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Linear/Rotational Molded-in Living Hinge

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000225958D
Publication Date: 2013-Mar-15
Document File: 2 page(s) / 156K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

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Linear/Rotational Molded-in Living Hinge

Background/Traditional Approach

In the case of a finish panel, cover or other component that needs to move away from its installed position, while remaining attached to its mating environment and there is too little clearance to swing away with a conventional living hinge, the use of a fabric tether is sometimes used.  The tether adds additional cost for the extra component and installation.  Features must be provided to secure tether to panel/cover.  Due to part geometry and/or clearance to surroundings, a conventional living hinge does not allow removal without unwanted interference or damage.  Conventional clip removal does not retain part after it’s cleared away.  Part damage could ensue and in the case of a panel containing switches, damage could occur to connectors, switches or wiring. 

New Approach

A molded in hinge consisting of multiple links allows the panel to be moved in a linear direction, disengaging installation clips, rotates to clear access to area behind panel and remains attached to mating component.  Remaining attached, helps safeguard connectors, wiring and panel and in the case of a panel in close proximity to an occupant restraint, helps retain the panel during deployment.

Conclusion

Using this design, when the situation warrants, offers benefits conventional designs do not:

·         Helps retain part with a fixed attachment when component is in close proximity to an occupant restraint such as a knee air bag....