Patents by Inventor Richard C. St. John

Richard C. St. John 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: 5354242
    Abstract: A belt tensioning system for maintaining consistent and constant tension in a serpentine drive system consisting of a series of pulleys and an endless belt interconnecting the pulleys. The tensioning system includes a power spring with an appropriate nominal torque and rate which acts on the idler pulley, and through the idler pulley on the belt, and is suitable to maintain sufficiently constant tension over a broad range of belt length variations and pulley locations while providing damping sufficient to prevent undue pulley oscillation over a broad range of vibration conditions. In one form of the invention, the spring itself is fixed at one end to the prime mover and the other end to a tensioner arm so as to operate on the idler pulley and maintain the belt tension and provide the damping. The hysteresis of the spring responding to pulley movement thus assists in the damping. In another form of the invention additional damping is provided by a spring loaded band brake.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 1992
    Date of Patent: October 11, 1994
    Inventor: Richard C. St. John
  • Patent number: 5064405
    Abstract: An adjustable locked center and dynamic tensioner include both a method for setting tension in a belt or chain drive system and apparatus for setting the friction torque so as to match the system setting torque. The method includes forcing the tensioner against a stable mounting surface with sufficient spring load that a target friction torque will be required to rotate the tensioner. The tensioner arm is then rotated into the belt or chain until, when the setting torque is removed, the belt or chain will counter rotate the tensioner arm and the target friction torque in the tensioner will cause the target setting tension to remain in the system. The apparatus includes a tensioner arm pivotally mounted on a fixed surface with a spring engaging the arm and being clamped against the fixed surface. Modifications include introducing a compliant coupler such as an elastomeric busing or spring between the stable mounting surface and the tensioner arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 1990
    Date of Patent: November 12, 1991
    Inventor: Richard C. St. John
  • Patent number: 4957471
    Abstract: An adjustable locked center and dynamic tensioner include both a method for setting tension in a belt or chain drive system and apparatus for setting the friction torque so as to match the system setting torque. The method includes forcing the tensioner against a stable mounting surface with sufficient spring load that a target friction torque will be required to rotate the tensioner. The tensioner arm is then rotated into the belt or chain until, when the setting torque is removed, the belt or chain will counter rotate the tensioner arm and the target friction torque in the tensioner will cause the target setting tension to remain in the system. The apparatus includes a tensioner arm pivotally mounted on a fixed surface with a spring engaging the arm and being clamped against the fixed surface. Modifications include introducing a compliant coupler such as an elastomeric bushing or spring between the stable mounting surface and the tensioner arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 1989
    Date of Patent: September 18, 1990
    Inventor: Richard C. St. John
  • Patent number: 4767383
    Abstract: A method of maintaining proper tension in belt or chain drive systems comprising attaching one end of a tensioning assembly to a mounting surface so as to permit unrestrained pivotal movement but negligible axial movement and positioning the opposed end adjacent the drive system belt or chain. A torquing tool is then applied at the mounting point and the assembly is rotated about a central axis until a predetermined torque value is attained and the assembly is locked against pivotal movement. The tensioner for carrying out the method includes an elongate arm with an idler pulley attached to one end. The opposed end receives a mounting member for securing the arm to a supporting surface first in pivotal relationship thereto and then in locked relationship. The mounting member also serves as a torquing member for applying the predetermined torque value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 1986
    Date of Patent: August 30, 1988
    Inventor: Richard C. St. John
  • Patent number: 4557709
    Abstract: A belt tensioning system for maintaining consistent and constant tension in a serpentine drive system which includes a series of pulleys and an endless belt interconnecting the pulleys. The tensioning system utilizes a low rate power spring which acts on the idler pulley, and through the idler pulley on the belt, and is suitable to maintain tension over a broad range of belt length variation and pulley locations and provide damping adequate to prevent undue pulley oscillation over a broad range of system vibration conditions. In one form of the invention, the spring itself is effectively fixed at one end to the engine block and at the other end to a tensioner housing so as to operate on the idler pulley and maintain the tension and provide the damping. The hysteresis of the spring, responding to pulley movement, thus assists in the damping.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 1982
    Date of Patent: December 10, 1985
    Assignee: I Corp.
    Inventor: Richard C. St. John
  • Patent number: 4402678
    Abstract: A clutch housing and pulley assembly is formed from a plurality of stamped metal components. A plurality of annular discs are mounted on a radially extending base of a V-grooved pulley member. A cup-shaped clutch housing having a radially extending base is mounted in abutting relationship with one of the outer discs on one side of the pulley base. A plurality of rivets extend through axially aligned holes formed in the pulley base, discs and housing base to assemble these components into a single unit. A ring bearing is telescopically mounted in the axially aligned central openings of the discs and pulley base for rotatably mounting the clutch housing and pulley assembly on a drive shaft which is adapted to extend through a central opening of the clutch housing base.The pulley member and discs are arranged in a stacked relationship on a plurality of guide pins extending through the rivet-receiving holes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 1980
    Date of Patent: September 6, 1983
    Assignee: Dyneer Corporation
    Inventor: Richard C. St. John
  • Patent number: 4294342
    Abstract: A centrifugal clutch has a pair of clutch shoes pivotally mounted on a pivot collar for outward movement under the influence of centrifugal force to drivingly engage a concentrically mounted clutch housing. Extension springs bias the swinging ends of the clutch shoes toward retracted position. The pivot collar has a hollow cylindrical sleeve with a pair of nearly cylindrical projections mounted diagonally opposite of each other on the external surface of the sleeve. The cylindrical projections are similar to and are located parallel with each other and to the axis of the sleeve and have cylindrical circumferences greater than 180.degree. and less than 360.degree.. The imaginary circumferences of the outer surfaces of the projections lie in an overlapping or abutting relationship with the imaginary circumference of the outer surface of the sleeve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 1980
    Date of Patent: October 13, 1981
    Assignee: Dyneer Corporation
    Inventor: Richard C. St. John
  • Patent number: 4282962
    Abstract: An improved pivotal mounting assembly, preferably for use with a centrifugal clutch for pivotally mounting the clutch shoes, has a plastic insert which forms either a sector-like portion of a usual cylindrical-shaped, metallic pivot pin, or a portion of the clutch shoe which forms a pivot pin receiving opening. The plastic insert will have an outer convex surface when forming a part of a cylindrical pivot pin or will have a concave surface when forming a part of the clutch shoe. Preferably the convex and concave surfaces will have arcuate lengths of approximately 120.degree.. The plastic insert provides a low-friction pivotal bearing surface for the clutch shoe, which will absorb many of the forces and stresses exerted on the pivot assembly upon coupling engagement of the clutch shoes with a driven drum. The supporting metal areas of the pivot pin or clutch shoe adjacent the plastic strip provides the mechanical strength for the strip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 1978
    Date of Patent: August 11, 1981
    Assignee: Aspro, Inc.
    Inventor: Richard C. St. John
  • Patent number: 4254541
    Abstract: A clutch housing and pulley assembly is formed from a plurality of stamped metal components. A plurality of annular discs are mounted on a radially extending base of a V-grooved pulley member. A cup-shaped clutch housing having a radially extending base is mounted in abutting relationship with one of the outer discs on one side of the pulley base. A plurality of rivets extend through axially aligned holes formed in the pulley base, discs and housing base to assemble these components into a single unit. A ring bearing is telescopically mounted in the axially aligned central openings of the discs and pulley base for rotatably mounting the clutch housing and pulley assembly on a drive shaft which is adapted to extend through a central opening of the clutch housing base.The pulley member and discs are arranged in a stacked relationship on a plurality of guide pins extending through the rivet receiving holes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 1978
    Date of Patent: March 10, 1981
    Assignee: Aspro, Inc.
    Inventor: Richard C. St. John
  • Patent number: 4254854
    Abstract: A clutch construction has an improved arrangement for pivotally mounting a pair of centrifugally actuated clutch shoes on the drive rotor assembly of the clutch. A backing plate and drive flange are mounted in a spaced axial relationship with respect to each other on a hub of the rotor assembly for rotation with the hub which is adapted to be mounted on a drive shaft of a prime mover. A clutch housing is rotatably mounted on the hub by a bearing ring and is driven by the clutch shoes upon a predetermined shaft speed being reached. A pair of openings are formed in the backing plate located diametrically opposite of each other and are axially aligned with a pair of similar openings formed in the drive flange. A resilient bushing is telescopically mounted in each of the backing plate and drive flange openings to provide a shock-absorbing effect between the clutch shoes pivot pins and the drive flange to prevent fracture of the drive flange.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 1979
    Date of Patent: March 10, 1981
    Assignee: Dyneer Corporation
    Inventor: Richard C. St. John
  • Patent number: 4226320
    Abstract: A centrifugal clutch having a drive flange mounted on a hub which is adapted to be mounted on a driving shaft. A pair of clutch shoes is pivotally mounted at diagonally opposite ends of the shoes on the drive flange by a pair of pins which extend axially outwardly from the drive flange in a cantilever manner, with the clutch shoes being mounted in end-to-end relationship with respect to each other. Extension springs bias the swinging ends of the clutch shoes toward retracted position. The clutch shoes are adapted to move outwardly under the influence of centrifugal force and overcome the biasing effect of the springs to drivingly engage a concentrically mounted clutch housing. A plurality of weight plates may be mounted on the webs of the clutch shoes to provide various operating characteristics without changing the basic clutch construction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 1978
    Date of Patent: October 7, 1980
    Assignee: Aspro, Inc.
    Inventor: Richard C. St. John
  • Patent number: 4172603
    Abstract: A sensing apparatus functions when the pressure in a sensing chamber attains a predetermined pressure level in response to a crash environment to actuate a pressure release valve and thereby provide an output resulting in the deployment of an air bag within the confines of a vehicle for restraining forward movement of an occupant. The particular level of pressure developed in the sensing chamber relates to the velocity of flow of a fluid under the control of a sensing means movable in the sensing chamber and whose movement, in turn, is responsive to the relative velocity of a vehicle and an impacted object. The operation of the impact sensing apparatus is the resultant of a true measure of the relative velocity of the vehicle and the impacted object; and upon attainment of a velocity of flow equal to or greater than a threshold velocity the pressure release valve will be actuated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 1978
    Date of Patent: October 30, 1979
    Assignee: General Time Corporation
    Inventors: Donald R. St. Clair, Richard C. St. John
  • Patent number: 4062433
    Abstract: A quick release centrifugal clutch construction having a driven member rotatably mounted on a shaft and a drive member rotatable with the shaft and axially engageable with the driven member. The drive member includes a rotor mounted on the shaft for rotation with the shaft. A cartridge is axially slidably mounted on the shaft and has a frictional coupling surface for engagement with the driven member, and has a preloaded disc spring mounted thereon. A drive block also is axially slidably mounted on the rotor and is adapted to engage the cartridge to further load the disc spring and to drivingly connect the cartridge with the driven member. A plurality of individual pairs of links are mounted circumferentially spaced on the rotor and are movable in radial directions between retracted and extended positions. The inner ends of each of the link pairs are pivotally joined by a pivot pin with the outer link ends being pivotally connected to the drive block and rotor member respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 1976
    Date of Patent: December 13, 1977
    Assignee: Aspro, Inc.
    Inventor: Richard C. St. John
  • Patent number: 4056291
    Abstract: A method of making a dynamically balanced integral clutch housing and bearing assembly from a flat sheet metal disc by a roller spinning tool. A bearing and the metal disc is mounted on rotating die means between headstock and tailstock die form assemblies of a spinning machine. The spinning tool presses the disc against an end of the bearing to provide a bottom web wall of a cup-shaped bearing housing. The spinning tool then moves in a series of passes along the bearing outer race and along the headstock die form thereby rolling, forming and ironing rotating outer metal portions of the disc against the bearing and die, and forming an annular circumferential flange wall of the bearing housing which terminates in an annular shoulder. The bearing is telescopically mounted and retained within the bearing housing by the side and web walls and retaining shoulder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 1976
    Date of Patent: November 1, 1977
    Assignee: Aspro, Inc.
    Inventors: Derald H. Kraft, Richard C. St. John
  • Patent number: 4020936
    Abstract: A centrifugal clutch construction having an outer driven member and an inner driving rotor assembly. The rotor assembly has a pair of spaced, radially extending, side plates mounted in fixed positions on a driving shaft, and a core fixed to the shaft between the side plates. The core is provided with diametrically opposite surfaces engaging and supporting associated pairs of clutch shoes when the shoes are in retracted position. A release plate is slidably mounted between each pair of clutch shoes, and the release plates and clutch shoes are retained in retracted position on the core by pairs of clamping balls. The balls are located mainly within holes formed in each pair of clutch shoes and portions of the balls project partially into openings formed in the side plates. Each pair of balls frictionally clamps a release plate therebetween when the clutch is in disengaged position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 1975
    Date of Patent: May 3, 1977
    Assignee: Aspro, Incorporated
    Inventor: Richard C. St. John
  • Patent number: 4016963
    Abstract: A centrifugal clutch construction having an outer driven member with an axially extending coupling surface, and an inner driving rotor assembly. The rotor assembly has a pair of spaced radial side plates mounted in fixed positions on a driving shaft, and a pair of hubs fixed on the shaft between the side plates. The hubs have a plurality of radially extending projections which form slots between each pair of axially aligned projections. The projections have surfaces engaging and supporting associated pairs of clutch shoes when the shoes are in retracted position. A detent plate is fixed between each pair of clutch shoes for movement with the shoes, and has a projecting surface which extends below the clutch shoes and into a respective slot between the hub projections when the shoes are in retracted position. Spring biased detent cups are located within holes formed in the hub projections and project into axially aligned holes formed in the projecting surfaces of the detent plates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 1976
    Date of Patent: April 12, 1977
    Assignee: Aspro, Incorporated
    Inventor: Richard C. St. John
  • Patent number: 4016642
    Abstract: A method of making a dynamically balanced integral clutch housing and bearing assembly from a flat sheet metal disc by a roller spinning tool. A bearing and the metal disc is mounted on rotating die means between headstock and tailstock die form assemblies of a spinning machine. The spinning tool presses the disc against an end of the bearing to provide a bottom web wall of a cup-shaped bearing housing. The spinning tool then moves in a series of passes along the bearing outer race and along the headstock die form thereby rolling, forming and ironing rotating outer metal portions of the disc against the bearing and die, and forming an annular circumferential flange wall of the bearing housing which terminates in an annular shoulder. The bearing is telescopically mounted and retained within the bearing housing by the side and web walls and retaining shoulder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 1975
    Date of Patent: April 12, 1977
    Assignee: Aspro, Inc.
    Inventors: Derald H. Kraft, Richard C. St. John
  • Patent number: 4015694
    Abstract: A vehicle brake having a pair of brake shoes moveably mounted and arranged in end-to-end relationship on a fixed backing plate. A pair of levers is pivotally mounted on the backing plate. The levers have thrust transmitting portions which are interposed between a pair of opposed brake shoe ends and a hydraulic service brake actuator for moving the brake shoes into engagement with the brake drum. The levers also have swinging end portions which pivot inwardly in opposite directions upon outward movement of the thrust transmitting portions. The lever thrust portions have concavely curved camming surfaces which slidably engage complementary convexly curved brake shoe end surface for transmitting the hydraulic actuator force to the brake shoes. A mechanically actuated parking brake mechanism is mounted on the backing plate and is operatively connected to the lever swing end portions by a pair of links.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 1975
    Date of Patent: April 5, 1977
    Assignee: Aspro, Inc.
    Inventors: John D. Danko, Richard C. St. John