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Патент USA US3041435

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June 26, 1962
R. B. GRONTKOWSKI
3,041,424
MAGNETOMOTIVE AND THERMOMOTIVE FLASHER
Filed July 17, 1959
FIG.1
F m. 3
INVENTOR.
Raymond B. Gron’rkowski
ATTORNEY3
United States Patent ()?ice
3,041,424
Patented June 26, 1962
1
2
3,041,424
and very simply pre-set. The striking of the armature
against these tabs produces an audible indication of the
MAGNETGMOTIVE AND THERNIDMOTIVE
FLASHER
Raymond B. Grontkowski, Bronx, N.Y., assignor to Sig
?asher operation, which is highly desirable. Also, when
the armature engages a tab, a magnetic circuit is closed
nal~Stat Corporation, Brooklyn, N.Y., a corporation‘ of 5 except for the gap between the armature and the magnet.
New York
.
Filed July 17, 1959, Ser. No. 827,946
3 Claims. (Cl. 200—113)
This improves the snap action of the ?asher.
The bimetallic strip to which the ‘magnetic armature
is secured is mounted on a support bracket having a shoul
der or tab projecting therefrom. This shoulder acts as a
This invention relates to thermomotive circuit breakers, 10 stop against which the ?xed end of the bimetallic strip
such as the ?ashers commonly used in automotive vehi
cle signalling systems, and more particularly to a ther
momotive ?asher embodying novel, simple and readily
adjustable means for pre-setting the limits of movement of
the separable contacts and the frequency of operation of
the ?asher.
In the co-pending application of James W. Welsh, Serial
No. 734,471, ?led May 12, 1958, and now Patent No.
may be positioned for precise location of the strip during
forming of the welded or brazed joint anchoring the bi
metallic strip to its support. Thereby, accurate-location
of this joint is provided for in a simple and easy manner
particularly adapted to production line assembly of the
?asher.
1
Adjustable pre-sett-ing of the frequency of the ?asher is
also effected in. a novel and simple manner. -More par
2,900,474, issued August 15, 1959, as Well as in the co
ticularly, the aforementioned shoulder for positioning the
pending application of James W. Welsh, Serial No. 1,064, 20 bimetallic strip for welding or brazing is bent over the
?led January 7, 1960, there is described a novel type of
bimetallic strip so as to overlie the same. By bending the
thermomotive ?asher in which a combination of magne
tomotive and thermomotive forces are used to effect snap
tab or ‘shoulder to project over the strip, the rapidity of
cycling or the frequency of the ?asher may be readily and
separation and snap engagement of the contacts thereby
easily adjusted to a pre-set value by adjusting the distance
to increase the contact life. In the latter of said applica 25 between the overlying tab and the bimetallic strip.
tions, there is described an improved ?asher arrangement
For an understanding of the invention principles, ref
wherein, during the “break” cycle of the ?asher, the con
erence is made to the following description of a typical
tact pressure is actually increased up to the point of actual
embodiment thereof as illustrated in the accompanying
snapping apart of the contacts, and the contacts, when re~
drawings.
engaged in the “made” portion of the cycle, are re
In the drawings:
engaged under full and increasing contact pressure.
FIG. 1 is a side elevation view of a thermomotive ?asher
Both of these types of ?ashers have proven effective in
embodying the invention, the cover thereof being broken
operation. However, when produced as a commercial
away to illustrate the components of the ?asher;
item, it is important that such ?ashers be designed ‘for
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the ?asher ‘with the cover re
ready and easy setting of the limits of movement of the 35 cover removed; and
movable contact, for ready and easy setting of the rate
FIG. 3 is an end elevation View of the ?asher with the
of operation or cycling frequency of the ?asher, and for
cover again partly broken away.
accurate and precision joining of parts. For example, in
Referring to the drawings, a ?asher embodying the in
these ?ashers a relatively rigid magnetic armature is se
vention is illustrated as comprising a dielectric base 10
cured to the free end of a relatively ?exible bimetallic 40 and acover 15 which may be of metal. Three prongs or
thermomotive element or strip. It is important that the
terminal lugs 11, 12 and 13 project from base 10 whereby’
?xed end of this strip be welded or brazed to its support
the ?asher may be suitably disengageably mounted in a
at a precise location in order that the distance between
receptacle for connection into the signalling circuit of an
the point of joining the bimetallic strip to its support and
automotive vehicle. The terminal lugs 11, 12 and 13 are
the point of joining the free end of the bimetallic strip #15 respectively secured to base 10 by means of rivets 16, 17,
and 18. Rivets 16 and 17, and thus lugs 11 and .12, are
set the desired operating values of the ?asher. While, by
electrically interconnected by a ?at L-shaped piece of con
to the magnetic armature be maintained accurately to pre
the use of jigs ‘and the like, a welded or brazed joint can
be readily and accurately located in joining the armature
ductive metal 14.
,
.
An electrically conductive metal mounting member 20
to the bimetallic strip before the latter is mounted to its 50 has a strip portion 21 secured beneath rivet 18 and by a
support, it is di?icult, in a production operation, to ac
fastener 22 to base 110. Adjacent the end of base 10,
curately ?x the location of the Welded or brazed joint se
bracket 20 has a ?ange 23‘ bent upwardly at right angles.
curing the bimetallic strip to its support so that it will
and extending laterally over and in spaced relation to
be at ‘a pre-set distance from the joint securing the strip
rivet
17. A platform 24 is bent outwardly from exten
to the magnetic armature.
55 sion 23 parallel to base 10 and a shoulder or tab 25 is
In order to take full advantage of the magnetomotive
bent upwardly from the free end of shelf 24, tab- 25
effect of the magnet on the armature, it is highly desirable
preferably
having a tapered or pointed free end. The
that provision be made for accurately and precisely pre
purpose of shelf 24 and 25 will be described more fully
setting the range of movement of the armature toward and
away from its associated permanent magnet. It is also 60 hereinafter.
Beyond rivets 16 and 18 toward the other end of base
desirable to provide means for readily and easily setting
accurately the cycling rate or frequency of operation of
the ?asher.
In accordance with the present invention, the several
mentioned factors are provided for in, a novel and simple ‘
manner.‘ The control of the limit of movement of the
magnetic armature with respect to its magnet is provided’
by an arm positioned adjacent the free end of the arma
ture and having a pair of bendable tabs projecting into the
path of movement of the armature. By suitable bending‘
of these tabs, the range of movement of the magnetic
armature with respect to its magnet may be accurately '
10, and centered transversely of the base, a permanent
magnet 30 is set into base 10. This permanent magnet
may be of any magnetic material having a long life and
capable of retaining its strength under adverse operation
conditions, such as in the presence of elevated tem
peratures. Also, it should be a magnetic material which
is not substantially subject to deterioration by aging. A
suitable permanent magnet may be one of the “Alnico”
permanent magnetsmmanufactured by the General Elec
tric Company. Beyond magnet 30, a paramagnetic met- ‘
a1 L-shaped bracket 31 is secured to base 10 by a fastener ‘
3,041,424
3
32 and has an upstanding arm 33‘ from which are. struck
two vertically spaced tabs 35U and 35L.
The circuit making and breaking portion of the ?ash
4
will flow through bracket 20 to shelf or platform 24 and
enter the bimetallic strip 45 and ?ow from this strip
through armature 40, normally closed contacts 43 and
44, and rivet 16 to lug 11. A parallel circuit, such as
er comprises a magnetic armature 40v secured to the free
a pilot lamp circuit, may also be connected to lug 12
end of a bimetallic strip 45. Bimetallic strip 45 is, in
which is secured by rivet 17 to conductor strip 14. The
turn, secured to platform or shelf 24. Magnetic arma
current flow heats the bimetallic strip which bows and
ture 40 has an offset bend or loop 41 transversely aligned
de?ects to build up kinetic energy in a direction tending
with rivets 16 and 18. A resilient conductor 42 is brazed
to separate normally closed contacts 43 and 44. How
or Welded into off-set loop 41 and extends laterally over
rivet 16. The free end of strip 42 has secured thereto 10 ever, the magnetomotive force exerted by magnet 30 on
armature 40, assisted by the magnetic ?ux path into tab
a contact 43 which is normally engaged with a bar-shaped
35L, maintains the contacts fully engaged under pres
contact 44 brazed or welded to rivet 16. The free end
sure until such time as the kinetic energy in strip 45
of armature ‘40 extends between tabs 35U and 35L, and
has built up to a value exceeding the force of the mag
in alignment with the upper end of permanent magnet 30,
15 net on the armature. At this time, the normally closed
but stops short of arm 33‘ of bracket 31.
contacts 43‘ and 44 are snapped apart and, with the
As stated, it is very important that the parameters
distance of armature 40 from magnet 301 rapidly increas
of the circuit maker and breaker, and particularly the
ing with a corresponding even more rapid decrease in the
effective length of bimetallic strip 45 be accurately set
effective magnetomotive force on the armature, the sep
in a simple manner. The accurate assembly of the free
aration is accelerated. The limit of separation, of course,
end of strip 45 to the end of armature 40 is relatively
is pre-set by adjustment of tab 35U. With the opening
easily effected by placing these two parts in a jig and
of contacts 43‘ and 44, the circuit is broken and bimetal- _
brazing and welding the same together as indicated at 46‘.
lic strip 45 cools. This tends to move armature 40 to
However, it has been di?icult to accurately locate the
ward magnet 30 and, after a predetermined movement
welded or brazed joint securing the ?xed end of bimetal
with the magnetomotive force increasing inversely as the
lic strip 45 in position. In the present invention, such
square of the distance from the magnet to the arma
accurate location is effected in an easy and simple manner.
ture, the movement of the armature is accelerated so that
The bent up shoulder or tab 25 is precisely positioned
contacts 43 and 44 are re-engaged with a snap action as
relative to shelf 24 to provide a ?xed abutment against
soon as the magnetomotive force exceeds the residual
which bimetallic strip 45 is abutted and held while a
kinetic energy in bimetallic strip 45.
welded or brazed joint 47 is formed. The distance be
While a speci?c embodiment of the invention has
tween welded or brazed joints 46‘ and 47 determines
been shown and described in order to illustrate the ap
the effective length of bimetallic strip 45, which effective
plication of the invention principles, it will be understood '
length is important to the proper functioning of the
that the invention may be embodied otherwise without
?asher.
Shoulder or tab 25 has a further function.
It is de
departing from such principles.
What is claimed is:
sirable to accurately set the operating frequency or cy
l. A normally closed thermomotive circuit breaker
cling rate of the ?asher and, in the present invention, this
comprising, in combination, a dielectric base; a ?rst rela
is done by bending tab 25 downwardly over bimetallic
tively ?xed terminal on said base; a relatively elongated
strip 45. The distance between the free pointed end of
tab 25 and the bimetallic strip 45 determines the frequen 40 thermomotive element electrically and mechanically ?xed
at one end relative to said ?rst terminal; a magnetic
cy of cycling of the ?asher by controlling the. degree of
armature secured to and extending from the free end of
de?ection of the bimetallic strip when the latter is heated.
said element; a second relatively ?xed terminal on‘ said
Such frequency can be easily adjusted or regulated by
base; a relatively ?xed contact electrically connected to
varying the amount by which tab 25 is bent over strip 45.
It is also important to the proper functioning of the ~15 said second terminal; a relatively movable contact car
ried by said armature in alignment with said relatively
?asher in providing the snap engagement and snap sep
aration of contacts 43‘ and 44 that the limits of move
ment of armature 40 relative to the magnetomotive force
of permanent magnet 30* be set. Thus, it is important
to be able to easily adjust the minimum spacing of the
armature from the magnet and also to be able to easily
adjust the maximum spacing of the armature from the
magnet. In the illustrated ?asher, this is effected by the
two tabs 3‘5U and 35L. These tabs may be bent in
either direction to accurately set both the minimum spac- ‘
ing of armature 40 from magnet 30 and the maximum
spacing of armature 40‘ from magnet 30, and such spacing
may be easily re-adjusted at any time by further bending
of the tabs 35U and 35L.
When the armature 40 engages tab 35L, the magnetic
?ux ?ows into the tab and bracket 35. This augments
the magnetomotive force holding the armature down,
?xed contact; a magnet on said base aligned with the
free end of said armature and biasing said armature to~
ward said base to normally engage said contacts; said ele
ment, upon establishment of an electric potential be
tween said terminals, being heated by the ?ow of current
therethrough and tending to de?ect in a contact separat
ing direction; the holding action of said magnet on said
armature resisting such de?ection of said element until
the energy stored in said element exceeds the magneto
motive holding force whereupon said element de?ects its
free end away from the base to snap said contacts apart
at an accelerating rate; said element, upon interruption
of current ?ow therethrough, de?ecting toward said base
‘and the increasing magnetomotive force upon said arma
ture overbalancing the energy stored in said element to
snap said contacts into engagement; and a bracket secured
to said base and having an arm projecting from the base
adjacent the free end of said armature; said arm having
and thus increases the snap action on contact separation.
Engagement of armature 40‘ with tabs 35U and 35L pro
duces distinctly audible clicks which are indicative of 65 a pair of tabs adjustably bent therefrom into the path
of movement of the free end of the armature relative to
?asher operation.
said magnet to pre-set the range of movement of said
It will be thus seen that a ?asher is provided in which
armature.
the effective length of the bimetallic strip is accurately
2. A normally closed thermomotive circuit breaker
pre-determined, in which the frequency of the ?asher
can be accurately pre-set and accurately adjusted, and in 70 comprising, in combination, a dielectric base; a ?rst rel
which the relative range movement of the circuit breaker
can be effectively controlled as to limits of operation in
atively ?xed terminal on said base; an electrically con
ductive bracket electrically and mechanically secured to
said ?rst terminal and having a shelf extending substan
both directions.
tially parallel to said base; said shelf having a shoulder
In the operation of the illustrated ?asher, when a po
tential is applied between contacts 11 and 13, current’ 75 tab extending outwardly from its outer end; a relative
7 3,041,424
5
1y elongated thermomotive element having a ?xed end
lying along said shelf and secured thereto by a fused metal
joint, the location of said joint being accurately pre
determined by engagement of said element with said
shoulder and said joint electrically and mechanically con
necting said element to said bracket; a magnetic arma
ture secured to and extending from the free end of said
element; a second relatively ?xed terminal on said base;
a relatively ?xed contact electrically connected to said
rent ?ow therethrough, de?ecting toward said base and
the increasing magnetomotive force upon said armature
overbalancing the energy stored in said element to snap
said contacts into engagement; said shoulder tab being
adjustably bent over said thermomotive element at a pre
set distance therefrom to limit the de?ection of said
thermomotive element to pre-set the cycling rate of said
circuit breaker.
3. A thermomotive circuit breaker as claimed in claim
second terminal; a relatively movable contact carried by 10 1 including a tab bent from said bracket into engagement
said armature in alignment with said relatively ?xed
with the base to pre-locate said bracket.
contact; a magnet on said base aligned with the free
end of said armature and biasing said armature toward
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
said base to normally engage said contacts; said element,
UNITED STATES PATENTS
upon establishment of an electric potential between said 15
terminals, being heated by the flow of current there
through and tending to de?ect in a contact separating di
rection; the holding action of said magnet on said arma
ture resisting such de?ection of said element until the en
ergy stored in said element exceeds the magnetomotive 20
holding force whereupon said element de?ects its free
end away from the base to snap said contacts apart at an
accelerating rate; said element, upon interruption of cur
1,477,350
1,943,656
1,997,604
2,236,282
2,338,474
2,484,145
2,900,474
2,953,664
Hoeschen ___________ __ Dec. 11,
Doman et a1. ________ __ Ian. 16,
Stewart _____________ __ Apr. 16,
Ayers ______________ __ Mar. 25,
Wilson ______________ __ Jan. 4,
Bader ______________ __ Oct. 11,
Welsh ______________ -_ Aug. 18,
Mitick _____________ __ Sept. 20,
1923
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