Patents by Inventor Brian A. Urbach

Brian A. Urbach has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20200393320
    Abstract: A steering device for a motor vehicle is specified, having a housing and having a liquid sensor, comprising at least two electrical conductors, and at least one bridging element that is movably mounted and that is in a first position in the absence of liquid and is in a second position in the presence of liquid, a flow of current between the at least two electrical conductors being prevented in one of the two positions, and a flow of current between the at least two electrical conductors being enabled in the other of the two positions, and a tripping element made of a liquid-absorbing material that expands upon contact with a liquid and thereby moves the bridging element into the second position, the liquid sensor being arranged at least partially inside the housing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 11, 2020
    Publication date: December 17, 2020
    Applicants: ZF Automotive Germany GmbH, ZF Active Safety and Electronics US LLC
    Inventors: Christian Wutzler, Brian Urbach
  • Publication number: 20200377141
    Abstract: A vehicle steering assembly comprises a steering member with a rack portion having rack teeth, a pinion gear having pinion teeth configured to be engaged with the rack teeth, a yoke support assembly supporting the steering member in a housing, and a ball nut operatively connected to the steering member. The pinion gear divides the steering member into a first side having the yoke support assembly outboard of an area of engagement of the rack and pinion teeth and a second side having the ball nut. The yoke support assembly includes complementary convex and concave bearing surfaces configured to provide relative rotation between the convex and concave bearing surfaces. The yoke assembly also includes a spring member configured to produce a variable rate spring force to maintain an engagement between the rack and pinion teeth.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 31, 2019
    Publication date: December 3, 2020
    Applicant: TRW Automotive U.S. LLC
    Inventors: Mark Bugosh, Brian A. Urbach
  • Publication number: 20200377146
    Abstract: A vehicle power steering assembly includes a housing, a ball nut configured to be operatively disposed in the housing and including an extension portion provided with a convex bearing surface, an insert supported on the housing and provided with a concave bearing surface. The concave bearing surface is complementary to the convex bearing surface. The convex and concave bearing surfaces are a plain bearing configured to provide sliding movement relative to each other. The sliding movement provides relative rotation between the convex and concave bearing surfaces in a first direction on the ball nut axis and a second direction on a rotation axis that is transverse to the ball nut axis.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 31, 2019
    Publication date: December 3, 2020
    Applicant: TRW Automotive U.S. LLC
    Inventors: Brian A. Urbach, John F. Santori
  • Publication number: 20200331519
    Abstract: A steering system for a vehicle includes a housing, an input shaft, and a hybrid shaft support. The housing defines an opening. The input shaft is configured to rotate about an input axis. The hybrid shaft support may be disposed at the opening and configured to couple the input shaft to the housing. The hybrid shaft support may also be configured to support the input shaft as the input shaft rotates. The hybrid shaft support further includes a cylindrical member and a flexible seal over-molded onto the cylindrical member.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 18, 2019
    Publication date: October 22, 2020
    Inventors: Brian Urbach, Robert Brown, Chase Skipinski, Justin Urbach
  • Publication number: 20190168800
    Abstract: A power steering assembly has a housing and a ball nut assembly supported on the housing. The ball nut assembly has a ball nut axis. The housing has a first surface between the housing and the ball nut assembly. The ball nut assembly also has a second surface. The second surface rotates on the first surface such that the ball nut assembly rotates relative to the housing on a rotation axis that is transverse to the ball nut axis.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 4, 2018
    Publication date: June 6, 2019
    Applicant: TRW Automotive U.S. LLC
    Inventors: Brian A. Urbach, John F. Santori
  • Publication number: 20190152521
    Abstract: A steering member has a rack portion and a screw portion. The steering member is in a steering housing and operatively connected to a tie rod. A pinion is operatively connected between the rack portion and a steering wheel. A ball nut is operatively connected to the screw portion. A power source is operatively connected to the ball nut. The power source drives the ball nut to effect linear movement of the steering member upon rotation of the steering wheel. A damper has a first connection to the tie rod and a second connection to a ground surface. The ground surface is fixed relative to the steering member. The damper is external to the ball nut.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 20, 2017
    Publication date: May 23, 2019
    Applicant: TRW Automotive U.S. LLC
    Inventor: Brian A. Urbach
  • Patent number: 9469337
    Abstract: A rack drive assembly adapted for use in the vehicle electric power steering assembly includes a steering member operatively connected to a vehicle steering wheel; an electric motor for effecting axial movement of the steering member upon rotation of the vehicle steering wheel; a planetary gear assembly operatively coupled to the electric motor; and a pinion assembly operatively disposed between the planetary gear assembly and the steering member whereby operation of the electric motor is operative to effect axial movement of the steering member, wherein the electric motor includes an output shaft which defines a motor axis and the pinion assembly includes an output shaft which defines a pinion axis, wherein the pinion axis is coaxial with the motor axis and perpendicular with respect to an axis of the steering member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2016
    Assignee: TRW Automotive U.S. LLC
    Inventors: Brian A. Urbach, John F. Santori
  • Patent number: 9321478
    Abstract: A rack drive assembly adapted for use in a vehicle electric power steering assembly includes a bearing assembly disposed in a rack housing and carried by a ball nut assembly for rotatably supporting the ball nut assembly relative to a steering member; and a spanner nut carried by the rack housing for securing the bearing assembly in the rack housing. A first isolator, a second isolator and a first shim are provided wherein the first isolator is disposed between an inner surface of the housing and a first surface of an outer race of the bearing, the second isolator is disposed between an opposite second surface of the outer race of said bearing and the first shim, the first shim is disposed between the second isolator and the spanner nut. The first shim is provided with a member configured to be coupled to the housing to allow for axial movement but prevent rotational motion of the shim during installation of the spanner nut.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2016
    Assignee: TRW Automotive U.S. LLC
    Inventors: Paul Webber, Andrew Dixon, Colleen Kalczynski, John F. Santori, John Spetz, Changming Wu, Brian Urbach, Mark Bugosh
  • Publication number: 20150217799
    Abstract: A rack drive assembly adapted for use in the vehicle electric power steering assembly includes a steering member operatively connected to a vehicle steering wheel; an electric motor for effecting axial movement of the steering member upon rotation of the vehicle steering wheel; a planetary gear assembly operatively coupled to the electric motor; and a pinion assembly operatively disposed between the planetary gear assembly and the steering member whereby operation of the electric motor is operative to effect axial movement of the steering member, wherein the electric motor includes an output shaft which defines a motor axis and the pinion assembly includes an output shaft which defines a pinion axis, wherein the pinion axis is coaxial with the motor axis and perpendicular with respect to an axis of the steering member.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 31, 2014
    Publication date: August 6, 2015
    Applicant: TRW Automotive U.S. LLC
    Inventors: Brian A. Urbach, John F. Santori
  • Patent number: 9010208
    Abstract: A yoke assembly adapted for use in a rack and pinion steering gear assembly for a vehicle comprises a yoke housing having a bore; a yoke bearing disposed in the bore; a yoke cover secured in the bore; a spring disposed in the bore between the yoke bearing and the yoke cover; and an automatic-adjusting mechanism secured in the yoke cover. The automatic-self adjusting mechanism includes a member which is configured to self adjust and move in a direction toward the yoke bearing so as to maintain the member in constant contact against the yoke bearing as associated components of the rack and pinion steering gear wear.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2015
    Assignee: TRW Automotive U.S. LLC
    Inventor: Brian A. Urbach
  • Publication number: 20140013901
    Abstract: A yoke assembly adapted for use in a rack and pinion steering gear assembly for a vehicle comprises a yoke housing having a bore; a yoke bearing disposed in the bore; a yoke cover secured in the bore; a spring disposed in the bore between the yoke bearing and the yoke cover; and an automatic-adjusting mechanism secured in the yoke cover. The automatic-self adjusting mechanism includes a member which is configured to self adjust and move in a direction toward the yoke bearing so as to maintain the member in constant contact against the yoke bearing as associated components of the rack and pinion steering gear wear.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 13, 2012
    Publication date: January 16, 2014
    Applicant: TRW AUTOMOTIVE U.S. LLC
    Inventor: Brian A. Urbach
  • Patent number: 8307940
    Abstract: An improved structure for a rack drive assembly adapted for use in a vehicle electric power steering assembly includes a ball nut assembly operatively connected to a screw portion of a rack portion of a steering member of the power steering assembly for effecting axial movement of the steering member upon rotation of a vehicle steering wheel. According to one embodiment, the ball nut assembly includes a ball nut having an outer surface; a bearing assembly fixedly disposed in the rack housing and carried by the ball nut for rotatably supporting the ball nut assembly relative to the steering member; and a damper disposed on an outer race of the bearing assembly. The damper includes a pair of dampers disposed on the outer race of the bearing assembly, each of the dampers including at least a first member formed from a first rigid material and a second member formed from a second damping material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2012
    Assignee: TRW Automotive U.S. LLC
    Inventors: Mark Bugosh, Brian Urbach
  • Publication number: 20110220432
    Abstract: An improved structure for a rack drive assembly adapted for use in a vehicle electric power steering assembly includes a ball nut assembly operatively connected to a screw portion of a rack portion of a steering member of the power steering assembly for effecting axial movement of the steering member upon rotation of a vehicle steering wheel. According to one embodiment, the ball nut assembly includes a ball nut having an outer surface; a bearing assembly fixedly disposed in the rack housing and carried by the ball nut for rotatably supporting the ball nut assembly relative to the steering member; and a damper disposed on an outer race of the bearing assembly. The damper includes a pair of dampers disposed on the outer race of the bearing assembly, each of the dampers including at least a first member formed from a first rigid material and a second member formed from a second damping material.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2010
    Publication date: September 15, 2011
    Applicant: TRW AUTOMOTIVE U.S. LLC
    Inventors: Mark Bugosh, Brian Urbach
  • Patent number: 7481595
    Abstract: An improved ball joint for use in a motor vehicle steering or suspension system comprises a ball joint having a shank portion and a ball portion disposed in a socket shell. A ball joint retention member is provided having a first end operatively secured to the socket shell and a second end operatively secured to the shank portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2009
    Assignee: TRW Automotive U.S. LLC
    Inventor: Brian A. Urbach
  • Publication number: 20080056811
    Abstract: An improved ball joint for use in a motor vehicle steering or suspension system comprises a ball joint having a shank portion and a ball portion disposed in a socket shell. A ball joint retention member is provided having a first end operatively secured to the socket shell and a second end operatively secured to the shank portion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 6, 2006
    Publication date: March 6, 2008
    Inventor: Brian A. Urbach
  • Patent number: 7261487
    Abstract: A ball joint assembly includes a housing (12) defining a socket chamber (18) and having an opening (32); a composite ball joint bearing (20) disposed within the socket chamber; a ball stud (24) supported by the composite ball joint bearing and having a shank portion (30) which projects through the opening of the housing; and a seal assembly (40) adapted to seal the opening between the ball stud and the socket chamber. The composite ball joint bearing is formed from a first plastic material (20A) and a second magnetostrictive alloy material (20B) which is adapted to change its shape when in the presence of a magnetic field to thereby change the rotational and oscillation properties of the ball joint assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2007
    Assignee: TRW Automotive U.S. LLC
    Inventor: Brian A. Urbach
  • Patent number: 6931981
    Abstract: A hydraulic power-assisted steering system (10) includes a pump (12) containing hydraulic fluid. A rack and pinion housing (19) is operatively connected to the pump (12) via a conduit line (16). A hydraulic fluid control device (80) is operatively disposed between the pump (12) and the rack and pinion housing (19), the hydraulic fluid control device (80) having a passageway (82) formed therethrough to allow hydraulic fluid to flow from the pump (12) to the rack and pinion housing (19). An electromagnet (94) is operatively coupled to the fluid control device (80). An electronic control unit (96) is adapted to receive at least one input signal (98, 100) from at least one input source so as to generate an output signal (102) to the hydraulic fluid control device (80) so as to selectively control the flow of hydraulic fluid from the pump (12) to the rack and pinion housing (19).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2005
    Assignee: TRW Automotive U.S. LLC
    Inventor: Brian A. Urbach
  • Publication number: 20050111907
    Abstract: This invention relates to a ball joint (10). The ball joint (10) includes a socket (12) having at least one opening (20) and an inner chamber (22). A bearing assembly (24) is disposed in the chamber (22) of the socket (12). The ball joint (10) also includes a ball stud (28) having a central ball portion (26) and a stud portion (77). The bearing assembly (24) supports the ball portion (26) of the ball stud (28). A resilient bushing (130) is disposed in the chamber (22) and is fixedly attached to the stud portion (77) of the ball stud (28).
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 24, 2003
    Publication date: May 26, 2005
    Inventor: Brian Urbach
  • Publication number: 20050111908
    Abstract: A ball joint (12) includes a housing (18) having at least one opening (26) and an inner chamber (28). The ball joint (12) further includes a ball stud (40) disposed in the chamber (28) of the housing (18) and an outer surface (44A). A resilient member (46) is fixedly attached to the outer surface (44A) of said ball stud (40).
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 24, 2003
    Publication date: May 26, 2005
    Inventors: Steve Green, Brian Urbach
  • Publication number: 20050024992
    Abstract: This invention relates to a ball joint assembly adapted for use in a motor vehicle. The ball joint assembly includes a housing (12) defining socket chamber (18) and having an opening (32); a composite ball joint bearing (20) disposed within the socket chamber; a ball stud (24) supported by the composite ball joint bearing and having a shank portion (30) which projects through the opening of the housing; and a seal assembly (40) adapted to seal the opening between the ball stud and the socket chamber. According to the present invention, the composite ball joint bearing is formed from a first plastic material (20A) and a second magnetostrictive alloy material (20B) which is adapted to change its shape when in the presence of a magnetic field to thereby change the rotational and oscillation properties of the ball joint assembly.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 31, 2003
    Publication date: February 3, 2005
    Inventor: Brian Urbach