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Патент USA US3098922

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July 23, 1963
J, W. HUFFMAN
3,098,913
THERMQSTAT SWITCH
Filed June 29, 1960
75
I00 / /03
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Riff-‘Will’
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1173- 5
lNVENTOR 1
Jam: I/I/THUFPMAM.
BY
United States Patent O?tice
1
Patented July 23, 1963
2
FIGURE 5 is an isometric view of the switch housing
3,898,913
construction of the invention;
FIGURE 6 is a top plan view of the housing construc
tion with the switch mechanism assembled therein, the
control knob being removed for purposes of illustration;
THERMQSTAT SWITCH
John W. Huihnan, Mans?eld, Ohio, assignor to Pace, Ina,
Mans?eld, Ohio, a corporation of Ohio
Filed June 29, 1960, Ser. No. 39,520
5 Claims. (Cl. 200-438)
FIGURE 7 is a detail sectional view taken substantial
ly on the line 7-7 of FIGURE 4;
This invention relates to switch constructions and more
FIGURE 8 is an enlarged fragmentary detail view of
especially to a switch embodying a thermoresponsive
a wall portion of the housing construction illustrating
means or element arranged to establish or interrupt an 10 one of the distortable ?aps or portions thereof, and
energizing circuit under the in?uence of heat ambient the
FIGURE 9 is a plan View of the edge region of the
thermoresponsive component or element in combination
portion of the housing shown in FIGURE 8 illustrating
with manually adjustable means for varying the relative
the distortable ?ap in open or switch mechanism receiving
position.
position of a switch member in accordance with a tem
perature to be maintained by operation of the thermo~ 15
responsive means.
Control switches of the thermoresponsive type of small
compact construction have been utilized for thermic con
trol of heating or cooling appliances adapted to be ener
The switch mechanism and housing arrangement of the
invention is illustrated as embodying a thermoresponsive
means for controlling an electrically energizable appliance,
but it is to be understood that the arrangement may be
utilized for controlling electrical circuits generally
gized or activated by 110 volt alternating current where 20 Wherever a compact switch mechanism having high in
the amperage requirements of the appliance are compara
sulation characteristics is required or desired.
tively low. Switches of the so-called “stacked” switch
Referring to the drawings in detail and initially to FIG
assemblage of the compact type have not heretofore been
URES 1 through 4, there is illustrated a frame portion of
used extensively for appliances such as air-conditioners
an electrically heated or electrically controlled appliance
requiring higher voltage and amperage because of inade 25 as, for example, an electric iron or the frame portion of
quate insulation, a factor which is conducive to excessive
an air-conditioning apparatus. For purposes of illus
current leakage especially under humid atmospheric con
tration an electrically energizable element or component
ditions.
I
12 is illustrated associated with the frame portion 10 to
The present invention embraces a switch construction
‘which electric energy is supplied, the circuit of which
embodying relatively movable current conducting mem 30 is adapted to be controlled by the switch mechanism of
the invention. In the embodiment illustrated, the frame
in combination with suitable insulation components of a
portion 10 provides a mounting for the switch mecha
bers or switch arms arranged in a compact assemblage
shape and size and in particular positions to minimize
the liability of current leakage, thus providing a switch
nism of the invention which, in itself, is of unit construc
tion adapted for mounting upon any suitable support or
construction suitable for comparatively high voltage and
frame.
high amperage requirements of an appliance circuit.
An object of the invention is the provision of a switch
mechanism of the so-called “stacked” switch type which
The arrangement illustrated in FIGURES 1 through 4
is approximately twice actual size of the switch mecha
is of compact character embodying a thermostat means
nism. The mechanism of the invention is inclusive of a
frame or support means comprising, in the embodiment
for controlling current interrupting means and provided 40 illustrated, a frame plate 14 and a tubular or sleeve
with insulation of a character to avoid short circuiting of
member 16, the plate being provided with an opening
the switch mechanism irrespective of the relative position
to receive a tenon portion 17 of the cylindrical or tubular
of a movable current conducting component actuated by
component 16.
The tubular sleeve 16 provides a support means for
several elements of the switch assembly to form a
“stacked” switch. The end region of the tubular com
ponent 16 opposite the swaged portion 18 is formed with
a thermoresponsive means.
Another object of the invention resides in a switch con
struction associated with a comparatively thin-walled
housing of molded resinous material or plastic wherein
the housing is fashioned with wall portions which are
distortable to admit of assembly of the switch mechanism
a circular ?ange 20 which forms a base upon which com
ponents of the switch means are assembled. In assem
within the housing and the portions flexed or moved into 50 bling the switch components, the components are placed
mechanism retaining position thus avoiding the use of
upon the cylindrical or tubular member 16, the frame
separable means for maintaining or retaining the switch
plate 14 a?ixed on the tenon 17 and the portion 18
mechanism in the housing.
swaged to provide a unit mechanism. The interior of the
‘Further objects and advantages are within the scope
16 is threaded to accommodate a securing bolt 19 for
of this invention such as relate to the arrangement, oper 55 mounting the switch unit upon the appliance frame 10.
ation and function of the related elements of the struc
The switch mechanism is inclusive of a ?rst switch arm
ture, to various details of construction and to combina
or member 24, a second switch arm or member 28, and
tions of parts, elements per se, and to economics of man
a thermoresponsive means or bimetallic element 30
ufacture and numerous other features as will be apparent
which are mounted by the tubular or cylindrical member
from a consideration of the speci?cation and drawing of a 60 16. The ?rst switch member 24 is provided with a con
form of the invention, which may be preferred, in which:
tact 31 and the second switch member 28 provided with
FIGURE 1 is a longitudinal sectional View of a com
a contact 32, the contacts being arranged for cooperation
bined switch mechanism and housing construction of the
invention;
.
FIGURE 2 is a bottom plan view of the switch con
struction, the view being taken on the line 2+2 of FIG—
URE 1;
to complete or interrupt a circuit through the electrically
energizable unit 12. The components of the switch
65 mechanism are enclosed within a substantially rectangu
lar housing or casing 34 fashioned of molded nonmetal
lic material such as plastic or moldable resin, the features
of the housing being hereinafter described.
FIGURE 3 is a transverse sectional view taken substan
‘One end region of the bimetallic member or thermo
tially on the line 3-3 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 4 is a transverse sectional view taken sub 70 responsive means 30 is provided with an opening through
stantially on the line 4-4 of FIGURE 1;
which extends the cylindrical member 16, the bimetallic
3,098,913
3
4
element being in direct metallic contact with the metal
?ange 20 formed on the tubular member 16.
Arranged in stacked relation upon the tubular member
ceive a tenon portion 60 of a sleeve or ?tting 62, the
extremity of the tenon being swaged as at 63 into en
16 are circular disks 36, 37 and 38 fashioned of suitable
heat resistant insulating material as, for example, lava
or ceramic material.
The disk 36 is provided with a cylindrical tenon por
gagement with the frame plate 14 to securely fasten the
?tting ‘62 to the plate.
The ?tting ‘62 extends through an opening 64 formed
in the housing 34. The sleeve or ?tting 62 is interiorly
threaded to accommodate a threaded portion 65 of a
shaft 66, the upper end of the shaft being provided with a
tion 39 which extends through an opening in the end
serrated tenon 68 which receives a manipulating knob
region of the second switch member 28 and through an
opening in a laterally extending terminal member or con 10 or member 74) formed of molded resin or other suitable
insulating material, the knob 70 being provided to facili
nector 42 which is in direct metallic contact with the
tate rotation of the shaft 66.
second switch member 28 as shown in FIGURES 1 and
The ?tting ‘62 is provided or formed with an abutment
4. The insulating disk or circular member 37 is pro
or shoulder 72 and the shaft 66 provided with a pin 74
vided with a cylindrical tenon portion 41 and the end
region of the ?rst switch arm or member 24 is provided 15 which is adapted to engage the abutment 72 for limiting
with an opening to receive the tenon portion 41 on the
the extent of rotation of the shaft, this arrangement de
the limits of adjustment of the manually adjust
disk 37 and a second laterally extending terminal mem
able switch member 28. The end region of the shaft 66
ber 44 is provided with an opening and is likewise re
Within ‘the housing 34 is formed with ‘a cup-like recess
ceived upon the tenon portion 41 of the insulating disk 37.
or socket adapted to receive one end of 1a strut or mem
The terminal member 44 and the ?rst switch member
24 are in intimate metallic contact ‘for current conducting
ber ‘76, the strut '76 being formed of lava, ceramic or
purposes. One of the terminal members is connected
other heat resistant material.
The strut 76 extends through ‘an opening in the ?rst
with the electrically energizable component or unit 12,
the component 12 being connected with one side of a
switch arm 24 as shown in FIGURE 1. The opp ositeg
current supply line, and the other terminal member con 25 end region of the strut ‘76 is of tapered or wedge shaped
con?guration and engages in a depression or recess 78
nected with the other side of a current supply line where
by the switch members 24 and 28 and the contacts 31 and
formed in the lower or second switch member 28. Rota
32 are in series with the electrically energizable unit 12
tion ‘of the shaft 66, through its threaded engagement with
for completing or interrupting a circuit through the
the fitting 62, moves the strut '76 upwardly or down
unit 12.
30 wardly dependent upon lthe direction of rotation of the
The third insulating disk or circular member 38 is
shaft 66, such movement varying the position of the
disposed between a metal washer 46 adjacent the frame
switch arm 28 and contact 32 carried thereby.
Through this arrangement the temperature at which
plate 14 and the upper surface of the terminal member
the appliance or region is to be maintained may be varied
44 and the tenon portion 41 on the insulating disk 3'7.
by manual rotation of the shaft 66 through the manipulat
It will be apparent from FIGURE 1 that the bimetallic
ing knob L7i}. 'I‘he energiziatio-n and de-energization of a
member 30 is spaced a substantial distance from the sec
heating unit 12 to automatically maintain substantially
ond switch arm 28 through the medium of the insulating
constantly the temperature ‘for which the manual means
disk 36, the ?rst switch arm 24 is spaced substantially
is adjustable is accomplished through the transfer of heat
from the second switch arm 28 by the insulating disk
37, and the ?rst switch member spaced substantially
from the unit 12 to the bimetallic element or thermore
from the frame plate 14 through the medium of the third
sponsive means 30, the ?exure or movement of which is
insulating disk 38 and the washer 46.
transmitted through the member 50 to the ?rst switch arm
After these components are assembled on the tubular
24 to vary the position cf the switch arm 24 and the con
tact 31 in accordance with variations in heat ambient the
member 16, an opening in the frame plate 14 receives
the tenon portion 17 of the tubular member 16 and the 45 region of the bimetallic member 30‘.
The switch arrangement of the invention embodies in
projecting portion of the tenon 17 swaged over the plate
sulating means adjacent several components of the switch
14 as shown at 18 in FIGURE 1. Through this method
mechanism to enable the use of the switch with compara
of assembly, the switch components are maintained in
spaced ?xed relation.
tively high voltage appliances, such as air-conditioning
The bimetallic member 30 is provided with means 50 equipment operating on 220 volt current to prevent or
minimize current leakage at increased voltages. The
whereby ?exure of the bimetallic member under the in
thermostatically controlled switch arm 24 is provided
?uence of heat variations affects or in?uences the position
with a comparatively flat strip 80 of insulating material
of the ?rst switch arm or member 24. The distal end
region of the bimetallic member 30 is provided with an
which is secured to the switch member by means of small
opening to receive a strut or member 50 formed of 55 rivets 82.
lava, ceramic or other heat resistant insulating material,
the strut 50 being provided with a ?ange portion 51 dis
posed beneath the bimetallic element 30.
The strip may be fashioned of textile em
bedded in resin or plastic having high insulating charac
teristics. As will be seen from FIGURE 3, the insulat
ing plate or member 80‘ extends laterally substantial dis
tances beyond the lateral edges of the switch member 24
The strut 50 is secured in position by means of a metal
lic clip or securing means 52, the central portion of which 60 to minimize the liability of current leakage between the
switch member 24 ‘and the frame plate 14 when the
engages the ?ange 51, the tab portions 53 of the clip
thermoresponsive element elevates or moves the switch
extending around and engaging upper surface of the bi
arm 24 upwardly to a position adjacent ‘the frame plate
metallic member as shown in FIGURE 3 to secure the
14. The switch member 24 is provided with lengthwise
strut 50 in assembled relation with the bimetallic member
30. The upper end 55 of the strut 50 is arranged for 65 extending reinforcing ridges or depressed portions 84 and
the switch arm 28 provided with lengthwise extending
engagement with the distal end region of the ?rst switch
ridges 86 so that the ?exure or hinging action of the
member 24 to in?uence the position of the switch mem
switch members 24 and 28 occurs adjacent the region of
ber under heat variationis ambient the bimetallic element
support of the switch arms by the insulating disks 36 and
30, thus varying the position of the switch member 24
and contact 31 carried thereby.
37, the ridges 84 and ‘86 resisting ?exure of the switch
arms at ‘the regions of the ridges.
Manual means is provided for varying or controlling
As particularly shown in FIGURES 1 and 4, the cir
the position of the second switch member or arm 28 and
cular insulating disks 36 and 38 are formed with laterally
the contact 32 carried thereby for varying the operating
extending peripheral ridges or ?anges 90 extending sub
temperature range. As particularly shown in FIGURE
1, the frame plate 14 is formed with an opening to re 75 stantially ‘beyond the circular edge regions ‘of the switch
55,098,913
5
members 24 and 28 at the regions of support thereof by
the insulating disks.
Through the provisions of the enlarged peripheral re
gions 90 of the insulating disks 36 and 38 extending
beyond the adjacent edge regions of the switch arms 24
and 28, there is less liability of current leakage from the
switch arms to the frame plate .14 and to the bimetallic
element 30 and the appliance 10.
6
l
,
understood that any suitable moldable plastic or resin
having noncurrent-conducting characteristics may be em
ployed for the housing. ‘It is to be understood that the
walls of the housing 34 and the ?aps 102 and 108 may be
of substantially the same thickness if desired, but of a
thickness to assure ?exibility of the ?aps for assembly
purposes.
It is apparent that, within the scope of the invention,
modi?cations and different arrangements may be made
80 on ‘the switch arm 24 and the peripheral ?anges on 10 other than as herein disclosed, and the present disclosure
Through the improved insulation provided by the strip
the insulating disks 36 and 38, the liability of current
leakage or loss is greatly reduced enabling the operation
is illustrative merely, the invention comprehending all
variations thereof.
of the switch at voltages of 220‘ or more ‘and providing
I claim:
a high safety factor in preventing short circuit of the cur
1. Switch mechanism, in combination, support means
rent to the frame or support for the switch unit.
15 including a plate, an elongated element secured to the
The arrangement of the invention includes a switch
plate, a pair of current conducting switch arms, contacts
housing formed of molded plastic as, for example, poly
mounted by said arms, a plurality of disks of insulating
material mounted on said elongated element, said switch
In the embodiment illustrated, the housing 34 is of com
arms having openings to accommodate portions of the
paratively thin~walled construction comprising side walls
adjacent disks whereby said arms are supported in spaced
94, 95, end walls 96, 97 and an upper wall 98. The wall
relation by the disks, terminal connectors for said switch
90 is provided with an opening 64 to accommodate the
arms extending laterally thereof, said terminal connec
?tting 62.
tors ‘having openings to receive portions of the adjacent
The housing construction is fashioned with openings or
insulating disks and being in direct contact with the re
slots in the side walls to accommodate the laterally pro 25 spective switch arms, a thin-walled housing of molded
jecting terminal connectors 42 and 44- which are admitted
resin arranged to receive the switch mechanism, opposed
through slots formed in the housing side walls and the
walls of the housing being formed with slots to receive
(remainder of the slots closed after assembly by hinged
the laterally extending terminal connectors, a flap portion
?ap portions which may be readily ?exed to open and
adjacent each slot integrally connected to the adjacent
closed positions to facilitate assembly of the switch unit 30 wall of the housing and being of a dimension rendering
within the housing. With particular reference to FIG
the ?ap ?exible to admit the terminal connectors into the
URES 4 and 5, it will be seen that the region 100 of the
slots and to be re?exed to a position in engagement with
wall 94 adjacent an ‘opening or slot to accommodate the
the terminal connectors to retain the switch mechanism
switch member 4-2 is preferably of lesser thickness than
in the housing.
the remainder of the wall 94.
35
2. Switch mechanism, in combination, support means
Arranged adjacent the opening ‘or slot in the wall 94
including a plate, an elongated element secured to the
at the region 100 is a ?exible portion or ?ap 102 which
plate, a pair of current conducting switch arms, contacts
is integrally joined to the wall 94 at the region 103, the
mounted by said arms, a plurality of disks of insulating
latter region forming a hinge to permit ?exure or dis
material mounted on said elongated element, said switch
tortion of the ?ap 102 {outwardly to the dotted position
arms having openings to accommodate portions of the
shown
FIGURES 5 and 9 to accommodate the inser
adjacent disks whereby said arms are supported in spaced
tion of the terminal 4-2 into the slot or opening 105 form
relation by the disks, terminal connectors for said switch
ing a continuation of the slot normally occupied by the
arms, said terminal connectors having openings to receive
distortable portion or ?ap 102.
portions of the adjacent insulating disks and being in
The wall ‘95 is provided with a thin-walled region 107 45 direct contact with the respective switch arms, a thin
of lesser thickness than that of the major portion of wall
walled housing of nonmetallic material arranged to re
95 and is formed with a slot normally voccupied by a
ceive the switch mechanism, the walls of the housing
thin-walled portion or ?ap 108 which is adapted to be
adjacent the connectors being formed with slots to receive
styrene resin or other suitable moldable plastic or resin.
distorted or ?exed about a hinge region 109 to a laterally
the terminal connectors, a flap portion adjacent each slot
extending position as shown in broken lines in FIGURE 50 and integrally connected to the adjacent wall of the hous
5 to accommodate the terminal member 144 in assem
ing, the region of integral connection of the ?ap portions
bling the switch unit in the housing 34.
In assembling the switch unit in the housing 34, the
?aps or distortable portions 102 and 100 are ?rst flexed
with the walls being of a dimension rendering the ?ap
portions bendable to admit the terminal connectors into
the slots and engage the terminal connectors to retain the
or bent outwardly about the respective hinge regions 103 55 switch mechanism in the housing.
and 109‘ at their zones of integral connection with the
3, Switch mechanism, in combination, support means
side walls to laterally extending positions as illustrated
including a cylindrically shaped member, a pair of switch
in broken lines in FIGURES 5 and 9. The switch unit
arms, contacts mounted by said arms, a plurality of cir
is inserted in the housing, the shaft 66 and ?tting 62 ex
cular disks of insulating material mounted on said cylin
tending through the opening 64 formed in the upper wall
dr-ically shaped member, each of said switch arms being
98 of the housing. The switch terminal 44 is admitted
formed with an opening, the disks adjacent said arms
into the slot normally occupied by the ?ap 108 and the
being formed with tenon portions received in the open
switch terminal 42 accommodated in the slot normally
ings in said switch arms, connector terminals mounted
occupied by the ?ap 102.
by said disks and in contact with the respective switch
After the switch unit is inserted in the housing, the 65 arms, thermoresponsive means arranged to in?uence the
flaps 102 and 108 are ?exed inwardly about their respec
position of one of said switch arms, manually adjustable
tive hinge regions until the outer major surfaces of the
means for adjusting the relative position of the other of
?aps are substantially in the planes of the outer surfaces
said switch arms, and a housing of molded resin enclos- .
of the side walls ‘94 and 95 as shown in FIGURE 4. The
ing the support means and switch armg and disk assembly,
?aps 102 and 108 are of a dimension so as to provide 70 said housing having openings to accommodate the con
clearance spaces or openings for the terminals 42 and
nector terminals, the housing being formed with ?ap por
44 when the flaps are in closed or switch assembled posi
tions integrally connected thereto and distortable to admit
tion. Thus, through this arrangement the ?aps 102 and
the connector terminals into the openings in the housing
108 provide the securing means for retaining the switch
and secure the housing in switch enclosing position.
mechanism within the plastic housing 34. It is to be 75 4. Switch mechanism, in combination, support means
3,098,913
7
8
including ‘a cylindrically shaped member, a pair of switch
formed with an opening, the disks adjacent said arms
arms, contacts mounted by said arms, a plurality of cir
cular disks of insulating material mounted on said cylin
drically shaped member, each of said switch arms being
being formed with tenon portions received in the openings
in said switch arms, the disk below one switch arm and
the disk above the other switch arm being formed with
formed with an opening, the disks adjacent said arms
being formed with tenon portions received in the open
ings in said switch arms, the disk below one switch arm
and the disk above the other switch arm being formed
outwardly extending peripheral ?anges, connector ter
with outwardly extending peripheral ?anges, connector
manually adjustable means for adjusting the relative posi
minals mounted by said disks and in contact with said
respective switch arms, thermoresponsive means arranged
to in?uence the position of one of said switch arms,
terminals mounted by said disks and in contact with said 10 tion of the other of said switch arms, a strip of insulating
material supported on the switch arm in?uenced by the
respective switch arms, thermoresponsive means arranged
thermoresponsive means and extending outwardly beyond
to in?uence the position of one of said switch arms,
the edges of the said switch arm, and a comparatively
manually adjustable means for adjusting the relative posi
thin-walled housing of molded resin enclosing the support
tion of the other of said switch arms, a member of insu
lating material supported on the switch arm in?uenced
means and switch arms, the walls of said housing adja
by the thermoresponsive means and extending outwardly
cent the connector terminals having openings to accom
modate the connector terminals, the portions of said hous—
beyond the edges of the said switch arm, and a housing
of nonmetallic material enclosing the support means and
ing walls adjacent said openings being arranged to be
switch arms, said housing having openings to accommo
?exed outwardly to admit the connector terminals into the
date the connector terminals, the portions of said housing
adjacent said connector terminals being distortable to
ment with the connector terminals.
admit the connector terminals into the openings in the
housing and secure the housing in switch enclosing posi
tion.
5. Switch mechanism, in combination, support means 25.
including a cylindrical shaped member, a pair of switch
arms, contacts mounted by said arms, a plurality of cir
cular disks of insulating material mounted on said cyline
drically shaped member, each of said switch arms being
openings in the housing and re?exed inwardly in engage
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
2,317,083
2,328,152
Daiforn ______________ __ Apr. 20, 1943
Kuhn et a1 ____________ __ Aug. 31, ‘1943
2,751,466‘
2,774,846
2,892,014
Huffman ______________ __ June [19‘, 1956
Lee _________________ __ Dec. '18, '1956
Eichelberger __________ __ June 23, 1959
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