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Electrical terminal socket assembly including 90 angled and sealed connectors

Imported: 24 Feb '17 | Published: 06 Jan '04

Weiping Zhao, Robert F. Gutman

USPTO - Utility Patents

Abstract

A terminal socket assembly for electrically connecting a male input blade with an output cable. The socket assembly includes a spring cage exhibiting a three dimensional rectangular and arcuate cross sectional shape having a plurality of angled and torsioned beams. A sleeve exhibits a similar rectangular configuration and receives the configured spring cage in axially inserting and interference fitting fashion and so that the assembled sleeve and spring cage is capable of biasingly receiving and engaging the male blade. Gripping portions are integrally secured to the rectangular sleeve and fixedly engage an extending end of a cable to electrically communicate the cable to the blade. A sealed connector housing encases the terminal socket assembly and extending connector cables and encloses the assembled spring cage and sleeve. Other elements of the housing including a seating terminal position assurance element, seals and retainer elements engageable with opposite open ends of the housing.

Description

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an exploded view of a 90° sealed connector assembly which incorporates a bent terminal sleeve in use with a compressible spring cage and according to a first preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of the bent 90° sleeve as illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an exploded view of a 90° sealed connector assembly and which incorporates a formed terminal sleeve, again in use with a compressible spring cage and according to a second preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is an isometric view of the formed 90° sleeve as illustrated in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is an assembled view of the sealed connector assembly as illustrated in FIG.

3 and which further shows the manner in which the male connector attaches to an exposed end of a terminal position assurance element incorporated into the assembly;

FIG. 6

a is a subassembly view of a sleeve assembly according to a preferred variant for encasing a rectangular shaped spring cage and which further illustrates the features of the interlocking keystone arrangement, forward facing crimping portions, cross wise extending indentations in the spaced apart sleeve faces, and laterally configured locking windows;

FIG. 6

b is an illustration of the sleeve with interlocking keystones in a pre-engaging position and prior to subsequent inserting of the spring cage and compressing operations performed to achieve its eventual shape as again shown in FIG. 6

a, as well as also illustrating the mandrel and compression dies employed in the assembly of the terminal socket;

FIG. 6

c is an illustration of a front view of the sleeve again with interlocking keystones in a pre-engaging position and top and bottom exhibiting a slightly arcuate shape, and prior to subsequent insertion of the spring cage and compressing operations performed to achieve its eventual shape as shown in FIG. 6

a;

FIG. 7 is a side cutaway of the sleeve of FIG. 6

a and illustrating the substantially rectangular shaped and compressible spring cage in inserted and biasingly engaged fashion within the interior of the sleeve, one of two lances also being shown protruded at a transition location along a back edge of the generally sleeve box shape;

FIG. 8 is an illustration of the sleeve, in blank form, and prior to subsequent forming operations performed to shape as shown in FIG. 6

a;

FIG. 9 is an illustration of the rectangular spring cage, in initial blank form, and which exhibits a plurality of angled and spaced apart beams supported between upper and lower carrying strips according to the present invention;

FIG. 10 is an isometric perspective of the formed rectangular spring cage according to the present invention and particularly illustrating both the arcuate cross wise extending configuration of the spaced apart cage faces, as well as the combined angling/torsioning of the individual beams;

FIG. 11 is a top view of the rectangular spring cage illustrated in FIG.

10 and again illustrating the arrangement of the individual and angled/torsioned beams;

FIG. 12 is a further end view of the spring cage also shown in FIGS. 10 and 11;

FIG. 13 is an assembled view of the sealed connector assembly as illustrated in the embodiment of FIG.

1 and which likewise shows the manner in which the male connector attaches to an exposed end of a terminal position assurance element incorporated into the assembly; and

FIG. 14 is a cutaway of the assembled view of FIG.

13 and which illustrates the manner in which the spring cage/sleeve sub-assembly is incorporated into the sealed and 90° bent connector housing assembly.

Claims

1. A terminal socket assembly for interconnecting electrically powered vehicular components with a male input blade and an output cable, said socket assembly comprising:

2. The assembly as described in claim 1, said spring cage blank being constructed of a high tensile copper, said beams further comprising, in front and side profiles, a combined three dimensional and arcuate shape.

3. The assembly as described in claim 2, further comprising first and second individual pluralities of beams associated with first and second spaced apart faces of said configured spring cage, each of said individual plurality of beams extending in a predetermined spaced and opposing direction relative to each other.

4. The assembly as described in claim 1, further comprising first and second carrier strips securing, in spaced apart and parallel extending fashion, to said first and second extending edges of said spring cage blank.

5. The assembly as described in claim 1, further comprising said sleeve exhibiting opposing edges defined by a plurality of meshing keyed portions.

6. The assembly as described in claim 5, said sleeve further comprising top and bottom profiles, and a combined three dimensional and arcuate shape, further comprising a predetermined spacing existing within said meshing keyed portions, an applied compressing force with said keyed portions of said sleeve creating an interference fit with said axially inserted spring cage.

7. The assembly as described in claim 1, further comprising at least one crimping location along a front inserting face of said sleeve, said location being engaged by a tool, subsequent to insertion of said cage into said sleeve, and in order to create additional retaining force of said inserted spring cage.

8. The assembly as described in claim 1, said sleeve further comprising, at a back bottom of said rectangular sleeve, at least one lance extrusion functioning as a forward stop, upon inserting said spring cage, and acting as a supplemental retaining feature to said spring cage.

9. The invention as described in claim 1, said sleeve being originally provided as a blank constructed of a high tensile copper, a pair of first and second carrier strips securing, at individual and spaced apart locations, to said sleeve blank.

10. The assembly as described in claim 1, said sleeve having at least one open and inserting end, said gripping portions extending in substantially 90 degree fashion from said inserting end of said sleeve.

11. The assembly as described in claim 1, further comprising said beams being over-stress protected, said sleeve further comprising a pair of inwardly collapsed projections which are pre-calculated such that selected beams contact said projections after insertion of the male input blade and in order to create additional current flow paths.

12. A method for assembling a terminal socket assembly for interconnecting electrically powered vehicular components with associated input male blade and output cable, said method comprising the steps of:

13. The method as described in claim 12, further comprising the step of at least one lance extrusion at a bottom end location of said sleeve in order to restrain forward movement of said inserted spring cage.

14. The method as described in claim 12, further comprising the step of said spring cage being retained by a supplemental holding force provided by at least one flared portion established at a front face of said sleeve.

15. The method as described in claim 12, further comprising the step of compressively actuating an outer surface of said sleeve between a pair of mandrels, thereby forcing an arcuate configuration of said spring cage to follow an associated arcuate configuration of said sleeve, resulting further in a broadened contact area established between said mating spring cage and sleeve.

16. The method as described in claim 12, further comprising the step of angling each of said each of said beams of said spring cage blank in a first axially extending direction, curving each of said beams in a second direction, and torsioning each of said beams in a third direction.

17. The method as described in claim 16, further comprising the step of arraying first and second individual pluralities of beams along first and second faces of said three dimensionally formed spring cage assembly, each of said first and second pluralities of beams extending in a predetermined spaced and opposing direction relative to each another.

18. The method as described in claim 12, further comprising the step of encasing said terminal socket assembly and associated male blade and cable within an angled and sealed connector housing.

19. The method as described in claim 18, further comprising the step of angling gripping portions of said sleeve relative to a direction of said insertably assembled spring cage.

20. The method as described in claim 19, said step of encasing further comprising a grommet and grommet retainer engageable with a first inserting end of said housing and contacting said cable.

21. The method as described in claim 19, said step of encasing further comprising a terminal position assurance element seating said sleeve and spring cage, said position assurance element and in turn engaging within a second inserting end of said housing in communication with said gripping portions.

22. The method as described in claim 12, further comprising the step of encasing comprising said cable being pushed through said connector housing and passing a 90° corner of said connector housing.

23. The method as described in claim 12, further comprising the step of said cable being crimped to associated grip portion of a terminal subassembly.

24. The method as described in claim 23, further comprising the step of said cable-terminal subassembly being withdrawn to a final position within said housing.

25. A terminal socket assembly for interconnecting electrically powered vehicular components with a male input blade and an output cable, said socket assembly comprising:

26. The assembly as described in claim 25, further comprising a broad contact area being established between said sleeve and spring cage and due to said beams of said spring cage following an arcuate shape of said sleeve after actuation of said inwardly compressing force.

27. The assembly as described in claim 25, further comprising an arcuate configuration of said spring cage and an arcuate configuration of said sleeve capable of withstanding a substantial exterior and inwardly directed compression force without collapsing.

28. The assembly as described in claim 25, further comprising first and second opposing mandrels employed for configuring said spring cage, an inserting end of each mandrel exhibiting an inserting end with an arcuate distance and arcuate radius dimensioned to be slightly smaller in a first direction and slightly bigger in a second direction, respectively, than a corresponding inner configuration of said inserted spring cage formed by said mandrel and in order to further assist in maintaining an arcuate shape of said spring cage after actuation of said inwardly compressing force and to assist in avoiding collapsing of said sleeve and spring cage during assembling.

29. The assembly as described in claim 25, said sleeve further comprising at least one window defined within said rectangular shaped portion, said window receiving a locking finger which is associated with said connector housing.

30. The assembly as described in claim 25, said sleeve further comprising at least one flared portion defined at a front face of said sleeve and acting as a supplemental retaining spring cage after inserting said spring cage into said sleeve.

31. A terminal socket assembly for interconnecting electrically powered vehicular components with a male input blade and an output cable, said socket assembly comprising:

32. The assembly as described in claim 31, further comprising a grommet inserted within said first open and inserting end of said housing, a grommet retainer engageable over said first end, each of said grommet and retainer including a central aperture for permitting passage of the cable therethrough.

33. The assembly as described in claim 31, further comprising a terminal position assurance member having a body and an interiorly communicating passageway, said sleeve seating within an upper open end of said terminal position assurance, said assurance in turn inserting into said second open end of said housing, an open bottom of said position assurance communicating the male blade with said sleeve and interiorly held spring cage.

34. The assembly as described in claim 31, further comprising an interfacial seal and seal retainer engageable over said second inserting end of said housing.

35. The assembly as described in claim 34, said assembled connector housing have a specified shape and configuration and further comprising ultrasonic welding said seal retainer to said second inserting end of said connector housing.

36. The assembly as described in claim 31, said assembled connector housing having a substantially 90 degree shaped configuration.

37. The assembly as described in claim 36, further comprising the cable being pushed through an interior of said 90 degree angled housing, an end of the cable being crimped to said gripping portions of said terminal sleeve, the cable subsequently being withdrawn to draw said sleeve assembly such said gripping portions pass through a corner of said 90 degree path inside said female housing.

38. The assembly as described in claim 37, said gripping portions of terminal sleeve being arranged substantially proximate to said sleeve body such that said gripping portions may easily passes through said corner of 90 degree path inside said female housing.