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Publication numberUS3871071 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 18, 1975
Filing dateSep 24, 1973
Priority dateSep 24, 1973
Also published asDE2443385A1, DE7430530U
Publication numberUS 3871071 A, US 3871071A, US-A-3871071, US3871071 A, US3871071A
InventorsLuongo Albert Michael
Original AssigneeThomas & Betts Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of forming an electrical connection
US 3871071 A
Abstract
A method of forming an electrical connection comprises selectively radially compressing a ribbed, malleable body member about an enclosed conductor in a two-stage, biaxial crimping operation wherein longitudinally extending rib portions which remain substantially undeformed after the first crimping operation are compacted into the remaining material of the body member after selective rotation of the body member prior to the second crimping operation to substantially eliminate any voids created in the connection by the tendency of the body member to spring back after the initial crimping operation. The biaxial crimp is effected preferably in a selectively shaped die cavity having recesses arranged to freely accommodate the ribbed portion only when the body member is disposed therewithin in a first orientation, but offset therefrom when the body member is selectively rotated preparatory to the second crimping operation.
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United States Patent [191 Luongo 1 Mar. 18, 1975 [75] inventor: Albert Michael Luongo, Edison, N .J

[73] Assignee: Thomas & Betts Corporation,

Elizabeth, NJ.

22 Filed: Sept. 24, 1973 21 Appl. No.: 400,223

[52] US. Cl. 29/628, 29/630 R, 29/630 A [51] Int. Cl. H011 43/00 [58] Field of Search 29/628, 629, 630 A, 630,

29/203 D, 203 H, 203 HM, 203 HC, 203 HT, 203 DT, 203 DTS, 203 R, 517; 72/402, 399;

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,727,895 9/1929 Mraz 29/518 1,793,293 2/1931 Varney et a1. 174/84 C 2,102,325 12/1937 Kylstra 29/517 2,226,849 12/1940 Douglas 29/630 A 2,476,731 7/1949 Hobbs 174/90 2,622,314 12/1952 Bergan.... 29/517 2,983,976 5/1961 Ehmann 3,111,157 11/1963 Henry 29/517 3,381,156 4/1968 Johnson 29/628 3,441,707 4/1969 Warner 29/629 3,551,999 1/1971 Gutmann 29/517 Primary Examiner-C. W. Lanham Assistant Examiner-James R. Duzan Attorney, Agent, or FirmDavid Teschner; Jesse Woldman [57] ABSTRACT A method of forming an electrical connection comprises selectively radially compressing a ribbed, malleable body member about an enclosed conductor in a two-stage, biaxial crimping operation wherein longitudinally extending rib portions which remain substantially undeformed after the first crimping operation are compacted into the remaining material of the body member after selective rotation of the body member prior to the second crimping operation to substantially eliminate any voids created in the connection by the tendency of the body member to spring back after the initial crimping operation. The biaxial crimp is effected preferably in a selectively shaped die cavity having recesses arranged to freely accommodate the ribbed portion only when the body member is disposed therewithin in a first orientation, but offset therefrom when the body member is selectively rotated preparatory to the second crimping operation.

4 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures PATENTEBHAR 1 8 ms sum 10; 3

FIG. 3

FIG. 2

PATENTEDHAR 1 8|975 sum 2 Of 3 FIG. 4

PATENTEU 3 871 071 sum 3 95 .3

METHOD OF FORMING AN ELECTRICAL CONNECTION BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION.

1. Field of the Invention The invention is directed to the field of connectors and principally to a method for forming an improved electrical connection.

2. Description of the Prior Art Conventional prior art electrical connectors are generally assembled to a conductor in a single stage crimping operation in which either a cylindrical or open U- shaped conductor engaging barrel is folded over or compressively deformed radially inward against a conductor received within a conductor receiving cavity provided therein. Due to the nature of the electrically conductive materials employed in such connectors, the connector tends to relax somewhat upon its removal from the crimping dies due to its inherent elasticity, thereby reducing the engaging force of the connector about the conductor and creating, in many instances, voids between the connector inner surface and the enclosed conductor leading to rapid corrosion and deterioration of the connection as moisture and contaminants entering the voids are trapped between the inner surface of the connector and the adjacent exterior surface of the enclosed conductor. Attempts to correct this condition by applying, an increased crimping force to the connector often results in the fracture and at least partial destruction of the connector, due to its inability to withstand the increased pressures required to eliminate such voids. In the conventional signal stage crimping operation, conventional dies, for example, apply a force generally along a single axis rather than uniformly radially inwardly so that different portions of the connector are subjected to different degrees of compression, causing unequal engagement of the conductor within the connector and the creation of the voids heretofore mentioned. In U.S. Pat. No. 3,185,762 issued May 25, 1965 T. B. Shaw there is disclosed a complex arrangement employing four individual die members arranged in opposing pairs to impart a cruciform crimp to the connector in an attempt to provide more uniform radial compression. Although such arrangement is somewhat of an improvement over earlier prior art devices, the problem of connector spring-back is still 'not eliminated since only selective, localized portions of the connector are compacted in the disclosed crimping operation.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention overcomes the limitations and difficulties noted above with respect to prior art devices by providing an electrical connector adapted to be compressively deformed in a two-stage crimping operation to provide a crimped connection which is more reliable, secure and more positive than that obtainable with such prior art devices. The connector comprises a body member formed of malleable metallic material adapted to be crimped intimately about the conductor engaged within a conductor receiving cavity defined by the inner surface of said body member. A pair of ribs in generally opposed relationship extending along the exterior of the body member in a lengthwise direction are disposed in a horizontal plane and are adapted to remain substantially intact during the initial crimping operation after which the connector is selectively rotated within the dies so that such rib portions engage the upper and lower portions of the crimping die whereby upon the second crimping operation the rib portions are compressed into the body member to cause further compression of the body member about the engaged conductor thereby eliminating the voids created in the first crimping operation. The body member may be formed in either a closed or open barrel configuration in any one of a number of commonly employed shapes adaptable for crimping. Portions of the outer surface of the body member may be either generally arcuately formed or compressed of one or more planar surface extending lengthwise of the body member in general conformance with the shape of the dies employed to crimp such body member. Where an open type barrel configuration is used the invention provides a novel means and method for reducing the gap at the seam formed after crimping to further decrease the possibility of voids being created in the completed connection. It is therefore an object of this invention to provide an improved electrical connection.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a method for eliminating the voids created between a conductor and a connector crimped thereto.

It is another object of this invention to provide a malleable metallic connector adapted to be crimped about a conductor in a two stage crimping operation.

It is yet another objectof this invention to provide a method for increasing the intimacy of connection between a conductor and a connector crimped thereto.

It is still a further object of this invention to provide a means and method for overcoming the problems associated with the inherent resiliency of crimpable electrical connectors.

Other objects and features will be pointed out in the following description and claims and illustrated in the accompanying drawings which disclose, by way of example, the principle of the invention and the best mode contemplated for carrying it out.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In thedrawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view, partly in section and partly cut away of an electrical connector for use in a method for forming an electrical connection in accordance with the concepts of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view showing one body member of the device of FIG. 1 disposed in a die prior to the crimping thereof.

FIG. 3 is a front elevational view showing the body member of FIG. 2 after the first crimping operation.

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view, partly in section, showing the connection of FIG. 3 in further detail.

FIG. 5 is a front elevational view showing the connec tion of FIG. 3 rotated in the die prior to initiation of the second crimping operation.

FIG. 6 is a front elevational view showing the connection of FIG. 5 after the second crimping operation.

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary perspective view of a further embodiment of the closed barrel body member shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 8 is a front elevational view, in section, showing the device of FIG. 7 disposed between the jaws of a die prior to crimping.

FIG. 9 is a front elevational view, in section, of the device of FIG. 7 after the first crimping operation.

FIG. is a front elevational view, in section, showing the connection of FIG. 9 rotated in the die prior to initiation of the second crimping operation.

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary perspective view of a further embodiment of an electrical connector constructed in accordance with the concepts of the invention.

Similar elements are given similar reference characters in each of the respective drawings.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS.

Turning now to FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 there is shown an electrical connector 20 for employment in a method for forming an electrical connection constructed in accordance with the concepts of the invention and comprising a generally U-shaped body'member 22 having a pair of spaced side walls 24, 24' attached at their first ends 26, 26' respectively, to a base portion 28 shown as comprising three generally fiat planar surfaces (See FIG. 2) extending lengthwise of the body member 22 forming generally one half of an hexagonal exterior configuration. The second or free ends 30, 30 of the side walls 24, 24 respectively, define the open end of the body member 22. A conductor receiving cavity 32 in which is shown disposed a stranded conductor cable 34 is defined by the inner surface 36 of the body member 22. Extending lengthwise along the exterior of the body member 22 generally adjacent the juncture between the side walls 24, 24' and the base portion 28 of the body member 22 are rib portions 38, 38 arranged in opposing relationship on either side of the body member 22. The side walls 24, 24 taper convergingly from their first ends 26, 26, respectively, to their second or free ends 30, 30, respectively, which construction has been found advantageous for permitting the side walls 24, 24' to be crimped relatively uniformly about the conductors such as 34 to obtain the desired final configuration. Although not illustrated, the side walls 24, 24 may have a uniform transverse cross section or may comprise a selectively variable transverse cross section throughout their length, ac-

cording to the application andthe particular final crimped configuration desired. Similarly, the base portion 28 illustrated in FIG. 2 may be modified, as necessary or desirable to provide, for example, a generally arcuate external configuration as shown at 40 in FIG. 11. Alternatively two, four or more planar surfaces may be formed along the exterior surface of the base portion 28 to provide any one ofa number of desirable external configurations. The body member 22 is formed preferably of malleable metallic material comprising any one of a number of alloys commonly employed in electrical connectors, such alloys comprising, as a constituent part thereof, copper, aluminum, and like conductive materials. It has been found convenient for the embodiments illustrated herein to employ a cast copper material having high electrical conductivity and excellent crimping characteristics, being readily deformable into the desired crimped configuration. As further illustrated in FIG. 1, body member 22 may be attached to a further body member 44, having a generally cylindrical transverse cross section, by a selectively formed connecting portion 46. The connector 20 may thus be employed to join a conductor such as 48 to a conductor such as 34 at any desired point along the length of the latter by providing a tapped connection thereat. It will of course be readily apparent to those skilled in the art that the cylindrical body member 44 may of course be replaced by a body member such as 22 to provide a direct connection, for example, between two mutually perpendicular conductors such as 34 at any point along the length of either conductor. Additionally, although a generally right angle configuration is shown, the two body members 22 and 44, respectively, may be angularly offset from one another in either coplanar or offset planar relationship, or aligned with one another along parallel axes in coincident or offset relationship, thus, for example, providing a means for connecting two conductors lying in a common plane but on different axes. Returning now specifically to FIG. 2 the body member 22 is shown disposed between a pair of upper and lower die members 50, 50' respectively, each having a die cavity 52, 52', respectively describing generally one half of an hexagonal contour to impart such final shape to the body member 22 as the die members 50, 50 are brought together. The body member 22 is seated on the lower die member 50' so that its rib portions 38, 38 extend slightly beyond the die cavity 52' and, prior to crimping, the rib portions serve to locate the body member 22 in the die cavity during the first crimping operation. Each of the die members 50, 50 further comprises a pair of recesses 54, 54 and 56, 56', respectively, adjacent to and outwardly from the die cavities 52, 52' respectively. These recesses are disposed in aligned opposing relationship so that, upon closure of the die members 50, 50', the rib portions 38, 38 of body members 32 are engaged the recesses 54, 54 and 56, 56' as the side walls 24, 24' and the base member 28 of body member 22 are selectively crimped within the die cavities 52, 52, which, as illustrated in FIG. 3, have imparted an hexagonal external configuration to the body member 22. It should be understood, however, that the hexagonal crimp is not essential to the inventive concepts herein disclosed but illustrated herein merely as exemplary of one of a'number of crimped configurations commonly employed in such applications. The rib portions 38, 38' have been deformed slightly between the opposing pairs of recesses 54, 56, and 54', 56', respectively, but only to a minimal extent, although such rib portions may be left substantially intact during the first crimping operation without departing from the spirit of the invention and within the concepts herein disclosed. As further illustrated in FIG. 3, a gap 58 is created upon closure of the side walls 24, 24' due to the natural elasticity of the body member 22 since, upon compression by the die members 50, 50' the resiliency of the material causes it to return slightly to its original uncrimped state so that the free ends 30, 30' of the side walls 24, 24', although urged together in directly abutting relationship during the crimping operation, tend to separate slightly as shown. This gap or separation 58 creates a void in the crimped connection which tends to entrap contaminating materials and cause oxidation of the crimped connection in the area generally adjacent such void. As shown in perspective in FIG. 4, the gap 58 extends generally uniformly along the entire length of the body member 22 generally parallel to the shoulder portions 38, 38. The actual width of the gap 58 will be determined, to some extent, by the degree of force applied by the die members 50, 50', the resiliency of the connector material, and the particular shape of the die cavity surfaces 52, 52. For example, as the size of the die cavities are decreased, in proportion to the size of the body member 22, the compressive force exerted on the body member 22 during crimping will be proportionately increased. However, any excessive force exerted on the body member 22 in a single stage crimping operation may tend to fracture a portion of the body member due to highly localized stresses being produced thereon, therefore limiting the amount of compressive force which may be exerted on the body member 22 during this first stageof crimp. Upon the completion of the first stage of crimp the die members 50, 50' are separated to permit the crimped body member 22 to be selectively rotated into position for the second stage of crimp as shown for example in FIG. 5, where the rib portions 38, 38' are shown rotated through approximately 60 about the longitudinal axis of the body member. The body member 22 is effectively prevented from rotating back to its original position by the interengagement between the rib portion 38, 38' and the interior surface of the die members 50, 50'. The body member 22 is now in position for the second crimping operation whereby the die member 50, 50' are brought together again about the rotated body member 22 to complete the second crimping operation. Had the rib portions 38, 38' not been present during the second crimping operation the die members 50,

. 50 would encounter little resistance from the preformed body member 22 since the shape thereof now conforms essentially to the interior surface of each of the die members 50, 50'. However, due to the presence of the rib portions 38, 38, the inner surfaces or edges of the die members 50, 50' adjacent thereto will impart a compressive force thereto compressing each of the rib portions 38, 38 into the body member 22 causing further compression thereof with a subsequent closing of the gap 58, as illustrated in FIG. 6. In effect, selective portions of the body member 22 have been locally subjected to a further compressive force as a result of rib portions 38,38 being driven thereinto while the remainder of the body member 22 has been left essentially undisturbed. These forces interact on the area of the body member 22 generally adjacent the gap 58 to cause a further closure thereof and take up the remaining elasticity of the bodymember 22 so that the gap 58 is reduced to an extremely thin closed seam in which the side walls defining the gap 58 have been urged into intimate contact with one another thereby eliminating the void 58 which was present after the first crimping operation. It will of course be understood that the amount of compression caused by the compacting of the rib portions 38, 38' into the body member 22 will depend in great measure upon the size of the rib portions and the amount of force exerted by the die members 50, 50. That is, the smaller the rib portion 38, 38, the less will be the force exerted on the remainder of the body member 22 during the second crimping operation and, conversely, the larger the rib portions 38, 38, the greater will be the compressive force to which the body member 22 will be subjected during the second crimping operation. It should also be appreciated that a similar operation may be performed on a seamless body member such as 44 illustrated in FIG. 1 to effect more intimate contact between the connector inner surface and the conductor, as described below.

Referring now to FIGS. 7, 8, 9 and 10, the body member 44 illustrated in FIG. 1 may have attached thereto or integral therewith a pair of rib portions 60, 60 shown in FIG. 7 as extending longitudinally along opposing sides of a cylindrically formed body member 62. The rib portions 60, 60' are essentially duplicative of the elements 38, 38 described hereinabove with respect to the body member 22. In the first crimping operation the body member 62 is disposed between die members such as 50, 50' so that the bottom portion of the body member 62 is seated within the die cavity of the lower die member 50 generally as shown in FIG. 8. The rib portions 60, 60 extend outwardly beyond the die cavity to prevent rotation of the body member 62 and, according to the particular size of the body member, may provide a partial support therefore within the cavity of the lower die member 50. The die members 50, 50 are now brought together so that the body member 62 is compressed into the configuration shown in FIG. 9, the external surface of the body member 62 being formed into an essentially hexagonal transverse cross section while the rib portions 60, 60' are left substantially intact in a manner similar to that shown with respect to elements 38, 38' of the body member 22 illustrated in FIG. 1. The die members 50, 50' are then separated to permit the body members 52 to be rotated therein essentially as shown in FIG. 10 so that the rib portions 60, 60 are resting against the upper and lower die cavities preparatory to the closure of the die members 50, 50' for the second crimping operation. The die members 50, 50 are then closed and the rib portions 60, 60 compressed into the remaining material of the body portion 62, essentially as described heretofore, to provide greater compaction of the body member 62 about the conductors enclosed therewithin. Thus, although the body member 62 has no seam or gap such as 58 illustrated above with re- I cepts of the invention. The body member 64 comprises two pair of side walls 66, 66 and 68, 68', each pair being essentially duplicative of the side walls 24, 24 described above with respect to the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 6. This bifurcated arrangement permits each of the pair of side walls 66, 66' and 68, 68 to be crimped independently of the other pair, if necessary or desirable, where for example, it is desired to provide a splice-type connection so that one conductor (not shown) may be inserted from the left side of FIG. 11 into that portion of the body member 64 flanked by the side walls 66, 66' while another conductor is inserted from the right side of FIG. 11 within the side walls 68, 68' of the body body member 64, and the side walls crimped thereover in a manner similar to that described heretofore. The base portion 40 of the body member 64, although shown as having an essentially arcuate outer surface, may of course be suitably configured in almost any convenient shape commensurate with the shape of the dies employed therewith and the final contour desired. Each of the two pair of rib portions 70, 70' and 72, 72' are each essentially duplicative of elements 38, 38 and 60, 60 described heretofore, and are separated from one another by a gap 74, 74', respectively. Thus, as each section of the body member is crimped about a selective portion of a conductor, in a two-stage crimping operation, the respective rib portions are compacted into the remaining material of the body member, as heretofore described, to provide a spliced joint of superior electrical and mechanical characteristics. It should be noted that the rib portion also provide a convenient and novel means for determining whether or not the second crimping operation has been performed since the appearance or existance of such portions will indicate that the connector has been subjected only to a single crimping operation or, if it has been subjected to a multiple crimping operation, has not been rotated in the die sufficiently to cause such rib portions to be compressed into the remaining material of the body member. It has been found that the body member may be rotated from its initial position, after the first crimping operation, in the order of from 45 to 90, depending upon the particular die cavity configuration, preparatory to closure of the dies for the second crimping operation, to effect the desired compacting of the rib portions into the remaining body member material.

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. A method of forming an electrical connection comprising the steps of: providing a connector having a conductor engaging body member formed of malleable metallic material and having an inner surface, an outer surface, a conductor receiving cavity defined by said inner surface and extending longitudinally through said body member, and a pair of symmetrically formed rib portions lying in a common plane and extending lengthwise on opposite sides of said body member along said outer surface there- .of; placing a selective length of a conductor within said conductor receiving cavity; providing a die set reciprocatingly operable along axis and having complementary die cavities selectively shaped to impart a predetermined external contour to said body member and mating recessed portions disposed outside of the perimeter of said die cavities and selectively sized to provide clearance about said rib portions; orienting said body member in a first position within said die set so that said rib portions are disposed in a plane generally normal to the operating axis of said die set and are aligned generally coincident with said recesses; then operating said die set to radially compress said body member about said conductor along a given axis oriented generally normal to the plane of said rib portions while providing a clearance about said rib portions; then selectively angularly rotating said body member about its longitudinal axis to a second position within said die set so that said rib portions are out of coincidence with said die set recessed portions and engagable by said die cavities; and then operating said die set to further compress said body member about said conductor and compact said rib portions into the remaining material of said body member.

2. A method of forming an electrical connection comprising the steps of: providing a connector having a generally U-shaped conductor engaging body member formed of malleable metallic material, said body member having a pair of symmetrically formed rib portions lying in a common plane and extending lengthwise on opposite sides of said body member along the exterior thereof generally adjacent the bight of said U- shape; placing a selective length of a conductor within the interior of said U-shaped; providing a die set reciprocatingly operable along a single axis and having complementary die cavities selectively shaped to impart a predetermined external contour to said body member and mating recessed portions disposed outside of the perimeter of said die cavities and selectively sized to provide clearance about said rib portions; orienting said body member in a first position within said die set so that said rib portions are disposed in a plane generally normal to the operating axis of said die set and are aligned generally coincident with said recesses; then operating said die set to radially compress said body member about said conductor along a given axis oriented generally normal to the plane of said rib portions while providing a clearance about said rib portions; then selectively angularly rotating said body member about its longitudinal axis to a second position within said die set so that said rib portions are out of coincidence with said die set recessed portions and engagable by said die cavities; then and operating said die set to further compress said body member about said conductor and compact said rib portions into the remaining material of said body member.

3. A method of forming an electrical connection as defined in claim 2 wherein said body member is rotated through an angle of at least 45 from said first position to said second position within said die set prior to the second operation of said die set to compact said rib portions into the remaining material of said body member.

4. A method of forming an electrical connection as defined in claim 2 wherein said body member is rotated through an angle of between forty-five and ninety degrees from said first position to said second position within said die set prior to the second operation of said die set to compact said rib portions into the remaining material of said body member.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No; 3,871,071 Dated March '18, 1975' Inventor(s) Albert Michael Luonqo It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 7, line 33, after along insert a single Signed and sealed this 20th day of May 1975.

(SEAL) Attest:

C. MARSHALL DANN RUTH C. MASON Commissioner of Patents Attesting Officer and Trademarks FORM PO-1OSO (10-69) USCOMM-DC 60376-P69 U. 5, GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1989 O3E6-334

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5692294 *Nov 30, 1995Dec 2, 1997The Whitaker CorporationTools for crimping an electrical contact onto a conductor
US6330739 *Apr 19, 1999Dec 18, 2001Denso CorporationCaulking method
US6395159 *Aug 28, 1998May 28, 2002Ngk Spark Plug Co., Ltd.Oxygen sensor
US6568075 *Jun 14, 2000May 27, 2003Yazaki CorporationElectrical terminal fastening method
CN102386491A *Sep 20, 2011Mar 21, 2012昆山攀峰电子有限公司Crimping electrode terminal
CN102386491BSep 20, 2011May 28, 2014昆山攀峰电子有限公司Crimping electrode terminal
WO1997020363A1 *Nov 15, 1996Jun 5, 1997Whitaker CorpTools for crimping an electrical contact onto a conductor
WO2006034839A1 *Sep 27, 2005Apr 6, 2006Hirschmann Car Comm GmbhPlug or coupler with an inner conductor element produced according to a stamping and bending method
Classifications
U.S. Classification29/863
International ClassificationH01R4/10, H01R43/058, H01R43/04, H01R4/18, H01R43/048
Cooperative ClassificationH01R4/184, H01R43/058
European ClassificationH01R4/18H2, H01R43/058