PatentDe  


Dokumentenidentifikation EP1245306 01.07.2004
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0001245306
Titel Herstellungsverfahren für eine Tellerfeder
Anmelder Barnes Group Inc., Bristol, Conn., US
Erfinder Labeski, Matthew John, Warren, Pennsylvania 16365, US
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
DE-Aktenzeichen 69729337
Vertragsstaaten AT, BE, CH, DE, DK, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, IE, IT, LI, LU, MC, NL, PT, SE
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 23.07.1997
EP-Aktenzeichen 020130498
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 02.10.2002
EP date of grant 26.05.2004
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 01.07.2004
IPC-Hauptklasse C21D 9/02
IPC-Nebenklasse B21D 53/16   B21D 11/06   F16F 1/32   F16B 43/00   

Beschreibung[en]

This application relates to a method of making a Belleville spring.

Springs of the Belleville type have been used for various applications and constitute circular elements of spring steel having a generally frusto-conical shape with an inner periphery which is spaced axially from the plane of the outer spring periphery so that the force applied axially against the spring causes the inner periphery to move toward the outer periphery to place the spring under compression. This movement of the frusto-conical spring steel element in an axial direction causes the spring to generate a restoring force proportional to the applied load, which restoring force is not uniform over the relatively small movement of a frusto-conical spring. Belleville springs are used in many applications and are produced by the millions for a wide variety of mechanical devices, such as transmissions for automobiles, etc. Since Belleville springs are mass produced components, the reduction in the overall cost of manufacturing a Belleville spring, even if relatively small, translates into substantial gross cost savings.

Belleville springs have heretofore been formed by blanking a flat, washer like, ring from a sheet of plain carbon steel that is normally cold roiled. After the flat ring of carbon steel is stamped or punched from the steel sheet or strip, it is pressed formed into a truncated conical shape by applying pressure through matching dies. The frusto-conical steel element is heated to a relatively high temperature, approaching 1093,3 °C (2000 °F), and is subsequently quench hardened to create the spring characteristics in the frusto-conical element. Quench hardening is often followed by heating and cooling steps to stress relieve the spring, reduce distortions in the spring, obtain the desired final hardness and to set the spring into its final shape. This general manufacturing procedure is employed in making Belleville springs. The manufacture of such springs results in a considerable amount of scrap material, especially in larger sizes above about a 50,8 mm (2.0 inches) in diameter for the inner periphery, where the metal content of the Belleville spring is often 30-50% of the price of the spring itself. Due to stamping of the ring shaped blank used in forming the Belleville spring from strip steel, the edges of the part have the normal burrs and shear marks. When the formed component is heat treated, the edges of the stamped sheet metal blank can become very brittle due to minute cracks. These cracks must be removed by costly and time consuming procedures, such as tumbling or grinding, which smooths the edges to increase the fatigue life of he Belleville spring. Thus, the amount of metal waste, the resulting burrs and stress cracks in the stamped edges of the spring and other problems experienced in manufacturing Belleville springs substantially add to the cost of these mass produced springs. The present invention relates to an improvement in manufacturing of Belleville springs, which improvement reduces scrap, avoids the deleterious effect of edge imperfections caused by stamping and heat treating and results in a Belleville spring having the desired technical parameters or characteristics.

Moreover, the patent GB 1 248 473 discloses load applying springs engaging a friction clutch. The springs comprise an annular component of sheet spring metal, one of the radially inner and outer edges of the annular component being moveable axially relative to the other to engage or disengage to clutch. A method of producing said spring includes the step of bending a spring metal into a ring form with the width of the strip extending substantially radially of that ring form. The ends of the strips are joined together to form a closed ring after the strip has been bent into the ring form. The spring has a dished shape made by a coning operation which may be performed after the ends of the strip have been joined together. Alternatively, the ring form produced by the step of bending the strip of spring metal has a dished shape imparted to it during the bending step. The ends of the strip may be joined together by welding or one of the ends of the strip may be formed with a notch and the other end formed with a tongue which is arranged to mate with the notch. The two ends being joined together by engaging the tongue and the mating notch provide a mechanical interlock.

In the brochure entitled Belleville Spring Washers published by Associated Spring, at pages 71-77, the structure and operation of Belleville springs are described so that the technology associated with Belleville springs need not be repeated. US-A-3,259,383 illustrates a particular type of Belleville spring, and US-A-4,039,354 describes the method of making Belleville springs and improvement in that method involving controlling the carbon in the steel used for stamping and forming Belleville springs.

In accordance with the invention, there is a method of making a Belleville spring comprising the steps of mechanically coiling a flat strip of hardened spring steel into a continuous, generally flat circular convolution, wherein the strip has first and second parallel edges defining the width of the strip. The coiler produces a coiled convolution of the hardened spring steel strip with a preselected radius of curvature that is formed around an axially extending center of generation, wherein the first edge, or periphery of the convolution, has a first radius and the second edge, or periphery of the convolution, has a second radius. The first radius being less than the second radius by an amount generally equal to the width of the coiled spring steel strip. Thus, the strip is coiled into a flat configuration preparatory to cutting the spring steel strip of the circular convolution to create a generally flat shaped spring, with first and second free ends joined together i.e. the free ends are interlocked and/or permanently fixed to each other prior to the forming operation. These method steps are known from GB-A-1 248 473. The invention is characterised by heating said flat ring shaped spring on a temperature of over 426,7°C and simultaneously forming said flat ring shaped spring under axial pressure to heat set said ring shaped spring into a frusto-conical shape.

After the spring strip has been coiled about a given center of curvature with a selected radius, the convolutions can overlap each other and be cut to form the free ends or the free end can be stamped or cut separately. The free ends may have an interlocking dovetail or some other arrangement, for joining the free ends into a circular configuration resulting in a Belleville spring. It has been found that joining of the free ends of the coiled hardened spring steel into a Belleville spring configuration obtains the characteristics of a typical stamped and heat treated Belleville spring.

As an example of a Belleville spring constructed in accordance with the present invention, a hardened strip of SAE 1074 carbon steel having a thickness of 1,1mm (.043 inches) and a width of 8,3 mm (.325 inches) was forceably coiled into a convolution having an inside diameter, or periphery, of 129,3 mm (5.098 inches) and an outside diameter, or periphery, of 146,0 mm (5.748 inches). This frusto-conical Belleville spring had dovetailed or interlocking free ends held together. A test fixture was used to compare this split Belleville spring with a standard continuous ring Belleville spring. It was found that the characteristics of the example and a continuous stamped Belleville spring were essentially the same. They both had a height to thickness ratio of 1,9. The Belleville spring, produced in accordance with the present invention, was fatigue tested between the heights of 2,1 - 1,2 mm (.083 - .048 inches) for 2.500.000 cycles without failure. The tensile stress on the outside diameter of the new Belleville spring was approximately 572 MPa (83,000 psi) at a height of 2,1 mm (.083 inches) and 869 MPa (126.000 psi) at a height of 1,2 mm (.048 inches) using standard Belleville design parameters. This test of the example revealed that a Belleville spring that is frusto-conical in configuration and has two free ends joined together operates substantially the same as a stamped Belleville spring which is continuous in configuration.

The present invention is particularly applicable for Belleville springs which are large in diameter and operate in a low stressed environment. Two arrangements are employed for practicing the present invention. In one instance, the spring steel is coiled into a frusto-conical configuration which has overlapping convolutions. A punches of a die set stamp through these convolutions to form the first and second free ends of the Belleville spring. Thereafter, the Belleville spring is merely stress relieved.

In accordance with the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the hardened spring steel is distorted transversely like a snap ring to form the convolutions. The interlocking elements are then stamped by a die set passing through the overlapping convolutions, the split ring is joined at its free ends and heat set under pressure. In both embodiments, the starting spring steel strip, or wire, is a hard drawn steel strip of oil tempered material with a hardness of at least 43-48 C on the Rockwell C scale. By using a hardened spring steel, the coiler forms the circular body of the spring in a form having a selected radius. During the heat setting operation, when the convolution is formed into a frusto-conical shape, the hardness is reduced by about 5-10 points on the Rockwell C scale. Thus, the resulting Belleville spring has a hardness of approximately 30-40 C on the Rockwell scale.

The invention will become more apparent from the following description taken together with the accompanying drawings.

  • FIGURE 1 is a pictorial view of a Belleville spring constructed in accordance with the present invention, showing the free ends with interlocking elements spaced apart;
  • FIGURE 2 is a pictorial view, similar to FIGURE 1, showing the Belleville spring with the free ends interlocked as the spring is assembled for use;
  • FIGURE 3 is a cross sectional view of a Belleville spring showing the normal parameters of a Belleville spring;
  • FIGURE 4 is a top plan view of the apparatus and method for forming a Belleville spring in accordance with the present invention showing the circular convolutions from a coiler, which convolutions are cut to create free ends;
  • FIGURE 5 is a side partial view taken generally along line 5-5 of FIGURE 4;
  • FIGURE 6 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken generally along lines 6-6 of FIGURE 4;
  • FIGURE 7 is a top enlarged plan view of the die cutting station illustrated in FIGURE 4;
  • FIGURE 8 is an enlarged portion of the free ends of a Belleville spring constructed in accordance with the present invention showing the interlocking elements stamped out by the die cutting station schematically illustrated in FIGURE 7;
  • FIGURE 9 is a top plan view of a circular preform with the tree ends interlocked and having a flat configuration preparatory to heat setting in accordance with an aspect of the present invention;
  • FIGURE 10 is a view of the interlocking elements on the free ends of a Belleville spring showing an embodiment of the invention wherein the free ends of a spring at rest have a slight gap preparatory to interlocking as shown in FIGURE 9;
  • FIGURE 11 is a cross sectional view of the heat set forming dies with the flat preform as shown in FIGURE 9 in place for heat setting of the Belleville spring;
  • FIGURE 12 is a view similar to FIGURE 11 with the heat set and forming die in the forming position;
  • FIGURE 13 is a graph showing a comparison between the sample discussed above and a standard Belleville spring;
  • FIGURE 14 is a top plan view, similar to FIGURE 4, illustrating an embodiment not in accordance with the present invention wherein the circular convolutions are inclined as they issue from the coiler to automatically produce the frusto-conical configuration of a Belleville spring;
  • FIGURE 15 is an enlarged cross sectional view taken generally along line 15-15 of FIGURE 14;
  • FIGURE 16-23 are enlarged top views wherein the free ends of a Belleville spring constructed in accordance with the present invention with several interlocking male and female configurations;
  • FIGURE 24 is a top plan view showing the free ends of a Belleville spring constructed in accordance with the present invention wherein the free ends are butt welded together;
  • FIGURE 25 is a side cross sectional view of the free ends of the Belleville spring showing schematically, the butt welding procedure;
  • FIGURE 26 is an enlarged cross sectional view taken generally along line 26-26 of FIGURE 24; and,
  • FIGURE 27 is an enlarged view showing the free ends of a Belleville spring with an angular gap therebetween, which gap may be used for joining the free ends.

Referring now to the drawings wherein the showings are for the purpose of illustrating preferred embodiments of the invention only, and not for the purpose of limiting same, FIGURE 1 illustrates a Belleville spring B, in the form of a circular body 10 formed from coiled, hardened spring steel strip S having free ends 20, 22 with interlocking or dovetail elements, illustrated as female element 24 and male element 26. In use of the Belleville spring, the free ends are interlocked or held together by elements 24, 26 to form the frusto-conical configuration of a Belleville spring, as shown in FIGURE 2. This spring is used in the same applications of any Belleville spring. It is not necessary to securely affix the interlocking or dovetail elements; however, these elements can be fixed by welding, adhesion or otherwise. When Belleville spring B has been constructed in accordance with the present invention it has the side profile illustrated in FIGURE 3. The spring B is frusto-conical in configuration with a circular body 10 formed from hardened spring steel strip S, which strip has a width w and thickness t. The frusto-conical configuration creates an inner circular periphery 14, with a diameter a, and an outer circular periphery 12, with a diameter b. The overall height h is from the top of the Belleville spring to the bottom plane of outer periphery 12. The height H is the basic parameter taken together with the thickness t, which defines the operating characteristics of Belleville spring B. In practice, the ratio of h/t is in the general range of 1,4-1,6, which ratio allows Belleville spring B to operate at substantially constant load between about 50% deflection up to 100% deflection, i.e. flat.

In FIGURE 4, the method and apparatus for constructing the Belleville spring B is schematically illustrated. A standard snap ring coiler 30 coils flat strip S, stored on spool 32 which spool is rotated at 90° to show the supply of strip S. The strip is curved about radius r in a direction transverse to width w and perpendicular to thickness t. Strip S is hardened to provide a spring steel strip. Such hardness, in practice, is approximately 43-48 C on the Rockwell C scale when SAE 1074 carbon steel is employed as in the previously discussed example. Flat strip S, which in practice has a width of 8,3 mm (.325 inches) and a thickness of 1,1 mm (.043 inches), is coiled into a circular shape having radius r which in practice is at least 25,4 mm (1.0 inches). As strip S is passed through snap ring coiler 30 it is deflected transversely into convolution C around a center of curvature c with a radius r so that the convolutions continue to overlap one over the other as the strip issues from coiler 30. To form free ends 20, 22, a die cutting station 40 is provided. This station has reciprocal dies that cut both ends 20, 22 simultaneously, or in succession. As shown in FIGURE 7, die cutting elements 42, 44 are moved downwardly against body 10, after a small end 50 of strip S has been passed through cutting station 40. A die 40 having die elements 42, 44 moves downwardly, which action cuts both the female and male elements of the free ends 20, 22. In that instance, portion 50 is scrap and is formed in each stamping operation. Another arrangement for cutting the elements 24, 26 involves cutting a single layer of strip S at any given time. This procedure is shown in FIGURE 5. After the cut has been made by the die elements 42, 44, the previously cut free end 20 coacts with the subsequently cut free end 22. Thereafter, new free end 20 progresses around the convulation C into an overlapping position as shown in FIGURE 5. Each cut produces the interlocking element at the end of the circular convolution for coaction with the previously cut end; consequently, no scrap is produced. The profile for the upper die element 42 and the lower die element 44 is the shape shown in dotted linea in FIGURE 7. The elements are the upper and lower die elements shown in FIGURE 5. Use of these die sections could be employed for cutting simultaneously, as shown in FIGURE 7, or cutting in sequence, as shown in FIGURE 5. Other stamping procedures could be used to cut the ends of the convolutions to make a split ring shaped spring. Irrespective of the form of cutting, the strip S has free ends 20, 22 with interlocking elements 24, 26 as shown in FIGURE 8.

After the ends 20, 22 have been cut at die station 40, the two ends are joined as shown in FIGURE 8. This joining action provides a flat coiled blank or preform 100, as shown in FIGURE 9. In the cutting procedure shown in FIGURE 5, it is possible to create a spacing or gap 60, as shown in FIGURE 10. This spacing-is closed when element 26 is moved into interlocking relationship with element 24. The simultaneous cutting operation shown in FIGURE 7 does not produce gap 60. Gap 60 can be of some value in providing a certain amount of holding tension on the interlocking action between elements 24, 26.

The flat coiled ring of hardened spring steel is preform 100 shown in FIGURE 9. This preform is formed into the frusto-conical configuration, as shown in FIGURES 1 and 2, by a pressure and heat processing schematically illustrated in FIGURES 11 and 12. Heat set press 110 has a upper platen 112 and a lower platen 114. Electrical sources 120, 122 create energy to heat the platens to the desired heat set temperature, which temperature is in the range of 426,6 °C - 537,7 °C (800 °F - 1.000 °F). In the example explained in this disclosure, the temperature is approximately 482,2 °C (900 °F). Upper platen 112 has a die element with a conical surface 130. In a like manner, lower platen 114 has a die member with a conical surface 132. The lower die member has an upwardly extending cylindrical boss 134 generally matching inner periphery 14 of blank or preform 100. Boss 134 extends into cylindrical recess 136, which provide clearance for the boss when platen 112 is moved from the loading position shown in FIGURE 11 to the forming position shown in FIGURE 12. Preform 100 is formed into a frusto-conical shape, as shown in FIGURE 12, and is held in the forming position for a prolonged time which, in practice, is in the general range of 1,0 - 2,0 minutes. Blank or preform 100 in its flat condition has ends 20, 22 interlocked by element 24, 26. After the heat set cycle which employs a selected temperature and a selected time, platen 112 is shifted upwardly into the loading position, as shown in FIGURE 11. This results in a frusto-conical Belleville spring as shown in FIGURES 1 and 2. In this embodiment of the invention, flat hardened spring steel strip is first formed transversely into convolutions C which are cut to create the flat interlocked preform 100. This preform is then formed by heat and pressure into a Belleville spring. In FIGURE 6, edges 150, 152 are contoured to have a smooth arcuate configuration. Thus, these edges 150, 152 need not be machined during the manufacturing process to remove surface imperfections.

FIGURE 13 is a graph showing the load characteristics for a Belleville spring constructed in accordance with the present invention which is illustrated by the solid line curve of the graph. This curve is compared to the dashed line curve of the graph, which second curve represents a standard stamped circular Belleville spring. As can be seen, as overall height H decreases, from 3,3 mm to 1,1 mm (0.130 inches to 0.045 inches), both springs operate substantially in accordance with the same load characteristics. The example of the invention has an inside diameter of 129,3 mm (5.098 inches) and is formed from a hard-ened spring metal strip with a width w of 8,3 mm (.325 inches) and a thickness t of 10,9 mm (0.43 inches). These same dimensional characteristics were employed for the standard Belleville spring represented by the dashed line curve in FIGURE 13.

Referring now to FIGURES 14 and 15, mechanical snap spring coiler 200 is modified to automatically form the frusto-conical configuration when coiling hardened spring strip S. The coiled strip S issuing from coiler 200 has a frusto-conical configuration wherein the diameter a is less than the outer diameter b by an count substantially less than width w. Cutting station 202 performs the cutting processes illustrated in FIGURES 5 and 7. In this manner, the coiled strip S is formed into convolutions C' and cut into circular bodies. The bodies are provided with free ends having interlocking or dovetailed interlocking elements. In this fashion, the Belleville spring is manufactured merely by cutting the convolutions into circular configurations. This procedure avoids the heat set process illustrated in FIGURES 11 and 12. Since there is no heat set operation, coiler 200 distorts strip S transversely to a greater extent than when only a flat preform 100 is produced. By over distortion, the configuration springs back toward the original shape to create the desired frusto-conical configuration of Belleville spring B'. The Belleville spring is still a spring coiled from a hardened strip. The preferred embodiment using the steps shown in FIGURES 4, 11 ad 12 has been practiced; however, the illustrated second embodiment illustrated in FIGURES 14-15 will produce a Belleville spring that does not require stamping, forming, heat treating, etc., as used in the prior art.

Referring now to FIGURES 16-23, free ends 210, 212, with or without a gap as shown in FIGURE 10, have interlocking structures using matching interlocking elements or dovetails. In FIGURE 16, interlocking means 220 include a dovetail element 222 fitting into recess element 224. In a similar manner, FIGURE 17 uses interlocking means 230 with elements 232, 234 and FIGURE 18 shows an interlocking dovetail means 240 with elements 242, 244. In FIGURE 19, the interlocking means 250 includes transversely extending interlocking elements 252, 254 on free ends 210, 212, respectively. A similar arrangement using longitudinally spaced dovetails is shown as interlocking means 260 having elements 262, 264 in FIGURE 20. FIGURES 21-23 include interlocking means 270, 280, 290, respectively, having interlocking elements 272, 274 and 282 and 284, 292 and 294. In these embodiments, the free ends 210, 212 are cut or stamped by the die cutting station along generally diagonal lines 276, 286 and 296, respectively. These interlocking means are permanently fixed together, or are used as merely interlocked elements. The Belleville spring generally maintains the engaged relationship between the interlocking means while it is in use. The respective elements could be formed simultaneously by a single punching or stamping operation by die cutting station 40 or by die cutting station 202 as shown in FIGURE 7.

In FIGURES 24-26 free ends 310, 312 are butt welded together along line 320. As illustrated in FIGURE 25, the free ends may have a space 322 after being cut by die cutting station 40 or by die cutting station 202. Clamps 330, 332 capture ends 310, 312 and move these ends together as a power supply 340 applies current between the ends 310, 312 to butt weld the ends along weld 320. The final product is shown in the cross sectional view in FIGURE 26.

In FIGURE 27, free ends 350, 352 are butt welded along the diagonal cut line 354 to form weld 356. Various processes could be provided for fixedly securing the free ends of the Belleville spring. In practice, the dovetail or interlocking elements illustrated in FIGURE 9, or the dovetail elements illustrated in FIGURE 16, are preferred. The interlocking means hold the free ends together without subsequent processing, such as welding or adhesively joining the interlocking elements.

Strip S of the example is purchased material having No. 1 rounded edges, which edges 150, 152 are shown in FIGURE 6. This hardened spring steel strip is coiled into the desired convolutions and cut to create the interlocking or dovetail elements. Blank or preform 100 is then assembled with the interlocking elements together and formed in a heat set operation under pressure wherein preform 100 is held between two forming dies. The forming process is conducted at a elevated temperature, in practice, approximately 482,2 °C (900 °F) for about 1,0 minutes. Approximately 15-30 tons of pressure is applied between platens 112, 114. After the part is heat set, the hardness of the part is lowered by approximately 2-5 points on the Rockwell C scale. In forming the dovetail or interlocking elements, the die cutting station 40 or die cutting station 202 is added as a hydraulic cutoff to the outlet of a standard number W 775 Torin coiler, which coiler is modified to feed wire or strip S from a coil 32. The Torin coiler is standard equipment for producing snap rings. Internal cams in the coiler are used to adjust the radius r for convolution C. Other spring coilers could be used for coiling the flat preform 100, as shown in FIGURE 9 or the frusto-conical convolutions C', as shown in FIGURE 14.


Anspruch[de]
  1. Verfahren für das Herstellen von Tellerfedern, die Schritte aufweisend:
    • (a) mechanisches Wickeln eines flachen Streifens (S) aus gehärtetem Federstahl zu einer stetigen, im wesentlichen flachen kreisförmigen Windung (C), wobei der gewickelte Streifen (S) erste und zweite parallele, eine Weite (w) definierende Kanten (150, 152) aufweist und wobei die gewikkelte Windung (C) aus dem Federstahlstreifen (S) einen gegebenen Krümmungsradius und ein sich axial erstreckendes Erzeugungszentrum aufweist, wo die erste Kante (150) einen ersten geformten Radius und die zweite Kante (152) einen zweiten geformten Radius besitzt, wobei der erste Radius um einen im wesentlichen zu der Weite (w) der Streifen gleich großen Betrag kleiner als der zweite Radius ist;
    • (b) Durchschneiden des gewickelten Federstahlstreifens (S) der kreisförmigen Windung (C), um eine im wesentlichen flache ringförmige Feder (B) mit ersten und zweiten freien Enden (20, 210, 22, 212, 310, 312) zu erzeugen;
    • (c) Verbinden der freien Enden (20, 210, 22, 212, 310, 312);

      gekennzeichnet durch:
    • (d) Erhitzen der flachen ringförmigen Feder (B) auf eine Temperatur von über 426,7 °C (800 F) und gleichzeitiges Formen der flachen ringförmigen Feder (B) unter axialem Druck, um die ringförmige Feder (B) in eine frustriertkonische Form zu thermofixieren.
  2. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Temperatur in dem Bereich von 426,7 °C bis 537,7 °C (800 F bis 1000 F) liegt.
  3. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 1 oder 2, wobei der Erhitzungsschritt für eine Zeit von mindestens ungefähr 0,5 Minuten durchgeführt wird.
  4. Verfahren nach Anspruch 3, wobei die Zeit mindestens ungefähr 1,0 Minuten ist.
  5. Verfahren nach Anspruch 3, wobei die Zeit in dem Bereich von 1,0 - 2,0 Minuten liegt.
  6. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 5, wobei der Federstahl eine Härte in dem Bereich von ungefähr C43 - 48 auf der Rockwell C-Skala aufweist und der Erhitzungsschritt die Härte um ungefähr 5 - 10 Punkte auf der Rockwell C-Skala erniedrigt.
  7. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 6, zusätzlich die Schritte aufweisend:
    • (d) Bereitstellen der freien Enden (20, 210, 22, 212) mit Verschlußelementen (24, 26, 220, 230, 240, 250, 260, 270, 280, 290); und
    • (e) Verschließen der freien Enden (20, 210, 22, 212) vor dem Formungsschritt.
  8. Verfahren nach Anspruch 7, wobei die freien Enden (20, 210, 22, 212) einen Spalt (60) vor dem Verschlußschritt zwischen sich aufweisen.
  9. Verfahren nach Anspruch 7 oder 8, wobei der Verschlußschritt die freien Enden (20, 210, 22, 212) permanent verbindet.
Anspruch[en]
  1. A method of making a Belleville spring comprising the steps of
    • (a) mechanically coiling a flat strip (S) of hardened spring steel into a continuous, generally flat circular convolution (C), said coiled strip (S) having first and second parallel edges (150, 152) defining a width (w), said coiled convolution (C) of said spring steel strip (S) having a given radius of curvature and an axially extending center of generation where said first edge (150) has a first formed radius and said second edge (152) has a second formed radius, with said first radius being less than said second radius by an amount generally equal to said width (w) of said strip
    • (b) cutting said coiled spring steel strip (S) of said circular convolution (C) to create a generally flat ring shaped spring (B) with first and second free ends (20, 210, 22, 212, 310, 312)
    • (c) joining said free ends (20, 210, 22, 212, 310, 312); characterized by
    • (d) heating said flat ring shaped spring (B) on a temperature of over 426,7 °C (800 °F) and simultaneously forming said flat ring shaped spring (B) under axial pressure to heat set said ring shaped spring (B) into a frusto-conical shape.
  2. The method as defined in claim 1 wherein said temperature is in the range of 426,7 °C to 537,7 °C (800 °F to 1000 °F).
  3. The method as defined in claim 1 or 2 wherein said heating step is performed for a time of at least about 0,5 minutes.
  4. The method as defined in claim 3 wherein said time is at least about 1,0 minutes.
  5. The method as defined in claim 3 wherein said time is in the range of about 1,0 - 2,0 minutes.
  6. The method as defined in one of the claims 1 to 5 wherein said spring steel has a hardness in the range of about C43 - 48 on the Rockwell C scale and said heating step reduces said hardness by about 5 - 10 points on the Rockwell C scale.
  7. The method as defined in one of the claims 1 to 6 including the additional steps of:
    • (d) providing said free ends (20, 210, 22, 212) with interlocking elements (24, 26, 220, 230, 240, 250, 260, 270, 280, 290); and
    • (e) interlocking said free ends (20, 210, 22, 212) before said forming step.
  8. The method as defined in claim 7 wherein said free ends (20, 210, 22, 212) have a gap (60) therebetween before said interlocking step.
  9. The method as defined in claims 7 or 8 wherein said interlocking step permanently affixes said free ends (20, 210, 22, 212).
Anspruch[fr]
  1. Procédé de fabrication d'une rondelle Belleville, comprenant les étapes consistant à :
    • a) enrouler mécaniquement une bande plate (S) d'acier à ressort durci, en une spire circulaire continue généralement plate (C), cette bande enroulée (S) présentant un premier bord et un second bord parallèles (150, 152) définissant une largeur (w), la spire enroulée (C) de la bande d'acier à ressort (S) ayant un rayon de courbure donné et un centre de génération s'étendant axialement, le premier bord (150) présentant un premier rayon formé et le second bord (152) présentant un second rayon formé, le premier rayon étant inférieur au second rayon d'une quantité généralement égale à la largeur (w) de la bande,
    • b) découper la bande en acier à ressort enroulée (S), de la spire circulaire (C), pour créer un ressort de forme annulaire généralement plat (B) ayant une première extrémité et une seconde extrémité libres (20, 210, 22, 212, 310, 312), et
    • c) relier ces extrémités libres (20, 210, 22, 212, 310, 312),

      caractérisé en ce qu'
    • d) on fait chauffer le ressort de forme annulaire plate (B) à une température de plus de 426,7°C (800°F) tout en formant simultanément ce ressort de forme annulaire plate (B) sous une pression axiale pour lui donner une forme tronconique par application de chaleur de mise en forme.
  2. Procédé selon la revendication 1,

    dans lequel

    la température de mise en forme se situe dans la plage de 426.7°C à 537,7°C (800°F à 1000°F).
  3. Procédé selon la revendication 1 ou 2,

    dans lequel

    l'étape de chauffage est effectuée pendant une durée d'au moins 0,5 minute environ.
  4. Procédé selon la revendication 3,

    dans lequel

    la durée est d'au moins 1,0 minute environ.
  5. Procédé selon la revendication 3,

    dans lequel

    la durée se situe dans la plage d'environ 1,0 à 2,0 minutes.
  6. Procédé selon l'une des revendications 1 à 5,

    dans lequel

    l'acier à ressort a une dureté se situant dans la plage d'environ C43 à C48 sur l'échelle C de Rockwell, et

    l'étape de chauffage réduit cette dureté d'environ 5 à 10 points sur l'échelle C de Rockwell.
  7. Procédé selon l'une des revendications 1 à 6, comprenant les étapes supplémentaires consistant à :
    • d) munir les extrémités libres (20, 210, 22, 212) d'éléments d'interverrouillage (24, 26, 220, 230, 240, 250, 260, 270, 280, 290), et
    • e) interverrouiller ces extrémités libres (20, 210, 22, 212) avant l'étape de mise en forme.
  8. Procédé selon la revendication 7,

    dans lequel

    les extrémités libres (20, 210, 22, 212) ont entre elles un intervalle (60) avant l'étape d'interverrouillage.
  9. Procédé selon les revendications 7 ou 8,

    dans lequel

    l'étape d'interverrouillage fixe les extrémités libres (20, 210, 22, 212) de façon permanente.






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