patent number 5161429
An actuating apparatus, which can be used to perform variable valve timing of the intake or exhaust valves of an internal combustion engine, includes a hollow shaft with at least one slot defined through a cylindrical wall. A movable cam member is disposed to project through the slot and is rotatable relative to the hollow shaft in a channel defined in the interior surface of the hollow shaft. A base circle band extends circumferentially around the outer surface of the hollow shaft between the endwalls of the slot. The exterior surface of the hollow shaft can define grooves which receive front or back ear members of the cam member. The exterior surface of the hollow shaft also can define recesses, which in some embodiments have bottom surfaces and in other embodiments have partial bottom surfaces or no bottom surface. The recesses can receive tongue members formed on the cam member. The cam member can be engaged by a cam follower that has a roller to engage the cam surface. When the length of the roller exceeds the width of the cam surface, base circle arcuate sections can be provided on the exterior surface of the hollow shaft to carry the roller across the exposed portion of the slot that exists between the endwall of the slot and the free end of the cam member. An inner shaft extends through an opening defined transversely through the cam member and nonrotatably engages same. The nose portion of the cam member can be defined by a rotatable roller. Twin cam members having identical cam surface profiles can be disposed side-by-side, with one cam member projecting through the slot and the other cam member secured to the outer surface of the hollow shaft. A single follower such as a tappet defining a circular cylindrical surface can be provided to engage both cam members and can be held nonrotatably.
Clemson University (Clemson, SC)
74/567, 123/90.17, 123/90.6