Patents by Inventor Gunter K. Clute

Gunter K. Clute 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).

  • Patent number: 7963473
    Abstract: A retractor includes a pretensioner whereby increased control and variation over the load limitation characteristics of the retractor are provided. The seat belt and spool are linked to a locking mechanism through a first force limiting element, while the pretensioner is linked to the seat belt and spool through a second force limiting element. A selectively actuatable clutch is provided to operatively link the pretensioner to the spool via the second force limiting element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 21, 2011
    Assignee: Autoliv ASP, Inc.
    Inventor: Gunter K. Clute
  • Patent number: 7806440
    Abstract: A restraint assembly of a type including a seat belt assembly and a side impact air bag assembly. The seat belt assembly and side impact assembly are preferably mounted to a motor vehicle seat. The seat belt assembly includes one or two retractors, preferably each having roto pretensioners. A single gas source is used to actuate retractor pretensioning functions, as well as providing a gas source for initiating the production of inflation gas for the side impact air bag assembly. Preferably, these elements are all mounted to a motor vehicle seat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2010
    Assignee: Autoliv ASP, Inc.
    Inventor: Gunter K. Clute
  • Patent number: 7806439
    Abstract: A motor vehicle seat belt system having an active system for avoiding bunching of webbing in a D-ring during a rapid deceleration event. The system includes a controlled locking mechanism engageable with a rotatably mounted D-ring to restrict backward rotation of the D-ring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2010
    Assignee: Autoliv ASP, Inc.
    Inventor: Günter K. Clute
  • Patent number: 7806357
    Abstract: A retractor includes a pretensioner whereby load limitation disturbances are minimized or eliminated to provide a synchronized and smooth transition between the different structures resisting the rotation of the spool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2010
    Assignee: Autoliv ASP, Inc
    Inventor: Gunter K. Clute
  • Patent number: 7628349
    Abstract: An inertia sensitive actuator especially adapted for use with a dual spool retractor for a motor vehicle seat belt system, The dual spool retractor includes shoulder belt and lap belt spool assemblies engaging with the shoulder belt and lap belt portions of the seat belt webbing, The dual spool retractor incorporates an inertia sensitive actuator having an excitation mass which is coupled with both of the retractor spool assemblies via linkages,
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 8, 2009
    Assignee: Autoliv ASP, Inc.
    Inventors: Gunter K. Clute, Jennifer Grove
  • Publication number: 20090267332
    Abstract: A restraint assembly of a type including a seat belt assembly and a side impact air bag assembly. The seat belt assembly and side impact assembly are preferably mounted to a motor vehicle seat. The seat belt assembly includes one or two retractors, preferably each having roto pretensioners. A single gas source is used to actuate retractor pretensioning functions, as well as providing a gas source for initiating the production of inflation gas for the side impact air bag assembly. Preferably, these elements are all mounted to a motor vehicle seat.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 29, 2008
    Publication date: October 29, 2009
    Inventor: Gunter K. Clute
  • Patent number: 7607687
    Abstract: An airbag integrated into a belt portion of a seat belt assembly for a motor vehicle seat belt system. The seat belt assembly includes seat belt webbing forming the lap belt portion and a shoulder belt portion and a spool assembly engaging the shoulder belt portion of the seat belt webbing. The seat belt assembly incorporates a gas driven pretensioner system incorporating at least one gas generator connected to the spool assembly and the belt airbag.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2009
    Assignee: Autoliv ASP, Inc.
    Inventors: Gunter K Clute, Robert Mical
  • Patent number: 7581757
    Abstract: A retractor includes a pretensioner whereby increased control and variation over the load limitation characteristics of the retractor are provided. The seat belt and spool are linked to a locking mechanism through a first force limiting element, while the pretensioner is linked to the seat belt and spool through a second force limiting element. Both the first and second force limiting elements are employed during a load limiting phase of the retractor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2009
    Assignee: Autoliv ASP, Inc.
    Inventor: Gunter K. Clute
  • Patent number: 7568649
    Abstract: A vehicle sensitive retractor control system having reduced sensitivity to Z-axis acceleration experienced during normal driving. The retractor control system incorporates a rolling mass and a locking lever which, in a resting position, are arranged such that the locking lever does not engage a ratchet wheel of a seat belt retractor spool. In response to accelerations in the horizontal plane, the rolling ball mass becomes unseated from its resting position and engages the locking lever, causing it to pivot and lock the retractor. In response to Z-axis acceleration, the rolling mass is prevented from contacting the locking lever by a mass restrictor. A soft damping spring is also provided to bias the locking lever against a lever rest. The spring is sized to overcome the inertia of the locking lever and prevent it from “bouncing up” and engaging the ratchet wheel in response to Z-axis accelerations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2009
    Assignee: Autoliv ASP, Inc.
    Inventors: Gunter K. Clute, Robert A. Mical
  • Patent number: 7469928
    Abstract: A safety restraint system for a vehicle is disclosed. The safety restraint system has a seat belt webbing for restraining an occupant of the vehicle, a seat belt retractor, a deflector, a height adjuster, a latch plate deflector, a buckle and a communication link. The seat belt retractor mounted to a first structural member of the vehicle for securing the seat belt to the vehicle and allowing protraction and retraction of the seat belt. The retractor has at least two load limiting modes. The deflector receives the seat belt webbing and directs the seat belt webbing across the shoulder of the occupant. The height adjuster secures the deflector to a second structural member of the vehicle. The deflector is positionable between at least two locations along the height adjuster. The latch plate deflector receives the seat belt webbing and redirects the seat belt webbing across the lap of the occupant. The buckle receives and removably secures the latch plate deflector when the seat belt is in use by the occupant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2008
    Assignee: Autoliv ASP, Inc.
    Inventor: Gunter K. Clute
  • Publication number: 20080288141
    Abstract: A motor vehicle seat belt system having an active system for avoiding bunching of webbing in a D-ring during a rapid deceleration event. The system includes a controlled locking mechanism engageable with a rotatably mounted D-ring to restrict backward rotation of the D-ring.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 16, 2007
    Publication date: November 20, 2008
    Inventor: Gunter K. Clute
  • Publication number: 20080237384
    Abstract: A seat belt retractor providing adaptive load-limiting characteristics. The retractor incorporates a torsional load-limiting element in the retractor for providing torsional deflection of the webbing spool in response to restraint loads exerted by seat belt webbing. The seat belt webbing is chosen to have an enhanced thickness to provide a significant difference in torsion drive radius between conditions in which a small occupant uses the belt where a large number of wraps of webbing is stored on the spool as compared with a larger occupant using the belt in which a smaller number wraps of webbing are present on the spool. These differing conditions produce differences in spool drive radius and consequently greater torque is applied by the small occupant for given belt forces compare with the larger occupant. In this manner, the retractor provides belt webbing load-limiting which is self-adaptive between sizes of occupants without the requirement of retractor switching mechanisms.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 29, 2007
    Publication date: October 2, 2008
    Inventors: Thomas H. Zelmer, Gunter K. Clute
  • Publication number: 20080230644
    Abstract: A vehicle sensitive retractor control system having reduced sensitivity to Z-axis acceleration experienced during normal driving. The retractor control system incorporates a rolling mass and a locking lever which, in a resting position, are arranged such that the locking lever does not engage a ratchet wheel of a seat belt retractor spool. In response to accelerations in the horizontal plane, the rolling ball mass becomes unseated from its resting position and engages the locking lever, causing it to pivot and lock the retractor. In response to Z-axis acceleration, the rolling mass is prevented from contacting the locking lever by a mass restrictor. A soft damping spring is also provided to bias the locking lever against a lever rest. The spring is sized to overcome the inertia of the locking lever and prevent it from “bouncing up” and engaging the ratchet wheel in response to Z-axis accelerations.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 23, 2007
    Publication date: September 25, 2008
    Inventors: Gunter K. Clute, Robert A. Mical
  • Publication number: 20080217458
    Abstract: A vehicle sensitive retractor locking system which may have reduced sensitivity to Z-axis accelerations experienced during driving conditions. The locking system incorporates a ball mass which is maintained within a nest surface of a ball cage. A locking lever is provided having a pair of arms, including an upper and lower arm. The lower arm forms a support post which directly engages with the ball mass in the normal condition of the locking system. The upper arm forms an actuation rim which encircles the upper portion of the ball mass. When the ball mass is displaced within the nest surface in response to inertial forces, two locking modes are provided. First, by relieving pressure exerted by the ball against the post support as the ball is displaced, the locking lever is free to rotate into a locking condition. A secondary locking mode is provided through direct contact between the ball mass and the actuation rim of the locking lever upper arm.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 5, 2007
    Publication date: September 11, 2008
    Inventors: Gunter K. Clute, Robert A. Mical, Jon E. Burrow
  • Publication number: 20080217457
    Abstract: An inertia sensitive actuator especially adapted for use with a dual spool retractor for a motor vehicle seat belt system. The dual spool retractor includes shoulder belt and lap belt spool assemblies engaging with the shoulder belt and lap belt portions of the seat belt webbing. The dual spool retractor incorporates an inertia sensitive actuator having an excitation mass which is coupled with both of the retractor spool assemblies via linkages.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 6, 2007
    Publication date: September 11, 2008
    Inventors: Gunter K. Clute, Jennifer Grove
  • Patent number: 7401815
    Abstract: A dual spool retractor for a motor vehicle seat belt system. The dual spool retractor includes shoulder belt and lap belt spool assemblies engaging with the shoulder belt and lap belt portions of the seat belt webbing. The dual spool retractor incorporates a gas driven pretensioner system incorporating a common gas generator connection for both the shoulder belt spool assembly and the lap belt spool assembly. Both spool assemblies are caused to undergo pretensioning retraction energized by a single gas generator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2008
    Assignee: Antoliv ASP, Inc.
    Inventor: Gunter K. Clute
  • Publication number: 20080018085
    Abstract: An airbag integrated into a belt portion of a seat belt assembly for a motor vehicle seat belt system. The seat belt assembly includes seat belt webbing forming the lap belt portion and a shoulder belt portion and a spool assembly engaging the shoulder belt portion of the seat belt webbing. The seat belt assembly incorporates a gas driven pretensioner system incorporating at least one gas generator connected to the spool assembly and the belt airbag.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 19, 2006
    Publication date: January 24, 2008
    Inventor: Gunter K. Clute
  • Publication number: 20080006731
    Abstract: A retractor includes a pretensioner whereby load limitation disturbances are minimized or eliminated to provide a synchronized and smooth transition between the different structures resisting the rotation of the spool.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 7, 2006
    Publication date: January 10, 2008
    Inventor: Gunter K. Clute
  • Publication number: 20080006732
    Abstract: A dual spool retractor device for seat belts in a motor vehicle including a frame, a motor, and two spools rotatably mounted to the frame. The spools are each attached to one end of a seat belt and configured to retract the belt upon rotation. The motor is mechanically coupled to both of the spools via a differential drive arrangement configured to impart rotation to both of the spools, while allowing the spools to rotate independently if one spool is stalled. The differential drive arrangement may include a differential gear set.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 10, 2006
    Publication date: January 10, 2008
    Inventors: Gunter K. Clute, Jennifer Grove
  • Patent number: 7237799
    Abstract: A seat belt system for motor vehicle applications incorporating a dual retractor restraint system with a portion of the seat belt webbing having a locally thick segment such as an inflatable seat belt portion. The dual retractors include electrically controlled actuating clutching mechanisms which operate to maintain the inflatable belt portion in a desired position relative to the upper torso of the seat occupant without requiring the inflatable belt portion to pass through the system D-ring or latch tongue or a high mounted retractor. When the occupant is donning the belt, the shoulder retractor is locked and the webbing is extracted from the lap retractor. Once the tongue is latched into the latch plate, the lap retractor is locked and movement of the occupant is permitted by allowing extraction of webbing from the shoulder retractor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2007
    Assignee: Autoliv ASP, Inc
    Inventor: Gunter K. Clute