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Publication numberUS3053358 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 11, 1962
Filing dateJul 5, 1961
Priority dateJul 5, 1961
Publication numberUS 3053358 A, US 3053358A, US-A-3053358, US3053358 A, US3053358A
InventorsGross Albert H
Original AssigneePorter Co Inc H K
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Adjustable cable way connector
US 3053358 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 11, 1962 A. H. GROSS 3,053,358

ADJUSTABLE CABLE WAY CONNECTOR Filed July 5, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet l A; 1%ENTOR:

Sept. 11, 1962 A. H. GROSS 3,053,358

ADJUSTABLE CABLE WAY CONNECTOR Filed July 5, 1961 2 Sh'ee'ts-Sheet 2 IN VEN TOR.

3,053,358 Patented Sept. 11, 1962 Ware Filed July 5, 1961, Ser. No. 121,833 6 Claims. (Cl. 189-36) The present invention relates to support trays or guidance ways for flexible electric power transmission cables, and particularly, to improved means for forming vertical bends, curves, and offsets in such ways.

It is common practice in the electrical industry to employ channel-shaped trays as support and guidance means for insulated electrical conductors. The trays are usually formed in sections which are adapted to be coupled together in endto-end relation and at various angles to guide cables along a selected path or paths. In accordance with the basic proposal, the sections must be capable of interconnection at various angles in the vertical plane and in vertically offset relation. Heretofore, separate connecting tray sections have been fabricated in each of a plurality of forms, including 30 degree, 45 degree, 60 degree and 90 degree inside bend elbows each in a plurality of different radii, 30 degree, 45 degree, 60 degree and 90 degree outside bend elbows also each in a plurality of different radii, and various vertical oifsets.

The object of the present invention is to provide improved connecting means for cable ways that eliminates the prior art requirement fora plurality of separate elbows and offsets; that is economical to produce, catalog and inventory; that is simple and economical to install; and that is practical in use.

Another object of the invention is the provision of improved cable way elbow means eliminating the prior requirement for separate inside bend elbows and outside bend elbows.

An additional object of the invention is to provide improved cable way elbow means accommodating substantially any desired angularity and/or offset between two tray sections.

A further object of the invention is the provision of improved vertical bend connecting means for cable Ways accommodating substantially any desired radius of curvature between tray sections.

Specifically, it is the object of the invention to provide a single vertical bend tray section that is fully adjustable as to length, are of curvature, radius of curvature, direction of curvtaure and undulation, whereby the same takes the place of all of the previously used elbows irrespective of the arc, direction and radius of curvature, and all of the previously used vertical offsets.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent in the following detailed description.

Now, in order to acquaint those skilled in the art with the manner of making and using my adjustable cable way connectors, I shall describe, in connection with the accompanying drawings, a preferred embodiment of the invention and a preferred manner of making and using the same. 7

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a pair of straight cable way tray sections of the well-known ladder type interconnected in accordance with the present invention at a vertical inside bend angle of approximately 45 degrees.

FIGURE 2 is a side elevation, on an enlarged scale, of the tray connection of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is an exploded side view of two of the units making up the connector;

FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary horizontal sectional view of one set of the side wall members of the units as assembled;

FIGURE 5 is a side view of a plurality of the units assembled on a relatively small radius of curvature;

FIGURE 6 is a view similar to FIGURE 5 showing the units assembled on a larger radius of curvature;

FIGURE 7 is a side view of a plurality of the units assembled in a degree inside bend elbow;

FIGURE 8 is a side view showing a plurality of the units assembled in a 60 degree outside bend elbow; and

FIGURE 9 is a side view of a plurality of connector units assembled in a vertical offset.

Referring now to the drawings, and in particular to FIGURES 1 and 2, I have shown, two straight cable way sections connected by a 45 degree vertical inside bend elbow fabricated in accordance with my invention. The cable tray sections, indicated at 20 and 21, are of the Wellknown ladder type and are each comprised of a pair of upright side walls 22 and a plurality of longitudinally spaced transverse rungs 23 extending between and secured to the side walls adajcent their lower edges. In a conventional commercial embodiment, each tray section is 10 feet long and 3 inches deep, and is available in various widths, such as 6 inches, 9 inches, 12 inches, 18 inches and 24 inches. By simply varying the length of the rungs 23, these various widths are readily provided; and the side walls 22 may be economically produced in volume in standard 10 foot lengths.

The walls 22 of each section are of identical construction. Each wall comprises a strip of sheet metal rolled outwardly at its upper and lower edges to define vertically spaced, outwardly facing, longitudinally extending tubular edge portions 24 and 25. Immediately above the lower tube 25, rectangular apertures 26 are provided at equal spacings in the side wall for reception of the rungs 23. To provide a 3 inch tray depth, each side wall is suitably 4% inches high.

The rungs 23 are preferably formed of sheet metal bent into generally rectangular form including imperforate top and side walls, bottom wall portions and bracing flanges bent into the interior of the rung from said bottom wall portions. The side walls are longer than the remainder of the rungs and are of less height at their ends, whereby said ends may be passed through the apertures 26 in the side Walls 22, the side walls may be butted against the top and bottom wall portions of the rungs, and said ends may be rolled over the side wall rigidly to secure the rungs and side wall together. The rung apertures are preferably disposed on 4 inch centers, and rungs may be mounted in all or only some of the the apertures depending upon the conditions of use, thereby to define cable support bottom wall means for the tray sections.

With reference to FIGURES 1 and 2, two such tray sections are interconnected at a 45 degree vertical angle in accordance with my invention by the use essentially of a vertical bend ladder assembly, indicated generally at 49, that is completely adjustable as to length, are and radius. The assembly 48 is comprised of a plurality of adjustably interconnected units or sections 41 each of tray form and consisting of a pair of side wall members 42 and a rung 43. The rungs 43 are identical to the rungs 23 previously described, and comprise the bottom wall means of the connector. The side wall members 42, while relatively short, are of the same height and generally the same structural make-up as the side walls 22, and include corresponding tubular portions 44 and 45 at their upper and lower longitudinal edges. At each end thereof, each side wall member 42 includes a longitudinally extending ear or tab 46 and 48, respectively. While the ears may take other forms, I prefer the generally trapezoidal shape illustrated, and I also prefer to form the ears symmetrically with respect to the remainder of the side Wall member.

The ear indicated at 46 is preferably disposed in the plane of the side wall 42 and is provided with a centrally located, longitudinally extending row 50 of aperture stations. The row 50 may be defined by a plurality of separated holes, a slot, or as shown herein by a hole 51 and a longitudinally extending slot the upper and lower edges of which are undulatory, serrated, or saw-toothed to define a plurality of longitudinally spaced aperture stations 52, 53 and 54. In the arrangement illustrated, wherein the edges of the slot are of similar saw-tooth form, the slot defines a plurality of overlapping square aperture stations and the hole 51 is of corresponding form also to define a square aperture station. Obviously, other polygonal stations may be formed, or the aperture stations could be circular if desired. Similarly, the stations may or may not overlap and may be of such number as desired. I have shown four stations 51, 52, 53 and 54 spaced as illustrated for a particular purpose to be described.

The ear indicated at 48 is preferably ofiset outwardly from the plane of the side wall 42 by a distance equal substantially to the thickness of the material constituting the wall and the ears, whereby an ear 48 may readily overlap an ear 46 and whereby a substantially flush inside tray wall will be defined in the completed assembly, as shown in FIGURE 4. The car 48 if desired could have a row of holes and/or an undulated or serrated slot therein, like the ear 46, but I prefer to provide a single centrally located and preferably circular aperture 58 adjacent the outer end of the ear 48.

To assemble a pair of the units making up the assembly 40, the ears 48 of one unit are lapped over the ears '46 of the adjacent unit and the apertures 58 in the ears 48 are aligned with a selected pair of the aperture stations 51, 52, 53 and 54 in the ears 46. A fastener 60 is then passed through the aligned aperture means of each overlapped pair of ears to unite the same. In the disclosed embodiment of the invention, each fastener 60 comprises a bolt having a thin flat head, a square shank portion of a size to fit the square aperture stations 51 to 54 and a threaded stud portion, and a nut and suitable washers and/or lock washers for application to the stud. The thin flat head of the bolt is butted against the inside face of the ear 46, whereby the same will not present an obstruction to cables in the tray, as will be appreciated from FIGURE 4. The square shank fits into the selected aperture station 51 to 54, thereby to retain the bolt against relative rotation. The stud extends through the ear 48, and the ear 48 is secured to the car 46 by the nut and washers applied to the outer end of the stud.

When thus assembled, the ear 48 is rotatable relative to the ear 46 about the axis of the bolt within the limits accommodated by the tubular portions 44 and 45 of the two units, whereby the units may be adjusted relative to one another anywhere within the arc of movement accommodated between a first position wherein the upper tubular portions 44 abut against one another and a second position wherein the lower tubular portions 45 abut against one another. In forming a bend from a plurality of units, it is generally preferred that corresponding tubular portions 44 or 45 (depending upon the character of the bend, i.e., inside or outside) be butted firmly against one another positively to define the arc of the bend and to cause the units to be interlocked against further movement in the direction of force or weight application thereto. To attain this particular advantage and yet form bends on various radii, I provide the plurality of aperture stations 51 to 54, the purpose of which is to accommodate connection of the ears 46 and 48 about the pivot 68 at various relative degrees of ear extension, thereby to accommodate varying degrees of angularity between adjacent units when corresponding tubular portions thereof are butted against one another. In the cable way art, conventional radii of curvature for vertical bends are 8 inches, 15 inches, 24 inches and 36 inches and in keeping with convention, I have provided four aperture stations 51, 52, 53 and 54 which, when the bolt is appropriately located and the tubular portions 44 or 45 of the two units are butted, respectively cause the units to form a bend on respective ones of the stated radii. To achieve the particular results, a preferred embodiment of the invention provides connector units each approximately 6 inches long wherein the tubular portions 44 and 45 are about 3 /2 inches long and each ear 46-48 projects approximately 1% inches beyond said tubular portions; the aperture 58 has its center about /2 inch from the end of the ear 48, and the aperture stations 51 to 54 are located with their centers respectively about /2 inch, 1 inches, 1 inches, and 1 inches from the end of the ear 46.

To fabricate any selected vertical bend on any selected one of the several radii of curvature accommodated, the manufacturer or user will simply assemble a plurality of the units using the selected pivot or fastener station 51 to 54, and will add units as necessary to form the completed angle. To facilitate attachment of the connector bend to respective adjacent sections of the cable way, the assembly of the described units 41 is finished at its ends with end units 78 and 80 each having one fiat or earless end surface. Specifically, the unit 70 is like the unit 42 except that it does not have an ear corresponding to the ear 46, but has only an car 78 corresponding to the ear 48. The unit 89 is essentially the opposite of the unit 70, i.e., it has an car 86 corresponding to the car 46, but does not have an ear like the ear 48. Thus, the units 76 and 80 may be added to opposite ends of an assembled group of units 41 to complete or finish the connector and adapt it for connection to other cable way sections.

When installing a connector fabricated as described, the fastener 60 may be loosened to facilitate the installation and to accommodate variations in the curvature of the connector to permit tolerances in field erection of a cable way. In the disclosed embodiment, bolts and nuts are used as the fasteners, and the bolts are locked against rotation in the stations 51 to 54 to facilitate loosening and locking of the fasteners. If desired, square tube rivets could be used, either alone or with friction washers accommodating angular adjustment of the units. Likewise, round rivets or other fasteners could be used in round or other polygonal aperture stations if so desired.

By using different numbers of units, vertical bends can readily be fabricated in the usual angles of 30 degrees, 45 degrees, 60 degrees and 90 degrees on any of the conventional 8 inch, 15 inch, 24 inch, 36 inch radii, as will be appreciated from FIGURES 5 to 8. For example, in FIGURE 5, I have shown a plurality of the units connected at aperture station 51, whereby the units facilitate formation of a bend on a radius of approximately 8 inches. In FIGURE 6, I have shown the units assembled at aperture station 53, whereby the units facilitate formation of a rigid bend on a radius of approximately 24 inches. In FIGURE 7, a plurality of units have been assembled to form a 90 degree inside bend, and in FIGURE 8 a plurality of the units are shown assembled in a 60 degree outside bend elbow. By using more or less units and/ or by adjusting the units relative to one another to various angles, substantially any angular relationship on substantially any radius of curvature is readily accommodated. Moreover, the units of the invention in a single embodiment form either an inside bend or an outside bend, as desired or required.

To trim the bend formed with the units of the invention, I string a flexible member 90, such as Greenfield or BX sheathing, through the tubular portions of the side walls disposed to the larger diameter side of the curve or bend, i.e., the upper tubular portions 44 on outside bends, and the lower tubular portions 45 on inside bends. This serves to impart an esthetically desirable appearance to the connector and to prevent inadvertent extension of the cable through the spaces between the side wall members of the units.

In addition to the foregoing, the connector units of the present invention facilitate formation of offset connections such as that illustrated in FIGURE 9, and will readily accommodate partial, full or multiple vertical olfsets, either step-up or step-down. When the units are used as off-sets, I prefer to string a flexible member 90' through both sets of tubular portions of each set of side walls for the purposes above stated.

Irrespective of all of the above described variations and possible combinations, each unit is comprised essentially of two side wall members 42, which are of opposite hand but otherwise identical. Regardless of tray Width, the side walls are the same and may be produced and inventoried in mass production quantities at great economy. To fabricate a unit to a particular tray width, it is simply necessary to assemble two side walls with a selected rung of the proper length. In the selected tray width, the single style and size unit, comprised of two sides and a rung, may be assembled with like units to facilitate inside and outside bend elbows-of any selected are and any selected radius, and may also be formed into various offsets and undulatory connectors. Thus, a single unit when used in various multiples substitutes for and replaces 32 diiierent vertical bends of the prior art rigid type connectors (specifically, 4 different radii in each of the 4 standard are of both inside and outside bends) and also all of the rigid style offsets. Considering simply the elbows, a single style and size of unit only 4%. inches high and 6 inches long replaces 32 connectors having asize range from 4% inches to 40% inches high and from 9% inches to 40%. inches long. The economies and advantages in manufacture, inventory, Warehousing, cataloging and ordering are of course obvious. Moreover, the connectors of the invention are much more flexible as to radius and arc of curvature, length and configuration, thereby to alford further advantages over prior styles of connectors.

Thus, the objects and advantages of the invention have been shown herein to be attained in a convenient, economical and practical manner.

While I have shown and described what I regard to be the preferred embodiment of my invention, it will be appreciated that various changes, rearrangements and modifications may be made therein without departing from the scope of the invention, as defined by the appended claims.

I claim:

1. Connecting means for cable ways comprising a plurality of adjustably interconnected members each including tubular longitudinal edge portions and an ear extending longitudinally from each end thereof, one of said ears having a plurality of longitudinally spaced aperture stations therein and the other of said ears having an aperture therethrough, adjacent members being assembled with said other ear of one member lapping said one ear of the adjacent member and with said aperture in said other ear aligned with a selected aperture station in said one ear, fastener means extending through the aligned aperture and aperture station of each lapped pair of ears, and an elongate flexible member extending through one set of the tubular portions of the members.

2. Vertical bend connecting means for cable ways comprising a plurality of adjustably interconnected units, each unit comprising a pair of spaced parallel side wall members and bottom wall means extending therebetween, each side wall member including an ear extending longitudinally from each end thereof, one of said ears having a plurality of longitudinally spaced aperture stations therein, the other of said ears having an aperture therethrough, adjacent units being assembled with said other ears of one unit lapping said one ears of the adjacent unit and with said apertures in said other ears aligned with selected aperture stations in said one ears, and fastener means extending through the aligned aperture and aperture station of each lapped pair of ears.

3. Vertical bend connecting means for cable Ways comprising a plurality of adjustably interconnected units, each unit comprising a pair of spaced parallel side wall members and bottom Wall means extending therebetween, each side wall member including an ear extending longitudinally from each end thereof, one of said ears having a longitudinal slot therein the upper and lower edges of which are undulatory and define a plurality of longitudinally spaced aperture stations therein, the other of said ears having an aperture therethrough, adjacent units being assembled with said other ears of one unit lapping said one ears of the adjacent unit and with said apertures in said other ears aligned with selected aperture stations in said one ears, and fastener means extending through the aligned aperture and aperture station of each lapped pair of ears.

4. Vertical bend connecting means for cable ways comprising a plurality of adjustably interconnected units, each unit comprising a pair of spaced parallel side wall members and bottom wall means extending therebetween, each side wall member including an ear extending longitudinally from each end thereof one of which is offset outwardly from the plane of the member, a first one of said ears having a plurality of longitudinally spaced aperture stations therein and a second one of said ears having an aperture therethrough, adjacent units being assembled With the offset ears of one unit overlapping the opposite ears of the adjacent unit and with said apertures in said second ears aligned with selected aperture stations in said first ears, and fastener means extending through the aligned aperture and aperture station of each overlapped pair of ears.

5. Vertical bend connecting means for cable ways comprising a plurality of adjustably interconnected units, each unit consisting of a pair of spaced parallel coextensive side Wall members and a rung extending between and connecting the same, each side wall member including an ear extending longitudinally from each end thereof, one of said ears having a row of longitudinally spaced aperture stations therein, the other of said ears being offset outwardly from the inner surface of the member and having an aperture therethrough, said units being assembled with said other ear of the side members of one unit overlapping the exterior surface of said one ear of the respective side wall of the next adjacent unit and with said aperture in said other car aligned with a selected one of the aperture stations in said one ear, and a fastener having a head and a polygonal shank inserted in the aligned aperture and aperture station of each overlapped pair of ears with its head engaging the inner surface of said one ear and its shank engaging non-rotatively in said selected aperture station.

6. Vertical bend connecting means for cable ways comprising a plurality of adjustably interconnected units, each unit consisting of a pair of spaced parallel coextensive side wall members and a rung extending between and connecting the same, each side wall member including longitudinally extending tubular portions adjacent its top and bottom edges and an ear extending longitudinally from each end thereof from the space between said tubular portions, one of said ears having a row of longitudinally spaced aperture stations therein, the other of said ears being offset outwardly from the inner surface of the memher and having an aperture therethrough, said units being assembled with said other ear of the side members of one unit overlapping the exterior surface of said one ear of the respective side walls of the next adjacent unit and with said aperture and said other ear aligned with a selected one of the aperture stations in said one ear, a fastener inserted in the aligned aperture and aperture station of each overlapped pair of ears, and an elongate flexible member extending continuously through at least one set of the tubular portions of each set of side wall members.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,728,285 Hiering Sept. 17, 1929 2,138,968 Hatteberg Dec. 6, 1938 2,899,159 Leblang Aug. 11, 1959 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,199,332 France June 22, 1959

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Classifications
U.S. Classification52/696, 52/848, 248/68.1, 59/78.1, 182/164, 248/49, 52/108, 191/12.00C
International ClassificationF16G13/00, H02G3/02, H02G3/06, F16G13/16
Cooperative ClassificationH02G3/0608, F16G13/16
European ClassificationF16G13/16, H02G3/06B