United States Patent [191

[n] E

Patent Number:

Re. 32,898


[45] Reissued Date of Patent:

Apr. 4, 1989


[75] Inventor: Helen Deehelette, London, England [73] Assignee: Mole: Incorporated, Lisle, Ill. [21] Appl. No.: 55,088 [22] Filed:

May 28, 1987 Related US. Patent Documents

Reissue of:


[51] [52] [58]

Patent No.:



Jul. 9, 1985

Appl. No.: Filed:

521,769 Aug. 9, 1983

Int. Cl.‘ ............................................. .. H01R 4/24 US. Cl. .......................................... .. 439/395 Field of Search ............................... .. 439/389-426


References Cited U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS 3,761,866 4,088,382 4,116,522

9/1973 5/ 1978 9/1978

Ledlacek ......................... .. 339/97 P Ichimura ..... .. 339/99 R Reynolds ........................ .. 339/97 R

34 a

3 8V


1 7V "’

13 _-//




4,159,158 4,333,700

6/1979 6/1982

Wcidler ........................... .. 339/97 P Pugh ............................... .. 339/97R

Primary Examiner-Joseph H. McGlynn Attorney. Agent, or Firm—-John W. Cornell; Louis A. Hecht



An electrical connector comprises a housing ?tted with one or more contact members which have the capability

of terminating an insulated multi-stranded conductor by displacement of the conductor insulation. The contact

member comprises a stamped and formed metallic plate member having an insulation displacement slot which de?nes, at an end of the plate, a pair of limbs and a

relatively wide conductor receiving mouth. The slot tapers from the mouth to a pair of opposed teeth posi tioned one on each limb in juxtaposed relationship. The teeth are con?gured to point in the general direction of the mouth and they serve to initiate severing of the conductor coating. The plate may further comprise a pair of coined protrusions adjacent a further narrowed portion of the slot for separating the conductor coating and providing an improved electrical interface between the conductor strands and contact.

5 Claims, 5 Drawing Sheets

US. Patent

Apr. 4, 1989

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FIG] 13


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Apr. 4, 1989

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3M 26 //

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F IG. 2

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US. Patent

Apr. 4, 1989

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US. Patent

Apr. 4, 1989

Sheet 4 0f 5


US. Patent

Apr. 4, 1989

Sheet 5 0f 5



Re. 32,898



member may also include formations on opposite sides of the slot which protrude outwardly from a surface of the plate member and serve to separate the insulation

Matter enclosed in heavy brackets [ ] appears in the original patent but forms no part of this reissue specifica

are designed to accept deformation substantially uni

tion; matter printed in italia indicates the additions made by reissue.

ingly, stresses are not transferred to the housing in con

displaced by the slot. Limb portions de?ned by the slot

formly along their lengths upon wire insertion. Accord centration. Additionally, the bight of the U-shaped contact mem

FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention concerns a multigauge insulation dis

ber can be bifurcated to receive a blade-like spade ter

minal, for example.

placement connector and contacts therefor, and partic ularly concerns such a connector and contacts adapted for use with multistranded conductors. 15


BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In order that the invention might be clearly under

stood, together with the further objects and advantages thereof, the following detailed description of preferred

Insulation displacement connectors do not require

embodiments may be referred to, wherein: FIG. 1 shows a portion of a sheet metal stamping used for manufacturing contact members according to into the connector. Rather, they rely upon displacement 20 one embodiment of the invention; of the insulation of the conductor by the sides of a slot FIG. 2 shows in enlarged perspective view a contact in a contact or terminal member into which the conduc member formed from the sheet metal stamping of FIG. tor is introduced. 1; Many different forms of insulation displacement con FIG. 3 shows stages in the insertion of a small gauge 25 nectors have been successfully marketed in recent multistranded conductor into the contact member of years. A need still exists for such a connector which not FIG. 2; the stripping of insulation from a section of an insulated conductor preparatory to insertion of the conductor

only is usable with multistranded conductors, but also is

usable with a range of conductor sizes or gauges. The

difficulties which arise in the application of insulation

FIG. 4 shows corresponding stages in the insertion of a relatively large gauge multistranded conductor into

the same contact member of FIG. 2; displacement technology to connectors for use with 30 FIG. 5 shows, in perspective view, a four circuit connector in accordance with the invention which em in US. Pat. No. 4,317,608 issued Mar. 2, 1982, for exam ploys a contact member according to the preceding ple, to which reference may be made. Generally, these Figures, and difficulties result from underside rearrangement of the FIG. 6 shows a sectional view on taken generally conductor strands upon their insertion into the connec 35 along the line 5-5 of FIG. 5. tor contact member. As a consequence of such rear rangement, a reliable electrical connection between the DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED conductor and contact member cannot be assured, par EMBODIMENT ticularly if the connector is to be used with varying Referring ?rst to FIG. 1 There is shown a blank, conductor sizes. multistranded conductors are known and are discussed

designated generally by the reference numeral 10,


It is, therefore, a principal object of the present inven tion to provide an improved contact member for an

formed by stamping suitable metal of selected thickness in sheet or strip form. The blank 10 includes a plurality of plate-like elongated contact blanks 11, each con

electrical connector having the capability of establish 45 nected at one end to a carrier strip 12. Each blank 11 comprises an insulation displacement slot formation 13 ing a reliable electrical connection with a stranded wire. at both ends, thereof, de?ning edge surfaces 13’ which A further object is to provide a contact member which is equally suitable for use with both small and

are of suitable sharpness to sever the insulation of a

large gauge wires.

conductor. Intermediate the said ends is an elongate slot

Yet another object is to provide such a contact mem ber with means for selective connection to a mating

14 of predetermined shape, which will be described in greater detail hereafter. Each blank 11 is generally sym metrical, both longitudinally and transversely and is

terminal member. designed to be folded end-to-end into a generally U A still further object of the present invention is to shape as shown in FIG. 2. provide a housing member into which a plurality of the Folding of a blank 11 defines a double-ended insula contact members may be inserted thereby providing an 55 tion displacement contact 15 with the insulation dis improved connector assembly. placement slot formations 13 in alignment with one The foregoing and other objects and advantages are another. At the bend or bight of the U-shape, the elon accomplished by the present invention in the provision gate siot 14 defines a bifurcated contact formation suit of an improved contact member comprising a stamped able to engage a spade terminal or the like. and formed plate member having a slot of relatively Looking at FIG. 2, the insulation displacement slot 13 long length for accommodating a relatively larger num of contact 15 is seen to include a relatively wide mouth ber of conductor core strands than heretofore, and with a relatively wide mouth portion of the slot leading in a 17, with the slot being narrowed inwardly in a stepped generally tapering or narrowing fashion to at least one and tapering fashion through three stages, designated pair of opposed teeth. One tooth of each such pair is 65 generally by the reference numerals 18, 19 and 20, re

provided on a respective side of the slot and is intended

spectively. A pair of teeth 21 of sharp triangular shape

to pierce and remove insulation from an insulated con

and juxtaposed on opposite sides of the slot 13 project from the regions de?ned between stepped portions 19

ductor as it is introduced into the slot. The contact


Re. 32,898

and 20 with their apeces pointed generally inwardly of the slot 13 towards the open mouth 17. Opposed edges 22 of the teeth 21 taper inwardly towards each other in a direction away from the mouth 17. Stepped portions 20 define a generally parallel section 23 of relatively long length which terminates in an enlarged hole 24. About midway along the length of the parallel section 23, each side of the insulation displacement slot 13 has a slight protrusion 25 projecting from one surface of the blank 11, formed therein as, for example, by coining of 0 the blank 11. The insulation displacement slot 13 thus defined lies between two limbs 26 which taper so as to be to a de

gree resiliently ?exible. Free ends 27 of the limbs 26 adjacent the open mouth 17 of the slot 13 are suf? ciently narrow such that the limbs 26 are bendable

along their entire length. The elongate slot 14 formed in the blank 11 results in bifurcation of the bight of the contact member 15 to de?ne two opposed limbs 30 which form therebetween a female contact receptacle 31 adapted for receiving a male contact member (shown in FIG. 6). The slot 14 is


FIG. 4 is similar to FIG. 3 but shows the insertion of a considerably larger gauge conductor 33b into contacts

15d, 15c and 15f. For purposes of clarity, contacts 15a, 15c and 15f have been shown with reference numerals corresponding to like elements of the contact 15 illus trated in FIG. 2. Notable in FIG. 4 as compared to FIG. 3 is the earlier deformation of the conductor cross-section as the con

ductor 33b is forced into the mouth 17 of the contact 15c, and the increased deformation of the limbs 26 which bow as the larger conductor 33b is inserted. The additional strains involved are to a great extent accom

modated within the contact member 15f itself, rather than being transferred to the connector housing 37. This has the desirable effect of minimizing the risk of housing distortion. Referring now to FIGS. 5 and 6, there is shown therein a four circuit connector 50 for use with a

contact member 15 as above described. The connector

50 comprises a one piece housing 51 of glass ?lled Ny lon, for example, having a plurality of open ended reces ses or channels 52 therein for receiving the contacts 15.

Access is provided at the top and bottom ends of the further adapted with lugs 32 projecting into the female housing 51 to the insulation displacement slot 13 and the contact receptacle 31. 25 female receptor 31, respectively, of each contact 15. FIG. 3 shows various steps in the insertion of a rela As shown most clearly in FIG. 6, the housing 51 and tively small gauge, multistranded, insulated conductor the recess 52 therein have upper and lower portions 53

33a into the insulation displacement slot 13 of three

contact members as just described, designated 15a, 15b and 150. The contact members 15a, 15b, and 150 are

each identical in their construction and accordingly, like reference numerals will be used, hereinafter to de scribe the operation of their various features. The conductor 33a comprises multiple strands of conductive wire 34a coated with a layer of insulation 35a. Each contact member 15a, 15b and 15c is schemati cally shown engaged in an accommodating recess 36 in an illustrative connector housing 37. Contact 15a is

shown with the conductor 33a being guided by wall

and 54, respectively, which provide accommodation for the (upper) insulation displacement portion 13 of the contact member 15 and the (lower) female receptor 31, respectively. The upper portion 53 has formed therein opposed pairs of grooves 55 into which the edges of the two insulation displacement portions 13 of the contact member 15 engage when the contact member 15 is re

ceived in the housing recess 52. The upper portion 53 also has a pair of ribs 56 of triangular cross-section disposed one on either side of the pairs of grooves 55, the ribs 56 being tapered at their upper ends, as best seen in FIG. 5, to provide guidance to a conductor 33 intro duced into the recess 52. Not only do the ribs 56 pro

formations 38 in the housing 37 towards the mouth 17 of the insulation displacement slot 13. Contact 15b is vide the guidance aforementioned, but also they serve shown with the conductor 33a just engaged with the to strengthen the housing and to retain a conductor 33 insulation piercing teeth 21 of slot 13 and with the teeth once it has been engaged with the connector. 21 just beginning to penetrate and to pare off a section As best seen in FIG. 6, the lower part 54 of the hous of the conductor insulation 35a. Contact 15c is shown 45 ing recess 52 is of simpler form and comprises a major with the conductor strands 34a lodged well down into portion 57 which accommodates the contact receptacle the generally parallel section 23 of the insulation dis 31 of the contact member 15 and slotted portions 58

placement slot 13 in the region of the coined protrusions 25, where the protrusions 25 slightly widen and strengthen the slot 13. A further advantage of the protrusions 25 is that they cooperate to separate the insulation 35a longitudinally

extending at right angles off of the major portion 57. The slotted portions 58 serve to guide and retain a tab terminal 59 inserted into contact with the contact recep tacle 31 of the contact member 15. Although not shown,

slotted portions 58 may be con?gured such that tab terminal 59 is offset laterally with respect to the contact blank 10 in oppositely directed pairs (FIG. 2). This receptacle 31, allowing an aperture 60 of the tab termi separation of the insulation 35a allows for greater expo 55 nal 59 to be engaged by the lugs 32 of the female recep sure of the conductor strands 34a to the contact slot 13. tor 31, thereby effecting a locking function. A plug of insulation 40c remains above and below the The housing 51 further comprises entry ports 70 conductor strands 34a in the slot 13 of the contact mem which are provided with a variety of strain relief forma ber 15c and remnants 410 of pared off insulation remain tions 61 enabling a conductor 33 received in the connec on the teeth 21. The teeth 21 thus serve, when the con 60 tor 50 to be bent substantially through 90 degrees so as ductor core gauge is small relative to the insulation to extend from the connector 50 generally parallel to thickness, to positively pare away part of the insulation the longitudinal axes of the terminals 15, as illustrated in and thereby reduce the insulation displacement task of FIG. 6. A pair of opposed, resilient strain relief fingers the parallel section 23 of the slot 13. 62 depend from the housing walls within, the entry port The limbs 26 of contact 15c is slightly opened as the 65 70 and are such as to be resiliently deformable out of the conductor strands 34a are forced into the slot 13. This path of a conductor 33 introduced into the connector 50 brings the free ends 27 of the said limbs 26 into abutting by contact with the conductor 33. Once the conductor of the wire 33a inasmuch as they protrude from the

engagement with the housing 37.

33 has been fully positioned, the strain relief ?ngers 62

Re. 32,898 ‘


resume their original disposition and prevent with

between the bight joining ends of the leg portions, the

drawal of the conductor 33. Also provided is a member

improvement comprising:

63 of generally triangular cross-section which performs

each slot extending from the free end of each leg

a function similar to that of the ribs 56, and opposed members 64 which serve as conductor guiding and retaining means particularly when, as aforementioned. the conductor is bent through 90 degrees to exit from

portion towards the bight joining end thereof, with each leg portion including two opposed spaced apart transversely de?ectable resilient limb por tions each having an upper free end at the mouth

having outwardly extending housing engaging

the connector 50.

The connector 50 described is particularly, though

means for engaging portions of the connector hous

not exclusively, useful in consumer and automotive

ing de?ning the terminal receiving cavity to limit

applications where it lends itself to automatic assembly

outward de?ection of said limbs when urged apart by insertion therebetween of an insulated wire, whereby the portion of each limb portion below the free end is outwardly bowed upon continued insertion of said insulated wire.

of wiring harnesses and can reliably mate with standard terminal tabs. As an example of the gauge range which might be accommodated, a connector according to the

invention might be designed for use with multistranded conductors ranging from 0.5 mm (l6 strands each of 0.2

2. The contact member of claim 1 wherein said free

end limb portions include diverging tapered members

mm diameter) to 1.5 mm (30 strands each of 0.25 mm diameter) core area with insulation thicknesses of the order of 0.6 mm to 0.7 mm providing an overall conduc tor diameter range of 2.2 mm to 3.2 mm. Although the

having a reduced cross section adjacent said housing engaging portions to provide a second resilient mount ing of said limb portions to accommodate said outward

illustrative embodiment is of a four circuit connector, any number of circuits may be terminated in accordance

housing thereof.

with the principles of the invention, within the ordinary

portion includes an insulation piercing tooth projecting

skill in the art. We claim:

3. The contact member of claim 1 wherein each limb 25

into the slot. 4. The contact member of claim 1 wherein said bight

1. A U-shaped, stamped metal electrical contact member adapted to be mounted in a terminal receiving cavity of a connector housing for connecting an insu lated conductor to an external terminal, said contact

portion includes terminal receiving means for receiving

member including two opposed leg portions, each with

nal terminal includes a ?at blade and said terminal re ceiving means includes a bifurcated wall having an

the external terminal so as to form a separable electrical

connection therewith. 5. The contact member of claim 4 wherein said exter

a free end and a bight jointed end and each leg portion having a slot formed therein including a wire receiving

elongated slot extending generally between the bight joining ends, said slot having opposed inwardly extend

mouth converging towards and leading to opposed insulation cutting edge surfaces which provide electri

ing contact lugs with contact surfaces for engaging the

cal connection to an insulated conductor, said contact 35 blade.

member further including a bight portion extending













Re .



April 4 f


32 , 898 V


Helen Dechelette

It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent is hereby corrected asshown below: Title page:

Prior to the line:

c104.l...-O'OI...I'OOOIQDOOI'IQI'...‘InolR Insert:

[30] Aug.

Foreign Application Priority Data 9,




Kingdom‘. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .r22892/82

_ Signed and Sealed this

Twenty-sixth Day of December, 1989 Attest:


Arresting O?‘k'er

Acting Commissioner of Parents and Trademarks

Multigauge insulation displacement connector and contacts therefor

May 28, 1987 - the conductor is bent through 90 degrees to exit from the connector 50. ... not exclusively, useful in consumer and automotive applications ...

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