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Publication numberUS3386128 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 4, 1968
Filing dateSep 26, 1966
Priority dateSep 26, 1966
Publication numberUS 3386128 A, US 3386128A, US-A-3386128, US3386128 A, US3386128A
InventorsVyvyan Wesley W
Original AssigneeRyan Aeronautical Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Self-actuating, self-locking hinge
US 3386128 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 4, 1968 w. w. VYVYAN 3,386,128

SELF-ACTUATING, SELF-LOCKING HINGE Filed Sept. 26, 1966 I 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 [N VENTOR.

WESLEY W. VYVYAN BY maww June 4, 1968 w. w. VYVYAN 3,386,128

SELF-ACTUATING, SELF-LOCKING HINGE Filed Sept. 26, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. WESLEY W. VYVYAN United States Patent 3,386,128 SELF-ACTUATING, SELF-LOCKING HINGE Wesley W. Vyvyan, San Diego, Calif., assignor to The Ryan Aeronautical Co., San Diego, Calif. Filed Sept. 26, 1966, Ser. No. 581,862 4 Claims. (Cl. 16-150) The present invention relates to hinges and specifically to a self-actuating, self-locking hinge.

Various types of self-opening hinges have been developed, usually involving a conventional pin centered hinge with a spring device attached to spread, or at least assist in spreading the hinge. To hold the hinge in a specific open position some type of stop or locking mechanism must be incorporated. This type of hinge is subject to binding or jamming to the extent that the spring cannot open the hinge properly, particularly after prolonged storage or non-use, or under adverse environmental conditions.

The hinge described hercin has no pivotal parts to bind and requires no limiting stops. Instead, a plurality of resilient strap-like elements interconnect the members to be hinged, each resilient element being pre-formed to be substantially rigid in its normal extend position, yet being easily folded by making a slight intentional deformation. The collective resilient elements are attached to the hinged members in spaced parallel relation to interfit in a compact arrangement when folded in either direction and to form an extremely rigid open box type connecting structure resistant to compression and bending loads when extended.

The hinge and its operation are illustrated in the drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the basic hinge structure in open or extended position;

FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of the hinge fully folded;

FIGURE 3 is a side elevation view of the extended hinge;

FIGURE 4 is a side elevation view showing the initial deformation of the hinge elements for folding;

FIGURE 5 is a side elevation view of the fully folded hinge;

FIGURE 6 is a sectional view taken on line 6-6 of FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 7 is a sectional view similar to FIGURE 6, but showing the hinge elements reversed; and

FIGURE 8 is a sectional view of a multiple element hinge for large members.

Similar characters of reference indicate similar or identical elements and portions throughout the specification and throughout the views of the drawing.

The two structural members 10 and 12 to be hinged together are shown, for purposes of illustration, as simple rectangular bar or beam members, but could be panels, doors, or other unitary or built up members. The only requirement is that the members have suflicient thickness, or at least end portions of sufficient thickness, to space the hinge elements far enough apart for rigidity, as hereinafter described.

Each hinge element 14 is an elongated, straplike element having a bowed or cambered cross section and being made from metal, plastic, or composite material with sufficient resiliency to return to its normal shape when deformed. At least one hinge element 14 is attached to each side of the members 12 and 14, the preferred minimum being two on one side and one on the other in a triangular arrangement when viewed in section, as in FIGURE 6. This provides torsional rigidity and maintains alignment of the two connected members. The hinge elements 14 are staggered on opposite sides and spaced in parallel relation so that the hinge element from one side can pass alongside or between those on the other side without contact. The ends of the hinge elements are secured to members It) and 12 by screws 16, or any other suitable means depending on the material and structure of the members.

It should be noted that the members 10 and 12 are spaced apart at a distance slightly more than the combined thickness of the confronting ends 18 and 20, the hinge elements 14 bridging the gap and forming a boxlike open frame structure. As illustrated in FIGURES l to 6, the hinge elements are secured with their convex faces 22 against the members.

However, the hinge elements can also be secured with their concave faces 24 toward the members, as in FIG- URE 7, with small filler blocks 26 inserted to prevent flattening of the elements by their attachment screws. Each hinge element has inherent stiffness due to its bowed or cambered cross section and will resist bending in either direction, although more so when bent toward the convex side than to the concave side. Thus the box-like frame arrangement joining the two structural members, with corresponding sides of the hinge elements facing each other, will have considerable resistance to bending and will maintain a rigid coupling.

To fold the hinge it is only necessary to deform the hinge element on one side by flattening the central portion 28 and pressing the element inwardly between the members 10 and 12, as in FIGURE 4. By so collapsing one side of the box frame structure the hinge elements on the other side can be bent back with a minimum of effort. Continuing the folding action will cause the deformed hinge element to bow inwardly and pass between the hinge elements on the other side, the latter being stretched across the ends 18 and 20. In the fully folded position the members 10 and 12 are in closely spaced parallel relation, with just sufficient space therebetween for the now return folded hinge element whose looped portion 30 projects beyond the ends of the members. It will now be evident why the members 10 and 12 must be spaced apart in the extended position as mentioned above. The spacing is sufiicient to allow the bridging portions 32 of the hinge elements now on the outside of the hinge to extend across the combined thickness of ends 18 and 20 and leave space between the members for the return folded hinge element.

In the folded position the members can be restrained by any suitable means, according to the nature of the structure. When released, the natural resiliency of the hinge element 14 will snap the assembly to the extended, rigid position without any assistance.

For wide members or panels, any required number of hinge elements may be used, the elements being staggered in spaced relation on opposite sides of the members, as indicated on the member 34 in FIGURE 8. Regardless of the number of elements used the hinge will fold in either direction.

The light weight and simplicity of the hinge structure make it ideal for use on spacecraft for such operations as extending solar cell panels, antennas, booms and the like. In addition, the self-actuating feature eliminates the need for special drive or operating mechanisms and greatly increases the reliability of operation. Many other uses will be apparent, such as for folding doors, screens, or the like.

It is understood that minor variation from the form of the invention disclosed herein may be made without departure from the spirit and scope of the invention, and that the specification and drawings are to be considered as merely illustrative rather than limiting.

I claim:

1. A self-actuating, self-locking hinge for interconnecting a pair of adjacent members, the confronting edge portions of which have a certain thickness, the hinge comprising:

a plurality of elongated, strap-like hinge elements of resilient material each having a cambered cross section;

the ends of said hinge elements being secured to the pair of members with the confronting edges of the members spaced apart and the hinge elements bridging the gap therebetween in substantially parallel relation;

said hinge elements being secured to both sides of the members and thus spaced apart by the thickness of the members to form a box-like open frame structure connecting the members.

2. The structure according to claim 1, wherein said hinge elements are staggered on opposite sides of the 4 members and spaced apart so that the hinge elements on one side, when folded, can pass alongside and between the hinge elements on the other side.

3. The structure according to claim 1, wherein said hinge elements all have the correspondingly curved faces thereof disposed toward the members.

4. The structure according to claim 1, wherein the confronting edges of the members are spaced apart a distance slightly greater than the combined thickness of the confronting edges.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,526,129 10/1950 Groesbeck et a1. 16-150 BOBBY R. GAY, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2526129 *Oct 31, 1947Oct 17, 1950Savage Arms CorpFlexible hinge
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3474488 *Aug 24, 1967Oct 28, 1969Bendix CorpFoldable and compressible self-erecting devices
US3670358 *Apr 29, 1970Jun 20, 1972Hughes Aircraft CoSelf actuating self locking flexible hinge
US3701295 *Feb 2, 1971Oct 31, 1972Nakamura Seisakkusho KkTorque wrench
US4163303 *Oct 4, 1977Aug 7, 1979G. D. Hanna IncorporatedHinge structure
US5086541 *Jul 31, 1989Feb 11, 1992Aerospatiale Societe Nationale IndustrielleSelf-motorized antifriction joint and an articulated assembly, such as a satellite solar panel, equipped with such joints
US6334235 *Nov 18, 1997Jan 1, 2002Metravib, R.D.S.Self-driving, self-locking and damping hinge strap, and a hinge fitted with such straps
US6910304Sep 3, 2002Jun 28, 2005Foster-Miller, Inc.Stiffener reinforced foldable member
US7093804Mar 25, 2004Aug 22, 2006Eads Space Transportation SaFoldable and deployable assembly of elements mounted on board a spacecraft
US7435032Aug 8, 2006Oct 14, 2008The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The Air ForceResilient joint for deployable structures
US7513461Oct 17, 2003Apr 7, 2009ThalesArticulated assembly of solar generator panels and space vehicle
US8070006 *Apr 26, 2006Dec 6, 2011Evergreen Innovation Partners I, LpDeployable and disposable container assemblies with bendable support members
US8074324 *Jul 15, 2004Dec 13, 2011Foster-Miller, Inc.Flexible, deployment rate damped hinge
US8151414 *Jun 20, 2007Apr 10, 2012ThalesSelf-driven articulation for an articulated assembly such as a satellite solar panel
US8303663Jul 22, 2010Nov 6, 2012Spinex Tec, LlcMethods and apparatuses for vertebral body distraction and fusion employing a coaxial screw gear sleeve mechanism
US8523944Dec 31, 2009Sep 3, 2013Spinex Tec, LlcMethods and apparatus for vertebral body distraction and fusion employing flexure members
US8540452Dec 31, 2009Sep 24, 2013Spinex Tec, LlcFlexible joint arrangement incorporating flexure members
US8556100Mar 31, 2011Oct 15, 2013Evergreen Innovation Partners LLPDeployable and disposable container assemblies with bendable support members
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US8906100May 10, 2013Dec 9, 2014Ex Technology, LlcMethods and apparatus for vertebral body distraction and fusion employing flexure members
US8932302Oct 26, 2012Jan 13, 2015Spinex Tec, LlcMethods and apparatus for insertion of vertebral body distraction and fusion devices
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US20140373654 *Jun 21, 2013Dec 25, 2014First Dome CorporationDual-shaft synchronous movement device
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DE102007026452B4 *Jun 5, 2007Sep 9, 2010Hts - Hoch Technologie Systeme GmbhSelbst verriegelnde Gelenkvorrichtung
DE102007026452B8 *Jun 5, 2007Dec 16, 2010Hts - Hoch Technologie Systeme GmbhSelbst verriegelnde Gelenkvorrichtung
EP0354837A1Aug 7, 1989Feb 14, 1990AEROSPATIALE Société Nationale IndustrielleFrictionless self-erecting joint and articulated assembly, e.g. a solar panel for a satellite provided with said joints
EP1415909A1 *Oct 17, 2003May 6, 2004Alcatel Alsthom Compagnie Generale D'electriciteArticulated solar generator panel assembly and spacecraft
EP1468912A1Mar 15, 2004Oct 20, 2004EADS SPACE Transportation SAVariable geometry structure for a device on board of a spacecraft
EP2000407A2May 29, 2008Dec 10, 2008HTS Hochtechnologie Systeme GmbHSelf-locking hinge device
WO1998022343A1 *Nov 18, 1997May 28, 1998Metravib R D SAutomotive, self-locking and damping articulated joint and articulation equipped with same
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WO2007141478A1 *May 24, 2007Dec 13, 2007Qinetiq LtdA self opening hinges
Classifications
U.S. Classification16/225
International ClassificationE05D1/00, E05D1/02, E05F1/12, E05F1/00
Cooperative ClassificationE05D1/00, E05F1/1284, E05D1/02
European ClassificationE05D1/00