US3755772A - Mechanical interlock for electric circuit - Google Patents

Mechanical interlock for electric circuit Download PDF

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Publication number
US3755772A
US3755772A US3755772DA US3755772A US 3755772 A US3755772 A US 3755772A US 3755772D A US3755772D A US 3755772DA US 3755772 A US3755772 A US 3755772A
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Prior art keywords
mechanical interlock
receptacle
plug
locking stem
locking
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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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D Reed
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D Reed
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01RLINE CONNECTORS; CURRENT COLLECTORS
    • H01R13/00Details of coupling devices of the kinds covered by groups H01R12/70 or H01R24/00-H01R33/00
    • H01R13/66Structural association with built-in electrical component
    • H01R13/70Structural association with built-in electrical component with built-in switch
    • H01R13/707Structural association with built-in electrical component with built-in switch interlocked with contact members or counterpart
    • 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
    • Y10STECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10S439/00Electrical connectors
    • Y10S439/911Safety, e.g. electrical disconnection required before opening housing

Abstract

A mechanical interlock for components in an electric circuit necessitating a mechanical separation of mating parts which interrupts the electric circuit before access thereto or components thereof is possible, thereby preventing electric shocks to users.

Description

United States Patent 91 Reed [451 Aug. 28, 1973 i 1 MECHANICAL INTERLOCK FOR ELECTRIC CIRCUIT [76] inventor: David M. Reed, PO. Box 652,

Martin, Ky. 41649 [22] Filed: Aug. 16, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 281,091

[52] US. Cl. 339/75 R, 339/37 [51] Int. Cl H0lr 13/54 [58] Field of Search 124/66, 67; 339/36, 339/37, 39, 75, 91, 136, 137

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,549,437 8/1925 Bissell 339/75 R X 2,384,267 9/1945 Andersen 339/75 R 2,700,141 1/1955 Jones 339/75 R X 2,782,391 2/1957 Kirk 339/137 X 3,052,863 9/1962 Uberbacher ct a1. 339/136 M X 3,633,150 1/1972 Swartz 339/36 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 695,256 12/1930 France 339/75 P Primary Examiner-Marvin A. Champion Assistant Examiner-Terrell P. Lewis Attorney-David H. Semmes [5 7 ABSTRACT A mechanical interlock for components in an electric circuit necessitating a mechanical separation of mating parts which interrupts the electric circuit before access thereto or components thereof is possible, thereby preventing electric shocks to users.

9 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures MECHANICAL INTERLOCK FOR ELECTRIC CIRCUIT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In numerous applications involving the use of electric circuits for motive power and the like, frequent access to components of the electric circuit for repair, inactivating, disconnection of components and the like are desirable and necessary. One such application is to vehicles such as employed, for example, in mining operations and the like which usually consist of work vehicles including electric batteries for motive power, the batteries having substantial voltage and require frequent servicing or changing of the batteries, or disconnection of one vehicle component from another. Such work vehicles of a mine operations type are shown, for example, in prior U.S. Pats. Nos. 3,226,587 and 3,545,634. Such operations in the absence of safeguards such as provided in the present invention might subject an operator or user to contact with a live electric circuit with a consequent, perhaps fatal, electric shock.

The present invention has as its primary purpose the provision of means to negate this possibility.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is for a mechanical interlock mechanism for association with an electric circuit which requires a mechanical separation of mating mechanical parts which serves to interrupt the electric circuit before access to the circuit or components thereof is possible. Interruption of the electric circuit by a mechanical separation of mechanical components prevents possible electric shocks to operators or users.

The present invention is particularly suitable for use with electric power motivated mining vehicles and the like which require frequent servicing and/or changing of batteries and/or separation of mechanical components of the vehicles although obviously not limited thereto, the concept and structure being more broadly applicable.

Additional objects and advantages of the invention will be more readily apparent from the following detailed description of an embodiment thereof when taken together with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the mechanical interlock for an electric circuit in connected or assembled condition;

FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 with the components shown in separated or disconnected condition;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the assembled interlock apparatus; and

FIG. 4 is aside elevational view of the structure shown in FIG. 3.

Referring now in greater detail to the drawings, which will be described with reference to application of the invention to a mining vehicle or the like, which is actuated by electric batteries, although the principles and structure applicable to other uses, the mechanical interlock generally designated 10 is especially adapted for interconnecting a fuse box and electric circuit as used in an electrically driven and operated vehicle such as a mining vehicle. Another application of the mechanical interlock would consist of a connection between, for example, a vehicle control box and the electrical circuit. In the drawings, the fuse box is generally indicated at 12 into which electrical leads are appropriately connected through wire conduit 14, the structure including a packing gland assembly 16, a clamp 18 such as an adjustable screw clamp or the like. The packing gland assembly is connected to fuse box 12 through a gas tight seal indicated at 20. A seal wire 22 of a known type is provided between appropriate collars as shown.

The fuse box is provided with a screw threadedly engaged inspection cap 24 having indents 26 on the periphery thereof and a removable set screw 28 is engageable in the body of the fuse box to prevent rotation of the inspection cap when operatively inserted with respect to the indents on the inspection cap.

The fuse box has operatively connected thereto a plug generally designated 30 adapted for insertion in a cooperating or coacting receptacle 32 for establishing the electrical connection. The receptacle has electric leads therefrom through conduit 34 with appropriate securement means and seal wire generally designated 36. A receptacle cover 38 encompasses receptacle 32 and is of a generally cylindrical configuration from which a receptacle cover handle 40 extends which is of an elongate design and from which a receptacle cover flange depends and constitutes an end for the receptacle cover. The flange is adapted for mating engagement with an apertured cover plate 44 and secured by means of hex bolt, lock washer combinations as indicated at 46, the plug 30 being insertable therethrough into operative engagement in receptacle 32. When disengaged, as shown in FIG. 2, a closure cap 48 suspended by means of chain 50 can be screw threadedly engaged on mating threads provided on closure cap 48 as shown. The free end of handle 40 terminates in an apertured flat lug 52.

Fuse box 12 has an interlock gland ring 54 mounted on fuse box extension 56, the ring having a lug and set screw 58 for securement on the threaded end of plug 30. A cap 60 is also adapted for screw threaded engagement on the cover as shown in FIG. 3.

A locking stem and holder 62 includes a hold down flange 64 at an end thereof engageable and connected to inspection cap 24 through the medium of hold down washer 66 and hex bolts and lock washers 68 and seal wire 70. The opposite end of the locking stem holder is provided with a slot 72 adapted for mating reception of apertured flat lug 52 through longitudinal sliding engagement therein when the receptacle and plug are brought into mating engagement for interconnecting and activating the electrical circuit. The assembled relationship is shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings. A lock 74 is operatively engageable in the aperture 76 in flat lug 52. In order to make or break the connection between plug and receptacle, it is necessary to slidably engage flat lug 52 in and through the slot 72 in the locking stem 62. The inspection cap 24 cannot be removed prior to disengagement of the receptacle cover handle and the locking stem holder to free the inspection cap for removal. The mating lug and slot, in conjunction with the lock, prevent such a disconnection and provide for safety of personnel handling the apparatus. An apertured ear or lug 78 is provided on receptacle cover 38 and can be used for securement of cap 48 and in assembled relationship of the parts.

It will accordingly be seen that a longitudinal sliding movement of the plug and receptacle toward or away from one another is required before the parts can be disconnected and prior to access to, for example, the fuse box. The same principle can be applied in different usage areas with, for example, a control box or the like.

Manifestly, minor changes in the details of construction can be effected without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as shown and described and as defined and limited solely by the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A mechanical interlock for an electric circuit comprising:

A. a plug connected to a first section of said circuit;

B. a receptacle connected to a second section of said circuit adapted for coupling with said plug;

C. a receptacle cover encompassing said receptacle and including:

i. an elongate handle extending longitudinally exteriorly thereof;

D. a locking stern and holder connected to said plug and extending longitudinally exteriorly thereof;

E. said handle and said locking stem having coacting and mating free end portions adapted for locking interengagement upon longitudinal movement of said receptacle cover and said plug with respect to one another to lock said plug and said receptacle against displacement and disengagement.

F. a circuit component compartment connected in said first section, an access opening to said compartment, a detachable access cover on said access opening, said locking stem being attached to said access cover and preventing removal thereof when said locking stem and said handle are in locking interengagement.

2. A mechanical interlock as claimed in claim 1, said access cover being screw threadedly engaged with said compartment and rotation thereof for removal being prevented by said attached locking stem.

3. A mechanical interlock as claimed in claim 2, said locking stem being detachably connected to said access cover.

4. A mechanical interlock as claimed in claim 1, said locking stem having an elongated slot in the free end thereof, said handle having a laterally extended ear thereon, said ear being slidable within said slot upon said longitudinal movement of said receptacle cover and said plug and lockingly interengaging the members.

5. A mechanical interlock as claimed in claim 4, said ear having an aperture therethrough, said aperture being adapted for engagement by a removable lock.

6. A mechanical interlock as claimed in claim 5, the free end of said locking stem having a slotted transversely extending lug, said ear being slidable through the slot in said lug and prevented from removal when a said lock is operatively engaged in said aperture in said ear.

7. A mechanical interlock as claimed in claim 6, wherein said component compartment comprises a fuse box..

8. A mechanical interlock as claimed in claim 6, wherein said component compartment comprises a control box for said circuit.

5. A mechanical interlock as claimed in claim 6, including a removable end cap for said receptacle and screw threadedly engageable therewith.

* i i f

Claims (9)

1. A mechanical interlock for an electric circuit comprising: A. a plug connected to a first section of said circuit; B. a receptacle connecteD to a second section of said circuit adapted for coupling with said plug; C. a receptacle cover encompassing said receptacle and including: i. an elongate handle extending longitudinally exteriorly thereof; D. a locking stem and holder connected to said plug and extending longitudinally exteriorly thereof; E. said handle and said locking stem having coacting and mating free end portions adapted for locking interengagement upon longitudinal movement of said receptacle cover and said plug with respect to one another to lock said plug and said receptacle against displacement and disengagement. F. a circuit component compartment connected in said first section, an access opening to said compartment, a detachable access cover on said access opening, said locking stem being attached to said access cover and preventing removal thereof when said locking stem and said handle are in locking interengagement.
2. A mechanical interlock as claimed in claim 1, said access cover being screw threadedly engaged with said compartment and rotation thereof for removal being prevented by said attached locking stem.
3. A mechanical interlock as claimed in claim 2, said locking stem being detachably connected to said access cover.
4. A mechanical interlock as claimed in claim 1, said locking stem having an elongated slot in the free end thereof, said handle having a laterally extended ear thereon, said ear being slidable within said slot upon said longitudinal movement of said receptacle cover and said plug and lockingly interengaging the members.
5. A mechanical interlock as claimed in claim 4, said ear having an aperture therethrough, said aperture being adapted for engagement by a removable lock.
6. A mechanical interlock as claimed in claim 5, the free end of said locking stem having a slotted transversely extending lug, said ear being slidable through the slot in said lug and prevented from removal when a said lock is operatively engaged in said aperture in said ear.
7. A mechanical interlock as claimed in claim 6, wherein said component compartment comprises a fuse box.
8. A mechanical interlock as claimed in claim 6, wherein said component compartment comprises a control box for said circuit.
9. A mechanical interlock as claimed in claim 6, including a removable end cap for said receptacle and screw threadedly engageable therewith.
US3755772A 1972-08-16 1972-08-16 Mechanical interlock for electric circuit Expired - Lifetime US3755772A (en)

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Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4550966A (en) * 1984-01-24 1985-11-05 J & R Manufacturing, Inc. Electrical cable connectors
FR2756669A1 (en) * 1996-12-02 1998-06-05 Marechal Sepm Lockable Open Position for electrical Connector
US6899552B1 (en) 2004-01-14 2005-05-31 Weston D. Robinson Gripping and locking electrical grounding device for single and multiphase electrical equipment
US20150291130A1 (en) * 2014-04-14 2015-10-15 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Electric vehicle service disconnect lock
US9397459B2 (en) * 2014-08-15 2016-07-19 Lear Corporation Manual service disconnect with screw cover

Citations (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1549437A (en) * 1920-02-07 1925-08-11 Crouse Hinds Co Electric plug receptacle
FR695256A (en) * 1930-05-07 1930-12-13 Improvements to connecting jaws for electric son
US2384267A (en) * 1942-04-25 1945-09-04 Johan M Andersen Electrical connector
US2700141A (en) * 1952-06-16 1955-01-18 Herbert O Jones Detachable underwater electrical connector
US2782391A (en) * 1952-10-02 1957-02-19 Gen Motors Corp Waterproof line connector
US3052863A (en) * 1961-03-16 1962-09-04 Ibm Contact connector operating devices
US3633150A (en) * 1970-04-08 1972-01-04 Edward Swartz Watertight electric receptacle connector

Patent Citations (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1549437A (en) * 1920-02-07 1925-08-11 Crouse Hinds Co Electric plug receptacle
FR695256A (en) * 1930-05-07 1930-12-13 Improvements to connecting jaws for electric son
US2384267A (en) * 1942-04-25 1945-09-04 Johan M Andersen Electrical connector
US2700141A (en) * 1952-06-16 1955-01-18 Herbert O Jones Detachable underwater electrical connector
US2782391A (en) * 1952-10-02 1957-02-19 Gen Motors Corp Waterproof line connector
US3052863A (en) * 1961-03-16 1962-09-04 Ibm Contact connector operating devices
US3633150A (en) * 1970-04-08 1972-01-04 Edward Swartz Watertight electric receptacle connector

Cited By (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4550966A (en) * 1984-01-24 1985-11-05 J & R Manufacturing, Inc. Electrical cable connectors
FR2756669A1 (en) * 1996-12-02 1998-06-05 Marechal Sepm Lockable Open Position for electrical Connector
US5944550A (en) * 1996-12-02 1999-08-31 Societe D'exploitation Des Procedes Marechal (Sepm) Electrical connection device lockable in the open position
US6899552B1 (en) 2004-01-14 2005-05-31 Weston D. Robinson Gripping and locking electrical grounding device for single and multiphase electrical equipment
US20150291130A1 (en) * 2014-04-14 2015-10-15 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Electric vehicle service disconnect lock
US9260080B2 (en) * 2014-04-14 2016-02-16 Ford Global Technologies, Inc. Electric vehicle service disconnect lock
US9397459B2 (en) * 2014-08-15 2016-07-19 Lear Corporation Manual service disconnect with screw cover

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