This month's inventions include a FRP steering wheel from BMW, a vinyl ester resin for moulding telephone poles, and a shock-absorbable bicycle frame. (Picture courtesy of Kheng Guan Toh/Shutterstock.com.)
This month's inventions include a FRP steering wheel from BMW, a vinyl ester resin for moulding telephone poles, and a shock-absorbable bicycle frame. (Picture courtesy of Kheng Guan Toh/Shutterstock.com.)


BMW AG: Vehicle steering wheel made from fibre-reinforced plastic

The German Patent and Trade Mark Office has received Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft's patent application for vehicle steering wheel made from fibre-reinforced plastic. Schölzel Matthias developed the invention.

According to the German Patent and Trade Mark Office abstract: The invention relates to a method for producing a steering wheel of a vehicle, the rim of which is composed at least in sections of fibre-reinforced plastic and is pulled in the form of a braided tube onto a core structure of the rim, which core structure, when the plastic hardens in the die, ensures that the braided tube bears against the wall of the die cavity.

A plastics rigid foam core or a tube filled with gas can be used as the core structure, and the rim can be formed by segments which are strung together and between which a crash element which plastically deforms in a suitable manner in the event of the driver impacting against the steering wheel is fitted.

Furthermore, the connection between a steering wheel cup and the steering wheel rim and/or a spoke structure connecting said steering wheel components to each other can at least also be produced by said steering wheel components being wrapped with strip-shaped fibre composite material before being placed into a die. A correspondingly designed vehicle steering wheel is also claimed.



Hutchinson: Profile with U-shaped portion(s), load-bearing structural element of a vehicle incorporating same and method for manufacturing the profile

Hutchinson has filed a WIPO patent application for profile with U-shaped portion(s), load-bearing structural element of a vehicle incorporating same and method for manufacturing the profile. This invention was developed by Godon Michaël, Bergere Stéphane, Florentz Bertrand and Ciolczyk Jean-Pierre.

According to the abstract released by the World Intellectual Property Organization: The present invention relates to profile with one or more portion(s) whose cross-sections are substantially U-shaped, locally provided with means of increasing torsional rigidity and potentially flexural rigidity, a load-bearing structural element of a vehicle such as a support grille of an electrical and/or hydraulic system incorporating that profile, and a method of manufacturing that profile.

The invention particularly applies to such a profile that is made from a thermoplastic or thermoplastic-matrix composite material for that grille in the field of aeronautics, or for side members, cross members or structural stiffeners of a vehicle. This profile comprises at least one U-shaped portion that has a slot bounded by two wings and a core and that is locally provided with means suitable for increasing torsional rigidity, the profile being formed of a fibre-reinforced plastic composite, those means comprising at least one cross brace formed in the slot from a single part with the wings and the core.

According to the invention, the wings and the core are reinforced by fibres mostly oriented in the longitudinal direction of the profile, with more than 60% of the fibres oriented in a -30° to +30° angle with that direction.



Toray Industries Inc: Prepreg base material, layered base material, fiber-reinforced plastic, process for producing prepreg base material, and process for producing fiber-reinforced plastic

Toray Industries Inc has been granted a US patent (8,758,874) for prepreg base material, layered base material, fiber-reinforced plastic, process for producing prepreg base material, and process for producing fiber-reinforced plastic. This invention was developed by Taketa Ichiro, Sato Narumichi and Wadahara Eisuke.

According to the abstract released by the US Patent and Trademark Office: A laminated base material includes a lamination and integration of prepreg base materials each of which includes many reinforcing fibers arranged substantially in one direction and a matrix resin adhered to the reinforcing fibers, wherein at least one of the laminated prepreg base materials is formed with a prepreg base material having, throughout its whole surface, many incisions each extending in a direction crossing the reinforcing fibers, substantially all of the reinforcing fibers divided by incisions, and wherein a length L of each of reinforcing fiber segments formed by the incisions is 10-100 mm, a thickness H of the prepreg base material is 30-300 .mu.m, and a fiber volume content Vf of the reinforcing fibers is 45-65% and arranging directions of the reinforcing fibers between one and another laminated prepreg base materials have at least two directions different each other.



Airbus Operations GmbH: Process for selective isolation of CFRP parts by electrodeposition coatings

Airbus Operations GmbH has submitted a US patent application for process for selective isolation of CFRP parts by electrodeposition coatings. Kott Rouven, Fangmeier Armin, Schroeder Simone and Lemckau Thomas developed the invention.

According to the US Patent and Trademark Office abstract: A process of repairing defects on a carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) component wherein defects on a surface of a CFRP component are selectively repaired by electrodeposition coating. With this process a reduction of coating material and work force as well as weight of the repaired CFRP component can be achieved. 



Ford Global Technologies LLC: Method of forming natural fiber polymer article

Ford Global Technologies LLC has submitted a US patent application for method of forming natural fiber polymer article. This invention was developed by Lee Ellen Cheng-Chi and Harris Angela.

The abstract released by the US Patent and Trademark Office states: A method of forming a natural fiber polymer composite article includes the steps of introducing into an extruder a polymer, a natural fiber and a supercritical fluid to form a natural fiber polymer mixture; extruding the natural fiber polymer mixture to form a well-dispersed natural fiber polymer composite; and injecting the natural fiber polymer composite into a mold to form an article.

The supercritical fluid may be introduced after the polymer is introduced into the extruder or injection molding machine. The supercritical fluid may be introduced before or after the natural fiber is introduced into the extruder or injection molding machine.



Yuan Min An Enterprise Co Ltd: Shock-absorbable bicycle frame and method of manufacturing the same

Yuan Min An Enterprise Co Ltd has submitted a European patent application for shock-absorbable bicycle frame and method of manufacturing the same. Yu Kuo-Pin developed the invention.

According to the European Patent Office abstract: A shock-absorbable bicycle frame includes a tubular member formed of an internal tube and an external tube sleeved onto at least one part of the internal tube. None of any gap is formed between the internal and external tubes. The internal tube is made of fiber reinforced thermosetting plastic. The external tube is made of fiber reinforced thermoplastic plastic.

The method of manufacturing the shock-absorbable bicycle frame includes the steps of putting a fiber fabric impregnated with thermoplastic resin into a mold and heating it up to 230-250°C to form an external tube, and inserting a fiber fabric impregnated with thermosetting resin into the external tube and heating it up to 140-160°C to form an internal tube inside the external tube. In light of this, the bicycle frame is not only lightweight and preferably shock-absorbable but simple in fabrication with high yield rate.



Ass. of GRP & Plastics Moulders and John Robert Lockley: Water tank having a moulded overflow

Ass. of GRP & Plastics Moulders and John Robert Lockley have applied for a UK patent for water tank having a moulded overflow, developed by Lockley.

The patent abstract published by the UK Patent Office states: The invention relates to an overflow shape, moulded into the wall of a water tank or water tank panel, to create a method of removing excess water which is entering the water tank. The tank may be moulded from plastic or glassfibre reinforced plastic. The moulded overflow may have a cowl, holding an insect/vermin mesh, in place. The mesh may be stainless steel. A water collection moulding may be located under the overflow to collect water exiting the overflow. The overflow may comprise alarm sensors. The tank may comprise encapsulated strengthening ribs.



KCC Corporation: Flame-retardant vinyl ester resin composition and compound for molding glass fiber reinforced plastic telephone pole

KCC Corporation has filed a Korean patent application for flame-retardant vinyl ester resin composition and compound for molding glass fiber reinforced plastic telephone pole. This invention was developed by Park Sung Hyun, Lee Dae Yeon, Lee Jae Young and Baek Boo Young.

According to the abstract released by the Korean Intellectual Property Office: The present invention relates to a flame-retardant vinyl ester resin composition comprising: 20-40 wt% of bisphenol A-type epoxy resins; 5-20 wt% of brominated epoxy resins; 5-20 wt% of methacrylic acids or acrylic monomers which are acrylic acids; 1-5 wt% of acrylic monomers substituted with a phosphite group; 0.1-0.5 wt% of amine-based catalysts; 0.05-0.15 wt% of polymerization inhibitors; and 35-45 wt% of vinyl group containing reaction diluents based on the total weight of the whole resin composition, and a compound for molding a glass fiber reinforced plastic telephone pole.

The flame-retardant vinyl ester resin composition according to the present invention exhibits excellent impregnation properties and adhesive properties on glass fibers and satisfies defined flammability, durability and weather resistance, thereby facilitating the manufacture of the compound for molding the glass fiber reinforced plastic telephone pole.



Voith Patent GmbH: Device and method for producing fiber preforms

Voith Patent GmbH has submitted a Chinese patent application for a device and method for producing fiber preforms, which are a precursor in the production of fiber-reinforced plastic components in particular. This invention was developed by Goettinger Marco and Kaiser Michael.

According to the abstract released by the State Intellectual Property Office of China: The invention relates to a device and a method for producing fiber preforms, which are a precursor in the production of fiber-reinforced plastic components in particular. The device has multiple winding stations, multiple grippers, and at least one first molding tool. Each gripper can be moved back and forth on a path between a maximum position and a pick-up position, said pick-up position being provided at a thread transferring point and being closer to the winding station than the maximum position.

The first molding tool has a draping position in the region of the connecting lines between the maximum positions and the thread transferring points, and the first molding tool also has a travel position outside of the connecting lines.

A device for controlling the tension of the threads or rovings is also provided.



Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft GmbH and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems GmbH: Propeller

Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft GmbH and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems GmbH have been granted a Spanish patent for a propeller. This invention was developed by Tillmanns Marc, Paul Axel and Krüger Georg.

According to the abstract released by the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office: The propeller has propeller blades fastened to a central support body by a blade shoe, where cross section of the blades are tapered in a base region with increasing radial distance from a support body. The blade shoe is fastened to the support body by screws, where space between the blade shoe and the base region are filled with adhesive resin. The support body and the blade shoe are made of metal, and the propeller blades are made of a composite material such as carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic.
 


These patent abstracts were supplied by Global IP News, a patents news agency.