Title:
Multi-storage isolator with non-perpendicular rib
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Isolator assemblies and isolators between separate parts or components, and, particularly, multi stage isolators, especially, isolators useful in automotive applications are described. The isolators have non perpendicular ribs, made of the same material as the isolator body, which can flex when in a deflection phase or stage, or can compress in a compression phase or stage, thus allowing for reduced wear and/or longer life for both the isolator and the parts and components separated thereby.



Inventors:
Domen, Daniel R. (Rochester Hills, MI, US)
Chen, Peter Jing-lug (Rochester, MI, US)
Ansari, Mohammed (Rochester Hills, MI, US)
Application Number:
11/604526
Publication Date:
06/14/2007
Filing Date:
11/27/2006
Assignee:
Valeo, Inc. (Auburn Hills, MI, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F28F9/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
SY, MARIANO ONG
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JULIA CHURCH DIERKER (TROY, MI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An isolator of a generally uniform stiffness for use between parts or components wherein the isolator is made of a single durometer material and has at least one non-perpendicular rib.

2. An isolator as in claim 1, wherein the isolator comprises at least two portions, at least one portion having the at least one non-perpendicular rib.

3. An isolator, as in claim 2, wherein at least one portion is a compression portion and wherein at least one portion is a deflection portion.

4. An isolator as in claim 2, wherein at least one portion is a deflection portion, and wherein the at least one portion having the at least one non-perpendicular rib is found on the deflection portion.

5. An isolator as in claim 4, having at least two non-perpendicular ribs on the deflection portion, and wherein the at least one other portion is a compression portion.

6. An isolator as in claim 5, wherein the isolator form part of an isolation system of at least two other components, each adjacent to one another, and at least one non-perpendicular, rib is at least partially deflected at low inertial load conditions at the time of contact with the adjacent component in the isolation system.

7. An isolator as in claim 5, further comprising a hollow.

8. An isolator as in claim 7, wherein at least one rib, in compression, nests in the hollow.

9. An isolator, as in claim 8, having at least two hollows and wherein at least one of the at least two non-perpendicular ribs nests completely in the at least one hollow.

10. An isolator, as in claim 7, having at least two hollows and wherein each of the at least two non-perpendicular ribs rests in a hollow.

11. An isolator, as in claim 8, wherein at least one of the at least two ribs is a curved rib.

12. An isolator, as in claim 5, wherein the at least two non perpendicular ribs slow the initial acceleration of the adjacent component as it moves closer towards the contact surface.

13. An isolator, as in claim 7, wherein at least one of the non-perpendicular ribs is deflected upon low inertia contact, and wherein the at least one non-perpendicular rib deflects, at least partially, into the hollow, and, thereafter, nests in the hollow when fully deflected under high inertia contact conditions.

14. An isolator and heat exchanger assembly, having an isolator as in claim 5, wherein at least one first part or component is a heat exchanger or portion of a heat exchanger and at least one second part or component is a part or component of, or a portion of a part or component of, a motor vehicle.

15. An isolator and heat exchanger assembly, as in claim 14, wherein the at least one first part is a heat exchanger or a portion of a heat exchanger and wherein the at least one second part is a mounting frame or portion of a mounting frame of an automotive vehicle.

16. An isolator and component assembly comprising: an isolator having at least one wall; at least one non-perpendicular wiper rib forming part of the at least one wall; a component having a component contact surface facing an isolator wall; wherein the isolator is made of a single durometer material of generally uniform stiffness and wherein the isolator has at least one wall in alignment with an adjacent component contact surface.

17. An isolator and component assembly, as in claim 16, wherein the component contact surface is adjacent to the at least one wall.

18. An isolator and component assembly, as in claim 18, wherein the at least one non-perpendicular wiper rib has length of at least two time its average thickness.

19. An isolator and component assembly, as in claim 18, wherein the isolator wall aligned to the adjacent component contact surface is in contact with the at least one rib, and wherein the at least one wiper rib is non-perpendicular to the tangential adjacent component contact surface or the isolator wall.

20. An isolator and component assembly, as in claim 18, wherein the isolator wall aligned to the adjacent component contact surface is in contact with at least one wiper rib , and wherein the at least one wiper rib is non-perpendicular to the adjacent component contact surface and the isolator wall.

21. An isolator and component assembly, as in claim 16, having at least one hollow in a portion of the isolator, and having two or more wiper ribs, wherein the wiper ribs are oriented such that a load applied to the contact surface causes the at least one or more ribs to be deflected into the hollow.

22. An isolator and component assembly as in claim 20, wherein the depth of the hollow is approximately equivalent to the depth of the at least one wiper rib.

23. An isolator and component assembly, as in claim 22, wherein the at least one wiper rib, when completely deflected, nests in the hollow.

24. An isolator and component assembly, as in claim 23, wherein the wiper rib and adjacent isolator surface outside of the hollow, form an approximate uniform contact surface such that a plane can be drawn that is approximately flat when nested in the hollow.

25. An isolator and component assembly, as in claim 22, wherein the at least two wiper ribs, when deflected into the hollow, are, at the compression phase at a much slower rate such that the displacement occurs more slowly with decreasing load.

26. An isolator and component assembly, as in claim 25, wherein the two wiper ribs are adjacent to one another, and the length of each wiper rib is such that the free end of each wiper rib has approximately the same thickness as its adjacent wiper rib.

27. An isolator and component assembly, as in claim 26, wherein the two wiper ribs, when fully deflected, are of a thickness such that the two wiper ribs and the adjacent isolator surfaces, form an approximate uniform planer contact surface.

28. A heat exchanger assembly comprising: a heat exchanger; an isolator and component assembly; and at least one isolator mount, wherein the isolator and component assembly comprises at least one isolator having a wiper rib and a hollow, and wherein the wiper rib is a non-perpendicular wiper rib.

29. A heat exchanger assembly, as in claim 28, having at least two wiper ribs.

30. A heat exchanger assembly as in claim 28, having at least two isolators.

31. A heat exchanger assembly as in claim 30, having at least two isolator mounts.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to isolators, and, in particular, isolators useful in automotive applications, to reduce undesirable contact or impact, and/or its associated noise, between various parts or components of the automotive vehicle.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Isolators are useful in a number of applications, especially where vibration or other movement might occur between two devices, parts or portions of devices, components or parts. Such vibration or movement can cause contact issues, as well as noise issues related to undesired contact or impact. Particularly in assemblies where devices, components or parts must be mounted together or in close proximity to one another, undesirable contact may occur, and isolators have, as one of their functions, the function of preventing or modulating undesirable contact in such a manner that it either becomes a non-harmful contact, or even an advantageous one.

Isolation can occur in numerous stages or steps. Multi-stage isolation is traditionally achieved in the same isolator or isolator pad by over-molding different density materials or by thinning specific elastics areas called ‘thinning webs’ between larger elastic areas.

Isolators can be made from elastic material, and, thus, can have different levels of stiffness. An isolator, for example, may be of a single stiffness. Isolators may also be made via various processes. An isolator, for example, may be made from a single molded process.

Isolators have been found to be particularly useful in automotive applications. One such application is that of heat exchanger assemblies, particularly where such assemblies are mounted to vehicles, and, in particular, automotive vehicles. In such automotive applications, heat exchanger assemblies are often mounted either as a single unit or as a group in, for example, parts or components of cooling module assembly.

In general automotive applications, vibration and other movements are felt throughout various areas of the automobile, particularly when the automobile is moving in the lateral or vertical sense. Otherwise stated, a motor vehicle, when either moving forward or backward, or when being transported in numerous directions, or even when idling with the motor operation, is subject to movement that may cause various parts or features of the automobile to contact one another. A heat exchanger assembly, and/or its component/parts, may contact or collide with other parts, components or portions of other assemblies or the frame of the automobile, and lead to potential damage to either the heat exchanger, the heat exchanger assembly, or other parts of the vehicle itself. This can be particularly disturbing due to the current trend of reducing the amount of materials and the type of materials used in component parts both of the automobile itself and the heat exchanger in particular. In the case of heat exchangers, for example, materials can account for more than half of the total cost of the exchanger. Such exchangers are, therefore, being made of materials that are of the minimal thickness possible—however, such thin metal and plastic materials often cannot withstand the impact stress which can be transmitted through a motorized vehicle frame that occurs while driving on rough roads or making sudden stops or sharp turns. Isolators, correctly designed, reduce potential damage to the heat exchanger assembly under impact or contact stress conditions.

In any system where movement may cause undesired impact or contact between parts or devices, three elements are often considered. For example, in heat exchanger mounting and isolation systems, vibration issues, such as Noise, Vibration & Harshness (NVH), occur. In such systems, one of the isolator's purposes is to allow for an attachment that is not too rigid, or even what might be called a ‘loose’ attachment of a heat exchanger assembly to a vehicle mounting frame. The isolator can assist in dampening the differential movement between the heat exchangers and the vehicle, and thereby, help avoid undesired impact or contact between the heat exchanger assembly and the rest of the vehicle and/or its mounting or mounting frame.

Solutions to noise and vibration issues in various applications exist in the prior art. For example, soft isolators composed of lower durometer material (e.g. less than 30 durometer materials) have been used to eliminate noise transmission. They present the problem, however, that they can fail over time, and, more often than not, are unable to absorb high impact energy such as that experienced while driving an automotive vehicle on unpaved or otherwise rough roads. Other solutions to noise issues, such as the use of vertical standing ribs, are described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,960,673, issued Oct. 5, 1999, to Eaton et al., that can absorb initial noise transmission. However, these solutions also have the disadvantage that the individual ribs can wear away prematurely because the high energy present is not adequately distributed over the full area of the isolator surface.

Stiff isolators such, as those described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,540,216 B2, issued Apr. 1, 2003, to Tousi et al. or U.S. Pat. No. 4,858,866, issued Aug. 22, 1989, to Werner, can absorb impact shock between components by keeping the components separated, but, both noise and vibration are more easily transmitted through the stiff rubber members. Webbed isolators such as those describe in U.S. Pat. No. 6,722,641, issued Apr. 20, 2004, to Yamada et al., are described as having various thicknesses of rubber webs and/or plastic or metal insert members, and rigidly support the mount in or on each side of the isolator mounting face. The isolator uses a different thickness of rubber web to vary its stiffness. With this solution, when parts move closer together relative to each other, resistance increases. However, this sort of assembly also generally costs more than other isolators or isolator systems.

Loosely fitting isolators with, for example, an air gap at the mounting face, are show in U.S. Pat. No. 6,540,216 B2 issued Apr. 1, 2003 to Tousi et al., wherein such isolators can be seen as useful in absorbing some misalignment of parts and/or undesirable vibration. However, such a gap can cause damaging impact from unrestricted acceleration across the gap when used between a heat exchanger and some adjacent components.

So called ‘dual density’ isolators, have been described but it is more expensive to manufacture when using a two different density materials for manufacture. Dual stage webbed isolators, for example, those using metal or plastic inserts, would normally require separate placement of the inserts and lead to increased piece cost and mold cycle time. Webbed isolators themselves can be too stiff and transmit too much vibration to be useful in many automotive applications. For example, when the isolator is softened to reduce vibration transmission, the isolators can fail prematurely, especially when the isolators have a thinned area of a web which can be stretched or compressed beyond their normal elastic limits (usually during harsh movements with high acceleration).

Prior art isolators with ribs or contact ribs have been designed such that the ribs, and particular, perpendicular ribs, go into immediate compression upon load. Such isolators, therefore, are limited in their use as they cannot be made of higher elastic compressible (durometer) elastic materials.

Isolators of various types are illustrated by two provisional applications filed Nov. 30, 2005, U.S. Patent Application Ser. Nos. 60/740,784 and 60/740,767, Daniel Domen, Peter Chen and Mohammed Ansari, which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entireties.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In the automotive industry, heat exchange modules such as cooling modules (modules assembled with the intention of using for heat transfer applications) may be assembled to the vehicle body, and, often, to the vehicle frame. The cooling modules are not able to be assembled to the vehicle frame on any consistent basis, to have ‘perfect’ alignment. Each component or parts of the module and its fit varies relative to the component or part next to it. The fit can loose in many cases, or the components themselves can be grounded or snugly fit to each other through an isolator. This sort of attachment scenario, however, severely reduces the isolator's ability to absorb energy. Grounding transmits the vibration energy more or less in a direct manner to other components in the vehicle. Loose fitting assemblies can accelerate transfer of inappropriate energy, and, in particular, movement and later noise energy, during harsh driving conditions. Higher energy levels can damage both not only the cooling module, but also any adjacent components to either the module or the other parts of the automobile, or to the isolators between the cooling module and the adjacent components of the automobile.

The present invention, in its various aspects, avoids the problems of the prior art, especially due related to undesired contact or impact scenarios found in assembly of parts in automotive applications. In various aspects of the present invention, airborne noise, generated by contact or acoustic harmonic oscillations and/or movement, impact, is greatly reduced. By initially softly holding with isolator ribs to slow movement of the oscillating component with the non-perpendicular (wiper) rib, an initial “soft contact” is made to slow the resonant movement and alter movement towards a non-acoustic resonant frequency. A soft or low stiffness isolator reduces the generation of noise.

Preferred aspects of the present invention provide for isolators of a less expensive design that absorbs high frequency noise vibration, medium vibration and low frequency/high inertia harsh vibration, without sacrificing overall endurance of the isolator.

The present invention, in its various aspects, reduces the occurrence of the above vibration problems, especially as they pertain to automotive vehicles.

For example, a mounting frame or a mounting frame vehicle component, an engine drive train component, a heat exchanger drive train component, or other components of an automobile vehicle are adjacent to one another, or otherwise contact one another, can be separated by use of isolators, in accordance with an aspect of the present invention.

The present invention relates to isolator assemblies and isolators between separate parts or components, and, particularly, multi stage isolators, especially isolators useful in automotive applications. By dampening, or reducing the acceleration of a body as it travel from its initial point at rest towards its peak excursion at impact with a second body, isolator and isolator assemblies, in various aspects of the present invention, reduce wear and tear or all associated parts or components isolated by such isolators.

The isolators have non perpendicular ribs, made of the same material as the isolator body, which can flex when in a deflection phase or stage, or can compress in a compression phase or stage, thus allowing for reduced wear and/or longer life for both the isolator and the parts and components separated thereby.

As used in the present application, by perpendicular rib it is meant a rib that is perpendicular to the contact surface and aligned against the direction of inertia so that an inertia load generally compresses the rib. By non-perpendicular rib it is meant a rib placed at an angle to the normal direction of inertia from the opposing contact surface so that when an inertia load is applied to the rib, it deflects with sliding contact that ‘wipes’ across the opposing surface until it is fully laid lateral and flat across the rib thickness.

Aspects of the present invention provide for a wiper ribbed, preferably multi-stage isolator, useful in vehicle or automotive vehicle systems or other fixed position systems, such as those used in or air or space craft applications, for dampening noise isolation and/or to eliminate undesired results of contact or impact due to component mismatch at the isolation joints.

By isolation joint it is meant a location at which two or more components have a separator or isolator loosely held in position in relation to each other. By isolation mount it is meant that one component or assembly is held in approximate position to another through an elastic member that allows for either or both differential movements between each other or excentric positioning relative to each other.

By reducing vibration by absorbing the energy into the non-perpendicular contact ribs, the present invention provides for applications that do not allow undesirable movement due to vibrations to be passed through an isolator or isolator portion, and, in particular, a solid compression isolator portion, preventing undesired movement from being passed on through other adjacent components. A rib can be straight rib, following a two point plane, or a curved rib relative to a plane. Vibration suppression, in various aspects of the present invention, is controlled by both the angle and thickness of ribs trough a bending or deflecting action. The angle of non-perpendicular rib, in various aspects of the invention, is greater than or equal to 45° or greater from normal (or perpendicular) to the opposing contact surfaces. The length of the rib is, preferably, greater than two times its width to allow deflection, rather than compression. The ribs used against or on curved or flat contact surfaces, may also be curved ribs, thereby enhancing sliding contact.

The present invention, in its various aspects, allows for the production of “low cost”, and, in particular, multi stage isolators that can be made from single durometer material. The present invention, under conditions of load, provides for an isolator that can flex under light load and/or flatten, and, in aspects of the invention, flatten to a uniform thickness, under heavier loading. The present invention, in various aspects, therefore, provides for an isolator of a single durometer material, and, more preferably, an elastic or elastomeric or rubber or rubber like material, having a rib or ribs that are also made of same material or stiffness, that can go through at least two load resisting phases, depending on the loading due to contact (initial or light contact or impact ‘low inertia’), or later heavy contact or impact (‘heavy inertia’) that the isolator and part or component endure.

In various aspects of the present invention, partial contact surface ribs are spaced uniformly so that when the ribs are fully deflected, the rib thicknesses lay flat against the remainder of the isolator wall to form an approximately uniform contact surface, and to optimize distribution of higher inertia loads.

In preferred aspects of the present invention, high impact energy is dissipated evenly over a uniform surface by the deflected, non-perpendicular, wiper ribs as they collapse and form an approximately uniform surface by nesting the lengths one next to another so that the width forms an approximate uniform thickness. As one of the parts or components separated by an isolator moves closer to the adjacent part or component, the acceleration of the initial movement is slowed by the non-perpendicular separating ribs on the isolator. The decreasing acceleration of the one part or component towards an adjacent part or component separated by the deflecting ribs, absorbs energy and remaining isolator thickness to a level that is safe, i.e., avoids undesirable or excessive damage to either of the parts.

The isolators of various aspects of the present invention, therefore, absorb lighter vibrations and also resist heavier impact load, depending on the type or intensity of contact of part with isolator. At the same time, the ribs and, at least one of the other elastic, elastomeric or rubber or rubber like portions, are made from an identical durometer rubber material compound.

The present invention, therefore, allows for an isolator of a generally uniforn stiffness that allows for position fits that may or may not be mis or mal aligned, while still providing for adequate dampening of noise and contact between parts. By providing for an isolator with at least one, and, preferably, two or more non-perpendicular ribs, a “soft contact” or loose positioning between parts, such as, for example, between a heat exchanger to another exchanger or an assembly module and a mounting frame of an automotive vehicle, is provided. Such an isolator with non-perpendicular ribs slows the initial acceleration of the loose fit, providing a non-perpendicular low inertia deflecting contact rib(s) (FIG. 1) that nest into a pocket or depression (“hollow”)of the same approximate length and thickness to allow the rib to nest therein when fully deflected (FIG. 6) under high inertia conditions.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic view of an isolator with internal ribs in free state in accordance with an aspect of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a schematic view of an isolator with ribs in deflection phase, in accordance with an aspect of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a schematic view of an isolator wiper ribs prior to insertion of center post, in accordance with an aspect of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a schematic view of an isolator wiper ribs post insertion of center post in accordance with an aspect of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a schematic view of an isolator and component assembly, such as those useful in heat exchanger isolators in housing assembly, in accordance with an aspect of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is an exploded view of isolator wiper rib and nesting pocket for rib, in accordance with an aspect of the present invention, in deflection phase.

FIG. 7 is an exploded view of isolator wiper rib and nesting pocket for rib, in accordance with an aspect of the present invention, in compression phase.

FIG. 8 is a cross sectional view of an isolator with wiper ribs in plate slot without center bolt mount or post, in accordance with an aspect of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is a schematic view of a solid block rubber isolator cross section, in accordance with an aspect of the present invention.

FIG. 10 is a schematic view of a wiper rib block elastic isolator cross section, in accordance with an aspect of the present invention.

FIG. 11 is a schematic view/FEA analysis model of a wiper rib block elastic isolator finite element (FE) model in accordance with an aspect of the present invention.

FIG. 12 is a schematic view of a prior art round pin isolator.

FIG. 13 is a schematic view of a round pin isolator with wiper ribs around pin in accordance with an aspect of the present invention.

FIG. 14 is a graphic comparison of an isolator wiper rib to isolator to a solid flat isolator, with cross section comparison chart, showing relative to applied load, in accordance with an aspect of the present invention.

FIG. 15 is a schematic view of a heat exchanger assembly with isolator mounts, in accordance with an aspect of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In various aspects of the present invention, an isolator of a generally uniform stiffness for use between parts or components is described. The isolator is, preferably made of a single durometer material, and has at least one non-perpendicular rib. In various aspects, an isolator of the present invention comprises at least two portions, at least one portion having the at least one non-perpendicular rib, more preferably at least one portion is a compression portion and at least one portion is a deflection portion.

Preferred isolators of the present invention having at least one portion a deflection portion, the at least one portion having the at least one non-perpendicular rib is found on the deflection portion.

In the various aspects of the present invention having at least one rib, the isolator preferable also has at least one or more hollows. At least one rib, in compression, nests in a hollow. An isolator having at least one or two hollows preferably has at least one non-perpendicular rib that nests in the at least one hollow. An isolator, for example, having two hollows and two ribs may have at least two non-perpendicular ribs, each resting in one or more hollows.

In various aspects of the present invention, the isolator forms part of an isolation system of at least two other components, each adjacent to one another, and at least one non-perpendicular rib is at least partially deflected at low inertial load conditions at the time of contact with the adjacent component in the isolation system.

In various aspect of the present invention, an isolator having at least one rib, can have a straight rib or a curved rib. In various embodiments, at least one of the ribs is a curved rib.

Non perpendicular ribs, in general, slow the initial acceleration of the adjacent component as it moves closer towards the contact surface. Non-perpendicular ribs that are deflected upon low inertia contact, and, at least partially, into a hollow or hollows, can nest in the hollow or hollows when fully deflected under high inertia contact conditions.

Also in aspects of the present invention, a isolator and component assembly comprising: an isolator having at least one wall; at least one non-perpendicular wiper rib forming part of the at least one wall; and a component having a component contact surface facing an isolator wall, is provided. For example, an isolator made of a single durometer material of generally uniform stiffness wherein the isolator has at least one wall in alignment with an adjacent component contact surface, exists.

In various aspects, an isolator and heat exchanger assembly, exists having at least one first part or component that is a heat exchanger or portion of a heat exchanger and at least one second part or component that is a part or component of, or a portion of a part or component of, a motor vehicle, such as a mounting frame or portion of a mounting frame of an automotive vehicle.

Preferably, in an isolator and component assembly, the component contact surface is adjacent to the at least one wall. Also, in various embodiments, the at least one non-perpendicular wiper rib has length of at least two time its average thickness. In other embodiments of the present invention, the isolator wall is aligned to the adjacent component contact surface and is in contact with the at least one rib, and wherein the at least one wiper rib is non-perpendicular to the tangential adjacent component contact surface or the isolator wall. In such examples in an isolator and component assembly, the isolator wall is aligned to the adjacent component contact surface and is in contact with at least one wiper rib, and the at least one wiper rib is non-perpendicular to the adjacent component contact surface and the isolator wall.

The depth of the hollow and the thickness of the non-perpendicular ribs can vary. In various aspects of the present invention, the depth of the hollow is approximately equivalent to the depth (or thickness) of the at least one wiper rib.

Also in various aspects the wiper rib and adjacent isolator surface outside of the hollow form an approximate uniform contact surface such that a plane can be drawn that is approximately flat when nested in the hollow.

In various examples in accordance with the present invention, two or more wiper ribs are adjacent to one another, and the length of each wiper rib is such that the free end of each wiper rib has approximately the same thickness as its adjacent wiper rib. In other aspects having at least two wiper ribs, the two wiper ribs, when fully deflected, are of a thickness such that the two wiper ribs and the adjacent isolator surfaces form an approximate uniform planer contact surface.

Aspects of the present invention include a heat exchanger assembly comprising: a heat exchanger; an isolator and component assembly; and at least one isolator mount. The isolator and component assembly comprise at least one isolator having a wiper rib and a hollow. The wiper rib is a non-perpendicular wiper rib. Various embodiments have at least two wiper ribs. Other embodiments have least two isolators and/or at least two isolator mounts.

In various aspects of the present invention, an isolator is provided having a non-perpendicular “wiper” rib such that the rib ‘slides’ or ‘wipes’ across the contact surface as the rib deflects to flat. At the adjacent component contact surface, the ribbed portion of the isolator is able to flex to absorb light inertia loading. In various embodiments, for example, in heat exchanger to automotive mountings application, the isolator has a wall that has a surface extending outward from that wall, for example, as a non-perpendicular ‘wiper’ rib. The rib wall is longer that its thickness, preferably at least two times its thickness, in automotive heat exchanger part to automotive mounting part applications. The ribs, when fully deflected, lay flat against the remaining isolator wall (‘flattened’), nest against one another such that an end of one rib rests near and/or next to the base of the next adjacent rib or to the end of the “nesting pocket” in the remainder of the wall. The end of the ribs forms an approximate uniform surface of rib and wall thickness when compressed which allows heavier impact loads to be uniformly dissipated at full deflection.

In embodiments of the present invention, an isolator made of an elastic or elastomeric material, or rubber or rubber like material (in this case) rubber, is molded as a single durometer material. A rib, and, in particular a wiper rib, of the approximate same durometer (performs a similar function as that of a prior art design utilizing a second material portion of a lower stiffness or lower durometer). The lower durometer material would tend to absorb the lower inertial/higher frequency vibrations and the higher durometer would tend to absorb the higher inertia/lower frequency vibration.

The use of non-perpendicular ribs on the isolator allows for changes in the rate of loading resistance when the ribs are initially bent or deflected (‘deflecting or deflection stage’) to when the ribs are compressed together as load is increased “compressing stage”. The deflecting stage provides for high frequency/short excursion noise and vibration dampening during the deflection portion of rib movement at initial or low inertia loading contact. By excursion it is meant the distance traveled from the initial, at rest position, to the farthest movement from that location relative to the adjacent component. The compressing stage, due to the ability of the non-perpendicular ribs to nest upon one another, provides a low frequency/high inertia dampening during harsh conditions. The present invention also provides for aspects that allow for non-perpendicular wiper ribs to be positioned with a loose fit of adjacent components in the case where two parts or components are not aligned or are in misalignment from their normal orientation. In these aspects, the ribs are designed such that they give way or bend to the off set adjacent contact surface, and still provide a soft contact that can slow initial acceleration between the parts or components during periods of light or short excursion accelerations. In various aspects, the ribs nest, and, particularly, under high inertial impact conditions. The ribs, in various aspects deflect to nest in pockets or depressions (“hollows”)to form a uniform isolator wall thickness during periods of high inertial impact experienced under rough road conditions.

The non-perpendicular ribs and the remainder of the isolator are, in various aspects of the present invention, made of a single stiffness material of an equivalent durometer stiffness. The non-perpendicular ribs, and, in particular, the non-perpendicular wiper ribs, are generally formed in a geometric shape that is of a constant rib wall thickness that allows the ribs to be initially deflected at one load rate and then to form an approximately flat surface configuration (where the total of the individual wall nest against the remainder of the isolator wall form an approximate uniform wall thickness) to allow uniform distribution of increasing inertia loads. As the adjacent components move in closer contact, there is a second compression rate as the elastic or elastomeric material of the isolator and rib is compressed. By designing for ribs that can nest in various embodiments, the ribs form a uniform surface to distribute load during the compressive stage and are compressed at a uniform rate using the identical elastic or elastomeric materials. The rib(s) may also be formed of a variable wall sickness. Preferably, the thickness generally increases toward the rib base, as long as the nesting pocket shape match the rib shape, thus allowing formation of a uniform wall thickness with the remainder of the isolator wall away from the pocket wall.

As described above, by providing for ribs of a geometric shape that allows for at least two (2) separate load phases, noise, and vibration and harshness conditions are ameliorated such that the isolator plus the remainder rib wall configuration increases the load distribution area. The inertia load energy may be uniformly distributed across the full area at high inertia harshness conditions. The present invention, in various aspects, also allows parts or components to contact through the isolator at different alignment angles. This latter is accomplished, in various aspects by nesting the rib geometric shapes to form a uniform isolator wall thickness, thereby minimizing the local stress on the thin rib wall areas to increase durability.

The present invention, therefore, in various aspects, relates to a multiple stage dampening isolator having non-perpendicular wiper rib shapes, between a contact wall of an adjacent component and an isolator surface. The isolator has ribs arranged so they can deflect to flat, i.e. transition from a flexing stage to and from a compression stage to isolate two or more parts. The rib deflection during the deflecting stage will cause the rib to bend or flex in such a way that, in specifics aspects of the present invention, it can flex to fill a depression, a space, void or hollow area between components, for example, between the heat exchanger part and the automobile mounting frame. The suspension of the heat exchanger component relative to the mounting frame component is therefore initially maintained within a certain ribbed area, and contact within this area by the two components is minimalized and/or reduced to an acceptable level, due to the bending or deflection resistance of the isolator rib. The absorption of generated vibration is reduced using the isolator ribs between the heat exchanger assembly and the mounting frame.

Deflection occurs when the ribs that are non vertical with respect to the adjacent component contact surface move closer or are non-perpendicular with respect to the adjacent contact surface. In other words, in various aspects of the present invention, the ribs are positioned at angles of less than 90° to the contact surface (FIG. 6) and have tangencies so that they tend to deflect rather than compress. Compression generally occurs when a force applied to isolator is vertical to the wall of the isolator, or to a vertical rib column. When there is no non-perpendicular rib, for example, contact or impact leads to a compressive force which resists movement, with compression requiring a greater load to compress the isolator and allow vibrations to be increasingly passed through stiff isolators.

As described above, in various embodiments of the present invention, isolators with ribs have either nesting pockets at their base to allow the ribs to deflect flat with the normal contact surfaces, or the ribs lay end to end when flattened to form an approximate uniform thickness at the surface of the ribs wall and the remainder of the isolator wall for better distribution of heavier inertia loads.

The aspects of the present invention that allow the isolator to have both a deflection stage and a compression stage are accomplished with an isolator of one basic material. After the deflection phase (and as the contact continues or intensifies), the isolator with deflecting portion, fully collapsed or goes ‘flat’, so that it forms a shape of relatively common uniform thickness in relation to the rest of the thickness of the isolator (thickness of the remainder of the isolator wall. When it reaches the flat phase, if inertia increases to contact or impact force levels continues, the isolator enters into the compression phase. Energy distribution under severe or harsh loading is, thereby, uniformly distributed and inertia energies more easily dissipated over larger areas, leading to longer durability for both the isolator and the parts.

The isolators of the present invention are preferably of elastic or elastomeric material, such as elastomeric polymers or resins or rubber, or such types of materials with elastic properties that are capable of being, preferably is molded of a single durometer stiffness material. The isolator is formed in such a shape as to allow for a ribbed portion which, when placed between at least two parts or components that are normally separated from one another, lies between a contact surface of the isolator and a contact surface of, for example, a part or component, such as a heat exchanger or a vehicle mounting frame (the heat exchanger and the opposing mounting frame). The rib walls are of a thickness that vary with the mass size being isolated and the desired dampening and are arranged in a non-perpendicular manner to the contact surface of the adjacent part, such that when the ribs are deflected to a flat position they lay approximately parallel to the contact surfaces of the heat exchanger and mounting frame walls, and form an approximately uniform thickness with the remainder of the isolator wall portions. By laying flat, and having an approximately uniform thickness, the entire flattened isolator can become an approximate uniform load bearing member. The isolator walls at the area of a hollow portions or portions of the isolators accept the initial inertia load during higher frequency lighter load inertias.

The isolator is formed in such a shape that allows a ribbed portion between the normal contact surfaces of the isolator and the ribs contact surfaces of the adjacent component such as heat exchanger. The hollow portion or space (“hollow”)between and/or adjacent to, the ribs and the remainder of walls receives the wall thickness of the deflecting ribs, such that when the ribs walls are deflected to a flat position approximately parallel to the isolator contact surfaces, and/or closely aligned between the heat exchanger and mounting frame contact walls, they form an approximately uniform thickness with the remainder of the isolator wall portions so that the entire flattened isolator demonstrates an approximate uniform load capability.

Referring to FIG. 1, is shown an isolator (10) with wiper ribs (12) in free standing state or condition, and hollows (11) adjacent to wiper ribs (12). Referring to FIG. 2, isolator (20), has wiper ribs (21) with post inserted (23) that have been deflected and now, under increased load, approach a partially deflected stage, with hollows (22) partially filled in by wiper ribs (12) when a post (23) is inserted amongst the ribs.

Referring to FIG. 3 is shown a round post (33) around which partially deflected wiper ribs (32) are shown under load and therefore deflected from the free standing state during deflection. Inertia load direction A is illustrated, as well as contact point on the wiper contact surface of the post (33), and deflection angle of greater than or equal to 45 degrees. The contact point (34) on the wiper surface of the isolator rib (32) and at the post (33) is shown. Hollows (31) for ribs (32) are also illustrated.

FIG. 4 represents the same ribs (42) in free standing state (under non-load) conditions with hollows (41) shown. Dotted or phantom line representation of ribs under load (44) is shown with inertia load direction A illustrated, leading to ribs post deflection (44) with an angled of greater than or equal to 45 degrees. Rib wiping surface B is also illustrated.

Referring to FIG. 5 is shown an isolator and component assembly having an isolator (50) with ribs (52) and pockets or hollows (51) arranged in free standing state. Attachment means or fastener is shown as a screw (53) which is inserted into aperture (56) which interacts with fastener sleeve support (54) and with fastener mount (55) with fastener mounting hole (59) which is a part or component of an automotive vehicle (not shown) to form an isolator mount arrangement prior to insertion of the slotted mounting plate portion (57), the mounting surface of the plate usually on the part or component, such as a heat exchanger/isolator part or component (not illustrated) adjacent to the isolator around the center portion that has the fastener pass through it and between the wiper rib contact areas and fastener (53). Lateral movement slot ribs (58) provide for a controlled loose or light fit along the fastener axis.

Referring to FIGS. 6 and 7 are shown “plate type” isolator portions (60a) (60b) (70a) (70b) having intermittent ribs (62) (72) and pockets (61) (71) and plane A of interior walls (68b, 78b) of isolator. In FIG. 6, wiper ribs (62) previously in free standing state and isolator is shown inserted onto a slotted flat plate (67). Ribs deflect in deflection phase to more or less 45% from the plane of the internal wall of the isolator with initial load direction B illustrated. The rib thickness and length are such that the length L is greater than or equal to 2× the width W of the rib.

FIG. 7 shows wiper ribs (72a) previously in free standing state and wiper ribs (72b) under load conditions with isolator inserted onto a slotted flat plate (77) and plane A of interior wall of isolator (78b) and fully deflected wiper rib (72b) deflected into hollow (equivalent to hollow 71, but not shown due to presence of rib (72b)). In compression phase, inertia load C and uniform wall for inertia load distribution D, are illustrated by arrows C, D.

Referring to FIG. 8 is shown isolator (80) with wiper ribs (82) previously in free standing state in plate (87) slot (88). Lateral ribs (82) are shown in deflection (under lighter inertia load) with dotted line (83) representing position of ribs (82) at compression stage (under heavier inertia load).

Referring to FIG. 9 is shown a schematic cross sectional view of a prior art isolator cross section with no ribs present.

Referring to FIG. 10 is shown an elastic isolator (120) in cross sectional view having ribs (122) and hollows (121) with plane A across the interior walls (123) of the isolator demonstrated. Ribs (122) rest in hollows (121) post initial with rib relief on front pockets (hollows) (for greater flexibility at the rib base) deflection under lighter loads and further during compression during heavier loads in this model.

FIG. 11 is a cross section of elastic isolator (100) following finite element model wherein the triangles represent loading points, and the wiper ribs (132) secondary compression rib flex relief areas (137) and hollows (131) are demonstrated. Initial compression wall (133) of isolator (130) is also illustrated.

Referring to FIG. 12 is shown a prior art isolator and component assembly (140) having an internal wall (148) and essentially smooth or flat contact surfaces perpendicular to inertial load so that the compression phase starts at initial contact.

Referring to FIG. 13 is illustrated an isolator with ribs and components assembly mounting (150) having an isolator pin (157) and isolator with wiper ribs (152) and hollows (151).

FIG. 14 compares isolator compression in millimeters versus inertia load force (compression relative to applied load) for the flat isolator of the prior art FIG. 12 and the nested rib isolator of FIG. 13. The difference in loads between the ribbed and flat surfaces allows lighter movements of short excursions from the rest position shows clear the effect of the use of ribs to allow misalignment and an initial high frequency vibration isolation versus the prior art.

FIG. 15 illustrates a heat exchanger assembly with an arrangement of dampen isolation mounts to various inertia load effects and directions with respect to an elastic isolators with ribs (170) (176). The housing as shown has an isolator slotted plate (173) and post mount (176) (not shown). The are two types, an upper slotted plate type (173) and a lower pin type (176). Arrows A-K (177) lateral, for example, show inertia with various movements: A-slotted plate movement with during “jounce” and gravity; B-slotted plate movement during sudden “starts”; C-slotted plate movement during sudden “stops”; D-lateral load during right turns; E-slotted plate movement during “rebound”; F-pin movement during sharp right turns; G-pin movements during jounce and gravity; H-pin movements during “sudden starts”; I-pin movements during “sudden stops” I-rearward movement relative vehicle motion or tendency to stay in same position in virtual space; J-pin movements during sharp left turns; K-pin movement during rebound.

L represents load of slotted plate against isolator and M represents the direction to the front of the vehicle or normal forward direction in a vehicle.

Further embodiments of the present invention comprise an isolator which maintains its position in space between components and the mounting frame and the heat exchanger. This is accomplished by wiper ribs that touch the contact surfaces of both components and that deflect to absorb reasonable tolerance differences.

Unless stated otherwise, dimensions and geometries of the various structures depicted herein are not intended to be restrictive of the invention, and other dimensions or geometries are possible. Plural structural components can be provided by a single integrated structure. Alternatively, a single integrated structure might be divided into separate plural components. In addition, while a feature of the present invention may have been described in the context of only one of the illustrated embodiments, such feature may be combined with one or more other features of other embodiments, for any given application. It will also be appreciated from the above that the fabrication of the unique structures herein and the operation thereof also constitute methods in accordance with the present invention.

The preferred embodiment of the present invention has been disclosed. A person of ordinary skill in the art would realize however, that certain modifications would come within the teachings of this invention. Therefore, the following claims should be studied to determine the true scope and content of the invention.