US 3428742 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 18, 1969 B. L. SMITH GUY GUARD AND CLIP Filed Sept. 11, 1967 INVENTOR. B/LL/E LAP/4?) 544/777 A T TOR/V5 Y5 1 United States Patent ()flice 3,428,742 Patented Feb. 18, 1969 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A flexible wire guard to protect an insulated wire against damage. A cylindrically shaped body portion of the guard has a longitudinal slit to permit the guard to be fitted over the wire. A cylindrically shaped grasping portion is attached to the interior of the body portion and adapted to fit snugly over the wire. Clip members hold the interior grasping portion on the wire while the sides of the cylindrical body portion engages each other and lock the guard onto the wire.
Background of the invention This invention relates to a wire guard and, more particularly, to a wire guard of the type used for the protection of electrical transmission wires and the like from damage by rodents, such as squirrels.
In the past, longitudinally split plastic tubes have been placed over electrical transmission wires to protect the insulation covering the wires from damage. Often such guards rotate on the wires to a position with the longitudinal slit facing upward. Consequently, the wire may slip through the slit and the guards may fall from the wires. To prevent this, some sort of fastening means may be attached around the guard. The cost of such. fastening means and of the labor required for installation substantially increases the cost of using such guards to protect wires.
A suggested solution to this problem has been the construction of an integral lock arrangement on the flexible guard itself. Such an arrangement involves the fabrication of a groove along one side of the lengthwise slit in the guard adapted to mate with a rib on the opposite side of the slit. The guard may then be placed over the wire and the rib mated with the groove' to hold the guard on the wire regardless of the position in which the guard may rest on the wire.
Nonetheless, the rib may become separated from the groove either due to the vibration of the wire or faulty initial installation, and the wire guard may still separate and fall from the wire. In an attempt to increase the eificiency and reliability of wire guards, the rib groove construction in a cylindrically shaped, resilient plastic tube has been combined with an internal grasping member within the tube. The object of the internal grasping member is to prevent rotation of the wire guard and the consequent opportunity for the guard to slip from the wire.
However, the prior disadvantages remain, although to a diminished extent. A wire guard which will remain in a stabilized position on a wire and which cannot be come separated from the wire is still desired.
Summary of the invention In a principal aspect, the present invention is an improved wire guard comprising a flexible outer tube having a longitudinal locking groove slit with an internal, cylindrically shaped wire grasping member adapted to fit snugly over the wire, and a plurality of clip members which are easily attached to the wire grasping member to continuously hold the wire grasping member in intimate contact with the wire.
It is thus an object of the present invention to provide an improved wire guard.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide an improved wire guard which is easily attached to a wire with a minimum of labor and cost.
Thes and other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will be more fully set forth in the detail description which follows.
Brief description of the drawings In the detail description, reference will be made to the drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is an end view of a prior art wire guard construction;
FIGURE 2 is an end view of the improved wire guard construction with the clip means in an unattached position;
FIGURE 3 is an end view of the improved wire guard in an attached position on a wire; and
FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of the improved wire guard.
FIGURES 1 and 3 may also be termed constant crosssectional views since the construction of the guard does not vary along its longitudinal axis.
Description of the preferred embodiment FIGURE 1 illustrates a wire guard embodiment which is deemed to be prior art. Both the prior art and the improved devices are preferably fabricatd by extrusion methods from a flexible, weather resistant material such as polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene or nylon. The guards are manufactured in any convenient, normally uniform length and may be cut with a knife on the job site into required lengths.
The prior art device includes an outer cylindrically shaped body member 10. Parallel to the longitudinal axis of the body member 10 and extending in a straight line along one side of the body member 10 is a slit 12. Slit sides 14 and 16 of the body member 10 which define the slit 12 are adapted to interlock. The side 14 includes a two walled longitudinal groove opening 18 which may be mated with a longitudinal rib 20. The groove opening 18 is defined by an outer flap 22 and an inner flap 24. The outer flap 22 has a curled barb portion 26 which interlocks with a bar-b portion 28 on the rib 20.
Integrally fabricated with the body member 10 is a wire grasp member shown at 30. The wire grasp member 30 is generally semi-cylindrical in shape. More particularly, first partial cylindrical portions 31 and 32 and second partial cylindrical portions 33 and 34 are interconnected to each other to comprise the wire grasp mem ber 30. The wire grasp member 30 is, in turn, integrally attached to the body member 10 opposite the slit 12. Extending from the second partial cylindrical portions 33 and 34 are projections 36 and 38 respectively. The projections 36 and 38 are canted outwardly in relation to the opening defined by the second partial cylindrical portions 33 and 34 to provide a guideway for a wire which is inserted into the wire grasp member 30.
The prior art guard illustrated in FIGURE 1 and described above has proven to be quite useful. However, the wire may become separated from the wire grasp member 30 rather easily. Thus, the advantages, if any, gained by utilizing a wire grasp member 30 in combination with a body member 10 may be dissipated by slight vibrations of the guard or rotation of the guard which causes the wire to become disengaged from the wire grasp member 30 and from the guard itself.
FIGURES 2 through 4 illustrate the improved wire guard which essentially obviates the problems encountered in prior art wire guards. The construction of the body member 40 of the improved Wire guard is substantially identical to that of the prior art wire guard member 10 described above. The guard is likewise fabricated from an electrically non-conductive, flexible material. In addition, the interlocking groove 42 and rib 44 of the improved wire guard are constructed essentially in the same manner as described for the prior art device. The improved wire guard is also provided with a body grasp member 46 situated on the inside of the body member 40 opposite the longitudinal slit de'fined in the body member 40 by the groove 42 and rib 44. Likewise, first partial cylindrical portions 48 and 49 and sec-nd partial cylindrical portions 50 and 51 are integrally interconnected with each other and with the body member 40 to form the body grasp member 46.
Unlike the prior art devices, there extend from the lower part of the second partial cylindrical portions 50 and '51, wing portions 52 and 54 respectively. The wing portions '52 and 54 are wedge shaped to facilitate interlocking with a clip member 56.
The biased clip member 56 is adapted to engage the wing portions 52 and 54. The clip member 56 is fabricated from a flexible resilient material which retains its shape and springs back into its original configuration when flexed. The clip member 56 is preferably manufactured by extrusion methods. The clip member 56 has a relatively small longitudinal dimension as compared to the longitudinal dimension of the wire guard. The relative dimensions are more clearly illustrated in FIGURE 4. The clip member 56 is comprised of a U-sh-aped body portion 58 and first and second leg portions 60 and 62 respectively.
When drawn apart, the leg portions 60 and 62 are biased toward each other because of the resiliency of the material from which they are fabricated. Extending from the leg portions 60 and 62 toward the interior of the U-shaped body portion are toothlike extensions 64 through 67. The extensions 64 and 65 define a wedge shaped opening in the leg portion 60. This opening mates with the wing portion 52. Similarly, the extensions 66 and 67 on the second leg portion '62 define a wedge shaped opening adapted to mate with the wing portion '54. FIG- URE 3 more clearly illustrates the mode in which the clip member 56 and the wing portions 52 and "54 mate with each other.
'In FIGURES 3 and 4 especially, there is illustrated the wire guard in position on a typical electrical wire installation. The second partial cylindrical body portions 50 and 51 happen to define a surface which most nearly coincides with the outer surface of the wire 70. As may be seen, a smaller diameter wire may be fitted between the first partial cylindrical portions 48 and 49. A combination of wires may also be inserted into and protected by the grasp member 46.
After the wire 70 has been inserted into the body grasp member 46, the clip members '56 are inserted over the wing portions 52 and 54. The leg portions 60 and 62 are slightly spread when fitted over and onto the wing portions 52 and 54. Therefore the leg portions 60 and 62 of the clip member 56 remain slightly biased toward one another. Thus, the body grasp member 46 will always be slightly compressed and held in a secure relationship with the wire 70.
In a typical Wire guard assembly, a seven foot section of guard would include one inch wide clip members 56 attached to the wing portions 52 and 54 at twelve to eighteen inch intervals. After the clip members 56 are attached, the rib 44 and groove 4'2 are interlocked to completely secure the wire guard about the wire 70. If
the improved wire guard would happen to rotate from the position illustrated in FIGURES 2 through 4 or rapidly vibrate, the clip members 56 insure that it will not separate from the wire. Even if the rib 44 should separate from the groove 42, the clip member 56' would remain and retain the wire guard in a protective relationship with the wire 70. Moreover, installation of the improved wire guard is quick and easy. The improved wire guard provides a maximum of assured protection at a minimum cost of manufacture and with a new ease of installation.
While in the foregoing there has been set forth a preferred embodiment of the present invention, it is to be understood that all those embodiments which are obvious to persons skilled in the art and all those embodiments which are equivalent are to be included within the scope of the claimed invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A wire guard comprising, in combination, a cylindrically shaped, elongated, hollow body member fabricated from a resilient, insulating material, said body member having a longitudinal axis, open ends, an outer surface, an inner surface, and an elongated slit through said body member, said slit running in a straight line for the length of said body member parallel to said axis to permit insertion of a wire through said slit to the interior of said body member, said slit having engagement means to hold said slit in a closed position about said wire, said guard including a wire grasp member integrally formed with said body member and positioned on the inner surface of said body member opposite said slit;
said grasp member including a substantially semi-cylindrical portion running the length of said body member, the open side of said semi-cylindrical portion being parallel to and facing said slit, said grasp member including first and second projecting wing portions extending from the open sides of said semi-cylindrical portion in opposing directions from each other, said wing portions running the length of said body portion parallel to the longitudinal axis, said guard including a plurality of resilient clip members adapted to engage said wings at intervals to grasp and to retain said wire grasp member about a wire positioned Within said wire grasp member.
2. The device of claim 1 wherein said wire clip members comprise a semi-cylindrical body portion having a first side and a second side terminating at a first end and a second end respectively, said first and second ends having toothlike extensions protruding toward one another, said extensions defining a locking slot adapted to engage said wing portions in a substantially immovable, locked position.
3. The device of claim 1 wherein said wing portions comprise a wedge shaped member adapted to be engaged by said clip members and said clip members comprise a U-shaped clip with leg portions, said leg portions having wedge shaped slots defined therein to receive said wing portions and hold said wing portions in a substantially immovable position.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,94,642 4/1934 Matthews 52-147 3,173,5'19 3/1965 Sullivan 52- 147 3,177,986 4/1965 Mock et a1. 17413'6 X IJARLAMIE E. ASKIN, Primary Examiner.
U.S. Cl. X.R.