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Oct. l5, 1946.``
Filed' Jan. 24, 1944
-2 Sheets-»Sheet l
28. 2.7
How/7R12 h’. G'H/VDELor'
M Muon! 7.764“
oct. 15., 1946.
Filed Jan. 24, 1944
2 sheets-sheet 2
la’. G11/vano?
Patented Oct. 15, 1946
Howard K. Gandelot, Grosse Pointe, Mich., as
signor to General Motors Corporation, Detroit,
Mich., a corporation of Delaware
Application January 24, 1944, serial No. 519,425
s claims. (c1. 20o-H59)
This invention relates to electric switches, and
more particularly the push~type cooperating with
a pedal of an automobile or .other motor driven
Fig. 5 is a diagrammatic view illustrating the
switch controlled by a pedal of an automotive
Fig. 6 is a sectional View taken on line 6_6 of
An object of the present invention is to pro- 6 Fig.
7 showing a further modincation of the pres
vide a simple, compact and rugged switch having
ent invention.
few .operating parts that are easily assembled
Fig. 7 is a sectional view taken on Ithe line 1-1
without the use of screws or rivets, and which is
of Fig. 6 and showing the switch in its normal or
highly efiicient and satisfactory in practical use.
open position.
Another object of the present invention is to 10 ` Fig. 8 is a sectional view taken on the line 8-8
provide a snap-action switch that, in response
of Fig. 6 but showing ‘the switch ín its closed
’ to a slight movement of a pedal control mecha
nism of the switch contacts will be abruptly closed
Fig. 9 is a diagrammatic view illustrating the
or opened by a buckling movable contact. This
switch attached to the pedal arm so that the l
object is accomplished by providing a switch hav~ 15 switch operates as a rubber'pedal bumper.
ing a yieldable closure member provided with a
Referring tothe Figs. 1, 2 and 3, .a cup-shaped
bumper portion, the bumper portion being located
member 29 is secured to a toe-board or other suit
in the path of the pedal control mechanism. The
able support 2| of an automobile by screws 22
switch .is soI arranged and located with respect to
passingïthrough‘suitable apertures in a mount
the movementcf the operating pedal Ithat the 20 ing `Iiange` 23 extending therefrom. The bottom
switch is in an open position when the pedal is
wall-oi’ the member 20 is' provided with an aper
vin its normal position and upon a slight move«
ture 24 through which a. bumper or actuator 25
ment of the pedal lfrom its normal position the
of a switch assembly 26 projects.
switch is snapped into a closed position.y
The switchassembly 2B shown in Figs. 1, 2
Another` object of the presen-t invention is to 25 and» 3 comprises a base or support 21 preferably
provide a snap-acting switch of the class de
formed of an insulating material `such as hard
scribed wherein the bridging member comprising
rubber or a molded plastic composition. A pair
a member of the self-snapping type which may
of spaced stationary contacts 28 are molded into
be hermetically vsealed within a housing for use
thebase member 21. In the present instance each
in places Where deleterious fluids, gases or the 30 stationary contact comprises an arcuate strip o‘f
like is a detriment to the use'of an unsealed
phosphor-bronze having one end thereof bent
switch, thus prolonging the life of `the conduct
ing elements.
under itself toprovide socket 28a which is in
alignmentwith‘a recess 29 formed in the base 21.
Each recess 29 is adapted -to receive a plug termi
Another object `of the invention is to provide
a type of a switch of the _type speciiied which is
so constructed and arranged that it can be at
nal“ 30 connected with one end of a cable 3 i. The
inner faces of the base 21 and the stationary con
tached to a pedal arm so that it will act as a
tacts are formed so as to provide an annular
groove to 1» receive an annulus 3‘3 or arresting
bumper to prevent the pedal arm from `hittin
lthe door board when the operator’s foot is re
moved from the pedal;
means of hard insulating material upon which
40. rests a buckling dish~shaped disc or bridging
Further objects and advantages vof the present
member 34 of phosphor-bronze or other suitable
invention will `be apparent from the following
conducting material. The disc 34 is formed with
description, reference being had to the accom
an annular groove 35 to receive the annulus 33.
panying drawings wherein a `preferred embodi» ¿a It is to be understood a leaf spring could be used, _
ment of the present invention is clearly shown.
In the drawings:
said spring. being set in arcuate form. . The disc
3d is curved at its peripheral edge 36 where it
abuts the stationary contacts 28 which serves to
provide` a rubbing action to keep contacting sur
, Fig. 1 is a view taken Online i~-| of Fig. 2.
Fig. 2 is a sectional view taken on line 2«-2 of`
Fig. 1 embodying the principles of the present
faces of the contacts clean.
invention and showing the switch in a closed p0~ 50 ¿The bridging Contact or disc 32 is held against
Fig. 3 is a sectional view similar to Fig. 2 show
ing the switch in its open position.
Fig. 4 is a sectional View of a modiiiedform
of the switch of the Fig. 1 embodiment.
the annvulus 313 by a yieldab‘le cup-shaped cover
4G, preferably of soft rubberpincluding the actu
ator or bumper 25. The member 4i! is provided
with annular bead >lll which bears against the
convex portion V35i. Thus with 4theigroove portion
35 of the disc 34 between the annulus 33 and the
bead 4| the disc is prevented from moving lat
erally any substantial distance with respect to the
base 2'|. The cover 4D and base 21 as shown in
Fig. 1 are formed with an annular peripheral rim,
the surfaces of which are, in this instance, sub
stantially flat so that when the flat surfaces con
.tact each other they form an effective seal against
air paths, gases or fluids between the base and
position. Thus, when it is desired to close a cir
cuit to a current consuming device shown dia
grammatically in Fig. 5 the operator will manu
ally depress a pedal 8U to move the arm 8| pivoted
at 82. When the arm 8| is moved a certain dis
tance to relieve the external pressure upon the
bumper 25 the bridging disc will assume its nor
mal shape as in Fig. 2, causing the peripheral
portion of the buckling disc to snap into engage
the closure. A thin coating of cement, such as 10 ment with the stationary contacts. The resil
iency of the disc holds the peripheral edge there
wax or similar viscous insulating material applied
of in firm pressure engagement with the station
to the surfaces will insure a hermetically sealed
ary contacts.
chamber 45 formed by the base and closure. The
The snap action providing quick make and
use of wax will permit slight .variations of the
15 break of the periphery of the disc with the sta
surfaces and still maintain -a hermetic seal. `
tionary contacts is obtained -by distorting the
In the modified form of the invention shown in
material of the disc in a peculiar manner. In
Fig. 4 a cup-shaped member 5D is provided with
the present instance this distortion is accom
bottom wall 5| which is pierced to provide -„aper
plished by forming the disc With the annular
tures 52 and at the same time provide tangs 53.
The tangs 53 are adapted to extend through suit 20 groove. When the groove is formed there are set
up in the disc opposing internal stresses tending
able openings in a toe-board 55 and bent over, as
to move the periphery of the disc out oí` the nor
at 55, to secure the cup-shaped member 50 in
mal arc of the disc. The stresses created by the
position on the toe-board. Before the member
groove are less than the stresses created by the
59 is attached to the toe-board a switch assembly
6|) is assembled within the cup member which 25 formation of a flat disc into dish-shape or arcu
ate form so that the normal stable position of the
comprises a base 6| of a hard molded insulating
disc is as shown in Fig. 2. However when the
composition. II’he base is formed with lugs 62
disc is subjected to external pressure at the cen
extending into the apertures 52 which operate to
tral portion of the disc the central portion tends
prevent the base from turning within the member
flatten out. This operation causes the stresses
50. A pair of combination contact and terminal 30 to
along the arc to be overcome and cause the
assemblies are embedded in the base, each as
periphery of the disc to move downwardly to the
sembly including a conducting strip |53 having one
position shown in Fig. 3 with a snap action. The
end wrapped around a terminal screw, not shown,
position shown in Fig. 3 is the unstable position
which is molded into the base and having the
other ends 65 exposed to the inner face of the 35 of disc, thus when external pressure is removed
the disc will return to its normal stable position.
base so as to be engaged by a bridging member 66.
A further modification of the present invention
The base 6| is formed with a projection having a
illustrated in Figs. 5, 6, and '7. In this particu
bead 61 to receive an annular groove B8 formed
lar embodiment the cup-shaped housing 95 is
in the disc G6. The head acts as a bearing for
the disc 66. This disc has its periphery curved 40 provided with apertured ears 9| to receive screws
for attaching the housing to a suitable support.
which abuts the exposed ends 55 of the Contact
The housing 90 receives an insulating body 93 ofv
hard insulating material formed with guide pro
The bridging member or disc 66 is held against
jections 94. A pair of conducting strip members
the rib 68 by a cup-shaped enclosure 10 of soft
rubber. In assembling the cup-shaped member 45 are molded in the body 93. Each conducting
strip is deformed to provide a socket portion 95,
a flat portion 1| of the enclosure engages the con
a straight portion 91, and an upright portion 98
Vex portion of the groove of the disc 66 whereby
extending beyond the inner face 99 ofthe body.
the disc is prevented from moving laterally with
upright portion is bent inwardly to provide
respect to the base. The center portion of the
disc 66 is adjacent a bumper portion 12 of the 50 a relatively stationary contact surface |00 to be
engaged by a bridging member IUI. Referring to
- closure. The closure 1| is'provided with an annu
6 the bridging member, in this instance,
lar flange 14. having an annular tongue 15 extend
comprises a snap-acting member of dish-shape
ing into a corresponding groove 13 formed in the
having a central strip |92, two side arcuate por
base 6|. The tongue has a snug fit with the
tions |93 and two arcuate end portions |04 all
groove to provide an effective seal between the
formed by spaced elongated slots |05. It is to
base and closure. It is pointed out that the
be understood that the housing and bridging
tongue and groove may be coated with a cement
member could be, if desired, rectangular in shape.
or wax in order to provide a hermetically sealed
The arcuated end portions |04 are provided with
joint. The switch assembly is secured Within the
cup-shaped housing by spinning over the open 60 guide notches |55 to receive the lugs 94 to guide
the bridging member in its axial movements.
end of the cup-shaped member to form a flange
'I‘he guide members also prevent the bridging
‘|"|. The flange 'í'l overlies the closure to maintain
member from moving laterally far enough to
the switch housing within the member 50.
engage the upright portions 98. Itwill be noted
The operation of either switch mechanism
that the strip portion |92, see Fig. '7, is deformed
shown in Figs. l to 5 inclusive will be readily un
out of the normal arc of the dish-shaped member
derstood. In Fig. 3` the switch mechanism is
HH in order that it will be longer than the aper
shown with the central portion of the disc in a
tures to insure snap-acting of the bridging mem
degree of flattening and in a circuit open position
ber |0|.
while Figs. 2 and 4, the switch mechanisms show
The bridging member 50| is held against the
the central portion of the discs 34 and 96 in their
face 99 of the body 93 by a cup-shaped
normal curvatures and in the circuit closed posi
enclosure H9 having the same contour as the
tions. Itis to be understood that each switch op
erates in a similar manner, and also that when
one of the switches is'attached to the toe board
the switch mechanism is normally held in an open
housing and is made of flexible material such as
soft rubber. The enclosure H9 is provided with
“ a peripheral flange ||| provided with a flat sur
face which contacts the iiat` surface 99 of the
inner face oi the body 93. The Ilat surfaces of
the rim and body are such that when they con
tact each other they form an effective seal against
2. A circuit controller comprising in combina
tion; a base member of non-conducting material
and provided with guide means; a plurality of
spaced stationary contacts supported by the base;
air; gases ormoisture. The enclosure Ilo isheld Ul a metallic` disc having recesses for receiving the
in assembled relation` within the cup-shaped
guide means to- prevent any appreciable lateral
housing by a reducedpo-rtion H2 formed at the
of the disc relative to the base and
open end of the housing-and which is bent in
having rim portions so positioned with relation
wardly ’against the outer surface of the enclosure.
to the stationary contacts as to bridge same when
The venclosure llû is provided with a bumper
in normal position; a cup-shapedresilient body
H4 whioh‘engages the strip |92 lightly to hold
secured to the base member, .said body
normally the bridging member lill against the
having portions above the rim for engaging the
dat surface 99 to maintain the side arcuate por
ldisc; and means carried by the body positioned
tions !iiS out of engagement with the contact
adjacent the central portion of the disc whereby
surfaces Mil. When the bumper is depressed
external force applied to the body causes said
manually to the 'position shown in
8 the cen
means to press the disc until the rim portion
tral portion is 'subjected to stresses tending to
snaps out of engagement from the stationary con
reverse the curvature ofthe bridging member and
tacts and after the external force is released the
as the strip |32 is moved toward the surface 99
of the body a condition is reached which causes
the side and end portions m3 of the bridging
member to snap out of engagement from the
surface 93 with the side portions E03 engaging
the contact surfaces tilt).
The snap motion is
produced by the stored energy of the compressive
force and the binding movement to which the
bridging member IBD is subjected while in the
state of unequal equilibrium; When the manual
pressure is removed the bridging member will re
turn to its normal state with a snapaction.
In Fig. 9 a different method of mounting ie
switch structure is> shown and in this particular
disc returns to its normal position.
3. In an electrical switch, the combination of a
base; spaced'stationary contacts supported by
the base; an annulus supported by the base; a
snap-acting dish-shaped conducting member
resting on the annulus so that periphery of the
disc normally bridges the stationary contacts and
adapted to change its curvature by external pres
sure; a yieldable closure of insulating material
supported on the base, said closure having an
annular portion for holding lthe disc against the
annulus and having a centrakpcrtion adjacent
the central portion of the disc, said disc remain
ing in bridging position until the central por
case the switch is mounted directly on pedal
tion of the closure is actuated by external pres
I l5 shown diagrammatically in Fig. 9. The pedal
sure to change the normal curvature of the disc
in this instance is provided‘with Iianges I l5 which 35 whereupon the‘periphery of thev disc is snapped
act as a support for the switch housing.
housing is secured to the flanges l H5 by screws 92
passing through the apertured ears which have
out of engagement-'from `the stationary contacts,
said disc returning toits l‘normal curvature upon
release of the external pressure to bridge the sta
threaded engagement with tapped openings in
tionary contacts with a snap action.
the flanges. The switch is mounted in such a 40
4. In a hermetically sealed housing for a
manner that the bumper prevents the pedal from
snap-acting metal disc the combination of a pair
hitting the floor board when the operator removes
of members, one of said members being con
his foot from the pedal. It is to be understood
structed of hard molding composition while the
'that when the switch is used as a circuit closer and
other is constructed of yieldable molding com
a bumper the switch co-nstruction should be made
and of cup-shaped formation, said mem
of parts which will maintain the switch in an
bers forming a chamber and having inter-locking
open position. when the pedal is in its normal posi
means for forming a seal between the members
tion, and when the pedal is moved a predeter
their circumferences, said members
mined distance from its normal _position the
being provided with raised arcuate portions ex
switch is snapped into its closed position.
tending toward each other between which is 1o
Further objects and advantages of the present -
cated the snap-acting disc, said disc having
deformations which cooperate with the raised
portions to prevent lateral movement of the disc
within the housing; bumper means provided by
the yieldable cup-shaped member capable of mov
ing against the central area of the disc to deñect
same inwardly and, by the flexure‘of said deflected
portion the peripheral edge of the disc is snapped
,iecting from one face thereof; spaced stationary
out of engagement from stationary contacts car
contacts supported by the base; a dish-‘shaped GU ried by the hard member; and external means for
snap-acting member having grooved portions for
urging the bumper means against the disc said
receiving the bead portions to prevent .lateral
disc returning to its normal status upon release
invention will be apparent from the following
description, refe-rence being had to the accom
panying drawings wherein a preferred embodi
ment of the present invention is clearly shown.
What is claimed is as follows:
1. An electric switch comprising in vcombina
tion; a dielectric base having bead portions pro
movement ci” the snap-acting member relative to
the base and having rim portions on „f normally
engaging cup-shaped
the .fixed contacts
closure te:forclose
the a base,
closure having portions for engaging the disc to
hold groove portions of the disc against the bead
of the external means.
5. In a snap action switch which comprises
a base, an annular supporting surface on said
base having a fixed edge, a dish-shaped resilient
member having an annular groove intermediate
its central portion and its periphery for receiv
ing the edge, said groove setting up stresses tend
arranged in a position to engage portions of the To ing to bend the periphery out of the normal stable
disc remote from the groove portions to change
position but insufficient to do so without appli
the curvature thereof when external pressure is
cation of external force; a yieldable member for
applied to the closure whereupon rim portions oi:
holding the disc against the edge; and an actu
the disc are snapped out of engagement from the
ator associated with the yieldable member for
stationary contacts to open the circuit.
engaging the central portion of the disc, said
portions of the base and having another portion
actuator being positioned for movement in such
a manner that a relatively small movement
thereof against the central portion of the disc
will cause same to ñatten and cause the disc be
yond the edge t0 be actuated by a snap action,
said disc returning by its own internal stresses
to stable position when the external force is re
6. A snap action switch comprising, ñxed con
tacts and an unattached bridging contact having
a centrally, disposed normally bowed portion and
ñxed-contact engaging portions which are caused
to move abruptly in response to a certain amount
of decrease in the camber of the bowed portion;
and a housing comprising two members clamped
together adjacent their peripheries hermetically
sealing the switch elements and having abut
ments extending toward each other for prevent
ing the bridging contact from making any ap
surface on the base and having portions engage
able with the bridging contact which cooperate
with the projecting portions of the base for pre
venting any appreciable lateral movement of the
bridging contact, said housing means also having
an additional projecting portion which will move
inwardly in response to externally applied pres
sure and transmit movement to the bowed por
tion of the bridging contact; and metallic means
for moving the flange in axially directed abut
ment with the base for connecting the yieldable
housing and the base together and also for en
forcing ñuid-tight contact with the base.
8. An electric switch comprising in combi
nation, a base having projecting means extend
ing from one face thereof; spaced stationary
contacts carried by the base; an unsecured dish
shaped snap-acting member having provisions
fo‘r receiving the projecting means to prevent
movement of the snap-acting member re1
preciable lateral movements within the housing, 20
ative to the base, said member having rim por
one of said members providing a flexible wall, the
tions capable of moving into and out of engage
central portion of which will move inwardly in
ment with the stationary contacts; a yieldable
response to externally applied pressure and
body supported relative to the base and having
transmit movement to the bowed portion of the
portions for engaging the member for holding
bridging contact to move the periphery of same
same against the projecting means and having
from the fixed contacts.
a central portion adapted to engage the central
7. A snap action switch comprising, a base of
portion of the member whereby as a result of
hard insulating material having portions pro
the movement of the central portion of the body
jecting from one face thereof; spaced fixed con
tacts supported by the base; an unattached bridg 30 in one direction away from its normal position
by an external force the curvature of the mem
ing contact having a bowed portion and flXed con
ber is changed to set up stresses therein so that
tact engaging portions which are caused to move
the rim portion is snapped from one position to
abruptly in response to a certain amount of de
another, and after the external force is removed
crease in the camber of the bowed portion;
the member returns to its normal status.
yieldable housing means enclosing the switch
elements, said housing having a flange provided
with a> face adapted for sealing contact with a
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