FreshPatents.com Logo
stats FreshPatents Stats
1 views for this patent on FreshPatents.com
2014: 1 views
Updated: July 25 2014
newTOP 200 Companies filing patents this week


    Free Services  

  • MONITOR KEYWORDS
  • Enter keywords & we'll notify you when a new patent matches your request (weekly update).

  • ORGANIZER
  • Save & organize patents so you can view them later.

  • RSS rss
  • Create custom RSS feeds. Track keywords without receiving email.

  • ARCHIVE
  • View the last few months of your Keyword emails.

  • COMPANY DIRECTORY
  • Patents sorted by company.

Follow us on Twitter
twitter icon@FreshPatents

Methods and apparatus to control movement of a component

last patentdownload pdfdownload imgimage previewnext patent


20140033909 patent thumbnailZoom

Methods and apparatus to control movement of a component


Methods and apparatus to control movement of a component are disclosed herein. An example apparatus includes a housing defining a bore and a piston disposed inside the bore. The piston is to be coupled to a movable component disposed outside of the bore. The example apparatus further includes a fluid flowline in fluid communication with a first chamber of the bore and a second chamber of the bore. The first chamber is on a first side of the piston, and the second chamber on a second side of the piston. The example apparatus also includes a valve to control fluid flow through the fluid flowline. The valve is to be in a first state to enable the piston to dampen movement of the component, and the valve is to be in a second state to enable the piston to hold the component substantially stationary.


USPTO Applicaton #: #20140033909 - Class: 91 27 (USPTO) -
Motors: Expansible Chamber Type > Fluid Supply Through Diverse Paths To Single Expansible Chamber >Position Responsive >Plural Simultaneous Paths, One Cutoff In Response To Position

Inventors: Robert M. Murphy, Kelly T. Jones, Robert E. Fisher, Mark J. Gardner

view organizer monitor keywords


The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20140033909, Methods and apparatus to control movement of a component.

last patentpdficondownload pdfimage previewnext patent

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

This disclosure was made with Government support under Contract No. OTA DFTAWA-10-C-00030 awarded by the Federal Aviation Administration. The Government of the United States may have certain rights in this disclosure.

FIELD

The present disclosure relates generally to movable components and, more particularly, to methods and apparatus to control movement of a component.

BACKGROUND

Generally, an aircraft includes flaps to adjust aerodynamics of the aircraft. A position of a flap may be adjusted by an actuator coupled to the flap. During flight, the flap is subjected to a variety of loads from the actuator and passing air.

SUMMARY

An example apparatus includes a housing defining a bore and a piston disposed inside the bore. The piston is to be coupled to a movable component disposed outside of the bore. The example apparatus further includes a fluid flowline in fluid communication with a first chamber of the bore and a second chamber of the bore. The first chamber is on a first side of the piston, and the second chamber on a second side of the piston. The example apparatus also includes a valve to control fluid flow through the fluid flowline. The valve is to be in a first state to enable the piston to dampen movement of the component, and the valve is to be in a second state to enable the piston to hold the component substantially stationary.

Another example apparatus includes a housing and a piston disposed in a bore defined by the housing. A first side of the piston defines a first end of a fluid flow path, and a second side of the piston defines a second end of the fluid flow path. The piston is to be coupled to a movable component disposed outside of the bore. The example apparatus further includes a valve disposed along the fluid flow path. The valve is to be in a first state to enable the piston to be driven along the bore by the component, and the valve is to be in a second state to prevent the piston from being driven along the bore by the component.

Another example apparatus includes a hydraulic piston assembly including a housing defining a bore. The example apparatus further includes a dual-acting piston disposed in the bore. The piston is to be coupled to a movable component disposed outside of the bore such that movement of the component is to drive the piston along the bore. The example apparatus also includes a valve to control fluid employed via the hydraulic piston assembly. The valve is to be in a first state to enable to the piston to displace the fluid, and the valve is to be in a second state to lock the piston in place.

The features, functions and advantages that have been discussed can be achieved independently in various examples or may be combined in yet other examples further details of which can be seen with reference to the following description and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic of an example apparatus disclosed herein coupled to a movable component.

FIG. 2 illustrates an example aircraft that may be used to implement the examples disclosed herein.

FIG. 3 illustrates an example apparatus coupled to a wing of the example aircraft of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 illustrates an arm of the example apparatus of FIG. 3. coupled to a flap of the wing of the example aircraft of FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the example apparatus of FIGS. 3-4.

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the example apparatus of FIG. 5 in which a valve is in a first state.

FIG. 7-11 are another cross-sectional views of the example apparatus of FIG. 5.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the example apparatus of FIG. 5 including an example trunion mount.

FIG. 13 is a flow chart representative of an example method disclosed herein.

Wherever possible, the same reference numbers will be used throughout the drawing(s) and accompanying written description to refer to the same or like parts. As used in this disclosure, stating that any part (e.g., a layer, film, area, or plate) is in any way positioned on (e.g., positioned on, located on, disposed on, or formed on, etc.) another part, means that the referenced part is either in contact with the other part, or that the referenced part is above or below the other part with one or more intermediate part(s) located therebetween. Stating that any part is in contact with another part means that there is no intermediate part between the two parts.

DESCRIPTION

The example methods and apparatus disclosed herein may be used to control movement of a movable component. The component may be subjected to a variety of forces (e.g., via an actuator, airflow, etc.). In some examples, if not controlled, the component may vibrate or flutter in response to the forces. The example apparatus and methods disclosed herein may be used to enable movement of the component (e.g., toward a desired position) while damping the movement of the component (e.g., to reduce vibratory motion). The example methods and apparatus may also be used to lock the component in place (e.g., in a desired position).

FIG. 1 is a schematic of an example apparatus 100 disclosed herein, which may be used to control movement of a component 102. The example apparatus 100 of FIG. 1 includes a piston assembly 104 (e.g., a non-differential cylinder). The piston assembly 104 includes a housing 106 defining a bore 108. A piston 110 is disposed in the example bore 108 such that the piston 110 and the bore 108 define a first chamber 112 on a first side of the piston 110 and a second chamber 114 on a second side of the piston 110. An arm 116 is coupled to the example piston 110. In the illustrated example, the arm 116 extends through a first end 118 of the housing 106 and a second end 120 of the housing 106.

The component 102 (e.g., a link) is disposed outside of the housing 106. A first end 122 of the component 102 is coupled to the arm 116, and a second end 124 of the component 102 is coupled to an actuator 126. During operation of the actuator 126, the actuator 126 applies a force or torque to the component 102 to move the component 102 along a given path. When the example component 102 moves along the given path, the component 102 drives the piston 110 along the bore 108.

The example apparatus 100 provides a closed fluid flow path. In the illustrated example, the fluid path is defined by the first chamber 112, a flowline 128 and the second chamber 114. The example flowline 128 is in fluid communication with the first chamber 112 and the second chamber 114. Thus, a first end of the example fluid path is defined by a first side 130 of the piston 110, and a second end of the example fluid path is defined by a second side 132 of the piston 110. During operation, the example fluid path (i.e., the first chamber 112, the flowline 128, and the second chamber 114) is substantially filled with a fluid.

In the illustrated example, movement of the example piston 110 in a first direction (e.g., to the left in the orientation of FIG. 1) displaces the fluid from the first chamber 112 into the flowline 128 (i.e., the fluid moves clockwise around the fluid path). Movement of the example piston 110 in a second direction (e.g., to the right in the orientation of FIG. 1.) displaces the fluid from the second chamber 114 into the flowline 128 (i.e., the fluid moves counterclockwise around the fluid path). Thus, the example piston 110 is a double-acting piston (i.e., movement of the piston 110 in the first direction displaces the fluid on the first side 130 of the piston 110, and movement of the piston 110 in the second direction displaces the fluid on the second side 132 of the piston 110). When the fluid is displaced from one of the first chamber 112 or the second chamber 114 into the flowline 128, the fluid in the flowline 128 flows into the other one of the first chamber 112 or the second chamber 114.

A valve 134 is disposed along the flowline 128 to control the fluid employed via the example piston assembly 104. In the illustrated example, when the valve 134 is in a first state (e.g., an open state), the valve 134 enables the fluid to move past the valve 134, thereby enabling the piston 110 to move along the bore 108. In the illustrated example, an orifice 136 is in fluid communication with the flowline 128 to provide resistance to the fluid flow as the fluid flows through the flowline 128. As a result, when the valve 134 is in the first state, the valve 134 enables the fluid to dampen movement (e.g., vibrations) of the component 102 via the piston 110. While the example of FIG. 1 depicts a separate orifice or restriction (i.e., the orifice 136), in some examples, separate restrictions may not be included and the valve 134 provides resistance or restriction to the fluid flow.

When the valve 134 is in a second state (e.g., a closed state), the valve 134 prevents (e.g., blocks) the fluid from flowing past the valve 134 along the flowline 128. As a result, fluid in the first chamber 112 or the second chamber 114 cannot be displaced into the flowline 128, thereby substantially preventing the piston 110 from moving (e.g., being driven) along the bore 108. Thus, when the valve 134 is in the second state, the piston assembly 104 locks the component 102 in place (i.e., the piston 110 and the arm 116 hold the component 102 substantially stationary).

In the illustrated example, the first chamber 112 and the second chamber 114 are fluidly coupled to a fluid reservoir 138 (e.g., an accumulator). The example fluid reservoir 138 enables the example apparatus 100 to maintain fluid pressures between a lower limit and an upper limit. A first portion 140 of the example flowline 128 is in fluid communication with the first chamber 112 and the fluid reservoir 138 via a first check valve 142 and a first relief valve 144. In the illustrated example, the first portion 140 of the example flowline 128 is between the first chamber 112 and the valve 134. A second portion 146 of the example flowline 128 is in fluid communication with the fluid reservoir 138 via a second check valve 148 and a second relief valve 150. In the illustrated example, the second portion 146 of the flowline 128 provides the fluid path is between the second chamber 114 and the valve 134.

In the illustrated example, the first relief valve 144 is substantially identical to the second relief valve 150, and the first check valve 142 is substantially identical to the second check valve 148. Therefore, a description of the first relief valve 144 and the first check valve 142 can be equally applied to the second relief valve 150 and the second check valve 148, respectively. Thus, to avoid redundancy, the second relief valve 150 and the second check valve 148 are not separately described.

When a pressure of the fluid in the first chamber 112 and/or the first portion 140 of the flowline 128 reaches an upper limit due to an increase in temperature and, thus, volume of the fluid, the first relief valve 144 (e.g., a thermal relief valve) opens to enable the fluid in the first chamber 112 and/or the first portion 140 of the flowline 128 to flow into the fluid reservoir 138. However, the first relief valve 144 does not open in response to pressures in the first chamber 112 and/or the first portion 140 of the flowline 128 caused by forces applied to the piston 110 by the component 102. When the pressure in the first portion 140 of the flowline 128 decreases below a lower limit (e.g., as a result of a decrease in volume of the fluid and/or a decrease in an amount of fluid in the first chamber 112 and/or the first portion 140 of the flowline 128), the first check valve 142 opens to enable fluid from the fluid reservoir 138 to flow into the first portion 140 of the flowline 128 and/or the first chamber 112. Thus, the example apparatus 100 adapts to changes in the volume and/or the amount of the fluid in the piston assembly 104 to maintain the fluid pressures in the first chamber 112, the second chamber 114 and the flowline 128 between the upper limit (e.g., 3000 pounds per square inch) and the lower limit (e.g., 30 pounds per square inch).

FIG. 2 is an aircraft 200 in which aspects of the present disclosure may be implemented. In the illustrated example, the aircraft 200 includes a fuselage 202 and a first wing 204 and a second wing 206. The example first wing 204 includes a first flap 208, and the example second wing 206 includes a second flap 210. The first flap 208 and the second flap 210 are operatively coupled to respective actuators such as, for example, a hinge line rotary actuator described in U.S. application Ser. No. 13/455,852, filed on Apr. 25, 2012, which is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. In some examples, the actuators adjust positions of the first flap 208 and the second flap 210.

FIG. 3 illustrates an example apparatus 300 disclosed herein. The example apparatus 300 of FIG. 3 is coupled to a cord rib 302 of the first wing 204 of the example aircraft 200 of FIG. 2. The example apparatus 300 includes a first housing 304 and a second housing 306. In the illustrated example, the first housing 304 is coupled to the cord rib 302. In other examples, the apparatus 300 is coupled to another portion of the aircraft 200. An arm 308 of the example apparatus 300 extends through the first housing 304. In the illustrated example, a spar 310 of the first wing 204 defines an aperture 312 through which the arm 308 is coupled to the first flap 208 (FIG. 4).

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the first flap 208 of the example aircraft 200 of FIG. 2. In the illustrated example, the arm 308 of the example apparatus 300 is coupled to the first flap 208 via a link 400. When the example first flap 208 is rotated (e.g., via the actuator), the arm 308 is driven by the link 400. As described in greater detail below, the example apparatus 300 dampens movement of the first flap 208 and may be used to hold the first flap 208 substantially stationary (i.e., lock the first flap 208 in place).

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the example apparatus 300 of FIG. 3. In the illustrated example, the apparatus 300 includes a hydraulic piston assembly 500 including the first housing 304 and the arm 308. The example arm 308 includes a coupling 502 (e.g., a clevis). In the illustrated example, the second housing 306 is coupled to the first housing 304. The example second housing 306 includes an accumulator 504, a valve 506 (e.g., a solenoid), a first pressure sensor 508, a second pressure sensor 510 and a port 512. The valve 506, the first pressure sensor 508 and the second pressure sensor 510 are communicatively coupled to a controller 514. As described in greater detail below, the controller 514 controls a state of the example valve 506 and monitors fluid pressures determined via the first pressure sensor 508 and the second pressure sensor 510.

The example accumulator 504 is a spring-type accumulator, and a tip 516 of a piston rod 518 of the accumulator 504 extends outside of the second housing 306. Other examples include other types of accumulators (e.g., gas-filled accumulators, gas filled/spring accumulators, etc.). In some examples, the piston rod 518 includes a visual indicator 520 (e.g., the tip is colored red) to indicate a fluid level of the accumulator 504. If the visual indicator 520 is disposed outside of the second housing 306 and, thus, visible, the fluid level of the accumulator 504 is above a threshold level. If the visual indicator 520 is not disposed outside of the second housing 306, the fluid level of the accumulator 504 is below the threshold level. Thus, the fluid level of the example accumulator 504 may be determined by visual inspection. In the illustrated example, fluid employed by the example apparatus 300 is initially provided via the example port 512.

FIGS. 6-11 are cross-sectional views of the example apparatus 300 of FIGS. 3-5. As illustrated in FIG. 6, the example first housing 304 defines a bore 600. In the illustrated example, a piston 602 is disposed in the example bore 600 such that the piston 602 and the bore 600 define a first chamber 604 on a first side of the piston 602, and a second chamber 606 on a second side of the piston 602. The example arm 308 is coupled to the piston 602. Thus, movement of the first flap 208 drives the piston 602 along the bore 600.

In the illustrated example, a flowline 608 is in fluid communication with the first chamber 604 and the second chamber 606. A first portion 610 of the example flowline 608 extends from the first chamber 604 of the bore 600 into the second housing 306 via a first transfer tube 612. The first portion 610 of the example flowline 608 is in fluid communication with the first pressure sensor 508 and the valve 506. In the illustrated example, the valve 506 is in a first state in which the valve 506 enables fluid in the flowline 608 to flow past the valve 506. As described in greater detail below, when the valve 506 is in the first state, the valve 506 enables the piston 602 to move along the bore 600.

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of the example apparatus 300 of FIG. 6 taken along line 7A-7A. In the illustrated example, the first portion 610 of the example flowline 608 includes a first passage 700 to fluidly couple the first portion 610 of the flowline 608 to the accumulator 504.

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of the example apparatus 300 of FIGS. 6-7 view taken along line 8A-8A. In the illustrated example, the first passage 700 is fluidly coupled to the accumulator 504 via a first relief valve 800 and a first check valve 802. In the illustrated example, the first relief valve 800 is disposed in a first branch 804 of the first passage 700. The first check valve 802 is disposed in a second branch 806 of the first passage 700.

Returning to FIG. 6, a second portion 614 of the example flowline 608 extends from the second chamber 606 of the bore 600 into the second housing 306 via a second transfer tube 616. Inside the second housing 306, the second portion 614 of the example flowline 608 is in fluid communication with the valve 506 and the second portion 614 of the example flowline 608.

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of the example apparatus 300 of FIG. 6 taken along line 9A-9A. As illustrated in FIG. 9, the example second portion 614 of the flowline 608 is fluidly coupled to the second pressure sensor 510 via a second passage 900.

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view of the example apparatus 300 of FIG. 9 taken along line 10A-10A. In the illustrated example, the second passage 900 of the flowline 608 is fluidly coupled to the accumulator 504 via a second relief valve 1000 and a second check valve 1002. Thus, the first portion 610 of the example flowline 608 and the second portion 614 of the example flowline 608 are separately fluidly coupled to the accumulator 504. In the illustrated example, the second relief valve 1000 is disposed in a third branch 1004 of the second passage 900. The second check valve 1002 is disposed in a fourth branch 1005 of the second passage 900.

Returning again to FIG. 6, when the example valve 506 is in the first state (e.g., an open state), the valve 506 enables the fluid to flow through the flowline 608, thereby enabling the piston 602 to move along the bore 600. For example, when the piston 602 moves along the bore 600, the piston 602 displaces the fluid in one of the first chamber 604 or the second chamber 606 into the flowline 608, and the fluid in the flowline 608 flows into the other one of the first chamber 604 or the second chamber 606. Thus, the apparatus 300 provides a closed fluid path. A first end of the fluid path is defined by the first side 618 of the piston 602, and a second end of the fluid path is defined by the second side 620 of the piston 602. Thus, the example piston 602 is a dual-acting piston.

Because the valve 506 is disposed along the flowline 608, the valve 506 provides a resistance to the flow of the fluid (e.g., corresponding to about 95 Lohms) as movement of the piston 602 causes the fluid to flow past the valve 506. As a result, when the valve 506 is in the first state, the fluid dampens movement (e.g., vibrations) of the first flap 208 via the piston 602, thereby reducing any vibratory movement and/or fluttering of the first flap 208. In some examples, a flow restriction and/or an orifice is disposed along the flowline 608 to provide resistance to the fluid flow.

In some examples, the hydraulic piston assembly 500 includes a first stop 622 and a second stop 624 disposed along a path of the piston 602. In the illustrated example, a first end of the bore 600 and a second end of the bore 600 provide the first stop 622 and the second stop 624, respectively. Thus, if the first flap 208 moves the piston 602 a threshold amount in the first direction, the piston 602 contacts the first stop 622, thereby preventing further movement of the first flap 208 in the first direction. If the first flap 208 moves the piston 602 a threshold amount in the second direction, the piston 602 contacts the second stop 624, thereby preventing further movement of the first flap 208 in the second direction. Other examples include other stops (e.g., stops disposed outside of the bore 600 and/or the first housing 304).

FIG. 11 illustrates the example apparatus 300 when the valve 506 is in a second state (e.g., a closed state). In some examples, when the example first flap 208 is moved to a desired position, the example controller 514 sends a signal to the valve 506 to actuate the valve 506 to the second state to lock the first flap 208 in the desired position. In some examples, the controller 514 sends a signal to the valve 506 to actuate the valve 506 to the second state if the first flap 208 moves to a threshold position and/or if a position of the first flap 208 does not correspond to a commanded position. When the valve 506 is in the second state, the valve 506 prevents (e.g., blocks) the fluid from flowing past the valve 506 along the flowline 608. As a result, the fluid in the first chamber 604 cannot be displaced into the first portion 610 of the flowline 608, and the fluid in the second chamber 606 cannot be displaced into the second portion 614 of the flowline 608. Thus, the fluid prevents the piston 602 from moving in the first direction (e.g., toward the first end of the bore 600) and the second direction (e.g., toward the second end of the bore 600). Therefore, when the valve 506 is in the second state, the hydraulic piston assembly 500 substantially locks the first flap 208 in place (i.e., the piston 602 and the arm 308 hold the first flap 208 substantially stationary). Thus, the example apparatus 300 may be employed as a hydraulic lock.

During flight, the fluid in the example apparatus 300 may be subjected to a variety of temperature changes. As a result, a volume and, thus, a pressure of the fluid may increase (e.g., if the temperature rises) or decrease (e.g., if the temperature decreases). In some examples, a portion of the fluid may escape (e.g., via evaporation) from the example apparatus 300, thereby decreasing the pressure of the fluid.



Download full PDF for full patent description/claims.

Advertise on FreshPatents.com - Rates & Info


You can also Monitor Keywords and Search for tracking patents relating to this Methods and apparatus to control movement of a component patent application.
###
monitor keywords



Keyword Monitor How KEYWORD MONITOR works... a FREE service from FreshPatents
1. Sign up (takes 30 seconds). 2. Fill in the keywords to be monitored.
3. Each week you receive an email with patent applications related to your keywords.  
Start now! - Receive info on patent apps like Methods and apparatus to control movement of a component or other areas of interest.
###


Previous Patent Application:
Encapsulated preformed shapes
Next Patent Application:
Method to prevent debris build-up on reciprocating air motor pilot valves
Industry Class:

Thank you for viewing the Methods and apparatus to control movement of a component patent info.
- - - Apple patents, Boeing patents, Google patents, IBM patents, Jabil patents, Coca Cola patents, Motorola patents

Results in 0.57511 seconds


Other interesting Freshpatents.com categories:
Novartis , Pfizer , Philips , Procter & Gamble ,

###

All patent applications have been filed with the United States Patent Office (USPTO) and are published as made available for research, educational and public information purposes. FreshPatents is not affiliated with the USPTO, assignee companies, inventors, law firms or other assignees. Patent applications, documents and images may contain trademarks of the respective companies/authors. FreshPatents is not affiliated with the authors/assignees, and is not responsible for the accuracy, validity or otherwise contents of these public document patent application filings. When possible a complete PDF is provided, however, in some cases the presented document/images is an abstract or sampling of the full patent application. FreshPatents.com Terms/Support
-g2-0.2808
     SHARE
  
           

FreshNews promo


stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20140033909 A1
Publish Date
02/06/2014
Document #
13566807
File Date
08/03/2012
USPTO Class
91 27
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
15B15/00
Drawings
9




Follow us on Twitter
twitter icon@FreshPatents