US 3704437 A
A current distributor rail for supplying current to consuming devices, comprising a C-section metal base extending over the entire length of the rail and a plastic covering enclosing the metal base. A plurality of power conductors embedded in the plastic covering, with an access opening for each conductor defined by the covering and extending over the entire length of the rail. A least one ground conductor in contact with the metal base and accessible from the interior of the rail through recesses in the plastic covering, and two locating grooves extending over the entire length of the rail defined by the plastic covering and accessible from the interior of the rail. The locating grooves having clamping surfaces to receive an adaptor.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
waited Stata Patent Hesse Nov. 28, 1972 CURRENT DISTRIBUTOR RAIL FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1 lnvemofl Kurt Hesse, hemgo-hippe, Germany 957,128 5/1964 Great Britain ..339/22 T  Assignee: Staff 8: Schwarz G.m.b.H., Lemgo- Lippe, Germany Pnmary Examiner-Stephen J. Novosad Assistant Examiner-Robert A. Hafer  Flled: 1971 Attomey-Sughrue, Rothwell, Mion, Zinn & Macpeak [211 App]. No.2 104,104
[ ABSTRACT 30 Foreign Application priority Data A current distributor rail for supplying current to consuming devices, comprising a C-section metal base ex- Jan. 7, 1970 Germany ..A 126/70 tending over the entire length of the rail and a plastic covering enclosing the metal base. A plurality of  ELS. Cl. ..339/21 R power conductors embedded in the plastic covering ..HHHOIr an access for each conductor defined 1 le 0 TC n? he ering and extending over the entire l g f 7 I B the rail. A least one ground conductor in contact with 5 6] R f d the metal base and accessible from the interior of the e 'i I e rail through recesses in the plastic covering, and two UNITED STA'I'ESPATENTS locating grooves extending over the entire length of the rail defined by the plastic covering and accessible 3,559,146 l/ 1971 Valtonen ..339/21 S from the interior of the ml The locating grooves 2,708,264 5/1955 Boyd. ..339/21 R ing clamping surfaces to receive an adaptor 3,569,898 3/1971 Laser ..339/14 3,546,367 12/1970 Han et al ..174/99 7 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures CURRENT DISTRIBUTOR RAIL The present invention concerns a current distributor rail for current consuming devices such as lamps or other electrical apparatus, comprising at least two electric conductors and at least one protective conductor.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a distributor rail which is of simple construction, has long life, is inexpensive to manufacture, and is extremely reliable electrically.
The rail may be fitted with one or more circuits.
A further object of the invention is to provide a current distributor rail having current conductors positionally located in a simple and reliable manner and which is electrically safe.
A further object is to provide a current distributor rail which allows current to be tapped at any point along its length. Moreover, an adaptor can be attached to the current distributor rail at any point of the rail length.
A further object of the invention is to provide a stable rail design. The rail is furthermore of compact structure and easy to assemble.
According to the present invention, a current distributor rail for current consumers is characterized by a metal-reinforced plastics section which carries several electric conductors and earthing means, the conductors forming two independently usable direct or alternating circuits, or one three-phase circuit.
it is preferable to provide the current distributor rail with a metal base having a C-shaped or partially C- shaped cross section, surrounded by a plastic covering.
Two earthing conductors extending adjacent to each other over the entire length of the rail, with a space between them; they are secured near the upright portion of the C-shape to the metal rail, the latter being formed from a strip of sheet metal, preferably a strip of steel sheet. Two power conductors spaced apart one above the other extend along each of the two side portions of the plastics covering, each such conductor being clamped in a channel. These conductors are accessible only from the interior of the rail.
The free end of each lateral leg of the C-shaped metal section is bent inwardly and forms a bearing for an adaptor serving as a current feeding or connecting device for a series of current distributor rails.
At a short distance in from the curved leg ends, a locating groove for the adaptor is formed in the plastic covering, the groove providing a sliding and clamping surface.
Because of its simple construction, the current distributor rail of the present invention is economical to manufacture; it can be produced in only a few operations, so that, due to the method of manufacture, the production costs of the rail are greatly reduced compared with known rails.
The metal-reinforced plastics shape is very stable.
Alternatively the power conductors of the current distributor rail may carry a three-phase current, so that the rail is very versatile.
Due to the construction of the rail and the use of an adaptor, it is possible, by detaching or cutting out one or more adaptors, for any desired portion of a series of rails to be de-energized a feature which ensures great safety in assembling rails or in any other work thereon.
The current distributor rail of the present invention may be used in a wise variety of situations on account of its economical design, its long life and its great safety. The rail can be produced in uniform or varying lengths, or may be cut to any required length, and is thus constantly ready for use. The current distributor rail may be laid from wall to wall. Electrical connection with several rails is simple and reliable. The rails is adapted to be mounted from its open longitudinal side.
Embodiments of the invention are illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. l is a perspective view of a current distributor rail,
FIG. 2 is a cross section through the same current distributor rail,
FIG. 3 is a cross section through a current distributor rail with a ceiling or hanging support,
FIG. 4 is a view from below of abutting end portions of two current distributor rails,
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a current distributor rail with a protective cover closing the front of the rail,
FlG. 6 is a perspective view of a current distributor rail having a plastics covering welded to the ends,
' FIG. 7 is a cross section through a current distributor rail comprising additional supporting members of plastics material.
A current distributor rail for current consuming devices such as lamps or electrical apparatus is formed as a metal-reinforced plastics shape, having a metal base 10 which extends over the entire length of the rail and is covered with a plastics material N.
This metal base 10 serves to reinforce the plastics shape and is of C-shaped cross section. The section llld is provided with openings 14.
A current distributor rail may be secured in direct contact with a locating surface (a ceiling or wall) by means of securing members such as screws 15, or may be spaced from the locating surface. The plastic covering 11 is provided with an inner groove 2'7 extending over the entire length of the rail so that the heads of the screws do not project into the interior 16 of the rail.
The termination 24 has a cover 25 affixed thereto or an adhesive connection welded or cemented thereon, the cover or connection covering the end faces of the conductors 112, ll? and thus preventing contact with the conductors for safety. The cover means are provided over their entire length with a rail w, 11 having a constant cross-section and with conductors 18, 12, thereby allowing the distributor rail to be cut into any desired length whilst ensuring electrical safety.
it is not necessary for the cover means to cover more than the ends of the conductors lb, 112 and thus they do not have to overlap the entire cross-section of the rail.
A locating groove 21 in the cover mean is formed as a longitudinal extension of the locating groove 21 formed in the rail.
For the suspended mounting of the rail, suspension rods or tubes (not shown), are provided which can be secured at one end to a securing and compensating member 28 (see FIG. 5), connected to the upper portion of the distributor rail. This securing and compensating member 28 is secured by means of bolts 29 to the distributor rail, the bolts extending though the slots 14 in the rail. The suspension members (tubes or rods) engage in a slot 30 of the member 28 extending in the longitudinal direction of the rail so that the rail may be secured with an adjusting action in the longitudinal direction of the rail.
Alternatively, the rail may be suspended from a securing surface by clamp-like securing means (not shown) engaging directly in the openings 14.
FIG. 7 of the drawings shows an arrangement of a current distributor rail located between ceiling divisions 31. The rail is secured to a supporting profile 32 mounted in theregion 10d of the rail and having a U shaped cross-section. The profile 32 may be secured to the mounting surface directly or by means of suspended securing means 33. The parts of the ceiling 31 are secured to this supporting profile 32 by means of holding members 34 inserted in the supporting profile 32. The underside of the ceiling parts 31 and of the distributor rail lie flush in one plane.
The additional support profile 32 serves to hold the distributor rail and ceilings 31 together. The distributor rail can be secured in the plaster of a wall of a building.
Current is fed to a distributor rail through an adaptor, which may serve simultaneously as a current supply point and for the electrical connection of a pair of rails.
A whole rail portion may be rapidly and reliably deenergized by separating adjacent rails by removing interconnectin g adaptors.
The plastic covering 11 may be shaped so that the current distributor rail fits a cavity in which it is located. a
The other embodiment shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 of the drawings, relating to a current distributor rail having a metal reinforced plastics profile, corresponds in its basic construction to the rail shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 and may be detachably connected to a surface of a structure.
The distributor rail according to FIG. 3 is provided on each side with a separate plastics support profile 35 holding the two electrical conductors 18. This material is inserted in a receiving space 36 of the plastic covering 11 from the interior 16 of the rail.
The supporting profile 35 holding the electric conductors 18 is secuted by clamping or adhesive in the receiving space 36 of the plastic covering. it is preferable to form each supporting profile 35 with a rectangular (standing on edge) cross-section, and to form it as long as necessary.
These two supporting profiles 35 are inserted, after the rail is made, into the receiving spaces 36 accessible from the receiving space 16 and opening inwards. The two earthing conductors 12 arranged on the upright 10d of the metal base it) are conductively connected to the base and are secured thereto before the metal base is folded or, without previous securing, held on the base 10 by the plastics covering 11. During the location of the earth conductor 12 it is not necessary to form receiving grooves 13 so that the upright portion 10d,
may be provided extending downwardly and outwardly at a right angle to the portion 10d.
The upper rail part 23 is provided at the top with several compensating portions 23a extending in the longitudinal direction of the rail and spaced apart across the rail, these compensating portions 23a providing agood contact with a securing surface for the distributor rail and compensating for irregularities in the securing surface; these compensating members 23a are formed during the production of the plastics covering 1 1.
The two ends of the current distributor rail are provided near the termination 24 or the cover 25 with an opening 37 (FIGS. 3, 5 and 6) corresponding to the shape of the adaptor to be used. It is preferable to provide the ends of the rail alternately with a lateral fixing bar 38 extending into the inner cavity 37 above the securing groove 21. At one end of the distributor rail the bar 38 is provided on one side of the opening and at the other end of the rail on the opposite side of the opening, the opening 37 is thus asymmetrical. The two fixing bars 38 extend from the upper edge of the particular securing groove 21 as far as the upper edge of the receiving space 16 and make it possible to locate an adaptor in the abutting are of adjacent distributor rails, so that a connection between the power conductors 18 of adjacent rails isensured by the adaptor. The adaptor is provided with a relatively displaced fixing grooves in the longitudinal direction, corresponding to the projecting fixing members 38.
The termination 24 or the protective cover 25 is shaped in the region of the fixing grooves 21 to the cross sectional size of the locking members retaining the adaptor in the rail, so that only the recess 22 adjacent to the fixing groove 21 is covered; the adaptor locking members partially engage in the two adjacent distributor rails and simultaneously bring them into alignment.
in addition to the recesses 22 for holding the protective cover, another recess may be provided in the upper lateral portion of the rail (near the rail projection 23) which recess opens outwardly in the region of the outer plastics covering.
The cross section of this recess 22 may be circular, oval or u-shaped.
Near the insertion openings 19 and in the region between the bend 10a and the power conductor 18 adjacent thereto, grooves 3h are formed to increase leakage current paths.
The insertion openings 19 of the distributor rail are closed by means of flexible sealing lips at the opening end (FIG. 2); the sealing lips 194 form a unit with the plastics covering 11. r
The closing lips 19a extend along the upper and lower insertion edges of the openings 19 and are directed towards each other; each insertion opening 19 for the electrical leads 1% is provided with two oppositely disposed lips 19a, closing the opening 19 from the cavity 16.
The sealing lips 19a are pressed into the insertion opening 19 by the electrical terminals of the adaptor when said adaptor is positioned, and then return to a closed position. These lips 19 extend over the entire length of the rail and keep the openings 19 closed except near an adaptor, so that adequate protection to the power conductors is ensured.
The sealing lips 19a may be formed as brushes which are rigidly or detachably arranged in the plastics covering 11. Alternatively the sealing lips 19a are formed of separate parts such as strips, which can be detachably secured in the region of the insertion openings 19 on the plastics covering 11.
Alternatively only one sealing lip 19a may be provided covering the insertion side of the opening 19.
The rail may be produced in fixed or optional lengths or, may be cut to any desired length and is thus always ready for installation.
The current distributor rail may be laid from wall to wall. Electrical connection with a plurality of rails is simple and reliable.
The mounting of the rail is preferably effected from the open longitudinal side of the rail.
1. A current distributor tail for supplying current to consuming devices, comprising a C-section metal base having two side members an a central bridging member intermediate the side members and extending over the entire length of the rail, a plastic covering enclosing said metal base, at least two current conduca tors embedded in said plastic covering on each side of said rail and insulated thereby an access openingfor each conductor defined by said covering and extending over the entire length of said rail, two ground conductors arranged on and in contact with said central bridging member and accessible from the interior of said rail through recesses in said plastic covering, and two locating grooves extending over the entire length of said rail defined by said plastic covering and accessible from the interior of said rail, said locating grooves having clamping surfaces to receive an adaptor.
2. A current distributor rail as recited in claim 1, said metal base being folded from steel sheet, with two rectangular section ground conductors of non-corrodible metal extending parallel to each other in the longitudinal direction of the rail over the entire length of said rail with means for fastening said ground conductors to said metal base.
3. A current distributor rail as-recited in claim 1, wherein said rail comprised a straight portion having lateral bends on each side thereof, said bends being connected to said lateral shanks whichare parallel to each other and at right angles to said straight portion, the free ends of said shanks forming support surfaces for an adaptor, the free ends being bent inwardly towards each other and directed parallel to said straight portion.
4. A current distributor rail are recited in claim 1, said plastic covering enclosing and defining an inner space of said rail of rectangular cross section, open on the lower side of said rail, and said adaptor received in said space, said adaptor being capable of being slid along said rail to a desired location.
5. A current distributor rail as recited in claim 3, comprising a separate rectangular section supporting profile of plastic material on each side of said rail, held in a receiving space defined by said plastic covering, two current conductors clamped in receiving spaces defined by said supporting profile said spaces opening to the interior of said distributor rail.
6. A current distributor rail as recited in claim 1, wherein each access opening for the current conductors comprises flexible closing lips of insulating materi- 7. A current distributor rail as recited in claim 1, wherein said metal base is provided with means for locating and securing said plastic covering in position thereon said means including holes defined by said metal base.