US 3562852 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 16, 1971 T H L 3,562,852
SPRING HINGE Filed Nov. 29, 1968 2 sheet-95mm 1 r I 50 48 7 Q i I 38 46 I 2 H a: i7 4 44 1 i f 40 g 22 36 I INVLiN'lOR. Char/es E. Guts/m His xm' s c. E. GUTSHALL 3,562,852
Feb. 16, 1971 SPRING HINGE Filed Nov. 29, 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet INVEN'I'OR. Char/es E. Guts/m/l Q W 7 His AH'ys United States Patent O 3,562,852 SPRING HINGE Charles E. Gutshall, Schaumburg, Ill., assignor to Illinois Tool Works Inc., Chicago, 11]., a corporation of Delaware Filed Nov. 29, 1968, Ser. No. 779,712 Int. Cl. Ed 9/00 US. Cl. 16-150 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Hinge device adapted to be mounted in a recess in a cabinet door is formed in a single piece of materialpreferably molded plastic. Resilient portions of the device which interconnect relatively movable portions fastened to the door and cabinet function as springs which urge the hinge to its closed position.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention This invention relates to spring hinges and particularly to spring hinges which are adapted to be recessed within the members to be hinged.
Description of the prior art Although spring hinges are presently available, such hinges are generally manufactured from several pieces of different materials and accordingly, are relatively expensive. With increasing uses of pivoted spring biased doors to conceal the contents-of a cabinet or the controls of a furnture type appliance, such as a television set, it has been found desirable to provide a hinge which is relatively economical and yet adequate for its purpose in terms of strength, life, quietness, and beauty. Although one-piece metal spring hinges are known, such as shown in US. Pat. 2,869,959, such hinges are generally not adequate for more than very light duty use, such as for pivoting the molded door of a butter or cheese compartment in a refrigerator. Furthermore, metal hinges of any design are often subject to rust and corrosion when used outdoors or in corrosive atmospheres;
SUMMARY It is an object of this invention to provide a spring hinge which is relatively simple and economical to manufacture.
It is another object of this invention to provide a spring hinge which is rust proof and may thus be used anywhere.
It is an additional object of this invention to provide a spring hinge wherein the elements of the hinge are hidden from view.
These objects are obtained by the spring hinge of the present invention wherein a pair of axially spaced flange members, which are adapted to be fastened to a door and cabinet frame respectively, are connected for pivotal movement relative to each other by means of an elongated connecting member which is adapted to be placed in a bored hole in the door. The elongated connecting member is twisted when the door is opened relative to the cabinet and thus is able to store spring energy within itself which is rendered available for biasing the door to a closed position when it is released.
In one embodiment of the invention, the flange members are formed at opposite ends of an elongated relatively thin flat web of material. When the web of material is bent into a generally U-shape and the pair of flanges are brought together, a pin-like pivot member on one of the flanges is adapted to be placed in interlocking pivoted engagement internally of a split cylindrical Patented Feb. 16, 1971 pivot member on the other flange. The pivoted portions of the hinge are then assembled to a door by being placed in a hole in the door having the approximately same diameter as the outside diameter of the cylinder.
In another embodiment of the invention the door and cabinet engaging flanges of the hinge do not have a pivot joint as such, but instead, the pivot function is accomplished by a pair of spaced support members which extend from a first flange into the hole in the door and are joined by a bridging portion at their ends. The second flange, which is adapted to be fastened to the cabinet, has at least one elongated support arm which is longer than the spaced support members and extends between them and is co-terminus with them at one end.
The foregoing and other objects, features and advantages will be apparent from the following more particular descriptions of preferred embodiments thereof, as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing one form of the improved hinge prior to the assembly of its pivot members to itself and to a door to be hinged;
FIG. 2 is a side view showing the hinge member of FIG. 1 in its as molded condition;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary breakaway view of a door showing a full plan view of the hinge in its assembled position relative to the door and a cabinet;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary breakaway view similar to FIG. 3, but wherein the door has been rotated degrees relative to the cabinet;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a modified form of hinge;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing the hinge of FIG. 5 in assembled relationship relative to a door and cabinet where the door is rotated 90 degrees from i s closed position and shown in phantom; and
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a modified form of hinge similar to that shown in FIG. 5.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In FIG. 1, the cooperating hinge portions of one form of my improved hinge construction indicated generally at 10 are shown in a position intermediate their as molded positions shown in FIG. 2 and their operative position installed in a door and cabinet as shown in FIG. 3. The hinge construction 10 includes at one end a first flange portion 12 having a countersunk hole 14 therein for receipt of a fastener member 44 which will be described hereinafter. At the opposite end of the one-piece hinge construction is a second flange portion 18 which has a counter-sunk hole 20 for receipt of a fastener member 50. Interconnecting the two flange portions 12 and 18 is a twistable resilient connecting web portion 22 which is generally U-shaped and connected to the first and second flange portion 12, 18 by first and second bearing portions 24, 26 respectively. The first and second bearing portions comprise the means by which the hinge permits a door and cabinet or other similar members to be mounted in pivotable relationship relative to each other. The first bearing portion 24 comprises an axially elongated cylinder portion 28 which is split along its peri hery in a direction parallel to its axis so as to form an opening 30. The second bearing portion 26 comprises a hollow, generally pin-like member 32 which is adapted to be received in the circular hole defined by the inner walls 33 of cylindrical portion 28. The pin-like member 32 may be assembled to the cylindrical portion 28 by being inserted in an axial direction from above into contact with the inner walls 33 of cylindrical portion 28 or it may be moved radially through the opening 30. Since the material of hinge is preferably flexible plastic, it is obvious that the walls 33 of the cylindrical portion 28 which define the edges of the opening 30 may be spread apart and will snap back after receiving the pin 32. It will be appreciated that once the pin 32 has been assembled to the cylindrically shaped portion 28, and the first bearing portion 24 installed in a hole 36 (FIG. 3) of approximately the same or slightly larger diameter, that it will be impossible for the opening 30 to enlarge so as to permit the pin 32 to move radially outwardly of the cylindrical portion 28. In order to maintain a spacing between a door and a cabinet to which the door is pivoted, the first bearing portion 24 preferably includes a spacer portion 38 which extends in an axial direction away from the first flange portion 12 in a manner which provides a fixed spacing between first flange portion 12 and second flange portion 18.
In FIG. 2, the hinge construction is shown in the position in which it may be molded in a two-piece mold. If desired, the mold in which the hinge is formed (not shown) may be provided with a retractable core element in order to reduce the thickness of the connecting member 22 (as shown in dotted lines at 22') at the point in which it is bent in a U-shape. Although such a thinning of the material is not necessary, it is sometimes desirable in order to make it easier to bend the connecting member 22.
In FIG. 3, the hinge is shown mounted in operative position within a hole 36 formed in a door 40. The first flange portion 12 is mounted in a routed pocket or cut out portion 42 formed in the door and held by a fastener 44 such as a screw. Since the pocket 42 and the hole 36 prevent rotation of the first flange portion 12, it is unnecessary to provide more than one fastener 44. By providing a routed pocket 46 in the cabinet 48 in which the second flange portion 18 is mounted, it is also sufficient to have only one fastener member 50 for anchoring the second flange portion since the sides of the pocket will prevent rotation of the flange. To facilitate assembly of the set of the hinges to a door 40 and cabinet 48, a shim 49 may be inserted through the side of the upper cut out pocket 42 and under the flange 12 after the flange 18 has been assembled to the pocket 46. No shim is necessary at the bottom hinge (not shown) and the door pocket for such hinge may be of a depth equal to the thickness of flange 12 rather than twice as thick as is necessary at the top hinge to permit flange 18 to be installed.
In FIG. 4, the hinge 10 is shown in the position which it assumes when the door 40 of FIG. 3 is rotated toward the viewer 90 degrees relative to the cabinet 48. It can be seen that the connecting member 22 is twisted during the pivotal movement and it will be appreciated that in being twisted, the connecting member 22 will store up a predetermined amount of spring energy which will be available for biasing the door to a closed position once it is released. Obviously, the amount of spring energy available will be dependent upon the type of material used such as nylon, and the form of its cross-section. If it should be desired to have the connecting member 22 exert a limited degree of resilient closing force to hold the door in its closed position, it is possible to mold the hinge member 10 so that the connecting member 22 assumes a slightly twisted position when the flange members 12 and 18 are in the position shown in FIG. 3. Alternatively, the pocket 46 in the cabinet 48 could be formed in a position rotated somewhat from the position shown in FIG. 3 so that the fastener 48 would not overlie the fastener 44 when the door was in its closed position.
In FIG. 5, a modified form of hinge indicated generally at 60 is shown. The hinge 60 has first flange means indicated generally at 62 which include a pair of spaced first flange portions 64, 64' lying in a common plane. The spaced flange portions 64, 64' each have a hole 66, 66 which is adapted to receive a fastener 65, 65' (FIG. 6). Extending at right angles to the plane of the pair of first flange portions 64 are a pair of elongated spaced support portions 68, 70 which are joined at their outer ends by a bridging member 72. Connected centrally of the bridging member 72 are a pair of elongated resiliently twistable support members 76 which are joined at their opposite end to a second flange means 78 having fastener receiving holes 80. The resilient twistable support members 76 are sufficiently longer than the supporting portions 68, 70 so as to cause the first and second flange means 62, 78 respectively to be spaced from each other and thereby prevent binding between the flanges or between a door and a cabinet to which they are mounted.
FIG. 6 shows the hinge 60 of FIG. 5 mounted within a hole (not shown) in a door 86. Since the door 86 is shown (in phantom) in its wide open position relative to a cabinet frame 88, the support portions 68, 70 and the support members 76 are twisted.
FIG. 7 shows an additional modified form of hinge 90 which is simpler to mold than the form shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. The design is essentially indentical to that shown in FIG. 5 except that the second flange means indicated generally at 92 is arranged at approximately 90 degrees relative to the first flange means indicated generally at 94. If this style of hinge were to be installed in a door and cabinet arrangement such as shown in FIG. 6, one of the flange portions 96, 98 which make up the second flange means 92 would necessarily project over the front of the cabinet. Accordingly, when using the style of hinge shown in FIG. 7, it is necessary where a thin door is used, that the door either be inset somewhat from the front of the cabinet or the cabinet extended in order to premit anchoring both ends of flange means 92. Alternatively, it would be possible to mount the second flange means 92 with its fastener receiving holes 100, 102 in alignment with fastener receiving holes 104, 106 in the first flange means 94 when the door is in closed position. To provide such a mounting, it would of course be necessary for the twistable support members 108 to be exerting a biasing force on the door even when the door was closed.
Although it is contemplated that all of the hinge devices described herein be made out of molded plastic, it would be possible, in the case of the hinge construction shown in FIG. 7 to produce the design out of a metal stamping if the portion of the first flange means 92 which connects the flange portions 96, 98 were eliminated.
1. A one-piece hinge comprising first laterally extending flange means adapted to be fastened to one of two complementary relatively movable members, second laterally extending flange means adjacent said first flange means pivotally movable relative to said first flange means about a pivot axis normal to the planes of said first and second flange means, and adapted to be fastened to the other of said complementary relatively movable members and means integrally joining said first and second flange means to permit mounting said first and second flange means in pivotable, resiliently-biased relationship relative to each other, said means for joining including a flexible elongated connecting member extending rearwardly of said first flange means, said connecting member being adapted, when said first and second flange means are fastened to said relatively movable complementary members, to be received in a hole which is adapted to receive said pivot axis and which is in the one of said two relatively movable members to which said first flange means is fastened, wherein said elongated connecting member includes at least two elongated spaced support portions extending rearwardly of said first flange means and dependent therefrom, said spaced support portions being joined at their end remote from said first flange means to each other and to at least one resiliently twistable support member which extends between them and provides support for the second flange member.
2. The one piece hinge of claim 1 wherein said first flange means comprises at least two spaced substantially planar flange portions, each of said spaced support portions being joined to one of said planar flange portions and extending generally perpendicular to the plane thereof, said at least one resiliently twistable support member being positioned intermediate said spaced support portions and extending past said first flange means to a point where it is joined to and perpendicular to the plane of said second flange means.
3. The one piece hinge of claim 1 wherein said first and second flange means have holes therein adapted to receive fasteners for anchoring said flange means to said two relatively movable members.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,388,420 6/1968 Ballantyne 16180 3,103,035 9/1963 Magnuson 16-180 5 2,810,153 10/1957 Semar 16--180 13,085 6/1855 French 16180 FRANCIS K. ZUGEL, Primary Examiner 10 P. A. ASCHENBRENNER, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 16--18