US 3226786 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 4, 1966 L. A. BURDORF ETAL 3,226,786
ADJUSTABLE FLOATING LINK Filed March 18, 1963 ZnweEA/cE H. 3020021:
riossp E. Day/14$ I NVENTORS.
United States Patent 3,226,786 ADJUSTABLE FLOATENG LINK Lawrence A. Burdorf, Burbank, and Joseph E. Dahms,
Whittier, Califi, assigners to Products Research Compally, Burbank, Calih, a corporation of California Filed Mar. 18, 1963, Ser. No. 265,646 2 Claims. (Cl. 24-171) This invention relates in general. to safety belt buckles of the metal-to-metal type employed in automobiles and airplanes to secure passengers therein and more particularly to an adjustable floating link means, to be employed with such safety belt buckles to provide selectable adjustment of the length'of a belt or strap to the tongue plate associated with such buckle.
In the use of metal-to-metal type buckles there are normally a metal tongue plate secured to one strap and a metal buckle adjustably secured to another strap, said straps comprising a belt which can be connected by insertion of the tongue plate into the buckle. In such safety belts employing metal-to-metal type buckles, there is generally no adjustment of the strap length to the tongue plate, while there generally is such. an adjustment for the strap leading to the buckle. The single adjustment of the safety belt thus provided at the bucklefrequently causes the buckle to be positioned in other than a central portion of the belt, particularly when a relatively small person attempts to use abelt installed initially for a large person or vice versa. The buckle is preferably positioned centrally of the belt for ease of operation by the passenger.
It is therefore the principal object of the present invention to disclose and provide means for adjustment of the eifective length of the strap of a safety belt to the tongue plate in addition to the adjustment of the strap to the buckle. 1
It is also an object of the present invention to disclose and provide an adjustable floating link means for use with the metal tongue plate of a metal-tonnetal type safety belt buckle wherein the elfective length of the strap to the tongue plate may be easily adjusted when the strap is not under load but wherein the strap will not slip relative to the tongue plate when under load.
It is a further object of the present invention todisclose and provide an adjustable floating link means, as above indicated, with the provision of. means for loosely mounting said means on the tongue plate so it can be easily moved, yet will not slide off of the plate when the strap is entrained about the link means and through the tongue plate.
It is a still further object of the present invention to disclose and provide an adjustable floating link means for use on a metal tongue plate of a metal-to-metal buckle for entraining and adjustably holding a safety belt strap to said tongue'plate wherein said link means has a floating or non-plate engaging movement when the load is released from said strap to allow the immediate release of a snubber or holding force upon said strap applied between said link means and said plate.
It is another object of the present invention to disclose and provide an adjustable floating link means as in the 3,226,786 Patented Jan, 4, 1966 foregoing object which has limiting means to prevent its complete removal from said tongue plate.
It is'also an object of the present invention to provide anddisclose a loosely fitting adjustable link means for use with an apertured tongue plate of the type used for releasably securing ends of safety belts or strapstogether by insertion of the tongue plate into the buckle mechanism where the link means is movable upon the tongueplate in a self-stabilized manner in which there is no rotation of the link means about its own axis upon the tongue during adjustment or loading.
Further objects and various. advantages of the present invention will become apparent to one skilled in the art by a consideration of the following detailed description of an exemplary embodiment of the adjustable floating link means, according to the present invention. Reference will be made to the appended sheet of drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a side view, partially in section, of an assembled safety belt buckle and tongue plate of the metal-tometal type with an exemplary adjustable floating link means, according to the invention, shown associated with the tongue plate;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the exemplary adjustable link means and associated tongue plate, according to the in-' vention, of FIG. 1, with a safety belt strap shown in phantom lines; 7
FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the link means and tongue plate of FIG. 2 taken therein in the plane III-J11;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the link means and tongue plate of FIG. 2 taken therein in the plane IV-IV; and
FIG. 5 is a perspective View of the exemplary adjustable floating link means, according to the present invention, of FIGS. 1 through 4. 7
Referring now to FIG. 1 an exemplary embodiment of the floating adjustable link, in accordance with the present invention, is shown in use in combination with an apertured tongue plate 30 and a safety belt buckle mechanism, indicated generally at 11. A first strap or belt section 12 of the safety belt is shown entrained about the adjustable link, indicated generally at 49, and a second strap or safety belt section 13 is shown entrained about a knurled, transverse strap bar 14. Bar 14 is normally provided with flattened end portions which slide in inclined slots 15 formed in the side walls 16 and 16' extending upwardly from the buckle base 17. Tension on strap 13 draws the strap bar 14 against the upwardly extending transverse wall 18 and secures strap 13 against any movement or slipping about the non-rotating bar 14. Further, in the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 1 the buckle indicated generally at 11 is provided with a latch member 19 which is pivotally mounted on a hex-headed pin 26, extending transversely of the buckle through the sides 16 and 16'. A'torsion spring, not shown, is normally provided about the hex-headed pin 20 to yieldably urge the handle 21 toward the base 17 into the position shown in FIG. 1. A second spring means positioned between the handle 21 and latch 19 is also normally employed to bias the latch member 19 away from the handle 21 into the tongue plate and buckle base engaging position as shown in FIG. 1. It should be noted, in the exemplary embodiment shown, that in the buckle engaged position shown a shouldered latch projection 22 or latch 19 penetrates the tongue plate 30 and abuts the forward wall of a latch receiving aperture 23 formed in the base 17 In the operation of the buckle, indicated generally at 11, in order to secure the strap sections 12 and 13 together, tongue plate 39 is inserted from the left side of the buckle of FIG. 1. Upon entering, the forward edge of the tongue plate 30 deflects the latch member 19 against its spring means (not shown) out of the way, permitting entrance of the tongue plate. The tongue plate then is releasably secured within the buckle by the snapping of latch member 19 through the tongue plate aperture 32 into abutting engagement with the forward wall of aperture 23 in base 17. In order to release the tongue plate, the handle 21 is pivoted away from the base in order to lift the latch member 19 upwardly and out of the opening 23 in base 17.
Referring now more particularly to FIG. 2, it can be seen that tongue plate 30 is provided with a forwardly extending tapered tongue portion 31, having a latch member receiving aperture 32, and an enlarged rear portion 33 provided with a transversely extending strap receiving slot 34. In a conventional installation of a safety belt with such a tongue 30, one end of the belt or strap 12 would normally be sewn about the enlarged portion 33 with a single lay of the strap passing through slot 34. No adjustment of the length of the belt or strap 12 in such an installation is afforded and it is the particular feature of the present invention that adjustment of the belt or strap 12 be provided for as well as adjustment of the length of belt or strap 13.
In accordance with the present invention a floating adjustable link means, indicated generally at 40, is loosely mounted upon the enlarged portion 33 of tongue plate 39 to entrain belt or strap 12 about it through the transversely extending slot 34 to allow selective adjustment of the effective length of belt or strap 12. In accordance with the present invention, the loosely fitting or floating link means, indicated generally at 40, is adapted to slide freely on the tongue plate 30 over the strap receiving slot 34. As in the exemplary embodiment of FIGS. 1 through 5, such means may include a generally rectangular slide bar or elongated body portion 41 having a width less than that of slot 34 and a length greater than that of slot 34. As can be seen readily from FIGS. 2 and 3, such proportioning of the slide bar or body portion 41 allows end portions 42 and 42 to overlie outboard areas of the enlarged rear portion of tongue plate 30 and the strap 12 to be inserted or entrained about the bar or body 41 through the strap receiving aperture 34. Upon the application of load to the strap 12, body or bar 41 slides upon plate 30 toward the rear thereof, causing a portion of strap 12 to be securely bound between a rear surface of bar or body 41 and a forwardly facing or snubber surface 35 of the strap receiving or transversely extending slot 34.
Means are provided for loosely mounting the body portion or slide bar 41 upon the enlarged portion 33 of the tongue plate 30 to allow adjustment of the strap relative to the tongue without causing the bar 41 to fall free from the tongue plate 30. Such means, as shown in the exemplary embodiment, may comprise opposed depending flanges 43 and 43' on the ends 42 and 42' of bar or body 41 to loosely engage the outboard or side edges of the enlarged portion 33 of the tongue plate. Each of the flanges 43 and 43' may also be provided with limiting means such as the inbent lips 44 and 44' respectively, as best seen in the perspective view of FIG. 5. Each lip is spaced directly under an associated end of the bar 41 to loosely retain the tongue plate between such lip and bar end, as best shown in FIG. 4, and limit the upward movement of the link means upon release of loading upon the strap 12.
In order to prevent rotative motion of bar or body 41 about its longitudinal axis relative to the tongue plate 30 during adjustment of the effective length of strap 12,
stabilizer means are provided on the floating or loosely mounted link means, in accordance with the present invention. Such stabilizer means, as shown in the exemplary embodiment, may comprise a plurality of stabilizer fins on the slide bar or body portion including a pair of oppositely directed upper stabilizer fins 45 and 45' extending laterally outwardly on each end 42 and 42' of said slide bar or body portion 41 and a pair of oppositely directed lower stabilizer fins 46 and 46' extending laterally outwardly on each lip 44 and 44. The upper and lower stabilizer fins, in accordance with the present invention, are vertically aligned in pairs to stabilize the slide bar or body portion against rotative movement about its axis on the tongue plate, as can be seen in FIG. 5. For example, the upper stabilizer fins 45 are each vertically spaced and aligned to the lower stabilizer fins 46. The spacing between these upper and lower stabilizer fins, as shown in FIGS. 1, 3 and 4, is greater than the thickness of the tongue plate 30 so that the slide bar or body portion 41 is not only slideably mounted upon tongue plate 30 but is loosely mounted thereon. Such wide spacing of the stabilizer fins (as well as the lips 44, 44 from the body portion or slide bar ends 42, 42) allows the link means to float upon the tongue plate 30 under the urging of the safety belt or strap 12. When under a load from the strap 12, the link will float rearwardly on the tongue plate until the upper stabilizer fins and bar or body portion ends come down upon the tongue plate 30. As soon as such load is released from the strap 12, the loosely mounted link, indicated generally at 40, will float upwardly and forwardly on the tongue plate 30 to allow a release of the entrained belt or strap 12 so that it may readily be adjusted to selectable effective lengths.
It should be understood that the foregoing detailed description is of only an exemplary embodiment according to the invention and it is not intended to limit the scope of the invention which is defined by the following appended claims.
1. An adjustable link for use with a tongue plate having a tongue portion to be received in a buckle mechanism and an enlarged rear portion having a transversely extending strap receiving slot, comprising:
an elongated body portion having a width less than said slot and a length greater than said slot to overlie said slot and entrain a safety belt strap through said slot and about said body portion;
means for loosely mounting said body portion on said enlarged portion of said tongue plate to allow movement of said link relative to said tongue plate when not under load from said strap, said means including opposed depending flange means for loosely engaging side areas of said enlarged portion; and
stabilizer means on said body portion and said flange means including upper stabilizer fins on said body portion overlying said tongue plate and opposed lower stabilizer fins on said flange means underlying said tongue plate for preventing rotative movement of said body portion relative to said plate.
2. A loosely fitting link means adapted to slide freely upon a tongue plate having a strap receiving aperture for adjustably securing a safety belt strap to said tongue plate, said link means comprising:
a generally planar slide bar having a length greater than that of said tongue plate aperture and end portions overlying said tongue plate;
means for loosely retaining said slide bar on said tongue plate over said aperture when said safety belt strap is threaded through said aperture about said bar;
upper stabilizer means extending laterally outwardly of said end portions of said bar to engage an upper surface of said tongue plate wider than said aper- 3,226,786 5 6 ture when said bar is pulled down on said tongue References Cited by the Examiner plate by the application of load on said strap for UNITED STATES PATENTS preventing rotation of said bar relative to said tongue 1,873,371 8/1932 FOI'd 24-496 51 5232 23. :3? strap and tongue plate are placed 5 2,878,540 3/1959 White 24-196 lower stabilizer means opposed to and spaced below 2896284 7/1959 Blshaf 24*75 said upper stabilizer means to loosely constrain por- FOREIGN PATENTS tions of said tongue plate therebetween and to pre- 160,413 5/1933 Swiizerlan vent rotation of said bar relative to said tongue plate when said strap and tongue plate are not placed 10 WILLIAM FELDMAN Primary Exammer' under load. DONLEY J. STOCKING, Examiner.