Title:
FILLER CAP FOR A LIQUID RECEPTACLE WITHIN A VEHICLE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A filler cap for a liquid receptacle within a vehicle. The filler cap includes a first body part (1) having an essentially cylindrical construction with a first end (1a) and second end (1b). The first end (1a) of the first body part (1) includes a means for concentrically engaging a receptacle opening neck 5. The second end (1b) of the first body part (1) has a second body part (2) pivotally attached thereto along a pivot axis (3). The pivot axis (3) intersects a longitudinal center axis (4) of the first body part (1) at an essentially right angle. The second body part (2) is moveable between a rest position and an operating position. In the rest position, the second body part (2) is essentially aligned with a plane of the second end of the first body part (1). In the operating position, the second body part (2) is essentially orthogonal to the plane of the second end of the first body part (1).



Inventors:
Wikstrom, Mattias (Goteborg, SE)
Nilsson, Marcus (Goteborg, SE)
Nilsson, Dag (Goteborg, SE)
Myrberg, Anders (Gothenburg, SE)
Application Number:
11/160308
Publication Date:
01/05/2006
Filing Date:
06/17/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
220/763, 215/305
International Classes:
B65D41/04; B60S1/50; F01P11/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WALKER, NED ANDREW
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Dickinson Wright PLLC (Bloomfield Hills, MI, US)
Claims:
1. A filler cap for a liquid receptacle within a vehicle comprising: a first body part having an essentially cylindrical construction with a first end and a second end; said first end having a fastener for concentrically engaging a receptacle opening neck; a second body part pivotally attached to said second end of said first body part along a pivot axis; said pivot axis intersecting a longitudinal center axis of said first body part at an essentially right angle; and said second body part pivotal between a rest position and an operating position; said second body part in said rest position essentially aligned with a plane of said second end of said first body part; said second body part in said operating position essentially orthogonal to the plane of said second end of said first body part.

2. 2-4. (canceled)

5. The filler cap recited in claim 1, wherein said fastener for concentrically engaging a receptacle opening neck comprises a pair of complementary threads respectively formed on said receptacle opening neck and said first body part.

6. (canceled)

7. The filler cap recited in claim 1, wherein said fastener for concentrically engaging a receptacle opening neck comprises a first half of a bayonet joint that is complementary to a second half of said bayonet joint formed on said receptacle opening neck.

8. (canceled)

9. The filler cap recited in claim 1, wherein said fastener for concentrically engaging a receptacle opening neck comprises a first half of a snap-in joint that is complementary to a second half of said snap-in joint of said receptacle opening neck.

10. (canceled)

11. The filler cap recited in claim 1, wherein said first body part has said second end including an area designated for providing a user with graphical information.

12. 12-13. (canceled)

14. The filler cap recited in claim 1, wherein said second body part is pivotally attached to said first body part by at least one axle member.

15. 15-16. (canceled)

17. The filler cap recited in claim 1, wherein said second body part is shaped to provide information on the filler cap.

18. The filler cap recited in claim 1, wherein said second body part is color-coded to provide differentiating information on the specific filler cap.

19. 19-20. (canceled)

21. A filler cap for a liquid receptacle within a vehicle comprising: a first body part having an essentially cylindrical construction with a first end and a second end; said first end having a fastener for concentrically engaging a receptacle opening neck; a second body part pivotally attached to said second end of said first body part along a pivot axis; said pivot axis intersecting a longitudinal center axis of said first body part at an essentially right angle; and said second body part pivotal between a rest position and an operating position; said second body part in said rest position essentially aligned with a plane of said second end of said first body part; said second body part in said operating position essentially orthogonal to the plane of said second end of said first body part; said first body part has said second end including a recessed area of complementary shape to said second body part for receiving said second body part in said rest position.

22. The filler cap recited in claim 21, wherein said first end of said first body part includes a seal member for sealing a receptacle opening upon engaging said receptacle opening neck.

23. The filler cap recited in claim 21, wherein said fastener for concentrically engaging a receptacle opening neck comprises a pair of complementary threads respectively formed on said receptacle opening neck and said first body part.

24. The filler cap recited in claim 21, wherein said fastener for concentrically engaging a receptacle opening neck comprises a first half of a bayonet joint that is complementary to a second half of said bayonet joint formed on said receptacle opening neck.

25. The filler cap recited in claim 21, wherein said fastener for concentrically engaging a receptacle opening neck comprises a first half of a snap-in joint that is complementary to a second half of said snap-in joint of said receptacle opening neck.

26. The filler cap recited in claim 21, wherein said second end of said first body part has an area designated for providing a user with graphical information.

27. The filler cap recited in claim 21, wherein said second body part is pivotally attached to said first body part by at least one axle member.

28. The filler cap recited in claim 21, wherein said second body part is shaped to provide differentiating information on the specific filler cap.

29. The filler cap recited in claim 21, wherein said second body part is color-coded to provide differentiating information on the specific filler cap.

30. A filler cap for a liquid receptacle within a vehicle comprising: a first body part having an essentially cylindrical construction with a first end and a second end; said first end having a fastener for concentrically engaging a receptacle opening neck; a second body part pivotally attached to said second end of said first body part along a pivot axis; said pivot axis intersecting a longitudinal center axis of said first body part at an essentially right angle; and

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of European Patent Application No. 04014333.1, filed with the European Patent Office on Jun. 18, 2004, entitled “FILLER CAP FOR UNDER BONNET APPLICATIONS,” and is incorporated by reference herein.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates generally to vehicles, and more particularly to a filler cap for a liquid receptacle within a vehicle.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Automotive manufacturers typically produce vehicles having a deformable and energy-absorbing hood for cushioning objects impacted thereon, such as during an accident. These hoods typically have little clearance from the rigid vehicle components beneath the hood. Examples of these hard components include the engine, block, the radiator, and a variety of liquid-operated systems and their respective filler caps.

Several proposals have been made to increase the cushioning effect of the hood. One of these proposals includes increasing the clearance between the hood and the underlying engine bay contents. However, the engine bay contents can have various shapes and constructions so as to prevent modifications to the hood. Further, it will be appreciated that increasing the clearance can be substantially difficult with regard to vehicles of a finalized design, such one that is already being manufactured.

Moreover, it is understood that various filler caps are configured for attaching to different liquid receptacles under the hood. In addition, it will also be appreciated that filler caps having ergonomical constructions are desired. For example, manufacturers typically require that the cap can be easily gripped for removing from and fastening to the receptacle, e.g. through screwing and unscrewing. To that end, filler caps typically are sized with a minimum height, which can cause the caps to have little clearance from the hood above.

Existing filler caps have various constructions and means for attaching to vehicle receptacles. For this reason, the filler caps can be somewhat difficult to package and may therefore occupy a relatively substantial amount of valuable space underneath the hood.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One advantage of the invention is that an improved filler cap is provided that increases hood clearance so as to improve the safety of pedestrians impacted upon the hood.

Another advantage of the invention is that an improved filler cap is provided that has an efficient construction for use in a substantially small amount of packaging volume.

Yet another advantage of the invention is that an improved filler cap is provided that has an ergonomic construction for easy removal from a liquid receptacle and convenient fastening thereto.

In accordance with the above and other advantages of the invention, an improved filler cap is provided. A filler cap for a liquid receptacle within a vehicle. The filler cap includes a first body part having an essentially cylindrical construction with a first end and second end. The first end of the first body part includes a means for concentrically engaging a receptacle opening neck. The second end of the first body part has a second body part pivotally attached thereto along a pivot axis. The pivot axis intersects a longitudinal center axis of the first body part at an essentially right angle. The second body part is moveable between a rest position and an operating position. In the rest position, the second body part is essentially aligned with a plane of the second end of the first body part. In the operating position, the second body part is essentially orthogonal to the plane of the second end of the first body part.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a more complete understanding of this invention, reference should now be made to the embodiments illustrated in greater detail in the accompanying drawings and described below by way of the examples of the invention:

FIG. 1 is a schematic illustration of an improved filler cap in a rest position for efficient packaging beneath a vehicle hood and increasing clearance therefrom, according to one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a schematic illustration of the improved filler cap shown in FIG. 1, illustrating the filler cap in an operating position for removal from or attachment to a liquid receptacle beneath the vehicle hood.

FIG. 3 schematically illustrates the operation of the filler cap shown in FIG. 2 for easily removing from or attaching to a receptacle opening neck beneath a vehicle hood.

Still other advantages and features of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. It is understood, however, that the drawings are designed solely for purposes of illustration and not as a definition of the limits of the invention, for which reference should be made to the appended claims. It is further understood that the drawings are not necessarily drawn to scale and that, unless otherwise indicated, they are merely intended to conceptually illustrate the structures and procedures described herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In the following figures, the same reference numerals are used to identify the same components in the various views.

The present invention is particularly suited for a filler cap for use under a vehicle hood. However, it is contemplated that the invention can be carried out in a variety of other modes and utilized for other suitable applications as desired.

Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown a simplified perspective view of the filler cap for attachment to a liquid receptacle underneath a vehicle hood. The filler cap comprises a first body part 1 having an essentially cylindrical construction. The first body part 1 has a first end 1a and a second end 1b. The first end 1a includes a means, such as an internal threaded fastener, for concentrically engaging a receptacle opening neck. The second end 1b has a second body part 2 pivotally attached thereto.

Specifically, as best shown in FIG. 3, the second body part 2 is pivotally attached to the first body part 1 via one or more axle members 6. These axle members 6 have a pivot axis 3, which intersects a longitudinal center axis 4 of the first body part 1.

The second body part 2 is movable between a rest position (as shown in FIG. 1) and an operating position (as shown in FIG. 2). In the rest position, the second body part 2 is essentially aligned with a plane of the second end 1b of the first body part 1. In the operating position, the second body part 2 is essentially orthogonal to the plane of the second end 1b. In this way, a user may easily move the second body part 2 to its operating position and firmly grip the second body part 2 for removing or fastening the filler cap to the receptacle opening neck 5, e.g. through screwing and unscrewing. Also, the second body part 2 in its rest position can increase clearance from a closed vehicle hood or otherwise fit within a generally small packaging volume underneath the hood. Accordingly, the filler cap has an ergonomical and efficiently packaged construction.

In order to further minimize the height requirements of the filler cap, the second end 1b of the first body part 1 has a recessed area 1c of complementary shape to the second body part 2. This recessed area 1c is sized for receiving the second body part 2 in its rest position, as illustrated in FIG. 1. For that reason, the filler cap is rendered an essentially flat surface at the second end 1b of the first body part 1 when the second body part 2 is in its rest position.

In order to provide for a fluid-tight filler cap, the first end 1a of the first body part 1 further comprises means (not shown) for sealing the receptacle opening upon engaging the receptacle opening neck 5. Thus, it will be appreciated that both the means for sealing the receptacle opening and the means for concentrically engaging the receptacle opening neck 5 are integral parts of the filler cap. To that end, the height of the first body part 1 is minimized and therefore the overall height of the filler cap is minimized, as well. However, both the sealing means and the engaging means can be made as an additional body part (not shown) for inserting into the first body part 1 as desired. Accordingly, a large variety of different fittings and sealing arrangements can be utilized as desired.

In one embodiment of the filler cap, the means for concentrically engaging a receptacle opening neck 5 comprises internal threads (not shown), which are complementary to threads formed on the receptacle opening neck 5.

In an another embodiment of the filler cap, the means for concentrically engaging a receptacle opening neck 5 comprises a first half of a bayonet joint, which is complementary to a second half of the bayonet joint extending from the receptacle opening neck 5.

In still another embodiment of the filler cap, the means for concentrically engaging a receptacle opening neck 5 comprises a first half of a snap-in joint (not shown), which is complementary to a second half of the snap-in joint formed in the receptacle opening neck 5.

In order to provide a filler cap having good visual ergonomics, the second end 1b of the first body part 1 includes an area designated for providing a user with graphical information. For example, this area can be printed on or otherwise have markings or stickers applied thereto. This area is preferably comprised of the portion of the second end 1b that is adjacent to the recessed area 1c.

However, it is contemplated that the recessed area 1c can be provided with graphical information, which is intended only to be visible when the second body part 2 is in its operating position (FIG. 2). Further, the visible surface area of the second body part 2 in its rest position (FIG. 1) can be provided with additional graphical information. It is also contemplated that the side of the second body part 2 facing the recessed area 1c when in the rest position (FIG. 1) can be provided with graphical information intended to be made visible upon the second body part 2 being brought to its operating position (FIG. 2). Finally, the circumferential surface of the body part 1 can also be provided with graphical information as desired.

With the aim to further increase the visual ergonomics of the filler cap, the second body part 2 is shaped and/or color-coded to provide information about the specific filler cap. This assists a user in quickly locating a desired filler cap corresponding to the current needs.

In accordance with one embodiment, the filler cap is utilized for use underneath a vehicle hood as described above. To that end, the vehicle has an increased hood clearance and therefore improves the cushioning effect of an energy-absorbing hood. In addition, the filler cap has an ergonomical construction for easily removing from or fastening to a liquid receptacle.

While particular embodiments of the invention have been shown and described, it will be understood, of course, that the invention is not limited thereto since modifications may be made by those skilled in the art, particularly in light of the foregoing teachings. Accordingly, it is intended that the invention be limited only in terms of the appended claims.





 
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