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Publication numberUS3760464 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 25, 1973
Filing dateJan 2, 1970
Priority dateJan 2, 1970
Publication numberUS 3760464 A, US 3760464A, US-A-3760464, US3760464 A, US3760464A
InventorsHiguchi N
Original AssigneeDavis Aircraft Prod Co Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Safety buckle
US 3760464 A
Abstract
A buckle for safety belts including latch means for releasably connecting the buckle to a first webbing, adjustment means for adjustably securing the buckle to a second webbing thereby allowing the webbing to be cinched, and spring means which cooperates with both the latch and adjustment means. The spring means cooperates with the latch means to spring bias the latch means so as to releasably secure an end plate of the first webbing to the buckle. The spring means cooperates with the adjustment means so as to releasably secure it to the buckle. In a modified embodiment of the present invention, the spring means is replaced by a diverse functional member which, firstly, cooperates with the adjustment means so as to releasably secure it to the buckle, secondly, functions as an ejector device to positively eject the end plate of the first webbing from the buckle when the end plate is unlatched, thirdly, prevents inadvertent movement and rattle of the end plate of the first webbing when the latter is in its latched position, and fourthly, supports the latch lever.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Sept. 25, 1973 Higuchi SAFETY BUCKLE [75] Inventor: Nori Higuchi, Flushing, N.Y. [73] Assignee: Davis Aircraft Products Company,

Inc., Northport, Conn.

[22] Filed: Jan. 2, 1970 [21] Appl. No.: 49

[52] U.S. Cl. 24/77 R, 24/230 A, 24/196 [51] Int. Cl A44b 11/25 [58] Field of Search 24/230 A, 77, 196,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,046,982 '7/1962 Davis 24/205.17 3,266,110 8/1966 Davis 24/193 3,279,019 10/1966 Eubank 24/200 3,020,089 2/1962 Monroe 24/230 A 3,144,696 8/1964 Carter 24/230 A 3,248,769 5/1966 Oliver 24/230 AK 3,321,817 5/1967 Smith 24/230 A 3,408,707 l1/l968 Hemphill 24/75 3,165,805 1/1965 Lower 24/230 A 3,179,992 4/1965 Murphy 24/77 3,287,775 l1/1966 Eubank 24/230 A 3,343,229 9/1967 Tanaka 24/77 3,390,436 7/1968 Prete 24/196 3,399,431 9/1968 Shank1in.....' 24/77 3,505,71 1 4/1970 Carter 24/77 3,514,816 6/1970 Inoue 24/196 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Primary Examiner-Bernard A. Gelak Attorney-Arthur T. Groeninger [57] ABSTRACT A buckle for safety belts including latch means for releasably connecting the buckle to a first webbing, adjustment means for adjustably securing the buckle to a second webbing thereby allowing the webbing to be cinched, and spring means which cooperates with both the latch and adjustment means. The spring means cooperates with the latch means to spring bias the latch means so as to releasably secure an end plate of the first webbing to the buckle. The spring means cooperates with the adjustment means so as to releasably secure it to the buckle. In a modified embodiment of the present invention, the spring means is replaced by a diverse functional member which, firstly, cooperates with the adjustment means so as to releasably secure it to the buckle, secondly, functions as an ejector device to positiv ely ejecfihe 'na plate of the; first webbing from the buckle when the end plate is unlatched, thirdly, prevents inadvertent movement and rattle of the end plate of the first webbing when the latter is in its latched position, and fourthly, supports the latch lever.

2 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures PATENTED Z 5 I saw 1 or 5 INVENTOR NOR! mcucy-u BY MVLW ATTORNEY PMENTED Z 3.760.464

sum 2 ur 5 FICiZ INVENTOR- NORI HIGUCHI ATTORNEY PATENIEU SEPZ 5 I975 SHE! 3-0? 5 INVENTOR NORI HIGUCHI ATTORNEY PATENlEnsirzsms SEEH'HIFS INVENTOR NORI HIGUCHI BY M ATTORNEY INVENTOR NORI HlGUc fLuW ATTORNEY SAFETY BUCKLE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION ,ness such as to prevent passage of the end portion about the web adjustment bar. This arrangement prevents inadvertent removal of the buckle from the webbing thereby avoiding the problem of reassembly.

While the prevention of inadvertent removal is desirable, complete removal is often desired so as to clean,

replace or repair the buckle.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention comprises a safety belt buckle which can be completely removed from the webbing.

The buckle includes a body member. Oneend of the body member is adapted 'to releasably latch the end plate of a first webbing while the other end includes a fixed web adjustment bar about which the length of a secondwebbing may be adjusted for cinching purposes. The second webbing includes a folded over end portion. of a thickness such as to prevent passage of the end portion about the web adjustment bar thereby preventing inadvertent removal of the second webbing from the buckle.

When it is desired to clean, repairor replace the buckle, means are provided'for removably mounting the 'web adjustment bar so that upon removal of the bar,.the buckle is separated from the second webbing. For this purpose, the spring used for spring biasing the latch for the end plate is additionally utilized by extending one end thereof through a slot in the adjustment bar so as to hold the bar in place. By manually depressing the spring, the spring removes from the slot thereby permitting the web adjustment bar to be removed and the buckle cleaned, repaired or replaced.

Where a slidable rather than a fixed webadjustm ent bar is used, the present invention permits removal of the bar be merely angling the same so that its end portions disengage its mounting slots. In this instance, the bar is held in place by extending an end of the latch spring into the area between the slots thereby preventing the bar from angling and self-removing. When one desires to remove the bar, the spring may be manually depressed thereby removing it from the slot area permitting the bar to be removed.

In accordancewith still another modification of the present invention,- a member independent of the latch spring is used to releasably secure the web adjustment bar in place. In addition to this function, the member is adapted to overlie the web end plate and bear against the end portion thereof so as to prevent rattle and so as to positively eject the end plate from the buckle when his unlatched. The member is detachably se cured to the buckle so as to allow removal of the web adjustment bar from vthe buckle when desired. The member functions to cooperate still further with the buckle structure in that it functions as a support for the latch lever.

DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a buckle constructed in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the buckle of FIG. 1 with the cover lever partly broken away to show the covered parts of the buckle.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken on line Ill-II of FIG. 2.

FIGS. 4 and 5 are schematic diagrams illustrating the manner in which the webbing is adjustably secured to the fixed web adjustment bar of FIGS. 1 3.

FIG. 6 is a plan view of a second embodiment of the present invention wherein a slidable web adjustment bar is used. In this view, the cover lever is partially broken away to show the covered parts of the buckle.

FIG. 7 is a cross-section taken on line VIIVII of FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a cross-section simlar to FIG. 7 but shows the buckle in a tilted position for adjustment purposes.

FIG. 9 is an exploded perspective view of a modification of the present invention illustrating the use of a confining and ejector element for releasably securing the web adjustment bar to the buckle.

FIG. 10 is a plan view of the buckle of FIG. 9 with the cover removed.

FIG. 11 is a side elevation taken on line XI-XI of FIG. 9.

FIG. 12 14 illustrates an adjustment bar modification.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to FIGS. 1, 2,.and 3, a buckle l for safety belts for use in automobile, airplanes and other passenger vehicles is shown. Buckle l is adapted to detachably and adjustably connect the ends of webbings 2 and 3 so as to permit the same to be connected and cinched about a user. The other ends of webbings 2 and 3 (not shown) are adapted to be anchored to the floor or frame, of a vehicle. The manner and means by which webs 2 and 3 are connected to the vehicle do not form a direct part of the present invention and hence will not be described in detail.

Buckle 1 includes a latch 4 atone end thereof for detachably securing end plate 5 of webbing 2 thereto so as to permit the webbing to be secured about the user. A web adjustment bar 6 is provided at the opposite end of the buckle I so as to permit the webbing 3 to be adjusted in length so that the webbing may be cinched tight about the user.

END PLATE LATCH Referring firstly to the structure of latch 4, buckle 1 comprises a base 7 integrally formed with a pair of upwardly bent side walls 8 and 9. A pivot pin 10, about which latch 4 is pivoted as hereinafter more particularly described, extends parallel to the base 7. Pin 10 is connected at its ends to walls 8 and 9-and is locked in place by conventional snap rings 11 seated in grooves 12 formed on the opposite ends thereof.

Latch 4, which detachably secures end plate 5 of webbing 2 to the buckle l, is pivotally mounted about pin 10. Latch 4 includes ears 13 having axially aligned apertures 14 therein for receiving pin 10. Latch 4 further includes a catch 15 with which an opening 16 in end plate 5 is adapted to make releasable latching engagement.

When connecting end plate 5 to the buckle l, the plate 5 is adapted to enter in a direction indicated by arrow A (see FIG. 3) and engage cam surface 17 of latch 4. Latch 4 is then pivoted to the broken line position shown in FIG. 3. Upon further movement of the end plate 5 in the direction of arrow A, catch pivots downwardly into aperture 18 in base plate 7 thereby latching the end plate 5 in place. Edge 19 of aperture 18 is closely adjacent edge 20 of catch 15 so that when a load is exerted, the load is transferred in part through base plate 7 thus relieving to some extent the load on pivot pin 10.

Latch 4 includes a leg portion 21 formed with a notch 22 which receives one end 23 of a wire spring 24 coiled about pivot pin 10. The other end 25 of spring 24 extends through a notch on the underside of adjustment bar 6. It is not essential that spring end 23 be received in a notch such as at 22. If leg portion 21 is made sufficiently long, then the spring end 23 could ride on the upper surface of leg 21 without disengaging.

The spring mounting is such that spring 24 urges the latch 4 in a downward direction so as to normally maintain catch 15 in latching engagement with end plate 5.

A lever 26 pivoted on pin 10, is adapted to unlatch catch 15 from opening 16 in end plate 5 so as to permit removal of end plate 5. Lever 26 is also designed to form a cover for the parts disposed between sidewalls 8 and 9.

Lever 26 includes an enlarged end portion 27 including a bore 28 adapted to receive pivot pin 10. Portion 27 further includes slots 29 through which cars 13 of latch 4 extends. Slots 29 prevent lateral movement of latch'4. Edge 30 of slots 29 (see FIG. 1) are adapted to coact with abutment portion 31 of latch ears 13 so that upon outward swinging movement of the lever 26, edges 30 engage abutment surfaces 31 and latch 4 is pivoted to the broken line position shown in FIG. 3 thereby releasing end plate 5.

It is to be noted that the lever 26, as viewed in FIG. 3, does not extend above abutment portion 31 of latch 4 and thus, the distance the lever 26 extends above base 7 is kept to a minimum. This is an extremely important feature in view of airline requirements for slim line buckles. In addition, by engaging the latch 4 in the position shown, edge 30 may be built up as shown at 32 thereby providing a greater distribution of load without a sacrifice in the slim line feature.

If desired (not shown), the assembly can be arranged so that only built up portion 32 engages the abutment portion 31 thereby eliminating the necessity for slots 29 which present somewhat of a cleaning problem. In this instance, a spacer ring would be mounted about the pin 10 so as to prevent lateral movement of the latch.

WEB ADJUSTMENT BAR As hereinbefore described, buckle 1 includes a web adjustment bar 6 about which web 3 is adjustably entrained to permit cinching the webbing tight about the user.

Side walls 8 and 9 of buckle 1 include aligned slots 33 and 34 for receiving the web adjustment bar 6. The slots are shaped to prevent rotation of bar 6 relative to sidewalls 8 and 9. Bar 6 is inserted by extending end portion 35 thereof through slot 33, across base plate 7 and through slot 34. Bar 6 is of a width such that only the stepped portion 36 of the end portion 35 extends through slot 34 thereby preventing longitudinal movement of bar 6 in the direction indicated by arrow B (see FIG. 2). Bar 6 is then releasably locked in place by spring 24 which, as hereinbefore described, has an end portion 25 extending through a notch 37 formed on the underside thereof. When spring end portion 25 is depressed, as shown in broken lines in FIG. 3, bar 6 may be removed. When bar 6 is removed, web 3 is made free thereby allowing the buckle to be removed for purposes of cleaning, repair or replacement.

As hereinbefore described, web 3 is adjustably entrained about adjustment bar 6. Web 3 is connected to bar 6 by extending it through aperture 38 in base 7, entraining it about bar 6, and then extending it back out through aperture 38.

Web 3 terminates in a folded over end portion 39 which is of a thickness T greater than the spacing X between bar 6 and base 7 (see FIG. 3). As a result, web 3 is not free to unravel from bar 6 and inadvertent removal of buckle 1 from web 3 is prevented.

Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, the manner in which web 3 is adjustably held is schematically illustrated. When a body force F is applied to buckle 1, sections 3 and 3" of web 3 tend to move in opposite direction forcing the adjacent engaged surfaces 40 and 41 of the sections into frictional locking engagement.

The relationship of leading edge 6' of adjustment bar 6 to the trailing edge 38' of aperture 38 is critical to this locking engagement. The leading edge 6 should be disposed so that a line drawn from edge 38' of aperture 38 to edge 6' is at an angle of or less relative to base portion 7A. This assures that web 3 and 3" will bear against edge 38 and that surfaces 40 and 41 will frictionally engage.

Web 3 may be adjusted and cinched about the user by manually tilting buckle l as illustrated in FIG. 5. In this position, surfaces 40 and 41 are disengaged and the webbing is freely adjustable until the cinched position of FIG. 4 is reached.

Referring to FIGS. 6, 7 and 8, the present invention is shown including the same latch mechanism as in FIGS. 1 3 but is modified in that a slidable snubber bar 42 is used as the web adjustment bar to adjustably secure web 3 in position. Parts in FIGS. 6, 7, and 8, which are identical to parts in FIGS. 1, 2, and 3 shall bear the same reference character.

In this embodiment, web 3 extends up through aperture 43 in the buckle 1, is then entrained about bar 42 and then is extended back out through aperture 43. Web 3 terminates in a folded over end portion 44 to prevent inadvertent removal.

Snubber bar 42 comprises a cylindrical bar having flattened end extensions 45 adapted to be extended through and slidably engage slots 46 and 47 formed in sidewalls 8 and 9, respectively. When a body force F (see FIG. 7) is applied to the buckle, tension upon web 3 will move bar 42 in the direction of edge 43' of aperture 43. Bar 42 then bears against web section 3" at 48 causing the section 3" to Iockingly bite into edge 43. When belt 1 is tilted, bar 42 moves to the position shown in FIG. 8 thereby allowing adjustment. In this position, the bar 42 does not bite into the web 3 and thus web 2 may be freely adjusted.

Slot 46, which receives one end of bar 42, extends for a sufficient distance so as to allow bar 42 to be tilted, as shown in broken lines in FIG. 6, and removed from the assembly. When bar 42 is removed, buckle 1 is then free of web 3 and the buckle may be removed for purposes of allowing cleaning, repair or replacement.

The snubber bar 42 is normally prevented from moving to the tilted broken line position shown in FIG. 6 by latch spring 24 whose free end portion 25 in this embodiment of the invention bears against the underpart of a tab 49 struck out from the side wall 8. Spring end portion 25 extends adjacent slot 46 in the path of movement of snubber bar 42. As a result, slidable movement of the bar 42 is limited, at least to the extent making it impossible for the bar to tilt to a release position. When it is desired to remove the snubber bar 42, spring end portion 25 is depressed as shown in broken lines in FIG. 7, moving out of the path of movement of bar 42 thereby permitting pivotal movement and removal of the same.

END PLATE E JECTION Referring to FIGS. 9-11, a furthermodification of the present invention is shown wherein an end plate ejection member is used to releasably hold the web adjustment bar in place. As shown, ejection member 50 extends upwardly from the base plate 7 and has end extensions 51 adapted to be extended through aligned apertures 52 in sidewalls 8 and 9. Member 50 is sufficiently flexible so that it may be bowed as shown in broken lines in FIG. for insertion and removal.

Aligned slots 53 are provided in sidewalls 8 and 9 for receiving belt adjustment bar 54. Slots 53 are of a shape so as to prevent rotation of the bar relative to sidewalls 8 and 9. The bar. 54 is held against longitudinal movement by side plates 55, integrally formed with ejection member 50, which extend into slots 56 formed in bar 54. One of the slots may be eliminated and a shoulder provided on the bar 54 adapted to enter a slot of reduced size, similar to adjustment bar 6 of FIG. 1.

The bar 54. may be removed by removing member 50, as hereinbefore described, at which point bar 54 is free to move longitudinally out through aperture 53.

It is to be understood that a slidable snubber bar of the type illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8 could be substituted for adjustment bar 54. In this case, at least one of the slots for the slidable snubber bar would be elongated to permit tilting and removal, and one of the side plates 55 would extend adjacent this slot in the path of movement of the snubber bar so as to prevent inadvertent removal of the snubber bar. The side plate 55 would, in this embodiment, perform the same function as spring end portion performs as illustrated in FIGS. 6-8.

End plate 5 of webbing 2 is adapted to enter between base 7 and the bent back lower edge portion 57 of the ejection member 50 thereby confining movement of the end plate and preventing rattle.

A freely extending central portion 58 of ejection member 50 engages the edge of end plate 5 as indicated at 59 (see FIG. 11). As shown, central portion 58 is bent back and it is made sufficiently resilient so as to provide a spring biased force against end plate 5. Upon unlatching of end plate 5, a spring ejection force is applied by portion 58 to the end of the buckle at 59 thereby positively ejecting the end plate from the bucile. In addition, to this ejection function, portion 58 bearing on the end plate 5 as it does, assits in minimizing rattle V The latch 4' in the embodiment of FIGS. 9-1 1, is provided with two shoulder portions 60 and 61 for engagement with edges 62 and 63 of the cover lever thereby providing a greater distribution of the lever force. The latch includes two dog portions 64A and 64B extending from leg 64 thereof which are adapted to enter apertures 66 and 67 in the end plate 5.

Latch 4 includes aligned bores 68and 69 for mounting the latch on pivot pin 70. Pin 70 is non-rotatably mounted in sidewalls 8 and 9 and includes a heartshaped end portion 71 adapted to be received in a complimentary aperture 72 in sidewall 8. The opposite end of pin 70 is secured by a conventional snap ring 73 adapted to enter recess 74 in pin 70.

The latch arrangement of FIG. 9 provides better support of pivot pin 70 under load creating more shear load on pin 78 rather than bending.

A spring 76 is coiled about pin 70 for biasing the latch 4 into a latching position. One end of spring 76 sits within a groove 77 in bore 69 while the other end is anchored in groove 78 in end portion 71 of the nonrotatably mounted pivot pin 70.

Referring to FIGS. 12-14, a further modification of the present invention is shown comprising an adjustment bar 88 having end extensions 81 and 82 extending through and pivotally mounted in triangular apertures 83 and 84 in sidewalls 8 and 9.

Bar 80 is inserted by extending end extension 82 fully through aperture 84. At this point, end extension 81 clears inner surface of sidewall 9 so that it can be pivoted down and aligned with aperture 83. Extension 81 is then extended through aperture 83. The adjustment bar 80 is then held in this position by the latch spring end portion 25 which engages the undersurface of extension 82 and normally extends between the bar and sidewall 8 as shown in solid lines so as to prevent lateral movement and disengagement of the bar 80 from apertures 83 and 84. In order to remove bar 80, the spring end 25 is moved to the position illustrated in broken lines in FIG. 12 thereby permitting the bar to be shifted so as to free end extension 81 from aperture 83 and permit upward removal.

Web 3 is adapted to be extended up through aperture 85 in base plate 7, entrained about the bar 80 and then extended back out through aperture'85. The spring 25 normally maintains the bar 80 in a spaced position from the base plate 7 as shown in FIG. 13. Under load as exerted by a body force illustrated at F, in FIG. 14, the adjustment bar 80 pivots down thereby locking binding the web 3 between bar 80 and rib 86 on base plate 7.

Rib 86 reenforces the base plate in the load bearing area and in addition, provides a surface paralleling the surface of the web adjustment bar so as to provide an enlarged surface area for binding the web.

The web adjustment bar arrangement in FIGS. 12-14 has the advantage of alleviating some of the force applied to the base plate 7 as the load is partially distributed through the web adjustment bar 80 and sidewalls 8 and 9. As a result, there is a minimum tendency for the base plate 7 to bend out of shape.

As illustrated in FIG. 13, web 3 may be readily adjusted with the buckle free of force F, the web adjustmentbar80 is pivoted upwardly and the web 3 is freely adjustable. By angling the buckle as illustrated, the adjustment is more readily accomplished as there is minimum contact between web sections 3' and 3".

The bar 80 is angled so as to minimize the size of opening 85 and the height of frame sidewalls thereby minimizing the size of the buckle. In addition, it allows for greater angulation of the cooperating rib surface 85 which in turn adds further strength to the load receiving portion of base plate 7, as hereinbefore described.

While specific embodiments of the present invention have been described, it is to be understood that it is desired to protect all changes and modifications of these embodiments as well as new uses which fall within the scope of the invention.

I claim: 1. The combination comprising a support, latch means for latching a web end plate to said support,

a web adjustment bar for adjustably connecting a web of material to said support, spring means including a portion for biasing said latch means to a latch position and including a portion for removably confining said web adjustment bar to said support, pin means for pivotally mounting said latch means on said support, said spring means comprising a wire spring coiled about said pin means. 2. A safety buckle for connecting two web of material together comprising:

a support having two upstanding side walls on either side of a flat central section latch means for latching a planar web end plate to' said support, the web end plate being connected to a web of material said latch means positioned between said upstanding side walls and pivoted therebetween and mounted to act with said support to define an elongated rectangular aperture having its longer sides formed by the latch means and the flat section of the support, said planar web end plate being positionable in said aperture to be latched to said support a web adjustment means for adjustably connecting a web of material to said support,

spring means including a portion for biasing said latch means to a latched position and including a portion for biasing said web adjustment bar to a predetermined position,

pin means on which said latch means is mounted for rotation, said pin means being supported by both of said side walls, and

said spring means being partially coiled around said pin means.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification24/323, 24/646, 24/196
International ClassificationA44B11/25
Cooperative ClassificationA44B11/2557, A44B11/2526
European ClassificationA44B11/25B3, A44B11/25B8C2