US 3886669 A
This invention relates to an improved air dryer jacket for underground electrical cables which comprises two or more detachable sections, one section of which is equipped with the collar through which the air is taken while the others have no such inlet. In all other respects, the several sections are identical in that each comprises a rectangular fabric panel that has the mating parts of a two-part zipper fastener attached to the opposite end margins as well as the opposite side margins so that two or more of said sections can be connected together in side-by-side or end-to-end relation or both to form a sleeve that is at least double the size of that formed by joining together the side margins of the single collared section alone.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Pelsue June 3, 1975 AIR DRYER JACKET FOR UNDERGROUND ELECTRICAL CABLES ] Appl. No.2 519,641
 U.S. Cl 34/107; 34/232  Int. Cl. F26b 25/00  Field of Search 34/21, 103, 104, 107, 148,
Primary Examiner-Kenneth W. Sprague Assistant ExaminerJames C. Yeung Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Edwin L. Spangler, .lr.
[ 5 7 ABSTRACT This invention relates to an improved air dryer jacket for underground electrical cables which comprises two or more detachable sections, one section of which is equipped with the collar through which the air is taken while the others have no such inlet. ln all other respects, the several sections are identical in that each comprises a rectangular fabric panel that has the mating parts of a two-part zipper fastener attached to the opposite end margins as well as the opposite side mar gins so that two or more of said sections can be connected together in side-by-side or end-to-end relation or both to form a sleeve that is at least double the size of that formed by joining together the side margins of the single collared section alone.
5 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PATENTEUJW m5 3; 886669 SHEET 2 AIR DRYER JACKET FOR UNDERGROUND ELECTRICAL CABLES In my US. Pat. No. 3,368,289, I show an air dryer jacket consisting of a flat sheet of foldable material having a collar defining an air inlet attachable to a suitable duct, condensate drain openings located on the underside when the sheet is formed into a tubular configuration with the collar on top, mating parts of a twopart zipper fastener disposed along opposite side margins of the sheet extending all the way from one end to the other, transversely-extending straps adjacent opposite ends of the sheet for the purpose of drawing same in snug around areas of the cable sheath remote from the wet section, and means for hanging the sleeve thus formed from an overhead support so as to permit free circulation of air around section being dried. The jacket constructed in accordance with this patent has proven quite effective in certain applications but, in others, it has been found to have certain inherent shortcomings, the principal one being its inability to accommodate long sections that need to be dried or cables having a larger than normal diameter. Thus, the jacket of my earlier patent was limited to use with those cables of a rather narrow range of sizes and for drying damaged sections where the sheathing has been removed or otherwise bared for a distance that remains substantially less than the overall length of the jacket. While the latter problems of limited versatility can be solved by making the jackets in several different sizes and lengths, this becomes impractical in the field where ,such repairs are made because space is at a premium in the service vans and little, if any, is available to carry an inventory of different size jackets, only one of which will be used on a particular repair job.
It has now been found that these and other serious shortcomings of my patented air dryer jacket can be eliminated by the simple, yet unobvious, expedient of providing special detachable expander sections for use therewith that will either increase its diameter or length or both depending upon the requirements of the particular drying application.
Accordingly, it is the principal object of the present invention to provide a novel and improved air dryer jacket for underground electrical cables.
A second objective is the provision of a device of the type aforementioned which can be increased in size almost instantly while in the field and without the aid of any tools whenever the need therefor arises.
Another object of the invention herein disclosed and claimed is to provide a modified and much improved main section wherein the fabric panel has the mating parts of a two-part zipper fastener attached along both end margins as well as the side margins thereof.
An additional object is the provision of a collarless expander section for use with the main section to either increase the width or length thereof or both.
Further objects of the invention are to provide an improved air dryer jacket which is more versatile, readily adaptable under field conditions to a wide variety of splice-drying problems, is more efficient due to reduced leakage at the ends, and one that is compact, in-
expensive, easy to use, rugged, simple, lightweight and even decorative in appearance.
Other objects will be in part apparent and in part pointed out specifically hereinafter in connection with the description of the drawings that follows, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a fragmented perspective view showing the main or center section of the improved air dryer jacket of the present invention suspended in place around an underground cable splice while warm dry air is ducted therein from a surface mounted heater-blower unit;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary front elevation to an enlarged scale showing the sheath-encircling gathered cuff on one end;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view to approximately the same scale as FIG. 2 showing the main cuffed section opened up and laid flat;
FIG. 4 is a top plan view like FIG. 3 and to the same scale showing one of the cuffless expander sections laid out flat;
FIG. 5 is an exploded perspective view seen from much the same vantage point as FIG. 1 and to the same scale as the latter showing the manner in which the expander section is joined onto the main section to increase the diameter of the jacket assembly thus formed;
FIG. 6 is a diametrical section to an enlarged scale showing the main section and an expander section zipped together to form an assembly in the manner of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is an exploded perspective view similar to FIG. 5 and to the same scale but differing therefrom in that the expander section is shown in position to extend the length of the main section rather than its diameter; and,
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary side elevation to an enlarged scale showing the elements of FIG. 7 in fully assembled relation, portions having been broken away to conserve space.
Referring next to the drawings for a detailed description of the present invention and, initially, to FIG. 1 for this purpose, reference numeral 10 has been chosen to broadly designate the cable-drying jacket of the present invention in its entirety and it will be seen suspended from an overhead support 12 in enveloping relation around a spliced cable 14 that is being dried by a surface-mounted heater-dryer l6 feeding warm, dry air thereto through a duct 18 passing down through a manhole 20. A rope 22 detachably fastened to rings 24 secured to the fabric of the jacket alongside its upstanding collar 26 is reaved over same suitably located overhead support 12 so as to hold that central portion of the jacket adjacent the collar away from the cable thus permitting free circulation of the warm, dry air around the splice (not shown) therethrough. Collar 26 is hemmed to retain a strap 28 in encircling relation thereto that provides the means by which said collar is detachably secured to a rigid metal coupling 30 that forms the connection between said collar and the discharge end of duct 18.
In FIGS. 2 and 3 it will be seen that the mating elements 32 and 34 of a two-part zipper fastener are sewn along opposite side margins of a rectangular fabric panel 36 that forms the main section 38 of a multiplesection assembly that has been broadly designated by reference numeral 40 and which has been shown in assembled relation in FIGS. 6 and 8 to which detailed reference will be made shortly. When panel 36 is folded into tubular form, the interlockable zipper elements move into juxtaposed position alongside one another where, of course, they can be detachably interconnected in the well known manner to form a sleeve. In action use, the sleeve is formed with the spliced section of cable inside thereof as shown in FIG. 1 and the collar uppermost in position for connection to the duct. The
transversely-extending straps 42 spaced inwardly of both ends of the panel include buckles 44 which cooperate with one another to produce gathered cableencircling cuffs 46 that retain the air inside the jacket when used to draw the sleeve in snug against the cable sheath. When so located, the drain openings 48 in the panel will be in the bottom of the sleeve where the condensate is free to drain therefrom.
As thus described, the main section of the air dryer jacket shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 does not differ materially from that of my earlier patent aforementioned. Note, however, that in one very significant aspect, the main section 38 does, in fact, differ from that of my earlier patent, namely, through the addition of another complete set of mating zipper elements 50 and 52 along the end margins.
Next, with reference to FIG. 4, it will be seen that an extender panel 36M is depicted therein which is identical to the main panel 36 shown in FIG. 3 above except that it contains no collar 26 or strap 28 to secure same to a duct coupling 30. The modified extender panel 36M is attachable alongside main panel 36 so as to double the overall width thereof. In so doing, element 32 of the panel 36M side margin zipper is detachably fastened to element 34 of main panel 36 leaving the remaining two mating zipper elements for subsequent connection once the assembly has been placed in cable-encircling position. Such an operation is more fully depicted in FIGS. 5 and 6 to which detailed reference will now be made.
Note in FIGS. 5 and 6 that with the collar 26 uppermost in position for connection to the duct, one of the two zipper fasteners 32F, 34F occupies essentially the same position relative to the cable as it does when only the main section is used, namely, along the front thereof where it is easily accessible and can be opened periodically to inspect the cable. The other zipper 32R, 34R is relatively inaccessible at the rear of the cable and probably somewhat underneath same as shown, however, this is immaterial in that it is prefastened before the assembly is ever placed around the cable and there is no need for opening it during the drying operation. The front zipper 32F, 34F is, of course, fastened last once the assembly is in place upon the cable.
Straps 42T along with their associated buckles 44T on the main section cooperate with their counterparts 42B and 44B on the extender section 36M to produce gathered cuffs on the ends of the assembly just like those depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2 formed in the ends of the main section, however, instead of one strap encircling the cable, each of the straps 42B and 42T go halfway around and connect to the buckle of the other strap and buckle assembly rather than their own. In other words, straps 428 on the extender section 36M are drawn up around the front of the assembly and connected to buckles 44T of the main section. In like manner, straps 42T go down the back and underneath the extender section to their point of attachment to buckles 448.
Finally, with reference to FIGS. 7 and 8, it will be seen how the extender section 36M can be used to lengthen the jacket by attaching one to either end of a main section or both. As previously noted in connection with FIGS. 3 and 4, mating elements 50 and 52 of a two-part zipper fastener are provided on opposite ends of both the main section and extender section as shown in FIG. 7, it is obvious that the extender section 36M will work in either end of the main section. Now, while like zipper elements could be placed on both ends of the extender section and their opposite mating elements on both ends of the main section, such an arrangement has the disadvantage that one extender section cannot be connected to another in end-to-end relation in the event an extra long section of cable is to be dried. On the other hand, the arrangement shown is such that more extender sections could be added to the one shown should the need therefor arise.
The intermediate straps 42 are shown fastened around the sleeves thus formed but they could, just as well, have been left loose as they perform no function. The straps at the ends of the assembly, on the other hand, function in the same way as those shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 to define gathered cuffs 46.
What is claimed is:
1. The air dryer jacket assembly which comprises in combination: a pair of elongate generally rectangular sheets of heat and moisture-resistant material of the same length, mating elements of a first two-part zipper fastener affixed to adjacent side margins of the pair of sheets effective upon actuation to detachably join same together in side-by-side relation, mating elements of a second two-part zipper fastener affixed to the remote side margins of said pair of sheets effective when brought together and fastened to cooperate with said first zipper fastener in fastened condition to form a single elongate tubular body therefrom open at both ends, means located adjacent opposite ends of the tubular body thus formed operative upon actuation to draw same into a gathered cuff around a workpiece inside thereof, collar-forming means located intermediate the ends of one of said sheets communicating the interior thereof, and one or more drain openings disposed in the other of said sheets.
2. The assembly as set forth in claim 1 in which: the elements of the first and second zipper fasteners carried by each of the two sheets comprise mating elements detachably interconnectable to define separate tubular bodies thereof.
3. The assembly as set forth in claim 1 in which: the cuff-forming means adjacent the ends of each sheet comprise strap and buckle subassemblies, and in which said subassemblies on the same ends of the two sheets when the latter are connected together in assembled relation cooperate with one another such that the strap of the subassembly on one sheet is detachably connectable to the buckle of the subassembly on the other sheet and vice versa.
4. The assembly as set forth in claim 1 in which: the two sheets are the same width and the mating elements of a third two-part zipper fastener are affixed to the end margins of said sheets operative upon actuation to detachably join same together in end-to-end relation.
5. The assembly as set forth in claim 4 in which: both ends of both sheets include elements of a two-part zipper fastener, said elements being selected such that one sheet is detachably connectable in end-to-end relation to either end of the other.