Title:
Radiator, Especially Radiator for Vehicles
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a radiator (10), especially for vehicles, radiator comprising upwardly extending headers (11). Said headers (11) are fluidically interconnected in the longitudinal direction by means of parallel cooling pipes (12). Corrugated ribs (13) are arranged between the cooling pipes (12), the ridge lines (14) thereof extending in the direction of the width (B) of the radiator (10) and lying respectively alternately on both sides of a cooling pipe (12). The inventive radiator is also provided with a lateral metal plate (40) which extends parallel to the cooling pipes (12), on the outside between the headers (11), the width (b) of said plate corresponding essentially to the width (B) of the corrugated ribs (13). According to the invention, the material of the at least one lateral metal plate (40) is weaker in the regions adjacent to the headers (11).



Inventors:
Kopp, Joachim (Stuttgart, DE)
Kramer, Wolfgang (Weinstadt, DE)
Lopez Rico, Juan Antonio (Barcelona, ES)
Ruppel, Thomas (Sant Cugat del Valles, ES)
Application Number:
11/632709
Publication Date:
01/03/2008
Filing Date:
07/25/2005
Assignee:
BEHR GmbH & CO. KG (Mauserstrasse 3, Stuttgart, DE)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F01P11/00; F28F9/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
CIRIC, LJILJANA V
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Foley And, Lardner Llp Suite 500 (3000 K STREET NW, WASHINGTON, DC, 20007, US)
Claims:
1. A radiator, especially radiator for vehicles, with cooling tubes which extend between two collectors, such as headers, running in the vertical direction and run in the longitudinal direction parallel to one another, and with corrugated ribs which are arranged between the cooling tubes and the ridge lines of which run in the direction of the width of the radiator, and with at least one side plate, which extends parallel to the cooling tubes, on the outside between the headers, and corresponds in width (b) essentially to the width (B) of the corrugated ribs, wherein at least one side plate has a weakened portion of material in regions adjacent to the headers.

2. The radiator as claimed in claim 1, wherein the weakened portion of material consists in a reduction of the width (b) of the material of the side plate.

3. The radiator as claimed in claim 2, wherein reduction of the width (b) of the material of the side plate is designed in such a manner that the side plate has, on at least one side, a continuous, linear side edge in the longitudinal direction, which side edge corresponds in particular to the edge of the corrugated ribs.

4. The radiator as claimed in claim 1, wherein the side plate comprises, in the weakened portion of material, a small number of narrow material fingers.

5. The radiator as claimed in claim 1, wherein stiffening means which extend in the longitudinal direction and are formed by profiling in the vertical direction are provided in the region of the weakened portion of material.

6. The radiator as claimed in claim 1, wherein a bulge which has a ridge line running over the width (b) is provided in an intermediate region of the side plate, which intermediate region is offset inwards in the longitudinal direction in relation to the weakened portion regions.

7. The radiator as claimed in claim 1, wherein at least one side plate is exclusively fastened to the corrugated ribs and in particular is connected to them by soldering, in particular brazing.

8. The radiator as claimed in claim 1, wherein at least one side plate has a gap to the header.

9. The radiator as claimed in claim 8, wherein the gap has a gap width which extends over a number of cycles of corrugations of the corrugated plate, in particular over less than 20, preferably over approx. 5 to 15, corrugated ribs.

Description:

The present invention relates to a radiator, especially a radiator as is used in vehicles and is preferably integrated into the cooling circuit for an internal combustion engine. Radiators of this type are usually designed as “tubular radiators”, in which cooling tubes running parallel to one another in the longitudinal direction extend between two preferably vertically oriented headers. In this case, coolant flows from one header through the cooling tubes to the other header. In the region of the cooling tubes, heat is exchanged with a preferably gaseous cooling medium, such as ambient air, flowing in a tube running in the transverse direction of extent, i.e. over the width of the radiator.

In this case, it is known to arrange corrugated ribs between the cooling tubes in order to enlarge the heat exchange surface. The corrugated ribs are in particular a narrow sheet-metal strip which is of corrugated design and the ridge lines of which extend in the direction of the width of the radiator and are held fastened along the ridge lines in an alternating manner to a lower and an upper cooling tube, with them being connected to the cooling tubes in particular by means of soldering.

Furthermore, it is known also to provide corrugated ribs in each case above the uppermost and below the lowermost cooling tube of the radiator. In order to protect the corrugated ribs from damage and in order to produce a stable closure of the radiator, it is known to provide a side plate on at least one of the sides which extend parallel to the cooling tubes and beyond the width of the radiator.

It is known that side plates have the disadvantage that, due to a different thermal expansion behavior and due to the fact that they are located in a different temperature range than the cooling tubes, different thermal expansion is provided in the longitudinal direction of the cooling tubes. Due to this different thermal expansion, expansion loads occur in particular at the outer cooling tubes, which expansion loads can lead over a number of thermal stress cycles to leakages in the radiator, in particular in the route region of the outer cooling tubes.

Accordingly, it is the object of the invention to design side plates in such a manner that such damage to the radiator is reliably avoided.

In comparison to the prior art which is based on the generic type, this object on which the invention is based is achieved by a radiator designed in accordance with the invention.

A radiator, such as serves in particular as a radiator for vehicles, has two headers extending in the vertical direction. The headers are connected fluidically to each other in the longitudinal direction via cooling tubes running parallel to one another. Corrugated ribs, the ridge lines of which run in the direction of the width of the radiator and bear in an alternating manner on both sides in each case against a cooling tube, are arranged between the cooling tubes. Furthermore, at least one side plate is provided which extends parallel to the cooling tubes, on the outside between the headers, and corresponds in its width essentially to the width of the corrugated ribs. In a refinement according to the invention, it is provided that the at least one side plate has a weakened portion of material in regions adjacent to the headers.

The effect achieved by this weakened portion of material is that a transmission of load from the side plate to the corrugated ribs and a transmission of force to the cooling tube adjacent to the side plate take place in such a manner that said cooling tube is free from stress peaks due to different thermal expansion. In particular, a weakened portion of material such as this is provided in the region of the side plates such that the different thermal expansion can be absorbed by elastic deformation.

In this case, it is possible, in particular, to compensate for the disadvantage that, due to installation manipulations and manufacturing tolerances, when fastening the corrugated ribs to the cooling tube or when fastening the side plate onto the corrugated ribs, a blockage of the corrugated ribs occurs in the region of the corrugated ribs at the edges, for example by the corrugated ribs being pushed together and by a slight excess of soldering compound during soldering, and so there is increased rigidity of the corrugated ribs with regard to longitudinal expansion in the region which is adjacent to the headers.

In this case, an advantageous refinement of the invention is when the weakened portion of material consists in a reduction of the width of the material of the side plate in the region adjacent to the header. This produces the high degree of flexibility and low degree of rigidity of the side part, in particular in the region in which otherwise the highest transfer of load from side plate to cooling tube via the corrugated ribs takes place. In this case, an advantageous refinement is when the reduction of the width of the material is designed in such a manner that the side plate has, on at least one side, a continuous, linear side edge in the longitudinal direction of the radiator. This side edge produces, for example, a rectilinear, linear, front or rear closure of the radiator plate, which is not changed in its contour by a reduction of the cross section. This measure provides, in particular, a defined outer contour of the radiator, for example on the side seen.

According to an advantageous refinement, the side plate is formed, in the region of the weakened portion of material, from a small number of narrow material fingers, for example up to five. Each of the material fingers here is a material web which is narrow in comparison to the width of the side strip, protrudes from a basic body of the side plate in the direction of the header and extends up to the header. In particular, the material finger extends to the last corrugated ridge of a corrugated rib. The design of narrow material fingers permits a flexible configuration of the side plate in the region of the fingers. In this case, it can be provided, in particular, that in each case one finger is formed at the edge, thus providing a side edge of the side plate that runs through to the outside. The number of material fingers is to be determined in accordance with the demands imposed on rigidity and flexibility.

An advantageous refinement of the invention is when stiffening means which extend in the longitudinal direction and comprise a superelevation in the profiling in the vertical direction are provided. This stiffening in the vertical direction provides stiffening means which are similar to supports and which above all increase the absorption of force and absorption of load in the vertical direction of the weakened portion of material region. Above all, they have to counteract the effect that, due to the pressure of cooling liquid present in the cooling tubes, there is a tendency of the cooling tubes to bow outward. On the other hand, the rigidity has to be selected such that the thermal compensation of length is nevertheless possible.

According to an advantageous refinement of the invention, an intermediate region of the side plate is provided, which intermediate region is offset inward away from the headers in the longitudinal direction in relation to the weakened portion regions. The intermediate region of the side plate consists in a bulge which has a ridge line extending over the width of the side plate. This measure provides a bending region with which a bulging of the side plate in the vertical direction is made possible.

According to a particularly advantageous refinement of the invention, it is provided that the at least one side plate is exclusively fastened to corrugated ribs, in particular is connected to them by soldering. The exclusive fastening of the side plates to the corrugated ribs avoids the side plate being connected to the headers, with the result that, in this region, there is no stiff supporting of the side plate with respect to the headers, which supporting leads, due to different thermal expansion with respect to the adjacent cooling tube, to stresses which are transmitted by a corrugated plate. The corrugated plate is therefore mounted in relation to the headers in a floating manner on the ridge lines of the corrugated ribs. In a preferred refinement, it is provided that a gap free from side plate is formed between side plate and header. The side plate therefore does not extend directly to the headers, but rather is spaced apart from the latter by a gap. This gap serves, firstly, as an expansion space for the side plate in the longitudinal direction and, secondly, forces are prevented from being introduced from the side plate via the last flanks of the corrugated ribs into the adjacent cooling tube and forces are prevented from being introduced to the header in the region of the foot of said cooling tube, which forces might result in leakages of the radiator. A preferred refinement is when the gap has a gap width which extends over a number of cycles of the corrugations of the corrugated plate, i.e. over a certain number of ridge lines of the corrugated plate. In this case, the number of ridge lines is preferably below 20 and, in particular, between 5 and 15. This measure firstly ensures adequate stiffening of the radiator in the longitudinal direction and secondly, nevertheless reliably avoids forces being introduced in the region in which the cooling tubes are fastened to the headers, which forces would put the tightness in this region into question.

The invention is furthermore explained in more detail below with reference to exemplary embodiments illustrated in the drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 shows, in a 3D view, an extract from a radiator designed according to the invention;

FIGS. 2a to 2e shows, in a schematic illustration, differently designed side plates according to the invention;

FIGS. 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b each show, in a schematic side view and schematic top view, differently designed side plates for radiators in their arrangement on the radiator.

FIG. 1 shows a cutout from a radiator 10 in a three-dimensional illustration. The radiator is formed from a header 11 which extends in the direction of the vertical axis, i.e. the vertical. Cooling tubes 12 extend in the longitudinal direction between two headers 11, with corrugated ribs 13 being arranged in each case between two cooling tubes, the corrugated ribs have ridge lines 14 which run in the direction of the width B of the radiator. In this case, the ridge lines 14 of the corrugated ribs are in each case in contact with a cooling tube 12 arranged above or below and are connected thereto by soldering. A side plate 40 is fastened to upper side of the uppermost corrugated rib 13, said side plate being connected to the ridge lines of the corrugated ribs 13 in particular by soldering. The side plate has a width B which essentially corresponds to the width B of the radiator and of the corrugated ribs 13.

The exemplary embodiment of FIG. 1 shows an embodiment, in which, in a region 49 which is adjacent to the header 11, the side plate is weakened in its rigidity by the side plate being composed merely of two material fingers 43 which reach as far as the inner edge of the header 11, which edge is designed in particular as a tube bottom 15. In this case, the two material fingers 43 are arranged in such a manner that they are offset inward with respect to the outer side edge 42 of the side plate.

FIGS. 2a to 6b below show, in schematic diagrams, different embodiments of side plates according to the invention, with FIGS. 21, 3a, 4a, 5a and 6a each showing, in a schematic illustration, a side view whereas the following FIGS. 2b, . . . 2e, 3b, . . . 6b each show corresponding top views of the side plates designed correspondingly.

FIG. 2a shows tube bottom 15 of a header 11 of a radiator 10 and a cooling tube 12 held in the tube bottom, the cooling tube 12 being the uppermost cooling tube. The corrugated ribs 13 are arranged on its upper side. According to the embodiment illustrated, a weakened region 49 is formed by the side plate 40, which is held on the upper side of the corrugated ribs 13, not extending as far as the tube bottom 15 but rather a region 49 being formed in which a side plate is not provided. In this case, the region 49 extends over a number of cycles of corrugations of the corrugated ribs 13.

FIG. 2b shows the embodiment of FIG. 2a in top view. The side plate 40 extends only as far as a region 49 which extends between the side plate 40 in the tube bottom 15 of the header 11. In the top view, a plurality of ridge lines 14 of the corrugated ribs 13 can be seen in the region 49, which ridge lines are not covered by the side plate 40. In the embodiments according to FIG. 2, the side plate is connected to adjacent ridge lines 14 of the corrugated ribs 13 exclusively in each case by soldering, and the corrugated ribs 13 are connected to the cooling tube 12 situated below them by soldering in the lower ridge lines 14.

The embodiments according to FIGS. 2c to 2e each show corresponding configurations which differ from the embodiment according to FIGS. 2a and 2b only in the design of the side plate 40. In this case, the side plate according to FIGS. 2c to 2e is designed in each case in such a manner that it extends virtually as far as the tube bottom 15 and therefore as far as the header 11 and overall at most a small number of ridge lines 14 of the corrugated ribs, for example one or two ridge lines, are not connected to the side plate 40. A common feature of all three embodiments is that a tapering of the side plate in its width b takes place in each case in the region 49. In the process, the side plate 40, in the embodiment according to FIG. 2c, tapers to a point, with the point being formed in the center of the width B of the radiator 10, and with, in FIG. 2d, the point of the side plate 40 being situated in the region of a side edge 42, with the result that the side edge 42 extends, at least on one side of the radiator, over the entire length of the radiator at least virtually as far as the tube bottom 15. FIG. 2e shows a configuration where the width b of the side plate is tapered continuously on both sides, the nearer the weakened region 49 is to the tube bottom 15. A transition to a finger-shaped section of the side plate 40 virtually takes place. By means of the tapering of the side plate 40, in this region the transmission of forces to the corrugated ribs 13 is distributed over a relatively large area. By means of the corrugated ribs 13 in the tapered region, the introduction of force takes place over a relatively large area of the cooling tube 12, with the result that locally no peak loads occur which may result in stress regions in particular in the route region of the cooling tube 12 on the tube bottom 15.

FIGS. 3a and 3b and FIGS. 4a and 4b also show, in each case in a schematically sectional side view and plan view, an embodiment of a side plate according to the invention with a weakened region in the vicinity of the header 11. Again, the header 11 with its tube bottom 15 can be seen in its basic construction. The cooling tube 12, with again just one cooling tube being illustrated, is inserted into the tube bottom and is connected tightly thereto by soldering. The corrugated ribs 13 are arranged on the cooling tube 12, with the lower ridge lines 14 being connected to the cooling tube 12 by soldering. In the region of the upper ridge lines 14, the side part 40 is connected in each case to the corrugated ribs 13, with the side part 40 reaching in each case only insufficiently to the tube bottom 15 and being spaced apart from the latter by a narrow gap 47.

A common feature of the two embodiments according to FIGS. 3 and 4 is that a stiffening means 44 is formed in a weakened region 49 of the side plate 40, said stiffening means extending in the longitudinal direction of the side plate 40 but being raised in the vertical direction over the remaining profile of the side plate 40.

FIGS. 3a and 3b show an exemplary embodiment where, adjacent to the weakened region 49, the side plate 40 has a bulge 45 which has a ridge line 46 running in the direction of the width b of the side plate. This bulge 45 ensures a high degree of flexibility of the weakened region 49, which is provided in particular by the side plate bending in the region of the bulge 45 and by high extensibility in the longitudinal direction of the side plate 40.

The embodiment according to FIGS. 4a and 4b shows—like FIG. 1—a design, in which the weakened region 49 is formed by fingers 43, with the stiffening means 44 extending beyond the fingers into the unweakened region of the side plate 40. The fingers 43 are therefore protected by the stiffening means 44 against bending in the vertical direction. Merely by the side plate 40 not extending over the entire width B of the radiator in the region of the fingers 43, it is ensured that there is no excessive stiffening in the foot region of the cooling tubes 12 at the tube bottom 15.

FIGS. 5a and 5b show an embodiment, in which cutouts 48 are provided as the weakened portion in the material of the side plate 40. In this case too, a bulge 45 is formed in the transition region between the weakened region 49 and the remaining section of the side plate 40, with a weakened portion of the side plate 40 also being provided in the region of the bulge 45 by, in this region, the side plate 40 not extending over the entire width B of the radiator 10. In this case, the cutouts 48 are designed, in particular, as punched-out portions in the material of the side plate 40, thus providing a continuously closed contour of the side plate. Except for the region of the bulge 45, a continuous side edge 42 of the side plate extends along the edge of the corrugated ribs 13 on both sides of the radiator 10.

The embodiment according to FIGS. 6a and 6b corresponds to the configuration of FIGS. 5a and 5b, with just the cutouts 48 having been omitted unless they are formed in the region of the bulge 45.

Seen overall, FIGS. 1 to 6 show different embodiments of side plates according to the invention, with yet further variants being conceivable which do not depart from the context of the present invention and which, in particular, may be composed of a combination of different configuration features according to the figures described above.