US 2807066 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 24, 1957 M. HONEY ETAL SEAT BELT BUCKLES Filed Dec. l2Q, 1955 United States Patent j SEAT BELT BUCKLES.
Lloyd M. Honey, Mercer Island, and yRobert C. Reynolds,
S'eattle, Wash., assignors to Honey Seat Belt Corporatron, Seattle, Wash., a corporation of Washington Application December20-,- 19551,- Serial No. 554,206
4 Claims.` (Cl. 24-75) in factincorporates a Vself-latching feature by which the` interengagedparts, are maintainedy together more firmly and ,securelyl asa resultv of increasingpforce.tending to separate the ends ofthe belt: k n,
Another objectis'such aj buckle which'is rugged, strong andiV durable.
Stillf another Objectis a relativelyv simple and' inexpensivebuckle ofthe described type.`
Still-other pbjects` include compactness andthe. avoid- :ance ofprojecti'ng parts or-protu-beranceswhich could bev injurious-to personnel', clothing, orotherwise.
A specific object of vthe invention is animproved buckle.
for seat belts andthe like which maybe engaged and 'disengagedY i'nl an instant, as during emergences and Which may be operatedtin the dark or under other conditions wherein itis not'convenient for the person to observe short the buckle` maybe operated easily; and quickly the buckle inordertomanipulate the parts thereof. In
simply by feelandwis soconst-ructediv that -distortionior other damage,k as from the impact forces attending an automobile or airplane accident, which' would prevent operation of the belt either to disengage or to engage its complemental parts, arehighly improbable;
As herein disclosed' the novel buckle comprises three.
main'parts, abuckle member of-channelformation, av latch plate pivotallyL mounted intermediate its end'son a trans-V versey axis-between the flanges ofthe buckle member, and
a slide plate having an opening thereinengageable and" disengageable" by aV keeper element projecting from the latch plate toward the base ofthe' channel-shaped buckle member. platev betweenthe pivot axis thereof and the end thereof. nearestV the belt-connected endof the buckle member;
moreover, theregionofengagement between the edge of` the opening-in the slide plate and the keeper element is offset towardthe base of the buckle member from a parallel planecontaining the pivot axis; Asa result forces attempting to withdraw the slider member from between the base of thebuckle member and the latch plate merely have the effect of increasingl the firmness'of-v engagement between theke'eper-felementand theV retaining aperture inV the'slide member. It is therefore necessary iny orderto release the interengzexged7 partsthat the latch plate be pivoted relative to the buckle member in order' to retract the keeper element fromthe retaining opening inthe* slide plate.
Another feature ofethe. invention resides in the provision of abutment surfacesY orsshoulders atthe `ends of The keeper element isA situatedV on thev latch*` yf 2,807,066 ce Patented sept. 24, 1957 the buckle member flanges nearest the belt-connectedy end of the buckle member and complemental or coacting abut-V ment elements projecting transversely from respectively opposite side edges' of the latch plate into proximity wtih such abutment shouldersV in order to provide a reinforcing arrangement preventing any possibility of' withdrawal of the latch plate from the. buckle member by attempted withdrawal of the slide plate from the buckle member with the keeper element and slideV plate latch openingv interengaged.
These and other features, objects and advantages of the invention will' become more fully evident from the following descriptionV thereof by reference to the accompanying drawings. l
Figure l' is a perspective'view of the improved seatbelt buckle with the parts interengaged.
Figure 2. is.a perspective view of the parts of the sli'de platel separated from' the buckle member and latch plate assemblyy and being advanced toward' the latter for in-v sertion therein..
Figure. 3` is, an exploded perspective View of the buckle.
The bucklev member 10 comprises a channel' formation,L
including the channelbase plate 10a and the channel sideV flanges 10b and 10c 1projecting in parallel relationship from respectively. opposite, edges of such base plate. @ne
end of the base plate. 10a. is provided .with attransverse;
elongatedislot 10u.1 foi-.recepti'onof' one end of a seat belt B therein in order to forml a' loop: connecting the buckle' member 11'0 tothe seatbelt. Preferably the respectively. opposite ends of' theV flanges 10b and 10c are.terminated in straight edges. substantially perpendicular to the plate ofthe baise, plate 10u,` especially is this true of theendof theY flanges. adjacentthejbeltaconnected end of the buckle member. These latter vflange ends serveasabutment' elements as will later-becomeevidentY Preferably also the base plate 10a extends beyond the ends of'the flange elements 10b and'1'0c. on'. the' end' of the. buckle member opposite lfrom its slotted end. Each flange 10b and 10U has .a transverse aperture 10e. therein in line with the aperture in the, other flange, at a location near the outer corner thereof remote fromthef slotted end' of the buckle member, asyshown.
The latchl plate' 12'is. of generally rectangular form'and of. a width to fit with slight clearance (i. e. freely slidably) between the flanges 10b and 101: of the buckle' member. The. latch, platev has aligned transverse bores. 12a in respectively opposite side edges thereofso that when the latch plate isplacedbetween the flanges'ltl'b and 10e pivot` pins 14' may be inserted throughthe flange apertures intoV the latch plate bores in order to pivotally supportthe The.
latch plate between the buckle. member flanges. bores 12a in the latch plate yare located' generally betweenV opposite ends thereof, but 'nearerthe end which is situatedv remotely fnomzthe. beh-connected or slotted end ofthe buckle member. with the parts, assembled'. Abutment' shoulders 12b and' 12Cl project laterally from the side edges `of the latch plate near the endV thereof adjacentth'e slotted end of the buckle member, and these shoulders.
have. end` faces directed away from such slotted end..
and which are.V positioned in close proximity to or in Contact with' the adjacentk end facesfofthe respective flanges 10b and 10c.
Thus, any'attemptto move the" o Y latch plate endwise which might possibly shear the pivot pins 14 would be abruptly resisted by interengagement of the abutment shoulders 12b and 12C with the respective ends of the flanges 1Gb and 10c. This means of reinforcing is desirable in a safety type seat belt wherein large and sudden forces may be developed, tending to wrench the buckle components apart. In addition, the latch plate 12 has a keeper element 12d projecting from the base thereof adjacent the buckle member at a location generally intermediate opposite sides of the latch plate. The keeper element has an abutment shoulder surface 12d lfacing in the direction toward the end of the latch plate adjacent the belt-connected end of the buckle member, which abutment shoulder is located between such end of the latch plate and the transverse pivot axis of the latch plate on the buckle member. The purpose of establishing the location in this manner will be described later herein. The keeper element has an inclined face 12d which slopes from the outer edge of the abutment surface 12d toward the face of the latch plate to serve as a wedge or cam surface facilitating insertion of the slide plate to be described into the space between the latch plate and the base of the buckle member. One side edge face has a recess 12]" therein at the location of the journal hole 12a. A smaller hole 12g is formed in the base of this recess at a location offset from the journal hole endwise of the latch plate. A coil spring 13 having projecting arms with oppositely projecting tips is accommodated in the recess 12]" with the parts assembled. The spring coil surrounds the pivot pin and one spring arm tip is received in the hole 12g. The other spring arm tip is received in a similar hole 10f in the adjacent base plate flange. The hole 10j is located relative to the hole 12g that the spring urges the latch plate keeper element 12d normally into contact with the face of the base plate 10a.
The slide plate 16, also preferably of generally rectangular form, has one end provided with a slot 16a adapted to receive the end of the seat belt B to form a loop securing such belt to such side plate, as shown in Figure 2. In addition, the slide plate has a rectangular opening 16b therein which represents a latching element interengageable with the keeper element 12d as a complemental latching element. The rectangular opening 16h is located in the tongue portion of the slide plate which is insertible in the space between the latch plate and the base of the buckle member. The opening 16b is, of course, of a size and shape which permits the keeper element to enter such opening in the latched position of the parts. The slide plate has a pair of shoulders 16C on opposite side edges thereof which contact the ends of the base plate flanges 10b during insertion of the slide plate and thereby limit penetration of the slide plate at a position permitting entry of the latch plate keeper element into aperture 16b.
The supporting pivots 14 position the latch plate 12 generally parallel to the base of the buckle member 10 and at a spacing outwardly from such base which only slightly exceeds the thickness of the slide plate. Consequently, the slide plate may be advanced endwise into the space between the latch plate and the base of the buckle member with a slight clearance. As the slide plate passes the keeper element the latter is wedged outwardly and away from the base of the buckle member by pivotal action of the latch plate. Such pivotal action of the latch plate permits advancing the slide plate until its latch opening 16b is in registry with the keeper element 12d, whereupon the latter may swing inwardly about the latch plate axis and enter the opening. The endmost edge of the opening 16b, i. e. that edge adjacent the end of the slide plate opposite from the slotted end thereof, abuts the end face of the keeper element to form a positive latching connection with the three plates compactly arranged in substantially parallel and mutually superimposed relationship.
It will be evident that the projecting keeper element 12d and the complemental latch opening 16b are the preferred forms of latch elements which may be used in the practice of the invention, but it will likewise be evident that some modification of these may be made to provide equivalent latching elements accomplishing the result.
The insertion of the slide plate 16 into the space between the buckle member and latch plate is facilitated by chamfering at 12e the end of the latch plate on the inside face thereof, thereby providing a ared entrance 18 as shown best in Figure 4.
In Figures 4 and 5 the sequence of insertion and latching action of the device is illustrated. In Figure 4 the belt connected buckle member 10 and the latch plate 12 occupy initial relative positions wherein the outer edge of the keeper element 12d rests lightly against the buckle member base 10a so that the tongue portion of the slide plate 16 may readily enter the flared entnance 18 between the overhang of the latch plate and the underlying end of the buckle member base, as shown. 'I'he slide plate lis advanced in the direction of the arrow until it comes into contact with the gently sloping face of the keeper element 12d, whereupon further advance of the slide plate into the space between the latch plate and buckle member progressively wedges the keeper element outwardly, hence tilts the latch plate about its pivot axis into the broken-line position shown in Figure 5, wherein the slide plate has nally arrived at 'a position in which the keeper element is now free to drop into the slide plate opening 16b as shown by the solid-line position of the latch plate in the latter figure. In this position of the latch plate any attempt at Withdrawal of the slide plate in the reverse direction simply more firmly increases the force of interengagement between the keeper element and the abutment edges of the slide plate opening 16h, because of the fact that the line of force exerted by the slide plate on the keeper element is in the general plane of the slide pl-ate, which plane is materially below the pivot axis of the latch plate, i. e. nearer the plane of the buckle member base plate than the pivot axis, and thereby produces a torque on the latch plate which may be resolved into a component driving the keeper element more deeply into the latch opening 1Gb. Therefore it is substantially impossible to withdraw the slide plate from the buckle member `and latch plate 4assembly except up on deliberately lifting the keeper element out of the slide plate opening, as by pressing down on lthe voverhang 12f on the latch plate.
In the illustrated embodiment of the invention the latch plate has an actuating spring 13 which urges the same into its latching position as shown in Figure 4 and by solid lines in Figure 5. However, in some `appli-cations of the invention the spring may be omitted, as there is normally a certain amount of tension in the belt which is continuously present, though possibly variable, and this tension in the belt is sufficient to provide the type of selfreturning action described in connection with Figure 5, wherein withdrawal force acting on the slide plate produces a component of force or torque on the latch plate tending to drive the keeper element more deeply into the slide plate opening, hence eliminate any possibility of the keeper element becoming disengaged accidentally. In other cases, in addition to or in lieu of the actuating spring the latch plate may be provided with detent means suc-h as the ball detent 20 in one edge thereof engageable with a detent recess 22 in the adjacent flange of the buckle member 10, as shown (Figure 3), thereby to more securely insure against accidental disengagement of the keeper element from opening 1Gb when the two are to remain engaged.
These and other variations, including the distinctive advantages of the invention as set forth hereinabove will become evident to lchose skilled in the art from the above description and the accompanying illustration.
We claim as our invention: y
1.. A b elt buckle comprising a; buckleY plate having one end adapted for connection to a -belt end, a slide plate having one end connected toa belt end,V a latchplate having a latch keeper element projecting from 'one side thereof, and means on saidbuckle plate supporting said latch plate on one, side thereof and. in generally parallel relationship with said'keeper element projecting toward such latch plate, said supporting. means being pivotally connected to, said latch. plate toY permit pivoting thereof relative to said buckle plate about; ait-transverse axis between lateh-engaging position with said keeper element advanced into prorim-i-t-y with said-buckle plate and 'latch releasing position with said keeper element retracted from said buckle plate, said pivot axis being located on the latch plate generally between the keeper element and the end of said latch plate opposite from the belt-connectable end of said buckle plate and in a plane parallel to the latch plate and offset from a plane parallel to the latch plate containing said keeper element in the sense away from the buckle plate, said slide plate having a tongue portion insertable between the last-mentioned end of said latch plate and the buckle plate and past said keeper element in the retracted position of the latter, said slide plate tongue portion having a keeper element-receiving opening therein situated between its ends and Iat a relative transverse location thereon to be engaged by said keeper element in the latch-engaging position of the latter with the slide plate inserted, thereby holding said slide plate against withdrawal from between said latch plate and buckle plate until said latch plate is swung into the latch-releasing position of said keeper-element, said latch plate supporting means comprising two members projecting substantially perpendicularly from one face of the buckle plate, with the latch plate received therebetween, and pivot pin means interconnecting the latch plate and said projecting members and defining the transverse pivot axis for the latch plate, sai-d two projecting members being spaced apart transversely of said buckle plate by a distance slightly exceeding the width of the slide plate tongue portion, and respectively having abutment surfaces facing generally endwise of the buckle plate toward the beltconnectable end thereof, said latch plate having abutment elements projecting transversely therefrom into proximity with the respective abutment surfaces of the said two projecting members, thereby to reinforce the latch plate in its securement to the buckle plate against separationV therefrom by attempted withdrawal ofthe slide plate therefrom while engaged by the latch plate keeper element.
2. A belt buckle comprising a buckle plate having one end adapted for connection to a belt end, a slide plate having one end connected to a belt end, a latch plate having a latch keeper element projecting from one side thereof, and means on said buckle plate supporting said latch plate on one side thereof and in generally parallel relationship with said keeper element projecting toward such latch plate, said supporting means being pivotally connected to said latch plate to permit pivoting thereof relative to said buckle plate about a transverse axis between latch-engaging position with said keeper element advanced into proximity with said buckle plate and latch releasing position with said keeper element retracted from said buckle plate, said pivot axis being located on the latch plate generally between the keeper element and the end of said latch plate opposite from the belt-connectable end of said buckle plate and in a plane parallel to the latch plate and offset from a plane parallel to the latch plate containing said keeper element in the sense away from the buckle plate, said slide plate having a tongue portion insertable between the last-mentioned end of said latch plate and the buckle plate and past said keeper element in the retracted position of the latter, said slide plate tongue portion having a keeper element-receiving opening therein situated between its ends and at a rela- 6 tive Vtransverse Vlocation thereon to, be engaged by said keeperelement in the latch-engaging position-of thelatter withV the'slde plate inserted, thereby holdingsaid slide plate against withdrawalv from between-said latch plate and buckle plate until said latch plate is swung into the latcb-releasingpositionv of said keeper-clement, said buckle plate having Vabutment means thereon having anabutment surface facing generally endwise of the buckle plate toward the belt-connectable end: thereof, and saidy latchl plate havingV abutment means projecting transversely therefrom into proximity with said abutment surface of the buckle, plate, thereby to .reinforce the latch plate in; its securement to the buckle plate against separation therefrom by attempted withdrawal of the slide plate therefrom while engaged by the latch plate keeper element.
3. A buckle comprising, in combination, a channelshaped buckle member having a base portion and having substantially parallel flange portions projecting outwardly from said base portion, an elongated slide member slidable lengthwise into said channel-shaped buckle member along said base portion thereof, and a latch member received between said ange portions and pivotally connected thereto for pivoting about an axis transverse to said latch member and buckle member, with said latch member extending generally parallel to said base portion and spaced outwardly therefrom to permit insertion of said slide member therebetween, said slide member having an opening therein, and said latch member having a keeper element projecting therefrom generally toward said buckle member base portion, in line with said opening to be engaged thereby during insertion of said slide member between said latch member and buckle member, said keeper element being located on the latch member on that side of its pivot axis which requires the slide member to pass beneath such pivot axis before reaching such keeper element during insertion movement of said slide plate, whereby attempted withdrawal of the slide member from the buckle member without first pivoting the latch member to retract its keeper element from the slide member opening produces torque on the latch member tending to force the keeper element more deeply into said opening, the ends of the flange portions of the buckle member remote from the end at which the slide member is inserted comprising abutments, and the latch member having abutment elements projecting transversely and outwardly therefrom into proximity with the firstmentioned abutments, thereby to reinforce the latch member in its securement to the buckle member against separation therefrom by attempted withdrawal of the slide member with the keeper element engaged in the slide member opening.
4. A buckle comprising, in combination, a channelshaped buckle member having a base portion and having substantially parallel flange portions projecting loutwardly from Said base portion, an elongated slide member slidable lengthwise into said channel-shaped buckle member along said base portion thereof, and a latch member received between said flange portions and pivotally connected thereto for pivoting about an axis transverse to said latch member and buckle members, with said latch member extending generally parallel to said base portion and spaced outwardly therefrom to permit insertion of said slide member therebetween, said slide and latch members having latching elements mutually engageable and disengageable by pivotal movement of said latch member, the latching element on said latch member being in line with the latching element on said slide member, to be engaged thereby during insertion of said slide member between said latch member and buckle member, the latching element on said latch member being located on that side of its pivot axis which requires the slide members latching element to pass beneath such pivot axis before reaching such latch member latching element during insertion movement of said slide plate, said latching elements contacting each other in a plane offset from such pivot axis toward the base portion of theV buckle member, whereby attempted Withdrawal of the slide member from the buckle member Without rst pivoting the latch member to retract its latching element from the slide member latching element produces torque on the latch member tending to interengage the latching members more rmly, the ends of the flange portions of the buckle member remote from the end at which the slide member is inserted comprising abutments, and the latch member having abutment elements projecting transversely and outwardly therefrom into proximity with the rstmentioned abutments, thereby to reinforce the latch member in its securement to the .buckle member against separation therefrom by attempted Withdrawal of the slide member with the latching elements interengaged.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,072,498 Redmond Sept. 9, 1913 1,627,776 Haumerson May 10, 1927 FOREIGN PATENTS 857,871 Germany Dec. 1, 1952,