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Publication numberUS3656088 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 11, 1972
Filing dateJul 27, 1970
Priority dateJul 27, 1970
Also published asCA939033A1, DE2137932A1, DE2137932B2
Publication numberUS 3656088 A, US 3656088A, US-A-3656088, US3656088 A, US3656088A
InventorsSeim William J
Original AssigneeMinnesota Mining & Mfg
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 3656088 A
Connector for small insulated aluminum wires comprises a wire-receiving insulating body member having wire-anchoring ridges and an insulating cap member carrying a resilient U-shaped connector plate which is doubly slotted, with a wide outer slot and a narrow inner slot, for each wire.
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Seim [is] 3,656,088 1451 Apr. 11, 1972 154] CONNECTOR i [72] Inventor: WilliamL'Seini, St. Paul, Minn.

[73] Assignee: Minnesota Mining and Manuiacturln Company, St. Paul, Minn.

22 Filedz July 27,1970

211 Appl.No.: 58,248

[52] US. Cl ..339/98 51 1111.0 ..II0lr9/08 5s FieldoiSearch ..339/97-99 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,403,372 9/1968 Stinson,Jr ..339/97R 3,118,715 1/1964 Potruch ..339/98 2,658,184 1 1/ 1953 Greenbaum. ..339/99 R 3,147,058 9/1964 Zdanis ..339/97 R FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 67,298 '2/19s1 Netherlands ..339/97R Primary Examiner--Joseph H. McGlynn Attomey-Kinney, Alexander, Sell, Steldt & Delahunt [5 ABSTRACT Connector for small insulated aluminum wires comprises a wire-receiving insulating body member having wire-anchoring ridges and an insulating cap member carrying a'resilient U- shaped connector plate which is doubly slotted, with a wide outer slot and a narrow inner slot, for each wire.

4Claims,6DrawingFigures I There is provided a connector having a contact element capable of accepting and making permanent electrical contact with aluminum wires over a wide range of wire diameters while at the same time ofi'ering sufficient mechanical support to prevent shearing or breakage of the larger wires under the mechanical stresses experienced during continued use.

, In the drawing,

FIG. 1 is a plan view of one embodiment of the connector of this invention,

FIGS. 2 and 3 are longitudinal sectional views of cap and body members respectively taken approximately at section 22 of FIG. 1,

FIG. 4 is a transverse sectional view of the cap member taken approximately at section 4--4 of FIG. 1,

FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of the connector of FIG. 1 in open wire-accepting condition, and

FIG. 6 is a plan view of a contact element prior to folding into the U shape.

The connector 10 consists generally of a forwardly extended open-topped insulative body member 30 and an insulative cap member 20, the latter supporting a conductive contact element 60. The body is provided with wire-receiving channels 31 passing through the forward extension 23 and in part defined by sharp wire-anchoring inner longitudinally extending corner projections 32, and is transversely slotted to provide parallel slots 33 extending beneath the channels 31. The circular walls 34 of the open top of the body 30 slope inwardly toward the open side and are rounded outwardly at the edge, as shown.

The cap is dimensioned to provide a snap fit with the body when pressed into closed position. In the open position illustrated in FIG. 5 the cap is held in place by the action of side extensions 21 which press against the walls 34, and which fit into edge depressions 35 provided for that purpose in the body 30 when the cap is forced into the closed position. Ribs 22 located along the inner walls of the extensions 21 provide a force fit for retaining the U-shaped contact element 60 pressed therebetween. Lexan 141-111 polycarbonate resin is a preferred material for both body and cap, although other hard resilient insulative plastics may alternatively be used.

The contact element 60 is shown in FIG. 6 prior to folding into the U shape. It consists of a flat plate 62 of spring brass or other resilient metal, optionally perforated to provide pilot holes 61 for locating the piece during stamping, and slotted to provide opposing wire-receiving slots 63' and 64. The plate is then folded along fold lines 65 into the U form shown most clearly in FIG. 2 and providing spaced inner and outer legs or elements.

The slots 64 in the outer leg 66, i.e., the leg nearest the open ends of the channels 31, are in line with, and substantially greater in width than, the slots 63 in the inner leg 67, as may readily be seen from FIG. 6. In a specific example the plate 62 is 0.025 inch (No. 22 B and S gage) cartridge brass, the slots 63 are each 0.016 inch wide, and the slots 64 are each 0.022 inch wide. The contact element may be plated, at least along the slot-defining edges, with a soft metal such as tin or indium.

Surprisingly, such a connector is found to be capable of making long-lasting mechanical and electrical connection between plastic insulated aluminum wires of from 17 to 24 gage, i.e., from 45 to 20 mils in diameter, i.e., from a diameter of D to somewhat more than 2D.

The width of the narrower slots 63 is preferably not greater than about four-fifths the diameter of the smallest conductor, while being great enough to permit forced entry, without severing, of the largest conductor, for which the connector is designed. For the range of wire-sizes just indicated, the slot 63 ma ran g e from about 0.012 to about 0.016 mil in width. W1 m ese limits the plate accepts the conductor under available application pressures, and forms fully efi'ective spring reserve contact with the conductor and without unduly weakening it.

A convenient test which has been found useful in determining the ability of a connector to resist mechanical stresses, such as flexing of the wires as may occur in use, is known as' the twist test. The wire is inserted in the connector, is bent at a right angle against the end of the connector body, and is then twisted or rotated alternately 90 degrees to each side using a crank arm of about 2 inches. Under such a test, 20 gage aluminum wire in a connector having an outer slot width of 0.0 l 2 inch withstands no more than one or perhaps two test cycles before breaking, whereas smaller wires easily withstand the minimum five or ten cycles required of commercial connectors. With the width of the outer slot increased to 0.028 inch, the 20 gage aluminum wire resists up to at least about 50 test cycles; but at this slot width the connector does not provide spring reserve contact with wires smaller than No. 22 gage.

With the smaller wires it might be anticipated that the outer slot would fail to make contact with the metal conductor and therefore that the wire would remain loosely held and easily broken. In these casesit has been found that the insulation surrounding the conductor is held within the outer slot with sufficient rigidity to protect the connection at the inner slot. Larger wires are held firmly within the outer slot and are given additional support by the comers 32 which score and grip the insulating covering.

It will be appreciated that the connectors of the present invention are fully operable with insulated copper wires, which are less susceptible of breakage by twisting than are the aluminum wires; but that their major field of utility is in making long-lastingtwist-resistant solderless spring reserve connection to small diameter insulated aluminum wires.

What is claimed is as follows:

1. A spring compression reserve wire-connector having spaced multiple-slotted planar interconnected inner and outer resilient contact elements wherein the wire-receiving slots of the outer element are in line with and greater in width than the corresponding slots of the inner element.

2. Wire-connector of claim 1 suitable for use with aluminum wires of diameter ranging from D to about 2D and wherein the inner slots are not more than about 4/5D in width.

3. Wire-connector of claim 1 suitable for use with aluminum wires of from 17 gage to 24 gage inclusive wherein the outer slots are about 0.022 inch in width and the inner slots are about 0.016 inch in width.

4. Wire-connector of claim 1 including an insulative body member having wire-receiving channels in line with said outer and inner slots and each containing sharp-edged elongate corner projections for inhibiting twisting of insulated wires inserted in said channels.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2658184 *Oct 19, 1946Nov 3, 1953Acad Electrical Prod CorpElectrical connector
US3118715 *Jun 19, 1962Jan 21, 1964Lumidor Products CorpConnector for bridging insulated wires
US3147058 *Apr 13, 1961Sep 1, 1964Siemon CoElectrical connectors
US3403372 *Feb 3, 1966Sep 24, 1968Herman B. Stinson Jr.Method of making electrical connections and the connections produced thereby
NL67298A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3793611 *Mar 2, 1972Feb 19, 1974Minnesota Mining & MfgConnector
US3845236 *Mar 4, 1974Oct 29, 1974Minnesota Mining & MfgWire connector
US3878603 *Aug 21, 1973Apr 22, 1975Leo Anker JensenMethod and apparatus for the solderless splicing of multi-lead cables
US4033661 *Feb 23, 1976Jul 5, 1977Panduit CorporationSolderless connector for insulated wires
US4173388 *Jun 26, 1978Nov 6, 1979Akzona IncorporatedConnector-cable with crimped electrical terminations
US4225208 *Mar 29, 1979Sep 30, 1980Akzona IncorporatedCable-connector assembly with high density ground terminal
US4657321 *Mar 27, 1986Apr 14, 1987Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanyTelecommunication service wire connector
US4891018 *Jun 16, 1988Jan 2, 1990Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanySolderless electrical connector
US4954098 *Nov 1, 1989Sep 4, 1990Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanySealed insulation displacement connector
US5067910 *Jan 17, 1991Nov 26, 1991Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanySolderless electrical connector
US5080606 *Nov 5, 1990Jan 14, 1992Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanyStacked in-line insulation displacement connector
US5113037 *Aug 30, 1990May 12, 1992King Technology Of Missouri, Inc.Waterproof wire connector
US5606150 *Jul 25, 1995Feb 25, 1997The Whitaker CorporationEnclosure for spliced cable
US5691508 *Oct 31, 1995Nov 25, 1997The Whitaker CorporationEnclosure for spliced multiconductor cable
US5746610 *Nov 26, 1996May 5, 1998The Whitaker CorporationGround contact for a splice enclosure
US7267571Nov 3, 2006Sep 11, 20073M Innovative Properties CompanyDouble wall connector
USRE37340Jul 16, 1997Aug 28, 2001King Technology Of Missouri, Inc.Wire junction encapsulating wire connector and method of making same
CN101536256BOct 10, 2007Sep 7, 20113M创新有限公司Double wall connector
DE3009675A1 *Mar 11, 1980Sep 25, 1980Minnesota Mining & MfgDrahtabschneidender elektrischer verbinder
DE3110144A1 *Mar 16, 1981Sep 30, 1982Minnesota Mining & MfgElektrischer verbinder fuer nicht abisolierte leiter
EP0062963A1 *Feb 25, 1982Oct 20, 1982Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanySolderless electrical connector for insulated wires
EP0347100A2 *Jun 8, 1989Dec 20, 1989Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanySolderless electrical connector
WO1992013374A1 *Dec 27, 1991Aug 6, 1992Minnesota Mining & MfgSolderless electrical connector
U.S. Classification439/399, 439/402
International ClassificationH01R4/62, H01R4/58, H01R4/24
Cooperative ClassificationH01R4/2445, H01R4/2454, H01R4/62
European ClassificationH01R4/24B6B1, H01R4/24B6, H01R4/62