(19)
(11)EP 3 546 264 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
02.10.2019 Bulletin 2019/40

(21)Application number: 18382218.8

(22)Date of filing:  28.03.2018
(51)Int. Cl.: 
B60K 11/04  (2006.01)
F16F 15/08  (2006.01)
B62D 25/08  (2006.01)
(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
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
KH MA MD TN

(71)Applicant: Cikautxo, S. Coop.
48710 Berriatua (Vizcaya) (ES)

(72)Inventor:
  • ALEGRIA AZKAITURRIETA, Maite
    48270 MARKINA - XEMEIN (ES)

(74)Representative: Igartua, Ismael et al
Galbaian S. Coop. Garaia Parke Teknologikoa Goiru Kalea 1
20500 Arrasate-Mondragón
20500 Arrasate-Mondragón (ES)

  


(54)RADIATOR SUPPORT


(57) Radiator support (1) comprising a support base (3), an elastic tubular portion (2) which protrudes axially from the support base (3) and is configured for housing a pin of a radiator of a vehicle, and at least one stop (4) which protrudes axially from the support base (3). The stop (4) is arranged close to the tubular portion (2) and comprises a height smaller than the height of the tubular portion (2) with respect to the support base (3). The difference (H') between the height (H) of the tubular portion (2) and the height (h) of the stop (4), and the gap (d) between the tubular portion (2) and the stop (4) are such that, in use, from a given radial deformation level of the tubular portion (2), said tubular portion (2) comes into contact with the stop (4), increasing the rigidity of the tubular portion (2).




Description

TECHNICAL FIELD



[0001] The present invention relates to radiator supports, and more specifically to supports comprising a support base and a tubular portion which protrudes from said support base and in which a pin of the radiator is housed.

PRIOR ART



[0002] Radiator supports comprising a support base and a tubular portion protruding from said support base in an axial direction are known. The pin of a radiator of a motor vehicle is housed inside the tubular portion.

[0003] Said radiator usually comprises two top pins and two bottom pins, such that the radiator is secured to a frame or part of the chassis of the vehicle through four radiator supports. The supports must be capable of absorbing vibrations of the radiator in order to not transmit them to the inside of the vehicle, so they are usually made of rubber.

[0004] In this sense, JP2012180901A describes a radiator support comprising a support base comprising a radially protruding circular ring, and a tubular portion which protrudes from said support base in an axial direction and is configured for housing a pin of a radiator of a motor vehicle. The radiator support also comprises several stops protruding from the support base in an axial direction, said stops having a height slightly smaller than the height of the tubular portion with respect to the support base. Said stops are arranged at the end of the circular ring such that said area, i.e., the radial protuberance of the circular ring, is prevented from becoming excessively deformed.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION



[0005] The object of the invention is to provide a radiator support, as defined in the claims.

[0006] The radiator support of the invention comprises a support base, an elastic tubular portion which protrudes from said support base in an axial direction and is configured for housing a pin of a radiator of a motor vehicle, and at least one stop which protrudes from the support base in an axial direction. The stop is arranged close to the tubular portion and comprises a height smaller than the height of the tubular portion with respect to the support base.

[0007] The difference between the height of the tubular portion and the height of the stop, and the gap between the tubular portion and the stop are such that in use, from a given radial deformation level of the tubular portion, said tubular portion comes into contact with the stop, thereby increasing the rigidity of the tubular portion, such that said tubular portion has a flexible behavior before reaching said radial deformation level and a rigid behavior once said radial deformation level is reached.

[0008] In the context of the invention, "rigid behavior" must be interpreted not as a completely rigid behavior, but rather as a more rigid behavior than what corresponds to the behavior when the tubular portion does not come into contact with the stop, i.e., a more rigid behavior than the "flexible behavior."

[0009] The radiator support of the invention allows providing the support with different levels of rigidity such that it can adapt to the different use requirements or conditions, without sacrificing vehicle comfort. In this manner, and in normal use conditions in which the vehicle travels on a terrain with few potholes, the support has a flexible behavior where it is capable of damping the vibrations of the radiator without sacrificing vehicle comfort.

[0010] However, when the vehicle travels on a more uneven terrain with many potholes, for example, the support is rigid enough so as to withstand the rocking movements of the radiator since, in these conditions, the support is capable of increasing the rigidity of the support where it is needed. As the skilled person knows, the more rigid the support is, the worse it will be in absorbing vibrations, i.e., most of said vibrations are transmitted to the inside of the vehicle, negatively affecting vehicle comfort.

[0011] The use of an excessively rigid support which can negatively affect vehicle comfort from the outset is therefore prevented with the radiator support.

[0012] These and other advantages and features of the invention will become evident in view of the drawings and detailed description of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0013] 

Figure 1 shows a perspective view of the radiator support according to an embodiment of the invention.

Figure 2 shows a plan view of the radiator support of Figure 1.

Figure 3 shows an elevational view of the radiator support of Figure 1.

Figure 4 shows a section view of the radiator support of Figure 1.

Figure 5 shows a section view of a portion of the assembly of the radiator support of Figure 1 in the vehicle.


DETAILED DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION



[0014] Figure 1 shows the radiator support 1 according to a preferred embodiment of the invention. As shown in said drawing, the radiator support 1 comprises a support base 3, an elastic tubular portion 2 which protrudes from said support base 3 in an axial direction Z and is configured for housing a pin 10a of a radiator 10 of a motor vehicle, and at least one stop 4 which protrudes from the support base 3 in said axial direction Z. The stop 4 is arranged close to the tubular portion 2 and comprises a height h smaller than the height H of the tubular portion 2 with respect to the support base 3, as seen in Figure 4.

[0015] The difference H' between the height H of the tubular portion 2 and the height h of the stop 4, and the gap "d" between the tubular portion 2 and the stop 4 are such that, in use, from a given radial deformation level of the tubular portion 2, said tubular portion 2 comes into contact with the stop 4, thereby increasing the rigidity of the tubular portion 2, such that said tubular portion 2 has a flexible behavior before reaching said radial deformation level and a rigid behavior once said radial deformation level is reached.

[0016] The support base 3 is used for fixing said support 1 to a frame or part of the chassis 11 of the vehicle, whereas the pin 10a of the radiator 10 is housed inside the tubular portion 2. The radiator 10 is therefore practically supported in the elastic tubular portion 2, as seen in Figure 5, which portion is axially and radially deformed in use, preventing the transmission of vibrations caused by the radiator 10 to the support base 3.

[0017] In this manner, and in normal use conditions in which the vehicle travels on a terrain with few irregularities or potholes, the support 1 has a "flexible" behavior where it is capable of damping the vibrations of the radiator 10 without sacrificing vehicle comfort. "Flexible" behavior is understood as the tubular portion 2 being capable of deforming as necessary, minimizing the transmission of vibrations to the support base 3.

[0018] However, when the vehicle travels on a more uneven terrain with many potholes or irregularities, for example, the pressure exerted by the radiator 10 on the support 1 is greater, so the support 1 must increase its rigidity in this case so as to be able to withstand the pressure and the rocking movements exerted by the radiator 10.

[0019] Therefore, in the context of the invention "rigid behavior" must be interpreted not as a completely rigid behavior, but rather as a more rigid behavior than what corresponds to the behavior when the tubular portion 2 does not come into contact with the stop 4, i.e., a more rigid behavior than the "flexible behavior."

[0020] As the skilled person knows, the more rigid the support 1 is, the worse it will be in absorbing vibrations, i.e., most of said vibrations are transmitted to the inside of the vehicle, negatively affecting vehicle comfort.

[0021] The use of an excessively rigid support 1 which can negatively affect vehicle comfort from the outset is therefore prevented with the radiator support 1 since the support 1 of the invention is capable of increasing its rigidity only when necessary.

[0022] The radiator support 1 can comprise two stops 4 arranged at 180°, but in the preferred embodiment of the invention the support 1 comprises four stops 4 protruding from the support base 3 in the axial direction Z, as shown in the drawings. Said stops 4 are equidistant from one another, so they are arranged at 90°, as seen in Figure 2.

[0023] The support 1 is fixed to the frame or part of the chassis 11 of the vehicle through the base body 3 which is housed in a housing 11a of said frame or part of the chassis 11, both components preferably being fixed by pressure such that the support 1 is snapped into said housing 11a. Furthermore, the weight of the radiator 10 itself exerts pressure in the axial direction Z which helps to keep the support 1 in place, i.e., in said housing 11 a.

[0024] The radial gap "d" between the tubular portion 2 and each stop 4 when the support 1 is at rest, i.e., without the radiator 10 mounted on said support 1, is in a range between about 2 mm and 5 mm, said gap "d" preferably being 3 mm.

[0025] The difference H' between the height H of the tubular portion 2 and the height h of each stop 4, when the support 1 is at rest, i.e., without the radiator mounted on said support 1, is in a range between about 5.5 mm and 8 mm, said height preferably being 6.2 mm. When the radiator 10 is mounted on the support 1, this height H' is initially reduced due to the actual weight of the radiator 10. This situation arises, for example, when the vehicle is stopped. However, in use, i.e., when the vehicle is moving, the difference in height H' and the radial gap "d" vary depending on the pressure exerted by the radiator 10 which will vary according to the conditions of the terrain on which the vehicle travels.

[0026] The gap "d" and the difference in height H' at the beginning, i.e., when the support 1 is at rest, allow assuring that, when the support 1 is in use, the tubular portion 2 comes into contact with the stops 4 from a given radial deformation level of said tubular portion 2, before the radiator 10 itself comes into contact with any other element or component of the radiator support 1, i.e., assuring that the radiator 10 does not come into contact with any other element or component of the support 1 even in the worst case scenario.

[0027] Since the tubular portion 2 radially comes into contact with the stops 4, the rigidity of said tubular portion 2 dramatically increases. The tubular portion 2 will no longer become deformed as easily and will be able to withstand the increase in pressure exerted by the radiator 10 under extreme conditions, for example, on a terrain with many potholes or irregularities.

[0028] When use conditions improve, for example, when the vehicle is again travelling on a terrain without potholes, the pressure exerted by the radiator 10 on the tubular portion 2 decreases, so the tubular portion 2 will try to recover its original state, separating again from the stops 4, thereby again recovering the initial "flexible" behavior which assures the desired comfort level in the vehicle.

[0029] In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the support base 3 comprises a radially protruding circular ring 5 arranged in the upper part, the stops 4 being arranged close to said circular ring 5, i.e., away from the end of said circular ring 5, as shown in the drawings.

[0030] To reinforce said circular ring 5, the support base 3 comprises an inverted L-shaped reinforcement element 9, preferably a metallic element, which is embedded in said support base 3, as seen in Figure 4. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, said reinforcement element 9 is arranged between the circular ring 5 and the support base 3, i.e., a portion of the reinforcement element 9 is arranged inside the circular ring 5 and the other portion, which is arranged at about 90°, is arranged in the support base 3 in the axial direction Z. Likewise, in the preferred embodiment of the invention said reinforcement element 9 is an element of revolution, i.e., the reinforcement element 9 is contained in the support base 3 surrounding the entire circumference thereof.

[0031] The support base 3 comprises holes 8 which are arranged in the support base 3, as seen in Figures 1 or 2. Said holes 8 are made during the process of manufacturing the support 1 in order to keep the reinforcement element 9 centered during the manufacturing process, as is known in the prior art.

[0032] In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the tubular portion 2 and the support base 3 are attached to one another by a perimetral radial rib 7 which attaches part of the inside of the support base 3 with part of the outer area of the tubular portion 2, the thickness of said rib 7 being such that it allows the tubular portion 2 to become deformed independently of the support base 3 but assuring a minimum resistance in the attachment of the tubular portion 2. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, said rib 7 is circular and surrounds the tubular portion 2.

[0033] As seen in Figure 4, said rib 7 is arranged in the upper area of the support base 3.

[0034] As seen in Figure 1, 2, or 3, the support 1 of the invention additionally comprises at least one protuberance 6 attaching the outer surfaces of the support base 3 and the tubular portion 2. In the preferred embodiment, the support 1 comprises four protuberances 6 arranged interspersed between the stops 4, as seen in Figure 2, for example. These protuberances 6 contribute to the initial behavior of the tubular portion 2. In other words, the tubular portion 2 must initially comprise a rigidity assuring that said tubular portion 2 can support the weight of the radiator itself, said initial rigidity being the lowest possible for such purpose, such that the "flexible" behavior of the tubular portion 2 which assures comfort in the vehicle interior is not compromised.

[0035] The tubular portion 2 is made of plastic, preferably EPDM or rubber, the support base 3 being made of the same material, i.e., EPDM or rubber in the preferred embodiment of the invention.

[0036] In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the radiator support 1 is formed by a part, preferably made of EPDM or rubber, i.e., the support base 3 and the tubular portion 2 form one part. Both parts, i.e., the support base 3 and the tubular portion 2, are attached to one another by the perimetral radial rib 7 and additionally by the protuberances 6.


Claims

1. Radiator support comprising a support base (3), an elastic tubular portion (2) which protrudes from said support base (3) in an axial direction (Z) and is configured for housing a pin of a radiator of a motor vehicle, and at least one stop (4) which protrudes from the support base (3) in the axial direction (Z), said stop (4) being arranged close to the tubular portion (2), said stop (4) having a height (h) smaller than the height (H) of the tubular portion (2) with respect to the support base (3), characterised in that the difference (H') between the height (H) of the tubular portion (2) and the height (h) of the stop (4), and the gap (d) between the tubular portion (2) and the stop (4) are such that in use, from a given radial deformation level of the tubular portion (2), said tubular portion (2) comes into contact with the stop (4), thereby increasing the rigidity of the tubular portion (2), such that said tubular portion (2) has a flexible behavior before reaching said radial deformation level and a rigid behavior once said radial deformation level is reached.
 
2. Radiator support according to claim 1, wherein said support (1) comprises at least two stops (4), preferably four, protruding from the support base (3) in the axial direction (Z), said stops (4) preferably being arranged equidistant from one another.
 
3. Radiator support according to claim 1 or 2, wherein when the support (1) is at rest the difference (H') between the height (H) of the tubular portion (2) and the height (h) of the stop (4) is in a range between about 5.5 mm and 8 mm, and wherein the gap (d) between the tubular portion (2) and the stop (4) is in a range between about 2 mm and 5 mm.
 
4. Radiator support according to claim 3, wherein when the support (1) is at rest the difference (H') between the height (H) of the tubular portion (2) and the height (h) of the stop (4) is about 6.2 mm, and wherein the gap (d) between the tubular portion (2) and the stop (4) is about 3 mm.
 
5. Radiator support according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the support base (3) comprises a radially protruding circular ring (5) arranged in the upper part, the stop (4) being arranged close to said circular ring (5).
 
6. Radiator support according to claim 5, wherein the support base (3) comprises an inverted L-shaped reinforcement element (9), preferably a metallic element, embedded in said support base (3), preferably arranged between the circular ring (5) and the support base (3).
 
7. Radiator support according to any of claims 2 to 6, wherein the support base (3) additionally comprises at least one protuberance (6) attached to the tubular portion (2) such that said protuberance (6) contributes to the initial flexible behavior of the tubular portion (2).
 
8. Radiator support according to claim 7, wherein the support base (3) comprises protuberances (6) arranged interspersed between the stops (4).
 
9. Radiator support according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the tubular portion (2) and the support base (3) are attached to one another by a perimetral radial rib (7) which attaches part of the inside of the support base (3) with part of the outer area of the tubular portion (2).
 
10. Radiator support according to claim 9, wherein said rib (7) is arranged in the upper area of the support base (3).
 
11. Radiator support according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the tubular portion (2) is made of EPDM or rubber.
 
12. Radiator support according to claim 11, wherein the support base (3) is made of plastic, preferably EPDM or rubber.
 
13. Radiator support according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the support base (3) and the tubular portion (2) form one part, preferably made of EPDM or rubber.
 




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