(19)
(11)EP 3 327 741 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
23.12.2020 Bulletin 2020/52

(21)Application number: 17181748.9

(22)Date of filing:  17.07.2017
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
H01H 9/04(2006.01)
H01H 15/02(2006.01)

(54)

AN ELECTRICAL SWITCH FOR AN ELECTRICAL DEVICE AND SEALING ASSEMBLY FOR AN ELECTRICAL SWITCH

ELEKTRISCHER SCHALTER FÜR EINE ELEKTRISCHE VORRICHTUNG UND DICHTUNGSANORDNUNG FÜR EINEN ELEKTRISCHEN SCHALTER

UN COMMUTATEUR ÉLECTRIQUE POUR UN DISPOSITIF ÉLECTRIQUE ET ENSEMBLE D'ÉTANCHÉITÉ POUR UN COMMUTATEUR ÉLECTRIQUE


(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: 24.11.2016 HK 16113455

(43)Date of publication of application:
30.05.2018 Bulletin 2018/22

(60)Divisional application:
18207975.6 / 3477673

(73)Proprietors:
  • Defond Components Limited
    Chai Wan (HK)
  • Defond Electech Co., Ltd
    Hongmei Second Industrial Area Hongmei Town Dongguan Guangdong 523160 (CN)

(72)Inventor:
  • Wong, Kin Yu
    Chai Wan (HK)

(74)Representative: Lawrie IP Limited 
310 St. Vincent Street
Glasgow G2 5RG
Glasgow G2 5RG (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 0 694 939
DE-U- 1 849 285
US-A- 3 778 577
DE-B- 1 242 736
US-A- 3 334 200
  
      
    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 the field of electrical switch units, and in particular relates to electrical switches for use in electrical devices, in particular for use in hand-held or portable devices such as power tools and personal care devices.

    Background of the Invention



    [0002] Hand-held electrical devices such as power tools or personal care devices include electric switch units which assist in controlling the supply of power to the motor or other electrically operable elements of the electrical device.

    [0003] It is of paramount importance that due to environmental factors, that such switches prevent ingress of foreign particulates, dust and water. This is due to longevity of a switch, which typically may be used for numerous cycles when implemented in such an electrical device. Also and importantly, from an occupational health and safety risk standpoint, it is important that ingress of foreign matter and water be prevented from entering a switch, as the ingress of such matter can cause short circuiting as well as electric shock to an operator. Further, such ingress may cause an insulative effect, and cause non-operability of a switch, rendering a device in which the switch is implemented non-operable.

    [0004] Within the various electrical standards, there exist requirements of prevention of ingress of foreign objects and water, of varying degrees, and applicable ratings are applied to switches depending upon the level of ingress prevention. For example, standards may include ratings or gradings dependent upon the size of particulates of sizes, dust-proofing, and the pressure of water such as from dripping, spraying, powerful water jets, temporary immersion and long term immersion.

    [0005] Accordingly, depending upon the physical and environmental application, a switch or switch assembly is required to have the requisite level of particulate, dust and water prevention to ingress rating.

    [0006] For example, hand operable power tools are often exposed to harsh environments such as construction or work sites, whereby there is inherently a high level of dust and particulate matter, as well as often moisture and water. Further, an operator of e device may have wet hands or gloves with liquid thereon, such as uncured cement or wet paint, which needs to be prevented from entering the switch or switch assembly. Also, a power tool when not used may be laid down in a wet or moist environment or be exposed to the splashing of water.

    [0007] In other applications such as personal care devices, for example hairdryers, inherently there will exist airborne particulate matter as well as water from the hair of an operator or wet surfaces upon which a hairdryer or other device may be laid to rest. Accordingly, from longevity and safety standpoints, ingress into the switch or switch assembly of particulates, dust and water must be suitably resisted or prevented.

    [0008] There exist various manners in which a switch may be dust proofed or water proofed according to the prior art, such as an encapsulating membrane covering at least the outer exposed portion of the switch including the actuator. However such membranes, through repetitive use and deformation, may tear or become perforated, and permit ingress of particulates, dust and water, and thus have compromised integrity.

    [0009] Further, the use of such switches or switch assemblies are often bulky, and their implementation in hand-held electrical devices such as hand operable power tools and hand-held personal care devices is often precluded, due to physical space constraints and aesthetic requirements.

    [0010] Switches as applicable for use in hand-held electrical devices such as hand operable power tools and hand-held personal care devices must not be easily inadvertently activated or requisite settings or positions easily inadvertently altered, due to safety concerns as well as commercial implications.

    [0011] US 3778577 discloses a sealing assembly according to the preamble of claim 1 and relates to a cap and wall structure for sealing a toggle switch against entry of moisture, which comprises an annular skirt encapsulating an annular wall formed about an opening in a wall structure or cover plate. The cap includes a pair of legs which lock it to the wall or plate but allows the cap to slide.

    Object of the Invention



    [0012] It is an object of the present invention to provide an electrical switch for an electrical device and sealing assembly for an electrical switch which overcomes or ameliorates at least some of the deficiencies as associated with the prior art.

    Summary of the Invention



    [0013] The present invention may involve several broad forms. Embodiments of the present invention may include one or any combination of the different broad forms herein described.

    [0014] In a first aspect, the present invention provides a sealing assembly for prevention of ingress of particulates and water into an electrical switch having two or more positions moveable between a first extremity and a second extremity in a linear direction of movement by an actuator, whereby said actuator is operable through an aperture extending through the outer surface of a housing of the electrical switch, said sealing assembly comprising:

    an engagement element including a rigid first abutment portion for circumscribing the aperture extending through the outer surface of the housing of the switch and a rigid first retention portion;

    a sealing element being slidingly engageable with the engagement element in a direction of said linear direction of movement of the actuator and being retained by the retention portion of the engagement element, said sealing element including a first complementary abutment portion for sliding engagement with the first abutment portion of the engagement element;

    wherein the sealing element is formed from an elastically resilient polymeric material such that when retained by the engagement element, sealing engagement between the first complementary abutment portion of the sealing element and the first abutment portion is effected as the first complementary abutment portion is urged against the first abutment surface of the engagement element so as to occlude passage and ingress of particulates, dust and water from external of the first abutment portion to the aperture extending through the outer surface of a housing of the electrical switch;
    wherein upon movement of the sealing element in conjunction with movement of the actuator of the electrical switch between the first extremity and the second extremity, said sealing engagement between the first complementary abutment portion of the sealing element and the first abutment surface of the engagement element is maintained; and
    wherein the sealing assembly is characterized in that the retention portion of the engagement element is provided as a rail assembly which protrudes from and extends in a direction of outwardly away from the outer surface of the housing.

    [0015] In an embodiment of the present invention, the first abutment portion of the engagement element protrudes from and extends in a direction of outwardly away from the outer surface of the housing, whereby the first abutment portion may further prevent ingress of water from the surface of the housing external of the surface of the housing into the switch via the aperture.

    [0016] The first abutment portion may further extend in a direction away from the aperture so as to form a rebate between the outer surface of the housing of the electrical switch and the first abutment portion, to further prevent ingress of water from the surface of the housing external of the surface of the housing into the switch via the aperture.

    [0017] The rail assembly is preferably provided by a pair of elongate rail members, wherein each rail member is of elongate form and is disposed on the outer surface of a housing of the electrical switch and extend in the direction of said a linear direction of movement on opposed sides of the aperture.

    [0018] Preferably, each rail member includes an elongate protrusion extending along at least a portion of the length of each rail, wherein each elongate protrusion extends in a direction of away from the aperture of the housing such that a retention rebate is formed between each rail and the outer surface of the housing; and wherein the sealing element includes a pair of complementary protrusions each of which extends within the rebate of each rail member such that the sealing element is retained to the retention portion of the engagement element.

    [0019] In an embodiment of the present invention, the engagement element includes a rigid further abutment portion and the sealing element includes a further complementary abutment portion for sliding engagement with the further abutment portion of the engagement element, wherein retention of the sealing element by the engagement element causes sealing engagement between the further complementary abutment portion of the sealing element the further abutment surface and the further abutment surface as the further complementary abutment surface is urged against the further abutment surface of the engagement element so as to further occlude passage and ingress of particulates, dust and water from external of the further abutment portion to the aperture extending through the outer surface of a housing of the electrical switch.

    [0020] The further abutment surface may be provided by the outer surface of the housing of the switch, and the further complementary abutment surface may be a protrusion extending from the sealing element in a direction of towards the outer surface of the housing of the switch and circumscribing the aperture of the housing of the switch.

    [0021] The actuator of the switch is operable by urging an actuation portion in communication with the actuator which extends through the aperture in the linear direction of movement by a user.

    [0022] In an embodiment of the present invention, the actuation portion extends through the sealing element and the sealing element is sealing engaged and affixed to the actuation portion so as to occlude passage and ingress of particulates, dust and water from external of the housing of the switch through the outer surface of a housing of the electrical switch.

    [0023] Urging of the actuation portion may urge the actuator and the sealing element in the direction of movement. Alternatively, urging of the sealing element in the direction of movement may urge the actuation portion which urges the actuator in the direction of movement.

    Brief Description of the Drawings



    [0024] The present invention will become more fully understood from the following detailed description of a preferred but non-limiting embodiment thereof, described in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

    Figure 1a depicts a perspective view of an example of an engagement element of a sealing assembly according to the present invention in conjunction with a housing of an electrical switch;

    Figure 1b depicts a perspective view of the housing member of Figure 1a in conjunction with an electrical switch and in conjunction with an example of a sealing assembly according to the present invention shown in partial section which is engaged with the engagement element of Figure 1a;

    Figure 1c depicts a bottom view of a sealing element of Figure 1b for engagement with the engagement element of Figure 1a;

    Figure 1d depicts a top view of the sealing element of Figure 1c;

    Figure 1e depicts a perspective sectional view of the sealing assembly and housing and switch of Figure 1b with an actuator for an electrical switch at a first extremity of linear movement;

    Figure 1f depicts a perspective sectional view of the sealing assembly and housing and switch of Figure 1e with the actuator at a midpoint of linear movement;

    Figure 2a depicts a perspective view of the sealing assembly, housing and switch of Figure 1b, with an actuator for an electrical switch at a first extremity of linear movement;

    Figure 2b depicts a perspective view of the sealing assembly, housing and switch of Figure 1b, with an actuator for an electrical switch at a mid-point of linear movement;

    Figure 2c depicts a perspective view of the sealing assembly, housing and switch of Figure 1b, with an actuator for an electrical switch at a second extremity of linear movement;

    Figure 3 depicts a perspective view of an example of an electrical switch in conjunction with the sealing assembly as depicted in Figures 1a to 2c;

    Figure 4a depicts a cross sectional view of a first example of an electrical switch in accordance with the present invention in a first configuration;

    Figure 4b depicts a cross sectional view of the example of an electrical switch of Figure 4a in a second configuration;

    Figure 4c depicts a cross sectional view of the example of an electrical switch of Figure 4a and Figure 4b in a third configuration;

    Figure 5a depicts a cross sectional view of a second example of an electrical switch in accordance with the present invention in a first configuration;

    Figure 5b depicts a cross sectional view of the example of an electrical switch of Figure 5a in a second configuration;

    Figure 5c depicts a cross sectional view of the example of an electrical switch of Figure 5a and Figure 5b in a third configuration;

    Figure 6a depicts a cross sectional view of a third example of an electrical switch in accordance with the present invention in a first configuration;

    Figure 6b depicts a cross sectional view of the example of an electrical switch of Figure 6a in a second configuration; and

    Figure 6c depicts a cross sectional view of the example of an electrical switch of Figure 6a and Figure 6b in a third configuration.


    Detailed Description of the Preferred Embodiments



    [0025] Referring to Figures 1a to 2c, there is shown an exemplary embodiment of a sealing assembly 100 for the prevention of ingress of particulates, dust and water into an electrical switch in accordance with the present invention when incorporated with an electrical switch which is suitable for use in hand-held electrical devices such as hand operable power tools and hand-held personal care devices.

    [0026] The sealing assembly 100 is applicable to electrical switches which may have 1 or 2 poles and 2 or more positions, whereby the actuator of the switch is moveable in a linear direction of movement 136 between a first extremity which corresponds to a first pole, to a second extremity which corresponds to a second extremity.

    [0027] The actuator of such a switch is operable through an aperture 132 which extends through the outer surface 134 of a housing 130 of the electrical switch. In order to move such an actuator in the direction of movement 136, the actuator 140 is urged by the user of the hand-held electrical device, either directly or indirectly, which may be by direct or indirect contact with the actuator 140, or by direct or indirect contact with an element in operable communication with the actuator 140. As will be understood by those skilled in the art, there exist numerous manners in which an actuator 140 of an electrical switch may be operated, and no structural limitation should be imported to the invention by reference to the exemplary embodiments.

    [0028] The sealing assembly 100 comprises an engagement element 110 to which a sealing element 120 is slidingly engaged with, such that the sealing element 120 is moveable in a linear direction of movement 136.

    [0029] The engagement element 110 includes a first rigid first abutment portion 111 which circumscribes the aperture 132 which extends through the outer surface 134 of the housing 130 of the switch, and also includes a rigid first retention portion 112.

    [0030] In the present embodiment, the first abutment portion 111 of the engagement element 110 protrudes from and extends in a direction of outwardly away from the outer surface 134 of the housing 130.

    [0031] As will be understood, the first abutment portion 111 in the present embodiment, may further prevent ingress of water from the outer surface 134 of the housing 130 external of the surface 134 of the housing 130 into the switch via the aperture 132, due to it extending outward from the surface. Furthermore, the first abutment portion 111 may further extend in a direction away from the aperture so as to form a rebate between the outer surface of the housing of the electrical switch and the first abutment portion 111, so as to further prevent ingress of water from the surface 134 of the housing 130 external of the surface 134 of the housing 130 into the switch via the aperture 132.

    [0032] The sealing element 120, being slidingly engageable with the engagement element 110, is retained by the retention portion 112 of the engagement element 110. Said sealing element 120 including a first complementary abutment portion 122 for sliding engagement with the first abutment portion 111 of the engagement element 110. In the present embodiment, the first complementary abutment portion 122 is provided by the central underside surface of the sealing element 120.

    [0033] In the present embodiment, the retention portion 112 of the engagement element 110 is provided as a rail assembly which protrudes from the outer surface 134 of the housing 130, and extends in a direction of outwardly away from the outer surface 134 of the housing 130.

    [0034] As is depicted, the rail assembly is provided by a pair of elongate rail members, each of which is disposed on the outer surface 134 of the housing 130 and extend in the direction of movement 136 on opposed sides of the aperture 132.

    [0035] Also as depicted, each rail member includes an elongate protrusion extending along the length of each rail, whereby each elongate protrusion extends in a direction of away from the aperture 132 of the housing 130, so as to form a retention rebate 138 between each rail and the outer surface 134 of the housing 130. The sealing element 120 includes a pair of complementary protrusions 124 each of which extends within the rebate 138 of each rail member such that the sealing element 120 is retained to the retention portion 112 of the engagement element 110.

    [0036] As will be understood, the retention portion 112 of the present embodiment may further prevent ingress of water from the outer surface 134 of the housing 130 external of the surface 134 of the housing 130 into the switch via the aperture 132, due to it extending outward from the surface.

    [0037] Furthermore, the retention rebate 138 may further prevent ingress of water from the surface 134 of the housing 130 external of the surface 134 of the housing 130 into the switch via the aperture 132.

    [0038] The sealing element 120 is formed from an elastically resilient polymeric material such that when it is retained by the engagement element 110, sealing engagement is provided between the first complementary abutment portion 122 of the sealing element 120 and the engagement element 110.

    [0039] The sealing engagement of the sealing element 120 against the first abutment portion 111 is caused by the sealing element 120 being urged against the first abutment portion 111 due to the elastically resilient properties of the polymeric material from which the sealing element 120 is formed.

    [0040] The sealing engagement occludes and prevents the passage and ingress of the particulates, dust and water from external of the first abutment portion 111 into the aperture 132, thus keeping particulates, dust and water out of the switch.

    [0041] The sealing element 120 is suitably sized and is formed from an elastically resilient polymeric material including those selected from the group including a urethane such as thermoplastic polyurethane, synthetic rubber, silicone, a silicone rubber or the like, so as to maintain the sealing engagement.

    [0042] In the present embodiment, the sealing element 120 includes a further complementary abutment portion 125 for sliding engagement with a further abutment portion of the engagement element 111 which is provided by the outer surface 134 of the housing 130. Again, retention of the sealing element 120 by the engagement element 110 causes sealing engagement between the further complementary abutment portion 125 of the sealing element 120 and the further abutment portion of the engagement element 111 , so as to occlude passage and ingress of particulates, dust and water from external of the further abutment portion of the engagement element 111 to the aperture 132 extending through the outer surface 134 of a housing 130 of the electrical switch. The sealing element 120 is suitably sized and is formed so as to provide sealing engagement, and not cause excessive resistive force to movement of the sealing element 120 when a switch embodying the sealing system is deployed in a hand-held electrical device.

    [0043] As shown in Figures 1e, 1f, 2a, 2b and 2c, when the sealing member 120 is at extremities of movement in conjunction with movement of the actuator 140 of the electrical switch, the sealing engagement between the first complementary abutment portion 122 of the sealing element 120 and the first abutment surface 111 of the engagement element 110 is maintained.

    [0044] The first abutment surface 111 of the engagement element 110 is sized such that in addition to the sealing engagement being formed in conjunction with elastically resilient properties of the polymeric material from which the sealing element 120 and being maintained during movement of the sealing element 120 and at the extremities of movement, the resistive force required to be overcome so as to move the sealing element 120 by a user is sufficiently low so as not to impede movement of the actuator during activation and deactivation of the switch when embodied in a hand operable electrical device.

    [0045] This is achieved by having a relatively low contact area between the first abutment surface 111 with the complementary abutment portion 122 which is provided by the central underside surface of the sealing element 120. Further, other resistive forces to movement of the sealing element 120 such as between the sealing element and the rigid retention portion 112 provided by the pair of rails in the present embodiment, are sufficiently low so as not to impede movement of the actuator during activation and deactivation of the switch.

    [0046] Within the present embodiment, the actuator 140 of the switch is operable by urging which extends through the aperture 132, in the linear direction of movement 136 by a user. In other embodiment, as will be appreciated, an actuation portion may extend through the aperture 132 which is in operable communication with the actuator, such that the movement is achieved by urging the actuation portion.

    [0047] In the present embodiment, the actuator 140 extends through the sealing element 120 and the sealing element 120 is sealing engaged and affixed to the actuator 140 so as to occlude passage and ingress of particulates and water from external of the housing 130 of the switch through the outer surface 134 of a housing of the electrical switch, and urging of the actuator 140 urges the sealing element 120 in the direction of movement 140. Alternatively, urging of the sealing element 120 in the direction of movement 136 may urge the actuator in the direction of movement 136.

    [0048] In other or alternate embodiments, the sealing element 120 may extend over the actuator 140 or actuation portion, such that the actuator 140 or actuation portion is encapsulated between the sealing element and internal of the housing 130. Upon urging the actuator 140 or actuation portion by through the sealing element 120, the actuator 140 urged in the direction of movement 136 and the sealing element 120 is urged in the direction of movement 136 by the actuator 140 or the actuation portion. Alternatively, urging of the sealing element 120 in the direction of movement 136 urges the actuator 140 in the direction of movement 136.

    [0049] In the present embodiment, the engagement element 110 is integrally formed with a housing 130 of an electrical switch. As will be understood, in other or alternate embodiment, the engagement element 110 may be affixable to a housing of an electrical switch by snap-fit, ultrasonic welding, adhesive, rivet or the like.

    [0050] Referring to Figure 3, by way of an exemplary embodiment, there is shown an example of an electrical switch 300 according to the present invention in conjunction with the sealing assembly 100 as depicted in Figures 1a to 2c. Although depicted as being used in conjunction with a switch of the present invention, as will be understood by those skilled in the art, the sealing assembly of the present invention may be utilised with numerous types of switches, and afford such switches the advantages of the sealing assembly 100.

    [0051] In the present example, the switch 300 includes an upper housing 305 a lower housing 310, an actuator 340 operably coupled with an actuation assembly deployed within the housing of the switch 300. Three terminals are provided, a first terminal 312, a second terminal 314, and a third terminal 316.

    [0052] The switch 300 as shown is a three position, single pole switch, with an OFF position as a center position, and operable to provide electrical connectivity between the first terminal 312 with the second terminal 314 when in a first end position, and operable to provide electrical connectivity between the third terminal 316 with the second terminal 314 when in a second end position. Such a switch may be used in conjunction with hand operable devices, such as power tools, whereby the switch is wired so as to provide for example forward and reverse motion activation, with an off position therebetween.

    [0053] Within the art within a switch or switch assembly, a spring or biasing means is utilised in order to urge contacts together so as to provide for electrical current flow therebetween. Further and within the art, such a spring or biasing means also holds or secures the actuator assembly of a switch in an operable position, such as a connect or non-connect between the contacts of the switch typically by way of a mechanical locking or securement mechanism such a as a detent arrangement, whereby the spring or biasing means causes such a locking effect.

    [0054] In order to move an actuator assembly of a switch so as to be able to select different operable positions to provide different operating conditions, it is required that a user apply an actuation force, such as urging an actuator in a linear direction of movement so as to alter the operable conditions of for example a hand-held or portable device, so that a user overcomes the effect of the spring or biasing means. Further, depending upon the locking effect, a requisite force or force profile may be required to also move the actuator assembly into an adjacent operable position, not only to release the actuator assembly from an adjacent operable position.

    [0055] The force required to overcome the locking mechanism and the force profile throughout movement of the actuator assembly, in particular for hand operable electrical devices, must be appropriate that a user can, in many cases, single handedly overcome such locking, and that the force required is not too great. Further, the force required to overcome such locking must not be too low such that the actuator assembly may be inadvertently moved by accidental contact with a user's hand or with an object. Still further, the force profile for user input and movement of the actuator assembly must not permit the actuator assembly to move to non-desired operable positions.

    [0056] Accordingly, the spring or biasing means and mechanical arrangement determines both the contact pressure between contacts as well as the force required to overcome the locking effect at operable positions of a switch. As such, when a user urges an actuator assembly between operable positions, the contact stress between electrical contacts varies due to the user input of force required to effect movement.

    [0057] It has been found that longevity of a switch can be reduced by inappropriate or variation of contact pressure between electrical contacts. For example, it has been found that should contact stresses between electrical contacts be too low that the endurance or effective life of a switch can be reduced. Further, should contact stresses be too great, wear of contacts can be exacerbated, again reducing the endurance or effective life of a switch.

    [0058] For hand operable devices such as power tools and personal care devices, switches may not typically be serviceable items at least on site, and failure of a switch causes interruption of work whilst repair is effected or an alternate device in the case of hand tools, causing economic loss. In the case of personal care devices, failure of a switch may render the device non-repairable, and cause a user to dispose of and replace an otherwise satisfactorily performing device, resulting in negative environmental waste and economic loss effects.

    [0059] As such, whenever the position of a switch is altered by a user, either deliberately or accidentally, and the actuator assembly moved and electrical contacts are brought into contact or contact is broken, the contact force between electrical contacts is varied, with either or both excessive or low contract pressures, due to the user being required to overcome the mechanical lock which maintained the actuator assembly at operable position or the force required to move the actuator assembly into another operable position, thus reducing the serviceable life of the switch due to at least progressive and cumulative damage to the electrical contacts.

    [0060] The present inventor has identified the shortcomings switches as in the existing art, and provided a solution which ameliorates or reduces such shortcomings which adversely affect the longevity and serviceable life of a switch.

    [0061] The present inventor has provided a solution by providing two independent biasing assemblies in which:
    1. (i) a first biasing assembly maintains the contact pressure between electrical contacts during movement of an actuation assembly within a predetermined range; and
    2. (ii) a second biasing assembly which provides the locking effect so as to retain the actuation assembly.


    [0062] By providing two such independent biasing assemblies, the present invention provides the following advantages:
    1. (a) increased longevity and service life of a switch due to overcoming the adverse effects of both low and high contact stresses between electrical contacts by having a biasing assembly independent of the locking mechanism and physical effects upon movement of the actuation assembly; and
    2. (b) a locking mechanism which may be designed for requisite user load input profiles for movement and retention of the actuation assembly, whereby movement or user input in order to overcome locking forces to move the actuation assembly to alternate operable positions so that contact loads between electrical contacts are maintained within an acceptable operational range.


    [0063] Accordingly, the present invention provides a switch with both increased longevity, as well as ease of design of operable position selection so as to accommodate requisite design and operational requirements as identified above.

    [0064] Referring to Figures 4a, 4b and 4c, there is shown a sectional view of a first example of an electrical switch 400 in accordance with the present invention.

    [0065] The switch 400 is linear actuatable by a user by input of force so as to move the actuator assembly 452 retained in a housing 465 by way of an actuator 440 operable external of the housing 465 in a direction of linear movement 490. In the present example, the switch has three operable positions, with electrical contact being provided between stationary contact 410b and movable contact 420b in Figure 4a, no electrical contact being provided in Figure 4b, and electrical contact being provided between stationary contact 410a and movable contact 420a in Figure 4c.

    [0066] Referring to Figure 4a, a contact biasing assembly is provided by compression spring 450 and bullet 455, which urge against lever 430 which carries moveable contacts 420a and 420b thereon, which subsequently urge contacts 410b and 420b together so as to provide electrical communication therebetween.

    [0067] A locking assembly is provided by a pair of detent arrangements comprising compression spring 460a and bullet 470a and compression spring 460b and bullet 470b each of which is equidistantly disposed about the biasing assembly, and a recess element 480 having a plurality of recesses extending there along in which the bullets 470a and 470b are urged and retained by the compression springs 460a and 460b and defining a plurality of operable positions of the switch 400.

    [0068] The actuator assembly 452 is retained within the housing 465 so that movement in directions other than the direction of movement 490 is impeded. Accordingly, the forces applied to the lever 430 by the contact biasing assembly and locking assembly are independent of each other.

    [0069] The forces which are required to be overcome by a user as provided by the detent arrangement of the locking assembly in order to move the actuator assembly 452 by user so as to be in the operable position as shown in Figure 4b are independent of the force applied by the contact biasing assembly.

    [0070] Accordingly, the contact biasing assembly may be arranged so as to provide requisite loading and pressure between the contacts to increase longevity and service life of the switch, independently of the locking assembly.

    [0071] Further, the force and movement profile of the locking assembly and characteristics thereof may be designed or selected for requisite operational requirements depending upon the application of the switch 400, such as are discussed above.

    [0072] When the actuator assembly 452 is in the operational position as shown in Figure 4b, in the present example there is no contact between contacts 410a and 420a, and no contact between contacts 410b and 420b and as such, the switch may be considered in an OFF position.

    [0073] When the actuator assembly 452 is located in the operational position as shown in Figure 4b, in the present example there is no contact between contacts 410a and 420a, and no contact between contacts 410b and 420b and as such, the switch may be considered in an OFF position.

    [0074] When the actuator assembly 452 is located in the operational position as shown in Figure 4c, electrical contact is provided between contacts 410a and 420b.

    [0075] Within the current exemplary embodiment, the lever 430 carries electrical current and is in electrical communication with a terminal of the switch 400 and the stationary contacts 410a and 410b are in electrical communication with other respective terminals.

    [0076] When the switch is in the operable position as shown in Figure 4a electrical connection is effected between the terminal in communication with stationary contact 410b and the terminal in electrical communication with lever 430, when the switch is in the operable position as shown in Figure 4c electrical connection is effected between the terminal in communication with stationary contact 410b and the terminal in electrical communication with lever 430, and when the switch is in the operable position as shown in Figure 4b there is no electrical communication between the terminals.

    [0077] Accordingly, the present exemplary embodiment may be considered a center-OFF type switch. Such switches may be deployed in applications whereby it is undesirable to move from the electrical contact position as shown in Figure 4a directly to that as shown in Figure 4c, and a center-OFF arrangement as depicted can reduce such inadvertent switching.

    [0078] Further, as the present invention provides for force and movement of the actuator assembly 452 profile determination and design, independent of the contact force as provided by the contact biasing assembly, resistance to inadvertent movement can be readily implemented by design of the locking assembly and the forces to overcome movement of the actuator in particular directions of movement 490.

    [0079] For example, in a hand operable power tool, such as an electric screwdriver, such a switch may be used so as to provide operability of forward and reverse which may correspond to the configurations of Figure 4a and Figure 4c, with an off position defined by the configuration of Figure 4b.

    [0080] In such an example, an electric screwdriver may have an operational voltage of 3.6V and an operational current of 10A and as such, first constant pressure as provided by the contact biasing assembly of the present invention increases longevity and service life of such a switch. Furthermore, such an electric screwdriver may have a start-up current of 28A due to the torque required and as such, inadvertent switching of the screwdriver from one direction to the other direction of rotation has several disadvantages and drawbacks including:
    1. (i) reducing service life of the switch by frequent large currents;
    2. (ii) use risks of inadvertently loosening or tightening of a fastener or the like; and
    3. (iii) unexpected change in direction of such a device, may result in burring and damage to a head of a fastener, which may have significant disadvantage such as difficulty of removal of the fastener or difficulty further tightening.


    [0081] The present invention, by providing a locking mechanism which is independent of the contact biasing assembly, allows for disadvantages including those as recited above, to be reduced or overcome, by providing independent design freedom of the movement profile of the actuator assembly.

    [0082] Referring to Figures 5a, 5b and 5c, there is shown a sectional view of a second example of an electrical switch 500 in accordance with the present invention.

    [0083] Similarly to the example of Figures 4a, 4b and 4c, the switch 500 of the present example is linear actuatable by user by input of force so as to move the actuator assembly 552 retained in a housing 565 by way of an actuator 540 operable external of the housing 565 in a direction of linear movement 590. In the present example, the switch has three operable positions, with electrical contact being provided between stationary contact 510b and movable contact 520b in Figure 5a, no electrical contact being provided Figure 5b, and electrical contact being provided between stationary contact 510a and movable contact 520a in Figure 5c.

    [0084] Referring to Figure 5a, a contact biasing assembly is provided by compression spring 550 and bullet 555, which urge against lever 530 which carries moveable contacts 520a and 520b thereon, which subsequently urge contacts 510b and 520b together so as to provide electrical communication therebetween.

    [0085] In the present example, a locking assembly is provided by a pair of detent arrangements comprising biasing arm 560a having a bullet portion 570a and biasing arm 560b having a bullet portion 570b each of which is equidistantly disposed about the biasing assembly, and a recess element 580 having a plurality of recesses extending there along in which the bullet portions 570a and 570b are urged and retained by the biasing arms 560a and 560b and defining a plurality of operable positions of the switch 500. The biasing arms 560a and 560b are preferably formed from a polymeric material, and can be formed integrally with the actuator assembly 552.

    [0086] The biasing assembly of the present invention, due to the elastic resilience of the biasing arms, provides a "snap action" as the bullet portions 570a and 570b locate within the recess element, and provides positive retention as the biasing arm 560a and 560b urge and accelerate the bullet portions 570a and 570b into recesses in recess element 580.

    [0087] The locking assembly of the present example provides several advantages, including:
    1. (i) ease of assembly due to reduction in components;
    2. (ii) reduction in assembly costs due to obviation of the necessity to assemble a spring and ball detent arrangement;
    3. (iii) reduction in manufacturing costs due to obviation of spring and bullet detent componentry;
    4. (iv) ease of manufacture by incorporation of biasing arms with actuator assembly, which may be formed integrally when formed from a polymeric material such as a nylon polymer; and
    5. (v) design flexibility, permitting design of requisite force and movement profiles, by being independent from the contract biasing assembly, similarly as described above.


    [0088] The actuator assembly 552 is retained within the housing 565 so that movement in directions other than the direction of movement 590 is impeded. Accordingly, the forces applied to the lever 530 by the contact biasing assembly and locking assembly are independent of each other.

    [0089] The forces which are required to be overcome by a user as provided by the detent arrangement of the locking assembly in order to move the actuator assembly 552 by user so as to be in the operable position as shown in Figure 5b are independent of the force applied by the contact biasing assembly.

    [0090] Similarly as described in reference to the first example of Figures 4a, 4b and 4c, the contact biasing assembly may be arranged so as to provide requisite loading and pressure between the contacts to increase longevity and service life of the switch, independently of the locking assembly.

    [0091] Again, the force and movement profile of the locking assembly and characteristics thereof may be designed or selected for requisite operational requirements depending upon the application of the switch 500, such as are discussed above.

    [0092] Similarly as described in reference to the first example of Figures 4a, 4b and 4c, when the actuator assembly 552 is in the operational position as shown in Figure 5b, in the present example there is no contact between contacts 510a and 520a, and no contact between contacts 510b and 520b and as such, the switch may be considered in an OFF position.

    [0093] When the actuator assembly 552 is located in the operational position as shown in Figure 5b, in the present example there is no contact between contacts 510a and 520a, and no contact between contacts 510b and 520b and as such, the switch may be considered in an OFF position.

    [0094] When the actuator assembly 552 is located in the operational position as shown in Figure 5c, electrical contact is provided between contacts 510a and 520a.

    [0095] Within the current exemplary embodiment, the lever 530 carries electrical current and is in electrical communication with a terminal of the switch 500 and the stationary contacts 510a and 510b are in electrical communication with other respective terminals.

    [0096] When the switch is in the operable position as shown in Figure 5a electrical connection is effected between the terminal in communication with stationary contact 510b and the terminal in electrical communication with lever 530, when the switch is in the operable position as shown in Figure 5c electrical connection is effected between the terminal in communication with stationary contact 510a and the terminal in electrical communication with lever 530,and when the switch is in the operable position as shown in Figure 5b there is no electrical communication between the terminals.

    [0097] Accordingly, the present exemplary embodiment may be considered a center-OFF type switch. Such switches may be deployed in applications whereby it is undesirable to move from the electrical contact position as shown in Figure 5a directly to that as shown in Figure 5c, and a center-OFF arrangement as depicted can reduce such inadvertent switching.

    [0098] Whilst the above two examples incorporate structurally varying arrangements for the biasing arrangement, both provide the above recited advantages as provided by the present invention.

    [0099] Referring to Figures 6a, 6b and 6c, there is shown a sectional view of a third example of an electrical switch 600 in accordance with the present invention.

    [0100] Similarly as described with reference to the first example as described with reference to Figures 4a, 4b and 4c and the second example as described with reference to Figures 5a, 5b and 5c, the switch 600 of the present example is linear actuatable by user by input of force so as to move the actuator assembly 652 retained in a housing 665 by way of an actuator 640 operable external of the housing 665 in a direction of linear movement 690.

    [0101] In the present example, the switch has three operable positions, as shown in Figures 6a, 6b and 6c. Similarly as described in relation to the first and second examples, in accordance with the present invention, the contact biasing assembly and the locking assembly are provided so as to be independent and provide the above recited advantages.

    [0102] Referring to Figure 6a, a contact biasing assembly is provided by compression springs 650, which urge against conduction element 630 which carries or includes integrally formed moveable contacts 620a and 620b thereon, which subsequently urges moveable contact 620a against stationary contact 610a and urges moveable contact 620b against stationary contact 610b, so as to provide electrical communication therebetween terminals which are in electrical communication with stationary contact 610a and stationary contact 610b, whereby electrical current passes through conduction element 630.

    [0103] Similarly as described with reference to the example of Figures 4a, 4b and 4c, a locking assembly is provided by a pair of detent arrangements comprising compression spring 660a and bullet 670a and compression spring 660b and bullet 670b each of which is equidistantly disposed about the biasing assembly, and a recess element 680 having a plurality of recesses extending there along in which the bullets 670a and 670b are urged and retained by the compression springs 660a and 660b and defining a plurality of operable positions of the switch 600.

    [0104] As will be appreciated, the locking assembly as described with reference to Figures 5a, 5b and 5c, other independent locking assemblies could also be implemented within the present example.

    [0105] The actuator assembly 652 is retained within the housing 665 so that movement in directions other than the direction of movement 690 is impeded. Accordingly, the forces applied to the lever conduction element 630 by the contact biasing assembly and locking assembly are independent of each other.

    [0106] The forces which are required to be overcome by a user as provided by the detent arrangement of the locking assembly in order to move the actuator assembly 652 by user so as to be in the operable position as shown in Figure 6b are independent of the force applied by the contact biasing assembly. Accordingly, the contact biasing assembly may be arranged so as to provide requisite loading and pressure between the contacts to increase longevity and service life of the switch, independently of the locking assembly.

    [0107] Further, the force and movement profile of the locking assembly and characteristics thereof may be designed or selected for requisite operational requirements depending upon the application of the switch 600, such as are discussed above.

    [0108] When the actuator assembly 652 is in the operational position as shown in Figure 6b, in the present example, moveable contact 620a is urged against stationary contact 610b, and moveable contact 620b is urged against stationary contact 610c, so as to provide electrical communication therebetween terminals which are in electrical communication with stationary contact 610a and stationary contact 610b, whereby electrical current passes through conduction element 630.

    [0109] When the actuator assembly 652 is located in the operational position as shown in Figure 6c,moveable contact 620a is urged against stationary contact 610c, and moveable contact 620b is urged against stationary contact 610d, so as to provide electrical communication therebetween terminals which are in electrical communication with stationary contact 610a and stationary contact 610b, whereby electrical current passes through conduction element 630.

    [0110] As will be understood, the present example of switch 600 can be configured so as to be center-OFF and have two differ ON positions similarly to switch 400 and switch 500 above, by connecting stationary contacts 610b and 610c electrically together so as to effectively be a common terminal, and whereby stationary contacts 610a and 610d are each independently in electrical communication with two other terminals.

    [0111] Again, as the present invention provides for force and movement of the actuator assembly 630 profile determination and design, independent of the contact force as provided by the contact biasing assembly, resistance to inadvertent movement can be readily implemented by design of the locking assembly and the forces to overcome movement of the actuator in particular directions of movement 690.

    [0112] The above described embodiments of the invention of Figures 4a, 4b and 4c, Figures 5a, 5b and 5c and Figures 6a, 6b and 6c, by having side located contacts, allows for the provision of a switch which has a planar profile with the actuator extending through an elongate slotted aperture so as to allow the switch to operable by a user by way of an external sliding action.

    [0113] As such, these embodiments allow the provision of a switch which has a low profile yet has sufficient current capacity and rating, for applications such as in hand help power tool, for example electric screwdrivers, which have design constraints and characteristics including:
    1. (i) minimal internal space for implementation; and
    2. (ii) high current ratings during operation, for example 10A, and peak currents up to 28A or 30A during start-up.


    [0114] Accordingly, it is required that a switch for such a device must meet small physical permissible space constraints, as well as have sufficient current rating.

    [0115] As such, the switch as shown and described with reference to above embodiments in Figures 4a, 4b and 4c, Figures 5a, 5b and 5c and Figures 6a, 6b and 6c, by implementing a planar arrangement as shown, has been demonstrated to meet such stringent physical size requirement, whilst also meeting the requisite electrical performance requirement. The present invention has been found to be able to be realized having a height of as low as 4mm, which permits use in commercial applications such as electric screwdrivers.

    [0116] Although the switch of the present invention has been described and depicted as having side contacts and a planar arrangement, in other or alternate embodiments the actuator assembly may be operable from a position above the contacts as opposed to normal to the contacts as shown, when such a planar arrangement may not necessarily be required.

    [0117] Further, in other or alternate embodiments of the switch of the present invention, the actuator may extend in the direction of movement of the actuator assembly, and actuation be effected by a push or pull type motion, and could extend from one or both ends of a housing of such a switch.

    [0118] Still further, in the embodiments of the switch of the present invention as described and depicted in the drawings, the locking assembly has been depicted as a pair of equally spaced apart detent assemblies about the contact biasing assembly. However, in other or alternate embodiments, the locking assembly may be provided by other mechanical arrangements, and the examples as provided do not import any structural limitations.

    [0119] Further still, in the embodiments as described and depicted, the switch of the present invention, the switch is shown as a single-pole three-position switch, with a center-OFF position. However in other or alternate embodiments, the number of poles may be greater than one, and the switch may have two or more positions, and may have an OFF position at different operable positions or may not necessarily have an OFF position depending upon the requisite application.

    [0120] In embodiments of the present invention, a switch according to the present invention by way of example those as described with reference to Figures 4a, 4b and 4c, Figures 5a, 5b and 5c and Figures 6a, 6b and 6c, may be utilised in conjunction with the sealing assembly as described in reference to Figures 1a to 2c, such as in Figure 3 as described above.

    [0121] In such an embodiment, by provision of a low profile and planar switch in conjunction with a substantially planar and sealing element of the sealing assembly, a switch meeting the design and parameter requirements of hand operable power tools such as an electric screwdriver as described above can be provided, which also meets requisite design requirement including prevention of ingress of dust and water into the switch.

    [0122] Further, in view of the design freedom provided in relation to the load and movement characteristics of the locking mechanism which is independent of the contact biasing assembly, for embodiments of a switch which include a sealing assembly of the present invention, by use of design parameter it may be configured such that the force required a user to urge the actuator assembly may be greater than the frictional forces required to be overcome in order to move the sealing element in the direction of movement. Accordingly, upon a user moving the switch between operable positions, no drag effect caused by the sealing element would be felt or noticed by the user. Further, the force required to overcome friction for movement of the sealing member would not impact up the requisite force and movement profile as provided by the locking mechanism.


    Claims

    1. A sealing assembly (100) for prevention of ingress of particulates and water into an electrical switch having two or more positions moveable between a first extremity and a second extremity in a linear direction of movement by an actuator (140), whereby said actuator (140) is operable through an aperture (132) extending through the outer surface (134) of a housing (130) of the electrical switch, said sealing assembly (100) comprising:

    an engagement element (110) including a rigid first abutment portion (111) for circumscribing the aperture extending through the outer surface (134) of the housing (130) of the switch and a rigid first retention portion (112);

    a sealing element (120) being slidingly engageable with the engagement element (110) in a direction of said linear direction of movement of the actuator (140) and being retained by the retention portion (112) of the engagement element (110), said sealing element (120) including a first complementary abutment portion (122) for sliding engagement with the first abutment portion (111) of the engagement element (110);

    wherein the sealing element (120) is formed from an elastically resilient polymeric material such that when retained by the engagement element (110), sealing engagement between the first complementary abutment portion (122) of the sealing element (120) and the first abutment portion (111) is effected as the first complementary abutment portion (122) is urged against the first abutment surface (111) of the engagement element (110) so as to occlude passage and ingress of particulates and water from external of the first abutment portion (111) to the aperture (132) extending through the outer surface (134) of a housing (130) of the electrical switch;
    wherein upon movement of the sealing element (120) in conjunction with movement of the actuator (140) of the electrical switch between the first extremity and the second extremity, said sealing engagement between the first complementary abutment portion (122) of the sealing element (120) and the first abutment surface (111) of the engagement element (110) is maintained; and
    wherein the sealing assembly is characterised in that the retention portion (112) of the engagement element (110) is provided as a rail assembly which protrudes from and extends in a direction of outwardly away from the outer surface (134) of the housing (130).
     
    2. A sealing assembly (100) according to claim 1, wherein the first abutment portion (111) of the engagement element (110) protrudes from and extends in a direction of outwardly away from the outer surface (134) of the housing (130) whereby the first abutment portion (111) further prevents ingress of water from the surface of the housing external of the surface of the housing (130) into the switch via the aperture (132).
     
    3. A sealing assembly (100) according to claim 2, wherein the first abutment portion (111) further extends in a direction away from the aperture (132) so as to form a rebate (138) between the outer surface (134) of the housing (130) of the electrical switch and the first abutment portion (111), to further prevent ingress of water from the surface of the housing (130) external of the surface of the housing into the switch via the aperture (132).
     
    4. A sealing assembly (100) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the rail assembly is provided by a pair of elongate rail members, wherein each rail member is of elongate form and is disposed on the outer surface (132) of a housing (130) of the electrical switch and extend in the direction of said a linear direction of movement on opposed sides of the aperture (132).
     
    5. A sealing assembly (100) according to claim 4, wherein each rail member includes an elongate protrusion extending along at least a portion of the length of each rail, wherein each elongate protrusion extends in a direction of away from the aperture (132) of the housing (130) such that a retention rebate (138) is formed between each rail and the outer surface (132) of the housing (130); wherein the sealing element (120) includes a pair of complementary protrusions (124) each of which extends within the rebate (138) of each rail member such that the sealing element (120) is retained to the retention portion (112) of the engagement element (110).
     
    6. A sealing assembly (100) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the engagement element (110) includes a rigid further abutment portion (111) and the sealing element (120) includes a further complementary abutment portion (125) for sliding engagement with the further abutment portion (134) of the engagement element (110), wherein retention of the sealing element (120) by the engagement element (110) causes sealing engagement between the further complementary abutment portion (125) of the sealing element (120) and the further abutment portion (134) of the engagement element (110) a further complementary abutment surface of the further complementary abutment portion (125) is urged against a further abutment surface of the engagement element (110) so as to further occlude passage and ingress of particulates and water from external of the further abutment portion to the aperture (132) extending through the outer surface (134) of a housing (130) of the electrical switch.
     
    7. A sealing assembly (100) according to claim 6, wherein the further abutment surface is provided by the outer surface (134) of the housing (130) of the switch, and the further complementary abutment surface (125) is a protrusion extending from the sealing element (120) in a direction of towards the outer surface (134) of the housing (130) of the switch and circumscribing the aperture (132) of the housing (130) of the switch.
     
    8. A sealing assembly (100) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the actuator (140) of the switch is operable by urging an actuation portion in communication with the actuator (140) which extends through the aperture (132) in the linear direction of movement by a user.
     
    9. A sealing assembly (100) according to claim 8, wherein the actuation portion extends through the sealing element (120) and the sealing element is sealing engaged and affixed to the actuation portion so as to occlude passage and ingress of particulates and water from external of the housing of the switch through the outer surface of a housing of the electrical switch.
     
    10. A sealing assembly (100) according to claim 9, wherein urging of the actuation portion urges the actuator (140) and the sealing element (120) in the direction of movement.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Dichtungsanordnung (100) zum Vermeiden eines Eindringens von Teilchen und Wasser in einen elektrischen Schalter mit zwei oder mehr Positionen, der zwischen einem ersten äußersten Ende und einem zweiten äußersten Ende in einer linearen Bewegungsrichtung durch ein Stellglied (140) bewegbar ist, wobei das Stellglied (140) durch eine Apertur (132) betätigbar ist, die sich durch die Außenfläche (134) eines Gehäuses (130) des elektrischen Schalters erstreckt, wobei die Dichtungsanordnung (100) umfasst:

    ein Eingriffselement (110), das einen starren ersten Auflageabschnitt (111) zum Umschreiben der Apertur, die sich durch die Außenfläche (134) eines Gehäuses (130) des Schalters erstreckt, und einen starrem ersten Halterungsabschnitt (112) beinhaltet;

    ein Dichtungselement (120), das gleitend mit dem Eingriffselement (110) in einer Richtung der linearen Bewegungsrichtung des Stellglieds (140) in Eingriff gebracht werden kann und durch den Halterungsabschnitt (112) des Eingriffselements (110) gehalten wird, wobei das Dichtungselement (120) einen ersten komplementären Auflageabschnitt (122) für einen gleitenden Eingriff mit dem ersten Auflageabschnitt (111) des Eingriffselements (110) beinhaltet;

    wobei das Dichtungselement (120) aus einem elastisch nachgiebigen polymeren Material gebildet ist, sodass, wenn es durch das Eingriffselement (110) gehalten wird, ein Dichtungseingriff zwischen dem ersten komplementären Auflageabschnitt (122) des Dichtungselements (120) und dem ersten Auflageabschnitt (111) bewirkt wird, wenn der erste komplementäre Auflageabschnitt (122) gegen die erste Auflagefläche (111) des Eingriffselements (110) gepresst wird, um Durchtreten und Eindringen von Teilchen und Wasser von außerhalb des ersten Auflageabschnitts (111) zu der Apertur (132), die sich durch die Außenfläche (134) eines Gehäuses (130) des elektrischen Schalters erstreckt, zu verschließen;

    wobei nach Bewegung des Dichtungselements (120) in Verbindung mit Bewegung des Stellglieds (140) des elektrischen Schalters zwischen dem ersten äußersten Ende und dem zweiten äußersten Ende der Dichtungseingriff zwischen dem ersten komplementären Auflageabschnitt (122) des Dichtungselements (120) und der ersten Auflagefläche (111) des Eingriffselements (110) aufrechterhalten wird; und

    wobei die Dichtungsanordnung dadurch gekennzeichnet ist, dass der Halterungsabschnitt (112) des Eingriffselements (110) als eine Schienenanordnung bereitgestellt ist, die von der Außenfläche (134) des Gehäuses (130) vorragt und sich in einer Richtung nach außen von dieser erstreckt.


     
    2. Dichtungsanordnung (100) nach Anspruch 1, wobei der erste Auflageabschnitt (111) des Eingriffselements (110) von der Außenfläche (134) des Gehäuses (130) vorragt und sich in einer Richtung nach außen von dieser erstreckt, wobei der erste Auflageabschnitt (111) weiter Eindringen von Wasser von der Oberfläche des Gehäuses außerhalb der Oberfläche des Gehäuses (130) in den Schalter über die Apertur (132) verhindert.
     
    3. Dichtungsanordnung (100) nach Anspruch 2, wobei der erste Auflageabschnitt (111) sich weiter in einer Richtung weg von der Apertur (132) erstreckt, um so eine Ausnehmung (138) zwischen der Außenfläche (134) des Gehäuses (130) des elektrischen Schalters und dem ersten Auflageabschnitt (111) zu bilden, um weiteres Eindringen von Wasser von der Oberfläche des Gehäuses (130) außerhalb der Oberfläche des Gehäuses in den Schalter über die Apertur (132) zu verhindern.
     
    4. Dichtungsanordnung (100) nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei die Schienenanordnung durch ein paar länglicher Schienenelemente bereitgestellt ist, wobei jedes Schienenelement von länglicher Form ist und an der Außenfläche (134) eines Gehäuses (130) des elektrischen Schalters angeordnet ist und sich in der Richtung einer linearen Bewegungsrichtung an gegenüberliegenden Seiten der Apertur (132) erstreckt.
     
    5. Dichtungsanordnung (100) nach Anspruch 4, wobei jedes Schienenelement einen länglichen Vorsprung beinhaltet, der sich entlang mindestens eines Abschnitts der Länge jeder Schiene erstreckt, wobei jeder längliche Vorsprung sich in einer Richtung weg von der Apertur (132) des Gehäuses (130) so erstreckt, dass eine Halterungsausnehmung (138) zwischen jeder Schiene und der Außenfläche (132) des Gehäuses (130) gebildet ist; wobei das Dichtungselement (120) ein Paar komplementärer Vorsprünge (124) beinhaltet, von welchen sich jeder innerhalb der Ausnehmung (138) jedes Schienenelements so erstreckt, dass das Dichtungselement (120) an dem Halterungsabschnitt (112) des Eingriffselements (110) gehalten wird.
     
    6. Dichtungsanordnung (100) nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei das Eingriffselement (110) einen starren weiteren Auflageabschnitt (111) beinhaltet und das Dichtungselement (120) einen weiteren komplementären Auflageabschnitt (125) für gleitenden Eingriff mit dem weiteren Auflageabschnitt (134) des Eingriffselements (110) beinhaltet, wobei Halten des Dichtungselements (120) durch das Eingriffselement (110) einen dichtungseingriff zwischen dem weiteren komplementären Auflageabschnitt (125) des Dichtungselements (120) und dem weiteren Auflageabschnitt (134) des Eingriffselements (110) bewirkt, wobei eine weitere komplementäre Auflagefläche des weiteren komplementären Auflageabschnitts (125) gegen eine weitere Auflagefläche des Eingriffselements (110) gepresst wird, um so Durchtreten und Eindringen von Teilchen und Wasser von außerhalb des weiteren Auflageabschnitts zu der Apertur (132), die sich durch die Außenfläche (134) eines Gehäuses (130) des elektrischen Schalters erstreckt, zu verschließen.
     
    7. Dichtungsanordnung (100) nach Anspruch 6, wobei die weitere Auflagefläche durch die Außenfläche (134) des Gehäuses (130) des Schalters bereitgestellt ist und die weitere komplementäre Auflagefläche (125) ein Vorsprung ist, der sich von dem Dichtungselement (120) in einer Richtung zu der Außenfläche (134) des Gehäuses (130) des Schalters erstreckt und die Apertur (132) des Gehäuses (130) des Schalters umschreibt.
     
    8. Dichtungsanordnung (100) nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei das Stellglied (140) des Schalters durch Pressen eines Betätigungsabschnitts in Kommunikation mit dem Stellglied (140), das sich durch die Apertur (132) erstreckt, in der linearen Bewegungsrichtung durch einen Benutzer betätigbar ist.
     
    9. Dichtungsanordnung (100) nach Anspruch 8, wobei sich der Betätigungsabschnitt durch das Dichtungselement (120) erstreckt und das Dichtungselement in dichtendem Eingriff mit dem Betätigungabschnitt und an diesem befestigt ist, um so Durchtreten und Eindringen von Teilchen und Wasser von außerhalb des Gehäuses des Schalters durch die Außenfläche eines Gehäuses des elektrischen Schalters zu verschließen.
     
    10. Dichtungsanordnung (100) nach Anspruch 9, wobei Pressen des Betätigungsabschnitts das Stellglied (140) und das Dichtungselement (120) in der Bewegungsrichtung presst.
     


    Revendications

    1. Ensemble d'étanchéité (100) pour empêcher la pénétration de particules et d'eau dans un commutateur électrique ayant deux positions ou plus mobile entre une première extrémité et une seconde extrémité dans une direction de déplacement linéaire au moyen d'un actionneur (140), selon lequel ledit actionneur (140) est utilisable à travers une ouverture (132) s'étendant à travers la surface externe (134) d'un logement (130) du commutateur électrique, ledit ensemble d'étanchéité (100) comprenant :

    un élément de mise en prise (110) incluant une première partie de butée rigide (111) pour délimiter l'ouverture s'étendant à travers la surface externe (134) du logement (130) du commutateur et une première partie de rétention rigide (112) ;

    un élément d'étanchéité (120) se mettant en prise par coulissement avec l'élément de mise en prise (110) dans une direction de ladite direction de déplacement linéaire de l'actionneur (140) et étant retenu par la partie de rétention (112) de l'élément de mise en prise (110), ledit élément d'étanchéité (120) incluant une première partie de butée complémentaire (122) pour mise en prise par coulissement avec la première partie de butée (111) de l'élément de mise en prise (110) ;

    dans lequel l'élément d'étanchéité (120) est formé à partir d'un matériau polymère déformable élastiquement de telle sorte que lorsqu'il est retenu par l'élément de mise en prise (110), une mise en prise étanche entre la première partie de butée complémentaire (122) de l'élément d'étanchéité (120) et la première partie de butée (111) est effectuée lorsque la première partie de butée complémentaire (122) est poussée contre la première surface de butée (111) de l'élément de mise en prise (110) de sorte à bloquer le passage et la pénétration de particules et d'eau depuis l'extérieur de la première partie de butée (111) vers l'ouverture (132) s'étendant à travers la surface externe (134) d'un logement (130) du commutateur électrique ;

    dans lequel lors du déplacement de l'élément d'étanchéité (120) en conjugaison avec le déplacement de l'actionneur (140) du commutateur électrique entre la première extrémité et la seconde extrémité, ladite mise en prise étanche entre la première partie de butée complémentaire (122) de l'élément d'étanchéité (120) et la première surface de butée (111) de l'élément de mise en prise (110) est maintenue ; et

    dans lequel l'ensemble d'étanchéité est caractérisé en ce que la partie de rétention (112) de l'élément de mise en prise (110) est prévue sous forme d'un ensemble rail qui fait saillie et s'étend dans une direction vers l'extérieur s'écartant de la surface externe (134) du logement (130).


     
    2. Ensemble d'étanchéité (100) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la première partie de butée (111) de l'élément de mise en prise (110) fait saillie et s'étend dans une direction vers l'extérieur s'écartant de la surface externe (134) du logement (130), selon lequel la première partie de butée (111) empêche en outre la pénétration d'eau depuis la surface du logement à l'extérieur de la surface du logement (130) dans le commutateur via l'ouverture (132).
     
    3. Ensemble d'étanchéité (100) selon la revendication 2, dans lequel la première partie de butée (111) s'étend en outre dans une direction s'écartant de l'ouverture (132) de sorte à former un rabat (138) entre la surface externe (134) du logement (130) du commutateur électrique et la première partie de butée (111), pour empêcher en outre la pénétration d'eau depuis la surface du logement (130) à l'extérieur de la surface du logement dans le commutateur via l'ouverture (132).
     
    4. Ensemble d'étanchéité (100) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'ensemble rail est pourvu d'une paire d'éléments formant rail allongés, dans lequel chaque élément formant rail est de forme allongée et est disposé sur la surface externe (132) d'un logement (130) du commutateur électrique et s'étend dans la direction de ladite une direction de déplacement linéaire sur des côtés opposés de l'ouverture (132).
     
    5. Ensemble d'étanchéité (100) selon la revendication 4, dans lequel chaque élément formant rail inclut une saillie allongée s'étendant le long d'au moins une partie de la longueur de chaque rail, dans lequel chaque saillie allongée s'étend dans une direction s'écartant de l'ouverture (132) du logement (130) de telle sorte qu'un rabat de rétention (138) est formé entre chaque rail et la surface externe (132) du logement (130) ; dans lequel l'élément d'étanchéité (120) inclut une paire de saillies complémentaires (124) s'étendant chacune à l'intérieur du rabat (138) de chaque élément formant rail de telle sorte que l'élément d'étanchéité (120) est retenu sur la partie de rétention (112) de l'élément de mise en prise (110).
     
    6. Ensemble d'étanchéité (100) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'élément de mise en prise (110) inclut une autre partie de butée rigide (111) et l'élément d'étanchéité (120) inclut une autre partie de butée complémentaire (125) pour mise en prise par coulissement avec l'autre partie de butée (134) de l'élément de mise en prise (110), dans lequel la rétention de l'élément d'étanchéité (120) par l'élément de mise en prise (110) entraîne une mise en prise étanche entre l'autre partie de butée complémentaire (125) de l'élément d'étanchéité (120) et l'autre partie de butée (134) de l'élément de mise en prise (110), une autre surface de butée complémentaire de l'autre partie de butée complémentaire (125) est poussée contre une autre surface de butée de l'élément de mise en prise (110) de sorte à bloquer en outre le passage et la pénétration de particules et d'eau depuis l'extérieur de l'autre partie de butée vers l'ouverture (132) s'étendant à travers la surface externe (134) d'un logement (130) du commutateur électrique.
     
    7. Ensemble d'étanchéité (100) selon la revendication 6, dans lequel l'autre surface de butée est fournie par la surface externe (134) du logement (130) du commutateur, et l'autre surface de butée complémentaire (125) est une saillie s'étendant à partir de l'élément d'étanchéité (120) dans une direction vers la surface externe (134) du logement (130) du commutateur et délimitant l'ouverture (132) du logement (130) du commutateur.
     
    8. Ensemble d'étanchéité (100) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'actionneur (140) du commutateur est utilisable en poussant une partie d'actionnement en communication avec l'actionneur (140) qui s'étend à travers l'ouverture (132) dans la direction de déplacement linéaire par un utilisateur.
     
    9. Ensemble d'étanchéité (100) selon la revendication 8, dans lequel la partie d'actionnement s'étend à travers l'élément d'étanchéité (120) et l'élément d'étanchéité est mis en prise de manière étanche et fixé à la partie d'actionnement de sorte à bloquer le passage et la pénétration de particules et d'eau depuis l'extérieur du logement du commutateur à travers la surface externe d'un logement du commutateur électrique.
     
    10. Ensemble d'étanchéité (100) selon la revendication 9, dans lequel le fait de pousser la partie d'actionnement pousse l'actionneur (140) et l'élément d'étanchéité (120) dans la direction de déplacement.
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description