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Publication numberUS3256399 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 14, 1966
Filing dateNov 17, 1961
Priority dateNov 17, 1961
Publication numberUS 3256399 A, US 3256399A, US-A-3256399, US3256399 A, US3256399A
InventorsReed A Palmer
Original AssigneeRobertshaw Controls Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vacuum operated switch structures
US 3256399 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 14, 1966 PALMER 3,256,399

VACUUM OPERATED SWITCH STRUCTURES 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Nov. 17, 1961 FIG-l FIG-3 FIG-4 INVENTOR. REED A. PALMER ATTORNEY June 14, 1966 A E 3,256,399

VACUUM OPERATED SWITCH STRUCTURES Filed Nov. 17. 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. REED A. PALMER BYW ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,256,399 VACUUM OPERATED SWITCH STRUCTURES Reed A. Palmer, Los Alamitos, Calif., assignor to Robertshaw Controls Company, Richmond, Va., a corpora-' tion of Delaware Filed Nov. 17, 1961, Ser. No. 153,060 13 Claims. (Cl. 200-83) This invention relates to vacuum operated switches particularly useful in connection with vacuum program controls.

This invention provides an improved switch construction which is very efficient and economical.

The switch construction may have one or more electrical conducting plates or discs placed on the side or sides of a ring or band, and these may be sealed together by coating them with a substance which thereafter is cured or otherwise transformed into an elastomer which effectively and resiliently seals the plates or discs to the rings or bands to produce an efiicient switch construction.

More than one or two discs or plates, and more than one or two rings or bands may be used to produce a unitary multiple switch construction.

The switch constructions are particularly useful in connection with a vacuum program system. The switch constructions do not require a large volume of air to be introduced into or removed from the vacuum chambers of the switches. Consequently the program system may be efiiciently operated by a relatively small vacuum pump.

Tube constructions may be placed in the ring or bands to connect the interior vacuum pressure chambers with the vacuum program system and the like. These tubes may be sealed by the elastomer adjacent the rings or bands and may be connected to the vacuum system by such tubes.

Sui-table electrical connectors may. extend outwardly from the edges of the conductor discs or plates and the same may be sealed by the elastomer adjacent the ring or band and may be uncovered where connection is to be made with the electrical conductors.

Accordingly it is an object of this invention to provide a switch construction having one or more of the features herein shown or described.

Another object of this invention is to provide a switch construction and vacuum program system having one or more of the features herein shown or described.

Other objects are apparent from this description and/or accompanying drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is a diagrammatic representation of switches in combination with a vacuum program control system and with electrical devices energized by said switches, according to this invention.

FIGURE 2 is an end view of the vacuum control system taken along the line 2-2 of FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 3 is a top-view of a portion of FIGURES 1 and 2.

FIGURE 4 is an enlarged cross section of a portion of one of the single pole switches and generally emblematic of the other single pole switch shown in FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 5 is an enlarged cross section of a portion of one of the two double pole switches and emblematic of the other double pole switch shown in FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 6 is an isometric view of one of the single pole switches and emblematic of the other single pole switch shown in FIGURE '1, in exploded representation.

' 24 at the surface 52 of the reading head 20.

Patented June 14, 1 966 FIGURE 7 is a view similar to FIGURE 6, but showing one of the double pole switches and being emblematic of the other double pole switch of FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 8 is an isometric view of one of the single pole switches shown in FIGURE 1 and is emblematic of the arrangement of the completed double pole switches, if additional tubes and electrical conductors are added to the view.

Certain words indicating direction, relative position, etc. are used in this application for the sake of clearness and brevity. However, it is to be understood that these words are used in connection with the specific showing in the drawings, and that the actual devices may have entirely different directions and relative positions. Examples of such words are upper, lower, vertical, and horizontal, etc.

Referring first to FIGURES l, 2 and 3, a vacuum program control system may include a reading head 20 which, for example, may be in the form of a metallic or plastic block 22, which has discharge passageways 24, and which are connected by pipes 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, and 36 to the vacuum operated switches 38, 40, 42 and 44, and to any other vacuum operated actuators which may be desired to be controlled by the system. The pipes or tubes 26 through 36, and the discharge passageways 24 discharge any air or other fluid from the interiors of the switches 38 through 44 into the indentations 46. These indentations are carried by a movable program member 48, which may be in the form of a relatively thin card or film, and which may be moved over the surface of the reading head 20 and over the ports 50 of the The reading head 20 may also have suction passageways 54, which have suction ports 56 on the surface 52 t of the reading head. The suction passageways 54 may be connected to a suction manifold 58, which may be connected by the pipe with a vacuum pump 62, which is driven by a motor 64 and/ or the like.

As the program member 48 moves over the reading head 20, the indentations or inverted channels 46 bridge two or more of the ports 50 and 56 in a manner to permit the vacuum pump 62 to produce a vacuum in the interiors of the switches 38 through 44. Preferably, the channels 46 are spaced close enough together, so that they produce a substantially continuous vacuum action as they pass over the ports 50 and 56. This may be accomplished by having the spaces 56 between the channels 46 narrowerer than the diameters of the ports 50 and 56.

When it is desired to break the vacuums in the interiors of the switches 38 through 44, holes or orifices 68 in the member 48 pass over the discharge ports 50 and allow atmospheric air to be sucked into the interiors of the connected switches, thereby breaking the vacuum in the interiors of such switches.

It is desirable, in a program system, such as disclosed in FIGURES 1, 2 and 3, to produce switches, and other vacuum actuators with a small air volume, in their vacuum chambers, so that only a very small amount of air need by withdrawn by the pump 62 whenever any one actuator or actuators are energized byxhaving a vacuum produced in them. The types of switchesaccording to this invention are so produced that they have a very small volume of air to be withdrawn when an operative vacuum is to be produced, so that a negligible volume load is placed on the vacuum pump 62.

passageways The switches 38 through 44 may be used to energize any appropriate electrical devices 70, 72 and-76, or any other number of electrical devices and switches as desired. These devices 70 through 76 may be energized from the lines L and L whenever the contacting surfaces of the switches are brought together, and are deenergized when such surfaces are separated.

The switches 38 through 44 and any similar type of switches may be made by the eificient and relatively simple construction and method herein disclosed.

Describing first the switch 38, by way of example, such switch 38 may have a rim structure 78 of the character shown in FIGURE 4, which FIGURE 4 is also emblematic of the rim structure of switch 40.

A relatively rigid ring structure or band structure 7 8 may be made of any suitable rigid electrically insulating material, such as ceramic or other stable insulating material capable of withstanding the curing temperatures which are described herein. A fluid tube 80 may extend into the ring or band 78, so a vacuum may be produced or broken in the chamber 82. A first electrical conducting disc or plate 84 may be placed on one side 86 of the ring or band structure 78. For example, a flange 88 may be provided in the disc or band 78 to receive the edge of the disc 84.

The disc or plate 84 may have an inner electrical contacting surface, such as the surface of the disc, or of a contacting button 90. The disc or plate 84 may have an electrical conductor 92 extending away from the disc 84, and to which a contacting line, such as 94, may be secured. The line 94 may be connected to a source of electrical energy, such as line L For example, the lines L and L may be a source of electrical energy, such as AC. power, which may be standard 115 volt more or less current and having a cycle frequency of 60 cycles per second, and the like.

A second electrical conducting disc or plate 96 may be connected to the other side 98 of the ring or band structure 78 with another inner contacting surface or button 100 and with another electrical conductor 102 extending away from the said second disc or plate 96.

The ring or band 78 may have a second flange 104 to receive the edge of the disc or plate 96 in a manner similar to that shown on the other side of the ring or band 78.

The ring or band 78, the discs or plates 84 and 96, and portions of the fluid tube 80, andthe electrical conductors 92 and 102 may be coated by an elastic, electrical insulating coating 106, which, if desired, may cover and seal the ring, discs, and the portions of said fluid tube and electrical conductors as shown in FIGURE 8.

This may be accomplished by dipping the entire assembly in a fluid body of the coating material and thereafter curing such material to a condition of elasticity and scufi resistance, so that the switch structure is properly protected. Any well known material, which will produce an elastomer of suflicient resiliency may be used, and any type of curing method which is suitable for the particular material selected, may be used to cure the material after the assembly has been covered as by dipping or otherwise covered, as by spraying and the like to produce a properly sealed switch structure in the cavity 82 by which electrical power may be produced and broken as by the program system shown in FIGURE 1. For example, the coating material may be vinyl plastisol, and such material may be cured by baking it at 350 F., more or less, for approximately 10 minutes, more or less.

The switch 38 may be a single pole switch of either the type known as a snap switch or as the type known as a slow make and break switch. This action may be accomplished by imparting a slight outward bow to the discs 84 and 96, so that the contact surfaces such as the buttons 90 and 100 may be brought together merely by decreasing the bow and without having the discs snap past the dead center.

The switch 40 may be single pole, snap acting switch of a type substantially similar to switch 38 except that it is snap acting instead of slow make and break. The snap action may be accomplished by making the disc 96A substantially rigid, and by making the disc 84A sufliciently flexible, so the same may be snapped past dead center with a snapping action when a vacuum is produced in the vacuum chamber 82.

All of the conducting discs herein disclosed may be metal or any other suitable conducting material and they may be substantially rigid, or sidewise flexible, by making the discs of suflicient thickness or strength to make them rigid, or making the discs sufficiently thin to be flexible.

Hence the disc 96A may be made rigid by making it of metal of suflicient thickness, while the disc 84A may be made of thin metal, so the same may flex and snap. All of the other members of the switch 40 may be substantially identical with those of switch 38, and wherever such identity is obvious, no further description is provided. Instead, a suflicient number of the parts are provided with identical reference numerals which were used in connection with FIGURE 38 to show the identity.

The circumferences of the rings or hands 78 of switches 38 and 40 may be substantially identical throughout the circumference, and may be as shown in FIGURE 4 except where the tube 80 occurs, and where the electrical conductors 92 and 102 are provided. The ring or band 78 may be provided with notches 108 and 110 to receive the electrical conductors 92 and 102 so the discs 84 and 96 may be seated within the flanges 88 and 104.

The switches 42 and 44 may have substantially the same rim structure which is shown in FIGURE 5. The description of switch 42 and FIGURE 5 will be made, and it is understood that in general, the same rim structure and description is applicable to the switch 44.

The switch 42 may have a composite ring or band structure 78B which may be made by a first ring or band 78C and a second ring or band 78B. The ring or band C may be provided with a vacuum tube 80A while the ring or band 78D may have a tube 80B. The ring 78C may have a flange 88A and the ring 78B may have a flange 104A. A disc 84A may be provided on one side of the composite disc 78B and a disc 96A may be provided on the other side of the composite disc 78B. Electrical conductors 92A and 102A may be provided in the discs 84A and 96A respectively. Notches 108A and 110A may be provided in the rims 78C and 78D respectively.

A third or intermediate disc 120 may have a diameter slightly larger than the outer diameters of the rings 78C and 78D so that the outer edge 122 of disc 120 extends outside of the outer edge of the rings 78C and 78D. The conducting disc 120 may be provided with an electrical conductor 124. It may have electrical contacting surfaces, which may be the disc surfaces, or the electrical buttons 126 and 128. The disc 84A may have a contact surface or button A while the disc 96A may have a contact surface or button A.

The discs 84A and 96A may be sufliciently thick to be rigid or substantially so while the third or intermediate disc may be thin or suflicieutly flexible, so that the disc 120 may flex to the right or to the left as the program system 20 produces a vacuum in the lines 30 and 32 at different times of the program. In this manner, the switch 42 may energize a resistance 128 and alternately another resistance 130 which may be termed high and low resistances respectively or high and low producing resistances as is obvious. The resistances 128 and 130 may be in a single device 74, as shown in FIGURE 1, or in two different devices, not shown.

The rings, discs and portions of the fluid tubes and of the electrical conductors 92A, 124 and 96A may be sealed and coated substantially in a manner identical to that disclosed in connection with the switches 38 and 40, and

FIGURE 5. Such coating is indicated by the numeral 106A in FIGURE 5. The structure of switch 42 will appear somewhat similar to that shown in FIGURE 8,

. exceptthat there will be two tubes and three electrical conductors'extending outwardly from the covering 106A, as is obvious.

More than two rings 78C and 78D and more than three discs 84A, 120 and 96A may be used to produce a multiple switch for making and breaking more than two circuits, if desired.

Switch 44 may be substantially identical with switch 42, except that the discs84B and 96B may be flexible, and bowed outwardly when not energized and bowed inwardly when energized by a vacuum. The intermediate disc 120A maybe a rigid disc or substantially rigid disc. The

discs 96B and 84B may be connected to the resistances 128A and 130A respectively. The vacuum lines 34 and 36 may .be'either simultaneously or alternately energized and have vacuums produced therein either simultaneously or alternately. When the lines 34 and 36 have a vacuum simultaneously produced, then the sides 84B and 96D snap inwardly and simultaneously energize the resistances 128A and 130A. When only one of the vacuum lines, such as 36 is energized then only the resistance 128A is energized. Likewise, whenonly the vacuum line 34 is energized, then only the resistance 130A is energized.

Otherwise, the switch 44 may be substantially identical to switch 42 and hence detailed description thereof is omitted, since it will be substantially repetitions of the description of switch 42.

The discs 96 and 96A may be connected, through the conductor 102 to the electric lines 95 which energize the electrical devices 70 and 72 respectively, the other side of the resistance and the like 97 being connected to the line 99 and to the line L In operation, the program member 48 is moved over the surface of the reading head 20 and vacuums are produced in controlled sequences in the pipes 26-36 and in the vacuum'chambers of the switches 3844. The vacuums cause the closing of the respective switch contact surfaces.

The program member 48 may also break, the vacuums so produced. This is accomplished when the openings 68 pass over the passageway ports 50 of the passageways 24. When the vacuums are broken by atmospheric air entering the corresponding vacuum chambers, then the corresponding switch contact surfaces are opened.

A method of manufacturing switches has been provided whereby the side discs or plates are placed within the ringsor bands, and then the switch assembly is coated by dipping and the like, and the coating is cured or otherwise transformed into an elastomer which resiliently seals the discs or plates to the rings or bands in an efficient and economical manner.

Accordingly, it is to be seen that .a new and useful program system has been provided, a new and useful type useful method of making the switch has been provided.

While the preferred form of the invention has been disclosed as required by statute, other forms may be used, all coming within the scope of the claims which follow.

What is claimed is:

1. 'In an electrical switch construction having means to provide a flow of electrical current therethrough and to terminate such flow, the combination: a relatively rigid and insulating ring structure; a flu-id' tube extending into said ring structure; a first electrical conducting disc on one side of and insulated by said ring structure with an inner electrical contacting surface and with an integral electrical conductor extending away from said disc; a second electrical conducting disc on the other side of and insulated by said ring structure with another inner contacting surface and with another integral electrical conductor extending away from said second disc, at least one of said discs being flexible; and an elastic electrical insulating coating disposed against and bonding said ring, discs, fluid tube, and conductors together to completely cover and seal said disc on one side of and insulated by said ring structure of switch construction has been provided, and a new and with an inner electrical contacting surface and with an integral electrical conductor extending away from said disc; a second electrical conducting disc on the other side of and insulated by 'said ring structure with another inner contacting surface and another. integral electrical conductor extend-ing away from said second disc; a third electrical conducting disc between said first andsecond discs and said tubes and being centrally supported and insulated by said ring structure with opposite electrically contacting surfaces and with an integral electrical conductor extending away from said third disc, at least one of said discs being flexible; and an elastic electrical insulating coating disposed against andbonding said ring, outer discs, fluid tubes, and conductors together to completely cover and seal said ring, discs and portions of said fluid tubes and electrical conductors.

3. A combination according to claim 2 in which a vacuum program control means imparts vacuums between said discs.

4. A combination according to claim 1 in which a vacuum program control means imparts a vacuum between said discs through said tube.

5. A combination according to claim 4 in which said control means also breaks the vacuum between said discs.

6. In an electrical switch construction having means to provide a flow of electrical current therethrough and to terminate such flow, the combination: a relatively rigid and insulating band structure; a first electrical conducting plate on one side of and insulated by said band structure with an inner electrical contacting surface and with an integral electrical conductor extending away from said plate; a second electrical conduct-ing plate on the other side of and insulated by said band with another inner electrical contacting surface and with another electrical conductor extending away from said second plate, at least one of said plates being flexible; and an electrical insulating coating disposed against and bonding said plates and said band structure together to completely cover and seal said plates to saidband structure.

7. In an electrical switch construction having means to provide a flow of electrical current therethrough and to terminate such flow, the combination: a relatively rigid and insulating band structure; a first electrically conducting plate on one side of and insulated by said band structure with an inner electrical contacting surface and with an integral electrical conductor extending away from said plate; a second electrical conducting plate on the other side of and insulated by said band with another inner electrical conducting surface and with another integral electrical conductor extending away from said second plate; a third electrical conducting plate disposed between said first and second plates and being centrallysupported and insulated by said band structure with opposite electrical contacting surfaces and with an integral electrical conductor extending away from said third plate, at least one of said plates being flexible; an an electrical insulating coating disposed against and bonding the outer plates and said band structure together to completely cover and seal the outer plates to said band structure.

8. A combination according to claim 7 in which a vacuum program control means imp-arts vacuums between said plates.

9. A combination according to claim 6 in which said 11. A combina-tion'according to, claim 6. in which a vacuum program control means imparts a vacuum between said, plates. 1

12. A construction according. to claim, L1 in which.

saidcontrol means also breaks the vacuum between said plates.

' References Citedby theExaminer UNITED STATES' PATENTS Bast 20083 Massey 29155'.55

Fleet et a1. ZOO-83, X

8 Hard Af Segerstad 20083 X Sma-by 20083 'Spooner 29-155.55 Gamble 20083 West 20046 Vocht 2007 -168 Cohen 20046 FOREIGN PATENTS Great Britain.

BERNARD A. GILHEANY, Primary Examiner.

WALTER STOLWEIN, Examiner.

15 SAMUEL B. SMITH, HARRY M. FLECK, JR.,

Assistant Examiners.

Patent Citations
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US1684530 *Oct 6, 1925Sep 18, 1928Charles Tagliabue Mfg CoPressure-controlled device
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3456086 *Apr 11, 1967Jul 15, 1969Aksu AkinFluid pressure actuated electrical coupler systems
US3515828 *Mar 1, 1968Jun 2, 1970Singer General PrecisionFluidic to electronic converter
US4890090 *Jun 6, 1988Dec 26, 1989Jan BallynsPressure alarm system for motor vehicle tires
Classifications
U.S. Classification200/83.00N, 200/46
International ClassificationH01H35/30, H01H35/34, H01H33/66, G05B19/44, H01H43/08, D06F33/10
Cooperative ClassificationH01H33/66, D06F33/10, G05B19/44, H01H35/346, H01H43/08, H01H2009/307, H01H35/30
European ClassificationD06F33/10, H01H35/30, H01H43/08, H01H35/34C, G05B19/44, H01H33/66