Michigan Patent of the Month – May 2024

Steering Solutions IP Holding Corporation has been granted a patent for their new electric powered recirculating ball assembly, designed to enhance the efficiency and functionality of steering systems in modern vehicles. This innovative assembly comprises a steering rack, a steering gear housing, and a series of rolling elements such as wheels or bearings, all operatively coupled to ensure smooth and precise steering.

At the heart of this system is a ball nut located adjacent to the steering rack, which moves relative to the rack, allowing for better management of the forces generated during steering maneuvers. The inclusion of rolling elements on both sides of the steering rack helps distribute the load evenly, reducing wear and tear, and enhancing the overall durability of the steering system. These rolling elements are connected through a pin, which allows the steering rack to slide between them, further improving the flexibility and responsiveness of the steering mechanism.

One of the standout features of this assembly is its ability to decouple the ball circuit, which mitigates the effects of manufacturing variations and reduces unintended constraints. This decoupling ensures that the ball nut can move laterally relative to the steering rack, allowing for smoother operation and less friction, ultimately leading to a more reliable and efficient steering system.

Steering Solutions’ electric powered recirculating ball assembly represents a significant advancement in automotive technology, offering a robust solution for both traditional and electric vehicles. This innovation not only improves the driving experience by providing precise and responsive steering but also enhances the longevity and reliability of the steering system, making it a valuable addition to the next generation of vehicles.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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