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Publication numberCA1319724 C
Publication typeGrant
Application numberCA 616152
Publication date29 Jun 1993
Filing date28 Aug 1991
Priority date22 Sep 1986
Also published asCA1305202C, CA1319724C2, EP0261906A2, EP0261906A3, US4715644
Publication numberCA 1319724 C, CA 1319724C, CA 616152, CA-C-1319724, CA1319724 C, CA1319724C
InventorsMark Lobanoff, James Andrew Gavagan
ApplicantMark Lobanoff, Irvin Automotive Products, Inc., Takata Inc., James Andrew Gavagan, Irvin Industries, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: CIPO, Espacenet
Spring-loaded hinge assembly for vehicle accessories
CA 1319724 C
Abstract
ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE

A hinge assembly is disclosed which is particularly well suited for vehicle accessory applications, such as for pivotally interconnecting vanity doors with vanity housing structures for example. A hinge assembly according to the present invention, which is also applicable for other applications, includes a pivot means pivotally interconnecting first and second members for relative rotational movement about a longitudinal axis, with a cam on the first member protruding in a generally lateral direction to engage a resilient biasing scan on the second member. The resilient biasing means, whcih is preferably a leaf spring, is slidably engaged and resiliently deflected by the cam on the first member and exerts a resilient biasing force on the cam in a generally lateral direction, generally toward the pivot axis. The cam preferably includes one or more dwell portions such that the spring or other resilient biasing means tends to resiliently and releasably maintain the first and second members in one or more predetermined relative rotational orientations when engaged by the dwell portions on the cam.
Claims
1. A spring-loaded hinge assembly for interconnecting an accessory door with an accessory housing structure for a vehicle, said hinge assembly comprising: pivot means pivotally interconnecting the door with the housing structure for rotational movement of the door relative to the housing structure about a longitudinally extending axis; a cam member protruding in a generally lateral direction from the housing structure; resilient biasing means disposed on the door for rotational movement therewith, said resilient biasing means being slidably and resiliently deflectably engageable by said cam for exerting a resilient biasing force on said cam in a generally lateral direction generally toward said axis; and support means interconnected with the door for supporting said resilient biasing means in a direction generally opposite the direction of said engagement of said resilient biasing means by said cam, said support means including seat portions for slidably supporting said resilient biasing means at least at two spaced-apart locations thereon.

2. A hinge assembly according to claim 1, wherein said resilient biasing means comprises a leaf spring secured to the door, said leaf spring being laterally and resiliently deflected by said cam during at least a portion of said rotational movement of said door relative to the housing structure.

3. A hinge assembly according to claim 1, wherein said cam has at least one dwell portion thereon for engaging said resilient biasing means at a corresponding predetermined rotational orientation of the door relative to the housing structure, said resilient biasing means tending to resiliently and releaseably maintain the door and the housing in said predetermined relative rotational orientation when engaged by said dwell portion of said cam.

4. A hinge assembly according to claim 3, wherein said cam includes a laterally-enlarged lobe portion disposed generally adjacent said dwell portion, said resilient biasing means being resiliently and generally laterally deflected by said cam to a greater extent when engaged by said laterally-enlarged lobe portion of said cam than when engaged by said dwell portion of said cam.

5. A hinge assembly according to claim 4, wherein said cam includes at least a pair of said dwell portions, and said laterally-enlarged lobe portion of said cam is disposed generally at the intersection of said dwell portions in order to cause said resilient biasing means to tend to forcibly urge the door into said predetermined relative rotational orientation relative to the housing structure when said resilient biasing means is engaged by said laterally-enlarged lobe portion.

6. A hinge assembly according to claim 4, wherein said cam includes at least a pair of said dwell portions thereon, said laterally-enlarged lobe portion being disposed between said dwell portions, said dwell portions engaging said resilient biasing means at a corresponding pair of said predetermined relative rotational orientations of the door and the housing structure, said resilient biasing means tending to resiliently and releasably maintain the door and the housing structure in each of said predetermined relative rotational orientations when engaged by the corresponding dwell portion of said cam.

7. A hinge assembly according to claim 5, wherein said resilient biasing means comprises a leaf spring secured to the door, said leaf spring being laterally and resiliently deflected by said cam during at least a portion of said rotational movement of the door relative to the housing structure.

8. A spring-loaded hinge assembly for interconnecting an accessory door with an accessory housing structure for a vehicle, said hinge assembly comprising: pivot means pivotally interconnecting the door with the housing structure for rotational movement of the door relative to the housing structure about a longitudinally-extending axis; a cam member protruding in a generally lateral direction from the door; resilient biasing means disposed on the housing structure for rotational movement therewith, said resilient biasing means being slidably and resiliently deflectably engageable by said cam for exerting a resilient biasing force of said cam in a generally lateral direction generally toward said axis; and support means interconnected with the housing structure for supporting said resilient biasing means in a direction generally opposite the direction of said engagement of said resilient biasing means by said cam, said support means including seat portions for slidably supporting said resilient biasing means at least at two spaced-apart locations thereon.

9. A hinge assembly according to claim 8, wherein said resilient biasing means comprises a leaf spring secured to the housing structure, said leaf spring being laterally and resiliently deflected by said cam during at least a portion of said rotational movement of said cam and the door relative to the housing structure.

10. A hinge assembly according to claim 8, wherein said cam has at least one dwell portion thereon for engaging said resilient biasing means at a corresponding predetermined rotational orientation of the door relative to the housing structure, said resilient biasing means tending to resiliently and releasably maintain the door and the housing in said predetermined relative rotational orientation when engaged by said dwell portion of said cam.

11. A hinge assembly according to claim 10, wherein said cam includes a laterally-enlarged lobe portion disposed generally adjacent said dwell portion, said resilient biasing means being resiliently and generally laterally deflected by said cam to a greater extent when engaged by said laterally-enlarged lobe portion of said cam than when engaged by said dwell portion of said cam.

12. A hinge assembly according to claim 11, wherein said cam includes at least a pair of said dwell portions, and said laterally-enlarged lobe portion of said cam is disposed generally at the intersection of said dwell portions in order to cause said resilient biasing means to tend to forcibly urge the door into said predetermined relative rotational orientation relative to the housing structure when said resilient biasing means is engaged by said laterally-enlarged lobe portion.

13. A hinge assembly according to claim 11, wherein said cam includes at least a pair of said dwell portions thereon, said laterally-enlarged lobe portion being disposed between said dwell portions, said dwell portions engaging said resilient biasing means at a corresponding pair of said predetermined relative rotational orientations of the door and the housing structure, said resilient biasing means tending to resiliently and releasably maintain the door and the housing structure in each of said predetermined relative rotational orientationswhen engaged by the corresponding dwell portion of said cam.

14. A hinge assembly according to claim 13, wherein said resilient biasing means comprises a leaf spring secured to the housing structure, said leaf spring being laterally and resiliently deflected by said cam during at least a portion of said rotational movement of said cam and the door relative to the housing structure.

15. A spring-loaded hinge assembly for interconnecting an accessory door with an accessory housing structure for a vehicle, said hinge assembly comprising: pivot means pivotally interconnecting the door with the housing structure for relative rotational movement of the door and the housing structurewith regard to one another about a longitudinally-extending axis; a cam member protruding in a generally lateral direction from one of the door or the housing structure; resilient biasing means disposed on the other of the door or the housing structure, said resilient biasing means being resiliently deflectably engageable by said cam for exerting a resilient biasing force on said cam in a generally lateral direction generally toward said axis; and support means interconnected with one of the door or the housing structure for supporting said resilient biasing means in a direction generally opposite the direction of said engagement of said resilient biasing means by said cam, said support means including at least one seat portion for slidably supporting said resilientbiasing means thereon.

16. A hinge assembly according to claim 15, wherein said resilient biasing means comprises a leaf spring, said leaf spring being laterally and resiliently deflected by said cam during at least a portion of said relative rotational movement of the door and the housing structure.

17. A hinge assembly according to claim 15, wherein said cam has at least one dwell portion thereon for engaging said resilient biasing means at a corresponding predetermined relative rotational orientation of the door and the housing structure, said resilient biasing means tending to resiliently and releasably maintain the door and the housing structure in said predetermined relative rotational orientation when engaged by said dwell portion of said cam.

18. A hinge assembly according to claim 17, wherein said cam includes a laterally-enlarged lobe portion disposed generally adjacent said dwell portion, said resilient biasing means being resiliently and generally laterally deflected by said cam to a greater extent when engaged by said laterally-enlarged lobe portion of said cam than when engaged by said dwell portion of said cam.

19. A hinge assembly according to claim 18, wherein said cam includes at least a pair of said dwell portions, and said laterally-enlarged lobe portion of said cam is disposed generally at the intersection of said dwell portions in order to cause said resilient biasing means to tend to forcibly urge the door and the housing structure into said predetermined relative rotational orientation when said resilient biasing means is engaged by said laterally-enlarged lobe portion.
20. A hinge assembly according to claim 17, wherein said cam includes at least a pair of said dwell portions thereon, said laterally-enlarged lobe portion being disposed between said dwell portions, said dwell portions engaging said resilient biasing means at a corresponding pair of said predetermined relative rotational orientations of the door and the housing structure, said resilient biasing means tending to resiliently and releasably maintain the door and the housing structure in each of said predetermined relative rotational orientationswhen engaged by the corresponding dwell portion of said cam.

21. A hinge assembly according to claim 20, wherein said resilient biasing means comprises a leaf spring, said leaf spring being laterally and resiliently deflected by said cam during at least a portion of said relative rotational movement of the door and the housing structure.
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1319724 ` ~

m e pee~nt invenkion relates generally t~ hinge a~s~mblies ~or hinged or pivctally interao~nected memkers, and more particularly bo ~uch hlnge ~s~emklie~ e6pecially adapted for pivotally interoonnecting a vehicle aoce&sory dbor with a vehicle acce~ o~y housing structure or okher p~rtiQn of the inter~or o~ a vehicle.
Such vehicle ~a oe ssory dborR lnalude vanity dbors, storage compartment doors or other aocessory oovers. ~inge aasemb~ies aocording to the pre&ent invention can alBO be employed for various non-vehicular uses, as w~ll be readily appreciated by one skilled in the art from ~he following dlscu~sion.
Ihe typical veh$cle includes a ~ide variety o~ hinged or pivokally mounted vehicle ao oe ssories or aGCe8BOry covers in the interior, luggage storzge area~, engine compartment, or okher areas.
In the past, however, many hlnge ~ssEmblies for such vehicular aEFlications, ns well as tbo~e for vas~ ous no ~ vehicular aE~aicaticns, either have nDt been suffic$ently durable or have ~ n rela~ively expen~ive to Froduoe and install. Furthermore, m~ny o such Erior hinge as~emblies have been found to be inordina~ely bulky~
unsightly, or ill-~itting, all Q~ which detract fram the user's per oe ption of quality with regard to the vehicle or o~her device in which such hinge as~emblie~ are ~ncluded.
In addition t4 the above di~advantage~, m~ny prior hinge ~saemblies have nDt p~cvidbd the user with relatively rokated or pivoted po8itians in which the hinged nember~ can be held and - ~ - - . -.
.. . ..

~ ) 197~ --~aintalned, eEpecially after extended u&e a~d wear of the hinge oompon~nt~. Qne example of the Frior art wherein su~h a feature has b en provided, hawever, is an cver-oenter, spring-and-lever arrar~p3nent, ~uch ~s that ~hown in UnitRd ~tate8 Patent Nos.
4,491,89g; 4,227,2425 ~nd 4,000,404. Another exa~Fle i8 an arrangement having ~ coil spring w~th ~ts opposite ends inkerconnected with opposite hinged ~N3nber~ in order bo bia~ the ~wo hinge nember~ toward onR another in a ~Ltual filiding arrangement.
qhi8 hinge arrangemenk dbes not have a pivot Fin or other m~mber pivotally interoonnecting the h~nged memkers and thus the spring functions both as a re~lient biasing m~mber for re~ilien~ly biasing ~he hinged n~mbers toward one another and a8 a afastener" ~or ~ecuring the hinged member~ together. ~he~e arrangements have been found to have various di~advantages in terms o durability~
performance, oomplexity, or e~pense of manufacture. The need has therefore arisen ~or a hinge assembdy of the type described herein, which i8 ~imp~e and inexpensive to produ oe , a~semble and ~n~tall, that i8 highly durable, and that i~ capakle of maintaining the hinged I ~mber in o~e or ~re relative rotational or pivctal orientations, such as in cpen and closed position~, for example.
A&cording to the present ~nwention, a spring-loaded hinge a~s ~ y i8 providbd ~or ~nteroonnecting first and eeoond relatively rotatable ~ er~ ~n a hinged relationship with refipect to one another. Such a hinge a$sembly include8 a p~v~k pin or okher pivot mxan~ fo~ pivotally ~nteroonnect1ng the fir&t and ~econd mem~ers ~or relative rokational ~cqement about a gener21ly long~tudinally-extending ~xi~ an~ ~ s~m Fro~ru~lny ln ~ generally lstersl ~rec~ion ~ "

~3~97~ --frcm one o~ the ~lr~t or ~cond member~ for rotaticnal relative mw~Dent therewith. ~ ~pring or c1ther resilient bla~ing means on the other Oe ~he Eirst or second ~mbers i ~;Lida~y ~ngaged and resil~ .ly de~lected }:y the ~n in order tt) exert a re~ilient b$a~ing foroe on the c~n in a generally later. 1 direct$cn generally toward the longitudinal axis, ~ tending to bias the hinged members generally in cFp~site dlrections away from one another. Preferably, the resilient bia6iny mRan~ ~nclude~ a leaf sprlng secured to one of the first or second mRmbers, with the leaf spring be$ng laterally and re~iliently dbflected by the c~m on the cther memker during at least a portion o~ the rotational m~vement of ~he ~mker.
~ refera~ly, the above-~entioned cam has at least one dwell portion therecn ~or ~ngsging the leaf ~pring or other resilient biasiny meanz at a c~rrespond$ng predetermined, relative rotational orientation o~ the first and ~eoond members with re~pect to one another. In such an arrangement, the resllient biasing means tends to resiliently and releasak~y malntain the first and seoond m~mbers in the predeteDnined ~elative rotatlonal or$entatian when engaged by ~he dwell portion af the cam In still anokher preferred hinge arrangemRnt ~ccording to ~he present invention, the cm can have at least a E~ir of the dwell portions thereon, with a laterally- ~ arged lobe portion dlEposed between the dwell portion~. In thi~ arrangement, the dwell portions engage the regilient b~asing ~ans at a oorre~Fonding pair c predetermined relative rokational orientat~ons of the f~rEt and second memkers, sueh a6 in Freselected open ~nd cloeed ~rlentattons ~or exEmFae, ~n der to res~liently and releasably n31ntaln tne ' ' '' ' ' . ' ~ ' ' : .

.
, o fir~t and ~econd m~nlxr~ in e~ch ~ the Eredeter~d orientations.
Pre~erab3y the resilient b~a~ing m~ re~iently and laterally deflected ~y the ~n to a gr0ater e~ent when engaged }:y the laterally-enlarged lobe porti~- o~ the ~n than when engaged ~
e$ther o~ ~e ~e31 portl~s of the can, and ~e laterall~enlarged lobe portian o~ the cam 1~ a rom~ded con~igurati~n. q~6 ~eeferred arrangement CaU5e8 the resilient bia~ing mear~ to tend to :Eorcibly urge or "Eelf-p~opel" the flr~t and second mE~nbers i~to one a~ t~e E4edetermined relat~ve rotat~onal arientatio~3 when the re ilient bia~;ing meanB i8 engaged ~y the ro~ed and laterally-enlarged lobe portion o~ the ~ n.
. In specific ~p~lications of the hi~xae aE~#3~bly de~cr1bed above, the am can be dispo~ed on an ~ccessory dbor for rotational nLvenent therewith relative to an accessory h~using structure. rn ~uch an arrangement, the leaf ~pring or o~her resilient biasing n~#Lns is di~posed on the housing structure for engagenent with the cam on the . door, as explained abcve. Alternately, ~he cam can ~e di~posed ~n ; the hou~ing structure, and the leaf spring or other resilient biasing - Ix#ms can be di6po6ed on the acoessory door for rokational n~venent therewith relat~ve to the housing ~tructure. In a~ o the ;i u~wlt~ di~sed above, a ~ir~t mava~le m~nber i8 hinged or plvotally interconnected witb a ~ixed or mova~Le seo~ ember and i prefer~ly resiliently urged ~nd 6~tant1ally ~elf-~oFelled ~nto ane o~ the a~ove~ntioned ~edetemined .rota~ional o~lentations relative to t:he ~econd ~ber whenever t~ie hinged ~apotlelsts ~re ~ved to relat~e rotat$cnal orientation~ oximi~y with aie af the predeterm~ed relative rotational or~entations ~t whic:h the , "
"` '' ~ '~ ' . . `
'.
;. ~ ., - -~ .

13~9724 `
c~m dwell portio~ or porti~s en~age the 1~ E;~ring or ~her re~ilie~t bia~ng ~eans.
Additia~al object8, advar~:age8 and feat~ ; of the pre~ent invention will` bec~ne 3E~ren~ fram the f~laqing descr~ion and aE~ended claims, taken in c~nj~ct~ with ~e acc~nF~ng dr~ings.

~,~
Figure 1 i~ a per~pect$ve vi E an ex~nEiLary vi or asEenbly for the interior o~ a vehicle, with the vi&or having a vanity a~&emtly and a hinge ~8&embly ~coording to the Fre~ent invention for p~votally interoonnecting the vanity dcor with the vani~y h4using structure.
Figure 2 i~ a partial per~Eective view o~ an exemplary vehicle i ~eat having a vanity ~ssem~ly on the rear side thereof, with a hinge afisemkly according to the present invention pivotally interoonnecting the vanity door with the vanity housing structure.
Figure 3 i~ a partial view of a Freferred vanlty aasembly of Figure 1, in a closed position, ~howing the hinge as~em~ly ln hldden li~8.
Figure 4 $~ a p~rtial top v$ew of the ~fi~em~ly of Figure 3.
Figure S i8 a crossrsectional view taken generally ~long line 5-5 Oe Fi~ure 3.
Figure 6 ~8 ~ cross-~ectional view tsken ~enerally along line 6-6 of Figure 3.
Figure 7 is a parti~l vie~ o~ ar, ~l~ernP~te vanity as&emhly, similar to that of Figure 1, ~n a closed positian with portion~
broken away to reveal ~he oomp~en~s o~ a~ alt4rnate hlnge asEembly.

3~72~ ' ) Figure 8 i~ ~ partial eaq?loded perE;pective view c~ the hlnge p~rtion o~ ~e vani1:y a~y o~ Figure 7.
re 9 i~ ~ cro ~sectio3~al vlew ~aken gener~.ly ala~g line 9-9 ~ gure 7.
Figure 10 is a t:ross~ iQnal view taken g~er~lly ~long line 10-10 o~ Eigure 7.
Pigure 11 is a cro~al view taken generally ?~!alg line 11-11 c~ E~gure 7.
Figure 12 is a cro8~-~ectional view taken generally alGng line 12-12 o~ Figure 7, wlth the vanity dbor ahown in a cloed po~ition.
Figure 13 18 a CrO8fi-aeCtlCnal vlew Eim~lar t4 Yigure 12, but ~hcw~ng the vanity dbor rokated to an open positi~n-FigNIe 14 i5 a croEsr~ectional view taken generally along line14-14 of Figure 12.

~_ Figures 1 through 14 illu~trate varlous elbod1ment~ of hinge ~ssemblies aocording to the Fresent invention, which ~r2 EhOWn incorpDrated in an exemplary ~pFlication for a vanity dbor o~ a vanity asEzmbly on one sldb c~ a vehicle 8un visor, as well a6 ,1 illu~trating a 6imilar vanity asEemkly for the rear 8ide of a vehicle ~eat. one skilled ~n the art will re~dily ~ize from the discussion, cl~m6 and drawings herein, however, that the p~i x iEles of the pre~enk invenkion are equally ap~l~cabde to hinge ~sEemblies Qkher th3n th~se ~hown ~n ~igures 1 through 14, a8 well a~ ~n other vehicular Gr nanrvehicular &pSliCatiOllB.

o ):
7 2 ~ --Pigure 1 illustrates an exemFlary ~un vi~or 12 pivotally interconnected with a pivot rod N ~dapked for m~unting ~n the interior of a vehicle (not ~hown). A vanity a~sem}ly 20 is mounted on ~ne side of the ~un vi~or 12 ~nd include~ a vanity hcusing 22 and a hlnged vanity dbor 24 ~or enclosing a nirror 26 #nd illuminaticn lights 28, for exsmFae.
In Fig~re 2, a vehicle seat 16 ~nclude~ a head restraint 18 ~nteroonnected therewith, wlth a vanity asemkly 20A mcunted on tne rear sidb of ~he vehicle ~eat 16. ~he exemplary vanity as~embly 20A
inclucle~ a vanity housing 22A and a hinged vanity dbor 24A ~or enclo~iny B mirror 26A and illumlnation llghts 28A, or other sw h vehicular aoce~ories. Ihe vanity ~ssemblies 20 and 20A shown in Figure6 1 and 2, resFectively, are ~erely illustrative example6 of suitable aFplications for c,ne or more hinge assemblies according to ~he Ere~ent lnvention for hingedly or pivotall~ interoonnecting the vanlty door~ 24 ~ 24A with ~he vanity housings 22 and 22A, r~pectively. Qne pe~erred er!tx~unent of Euch a hinge assembly according to the p~esent irn~ tion ~ ~3hawn in Figures 3 thro~ih 6 and i8 described in more detail below.
Figure~ 3 through 6 illustrate variou~ detailed views o~ hinge as~y 30 ~or hin~3ed or p~votal intero~nnection a~ the vanity door 24 wit:h the vanit~y h~u~l~g 22, ~ P~gure 1. It E~ould ~ ted t~at one or m~re o~ the hinge ass ~ les 30 an al~o be u~ed for hinged or pivokal interconnection o~ the vanity d~or 24A with the vam ty housing 22A in Figure 2, as well a~ in the other veh$cular or . . .

- ~31~7~
~ he e3c~npaary hlnge ~s~mbly 30 ~ncludes or~ or xre pivot bearing m~ber~ 32 inter~nrected or ~egrally formed with the vanitSr d~or 24 ar~d having o~ E~rtic~s 34 for inEertion o~ a pivot rod or pin 50. A c~m ID8nber 36 i5 also intera~ cted or in~egrally ~ormed w~ he van$t~ door 24 ~nd lncludes an open prtioal 38 for reoeiving the ~ivot rod or pin 50 exteTx3ing lc~gitudinally between the pivot bearlng mem~ers 32. ~be am ~ er 36 pre~er~bly includes one or more dwell portions 40 and 42 and a lobe portion 44. m e pivok pin 50, which extends ~n a generally longitudin 1 direction, is i recelved wlthin the qpen portions 34 and 3B of the pdvot bearing nembers 32 and the c~m member 36, respec~vely, in order to hingedly , and pivokally interconnect the vanity door 24 with the vanlty h4u~$ng j 22. Although the exemplary hinge ~R5embly 30 $8 F~eferably oomposed of a molded ~ynkhetic or plastlc ~aterlal, $t should be noted that the various oomponent~ of the h$nge assemb~y 30 can alternately be oomEosed o~ other fiuit~ble materlals, and can be oonstructed by other methods, as w~ll be appreciated by one sk$11ed in the art.
I It Ehould be nDked that the single p~vot pin 50 shown ln the e*emlary embodlmcnt8 of the hinge ~ssem~ly 30 depicted in the drawings can be reFlaoed ty twO or re plvok pinfi~ each of which being received in ~e o~ the bear$ng mEmber~ 32. In such an arrang~ment, w~xrein a E~ir ~E pivot pins are diE~ ed on o~o~ite 8ideE; of the cam nEmber 36 ~ lieu o the fiingle pivot pin 50 ~h~m in ~he drawing6, t~he open portion 38 af tbe ~n ~nber 36 can be e~irainated if desired.
me van~t;y ~using 22 c~ the pre~erred e~c~n~ilary hinge ~nb~y 30 al~;o iJXlU~e8 a ~prlng wE~ort por~on 52, h~vlng a ~prlng ~eat 54 - ~319724 ``~
thereon, ~ es~eiving and retai~ g a leaf spring 60 extending in a generally lcngitudinal direction. In the h~nge a~bly 30 depicted in the dr~ings, the leaf ~pring 60 is generally w~rted ln a medial portia~ ween t~e as&ociated ~pring ~eats 54 ~t app~ite ends of the le~ ring 60. m.,8, w~en the hin~ ~ser~ly 30 i~
as#~nb;led, the leaf spring 60 ~8` 81 y engaged and resiliently dbflected ky ~he cam member 36 durlng pivokal rotational mivement o~
the vanity door 24 relative t~ the vanity housing . ~he deflected leaf spring 60 exerts a resilient bdasing for oe on the cam memker 36 in a generally lateral dlrectiQn~ generally toward the longitudinal ax~s o~ rotaticn extending through the pivot pin 50~ and thus al~o tends to res~liently bias the vanity dbor 24 and the vani~y hGusing 22 in generally cppoRi~e directions ~way from one another.
m e leaf ~pring 60 funct~ons to res~liently but releasably mai~tain the Yanity dbor 24 in pedbtermined rotational orientations relative to the vanity housing 22 when the leaf spring 60 i~ engaged by the dwell Fortions 40 and 42 o~ ~he cam member 36. ~he laterally-enlarged loke p~rtion 44 o the c~m ~ember 36 preferably has either ~he narrcw interEection of t~he dwell portions 40 and 42 ~hown in F~gures 5 and 6, or ~n oetional rounded or ~rcuate ~hape, confronting the le2f ~pring 60. Thu8~ the resllient bia~ing ~oroe of the leaf 0pring 60 tends to ~e~iliently and forcibly urge or self-Fro~el the vanity door 20 t4ward or into one of ~uch predete~mined rotational orientat$ ~ relat$~e to the v~nity hous$ng 22 when tbe lea~ Epring 60 i~ engaged by ~he l~terally-enlarged lobe portlon 44. ~his e~fect re~ults ps~marily ~rom the ~ct that the le~ ~pring 60 1~ pre~erably re~lien~ly deflected ~n a late~al . , , ~ .
.i ~L, ~: ' (~ 131~2~
direction to a greater e~t when engaged ~y the lobe portion 44 th~n when engaged ~y either o~ the ~ell portionE; 40 or 42.
AB a re~ult c~ tbe ~rrang~nent discu~sed above, when the van~y door 24 ~ manually rotated to ro~ational orient~ti~s in relatively close Froximi~y ~ ~e predetermined relative rotatlanal orientatis~ns corre~ponding to the pD8iti4118 c1 the dwe~l portion6 40 and 42, the res~lien~ bia~ing ~orce of the leaf ~pring 60 tends to self-propel the vanity dbor portion lnto such Fredetermined relative ro~ational orlentation~. Although such relative rokational orientatians cDrrespond to GQen and closed posit~ons of the vanity dbor 24 in the hinge assembly 30 depicted in the dr~ings, one skilled in the art will readily ap~rec~ate that the dwell portians of the c~m m~mber in any giYen application can be Fee~elected tD result ln any number of other Fredeternined relative rotational orienkation~.
In ~ddition to ~he above, it ~hould also be noted that although the exemplary hinge assembly 30 depicted in the dlawing~ includes the cam member 36 and the pivot bearing member~ ~2 on the vanity door 24, , with the pivok p~n 50, the leaf spring 60, and the related ~upporting~
components on the vanity housing 22, one skilled in the art w~ll r ~ dily appreci~te that this arrangemRnt can alternately be reYersed.
In 8uch 8 rever~ed arrangement, the c3m ~ er 36 and the piVOk bearing m~mker~ 32 wculd be di~po~ed on the vanity housing 22, while the pivok pln 50, the leaf Epring 60, and ~el~ed supporting components would ~hen be dl~posed on the vanl~y dbor 24. For pUrpO~eB
of convenie~t re~erence ~nd s~mai dty Q~ the dr*wlng f~gures, guch reversed arrangement ha~ not been expllcitly Ehcwn in the dr~w~ng6, but ~he con~igura~ion of the h~nge oom~onent~ would be ~ubstantially -1~

, :
. . . .

' ~3i972~ V j ldentical to that Eh~m ln ~he dr~w$ngs ln ooMectic~ w1th the Eigures 7 throuih 14 illu~trat~ vari~ deta~l~d view~
alternate e~nEiLary ~inge ~saes~Lbly 130 for hln~ed or piv~tal lntercor~ectio~ a va2~ty door 124 ~rith a VU~ ing 122, ~imilar to that &hown ln Pigure 1. It Ehould be nDted t~at one or more o~ the hinge as~emblies ~30 can be used for hinged or Fivotal interconnection o~ a vanity dbor with a vanity housing similar to that shGwn in Figure 2, as well as in other vehicular or nonrvehicular aFFlications.
The hinge u~s~mkly 130 lnClUdeB cne or more pivot bearing m~mbers 132 interconnected with the vanity door 124 and h~ving open EortiGns 134 ~or inEertion d a pivot rod o~ pin ~dbscr~bed below).
A cam member 136 i~ al~o interoornected or integrally ~o~med with tne vanity door 124 and includes an open portion 138 for receiving a pivok rod or pin extending longitudinally between the pivok bearing members 132. The c~m member 136 preferakly includes one or more dwell portion6 140 and 142 and a lobe portlon 144. As Eerhaps best Eeen in Figures 9 through 14, the exemplary hlnge as ~ y 130 is pre~era~ly ccmposed of a molded ~ynthetic or p~s~ic ma~erial, and thus the cam ~emker 136 can optionally be lded wl~h a hollowed con~igurat~on, indicated ~y reference numeral 146~ It ~hould be notei that the variou3 campsnentR o the hlnge asEem~y 130 ~an alterna W y be ccmpo~ed Oe oth~r suitable materlals, and can be oonEtructed ty other ~ethod6, as will be apreciated ~y ne ~kllled in the art.

--11_ .: : . ,, : -3 ~ 9 7 ~
~e vanity hQusing 122 ~lude6 c~e or 3x)re ~hio~ 148 pr~truding in a ~enerally lateral dire~on t~ w~rt a p~vot pi 150, whic~ e~rter~ in a generally lcngi~udinal dlreGt$cn. qhe pivot pln 150 ~ reoeived wi~hin ~e ~Qen pDrt~ 34 and 1~8 af the pivot bearing m~nber~ 132 and t~e G D~nber 136, ~e~ctively, in order to hingedly ~nd pivotally ir~erc~nnect the vanit~ ~or 124 w~th the ~ re~ Ly, e~p2cially ~ere the variou~ a~DFonents of ~he hinge as~emWy 130 are Qa~ed ~ mDlded EiLaE;tic or other ~thetic materials, t~e p~vot pin 150 mz~y be laterally urged and ~ ed"
lnto Eilace in a plvotal ~ngagement wiffl the pivot bearing m~nbers 132. A1tern~tely, as will now be appreciated ~y o~e ~ki11ed ~n the art, okher suit~ble retaining arr~ngenent~ can be employed to retaln the pivot F~n in pla oe in a p~vota1 engagement w~th the pivck bearing memker~ 132. In this regard, it should ~urther be ncted that ~he ~ingle pivok pin 150 shown in the exemF1ary ombo4imcnts of the hinge aEEemkly 130 depicted ~n the dsawing6 can be reF1aoed ~y two or ~ore pivok p~ns, each ce w~lch being supported ~y one or more c~ the ~ ons 148 or other slmi1ar pin support alrangement8. ~here a p~lr o~ pdvck pin6 are di~po~ed cn opposite ~ide8 af the cam m~mber 136 in lieu o the sing1e p~vok Fln 150 shcwn in the drawings, the ~pen portlon 138 o~ the c~m member 136 can be e1iminated i~ dbsired.
The vani~y hDu6~ng 122 of the exemEaary hinse a~se$~1y 130 al&o include~ a p~lr o~ spring sypp~rt member~ 152, each ce which lnclude~
a sprlng ~eat 154, and a F~ir o Epring re~ainers 156 later 11~
Epao~d ~way from ~he ~pring ~eatB 154 ~or receiv~ng and retal~ing a ;pring 160 extending generAlly lcngitudlnally ~ere~etween. In .

~, ,. , 13~L972~ --the hinge ~s~e~ly 13 depict~ n the d~irlgs, t~e leaf ~rlng 160 "', iR ge~rally ~u~ported in a medi~ porti~ be~een the Associated ~prir~ suE~port m~bers 152 ~ 3pring retair~r mEmbers 156 at . ' o~ 2ite end8 aE the 1~ ~p~ing 160. ~u~, when the hinge ~y 13a i~ d, the 1~ fipring 160 is s1idab~1y ~Igaged ~d re~iliently deflected ~y the c~n n~nber 136 durlng pivotal rotati~al :: ~ement a t~he vas~t~ door 12~ La~ve to the vani~ sing 122, ~e ~lected lea~ ~prinS 160 ~ert~ a resilien;t biasing foroe ~ the cam ~nber 136 in a generally lateral direction, generally t~ward the , lcng~tudinal axi~ o~ rotation e~l~ through the p~vot pin 150.
A~ perh~s ~t ~en in Pigures 12 ~nd 13, the lea~ ~pring 160 : tends to resiliently blrc rel~asa~y maintain the vanity d~or 124 in predetermined rotatial orientatians relative to the v~ y hou~ing 122 w~xn the 1~ Epring 160 1~ engaged ~ ~e dwe31 p~rtiQns 140 and "!,, 142 o~ the ~m n~mber 136. Conver~ely, becau~e the ..,~: .
laterally-enl~rged lobe portic~n 144 c~E the cz~n n~er 136 has a general.ly ro~ed oonfiguration ~nfront~ng the leaf ~ring 160, the re~3ilie3~t bt~ing ~oroe a~ the 1~ spring 160 ten~ ~o r~siliently and forcib~y urge or ~slf-~opel the vanity door 120 into ~e o such ptedete ~insd rotatilal orlentaticn~ relative to the v~ y hou~ing 122 when ~he lea~ ~prlng 160 iE engaged by the laterally-erlarsed lobe pDrtion. ~bi8 e~ect results frcm the above-mentioNed rounded con~i ~ ation o the lobe portion 144 and ~ro~ the ~a~t that the leaf - ~prlng 160 is eLe~er~bly resillen~ly db~lected ~o a greater lateral extent when engaged ~y the lobe EDrtion 144 than when engaged by either of the d~ell portiQn~ 140 or 142.

~, ~, -13-' ~3~7~ `
A~ a re~ult o~ ~e arEa~lent di~cu6sed ~ove, when the var~
door 124 i manually rotated to Eotati.onal OXi~ltAtial~ ill relatively - cl~e proximit~y to the predeterm:Lr#d relatlve ~o~ti~nal o~ier~tation~
,.
. oorre~ponding to l~ae po~iticns o~ the ~ell por~a~s 140 and 142, 1:he~: resLllent b~ oroe o~ ~he 1~ ~pring 160 ten~ to ~-prc~
the va~y ~or p~rticn into ~c:h E~edetermi!#d Yel~ive rotati~
orientaticn~. ~lthough suc~ r~lative rotatianal orientatic~s aorrespond to open and ~oeed po~ the vani~y door 124 iJI the hi~ a~,~b~y 130 depicted in t~le dr~,, a~e skilled in the ~rt -I wlll readlly ~r~t~ that the dwe:L1 porticnE, o~ the c~ m~nber in ~y given ~ic~tion can be E~eeelect~d to re~i t in ~ ~r cxE
. ~ her E~edeteDniJJed relative rotational orientaticn~.
!' In additicn to the ~ , it should also be nDted that Althou~h the ex~mplary hlnge assemkly 130 depicted in the dkawins~, incl~de8 the c~m n~mber 136 and the pivok bearing members 132 on the vanity dbor 124, with the pivot pln 150, the leaf ~pring 160, and the~r . related s~pporting oomponent,~ on ~he vanlty housing 122, c~e skilled ii i~ the art will read11y ~epreciate that thls arrangement Gan ~lternatel~ be reYer,~ed. In ~uch a reveraed arrangement, the c~m . ~e~ker 136 3nd the pivot bearing memkers 132 wculd be di~posed Qn the vanit~ hou~ing 122, whLle the pivot p~n 150, the lea~ qpring 160, and tbeir relate~ co~ponenk~ would then be dispoEed on the vani~y dbor 24. ~Dr p4rpo~e8 0~ oo m enient re~erenc~ and ~lmpllcity o~ the dr~wing ~igure~, such r&ver~ed arrangement has not keen ~ icitly 6how~ ln the ~raw~ngs, but the oonf~guration oe the hinge component would be s~b~ant~al~y ~dbntlcal ~o tha~ ~ho~n in tbe dkawlngs in oonnection w~th tbe exemF~ry hinge D3Remkly 130.

~ 14-::

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:~ ~ c:
~3~9~
~e for~goin~ iorl dlsclvse~ ~nd describe~ exemEilary ".
~ the pre&ent i~vention. C~e scllled- ln t~e art will - ~adlly ~ze ~r~ such dlK~ r~ .ffle ~c~yin~

varlaticn~ may be made theretn wit.hout departing ~rQm the E;pirit and ~., ,,', , `
i:
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.. . -1~

Classifications
International ClassificationE05F1/12, E05D11/10, E05D7/10, B60J3/02
Cooperative ClassificationE05Y2900/20, B60J3/0282, E05Y2900/538, E05D11/105, Y10T16/53615, Y10T16/54035, E05D7/1077, E05D2005/145, E05F1/1284
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
1 Jan 1996MKLALapsed