Patent application title: Highly elastic leaf spring
Volker Gedenk (Hemmingen, DE)
IPC8 Class: AB61F530FI
Class name: Vehicle elastomeric having rigid spacer plate between plural elastomeric segments
Publication date: 2009-09-03
Patent application number: 20090218740
Patent application title: Highly elastic leaf spring
Origin: GAITHERSBURG, MD US
IPC8 Class: AB61F530FI
The invention relates to a multilayered spring, especially for rail
vehicles, having an inner and an outer connecting part and at least two
spring layers that are located therebetween and are made alternately of
an elastomeric layer and a sheet-metal layer. The elastomeric layers are
vulcanized together with the connecting parts and the sheet-metal layers
and the elastomeric layers of the spring layer have different thicknesses
with respect to each other. Each elastomeric layer is made of the same
material. The multilayered spring has a substantially conically contoured
support plate which is arranged above the thickest spring layer in the
direction in which load is applied. The inner portion of the softest
layer initially rests on the support plate when the spring is loaded
while the outer portions of the softest layer, followed by the other
spring-layers, rest on the support plate in a continually increasing
manner as the load increases. The contour of the support plate influences
the characteristic line of the spring.
2. A multilayered spring for a vehicle, including a rail vehicle, the multilayered spring being subjectable to a load in a predetermined direction and comprising:an inner connecting part;an outer connecting part;a plurality of spring layers disposed between said connecting parts;said spring layers including a plurality of sheet-metal layers and a plurality of elastomer layers alternating with corresponding ones of said sheet-metal layers;said elastomer layers being vulcanized to corresponding ones of said connecting parts and said sheet-metal layers;said elastomer layers having different thicknesses and one of said elastomer layers having a thickness greater than the remainder of said elastomer layers;a conically-shaped contoured support plate mounted above said one elastomer layer in said load direction;said one layer having an outer portion and being softer than said remainder of said elastomer layers; and,said support plate corresponding to said elastomer layers to cause first said one layer to be supported against said support plate in response to said load and, with said load increasing, to cause said outer portion of said one layer and said remainder of said elastomer layers to become continuously and increasingly supported against said support plate.
3. The multilayered spring of claim 2, wherein all of said elastomer layers are made of the same material.
4. The multilayered spring of claim 3, wherein said one layer is thicker than the elastomer layers of said remainder of said elastomer layers by a factor of three.
The invention relates to a multilayered spring, in particular for
rail vehicles, having an inner connecting part and an outer connecting
part and having at least two spring layers which are located between the
connecting parts. The spring layers include alternately an elastomer
layer and a sheet-metal layer and the elastomer layers are each
vulcanized together with the connecting parts and the sheet-metal layers.
The elastomer layers of the spring layers have different thicknesses from
one another with each elastomer layer being manufactured from the same
Such multilayered springs are also referred to as primary springs because they frequently form the primary spring stage, that is, the spring stage between the wheel and the swivel truck in rail vehicles. The multilayered springs can have different shapes. For example, the individual spring layers can be arranged concentrically with respect to one another in a cylindrical or conical fashion. However, multilayered springs made of differently arranged horizontal or vertical spring layers are also possible. The shape, position and number of the spring layers are adapted to the particular application.
Individual multilayered springs are usually manufactured for each application and a specific spring characteristic line has to be achieved. Given low loading, which is particularly critical for protection against derailing during the travel operation, the spring must be made very soft. In contrast, when the loading is high, the spring should be hard so that the vehicle remains within the free space profile.
DE 85 20 180 U1 discloses a multilayered spring which has an additional rubber layer with a Shore hardness which is lower than that of the other layers in order to achieve a specific spring characteristic. However, this multilayered spring requires a limiting stop in order to limit the spring compression of this additional layer. The spring characteristic line is therefore composed of two line segments, a soft, flat segment up to the time when the spring abuts against the limiting stop and a hard, steep segment. The characteristic line therefore has an unevenness which has an unfavorable effect on the suspension behavior.
In order to obtain an optimal characteristic line of the multilayered spring, it is known to manufacture the elastomer layers of the spring layers from different materials. Such a multilayered spring is shown in DE 28 19 306 A1 or DE 103 01 756 B4.
However, the use of different materials requires considerable complexity with respect to manufacture, especially when there are different materials within one layer.
The invention is based on the object of providing a multilayered spring of the type described above which has an improved, constant spring characteristic line while avoiding the above-mentioned disadvantages.
This object is achieved by virtue of the fact that the multilayered spring has a support plate which is contoured substantially in the shape of a cone, is arranged above the thickest spring layer in the loading direction and corresponds to the spring layers of different thicknesses in such a way that initially the inner part of the softest layer is supported on the support plate and, as the loading increases, the outer parts of the softest layer and the further spring layers are supported in a constantly increasing fashion on the support plate.
The support plate produces a continuous spring characteristic line since, as a result of this configuration, only the inner, soft spring layer of the multilayered spring experiences spring compression under relatively low loads and the further spring layers increasingly participate in the spring compression under higher loads. Because of the support plate, the thickest, softest spring layer is not overloaded. The characteristic line can be adapted to the application, for example, as a continuously progressive characteristic line depending on the contour of the support plate.
According to one embodiment of the invention, the elastomer layer of the inner spring layer is thicker than the elastomer layers of the other spring layers by a factor of three.
As a result, the inner spring layer is considerably softer than the other spring layers. The hardness of such a spring layer is determined both by the hardness of the material and by the geometry of the layer, with the influence of the geometry being determined by the form factor F. The form factor F describes the ratio of free elastomer area to bound elastomer area of an elastomer layer. If the free surface of an elastomer layer becomes larger while the fixedly vulcanized, that is, bound area remains the same, the form factor increases. High values of F describe a soft spring property, while low values of F describe a hard spring property.
Such a multilayered spring can be adapted in the inventive fashion to various applications with a constant characteristic line and does not require complex production methods since, for example, the omission of one or more sheet-metal layers allows the freely deformable elastomer area of the resulting, relatively thick elastomer layer to be easily enlarged. There is no need to use different materials.
An exemplary embodiment of the invention will be explained in more detail below with reference to the drawing.
The single FIGURE shows a multilayered spring 1 in a longitudinal section in the installed position without loading with an inner connecting part 2 directed upwardly with a connecting lug 3 and bearing a load (not shown here).
Furthermore, the multilayered spring 1 has an outer connecting part 4 and a plurality of conical, concentrically-arranged sheet-metal intermediate layers (5, 6, 7, 8) with average diameters which become larger toward the outside. Conical elastomer layers (9, 10, 11, 12) are arranged between each two sheet-metal intermediate layers 5 to 8. The conical elastomer layers (9, 10, 11, 12) are fixedly vulcanized with their respective surfaces to corresponding surfaces of the inner connecting part 2, the sheet-metal intermediate layers 5 to 8 and the outer connecting part 4. These surfaces of the elastomer layers face toward the main axis 13 of the multilayered spring 1 or face away from the main axis 13.
The sheet-metal intermediate layers 5 to 8 and the elastomer layers 9 to 12 are arranged with respect to one another in such a way that the multilayered spring 1 has an upwardly tapering truncated cone-like shape.
A support plate 14, which has a conical shape on its underside 15 facing toward the inner-lying elastomer layer 9, is fixedly mounted on the connecting lug 3 concentrically with respect to the inner connecting part 2.
The inner-lying elastomer layer 9 has a significantly larger radial thickness than the other elastomer layers 10 to 12. The increased thickness gives rise to a form factor F which is increased compared to the other elastomer layers 10 to 12. The inner elastomer layer 9 is therefore significantly softer than the other elastomer layers 10 to 12.
Under load, the inner connecting part 2 moves downwardly toward the outer connecting part 4 and the multilayered spring 1 is compressed. In the process, at first only the inner-lying elastomer layer 9 experiences spring compression owing to the softer spring characteristic line. The elastomer layer 9 is supported against the support plate 14. The configuration of the underside 15 of the support plate 14 thereby contributes to the determination of the spring characteristic line of the inner-lying elastomer layer 9. The thickness of the inner-lying elastomer layer 9 and the shape of the underside 15 of the support plate 14 are matched to one another in such a manner that, when the inner-lying elastomer layer 9 experiences complete spring compression, the support plate 14 comes to rest on the inner sheet-metal intermediate layer 5 and the other elastomer layers 10 to 12 are increasingly involved in the further spring compression. This results in a continuously progressive spring characteristic line for the entire multilayered spring 1.
List Of Reference Numerals
(part of the description)1 Multilayered spring2 Inner connecting part
3 Connecting lug
4 Outer connecting part5 Sheet-metal intermediate layer6 Sheet-metal intermediate layer7 Sheet-metal intermediate layer8 Sheet-metal intermediate layer9 Inner-lying elastomer layer10 Elastomer layer11 Elastomer layer12 Elastomer layer13 Main axis of the multilayered spring 114 Support plate15 Underside of the support plate
Patent applications by Volker Gedenk, Hemmingen DE