WO2016094633A1 - Valve assembly for a tire pressure management system - Google Patents

Valve assembly for a tire pressure management system Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2016094633A1
WO2016094633A1 PCT/US2015/064949 US2015064949W WO2016094633A1 WO 2016094633 A1 WO2016094633 A1 WO 2016094633A1 US 2015064949 W US2015064949 W US 2015064949W WO 2016094633 A1 WO2016094633 A1 WO 2016094633A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
valve assembly
conduit
piston
wall portion
member
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2015/064949
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Christopher D. Blessing
William J. FOOR
Original Assignee
Dana Heavy Vehicle Systems Group, Llc
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
Priority to US201462089978P priority Critical
Priority to US62/089,978 priority
Application filed by Dana Heavy Vehicle Systems Group, Llc filed Critical Dana Heavy Vehicle Systems Group, Llc
Publication of WO2016094633A1 publication Critical patent/WO2016094633A1/en

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60CVEHICLE TYRES; TYRE INFLATION; TYRE CHANGING OR REPAIRING; REPAIRING, OR CONNECTING VALVES TO, INFLATABLE ELASTIC BODIES IN GENERAL; DEVICES OR ARRANGEMENTS RELATED TO TYRES
    • B60C23/00Devices for measuring, signalling, controlling, or distributing tyre pressure or temperature, specially adapted for mounting on vehicles; Arrangement of tyre inflating devices on vehicles, e.g. of pumps, of tanks; Tyre cooling arrangements
    • B60C23/001Devices for manually or automatically controlling or distributing tyre pressure whilst the vehicle is moving
    • B60C23/003Devices for manually or automatically controlling or distributing tyre pressure whilst the vehicle is moving comprising rotational joints between vehicle-mounted pressure sources and the tyres

Abstract

A valve assembly for a tire pressure management system. The valve assembly includes a housing having an inner chamber (20). The inner chamber is in fluid communication with a first conduit (24) for communicating with a tire pressure management system. The inner chamber is selectively in fluid communication with a second conduit (30) for communicating with a tire. A piston is provided in the inner chamber. The piston has an inner wall portion (78) and an outer wall portion (76). The inner wall portion defines a cavity having a first opening. The first opening is selectively in fluid communication with the atmosphere. A major biasing member (108) is positioned between the inner wall portion and the outer wall portion. The major biasing member contacts the piston to provide a force which biases the piston to place the piston in a closed position. A seal member (110) is disposed around the outer wall portion to provide a seal between the piston and the housing.

Description

TITLE

VALVE ASSEMBLY FOR A TIRE PRESSURE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION This application is claiming the benefit, under 35 U.S. C. 119(e), of the provisional U.S. patent application which was granted Serial No. 62/089,978 and filed on December 10, 2014, the entire disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a valve assembly for a tire pressure

management system. More particularly, the invention relates to a wheel valve assembly for a tire pressure management system.

Tire pressure management systems such as, for example, central tire inflation systems can be utilized to manually and/or automatically inflate the pressure within a tire to a desired level. Tire pressure management systems such as central tire inflation systems are well known.

Typically, a tire pressure management system utilizes a pneumatically controlled wheel valve affixed to each wheel for effecting tire pressure inflation of a tire. However, tires can become overinflated do to a drop in the

atmospheric pressure and/or a temperature increase caused by a change in the environmental or operating conditions. Wheel valves known in the art do not automatically adjust the tire pressure of an overinflated tire due to an atmospheric pressure decrease and/or a temperature increase. Additionally, the wheel valves known in the art do not always perform as intended due to low temperatures, high pressures or a combination thereof and may even fail under certain conditions.

Therefore, it would be desirable to provide a valve assembly which automatically prevents over inflation of a tire when the tire pressure increases and operates in a more robust manner. BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Embodiments of a valve assembly for a tire pressure management system are provided.

In an embodiment, the valve assembly comprises a housing having an inner chamber. The inner chamber is in fluid communication with a first conduit for communicating with a tire pressure management system. The inner chamber is selectively in fluid communication with a second conduit for communicating with a tire. A piston is provided in the inner chamber. The piston has an inner wall portion and an outer wall portion. The inner wall portion defines a cavity that has a first opening. The first opening is selectively in fluid communication with the atmosphere. A major biasing member is positioned between the inner wall portion and the outer wall portion. The major biasing member contacts the piston to provide a force which biases the piston to place the piston in a closed position. A seal member is disposed around the outer wall portion to provide a seal between the piston and the housing.

In another embodiment, the valve assembly comprises a housing having an inner chamber. The inner chamber is in fluid communication with a first conduit for communicating with a tire pressure management system. The inner chamber is selectively in fluid communication with a second conduit for communicating with a tire. An orifice body has a fluid conduit. The fluid conduit is in fluid communication with the second conduit via a passage. A sealing member is provided over the orifice body. The sealing member has a sealing member conduit. The sealing member conduit is in fluid

communication with the fluid conduit. A piston is provided over the sealing member and selectively provides a seal on the sealing member. The piston has an inner wall portion and an outer wall portion. The inner wall portion defines a cavity having a first opening. A pressure relief valve assembly is positioned within the cavity. The pressure relief valve assembly provides selective fluid communication between the first opening and the atmosphere. A major biasing member is positioned between the inner wall portion and the outer wall portion. The major biasing member contacts the piston to provide a force which biases the piston to place the piston in a closed position. A seal member is provided in an annular groove formed in the outer wall portion. The seal member sealingly contacts an outer side wall of the housing to provide a seal between the piston and the housing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

The above, as well as other advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description when considered in the light of the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 depicts a plan view of an embodiment of a valve assembly in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2 is sectional view of the valve assembly of FIG. 1 ;

FIG. 2A is an enlarged view of a portion of the valve assembly shown in

FIG. 2;

FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the valve assembly of FIG. 1 ;

FIG. 3A is an enlarged view of a portion of the valve assembly shown in FIG. 3; and

FIG. 4 is a schematic illustration of an embodiment of a tire pressure management system in accordance with the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

It is to be understood that the invention may assume various alternative orientations and step sequences, except where expressly specified to the contrary. It is also to be understood that the specific assemblies and systems illustrated in the attached drawings, and described in the following specification are simply exemplary embodiments of the inventive concepts defined herein. Hence, specific dimensions, directions or other physical characteristics relating to the embodiments disclosed are not to be considered as limiting, unless expressly stated otherwise.

Embodiments of a valve assembly 10 are described below.

Preferably, the valve assembly 10 is utilized as a wheel valve and with a tire pressure management system such as a central tire inflation system (CTIS). Tire pressure management systems are utilized, for example, to inflate and/or deflate one or more tires of a vehicle (not depicted). In describing the operation of the valve assembly 10 and tire pressure management system the terms "inflate" and "deflate," respectively, refer to an increase and decrease, respectively, of the pressure of the air in a tire or the like. Said terminology includes the words specifically mentioned above, derivatives thereof, and words of similar import.

An embodiment of a tire pressure management system 200 suitable for use with a vehicle and incorporating the valve assembly 10 is illustrated in FIG.

4. The valve assembly 10 described herein may have applications to vehicles for both light and heavy duty and for passenger, commercial, and off-highway vehicles. Furthermore, it would be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art that the valve assembly could have industrial, locomotive, military and aerospace applications.

Referring now to FIGs. 1-3A, the valve assembly 10 comprises a housing 12. Preferably, the housing 12 is attached to a wheel via one or more fasteners (not depicted). Each fastener is provided through a separate aperture 14 which extends through the housing 12. The one or more fasteners are utilized to secure the valve assembly 10 to the wheel.

The wheel includes a tire. The tire houses pressurized air. The pressure of the air in the tire will hereinafter be referred to as tire pressure. For certain embodiments described below, the valve assembly 10 and tire pressure management system will be described with reference to checking, increasing and/or decreasing the tire pressure.

The housing 12 may comprise separate portions 16, 18 which are attached together. In an embodiment, a seal member 22 is provided between the portions 16, 18 of the housing 12 to provide a seal therebetween. In an embodiment, the seal member 22 is an O-ring.

A first conduit 24 is provided through a portion of the housing 12 and is in fluid communication with the tire pressure management system. The first conduit 24 may include a first end 26 which receives a tube member or hose member of the tire pressure management system and a second end 28 which is in fluid communication with an inner chamber 20. A second conduit 30 is provided through another portion of the housing 12 and is in fluid

communication with the tire. The second conduit 30 has a first end 32 which may be attached to a hose member (not depicted) or a tube member (not depicted) for enabling fluid communication with the tire. A second end 34 of the second conduit 30 is in fluid communication with a passage 36. The second end 34 is selectively in fluid communication with the inner chamber 20 via the passage 36, a fluid conduit 66 provided through an orifice body 38 and a conduit 68 provided through a sealing member 70.

The inner chamber 20 is provided within the housing 12. The inner chamber 20 is defined by an inner side wall 40, an outer side wall 42, a lower wall 44 and an upper wall 46. The inner side wall 40 is attached to the lower wall 44. Preferably, the inner side wall 40 is positioned at or near the center of the lower wall 44. The lower wall 44 extends radially from the inner side wall 40 to the outer side wall 42. The outer side wall 42 extends between and is attached to the lower wall 44 and the upper wall 46. The outer side wall 42 comprises a first diameter portion 48 and a second diameter portion 50. The first diameter portion 48 is of a diameter which is greater than that of the second diameter portion 50. The second diameter portion 50 is provided adjacent the upper wall 46. A hole 52 is provided through the upper wall 46. In certain embodiments, the hole 52 is provided at or near the center of the upper wall 46 in such a manner that the hole 52 is aligned with the fluid conduit 66 provided through the orifice body 38.

The hole 52 receives a pneumatic vent 54. A portion of the pneumatic vent 54 is provided in the hole 52. The pneumatic vent 54 may have a flange

55 which abuts a portion of an outer surface 57 of the upper wall 46. The pneumatic vent 54 has a passageway 56. The passageway 56 extends from an outer end 58 to an inner end 60 of the pneumatic vent 54. In an

embodiment, the passageway 56 is aligned with the fluid conduit 66 provided through the orifice body 38. On an end, the passageway 56 is in fluid communication with the atmosphere 62. On an opposite end, the passageway

56 is in fluid communication with an upper portion 64 of the inner chamber 20. The passageway 56 permits fluid communication between the atmosphere 62 and the upper portion 64 of the inner chamber 20. A screen (not depicted) may be provided over the outer end of the pneumatic vent to prevent the

passageway from being blocked by dirt or debris. The orifice body 38 is aligned with and attached to the inner side wall 40 near the second end 34 of the second conduit 30. As noted above, a fluid conduit 66 is provided through the orifice body 38. The fluid conduit 66 extends through the orifice body 38 from a first end 72 to a second end 74 of the orifice body 38. The first end 72 of the orifice body 38 abuts the passage 36 and the second end 74 of the orifice body 38 abuts the sealing member 70. On an end, the fluid conduit 66 is in fluid communication with the second conduit 30 via the passage 36. On an opposite end, the fluid conduit 66 is in fluid communication with the sealing member conduit 68. A first portion 67 of the fluid conduit 66 gradually reduces in diameter from the first end 72 of the orifice body 38 toward the second end 74 of the orifice body 38. The first portion of the fluid conduit 66 may be of a generally conical shape. Near the second end 74 of the orifice body 38, a second portion 69 of the fluid conduit 66 increases in diameter. The second portion 69 of the fluid conduit may be of a cylindrical shape. A third portion 71 of the fluid conduit 66 connects the first portion 67 and the second portion 69 to each other. The third portion 71 of the fluid conduit 66 may be of a cylindrical shape.

A piston 76 is provided within the inner chamber 20. The piston 76 is moveable from an open position to a closed position and vice versa to provide selective fluid communication between the tire pressure management system and the tire. When the piston 76 is in an open position, the tire pressure management system can be utilized to check, increase and/or decrease the tire pressure. When the piston 76 is in the closed position, the piston 76 helps maintain the tire pressure.

The piston 76 comprises an inner wall portion 78 and an outer wall portion 80. The inner wall portion 78 and outer wall portion 80 are spaced apart from each other and extend away from a base portion 82. The base portion 82 has a sealing surface 84 and a biasing surface 86. The sealing surface 84 and the biasing surface 86 are provided on opposite sides of the base portion 82. In certain embodiments like the ones illustrated, the inner wall portion 78, the outer wall portion 80 and base portion 82 are annular-shaped members and formed in a unitary manner with each other. The inner wall portion 78 defines a cavity 88. On an end, portions of the cavity 88 are in continuous fluid communication with the passageway 56 provided in the pneumatic vent 54. When the tire pressure has increased above a target tire pressure due to, for example, an atmospheric pressure decrease or a temperature increase, the cavity 88 provides a conduit for directing pressurized air from the tire to the atmosphere 62. When the tire pressure is equal to or below the target tire pressure, directing pressurized air from the tire to the atmosphere 62 through the cavity 88 is prohibited.

In an embodiment, the cavity 88 is aligned with the passageway 56 provided in the pneumatic vent 54. Also, it is preferred that the cavity 88 is aligned with the sealing member conduit 68 and the fluid conduit 66 provided through the orifice body 38. The cavity 88 and the upper portion 64 of the inner chamber 20 are provided between the conduit 68 provided through the seal member 70 and the passageway 56 provided in the pneumatic vent 54.

The cavity 88 comprises a first opening 90. The first opening 90 defines an inner end of the cavity 88 and is in fluid communication with the sealing member conduit 68. The first opening 90 is also selectively in fluid

communication with the atmosphere 62 via the remaining portions 92, 94, 96, 98 of the cavity 88 and the upper portion 64 of the inner chamber 20. When the tire pressure is above a target tire pressure as discussed above, the first opening 90 is in fluid communication with the atmosphere 62. When the tire pressure is equal to or below the target tire pressure as discussed above, the first opening 90 is not in fluid communication with the atmosphere 62.

The cavity 88 also comprises a first portion 92. The first portion 92 is attached to the first opening 90. The first portion 92 may be of a cylindrical shape. On a first end, a second portion 94 is attached to the first portion 92. The second portion 94 may be of a frusto-conical shape. On a second end, the second portion 94 is attached to a third portion 96. The third portion 96 may be of a cylindrical shape. The third portion 96 is also attached to a second opening 98.

The second opening 98 defines an outer end of the cavity 88. The outer end of the cavity 88 is provided opposite the inner end of the cavity 88. Also, the second opening 98 is aligned with the first opening 90 and is larger than the first opening 90. The second opening 98 is in fluid communication with the passageway 56 provided in the pneumatic vent 54 via the upper portion 64 of the inner chamber 20.

The outer wall portion 80 comprises a collar portion 100. The collar portion 100 has an outer diameter 102 which is larger than the outer diameter 104 of a major portion 106 of the outer wall portion 80. The collar portion 100 helps to maintain the position of the piston 76 relative to the outer side wall 42 of the housing 12.

A major biasing member 108 is provided in the inner chamber 20 between the piston 76 and the upper wall 46 of the housing 12. In an embodiment, the major biasing member 108 is a helical spring. In FIG. 2, the piston 76 is shown in the closed position and the major biasing member 108 is shown fully extended. The major biasing member 108 is positioned between the inner wall portion 78 and the outer wall portion 80. In an embodiment, the major biasing member 108 is around the inner wall portion 78 and radially in from a seal member 110.

The major biasing member 108 contacts the biasing surface 86 and provides a force which biases the piston 76 to place the piston 76 in the closed position. The bias is applied to the piston in a direction toward the second conduit 30, the passage 36 and the sealing member 70. In order to place the piston 76 in the open position, pressurized air is supplied by the tire pressure management system to the inner chamber 20 via the first conduit 24 to provide a force on the sealing surface 84 which opposes the force and bias provided by the major biasing member 108. In this manner, checking, increasing and/or decreasing the tire pressure can be effected.

The seal member 110 provides a seal between the piston 76 and the housing 12. Preferably, the seal member 110 is provided between the outer wall portion 80 of the piston 76 and the outer side wall 42 of the housing 12. More preferably, the seal member 110 is annular so that it can be disposed around the outer wall portion 80 of the piston 76. In an embodiment, the seal member 110 is provided in and is secured to the outer wall portion 80 via an annular groove 112 formed in the major portion 106 of the outer wall portion 80. The annular groove 112 is provided between the sealing surface 84 of the base portion 82 and the collar portion 100 of the outer wall portion 80. The seal member 110 sealingly contacts the outer side wall 42 to help to prevent fluid communication between the upper portion 64 of the inner chamber 20 and the lower portion 114 of the inner chamber 20. Preferably, the seal member 110 is formed from an elastomeric material.

The lower portion 114 of the inner chamber 20 does not communicate with the atmosphere 62 via the pneumatic vent 54. However, the lower portion 114 of the inner chamber 20 is in fluid communication with the first conduit 24. When the tire pressure is being checked, increased and/or decreased, the lower portion 114 of the inner chamber 20 receives pressurized air from the tire pressure management system via the first conduit 24.

The piston 76 is provided over the sealing member 70. The sealing member 70 is attached to and provided over the orifice body 38. In this position, the sealing member 70 is positioned between and separates the sealing surface 84 of the piston 76 from the orifice body 38. When the piston 76 is in the closed position, the sealing surface 84 of the piston 76 provides a seal directly on and seals against the sealing member 70. The sealing member 70 is preferably annular. The sealing surface 84 has an outer diameter 116 which is greater than an outer diameter 118 of the sealing member 70.

Preferably, the outer diameter 118 of the sealing member 70 is approximately equal to an outer diameter 120 of the orifice body 38. When the piston 76 is in the open position, a space (not depicted) is provided between the sealing surface 84 of the piston 76 and the sealing member 70 such that the sealing surface 84 does not contact the sealing member 70 or provide a seal on the sealing member 70. Thus, the piston 76 selectively provides a seal on the sealing member 70.

As noted above, the sealing member conduit 68 is provided through the sealing member 70 and is aligned with the fluid conduit 66 provided through the orifice body 38 and the cavity 88. Also, as noted above, the sealing member conduit 68 is in fluid communication with the fluid conduit 66 provided through the orifice body 38. The conduit 68 is also in fluid communication with the first portion 92 of the cavity 88 via the first opening 90 thereof. Thus, pressurized air in the tire can be communicated to the cavity 88 via the second conduit 30, passage 36, fluid conduit 66 in the orifice body 38, and sealing member conduit 68.

Also, as noted above, the piston 76 is moveable from an open position to a closed position and vice versa. During a tire pressure check, when the tire pressure is being increased to a target tire pressure, or when the tire pressure is being decreased to a new target tire pressure, the piston 76 is in or placed into the open position. The piston 76 is placed in the open position when the force provided by the pressurized air in the tire acting on the piston 76 and the pressurized air supplied by the tire pressure management system acting on the sealing surface 84 of the piston 76 is greater than the force provided by the major biasing member 108 acting on the biasing surface 86 of the piston 76.

After, for example, the tire pressure has been checked, increased to the target tire pressure, or decreased to a new target tire pressure, a portion of the tire pressure management system (not depicted) in fluid communication with the first conduit 24 is vented to the atmosphere 62. Venting the tire pressure management system places the piston 76 to the closed position. The piston 76 is placed into the closed position when the force provided by the major biasing member 108 on the biasing surface 86 of the piston 76 is greater than the force provided by the pressurized air in the tire acting on the piston 76 and the pressurized air supplied by the tire pressure management system acting on the sealing surface 84 of the piston 76.

As illustrated in FIG. 2, a pressure relief valve assembly 122 is provided within the housing 12. More particularly, the pressure relief valve assembly 122 is positioned in the piston 76. Even more particularly, the pressure relief valve assembly 122 is positioned within the cavity 88. In this position, the pressure relief valve assembly 122 prevents pressurized air from the tire from escaping to the atmosphere 62 through the cavity 88 when the tire pressure is equal to or below the target tire pressure. Preferably, the pressure relief valve assembly 122 is housed entirely within the cavity 88.

Within the cavity 88, the pressure relief valve assembly 122 is provided between the sealing member conduit 68 and a portion 123 of the upper portion 64 of the inner chamber 20. Also, the pressure relief valve assembly 122 and the pneumatic vent 54 are separated from each other by the portion 123 of the upper portion 64 of the inner chamber 20. The pressure relief valve assembly 122 is surrounded by the inner wall portion 78 of the piston 76 and is provided radially in from the major biasing member 108. Further, it is preferred that a centerline 125 of the pressure relief valve assembly 122 is aligned with the passageway 56 extending through the pneumatic vent 54, the fluid conduit 66 provided through the orifice body 38, the sealing member conduit 68, and the cavity 88.

The pressure relief valve assembly 122 comprises a valve member 124 that is moveable from an open position to a closed position and vice versa. In FIGs. 2 and 2A, the valve member 124 is shown in an open position. At a selected and predetermined tire pressure, the valve member 124 automatically moves from the closed position to an open position. When the valve member 124 is in an open position, the tire is in fluid communication with the

atmosphere 62. Thus, when the valve member 124 is in an open position, a tire pressure which has increased due to an atmospheric pressure decrease or temperature increase can be reduced automatically to prevent over-inflation of the tire. The valve member 124 is in the closed position when, for example, the tire pressure is being checked, increased and/or decreased. In the closed position, the valve member 124 helps maintain the tire pressure.

A seal portion 130 is provided at an end portion 132 of the valve member 124. Preferably, the seal portion 130 defines a first end of the valve member 124. The seal portion 130 is utilized to provide a seal between the valve member 124 and an inner surface 134 of the inner wall portion 78 when the valve member 124 is in the closed position. In an embodiment, the seal between the valve member 124 and the inner surface 134 of the inner wall portion 78 is provided adjacent the second portion 94 of the cavity 88 such that when the valve member 124 is in the closed position at least a portion of the valve member 124 is positioned in the second portion 94 of the cavity 88.

Preferably, the seal portion 130 is made of an elastomeric material.

The valve member 124 has a first portion 136 which is attached to a second portion 138. The first portion 136 defines a second end 140 of the valve member 124. The first portion 136 is contacted by an end of a minor biasing member 126. The minor biasing member 126 provides a force which biases the valve member 124. The minor biasing member 126 provides the bias by contacting the second end 140 of the valve member 124. The valve member 124 is moveable and is urged to the closed position of the assembly 122 by the bias provided by the minor biasing member 126. The bias is applied to the valve member 124 in a direction toward the first opening 90.

The second portion 138 has an outer diameter 142 which is greater than an outer diameter 144 of the first portion 136. As shown best in FIG. 3A, one or more channels 146 extend through the second portion 138. In an

embodiment, each channel 146 is provided in a parallel and spaced apart relationship with an adjacent channel. The one or more channels 146 allow pressurized air from the tire to be directed to a space 148 in the cavity 88 which is provided between the valve member 124 and an adjustment device 128.

Referring back to FIGs. 2 and 2A, the minor biasing member 126 is provided in the space 148 in the cavity 88 between the valve member 124 and the adjustment device 128. Within the space 148, the minor biasing member 126 can extend toward the first opening 90 in the cavity 88 or be compressed toward the second opening 98 in the cavity 88. In an embodiment, the minor biasing member 126 is a helical spring.

As noted above, at a selected and predetermined tire pressure the valve member 124 moves to an open position. The selected and predetermined tire pressure provides a force that moves the valve member 124 to an open position. The selected and predetermined tire pressure that moves the valve member 124 to an open position is greater than the target tire pressure. The tire pressure at which the valve member 124 moves to an open position is controlled by utilizing the adjustment device 128 to set and adjust the

pretension of the minor biasing member 126.

The adjustment device 128 is disposed adjacent the second opening 98 of the cavity 88 and is in direct contact with the minor biasing member 126. The adjustment device 128 has a conduit 150 extending through it. In an embodiment, the adjustment device conduit 150 is provided in a center portion of the adjustment device 128. In another embodiment, the adjustment device conduit 150 is aligned with the centerline 125 of the pressure relief valve assembly 122, the passageway 56 extending through the pneumatic vent 54, the fluid conduit 66 provided through the orifice body 38, and the sealing member conduit 68. The adjustment device conduit 150 provides fluid communication between the cavity 88 and the upper portion 64 of the inner chamber 20 and allows pressurized air in the cavity 88 to be directed into the upper portion 64 of the inner chamber 20. As noted above, from the upper portion 64 of the inner chamber 20, pressurized air is directed to the

atmosphere 62 via the passageway 56 in the pneumatic vent 54.

When the tire pressure rises above the target tire pressure due to, for example, a decrease in atmospheric pressure or a temperature increase, the valve member 124 moves automatically to an open position to reduce the tire pressure. When the valve member 124 moves to an open position it moves toward the second opening 98 of the cavity 88 and compresses the minor biasing member 126. The valve member 124 moves toward the second opening 98 of the cavity 88 due to a bias applied directly to the seal portion 130 of the valve member 124 by the tire pressure. In these embodiments and when the tire pressure is reduced to the target tire pressure, the valve member 124 moves automatically to the closed position to maintain the tire pressure. As noted above, the valve member 124 is in the closed position when the sealing portion 130 provides a seal against the inner surface 134 of the inner wall portion 78. The valve member 124 moves toward the first opening 90 of the cavity 88 as it moves from an open position to the closed position. Movement of the valve member 124 toward the first opening 90 is due to the bias applied to the valve member 124 by the minor biasing member 126. Thus, the pressure relief valve assembly provides selective fluid communication between the tire and the atmosphere 62. More particularly, the pressure relief valve assembly provides selective fluid communication between the first opening and the atmosphere.

A schematic illustration of an embodiment of the tire pressure

management system 200 depicting a location for the embodiments of the valve assembly 10 in relation to other portions of the tire pressure management system is illustrated in FIG. 4. The tire pressure management system 200 can be utilized to increase or decrease tire pressure. In certain embodiments, the tire pressure management system may only increase and maintain the tire pressure.

Referring now to FIG. 4, the tire pressure management system 200 may include a control unit 202. The control unit 202 is configured to enable determining the tire pressure of one or more tires 204, 206 and, if needed, increase or decrease the tire pressure thereof. The control unit 202 may also be configured to enable venting of one or more portions of the tire pressure management system 200 via a vent passage 248.

The control unit 202 comprises a pressure sensor 208 for measuring the pressure of air. Preferably, the control unit 202 also comprises a plurality of valve assemblies 210, 212, 214, 216, which are of the solenoid variety, and a first fluid conduit 218 for controlling the flow of and directing air through the system 200.

The control unit 202 also comprises an electronic control portion 220. The electronic control portion 220 may receive input signals from the pressure sensor 208, a power supply 222 and one or more additional sensors (not depicted) such as, for example, a load sensor and a speed sensor. The electronic control portion 220 may also receive input signals from an operator control device 224. The electronic control portion 220 may include a

microprocessor 226 operating under the control of a set of programming instructions, which may also be referred to as software. The electronic control portion 220 may include a memory (not depicted) in which programming instructions are stored. The memory can also store identification codes, tire pressure records and/or user inputs over a period of time.

The electronic control portion 220 outputs signals to the valve

assemblies 210 - 216 to open or close the valve assemblies 210 - 216. The electronic control portion 220 may also output signals to a display device (not depicted). The display device may be included as a part of the operator control device 224 or a freestanding device.

The control unit 202 selectively communicates with an air supply 228 via an air supply circuit 230. The pressure sensor 208 measures the pressure of the air supply 228 via the air supply circuit 230 and the first fluid conduit 218. The control unit 202 also preferably comprises a control valve assembly 216. The control valve assembly 216 is provided with an orifice which is smaller than the orifice of the supply valve assembly 214 and is utilized to provide a bleed of air from the air supply 228 to a fluid control circuit 232. Preferably, the supply valve assembly 214 and control valve assembly 216 are of the solenoid variety.

The air supply 228 is utilized to determine a tire pressure and, if needed, increase the tire pressure. The air supply 228 is preferably provided by an air compressor 234 attached to the vehicle. Preferably, the air supply 228 also comprises a reservoir 236 such as, for example, a wet tank. The compressor 234 is in fluid communication with the reservoir 236 via a supply conduit 238. The air compressor 234 supplies pressurized air to the reservoir 236 for storage therein. Pressurized air from the air supply 228 is provided to the air supply circuit 230 via the reservoir 236. In certain embodiments, a drier 240 is provided for removing water from the air supply 228. A filter (not depicted) may also be interposed in the air supply circuit 230 or the supply conduit 238.

The control unit 202 is also selectively in fluid communication with the fluid control circuit 232. The fluid control circuit 232 is utilized to provide fluid communication between the control unit 202 and one or more tires 204, 206. Preferably, fluid communication between the control unit 202 and fluid control circuit 232 is controlled by opening or closing a channel valve assembly 210.

The valve assembly 10 and tire pressure management system 200 will be described below with reference to the tire pressure of one tire 204.

Preferably, the tire pressure is equal to the target tire pressure. The target tire pressure can be selected to be a desired pressure. After the target tire pressure is selected, it is programmed into the control unit 202. If it is determined that the tire pressure is less than the target tire pressure, the tire pressure can be increased. However, the tire pressure management system 200 may at certain times be in fluid communication with a plurality of tires 204, 206 in order to check, increase and/or decrease tire pressure.

The fluid control circuit 232 may comprise one or more fluid conduits 242, 244 and a rotary seal assembly 246. The valve assembly 10 is disposed at an end of the fluid control circuit 232 and is provided in fluid communication with the fluid control circuit 232. As illustrated in FIG. 4, a plurality of

assemblies 10, 10A may communicate with the fluid control circuit 232. For example, a first valve assembly 10 associated with a tire 204 on a drive axle of the vehicle could be provided and a second assembly 10A associated with another tire 206 on the drive axle could be provided. Preferably, the first valve assembly 10 and the second valve assembly 10A are similarly configured.

In accordance with the provisions of the patent statutes, the present invention has been described in what is considered to represent its preferred embodiments. However, it should be noted that the invention can be practiced otherwise than as specifically illustrated and described without departing from its spirit or scope.

Claims

1. A valve assembly for a tire pressure management system, comprising:
a housing having an inner chamber, the inner chamber in fluid
communication with a first conduit for communicating with a tire pressure management system and selectively in fluid communication with a second conduit for communicating with a tire;
a piston provided in the inner chamber, the piston having an inner wall portion and an outer wall portion, the inner wall portion defining a cavity having a first opening which is selectively in fluid communication with the atmosphere; a major biasing member positioned between the inner wall portion and the outer wall portion, the major biasing member contacting the piston to provide a force which biases the piston to place the piston in a closed position; and
a seal member disposed around the outer wall portion to provide a seal between the piston and the housing.
2. The valve assembly of claim 1 , wherein the seal member is provided in an annular groove formed in the outer wall portion and sealingly contacts an outer side wall of the housing.
3. The valve assembly of claim 1 , wherein the force provided by the major biasing member biases the piston toward the second conduit.
4. The valve assembly of claim 1 , further comprising a pressure relief valve assembly positioned within the cavity.
5. The valve assembly of claim 1 , further comprising a sealing member positioned between a sealing surface of the piston and an orifice body.
6. The valve assembly of claim 1 , further comprising a pneumatic vent in fluid communication with an upper portion of the inner chamber and the atmosphere, wherein the pneumatic vent has a passageway that is aligned with the cavity.
7. The valve assembly of claim 2, wherein the piston also comprises a base portion, the annular groove being provided between a sealing surface of the base portion and a collar portion of the outer wall portion.
8. The valve assembly of claim 4, wherein the pressure relief valve assembly has a centerline that is aligned with a fluid conduit provided through an orifice body.
9. The valve assembly of claim 4, wherein the pressure relief valve assembly comprises a valve member, the valve member being urged to a closed position by a minor biasing member, and an adjustment device that is in direct contact with the minor biasing member.
10. The valve assembly of claim 4, wherein the pressure relief valve assembly is surrounded by the inner wall portion and is provided radially in from the major biasing member.
11. The valve assembly of claim 4, wherein the pressure relief valve assembly has a centerline that is aligned with a passageway extending through a pneumatic vent.
12. The valve assembly of claim 5, wherein the sealing member has a sealing member conduit, the sealing member conduit being in fluid
communication with a fluid conduit provided through the orifice body and the cavity via the first opening.
13. The valve assembly of claim 9, wherein a seal portion defines a first end of the valve member and provides a seal between the valve member and an inner surface of the inner wall portion when the valve member is in the closed position.
14. The valve assembly of claim 9, wherein the minor biasing member is provided in a space between the valve member and the adjustment device.
15. The valve assembly of claim 9, wherein the adjustment device has an adjustment device conduit that provides fluid communication between the cavity and an upper portion of the inner chamber, the adjustment device conduit being aligned with a centerline of the pressure relief valve assembly.
16. The valve assembly of claim 12, the sealing member conduit is aligned with the fluid conduit provided through the orifice body and the cavity.
17. A valve assembly for a tire pressure management system, comprising:
a housing having an inner chamber, the inner chamber in fluid
communication with a first conduit for communicating with a tire pressure management system and selectively in fluid communication with a second conduit for communicating with a tire;
an orifice body having a fluid conduit, the fluid conduit being in fluid communication with the second conduit via a passage;
a sealing member provided over the orifice body, the sealing member having a sealing member conduit which is in fluid communication with the fluid conduit;
a piston provided over the sealing member and selectively providing a seal on the sealing member, the piston having an inner wall portion and an outer wall portion, the inner wall portion defining a cavity having a first opening; a pressure relief valve assembly positioned within the cavity, the pressure relief valve assembly providing selective fluid communication between the first opening and the atmosphere;
a major biasing member positioned between the inner wall portion and the outer wall portion, the major biasing member contacting the piston to provide a force which biases the piston to place the piston in a closed position; and
a seal member provided in an annular groove formed in the outer wall portion, the seal member sealingly contacts an outer side wall of the housing to provide a seal between the piston and the housing.
18. The valve assembly of claim 17, further comprising a pneumatic vent having a passageway that is in fluid communication with an upper portion of the inner chamber and the atmosphere.
19. The valve assembly of claim 18, wherein the pressure relief valve assembly has a centerline and the centerline is aligned with the passageway, cavity, sealing member conduit and fluid conduit.
20. The valve assembly of claim 18, wherein the pressure relief valve assembly and the pneumatic vent are separated from each other by a portion of the upper portion of the inner chamber.
PCT/US2015/064949 2014-12-10 2015-12-10 Valve assembly for a tire pressure management system WO2016094633A1 (en)

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US62/089,978 2014-12-10

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Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2017123706A1 (en) * 2016-01-13 2017-07-20 Dana Heavy Vehicle Systems Group, Llc Valve assembly for a tire pressure management system
EP3354488A1 (en) * 2017-01-31 2018-08-01 WABCO GmbH Tyre pressure regulating installation
US10479150B2 (en) 2016-06-27 2019-11-19 Dana Heavy Vehicle Systems Group, Llc Wheel valve assembly and the tire inflation system made therewith
US10576794B2 (en) 2016-09-14 2020-03-03 Dana Heavy Vehicle Systems Group, Llc Wheel valve assembly with vent to atmosphere and the tire inflation system made therewith

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4765385A (en) * 1987-02-27 1988-08-23 Numatics, Incorporated Tire inflation-deflation system
DE102007036201A1 (en) * 2007-08-02 2009-02-05 Michel Maquaire Valve i.e. freewheel valve, for vehicle tire, has pressure chamber with piston that does not create friction between cover and body and seals cover and body such that piston surrounds control and pressure chambers with body
WO2011028346A1 (en) * 2009-08-24 2011-03-10 Norgren Gt Development Corporation Pneumatic valve

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US4765385A (en) * 1987-02-27 1988-08-23 Numatics, Incorporated Tire inflation-deflation system
DE102007036201A1 (en) * 2007-08-02 2009-02-05 Michel Maquaire Valve i.e. freewheel valve, for vehicle tire, has pressure chamber with piston that does not create friction between cover and body and seals cover and body such that piston surrounds control and pressure chambers with body
WO2011028346A1 (en) * 2009-08-24 2011-03-10 Norgren Gt Development Corporation Pneumatic valve

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Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2017123706A1 (en) * 2016-01-13 2017-07-20 Dana Heavy Vehicle Systems Group, Llc Valve assembly for a tire pressure management system
US10625543B2 (en) 2016-01-13 2020-04-21 Dana Heavy Vehicle Systems Group, Llc Valve assembly for a tire pressure management system
US10479150B2 (en) 2016-06-27 2019-11-19 Dana Heavy Vehicle Systems Group, Llc Wheel valve assembly and the tire inflation system made therewith
US10576794B2 (en) 2016-09-14 2020-03-03 Dana Heavy Vehicle Systems Group, Llc Wheel valve assembly with vent to atmosphere and the tire inflation system made therewith
EP3354488A1 (en) * 2017-01-31 2018-08-01 WABCO GmbH Tyre pressure regulating installation

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