US 3441975 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 1959 c. E. SHEPHERD 3,441,975
CONTINUOUS HINGE Filed July 25, 1967 INVENTOR CHARLES E. SHEPHERD BY a a TroR EYg United States Patent 3,441,975 CONTINUOUS HINGE Charles E. Shepherd, 4202 Markham, Houston, Tex. 77027 Filed July 25, 1967, Ser. No. 655,821 Int. Cl. Ed 9/00, 15/00; E05g N06 US. Cl. 16150 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Disclosure The present invention relates as indicated to a continuous hinge and more particularly to a combined metallic and plastic hinge uniquely combining the desired advantages of both of these materials.
In recent years, plastic has been used with increasing frequency as a substitution for various metals in the formation of hinges of varying types and construction. Such increased use of plastic has been particularly pronounced in environments where the special attributes of plastic, for example, resistance to corrosion and water leakage are desired.
While plastic hinges have proved generally satisfactory, certain disadvantages have been encountered. Because the plastic employed is a semi-rigid material, the mounting and retention of the hinge without deformation has presented difiiculties. In addition, where the plastic material is relatively thick, the desired hinging flexibility is impaired. In addition, where hinge appearance is a significant factor, the use of plastic presents obvious aesthetic limitations.
With the above in mind, the primary object of the present invention is to provide a continuous hinge, the leaf sections of which are preferably metallic and are spaced and interconnected by a plastic section having a longitudinally extending depressed hinge portion defining the longitudinal axis of the hinge.
A more specific object of the present invention is to provide such a hinge wherein the metallic and plastic hinge sections are uniquely formed and assembled so as to preclude lateral separation of the sections once assembled.
A further object of the invention is to provide such a hinge wherein the metallic leaf sections are constructed and interconnected by the plastic section in a manner to provide metal to metal contact when the hinge is moved to its fully opened position thereby serving to distribute uniformly the load on the supporting member and to simultaneously relieve the stress on the plastic hinge section.
A still further object of the present invention is to provide a combination metallic and plastic hinge which is highly attractive in appearance and which is of simplified construction and thus capable of manufacture at relatively low costs.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide a hinge that is water tight and self-lubricating.
Other objects of the invention will become apparent as the description proceeds,
To the accomplishment of the foregoing and related ends, said invention then comprises the features hereinafter fully described and particularly pointed out in the claims, the following description and the annexed drawings setting forth in detail certain illustrative embodiments of the invention, these being indicative, however, of but a few of the various ways in which the principle of the invention may be employed.
In said annexed drawings:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view showing a typical mounting of the hinge of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a section of the hinge constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken on line 33 of FIG. 2, with the surfaces to which the respective leaf sections of the hinge are secured being shown in dashed lines; and
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 showing the hinge in a fully open position.
Referring now in more detail to the drawings, wherein like parts are indicated by like reference numerals, and initially to FIG. 1, the hinge of the present invention is generally indicated at 10 and in the form shown is employed to hingedly mount a cover 12 to a receptacle 14 such as a box or the like. It will be understood that the illustrated use of the hinge is intended merely to show a typical hinge installation, and it will be apparent as the description proceeds that the hinge constructed in accordance with the invention is capable of numerous uses in addition to that shown.
Referring to FIGS. 2-4, the hinge 10 comprises metallic leaf sections generally indicated at 16 and 1S, and a plastic section generally indicated at 20. Each of the metallic leaf sections 16 and 18 is identically constructed and, in the form shown, referring to the section 16, comprises a flat body portion 22 and a generally C-shape retainer portion 24. Each hinge section is additionally formed with conical shaped openings commonly designated at 26 for receiving hinge retaining members such as screws or the like (not shown) to be received by the hinge cover 12 and the receptacle 14, The leaf sections 16 and 18 are, as noted, preferably metallic, with aluminum being the preferred metal, but it will be understood that a rigid plastic could, in certain circumstances, also be employed to advantage, within the limitations noted above.
The hinge section 20, which can be formed from any plastic material having the requisite characteristics, with polyethylene-polypropylene copolymer being highly satisfactory, comprises generally cylindrical opposed side portions 28 and 30 and an intermediate connecting portion 32. The side portions 28 and 30 are of a diameter to be received within the retaining sections 24 of the leaf sections 16 and 18, with the latter effectively precluding lateral separation of the sections 16, 18 and 20 when the same are assembled.
The intermediate region 32 of the plastic section is formed with a longitudinally extending groove or depression 34 which defines the axis of the hinge. It will be apparent that the radius selected and illustrated will at least partially be based on the thickness of the plastic material, and that other shaped grooves or constrictions could be formed, with the paramount consideration being the reduction of the plastic material to a thickness which will enable a bending of the material without exceeding the tensile limits of the material at the outside surfaces. In this regard, the preferred plastic material is from the polyolefin group or copolymers of polyolefins, such as polyethylene-polypropylene copolymer, the preferred material as above indicated.
The leaf sections 16 and 18 and plastic section 20 can be assembled in any suitable manner. For example, leaf sections could be separately extruded and the plastic section 20 separately molded. A suitable fixture could then be employed to place the plastic section 20 into the extrusions, with the plastic being retained in any suitable manner, e.g., by crimping or staking the leaf sections to the plastic, or by a suitable adhesive.
The leaf sections 16 and 18 are normally formed with screw receiving openings 26 as described, and the continuous hinge is manufactured in substantial lengths, for example, in 6 and foot lengths, and thereafter transversely cut into the desired lengths. When used in relatively long lengths, such as for use as a piano hinge, the continuous hinge would be cut in relatively long lengths and when used in forming butt hinges would be manufactured in relatively short lengths, for example, 1 to 4 inches.
Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, it will be noted that when the hinge cover 12 is moved to its open, FIG. 4 position, approximately 120 from the closed position thereof in FIG. 3, the retainer portion 24 of the leaf section 16 engages the retainer portion 24 of the hinge section 18. The Weight of the cover 12 is thus transmitted uniformly through the metallic leaf sections 16 and 18 to the stationary member about which the cover 12 is hinged, in this instance, the box or receptacle 14. In addition, the metal to metal contact affords a positive stop to limit the movement of the hinged member relative to the supporting member, thereby limiting the tensile stress build up in the plastic section in the reduced area thereof defining the hinge axis.
It will thus be seen that the plastic hinge section provides the inherent advantages afforded by plastic, namely a pinless hinge that is self-lubricating and resistant to corrosion. In addition, the continuous plastic connecting section provides a hinge which is watertight, an important consideration in certain installation environments.
The employment of rigid butt or leaf sections, metallic in the form shown, greatly enhances the stability of the hinge against deformation and serves to distribute the load uniformly therethrough to the supporting and hinged members respectively. In this manner, the concentration of stresses at any one point in the leaf sections is minimized, thereby eliminating a problem prevalent with present all-plastic hinges of semi-rigid material. In the latter, localization of stresses in the leaf sections in the areas thereof receiving the hinge securing means tends to deform and thus cause failure in the leaf sections, requiring complete replacement of the hinge. In addition, the metallic leaf sections provide an overall appearance similar to an all-metallic hinge, an advantage where hinge appearance is a significant factor.
Other modes of applying the principles of the invention may be employed, change being made as regards the details described, provided the features stated in any of the following claims or the equivalent of such be employed. For example, it will be apparent that rather than to provide flat hinge mounting portions as illustrated other diverse shapes could as well be employed to accommodate a particular installation. Thus, the mounting section could be channel shaped, generally rectangular in cross-section, etc., if the mounting surface to which the hinge is to be mounted presents a particular configuration. Further, the
4 hinged or supporting member, or both, of a finished product could be formed during the manufacturing thereof with retaining sections to receive the opposed side portions of the plastic hinge section, thereby eliminating the need for one or both of the leaf sections.
I, therefore, particularly point out and distinctly claim as my invention:
1. A hinge comprising a pair of separate, laterally spaced metallic leaf sections, each of said sections including a relatively flat mounting portion and a generally C-shaped retainer portion integral therewith, the open sides of said retainer portions of said sections being spaced and facing each other, and a flexible plastic connecting section extending between said leaf sections and spacing and interconnecting the same, the opposed side portions of said plastic section being generally cylindrical and received in said C-shaped retainer portions of said leaf sections, means for sealably retaining said flexible plastic connecting section non-rotatably in said retainer portions, said plastic connecting section being disposed in a plane parallel to the plane of said mounting portions when said hinge is in a closed position and being formed with a central, longitudinally extending groove or recess approximately midway between said opposed side portions of said section to facilitate hinged movement of one of said leaf sections relative to the other, the deformation of said flexible plastic connecting section during such hinged movement being substantially completely confined to said longitudinally extending groove, and the hinged movement, in turn, being completely absorbed by said connecting section by virtue of the spacing of said mounting portions.
2. The hinge of claim 1 wherein the spacing of the generally cylindrical side portions of said plastic section relative to each other and relative to the hinge axis through said groove is such that when one of said leaf sections is moved to an open position, the retainer portion of said one leaf section engages the retainer portion of the other of said leaf sections thereby to relieve the force on said plastic section.
3. The hinge of claim 1 wherein the plastic material is polyethylene-polypropylene copolymer, and wherein said metallic leaf sections are of aluminum.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,691,187 10/1954 Lorenz 16-150 3,199,913 8/1965 Field et a1 16-128 3,324,930 6/1967 Calombo 16-150 3,318,362 5/1967 Joyce 16-128 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,033,233 6/1966 Great Britain.
1,382,678 11/1964 France.
BOBBY R. GAY, Primary Examiner.
D, L. TROUTMAN, Assistant Examiner.