Patents by Inventor Michael Appleyard

Michael Appleyard 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: 20200217411
    Abstract: A gearbox assembly for an electric power assisted steering apparatus includes a gearbox housing, a worm shaft, a main bearing assembly, and a first fulcrum means. The worm shaft may be supported relative to the housing by a main bearing assembly at an end closest to the motor. The main bearing assembly may include an inner ring defining an inner bearing race, an outer ring defining an outer bearing race, and a plurality of bearings that run between the two races. The first fulcrum means may be located on a first side of the main bearing assembly which reacts only the axial component of the wormshaft tooth load for a first direction of gearwheel torque. A second fulcrum means may be located on a second, opposing, side of the main bearing assembly, which reacts only the axial component of the wormshaft tooth load for the second direction of gearwheel torque.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 29, 2018
    Publication date: July 9, 2020
    Applicant: TRW Limited
    Inventor: Michael Appleyard
  • Publication number: 20200172149
    Abstract: A steering column for a vehicle includes a telescopic mechanism, a first electrically powered linear actuator, and a means for absorbing the impact energy transmitted between a driver and the steering wheel in a crash. The telescopic mechanism includes substantially coaxial first and second tubular members. The first electrically powered linear actuator controls the longitudinal position of the first tubular member relative to the second tubular member. The means for absorbing the impact energy includes: (1) two or more folded metal straps; (2) at least one strap is fixed at one of its ends to a member which is fusibly connected to the first tubular member and to which is also connected a moving part of the said electrically powered linear actuator; (3) an adjacent edge of each of at least the first and second straps comprising an array of teeth or ramps; and (4) a pyrotechnically actuated means.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 21, 2019
    Publication date: June 4, 2020
    Applicant: TRW Limited
    Inventors: Michael Appleyard, Niclas Davies
  • Publication number: 20200039572
    Abstract: A steering column assembly for a vehicle includes a housing, a shaft rotatably mounted with respect to the housing and being configured for attachment of a steering wheel at one end, an engagement portion connected to and configured to rotate with the shaft, and end stop means which is mounted to the housing and is located in the path of an intermediate rotor which is mounted to the shaft and which is configured to be independently rotatable relative to the shaft, the intermediate rotor being simultaneously engageable with both the engagement portion and with the end stop upon rotation of the shaft through a predetermined angle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 11, 2019
    Publication date: February 6, 2020
    Applicant: TRW Limited
    Inventor: Michael Appleyard
  • Publication number: 20200039561
    Abstract: A steering column assembly for a vehicle includes a housing, a shaft and an end stop means. The shaft is rotatably mounted with respect to the housing and is configured for attachment of a steering wheel at one end with an engagement portion connected to and configured to rotate with the shaft. The end stop means is located in the path of the engagement portion and engageable with the engagement portion upon rotation of the shaft through a predetermined angle. The engagement portion engages with the end stop means upon rotation of the shaft through predetermined angles in both directions. The engagement portion includes a member projecting outwardly from the shaft. The end stop means is mounted on the housing and the end stop means comprises a strip of material bent into a generally T-shape.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 12, 2019
    Publication date: February 6, 2020
    Applicant: TRW Limited
    Inventor: Michael Appleyard
  • Patent number: 10550919
    Abstract: A gearbox assembly for an electric power assisted steering apparatus comprising: a first pivoting means for the worm shaft main bearing which reacts the axial component of the worm shaft tooth load for a first direction of gearwheel torque but not for a second, opposing, direction of gearwheel torque and defines at least one first pivot point about which the main bearing pivots that is located on a pivot axis, a second pivoting means for the worm shaft main bearing, positioned distal from the first pivoting means, which reacts the axial component of the worm shaft tooth load for the second direction of gearwheel torque but not the first direction of gearwheel torque and defines at least one second pivot point about which the main bearing pivots that is located on a second pivot axis, the second pivot point being spaced apart from the first pivot point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2020
    Assignee: TRW Limited
    Inventor: Michael Appleyard
  • Patent number: 10442456
    Abstract: An adjustable steering column assembly which includes an adjustable shroud that supports a steering column shaft, a support bracket that is fixed in position in the vehicle, and a clamp mechanism that selectively secures the shroud to the support bracket, the clamp mechanism comprising a fixed rack that is secured to the shroud or the bracket, and a moving rack that is movable towards and away from the fixed rack during operation of the clamp mechanism, in which the fixed rack comprises a support portion and at least one row of teeth which are carried by the support portion arranged spaced apart from one another, and the moving rack comprises a support portion and at least one row of teeth which are carried by the support portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2019
    Assignee: TRW Limited
    Inventors: Niclas Davies, Michael Appleyard
  • Publication number: 20190226571
    Abstract: A gearbox assembly for an electric power assisted steering system. The gearbox assembly includes a housing, a worm shaft, and a gear wheel, the worm shaft being supported relative to the housing by a main bearing assembly and a tail bearing assembly. The tail bearing assembly at least is free to move relative to the housing, allowing the worm shaft to move radially away from the axis of the gear wheel. The worm shaft is enables to move normal to the worm shaft axis such that it can move in and out of meshing contact with the gear wheel. The assembly further includes a gripping means that acts between the tail bearing assembly and the housing such that torque transmitted through the gear wheel generates a friction force that locks the tail bearing assembly to prevent movement of the worm shaft normal to the worm shaft axis that would otherwise occur.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 27, 2017
    Publication date: July 25, 2019
    Applicant: TRW Limited
    Inventors: Michael Appleyard, Mark Anthony Wilkes
  • Patent number: 10300938
    Abstract: A collapsible steering column assembly comprising a steering shaft that is supported within a steering column shroud, the shroud comprising an upper shroud portion and a lower shroud portion, in which the upper shroud portion is located towards the end of the steering shaft that is nearest the steering wheel and the lower portion is located towards the end of the shaft furthest from the steering wheel, the upper portion being at least partially received within the lower portion so that the upper portion can telescopically collapse into the lower portion during a crash, a support bracket that in use is secured to a fixed part of the vehicle and includes two support bracket arms that depend from a base portion to embrace the shroud, a clamp rail that is releasably secured to the upper shroud portion, the clamp rail including a slot that extends generally horizontally, and a clamp pin that extends through an opening in each of the arms of the bracket and through the generally horizontal slot in the rail, the cla
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2019
    Assignee: TRW Limited
    Inventor: Michael Appleyard
  • Patent number: 10137923
    Abstract: A steering column assembly comprises a telescopic shroud having an upper shroud portion and a lower shroud portion, a support bracket having at least one arm which extends down from the bracket on one side of the lower shroud portion, a clamp mechanism which comprises a clamp pin that passes through an opening in the arm and an opening in the lower shroud portion or an opening in a rail secured to the lower shroud portion, the clamp mechanism further comprising a primary cam mechanism which is operable by a lever, whereby the clamp mechanism is arranged so that when in the clamped condition the at least one arm is clamped to the lower shroud portion or rail and the lower shroud portion is squeezed onto the upper shroud portion to fix the upper shroud portion relative to the lower shroud portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2018
    Assignee: TRW Limited
    Inventors: Rajendra Gopalji Sikotra, Michael Appleyard, Bohumír Sýkora
  • Patent number: 10137925
    Abstract: A telescopic steering column assembly includes at least one support bearing assembly that comprises an inner bearing race which is located on the steering shaft, an outer bearing race that is located on an inner face of a shroud, and a set of ball bearings that are located between the inner bearing race and the outer bearing race and are free to roll along bearing surfaces defined by the bearing races. Each of the bearing races comprises a pair of annular bearing race parts, defining a circumferentially extending bearing surface arranged coaxially and spaced apart from each other axially such that varying the spacing between the two parts varies the effective radius of the bearing race.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2018
    Assignee: TRW Limited
    Inventor: Michael Appleyard
  • Patent number: 10093342
    Abstract: A collapsible steering column assembly comprising a steering shaft that is supported within a steering column shroud, the shroud comprising an upper shroud portion and a lower shroud portion, in which the upper shroud portion is located towards the end of the steering shaft that is nearest the steering wheel and the lower portion is located towards the end of the shaft furthest from the steering wheel, the upper portion being at least partially received within the lower portion so that the upper portion can telescopically collapse into the lower portion during a crash, a support bracket that in use is secured to a fixed part of the vehicle and includes two support bracket arms that depend from a base portion to embrace the shroud, a clamp rail that is releasably secured to the upper shroud portion, the clamp rail including a slot that extends generally horizontally, and a clamp pin that extends through an opening in each of the arms of the bracket and through the generally horizontal slot in the rail, the cla
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2018
    Assignee: TRW LIMITED
    Inventor: Michael Appleyard
  • Publication number: 20180229756
    Abstract: A telescopic steering column assembly includes at least one support bearing assembly that comprises an inner bearing race which is located on the steering shaft, an outer bearing race that is located on an inner face of a shroud, and a set of ball bearings that are located between the inner bearing race and the outer bearing race and are free to roll along bearing surfaces defined by the bearing races. Each of the bearing races comprises a pair of annular bearing race parts, defining a circumferentially extending bearing surface arranged coaxially and spaced apart from each other axially such that varying the spacing between the two parts varies the effective radius of the bearing race.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 18, 2015
    Publication date: August 16, 2018
    Applicant: TRW Limited
    Inventor: Michael Appleyard
  • Publication number: 20180178825
    Abstract: A collapsible steering column assembly comprising a steering shaft that is supported within a steering column shroud, the shroud comprising an upper shroud portion and a lower shroud portion, in which the upper shroud portion is located towards the end of the steering shaft that is nearest the steering wheel and the lower portion is located towards the end of the shaft furthest from the steering wheel, the upper portion being at least partially received within the lower portion so that the upper portion can telescopically collapse into the lower portion during a crash, a support bracket that in use is secured to a fixed part of the vehicle and includes two support bracket arms that depend from a base portion to embrace the shroud, a clamp rail that is releasably secured to the upper shroud portion, the clamp rail including a slot that extends generally horizontally, and a clamp pin that extends through an opening in each of the arms of the bracket and through the generally horizontal slot in the rail, the cla
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 2, 2018
    Publication date: June 28, 2018
    Applicant: TRW Limited
    Inventor: Michael Appleyard
  • Publication number: 20180154923
    Abstract: A collapsible steering column assembly comprising a steering shaft that is supported within a steering column shroud, the shroud comprising an upper shroud portion and a lower shroud portion, in which the upper shroud portion is located towards the end of the steering shaft that is nearest the steering wheel and the lower portion is located towards the end of the shaft furthest from the steering wheel, the upper portion being at least partially received within the lower portion so that the upper portion can telescopically collapse into the lower portion during a crash, a support bracket that in use is secured to a fixed part of the vehicle and includes two support bracket arms that depend from a base portion to embrace the shroud, a clamp rail that is releasably secured to the upper shroud portion, the clamp rail including a slot that extends generally horizontally, and a clamp pin that extends through an opening in each of the arms of the bracket and through the generally horizontal slot in the rail, the cla
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 2, 2018
    Publication date: June 7, 2018
    Applicant: TRW Limited
    Inventor: Michael Appleyard
  • Publication number: 20180058556
    Abstract: A gearbox assembly for an electric power assisted steering apparatus comprises a gearbox housing which houses a worm shaft and a gear wheel, the worm shaft being supported relative to the housing by a main bearing at an end closest to the motor and by a tail bearing at an end furthest from the motor, and the gear wheel being supported by an output shaft having at least one end that provides a take-off from the gearbox assembly, in which the main bearing and tail bearing are free to move relative to the housing through a limited range of motion that enables the worm shaft to pivot away from the wheel gear, the assembly further comprising: a first pivoting means for the worm shaft main bearing which reacts the axial component of the worm shaft tooth load for a first direction of gearwheel torque but not for a second, opposing, direction of gearwheel torque and defines at least one first pivot point about which the main bearing pivots that is located on a pivot axis, a second pivoting means for the worm shaft ma
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 21, 2016
    Publication date: March 1, 2018
    Applicant: TRW Limited
    Inventor: Michael Appleyard
  • Patent number: 9902419
    Abstract: A telescopic steering column assembly comprises an upper and a lower shroud portion able to move relatively during telescopic adjustment, a telescopic steering shaft that passes through and is supported by the shroud portions through at least one support bearing assembly that acts between an upper portion of the telescopic steering shaft and a lower portion of the shroud that move relative to one another axially during telescopic adjustment. The at least one support bearing assembly comprises a first bearing race which is separate from the shroud portions and the steering shaft, a resilient spacer that applies a biasing force that is directed in a radial direction from the axis of the shaft and that is located between the first race and an adjacent face of one of the lower shroud portion and the upper shaft portion; a set of bearings, and a cage that locates the bearings relative to the first bearing race.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2018
    Assignee: TRW LIMITED
    Inventor: Michael Appleyard
  • Patent number: 9896120
    Abstract: A collapsible steering column assembly comprising a steering shaft that is supported within a steering column shroud, the shroud comprising an upper shroud portion and a lower shroud portion, in which the upper shroud portion is located towards the end of the steering shaft that is nearest the steering wheel and the lower portion is located towards the end of the shaft furthest from the steering wheel, the upper portion being at least partially received within the lower portion so that the upper portion can telescopically collapse into the lower portion during a crash, a support bracket that in use is secured to a fixed part of the vehicle and includes two support bracket arms that depend from a base portion to embrace the shroud, a clamp rail that is releasably secured to the upper shroud portion, the clamp rail including a slot that extends generally horizontally, and a clamp pin that extends through an opening in each of the arms of the bracket and through the generally horizontal slot in the rail, the cla
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2018
    Assignee: TRW LIMITED
    Inventor: Michael Appleyard
  • Publication number: 20170203780
    Abstract: An adjustable steering column assembly which includes an adjustable shroud that supports a steering column shaft, a support bracket that is fixed in position in the vehicle, and a clamp mechanism that selectively secures the shroud to the support bracket, the clamp mechanism comprising a fixed rack that is secured to the shroud or the bracket, and a moving rack that is movable towards and away from the fixed rack during operation of the clamp mechanism, in which the fixed rack comprises a support portion and at least one row of teeth which are carried by the support portion arranged spaced apart from one another, and the moving rack comprises a support portion and at least one row of teeth which are carried by the support portion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 22, 2015
    Publication date: July 20, 2017
    Applicant: TRW Limited
    Inventors: Niclas Davies, Michael Appleyard
  • Publication number: 20170158220
    Abstract: A telescopic steering column assembly comprises an upper and a lower shroud portion able to move relatively during telescopic adjustment, a telescopic steering shaft that passes through and is supported by the shroud portions through at least one support bearing assembly that acts between an upper portion of the telescopic steering shaft and a lower portion of the shroud that move relative to one another axially during telescopic adjustment. The at least one support bearing assembly comprises a first bearing race which is separate from the shroud portions and the steering shaft, a resilient spacer that applies a biasing force that is directed in a radial direction from the axis of the shaft and that is located between the first race and an adjacent face of one of the lower shroud portion and the upper shaft portion; a set of bearings, and a cage that locates the bearings relative to the first bearing race.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 30, 2015
    Publication date: June 8, 2017
    Applicant: TRW Limited
    Inventor: Michael Appleyard
  • Publication number: 20170088159
    Abstract: A steering column assembly comprises a telescopic shroud having an upper shroud portion and a lower shroud portion, a support bracket having at least one arm which extends down from the bracket on one side of the lower shroud portion, a clamp mechanism which comprises a clamp pin that passes through an opening in the arm and an opening in the lower shroud portion or an opening in a rail secured to the lower shroud portion, the clamp mechanism further comprising a primary cam mechanism which is operable by a lever, whereby the clamp mechanism is arranged so that when in the clamped condition the at least one arm is clamped to the lower shroud portion or rail and the lower shroud portion is squeezed onto the upper shroud portion to fix the upper shroud portion relative to the lower shroud portion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 28, 2015
    Publication date: March 30, 2017
    Applicant: TRW Limited
    Inventors: Rajendra Gopalji Sikotra, Michael Appleyard, Bohumír Sýkora