Patents by Inventor Larry W. Bowman

Larry W. Bowman 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: 6896108
    Abstract: A system for controlling the temperature of a vehicle driveline component assembly includes using forced air to cool lubricant within the assembly. As heat builds up during braking applications, for example, a controller determines when additional cooling may be needed. An air source is activated to induce air flow through at least one flow passage supported relative to the housing so that the air flowing through the passage can absorb heat from the lubricant. In one example, the air flow passage is supported within the component housing. In another example, the air flow passage is associated with a heat exchanger supported external to the component housing in a strategic location on the vehicle or the housing, for example. A pump responsible for causing the air flow preferably also causes lubricant flow in a desired manner to facilitate heat dissipation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2005
    Assignee: AxleTech International IP Holdings, LLC
    Inventors: Mark M. Schneider, Larry W. Bowman, Eric B. Ratts, Paul R. Sieber, Robert W. Hildebrand, Michael E. Johnson, James R. Brichta
  • Patent number: 6857510
    Abstract: A vehicle driveline component temperature control assembly utilizes compressed air or another fluid to cause air flow across an external portion of the driveline component. The airflow facilitates heat transfer or heat dissipation from within the driveline component to assist in maintaining the temperature of the component within an acceptable range. A supply of compressed air or other fluid communicates with at least one discharge device supported on an external housing of the driveline component. The discharge device includes at least one manifold having at least one opening through which the compressed air is delivered to create an airflow across the external surface of the housing. In one example, each discharge device comprises multiple, generally C-shaped manifolds that are secured in place and supported on the external surface of the housing. The inventive arrangement is particularly useful for off-highway vehicle driveline components such as axle and wet disc brake assemblies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2005
    Assignee: AxleTech International IP Holdings, LLC
    Inventors: Mark M. Schneider, Larry W. Bowman, Eric B. Ratts, Paul R. Sieber, Robert W. Hildebrand, Michael E. Johnson, James R. Brichta
  • Patent number: 6811514
    Abstract: An electronic drive unit assembly independently drives each drivable wheel on a heavy-duty vehicle. The drive unit assembly includes a spindle that defines an inner chamber and which is mounted to a vehicle structure. A wheel hub is mounted for rotation relative to the spindle. An electric motor is mounted within the inner chamber and has an output shaft that is operatively coupled to a reduction gear assembly that is used to drive the wheel hub. The reduction gear assembly includes an inner ring gear mounted to the spindle and an outer ring gear mounted to the wheel hub. An inner set of planet gears is in meshing engagement with the inner ring gear and an outer set of planet gears is in meshing engagement with the outer ring gear. A planetary spider assembly rigidly connects the inner and outer sets of planet gears. The inner planet gears have a different number of teeth than the outer planet gears to achieve the desired gear reduction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2004
    Assignee: AxleTech International IP Holdings, LLC
    Inventor: Larry W. Bowman
  • Publication number: 20030188933
    Abstract: An axle assembly includes braking components that generate heat during braking applications. The axle assembly includes a housing defining a housing cavity and a rotating component mounted for rotation relative to the housing. A heat dissipation member is mounted along an external surface of the housing. Fluid flow cooperates with the heat dissipation member to cool axle components. The axle assembly preferably includes wet disc brakes having a brake housing defining a brake cavity in fluid communication with the housing cavity. The heat dissipation member preferably includes internal passages in communication with the housing and brake cavities. A pumping mechanism generates fluid flow through the internal passages and through the brake and housing cavities to dissipate heat generated during braking.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 5, 2002
    Publication date: October 9, 2003
    Inventors: Michael E. Johnson, Mark M. Schneider, Larry W. Bowman, Eric B. Ratts, Paul R. Sieber, Robert W. Hildebrand, James R. Brichta
  • Publication number: 20030188932
    Abstract: A temperature controlling assembly includes a thermoelectric device that is supported on or in a selected driveline component, such as an axle assembly or a brake assembly. The thermoelectric device preferably is controlled to operate in a first mode to remove heat from the selected component. In one example, fluid within a wet disc brake assembly is cooled using the thermoelectric device. In another mode of operation, the thermoelectric device provides heat to a selected lubricant. A controller monitors the temperature of the chosen component and causes the thermoelectric device to operate in the appropriate mode to maintain the component temperature within a desired range.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 5, 2002
    Publication date: October 9, 2003
    Inventors: Mark M. Schneider, Larry W. Bowman, Eric B. Ratts, Paul R. Sieber, Robert W. Hildebrand, Michael E. Johnson, James R. Brichta
  • Publication number: 20030189376
    Abstract: A driveline assembly for a motor vehicle includes a housing containing at least a portion of a driveline component and a wet disk brake assembly. The wet disk brake assembly includes a plurality of friction disks immersed within lubricating/cooling oil contained within the housing. Actuation of the friction disks creates a braking force to slow and stop rotation of an axle and creates heat that can cause premature deterioration of the lubricating/cooling oil that in turn can cause premature failure of driveline components and brake assembly components. An electric generator driven by a driveline component is included within the housing to provide additional braking energy to reduce the braking load on the wet disk brake assembly such that the lubricating/cooling oil maintains temperatures within acceptable predetermined operational limits without a separate oil cooling system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 4, 2002
    Publication date: October 9, 2003
    Inventors: Mark Schneider, Larry W. Bowman, Paul Raymond Sieber, Robert W. Hildebrand, Michael Everett Johnson, James R. Brichta
  • Publication number: 20030188935
    Abstract: A system for controlling the temperature of a vehicle driveline component assembly includes using forced air to cool lubricant within the assembly. As heat builds up during braking applications, for example, a controller determines when additional cooling may be needed. An air source is activated to induce air flow through at least one flow passage supported relative to the housing so that the air flowing through the passage can absorb heat from the lubricant. In one example, the air flow passage is supported within the component housing. In another example, the air flow passage is associated with a heat exchanger supported external to the component housing in a strategic location on the vehicle or the housing, for example. A pump responsible for causing the air flow preferably also causes lubricant flow in a desired manner to facilitate heat dissipation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 4, 2002
    Publication date: October 9, 2003
    Inventors: Mark M. Schneider, Larry W. Bowman, Eric B. Ratts, Paul R. Sieber, Robert W. Hildebrand, Michael E. Johnson, James R. Brichta
  • Publication number: 20030188939
    Abstract: A hydraulic vehicle braking system includes a housing that contains a hydraulic fluid. A braking application includes using the hydraulic fluid to provide a braking force. In one example, increasing the pressure within the housing increases the braking force. One example includes a plurality of vanes that move within the hydraulic fluid. Changing an orientation of the vanes adjusts the resistance and the amount of braking force. Increased pressure and increased resistance to the movement of the vanes within the fluid causes a braking member and associated driveline components to slow down to achieve a desired deceleration of the vehicle. In one example, a fluid accumulator is associated with the housing to receive at least some of the hydraulic fluid during a braking application. The accumulator preferably is pressurized using a gas that facilitates returning the hydraulic fluid to the brake housing after a braking application has ended.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 9, 2002
    Publication date: October 9, 2003
    Inventors: Mark M. Schneider, Larry W. Bowman, Paul R. Sieber, Robert W. Hildebrand, Michael E. Johnson, James R. Brichta
  • Publication number: 20030188937
    Abstract: A system for controlling the temperature of a vehicle drive train component utilizes coolant that is normally used to cool an engine on the vehicle. At least one flow passageway is associated with the drive train component housing. Coolant from the radiator is selectively allowed to flow through the passageway where it absorbs heat from within the drive train component. The fluid is then returned to the radiator where heat can be dissipated in a conventional manner. A suitably programmed controller preferably controls the amount of coolant fluid flow through the component and controls a fan assembly associated with the radiator to ensure appropriate cooling of the fluid to achieve desired engine cooling and drive train component cooling.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 3, 2002
    Publication date: October 9, 2003
    Inventors: Mark M. Schneider, Larry W. Bowman, Eric B. Ratts, Paul R. Sieber, Robert W. Hildebrand, Michael E. Johnson, James R. Brichta
  • Publication number: 20030188546
    Abstract: A system for cooling vehicle driveline components, such as axles or wet disc brake assemblies utilizes evaporative cooling effects of liquid applied to an exterior surface on the housing. A liquid supply is coupled with an outlet and a controller determines when cooling is needed. Liquid is applied onto the housing from the outlet as cooling is needed. One example includes a plurality of fluid collectors on a portion of the housing exterior to increase the amount of liquid maintained on the housing to increase the evaporative cooling effect.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 4, 2002
    Publication date: October 9, 2003
    Inventors: Mark M. Schneider, Larry W. Bowman, Eric B. Ratts, Paul R. Sieber, Robert W. Hildebrand, Michael E. Johnson, James R. Brichta
  • Publication number: 20030188936
    Abstract: A vehicle driveline component temperature control assembly utilizes compressed air or another fluid to cause air flow across an external portion of the driveline component. The airflow facilitates heat transfer or heat dissipation from within the driveline component to assist in maintaining the temperature of the component within an acceptable range. A supply of compressed air or other fluid communicates with at least one discharge device supported on an external housing of the driveline component. The discharge device includes at least one manifold having at least one opening through which the compressed air is delivered to create an airflow across the external surface of the housing. In one example, each discharge device comprises multiple, generally C-shaped manifolds that are secured in place and supported on the external surface of the housing. The inventive arrangement is particularly useful for off-highway vehicle driveline components such as axle and wet disc brake assemblies.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 4, 2002
    Publication date: October 9, 2003
    Inventors: Mark M. Schneider, Larry W. Bowman, Eric B. Ratts, Paul R. Sieber, Robert W. Hildebrand, Michael E. Johnson, James R. Brichta
  • Publication number: 20030183455
    Abstract: A vehicle drive axle is provided that includes a housing having a longitudinal portion defining a cavity. An axle shaft is supported within the cavity for rotation about an axis. The cavity is at least partially filled with oil. A plurality of spaced apart noncontiguous projections extend from the axle shaft in a direction transverse to the rotational axis. During rotation of the axle shafts, the projections extend into the oil within the cavity and splash the oil onto the upper portion of the axle housing. Increased heat dissipation is achieved by dispersing the oil throughout the cavity, and in particular the upper portion of the axle housing, where it radiates into the surrounding environment.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 2, 2002
    Publication date: October 2, 2003
    Inventors: Mark Schneider, Larry W. Bowman, Eric B. Ratts, Paul Raymond Sieber, Robert W. Hildebrand, Michael Everett Johnson, James R. Brichta
  • Publication number: 20030139250
    Abstract: An electronic drive unit assembly independently drives each drivable wheel on a heavy-duty vehicle. The drive unit assembly includes a spindle that defines an inner chamber and which is mounted to a vehicle structure. A wheel hub is mounted for rotation relative to the spindle. An electric motor is mounted within the inner chamber and has an output shaft that is operatively coupled to a reduction gear assembly that is used to drive the wheel hub. The reduction gear assembly includes an inner ring gear mounted to the spindle and an outer ring gear mounted to the wheel hub. An inner set of planet gears is in meshing engagement with the inner ring gear and an outer set of planet gears is in meshing engagement with the outer ring gear. A planetary spider assembly rigidly connects the inner and outer sets of planet gears. The inner planet gears have a different number of teeth than the outer planet gears to achieve the desired gear reduction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 23, 2002
    Publication date: July 24, 2003
    Inventor: Larry W. Bowman
  • Patent number: 6527073
    Abstract: A variable engagement mechanism for a dual wheel assembly is provided. The mechanism includes a spindle having a drive axle defining a rotational axis. A first wheel hub is supported on the spindle and coupled to the drive axle for being rotatably driven about the rotational axis. A second wheel hub is arranged adjacent to the first wheel hub and is rotatable relative to the first wheel hub about the rotational axis. Friction members are provided between the first and second wheel hub. An actuator forces the friction members into engagement with one another to permit transfer of torque between the wheel hubs. The actuator may be operator controlled or integrated with a braking or other vehicle control system. In this manner, the first and second wheel hub may be selectively locked together for increased traction and/or braking. A differential assembly may be used between the first and second wheel hubs so that both wheels may be driven at all times while being permitted to rotate relative to one another.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2003
    Assignee: Meritor Heavy Vehicle Systems, LLC
    Inventors: Larry W. Bowman, Richard M. Clisch, Patrick D. Laper, Raji S. El-Kassouf, Michael G. Semke, Gary P. Ford, Joseph B. Saxon
  • Publication number: 20020108817
    Abstract: A drive axle assembly includes a supplemental brake force assembly that utilizes a variable viscosity fluid. The assembly includes a housing defining a cavity and a drive component mounted for rotation relative to the housing. Rotating plates are mounted for rotation with the drive component and a Theological fluid is enclosed within the housing to surround the rotating plates. A current source generates current within the fluid to vary the viscosity. At higher traveling speeds, no current is applied to the fluid so the viscosity of the fluid is low, which reduces drag against the rotating plate. However, when a braking even occurs, current is applied to the fluid to increase viscosity and generate a supplemental braking force. The assembly is preferably incorporated into a wet disc brake with a plurality of non-rotating plates positioned in an alternating dispersal between the rotating plates.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 3, 2002
    Publication date: August 15, 2002
    Inventors: Paul Ray Sieber, Mark M. Schneider, Larry W. Bowman, Robert W. Hildebrand, Michael E. Johnson, James R. Brichta, Raji S. El-Kassouf
  • Patent number: 6419325
    Abstract: A dual wheel assembly for a vehicle is provided that includes an axle assembly having an axle shaft disposed therein, which defines an axis. First and second wheel hubs are supported on outboard and inboard portions, respectively of the axle assembly. The first wheel hub is coupled to the axle shaft so that the first wheel hub may be driven about the axis and the second wheel hub is rotatable about the axis relative to the first wheel hub. A first bearing assembly is interposed between the first wheel hub and the outboard portion for supporting the first wheel hub on the outboard portion. The outboard portion has a first shoulder with the first bearing assembly abutting the first shoulder. Similarly, a second bearing assembly is interposed between the second wheel hub and the inboard portion for supporting the second wheel hub on the inboard portion, and the inboard portion has a second shoulder with the second bearing assembly abutting the second shoulder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2002
    Assignee: Meritor Heavy Vehicle Systems, LLC
    Inventors: Larry W. Bowman, Patrick D. Laper, Raji S. El-Kassouf, Michael G. Semke, Richard M. Clisch, Gary P. Ford, Joseph B. Saxon
  • Patent number: 6402384
    Abstract: A drive axle assembly includes a stationary member and a rotating member spaced apart from said stationary member to form a gap. A fluid bearing is formed between the stationary and rotating members by filling the gap with a fluid. The fluid creates a bearing surface between the stationary and rotating members. The fluid is pressurized to provide radial and thrust load support for the rotating member as it rotates with respect to the stationary member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Assignee: Meritor Heavy Vehicle Technology, LLC
    Inventors: Larry W. Bowman, Patrick D. Laper, Raji S. El-Kassouf, Michael G. Semke, Richard M. Clisch, Gary P. Ford, Joseph B. Saxon
  • Patent number: 6357834
    Abstract: An axle assembly for supporting a heavy vehicle on a surface is provided. The axle assembly has an axle housing with opposing ends and a wheel supported on each of the opposing ends for engagement with the surface. Each of the wheels is rotatable about a rotational axis. A rotatable load-bearing device is supported on the axle housing for engagement with the surface. The load-bearing device is arranged between the wheels and is rotatable about a plurality of pivotal axes. By permitting the load-bearing devices to pivot about more that one axis, unlike a conventional wheel, wear caused by scrub may be reduced. In one embodiment, the load-bearing devices are swivel wheels that are pivotal about vertical and horizontal axe. In another embodiment, the load-bearing devices are load-bearing balls that are pivotal about an infinite number of axes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2002
    Assignee: Meritor Heavy Vehicle Systems, LLC
    Inventors: Larry W. Bowman, Patrick D. Laper, Raji S. El-Kassouf, Michael G. Semke, Richard M. Clisch, Gary P. Ford, Joseph B. Saxon
  • Patent number: 6345868
    Abstract: A dual wheel axle assembly for a vehicle is provided for reducing tire wear caused by scrubbing during vehicle turns. The assembly includes an axle housing having an axle shaft arranged within the axle housing. The axle shaft defines a rotational axis. A first wheel hub is supported on an end portion of the axle housing and is mechanically coupled to the axle shaft. A second wheel hub is supported on the end portion adjacent to the first wheel hub. A fluid coupling is interconnected between the axle shaft and the second wheel hub. The fluid coupling has fluid for fluidly driving the second wheel hub through the axle shaft and permitting the second wheel hub to rotate about the rotational axis relative to the first wheel hub during the vehicle turn.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2002
    Assignee: Meritor Heavy Vehicle Systems, LLC
    Inventors: Larry W. Bowman, Raji S. El-Kassouf, Richard M. Clisch, Patrick D. Laper, Michael G. Semke, Gary P. Ford, Joseph B. Saxon
  • Patent number: 6298932
    Abstract: A multi-disc wheel assembly for a vehicle is provided. The multi-disc wheel assembly includes a plurality of narrow discs assemblies that form a wheel assembly. The plurality of narrow disc assemblies include first and second narrow disc assemblies. A first independent drive mechanism applies a rotational force to the first narrow disc assembly to produce a first speed. A second independent drive mechanism applies a rotational force to the second narrow disc assembly to produce a second speed unequal to the first speed during a vehicle turn to minimize wheel assembly scrub.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2001
    Assignee: Meritor Heavy Vehicle Systems, LLC
    Inventors: Larry W. Bowman, Patrick D. Laper, Raji S. El-Kassouf, Michael G. Semke, Richard M. Clisch, Gary P. Ford, Joseph B. Saxon