US 3037183 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 29, 1962 J. H. HOPKINS 3,037,183
ELECTRIC TERMINALMEANS Filed June 26, 1958 lOv IOT
IOB I60 I02 lOx INVENTOR.
Fly. 4 Joseph H Hop/r1715.
United States atent 3,037,183 Patented May 29, 1962 3,037,183 ELECTRIC TERMINAL MEANS Joseph Henry Hopkins, Warren, Ohio, assignor to General Motors Corporation, Detroit, Mich., a corporation of Delaware Filed June 26, 1958, Ser. No. 744,705 4 Claims. (Cl. 339217) This invention relates to electric terminal means and particularly to an improved terminal adapted to be mounted in a connector provided for connecting together ends of wires in making electrical circuit for electrically operated devices.
An object of this invention is to provide an improved electric terminal means adapted to be assembled and disassembled in a connector body.
Another object of this invention is to provide an electric terminal means having a body portion provided with a projecting tang surrounded by an embossed U section whereby the tang is rendered more flexible yet the body portion surrounding the tang is strengthened.
Another object of this invention is to provide an electric terminal means having a spring locking tang for locking connector terminals into insulator bodies and adapted to deflect easily while being pushed into a connector body yet adapted to spring to a locking position unrestricted by all remaining terminal means metal from which the tang is sheared.
Another object of this invention is to provide a terminal having a spring locking tang with a free projecting end and having a U-shaped embossed portion having a depth of at least once the thickness of the tang and surrounding part of the'tang whereby strength of the terminal is enhanced, whereby resilience of the tang relative to material from which the tang is sheared is enhanced, and whereby electrical conductivity is not impaired.
A further object of this invention is to provide a wire connecting terminal made of a piece of sheet metal ineluding a base portion and having laterally extending wings which are adapted to be bent relative to the base so as to form a terminal connecting portion adapted to be engaged by a male blade which is resiliently urged by the wings against an upwardly embossed section of the base portion which section surrounds a tang bent downwardly from the base portion and having a free end deflectable such that the embossed section makes the tang more resilient for locking engagement with an insulating housing because the tang is surrounded at allbut one end by the embossed section that in addition to facilitating increased resilience of the tang also enhances strength of the base portion and electrical connection of the terminal relative to a male blade without impairing electrical conductivity.
Further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description, reference being had to the accompanying drawings wherein a preferred embodiment of the present invention is clearly shown.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a blank view of a terminal means in accordance with the present invention.
FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary cross-sectional elevational view of a male blade engaging terminal means in accordance with the present invention.
FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 4 is a cross-sectional elevational view of a male blade in engagement with terminal means in accordance with the present invention, and both disposed relative to an insulating housing.
In FIGURE 1 there is shown a blank view of a terminal means generally indicated by numeral 10 in accordance with the present invention. The terminal means includes a longitudinally extending body, base or floor portion 10b integral with which there are laterally extending wings 10w projecting in opposite directions and adapted to be bent partly upwardly and partly inwardly toward each other so as to form a substantially C-shaped structure. Each of the wings 10w has a tapered or bevelled leading edge and surface 10:2. The bevelled and tapered portion 102 is adapted to be positioned with the wings in spaced relationship to the base portion 10b, such that a male blade or terminal means generally indicated by numeral 12 in FIGURE 2 can be inserted underneath the wing portions 10w in a manner to be described more fully in the following paragraphs.
In addition to the base or floor portion 10b, the terminal means 10 includes a conductor engaging portion integral at one end with the base or floor portion 10b. The conductor engaging portion 100 is provided with integral and laterally extending elements 10a and 10v as shown in FIGURE 1. The elements 10a are adapted to be bent upwardly and inwardly toward each other relative to the top of the terminal engaging portion 100 so as to be crimped, welded, or soldered and tightly engaged relative to a Wire 14w of a conductor generally indicated by numeral 14 in FIGURE 4. The elements 10v are slightly longer than elements 1014 and are adapted to be bent upwardly and inwardly toward each other so as to engage an insulating covering of wire 14 as shown in FIGURE 4. The terminal means 10 is adapted to be fitted in a fixed position relative to a hollow interior 1611 of an insulating housing generally indicated by numeral 16 shown in FIGURE 4. The insulating housing or body 16 includes an end recess 16r adjacent to which there is a shoulder 16s adapted to be engaged by a stop member 10s of the terminal means illustrated both in FIGURES 1 and 4. The stop member 10s is integral with the conductor engaging portion 10c and is bent downwardly so as to form an abutment engageable with the shoulder 16s.
As is clearly shown in FIGURE 4, the terminal means 10 is adapted to be inserted longitudinally into the hollow interior 16h of the insulating body or housing 16 into a position wherein the stop member 10s abuts against the shoulder 16s. The shoulder 16s is located opposite to an inwardly extending flange 16 which is adapted to be engaged by an upper surface or" the elements 10v. A bottom surface of the conductor engaging portion 100 is adjacent to an upper surface of a lower wall 16c of the insulating housing or body 16. An upper surface of the wings 10w of terminal means 10 is adapted to engage a lower surface of an upper wall 16w of the insulating body or housing 16. Engagement of surfaces of the terminal means relative to the lower wall and flange 16 is desirable to prevent up and down movement of the terminal means 10 in the housing 16. Up and down movement of a terminal means is further prevented by engagement of the upper wall 16w by an upper surface of the wings 10w. Substantially in vertical alignment with the wings 10w there is provided a tang 101 which is sheared or cut out of metal forming the terminal means 10.
Specifically, the tang 101 is made of a piece of sheet metal integral at one end 10E with the base or floor portion 10b, the tang 10! is bent to extend downwardly as shown in the drawings, and there is provided a free end 10m adapted to engage and lock relative to an intermediate abutment or shoulder 16m formed by the lower wall 16:: of the insulating housing 16. The tang 101 with the edge 10m in engagement with the shoulder 16m is adapted to lock the terminal means against removal and movement thereof from the interior of the insulating housing. The terminal means is securely locked in position relative to the interior of the housing 16 by cooperation of the stop member 10s and'free end 16m of the tang ltlt relative to the lower wall 160. The terminal means is inserted relative to the housing 16 through an end aperture 16a and during insertion of the terminal means 10 relative to the housing, the tang 102 is necessarily momentarily bent and deflected upwardly relative to the base or floor portion 10b of the terminal means 10. The tang 101 is adapted to be resilient so as to return to a downwardly extending position as shown particularly in FIGURES 2 and 4. During insertion of the terminal means 10 relative to the end aperture 16a, the side wings 10w are adapted to pass on opposite sides of the downwardly extending flange 16 which is provided centrally of the Wall 16w relative to the aperture 16a.
The terminal means 10 is also provided with a tongue portion 10T integral at one end with the base portion 10b and joined thereto by a bend segment 10B adapted to form a leading edge relative to which the terminal means is initially inserted relative to the aperture 16a. Bend segment 10B also forms a leading edge for engagement by a male blade insertable relative to the insulating housing and terminal means 10. An upper surface of the bevelled or tapered portion 10a of the side wings 10w is adapted to engage a lower surface of the upper wall 16w as the bent portion 108 and base 10b are inserted longitudinally relative to the hollow interior 16/1 of the insulating body 16. The tongue 101 is adapted to be bent upwardly and rearwardly so as to be positioned intermediate a bottom surface of the side wings 10w and a top surface of the base portion 1012. This positioning of the tongue 10T is best seen in FIGURES 2 and 4. The male blade or terminal means 12 includes a longitudinally extending body portion 1212 provided with a cut-out, recess or aperture 12a adajacent to a bevelled or tapered end portion 12a of the male blade. The bevelled or tapered end portion 12e of the male blade is adapted to slide over a top surface of the tongue IOT and along a lower surface of the tapered end portion 1% of the side wings 10w. A shoulder 12s is provided by the body portion 12b adjacent to the aperture 12a of the male blade or terminal means 12. An upwardly projecting barb 19p is provided integral at one end with the tongue 10'? and has a free end 10a adapted to engage and abut against the shoulder 12s so as to hinder removal of the male blade from engagement with the terminal means 10 between wings 10w and tongue MT. The male blade can be removed by straight pull outward but force required is greater than that for insertion because of shoulder 12s and barb 10p. Removal can be effected also by tilting or temporarily bending the male blade downwardly from its position shown in FIG. 4 to deflect the tongue 101 downwardly sufficiently to disengage the free end 1011 of the projecting barb 10p from engagement with the shoulder 12s. This disengagement can also be eflfected by inserting a tool such as a screw driver between a top surface of the tongue 10T and a bottom surface of the male blade or terminal means 12. However, barring positive action to effect removal of the male terminal means from between the wings 10w and tongue 10T, the terminal means 10 in accordance with the present invention is adapted to maintain resilient and positive electrical engagement with the male blade 12.
The tang 10t in accordance with the present invention is adapted to be in resilient engagement with a top surface of the lower wall 16c. As noted earlier, the tang 10t is temporarily deflected upwardly whenever the terminal means 10 is inserted relative to the insulating housing 16. The tang 10t can also be deflected upwardly by inserting a screw driver or another suitable deflecting tool into a space 102 so as to bend free end 10m temporarily out of engagement with the shoulder 16m. During deflection of the free end of the tang 102 out of engagement with the shoulder 10m, the terminal means 10 can be pulled or pushed out of the hollow interior 1611 of the insulating body 16. Previously terminal means have been provided with tangs such as 10!, and there is considerable difiiculty in assuring that the tang such as 10t is sufiiciently resilient and free of any encumbrance along its side edges and an edge of its free end so asto hinder return of the tang 1a)! to a downwardly'extending position illustrated in FIGURES 2 and 4. Generally, a tang such as Mr would be cut or sheared from metal forming a terminal and the general configuration of the cut portion would be like that shown by the projecting barb 16 relative to tongue 10T. In other Words, the tang or barb would be cut so as to have one end integral with the metal of the terminal and remaining three sides of the tang or barb would be only sheared relative to the metal of the terminal and edges on three sides of the tang could easily bind relative to edges of an opening in metal from which the tang is sheared. Thus, when the tang or barb is deflected temporarily back into alignment with the metal of the terminal, adjacent cut sides or edges would bind easily relative to the opening from which the tang or barb is cut. As another approach to the problem of binding or locking of a tang relative to the opening from which it was cut, a U-shaped gap or opening surrounding three sides of the tang or barb would be provided. However, providing a gap or actual cut out and complete removal of metal from three sides surrounding the tang or barb would result in a weakening of the metal in an area from which the tang projects. This weakening of this area permits deformation and bending of the terminal which is undesirable and disadvantageous not only because of the weakening of the metal section, but also because of the increase of electrical resistance due to decrease of the amount of metal provided in the terminal.
To overcome the disadvantages and weakening of the terminals, the terminal means is provided with an embossed section or portion generally indicated by numeral 20 in accordance with the present invention. The embossed portion 20 is visible in each view of the drawings and includes a substantially U-shaped embossing including upwardly and inwardly built sections 20a, 20b, and 200. The section 26a is located opposite integral end 10E of the tang 10: which is cut out from the base or floor portion 10b of the terminal means leaving a gap, opening or aperture 10x. Due to the upward bending and swaging of the embossed portion 20, the opening 10x is removed from alignment in the same plane as the floor or base portion 10b of the terminal means. Preferably the embossed portion 20 has a depth or displacement away from the plane of the floor or base portion 13b of at least once the thickness of the tang 101 so as to provide suflicient space and clearance for per- 'mitting unhindered deflection of the tang.
As the embossed portion 20 is stamped upwardly away from the base or floor portion 10b, the metal forming the sections 20a, 20b, 200 is displaced and can be thinned due to swaging thereof between upper and lower dies used to stamp the metal of the terminal means. A space or recess 10R is formed along an under-surface of the embossed portion 20 as indicated in FIGURES 2, 3 and 4. In accordance with the present invention, the tang 101 can be resiliently deflected temporarily into this space or recess 10R so as to permit insertion and removal of the terminal means relative to the insulating housing 16. The recess 10R provides suflicient space to permit temporary dislocation of the tang 102 so that free end 10m is retracted and does not project below an undersurface of the base or floor portion 10b of the terminal means 10. Side edges and the free end of the tang are freely movable into and out of the plane of the base portion 10b due to use of the embossed portion 20 in accordance with the present invention.
The embossed portion 20, in addition to providing the recess 10R also serves to enhance the strength of the floor portion 10b adjacent to the opening 10x left by cutting out the tang t from the base portion. This increase in strength adjacent to the opening 10x is desirable because the opening 10x in the floor portion would weaken the terminal at a location opposite to the undersurface of the wings 10w. Instead of a weakening of the floor portion, there is a strengthening of the floor portion due to the provision of the embossed portion 20 with the terminal means in accordance with the present invention.
The embossed portion 20 further assures positive electrical engagement of a male blade relative to the female terminal means 10 because the sections 20a, 20b and 200 of the embossed portion 20 form a raised platform having an upper surface 20s engageable by an undersurface of the tongue 10T. Engagement of the tongue 10T against the surface 20s provides a backing and support for the tongue whereby an upper surface of the tongue and specifically the projecting barb 10p or any other suitable retaining deformation of the tongue provided relative to the aperture 12a is positively engageable relative to the male blade or terminal means 12. Thus, the tang 101 is rendered more flexible due to use of the embossed portion 20, yet the floor, base, or body portion 10b surrounding the tang is strengthened and the embossed portion 20 provides a backing and support for the tongue 10T engageable by the male blade or terminal means 12 insertable relative to the tongue 10T and wings 10w. Electrical connection established by a male blade in engagement with a female terminal means having an embossed portion 20 as well as wings 10w can be more firmly established without a decrease of resistance due to removal of metal from the female terminal means together with an increase in strength of the terminal means opposite the side wings 10w. The tang 10t is made more resilient and can be freely deflected because the tang will not tend to remain in engagement with rough edges of an opening such as 10x from which the tang was cut. It is to be understood that the embossed portion 20 can be provided with tangs for male blades as well as female terminals. The embossed portion is provided so that the tang can be freely sprung into a location relative to the base, body or floor portion of the terminal from which it was sheared, and the tang will spring back to a downwardly extending position in which a free edge is adapted to be locked into engagement with a shoulder of an insulating housing relative to which the terminal means is insertable.
While the embodiment of the present invention as herein disclosed constitutes a preferred form, it is to be understood that other forms might be adopted.
What is claimed is as follows:
1. An electrical terminal means adapted to be inserted in an insulating housing having a hollow interior and having a wall providing an intermediately located internal shoulder, comprising, in combination, a longitudinal body portion adapted to be positioned in the hollow interior of the insulating housing, a tang integral at one end only with said body portion and adapted to abut against said intermediately located internal shouder for preventing longitudinal movement of said terminal means in one direction, and an embossed portion substantially surrounding said tang on all but said end integral with said body, said embossed portion including sections displaced and thinned due to swaging thereof for forming a recess in which said tang can be more freely and resiliently deflected temporarily while said embossed portion enhances strength of said body portion where said tang has left an opening therein, said embossed portion having a U-shape the base of which is longitudinally in alignment with said tang, said body portion being free of any weakening cut at locations laterally relative to said tang and especially where said tang has an end integral with said body.
2. The electrical terminal means of claim 1 wherein said body portion is integral with a conductor connecting portion having at least an integral end pair of laterally extending elements adapted to secure said terminal means relative to a conductor, a stop member longitudinally spaced from said body portion and projecting downwardly and integrally from said connecting portion for hindering movement of said terminal means relative to the insulating housing in a direction opposite to movement hindered by said tang surrounded in part by said embossed portion, said stop member having alignment coinciding longitudinally with that of said embossed portion and tang.
3. An electrical terminal means, comprising, in combination, a longitudinally extending body portion, a tang extending longitudinally of said body portion and having one end integral therewith as well as having an opposite end and side edges separated from said body portion, and an embossed portion having a U-shape integrally including a pair of sections parallel to said side edges and a transverse section all provided with said body portion so as to form a recess into which said tang can be resiliently and freely deflected, said sections of said embossed portion being displaced and thinned upwardly due to swaging thereof while said transverse section has a location at least in part longitudinally in alignment with said tang and laterally having integral relation with said body portion that is laterally and longitudinally strengthened and is free of any lateral cut at a location adjacent to where said tang is joined to said body portion.
4. On a female terminal means having a metal body including a conductor engaging portion and a floor integral therewith as well as a tongue port-ion integral at one end with said floor and having a free end bent longitudinally back along the floor and toward the conductor engaging portion as well as between the floor and a pair of wing portions integral with said metal body and extending toward each other over part of the tongue portion above a tang bent downwardly away from the body with a free tang end and pair of parallel tang side edges separated therefrom, the combination therewith of an embossed portion having a substantially U-shape deformed upwardly from the floor and toward the wing portions though separated therefrom by the tongue portion where the wing portions extend toward each other, said embossed portion including a pair of sections parallel to the side edges and a transverse section all provided integrally with the floor so as to form a recess into which the tang can be resiliently and freely deflected, said sections of said embossed portion being displaced and thinned upwardly due to swaging thereof to have -a depth of displacement away from the floor of at least once the thickness of the tang such that electrical resistance of the terminal means is unchanged and strength of the terminal means is increased at a location longitudinally in alignment with the tang and is free of any lateral cut at a location adjacent to where the tang is joined to the body portion, said embossed portion having a location between the side wings and the tang so that the tongue portion is supported and backed laterally by said embossed portion as a male blade is connected relative to the terminal means between the side wings and the tongue portion for electrical surface contact directly from the male blade to the tongue portion because the tongue portion end.
integral with the floor shields said embossed portion from the male blade.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS