US 3842386 A
A hinge for passing electrical current includes two adjacent hinge knuckles arranged on different pin-connected leaves and formed to afford a recess in the interior of the hinge. Passages connect the recess with exterior surfaces of the hinge leaves, thus completing a continuous passage through the hinge into which one or more electrical wires are threaded. The continuous passage preferably communicates with the rear surfaces of the leaves such that the electrical wire is substantially hidden from view when the hinge is installed, giving the outward appearance of a conventional hinge.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Suska I 1 HINGE FOR PASSING ELECTRICAL CURRENT  Inventor: Charles R. Suska, Roxbury, Conn.
 Assignee: The Stanley Works, New Britain,
 Filed: Nov. 21, I973  Appl. No.: 418,022
Related US. Application Data  Continuation of Ser. No. 273,483, July 20, I972,
 US. Cl. 339/4, 174/86  Int. Cl l-l02g 11/00  Field of Search 339/4; 310/71; 174/86  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 352,596 l1/1886 Wilson 339/4 3,428,738 2/1969 Zychal 339/4 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Great Britain 339/4 1 Oct. 15, 1974 Primary Examiner-James D. Trammell Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Brumbaugh, Graves, Donohue & Raymond 7] ABSTRACT A hinge for passing electrical current includes two adjacent hinge knuckles arranged on different pinconnected leaves and formed to afford a recess in the interior of the hinge. Passages connect the recess with exterior surfaces of the hinge leaves, thus completing a continuous passage through the hinge into which one or more electrical wires are threaded. The continuous passage preferably communicates with the rear surfaces of the leaves such that the electrical wire is substantially hidden from view when the hinge is installed, giving the outward appearance of a conventional hinge.
6 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures SHEEY 2 0F 2 PAIENTEDncI 1 51914 HINGE FOR PASSING ELECTRICAL CURRENT This is a continuation, of application Ser. No. 273,483, 7-2072, now abandoned.
HISTORY OF THE INVENTION Recent concern with building safety and security has led to the development of many electrically operated devices to protect life and property. A typical safety device is a door holder which automatically releases the door when an associated sensor detects smoke or heat.
jamb to the door at the most convenient point to minimize the length of exposed wire. Unconcealed wiring is an obvious indication to an intruder that the door is electrically connected 'in some manner and also exposes the electrical connection to destruction or damage from an intruder, fire or normal operation of the door.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a new and unique hinge which conveniently passes electrical current from a door frame to a door in a protected, inconspicuous and aesthetically pleasing'manner. To accomplish this result, electrical wires are hidden inside the hinge, entering and leaving through the rear surfaces of the hinge leaves, which face the door and jamb when the hinge is installed.
The hinge includes two hinge leaves and at least two associated hinge knuckles connected byat least one hinge pin. These elements are formed to provide a recess in the interior of the hinge.
Passages communicate with the recess and extend radially outward from the central pivotal axis of the hinge through the leaves to their exterior surfaces, thereby completing a continuous passage through the hinge. The continuous passage preferably communicates with the rear surfaces of the leaves.
To pass electricity through the hinge, a small diameter flexible wire or wires are inserted into the opening in one leaf, threaded through the associated radial passage communicating with the recess, passed through the recess, and then threaded through the radial passage in the other hinge leaf. Thus, when the hinge is properly installed on a door mounted in a door frame, the electrical wiring will be invisible to an observer.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS For a better understanding of the invention, reference may be made to the following description of three exemplary embodiments, taken in conjunction with the figures of the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is a front view of a hinge arranged according to the invention, partly broken away to show the recess in the hinge;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged sectional view of the hinge of FIG. 1, taken along view line 2-2;
FIG. 3 is a partial front view of a second embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 4 is a front view of a third embodiment of the invention, partly broken away to show the recess in the hinge; and
FIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional view of the hinge of FIG. 4, taken along view line 4-4.
DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION In an exemplary embodiment of the invention, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, a hinge comprises a pair of adjacent hinge leaves 10 and 12, each having a plurality of holes 13 for receiving mounting screws and at least one annular hinge knuckle arranged along its edge adjacent the other hinge leaf. In the five-knuckle hinge depicted in the drawings, three spaced-apart knuckles l4, l6 and 18 are arranged on hinge leaf l0 and two spaced-apart knuckles 20 and 22 are arranged on leaf l2, fitting between the knuckles 14, I6 and I8 on leaf 10. The knuckles 14, l6, I8, 20 and 22 are axially alignable and londitudinally closely spaced, such that a hinge pin assembly, generally designated 24, may be received within the knuckles to secure them in axial alignment, while permitting relative pivotal movement about a common axis. Hinge pin assembly 24 may be of any convenient construction. As shown in FIG. 1, it consists of an elongated and generally cylindrical pin 26 and two associated tip members 28, which fit over the ends of the pin 26. The tip members 28, which include laterally extending flanges 30, extend into the bore formed by the aligned hinge knuckles, the flanges 30 contacting the exposed ends of hinge'knuckles 14 To permit the wires 36 to extend from one hinge leaf to the other, as shown inFIG. l, a passage 37 is pro vided in hinge leaf 10 by drilling a hole through the thickness of the leaf 10 into the hinge knuckle 16 from an exterior edge 38 of the leaf. It will be understood that this method of providing the passage 37 is merely exemplary and that other methods may be used. As best shown in FIG. 2, a communicating passage 40 is drilled perpendicular to the axis of the passage 37 and the plane of the rear surface 42 of the leaf 10. Similarly, a passage 44 is drilled through the hinge leaf 12 to the knuckle 20 from an exterior leaf edge 46. A communicating passage 48, drilled into the rear surface 50 of the leaf 12, extends perpendicularly to that surface and the axis of passage 44. The passage 37, 40 and the passage 44, 48 may communicate with rear surfaces 42 and 50 at any convenient point, but a central location, as shown in the drawings, provides maximum protection.
Withthe foregoing arrangement, the electrical wires 36 are concealed as they emerge from the hinge leaves and, in addition, are protected from damage by intruders. Note also that the wires 36 may be carried in passages resulting from U-shaped slots milled in the rear surfaces of the leaves.
The insulated wires 36 are preferably of small diameter and flexible. A wire found satisfactory is fabricated of fine strands of wire, for example, 19 strands of 38 AWG copper, and has 0.005 inch thick extruded nylon insulation and an overall diameter of 0.030 inches. As shown in the drawings, two wires are received in the continuous passage through the hinge formed by the passages and recess of the hinge and may be wound around the hinge pin 26 as they pass from one hinge leaf to the other. The conductors 36 are wound loosely enough to permit one hinge leaf to pivot relative to the other through 270 without undue strain on the wires 36 or their insulation, and tightly enough to prevent undue rubbing contact between the wires and the interior surfaces of the hinge knuckles 16 and 20, which might damage and short circuit them. It is often preferred, however, for the wires 36 to pass through the recess 33 without being wound around the hinge pin 26, as shown in FIG. 3 and described hereinafter.
While the wires will generally be insulated, in the event a ground wire is used, or a nonconductive hinge material employed, one or more of the wires may be uninsulated.
Where the wires 36 emerge from the rear surfaces 42 and 50 of the hinge leaves and 12, they may be embedded in any appropriate protective material 54-, such as an epoxy resin, as shown in FIG. 2, to hold the wires 36 securely in place and prevent them from contacting the edges of the passages 40 and 48,,thereby further protecting the wires.
A second embodiment of the invention is shown in FIG. 3, wherein only a single counterbore 32' in hinge knuckle 16 forms an annular recess 33', and a passage 44' in hinge leaf 12 communicates directly with counterbore 32 rather than through a counterbore in hinge knuckle The electrical wires 36 are not wound around the pin 26, although they may be so arranged, but are simply passed along the recess 33' with less than a full turn around the pin. Moving the leaves 10 and 12 will, or course, tend to cause some coiling of the wires 36. This arrangement of the wires 36 takes advantage of technological advances in insulated flexible electrical wires. In particular, presently available wires are formed of fine strands of conductive wire and encased in a thin sheath of insulation that has high electrical resistance, excellent resistance to aging, good flexi- 'bility over a wide temperature range, and excellent abrasion resistance.
FIGS. 4 and 5 of the drawings show a third embodiment of the invention in which the hinge pin 26 of FlGS. 1, 2 and 3 has been replaced by two shorter pins. The hinge comprises a pair of hinge leaves 56 and 58, each having a plurality of holes 60 for receiving mounting screws. Three spaced-apart knuckles 62, 64 and 66 are arranged on the hinge leaf 58 and two spaced-apart knuckles 68 and 70, arranged on the leaf 56, fit between them. The knuckles 68, 64 and 70 are closely spaced, but knuckles 62 and 68, and 66 and 70, are separated to receive ball bearings 72. Each bearing .72 is formed with a flange 74 projecting into a counterbore 76 formed in an end of the adjacent knuckle.
Two identical hinge pins 78 are axially received within hinge knuckles 62 and 68, and hingeknuckles 66 and 70, extending only part way through hinge knuckles 68 and 70. The pins 78, knurled for a portion of their lengths to hold them in position, are generally cylindrical. with laterally extending flanges 80 at one end that provide functional and decorative caps for the ends of the hinge knuckles 62 and 66.
As shown in FIG. 4, counterbores 82 and 84 are provided in centrally located hinge knuckles 64 and 68 to afford an enlarged recess 86 for receiving one or more electrical wires 88. Note that it may be desirable to use the recess afforded by the existing bores, without enlargement, in the knuckles 64 and 68 to form part of the continuous passage through the hinge for the electrical wires 88. As in previous embodiments of the invention. passages 90 and 92 in hinge leaves 56 and 58 permit the conductors 88 to extend through the hinge from one leaf to the other. Communicating passages 94 and 96 extend from the passages 90 and 92 to the rear surfaces 98 and 100 of the leaves 56 and 5 8.
The wires 88 are received in the continuous passage formed through the hinge in the manner of the embodiment of FIG. 3. Where the conductors 88 emerge from the rear surfaces 98 and 100 of hinge leaves 56 and 58, they may be embedded in any appropriate protective material 102, such as epoxy resin, as previously discussed.
It will be understood that the above-described embodiments are merely exemplary and that those skilled in the art may make many variations and modifications without departing from the spirit. and scope of the invention. All such modifications and variations are intended to be within the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.
l. A load bearing hinge for mounting a a door in a door frame and for'passing electrical current between the door and frame through a concealed and tamperproof electrical wire comprising a pair of adjacent flat hinge leaves of substantially uniform thickness having frontand rear exterior surfaces, openings in the leaves to secure them to the door and frame with their rear surfaces abutting the door and frame, at least two axially aligned and closely spaced hinge knuckles, one of said knuckles extending from each adjacent leaf edge, at least one hinge pin axially received in said knuckles to secure them in axial alignment while permitting relative pivotal movement about said aligned axes, means providing a recesswithin at least one of the knuckles, a concealed tunnel in each leaf generally parallel to the front and rear exterior surfaces thereof and extending through the knuckle associated with the leaf to said recess, an opening in the rear exterior surface of each hinge leaf communicating with the corresponding tunnel in the leaf, the openings in the rear exterior surfaces of the leaves being sufficiently spaced from their respective knuckles by said tunnels to permit the openings to be hidden from view by the door and door frame when the hinge is installed on the door and door frame, the hinge when installed giving the outward appearance of a conventional load bearing door hinge, a continuous and concealed passage from the rear exterior surface ofone hinge leaf to the rear exterior surface of the other hinge leaf being formed by the two openings in the hinge leaves, the tunnels in the leaves and the recess, and at least one electrical wire threaded through the continuous passage for conducting electrical current through the hinge and concealed from view and protected from damage by the hinge leaf material and knuckle material when the hinge is mounted on the door and door frame.
2. A hinge according to claim 1, wherein said recess providing means comprises bores formed in adjacent ends of the two adjacent hinge knuckles.
. 3 ,842,3 86 5 6 3. A hinge according to claim 1, wherein said recess pin extends through said recess, and the electrical wire providing means comprises a bore formed in one of the is threaded through the continuous passage with at two adjacent hinge knuckles. least one turn around the hinge pin in the recess.
4. A hinge according to claim 1, wherein said at least 6. A hinge according to claim 1, wherein the hinge one hinge pin includes two longitudinally spaced apart 5 pin extends through the recess, and the electrical wire hinge pins, and said recess is formed between longitudiis threaded through the continuous passage with less nally spaced ends of said two hinge pins. than one turn around the hinge pin in the recess.
5. A hinge according to claim 1, wherein the hinge 33 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION patent 3,842 ,386 Dated October 15, 1974 lnventofl l) Charles R. Suska It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 2, line 58, insert after the period -Moreover, the installed load bearing door hinge gives the outward appearance of a conventional load bearing hinge so that intruders are not forewarned of the electrical wiring.-; Column 3, line 36, "or course" should be of course-; and Column 4, line 28, "a a door" should be --a door-.
Signed and sealed this 11th day of February 1975.
C. MARSHALL DANN RUTH C. MASON Commissioner of Patents Attesting Officer and Trademarks mg UNITED STATES PATENTCFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent NO. 318421386 Dated October 1974 l wencoflfl) Charles R. Suska It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 2, line 58, insert'after the period -Moreover, the
installed load bearing door hinge gives the outward appearance of a conventional load bearing hinge so that intruders are not forewarned of the electrical wiring.--; Column 3, line 36, "or course" should be -of course--; and Column 4, line 28, "a a door" should be --a door-.
Signed and sealed this 11th day of February 1975;
C. MARSHALL DANN RUTH C. MASON Commissioner of Patents Attesting Officer and Trademarks