(19)
(11)EP 2 443 430 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
04.11.2020 Bulletin 2020/45

(21)Application number: 09846279.9

(22)Date of filing:  15.06.2009
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
G01M 17/02(2006.01)
G01B 3/28(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2009/047323
(87)International publication number:
WO 2010/147577 (23.12.2010 Gazette  2010/51)

(54)

Method of measuring the depth of a cable in a tire

Verfahren zum Messen der Tiefe eines Kabels in einem Reifen

Procédé de mesure de profondeur de câble de pneu


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO SE SI SK TR

(43)Date of publication of application:
25.04.2012 Bulletin 2012/17

(73)Proprietor: Compagnie Générale des Etablissements Michelin
63000 Clermont-Ferrand (FR)

(72)Inventors:
  • CHEBLI, Adib, T.
    Greer, SC 29650 (US)
  • IKONOMOV, Metodi, L.
    Moore, SC 29369 (US)

(74)Representative: Dossmann, Gérard 
Casalonga & Partners Bayerstrasse 71-73
80335 München
80335 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-B1- 1 374 784
WO-A2-02/39887
US-A- 71 719
US-A- 4 234 256
US-A- 5 013 318
US-A- 5 536 346
US-B1- 7 497 113
WO-A1-2007/047466
WO-A2-2008/057494
US-A- 2 579 664
US-A- 4 980 902
US-A- 5 497 560
US-A1- 2008 229 598
US-B1- 7 497 113
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION


    Field of the Invention



    [0001] This invention relates generally to tire repair and more specifically to determining the location of metal cables in the tire sidewall to establish appropriate depth for any surface treatment or repair.

    Description of the Related Art



    [0002] Steel cord is used in the body ply and belts of truck tires. These steel cords, also known as cables, are located in the tire sidewall. When repairing an injury to a tire sidewall, the injured area may be buffed or ground to remove material and prepare the area for patch application or repair. Cables may be located at various depths within the sidewall depending upon the dimension of the tire, its architecture, its type and usage, its manufacturer, and the production parameters and conditions. During the repair operation of the tire, it is crucial to avoid damaging or disturbing the undamaged metal cables that are adjacent to the injury and/or that fall within the repair area.

    [0003] Various electromagnetic mechanisms are known for determining metal cable depth; however, these mechanisms are complex and require calibration to specific tire types. A low technology, easy to use apparatus is needed to quickly and definitively classify cable depth in individual tires without the necessity of calibration.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0004] The present invention concerns a method for determining the depth of a cable embedded in a sidewall of a tire as claimed in the appended claims.

    [0005] Particular embodiments of such methods may further include selecting an appropriate setting on a subsequent operation based upon the classified depths.

    [0006] The foregoing and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following more detailed descriptions of particular embodiments of the invention, as illustrated in the accompanying drawing wherein like reference numbers represent like parts of the invention.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0007] 

    FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a cable depth gauge.

    FIG. 2 is a side perspective view of the cable depth gauge.

    FIG. 3 is a schematic view of the positioning of the cable depth gauge into a tire with an injury.

    FIG. 4 is an enlarged cross sectional view of the tire sidewall and the gauge measuring shallow depth cables.

    FIG. 5 is an enlarged cross sectional view of the tire sidewall and the gauge measuring medium depth cables.

    FIG. 6 is an enlarged cross sectional view of the tire sidewall and the gauge measuring deep depth cables.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PARTICULAR EMBODIMENTS



    [0008] Embodiments of the present invention include a cable depth determination method. A cable depth gauge to classify cable depth as shallow, medium and deep would be extremely useful in processes to prepare a tire for repair. It is important in these processes to grind or treat the surface close to the cables without damaging or disturbing the undamaged cables. The cable depth classification may be used to determine depth of grinding or treatment.

    [0009] Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a cable depth gauge 10 is formed of any suitable known materials such as plastic or steel. The gauge 10 includes an elongate body 26 having a proximal end 18 and a distal end 24. The distal end 24 may be fashioned as shown, i.e. an extension of the elongate body 26 or may include an expanded width region for ease of gripping. The elongate body 26 has an indicator point 12, a first measuring region 14 and a second measuring region 15 located at the proximal end 18 of the elongate body 26.

    [0010] The gauge 10 must be long enough to be partially inserted through a repair section of a tire sidewall where the sidewall cords or cables have been exposed while being held securely in one's hand. For example, the length of the gauge may be between 6 cm and 20 cm. The width dimension of the gauge 10 is dependent upon the minimum hole size permitted by the repair specifications of the repair process that requires the use of the cable depth gauge. The width dimension of the gauge thus limits the insertion of the gauge into holes having a size that is inferior to the repair specifications of the process of interest. The gauge may have a width of about 4 mm. It is understood that the width of the gauge 10 may range, for example, between 3 mm and 30 mm depending upon the repair process specifications. The gauge illustrated in the drawings is rectangular in shape; however, almost any shape may be appropriate for this application.

    [0011] The indicator point 12 located on the proximal end 18 of the gauge 10 catches or aligns on the inside of the tire sidewall to locate the gauge at that known position. In the illustrated example, the indicator point 12 may be a tab that extends perpendicular to the elongate body 26 to physically catch on the inner sidewall surface of the tire being repaired. In the illustrated example, the tab height is 3 mm but this is not a critical height constraint. The tab may be any shape, length and thickness sufficient to enter the repair hole and couple to the inner sidewall surface of the tire.

    [0012] In other particular example, the indicator point 12 may be, for example, merely an indication line, a mark or color coding on the elongate body set to reference an inner or outer surface of the tire. As such, the surface referenced may be the inner surface or the outer surface of the tire. Thus, the elongate body 26 may be configured to classify the depth of the cables from the inside of the tire or from the outside of the tire.

    [0013] The depth regions are determined by evaluating placement of metal cables in many tires from various manufacturers. The following depth regions were determined, for example, using truck tires. The depth regions will vary depending on the size of the class of the tire, such as, for example an off road tire will have different measuring regions compared to a truck tire. In particular embodiments, the first measuring region 14 extends from the indicator point 12 to the edge of the second measuring region 15. The first measuring region 14 may be designated as the shallow cable depth region (for the exemplary embodiment). In a particular embodiment, the length of the first measuring region 14 is, for example, between 3.0 mm and 4.0 mm. In another embodiment, the length of the first measuring region is about 3.5 mm.

    [0014] The second measuring region 15 extends beyond the length of the first measuring region 14. The first and second measuring regions 14, 15 may be marked, labeled or color coded to indicate the regions. In one embodiment the second measuring region 15 is a notch 16. The second measuring region 15 may be designated as the medium depth region (for the exemplary embodiment). In a particular embodiment, the length of the second measuring region 15 is, for example, between 1.0 mm and 2.0 mm. In another embodiment, the length of the second measuring region is about 1.8 mm. Any cable positions in the repair section of the tire that are observed beyond the second measuring region 15 may be designated as the deep depth region (for the exemplary embodiment).

    [0015] A tire may receive an injury from road debris that causes a puncture or rupture of the rubber sidewall. It is commonly recommended for preparing the injury for repair that a clean hole be drilled or ground at the injury site. With reference to FIG. 3, a portion of a tire 20 is depicted, the tire 20 having an injury and repair hole 22 in the sidewall. Particular embodiments of methods of determining the depth of a cable embedded in a tire sidewall include producing a repair hole in the sidewall of a tire and inserting a cable depth gauge into a repair hole formed through a tire. The cable depth gauge may be inserted from the inside or the outside of the tire. Particular embodiments of the invention are shown inserting the cable depth gauge from the outside of the tire.

    [0016] Referring to FIGS. 4, 5 and 6, the steps of positioning and reading the cable depth gauge for particular embodiments of the invention are illustrated. Of course if the reference indicator point 12 has aligned with the outer surface, then the cable depth gauge would have to have different first and second measuring region locations. The cable depth gauge 10 is inserted in the repair hole 22 from the outside 34 of the tire. Then the cable depth gauge is positioned in a reference position using an indicator point 12 on the end of the cable depth gauge 10. The cable depth gauge 10 is inserted through the sidewall then pulled back toward the outside of the tire until the indicator point 12 aligns on the interior surface 32 of the sidewall. The depth of the cables 36 may be read in relation to the first measuring region 14 and the second measuring region 15 on the proximal end of the cable depth gauge 10.

    [0017] The depth of the cables may be classified as shallow, medium or deep in relation to the interior surface 32 of the tire. FIG. 4 illustrates a shallow depth classification where the metal cables are positioned in the first measuring region 14. FIG. 5 illustrates a medium depth classification where the metal cables are positioned in the second measuring region 15. FIG. 6 illustrates a deep depth classification where the metal cables are positioned beyond the second measuring region 15.

    [0018] The method of using the cable depth gauge to determine the depth of metal cable embedded in a tire sidewall may further include selecting an appropriate setting on any subsequent operations to reflect the depth of the cables. For example, a grinding operation may be set to shallow, medium or deep grind levels depending upon the classification determined using this method and apparatus.

    [0019] The terms "comprising," "including," and "having," as used in the claims and specification herein, shall be considered as indicating an open group that may include other elements not specified. The term "consisting essentially of," as used in the claims and specification herein, shall be considered as indicating a partially open group that may include other elements not specified, so long as those other elements do not materially alter the basic and novel characteristics of the claimed invention. The terms "a," "an," and the singular forms of words shall be taken to include the plural form of the same words, such that the terms mean that one or more of something is provided. The terms "at least one" and "one or more" are used interchangeably. The term "one" or "single" shall be used to indicate that one and only one of something is intended. Similarly, other specific integer values, such as "two," are used when a specific number of things is intended. The terms "preferably," "preferred," "prefer," "optionally," "may," and similar terms are used to indicate that an item, condition or step being referred to is an optional (not required) feature of the invention. Ranges that are described as being "between a and b" are inclusive of the values for "a" and "b."

    [0020] It should be understood from the foregoing description that various modifications and changes may be made to the embodiments of the present invention. The foregoing description is provided for the purpose of illustration only and should not be construed in a limiting sense. Only the language of the following claims should limit the scope of this invention.


    Claims

    1. A method for determining a depth of a cable (36) embedded in a sidewall of a tire (20), the method comprising:

    inserting a cable depth gauge (10) into a repair hole (22) formed through a tire (20), the cable depth gauge (10) comprising:

    an elongated body having a proximal end (18) having an indicator point (12) set to reference a surface (32) of the tire (20), the elongated body having a width sized to determine eligibility if the repair hole (22) being examined meets a minimum size for a repair process, and

    a first measuring region (14) and a second measuring region (15) located at the proximal end (18) of the elongated body, each of the first measuring region (14) and the second measuring region (15) being arranged at a known distance from the indicator point (12), the first measuring region (14) extending from the indicator point (12) to the edge of the second measuring region (15), and the second measuring region (15) extending beyond the length of the first measuring region (14);

    positioning the indicator point (12) of the cable depth gauge (10) at a surface (32) of the tire (20);

    determining whether the cable (36) falls within the first measuring region (14), the second measuring region (15) or beyond the second measuring region (15); and

    classifying the depth of the cable (36) as shallow if the cable (36) falls within the first measuring region (14), medium if the cable (36) falls within the second measuring region (15) or deep if the cable (36) falls beyond the second measuring region (15).


     
    2. The method of claim 1, further comprising: performing a grinding operation selected to grind into the tire (20) from the surface (32) by a depth depending upon the depth classified in the step of classifying.
     
    3. The method of claim 1, wherein the second measuring region (15) is a notch (16) in the elongate body (26).
     
    4. The method of claim 1, wherein the indicator point (12) is a tab.
     
    5. The method of claim 1, wherein the first measuring region (14) is between 3.0 mm and 4.0 mm and the second measuring region (15) is between 1.0 mm and 2.0 mm.
     
    6. The method of claim 3, wherein the width of the elongate body (26) at the proximal end (18) is between 2 mm and 6 mm.
     
    7. The method of claim 1, wherein the surface (32) to which the indicator point (12) is set to reference is an interior surface (32) of the tire (20).
     
    8. The method of claim 4, wherein the tab extends in a direction perpendicular to the elongate body (26).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Verfahren zum Bestimmen einer Tiefe eines Kabels (36), das in eine Seitenwand eines Reifens (20) eingebettet ist, wobei das Verfahren Folgendes umfasst:

    Einsetzen eines Kabeltiefenmessers (10) in ein durch einen Reifen (10) gebildetes Reparaturloch (22), wobei der Kabeltiefenmesser (10) Folgendes umfasst:

    einen länglichen Körper mit einem proximalen Ende (18), das einen Indikatorpunkt (12) aufweist, der so eingestellt ist, dass er auf eine Oberfläche (32) des Reifens (20) verweist,

    wobei der längliche Körper eine Breite hat, die so bemessen ist, dass sie die Eignung bestimmen kann, ob das zu prüfende Reparaturloch (22) eine Mindestgröße für einen Reparaturvorgang erfüllt, und

    einen ersten Messbereich (14) und einen zweiten Messbereich (15), die sich am proximalen Ende (18) des länglichen Körpers befinden, wobei sowohl der erste Messbereich (14) als auch der zweite Messbereich (15) in einem bekannten Abstand vom Indikatorpunkt (12) angeordnet sind,

    wobei sich der erste Messbereich (14) von dem Indikatorpunkt (12) bis zum Rand des zweiten Messbereichs (15) erstreckt und der zweite Messbereich (15) sich über die Länge des ersten Messbereichs (14) hinaus erstreckt;

    Positionieren des Indikatorpunktes (12) des Kabeltiefenmessers (10) auf einer Oberfläche (32) des Reifens (20) ;

    Bestimmen, ob das Kabel (36) in den ersten Messbereich (14), in den zweiten Messbereich (15) oder über den zweiten Messbereich (15) hinaus fällt; und

    Einstufen der Tiefe des Kabels (36) als flach, wenn das Kabel (36) in den ersten Messbereich (14) fällt, als mittel, wenn das Kabel (36) in den zweiten Messbereich (15) fällt, oder als tief, wenn das Kabel (36) über den zweiten Messbereich (15) hinaus fällt.


     
    2. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, ferner umfassend:
    Durchführen eines Schleifvorgangs, der so gewählt ist, dass er von der Oberfläche (32) eine Tiefe in den Reifen (20) schleift, die von der Tiefe abhängt, die beim Einstufen der Tiefe bestimmt wurde.
     
    3. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei der zweite Messbereich (15) eine Einkerbung (16) im länglichen Körper (26) ist.
     
    4. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Indikatorpunkt (12) ein Tabulator ist.
     
    5. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei der erste Messbereich (14) zwischen 3,0 mm und 4,0 mm und der zweite Messbereich (15) zwischen 1,0 mm und 2,0 mm liegt.
     
    6. Verfahren nach Anspruch 3, wobei die Breite des länglichen Körpers (26) am proximalen Ende (18) zwischen 2 mm und 6 mm liegt.
     
    7. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Oberfläche (32), zu welcher der Indikatorpunkt (12) verweist, eine Innenoberfläche (32) des Reifens (20) ist.
     
    8. Verfahren nach Anspruch 4, wobei sich der Tabulator in einer Richtung senkrecht zum länglichen Körper (26) erstreckt.
     


    Revendications

    1. Procédé pour déterminer une profondeur d'un câble (36) noyé dans un flanc d'un pneumatique (20), le procédé comprenant d'insérer une jauge de profondeur de câble (10) dans un trou de réparation (22) formé à travers un pneu (20), la jauge de profondeur de câble (10) comprenant ;
    un corps allongé ayant une extrémité proximale (18) ayant un point indicateur (12) référencé à une surface (32) du pneumatique (20), le corps allongé ayant une largeur dimensionnée pour déterminer une admissibilité si le trou de réparation (22) étant examiné répond à une taille minimale pour un processus de réparation, et
    une première région de mesure (14) et une seconde région de mesure (15) situées au niveau de l'extrémité proximale (18) du corps allongé, chacune de la première région de mesure (14) et de la seconde région de mesure (15) étant agencée à une distance connue du point indicateur (12), la première région de mesure (14) s'étendant depuis le point indicateur (12) jusqu'au bord de la seconde région de mesure (15), et la seconde région de mesure (15) s'étendant au-delà de la longueur de la première région de mesure (14) ;
    de positionner le point indicateur (12) de la jauge de profondeur de câble (10) au niveau d'une surface (32) du pneumatique (20) ;
    de déterminer si le câble (36) tombe dans la première région de mesure (14), la seconde région de mesure (15) ou au-delà de la seconde région de mesure (15) ; et
    de classifier la profondeur du câble (36) comme peu profonde si le câble (36) tombe dans la première région de mesure (14), de moyenne si le câble (36) tombe dans la seconde région de mesure (15) ou de profonde si le câble (36) tombe au-delà de la seconde région de mesure (15).
     
    2. Procédé selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre : de réaliser une opération de meulage sélectionnée pour meuler dans le pneumatique (20) depuis la surface (32) sur une profondeur dépendant de la profondeur classifiée lors de l'étape de classification.
     
    3. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la seconde région de mesure (15) est une encoche (16) dans le corps allongé (26).
     
    4. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le point indicateur (12) est une patte.
     
    5. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la première région de mesure (14) est entre 3,0 mm et 4,0 mm et la seconde région de mesure (15) est entre 1,0 mm et 2,0 mm.
     
    6. Procédé selon la revendication 3, dans lequel la largeur du corps allongé (26) au niveau de l'extrémité proximale (18) est entre 2 mm et 6 mm.
     
    7. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la surface (32) à laquelle le point indicateur (12) est référencé est une surface intérieure (32) du pneumatique (20).
     
    8. Procédé selon la revendication 4, dans lequel la patte s'étend dans une direction perpendiculaire au corps allongé (26).
     




    Drawing