Nissan North America, Inc. (Franklin, TN)

The following description describes a vehicle door: A bracket is designed to support a window when it is opened and closed and a locking device for the door which is situated close to the bracket; an absorption member is constructed and placed to absorb energy produced by the force of the door order to safeguard the mechanism that locks it. The absorption member is comprised of an external body that defines an internal channel that is configured to receive the bracket with an interference fitting such that the absorption member is secured to the bracket.

A variety of internal components can be found in vehicle doors like locking mechanisms and window guides. The car door cavity housing these components can burst and become dislocated or damaged when it’s struck by another vehicle.

To address this concern, the present disclosure describes various embodiments of energy absorbers installed within the vehicle door to absorb the energy (force) of the impact and/or resist collapse of the vehicle door, thereby reducing (ifnot completely prevent) the damage to, or displacement of the various internal components.

In one aspect of the disclosed invention, the vehicle door is described which includes a bracket that is designed to hold a window during opening and closing, an internal locking mechanism for the door that is located proximate (e.g., near or near or to)the bracket as well as an absorption component that is configured and positioned to absorb energy from an impact with the vehicle door to thereby protect the mechanism for locking doors. The body of the absorption member defines an internal channel that receives the bracket. This interference fit assures the bracket is secured to the absorption members (e.g., without any adhesives or mechanical fasteners).

In certain instances, the body of the absorption component may include a deformable material (e.g., an expanded polypropylene foam).

In some embodiments the absorption member can include a plurality of stabilizers (e.g. the ribs) which extend outwardly from the body to the internal channel. For instance, in some embodiments, the number of stabilizers can include a first stabilizer that extends inwardly from a first face of the body as well as an additional stabilizer that extends inwardly from a second surface of the body which typically faces the first surface.

In some embodiments the internal channel can include a first portion that extends along a first direction, and a second portion that extends along the second axis. In such embodiments the second axis can connect with the first axis it is subtendan in angle, which lies substantially within the range of 115.degree. to 155.degree..

In some embodiments, the absorption member may be further equipped with an element of location which extends outwardly from the body. In these embodiments the location element could be configured for engagement with the bracket (and/or any fasteners that are used to secure the bracket within the vehicle door). In some examples the location element can be extended from the body to provide an opening to receive the bracket and/or fastener.

In some instances, the location elements may be extended outwards from the body in order that they can be placed below the bracket following attaching the members for absorption to the bracket.

A different aspect of the disclosure describes an absorption member that could be placed close to a locking mechanism that is on a vehicle door. It has a window that is supported when it is closed and opens. The absorption member is comprised of the body of which is a deformable materialthat permits the absorption member to absorb energy from an impact with the vehicle door to thereby protect the locking mechanism. The bracket is attached to the body by an internalchannel. The first dimension of the channel is determined by the bracket. The bracket’s larger width means that the channel inside expands to fit the bracket. This allows the bracket to be secured to the bracket without any adhesives or mechanical fasteners.

In certain embodiments the absorption member can comprise a number of internal stabilizers designed to be in contact with the bracket. In certain embodiments, for example, the plurality internal stabilizers could be configured as ribs that extend inwardly to form an internal channel.

In certain embodiments, the absorption member may also include an element of location that extends outwards from the body and is configured for engagement with the bracket (and/or any other fasteners that are used to secure the bracket in the vehicle door). In certain embodiments the location element could extend beyond the body in such a way that it defines a receiving space that can be configured to fit the bracket (and/or the fastener(s)).

In a further aspect of the present disclosure, a method of building a vehicle door is described that comprises: positioning the window guide channel inside the vehicle door; fixedly joining an elongated bracket to the vehicle door so that the bracket supports the window guide channel; and securing an absorption member to the bracket via inserting the bracket in a channel defined by the absorption member so that the bracket is placed with an interference fit to secure the absorption member to the bracket.

In certain embodiments, the mounting of an absorption component to the bracket could include deforming several internal stabilizers by entanglement with the bracket.

The mounting of the absorption members to the bracket in certain instances may require setting the absorption unit up so that a first inner stabilizer is located adjacent to the bracket’s first side and a second stabilizer adjacent to a bracket’s second side.

In certain instances, the bracket can be used to mount the absorption component to the bracket might be accomplished by positioning the absorption member so that a place element extending outwardly from a body of the absorption component is in contact with the bracket (and/or any fastenersused to attach the bracket to the vehicle door).

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