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Publication numberUS3477091 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 11, 1969
Filing dateApr 6, 1967
Priority dateApr 6, 1967
Publication numberUS 3477091 A, US 3477091A, US-A-3477091, US3477091 A, US3477091A
InventorsAlfred J Gordon
Original AssigneeGreat Lakes Aluminum Fabricato
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Invisible hinge
US 3477091 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 11, 1969 A. 'J. GORDON I 3,477,091

INVISIBLE HINGE Filed April c, 196'. 2 Sheets-Sheet 1.

INVENTOR ALFRED J. GORDON BY /M] /&M,

ATTORNEYS III II II II 42 Nov. 11, 1969 A. J. GORDON INVISIBLE HINGE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed April 6, 196'? FIGB M flu D R R r S mow/4 Elw MR V o m w m /A R m. M A y Y B m 2 8 3 W 2, 0 44. m R 2 g M 4 r3 0 v 3 7 United States Patent 3,477,091 INVISIBLE HINGE Alfred J. Gordon, Adrian, Mich., assignor to Great Lakes Aluminum Fabricators, Inc., Detroit, Mich., a corporation of Michigan Filed Apr. 6, 1967, Ser. No. 629,006 Int. Cl. E051? 1/12; B65d 43/16 U.S. Cl. 16-180 5 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A hinge assembly employing a center extruded section having a substantially C-shaped cross section defining a pair of opposed, arcuate slots. An extruded side section is associated with each of the slots. Each side section has a pair of spaced, parallel flange sections, one of the flange sections having an arcuate lip along its extreme edge and directed toward the opposite flange section. The lips and the slots are engaged to provide a movable connection between the center section and the side sections. The center section permits at least 180 degrees relative movement between the side sections.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a hinge formed principally of extruding sections and more specifically to an invisible hinge having a. longitudinally slotted center section connected with a pair of side sections and movable between a first extreme position wherein the center section is substantially received by the side sections in a hidden relationship and a second extreme position wherein the center section receives a portion of each of the side sections.

Hinges of this type are widely employed in devices such as screen doors, the sides of hinged boxes, furniture, and the like. It is frequently desirable that the hinge section provide a connection between a pair of side members permitting the side members to move between a first spaced apart position wherein the center hinge section presents a neat, streamlined appearance, and an adjacent position wherein the center hinge section is hidden from view.

Hinges of the prior art employ a pair of sections, interconnected with one another and with one of the sections having an arcuate cross section received by an arcuate recess or slot in the opposite section. The sections are movable relative to one another as the first section moves into and is withdrawn from the slotted section. This type of hinge is illustrated in US. Patent No. 1,648,781, issued to J. N. Pepin, Nov. 8, 1927 wherein is disclosed a center hinge member having an arcuate cross section slidably connected to a pair of side sections having arcuate guides or housings.

An improved version of a substantially hidden hinge was disclosed in my copending patent application Ser. No. 475,637, filed July 29, 1965, now Patent No. 3,317,- 078. The hinge of my patent generally comprises a center semi-circular section having each of its side-v edges disposed in an arcuate recessed portion of a pair of side extruded members. Lips formed along the extreme edge of the semi-circular center engage similar lips on the outer edge of the semi-circular recesses to prevent the side edges of the center section from being withdrawn from the recesses. The side extruded members are pivotal between a closed position wherein the semi-circular center section is fully extended into both of the recesses and the side sections abut one another, and an open position wherein the surfaces carrying the semi-circular recesses are disposed at 90 degrees to one another and ice only the extreme edges of the semi-circular center section are disposed within the recesses.

In general, hinges of this character disclosed in the prior art permit a maximum relative pivotal movement between the side members of degrees. It is the broad purpose of the present invention to provide an invisible hinge for connecting a pair of side members for relative moement in an arc of at least degrees.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The preferred embodiment of the present invention, which will be subsequently described in greater detail, takes the form of a center hinge section preferably formed of a Nylon Delrin or other rigid, long wearing plastic extrusion having a substantially C-shaped cross section defining a pair of longitudinal arcuate slots. An extruded side member having a pair of spaced apart parallel flanges is associated with each of the slots. An arcuate lip section is formed along the extreme edge of one of the flanges of each side member and is engaged in the slots associated with the side member. The side members are movable between a first open position wherein the arcuate lips are received by the slots and the side members abut one another; and a second closed position wherein the side members are pivoted away from one another so that the lips are partially withdrawn from their respective slots.

The preferred embodiment is described with reference to an instrument case having spring means for urging the side members into either one or the opposite of their extreme positions. Preferably the spring member comprises an arctuate leaf spring arranged on the interior of the hinge line with one end embracing one of the extruded side members and the other end embracing the other extruded side member. The arrangement is such that as the ends of the spring are urged toward one another they tend to urge the two side members into either a fully opened or a fully closed position and retain them in such positions.

It is therefore a primary object of the present invention to provide a hinge assembly consisting of a pair of extruded side sections each of which has a longitudinal arcuate lip formed thereon, and a third center extruded section having a pair of recesses each having an arcuate cross section for receiving the arcuate lips so that the center section forms a guide for pivotal rotation of one of the side sections with respect to the other.

A further object of the present invention is to provide an extrude hinge wherein a first section having an arcuate longitudinal slot is movably engageable with a second section having a pair of spaced apart flanges, one of the flanges having an arcuate lip formed along its extreme edge and received by the slot to define one extreme relative position of the two members and the first section being movable between the flanges of the second section to define the opposite extreme relative position of the two sections.

It is still a further object of the present invention to provide a hinge assembly comprising a center hinge section having a generally C-shaped cross section defining a pair of arcuate slots each interconnected with a side extruded section having a pair of spaced apart flange portions, one of the flange portions of each side section having a lip section engaged with a slot and the three hinge sections movable between a first extreme position wherein the center section extends out of the flanges and a second extreme position wherein the center section is disposed between the fianges of the side sections.

Still further objects and advantages of the present invention will be made apparent from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment of the invention.

3 BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The description refers to the accompanying drawings in which like reference characters refer to like parts throughout the several views and in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a case employing a hinge assembly formed in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the invention and shown in a closed position.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the case of FIG. 1 in an open position and revealing a portion of the hinge assembly.

FIG. 3 is a detailed, enlarged, sectional view taken through the hinge assembly along lines 33 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a. detailed, enlarged sectional view taken through the hinge assembly along lines 4-4 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a detailed sectional view similar to FIG. 3 and showing the hinge of FIG. 1 in an intermediate position.

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary perspective sectional view showing the method for engaging the center hinge section with the side sections, and

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary, perspective view illustrating the tabbed flanges of the side sections locking the center section against relative longitudinal movement.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Now referring to the drawings, a preferred hinge assembly generally indicated at 10 in FIGS. 1 and 2 is employed for interconnecting a pair of case sections 12 and 14 for movement relative to one another between a closed position wherein the case sections 12 and 14 define a closed compartment and an open position mrmitting access to the interior of the case sections. It is to be understood of course that the preferred hinge may be utilized in a variety of devices wherein one member is pivotally movable toward and away from another member.

For purposes of description, the case sections 12 and 14 are similar and include dished rectangular panel sections 16 and 18. Panel section 16 is rigidly framed by an elongated, extruded side section 20, a pair of short end sections 22 and a hinge section 24 FIGS. 4-5. Similarly the opposite panel 18 is rigidly framed by an elongated, extruded side section 26, a pair of short end sections 28 and a hinge section 30.

FIGS. 3, 4 and 5 illustrate how dished edges 32 of panel 16 are connected to frame members by a series of bulges 34 formed along the edges 32. The hinge section 24 has a pair of spaced apart flange sections 36 and 38. The extreme edge of the flanged section 38 is bent toward the opposite flange 36 and spaced therefrom a distance slightly exceeding the thickness of the panel edge 32. The bulges 34 are inserted into the slot defined by the flanges 36 and 38 by pressing the bulges 34 past the bent edge of flange 38. The bulges are depressed sufficiently to pass the edge of the flange 38 and then expand to their normal width so that they are captured between the flanges 36 and 38.

Similarly, the panel 18 has a dished peripheral side edge 40 with a series of bulges 42 formed along its extreme edge. The extruded hinge section 30 has a pair of spaced apart flanges 44 and 46 defining a slot for retaining the bulges 42. The extreme edge of the flange 46 is bent toward the opposite flange 44 a distance such that when the bulges 42 are pressed into the slot, they are depressed until they pass the bent edge of flanges 46. The bulges 42 then expand to their normal width so that they are captured between the flanges 44 and 45.

The hinge section 24 has a second pair of spaced apart flanges 48 and 50. The longitudinal edge of the flange 48 terminates in a lip section 52 having an arcuate cross section.

Similarly the hinge section 30 has a flange 54 and a second flange 56 formed in spaced parallel relationship to the flange 54. The longitudinal edge'of the flange 56 terminates in an arcuate lip section 58 having a curvature corresponding to the lip section 52.

Preferably the hinge sections24 and 30 are formed of aluminum extrusions and are interconnected by a center section 60 preferably formed of a suitable rigid plastic such as Nylon or Delrin.

The center section 60 is an extrusion having a generally C-shaped cross section defining a pair of opposed, arcuate slots 62 and 64. The slots 62 and 64 slidingly receive the arcuate lips 52 and 58 and therefore have a slightly greater cross section than the lips.

The hinge sections 24 and 30 are movable relative to one another toward a fully closed position (FIG. 3) wherein thelips 52 and 58 are substantially withdrawn from their respective slots 62 and 64 and the center section 60 is enclosed between the flanges 54 and 56 and the flanges 48 and 50 so as to be substantially hidden from view. In this closed position the lips 52 and 58 abut the outer edges of the slots 62 and 64.

The hinge sections 24 and 30 are relatively movable from the closed position toward an open position (FIG. 5) with the lips 52 and 58 moving into their respective slots 62 and 64. The hinge sections 24 and 30 are movable toward one another until the outer surfaces of flanges 48 and 56 abut one another in a face to face relationship as best shown in FIG. 4. Thus the hinge sections are movable between the closed and open positions in an arc of An elongated, arcuate spring 66 biases the hinge sections 24 and 30 into either the opened or the closed position. The spring 66 is formed of a thin spring steel and has bent sections 67 and 68 arranged to engage-the extreme edge of the flanges 44 and 32 respectively. The center portion of spring 66 passes over the interior side of the hinge assembly 10.

The spring 66 acts with the hinge sections 24 and 30 as an over center linkage. The bent sections 67 and 68 of the spring are urged toward one another by spring tension. Thus, when the case sections 12 and 14 are in an intermediate position (FIG. 5) between fully open and fully closed, the bent sections 67 and 68 are at an extreme distance from one another. If the case is moved to either the fully opened or fully closed position, the bent sections move closer to one another. Thus, the springs urge the two case sections into either of its extreme positions but resist motion toward the intermediate position between fully open and fully closed.

The hinge sections 24 and 32 and their associated side frame members 22 and 28 are normally joined together by a welding process. If the center section 60 is combined with the hinge sections 24 and 30 before the side frame members are joined by welding to the hinge sections, the heat generated by the welding step deteriorates the plastic section 60. Therefore, the hinge sections 24 and 30 are joined to their respective end sections 22 and 28, and then the center section 60 is combined with the hinge sections.

FIG. 6 illustrates this assembly step which comprises the center section 60 being formed in two longitudinal halves one of which is illustrated at 60A. The flanges 50 and 54 of the hinge sections are cut away half way between the extreme ends of the hinge sections to form apertures 70 and 72. The apertures 70 and 72 provide an opening of a sufficient size to permit insertion of the center section half 60A between the flanges 48 and 50 of the hinge section 24 and the flanges 54 and 56 of the hinge section 30. The second longitudinal half of the center section 60 (not shown) is then inserted through the apertures 70 and 72 and between the flanges of the hinge sections 24 and 39 and the two halves of the center section 69 are then joined together by any suitable means.

Now referring to FIG. 7, the flange 50 of the hinge section 24 is cut away and bent toward its companion a flange to form tabs 74 and 76. The tabs 74 and 76 retain the center section 60 against relative longitudinal movement with respect to the hinge section 24. Similarly, the flange 54 of the hinge section 30 has bent portions forming tabs 78 and? 80 to retain the center section 60 against longitudinal movement relative to the hing section 30. It is to be understood that although I have described but one prefered embodiment of my invention, that various modifications and revisions can be made there in without departing from the spirit of the invention as expressed in the scope of the appended claims. Having described my invention, I claim: 1. A hinge assembly comprising: a first member and a second member each having a longitudinal slot and flat side portions, an arcuate flange portion formed on each of said members along'a longitudinal edge of said side portions, over center spring means engaging said members and urging said; members to a first position in which said flat side portions are in a side by side relationship and a second position in which said side portions are substantially co-planar, and acenter member having a central elongated recess with opposed longitudinal portions of said recess formed complementary to said arcuate flange portions, said center member having portions receivable in said slots of said members and receiving said flange portions of said members in said recess to hingedly join said members one to the other. 2. The hinge assembly as defined in claim 1 and in which said first and second members being pivoted through an arc of at least 180.

3. The hinge assembly as defined in claim 1 and in which said arcuate flange portions are receivable within said complementary formed portions of said center member recess at said first position of said first and second member and are withdrawn from said portions as said members are moved to said second position:

4.'The hinge "assembly as defined in claim 1 and including means carried by one of said members to permit lrlmgitudinal removal of said center member from said sots.

5.'The hinge assembly as defined in claim 1 and in which said spring means are disposed over said center member to. substantially conceal said center member from view.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 731,138 6/1903 Stearns 16178 1,824,451 9/1931 Soss 16-178 3,092,870 6/1963 Baer 16--180 XR 3,317,078 5/1967 Gordon 16178 XR FOREIGN PATENTS 443,930 3/ 1936 Great Britain.

BOBBY R. GAY, Primary Examiner DORIS L. TROUTMAN, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US731138 *Feb 24, 1903Jun 16, 1903William B StearnsSkylight for vessels.
US1824451 *Mar 7, 1929Sep 22, 1931Soss JosephHinge
US3092870 *Jul 15, 1960Jun 11, 1963Austin R BaerHinge
US3317078 *Jul 29, 1965May 2, 1967Great Lakes Aluminum FabricatoExtruded hinge
GB443930A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4452373 *Jun 15, 1982Jun 5, 1984Packaging By Forming Industries, Inc.Jewelry box hinge structure
US4984706 *Jun 30, 1989Jan 15, 1991Poqet Computer CorporationHinged casing
US5145087 *Mar 7, 1991Sep 8, 1992Knaack Manufacturing CompanyClosure hinge mechanism
US6135530 *Nov 4, 1998Oct 24, 2000Lear Automotive Dearborn, Inc.Spring loaded living hinge
US6474493 *Nov 16, 1999Nov 5, 2002L'orealAssembly articulated by a hinge with assisted opening/closing
US6484731Mar 7, 2000Nov 26, 2002L'orealSingle-piece articulated assembly
US6553622 *Aug 22, 2001Apr 29, 2003Newfrey LlcConnecting fastener
US7089627Aug 21, 2001Aug 15, 2006L'oreal Usa, Inc.Magnetic hinge and device including magnetically-attracted plates
US7467440Jul 6, 2005Dec 23, 2008L'oreal Usa, Inc.Virtual hinge
US20020153376 *Aug 21, 2001Oct 24, 2002David SeidlerVirtual hinge
US20060283870 *Jun 21, 2005Dec 21, 2006Nationalpak LimitedContainer with internal hinge arrangement
US20070062964 *Jun 13, 2006Mar 22, 2007Item Source, LlcReclosable container with easily openable closure
DE2622910A1 *May 21, 1976Dec 9, 1976Leon Bronislaw YulkowskiTuergelenk
DE3141716A1 *Oct 21, 1981May 6, 1982Electrolux AbSpring clip for articulated connections
DE10108697A1 *Feb 23, 2001Oct 24, 2002Geze Glas Design GmbhDoor or window hinged on fixed component uses frameless glazing of double parallel panes with edge profiles and grooves for hinge movement to endstopped maximum angle.
DE10108697C2 *Feb 23, 2001Sep 18, 2003Geze GmbhFlügeleinrichtung mit Gelenkeinrichtung in einem Randprofil des Flügels
WO1994006990A1 *Sep 15, 1993Mar 31, 1994Torben AdlerA door closing device
WO2007035433A2 *Sep 14, 2006Mar 29, 2007Item Source, LlcReclosable container with easily openable closure
WO2007035433A3 *Sep 14, 2006Oct 23, 2008Item Source LlcReclosable container with easily openable closure
Classifications
U.S. Classification16/227, 220/829, 220/810, 220/843
International ClassificationE05D1/04, E05D3/06, E05D1/02
Cooperative ClassificationE05D1/02, E05Y2900/20, E05D3/12
European ClassificationE05D1/02