US3189966A - Safety belt buckle - Google Patents

Safety belt buckle Download PDF

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Publication number
US3189966A
US3189966A US27562563A US3189966A US 3189966 A US3189966 A US 3189966A US 27562563 A US27562563 A US 27562563A US 3189966 A US3189966 A US 3189966A
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Grant
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Prior art keywords
base
lock element
operating lever
side walls
coupling member
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired - Lifetime
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Inventor
Wilbur J Craven
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CAPEWELL MANUFACTURING COMPANY A CORP OF
CAPEWELL Manufacturing Co
Original Assignee
CAPEWELL Manufacturing Co
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A44HABERDASHERY; JEWELLERY
    • A44BBUTTONS, PINS, BUCKLES, SLIDE FASTENERS, OR THE LIKE
    • A44B11/00Buckles; Similar fasteners for interconnecting straps or the like, e.g. for safety belts
    • A44B11/25Buckles; Similar fasteners for interconnecting straps or the like, e.g. for safety belts with two or more separable parts
    • A44B11/2503Safety buckles
    • A44B11/2526Safety buckles with an operating lever
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T24/00Buckles, buttons, clasps, etc.
    • Y10T24/45Separable-fastener or required component thereof [e.g., projection and cavity to complete interlock]
    • Y10T24/45225Separable-fastener or required component thereof [e.g., projection and cavity to complete interlock] including member having distinct formations and mating member selectively interlocking therewith
    • Y10T24/45602Receiving member includes either movable connection between interlocking components or variable configuration cavity
    • Y10T24/45623Receiving member includes either movable connection between interlocking components or variable configuration cavity and operator therefor
    • Y10T24/45639Receiving member includes either movable connection between interlocking components or variable configuration cavity and operator therefor including pivotally connected element on receiving member
    • Y10T24/45644Receiving member includes either movable connection between interlocking components or variable configuration cavity and operator therefor including pivotally connected element on receiving member for shifting pivotally connected interlocking component

Description

June 22, 1965 w. J. CRAVEN SAFETY BELT BUCKLE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed April 25, 1963 m R W 0 R v W MW Du U m W ATTORNEYS June 22, 1965 w. J. CRAVEN SAFETY BELT BUCKLE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed April 25. 1963 INVENTOR. WILBUR J. CRAVEN ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,189,966 SAFETY BELT BUCKLE Wilbur J. Craven, East Hartford, Conn., assignor to The Capewell Manufacturing Company, Hartford, Comm, a corporation of Connecticut Filed Apr. 25, 1963, Ser. No. 275,625 2 Claims. (Cl. 24-236) This invention relates to an improved safety belt buckle particularly suitable for use in vehicles such as automobiles and airplanes.

One of the objects of the present invention is to provide a safety belt buckle having an improved construction which insures against accidental decoupling of the buckle components while at the same time permitting the buckle components to be easily and quickly uncoupled as well as coupled by the operator.

A further object of the present invention is to provide in such a buckle a novel drive connection utilized in actuating a lock element which is employed to hold the buckle components in a latched interrelationship.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide such a safety belt buckle having an improved construction that may be economically manufactured in a compact size and will provide dependable service over long periods of repeated and rugged use.

Other objects will be in part obvious and in part pointed out more in detail hereinafter.

The invention accordingly consists in the features of construction, combination of elements and arrangement of parts which will be exemplified in the construction hereafter set forth and the scope of the application which will be indicated in the appended claims.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a safety belt buckle constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged partial cross-sectional view, with portions broken away, of the buckle of FIG. 1 showing the buckle components in coupled relationship; and

FIG. 3 is a view generally similar to FIG. 2 but showing the buckle components in decoupled or released relationship.

Referring to the drawings in detail, a safety belt buckle generally designated 2 embodying the present invention is shown as basically including male and female coupling members 4, 6, respectively, adapted to be coupled together to thereby connect their respective safety belts 8 and 10.

In the illustrated embodiment the male member 4 comprises a generally planar tonguelike body including a forward portion 12 dimensioned to be received in the female member 6 and a rear portion 14 provided with a slot 16 for receiving the looped end of the belt 8 which may be stitched at 18 to thereby connect the belt 8 to the male member 4. Between the forward and rearward portions 12, 14 of the male member 4, there are provided a pair of apertures 20 forming a pair of transversely extending latching shoulders 22.

To facilitate insertion into female member 6 as well as to provide enchanced retention of the male member 4 therein, there is provided a pair of laterally extending ears 24 on opposite sides of the male member 4 at the rear portion 14 thereof as best shown in FIG. 1. Also, to this end, the forward corners 13 of the male member 4 are rounded.

The female member 6 in the illustrated embodiment comprises a frame 7 including a generally planar base 30 and a pair of upstanding side walls 32 extending from the sides of the base as best shown in FIG. 1. The rear ward end of the frame is apertured and provided with an adjustable strap connector generally designated 34 such as of the type shown in U.S. application Serial Number 3,139,955 Patented June 22, 1965 163,255 entitled Adjustable Strap Connector and assigned to the assignee of the present invention.

Generally at the forward end of the frame 7 there is provided a pair of transversely extending latching shoulders 35 formed in the illustrated embodiment by upwardly bent portions of the base 30. The latching shoulders 35 are positioned so as to co-operatively engage the latching shoulders 22 of the male member 4 when the latter is inserted into the female member 6 to thereby couple or latch the buckle members 4, 6 together as shown in FIG. 2.

The forward portions 36 of the side walls 32 are dimensioned to extend beyond the forward edge of the base 30 so that when the members 4, 6 are coupled together the side wall portions 36 will overlie the laterally extending ears 24 of the male member 4 as shown in FIG. 2 for purposes hereinafter more fully described.

In order to lock the members 4, 6 in latched relationship, there is provided -a lock element generally designated 40 comprising a transversely extending crossbar 41 and a pair of cams projecting generally perpendicularly from the ends of the crossbar 41. The lock element 40 is mounted for pivotal movement on the frame 7 by means of a pivot pin 42 received in apertures 52 formed in the cams 5t? and having its opposite ends journalled in pin-receiving holes 44 provided in the side walls 32 of the frame.

The cams 50 of the lock element 40 are dimensioned so that when the lock element is in a lowermost or locking position and the members 4, 6 are latched as shown in FIG. 2, the lower peripheral surfaces 51 of the cams 50 will engage the sides of the forward portions 12 of male member 4 to thereby hold the male member 4 against the base 30 of the frame so as to lock the members 4, 6 in their latched relationship. The male member engaging surfaces 51 of the earns 50 are formed fiat so as to provide transverse edges thereon engageable with the male member 4 to thereby resist accidental pivotal movement of the lock element 40. The same effect may be accomplished by forming the cams 50 so that their peripheral surfaces adjacent to the male member engaging surfaces (at the left side thereof as viewed in the drawings) are at a slightly greater distance from the pivot 42 than the male member engaging surfaces.

An operating lever generally designated is provided for actuating the lock element 40 to unlocking position wherein the members 4, 6 are free to be uncoupled, the operating lever 60 in the illustrated embodiment comprising a top wall 62, a pair of side walls 64 and an end wall 66. The operating lever 60 is mounted for pivotal movement on the frame 7 by means of a pivot pin 68 received in apertures 72 in the side walls 64 of the lever 60 and having its ends journalled in holes provided in the side walls 32 of the frame at points longitudinally spaced from the mounting holes 44 of the pivot pin 42. The top wall 62 of the operating lever 60 covers the central and forward portions of the frame 7 excluding the strap connector 34, and with the free end of the lever 60 positioned generally above the forward edge of the frame 7, while the side walls 64 of the lever 60 are positioned adjacent the locking earns 50 on the outer sides thereof.

In the illustrated embodiment there is provided a cover for the strap connector 34, the cover 90 serving to protect the strap connector 34 against accidental movement while at the same time enhancing the appearance of the buckle member 6. The cover 90 is mounted to the frame 7 for pivotal movement between a closed position wherein it overlies and conceals the strap connector 34 and an open position wherein it exposes the strap connector 34 to permit adjustment thereof. In the shown embodiment the cover 30 is mounted by means of a pair of arms 92 provided thereon and pivotally received on the pin 68. A suitable catch 94 is provided on the rear end of the cover 90 to cooperate with the rear end of the 3 frame 7 to thereby releasably hold the cover 9a in closed position. i

A generally U-shaped torsion spring 74 is provided for biasing the locking element 40 in a clockwise direction (as viewed in the drawings) into locking position and for biasing the operating lever 60 in a counterclockwise direction into closed position as shown in FIG. 2. The

. spring 74 is mounted on the pivot pin 42 with the legs 7 6 of the spring engaging the crossbar 41 of the element 40 and with the opposite leg'portions 78 of the spring engaging the end wall 66 of the operating lever as as best shown in FIGS. 2 and 3.

In accordance with one aspect of the invention, a novel means is provided for transmitting the movement of .the operating lever 60 to the lock element 40 to pivot the same into unlocking position, which means in the illustrated embodiment comprises a pair of laterally outwardly extending tabs 54 provided on the cams 50 of the lock element 40 and dimensioned to be respectively received in a pair of elongated apertures 80 provided in the side walls 64 of the operating lever 60.

Referring to FIG. 3, the edges of the apertures 81) provide cam surfaces at 82 adapted to engage the tabs 54 to pivot the lock element 40 in a counterclockwise direction into unlocking position for releasing the members 4, 6 for decoupling when the operating lever 60 is pivoted in the clockwise direction towards open position. The tabs 54 and the cam surfaces 82 are formed and arranged so that the effective lever arm available for pivoting the locking element 40 from a closed position of the operating lever 60 (shown in FIG. 2) is less than the effective lever arm available for pivoting the locking element 40 from an intermediate position of the operating lever 60 with the result that a greater force is required to initially pivot the operating lever from closed position.

In use, when it is desired to couple the buckle members 4, 6, the male member4 is inserted into the forward end of the female member whereby the male member 4 will engage the cams 50 of the lock element 4%) to pivot 'the same in a counterclockwise direction against the bias of the spring 74 to thereby permit the latching shoulders '22, 35 to be interengaged as shown in FIG. 2 whereupon the cams 50 of the locking element 40 will return under the bias of the spring 74 to engage the top surface of the male member 4 to lock the male member 4 against the base 30 of the frame in latched position.

When the buckle members 4, '6 are in latched relationship shown in FIG. 2, the male member 4 is not only locked at the forward end 12 thereof by the cams 50 but additionally, upward movement (as viewed in the drawings) of the rear portion 14 of the male member 4, such as caused by the conformance of the belts 8, to the body of the user, is limited by the forward portions 36 of the frame s de walls 32 which overly the ears 24 of the male member to engage the same as best shown in FIG. 2.

It will be seen that this restraint of the male member 4 in the female member 6 when they are in latched relationship, together with the flat surface engagement of the male member 4 by the cam surfaces 51 and the force required to initially pivot the operating lever 60 (as a result of the effective lever arm of the cam surfaces 82), will combine to effectively insure against accidental unlocking of the maleiand female members 4, 6 such as might be occasioned by inertia eifects or otherwise. It will beappreciated that cams 50 and the cam surfaces .82 may be designed as desired so as to require at least a preselected amount of force for pivoting the operating lever 60 to open position for a given load thereon.

When it is desired to decouple the members 4, 6, the

.operator is merely required to pivot the operating lever 60 in a clockwise direction (as viewed in the drawings) which not only moves the cams 50 to unlocking position to release the bt Qldc members 4, 6, but further causes the members 4, 6 to move relative to each other whereby the latching shoulders 22, 34 are disengaged and the buckle members 4, 6 separated. This decoupling of the buckle members 4, 6 and their removal from around the operator may be easily and quickly effected with one hand and in one natural motion because of the relative arrangement between the parts of the buckle.

From the foregoing it will be seen that the present invention provides an improved buckle, the component members of which may be constructed with a reduced longitudinal dimension to thereby provide a compact and economical buckle structure without sacrificing the strength or operability thereof.

As will be apparent to persons skilled in the art, various modifications and adaptations of thestructure above de scribed will become-readily apparent without departure from the spirit and scope of the'invention, the scope of which is defined in the appended claims.

I claim:

1. In a safety belt buckle formed of sheet metal a female coupling member including a base and a pair of upstanding-side walls extending from the base dimensioned to receive a male coupling member between the side walls and overlying said base, said base having at least one latching shoulder formed thereon adapted'to cooperate with a latching shoulder on the male coupling member for latching the male and female coupling members together, a transversely extending lock element pivotally mounted between said side walls above said base and having downwardly depending portions at the ends thereof providing cam surfaces for engaging the male coupling member for locking the members in latched relationship, a pivotally mounted operating lever having downwardly depending side walls nested with said lock element between the side walls of the female coupling member and pivotable about a point longitudinally spaced from the pivot of the lock element, spring means biasing the lock element and operating lever in opposite angular directions towards the base, means interconnecting the lock element and the operating lever including a laterally extending tab on at least one of the downwardly depending portions of the lock element and an aperture in the adjacent side wall of the operating lever receiving said tab and forming a cam surface dimensioned to engage I said tab to pivot said lock element in one angular direction .to an unlocking position away from the base when said operating lever is pivoted in an opposite angular direction to an open position.

2. A safety belt buckle formed of sheet metal comprising a generally planar male coupling member having at least one latching shoulder, a female coupling member comprising a frame including a base and a pair of upstanding side walls extending from the base dimensioned to receive the male coupling member on the base between the side walls, at least one latching shoulder formed on the base adjacent one end thereof engageable with the latching shoulder on the male coupling member for interconnecting the members, a transversely extending lock element mounted between said side walls for pivotal movement between locking and unlocking positions and having a pair of cams at the opposite ends thereof positioned to overly and engage the male member to hold the same against the base of the female member in latched relationship and to be pivoted away from the base by the male member upon insertion into the female memher through one end of the base, a pivotally mounted operating lever mounted between said side walls at a point longitudinally spaced from the pivot of thelock element towards the other end of the base for pivotal movement between open and closed positions, the latching shoulder on said male member being longitudinally positioned between said one end of the base and the point of engagement of said pair of cams with said male member, said operating lever having a top wall dimensioned to cover the lock element and the latching shoulders on the base and having a pair of side walls nested between the cams of the lock element and the upstanding side walls of the frame, a spring engaging the lock element and the operating lever and biasing the lock element and operating lever in opposite angular directions towards the base into locking and closed positions respectively, said cams of the lock element having a pair of laterally extending tabs, said side Walls of the operating lever each having apertures receiving said tabs and forming cam surfaces configured to engage the tabs to pivot the lock element away from the base to unlocking position when the operating lever is pivoted in the opposite angular direction into open position.

DONLEY I. STOCKING, Primary Examiner.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS FOREIGN PATENTS 3/08 Germany.

Claims (1)

1. IN A SAFETY BELT BUCKLE FORMED OF SHEET METAL A FEMALE COUPLING MEMBER INCLUDING A BASE AND A PAIR OF UPSTANDING SIDE WALL EXTENDING FROM THE BASE DIMENSIONED TO RECEIVE A MALE COUPLING MEMBER BETWEEN THE SIDE WALLS AND OVERLYING SAID BASE, SAID BASE HAVING AT LEAST ONE LATCHING SHOULDER FORMED THEREON ADAPTED TO COOPERATE WITH A LATCHING SHOULDER ON THE MALE COUPLING MEMBER FOR LATCHING THE MALE AND FEMALE COUPLING MEMBERS TOGETHER, A TRANSVERSELY EXTENDING LOCK ELEMENT PIVOTALLY MOUNTED BETWEEN SAID SIDE WALLS ABOVE SAID BASE AND HAVING DOWNWARDLY DEPENDING PORTIONS AT THE ENDS THEREOF PROVIDING CAM SURFACES FOR ENGAGING THE MALE COUPLING MEMBER FOR LOCKING THE MEMBERS IN LATCHED RELATIONSHIP, A PIVOTALLY MOUNTED OPERATING LEVER HAVING DOWNWARDLY DEPENDING SIDE WALLS NESTED WITH SAID LOCK ELEMENT BETWEEN THE SIDE WALLS OF THE FEMALE COUPLING MEMBER AND PIVOTABLE ABOUT A POINT LONGITUDINALLY SPACED FROM THE PIVOT OF LOCK ELEMENT, SPRING MEANS BIASING THE LOCK ELEMENT AND OPERATING LEVER IN OPPOSITE ANGULAR DIRECTIONS TOWARDS THE BASE, MEANS INTERCONNECTING THE LOCK ELEMENT AND THE OPERATING LEVER INCLUDING A LATERALLY EXTENDING TAB ON AT LEAST ONE OF THE DOWNWARDLY DEPENDING PORTIONS OF THE LOCK ELEMENT AND AN APERTURE IN THE ADJACENT SIDE WALL OF THE OPERATING LEVER RECEIVING SAID TAB AND FORMING A CAM SURFACE DIMENSIONED TO ENGAGE SAID TAB TO PIVOT SAID LOCK ELEMENT IN ONE ANGULAR DIRECTION TO AN UNLOCKING POSITION AWAY FROM THE BASE WHEN SAID OPERATING LEVER IS PIVOTED IN AN OPPOSITE ANGULAR DIRECTION TO AN OPEN POSITION.
US3189966A 1963-04-25 1963-04-25 Safety belt buckle Expired - Lifetime US3189966A (en)

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Cited By (11)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3270388A (en) * 1965-06-22 1966-09-06 Alnwick Invest Ltd Buckle for a safety belt
US3273214A (en) * 1964-09-14 1966-09-20 Irving R Chute Company Inc Safety belt buckle
US3345712A (en) * 1966-02-21 1967-10-10 Robbins Seat Belt Co Buckle for seat belts
US3353234A (en) * 1965-09-20 1967-11-21 Borg Warner Safety belt buckle
US4123588A (en) * 1975-06-13 1978-10-31 General Electric Company Laminates
US4126730A (en) * 1975-06-13 1978-11-21 General Electric Company Laminates
FR2464665A1 (en) * 1979-09-14 1981-03-20 Peugeot Aciers Et Outillage Vehicle safety belt buckle - comprises frame with bolt with locking mechanism and release with spiral spring brake
US4587696A (en) * 1982-11-30 1986-05-13 Nsk Warner K. K. Buckle for seat belt
US6397440B1 (en) * 1999-04-07 2002-06-04 Wonderland Nursery Goods Co., Ltd. Assembly of a buckle mechanism and a blade and a method of securing and releasing the blade to the buckle mechanism
US6948219B2 (en) 2002-05-31 2005-09-27 Graco Children's Products Inc. Latch system for child seat
US20110107564A1 (en) * 2009-02-03 2011-05-12 Michael Alan Keyworth Coupling means

Citations (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE196035C (en) *
US2876516A (en) * 1956-04-20 1959-03-10 Louis F Cummings Buckle
US2904866A (en) * 1955-05-26 1959-09-22 Andrew G Carter Safety-belt buckle
US2999288A (en) * 1955-11-23 1961-09-12 Capewell Mfg Company Buckle assembly
US3013317A (en) * 1958-02-24 1961-12-19 William M Noe Metal-to-metal buckle
US3078538A (en) * 1961-06-01 1963-02-26 Hickok Mfg Co Inc Buckle for safety belt and the like
US3091010A (en) * 1962-04-27 1963-05-28 Frank L Davis Seat belt buckle

Patent Citations (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE196035C (en) *
US2904866A (en) * 1955-05-26 1959-09-22 Andrew G Carter Safety-belt buckle
US2999288A (en) * 1955-11-23 1961-09-12 Capewell Mfg Company Buckle assembly
US2876516A (en) * 1956-04-20 1959-03-10 Louis F Cummings Buckle
US3013317A (en) * 1958-02-24 1961-12-19 William M Noe Metal-to-metal buckle
US3078538A (en) * 1961-06-01 1963-02-26 Hickok Mfg Co Inc Buckle for safety belt and the like
US3091010A (en) * 1962-04-27 1963-05-28 Frank L Davis Seat belt buckle

Cited By (11)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3273214A (en) * 1964-09-14 1966-09-20 Irving R Chute Company Inc Safety belt buckle
US3270388A (en) * 1965-06-22 1966-09-06 Alnwick Invest Ltd Buckle for a safety belt
US3353234A (en) * 1965-09-20 1967-11-21 Borg Warner Safety belt buckle
US3345712A (en) * 1966-02-21 1967-10-10 Robbins Seat Belt Co Buckle for seat belts
US4123588A (en) * 1975-06-13 1978-10-31 General Electric Company Laminates
US4126730A (en) * 1975-06-13 1978-11-21 General Electric Company Laminates
FR2464665A1 (en) * 1979-09-14 1981-03-20 Peugeot Aciers Et Outillage Vehicle safety belt buckle - comprises frame with bolt with locking mechanism and release with spiral spring brake
US4587696A (en) * 1982-11-30 1986-05-13 Nsk Warner K. K. Buckle for seat belt
US6397440B1 (en) * 1999-04-07 2002-06-04 Wonderland Nursery Goods Co., Ltd. Assembly of a buckle mechanism and a blade and a method of securing and releasing the blade to the buckle mechanism
US6948219B2 (en) 2002-05-31 2005-09-27 Graco Children's Products Inc. Latch system for child seat
US20110107564A1 (en) * 2009-02-03 2011-05-12 Michael Alan Keyworth Coupling means

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AS Assignment

Owner name: CAPEWELL MANUFACTURING COMPANY, HARTFORD, CT A COR

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:STANADYNE, INC. A CORP. OF DE;REEL/FRAME:003866/0439

Effective date: 19810623