Variably Preloaded Patents (Class 403/137)
  • Patent number: 9717529
    Abstract: An orthopedic system includes a universal joint. The universal joint includes a ball from which a stem extends, a housing, and a connecting piece. The housing includes a first portion and a second portion that together define a spherical internal volume that is sized and configured to receive the ball therein. The first portion defines a first opening through which at least one of a portion of the ball or a portion of the stem extends, and the second portion defining a second opening therethrough. The connecting piece includes a first threaded stem portion, a second threaded stem portion, and a middle portion disposed between the first and second threaded stem portions. The first threaded stem portion is sized and configured to be received within the second opening defined by the second portion and to contact the ball to generate a frictional interference to lock the universal joint.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2017
    Assignee: Wright Medical Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: Kian-Ming (Kevin) Wong
  • Patent number: 9545828
    Abstract: A ball joint for a vehicle, with a ball pin that has a joint ball, a joint housing that encloses the joint ball and is provided with a pin opening, in which the joint ball of the ball pin is fitted and able to move. The ball pin extends out of the joint housing through the pin opening. An actuator can press a pressure element, in an axial direction, against the joint housing in such a manner that pressure can be exerted by the joint housing and the pressure element onto the joint ball. The actuator acts upon a spring which acts upon the pressure element. The length of the spring can be measured by a displacement sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 17, 2017
    Assignee: ZF Friedrichshafen AG
    Inventors: Bernd Grannemann, Martin Rechtien
  • Patent number: 9526523
    Abstract: A fixation device set S includes an external fixation device which is attached on one end-side of first and second pins; and a pin fixture which is attached on the other end-side. The external fixation device includes a first and a second permanent magnets disposed with their same poles opposed to each other; a first holding portion provided in the first permanent magnet; a second holding portion provided in the second permanent magnet; first limiter portions sandwiching the first and the second permanent magnets from a second direction; and second limiter portions connecting the first limiter portions to each other. The first pins are inserted through through-holes in the first holding portion, whereas the second holding portion is attached to the second pin via a ball joint.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2016
    Assignees: HITACHI METALS, LTD., HIROSHIMA UNIVERSITY
    Inventors: Masaaki Aoki, Mitsuo Ochi
  • Patent number: 8794860
    Abstract: A device for rotational connection between structural members. A generally cylindrical housing may have a central cavity therein with an open bearing end and an open plug end. A shaft at a first end may be inserted into a bearing and retained therein. The bearing may be disposed in the open bearing end and retained by a first fastener ring. A second end of the shaft may protrude outwardly from the housing through the open bearing end. A plug may be threadably engaged with the open plug end that is threaded. The plug may be positioned at an interior end to be adjacent the first end of the shaft that may have a convex surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2014
    Inventors: James W. McGean, Craig Smith, Tyrel Beede
  • Patent number: 8764336
    Abstract: A spherical joint features a housing, a lower race seated therein, a ball member disposed between said lower race and an upper race position, and a retaining ring installed directly over the upper race in an annular groove inside the housing. In one embodiment, a retaining member is threaded into the housing over the retaining ring. The joint is fully serviceable by removal of the retaining member and ring. Prior to component replacement, initial wear can be compensated for, as the groove is oversized so as to originally lie partially below the ring-abutted upper surface of the upper race. When the upper race moves down the body as a result of surface wear of one or more of the races and ball member, tightening of the retaining member once again forces the retaining ring down against the upper race to re-tighten the races against the ball member disposed therebetween.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2014
    Inventor: Clayton Kraatz
  • Patent number: 8753032
    Abstract: A ball joint assembly may include a housing having a cavity, a friction seat received within the cavity, and a ball stud having a ball that frictionally contacts the friction seat. In one embodiment, a friction control mechanism moves the friction seat within the cavity to adjust the friction between the ball and the friction seat. In another embodiment, both the cavity and an outer surface of the friction seat may be substantially frustoconically shaped.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2014
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Jinghong Yu, David Wolf, Daniel Vogel, Edward A. Hosni, Angel D. Samalot-Quiles
  • Patent number: 8616799
    Abstract: A ball and socket joint which comprises a joint ball which is enclosed and rotationally supported by a ball socket. The ball socket has two socket parts that move axially relative to one another, and the socket parts act on opposite sides of the joint ball in the axial direction. An adjusting device has a transmission and drive by which the socket parts can be moved toward one another in the axial direction and exert pressure on the joint ball. The transmission comprises a first part which has tracks that rise in the axial direction and curve around a rotational axis oriented in the axial direction and in which a ball is guided. A second part, which contacts the balls, is disposed between the transmission parts in the axial direction. The balls and the first part can be rotated relative to one another about the rotational axis by the drive.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2013
    Assignee: ZF Friedrichshafen AG
    Inventor: Metin Ersoy
  • Patent number: 8548681
    Abstract: A power steering device is mounted on a vehicle and includes a torque applying unit and an applied friction torque changing unit. The torque applying unit sets an applied friction torque applied to a steering wheel based on a real steering angle and a target steering angle, and performs a control of applying the applied friction torque to the steering wheel. The applied friction torque changing unit changes the applied friction torque based on a load condition of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 26, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2013
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Ikuo Kushiro, Kimiaki Ono
  • Patent number: 8123427
    Abstract: A mounting for an optical apparatus includes a joint ball (1), a mounting device (2) for the optical apparatus and means for fixing the mounting device to the joint ball (1). The mounting device has two rings (6, 7) which are arranged displaceable to one another and are also movable on the joint ball (1) and surround the joint ball. A fixing means (3) is disposed between the rings (6, 7) and connects them, the whole such that the rings can be moved simultaneously and jointly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2012
    Inventor: Philippe Vogt
  • Patent number: 8061920
    Abstract: The present invention provides four essentially equal and (generally) evenly spaced constraints on the ball. It is the equivalent of a ball and socket joint in which the “socket” is composed of four small constraining pads of equal size and equally spaced around the surface of the ball or sphere. If a sphere is constrained by four equidistant points, each point will exert the same amount of force on the sphere. If additional pressure is applied to one point, the pressure exerted by the other points will rise to match this increased pressure. The effect of constraining a smooth ball by four equidistant points is to create the equivalent of a ball and socket joint in which the force required to rotate the ball at a particular rate is about the same in any direction. The ball is constrained by four equidistant points such that the relative movement between the ball and housing is smooth and predictable in any direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2011
    Assignee: Wimberley, Inc.
    Inventor: David L. Wimberley
  • Publication number: 20110097140
    Abstract: A ball joint assembly may include a housing having a cavity, a friction seat received within the cavity, and a ball stud having a ball that frictionally contacts the friction seat. In one embodiment, a friction control mechanism moves the friction seat within the cavity to adjust the friction between the ball and the friction seat. In another embodiment, both the cavity and an outer surface of the friction seat may be substantially frustoconically shaped.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 28, 2009
    Publication date: April 28, 2011
    Inventors: Jinghong Yu, David Wolf, Daniel Vogel, Edward A. Hosni, Angel D. Samalot-Quiles
  • Patent number: 7922135
    Abstract: A fastener assembly securely fastens a decorative panel in spaced relation to a support backing. The fastener assembly includes a base member adapted to be operatively mounted to the decorative panel, a carrier member, and a fastening medium supported by the carrier member and adapted to operatively interconnect the carrier member to the support backing. At least one biasing member is adapted to operatively support the carrier member and provide swiveling articulation of the carrier member relative to the base member. At least one leg extends from the base member and is adapted to operatively engage the carrier member so as to attach the carrier member to the base member in articulating fashion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2011
    Inventor: Robert Granata
  • Patent number: 7556434
    Abstract: A bearing structure comprises a sphere, a base structure, and a plurality of adjusting elements. The base structure has an opening. The opening is abutted against a perimeter of the diameter of the sphere. The adjusting elements are disposed on two opposite edges of the base structure for adjusting the elasticity between the sphere and the base structure. The sphere rotates on the boarding structure freely so that a bearing structure with a universal rotating angle is formed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2009
    Inventor: Rui-Hong Weng
  • Patent number: 7125192
    Abstract: A ball-stud joint having a flange on a stud thereof, the flange having a sloping side for making it easy to locate centrally the stud relatively to a lower die jig. The ball stud is comprised of a ball fit for pivoting movement into a major body, a stud having a plain end adapted to be formed into a rivet head to joint the stud with any counterpart, and a flange formed integrally around the stud to provide a surface coming into abutment against the counterpart. The flange has a sloping side extending radially outwardly from a flat surface facing on to the ball to an outside periphery of the flange in such a way that the sloping side comes into engagement with a slantwise bearing area on a lower die jig when the plain end of the stud is formed into rivet head.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2006
    Assignee: Nippon Thompson Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Yasunori Yokota
  • Patent number: 6962351
    Abstract: A ball and socket joint assembly having a cylindrical sealing cap (1) housing (6, 6A) connected to the external case (4) of the joint assembly. The housing (6, 6A) may be comprised of plastic, aluminum, rubber, or other malleable material. The housing (6, 6A) has a ring shape, with a groove molded into the housing's external surface for receiving the larger diameter end of a sealing cap (1), the smaller diameter end of the sealing cap (1) is directly attached to the shaft of the ball and socket joint's spherical pin (2). The preferred embodiment of the housing (6) has a general “L” shape, and an alternative embodiment (6A) has a more linear shape. The sealing cap (1) ensures that the ball and socket are not contaminated during operation of the joint assembly. The ball and socket joint of the invention is primarily designed for motor vehicle applications, specifically, in automotive steering and suspension systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2005
    Assignee: Dana Corporation
    Inventor: Ademilson Vlademir De Freitas
  • Patent number: 6857809
    Abstract: A fastener assembly for securely fastening a decorative panel in spaced relation to a support backing includes a base member adapted to be operatively mounted to the decorative panel, a carrier member, and a linking member operatively extending between the base member and the carrier member such that the base member is disposed spaced from the carrier member. A fastening medium is supported by the carrier member and adapted to operatively interconnect the carrier member to the support backing. The linking member operatively interconnects the base member and the carrier member in articulating fashion such that the base member is transversely moveable relative to the carrier member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2005
    Inventor: Robert Granata
  • Publication number: 20040258463
    Abstract: A ball-and-socket joint includes a joint housing having first and second axial ends and a ball head provided with a ball stud that extends from the ball head. A bearing shell has elastic properties and is received in the joint housing whereby the bearing shell receives the ball head. The ball stud extends outward of the first axial end of the joint housing. The ball-and-socket joint also includes a housing cover for closing the second axial end of the joint housing and a spring element that is interposed between the housing cover and at least a portion of the bearing shell. The spring element preloads the portion of the bearing shell to urge the portion of the bearing shell toward the first axial end of the joint housing thereby plastically deforming the portion of the bearing shell into its final ball-shaped contour.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 9, 2004
    Publication date: December 23, 2004
    Applicant: TRW Fahrwerksysteme GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventor: Christoph Dorr
  • Publication number: 20040114992
    Abstract: A support assembly is constructed to support a part-spherical base portion of an object holding device. A cover portion cooperates with the support assembly to capture the part-spherical base portion. The object holding device also includes a mounting post which has a proximal end fixed to the part-spherical base portion and extends radially outward from the support assembly to a distal end on which to attach an object. The support assembly has a piston. Fluid pressure moves the piston member upward which applies a clamping force on the part-spherical base portion to lock the object holding device and thus the object mounted to the post. When fluid pressure is released, a spring restores the object mounting member to an unclamped position where it is freely moveable. Different embodiments employ various combinations of fluid pressure and mechanical springs to lock and unlock the device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 4, 2003
    Publication date: June 17, 2004
    Inventor: Stephen E. Ronsheim
  • Patent number: 6746173
    Abstract: A universal joint comprises a cavity formed in a joint case, a planar plate fitted in the cavity, a spherical member arranged in the cavity so that it is held by a spherical surface receiving seat and a portion of the planar plate, and pressure screw for pressing the planar plate toward the spherical surface receiving seat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2004
    Assignee: Japan Servo Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Masashi Ochiai, Seiji Kojima, Kiyoshi Hasegawa
  • Patent number: 6726394
    Abstract: The invention relates to a connecting ball joint (10), for example an anti-roll bar of a running vehicle, the ball joint (10) comprising a straight support (20) running along a general axis of elongation (xx′) and an elastically deformable member (30) mounted around the support (20). The ball joint has the characteristic that its elastically deformable member (30) comprises at least one laminated structure (35; 135) made up of (a) layer(s) (32) of elastically deformable flexible material and of (a) layer(s) (34) of more rigid material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2004
    Assignee: Hutchinson
    Inventors: Denis Garnier, Laurent Beaubatie
  • Patent number: 6719476
    Abstract: An assembly for a reaction rod for shafts of automotive vehicles, more specifically, to be applied in heavy vehicles provided with pneumatic or mixed suspension, basically composed of a box provided in the end of a bar, being that this box has an internal housing in the cylindrical or spherical form where is introduced a pin with a segment also cylindrical or spherical, where is a vulcanized rubber confectioned by injection and the pin is fixed in the interior of the box by retaining rings. The reaction rod thus composed has in the injected rubber that is vulcanized in the cylindrical or ball type segment of the pin, a recess or channel that in a version is provided in the entire circumference of the injected rubber that is vulcanized on the pin, with the objective of providing a relief in small radial and angular movements, in all senses of direction, which relief is progressively reduced in the proportion that the radial and angular movement increases.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2004
    Assignee: Dana Industrial S/A
    Inventor: Roberto Hitoshi Hisi
  • Publication number: 20040067096
    Abstract: A ball-and-socket joint for a motor vehicle, especially for the chassis of the motor vehicle, is provided, wherein the ball-and-socket joint has a ball-and-socket joint housing (4) provided with a joint opening (6) as well as a ball pivot (3). The ball pivot (3) includes a joint ball (1) and a pivot (2). The ball pivot (3) is mounted with its joint ball (1) rotatably and pivotably in the ball-and-socket joint housing (4) and protrudes with its pivot (2) from the ball-and-socket joint housing (4). A separate closing element (10), which closes a mounting opening (9) provided in the ball-and-socket joint housing at least partially, and at which at least one electronic component (11) is arranged, is fastened to the ball-and-socket joint housing (4).
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 12, 2003
    Publication date: April 8, 2004
    Inventors: Metin Ersoy, Joachim Spratte, Armin Muller
  • Patent number: 6619874
    Abstract: A angular movement restriction bushing for ball joints, made of elastomeric providing two quadrants of its external surface with recesses and another two quadrants with smooth external surfaces, opposite between themselves, wherein one of the faces of the bushing is provided with an involving washer that prevents its deformation when mounted and in operation. For correct assembly and improved operation, there is provided a positioning hole, that may be constructed in several forms, but that, encased and in projection of the oblong opening of the ball joint box, has the important function of positioning the bushing when mounting of the ball joint so that the smooth surface of its external circumference, provided in it, stays coincident with the oblong opening existent in the end of the ball joint box.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2003
    Assignee: Dana Industrial S/A
    Inventor: Enzo Paduano
  • Patent number: 6609850
    Abstract: A spring element exerts a radial force on a pivotable ball head and thereby prestresses it in a ball cup, the spring element being formed by a leaf spring which extends along the lengthwise axis of the ball head and whose active line of force is directed toward the ball cup below the equator of the ball head.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2003
    Assignee: Stabilus GmbH
    Inventors: Oliver Greb, Horst Maury, Klaus Koch, Stefan Völpel, Rolf Mintgen
  • Patent number: 6588967
    Abstract: A three-dimensional (spherical) joint for connecting mechanical links has its concave and convex concentrical spherical surfaces connected by preloaded in compression high shape factor (thin-layered) elastomeric elements, whose shear deformation provides for 3D mobility.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2003
    Inventor: Evgeny I. Rivin
  • Patent number: 6454484
    Abstract: A pivot socket of the present invention incorporates a stud shaft component having a lower part-spherical head portion disposed within a housing cavity, and an axial pin extension extending upward into the cavity therefrom. The lower part-spherical head portion seats against a partial spherical bearing surface disposed within the housing cavity, and the axial pin extension is enclosed within a corrugated or crinkled coil compliance bearing formed from sheet steel. During use, lateral and axial loads imparted on the stud shaft are transformed into radial and axial component forces at the partial spherical bearing surface and the corrugated or crinkled coil compliance bearing. The radial force components are distributed to the interior walls of the housing cavity, while the axial force components are transferred axially through the corrugated or crinkled coil compliance bearing to the end closure components secured to the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 24, 2002
    Assignee: Federal-Mogul World Wide, Inc.
    Inventors: Glen C. Parker, Roger Sellers, George R. Schmidt
  • Patent number: 6439794
    Abstract: A pivot socket of the present invention incorporates a stud shaft component having a partially spherical head portion disposed within a housing cavity, and an axial pin extension extending upward into the cavity therefrom. The partially spherical head portion seats against a partial spherical bearing surface disposed within the housing cavity, and the axial pin extension is enclosed within a resilient cushion. A Belleville washer is interposed between the resilient cushion and the partial spherical bearing surface. During use, lateral and axial loads imparted on the stud shaft are transformed into radial and axial component forces at the bearing surfaces. The radial force components are distributed to the interior walls of the housing cavity, while the axial force components are transferred axially through the resilient cushion to the end closure components secured to the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2002
    Assignee: Federal-Mogul World Wide, Inc.
    Inventor: George R. Schmidt
  • Publication number: 20020071716
    Abstract: A ball joint restriction system provides a cylindrical extension in the end of the ball proper, and also provides an oblong housing in the closing cover of the ball joint to restrict movement of the extension. A positioning member positions the cover with respect to the box so that the oblong housing is provided in the same direction that the oblong opening in the other end of the ball joint box, through which pin or stem of the ball type pin. The ball joint will guarantee the maintenance of the connecting rod, whatever is its curve and weight, perfectly aligned with the other components of the system, as well as it will allow that the ball type pin is always positioned in its designed geometrical axle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 12, 2001
    Publication date: June 13, 2002
    Applicant: DANA INDUSTRIAL S/A
    Inventor: Enzo Paduano
  • Patent number: 6386787
    Abstract: A supporting joint having a casing and a ball pin held therein comprises, on the pin side, a support having a bearing shell and, oppositely to the pin, a pressure shell. A cutout is provided in the central region of the pressure shell. On the rear side the pressure shell is provided with a cover having a support surface. Referred to the installed joint, the thickness of the pressure shell in a central support region, measured in the uninstalled state, is greater than the distance between the ball and the support surface of the cover.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2002
    Inventor: Helmut Reichelt
  • Publication number: 20020044820
    Abstract: A spring element exerts a radial force on a pivotable ball head and thereby prestresses it in a ball cup, the spring element being formed by a leaf spring which extends along the lengthwise axis of the ball head and whose active line of force is directed toward the ball cup below the equator of the ball head.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 23, 2001
    Publication date: April 18, 2002
    Applicant: Stabilus GmbH
    Inventors: Oliver Greb, Horst Maury, Klaus Koch, Stefan Volpel, Rolf Mintgen
  • Publication number: 20020031396
    Abstract: A pivot socket of the present invention incorporates a stud shaft component having a partially spherical head portion disposed within a housing cavity, and an axial pin extension extending upward into the cavity therefrom. The partially spherical head portion seats against a partial spherical bearing surface disposed within the housing cavity, and the axial pin extension is enclosed within a resilient cushion. During use, lateral and axial loads imparted on the stud shaft are transformed into radial and axial component forces at the bearing surfaces. The radial force components are distributed to the interior walls of the housing cavity, while the axial force components are transferred axially through the resilient cushion to the end closure components secured to the housing. Little or no lateral force components are transferred to the resilient cushion from lateral loads imparted on the stud shaft, thereby reducing wear on the pivot socket components and extending the useful life thereof.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 18, 2001
    Publication date: March 14, 2002
    Applicant: Federal-Mogul World Wide
    Inventors: Glen C. Parker, Roger Sellers, June M. Jeffries, George R. Schmidt
  • Publication number: 20020012567
    Abstract: A pivot socket of the present invention incorporates a stud shaft component having a partially spherical head portion disposed within a housing cavity, and an axial pin extension extending upward into the cavity therefrom. The partially spherical head portion seats against a partial spherical bearing surface disposed within the housing cavity, and the axial pin extension is enclosed within a resilient cushion. During use, lateral and axial loads imparted on the stud shaft are transformed into radial and axial component forces at the bearing surfaces. The radial force components are distributed to the interior walls of the housing cavity, while the axial force components are transferred axially through the resilient cushion to the end closure components secured to the housing. Little or no lateral force components are transferred to the resilient cushion from lateral loads imparted on the stud shaft, thereby reducing wear on the pivot socket components and extending the useful life thereof.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 18, 2001
    Publication date: January 31, 2002
    Inventor: George R. Schmidt
  • Patent number: 6287040
    Abstract: A ball-and-socket joint for motor vehicles is described which includes a housing (3), a bearing shell (4), which is inserted into the housing and accommodates a joint ball (1.3) of a ball pivot (1) exiting from the housing on at least one side movably in all directions. The ball pivot is provided with a connection contour (1.4) on the side opposite the joint ball. The ball-and-socket joint also includes a sealing element (2) in the form of bellows, which is sealingly in contact with the housing, on the one hand, and with a shoulder (1.5) of the ball pivot, on the other hand. A circular ring collar (1.1) provided with an undercut contour is made in one piece with the ball pivot (1). The sealing element (2) is inserted with its area (2.1) that is sealingly in contact with the ball pivot (1) into the annular space (1.2) formed by the undercut under elastic pretension.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2001
    Assignee: ZF Lemforder Metallwaren AG
    Inventor: Markus Fischer
  • Patent number: 6171012
    Abstract: A radial ball-and-socket joint for a motor vehicle with a housing and a ball pivot, whose joint ball is mounted movably in all directions in a bearing shell, is presented, in which the bearing shell (1) has a two-part design and the joint ball (3.1) of the ball pivot (3) is radially progressively pretensioned by at least one damping element (2) between the upper shell (1.1) and the lower shell (1.2). The damping element is inserted into the housing (4) and has a lower Shore hardness than the bearing shell (1), wherein the bearing shell is only in punctiform or linear contact with the joint ball (3.1) of the ball pivot (3) in the unloaded state of the joint.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2001
    Assignee: Lemförder Metallwaren AG (DE)
    Inventor: Paul Westphal
  • Patent number: 6042293
    Abstract: An annular bearing set for a ball and socket joint includes annular inner and outer bearings that has a head of a ball stud engaging an inner seat face of each of the bearings. An axial compression preload results when the bearing set and ball stud are inserted into a socket and the socket is closed. The seat face of the outer bearing is provided with a plurality of compliance grooves and lubrication grooves. The inner bearing is also provided with lubrication grooves. The grooves permit the preloaded bearing set to relax during a predetermined time period, thereby producing a joint that has low torque and low end motion. The bearings are further provided with an alignment mechanism for aligning the lubrication grooves of the inner and outer bearings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2000
    Assignee: Dana Corporation
    Inventor: Garth B. Maughan
  • Patent number: 5997208
    Abstract: A ball joint assembly (10) includes a housing (12) having a socket chamber (20). A bearing (22) is disposed in the socket chamber. A ball stud has a head end portion (30) enclosed by the bearing (22) and a shank portion (34) which extends out of the housing (12). A retainer (38) applies force against an outer end portion (40) of the bearing (22) to press an inner end portion (44) of the bearing firmly against a locating surface (46) of the housing. A torque adjustment assembly (64) is operable to adjust the torque required to rotate the ball stud (32) about a longitudinal central axis (36) of the shank portion (34). The torque adjustment assembly (64) includes a force transmitting member (70) and an adjustment member (72). The adjustment member (72) is operable to press the force transmitting member (70) against the flexible inner end portion (26) of the bearing to vary the force applied against the head end portion (30) of the ball stud (32).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 7, 1999
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Brian A. Urbach, Gordon J. Decker, Jack Jaroneski
  • Patent number: 5885022
    Abstract: A ball joint having a polymeric housing with an integral bearing seat for receiving a ball stud. A polymeric cap attaches to the housing and includes a bearing cavity for contacting the ball stud. The housing and bearing cap each have retention features that cooperate to securely assemble the joint. A pattern of reinforcing ribs are optionally provided on the outer surface of the housing to increase strength and dimensional stability.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 23, 1999
    Assignee: Dana Corporation
    Inventors: Garth B. Maughan, Gregory R. Atkins
  • Patent number: 5882137
    Abstract: A process for preparing a low-friction ball joint and a ball joint prepared according to this process are presented, wherein a ball pivot with a joint ball made integrally in one piece with it is fitted into an insert ring via the intermediary of a bearing shell, which is cylindrical on the outside at least in some areas, the insert ring is subsequently screwed with its external thread into the internal thread of a housing in a self-locking manner, and the insert ring is then additionally tightened in the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 16, 1999
    Assignee: Lemforder Metallwaren AG
    Inventors: Karl-Heinz Epp, Gerhard Ey, Klaus Broker, Martin Wellerding
  • Patent number: 5839845
    Abstract: A preloaded pivot joint has a threaded ball seat that is screwed into an open end of the joint housing to adjust the axial load on the ball stud and consequent torque characteristics. The adjusted position of the ball seat is then maintained by swaging the joint housing inwardly to engage a hexagonal portion of the ball seat that is used to screw the ball seat into the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 24, 1998
    Assignee: American Axle & Manufacturing
    Inventors: Jeffrey L. Kincaid, Brian A. Mattila, Thomas J. Miller, Kenneth G. Kraft
  • Patent number: 5816731
    Abstract: A self-adjusting bearing assembly comprising a ball member, a connector member, and a bearing seat component having at least two seat members arranged to receive the ball member therebetween. The ball member has a shaped segment providing an outer bearing surface, and the seat members include correspondly shaped inner bearing surfaces for engaging the outer bearing surface of the ball member. A slack removal mechanism is provided to urge a movable one of the seat members toward the ball member and may comprise a pressure chamber having a wall formed by a resilient diaphram positioned adjacent a pressure surface of the movable seat member, and a fitting for pressurizing this chamber with a fluid. The assembly may include a second fitting for feeding lubricant from the pressure chamber to the bearing surfaces. Optionally, a screw member may be provided for exerting an adjustable mechanical force to urge the movable seat member against the ball member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 6, 1998
    Inventor: Durrell U. Howard
  • Patent number: 5772337
    Abstract: A bearing set for a ball and socket joint comprises an inner and outer bearing with a head of a ball stud engaging a spherical inner seat face of each of the bearings. An axial compression pre-load results when the bearing set and ball stud are inserted into a socket and the socket is closed. To prevent the over compression of the bearings and undesirable plastic deformation, a plurality of wedge shaped slots extend about each bearing between an outer axial surface and an outer peripheral surface. The slots provide material "flow" which eliminate unwanted plastic deformation by placing pre-load force and the natural material elasticity into a desired equilibrium. The tailored "cushioning" effect remains while still providing adequate compression pre-loading and dynamic stability to the ball stud.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 30, 1998
    Assignee: Dana Corporation
    Inventors: Garth B. Maughan, Terry D. Peppers
  • Patent number: 5655848
    Abstract: A ball and socket pivot joint includes a housing socket, having upper and lower open ends concentrically disposed about a socket axis, receiving a ball stud including an integral stem extending through the socket lower open end with a lower semi-spherical portion of the ball stud seated on a socket lower bearing seat. The socket upper open end is closed by a pressure member disposed between a housing cap and a pressure plate wherein the pressure plate provides an upper bearing seat for an upper semi-spherical surface of the ball stud. The ball stud lower surface is defined by a pivot center having a first radius of curvature on the socket axis while its upper surface is defined by a variable preload center on the stem axis and having a second radius of curvature a predetermined dimension greater than the first radius of curvature. With the ball joint in a neutral mode the socket and stem axes coincide such that the variable preload center is located on both axes and below the ball stud pivot center.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 12, 1997
    Assignee: Chrysler Corporation
    Inventor: Willard E. Catron
  • Patent number: 5564853
    Abstract: A bearing set for a ball socket joint comprises an outer bearing and an inner bearing with a head of a ball stud engaging a spherical inner seat face of each of the bearings. A compression pre-load is applied when the inner bearing is inserted into a cavity of the outer bearing, a cylindrical outer wedge surface of the inner bearing having a greater diameter than a corresponding diameter of an inner skirt defining the cavity of the outer bearing. The bearing set is subjected to additional compression pre-load when the bearing set and ball stud are inserted into a socket and the socket is closed. The two-piece bearing set promotes easy Joint assembly, results in a joint that is extremely tight with no axial or radial play, but allows necessary ball stud rotation and oscillation, and compensates for wear by a self-adjusting feature whereby some of the compression pre-load is released as wear takes place.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 15, 1996
    Assignee: Dana Corporation
    Inventor: Garth B. Maughan
  • Patent number: 5496125
    Abstract: A bearing set for a ball and socket joint comprises an outer sleeve with an upper cavity and a lower cavity, each of the cavities defined by an inner skirt, an upper bearing received in the upper cavity and a lower bearing received in the lower cavity. A compression pre-load is applied when each of the bearings is inserted into its cavity, a cylindrical outer wedge surface of the respective bearing having a greater diameter than a corresponding diameter of the corresponding skirt. The bearing set is subjected to additional compression pre-load when the bearing set and ball stud are inserted into a housing and the housing is closed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 1994
    Date of Patent: March 5, 1996
    Assignee: Dana Corporation
    Inventor: Garth Maughan
  • Patent number: 5480401
    Abstract: A prosthesis with double damper performing the function of intervertebral stabilizer which comprises at least two identical elements assembled together and comprising elastic bodies for regulating the bending-stretching movement between two vertebrae so as to approach as closely as possible the physiological course of a discal movement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 1994
    Date of Patent: January 2, 1996
    Assignee: PSI
    Inventor: Fernand Navas
  • Patent number: 5395176
    Abstract: A ball joint has a joint pin with a spherical head received by a bearing shell arranged in the joint housing. Notwithstanding bearing-shell wear which occurs, the radial guidance of the spherical head in the bearing shell remains largely constant over the lifetime of the ball joint. For that purpose, the bearing shell, through which passes a slot extending transversely relative to the circumferential direction, bears with a cylindrical part of its circumferential surface against a cylindrical wall portion of the joint housing and is radially prestressed relative to the axis of the cylindrical wall portion between the joint housing and the equatorial diameter of the spherical head.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 1993
    Date of Patent: March 7, 1995
    Assignee: Mercedes-Benz AG
    Inventor: Milorad Zivkovic
  • Patent number: 5183351
    Abstract: A constant velocity joint has a low profile boot retainer which seals and retains a boot on the joint. The boot retainer also retains the joint's internal components within the outer race. The low profile feature allows for the use of this boot retainer when space is at a premium. The retainer has an inner and outer band which sandwich the rubber or plastic boot between them and provide a seal between the boot and the constant velocity joint outer race.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 1991
    Date of Patent: February 2, 1993
    Assignee: GKN Automotive, Inc.
    Inventor: Dean J. Schneider
  • Patent number: 5116159
    Abstract: A ball and socket joint assembly incorporates an internal preload whereby a relatiely constant torque may be realized over the useful life of the assembly. In a preferred form, the assembly includes a housing having a ball socket cavity, a ball, a pair of socket beraings supporting the ball, and a stud shaft integral with the ball. The housing defines an axis along which the socket bearings position and retain the ball for limited oscillatory movement within the housing. One socket bearing defines a ring through which the stud shaft extends for coupling to the tie rod end of a steering arm assembly. The other socket bearing is cup-shaped and formed of an extrudable plastic material. A radially oriented seat in the housing is adapted to support a conical disc spring washer interposed between the seat and the cup-shaped bearing. The conical washer is preferably a Belleville spring capable of providing a relatively constant force over a limited deflection range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 1991
    Date of Patent: May 26, 1992
    Assignee: Dana Corporation
    Inventors: Karle O. Kern, Jr., Dana A. Desko
  • Patent number: 5098213
    Abstract: A ball joint comprises companion inner and outer hollow ball sections each comprising a major segment of a sphere. Spring means within the ball sections urges a friction pad into engagement with the interior surface of one of the sections. Screws within the ball sections adjusts the spring force, the screws being accessible for movement through a series of openings in one of the ball sections.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 1991
    Date of Patent: March 24, 1992
    Inventor: Robert L. Day
  • Patent number: 4995755
    Abstract: A ball joint includes a pair of generally hemispheric head members including facing surfaces. A bearing member is disposed between the facing surfaces. One of the head members is connected to a ball stud, the other includes a shank hole through which the ball stud passes. Both head members are enclosed in a ball seat which is deformed into conformity with a generally spherical outer surface of the combined first and second head members by a socket that is formed about them. An elastic member between the socket and the ball seat applies an axial force to said first and second head members, whereby a substantial preload on the ball joint permits take-up of wear during use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 1989
    Date of Patent: February 26, 1991
    Assignee: Toyota Jishoda Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Youichi Hyodo, Tadao Muramatsu, Takaji Hattori