CA1143593A - Drive system - Google Patents

Drive system

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Publication number
CA1143593A
CA1143593A CA 367152 CA367152A CA1143593A CA 1143593 A CA1143593 A CA 1143593A CA 367152 CA367152 CA 367152 CA 367152 A CA367152 A CA 367152A CA 1143593 A CA1143593 A CA 1143593A
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CA
Grant status
Grant
Patent type
Prior art keywords
slots
pulley
sideplate
sideplates
belt
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired
Application number
CA 367152
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Robert N. Williams
Original Assignee
Robert N. Williams
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
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Abstract

Abstract of the Disclosure A load-responsive variable diameter pulley in a drive system using a driving pulley and a driven pulley functionally connected by a belt. The basic pulley assembly includes two spaced apart parallel sideplates concentric to a hub. One plate is fixed to the hub while the other is movable angularly about the pulley axis relative to the fixed plate. Slots are provided in the surfaces of both plates and a plurality of arcuate belt-engaging segments located between the plates are provided with laterally extending pins that are received in the slots. In the basic pulley a spring normally urges the movable plate to bias it and belt engaging segments to the position defining maximum pulley diameter. The slots in the fixed plates are in pairs and the individual slots are not parallel to each other. The slots are designed so that the chord of the effective arc of the arcuate segment guided in the slots is always perpendicular to a radius of the pulley. Pattern and/or speed of response may by adjusted by change in configuration of the slots. In one drive system wherein the basic pulley is combined with a smaller pulley as in a bicycle drive, no spring is provided in the small pulley so it will normally be at minimum diameter, but such diameter will increase automatically with any decrease in diameter of the basic pulley.

Description

35~3 This application is related to my earlier filed application Serial No.
319,851, filed January 18, 1979 entitled "Drive S~stem". In m~ said earlier application I disclosed and c'Laimed a variable diameter pulley in which the pulley diameter varied in infinite increments between minimum and maximum diam-eter in response to load changes imposed by the driven element. As disclosed and claimed in said earlier application, the pulley assembly comprises a hub, a pair of parallel sideplates mounted concentric to the hub, a first one of the sideplates is fixed to the hub and the second one of the sideplates is movable about the hub or pulley axis relative to the first sideplate. Since the first sideplate is fixed to the hub it is often referred to in this specification as a fixed plate, while the second sideplate is often referred to as the movable plate.
Also, the slots may be referred to as cams and the pins as cam followers. A
plurality of pairs of curved slots (cams), are provided in the fixed plate sur-face and an equal number of pairs of straight slots (cams), are provided in the movable plate. A plurality of arcuate belt-engaging segments are located be-tween the plates and two pins (cam followers), extend from each side o-F each segment and are received in an appropriate one of the slots. '['ho slots in the fixed plate are curved and arranged so that relative movement betwoon plates causes the segment to follow thc slots to e~f~ect a net radial movement of tho segment. In the basic pulloy as~embly, a sp-ring or othcr resilient means norlllal-ly urges the movable plate to tlle ]imit oE its relative motion in a direction that posi.tlons the bolt-engaging sogmonts to (leEine maxilllum pulley diumotor. ln-creased bolt tension roslllting from groator loa~l causos tho nrcuato segmorlts to Eollow the curves towurd the hllh thus rodllcing pulloy dilllllotcr and bolt sl)ood wi.th a consequent change in power ratio. My said earlior appLication also di.s-closed and claimed a drive system in whlch two variable dianleter pulleys connected by a belt were utilized whereby when the larger pulley, driven by a crank and .~

~S ~;35~3 pedal, was subjected to increased load it underwent a reduction in diameter J
~ith an automatic proportionate increase in diameter of the smaller driven pulley on the bicycle wheel. The net effect is that the ratio of diameter of the driving pulley to that of the driven pulley was changed.
The present application contains all the subject matter of my earlier, application along with amplification and clarification of such subject matter.
Additionally, I wish to herein disclose and claim an improved spring and arrange-ment thereof for urging the movable plate normally into position whereby the arcuate segments define maximum pulley diameter. Also, I disclose and claim herein ways and means for selecting and achieving distinct patterns of power andspeed variations. For instance, there may be definite automatic shifting se-quences and/or dwell at selected speed levels.
TECIINICAL FIELD
This invention relates to variable diameter pulleys and drive systems incorporating at least two such pulleys interconnected by an endless belt. More particularly, the invention is directed to a load responsive pulley that auto-matically reduces in diameter in response to increased belt tension and increases diameter in response to easi,ng of belt tension thus changing the speed and power ratios between driving and driven pulleys to accommodate load changes.
BACKGROUND O~ TIIE INVEN'rlON
Drive systems utilizing pulleys or sprockets and flexible dra~t means such as chains or belts trainod thereabout are well known. It is equally well known to provide for changes ln the cliameter of oither or both tho cl-rivinK ordriven pulley to accommodate changes in imposed load. In bicyclos, the most commonly used variable speed/output drive requires a plurality of drivin~
sprockets at both the crank and driven wheel. A shi,ftin~ mechanism changes the chain from sprocket to sprocket. Although this system is in wicle use, it does 35~3 suffer from the disadvantages, inter alia, that ~1) the shifting is not automatic but requires deliberate effort by the operator; ~2) the chains often slip off the sprockets causing much inconvenience; and (3) the several speeds and power ratios available are fixed and may or may not be optimum for a given situation.
~ arious devices have been proposed to provide a load responsive system to automatically vary the driving sprocket diameter in response to load changes.
One such arrangement, as described in United States Patent 3,995,508, utilizes a driving sprocketassembly comprising a pair of spaced apart plates mounted on a hub. One plate is fixed to and rotates with the hub while the other is free to rotate about the hub axis. The fixed plate is provided with a plurality of spiral slots while the movable plate has an equal number of straight radially extending slots. A plurality of small sprockets are carried between the plates and each sprocket is provided with laterally extending elements, such as pins that are received in the slots. A spring co-acts between the plates urging them to the relative angular position that moves the sprockets farthest from the hub to define maximum effective sprocket diameter. In such prior arrangement, in-creased load forces the pins and sprockets to follow the slots toward the hub thus reducing sprocket diameter. In the arrangement described, the resulting chain slack is taken up by a separate take-up device. Although the device de-scribed appears generally to be workable, it suffers from the disadvantages thatit is limited to a chaln and is not adaptable to belts. Chains are undesirable due to initlal as w011 as replaccment cost, and also because they frequently malfunction due to Eailure to engage the sprockets procisely. Moreover, the range of speed and power ratio change is limited sinco thc ~liameter of the small sprocket i5 ~`ixed.
Systems have also been proposed utilizing belts which are dcsirable because they are relatively inexpensive, require little or no maintenance and, i 3 ~ 3 even more importantly, are not required to engage sprocket teeth hence will not jump off the pulley, but will maintain continuous contact. An early belt driven system, as described in United States Patent No. 672,962, employs a pulley having a pair of spaced-apart plates fixed to a hub and at least one other plate rotat-able relative to the hub and fixed plate. There is a plurality of spirally curved slots in the fixed plate and an equal number of straight radial slots in the movable plate. Arcuate belt-engaging segments between the plates have later-ally extending guides that are received in the slots and mechanical means rotate the plates manually to move the segments and vary the pulley diameter. This system ls not automatic. Also, the belt-to-pulley contact is erratic because the arcuate segments tend to roll in the direction of belt travel. Additionally, the rolling or tilting of the segments causes the segment guides to bind in the straight radial slots thus seriously hampering operation of the entire drive.
Another proposal, as disclosed in British Patent No. 159,790, utilizes a pulley assembly that has a fixed and a movable plate mounted concentric to a hub. Each plate is provided with a plurality of pairs of parallel spirally extending curved slots. The curves of the two plates are îdentical, but extend in opposite directions. Arcuate belt-engaging segments are positioned between the plates, each segment being provided wlth pins that are received in the slots

2~ in both plates. The pulley diameters cannot vary automatically. Instead, complex means are provided to manually acljust the relative angular positions of the plates to effcct radial movement of the segments. The structure requires parallel slots which cannot gulde the scgments raclially except with pronounced tilting or rolling which reduces belt-to-pulley contact ln summary, of the several prlor arrangements clescri~ed above, only the manually shiftable multiple sprocket chain drive has enjoyed any success.
The load responsive chain and sprocket drive disclosed in U.S.A. Patent r ~1~3593

3,995,508 apparently suffers from the disadvantages of frequent misengagement of sprocket and chain while the prior belt and pulley arrangements do not and cannot provide sufficient and reliable belt-to-pulley contact throughout their range of operations for acceptable operation.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
It is the principal object of the present invention to provide a belt-engaging pulley the diameter of which is variable automatically in response to various tension loads imposed thereon yet presents for belt engagement a maximum, uniform and predictable area over its entire range.
Another object is the provision of a load-responsive pulley of the type described in which a variety of patterns of the speed and power ratios may be achieved.
An important related object is the provision of a pulley of the type described in which the rate of change and force requirements therefor may be predetermined by selection of spring strength and slot configuration.
Still another object is provision of a load-responsive variable diam eter pulley in which arcuate belt-engaging segments move smo~thly through a variety of patterns, including steps or dwells and/or infinite positions yet achieve a net radial movement relative to the pulley ax:is.
A further object is the provision, in a variablo cliallleter pulley of thc type described, of an improved sprlng for normally mainta:i.n:i.ng the pulley at nlaximum effectlve dlametor.
Another related object i.s prov.i.slon of an automat:ic load-rosponsive drive systcm incorporatlng two variable cliameter pulloys functionally connected by an endless belt trained theroabout.
In a.ccordance with the invention, the foregoing and probably other objects are achieved by a pulley assembly having a hub, a first sideplate con~

5~33 centricc to said hub and fixed thereto, a second sideplate concentric to said hub and rotatable a6Out said hub relative to said first sideplate, a plurality of pairs of curved slots in said first sideplate said slots extending outwardly and in the direction of rotation o~ said first sideplate and a plurality of slots in said movable second sideplate. These slots extend from a location adjacent the outer end of said curved slots in said first sideplate to a location adjacent the inner ends of said curved slots. A plurality of arcuate belt-engaging seg-ments are located between said first and second sideplates. Pins extending laterally from opposite sides of said arcuate segments, said pins being received in said slots. Resilient means act between said first and second plates to bias said second plate to the position where said belt-engaging segments are at the limit of their outward travel in said slots, and said slots in said first and second sideplates are coordinated to the location of said pins on said arcuate segments so that, at all locations in said slots, the chord of each arcuate belt-engaging segment forms a right angle with a radius of said hub.
Also, in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention,a drive system is presented employing two variable diameter pulleys functionally connect-ed by an endless belt trained successively thereabout. In another embodiment which is especially useful on bicycles, the driven pulley in the rear wheel is relatively small compared to the pedal-operated driving pulley and there :is no spring co-acting between plates of the small pulley.
My inventLon is preclicatod on the basic discovory tllat the slot con-Piguration must be selected, ompiriclllly i~ necessary, so that the arcuate seg-ments always bear the same geollletric rclationship to a racl-ius of thc pulley throughout the entlre range of pulley diameter. [n accordanco with this require-mellt, the chord o~ each arcuate segment must always be normal to a radius o~ the pulley. To achieve this, the invention requires pairs of slots, at least in the , ,:
;

~3593 fixed plate, that are coordinated with the cam follower pins on the arcuate seg-ments to maintain the normal relationship throughout the travel. It is a re-quirement that the individual slots of each pair of slots in the fixed plate not be parallel to each other.
As will become more apparent, the invention also provides the ability to select from an infinite variety of patterns for speed and power ratio varia-tions.
In accordance with another feature of the invention, a horseshoe-shaped spring is mounted to interact between the fixed plate and the movable plate to bias them toward that relative angular displacement which provides maxi-mum pulley diameter.
BRIEP DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
In order that the invention may be more readily understood and carried into effect, reference is made to the accompanying drawings and description thereof which are offered by way of example only and not in limitation of the invention, the scope of which is defined by the appended claims, including equiv-alents thereof, rather than any preceding description.
ln the drawings:
Figure 1 is a partial top view of a bicycle having a drive system em-bodying the invention.
Figure 2 i.s side view of the drivc shown in Figure I some parts beingomitted and some hLdden parts showll in dotted lines, all or purposes oE clarity.
Figure 3 Ls an enlarged sectional view takon in thc plalle of line 3 - 3 of Pigure 2 and looking in the direction of arrows 3.
Figure 4 is an enlarged sectional view taken in the plane o~ line 4 - 4 of Figure 2 looking in the direction of arrows 4.
Figure 5 is a pictorial view o one of the arcuate belt-engaging .
. - 7 _ :, 3~3 sectors employed in the invention.
Figure 6 is an exploded view of a pulley of the type illustrated in Figures 1 - 4 but em~odying a modified spring arrangement.
Pigure 7 is an exploded view of a modification of the pulley illus-trated in Figures 1 - 4 and in which two essentially identical sideplates 26 areemployed to provide increased stability.
Figure 8 is a view similar to Figure 1 illustrating a drive embodying the modified pulley illustrated in Figure 7.
Figure 9 is a side view of the drive shown in Figure 8 with some parts omitted and others shown in dotted lines for clarity.
Figure 10 is a sectional view taken in the plane of line 10 - 10 of Figure 9 looking in the direction of arrows lO.
Figure l] is a sectional view taken in the plane of line 11 - 11 of Figure 9 looking in the direction of arrows 11.
Figure 12 is a sectional view taken in the plane of line 12 - 12 of Figure 8 illustrating in detail the horseshoe spring biasing the fixed and movable plates to that angular displacement which results in maxiMum pulley diameter.
Figure 13 is a sectional view taken in the plane of line 13 - 13 of Pigure 12 looking in the direction of arrows 12.
2a Figure 14 is a sectional vicw taken in the plane of line 14 - 14 of Pigure 12 looking in the direction of arrows 14.
Pigure 15 is a view dcpictin~ three sequential positions of a pulley and certain parts theroof during operation, some parts are omitted and others shown in dotted lines for clarity. 'I'he pulley illustrated in Figure 15 has thccurved cam slots in the flxed plate and straight cam slots in the movable plate as illustrated in Figures 1 - 2.
Figures 16 - 18 inclusive are enlarged partially cut away views of the "

~35~3 portions enclosed respectively by lines 16, 17 and 18 of Figure 15, i]lustrating in greater detail relative movement of components during the operational se-quence shown in Figure 15.
Figure 19 is a view similar to Figure 15, but showing an operational sequence of a pulley in which the cam slots in both the fixed and movable plates are curved.
Figures 20 - 22 inclusive are enlarged partially cut away views of the portions enclosed respectively by lines 20, 21 and 22 of Figure 19.
Figure 23 is a view, similar to Pigure 15 but of a modified pulley in which the straight cam slots are positioned differently from those of the pulley s,hown in ~igure lS.
Pigures 24 . 26 inclusive are enlarged partially cut away views of the portions enclosed respectively by lines 24, 25 and 26 of Figure 23.
~ igure 27 is a view similar to Figure 15 but in which the cam slots in the movable plate 27 are zig-zag or stepped rather than continuous.
Figures 28 - 30 inclusive are enlarged partially cut away views of the portions enclosed respectively by lines 28, 29 and 30 of Figure 27.
Figure 31 is a view similar to ~igure 15 but of a pulley embodying a modification in which the cam slots in the fixecl plate are irregular to provide a stepped rather than continuous variation ot` pulley diameter.
~ igures 32 - 34 inclusive are enlargcd partially cut away views o~ the portions enclosed respectively by the llnes 32, 33, and 34 of Piguro 31.

Dl~'.TAILEID DLSCI~IPrl':[ON OP Tllr D!~AW'[NGS
~ igures 1 - 5 illustrate a prc~errod oInI)odinlent o~ the pulley o~ the invention as well as a bi,cyclo drive system cmbody:ing the inventlon.
As illustrated, the drivc system, designatecl generally 10, is mounted on a bicycle Il which is shown fr-gmentarily and Includes chaLn stays or rear . .
' ' 3~3 wheel supports 12 and 13, bottom bracket or crank assembly housing 14, seat tube 15J down tube 16, a rear wheel axle 17 and a wheel 19 having usual spokes 18, the wheel being fixed to the frame by usual wing nuts 20 and 21.
The drive system includes a variable diameter pulley assembly 22 se-cured to and rotatable with a crank 23. The crank may be of any conventional design and will, if in a bicycle, include pedals, a hub, and a transverse portion extending through the crank assembly housing 14. The drive also includes a re-latively smaller variable diameter pulley assembly 24 secured to and rotatable with the rear wheel. An endless V belt 25 is trained about the two pulleys. In the drive as illustrated, the small variable diameter pulley not only contributes to enhanced operation of the drive but acts as a belt slack take-up device. If desired, to accommodate special conditions, the small pulley may be replaced with a fixed diameter pulley and a separate belt slack take-up device provided.
However, such an arrangement is not the equivalent of the illustrated drive sys-tem embodiment. Rather, it is a modification useful under different conditions.
The load responsive variable diameter pulley 22 comprises spaced apart plates 26 and 27. One plate 26 is fixed to the crank 23 by means of an integral central support plate 35 which is in turn secured to the crank 23 adjacent one end oi` the crank assembly housing 1~ by a typical cone. The cono is referred to herein as a hub. The other plate 27 ls mounted for relativo angular ~lotion about the extended annular section 2~ of the support plato :~S and, oE courso, about the axis of the pulley and hub.
A central support plato 36 is socured to the movablo plato 27 in spaced relationship to the central support plate 35 thereby to deEine an en-closure for a spring. The extended annular section 28 provides bearing surEaces for the movable plate 27 and the support plate 36. It also ensures spacing be-tween support plates 35 and 36.

. .

~35~3 For controlling net radlal movement of the belt-engaging segments 30, curved slots (cams) 29 are provided in the surface of the fixed plate 26. Cam follower pins 31 extend laterall~ from opposite sides of the segment and are received in the slots. The slots 29 are arranged in pairs - onepair for each segment. As noted, the individual curved slots, although of similar configura-tion need not be identical and cannot be parallel to each other. To predetermine the amount of angular movement and thus the amount of overload needed to effect change in the pulley diameter straight slots 33 are provided in the movable plate 27. The pinS 31 which extend through the arcuate segments are received in the slots 33. A flanged nut 32 may be used to hold the pins in place.
A plurality of coil springs 37 are connected between pins 38 on the central support plate 36 of the movable plate 27 and pins 39 on the central sup-port plate 35 of the fixed plate 26. These springs bias the plates toward an angular displacement at which the arcuate segments are at the limit of their out-ward travel thus defining maximum diameter of the pulley 22.
The smaller variable diameter pulley 24 driving the rear wheel is similar in construction to pulley 22. It comprises spaced-apart fixed and movable plates 40 and 41, with pairs of curved slots ~cams~ 42 in the fi,xed plate 40 and straight slots (cams) 43 in the movable plate 41. Cam Eollowers, formcd as threaded pins 46 extending laterally from the arcuate segmcntx 45 are received in the slots 42 cmd 43 rospectively. A flanged nut 47 may bc usod to rctain the pin in placc.
As shown in Figure 5 tho arcuate 'belt-engaging sogmonts 30 and 45, com-prise a curved body 60 with upstanding sidowalls 61 and 62 tho inner surEaces of which are slanted to accommodate a V bolt and suitably roughencd to onhance fric-tional engagement with the belt. Transverse holes are drillecl through the seg-ments to accommodate the pins 31 and 46. The belt-engaging segments Eor both ' ~1~;35~

pulleys are selected so that at minimum pulley diameter the segments come to-gether to form a circular continuous belt-engaging surface. Obviously, as the segments move outwardly the surface becomes discontinuous, however, the total area of belt-engagement remains essentially the same. This is achieved in ac-cordance with this invention by insuring that the chord of the segment is normal to a radius of the pulley. Thus the area of belt-engagement is always essential-ly uniform and definitely predictable.
Unlike pulley 22, the smaller pulley 24 does not have any spring bias-ing the components to maximum diameter. Instead, in the drive system shown, the taut belt 25 wraps around the pulley and the applied tension prevents the segments from moving outwardly in the slots.
When the large pulley is at maximum diameter and the small pulley at minimum diameter, as shown in ~igures 1 - 4, the drive is in a normal load posi-tion. This is the position where greatest speed is achieved. It is also the position of minimum power output. When the diameter of the large pulley 22 de-creases and/or the diameter of the small pulley 23 increases, a lower speed is transmitted to the wheel 19, but the power output is greater hence it is easier to climb a steep hill. 'Ln my drive, chsmges in pulley diameters und thus speed '~ and power are achieved automatically. In operation, if the hicyclc stslrts uphil'l, increased resistsmce is transmitted through tho rear wheel 19, pul1Oy 2~ and belt 25 - to the belt-ellgslging soglllonts 30 on tho Is~rgo ~Iriving pllLLey 22. When the increased load ovorcomos tho oppos-inR forco of springs X7, tllo holt pull on the sogments will causo tho cam f'ollowor pins ~1, acting in slots 33 to offoct rotation oE the plato 27 agsllnst tho urgLng of tho splirlgs X7. 'I'his csluses tho cam -follower p:ins 81 to move also along tho curved CUIIIS 29 ill the f'ixed plate thus eEecting a net inward radial movornent oE the belt-ongslg-ing segments and reducing pulley diameter. This movement stops when the resulting increased '~.

~ ~35~

spring tension of~sets the load. Whene~er there is a reducti~n in diameter of the large pulley there will be a lessening of tension in the lower run of the belt. The reduced tension or slack permits the belt to pull the segments 45 outwardly in the slots thus increasing the diameter of the smaller pulley 24.
The action of the two pulleys is proportional and, for all practical purposes, simultaneous. The result is a smooth effortless changing of speed and ability to handle varying loads. When all the slack or reduced belt tension disappears the diameter of both pulleys stabilizes until a further load variation is sensed.
In the illustrated embodiment, the smaller pulley does not reauire a spring because the belt will pull the sectors outwardly until all slack is takenup. A spring can be employed if desired for any reason, but it is not necessary for this application as the desired expansion and contraction of thc rear pulleyis achieved automatically in the drive assembly of the invention. ~ drive utiliz-ing a spring on both pulleys to bias them toward maximum diameter is not the equivalent of that illustrated but is a separate modification useEul under dif-~erent conditions where, for instance, a smaller range of chan~e can be tolerated.
~igure 6 is an exploded view of a pulley similar to that shown in ~igllres 1 - 4, but with a modified spring and consequent changes in structure to accommodate such spring. Also, the crank assembly and housing are omitted. The pulley, as shown in ~igure 6, comprises a fixed plate 26, a mcvable plate 27, a central support plate 35 to which tlle Eixed plate 26 is securcd by suitable screws 34 to hold it in spaccd-apart rclationship to tho movablc p~lato 27.
A simple but strong horseslloe spring 63 is locatod in the rocoss do-flned between plates 35 and 36. Ono end-piece 64 of the spring is suitllbly so-cured, as by a machine screw 65 to the central support plato 3fi o~ tho movable plate 27 and at end piece 66 to the central support plate 35 ot the fixed plate which is in turn connected by screws 34 to the fixed plate 26. The horseshoe spring is compact yet strong enough to af~ect the high torques encountered dur-ing operation of a bicycle. It replaces the several smaller springs 37 shown in Figures 1 - 4. The horseshoe spring is installed so that it is almost fully ex-panded whereby relative angular motion of plate 27 will force the spring ends toward each other. As in the pulley illustrated in Figures 1 - 4 the fixed plate27 has curved cam slots 29 while the movable plate has straight cam slots 33, only a few of which are shown.
Figures 7 - 14 illustrate a modification of the pulley useful in situ-ations where high forces are involved. 'I'he pulley is similar to that shown in la Pi~gure 6 but includes a pair of identical fixed plates 26 held in spaced-apart relationship by a spacer 68. 'I'he two plates 26, the spacer and the central sup-port plate 35 are all held together by suitable machine screws 71, threaded even-tually into an annular member 69 integral to the support plate 35. The member 69corresponds to the extension 28 of Figures 3 and 6. It is required that the two plates 26 be mounted so their cam slots are exactly aligned with each other.
Then, when the segments 30 are in place the pins 31 will pass through the curvedslots 29 in both of the plates 26 then through the straight slots 33 i.n the mov-able plate 27 which is mounted face to face and closely adjacent the inboard oneof. the fixed plates 26. A horseshoe spring 63 ;s connected to co-act hetween the 2a ~ixed plate 26 and the movable plate 27 by securin~ its ends 64 and 66 to central support plates 35 and 36.
~'igure 15 lllustratcs a soquonco o~ oporation of tllo pulloy whon an increased load is lmposed theroon as when tho bicyclo climhs a h:ill. In the normal position, as shown in tho top diagralll, the pulley is at maximum dialneter.
In the center dia~ram the crank and fixed plate have rotated about 22.5 de~rces while the movable plate has rotated an equal amount in the opposite direction to crank rotation; and in the bottom diagram, the crank and fixed plate as well as the movable plate have rotated 45 degrees, a total relative displacement of 90 degrees; and the arcuate segments have moved to the innermost position. One end of the pins 31 on the arcuate segment follow the curved slots 29 in the plate 26 while the opposite ends follow the straight slots 33 in the movable plate 27. The head of the pins 31 and the flanged nuts 32 at the opposite end hold the pins in the slots. The net movement of the arcuate segment is radially invard thus decreasing the pulley diameter. In the bicycle drive system of the invention any decrease in the diameter of the large pulley automatically causes a proportionate increase in the diameter of the small pulley. The increase in lQ the small pulley diameter is effected by the belt pulling on the segments where-by the pins 46 follow the curved slots 42 and straight slots 43 in the side-plates.
The changes in diameter of both pulleys will continue until the spring de~lection has completely offset the increased load or the pins (cam followers) reach the end of slots (cams) whichever occurs first. In other words, the spring is deflected as it senses increased torque thereby effecting decrease in diam-eter of the large pulley. This results ;.n a change in belt tension that causes an increase in the diameter of the small pulley. It will be appreciated that changes in belt tenslon are complex. The tension increases in upper or working run of the belt under increased load, but at the same time decrcases on the lower run. Thus, there :Ls some slack on the lowcr run. Ihe combination ot increased tension on the upper run and decreased tcns:ion on the lower run is what causes expansion o~ the small pulley. ~`he amount Oe dLameter increase being limited by tension of the belt when this llmited slack is taken up. [n any event, the maximum range Oe diameter changes is eixed by the length of the slots, the strength of the spring and/or the length of the belt.
It is critical to proper operation that the arcuate belt-engaging seg-S~3 ments move radially ~ithout tilting. Tilting causes loss of bel~ contact thus reducing drive efficiency due to belt slippage. Thus, the curves in both plates must be selected so that as the belt-engaging segments move along the curves the e~fective chord of the arcuate belt-engaging surface is always normal to a radi-us from the pulley axis. This relationship is illustrated in Figures 16 18 where the chord 81 is shown to be at right angle to the pulley's radius 82 regardless of position of the segment in the slot. Care must be taken to ensure that it is the chords of the arcuate segments that are maintained normal to a radius of the pulley. 'I'he chord may not be the same as a line between the pins.
However, a line between the pins whether or not normal to a radius, must maintain the same geometric relationship to a radius of the pulley.
In all embodiments shown in the drawings, a chord of the arcuate seg-ments and a line between the pins coincide, but as noted, this is not necessary.
Also, as shown, the pin ends 31 and 32 are directly opposite each other. This is convenient, but not necessary as the pairs of curves in the first and second sideplates may be offset from each other.
Pigures 19 - 22 are similar to ~igures 15 - 18, but show a construction in which the slots 73 in the movable plate 27 are simply the reverse of the curves 29 in the fixed plate 26. With the curved slots 73 a greater ovcrload is, required to move the arcuatc sector inwardly. 'rhis is so because therc must be more displacement of the spring when the arcuate sogment followx a longcr spiral path than when it follows the shortcr racl;al path.
I1igures 23 - 26 are similar to Figuros 'l5 - l8 but the stra;ght slots 74 in the movable plate 27 are not parallel to a radius of thc pulley betweell them. Instead, one nf the slots lies on a rad;us. In this posi.tion the slots 75 require a smaller load to decrease the pulley diameter than do either the curved slots 73 or the straight slots 33 of the embodiment shown in Figures 19 -22, because as~ noted, a slot configuration that requires the smallest spring de-flection for full travel of the arcuate segments will be the most sensitive to overload.
Figures 27 - 30 are similar to Figures 15 -18, except that the illus-trated embodiment employs a zig-zag slot 76 in the movable plate. This provides a dwell or a stepped speed change at one or more radial locations of the segment.
That is, when overload is first applied, it will move the arcuate segment in-wardly to that part of the slot 76 that is approximately parallel to the belt-engaging surface of the arcuate segment. If the overload has then been offset lQ by spring deflection the arcuate segment will not move any further inwardly. On the other hand, if the overload is not offset by the spring, it will continue to deflect the spring until the arcuate segment has traversed the center part of the slot and if at that point the overload is still not offset by the spring the segment (by the pins in the slots) moves in along the inboard part of the slot to minimum diameter. Thus, although the movable plate rotates whenever there is an increased load not offset by the spring, when the segment is in a dwell posi-tion of the slots such plate movement will not cause radial movement of the seg-ment so there will be no diameter change even though some spring deflect:ion is occurring. In other words, there is a range of overload that can bo accommodated 2Q at each dwell place without change in pulley diameter.
~ igures 31 - 34 are similar to ~igures 15 - 18, but illustrato an em-bodiment of tho pulley in which an irrcgular slot 77 is providod in the eixed plate 26. Thc operation o~ this pulley wi!l, likc that illl~stratcd in l1iguros 27 - 30, proivde a dwell at one or morc radial locat1ons in thc slot. ~t cach dwell, there will be a range of overloud at which no ~`urther inward shifting oE
the arcuate segment will occur, but once the load range o~ that dwell section is exceeded, inward shifting of the arcuate segment will resume.

35~3 Obviously, the number of dwell portions in the zig_zag slot 76 of Figures 27 - 3a and the irregular slot 77 may vary according to the use to which the pulley and any drive embodying it are to be put.
As previously noted the slots in both the fixed and movable plates must be carefully defined so that the effective chord of each arcuate segment at all times defines a right angle wi~h a radius from the pu]ley axis. An en-tirely suitable way to define the curves is to trace the path the pins or cam followers 31 take as they move outwardly while maintaining the necessary right angle intersection between such chord and pulley radius. The chord of the seg-ment may be taken across the bottom of the ~ or, if the pins 31 and 32 are pro-perly placed, a line between them can be used as the chord.
In the foregoing description, the large and small pulleys are de-scribed as having the same construction. This is not entirely correct. For instance, as shown in Pigure 11, the fixed and movable plates 40 and 41 are suit-ably secured to an axially offset pla~e that is in turn fastened to a free wheel-ing clutch assembly mounted concentrically to the rear shaft 17. The construc-tion of Figure 4 is similar.
Although the invention has been described in connect;on with thc use of V belts and a bicycle drive system, it will be appreciated that other types of 2~ belts may be used and the pulley ~nd drive systems employed in other vehicles or in industrlal application.

Claims (11)

THE EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION IN WHICH AN EXCLUSIVE
PROPERTY OR PRIVILEGE IS CLAIMED ARE DEFINED AS FOLLOWS:
1. A variable diameter pulley comprising a hub, a first sideplate con-centric to said hub and fixed thereto, a second sideplate concentric to said hub and rotatable about said hub relative to said first sideplate, a plurality of pairs of curved slots in said first sideplate said slots extending outwardly and in the direction of rotation of said first sideplate, a plurality of slots in said movable second sideplate said slots extending from a location adjacent the outer end of said curved slots in said first sideplate to a location ad-jacent the inner ends of said curved slots, a plurality of arcuate belt-engaging segments located between said first and second sideplates, pins extending laterally from opposite sides of said arcuate segments, said pins being received in said slots, resilient means acting between said first and second plates to bias said second plate to the position where said belt-engaging segment are at the limit of their outward travel in said slots, and said slots in said first and second sideplates being coordinated to the location of said pins on said arcuate segments so that at all location in said slots the chord of each arcuate belt-engaging segment forms a right angle with a radius of said hub.
2. A variable diameter pulley according to preceding claim 1 in which said slots in said second sideplate are straight and arranged in pairs in which said slots are parallel to each other and to a radius of said pulley passing between said slots.
3. A variable diameter pulley according to preceding claim 1 in which there is provided a pair of first sideplates one of which is spaced from the other, and is adjacent said second sideplate, said arcuate segments are located between said pair of first sideplates and said pins extending from said segments are received in said slots in said pair of first sideplates and extend into said slots of said second sideplate.
4. A variable diameter pulley according to preceding claim 1 in which said slots in said second plate are curved and extend outwardly in a direction opposite to said slots in said first sideplate.
5. A load responsive drive system of the type having a driving pulley and a driven pulley functionally connected by an endless belt trained about said pulleys, each of said pulleys comprising a hub, a first sideplate concentric to said hub and fixed thereto, a second sideplate parallel to said first side-plate and concentric to said hub, said second sideplate being movable angularly about said hub relative to said first sideplate, a plurality of pairs of slots in said first sideplate, said slots in said first sideplate being curved and extending outwardly in the direction of rotation of said sideplate, a plurality of slots in said second sideplates, a plurality of arcuate belt-engaging segments between said sideplate, laterally extending pins on each side of said arcuate segments said pins being received in said slots in said sideplates, and said slots and said pins being coordinated so that upon relative motion between said first and second sideplates each of said arcuate segments is guided by said slots in a net radial movement during which a chord of the belt-engaging surface of said segment is maintained normal to a radius of said pulley; and resilient means in said driving pulley coacting between said first and second sideplates biasing said sideplates angularly in a direction normally to maintain said arcuate segments in their radially outermost positon.
6. A drive system according to preceding claim 5 in which said slots in said second sideplate are zig-zag whereby to provide steps in the radial move-ment of said belt-engaging segments.
7. A drive system according to preceding claim 5 in which in said driving pulley said curved slots in said first sideplate are formed as irregular curves thereby providing steps in the radial travel of said arcuate segments.
8. A drive system according to preceding claim 5 with the addition in said driven pulley of resilient means co-acting between said first and second sideplates biasing said sideplates angularly in a direction normally to main-tain said arcuate segments in their radially outermost position
9. A drive system according to preceding claim 5 in which said resilient means comprises a horseshoe shaped spring.
10. A drive system according to preceding claim 1 in which said resilient means comprises a horseshoe shaped spring.
11. A load responsive drive system comprising a driving pulley and a driven pulley functionally connected solely by an endless belt trained succes-sively about said pulleys, each of said pulleys comprising a hub, a first side-plate concentric to said hub and fixed thereto, a second sideplate parallel to said first sideplate and concentric to said hub, said second sideplate being movable angularly about said hub relative to said first sideplate, a plurality of pairs of slots in said first sideplate, said slots in said first sideplate being curved and extending outwardly in the direction of rotation of said sideplate, a plurality of slots in said second sideplates, a plurality of arcuate belt-engaging segments between said sideplates, laterally extending pins on each side of said arcuate segments said pins being received in said slots in said sideplates, and said slots and said pins being coordinated so that upon relative motion between said first and second sideplates each of said arcuate segments is guided by said slots in a net radial movement; resilient means in said driving pulley co-acting between said first and second sideplates biasing said sideplates angularly in a direction normally to maintain said arcuate segments in their radially outermost position; and said arcuate segments in said driven pulley are biased toward their radially outermost position in said slots by tension of said belt in frictional engagement therewith.
CA 367152 1978-01-18 1980-12-19 Drive system Expired CA1143593A (en)

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US06132996 US4342559A (en) 1978-01-18 1980-03-24 Drive system
US06/132,996 1980-03-24

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