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Method of Making A Thermoplastic Composite Steering Wheel Armature And A Steering Wheel Armature Made Thereby

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000243023D
Publication Date: 2015-Sep-09
Document File: 10 page(s) / 38K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A steering wheel armature and method of making a steering wheel armature is disclosed. The steering wheel armature includes a hub with spokes extending radially therefrom to contact a rim. The rim includes hollow first sections and solid second sections. The rim is formed through gas-assist injection molding. The steering wheel armature may include a plurality of corrugations on the body of the steering wheel armature. The steering wheel armature also includes a metal flange located at the hub. The metal flange includes a plurality of support sections with a thickness greater than that of the main body of the metal flange. The metal flange may also be integrated with two air bag hooks.

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INVENTION DISCLOSURE

Method of Making A Thermoplastic composite Steering Wheel ARMATURE AND A STEERING WHEEL ARMATURE MADE THEREBY

INVENTORS

N. Kirshnamoorthy

of Bangalore, India

S. M. Kumar

of Bangalore, India

Subrata Nayak

of Bangalore, India

Sudhakar Marur

of Bangalore, India

Ankit Garg

of Bangalore, India

Somasekhar Bobba

of Bangalore, India

Pavan Puranik

of Bangalore, India

Arunchala P.

of Bangalore, India

BakerHostetler

1050 Connecticut Ave, NW #1100

Washington, DC 20036

Attorney:  Kevin Liu, Reg. No. 72,951

SABIC Ref. No. 12PLAS0010/14PLAS0095

Attorney Docket No. 092474.000006

Method of Making A Thermoplastic composite Steering Wheel ARMATURE AND A STEERING WHEEL ARMATURE MADE THEREBY

TECHNICAL FIELD

            This document pertains generally, but not by way of limitation, to a steering wheel armature, and more particularly, a thermoplastic steering wheel armature having multiple hollow sections and a method of making thereof. 

BACKGROUND

A structural skeleton of a steering wheel called a steering wheel armature is a load carrying member for any steering wheel.  Based on the construction material, the steering wheel armature can be manufactured through a variety of different manufacturing processes.  A popular method of making thermoplastic steering wheel armatures is through injection molding. 

In some applications, it is desirable to have a steering wheel armature with hollow sections in order to have a lower mass.  A single-piece hollow steering wheel armature formed by conventional injection molding processes will require additional mass to meet performance requirements.  Two-piece steering wheel armature designs can achieve a low mass while meeting performance requirements, but these designs require additional steps to form the hollow sections.  Another challenge for light weight steering wheels is the wobbling of a steering wheel during vehicle vibration.  To reduce this effect, the steering wheel should be designed with an optimal polar moment of inertia.

Accordingly, there is a need for a single-piece steering wheel armature with hollow sections and a method of making such a steering wheel armature to reduce the mass while still meeting performance requirements.

OVERVIEW

          The present disclosure describes an apparatus and method of making a thermoplastic steering wheel armature with hollow rim sections and/or spokes formed through merging of overflow well in desired areas with gas-assist injection molding.  The steering wheel armature may include solid sections to improve the polar moment of inertia thereby reducing the vibration as well as wobbling.  While forming the hollow rim sections of the steering wheel armature, external reinforcements are positioned on a circumference of the hollow rim to enhance the foam grip and also to increase structural stiffness.

  This document is intended to provide an overview of the subject matter of the present disclosure.  It is not intended to pro...