(19)
(11)EP 2 747 210 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
16.08.2017 Bulletin 2017/33

(21)Application number: 12839653.8

(22)Date of filing:  15.03.2012
(51)Int. Cl.: 
H01R 13/24  (2006.01)
G01R 1/067  (2006.01)
H01R 33/76  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/JP2012/056654
(87)International publication number:
WO 2013/054554 (18.04.2013 Gazette  2013/16)

(54)

CONTACTOR

KONTAKTOR

CONTACTEUR


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 14.10.2011 JP 2011227170

(43)Date of publication of application:
25.06.2014 Bulletin 2014/26

(73)Proprietor: Omron Corporation
Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 600-8530 (JP)

(72)Inventors:
  • SAKAI, Takahiro
    Kyoto-shi Kyoto 600-8530 (JP)
  • HEMMI, Yoshinobu
    Kyoto-shi Kyoto 600-8530 (JP)

(74)Representative: Kilian Kilian & Partner 
Aidenbachstraße 54
81379 München
81379 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
JP-A- H10 125 428
JP-A- 2003 307 525
JP-A- 2009 128 218
JP-U- 3 122 168
US-A1- 2006 246 754
JP-A- H10 125 428
JP-A- 2009 128 218
JP-A- 2009 146 817
US-A- 4 161 346
US-A1- 2009 156 022
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD



    [0001] The present invention relates to a contactor, and for example, relates to a contactor used for an integrated circuit inspection probe.

    BACKGROUND ART



    [0002] As a contactor used for an integrated circuit inspection probe, there has hitherto been a contactor of an electronic terminal receptacle, which holds contact between an electrode terminal of an electronic component and an electrode portion of a receptacle body by depressing the electronic component to the receptacle body, and connects the electrode portion of the receptacle body to an electrode terminal of a connected electronic component. The electrode portion of the receptacle main body is formed by performing punching on an elastic plate material with a predetermined thickness, and has at both ends a pair of contacts respectively connected with the electrode terminal of the electronic component and the electrode terminal of the connected electronic component, while having a meandering portion successively installed in parallel and provided between the pair of contacts to connect the pair of contacts (cf. Japanese Unexamined Patent Publication No. 2002-134202). Further prior art documents are JP H10 125428 A, US 2006/246754 A1, JP 2009 128218 A, US 4 161 346 A and US 2009/156022 A1.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION


    PROBLEMS TO BE SOLVED BY THE INVENTION



    [0003] However, in the contactor of the foregoing electronic terminal receptacle, the number of folding times of the meandering portion is small and a desired shrinkage amount (displacement amount) is thus difficult to ensure, which leads to lowered usability. For this reason, in order to ensure the desired shrinkage amount (displacement amount), there can be considered a long contactor of the electronic terminal receptacle where the number of folding times has been increased. However, when the meandering portion of the long contactor becomes narrow, electric resistance increases to make it difficult for a current to flow and there are thus limits on lengthening of the contactor, which is problematic.

    [0004] In view of the foregoing problems, an object of present invention is to provide a contactor having desired conductivity while ensuring a predetermined displacement amount. This object is achieved by the subject-matter of claim 1. Further advantageous embodiments are the subject-matter of the dependent claims. Aspects of the invention are set out below.

    [0005] A contactor according to an aspect of the present invention has: a bellows body; a fixed portion, connected to one end of the bellows body; and a movable portion, connected to the other end of the bellows body and having a movable touch piece that extends from at least one side edge along the bellows body. The contactor has a configuration where the movable portion is depressed to compress the bellows body and bring a movable contact point, located at a free end of the movable touch piece, into contact with a fixed touch piece of the fixed portion.

    EFFECT OF THE INVENTION



    [0006] According to the aspect of the present invention, even when the bellows body is made long for the purpose of ensuring a desired displacement amount, a short-circuit occurs by contact between the movable touch piece of the movable portion and the fixed portion, thus making it possible to reduce contact resistance, so as to obtain a contactor with small contact resistance.

    [0007] As an aspect according to the present invention, a fixed touch piece configured to contact to and separate from the movable contact point of the movable touch piece extends from at least one side edge of the fixed portion along the bellows body.

    [0008] According to the present aspect, even when the bellows body is made long for the purpose of ensuring a desired displacement amount, a short-circuit occurs by contact between the movable touch piece of the movable portion and the fixed touch piece of the fixed portion, thus making it possible to reduce contact resistance, so as to obtain a contactor with small contact resistance.

    [0009] As another aspect according to the present invention, a configuration is formed where the movable contact point of the movable touch piece extending from each side edge of the movable portion is arranged contactably to and separably from the fixed touch piece extending from each side edge of the fixed portion.

    [0010] According to the present aspect, the pair of movable touch pieces is arranged contactably to and separably from the pair of fixed touch pieces, thus making it possible to obtain a contactor with high contact reliability.

    [0011] As another aspect of the present invention, the bellows body may have a shape made up of linear-shaped intermediate portions and arc portions each configured to connect the adjacent intermediate portions.

    [0012] According to the present embodiment, it is possible to obtain a contactor easy to design.

    [0013] As another aspect of the present invention, the bellows body may have a shape made up of curve-shaped intermediate portions and arc portions each configured to connect the adjacent intermediate portions.

    [0014] According to the present embodiment, there is an advantage of increasing the design flexibility.

    [0015] As a different aspect of the present invention, a position of contact between the bellows body and the fixed portion may be arranged on a shaft center of the fixed portion.

    [0016] According to the present aspect, when the position of contact between the bellows body and the fixed portion is arranged on the shaft center of the fixed portion, there can be obtained a contactor being operable by small force of operation and having a long life.

    [0017] As a different aspect of the present invention, a position of contact between the bellows body and the movable portion may be arranged on a shaft center of the movable portion.

    [0018] According to the present aspect, when the position of contact between the bellows body and the movable portion is arranged on the shaft center of the movable portion, there is an affect of being able to obtain a contactor being operable by small force of operation and having a long life.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0019] 

    Fig. 1A is a perspective view showing a first exemplary contactor and Figs. 1B and 1C are front views respectively showing the contactor before and after an operation.

    Fig. 2A is a front view of a state where the contactor shown in Fig. 1 has been housed inside a housing, and Figs. 2B and 2C are front sectional views respectively showing the contactors before and after the operation.

    Fig. 3A is a perspective view showing an embodiment of a contactor according to the present invention, and Figs. 3B and 3C are front views respectively showing the contactor before and after the operation.

    Fig. 4A is a front view of a state where the contactor shown in Fig. 3 has been housed inside a housing, and Figs. 4B and 4C are front sectional views respectively showing the contactors before and after the operation.


    MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION



    [0020] An embodiment of a contactor according to the present invention will be described in accordance with the accompanying drawing of Figs. 3 to 4. A comparative example which is not claimed is one in which, as shown in Figs. 1 and 2, a contactor 10 is formed of a bellows body 20, a fixed portion 30 connected to one end 21 of the bellows body 20, and a movable portion 40 connected to the other end 22 of the bellows body 20. The contactor 10 is housed inside a housing 50.

    [0021] The bellows body 20 is formed of linear-shaped intermediate portions 23 and arc portions 24 each connecting adjacent intermediate portions 23, 23. The bellows body 20 may have a cross section with an aspect ratio being not smaller than 1.5, preferably not smaller than 2, and may be formed by pressing or by electroforming. It is to be noted that the aspect ratio here refers to a ratio of a thickness and a height on the cross section of the bellows body 20.

    [0022] The one end 21 of the bellows body 20 is connected onto a shaft center of the fixed portion 30 out of the upper end thereof, and a terminal portion 31 is extended at the lower end of the fixed portion 30 along the shaft center. Further, a locking claw portion 32 is projectingly provided on each side surface of the fixed portion 30.

    [0023]  The movable portion 40 has the front surface in a substantially T-shape. The other end 22 of the bellows body 20 is connected onto the shaft center out of the lower end of a large width portion 41 of the movable portion 40, while a movable touch piece 42 is extended from the one side edge thereof along the bellows body 20. Then, the free end of the movable touch piece 42 is made a movable contact point 43.

    [0024] As shown in Fig. 2, the housing 50 has a rectangular-parallelepiped shape having a slit 51 where the contactor 10 can be housed, and the upper end of the housing 50 has an operation hole 52, while the lower end thereof has a press-fitting hole 53.

    [0025] Then, as shown in Fig. 2, when the movable portion 40 is pressed down, the large width portion 41 descends by the bellows body 20 being compressed, and the movable contact point 43 of the movable touch piece 42 comes into contact with the side surface of the fixed portion 30, to cause a short circuit. Hence the contact resistance decreases, to allow a current to flow.

    [0026] As shown in Figs. 3 and 4, the embodiment is one similar to the foregoing example, where a contactor 10 is formed of a bellows body 20, a fixed portion 30 connected to one end 21 of the bellows body 20, and a movable portion 40 connected to the other end 22 of the bellows body 20. The contactor 10 is housed inside a housing 50.

    [0027] The bellows body 20 is formed of linear-shaped intermediate portions 23 and arc portions 24 each connecting adjacent intermediate portions 23, 23.

    [0028] The one end 21 of the bellows body 20 is connected onto a shaft center of the fixed portion 30 out of the upper end thereof, and a terminal portion 31 is extended at the lower end of the fixed portion 30 along the shaft center. Further, a locking claw portion 32 is projectingly provided on each side surface of the fixed portion 30, and a fixed touch piece 33 is extended from one side edge of the upper side of the fixed portion 30 along the bellows body 20.

    [0029] The movable portion 40 has the front surface in a substantially T-shape. The other end 22 of the bellows body 20 is connected onto the shaft center out of the lower end of a large width portion 41 of the movable portion 40, while a movable touch piece 42 is extended from the one-side edge thereof in parallel along the bellows body 20. Then, the free end of the movable touch piece 42 is made a movable contact point 43.

    [0030] As shown in Fig. 4, the housing 50 has a rectangular-parallelepiped shape having a slit 51 where the contactor 10 can be housed, and the upper end of the housing 50 has an operation hole 52, while the lower end thereof has a press-fitting hole 53.

    [0031] When the movable portion 40 is pressed down, the bellows body 20 is compressed, the large width portion 41 descends and the movable contact point 43 of the movable touch piece 42 comes into contact with the outer side surface of the fixed touch piece 33, to cause a short circuit, whereby the contact resistance decreases and a current flows.

    [0032] According to the present embodiment, there is an advantage of adjusting the timing for contact switching by adjusting the lengths of the movable touch piece 42 and the fixed touch piece 33.

    [0033] Although the case has been described in the foregoing embodiment where the movable touch piece 42 is provided on one side of the bellows body 20, the movable touch piece 42 may be arranged on each side of the bellows body 20, or the fixed touch piece 33 may be provided on each side according to the need.

    [0034] Further, although the case has been described in the foregoing embodiment where the bellows body 20 is formed of the linear-shaped intermediate portion 23 and the arc portion 24 connecting the adjacent intermediate portions 23, 23, it may be formed of curve-shaped intermediate portions and arc portions each connecting the adjacent intermediate portions.

    INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY



    [0035] The contactor according to the present invention is not only usable as an integrated circuit inspection probe, but also usable as a switch or a contact terminal of a battery. Especially when it is used as the integrated circuit inspection probe, since the above contactor can be formed with a small thickness, it is possible to arrange a large number of contactors at narrow pitches, while obtaining an integrated circuit inspection probe with a small number of components.

    [0036] Needless to say, the housing is not restricted to an integrally molded one, but may be one dividable into two parts.

    DESCRIPTION OF SYMBOLS



    [0037] 
    10
    contactor
    20
    bellows body
    21
    one end
    22
    other end
    23
    intermediate portion
    24
    arc portion
    30
    fixed portion
    31
    terminal portion
    32
    locking claw portion
    33
    fixed touch piece
    40
    movable portion
    41
    large width portion
    42
    movable touch piece
    43
    movable contact point
    50
    housing
    51
    slit
    52
    operation hole
    53
    press-fitting hole



    Claims

    1. An apparatus comprising
    a housing (50), and
    a contactor (10), said contactor (10) being housed inside said housing (50), said contactor (10) comprising:

    a bellows body (20);

    a first portion (30), connected to one end (21) of the bellows body (20); and

    a movable portion (40), connected to the other end (22) of the bellows body (20) and comprising a movable touch piece (42) that extends from at least one side edge along the bellows body (20), wherein a movable contact point (43) is located at a free end of the movable touch piece (42),
    characterized in that said housing (50) houses the contactor (10) such that, the first portion (30) is a fixed portion, and when the movable portion (40) is depressed to compress the bellows body (20), said movable contact point (43) moves along the bellows body (20) and comes into contact with a fixed touch piece (33) of the fixed portion (30), the fixed touch piece (33) extending from at least one side edge of the fixed portion (30) along the bellows body (20), the movable touch piece (42) and the fixed touch piece (33) being configured in their lengths to contact with each other when the bellows body (20) is compressed and to separate from each other when the bellows body (20) is not compressed.


     
    2. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the movable contact point (43) of the movable touch piece (42) extending from both side edges of the movable portion (40) is arranged contactably to and separably from the fixed touch piece (33) extending from each side edge of the fixed portion (30).
     
    3. The apparatus according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the bellows body (20) is made up of linear-shaped intermediate portions (23) and arc portions (24) each connecting adjacent intermediate portions (23).
     
    4. The apparatus according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the bellows body (20) is made up of curve-shaped intermediate portions (23) and arc portions (24) each connecting adjacent intermediate portions (23).
     
    5. The apparatus according to any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein a position of contact between the bellows body (20) and the fixed portion (30) is arranged on a shaft center of the fixed portion (30).
     
    6. The apparatus according to any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein a position of contact between the bellows body (20) and the movable portion (40) is arranged on a shaft center of the movable portion (40).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Gerät, umfassend
    ein Gehäuse (50), und
    einen Kontaktierer (10), wobei der Kontaktierer (10) innerhalb dieses Gehäuses (50) untergebracht ist, wobei der Kontaktierer (10) folgendes umfasst:

    einen Balgkörper (20);

    einen ersten Teil (30), der mit einem Ende (21) des Balgkörpers (20) verbunden ist;

    und

    einen beweglichen Teil (40), der mit dem anderen Ende (22) des Balgkörpers (20) verbunden ist und ein bewegliches Berührungsstück (42) aufweist, das sich von mindestens einer Seitenkante entlang des Balgkörpers (20) erstreckt, wobei sich ein beweglicher Kontaktpunkt (43) an einem freien Ende des beweglichen Berührungsstücks (42) befindet,

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das Gehäuse (50) den Kontaktor (10) unterbringt, so dass der erste Teil (30) ein ortsfester Teil ist, und wenn der bewegliche Teil (40) niedergedrückt wird, um den Balgkörper (20) zusammenzudrücken, bewegt sich der bewegliche Kontaktpunkt (43) entlang des Balgkörpers (20) und kommt in Kontakt mit einem ortsfesten Berührungsstück (33) des ortsfesten Teils (30), wobei sich das ortsfeste Berührungsstück (33) von mindestens einer Seitenkante des ortsfesten Teils (30) entlang des Balgkörpers (20) erstreckt, wobei das bewegliche Berührungsstück (42) und das ortsfeste Berührungsstück (33) in ihrer Länge so konfiguriert sind, dass sie miteinander in Kontakt treten, wenn der Balgkörper (20) zusammengedrückt wird, und sich voneinander trennen, wenn der Balgkörper (20) nicht zusammengedrückt ist.


     
    2. Gerät nach Anspruch 1, wobei der bewegliche Kontaktpunkt (43) des beweglichen Berührungsstücks (42), der sich von jeder Seite des beweglichen Teils (40) erstreckt, kontaktfähig an und trennbar von dem ortsfesten Berührungsstück (33) angeordnet ist, das sich von jeder Seite des ortsfesten Teils (30) erstreckt.
     
    3. Gerät nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, wobei der Balgkörper (20) aus linear geformten Zwischenteilen (23) und Bogenteilen (24), die jeweils angrenzende Zwischenteile (23) verbinden, zusammengesetzt ist.
     
    4. Gerät nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, wobei der Balgkörper (20) aus gekrümmten Zwischenteilen (23) und Bogenteilen (24) zusammengesetzt ist, die jeweils angrenzende Zwischenteile (23) verbinden.
     
    5. Gerät nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 4, wobei eine Kontaktposition zwischen dem Balgkörper (20) und dem ortsfesten Teil (30) auf einem Wellenmittelpunkt des ortsfesten Teils (30) angeordnet ist.
     
    6. Gerät nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 4, wobei eine Kontaktposition zwischen dem Balgkörper (20) und dem beweglichen Teil (40) auf einem Wellenmittelpunkt des beweglichen Teils (40) angeordnet ist.
     


    Revendications

    1. Appareil comprenant :

    un boîtier (50), et

    un contacteur (10), ledit contacteur (10) étant logé à l'intérieur dudit boîtier (50), ledit contacteur (10) comprenant :

    un corps de soufflet (20) ;

    une première partie (30) raccordée à une extrémité (21) du corps de soufflet (20) ; et

    une partie mobile (40) raccordée à l'autre extrémité (22) du corps de soufflet (20) et comprenant une pièce de toucher mobile (42) qui s'étend à partir d'au moins un bord latéral le long du corps de soufflet (20), dans lequel un point de contact mobile (43) est positionné au niveau d'une première extrémité dans la pièce de toucher mobile (42),

    caractérisé en ce que :

    ledit boîtier (50) loge le contacteur (10) de sorte que la première partie (30) est une partie fixe et lorsque la partie mobile (40) est enfoncée pour comprimer le corps de soufflet (20), ledit point de contact mobile (43) se déplace le long du corps de soufflet (20) et vient en contact avec une pièce de toucher fixe (33) de la partie fixe (30), la pièce de toucher fixe (33) s'étendant à partir d'au moins un bord latéral de la partie fixe (30) le long du corps de soufflet (20), la pièce de toucher mobile (42) et la pièce de toucher fixe (33) étant configurées pour que leurs longueurs soient en contact entre elles lorsque le corps de soufflet (20) est comprimé et pour se séparer l'une de l'autre lorsque le corps de soufflet (20) n'est pas comprimé.


     
    2. Appareil selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le point de contact mobile (43) de la pièce de toucher mobile (42) s'étendant à partir des deux côtés latéraux de la partie mobile (40) est agencé en contact avec et de manière séparée de la pièce de toucher fixe (33) s'étendant à partir de chaque bord latéral de la partie fixe (30).
     
    3. Appareil selon la revendication 1 ou 2, dans lequel le corps de soufflet (20) est composé de parties intermédiaires de forme linéaire (23) et de partie d'arc (24) raccordant chacune des parties intermédiaires (23) adjacentes.
     
    4. Appareil selon la revendication 1 ou 2, dans lequel le corps de soufflet (20) est composé de parties intermédiaires (23) de forme incurvée et de parties d'arc (24) raccordant chacune des parties intermédiaires (23) adjacentes.
     
    5. Appareil selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 4, dans lequel une position de contact entre le corps de soufflet (20) et la partie fixe (30) est agencée sur un arbre central de la partie fixe (30).
     
    6. Appareil selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 4, dans lequel une position de contact entre le corps de soufflet (20) et la partie mobile (40) est agencée sur un centre d'arbre de la partie mobile (40).
     




    Drawing















    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description