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Publication numberUS3660806 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 2, 1972
Filing dateOct 7, 1970
Priority dateOct 7, 1970
Also published asCA939773A1, DE2149838A1, DE2149838B2, DE2149838C3, DE7137853U
Publication numberUS 3660806 A, US 3660806A, US-A-3660806, US3660806 A, US3660806A
InventorsStephan Joseph J De
Original AssigneeThomas & Betts Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Connector
US 3660806 A
Abstract
The invention is directed to an improved, integral female electrical connecting device having unique, reversibly formed resilient inturned fingers depending from associated upstanding side walls and overhanging a generally planar base portion, establishing a multiplicity of interfaces arranged to provide firm electrical and mechanical contact with a selectively dimensioned mating tab resiliently encompassed therewithin. The base, side walls, and the portions of the clasp fingers may be so proportioned relative to each other as to advantageously provide a flexing zone at each of the juncture between adjacent portions. Each of the inturned free ends of the clasp fingers are provided with at least one sharp edge arranged to provide full linear contact with an associated mating tab. The basic structure may be suitably modified by the addition of side tabs and base ribs to increase the contact areas thereof. A generally centrally disposed upstruck portion of the base of the device may be arranged to cooperably detachably engage a complementary mating recessed portion in the mating tab.
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United States Patent De Stephan US] 3,660,806 [451 May 2, 1972 [54] CONNECTOR Joseph J. De Stephan, Edison, NJ.

Thomas & Betts Corporation, Elizabeth, NJ.

22 Filed: 0ct.7, 1970 211 Appl.No.: 78,684

[72] Inventor:

[73] Assignee:

[52] US. Cl ..339/256 SP [51] Int. Cl ..H0lr 13/12 [58] Field of Search ..339/256, 258

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,744,244 5/1956 Schumacher et a1. ..339/258 S 3,163,484 12/1964 Herman et al. ..339/258 S FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,l97,950 8/1965 Germany ..339/256SP Primary Examiner-Joseph H. McGlynn Attorney-David Teschner and Jesse Woldman [5 7] ABSTRACT The invention is directed to an improved, integral female electrical connecting device having unique, reversibly formed resilient inturned fingers depending from associated upstanding side walls and overhanging a generally planar base portion, establishing a multiplicity of interfaces arranged to provide firm electrical and mechanical contact with a selectively dimensioned mating tab resiliently encompassed therewithin, The base, side walls, and the portions of the clasp fingers may be so proportioned relative to each other as to advantageously provide a flexing zone at each of the juncture between adjacent portions. Each of the inturned free ends of the clasp fingers are provided with at least one sharp edge arranged to provide full linear contact with an associated mating tab. The basic structure may be suitably modified by the addition of side tabs and base ribs to increase the contact areas thereof. A generally centrally disposed upstruck portion of the base of the device may be arranged to cooperably detachably engage a complementary mating recessed portion in the mating tab.

11 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures PATENTEMY 2 m2 3. 660,806

' sum 10? a FIG? 1 FIG. 3

' FIG. 4

Q zzg 66 INVENTOR.

FIG 5 JQSEPH J. DE STEPHAN AGENT PATENTEnm 21912 3,660,806

SHEET 20F 3 FIG. 7

INVEN'I'OR.

JOSEPH J. DE STEPHAN AGENT PATENTEDMAY 21912 3,660,806

SHEET 30F 3 INVEN'IOR.

JOSEPH J. DE STEPHAN BY 7 W max, k w

AGENT CONNECTOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1.. Field of the Invention The invention is directed to the field of electrical connecting devices and principally to a female electrical connecting member detachably engageable with a cooperably mating male tab for rapid connectable and disconnectable assemblies.

2. Description of the Prior Art The female member of detachable electrical connecting devices, according to the prior art, generally comprised a boxlike tab receiving portion having relatively stiffly cantilevered downturned tab engaging clasp fingers overhanging the base thereof and terminating in a pair of free ends selectively spaced above said base to provide a restrictive tab receiving aperture having a height somewhat less than the thickness of a tab adapted to be inserted therein. As a result of the relatively short cantilevered clasp fingers, an undesirably high insertion force was required to adequately deflect said fingers to permit the insertion of the mating tab within the tab receiving aperture. Additionally, the fingers were generally subject to permanent deformation upon repeated engagement with said tab, resulting in increased looseness and poor electrical contact between the mating members. Further, it was generally difficult to maintain the downwardly directed free ends of the clasp fingers in close parallel relationship with the base, wherein only a portion of said ends contactingly engaged the adjacent surface of a mating tab inserted therebetween, resulting in a generally non-linear contact, the stiffness of the clasp fingers preventing the realignment of the free ends essential for proper electrical and mechanical engagement therebetween.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention is directed to an improved female electrical connecting device which overcomes the problems noted above with respect to prior art devices by providing a unique, integrally formed, highly resilient tab receiving portion of a female electrical connecting device which is more effective and efficient than such devices. The tab receiving portion of the device comprises a generally planar base, upstanding side walls integral with the base and generally normal to the plane thereof, and clasp finger portions integral with the side walls and extending first towards each other and then, in unique fashion, backwardly towards the side walls, the terminating edges of the finger portions being selectively spaced above the base a predetermined distance to provide a partially restrictive tab receiving aperture therebetween. The base, side walls, and clasp fingers are dimensionally proportioned relative to each other as to provide a plurality of highly resilient flexing zones, each defined generally by the juncture between adjacent elements of the tab receiving portion of the device. Each of the free ends of the clasp fingers are provided with at least one longitudinally disposed sharp edge arranged to provide highly concentrated, full linear contact with the adjacent surface of a mating tab inserted within the tab receiving portion of the device. A generally central portion of the base may be deformed upwardly to provide a small dome or tab adapted to detachably engage a complementary recessed portion in said mating tab. A selective portion of each of the side walls generally intermediate the length thereof may be suitably deformed inwardly as, for example, by lancing or detenting, to provide a tab or protrusion adapted to frictionally engage the adjacent edges of a mating tab disposed between said side walls. The base of the device may be further modified by the addition of upstanding ribs or rails, preferably longitudinally disposed thereupon, providing both additional discrete contact areas between said base and the mating tab, and guide means for smoothly directing the mating tab into the tab receiving aperture of the device. It is therefore an object of this invention to provide an improved female electrical connecting device.

It is another object of this invention to provide an improved female electrical connecting device uniquely configured to provide a plurality of flexing zones within the tab receiving portion thereof.

It is a further object of this invention to provide an improved female electrical connecting device having clasp fingers arranged to provide full linear contact between an edge thereof and a mating tab.

It is still a further object of this invention to provide an improved female electrical connecting device having a highly resilient tab receiving portion proportioned to provide discrete flexing zones at the juncture between adjacent segments thereof.

It is still another object of this invention to provide an improved, highly resilient female electrical connecting device having inwardly directed protrusions, adjacent the side walls thereof, frictionally engageable with adjacent edges of a mating tab inserted therewithin.

It is yet a further object of this invention to provide an improved female electrical connecting device wherein the base of the tab receiving portion thereof is ribbed to increase the engagement between said portion and a mating tab inserted therein.

It is yet another object of this invention to provide an improved, highly resilient female electrical connecting device having inwardly directed side tabs and sharp clasp finger edges for increasing the engagement between said device and a mating tab inserted therein.

It is yet a further object of this invention to provide an improved, highly resilient female electrical connecting device having a ribbed base, inwardly directed side tabs, and sharp clasp finger edges providing a unique arrangement of interfaces between said device and a mating tab inserted therein.

Other objects and features of the invention will be pointed out in the following description and claims and illustrated in the accompanying drawings, which disclose, by way of example, the principle of the invention and the best mode which has been contemplated for carrying it out.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the Drawings: I

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view, partly in section, of a female electrical connecting device constructed in accordance with the concepts of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the device of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a front elevational view, in section, of the tab receiving portion of a female electrical connecting device constructed in accordance with another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a front elevational view, in section, of still another embodiment of the tab receiving portion of a female electrical connecting device constructed in accordance with the concepts of the invention.

FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of yet another embodiment of the tab receiving portion of a female electrical connecting device constructed in accordance with the concepts of the invention.

FIG. 6 is a partially fragmented top plan view, partly in section, of the device of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a front elevational view, in section, of still a further embodiment of the tab receiving portion of a female electrical connecting device constructed in accordance with the concepts of the invention.

FIG. 8 is a bottom plan view of the device of FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is a front elevational view, in section, of still another embodiment of a female electrical connecting device constructed in accordance with the concepts of the invention.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the device of FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 is a partially fragmented front elevational view of still a further embodiment of the tab receiving portion of a female electrical connecting device constructed in accordance with the concepts of the invention showing, in section, a portion of a mating tab cooperably engaged therewithin.

FIG. 12 is a top plan view of a portion of a typical mating tab as may be used in conjunction with the device of FIG. 10.

FIG. 13 is a side elevational view of the tab of FIG. 12.

FIG. 14 is a partially fragmentary top plan view, partly in section, of the device of FIG. 11.

Similar elements are given similar reference characters in each of the respective drawings.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Turning now to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown a tab receiving portion 20 of a female electrical connecting device formed of resilient conductive material and constructed in accordance with the concepts of the invention. Tab receiving portion 20 comprises a generally planar base 22, upwardly directed longitudinally extending side walls 24, 24 disposed preferably normal to base 22 and integral therewith, and opposing, inwardly turned longitudinally extending clasp fingers 26, 26' integral respectively with side walls 24, 24'. As shown, each of the clasp fingers 26,26 comprise a first portion 28, 28', respectively, disposed in generally parallel planar alignment with base 22, and a second portion 30, 30 integral respectively with first portions 28, 28 and extending backwardly towards their associated side walls 24, 24' respectively, in acute angular relationship therewith. The terminating ends 32, 32' respectively of second portions 30, 30 are selectively spaced above base 22 dimensionally less than the thickness of a mating tab 36 (see FIGS. 12 and 13) adapted to be engageably encompassed therebetween. The leading corners 34, 34' respectively of clasp finger second portions 30, 30', as shown in FIG. 2, are preferably tapered, as shown, to assist in at least partially guiding mating tab 36 into proper engagement with tab receiving portion 20. The spacing between terminating ends 32, 32 of clasp finger section portions 30, 30' respectively and base 22 will at least partially determine the insertion and retraction force required to facilitate the assembly and disassembly of said male tab 36 therewithin. By way of example, and to more fully appreciate the unique mode of deflection of clasp fingers 26, 26', as a mating tab such as 36 is insertably advanced within the aperture partially defined by clasp finger ends 32, 32 and base 22, ends 32, 32' are caused to be resiliently deflected upwardly towards first portions 28, 28, pivoting generally about the junctures 38, 38 between portions 30 and 28 and portions 30' and 28, respectively. Because of their unique cantilevered construction, clasp fingers 26, 26 may be caused to further deflect at the junctures 40, 40 between first portion 28 and side wall 24 and first portion 28 and side wall 24', respectively, and at the junctures 42, 42' between side wall 24 and base 22 and side wall 24 and base 22, respectively. Thus, the effective cantilevered deflectable length of clasp fingers 26, 26 is advantageously increased as a result of the novel arrangement between adjacent integral portions thereof. It should be understood that although clasp fingers 26, 26 have been described as deflecting generally about discrete junctures as indicated above, in use, the portions between such junctures, as, for example, side wall 24 between junctures 40 and 42, first portion 28 between junctures 40 and 38, and second portion 30 are correspondingly subject to deflection, further increasing the desirably resilient characteristics of tab receiving portion 20, and substantially reducing the force required to cooperably insert a mating tab such as 36 therewithin while maintaining adequate and sufficient mechanical and electrical connection therebetween. Additionally, it should be appreciated that as a result of the highly resilient characteristics thereof, clasp fingers 26, 26 may be subjected to relatively severe deflecting forces without causing a permanent deformation of the associated portions thereof. It should be noted that the terminating edges 33, 33' of second portions 30, 30' respectively are configured to provide generally sharp, full, linear contact between each of said edges 33, 33 and the ad- "Ills jacent surface of a mating tab such as 36, high contact force therebetween.

Referring now to FIG. 3, there is shown another embodiment of a tab receiving portion 44 of a female electrical connecting device constructed in accordance with the concepts of the invention. Clasp fingers 46, 46 of tab receiving portion 44 comprise first overhanging portions 48, 48' structurally similar to portions 28, 28. of FIG. 1, and second portions 50, 50' integral therewith and extending therefrom directionally towards side walls 52, 52 respectively, said second portions 50, 50 deflecting generally about a relatively large curved area defined thereby. Edges 51, 51' of second portions 50, 50' respectively are configured to provide a generally sharp profile similar to edges 33, 33 described above with respect to FIG. 1, and operate in like manner to afford increased linear contact between said edgesSl, 51' and the mating tab adjacent surface. It should be understood, however, that edges 51, 51' may be modified to provide other suitable contact areas such as by the use of serrations or tooth-like projections without departing from the spirit of the invention.

Referring now to FIG. 4, a further modification of the clasp fingers 54, 54' of a tab receiving portion 56 of a female electrical connecting device is shown. Intermediate each of the first overhanging portions 58, 58' and the second intumed portions 60, 60' thereof are interconnecting third portions 62, 62' depending generally downwardly towards the base 62 of tab receiving portion 56, providing additional deflectable junctures as at 64, 64', further increasing the desirable deflectable characteristics of tab receiving portion 56. It should be noted that here, also, edges 63, 63 of second portions 60, 60 may be suitably formed to provide a relatively sharp contour serving to insure full linear contact with an adjacent surface of a mating tab. It should be understood that although the second portions 60, 60' of the modified tab receiving portion 56 illustrated in FIG. 4 are shown as generally flat planar segments, other suitable contours such as generally arcuate portions 50, 50 (see FIG. 3) may be substituted therefore without departing from the spirit of the invention.

Turning now to FIGS. 5 and-6, there is shown a further modification of a tab receiving portion 66 of a female electrical connecting device constructed in accordance with the concepts of the invention. Depending inwardly in generally opposing relationship from the inner surfaces 68, 68 respectively of side walls 70, 70 of tab receiving portion 66 are tabs 72, 72' arranged to frictionally bear against the adjacent edges of a tab such as 36 inserted within tab receiving portion 66, thus providing additional areas of contact therebetween, even with undersized mating tabs, and collaterally serving to at least partially restrict the sidewise movement of tab 36 within tab receiving portion 66. Although tabs 72, 72' are illustrated as lanced or partially separated from their respective side walls 70, 70' in FIGS. 5 and 6, other configurations may be effectively utilized to accomplish a similar purpose, as for example by longitudinally inwardly deforming, without piercing, a portion of the side wall, as is more clearly illustrated in FIG. I] wherein protrusions 74, 74 are so formed from their respective upstanding side walls 76, 76 depending from base 78 of tab receiving portion 80 therein. The generally flat planar base 82 of tab receiving portion 66 may be suitably modified by providing thereon upwardly directed, generally longitudinal, spaced ribs or protrusions such as elements 84, 84' as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, or elements 86, 86 as shown in FIG. 11, or elements 88, 88' as shown in FIGS, 9 and 10. As may be more clearly seen in FIG. 11, ribs 86, 86' bear against the adjacent undersurface 90 of a tab 36 interposed between said ribs 86, 86 and clasp finger second portions 92, 92, subjecting tab 36 to desirably high contact forces therebetween. Upon the insertion and removal of tab 36 from tab receiving portion 80, the aforementioned engagement of portions 92, 92' and 86, 86' with tab 36 tends to provide a scraping or cleaning action serving to break through any surface contamination which may be present between adjacent contacting areas, resulting in improved electrical contact between said areas. Base 82 of tab insuring a desirably receiving portion 66 of FIGS. 5 and 6 may be further modified to provide a generally centrally disposed upwardly directed locking projection or tab illustrated as element 94 in FIGS. 9 and 10, as element 96 in FIG. 11, and as element 100 in FIG. 14, arranged to cooperably engage an appropriately contoured recessed portion such as 98 in tab 36, as shown in FIGS. 12 and 13.

Turning now to FIGS. 9 and 10, there is shown a further embodiment of a female electrical connecting device 102 constructed in accordance with the concepts of the invention. Adjacent one end of device 102 is a generally cylindrical, suitably deformable wire receiving portion 104 shown for illustrative purposes only and forming no part of the invention. Adjacent the other end of device 102 is a tab receiving portion 106. Depending inwardly from each of a pair of upstanding side walls 108, 108' are a pair of tabs 1 10 lanced from a portion of its associated side wall and arranged to frictionally deflectably engage the adjacent edges 112 of a male tab such as 36 inserted within tab receiving portion 106. Raised ribs 88, 88 depending inwardly from base 112 of tab receiving portion 106 and locking tab 94 projecting upwardly from base 106 generally intermediate ribs 88, 88' have been referred to above, as being further modifications of similar elements heretofore disclosed, raised ribs 88, 88' serving to provide additional discrete contact areas between tab receiving portion 106 and a mating tab such as 36 arranged to be received therewithin. Wire receiving portion 104, although shown as an uninsulated, open seam, generally cylindrical member adapted to be compressively deformed about the bare end of an insulated electrical conductor (not shown) or the like, may have other suitable configurations, such as a closed barrel or U-shaped ferrule, either insulated or uninsulated. Similarly, such portion 104 may be formed as a spade, ring, or fork tongue terminal appropriately engageable with a stud or other similar fastening means.

Turning now to FIG. 14, there is shown a further modification of a tab receiving portion 1 14 of a female connector member constructed in accordance with the concepts of the invention, illustrating a modified dome-like locking tab 100 projecting upwardly from base 116 intennediate side walls 118, 118 and arranged to matingly engage a complementarily formed recess such as 98 in a tab such as 36 (see FIGS. 12 and 13). Tabs 120, 120' depending inwardly, respectively, from side walls 118, 118' are selectively deformed from a portion thereof providing generally resilient protrusions frictionally engageable with the adjacent edges 112 of a tab such as 36 in a manner similar to that illustrated with respect to elements 74, 74' in FlG.11.

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. An electrical connector member comprising: a coupling portion; and a clip portion; said clip portion having a generally planar base, longitudinally extending upstanding side walls integral with said base, and clasp fingers integral with said side walls remote from said base; each of said clasp fingers having a first portion adjacent its associated side wall and overhanging said base in generally parallel planar relationship therewith and a second inturned portion extending from said first portion in generally acute angular relationship therewith and directed towards its associated side wall, each of said upstanding side walls being proportioned relative to said base so as to provide a first flexing zone at the juncture therebetween, each of said upstanding side walls being proportioned relative to its associated adjacent clasp finger first overhanging portion so as to provide a second flexing zone at the juncture therebetween, and each of said clasp finger first overhanging portions being proportioned relative to its associated adjacent clasp finger second intumed portion so as to provide a third flexing zone at the juncture therebetween, each of said clasp finger second portions terminating at a free end spaced a predetermined distance above said base and at least partially defining a tab receiving aperture between said free end and said base.

2. An electrical connector member as defined in claim 1 wherein said clasp finger second inturned portion is substantially flat.

3. An electrical connector member as defined in claim 1 wherein each of said clasp fingers further comprises a third portion intermediate said first and said second portions thereof and integral therewith, said third portion being proportioned relative to its associated adjacent clasp finger first portion and its associated adjacent clasp finger second portion so as to provide a fourth flexing zone at the juncture between said third portion and said first portion, and a fifth flexing zone at the juncture between said third portion and said second portion.

4. An electrical connector member as defined in claim 1 wherein each of said side walls has at least one protruding portion adjacent the inner surface thereof generally intermediate the ends of said side wall.

5. An electrical connector member as defined in claim 1 wherein said base has at least two generally parallel, longitudinally extending raised portions thereon spaced substantially intermediate said side walls.

6. An electrical connector member as defined in claim 1 wherein each of said side walls has at least one protruding portion adjacent the inner surface thereof generally intermediate the ends of said side wall, and wherein said base has at least two generally parallel, longitudinally extending raised portions thereon spaced substantially intermediate said side walls.

7. An electrical connector member as defined in claim 1 wherein said predetermined distance is less than the thickness of a tab adapted to be received therebetween, to permit each of said free ends to yieldingly contact the adjacent surface of said tab as said tab is inserted within said tab receiving aperture.

8. An electrical connector member as defined in claim 7 further comprising a longitudinally disposed first edge defined by the intersection of said free end and an adjacent surface of said second inturned portion, said first edge being directed generally downwardly towards said base for yieldingly contacting the adjacent surface of a tab disposed within said tab receiving aperture.

9. An electrical connector member as defined in claim 8 wherein each of said first edges is longitudinally disposed generally parallel to said base.

10. An electrical connector member as defined in claim 8 wherein each of said first edges is generally sharp.

11. An electrical connector member as defined in claim 10 wherein each of said first edges is longitudinally disposed generally parallel to said base.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF ORRECTION Y Patent No. 3,660,806 Dated y 97 l Joseph J. De Stephan It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent a and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 5, line 20 "inwardly" should be upwardly Signed and sealed this 26th day of September- 1972.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M.FLETC IHER,JR. ROBERT GO'ITSCHALK Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patent FORM po'wso USCOMM-DC 60376-P69 9 U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE! 969 035533

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2744244 *Sep 26, 1952May 1, 1956Aircraft Marine Prod IncElectrical connector
US3163484 *Dec 27, 1960Dec 29, 1964Philips CorpElectric terminal
DE1197950B *Aug 3, 1962Aug 5, 1965Stocko MetallwarenfabrikenFederklammer fuer elektrische Flachsteckerverbindungen
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3905671 *Mar 5, 1974Sep 16, 1975Siemens AgClamping connector
US4031614 *Nov 19, 1975Jun 28, 1977Gte Sylvania IncorporatedMethod of making two-piece electrical contact
US4764133 *Feb 19, 1987Aug 16, 1988Yazaki CorporationMale terminal for electrical connection
US5281178 *Oct 26, 1992Jan 25, 1994Yazaki CorporationElectrical connector with feature for increased contact area
US5395270 *Sep 29, 1993Mar 7, 1995Yazaki CorporationWeak mating force female terminal
US6293831 *Apr 16, 1999Sep 25, 2001Calsonic Kansei CorporationElectric connector
US7775840Nov 30, 2006Aug 17, 2010Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki KaishaFemale connector terminal with internal plate spring
EP1003258A1 *Oct 18, 1999May 24, 2000Framatome Connectors InternationalAn electrical conductor rail providing frontal sockets for the interconnection of several conductor rails
WO1997004498A1 *Jul 15, 1996Feb 6, 1997Ploesser Hartmuth Georg FriedrMagnet wire terminal having tab coating piercing contact end
WO1997048149A1 *Jun 10, 1997Dec 18, 1997Framatome Connectors IntPin bushing
WO2013117382A2 *Jan 11, 2013Aug 15, 2013Orkli, S.Coop.Thermocouple connector adapted to an electromagnetic gas valve, and thermocouple comprising the connector
Classifications
U.S. Classification439/850, 439/849
International ClassificationH01R13/115
Cooperative ClassificationH01R13/115
European ClassificationH01R13/115