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Publication numberUS3921253 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 25, 1975
Filing dateMar 1, 1974
Priority dateMar 1, 1974
Publication numberUS 3921253 A, US 3921253A, US-A-3921253, US3921253 A, US3921253A
InventorsCharles W Nelson
Original AssigneeGen Electric
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Fastening device for hingedly assembling members
US 3921253 A
Abstract
A fastening device is provided for connecting a pair of members in hingedly assembled relationship. Means are provided for securing the device to at least one of the members being joined in hinged relationship, and means are provided for engagement with an aperture in the other of the members such that one member may be disengaged from the other or if desired may be hingedly rotated about the other member. A resilient tongue provides spring loading for tight rattle-free connection between the members.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

ited States Patent [1 1 Nelson Nov. 25, 1975 FASTENING DEVICE FOR HINGEDLY ASSEMBLING MEMBERS [75] Inventor: Charles W. Nelson, Louisville, Ky.

[73] Assignee'. General Electric Company,

Louisville, Ky.

[22] Filed: Mar. 1, 1974 [21] Appl. N0.: 447,150

[52] 11.8. CI, 16/172; 248/300 [51] Int. Cl. E051) 1/06; A47F 5/00 [58] Field of Search 16/128 R, 150, 184, 187, 16/159, 172; 248/27, 300, 316 D, 343; 24/73 A, 73 B, 84 B [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 10/1957 Ericson 248/27 10/1959 So1heim.. 16/159 Adams 16/172 3,332,568 7/1967 Zumwalt 24/73 B 3,371,900 3/1968 Jacobs 248/343 3,653,092 4/1972 Shriner"... 16/128 R FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 245,740 8/1963 Australia 24/84 B Primary Examiner-Patrick D. Lawson [57] ABSTRACT A fastening device is provided for connecting a pair of members in hingedly assembled relationship. Means are provided for securing the device to at least one of the members being joined in hinged relationship, and means are provided for engagement with an aperture in the other of the members such that one member may be disengaged from the other or if desired may be hingedly rotated about the other member. A resilient tongue provides spring loading for tight rattle-free connection between the members.

6 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures US. Patent Nov. 25, 1975 FASTENING DEVICE FOR HINGEDLY ASSEMBLING MEMBERS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention:

The present invention relates to a fastening device for connecting a pair of members in assembled relationship and more particularly, to such a fastening device for connecting a pair of members in a hingedly assembled relationship such that a first of the members may be rotated with respect to the other member about the fastening device.

2. Description of the Prior Art:

Of the many applications wherein it is desirable that one member be secured to another member in a hinged relationship with respect thereto, there is included an application, such as in a domestic clothes dryer, whereby the top portion of the outer cabinet thereof is secured to the bottom or base portion of the cabinet. Often however, there arises the need for raising the top for gaining access to the interior of the cabinet of the dryer wherein the operating components are located. In such an application it is desirable that the top of the dryer be hingedly attached to the base portion since the top is not easily removed therefrom because of electrical wiring. in addition however to being hingedly attached, in case the need for replacement arises, it is necessary that the top be easily removed from its engagement with the base portion and be easily assembled again.

There is need then for a fastening device for securing the top of the dryer cabinet to the base portion with ease of assembly while at the same time allowing secure hinged movement of the top with respect to the base portion and further allowing the disengagement of the top from the base portion when necessary.

While the prior art has disclosed many and varied forms of anchoring and retaining fasteners, they generally do not allow for hinged movement of one element with respect to the other. In US. Pat. No. 2,811,328 Ericson, there is shown a fastener intended to be used in pairs and intended to be placed in positions opposite one another. Such a fastener is not provided with means, however, for allowing hinged movement of members being connected or for securing itself to a mounting or base structure and in fact, this is not necessary since as shown therein, the article to be clamped in place serves to maintain the retainer clips in a secured relation with a mounting or panel member. US. Pat. No. 3,371,900 Jacobs discloses a fastener for'securing a lighting fixture to the T'bar of a grid type ceiling structure. There is however no provision for hinged movement of either element and in fact the elements are held together in secured engagement by the force of gravity. And US. Pat. No. 3,613,177 Davis discloses an anchoring fastener for use in mounting a drop-in appliance within an openingin a counter top but provides for no hinged movement of such an appliance.

There is need therefore for a fastening device for connecting a pair of members in hingedly assembled relationship and wherein the fastening device remains secured to one of the members about which the other member is hingedly movable. Moreover, it is desirable that such a device may be secured without additional securing means such as rivets, screws, etc.

By the present invention, there is provided an improved fastening device for connecting a pair of members, such as the top and base portion of a domestic clothes dryer cabinet, in hingedly assembled relationship. The fastening device of the present invention is provided with means for securing itself to one of the members such as the base of the clothes dryer cabinet and is further provided with means for allowing the removal of the top of the dryer cabinet from assembled engagement with the base portion of the dryer cabinet and further for allowing rotational movement of the top portion with respect to the base portion about the fastening device, while at the same time being of simple and economical construction.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a fastening device for connecting a pair of members in hingedly assembled relationship. Included is a pair of spaced legs interconnected at adjacent ends to define a generally U-shaped section for receiving a portion of a first of the members to be connected. A third leg is interconnected with a first of the spaced legs at a free end thereof to form substantially a right angle therebetween, the third leg including an inwardlyextending section formed on a free end thereof to engage an aperture in a second of the members to be connected for allowing hinged movement of the second member with respect to the first member. A resilient tongue is associated with one of the spaced legs for engagement with the second member to provide a tight connection between the fastening device and the second member. Means are provided associated with one of the spaced legs for engagement with the first member for securing the fastening device to the first member.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved fastening device for connecting a pair of members in hingedly assembled relationship.

It is a further object to provide a fastening device for hingedly securing a pair of members in assembled relationship, the device being provided with means for securing itself to at least one of the members without need for auxiliary fastening means such as screws, rivets or the like.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the accompanying drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the fastening device of the present invention; and

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of a domestic clothes dryer cabinet partly in section and broken away to show an application of the fastening device of the present invention, in the preferred embodiment thereof.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown the preferred embodiment of the fastening device 10 of the present invention. A pair of spaced legs are provided such as first and second spaced legs 12 and 14 interconnected at adjacent ends as at 16 so as to define a generally U- shaped section 18. This arrangement then provides a resilient clip. A third leg 20 is interconnected with first spaced leg 12 as at 22 so as to form substantially a right angle at their juncture. A reversely bent, inwardlyextending section 24 is interconnected with third leg 20 so as to form an acute angle therebetween as at 26. A resilient tongue 28 is provided associated with the first spaced leg 12 and projects outwardly in a direction away from the point of intersection 22 to extend past the point of intersection l6. Securing means are provided such as tab 30 formed from second spaced leg 14 projecting inwardly toward the U-shaped section 18.

First and second spaced legs 12 and 14 may be arranged to converge toward each other at the opening 32 of the generally U-shaped section 18 to allow for reception and tight retention of members of varied thicknesses.

Referring now to FIG. 2, there is shown a portion of a cabinet 40 of a domestic clothes dryer wherein the fastening device of the present invention may be useful. Cabinet 40 is provided with a base portion 42 wherein are positioned the operational components (not shown) of such a clothes dryer and a top portion 44 serving as a cover member for the cabinet 40 and for gaining access to the operational components. It should be here mentioned that normally a control panel is provided secured to the top portion of cabinet 40 and which normally would include a sequence control timer, switch means and wiring for interconnection with the operational components; these are omitted since they have no bearing upon the present invention. Base portion 42 includes a flange 46 which together with top portion 44 of the clothes dryer cabinet serve as a pair of members to be connected in hingedly assembled relationship. The U-shaped section 18 of fastening device is arranged to receive a portion of a first of the members such as flange 46 and an aperture 48 is provided in flange 46 for receiving tab 30 for securing fastening device 10 thereto. Of course, tab 30 may be provided with teeth to bite into flange 46, and in such an arrangement there may be no need for aperture 48.

Top portion 44 of cabinet 40 has been provided with an aperture 50, elongated in shape, for receiving inwardly-extending section 24 of third leg 20. Resilient tongue 28 engages a flange 52 formed as a portion of top portion 44 for providing spring-loading to effect tight connection between fastening device 10 and the top portion 44. In other words, resilient tongue 28 exerts pressure against flange 52 such that inwardlyextending section 24 is forced into tight engagement with the lower portions of the edges of aperture 50. Resilient tongue 28 then has been designed such that the included angle formed between it and the first spaced leg 12 may range between 2 and degrees. This allows for adequate spacing between base portion 42 and top portion 44 of clothes dryer cabinet 40, while at the same time maintaining the assembly rattle-free.

It is anticipated that a pair of fastening devices 10 would be necessary for application in such a domestic clothes dryer. They would normally be spaced at opposite ends along the back juncture of the base portion 42 with top portion 44 and at such a distance that there would be provided stability when it would be desired that top portion 44 should be rotated upwardly about fastening device 10 so as to gain access to the operational components located within the base portion 42. It is expected that the top portion 44 must be raised approximately before it could be disengaged from fastening device 10 and thereby be removed from (or placed in) assembled relationship with base portion 42. It can be readily seen that, as the top portion 44 is rotated about fastening device 10, the fastening device, securely fastened to base 42, would serve as a hinge means, the third leg 20 then projecting into aperture 50 thereby preventing top portion 44 from separating from and falling off the base portion 42 of the clothes dryer cabinet. Fastening device 10 then provides structural support without the need for screws or separate fasteners to hold the device 10 onto the base portion 42 of the clothes dryer.

As the top portion 44 is rotated downwardly toward its normal assembled position, it can be seen then that resilient tongue 28 comes into action again to provide for tight, rattle-free assembly of the cabinet 40.

Fastening device 10 may be fonned of a single piece of sheet metal provided that the metal chosen has adequate resiliency and strength. One material found satisfactory is S.A.E. 1064 Steel, .022 thick.

From the foregoing description and accompanying drawings of the preferred embodiment of the fastening device of the present invention, it can be seen that a pair of members such as the top and base portions of a cabinet of a domestic clothes dryer can readily and easily be secured in a hingedly assembled relationship and without the use of auxiliary fastening means. It can be seen further that such assembly can be accomplished across a wide range of tolerance variations between the members to be hingedly assembled and regardless of thickness variations of the members being hingedly assembled. Although the fastening device and assembly illustrated herein have been in connection with hingedly assembling the top and base portions of a domestic clothes dryer cabinet, it is to be understood that the fastener device and the manner in which it is to be used can also be satisfactorily utilized for mounting other articles or objects in a like fashion such as for example securing the top portion and the base portion of a domestic washing machine in hingedly assembled relationship.

It should be apparent to those skilled in the art that the embodiment described heretofore is considered to be the presently preferred form of this invention. In accordance with the Patent Statutes, changes may be made in the disclosed apparatus and the manner in which it is used without actually departing from the true spirit and scope of this invention.

What is claimed is:

1. In a cabinet having a base member and a top member, a fastening device for hingedly connecting said members to each other, the fastening device comprisa pair of spaced legs interconnected at adjacent ends to define a generally U-shaped section for receiving a portion of said base member;

a third leg interconnected with a first of the spaced legs at a free end thereof to form substantially a right angle therebetween, the third leg including an inwardly-extending hinge section formed on a free end thereof engaged in an aperture in said top member for allowing hinged movement of the top member with respect to the base member;

a resilient tongue associated with one of the spaced legs in engagement with the top member to provide a tight connection between the fastening device and the top member; and

means associated with one of the spaced legs in engagement with the base member securing the fastening device to the base member.

2. The fastening device of claim 1 wherein the spaced legs converge toward each other at the opening of the generally U-shaped section.

6 extend past the point of interconnection of the first and second legs, there being an included angle formed between the tongue and the first resilient leg of between 2 and 20.

6. The fastening device of claim 1 wherein the inwardly-extending section of the third leg is reversely bent to form an acute angle with the third leg.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2811328 *Aug 17, 1954Oct 29, 1957Illinois Tool WorksElectrical connector mounting assembly
US2909803 *Apr 17, 1956Oct 27, 1959Gen ElectricSnap-on hinge for a container cover
US3204288 *Aug 23, 1962Sep 7, 1965Bishop & Babcock CorpSheet metal hinge clip
US3332568 *Apr 1, 1965Jul 25, 1967Admiral CorpLiner assembly clip
US3371900 *Feb 14, 1966Mar 5, 1968Prudential Lighting CorpUnitary double-detent connector for lighting fixtures
US3653092 *Jul 27, 1970Apr 4, 1972Corning Glass WorksHinge clip assembly
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4079498 *Mar 7, 1977Mar 21, 1978General Electric CompanyMethod for hingedly assembling members
US4228630 *Mar 6, 1978Oct 21, 1980Englert Metals Corp.Window frame construction
US4307976 *May 19, 1980Dec 29, 1981Gutter World, Inc.Locking gutter screen hinge
US4477047 *Sep 22, 1982Oct 16, 1984Allied CorporationMounting mechanism for flanged electrical modules and the like
US4694533 *Sep 15, 1986Sep 22, 1987AlsthomHinge and sectional panels on a frame enabling assembly and disassembly thereof
US4790505 *Mar 28, 1988Dec 13, 1988Rose Steven AElectrical box support bracket
US5193308 *Jul 22, 1992Mar 16, 1993The Stanley WorksSnap-in hinge for doors with hollow metal frames
US5408796 *Mar 28, 1994Apr 25, 1995Hashimoto; Daniel T.Wall structure and retainer
US5484175 *Jan 28, 1994Jan 16, 1996Maytag CorporationCabinet lock and method for using same
US6189847 *Jan 25, 1999Feb 20, 2001John HartApparatus for attaching a wide range of article supporting fixtures to a variety of support surfaces
US6189848 *Jul 13, 1999Feb 20, 2001Lucent Technologies, Inc.Fastener with integral spring clip
US6941716 *Oct 2, 2002Sep 13, 2005Hni Technologies Inc.Universal wall panel tile connector
US7065836 *Apr 23, 2002Jun 27, 2006Dorma Gmbh + Co. KgFitting
US7607198 *Sep 27, 2005Oct 27, 2009Toyo Roki Seizo Kabushiki KaishaHinge mechanism for air cleaner
Classifications
U.S. Classification16/257, 248/300
International ClassificationE05D1/02, E05F1/12, F16B2/24
Cooperative ClassificationF16B2/241, E05Y2900/20, E05D1/02, E05F1/1284
European ClassificationE05D1/02, E05F1/12E, F16B2/24B