US 2632821 A
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March 24, 1953 o. A. WRIGHT EI'AL 2,632,821
LATCI-IING SOLENOID Filed Feb. 7, 1949 2 SHEETS-SHEET 1 2 2 v mfg- INVENTORS OTIS A. WRIGHT EDWARD H. GODDARD ORVILLE WILKINSON ATTORNEY March 24, 1953 o. A. WRIGHT ETAL 2,632,321
LATCHING SOLENOID Filed Feb. 7, 1949 2 Sl-lEETSSI-IEET 2 OTIS A. WRIGHT EDWARD H. GODDARD ORVILLE L- WI INSON ATTO R N EY Patentecl Mar. 24, 1953 LATCHING SOLENOID Otis A. Wright and Edward H. Goddard, Burbank,
and Orville L. Wilkinson, Tujunga, Calif., assignors, by mesnc assignments, to Air Valve, Inc., Burbank, Calif., a corporation of California Application February 7, 1949, Serial No. 74,962
The present invention relates generally to power actuator means, and is more particularly concerned with improvements in solenoids such as utilized for the actuation of valves, and the like, and especially solenoids of the type arranged to be latched in one position of operation.
It is one object of the present invention to provide a solenoid actuator of improved construction which is susceptible of general application as a power means for the actuation of various devices; which is compactly arranged and includes a latch of novel construction for positively latching it in a position of operation.
Another object is to provide in such a device a novel arrangement of parts for actuating control switches in energizing circuits of the device in such a manner as to disconnect the circuit with a delayed action, thereby eliminating the necessity of critical adjustments necessary in cases where the contacts are directly actuated, and 12.5- suring positive operation of the device.
Further objects of the invention will be brought out in the following part of the specification, wherein detailed description is for the purpose of fully disclosing the invention without placing limitations on the scope of the invention defined in the appended claims.
Referring to the drawings, which are for illustrative purposes only:
Fig. l is an elevational view of :a device embodying the features of the present invention;
Fig. 2 is an enlarged vertical axial section with certain parts shown in full lines, the latch means being in latching position, taken substantially on line 2-'2 of Fig. 1;
Fig. 3 is a similar fragmentary View showing the latch means in unlatched position, taken substantially on line 33 of Fig. 2;
Fig. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary elevational View of the control switches as viewed from line 4-4 of Fig. 2, the enclosing cover being removed; and
Fig. 5 is a similar view of the same as viewed from line 5 5 of Fig. 2.
Referring to Fig. 1, the device of the present invention is constructed to form a unitary device the working parts of which are contained within a two-part housing or casing of generally cylindrical form composed of a cover I 9 and shell I I in end to end relation. The cover I0 at one side has mounted thereon a connection receptacle I2 of conventional construction by means of which electrical connections may be made to the control circuits of the device.
As shown in Fig. 2, the shell H is separated into two sections by a partition I3 which is arranged to form a support for the solenoid coils of the device, this partition being held against an abutment shoulder M on the interior of the shell by means of securing pins I 5 extending through the shell wall into the periphery of the partition. This partition has a central hub I-B which extends from the opposite sides of the partition and is provided with a central passageway ,I'l within which there is mounted a shaft member I8 for reciprocable movement.
The uppermost end of the hub I 6, as viewed in Fig. 2, extends into one end of a tubular core member l9 which is supported at its other end within an annular groove 29 of an annular end member 21 which is brazed or otherwise secured at its periphery to the end margin of the shell associated therewith. This end member has a central passage 22 which is defined in part by an upwardly projecting annular flange 23.
Within the space between the partition I3 and the end member 2 I, there is mounted an actuator solenoid coil :24 which surrounds the core member I9 within the adjacent wall portion of the shell II. The coil 24 is insulated at its ends by end washers '25 and .2 6 respectively. An armature 21 is supported within the core member I9 and the passage 22 for axial movements, this armature normally being positioned so that its longitudinal center is displaced relatively to the longitudinal center of the coil .24 so that when the coil 24 is energized, the armature 21 will move into the coil toward the partition I3 until it strikes against the associated end of hub I B. The armature 21 is connected to one end of the shaft I-8 which has a section b8 and a section I=8" in end to end relation, the outer end of section I8 being inserted into an end socket :28 of the armature and secured by a pin 29 so that the shaft section I8 and armature 2! have unitary movement.
The opposite end of the hub It is seated within one end of another tubular core member 30 which is in axial alignment with the core member I9 and projects from the partition I3 in an opposite direction. The other end of the cor member 34 is seated in an annular groove 31 formed in an annular end member 32 which is secured to the end margin of the shell I! at this end thereof by pins 33 which extend through the shell wall into the periphery of the end member 32. The end member 32 has .a central passage 34 which is in axial alignment with the axis of the core member 34.
'In the annular space between the partition i3 and end member 32 there is mounted a releasin solenoid coil 35 which surrounds the core member within the wall of shell ll, this coil being insulated at its ends by washers 3t and 37 respectively. The solenoid coil is associated with an armature 38 of ring formation which surrounds the shaft 18 and is constrained within the core member 34 for axial movement therein between the partition l3 and a retainer member '34) which has an annular hub portion '44 extending from one face thereof and a central passage 4| for reciprocably supporting the shaft l3 therein. It will be noted that the hub portion at is of such diameter as to permit the hub to extend into the armature 38, when the armature is in the position shown in Fig. 2. In this position, the longitudinal center of the armature 38 is offset with respect to the longitudinal center of the coil 35 so that when this coil is energized, the armature will be moved toward the partition 23'.
The armature 38 is associated with and forms a part of a latching mechanism which will now be described. As clearly shown in Fig. 2, the armature 38 is provided at its uppermost end with an annular insert 42 having an internal diameter slightly less than that of the armature 38, this insert being chamfered on its inner edge to form a beveled cam surface 43. The armature 38 is normally biased in a downward direction against the retainer member 39 by a coiled spring 44 which surrounds a shaft encircling sleeve 45 carried by the partition [3 and cooperates with an annular end recess to form an annular socket 46 for one end of the spring 44. The other end of this spring bears against the adjacent end of the insert 42 carried by the armature 38.
It will be observed that the confronting ends of the sleeve 45 and hub portion of the retainer member 39 are in spaced apart relation and cooperatively form cage means for a plurality of latching elements in form of balls 41, such cage means constraining the balls 4! against axial movement (parallel to the main axis of the solenoid) while freely allowing radial movement of the balls between limits determined by the annular armature 38 and the shaft sections it.
The shaft section 58' is provided with an annular recess 48 which is defined between a pair of axially spaced shoulders and a recessed wall (the periphery of a reduced neck portion joining such shoulders). When shaft section I8 is shifted downwardly by energization of solenoid 24, latching balls 4'! will be shifted into the recess 43 by the spring-urged downward movement of annular armature 38, whereupon balls 41 will become engaged between the lower shoulder of recess 48 and the upper cage member to latch the armature 21 in the energized or actuating position. The inner wall of annular armature 3'8 constitutes a recessed wall, the lower face of insert 42 constitutes a shoulder for effecting the inward camming of balls 41 as aforesaid, and the inner wall of insert 42 constitutes a raised wall for holding the balls 41 in latching engagement with shaft section 18'. Similarly, the lower shoulder of annular recess 48 constitutes a shoulder in the form of an offset between the recessed wall of recess 48 and the raised wall (the full diameter lower portion) of shaft section 18', which latter raised wall functions (Fig. 3) to hold the balls 41 in latching engagement with the shoulder of armature 38 when the latter has been raised by energization of its coil 35, and the shaft l8 has been moved downwardly under its spring bias, causing the lower shoulder of annular recess 48 to cam the balls 47 outwardly into the latching position.
The shaft sections l8 and [3" are disconnectably joined by a slip connection, the lengths of these sections being so proportioned that the connected end of the section I8 will be positioned and supported within the hub portion 4% at its uppermost end, and within a tubular boss 49 formed in the bottom of the cover [0 which is cup-shaped and arranged to have its brim edge margin inserted within the lowermost end of the shell it over the peripheral edge of the retainer member 39. The cover it is removably retained in mounted position by a pair of mounting screws lid-59 which extend through openings in the bottom of the cover and are threadedly engageable with a ring member M on diametrically opposite sides thereof. This ring member is supported in spaced relation to the retainer member 39 by means of elongate tubular spacers 5'2, 52 and 52 and holding down screws 53 which extend in each case through the ring member 5!, the tubular spacer, and into threaded engagement with the annular 'end member 32.
The shaft section It" is formed intermediate its ends with a portion 54 of enlarged diameter which is engaged at one end by a cylindrical retainer 55 surrounding the shaft. This retainer is formed with a circumferentially extending flange 56 adjacent its other end to provide an abutment for one end of a coiled spring 51 having its other end anchored by the boss 49. The spring 5! acts to bias the shaft l8 and connected armature 21 in an upward direction which tends to move the armature 2 out of the coil 24. It will thus be apparent that if the balls 41 are released with respect to the groove 48 of the shaft, the spring 51 will act to move the shaft until its further movement is limited by engagement of the portion 54 against the retainer member 39, this position constituting the unlatched position of the shaft.
Switching means for controlling the energizing circuits of coils 24 and 35 are provided, wherein the control circuit of an energized coil will be broken with a delayed'action. The switching means are positioned within the cover III in the space between the retainer member 39 and the ring member 5!. For such purpose there is provided a generally U-shaped frame 51 supported on depending legs 58, 58' and 58", each of said legs havin an outturned foot portion 59, as shown in Figs. 4 and 5, which is anchored under an adjacent end of correspondingly positioned spacers 52, 52' and 52". The skeleton frame structure straddles the portion 54 and adjacent portions of the shaft I8.
A pair of contact arms 60 and GI of generally U-shaped construction with openings for the passage of the shaft l8 therethrough are respectively pivotally mounted intermediate their ends on pivot pins 62 and 63. One set of correspond ing ends of contact arms 60 and BI are interconnected by a tensioned coil spring 64 which acts to normally bias the opposite ends of the arms in a direction to move their contacts 65 and 66 into engagement with stationary contacts 61 and 68 respectively. The contact 61 is insulatingly supported on the retainer member 39, while the stationary contact 68 is insulatingly supported on the frame structure 51.
Provision is made for actuating the switch contacts to circuit open position, one set of contacts being arranged to open in response to the movement of the shaft 18 and connected armature 21 by the action of spring 51, and the other set of contacts being arranged to open in response to the movement of armature 35 by the action of spring 44. More specifically, the switch arm 6! is formed with arcuate depending projections 61-51 disposed on opposite sides of the shaft portion 54 in the line of travel of the retainer 55 so that its end in moving under the force of the spring 51 will engage these projections and carry the associated arm 51 in a contact opening direction. Referring to Figs. 3 and 4, it will be seen that the contact arm 60 is provided with laterally extending wing portions 68'--68' which are respectively engaged by the outer ends of pins 6969 which are secured to and carried by the armature 38 and project through suitable openings in the retainer member 39 so that when the armature 33 is moved under the action of spring 44 to its limited position against the retainer 39, these pins will move the contact arm 65 in such direction as to open its associated contacts.
As diagrammatically illustrated in Fig. 2, the contacts 55 and 66 and their associated arms are e ectrically connected through the frame structure 51' to ground as indicated at 15. The stationary contact 5'! is connected through a conductor 11 to one terminal of the solenoid coil 24, the other terminal of this coil being connected through a conductor 12 to one terminal 13 of a single pole double throw switch 14. The stationary terminal 58 is connected through a conductor 15 with one terminal of solenoid coil 35, the other terminal of this coil being connected through a conductor 16 with the other terminal 11 of the switch 14. The movable contact 18 of the switch is connected with a source of electrical energy, generally indicated by the numeral 19 as a battery which has its other terminal connected to ground as indicated at 85.
Having described the details of construction of our invention, the manner of operation will now be described. Beginning with the device in unlatched position, the shaft i8 and parts of the latching mechanism will be positioned as shown in Fig. 3. It will be observed that the groove 48 is in raised position with respect to the balls 41, and that the balls cannot be forced into the groove 58 by the action of spring 44 and the cam surface 43 until such time as the groove 48 is lowered to the ball level. Also in the unlatched position of the device, the contact 55 will be in engagement with stationary contact 61.
In order to energize the coil 24 so as to actuate the device and move the parts into latched position, the movable contact 13 of switch 14 is moved into engagement with terminal 13. This will complete an energizing circuit from one side of the battery 19 through switch terminal 13, conductor 12, the coil 24, conductor 1|, contacts 61 and 65, through the frame 51' and thence to ground 10, ground 85, and back to the other side of the battery. This will magnetically draw the armature 21 into the coil 24, and move the shaft [8 downwardly against the biasing action of spring 51. At the end of its travel, the armature 21 will be in the position shown in Fig. 2, and the groove 48 will be positioned at the level of the balls 41, so that the balls are now free to move inwardly into the groove. The halls will be forced into the groove by the action of the cam surface 43 as the spring 44 is now free to force the armature downwardly into the position shown in Fig. 2, wherein the balls are now locked against outward movement out of the groove 48 and will thus latch the shaft.
During the downward movement of the armature 38, which cannot take place until after the balls 41 are in latching position, the pins 69 act against the wing portions 68 of contact arm 60 and swing it from the dotted position shown in Fig. 2 to the full line position therein, thus acting to break the energizing circuit of coil 24. It will be observed that the energizing circuit is opened with a delayed action subsequent to the latching of the shaft, and after it has reached the limit of its movement to latched position. This time delay assures positive action of the device and eliminates the necessity of critical adjustments of the switching mechanism, so that more reliable operation is obtained.
When it is desired to release the device so that it will be unlatched and permit movement of the shaft [3 and connected armature 21 in an upward direction under the force of spring 51, this is accomplished by movement of the movable contact 18 of the switch 14 into engagement with terminal 11. This will complete an energizing circuit from the battery 19, through terminal 11, conductor 16 to one side of coil 35, from the other side of the coil through conductor 15, contacts 58 and 56, the switch arm 6i, frame structure 51' to ground 10, thence to ground and back to the other terminal of the battery. The coil 35 being energized will move the armature 38 against the biasing action of spring 44, and thus permit contact 65 to again move into engagement with contact 51. Movement of the armature 38 will carry the cam surface 43 above the balls 41 so that spring 51 may now force the shaft 18 in an upward direction and the sides of the groove 48 will act as a cam surface to force the balls outwardly to the position shown in Fig. 3, wherein they will latch the armature 33 against movement in reversed direction since the balls are retained under the insert 42 carried by the armature. As the shaft l8 moves upwardly, the end of the retainer 55 will engage the projections 61 of the switch arm 6| to open the energizing circuit of coil 35 with a delayed action.
Various arrangements may be utilized for attaching the device of the present invention to a device which is to be operated thereby. One manner of supporting the actuator is to drill and tap the end member 2| to receive mounting screws by which the device may be supported from a suitable frame structure. Movements of the armature 21 may be transmitted to other devices by providing or connecting in any conventional manner the part of the operated device to be moved with the armature 21 through the passage 22.
It is to be noted that when the device is in unlatched position as in Fig. 3, the slip joint connection between the shaft sections [8' and I8" will permit withdrawing the armature 21 and connected shaft section l8 upwardly through the passage 22 without disturbing the mounting of the balls 41 which will be retained at this time by the associated end of shaft section It". In this manner, the armature 2! and connected shaft section 18 may be removed for inspection and replacement .if necessary, or to facilitate attaclrment to a device to be operated thereby.
We claim as our invention:
v1. 'In a latching solenoid: a support; axially aligned actuator and releasing coils carried thereby; armatures individually associated with the respective coils for axial movements to energized positions in response to energized actions of the respective coils; resilient means yieldingly biasing the respective arniatures to positions retracted from said energized positions; said armatures having respective latch parts one of which is annular and encircles the other latch part; cage means flxed to said support and interposed radially between said latch parts; a floating latch element restrained by said cage means from moving axially but free to move radially; the respective latch parts each having a latching shoulder positioned to be obstructed by said floating latch element when the respective armature is in its energized position, for latching said respective armature in that position, each having, adjacent its respective shoulder, a raised wall which, when the respective armature is in its retracted position, radially abuts the floating latch element to retain the same in obstructing relation to the shoulder of the latched armature, and each operable, as its respective armature moves into its energized position, to release the floating latch element for radial shift to clear the shoulder of the latched armature and allow the latter to move to its retracted position under its resilient bias, the last mentioned shoulder bein operative, during such retracting movement, to exert a camming action against the floating latch element so as to effect such radial shift thereof,
whereby upon temporary energization of the acin, whereas upon temporary energization of the releasing solenoid the armature thereof will move to a position for releasing the other armature and will thereupon be itself latched in the rel-easing position; and a pair of yieldingly selfclosing switches, each constituting a series connection in the energizing circuit of a respective coil, each of said switches comprising a separately movabie switch part; each of said armatures having means engageable with a respective one of said switch parts as the respective armature is retracted, to open the switch in the circuit of the coil of the other armature after said other armature has reached its energized position.
2. In a latching solenoid: a support; axially aligned actuator and releasing coils carried thereby; armatures individually associated with the respective coils for axial movements to energized positions in response to energized actions of the respective coils; resilient means yieldingly biasing the respective armatures to positions retracted from said energized positions; said armatures having respective radially separated latch parts; a floating latch element for latching engagement With either of said latch parts; cage means confining said floating latch element to radial shifting movement between respective latching positions engaged with the respective latch parts; each of the respective latch parts being arranged for latching engagement With said floating latch element when its respective armature is in its energized position, and each of the respective latch parts being operable, during movement of its respective armature into its retracted position, to exert a camming action against the floating latch element to shift it radially into latching engagement with the other latch part as the latter is moved into latching position by energized action of its armature; and a pair of yieldingly self-closing switches, each constituting a series connection in the energizing circuit of a respective coil, each of said switches comprising a separately movable switch part; each of said armatures having means engageable with a respective one of said switch parts as the respective armature is retracted, to open the switch in the circuit of the coil of the other armature after said other armature has reached its energized position.
3. In a latching solenoid: a tubular casing an annular partition secured in said casing, said partition having a central tubular bearing hub; actuator and releasing coils mounted in said casing on opposite sides of said partition; a shaft extending through and axially slidable in said hub; an actuator armature secured to one end of said shaft within said actuator coil; said shaft having a retainer head adjacent but spaced from its other end; an end bearing in said casing, in which said other end of the shaft is slidably mounted; a coil spring engaged under compression between said head and theadjacent end of the casing and piloted around said end bearing, for yieldingly biasing said actuator armature toward a position retracted from its energized position; an annular retainer member secured in said casing adjacent said releasing coil and having an abutment collar projecting toward said partition, said shaft extending through said collar; said partition having an abutment sleeve projecting toward said collar; the opposed ends of said collar and sleeve being axially spaced to provide a cage; latching elements confined in said cage for purely radial shifting movement; an annular armature encircling said collar within said releasing coil and having at one end an inwardly extendingannular part; a coil spring engaged under compression between said one end of the annular armature and said partition, for yieldingly biasing said annular armature toward a position retracted from its energized position; said shaft having an annular recess and a latching shoulder defining one side thereof, said shoulder and recess, in the energized position of said actuator armature, being positioned for reception of said latching elements in said recess and obstruction of said shoulder by said latching elements so as to latch said actuator armature in said energized position, said inwardly extending annular part having an inner cylindrical wall which, when said annular armature is in its retracted position, is disposed in radially abutting relation to said latching elements to retain them in latching engagement with said latching shoulder, and having, adjacent said cylindrical wall, a latching shoulder with which said latching elements may engage to latch said annular armature in its energized position; said latching shoulders being respect vely operable, during movement of their respect ve armatures to their respective retracted positions, to exert a camming action on said latchmg elements to shift them radially from one latching position to the other; and a pair of yieldingly self closing switches, each constituting a series connection in the energizing circuit of a respective coil, each of said switches comprising a separately movable switch part; each of said armatures having means engageable with a respective one of said switch parts as the respective armatureis retracted, to open the switch in the circuit of the coil of the other armature after said other armature has reached its energized position.
OTIS A. WRIGHT.
EDWARD I-I. GODDARD.
ORVILLE L. WILKINSON.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Name Date Beach Dec. 10, 1907 Number Number Number Name Date Hart Aug. 8, 1911 Palmer Aug. 8, 1911 Hart Jan. 9, 1912 Hart Sept. 2, 1913 Hart May 4, 1926 Rozumek Jan. 7, 1936 Keefe Oct. 13, 1936 Fukushima Nov. 2, 1937 FOREIGN PATENTS Country Date France Dec. 8, 1937