US 3403373 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
p 24, 1958 J. J. DEREYMAE KER ET AL 3,403,373
WEDGE-FITTING CONNECTOR Filed June 28, 1966 INVEN'IURJ F/G. 3 J J i zmi www United States Patent 3,403,373 WEDGE-FITTING CONNECTOR Joseph Julien Dereymaeker, Malines, Antwerp, and Paul Gustaaf Phlips, Hoombeek, Antwerp, Belgium, assignors to Burndy Corporation, a corporation of New York Filed June 28, 1966, Ser. No. 561,224 1 Claim. (Cl. 339-252) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A separable electrical connector of the plug and receptacle type. The receptacle has an entrance aperture and includes one pair of inner wall surfaces which extend from the aperture in diverging relationship and a second pair of inner wall surfaces which extend from the same aperture in converging relationship. The plug is a flat sheet metal blade formed with an integral cantilever spring. Side edges of the plug are tapered to wedge into the converging walls of the receptacle, and the cantilever spring bears against one of the diverging inner wall surfaces, urging the base against the opposite diverging surface to increase wedging pressure.
This invention relates to separable electrical connectors, and particularly to connectors of this type which utilize relatively tapered, force-fitting, mating parts.
Electrical connectors which are designed to provide an electrical circuit path connection between an electrical conductor wire and a terminal post or similar element on a source or utilization device, are generally called terminal connectors. In many terminal connector applications, it has been found convenient to provide separate means for coupling the wire conductor to the terminal connector, and other means for coupling the terminal connector to the terminal post. The storage battery and ignition wire leads associated with an internal combustion engine installation may be considered to be a typical application of this sort. The prior art devices developed for use in such applications have generally relied on some form of clamping, or permanent crimping operation, to couple the wire lead to the terminal connector. Coupling methods of this nature necessarily limit the connector to use with a fairly narrow range of wire sizes, and frequently require scrapping of the entire connector merely because it has become necessary to replace the relatively inexpensive wire lead to which it is coupled.
Accordingly, among the objects of this invention are the provision of a readily separable wire coupling means for an electrical connector, the provision of a wire coupling means which will permit a given connector to be conveniently used with a wide range of wire sizes, the provision of a connector having separable coupling means for the wire lead which includes a minimum number of individual parts, and, the provision of connector means of the type described which is simple and inexpensive to fabricate, which is easy to use, and which forms reliable and elfective electrical connections.
A feature of this invention which contributes to achievement of these and other objects, is the use of a mating plug and socket combination in which, the female socket portion includes one pair of wall surfaces tapered in one direction and another pair of wall surfaces tapered in an opposite direction, while the male plug portion includes a pair of tapered surfaces for engaging one of the socket wall pairs and a resilient camming spring which coacts with the other of the socket wall pairs to cam the plug into the socket.
These and still other objects, features, and advantages of this invention are more particularly pointed out and 3,403,373 Patented Sept. 24, 1968 distinctly described in the following specification and claim, and are made more apparent by the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a pictorial representation of a battery post terminal connector having wire coupling means formed in accordance with this invention;
FIGURE 2 is a longitudinal side section view showing the connector and coupling means of FIGURE 1 in mated position; and
FIGURE 3 is a top plan view of a coupling, such as illustrated in FIGURE 1, shown in mated position.
Referring now more particularly to the drawings, the embodiment of this invention shown in FIGURE 1 may be seen to comprise a connector body member 10 and a coupling plug member 12. In this particular embodiment, the body member 10 comprises a female contact portion 14 which includes a socket 16, for receiving a coupling plug, and a terminal connection portion 18, which includes a terminal connecting aperture 20 for receiving a conductor element such as the terminal post (not shown) of a storage battery. The peripheral wall 22 of aperture 20 may preferably be formed of a resilient material and provided with a through slit 24 for permitting the aperture to resiliently encircle a terminal post.
In accordance with this invention, socket 16 in coupling portion 14 is provided with one pair of wall surfaces 26 which are arranged in substantially converging relationship (tapered inwardly toward one another) from the front end of the socket toward the rear, and is further provided with another pair of wall surfaces 28 which are arranged in substantially diverging relationship (tapered outwardly relative to one another) from the front of the socket toward the rear. An aperture 30, intersecting the rear of socket 16 may be formed in contact portion 14 to provide clearance for the forward end of a plug which is inserted into the socket.
Still further in accordance with this invention, coupling plug member 12 is provided with a gripping portion 32, for engaging external wire leads (not shown) in a suitable, well-known manner, and with a male contact portion 34- which is adapted to be inserted into socket 16 in the direction of arrow P. As shown in FIGURE 2, the forwardmost end of portion 34 may be inclined slightly so as to facilitate insertion into socket 16.
The outer longitudinal edges 36 of male contact portion 34 are arranged in substantially diverging relationship, forming a taper angle B, from the front of portion 34 to the rear. As may be seen in FIGURE 3, walls 26 of socket 16 and edges 36 of portion 34 form related taper angles so that the two engage each other in firm, wedging contact when the plug is inserted into the socket.
Male contact portion 34 is also provided with a resilient camming element 38 which, in the illustrated embodiment, is an integrally formed cantilever leaf spring. The camming element includes an inclined forward portion 40 and an oppositely inclined rearward portion 42. Forward portion 40 serves as guide and preliminary camming surface for facilitating insertion of portion 34 int-o socket 16. After the male contact has been substantially fully inserted into the socket, rearward camming portion 42 resiliently engages the upper inclined wall surface 28 of socket 16 which is tapered relative to the lower wall surface 28 by the angle indicated at A in FIGURE 2. The undefie-cted angle formed between contact portion 34 and camming element portion 42 is normally somewhat greater than angle A, and socket 16 is dimensioned to compress these two portions after insertion. Thus, the resilient bias on element 38 tends to expand portions 34 and 42 against the diverging walls 28, thereby camming the plug 12 generally into socket 16.
Accordingly, it has now been made apparent that the particular double-tapered configuration of socket 16 cooperates in a new and unusual manner with the tapered and spring-biased male contact portion 341 of plug member 12 to achieve a strong,'reliable, effective, and yet readily separable, wedge or force-fitting electrical connection. The retention eifects and pressure-maintaining effects achieved by the use of camming element 38 adds substantially to the value of the electrical contact provided by the mating tapered surfaces 26 and 36.
This invention has now been described, but it should be understood that it is not confined to the particular forms or uses shown and described, the same being merely illustrative, and that the invention may be carried out in other ways with-out departing from the spirit of the invention, and therefore, the right is broadly claimed to employ all equivalent instrumentaiities coming within the scope of the appended claim, and by means of which, objects of our invention are attained and new results accomplished, as it is obvious that the particular embodiments herein shown and described are only some of the many that can be employed to attain these objects and accomplish these results.
1. A forced-fitting electrical connector, comprising: a female electrical contact member having a contact receiving aperture therein, which aperture includes a front end, a rear end and a pair of opposed top and bottom surfaces extending in diverging relationship from said front end toward said rear end, and a pair of opposed side wall surfaces extending in converging relationship from said front end toward said rear end; a male electrical contact member formed from a unitary piece of substantially flat sheet metal, and adapted to be inserted into said contact receiving aperture, said male contact member having a base including a forward end, a rearward end and a pair of opposed edge surfaces extending in diverging relationship from said forward end toward said rearward end for wedging engagement with the converging side wall surfaces in said contact receiving aperture, and an integral cantilever leaf spring element extending from said base so that a given surface of said base and an oppositely directed surface of said cantilever leaf spring to either detime a pair of camming surfaces extending in converging relationship from said forward end toward said rearward end of said male contact member for biasing said base and said leaf spring element in opposite directions against said diverging top and bottom surfaces of said contact receiving aperture to cam the forward end of said male contact member toward the rearward direction of said contact receiving aperture in said female electrical member.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 835,211 *11/1906 Atkinson 339273 X 1,802,381 4/1931 Hofbauer 339-230 X 2,527,212 10/ 1950 Garner 339--230 2,987,697 6/ 1961 Davis 339273 X 3,065,451 11/1962 Rutter 339-258 3,331,049 7/1967 Erics-on 339252 OTHER REFERENCES German printed application DAS 1,094,330, December 1960, Siemens et al.
MARVIN A. CHAMPION, Primary Examiner.
P. TEITEL'BAUM, Assistant Examiner.