US 3644856 A
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United States Patent Scott 5] Feb. 22, 1972  ELECTRICAL SWITCH 3,256,400 6/1966 Wintriss ..335/207  Inventor: John M. Scott, 77 Rutledge Drive, Young- Primary Examiner Bemard Gilheany stown 44505 Assistant Examiner-R. N. Envall, Jr. 22 Filed: Mar. 8, 1971 Attorney-Webster Harpman  Appl. No.: 121,725  ABSTRACT An electrical switch incorporating circuit terminals and a  US. Cl ..335/207 switch member movable thereagainst to close an electrical cir- [51-] Int. Cl. ..H01h 5/02 it therebetween in which the switch member is mounted on  Field or Search ..335/205, 206, 207 a permanent magnet positioned in the electrical switch in P- posed polarity with respect to a second permanent magnet  References Cited whereby the repelling action of the permanent magnets will normally hold the switch member in spaced relation to the cir- UNITED STATES PATENTS cuit terminals.
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ELECTRICAL SWITCH BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Prior structures of this type usually employ springs for normally maintaining the switch member in spaced relation to the contact member or members in the switch structure.
Magnets have been incorporated in electrical switches for moving the actual switching members as seen for example in U.S. Pat. No. 3,443,043. In U.S. Pat. No. 2,847,528 'a single magnet is used to attract an armature which, in turn is connected with a contact through a movement of the armature and the contact away from thelmagnet. In U.S. Pat. No. 3,486,144 a magnet moves back .and forth with respect to movable switch contacts to cause the same to move into or out of engagement with one another.
.This invention eliminates the springs of other means believed necessary tohold the respective movable parts of an electrical switch in desired position. By substituting the permanent magnets arranged in opposed relation so that the repelling effect of the magnetic field maintains the moveable switch members in desired position.
" SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An electrical switch structure incorporates circuit terminals and a switch member movable relative thereto so that an electrical circuit may be made upon bringing the same into contact therewith. A permanent magnet is positioned adjacent the circuit terminals and a secondary permanent magnet carries the switch member. The magnets are positioned in the electrical switch in opposed polarity so that the magnetic fields repel one another and thus normally space the magnet carrying the switch member with respect to the circuit terminals.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FlGfl is a side elevation view with parts in cross section and parts broken away illustrating a normally open electric switch.
FIG. 2 is a horizontal section on line 2-2 of FIG. 1 and broken lines on FIG. 2 indicate the section of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view with parts broken away and parts in cross section illustrating a normally closed electrical switch and I FIG. 4 is a horizontal section on line 4-4 of FIG. 3. Broken lines in FIG. 4 indicate a section of FIG. 3.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In its simplest form the electrical switch of this invention consists of a housing 10 formed of insulated material and provided with a cover 11 which is apertured as at 12. A pair of circuit terminals, 13 and 14, are positioned in the opposite ends of the housing 10 vertical portions 15 and 16 respectively thereof having threaded openings forthe reception of bolts 17 and 18 respectively. The interior configuration of the housing 10 is preferably such that the circuit terminals 13 and 14 are held in desired positioned by snap in relationship thereto as will be understood by those skilled in the art and it will occur to those skilled in the art that the bolts 17 and 18 provide means for connecting the electrical switch in an electrical circuit to be controlled thereby.
An elongated switch member 19 is mounted on a portion of permanent magnet material 20 which may be an alloy with high magnetic permeability at a low field strength and low hysteresis loss such as alloys largely composed of nickel and iron to which copper, molybidenum, chromium, cobalt, manganese etc., have I been added. Alternately, the permanent magnet 20 may he asection of a plastic material loaded with a powdered alloy metals such as hereinbefore referred to and capable of being permanently magnetized.
The switch member 19 and the permanent magnet 20 are, in turn, carried by a movable body member 21 which has an upwardly and outwardly extending portion 22 which acts as a button for manual engagement. The housing 10 isformed to receive and retain a secondary section of magnetic material 23. The permanent magnets 20 and 23 are positioned in the electrical switch with the poles in opposed relation so that they normally repel one another and this repelling action of the opposed magnetic fields of the magnets 20 and 23 result in normally holding the switch member 19, the permanent magnet 20 and the body member 21 in spaced relation with respect to the circuit terminals 13 and 14, heretofore referred. Thus, an electric circuit connected with the switch will be open until such time as the extension 22 is depressed manually to overcome the repelling field of the magnets 20 and 23 and move the switch member 19 into engagement-with the circuit terminals 13 and 14 to complete an electric circuit through the switch.
It will occur to those skilled in that art that by reversing the position of the circuit terminals and the switch member the electric switch heretofore described in connection with FIGS. 1 and 2 of the'drawings, may be normally closed and maintained in such normally closed position by the opposed repelling forces of the permanent magnets.
By referring now to FIGS. 3 and 4 of the drawings such a modification of the invention may be seen. In FIGS. 3 and 4 a housing 24 has a cover 25 which is apertured to permit an extension 26 on a movable body member 27 to extend therethrough so that it may be manually engaged.
A first permanent magnet 28 is carried on the moveable body member 27 and a contact strip 29 is positioned on the moveable body member 27 so that its ends can engage spaced circuit terminals 30 and 31 respectively,'-extensions of which are provided with bolts 32 and 33 so that circuit wires may be connected-thereto. A second permanent magnet 34 is positioned in the housing 24 in opposed relation to the first mentioned magnet 28 and the repelling magnetic effects of the magnets 28 and 34 will normally hold the movable body member 27 in spaced relation to the magnet 34 and with the e contact member 29 in engagement with the circuit terminals. 30 and 31. In order to break a circuit controlled by the electric switch, manual pressure applied to the extension 26 will move the movable body member 27 and the switch member 29 downwardly and away from the-circuit terminals 30 and 31 so as to break the circuit. Upon release, the permanent magnets repelling effect will againclose the circuit as will be understood by those skilled in the art.
Although but one embodiment of the present invention has been illustrated and described, it will be apparent to those skilled in that art that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the invention, and having thus described my invention, what I claim is:
1. An electrical switch having spaced circuit terminals and a movable switch member arranged to engage the same so as to close a circuit therethrough, a pair of permanent magnets in said switch arranged in repelling relation to one another, said switch member being carried on one of said permanent magnets and the other permanent magnet positioned adjacent said circuit terminals and means for moving said permanent magnet carrying said switch member toward said circuit terminals and the other permanent magnet.
2. The electrical switch of claim 1 wherein said means for moving said permanent magnet carrying said switch member comprises a body member supporting said switch member and permanent magnet.
3. The electrical switch of claim 1 wherein the permanent magnets are elongated sections of resilient material having magnetizable metallic powder incorporated therein.
4. The electrical switch of claim 1 wherein the. switch member and the permanent magnet carrying the same are reversed and the switch member is normally engaging said circuit terminals.