US 3087192 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
APYI] 1963 F. H. HERTZKE HINGED PLATE-LIKE UNIT AND INTERLOCKING HINGE Filed Dec. 12, 1960 w. v m mMm/M NW8 i mum .A a 1 ,1 km W n! 0W J 9 P m 1. v\M H 3,087,192 HINGED PLATE-LIKE UNIT AND INTERLOUKING HINGE Frank H. Hertzke, 944 Francisco St, Los Angeles, Calif. Filed Dec. 12, 1960, Ser. No. 75,288 7 Claims. (Cl. 116-128) This invention relates to hinges and to hinge-connected members, and more particularly to members having interlockable hinge components of the general type which are integral with the members, with one hinge component on one member including a fixed pintle element and the mating hinge component on the other member including socket elements to receive the pintle. For purposes of convenience the unit formed by the hinge-connected members will be hereinafter called a plate-like unit and the hinge construction will be hereinafter referred to as a hinge having interlocking components or simply as an interlocking hinge.
A primary object of the invention is to provide a novel and improved interlocking hinge which is especially adapted for use with a pair of hinge-connected mold plastic members wherein the opposing components of the hinge are each integrally formed and molded as part of their respective members.
Another object of the invention is to provide a novel and improved interlocking hinge construction for a pair of hinge-connected molded plastic members which has a simple arrangement of components that eliminates the need of pintle pins and like individual parts, yet which is so simple in form that the hinge components may be easily incorporated into the molds forming the plastic members.
Anotiher object of the invention is to provide a novel and improved interlocking hinge construction of molded plastic material which is formed to take advantage of inherent elastic properties of certain commonly-used plastic materials to permit the mating hinge components to be quickly, easily and securely snapped together to thereby facilitate and reduce the cost of assembly of hinge-connected molded plastic members.
Another object of the invention is to provide a novel and improved interlocking hinge which is especially adapted for interconnecting flat plate-like members to permit them to be folded together.
A further object of the invention is to provide a novel and improved hinge-connected two-piece, symmetrical plate-like unit of molded plastic material which incorporates an improved interlockable hinge construction in the members of the unit which permits the members to be identical in form, to be economically made from a single mold and to be simply snapped together into an operative assembly.
Yet other objects of the invention are to provide a novel and improved hinge-connected plate-like member of molded plastic material and an improved hinge structure therefor, which is a simple, neat-appearing, low-cost, rugged and durable unit.
With the foregoing and other objects in view, all of which more fully hereinafter appear, my invention comprises certain novel constructions, combinations and arrangements of parts and elements as hereinafter de scribed, defined in the appended claims and illustrated, in a preferred embodiment in the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a flat plate-like unit formed as two identical members hingedly connected together by my improved hinge construction, all according to the principles of the invention.
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of the members of FIG. 1 folded together.
3,087,192 Patented Apr. 30, 1963 FIGURE 3 is a plan view of one of the members of the plate unit illustrated at FIG. 1.
FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of a fragmentary portion of the plate unit illustrated at FIG. 3, but on an enlarged scale and as taken substantially from the indicated arrow 4 at FIG. 3 to illustrate one of the hinge components.
FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of a fragmentary portion of the plate unit illustrated at FIG. 3, but on an enlarged scale and as taken substantially from the indicated arrow 5 at FIG. 3 to illustrate another one of the hinge components.
FIGURE 6 is an underside view of the fragmentary portion of the plate unit illustrated at FIG. 4, as from the indicated arrow 6 at FIG. 4, to better illustrate the slot construction in the plate.
FIGURE 7 is a combined sectional elevational view, of the fragmentary portion of the plate unit illustrated at FIG. 4, as from a vertical plane intersecting the indicated line 77 at FIG. 4, and of the fragmentary portion of the plate unit illustrated at FIG. 5, as from the indicated arrow 7 at FIG. 5, to illustrate the manner of initiating interconnection of the hinge components individually illustrated at FIGS. 4 and 5.
FIGURE 8 is a combined sectional elevational view similar to FIG. 7, but illustrating the hinge components as being partially interconnected.
FIGURE 9 is a combined sectional elevational view similar to FIG. 7, but illustrating the hinge components as being fully interconnected.
With the ever continuing developments of improved plastic materials and improved molding operations for such materials, the varieties of molded plastic products is continually increasing and plastics are replacing other materials in many instances. Molded plastics are even replacing flat sheet-like products such as game boards which are ordinarily made of cardboard. The plastic replacements may not be cheaper to manufacture, but the unit cost is nevertheless quite low and with a plastic game board there is the advantage of providing a three dimensional surface instead of a fiat printed surface.
Ordinarily, flat game boards and similar flat plate-like units are necessarily formed as two-piece folded units to permit the members forming the unit to be folded when not in use. The present invention is concerned with such units of molded plastic material and with an improved hinge construction whose components are molded into the members and which lock together upon assembly of the members. The invention is also concerned with a hinged two-piece game board or like-plate-like unit which has certain symmetry about its longitudinal and transverse axes which provides identicaly formed alternate quadrants of the unit, and with a unique hinge construction for such a plate-like unit that permits a single mold die to form both members of the unit. Two identically-formed members may then be hinigedly connected together by the simple expedient of rotating one member to orient it in opposition with the other and snapping the hinge components together.
Referring more particularly to the drawing, FIG. 1 shows a two-piece hinge-connected plate-like unit 10 which is adapted for a number of various uses, and it is especially suitable for use as a game board. The two members 11 which form the unit 10 are made of a suitable plastic material such as a styrene polymer which may be shaped in an injection mold. This mode of construction is especially desirable for not only will injection molding permit a three dimensional delineation of the structural and ornamental features of the game board but will also permit an integral molding of the components of the hinges 12 which interconnect the members 1-1. The hinges being constructed in accordance with the principles of my invention.
In the preferred construction and that herein described, the members 11 are identical or are substantially identical to each other so that both members may be made in the same mold. One member may then be rotated 180 degrees with respect to the other and they may be jointed at a common center edge 13 and the hinges 12 are necessarily at this edge With the hinge being near each side of the unit. Each member is illustrated as having a generally rectangular, flat surface bounded by an upstanding edge rim 14 at the sides 15 and at the outer end :16 opposite the center edge 13, and with the edge rim 14- at each side terminating at the center edge of each member and abutting against the edge rim of the mating member when the unit is open, as illustrated at FIG. 1. It is to be noted that the flat surface of each member, as illustrated, may be otherwise formed as with selected surface channels or the like, not illustrated, and that the general shape of each member 11 may be other than rectangular depending upon the specific use to which the unit is to be put and upon the mold in which it is to be formed.
The hinges v12 upstand generally from the surface of the members 11 and they define a common pivot axis which is in transverse alignment with the members and lies in the plane of the top edge of the edge rim 14. This location of the hinge axis permits the members 11 to be neatly folded together as in the manner illustrated at FIG. 2, with the edge rims of the two members abutting against each other in a compact box-like form.
Each hinge 12 is formed of two components, a shaft or pintle-carrying component 17 and a pintle-receiving or bearing component 18. These components are at the center edge 13 of each member and in the preferred construction described a pintle-carrying component 17 is lo-. cated near one side of the edge 13 of each member and a bearing component is located near the opposite side of the edge. Each component is thus arranged in opposition with a mating component of the opposite mem her when one member is rotated with respect to the other, and simple hinged interconnection of the two identically-formed members is thus possible.
The pintle-carrying component 17 includes a single lug 19 which upstands from the surface of the member 11 and is inclined to outstand or overhang from the center edge 13. This lug 19-carries a short, transverselydisposed pintle shaft 20 which outstands from each side of the lug to define the hinge axis thereof. It is to be noted that this pintle shaft 20 is located on the overhanginglug above and outwardly of the center edge 13 to receive a bearing component 18 which is located over but behind the center edge of its member as hereinafter described. It follows that where both members 11 are identical in form with 'each having a pintle component 17 at one side and a bearing component '18 at the other side, it is necessary to provide an offset 21 in the center contacting edge 13 of each member 11 so that the pintle components 17 may overhang the edges and the bearing components 18 may be back of the edges of the members. This offset 21 is illustrated as being square but it may be inclined or otherwise formed providing that it is centered with respect to the longitudinal axis of the unit 19 so that the opposing edges 13 and the adjacent &- sets 21 of two hingedly interconnected members will abut each other when the unit is opened, as illustrated at FIG. 1.
Each bearing component 18 includes a pair of spaced lugs 22 which generally upstand from the upper surface of its member 11 adjacent to the edge 13. These lugs may be suitably reinforced by laterally outstanding gusse-ts 23 with all of the elements being integral with the material forming the member 11. The spacing between the lugs 22 is suflicient to receive the pintle-lug 19 and a bearing socket 24 is formed in the top portion of the lugs 22 to receive the pintle shaft 2% when the hinge is connected together.
In order to fit the pintle shaft 20 into the bearing sockets 24, a portion of the member 11 between the lugs 22 is cut out to form a pocket 25 which is adapted to receive the end of the pintle lug 19. To accommodate the pintle 20, side slots 26 are formed in the member 11 at each side of the pocket 25 and these slots extend upwardly through the member 11, into the lugs 22 and to the bearing socket 24. It follows that the pintle lug 19 and pintle shaft 20 may be moved upwardly, from beneath the member 11 with the lug :19 being in the pocket 25 and the shaft 26 being in the slots 26. The final position is obtained with the shaft 20 being in the bearing sockets 24 and the pintle lug 19 being between the bearing lugs 22.
To hold the hinge components in place, an abutment 27 upstands from the surface of the member 11 adjacent to each side slot 26 and is normally inclined into the slot with the top 28 of each abutment being concaved to form the bottom portion of the bearing socket 24. It follows that these opposing abutments 27 must be pushed apart and out of the side slots 26 whenever the pintle component 17 is being connected to the bear! ing component 18 by movement of the pintle shaft Ztl upwardly through the slots 26. This operation is illustrated at FIGS. 7, 8 and 9, and, as illustrated at FIG. 7, it is obvious that the material forming the bearing component must be flexible. Therefore, it is necessary that the member 11 cannot be molded out of plastic which is rigid and brittle.
However, most of the plastic materials which are used in injection molding possess sufiicient properties of flexi-. bility, for the purpose described, or they will possess such properties if heated moderately. The art of molding plastic materials is highly developed and any skilled technician can easily select a suitable material for the purpose .at hand and can then easily determine the thickness of the abutment for a given height to provide for the necessary flexibility of the abutments, as in the manner illustrated.
The rapidity with which the hinges may be put together and the units 10 assembled is immediately apparent, and there are a number of applications where a unit 10 having two identical hingedly-interconnected members will be useful. It is also apparent that other uses are possible for the hinge construction per se.
it is also apparent that others skilled in the art can devise and build constructions which are nevertheless within the scope and spirit of my invention; hence, I desire that my protection be limited, not by the constructions illustrated and described but only by the proper scope of the appended claims.
1. An interlocking hinge for hingedly connecting-two members and comprising, a pintle component on one member and a bearing component on the other member, said pintle component including a ing upstanding fromthe surface of its member and a short, cylindrical pintle shaft outstanding from each side of the lug, said bearing component including a pair of spaced, substantiallyrigid bearing lugs upstanding fromthe surface of its member with the space between the lugs forming a pocket adapted to receive the pintle-component lug, a. slot in each bearing lug adapted to receive a pintle shaft when the pintle ing is moved into the pocket, the end of each slot forming a bearing socket, and a flexible abutment finger in each slot with one end of the finger forming a side of the bearing socket, each finger being adapted to be pushed aside when the pintle shaft is being moved through its slot but to return into the slot when the pintle shaft reaches the bearing socket.
2. In the interlocking hinge defined in claim 1, said pintle lug and pintle shaft ends overhanging the end of the pintle component, and said bearing lug upstanding back of an edge of the bearing component member with the pocket between them 'and the slots in them extending through the member whereby the pintle lug and shaft may be passed into the slot from the side of the member opposite to the bearing lugs.
3. An interlocking hinge for hingedly connecting two molded plastic, flat members edge to edge, of material which will resiliently yield under pressure, with the hinge components being integral with their members, and comprising a pintle component on one member and a bearing component on the other member, said pintle component including a lug upstanding from a surface of its members and a short cylindrical pintle shaft outstanding from each side of the lug, and said bearing component including a pair of spaced substantially-rigid bearing lugs upstanding from the surface of its member with the space between the lugs forming a pocket adapted to receive the pintle-component-lug, a slot in each bearing lug adapted to receive and end of a pintle shaft when the pintle-component-lug is moved into the pocket with the end of each slot forming a bearing socket and a finger in each slot with the end of the finger forming a side of the bearing socket, and with the finger being adapted to flex and to be pushed aside when the pintle shaft is being moved through its slot but to fiex to return into the slot when the pintle shaft is in the bearing socket.
4. In the organization defined in claim 3, said members being adapted to abut together along opposing edges, and with the pintle lug and pintle shaft overhanging the edge of its member and the bearing lugs upstanding from their member being back of the contacting edge and with each finger upstanding from the surface of its member, and being inclined to extend into its slot sufliciently to intercept the pintle shaft.
5. In the organization defined in claim 4, said pocket and slots extending through the bearing member whereby to permit the pintle lug and pintle shaft portions to 6 be passed into the pocket and slots, respectively from the side of the member opposite the lugs.
6. A hinged plate-like unit comprising two identical reversible, flat, plate-like members hingedly connected together at meeting edges by a pair of hinges, with each member having a pair of hinge components at its meeting edge, one of said hinge components being a pintle component and the other of said hinge components being a bearing component, each pintle component being identical to the other and including a lug upstanding from a surface of its member and a short cylindrical pintle shaft outstanding from each side of the lug, and each bearing component being identical to the other and including a pair of spaced, substantially rigid bearing lugs upstanding from the surface of its member with the space between the lugs forming a pocket adapted to receive the pintlecomponent-lug, a slot in each bearing lug adapted to receive an end of a pintle shaft when the pintle-componentlug is moved into the pocket with the end of the slot forming a bearing socket and a finger at each slot upstanding from the surface of its member and being inclined into the slot with the end of the finger forming a side of the bearing socket, and with each finger being adapted to flex and to be pushed aside when the pintle shaft is being moved through the slot to flex and to return into the slot when the pintle shaft is in the bearing socket.
7. The unit defined in claim 6, wherein each member and its hinge components are formed as a unitary member of a plastic member which will resiliently yield under pressure, and having the characteristics of a high-impact styrene.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,497,337 Ackerman Feb. 14, 1950 2,570,341 Hake Oct. 9, 1951 2,677,853 Ross May 11, 1954 2,765,488 Ruff Oct. 9, 1956 2,960,254 Kiba Nov. 15, 1960