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Dokumentenidentifikation EP0836251 24.04.2003
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0836251
Titel Elektrischer Verbinder mit Kurzschlussbrücke
Anmelder The Whitaker Corp., Wilmington, Del., US
Erfinder Lalange, Jacques, 95300 Pontoise, FR;
Pamart, Olivier, 95440 Ecouen, FR
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
DE-Aktenzeichen 69719900
Vertragsstaaten DE, ES, FR, GB, IT
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 01.10.1997
EP-Aktenzeichen 971170378
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 15.04.1998
EP date of grant 19.03.2003
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 24.04.2003
IPC-Hauptklasse H01R 31/08
IPC-Nebenklasse H01R 13/629   H01R 13/703   H01R 13/436   

Beschreibung[en]

This invention relates to an electrical connector with a short circuit shunt.

In applications such as automotive airbags or seatbelt pretensioners, it is typical to provide electrical connectors with shunting contacts that short circuit conductors when connectors are uncoupled to prevent accidental ignition. Typically, short circuiting is performed by a separate spring contact comprising two or more resilient cantilever beam contact arms interconnecting adjacent terminals of the connector. These contacts require a separate cavity and retention means in a connector housing, thereby increasing the volume and cost of the assembly. Furthermore, insertion of terminals into their connector cavities is more difficult due to the presence of the shunt contacts that bias against the terminal, whereby a certain spring force is required to ensure reliable operation.

It is also typical to provide electrical connectors for the applications mentioned above, with secondary locking means for securely retaining terminals in the connector housing cavities. The secondary locking means are usually only engageable once the terminals are fully inserted into the cavities and locked with the primary locking means.

Document EP-A-0 678 938 discloses an electrical connector comprising a housing having terminal receiving cavities extending therethrough from a terminal receiving end to a mating end, and terminals comprising a connection section, a contact section for mating with a complementary terminal of a complementary connector, and a secondary locking shoulder, the connector further comprising a primary and a secondary locking member engageable behind the terminal secondary locking shoulder for retaining the terminal in the cavity, the connector further comprising a shunt contact for short circuit bridging two or more of the terminals of the connector.

It is an object of this invention to provide an improved electrical connector with shunting contacts. In particular, a reliable shunted electrical connector is desired. Ease of assembly of the connector would be advantageous.

Objects of this invention have been achieved by providing the connector according to claim 1.

Advantageously, a reliable shunted electrical connector is provided where controlled and effective shunt contact pressure is enabled. Attachment of the shunt contact to the secondary locking member provides a compact embodiment with less parts.

The secondary locking member may advantageously be pivot mounted about a pivot axis to the connector housing. Arrangement of the shunt contact point further from the connector mating end than the pivot axis enables increasing the shunt spring contact pressure upon engagement of the secondary locking member.

Further objects and advantageous aspects of this invention will be apparent from the following description, drawings and claims.

An embodiment of this invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the figures, whereby;

  • Figure 1 is a cross-sectional view through a connector according this invention;
  • Figure 2 is a cross-sectional view through the connector of figure 1 prior to mounting of terminals therein;
  • Figure 3 is an isometric view of a secondary locking and shunting member;
  • Figures 4 and 5 are isometric views of the connector in the pre-assembly and fully locked positioned respectively; and
  • Figure 6 is an isometric view towards the mating face of the connector.

Referring to the figures, particularly figure 1, an electrical connector 2 comprises an insulative housing 4 having terminal receiving cavities 6 extending therethrough from a terminal receiving end 8 to a mating end 10 for receiving terminals 12. The connector 2 further comprises a secondary locking member 14 and a shunt 16. The electrical terminal 12 comprises a connection portion 18 for connection to a conductor such as a conducting wire, a body portion 20, and a contact portion 22 which is in the form of a tab or pin in this embodiment. The housing 4 comprises a shroud 24 defining a mating connector receiving cavity 26 within which the tab 22 is positioned. A latch protrusion 28 is provided in the cavity 26 for engaging a corresponding latching member of the mating connector (not shown) for latching the connectors together.

The terminal 12 is retained in the housing 4 by primary locking means 30 comprising a resilient cantilever beam locking lance 32 integral with the housing and having a locking protrusion 34 engaging in a cutout 36 in the body portion of the terminal. Other conventional primary locking means could be considered such as provision of a resilient lance extending from the contact engaging behind a shoulder of the housing.

The secondary locking member 14 comprises a locking protrusion 38 having a locking shoulder 40 that engages behind a locking shoulder 42 of the terminal 12 for providing a second robust means of retaining the terminal within the cavity. In this embodiment, the secondary locking protrusion 38 extends through a cutout 43 of the terminal from which the shoulder 42 results.

The secondary locking member 14 comprises a roughly planar base wall 45 extending from an engagement end 84 to a mating end 68 in the mating direction (M) positioned along a top wall 54 of the connector housing. The secondary locking member further comprises a pivot support 44 in the form of lateral extensions 46 extending from the base wall in a region proximate the mating end 68 and received in a housing bearing 48 in the form of a circular cutout in the sidewalls 50 of the shroud section 24. An opening 52 of the bearing 48 towards the top wall 54 is provided to enable assembly of the extensions thereinto. The pivot support 44 enables rotation of the secondary locking member 14 about a pivot axis 56 that is positioned, with respect to the mating direction M of the connector, between the mating end 10 and end face 58 within the shroud 24 through which the terminal contact sections 22 project.

The shunt 16 comprises a plurality of stamped and formed electrical contacts comprising an attachment portion 60, spring arms 62, contact protrusions 64 and free ends 66. The resilient contact arms are in the form of cantilever beams extending from the attachment portion to the free end. The attachment portion 60 is securely fixed to a mating end 68 of the secondary locking member, and in this embodiment secure attachment is affected by overmoulding the shunt attachment portion 60 with the insulative plastic of the secondary locking member. The spring arm 62 is reversely folded into the cavity area 26 from the attachment portion 60 through a U-bend 70. The free end 66 is in the form of a plateau to perform the function of an anti-overstress feature. The free end 66 is received within a recess 72 formed in the secondary locking member to enable biasing of the shunt spring arms 62 towards the top wall 54, which occurs during coupling with a complementary connector having an insulative projection that disengages the shunt contact protrusion 64 from the terminal contact portion 22. The shunt free end 66 abuts the base wall 73 of the recess 72 whilst the shunt spring arm 62 is still in the elastic range, thereby preventing plastic deformation thereof.

Secure attachment of the shunt to the secondary locking member enables a particularly compact shunt function to be achieved, and ensures secure and precise positioning of the shunt within the housing. Furthermore, assembly of the shunt to the housing is ensured - the lack of shunt being evident due to the lack of secondary locking member which is easily detected.

The shunt contact protrusion 64 is positioned in the mating direction M further towards the terminal receiving end 8 than the pivot axis 56. Referring particularly to figure 2, the secondary locking member is shown in the preassembly position whereby terminals 12 can be received within the cavities 6, i.e. the secondary locking protrusion 38 does not obstruct the cavity 6. In view of the position of the contact protrusion with respect to the pivot axis 56, the contact protrusion 64 is positioned closer to a central axis 76 along which the tab 22 extends, than in the fully locked position where the shunt would be positioned at 64' further from the axis 76. The fully locked position is defined by the position of the secondary locking member as shown in figure 1. During insertion of the terminal 12 into the cavity 6, the spring force of the contact protrusion 64 against the tab 22 is thereby reduced, the shunt spring contact force being increased by pivoting of the secondary locking member from the preassembly to the fully locked position. A high shunt contact force can thus be achieved.

In the preassembly position as shown in figure 2, mating of the connector with a complementary connector is prevented by the position of the secondary locking member mating end 68 within the cavity area 26, thereby obstructing entry of a mating connector. In the fully locked position as shown in figure 1, the mating end 68 is biased against the shroud top wall 54 removing obstruction into the shroud cavity 26. The secondary locking member is held in the fully locked position by latching members 78,79 that engage complementary latching members 80 of the housing arranged proximate a terminal receiving end 82 of the secondary locking member. The secondary locking member locking protrusion 38 is positioned proximate an engagement end 84 of the secondary locking member disposed proximate the terminal receiving end 8 of the connector. Simple depression on the engagement 84 pivots the secondary locking member to the fully locked position if the terminals are fully inserted. A partially inserted terminal prevents engagement of the secondary locking member by abutment of the protrusion 38 on the body (or contact portion) of the terminal, thereby preventing coupling with a mating connector due to the position of the secondary locking member mating end 68 in the shroud cavity 26.


Anspruch[de]
  1. Elektrischer Verbinder, der aufweist: ein Gehäuse (4) mit Klemmenaufnahmehohlräumen (6), die sich dort hindurch von einem Klemmenaufnahmeende (8) zu einem Eingriffsende (10) erstrecken; und Anschlußklemmen (12), die einen Verbindungsabschnitt (18), einen Kontaktabschnitt (22) für einen Eingriff mit einer komplementären Anschlußklemme eines komplementären Verbinders und einen sekundären Sperrvorsprung (42) aufweisen, wobei der Verbinder außerdem ein primäres (20) und ein sekundäres Sperrelement (14) aufweist, der hinter dem sekundären Sperrvorsprung (42) der Anschlußklemme für das Halten der Anschlußklemme im Hohlraum (6) in Eingriff kommen kann, wobei der Verbinder außerdem einen Nebenschlußkontakt (16) für eine Kurzschlußüberbrückung von zwei oder mehreren Anschlußklemmen des Verbinders aufweist.
  2. Verbinder nach Anspruch 1, bei dem die Halterung (44) eine Drehhalterung ist.
  3. Verbinder nach Anspruch 2, bei dem sich das sekundäre Sperrelement (14) um eine Drehachse (56) der Drehhalterung dreht, die näher an einem Eingriffsende (10) des Verbinders, wo der komplementäre Verbinder aufgenommen wird, als die Kontaktvorsprünge (64) des Nebenschlusses angeordnet ist, die mit den Anschlußklemmen in Eingriff kommen.
  4. Verbinder nach Anspruch 2 oder 3, bei dem die Drehhalterung ineinandergreifende seitliche Verlängerungen (46) aufweist, die in im wesentlichen kreisförmigen Lagern (48) aufgenommen werden.
  5. Verbinder nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, bei dem der Nebenschluß Kragträgerfederarme (62) auweist, die sich zwischen einem Befestigungsabschnitt (60) und Kontaktvorsprüngen (64) für ein Kontaktieren der Anschlußklemmen (12) erstrecken.
  6. Verbinder nach Anspruch 5, bei dem der Befestigungsabschnitt am sekundären Sperrelement in unmittelbarer Nähe eines Eingriffsendes (68) davon gesichert ist.
  7. Verbinder nach Anspruch 5 oder 6, bei dem der Eingriffsendabschnitt des sekundären Sperrelementes innerhalb eines Hohlraumes (26) des Verbindergehäuses (4) positioniert ist, der durch eine Verkleidung (24) definiert wird, die den komplementären Verbinder darin aufnimmt.
  8. Verbinder nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, bei dem der Nebenschluß am sekundären Sperrelement durch Umgießen eines Befestigungsabschnittes (60) des Nebenschlusses befestigt wird.
  9. Verbinder nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, bei dem der Nebenschluß ein Überdehnungsschutzelement (66) für einen Eingriff mit dem sekundären Sperrelement aufweist, um eine übermäßige Verformung dieses zu verhindern.
  10. Verbinder nach Anspruch 9, bei dem sich das Überdehnungsschutzelement an einem freien Ende (66) eines Kontaktfederarmes (62) des Nebenschlusses befindet, wobei das freie Ende (66) in einer Aussparung (72) im sekundären Sperrelement aufgenommen wird, um eine größere Bewegung der Nebenschlußfederarme (62) zu ermöglichen.
Anspruch[en]
  1. An electrical connector comprising a housing (4) having terminal receiving cavities (6) extending therethrough from a terminal receiving end (8) to a mating end (10), and terminals (12) comprising a connection section (18), a contact section (22) for mating with a complementary terminal of a complementary connector, and a secondary locking shoulder (42), the connector further comprising a primary (20) and a secondary (14) locking member, said secondary locking member being supported at a support (44) to the housing (41) and comprising a locking protrusion (38) engageable behind the terminal secondary locking shoulder (42) for retaining the terminal in the cavity (6), the connector further comprising a shunt contact (16) for short circuit bridging two or more of the terminals of the connector, characterized in that the shunt contact is attached to the secondary locking member.
  2. The connector of claim 1 wherein the support (44) is a pivot support.
  3. The connector of claim 2 wherein the secondary locking member (14) pivots about a pivot axis (56) of the pivot support disposed closer to a mating end (10) of the connector where the complementary connector is received, than contact protrusions (64) of the shunt that engage the terminals.
  4. The connector of claim 2 or 3 wherein the pivot support comprises interengaging lateral extensions (46) received in substantially circular bearings (48).
  5. The connector of any one of the preceding claims wherein the shunt comprises cantilever beam spring arms (62) extending between an attachment portion (60) and contact protrusions (64) for contacting the terminals (12).
  6. The connector of claim 5 wherein the attachment portion is secured to the secondary locking member proximate a mating end (68) thereof.
  7. The connector of claim 5 or 6 wherein the mating end portion of the secondary locking member is positioned within a cavity (26) of the connector housing (4) defined by a shroud (24) receiving the complementary connector therein.
  8. The connector of any one of the preceding claims wherein the shunt is attached to the secondary locking member by overmoulding an attachment portion (60) of the shunt.
  9. The connector of any one of the preceding claims wherein the shunt comprises an anti-overstress member (66) for engaging the secondary locking member to prevent over deformation thereof.
  10. The connector of claim 9 wherein the anti-overstress member is at a free end (66) of a contact spring arm (62) of the shunt, the free end (66) being received in a recess (72) in the secondary locking member to enable greater travel of shunt spring arms (62).
Anspruch[fr]
  1. Connecteur électrique comprenant un boîtier (4) comportant des cavités de réception de bornes (6) le traversant, d'une extrémité de réception de bornes (8) vers une extrémité d'accouplement (10), et des bornes (12) comprenant une section de connexion (18), une section de contact (22) destinée à être accouplée avec une borne complémentaire d'un connecteur complémentaire et un épaulement de verrouillage secondaire (42), le connecteur comprenant en outre un élément de verrouillage primaire (20) et un élément de verrouillage secondaire (14), pouvant s'engager derrière l'épaulement de verrouillage secondaire (42) de la borne pour retenir la borne dans la cavité (6), le connecteur comprenant en outre un contact de dérivation pour un pontage à court-circuit de deux ou de plusieurs bornes du connecteur.
  2. Connecteur selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le support (44) est un support pivotant.
  3. Connecteur selon la revendication 2, dans lequel l'élément de verrouillage secondaire (14) pivote autour d'un axe de pivotement (56) du support pivotant, agencé plus près d'une extrémité d'accouplement (10) du connecteur, recevant le connecteur complémentaire, que des saillies de contact (64) de l'élément de dérivation s'engageant dans les bornes.
  4. Connecteur selon les revendications 2 ou 3, dans lequel le support pivotant comprend des extensions latérales à engagement mutuel (46) reçues dans des paliers pratiquement circulaires (48).
  5. Connecteur selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'élément de dérivation comprend des bras élastiques à barre en porte-à-faux (62) s'étendant entre une partie de fixation (60) et des saillies de contact (64) destinées à contacter les bornes (12).
  6. Connecteur selon la revendication 5, dans lequel la partie de fixation est fixée à l'élément de verrouillage secondaire près d'une extrémité d'accouplement correspondante (68).
  7. Connecteur selon les revendications 5 ou 6, dans lequel la partie de l'extrémité d'accouplement de l'élément de verrouillage secondaire est positionnée dans une cavité (26) du boîtier de connecteur (4) définie par une enveloppe (24) recevant le connecteur complémentaire.
  8. Connecteur selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'élément de dérivation et fixé sur l'élément de verrouillage secondaire par surmoulage sur une partie de fixation (60) de l'élément de dérivation.
  9. Connecteur selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'élément de dérivation comprend un élément empêchant une contrainte excessive (66) destiné à s'engager dans l'élément de verrouillage secondaire pour empêcher une déformation excessive de celui-ci.
  10. Connecteur selon la revendication 9, dans lequel l'élément empêchant une contrainte excessive est agencé au niveau d'une extrémité libre (66) d'un bras élastique de contact (62) de l'élément de dérivation, l'extrémité libre (66) étant reçue dans un évidement (72) dans l'élément de verrouillage secondaire pour permettre un déplacement accru des bras élastiques de l'élément dérivation (66).






IPC
A Täglicher Lebensbedarf
B Arbeitsverfahren; Transportieren
C Chemie; Hüttenwesen
D Textilien; Papier
E Bauwesen; Erdbohren; Bergbau
F Maschinenbau; Beleuchtung; Heizung; Waffen; Sprengen
G Physik
H Elektrotechnik

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