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Publication numberUS3634811 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 11, 1972
Filing dateSep 22, 1969
Priority dateSep 23, 1968
Publication numberUS 3634811 A, US 3634811A, US-A-3634811, US3634811 A, US3634811A
InventorsWladimiro Teagno, Gianfranco D Urso
Original AssigneeAmp Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Hermaphroditic connector assembly
US 3634811 A
Abstract
The invention concerns a hermaphroditic contact and connector assembly and the contact comprises a wire-connecting section integral with male and female contact sections, wherein a channel from which the base extends as a tab and the sides extend over the tab as spring arms for receiving a tab of an identical complementary contact between edges of the arms and the tab. A longitudinal ridge on the tab of one contact engages between the arms of the complementary contact. A contact is assembled in a housing having a passageway partly closed at its insertion ends to expose edges of the arms and the tab for contact-engaging action.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 72] lnventors Wladimiro Teagno;

Gianfranco DUrso, both of Turin, Italy [21] Appl. No. 859,652 [22] Filed Sept. 22, 1969 [45] Patented Jan. 11, 1972 [73] Assignee AMP Incorporated Harrisburg, Pa. [32] Priority Sept. 23, 1968 [33] Italy [31] 844256 [54] HERMAPHRODITIC CONNECTOR ASSEMBLY 9 Claims, 3 Drawing Figs.

[52] US. Cl 339/47, 339/217, 339/256 [51] Int. Cl H01! 25/00 [50] Field of Search 339/47, 48,

49,217, 256, 258, 217.1, 248, 223; 287/63, 64 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,615,736, 10/1952 Bergan eta1...; 339/47C 2,640,970 6/1953 Falge et a1. 339/258 S X 2,744,244 5/1956 Schumacher et al. 339/47 C 2,938,190 5/1960 Krehbiel 339/223 X v 3,178,674 4/1965 Scheller 339/217 S 3,268,851 8/1966 Mancini 339/258 3,351,894 11/1967 Kinkaid 339/217 S 3,389,371 6/1968 Maynard 339/217 S X FOREIGN PATENTS 85,144 5/1965 France 339/49 930,509 7/1963 Great Britain 339/49 Primary Examiner-James A. Leppink Assistant Examiner-Terrell P. Lewis Attorneys-Curtis, Morris and Safford, William J. Keating, William Hintze, Frederick W. Raring, John R. Hopkins, Adrian .1. La Rue and Jay L. Seitchik ABSTRACT: The invention concerns a hermaphroditic contact and connector assembly and the contact comprises a wire-connecting section integral with male and female contact sections, wherein a channel from which the base extends as a tab and the sides extend over the tab as spring arms for receiving a tab of an identical complementary contact between edges of the arms and the tab. A longitudinal ridge on the tab of one contact engages between the arms ofthe complementary contact. A contact is assembled in a housing having a passageway partly closed at its insertion ends to expose edges ofthe arms and the tab for contact-engaging action.

PATENTEU mu 1 \972 SHEET 1 BF 2 MN M M vw QM 9 mW m mm mgm mi a Q R mm 3m W Y m INVENTORS WLADIMIRO TEAGNO GIANFRANCO D'URSO 62%; ;L i/fiug PATENTED m1 1 ma 3634' 811 SHEET 2 BF 2 INVENTORS WLADIMIRO TEAGNO GIANFRANCO D'URSO HERMAPHRODITIC CONNECTOR ASSEMBLY This invention relates to hermaphrodite electrical connectors and is particularly concerned with a novel hermaphrodite contact and an assembly of such a contact in a housing of insulating material.

Hermaphroditic contacts are known which comprise male and female portions longitudinally displaced for engagement of a pair of contacts by relative longitudinal movement. Difficulty has been experienced in using these contacts in groups in a multiple-contact connector since they have required precise alignment to obtain mating. This difficulty is accentuated by difflculty in mounting such contacts in housings and by the cumulative tolerances on molded housings. As a result industrial exploitation of contacts of this kind has been retarded.

An object of the present invention is that of a hermaphroditic contact folded from sheet metal which comprises a channel-shaped section having at one end an extension of the base defining a connecting section, at the other end of the channel-shaped section, another extension of the base defining a flat tab, sides of the channel-shaped section having extensions defining a pair of arms generally parallel to and overlying the tab, the arms presenting edges spaced from the tab by a distance less than the thickness of the tab for receiving the tab of a complementary contact by deflection of the arms.

Another object is that in one embodiment the tab is formed centrally with a longitudinal ridge projecting on a side of the tab opposite to the arms, the arms converging from the channel sides towards a middle portion of the tab and having end portions extending longitudinally of the tab in spaced-apart parallel manner for receiving the ridge of a complementary contact between them.

A further object is that suitably the leading end of the ridge is convexly curved to facilitate entry between the arms of a complementary contact, and the leading end of the tab is chamfered to facilitate entry between edges of the arms and the tab of the complementary contact.

An additional object is that the tab of the contact suitably projects beyond the edges of the arms, and the ridge suitably terminates between ends of the edges and the end of the tab.

A still further object is that ends of the arms are suitably provided with end portions stepped away from the tab and flared outwardly for engaging a housing recess to stabilize the contact at its forward end, and the contact, rearwardly of the ridge, is suitably formed with an aperture in the base of the channel section for receiving a housing projection to secure the contact in a housing passageway against withdrawal.

Other objects and attainments of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon a reading of the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the drawings in which there is shown and described an illustrative embodiment of the invention; it is to be understood, however, that this embodiment is not intended to be exhaustive or limiting of the invention but is given for purposes of illustration in order that others skilled in the art may fully understand the invention and the principles thereof and the manner of applying it in practical use so that they may modify it in various forms, each as may be best suited to the conditions of a particular use.

The invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying partly diagrammatic drawings, in which:

F 1G. 1 is a fragmentary cross-sectional and elevational view of a mating hermaphrodite connector assembly;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a pair of hermaphrodite contacts of the assembly of FIG. 1 in disengaged condition; and

FIG. 3 is a section taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 1 of the contacts in engagement but with the housing removed.

The mating hermaphroditic connector assembly of FIG. 1 comprises a pair of identical housings l, 2 of resilient insulating material and each containing a plurality of identical hermaphroditic contacts 3, 4 of which only one in each housing is shown.

The contacts 3, 4 as seen also in FIG. 2, each comprises a channel-shaped middle section 5 integrally formed at one end with a wire-crimping section 6 secured to a conductor wire 7. The base of the channel section 5 at the other end is extended as a flat tab 8 having a chamfered leading end 9, the tab 8 having a width less than that of the channel section 5 and being centrally disposed. The channel base is formed centrally with a square aperture 10 from which the metal is pushed up between the sides of the channel section, away from tab 8 and generally perpendicular to the channel base to form a wire stop 1 l. The tab 8 is formed centrally with a longitudinal ridge 12 projecting on a side of the tab opposite to sides of the channel section 5. The ridge 12 is defined by a channel-shaped indentation or corrugation in the tab, and extends from aperture 10 towards the free end of the tab 8. The ridge 12 terminates short of the end of the tab 8-in a convex arcuate leading end 13 extending widthwise of the tab 8. Opposite sides 14 of the ridge are flat and extend in parallel manner.

Opposite sides of the channel section 5 have forward extensions, defining arms 15 extending longitudinally of and generally parallel to the tab 8. The arms 15 present edges 16 spaced from the tab 8 by a distance less than the tab thickness for receiving a tab 8 of a complementary contact between the edges 16 and the tab 8. The edges 16 extend generally parallel to the tab and are suitably inclined from their ends adjacent the channel section 5 at a slight angle towards the adjacent tab surface so that in operation, as will be described, flexure of the arms about the sides of the channel section 5 results in the edges assuming a more parallel condition in engagement with a surface of the complementary tab throughout their lengths.

The arms 15 extend from the sides of the channel section 5, initially in convergent manner at convergent parts 17 which are bent, remote from the channel section 5, towards the end of the tab 8 to extend as parallel-spaced side parts 18. The side parts 18 terminate short of the free end of the tab 8. The side parts 18 have their adjacent faces spaced apart by a distance slightly less than the spacing between the outer sides 14 of the ridge 12 so that the side parts 18 can receive the ridge 12 of a complementary contact in a spring fit between them. The arms 15 are provided with end extensions 19 spaced further from the tab 8 than the arm edges 16 to define recesses 20 between the extensions 19 and the tab 8. The extensions 19 are flared apart. The arms 15 are formed with stiffening ribs 21 which extend longitudinally of the convergent parts 17 and side parts 18. The ribs 21 are defined by indentations on adjacent faces of the arms IS-and project outwardly. The indentations 21 extend over major lengths of the arms 15 from ends of the convergent parts 17 adjacent channel section 5 to forward ends of the side parts 18, and have a triangular cross section. The indentations 21, are formed with a straight-ended punch so that, due to the nonlinear form ofthe arms 15, the indentations vary in depth with a maximum depth at the junction between the convergent parts 17 and the side parts 18 of the arms.

Each of the housings 1, 2 is formed with a contact-receiving cavity 22 partly closed at a forward end by a flange 23 integral with a sidewall of the cavity 22 formed internally with a recess 24 receiving the arm extensions 19 of the associated contact 3 or 4. A latch arm 25, integral with the housing, extends forwardly from the opposite sidewall of the contact-receiving cavity at an end of the cavity 22 remote from the flange 23 and is formed with a latch head 26 presenting a forward-facing shoulder and a rear-facing inclined surface. The latch head 26 engages the contact aperture 10. The opposite sidewall of the cavity 22 is open between the latch head 26 and the flange 23 and the opening 27 communicates with a housing cavity 28 complementary to the housing portion terminated by flange 23. The cavity 28 is adapted to receive the flange-ended portion of the complementary housing which is arranged in inverted manner, as seen in FIG. 1, so that the openings 27 of the two housings l, 2 are registered together. The sidewall of each housing 1, 2 formed with the flange 23, is formed externally with a recess 29 for receiving a complementary sidewall 30 of the opposite housing. The sidewall formed with the flange 23 is additionally formed internally with a flange 31 perpendicular to the sidewall and the flange 23, and arranged to extend between the arms 15 of the associated contact.

In assembling a contact into its housing, the contact is inserted to engage the tab 8 with the latch head 26 at the inclined rear-facing latch surface. This depresses the latch head 26 by flexure of latch arm 25 and permits passage of the contact further into the cavity 22 to engage the arm extensions 19 in the recess 24 and position the leading chamfered end 9 of the tab 8 below the flange 23. The flange 31 engages between side parts 18 of arms 15 and serves to align the contact longitudinally of the cavity 22, and the latch head 26 engages in aperture to resist withdrawal of the contact. Forward movement of the contact is limited by the flange 23 and the lower side of recess 24 serves to resist tilting of the contact into the opening 27 of the housing.

0n bringing the housings 1 and 2 into mating condition, the portion of each housing formed with flange 23 is registered with the cavity 28 of the other housing. The chamfered end 9 of each contact tab 8 is registered in the space between the flange 23 and the tab end 9 of the complementary housing assembly. To facilitate this, the flanges 23 are formed with leadin chamfcrs 32. Further engaging movement of the housings l and 2 effects entry of the leading end 9 of each tab 8 between the tab 8 and the edges 16 of the side arm parts 18 ofthe complementary contacts until the flanges 23 engage shoulders 33 of the complementary housings. In this condition the tabs 8 of the contacts, as seen in FIGS. 1 and 3, are held in face-to-face relationship by clamping action of the arms with edges 16 ofthe arms 15 engaging remote faces of the tabs 8. Inner faces of the side parts 18 of the arms 15 of each contact engage outer faces of the ridge 12 of the other contact.

Insertion of tab 8 between the tab and the arms 15 of the complementary contact effects flexure of the arms away from the tab. In view of the contact configuration, the arms are stiff against bending and resilient deformation takes place in the sides of the channel section. By inclining the edges 16 of the arms forwardly towards the complementary adjacent tab surface at a suitable and slight angle, the flexure results in edges 16 assuming a more nearly parallel condition and contacting the complementary tab throughout their lengths. The edges 16 are recessed at their rear ends adjacent the channel section and the recesses 35 serve to relieve stress concentrations.

It will, therefor, be appreciated that the aforementioned and the other desirable objects have been achieved; however, it should be emphasized that the particular embodiment of the invention, which is shown and described herein, is intended as merely illustrative and not as restrictive ofthe invention.

The invention is claimed in accordance with the following:

I. A hermaphroditic contact formed from sheet metal and comprising a channelshape section having at one end a connecting section, a base of the channel-shaped section having an extension at the other end of the channel-shaped section defining a flat tab, sides of the channel-shaped section are extended generally parallel to the flat tab to define a pair of arms overlying the tab on a side of the channel-shaped section remote from the connecting section, the arms presenting edges spaced from the tab by a distance less than the tab thickness for receiving the tab ofa complementary contact by deflection of the arms, the tab being formed centrally with a longitudinal ridge projecting on a side of the tab opposite to the arms, the arms concerging from the channel sides towards a middle portion of the tab and having end portions extending longitudinally of the tab and spaced apart by a distance less than the width of the ridge for receiving and resiliently gripping the ridge of a complementary identical contact between them.

2. A contact as claimed in claim 1, in which the leading end of the ridge is convexly curved widthwise of the tab and the leading end of the tab is chamfered in width and thickness.

3. A contact as claimed in claim 1, in which the leading end of the tab projects beyond leading ends of the edges of the arms and the ridge terminates between the ends of the edges of the arms and the leading end of the tab.

4. A contact as claimed in claim 1, in which the arms are stiffened by longitudinal indentations formed at adjacent faces of the arms and projecting outwards, the indentations extending between remote parts of the convergent parts and the generally parallel end portions of the arms.

5. A contact as claimed in claim 1, in which the cannel section is formed in its base with an aperture from which the metal is pushed up between the channel sides away from the arms, to define a wire stop for a wire-crimping section forming the connecting section.

6. An electrical connector assembly comprising in combination a dielectric housing and an electrical contact, said housing having a passageway extending therethrough, said passageway having at an insertion end thereof a flange partly closing this end, said electrical contact having a channelshaped section, a conductor-engaging portion extending outwardly from one end of said channel-shaped section, a base of said channel-shaped section having an extension defining a tab, a longitudinal ridge extending along an outer surface of said tab, sides of said channel-shaped section having extensions defining arms extending in the same direction as said tab, said arms having edges extending along an inner surface of said tab, said arms having middle portions extending parallel to each other and spaced apart a distance slightly less than the width of said ridge, ends of said arms being in alignment with said flange to limit movement of said contact in one direction in said passageway and to maintain said tab spaced from an inside surface of said passageway and exposed to the open part of the passageway at the insertion end thereof, and means provided by said housing and said contact to limit movement of said contact in said passageway opposite to that of the one direction.

7. A hermaphroditic contact formed from sheet metal and comprising a channel-shaped section having at one end a connecting section, a base of the channel-shaped section having an extension at the other end of the channel-shaped section defining a flat tab, sides of the channel-shaped section having extensions defining a pair of arms generally parallel to and overlying the tab, the arms presenting edges spaced from the tab by a distance less than the tab thickness for receiving the tab of a complementary contact by deflection of the arms, the arms being formed at their leading ends with extensions stepped away from the tab and flared apart.

8. An electrical connector assembly comprising in combination a dielectric housing and an electrical contact, said housing having a passageway extending therethrough, said passageway having at an insertion end thereof a flange partly closing this end, said electrical contact having a channelshaped section, a conductor-engaging portion extending outwardly from one end of said channel-shaped section, a base of said channel-shaped section having an extension defining a tab, sides of said channel-shaped section having extensions defining arms extending in the same direction as said tab, said arms having edges extending along an inner surface of said tab, ends of said arms being in alignment with said flange to limit movement of said contact in one direction in said passageway and to maintain said tab spaced from an inside surface of said passageway and exposed to the open part of the passageway at the insertion end thereof, and means provided by said housing and said contact to limit movement of said contact in said passageway opposite to that of the one direction, said movement limiting means comprising an integral latching arm extending outwardly from a wall of said passageway and having a latch head disposed in an opening of said channel-shaped section.

9. An electrical connector assembly comprising in combination a dielectric housing and an electrical contact, said housing having a passageway extending therethrough, said passageway having at an insertion end thereof a flange partly closing this end, said electrical contact having a channelshaped section, a conductor-engaging portion extending outof said tab, ends of said arms being in alignment with said flange to limit movement of said contact in one direction in said passageway and to maintain said tab spaced from an inside surface of said passageway and exposed to the open part of the passageway at the insertion end thereof, and means provided by said housing and said contact to limit movement of said contact in said passageway opposite to that of the one direction k k k

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Classifications
U.S. Classification439/290, 439/595
International ClassificationH01R13/28, H01R13/422
Cooperative ClassificationH01R13/4223, H01R13/28
European ClassificationH01R13/28