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United States Patent 3,908,228
Newcomer September 30, 1975

Self-closing hinge

Abstract

Coil springs are telescoped into holes formed in the plastic plunger of a self-closing hinge. Projecting posts are molded integrally with the bottoms of the holes and are telescoped into the springs to reduce the danger of the springs escaping from the holes if the adjacent plastic wall of the plunger should break.


Inventors: Newcomer; John I. (Rockford, IL)
Assignee: Amerock Corporation (Rockford, IL)
Appl. No.: 05/534,738
Filed: December 20, 1974


Current U.S. Class: 16/286 ; 16/386
Current International Class: E05F 1/12 (20060101); E05F 1/00 (20060101); E05D 001/12 ()
Field of Search: 16/72,71,76,82,85,50,188,189,78-80,49,52,129,132,134,139,180

References Cited

U.S. Patent Documents
3391420 July 1968 Anderson
3550186 December 1970 Swartz
3613151 October 1971 Anderson et al.
3715778 February 1973 Wilson
Primary Examiner: Larkin; Geo. V.
Attorney, Agent or Firm: Wolfe, Hubbard, Leydig, Voit & Osann, Ltd.

Claims



I claim as my invention:

1. A self-closing hinge having first and second pivotally connected parts, a plastic, block-like plunger supported on said first part and engageable with said second part, a hole opening out of one side of said plunger and having a closed bottom located adjacent the opposite side of the plunger, and a coil spring telescoped into said hole and compressed between said first part and the bottom of said hole, the improvement in said hinge comprising, a post molded integrally with and projecting from the bottom of said hole and telescoped into said spring to help retain the latter within said hole in the event a third side of said plunger breaks and creates an opening leading into said hole.

2. A self-closing hinge as defined in claim 1 further including a second hole opening out of said one side of said plunger and having a closed bottom located adjacent the opposite side of the plunger, a second coil spring telescoped into said second hole and compressed between said first part and the bottom of said second hole, and a second post molded integrally with and projecting from the bottom of said second hole and telescoped into said second spring.
Description



BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a self-closing hinge and, more particularly, to a self-closing hinge of the same general type as disclosed in Anderson U.S. Pat. No. 3,391,420. In such a hinge, a plastic, block-like plunger is supported on one of the pivotally connected hinge parts and is urged against the other hinge part by at least one coiled compression spring which is telescoped into a hole in the plunger.

Several million hinges of the foregoing type have been manufactured and sold by the assignee of the present invention. In a few of these hinges, one of the plastic side walls of the plunger has cracked and broken so as to create an opening leading into the spring-receiving hole. If sufficiently large, the opening allows the spring to escape from its hole and to fly out of the plunger. There is, therefore, a possibility that the spring might strike a person near the hinge or, if the hinge is mounted on a kitchen cabinet, the spring might fall into a container of food and ultimately cause personal injury.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The general aim of the present invention is to provide a self-closing hinge having a new and improved plunger which better captivates the spring within the hole so as to reduce the danger of the spring flying out of the hole if the plastic wall of the plunger should break.

A more detailed object is to achieve the foregoing by providing a plunger in which a projecting post is molded integrally with the bottom of the hole and is telescoped into the spring to help retain the spring in the hole.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of a cabinet equipped with a new and improved hinge incorporating the features of the invention.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-section taken substantially along the line 2--2 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary cross-section taken substantially along the line 3--3 of FIG. 2.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The hinge 10 shown in the drawings is generally similar to that disclosed in FIGS. 9 to 12 of the aforementioned patent to which reference should be made for a detailed explanation of the construction and operation of the hinge. Briefly, the hinge includes a door part or wing 11 mounted on a cabinet door 13 and pivotally connected by a hinge pin 14 to a frame part or wing 15 mounted on a cabinet frame 16. A plunger 17 is slidably supported on the frame wing 15 and is pressed into engagement with a notched curl 19 on the door wing 11 so as to automatically swing the door 13 to and hold the door in a closed position after the door has initially been swung toward its closed position.

The plunger 17 is molded from comparatively hard and rigid plastic such as "Delrin" and is generally block-like in shape. Thus, the plunger includes one side 20 (FIG. 2) which engages the curl 19, an opposite side 21 which faces the frame wing 15, and two substantially parallel sides 22 and 23. The sides 20, 21 and 22 are substantially covered by other parts of the hinge but the side 23 is virtually exposed and unshielded as is apparent from FIGS. 1 and 2.

To press the plunger 17 against the curl 19, two coiled compression springs 25 (FIGS. 2 and 3) are telescoped into side-by-side holes 26 formed in the plunger. Each hole opens out of the side 21 of the plunger and has a closed bottom 27 located adjacent the opposite side 20 of the plunger. The springs are compressed between the frame wing 15 and the closed bottoms of the holes.

Because of the holes 26, the plunger wall 29 which is adjacent the side 23 of the plunger 17 is relatively thin as is apparent from FIGS. 2 and 3. It has been found that, in some hinges, the wall 29 fractures after the hinge has been placed in use. A severe fracture will create an opening sufficiently large for either or both springs 25 to fly out of the holes 26 through the unshielded wall 29 and possibly cause a personal injury.

In accordance with the present invention, projecting posts 30 (FIGS. 2 and 3) are molded integrally with the bottoms 27 of the holes 26 and are telescoped into the springs 25 to help retain the springs in the holes in the event the plunger wall 29 breaks. As a result of the posts 30 engaging the inner sides of the spring coils, the springs are restricted against lateral movement and thus much more of the plastic material of the plunger 17 must be broken or torn away before the springs can escape from the plunger. Accordingly, the plunger of the present invention significantly reduces the risk of personal injury in the event the wall 29 breaks and exposes the springs 25.

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