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Патент USA US2125049

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Patented July 26, 1938
2,125,049
UNETED STATES PATENT OFFICE
2,125,049
ELECTRIC SWITCH
James M. Hendrickson, McKeesport. Pa.
Original application November 11., 1933, Serial
No. 697,600. Patent No. 2,095,251, dated Octo
ber 12, 1937. Divided and this application
October 11, 1937, Serial No. 168,388
9 Claims. (Cl. 200—33)
This application is a division of application electrical circuit. The caps may also be provided
Serial Number 697,600, ?led November 11, 1933,
for which Letters Patent No. 2,095,251 were issued
on October 12, 1937, for Aircraft ?ight control,
5 and relates generally to make and break switches
for electrical circuits and more particularly to
switches of the liquid contact type.
The principal object of this invention is the
provision of a new and improved ?uid control
10 SWil/Ch.
Another object is the provision of a ?uid con
tact type switch arranged to control an electrical
circuit in response to the effect of one or the
With suitable base portions for mounting the tube
on the upper platform indicated at I3.
One end of the platform i3 is secured by the
hinge M to the intermediate platform I 5 adja- 5
cent one end of the latter. The other end of plat
form [5 is hinged, as at It, to one end of the
base platform IT. The platforms l5 and I ‘I are
disposed beneath the top platform I 3 to provide
a compact and convenient assembly. The base 10
platform may be supported on a body which may
tilt or otherwise change its aXis with respect to
the horizontal, thereby effecting the ?ow of the
combination of a plurality of conditions effecting
15 the operation of the switch.
Another object is the provision of new and im
proved ba?ling for controlling the movement of
the liquid within the switch.
A further object is the use of a nonconducting
20 liquid in conjunction with a conducting liquid
within the switch to quench the arcs created by
the making and breaking of the electrical cir
cuits and to prevent oxidation of the conducting
fluid within the switch regardless of the positions
of the top and intermediate platforms.
15
The hinge connections [4 and it‘ between the
platforms may be biased by a spring tending to
collapse the platforms so that one rests upon the
other as illustrated in Fig. 1.
The tube it is partially ?lled with a conducting 20
liquid, such as mercury, as indicated at l8.
To retard arcing between the mercury and the
contacts in the switch, through which the elec
trical circuits are energized, and to prevent oxida
25
tion within the tube which may occur even though 25
liquid.
Other objects and advantages appear in the
following description.
the tube has been partially exhausted it is prefer
In the accompanying drawing wherein a prac
30
tical embodiment of the principles of this inven
conducting liquid such as brombenzene as illus
tion are illustrated:
trated at l9, Which being of lighter speci?c gravity
Fig. 1 is a side elevation of the switch compris
ing this invention.
Fig. 2 is a view similar to Fig. 1 illustrating the
combined effect of two conditions collectively
affecting the operation of the switch.
35
Fig. 3 is an enlarged vertical section taken lon
gitudinally through the liquid containing portion
of the switch illustrating the arrangement of the
baffle members and the liquid contacting members
for connecting the electrical circuits to the switch.
40
Fig. It is a plan View of the longitudinal ba?le
member shown in Fig. 3.
Figs. 5. 6 and 7 are cross sectional views taken
along the lines 5, 5; 6, 6; and 7,1 of Fig. 4 illus
trating the vertical ba?‘le members.
45
able to fill the remainder of the tube with a non
Fig. 8 is an enlarged sectional view showing the
mounting of one of the liquid contact members in
the switch.
Referring to Figs. 1 and 2 of the drawing, l0
represents a tube of nonelectrical conducting ma
50 terial, such
Bakelite, glass or other similar
material. The ends of the tube are closed by
the caps H and i2.
These caps provide a dual
purpose. They may be made of metal enabling
them to be used as terminals for contacting the
55 conducting liquid and thereby form a part of the
will at all times float on top of the mercury.
30
The metallic caps H and 12 seal the ends of
the tube, thereby maintaining the liquids therein.
One or both of these caps may be provided with
a binding post 251 for receiving the electrical con
ductors 2! for completing the electrical circuits 35
through the switch.
A plurality of contact members 22 are mounted
in spaced relation along the top of the tube on
each side of the center thereof and arranged to
extend through the wall of the tube and the in- 40
sulating liquid, contacting the mercury when the
tube is tilted at the proper inclination. These
vcontact members are illustrated in detail in Fig.
8 wherein 23 represents a tubular shield of non
conductive material which is secured to the top 45
Wall of the tube by a threaded engagement and
depends therein. The tubular shield is open at
its lower end and the depending portion is pro
vided with perforations to admit liquid to the
contact members without splashing. An intern- 50
ally threaded bushing 24 is secured within the
upper end of the tubular shield and is arranged
to receive the threaded contact member 22
which may be adjusted to any desired position by
turning the same. A packing 25 which is ar- 55
2
2,125,049
ranged to be compressed by the gland member
temperature differentials between the interior
.26 is provided for sealing the threaded contact
member in the bushing. The outer end of the
contact member is provided with a binding post
2'! for attaching an electrical conductor thereto.
the operation of industrial furnaces wherein the
control circuits must be actuated from the con
28 represents a hollow chamber mounted on
the center of the tube and provided with a port
29 connecting the chamber with the interior of
the tube. This chamber acts as a pressure cham
10 ber to allow for the expansion and contraction
of the liquids under variations in temperature.
This chamber also aids the ?ow of the liquids
from one end of the tube to the other when it
is tilted.
The metallic ba?le members in the tube, which
15
are illustrated in Figs. 3 to 7 inclusive, are con
nected to one another and at all times in con
tact with the mercury. They also provide a low
resistance path for the ?ow of electric current.
20 The longitudinal baffle member 30 is made of good
electrical conducting material and is chemically
inert with the liquids employed in the tube. This
baffle member is preferably made of a flat strip
the width of which is substantially that of the
25 inside diameter of the tube ID and extends prac
tically the full length thereof. One end of this
strip is secured to the cap 12 as shown at 35.
The vertically disposed baiile members 32 are
formed to ?t the container of the inside wall of
30 the tube and are secured to the strip 30 in spaced
intervals separating adjacent contact members
23.
Thus each contact member is enclosed in a
separate compartment formed by the wall of the
3,5
40
45
50
55
60
tube and the bailie members.
The bafiles and the strip forming each com
partment are perforated to permit the fluid to
travel therethrough when the tube is tilted. The
perforations or ori?ces become progressively
larger
the Walls of the ba?ie members form
ing the compartments toward the center of the
tube, thereby permitting unrestricted ?ow of the
liquid at the center of the tube but retarding the
flow adjacent the ends of the tube. This gradu
ated arrangement of the ori?ces prevents surging
or splashing of the liquid which may result in the
momentary completion of a circuit not intended
to be energized when the tube is suddenly tilted.
The centrally disposed ports 33 in the vertical
baffle members 32 are covered by the flap valves
3d arranged to open toward the center of the
tube and permit the liquid to freely flow in that
direction but retard the flow towards the ends
of the tube. Each of these valves have a small
ori?ce therethrough to aid in the flow of the
liquid and the operation of the valve. This ar
rangement prevents the mercury from collecting
momentarily at one end of the tube if it has been
tilted quickly and thereby avoids improper op
eration of the circuits controlled. Thus slight
bumps or disturbances Will not result in incorrect
operations.
The top platform !3 and the intermediate plat
form l5 may be tilted by any suitable servomotor
means, such as the solenoids 35 disclosed on the
65 drawing which are provided with cores 36 ar
ranged to be moved at different positions within
the solenoids, in response to the occurrence of
different conditions to which the switch is em
ployed, for operating 7 the movable platform
70 through the link connections 35.
This switch has many applications aside from
that of aircraft ?ight control.
It may be em
ployed to energize control circuits in conditioned
air installations where it is desirable to operate
75 such control circuits under different humidity or
and exterior of a building or in conjunction with
ditions created by a plurality of pressures or
temperatures. In such installations the servo
motors may be thermostatic 0r pneumatic, as
the installation requires.
The non-conducting liquid together with the
mercury should ?ll the tube ll}. Upon tilting the
tube both of these liquids seek new positions
therein producing different surface levels per
mitting the mercury to energize different circuits
through the contact members in accordance with
the degree of tilting. During the shifting of the 15
liquids the one of lighter speci?c gravity must
be displaced by the mercury. This action re
tards the flow of the mercury and prevents
splashing thereof against the contact members.
The flow of the liquids is further retarded by 20
reason of the restricted ori?ces in the baffle mem
bers, thereby providing a time delay in the opera
tion of the circuits.
Assuming that the tube It is tilted as indicated
in Fig. 2 and the mercury is in contact with two 25
of the electrodes 22 adjacent the right end of the
tube, the electrical circuits connected to these
electrodes would then be ‘closed, whereas the
electrical circuits connected to the electrodes on
the other or left end of the tube would be open. 30
If the solenoid 35 was suddenly deenergized the
left end will drop and the tube would then as
sume the inclination of the platform I?) pro
ducing a tilt of the tube in the opposite direction
of substantially the same degree as that shown.
In readjusting its surface level the mercury will
flow to the left but stay in the lower part of the
tube. The majority of the mercury being in the
right end of the tube before it tilts, creates a
force
it ?ows to the center of the tube because 40
it increases in speed OWing to the momentum
gained in flowing and by reason of the fact that
the orifices in the ba?ie members become larger
toward the center of the tube and the ?ap valves
3d open in that direction. This action creates a 45
low pressure in the right end or high part of the
tube and higher pressure in the left end of the
tube which aids the flow of the nonconducting
liquid in the opposite direction along the upper
part of the tube. As the mercury continues to 50
flow from the center of the tube toward the left
end the ori?ces become smaller and the valves
3!! are closed against the movement thereof. The
movement of the mercury is thus retarded, which
prevents it from splashing against the electrodes
or being carried beyond the level it ?nally as
sumes, which would create premature or false
closing of the electrical circuit. Thus the baiiiing
arrangement together with the graduated ori?ces
and the nonconducting liquid produces a smooth
adjustment of the surface of the mercury when
the tube is tilted from one position to another.
I
claim:—
'
V
‘
1. In an electric switch, the combination of
a tube of nonconductive material and arranged 65
to contain a liquid having current—carrying
properties, an electrode arranged to be connected
to one part of a circuit and exposed interiorly
of the tube, the liquid being out of contact with
the electrode while the tube is substantially hor 70
izontal, but making contact therewith when the
tube is given the necessary inclination, a second
electrode comprising a metallic conductor eX
tending longitudinally of the tube and in contact
with the liquid; said conductor being arranged 75
3
2,125,049
to be connected to another part of the circuit,
and ports spaced along the conductor for the
longitudinally of the tube and in contact with the
liquid; said conductor being arranged to be con
travel of liquid therethrough, said ports dimin
nected to another part of the circuit, vertical
ba?les spaced along the conductor to retard the
longitudinal flow of liquid when the tube is tilted, Cl
parts in said baiiies, and valvular means per1nit~
ting the ?ow of liquid through said ports in one
direction while restricting the flow in the other
direction.
ishing in capacity toward the ends of the tube.
2. In an electric switch, the combination of
a tube of nonconductive material and arranged
to contain a liquid having current-carrying
properties, an electrode arranged to be connected
to one part of a circuit and exposed exteriorly
10 of the tube, the liquid being out of contact with
the electrode while the tube is substantially hori
zontal, but making contact therewith when the
tube is given the necessary inclination, a second
electrode comprising a metallic conductor ex
15 tending longitudinally of the tube and in con
tact with the liquid; said conductor being ar
ranged to be connected to another part of the
circuit, said conductor being provided with ports
spaced along the same, and vertical ba?ies spaced
20 along the conductor to retard the longitudinal
flow of the liquid when the tube is tilted, said
baflies having perimetral surfaces ?lling the in
ner wall of the tube.
3. In an electric switch, the combination of a
25 tube of nonconductive material and arranged to
contain a liquid having current-carrying proper
ties, an electrode arranged to be connected to
one part of a circuit and exposed interiorly of
the tube, the liquid being out of contact with the
30 electrode while the tube is substantially horizon
tal, but making contact therewith when the tube
is given the necessary inclination, a second elec
trode comprising a metallic conductor extend~
ing longitudinally of the tube and in contact with
35 the liquid; said conductor being arranged to be
connected to another part of the circuit, said
conductor being provided with ports spaced along
the same, and vertical baii‘les spaced along the
conductor to retard the longitudinal flow of the
40 liquid when the tube is tilted, said baffles being
provided with ports for the travel of liquid there
through.
1i. In an electric switch, the combination of a
tube of nonconductive material and arranged to
contain a liquid having current-carrying proper
ties, an electrode arranged to be connected to
one part of a circuit and exposed interiorly of
the tube, the liquid being out of contact with the
electrode while the tube is substantially horizon
50
tal, but making contact therewith when the tube
is given the necessary inclination, a second elec
trode comprising a metallic conductor extending
longitudinally of the tube and in contact with
the liquid; said conductor being arranged to be
55 connected to another part of the circuit, vertical
baiiies spaced along the conductor to retard the
longitudinal ?ow of the liquid when the tube is
tilted, ports in said ba?les through which the
liquid may travel, and means whereby the travel
60 of the liquid in one direction through said ports
is restricted.
5. In an electric switch, the combination of a
tube of nonconductive material and arranged to
contain a liquid having current-carrying proper
65 ties, an electrode arranged to be connected to one
part of a circuit and exposed interiorly of the
tube, the liquid being out of contact with the
electrode while the tube is substantially horizon
tal, but making contact therewith when the tube
70 is given the necessary inclination, a second elec
trode comprising a metallic conductor extending
6. In an electric switch, the the combination 10
of a tube of nonconductive material and arranged
to contain a liquid having current-carrying prop
erties, an electrode arranged to be connected to
one part of a circuit and exposed interiorly of the
tube, the liquid being out of contact with the
electrode while the tube is substantially horizon~
tal, but making contact therewith when the tube
is given the necessary inclination, a second elec
trode comprising a metallic conductor ext-ending
longitudinally of the tube and in contact with
the liquid; said conductor being arranged to be
connected to another part of the circuit, vertical
ba?ies spaced along the conductor to retard the
longitudial flow of liquid when the tube is tilted.
ports in said bailies, said ports diminishing in ca— 25
pacity toward the ends of the tube, and valvular
means for restricting the capacity of said ports
for the flow of the liquid toward the ends of the
tube while permitting unrestricted ?ow toward
the center of the tube when the tube is tilted.
7. In an electric switch, the combination of a
tube of nonconductive material and arranged to
contain a liquid having current~carrying prop
erties, a plurality of electrodes arranged to be
connected to different circuits and exposed in
spaced relation within the tube, the liquid being
out of contact with certain of the electrodes
when the tube is substantially horizontal but
coming necessarily into electrical contact with
the electrodes when the tube is given the proper
inclination, means for electrically connecting said
circuits to the liquid, and perforated shields of
nonconductive material surrounding the portions
of the electrodes within the tube.
8. In an electric switch, the combination of a ,
tube of nonconductive material and arranged to
contain a liquid having current-carrying prop~
erties, an electrode arranged to be connected to
one part of the circuit and exposed interiorly of
the tube, the liquid being out of contact with the
electrode while the tube is substantially horizon
tal, but making contact therewith when the tube
is given the necessary inclination, and an ex
pansion chamber communicating through a re
tricted port with the tube to permit the safe ex
pansion of the liquid due to temperature varia
tions.
9. In an electric switch, the combination of a
tube of nonconductive material and arranged to
contain a liquid having current-carrying prop
erties, an electrode arranged to be connected to
one part of the circuit and exposed interiorly of
the tube, the liquid being out of contact with
the electrode while the tube is substantially hori
zontal, but making contact therewith when the
tube is given the necessary inclination, and an
air chamber superimposed in and communicat
ing through a restricted port with the tube to
permit the safe expansion of the liquid due to
temperature variations.
JAMES M. HENDRICKSON.
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