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Patent Analysis of

Pelvic load management using integrated collapsible features in door trim panel

Updated Time 12 June 2019

Patent Registration Data

Publication Number

US10000112

Application Number

US15/259834

Application Date

08 September 2016

Publication Date

19 June 2018

Current Assignee

FORD GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES, LLC

Original Assignee (Applicant)

FORD GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES, LLC

International Classification

B60N99/00,B60R21/04,B60J5/04,B60R21/00

Cooperative Classification

B60J5/045,B60R21/0428,B60R2021/0055,B60R2021/0414

Inventor

PATEL, DEEPAK,LU, LI,DOAN, LINH,THOTA, BHAVANI,WARMANN, KRIS ALLYN

Patent Images

This patent contains figures and images illustrating the invention and its embodiment.

US10000112 Pelvic load management integrated 1 US10000112 Pelvic load management integrated 2 US10000112 Pelvic load management integrated 3
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Abstract

A door assembly for a vehicle includes a door panel and a door trim panel comprising a shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature disposed on a door panel-facing surface of the door trim panel. The shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature is defined by a plurality of stepped surfaces, which in turn may define as various cross-sectional shapes for the shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature.

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Claims

1. A door assembly for a vehicle, comprising: a door panel; and a door trim panel defining a shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature disposed on a door panel-facing surface of the door trim panel.

2. The door assembly of claim 1, wherein the shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature is defined by a plurality of stepped surfaces.

3. The door assembly of claim 2, wherein the plurality of stepped surfaces define one or more of a discontinuous stepped cross-section, an arcuate stepped cross-section, a v-shaped stepped cross-section, or an inclined stepped cross-section for the shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature.

4. The door assembly of claim 2, wherein the plurality of stepped surfaces are defined in the material of the door trim panel by one or more of molding, cutting, sculpting, and scoring.

5. A vehicle including the door assembly of claim 1.

6. A trim panel for a vehicle door, comprising: a vehicle interior-facing surface; and a vehicle door panel-facing surface defining a shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature.

7. The trim panel of claim 6, wherein the shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature is defined by a plurality of stepped surfaces.

8. The trim panel of claim 7, wherein the plurality of stepped surfaces define one or more of a discontinuous stepped cross-section, an arcuate stepped cross-section, a v-shaped stepped cross-section, or an inclined stepped cross-section for the shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature.

9. The trim panel of claim 7, wherein the plurality of stepped surfaces are defined in the material of the trim panel by one or more of molding, cutting, sculpting, and scoring.

10. A vehicle door including the door trim panel of claim 6.

11. A vehicle including the vehicle door of claim 10.

12. A vehicle door trim panel, comprising: a vehicle interior-facing surface; a shut face; a vehicle door panel-facing surface; and a shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature defined in one or both of the vehicle door panel-facing surface and the shut face.

13. The door trim panel of claim 12, wherein the shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature is defined by a plurality of stepped surfaces.

14. The door trim panel of claim 13, wherein the plurality of stepped surfaces are defined in a material of the door trim panel.

15. The door trim panel of claim 14, wherein the plurality of stepped surfaces define one or more of a discontinuous stepped cross-section, an arcuate stepped cross-section, a v-shaped stepped cross-section, or an inclined stepped cross-section.

16. The door trim panel of claim 14, wherein the plurality of stepped surfaces are defined in the material of the door trim panel by one or more of molding, cutting, sculpting, and scoring.

17. A vehicle door including the door trim panel of claim 12.

18. A vehicle including the vehicle door of claim 17.

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Claim Tree

  • 1
    1. A door assembly for a vehicle, comprising:
    • a door panel
    • and a door trim panel defining a shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature disposed on a door panel-facing surface of the door trim panel.
    • 2. The door assembly of claim 1, wherein
      • the shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature is defined by a plurality of stepped surfaces.
  • 5
    5. A vehicle including
    • the door assembly of claim 1.
  • 6
    6. A trim panel for a vehicle door, comprising:
    • a vehicle interior-facing surface
    • and a vehicle door panel-facing surface defining a shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature.
    • 7. The trim panel of claim 6, wherein
      • the shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature is defined by a plurality of stepped surfaces.
  • 10
    10. A vehicle door including
    • the door trim panel of claim 6.
  • 11
    11. A vehicle including
    • the vehicle door of claim 10.
  • 12
    12. A vehicle door trim panel, comprising:
    • a vehicle interior-facing surface
    • a shut face
    • a vehicle door panel-facing surface
    • and a shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature defined in one or both of the vehicle door panel-facing surface and the shut face.
    • 13. The door trim panel of claim 12, wherein
      • the shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature is defined by a plurality of stepped surfaces.
  • 17
    17. A vehicle door including
    • the door trim panel of claim 12.
  • 18
    18. A vehicle including
    • the vehicle door of claim 17.
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Description

TECHNICAL FIELD

This disclosure relates generally to vehicle doors. More particularly, the disclosure relates to a door trim panel including a shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature to reduce pelvic load to a vehicle occupant on receiving a side impact.

BACKGROUND

Side impacts to vehicles typically impose a dynamic load onto the vehicle and vehicle occupant. This places a severe stress on the occupant's body and may result in displacement of the pelvic region of the occupant. For this reason, during side impacts pelvic load must be shown to meet target loading requirements. To meet such target loading requirements, vehicle deforming systems must be appropriately designed. Conventional body structure/body interior countermeasures for meeting target pelvic load, while effective for their intended purpose, add cost and weight to a vehicle.

To address this issue, the present disclosure relates to alternative energy-absorbing measures to meet target pelvic loading requirements. In particular, the disclosure relates to a vehicle door trim panel designed to absorb energy of side impacts and meet target pelvic loading requirements solely by the trim panel design, and without requiring additional body structure/body interior countermeasures. The described door trim panel controls an interaction between the vehicle door trim and sheet metal during side impact by enhancing collapsibility of the door trim, reducing a pelvic load imposed on a vehicle occupant.

SUMMARY

In accordance with the purposes and benefits described herein, in one aspect a door assembly for a vehicle is described, comprising a door panel and a door trim panel comprising a shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature disposed on a door panel-facing surface of the door trim panel. The shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature may be defined by a plurality of stepped surfaces.

In embodiments, the plurality of stepped surfaces are defined in a material of the door trim panel and may define a discontinuous stepped cross-section, an arcuate stepped cross-section, a v-shaped stepped cross-section, or an inclined stepped cross-section for the shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature. In embodiments, the plurality of stepped surfaces are defined in the material of the door trim panel by one or more of molding, cutting, sculpting, and scoring.

In other aspects, trim panels for a vehicle door are described, comprising a vehicle interior-facing surface, a shut face, and a vehicle door panel-facing surface comprising a shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature disposed on a door panel-facing surface of the door trim panel. The shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature may be defined by a plurality of stepped surfaces as described above, disposed along a pelvic load path of the trim panel.

In the following description, there are shown and described embodiments of the disclosed door trim panel, and of doors including same. As it should be realized, the device is capable of other, different embodiments and its several details are capable of modification in various, obvious aspects all without departing from the devices and methods as set forth and described in the following claims. Accordingly, the drawings and descriptions should be regarded as illustrative in nature and not as restrictive.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawing figures incorporated herein and forming a part of the specification, illustrate several aspects of the disclosed door trim panel, and together with the description serve to explain certain principles thereof. In the drawing:

FIG. 1 depicts a prior art door assembly for a vehicle;

FIG. 2A depicts a vehicle including a door trim panel including an embodiment of a shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature according to the present disclosure;

FIG. 2B depicts an embodiment of a yy cross-section for the shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature of FIG. 2A;

FIG. 2C depicts an alternative embodiment of a yy cross-section for the shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature of FIG. 2A;

FIG. 2D depicts an embodiment of a zz cross-section for the shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature of FIG. 2A;

FIG. 2E depicts an alternative embodiment of a zz cross-section for the shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature of FIG. 2A;

FIG. 3A depicts an alternative embodiment of a shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature according to the present disclosure;

FIG. 3B depicts an embodiment of a zz cross-section for the shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature of FIG. 3A; and

FIG. 3C depicts an alternative embodiment of a zz cross-section for the shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature of FIG. 3A.

Reference will now be made in detail to embodiments of the disclosed door trim panel, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawing figures.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 shows a prior art door assembly 100, including a door trim panel 110 having a vehicle interior-facing surface 120, a shut face 140, and a door panel-facing surface 160 configured to matingly fasten to a door panel 180. For such a prior art door panel, additional body structure/body interior countermeasures to address pelvic load on side impact are required as summarized above.

To solve this and other problems, with reference to FIG. 2A a vehicle 200 including a door trim panel 220 attached to a door panel (not shown for convenience) is shown. The door trim panel 220 door panel-facing surface includes a shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature 240, positioned in the door trim panel along an area corresponding to a location that a pelvic load would be imposed on a vehicle occupant (for example, crash test dummy 280) in the event of a side impact.

In the embodiment shown in the drawing figure, the shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature 240 is disposed according to the crash test dummy 280's H-point 300, i.e. the relative location of an occupant's hip when seated in a vehicle seat 320. As is known, the H-point (or hip-point) is defined relative to other features and may be vehicle-specific. For example, a vehicle 200 described as having a “high H-point” may have an H-point that is high relative to the vehicle floor, the road surface on which the vehicle travels, or both in accordance with the point from which the H-point is measured. It will be appreciated that the disposition of the shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature 240 may be in accordance with alternative measurements. For example, certain regulatory agencies define the H-point as the actual hip point of a seated crash test dummy, and define an R-point (or seating reference point) as a theoretical hip point describing the relative location of a seated crash test dummy's hip point when the vehicle seat is set in a rearmost and lowermost seating position.

A number of configurations are contemplated for the shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature 240. The shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature 240 may be defined in the vehicle-yy and vehicle-zz axes by stepped features comprising a sequential series of ridges 340 and channels 360. In one embodiment, the shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature 240 defines a yy axis cross section comprising stepped features in combination defining a discontinuous stepped yy axis cross section (see FIG. 2B). In other embodiments, the shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature 240 defines a yy axis cross section comprising ridges 340 and an intervening channel 360, in combination defining an arcuate stepped yy axis cross-section (see FIG. 2C).

In one embodiment, the shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature 240 defines a zz axis cross section comprising stepped features (ridges 340) in combination defining an inclined zz axis cross section (see FIG. 2D). In another embodiment, the shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature 240 defines a zz axis cross section comprising ridges 340 and an intervening channel 360 in combination defining an arcuate stepped zz axis cross-section (see FIG. 2E).

In still other embodiments, the shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature 240 is defined by stepped features in combination defining a V-shaped yy axis cross-section (see FIG. 3A). As in the above-described embodiments, the shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature 240 may define a zz axis cross section comprising stepped features (ridges 340) in combination defining an inclined zz axis cross section (see FIG. 3B). In another embodiment, the shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature 240 may define a zz axis cross section comprising ridges 340 and an intervening channel 360 in combination defining an arcuate stepped zz axis cross-section (see FIG. 3C).

By the described door trim panel 220 including the shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature 240, collapsibility of the door trim panel is enhanced, thereby reducing pelvic load on side impact only by the configuration of the door trim panel which controls the interaction between the door panel 180 and the door trim panel, without need of any additional side impact pelvic load countermeasures. As will be appreciated, the described shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature 240 may be positioned as needed on the door trim panel 220 by any suitable method, including without intending any limitation by molding during fabrication of the door panel, or by cutting, sculpting, and/or scoring the door trim panel after initial molding. Likewise, the specific dimensions and shapes of the shaped pelvic load path energy-absorbing feature 240 may be provided according to specific vehicle configurations and pelvic load target requirements. The skilled artisan will readily be able to ascertain such pelvic load target requirements from publically available materials.

Obvious modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teachings. For example, collapsibility of the described door trim panel 220 may be further enhanced by selection of particular materials. All such modifications and variations are within the scope of the appended claims when interpreted in accordance with the breadth to which they are fairly, legally and equitably entitled.

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Patent Valuation

$

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22.0/100 Score

Market Attractiveness

It shows from an IP point of view how many competitors are active and innovations are made in the different technical fields of the company. On a company level, the market attractiveness is often also an indicator of how diversified a company is. Here we look into the commercial relevance of the market.

40.0/100 Score

Market Coverage

It shows the sizes of the market that is covered with the IP and in how many countries the IP guarantees protection. It reflects a market size that is potentially addressable with the invented technology/formulation with a legal protection which also includes a freedom to operate. Here we look into the size of the impacted market.

71.59/100 Score

Technology Quality

It shows the degree of innovation that can be derived from a company’s IP. Here we look into ease of detection, ability to design around and significance of the patented feature to the product/service.

81.0/100 Score

Assignee Score

It takes the R&D behavior of the company itself into account that results in IP. During the invention phase, larger companies are considered to assign a higher R&D budget on a certain technology field, these companies have a better influence on their market, on what is marketable and what might lead to a standard.

17.0/100 Score

Legal Score

It shows the legal strength of IP in terms of its degree of protecting effect. Here we look into claim scope, claim breadth, claim quality, stability and priority.

Citation

Patents Cited in This Cited by
Title Current Assignee Application Date Publication Date
自動車用内装部品及びその製造方法 MITSUBOSHI KASEIHIN KK 17 February 2006 30 August 2007
車両用ドアトリムの構造 キョーラク株式会社 31 March 2003 28 October 2004
Energy absorbing vehicle door GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION 19 November 1990 19 June 1991
Push-out target vehicle side door GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION 12 December 1994 26 November 1996
Push-out vehicle side door GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC 16 October 1995 18 February 1997
See full citation <>

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US10000112 Pelvic load management integrated 1 US10000112 Pelvic load management integrated 2 US10000112 Pelvic load management integrated 3