US 3853385 A
A sealed electrical connector comprises two interengageable insulating bodies provided with embedded terminal plates for connection to respective cable conductors to be connected, each body having a respective depression filled with a gelatinous resin through which a contact pin connected to one terminal plate penetrates to make contact with the other terminal plate when the connector is assembled by clipping the two bodies together.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Ernie tates tet n91 Palazzetti et a1.
[ Dec. N, 1974 SEALED CONNECTOR FOR INSULATED Primary Examiner-Joseph H. McGlynn CONDUCTORS Attorney, Agent, or FirmSughrue, Rothwell, Mion,  lnventorsz Mario Palazzetti, Avigliana', Franco Zmn & Macpeak Grisotto, Turin, both of Italy  ABSTRACT  Assigneez Flat Socreta per Aziom, Turin, Italy I v A sealed electrical connector comprises two mteren- Flledi 16, 1973 gageable insulating bodies provided with embedded [211 App] 416,547 terminal plates for connection to respective cable conductors to be connected, each body having a respective depression filled with a gelatinous resin through g APpllcatlon Pnomy Data which a contact pin connected to one terminal plate Nov. 21. 1972 Italy ..70649/72 penetrates to make contact with the other terminal plate when the connector is assembled by clipping the  US. Cl. 339/96, 339/75 R two bodies together.  Int. Cl H01r 11/20 Upon dismantling the connector the gelatinous Fleld of Search; 94, resin fl to reclosevthe holes made therein the pin, thereby ensuring sealing of the terminal plates.  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 7 Clam 3 Drawmg Flgures 3,573,710 4/1971 Wofford .Q 339/96 3,784,959 l/l974 Horton 339/96 l/ /r /v 42 PATENTEU mm @1914 3.858.385
sun-:51 10F 2 PATENTEQ DUI I 01974 SHEET 2 UF 2 This invention relates to a connector for connecting insulated conductors in a manner providing a sealed and detachable connection for use in equipment destined to operate in damp surroundings or even immersed in water.
When electronic equipment is intended to operate in damp surroundings, its components or component systems are rendered impermeable, for example, by enclosing them in insulating resin, so as to avoid the creation of conductive leakage paths, or even complete short-circuits, as a result of damp operating conditions. Such sealing has not, however, been applied to detachable connections which may be associated with the equipment, and consequently each such connection has to be rendered impermeable by such methods as embedding it in a block of thermosetting resin. A sealed connection of this type is necessarily inaccessible and is thus unsuitable for equipment in which frequent revision and checking or occasional replacement of component parts is necessary.
It has not hitherto been possible to provide detachable sealed connectors capable of establishing simultaneously one or more connections between the conductors of cables having impermeable insulating sheaths by a simple and speedy method.
An object of this invention, therefore, is to overcome this shortcoming by providing a sealed detachable connector having the advantages described above, which is of particulary simple construction, such as to require a minimal force to effect sealing between two parts to be connected.
According to the invention there is provided a connector adapted to effect a sealed and releasable connection between insulated conductors, characterised in that the connector comprises, in combination:
a. a first rigid insulating impermeable body having a working face formed with a depression and having an embedded metal plate extending from the depression through the first body to a first external terminal on the outside of the first body;
b. a contact pin housed in the depression of the first body and electrically connected to the plate, said pin projecting beyond the plane of the said working face;,
0. a layer of gelatinous resin, which fills the depression in the working face of the first body, entirely covering the contact pin;
d. a second rigid insulating impermeable body having a working face formed with a depression and having an embedded metal plate extending from the depression and through the second body to a second external terminal on the outside of the second body;
' e. a layer of gelatinous resin filling the depression in the second body; and
f. pressure means for pressing the two bodies against each other with their working faces facing each other, so that the contact pin carried by the first body perforates the layers of gelatinous resin in the two depressions to make contact with the plate in the depression of the second body.
The gelatinous resin has the property of reclosing after it has been pierced with capillary holes, thereby forming a sealing and insulating layer between the parts to be connected.
The invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the attached drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a connector according to one embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a longitudinal sectional view of the connector shown in FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 is a perspective view from below of part of the connector shown in FIG. 1.
Referring to the drawings, a sealed connector according to the invention consists essentially of a lower insulating body 10 provided with a metal connector terminal 12, for connection to an insulated conductor of a first cable (not shown) to which connection is to be made, an upper insulating body 14 provided with a metal terminal 16 for connection to an insulated conductor of a second cable (not shown) to be connected to the first, and a spring clip 18 serving the purpose of holding the two bodies 10, 14 assembled together in their working position. The connections (not shown) of the terminals 12 and 16 to their respective cable conductors (not illustrated) are irremovable and destined to be covered by an insulating impermeable resin.
The lower body 10 consists of a block of rigid insulating material such as that known under the trade mark Noril made by the firm of Siliconof Milan, having a substantially rectangular plan'form, and having a working face 20 bounded by two lateral walls 22, 24 and by an end wall 26. Adjacent the inner surfaces of the walls I 22, 24 which face each other, the face 20 of the lower body 10 is formed with two ramp projections 28, one only of which is visible in FIG. 1. On its outer face, that is, the face opposite the working face 20, the lower body 10 is formed with a longitudinally extending channel 30 defined between two longitudinal ribsv 32.
The terminal 12 of the lower body 10 is part of a metal plate 34 embedded within the body 10, and terminating below a depression 36 in the working face 20 of the lower body. At the region of the depression 36 a metal contact pin 38, electrically connected, for example soldered, to the plate 34, projects into the depression 36 and extends beyond the plane defined by the working face 20. The depression 36 is filled by a convex pad 40 (not shown in FIG. 1) which is such to surround the contact pin 38. The'pad 40 is-formed of a gelatinous and elastic resin which is such that it recloses if pierced by capillary holes, thereby establishing sealing conditions. It is possible to make a pad of gelatinous resin having this property from various materials.
A preferred example of this gelatinous resin is a fluorosilicon marketed by the firm of Vagnone and Boeri, of 18 Corso Re Umberto l8, Turin, under the Trade Mark 3C40l and having the following characteristics:
Hardness: 40 Shore Dielectric strength l3,500 V/m Specific gravity: 1.35 1.65 Kg/m Working temperature 60C to C.
The resin is applied to the contact pin 38 by known methods and is subsequently polymerized at ambient temperature.
The upper body 14 also consists of a block of rigid insulating material such as that known under the trade mark Noril, with a rectangular shape in plan, having a lower working face 42 adapted to co-operate with the working face 20 of the lower body 10. The width of the upper body 14 is such that it can be located between the lateral walls 22, 24 abutting at one end against the end wall 26 of the lower body 10. The working face 42 of the upper body has two lateral wedge-shaped recesses 44 of such'dimensions and slope as to match the ramp projections 28 of the lower body when the upper body 14 is introduced between the walls 22, 24 and abutted against the wall 26 of the lower body 10.
The working face 42 of' the upper body 14 is formed with a depression 46 which comes into register with the depression 36 of the lower body 10 when the two bodies 10, 14 are assembled. The connector terminal 16 of the upper body 14 is part of a metal plate 48 embedded in and extending longitudinally within the body 14 as far as the depression 46 and in such manner that one face of the metal plate 48 is exposed in the depression 46 prior to the insertion in the depression 46 of a pad 50 of a gelatinous resin similar to that of the pad 40 of the lower body 10.
The outer face of the upper body 14, that is, the face which is opposite to its working face 42, is formed with a flanged boss 52, made in one piece with the upper body 14 and adapted to co-operate with the spring clip 18, as will now be described.
The clip spring 18 consists of a length of harmonic steel strip, folded and curved so as to have a flat rectilinear section 54 adapted to engage in the channel 30 into the lower body 10, a wide circular arched section 56 provided with an opening 58 through which a cable passes, and a flat rectilinear section 60 terminating in an arched cut end 62 The opening 58 forms a zone of weakened resistance in the arched section 56 of the clip 18, in which zone the flexion of the spring clip 18 predominantly occurs. The rectilinear section 60 has a flared hole 64 which fits around the flanged boss 52 so as to attach the upper body l4to the spring clip 18. During manufacture of the connector the boss 52 is initially purely cylindrical and whilehot is then snaprivetted or flanged after insertion in the hole 64 of the spring clip 18 to secure the body 14 to the spring clip 18.
The terminal 16 of the upper body 14 is also destined, like the terminal 12 of the lower body 10, to be permanently connected to a conductor of a cable end, the connection with the conductor being rendered impermeable by a covering of varnish or resin.
The connector herein described and illustrated functions as follows. With the spring clip 18 held open the lower body 10 is slid below the upper body 14, up to the point where the pressure of the spring clip 18, which acts on the outer surfaces of the bodies 10 and 14 by means of the rectilinear sections 60 and 54 respectively, causes the upper body 14 to engage in the recess defined between the lateral walls 22 and 24 of the lower body 10, bringing the depression 46 of the upper body 14 into register with the depression 36 of the lower body 10. The recesses 44 in the upper body 14 engage the ramp projections 28 of the lower body 10.
Upon such interengagement of the bodies 10 and 14 the pin 38 perforates both its own covering pad 40' and the pad 50 of the upper body 14, making electrical contact with the metal plate 48 which isintegral with the terminal 16. Thus electrical contact is established which is sealed by the pressing of the perforated pads 40 and 50 against the other, sealing the perforations through which the pin 38 passes, and the zone of contact of the pin with the plate 48. When the connector is disassembled and the two bodies 10 and 14 are separated, the respective pads 40 and 50 of gelatinous resin recover or spread out again, as stated above, until they close up and seal the punctiform openings previously made by the pin 38, thereby preventing the access of damp both to the pin 38 and to the zone of contact of the pin 38 with the metal plate 48. The operations of connecting and disconnecting the connector can therefore be carried out safely even under water.
Several variants and modifications are possible in the specific embodiment herein described and illustrated without nevertheless going beyond the scope of the invention as defined by the attached claims.
1. A connector adapted to effect a sealed and releasable connection between insulated conductors, said connector comprising, in combination:
a. a first rigid insulating impermeable body having a working face formed with a depresssion;
b. a first metal plate embedded in said first body and extending from the depression through the first body, said plate having a first external terminal on the outside of the first body;
c. a contact pin electrically connected to said first plate and housed in the depression of the first body, said pin projecting beyond the plane of the said working face;
d. a layer of gelatinous resin filling the depression in the working face of the first body and entirely covering the contact pin;
e. a second rigid insulating impermeable body having a working face formed with a depression;
f. a second metal plate extending from the depression and through said second body, said second plate having a second external terminal on the outside 0 the second body; I
g. a layer of gelatinous resin filling the depression in the second body; and
h. pressure means for pressing the two bodies against each other with their working faces facing each other, so that the contact pin carried by the first body perforates the layers of gelatinous resin in the two depressions to make contact with the plate in the depression of the second body. 2. The connector defined in claim 1, wherein the pressure means comprise a spring clip. V
3. The connector defined in claim 2, wherein the spring clip has two rectilinear sections which press against the respective outer surfaces of the two bodies opposite their respective working faces, and an arched section which interconnects the two rectilinear sections.
4. The connector defined in claim 3 wherein the second body has a boss to which the spring clip is fixed.
5. The connector defined inclaim 4, wherein one of the two rectilinear sections of the spring clip has means defining an opening which fits over the boss of the second body, said boss having a flanged head by which the spring clip is secured to the second body.
6. The connector defined in claim 1 wherein the first body has two lateral walls bounding the working face of said body and constituting a lateral guide for the second body.
7. The connector defined in claim 6, wherein the first body further has an end wall which constitutes an abutment engaged by the second body upon assembly of the connector.