Flexible cable support grips for flat cables
Pat. 10,670,111 U.S. class 1/1 Int. class F16G 11/00
Inventor: Robert James Simon, Shelton, CT.
Assignee: Hubbell Incorporated, Shelton, CT.
A cable grip for a flat cable is provided. The cable grip includes a wire and a tapered wedge lock secured to the wire to define a closed eye. The tapered wedge lock forms a two-sided compression connection on the flat cable. Referring to the drawings and in particular to figure 12, an exemplary embodiment of a cable support grip according to the present disclosure is shown and is generally referred to by reference numeral 22.
Grip 22 is advantageously configured as a compression-type cable grip for use with a flat cable 24 such as, but not limited to, multi-service cables, festooning cables, and others. Grip 22 finds use in both static and dynamic cable applications such as, but not limited to, machine tool applications, hoist applications, crane applications, elevator applications, lift applications, and others.
Grip 22 can include an eye 26 that can be connected to the support structure in a known manner. For example, eye 26 can be secured to a hook 28 (figure 13) of the support structure. In the illustrated embodiment, eye 26 is formed by a loop of wire 30, forming the closed eye. It should be recognized that the support structure is illustrated in figure 13 as a stationary utility pole. However, grip 22 of the present disclosure is particularly suited for use with mobile support structures such elevators, lifts, and others. Here, grip 22 is configured to secure one or more flat cables 24 to the mobile support structure in a flexible manner.
Grip 22 further includes a tapered wedge lock 32. Tapered wedge lock 32 is secured to wire 30 to define the closed eye 26. Wire 30 can be a wire rope made from those that commercially available such as, but not limited to, spiral strand ropes and fully locked coil ropes. In some embodiments, lock 32 is non-removably or permanently fixed to wire 30 by one or more crimps 36. In other embodiments, lock 32 can be at least partially removably attached to wire 30 so that eye 26 can be selectively opened and closed as desired.
Tapered wedge lock 32 receives a compression jacket 38 with a compression wedge 40 therebetween. Lock 32 and/or jacket 38 can, in some embodiments, include a connection device 42, which is illustrated in figure 12 as ratchet teeth on the lock. Connection device 42 can be configured to prevent inadvertent withdrawal of lock 32 and/or jacket 38 from one another. In use, the cable 24 is compressed by wedge 40 between lock 32 and/or jacket 38 to secure flat cable 24 in grip 22. It is believed by the present disclosure that the flat surfaces of lock 32, jacket 38, and wedge 40 make grip 22 particularly suited for use with flat cable 24—namely cables with a non-round cross section. Simply stated, grip 22 forms a two-sided compression connection on the cable, which is particularly well suited for connection to cables with non-round cross sections.
Jacket 38 can include a knurled surface 44 that mates with and increases the frictional engagement with the cable. Of course, it is contemplated for knurled surface 44 to be present on one or more of lock 32, jacket 38, and wedge 40 or any combinations thereof. Without wishing to be bound by any particular theory, grip 22 having wire 30 provides for ease of assembly, reduces costs, ease of manufacture, and provides for adaptability in design that have not previously been possible from the prior art. Moreover, grip 22 having wire 30 also imparts a degree-of-freedom or flexibility to grip 22, which is believed to assist in assembly and connection with the support structure that is not possible from the rigid assemblies of the prior art.
Referring now to figures 14-16, grip 22 of the present disclosure can be advantageously configured to have more than one lock 32 secured to wire 30. In the embodiment of figure 14, grip 22 is shown having three locks 32 secured by crimps 36 directly to wire 30. In this manner, wgrip 22 can be configured to secure multiple cables to the support structure. Also shown in the embodiment of figure 14, grip 22 can include a sleeve 46 on wire 30 at eye 26. Sleeve 46 can be configured to protect wire 30 and/or distribute forces from the support structure (e.g., hook 28) onto the wire.
In the embodiment of figure 15, grip 22 is shown having a primary lock 32-1 secured by crimps 36 directly to wire 30 and one or more secondary locks 32-2 (two shown) serially secured to the primary lock. Preferably, secondary locks 32-2 are secured to primary lock 32-1 and to one another by interlocking features 48. Features 48 can be permanently affix locks 32-1, 38-2 to one another at the time of manufacture. Alternately, features 48 can be configured to allow locks 32-1, 22-2 to be secured to one another in the field by, for example, a crimp or threaded connection. In this manner, grip 22 can provide the user the ability to customize the grip for any desired number of cables.
In some embodiments, features 48 can be configured to allow rotation about an axis A when secured to one another, providing a hinge-like movement between the locks. In this manner, the individual locks 32-1, 32-2, even when secured to one another, impart a degree-of-freedom or flexibility to grip 22, which is believed to assist in assembly and connection with the support structure that is not possible from the rigid assemblies of the prior art.
In the embodiment of figure 16, grip 22 is shown having a base member 50 secured by crimps 36 directly to wire 30. Base member 50 includes feature 48 that mates with the corresponding features 48 of secondary locks 32-2. In this manner, grip 22 is configured to allow any number or size of locks 32-2 to be secured to base member 50 either permanently at the time of manufacture and/or in the field as needed.
Simply stated, grip 22 can be configured so that one or more locks 32 are directly and/or indirectly secured to wire 30 either permanently or removably in a flexible and adaptable manner. Accordingly, grip 22 is advantageously configured to secure any desired number of flat cables to the support structure. The various components of grip 22 can be formed of any material sufficient to withstand the outdoor elements such as, but not limited, to aluminum, steel, cast iron, and others.