Vehicle wheel construction process

  • US 7,025,844 B2
  • Filed: 05/14/2001
  • Issued: 04/11/2006
  • Est. Priority Date: 11/02/1998
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
Patent Images

1. A process for permanently attaching an overlay having an outboard surface, an inboard surface, an outer diameter, an inner diameter, a valve stem opening, at least one turbine opening, and a flange area to a wheel having an outboard surface, an outer diameter with a wheel rim flange, a valve stem opening, at least one turbine opening, a hub bore, and a bolt pattern, said process comprising the steps of:

  • locating said overlay in a fixture with its inboard surface exposed and its outboard surface facing downward;

    applying a sealant to a predetermined area of said inboard surface of said overlay;

    locating said wheel;

    placing said wheel in said fixture with said outboard surface facing said inboard surface of said overlay to define an overlay/wheel assembly having a cavity therebetween;

    conditioning said overlay/wheel assembly to completely cure said sealant;

    heating said overlay/wheel assembly to a predefined temperature within the range of 90°

    F. to 190°

    F.;

    clamping said overlay/wheel assembly to a pallet and placing said pallet at an angle with the horizontal in a filling station;

    engaging a first set of nests with said overlay/wheel assembly, said first set of nests comprising a bottom nest, a valve stem nest, and at least one turbine opening nest, said bottom nest generally conforming to said outboard surface of said overlay;

    injecting liquid foam into said cavity;

    selectively engaging a second set of nests with said overlay/wheel assembly, said second set of nests comprising at least one turbine opening nest and a center bottom nest generally conforming to said inner diameter of said overlay and said bolt pattern of said wheel wherein said center nest bottom creates a seal by means of expanding radially when compressed in an axial direction against said wheel;

    whereby said second set of nests are selectively engaged as said liquid foam expands within said cavity to fill said cavity such that after all of said nests are engaged said foam completely fills said cavity;

    disengaging said second set of nests from said overlay/wheel assembly after a predetermined time;

    disengaging said first set of nests from said overlay/wheel assembly; and

    maintaining light clamping pressure on said overlay/wheel assembly until said foam completely cures.

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