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1. WO1991015647 - CHARNIERE

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

[ EN ]

" HINGE "

This invention relates to a hinge which has as its specific object the provision of snubbing means.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Various configurations of hinges have been proposed
heretofore which will provide some degree of snubbing, and for example it is known to utilise 'O' rings between two hinging elements, fibre washers which can be clamped between planar surfaces of two hinging elements , and external accessories such as door closures, wherein a piston may be movable within a cylinder and expel air from the cylinder under a spring co-acting between the piston and cylinder.

In certain applications, it is not feasible to have such complex devices as door closures, and for example in a toy where it is desired to be able to position one portion with respect to the other and for that position to be retained, an attempt has been made by the inventor herein to provide a snubbing arrangement wherein a cruciform flange rotated within a generally circular ring, distorting the ring from its circular shape and thereby retaining position. However this arrangement was subject to a number of disabilities, in particular the tendency of plastics material to slowly flow when under pressure and form a permanent "set".

It is the object of this invention to provide a hinge
comprising two parts which can be moved relative to one another against a resistance which is suitable for
application, and wherein the snubbing effect is likely to be smooth and to be retained over an extended period of time, even under some adverse conditions.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In this invention a hinge has an inner part and an outer part, one of the parts being circular and resilient and the other being generally elliptical, the parts having bearing surfaces which engage with an interference fit so that the elliptical part distorts the shape of the circular part. The distortion of shape however is gradual over the whole
periphery of the circular part and the tendency to form a permanent "set" is much reduced. Further, by selection of materials (which would normally be polymeric materials) the characteristics of the snubbing can be varied. For example, if the hinge is used in a stay for a hopper type window, it is desirable that it should have a high degree of stiction (static friction) but a relatively low degree of friction during movement. One combination of materials which will give this is acetyl and polycarbonate. If however it is desired that the stiction should be less and the friction more so that the two are more nearly equal, a combination of polyester and polycarbonate would be found to provide the required characteristics. The invention may have a locking hinge in a second embodiment.

More specifically, the invention consists of a hinge having an inner part and an outer part, an outer bearing surface on the inner part and an inner bearing surface on the outer part engaging the outer bearing surface thereby journalling the parts for relative rotary motion, one of the bearing surfaces having a generally elliptical shape and the other having a generally circular shape, and one at least of the parts comprising a resilient deformable material, there being an interference between said parts where the bearing surfaces engage of sufficient magnitude to cause distortion of the generally circular surface.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Two embodiments of the invention are described hereunder in some detail with reference to and are illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which :-

Fig. 1 is a plan view of an inner hinge part, according to a first embodiment,
Fig. 2 is a plan view of an outer hinge part,
Fig. 3 is a side elevation showing the parts assembled,

Fig. 4 is a plan view indicating the manner in which the outer part can be distorted by the inner part,
Fig. 5 is a plan view of an inner hinge part according to a second embodiment,
Fig. 6 is a plan view of a locking member engageable in the inner hinge part,
Fig. 7 is a plan view of a hinge outer part which is identical to the hinge outer part of Fig. 2,
Fig. 8 is an elevational section taken on line 8-8 of Fig. 5,
Fig. 9 is a side elevation of Fig. 6,
Fig. 10 is an elevational section taken on line 10-10 of Fig. 7,
Fig. 11 is an underside view of Fig. 8,
Fig. 12 is an underside view of Fig. 9, and
Fig. 13 is an elevational section of the parts of Figs. 5 and 7 when assembled and locked by the locking member of Fig. 6.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In the first embodiment of Figs. 1, 2, 3 and 4, a hinge 20 comprises an inner part 21 and an outer part 22.

The inner part 21 is provided with an attachment member 23 on one end of which there is a discoid shape portion 24 which has outstanding from it an elliptical portion 25, the
elliptical portion 25 having a pair of lugs 26 which serve to retain portion 25 to a circular ring portion 27 of the outer part 22 when moved axially over the elliptical portion 25.

The outer part 22 is also provided with an attachment member 23, but this is connected to the ring portion 17 through a U-shaped joining base 28, the bridge portion of which is spaced from the ring, to provide less interference with the distortion of the ring portion 27 when it is positioned over the elliptical portion 25 of the inner part.

The two lugs 26 are outstanding from the elliptical portion 25, but provide a simple means for retention of the two parts, greatly simplifying assembly. When the two parts are pivoted with respect to one another, the major axis of the elliptical portion 25 stretches the ring portion 27 from its circular shape as best seen in Fig. 4, and the stretched zone progressively moves around the circumference of the ring portion 27 upon continued movement of the two portions.
Since an elliptical portion is rotatable within a circular ring, there is essentially a clearance gap between the two elements at the location of the minor axis. This has a secondary advantage in permitting reasonable dimensional tolerance of the elements, since, without the gap, small variations in shrinkage could cause large variations in operability.

Adjustment of snubbing can be achieved by varying wall thickness of the ring, varying materials, and varying the elliptical shape and size of the inner member.

In the second embodiment of Figs. 5 to 13, the hinge 30 comprises an inner part 31 and an outer part 32 as in the first. Each part 30 and 31 has an attachment member 33 extending therefrom, and on one end of the inner part 31 is a discoid portion 34 which has outstanding from it an
elliptical portion 35. It does not, however, have any lugs as in the first embodiment.

The ring portion 37 of the outer part 32 extends around the elliptical portion 35, and, as in the first embodiment, is distorted thereby. Also as in the first embodiment, the attachment member 33 is attached to the ring portion 37 through a joining base 38. The description heretofore is similar to the first embodiment.

The second embodiment however incorporates a locking
function. There is provided a locking member 40, illustrated separately in Figs. 6, 9 and 12. This has a disc 41 with a finger grip 42 extending from one surface, and a stem 43 extends from the other surface, is elliptical in cross-section, and terminates at its outer end in a circular barb 44. The elliptical portion 35 of the inner part 31 has a major axis X.-X. and a central elliptical aperture 46 with a longitudinally extending major axis X_-X2, which, upon assembly, receives the elliptical stem 43. A bifurcating slot 47 also extends along major axis X.-X^, so that by rotating locking member 40 in inner part 31, the length along major axis
is expanded, the expansion being
accommodated by expansion of width of slot 47. This
increases the interference of elliptical portion 35 within ring 37, and inhibits further rotation. Barb 44 retains locking member 41 to inner part 31, the bifurcating slot 47 allowing sufficient resilience of the inner member 31 to accommodate the interengagement upon
assembly.

The invention has been described heretofore in the simplest form, but it will be appreciated that use can be made of small projections on one member and corresponding recesses on the other to provide zones where there is more resistance (or less resistance) to movement than with a circular ring and a true elliptical projection as described herein.