US 2881406 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
s. L. ARSON 2,881,406
MOISTURE SEAL FOR CONNECTORS April 7, 1959 Filed June 20, 1955 4 Sheets-Shee t 1 a; 28 lg 27 a0 g as 67 59 xigy. 2.
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IN V EN TOR.
April 1959 s. ARSON 2,881,406
MOISTURE SEAL FOR CONNECTORS Filed June 20, 1955 Pg. 4 Z6 52 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 SAMUEL L. ARSON, INVEN TOR.
S. L. ARSON MOISTURE SEAL FOR CONNECTORS April 7, 1959 1 2,881,406
Filed June 20, 1955 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 xmw;
SAMUEL L. ARS N INVEN Huebner, Bee/Neg, "Wane! Herzig.
BW JW T W 'April 7, 1959 s. L. ARSON MOISTURE SEAL FOR CONNECTORS Filed June 20, 1955 i. 3 zz" 24" zfgyuli. 22
4 Sheets-Sheet 4 SAMUEL L. ARSON,
IN VEN TOR.
Huebner, Beeh/er, Worre/ Herzig.
A T TORNE Y5.
m/WWW United States Patent MOISTURE SEAL FOR CONNECTORS Samuel L. Arson, Glendale, Calif., assignor to Cannon Electric Company, Los Angeles, 'Calif., a corporation of California Application June 20, 1955, Serial No. 516,714
1 Claim. (Cl. 339-59) This invention relates to connectors, and particularly to easily engageable connectors which provide a weatherproof seal when engaged. Certain principles of this invention are particularly useful in the electrical connector art, but also have application to any situation wherein two conduits, electrical or otherwise, are joined in an easily disengageable joint, while still providing good sealing characteristics at the juncture.
It is an object of this invention to provide a simplified juncture for conduits, which is relatively insensitive to extreme changes in ambient temperature. C
It is another object of this invention to provide a. simplified connector structure having a minimum of parts.
It is another object of this invention to provide an electrical connector assembly in which wires may be preconnected, by any suitable means, such as crimping, brazing, or soldering, to the contact members, which may then be readily inserted into the connector with the wire secured thereto. This obviates the cumbersome and time consuming task of soldering wires in place onto connecting contacts, either pins or sockets, after the contacts have been assembled into a multicontact connector.
A typical connector assembly comprises, generally, two connector members, one of which is male and the other female, which are engaged together face to face. From the rear of each connector are brought various types of conduits, such as electrical wires. In addition to sealing the connectors together at their engaging faces, it is often necessary, for suitable protection and longevity of the juncture, to insure that the wires or other conduits, where they enter the rear of the connector, are also well sealed to the connector.
It is accordingly an object of this invention to provide improved and simplified means for sealing such wires or other conduits where they enter the rear of the connector.
In accordance with these and other objects which will become apparent hereinafter, preferred embodiments of the present invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:
Fig. l is a longitudinal section showing a connector assembly consisting of a pair of connectors in engaged position.
Fig. 2 is a partially exploded view showing the connector-s disengaged and with the contact elements removed.
Fig. 3 illustrates a face of one of the connectors.
Figs. 4, 5, and 6 are enlarged fragmentary sections taken generally on the same plane as Fig. 1 and illustrating the manner in which the seal between the engaging .faces of the connector is effected.
' element in place with a retaining shell about to be pressed into position.
Fig. 9 is a view similar to Fig. 8 illustrating the parts in assembled relation.
Fig. 10 is a view similar to Fig. 8 and illustrating an expedient where a very small size wire is to be used.
Fig. 11 is a cross section illustrating application of certain features of the present invention to a somewhat different type of electrical connector.
Fig. 12 is a longitudinal section illustrating application of certain features of the present invention to a fluid conduit rather than to an electric connector.
Fig. 13 is a longitudinal section illustrating another form of the present invention.
Fig. 14 is a fragmentary section taken in the same plane as Fig. 13 and illustrating the two connectors about to be engaged; and
Fig. 15 is a fragmentary section similar to Figs. 4-6 and illustrating another form of the present invention.
Referring to the drawings, there is illustrated a connector assembly consisting of a male connector 21 and a female connector 22 engaged therewith. The male connector has conducting elongate contacts or contact elements in the form of pins 23 extending forwardly from the face thereof, which are engaged within conducting elongate sockets 24 embedded in the body of the connector 22.
The connector 21 comprises a metal shell or housing 26 within which is held a non-conducting connector body 27 preferably made of elastic, pliant material such as a silicone or neoprene rubber. The body 27 is held in place by an internal ridge 28 formed in the shell 26 which dovetails with a corresponding groove in the pliant body 27.
The female connector 22 is likewise composed of a metal shell 29 within which is secured an insulating body 31. The body 31 may be either one piece or, as shown in Fig. 2, made of a plurality of pieces. For certain installations, where precision of engagement is requisite, as in close quarters, it is preferred that the forward or face portion of the body 31 be made of a relatively rigid material as shown at 32. For this purpose a silicone glass filled phenolic resin is preferred. The portion 32 is provided with a shoulder 33, which engages a corresponding shoulder 34 on the interior of the shell 29, to prevent forward displacement of the portion 32. Rearward displacement is prevented by the presence of the rear portion 36 of the body 31 which is preferably made of elastic resilient material like the body portion 27. The portion 36 is held in place by a ridge and groove fit shown at 37.
The connectors 21 and 22 are preferably cylindrical, although not circular, as shown in Fig. 3, the term cylindrical referring to any surface (or volume) formed by a generatrix moving parallel to a given line. Each connector is provided with a flange 38 which assists in engagement and disengagement of the connector assembly.
By making the body portion 27 of pliant, elastic material, it is possible, in accordance with the present invention, to presecure the contact pins 23 to the wires 39 which extend from the rear of the connector 21. With the group of pins 21 thus presecured or pre-crimped to an equal number of wires 39, in the form of a cable harness, it is only necessary to press each of the contacts 23 into its individual bore 41 formed longitudinally in the body 27, and to subsequently clamp the rear of the body 27 tightly around the wires 39, as will be explained hereinafter. Each pin or contact is held in place longitudinally by the provision of an ensmalled portion 42 in the bore 41, which mates snugly with a corresponding ensmalled portion on the pin 23. As noted hereinbefore, the pins 23 extend forwardly from the front face 44 of the body 27 and into a forward recess provided by the forward portion of the shell 26 which extends beyond the front face 44.
In similar fashion, each elongate socket 24 of the connector 22 is held in place by an ensmalled portion 46 in the bore 47 which mates with an ensmalled or relieved portion 48 in the socket24. The pliancy of the. material 36 permits the socket 24 to be pushed into the body' portion 36 past the ensmallment 46. As noted, the portion 32 may be made of pliant material integral with the portion 36 if desired, but in certain cases, it is preferred to make it of rigid material in order that there will be no laterial yielding of the portion 32 which actually engages and positions the socket 24. This is particularly important where the connectors 21 and 22 are installed in close quarters. Were the forward portion 32 to be made of pliant material like the rear portion 36, it would be possible for the. several sockets 24 to become slightly laterally displaced out of line with the corresponding pins 23; this wouldnmake engagement and disengagement in difiicultly accessible places a very difficult task.
In accordance with the present invention, means are provided for sealing the connectors 21 and 22 together when they are engaged, so as to prevent moisture or other external contaminant from gaining access to the juncture between the contacts 23 and 24.
As shown, this means comprises an annular groove 51 formed around the front face 44 of the pliant body 27. This leaves, circumjacent the groove, a cylindrical portion parallel to the walls of the shield 26 in the form of a pliant flange 52, which in practice is extended forwardly of the face 44. The flange 52 is preferably formed integral with the body 27. Mating with the flange 52 is the forwardly extending cylindrical surface of the shell 29, formed by ensmalling the forward edge of the shell as shown at 53. The flange 52 has a rounded ridge 54 extended radially toward the surface 53, being in this case directed radially inward. The ridge 54 is of sufficient radial extent to interfere with the surface 53 and be engaged thereby upon engagement of the connectors 21 and 22.
As shown in Fig. 4, as the connector 22 is moved into the shell 26, the forward surface 53 comes into engagement with the ridge 54, since the ridge 54 has an internal periphery somewhat less than the external periphery of the portion 53. As the engagement is pressed home, the elastic pliant material from the ridge 54 is caused to flow rearwardly, as shown in Fig. 5. To permit this flow or displacement, the surface 56 immediately to the rear of the ridge 54 is spaced radially outward from, i.e., has a larger periphery than, the surface 53, thereby providing, when the connectors are disengaged, an annular space 57 into which pliant material from the ridge 54 may flow, as shown in Fig. 6. By this interference, the pliant material is caused to be moved rearwardly, and by its resilience to form a firm, lateral seal against the surface 53, for an appreciable axial length, as shown in Fig. 6. Thus, an annular lateral sealing engagement between the connectors 21 and 22 is provided, which extends unbrokenly completely around the connector.
In addition to the above described means for sealing the two connectors 21 and 22 together where they engage, means are provided, in accordance with this invention, forsealing the connectors firmly against the several wires 39 where they enter the bodyof the connector from the rear. As shown in Fig. 7, the pliant body portion 36 is provided with a bore 47, representing one of a plurality of such bores illustrated in Fig. 3. The bore 47 is ensmalled at 61 to provide a means for securing the socket 24 therein, in the manner described hereinbefore. The outer or rear face of the ensmallment 61 is beveled at 62 to facilitate pressingin of the socket 24.
The rear of the bore .47 near the open end thereof is also ensmalled by a rounded .annular protuberance or ridge 63 which .is of approximately the same internal diameter. as the wire 59. In accordance with this invention, each contact 24 is pre-connected to a wire 59, by soldering, brazing or, preferably, by being pre-crimped by a crimping machine on to the bare end 64 of the wire 59, as shown at 66. The contact 24 is then pressed into the bore 47 to the position shown in Fig. 8.
In order to provide a tight seal around the wire 59 where it passes into the bore 47, a tapered ring or shell 67 is provided. The forward end 68 of the shell is larger than the periphery 69, while. the rear end 71 is smaller, as shown in Fig. 8. While the surface of the body 69 has been shown cylindrical in Fig. 8, although not circular, it is not necessary that it be cylindrical, but instead it might be conical or have a slight taper.
In accordance with the present invention, however, any taper should be less than the taper of the shell .67, so that as the shell 67 is pressed on to the body 36 from the position shown in Fig. 8 to that shown in Fig. 9, the rearward smaller portion of the shell 71 engages the pliant material of the body 36 and moves it forwardly into the larger portion 68, thus causing a flow of material with consequent lateral stressing thereof. This flow of material occurs not only at the exterior of the body to make a tight seal against the end of shell 29, as shown at 72, but alsointeriorly of the body circumjacent the bore 47 as shown at 73. The pliant material 36 is thus pressed radially inward around the wire 59 for an appreciable axial length of the wire, thereby providing an axially long and tight seal between the body 36 and.the wire 59. Not only is material caused to flow into the open space 74 of the bore 47 circumjacent the wire 53, but the ridge portion 63 is compressed tightly against the wire 59 and contact end 70 and forms an especially tight gripping seal therearoun'd. This compression also effects a tight seal at 75 between portion 36 and the interior of shell '29.
For cases where the wire 59 is of unusually small diameter, as shown at 59 in Fig. 10, a sleeve 76 may be provided having an internal diameter approximately equal to that of the wire 59 and an external diameter approximately equal to that of a normal wire 59.
A dovetail or undercut shoulder engagement 80 (Fig. 1) is provided between parts 27 and 28, which is particularly elfective in maintaining a seal under low temperatures. As the temperature drops, the material of 27 shrinks inward more than the metal of ridge 28, because of its greater temperature coefiicient of expansion. While such shrinkage might lessen the seal at 85, it serves to actually enhance or tighten the seal at the undercut oblique surface of the dovetail 80.
The inter-connector seal shown in Figs. 4, 5 and 6 is also especially efficacious under wide temperature ranges. This is because there is such a small volume of pliant material in the flange 52 that total displacement or shrinkage under extremely low temperatures is very small. That is, even through the temperature coeflicient of contraction of the material 27 may be rather high, the volume in the flange 32 is so small that there is but little total shrinkage, and a good seal is retained over an extremely wide temperature range.
The present invention, as intimated hereinbefore is applicable not only to connectors where the conduits to be joined consist of electrical conduits, i.e. conductors, but also where hollow conduits for conduction of fiuids are involved. This is illustrated in Fig. 12, wherein a fluid conduitSl is connected to a similar fluid conduit 82 by means of connectors embodying the present invention. As in the example illustrated in Fig. l, a peripheral seal is provided at52" completely around the connector, thereby preventing external contaminants from coming into engagement with any portion of the connector. In similar fashion at the rear of each connector a tapered clamping ring '67" serves to press the pliant body 36" tightly around the conduit 82.
In order to prevent leakage of fluid in or out of the conduit joint, a conventional 0 ring seal 83 is provided where the male conduit 81 enters the female'conduit 82.
The present invention-is also applicable to butting type electrical connectors shown in Fig. 11. In this figure a connector 21, having a pliant peripheral flange 52' is engaged with a connector 22 having a rigid peripheral engaging portion 53'. The engagement of these portions is essentially as shown and described in connection with Figs. 4-6. The contacts 23 and 24', however, instead of sliding together with telescoping arrangement, are butted together. The engaging face of each contact 24 is made hemispherical and that of each contact 23' is made substantially flat, although slightly slanted, so that there is a slight relative lateral displacement with each engagement, thereby bringing about a wiping action, with resultant maintenance of electrical cleanliness at the contact.
As has been described in connection with Figs. 4-6, it is preferable to make the pliant, cylindrical, peripheral engaging portion 52' in the form of a relatively thin flange, in order to minimize aggregate contraction due to temperature change. Where severe temperature changes are not expected or can be tolerated, it is possible to construct the pliant engaging surface as the inner of the two telescoping members. This is illustrated in Fig. 13, wherein the forward portion 52 of the pliant body 27 is provided with a ridge 54" which extends outwardly instead of inwardly into engagement with the forward portion 53" of the shell 29". In this case, it is the internal surface of the shell 29" instead of the external surface of the shell 29' which engages the ridge. Both Fig. 13 and Fig. 1 have the common attribute that the cylindrical mating portion which is pliant has an integrally formed ridge extending radially into the interfering engagement with a rigid cylindrical surface on the outer connector, with material from the ridge being flowed rearwardly into an annular space provided therefor. In the embodiment of Figs. 13 and 14 this space is shown at 57".
The seal does not necessarily require a discrete ridge 54 of pliant material. As long as there is interference with resulting displacement of the pliant material by the member 29, and some place for the pliant material to flow to, a satisfactory seal may be had. For example, in Fig. 15, the outer surface 53 of the rigid shell 29" is greater in periphery than the inner surface 54" of the pliant flange 52" shown in dotted lines, when the parts are disengaged. Upon engagement as shown in Fig. 15, pliant material is moved inward from the region of interference between 53 and 54" into the space ahead of the edge of shell 29", as shown at 57". As in the other form, for example, Figs. 46, a lateral seal is elfected by displacement of pliant material into a region lying longitudinally behind the interference region.
While the instant invention has been shown and described herein in what is conceived to be the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is recognized that departures may be made therefrom within the scope of the invention which is therefore not to be limited to the details disclosed herein but is to be accorded the full scope of the claim.
What is claimed is:
A connector comprising an elastic pliant body having a bore therein, an elongate electrical contact pressed into said bore and having means for attaching a wire thereto, said contact having an annular relief therearound, said bore being ensmalled to form an annular ridge extending inwardly into said bore and mating with said relief in said contact, thereby to hold said contact in place in said body, the body having a second annular ridge extending inwardly into said bore circumjacent said wire, and a tapered shell pressed over the end of said body and pressing said pliant material inwardly around said wire to form a tight seal between body and wire.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,035,978 Parker Mar. 31, 1936 2,275,762 Horton Mar. 10, 1942 2,383,926 White Aug. 28, 1945 2,409,004 Hall Oct. 8, 1946 2,443,654 Else et al June 22, 1948 2,662,219 Hennessey d. Dec. 8, 1953 2,758,291 Richards Aug. 7, 1956 2,762,025 Melcher Sept. 4, 1956