Title:
SPRING HINGE DEVICE
United States Patent 3702491


Abstract:
The present invention relates generally to spring hinge devices and more particularly to improvements in spring hinge devices for use with a top opening cabinet having a tiltable lid such as a freezer cabinet. One practical embodiment of the invention disclosed in the present application includes a bracket member attachable to the vertical wall of a cabinet and a second bracket member attachable to the fixed margin of a tiltable cabinet lid. Spring coupling elements fixed to said brackets are designed to detachably accommodate opposite extremities of a substantially horizontal coil spring, said spring serving to counterbalance the weight of the cabinet lid.



Inventors:
PELLETIERE THOMAS JAMES
Application Number:
05/053843
Publication Date:
11/14/1972
Filing Date:
07/10/1970
Assignee:
ILLINOIS TOOL WORKS INC.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
16/306
International Classes:
E05F1/12; (IPC1-7): E05F1/12
Field of Search:
16/189,182,180,190,193
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
2960296Parachute opening inducer1960-11-15Sepp, Jr.
2839779Adjustable door stop hinge assemblies1958-06-24Haag
2547550Hinge construction1951-04-03Whitmore
2078303Door hinge1937-04-27Zetmeir
1380587Hinge1921-06-07Phillips



Foreign References:
FR1440709A1966-06-03
Primary Examiner:
Gay, Bobby R.
Assistant Examiner:
Troutman, Doris L.
Claims:
I claim

1. A spring hinge device for an open top type cabinet having a lid tiltable between substantially horizontal and substantially vertical positions, including first bracket means attachable to a vertical wall of a cabinet, first spring coupling means fixed to said first bracket means, second bracket means horizontally spaced from said first bracket means and attachable to the hinge margin of a tiltable cabinet lid, second spring coupling means fixed to said second bracket means, a substantially horizontally disposed coil spring coaxially interposed between and detachably connected with said first and second spring coupling means, bearing means for attachment to said tiltable cabinet lid interiorly thereof and for movement therewith, said bearing means surrounding a portion of said first spring coupling means so as to provide a pivotal support for said lid when attached thereto in assembled relation, said bearing means and said first spring coupling means including abutment surfaces engageable to limit the extent to which said tiltable cabinet lid may be tilted upwardly, and said first coupling means being rotatably adjustable with respect to said second coupling means for pre-stressing said coil spring to counterbalance the weight of an associated cabinet lid, whereby to assist manual opening of the lid.

2. A spring hinge device for an open top type cabinet having a tiltable lid as set forth in claim 1, wherein said first and second coupling means are provided with recesses for detachably accommodating extremities of the coil spring.

3. A spring hinge device for an open top type cabinet having a tiltable lid as set forth in claim 1, wherein opposite extremities of the coil spring present tangs extending transversely of a circle defined by the periphery of the coil spring, and each of the coupling means is recessed to detachably accommodate one of said tangs.

4. A spring hinge device for an open top type cabinet having a tiltable lid as set forth in claim 1, wherein said bearing means is in the form of an integral plastic unit.

5. A spring hinge device for an open top type cabinet having a tiltable lid as set forth in claim 1, wherein said bearing means is non-circular in shape for reception in a correspondingly shaped aperture of an associated cabinet lid, whereby to prevent relative rotation of said bearing means with respect to an associated lid.

Description:
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Lids of open top freezer cabinets are relatively heavy and must be counterbalanced to facilitate the ease with which such lids may be raised and lowered. It is an important object of the present invention to provide an improved, structurally simple and efficiently operable spring hinge device for counterbalancing relatively heavy lids or covers such as are commonly used in association with open top type freezer cabinets.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a spring type counterbalancing hinge device as set forth above which is composed of a minimum number of parts, one section of which may be attached to the fixed margin of a tiltable cabinet lid and another section to a wall of a cabinet with a minimum amount of effort and skill.

More specifically, the invention contemplates a structurally improved spring hinge device comprised essentially of a novel arrangement of a coil spring and brackets adapted to be detachably coupled with the opposite extremities of said spring.

The present invention also contemplates a spring hinge device of the type referred to above which is structurally designed to facilitate the ease with which the tension of the hinge spring may be varied selectively to accommodate the weight of the cabinet lid with which it is to be associated.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing and other objects will be more apparent from the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view illustrating one embodiment of the present invention attached to an open top type cabinet, and the lid associated therewith;

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the elements comprising the novel spring hinge device illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a central vertical sectional view taken substantially along the line 3--3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken transversely of the coil spring substantially along the line 4--4 of FIG. 3, the lid being shown in its closed position;

FIG. 5 is a transverse sectional view similar to FIG. 4, disclosing the lid in its upwardly tilted position;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary, transverse vertical sectional view taken substantially along the line 6--6 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary perspective view similar to FIG. 1, disclosing a spring hinge device of modified form contemplated by the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a vertical sectional view taken longitudinally of the coil spring substantially along the line 8--8 of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken substantially along the line 9--9 of FIG. 8, disclosing the cabinet lid in closed position;

FIG. 10 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 9, showing the cabinet lid in its open position;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view showing the essential parts of the spring hinge device in exploded relation; and

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the bracket for supporting the inner spring coupling member.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to the drawings more in detail wherein like numerals have been employed to designate similar parts throughout the various figures, it will be seen that one embodiment of the invention disclosed in FIGS. 1-6 inclusive, comprises a spring hinge device which is designated generally by the numeral 14. This spring hinge device 14 is disclosed in operative association with an open top type cabinet 16, and a tiltable cabinet cover or lid 18. The spring hinge device 14 includes a bracket 20 adapted to be attached to the outer wall of the cabinet 16 as by means of suitable fastening screws 22. The upwardly projecting portion of the bracket 20 supports a spring coupling member 24 having a transverse slot 26 for accommodating a complementary extremity 28 of a coil spring 30. The opposite extremity 32 of the coil spring 30 is adapted to be detachably accommodated by a cross slot 34 provided in a spring coupling member 36 fixed to a bracket member 38. The bracket 38 is adapted to be attached to the rear wall of 40 of the lid 18 as by means of suitable fastening screws 42 shown in FIGS. 3 and 6. The fastening screws 42 are accommodated by complementary apertures 44 in the rear wall 40, FIG. 2.

The previously mentioned member 24 which is fixed to the upper extremity of the bracket 20, not only provides a coupling for the extremity 28 of the coil spring 30, but also serves as a pivotal support for one extremity of the lid 18. This is accomplished through the agency of a bearing member 46 which may be attached to the rear wall section 40 of the lid 18 by means of suitable fastening screws 48. This bearing member or section 48 is in the form of a bracket and is provided with an aperture 50 for accommodating a complementary peripheral surface portion of the member 24. The bearing member 46 also has formed integral therewith a cam abutment portion 52 which is adapted to coact with a complementary lug or abutment 54 of the member 24 to limit the extent to which the lid 18 may be elevated in a manner to be described. It will be noted that each end of the lid 18, in the vicinity of the hinge margin thereof, is provided with an aperture 56 to permit the insertion of the bracket 38 for attachment to the lid wall 40 by the screws 42, and also to permit subsequent insertion of the coil spring 30, and a portion of the bearing bracket 46. A flange 58 on the bearing bracket 46 limits the extent to which said bracket may be inserted. The opening 50 of the bearing section 46 telescopically and pivotally accommodates the spring coupling member 24.

Particular attention is directed to the fact that after the above-mentioned assembly of parts has been accomplished, the bracket 20 will initially assume the dotted line position shown in FIG. 2, and the lid 18 will occupy its closed position. Moving the bracket 20 in a counterclockwise direction as indicated by the directional arrow in FIG. 2, to the solid line position will cause the spring 30 to be subjected to tension, the force of which will act in the direction tending to open the lid 18. The fastening screws 22 may now be applied so as to secure the bracket 20 in position. Obviously, the tension of the spring 30 is not sufficient to overcome or completely counterbalance the weight of the cabinet lid 18 when said lid occupies the normal horizontal closed position as shown in FIGS. 1 to 4, inclusive. However, sufficient force is exerted by the spring to partially counterbalance the weight of the lid and thereby facilitates the ease with which the lid may be tilted upwardly to the open position shown in FIG. 5. In this position the cam abutment 52 engages the fixed abutment or lug 54 of the member 24. This prevents further upward tilting of the lid. The bracket or bearing member 46 together with its abutment 52 may be in the form of a molded self-lubricating plastic unit.

The angular relationship of the spring accommodating recesses 26 and 34 may be varied in accordance with the required degree of spring tension. Also in instances where a relatively high degree of spring tension is desirable, the initial tensioning by rotating bracket 20 from its dotted line to a solid line position, may take place while the lid 18 occupies its open position shown in FIG. 5. Under such circumstances the coil spring 30 will be subjected to an increase in tension as an incident to the closing of the lid.

In FIG. 7 to 12 inclusive, a modified form of spring hinge device is illustrated. This modified form includes a spring hinge designated generally by the numeral 14a, which provides a hinge and spring counterbalancing unit for a tiltable lid 18a of a cabinet 16a. Elements of the spring hinge device 14a, corresponding with the elements of the previously described spring hinge device 14, are designated by corresponding numerals bearing the suffix a.

The spring hinge device 14a includes a coil spring 30a, having opposite extremities 28a and 32a. A bracket 20a is adapted to be secured to the vertical wall of the cabinet 16a by means of suitable fastening screws 22a. A spring coupling member 24a is clamped in fixed position upon the upper portion of the bracket 20a by means of a suitable nut 60. This nut 60 is applied to a complementary threaded extension 62 of the member 24a and is adapted to be rotatably clamped in position by use of a conventional spanner wrench (not shown). The member 24a is provided with a cross slot 26a for accommodating a spring extremity 28a. The opposite extremity of the spring 30a is supported within a cross slot 34a of a coupling member 36a. The spring coupling member 36a is provided with an axial projection 64 of polygonal cross section which is swaged within a complementary aperture 66 of a bracket 38a secured to the rear wall 40a of the lid 18a. The bracket 38a functions similarly to the previously described bracket 38 in supporting the inner extremity of the coil spring and moves as a unit with the tiltable cabinet lid 18a.

A bearing member 46a is pivotally supported upon the periphery of the spring coupling member 24 and is movable as a unit with the cabinet lid 18a. It will be noted that the bearing member 46a is non-circular in shape and is fitted within a corresponding non-circular opening within the end wall of the lid 18a. A lug member 52a extends axially from the periphery of the baring member 46a and serves to determine the extent to which the lid 18a may be opened. As the lid 18a is shifted from its closed horizontal position shown in FIG. 9, to the open position shown in FIG. 10, the angular lug 52 is ultimately moved into engagement with an abutment 54a formed integral with the bracket 20a. In the previously described spring hinge device 14, it was necessary to rotate the bracket 20 from the dotted line position to the solid line position shown in FIG. 2, in order to place the spring 30 under tension. In order to place the coil spring 30a under tension, it is only necessary to first loosen the nut 60, and then apply rotation to the member 24 by the use of a conventional socket wrench applied to a socket 68 provided in the threaded extension 62. The wrench may be applied while the lid 18 is in its horizontal closed position. When the spring 30a has been subjected to the required amount of tension, the nut 60 may be tightened so as to secure the spring coupling member 24a against rotation with respect to the bracket 20a.

From the foregoing it will be apparent that the present invention contemplates a novel combination of relatively few elements to provide an efficiently operable spring hinge device. Obviously, two spring hinge devices will be required for each cabinet, one being applied to each extremity of the lid and cabinet. By having the opposite extremities or tangs of the coil spring bent so as to traverse the circle defined by the periphery of the spring, the ease with which such tangs may be detachably connected with the transverse slots of the coupling members is greatly facilitated. It will be noted that these tangs substantially bisect the above-mentioned circle, and cooperate to maintain the desired coaxial relationship of the spring and coupling members therefor.