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Publication numberUS3217370 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 16, 1965
Filing dateJul 31, 1963
Priority dateJul 31, 1963
Publication numberUS 3217370 A, US 3217370A, US-A-3217370, US3217370 A, US3217370A
InventorsBaker Edgar G, Sharpsteen Robert J
Original AssigneeGentex Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Latching buckle construction
US 3217370 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

N 1965 R.'J. SHARPSTEEN ETAL. 3,217,379

LATCHING BUCKLE CONSTRUCTION 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 31, 1963 INVENTOR5 Poker? I Sharpsteen Edyg; G. Baker I A. I & G GIYVYWT QT TOEIk/EYS United States Patent 3,217,370 LATCHING BUCKLE CONSTRUCTION Robert J. Sharpsteen, Honesdale, and Edgar G. Baker, Carbondale, Pa., assignors to Gentex Corporation, New York, N.Y., a corporation of Delaware Filed July 31, 1963, Ser. No. 298,832 8 Claims. (Cl. 2477) Our invention relates to a latching buckle construction and more particularly to a latching buckle construction which is lighter and which is less expensive to construct than are buckles of this type known in the prior art.

Many and various forms of buckles are known in the prior art. For example, there are buckles which are employed in connection with safety belts for use in automobiles and in aircraft and the like which are designed to prevent the person using the belt from being thrown about by sudden movements of the vehicle. Buckles for this use must meet many requirments. First, they must provide a high holding force. Secondly, they should be relatively easily engageable and releasable. It is desirable that buckles of this type be provided with means for permitting ready adjustment of the belt length to accommodate the persons body.

There are known in the prior art buckles which generally meet the requirements outlined above for safety belt buckles. For example, there are known buckles provided with housings, one end of which has a belt length secured thereto by means of an arrangement which permits the belt length to be adjusted with ease. The other end of the housing is provided with a member adapted to be releasably engaged with a cooperating member carried by the other end of the belt.

We have invented a latching buckle construction which embodies an improvement over constructions of the type described above. We so construct our buckle that the tension forces in the belt are not applied to the housing itself but, rather, are absorbed by means which interconnects the belt end receiving members. Our construction is lighter than are constructions of the prior art while being just as secure. We may form the housing of our buckle from any suitable material. Our construction may be manufactured at less cost than can constructions of the prior art.

One object of our invention is to provide an improved latching buckle construction in which the forces on the belt with which the buckle is used are not applied to the buckle housing.

Another object of our invention is to provide a latching buckle construction which is lighter than are latching buckle constructions of the prior art.

A further object of our invention is to provide a latching buckle construction in which any desired material can be used to form the buckle housing.

A still further object of our invention is to provide a latching buckle construction which is less expensive than are constructions of this type known in the prior art.

Other and further objects of our invention will appear fromthe following description.

In general our invention contemplates the provision of a latching buckle construction in which a housing formed of any suitable material carries a frame which slidably supports a snubber bar adjustably engaged by one end of the belt. A latching member in the l1ous-. ing is adapted to be engaged by a tongue secured to the other belt end. Pins on the housing disposed between the frame and housing retain the frame and the latch within the housing in such manner that forces applied to the latch and to the frame are exerted on the pins without being applied directly to the housing.

In the accompanying drawings which form part of the instant specification and which are to be read in conjunction therewith and in which like reference numerals are used to indicate like parts in the various views:

FIGURE 1 is a top plan view of our improved latching buckle construction.

FIGURE 2 is an exploded View of our improved latching buckle construction.

FIGURE 3 is a sectional view of our improved latching buckle construction taken along the line 33 of FIGURE 1 and drawn on an enlarged scale.

FIGURE 4 is a sectional view of our improved latching buckle construction taken along the line 4-4 of FIGURE 3.

FIGURE 5 is a sectional view of our improved latching buckle construction taken along the line 5-5 of FIGURE 3.

FIGURE 6 is a sectional view of our improved latching buckle construction taken along the line 6-6 of FIGURE 3.

Referring now to the drawings, the form of our latching buckle construction shown therein indicated generally by the reference character 10 is adapted to join the respective ends 12 and 14 of a belt such, for example, as a safety belt formed from nylon webbing. Our buckle includes a housing indicated generally by the reference character 16 having a base 18, a top 20, an open end 22, a closed end 24 as well as sides 26 and 28. As will be apparent from the description of our buckle given hereinafter, the housing 16 may be formed from any suitable material. That is, it is not necessary that it have sufficent structural strength to withstand the forces which may be applied to the belt in use. In the particular form of our buckle shown in the drawings, housing 16 is formed from a plastic such as polystyrene.

Housing 16 is adapted to receive a snubber bar supporting frame indicated generally by the reference character 30 having a generally rectangular base 32 formed with an opening 34 providing sides 36 and 3S and with a transversely extending leg 40 formed with a bearing surface flange 42 for the webbing. A central connecting web 44 extending upwardly from the base 32 connects an upper portion 46 of the frame 38 to the base 32. We provide the upper portion 46 with a pair of laterally extending ears 48 and 50 and with notches 52 and 54.

The opening 34 in frame 30 is adapted to receive a snubber bar 56 provided with reduced end portions 58 and 60 which rest on the sides 36 and 38 which permit the bar to slide back and forth on the frame.

To permit assembly of the frame 30 within the housing 16 we form sides 26 and 28 of the housing with a pair of lower grooves 62 and 64 which extend from the open end 22 all the way back to the closed end 24 of the housing. There are also provided in the sides 26 and 28 upper grooves 66 and 68 which extend from the open end approximately halfway along the length of the housing 16. The frame 30 carrying the bar 56 is slid into the housing with the outer edges of the sides 36 and 38 riding along the grooves 62 and 6 and with the ears 48 and 50 riding along the upper grooves 66 and 68. When the frame 30 has been seated in position within the housing, flange 42 fits into a recess 70 formed in the end 24. In this position the opening 34 registers with an opening 72 in the base 18 so that the snubber bar 56 is supported over the opening. In this position the snubber bar 56 receives the end 14 of the webbing and permits adjustment of belt length in a manner to be described.

Our buckle construction includes a latch indicated generally by the reference character 74 having a generally fiat base 76 provided with laterally extending ears 78 and 80. The base 76is provided with a latch 82 which is bent out of the base. A web 84 of material extends upwardly from the base to a handle-receiving portion 86. In the particular embodiment of our buckle shown in the drawings, the handle-receiving portion 86 has a handle 88 of a suitable material such, for example, as plastic secured thereto. It will readily be appreciated that we might, if desired, form the portion 86 itself as the handle.

Our buckle includes a spring indicated generally by the refernce character 90 formed from spring steel or the like and bent to provide legs 92 and 94. Leg 94 has a pair of downwardly extending locating lugs 96 and 98. In assembling the latch 74 in the buckle, spring 92 is placed so that the lugs 96 and 98 are in an opening 100 in base 76 adjacent latch 82. With the spring so positioned the latch. and spring are inserted in the housing with the ears 78 and 80 riding along the lower grooves 62 and 64. This movement is continued until the latch is properly positioned within the housing. In this position the handle 88 is received in an opening 102 in the front of the top 20 of the housing 16.

With the frame 30, the latch 74 and the spring 90 all assembled in the housing 16 in the manner described above, the ears 48 and 50 are at one side of a pair of vertical pin-receiving slots 104 and 106 in the sides 26 and 28. Moreover the ears 78 and 80 are on the other side of the respective slots 104 and 106. To retain the parts in their assembled positions within the housing We insert respective square pins 108 and 110 into the slots 104 and 106 through openings 112 and 114 in the base 18. Pins 108 and 110 may be frictionally held in position on the housing or any other suitable means may be provided for holding the pins in position. With the parts thus disposed it will readily be apparent that any force tending to pull frame 30 away from the latch 74 is applied to the pins 108 and 110 through the ears 48, S0, 78 and 80.

Our buckle includes a tongue 116 provided with a catchreceiving slot 118 and with a belt-receiving slot 120 through which the end 12 of the belt is passed and then secured at a convenient position along the length of the belt as by stitching or the like.

In manufacturing the form of our latching buckle shown in the drawings, we first mold the housing to the shape shown and provide the slots 62, 64, 68, 70 and 72 in any suitable manner. The slots 104 and 106 leading into recesses 105 and 107 and the openings 112 and 114 likewise are formed in any appropriate manner. The frame 30 and the latch 74 may be stamped from sheet metal, such as steel. When these operations have been performed, we slide the frame 30 into the housing 16 with the outer edges of the sides 36 and 38 riding along grooves 62 and 64 and with the cars 48 and 50 riding along grooves 68 and 70. When the frame is in position within the housing with bar 56 resting on sides 36 and 38, the opening 34 registers with opening 72 in the base 18 and flange 42 is in the recess 70. The ears 48 and 50 are at the left side of slots 104 and 106 remote from the rest of the frame 30. Next lugs 96 and 98 are positioned in the opening 100 in latch 74 and the two parts are pushed together into the housing with the cars 78 and 80 riding along the slots 62 and 64 until the latch is housed. In this position of the latch the ears 78 and 80 are on the side of slots 104 and 106 remote from the rest of the latch. Next the pins 108 and 110 are pushed through openings 112 and 114 along slots 104 and 106 and into recesses 105 and 107. The assembly of the buckle is now complete. The cars 78 and 80 pivot on pins 108 and 110. Spring 90 normally urges the latch 74 toward the base 18 of the housing 16.

In use of our buckle the free end of the belt with which the buckle is used is passed around the bar 56 in the man ner illustrated in FIGURE 3. In response to tension ap plied to the free end the belt will be drawn around the wearers body. However, in response to tension applied to the other portion of the belt, snubber bar 56 is drawn toward flange 42 to prevent movement of the belt relative to the buckle. In applying the belt to the wearers body, tongue 116 is slid into the housing to pivot the latch 74 up against the action of spring until catch 82 moves down into the opening 118. Now the belt is firmly held in position on the wearers body. If now tension is applied to the belt so as to tend to move frame 30 to the right as viewed in FIGURE 3 and to draw the tongue 116 to the left to exert a force tending to drawn the latch 74 out of the housing, both forces are applied to the stout steel pins 108 and rather than to the housing itself. Owing to this fact a relatively light material of any desired kind may be employed to form the housing. Now when the belt is to be released, handle 88 is lifted to move the latch 82 out of the opening 118 to free the tongue.

It will be seen that we have accomplished the objects of our invention. We have provided an improved latching buckle construction which is lighter than are latching buckles of the prior art. Our construction does not require that the forces on the belt be absorbed by the housing so that the housing can be made from almost any desirable material. Our latching buckle construction is less expensive than are latching buckles of the prior art.

It will be understood that certain features and subcombinations are of utility and may be employed without reference to other features and subcombinations. This is contemplated by and is within the scope of our claims. It is further obvious that various changes may be made in details within the scope of our claims without departing from the spirit of our invention. It is, therefore, to be understood that our invention is not to be limited to the specific details shown and described.

Having thus described our invention, what we claim is:

1. A buckle including in combination a plastic housing having an open end, said housing being formed with first slots in the sides thereof extending substantially through out the length of said housing, said housing being for-med with second slots in said sides extending from said open end to a point intermediate the length of said housing, said housing being formed with pin receiving recesses at the ends of said second slots, pins disposed in said recesses, an assembly comprising a frame formed with laterally extending ears for adjustably receiving a belt end, said frame being disposed in said housing with its ears in said upper side slots at one side of said pins, and a latch formed with laterally extending ears, said latch being disposed in said housing with its ears on the other side of said pins whereby forces tending to separate said frame and said latch are absorbed by said pins.

2. A buckle including in combination a housing having an open end and a closed end and a base opening, a frame disposed in said housing, said frame having an opening registering with said base opening, a snubber bar carried by said frame for movement in the opening thereof, respective laterally extending ears on said frame, a latch disposed in said housing, said latch having a pair of laterally extending ears disposed in spaced relationship to said frame ears, and pins carried by said housing and disposed in the spaces between said ears for resisting relative movement of said latch and frame away from each other.

3. A buckle assembly including in combination a plastic housing formed with pin receiving recesses, pins in said recesses, an assembly comprsing a frame for adjustably receiving a belt end, said frame being disposed within said housing, ears on said frame for engaging said pins at one side thereof, a latch disposed in said housing, and ears on said latch for engaging said pins at an opposite side thereof to couple said frame and said latch independently of said housing.

4. A buckle including in combination a housing, pins carried by said housing, an assembly comprising a frame for adjustably receiving a belt end, said frame being disposed in said housing, means on said frame for engaging said pins at a side of said pins remote from a belt end received by said frame, a latch disposed within said housing, and means on said latch for engaging said pins at the other side thereof whereby said pins couple said latch and said frame.

5. A buckle including in combination a housing, an assembly comprising a frame for adjustably receiving a belt end, said frame having laterally extending ears adjacent an end of said frame, a latch member having laterally extending ears adjacent an end of said latch member, said frame and said latch being disposed in said housing with said frame and latch member ends overlapping and with said latch ears and said frame ears in spaced relation, and pins disposed between said ears to resist force tending to move said ends out of overlapping relationship.

6. A buckle including in combination a plastic housing, an assembly comprising a frame for adjustably receiving a belt end for taking tension in one direction, said frame being disposed in said housing, a latch member separate from said frame disposed in said housing for receiving a belt end for taking tension in the opposite direction, and means comprising a metal pin carried by said housing for connecting said frame and said latch to resist said tension tending to separate said frame and said latch member.

7. A buckle including in combination a plastic housing having an open end, said housing being formed with first slots in the sides thereof extending substantially throughout the length of said housing, said housing being formed with second slots in said sides extending from said open end to a point intermediate the length of said housing, said housing being formed with pin receiving recesses at the ends of said second slots, square pins disposed in said recesses, an assembly comprising a frame formed with laterally extending ears for adjustably receiving a belt end, said frame being disposed in said housing With its ears in said upper side slots at one side of said pins, and a latch formed with laterally extending ears, said latch being disposed in said housing with its ears on the other side of said pins whereby forces tending to separate said frame and said latch are absorbed by said pins.

8. A buckle including in combination a housing, an assembly comprising a frame for adjustably receiving a belt end for taking tension in one direction, said frame being disposed in said housing, a latch member disposed in said housing, a tongue releasably engaging said latch, said tongue receiving a belt end for taking said tension in the opposite direction, and force absorbing means carried by said housing, said force absorbing means being disposed between and engaged by said frame and said latch member at respective sides of said force absorbing means to absorb the force resulting from said tension.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,862,268 12/1958 Cushman 24--75 2,888,724 6/1959 Anderson et al 2477 DONLEY J. STOCKING, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2862268 *Jul 26, 1956Dec 2, 1958Pacific Scient AeroproductsSafety belt buckle
US2888724 *Jan 23, 1957Jun 2, 1959Jervis CorpSafety belt buckle
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3279020 *Sep 29, 1964Oct 18, 1966Allied ChemBuckle for safety belts
US3431606 *Mar 7, 1967Mar 11, 1969Steinthal & Co Inc MSafety belt buckle
US3574902 *Sep 4, 1969Apr 13, 1971Gen Motors CorpPushbutton buckle
US4937923 *Aug 11, 1988Jul 3, 1990Gentex CorporationPositive-lock quick-release buckle
US6397440Apr 7, 2000Jun 4, 2002Wonderland Nursery Goods Co., Ltd.Assembly of a buckle mechanism and a blade and a method of securing and releasing the blade to the buckle mechanism
WO2000059325A1 *Apr 7, 2000Oct 12, 2000Loretech LtdAn assembly of a buckle mechanism and a blade and a method of securing and releasing the blade to the buckle mechanism
Classifications
U.S. Classification24/323, 24/650, 24/647
International ClassificationA44B11/25
Cooperative ClassificationA44B11/2526
European ClassificationA44B11/25B3