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Publication numberUS2997685 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 22, 1961
Filing dateJun 5, 1956
Priority dateJun 5, 1956
Publication numberUS 2997685 A, US 2997685A, US-A-2997685, US2997685 A, US2997685A
InventorsAnderson Gunnar E
Original AssigneeBryant Electric Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrical connector
US 2997685 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 22, 1961 e. E. ANDERSON ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR Filed June 5, 1956 United States Patent 2,997,685 ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR Guunar E. Anderson, Trumbull, Conn., assignor to The Bryant Electric Company, Bridgeport, Conn., a corporation of Connecticut Filed June 5, 1956, Ser. No. 589,490 7 Claims. (Cl. 339-149) My invention relates to electrical connectors and more particularly to one-piece snap-on electrical connectors.

As is well known, it has been common practice heretofore to electrically connect a number of wiring devices,

such as electrical range switches, together by means of an elongated bus bar having spaced connecting means located thereon which connecting means are engageable with a terminal blade on each of the wiring devices. Heretofore, it has been common practice either to rigidly secure each of the connecting means to the bus bar so that the spacing thereof corresponds to the spacing of the terminal blades, or to slidably support spring clips on the bus bar so that they may be longitudinally slid along the bus bar to locations corresponding to the spacing of the terminal blades. As can readily be appreciated in using a fixed connecting means, a bus bar must be fabricated with relation to each individual installation, which in view of the various manufacturers employing such bus bars has resulted in considerable stocking of various bus bars. At the present time such objection to using a fixed connecting means has been overcome by utilizing slidable spring clips. However, to my knowledge such clips can only be assembled from either of the free ends of the bus bar and then slid along the bus bar to the desired location, which procedure is undesirable due to the assembly time required to obtain the desired spacing before securing the bus bar to the terminal blades.

Accordingly, one object of my invention is to provide a new and improved spring clip which may be snapped onto both a bus bar and and a terminal blade.

Another object of my invention is to provide a new and improved spring clip which may be snapped on a bus bar at any desired location and thereafter snapped onto a terminal blade.

A more specific object of my invention is to provide a new and improved spring clip having an elongated bus bar supporting arm with an elongated leaf spring supported angularly adjacent thereto.

Another more specific object of my invention is to provide a new and improved spring clip having a pair of spaced arms for supporting a bus bar therebetween and a leaf spring supported adjacent the arms and extending angularly with respect thereto for biasing a terminal blade into engagement with the bus bar.

Still another more specific object of my invention is to provide a new and improved U-shaped spring clip having one arm formed to support a bus bar therein and the other arm formed to bias a terminal blade into engagement with the bus bar.

A further object of my invention is to provide a new and improved spring clip having an elongated bus bar supporting means and an elongated leaf spring supported angularly adjacent thereto with integral guide means on the leaf spring for supporting the terminal blade in definite relationship with respect thereto.

These and other objects of my invention will become more apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description of preferred embodiments thereof when taken in conjunction with the attached drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is an enlarged perspective view of a spring ice clip constructed in accordance with the principles of my invention;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the spring clip as shown in FIG. 1 having a bus bar and a terminal blade located therein;

FIG. 3 is a front plan view of the spring clip and cooperable members as shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the spring clip and cooperable members as shown in FIG. 3 taken along the lines IVIV thereof and showing the terminal blade in section;

FIG. 5 is a back plan view of a plurality of spaced wiring devices having a plurality of aligned terminal blades extending therefrom, which blades are connected by means of spring clips as shown in FIG. 1 to bus bars extending adjacent the terminal blades;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged front plan view of another spring clip constructed in accordance with the principles of my invention;

FIG. 7 is a side view of the spring clip shown in FIG. 6; and

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the spring clip as shown in FIG. 6 having a portion thereof broken away.

As is well known today, it is desirable to provide various wiring devices with a number of outwardly extending terminal blades so that electrical contact to all of the devices may be made by means of bus bars extending between the same terminal blades of each wiring device. Thus, in FIG. 5 four wiring devices 2, which, for example, may represent electrical range element control switches, are shown secured in any suitable manner to a supporting panel 4 so that the wiring devices 2 are in vertical alignment with each other. Each wiring device 2 is provided with three generally rectangular outwardly extending terminal blades 6 which are generally parallel to and may be laterally offset from each other. The terminal blades 6 of adjacent wiring devices 2 are in vertical alignment with each other whereby elongated rectangular crosssection bus bars 8 may be used to connect each terminal blade 6 to the same terminal blade 6 of each adjacent wiring device 2. In order that each bus bar 8 may be electrically and mechanically secured to the terminal blades 6 which it extends adjacent thereto, a new and novel one-piece spring clip 10 is employed. It should be noted from the outset that the particular reprmentation of wiring devices 2 and the arrangement of the terminal blades 6 in FIG. 5 is merely illustrative only of such de vices and blades, and that if desired, various other arrangements may also be employed.

As shown in FIGS. 1 to 4, the spring clip 10 is of onepiece construction so that the entire structure may be blanked out of any suitable sheet material having sufficient structural strength and resiliency, such as spring steel, in any suitable manner. After such blanking operation the spring clip 10 is then formed by various wellknown forming processes to obtain the structure as hereinafter described. As shown, the spring clip 10 comprises a U-shaped base having a bight portion 12 with identical, substantially parallel, cross arms 14 extending laterally outwardly from one side of the bight portion 12. An integral, elongated arm 16 extends laterally outwardly from, the outer end of each of the cross arms 14 so that the arms 16 are laterally spaced from each other and are substantially parallel to each other. The free end of each arm 16 is provided with a laterally inwardly extending projection 18, which projections 18 are generally in the same plane as the cross arms 14, respectively. With such a construction the projections 18, arms 16 and cross arms 14 form an open-sided rectangular area for receiving a rectangular bus bar 8 therein, as hereinafter described.

The spring clip 10 is also provided with an integral generally rectangular leaf spring 22 which extends up wardly from the bight portion 12 and angularly toward the projections 18 at the free end of the arms 16. As shown, the free end of leaf spring 22 extends angularly outward-1y from the projections 18 in order to provide a tongue 25 for guiding purposes as hereinafter described. It will also be noted that the free end of each arm 16 facing the leaf spring 22 is provided with a downwardly and inwardly sloping surface 27 for guiding purposes, as hereinafter described. By reversibly bending the free end of the leaf spring 22, an inner edge 26 is formed on the leaf spring 22 which extends laterally across the inner surface of leaf spring 22 and which is located generally in lateral alignment with the lower edges of the projections 18 and is spaced laterally therefrom.

With such a construction and due to the resiliency of the leaf spring 22, the spring clip may readily be laterally inserted over an elongated rectangular bus bar 8 by generally aligning the space between the edge 26 and the projections 18 with one edge of the bus bar 8 and thereafter forcing the spring clip 10 laterally over the bus bar 8. During such period a longitudinally extending edge of bus bar 8 will initially engage the sloping surfaces 27 on each arm 16 and the tongue 25 on the leaf spring 22 so that by further forcing the spring clip 10 onto the bus bar 8, the leaf spring 22 deflects outwardly away from the arms 16, and the spring clip 10 slides laterally over the bus bar 8. Such lateral movement of spring clip 10 will continue until the opposite longitudinally extending edge of the bus bar 8 clears the lower edges of the projections 18. At this time the bus bar 8 is located between the leaf spring 22 and the arms 16 of the spring clip 10. Inasmuch as the leaf spring extends angularly away from the arms 16 below the pro jections 18, the bus bar 8 will be freely received therebetween so that it may easily be longitudinally slipped along the bus bar 8. It, of course, will be obvious that in order that the spring clip 10 may be inserted as described, the spacing between the edge 26 and the inner ends of the projections 18 must be less than the thickness of the bus bar 8. Further, in order that the bus bar 8 may be received between the lower edges of the projections 18 and. the upper edges of the cross arms 14, the bus bar 8 must have a height less than the distance therebetween. It is obvious. however, that for a given size of bus bar 8 a suitable spring clip 10 may be provided in accordance with the principles of my invention.

As heretofore described, spring clip 10 may easily he slipped longitudinally along the bus bar 8; however, in order to space the bus bar 8 from the leaf spring 22 at all times, the leaf spring 22 is provided with an integral inwardly extending projection 30 at each of its sides which extends inwardly above the cross arms 14 of the base and which projections 30 are substantially in alignment therewith. By this construction the outer end of the projections 30 will engage the longitudinally extending surface of the bus bar 8 facing the leaf spring 22. Thus, the projections 30 prevent the bus bar 8 from being located adjacent the inner surface of the leaf spring 22 so that an opening between the leaf spring 22 and the bus bar 8 is provided at all times for receiving a terminal blade 6 therein. as is hereinafter described. As shown, the projections 30 are of a length so that the bus bar 8 is generally located within the open-sided area defined by each of the projections 18, arms 16, and cross arms 14; however, the projections 30 do not preferably frictionally engage bus bar 8 so that the clip 10 may readily be moved longitudinally along the bus bar 8. If desired, however, projections 30 may be made to bias the bus bar 8 due to the resiliency of leaf spring 22 into engagement with the inner edges of arms 16 facing the leaf spring 22.

As shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, a spring clip 10 with a bus bar 8 located therein is also engageable with the rectangular terminal blade 6 extending outwardly from the base of the wiring device 2. The spring clip 10 with the bus bar 8 located therein is readily connected to the terrninal blade 6 by merely locating the opening between the projections 18 and the edge 26 approximately in alignment with the free end of the terminal blade 6 to initially engage the tongue 25 of leaf spring 22 so that the leaf spring 22 is cammed outwardly away from the arms 16 and the bus bar 8. The projections 30 will prevent the bus bar 8 from falling over into engagement with the inner surface of the leaf spring 22 so that the terminal blade 6 may slip inwardly between the opposed surfaces on the bus bar 8 and the leaf spring 22. In order to limit such longitudinal movement of the terminal blades 6, the bight portion 12 of the spring clip 10 is provided with an integral inwardly extending ledge 32 which extends intd the path of travel of the free end of the terminal blade 6 so that upon engagement thereby the spring clip 10 is located longitudinally along the terminal blade 6. It will also be noted that the width of the terminal blade 6 is only slightly less than the width of the leaf spring 22, so that the opposed sides of the projections 30 locate the terminal blade 6 laterally of the leaf spring 22.

Referring to FIG. 2, it will be noted that upon such insertion of a terminal blade 6 the leaf spring 22 is deflected outwardly from the arm 16 so as to be substantially parallel to the arm 16. Such deflection of the leaf spring 22 causes a considerable force to be exerted by the leaf spring 22 against the terminal blade 6 which force is in turn transmitted to the bus bar 8 so that the bus bar 8 and the terminal blade 6 are firmly wedged between the inner edges of arms 16 and the inner surface of the leaf spring 22 so that the bus bar 8 and the terminal blade 6 are mechanically and electrically secured together. The amount of such wedging force will be determined by the material from which the spring clip 10 is formed and in view of the various resilient material commercially available, such force may readily be varied. In order to permit such wedging to occur, it is necessary, as shown, that the projections 18 be of a length less than the thickness of the bus bar 8 so that the inner edges of projections 30 do not engage the terminal blade 6 to hold the terminal blade 6 away from the bus bar 8. Also, if desired, the central portion of the terminal blade 6 and the leaf spring 22 may be provided with an indentation 34 and an inwardly extending detent 36, respectively, to additionally prevent the terminal blade 6 from being slipped off the bus bar 8.

Referring to FIG. 5, it will be obvious that a number of spring clips 10 may be initially snapped onto a bus bar 8 at any desired longitudinal location and thereafter snapped onto the aligned terminal blade 6. If necessary, the spring clip 10 may be slid longitudinally of the bus bar 8 to obtain the exact alignment of the spring clip 10 with the terminal blade 6. Thus, it is only necessary that a bus bar 8 be cut to length from standard stock to obtain the desired connection. Further, and of particular importance, is the fact that it is not necessary that fiat elongated bus bars 8 be employed, or that the wiring devices 2 be aligned with each other. All that is necessary is that the bus bars 8 be initially formed to lie adjacent a plurality of terminal blades so that spring clips 10 may thereafter be secured to the formed bus bar 8. Thus, for example, preformed Z, U, M, A, L, or other forms of bus bars 8 could readily be employed with my spring clip 10. Although heretofore the spring clips 10 have been described as cooperable with rectangular terminal blades 6 and bus bars 8, it should be noted that such description has been only for convenience and due to the fact that such configurations are normally employed for such member. If desired, however, other forms of bus bars 8 and terminal blades 6 may be employed without departing from the spirit of my invention.

FIGS. 6, 7 and 8 illustrate a spring clip 10' which is formed from the same type of materials as spring clip 10, as previously described, and which is provided with a leaf spring portion 22 in the same manner as the spring t clip 10. Accordingly, like parts have been given the same reference numerals. As shown, the spring clip is generally U-shaped with the leaf spring 22 forming one arm of the U. The other arm 46 of the U is also a leaf spring and is formed to receive the bus bar 8 in a manner similar to the arms 16 as previously described. Thus, as shown, arm 46 is formed to provide an inwardly extending projection 18 extending laterally thereacross above its bight portion; thereafter arm 46 is formed to extend angularly upwardly and outwardly from the projection 18 to form a tongue 27' which extends oppositely to the tongue 25 on leaf spring 22. Thus, it will be noted that projection 18 and tongue 27' function in the same manner as projections 28 and surfaces 27, as 1 previously described. Further, the arm 46 is approximately the same width as the width of the leaf spring 22 so that a large area of engagement is obtained between the arm 46 and the bus bar 8.

Although I have shown and described several modifications of my invention in accordance with the patent: statutes, I am aware that modifications thereof are possible without departing from the broad spirit and scope of my invention. Accordingly, it is desired that my invention be not restricted except insofar as is necessitated by the prior art.

I claim as my invention:

1. An electrical connector comprising at least one elongated arm having a cross portion at approximately one end thereof extending laterally outwardly from one side thereof, an elongated leaf spring extending from said cross portion generally toward the other end of said arm, said arm having adjacent said other end a lateral projection providing an inwardly facing, laterally extending ledge, a free end of said spring being normally disposed adjacently of said lateral projection to permit engagement of said connector over a bus-bar, said ledge being longitudinally spaced from said cross portion so as to receive said bus-bar therebetween, and projecting means on said spring extending toward said arm for holding said bus-bar adjacently of said elongated arm yet enabling a conductive blade to be inserted between said bus-bar and said spring.

2. A continuous connector for electrical switches comprising an elongated bus-bar having a uniform cross section along substantially its entire length, a plurality of electrical connectors insertable upon said bus-bar at any point therealong upon engagement of said electrical connectors transversely over said bus-bar, each of said electrical connectors comprising at least one elongated arm having a cross portion at approximately one end thereof extending laterally outwardly from one side thereof, an elongated leaf spring extending from said cross portion generally toward the other end of said arm, said arm having adjacent said other end a lateral projection providing an inwardly facing, laterally extending ledge, a free end of said spring being normally disposed adjacently of said lateral projection to permit engagement of said connector over said bus-bar, said ledge being longitudinally spaced from said cross portion so as to receive said bus-bar therebetween, and projecting means on said spring extending toward said arm for holding said bus-bar adjacently of said elongated arm yet enabling a conductive blade to be inserted between said bus-bar and said spring.

3. An electrical connector comprising a generally U- shaped clip formed from a resilient material, one arm of said clip having adjacent its free end a lateral projection providing an inwardly facing, laterally extending ledge for retaining said clip on a bus-bar, the free end of each arm of said clip being flared outwardly to facilitate engaging said clip over said bus-bar, means on said other arm extending toward said one arm for holding said busbar adjacently of said one arm yet for enabling a conductive blade to be inserted between said bus-bar and said other arm, and means extending inwardly from the inner surface of said other arm for limiting insertion of the conductive blade.

4. An electrical connector comprising a generally U- shaped clip formed from a resilient material, one arm of said clip having adjacent its free end a lateral projection providing an inwardly facing, laterally extending ledge for retaining said clip on a bus-bar, the free end of each arm of said clip being flared outwardly to facilitate engaging said clip over said bus-bar, and means on said other arm extending toward said one arm for holding said bus-bar adjacently of said one arm yet enabling a conductive blade to be inserted between said bus-bar and said other arm.

5. A continuous connector for electrical switches, said continuous connector comprising an elongated bus-bar having a uniform cross section along substantially its entire length, a plurality of electrical connectors insertable upon said bus-bar at any point therealong upon engagement of said electrical connectors transversely over said bus-bar, each of said electrical connectors comprising a one-piece generally U-shaped clip formed from a resilient material, one arm of said clip having adjacent its free end a lateral projection providing an inwardly facing, laterally extending ledge for retaining said clip on said bus-bar, the free end of each arm of said clip being flared outwardly to facilitate insertion of said clip over said busbar, and means on said other arm extending toward said one arm for holding said bus-bar against said one arm yet enabling a conductive blade to be inserted between said bus-bar and said other arm.

6. An electrical connecting system comprising a plurality of wiring devices each having at least one terminal blade extending outwardly therefrom, an. elongated busbar having a uniform cross section along substantially its entire length, means for supporting said wiring devices so that said terminal blades are located so as to be adjacent said bus-bar, a plurality of electrical connectors insertable upon said bus-bar at any point therealong upon engagement of said electrical connectors transversely over said bus-bar, each of said electrical connectors comprising a generally U-shaped clip having at least one resilient arm, the other arm of said clip having adjacent its free end a lateral projection providing an inwardly facing, laterally extending ledge for retaining said clip on said bus-bar, the free end of said one and said other arms of said clip being flared outwardly to facilitate insertion of said clip over said bus-bar, means on said other arm extending toward said one arm for holding said bus-bar adjacently of said one arm yet for enabling at least one of said terminal blades to be inserted between said busbar and said other arm, said electrical connectors being slidable along at least a portion of said bus-bar into alignment with said terminal blades, respectively, and said free end of each of said arms being movable away from each other upon engagement with said terminal blades, respectively, to permit said terminal blades to engage said bus-bar.

7. An electrical connector comprising a generally U- shaped clip, and means on said clip for enabling said clip to be retained on a bus-bar, said retaining means including means projecting from one arm of said clip toward the other arm of said clip, said projecting means holding said bus-bar adjacently of said other clip arm yet enabling a conductive blade to be inserted between said bus-bar and said one clip arm, and said retaining means including a portion of the other arm of said clip projecting laterally inwardly of said other arm adjacent its free end and thereby providing an inwardly facing ledge to hold said bus bar inwardly of said clip.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS (Other references on following page) UNITED STATES PATENTS De Mask Feb. 26, 1935 De Mask Nov. 9, I937 OBrien Mar. 16, 1943 Rowe Oct. 19, 1948 Flora et a1 Jan. 5, 1954 8 Iohansson May 31, 1955 Johansson May 31, 1955 FOREIGN PATENTS Great Britain Oct. 15, 1948

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3091745 *Jul 24, 1961May 28, 1963Western Electric CoElectrical connector
US3182281 *Dec 31, 1962May 4, 1965Burndy CorpReleasable socket connector
US3210508 *Aug 5, 1963Oct 5, 1965Automatic Elect LabReplacement terminal for attachment to broken off end of electrical contact spring
US3213403 *Mar 24, 1961Oct 19, 1965Ite Circuit Breaker LtdPlug-in bus duct
US3528050 *May 2, 1969Sep 8, 1970Holub Ind IncPush-on type grounding clip
US3725843 *Jul 6, 1971Apr 3, 1973Teradyne IncBussing construction for printed circuit connectors
US3918788 *Sep 6, 1974Nov 11, 1975Electronics Stamping CorpBus clip and bus strip
US3985414 *Jun 13, 1975Oct 12, 1976Electronics Stamping CorporationBus clip and bus strip construction
US4082393 *Jan 27, 1977Apr 4, 1978Westinghouse Electric CorporationBus duct assembly
US4128290 *Feb 8, 1978Dec 5, 1978Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanyBus bar connection system
US4451109 *May 17, 1982May 29, 1984Tokai Electric Wire Company LimitedConnector terminal
US4456321 *Apr 19, 1982Jun 26, 1984General Electric CompanyTwo-piece, push-on type grounding clip
US4699445 *Jul 28, 1986Oct 13, 1987Amp IncorporatedElectrical terminal assembly for thermistors
US5599192 *Feb 16, 1994Feb 4, 1997Berg Technology, Inc.Blade-like terminal having a passive latch
US6152763 *Sep 7, 1997Nov 28, 2000The Whitaker CorporationElectrical contact for termination to flat conductive member
US7677934 *Jan 24, 2008Mar 16, 2010Inarca S.p. A.Female electrical terminal
DE102005043601A1 *Sep 12, 2005Mar 22, 2007Yazaki Europe Ltd., Hemel HempsteadKontakthalteklammer zur Montage an einer Stromschiene und Kontakthalterung aus diesen
DE102005043601B4 *Sep 12, 2005Jun 14, 2007Yazaki Europe Ltd., Hemel HempsteadKontakthalteklammer zur Montage an einer Stromschiene und Kontakthalterung aus diesen
EP0637099A2 *Apr 30, 1994Feb 1, 1995Weidmüller Interface GmbH & Co.Rail-mounted terminal assembly with overvoltage protection devices
EP1763109A1Jun 30, 2006Mar 14, 2007Yazaki Europe Ltd.Holding and contacting clip for assembling for a bus bar and holding such contacting clip arrangement
WO1998011629A1 *Sep 9, 1997Mar 19, 1998Whitaker CorpElectrical contact
Classifications
U.S. Classification439/625, 439/786, 439/849
International ClassificationH01R4/48
Cooperative ClassificationH01R4/4809
European ClassificationH01R4/48B