US 3927841 A
An electrical connector, particularly for use with aluminum wire, has a body formed of aluminum including a contact portion plated with nickel overlaid with a plating of gold and an epoxy coating which seals from the atmosphere all junctures between dissimilar metals.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 lacobucci 1 1 CONTACT  Inventor: Cesidio R. Iacobucci, LaCrescenta,
 Assignee: Flight Connector Corporation,
22 Filed: May9, 1974 211 Appl. No.: 468,467
 US. Cl 339/278 C  Int. Cl. "01R 3/02  Field of Search .1 339/278 C  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,904,241 4/1933 Kammerer 339/278 C UX 2,858,520 10/1958 Chance, Jr. 339/278 C X Dec. 23, 1975 2,868,863 l/l959 Cook 339/278 C X 2,988,665 6/1961 Duran 339/278 C X 3,175,181 3/1965 Grabbe 339/278 C 3,784,729 l/l974 Davis et al. 339/278 C Primary Examiner.loseph l-l. McGlynn Assistant Examiner-Howard N. Goldberg Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Harness, Dickey & Pierce [5 7] ABSTRACT An electrical connector, particularly for use with aluminum wire, has a body formed of aluminum including a contact portion plated with nickel overlaid with a plating of gold and an epoxy coating which seals from the atmosphere all junctures between dissimilar metals.
6 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures US. Patent Dec. 23, 1975 3,927,841
CONTACT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Terminal connectors for electrical conductors made of aluminum have heretofore commonly been made of copper, to which the aluminum wire is secured by welding. Difficulty has developed because of the fact that electrolytic action causes corrosion at the juncture of the dissimilar metals whenever anything which can act as an electrolyte is present. Differential expansion of the copper and aluminum under temperature changes has also resulted in failures.
The overall object of the present invention is to provide an improved terminal connector which is less subject to failures of the character indicated, and which is economical to produce, easy to apply, compact and efficient.
Other objects and advantages will become apparent upon consideration of the present disclosure in its entirety.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES OF DRAWING FIG. 1 is a side elevational view on an enlarged scale, partly broken away, of a terminal connector constructed in accordance with the present invention; and
FIG. 2 is a partly diagrammatic view on a still larger scale of the portion contained within the circle II in FIG. 1.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED FORM OF THE INVENTION Reference character designates generally the body of a terminal connector intended for use with aluminum wire. The body is formed of aluminum, having a socket 12 opening at its rear end and in which the end of an aluminum conductor (not shown) may be secured as by welding or other conventional means. Inasmuch as the terminal and the conductor are formed of like metals, differential expansion and electrolytic corrosion do not create a problem in this area.
At its other end the body has an integral contact portion shown as a prong 15. A larger intermediate gripping portion has a reduced central portion 18. A plating 20 of a hard metal, preferably of nickel, is applied to the forward portion of the terminal, covering the prong 15 and continuing uninterruptedly rearwardly over the body to a position overlying the reduced section I8, the rear end of such plating, which is shown greatly enlarged in FIG. 2, being designated 22. A plating 25 of an inert or noble highly conductive metal, preferably gold, is applied over the plating 20, and extends in similar fashion to a position within the reduced area 18 but terminates, at the position designated 28, forwardly of the rear extremity 22 of the plating 20.
In order to prevent electrolytic action at the juncture of the plating 25 with the plating 20, and at thejuneture of the plating with the aluminum body, a continuous layer 30 of adherent protective impervious inert material such as an epoxy plastic is applied over the reduced area 18, covering and sealed to the rear end portions 22 and 28 of the platings, as well as to the wall of the reduced portion 18 at the rear of the platings. Inasmuch as the platings are uninterrupted in all areas forward of the sealed junctures, the inert top gold layer completes the sealing, so that electrolytic action is prevented.
Although the invention has been described in its preferred form as applied to an aluminum body adapted for use with an aluminum conductor, similar principles could be applied with other metals, by matching the material of the terminal in similar fashion to that of the conductor, and in like fashion sealing the dissimilar plated or coated covering(s) in the contacting areas where such metals join and would otherwise be exposed and accessible to an electrolyte. It will also be understood that specific details of configuration of the contact structure are subject to variation and do not in themselves constitute part of the present invention.
This Detailed Description of Preferred Form of the Invention, and the accompanying drawings, have been furnished in compliance with the statutory requirement to set forth the best mode contemplated by the inventor of carrying out the invention. The prior portions consisting of the Abstract of the Disclosure and the Background of the Invention are furnished without prejudice to comply with administrative requirements of the Patent Office.
What is claimed is:
l. A metallic electrical terminal member having a body including a connection portion adapted to be attached to a conductor which is formed of a metal similar to that of the body, said body having a contact portion integral with and spaced from the connection portion, a continuous uninterrupted metallic plating covering said contact portion and extending therefrom on said body uninterruptedly toward and entirely around the body but terminating at a position spaced from the connection end of the body, and an inert plastic seal bonded to the body and to the plating and completely covering the juncture areas of the plating and body, the body being aluminum and the plating comprising an outer layer of a noble metal.
2. A terminal member as defined in claim 1 wherein the body is aluminum and the plating comprises a layer of a hard metal overlaid by an outer layer of a noble metal and said seal also covers the juncture areas of the two plating layers.
3. A terminal member as defined in claim 2 wherein the hard metal is nickel and the noble metal is gold.
4. A terminal member as defined in claim 3 wherein the plastic seal is an adhesive material bonded both to the plating and to the body.
5. A terminal member as defined in claim 3 wherein the plastic seal is an epoxy adhesive material bonded both to the plating and to the body.
6. A terminal member as defined in claim 1 wherein the plastic seal is an adhesive material bonded both to the plating and to the body.