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Connector arrangement with connector position assurance member

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000199391D
Publication Date: 2010-Sep-01

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

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REGNIER Vincent: INVENTOR [+2]

Abstract

The present invention relates to a connector arrangement comprising a first connector housing and a connector position assurance (CPA) member (30) associated therewith having at least one actuating one arm (32) which is insertable into the first connector housing. The arm (32) has a basically u-shaped configuration wherein one leg (31) of the u-shape is integrally formed with the CPA member (30) and the other leg (34) is free, and wherein the free leg (34) is configured such that upon coupling of the first connector housing with a corresponding second connector housing the free leg is automatically deflected due to the relative movement of the two connector housings with respect to each other.

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Connector arrangement with connector position assurance member

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to connector affangements comprising a connector position assurance (CPA) member for the verification and assurance of a

correct coupling of two connector parts. Such connector arrangements are

in parlicular useful in connection with Safety Restraint Systems in the

automotive industry, as for example for the connection of airbag systems or belt preten'sioners.

2. TECHNICAL BACKGROLIND

Modern passenger cars include a number of safety restraint systems, as for example passenger airbags or seat belt pretensioners, which serve to pro- tect a passenger inside of a car in case of accident. Due to the importance of these elements highly reliable electrical connections are necessary. This not only relates to the material and function of the electrical connectors but also to the assembly of the different electrical connector components, which has to be as "fool proof ' as possible. To reduce the risks associated

with incorrectly coupled or mated connectors so called Connector Position Assurance (CPA) members where developed. A CPA member is a separate

plastic element, which is inserted into a first connector housing of a con- nector arangement. When the f,rrst connector is not yet coupled to its cor- responding mating connector, the CPA member cannot be fully inserted into the first connector housing but only to a cerlain extend. Only upon full coupling of the first connector with the mating or second connector hous- ing it is possible to fully insert the CPA member into the first connector

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housing. Thereby it is visually possible to determine whether first and sec- ond connector housings are fully and correctly mated with each other. Document EP I 207 591 A2, describes a connector arrangement with an improved CPA member. The connector arrangement comprises a plug connector as well as a corresponding mating connector in form of an air- bag squib socket. The plug connector comprises a plug-in portion to be in- serted into the socket, which plug-in portion comprises two symmetrically arranged locking arms. The locking arrns are provided with locking shoul- ders which are adapted to snap into recesses, which are provided for that purpose in the inner walls of the mating connector socket. The CPA mem- ber comprises two deflectable spring arms each having a step and a projec- tion. The step rests on a locking projection formed on the plug connector housing in arþre-latched, not final position of the CPA member. The pro- jection is arranged on the spring arm closer to the free end of the aÍn, so that upon inserlion of the plug connector into the socket, the projection of

the spring ann comes into contact with a contact surface of the socket and is thereby deflected due to the relative movement between plug connector and socket. Due to the def...