This application claims reference to Taiwanese Invention Patent Application No. 109139319, filed on Nov. 11, 2020.
The disclosure relates to a wheel.
A conventional wheel for a vehicle is made of a metal material such as an aluminium alloy, and includes a rim and a plurality of spokes. The rim is connected to the spokes via a plurality of screws.
One reason why the conventional wheel uses screws for connecting the rim to the spokes is that threaded holes can be easily tapped on metal materials. Note that these threaded holes are necessary for the fastening of the screws onto the conventional wheel.
However, new materials, such as carbon fibre composite material, have been introduced for the manufacture of wheels. In the case of a conventional wheel made of carbon fibre composite material, attempting to tap the conventional wheel to form a threaded hole will likely create fractures and damage the structural integrity of the conventional wheel. Additionally, even in the event that threaded holes were successfully tapped on the conventional wheel without causing any damage, fractures may occur on a surface of the conventional wheel while fastening the screw.
Therefore, an object of the disclosure is to provide a wheel that can alleviate at least one of the drawbacks of the prior art.
According to the disclosure, the wheel includes a spoke formed with a mounting hole that extends in a radial direction of the wheel. The spoke is further formed with a first through hole that extends in an axial direction perpendicular to the radial direction and that is in spatial communication with the mounting hole.
The wheel further includes a rim connected to the spoke. The rim is formed with a second through hole that extends in the radial direction and that is aligned with the mounting hole.
The wheel further includes a connecting unit connecting the spoke and the rim. The connecting unit includes a rod extending through the second through hole into the mounting hole. The rod is formed with an engaging hole that extends in the axial direction and that is aligned with the first through hole. The connecting unit further includes a fastener extending through the first through hole into the engaging hole and engaging with the engaging hole.
Other features and advantages of the disclosure will become apparent in the following detailed description of the embodiment with reference to the accompanying drawings, of which:
Before the disclosure is described in greater detail, it should be noted that where considered appropriate, reference numerals or terminal portions of reference numerals have been repeated among the figures to indicate corresponding or analogous elements, which may optionally have similar characteristics.
The spoke 1 is formed with a mounting hole 11 that extends in a corresponding radial direction of the wheel, and a first through hole 12 that extends in an axial direction perpendicular to the radial direction and that is in spatial communication with the mounting hole 11.
The rim 2 is formed with a plurality of second through holes 21 (only one is shown). The second through holes 21 respectively extend in different radial directions, and are aligned respectively with the mounting holes 11 of the spokes 1. It should be noted that only one of the second through holes 21 will be described in the following. The second through hole 21 has an internal surface 211, and the internal surface 211 defines an opening 210 of the second through hole 21.
In this embodiment, the spokes 1 and the rim 2 are made of carbon fibre composite material.
Each of the connecting units 3 includes a rod 32, a fastener 33, a sleeve 31, a sealing ring 34 and a washer 35. Each of the connecting units 3 corresponds to the mounting hole 11 and first through hole 12 of the respective one of the spokes 1, and to one of the second through holes 21 that is aligned with the mounting hole 11 of the respective one of the spokes 1. The following description will be made with respect to an individual connecting unit 3, the corresponding spoke 1, the corresponding mounting hole 11, the corresponding first through hole 12, and the corresponding second through hole 21.
The rod 32 extends through the second through hole 21 of the rim 2 into the mounting hole 11 of the spoke 1. The rod 32 is formed with an engaging hole 323 that extends in the axial direction and that is aligned with the first through hole 12 when the rod 32 is disposed in the mounting hole 11. The rod 32 has a rod body 321 that is formed with the engaging hole 323, and a head portion 322 that is connected to the rod body 321 at a position opposite to the engaging hole 323 and that engages with a portion of the second through hole 21. In this embodiment, the engaging hole 323 of the rod 32 is a threaded hole, and the fastener 33 of the connecting unit 3 is a screw used for screwing onto the engaging hole 323 of the rod 32.
Viewing in the radial direction, the head portion 322 of the rod 32 has a contour that has a shape substantially of a major segment of a circle, and the opening 210 of the second through hole 21 matches with the head portion 322.
More specifically, the head portion 322 has a curved surface 324 corresponding to an arc of the major segment of the circle and having two opposite ends. The head portion 322 further has a planar surface 325 corresponding to a chord of the circle that cooperates with the arc to define the major segment and being connected between the two opposite ends of the curved surface 324. The curved surface 324 and the planar surface 325 fittingly abut against the internal surface 211 of the second through hole 21.
Therefore, because the contour of the head portion 322 matches the opening 210 of the second through hole 21 (see
The sleeve 31 of the connecting unit 3 is disposed in the mounting hole 11 of the spoke 1 and is fitted over the rod 32. The mounting hole 11 formed in the spoke 1 has two cylindrical sections (see
The sealing ring 34 of the connecting unit 3 surrounds the sleeve 31 of the connecting unit 3, and is sandwiched between the spoke 1 and the rim 2. The rod 32 extends through the sealing ring 34. The sealing ring 34 is made of a silicone material and is able to seal a gap between the spoke 1 and the rim 2.
The fastener 33 of the connecting unit 3 extends through the first through hole 12 of the rim 2 into the engaging hole 323 of the rod 32, and engages with the engaging hole 323. The fastener 33 has a threaded shank 331 screwing into the engaging hole 323, and a screw head 332 connected to the threaded shank 331. The threaded shank 331 extends through the washer 35, and the washer 35 is sandwiched between the screw head 332 and the spoke 1.
It should be noted that the mounting hole 11 is formed by boring into the spoke 1, which is made of carbon fibre composite material. The boring generally has a tolerance. Due to the tolerance, the mounting hole 11 may have an inner diameter different from an outer diameter of the rod 32 and/or may be misaligned with the second through hole 21. Such difference and/or misalignment will result in a space between the outer surface of the rod 32 and the inner surface of the mounting hole 11, and cause the rod 32 to be disposed at a slight angle when inserted in the second through hole 21 and the mounting hole 11, which then causes misalignment of the engaging hole 323 of the rod 32 with the first through hole 12 of the spoke 1 and causes the fastener 33 to have difficulty engaging the engaging hole 323. Therefore, having the sleeve 31 as part of the connecting unit 3 in the wheel will help to ensure that the rod 32 is properly disposed in the mounting hole 11, and thereby ensure that the first through hole 12 of the spoke 1 is accurately aligned with the engaging hole 323 of the rod 32.
The following description provides a detailed description on a method for assembling the wheel and clarifying how various components of the wheel cooperate. However, the following description is only for the purpose of explanation, and the disclosure should not be limited thereto.
In summary, because a thread of an individual fastener 33 is used to screw with the engaging hole 323 and is not used for screwing with the first through hole 12, and the rod 32 is secured by the fastener 33 instead of being threaded into the second through hole 12 and the mounting hole 11, the spokes 1 and the rim 2 do not require the tapping of any thread to attach the rim 2 to the spokes 1. Specifically, the first through holes 12, the mounting holes 11 of the spokes 1 and the second through holes 21 of the rim 2 can all be drilled as non-threaded holes into the carbon fibre composite material. Since no screw is directly screwed onto the spokes 1 and the rim 2 that are made of carbon fibre composite material, fractures that may be created when fastening a screw to a conventional wheel can also be avoided. Furthermore, the gap between each spoke 1 and the rim 2 of the wheel according to embodiments of this disclosure is also well sealed with the connecting unit 3.
In the description above, for the purposes of explanation, numerous specific details have been set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the embodiment(s). It will be apparent, however, to one skilled in the art, that one or more other embodiments may be practiced without some of these specific details. It should also be appreciated that reference throughout this specification to “one embodiment,” “an embodiment,” an embodiment with an indication of an ordinal number and so forth means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic may be included in the practice of the disclosure. It should be further appreciated that in the description, various features are sometimes grouped together in a single embodiment, figure, or description thereof for the purpose of streamlining the disclosure and aiding in the understanding of various inventive aspects, and that one or more features or specific details from one embodiment may be practiced together with one or more features or specific details from another embodiment, where appropriate, in the practice of the disclosure.
While the disclosure has been described in connection with what is considered the exemplary embodiment, it is understood that this disclosure is not limited to the disclosed embodiment but is intended to cover various arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent arrangements.