Patent application title: CHARGE AIR INTERCOOLER FOR ARRANGEMENT IN A SUCTION TUBE
Peter Geskes (Ostfildern, DE)
Christian Saumweber (Stuttgart, DE)
IPC8 Class: AF28F9013FI
Class name: Heat exchange with external support
Publication date: 2012-03-15
Patent application number: 20120061053
A charge air intercooler for arrangement in a suction tube is provided
that includes a plurality of channels through which coolant flows,
forming a cooler block around which charge air can flow, wherein the
cooler block is connectable to a floor member and wherein a collector has
at least one coolant connection. The charge air intercooler can be
fastened in an opening of the suction tube via a flange member, the
flange member and the floor member being separate components.
1. A charge air intercooler for arrangement in a suction tube, the charge
air intercooler comprising: a plurality of channels through which coolant
flows and which form a cooler block around which charge air is flowable;
a floor member, the floor member being connectable to the cooler block;
and a collector having at least one coolant connection, wherein the
charge air intercooler is configured to be fastened in an opening of the
suction tube via a flange member, and wherein the flange member and the
floor member are separate components.
2. The charge air intercooler according to claim 1, wherein the floor member is made of aluminum, and wherein the channels are configured as flat tubes soldered to the floor member.
3. The charge air intercooler according to claim 1, wherein the flange member is made of plastic.
4. The charge air intercooler according to claim 1, wherein a seal is arranged between the floor member and the flange member.
5. The charge air intercooler according to claim 1, wherein a seal is arranged between the floor member and the suction tube.
6. The charge air intercooler according to claim 1, wherein the flange member forms a portion of the collector.
7. The charge air intercooler according to claim 1, wherein the flange member comprises a partition wall of the collector.
8. The charge air intercooler according to claim 1, wherein a coolant connection is formed on the flange member.
9. The charge air intercooler according to claim 1, wherein the floor member has a crimping, in particular a corrugated, slotted crimping, for connecting to the flange member.
10. The charge air intercooler according to claim 1, wherein the flange member engages over the collector, and wherein the flange member forms a partition wall between the charge air and an outside space.
11. The charge air intercooler according to claim 1, wherein the collector and the floor member are completely formed as a soldered unit made of aluminum components.
12. The charge air intercooler according to claim 1, wherein the flange member is connectable to the suction tube in a firmly bonding manner by an adhesive bonding and/or welding and/or friction welding.
13. The charge air intercooler according to claim 1, wherein the flange member is connectable to the suction tube via a substantially circular ring-shaped surface, or wherein the flange member is connectable to the suction tube via friction welding.
14. The charge air intercooler according to claim 4, wherein the seal is an O-ring seal.
 This nonprovisional application is a continuation of International
Application No. PCT/EP2010/052776, which was filed on Mar. 4, 2010, and
which claims priority to German Patent Application No. DE 10 2009 012
024.6, which was filed in Germany on Mar. 10, 2009, and which are both
herein incorporated by reference.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 1. Field of the Invention
 The invention relates to a charge air intercooler for arrangement in a suction tube.
 2. Description of the Background Art
 It is known to design charge air intercoolers as indirect cooler so that the heat is dissipated by a liquid coolant. Such charge air intercoolers can be designed as an integrated unit with a suction tube of an internal combustion engine.
 In this context it is known to design a floor of a charge air intercooler as a tube bundle construction and at the same time as a mounting plate for fastening at an edge of a suction tube opening.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 It is therefore an object of the invention to provide a charge air intercooler for arrangement in a suction tube, which charge air intercooler is connected in a simple and reliably sealed manner to the suction tube.
 Via a separate design of flange member and floor member, a better tolerance with respect to vibrations can be achieved. In addition, a higher flexibility with respect to shaping and material pairings of a suction tube and/or flange member is achieved. Depending on the details of the design, a further advantage of the invention can be that the connection between the suction tube and the flange member is not affected by potential flux residues or similar contaminants from soldering the cooler block.
 In an embodiment, the floor member is made of aluminum, wherein the channels can be designed as flat tubes soldered to the floor member. In case of such an embodiment, the solution according to the invention especially relieves the connection of the flat tubes on the floor member from vibrations and mechanical stresses.
 In a cost-effective and simple embodiment, the flange member can be made of a plastic. In a preferred and simple construction, a seal, such as an O-ring seal, can be provided between the floor member and the flange member. However, alternatively or additionally it is also possible that a seal is provided between the floor member and the suction tube.
 In an embodiment of the invention, the flange member forms a portion of the collector, for example a collector compartment. In particular, the flange member can form a partition wall between the outside space and the charge air as well as between a coolant and the charge air or outside air. The flange member can be designed, for example, as a plastics molding, whereby it can be formed in a simple and cost-effective manner for fulfilling these functions. Preferably, it can also comprise a partition wall of the collector. Likewise, the coolant connection can be formed in a simple and cost-effective manner on the flange member, for example in the form of one-piece plastic nozzles of the same material. In a detail configuration, the floor member can have a crimping, in particular a corrugated, slotted crimping, for connecting to the flange member. Through these or other measures, a simple assembly, for example by latching of the floor member and the flange member or the collector compartment can be achieved.
 In a further embodiment of the invention it is provided that the flange member can engage over the collector, wherein the flange member forms a partition wall between the charge air and an outside space. In particular, a seal, for example, an O-ring seal, can be provided between the collector and the flange member. In particular, in case of such an arrangement, the cooler block can be designed not only as tubular cooler but alternatively also as a disk stack cooler. In this case, a collector can be a channel formed by overlapping openings of the disks, wherein the upper disk plate of the stack represents a floor member.
 In an embodiment of the invention, the collector and the floor member together can be completely formed as a soldered unit from aluminum components. Such a solution is particularly safe and can be manufactured in a coolant-tight and cost-effective manner.
 In a further embodiment of the invention, the flange member can be connected to the suction tube in a firmly bonded manner, preferably by means of adhesive bonding and/or welding, particularly friction welding. Apart from the secure and durable fastening, the number of required seals can be minimized in such a configuration. Alternatively or additionally, depending on the requirements, screwing, riveting or other fastening of the flange member to the suction tube can also be carried out.
 Further, the flange member can be connectable to the suction tube via a substantially circular ring-shaped area, for example, by friction welding. In case of a circular joint, friction welding can be generated in a simple, cost-effective and secure manner via a highly dynamic vibratory movement in circular direction.
 Further scope of applicability of the present invention will become apparent from the detailed description given hereinafter. However, it should be understood that the detailed description and specific examples, while indicating preferred embodiments of the invention, are given by way of illustration only, since various changes and modifications within the spirit and scope of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from this detailed description.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 The present invention will become more fully understood from the detailed description given hereinbelow and the accompanying drawings which are given by way of illustration only, and thus, are not limitive of the present invention, and wherein:
 FIG. 1 shows a schematic illustration of a charge air intercooler according to the prior art;
 FIG. 2 shows a spatial illustration of a first example of a charge air intercooler according to the invention;
 FIG. 3 shows a sectional view of the charge air intercooler from FIG. 2;
 FIGS. 4a and 4b show two exploded drawings of the charge air intercooler from FIG. 2 from different perspectives;
 FIG. 5 shows a schematic sectional view of a second exemplary embodiment of the charge air intercooler according to the invention;
 FIG. 6 shows a sectional view of a third exemplary embodiment of a charge air intercooler according to the invention;
 FIG. 7 shows a spatial view of the charge air intercooler from FIG. 6; and
 FIG. 8 shows a schematic top view of a fourth exemplary embodiment of a charge air intercooler according to the invention.
 The charge air intercooler shown in FIG. 1 shows a cooler block formed from a bundle of flat tubes 1 with ribs 1a arranged therebetween. The flat tubes 1 form channels for a liquid coolant which is distributed via a collector 2 with coolant connections 3 to the channels 1. At the end of the channels 1, the coolant is deflected in a second collector 4 so that the charge air intercooler has a U-flow cooler-type design. The channels or flat tubes 1 open out in a floor member 5 of the collector 2, which floor member is plate-shaped here and extends on the edge side beyond the cooler block and is equipped with mounting bores 5a for fastening at an insertion opening in a suction tube (not illustrated in FIG. 1). The floor member 2 of the known indirect charge air intercooler thus forms at the same time a flange member for fastening to a suction tube.
 The charge air intercooler according to the invention shown in FIG. 2 to FIG. 4b comprises a two-row stack of flat tubes 1 between which, ribs 1a are soldered on a flat surface. The charge air L flows around the flat tubes or channels 1 and ribs, wherein through the channels 1, in turn, a liquid coolant can flow, for example of a low-temperature cooling circuit, for dissipating the heat.
 The flat tubes 1 as a whole form a cooler block and open out with each of their ends into a floor member 5 which is formed as aluminum sheet metal part. After a mechanical preassembly, the two floor members 5 on the end sides, the flat tubes 1 and the ribs are soldered together in a soldering furnace. In particular, for further simplification and cost reduction, the floor members 5 can be designed as identical parts.
 The first of the floor members 5 is part of a first collector 2 on the connection side of the charge air intercooler. The collector 2 is formed from the floor member 5 and a plastic injection molded part 6 which, at the same time, forms a collector compartment as well as a flange member for fastening the charge air intercooler in a gas-tight manner at an opening of a suction tube 7 (see sectional view FIG. 3).
 The flange member 6 has a circumferentially extending collar 8 which interacts with a crimping 9 of the floor member 5, in the present case a corrugated, slotted crimping. For this, an O-ring seal is inserted between collar 8 and floor member 5, whereupon the flange member 6 is attached with its collar 8 in a coolant-tight manner onto the floor member 9. By deforming the corrugated, slotted crimping 9, a firm connection of floor member 5 and flange member or collector compartment 6 is created. Alternatively or additionally, this can also be carried out by latching, adhesive bonding or other fastening measures.
 A circumferential flange face 10 having screw holes 10a extends on the side of the collar 8 of the flange member 6, by means of which flange face, a gas-tight fastening of the flange member 6 at an edge of the suction tube opening is carried out. For this, a further groove for inserting an O-ring seal in the flange face 10 and/or at the suction tube opening can be provided.
 Furthermore, two nozzle-like coolant connections 3 are integrally formed on the flange member 6. For distributing the coolant flows to feed channels and return channels 1, in addition, a partition wall 12 is provided between the coolant connections 3, which wall is likewise made of the same material and integrally formed on the flange member 6.
 On the opposite side of the flat tubes 1, the second floor member 5 is connected in an analog manner to the second collector compartment 13. The latter forms a hollow space above the tube ends so that the coolant flow from the flat feed tubes 1 is deflected by 180° into the flat return tubes 1.
 Advantageously, the cooler block is also supported on the side of the second collector 4 with respect to the suction tube, for example by a holder of the second collector compartment 13, which holder is made of an elastic material (not illustrated).
 FIG. 5 shows a second exemplary embodiment of the invention, wherein in contrast to the first exemplary embodiment, a different kind of sealing is selected.
 In this example too, a flange member 6 is designed at the same time as collector compartment made of plastic and having a partition wall 12. However, in the present case, between a plate-shaped laterally protruding floor member 5 and the outer edge of the opening in the suction tube 7, an O-ring seal 11 is provided which provides for a sealing between coolant and charge air.
 The flange member 6 is attached on the floor member 5 in a supporting manner and the seal is attached on said floor element in a pressing manner, wherein an edge 14 of the flange member is continuously connected in a firmly bonding manner to a corresponding edge 15 circumferentially extending around the opening of the suction tube 7. In the present case, the connection is carried out by welding the plastic material of suction tube 7 to the flange member 6, for example by friction welding or ultrasonic welding. Alternatively or additionally, an adhesive bonding can also be carried out. For better positioning and fastening, the corresponding edges have in addition interlocking steps.
 FIG. 6 and FIG. 7 show a third exemplary embodiment of the invention. In contrast to the preceding examples, the flange member 6 is not designed to be at the same time a collector compartment. Rather, the collector compartments and the floor members 5 are uniformly formed from aluminum and are soldered together with the flat tubes 1 and the coolant connection 3 in a soldering furnace.
 The structural aluminum unit created in this manner consisting of cooler block 1 and collectors 2, 4 (see FIG. 7) is held in the suction tube 7 by means of flange member 6 made of plastic (see FIG. 6). In the present case, the flange member 6 is screwed to the suction tube 7 using a seal 21; however, it can also be glued or welded.
 The flange member 6 engages over the collector 2 of the charge air intercooler, wherein the coolant connections 3 of the collector penetrate through recesses in the flange member 6. Said O-ring seals 17 between collector 2 and flange member 6 provide for a gas-tight separation of charge air and outside space. Thus, the flange member 6 forms a gas-tight partition wall between charge air and outside space.
 At the opposite end of the charge air intercooler, the latter is supported with respect to an inner wall of the suction tube 7 with a second collector, in which the coolant is deflected, wherein for a better damping of vibrations, an elastic insert 18 is provided between collector 4 and suction tube wall.
 It is to be understood that in the exemplary embodiment according to FIG. 6 and FIG. 7, principally any charge air intercooler construction can be used without departing from the inventive principle of sealed fastening in the suction tube. For example, the charge air intercooler can also be formed as disk stack cooler (not illustrated). In case of such a construction, other structures of the charge air intercooler with collector and floor member are to be identified. In this case, a collector can be understood as a channel formed by overlapping openings of the disks, wherein for example an upper base plate of the stack represents a floor member.
 FIG. 8 shows a fourth exemplary embodiment of the invention which is substantially a modification of the third exemplary embodiment. Here too, the flange member 6 is designed as plastic molded part which engages over a collector 2 and has an opening 19 with a sealing ring 17, which opening is penetrated by coolant connections 3.
 As a further development, an edge of flange member 6 is connected to the suction tube made of plastic and has a circular ring shape so that initially, a circular ring-shaped contact surface 20 is present. Subsequently, by friction welding, a firmly bonded connection of flange member 6 and suction tube 7 is carried out in a simple, secure and cost-effective manner. Due to the circular ring-shaped configuration of the surface 2, the friction welding can be carried in a particular advantageous manner by means of dynamic oscillations or torsional vibrations about a circle center (direction of the vibration arrow V). Circular friction welding is in particular advantageous if the circular seal 17 is not highly loaded. In case that the seal is rotated on the cooler collector surface during friction welding, the seal is then possibly better protected against damage. Here, in particular such sealing rings are suitable which have certain sliding properties. Due to a rotational movement during friction welding, the risk of damage to the seal is reduced.
 It is to be understood that depending on the requirements, the specific features of the individual exemplary embodiments can be combined with each other. Provided that said features do not require special materials, the latter can be selected as desired. Within this context, the suction tube can be made, for example, of plastic but also of aluminum.
 The invention being thus described, it will be obvious that the same may be varied in many ways. Such variations are not to be regarded as a departure from the spirit and scope of the invention, and all such modifications as would be obvious to one skilled in the art are to be included within the scope of the following claims.
Patent applications by Christian Saumweber, Stuttgart DE
Patent applications by Peter Geskes, Ostfildern DE
Patent applications in class WITH EXTERNAL SUPPORT
Patent applications in all subclasses WITH EXTERNAL SUPPORT