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Publication numberUS3775733 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 27, 1973
Filing dateApr 12, 1971
Priority dateApr 12, 1971
Also published asCA942405A1
Publication numberUS 3775733 A, US 3775733A, US-A-3775733, US3775733 A, US3775733A
InventorsEge H
Original AssigneeUnderwriters Safety Device Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Terminal block and terminal connector
US 3775733 A
Abstract
The terminal block and terminal connector form part of a terminal block assembly in which one or more terminal blades of the terminal connector are located in one or more apertures of the terminal block for receiving thereon female quick-connect terminal connectors. The terminal blades are connected to a lug which, together with a collar type fastener is received in a cavity of the terminal block, into which a wire conductor can be inserted for the securing of the wire conductor to the lug for supplying electric potential to the blades. The terminal block also has an opening therein which communicates with the cavity and through which a tool can be inserted for fastening or unfastening a wire conductor to the terminal connector.
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[ Nov. 27, 1973 TERMINAL BLOCK AND TERMINAL CONNECTOR [75] Inventor:

[73] Assignee: Underwriters Safety Device Co.,

Chicago, Ill.

[22] Filed: Apr. 12, 1971 [21] Appl. No.: 133,006

Hans Ege, Des Plaines, Ill.

[52] U.S. Cl. 339/198 R, 339/192 R, 339/210 M, 339/262 R, 339/272 R FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Sweden 339/198 H Primary ExaminerMarvin A. Champion Assistant ExaminerRobert A. l-lafer Att0mey-Greist, Lockwood, Greenawalt & Dewey [5 7] ABSTRACT The terminal block and terminal connector form part of a terminal block assembly in which one or more terminal blades of the terminal connector are located in one or more apertures of the terminal block for receiving thereon female quick-connect terminal connectors. The terminal blades are connected to a lug which, together with a collar type fastener is received in a cavity of the terminal block, into which a wire conductor can be inserted for the securing of the wire conductor to the lug for supplying electric potential to the blades. The terminal block also has an opening therein which communicates with the cavity and through which a tool can be inserted for fastening or unfastening a wire conductor to the terminal connector.

7 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEUwuvzms 3.775733 sum 2 or 2 INVENTOR HANS E GE ATT'YS. 6

TERMINAL BLOCK AND TERMINAL CONNECTOR This invention relates to innovations and improvements in a terminal block, a terminal connector and a terminal block assembly formed therewith. More specifically, the present invention relates to a terminal block assembly in which a wire conductor can be connected to a terminal connector mounted in a terminal block and having terminal blades positioned in one or more apertures of the block for receiving female quickconnect terminal connectors thereon.

Terminal block assemblies including a terminal block with one or more apertures therein and with one or more terminal blades positioned within each aperture for receiving female quick-connect terminal connectors thereon have been known for some time. However, the known terminal block assemblies have not provided for the connection of the bare end of a wire conductor, solid or stranded, directly to the terminal connector in the terminal block assembly. Such a terminal block assembly is desirable for the purpose of directly supplying the terminal blades of the terminal connector with electric potential via the wire conductor so that a plurality of circuits can be supplied with electric potential through female quick-connect terminal connectors which are each inserted into one of the apertures of the terminal block and onto one of the terminal blades.

It is therefore a primary object of the present invention to provide a terminal block and terminal connector which can be assembled into a terminal block assembly in which both a wire conductor and a plurality of female quick-connect terminal connectors can be connected to the terminal connector mounted within the terminal block.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a terminal block which is adapted to receive a terminal connector therein, which has at least one aperture adapted to receive one or more female quick-connect terminal connectors for connection to the terminal connector received in the block and which has an opening for receiving a wire conductor either solid or stranded for connection to the terminal connectorreceived within the terminal block.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a terminal block as described in the preceding paragraph with an opening for receiving a tool for fastening or unfastening a wire conductor to the terminal connector within the terminal block.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a terminal connector which is adapted to be received in a terminal block and which includes a terminal strip having a base, one or more terminal blades extending from the base and a lug connected to the base.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a terminal connector as described in the preceding paragraph which includes a fastening device for fastening a wire conductor to the lug.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a terminal connector of the type described in the preceding paragraph in which the lug is offset from the base and the fastening device is collar shaped and is positioned about the lug.

In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention there is provided a terminal block adapted for use with a terminal connector, the terminal block having at least one aperture and a cavity formed therein. Also in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention there is provided a terminal connector adapted for use with a terminal block, the terminal connector including a terminal strip having a base, at least one terminal blade extending from the base and a lug extending laterally of and from the base, and a fastening device for fastening a wire conductor to the lug.

For a more complete understanding of the nature and scope of the present invention, reference will now be had to the following description of the preferred embodiments of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view with a portion broken away of one embodiment of the terminal block and terminal assembly of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the terminal block assembly shown in FIG. 1 and taken along line 22 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view with portions broken away of the terminal block assembly shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of one embodiment of the terminal connector of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a top plan view with a portion-broken away of another embodiment of the terminal block assembly of the present invention; and

FIG. 6 is an exploded perspective view of another embodiment of the terminal connector of the present invention.

Referring now to the drawings in greater detail, one embodiment of the terminal block assembly of the present invention is indicated at 10 in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3. The terminal block assembly includes a terminal block 12, a terminal connector 14, and a retaining plate 16.

The center portion of the terminal block assembly shown in FIGS. 1-3 and of the modified terminal block assembly shown in FIG. 5, is broken away so as to form a right hand portion and a left hand portion; and the terminal connectors 14 (114 in FIG. 5) have been omitted from the right hand portion of the assembly to better illustrate the constructional features of the various slots, apertures, openings, cavities, etc., of the terminal block 12 (112 in FIG. 5).

The terminal block 12 is provided with conventional end flanges 17 through which eyelets 18 are received and staked over for holding the block 12 and the plate 16 together. The flanges 17 are also provided with bores 20 through which fasteners (not shown) can be inserted for mounting the terminal block assembly 10 in a desired location.

The terminal block 12 has a first or bottom side 21, a second or front side 22, and a third or top side 23. A plurality of apertures 24, each having a generally rectangular cross section, extend into the terminal block from the top side 23 thereof to a point spaced from the bottom side 21. In the illustrated embodiment the terminal block 12 is provided with four such apertures, 24. Three slots 26a-c communicate with each of the apertures 24. As best shown in FIG. 3, the three slots 26a-c associated with each of the apertures 24 extend into the terminal block 12 from the bottom side 21 thereof.

The terminal block also has a plurality of cavities 28 therein equal in number to the number of apertures 24, with each cavity being aligned with one of the apertures 24. Three openings 31-33, each of which communicates with the cavity 28 from one side of the block are provided in the block. The first opening 31 is generally square and is located in the bottom side 21, the second opening 32 is generally U-shaped and is located in the front side 22, and the third opening 33 is circular and is located in the third side 23 of the block 12. The opening 31 provides or constitutes a passage means for inserting a portion of the terminal connector 14 into the cavity 28. The opening 32 provides a passage means for inserting a wire conductor, stranded or solid, into the cavity 28 for the connection of the wire conductor to the terminal connector 14 within the cavity 28; and the opening 33 provides a passage means for inserting a tool, such as a screwdriver, into the cavity 28 for fastening and unfastening the wire conductor to the terminal connector 14.

Preferably, and as best shown in FIG. 3, the bottom side 21 of the terminal block 12 has a plurality of recesses 34 formed therein equal in number to the number of apertures 24. Each recess 34 forms a partial extension of the opening 31 and extends across the area on the bottom side 21 of the terminal block 12 where the slots 26a-c associated with one of the apertures 24 are located. Each recess 34 is particularly adapted to receive oraccommodate a portion of the terminal connector 14 as will be hereinafter more fully explained.

As best shown in FIG. 2, the U-shaped opening 32 has a restricted portion at the junction of the opening 32 with the cavity 28. The restricted portion is defined by internal ribs 35 and 36 and an internal wall 37. The ribs 35 and 36 extend into the opening 32 from the wall 37 and together they form retaining shoulders for retaining a portion of the terminal connector 14 within the cavity 28. The restricted portion defined by ribs 35 and 36 and wall 37 also limits the size of the wire conductor which can be inserted through the opening 32 into the cavity 28 for being fastened to the terminal connector 14.

Preferably, the top side 23 of the block has a portion 38, onto which the openings 33 open, which is separated by a shoulder 39 and offset from another portion 40 of the top side 23 onto which the apertures 24 open. This construction is preferred in some embodiments of the invention to minimize inadvertent insertion of a tool into the apertures 24. In this respect, a tool which misses the opening 33 and engages the portion 38 of the top side 23 is prevented from sliding into one of the apertures 24 by reason of the shoulder 39.

Referring now to FIG. 4, the terminal connector 14 includes a terminal strip 41 and a fastening device 42. The strip 41 includes a base 43 from which three terminal blades 440- extend. As best shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, the blades 44a-c are received respectively in the slots 26a-c communicating with one of the apertures 24. The terminal strip 41 also includes a lug 46 which is connected to the base 43 by a connecting portion 48 of the strip 41. In the illustrated embodiment, the fastening device 42 includes a collar 52 and a fastener 54 which is threadingly mounted in overlapping sidewalls 55 and 56 of the collar 52. The fastening device 42 is positioned about the lug 46 within the cavity 28 when the terminal connector 14 and terminal block 12 are brought together to form the assembly as best shown in FIGS. 2 and 3.

Preferably, and as partially shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, the lug 46 is stamped to form bumps or projections 60 on one, the bottom, side of the lug 46. The projections 60 define a gripping means for engaging and gripping a wire conductor. The bottom wall 62 of the collar 52 is also stamped to form grooves 64 which cooperate and mate with the projections 60 on the lug in gripping and holding a wire conductor to the terminal connector 14. In this respect, when the fastening device 42 and the terminal strip 46 are received within the cavity 28 in the terminal block 12, the projections 60 are aligned with the grooves 64 so that, when a wire conductor is received within the collar 52 and the fastener 54 is threaded into the collar 52, the projections 60 will press into the wire conductor in an area above the grooves 64 and any displacement of the wire conductor by reason of the pressure applied thereto by the projections 60, will be displaced into the grooves 64. In this way, the projections 60 and the grooves 64 form a gripping means for establishing a firm and strong connection between the lug 46, the collar 52 and the wire conductor received between the lug 46 and the collar 52.

In the embodiment of the terminal connector illustrated in FIG. 4, the collar 52 is formed from a strip of metal which is folded over into the shape shown in FIG. 4. It is to be understood that the collar can be formed from a single piece of metal and can be, for example, an extruded part.

In the illustrated embodiment, and as best shown in FIGS. 1, 2, and 3, the base portion 43 of each of the terminal strips 41 is received in one of the recesses 34, while at the same time the blades 44a-c of each strip 41 are received in the slots 26a-c communicating with one of the apertures 24. The lug 46 and connecting portion 48 of the strip 41 and the fastening device 42 are received within the cavity 28. The fastener 54 of the fastening device 42 is received within the opening 33 and in the illustrated embodiment has a slotted head adapted to be engaged by a screwdriver for fastening and unfastening a wire conductor within the collar 52 and against the lug 46. The collar 52, when inserted into the cavity 28, will be in general alignment with the restricted portion of the opening 32 as best shown in FIG. 2. It will be apparent from FIG. 2 that a wire conductor is adapted to be received between the bottom wall 64 of the collar 52 and the lug 46 and that as the fastener 54 is threaded through the walls 55 and 56 of the collar 52, the bottom wall 45 of the collar is raised toward the lug 46 so as to engage and compress a wire conductor received between the wall 64 and lug 46.

By having the bases 43 of the strips 41 received in the recesses 34, the retaining plate 16 can fit flush against the bottom side 21 of the terminal block 12 when the plate 16 and the block 12 are fastened together.

Another embodiment of the terminal block assembly of the present invention is generally indicated at in FIG. 5. The terminal block assembly 110 includes a terminal block 1 12 having many features in common with the terminal block 12 in FIGS. 1-3. In this respect, the terminal block 112 has: end flanges 1 17, through which eyelets 118 are received and staked over for connecting the terminal block 112 and a retaining plate (not shown) together; bores 120 through the end flanges 117 for mounting the terminal block assembly 112 in a desired location; a bottom side (not shown); a front side 122; and a top side 123. However, instead of having four apertures which are generally rectangular in cross section and which receive therein a plurality of terminal blades, the terminal block 112 has four groups of apertures with each group including four individual apertures 124a-d for each terminal blade of each terminal connector 1 14. Each of the apertures 124ad has a generally oval cross section and extends into the terminal block 112 from the top side 123 thereof to a point spaced from the bottom side thereof.

Each aperture 124ad communicates with the bottom side of the terminal block 1 12 through one of four slots 126a-d. It will be apparent from FIG. 5 that one group of four slots 126a-d is associated with each group of apertures 124a-4. As a result, in this second embodiment of the terminal block of the present invention each slot 126a, b, c, or d extending into the terminal block 112 from the bottom side thereof opens into a single aperture 124a, b, c, or d. Also, in this embodiment, the top side 123 is a planar surface without a shoulder formed thereon so that the portion of the top side 1233 onto which openings 133 open is not offset or otherwise separated from the portion of the top side 123 onto whichthe apertures 124a-d open.

The terminal connector 1 14 which is received within the terminal block 112 includes a terminal strip 141 and a fastening device 142. The terminal connector 114 differs somewhat from the terminal connector 14 shown in FIG. 4 in that the terminal strip 142 has a slightly longer base 143 from which four terminal blades 144a-d extend. Also, the terminal strip 142 has a lug 146 which is offset a shorter distance from the base 143, than is the lug 46 from the base 43, and is connected to the base 143 by an inclined connecting portion 148.

The fastening device 142 includes an extruded collar 152 and a fastener 154 threadingly received through the top wall 155 of the collar 152. The collar 152, when mounted within the terminal block 112 is received about the lug 146. In this second embodiment of the terminal block and terminal connector of the present invention, a wire conductor is received between the bottom wall 158 of the fastener 154 and the lug 156 and, when the fastener is threaded through the top wall 155 of the collar 152 the bottom end thereof engages the wire conductor received within the collar 152 and forces the same against the lug 146 to form a strong and firm connection between the lug 146, the collar 152 and the wire conductor received within the collar 152.

Additionally, it is to be noted that the blades 144a and d and the blades 144b and 0 form two pairs of parallel spaced blades which are received in two pairs of parallel spaced slots 126a and d and 126 b and c, in parallel spaced apertures 124a and d and 124 b and c. If desired, the terminal block 112 can be modified, i.e., widened, to provide space for additional pairs of apertures and slots and the terminal strip 142 can be lengthened to include additional pairs of blades whereby a wire conductor connected to the terminal strip can supply electric potential to more than four terminal blades for supplying electric potential to a plurality of leads having female quick-connect terminal connector on the ends thereof.

As shown in FIG. 5, each slot 126a-d extends completely across the aperture 124a, b, c or d. Accordingly, the blades 144a-d are provided with shoulders 159 which serve as locating means for locating each blade centrally within one of the apertures 124a-d.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art, that other modifications can be made to the terminal block, terminal connector and terminal assembly formed therefrom without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. For example, in addition to being enlarged to provide space for more than four terminal blades, the block 12 or 112 can be modified as desired from the general rectangular shape shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 5 to a square, oval or circular shape as desired.

From the foregoing description it will be apparent that the present invention has a number of advantages some of which have been described above and others of which are inherent in the invention. Accordingly, the scope of the present invention is only to be limited as necessitated by the accompanying claims.

I claim:

1. In combination, a terminal block and a terminal connector, said terminal block having at least one aperture and at least one cavity, and said terminal connector including a terminal strip having a base, at least one terminal blade extending therefrom and received in said one aperture, and a lug extending laterally of and from said base into said cavity, and a fastening means received and confined in said cavity for fastening a wire conductor, inserted into said block, so said lug, wherein said terminal strip of said terminal connector includes a plurality of terminal blades extending from said base and said terminal block has a plurality of slots therein equal in number to the number of blades of said terminal connector, each blade being received in one of said slots.

2. The combination of claim 1 wherein each of said slots communicates with said one aperture whereby said plurality of blades is received in said one aperture.

3. The combination of claim 1 wherein said terminal block has a plurality of apertures therein, the number of said apertures being equal in number to the number of said slots, and each of said slots communicating with only one of said apertures.

4. In combination, a terminal block and a terminal connector, said terminal block including a connectorreceiving portion and a retaining plate secured to said connector-receiving portion, said connector-receiving portion having at least one recess adapted to receive said connector, said recess opening against said retaining plate, said connector-receiving portion having at least one aperture and at least one cavity, and said terminal connector including a terminal strip having a base, at least one terminal blade extending therefrom and received in said one aperture and a lug extending laterally of and from said base into said cavity, and a fastening means received and confined in said cavity for fastening a wire conductor, inserted into said block, to said lug, said recess and said plate being adapted to snugly retain said base in said recess against said plate wherein said terminal strip of said terminal connector includes a plurality of terminal blades extending from said base and said terminal block has a plurality of slots therein equal in number to the number of blades of said terminal connector, each blade being received in one of said slots.

5. The combination of claim 4 wherein each of said slots communicates with said one aperture whereby said plurality of blades is received in said one aperture.

6. The combination of claim 4 wherein said terminal block has a plurality of apertures therein, the number of said apertures being equal in number to the number of said slots, and each of said slots communicating with only one of said apertures.

and received in said one aperture and a lug extending laterally of and from said base into said cavity, and a fastening means received and confined in said cavity for fastening a wire conductor, inserted into said block, to said lug, said recess and said plate being adapted to snugly retain said base in said recess against said plate, wherein said terminal connector includes a connecting portion which connects said lug to said base in such a manner that said lug is offset from said base.

Patent Citations
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US3193794 *Jun 26, 1962Jul 6, 1965Underwriters Safety Device CoTerminal blocks and connectors therefor
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US3344394 *May 16, 1966Sep 26, 1967Zinsco Electrical ProductsLimited engagement lug assembly
US3496521 *May 29, 1967Feb 17, 1970Wago Kontakttechnik GmbhSafety contact terminal for electric wires
SE112786A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3930706 *Jun 28, 1974Jan 6, 1976Amerace CorporationCircuit panel connector
US4213669 *Sep 11, 1978Jul 22, 1980Gte Sylvania Wiring Devices IncorporatedTerminal collar
US4422706 *Jun 8, 1981Dec 27, 1983Power Distribution Products, Inc.Electrical connector plug with receptacle assembly
US4603376 *Jun 19, 1984Jul 29, 1986Westinghouse Electric Corp.Terminal assembly for circuit breaker and similar apparatus
US4693542 *Dec 12, 1985Sep 15, 1987Cgee AlsthomElectrical screw connection
US4946405 *Dec 15, 1989Aug 7, 1990Connector Manufacturing CompanyElectrical terminal connector
US5030131 *Mar 19, 1987Jul 9, 1991Connector Manufacturing CompanyElectrical terminal connector
US5090123 *Feb 7, 1991Feb 25, 1992General Electric CompanyMethod of fabricating a lead termination device
US5368506 *Nov 12, 1993Nov 29, 1994Standex International CorporationElectric street light terminal block assembly
US5978208 *Dec 12, 1997Nov 2, 1999Eaton CorporationCircuit breaker arrangement with improved terminal collar having interlock sections
US6302709 *Jun 5, 2000Oct 16, 2001Power-One, Inc.Multiple function high current interconnect with integrated bus bar
US6781491 *Oct 19, 2001Aug 24, 2004Eaton CorporationQuick connect terminal for electric power switch
US6835104 *Jun 14, 2002Dec 28, 2004Square D CompanyField convertible tap-off unit
US7041921 *Apr 19, 2004May 9, 2006Moeller Gebäudeautomation KGSwitching device
US7094071Sep 30, 2004Aug 22, 2006Weidmüller Interface GmbH & Co. KGJunction box including connector deformation means
US7748117Feb 5, 2008Jul 6, 2010Morsettitalia, S.p.A.Method for producing movable contact parts with flat pins and contact parts made using this method
US7833047Apr 14, 2009Nov 16, 2010Morsettitalia S.P.A.Spring part for retaining electric wires and terminal block comprising said spring part
US7862389 *Jul 27, 2007Jan 4, 2011Morsettitalia S.P.A.Terminal block with U-shaped conducting part for connecting electric wires
US7892032Feb 5, 2008Feb 22, 2011Morsettitalia S.P.A.Terminal block with jaw part for engagement with the flat pin of movable electric contacts
US8011962Jul 11, 2008Sep 6, 2011Morsettitalia S.P.A.Clamping part with conducting body in the form of an overturned L for connecting electric wires
US8105108 *Sep 17, 2009Jan 31, 2012Matthew Leigh VroomDocking station for portable electronics with voids for connector pass-through and integral connector fastener
US8159836Apr 6, 2009Apr 17, 2012Morsettitalia S.P.A.Multi-layer conductor body and method for the production thereof
US8710366 *Feb 16, 2012Apr 29, 2014Hamilton Sundstrand CorporationTerminal box assembly
US20050085107 *Sep 30, 2004Apr 21, 2005Frank HackemackJunction box adapted for mounting on a carrier element
US20050230231 *Apr 19, 2004Oct 20, 2005Moeller Gebaudeautomation KgSwitching device
USRE42022Feb 12, 2009Jan 4, 2011Morsettitalia S.P.A.Insulated jumper in particular for terminal blocks of switchboards
CN101471204BAug 6, 2008Jan 9, 2013哥维斯股份公司Improved terminal, particularly for automatic circuit breakers
DE20315898U1 *Oct 16, 2003Feb 24, 2005Weidmüller Interface GmbH & Co. KGAnschlußklemme zum Aufsetzen auf ein Trägerelement
EP0195879A1 *Jul 26, 1985Oct 1, 1986ELETTRO GIBI S.p.A.Electrical terminal box for cookers and the like
Classifications
U.S. Classification439/724, 439/712, 439/814
International ClassificationH01R25/00, H01R31/00, H01R31/02, H01R9/24
Cooperative ClassificationH01R25/00, H01R31/02, H01R9/2491
European ClassificationH01R9/24P, H01R25/00
Legal Events
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Jun 12, 1992ASAssignment
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Owner name: ALLIED CORPORATION; COLUMBIA RD. AND PARK AVE., MO
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Jan 26, 1982ASAssignment
Owner name: ELTRA CORPORATION, A CORP. OF NY
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Effective date: 19811020
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Owner name: ELTRA CORPORATION, OHIO