US 3629794 A
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United States Patent 1 amwa Inventor Fritz Kourlmsky Leutershausen, Germany Appl. No. 311,401
Filed Apr. 21, 1970 Patented Dec. 21, 1971 Assignee AMP Incorporated Harrisburg, Pa.
Priority May 21, 1969 Germany FOLDED BOX SPLICE TERMINAL 5 Claims, 3 Drawing Figs.
IILS. Cl 339/95 ll), 339/217 S, 339/242 Int. Cl H01r 11/20 Field of Search 339/95, 96, 97,2l7,22l,258, 242
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,725,544 11/1955 Strange 339/95 D 3,125,392 3/1964 Winter 339/95 D 3,147,058 9/1964 .Zdanis 339/97 3,214,722 10/1965 Weimer 339/95 D FORElGN PATENTS 76,151 7/1953 Denmark..... 339/95 D 1,240,573 5/1967 Germany..... 339/95 D 1,285,589 12/1968 Germany 339/95 D Primary Examiner-Marvin A. Champion Assistant ExaminerRobert A. Hafer Attorneys-Curtis, Morris and Safford, William .1. heating,
William Hintze, Frederick W. Rating, John R. Hopkins, Adrian .l. LaRue and Jay L. Seitchilr.
ABSTRACT: A splice terminal to form an electrical connec* tion between a plurality of electrical conductors at least one of which is clamped by a leaf spring to a side of the terminal, and a housing of insulating material dimensioned to receive the terminal, a wall of the housing including two funnels formed with apertures arranged to lie generally parallel to the abutting portion of the flanges and each to receive an electrical conductor.
PATENTED UEIIZI I971 SHEET 2 BF 2 FOLDED BOX SPLICE TERMINAL The invention relates to a splice terminal to form an electrical connection between a plurality of electrical conductors.
There is a need for a one-piece splice terminal capable of giving at least a semipermanent connection to a conductor or conductors, and a releasable connection to other conductors, and which can be made from a blank in easy steps not requiring special tooling.
A splice terminal to form an electrical connection between a plurality of electrical conductors at least one of which is clamped by a leaf spring to a side of the terminal, according to the invention, is formed by bending a blank comprising a web having lateral extensions and an end projection into a box portion and a projection, the box portion including a pair of flanges formed from the free ends of the lateral extensions and bent to lie between and generally parallel to the sides of the box portion, portions of the flanges being inclined to the sides to form leaf springs to trap electrical conductors against the sides, and the projection including means to retain an electrical conductor.
The invention also provides an assembly comprising a terminal according to the invention, and a housing of insulating material dimensioned to receive the terminal and retain it by engagement of a locking tongue struck out of the terminal and a shoulder formed in the housing, a wall of the housing including two funnels formed with apertures arranged to lie generally parallel to the abutting portion of the flanges and each to receive an electrical conductor.
In order that the invention may be well understood, it will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one terminal in accordance with the invention.
P10. 2 is a cross-sectional plane view showing the terminal of FIG. 1 in a terminal housing; and
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a modified form of the terminal of FIG. 1.
The terminal 1, FIGS. 1 and 2, is made from a single sheet metal blank comprising a web 5 formed with lateral extensions and an elongate projection 3 projecting from one end of the web and extending in width from one side of the centerline of the web to the edge of the web. The lateral extensions are first bent upwardly through 90 along a bending axis spaced from the free edges of the extensions and generally parallel to the longitudinal axis of the web to form flanges 9 and 10. The extensions are then bent upwardly through 90 along the line of union with the web 5 to form sides 6, 7 and these are then bent through 90 along a bending axis intermediate the first two bends, so as to make from the web 5 and the lateral extensions a boxlike portion generally indicated by reference numeral 2. The flanges 9, are thus made to extend in abutting relationship and generally parallel to sides 5, 7 to contact the face of the web 5 opposed to the side 4 formed by the last-mentioned bending. The flange 9, l0 define a seam 8 along the centerline of the side 4 and they extend a short distance towards the projection 3 and then they are cut from the side 4 and diverge away from each other and towards sides 5, 7 respectively to form leaf springs 11, 12 the free ends of which contact the sides 5, 7 respectively, as shown in FIG. 2. The springs 11, 12 are so inclined away from the flanges 9, 10 respectively that when an electrical conductor is introduced into the ter minal l in the direction of the arrow Y, they are resiliently deflected way from the sides 5, 7 respectively and bear on the electrical conductor to hold it against the respective side (as shown, spring 12 bears on conductor 15 to hold it to the side 7).
The projection 3 is bent up at its union with the web 5 to lie generally perpendicular to the flanges 9, 10 and it is bent back upon itself intermediate its length, in region 16, to form sidewalls 17, 18 disposed generally parallel to each other. A slot 19 is cut in the region 16 with bulbous extensions which extend into each of the sidewalls 17, 18 as shown. The walls of the slot 19 are roughened to give an abrasive surface and the slot is dimensioned to receive, by a force fit, a ferrule portion 21 of an electrical conductor 20. A locking tongue 22 projects from the surface of web 5 remote :from the side 4 and, as shown in FIG. 2, engages with a shoulder 26 of a housing 25 formed of insulating material and dimensioned to receive the terminal 1, the end of the box portion 2 remote from the projection 3 being abutted against a front wall 27 of the housing 25. The front wall 27 is formed with conductor funnels 28, 29 at its ends and these project from the wall away from the terminal 1. Each funnel is formed with an aperture 3, 31 respectively, which is arranged to lie normal to the long axis of the leaf spring 11, 12 respectively so that an electrical conductor passed through the aperture will abut the leaf spring. An aperture 32 is so cut through the wall 27 that a tool inserted in the aperture will contact the leaf springs 11, 12 rearwardly of the free ends thereof, and an aperture 33 is cut adjacent the comer of the housing 25 diagonally opposite to that at which funnel 29 is formed to receive a test probe to test the terminal 1. The housing 25 may be formed with latching arms (not shown) for connection to a support member, e.g., a panel.
ln making the assembly shown in PEG, 2, the ferrule portion 21 of an electrical conductor 20 is force-fitted into the slot 19, the abrasive surface of which cuts through a nonconducting coating, e.g., oxide film or lacquer, to make good electrical connection between the conductor 20 and the projection 3 of the terminal 1. The locking lance 22 is then depressed into the plane of the web 5 and the terminal 1 is then slid into the housing 25, box portion 2 leading, until the end of the box portion 2 remote from the projection 3 contacts the inner surface of the front wall 27 of the housing 25 hen the locking tongue 22 is released to engage with the shoulder 26. The terminal 1 is thus retained in the housing 25 which may be mounted by latching arms (not shown), on a support member. An electrical conductor 15 may be inserted in each of the funnels 28, 29 to pass through the apertures 30, 31 respectively to but the projection 3 and be clampingly held against a side 6, 7 respectively by leaf springs 11, 12 respectively. The leaf springs 11, 12 may be lifted off electrical conductors 15 by pressing them towards the projection 3 using a tool, e.g., a screwdriver, passed into the terminal 1 through the aperture 32.
The slot 19 may be of tapering form, and the sides may be sharpened so that they can cut through an insulation sheath of an electrical conductor.
The terminal of FIG. 3 differs from that of FIGS. 1 and 2 in that projection 3 is formed into a wire crimping ferrule 34 with an insulating support ferrule 35. The conductor 20 is crimped in the projection 3 and makes a permanent instead of a semipermanent connection. The terminal of FIG. 3 may be formed in one piece from a single lblank, the projection of which is shaped to form the crimping ferrule.
A terminal according to the invention can be used where an electric supply lead is permanently or semipermanently connected to the projection 3 or 3' and a replaceable component is removably connected by leaf springs 11, 12 holding wires of the component against the walls 6, 7 of the box portion 2. One example of such a use is in a fluorescent light fitting where the replaceable component is a ballast choke or a capacitor. The terminal is made in one piece from a single blank using readily available tools.
What is claimed is:
1. A splice terminal formed from a single piece of metal, comprising a box portion having an integral conductor-receiving projection, the box portion being a generally rectangular cross-sectional shape and comprising a floor having integral opposite sidewalls extending from the floor, the sidewalls having longitudinal extensions which extend towards each other to define a roof generally parallel to the floor and ending in flanges which extend toward the floor generally parallel to the opposite sidewalls, an end portion of each flange being inclined towards the adjacent sidewall to define a leaf spring to urge an electrical conductor toward that sidewall.
2. A splice terminal according to claim 1, in which the projection comprises a crimping ferrule.
3. A splice terminal according to claim 1, in which a locking tongue is struck out from a side of the box portion.
4. An assembly comprising a splice terminal and a housing, said terminal being formed from a single piece of metal and comprising a box portion having an integral conductor-receiving projection, the box portion being a generally rectangular cross-sectional shape and comprising a floor having integral opposite sidewalls extending from the floor, the sidewalls having longitudinal extensions which extend towards each other to define a roof generally parallel to the floor and ending in flanges which extend towards the floor generally parallel to the opposite sidewalls, an end portion of each flange being inclined towards the adjacent sidewall to define a leaf spring to urge an electrical conductor towards that sidewall, a locking tongue struck out from a side of the box portion, said housing being formed of insulating material and being dimensioned to receive the terminal, said housing having a shoulder formed therein for engagement with the terminal locking tongue for retaining the terminal in position within the housing, said housing further having a wall including two funnels formed with apertures arranged to lie generally parallel to the portion of the terminal flanges which extends from the roof towards the terminal floor, each funnel being positioned to receive an electrical conductor therein.
5. An assembly according to claim 4, in which an aperture is formed in the wall to receive a tool to lift the leaf springs away from the sides.