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Publication numberUS20060272243 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/382,506
Publication dateDec 7, 2006
Filing dateMay 10, 2006
Priority dateMay 11, 2005
Also published asCA2546308A1, EP1893826A2, EP1893826A4, WO2006124417A2, WO2006124417A3, WO2006124417B1
Publication number11382506, 382506, US 2006/0272243 A1, US 2006/272243 A1, US 20060272243 A1, US 20060272243A1, US 2006272243 A1, US 2006272243A1, US-A1-20060272243, US-A1-2006272243, US2006/0272243A1, US2006/272243A1, US20060272243 A1, US20060272243A1, US2006272243 A1, US2006272243A1
InventorsGregory Carew, Matthew Kusz
Original AssigneeCarew Gregory T, Kusz Matthew J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Multi-passage guide system
US 20060272243 A1
Abstract
A system for arranging a plurality of conductors includes a guide assembly having a plurality of passage guides. Each of the plurality of passage guides are constructed to guide the passage of a conduit through the guide assembly. The guide assembly is securable to a substrate and constructed to organize individual conduits passing therethrough. The individual conduits communicate any one of a fluid, an electrical power, a hydraulic fluid, or the like through the guide assembly.
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Claims(20)
1. A guide assembly comprising:
a body having a first portion extending in a first direction and a second portion extending in a crossing direction relative to the first portion; and
a plurality of channels formed in the body and extending across the first portion and the second portion, each channel constructed to receive a conductor conduit therein.
2. The guide assembly of claim 1 wherein a majority of the plurality of channels is encompassed by the body.
3. The guide assembly of claim 1 further comprising a cover connectable to the body and constructed to traverse the plurality of channels.
4. The guide assembly of claim 3 wherein the cover and the body include a plurality of openings, the plurality of openings oriented to be generally aligned when the cover is engaged with the body.
5. The guide assembly of claim 3 wherein a cross-sectional shape of the cover generally matches a cross-sectional shape of at least a portion of the body.
6. The guide assembly of claim 3 wherein the cover further comprises a plurality of tabs extending from the cover and constructed to align with a space between adjacent channels of the plurality of channels.
7. A guide system comprising:
a guide body having a plurality of passages formed therein, each passage extending between a first end and a second end of the guide body, the first end extending in a first direction across a second direction of the second end;
a cover connectable to the guide body and having a profile which generally matches at least a portion of a profile of the guide body; and
a plurality of recesses formed in the cover and spaced apart a width of each of the plurality of passages, each recess constructed to allow uninterrupted passage of a conductor conduit from an associated passage of the plurality of passages of the guide body.
8. The guide system of claim 7 wherein the first direction is generally transverse to the second direction.
9. The guide system of claim 7 further comprising a plurality of tabs extending from the cover between adjacent recesses of the plurality of recesses, each tab constructed to snuggly engage the guide body between adjacent passages.
10. The guide system of claim 7 wherein each passage is constructed to receive more than one conductor conduit.
11. A method of positioning a conduit array comprising the steps of:
securing a guide block to a substrate;
securing a first conduit to the guide block such that the first conduit extends in crossing directions from the guide block; and
securing a second conduit to the guide block such that the second conduit extends in directions generally similar to the first conduit.
12. The method of claim 11 further comprising the step of securing another guide block to the guide block.
13. The method of claim 11 wherein at least one of the steps of securing the first conduit and securing the second conduit further comprises passing the at least one of the first conduit and the second conduit through a guide passage formed through the guide block.
14. The method of claim 11 wherein at least one of the steps of securing the first conduit and securing the second conduit further comprises the step of engaging the at least one of the first conduit and the second conduit with at least one clip attached to the guide block.
15. The method of claim 11 wherein at least one of the steps of securing the first conduit and securing the second conduit further comprises the step of passing the at least one of the first conduit and the second conduit through an elbow and the step of securing the at least elbow to the guide block.
16. The method of claim 15 wherein the step of securing the elbow to the guide block further comprises snap-fittingly engaging the elbow with at least one clip attached to the guide block.
17. The method of claim 11 further comprising the step of connecting a cover to the guide block such that the cover generally traverses at least one of the first conduit and the second conduit.
18. The method of claim 11 further comprising the step of forming a plurality of grooves in the guide block wherein each groove is constructed to receive at least one of the first conduit and the second conduit.
19. The method of claim 18 wherein each groove is constructed to receive more than one conduit.
20. The method of claim 11 further comprising attaching at least one of the first conduit and the second conduit to at least one of an electrical system, a hydronic system, a potable water system, a structured wiring system, and a hydraulic system.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application is continuation-in-part of and claims priority of U.S. Ser. No. 10/908,414 filed May 11, 2005, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to guide assemblies and, more particularly, to a guide assembly having multiple passage guides connected thereto.

During construction of residential and commercial facilities, it is often required to pass conductors through the structure of the facility. Such conductors include power cables, water lines, phone cables, and television signal cables. Additionally, with the proliferation of “smart buildings” it has become more desirable and cost efficient to pass computer cables as well as entertainment and security cables within wall, floor, and ceiling cavities. Such systems are often referred to as structured wiring systems and often include a bundled array of phone, computer, co-axial, and speaker cables.

Often, the devices associated with a specific system share a common point of origin. For simplicity, only one such system will be described. In buildings equipped with radiant heat systems, a plurality of radiant heating loops are connected to a manifold and extend about the building. The simplest of radiant heating loops have a first end connected to a hot water inlet, extend about the area to be heated, and have a second end connected to a return manifold thereby forming a “loop”. A heating fluid, such as water, is heated by a heat source, such as a water heater or boiler, and is pumped through the heating loop. Such radiant heating loops are frequently located in close proximity to a finish floor of the area to be heated. The heating loops can be positioned beneath a subfloor or sandwiched between a subfloor or substrate, and a finish floor.

To maximize the usable space of a structure, the heating loops often extend generally transverse to the floor surfaces in close proximity to a wall surface. Such an orientation minimizes the space obstructed by the heating tubes. Often, an elbow is employed to facilitate this generally transverse directional change. For radiant heat systems, each end of a loop must be threaded through an elbow. A single loop heating system requires an elbow to be passed over each end of the heating tube. Each elbow must then be securely fastened to a sub-surface to allow a finish floor to be formed thereabout. Individually securing each elbow is a time consuming and tedious process and often delays the construction process. Although there are known elbow constructions that allow the conduit to pass radially into the elbow, these elbows only support individual conductors. That is, often multiple elbows must be individually secured and individual conductors passed therethrough or thereinto. Additionally, depending on the finish floor system formed about the heating tubes, inadvertent movement of the individual elbows can result in damage or displacement of the conductor passed therethrough during formation of the finish floor.

Radiant floor heating has gained increased acceptance as the preferred heating method for spaces built on grade or in basements. The radiant tubes are often attached to a supporting structure and a concrete floor is often poured thereover. The process of finishing a concrete floor often employs the application of a power trowel. The power trowel includes a plurality of individual floats attached to an engine. Operation of the engine rotates the floats and as the power trowel is moved across the surface of the floor, the floats provide a relatively smooth and flat finish of the floor. An operator of the power trowel must be particular careful during finishing of the floor near the array of individual elbows that have been passed thereinto. Although the concrete is generally stiff enough to support the weight of the power trowel and an operator thereof, inadvertent contact between the power trowel and the elbows can result in displacement of the elbows from their secured location. Such an event produces a relatively unsightly finished alignment of the individual elbows and/or a blemish in the finish of the floor. Worse yet, if the floats of the power trowel contact the radiant tube or other conductor passed through the elbow, the float could sever the conductor or minimally form a leak in fluid communicating conductors.

It would therefore be desirable to have a system and method capable of quickly and efficiently guiding and securing a plurality of conductors in such applications.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a system and method that solves the aforementioned drawbacks. Specifically, a system for arranging a plurality of conductors includes a guide body having a plurality of passage guides connected thereto. Each of the plurality of passage guides is constructed to direct the passage of an individual conductor therethrough. The guide body is securable to a substrate and constructed to organize the individual conductors connected thereto. The individual conductors communicate any one of a fluid, an electrical power, a hydraulic fluid, or the like through the guide body.

Therefore, in accordance with one aspect of the present invention, a method of positioning a conduit array is disclosed. The method includes the step of securing a guide block to a substrate and securing a first conduit to the block such that the first conduit extends in crossing directions from the guide block. The process also includes securing a second conduit to the guide block such that the second conduit extends in directions generally similar to the first conduit.

According to another aspect of the invention, a guide assembly having a body and a plurality of channels formed therein is disclosed. The body has a first portion which extends in a first direction and a second portion that extends in a crossing direction relative to the first portion. The plurality of channels formed in the body extend across the first portion and the second portion and each channel is constructed to receive a conductor conduit therein.

According to a further aspect of the present invention, a guide system having a guide body and a cover is disclosed. The guide body has a plurality of passages formed therein and each passage extends between a first end and a second end of the guide body. The first end of each passage extends in a first direction which is across a second direction of the second end. The cover is connectable to the guide body and has a profile that generally matches at least a portion of a profile of the guide body. A plurality of recesses is formed in the cover and spaced apart a width of each of the plurality of passages. Each recess is constructed to allow uninterrupted passage of a conductor conduit from an associated passage of the plurality of passages of the guide body.

Various other features, objects and advantages of the present invention will be made apparent from the following detailed description and the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The drawings illustrate one preferred embodiment presently contemplated for carrying out the invention.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a guide assembly according to the present invention secured in a substrate.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the guide assembly shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the guide assembly along line 3-3 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a guide assembly according to the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a further embodiment of the guide assembly according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

FIG. 1 shows one embodiment of a guide assembly 10 according to the present invention. Guide assembly 10 includes a plurality of retainers, or passage guides 12 formed therethrough. Each passage guide 12 includes a first end 14 that extends in a first direction, indicated by arrow 16, and a second end 18 that extends in a second direction, indicated by arrow 20. First direction 16 is oriented to generally align with a floor system 22 and second direction 20 extends outwardly therefrom. Although first direction 16 and second direction 20 are shown as generally transverse to one another, other crossing orientations are envisioned and within the scope of the appending claims. First ends 14 are generally aligned to share a common plane preferably below a finish surface 24 of floor system 22. In one preferred embodiment, the second ends 18 are arranged in two sets. A first set 26 of second ends 18 are generally aligned with, but offset from, a second set 28 of second ends 18. First set 26 and second set 28 of second ends 18 preferably extend along a wall 30 with the first set 26 being further from wall 30 than second set 28.

The plurality of passage guides 12 extend through a body 32 of guide assembly 10 such that each passage extends through body 32 between first end 14 and second end 18. First ends 14 and second ends 18 extend from a first surface 34 and a second surface 36 of body 32, respectively. During installation, first surface 34 is constructed to be positioned within floor system 22 and second surface 36 is oriented to be generally flush or extend above finish surface 24 of floor system 22.

Prior to forming floor system 22 about guide assembly 10, either a plurality of conductors 38 are passed through the plurality of passage guides 12 or the passage guides 12 are connected to conduit means to allow passage of some medium therethrough. Each conductor 38 is isolated from other conductors of the plurality conductors as it passes through an associated passage guide 12 of guide assembly 10. The plurality of conductors 38 are any of a radiant heating tube 40, an electrical cable 42, a computer cable, a potable water tube, a structured wiring cable, a computer cable, a phone cable, or any other conductor that is desired to be passed through floor system 22. A first end 44 of each conductor 38 extends from first end 14 of a respective passage guide 12 and passes through floor system 22. First end 44 of each conductor 38 can exit floor system 22 at a location remote from guide assembly 10 or loop through floor system 22 and return to guide assembly 10 and exit floor system 22 thereat. That is, where conductor 38 is a radiant heating tube 40 connected to a heat source with an intended return site located proximate guide assembly 10, radiant heat tube 40 could enter and exit floor system 22 via guide assembly 10. Comparatively, if conductor 38 is an electrical cable 42 desired to feed a device such as an outlet, electrical cable 42 does not need to exit floor system 22 at guide assembly 10. Similarly, if a return site for radiant heat tube 40 is remote from guide assembly 10, a supplemental guide assembly can be positioned at the desired exit of radiant heat tube 40 and/or electrical cable 42 from floor system 22.

A second end 45 of each conductor 38 extends from second end 18 of a respective passage guide 12 for connection with an associated system. That is, second end 45 of radiant heat tube 40 extends from second end 18 of guide assembly 10 for connection to a heating system whereas second end 45 of electrical cable 42 extends from second end 18 of guide assembly 10 for connection to an electrical device or an electrical panel. Once the desired conductors 38 have been passed through guide assembly 10, floor system 22 is formed thereabout. For concrete flooring systems 46, first ends 44 of plurality of conductors 38 are secured about a length 48 of the conductor 38 to a reinforcing material 50 associated with the concrete flooring system 46. A plurality of ties 52 secure conductors 38 to reinforcing material 50 in a desired location such that conductors 38 remain in the desired location during the process of forming floor system 22 thereabout. Alternatively, conductors 38 could be secured directly to a subfloor, substrate, or graded surface.

Understandably, floor system 22, being a concrete floor system, is merely an exemplary application of guide assembly 10. That is, guide assembly 10 is equally applicable with other flooring systems such as wood/tile/carpet flooring systems. Additionally, the orientation of guide assembly 10 to floor system 22 is also exemplary. That is, as shown in FIG. 1, second ends 18 of guide assembly 10 extend upwardly from finish floor 24. Where passage of conductors 38 through a first floor flooring system is desired, guide assembly 10 is rotatable 180 degrees to allow the conductors that are passed therethrough to extend into a joist cavity below the first floor flooring system. As such, guide assembly 10 is applicable to multiple levels of a building structure and provides an efficient and convenient method of passing multiple conductors into and out of any flooring system.

FIG. 2 shows guide assembly 10 removed from flooring system 22. Body 32 of guide assembly 10 includes a base 54 extending therefrom. Base 54 is constructed to secure guide assembly 10 to a substrate. Base 54 includes a plurality of openings 56 formed therethrough. A plurality of fasteners 58 pass through openings 56 and secure guide assembly 10 to a substrate. As shown in FIG. 2, fasteners 58 are constructed to engage a gravel base disposed beneath a concrete floor system. Understandably, fasteners 58 could be any suitable fastener such as a nail or screw and constructed to secure guide assembly 10 to a sub-floor system of any material. Alternatively, body 32 could include a plurality of fastener openings or tabs connected thereto such that body 32 could be secured to a surface. In another alternate embodiment, the base 54 may be equipped with tabs to engage joists or studs.

Body 32 of guide assembly 10 includes a groove 60 formed in a first lateral end 62 thereof and a rib 64 extending from a second lateral end 66 thereof. Groove 60 and rib 64 each have a triangular cross-sectional shape such that rib 64 slidingly engages a corresponding groove 60 formed in another guide assembly 10. Such a construction allows the connection of a plurality of guide assemblies 10 when more passage guides 12 are desired. Understandably, this dove-tailed engagement between rib 64 and a corresponding groove 60 of another guide assembly 10 is merely exemplary. That is, other configurations such as a circular cross-section or other unique cross-sectional shapes are envisioned and within the scope the claims. Alternatively, lateral ends 62, 66 could have substantially similar cross-sectional shapes. For such a construction, guide assembly 10 would include a connector constructed to engage a respective end of adjacent guide assemblies thereby connecting the adjacent guide assemblies. Similarly, rather than the sliding engagement between multiple guide assemblies, other connection means are envisioned such as mechanical connectors or a snap-fitting engagement between adjacent guide assemblies.

Conductor 38 passes uninterruptedly through passage guides 12 such that first end 44 of conductor 38 extends in first direction 16 along base 54 generally parallel to a floor surface. Second end 45 of conductor 38 extends from second end 18 of passage guide 12 in direction 20 and across first direction 16. Such a construction provides a guide assembly that is robust and resistant to movement during formation of a finish floor system thereabout. Additionally, guide assembly 10 provides an aesthetically pleasing arrangement of conductors 38 as the conductors exit the floor system.

First ends 14 of passage guides 12 share a common plane, indicated by line 68, generally parallel to a floor surface. Such a construction ensures that conductors 38 passed from first ends 14 of guide assembly 10 are a relatively uniform depth in a floor system. For heating type systems, this ensures relatively uniform heating of the floor surface. A first set 70 of first ends 14 are a first distance 72 from first surface 34 of body 32. A second set 74 of first ends 14 are a second distance 76 from first surface 34 of body 32. Such an orientation allows a user to readily distinguish interconnected conductors. That is, for radiant heating loops, each inlet conductor could extend from a passage guide 12 of first set 70 of first ends 14 and a return associated therewith could pass through an adjacent first end 14 of second set 74 of passage guides 12. Such a construction is particularly helpful when multiple users are installing multiple loops. That is, each user can independently determine which passage of the plurality of passage guides 12 is required for a return associated with another users heating loop by visual inspection of the guide assembly. Such a construction becomes particularly helpful when multiple guide assemblies are connected and multiple conductors are simultaneously being passed therethrough.

FIG. 3 shows a cross-sectional view of guide assembly 10 along line 3-3 of FIG. 2. As shown in FIG. 3, second ends 18 of guide assembly 10 extend from body 32 outwardly from floor surface 24. Conductors 38 pass through passage guides 12 of guide assembly 10 and enter/exit floor system 22 thereat. Second ends 18 of passage guides 12 extend above second surface 36 of body 32 and prevent inadvertent contact with conductors 38 passed therethrough. Alternatively, second surface 36 could be constructed to extend above floor surface 24 to prevent contact of floor finishing tools with second ends 18 of passage guides 12 as conductors 38 passing therethrough. First set 26 of second ends 18 of passage guides 12 is a distance 78 from first surface 34 of body 32 and second set 28 of second ends 18 of passage guides 12 is another distance 80 from first surface 34. Such a construction allows a user to quickly identify associated conductors after a floor system has been installed. That is, for radiant heating loops, a feed conductor is passed through a passage guide 12 of first set 26 and the associated return is passed through an adjacent passage guide 12 of the second set 28. Understandably, only one of first ends 14 and second ends 18 need be constructed for operative association of conductor loops passed therethrough. Additionally, by offsetting first and second sets 26, 28 of second ends 18, guide assembly 10 provides a compact and visually appealing organization of the plurality of conductors 38 passed therethrough.

Although guide assembly 10 is shown in FIGS. 1-3 as having six passage guides 12 formed therethrough, understandably other numbers of passages are envisioned and within the scope of the claims. That is, guide assembly 10 could be constructed to have any number of passage guides formed therethrough. Additionally, it is understood and within the scope of the claims to provide a guide system having a first guide assembly having a number of passage guides formed therethrough and a second guide assembly having the same or a different number of passage guides formed therethrough. The first and second guide assemblies are connectable to provide a guide system having an application specific number of passage guides. Such a system is highly versatile and limits waste by providing a guide assembly that provides a desired number of passage guides.

FIG. 4 shows an alternate embodiment of a guide assembly 100 according to the present invention. Guide assembly 100 includes a plurality of retainers or passage guides 102 removably connectable thereto. Passage guides 102 are generically referred to as elbows and have a first end 104 that extends in a first direction, indicated by arrow 106, and a second end 108 that extends in a second direction, indicated by arrow 110. A body 112 is attached to a base 114 and extends therefrom. A first set of clips 116 are attached to body 112 and a second set of clips 118 are attached to base 114 remote from body 112. Passage guides 102 individually engage an associated clip pair 120 of first set of clips 116 and second set of clips 118. Such a construction allows guide assembly 100 to include no more than a desired number of passage guides 102.

Associated clip pairs 120 engage respective passage guides 102 and secure the position of the passage guide during formation of a floor surface thereabout. Alternatively, it is further understood and within the scope of the claims to construct clip pairs 120 to directly engage a conductor connected to guide assembly 100. That is, each conductor could be attached to guide assembly 100 without passage guides 102. Base 114 includes a plurality of openings 122 formed therethrough. Openings 122 are constructed to allow a fastener 124 to pass therethrough. Fasteners 124 secure guide assembly 100 to a subsurface of the floor formed thereabout. Alternatively, it is understood and within the scope of the claims to form openings 122 through body 112.

Body 112 includes a groove 126 formed therein and a rib 128 extending therefrom. Groove 126 and rib 128 cooperate to allow guide assembly 100 to be securely connected to additional guide assemblies 100. Such a construction provides a guide assembly that is highly versatile and has only a desired number of passage guides or conductors connected thereto. Similar to passage guides 12 of guide assembly 10, passage guides 102 of guide assembly 100 are constructed to allow any one of a plurality of different types of conductors to pass therethrough. That is, passage guides 102 are constructed to allow uninterrupted guided passage of radiant heat tubes, potable water tubes, electrical cables, computer cables, structured wiring cable bundles, or the like, through guide assembly 100. Such a guide system provides a highly versatile, relatively rugged, and visually appealing orientation of the plurality of individual conductors directed by guide assembly 100.

The guide assemblies 10, 100 provide a compact and versatile guide assembly. The guide assemblies include a plurality of passage guides and are quickly and efficiently attachable to additional guide assemblies. Such a construction provides a multi-passage guide system that can be quickly adapted to provide a desired number of passage guides. Additionally, the structure of guide assemblies 10, 100 allows the guide assembly to be quickly and securely attached to a sub-floor surface thereby preventing movement of the guide assembly during formation of a floor thereabout. Guide assemblies 10, 100 provide a compact and esthetically pleasing organization for a plurality of conductors desired to pass through a floor system.

FIG. 5 shows another embodiment of a guide assembly 150 according to the present invention. Guide assembly 150 includes a guide block 152 and an optional cover 154 exploded therefrom. Guide block 152 includes a plurality of grooves or passages 156 which extend therethrough. Passages 156 extend in a first direction, indicated by arrow 158, and a second direction, indicated by arrow 160. Guide block 152 also includes a plurality of first openings 162. Each opening 162 is constructed to pass a fastener therethrough for securing the guide block to a substrate during installation. Guide block 152 also includes a plurality of second openings 164 constructed to secure cover 154 thereto. Understandably, depending on the type of fastener used to secure cover 154 to guide block 152 and the type of fastener used to secure guide block 152 to the substrate, openings 162, 164 may pass completely or partially through guide block 152. That is, openings 162, 164 can be constructed to slidably engage a fastener such as a nail, spike, or tie, or threadingly engage a screw fastener.

Each passage 156 is constructed to receive a pair of conductor conduits 166. Understandably, during installation, conductor conduit 166 can be arranged such that a first conductor conduit 168 is a delivery conduit and a second conductor conduit 170 is a return conduit such that each pair of conductors forms a service loop. Each pair of conductor conduits 166 is received in a respective passage such that the conductor conduits 166 do not interfere with the engagement of cover 154 with guide block 152. Alternatively, guide block 152 could be constructed to snap-fittingly receive and secure conductor conduits 166. Conductor conduits 166 can be any of radiant heat tubes, potable water tubes, electrical cables, computer cables, structured wiring cable bundles, or the like.

Cover 154 includes a plurality of openings 172 constructed to receive a fastener (not shown) which secures the cover to guide block 152. Understandably, openings 172 could be constructed to pass completely through cover 154 to receive the fastener or simply be depressions for positioning the fasteners. Alternatively, cover 154 could be constructed to snap-fittingly engage guide block 152 such that cover 154 can be secured to the guide block without requiring separate fasteners. A first portion 174 of cover 154 includes a plurality of recesses 176 and a plurality of tabs 178 formed thereat. Recesses 176 are constructed to allow uninterrupted passage of conductor conduits 166 through cover 154 when the cover is connected to guide block 152. Tabs 178 are constructed to generally align cover 154 with guide block 152 and extend over a respective partition 180 between adjacent passages of guide block 152. Openings 172 formed in a tab 178 of cover 154 are constructed to align with an opening 164 formed in a partition 180 and secure the first portion of 174 of cover 154 to guide block 152. When cover 154 is secured to guide block 152, plurality of passages 156 are generally isolated from one another.

A profile 182 of cover 154 substantially matches a portion 184 of a profile 186 of the guide block 152 such that cover 152 snuggly engages guide block 152 and thereby secures conductor conduits 166 within respective passages 156 of guide block 152. Understandably, although guide block 152 and cover 152 are shown to form twelve passages 156 which smoothly transition conductor conduits 166 from first direction 158 to second direction 160, the number of passages 156 can be selected to satisfy a particular application. For example, if a specific application only requires four passages, guide assembly 150 may be provided with four passages or can be cut in the field to satisfy the particular application. Alternatively, if more than twelve passages are required, a guide block assembly having more than twelve passages may be provided or multiple guide block assemblies can be connected together to provide the desired number of guided passages. As such, guide assembly 150 is as functionally dynamic as guide assemblies 10 and 100.

Therefore, one embodiment of the present invention includes a guide assembly that has a body having a first surface and a second surface, wherein the first surface is arranged in a first direction and the second surface is arranged in a second direction that extends outwardly from the first direction. The guide assembly also includes a number of passage guides extending through the body, each passage guide having an inlet generally aligned with the first surface of the body and an outlet generally aligned with the second surface. The passage guides are constructed to allow the passage of a plurality of conduits or conductors therethrough between the first surface to the second surface.

Another embodiment of the present invention includes a guide system that has a first body, a second body connected to the first body, and a plurality of tubes. The tubes are connected to at least one of the first and second bodies and each tube has a first end facing a first common direction and a second end facing a second common direction, wherein the two directions are other than parallel.

A further embodiment of the present invention includes a method of securing a conduit array that includes the step of securing a guide block to a substrate and securing a first conduit to the block such that the first conduit extends in crossing directions from the guide block. The process also includes securing a second conduit to the guide block such that the second conduit extends in directions generally similar to the first conduit.

Yet another embodiment of the present invention includes a guide assembly having a body with first and second portions, wherein the second portion extends from the first portion. A first set of retainers is attached to the first portion of the body in and a second set of retainers is attached to the second portion of the body and is generally aligned with the first set of retainers. The retainers are constructed to retain a plurality of conduits therein.

Another embodiment of the present invention includes a guide assembly having a body and a plurality of channels formed therein. The body has a first portion which extends in a first direction and a second portion that extends in a crossing direction relative to the first portion. The plurality of channels formed in the body extend across the first portion and the second portion and each channel is constructed to receive a conductor conduit therein.

A further embodiment of the present invention includes guide system having a guide body and a cover. The guide body has a plurality of passages formed therein and each passage extends between a first end and a second end of the guide body. The first end of each passage extends in a first direction which is across a second direction of the second end. The cover is connectable to the guide body and has a profile that generally matches at least a portion of a profile of the guide body. A plurality of recesses is formed in the cover and spaced apart a width of each of the plurality of passages. Each recess is constructed to allow uninterrupted passage of a conductor conduit from an associated passage of the plurality of passages of the guide body.

The present invention has been described in terms of the preferred embodiment, and it is recognized that equivalents, alternatives, and modifications, aside from those expressly stated, are possible and within the scope of the appending claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7849886Nov 4, 2009Dec 14, 2010J. G. Starew Innovative Solutions, L.L.C.Unified conduit array
WO2009158278A2 *Jun 19, 2009Dec 30, 2009J.G. Starew Innovative Solutions, L.L.C.Unified conduit array
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/220.1
International ClassificationE04C2/52
Cooperative ClassificationE04G21/185, F16L3/1226, E04G15/061, H02G3/383, F24D3/1058
European ClassificationH02G3/38F, E04G15/06B, E04G21/18C2, F24D3/10D, F16L3/12P
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 15, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: J. G. STAREW INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS, L.L.C., WISCONS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:CAREW, GREGORY T.;KUSZ, MATTHEW J.;REEL/FRAME:017614/0458
Effective date: 20060510