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Publication numberUS3773186 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 20, 1973
Filing dateMar 20, 1972
Priority dateMar 20, 1972
Publication numberUS 3773186 A, US 3773186A, US-A-3773186, US3773186 A, US3773186A
InventorsReno W, Temple F
Original AssigneeWestinghouse Air Brake Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Air hose coupling with electrical connector
US 3773186 A
Abstract
This invention relates to an air hose coupling for use on railway cars. This hose coupling has embodied therein a snap-acting mechanism operated cojointly by a Belleville spring and an inflatable tube member inflated by the fluid under pressure passing through a pair of coupled hose couplings for reciprocating a plurality of electrical contact members within corresponding bores extending inward from the face of each respective hose coupling so that the contact members carried by each respective hose coupling quickly make and break contact with the corresponding contact members carried by the other hose coupling thereby eliminating arcing and burning of these contacts thus considerably lengthening their useful life.
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United States Patent Reno et a1.

[ AIR HOSE COUPLING WITH ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR Primary Examiner-Drayton E. Hoffman Attorney-Ralph W. Mclntire, Jr.

[5 7] ABSTRACT This invention relates to an air hose coupling for use on railway cars. This hose coupling has embodied therein a snap-acting mechanism operated cojointly by a Belleville spring and an inflatable tube member inflated by the fluid under pressure passing through a pair of coupled hose couplings for reciprocating a plurality of electrical contact members within corresponding bores extending inward from the face of each respective hose coupling so that the contact members carried by each respective hose coupling quickly make and break contact with the corresponding contact members carried by the other hose coupling thereby eliminating arcing and burning of these contacts thus considerably lengthening their useful life.

16 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures AIR HOSE COUPLING WITH ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In several heretofore used air hose couplings an electrical circuit that extends from car to car through a train is closed and opened when a pair of hose couplings are connected and disconnected at the time the couplers at the adjacent ends of each two cars in the train are coupled or uncoupled. This circuit is established through a pair of electrical contacts that are moved into abutting relationship one with the other at the time the two hose couplings are coupled together. It is well known in the art of electrical switch devices having such electrical contacts for opening and closing an electrical circuit that, in order to prevent arcing and burning of these contacts, they should be quickly moved into and out of abutting contact one with the other by means of such as a suitable snap-acting mechanism.

Accordingly, it is the general purpose of this invention to provide an air hose coupling, of the type that embodies therein electrical contacts for establishing electrical circuits that extend from end to end of a train, with a small, compact and novel snap-acting mechanism that is automatically operable upon the supply of fluid under pressure through a pair of coupled air hose couplings or upon uncoupling these couplings, which may be either the manual-type hose coupling or automatic type of hose connector, to move the electrical contacts of one hose coupling into or out of abutting circuit closing relationship with the corresponding contacts of the other hose coupling.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION hose According to the present invention, the coupling face of a hose coupling, that may be either of the manual or automatic type, is provided with a plurality of arcuately spaced-apart bores in each of which is slidably mounted in insulated relationship therewith an electrical contact, each of which contacts is quickly moved into and out of circuit closing contact with a corresponding electrical contact of the other hose coupling by a novel snap-acting mechanism embodied in the respective hose coupling which is made in two parts so as to provide in one part an annular groove in which is disposed on the respective opposite sides of one end of each of a plurality of inclined toggle arms, one for each contact, a Belleville spring and an inflatable tube member, the other end of each toggle arm being operably connected to the corresponding electrical contact through a leaf-type spring. Subsequent to coupling two hose couplings, the fluid under pressure supplied therethrough inflates the tube member so that the inclined toggle levers are moved against the yielding resistance of the Belleville spring and also the leaf-type springs from a first inclined position past a horizontal or center position to an oppositely inclined position. As soon as the toggle levers are thus moved past their horizontal or center position to an oppositely inclined position, the corresponding leaf-type spring is rendered effective to transmit a force to the respective toggle arm that provides an equal and opposite force that can be resolved into two components one of which acts in a direction to move the contact with a snap action to a second and oppositely inclined position in which each contact abuts the corresponding contact of the other hose coupling.

Upon uncoupling two coupled hose couplings, fluid under pressure is released from the inflatable tube member to deflate it, thereby rendering the Belleville spring effective to move the toggle arms from their second and oppositely inclined position in an opposite direction against the yielding resistance of the leaf-type springs past their horizontal or center position to their original inclined position whereupon the leaf-type springs are rendered effective to transmit a force to the toggle arms that in turn provide an equal and opposite force, one component of which causes opening of the contacts carried by the pair of hose couplings with a snap action and movement of the toggle arms to their original position.

In the accompanying drawings:

FIG. l is an elevational view, partly in section, of a pair of coupled air hose couplings embodying the invention.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view, taken along the line 2 2 of FIG. 1 and looking in the direction of the arrows, showing certain details not made apparent in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an elevational view, in section, showing one switch contact and the operating mechanism therefor of one hose coupling in the uncoupled position of this coupling.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged view, in section, showing how a train wire is so connected to a movable contact carried by a hose coupling as to be insulated from the coupling.

FIG. I of the drawings shows a pair of air hose couplings 1 and 2 in the position they occupy while coupled one to the other. It should be understood that the present invention is applicable to each of a pair of manual hose or pipe couplings, such as is shown and described in U.S. Pat. No. 458,542 issued Aug. 25, I891 to Thomas W. Welsh, and assigned to the assignee of the present application, or to each of a pair of automatic air hose connectors such as is shown and described in the copending application, Ser. No. 178,904, of Fred Temple, filed Sept. 7, 1971, and also assigned to the assignee of the present invention.

Since the air hose couplings 1 and 2 are identical, a description of one will suffice for both. Accordingly, like reference numerals have been used to designate the structural elements of hose coupling 2 since they are identical to the corresponding elements of hose coupling 1.

As shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings, each of the hose couplings I and 2 comprise two annular members 3 and 4 which are secured together by any suitable means such as, for example, a plurality of hexagon-socket type cap screws 5 that extend through smooth bores 6 provided in the member 4 and have screw-threaded engagement with coaxial internal screw-threaded bottomed boes 7 provided in the member 3.

In the case of the manual hose coupling, as disclosed in the above-mentioned U.S. Pat. No. 458,542 to Thomas W. Welsh, the members 3 and 4 when secured together by the cap screws 5 correspond to the coupling section 1 shown in this patent to Welsh.

In the case of the automatic air hose connector, as disclosed in the above-mentioned copending application of Fred Temple, the members 3 and 4 correspond to the removable hose nipple 20 shown in this applicatron.

As shown in FIG. ll, while the members 3 and 4 are secured together by the cap screws 5, a flat surface 8 formed on the lower end of the member 3 abuts a flat surface 9 formed on the upper end of the member 4. A fluid tight seal is provided between these surfaces 8 and 9 by an Q-ring seal 19 that is disposed in an annular groove 11 provided in the flat surface 9 of the member 4.

Formed, as by machining, at that end of the member 4 remote from the member 3 is a face R2 and a gasket groove 13 in which groove is disposed a resilient gasket 14 which may be identical to the usual hose coupling gasket carried in a groove provided therefor in a standard manual-type hose coupling.

Formed integral with the annular member 4 is a lip 15 having a lip bead to and a lip bearing surface 17. The size and shape of this lip 15, lip bead 16 and lip bearing surface 17 is the same as that of a standard railway hose coupling to enable either the hose coupling 1 or the hose coupling 2, when uncoupled from the other, to be manually coupled to the hose coupling at the end of the hose on a railway car not provided with a hose coupling embodying the present invention when such a car is coupled to a car provided with a hose coupling embodying the present invention.

As shown in FIG. i, when the hose couplings on two adjacent coupled cars are coupled, each car being provided with either a manual air hose coupling or an automatic air hose coupling that embodies the present invention, the lip 15 and lip bead 16 of the annular member 4 of one hose coupling are disposed in a groove 18 that, in the case of a manual-type hose coupling as disclosed in the above-mentioned Welsh patent, is provided in a projection i9 that corresponds to the grooved projection 7 of the other hose coupling shown in this Welsh patent, or, in the case of an automatic air hose connector, as disclosed in the above-mentioned copending application of Temple, corresponds to the C-shaped cross-member 38 of the mating head 3 of the other air hose connector shown in this application. Thus, the lip 15 and lip bead R6 of one hose coupling and the projection 19 of the other ose coupling in cooperation with the lip 15 and lip bead lb of the other hose coupling and the projection 19 of the one hose coupling serve to lock the two hose couplings l and 2 together so that the gasket Ml carried by each hose coupling is compressed against the corresponding gasket carried by the other hose coupling so that these gaskets form a fluid-tight seal one with the other to prevent leakage of fluid under pressure from the passageway extending through two coupled hose couplings to atmosphere.

In order to provide for a plurality of electrical circuits that extend from car to car through a train, the annular member :3 of each of the hose couplings 1 and 2 is provided with a plurality of arcuately spaced-apart smooth bores 26 that extend inward from the face 12 to an annular groove 21 that extends inward from the face 9, it being noted that this groove 21 is concentric with the hereinbeforementioned annular groove 11 and of substantially larger diameter. Only two diametrically arranged smooth bores are shown in FlG. 11 thus providing for a single two-wire electrical circuit from car to car through the train. However, it should be understood that several pair of diametrically arranged smooth bores may be provided in the member 4 if it is desired to provide several separate two-wire circuits that extend from car to car through the train.

Press-fitted into each of the bores 20 is a bushing 22 that is constructed of some suitable electrical insulating material such as, for example, rubber or fiber, it being noted that one end of each of these bushings 22 is flush with the face 12 and the opposite end is flush with the bottom of the annular groove 21.

Slidably mounted in each of the bushings 22 in each of the hose couplings l and 2 is a contact member 23 that is movable into and out of circuit closing contact with a corresponding contact member 23 of the other hose coupling by a spring-biased fluid-pressureactuated snap-acting mechanism. Since the structure of the snap-acting mechanism for each contact is the same, a description of one such mechanism will suffice for all, it being noted that the corresponding structural elements of each such mechanism are denoted by the same reference numerals.

Disposed in the annular groove 21 is an annular contact mounting ring 24, it being noted that the outside diameter of this ring 24 is less than the outside diameter of the annular groove 21 and the inside diameter is greater than the inside diameter of the groove 21.

As shown in FIG. 4 of the drawings, the upper end of the contact member 23 abuts the lower side of an annular stepped spacer member 25 that is constructed of some suitable electrical insulating material such as, for example, rubber or fiber. That portion of this stepped spacer member 25 that has the smaller diameter extends through a bore 26 provided therefor in the mounting ring 24. A washer 27 constructed of some suitable insulating material such as, for example, rubber or fiber, is interposed between the annular contact mounting ring 24 and a crimp-type terminal 28. A screw 29 constructed of a suitable electrical conducting material such as, for example, brass, extends through this terminal 28, washer 27, and annular stepped spacer member 25 and has screw-threaded engagement with a screw-threaded bottomed bore 30 provided therefor in the contact member 23.

Secured to the crimp-type terminal 28 is the bare one end of an insulation-covered train wire 31 that extends through a bore 32 (FIGS. 1 and 3) provided therefor in the member 3 and thence to the other end of the car where it is connected to a contact carried by the hose coupling at this end of the car.

For each two-wire train circuit that extends from end to end of a train, the annular contact mounting ring 24 is provided with a pair of diametrically arranged tabs 33. The annular contact mounting ring 24 may be constructed of spring steel and have these tabs 33 formed integral therewith, or these tabs 33 may be formed from, for example, spring steel and then secured by any suitable means to the annular mounting ring 24 which may be of any appropriate material other than spring steel.

Formed integral with each tab 33 at the outer end thereof is a ball-like member 34 that is received between the jaws of a spring-like clip 35 formed at one end of a toggle arm 36 of a fluid-pressure-actuated snap-acting mechanism which will now be described in detail.

Each of the toggle arms 36, which may be constructed of some suitable plastic material such as, for example, delrin extends through a slot 37 provided therefor in the annular member 4, one end of each of these slots 37 opening into the hereinbefore-mentioned annular groove 21 and the opposite end opening into a second annular groove 38 provided in the annular member 4, it being noted that the outside diameter of this groove 38 is substantially less than the inside diameter of the groove 21.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, the other end of each toggle arm 36 has formed integral therewith a thickened portion or elliptical-shaped head 33 that is received in a U-shaped member 40. It should be noted that, though not made apparent in the drawings, the bottom of these U-shaped members 40 is arcuate so that they are slidable along the inside vertical wall, as viewed in FIG. 1, of the annular groove 38.

As best shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings, a resilient inflatable annular member 41 is disposed in the annular groove 38 and interposed between the bottom of this groove and the U-shaped members 40. This inflatable member 41 is similar to an automobile tire inner tube and may be constructed of, for example, rubber.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, formed integral with and of the same material as the inflatable member 41, is a hollow stem 42 that extends through a bore 43 provided therefor in the annular member 4. The outside of this hollow stem 42 is cemented to the wall surface of the bore 43 to prevent the fluid under pressure flowing through the two coupled hose couplings I and 2 from flowing into the annular groove 38 and thence to atmosphere. Any suitable cement or sealing compound may be used to thus secure the outside of the stem 42 to the wall surface of the bore 43.

With the outside of the hollow stem 42 thus cemented to the wall surface of the bore 43, the fluid under pressure flowing through the two coupled hose couplings 1 and 2 will flow through this hollow stem 42 to the interior of the inflatable annular member 41 to inflate it.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, a Belleville spring 44 is disposed in the annular groove 38 so that its smaller end abuts the upper side of the U-shaped members 40 and its larger end abuts the flat face 8 on the annular member 3. The strength of this Belleville spring 44 is such that when the pressure within the inflatable member 41 is atmospheric, as when the hose couplings 1 and 2 are uncoupled, this spring is effective to move the U-shaped members 40 and the toggle arms 36 to the position shown in FIG. 3. It will be noted that, while each toggle arm 36 occupies the position shown in FIG. 3, the corresponding member 23 is in a position in which its lower end does not extend below the face 12 on the annular member 4. Consequently, this contact member 23 is in a position out of contact with a corresponding contact carried by the other hose coupling, and the circuit between the train wire 31 on one car and the train wire 31 on the adjacent car is open.

OPERATION Let it be supposed that contact members 23, toggle arms 36, U-shaped members 40, annular contact mounting ring 24, the tabs 33 integral with the ring 24, Belleville spring 44 and inflatable tube 41 of each of the hose couplings 1 and 2 occupy the position shown in FIG. 3.

Now let it be supposed that the two hose couplings 1 and 2 are coupled one to the other as shown in FIG. 1, and, subsequent to coupling these two hose couplings, fluid under pressure is supplied therethrough as, for example, when a train brake pipe is charged to effect a brake release on a train.

As fluid under pressure is supplied through the two coupled hose couplings 1 and 2, a part of it will flow through the hollow stem 42 of the inflatable member 41 in each of the now coupled hose couplings l and 2 to the interior of the respective inflatable tube 41 to increase the pressure therein.

As the pressure in the interior of the inflatable member 41 of each of the now coupled hose couplings l and 2 is thus increased, it is effective to inflate or expand the respective annular inflatable member 41 from the position shown in FIG. 3 to the position shown in FIG. 1.

It is apparent that, as the annular inflatable member 41 of each of the hose couplings 1 and 2 is inflated from the position shown in FIG. 3 to the position shown in FIG. 1, the U-shaped members 40 that rest against the upper side of each respective inflatable member 41 are moved upward from the position shown in FIG. 3 against the yielding resistance of the Belleville spring 44.

As viewed in FIG. 3, the left-hand side of the annular groove 38 is vertical, and the toggle arm 36 occupies an inclined position in which it, at a point adjacent the clip 35, abuts a stop 45 formed on the annular member 4 at the upper right-hand end of the slot 37 in this member 4. In this inclined position, the toggle arm 36 slopes in a direction that is downward and in the direction of the left hand from the clip that is integral with the right-hand end of this arm, it being noted that the balllike member 34 that is integral with the tab 33 is received in the jaws of this clip 35.

Accordingly, it is apparent that as each U-shaped member is moved vertically upward from the position shown in FIG. 3, the corresponding toggle arm 36 is rocked clockwise, as viewed in FIG. 3, about the stop until the arm 36 reaches a horizontal position. Since the tab 33 is constructed of spring steel, this rocking of the toggle arm 36 to a horizontal position causes this toggle arm to slide or move a short distance in the direction of the right hand relative to the stop 45, the corresponding clip 35 and ball-like member 34 carried in this clip being likewise moved in this right-hand direction to bend the tab 33 in the direction that is away from the center of the coupling.

The above-mentioned bending of the tabs 33 stores potential energy therein. Therefore, it can be seen from FIG. 3 of the drawings that as soon as the inflation of each inflatable member 41 moves the U-shaped members 40 that abut the upper side thereof upward far enough to rock the corresponding toggle arms 36 just past the horizontal position, each toggle arm will occupy an inclined position in which it slopes in a direction that is downward from the head 39 at the inner end of each toggle arm 36. Accordingly, the stored potential energy in each of the now bent tabs 33 transmits a force to the corresponding toggle arm 36 via the balllike member 34 of the respective tab 33. To maintain the tabs bent or in an instantaneous state of equilibrium, each toggle arm 36 must transmit a force to the respective tab 33 that is equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to the force transmitted to the toggle arm by the tab. Consequently, each toggle arm 36 is transmitting a force to the corresponding ball-like member 34 and tab 33 that is acting in a direction that corresponds to the angle of inclination of the toggle arm 36. This force can be resolved into a horizontal component and a vertical component, this vertical component acting in a downward direction, as viewed in FlG. 3.

Furthermore, it can be seen from FIGS. 1; and 3 that the farther upward the U-shaped members 40 are moved by the inflation of the inflatable member 41, the greater will be the angle of inclination of each toggle arm as and greater the magnitude of the vertical component of the force transmitted to the ball-like member 34, it being remembered that this force acts in a downward direction as viewed in FlGS. l and 3.

it can be seen from H63. 1, 3 and 4 that the vertical component of the force transmitted to the ball-like member 34 is transmitted through the corresponding tab 33 to the annular contact mounting ring 24.

From the foregoing, it is apparent that, after the toggle arms 36 are rocked through a horizontal position to an oppositely inclined position, the annular contact mounting ring 24 and the contact members 23 carried thereby of each of the hose couplings l and 2 are moved toward the mounting ring 24 and contact members 23 of the other coupling by a force that is increasing in magnitude as the angle of inclination of the toggle arms 36 increases and the contact members 23 of each hose coupling move closer to the contact members 23 of the other hose coupling. Accordingly, it is apparent that the contact members 23 of each hose coupling are moved with a snap action into circuit closing relationship with the contact members of the other hose coupling, as shown in H0. t, thereby preventing arcing between these contacts and thus increasing their useful life.

Whenever the hose couplings l and 2 are uncoupled, the fluid under pressure present in the inflatable member 41 of each hose coupling will flow to atmosphere via the respective hollow stem 4?. and gasket l4.

it will be remembered that as the inflatable members 4i were supplied with fluid under pressure, the U shaped members 4-3 were moved upward, as viewed in FIG. 3, against the yielding resistance of the corresponding Belleville spring 44 thereby storing potential energy in each Belleville spring. Consequently, as fluid under pressure flows from the inflatable members 51 to atmosphere, the potential energy stored in the respective Belleville spring 44 is rendered effective to move the corresponding U-shaped members 4t} vertically downward from the position in which they are shown in PK]. 1.

Accordingly, it is apparent that as each member W is thus moved vertically downward from the position shown in FIG. l, the corresponding toggle arm 36 is moved downward until it reaches a horizontal position in which it, at a point adjacent the head 39, abuts a stop 46 formed on the annular member 4 at the lower inner end of the slot 37 in this member.

It will be noted that as each member 40 is thus moved vertically downward so that the corresponding toggle arm as is shifted to its horizontal position, the tabs 33 are bent in a direction away from the center of the hose coupling thereby storing potential energy in these tabs.

Consequently, it is apparent that the Beileville spring 44 of each hose coupling will move, via the members 40 of the respective coupling, the corresponding toggle arms 36 from the inclined position shown in H6. 11 to a horizontal position, and thence past this horizontal position to an oppositely inclined position, so that the toggle arms 36 are now rocked counterclockwise, as viewed in H0. 3, about the stop 46 as a fulcrum from their horizontal position to the position in which the toggle arm 36 is shown in FIG. 3.

Upon rocking of the toggle arms 36 about each corresponding stop 46 from their horizontal position to a position just past their horizontal position, their direction of inclination changes or reverses so that these toggle arms are inclined downward from the ball-like member 34 at the one end thereof.

It being remembered that the inner wall surface of the groove 38 is vertical, as viewed in FIGS. 1 and 3, and that the tabs 33 are constructed of spring steel, it will be understood that the above-mentioned stored potentim energy in the now bent tabs 33 transmits a force to the corresponding toggle arm 36 via the ball-like member 34 of the respective tab 33. To maintain the tabs 33 bent or in an instantaneous state of equilibrium, each toggle arm 36 must transmit a force to the respective tab 33 that is equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to the force transmitted to the toggle arm by the tab. Consequently, each toggle arm 36 is transmitting a force to the corresponding ball-like member 34 and and tab 33 that is acting in a direction correspond ing to the angle of inclination of the toggle arm 36. Since each toggle arm 36 has been moved from the inclined position shown in FIGv 1 to a horizontal position and then to an oppositely inclined position which corresponds substantially to the position in which the toggle arm 36 is shown in FIG. 3, it is apparent that each toggle arm 36 is now transmitting a force to the corresponding ball-like member 34 and tab 33 that is acting in a direction that corresponds to the angle of inclination of the toggle arm 36. This force can be resolved into a horizontal component and a vertical component, this vertical component acting in an upward direction, as viewed in F165. 3 and 4, and increasing in magnitude as the toggle arm 36 is rocked counterclockwise about the stop 46 by the U-shaped member 40 as the Belleville spring 44 returns to the position shown in FIG. 3.

It can be seen from H65. 1, 3 and 4 that the vertical component of the force transmitted to each ball-like member 34 is transmitted through the corresponding tab 33 to the annular contact mounting ring 24 of the respective hose coupling. Consequently, it is apparent that the annular contact mounting rings 24 of the two hose couplings l and 2 are moved in opposite directions by the vertical components of the forces transmitted to two ball-like members 34 at the end of the two tabs 33 of each of the two hose couplings i and 2, it being understood that these vertical components act on the annular contact mounting ring 24 of one hose coupling in a direction that is opposite that of the vertical components acting on the annular contact mounting ring 24 of the other hose coupling. Furthermore, the magnitude of these vertical components increase as the angle of inclination of the toggle arms 36 increases. Consequently, the contact members 23 carried by each annular contact mounting ring 24 are moved away from the contact members 23 carried by the other ring 24 with a snap action so that the circuit through each pair of abutting contact members 23 is quickly opened without the occurrence of arcing and damage to these contact members.

From the foregoing, it is apparent that the contact members 23 of each hose coupling are moved with a snap-action into and out of circuit closing relationship with the contact members 23 of the other hose coupling accordingly as fluid under pressure is supplied through two coupled hose couplings subsequent to coupling one to the other, or as fluid under pressure is released therefrom upon uncoupling two coupled hose couplings.

Having now described the invention, what we claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent, is:

1. An air hose coupling for a railway car having a fluid pressure conduit and a plurality of electrical conduits extending from end to end thereof connectable to an air hose coupling at the adjacent end of another railway car having a fluid pressure conduit and a plurality of electrical conduits extending from end to end of said another car, said air hose coupling comprising:

a. a hollow hose coupling body having a face provided with an opening for the passage therethrough of fluid under pressure from said fluid pressure conduit and a plurality of arcuately-spaced bores disposed about said opening, one end of each of which bores terminates at said face,

b. a contact member slidably mounted in each of said bores in insulated relationship with said body and being electrically connected to one of said plurality of electrical conduits,

0, spring means for moving said contact members in a circuit opening direction,

d. fluid pressure means responsive to fluid under pressure supplied through said air hose coupling subsequent to being coupled to another air hose coupling for moving said contact members in a circuit closing direction against the yielding resistance of said spring means, and

e. toggle means interposed between said spring means and said fluid pressure means and resiliently connected to said contact members so as to be effective accordingly as said fluid pressure means provides a force thereon that exceeds or is less than a force provided thereon by said spring means to cause snap-action movement of said contact members respectively in their circuit-closing and circuit-opening directions.

2. An air hose coupling, as recited in claim ll, further characterized in that said hose coupling body comprises a pair of hollow casing sections, one of said casing sections having said face formed thereon and being provided with said plurality of arcuately-spaced bores extending inward from said face, in each of which bores is slidably mounted a contact member in insulated relationship with said one casing section, and the other of said casing sections being provided with a corresponding number of bores through each of which extends one of said plurality of electrical conduits for connection with a corresponding contact member, said one casing section being removably secured to said other casing section.

3. An air hose coupling, as recited in claim ll, further characterized by a bushing of electrical insulating material disposed in each of said arcuately spaced bores in said hose coupling body to electrically insulate each of said contact members from said hose coupling body.

4. An air hose coupling, as recited in claim 1, further characterized in that said hollow hose coupling body is provided with a pair of concentric annular grooves and a plurality of slots extending between said grooves, the other end of each of said plurality of arcuately-spaced bores opening into one of said grooves, said spring means and said fluid pressure means being disposed in the other of said grooves, and said toggle means extending through said slots and operatively connecting said contact members with said spring means and said fluid pressure means for movement thereby.

5. An air hose coupling, as recited in claim 1, further characterized in that an annular member has each of said contact members insulated therefrom and removably secured thereto for movement therewith and is provided with a plurality of resilient tabs, and said toggle means comprises a plurality of toggle arms, one end of each of said arms being pivotally connected to a corresponding one of said tabs and the opposite end disposed between said spring means and said fluid pressure means, said arms being so arranged as to be moved, by said fluid pressure means in response to the supply of fluid under pressure thereto, from one inclined position to an oppositely inclined position to effect a change in the direction of the force transmitted through each of said arms to a corresponding one of said resilient tabs whereby a component of each of said forces is transmitted through a corresponding tab to move said annular member and said contact members with a snap-action from one position to another position, and to be moved by said spring means in response to the release of fluid under pressure from said fluid pressure means from said oppositely inclined position to said one inclined position to effect a change in the direction of the forces transmitted through said arms to said tabs whereby a component of each of said forces is transmitted through a corresponding tab to move said annular member and said contact members with a snap-action from said another position to said one position.

6. An air hose coupling, as recited in claim 1, further characterized in that said toggle means comprises:

a. a plurality of toggle arms each having an elliptical head at one end and a spring-like clip at the other,

b. a plurality of arcuately spaced-apart U-shaped members interposed between said spring means and said fluid pressure means, each receiving therein the elliptical head of a corresponding one of said plurality of toggle arms,

0. means constraining said U-shaped members to move in opposite directions parallel to the direction of movement of said contact members, and

d. a plurality of resilient tabs, each connected at one end to a corresponding contact member and having at the other end a ball-like member received in the spring-like clip of a corresponding toggle arm, said resilient tabs each being effective to be deflected by a force transmitted thereto from said corresponding toggle arm in response to movement of said U-shaped members in said opposite directions, and when so deflected to transmit a component of said force to said corresponding contact member to cause said snap-action movement of all of said contact members in each direction to occur simultaneously.

7. An air hose coupling, as recited in claim 1, further characterized in that said fluid pressure means comprises an annular resilient inflatable member, circular in cross-section when inflated, and having integral therewith a hollow stem opening at one end into the interior thereof and at the other end into said hollow hose coupling body whereby fluid under pressure supplied through two coupled hose couplings flows to the interior of said inflatable member to cause the inflation thereof.

8. An air hose coupling, as recited in claim 2, further characterized in that said one casing section is provided with two parallel spaced-apart faces, one of said faces having a pair of concentric grooves formed therein, said grooves being connected by a plurality of arcuately arranged slots for receiving said toggle means, the groove of larger diameter having opening thereinto said plurality of arcuatelyspaced bores, and the groove of smaller diameter having disposed therein said spring means and said fluid pressure means, each of which is effective via said toggle means to effect snap-acting movement of said contact members in a direction opposite that of the other.

Q. An air hose coupling, as recited in claim 2, further characterized in that said one hollow casing section has formed therein adjacent said face a groove conforming in configuration to the gasket groove ofa standard hose coupling.

10. An air hose coupling, as recited in claim 2, further characterized in that said one hollow casing section has formed integrai therewith a lip conforming in configuration to the lip of a standard hose coupling.

11. An air hose coupling, as recited in claim 2, further characterized in that said one hollow casing section has formed integral therewith a lip conforming in configuration to the lip of a standard hose coupling and is provided on the interior thereof adjacent said face with a groove conforming in configuration to the gasket groove of a standard hose coupling.

12. An air hose coupling, as recited in claim 4, further characterized in that said toggle means extending through said slots comprises a toggle arm disposed in each of said slots, and each end of each slot constitutes a fulcrum for the corresponding toggle arm, each toggle arm rocking about the fulcrum at one end of the corresponding slot to cause said snap-action movement of said contact members in their circuit-closing direction and rocking about the fulcrum at the other end of the corresponding slot to cause said snap-action movement of said contact members in their circuit-opening direction.

13. An air hose coupling, as recited in claim 5, further characterized in that said annular member and said plurality of tabs constitute a single element formed from spring steel.

14. An air hose coupling, as recited in claim 5, further characterized in that said annular member and said plurality of tabs constitute separate elements constructed from different materials, said tabs being formed of spring steel and secured to said annular member.

15. An air hose coupling, as recited in claim 5, further characterized by electrical insulating means interposed between each of said removable contact members and said annular member.

16. An air hose coupling, as recited in claim 5, further characterized by electrical insulating means interposed between each of said plurality of electrical conduits and said annular member.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1422241 *Apr 17, 1912Jul 11, 1922 Electric multiple-connection plug
US1430703 *May 22, 1919Oct 3, 1922Samuel C McconaheyAutomatic car, train-pipe, and electric coupling
US1608732 *Nov 29, 1921Nov 30, 1926Westinghouse Air Brake CoElectric train-line coupler
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4957208 *May 24, 1989Sep 18, 1990American Standard Inc.Multiple contact electrical connector portion for an automatic railway coupler
US5442810 *Apr 12, 1994Aug 15, 1995Qualcomm IncorporatedTractor-trailer electronic transmission path
US5586668 *Dec 14, 1994Dec 24, 1996Westinghouse Air Brake CompanyImbedded electrical connector
US5658159 *Oct 27, 1995Aug 19, 1997Biw Connector Systems, Inc.Connector system and methods
US6030244 *Jul 30, 1997Feb 29, 2000Biw Connector Systems, Inc.Connectors and methods for their use
US6039409 *Oct 8, 1997Mar 21, 2000Westinghouse Air Brake CompanyShutoff valve assembly
US6290079Mar 16, 2000Sep 18, 2001Sharma & Associates, Inc.Coupler for railroad cars
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Classifications
U.S. Classification213/1.3, 213/76
International ClassificationF16L37/08, B61G5/00, B61G5/08, B61G5/06, F16L37/48, F16L37/00
Cooperative ClassificationB61G5/06
European ClassificationB61G5/06
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 25, 1991ASAssignment
Owner name: WESTINGHOUSE AIR BRAKE COMPANY, AIR BRAKE AVENUE,
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:AMERICAN STANDARD INC., A DE CORP.;REEL/FRAME:005648/0269
Effective date: 19900307
May 3, 1990ASAssignment
Owner name: CHASE MANHATTAN BANK (NATIONAL ASSOCIATION), THE
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:RAIL ACQUISITION CORP.;REEL/FRAME:005323/0831
Effective date: 19900309
Mar 14, 1990ASAssignment
Owner name: AMERICAN STANDARD INC., NEW YORK
Free format text: RELEASED BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:BANKERS TRUST COMPANY;REEL/FRAME:005252/0780
Effective date: 19900309
Owner name: RAILWAY INC., NEW YORK
Free format text: RELEASED BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:BANKERS TRUST COMPANY;REEL/FRAME:005252/0828
Dec 11, 1989ASAssignment
Owner name: AMERICAN STANDARD INC., A CORP. OF DE
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:WESTINGHOUSE AIR BRAKE COMPANY;REEL/FRAME:005237/0256
Effective date: 19781219
Jun 28, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: BANKERS TRUST COMPANY
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:AMERICAN STANDARD INC., A DE. CORP.,;REEL/FRAME:004905/0035
Owner name: BANKERS TRUST COMPANY, 4 ALBANY STREET, 9TH FLOOR
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:U.S. RAILWAY INC.;REEL/FRAME:004905/0255
Effective date: 19880624
Owner name: BANKERS TRUST COMPANY, NEW YORK