(19)
(11)EP 3 893 334 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
13.10.2021 Bulletin 2021/41

(21)Application number: 21166998.1

(22)Date of filing:  06.04.2021
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
H01R 13/436(2006.01)
H01R 31/08(2006.01)
H01R 13/52(2006.01)
H01R 13/422(2006.01)
(52)Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC):
H01R 13/5213; H01R 13/436; H01R 13/4223; H01R 31/08
(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
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
KH MA MD TN

(30)Priority: 07.04.2020 DE 102020204456

(71)Applicant: TE Connectivity Germany GmbH
64625 Bensheim (DE)

(72)Inventors:
  • Ripper, Hartmut
    64625 Bensheim (DE)
  • Wagner, Jörg
    64625 Bensheim (DE)
  • Fiebiger, Markus
    64625 Bensheim (DE)
  • Stjepanovic, Zoran
    64625 Bensheim (DE)

(74)Representative: Grünecker Patent- und Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB 
Leopoldstraße 4
80802 München
80802 München (DE)

  


(54)CONNECTION ASSEMBLY


(57) A connection assembly (100) is shown comprising a first housing part (10) that comprises contact element receptacles (11) for contact elements (12), and latching elements (14) for latching the contact elements (12) in the contact element receptacles (11), a second housing part (20) that is configured to be plugged together with the first housing part (10), a joint connector (40) that is held between the first housing part (10) and the second housing part (20) and configured to connect at least two contact elements (12), where the second housing part (20) comprises at least one locking section (21) that locks one of the latching elements (40) in a latching position (91).




Description


[0001] The invention relates to a connection assembly, comprising a first housing part, that comprises contact element receptacles for contact elements, and latching elements for latching the contact elements in the contact element receptacles, a second housing part that is configured to be plugged together with the first housing part, a joint connector, that is held between the first housing part and the second housing part and is configured to connect at least two contact elements.

[0002] The object of the invention is to render such a connection assembly more secure.

[0003] According to the invention, this is satisfied in that the second housing part comprises at least one locking section that locks one of the latching elements in a latching position.

[0004] Due to the lock, the contact elements cannot come loose and the connection assembly is more secure.

[0005] The invention can be further improved by the following developments and embodiments which are advantageous each by itself and can be combined with one another at random.

[0006] The locking section can be configured as a projection for enabling simple assembly. The locking section can be configured, for example, as an arm or strip in order to be particularly space-saving. The arm or strip can be fixed at one end and movable at another end.

[0007] The projection can taper in a direction away from a base plate in order to facilitate the insertion into a corresponding mating element. For example, the projection can be wedge-shaped.

[0008] When the housing parts are plugged together, the locking section can extend into the first housing part. It can extend in particular adjacent to the contact element receptacle when the housing parts are plugged together in order to enable a simple lock.

[0009] When the housing parts are plugged together, the locking section, when viewed from the second housing part, in an advantageous embodiment can extend beyond the first half of the contact element receptacle facing the second housing part. This enables a secure connection.

[0010] The locking section can block a motion of the locking element out of the latching position, for example, in a mechanical and/or in a positive-fit manner. A lock can be enabled there in a simple manner.

[0011] For secure locking, the locking section can be arranged between the latching element and a wall section of the first housing part when the housing parts are plugged together. A flow of forces can thus be established. The locking section can abut against the latching element and the wall section and mechanically block a motion of the latching element towards the wall element. The locking section can be supported by the wall section.

[0012] The first housing part can comprise a receptacle for a part, in particular an end, of the locking section and enable defined securing.

[0013] The receptacle can be disposed behind the latching element and/or be defined by the latching element in order to enable a space-saving configuration. The wall section can also be defining the receptacle.

[0014] The latching element can be locked when the part of the locking section is received in the receptacle.

[0015] The first housing part can comprise a slot for the locking section in order to enable a space-saving configuration. The slot can be complementary at least in part to the locking section.

[0016] The slot can run parallel to the contact element receptacle in order to enable simple interaction. The slot and the contact element receptacle can each be configured as elongate cavities, for which the extension in one direction is significantly greater than in the other directions by about a factor of 2 or more.

[0017] In an advantageous embodiment, the locking elements can protrude into the contact element receptacles. This enables simple latching. In particular, the latching elements in a force-free state can protrude into the contact element receptacles. They can be deflectable such that they do not protrude or protrude less into the contact element receptacles in the deflected state. This enables automatic latching. The latching elements can be deflected by the contact elements during insertion and can latch with the contact elements when the latter are completely inserted.

[0018] In a further advantageous embodiment, the locking section is connected integrally to the remainder of the second housing part. This enables simple manufacture.

[0019] Furthermore, the latching elements can be connected integrally to the remainder of the first housing part. This as well can make manufacturing simple.

[0020] The joint connector is used to electrically contact several contact elements, for example, to make them assume the same potential. In order to enable a contact to be established from the outside as well, the joint connector can comprise a connection section which, at least in the assembled state, protrudes from the first housing part and/or the second housing part. This can enable, for example, a connection to ground or earth.

[0021] The connection assembly can comprise a sealing element which can be inserted into the first housing part. The sealing element can serve to seal the contact elements against external influences, in particular liquids and dust.

[0022] The sealing element can be made of flexible, in particular compressible material or comprise such a material for obtaining a good seal.

[0023] The sealing element can comprise a closed circumferential projection or recess which interacts with a closed circumferential recess or projection on a housing part and can thereby be held in a sealing manner on the housing part.

[0024] The locking section can extend through the sealing element. The sealing element can have a passage hole for the locking section for this purpose. The locking section and the sealing element can there be connected to one another in a sealing manner at the passage hole.

[0025] In a further advantageous embodiment, the joint connector, in particular the connection section, can extend through the sealing element. For this purpose, the sealing element can comprise a passage hole for the joint connector. The joint connector and the sealing element can be connected to one another in a sealing manner at the passage hole.

[0026] Furthermore, the joint connector, in particular the connection section, can extend through the second housing part in order to enable simple contacting. For this purpose, the second housing part can comprise a passage hole for the joint connector.

[0027] In order to obtain a good sealing effect, the sealing element can be at least in part moulded or sprayed onto the joint connector. The sealing element can be a sealing element connected to the joint connector by injection molding. The joint connector can be embedded in the sealing element.

[0028] In order to increase the sealing effect, the second housing part can exert pressure upon the sealing element in the assembled state. This can be achieved, for example, in that a sealing element receptacle is smaller than the sealing element. The sealing element receptacle can be formed by the first housing part. The sealing element receptacle can be configured such that a section of the sealing element facing the second housing part in an uncompressed state protrudes and is compressed by the second housing part.

[0029] In an advantageous embodiment, the connection assembly comprises an attachment mechanism with which the second housing part can be attached to the first housing part. The attachment mechanism can be in particular a latching mechanism which in a latching position latches the first housing part to the second housing part. The second housing part can lock the latching elements when the latching mechanism is in the latching position. This can lead to simple operation.

[0030] Handling can be made easier if at least two of the following directions run parallel or antiparallel:
  • a direction of insertion along which the contact element is inserted into the contact element receptacle;
  • a plugging direction along which the second housing part is plugged together with the first housing part;
  • a locking direction along which the locking section is displaceable relative to the contact element receptacle;
  • a direction of compression along which the second housing part exerts pressure upon the sealing element.


[0031] With such configurations, in particular transverse forces which can lead to damage or make operation more difficult can be prevented or reduced.

[0032] In order to enable simple and secure locking, a locking direction, along which the locking section is displaceable relative to the contact element receptacle, can run perpendicular to a direction of deflection of the latching element.

[0033] For simple locking of several contact elements, the second housing part can comprise locking sections for several contact elements. In particular, the second housing part can comprise locking sections for all contact elements. There can be as many locking sections as there are contact elements so that each locking section is associated with a contact element. In order to reduce the complexity, a locking section can lock several latching elements for each contact element. Furthermore, a single latching element can latch several contact elements.

[0034] In an advantageous configuration, several locking sections can have a common base. This can increase the stability. A common base can protrude from a base plate. As a result, the remainder of a locking section can be configured to be shorter and the stability can be increased. The sealing element can seal in the region of the common base in order to keep the sealing surface smaller than in the case of separately sealing several locking sections. For this purpose, the sealing element can comprise a single passage hole for the common base.

[0035] The latching element can be arranged between the contact element and the second housing part in order to enable good locking.

[0036] In a further advantageous configuration, the contact element can be arranged between the latching element and the second housing part. This enables the connection assembly to be stable.

[0037] The second housing part can be arranged on a side of the first housing part which is disposed opposite to a side at which the contact elements are inserted. This enables simple assembly.

[0038] In the following, the invention shall be described by way of example in detail with reference to the drawings using advantageous configurations. The advantageous further developments and configurations illustrated there are each independent of each other and can be combined with one another in dependence of the requirement of the application,

[0039] In the figures:
Fig. 1
shows a schematic perspective view of a first embodiment;
Fig. 2
shows a schematic exploded view of the embodiment from Figure 1;
Fig. 3
shows a schematic sectional view through the embodiment from Figure 1;
Fig. 4
shows a schematic, partially sectioned side view of the embodiment from Figure 1;
Fig. 5
shows a detailed view of Figure 4;
Fig. 6
shows a schematic, partially sectioned side view of the embodiment from Figure 1;
Fig. 7
shows a detailed view of Figure 6;
Fig. 8
shows a schematic perspective view of the first embodiment from a different viewing direction;
Fig. 9
shows a schematic perspective view of the first embodiment from a further viewing direction;
Fig. 10
shows a schematic top view of a step of manufacturing parts of the connection assembly;
Fig. 11
shows a schematic side view of the manufacturing step of Figure 10;
Fig. 12
shows a schematic perspective view of the manufacturing step of Figure 10;
Fig. 13
shows a schematic top view of a step of manufacturing parts of the connection assembly;
Fig. 14
shows a schematic side view of the manufacturing step of Figure 13;
Fig. 15
shows a schematic perspective view of the manufacturing step of Figure 13;
Fig. 16
shows a schematic top view of a step of manufacturing parts of the connection assembly;
Fig. 17
shows a schematic side view of the manufacturing step of Figure 16;
Fig. 18
shows a schematic perspective view of the manufacturing step of Figure 16.


[0040] A connection assembly 100 is shown in the figures in different views and with different parts. Connection assembly 100 serves to establish the same electrical potential on different lines, which for this purpose are connected via contact elements 12 to a joint connector 40, or synonymously a comb connector. Joint connector 40 comprises, in particular, a single metal part that furthermore comprises a connection section 41 with which external contacting is possible, for example, in order to establish a connection to ground.

[0041] Connection assembly 100 comprises a first housing part 10 that comprises contact element receptacles 11 for contact elements 12 and latching elements 14 for latching of contact elements 12 in contact element receptacles 11. Latching elements 14 are each configured as a projection 60 in the form of an arm 15 which at a fixed end is connected integrally to the remainder of first housing part 10 and can be resiliently deflected at a free end. In particular, latching element 14 in a force-free state projects into contact element receptacle 11. When inserting a contact element 12 along a direction of insertion E, the free end of latching element 14 is deflected along a direction of deflection A which runs perpendicular to direction of insertion E. When the end position of contact element 12 has been reached in contact element receptacle 11, latching element 14 latches automatically and thereby secures contact element 12 in contact element receptacle 11.

[0042] Connection assembly 100 further comprises a second housing part 20 which can be plugged together with first housing part 10 along a plugging direction Z and then forms a housing 110. In the plugged state, joint connector 40 is held between first housing part 10 and second housing part 20. If contact elements 12 are plugged in, then joint connector 40 connects these contact elements 12 to one another in an electrically conductive manner.

[0043] In the example shown, second housing part 20 comprises several locking sections 21, where a respective locking section 21 locks a latching element 14 in a latching position 91. Latching position 91 is the position in which latching element 14 secures contact element 12 in contact element receptacle 11. In the example shown, a respective latching element 14 is associated with a contact element 12 and a contact element receptacle 11. In other embodiments, several contact elements 12 can be secured with a latching element 13 and/or a locking section 21 can be used for several contact elements 12 and/or latching elements 14.

[0044] Locking sections 21 are each configured as projections 22 which project with respect to a base plate 23 of second housing part 20. In the example shown, several locking sections 21 are arranged on a common base 25, which in turn protrudes from the base plate 23.

[0045] Locking sections 21 are configured as arms 28 which become narrower in a direction away from base plate 23, i.e. taper and are wedge-shaped.

[0046] When housing parts 10, 20 are plugged together, locking sections 21 extend from second housing part 20 into first housing part 10. Each locking section 21 is disposed at least in part adjacent to a contact element receptacle 11. When viewed from second housing part 20, each locking section 21 extends beyond first half 16 of the contact element receptacle 11 facing second housing part 20.

[0047] First housing part 10 comprises several receptacles 18 for each respective part, in particular a free end of locking section 21. In the plugged state, parts of locking sections 21 are disposed in receptacles 18 and block a deflection of associated latching elements 14 in a positive-fit manner. Locking section 21 is there arranged between latching element 14 and a wall section 19 of first housing part 10. In the plugged state, locking sections 21 are each located in a slot 17 in first housing part 10. Slot 17 runs parallel to contact element receptacle 11.

[0048] Receptacles 18 are each disposed behind associated latching element 14, i.e. are defined by latching element 14 and wall section 19. Latching element 14 is functionally disposed between contact element 12 and locking section 21 of second housing part 20. At the same time, contact element 12 is disposed between latching element 14 and a base plate 23 of second housing part 20.

[0049] Locking sections 21 are each connected integrally to the remainder of second housing part 20.

[0050] Connection assembly 100 further comprises a sealing element 30 which can be inserted into first housing part 10. Locking sections 21 extend through sealing element 30. For this purpose, sealing element 30 comprises passage holes 32 which, in particular, receive common bases 25 in a sealing manner.

[0051] Joint connector 40 likewise extends through sealing element 30. Joint connector 40 furthermore extends through second housing part 20, which comprises a passage hole 24 for this purpose. Joint connector 40 is connected to sealing element 30 by way of injection molding. During the manufacturing process, sealing element 30 is injected onto joint connector 40, as a result of which passage hole 34 is created automatically. Joint connector 40 is then embedded into sealing element 30 at least in part.

[0052] First housing part 10 and/or second housing part 20 in the assembled state can exert pressure upon sealing element 30 in order to compress it and thereby obtain a good sealing effect. A sealing element receptacle 13 in first housing part 10 can be smaller than sealing element 30 in order to automatically compress it. When plugged together, second housing part 20 can furthermore generate pressure and compress sealing element 30.

[0053] Two closed circumferential projections 31 on sealing element 30 interact with closed circumferential recesses 33 on first housing part 10, so that sealing element 30 is held in a positive-fit sealing manner.

[0054] Connection assembly 100 furthermore comprises an attachment mechanism 50 in the form of a latching mechanism 21 with which second housing part 20 can be attached to first housing part 10. In a latching position 52, in which first housing part 10 is latched to second housing part 20, second housing part 20 automatically locks latching elements 14 by way of locking elements 21.

[0055] A direction of insertion E, along which contact elements 12 are plugged into contact element receptacles 11, is anti-parallel to a locking direction V along which locking sections 21 can be displaced relative to contact element receptacles 11. A plugging direction Z, along which second housing part 20 is plugged together with first housing part 10, is also anti-parallel to direction of insertion B and parallel to a direction of compression K, along which second housing part 20 exerts pressure upon sealing element 30.

[0056] Second housing part 20 is arranged on a side of first housing part 10 which is disposed opposite to a side at which contact elements 12 are inserted.

[0057] The manufacture of a part of connection assembly 100 is shown in Figures 10 to 18. After a corresponding piece has been punched out of a sheet of metal, it is bent to enable contacting in different planes. In a subsequent step, sealing element 30 is moulded or sprayed onto joint connector 40 that has been created.

Reference numerals



[0058] 
110
housing
10
first housing part
11
contact element receptacle
12
contact element
13
sealing element receptacle
14
latching element
15
arm
16
first half of the contact element receptacle
17
slot
18
receptacle
19
wall section
20
second housing part
21
locking section
22
projection
23
base plate
24
passage hole
25
common base
28
arm
30
sealing element
31
projection
32
passage hole
33
recess
34
passage hole
40
joint connector
41
connection section
42
contact section
50
attachment mechanism
51
latching mechanism
52
latching position
60
projection
94
latching position
100
connection assembly
A
direction of deflection
E
direction of insertion
K
direction of compression
V
locking direction
Z
plugging direction



Claims

1. Connection assembly (100) comprising
a first housing part (10) that comprises contact element receptacles (11) for contact elements (12), and latching elements (14) for latching said contact elements (12) in said contact element receptacles (11),
a second housing part (20) that is configured to be plugged together with said first housing part (10),
a joint connector (40) that is held between said first housing part (10) and said second housing part (20) and configured to connect at least two contact elements (12),
were said the second housing part (20) comprises at least one locking section (21) that locks one of said latching elements (40) in a latching position (91).
 
2. Connection assembly (100) according to claim 1, where said locking section (21) is configured as a projection (60).
 
3. Connection assembly (100) according to one of the claims 1 or 2, where said locking section (21) blocks a motion of said latching element (14) out of said latching position (91).
 
4. Connection assembly (100) according to one of the claims 1 to 3, where said first housing part (10) comprises a receptacle (18) for part of said locking section (21).
 
5. Connection assembly (100) according to one of the claims 1 to 4, where said latching element (14) projects into said contact element receptacle (11).
 
6. Connection assembly (100) according to one of the claims 1 to 5, where said locking section (21) is integrally connected to the remainder of said second housing part (20).
 
7. Connection assembly (100) according to one of the claims 1 to 6, where said joint connector (40) comprises a connection section (41) which protrudes from said first housing part (10).
 
8. Connection assembly (100) according to one of the claims 1 to 7, where said connection assembly (100) comprises a sealing element (30) which can be inserted into said first housing part (10).
 
9. Connection assembly (100) according to claim 8, where said locking section (21) extends through said sealing element (30).
 
10. Connection assembly (100) according to one of the claims 8 or 9, where said joint connector (40) extends through said sealing element (30).
 
11. Connection assembly (100) according to one of the claims 8 to 10, where said sealing element (30) is at least in part sprayed or moulded onto said joint connector (40).
 
12. Connection assembly (100) according to one of the claims 8 to 11, where said second housing part (20) in the assembled state exerts pressure upon said sealing element (30).
 
13. Connection assembly (100) according to one of the claims 1 to 12, where said connection assembly (100) comprises an attachment mechanism (50) with which said second housing part (20) can be attached to said first housing part (10).
 
14. Connection assembly (100) according to claim 13, where said attachment mechanism (50) is a latching mechanism (41) which, in a latching position (52), latches said first housing part (10) to said second housing part (20), and said second housing part (20) locks said latching element (14) when said latching mechanism (51) is in said latching position (52).
 
15. Connection assembly (100) according to one of the claims 1 to 14, where at least two of the following directions run in parallel or anti-parallel:

- a direction of insertion (E) along which said contact element (12) is inserted into the contact element receptacle (11);

- a plugging direction (Z) along which said second housing part (20) is plugged together with said first housing part (10);

- a locking direction (V) along which said locking section (21) is displaceable relative to said contact element receptacle (11);

- a direction of compression (K) along which said second housing part (20) exerts pressure upon said sealing element (30).


 




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