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Патент USA US2411892

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Dec. 3, 1946.
G. w. PETERS
2,411,892
CIRCUIT BREAKER WITH MAGNETIC ARC EXTINGUISHING MEANS
Filed July 8, 1943
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Dec. 3, 1946.
G. w. PETERS
2,411,892
CIRCUIT BREAKER WITH MAGNETIC ARC EXTINGUISHING MEANS
Filed July 8, 1945
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INVEN TOR.
BY «Wa/.m
2,411,892
Patented Dec. 3, 1946
I UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE
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2,411,892
BREAKER wrru MAGNETIC Anc
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Ex'rmGmsmNG MEANS
Gerhard W. Peters, Akron, Ohio
_Aprucauon July 8,1943, serial No. 493,841
12 claims. (ci. zoo-_141)
ing the strength of the magnetic field and com
plete control is maintained over 'the structure of
My invention relates to means and methods for
controlling an electric arc or electron discharge
between electrodes or contacts .in an electrical
circuit, and more particularly to such means and
' methods for extinguishing an arc or electron dis
_
'
the arc to keep it from growing. My device may
be characterized as an inhibitor of ionization
fil
which prevents the arc from growing rather than
charge between electrodes or contacts of a cir
cuit breaker or current interrupter.A
Upon the establishment of an uncontrolled arc
or electron discharge between two electrodes or
a de-ionizer which allows the arc to grow to a
full arc after which de-ionization occurs to ex
tinguish the arc and the resultant flame.
It is accordingly among the objects of my in
10 vention:
To provide generally an improved means and
contacts in -an electricalcircuit, the character
such that it suddenly grows into a full arc
method
utilizing a magnetic ñeld for confining the
Aistic is
which comprises an intensely brilliant core sur
arc or electron discharge between the contacts or.
rounded by a cooler region of flaming gases. The
electrodes;
arc occurs with explosive suddenness and the
To provide for establishing a strong magnetic
15
accompanying flame which is one of the arc phe
field to influence the arc or electron discharge be
nomena may, in many instances, propagate itself
to great length and cross-sectional area compared
with the arc core proper. Consequently, the
flame itself must be ruptured as well as the arc
discharge to interrupt the circuit.
.
In the prior art circuit breakers, attempts have
tween the interrupting electrodes and to inhibit
ionization which keeps the discharge from
20
STOWÍDS;
To provide for controlling the structure of the
arc by a strong magnetic field; ‘
To modify the arc and give it substantially the
appearance of a glow with no flaming gases;
or barriers to -prevent injury to adjacent parts
To provide for increasing the resistance of the
‘
arc without materially increasing the length
and to prevent the flame from bridging metal 25
parts and making a short circuit in the contacter.
thereof;
~
'
The flame therefore must be dealt with concur
To provide means to control a discharge or arc
from the moment it begins to form so as to resist
rently with the arc proper.
My invention utilizes the reaction between the ' the growth of the discharge and simultaneously
field of the ’arc or electron discharge extending
,exert the necessary forces to extinguish said dis
from one electrode to the other and a magnetic
charge;
i
ñeld to control the arc structure in a new‘ and
To provide for causing each end of the electron
novel manner, `and is applicable to any device
discharge which exists between two electrodes to
where it is found desirable or necessary to control
be forced to remain substantially on the surface
the current flowing between spaced electrodes or
of the interrupting electrodes by employing a
to rupture the current flowing between spaced
magnetic field of such strength and pattern as
electrodes such as found in circuit breakers, con
Áto resist the ends of the discharge from leaving
tactors and other interruptors of electrical cur
the contacts, and for causing the discharge to be
been made to house or confine the flame by walls
constrained substantially within Vthe volume of
`
My invention makes a radical departure from
space embraced between the electrodes;
all the prior- art devices and principles embodied 40 To provide for directing the magnetic flux in
therein, by utilizing a magnetic field of such
a funnel-like fashion through one electrode, the
strength and pattern as to modify the structure
space between the electrodes and the other elec
of the arc and to substantially keep it from grow
trode;
,
ing beyond control. The evolution of flame is
' To provide for focusing the magnetic flux so
prevented; the explosive sound usually accom
that it will pass through the discharge space be
panying the rupturing of flaming arcs is absent;
tween the electrodes in a funnelf-like fashion, in
such a position that the axis of the contacts is
vthe usual provisions for dealing with the destruc
tive and dangerous flame are unnecessary; and
substantially parallel with the axis of the funnel
` the burning of the contacts is greatly reduced
60 like flux pattern, or that both axes substantially
and their life accordingly prolonged.
coincide with each other;
The strength and the pattern of my magnetic
To direct fiux in a funnel-like fashion with one
field is such as to modify the arc and give it
of the electrodes positioned at. the throat of the
the appearance of a flow with substantially no
funnel-like flux lines and with the other elec
‘ flaming gases. The resistance of the arc may be 56 trode positioned within the rim of the funnel»like
varied without materially stretching it by chang
rent.
2,411,892 _
l iìux lines, wherein a discharge which exists be
tween the electrodes is magnetically restrained
substantially within the boundary of the funnel
like ñux lines;
-
To provide for‘causing each end of the dis
charge which exists between two electrodds to be
A forced toward the central portions of the elec
with the iiux produced by the discharge to ini
mediately extinguish the discharge;
Figure 4 is a cross-sectional viewgpf a double-V
break type of circuit interrupter or contactor em
bodying the features of my invention;
Figure 5 is a fragmentary view of Figure e
showing a modiñed form of the magnetic circuit;
trodes; '
Figure 6 is a view of a further modiñed form of
To provide and utilize a» magnetic ñeld, that
directs the flux of suû‘icient strength in the dis 10 the outer shell par't of the magnetic circuit;
Figure '7 is a view similar in general to Figure l
charge space between the electrodes at an angle
but
illustrating a modification of the magnetic
thereacross, whereby the angularly directed ñux
circuit;
.
has strong vertical and horizontal components of
Figure 8 is a cross-sectional view taken from
ñux which react with the ñux produced -by the
the plane 8_8 of Figure 7, with parts beyond the
discharge itself to immediately extinguish the dis
charge without the necessity of removing the dis
charge from the space between the interrupting
electrodes;
To provide a means and Lmethod for extin
section plane omitted;
Figures 9 and 10 are views »illustrating modiñ
cations in the central core'construction of my in
vention; and
`
11 and 12 are views similar in general
guishing a discharge drawn between the contacts 20 to Figures
Figure 1, but illustrating modiñcations utiliz-4 '
or electrodes, which progressively transversely
ing permanent magnets instead of the electro
constricts the discharge inwardly from all sides
magnets for producing a strong magnetic ñeld.
-toward the central axis of the discharge.
With reference to Figure l of the drawings, I
To providea combination of discharge enclos
illustrate'a circuit interrupting device having a
ing chamber, means for producing a magnetic 25 pair of interrupting- electrodes 20 and 2i for in
ñux in a funnel-like pattern inside the discharge
terrupting the current iiowingk through the load
enclosing chamber, and means for drawing a dis
which is energized from the supply conductors
charge between two electrodes inside the chamber A
il and I8. The reference character 2li repre
and within the limits of the funnel-‘like ñux pat
the stationary electrode and the reference
tern, wherein the discharge which exists ~between 30 sents
character 2| representsA the movable electrode
the electrodes is substantially kept from con
which may be actuated by any suitable actuating
tacting side wall portions of the chamber;
mechanism such as designated by the reference
To provide in the arc chamber a recess having
character i9. To improve the interrupting prop
an insulating surface disposed transversely of a
of the electrodes, each may be provided with
path between the stationary contact and the 35 erty
contact
tips or members which may be made of
opening in which the movable contact moves.
silver or of any other arc resisting material. The
To provide for keeping the arc on- the contacts
contact tip for the stationary electrode 20 is desig- `
away from the recess and prevent deposits
hated
by the reference character 22 and the con
created by the arc from lodging upon the insulat
tact
tip
for the movable electrode 2| is designated
ing surface in'the recess and establishing a con. 40 by the reference character 23. The stationary
ductive path between the stationary contact and
and the movable electrodes may be made of cop
the opening in which the movable contact moves.
per or any other metal having a high electrical
To provide for utilizing the magnetic material
conductivity. Besides possessing a high electrical
of part of the magnetic circuit as a cooling en
conductivity, the movable electrode 2| is prefer
closing chamber for the discharge;
I
>To providev for substantially enclosing the elec
> trodes between which a discharge is drawn in an
enclosing chamber and for directing a magnetic
ñux of a funnel-shaped pattern across the dis
charge space betweènvthe electrodes;
To provide for substantially enclosing the elec
45 ably non-magnetic.
_
As illustrated in the drawings, the stationary
electrode 20 may be supported by a centrally ar
ranged post 24 carried by a suitable insulated '
block or panel 26. The lower end of the post 24,
50 as shown in the drawings, is provided with a re
trodes between which a discharge is drawn in a
- duced end provided with threads to which the
shell-like> metal housing, whereby the shell-like
metal housing constitutes part of the magnetic
nected.. While I have illustrated the stationary
_ circuit;
To provide for electrically insulating one of the
magnetic pole means of the magnetic circuit from
the electric circuit, when construction is such that
stationaryelectrode 2c maybe threadably con,
I electrode 2li as being threadably connected to the
post 24, it is to be understood that my invention
contemplates the securing lof the stationary elec
trode 2B in relative position to the post 2d by any
other suitable means. The lower end of the post
I 24 where it meets with the threads isiprovided
charge.
Y
.»
Y
Other objects and a fuller understanding of |50 with a shoulder 21. A lock washer 25 may be
interposed between the shoulder 21' and the *sta
my invention may be had by referring to the
tionary electrode 20 to ñrmly secure the station
following description andv claims, taken in con
both poles may come into contact with- the dis
junction with the accompanying drawings, in
ary electrode 20 upon the post 24.
'
The upper end of the post 24, as shown> 1in
65 Figure 1 of the drawings, is provided with- an in-4
Figure 1 isa longitudinal sectional view of a
tegral stud extension 28 which passes through an
structure embodying my invention;
.
opening in the insulated block or panel 26.' The'
Figure 2 is a cross-sectional view taken from
lower side of the insulated block or panel 26 may
the line 2-2 of Figure 1, with parts beyond the.
be somewhat recessed to receive a circular metal
section plane omitted;
'
70 plate 29. The integral stucl‘extension 28 passes
Figure 3 is an enlarged view of the magnetic
>Vthrough an opening Within 'the circular metal
plate 29. The diameter of the integral stud >ex
tension 28 is smaller than the post proper to~
provide a shoulder 34 that rests against'thecir
cular metal nlate 29, so that when the nut @a
which:
.~
p
'
'
-
Y
-
-
2,411,892
kwhich threadably engages the upper end oi' the
` ñeldhaving a funnel-like pattern is very` eil'ective
stud extension 28 is ilrmly turned down, the post
24 is rigidly connected to the insulated block or '
panel 28. To the uppermost end of the stud ex
tension 28 is attached a terminal clip- 33 which
may be electrically connected to the supply con
ductor |‘|. The terminal clip 33 may be secured
in interrupting the discharge between the inter
rupting electrodes. In contro-distinction with
prior art devices. my invention appears to inhibit
the reproduction of ions which prevents the arc
from growing into a full arc with ñaming gases.
In all of the tests which have been made upon ,f
to the'stud extension 28 »byy means of the nuts
-my invention with a. standing discharge main-f
3| and '32.
‘1
‘
tained for observation and test purposes, the load
Mounted upon the underneath side of the in 10 current may be varied by changing the excita
sulated block or panel 26 is an insulated housing
tion of the magnetizing coil 42. With a weak ileld
38 which may be secured to the insulated block
or with substantially no ñeld at all the discharge ’
or panel 26 by any suitable means. The insulated
appears to have the characteristic of a full are
housing 38 is provided with a' deep cylindrical re
with flaming gases, and since the arc is uncon
cess 3`| to receive a cylindrical tubular body 38 15 trolled it generally is inclined to loop -or bulge
having an annular head 39 provided with an open
outwardly to oneV side of the spaced contacts,
ing 40 through which the movable electrode 2|
stretching itself to a length many times the dis
moves.~ The upper annular end oi' the tubular
tance between the spaced contacts and going
body 38 registers with the peripheral edge of the
through many queer twisting and bending move
circular metal plate 29. The insulated housing 20 ments of -an indescribable nature. As the mag
36 is provided with an opening 4| which is slightly
netic ñeld is strengthened by increasing the ex
smaller in diameter than the opening 40 in the
citation of the magnetizing coil 42, the standing
annular head 39 so that the opening 4| may con
stitute a. guide for the'movable electrode 2| as
arc goes through a state of conversion and ap
proaches the appearance of a glow discharge with
it is moved relative to the stationary electrode 20 25 substantially no flaming gases while at the same
by the actuating mechanism I9. By means of
this construction, the movable electrode 2| does
time decreasing in length and drawing inwardly
toward the center of the volume of space between
the contacts. AAs the arc is drawn inwardly, it
appears to “stillen up” by the controlled action
not make electrical contact with the annular head
39 of the tubular body 38, as the electrode is.
moved in and out of the opening 40. `
30' of the increased ñux, causing the bulging and
The tubular bocw 38 having the annular head ~
39 and the circular metal plate 29 constitute a
shell-like metal housing for the interrupting elec
trodes 28 and 2| and the side clearance between
the movable electrode 2| and the opening 4| is 35
relatively small to make a relatively tight arcor ,
electron discharge enclosure chamber. 'I'he post
24, the circular metal plate 29, the'tubular body
. 38 having the annular head 39, constitute a mag
netic circuit in which the post 24 comprises one
pole portion and in which the annular head 39
looping characteristics of the uncontrolled arc
to disappear. As the magnetic ñeld is further in
creased, the arc moves or is drawn further in
wardly toward the central portion of the contacts
and the glow-like appearancebecomes darker and
the arc finally disappears.
.
The last thing that one can observe upon the
disappearance of the discharge is a glow at one
I end of the discharge which is apparently the
40 cathode glow. Prior to the disappearance of the
cathode glow, one can observe a glow at the other
end of the discharge which is apparently the
anode glow. A dark column appears to exist be
constitutes the other pole portion. The lines 43
in Figure 3 illustrate generally the direction of
the lines of ñux which pass between the two pole
tween the cathode glow and the anode glow.
portions. The separation of the movable electrode 45 With a strong-magnetic field, the standing -arc
2| from the stationary electrode20 occurs in the
when observed by the eyes of an observer gives
air gap between these two magnetic pole portions'
the appearance of a cone or of the frustum of a
whereby a discharge between the separating elec
cone as explained in my co~pending application.
trodes is controlled by the ilux passing between
Serial No. 493,848', ñled July 8, 1943. The base, of
the two pole portions. The flux for the- magnetic 50 the cone or of the frustum of the cone is on the
circuit may be set up by means of a magnetizing _
stationary electrode 20., The apex of the cone
coil 42 which surrounds the post 24 and which
points toward the movable electrode 2|. VThe sides
may be energized by the supply conducto-rs l1 and
of the frustum 0f the cone lean inwardly with
I8. In my invention I provide a strong flux field
the cut-off end of the frustum terminating at the
which controls the structure of the discharge. 55 movable electrode 2 I. The cone-shaped discharge
. The ñux which is established by the magnetizing
appears when the supply conductor I1 is positive
coil 42 and which ilows between the two pole por
and when the supply conductor I8 is negative, and
tions may be characterized as funnel-shaped or
the frustum of the cone-shaped discharge appears
fountain-shaped and passes at an angle across
when the polarity of the conductors is> reversed.
the space between the stationary electrode 20 and 60 High speed pictures when shown at low speed or at
the movable electrode 2| and cuts the electron
standstill, reveal that the glow discharge is in the
discharge which extends between the electrodes
form of a line or an element of the cone or of the
at an angle to immediately interrupt the dis
frustum of the cone which is> whirled or spun
charge. The axis of the funnel-like flux pat
around by the magnetic iield, thus appearing to
tern is preferably made substantially'parallelwith 65 the eyes, because of the speed of rotation, as a
the axis of 'the electrodes. Both axes may sub
cone or a frustum of a cone. With the cone
stantially coincide with each other. The flux pat
shaped arc, the end of the arc line which clingsto
tern has a strong vertical component of flux and
or contacts the movable electrode 2| remains sub
a strong horizontal o-r radial component of ilux
stantially in one place upon the surface of the
which react with the ilux produced by the dis 70 movable electrode and usually in the central re
charge to control the structure of the discharge.
gion thereof with the other end lof the arc line
The flux density is the greatest toward the out
- which contacts the stationary electrode swinging
'side of the funnel-like pattern, as illustrated by , or whirling around in substantially a circle spaced
the heavy lines in Figure 3.
~
inwardly at a distance from the peripheral edge of
I have discovered that a strong magnetic ilux 75 the stationary electrode. With the frustum of a
2,411,892
_ cone-shaped arc. one end of the arc discharge
line spins or-whirls around the peripheral edge
of the stationary electrode 20 with the other end
spinning around the movable electrodev 2i at a
distance spaced inwardly from the peripheral edge
thereof.
A
fore the contacts reach their full open position.
Thus, a point is reached in the movement of the
separation of the contacts where the arc dis
appears before the contacts are fully separated,
the contacts continuing their separating move
ment with no arc therebetween. In other words.
the arc line does not appear to continue to en
The frustrum of the cone-shaped arc some
tend between the two separating contacts for the
times approaches the 'shape of a cylinder with
entire movement oí the separation, but appears
both ends of the arc spinning or whirling around
to be cut oiî- before the contacts are fully sepa
10
the peripheral edges of the electrodes. Some
rated. With my invention it is not necessary tol
times the discharge line or arc which is whirled
provide any special features in the actuating
or spunaround takes the form of a spiral, but
mechanism le to cause the movable electrode tc
ordinarily the spiral is caused to straighten out
be separated from the stationary electrode more
in which case the arc extends substantially in -a
rapidly than in the make-and-break contactors
straight line between the separated electrodes.
.of common practice, nor is it necessary to sepa
Accordingly; with a strong magnetic ñeld, the
rate theelectrodes a greater distance- than is
ends of the discharge line are constrained to re-_
found in common practice, to eiîect interruption
main substantially on the surface of the elec
of the arc while the electrodes are moving apart.
trodes and the discharge line itself is >forced to
The tubular body 38 shields the discharge be
remain substantially within the volume of space
tween the two electrodes in such a manner that
embraced between the separated electrodes.
magnetic disturbances outside the enclosing
Sometimes the discharge or arc line, under the
chamber will not affect the discharge and cause
condition when a frustum of a cone or a cylinder
it' to move oiî the interrupting electrodes. In
is formed, may bulge or spiral outwardly a little
addition, any movement of air outside the metal
with its ends clinging upon the electrodes or 25 enclosing chamber will not come in contact with
upon ‘the side edge of the electrodes. In this
the discharge and cause it to move out of the
application the expression “substantially within
space between the interrupting electrodes. The
thevolumc of space embraced by the separated
air which displaces the moving electrode 2l will
electrodes? includes an increased volume of space
ilow into the space between the separating elec
which may- have a diameter substantially twenty
trodes approximately equal from all sides of the
' (20%) percent greater than -the diameter of the
electrodes, thus tending to centralize the dis
electrodes.
charge toward the center of the space between
While, one would ordinarily expect the re
the electrodes. Inasmuch as the clearance be
sistance of the arc to decrease as'the length of
tween the opening dl and the movable electrode
the arc is decreased, yet in my invention the 35 2| is relatively small the enclosing chamber acts
reverse is true in that as the length of the arc
ls decreased by the application- of a strong mag
neticfñeld, the resistance is increased. The re
as a pressure chamber which aids in extinguish
ing the electron discharge. The pressure within
the chamber is relatively equal in all directions
-sistance of the arc line or vdischarge when it
from the discharge and accordingly there is sub
passes 'from 'one of the spaced contacts to the 40 stantially no unbalanced pressures which would
other in substantially a straight line, as it does
tend to move the ends of the discharge oiî the
in the case of the cone or the frustum of a' cone,
electrodes and from the volume of space between
I is more than the resistance of a long or looping
the electrodes.
_
Y „ uncontrolled arc under the action of a Weak field.
In Figure 4 I lillustrate a cross-sectional view
45
Accordingly, the ñow of the load current may be
of a double-break type of circuit breaker or con
_varied with a standing arc by changing the mag
tactor embodying the features of my invention,
netic field strength. The increase in resistance
and corresponding parts are represented by the
appears to resultfrom the fact that as the mag
same reference characters as those found in
netic ñeld is increased, the .cross-sectional area
Figure l. In Figure 4 the movable electrodes ~
of the arc line becomes smaller, decreasing to a 50 2| are connected together by a bridging member
relatively thin line arc or discharge. That is to
4l and are simultaneously actuated by the actu
say, the cross-sectional area of the discharge line
ating mechanism !9 for interrupting the circuit
is-restricted from all sides inwardly toward the
between the supply conductors I1 and I8. The
>~axis of the discharge line and the resistance can
magnetizing coils in Figure 4 are energized by
55
bemade so vhigh that the potential across the
the load current and bear the reference char
separated electrodes cannot maintain the flow of
acter 44,. As illustrated, the lower ends of the
-current therethrough. As the discharge line ap
magnetizing coils .44 are connected to the elec
preaches the point of extinguishment, the whirl
trodes
20 by means of clips 45 which are inter
ing or spinning »of the line substantially dies
posed between the electrodes 20 and the lock
downv and sometimes appears to remain substan 60 washers 25. The insulated block or pane1 26 and
tially stationary just prior to its disappearance.l
the insulated housing 36 are suitably connected
The extinguishment of the discharge is not ac
together and are in turn suitably mounted upon
companied by a sudden explosiveness as usually
a bracket 4B which may be employed to fasten
accompanies the rupture of a flaming arc. The
the double-break type of contacter upon a. suit
65
evolution of theJ ñame is prevented and the
able stationary support. The upper annular
_burning of the contacts is greatly reduced. '
ends of the tubular body 38 areelectrically in
In actual circuit breaker operation, the con
tacts separate very rapidly and the design and
sulated from the circular metal plates 29 by
means of a sheet of insulating material 46 which
the size of the parts are such that the arc is
immediately extinguished upon the rapid opening 70 is disposed between the insulated block or panel
26 and the insulated housing 36. One purpose
of the contacts. A person viewing the formation
of
the sheet of insulating material 46 is to elec
and interruption of the arc under rapidly sepa
trically insulate the annular head 39 of the tubu
rating contacts observes only a foreshortened
lar body 38 from the post 24 and the electrode
arc, which gives the impression that the fore
shortened arc is substantially extinguished be 75 26. With the annular head 39 so insulated, all
2,411,892
.
or arc to
tendency for the electron discharge
strike between the movable electrode 2| and the
annular head 39 and by-pass current from flow
ing through the electrode 20, is positively pre
cluded. In Figure 1 I do not show the annular
head 39 as being electrically insulated from the
post 24 and the electrode 20 as I~flnd that the
discharge under the influence of a strong mag
l0
than to the end wall 23 constituting the top
closure end for the annular recesses. inasmuch
as the contacts separate in a region relatively
close to the small chambers orV openings, the»
actuating means may quickly withdraw the mov
able contacts thereinto, whereby the arc is
readily extinguished. In the prior art devices
of the doubleebreak type, it has been customary
to enclose both sets of interrupting electrodes
netic ñeld does not strike/upon the annular head f . into one chamber. In my invention in Figure 4,
'
1|)y
33 as the movable electrode 2| is moved away
from the stationary electrode 20. As a matter
of clearly avoiding all possible tendency for the
discharge or arc to strike upon the annular head '
I enclose each set of interrupting electrodes in
individual metal chambers so that the electrical
discharge from one set of interrupting electrodes
rwill not disturb the other set of interrupting`
39, I have electrically insulated it from the post
24 and the stationary electrodes 20 in Figure 4. 15 electrodes.
In Figure 5 Ishow a fragmentary view of
The insulating material 46 is positioned on the
Figure 4 and illustrate a modification of the mag
top of an annular recess formed by the external
netic circuit, in that the tubular body 38 in
surface of the post 24 and theinternal sur-face
Figure ‘i has been replaced by a fore-shortened
of the tubular body or shell 38. The open end
tubular body 5| having the annular head 33. An
of the recess is deiined between the external sur
insulated tube 52 is interposed between the upper
face of the contact 20 and the internal surface
annular end of the fore-shortened tubular ‘body
of the tubular body 38 and is in communication
l'5|
andthe insulated block_or panel 26. In ad
with the space surrounding the contacts in the
dition, the- circular metal plate 29 is dispensed
vicinity of the arc. The external surface of the
with and the shoulder 34 on the- post 24 rests
stationary contact 20 and the. post 24 may be
against a washer 53. The position of the any
designated as a ñrst portion of the recess, the
insulating material 46 asa second portion and
the internal surface .of the tubular body 38 as a
third portion, and these portions in the order'
named comprise a series of surfaces extending
from the stationary contact 2|) to the opening
in the chamber in which the movable contact
operates. The open end of the annular recess
is deñned by the first and third portions, and the
insulating material is between the iirst and third
portions. The iiux substantially keeps the arc
on the contacts away from the open end of the
recess and protects the second portion or in
nular head 39 in Figure 5 is substantially the
same as »that shown in Figure 4 and the path
of the iiux between the'post 24 and the annular
head 39 is substantially funnel-shaped as here
inbefore described. The insulated tube 52 con
stitutes an endless insulating surface transversely
disposed of a path extending between the sta
tionary contact and the opening in which the
movable contact moves and functions substan- `
tially the same as the insulating material 46 in
Figure 4 to prevent a conductive path from being
formed between the stationary contact and the
opening in which the movable contact operates. .
sulating material 46 in the recess from the arc
The flux between the upper annular end of the
40
to prevent deposits created by the arc Afrom en’
'fore-shortened tubular post 5| and the upper endf
tering the recess and lodging upon the insulating
material and establishing a. conductive path be
tween the ñrst and third portions. The insulat
of the post 24 must pass through non-magnetic
material instead of metal as shown invFigure 4.
One purpose of showing the invention in the form
ing material 46 may be described as an endless
as illustrated in Figure 5 is to bring out the
insulating surface transversely disposed of a path
fact that the electron` discharge or arc between,
extending between the stationary contact and
the interrupting electrodes may be extinguished
the opening in which the movable contact oper-V
evenvthough the magnetic >circuit has a high
ates. In other words, the insulating material
reluctance, since the field strength may be still
constitutes a “break” in any path extending be
maintained at a strong value by increasing the
tween the stationary contact and the opening in 50 ampere turns of the magnetizing coil 44. Hence,
which the movable_contact operates. The ilux
the operation of my invention as shown in the
keeps the arc from entering the recess and effec
tively sub-divides the recess portion of the cham'
ber from the remaining portion of the chamber
.55
between the contacts where the arc occurs.
The openings 4| in the insulating housing 36
and the openings 40 in the annular head 33 re
spectively define small chambers into which the
arc may be drawn by the movable contacts 2|
if not immediately extinguished upon the open co
ing of the contacts. The downward movement
of the movable contacts in the openings 4| is
form of Figure 5, is substantially the same as
that shown in Figure 4. I also iind from testsl
that the annular head 39 may be removed, leav
ing the lowermost annular end of the tubular
body 38 as a pole portion through which the
ilux passes. The removal of the annular head
39 reduces the eil‘iciency of the magnetic circuit
and the brim of the funnel-like ilux path is
broadened or enlarged. The reduction inthe
efiiciency of the magnetic circuit may be offset
by increasing the ampere-turns of the magnetiz
arrested when the bridging member 41 engages
ing coil 44.
an adjustable stop I9. In my invention, I pref
In Figure 6 I show a further modiiied form
erably arrest the movement of the movable con 65 of the tubular body 38 in that one side of the
tacts in the openings 4|, so that the small cham
tube is slotted along the line 54 which has the
bers will be formed above the movable contacts.
property of reducing the flow of eddy currents
The operation of the double-break type of con
therein. Otherwise, the 'operation of my inven
tactor as shown in Figure 4 is substantially the
70 tion with the slit tubular body 38 is substantially
same as that described for Figure 1. As shown
in the drawings7 the posts 24 project from the
end wall or panel 26 into the recesses to a point
whereby the contacts separate in a region which
is closer to the opposite end wall of the recesses
. containing the small chambers Ior openings 4| 75
the same as that with no slit. The annular
head 39 and the tubular body 38 may be cut
into a number of .segments and still come within
the purview of my invention.
l
'
In Figures 'land 8 >I-illustrate another form of
asti',
"i
l
the magnetic circuit in that the annular head 39
is supported by means of a plurality of‘studs 5d
which have at their upper ends reduced stud ex
tensions Wl'n'ch pass through openings in. the
circular metal plate 2Q and the insulated block
or panel 2S and which have nuts 5l at the upper
most ends thereof for securely anchoring »the
studs to the circular metal plate 23 and the ln
sulated block or panel 2S. The lowermost ends of
the studs 56 may be provided with rivets iid for
arc. As the arc is drawn inwardly from along or
„looping uncontrolled arc it becomes shorter and
shorter and the resistance of the arc becomes
greater and greater,v regardless of whether the arc
finally takes the form of a cone or ñnally takes
.the form of the frustum of the cone. Under a
strong magnetic ñeld, the glow appearance and
the structure of the arc seems to be the same for
both. the cone-shaped arc Vand the frustum of a
cone-shaped arc. Also, in both cases of the cone
anchoring the annular head 39 thereto. For sim- ` y shaped arc and the frustum of- a cone-shaped arc,
the end of the arc line which plays on the mov
plicity, the Figures 7 and 8 do not illustrate the
insulated housing 36. The operation of the de
vice as shown in Figures 7 and 8 is substantially
the same as that described hereinbeíore.
In Figure 9 I show a modiñcation of the sta
tionary electrode which comprises a hollow tube
d@ having a clip E59 attached to .the upper end
thereof. The hollow 'electrode is electrically in
sulated from the circular metal plate 2t by means
of an insulating washer
positioned between
the shoulder t2 and the insulated lblcclç or panel
2d. The hollow electrode d@ may .be secured to
able electrode is forced inwardly with a greater
yforce than the end of the arc line which plays
on the stationary electrode. However, 1the cone
shaped arc is forced inwardly towards the central
portion of the electrodes with a greater force
than the force which tends to force the lirustuin
of a cone-shaped arc inwardly, and thus 4the in
terruption of the cone-shaped arc is clearly con
ñned between the electrodes. The frustum oi the ’
cone-shaped arc is caused to play upon the elec
trodes in the region of the marginal edge thereof
the insulated block or panel 25 by means of a nut
where the ñux lines are, the strongest and 'thus
Sd. .As illustrated, a plug di made of magnetic 25 .the arc is extinguished very quickly.
material is positioned inside ofthe hollow elec
With the interruption of alternating current by
trode d@ and may loe anchored therein by any ’ fa single-break contactor, as shown for example
suitable means. rl‘he plug di in combination with
in Figure l, the arc tends to alternate between
the tubular body 38, and the circular metal plate
Ithe cone-shaped arc and the frustum oi the cone
3@ constitutes the magnetic circuit. „n In Egure 30. shaped arc as the alternating current reverses.
’l0 Il show a modiñcation of the arrangement
shown in Figure 9, in that the electrode which is
designated by the reference character da is solid
'When .the double-breaking device in Figure e is
used for interrupting alternating current, the arc
at one set of separating electrodes for any single
instant is cone-shaped, while the arc at the other
terial. The insulated housing to is not shown in 35 set of separating electrodes at the same instant
and is surrounded by a tube @l of magnetic ma
Figures 9 and 10. The operation of the two de
vices shown in Figures 9 and 10 is substantially
the same as that described for the previous views
oimy invention and it is to he pointed out that
my invention works equally well regardless of
' whether the flux at ‘the throat of the fountain
like path is concentrated as it would be in the
device in Figure 9 or whether .the ñux at theI
throat is distributed in a circle as would be the
oase withthe device shown in Figure 10.
The vdevice shown in Figure l1 is of substan
' .tially the same construction as that shown in
Figure 9 except that the plug which is inserted
within the hollow electrode Se is made of a per
' marient magnet material and is designated -by the
reference character ‘i i. Also, the tubular body 3d
may be constructed oi a permanent magnetic
material and is therefore designated by the ref
is a frustum of a cone.
.
.
The circuit interruptor in Figure 4 is drawn
from a practical working device and the size, the
proportion of the parts and the spacing between
the separated electrodes bear a ñxed ratio scale
relation to actual devices. Each of the windings
eid in the actual device has approximately 31/.2
turns the same as shown in the'drawings and
these turns are su?cient to produce the required
ñeld strength to render my device highly eñective
in interrupting the now of the large currents.
For large load currents, the held will be large,
rendering the interruption capacity correspond
ingly great.
For repeated intermittent opera
tions, currents as high as one hundred or more
amperes may be successfully interrupted for
thousands of operations without perceptible im
pairment of the contacts.
erence character ld. _ The device shown in Figure
In this application it is noted that the post 2d
l2 is substantially the vsame as the device shown 55 in Figures 4, 5v and 7 vdoes not carry the load
in Figure i0 except that the shell which surrounds
current. However, the post 2li in these figures
the electrode Sii is made of a permanent magnetic
is electrically alive. Therefore, in this applica
material and is designated by the reference char
tion and in the claims, the term “electrode” is
acter l2. The outside shell l@ in Figure 12 is the
to be interpreted to include the post or any other
samîe as that 'shown in Figure 11 and may com
prise permanent magnetic material. In the two
devices in Figures 1l and l2, both the central pole
-or lthe outside enclosure shell l@ may be made of
60 part which is electrically alive even though no
current iiows therethrough.
By means of my magnetic circuit construction,
the. magnetic field has a central region -and an
permanent magnetic material, or only one may be
outer annular region with the magnetic ñux field
made of permanent magnetic material with the 65 in the outer annular region stronger than the
other of non-permanent magnetic material, so
ñeld in the central region. The electrodes may
long as suñicient magnetic flux is set up to control
beconsidered as having a central region and an
the structure of the electrical discharge or' arc
outer annular region which may substantially
between the two interrupting electrodes.
'
register respectively with the central region and
>-`1in the case of both the cone-shaped arc‘and 70 the outer annular region of the magnetic ñeld.
the frustum of lthe cone-shaped arc, a standing
The field inv the outer annular region is strong
arc discharge is drawn inwardly toward the cen
enough and reacts with the ñux produced by the
- îtral portion of the volume of space between the
arc itself to constrain the arc substantially within
electrodes, the cone arc, however, being drawn
the central region when the arc current ñows in
inwardly further .than the frustum of' the cone> 75 one direction and to constrain the arc substan
2,411,892
13
tially within the outer annular region when the
arc current ilows in the opposite direction. In
any event, regardless of the direction of ñow of
current in the arc, the arc is magnetically forced
toward the central region and is forced inwardly
to at least substantially within the outer annular
region. ~ In 'the drawings the distance that the
14
stituting said ilrst magnetic pole and an outer
element having a portion disposed laterally of
the post-element and constituting said second
magnetic pole, said nrst magnetic pole being dis
posed substantially in alignment with the con
tacts and being positioned on the side of said
abutting surface of said stationary contact which
is opposite from said movable contact, and in
electrodes separate is shorter than the distance
sulating means having a chamber for housing the
that the flux travels in passing from one pole
means to the other in my magnetic circuit, al 10 stationary contact, the post element and the outer
element, said insulating means having an open
though it is to be understood that this relation
ing connecting the chamber to the outside there
ship may be varied and still come within the
of, said movable contact being movable in said
purview of my invention.
opening, said chamber having an internal wall
Although I have described my invention with
a certain degree of particularity, it is understood 15 for supporting the said outer element.
4. In combination, a switch comprising an in
that the present disclosure has been made by
sulating housing having a chamber, said housing
Way of example and that numerous changes in the
having a ñrst part and a second part connected
details of construction and the combination and
together, said second part having a recess with an
arrangement of parts may be resorted to without
departing from the spirit and the scope of the 20 internal wall comprising a portion of said cham
ber, said second part also having an opening
invention as hereinafter claimed.
I claim as my invention:
1. In a current interrupting device having at
least a ñrst and a second interrupting contact ,
_ connecting the recess to the outside thereof, a
stationary contact and a movable contact ar
ranged to interrupt a circuit in the chamber.
movable relative to each other, said relative move 25 said movable contact being movable in said open
ing. a magnetic circuit comprising ñrst and sec
ment deñning a line of motion, the improvement
ond magnetic poles between _which ilux passes,
of apparatus for arresting and extinguishing an
raid magnetic circuit including a post element
arm between the interrupting contacts, said ap
connected to the ñrst part of the housing and
paratus comprising a shell-like metal housing
having an annular rim, a post element projecting 30 projecting into the recess and an outer element
disposed laterally of the post `element and sup
in the housing, means for mounting the first
ported by the internal wall of the recess, said
contact on the post element, said second contact
post element having an end portion ~supporting
being movable in the housing beyond the annular
the stationary contact in the recess and constitut
rim and engaging the ñrst contact, said post ele
ment and said housing comprising a magnetic 35 ing said ñrst magnetic pole and said outer ele
ment having a substantially annular portion con
circuit having opposite pole portions forming an
stituting said second magnetic pole.
air gap through which flux passes, said post ele
5. In combination, a switch comprising an in
ment constituting one pole portion and said an
sulating housinglhaving a chamber, a stationary
nular rim constituting the other pole portion,
the separation of the electrodes occurring in said 40 contact and a movable contact arranged to in
\ air gap within the housing whereby an arc be
terrupt a circuit in the chamber, said chamber
tween the separating contacts is controlled by said
having an open end to receive the movable con
iiux, said opposite pole portions being so disposed
tact, said housing comprising an insulating sup
with reference to each other that a line drawn
port member and an insulating body member
therebetween is other than a vright angle with 45 having an annular internal wall constituting a
respect to saidv line of motion.
portion of the chamber, a first element composed
2. In a current interrupting device having at
of magnetic material mounted on the insulating
least a first and a second interrupting contact
support member and having a projection portion
movable relative to each other, said relative move
extending into said chamber toward the open end
ment defining a line of motionl the improvement
thereof, said projection portion supporting the
of apparatus for arresting and extinguishing an 50 stationary contact upon the end thereof and con
arc `between the interrupting contacts, said ap
stituting a first magnetic pole, a second element
paratus comprising a post element and an an
nular member surrounding the post element,
composed of magnetic material disposed between
the first element and the annular internal wall of
means for mounting the ñrst contact on the post
the chamber and having a portion constituting a
55
element, said post element and said annular mem
second pole, wall means in the chamber deñning
ber comprising a magnetic circuit having opposite
a surface having a ñrst portion, a second portion
pole portions forming an air gap through which
and a third portion, said portions> in the order
flux passes. said -post element constituting one-pole
named comprising a series of surfaces extending
portion and said annular member constituting
from the stationary contact to the open end of
the other pole portion, the separation of the di) the chamber in a region of the vicinity of the
contacts occurring in said air gap within the an
movable contact, said ñrst portion including the
nular member whereby an arc between the sep
external surface of the first element, said third
arating contacts is controlled by said flux, said
portion including the internal surface of the sec
opposite pole portions being so disposed with ref
ond element and said second portion comprising
55
erence to each other that a line drawn there»
insulating material and being disposed interme
between is other than a right angle with respect
diate the ñrst and third portions, said wall por
to said line of motion.
tions defining an annular recess having an open
3. In combination, a switch comprising a sta
end communicating with the space surrounding
tionary contact and a movable contact arranged
to interrupt a circuit, said stationary contact 70 the contacts in the vicinity of the arc, said ñrst
and third wall portions deiining the said open end
leaving an abutting surface against which the
of
the recess with the second wall portion dis
movable contact engages, a magnetic circuit com
prising first and second magnetic poles between
which flux passes, said magnetic circuit includ
posed in the recess, and winding means surround
ing the first element for passing flux between said
ing a post element having an end portion con 75 poles, said ñux substantially keeping the arc away
`iid
from the said open end of the recess and protect
ing the second portion in the recess from the arc
to prevent deposits created by the arc from enter
ing said recess and lodging upon the second por
tion and establishing a conductive path between
the iirst and third portions.
6. In combination, a switch comprising an in--
,
tionary contact and a movable contact arranged
to interrupt a circuit, said stationary contact
having an abutting surface against which the
movable contact engages, a magnetic circuit com
v prising ñrst magnetic pole means and a second
magnetic pole means between which iiux passes,
said magnetic circuit including a post element
having an end portion for supporting the sta
sulating housing having a chamber, a stationary
contact and a movable contact arranged to inter
tionary contact and an outer element disposed ’
rupt a circuit in the chamber, said chamber hav 10 laterally of the post element and having an open
ing an open end `to receive the movable contact,
ing in which the movable contact operates, said
said housing comprising an insulating support
end portion of said post‘element including the
member and an insulating body member having
iirst magnetic pole means and said outer element
an annular internal wall constituting a portion of
including the second magnetic pole means, said
the chamber, a first element composed of mag 15 first magnetic pole means beingA disposed substan
netic material mounted on the insulating support
tially in longitudinal' alignment with the contacts
member and having a projection portion extend
and being longitudinally spaced from the second
ing into said chamber toward the open end there
magnetic pole means, whereby a line drawn be
of, said projection portion supporting the station
ary contact upon the end thereof and constitut
ing 'a first magnetic pole, a second element corn
tween the magnetic pole means is at an angle
20 other than a right angle'to the longitudinal axis
of the post element.
Y
posed of magnetic material disposed between the
9. In a circuit interrupter, a magnetic circuit
ñrst element and the annular ‘ internal wall of
having ñrst pole means and second pole means
_ the chamber and having a portion constituting
betweenv which flux passes, said first pole means
a second pole, wall means in the chamber defin 25 including an elongated element having a longi
ing a surface including the external surface of
tudinal axis and having an end portion provided
one of said elements and having a first portion, a
with an end surface constituting a ñrst pole face
second portion and a third portion, said portions
and said second pole means including substan
in the order named comprising a series of sur
tially an annular member having an annular
faces extending from the stationary contact to
surface constituting a second pole face, said an
the open end oi the chamber in a region of the
nular surface being longitudinally spaced from
vicinity of the movable contact, said second por
the said end surface, whereby a line drawn from
tion comprising vinsulating material and being
said first pole face to said second pole face is
disposed intermediate the ñrst and third portions,
other than a right angle with'respect to the longi
said wall portions deñning an annular recess hav 35 tudinaly axis of the elongated element, a station
ing an open end communicating with the space
ary contact mounted on the end portion of the
surrounding the contacts in the vicinity of the
arc, said ñrst and third wall portions defining
elongated element, and a movable contact adapt
ed to engage the stationary contact, said second
the said open end of the recess with the second
pole means being electrically insulated from the
wall portion disposed in the recess, and winding 40 stationary contact means, said annular surface
means surrounding the first element for passing
surrounding the movable contact in the closed
iiux between said poles, said iiux substantially
circuit position and being so longitudinally spaced
_with respect to the stationary contact that said
'keeping _the arc away from the said open end of
the recess and protecting the second portion in
annular surface is intermediate said contacts in
the open circuit' position.
ated by the arc from entering said recess and
i0. In combination, a switch comprising a sta
lodging upon the second portion and establish
tionary contact and a movable contact arranged
ing a conductive path between the first and third
to interrupt g circuit, a magnetic circuit means
portions.
_
for producing a ñeld to extinguish an arc between
7. in combination, a switch comprising a sta 50 the contacts, said magnetic circuit means coni
tionary contact and a movable contact arranged
prising centrai and outer members deñning sub
to interrupt a circuit, a housing having a large
stantially coaxial pole pieces between which- iiux
chamber with an enclosure wall for housing the
passes, the separation of the contacts occurring
contacts, a post element in
housing support
between said pole pieces, said central pole piece
the recess from the arc to prevent deposits cre
ing the stationary contact, said large chamber 55 supporting said stationary contact and being fore
shortened with respect to the outer pole piece,
on the other side thereof a .'
all chamber, said
whereby a line drawn between said pole pieces
having on one side thereof a recess and having
'
small chamber connecting
large chamber to
is other than a right angie with respect to the
the outside of the housing and'coniprising an
axis of the central pole piece.
opening in which the movable contact operates, 60
combination, a `switch comprising an
means for arresting the interrupting movements
insulating housing having a chamber, a station
of said movable contact in said small chamber,
ary contact and a movable contact arranged to
said recess being deiined in part by said post ele
vinterrupt a circuit in the chamber, said chamber
ment and said stationary contact and having an
having an open end to receive the movable con
endless insulating surface which extends trans
tact, said housing comprising an insulating sup-~
versely across 'a path extending between said sta
port member and an insulating body member
tionary contact and said opening in which the
having an annular internal wall constituting a
movable contact operates. and magnetic circuit
portion of the chamber, a first element composed
means including said post element and a mag
of magnetic material mounted on the insulating
netizable winding surrounding the post element 70 support member and having a projection portion
for substantially keeping the arc from said recess
to preventdeoosits created by the arc from enter
ingsaid recess and lodging upon the endless in
sulating surface thereof.
'
'
_8. In combination, a switch comprising a sta
extending into said chamber toward the open end
thereof, said projection portion supporting the
,
75
stationary contact upon the end thereof and con
stituting a. first magnetic pole, a second element
composed of- magnetic material disposed lin the
2,411,892
17
18
chamber and having a portion constituting a
second pole, wall means in the chamber deñning
a. recess including the external surface of one
of said elements and the annular internal> wall
of the insulating- body member, said recess ex
tending from the stationary contact toward the
insulating support; member, and winding means
surrounding the first element for creating iiux
tact member, said housing having an opening in
which the movable contact member moves, said
between the poles.
‘
12. A circuit interrupter comprising an insulat
ing housing having a chamber with an annular
_stationary contacts being mounted on thev end
of the post element projecting into the chamber,
said post element land said stationary contact
member defining in combination with the internal
wall of the chamber an annular recess having
an open end in communication to the outside
of the housing through said opening in which the ,
movable 'contact moves, magnetizable winding
- means mounted in the open recess and around
the post element, and a member constituting a
internal wall, a post element of magnetic mate
rial supported by the housing and projecting» into
shell of magnetic material mounted in the recess
the chamber, cooperativecontacts to be engaged
and supported by the internal wall of the housing.
and disengaged in said chamber and comprising 15
a stationary Contact member and a, movable con- Y
GERHaRD W. Prrrrxass.`
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