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Publication numberUS3517373 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 23, 1970
Filing dateJan 15, 1968
Priority dateJan 14, 1967
Also published asDE1640059A1
Publication numberUS 3517373 A, US 3517373A, US-A-3517373, US3517373 A, US3517373A
InventorsJamon Henri H
Original AssigneeSatra Ets
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cable connector
US 3517373 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 23, 1970 H. H. JAMON 3,517,373

CABLE CONNECTOR Filed Jan. 15, 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Fig. 2

I I INVENTOg. H6 I? /t/x f/ Hw k a L d i bug,

1 7 Cf may June 23, 1970 H. H. JAMON 3,517,373

CABLE CONNECTOR Filed Jan. 15, 1968 2 Shets-Sheet 2 Fig.- 5

' INVENTOR. 4

United States Patent 3,517,373 CABLE CONNECTOR Henri H. Jamon, Soicy-sous-Montmorency, France, assignor to Etablissement Satra, Societe Achat et Transactions, Vaduz, Liechtenstein Filed Jan. 15, 1968, Ser. No. 698,054

Claims priority, application Switzerland, Jan. 14, 1967,

Int. Cl. H01r 13/52 US. Cl. 339-94 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A cable connector including a conductive connecting member fixed with a rear portion thereof to a conductor end portion projecting from an insulated portion of a cable, a conductive contact member having a front portion constructed for contacting engagement with a contact member of another cable connector, and a rear portion in which a front portion of said connecting member is inserted, and insulating means fluid tightly surrounding at least a portion of the cable and the rear portion of the connecting member; and a method for producing the cable connector according to which after the elements of the connector are assembled any empty spaces formed between the elements are completely filled with a mass of insulating material.

BACKGROUND 'OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a cable connector serving to electrically connect the end of a single pole or multipole cable to a corresponding end of another cable. Various cable conductors are known in the art serving to transmit an electrical current under a certain tension between adjacent ends of a pair of cables. Such cable connectors have to properly insulate the conductors of the cables to be connected from each other and also from any surrounding conductive material. Such cable connectors, especially for underground cables, have also to be watertight in order to prevent humidity from entering into the connected cables.

Cable connectors are known in the art in which the actual connection of the conductors of the cables is carried out by clamping rings or by joints held together by means of a stufiing box.

Cable connectors are also knownin which fluid tightness is obtained by molding a rubber-like mass about the joined cable ends, which molding operation is usually carried out in a specialized workshop equipped for this operation.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a cable connector similar to the cable connector known in the art in which a rubber-like mass is molded in a special workshop about the cable end to protect the cable end against penetration of moisture and to properly insulate the conductors thereof, in which the various elements of the cable connector are constructed and arranged in such a manner that the assembly of the elements of the connector and the proper fluid type insulation thereof can be easily carried out in situ without requiring complicated tools.

It is an additional object of the present invention to provide for a cable connector of the aforementioned kind which is composed of relatively few and simple parts so that the connector may not only be manufactured at reasonable cost but will stand up properly under extended use.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide for a method of making the cable connector in a simple and expedient manner.

c ICC SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION With these objects in view, the present invention relates, on the one hand, to a cable connector mainly including at least one conductive connecting member having a rear portion fixed to and in conductive contact with a conductor end portion projecting from an insulated cable portion, at least one conductive contact member having a front portion constructed for contacting engagement with the front portion of a contact member of another cable connector and a rear portion in which the front portion of a respective connecting member is slidingly received in contacting relationship with the rear portion of the contact member, and insulating means surrounding at least part of the cable, the connecting member and the rear portion of the contact member and forming a fluid-tight seal about part of the cable, the conductor end portion, and the rear portion of the connecting member fixed thereto.

On othe other hand, the present invention relates to a method of manufacturing the above cable connector in a simple manner in situ and according to the present invention sleeve means are provided and tightly connected at a rear portion thereof in surrounding relationship to an end portion of the cable with the remainder of the sleeve means projecting forwardly from the cable end portion radially outwardly spaced from the conductor end portion and the connecting member fixed thereto, whercafter the space formed by the sleeve means about the conductor end portion and the connecting member fixed thereto is closed at the front end of the sleeve means and subsequently thereto the space is filled with a molten mass of insulating material so that the mass after solidifying forms a fluid-tight insulation about the rear portion of the connecting member and the conductor end portion.

The novel features which are considered as characteristic for the invention are set forth in particular in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its construction and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will be best understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING embodiment of a cable connector according to the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings, more specifically to FIGS. 1-4 of the same in which a first embodiment of a cable connector according tothe present invention is illustrated, it will be seen that the cable connector is used in connection with a cable 9 which may have a plurality of conductors '5 adapted to carry currents of high intensity and a control cable 8 for smaller currents. The main insulation of the cable 9 is removed from a front end portion thereof so that the conductors 5 and 8 project forwardly from the insulated and possibly armored end portion of the cable 9. Conductive connecting members 4 and 7 are respectively connected by clamping or soldering to the blank end portions of the conductors 5 and 8 and the front end portions of the connecting members 4 and 7 are slidingly received in contacting relationship into appropriately formed rear portions of contact members 3 and 6, having front portions constructed for contacting engagement with the front portion of respective contact members of another cable connector, not shown in the drawing. The elements 6 and 7 are formed in the usual way as a plug and socket connection, whereas the specific construction of the contact member 3, only schematically shown in the drawing, does not form part of the present invention, and the specific construction is described in detail in the copending application Ser. No. 697,436.

The contact members 3 and 6 are carried in a block of insulating material 2 which in turn is surrounded by an annular member 1, preferably formed from metal, and constructed to be coupled in a manner known per se, not forming part of the present invention, with a corresponding annular member of another cable connector during connection of two cable ends with each other.

The connecting members 4 and 7 respectively fixed by clamping or soldering to the blank end portions of the conductors 5 and 8 are simply inserted with the front end portions thereof into the rear portions of the contact members 3 and 6, respectively, to establish an electrical contact between the conductors 5 and 8 with the contact members 3 and 6 respectively and the subassembly thus obtained, as shown in FIG 2, is then mechanically connected to the cable 9 by means of an outer casing including the annular members 12 and 13, which are preferably metallic, and which serve to press sealing rings 14 and 15 of elastically compressible material against the outer surface of the cable 9. This pressing of the sealing rings 14 and 15 against the outer surface of the cable may be accomplished by screwing the properly threaded end portions of the annular members 12 and 13 into each other so that the sealing rings are compressed in axial direction and thereby tightly pressed in radial direction against the outer surface of the cable 9. A flexible sleeve 16 of rubber or the like forming part of the outer case is anchored with its left end, as viewed in FIG. 1, in the annular member 13 and projects therefrom towards the right, and the sleeve is constructed to tightly engage with inner surface portions thereof the outer surface of the cable 9 to improve the fluid tightness of the arrangement while at the same time protecting the cable 9 from sharp bends.

The arrangement includes further tubular connecting means in form of a metal sleeve 11 serving to connect the annular members 1 and 12 with each other and which engages with an inner shoulder a corresponding shoulder of the annular member 12 while its left end, as viewed in FIG. 1, is threadingly connected to the annular member 1. A metallic ring 10 is preferably sandwiched between opposite ends of the annular members 1 and 12 to keep these two members properly spaced from each other and the metal ring 10 may be grounded to ground thereby also the annular member 1 and the metal elements forming the outer casing.

After the various elements of the cable connector are assembled together as shown in FIG. 1, the empty space thus formed about the conductor end portions and the rear portions of the connecting members 4 and 7 is completely filled by casting an insulating mass for instance through aligned openings in the members 10 and 11, not shown in the drawing, into the space. The insulating mass may be constituted by an electrically insulating compound poured into the space in hot liquid condition and which hardens during cooling, or by a resin mixed with a catalyst to form after polymerization an insulating mass which is either hard or rubber like according to the desired use.

The cable connector thus formed is perfectly fluid tight and does not contain any voids which might be harmful to the dielectric qualities of the assembly. The necessary assembly operations, that is the connection of the conductor ends to the elements of the connector and the subsequent casting of the insulating mass are suificiently simple so that the assembly can be carried out in situ with the aid of simple tools.

In a second embodiment according to the present invention, illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6, an insulating mass 18 which will become rubber like after polymerization is cast not only about the conductor end portions projecting axially beyond the cable sheath, but in this embodiment the insulating mass 18 is also cast about the end portion of the cable 9 itself. For this purpose the outer casing including an insulating sleeve 22 of neoprene, rubber, or the like is placed about the end portion of the cable 9 so as to tightly engage with its right end, as viewed in FIGS. 5 and 6, the outer surface of the cable, while the left end portion of sleeve 22 is placed over arms 23 of a metal ring 19 forming part of the outer casing to keep the remainder of the sleeve 22 radially outwardly spaced from the outer surface of the cable 9, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. A pair of semicircular collars 21 are fixed in any convenient manner to the right ends of the two arms 23 gripping the cable end portion from opposite sides so as to fixedly connect the ring 19 to the cable end portion while keeping the sleeve 22 in spread condition radially outwardly spaced from the outer surface of the cable. The left end of the ring 19, as viewed in FIGS. 5 and 6, is preferably chamfered and the correspondingly chamfered rim portion of a cap-shaped member 17 of insulating material engages the chamfered end of the ring 19 so that the member 17 closes the empty space formed by the ring 19 and the sleeve 22 about the cable end portion, the conductors 5 and 8 projecting therefrom and the rear portions of the connecting members 4 and 7 respectively connected to the blank ends of the conductors 5 and 8 in the manner as described before. The capshaped member 17 is formed with a plurality of openings so that the front portions of the connecting members 4 and 7 may project therethrough, as clearly shown in FIG. 6.

The thus formed enclosed empty space is completely filled with a mass of insulating material 18 which becomes rubber like after polymerization and this casting may be effected through an opening formed in the periphery of the metallic ring 19 or into the cap-shaped member 17. For the casting operation a simple sheet metal form is preferably used which has a part cylindrical, part frustoconical shape and which tightly surrounds the outer surface of the flexible sleeve 22 and the cap-shaped member 17 and which serves to maintain the shape of these members during the casting operation and to hold also the projecting end portions of the connecting members 4 and 7 in place.

The cable head thus formed is connected to the block 2 carrying the contact members 3 and 6 and to the annular member 1 surrounding the block by means of a ring 20 preferably formed from metal which engages with an inner shoulder thereof a corresponding shoulder of the ring 19 and which is threadingly connected at its left end, as viewed in FIG. 5, to a corresponding threaded portion of the annular member .1. In the finished assembly, the cap-shaped member 17 is tightly clamped between the block 2 and the mass of insulating material 18 formed about the conductor portions 5 and 8 and the rear portions of the connecting members 4 and 7. After the ring 20 has been tightly screwed on the annular member 1, a small pin, as shown in FIG. 5, may be driven through aligned bores in the members 1 and 20 to thus maintain the assembly in proper position and to prevent unscrewing of the ring 20.

The cable connector illustrated in FIGS 5 and 6 contains in the same manner as the first above described embodiment no voids, it is perfectly water tight, and possesses excellent dielectric qualities and its connection to the cable itself has an advantageous slight flexibility. The necessary assembly operations can be carried out in a simple and expedient manner without requiring complicated tools, since the connecting members 4 and 7 can be easily connected by clamping or soldering to the blank ends of the respective conductors, whereas the connection between the connecting members and the contact members is carried out by simple insertion of the front portions of the connecting members into the rear portions of the contact members. As described above, the casting of the mass of insulating material 18 may also be carried out in a simple, expedient manner with the aid of a very primitive fixture.

Another manner to form the cable head is illustrated in the FIGS. 7 and 8. In this case the cap-shaped member 17 of insulating material is omitted and the left end, as viewed in FIGS. 7 and 8, of the actual cable head is formed by the mass of insulating material 18. This manner of manfacturing the cable head requires use of a special mold, not shown in the drawing, which serves on the one hand to maintain the contact members 4 and 7 in proper position during polymerization of the mass of insulating material 18 and, on the other hand, to give the free, left end of the mass of insulating material a proper form to tightly abut in assembled position on the rear face of the block 2.

It is also possible to connect first theblock 2 carrying the contact members to the ring 19 by means of the ring 20 and to cast then the mass of insulating material 18 directly in the thus enclosed space. In this case the mass of insulating material 18 will form a monolithic block with the insulating member 2. The cable connector thus formed will be substantially equal to that described above, but in this case a separate mold is not necessary for the production of the cable connector.

Finally, it may be noted that the portion of the cable connector including the block 2, the contact members 3 and 6 carried thereby and the annular member 1 surrounding the block 2 may be salvaged and reused in the event of an accident or destruction of the cable. In this case it is possible to detach the cable head, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, from the remainder of the assembly, and after preparation of a proper new cable head, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, the latter may be connected in the above described manner to the annular member 1 of the salvaged portion of the cable connector to form thus ra new cable connector as shown in FIGS. 1, or 8.

It will be understood that each of the elements described above, or two or more together, may also find a useful application in other types of cable connectors differing from the types described above.

While the invention has been illustrated and described as embodied in a cable connector, it is not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made without departing in any way from the spirit of the present invention.

Without further analysis, the foregoing will so fully reveal the gist of the present invention that others can by applying current knowledge readily adapt it for various applications without omitting features that, from the standpoint of prior art, fairly constitute essential characteristics of the generic or specific aspects of this invention.

What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is set forth in the appended claims:

1. A cable connector comprising, in combination, a first unit comprising a conductive contact member having a front portion constructed for contacting engagement with the front portion of a contact member of another cable connector and a rear portion formed with an axially extending cavity, and a block of insulating material in which at least part of said contact member is embedded;

a second unit comprising a conductive connecting member having a rear portion fixed to and being in onductive contact with a conductor end portion projecting from an insulating cable portion and a front portion slidingly received in said cavity of said rear portion of said contact member, an outer casing means formed at least in part of insulating material in fluid-tight engagement with said cable portion and surrounding at least said conductor end portion radially spaced therefrom; metallic tubular means releasably connecting said units with each other and defining with a front portion of said outer casing an enclosed space; and a mass of insulating materlal completely filling said enclosed space.

2. A cable connector as defined in claim 1, wherein said mass of insulating material is hard.

3. A cable connector as defined in claim 1, wherein said mass of insulating material is elastic.

4. A cable connector as defined in claim 1, wherein said outer casing means is formed with an opening so that said mass of insulating material may be cast in molten condition into said space.

5. A cable connector as defined in claim 1, wherein said outer casing means comprises sleeve means surrounding and engaging with one end portion thereof said cable portion.

6. A cable connector as defined in claim 5, wherein said outer casing means further comprises at least one pair of annular members of resiliently compressible insulating material surrounding said cable portion, a pair of interconnected annular metallic members respectively surrounding said pair of annular insulating members and arranged to press the inner surfaces of the latter against the outer surface of said cable portion, said metallic tubular means connecting said annular metallic members to said block axially spaced therefrom and partly defining said space filled with said mass of insulating material.

7. A cable connector as defined in claim 5, and including a cap-shaped member having a rim portion engaging said outer casing means as the other end thereof for closing said outer casing means at said other end, said cap-shaped member being sandwiched between said block of insulating material and said mass of insulating material.

8. A cable connector as defined in claim 5, wherein said outer casing means comprising a sleeve of resilient insulating material resiliently engaging with one end portion thereof said cable portion, and a metallic ring connected to the other end of said resilient insulating sleeve, a pair of arms integral with said metallic ring and projecting therefrom inwardly of said sleeve toward but short of said one end portion of the latter, and annular gripping means fixed to said arms and tightly engaging said cable portion forwardly of said one end portion of said sleeve.

9. A method of producing a cable connector to be connected to a cable having an insulated end portion and a conductor portion projecting from said insulating end portion of the cable and having a blank end and including a conductive connecting member having a front and a rear end, a conductive contact member constructed for contacting engagement with the front portion of a contact member of another cable connector and a rear portion adapted to receive said front portion of said connecting member, a block of insulating material embedding at least part of said contact member and having a rear face of predetermined configuration, and outer casing means, that method comprising the steps of assembling said outer casing means and said connecting member with said cable end portion and said blank end portion of said conductor by fixedly connecting, in any sequence, the rear portion of the connecting member to the blank end portion of the conductor and by tightly connecting a rear portion of the outer casing means in surrounding relationship to the cable end portion with the remainder of the outer casing means projecting forwardly from the cable end portion radially outwardly spaced from the conductor end portion and the connecting member fixed thereto; forming a cup-shaped member of insulating material with at least one opening therein and having a front face matching the rear face of the block of insulating material; placing the cup-shaped member of insulating material against the front face of the outer casing means with the front portion of the connecting member projecting through the opening in the cup-shaped member to thus close the front end of the outer casing means; subsequently thereto casting a mass of insulating material into the thus-formed enclosed space so that the mass of insulating material after solidifying forms an integral mass with said cup-shaped member; and connecting the block of insulating material carrying the contact member to the front end of the outer casing means abutting against the front face of the cap-shaped member, while simultaneously inserting the front portion of the connecting member into the rear portion of the contact member.

10. A method of producing a cable connector to be connected to a cable having an insulated end portion and a conductor portion projecting from said insulating end portion of the cable and having a blank end and including a conductive connecting member having a front and a rear end, a conductive contact member having a front portion constructed for contacting engagement with the front portion of a contact member of another cable connector and a rear portion adapted to receive said front portion of said connecting member, a block of insulating material embedding at least part of said contact member and having a rear face of predetermined configuration, and outer casing means, said method comprising the steps of assembling said outer casing means and said connecting member with said cable end portion and said blank end portion of said conductor by fixedly connecting, in any sequence, the rear portion of the connecting member to the blank end portion of the conductor and by tightly connecting a rear portion of the outer casing means in surrounding relationship to the cable end portion with the remainder of the outer casing means projecting forwardly from the cable end portion radially 3' outwardly spaced from the conductor end portion and the connecting member fixed thereto; closing the space thus formed about the conductor end portion and the' connecting member fixed thereto at the front end of'the outer casing means by a mold member having a face matching said rear face of the block of insulating material with the front portion of the connecting member projecting beyond the closed space through an'opening the'mold member; casting into the thus-formed space a molten mass of insulating material so as to completely'fill the space and so that the mass after solidifyin'g'forms'a -fluidtight insulation at least about'said rear portion of *said' connecting member and said conductor portion while the front end of said mass matches said rear face of said block of insulating material; removing the mold member after the mass of insulating material cast into said space has solidified; and .connecting,after removing said mold member, said block of insulating material carrying the contact member to the front end of the outer "casing means in abutting relationship against the front face of the mass of insulating material while simultaneously inserting the front portion of'the connecting member into the rear portion of the contact member.

References Cited I UNITED STATES PATENTS RICHARD E. MOORE, Primary Examiner J. H. McGLYNN, Assistant Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R. 339-218

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Classifications
U.S. Classification439/274, 439/736, 439/276, 439/589
International ClassificationH01R13/52, H01R13/595
Cooperative ClassificationH01R13/5205, H01R13/595
European ClassificationH01R13/52D