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Publication numberUS3312928 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 4, 1967
Filing dateJul 21, 1964
Priority dateJul 21, 1964
Also published asDE1540292A1, DE1540292B2, DE1540292C3
Publication numberUS 3312928 A, US 3312928A, US-A-3312928, US3312928 A, US3312928A
InventorsKenneth Jewell Donald, Nava Joseph A, Ronald Heynneman Walter
Original AssigneePyle National Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Explosion-proof connector
US 3312928 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aprll 4, 1967 J N V ET AL 3,312,928

EXPLOSION-PROOF CONNECTOR Filed July 21, 1964 J91 fig Joseph may? %%r0z2qldfigy12flez 2a1z 46 fkzzzze Z12 Jewell 44. h A TTORNEf-S United States Patent 3,312,928 EXPLUSIUN-PRUOF CONNECTOR Joseph A. Nava, Villa Park, Walter Ronald Heynnernan, La Grange, and Donald Kenneth Jewell, Chicago, Ill., assignors to The Pyle-National Company, Chicago, 111., a corporation of New Jersey Filed July 21, 1964, Ser. No. 384,123 9 Claims. (Cl. 339-46) The present invention relates to an improved explosionproof connector, particularly useful for circuits of high voltage and high currents.

It is not too difficult to provide explosion-proof connectors of controlled arcing characteristics at low amperage and low voltage. However, developing connectors for circuits involving 200 amperes and 480 volts,.for example, raises an acute problem because the are which results under these conditions is of a magnitude and temperature comparable to a welding arc. A sustained are for a reasonably long period of time under these circumstances would be disastrous because no known materials of construction could withstand such conditions.

The connector of the present invention provides a multicontact assembly suitable for use in a high voltage, high current line, and is specifically designed for the purpose of minimizing the arcing time which can exist in making and breaking contact between the male contact members and the female contact members. The present invention provides a quick connect and quick disconnect system, including a spring assisted detent means to cause rapid engagement and rapid disengagement of the connector elements.

An object of the invention is to provide an explosionproof connector particularly suitable for environments of high current and high voltage, and having means therein for minimizing the arcing time between the cont-acts.

Another object of the invention is to provide a quick connect, quick disconnect type coupling wherein the contacts progress through the arcing phase at a speed which limits the detrimental eifects of the are upon the contacts and insulation.

Still another object of the invention is to provide an explosion-proof connector for high voltage, high current circuits which can employ standard materials of construction without danger of catastrophic failure.

A further description of the present invention will be made in conjunction with the attached sheet of drawings which illustrates a preferred embodiment thereof.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a view of the connector partly in elevation and partly in cross section illustrating the connector elements in the disengaged position;

FIGURE 2 is a schematic representation of the relative positions of the detent mechanism and the connector elements prior to engagement of the male and female contact members;

FIGURE 3 is a schematic view similar to FIGURE 2, but illustrating the relative position of the detent member and the connector elements when the connectors just begin engagement;

FIGURE 4 is a schematic view illustrating the position of the detent mechanism and the connector elements when the contact elements are fully engaged; and

FIGURE 5 is a schematic view illustrating the relative positions of the detent mechanism and the connector elements at the end of disengagement.

As shown in the drawings:

In FIGURE 1, reference numeral indicates generally an explosion-proof, multi-contact connector embodying the principles of the present invention. It should be realized, however, that the specific structural details of ICC the connector shown in FIGURE 1 are purely by way of example and that the inventive concepts of the present invention can be embodied at a wide variety of different physical forms. The specific connector shown in FIG- URE 1 includes a more or less conventional male shell assembly 11 which is arranged to be received in telescoping engagement within a female shell assembly generally indicate dat reference numeral 12. A clamp nut assembly 13 is threadedly engaged within the interior of the female shell assembly, and a flange 14 having a plurality of circumferentially spaced apertures 16 therein is provided for securing the female shell assembly 12 to a suitable supporting surface.

The female shell assembly 12 carries a plurality of female contact members 17, each of the contact members 17 including a socket 18. The configuration of the female contact elements 17 is quite conventional, including an annular collar 19 which confines a central insulating disk 21 between itself and the socket portionof the connector. The rear end of each of the female contact elements 17 may be potted in a suitable back cap 22 of an insulating material.

The male shell assembly 11 includes a plurality of male contact elements 23 which are arranged to be received in engagement with the socket 18 of the female contact members 17. The male contact members 23 are provided with a pair of spaced annular shoulders 24 and 26 on opposite sides of a central insulating disk 27. The rear end of each of the contact elements 23 is rigidly held within a back cap 28 composed of a suitable insulating material, and the forward end is confined within a front cap 29 also made of suitable insulating material. In making the engagement with the female contact member 17, the forward end of the male member 23 passes through a sleeve 31 which may be composed of a suitable insulating material or an arc extinguishing material.

A cable housing assembly 32 is threadedly engaged with the male shell assembly 11 by means of threads 33, and a resilient seal ring 34 is confined between the two elements in threaded engagement.

Secured to the male shell member 11 and slidable therewith is a detent assembly generally indicated at numeral 36 in the drawings. The detent assembly 36 includes a radially inwardly extending collar 37 which is confined between the cable housing assembly 32 and the male shell member 11 by threaded engagement between the two. The detent assembly 36 includes a spring retainer ring 39 which is threadedly engaged at one end thereof, and a thrust washer 41 is seated against the inner face of the ring 39. The detent proper consists of a detent carrier 42 from which protrudes a rollable detent member such as a garter spring 43. The garter spring 43 is arranged to coopeate with abutment sufaces which are best illustrated in FIGURES 2 through 5 of the drawings. Specifically, the female plug member 12 is provided with oppositely inclined abutment surfaces 44 and 46 separated by a raised land portion 47. The arrangement is such that the garter spring 43 will be seated against the abutment surface 44 until such time as sufiicient force is provided to roll the spring 43 over the abutment surface 44 and onto the land area 47.

Operating force for triggering the detent mechanism isprovided by a compression spring 51 operating between the detent mechanism 36 and a coupling sleeve generally indicated at numeral 52 in the drawings. The coupling sleeve 52 carries a ring 53 at the rearward end thereof, the ring 53 being in threaded engagement with suitable internal threads provided in the coupling sleeve 52. A thrust Washer 54 is seated against the forward end of the ring 53 and normally abuts one end of the coiled spring 51. Another thrust washer 56 is positioned against a suitable shoulder in the retainer assembly 36 to engage 3 the forward end of the compression spring 51. Another thrust Washer 57 is confined along the inner periphery of the coupling sleeve 52 by a snap ring 58 received within a suitable groove provided within the inner periphery of the coupling sleeve 52.

Upon initial engagement of the male shell 11 with the female shell 12, the male shell 11 is moved inwardly until the spring 43 meets the abutment surface 44 at the end of the female shell 12. This position is illustrated in FIGURE 1. At this point, the male contacts 23 have not engaged the female contacts 17, and are spaced therefrom by a distance sufficiently large to prevent arcing. To effect further engagement, the coupling sleeve 52 is threaded on the outer periphery of the female shell member 12 by virtue of threads 59 which engage similarly formed threads 61 on the interior of the coupling sleeve 52. As the threading action continues, the compression spring 51 is loaded, to store up substantial energy in the spring 51. During this interval, the thrust washer 54 urges the end of the spring 51 into compression, while the forward end of the spring 51 is retained by the thrust washer 56. Eventually, sufiicient energy is stored in the spring 51 to overcome the reaction force between the garter spring 43 and the abutment surface 44. At this point, the garter spring 43 rides up on the land 47 as illustrated in FIGURE 2 of the drawings. As the spring 51 unloads, the male plug member 11 is pushed further into the female plug member 12 to a point, as illustrated in FIGURE 3 of the drawings, where the male contact members 23 engage the female contact members 17. This action causes the contacts to progress through the arcing phase at a speed which limit-s the effect of the are on the contacts and the insulation. Further turning of the coupling sleeve 52 inserts the male members 23 into the female contact members 17 to their final engaged position, where the garter spring 43 is beyond the second abutment surface 46. In this condition, a seal 62 carried by the male shell member 11 sealingly engages the end of the female shell member 12 and is compressed therebetween to provide an effective seal between the two.

Disengagement of the electrical contact elements is initiated by turning the coupling sleeve 52 in the opposite direction. This causes the garter spring 43 to move against the second abutment surface 46 and assume the position illustrated in dotted outline in FIGURE 4. At this point, the male contact members 23 are still engaged wit-h the female contact members 17. Then, compression of the spring 51 takes place in the opopsite direction, the thrust washer 57 hearing against one end of the spring, and the opposite end of the spring 51 being bottomed against the thrust washer 41. Eventually, sufficient force will be built up to roll the garter spring 43 onto the land portion 47, as illustrated in dotted outline in FIGURE 5. The energy of the spring 51 is again released, causing the male contact elements 23 to the rapidly disengaged from the female contact members 17, and restoring the assembly to its original condition. The period of disengagement is quite rapid, so that the contact elements go through the arcing phase very rapidly upon disengagement.

From the foregoing, it will be seen that the connector of the present invention provides a quick make, quick break electrical connector which confines the arcing time to an extremely short interval, and so reduces the possibility of extended damage to contacts or insulation within the connector.

It should also-be evident that various modifications can be made to the described embodiments without departing from the scope of the present invention.

We claim as our invention:

1. A connector for minimizing arcing time in a high voltage, high current line comprising a male shell carrying a plurality of male contact elements, a female shell carrying a plurality of female contact elements for engagement with said male contact elements, detent means movable with one of the aforementioned shells, abutment means on the other of said shells arranged to temporarily restrain said detent means until a predetermined force is applied to said detent means, a coupling sleeve in threaded engagement with said other shell, and spring means confined between said coupling sleeve and said detent means to urge said detent means against said abutment means with increasing pressures as said coupling sleeve is progressively threaded onto said shell until the force behind said detent means is sufficient to unseat said detent means from said abutment means, whereupon said male contact elements are rapidly engaged with said female contact elements.

2. A connector for minimizing arcing time in a high voltage, high current line comprising a male shell carrying a plurality of male contact elements, a female shell carrying a plurality of female contact elements for engagement with said male contact elements, a detent holder movable with said male shell, a rollable detent confined by said detent holder, abutment means on said female shell engaging said detent and arranged to restain said detent holder against relative sliding movement until a predetermined force is applied to said detent holder whereupon said detent rolls over said abutment means, a coupling sleeve mounted over said male shell and threadedly engaged with said female shell, and a spring acting between said coupling sleeve and said detent carrier to unseat said detent from against said abutment means when said sleeve has been sufficiently tightened onto said female shell and thereby release the energy of said spring means to cause rapid engagement of said male contact elements with said female contact elements.

3. The connector of claim 2 in which said rolla-ble detent means consists of a garter spring.

4. A connector for minimizing arcing time in a high voltage, high current line comprising a male shell carrying a plurality of male contact elements, a female shell carrying a plurality of female contact elements for engagement with said male contact elements, a detent holder movable with said male shell, a rollable detent confined by said detent holder, abutment means on said female shell engaging said detent and arranged to restrain said detent holder against relative sliding movement until a predetermined force is applied to said detent holder, said abutment means including two oppositely inclined abutment surfaces separated by a flat land portion, a coupling sleeve mounted over said male shell and threadedly engaged with said female shell, and a spring acting between said coupling sleeve and said detent carrier to unseat the detent from against the first of said abutment surfaces when said coupling sleeve is threaded sufiiciently onto said female shell in one direction, and to unseat the detent from against the other of said abutment surfaces when said coupling sleeve is threaded sufliciently onto said female shell in the other direction.

5. The connector of claim 4 which also includes seal means compressed between said male shell and said female shell when said male contact elements and said female contact elements are in engaged condition.

6. A connector for minimizing arcing time in a high voltage, high current line comprising a tubular male shell element, a plurality of male contact elements carried by said male shell element, a tubular female shell element receiving said male shell element in telescoping engagement, a plurality of female contact elements carried by said female shell element and arranged to receive said male contact elements therein, a detent holder movable with said male shell element, a garter spring carried by said detent holder and partly extending therefrom, abutment means carried by said female shell element and arranged to restrain said garter spring against relative sliding movement thereto until a predetermined force is applied to said garter spring, a coupling sleeve threadedly engaging said female shell element, a compression spring having one end bottomed by said coupling sleeve and its other end biasing said garter spring against said abutment means with a force dependent on the amount of threaded engagement between said coupling sleeve and said female shell element, whereby when said coupling sleeve is sufficiently threaded onto said female shell element, said garter spring is disengaged from said abutment means, releasing the energy of said spring means, and rapidly engaging said male contact elements with said female contact elements.

7. The connector of caim 6 which also includes seal means compressed between said male shell element and said female shell element when said male contact elements are engaged with said female contact elements.

8. A separable connector comprising a plug shell, a receptacle shell having a detent land at its front end, a detent carrier having continuous biasing means carried thereby and a spring loaded coupling sleeve, said detent carrier being fixed to said plug shell for unison movement therewith, said continuous biasing means reacting operatively with said detent land on the front of said receptacle shell, said coupling sleeve operating axially independently of said plug shell and said receptacle shell to preload the detent carrier in either direction, mating contact members in said shells, said garter spring engaging said detent land before engagement of said contacts, said coupling sleeve operative to draw said shells axially together and storing spring energy until reaction force between said detent land and said continuous biasing means is overcome, whereupon the contacts are injected into engagement with one another at increased speed to reduce arcing.

9. A separable connect-or as defined in claim 8 wherein said detent carrier comprises a sleeve and said continuous biasing means comprises a garter spring.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,761,111 8/1956 Klosterrnann 339-46 X EDWARD C. ALLEN, Primary Examiner. PATRICK A. CLIFFORD, Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2761111 *Feb 16, 1953Aug 28, 1956Amphenol Electronics CorpBreakaway connector
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3750087 *Oct 26, 1971Jul 31, 1973Trw IncPreloaded electrical connector
US3805379 *Mar 30, 1973Apr 23, 1974Trw IncMethod of assembling an electrical connector to effect a preloading thereof
US3808579 *Nov 6, 1972Apr 30, 1974Akzona IncExplosion proof connector
US3848950 *Sep 7, 1972Nov 19, 1974G & H TechnologyElectrical connector
US3980373 *May 28, 1974Sep 14, 1976G & H Technology, Inc.Electrical connector
US4176899 *Oct 23, 1978Dec 4, 1979The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The NavyQuick disconnect electrical connector having disassembly features for refurbishment
US4264115 *Mar 1, 1978Apr 28, 1981Bunker Ramo CorporationInterstage electrical connector
US4550967 *Dec 8, 1982Nov 5, 1985Allied CorporationElectrical connector member
US4620760 *Jan 11, 1985Nov 4, 1986Plessey Overseas LimitedElectrical connectors
US4850893 *Oct 1, 1987Jul 25, 1989Williams Robert ATest probe apparatus
US7794252 *Jul 11, 2006Sep 14, 2010Cooper Crouse-Hinds GmbhExplosion-proof connector including a socket part and a plug part
US8172595 *Dec 3, 2008May 8, 2012Hummel AgConnector impermeable to liquids
US20080311774 *Jul 11, 2006Dec 18, 2008Cooper Crouse-Hinds GmbhExplosion-Proof Connector
US20100304593 *Dec 3, 2008Dec 2, 2010Hummel AgConnector impermeable to liquids
USRE31462 *May 13, 1981Dec 13, 1983Automation Industries, Inc.Electrical connector
Classifications
U.S. Classification439/180, 439/349
International ClassificationH01R13/70, H01R13/71, H01H9/00, H01R13/635, H01R13/53, H01H9/08, H01R13/621, H01R13/633
Cooperative ClassificationH01H9/085, H01R13/621, H01R13/71, H01R13/633, H01R13/635, H01R13/53
European ClassificationH01R13/71, H01R13/621, H01R13/635, H01H9/08B, H01R13/53, H01R13/633
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 6, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: BRINTEC SYSTEMS CORPORATION, A CORP OF DE.
Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:MANUFACTURER HANOVER COMMERCIAL CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004689/0462
Effective date: 19860411
Jul 16, 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: MANUFACTURERS HANOVER COMMERIAL CORPORATION, A NY
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:BRAND-REX COMPANY;REEL/FRAME:004289/0418
Effective date: 19831121
Owner name: MANUFACTURERS HANOVER COMMERIAL CORPORATION
Jun 27, 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: BRAND-REX WILLIMATIC CT. A CORP OF DE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:AKZONA INCORPORATED;REEL/FRAME:004283/0913
Effective date: 19831130