Title:
Hinge assembly having a torque device to provide an assistance to assist a pivotal movement of a display relative to a base of a laptop computer
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A hinge includes a sleeve and a shank. The shank is composed of an elongated body, a connecting portion and a securing portion. The connecting portion has a diameter smaller than that of the elongated body and larger than a diameter of the securing portion. The sleeve has an inner diameter smaller than that of the connecting portion such that after the connecting portion is received inside the sleeve, an interference fit is existed between the sleeve and the connecting portion of the shank.



Inventors:
Lu, Sheng-nan (Shulin City, TW)
Lee, Chung-yu (Shulin City, TW)
Hsu, Jia-hao (Shulin City, TW)
Application Number:
11/446409
Publication Date:
04/26/2007
Filing Date:
06/05/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
16/337
International Classes:
E04G3/00; G06F1/16; H05K7/16; E05D11/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHAN, KO HUNG
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Rabin & Berdo, P.C. (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. In a hinge having a shank provided with an elongated body, a connecting portion extending from a free end of the elongated body and a securing portion extending from a free end of the connecting portion and having a diameter smaller than that of the connecting portion, a first bracket having a plate adapted to securely engage with a base of a laptop computer and securely mounted on the connecting portion, a securing plate securely mounted on the securing portion, a resilient member securely mounted on the securing portion, a securing member securely mounted on the securing portion to secure engagement of the resilient member, the securing plate and the first bracket on the securing portion and a second bracket securely connected to the shank to adapt to securely engage with a display of the laptop computer, the second bracket being pivotal relative to the first bracket, wherein a sleeve is formed on a free end of the plate to receive therein the connecting portion and a gap is defined between the sleeve and the plate, the connecting portion has a diameter smaller than that of the elongated body and the securing portion has a diameter smaller than that of the connecting portion such that after the connecting portion is received in sleeve, an interference fit is existed between the connecting portion and the sleeve.

2. The hinge assembly as claimed in claim 1, wherein the sleeve has an inner diameter smaller than that of the connecting portion so that the connecting portion is interference-fitted inside the sleeve.

3. In a hinge having a shank provided with an elongated body, a connecting portion extending from a free end of the elongated body and a securing portion extending from a free end of the connecting portion and having a diameter smaller than that of the connecting portion, a first bracket having a plate adapted to securely engage with a base of a laptop computer and securely mounted on the connecting portion, a securing plate securely mounted on the securing portion, a resilient member securely mounted on the securing portion, a securing member securely mounted on the securing portion to secure engagement of the resilient member, the securing plate and the first bracket on the securing portion and a second bracket securely connected to the shank to adapt to securely engage with a display of the laptop computer, the second bracket being pivotal relative to the first bracket, wherein a sleeve is formed on a free end of the plate to receive therein the connecting portion and a gap is defined between the sleeve and the plate, the connecting portion has a diameter smaller than that of the elongated body and the securing portion has a diameter smaller than that of the connecting portion such that after the connecting portion is received in sleeve, an interference fit is existed between the connecting portion and the sleeve, wherein the sleeve has an inner diameter smaller than that of the connecting portion so that the connecting portion is interference-fitted inside the sleeve.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a hinge assembly, and more particularly to a hinge assembly able to provide a torque in response to the opening and closing movements of a laptop computer.

2. Description of the Prior Art

As well known in the art, a hinge is provided between two objects so as to provide a pivotal relationship between the two objects. Examples can be seen everywhere in our daily lives. A common example is the display and the base of a laptop computer, wherein the display pivots about a central axis of the hinge so that various observation angles are provided to different operators. In order to protect the display from damage resulted from excessive pivotal movement of the display relative to the base of the computer, the pivotal angle of the display is limited within a certain range. However, when the display is pivoted away from the base, the user normally has to apply a force first to hold the weight of the display and then pivots the display relative to the base. In other word, the hinge assembly provides no assistance in the opening of the laptop computer. When the laptop computer is closing, the user also has to provide a force to hold the display so that the display will not collide the base and the laptop computer is protected from damage.

That is, the current existing hinge assembly provides only pivotal relationship between two objects and has nothing to do with the body weight of each of the two objects. As a result, when the user is about to pivot one object relative to the other, the user also has to provide a force to hold the body weight of the object so that the two objects will not collide with each other especially in the closing movement of the two objects.

To overcome the shortcomings, the present invention tends to provide an improved hinge assembly to mitigate the aforementioned problems.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The primary objective of the present invention is to provide a hinge assembly able to provide a torque to assist the opening movement between two objects and protect the two objects from collision in the closing movement.

In order to accomplish the aforementioned objective, the hinge assembly of the present invention includes a shank, a first bracket securely mounted on the shank, a limiting plate, a resilient member, a securing member and a second bracket. The shank is composed of an elongated body, a connecting portion extending from a free end of the body and a securing portion extending from a free end of the connecting portion. The second bracket is securely mounted on the connecting portion and the limiting plate, the resilient member as well as the securing member are securely mounted on the securing portion. Furthermore, a sleeve is formed on a free side face of the first bracket and a gap is defined between the first bracket and a free end face of the sleeve.

The first bracket is adapted to connect to the base of a laptop computer and the second bracket is adapted to connect to the display of the laptop computer. When the display is pivoted relative to the base, the sleeve is able to provide assistance enhancing the pivotal movement of the display away from the base and protecting the base as well as the display when the display is pivoted toward the base.

Other objects, advantages and novel features of the invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the hinge of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the hinge in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing the first sleeve and the second sleeve;

FIG. 4 is a schematic side plan view showing that the second bracket is pivoted toward the first bracket;

FIG. 5 is a schematic side plan view showing that the first bracket is engaged with the second bracket so that a force is exerted on the sleeve trying to close the gap;

FIG. 6 is an operational side plan view showing that when the second bracket is pivoted away from the base, assistance is provided to the pivotal movement of the display by the sleeve due to the recovery force of the sleeve.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

With reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, it is noted that the hinge assembly in accordance with the present invention includes a shank (10), a first bracket (20), a limiting plate (30), resilient member (40) and a securing member (50). A second bracket (60) is also provided to the assembly to adapt to connect to a display of a laptop computer.

The shank (10) is composed of an elongated body (11) with a positioning boss (111) formed on one free end of the elongated body (11), a connecting portion (12) extending from the other free end of the body (111) and a securing portion (13) extending from a free end of the connecting portion (12). The connecting portion (12) has a diameter smaller than that of the body (11) but larger than that of the securing portion (13). An outer periphery of the securing portion (13) is provided with a threading (131).

The first bracket (20) includes a plate (21) and a sleeve (22) formed on a free end face of the plate (21) with a gap (23) defined between a free end of the sleeve (22) and the plate (21). A boss (221) is formed on an outer peripheral edge of the sleeve (22).

The securing plate (30) has a through hole (31) defined therein and is mounted on the securing portion (13). The securing plate (30) further has a wedged-shape boss (32) axially formed on an outer periphery of the securing plate (30).

The resilient member (40) is mounted around the securing portion (13) and the securing member (50) is provided with an internal threading formed on an inner periphery of the securing member (50) so that the securing member (50) is able to be threadingly mounted on the securing portion (13).

It is noted that because an inner diameter of the sleeve (22) is smaller than the diameter of the connecting portion (12) so that when the connecting portion (12) is extended into the sleeve (22), an interference fit exists between the connecting portion (12) and the inner periphery of the sleeve (22). The positioning boss (111) of the elongated body (11) is extended into a side face of the second bracket (60) to secure engagement between the shank (10) and the second bracket (60).

With reference to FIGS. 3-6, it is to be noted that when the hinge assembly of the present invention is applied to a laptop computer, the first bracket (20) is adapted to connect to the base (80) of the laptop computer and the second bracket (60) is adapted to connect to the display of the laptop computer. Thus when the display (70) is pivoted toward the base (80) (the second bracket (60) is moved toward the first bracket (20)), the pivotal movement of the second bracket (60) relative to the first bracket (20) exerts a force to the sleeve (22) to try to close the gap (23) between the sleeve (22) and the plate (21), which provides a resistance to the pivotal movement of the display (70) not to allow the display (70) to fall directly to the base (80). As a result of the resistance, the laptop computer is protected from collision between the display (70) and the base (80). That is, the user will have to apply a greater force to close the display (70). When the display (70) is pivoted away from the base (80), the recovery force stored in the sleeve (22) is released, which helps the pivotal movement of the display (70) to the base (80) such that the user only needs to apply little force in opening the display (70).

From the foregoing description, it is noted that the sleeve (22) on the first bracket (20) is able to protect laptop computer from damage resulted from direct collision between the display and the base and to help the display movement away from the base (80).

It is to be understood, however, that even though numerous characteristics and advantages of the present invention have been set forth in the foregoing description, together with details of the structure and function of the invention, the disclosure is illustrative only, and changes may be made in detail, especially in matters of shape, size, and arrangement of parts within the principles of the invention to the full extent indicated by the broad general meaning of the terms in which the appended claims are expressed.