US 3321733 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 23, 1967 3,321,733
HIGH VOLTAGE AND ALTITUDE CONNECTOR MEANS Filed April 5, 1964 J. E. THOMAS ZSheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. Joan Bowman Tue May 23, 1967 I .J. E. THOMAS 3,32
HIGH VOLTAGE AND ALTITUDE CONNECTOR MEANS Filed April 5, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 IN VEN TOR.
JOHN EDHRPDTHO as 8%} M; W
United States Patent 3,321,733 HIGH VOLTAGE AND ALTITUDE CONNECTOR MEANS John Edward Thomas, Hershey, Pa., assignor to AMP Incorporated, Harrisburg, Pa. Filed Apr. 3, 1964, Ser. No. 357,178 7 Claims. (Cl. 339-80) This invention relates to a high voltage and altitude connector means for use in high altitude aircraft, guided missiles and the like.
It is generally known that in a high altitude environment wherein high voltages are employed, corona discharges occur at connection points .along a conductor means when suitable conditions exist which cause deterioration of the insulating medium surrounding the connection points. One such condition is that the insulation qualities of air upon reaching higher altitudes now attainable markedly deteriorate as a result of decreased atmospheric pressures. Attempts have been made to provide high altitude and voltage connection assemblies to limit the collection of air therein as well as providing a completely insulated connection but they have, in general, have been found to be unsatisfactory.
It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide an improved electrical connection assembly suitable for use with high voltages at high altitudes.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an electrical connection assembly wherein the amount of air therein is reduced to a minimum.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a high altitude and voltage connection assembly which completely insulates the connection elements.
An additional object of the present invention is to provide a high altitude and voltage connection assembly in which corona discharges do .not occur even under severe operating conditions. v
A still further object of the present invention is to provide a connection assembly that enables a quick connect and disconnect to be efiected and is of high quality and effectiveness yet simple in construction and inexpensive to produce.
Other objects and attainments of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon a reading of the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the drawings in which there are hown and described illustrative embodiments of the invention; it is to be understood, however, that these embodiments are not intended to be exhaustivenor limiting of the invention but are given for purposes of illustration and principles thereof and the manner of applying them in practical use so that they may modify them in various forms, each as may be best suited to the conditions of a par- .ticular use.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is an exploded perspective view of the connection assembly;
FIGURE 2 is a cross-sectional view of the connection assembly;
FIGURE 3 is an exploded perspective View of another embodiment of the invention;
FIGURE 4 is a cross-sectional view of FIGURE 3;
FIGURE 5 is another embodiment of the electrical I toupling members;
FIGURE 6 is a front elevational view of one of the elements of the electrical connection assembly illustrating a further embodiment; and
3,321,733 Patented May 23, 1967 nates the casing of a sealed electrical unit which is provided with an aperture 2 in which an insulated connection element 3 of connection assembly CA is disposed. A metallic collar 4 is secured to the outer surface of element 3 and the periphery thereof engages casing 1 and is secured thereto as by welding.
Element 3 is a hollow cylindrical body of a suitable dielectrical material of a type capable of withstanding a wide range of temperatures without cracking, such as, steatite ceramic and the like, as well as to effect a fluidtight seal. Alternatively, other suitabledielectric materials may be used in accordance with the method employed to seal the electrical unit.
Element 3 has an opening 5 coaxial with the axis in which female electrical coupling member 6 is secured by conventional metal to ceramic seal. Coupling memher 6 has a section 7 extending outwardly from element 3 having a hole 8 in which an electrical conductor C is secured as by soldering via holes 8 (only one being shown); however, other means for securing the conductor to section 7 may be utilized, such as section 7 could be a ferrule and the conductor crimped thereto in a conventional manner as shown in FIGURE 5. Opening 5 is in communication with larger opening 9. Coupling member 6 has a part 6' which extends into openmg or cavity 9 and includes a recess 10 and diametrical slots 11 which form part of a bayonet joint.
Lead-in 12 includes a center conductor 13 surrounded by dielectric material 14, such as, silicone-rubber or natural rubber compositions. The end of lead-in 12 has a recessed portion 15 cut thereinto which has a depth slightly in excess of the length of part 6' of coupling member 6. Material 14 is subjected to an operation such as disclosed in U.S.-Patent No. 2,956,844 and continuation U.S. patent application thereof, Ser. No. 30,704, filed Apr. 25, 1960, in order to aflix electrical coupling member 16 onto conductor 13 as by crimping, soldering or the like. Coupling member 16 includes projection lugs 17 which mate with slots 11 to complete the bayonet joint. Toward the inner end of coupling member 16, there is a part-spherical hump 18, the object of which will be discussed later on.
A tubular piece 19 is placed onto the exterior surface of insulation 14 and it is slit along its length as shown in FIGURE 1 so that when it is placed on insulation 14, a longitudinal gap is provided along its length. Tubular piece 19 is preferably of Teflon or any other suitable plastic material having characteristics similar thereto.
As can be discerned, the diameter of lead-in 12 and tubular piece 19 is about the same as the diameter of opening 9 so that these members completely fill cavity 9 and recessed portion 15 completely encompasses the coupling members. Thus, since cavity 9 is a blind hole, the insertion of lead-in 12 and tubular piece 19 thereon define a piston action; and due to the gap provided in tubular piece 19, the air is ejected from the cavity during the insertion of these members thereinto as well as facilitating the insertion.
Hump 18 is located on coupling member 16 just inside the entrance to cavity 9 and it causes insulation 14 at this area to press tubular piece 19 outwardly thereby causing it to snugly engage the surface of cavity 9 to provide a more complete sealing arrangement.
A cap member 20 of silicone rubber, natural rubber compositions or the like is movably mounted on lead-in 12. Cap member 29 has a coaxial hole 21 which is slightly less in diameter than the diameter of lead-in 12 so that when lead-in 12 is pushed onto cap member 20 through hole 21, there is provided a tight engagement therebetween and cap member 26 can be moved along lead-in 12. O-rings 22 and 23 are disposed on lead-in 12 on each side of hole 21.
In assembly, coupling member 16 is applied to conductor 13 in the manner set forth in US. Patent No. 2,958,844 and application Ser. No. 30,704, mentioned hereinabove. O-ring 23, cap member G-ring 22 and tubular piece 19 are slipped onto lead-in 12. Lead-in 12 and piece 19 are inserted within cavity 9 with the gap in piece 19 allowing the air to escape as noted above. Lead-in 12 is twisted so that lugs 17 engage slots 11 thereby forming the completed bayonet joint and making an excellent mechanical and electrical connection. Cap member 20 is next moved along lead-in 12 taking with it O-ring 22 until it envelopes the exterior surface of element 3 to collar 4. O-ring 22 is disposed between the end of element 3 and the inner end surface of cap member 20 adjacent hole 21. O-ring 23 is then moved along lead-in 12 into engagement with the outer end surface of -cap member 20.
As can be discerned, the entire cavity 9 is completely filled with insulation material, the entire connection between members 6 and 16 is completely enclosed, the cap member also completely enclosed this connection and hump 18 being located adjacent the opening of cavity 9 causes insulation 14 and piece 19 at this location to form a more effective engagement between the surface of cavity 9 and piece 19. From the foregoing, a double insulation effect is established which provides more insulation around the connection. This defines a longer creepage path thereby eliminating any corona discharge. Since the insertion of lead-in 12 and piece 19 is in the nature of a piston effect, and since cavity 9 is completely filled, the presence of air and/or moisture is reduced to a bare minimum thereby resulting in a more effective insulated connection. Also, the present coupling provides a quick disconnect between members 6 and 16 and element 3 and cap member 20 which obviates any threaded arrangement and allows operation in small areas where a minimum amount of operating space is available.
FIGURES 3 and 4 illustrate an embodiment of FIG- URES 1 and 2. In this embodiment, member 6a is similar to member 6 except that a pin 24 extends centrally within cavity 9a of element 3a and a socket 25 is secured to conductor 13a. Collar 4a has lugs 26 diametrically disposed therein which extend outwardly in a direction normal to the longitudinal axis of element 3a. Lugs 26 may be spot-welded to collar 4a or formed as lances during the formation of the collar.
A cap member 27 formed from brass, bronze or other suitable metallic material comprises a hole 28 coaxial therewith in one end through which lead-in 12a passes, an opening 29 having a diameter slightly larger than that of the outside diameter of element 3a and a front open end 30 whose interior surface is larger in diameter than opening 29 and is frusto-conical. The outer section of end 30 includes two diametrical slots 31 which mate with lugs 26 to form a bayonet connection as shown in FIGURE 4.
Opening 29 includes a steel-wool washer or gasket 32, fiber, plastic or rubber washers 33 and an O-ring 34. Another steel-wool washer or gasket 35 has an inside diameter to enable it to fit onto the outside surface of element 3a and an outside diameter to enable it to be encompassed by open end 30 of cap member 27. Tubular piece 1% is similar to that of tubular piece 19 and fits onto lead-in 12a and performs the same function as the latter-mentioned piece. Also, socket 25 has a part-spherical hump 25a which accomplishes the same purpose as hump 18.
The assembly of the embodiment of FIGURES 3 and 4 is similar to that described in relation to FIGURES 1 and 2 and, therefore, need not be reiterated.
The embodiment of FIGURES 3 and 4 provides similar advantages as pointed out above in connection with FIGURES 1 and 2. The bayonet connection between lugs 26 and slots 31 provides a quick disconnect and washer 35 maintains the bayonet connection intact by its 4 resiliency. If desired, the embodiment of FIGURES 3 and 4 may be utilized in connection with a coaxial 0r shielded cable with the outer braided conductor thereof being engaged with metallic cap member 27 for RF purposes or RFI reduction purposes.
While there has been disclosed tubular pieces 19 and 19a to be placed on lead-ins 12 and 12a, it should be pointed out that the surface of cavities 9 and 9a or that of lead-ins 12 and 12a could have a narrow longitudinal slot 19 and 19" respectively illustrated by FIG- URES 6 and 7 disposed therein during manufacture thereof. If this be the case, then the outside diameter of lead-ins 12 and 12a will have to be just slightly less than the diameter of cavities 9 and 9a and fit snugly therein. Also, instead of tubular pieces 19 and 19a, grease, such as silicone grease or the like may be utilized. After lead-ins 12 and 12a are inserted within cavities 9 and 9a, the grease is discharged in these cavities by means of a grease gun thereby forming a layer of grease between the outer surface of lead-ins 12 and 12a and cavities 9 and 9a. In this connection, the diameter of lead-ins 12 and 12a will have to be of sufficiently less diameter than that of cavities 9 and 9a in order to enable the grease to be readily discharged in these cavities and to form a suitable layer.
FIGURE 5 illustrates an embodiment of pin and socket members which may be used in either of the above-described embodiments. The socket 36 is secured in element 3b and one end is crimped onto conductor 37. The end of socket 36 which projects coaxially into cavity 9b has a gap 38 and a circumferential inwardly-directed groove 39. Pin 40 has an inwardly-directed groove 41, a frusto-conical end section 42 and a part-spherical hump 43. Insulation 14b has a recessed opening 15b similar to that shown in FIGURES l and 2. Tubular piece 19b is similar to that of tubular piece 19. Pin 40 mates with socket 36 with grooves 39 and 41 defining a locking arrangement and to provide an excellent mechanical and electrical connection. Frusto-conical end section 43 facilitates the insertion of pin 40 into socket 36.
As can be discerned, there has been disclosed a connector means for use at high altitudes with a high voltage which is corona free and, therefore, free of deterioration, enables a quick connect and disconnect to be effected, is of high quality and effectiveness and is simple in construction and inexpensive to produce.
It will, therefore, be appreciated that the aforementioned and other desirable objects have been achieved; however, it should be emphasized that the particular embodiments of the invention, which are shown and described herein, are intended as merely illustrative and not as restrictive of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. An electrical connector assembly comprising a rigid tubular member of insulating material, a contact element disposed at one end of said tubular member and sealed therein, an insulated conductor means disposed in said tubular member and having a contact member afiixed to a conductor core thereof for mating engagement at said one end with said contact element, the insulation of said conductor means extending from the open end of said tubular member to the closed end and completely filling this interior space and substantially enveloping said contact element extending from said one end, a tubular piece of material disposed between said tubular member and said insulated conductor means and includes a gap therein to allow said conductor means to be readily inserted within said tubular member and to permit air to readily escape from said tubular member, and cap member means on said conductor means to engage said tubular member to maintain said conductor means in position in said tubular member.
ment has lug means thereon and the other has complementary slots therein to form a bayonet connection.
3. An electrical connector assembly according to claim 1 wherein one of said contact member and contact element is a pin and the other is a socket.
4. An electrical connector assembly according to claim 1 wherein said contact member has a hump disposed adjacent the open end of said tubular member to press the insulation of said conductor means outwardly toward said tubular member to provide a sealing arrangement.
5. An electrical connector assembly according to claim 1 wherein said cap member means is made of plastic or rubber material and extends along an exterior surface of said tubular member to overlie the interconnection of said contact member and said contact element.
6. An electrical connector assembly according to claim 1 wherein said cap member means is metallic, a collar means is disposed on said tubular member and includes diametrically disposed lugs which mate with complementary slots in said cap member means, and a steelwool washer is disposed between said cap member means and said tubular member, said cap member means extending along an exterior surface of said tubular member to overlie the interconnection of said contact member and said contact element.
7. An electrical connector assembly comprising a rigid tubular member of insulating material, a contact element disposed at one end of said tubular member and sealed therein, an insulated conductor means disposed in said tubular member and having a contact member aflixed to a conductor core thereof for mating engagement at said one end with said contact element, means including a slot provided on one of said tubular member and the insulation of said conductor means, said slot extending from a point adjacent the one end of said tubular member to an open end of said tubular member to allow said conductor means to be readily inserted within said tubular member and to permit air to readily escape from said tubular member via said slot, the insulation of said conductor means engaging an interior surface of said tubular member except along said slot, and cap member means on said conductor means to engage said tubular member to maintain said conductor means in position in said tubular member.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,725,747 8/1929 Boone 339-213 2,958,844 11/1960 Smith et al. 339-89 3,133,777 5/1964 Anhalt 33991 FOREIGN PATENTS 588,110 5/ 1947 Great Britain. 860,553 2/1961 Great Britain.
MARVIN A. CHAMPION, Primary Examiner.
I. H. MCGLYNN, Assistant Examiner.