Patent Issued for Tab-Form Terminal with Reduced Material and Manufacturing CostIllinois Tool Works Inc.NewsRx.com
By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- A patent by the inventors Osvatic, Michael (Glenview, IL); Rodaer, Mark (Glenview, IL), filed on July 15, 2009, was cleared and issued on January 29, 2013, according to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews correspondents.
Patent number 8360812 is assigned to Illinois Tool Works Inc. (Glenview, IL).
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Tab-form terminals provide a generally rectangular planar blade that may be received by a variety of different receptacles (connectors) including quick-connect receptacles. The latter quick-connect receptacles provide a channel, for example, with rolled edges capturing the blade between a channel base and the edges. Tab-form terminals may also be used with other receptacle types including 'low insertion force' receptacles and connector blocks such as Insulation Displacement Contact Rast-5 connectors having different designs. Such tab-form terminals in the United States normally conform to the requirements of Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) described in Standard for Safety for Electrical Quick-Connect Terminals, UL 310 Seventh Edition, Dated May 27, 2003 adopted as American National Standard (ANSI) ANSI/UL 310 hereby incorporated by reference.
"Common receptacles for tab-form terminals compress the blade of the tab-form terminal between resilient elements to provide a contact pressure necessary to reduce the electrical resistance between the receptacle and the blade to prevent overheating of the connection caused by high resistance and to prevent accidental disconnection. These receptacles normally require that the blade of the tab-form terminal have a well-defined thickness (often approximately 0.032 inches) in order to ensure sufficient compressive force between the resilient surfaces while avoiding excess friction.
"Different receptacles may contact different portions of a blade of the tab-form terminal with an expectation that the blade will be substantially planar."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present invention provides a tab-form terminal using substantially less material than a standard tab-form terminal while working with a variety of different receptacles types. In one embodiment, the tab-form terminal of the present invention eliminates a separate manufacturing step needed to attach the tab-form terminal to a conductor by allowing the reduced thickness material of the tab-form terminal itself to continue as a conductor. Further, this material which may be a spring material (e.g. phosphor bronze) which flexibly supports switch contacts without the need to attach a separate material to the tab-form terminal.
"Generally, the tab-form terminal of the present invention employs a single thin strip of metal having a thickness less than half the thickness of the desired terminal blade. The strip is folded lengthwise into two portions forming opposite faces of the terminal blade. The portions are separated by inwardly extending embossments to provide a blade having the desired overall thickness with substantially less material.
"Specifically, the present invention provides a tab-form terminal presenting a generally planar blade for receiving along its length a quick-disconnect receptacle of the type comprising generally having opposed surfaces receiving and inwardly compressing outwardly opposed broad faces of the planar blade when received within the channel to provide an electrical connection thereto. The tab-form terminal is constructed of a single strip of metal having a width adapted to be received within a channel section of the receptacle and having an unfolded length longer than the blade and a thickness less than half a thickness of the blade. The length of the strip is divided by a bend extending across the width to fold the single strip of metal back over itself to form the outwardly opposite first and second broad faces of the blade, the strip of metal including inwardly extending spacing elements separating the broad faces by a separation distance greater than twice the thickness of the strip of metal.
"It is therefore a feature of a least one embodiment of the invention to decrease the amount of material required to produce a tab-form terminal compatible with standard connectors. It is another feature of at least one embodiment of the invention to permit the fabrication of the tab-form terminal from standard strip stock without the need for wasteful or costly sheet cutting operations.
"The bend may divide the single strip into unequal portions so that one opposed side extends beyond the blade as a conductor.
"It is therefore a feature of a least one embodiment of the invention to permit a tab-form connector to be formed out of the same material used to provide an attaching electrical conductor without the need for the electrical conductor to be as thick as a standard tab-form terminal.
"One opposed side may be attached to an electrical contact and the opposed side may be adapted to flex to make and break an electrical circuit.
"It is therefore a feature of a least one embodiment of the invention to permit electrical switch elements to be terminated by tab-form terminals without the need to attach separate terminal materials to the switch components.
"The spacing elements may be embossments extending along the width of the single strip of metal.
"It is therefore a feature of a least one embodiment of the invention to permit construction of all of the elements of the tab-form terminal from a single metal strip.
"The embossments may extend along the width by only a portion of the width.
"It is therefore a feature of a least one embodiment of the invention to provide greater stiffness to the blade of the tab-form terminal by preserving unformed portions around the embossments.
"At least some of the embossments are centered within the width.
"It is therefore a feature of a least one embodiment of the invention to provide a relatively continuous conductive surface on the outer edges of the tab-form terminal such as contact the receptacle.
"The bend diameter may be substantially equal to the thickness of the strip.
"It is therefore a feature of a least one embodiment of the invention to permit the formation of the tab-form terminal from low ductility materials that will not tolerate zero-radius bends.
"The bend may terminate at opposed notches in the strip providing a chamfer at an unsupported end of the blade.
"It is therefore a feature of a least one embodiment of the invention to reduce the necessary bending force while providing a guiding chamfer on the tab.
"At least one embossment maybe positioned to interact with a detent on the receptacle holding the blade in the receptacle.
"It is therefore a feature of a least one embodiment of the invention to permit the same embossments used for spacing to provide a detent against disengagement of the tab-form terminal and the receptacle.
"Other features and advantages of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon review of the following detailed description, claims and drawings in which like numerals are used to designate like features."
URL and more information on this patent, see: Osvatic, Michael; Rodaer, Mark. Tab-Form Terminal with Reduced Material and Manufacturing Cost. U.S. Patent Number 8360812, filed July 15, 2009, and issued January 29, 2013. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=99&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=4910&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=20130129.PD.&OS=ISD/20130129&RS=ISD/20130129
Keywords for this news article include: Illinois Tool Works Inc.
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