(19)
(11)EP 2 604 736 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
02.09.2020 Bulletin 2020/36

(21)Application number: 12197328.3

(22)Date of filing:  14.12.2012
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
D06F 37/24(2006.01)
F16F 15/36(2006.01)

(54)

Ball balancer and washing machine having the same

Stabilisator und Waschmaschine damit

Dispositif d'équilibrage à bille et machine à laver dotée de celui-ci


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL 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 RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 16.12.2011 JP 2011276178
04.12.2012 KR 20120139520

(43)Date of publication of application:
19.06.2013 Bulletin 2013/25

(73)Proprietor: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Gyeonggi-do 16677 (KR)

(72)Inventors:
  • Yoshinari, Shimada
    Osakabu (JP)
  • Atsushi, Ohyagi
    Osakabu (JP)

(74)Representative: Walaski, Jan Filip et al
Venner Shipley LLP 200 Aldersgate
London EC1A 4HD
London EC1A 4HD (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 0 857 807
JP-A- S4 910 563
JP-A- S59 183 846
EP-A2- 0 811 717
JP-A- S54 120 957
  
      
    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


    [0001] The present invention relates to a ball balancer, particularly to a ball balancer that corrects dislocation between the centre of gravity and a rotation centre of a rotator.

    [0002] Conventionally, ball balancers have been known as devices to correct unbalance (imbalance) that causes vibration or noise of a rotary system (dislocation between the centre of gravity and a rotation centre of a rotator). A typical ball balancer includes a doughnut-shaped race member having an empty space therein, and a plurality of balls movably received within the race member. The ball balancer is concentrically installed to a rotator and is rotated, along with the rotator, about a rotation axis of the rotator. If a rotation speed of the rotator exceeds a resonance rotation speed (i.e. a rotation speed causing primary resonance of a rotary system), the balls move away from a weight unbalance portion of the rotator. This enables correction of unbalance. For example, such a ball balancer is installed to a rotating tub of a washing machine to correct unbalance created by bias of clothes within the rotating tub of the washing machine. In addition to the rotating tub of the washing machine, the ball balancer may be installed to a rotator of a rotary machine, such as a centrifuge or a disc drive.

    [0003] However, if a rotation speed of the rotator is less than a resonance rotation speed, the balls may move toward the weight unbalance portion of the rotator, rather than moving away from the weight unbalance portion. As a result, unbalance is aggravated. As a countermeasure, Japanese Patent Laid-Open publication No. S54-120957 discloses a balance device in which a plurality of recesses (ball detention positions) are formed in the bottom of the balance device and a tilt angle of inner sidewalls of the recesses is determined such that balance weights (balls) are centrifugally rolled out of the recesses when a dehydrator tub is rotated at a higher rotation speed than a natural frequency of a support system for the dehydrator tub. In the balance device disclosed in the aforementioned publication No. S54-120957, if the rotation speed of the dehydrator tub is greater than the natural frequency, the balance weights are centrifugally separated from the recesses and move to the top of the balance device. If the rotation speed of the dehydrator tub is less than the natural frequency, the balance weights are detained in the recesses, which may restrict aggravation of unbalance.

    [0004] Japanese Patent Laid-Open publication No. S49-10563 discloses a dehydration/washing machine in which a weight guiding pipe installed to a wash tub is internally provided with a slope, and a weight (ball) is detained in a gap (ball detention position) between the slope and a sidewall opposite to the slope when the wash tub is rotated less than a resonance rotation speed, but centrifugally moves upward along the slope when the wash tub reaches the resonance rotation speed. Also, Japanese Patent Laid-Open publication No. S59-183846 discloses a balancer in which an annular chamber receives liquid and spheres (balls) arranged in the bottom (at ball detention positions) thereof such that the spheres centrifugally move upward from the bottom of the annular chamber along an inclined wall of the annular chamber when a rotating tub is rotated at a higher speed than a resonance point.

    [0005] However, in the related art, although balls begin to move toward ball detention positions by gravitational force if a rotation speed of a rotator becomes less than a resonance rotation speed (revolutions per minute that cause primary resonance of a rotary system), there is a likelihood that some balls not present at the ball detention positions come into contact with other balls present at the ball detention positions and remain stationary without moving to the ball detention positions. In this case, since gravitational force is applied to the balls not present at the ball detention positions, it may be difficult to move the balls to the ball detention positions. For example, although the aforementioned publication No. S54-120957 describes movement of the balls via vibration of the dehydrator tub, moving the balls not present at the ball detention positions may be impossible because gravitational force applied to the balls is greater than force generated by vibration of the dehydrator tub (i.e. force to move the balls in a peripheral direction of a race member). As such, distributing the balls not present at the ball detention positions in the peripheral direction may be impossible, and therefore increasing a rate of the balls at the ball detention positions may be impossible. This makes it difficult to restrict aggravation of unbalance due to the balls not present at the ball detention positions.

    [0006] EP 0 811 717 A2 discloses a washing machine with a plurality of balls arranged to move in an annular channel, the annular channel attached to the drum of the washing machine.

    [0007] It is an aspect of the present invention to provide a ball balancer that may increase a rate of balls present at ball detention positions and restrict aggravation of unbalance caused by balls not present at the ball detention positions.

    [0008] Additional aspects of the invention will be set forth in part in the description which follows and, in part, will be obvious from the description, or may be learned by practice of the invention.

    [0009] In accordance with one aspect of the invention, a ball balancer installed to a rotator that is rotatable about a rotation axis, includes a doughnut-shaped race member having an empty space therein, and a plurality of balls movably received in the empty space of the race member, wherein the empty space of the race member is defined by inner and outer peripheral walls in the form of a circular pipe about the rotation axis, and doughnut-shaped bottom and top walls connecting upper and lower ends of the inner and outer peripheral walls to each other, wherein an inner surface of the bottom wall is configured by an inner peripheral edge portion connected to the inner peripheral wall and a rolling face connecting the inner peripheral edge portion and the outer peripheral wall to each other, wherein the inner peripheral edge portion of the inner surface of the bottom wall is provided with a plurality of ball detention portions spaced apart from one another by a predetermined distance in a peripheral direction of the race member and a plurality of anti-separation portions respectively arranged between the plurality of ball detention portions, wherein the rolling face is inclined upward from the inner peripheral edge portion of the inner surface of the bottom wall to the outer peripheral wall to allow the balls to move to the outer peripheral wall by centrifugal force applied to the balls when a rotation speed of the rotator is greater than a second rotation speed that is less than a first rotation speed causing primary resonance, wherein each of the ball detention portions is configured, when the rotation speed of the rotator is less than the first rotation speed, to allow one of the balls moved from the rolling face to the ball detention portion to be detained in the ball detention portion and to allow the detained ball in the ball detention portion to come into contact with a released one of the balls outside of the ball detention portion so as to prevent separation of the released ball from the rolling face, and is also configured, when the rotation speed of the rotator is greater than the first rotation speed, to allow the detained ball in the ball detention portion to be separated to the rolling face by centrifugal force applied to the detained ball, and wherein each of the plurality of anti-separation portions is configured to come into contact with the released ball outside of the ball detention portion when the rotation speed of the rotator is less than the first rotation speed, so as to prevent separation of the released ball from the rolling face.

    [0010] When a rotation speed of the rotator is less than the first rotation speed, the released balls outside of the ball detention portions may be placed on the rolling face. Thereby, the released balls may move on the rolling face by centrifugal force and gravitational force applied to the released balls as the rotation speed of the rotator varies within a range less than the first rotation speed. Therefore, distribution of the released balls in a peripheral direction of the race member may be possible. Accordingly, the balls outside of the ball detention portions (the released balls) may easily move to the ball detention portions in which no balls are detained, which may increase a detention rate of the balls in the ball detention portions. As a result, aggravation of unbalance due to the released balls may be reduced.

    [0011] The plurality of ball detention portions may be respectively configured by a plurality of recesses.

    [0012] A radial outer side surface of each of the plurality of recesses may be inclined upward from the bottom of the recess to an inner peripheral edge of the rolling face by a steeper angle than the rolling face, to allow the ball in the recess to move on the radial outer side surface of the recess and be separated to the rolling face by centrifugal force applied to the ball when the rotation speed of the rotator is greater than the first rotation speed, and a depth of each of the plurality of recesses may be determined to ensure that the released ball outside of the recess comes into contact with both the rolling face and the detained ball in the recess. With this configuration, when the rotation speed of the rotator is less than the first rotation speed, the ball moved from the rolling face into the recess may be detained in the recess. When the rotation speed of the rotator is greater than the first rotation speed, the ball detained in the recess may be separated to the rolling face by centrifugal force applied to the detained ball. Moreover, when the rotation speed of the rotator is less than the first rotation speed, the detained ball may come into contact with the released ball to prevent separation of the released ball from the rolling face.

    [0013] The depth of each of the plurality of recesses may be determined to ensure that an upper end of the detained ball in the recess protrudes from the recess and the released ball outside of the recess comes into contact with the detained ball at a position higher than an upper end of the recess. With this configuration, the released ball may come into contact with both the rolling face and the detained ball.

    [0014] The plurality of anti-separation portions may be respectively configured by a plurality of protrusions.

    [0015] Each of the plurality of protrusions may be configured to allow the released ball to come into contact with both the rolling face and a radial outer side surface of the protrusion. With this configuration, when the rotation speed of the rotator is less than the first rotation speed, the released ball may come into contact with the radial outer side surface of the protrusion to prevent separation of the released ball from the rolling face.

    [0016] A radial distance from the inner peripheral edge of the rolling face to the radial outer side surface of each of the plurality of protrusions may be less than a radius of the ball. With this configuration, the released ball may come into contact with both the rolling face and the radial outer side surface of the protrusion.

    [0017] Each of the plurality of protrusions may be configured to allow the released ball to come into contact with a portion of the radial outer side surface of the protrusion except for the edge thereof. With this configuration, rolling resistance of the released balls may be reduced. Thereby, the released balls may be easily distributed in the peripheral direction of the race member, resulting in an increased detention rate of the balls.

    [0018] A width of the radial outer side surface of each of the plurality of protrusions with respect to the rotation axis may be greater than the radius of the ball. With this configuration, the released ball may come into contact with a portion of the radial outer side surface of the protrusion except for the edge thereof.

    [0019] The rotator may be switchable between a high-speed rotation mode in which the rotator is rotated at a rotation speed greater than the first rotation speed and a variable-speed rotation mode in which the rotation speed varies within a range less than the first rotation speed. With this configuration, the balls may move by centrifugal force and gravitational force applied thereto in the variable-speed rotation mode.

    [0020] These and/or other aspects of the invention will become apparent and more readily appreciated from the following description of the embodiments, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings of which:

    FIG. 1 is a sectional view illustrating a configuration of a washing machine having a ball balancer;

    FIG. 2 is a graph explaining control of a rotation speed;

    FIG. 3 is a schematic view illustrating a configuration of a ball balancer;

    FIG. 4 is a fragmentary plan view illustrating a configuration of the ball balancer;

    FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view illustrating a configuration of the ball balancer;

    FIG. 6 is a sectional view explaining concrete examples of shapes of recesses and protrusions;

    FIG. 7 is a plan view explaining operation of the ball balancer;

    FIG. 8 is a plan view explaining operation of the ball balancer;

    FIG. 9 is a plan view explaining operation of the ball balancer;

    FIG. 10 is a sectional view explaining centrifugal force and gravitational force applied to balls; and

    FIG. 11 is a graph explaining a detention rate of balls.



    [0021] Reference will now be made in detail to the embodiments of the present invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals refer to like elements throughout. A repeated description of the like elements will be omitted.

    [0022] FIG. 1 illustrates a configuration of a washing machine to which a ball balancer is installed. The washing machine includes a ball balancer 1, an outer case 41, an outer tub 42, an elastic suspension structure 43, a rotating tub 44, an agitator blade 45, a motor 46, and a control device 47. The outer tub 42 is placed within the outer case 41 and is supported by the elastic suspension structure 43. The rotating tub 44 is placed within the outer tub 42. The rotating tub 44 is a rotator that is rotatable about a rotation axis 40. The ball balancer 1 is concentrically installed to the rotating tub 44 about the rotation axis 40 of the rotating tub 44. When the rotating tub 44 is rotated, the ball balancer 1 is rotated about the rotation axis 40. The agitator blade 45 is placed within the rotating tub 44. The motor 46 is mounted to a lower surface of the outer tub 42. The motor 46 rotates the rotating tub 44 and the agitator blade 45 in response to control by the control device 47. The control device 47 executes, e.g., management of operation processes of the washing machine, or control of a rotation speed of the motor 46. Additionally, the ball balancer 1 may be mounted to an upper end of the rotating tub 44, or may be mounted to a central portion or a lower end of the rotating tub 44. As necessary, a plurality of ball balancers may be mounted to the rotating tub 44.

    [0023] For example, the control device 47 controls operation of the washing machine in the sequence of water supply, washing, intermediate dehydration, rinsing, and final dehydration processes. During the washing and rinsing processes, the control device 47 controls the motor 46 to rotate the agitator blade 45 while keeping the rotating tub 44 stationary. During the water supply and dehydration processes (including the intermediate dehydration process and the final dehydration process), the control device 47 controls the motor 46 to rotate both the agitator blade 45 and the rotating tub 44. In the present embodiment, the rotating tub 44 is controlled to be rotated at a rotation speed greater than a rotation speed ω1 at which primary resonance of a rotary system occurs during the intermediate dehydration process and the final dehydration process, and is controlled such that a rotation speed thereof varies as illustrated in FIG. 2 during the water supply process. Explaining this in more detail, the rotation speed of the rotating tub 44 varies within a range less than the rotation speed ω1 during the water supply process. That is, the rotating tub 44 may be switched between a high-speed rotation mode in which the rotating tub 44 is rotated at a rotation speed greater than the rotation speed ω1 and a variable-speed rotation mode in which the rotation speed varies within a range less than the rotation speed ω1.

    [0024] The control device 47 may control the rotating tub 44 to be operated in a variable-speed rotation mode immediately before the dehydration process, may control the rotating tub 44 to be operated in a variable-speed rotation mode immediately after the dehydration process, and may control the rotating tub 44 to be operated in a variable-speed rotation mode after the rotating tub 44 is operated in a high-speed rotation mode during the dehydration process. A lower limit of a rotation variable speed range of the rotating tub 44, as illustrated in FIG. 2, may be "zero", or may be a rotation speed greater than zero and less than the rotation speed ω1. That is, the rotating tub 44 may be continuously rotated without stopping in the variable-speed rotation mode.

    [0025] FIG. 3 illustrates a schematic configuration of the ball balancer 1. The ball balancer 1 includes a doughnut-shaped race member 10 having an empty space therein, and a plurality of balls BB rotatably received in the empty space 100 of the race member 10. The empty space 100 of the race member 10 is defined by inner and outer peripheral walls 11 and 12 in the form of a circular pipe about a rotation axis, and bottom and top walls 13 and 14 connecting upper and lower ends of the inner and outer peripheral walls 11 and 12 to each other. More specifically, the empty space 100 is surrounded by an inner surface 101 of the inner peripheral wall 11, an inner surface 102 of the outer peripheral wall 12, an inner surface 103 of the bottom wall 13, and an inner surface 104 of the top wall 14. Oil as well as the plurality of balls BB may be received in the empty space 100.

    [0026] Referring to FIG. 4, 5(A) and 5(B), an exemplary configuration of the ball balancer 1 will be described in detail. FIG. 4 illustrates a portion of the race member 10, and FIGS. 5(A) and 5(B) illustrate cross sections taken along lines A-A and B-B of the race member 10 illustrated in FIG. 4. The ball balancer 1 has configurations as follows throughout the periphery of the race member 10.

    [0027] The inner surface 103 of the bottom wall 13 is configured by an inner peripheral edge portion 103a connected to the inner peripheral wall 11 and a rolling face 103b connecting the inner peripheral edge portion 103a and the outer peripheral wall 12 to each other. A plurality of recesses 105 (a plurality of ball detention portions) and a plurality of protrusions 106 (a plurality of anti-separation portions) are formed at the inner peripheral edge portion 103a of the inner surface 103 of the bottom wall 13.

    [0028] In the inner surface 103 of the bottom wall 13, the rolling face 103b is inclined upward from the inner peripheral edge portion 103a to the outer peripheral wall 12, to ensure that the balls BB move toward the outer peripheral wall 12 by centrifugal force applied to the balls BB when a rotation speed of the rotator is greater than a rotation speed ω2 (less than the rotation speed ω1). When viewed from the top of the race member 10, the inner peripheral edge portion 103a and the rolling face 103b define a doughnut (more particularly, a doughnut about a rotation axis).

    [0029] The recesses 105 are spaced apart from one another by a predetermined distance in a peripheral direction of the race member 10. The recesses 105 have the same shape. The recesses 105 are configured to detain the balls BB moved from the rolling face 103b when a rotation speed of the rotator is less than the rotation speed ω1 (or is equal to the rotation speed ω1). The recesses 105 are also configured to ensure that the balls BB in the recesses 105 (hereinafter referred to as detained balls BB1) come into contact with the other balls BB outside of the recesses 105 (hereinafter referred to as released balls BB2), thereby preventing separation of the released balls BB2 from the rolling face 103b. Moreover, the recesses 105 are configured to assist the balls BB in the recesses 105 (the detained balls BB1) in moving to the rolling face 103b by centrifugal force applied thereto when a rotation speed of the rotator is greater than the rotation speed ω1.

    [0030] A radial outer side surface 105a of the recess 105 (hereinafter referred to as a recess side surface 105a) may be inclined upward from the bottom of the recess 105 (hereinafter referred to as a recess bottom surface 105b) to an inner peripheral edge of the rolling face 103b by a steeper angle than the rolling face 103b, to allow the ball BB in the recess 105 (the detained ball BB1) to move on the recess side surface 105a and be discharged to the rolling face 103b by centrifugal force applied to the detained ball BB1 when a rotation speed of the rotator is greater than the rotation speed ω1. With this configuration, the ball BB moved from the rolling face 103b to the recess 105 may be detained in the recess 105 when a rotation speed of the rotator is less than the rotation speed ω1, and the detained ball BB1 may move to the rolling face 103 by centrifugal force applied thereto when a rotation speed of the rotator is greater than the rotation speed ω1.

    [0031] A depth of the recess 105 may be determined to ensure that the released ball BB2 in contact with the rolling face 103b comes into contact with the detained ball BB1 in the recess 105. With this configuration, when a rotation speed of the rotator is less than the rotation speed ω1, the detained ball BB1 comes into contact with the released ball BB2, which may prevent separation of the released ball BB2 from the rolling face 103b.

    [0032] More particularly, the depth of the recess 105 may be determined to ensure that an upper end of the detained ball BB1 protrudes from the recess 105 and the released ball BB2 comes into contact with the detained ball BB1 at a position higher than an upper end of the recess 105. With this configuration, the released ball BB2 may come into contact with both the rolling face 103b and the detained ball BB1.

    [0033] When viewed from the top of the race member 10, the recess 105 has an approximately square shape. A radial inner side surface of the recess 105 is connected to the inner surface 101 of the inner peripheral wall 11. That is, the radial inner side surface of the recess 105 is defined by the inner surface 101 of the inner peripheral wall 11. Also, when viewed from the top of the race member 10, outer peripheral edges of the recess side surface 105a and the recess bottom surface 105b may be arc-shaped (more particularly, may take the form of an arc about a rotation axis).

    [0034] The plurality of protrusions 106 are respectively arranged between the plurality of recesses 105. The plurality of protrusions 106 may have the same shape. When a rotation speed of the rotator is less than the rotation speed ω1 (or is equal to the rotation speed ω1), the protrusions 106 come into contact with the balls BB outside of the recesses 105 (the released balls BB3), thereby preventing separation of the released balls BB3 from the rolling face 103b.

    [0035] The protrusion 106 may be configured to assist the released ball BB3 in coming into contact with the rolling face 103b and a radial outer side surface 106a of the protrusion 106 (hereinafter, referred to as a protrusion side surface 106a). With this configuration, when a rotation speed of the rotator is less than the rotation speed ω1, the released ball BB3 comes into contact with the protrusion side surface 106a, which may prevent separation of the released ball BB3 from the rolling face 103b.

    [0036] More particularly, a radial distance from the inner peripheral edge of the rolling face 103b to the protrusion side surface 106a (a radial length of the race member 10 or a horizontal distance in FIGS. 5A and 5B) may be less than a radius of the ball BB. With this configuration, the released ball BB3 may come into contact with both the rolling face 103b and the protrusion side surface 106a.

    [0037] The protrusion 106 may be configured such that the released ball BB3 comes into contact with a portion of the protrusion side surface 106a except for the edge thereof. With this configuration, the edge of the protrusion side surface 106a (i.e. corners of the protrusion 106) may not come into contact with the released ball BB3.

    [0038] More particularly, a width of the protrusion side surface 106a in a direction of the rotation axis (i.e. a width measured along the rotation axis 40 or a vertical distance in FIGS. 5A and 5B) may be greater than a radius of the ball BB. With this configuration, the released ball BB3 may come into contact with a portion of the protrusion side surface 106a except for the edge thereof.

    [0039] When viewed from the top of the race member 10, the protrusion 106 has an approximately square shape. A flat plane 106b is formed between the protrusion side surface 106a and the inner peripheral edge of the rolling face 103b. The flat plane 106b is parallel to a rotational plane perpendicular to the rotation axis. The radial inner side surface of the protrusion 106 is connected to the inner surface 101 of the inner peripheral wall 11, and both peripheral surfaces of the protrusion 106 have the same plane as peripheral surfaces of the adjacent recesses 105. The protrusion side surface 106a may have an arc shape (more particularly, may take the form of an arc about the rotation axis) when viewed from the top of the race member 10.

    [0040] The inner surface 101 of the inner peripheral wall 11 may be perpendicular to (or approximately perpendicular to) the rotational plane perpendicular to the rotation axis. The inner surface 102 of the outer peripheral wall 12 is defined by a lower end surface 102a connected to an outer peripheral edge of the rolling face 103b and an upper end surface 102b connected to the lower end surface 102a. The lower end surface 102a is an arcuate curved surface. That is, the lower end surface 102a has a curved peripheral cross section, a tilt angle (relative to the rotational plane perpendicular to the rotation axis) of which increases from the outer peripheral edge of the rolling face 103b to the upper end surface 102b. The upper end surface 102b is perpendicular (or substantially perpendicular) to the rotational plane perpendicular to the rotation axis.

    [0041] Referring to FIGS. 6(A) and 6(B), concrete examples of shapes of the recess 105 and the protrusion 106 will now be described. The ball BB in the recess 105 (the detained ball BB1) comes into contact with the recess side surface 105a, the recess bottom surface 105b, and the inner surface 101 of the inner peripheral wall 11. Comparing tilt angles relative to the rotational plane perpendicular to the rotation axis, a tilt angle θ2 of the recess side surface 105a is greater than a tilt angle θ1 of the rolling face 103b. In the following description,
    'R' refers to a radius of the ball BB,
    'W0' refers to a radial width of an open end of the recess 105,
    'W1' refers to a radial width of the protrusion 106,
    'W2' refers to a radial width of the recess bottom surface 105b,
    'D' refers to a depth of the recess 105,
    'H' refers to a height of the protrusion 106,
    'X1' refers to a distance to a ball contact point Q2, and
    'Y1' refers to a height to the ball contact point Q2. These symbols will be described as follows.

    [0042] The radial width W0 of the open end of the recess 105 represents a radial distance (i.e. a horizontal distance in FIGS. 6(A) and 6(B)) from a connection between the recess side surface 105a and the rolling face 103b (i.e. the inner peripheral edge of the rolling face 103b or a junction point P1 in FIGS. 6(A) and 6(B)) to the inner surface 101 of the inner peripheral wall 11. The depth D of the recess 105 represents a direction distance from the recess bottom surface 105b to the junction point P1 (i.e. a vertical distance in FIGS. 6(A) and 6(B)) with respect to the rotation axis.

    [0043] The radial width W1 of the protrusion 106 represents a radial distance from the protrusion side surface 106a to the inner surface 101 of the inner peripheral wall 11. The height H of the protrusion 106 represents a width of the radial outer side surface 106a of the protrusion 106 (a vertical width in FIGS. 6(A) and 6(B)) with respect to the rotation axis.

    [0044] The distance X1 to the ball contact point represents a radial distance from a centre point O1 of the ball BB1 to a contact point Q2 between the ball BB1 and the ball BB2. The height Y1 to the ball contact point represents a distance from the centre point Q1 of the ball BB1 in the recess 105 to the contact point Q2 with respect to the rotation axis.

    [0045] The radial width W1 of the protrusion 106 may be determined to satisfy the following Equation 1.



    [0046] Here, the radial width Wo of the open end of the recess 105 may be represented by the following Equation 2.



    [0047] When substituting Equation 2 into Equation 1, the radial width W1 of the protrusion is calculated by the following Equation 3.



    [0048] With this configuration, a centre point Q3 of the released ball BB3 may be located radially outward of the junction point P1, and the contact point Q3 of the released ball BB3 may be located on the rolling face 103b. That is, the released ball BB3 may remain stationary by coming into contact with both the rolling face 103b and the protrusion 106.

    [0049] The height H of the protrusion 106 maybe determined to satisfy the following Equation 4.



    [0050] With this configuration, a contact point Q4 of the released ball BB3 may be located on a portion of the protrusion side surface 106a except for the edge thereof (corners of the protrusion 106). That is, the released ball BB3 may come into contact with the portion of the protrusion side surface 106a except for the edge thereof (corners of the protrusion 106).

    [0051] The depth D of the recess 105 may be determined to satisfy the following Equation 5.



    [0052] The following Equation 6 is established between the distance X1 to the ball contact point and the height Y1 to the ball contact point.



    [0053] Here, the distance X1 to the ball contact point may be represented by the following Equation 7.



    [0054] When substituting Equation 7 into Equation 6, the height Y1 to the ball contact point may be represented by the following Equation 8.



    [0055] When substituting Equation 8 into Equation 5, the depth D of the recess 105 may be represented by the following Equation 9.



    [0056] With this configuration, with respect to the rotation axis, an upper end of the detained ball BB1 may be located higher than the junction point P1, and the contact point P2 between the detained ball BB1 and the released ball BB2 maybe located higher than the junction point P1. Thereby, the contact point Q1 of the released ball BB2 may be located on the rolling face 103b. That is, as the upper end of the detained ball BB1 protrudes from the recess 105 and the released ball BB2 comes into contact with the detained ball BB1 at a position higher than the upper end of the recess 105, the released ball BB2 may remain stationary while coming into contact with the rolling face 103b.

    [0057] Next, operation of the ball balancer 1 will be described with reference to FIGS. 7 to 9. It is assumed that a rotation speed of the rotator varies as illustrated in FIG. 2. Here, three balls BB4, BB5 and BB6 will be explained by way of example.

    [0058] If a rotation speed of the rotator is greater than the rotation speed ω1, as illustrated in FIG. 7, the balls BB4, BB5 and BB6 come into contact with the inner surface 102 of the outer peripheral wall 12 by centrifugal force applied to the balls BB4, BB5 and BB6.

    [0059] Subsequently, if the rotation speed of the rotator decreases and becomes less than the rotation speed ω1, the balls BB4, BB5 and BB6 move on the rolling face 103b to the inner peripheral edge 103a of the inner surface 103 by gravitational force applied to the balls BB4, BB5 and BB6 as a rotation speed of the rotator is reduced. Through variation in the rotation speed of the rotator, the balls BB4, BB5 and BB6 are forced to move in a peripheral direction of the race member 10. Thereby, the balls BB4, BB5 and BB6 move downward on the rolling face 103b toward the inner peripheral edge 103a of the inner surface 103 of the bottom wall 13 in a peripheral direction of the race member 10.

    [0060] Subsequently, if the rotation speed of the rotator decreases and becomes less than the rotation speed ω2, as illustrated in FIG. 8, the ball BB4 reaches the recess 105 and remains stationary in the recess 105. Although the ball BB5 also moves to the recess 105, the recess 105 is already occupied by the ball BB4. Thus, the ball BB5 comes into contact with the ball BB4 in the recess 105 and remains stationary on the rolling face 103b. Also, as the ball BB6 moves to the protrusion 106, the ball BB6 comes into contact with the protrusion 106 and remains stationary on the rolling face 103b.

    [0061] Subsequently, if the rotation speed of the rotator increases and exceeds the rotation speed ω2, the balls BB5 and BB6 move on the rolling face 103b to the outer peripheral edge of the rolling face 103b by centrifugal force applied to the balls BB4, BB5 and BB6 as a rotation speed of the rotator increases. Even in this case, through variation in the rotation speed of the rotator, the balls BB5 and BB6 are forced to move in a peripheral direction of the race member 10. Thereby, as illustrated in FIG. 9, the balls BB5 and BB6 move upward on the rolling face 103b toward the outer peripheral edge of the inner surface 103 of the bottom wall 13 in a peripheral direction of the race member 10. The ball BB4, which is detained in the recess 105, does not move despite the increased rotation speed of the rotator.

    [0062] Iteration of the aforementioned operation causes the balls BB to be distributed in a peripheral direction of the race member 10 and be detained in the respective recesses 105.

    [0063] Next, centrifugal force and gravitational force applied to the balls BB will be described with reference to FIGS. 10(A) and 10(B). FIG. 10A illustrates a case in which the ball BB2, which comes into contact with the rolling face 103b having a tilt angle θ1, remains stationary by coming into contact with the ball BB1 which is detained in the recess 105. FIG. 10B illustrates a case in which the ball BB2, which comes into contact with a slope 205a having a tilt angle θ2, remains stationary by coming into contact with the ball BB1 which is detained in the recess 105. The tilt angle θ1 is less than the tilt angle θ2.

    [0064] In the following description,
    'm' refers to a mass of the ball BB2,
    'R' refers to a radius of the ball BB,
    'ω' refers to a rotation speed of the rotator,
    'g' refers to a gravitational acceleration, and
    'θ' refers to a tilt angle of a slope that comes into contact with the ball BB2. For convenience of description, all centrifugal force CF1 and CF2 applied to the ball BB2 is designated by "centrifugal force CF", and all gravitational force GF1 and GF2 applied to the ball BB2 is designated by "gravitational force GF".

    [0065] The centrifugal force CF applied to the ball BB2 may be represented by the following Equation 10.



    [0066] The gravitational force GF applied to the ball BB2 may be represented by the following Equation 11.



    [0067] A condition when the ball BB2 is moved upward on a slope (the rolling face 103b or the slope 205a) against gravitational force may be represented by the following Equation 12.



    [0068] Here, the gravitational force GF1 is less than the gravitational force GF2 because the tilt angle θ1 of the rolling face 103a is less than the tilt angle θ2 of the slope 205a. That is, in the case in which the ball BB2 is stationary in contact with the rolling face 103b as illustrated in FIG. 10(A), the ball BB2 may more easily move upward against gravitational force than in the case in which the ball BB2 is stationary in contact with the slope 205a as illustrated in FIG. 10(B).

    [0069] As derived from Equation 12, a rotation speed ω required for the ball BB2 to move upward on the slope against the gravitational force may be represented by the following Equation 13.



    [0070] It will be appreciated from Equation 13 that in the case in which the ball BB2 is stationary in contact with the rolling face 103b as illustrated in FIG. 10(A), the rotation speed ω required for the ball BB2 to move upward against the gravitational force may be lower than in the case in which the ball BB2 is stationary in contact with the slope 205a as illustrated in FIG. 10(B).

    [0071] As described above, when a rotation speed of the rotator is less than the rotation speed ω1, the balls BB outside of the recesses 105 (the released balls) may be placed on the rolling face 103b. Thereby, the released balls may move on the rolling face 103b by centrifugal force and gravitational force applied to the released balls as the rotation speed of the rotator varies within a range less than the rotation speed ω1. Therefore, distribution of the released balls in a peripheral direction of the race member 10 may be possible. Accordingly, the balls BB outside of the recesses 105 (the released balls) may easily move to the recesses 105 in which no balls BB are detained, which may increase a detention rate of the balls BB in the recesses 105. As a result, aggravation of unbalance due to the released balls may be reduced.

    [0072] Now, increase of the detention rate of the balls will be described with reference to FIG. 11. FIG. 11 illustrates a relationship between the number of attempts to vary the rotation speed of the rotator and the detention rate of balls at ball detention positions. In FIG. 11, '●' represents measured results of the case in which the configuration illustrated in FIGS. 3 to 5 is formed throughout the periphery of the race member 10 (i.e. the ball balancer 1 of the present embodiment), and 'X' represents measured results of the case in which the protrusions 106 are not provided at the race member 10 (i.e. the case in which the flat planes 106b respectively extend from the inner peripheral edge of the rolling face 103b to the inner surface 101 of the inner peripheral wall 11. As illustrated in FIG. 11, forming the configuration illustrated in FIGS. 3 to 5 throughout the periphery of the face member 10 may increase the detention rate of balls as compared to the case of providing the race member 10 with the protrusions 106.

    [0073] Also, when configuring the protrusion 106 such that the released ball BB3 comes into contact with a portion of the protrusion side surface 106a except for the edge thereof (corners of the protrusion 106), rolling resistance of the released ball BB3 may be reduced as compared to the case in which the released ball BB3 comes into contact with the edge of the protrusion side surface 106a. This enables easier distribution of the released balls in a peripheral direction of the race member 10, resulting in an increased detention rate of balls.

    [0074] By configuring the outer peripheral edges of the recess side surface 105a and the recess bottom surface 105b to take the form of an arc (in particular, the form of an arc about the rotation axis) when viewed from the top of the race member 10, easier entry of the balls BB into the recesses 105 may be accomplished. This may result in a more increased detention rate of the balls.

    [0075] Moreover, by configuring the protrusion side surface 106a to take the form of an arc (in particular, the form of an arc about the rotation axis) when viewed from the top of the race member 10, easier distribution of the released balls in a peripheral direction of the race member 10 may be accomplished. This may result in a more increased detention rate of the balls.

    [0076] Although the aforementioned embodiments describe the ball balancer as being installed to the rotating tub of the washing machine by way of example, the ball balancer may be installed to rotators of rotary machines (rotators rotatable about a rotation axis), such as a centrifuge or a disc drive.

    [0077] Additionally, the aforementioned embodiments are given as exemplary embodiments, and are not intended to limit the scope of the disclosure, applications and use purposes.

    [0078] As is apparent from the above description, the aforementioned ball balancer may increase a detention rate of balls in ball detention portions and reduce aggravation of unbalance due to released balls outside of the ball detention portions, and is applicable to rotary machines such as a washing machine, a centrifuge, and a disc drive.

    [0079] Although the embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it would be appreciated by those skilled in the art that changes may be made in these embodiments without departing from the principles of the invention, the scope of which is defined in the claims.


    Claims

    1. A ball balancer (1) for installation to a rotator that is rotatable about a rotation axis (40), the ball balancer (1) comprising:

    a doughnut-shaped race member (10) having an empty space (100) therein; and

    a plurality of balls (BB) arranged to be movably received in the empty space (100) of the race member (10),

    wherein the empty space (100) of the race member (10) is defined by inner (11) and outer (12) peripheral walls in the form of a circular pipe about the rotation axis (40), and doughnut-shaped bottom (13) and top (14) walls connecting upper and lower ends of the inner (11) and outer (12) peripheral walls to each other,

    wherein an inner surface (103) of the bottom wall (13) is configured by an inner peripheral edge portion (103a) connected to the inner peripheral wall (11) and a rolling face (103b) connecting the inner peripheral edge portion (103a) and the outer peripheral wall (12) to each other,

    wherein the inner peripheral edge portion (103a) of the inner surface (103) of the bottom wall (13) is provided with a plurality of ball detention portions (105) spaced apart from one another by a predetermined distance in a peripheral direction of the race member (10) and a plurality of anti-separation portions (106) respectively arranged between the plurality of ball detention portions (105),

    wherein the rolling face (103b) is inclined upward from the inner peripheral edge portion (103a) of the inner surface (103) of the bottom wall (13) to the outer peripheral wall (12) to allow the balls (BB) to move to the outer peripheral wall (12) by centrifugal force applied to the balls (BB) when a rotation speed of the rotator is greater than a second rotation speed that is less than a first rotation speed causing primary resonance,

    characterized in that each of the ball detention portions (105) is configured, when the rotation speed of the rotator is less than the first rotation speed, to allow one of the balls (BB) moved from the rolling face (103b) to the ball detention portion (105) to be detained in the ball detention portion (105) and to allow the detained ball (BB1, BB4) in the ball detention portion (105) to come into contact with a released one of the balls (BB2, BB5) outside of the ball detention portion (105) so as to prevent separation of the released ball (BB2, BB5) from the rolling face (103b), and is also configured, when the rotation speed of the rotator is greater than the first rotation speed, to allow the detained ball (BB1, BB4) in the ball detention portion (105) to be separated to the rolling face (103b) by centrifugal force applied to the detained ball (BB1, BB4), and

    wherein each of the plurality of anti-separation portions (106) is configured to come into contact with the released ball (BB3, BB6) outside of the ball detention portion (105) when the rotation speed of the rotator is less than the first rotation speed, so as to prevent separation of the released ball (BB3, BB6) from the rolling face (103b).


     
    2. The ball balancer (1) according to claim 1, wherein the plurality of ball detention portions (105) is respectively configured by a plurality of recesses (105).
     
    3. The ball balancer (1) according to claim 2,
    wherein a radial outer side surface (105a) of each of the plurality of recesses (105) is inclined upward from the bottom of the recess (105b) to an inner peripheral edge of the rolling face (103b) by a steeper angle than the rolling face (103b), to allow the ball (BB1, BB4) in the recess (105) to move on the radial outer side surface (105a) of the recess (105) and be separated to the rolling face (103b) by centrifugal force applied to the ball (BB1, BB4) when the rotation speed of the rotator is greater than the first rotation speed, and
    wherein a depth (D) of each of the plurality of recesses (105) is determined to ensure that the released ball (BB2, BB5) outside of the recess (105) comes into contact with both the rolling face (103b) and the detained ball (BB1, BB4) in the recess (105).
     
    4. The ball balancer (1) according to claim 3, wherein the depth (D) of each of the plurality of recesses (105) is determined to ensure that an upper end of the detained ball (BB1, BB4) in the recess (105) protrudes from the recess (105) and the released ball (BB2, BB5) outside of the recess (105) comes into contact with the detained ball (BB1, BB4) at a position (Q2) higher than an upper end of the recess (105).
     
    5. The ball balancer (1) according to claim 4, wherein the plurality of anti-separation portions (106) is respectively configured by a plurality of protrusions (106).
     
    6. The ball balancer (1) according to claim 5, wherein each of the plurality of protrusions (106) is configured to allow the released ball (BB2, BB5) to come into contact with both the rolling face (103b) and a radial outer side surface (106a) of the protrusion (106).
     
    7. The ball balancer (1) according to claim 6, wherein a radial distance from the inner peripheral edge of the rolling face (103b) to the radial outer side surface (106a) of each of the plurality of protrusions (106) is less than a radius (R) of the ball (BB).
     
    8. The ball balancer (1) according to claim 6 or 7, wherein each of the plurality of protrusions (106) is configured to allow the released ball (BB2, BB5) to come into contact with a portion of the radial outer side surface (106a) of the protrusion (106) except for the edge thereof.
     
    9. The ball balancer (1) according to claim 8, wherein a width of the radial outer side surface (106a) of each of the plurality of protrusions (106) with respect to the rotation axis (40) is greater than the radius (R) of the ball (BB).
     
    10. The ball balancer (1) according to claim 9, wherein the rotator is switchable between a high-speed rotation mode in which the rotator is rotated at a rotation speed greater than the first rotation speed and a variable-speed rotation mode in which the rotation speed varies within a range less than the first rotation speed.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Unwuchtausgleichsvorrichtung (1) zum Installieren an einem Drehkörper, der um eine Rotationsachse (40) drehbar ist, wobei die Unwuchtausgleichsvorrichtung (1) Folgendes umfasst:

    ein ringförmiges Rollbahnelement (10) mit einem darin befindlichen Hohlraum (100) und

    mehrere Kugeln (BB), die so ausgelegt sind, dass sie beweglich in dem Hohlraum (100) des Rollbahnelements (10) aufgenommen werden können,

    wobei der Hohlraum (100) des Rollbahnelements (10) durch eine innenliegende (11) und eine außenliegende (12) umlaufende Wand in Form eines rund um die Rotationsachse (40) herum verlaufenden Rohrs definiert ist und die ringförmige untere (13) und die ringförmige obere (14) Wand obere und untere Enden der innenliegenden (11) und der außenliegenden (12) umlaufenden Wand miteinander verbinden,

    wobei eine Innenfläche (103) der unteren Wand (13) mit einem innenliegenden umlaufenden Randabschnitt (103a), der mit der innenliegenden umlaufenden Wand (11) verbunden ist, und einer Rollfläche (103b) gestaltet ist, die den innenliegenden umlaufenden Randabschnitt (103a) und die außenliegende umlaufende Wand (12) miteinander verbindet,

    wobei der innenliegende umlaufende Randabschnitt (103a) der Innenfläche (103) der unteren Wand (13) mit mehreren Kugelretentionsabschnitten (105), die in Umfangsrichtung des Rollbahnelements (10) in einem vorgegebenen Abstand zueinander liegen, und mit mehreren Ausbrechverhinderungsabschnitten (106) versehen ist, die jeweils zwischen den mehreren Kugelretentionsabschnitten (105) angeordnet sind,

    wobei die Rollfläche (103b) von dem innenliegenden umlaufenden Randabschnitt (103a) der Innenfläche (103) der unteren Wand (13) aus nach oben zu der außenliegenden umlaufenden Wand (12) ansteigt, so dass sich die Kugeln (BB) per Zentrifugalkraft, die auf sie einwirkt, wenn eine Drehzahl des Drehkörpers größer ist als eine zweite Drehzahl, die geringer ist als eine erste Drehzahl, welche eine primäre Resonanz bewirkt, zu der außenliegenden umlaufenden Wand (12) bewegen können,

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass jeder der Kugelretentionsabschnitte (105) so gestaltet ist, dass, wenn die Drehzahl des Drehkörpers geringer ist als die erste Drehzahl, eine der Kugeln (BB), die sich von der Rollfläche (103b) zum Kugelretentionsabschnitt (105) bewegt hat, in dem Kugelretentionsabschnitt (105) zurückgehalten werden und die zurückgehaltene Kugel (BB1, BB4) in dem Kugelretentionsabschnitt (105) mit einer freigegebenen der Kugeln (BB2, BB5) außerhalb des Kugelretentionsabschnitts (105) in Kontakt kommen kann und so ein Ausbrechen der freigegebenen Kugel (BB2, BB5) aus der Rollfläche (103b) verhindert, und zudem so gestaltet ist, dass, wenn die Drehzahl des Drehkörpers höher ist als die erste Drehzahl, die zurückgehaltene Kugel (BB1, BB4) in dem Kugelretentionsabschnitt (105) per Zentrifugalkraft, die auf sie einwirkt, zur Rollfläche (103b) ausbrechen kann, und

    wobei jeder der mehreren Ausbrechverhinderungsabschnitte (106) so konfiguriert ist, dass er mit der freigegebenen Kugel (BB3, BB6) außerhalb des Kugelretentionsabschnitts (105) in Kontakt kommt, wenn die Drehzahl des Drehkörpers geringer ist als die erste Drehzahl, so dass ein Ausbrechen der freigegebenen Kugel (BB3, BB6) aus der Rollfläche (103b) verhindert wird.


     
    2. Unwuchtausgleichsvorrichtung (1) nach Anspruch 1, wobei die mehreren Kugelretentionsabschnitte (105) jeweils mit mehreren Vertiefungen (105) gestaltet sind.
     
    3. Unwuchtausgleichsvorrichtung (1) nach Anspruch 2, wobei eine radial außenliegende Seitenfläche (105a) jeder der mehreren Vertiefungen (105) von dem Boden der Vertiefung (105b) aus nach oben zu einem innenliegenden umlaufenden Rand der Rollfläche (103b) in einem steileren Winkel als die Rollfläche (103b) ansteigt, so dass sich die Kugel (BB1, BB4) in der Vertiefung (105) per Zentrifugalkraft, die auf sie einwirkt, wenn die Drehzahl des Drehkörpers höher ist als die erste Drehzahl, auf der radial außenliegenden Seitenfläche (105a) der Vertiefung (105) bewegen und zur Rollfläche (103b) ausbrechen kann, und
    wobei eine Tiefe (D) jeder der mehreren Vertiefungen (105) so festgelegt ist, dass sichergestellt ist, dass die freigegebene Kugel (BB2, BB5) außerhalb der Vertiefung (105) sowohl mit der Rollfläche (103b) als auch mit der zurückgehaltenen Kugel (BB1, BB4) in der Vertiefung (105) in Kontakt kommt.
     
    4. Unwuchtausgleichsvorrichtung (1) nach Anspruch 3, wobei die Tiefe (D) jeder der mehreren Vertiefungen (105) so festgelegt ist, dass sichergestellt ist, dass ein oberes Ende der zurückgehaltenen Kugel (BB1, BB4) in der Vertiefung (105) aus der Vertiefung (105) vorsteht und die freigegebene Kugel (BB2, BB5) außerhalb der Vertiefung (105) an einer Stelle (Q2), die über einem oberen Ende der Vertiefung (105) liegt, mit der zurückgehaltenen Kugel (BB1, BB4) in Kontakt kommt.
     
    5. Unwuchtausgleichsvorrichtung (1) nach Anspruch 4, wobei die mehreren Ausbrechverhinderungsabschnitte (106) jeweils mit mehreren Vorsprüngen (106) gestaltet sind.
     
    6. Unwuchtausgleichsvorrichtung (1) nach Anspruch 5, wobei jeder der mehreren Vorsprünge (106) so gestaltet ist, dass die freigegebene Kugel (BB2, BB5) sowohl mit der Rollfläche (103b) als auch mit einer radial außenliegenden Seitenfläche (106a) des Vorsprungs (106) in Kontakt kommen kann.
     
    7. Unwuchtausgleichsvorrichtung (1) nach Anspruch 6, wobei ein radialer Abstand von dem innenliegenden umlaufenden Rand der Rollfläche (103b) zu der radial außenliegenden Seitenfläche (106a) jedes der mehreren Vorsprünge (106) kleiner ist als ein Radius (R) der Kugel (BB) .
     
    8. Unwuchtausgleichsvorrichtung (1) nach Anspruch 6 oder 7, wobei jeder der mehreren Vorsprünge (106) so gestaltet ist, dass die freigegebene Kugel (BB2, BB5) mit einem Abschnitt der radial außenliegenden Seitenfläche (106a) des Vorsprungs (106), jedoch nicht mit dessen Rand in Kontakt kommen kann.
     
    9. Unwuchtausgleichsvorrichtung (1) nach Anspruch 8, wobei eine Breite der radial außenliegenden Seitenfläche (106a) jedes der mehreren Vorsprünge (106) in Bezug auf die Rotationsachse (40) größer ist als der Radius (R) der Kugel (BB) .
     
    10. Unwuchtausgleichsvorrichtung (1) nach Anspruch 9, wobei der Drehkörper zwischen einem hochtourigen Rotationsmodus, in dem er sich mit einer Drehzahl dreht, die höher ist als die erste Drehzahl, und einem drehzahlveränderlichen Rotationsmodus umschaltbar ist, bei dem die Drehzahl in einem Bereich unterhalb der ersten Drehzahl variiert.
     


    Revendications

    1. Dispositif d'équilibrage à billes (1) destiné à être installé sur un organe rotatif qui peut tourner sur un axe de rotation (40), le dispositif d'équilibrage à billes (1) comprenant :

    un élément de roulement de forme annulaire (10) ayant un espace vide (100) à l'intérieur ; et

    une pluralité de billes (BB) agencées pour être reçues de manière mobile dans l'espace vide (100) de l'élément de roulement (10),

    dans lequel l'espace vide (100) de l'élément de roulement (10) est défini par des parois périphériques intérieure (11) et extérieure (12) en forme de tuyau circulaire autour de l'axe de rotation (40), et par des parois de forme annulaire inférieure (13) et supérieure (14) reliant l'une à l'autre des extrémités supérieure et inférieure des parois périphériques intérieure (11) et extérieure (12),

    dans lequel une surface intérieure (103) de la paroi inférieure (13) est configurée par une partie de bord périphérique intérieur (103a) reliée à la paroi périphérique intérieure (11) et par une face de roulement (103b) reliant l'une à l'autre la partie de bord périphérique intérieur (103a) et la paroi périphérique extérieure (12),

    dans lequel la partie de bord périphérique intérieur (103a) de la surface intérieure (103) de la paroi inférieure (13) est pourvue d'une pluralité de parties de rétention de bille (105) espacées les unes des autres d'une distance prédéterminée dans une direction périphérique de l'élément de roulement (10) et d'une pluralité de parties anti-séparation (106) agencées respectivement entre la pluralité de parties de rétention de bille (105),

    dans lequel la face de roulement (103b) est inclinée vers le haut depuis la partie de bord périphérique intérieur (103a) de la surface intérieure (103) de la paroi inférieure (13) vers la paroi périphérique extérieure (12) afin de permettre aux billes (BB) d'être déplacées vers la paroi périphérique extérieure (12) par la force centrifuge appliquée aux billes (BB) lorsqu'une vitesse de rotation de l'organe rotatif est supérieure à une deuxième vitesse de rotation qui est inférieure à une première vitesse de rotation provoquant une résonance primaire,

    caractérisé en ce que

    chacune des parties de rétention de bille (105) est configurée, lorsque la vitesse de rotation de l'organe rotatif est inférieure à la première vitesse de rotation, pour permettre à l'une des billes (BB) déplacée depuis la face de roulement (103b) vers la partie de rétention de bille (105) d'être retenue dans la partie de rétention de bille (105) et pour permettre à la bille retenue (BB1, BB4) dans la partie de rétention de bille (105) de venir en contact avec une des billes libérées (BB2, BB5) à l'extérieur de la partie de rétention de bille (105) afin d'empêcher la bille libérée (BB2, BB5) de se séparer de la face de roulement (103b), et est également configurée, lorsque la vitesse de rotation de l'organe rotatif est supérieure à la première vitesse de rotation, pour permettre à la bille retenue (BB1, BB4) dans la partie de rétention de bille (105) d'être séparée vers la face de roulement (103b) par la force centrifuge appliquée à la bille retenue (BB1, BB4), et

    dans lequel chaque partie de la pluralité de parties anti-séparation (106) est configurée pour venir en contact avec la bille libérée (BB3, BB6) à l'extérieur de la partie de rétention de bille (105) lorsque la vitesse de rotation de l'organe rotatif est inférieure à la première vitesse de rotation afin d'empêcher la séparation de la bille libérée (BB3, BB6) de la face de roulement (103b).


     
    2. Dispositif d'équilibrage à billes (1) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la pluralité de parties de rétention de bille (105) est configurée respectivement par une pluralité de creux (105).
     
    3. Dispositif d'équilibrage à billes (1) selon la revendication 2,
    dans lequel une surface latérale extérieure radiale (105a) de chaque creux de la pluralité de creux (105) est inclinée vers le haut depuis le fond du creux (105b) vers un bord périphérique intérieur de la face de roulement (103b) selon un angle plus aigu que la face de roulement (103b) afin de permettre à la bille (BB1, BB4) dans le creux (105) d'être déplacée sur la surface latérale extérieure radiale (105a) du creux (105) et d'être séparée vers la face de roulement (103b) par la force centrifuge appliquée à la bille (BB1, BB4) lorsque la vitesse de rotation de l'organe rotatif est supérieure à la première vitesse de rotation, et
    dans lequel une profondeur (D) de chaque creux de la pluralité de creux (105) est déterminée pour assurer que la bille libérée (BB2, BB5) à l'extérieur du creux (105) vient en contact à la fois avec la face de roulement (103b) et avec la bille retenue (BB1, BB4) dans le creux (105).
     
    4. Dispositif d'équilibrage à billes (1) selon la revendication 3, dans lequel la profondeur (D) de chaque creux de la pluralité de creux (105) est déterminée pour assurer qu'une extrémité supérieure de la bille retenue (BB1, BB4) dans le creux (105) dépasse du creux (105) et que la bille libérée (BB2, BB5) à l'extérieur du creux (105) vient en contact avec la bille retenue (BB1, BB4) dans une position (Q2) plus haute qu'une extrémité supérieure du creux (105).
     
    5. Dispositif d'équilibrage à billes (1) selon la revendication 4, dans lequel la pluralité de parties anti-séparation (106) est configurée respectivement par une pluralité de saillies (106).
     
    6. Dispositif d'équilibrage à billes (1) selon la revendication 5, dans lequel chaque saillie de la pluralité de saillies (106) est configurée pour permettre à la bille libérée (BB2, BB5) de venir en contact à la fois avec la face de roulement (103b) et avec une surface latérale extérieure radiale (106a) de la saillie (106).
     
    7. Dispositif d'équilibrage à billes (1) selon la revendication 6, dans lequel une distance radiale depuis le bord périphérique intérieur de la face de roulement (103b) jusqu'à la surface latérale extérieure radiale (106a) de chaque saillie de la pluralité de saillies (106) est inférieure à un rayon (R) de la bille (BB).
     
    8. Dispositif d'équilibrage à billes (1) selon la revendication 6 ou la revendication 7, dans lequel chaque saillie de la pluralité de saillies (106) est configurée pour permettre à la bille libérée (BB2, BB5) de venir en contact avec une partie de la surface latérale extérieure radiale (106a) de la saillie (106) à l'exception de son bord.
     
    9. Dispositif d'équilibrage à billes (1) selon la revendication 8, dans lequel une largeur de la surface latérale extérieure radiale (106a) de chaque saillie de la pluralité de saillies (106) par rapport à l'axe de rotation (40) est supérieure au rayon (R) de la bille (BB).
     
    10. Dispositif d'équilibrage à billes (1) selon la revendication 9, dans lequel l'organe rotatif est commutable entre un mode de rotation à grande vitesse dans lequel l'organe rotatif tourne à une vitesse de rotation supérieure à la première vitesse de rotation et un mode de rotation à vitesse variable dans lequel la vitesse de rotation varie à l'intérieur d'une plage inférieure à la première vitesse de rotation.
     




    Drawing






































    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description