Alabama Patent of the Month – August 2021

Electrical connectors are electromechanical devices which join conductors and create circuits. They usually are configured to receive an electrical wire and a set screw to secure it in place. A common issue seen in the traditional design is how easy it is to over-torque the screw. When over-torqued, the wire is at risk of being damaged. On the other hand, an under-torqued screw will have a loose wire and a bad connection between the two pieces. To overcome this, Cerro Wire LLC has designed a screw insert which helps to achieve a predetermined torque without the use of specialized tools.

The screw insert has a body with a threaded fastener, two heads, and a neck between the two. The neck is configured to break causing the second head to separate from the first if the applied torque is greater than the threshold. Once it breaks, a spring and cut section can temporarily hold the screw insert in the tool. The set screw is in place and the proper torque has been achieved and the head separates at the neck, the tool will n olonger drive the insert or force the screw in further. The design offers safety and guidance, allowing for proper installation without risk of over torquing.

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