|Publication number||USRE41348 E1|
|Application number||US 11/933,767|
|Publication date||May 25, 2010|
|Filing date||Nov 1, 2007|
|Priority date||Mar 4, 2003|
|Also published as||CN1816953A, DE602004016969D1, EP1603811A2, EP1603811A4, EP1603811B1, US6960722, US20040206540, WO2004077925A2, WO2004077925A3|
|Publication number||11933767, 933767, US RE41348 E1, US RE41348E1, US-E1-RE41348, USRE41348 E1, USRE41348E1|
|Inventors||Matthew P. Frederick, Eric K. Staudt, Yuriy Roman-Leshkov, John A. Barber, Jr., Thomas M. Flickinger, Robert K. Wolski|
|Original Assignee||Federal-Mogul World Wide, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (24), Non-Patent Citations (1), Classifications (12), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/451,819 filed Mar. 4, 2003.
This invention concerns pre-shaped covers positionable at junctions where two or more branches of elongated items are joined to another branch for protecting the elongated items against damage due to cuts, chafing and abrasion.
Elongated items such as wiring harnesses used in automotive, marine and aerospace applications are preferably ensheathed in a protective covering which extends along the length of their run. The covering may be, for example, flexible convolute tubing formed of a polymeric material. Such tubes have sufficient stiffness to hold the various wires comprising the harness in an organized bundle and thus provide for a neat installation. The tubes are also sufficiently flexible to conform to curved paths which the harness may be forced to take when routed through an automotive or aircraft structure. The tubes provide a tough, abrasion resistant exterior which protects the wires of the wiring harness from damage which would otherwise occur when the harness rubs against structure in response to vibration.
However, at branch points in the wiring harness where two or more branches of the harness separate from another branch to follow different paths, the convolute tubing is present on each branch but stops short of the actual junction. This leaves a length of each branch at or near the junction exposed to damage by cuts and abrasion. In fact, the protective tubing itself can be a source of abrasion damage because the harness can chafe against the sharp edge of the convolute tubing formed at the tube end where it was cut to accommodate the branching of the harness.
This problem is often addressed by wrapping the wiring harness at the junction with flexible, self-adhesive tape, for example, vinyl electrical tape. While this solution provides some degree of protection to the harness at the junction, it suffers the following disadvantages. The tape stiffens the harness at the junction, making it less accommodating to the path it must assume. The tape is never applied, in practice, in a standard or uniform manner, resulting in some junctions having too much tape and some too little. Furthermore, the tape requires considerable time to install, and once installed, the tape, due to its adhesive nature, prevents ready access to the harness for repairs or splices. To effect a repair or a splice, the tape must be laboriously removed by hand each time the junction is serviced. The tape is usually applied over both the harness and the convolute tubing and does not provide any protection against chafing of the harness wires by the sharp edge at the end of the tube. Clearly, there is a need for an article which protects wiring harness junctions which eliminates the use of adhesive tape and its many disadvantages.
The invention concerns an overwrap for protecting elongated items. The overwrap comprises a flexible substrate having first and second surfaces oppositely disposed. A first attachment means is positioned on the first surface and extends substantially thereover. A second attachment means is positioned on the second surface and extends substantially thereover. The second attachment means is engageable with the first attachment means for removably attaching the first and second surfaces to one another when the first surface is brought into contact with the second surface.
Preferably, the first attachment means comprises a multiplicity of hooks extending from the first surface and the second attachment means comprises a multiplicity of loops extending from the second surface.
The substrate may be resiliently biased so as to form a tube wherein a portion of the first surface overlies a portion of the second surface. The tube has a central space for receiving the elongated items, the first and second surface portions being engageable with one another to affix the tube around the elongated items.
The tube may comprise a first tubular segment defining a first central space and a second tubular segment defining a second central space. The first and second tubular segments are connected to one another with the first and second central spaces in communication with one another.
In an alternate embodiment, the overwrap comprises a first substrate portion that is turned back upon a remainder of the substrate to form a reverse fold. The reverse fold defines a channel between the first substrate portion and the remainder for receiving the elongated items. A second substrate portion is turned back upon the remainder of the substrate into overlapping relation with the first substrate portion. The first attachment means on one of the first and second substrate portions engages the second attachment means on the other of the first and second substrate portions to hold the first and second substrate portions in overlapping relation to secure the reverse fold defining the channel.
As shown in
Preferably, as shown in
It is advantageous that the substrate 32 comprise a non-woven material, preferably nylon felt. Nylon has excellent abrasion resistance and may be resiliently biased into a tubular shape, as described below, to provide a convenient form adapted to the elongated items such as wiring harness 10 which the overwrap 30 is to cover and protect. Nylon felt also has the advantage of providing the loops 42 to which the hooks 44 will attach without the need for the attachment of a separate component to the substrate. Other materials, such as polyester, polypropylene, polyethylene, polyethylene terepthalate and polytetrafluoroethylene are also feasible. Furthermore, substrate 32 may be a substantially continuous membrane or may also be woven or knitted from filamentary members.
Substrate 32 may be processed in various ways to yield a plurality of overwrap designs. As shown in
As illustrated in
The overwrap according to the invention need not have a Y-shape. Tubular segments 52 and 54 may have any of various proportions or angular orientations relatively to one another. Depending upon the elongated items, a right or 90° orientation may be preferred as shown in embodiment 70 in FIG. 6.
As shown in
Preferably, substrate 32 of
Multi-branch overwraps according to the invention provide excellent damping and abrasion protection at junction points of elongated items such as wiring harnesses. Such overwraps are especially versatile as to form, size and flexibility and readily accommodate elongated items of various sizes and angular orientations, the overwraps being especially effective when used in conjunction with other types of protective sleeving, such as convolute tubing.
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|1||*||Abstract of Japanese Patent No. JP9117034, published May 2, 1997, entitled Branch Sheet for Wire Bundle and Bundling Method at Branch Part (Shoji).|
|U.S. Classification||174/72.00R, 138/121, 174/117.00F, 174/92|
|International Classification||B65D75/00, B60R16/02, H02G3/06, H01B1/00, H02G15/30, H02G3/00|
|Mar 18, 2013||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Jun 20, 2014||AS||Assignment|
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:FEDERAL-MOGUL CORPORATION, A DELAWARE CORPORATION;FEDERAL-MOGUL WORLD WIDE, INC., A MICHIGAN CORPORATION;FEDERAL-MOGUL IGNITION COMPANY, A DELAWARE CORPORATION;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:033204/0707
Effective date: 20140616
Owner name: CITIBANK, N.A., AS COLLATERAL TRUSTEE, DELAWARE