|Publication number||US3810075 A|
|Publication date||May 7, 1974|
|Filing date||Jul 5, 1972|
|Priority date||Jan 11, 1971|
|Publication number||US 3810075 A, US 3810075A, US-A-3810075, US3810075 A, US3810075A|
|Original Assignee||Gen Electric|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (8), Referenced by (15), Classifications (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent 1191 Turner May 7, 1974 [541 ELECTRIC CONNECTOR FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS  Invent: Tum", Fairfield, Conn- 915,316 11/1946 France 339/105 24,847 10/1935 Australia 339/105  Asslgnee' generallmgcmc Company Fort 515,792 1/1931 Germany 339/105 ayne 549,865 4/1956 Belgium 339/107  Filed: July 5, 1972 [211 App] No 269 172 Primary Examiner-Richard E. Moore Related US. Application Data [5 7] ABSTRACT A connector for an electric cord, having a resilient jacket, includes a body of electrically insulating material defining a passageway to receive the cord. A pair of partitions extend into the passageway from opposite sides thereof. The partitions overlap and are spaced apart along the passageway a distance less than a corresponding lateral dimension of the cord whereby an adjacent region of the cord is firmly compressed between the overlapping partitions. The body is formed of two sections, joined together, and the cord is compressed in a direction generally perpendicular to the direction of joining.
10 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures minimum 7 m4 3.810.075
INVENTOR. B'vsaozt/K Tamer;
ELECTRIC CONNECTOR CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 105,646, filed Jan. 1 l, 1971 which in turn is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 811,057, filed Mar. 27, 1969, both now abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to electrical connectors and, more particularly, to cord gripping arrangements for use in such connectors.
It is well known to include cord gripping or strain relief arrangements in electric connectors. Their basic purpose is to prevent the current carrying cord and the insulating connector body from separating, which could expose live conductors. Prior art cord gripping arrangements have not been completely satisfactory. Many will not perform properly over the entire range of normal cord thickness tolerances. Many are unduly complicated and take up considerable space.
A great number of modern day connectors have bodiesmade of plastic materials such as, for instance, phenolic resin. They are usually formed in two separate body sections which then are joined around the preconnected cord and contacts. The body sections each include areasor projections which cooperate with similar portions of the other body section to compress a region of the cord. In most prior art connectors of this type, at least a large component of this compressive force was in the direction of joining of the body sections. Thus, there was a reactive force tending to force the body sections apart. This created a number of problems.
A strong attachment means had to be used to secure the body sections together. Most often, a strong spring clip was placed around the connector, and a rivet of high strength material was inserted through the connector. Other connectors used several rivets of high strength material. Either approach involved added cost because of the high quality of the materials used. Also the assembly process was complicated since the two body sections had to be firmly held together until the attachment was completed.
Also, the various plastic materials normally used in connectors are relatively brittle, and the reaction force exerted on the connector by the cord tends to break the plastic. This often required the use of extra plastic material which increased the cost and overall size of the connectors.
Also, the force which economically could be exerted on the cord was somewhat limited. Thus, usually the cord would be compressed along a line. That is, the cord would becompressed between narrow ribs or between a flat in one body section and a narrow rib in the other section.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is accordingly an object of the present invention to provide an improved electrical connector.
Another object of the invention is to provide a connector having an improved strain relief.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a connector with a strain relief having improved cord gripping characteristics.
\ sections joined together, wherein the cord gripping force is substantially perpendicular to the direction of joining of the sections.
The invention, in one form thereof, provides a connector for an electric cord having at least one conductor enclosed in a resilient jacket. The connector comprises a body of electrically insulating material defining a passageway to receive the cord. First and second partitions extend into the passageway from opposite sides thereof. The partitions overlap and are spaced apart along the passageway a distance less than a corresponding lateral dimension of the cord whereby an adjacent region of the cord is firmly compressed between the overlapping partitions.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a plan view of an electrical connector incorporating one form of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged plan view of the two body sections of the connector of FIG. 1 with the body sections disconnected to show the inside of each and with the associated cord and contacts in place in one of the sections;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken along line 33 of FIG. 1,; and
FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional view similar to FIG. 3 but showing another form of the strain relief.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings in detail and in particular to FIG. 1, there is shown a connector 10 for use with an electric cord 11 having a resilient jacket 12, and the cord 11 includes a pair of wound or stranded conductors 13 and 14 with the jacket 12 surrounding both of the conductors and including separation groove 15 in opposite sides thereof. Lateral pull on the cord 11 will cause the resilient insulating material of the jacket 12 to split along grooves 15 so that the conductors l3 and 14 may be separated with each of the conductors still completely surrounded by insulating material.
The connector 10, as shown in FIG. 2, is formed from a pair of opposite bodies, body sections or body halves l6 and 17 which are secured together in a mating or face-to-face relationship to form the connector 10. Although there is shown a female type connector, such as v is normally used with small appliances like, for example, electric coffeemakers, electric irons, electric toasters, skillets and so forth, it will be understood that the various features of this invention may be utilized in other overall structures such as, for instance, male plugs.
Body section 16 includes a pair of recesses 18 and 19 formed to extend longitudinally therein from an end wall 20 of the body section and separated by a longitudinally extending wall or portion 21. The end wall 20 is formed with a pair of reduced radius recesses 22 and 23 which extend through the wall 20 and join the recesses l8 and 19 respectively. At the opposite end of the recesses 18 and 19, the body section 16 is formed with a number of shoulders 24, 25, 26 and 27 spaced laterally across the body section. Shoulders 24 and 25 project into the recess 18, and shoulders 26 and 27 project into the recess 19. On the other side of the shoulders from the recesses 18 and 19, the body section 16 is formed with a pair of recesses 28 and 29 which communicate with the recesses 18 and 19, respectively, and extend longitudinally of the body section merging beyond the end of the wall 21 into a lateral recess 28a.
Extending inwardly from the other end 30 of the body section 16, there is formed a recess 31. A U- shaped wall or partition 32 is positioned between the lateral recess 28a and the recess 31. The longitudinally inner portion of the wall 32 is generally V-shaped in cross-sectional configuration having a pair of lateral faces 33 and 34 which extend generally parallel to the direction of joining of the body sections 16, 17. The wall 32 also includes a pair of faces 35 and 36 at the inner end of recess 31. The faces 35 and 36 slope or are angled with respect to the direction of joining. The sloping faces 35 and 36 cooperate with the lateral faces 33 and 34 respectively to provide the inner end of the wall 32 with a pair of edges 37 and 38, respectively.
The body section 17 includes a pair of recesses 39 and 40 formed to extend longitudinally therein from an end wall 41 of the body section and separated by a longitudinally extending wall or partition 42. The end wall 41 is provided with a pair of reduced radius recesses 43 and 44 communicating with the recesses 39 and 40, respectively. Longitudinal walls 45 and 46 extend across the recesses 39 and 40, respectively, at the ends thereof opposite the end wall 41. Lugs 47 and 48 extend from the top of the walls 45 and 46, respectively, in alignment with the ends of the recesses 39 and 40.
On the other side of the walls 45 and 46, the body section 17 is formed with a pair of recesses 49 and 50 which extend around the end of the wall 42 and merge to form lateral recess 53. Adjacent an opposite end wall 51, the body section 17 is provided with a generally longitudinally extending recess 52 which extends inwardly into the body section and joins the lateral recess 53.
The body sections 16 and 17 are formed with smooth, laterally extending surfaces or marginal edges 54 and 55, respectively, which generally form coterminous boundaries when the two body sections are joined to form connector 10. When this is done, recesses 18 and 19 are brought into juxtaposition with recesses 40 and 39 respectively to provide contact receiving recesses such as that shown at 56 in FIG. 3. The recesses 28 and 29 come into juxtaposition with recesses 50 and 49 respectively to form generally undulated or serpentine passageways, such as those shown at. 57, to receive the conductor extending from the contact received in the adjacent contact receiving recess. 7 The recesses 31 and 52 come into juxtaposition to form a cord entryway 58 communicating with the conductor passageways, such as 57, and extending out through the end of the conductor. Additional details of the cord entryway may be had by reference to Applicants copending application Ser. No. 811,107, filed Mar. 27, 1969, assigned to General Electric Company, assignee of the present invention, now issued as US. Pat. No. 3,573,714.
A lug 59 projects from the wall 21 of body section 16, and a mating recess 60 is formed in the wall 42 of body section 17. A pair of lugs 61 project from the lateral recess 28a on each side of the U-shaped wall 32. When the two body halves are brought together, the lug 59 is received in the recess 60, and the lugs 61 are received in the recess 53 spanning the inner end of recess 52. These lugs and recesses cooperate to restrain longitudinal and lateral movement of the body sections 16, 17 relative to each other so that they are brought together in proper alignment and remain in proper alignment. Additionally, wall 21 is provided with an opening 62, and wall 42 is provided with a mating opening 63. When the two body sections l6, 17 are brought together, openings 62, 63 are in alignment so as to extend completely through the conductor to receive a rivet 64 for holding the two body sections 16 and 17 together to form the connector 10.
As best seen in FIG. 2, the cord 11 is split at one end along the grooves so as to separate the conductors 13 and 14. The insulating jacket 12 is stripped from the end section of each of the conductors, and a female contact 65 is attached to the distal end of each of the conductors by some suitable means, such as crimping over a section 66 of the contact around the associated conductor. The contacts 65 are sized to fit closely within the contact receiving recesses 56. To this end, the major part of the contact 65 is just long enough that the portion of it within the recess 18 or 19 fits closely between the end wall and the shoulders 24 and or 26 and 27, respectively. Similarly, the portion received in the body section 17 would fit closely within the end wall 41 and the wall or 46, respectively.
Each of the contacts 65 normally is formed in some suitable manner, such as that illustrated in FIG. 2, to provide an opening 68. The contacts 65 include flared tips 68a which define the entrances to the openings 68 and are designed to guide the mating of contacts 65 with the contacts of a male plug (not shown) inserted through the openings in the connector formed by the mating of recesses 22 and 23 with recesses 44 and 43, respectively.
The body section 17 is provided with a pair of ribs 68b which project across the recesses 39 and 40 and extend into the recesses from the inside wall 69 of the body section 17. The lugs 47 and 48, as well as the ribs 68b and ribs 85, engagethe contacts 65 so as to properly position the contacts with openings 68 thereof in registry with the connector openings formed by recesses 22, 23, 43 and 44. At the same time, they allow some lateral movement of the contacts 65 tocompen sate for normal variations in the spacing of the male contacts.
From the contacts 65, the conductors 13 and 14 extend through the passageways 57 formed by the juxtaposition of recesses 28 and 29 with recesses 50 and 49 to the cord entryway 58 where they join to form the composite cord 11. Over at least the greatest portion of the conductor passageways 57, each of the conductors 13 and 14 is completely enclosed in an associated portion of the resilient jacket 12.
It may be noted that there is provided an improved strain relief or cord gripping arrangement in each of the passageways 57 so as to firmly hold the cord in the connector and prevent forces exerted on the cord 11 from causing the conductors l3 and 14 to be pulled out of the connector 10.
Referring now particularly to FIGS. 2 and 3, it will be seen that a partition 70 extends across the recess 28. The partition 70 has a first lateral face or surface 71 which is generally parallel to the direction of joining of the body sections and a second lateral face 72 which slopes with respect to the direction of joining, the lateral faces forming the partition with an edge 73 extending across the recess 28. A similar partition 74 has a lateral face parallel to the direction of joining and a lateral face sloping with respect to the direction of joining forming an edge for the partition across the recess 29.
The body section 17 has a first partition 75 extending across the recess 50. The partition 75 is formed with a lateral face or surface 76, disposed parallel to the direction of joining and a lateral face 77, angled or sloped with respect to the direction of joining. The faces 76 and 77 form the partition 75 with an edge 78 extending across the recess 50. A similarly formed partition 79 extends across the recess 49. A second partition 80 is formed extending across the recess 50, spaced axially inwardly of the partition 75. The partition 80 includes a first lateral face 81, parallel to the direction of joining, and a second lateral face 82 slanted or angled with respect to the direction ofjoining. The faces 81 and 82 come together in an edge 83, which extends across the recess 50. A similarly formed partition 84 extends across the recess 49.
Referring now particularly to FIG. 3, it will be seen that the various partitions come into register in a serial fashion when the body sections 16, 17 are joined. More particularly, the partition 75 is positioned axially inwardly of the lateral face 33 of wall 32, and the partition 70 is positioned between the partitions 75 and 80. Also, the lateral faces 76 and 71 overlap and are spaced apart along the passageway 57 a distance which is less than a corresponding lateral dimension of the cord. In the illustration of FIG. 3, lateral faces 71, 76 are spaced apart less than the width of the portion of the jacket 12 surrounding the conductor 14 and are spaced apart a distance which is only slightly greater than the associated stranded conductor 13 or 14, respectively.
In assembling the connector, the contacts 65 are placed in one of the body sections 16, 17 (such as in the left hand section as seen in FIG. 2), and the body sections are brought together so that the faces 54 and 55 meet. In the exemplification, the direction ofjoining is generally vertical (as seen in FIG. 3). In any event, the direction of joining is the general direction the body sections 16, 17 are moved relative to each other to bring them into proper mating engagement.
As the sections 16 and 17 come into engagement, the
lateral faces 71 and 76 come into their predetermined spaced apart, overlapping relationship which compresses the adjacent portion of the cord 11 between these two faces, and the compression is spread over these faces. It may be noted that the compressive forces between laterally spaced faces 71, 76 and cord 1 1 is exerted on bodies 16, 17 generally only in the direction of a plane extending generally parallel to coterminous boundaries 53, 54 thereof, as discussed further hereinafter. Additionally the edge 37 of the wall 32 engages the jacket 12 so as to cause the adjacent portion of the cord to bend closely around the edge 78 of the wall 75. Similarly the edge 83 of the partition 80 engages the jacket 12 to cause the adjacent portion of the cord to bend closely around the edge 73 of partition 70.
The compression of the adjacent portion of the cord between the faces 71 and 76 firmly compresses the cord over a large area providing an extremely strong holding or gripping force that is carried through the insulation jacket 12 to the conductors 13 and 14. In the exemplification, the spacing of the lateral faces 71, 76 causes a very great compression of the insulation jacket 12 and some compression of the stranded conductors l3 and 14, and the lateral dimension of the cord between each pair of overlapping faces is approximately the uncompressed diameter of the conductor 13 or 14 respectively. This compressive force is substantially without any appreciable vertical component (as seen in FIG. 3). Also, the bending of the cord around edges 78 and 73, as well as the engagement of the cord by the edges 37 and 83, is accomplished without placing any substantial force on the cord in the vertical direction (as seen in FIG. 3).
Therefore, there is very little, if any, force acting on the body sections 16 and 17 in a direction tending to force them apart, that is vertically in FIG. 3, or generally normal to a plane extending generally parallel to the coterminous boundaries 54, 55 of the body sections. This lack of substantial force in the vertical direction is also enhanced by spacing the bottom walls 67 and 69, of the sections 16 and 17, sufficiently far apart that the cord will not engage them as it bends around the edges of the various partitions.
This substantial lack of force tending to part the body sections 16, 17 allows the use of a much lighter restraining means. For instance, means for maintaining the bodies 16, 17 against separation in a direction generally normal to a plane extending in a direction generally normal to the coterminous boundaries 53, 54, such as a single rivet 64, may be used and be of somewhat lighter material than in similarly sized prior art devices, which normally required at least two heavy duty restraining means. Other means of attaching the sections, heretofore not generally used in such devices, may also be used. For instance, the two connector sections could be united by a sonic welding process.
As the body sections 16 and 17 are brought together, the lugs 61 are received closely in the recess 53 which fixes the relative axial position and helps fix the relative lateral position of the body sections to insure proper positioning of partitions. This takes up the axial reaction forces generated by the compression of the cord 11. Also lug 59 is received in recess 60 to properly position the body sections relative to each other at that end. It may be noted that lugs 61 disposed in recesses 53 and/or lug 59 disposed in recess 60 define means for engagement between bodies 16, 17 for opposing separation thereof in the general direction of the aforementioned plane generally parallel to coterminous boundaries 53, 54.
Also it will be noted that, if the cord is pulled to the right (as seen in FIG. 3), the very strong holding force between the faces 76 and 71 will prevent any transmission of this force to the contact 65. Also pulling on the cord will tend to pull the cord out across the edge 37 and the edge 78. In prior art devices, a strong pull on the cord could cause a failure by the entire cord slipping out of the connector or could cause a failure by the conductors slipping within the resilient jacket until the jacket breaks. Both generally occured because the gripping force held only the jacket and not the conductors. It has been found that, with a connector built in accordance with the present invention, the force required to cause a complete cord slippage or an insulating jacket separation type failure is much greater than in prior art connectors of the same general size and using the same type cord. This results from the fact that the grip between the walls 76 and 71 is extremely tight and the cord is pulled around the edges 37 and 78, particularly edge 78, so that the edge bites into the cord as it is pulled causing an intimate holding action on the conductors. Thus failure of the cord normally would occur only if an extreme force is used sufficient that at least a number of individual wires or strands forming the conductors 13 or 14 are broken. These strands being metal, the force required to break them is much greater than the force required to cause whole cord slippage or conductor slippage with separation of the insulation jacket.
FIG. 4 illustrates another embodiment of the invention wherein there is a double compression on the cord. It is quite similar to the embodiment of FIGS. 1-3, and similar numbers will be used to designate similar parts. The U-shaped wall 32a of body section 16a is longer so that the face 33a is longer. The partition 75a is longer so that the face 77b extending outwardly from the slanting face 77a overlaps the wall 330. The partitions 70a and 80a are also made slightly longer. Obviously the body sections 16a and 17a must be made somewhat deeper in order to accommodate the cord. With this arrangement, in addition to the strong compressive force between the perpendicularly disposed faces 76a and 71a, a similar compressive force is provided between the face 77b and the face 33a. This double compression is again provided without any substantial force being exerted on the connector tending to cause the connector sections to separate and adjacent regions of the cord are bent firmly around the edges of the various partitions.
While in accordance with the Patent Statutes there has been described what at present are considered to be the preferred embodiments of this invention, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the invention and it is applicants intention in the following claims to cover all such equivalent variations as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.
What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
l. A connector for a compressible electric cord comprising a pair of opposite bodies having generally coterminous boundaries along which the bodies are separable, a pair of opposite recesses within the bodies, means on each body extending therefrom at least into the respective adjacent body recesses for gripping engagement with the cord and at least one of the gripping means extending past the coterminous boundaries into the opposite body recess into overlapping relation with at least one opposite adjacent gripping means thereby to define a generally serpentine passage for the cord through at least a portion of the body recesses, and a pair of opposed surfaces respectively on at least one pair of opposite adjacent gripping means in the serpentinepassage and predeterminately spaced apart a distance for compressing a portion of the cord in the serpentine passage only in the direction of a plane generally parallel to the coterminous boundaries, means for engagement between the bodies for opposing displacefaces, and means for maintaining the bodies against 2. A connector as set forth in claim 1, farther comprising an end on each of the gripping means and spaced from the opposite body in the serpentine passage a distance great enough to accommodate the cord therebetween generally in its uncompressed state.
3. A connector as set forth in claim 1. wherein the opposed surfaces are disposed generally parallel to each other.
4. A connector as set forth in claim 1, wherein the gripping means extend generally normally from the bodies into the recesses, respectively.
5. A connector as set forth in claim 1, wherein the gripping means are disposed generally normal to the plane, and the opposed surfaces are generally parallel to each other and normal to the plane.
6. A connector for a compressible electric cord comprising a pair of opposite bodies having generally coterminous boundaries along which the bodies are separable, a pair of opposite recesses within the bodies, a pair of means on one of the bodies extending at least into its recess for gripping engagement with the cord, other means on the other of the bodies extending at least into its recess for gripping engagement with the cord and spaced between the pair of gripping means, at least one of the pair of gripping means and other means extending past the coterminous boundaries into the opposite recess into overlapping relation with the other of the pair of gripping means and the other means thereby to define a generally serpentine passage through at least a portion of the recesses, a pair of opposite surfaces on the other means in the serpentine passage, a pair of opposing surfaces on the pair of gripping means in the serpentine passage disposed in spaced facing relation with theopposite surfaces, respectively, the opposite surfaces and the opposing surfaces being predete'rminately spaced apart from each other for compressing a portion of the cord in the serpentine passage only in the direction of a plane generally parallel to the coterminous boundaries, means for opposing displacement of the bodies generally in the plane, and means for maintaining the bodies against separation in a direction generally normal to the plane.
7. A connector as set forth in claim 6, further comprising an end on each of the pair of gripping means and other means and respectively spaced from the body opposite thereto in the serpentine passage a distance great enough to accommodate the cord there between generally in its uncompressed state.
8. A connector as set forth in claim 6, wherein the opposite and opposed surfaces are disposed generally parallel to each other and generally normal to the plane.
9. A connector as set forth in claim 6, wherein the pair of gripping means and other means are disposed generally normal to the plane.
10. A connector as set forth in claim 6, wherein the pair of gripping means and the other means are generally normal to the plane, and the opposite surfaces and I opposed surfaces are respectively generally parallel to ment thereof generally in the plane in response to the I compression of the cord between the opposed sureach other and generally normal to the plane.
i i I!
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