US 3315214 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 1s, 1967 E, C DAWS 3,315,214
CONNECTOR ASSEMBLY Filed April 8, 1965 INVENTOR Eff/afd Ecu/5. BY if', M M l United States Patent O 3,315,214 CONNECTUR ASSEMBLY Bayard C. Davis, 425 S. Grace, Lombard, Ill. 60148 Filed Apr. 8, 1965, Ser. No. 446,619 3 Claims. (Cl. 339-94) This invention relates to electrical connectors and more particularly to an improved hermetically sealed connector assembly which is capable of withstanding adverse environmental conditions and temperatures in excess of 1800 F.
It is au object of the present invention to provide an improved electrical connector assembly.
An additional object of the present invention is to provide a hermetically sealed connector assembly which is capable of withstanding radiation and other adverse environmental conditions as well as temperatures in excess of l800 F.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a temperature, pressure-, and corrosion-resistant metalclad hermetically sealed electrical connector assembly which can be readily fabricated at moderate cost and which meets both military and industrial specifications.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of one preferred embodiment thereof particularly when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawing wherein:
FIGURE 1 is an exploded view which depicts the major subcomponents of a preferred embodiment of a connector assembly constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the connector assembly shown in FIGURE 1 when in fully assembled form; and
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view which illustrates the hermetically sealed connection of one of the connector pin subassemblies with a metallic sheathed and insulated conductor.
As generally set forth above, the present invention contemplates an improved hermetically sealed connector assembly. In this connection, the connector assemblies constructed in accordance with the present invention may either be of the male or female type and are designed to provide suitable means for making appropriate connections between metallic sheathed and insulated signalcarrying conductors.
Pursuant `to the present invention, the connector assembly, whether of the male or female type, preferably includes a bushing member that is formed of a suitable insulating material and that is suitably apertured to receive one or more joined electrical contact-conductor subassemblies. The junction of each contact and associated conductor is coniined within a suitable protective enclosure that is in turn surrounded by a suitable mounting and sealing sleeve. Preferably, the sealing sleeve provided for each joined contact-conductor subassembly extends along the conductor, through the apertured bushing member and is secured along with other of the subassembly protective sleeves within a suitable header subassembly that is utilized to elfect the mounting of the entire unit within a suitable outer shell or housing. Because of the structural features of the assembly and as a result of the materials utilized in the fabrication thereof, a pressure, temperature, and corrosion-resistant connector is provided which meets `both military and industrial specications.
Referring more specifically to FIGURE l, a connector assembly is depicted therein as including an outer shell or housing 11 which is preferably made of a material such as stainless steel. The housing 11 is shown 3,315,214 Patented Apr. 18, 1967 ICC as having a generally cylindrical configuration with a rectangular flange 11a being formed integrally with and about the periphery thereof. In a conventional manner, the mounting flange 11a is apertured to receive suitable fasteners (not shown) so that the housing can be suitably secured to a wall member or similarly mounted on a structure with which the connector assembly is to be employed. The forward end 11b of the housing 11 is threaded so that the housing and the connector assembly confined therein can be secured to a complementing connector assembly, a suitable receptacle, or similar instrumentality in the usual manner.
In addition to the stainless steel corrosion-resistant housing 11, the connector assembly 10 also preferably includes an apertured insulating bushing 12, a yheader subassembly 13 and a plurality of joined contact-conductor subassemblies 14. The joined contacts and conductors are iixedly mounted within the header subassembly 13 by means of sealing and mounting sleeves 15, one of which is associated with each of the subassernblies 14 as shown in FIGURE 2.
As generally set forth above, the connector assembly 1@ is designed primarily for use with metallic sheathed and insulated conductors 16. These conductors 16 are typically formed in any desired length with a central signalcarrying wire 17 that is surrounded by a layer 18 of a ceramic insulating material (e.g. MgOl and confined within a metallic protective sheathing 19 (eg. stainless steel).
In effecting the construction of a connector assembly for use with such conductors it is necessary to provide a reliable junction between the signal-carrying wire 17 and a contact Ztl (either male or female) that completes a circuit to the instrumentality to which the connector assembly is attached. The forming of such a junction must be effected so that the signal-carrying wire is protected from adverse environmental conditions (eg. high temperatures, moisture, etc.) While at the same time being structurally stable.
To this end, the forming of each contact-conductor subassembly is preferably initiated by stripping a portion of the sheath 19 and layer 13 away from one end of a conductor 16. Preferably and as shown in FIGURES 2 and 3, enough of the outer sheath and insulating layer are removed to insure that the segment 17a of the signalcarrying wire that is exposed can be securely joined to a contact Ztl.
In this connection, each of the contacts 20 is preferably formed with a bored region 20a for receiving the exposed segment 17a of the signal carrying wire 1'7. In addition,
at least a portion of the bore defining contact 2li is formed.
integrally with a ring-like metallized ceramic insert 22 having an aperture 22a that is aligned with the bored region 20a and that has outer diameter corresponding to the inner diameter of each of the sleeves 15.
To effect the formation of a sealed junction between the wire 17 and contact 2t) and to readily facilitate fabrication of a complete assembly 1t) as shown in FIGURE 2, the metallized ceramic insert 22 is preferably initially joined (eg. by brazing) about a reduced portion of the contact 2t) as depicted in FIGURE 3. Thereafter, these joined components are mounted within a free end of a mounting and sealing sleeve 15. That is, the metallized ceramic insert 22 is secured in place adjacent the end of the sleeve 15 by means of a copper-brazed connection at the location designated 21 on the inner peripheral surface of the sleeve.
Upon completion of these functions, the sheathed conductor 15 is positioned within the mounting and sealing sleeve and the segment 17a is joined to the contact 20. Preferably and as best seen in FIGURE 3, the segment 17a of the conductor that is to be joined to the contact 20 is passed through the aperture 22a so that the leading edge portions of the layer 18 and sheath 19 positively abut the adjacent face of the insert 22 and so that the protruding segment of the wire 17 is properly positioned within the bored region 20a of the contact. When this mounting or positioning is effected, the contact is positively and securely joined to the wire 17 as by a brazing, crimping or other suitable technique. After joining the segment 17a to the contact 20 the sheathed conductor 16 is fixedly mounted in this position within the associated sleeve 15. This is effected by joining (eg. by brazing) the entire rearward peripheral edge of the sleeve to the peripheral surface of the metallic conductor sheath 19 at the location designated by the numeral 26.
Generally, connector assemblies embodying the present invention incorporate a plurality of the aforedescribed subassemblies 14 that are mounted in sealed relationship within the sleeves 15. Accordingly, the insulating bushing 12 is utilized to maintain the subassemblies 14 in suitably spaced relation from each other and from the housing 11 and the header subassembly 13 is employed to effect the fixed mounting of the subassemblies 14 within the housing.
More particularly, the bushing 12 is formed of a suitable ceramic insulating material and is proportioned so that it fits snugly within the. housing 11. In addition, the forward peripheral edge of the bushing is slightly rounded to bear against a shoulder portion 11C that is formed on the internal peripheral surface of the housing just forward of the mounting flan-ge 11a. The bushing 12 is formed with a plurality of apertures 12a that extend in parallel relation to the central axis thereof. The apertures 12a are proportioned to receive the sealing and mounting sleeves 15 as shown in FIGURE 2 and allow the contacts to pass therethrough. The apertures 12a are spaced from each other in a preselected manner to insure the proper distribution and location of the contacts 20 in accordance with preestablished requirements.
` Before the subassemblies that are secured to .and confined within the sleeves 15 are positioned within the bushing 12, these members are joined to the header subassembly 13. In this connection, the header subassembly 13 includes a generally cylindrical metallized ceramic insert 27 that is secured to and confined within a metallic sleeve 28 by a bond at the location designated by the numeral 31, which hond is preferably effected by .brazing As shown in FIGURE 2, the sleeve 28 extends substantially beyond the rearward face of the insert 27, and this insert is formed with a plurality of suitably proportioned apertures 27a that are arrayed in a configuration corresponding to the arrangement of the apertures 12a in the bushing 12.
The mounting and sealing sleeves 15 that confine the subassemblies 14 are positioned within the apertures 27a so that a substantial portion of each confined subassembly extends beyond the forward face 27b of the insert 2'7. This positioning is essential to insure that the contacts 20 extend the necessary distance beyond the forward face 12C of the bushing 12 after the connector assembly 10 is completed, although with female contacts it may be desirable to align the extremities thereof with the face of the bushing, With the subassembly confining sleeves 15 so positioned within the insert 27, each is secured in position, preferably by forming a copper-brazed junction at the location designated by the numeral 29.
To complete the connector assembly 19, the portions of the confined subassemblies that extend beyond the forward face 27b of the header insert 27 are passed through the apertures 12a in the insulating bushing 12. These Ipartially assembled units are then positioned in the housing 11, as shown in FIGURE 2. Preferably, the sleeve 28 of the header is formed with dimensions such that the rearward edge of this member is substantially aligned with the rearward edge of the housing when the aforedescribed connector assembly components are properly and cooperatively positioned within the housing. The fabrication of the connector assembly 10 is completed by joining the rearward edge portion of the sleeve 28 with that of the housing 11 at the location designated by numeral 32 by means of a leak-tight, braZed seal or bond.
Although the manner of fabricating connector assemblies embodying the present invention may differ somewhat from the technique outlined above, it is preferable that such assemblies include each of the aforedescribed components in essentially the same structural arrangement. That is, such connector assemblies preferably include at least one suitably joined contact-metallic sheathed and insulated conductor subassembly 14 with the junction of the components being hermetically sealed by a metallized ceramic insert which is in turn confined within an elongated mounting and sealing sleeve 15.
In addition to housing the sealing insert 22 so that the junction of the contact-conductor subassembly 14 is appropriately protected, the sleeve 15 functions as a support means for a substantial length of the conductor. That is, the sleeve is utilized to effect the final mounting of the contact-conductor subassembly 14 within the header subassembly 13 and therefore within the connector housing 11. The assemblies are preferably completed by the bushing 12 and the header subassembly which mates with the bushing, although these two individual components can be replaced by a single mounting and insulating member, when desired.
Specific physical and dimensional characteristics of all of the components forming a preferred embodiment of a connector assembly 10 have not been heretofore stated since it is obvious that these just as the nature of the bonded sealed junctions of the components will be dictated by the particular use to which the assembly is to be put as well as the environmental conditions to be en countered thereby. Suffice it to say, as those skilled in the art will appreciate, that the metallic members are preferably formed of materials such as stainless steel, Kovar and the like, with the specific preferred material being selected to withstand the temperature, moisture and other environmental conditions to he encountered by the assembly. Similarly the insulating components are selected from materials such as MgO, AlzOg and BeO. Finally, these components, irrespective of the specific materials from which each is formed, will be dimensioned so that each is intimately mated with its complementary components to thereby insure the elimination of void spots within the `assembly subsequent to the fabrication process as well as a moisture impervious, hermetically sealed unit that meets both industrial and military specications.
It Will be appreciated Vthat the foregoing is merely illustrative of one preferred embodiment of a connector assembly constructed pursuant to the teaching of the present invention. For example, assemblies could be formed so that the unit was complete with the exception of the joining of suitable conductor segments to and within prefabricated and joined contact members 2t), insert 22 and confining sleeves 15 that would in turn abe mounted as previously described within a mated bushing 12 and header assembly 13 in a housing 11. Such units can be readily packaged and, when intended for use, one or`V What is claimed is:
1. A hermetically sealed heat-resistant connector assembly which comprises a heat-resistant housing, a plurality of joined contact-conductor subassemblies, each of said contact-conductor subassemblies being formed by a free end of an elongated conductor and a contact element, an insert of insulating material 'being joined to each of said conductors and intimately surrounding the junction of each of said conductors and contact elements so as to dene a hermetically sealed enclosure for each of said junctions, an elongated sleeve member of each of said subassemblies, each of said sleeve members having one end thereof joined to and surrounding a corresponding one of said inserts so that the contact element of sa-id subassembly is exposed, said sleeve member also surrounding a substantial portion of said conductor of said subassernbly to facilitate the mounting thereof within said housing, an apertured mounting member positioned in closely iitted relation within said housing, said apertured mounting member conning at least a rportion of each of said sleeve members therein so that each of said members and the portions of said subassemblies enclosed thereby are insulated from and maintained in preselected spaced relation to each other and said housing, and means securing and hermetically sealing said mounting member within said housing whereby said subassemblies are confined Within said housing so that said contact portion of each is exposed for suitable mating with external instrumentalities.
2. A connector assembly -in accordance with claim 1 wherein said mounting member is an apertured insulating bushing that is fitted Within said housing and wherein said securing and sealing means for said mounting member is a header subassembly that is secured Within said housing adjacent said insulating bushing and that is apertured to complement said insulating bushing, said header subassembly including an apertured mounting insert through which said sleeve mernibers extend and to which said sleeve members are secured, said header subassembly also including an outer enclosing sleeve that intimately surrounds and contines said apertured mounting insert and which is joined in fixed sealing relation to said housing.
3. A connector assembly in accordance with claim 2 and wherein said junction surrounding inserts and said apertured mounting insert are formed of a rnetallized ceramic.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,707,273 4/1955 Klassen 339-114 X 3,107,135 10/1963 Keil 339-94 X 3,259,871 7/1966 Chandler 339-101 X FOREIGN PATENTS 637,564 3/1962 Canada.
MARVIN A. CHAMPION, Primary Examiner. W. DONALD MILLER, Examiner. JOSEPH H. MCGLYNN, Assistant Examiner.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,315,214 April 18, 1967 Bayard C. Davis It is hereby certified that error appears in the above numbered patent requiring correction and that the said Letters Patent should read as corrected below Column 5, line 11, for "of each" read for each line 22, after "said", first occurrence, insert sleeve Signed and sealed this 14th day of November 1967.
EDWARD J. BRENNER Edward M. Fletcher, Jr.
Commissioner of Patents Attesting Officer