|Publication number||US3715707 A|
|Publication date||Feb 6, 1973|
|Filing date||Mar 16, 1971|
|Priority date||Mar 16, 1971|
|Publication number||US 3715707 A, US 3715707A, US-A-3715707, US3715707 A, US3715707A|
|Original Assignee||Westinghouse Electric Corp|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Referenced by (21), Classifications (9), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent 1 Anderson [451 7 Feb. 6, 1973 TERMINAL BLOCK WITH SNAP-IN COMPONENTS Filed:
Inventor: Melvin R. Anderson, Avon Lake,
Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corporation,
March 16, 1971 Appl. No.: 124,854
US. Cl. ..339/l98 R, 339/256 S, 339/272 A Int. Cl. ..H01r 9/00 Field of Search.....339/l98, 272 A, 263, 258 SP,
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Keller ..339/198 Nielsen Greene Rickabaugh ....339/19s P V FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLlCATlONS 1,929,080 12/1970 Germany ..339/272 A 6,508,724 1/1966 1 Netherlands 1,068,359 5/1967 Great Britain..
503,220 5/1951 Belgium ..339/272 A Primary Examiner-Marvin A. Champion Assistant Examiner-Robert A. Hafer Attorney-A. T. Stratton, W. D. Palmer and Blair R. Studebaker  ABSTRACT A terminal block assembly for connecting electrical conductors constructed in the form of an insulating plastic block having communicating apertures therethrough and therein. Metal connector members are snap-fitted into the apertures and are releasably retained therein. The metal connector members provide for the positive connection of electrical'conductors without the use of soldered, brazed, riveted or mere contact junctures which could cause high resistance locations.
9 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEDFEB suns SHEEI 10F 2 FIG. I.
I I I 1 INVENTOR Melvin R. Anderson BY /,Zl1./ZA%
ATTORNEY PATENTEDFEB SL973 "3'715 707 SHEETEUFZ, v I
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION I This invention relates to terminal block assemblies and more particularly, to a terminal block assembly having snap-in electrical connector components providing an easily assembled positive connection terminal block.
Most prior art terminal blocks have been constructed from porcelain and the metallic electrical connector members are secured thereto by nuts and bolts or the electrical connectors are secured between separate sections of the terminal block by bolting the terminal block halves together around the metal electrical connectors. In thepast, many terminalblocks required that the individual wires be connected thereto by such means as soldering, brazing, riveting or by use of threadable bolt connectors.
Assembly of theprior art terminalblocks has been a time consuming and sometimes intricate operation. Additionally, connecting the wires through the terminal block has also been a time consuming process and has required special tools at the installation site. The need for a terminal block which would permit both rapid assembly of the terminal block itself and which would have a facility for the rapid connection of wires through the terminal block has existed for many years particularly in such equipments as streetlighting luminaires where maintenance repair and even initial assembly may be required to be performed under inclement or otherwise undesirable weather conditions. Speed, simplicity and a minimization of the number of tools required in performing the functions of assembly and electrical connection is therefore a highly desirable characteristic not heretofore available in terminal blocks.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The terminal block assembly of this invention provides for the quick and simple assembly and electrical connection of a terminal block with a minimum of tools by providing a block of insulating resinous material having a plurality of parallel tunnels extending therethrough and a plurality of apertures communicating with the tunnels, electrical connector means are releasably retained in the tunnels and clamping means is threadably mounted in the apertures and extends into the tunnels to coact with the electrical connector means to secure an electrical conductor therebetween. The electricalconnectors combine into one piece a primary terminal and a plurality of secondary terminals without the need for soldered, brazed, riveted or contact junctures between the primary and secondary terminals which could cause high resistance locations.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING side of the terminal block of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the terminal block assembly of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the line III-III of FIG. 1; i
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along the line IV--IV of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along the line VV of FIG. 2; and
FIG. 6 is an exploded view of the terminal block as sembly of this invention illustrating the various parts and their relationships.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now in detail to the drawing wherein like reference characters represent like parts throughout the several views, there is illustrated in the exploded view of FIG. 6 the parts incorporated in the terminal block assembly of this invention. The terminalfblock assemblygenerally designated 10 includes a block 12 constructed from a resinous insulating material such as- As best illustrated in-FIGS. l, 3 and 4, the tunnels l4 7 in a front view have a T-shaped configuration, the top a slot of which extends for approximately half the depth of the tunnel and is constructed to dimensions which receive and retain the speed nut 16 therein. As seen in FIG. 3, when the speed nut 16 is fully received within the top portion or cross slot of the T, the threaded aperture of the speed nut is axially aligned with the center of the intersecting counterbored aperture 20. At approximately the same point, in the tunnel where the counterbored passage 20 intersects the tunnel, there are reduced diameter wall portions 24 in the form of ini ternal ribs which serve to coact with the lances 26 and tabs 28 on the exterior sides of the U-shaped conversion terminal 18 to releasably retain the U-shaped conversion terminal at a predetermined position within the tunnel 14. The interaction of the lances 26 and tabs 28 with the reduced diameter wall portions or ribs 24 of the tunnel 14 is best illustrated in FIG. 4.
The terminal block 12 also includes a pair of side flange members 30 which are utilized to mount the terminal block assembly 10 to a suitable structural portion of the equipment in which the terminal block assembly is employed. Securing of the terminal block to the equipment may be accomplished by bolting through the holes 32 in the flanges 30. The flanges 30 also may carry, where desired, auxiliary terminals. Auxiliary terminals such as the U-shaped auxiliary terminals 34 may be snapped into and releasably retained by the square apertures 36 in the flange 30. The U-shaped auxiliary terminals 34 include tabs 38 and lances 40 which serve to retain the auxiliary terminal in the aperture 36 as best illustrated in FIG. 5.
As will be apparent, the terminal block assembly of this invention can be simply and quickly assembled by hand without the use of any tools and connecting the wires to the terminal block assembly can also be performed with only the use of a simple screw driver. The
quick and simple toolless assembly can be performed because the plastic insulating material, such as for example .asbestos filled polyester, is slightly deformable unlike the rigid ceramic or porcelain material commonly used in terminal block assemblies and when combined with the resilient metal tabs on the components snap-in retention is accomplished.
In assembling each of the terminals in the tunnels 14, the speed nut 16 is slid into the top slot of the T-shaped opening until the edge of the nut abuts the back wall of the slot and the threaded aperture of the speed nut is aligned with the counterbored aperture 20. The U- shaped conversion terminal is then pushed into the tunnel until the tabs 28 slip beyond the reduced diameter portion 24 and the lances 26 abut the reduced diameter portion, thus retaining the conversion terminal 18 securely in the tunnel 14. The slotted set screw or machine screw 22 is then threaded into the speed nut 16 until the rounded end approaches the bottom of the U-shaped conversion terminal 18.
Similarly, the auxiliary terminals 34 are slipped into the apertures 36 in the flange 30 by inserting the open pronged end of the U-shaped terminal through the slot until the tabs 38 clear the upper surface of the flange and the lances 38 abut the bottom of the flange. The shape of the tabs 38 prevent the auxiliary terminal from coming out of the aperture 36. As best seen in FIG. 6, the U-shaped auxiliary terminal presents two male blade members 42 for the quick connection of two female line connectors slip-on clamps.
The U-shaped triple conversion terminal 18 includes a knurled surface on the interior bottom surface as shown at 44 in FIG. 4. The primary line supply wire is brought into the terminal block assembly and clamped between the oval end of the screw 22 and the knurled surface 44. The knurled area acts as a friction grip against the wire surface with which it is in contact and prevents the line supply wire from slipping out when the wire is clamped against that surface by the oval end of the set screw 22. Each of the conversion terminals 18 are able to deliver the primary supply to up to three secondary lines through the secondary male blade terminals 46 on the conversion terminal 18. The secondary terminals 46 are adapted, as the auxiliary terminals 34, to receive female slip-on clamp connectors from secondary electrical distribution lines.
Although three primary conversion terminals have been illustrated in the preferred embodiment, it will be apparent that more or less than three terminals may be employed in the terminal block assembly of this invention as dictated by individual situation needs. It will be further apparent that the terminal block assembly of this invention can be quickly and simply assembled without the use of tools in that the speed nut 16 is simply and easily slipped into the top slot of the T- shaped tunnel or cavity and retained therein, aligned with the counterbored aperture by the internal configuration of the tunnel 14. The U-shaped conversion terminal is quickly and simply slipped into the lower portion of the tunnel l4 and retained in a predetermined position therein by the reduced diameter portion 24 of the interior surface of the tunnel thereby retaining the U-shaped conversion terminal in alignment with a threaded machine screw or set screw 22 which is threaded through the speed nut 16. The addition of auxiliary terminals 34 in the flanged portion of the terminal block assembly adds additional versatility to the terminal block assembly of this invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A terminal block assembly for connecting electrical conductors comprising:
an electrically non-conductive block having a plurality of parallel tunnels extending therethrough;
a plurality of apertures in said block communicating with said tunnels;
electrical connector means positioned within said tunnels, and
clamping means threadably mounted in said apertures and extending into said tunnels adapted to coact with said electrical connector means to secure an electrical conductor therebetween, said electrical connector means comprising a U-shaped conversion terminal having a plurality of male blade connectors forming secondary terminal means, with said clamping means and the remainder of said electrical connector means forming a primary terminal.
2. A terminal block assembly for connecting electrical conductors according to claim 1 wherein said tunnels extend through said block from side to side horizontally and said apertures extend at right angles to said tunnels and communicate between the top surface of said block and said tunnels.
3. A terminal block assembly according to claim 2 wherein said electrically non-conductive block includes flanges extending from at least opposite sides thereof, said flanges having a plurality of additional apertures therethrough and U-shaped electrical connectors releasably retained in one or more of said additional apertures.
4. A terminal block assembly for connecting electrical conductors according to claim 1 wherein said electrically non-conductive block is an asbestos filled polyester.
5. A terminal block assembly for connecting electrical conductors according to claim 1, wherein said tunnels extending through said electrically non-conductive block include a reduced diameter center rib therein and said U-shaped conversion terminal includes outwardly directed tabs thereon which coact with said reduced diameter center rib to retain said conversion terminals in predetermined positions within said tunnels.
6. A terminal block assembly for connecting electrical conductors comprising:
a single piece, electrically non-conductive, block having at least one tunnel extending therethrough;
a counterbored aperture in said block communicating with said tunnel,
electrical connector means securely positioned within said tunnel and clamping means threadably mounted in said aperture and extending into said tunnel adapted to coact with said electrical connector means to secure an electrical conductor therebetween, said electrical connector means comprising a unitary U-shaped conversion terminal having a plurality of male blade connectors forming secondary terminal means on one end thereof, and said clamping means and the remainder of said electrical connector means forming a primary terminal.
or more of said additional apertures.
9. A terminal block assembly for connectingelectrical conductors according to claim 6 wherein said elec- I trically non-conductive block is asbestos filled polyester, said tunnel includes a reduced diameter centerrib therein and said U-shaped conversion terminal includes outwardly directed tabs thereon which n coact with said reduced diameter center rib to retain said conversion terminal in a predetermined position within said tunnel.
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US4070086 *||Jun 11, 1975||Jan 24, 1978||General Signal Corporation||Variable length electrical connector|
|US4458975 *||Mar 1, 1983||Jul 10, 1984||Telefonaktiebolaget L M Ericsson||Cable clamp|
|US4650272 *||Dec 20, 1985||Mar 17, 1987||General Electric Company||Circuit breaker line terminal screw retainer|
|US4880391 *||Jun 30, 1988||Nov 14, 1989||General Electric Company||Apparatus for connecting multiple windings|
|US5007156 *||Jul 19, 1989||Apr 16, 1991||General Electric Company||Method of selectively connecting a set of winding means for a dynamoelectric machine into at least two different electrical configurations|
|US5090123 *||Feb 7, 1991||Feb 25, 1992||General Electric Company||Method of fabricating a lead termination device|
|US5117211 *||Nov 8, 1990||May 26, 1992||General Electric Company||Compact molded case circuit breaker having anti-turn terminal connectors|
|US5197907 *||Nov 13, 1991||Mar 30, 1993||General Electric Company||Lead termination device|
|US5368506 *||Nov 12, 1993||Nov 29, 1994||Standex International Corporation||Electric street light terminal block assembly|
|US6663443 *||Aug 30, 2002||Dec 16, 2003||Ilson Corporation||Lay-in electrical connector with a detachable tang|
|US7029293||Aug 16, 2005||Apr 18, 2006||Extreme Broadband Engineering, Llc||Ground block connector|
|US7862951 *||Jan 25, 2007||Jan 4, 2011||Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha||Fuel cell and fuel cell connector|
|US8402695||Aug 5, 2010||Mar 26, 2013||Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc.||Heated rear slider window assembly|
|US8881458||Sep 14, 2011||Nov 11, 2014||Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc.||Slider window assembly|
|US8915018||Dec 21, 2011||Dec 23, 2014||Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc.||Slider window assembly|
|US8938914||May 10, 2013||Jan 27, 2015||Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc.||Slider window assembly with cable guides|
|US9174515||Dec 17, 2014||Nov 3, 2015||Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc.||Method of assembling a slider window assembly|
|US20040077224 *||May 13, 2003||Apr 22, 2004||Marchese Greg M.||Combination terminal device|
|US20060034376 *||Aug 16, 2005||Feb 16, 2006||Vafa Rakshani||System and method for detecting a device requiring power|
|EP0195879A1 *||Jul 26, 1985||Oct 1, 1986||ELETTRO GIBI S.p.A.||Electrical terminal box for cookers and the like|
|EP0222039A1 *||Nov 13, 1985||May 20, 1987||C.A. Weidmüller GmbH & Co.||Connection of conductors|
|U.S. Classification||439/721, 439/814|
|International Classification||H01R9/24, H01R9/16, H01R9/00|
|Cooperative Classification||H01R9/16, H01R9/24|
|European Classification||H01R9/24, H01R9/16|
|Oct 25, 1982||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: COOPER INDUSTRIES INC 1001 FANNIN HOUSTON TX 77002
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004059/0357
Effective date: 19821001