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Publication numberUS20110013978 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/833,079
Publication dateJan 20, 2011
Filing dateJul 9, 2010
Priority dateJul 15, 2009
Also published asUS8459604, US8733723, US20120292266, US20130264433
Publication number12833079, 833079, US 2011/0013978 A1, US 2011/013978 A1, US 20110013978 A1, US 20110013978A1, US 2011013978 A1, US 2011013978A1, US-A1-20110013978, US-A1-2011013978, US2011/0013978A1, US2011/013978A1, US20110013978 A1, US20110013978A1, US2011013978 A1, US2011013978A1
InventorsRobert David Smith, Brandon Michael Tally
Original AssigneeCooper Technologies Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Expansion splice plate for a cable tray run
US 20110013978 A1
Abstract
A cable tray expansion splice plate for connecting first and second cable tray sections end-to-end is disclosed. The splice plate includes an elongate body having a central section, an upper flange section, and a lower flange section. In one embodiment, the lower flange section defines a channel for receiving components of the first and second cable tray sections such that the lower flange section underlies the components. Fastener openings in the central section and the lower flange section receive fasteners to fasten the body to the cable tray sections. These openings include slots which permit the cable tray sections to move relative to one another in a longitudinal direction.
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Claims(19)
What is claimed is:
1. A cable tray expansion splice plate for connecting first and second cable tray sections end-to-end, said splice plate comprising
an elongate body having opposite ends, a generally planar central section, an upper flange section extending laterally outward from an upper end of the central section, and a lower flange section extending laterally inward from a lower end of the central section, the lower flange section defining a channel for receiving components of the first and second cable tray sections such that the lower flange section underlies the components,
a first set of openings in the central section and the lower flange section for receiving fasteners to fasten the body to the first cable tray section, and
a second set of openings in the central section and the lower flange section for receiving fasteners to fasten the body to the second cable tray section,
each opening of the first set of openings comprising a slot having a major axis extending lengthwise of the body to permit movement of the cable tray sections relative to one another in a direction extending longitudinally of the cable tray sections.
2. The splice plate of claim 1, wherein each opening of the second set comprises a slot having a major axis extending lengthwise of the body to permit movement of the cable tray sections relative to one another in a direction extending longitudinally of the cable tray sections.
3. The splice plate of claim 2, further comprising a third set of openings in the central section and the lower flange section for receiving fasteners to fasten the body to the second cable tray section, each opening of the third set comprising a slot having a major axis extending lengthwise of the body to permit movement of the cable tray sections relative to one another in a direction extending longitudinally of the cable tray sections.
4. The splice plate of claim 3, wherein the lower flange section of the body comprises a heel portion projecting outward from the central section and a toe portion projecting inward from the heel portion to a location inboard of the central section.
5. The splice plate of claim 4, wherein each of the first, second, and third sets of openings includes two slots in the central section and one slot in the toe portion of the lower flange section.
6. The splice plate of claim 5, wherein the slots of each set of the first, second, and third sets lie in a single plane extending transversely of the splice plate.
7. The splice plate of claim 1, wherein the lower flange section of the body comprises a heel portion projecting in an outboard direction from the central section and a toe portion projecting in an inboard direction from the heel portion to a location inboard of the central section.
8. The splice plate of claim 7, wherein each of the first and second sets of openings includes two openings in the central section and one opening in the toe portion of the lower flange section.
9. The splice plate of claim 8, wherein the openings of each set of the first and second sets lie in a single plane extending transversely of the splice plate.
10. Two splice plates as set forth in claim 1 connecting two cable tray sections end to end.
11. A cable tray expansion splice plate for connecting first and second cable tray sections end-to-end, said splice plate comprising
an elongate body having opposite ends, a generally planar central section, an upper flange section extending laterally outward from an upper end of the central section, and a lower flange section extending laterally inward from a lower end of the central section,
a first set of openings in the central section and the lower flange section for receiving fasteners to fasten the body to the first cable tray section, and
a second set of openings in the central section and the lower flange section for receiving fasteners to fasten the body to the second cable tray section,
each opening of the first and second sets of openings comprising a slot having a major axis extending lengthwise of the body to permit movement of the cable tray sections relative to one another in a direction extending longitudinally of the cable tray sections.
12. The splice plate of claim 11, wherein the lower flange section of the body defines a channel for receiving components of the first and second cable tray sections such that the lower flange section underlies the components.
13. The splice plate of claim 12, wherein the lower flange section of the body comprises a heel portion projecting outward from the central section and a toe portion projecting inward from the heel portion to a location inboard of the central section.
14. The splice plate of claim 13, wherein each of the first and second sets of openings includes two slots in the central section and one slot in the toe portion of the lower flange section.
15. The splice plate of claim 14, wherein the slots of each set of the first and second sets lie in a single plane extending transversely of the splice plate.
16. The splice plate of claim 11, further comprising a third set of openings in the central section and the lower flange section for receiving fasteners to fasten the body to the second cable tray section, each opening of the third set comprising a slot having a major axis extending lengthwise of the body to permit movement of the cable tray sections relative to one another in a direction extending longitudinally of the cable tray sections.
17. The splice plate of claim 16, wherein the lower flange section of the body defines a channel for receiving components of the first and second cable tray sections such that the lower flange section underlies the components.
18. The splice plate of claim 17, wherein each of the first, second, and third sets of openings includes two openings in the central section and one opening in the lower flange section.
19. The splice plate of claim 18, wherein the slots of each set of the first, second, and third sets lie in a single plane extending transversely of the splice plate.
Description
    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • [0001]
    This application claims priority from U.S. Patent Application No. 61/225,769 (provisional), filed Jul. 15, 2009, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    The present invention generally relates to an expansion splice plate for a cable tray run.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    Ladder-type cable tray is used by industry to support electrical cable. A length or section of ladder cable tray comprises a pair of side rails connected by cable-supporting rungs extending between the rails at intervals along the tray. Cable tray sections are spliced together using splice plates to form a cable tray run. Splicing cable tray sections using expansion splice plates is required when installing the cable tray run outdoors where temperature variations may cause thermal expansion and contraction of the cable tray sections.
  • [0004]
    FIG. 1 illustrates a conventional expansion splice plate for fiberglass cable tray. The splice plate, made of fiberglass, is generally L-shaped and is configured to be secured to adjoining sides (rails) of adjacent cable tray sections between upper and lower flanges of the rails. The conventional expansion splice plate includes a first set of openings for receiving fasteners to secure the splice plate to a rail of one of the adjacent cable tray sections. A second set of openings includes slot-shaped openings for receiving fasteners to secure the splice plate to a rail of the other of the adjacent cable tray sections. The slot-shaped openings allow for longitudinal movement of the tray sections relative to one another. A conventional expansion splice plate for metal cable tray (not shown) comprises a flat metal plate with slot-shaped fastener openings that permit longitudinal movement of the tray sections relative to one another.
  • [0005]
    Typically, supports, such as trapeze supports, are installed at every quarter span of the cable tray run, as illustrated in FIG. 2. However, when using the above-described conventional expansion splice plate, a support must be installed at each end of the adjacent tray sections to adequately support the splice. Thus, two supports must be installed for each tray section in addition to the support at each quarter span, making the installation process more time-consuming and expensive. Alternatively, elimination of one or more quarter-span supports will result in greater deflection of the cable tray run, which is undesirable.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0006]
    This invention is directed to a cable tray expansion splice plate for connecting first and second cable tray sections end-to-end. The splice plate comprises an elongate body having opposite ends, a generally planar central section, an upper flange section extending laterally outward from an upper end of the central section, and a lower flange section extending laterally inward from a lower end of the central section. The lower flange section defines a channel for receiving components of the first and second cable tray sections such that the lower flange section underlies the components. A first set of openings is provided in the central section and the lower flange section for receiving fasteners to fasten the body to the first cable tray section. A second set of openings is provided in the central section and the lower flange section for receiving fasteners to fasten the body to the second cable tray section. Each opening of the first set of openings comprises a slot having a major axis extending lengthwise of the body to permit movement of the cable tray sections relative to one another in a direction extending longitudinally of the cable tray sections.
  • [0007]
    This invention is also directed to a cable tray expansion splice plate having opposite ends, a generally planar central section, an upper flange section extending laterally outward from an upper end of the central section, and a lower flange section extending laterally inward from a lower end of the central section. A first set of openings is provided in the central section and the lower flange section for receiving fasteners to fasten the body to the first cable tray section. A second set of openings is provided in the central section and the lower flange section for receiving fasteners to fasten the body to the second cable tray section. Each opening of the first and second sets of openings comprises a slot having a major axis extending lengthwise of the body to permit movement of the cable tray sections relative to one another in a direction extending longitudinally of the cable tray sections.
  • [0008]
    Other objects and features will be in part apparent and in part pointed out hereinafter.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0009]
    FIG. 1 depicts a conventional expansion splice plate for fiberglass cable tray;
  • [0010]
    FIG. 2 is a schematic illustrating typical locations of supports for the cable tray run when using the conventional expansion splice plates of FIG. 1;
  • [0011]
    FIG. 3 is a perspective view of two sections of ladder cable tray connected by expansion splice plates of the present invention;
  • [0012]
    FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 showing a splice plate of the present invention and fasteners exploded away from rails of the cable tray;
  • [0013]
    FIG. 5 is a side elevation of an expansion splice plate of FIG. 3;
  • [0014]
    FIG. 6 is a top plan of the splice plate of FIG. 5;
  • [0015]
    FIG. 7 is an end view of the splice plate of FIG. 5;
  • [0016]
    FIGS. 8A-8E are schematic views illustrating steps for splicing adjacent ladder cable tray sections using the expansion splice plates of FIG. 3; and
  • [0017]
    FIG. 9 is a schematic diagram illustrating locations of supports for the cable tray run when using the expansion splice plates of FIG. 3.
  • [0018]
    Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the drawings.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0019]
    FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrate two sections 10A, 10B of ladder cable tray 10 connected by expansion splice plates 20 of the present invention. Each cable tray section includes two parallel rails 24 forming the sides of the cable tray section, and a plurality of cable-supporting rungs 26 extending between the rails 24 at intervals spaced lengthwise of the section. Each rail 24 comprises a generally vertical web 30, an upper generally horizontal flange 32 at the upper end of the web, and a lower generally horizontal flange 34 at the lower end of the web. The rungs 26 are secured (e.g., by welding) to inboard portions of the lower flanges 34 extending inboard from respective webs. Pre-drilled fastener holes 36 (FIG. 8A) are provided adjacent opposite ends of the rails for use in connecting the cable tray sections 10A, 10B to one another via splice plates, as will be described. In the illustrated embodiment, each rail 24 has three pre-drilled holes adjacent each of its ends. Two of the three holes 36 are in the web 30 of the rail, and one of the holes 36 is in the outboard portion of the lower flange 34. All three holes 36 lie substantially in the same vertical plane. This arrangement can vary. The length of each manufactured cable tray section may also vary (e.g., from 10-30 feet). Sections are often cut to fit in the field to varying lengths.
  • [0020]
    Referring to FIGS. 5-7, each expansion splice plate 20 includes an elongate body 38 having opposite ends 40. The body 38 includes a generally vertical rectangular planar central section 42, a top generally horizontal flange section 44 extending laterally outward (i.e., in an outboard direction) from an upper end of the central section, and a bottom channel section 48 at a lower end of the central section. The bottom channel section 48 has a heel portion 52 projecting laterally outward (i.e., in an outboard direction) from the central section 42 and a generally horizontal toe portion 56 projecting laterally inward (i.e., in an inboard direction) from the heel portion to a location inboard of the central section 42. The heel and toe portions 52, 56 define a channel 60 for receiving components of the two cable tray sections 10A, 10B. In the illustrated embodiment, these components are the outboard portions of the lower flanges 34 of the rails 24 of the two cable tray sections 10A, 10B, as described below.
  • [0021]
    The splice plates 20 are sized and dimensioned to have a relatively close abutting fit with the cable tray sections 10A, 10B to be connected by the plates. In the illustrated embodiment, shown in FIGS. 3 and 7, each plate 20 is sized and dimensioned to be placed in a splicing position in which it is nested between the upper and lower flanges 32, 34 of the two cable tray sections. In this position, the top flange section 44 of the plate extends generally parallel to and immediately below (desirably abutting) the upper flange 32 of the two cable tray sections 10A, 10B; the central section 42 of the plate 20 extends generally parallel to and immediately adjacent (desirably abutting) the vertical webs 30 of the cable tray sections on the outboard side of the rails 24; and the outboard portions of the lower flanges 34 of the cable tray sections are received in the channel 60 formed by the bottom channel section 48 of the splice plate such that the toe portion 56 underlies (desirably abutting) the lower flanges 34 of the cable tray sections. The fit is such that the top, central, and bottom sections 44, 42, 48 of the splice plates 20 are in contact (or near contact) with respective surfaces of the cable tray sections 10A, 10B.
  • [0022]
    Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, the splice plate 20 includes three sets of openings 68 a, 68 b, 68 c for receiving fasteners to secure the splice plate to adjacent cable tray sections 10A, 10B. The sets of fastener openings 68 a, 68 b, 68 c are spaced apart along a length L1 of the splice plate 20. In the illustrated embodiment, each set of openings includes three elongate, slot-shaped openings 70, two of which are in the central section 42 and one of which is in the toe portion 56 of the bottom channel section 48. The slot openings 70 have major axes 80 extending along the length of the splice plate 10 to allow for relative movement between the cable tray sections 10A, 10B. The slot openings 70 have substantially the same length L2 (e.g., 1.5 in.). The three slot openings 70 in each respective set 68 a, 68 b, 68 c have centers that are substantially aligned along the height H of the splice plate 20, i.e., the three slot openings of each set lie in a single plane 86 extending transverse to the splice plate through the slot centers. The slot openings 70 may have other configurations and may be arranged on the splice plate in other ways without departing from the scope of the invention.
  • [0023]
    In the illustrated embodiment, the vertical centerline 86 of the slot set 68 a is spaced a distance D1 from the left end of the splice plate 20; the vertical centerline 86 of slot set 68 b is spaced a distance D2 to the right of set 68 a; and the vertical centerline 86 of slot set 68 c is spaced a distance D3 to the right of set 68 c and a distance D4 from the right end of the splice plate 20. As shown best in FIG. 7, the slot openings 70 in the toe portion 56 of the splice plate are offset a horizontal distance D5 outboard from the central section 42 of the plate. When the splice plate 20 is in its splicing position (FIGS. 3 and 7), the fastener openings 70 of sets 68 a and 68 b are positioned to align with the pre-drilled fastener holes 36 (FIG. 8A) in the webs 30 and lower flanges 34 of adjacent rails 24 of the two cable tray sections 10A, 10B to be spliced together. It is understood that the number and arrangement of fastener openings 70 in the splice plates 20 and aligned fastener holes in the cable tray sections may vary without departing from the scope of the present invention.
  • [0024]
    FIGS. 8A-8E illustrate exemplary steps for connecting the two cable tray sections 10A, 10B using two splice plates 20 positioned along opposite sides of the cable tray sections.
  • [0025]
    In step 8A, left and right cable tray sections 10A, 10B are positioned end to end with a gap G between the two sections. The gap G has a suitable width (e.g., 0.0 to 1.0 in.). The right cable tray section 10B is marked along lines 90 spaced a distance D6 from the left end of the cable tray section. (FIG. 8A shows only one mark 90 at one side of cable tray section 10B. A similar mark is made on the opposite side of the cable tray section 10B.) Distance D6 is such that when the splice plate is placed in its splicing position as shown in FIG. 8C, the pre-drilled fastener holes 36 of the two cable tray sections are located at the rights ends of respective slot openings 70 of sets 68 a and 68 b, and the line 90 is located at the right ends of the slot openings 70 of set 68 c.
  • [0026]
    In step 8B, grease is applied to the surfaces of the cable tray sections 10A, 10B to be contacted by the two expansion splice plates 20 to facilitate relative movement between the plates and the sections. Desirably, these surfaces include the outboard surfaces of the webs 30 and the upper and lower flanges 32, 34 of the two cable tray sections.
  • [0027]
    In FIG. 8C, the splice plates 20 are placed in their splicing positions in which the slot openings 70 in sets 68 a, 68 b are aligned with corresponding pre-drilled fastener holes in the webs and lower flanges of the rails of the two cable sections 10A, 10B, and the slot openings 20 in set 68 c are aligned with the mark line 90. Additional fastener holes 94 are drilled in the rails at locations corresponding to the mark line 90 and fastener openings of set 68 c. (FIG. 8C shows only one splice plate at one side of cable tray sections 10A, 10B. A second splice plate is similarly positioned on the opposite side of the cable tray sections, and similar fastener holes are drilled.)
  • [0028]
    In step 8D, fasteners 100 are installed through the slot openings 70 of set 60 a of the splice plates 20 and through aligned pre-drilled fastener holes 36 in the web 30 and lower flange 34 of the rails 24 of the left cable tray section. Similarly, fasteners 104 are installed through the slot openings 70 of sets 60 b and 60 c of the splice plate and through aligned fastener holes 36, 94 in the web 30 and lower flange 34 of the rail 24 of the right cable tray section. (Only one splice plate 20 at one side of the cable tray sections is shown in FIG. 8D; a second identical splice plate is on the opposite side of the cable tray sections.) When the splice plates 20 are installed, the central section 42 of each splice plate 20 overlaps respective rails 24 of the adjacent cable tray sections 10A, 10B on the outboard sides of the rails. The fasteners 100, 104 function to splice the cable tray sections together while permitting longitudinal movement of the cable tray sections relative to one another, as during thermal expansion and contraction of the sections.
  • [0029]
    In the illustrated embodiment, each fastener 100 comprises an assembly including a bolt 108 and a serrated-flange hex nut 110 that threads on the bolt. Each fastener 104 comprises an assembly including a bolt 112, an elastic stop nut 114 that threads on the bolt, and a flat washer 116. Other fasteners may be used.
  • [0030]
    The fasteners 100, 104 are tightened after they are installed. By way of example but not limitation, the fasteners 100 may be tightened to a torque of 50 ft/lb. In the preferred embodiment, these fasteners 100 are tightened first and, when tight, do not move in their respective slots 70 of set 68 a. The width of the gap G between the two cable tray sections 10A, 10B is then set according to certain temperature parameters (e.g., highest expected metal temperature, lowest expected metal temperature, and metal temperature at time of installation), as will be understood by those skilled in the art. After the gap G is set, the stop nuts 114 of the fasteners 104 are tightened until snug and then backed off a small amount (e.g., one-quarter turn) to permit relative movement of the bolts 112 in the slots of sets 68 b and 68 c. By way of example, in an installation where the length L2 of slots 70 is 1.5 in. and the bolts 112 have a shank diameter of 0.5 in., the range of travel of the bolts 112 in respective slots 70 is about 1.0 in.
  • [0031]
    In FIG. 8E, bonding jumpers 124 are installed to bridge the two cable tray sections on opposite sides of the two sections.
  • [0032]
    Additional cable tray sections may be connected to sections 10A, 10B, and 10C in the manner described above to form a cable tray run of the desired length. As shown in FIG. 9, supports 130, e.g., trapeze supports, are installed to support the cable run. These supports 130 are installed at regular intervals along the cable run, such as at every quarter span of the cable tray run. Unlike the prior art installations previously described (FIG. 2), additional supports do not need to be installed at each end of the adjacent tray sections because the splice plates provide adequate support at the splice. As a result, the support locations are easily determined, and the minimum number of supports can be installed at the correct locations. This facilitates installation, reduces expense, and reduces the deflection of the cable tray run compared to a situation where the sections are supported only at their ends.
  • [0033]
    The expansion splice plates 20 are fabricated from suitable material. By way of example, the splice plates may be made from fiberglass if used to connect fiberglass tray sections. On the other hand, the splice plates may be made from heavy-gage metal if used to connect metal cable tray. The metal may be, for example, extruded aluminum, or it may be sheet steel bent into the shape of the splice plate. Other ways of forming the expansion splice plate do not depart from the scope of the present invention.
  • [0034]
    Having described an embodiment of invention in detail, it will be apparent that modifications and variations are possible without departing from the scope of the invention defined in the appended claims. By way of example but not limitation, in some embodiments (e.g., embodiments where fiberglass splice plates are used to connect fiberglass cable tray sections), the lower flange section 49 of the splice plate 20 may be configured to underlie the cable tray sections 10 a, 10B without forming a channel.
  • [0035]
    When introducing elements of the present invention or the embodiment(s) thereof, the articles “a”, “an”, “the” and “said” are intended to mean that there are one or more of the elements. The terms “comprising”, “including” and “having” are intended to be inclusive and mean that there may be additional elements other than the listed elements.
  • [0036]
    As various changes could be made in the above constructions, products, and methods without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description and shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3494645 *May 6, 1968Feb 10, 1970Automated Building ComponentsHigh section splice plate and joint therewith
US4549838 *Nov 14, 1980Oct 29, 1985Alpine Engineered Products, Inc.Method of manufacturing a connector plate, connector plate and machine for manufacturing connector plate
US4733986 *Dec 17, 1986Mar 29, 1988Square D CompanySplice plate for cable tray
US5639048 *Jan 19, 1995Jun 17, 1997Thomas & Betts CorporationCable tray system
US6313405 *Aug 31, 1999Nov 6, 2001Cooper Technologies CompanyCable tray
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8136769 *Sep 1, 2010Mar 20, 2012Thomas & Betts International, Inc.Cable tray support assembly
US20110076094 *Sep 1, 2010Mar 31, 2011Thomas & Betts International, Inc.Cable tray support assembly
US20120291261 *Jan 24, 2012Nov 22, 2012Matthew DavisHanging storage c-channel splice system
US20140112706 *Nov 30, 2012Apr 24, 2014Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.Pole assembly
CN102789032A *May 20, 2011Nov 21, 2012邓长霖Connection piece of communication cable arranging slot
EP2551975A2 *Jul 27, 2012Jan 30, 2013Legrand Electric LimitedSupport system for cabling and piping
Classifications
U.S. Classification403/306
International ClassificationF16G11/00
Cooperative ClassificationF16L3/00, H02G3/0608
European ClassificationH02G3/06B
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 9, 2010ASAssignment
Owner name: COOPER TECHNOLOGIES COMPANY, TEXAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:SMITH, ROBERT DAVID;TALLY, BRANDON MICHAEL;REEL/FRAME:024657/0435
Effective date: 20100708