Bumper Arrangement for the Front Region of a Passenger Car
1. A bumper arrangement for a front region of a passenger car, comprising:
- an upper load path having upper longitudinal members and an upper crossmember;
a lower load path having lower longitudinal members and a lower crossmember; and
at least one spring element arranged on a front side of the lower crossmember over at least a portion of a widthwise extent of the lower crossmember.
A bumper arrangement of a passenger car has an upper and a lower load path. A spring element is provided on the transverse support of the lower load path, which, in the event of a collision of a pedestrian with the passenger car, exerts an additional force on the lower leg of the pedestrian, so as to support the movement of the pedestrian in the direction of the front hood of the passenger car.
- 1. A bumper arrangement for a front region of a passenger car, comprising:
an upper load path having upper longitudinal members and an upper crossmember; a lower load path having lower longitudinal members and a lower crossmember; and at least one spring element arranged on a front side of the lower crossmember over at least a portion of a widthwise extent of the lower crossmember.
- View Dependent Claims (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18)
This application is a continuation of PCT International Application No. PCT/EP2017/084001, filed Dec. 21, 2017, which claims priority under 35 U.S.C. § 119 from German Patent Application No. 10 2016 226 093.6, filed Dec. 22, 2016, the entire disclosures of which are herein expressly incorporated by reference.
This application contains subject matter related to U.S. application Ser. No. ______ (Atty Docket No. 080437.PC325US), entitled “Bumper Arrangement for the Front Region of a Passenger Car” filed on even date herewith.
The invention relates to a bumper arrangement for the front region of a passenger car and to a passenger car having such a bumper arrangement.
A bumper arrangement of the type in question is known for example from WO 2014/154630 A1. The known bumper arrangement has an upper and a lower load path. The upper load path is formed by upper longitudinal members and an upper crossmember and, in the event of a collision of the passenger car, bears the main part of the energy reduction. The lower load path is formed by lower longitudinal members and a lower crossmember. The lower crossmember is usually also known as a “lower stiffener” or as a “lower bumper stiffener”. The two crossmembers are covered by a bumper cover. The lower crossmember serves to stiffen the bumper cover in its lower region in particular when subjected to a force by a pedestrian as a result of an accident. In the event of a pedestrian'"'"'s lower leg colliding with the bumper cover, the lower crossmember causes the pedestrian to be moved onto the hood of the passenger car in a manner accelerated by an appropriate force and thus in a defined manner in the region of his lower leg.
The object of the invention is to further develop the known bumper arrangement.
This and other objects are achieved by a bumper arrangement, and a vehicle having the same, for the front region of a passenger car, having an upper load path, which has upper longitudinal members and an upper crossmember, and having a lower load path, which has lower longitudinal members and a lower crossmember, wherein the lower crossmember has at least one spring element on its front side, at least over a part of its widthwise extent.
By providing the lower load path with a spring element in addition to an energy-absorbing element (or instead of an energy-absorbing element), this spring element has the effect that, in the event of a collision of the passenger car with a pedestrian, the pedestrian is deflected optimally in the direction of the hood of the passenger car. In the event of a collision, the pedestrian'"'"'s torso is displaced in the direction of the hood. This inclined position of the torso is not followed to the same extent by the legs and, in particular, the lower legs of the pedestrian. The spring element creates a “rebound” according to the invention, with the result that the lower legs of the pedestrian are subjected to a force in the direction of travel of the passenger car and thus, in accordance with the inclined position of the torso, the lower legs are made to “follow suit”.
It is an aspect of the invention here that the material of the spring element be selected and/or the spring element be dimensioned in terms of its geometry such that the collision-related deformation of the spring element lies at least predominantly in the range of elastic deformation, i.e. the proportion of plastic deformation is very low. As a result, the spring element initially deforms elastically under the action of a force and the spring element subsequently moves back in the direction of the initial state it had before the collision, releasing the deformation energy introduced during the force transmission into the spring element. In other words, the spring element is thus a component that ideally has only elastic properties and therefore differs fundamentally from the known energy-absorbing elements that do not contribute or do not contribute significantly to the “rebound”.
According to a preferred configuration of the invention, the spring element extends substantially over the entire width of the lower crossmember. As a result, the advantageous function of the spring element is provided regardless of the point on the bumper arrangement at which the collision of the passenger car with the pedestrian occurs. The spring element can be a single continuous spring element or a plurality of spring elements.
In an advantageous development of the invention, the spring stiffness of the spring element (or of the plurality of spring elements) is irregular in the vehicle transverse direction. As a result, the “rebound” can be adapted to the collision point. As a rule, in the region of the vehicle middle, only a comparatively low rebound property of the spring element is required, since the crossmember is farthest away from its two connection points to the lower longitudinal members here and thus itself has relatively good rebound properties. Analogously, in the region of the connection to the lower longitudinal members, higher rebound properties of the spring element are advantageous.
In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the spring element has the shape of a “wave” in cross section. The term “wave” includes all cross sections that have a profile similar to a sine curve. Of course, similar cross-sectional shapes are included thereby, for example zigzag-, concertina- or bellows-like cross sections. The wave can be “a single” wave (corresponding to a sine curve over 360 degrees) or a part thereof or can be a plurality of waves arranged next to one another in a row in the vehicle longitudinal direction. Advantageously from a manufacturing point of view, the spring element can be embodied in one piece.
In the event of a collision, the wave-like spring element is compressed. In other words, with the aid of a tangent that is applied to the wave crest and/or to the wave trough of the spring element: in the event of a collision, the absolute magnitude of the gradient of this tangent increases. In extreme cases, adjacent wave flanks can come into contact with one another in the process. Once the force action ceases, the wave-like spring element extends again, releasing the previously introduced deformation energy.
In one configuration of the invention, the spring element is in the form of a (virtually) complete wave, as a sine curve over about 360 degrees. As a result, sufficient deformation travel is available with stiffness of the spring element simultaneously being ensured.
In one development of the invention, the stiffness of the spring element can be influenced by the introduction of one or more stiffening elements. The at least one stiffening element is preferably formed in a two-dimensional manner and arranged approximately in an X-Z plane of the passenger car. The term “X-Z plane” also includes orientations that differ somewhat therefrom on account of a curved profile of the lower crossmember in its lateral portions.
In order to increase the rebound of the spring element, in one configuration of the invention, the spring element is arranged on the crossmember in a pretensioned manner, wherein a device is provided that releases the stored energy in the event of a collision. In this way, the advantageous action of the spring element is enhanced.
The device can release the spring energy for example under sensor control in the case of correspondingly large acting forces and/or accelerations, for example by way of a blocking pin that is electromagnetically displaceable into a release position.
In an advantageous configuration of the invention, the spring element can have, on its side facing away from the direction of travel, a device for connecting to the lower crossmember in a form-fitting manner. The form fit can be created during the assembly of the spring element, preferably during or after the application of pretension to the spring element. In the event of a collision, the form fit is undone and the originally introduced energy released. The described embodiment is very cost-effective and is characterized by particularly high functional reliability.
A passenger car having a bumper arrangement according to the invention is also disclosed.
All location information (for example front, rear) used herein relates to the direction of travel of the passenger car when traveling forward.
Other objects, advantages and novel features of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of one or more preferred embodiments when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
In the drawing, the direction of travel is labeled FR and a coordinate system with the spatial directions X (vehicle longitudinal direction), Y (vehicle transverse direction) and Z (vehicle vertical axis) is indicated. The X direction extends parallel to the direction of travel FR.
The upper load path 10 is formed by upper longitudinal members 16 (of which only the right-hand upper longitudinal member 16 is illustrated) and the upper crossmember 12. The lower load path 20 is formed by lower longitudinal members 26 (of which only the right-hand lower longitudinal member 26 is illustrated) and the lower crossmember 22. At the front side of the lower crossmember 22, the spring element 30 is provided, which extends across the entire width of the lower crossmember 22 (in
The spring element 30 is wavy in cross section and has—with regard to the direction of travel FR—more or less the shape of a “lying S”. Located on its front side is an approximately horizontally protruding bar 32. On its rear side, the spring element 30 has a flange 34 extending approximately in a Y-Z plane of the passenger car in an installed position, said flange 34 serving for connecting to the front side 23 of the lower crossmember 22.
As is apparent in particular from the enlarged illustration in
The stiffening elements 36 can be arranged over the widthwise extent of the spring element 30 at identical or different distances from one another. Thus, in
During the collision with a legform impactor or in actual accidents involving the legs of a pedestrian, the front cover 4 is subjected to force in a comparatively pointwise manner and transfers this force to the spring element 30 arranged therebehind. Depending on the design of the bar 32 at the front side of the spring element 30, the load distribution in the vehicle transverse direction Y can be influenced. In the case of a bar 32 extending over a relatively large proportion of the width of the passenger car, said bar 32 acts as it were as a stiffening rib, by way of which the pointwise energy introduction is introduced extensively into the spring element 30. In other words—as seen in the vehicle transverse direction Y—a relatively large proportion of the spring element 30 is subjected to energy, this being equivalent to an increase in spring stiffness. In the case of a bar 32 that is interrupted in the vehicle transverse direction Y, the spring stiffness is increased less or not noticeably, depending on the width of the individual portions of the bar 32.
The elasticity of the spring element 30 is created by its resilient portion 31. The resilient portion 31 has walls 33 that are arranged in an approximately zigzag-shaped manner in cross section. The walls 33 form a “complete wavelength” analogous to a complete sine wave, having a length L1 in the relaxed state.
Provided on a front wall 40 of the spring element 30 is a chamber 38, the rounded external contour of which is adapted to the internal contour of the front cover 4. By way of the chamber 38, the stiffness of the spring element 30 is increased. This is significant for example in the case of a height offset between the front edge of the front cover 4 as contact point in the lower load path 20, for the one part, and the crossmember 22, for the other part. Such an offset in the vertical direction Z of the passenger car causes in principle twisting of the spring element 30 upward or downward. As a result, the “rebound” is weakened, since it no longer takes place ideally virtually parallel to the longitudinal direction X of the passenger car. As a result of the stiffening of the spring element 30, the latter twists less with respect to the crossmember 22. The chamber 38 can be dispensed with or be embodied in a less stiff manner, depending on the vertical position of the lower load path 20.
By way of its flange 34, the spring element 30 is supported on the front side 23 of a lower crossmember 22. Arranged on the front wall 40 of the spring element 30 is a freely projecting arm 42 having a hook 44 at its end. The arm 42 is internally pretensioned and projects upward (
The spring element 30 is fastened to the lower crossmember 22 in that the flange 34 is brought into contact with the front side 23 of the lower crossmember 22. Subsequently, the resilient portion 31 of the spring element 30 is compressed in the direction of the arrow K2 until, with the associated pushing down of the arm 42, the hook 44 engages around the crossmember 22 and forms, in this position, a secure form fit with the crossmember 22. In this compressed state, the resilient portion 31 of the spring element 30 has a length L2 and is pretensioned (
The invention can be summarized as follows: a bumper arrangement 2 of a passenger car has an upper and a lower load path 10 and 20, respectively. Provided according to the invention on the crossmember 22 of the lower load path is a spring element 30, which, in the event of a collision of a pedestrian with the passenger car, exerts an additional force on the pedestrian'"'"'s lower leg T in order to support the movement of the pedestrian in the direction of the hood of the passenger car.
- 2 Bumper arrangement
- 4 Front cover
- 10 Upper load path
- 12 Upper crossmember
- 14 Cushion
- 16 Upper longitudinal member
- 20 Lower load path
- 22 Lower crossmember
- 22m Central portion
- 22s Lateral portion
- 23 Front side
- 24 Cushion
- 26 Lower longitudinal member
- 28 Deformation element
- 30 Spring element
- 30a Individual spring elements
- 30m Central portion
- 30s Lateral portion
- 30w Wave
- 31 Resilient portion
- 32 Bar
- 33 Wall
- 34 Flange
- 36 Stiffening element
- 38 Chamber
- 40 Front wall
- 42 Arm
- 44 Hook
- 102 Bumper arrangement
- 104 Front cover
- 110 Upper load path
- 112 Upper crossmember
- 114 Cushion
- 120 Lower load path
- 122 Lower crossmember
- 124 Cushion
- A Amplitude
- B Legform impactor
- D Wall thickness
- F Thigh
- FR Direction of travel
- K2 Arrow
- K3 Arrow
- L1 Length
- L2 Length
- L3 Length
- MCL Medial collateral ligament
- R1 Arrow
- R2 Arrow
- T Lower leg
- W1 Opening angle
- W2 Opening angle
- X, Y, Z Spatial direction
The foregoing disclosure has been set forth merely to illustrate the invention and is not intended to be limiting. Since modifications of the disclosed embodiments incorporating the spirit and substance of the invention may occur to persons skilled in the art, the invention should be construed to include everything within the scope of the appended claims and equivalents thereof.