Wayne E. Manska - Anaheim CA
A compliant, press fit, electrical contact includes a relief groove which forms an area of reduced cross sectional thickness to provide a stress concentration, and thus a controlled region of plastic flow, to create a plastic-elastic hinge. When the contact is inserted into a plated through hole in a printed circuit board, the hinge elastically deforms until a predetermined push-in force is reached, at which time a controlled plastic flow begins. Once the point of plastic flow is reached, the amount of additional push in force required for additional deflection of the hinge is greatly reduced, so that smaller hole sizes may be accommodated with a relatively small additional push in force. However, the required minimum pull out force is maintained for the entire range of hole sizes, since elastic energy remains stored in the hinge, even after plastic flow begins. The contact is manufactured through a series of simple coining and punching operations, so that complex rounding and rolling operations are avoided.