US3475797A - Belt buckle assembly - Google Patents

Belt buckle assembly Download PDF

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US3475797A
US3475797A US3475797DA US3475797A US 3475797 A US3475797 A US 3475797A US 3475797D A US3475797D A US 3475797DA US 3475797 A US3475797 A US 3475797A
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Prior art keywords
latch
lock
assembly
plate
release
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Ben W Rau
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Ben W Rau
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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
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B64AIRCRAFT; AVIATION; COSMONAUTICS
    • B64DEQUIPMENT FOR FITTING IN OR TO AIRCRAFT; FLYING SUITS; PARACHUTES; ARRANGEMENTS OR MOUNTING OF POWER PLANTS OR PROPULSION TRANSMISSIONS IN AIRCRAFT
    • B64D43/00Arrangements or adaptations of instruments
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B64AIRCRAFT; AVIATION; COSMONAUTICS
    • B64DEQUIPMENT FOR FITTING IN OR TO AIRCRAFT; FLYING SUITS; PARACHUTES; ARRANGEMENTS OR MOUNTING OF POWER PLANTS OR PROPULSION TRANSMISSIONS IN AIRCRAFT
    • B64D45/00Aircraft indicators or protectors not otherwise provided for
    • B64D2045/0075Adaptations for use of electronic flight bags in aircraft; Supports therefor in the cockpit
    • 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
    • Y10T24/4566Receiving member includes either movable connection between interlocking components or variable configuration cavity and operator therefor including slidably connected and guided element on receiving member
    • Y10T24/45665Receiving member includes either movable connection between interlocking components or variable configuration cavity and operator therefor including slidably connected and guided element on receiving member for shifting pivotally connected interlocking component

Description

NOV. 4, 1969 5, w RAU v BELT BUCKLE ASSEMBLY 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed April 16, 1968 INVENTOR BENWRAU ATTYS.

Nov. 4, 1969 7 B. w. RAU 3,475,797

BELT BUCKLE ASSEMBLY 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 ii H I Winn?MU /[M I8 I .7 l rifiu 'rggu I E an any 61km UH h" I S'ZZMYF-JM I ATTYS;

United States Patent 3,475,797 BELT BUCKLE ASSEMBLY Ben W. Rau, 320 N. Deere Park W., Highland Park, Ill. 60035 Filed Apr. 16, 1968, Ser. No. 721,642

Int. Cl. A44b 11/06 U.S. Cl. 24-230 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A belt buckle assembly is disclosed including a lock assembly portion and a tongue assembly in which an unnatural motion of a release button is required to unlock the same. The latch is J-shaped in configuration, and the release button shank operates through a pair of parallel compound motion slots which flank the reversely oriented slot in the latch assembly thereby insuring the compound motion.

The buckle assembly is shown as employed on a clipboard for use by an aviator but also can be employed with safety belts, shoulder harnesses, and the like.

The present invention relates to a belt buckle assembly, and more particularly a two-piece assembly in which the release mechanism employs a compound unnatural motion.

While the present invention has a particularly useful application in connection with clipboards used by aircraft pilots and navigators to support navigational data, it will be appreciated as the following description as well as objects and advantages proceeds that the same can have many other applications in safety belts, shoulder harnesses, and the like where accidental disengagement of the belt could prove disasterous.

In the past, clipboards, which are strapped to the thigh of an aviator or navigator, used in sophisticated jet aircraft, had a belt buckle which is disengaged by pressing a button with either a vertical or horizontal motion. Space limitations in the cockpit of jet aircraft are such that when the pilot is reaching to tune his electronic gear or perform other maneuvers, his hand might pass by the button and accidentally release the buckle. Additionally, in the course of maneuvers with G-loads, the clipboard could accidentally be dislodged in the cockpit and injure the pilot, damage equipment, and the like.

The present invention stems from the discovery that by providing a button release with an unnatural motion, the prospects of the movement of the pilots hand or arm in the cockpit of releasing the same are reduced substantially, if not eliminated. The button moves in a generally curvilinear path from the rear to the front and then downwardly, and a quick release can be effected by a single unnatural curvilinear motion. In addition, the locking action is self-energizing, and therefore additional G-forces during maneuvers will actually reinforce or further lock rather than resulting in any tendency to release the same. In addition, the structure of the tongue assembly which coordinates with the lock assembly is purposely mis-matched or matched, to make sure that no false engagement will result to the pilot when securing the belt.

In view of the foregoing, it is a principal object of the present invention to reduce the possibility of accidental release of a belt buckle by providing a release button with a single unnatural motion of a compound nature.

A related object of the invention is to provide a belt buckle which has a self-energizing lock action which, during the application of stress whether by G-loads or other pulling action, further locks the same rather than tending to release.

"Ice

Still another object of the invention is to provide a buckle assembly which achieves the foregoing and employs yieldable means which permit ease of locking, and resists unlocking to the degree that accidental disengagement is reduced.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a belt buckle assembly which is susceptible of adaptation readily to clipboards, safety belts, and other critical releasable personal attachments.

A further object of the subject invention is to provide a belt buckle assembly which is uni-directional, and modified so as to permit insertion and locking by touch, thereby relieving the user at the time of securing the same of close visual inspection.

Additional objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent as the following description of an illustrative embodiment proceeds, in conjunction with the attached drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic, perspective view showing an aviators leg to which a clipboard is attached employing the belt buckle assembly illustrative of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective exploded partially diagrammatic view of the belt buckle assembly taken from the same vantage point as FIG. 1 illustrating the disassembled relationship between the two principal parts.

FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view illustrating the lock assembly of the belt buckle assembly.

FIG. 4 is a plan view of the lock assembly and tongue assembly in their locked relationship, showing in phan-' tom lines the motion of the latch element.

FIG. 5 is a transverse sectional view taken along section line 5-5 of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged view of the latch lock as shown diagrammatically by the arrow in FIG. 3.

FIG. 7 is an enlarged front view of the plate slot and cover slot shown by the arrow and circle with the reference numeral 7 in FIG. 3.

As pointed out above, a most useful application of the invention will be observed in FIG. 1. There it will be seen that the buckle assembly 10 is secured to the side 16 of the clipboard 11. Such clipboards are used by aviators to carry approach plate charts 12, or other navigational data which must be referred to from time to time in the course of take-off, landing and enroute procedures. As will be seen, a strap 14 passes around the thigh portion of the leg 15, thereby securing the clipboard 11 to the leg 15 of the pilot.

As pointed out above, in the prior art, the release button 20 would be operated either horizontally or vertically along a single axis. As will be obsreved by the two arrows shown in phantom lines in FIG. 1, the motion of the pilot in reaching to tune electronic gear, pick up charts, or operate fuel distribution switches and the like would naturally be either at an angle, vertically, or forwardly. In reaching quickly to perform such an emergency maneuver, particularly if the aircraft at the time is in a maneuver and subjected to substantial G-loads, the accidental dislodgement of the clipboard 11 resulting in a loose metallic element flying around the cockpit could prove disastrous. It is to eliminate this very risk that the compound motion for releasing the buckle assembly achieved by manipulating the release button 20 has been developed.

Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 3, it will be seen that the strap or belt 14 is secured by means of a strap pin 13 to the strap anchor portion 17 of the tongue assembly 18. The lock assembly 19 is secured by rivets or other conventional fastening techniques to the side 16 of the clipboard 11. As will be noted, the release button 20 passes through the trace generally indicated by the dotted lines in FIG. 2 of the cover plate slot 61, referenced for the pilots usage, however, by the directional arrow 21.

which is a resultant general indication of the compound motion. The compound motion trace 30 is shown by dotted lines and an arrow on FIGS. 2 and 3, and will be more fully understood hereinafter as the details of the various slots which coordinate with the release button shank 62 are described.

As will be noted, the lock assembly 19 includes a lock pocket 22 having therebeneath a lock pocket lip 24 which is radiused in order to smoothly receive the lock plate 25 of the tongue assembly 18. As will be described later, catch notches 26 are provided on the lock plate-25 to receive the latch 40 which is pivotally mounted within the lock assembly 19. Furthermore, it will be observed that a lock assembly lip 23 is provided to smoothly blend the lock assembly 19 into the side 16 of the clipboard thereby eliminating the possibility of any hidden slots or notches which might lead the pilot to the false assumption that he had inserted the lock plate 25 of the tongue assembly 18 into the lock assembly 19. Also as will be set forth in greater detail hereinafter, an outer plate support 28 of greater height than an inner plate support 29 are employed to secure the lock plate 25, and coordinated with the projections at the lower portion of the lock pocket 22 to provide for assembling the tongue assembly 18 into the lock assembly 19 in only one direction. If desired, only one catch notch 26 may be employed on the lock plate 25 to insure proper orientation.

As pointed out in FIG. 2, the compound motion of the release button axis 31 is according to the arrow generally referenced as 30. Referring now to FIG. 3, this motion, as well as the locking action, will be more fully understood. In FIG. 3 it will be seen that the lock assembly 19 includes a mounting plate 32 and a cover plate 34. The two are secured together by means of rivets 35 which pass through the cover rivet holes 36, and the plate rivet holes 38 and are thereafter secured in place behind the clipboard side 16, or to any other surface to which the lock assembly 19 is to be secured. It will be further appreciated that in some applications where the buckle assembly is to be used to secure two pieces of belting or strapping such as in a safety belt or shoulder harness, means corresponding to the strap pin 13 and strap anchor portion 17 appearing on the tongue assembly 18 as shown in FIG. 2 will be employed at the upper portion of the mounting plate 32 as illustrated in FIG. 3.

Further to assure the proper orientation of the parts and the motion of the release button 20, locating pins 39 are provided on the mounting plate 32 which fit into the cover locating holes 41 on the cover plate 34.

One of the principal operative elements of the buckle assembly is the latch 40 which is constantly urged into the latching position by means of latch spring 42 as the spring coil and swivel 54 is pivotally mounted about the spring pivot pin 44 on the mounting plate 32. The latch 40 as well as the latch spring 42 are secured within the latch pocket 46 which is a recessed portion in the mounting plate 32. As will be further observed, the latch 40 is a J-shaped member having a pivot arm 48, and a lock arm 49 which meet at substantially right angles. At the end of the lock arm 49 a catch is provided which presents a catch locking face 51, the locking face being substantially parallel and in spaced relation from the pivot arm 48. A pivot hole 52 is provided at the intersection between the pivot arm 48 and the lock arm 49 of the latch 40, and is proportioned to pivotally engage the latch pivot pin 45 which is in the latch pocket 46 of the mounting plate 32.

More specifically, the action of the latch spring 42 will be seen by a comparison of FIGS. 3 and 4 and a description of the parts as well as their function. As pointed out above, a coiled portion of the spring 54 serves to swivel the same about the spring pivot pin 44. Depending from the coiled portion are two members, the latch leg 55 and the support leg 56. As will be observed,

the, support leg 56 (see FIG. ,4) coacts with the spring shoulder 57 of the latch pocket 46 thereby yieldably urging the latch leg 55 against the lock arm 49 of the latch 40. To positionably secure the latch spring 42 against the lock arm 49, it will be noted that a latch leg lug 58 is formed at the lower portion of the latch leg 55 of the latch spring 42.

The compound motion illustrative of the invention is provided by the cooperative action of a latch lock 59 provided at the remote portion of the latch pivot arm 48, and the button shank 62 of the release button 20 as the same passes through the plate slot 60 and cover slot 61. It will be seen quite clearly in FIG. 3 that the button shank 62 passes through three slots, the two outer slots being the plate slot 60 and cover slot 61 which are of substantially identical configuration, and the latch slot 59 being substantially a mirror image along the horizontal axis of the outer slots. The button shank 62 is secured by means of a button shank head 64 shown in FIG. 3 in the configuration of a washer, the end of the button shank 62 being peened over to secure the same in place.

Referring now specifically to FIGS. 6 and 7, it will be seen that the latch slot 59 illustrated in FIG. 6 has an open notch 66 at its near portion to the pivot hole 52 of the latch 40. A by-pass recess 68 is provided in the latch slot 59 in opposed relationship to a by-pass detent 69 which cooperate with the button shank 62 to provide a toggle-like action as the latch 40 is being positioned in positive locking engagement with the lock plate 25.

Referring now to FIG. 7, it will be seen that the plate slot 60 and cover slot 61 are substantially identical, each having a lock notch 70 at the forward portion of the motion of the button shank 62, and an open notch 71 remote therefrom. A by-pass recess 72 and a by-pass detent 74 are provided for cooperative action with the corresponding members of the latch slot 59.

In operation as the release button 20 is moved forwardly the shank 62 of the release button moves respectively from the latch lock notch and plate and cover lock notch forwardly to pass over the by-pass detent 69 of the latch 40 and the bypass detent 74 of the plate 32 and cover 34. Thus the operator, at this point in the unlocking action, will fully realize that a positive resistance has been presented by the motion of the release button 20, and therefore a releasing action will ensue. Furthermore, as the release button 20 is urged forwardly, it will not move in this direction inasmuch as the shank 62 is now passing into the plate and cover bypass recess 72, and thereafter constrained downwardly toward the open notch 71 of the plate cover. At the same time, the button shank 62 is passing toward the latch open notch 66, and working the latch 40 about the latch pivot pin 45 against the action of the latch spring 42. Therefore to release, not only is a compound forward and downward motion required, but a detent must be passed, and the same must be of sufiicient force to work against the latch spring 42. In essence, the latch assembly therefore has a safety; the permitted forward movement of the release button 20, and an unlocking action, the subsequent downward movement of the release button, both of which must be coordinated before the lock plate 25 can be released. Accidental dislodgment under these circumstances is substantially reduced if not eliminated. In inserting the lock plate 25 into the lock pocket 22, particularly as shown in FIG. 5, it will be seen that the lock pocket lip 24 is smoothly radiused so that the end of the lock plate 25 must be in the lock pocket 22 for insertion. Furthermore, as illustrated in FIG. 5, the inner plate support 29 barely clears the lock pocket lip 24, and the outer plate support 28 would not clear the same, thereby insuring proper directional orientation of the lock plate 25 within the lock pocket 22. Also, the lock plate 25 is a stainless steel insert affixed between the inner and outer plate supports 29 and 28, and has a notch 26 formed in both of its opposite sides to facilitate the manufacture and assembly thereof. These notches 26 prevent it from being improperly sandwiched between the plate supports.

During the locking action, it will be observed that the head of the catch 50 of the latch 40 is rounded, and the ends of the lock plate are radiused, so that the same will urge the latch into the locking position, and the scissors action of the latch slot 59 cooperating with the plate slot 60 and cover slot 61 are suflicient to insure automatic locking and a return of the release button shank 62 into the locked position as defined by the bypass recess and by-pass detents 68, 69 of the latch and the by-pass recess and by-pass detent of the plate and cover 72, 74. Thereafter the release button 20 is pushed rearwardly until it firmly abuts the lock notch of the latch 40 and the lock notch 70 of the plate 32 and cover 34 securing the same against dislodgment.

In review it will be seen that a buckle assembly has been shown and described in which a single unnatural curvilinear motion must be employed in order to release the buckle once assembled. Nevertheless, the motion to release or to lock is not a difficult one to manipulate, and can be readily mastered by the user so that the same can be done quickly without visual observation. Furthermore, positive orientation of the tongue in the lock assembly has been provided, and false insertion points eliminated in the structure.

Although particular embodiments of the invention have been shown and described in full here, there is no intention to thereby limit the invention to the details of such embodiments. On the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, alternative embodiments, usages and equivalents of a belt buckle assembly as fall within the spirit and scope of the invention, specification and the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A compound motion release buckle comprising, in combination, a tongue assembly, a mating lock assembly, said tongue assembly having an extending plate member catch thereon, said lock assembly having means defining a lock pocket for the aforesaid plate, a latch pivotally mounted within the lock assembly, catch means on the latch proportioned to lockingly engage the plate catch, a release button, a shank on the release button, means defining a compound slot in the lock assembly receiving and constraining the release button for compound movement, and means defining a compound release slot in the latch for receiving the button shank whereby the latch can be released and locked only by an unnatural compound motion.

2. In the buckle of claim 1, yieldable means urging the latch into locking relationship.

3. In the buckle of claim 2, a latch having a pivot arm and lock arm, and an offset latch at the end of the lock arm.

4. In the buckle of claim 3, means pivoting the latch at the intersection of the pivot arm and latch arm.

5. In the buckle of claim 4, a compound slot oriented along the axis of the pivot arm remote from the pivot means.

6. In the buckle of claim 5, said yieldable means abutting the lock arm thereby urging the latch into locking relation with the tongue.

7. In the buckle of claim 1, opposing detents in the latch and plate slots thereby creating a toggle-like etfort to move the button from lock to release position.

8. In the buckle of claim 6, opposing detents in the latch and plate slots thereby creating a toggle-like effort to move the button from lock to release position.

9. In the buckle of claim 1, an outer and inner tongue plate support of different heights, and a lip on the lock assembly beneath the lock pocket thereby permitting locking only when an orientation of the tongue assembly is presented to the pocket.

10. In the buckle of claim 7, an outer and inner tongue plate support of diiferent heights, and a lip on the lock assembly beneath the lock pocket thereby permitting locking only when an orientation of the tongue assembly is presented to the pocket.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,128,719 2/1915 Poppenhusen. 3,294,444 12/1966 Anderson.

BERNARD A. GELAK, Primary Examiner

US3475797D 1968-04-16 1968-04-16 Belt buckle assembly Expired - Lifetime US3475797A (en)

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Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3598443A (en) * 1969-06-05 1971-08-10 Robbins Seat Belt Co Seat belt connector
US20180236948A1 (en) * 2017-02-20 2018-08-23 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Vehicle jack bracket assembly

Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1128719A (en) * 1914-05-29 1915-02-16 Herman A Poppenhusen Curtain-fastener.
US3294444A (en) * 1964-06-18 1966-12-27 Franklin C Anderson Seat belt for vehicles

Patent Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1128719A (en) * 1914-05-29 1915-02-16 Herman A Poppenhusen Curtain-fastener.
US3294444A (en) * 1964-06-18 1966-12-27 Franklin C Anderson Seat belt for vehicles

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3598443A (en) * 1969-06-05 1971-08-10 Robbins Seat Belt Co Seat belt connector
US20180236948A1 (en) * 2017-02-20 2018-08-23 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Vehicle jack bracket assembly
US10471907B2 (en) * 2017-02-20 2019-11-12 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Vehicle jack bracket assembly

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