Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3792416 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 12, 1974
Filing dateApr 3, 1972
Priority dateApr 3, 1972
Also published asDE2313726A1, DE2313726B2, DE2313726C3
Publication numberUS 3792416 A, US 3792416A, US-A-3792416, US3792416 A, US3792416A
InventorsMoulin N
Original AssigneeHughes Aircraft Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
System, method and seal for pressure-sensitive wire and interface sealing of electrical connector assemblies and associated contacts
US 3792416 A
Abstract
Electrical pin and socket contacts, contained within connectors and interconnectable with one another by mating connection of the connectors, are sealed from the environment external to the interior of the connectors and the connection therebetween regardless of changing pressure conditions. Individual pressure-sensitive wire seals are utilized for each contact at the rear of the connectors and a two sided pressure-sensitive interface seal is utilized for sealing between two mating connectors. The pressure-sensitive wire seal at the rear of each connector includes a tubular portion jacketed in sealing contact on the conductor insulation, a cup-shaped flange opening toward the rear of the connector, a wiper land inwardly disposed of the cup-shaped land, and an interlocking engagement between the seal and the wire-receiving end of the contact. The pressure-sensitive interface seal sealingly engages each pin end of the pin contact and has a pair of cup-shaped seals facing each other and facing the front faces of the two connectors when each pin contact in one connector engages the socket contact of the other connector. The cup-shaped seals, in particular, not only afford the usual pressure sealing capability but also increase their sealing capability when pressure external to the interior of the connector exceeds the pressure interior to the connector while permitting escape of fluids or gases from the interior of the connector when the external pressure is less than the interior pressure. Since the seals are individual seals, if one seal is found to be defective, it is only necessary to remove only that seal for replacement or repair purposes. No other seal or contact need be disturbed. Further, a single one-piece connector is required and no additional extensions or attachments thereto are required, thereby simplifying and economizing the costs of material, assembly, and replacement of defective parts and improving reliability.
Images(5)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Moulin [451 Feb. 12, 1974 1 1 SYSTEM, METHOD AND SEAL FOR PRESSURE-SENSITIVE WIRE AND INTERFACE SEALING OF ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR ASSEMBLIES AND ASSOCIATED CONTACTS [75] Inventor: Norbert L. Moulin, Placentia, Calif.

[73] Assignee: Hughes Aircraft Company, Culver City, Calif.

[22] Filed: Apr. 3, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 240,501

[52] [1.8. Cl. 339/94 R, 174/77 R, 285/109, 285/110 [51] Int. Cl H01! 13/52 [58] Field of Search 339/59-61, 94; 285/109, 110, 111; 174/77 R [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,077,572 2/1963 Zimmerman, Jr. 339/217 S 2,184,376 12/1939 Beyer et a1 285/110 3,097,033 7/1963 Felts 339/94 M 3,609,636 9/1971 Kubin et a1 339/60 M 3,643,206 2/1972 Cowmeadow 339/94 R Primary Examiner-J05eph H. McGlynn Attorney, Agent, or Firm-W. H. MacAllister; Lewis B. Sternfels [57] ABSTRACT Electrical pin and socket contacts, contained within connectors and interconnectable with one another by mating connection of the connectors, are sealed from the environment external to the interior of th connectors and the connection therebetween regardless of changing pressure conditions. Individual pressuresensitive wire seals are utilized for each contact at the rear of the connectors and a two sided pressuresensitive interface seal is utilized for sealing between two mating connectors. The pressure-sensitive wire seal at the rear of each connector includes a tubular portion jacketed in sealing contact on the conductor insulation, a cup-shaped flange opening toward the rear of the connector, a wiper land inwardly disposed of the cup-shaped land, and an interlocking engagement between the seal and the wire-receiving end of the contact. The pressure-sensitive interface seal sealingly engages each pin end of the pin contact and has a pair of cup-shaped seals facing each other and facing the front faces of the two connectors when each pin contact in one connector engages the socket contact of the other connector. The cup-shaped seals, in particular, not only afford the usual pressure sealing ca pability but also increase their sealing capability when pressure external to the interior of the connector exceeds the pressure interior to the connector while permitting escape of fluids or gases from the interior of the connector when the external pressure is less than the interior pressure. Since the seals are individual seals, if one seal is found to be defective, it is only necessary to remove only that seal for replacement or repair purposes. No other seal or contact need be disturbed. Further, a single one-piece connector is required and no additional extensions or attachments thereto are required, thereby simplifying and economizing the costs of material, assembly, and replacement of defective parts and improving reliability.

54 Claims, 23 Drawing Figures PATENTH] FEB I 2 I974 SHEET 3 BF 5 PATENTEHFEB 1 2 i914 SHEET t [If 5 SYSTEM, METHOD AND SEAL FOR PRESSURE-SENSITIVE WIRE AND INTERFACE SEALING OF ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR ASSEMBLIES AND ASSOCIATED CONTACTS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to a seal, a system and a method for individually sealing electrical contacts in connectors and between mating connectors and, in particular, to such a system and method which maintains the electrical integrity of connection regardless of changing pressures.

2. Description of the Prior Art and Background An electrical connector, including an insulation body, contacts and seals, in connecting one electronic component to another, must be constructed so as not to impair the quality or transmission of conveyed signals and, consequently, must be electrically secure from short circuiting and arcing, for example. Furthermore, since the signals to be transmitted will dictate the size of wire utilized in the connectors, the connectors must be capable of accommodating different sizes of wires, yet not fail in compromising the electrical integrity. Generally, electrical connectors are subject to failure at one of several points, at least where the cable enters each connector at its rear faces and where the contacts mate at the front face of the connectors. Such failure is caused by arcing and short circuiting between wire and/or contacts due to the fact that conductive fluids, such as salt laden air, provide a conductive path which is capable of making electrical contact between adjacent cables and/or contacts.

To overcome these problems relating to arcing and short circuiting, one of two conventional methods have been utilized. A first conventional method provides a resilient, insulating wafer which is usually bonded to the wire or rear end of a rigid connector block. The wafer is apertured to permit insertion of a contact into the connector block and sealing means in the wafer engages the wire which is attached to the contact. To prevent possible deterioration of the bond between the wafer and the connector block upon repeated flexing of the wires, an additional rigid wire guide is bonded to the rubber wafer. Furthermore, the wafer and, in particular its sealing means, is subject to damage upon insertion of the contact through the wafer by the metal edges of the contact and contact insertion tools.

Also, it is conventional to utilize insulated wires of different diameters however, it is not economically feasible to design a wafer for each combination of wire sizes. As a consequence, a standard sized wafer is used with the result that its holes will not be altogether suitable for all sizes of wire. Finally, a particular electrical connector may require the use of wires having a large diameter which, although adequately being sealed within individual holes of the wafer, expand the holes to such an extent that it eventually becomes extremely difficult, if not impossible, to insert the remaining wires into the connector body without damage to the rubber wafer, bond joints or connector body.

Even when this type of conventional connector block operates properly, its use results in a fairly high cost of materials, assembly, testing and replacement. Since such a connector requires at least two components, the cost of assembly is relatively high because at least one assembly operation is required along with complete bonding of the wafer to the connector block and electrical and seal testing thereof in order to prevent thepossibility of electrical failure. If a defect in the bonding is found, it is often necessary to scrap the entire connector either because it is not possible to effect a repair without the destruction of the wafer or because it is too time consuming and expensive to make such a repair.

To overcome the aforementioned problems, another connector sealing scheme pots and encapsulates the wires and contacts into the wire side of the connector block with polyurethane or epoxy materials. While this method substantially eliminates these problems, its use results in a permanent fixture which prevents later removal or exchange of contacts in the event of required wiring changes or should contacts be or become faulty.

Other problems are associated with the interface seal between two mating connectors. This seal also comprises a resilient, insulating wafer with a plurality of holes therethrough so that a pin contact may engage with its corresponding socket contact. Because mating connectors must often be separated, it is not possible to bond one connector body to the other; therefore, the

interface seal must be capable of sealing without benefit of potting or other bonding means, at least on both connector bodies. Conventionally, the two connector bodies with the seal therebetween are clamped together under great pressure to maintain sealing integrity. It has been determined that as much as 85 psi clamp pressure must be utilized to maintain a seal of 30 psi pressure. Unfortunately, even with such clamping pressures, these interface seals are still subject to failure, such as may arise because of misalignment of contacts.

In both cases with rear wire seals and interface seals, conventional apparatus is still subject to other problems arising from changes or differentials in pressure. For example, a connector may be moved from ground level to a higher atmosphere and back to ground or sea level, such as by an airplane. At higher atmospheres, atmospheric pressure drops and any fluids or gases within the connectors exhaust to stabilize its internal pressure with the external pressure. Upon return of the aircraft to ground level, the pressure external to the connector is greater than the internal pressure, thereby permitting contaminants to be drawn into the connector interior should the seal be inadequate. This problem becomes particularly oppressive near or on the ocean where salt deposits permit rapid deterioration of electrical integrity by short circuiting.

This problem becomes aggravated with the use of helically wound insulation which acts as a wick.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention overcomes these and other problems by utilizing separate seals which are individually coupled to each insulated conductor and contact combination, which enables the use of single pin and socket connector bodies of increased width. Briefly, the invention includes a first sea] as a pressure-sensitive wire seal at the rear face of the connector and a separate pressure-sensitive interface sea] at the confronting front faces of the bodies of the intermating connectors. Both the wire seal and the interface seal utilize a cupshaped element which opens toward the respective front and rear faces of the connector body, that is,

towards the exterior of the contact receiving bores in the body. Thus, a pair of cup-shaped elements normally seal each internal connector block bore into which a contact is positioned.

Although the cup-shaped seals exert a normal sealing pressure to seal the interior portion of the bore, a greater or enhanced sealing occurs when the pressure external to the bore increases by exerting increased sealing pressure against the cup-shaped seals. The wire seal is secured to the wire-receiving end of the contact and is provided with a tubular sleeve which snugly fits over and is sealed to the insulation covering a wire or conductor coupled to the contact. Enhanced sealing also is proviced between the tubular sleeve and the insulation and further avoids the wicking problems of helically wound insulated conductors, due to the tubular sleeves ability to conform tothe configuration of the conductor insulation. Therefore, when the contact and its attached seal are inserted within the connector body bore, the problems in inserting the contact through a seal, as previously required by the prior art, is avoided.

The pressure-sensitive wire seal is common to both pin contacts and socket contacts. When both contacts with attached wire seals are positioned in their respective blocks, an interface seal having a pair of cupshaped seals facing one another is placed'over the pin end of the pin contact so that the cup-shaped seal adjacent to the pin connector body seals the bore from which the contact pin extends. When the pin of the pin contact is engaged with the socket of the socket contact, and the two pin and socket bodies are brought together, the second cup-shaped seal is inserted within the bore in which the socket contact is positioned, thereby forming a seal for the socket connector body. Since the cup-shaped seals function without need for clamping pressure, the spacing between the pin connector and the socket connector becomes vastly less critical then with prior art connectors. All that is needed, if desired, is a simple clamp to prevent vibration, rough handling or the like from accidentally separating the two connectors.

The connector bodies have widths which are increased with respect to those of the prior art to provide an elongated body bore for complete protection of the contact with attached cable, even during flexure of the cable. However, the body width is less than the total seal and body width of the prior art, thus providing a total smaller connector width.

To assemble the pressure-sensitive wire seal on the contact, the seal is slipped over the contact prior to connecting the wire thereto. Then, the cable, as stripped, is inserted through the seal and into the wirereceiving end of the contact wherein the wire may be crimped or soldered or otherwise attached therein. It is then only necessary to couple the contact-seal-cable assembly into the connector body by use of any suitable means, such as by use of the apparatus described in US. Pat. No. 3,614,824. The interface seal is slipped over the pin end of the pin contact and the two connector bodies with seals, contacts and cables in place are interconnected to complete the assembly.

If one or more contacts or seals should'test faulty, it is only necessary to remove the individual faulty parts, and repair or replace them. Inspection is also facilitated.

It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to .provide an improved pressure-sensitive sealing system and method.

Another object is to provide an improved sealing system and method for electrical connectors and contacts therefor.

Another object is to provide an individual sealing capability for electrical contacts.

Another object is to provide a sealing system and method with enhanced sealing capabilities under varying and, in particular, increased pressure conditions.

Another object is to provide such a system and method for enhancing electrical integrity of connectors.

Another object is to provide such a system and method for enabling insertion of contacts into connector bodies without damage to the seals.

Another object is to provide such a system and method which is amenable to drawing contacts into a connector body from the rear face thereof.

Another object is to provide such a system and method not requiring clamping pressures to effect a seal.

Another object is to provide such a system and method which is amenable to easy inspection.

Another object is to provide such a system and method for enhanced protection of contact and cable assemblies with small width connectors.

Another object is to provide such a system and method capable of sealing despite misalignment of parts.

Another object is to provide such a system and method capable of easy and inexpensive replacement and repair of individual defective connector parts.

Another object is to provide such a system and method having reduced weight vis-a-vis prior art connectors.

Another object is to provide such a system and method for providing inexpensive connectors.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Other aims and objects as well as a more compelte understanding of the present invention will appear from the following explanation of exemplary embodiments and the accompanying drawings thereof, in

which:

FIG. 1 depicts a prior art connector assembly utilizing prior art sealing concepts which are displaced by the present invention;

FIGS. 2 (a) and 2 (b) illustrate in section and partial section a pair of mating connector assemblies sealed according to the concept of the present invention, FIGS. 2(c) and 2(d) being sections taken along line 2(c) 2(c) and 2(d)2(d) respectively of FIGS. 2(a) and 2(b);

FIGS. 3 and 4 depict novel pin and socket contact bodies respectively utilized in the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view of a pressure-sensitive wire seal embodying the concept of the present invention, FIG. 5(a) being a sectional view of the seal of FIG. 5 taken along lines 5(a)-5(a) thereof;

FIG. 6 depicts the inventive interface seal for use between a pair of connector assemblies, FIG. 6(a) being an emrv'ie'w' or the sear 6FF'I'GY6YalZn along line 6(a)6(a) thereof;

FIGS. 7(a)(d) depict the steps by which the inventive pressure-sensitive wire seal as secured to a contact is sealed within the rear'face of a connector body;

FIG. 8 depicts the sealing principal of the present invention;

FIGS. 9(a)-(e) depict the steps whereby the interface seal of FIG. 6 seals the interface connection between a pair of connector assemblies;

FIG. 10 illustrates the sealing principal of the interface seal of FIG. 6; and

FIG. 11 depicts an interface seal in sealing relationship with a pair of connector assemblies to illustrate noncriticality of positioning of contacts.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Accordingly, FIG. 1 illustrates a prior art connector and sealing scheme including a pair of connectors and 22, the first being a pin connector and the second being a socket connector. The connectors are held together by one of several pressure-applying attachment means as are well-known in the art. The connectors respectively include a pin connector body 28 and a socket connector body 30 through which a plurality of bores 32 extend. The bodies are of a rigid, insulating material. At the rear faces 34 of the respective connector bodies are a pair of resilient, electrically insulating wafers 36 having a through bore 42 with sealing means 38 therein illustratively embodied as annular ridges 40 (see, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,425,024). To the back faces 44 of wafers 36 are bonded a pair of wire guides 46 of a rigid insulating material also having through bore means 48. Within bore means 32, 42 and 48 of pin connector 20 is disposed a pin contact 50 to which is secured an insulated conductor 52 in a manner well known in the art. In a similar manner, a socket contact 54 is positioned within bores 32, 42 and 48 of socket connector 22 with a cable 56 secured to the socket contact. When connectors 20 and 22 are brought together in a face-to-face arrangement, each pin contact 50 is engaged within each socket contact 54. Electrical insulation for the mating contacts is provided by an interface wafer 58 between the confronting front faces 60 of the connectors. Wafer 58 includes a plurality of holes 64 in sealing engagement about each pin end 62.

In order to properly seal wafer 58 between connector bodies 28 and 30, it is necessary to compress the interface wafer by rigidly securing the connectors together by some pressure-applying attachment, such as a clamp. A sealing force as much as 85 psi clamp pressure is not uncommon. Sealing by means of annular ridges 40 at the rear of the connectors is effected bya close fit of cables 52 and 56 within the ridges, as more fully explained in above-mentioned U.S. Pat. No. 3,425,024. Although a specific sealing arrangement for pin and socket contacts within and between connector bodies has been shown, it is to be understood that the above description is representative of the many prior art means by which electrical sealing and insulation of contacts has been accomplished. For example, sealing at the rear faces can be effected by other resilient means or by a potting material, should it not be desired to afford the connectors with a contact removal capability.

Such prior art cables have functioned well; however, it is known that they are subject to failure, primarily because of arcing bctwccn contacts. Such arcing usually results when a conductive fluid, such as salt water or spray, is deposited around the seals, especially at leaky bonding points. Such leaks generally arise during manufacture or use of the connectors when the bonds fail at faces 34 or 44 or at the sealing engagement at front faces 60, thereby affording a substantially shortened arcing path or conductive fluid path from one connector to another, as distinguished from the longer path through the entire bore series of bores 32, 42 and 48. Generally, the combination of these three bores is sufficient to prevent arcing and, when taken in conjunction with annular ridges 40, the possibility of arcing or electrical conductivity is very small. However, as stated above, if a defect occured, for example, at face 34, the electrical conductive path should be substantially lessened. Further, in order to provide sufficient sealing at faces 60, wafer seal 58 must be sufficiently compressed. Even with proper assembly, repeated changes in altitude create differences in pressure internal and external to bores 32 and 42 and the connectors would breathe" and draw in conductive fluids, such as salt laden air. Thus, integrity at the bonding faces of the seals could not be assured.

Furthermore, use of resilient means such as sealing means 38 provided further problems when a plurality of insulated conductors having different sizes were to be used with the same connector. Since it is not economically feasible to provide each wafer 36 with bores 42 sized to the particular end use of the connector, a representative bore size would be utilized. As will be readily appreciated, small sized insulated conductors have less sealing pressure applied thereto than larger sized cables. The result is a possible loss of scaling integrity.

An additional problem has arisen with the advant of a lightweight, extremely thin wire insulation, such as a helically wound plastic, in which the helical interface 66 of the plastic winding acts as a wicking means, thus further detracting from the sealing capabilities of the wafer.

Also, all rear positioned wafers, such as wafers 36, are subject to damage in insertion of the pin or socket contacts into their respective bodies 28 and 30 from their rear faces, which damage could prove fatal in assuring the integrity of insulation of the connectors. Another problem exists when the number of cables to be utilized in the connector all have a large diameter. Although insertion of the first contacts and cables within the connector bodies is not difficult, as the number of inserted cables are increased, the resilient material of wafers 36 is continually expanded until, at some point, it become exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to insert further contacts, especially without damage to the wafer or its bores.

Finally, in the example described with respect to FIG. 1, a pair of connectors requires seven individual components, not including the shell 24 and 26 and attachment means, and includes a pair of wire guides 46, a pair of wafers 36, a pair of bodies 28 and 30, and an interface wafer 58. Except with respect to at least one face of wafer 58, all the other elements had to be bonded to one another, and thereafter, the partially fabricated connectors are electrically tested to assure that the bonds are, in fact, adequate for insulation purposes. Thereafter, a plurality of testing pin and socket contacts are inserted within the plurality of bores of the connector bodies, followed by an arcing test of the several testing contacts by grounding alternate connectors and passing signals through the remaining connectors. If any of these tests indicated a malfunction, it was generally less expensive to scrap the connector. Such scraping would result if only one of many insulation means within the bores failed. Obviously, the end result was one of very great cost.

The present invention, as illustrated in FIGS. 2(a) through 2(d), overcomes all these problems and further provides increased sealing and electrical integrity when pressures external to the bore become greater than pressures within the bore. As shown in these figures, a pin connector body 70 having a front face 72 and a rear face 74 is shown positioned adjacent a socket connector body 76 having a front face 78 and rear face 80. Both bodies are formed of a rigid insulating material, such as a plastic. Since the connector bodies 70 and 76 are conventional, except in their length as will become apparent hereinafter, they are shown in partial section to illustrate only a few of many bore or aperture means 82 and 84, respectively of connector bodies 70 and 76. These bore means extend through the entire connector body from the front faces to the rear faces and are generally smooth with the exception of inwardly extending annular shoulders 86 and 88 of reduced diameter.

Each bore means is of sufficient length to completely enclose the contact proper and a large length of insulated conductor attached thereto for protection thereof; thus, the bore means are somewhat longer than those of corresponding prior art bodies, yet provide a length which is less than that of the total bore length of prior art body and wafer combinations.

The bore means or apertures of the respective connector bodies are so positioned therein that they align when the connector bodies are placed in a face-to-face relationship or arrangement of front face 72 to front face 78.

Disposed within each of bore means 82 of pin connector body 70 are a plurality of pin contacts 90 (see also FIG. 3) and within bore means 84 of socket connector body 76 are a plurality of socket contacts 92 (see also FIG. 4). Each of the contacts are provided with retaining clips 94 and 96 which are secured to their respective contacts within recesses 98 and 100. The retaining clips are of a spring material so that when the contacts are inserted within their respective bores, the clips engage their respective shoulders 86 and 88 for latching engagement therebetween.

Each pin contact terminates at its forward end in a forwardly projecting pin end 102 while each socket contact terminates at its forward end in a socket end 104 which are so configured that, when the connector bodies 70 and 76 are in their face-to-face relationship, pin end 102 is received within and electrically engages socket end 104 for electrical connection therebetween.

Each contact is also provided at its rearward end respectively with a rearwardly extending wire-receiving end 106 and 108 having a recessed bore 110 and 112 for reception of respective insulated conductors 114 and 116. The conductors include wire conductors 118 and 120 sheathed within insulation means 122 and 124 and are stripped to points 126 and 128 so that the stripped wire conductors 118 and 120 may be received within their respective recessed bores 110 and 112. These stripped wires are crimped or otherwise soldered therein, holes 130 and 132 providing an access for soldering and inspection of the soldered or crimped assembly. The insulation at points 126 and 128 abut against rear ends 134 and 136 of the contacts.

It is to be understood, however, that insulated conductors 114 and 116 need not be single cables but a plurality of insulated conductors held within a sheath ing or other protective covering, such a cable extending into a bulkhead.

Wire receiving ends 106 and 108 of. contacts and 92 are completed by means of a pair of collars 138, 140 and 142, 144, respectively, to provide reduced shank portions 146 and 148. Fitted about annular latching collar 138 and within reduced shank 146 of pin contact 90 and about annular latching collar 142 and within reduced shank 148 of socket contact 92 are respective pressure-sensitive wire seals 150 and 152, resting against annular abutment collars 140 and 144. e

As shown in FIGS. 5 and 5(a) each seal is generally tubular in configuration and includes a tubular end portion 154 and 156, a radially extending flange 158 and 160, and a socket gripping front portion 162 and 164. On the interior of each portion 162 and 164 are respective recesses 166 and 168 and flanges 170 and 172.The recesses and flanges of seals 150 and 152 so cooperate with annular latching collars 138 and 142 and recessed shanks 146 and 148 of pin and socket contacts 90 and 92 that the seals can be resiliently held onto their respective contacts. Each seal is completed by respective wiping lands 174 and 176 which are positioned at points straddling the point where collars 138, 142 meet with reduced shanks 146, 148.

At the interface point between connector bodies 70 and 72 is a pressure-sensitive interface seal 180, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 6(a). This seal is provided with an internal bore 182 having a dimension which is designed to snugly fit about pin end 102. At both ends of seal are a pair of flexible, radially extending flanges 184 and 186 which are adapted to be positioned within bores 82 and 84 of the connector bodies. Terminating seal 180 are reinforcement portions l88and 190 with an additional reinforcement 192 at the center of the seal.

In the assembly of the present invention, it is preferred first to place a pressure-sensitive wire seal on its respective contact, then to affix the insulated conductor into the assembled seal end contact, and finally to insert the contact with seal and wire into the bores of the connector bodies.

Placement of the pressure-sensitive wire seal is effected, for example with respect to pin contact 90 and seal 150, by manipulating socket gripping portion 162 over annular collar 138 in such a manner that flange 170 of the seal fits within shank 146 of the contact while recess 166 of the seal is engaged about collar 138 of the pin contact.

Thereafter, insulated conductor 114 with the insulation stripped to point 126 is slid within seal 150 through tubular end portion 154 until stripped end 126 abuts rear end 134 of the contact. The portion of the contact forwardly of annular collar 140 is then crimped about the bared wire portion 118 by conventional crimping operations or, alternatively, solder may be flowed through hole 130. Since tubular portion 154 snugly fits about insulation 122 of conductor 114, a sealing fit is effected. A similar assembly procedure is accomplished for the socket contact.

After the assembly of the pin and socket contacts with their insulated conductors and pressure-sensitive wire seals thereon, the assembly is now ready for insertion of each contact within the bores of the connector bodies, as illustrated by FIGS. 7(a)-(d) with respect to one of the pin contacts. Such insertion may be accomplished by means of the tool described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,614,824, which is inserted within pin connector body 70 from its front face 72. Such a tool grips pin end 102 and draws pin contact 90 into the connector body through rear face 74 and into bore 82. Initial insertion of the pin contact into the bore is depicted in FIG. 7(a). As the pin is further drawn within the bore, wiping land 174 first makes contact with the bore and cleans the contact cavity prior to entry of annular flange 158, as shown in FIG. 7(b). Upon still further drawing of the pin contact into the bore, annular flange 158 meets the bore at rear face 74, as shown in FIG. 7(c), thereby beginning to deform flange 158 into its sealing cupshaped configuration. Upon complete insertion of the contact within the bore, flange 158 completely deforms as depicted in FIG. 7(d) while, at the same time, retaining clip 94 snaps over annular shoulder 86 to retain the contact within connector body 70. A similar procedure is effected for each socket contact 92 and its associated parts.

As a consequence of this assembly, each contact is well recessed within its bore 82 or 84 from the connector body rear face so that an appreciable length of insulated conductor is also protected. This arrangement prevents lossening of the conductor from its contact upon flexure or bending'of the conductor during assembly or after installation, such as in small spaces, and also prevents unsealing of the conductor from the tubular portion of the pressure-sensitive wire seal during such flexure or bending. Nevertheless, the end result is a single piece connector of smaller width than those, for example, depicted in FIG. 1.

As shown in FIG. 8 with illustrative respect to pin contact 90, sealing of the contact at its rear portion is provided by three seals including gripping contact of tubular portion 154 of cable 114, a sealing fit between wiping land 174 and bore 82, and contact between cupshaped deformed flange 158 and the interior of the bore.

Further, the sealing capability is increased when pressure, as denoted by arrows 200 is exerted on seal 150. This pressure not only increases pressure of tubular portion 154 against insulation 122 but also increases the sealing contact of cup-shaped land 158 against bore 82 because land 158 faces toward the exterior of the connector body. If, however, the pressure exterior to the body were less than that within the interior, any fluids within the body would exhaust past land 158, such as ifa vehicle carrying the connector were raised in altitude. However, upon return to sea level or even beneath the sea, the external pressures would increase the sealing contact of tubular portion 154 and cup-shaped seal 158 to prevent leakage of fluid into the connector body.

A similar condition exists with interface seal 180, as depicted in FIGS. 9(a)(e) and FIG. 10. After the pin contact has been retained within its body as described above, interface seal 180 is then slipped onto pin end 102, as shown in FIG. 9(a), to closely fit and seal bore 182 on the pin end. The seal may be further pushed along the length of the pin end in order to engage bore 82 at front face 72 of pin connector body 70, shown in FIG. 9(b). Insertion of flange 184 within bore 82 deforms flange into a cup-shaped configuration and, as illustrated in FIGS. 9(c)9(e), when socket connector body 76 with its socket contacts are placed in face-toface arrangement with the pin connector body, flanges 186 deform into cup-shaped configurations asthey interengage with bores 84 of the socket connector body. As shown in FIG. 10, pressure depicted by arrows 200 bear against the cup-shaped flanges 184 and 186 to increase the sealing action thereof in a manner similarly described above. I Furthermore, the combination of cup-shaped flange 158 of seal and cup-shaped flange 184 of seal 180 in the pin connector body and their corresponding cupshaped flanges and 186 of the socket connector body insure that the interior of the two bodies are maintained in a sealed condition, thus preventing undesired electrical contact, other than as provided, and shorting between contacts.

Also, because of the reasons described in conjunction with FIG. 10, there need be no clamping force maintained between the two connector bodies to insure proper sealing of interface seal 180, which further can be offset as illustrated in FIGS. 10 and 11 and still provide its function. As shown in FIG. 11, precise alignment of the contacts within their bores is not required since the respective cup-shaped flanges permit a relatively high degree of misalignment while still permitting proper function of the seals.

Finally, should a contact or seal exhibit failure during testing, only the defective part need be readily removed and repaired or replaced rather than a wafer seal, as in the prior art, and, because of the simplicity of the design, all parts are amenable to facile inspection due to the absence of bonded joints and the like.

The present invention has been subject to various design verification tests which have proved the sealing concept herein disclosed. Among several of the tests conducted were immersion tests for leakage, voltage testing of the dielectric, insulation resistance tests, and altitude breathing tests under several conditions of normal atmosphere, salt spray atmosphere, and repetition of subjecting the connectors to changes in altitude exceeding 90,000 feet, and under water tests containing salt solutions. The pin and socket termination blocks with seals installed withstood all leakage, pressure, breakdown or flash-over tests.

For example, when a test voltage was applied between alternately connected contacts and between contacts and the body for a period of 1 minute minimum at a test voltage of 60 Hz rms, the connector halves were examined and found to have withstood a dielectric voltage of 3,600 Vrms without degradation 7 or signs of arcing. In another test, a partially wired plug and receptacle which were mated, but without center locking hardware, was placed in a container filled with salt water having a solution strength of 5 percent by weight. The wire bundle was terminated to a dielectric strength tester located outside of an altitude chamber and the other wire bundle was left unsupported in the chamber. The altitude chamber pressure was then reduced to 13.2 mm Hg (simulating 90,000 feet altitude) and maintained for 30 minutes. The chamber pressure was then returned to atmospheric pressure and the pressures were changed for several cycles. At the completion of the last cycle, while the mated connector was still immersed in the salt water bath, the dielectric withstanding voltage and insulation resistance tests were performed and met the dielectric withstanding voltage requirement at 1000 Vrms minimum and an insulation resistance requirement at a minimum of 5000 megohms. As consequence of these tests and others, the present invention met and exceeded all requirements.

Thus, it is obvious that the present invention is provided with many novel and useful aspects with reference to both the successful verification of the process and to the quality of the seals.

Although the invention has been described with reference to particular embodiments thereof, it should be realized that various changes and modifications may be made therein without, departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. A system having improved sealing and insulation characteristics for electrical connectors under constant and changing pressure environments comprising:

a single piece pin body of dielectric material having a front face and a rear face and provided with a plurality of pin contact aperture means extending from said rear face to said front face, each one of said pin contract aperture means comprising smooth bore means and a latching detent positioned adjacent said pin body front face, said smooth bore means having a specific bore diameter;

a single piece socket body of dielectric material having a front face'and a rear face and provided with a plurality of socket contact aperture means extending from said rear face to said front face, each one of said socket contact aperture means comprising smooth bore means and a latching detent positioned adjacent said socket body front face, said smooth bore means of said socket body having a bore diameter equal to the bore diameter of said pin body bore means;

said aperture means of said pin and socket bodies being respectively alignable when said front faces of said pin and socket bodies are positioned in a face-to-face arrangement;

a plurality of cylindrical pin contacts equal in number to said plurality of pin contact aperture means, each of said pin contacts comprising a wirereceiving end, a pin end and latching means cooperable with said pin body latching detent, said pin contact wire-receiving end comprising an internal wire-receiving portion and an external sealreceiving portion, said pin contact internal wirereceiving portion including bore means provided with opening means opposed to said pin end, and said pin contact external seal-receiving portion including a shank having a first dimensioned diameter, an annular latching collar at said pin contact bore opening means and having a second dimensioned diameter greater than said first dimensioned diameter of said pin contact shank, and on annular abutment collar terminating said pin contact shank and having a third dimensioned diameter greater than said second dimensioned diameter of said pin contact bore opening means and substantially equal to said pin body bore diameter;

a plurality of cylindrical socket contacts equal in number to said plurality of socket contact aperture means, each of said socket contacts comprising a wire-receiving end, a socket end and latching means cooperable with said socket body latching detent, said socket contact wire-receiving end comprising an internal wire-receiving portion and an external seal-receiving portion, said socket contact internal wire-receiving portion including bore means provided with opening meansopposed to said socket end, and said socket contact external seal-receiving portion including a shank having a first dimensioned diameter, an annular latching collar at said socket contact bore opening means and having a second dimensioned diameter greater than said first dimensioned diameter of said socket contact shank, and an annular abutment collar terminating said socket contact shank and having a third dimensioned diameter greater than said second dimensioned diameter of said socket contact bore opening means and substantially equal to said socket body bore diameter;

said pin contacts and said socket contacts respectively insertable within said pin contact aperture means and said socket contact aperture means and retainable therein by respective cooperation between said latching means and said latching detents, said pin ends extending beyond said pin body front face and engageable within said socket ends when said pin and socket bodies are positioned in the face-to-face arrangement;

a plurality of insulated electrical conductors equal in number to said plurality of pin contacts and said plurality of socket contacts, each of said electrical conductors comprising a conductor wire and insulation means surrounding said conductor wire, said insulation means being stripped from one end of sid electrical conductor to provide a short termination of bare conductor wire, each of said bare conductor wires being inserted into and secured to and within each of said bore means of said wirereceiving portions of both said plurality of said pin contacts and said plurality of said socket contacts, and each of said insulation means at said bare conductor wires abutting against each of said annular latching collars at said opening means of both said plurality of said pin contacts and said plurality of said socket contacts, said electrical conductors respectively extending from said aperture means at said rear faces of said pin and socket bodies when said pin and socket contacts are respectively inserted and retained within said aperture means, each of said aperture means having a length of said smooth bore means sufficient to enclose respectively said pin and socket contacts and a portion of said electrical conductor respectively secured thereto;

a plurality of pressure-sensitive wire seals of resilient insulation material equal in number to said plurality of pin contacts and said plurality of socket contacts, each of said pressure-sensitive wire seals having a front end and a rear end and comprising a first tubular portion at said rear end, a second tubular portion at said front end and meeting said first tubular portion at an intermediate portion, and a thin flexible radially extending annular land at said intermediate portion, said first tubular portion having a smooth internal tubular surface sealingly engageable under tension with said insulation means along a length thereof sufficient to be enclosed by a portion of the length of said smooth bore means of said body, said second tubular portion having a cylindrical external periphery and a cylindrical internal surface, said cylindrical external periphery including an annular wiping land provided with a diameter slightly greater than the diameter of said smooth bore means of said body, and said cylindrical internal surface including an annular recess engageable with said annular latching collar of one of said pin and socket contacts and an inwardly directed annular flange at said front end and engageable on said shank of one of said pin and socket contacts to provide securement of each of said pressure-sensitive wire seals on each of said plurality of pin and socket contacts, and said thin flexible radially extending annular land having a diameter substantially greater than the diameter of said smooth bore means of said body,

whereby, when each of said pressure-sensitive wire seals is secured to each of said pin and socket contacts and when each of said pin and socket contacts is respectively inserted within each of said pin and socket contact aperture means of said pin and socket bodies, each of said wiping lands of each of said pressure-sensitive wire seals compresses against and cleans each of said smooth bore means prior to contact of each of said thin flexible radially extending annular lands with each of said smooth bore means and each of said'thin flexible radially extending annular lands deforms into a cup-shaped element within each of said smooth bore means and opens towards said rear faces of said pin and socket bodies; and

a plurality of tubular pressure-sensitive interface seals of resilient insulation material equal in number to said plurality of pin contacts, each of said interface seals including a smooth internal surface provided with a diameter substantially equal to that of said pin ends and slidable and scalable thereon, and an external periphery provided with a pair of thin flexible radially extending annular lands positioned adjacent the ends of each of said interface seals, said interface seal annular lands having a diameter substantially greater than that of said smooth bore means of said body, whereby, when each of said interface seals is slidably engaged with each of said pin ends and when said pin and socket bodies are positioned in the face-to-face arrangement to enable engagement of said pin ends in said socket ends, said interface seal annular lands deform into cup-shaped elements within each of said smooth bore means at said body front faces and open towards said front faces of said pin and socket bodies, and

whereby further said deformed cup-shaped elements of all said wire seals and said interface seals exert increased sealing pressure against said pin and socket body smooth bore means when pressures external to said bodies are greater than pressure internal to said bodies between said wire seals and said interface seals.

2. A system having improved sealing and insulation characteristics for electrical connectors comprising:

a first connector body having at least one through bore means;

a second connector body having at least one through bore means;

first electrical termination means positioned in said bore means of said first connector body;

second electrical termination means positioned in said bore means of said second connector body; and

individual resilient elastomeric sealing means positioned in said bore means of both said first and second connector bodies and in individual sealing engagement with each of said bore means and with each of said electrical termination means, each said individual resilient sealing means provided with pressure-sensitive means having greater capability means of resisting flow of fluid into each of said bore means past the sealing engagement than of resisting flow of fluid out of each of said bore means past the sealing engagement.

3. A system as in claim 2 wherein said first and second connector bodies have respective front and rear faces substantially at right angles to said respective bore means, said front faces of said connector bodies being in a face-to-face arrangement to provide alignment of said respective bore means, wherein said first termination means includes an end extending into said bore means of said second connector body and into electrical contact with said second termination means, and wherein said pressure-sensitive means of said resilient sealing means ncludes:

a first pressure-sensitive member incorporating said greater capability means sealed between said first electrical termination means and said first connector body bore means adjacent said rear face of said first connector body;

a second pressure-sensitive member incorporating said greater capability means sealed between said second electrical termination means and said second connector body bore means adjacent said rear face of said second connector body; and

a third pressure-sensitive member incorporating said greater capability means sealed between said end and both said bores adjacent said aligned front faces of said first and second connector bodies.

4. A system as in claim 2 wherein said greater capability means of said pressure-sensitive means comprises a cup-shaped element.

5. A system as in claim 4 wherein said cup-shaped element comprises annular means removeably sealed against the exterior of each of said electrical termination means and a bent annular flange sealed against each of said bore means.

6. A system as in claim 2 wherein each of said first and second electrical termination means includes an electrical contact having a wire-receiving end and at least a portion of a cable comprising an electrical conductor secured within said wire-receiving end of said electrical contact and electrical insulation means substantially abutting said wire-receiving end of said electrical contact and wherein said resilient sealing means include wire seal means having a first element in sealing engagement with said insulation means and a second element in sealing and removeable securing engagement with each said electrical contact.

7. A system as in claim 6 wherein said first element comprises a tubular member coaxially stretched about said insulation means along an appreciable length thereof.

8. A system as in claim 6 wherein said second element comprises an annular flange directed inwardly towards each said electrical contact and engaged within cooperating recess means in eachsaid electrical contact.

' 9. A system as in claim 6 wherein said electrical contact includes an annular latching collar at said wirereceiving end and a recessed shank adjacent said annular latching collar, said second element of said resilient sealing wire seal means cooperatively engaged with said recessed shank and said annular latching collar.

10. A system as in claim 6 wherein said greater capability means of said pressure-sensitive means comprises a cup-shaped element positioned intermediate said first and second elements.

11. A system as in claim 2 wherein said first and second electrical termination means each includes a contact, wherein said pressure-sensitive means includes individual pressure-sensitive members comprising said greater capability means, and wherein said resilient sealing means includes individual resilient sealing interface elements, each of said individual resilient sealing interface elements including two of said individual pressure-sensitive members and having a portion in sealing engagement with one of said contacts, and said individiual pressure-sensitive members being spaced from one another within and between said bore means respectively of both said first and second connector bodies.

12; A system as in claim 1 1 wherein each of said pressure-sensitive members comprises an annular flange bent into a cup-shaped configuration upon being positioned within one of said bore means, said bent annular flanges of each of said pressure-sensitive members facing towards one another for resisting the flow of fluid into said bore means of both said first and second connector bodies.

13. A system as in claim 12 wherein each of said pressure-sensitive members includes means positioned adjacent to said cup-shaped flanges to inhibit deformation thereof from facing towards one another.

' 14. A system for improved sealing and insulation characteristics of electrical connectors comprising:

a connector body having a front face and a rear face,

and having at least one through bore means extending from said front face to said rear face;

electrical termination means having front end means and rear end means, and substantially positioned in said bore means; and

individual first and second resilient sealing means positioned in said bore means, said first sealing means sealingly engaged at a front position between said front end means and said bore means adjacent to and spaced from said front face and otherwise independent of contact with said front face. and said second sealing means engaged at a rear position between said rear end means and said bore means adjacent said rear face.

15. A system as in claim 1 1 wherein said first and second resilient sealing means includes a pair of individual front and rear fluid pressure-sensitive members respectively sealingly engaged at the front and rear positions, said rear pressure-sensitive member comprising a forward portion sealingly secured to said electrical termination means and an intermediate portion sealingly engaged against said bore means closer to said rear face than said forward portion of said rear pressure-sensitive member.

16. A system as in claim 15 wherein said electrical termination means includes a contact and a cable, said cable including a wire electrically secured to said contact and insulation means disposed about a portion of said wire and generally abutting against said contact, and wherein said rear pressure-sensitive member includes a rearward portion closer to said rear face than said intermediate portion and sealingly engaged about a length of said insulation means.

17. A system as in claim 16 wherein said sealing means includes a front pressure-sensitive member sealingly engaged at the front position, said front pressuresensitive member including a flange contacting said bore means in sealing engagement therewith and extending generally towards said front face. 9

18. A system as in claim 17 wherein said sealing means includes a rear pressure-sensitive member sealingly engaged at the rear position, said rear pressuresensitive member including a flange contacting said bore means in sealing engagement therewith and extending generally towards said rear face, said flanges of said front and rear pressure-sensitive members defining chamber means within said bore means and cooperating with each other to prevent fluidmovement into said chamber means regardless of pressure differentials internal and external to said chamber means.

19. A sealing system including: H

a body having bore'i'neans;

electrical termination means positioned in said bore means; and

resilient sealing means including fluid pressureresponsive means coupled to said electrical termination means and positioned in said bore means in sealing engagement between said electrical termination means and said bore means, said fluid pressure-responsive means being responsive to pressure external to said bore means greater than pressure internal to said bore means for enhancing the sealing engagement, while permitting fluid flow past said fluid pressure-responsive means when the pressure internal to said bore means are greater than the pressure external to said bore means.

20. A sealing system as in claim 19 wherein said resiltrical termination means includes a contact member and insulated conductor member having a wire electrically coupled to said contact member, said contact member including collar and recess means cooperable with said resilient sealing means for securement thereof to said contact member.

24. A sealing system as in claim 23 wherein said resilient sealing means includes a recess and flange means cooperable with said contact collar and recess means for the securement.

25. A sealing system as in claim 19 wherein said fluid pressure-responsive means of said resilient sealing means includes a cup-shaped element and said resilient sealing means further including a wiping land, both said cup-shaped element and said wiping land sealingly engaged against said bore means.

26. A sealing system as in claim wherein said resilient sealing means further includes a tubular portion sealingly engaged about said electrical termination means, said cup-shaped element being positioned intermediate said said tubular portion and said wiping land. 27. A pressure-sensitive wire seal system comprising: an electrical contact inserted into bore means of a termination body and having a connection end and a wire-receiving end;

an insulated cable comprising a conductor wire and insulation means surrounding said conductor wire, said conductor wire being electrically coupled to said wire-receiving end; and

a pressure-sensitive wire seal coupled to said electrical contact and including a substantially peripheral, bent and radially extending flexible flange having been bent upon insertion of the contact into the bore means and capable of resisting flow of fluid into the bore means when the pressure therein is less than the pressure exterior to the bore means.

28. A system as in claim 27 wherein said seal includes means coupling said seal to said wire-receiving end.

29. A system as in claim 27 wherein said connection end comprises a pin and wherein said seal includes means coupling said seal to said pin.

30. A system as in claim 27 wherein said seal further includes a tubular portion in sealing engagement with said insulation means.

31. A system as in claim 27 wherein said seal further includes an annular land adjacent said radially extending flange.

32. A system as in claim 27 wherein said wirereceiving end includes peripheral collar and recess means cooperable with said seal for securement thereof with said contact.

33. A system as in claim 32 wherein said seal includes recess and flange means cooperable with said collar and recess means for the securement.

34. A method for sealing electrical contacts with insulated conductors electrically coupled thereto within a termination body having a plurality of bore means without loss of integrity of the sealing regardless of changing pressure differentials between the interior and the exterior of the body comprising the steps of:

providing individual seals having unidirectional fluid flow means; attaching each of the and sealing each of the electrical contacts with the seals attached thereto within respective ones of the bore means to engage the unidirectional fluid flow means with the bore means and thereby to permit fluid flow only to the exterior of the bore means.

35. A method as in claim 34 wherein said sealing step includes the steps of:

configuring the unidirectional flow fluid means as bent annular elements; and

individually sealing the bore means at both ends with the bent annular elements of the seals and individuseals to each of the contacts;

ally sealing the bore means to the electrical 6 36. A method as in claim 34 wherein said sealing step further comprises the step of:

sealing each of the cables by tubular sleeves connected to the seals.

37. A system having improved sealing and insulation characteristics for electrical connectors comprising:

a first connector body having at least one through bore means;

a second connector body having at least one through bore means;

said first and second connector bodies having respective front and rear faces at right angles to said respective bore means, said front faces of said connector bodies being in a face-to-face arrangement to provide alignment of said respective bore means;

first electrical termination means positioned in said bore means of said first connector body and including an end extending into said bore means of said second connector body;

second electrical termination means positioned in said bore means of said second connector body and electrically coupled to said end of said first electrical termination means; and

individual resilient sealing means positioned in said bore means of both said first and second connector bodies and in individual sealing engagement with each of said bore means and with each of said electrical termination means, said individual resilient sealing means having pressure-sensitive means capable of resisting flow of fluid into each of said bore means past the sealing engagement;

said pressure-sensitive means of said resilient sealing means including first, second and third pressuresensitive members;

said first pressure-sensitive member including a first cup-shaped element and sealed between said first electrical termination means and said first connector body bore means adjacent said rear face of said first connector body;

said second pressure-sensitive member including a second cup-shaped element and sealed between said second electrical termination means and said second connector body bore means adjacent said rear face of said second connector body; and

said third pressure-sensitive member including a pair of cup-shaped elements and sealed between said end and both said bores adjacent said aligned front faces of said first and second connector bodies;

said first and second cup-shaped elements facing respectively towards said rear faces, and said third pressure-sensitive member pair of cup-shaped elements facing respectively towards said front faces, whereby said cup-shaped elements inhibit flow of the fluid into said respective bore means and increase the sealing engagement therewith upon increase of pressure external to said respective bore means.

38. A system as in claim 37 wherein said first and second pressure-sensitive members each include tubular elements stretched over and sealed to respective portions of said first and second termination means.

39. A system for improved sealing and insulation characteristics of electrical connectors comprising:

a connector body having a front face and a rear face and having at least one through bore means extending from said front face to said rear face;

electrical termination means having front and rear end means and positioned in said bore means; and

resilient sealing means positioned in said bore means and sealingly engaged respectively at a front position between said front end means and said bore means adjacent said front face and at a rear position between said rear end means and said bore means adjacent said rear face;

said resilient sealing means including a pair of individual front and rear pressure-sensitive members respectively sealingly engaged at the front and rear positions, said rear pressure-sensitive member comprising a forward portion sealingly secured to said electrical termination means and an intermediate portion sealingly engaged against said bore means adjacent said rear face;

said intermediate portion including a flange having a first section extending generally at right angles with respect to said bore means and a second section secured to said first section and resiliently engaged against said bore means and extending towards said rear face.

40. A system for improved sealing and insulation characteristics of electrical connectors comprising:

i a connector body having a front face and a rear face and having at least one through bore means extending from said front face to said rear face;

electrical termination means having front and rear end means and positioned in said bore means and including a contact having a front end adjacent said front face, a rear end adjacent said rear face, a latching collar terminating said contact rear end and a recess means adjacent said latching collar; and

resilient sealing means positioned in said bore means and sealingly engaged respectively at a front position between said front end means and said bore means adjacent said front face and at a rear position between said rear end means and said bore means adjacent said rear face, said resilient sealing means including a pair of individual front and rear pressure-sensitive members respectively sealingly engaged at the front and rear positions, said rear pressure-sensitive member comprising a forward portion provided with internal recess means engaging said latching collar and internal flange means engaging said contact recess means and sealingly secured to said electrical termination means, and an intermediate portion sealingly engaged against said bore means adjacent said rear face.

41. A system as in claim 40 wherein said rear pressure-sensitive member further includes land means in sealing contact with said bore means and positioned adjacent said internal recess means such that said latching collar in part compresses said land means against said bore means.

42. A system as in claim 41 wherein said intermediate portion of said rear pressure-sensitive member includes a radially extending land positioned between said land means and said rear end means of said electrical termination means, whereby, when said electrical termination means and said rear pressure-sensitive member are inserted into said bore means, said land means wipes said bore means clean of any debris therein to present a clean surface in said bore means for said radially extending land, said radially extending land deforming upon contact with said bore means into a cup-shaped element having an annular section facing said rear face of said connector body.

43. A sealing system including:

a body having through bore means;

electrical termination means positioned in said bore means; and

resilient sealing means positioned in said bore means, and including a cup-shaped element and a wiping land both sealingly engaged against said bore means, and recess and flange means having a latch ing engagement with said electrical termination means for securement thereof to said resilient sealing means, said recess and flange means being positioned substantially intermediate said cup-shaped element and said wiping land.

44. A sealing system including:

a body having bore means; 7

electrical termination means positioned in said bore means; and

resilient sealing means positioned in said bore means, and including a cup-shaped element and a wiping land both sealingly engaged against said bore means, a tubular portion sealingly engaged about said electrical termination means, said cup-shaped element being positioned intermediate said tubular portion and said wiping land, and engagement means cooperable with said electrical termination means for the securement thereof to said resilient sealing means, said engagement means being positioned substantially between said wiping land and said cup-shaped element and exerting general compressive forces against said wiping land and said cup-shaped element for enhanced sealing engagement thereof against said bore means.

45. A pressure-sensitive seal system comprising:

an electrical contact capable of being inserted into a termination body and having a connection end comprising a pin and a wire-receiving end;

an insulated connector comprising a conductor wire and insulation means surrounding said conductor wire, said conductor wire being electrically coupled to said wire-receiving end; and

pressure-sensitive seal means coupled to said electrical contact at said wire-receiving end and including a first peripheral, radially extending flange, a second peripheral, radially extending flange spaced from and parallel to said first flange, and means coupling said seal to said pin.

46. A pressure-sensitive wire seal system comprising:

an electrical contact capable of being inserted into a termination body and having a connection end and a wire-receiving end, said wire-receiving end including peripheral collar and recess means;

an insulated connector comprising a conductor wire and insulation means surrounding said conductor wire, said conductor wire being electrically coupled to said wire-receiving end; and

a pressure-sensitive wire seal coupled to said electrical contact and cooperable with said peripheral collar and recess means for securement of said seal with said contact, and said seal including a peripheral, radially extending flange and an annular land, said collar and recess means being positioned substantially intermediate said annular land and said radially extending flange.

47. A system as in claim 46 wherein said seal further includes a tubular portion in sealing engagement with said insulation means, said radially extending flange being positioned intermediate said tubular portion and said annular land.

48. A method for sealing electrical pin and socket contacts each with insulated conductors electrically coupled thereto within first and second termination bodies, each of the termination bodies having a plurality of double-ended bore means, the socket contacts connectable to the pin contacts when the two termination bodies are aligned to provide an alignment of the two bore means in such a manner that the bore means are positioned with facing bore ends and opposing bore ends, under changing pressure differentials between the interior and the exterior of the bodies comprising the steps of:

individually sealing respective ones of the electrical pin and socket contacts within respective ones of the bore means at the opposing ends thereof with seals having cup-shaped elements facing towards the exterior of the bore means at their opposing bore ends and with individual seals having cupshaped elements facing one another so as to permit fluid flow only to the exterior of the bore means, said sealing step including the step of individually sealing the bore means at both ends with the seals and individually sealing the bore means to the electrical contacts with the seals.

49. A system having improved sealing and insulation characteristics for electrical connectors comprising:

a first connector body having at least one through first bore means and front and rear faces substantially at right angles to said first bore means;

a second connector body having at least one through second bore means and front and rear faces substantially at right angles to second bore means;

said front faces of said connector bodies being in a face-to-face arrangement to provide alignment of said respective bore means;

first electrical termination means positioned in said first bore means of said first connector body;

second electrical termination means positioned in said second bore means of said second connector body and in electrical contact with said'first termination means when said connector bodies are in the face-to-face arrangement; and

individual resilient sealing means positioned in said bore means of both said first and second connector bodies and in individual sealing engagement with each of said bore means and with each of said electrical termination means, said individual resilient sealing means having fluid pressure-sensitive means capable of resisting flow of fluid into each of said bore means past the sealing engagement, said fluid pressure-sensitive means including a first fluid pressure-sensitive member in sealing engagement between said first electrical termination means and said first connector body bore means adjacent said rear face of said first connector body, a second fluid pressure-sensitive member in sealing engagement between said second electrical termination means and said second connector body bore means adjacent said rear face of said second connector body, and a third fluid pressure-sensitive member in sealing engagement between at least one of said electrical termination means and both said bores adjacent and spaced from said aligned front faces of said first and second connector bodies and otherwise independent of contact with said front faces.

50. A system for improved sealing and insulation characteristics of electrical connectors comprising:

a connector body having a front face and a rear face and having at least one through bore means extending from said front face to said rear face;

electrical termination means having front and rear end means and positioned in said bore means; and

resilient sealing means including front and rear pressure-sensitive members positioned in said bore means, said front pressure-sensitive member sealingly engaged at a front position between said front end means and said bore means adjacent said front face, said front pressure-sensitive member including a flange substantially disposed within and contacting said bore means in sealing engagement therewith and bent and extending generally towards said front face, and said rear pressuresensitive member sealingly engaged at a rear position between said rear end means and said bore means adjacent said rear face, said, rear pressuresensitive member including a flange substantially disposed within and contacting said bore means in sealing engagement therewith and bent and extend ing generally towards said rear face, said flanges of said front and rear pressure-sensitive members defining chamber means within said bore means and cooperating with each other to prevent fluid movement into said chamber means regardless of pressure differentials internal and external to said chamber means.

51. A method for sealing electrical contact means with electrical cable means attached thereto within bore means of an insulation body comprising the steps of:

providing seal means with first and second axially spaced annular sealing means;

coupling the seal means to the electrical contact means;

inserting the contact means with the seal means coupled thereto into the bore means, thereby first engaging and wiping the bore means clean with the first annular sealing means and thereafter engaging the second annular sealing means with the bore means.

52. A method as in claim 51 further comprising the step of providing the second annular sealing means with unidirectional flow fluid means to permit unidirectional fluid flow from the bore means when the second annular sealing means is engaged therewith.

53. A method for sealing electrical termination means within bore means of an insulation body comprising the steps of:

providing the electrical termination means with seal means h aving annular flange means; and

inserting the seal means into the bore means to bend the annular flange means into sealing engagement with the bore means and to permit unidirectional fluid flow from the bore means when the annular flange means is engaged there with. 54. A method as in claim 53 wherein said providing step comprises the step of:

securing the seal means in removable sealing engagement on the electrical termination means.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2184376 *Jun 10, 1937Dec 26, 1939Beyer Walter OCoupling device
US3077572 *Jun 30, 1958Feb 12, 1963Amp IncElectrical connector
US3097033 *Feb 9, 1959Jul 9, 1963Microdot IncUniversal electric connector
US3609636 *Jan 28, 1969Sep 28, 1971Bunker RamoElectrical connectors
US3643206 *Aug 21, 1969Feb 15, 1972Bunker RamoDiaphragm seal for an electrical connector
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3937545 *Dec 23, 1974Feb 10, 1976Ford Motor CompanyWaterproof electrical connector
US4029382 *Nov 28, 1975Jun 14, 1977Denkosha Co., Ltd.Watertight means for electric plug-receptacle coupling
US4629269 *Jun 19, 1981Dec 16, 1986Allied CorporationElectrical connector with environmental seal
US4643506 *May 17, 1985Feb 17, 1987Amp IncorporatedWire seal
US4698027 *May 20, 1986Oct 6, 1987Precision Mecanique LabinalMoisture-proof electrical connector
US4780091 *May 27, 1987Oct 25, 1988Gec Avionics LimitedTwo-part electrical connector
US5158479 *Jan 29, 1991Oct 27, 1992E. I. Du Pont De Nemours And CompanyConnector with a fluid seal
US5851128 *Jan 19, 1996Dec 22, 1998Sumitomo Wiring Systems, Ltd.Electrical connector
US6059594 *Oct 30, 1998May 9, 2000The Whitaker CorporationSealed electrical connector
US8851923 *Aug 8, 2012Oct 7, 2014Emerson Electric Co.Hermetically sealed terminal pins with holes for connecting to wires
CN102364758A *Nov 11, 2011Feb 29, 2012胡海明Anti-creeping and anti-seepage safe power socket plate
CN102364758BNov 11, 2011Aug 28, 2013胡海明Anti-creeping and anti-seepage safe power socket plate
EP0440305A1 *Jan 30, 1991Aug 7, 1991E.I. Du Pont De Nemours And CompanyConnector with fluid-sealing means
Classifications
U.S. Classification439/274, 174/77.00R, 285/110, 285/109
International ClassificationH01R13/02, H01R13/52, H02G15/08
Cooperative ClassificationH01R13/521
European ClassificationH01R13/52F