An improved quick-release pin mechanism supplants a prior such mechanism in which the pin bears a shear load to hold two objects together. The prior mechanism, of a ball-locking design, can fail when vibrations cause balls to fall out. The load-bearing pin is an outer tube with a handle at one end (hereafter denoted the near end). Within the outer tube is a spring- loaded inner tube that includes a handle at its near end and a pivoting tab at its far end. The pin is inserted through holes in the objects to be retained and the inner tube is pushed against an offset pivot inside the outer tube to make the tab rotate outward so that it protrudes past the outer diameter of the outer tube, and the spring load maintains this configuration so that the pin cannot be withdrawn through the holes. Pushing the handles together against the spring load moves the locking tab out far enough that the tab becomes free to rotate inward. Then releasing the inner-tube handle causes the tab to be pulled into a resting position inside the outer tube. The pin can then be pulled out through the holes.
This work was done by Jay M. Wright of Johnson Space Center. For further information, contact the Johnson Innovative Partnerships Office at (281) 483-3809. MSC-23298.