housing (70) has a first portion (77) that moves at least partially out of engagement with a second portion (74) of the secondary housing (70) when the secondary inflation fluid source is actuated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2010
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventor: Jeffery Rosso
  • Patent number: 7637536
    Abstract: A seat belt retractor (40) associated with a seat (10) includes a spool (106) about which seat belt webbing (42) is wound. The spool (106) is supported for rotation in a belt withdrawal direction and in an opposite belt retraction direction. A vehicle sensitive sensor (190) is responsive to at least one sensed vehicle condition for preventing rotation of the spool (106) in the belt withdrawal direction. A first mechanism (206) is responsive to a first condition for disabling the vehicle sensitive sensor (190). A second mechanism (294) is responsive to a second, different condition for preventing rotation of the spool (106) in the belt withdrawal direction. The second condition is a condition of the associated seat (10). In one embodiment, a third mechanism (400) is responsive to the first condition for allowing rotation of the spool (106) in the belt withdrawal direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2009
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Neal H. Delventhal, Scott M. Franz
  • Patent number: 7625005
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) for helping to protect an occupant of a vehicle (12) includes at least one inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (14) including a first portion (50) inflatable to cover a first portion (20) of a vehicle and a second portion (52) inflatable to cover a second portion (30) of a vehicle. A single inflator (70) provides inflation fluid to inflate the protection device (14). A first conduit (52) has a portion terminating in the first portion (50) of the protection device (14). A second conduit (62) has a portion terminating in the second portion (60) of the protection device (14). The first and second conduits (52 and 62) are adapted to move relative to each other from a first condition in which the conduits are positioned for installation in the vehicle (12) to a second condition in which the conduits are positioned next to each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2009
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Al A. Saberan, Joseph C. Popek, Ali Emam Bakhsh, Daniel R. Sutherland, Paul A. Bowers, Michael J. White, Jr.
  • Patent number: 7618060
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) for helping to protect a vehicle occupant includes an inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (12). An inflator (14) provides inflation fluid for inflating the protection device (12). The inflation fluid flow from the inflator (14) is transverse to a central axis (16) of the inflator. A shield (70) includes a piece of material (72) folded about the inflator (14) and having a wall portion (102) that is interposed between at least a portion of the inflator and the protection device (12) and against which inflation fluid initially exiting from the inflator at least partially impinges. The wall portion (102) has a plurality of tear seams (76) that rupture due to inflation fluid pressure acting on the shield (70) to enable the wall portion to form a plurality of flaps (80) within the protection device (12).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 17, 2009
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey A. Harvey, Rickey L. Stratton
  • Patent number: 7618061
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) for helping to protect an occupant (14) of a vehicle (12) includes a housing (26) and an air bag (22) supported by the housing. An inflator (24) is supported by the housing (26). The inflator (24) includes a first stage (40) including at least one first outlet passage (44) and a second stage (50) including at least one second outlet passage (54). The first and second outlet passages (44 and 54) are provided for discharging inflation fluid into the air bag (22). An anchor (110) is secured to the inflator (24) and at least partially blocks inflation fluid flow through the second outlet passage (54). The anchor (110) is configured to disconnect from the inflator (24) in response to inflation fluid discharged through the second outlet passage (54) when the second stage (50) is actuated. At least one tether (100) has a first end (102) connected to the air bag (22) and a second end (106) secured to the anchor (110).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 17, 2009
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventor: Eric J. Eckelberg
  • Patent number: 7618056
    Abstract: An inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (14) includes a main portion (80) defining an inflatable volume (60) and a shield portion (100) defining a shield chamber (102). The inflatable volume (60) and shield chamber (102) are in fluid communication with each other. The shield portion (100) is turned inside-out, positioned in the inflatable volume (60), and configured to receive inflation fluid from an inflation fluid source (24). The shield portion (100) is further configured to rupture and release inflation fluid into the inflatable volume (60) of the main portion (100).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 17, 2009
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventor: Kevin J. Boxey
  • Patent number: 7607683
    Abstract: An apparatus for helping to protect an occupant (15 or 16) of a vehicle (17) includes an inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (10) and an inflation fluid source. The inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (10) has a stored, deflated position and an inflated position. The inflation fluid source provides inflation fluid to inflate the inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (10). The inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (10) has a first panel portion (501) for, when the inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (10) is inflated, protecting an adult size vehicle occupant (15). The inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (10) has a second panel portion (502) for, when the inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (10) is inflated, defining a downwardly open pocket (520) for receiving a portion of a child size vehicle occupant (16).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2009
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Kurt F. Fischer, Eric J. Eckelberg, Alberto Rodriguez, Heather R. Kramer, Amit Sharma
  • Patent number: 7607689
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) for helping to protect an occupant (16) of a vehicle (12) includes an inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (14) that is inflatable to an inflated condition for helping to protect the vehicle occupant. The protection device (14) includes a panel (88) of material that helps define an inflatable volume (26) of the protection device. The panel (88) includes a vent opening (52) that has an open condition for venting inflation fluid from the inflatable volume (26). The vent opening (52) is in the open condition during initial deployment of the protection device (14). A channel (68) encircles the vent opening (52). The channel (68) is at least partially defined by a peripheral portion (62) of the panel (88) that extends along a periphery (54) of the vent opening (52). A tether (80) has a portion (84) that extends through the channel (68).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2009
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Colleen Kalczynski, Alex Meduvsky
  • Patent number: 7562901
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) helps to protect an occupant (28) of a vehicle (12) that has a side structure (16) and a roof (18). The apparatus (10) includes an inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (14). The protection device (14) is inflatable away from the vehicle roof (18) to a deployed condition positioned between the side structure (16) and a vehicle occupant (28). The apparatus (10) further includes a cover (44) for at least partially enclosing the protection device (14) in the stored condition. At least one push-in fastener (182) secures the cover (44) to the vehicle (12).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2009
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Thanh H. Quach, Mike P. Pionk, Ali Emam Bakhsh
  • Patent number: 7562899
    Abstract: An inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (10) includes a fabric substrate (12) and a coating (14) provided on a surface (16) of the fabric substrate (12). The coating (14) includes a thermoplastic polyether polyurethane base resin and an antiblocking agent. The base resin is at least about 50% by weight of the coating (14).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2009
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Bruce R. Hill, David A. Grilli
  • Patent number: 7563335
    Abstract: A method of forming a dual chamber seamless tube (64) includes providing a slug of steel (56) and cold working a first end (70) of the slug (56) to form a first chamber (114) and cold working a second end (72) of the slug (56) to form a second chamber (116). The first and second chambers (114 and 116) are axially aligned and separated by a wall portion (126) of the tube (64).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2009
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventor: Eric C. Erike
  • Patent number: 7559345
    Abstract: An inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (14) for helping to protect an occupant of a vehicle (12) includes strands of material woven together to form both (a) overlying woven panels (40 and 42) and (b) single layer first and second woven seams (120 and 150) that include strands of material from each of the overlying panels. The first and second seams (120 and 150) help define an inflatable volume (60) of the inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (14) between the overlying panels (40 and 42). The first seam (120) has a weave pattern different than the weave pattern of the second seam (150).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2009
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventor: Bruce R. Hill
  • Patent number: 7552942
    Abstract: A vehicle occupant protection apparatus (10) includes an inflatable occupant protection device (38) and a support member (56) having a vent opening (78) through which inflation fluid may flow. A vent member (106) is movable relative to the support member (56) for varying a flow of inflation fluid through the vent opening (78). The vehicle occupant protection apparatus (10) also includes a tether (144) for moving the vent member (106) and an actuatable mechanism (170) that has a first condition preventing the tether (144) from moving the vent member (106) and a second condition enabling the tether (144) to move the vent member (106).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2009
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Kurt F. Fischer, Douglas M. Gould, Angelo Adler
  • Patent number: 7516978
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) for helping to protect an occupant (28) of a vehicle (12) that has a side structure (16) and a roof (18). The apparatus (10) includes an inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (14) having a stored condition in which the protection device is deflated, rolled up, and positioned extending along the vehicle roof (18). The protection device (16) is inflatable away from the vehicle roof (18) to a deployed condition positioned between the side structure (16) and the vehicle occupant (28). The apparatus (10) also includes a housing (40) for the protection device (16) when in the stored condition. At least one of the housing (40) and the protection device (16) include a portion (200) for blocking telescoping movement of the protection device (14).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2009
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Thanh H. Quach, Michael J. White, Jr.
  • Patent number: 7513523
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) for helping to protect an occupant of a vehicle (12) includes an inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (18) that is inflatable to a deployed position between a side structure (32) of the vehicle and a vehicle occupant (34, 36). An inflation fluid source (20) provides inflation fluid for inflating portions of the inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (18). The inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (18) includes a base panel (60) and an attachment panel (62) connected to the base panel. The base panel (60) has a first size. The attachment panel (62) has a second size that is smaller than the first size and a configuration that corresponds to a configuration of the portions of the inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (18) that are to be inflated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2009
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Gregory S. Bayley, Paul A. Bowers, Ali Emam Bakhsh, Ayad G. Nayef
  • Patent number: 7464959
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) for a vehicle includes a steering wheel (12) and a vehicle occupant protection device (14) that is mounted to the steering wheel (12) and is actuatable for helping to protect an occupant of the vehicle. At least a portion of the vehicle occupant protection device (14) is movable relative to the steering wheel (12) for actuating an electric device (108) associated with the vehicle when a force is applied to any one of various locations on the vehicle occupant protection device (14). The apparatus (10) also includes a mechanism (104) for substantially blocking tilt of the movable portion of the vehicle occupant protection device (14) relative to the steering wheel (12) during movement for actuating the electric device (108).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2008
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Charles S. Pillsbury, IV, Arnold J. Herberg, Neil G. Murray, Jr., Evgeny I. Rivin, Victor R. Fey, Ying-Kuo Lee, Jagan Kumar Surendran
  • Patent number: 7461859
    Abstract: An actuatable fastener (50) includes a body (80) including a head (82) and a shank (84). The body (80) includes an interior chamber (120) partially defined by a side wall (132) extending from the head (82) into the shank (84) and an end wall (138) positioned in the shank. A member (140) is disposed in the chamber (120). An initiator (160) is actuatable to produce combustion products in the chamber (120) that act on the member (140) to move the member in a first direction in the chamber to strike the end wall (138). The member (140) strikes the end wall (138) creating a fracture (222) in the shank (84) separating at least a portion of the shank from a remainder (220) of the shank. The combustion products moving the member (150) beyond the fracture (222) at least a predetermined distance (226) to move the portion of the shank (84) at least the predetermined distance from the remainder (220) of the shank.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2008
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc
    Inventors: Homer W. Fogle, Jr., Eric R. McFarland, Robert R. Debbs, Craig M. Fischer, John P. O'Loughlin, Halley O. Stevens, Keven D. Thomas
  • Patent number: 7448647
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) provides inflation fluid to an inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (14). The apparatus (10) includes an inflator (24) actuatable to provide inflation fluid for inflating the protection device (14). A conduit (22) directs inflation fluid into the protection device (14) from the inflator (24). A deflector (50) is arranged in fluid communication with the conduit (22) and has at least a portion in fluid communication with the protection device (14). The deflector (50) is configured to direct inflation fluid into the protection device (14) in opposing directions to reduce the magnitude of pressure waves experienced by a vehicle occupant (28).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2008
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Kwen Hsu, Songwei Zhang, Ivanna Malinow, Charles E. Steffens, Jr.
  • Patent number: 7380820
    Abstract: An inflator (40) for inflating an inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (14) includes structure that defines a chamber (220) and inflation fluid stored in the chamber. The inflation fluid includes in mixture a fuel gas, an oxidizer gas, and an inert gas mixture. The inflator (40) also includes an actuator for initiating a combustion reaction between the fuel gas and the oxidizer gas. The inert gas mixture includes at least two different inert gases and has a composition selected to produce desired performance characteristics of the inflator (40).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2008
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: John P. O'Loughlin, Halley O. Stevens