(19)
(11)EP 2 982 555 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
29.04.2020 Bulletin 2020/18

(21)Application number: 15161776.8

(22)Date of filing:  30.03.2015
(51)Int. Cl.: 
B60T 13/14  (2006.01)
B60T 13/26  (2006.01)
B60T 15/04  (2006.01)
B60T 13/22  (2006.01)
B60T 13/38  (2006.01)

(54)

PARKING BRAKE

FESTSTELLBREMSE

FREIN DE STATIONNEMENT


(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: 25.07.2014 GB 201413204

(43)Date of publication of application:
10.02.2016 Bulletin 2016/06

(73)Proprietor: AGCO International GmbH
8212 Neuhausen am Rheinfall (CH)

(72)Inventors:
  • Zeiler, Hans-Peter
    87616 Marktoberdorf (DE)
  • Ammann, Josef
    87616 Marktoberdorf (DE)
  • Hoeldrich, Berhard
    87616 Marktoberdorf (DE)
  • Brugger, Klaus
    87616 Marktoberdorf (DE)
  • Miller, Peter
    87616 Marktoberdorf (DE)
  • Braeckle, Karl
    87616 Marktoberdorf (DE)
  • Dreier, Martin
    87616 Marktoberdorf (DE)

(74)Representative: AGCO Intellectual Property Department 
Abbey Park Stoneleigh
Kenilworth, Warwickshire CV8 2TQ
Kenilworth, Warwickshire CV8 2TQ (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-99/37518
WO-A2-2009/156833
  
      
    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] This invention relates to a brake arrangement for a vehicle. In particular, the invention relates to a parking brake arrangement on an agricultural tractor.

    [0002] Agricultural tractors are provided with at least one service brake circuit and a parking brake circuit which operates brakes on the front or rear wheels of the tractor. With the increasing number of controls a driver has to contend with inside the cab, it is easy to forget to activate and deactivate the parking brake when parking. If parking on a steep incline this can lead to a heavy load on the transmission which is undesirable. Moreover, upon starting travel in the tractor, the parking brake must be turned off.

    [0003] WO2009/156833 describes a hydraulic parking brake circuit in which the brake is operable by two manually operable means, or an electric means. The electric means is controlled by a tractor control unit and therefore takes the onus of operating the parking brake from the driver. However, because of the arrangement of the brake circuit, one of the manually operable means is connected to the control unit and the other manual means is a lever which cannot override the electric means whether operated by a control unit or the first manual means. Such an arrangement is uncomfortable.

    [0004] Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a vehicle park brake which is operable both by an electric means and a manually operable means and whereby the manually operable means overrides the control of the brake by the electric means. It is a further aim of the invention to provide a vehicle park brake which can easily be used for a hill start.

    [0005] In accordance with the invention, there is provided a vehicle brake circuit according to claim 1.

    [0006] The vehicle operator can rely on the second valve controlling the brake which may be controlled by a vehicle control unit. Advantageously, the operator can override the control of the actuator by the second valve by activating the first valve. Movement of the first valve may be controlled by a handbrake lever.

    [0007] Preferably, the actuator is connected to the fluid reservoir via the first valve.

    [0008] More preferably, the actuator is connected to the fluid reservoir via a relay valve, said relay valve connected to the first valve.

    [0009] Preferably, the control unit detects different vehicle conditions and positions of the first and second valves. This means that the actuator may be applied or disapplied automatically depending on a sensed condition or parameter of the vehicle.

    [0010] The brake circuit is preferably a parking brake circuit. More preferably the circuit is a pneumatic circuit.

    [0011] The invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the following drawings in which:

    Figure 1 is a parking brake circuit in accordance with the invention, and

    Figure 2 is an alternative parking brake circuit in accordance with the invention.



    [0012] An agricultural tractor is provided with two or three independent brake circuits. Usually one or two brake circuits operate the service brakes which are applied to the front and rear wheels of the tractor and one brake circuit is provided for operating the parking brake which is usually applied to the front or the rear wheels of the tractor. Each brake circuit has its own fluid reservoir.

    [0013] Figure 1 shows a pneumatic parking brake circuit 2 having an electrically operable valve 4 (a 3/2 way valve), a manually operable valve 6 (a 4/3 way valve), a relay valve 8, a fluid reservoir 16 and brake actuation means 14. Fluid reservoir 16 may be an accumulator.

    [0014] Figure 2 is an alternative brake circuit which is similar to that in figure 1 but without the relay valve 8.

    [0015] The electrically operable valve 4 may be a solenoid valve which can be moved between open and closed positions 4a and 4b and is connected to and operated by a control unit 10 on the tractor. Electrically operable valve 4 is provided with snap-in locking devices 5 to hold the valve 4 in position when moved into position 4a, or 4b. Tractor control unit 10 receives information concerning various parameters which are measured on the tractor, for example tractor speed, or the functioning of the engine. Valve 4 can thus be operated by control unit 10 to apply or disapply the brakes depending on a measured parameter.

    [0016] The manually operable valve 6 is actuated by a handbrake lever 12 which is moveable by the driver. Lever 12 and valve 6 have three different positions: a biased resting position in which the valve is in position 6a and the lever is in position 12a, an open position in which the valve is in position 6b and the lever is in position 12b and a closed position in which the valve is in position 6c and the lever is in position 12c. Lever 12 and the valve 6 are spring tensioned into the biased resting positions 6a and 12a respectively, so that when no forces are applied to the lever, the valve 6 will rest or move back to position 6a. Lever 12 and therefore valve 6 can be held in the closed positions 6c and 12c respectively by a ratchet 13 on the handbrake lever 12.

    [0017] The brake actuator 14 comprises a piston chamber 14a inside which a piston 14b is arranged. Piston 14b divides the piston chamber 14a into two chambers. One chamber is provided with a spring element 14c which is in contact with the piston 14b. The other chamber is fluidly connected to the fluid reservoir 16 via the relay valve 8. An end of the piston 14b is in contact with a brake element (not shown). Movement of brake actuator 14 applies and disapplies the parking brake or brakes accordingly. An increase in pressure in chamber 14a disapplies the brake and causes spring element 14c to compress. A decrease in pressure in chamber 14a causes spring element 14c to expand and apply the brake.

    [0018] In figure 1, valve 6 is shown in the biased resting position 6a.Valve 6 has four ports and in position 6a, two ports of valve 6 are aligned with connections to the reservoir 16 (in which one port is connected to the reservoir 16 via valve 4 by line A and a second port being connected directly to the reservoir 16 by line C). A third port is connected to relay valve 8 by line B and a fourth port is connected to a ventilation outlet. In position 4a, line C is blocked by a closed port and line A is connected to line B by an open port. In position 4b (as shown) one port is aligned with a connection directly to the reservoir, one is connected to ventilation and the other is connected to valve 6. If valve 4 were to be moved from position 4b into the open position 4a by control unit 10, fluid from the reservoir 16 would flow through lines A and B to the relay valve 8 causing it to move so that chamber 14a of the actuator 14 is fluidically connected to the reservoir 16 by line D. An increase in pressure in chamber 14a causes piston 14b to move against the spring 14c and disapply a brake. Normally the handbrake lever 12 and valve 6 are spring tensioned into the biased positions 6a, 12a. When valve 6 is in position 6a, the release or activation of the parking brake occurs via valve 4 which is controlled by the control unit 10

    [0019] In an automatic mode, the brake may be activated or deactivated automatically depending on an operating condition, or conditions of the tractor, for example, a vehicle speed.

    [0020] If, for example in an automatic mode the vehicle speed falls below a predetermined value, the control unit senses the drop in speed and will switch the valve 4 to position 4b and relay valve 8 is not activated. As a result, the connection between chamber 14a and the fluid reservoir 16 is blocked and the brake is activated.

    [0021] If, the vehicle speed exceeds a predetermined value whilst in an automatic mode, the control unit 10 switches the valve 4 to open position 4a and the relay valve 8 is activated via lines A, B so that chamber 14a is connected with the fluid reservoir 16 which leads to the brake being deactivated.

    [0022] When the tractor is at a standstill when in an automatic mode, the control unit 10 senses that the tractor engine is not operating and will switch valve 4 to the closed position 4b and the brake will be applied
    In a non automatic mode when lever 12 is moved to position 12b, valve 6 is moved to position 6b. In this position line A is blocked and line C is connected to line B so that relay valve 8 is activated and line D is connected to the reservoir 16. Fluid from the reservoir flows into chamber 14a and works against the force of spring 14c to disapply the brake.

    [0023] If lever 12 is moved to position 12c, valve 6 is moved to position 6c and fluid from line B is vented which closes relay valve 8 causing the brake to be applied.

    [0024] It can be seen that whether valve 4 or valve 6 is moved to disapply the brake, fluid from the reservoir 16 must pass through valve 6 to enable appropriate actuation of the actuator, but does not have to pass through valve 4. Moreover, when lever 12 is moved to position 12c and therefore valve 6 is moved to position 6c to apply the brake, the two ports between valve 6 and the reservoir, via valve 4 along line A and directly along line C are blocked and therefore movement of valve 4 has no effect.

    [0025] This means that at any time the driver can override the command of the control unit 10 by using the handbrake lever 12 and moving it out of its biased position 6a and into a desired position. In this way control of the tractor is maintained by the driver.

    [0026] To release the parking brake, the relay valve 8 is activated and chamber 14a is fluidically connected to the fluid reservoir 16.

    [0027] Sensor means 18 can be used to detect the position of the handbrake lever 12 and valve unit 6 and inform the control unit 10.

    [0028] Figure 2 shows a similar circuit to figure 1 but without relay valve 8. In this figure, valve 6 is connectable to chamber 14a of actuator 14 by line E. It can be seen again that whether valve 4, or valve 6 is moved to disapply the brake, fluid from the reservoir 16 must pass through valve 6 to actuator 14. To activate the brake, movement of valve 6 to position 6c blocks the ports between the reservoir and valve 6. As a result movement of the hand lever 12 out of biased position 12a will override any control of the brake by valve 4.

    [0029] Different operating conditions of the tractor will result in the control unit 10 controlling the brake differently when the valve 6 is in position 6a.

    [0030] If the tractor is in standstill with the engine off and the brake lever is moved to position 12c and therefore valve 6 moves to position 6c, the brake is applied. The control unit 10 cannot control the brake since the connection of line A to valve 6 is blocked. If the handbrake lever 12 is then moved to position 12b (and therefore valve 6 is moved to position 6b), the brake is released while handbrake lever 12 is held in position 12b. If handbrake lever 12 is moved either manually, or by letting it go to position 12a, valve 6 will move to position 6a. The control unit 10 can only be switched off if the brake is applied. This way, if the tractor is not operating (that is the engine is off) and is at a standstill, it is guaranteed that the handbrake is applied. As a result before the control unit is switched off, or powered off, the electric valve 4 must be in position 4b to enable activation of the handbrake.

    [0031] If the tractor is in standstill with the engine on and handbrake lever 12 is moved to position 12c and therefore valve 6 moves to position 6c, the brake is applied. Control unit 10 cannot control the brake. If handbrake lever 12 is moved to position 12b and therefore valve 6 is moved to position 6b, the brake is released while handbrake 12 lever is held in this position. If handbrake lever is then moved to position 12a manually, or by letting it go, the brake will be applied by valve 4 being moved to position 4b if the control unit 10 detects that no forces are applied through the transmission (indicating the tractor is not moving) or if the driver seat is not seated. If the control unit senses that a driver is seated in the driver's seat, the handbrake is released by moving valve 4 to position 4a.

    [0032] If the tractor is moving with the engine on, or off and handbrake lever 12 is moved to position 12c and therefore valve 6 is moved to position 6c, the brake is applied. Control unit 10 cannot control the brake. If handbrake lever 12 is moved to position 12b and therefore valve 6 is moved to position 6b, the brake is released while handbrake lever 12 is held in this position. If handbrake lever 12 is moved to position 12a manually, or by letting it go and therefore valve 6 is moved to position 6a, the control unit will move the valve 4 to position 4b so that the parking brake remains in the last braking condition. When the control unit 10 then detects another vehicle condition, it then controls either the release or activation of the parking brake.

    [0033] In the figures shown the braking circuits are intended for a pneumatic system but a hydraulic system with the same circuits in accordance with the invention is possible.

    [0034] The braking circuits shown in figures 1 and 2 are intended for a prompt braking action but a gradual braking action is possible if a brake proportioning valve is used.


    Claims

    1. A vehicle brake circuit (2) comprising a brake actuator (14), a first manually operable valve (6); a second electrically operable valve (4) and a fluid reservoir (16) for the supply of fluid to the actuator (14), said first valve (6) being directly connected to the fluid reservoir (16), said first valve (6) having a biased position such that a direct fluid connection between the fluid reservoir (16) and the first valve (6) is blocked and wherein movement of the second valve (4) controls the activation or deactivation of the actuator (14), characterised in that, the first valve (6) is also connected to the fluid reservoir (16) via the second valve (4), and when the first valve (6) is in the biased position, a fluid connection between the fluid reservoir (16) and the first valve (6) via the second valve (4) is unblocked, and wherein movement of the first valve (6) out of the biased position overrides control of the actuator by the second valve (4).
     
    2. A vehicle brake circuit (2) as claimed in claim 1 wherein the actuator (14) is connected to the fluid reservoir (16) via the first valve (6).
     
    3. A vehicle brake circuit (2) as claimed in claim 1 wherein the actuator (14) is connected to the fluid reservoir (16) via a relay valve (8), said relay valve being connected to the first valve (6).
     
    4. A vehicle brake circuit (2) as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the movement of the second valve (4) is controlled by a control unit (10).
     
    5. A vehicle brake circuit (2) as claimed in claim 4 wherein the control unit (10) detects different vehicle conditions and positions of the first (6) and second valves (4).
     
    6. A vehicle brake circuit (2) as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the movement of the first valve (6) is controlled by a handbrake lever (12).
     
    7. A vehicle brake circuit (2) as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the brake circuit (2) is a parking brake circuit.
     
    8. A vehicle brake circuit (2) as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the circuit (2) is a pneumatic circuit.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Fahrzeugbremskreis (2), mit einem Bremsaktuator (14), einem ersten manuell betätigbaren Ventil (6), einem zweiten elektrisch betätigbaren Ventil (4) und einem Fluidspeicher für die Bereitstellung von Fluid für den Aktuator (14), wobei das erste Ventil (6) direkt mit dem Fluidspeicher (16) verbunden ist, wobei das erste Ventil (6) eine beaufschlagte Position derart besitzt, dass eine direkte Fluidverbindung zwischen dem Fluidspeicher (16) und dem ersten Ventil (6) blockiert ist, und wobei eine Bewegung des zweiten Ventils (4) die Aktivierung oder Deaktivierung des Aktuators (14) steuert/regelt, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass
    das erste Ventil (6) auch über das zweite Ventil (4) mit dem Fluidspeicher (16) verbunden ist, und, wenn sich das erste Ventil (6) in der beaufschlagten Position befindet, eine Fluidverbindung zwischen dem Fluidspeicher (16) und dem ersten Ventil (6) über das zweite Ventil (4) freigegeben ist, und wobei eine Bewegung des ersten Ventils (6) aus der beaufschlagten Position heraus ein Steuern/Regeln des Aktuators durch das zweite Ventil (4) aufhebt.
     
    2. Fahrzeugbremskreis (2) nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Aktuator (14) über das erste Ventil (6) mit dem Fluidspeicher (16) verbunden ist.
     
    3. Fahrzeugbremskreis (2) nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Aktuator (14) über ein Relaisventil (8) mit dem Fluidspeicher (16) verbunden ist, wobei das Relaisventil mit dem ersten Ventil (6) verbunden ist.
     
    4. Fahrzeugbremskreis (2) nach mindestens einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die Bewegung des zweiten Ventils (4) durch eine Steuer/Regeleinheit (10) gesteuert/geregelt wird.
     
    5. Fahrzeugbremskreis (2) nach Anspruch 4, wobei die Steuer/Regeleinheit (10) verschiedene Ventilbedingungen und -positionen des ersten Ventils (6) und des zweiten Ventils (4) feststellt.
     
    6. Fahrzeugbremskreis (2) nach mindestens einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die Bewegung des ersten Ventils (6) durch einen Handbremshebel (12) gesteuert/geregelt wird.
     
    7. Fahrzeugbremskreis (2) nach mindestens einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Bremskreis (2) ein Parkbremskreis ist.
     
    8. Fahrzeugbremskreis (2) nach mindestens einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Kreis (2) ein pneumatische Kreis ist.
     


    Revendications

    1. Circuit de frein de véhicule (2) comprenant un actionneur de frein (14), une première vanne commandée manuellement (6) ; une seconde vanne commandée électriquement (4) et un réservoir de fluide (16) destiné à assurer l'alimentation en fluide de l'actionneur (14), ladite première vanne (6) étant raccordée directement au réservoir de fluide (16), ladite première vanne (6) présentant une position préchargée de telle sorte qu'une liaison fluidique directe entre le réservoir (16) et la première vanne (6) est bloquée et dans lequel le déplacement de la seconde vanne (4) commande l'activation ou la désactivation de l'actionneur (14), caractérisé en ce que la première vanne (6) est aussi raccordée au réservoir de fluide (16) par l'intermédiaire de la seconde vanne (4), et lorsque la première vanne (6) est dans la position préchargée, une liaison fluidique entre le réservoir de fluide (16) et la première vanne (6) par l'intermédiaire de la seconde vanne (4) est libérée, et dans lequel le déplacement de la première vanne (6) à l'écart de la position préchargée inhibe la commande de l'actionneur par la seconde vanne (4).
     
    2. Circuit de frein de véhicule (2) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'actionneur (14) est raccordé au réservoir de fluide (16) par l'intermédiaire de la première vanne (6).
     
    3. Circuit de frein de véhicule (2) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'actionneur (14) est raccordé au réservoir de fluide (16) par l'intermédiaire d'une vanne pilote (8), ladite vanne pilote étant raccordée à la première vanne (6).
     
    4. Circuit de frein de véhicule (2) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le déplacement de la seconde vanne (4) est commandé par une unité de commande (10).
     
    5. Circuit de frein de véhicule (2) selon la revendication 4, dans lequel l'unité de commande (10) détecte différents états de véhicule et positions des première (6) et seconde vannes (4).
     
    6. Circuit de frein de véhicule (2) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le déplacement de la première vanne (6) est commandé par un levier de frein à main (12).
     
    7. Circuit de frein de véhicule (2) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le circuit de frein (2) est un circuit de frein de stationnement.
     
    8. Circuit de frein de véhicule (2) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le circuit (2) est un circuit pneumatique
     




    Drawing









    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