US 3551612 A
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United States Patent (72] Inventor Robert L. Guentner Catonsville, Md. [211 Appl. No. 744,209  Filed July 11,1968  Patented Dec. 29, 1970  Assignee Westinghouse Electric Corporation Pittsburgh, Pa. a corporation of Pennsylvania  FLEXIBLE CONDUCTOR HORIZONTAL LOOP- SUPPORTING APPARATUS 1 Claim, 7 Drawing Figs.
 U.S.Cl 191/12, 174/69: 250/104  Int. Cl H02g 11/00, HOSg 1/02  Field of Search 138/106; 174/69, 135; 187/1; 191/12;250/91,92,64
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,897,254 7/1959 Dickinson 174/69X 2,959,634 11/1960 Lyon 174/69X FOREIGN PATENTS 69,572 7/1958 France 174/69 1,345,760 11/1963 France 174/69 732,501 6/1955 Great Britain 174/69 Primary Examiner- Darrel L. Clay Attorneys- F. H. Henson, E. P. Klipfel and D. F, Straitiff the support strip at external locations therealong and rest in parallel side rails along the straight-leg portions of such strip.
PATENIEU m2 9 I978 SHEET 1 OF 2 PATENTEU DEC29 I970 SHEET 2 BF 2 mdI member of the present invention.
FLEXIBLE CONDUCTOR HORIZONTAL LOOP- SUPPORTING APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION SUMMARY The present invention, inemploying parallel side rails for direct support of the straight-leg lengths of the flexible conductor loop and a suitably constrained concavo-convex strip spring as a transverse support between therails, achieves the objectives of the prior art in a simplified manner.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. I is a top view in outline of an exemplified constructionof the conductor loop-supporting apparatus of the present invention in affiliation with a horizontally movable carriage such as is employed in overhead X-ray' tube column supporting systems; 1
FIG. 2 is a vertical section view taken along the line II-II of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a vertical section view taken along the line III-Ill in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is. a fragmental vertical outline view taken in the direction of the arrow IV in FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a schematic representation of one mode of guided constraint for the conductor loop support member of the present invention; v
FIG. 6 is a schematic representationof a cantilever support for the conductor loop support member; and
FIG. 7 is a schematic representation of an alternate con straint means for maintaining the bend in a loop support DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERREDEMBODIMENTS Referring to FIG. 1 in the drawing, the flexible conductor loop-supporting apparatus of the present invention is exemplified in affiliation with a carriage 10 which is movable rectilinearly along horizontal guide and support rails 11 via wheels 12, such as is common in X-ray apparatus, for example, where a so-called ceiling-mounted X-ray tube column 14 depends from such carriage, as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,l l8,066 to E. P. Thomas et al. for example. One end of a vertically stacked group 15 of flexible conductors, including such as a high-voltage X-ray tube cable 16 and auxiliary electrical and/or fluid pressure power and control leads l7 and 18, is attached to the carriage 10 to furnish supply and control energy for operation of an X-ray tube (not shown) on column 14 as well as a drive motor, brakes etc. (not shown) for such carriage. The opposite end of such group of flexible cables is attached to a relatively fixed member '20, which may be located, for example, near to a wall 21 of a room in which the ceiling-mounted X-ray apparatus is installed and member 20 is located in substantially the same horizontal plane in which the carriage 10 travels.
In accord with the FIG. 1 embodiment of the present invention, the flexible conductors l6, l7 and 18 are maintained in a generally U-shaped horizontal loop configuration during travel of the carriage 10 along the rails 11 and while occupying different horizontal positions therealong by a conductor support member 24 in the form of a thin steel concavo-convex spring strip of the general well-known type employed in steelmeasuring tapes that are retracted in wound form during disuse and extended for use. The characteristics of such a concavo-convex spring strip relied on in the present invention, however, result from the inherent property that whenbent back upon itself, it tends to form a straight-sided, round-bend, generally U-shaped configuration, and which straight-sided, round-bend configuration may be preserved during relative longitudinal parallel movement of such straight sides. Furthermore, by suitable constraint of the doubled-back strip or U- shaped loop to impose a degree of compression across the ends of the round bend against an inherent tendency for it to expand, a selected radius of curvature may be preserved for such bend during the relative longitudinal parallel movement of the straight loop sides which merge with such bend. Thus, in the present invention the conductor support member 24, in form of a concavo-convex strip spring, has one end secured by bolts or rivets 26 to the carriage 10 adjacent to a respective end of the flexible conductors l6, 17, 18, and extends, in adjacency to extension of such conductors which are coupled thereto at intervals along its length, as a generally U-shaped loop 28 in a horizontal plane, having one straight side 30 of concave-convex cross-sectional shape, a smoothly rounded bend 32 of flattened cross-sectional shape, and another straight side 34 secured at its end by such as bolts or rivets 35 to the relatively fixed member 20 adjacent to a respective end of the flexible conductor group 15; the transverse dimension of the spring strip 24 extending in a vertical direction. By arranging the strip member 24 so that the concave faces of the straight loop sides 30 and 34 face inwardly toward one another as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, and by suitable proportioning of the size, strength, flexure-spring and cross-sectional curvature parameters of such strip relative to its own weight and, that of the conductor load imposed thereon, the expansion control of the diameter of the loop bend 32 can be effected at least partially, if desired, by an inwardly directed constraining moment applied to the projecting ends of the straight loop sides 20 and 32 and propagated to such bend via such sides; as indicated schematically in FIG. 5, by the interconnected arrow groups 38 and 40, and which may be obtained in the exemplified embodiment shown in FIG. 1 bythe longitudinally spaced-apart bolts 26 on the carriage 10 and the bolts 35 on the relatively fixed member 20. At the same time, full cantilever support of such loop and its conductor load also may be realized, as shown schematically in FIG. 6 by the interconnected arrow group 42, by the same securing means 26 and 35 at the ends of the straight loop sides 30 and 34.
On the other hand, for either subordinate backup support and/or edge constraint or substitute support and/or constraint for the loop 28 per se the direct support of its conductor load, the straight side 30 can find outer edge support for its entire length via the respective track 11 for the carriage 10, while a parallel elongated cross-sectionally L-shaped support member 44 can serve for similar edge constraint of the straight side 34. In many instances, reliance on such subordinate or substitute side support by rail 11 and support member 44 will be unnecessary. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, where the flexible conductor or conductors are disposed around the outer periphery of the loop 28 formed by member 24 and are retained on such member by straps 48, any such peripheral restraint and direct bottom support for the conductors along straight loop sides 30 and 34 transpires via slidable engagement of the straps 48 with the one rail 11 and auxiliary support member 44.
In accord with otherfeatures of the illustrative embodiment of the invention, as shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, the straps 48 for retaining the conductors l6, l7, 18 on the loop support member 24, may be of metal construction and proportioned to accept the conductors in vertically stacked array. The strap has a removable section 50, secured by a screw 51, see FIG. 3, to a trough-shaped section 52 which has a vertical wall that is retained on the normally convex side of the support strip 24 by loose-fitting rivets 54 extending through an accommodating central longitudinal slot 56 in strap 24, FIG. 4, and includes washer members 58 in slidable engagement with the normally concave face of such strip. Such attachment by sliding rivets,
enables the straps 48, hence the conductors l6, l7, l8, vto
move longitudinally of the loop support strip 24 when in the regionofthe bend 32 during propagation of such bend per se al opga path of travel parallel to that of the carriage to give ne -denier adjustment for the larger bend diameter required for theic jondfuctors while extending around the outside of the strip bend.i3 2
By way of further exemplification, a working model of the invention has been embodied in a ceiling-mounted X-ray tube column system where the pertinent apparatus is similar to that shown in FIGS. I and employing overhead, horizontally movable, column support carriage 10 having a horizontal support loop 28 with a 13 inch bend 32 diameter formed from a stainless steel concave-convex spring strip 24 6 feet long, 25 mils thick, and a normal cross-sectional radius of 8 inches.
it is also probable that the bend 32 of a loop 28 formed by the'loop support strip member 24 may be maintained by a constraint means in the form of a bend keeper means, FIGS. 7, having two spaced-apart guide members 64, only one of which isshown, secured to one another by rigid connecting means 66 and having respective circular grooves 68 through which outer edges of the strip 24 slidably extend in guided cooperation and which are sufficiently separated widthwise of the strip 24 to permit transit of the conductors 16, 17, 18 and straps 48 therebetween.
I claim: 1. A horizontal loop-supporting apparatus comprising:
two members relatively movable rectilinearly in a horizontal direction;
a pair of horizontally parallel rigid support rails mounted in a common horizontal plane extending in the direction of relative movement of said members; i
a flexible loop support'strip in formof arathin. concavo;:'onvex spring strip attached at opposite ends tot-said members, respectively, and extending as a horizontal U- shaped loop therebetween; with straight side portions disposed adjacent to saidsupport rails and a transversely flattened bend region extending therebetween;
said loop support strip in the region of its straight sides having its convex surface facing outwardly; g
a plurality of flexible conductors extending as a contiguous horizontal loop along the exterior of said loop support strip between said members;
a plurality of strap membersencircling said conductors at intervals along their length; f
the strap members inthe regions of the straight side portions of the conductor loop being in horizontally slidable supported and guided engagement with said support rails; and
connecting means securing said strap members to said loop support strip with freedom for longitudinally adjustable relative movement therebetween.