US 3202310 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 24, 1965 H. v. TIBBETS HINGE AND LATCH ASSEMBLY 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed May 10, 1963 fiara/c/ V. 77bbezs INVENTOR. gm 4 40 4W4, P 64% BY .w/lam A W Z/X/ZM 1965 H. v. TIBBETS 3,202,310
HINGE AND LATCH ASSEMBLY Filed May 10, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Hora/d V. 7/6/2621:
INVENTOR. y wn /xMzi? United States Patent Texas Filed May 10, 1963, Ser. No. 279,472 8 Claims. (Cl. 220-30) The present invention relates to an improved flexible coupling or hinge and latch assembly and more particularly to such devices wherein the flexible joint forms an integral part of the entire hinge for particular use on a picnic chest.
As is well known in the hinge art, a hinge is utilized to suspend a movable member and at the same time to allow the movable member to rotate with respect to a frame. Typically such hinges have included butt plates connected through inter-meshing knuckle fingers about apln.
With the commercial development of a number of the flexible plastics, it has been determined that useful hinges may be simply made without any rotatable parts, simply by using the flexible properties of a long strap of the plastic material. The present invention is directed to an improved form of this type of hinge, and particularly such a hinge which is suitable for use on an ice or picnic chest which is subjected to extremes of environmental temperatures, atmospheres, and sunlight.
When it is desired that the hinge hold the parts in close relationship to each other, and still be made of a single piece, it has been the common practice to provide a yieldable strap which is no longer than necessary to hold the parts in proper relationship when the movable member, such as a door, or lid is closed. However, often the thickness of the strap which makes up the hinge is such that it will inhibit free motion of the hinge. Therefore, the strap is usually thinned into a web at some point along the joint so that the hinge will more easily flex.
In so doing, it has been noted that the thin web will crack or split after extended usage, or upon high impact, such splitting being termed stress cracking. The phenomenon appears to be similar to that exhibited by metals which are repeatedly bent back and forth at the same point, and which soon fail along the joint from fatigue.
The present invention is directed to an improved method of making the web along the joint so as to prevent stress cracking of the hinge.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a one-piece hinge which is capable of withstanding the environmental extremes encountered by a picnic chest.
In addition to using the hinge of the present invention solely as a joint between a lid and a receptacle, or other analogous use, the present invention may be likewise utilized in the construction of a latch assembly which is particularly useful in retaining or securing a lid on a picnic chest, or the like. Thus, by extending one of the straps of the hinge, and providing in the extended strap a shouldered recess which fits over a boss extending from a strike plate, the present invention may be utilized as a latch.
In the useful utilization of a picnic chest, or the like, it is necessary that a latch assembly be provided so that the contents of the picnic chest will not be inadvertently emptied or dumped out. Further, in the construction of such a latch, it is desirable that the latch be so arranged that it will not inadvertently secure the lid to the remainder of the receptacle. Consequently, the hinge portion of the latch should be so arranged that the latch will stand clear of the strike plate when not secured.
3,202,310 Patented Aug. 24, 1965 Further, since the latch is often flexed, it must include the same hinge characteristics as the hinge itself, and not be subject to stress cracking, while at the same time inert to the environmental conditions presented. Consequently, it is an object of the present invention to provide a latch assembly having the foregoing advantages.
Other and further objects, features, and advantages will be apparent from the following description of the presently preferred embodiments of the invention, given for the purpose of disclosure, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, where like character references designate like parts throughout the several views, and where:
FIGURE 1 is an end view of a picnic chest utilizing the hinge and latch assembly of the present invention,
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged partial sectional View, similar to FIGURE 1, taken through the hinge,
FIGURE 3 is a still further enlarged view of the hinge, partially in section, similar to FIGURE 2,
FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of the hinge,
FIGURE 5 is an enlarged partial sectionalview of the latch assembly, similar to FIGURE 1,
FIGURE 6 is an exploded perspective view of the latch assembly,
FIGURE 7 is a sectional end view of the strike plate shown in FIGURE 6,
FIGURE 8 is enlarged partial sectional View of the latch socket which mates with the strike plate of FIGURE 7, and
FIGURE 9 is the back view of the socket of FIGURE 8 Generally, the invention comprises a hinge which includes a thin web with anti-tear sections :at either end, and the combination with such a hinge of a latch and strike plate.
Referring now to the drawings, and particularly to FIGURE 1, the reference numeral 10 generally designates an ice or picnic chest, which may include a receptacle 12, top 14, handle 16 and drain 18. Securing the top 14 to the receptacle 12 is at least one hinge 20 and a latch assembly 22.
Referring now to FIGURE 2, wherein a partial sectional view of the picnic chest 10 is shown enlarged from that of FIGURE 1, it will be noted that the hinge 20 generally includes an elongate upper strap 24 and an elongate lower strap 26, each of which is respectively attached to the top 14 and receptacle 12 by appropriate fastening means 28, here shown as rivets. Interconnecting the upper strap 24 and lower strap 26 is a web 30 which forms the portion wherein the flexing or bending of the hinge occurs.
Referring now to the perspective view of FIGURE 4, it will be noted that both the upper strap 24 and lower strap 26 include mounting holes 32 through which the fastening means 28 may be passed. Obviously, more and differently placed holes 32 may be provided for fastening the hinge 20 to the picnic chest 10. Interconnecting the elongate straps 24 and 26 is a thin web 30, and at each end of the web 30 is an anti-tear section 34.
The anti-tear sections 34 generally comprise rectangular blocks which are molded into the entire hinge 20 at the time of fabricating. The function of the anti-tear section is to prevent stress cracking starting at either end of the web 30 and proceeding along the web so that the hinge 20 fails.
Referring nowto FIGURE 3, wherein a partial sectional view of the hinge 20 is shown, it is seen that the height of the anti-tear sections 34 is not as great as the total thickness of the straps 24 and 26, while the height or thickness of the Web 30 is even less. Generally the a when in use is flexed in the opposite direction.
as can be determined, the direction of flexure of the web 3 thinnest part of the web is approximately A of the thickness of either strap.
The total included angle A of the web varies in relation to .the amount of bending that the hinge 20 may encounter. For example, when utilizing the hinge 20 on the picnic chest 10, and if it is contemplated that the top 12 will be pivoted from the horizontal position shown in FIGURE 1 to a vertical position, then it is obvious that the hinge 21) must be capable of withstanding a flexure of 90. Consequently, the included angle A must be at least 90 for this application. In other situations it may be greater or smaller.
Referring now to FIGURE 5, where an enlarged sectional view of thelatch assembly 22 is shown, it will be noted that the latch assembly generally includes an upper strap 124, a lower elongate extended strap or latch 126, with appropriate fastening means 128 securing the upper strap 124 to the top 14 of the receptacle 1t). Interconnecting the upper strap 124 and latch 126 is a thin web 130 which forms the line of flexure of the latch assembly 22. Mounted on the receptacle 12 by appropriate fastening means (not shown), which may be identical with the fastening means 128, is a strike plate 136 which includes a boss 138 with an enlarged end 140. Forming a part of the latch 126 is a socket 142 which surrounds and engages the enlarged end 140. Also mounted on the latch 126 is an appropriate gripping means 144, here shown as a handle.
Referring now to the exploded perspective view of FIGURE 6, it will be noted that the upper strap 124 and latch- 126 are connected along their length by the thin web 130, and situated at either end of the web 130 is an anti-tear section 134. In this regard, each of the members 124 through 134 is identical to those corresponding members shown in FIGURE 4 and numbered 24 through 34-. i
Comparing FIGURES Sand 6, it will be noted that inFIGURE the upper strap 124 is shown flexed over so that it is adjacent the latch 126, while in FIGURE 6 the upper strap 124 is shown unflexed, so that the anti-tear sections 134 are clearly visible. Further, it is to be noted that when comparing FIGURES 5 and 2 the hinge is flexed toward the angle A in order to open the top 14 of the picnic chest'10, whereas the latch assembly 22 So far or 130 is immaterial as concerning the life of the web, so long as the anti-tear sections 34 or 134 are provided to prevent stress cracking originating at the ends of the web.
The strike plate 136 generally comprises an elongate body from'which extends a boss 138, with the extended end of the boss 138 including an enlarged end 141 Both the upper strap 124 and the strike plate 136 are provided with holes 132 through which appropriate fastening means 128 may be passed to attach these parts to the picnic chest .10.
As can be seen with reference to FIGURE 7, the interior of the boss 138 may be hollow, which will save material during fabrication. The cross-section of the enlarged end 140 is generally shown in FIGURE 7 as semi-circular, however, it may well take any other convenient shape.
With reference now to FIGURE 8, and comparing FIGURES 5 and 6, it will be noted that the socket 142 is recessed into the latch 126 and is of such a configurationto mate with the enlarged end and boss of the strike plate 136. Thus, the socket 142 includes a reduced diameter portion 146 of slightly greater diameter than the diameter of the boss 133, while interiorly thereof is the recess 148 which is approximately the same diameter as the enlarged end 140. Thus, it is now readily apparent that if the socket 142 is pushed over the enlarged end 140 and boss 138 of the strike plate 136, the enlarged end 146 will beheld within the recess 148, there- 4 by ultimately securing the top 14 to the receptacle 12 of the picnic chest 1%). I
Referring now to FIGURE 9, a means for the easy removal of the latch 126 from the strike plate 136 is shown. Instead of the reduced diameter portion 146 being a continuous annular ring, it is divided into segments, which segments are separated by the gaps or spaces 150. The spaces 150 reduce the gripping force of the reduced portion 146, so that the socket 142 may be readily twisted or pulled free of the strike plate 136. It is, of course, apparent that the spaces 15%) may be eliminated or the number varied from that shown in FIGURE 9.
With regard to the material from which both the hinge and the latch assembly 22 are constructed, it must be remembered that the environmental conditions of a picnic chest vary in extremes of temperature from approximately 32 to'approximately the atmosphere varies from clear to salt air, and the sunlight striking these parts may vary from none to the full amount encountered at a beach.
In addition to the severe environmental conditions encountered, and as was previously noted, both the hinge and the latch assembly must be capable of withstanding repeated flexure or pivoting along the web 30 or 130. Under such conditions, the typical plastics, such as polyethylene and polypropylene exhibit a property known as stress cracking which results in small fissures forming at the ends of the Web and eventually extending the entire length thereof, thus causing the web to fail. However, a mixture of the two, known in the trade as polyalmer, does not exhibit stress cracking under the environmental conditions anticipated with a picnic chest norunder the flexures presented, until repeated flexures have taken place. Eventually, however, even polyalmer will exhibit this property, and the present invention is directed toward a means whereby this stress cracking may be prevented. Thus, the inclusion of the anti-tear sections 34 and 134, placed at each end of the web 30 or prevents the initial formation of the fissures, and consequently the problem of stress cracking has been eliminated.
Various widths of anti-tear sections have been successfully utilized, from of an inch through A of an inch, and all have been found effective. The thickness or height of. the anti-tear section is preferably twice that of the thinnest portion of the web to which it is applied. Although the anti-tear sections could be placed intermediate the ends of the web, it has been found that the fissures typically appear first at the ends, consequently the antitear sections should be placed at the ends.
As was noted previously, the latch assembly 22 is utilized for flexure in one direction, while the hinge 20 is utilized for flexure in another direction. With the provision for the anti-tear sections herein disclosed, it apparently makes no diiference as to the direction of flexure. The entire flexible joint is an integral one-piece casting which advantageously results in a simple and efficient device.
Thus it is seen that the present invention has provided a flexible one-piece hinge which is environmentally and mechanically sound and not subject to stress cracking. Further, the present invention provides a latch with the same attributes. The combination of these elements serves to produce a pivotable top for a receptacle, such as a picnic chest, which is particularly convenient and durable. v I
The present invention, therefore, is well adapted to carry out the objects and attain the ends and. advantages mentioned, as well as others inherent therein. While presently preferred embodiments of the invention have been given for the purpose of disclosure, numerous changes in the details of construction, and the combination, shape, size, arrangement or parts, and uses may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as hereinafter claimed.
What is claimed is:
1. A picnic chest including:
at least one integral flexible coupling interconnecting the top and receptacle, the flexible coupling com posed of polyalmer plastic and including,
an elongate top strap adjacent the top,
an elongate corresponding bottom strap adjacent the receptacle, an elongate flexible thin web interconnecting the straps,
and defining the line of fiexure, said Web being approximately one fourth the thickness of either strap,
an enlarged anti-tear section within and at each end of the web extending from strap to strap, the thickness of the anti-tear section being substantially twice that of the web, and
means fastening the straps to the chest.
2. The invention of claim 1 wherein the means fastening the upper strap comprises a permanent attachment to the top, and the means fastening the lower strap comprises a demountable attachment to the receptacle, said demountable attachment including:
a strike plate mounted on the receptacle,
a boss extending from the strike plate,
an enlarged end on the extended end of the boss,
the bottom strap comprising a latch having a socket mating with the enlarged end of the boss,
the socket having a shouldered recess, and
the shoulder having gaps therein.
3. An integral picnic chest hinge consisting of a single piece of plastic and including:
an elongate upper strap,
an elongate corresponding lower strap,
an elongate thin flexible web interconnecting the straps, and defining the line of flexure, said web being approximately one fourth the thickness of either strap, and
an enlarged anti-tear section substantially twice as thick as the web, within and at both ends of the web and interconnecting the upper and lower straps.
4. The invention of claim 3 including:
the lower strap having a socket with a shouldered recess,
a strike plate,
a boss extending from the strike plate, and
an enlarged end on the boss arranged to mate with the lower strap socket, thereby forming a latch.
5. An integral hinge including:
an elongate upper strap,
an elongate corresponding lower strap,
a thin flexible web extending along and interconnecting the straps, and defining the line of flexure, said web being thinner than the thickness of either strap, and
an enlarged section thicker than the web within and at both ends of the Web.
6. The invention of claim 5 wherein the lower strap includes a recessed socket mateable with a boss having an enlarged end, thereby forming a latch.
7. In an integral hinge which includes an elongate upper strap, an elongate corresponding lower strap, and a thin flexible web extending along and inner-connecting the straps and defining the line of fiexure, the web being thinner than the thickness of either strap, the improvement including: an enlarged anti-tear section thicker than the web Within and at both ends of the web.
8. The invention of claim 7 wherein the lower strap includes a recessed socket mateable with a boss having an enlarged end, thereby forming a latch with anti-tear sections to prevent stress cracking at the line of flexure.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,814,404 11/57 Towns 22038.5 3,019,486 2/62 Stinson.
FOREIGN PATENTS 550,275 8/56 Belgium. 599,871 11/59 Italy.
THERON E. CONDON, Primary Examiner. GEORGE E. LOWRANCE, Examiner.