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Pressure releasable vehicle pedal assembly

Imported: 24 Feb '17 | Published: 06 Jan '04

Kip Alan Ewing, Gerard Edward Baker, Bruce Frederick Pease, Jeffrey Dan Rupp

USPTO - Utility Patents

Abstract

A releasable brake pedal system

10 for a vehicle includes a pedal assembly

12 operatively engageable by the driver of the vehicle and a hydraulic actuator assembly

20 for generating pressurized hydraulic fluid for actuating one or more brakes

44A-

44D. The pedal system

10 further includes a pressure release valve

30 or

30′ coupled in fluid communication with the pressurized hydraulic fluid. The pressure release valve

30 or

30′ is operative to reduce the amount of pressure applied to the brakes

44A-

44D during a detected vehicle deceleration indicative of a collision event. The pressure release valve

30 is responsive to a deceleration sensor

40 according to one embodiment, and valve

30′ employs a deceleration sensitive inertial mass

76 according to another embodiment. Accordingly, the pedal system

10 reduces forces that may otherwise be transferred to the pedal assembly

12 during a collision.

Description

These and other features, advantages and objects of the present invention will be further understood and appreciated by those skilled in the art by reference to the following specification, claims and appended drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view of a brake pedal system having a pressure release valve according to one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a flow diagram illustrating a method of reducing hydraulic fluid pressure in the brake system of FIG. 1 during a vehicle collision.

FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic view of a pressure release valve that may be employed in the brake pedal system according to another embodiment of the present invention, and shown in the normally closed position.

FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic view of the pressure release valve of FIG. 3 shown in the open position during a vehicle collision.

FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic view of the pressure release valve of FIG. 3 further illustrating the hydraulic fluid flow in the open position.

Claims

1. A releasable pedal system for an automotive vehicle, said system comprising:

2. The system as defined in claim 1, wherein said pedal assembly comprises a brake pedal assembly.

3. The system as defined in claim 1 further comprising a fluid path coupled between the pressure release valve and the fluid supply reservoir.

4. The system as defined in claim 1 further comprising a deceleration sensor for sensing deceleration of the vehicle, wherein said pressure release valve is actuated in response to said sensed deceleration.

5. The system as defined in claim 1, wherein said pressure release valve comprises a spring biased inertial mass that is movable in response to deceleration to open a fluid path to reduce the amount of fluid pressure.

6. The system as defined in claim 1, wherein said actuator assembly comprises a hydraulic actuator assembly for pressurizing hydraulic fluid.

7. The system as defined in claim 1, wherein the actuator assembly further comprises a master cylinder.

8. A method of controlling the fluid pressure in a pedal system having a pedal assembly in a vehicle, said method comprising the steps of:

9. The method as defined in claim 8, wherein the step of generating an amount of pressurized fluid is performed by an actuator assembly comprising a master cylinder and the fluid supply reservoir.

10. The method as defined in claim 9, wherein the step of pressurizing the fluid to generate an amount of fluid pressure comprises actuating the master cylinder of the actuator assembly.

11. The method as defined in claim 8, wherein the step of releasing pressurized fluid to the fluid supply reservoir further comprises releasing pressurized fluid to a fluid path in fluid communication with the fluid supply reservoir.

12. The method as defined in claim 8, wherein the method controls fluid pressure in a brake pedal system having a brake pedal assembly.

13. The method as defined in claim 8, wherein said step of detecting vehicle deceleration comprises sensing vehicle deceleration with a deceleration sensor.

14. The method as defined in claim 8, wherein said step of detecting vehicle deceleration comprises detecting movement of a spring biased inertial mass and said step of reducing the amount of fluid pressure comprises controlling a valve responsive to movement of the spring biased inertial mass.

15. A releasable pedal system for an automotive vehicle, said system comprising:

16. The system as defined in claim 15, wherein the pedal assembly comprises a brake pedal assembly.

17. The system as defined in claim 15, wherein said actuator assembly comprises a hydraulic actuator assembly for generating pressurized hydraulic fluid.

18. A method of controlling a fluid pressure in a pedal system having a pedal assembly in a vehicle, said method comprising the steps of:

19. The method as defined in claim 18, wherein the step of reducing the amount of pressurized fluid includes returning the released pressurized fluid to a fluid supply reservoir containing non-pressurized fluid.

20. The method as defined in claim 18, wherein the method controls fluid pressure in a brake pedal system having a brake pedal assembly.