US 3156765 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. l0, 1964 1. F. wElss 3,156,765
wTREwAY wTTH ADJUSTABLE WIDTH sTDEwALLs Filed Sept. 12, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheei l ff a EQ2 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 www@ F. @B
Nov. 10, 1964 l. F. WEISS WIREWAY WITH ADJUSTABLE WIDTH SIDEWALLS Filed Sept. l2, 1960 a www United States Patent O 3,156,765 WIREWAY WITH ADJUSTABLE WIDTH SIDEWALLS Irving F. Weiss, Cleveland, Ohio, assignor to E. C. P. lll'nufacturing Co., Cleveland, Ohio, a corporation of Filed Sept. 12, 1960, Ser. No. 55,342 12 Claims. (Cl. 174-101) This invention relates to wireway devices for housing and protecting multiple wire leads in comple-x electrical devices, such as control panel construction.
Electric control panels house many control mechanisms including a multitude of electrical wires leading to and from the control mechanisms. It is often desirable or even necessary to establish a definite physical pattern of such wires and to run the wires in an orderly accessible fashion between the control mechanisms within the control panel and points outside the control panel. In order to obtain an orderly and controlled pattern of wiring, socalled wireways are used.
Basically, a wireway includes a casing defining an internal wire passageway into which wires may be introduced through openings, and preferably, a cover to close the casing. The wires are strung along the wire passageway to a predetermined outlet or to another passageway and thereafter to an outlet. In a construction of wireways it is desirable to have a cover that is removable to permit access to the internal passageway. Access is necessary to originally install the wires and equally necessary to permit repair of existing circuits and installation or" additional mechanisms and associated circuits. Desirable characteristics of the removable cover include facile attachment and removing of the cover from the casing, and suitable fastening means which will retain the cover in place during use irrespective of warpageor bending of the casing. There are wireways available which are extruded composition material but having a number of shortcomings with respect to original installation, defects in closure, effective use after installation, and inexibility of design requiring large inventories.
Therefore, one of the principal objects of this invention is to provide a cover attachment for a wireway which will enable the cover to be. facily installed and removed.
Another object of this invention is to provide a guide and beading interlock enabling a wide tolerance of structural dimensions of the interlock with no loss in holding properties.
A further object of this invention is to provide a wireway construction enabling the substitution of parts for channel-size adaptation, without necessitating an entiresize stockpile, and which construction is versatile for vernier adjustment of a channel with a given set of channel parts.
Other objects and a fuller understanding of the invention may be had by referring to the following description and claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
FlGURE l is a front elevational view of a control panel with parts broken away to show several wireways 1n use;
FIGURE 2 is an internal section view taken on line 2-2 in FIGURE l and shows wires leading into a central channel;
FIGURE 3 is an exploded perspective View of the parts of the Wireway; and,
FIGURE 4 is a detail view of the beading and guide construction of the'side rails and top cover of the wireway.
Referring now to the drawings, and particularly to FIGURES l and 2, a control panel employing several wireways 1) is shown. The control panel has electric 3,155,765 Fatented Nov. 10, 1964 ICC devices 11 mounted thereon, and each device 11 has a plurality of wires 12 leading therefrom. The wires 12 lead through wire openings 28 into a wire passage 14 formed by the wireway 10. The wires form a bundle as indicated at 13.
Referring now to FIGURES 3 and 4, the construction of this new and improved wireway is shown. An elongated base plate 20 is provided having bolt accepting apertures 21 formed therein. The apertures 21 take the form of elongated slots. The base plate 20 also has a pair of channels 22 which extend substantially the entire length ot the base plate 2t?. Each channel 22 includes and is defined by a pair of opposed L-shaped members 23 which are parallel and a back portion 42 between the parallel L-shaped members 23.
A pair of side rails 25' are provided. Each side rail 25 has a T-shaped base 26 and a wall portion arranged at right angles to the arms of the T-shaped base 26. Each T-shaped base 26 is shaped and positioned to slide into one of the channels 22. The bases 26 as they project from the walls of the side rails 25 are thus slidably received within the grooves deiined by the channels 22 and are releasably retained by the channels 22. The bases 26 are thus ilange projections which are received within projection receiving grooves formed by the channels 22. Each base 26 also includes a plurality of bolt receiving apertures Sil which, in the preferred and disclosed ernbodiment, take the form of elongated slots. The slots 30 are positioned to register with the bolt receiving apertures 21 of the base when the base 26 is positioned in a channel 22. The T-shaped bases 26 are not bisected by the remainder of the side rail, but rather are odset. With such a structure, the width of the wide passage can be varied depending upon which way the side rails are slid into the channel.
A plurality of wire openings 28 are formed in the wall portion of each side rail. These openings are in the form of rectangular cutouts which extend laterally relative to the Ilongitudinal axis of each side rail. It is through these openings 28 that the wires 12 lead into the wire channel 14.
An enlarged beading 29 is formed at the top of each side rail 2S and extends the entire longitudinal length of each side rail. This enlarged beading 29 in cross-section is generally tear-drop shaped and forms one element of the novel and improved interlocking mechanisms.
A cover 31 is provided having a pair of elongated flange members 32. Each ilange member is defined by a pair of distensible resilient side walls 33, 33a. As can best be seen in FIGURE 4, one of the side walls, and preferably inside side wall 33a, is longer than the other side wall. The reason for such construction will be described presently. The side walls 33, 33a each have inner surfaces which deline a tapered slot 3d, a neck 35, and a socket 36. This forms a guide and interlock structure for the beading 29. The socket 36 is in the form of a segment of a Circlet. As can best be seen in FIGURE 4, the distance across the beading 29 is less than the diameter of the circle described by the socket 36 and greater than the distance across the neck 35 when the side walls 33, 33a are not distended.
The cover 31 shown in FIGURE 3 is sized to accommodate the side rails when the side rails form a maximum size wireway passage as is shown. It one or both of the side rails 25 are reversed to provide a narrower wireway passage, then a different smaller cover 31 is more conveniently used.
In the preferred and disclosed embodiment a resilient plastic is used to form the entire wireway. Plastic has been chosen because of its ease of fabrication, resiliency, non-inflammable, and non-conductive properties.
Method of Assembly The Afollowing is a method of assembling the Wireway for use in a control panel:
First, the two side rails are engaged with the base plate 2@ by inserting the bases 26 of the side rails into opposite channels 22 and aligning the apertures 2l and 3d. The base plate and side rails, as thus assembled, are bolted or otherwise secured onto a control panel at a preselected location. The wires l2 are then run from the control mechanisms il through the side rail openings 28 and into the internal wire passage 14.
The wires are then led along the wire passage ltd to the end of the passage which terminates either at the outside of the board or at another wireway. When the wiring has been completed, the cover may be positioned byV either of two methods.
(l) The beading Z9 of one side rail is placed in the tapered slot 34 of one of the flange members 32 and pressure applied against the top to urge it toward the base plate Ztl. Under such pressure, the side walls 33, 33a of the flange member Will yield and distend to allow the beading 29 of each side rail to pass through the neck 35 and engage in the socket 36. The ilexibility of the side walls 33, 33a are greatly improved and enhanced by the provision of a pair of longitudinally extending flutes 40, itin associated with each flange member 32. Each flute sito is formed at the juncture of side wall 33a and the base plate 20, and each other flute d@ is formed in the base plate in alignment with the socket 36. The flutes dit, @alla in addition to permitting greater distensibility of the walls 33, 33a, also reduce the force needed to urge the beading 29 into the socket 36. j
After beading 2% has passed through the neck 35, the opposite walls 33, 33a will return .to their former position from their distended position, and the connection will have been securely made.
After one side has been thus secured, the opposite side is brought into alignment and pressure exerted to secure that side of the cover. The advantage of such beading and guide type of interconnection is that if the channel is packed excessively full, the side rails can be bulged to some extent and the socket nevertheless brought into alignment as described and a tight juncture made. Furthermore, resilient plastic is diliicult to properly align and, thus, the side rails may be progressively aligned as pressure is applied; and hence, the union of the parts can be carried on progressively from one end of the channel to the other. Furthermore, if the channel is insuliiciently iilled, and the side rails tend to fall together, they are nevertheless capable of being securely locked by such beading and guide construction in counter-distinction to former types of overlapping hook-type closure devices which depend upon full lateral extension of the side rails to -hold the cover on the casing.
lf the wire passage is excessively full and the side rails are bulged to a substantial extent, force must be exerted against the side rails to bring them into alignment with the tapered Ventrance slot 3d. To assist and aid in such an alignment, the inner side wall 33a of each flange member extends beyond the other side wall 33. Hence, the cover 31 can be engaged with one side rail and thereafter the other side rail is bent inwardly until it strikes the elongated side wall 33u, thus positioning the beading. Then, the beading is pushed into engagement in the socket as described.
(2) The cover may also be placed on the side rails 25 by aligning the sockets 3d of the flanges with the beading 29, `and sliding the cover 3l longitudinally with respect to the side rails 2S. This same sliding movement can be used to remove the cover 3l.
- in large installations for reasons of economy or saving of space, it may be undesirable to have a -base plate. The devices of this invention is extremely Well suited for such lf no base plate is required, the bases 2.6 of the side rails 2e arebolted or securedV directly to the control panel through the slots 30 at a proper spacing. The remainder of the assembly operation is identical to that as described above.
This type of installation particularly points up the advantage of this device in correcting lfor misalignment. Because of the nature of the device, the side rails frequently are secured to the panel such that there is not an exact alignment between the flanges 35 and the beading 29. However, since plastic is resilient and llexible, side rails can easily be flexed so that `the beading 29 will fit into the socket 36 to provide a secure connection. Similarly, misalignment will be corrected if it is due to warpage, or due to pressure on the side rails.
ln summary, the invention is believed to comprise a new and novel wireway having a pair of side rails with enlarged beading members at the top` of the side rails, and a cover having a guide and socket construction to interlock with the headings on the side rails to provide facile assembly and disassembly and maintain a well secured cover.
Although the invention has been described in its preferred form with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that the present disclosure of the preferred form has been made only by way of example and that numerous changes in the details of construction and the combination and arrangement of parts may be resorted to Without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention as hereinafter claimed.
What is claimed is:
1. A wireway, comprising, an elongated base plate, a pair of spaced elongated side rails carried by said base plate, means to mount said base plate and said side rails on a separate structure, said side rails having wire admitting openings in a wall portion thereof, the wall portion having a uniform thickness throughout substantially its entire extent, each of said side rails including an elongated beading spaced from said base plate, each beading extending along substantially the entire length of its side rail, said beading having a generally circular outer surface and tapered side surfaces so as to have generally a tear-drop shaped vcross-section, said circular outer surface dening a longitudinal edge of .the side rail and Said tapered portions being adjacent to the wall portion of the side rails, the wall portion adjacent the beading having a thickness less than the largest dimension of the beading, said wire admitting openings extending to adjacent said beading, an elongated cover, said cover having a pair of spaced ilange members extending substantially the entire length of said cover, each of said ilange members including a pair of distensible side walls, the side walls of each ilange member detining a tapered entrance slot, a neck portion, and a socket, said neck portion having a width that is less than the largest cross-sectional lateral dimension of said beading of said side rail, said socket having generally a shape in cross-section of a segment of a circle, the diameter of said circle being greater than the largest lateral dimension of said beading, each of said flange members receiving the beading of one of said side rails, and said neck portion gripping the wall portion adjacent the beading.
2. In the device of claim 1, said base plate including a pair of longitudinally extending channels, and each of said side rails including a T-shaped base shaped and removably inserted in said channels.
3. A wireway, comprising, an elongated base plate, a pair of spaced elongated side rails removably carried by said base plate, mounting means to mount the base plate and side rails on a separate structure, said side rails having ywire admitting openings therein, each of said side rails including an elongated beading spaced from said base plate, each of Ysaid headings extending along substantially the entire length of its side rail, said beading having generally a tear-drop shaped cross-section, an elongated cover, said cover having a pair of spacedflange members extending substantially the entire length of said cover, each of said flange members including a pair of distensible side Walls, the side walls of each flange member extending different distances from said cover, a pair of liutes associated with each of said liange members, each flute being formed in said cover and extending substantially the entire length of the cover, the side walls of each liange member defining a sloping entrance slot, a neck portion, and a socket, said neck portion having a width that is less than the largest cross-sectional lateral dimension of said beading, said socket having generally the shape in cross-section of a segment of a circle, the diameter of said circle being greater than the largest lateral dimension of said beading, each of said flange members being positioned to receive the beading of one of said side Walls.
4. A wireway comprising, a pair of spaced elongated side rails, each of said side rails including mounting means, said side rails having wire admitting openings therein, each of said side rails including an elongated beading, each beading extending along substantially the entire length of its side rail, an elongated cover; said cover having a pair of spaced ange members extending substantially the entire length of said cover, each of said flange members including a pair of distensible side walls, the side walls of each ange member defining an entrance portion and a socket, each of said flange members receiving the beading of one of said side rails and the inner side wall of each ange member being longer than its corresponding outer side wall.
5. A Wireway for retaining electrical wires in an orderly and accessible lformation comprising, a pair of spaced elongated rail-like side walls, each of said rail-like side walls including a base and an elongated beading, said base being an oicenter T in cross section with the one arm of the T longer than the other, the arms of the T comprising a mounting liange adapted to be mounted on a base structure, said pair of spaced elongated rail-like side walls being removably mountable on the same base structure in any one of several different relative positions, said several diiierent relative positions providing a channel-like wireway of different Widths, said elongated beading extending along substantially the entire length of its respective rail-like side Wall, an elongated cover, said cover having a pair of spaced flange members extending substantially the entire length of said cover, each of said flange members including a pair of distensible side walls, said distensible side walls Kbeing adapted to receive and retain the elongated beading of said rail-like Wide wall, and said cover being mounted on said pair of spaced rail-like side walls by placing the cover over the chanel-like passageway formed by the rail-like side walls and snapping each flange member over the beading of its respective rail-like side wall.
6. A wireway for retaining electrical Wires in an orderly and accessible arrangement comprising:
(a) an elongated base plate, said base plate including a pair of channel retaining members longitudinally disposed one adjacent each longitudinal edge of said elongated base plate;
(b) means to mount said base plate on a separate structure;
(c) a pair of elongated side Walls, each of said pair of side walls including a base;
(d) said base having a flange portion adapted to be slidably inserted into one of said channel-shaped retaining members, said ange portion of each of said pair of elongated side walls being removably inserted into their respective channel-shaped retaining members to form a channel-like passageway for supporting electrical wires;
(e) each of said pair of elongated side walls including a beaded portion extending longitudinally along the top thereof;
(f) an elongated cover, said cover having a pair of spaced liange members extending substantially the entire length of said cover;
(g) each of said flange members including a pair of distensible side walls, said distensible side Walls being adapted to receive and retain the elongated beading of said side walls, said cover being mounted on said pair of side walls by placing the cover over the channel-like passageway formed by the side walls and snapping each tlange member over the beading of its respective side walls; and
(h) each of said pair of side walls having openings to permit electrical Wires to leave and to enter the channel-like passageway.
7. In the device of claim 1 said side rails having elongated anges and said base plate having portions dening elongated flange receiving grooves whereby said side rails are removably securable on said base plate by sliding the ilanges into the liange receiving grooves.
8. Wireway sidewall material comprising:
(a) an extruded elongated body of synthetic plastic material, the elongated body having an elongated base and an elongated wall upstanding from the base;
(b) the wall having a tear-drop shaped beading along its longitudinal edge opposite said base, the wall being of substantially uniform thickness throughout between said base and said beading;
(c) said beading having a generally rounded portion dening the longitudinal edge of the wall and tapered side wall portions tapering inwardly to said wall, the thickness of said wall being less than the largest dimension of said beading;
(al) said wall having a plurality of laterally extending openings longitudinally spaced along the longitudinal extent of said wall, said openings extending laterally from said adjacent base to adjacent said beading; and,
(e) said base comprising a flange including means for mounting said wall in a standing position on a support surface.
9. The combination of claim 8 wherein said base and said wall form an off-set T in cross-section and the mounting means is included on the longer arm of the off-set T.
l0. A modular wireway comprising:
(a) base means;
(b) said base means including fastening means for securement to a supporting structure;
(c) a plurality of side walls arranged in spaced, parallel relation in engagement with said base means;
(d) said base means and said side walls including integral interlocking portions to releasa'oly retain said side Walls in their spaced, parallel relation and in engagement with said base means;
(e) said interlocking portions comprising integral flange projections on said walls and integral portions dening iiange projection-receiving grooves on said base means, said grooves receiving said i'lange projections to interlock said side walls to said base means; and,
(f) each ange projection receiving groove and the ange projection received therein having abutting surfaces preventing said side walls from moving laterally away from said base means whereby said base means together with said side walls as retained in their spaced, parallel relation on the base means dene a Wireway wherein the sidewalls are xedly held in their spaced, parallel relation at a predetermined wireway width.
1l. A wireway for retaining electrical wires in an orderly and accessible arrangement comprising:
(a) an elongated base plate, said base plate forming the bottom of the Wireway and including a pair of channel shaped retaining members longitudinally disposed one adjacent each longitudinal edge of said elongated base plate;
(b) means to mount said base plate on a separate structure;
(c) a pair of elongated side Walls, each oi said side walls including a base;
(d) each Such base having a tlange portion adapted to be slidably inserted longitudinally into one of said channel shaped retaining members, said iiange portion of each of said elongated side walls being removably inserted into their respective channel-shaped retaining member to form a channel-like passageway for supporting electrical wires; and,
(e) said ange portion and said channel shaped retaining members having abuttable surfaces limiting lateral movement of the side walls away from the base plate thereby preventing separation of the side walls.
12. A wireway for retaining electrical wires in an orderiy and accessible formation comprising:
(a.) an elongated base plate;
(b) said base plate inciuding side wall retaining portions longitudinally extending one on each side of said elongated base plate, each side wail retaining portion comprising a longitudinally extending back portion and a pair of longitudinally extending parallel portions projecting from the longitudinal sides` of said back portion, each back portion and the pair of parallel portions on each side ot the back portion defining a tlange receiving channel;
(c) each pair of parallel portions including mutually inwardly directed parts on the sides ot each tiange receiving channel;
(d) means to mount said base plate on a separate structure;
(e) a pair of spaced, elongated side walls, said pair of side walls including a base, said base being an oitcenter T in cross section with one arm of the T longer than the other, the arms of the T comprising a mounting iiange which is adapted to be inserted into said fiange receiving channel;
(f) said pair of spaced elongated side walls being removably carried by said base plate by inserting the mounting tiange portion of the T-snaped base of each side rail wall into their respective Harige receiving channel to form a channel-like passageway for supporting electrical Wires;
(g) said parallel portions abutting said mounting ianges of the side walls so as to limit lateral movement of the side Walls relative to said base; and,
(l1) said inwardly directed parts of the parallel portions being engageable with the arms of the bases of the side Walls to limit separation of the side walls from the base plate whereby the side rails with their oit-set T-shaped bases may be inserted either end first into the iiange receiving channel to provide a Wireway of preselected fixed width.
References Cited by the Examiner UNTTED STATES PATENTS 1,077,236 10/13 Weeber 174-101 X 2,311,411 2/43 Nave 211-143 2,341,841 2/44 Carlson 174-101 X 2,452,175 10/48 Atkins 24-137 2,467,828 4/49 I-iodgkins et al 317-122 2,675,434 4/54 Herrmann 174-99B X 2,681,716 6/54 Black 189-88 2,808,136 10/57 Hammitt et al 50-127 X 2,877,289 3/59 Schymik 174-99 2,921,607 2/60 Caveney 138-157 2,954,876 10/60 Mathews 211-162 3,022,972 2/62 Bunston 248-68 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,167,605 8/58 France. 1,045,430 6/53 France.
592,024 2/60 Canada. 742,827 1/ 5 6 Great Britain.
IOHN F. BURNS, Primary Examiner.
R. A. HILL, JOHN i. WELDMAN, Examiners.
UNITED STATES PATENT oEEICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,1561765 November IO, 1964 Irving FtI Weiss It is hereby certiigd that error appears in the above numbered patent requiring correction and that the said Letters Patent should read as corrected below.
Signed and sealed this 30th day of March I965 (SEAL) Attest:
ERNEST W. SWIDER EDWARD J. BRENNER Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents UNITED STATES PATENT oEEIcE CERTIFICATE 0F CORRECTION Patent No. 3,156,765 November IO, 1964 Irving F(a Weiss It is hereby certified that error appears in the above numbered patent requiring correction and that the said Letters Patent should read as corrected below.
Signed and sealed this 30th day of March 1965.7
EDWARD J. BRENNER ERNEST W. SWIDER Commissioner of Patents Altesting Officer