Browse Prior Art Database

HOLLOW PULTRUDED ELECTRICAL CONTACT

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000026994D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Oct-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Apr-07
Document File: 4 page(s) / 164K

Publishing Venue

Xerox Disclosure Journal

Abstract

Proposed is an electroconductive contact formed from a pultruded member that has a hollow construction. The contact provides improved reliability and functionality. It is of low cost, and is easily manufactured. These advantages are realized through the use of a manufacturing process, generally known as a pultrusion process, with the subsequent fibrillation of one or both ends of the pultruded member. Fibrillation involves the laser processing of a pultruded member to form a brush-like structure that provides a densely distributed filament contact.

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XEROX DISCLOSURE JOURNAL

HOLLOW PULTRUDED ELECTRICAL CONTACT Joseph A Swift
Stanley J. Wallace
John E. Courtney
Wilbur M. Peck
Thomas E. Orlowski

Proposed Classification
U.S. C1.361/255 Int. C1. G03g 15/02

32

FIG. 2

XEROX DISCLOSURE JOURNAL - Vol. 19, No. 5 September/October 1994 413

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HOLLOW PULTRUDED ELECTRICAL CONTACT(Cont'd)

Proposed is an electroconductive contact formed from a pultruded member that has a hollow construction. The contact provides improved reliability and functionality. It is of low cost, and is easily manufactured. These advantages are realized through the use of a manufacturing process, generally known as a pultrusion process, with the subsequent fibrillation of one or both ends of the pultruded member. Fibrillation involves the laser processing of a pultruded member to form a brush-like structure that provides a densely distributed filament contact.

Referring to Fig. 1, a hollow tubular pultruded member 20 is formed by a pultrusion process. It contains a plurality of fine diameter, high resistance, electroconductive fiber strands 10 that are embedded in a resin binder 12. Preferably, the resin binder 12 is nonconductive and carbon fibers are the fibers of choice for strands 10. Resin binder 12 should be of a material that will volatilize rapidly and cleanly upon direct exposure to a laser beam during laser processing. Thermal plastic polymers such as: low molecular weight polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, polyvinylchloride, nylon, polyester, polyimide, polyphenelyene sulfide, poly ether ether ketone (PEEK), polyimideamide, polyetherimide, and polyurethane may be used. Alternatively, thermal setting polymers such as: vinyl ester, polyester, and epoxy may also be employed.

The pultrusion process generally consists of first pulling continuous lengths of fiber through a resin bath or impregnator, then into a preforming fixture where the resulting section is at least partially shaped and excess resin and/or air are removed. The section is then pulled into heated dyes where it is continuously cured. More, specifically, in practice of the proposed electroconductive contact, conductive fibers are submersed in a polymer bath and drawn through a die opening of suitable shape and elevated temperature to produce a hollow piece having dimensions and shapes controlled by the die. As shown in Fig. 1, an alignment structure 32 is integrally formed with hollow pultruded member 20. Alignment structure 32 aligns a hollow pultruded member in an accurate position relative to a contact. For example, if the fibrillated end of hollow pultruded member 20 is angled for contact with a moving surface, when hollow pultruded member 20 is mounted, for ex...