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Water pump

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20120321489 patent thumbnailZoom

Water pump


A water pump is constructed to have a rotating member that is adapted to be rotated by an external driving source, a housing that forms a part of a pump chamber from which a cooling water is led to an internal combustion chamber for cooling the engine upon rotation of the rotating member, a mechanical seal unit that is installed between the housing and the rotating member to seal the pump chamber and a bearing that is operatively disposed between the rotating member and the housing at a position other than the pump chamber, in which an annular slinger is arranged at an axial end of the bearing and fixed to a fixed portion, the annular slinger having a given portion that slidably contacts to the rotating member.

Browse recent Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd. patents - Hitachinaka-shi, JP
Inventors: Shingo MURAKAMI, Masahiko WATANABE, Hideaki NAKAMURA
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120321489 - Class: 417364 (USPTO) - 12/20/12 - Class 417 
Pumps > Motor Driven >Internal-combustion Engine

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120321489, Water pump.

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BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates in general to water pumps for pumping a cooling water that circulates in an engine cooling system of a motor vehicle, and more particularly to the water pumps of a type that provides a bearing of a rotating member with a watertight construction.

2. Description of the related Art

Japanese Laid-open Patent Application (Tokkai) 2010-169143 shows a water pump that has a watertight construction for a bearing of a rotating member.

In the water pump shown in the publication, there is disclosed a watertight construction between a cylindrical pump housing and a drive shaft that is concentrically and rotatably disposed in the pump housing. Between the pump housing and the drive shaft, there is disposed a ball bearing of a type that has two rows of balls for smoothing rotation of the drive shaft.

The watertight construction comprises a seal member that is fixed to the pump housing and has first and second lip portions slidably contacting with a flat portion formed on the drive shaft, and an annular slinger that is fixed to the drive shaft and has a peripheral portion to which a third lip (or axial lip) of the seal member slidably contacts. Due to the first and second lips that slidably contact to the flat portion of the drive shaft, there are defined two sealing portions by which water penetration into the ball bearing is restrained.

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

Although the watertight construction disclosed by the above-mentioned publication exhibits a watertight function to a certain extent due to provision of the two sealing portions, the sliding contact between the third lip and the annular slinger causes formation of an annular space in which water is collected, which however promotes the undesired penetration of water into the ball bearing from the annular space through the two sealing portions.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a water pump which is free of the above-mentioned drawback.

According to the present invention, there is provided an improved watertight construction for a ball bearing installed in a water pump, that exhibits a satisfied watertight function by providing means by which water staying in the annular space is easily discharged therefrom.

In accordance with a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a water pump which comprises a rotating unit including a pulley, a drive shaft and an impeller which rotate as a single unit; a housing covering the drive shaft and having a pump chamber for receiving therein the impeller; a mechanical seal unit installed between the housing and the drive shaft to seal the pump chamber; a bearing including an outer race fixed to one of the rotating unit and the housing, an inner race fixed to the other one of the rotating unit and the housing and a plurality of rotating bodies operatively disposed between the outer and inner races; an annular seal member arranged at an axial end of the bearing and having a peripheral portion that is fixed to one of the outer and inner races and another peripheral portion that slidably contacts with the other one of the outer and inner races; and an annular slinger fixed to the housing in a manner to face the annular seal member, the annular slinger having a given portion that slidably contacts with a given portion of the rotating unit.

In accordance with a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a water pump which comprises a rotating unit including a pulley, a drive shaft and an impeller which rotate as a single unit; a housing covering the drive shaft and having a pump chamber for receiving therein the impeller; a mechanical seal unit installed between the housing and the drive shaft to seal the pump chamber; a bearing including an outer race fixed to one of the rotating unit and the housing, an inner race fixed to the other one of the rotating unit and the housing and a plurality of rotating bodies operatively disposed between the outer and inner races; and an annular slinger arranged in a passage extending between the bearing and the mechanical seal unit, the annular slinger being fixed to the housing and having a given portion that slidably contacts to a rotating member fixed to the rotating unit, the rotating member being either one of the outer and inner races of the bearing.

In accordance with third aspect of the present invention, there is provided a water pump which comprises a rotating member adapted to be rotated by an external driving source; a housing that forms at least a part of a pump chamber from which a cooling water is led to an internal combustion chamber for cooling the engine upon rotation of the rotating member; a mechanical seal unit installed between the housing and the rotating member to seal the pump chamber; a bearing operatively disposed between the rotating member and the housing at a position other than the pump chamber; and an annular slinger arranged at an axial end of the bearing and fixed to a fixed portion, the annular slinger having a given portion that slidably contacts to the rotating member.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description when taken in conjunction of the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is an exploded view of a water pump of a first embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a front view of the water pump of the first embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the line A-A of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional view of an essential portion of the water pump of the first embodiment;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view of a slinger that is usable as a part of a watertight construction employed in the water pump of the first embodiment;

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5, but showing another slinger that is also usable as a part of the watertight construction employed in the water pump of the first embodiment;

FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 4, but showing an essential portion of a water pump of a second embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 4, but showing an essential portion of a water pump of a third embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 9 is a view similar to FIG. 4, but showing an essential portion of a water pump of a fourth embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

OF THE INVENTION

In the following, water pumps of various embodiments of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings.

The water pumps to which the following explanation is directed are of a type that is used for pumping a cooling water that circulates in an engine cooling system of a motor vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine. More specifically, the water pump is of a type that is mounted on a side wall of an engine block and powered by a crankshaft of the engine for circulating cooling water through a water jacket formed in the engine block.

In the following description, various directional terms, such as right, left, upper, lower, rightward and the like are used for ease of explanation. It is however to be noted that such terms are to be understood with respect to only a drawing or drawings on which a corresponding part or portion is shown.

Referring to FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 4, particularly FIGS. 1 and 3, there is shown a water pump 1A of a first embodiment of the present invention.

As is seen from FIG. 1, water pump 1A comprises a pump housing 2 that has at its left side a cylindrical portion 11 and at its right side a flange portion 2a integrated with a right end of the cylindrical portion 11. Pump housing 2 is a cast product of aluminum alloy and fixed to a side surface of an engine block (not shown) through flange portion 2a thereby to form a pump chamber P (or volute chamber, see FIG. 3) between pump housing 2 and the engine block.

As is best seen from FIG. 3, a drive shaft 3 is rotatably and coaxially installed in pump housing 2 through an after-mentioned mechanical seal unit 10. Drive shaft 3 has a left end (in FIG. 3) that is projected outward or leftward from pump housing 2. To the projected left end of the drive shaft 3, there is fixed a central hollow portion 4c of a pulley 4. Although not shown in the drawing, a drive belt is put on pulley 4 to transmit a turning force (or torque) to drive shaft 3 from a crankshaft of the engine.

As is seen from FIGS. 1 and 3, a conical cover 5 is fixed to a left portion of pulley 4 in a manner to cover the substantially entire left surface of pulley 4, as shown.

As is best seen from FIG. 3, between pulley 4 and a smaller diameter end portion 11c of pump housing 2, there is concentrically disposed a ball bearing 6 to allow a smoothed rotation of pulley 4 around smaller diameter end portion 11e of pump housing 2. Ball bearing 6 comprises an inner race 16 fixed to smaller diameter end portion 11c, an outer race 17 fixed to pulley 4 and a plurality of balls 18 rotatably disposed between the inner and outer races 16 and 17.

As is seen from FIGS. 3 and 4, between pulley 4 and smaller diameter end portion 11c of pump housing 2, there is concentrically arranged an annular slinger 7 of which inner peripheral portion is fixed to the pump housing 2. As is best seen from FIG. 4, annular slinger 7 is oriented to face a right end of ball bearing 6. Due to provision of annular slinger 7, water penetration into ball bearing 6 is restrained for the reasons that will be described hereinafter.

Referring back to FIG. 3, drive shaft 3 has a right end to which the central hollow portion 8c of an impeller 8 is fixed. Thus, under rotation of drive shaft 3, impeller 8 is rotated in pump chamber P.

As is seen from FIG. 3, cylindrical portion 11 of pump housing 2 comprises a larger diameter portion 11a that is formed beside the above-mentioned flange portion 2a, an intermediate diameter portion 11b that extends leftward from larger diameter portion 11a through a radially extending annular portion (no numeral) and a smaller diameter end portion 11c that extends leftward from intermediate diameter portion 11b through a radially extending annular portion 11d. As shown, an inner diameter of smaller diameter end portion 11c gradually increases as a distance from the left end of the end portion 11c increases.

Below intermediate diameter portion lib in FIG. 3, there is defined a drain chamber 12 that communicates with an inside space of the portion 11b through a drain passage 13. Denoted by numeral 9 is a plug for sealing drain chamber 12.

As is seen from FIG. 3, between intermediate diameter portion 11b and drive shaft 3, there is concentrically disposed a mechanical seal unit 10 by which water penetration or invasion toward ball bearing 6 from pump chamber P is suppressed or at least minimized. However, since complete stopping of the water penetration toward ball bearing 6 is not effected by only the mechanical seal unit 10, the following water drain construction is provided.

That is, the water drain construction comprises the drain passage 13 that is formed in a thicker lower portion of intermediate diameter portion 11b to communicate the inside space of the portion 11b with drain chamber 12. That is, drain passage 13 extends along the Y-axis of FIG. 3. Due to provision of drain passage 13, cooling water that would penetrate into the inside space of intermediate diameter portion 11b from pump chamber P through the mechanical seal unit 10 is drained into drain chamber 12. Thus, water penetration toward the interior of smaller diameter end portion 11c is suppressed or at least minimized.

In addition to the above-mentioned drain passage 13, intermediate diameter portion 11b is formed, at a position diametrically opposite to the position of the drain passage 13, with a connecting opening 14 to communicate the interior of the portion 11b with the outside of pump housing 2. That is, connecting opening 14 extends along the Y-axis of FIG. 3. Due to provision of connecting opening 14, water vapor produced in drain chamber 12 can escape into the outside of pump housing 2.

Drive shaft 3 is made of a steel and rotatably disposed in pump housing 2 with its axially opposed ends projected outward from pump housing 2, as shown.

As is seen from FIG. 3, drive shaft 3 is formed at a portion thereof facing the drain passage 13 and connecting opening 14 with an annular groove 3a that has a given width. Due to provision of annular groove 3a, penetrating water on the outer surface of drive shaft 3 is suppressed from directly flowing toward the interior of smaller diameter end portion 11c. That is, the penetrating water is trapped by annular groove 3a and then led to drain chamber 12 through drain passage 13.

Pulley 4 is produced by pressing a steel plate and as is seen from FIG. 1, pulley 4 has a cylindrical shape.

As is seen from FIG. 3, pulley 4 comprises a tubular base portion 4a (or first tubular portion) that is shaped to surround the smaller diameter end portion 11c of pump housing 2, a belt putting rim portion 4b (or second tubular portion) that is shaped to surround tubular base portion 4a and integrally connected to tubular base portion 4a through an annular wall portion 4f and the above-mentioned central hollow portion 4c that is integrally connected to tubular base portion 4a through an annular wall portion 4e and fixed to the left end of drive shaft 3. As is seen from FIG. 3, for the fixing between pulley 4 and drive shaft 3, the left end of drive shaft 3 is press-fitted into the central hollow portion 4c of pulley 4.

As shown in FIG. 3, tubular base portion 4a of pulley 4 comprises a cylindrical wall 4d that is intimately and tightly disposed on outer race 17 of ball bearing 6 and the above-mentioned annular wall portion 4e. The wall portion 4e extends radially inward from a left end of cylindrical wall 4d to a right end of central hollow portion 4c. For the assembly, ball bearing 6 is press-fitted into tubular base portion 4a, and then, smaller diameter end portion 11c of pump housing 2 is press-fitted into ball bearing 6.

As will be understood from FIG. 3, annular wall portion 4e of pulley 4 is formed with a plurality of openings 15 through which the penetrating water in the interior of smaller diameter end portion 11c of pump housing 2 is discharged to the outside of water pump 1A. Openings 15 are arranged at evenly spaced intervals. Each opening 15 extends along the X-axis of FIG. 3.

Each opening 15 is so positioned and arranged as to place at least part thereof to a position where an inside end of an after-mentioned first annular seal member 19 and the inner race 16 of ball bearing 6 contact. More specifically, each opening 15 is arranged to substantially face the given contact portion between the first annular seal member 19 and the inner race 16. With this arrangement, the penetrating water or water vapor in the interior of smaller diameter end portion 11c is smoothly discharged into the outside through each opening 15 before arriving at the first annular seal member 19. Due to provision of plural openings 15, the water discharging from pump housing 2 is effectively carried out. Furthermore, since openings 15 are arranged to axially face inner race 16 of ball bearing 6, the openings 15 can be used as work assist openings for the tools that are manipulated or handled to place the ball bearing 6 onto an exact position of the smaller diameter end portion 11c.

The above-mentioned conical cover 5 is produced by pressing a corrosion-resistant metal plate, such as aluminum plate, stainless plate or the like.

As is seen from FIG. 3, conical cover 5 comprises a main cover portion 5a that covers tubular base portion 4a of pulley 4 and a central annular portion 5b that is tightly mounted on central hollow portion 4c of pulley 4 through press-fitting. As is seen, main cover portion 5a of conical cover 5 extends radially outwardly from central annular portion 5b to a position near an inside part of belt putting rim portion 4b of pulley 4. Due to provision of conical cover 5, direct penetration or invasion of water or foreign substances into pump housing 2 through openings 15 is suppressed.

The above-mentioned ball bearing 6 is of a single ball-row type with seal members. That is, ball bearing 6 is snugly disposed between an outer cylindrical surface of smaller diameter end portion 11c of pump housing 2 and an inner cylindrical surface of cylindrical wall 4d of pulley 4.

As is mentioned hereinabove, ball bearing 6 comprises inner race 16 that is press-fitted to the outer surface of smaller diameter end portion 11c, outer race 17 that is press-fitted to the inner surface of cylindrical wall 4d and a plurality of balls 18 that are rotatably and partially received in guide grooves (no numerals) respectively formed in inner and outer races 16 and 17.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120321489 A1
Publish Date
12/20/2012
Document #
13469202
File Date
05/11/2012
USPTO Class
417364
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
/
Drawings
9



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