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Title:
ADJUSTABLE PROTECTING SLEEVE AND FASTENER THEREFOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1992/004504
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An adjustable width split sleeve (13) adapted to be securely wrapped around an elongate member (15). Each end of the sheet is wrapped around a respective first rod. Each first rod is rotated about a second which is parallel and adjacent to the first rod but which is separate from the first rod by the sheet (14). The first and second rods may be positioned various distances from the edges of the sheet to provide a tongue (37) to seal the gap between the sheet ends (15). Each end of the sheet (14) is securely gripped between the respective first and second rods. A fastener (11) is also disclosed for securing the protective sleeve (13) around an elongate member (15). The fastener (11) includes clips having a chamber and an entryway adapted to receive and retain the end (27, 33) of the protective sleeve (13).

Inventors:
Dokmo, Richard C. (108 Crooked Creektail, Dirrington, IL, 60010, US)
O'brien, John M. (222 Foresting Drive, Deerfield, IL, 60015, US)
Lorenz, Al (7547 25th Avenue, N.E. Seattle, WA, 98115, US)
Mlachnik, Albert A. (6235 Fisherlane, Greendale, WI, 53129, US)
Application Number:
PCT/US1991/005942
Publication Date:
March 19, 1992
Filing Date:
August 20, 1991
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
T.C. MANUFACTURING CO. INC. (1527 Lyons Street, Evanston, IL, 60204-0631, US)
International Classes:
E02B17/00; E02D5/60; E02D31/06; F16L55/172; (IPC1-7): E02D5/60
Foreign References:
US1799029A
US2293084A
US3088185A
US3181300A
US3321924A
US3355193A
US4058985A
Other References:
See also references of EP 0546083A1
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Sweeney, James R. (Lee Mann, Smith McWilliams & Sweeney, Suite 300, 105 W. Adams Stree, Chicago IL, 60603, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:
1. A sleeve for protecting an elongate member adapted to be securely wrapped around said elongate member, said sleeve comprising: a pliable sheet having a first end and a second end; a first rod having said first end of said sheet wrapped around said first rod; and a second rod extending parallel to and adjacent said first rod, said second rod being separated from said first rod by said sheet, said first end of said sheet being wrapped around said second rod, such that said first end of said sheet is securely gripped between said first rod and said second rod.
2. The sleeve of claim 1 additionally comprising a third rod having said second end of said sheet wrapped around said third rod, and a fourth rod parallel to and adjacent said third rod, said second end of said sheet being wrapped around said fourth rod, said third rod being separated from said fourth rod by said sheet, such that said second end of said sheet is securely gripped between said third rod and said fourth rod.
3. The sleeve of claim 1 wherein said first rod has a first diameter and said second rod has a second diameter which is different than said first diameter.
4. The sleeve of claim 2 wherein said third rod has a first diameter and said fourth rod has a second diameter which is different than said first diameter.
5. The sleeve of claim 2 additionally comprising means for connecting said first end of said sheet, said first rod and said second rod to said second end of said sheet, said third rod and said fourth rod.
6. The sleeve of claim 5 wherein said connecting means comprises at least one cable tie.
7. The sleeve of claim 6 wherein said rods at one end of said sheet are spaced from said end to provide a tongue adapted to be folded under said sheets ends to provide a waterproof closure.
8. The sleeve of claim 2 wherein said sheet has a bottom skirt adapted to extend over a lower sleeve and be tightened thereon to provide a seal between adjacent sleeves.
9. The method of forming an end on a sleeve adapted to be wrapped around an elongate member, the method comprising the steps of: providing a pliable sheet having a first end and a second end, each said end having an edge; placing a first rod against said sheet at said first end, said first rod being substantially parallel to and spaced apart from said edge; folding said end of said sheet over said first rod; placing a second rod against said folded over end parallel to and adjacent said first rod, said second rod being separated from said first rod by said folded over end; rotating said first rod about said second rod such that said sheet is wrapped around said second rod such that said sheet is securely gripped between said first rod and said second rod.
10. The method of claim 9 additionally comprising the step of wrapping said sheet around said first rod and said second rod one or more additional times.
11. A sleeve for protecting an elongate member adapted to be securely wrapped around said elongate member, said sleeve comprising: a pliable sheet having a first end and a second end; a first connecting means at said first end and a second connecting means for connecting said first and second ends together, said second connecting means being located adjacent said second end but spaced from it; the portion of said sheet between said second connecting means and said end of said sheet providing a tongue which is folded under said ends to provide a seal therebetween.
12. A laminated sleeve for protecting an elongate member adapted to be securely wrapped around said elongate member, said sleeve comprising: at least two layers of material, one of said layers comprising a mat adapted to include a protective material; and a thistle patch connected to said other layer and adapted to maintain said layers together.
13. A method of making a laminated material for protecting an elongate member and adapted to be securely wrapped around said elongate member comprising the steps of: providing a first laminar material of a size and shape adapted to protect an elongate member; providing a second laminar material of a mat structure adapted to include a protective material; attaching a thistle patch to said first material, and attaching said first and second materials by means of said thistle patch.
14. A fastener for securing a protective sleeve around an elongate member, said sleeve having a first sleeve end and a second sleeve end, said fastener comprising: a first clip including a chamber adapted to receive and retain said first sleeve end of said sleeve; a second clip including a chamber adapted to receive and retain said second sleeve end of said sleeve; means for connecting said first clip to said second clip; and means for positioning said first clip relative to said second clip to tighten said sleeve around said member.
15. The fastener of claim 14 wherein said connector means and said repositioning means comprise: a bore extending through said first clip; a threaded bore extending through said second clip; and a bolt extending through said bore of said first clip and threadably connected to said threaded bore of said second clip, whereby upon the proper rotation of said bolt, said bolt will draw said second clip towards said first clip.
16. The fastener of claim 14 wherein each said chamber includes an entryway through which a sleeve end may be inserted and removed from said chamber.
17. The fastener of claim 14 wherein each said chamber is defined by a first generally planar wall portion, a second generally cylindrical wall portion, a third generally planar wall portion and a fourth generally cylindrical wall portion.
18. The fastener of claim 17 wherein an entry wall is located between said first generally planar wall portion and said fourth generally cylindrical wall portion.
Description:
ADJUSTABLE PROTECĪ—NG SLEEVE AND FASTENER THEREFOR

Background of the Invention The present invention relates to a device, and a method used to form the device, for protecting pilings from deterioration. Pilings used in offshore and even on shore structures such as piers and causeways require external protection in the tidal and splash zones as well as a distance below the low tide level. The purpose of the external protection is to prevent damage to the piles resulting from corrosion, decay and marine life which adheres to the surface of the piles. Piles exposed to the atmosphere or which are buried in the ground require similar protection. The piles may be metal, wood or concrete and may be of various configurations such as circular, rectangular, hexagonal or "I" and "H" sections.

Protection is commonly provided to a pile by wrapping sheeting around the pile in the area to be protected. The sheeting usually takes the form of a metal or plastic sleeve which may include a waterproof or antioxidant gel-like substance. One such commercially available device is the RETROWRAP Wraparound Pile Encapsulation System manufactured for N.I.C.C. Limited in Cirencester, United Kingdom and which is described in Strange, et al. PCT patent application No. PCT/GB87/00127 filed February 20, 1987.

While prior pile protection devices have been used successfully, these devices have had two major points of weakness. First, prior devices have had rods secured to the ends of the sleeve by folding the end of the sleeve over the rod and sealing the adjacent sleeve material to the overlying sleeve material. This seal, which secures the rod to the sleeve, is subject to failure during long term operation. Second, due to the method in which the rods have been connected to the ends of the sleeves, each sleeve must be tailor made for each application as the width of the sleeve cannot be varied to accommodate various different sizes of piles.

It has therefore been found desirable to provide a sleeve in which the ends of the flexible sheet are securely connected to the rods while allowing the point of attachment of the rods to the sheet to be easily varied such that various widths of the sleeve may be provided as desired from a single size of sheet material.

The present invention also relates to a fastener for securing protective sleeves around elongate members such as piles. Application Nos. 576,075, filed on August 31, 1990,

650,229 filed on February 4, 1991 both assigned to T C Manufacturing Co., Inc., the assignee of the present invention. This protective sleeve is used by forming a sleeve end at each end of the protective sleeve. Each sleeve end is formed by wrapping the sleeve between two rods such that the sleeve becomes secured therebetween. Each sleeve end is then drawn toward one another such that the sleeve is tightly wrapped around the pile with the use of a plurality of cable ties which extend around each sleeve end and through apertures within the sleeve.

The use of cable ties to connect sleeve ends together gives a very adequate connection but does have some disadvantages. For example, temporary clamps are often required to hold the sleeve ends in position while the cable ties can be inserted through the apertures and around the sleeve ends and the apertures may lead to some leakage. The amount of hoop tension which the cable ties can provide in the sleeve is also limited thereby limiting the degree of tightness with which the protective sleeve fits around the pile.

Summary of the Invention

The present invention provides a sleeve which is adapted to be securely wrapped around an elongate member such as a pile. The sleeve includes a generally rectangular pliable sheet, which may be multi-layered laminate, having a first end and a second end. A first rod and a second rod grippingly engage the first end of the sheet to form a first sleeve end and a third rod and a fourth rod grippingly engage the second end of the sheet to form a second sleeve end. The sleeve is wrapped around the elongate member whereupon the first and second sleeve ends and their respective rods are securely fastened to one another and are drawn together such that the sleeve is tightly wrapped around the elongate member.

The connection between the sheet material and the rods is made by initially placing the first rod against the sheet spaced from and parallel to the edge of the sheet. The end of the sheet is then folded over the first rod and the second rod is placed adjacent the first rod. The first rod is then rotated about the second rod so that the second rod is wrapped with two layers of the sheet. The second rod is then rotated about the first rod so that the first rod is wrapped with three layers of the sheet material. This interweaving and wrapping of the sheet material about the two rods creates a strong non-slip connection between the two rods and the sheet material. A plurality of apertures are then punched into the sheet material at each end

of the sheet. The apertures provide an opening for the insertion of the strap of a cable tie, so that the cable tie may be securely wrapped around each sleeve end and its respective rods to draw the sleeve ends together.

The present invention also provides a fastener which is adapted to receive and securely retain the sleeve ends of a protective sleeve which has been wrapped around an elongate member such as a pile. The fastener includes a first clip and a second clip, each clip including a chamber having an entryway. Each sleeve end may be respectively inserted and withdrawn through the entryway in each clip. The first clip includes a cylindrical bore through which a threaded bolt extends. The second clip includes a threaded bore which is threadably engaged to the bolt. Upon the proper rotation of the bolt, the second clip will be drawn towards or away from the first clip by the threads of the bolt to respectively tighten or loosen the sleeve around the elongate member.

The entryway and chamber of each clip is adapted to allow the insertion and removal of a sleeve end while preventing the removal of the sleeve end through the application of a tensile force on the sleeve. The fastener eliminates the need for providing apertures in the sleeve for the insertion of cable ties and eliminates the need for any temporary clamps to hold the sleeve in position. The bolt may be tensioned such that the clips are drawn together to provide a large hoop stress in the protective sleeve to tightly draw the protective sleeve around the elongate member. The fastener also allows the sleeve ends to be initially positioned a specified distance apart from one another and then drawn together by the fastener until the second clip abuts the first clip whereupon no further tension may be applied to the protective sleeve, thereby preventing over stressing of the sleeve.

The pliable sheet material, which may be a laminate, may be of one standard size permitting the sleeve to be made in various widths, from a maximum width to any smaller width. The width of the sleeve is adjusted by varying the initial positions at which the first rods are placed against the sheet material and this positioning may also provide for an end tongue to seal the gap between the sheet ends. The farther the first rods are placed from the ends of the sheet, the smaller the width of the resulting sleeve will be. Thus a sleeve of any desired width may be fabricated from a sheet material having a standard width.

The sheet bottom is designed to overlap the sheet below to provide a seal between sheets. A method for making the laminated sheets by joining through thistle patches improves manufacture and installation.

Description of the Drawings

Figure 1 shows a sleeve of the present invention having ends formed by the method of the present invention wrapped around an elongate member shown in phantom.

Figure 2 is a side elevational view of the sleeve shown in an extended position.

Figure 3 is a partial perspective view showing the initial placement of the rods at one end of the sheet material.

Figure 4 is a partial end view of one end of the sheet showing the initial placement of the rods.

Figure 5 is a partial end view of one end of the sheet showing the first rod rotated about the second rod.

Figure 6 is a partial end view of the sleeve showing the second rod of each sleeve end rotated about the first rod, and the two sleeve ends secured together with a cable tie with a sealing tongue therebetween.

Figure 7 is a view similar to Figure 6 illustrating an alternate tongue embodiment made from a folded under portion of the sheet.

Figure 8 is a view similar to Figure 1 showing an upper sheet overlapped on a lower sheet to provide a seal between sheets.

Figure 9 is a view taken substantially along the lines 9-9 of Figure 8.

Figure 10 is an end view showing the various sections in a laminated sheet with thistle patches used for joining.

Figure 11 is a view taken substantially along the line 11-11 of Figure 10.

Figure 12 shows a sleeve having a first sleeve end and a second sleeve end wrapped around an elongate member shown in phantom and held by fasteners.

Figure 13 is a side elevational view of the fastener.

Figure 14 is a top elevational view of the fastener taken along lines 14-14 of Figure 13.

Figure 15 is an elevational view of the bolt.

Figure 16 shows the fastener in use in connection with a protective sleeve having a separate tongue.

Figure 17 shows the fastener in use in connection with a protective sleeve having an integral tongue.

Description of the Preferred Embodiment A sleeve 10 is shown in Figure 1 securely wrapped around an elongate member 12 which is shown in phantom. The elongate member 12 may be a pile, leg, column, strut or any other member for which protection is desired. The elongate member 12 shown in Figure 1 is circular, however the sleeve 10 may be used with elongate members having other cross sectional shapes.

The sleeve 10 includes a pliable sheet material 14 which may be of any suitable textile or plastic material or a combination of the two and may be a laminate of the same including layers of material impregnated with water proof, antioxidant or germicidal substances. The sheet 14 extends between an upper edge 16, a lower edge 18, a first edge 20 and a second edge 22. As shown in Figure 3, a first sleeve end 24 of the sleeve 10 includes a first rod 34 and a second rod 38 which securely grip the sheet material 14 therebetween. A second sleeve end 26 of the sleeve 10 includes a first rod 34' and a second rod 38' which securely grip the sheet material 14 therebetween. The sleeve ends 24 and 26 are connected to one another by cable ties 28. The sleeve ends 24 and 26 are placed over a tongue 30 which is placed adjacent the elongate member 12 so as to seal the gap 32 between the sleeve ends 24 and 26. The first sleeve end 24 is formed by placing the first rod 34 against the sheet material 14 parallel to and spaced a distance as desired from the first edge 20. The first rod 34 extends between the upper edge 16 and the lower edge 18 of the sheet 14. The first edge 20 and an end portion 36 of the sheet material which extends past the first rod 34 is wrapped around and folded over the first rod 34 as best shown in Figures 3 and 4. The second rod 38 is then placed against the folded over end portion 36 parallel and adjacent the first rod 34 as best shown in Figures 3 and 4. The second rod 38 extends substantially the same length as the first rod 34. The rods 34 and 38 are preferably cylindrical, however they may also be of various other shapes. It is also preferred that the second rod 38 be of a smaller diameter

than the first rod 34. As can be seen in Figures 3 and 4, while the second rod 38 is adjacent the first rod 34 they are separated by the folded over end portion 36 of the sheet material 14.

After the second rod 38 is in position, the first rod 34 is then rotated about the second rod 38 to a position as shown in Figure 5 wherein two plies of the sheet material 14 are wrapped around the second rod 38. The second rod 38 is then rotated about .the first rod 34 to a position as shown in Figure 6 wherein the first rod 34 is wrapped by three plies of the sheet material 14 thereby forming the first sleeve end 24. The second sleeve end 26 of the sleeve 10 is formed in substantially the same manner as the first sleeve end 24 was formed, by using a first rod 34' and a second rod 38'. Additional wraps of the material 14 around the respective rods 34 and 38, and 34' and 38', may be made but are not necessary.

Once the sleeve ends 24 and 26 have been formed, the sheet material 14 may be perforated to form a plurality of apertures 40 which are adjacent to and along the first sleeve end 24 and located to the interior of the sleeve end 24. A plurality of apertures 42 are also formed adjacent to and along the second sleeve end 26 to the interior of the second sleeve end 26 as shown in Figure 2.

Once the sleeve ends 24 and 26 are formed, the sleeve 10 will have a specific width between the ends 24 and 26. While using the same size of sheet material 14, various other widths of the sleeve 10 may be formed by varying the initial placement of the first rods 34 and 34' against the material 14. For example, by locating one or both of the first rods 34 and 34' to positions which are closer to the center of the sheet material 14, a sleeve 10 will be produced which has a width which becomes progressively narrower as the location of the first rods 34 and 34' are moved closer to the center of the sheet material 14. On the other hand, as the initial placement of the rods 34 and 34' against the sheet material 14 are located progressively further from the center of the sheet material 14, the width of the sleeve 10 will become progressively wider. While a specific size of the sheet material 14 will have a maximum width between the sleeve ends 24 and 26, any narrower width of sleeve 10 may be produced by the appropriate placement of the first rods 34 and 34' prior to the forming of the sleeve ends 24 and 26.

In operation, the sleeve ends 24 and 26 are formed to produce a sleeve 10 having a desired width, which when wrapped around the elongate member 12 will leave a small gap 32 between the sleeve ends 24 and 26. A tongue 30, which may be made of the same

material as the sheet 14, is initially placed against the elongate member 12 in a vertical position where the gap 32 will be located. Additional tongue members (not shown) may be circumferentially wrapped around the elongate member 12 at positions where the upper edge 16 and the lower edge 18 of the sleeve 10 will be located on the member 12. The sleeve 10 is then wrapped around the elongate member 12 such that both sleeve ends 24 and 26 and the apertures 40 and 42 are located on the tongue 30. A plurality of cable ties 44 each having a stem 46 are used to connect the first sleeve end 24 to the second sleeve end 26. The stem 46 of each cable tie 44 is inserted through an aperture 42 and is then inserted through a corresponding aperture 40. The cable ties 44 are then fastened such that the sleeve end 24, the sleeve end 26 and their respective rods 34, 34', 38 and 38' are fastened together within the cable ties 44. The cable ties 44 may then be tightened as desired to properly tension the sleeve 10. The cables ties 44 are spaced along the height of the sleeve 10 at a spacing which will insure a strong and secure watertight fit. The cable ties 44 prevent the sleeve ends 24 and 26 from rotating and thereby prevent the sleeve 10 from loosening around the elongate member 12 and lock it in place. The tongue 30 prevents water from contacting the elongate member 12 through the gap 32 or through the apertures 40 and 42.

In Figure 7 there is shown an alternate tongue construction 48 wherein the second sleeve end 26 has rods 34' and 38' additionally spaced from the end 50 of the sheet 14 to provide a flap or tongue 52 which is folded under the ends 24-26 as at 54 and extends across and closes the gap 32. The unitary tongue construction eliminates the need for the separate tongue 30 shown in Figure 1.

In installing the unitary tongue 52 it may be desirable to put adhesive at 56 to hold the tongue 52 in place until the cable ties 44 are tightened.

In those situations where the elongate member or piling 12 and the like is longer than the width of the sheet 14, it may be desirable or necessary to apply two sleeves 10 to cover the member. In such instances, it is necessary to provide a watertight joinder between the sleeves. Referring now to Fig. 8, there is shown a construction for providing such a watertight connection. As shown, the upper sleeve 10 overlaps the lower sleeve 10a. This construction is provided by removing the upper ends of the rods 34, 34', 38, 38', in sleeve 10a and overlapping the lower portion 58 of the upper sleeve 10 over the top of the sleeve

10a. The rod connectors 34, 34', 38, 38' and the cable tie 28 are then tightened to provide a watertight seal between the sleeve 10 and the sleeve 10a.

As mentioned earlier, the sleeve 14 may be a laminate of several materials. As shown in Fig. 10, the laminate may include a tough outer jacket 60 which is a synthetic waterproof material, an inner layer of high tensile material 62, a multi-layer jacket material 64 which provides strength and cushioning, an inner mat 68 which provides additional cushioning and a layer 70 of specially formulated corrosion inhibiting material. The inner mat 68 and the corrosion inhibiting material 70 can include such things as gels which may contain fungicides and the like, thixatropic material or oils and greases as may be desirable for protecting the piling and the like. Conventionally a layer of adhesive, as at 72, has been provided between the layers 62 and 64 to hold them together. Such a layer of adhesive material 72 has been of a conventional type and sometimes does not work well with some types of substances. Thus, a problem arose if the upper layers 68 and 70 are impregnated with a material that makes adhesion difficult. This has required the preparation of the laminate and then the application of the gel or other such material which has caused problems in manufacture. This need for an adhesive layer 72 has been eliminated by the use of thistle fasteners 74 which are attached to the multi-layer jacket material 64 or for that matter to any of the other laminate layers 60 or 62. The inner mat 68 and the corrosion inhibiting material 70 can easily be joined to the inner laminate 64 by the thistle fasteners 74 since they grab hold of the inner mat 68 with sufficient strength to hold that portion of the laminate in place until the sleeve is applied to the elongated member or piling 12 and tightened in place by cable ties 28. Such a construction makes all the laminate sheets 14 much easier to make and eliminates the step of applying the corrosion inhibiting material or gel after the laminate has been constructed.

A plurality of fasteners 11 are shown in Figure 12. The fasteners 11 are shown securing a sleeve 13 around an elongate member 15 shown in phantom. The sleeve 13 includes a pliable sheet material 17 which may be of any suitable textile or plastic material or a combination of the two. The sheet 17 extends between an upper edge 19, a lower edge 21, a first edge 23 and a second edge 25. As shown in Figures 12 and 16, a first sleeve end 27 of the sleeve 13 includes a first rod 29 A and a second rod 31A which securely grips the

sheet 17 therebetween. A second sleeve end 33 of the sleeve 13 includes a first rod 29B and a second rod 3 IB which securely grips the sheet material 17 therebetween.

As shown in Figures 12 and 16, the sleeve ends 27 and 33 are located over a tongue 35 which is placed adjacent the elongate member 15 so as to seal the gap 37 between the sleeve ends 27 and 33. As shown in Figure 17, a tongue 38 for sealing the gap 37 between the sleeve ends 27 and 33 may be formed from a portion of the sheet material 17 which extends beyond one of the sleeve ends 27 or 33.

The fastener 11 as best shown in Figures 13-15, includes a first clip 41, a second clip 43 and a bolt 45. Each clip 41 and 43 includes a front wall 47 and a rear wall 49 which is spaced apart from the front wall 47. Each clip 41 and 43 also includes a base 51, an inner wall 53 and an outer wall 55 which extend between the front wall 47 and the rear wall 49. A cylindrical bore 57 extends through the first clip 41 from the outer wall 55 to the inner wall 53. A threaded cylindrical bore 59 extends through the second clip 43 from the inner wall 53 to the outer wall 55. The first clip 41, the second clip 43 and the bolt 45 may all be made of various metals such as stainless steel or from various types of plastics. However, a non- corrosive material is preferred.

Each clip 41 and 43 additionally includes a chamber 61 which extends through the front wall 47 and the rear wall 49. Each chamber 61 is defined by a first wall portion 63 which is substantially planar, a second wall portion 65 which generally conforms to a portion of a cylinder, a third wall portion 67 which is substantially planar, and a fourth wall portion 69 which generally conforms to a portion of a cylinder. Each of the wall portions 63-69 extend from the front wall surface 47 to the rear wall surface 49. The first wall portion 63 and the inner wall 53 form a finger 71 having a tip 73. The fourth wall portion 69 and the outer wall 55 form a finger 75 having a tip 77. As best shown in Figure 13, the third wall portion 67 is disposed at an angle to the longitudinal axis 79 which extends through the center of each bore 57 and 59. The first wall portion 63 of each chamber 61 is also disposed at an angle to the longitudinal axis 79 which angle is larger than the angle formed by the third wall portion 67. Each chamber 61 also includes an entryway 81 which is located between the tip 73 of the finger 71 and the tip 77 of the finger 75.

The bolt 45, best shown in Figure 15, includes an hexagonal head 83 and a shaft 85. The shaft 85 includes a first smooth cylindrical portion 87 located adjacent to the head 83,

a threaded portion 89 and a second smooth cylindrical portion 91 which is slightly smaller in diameter than the threaded portion 89 and the first cylindrical portion 87. The cylindrical bore 57 of the first clip 41 is sized so that the shaft 85 of the bolt 45 will slide longitudinally through the bore 57 in close engagement therewith. The threaded bore 59 of the second clip 43 is adapted to threadably engage the threaded portion 89 of the bolt 45. The second cylindrical portion 91 of the bolt 45 allows the shaft 85 to be partially inserted longitudinally into the threaded bore 59 of the second clip 43 provide an initial alignment of the threaded bore 59 with the threaded portion 89. The threaded portion 89 may then be rotated to engage the threaded bore 59.

In operation, the second rod 31A of the first sleeve end 27 will be inserted into the chamber 61 of the first clip 41 through the entryway 81. The second rod 31 A will be inserted into the chamber 61 until the sheet material 17 engages the second wall portion 65 of the chamber 61. As the second rod 31 A is being moved toward the second wall portion 65, the first rod 29A will be pushed towards the third wall portion 67 and the fourth wall portion 69 of the chamber 61. A similar operation is used for inserting the second sleeve end 33 into the chamber 61 of the second clip 43. The chamber 61 should be sized so that the sleeve ends 27 or 33 will substantially fill the chamber 61 upon their insertion, as shown in Figures 16 and 17. While the first rod 29 A is shown as being larger in diameter than the second rod 31 A. rods of the same size or a second rod 31 A of larger diameter than the first rod 29 A can be used with the fastener 11. Various different sizes of chambers 61 may be used as desired with each clip 41 and 43 to accommodate different sizes of sleeve ends 27 and 33. When a sleeve end 27 or 33 has been inserted into a chamber 61, the finger 71 will preferably extend a distance from the second wall portion 65 which is approximately equal to one-half the distance between the wall portion 65 and the tip 77 of the finger 75. The finger 75 will also preferably extend around the first rod 28 such that the tip 73 will extend past a line which extends through the center 93 of the first rod 28 and the center 95 of the second rod 30.

When the sleeve ends 27 and 33 have been inserted into the chambers 61 of the clips 41 and 43 as shown in Figures 16 and 17 the chambers 61 will prevent the sleeve ends 27 and 33 from rotating and will prevent the sleeve ends 27 and 33 from being removed from the chambers 61 by the application of a tensile force being applied to the sheet material 17. The

sleeve ends 27 and 33 however may be removed from the clips 41 and 43 by pushing the first rod 28 outwardly through the entryway 81.

The sleeve ends 27 and 33 may be inserted into their respective chambers 61 while the clips 41 and 43 are connected to the bolt 45, or the sleeves 27 and 33 may be initially inserted into the chambers 61 of the clips 41 and 43 and then the bolt 45 may be inserted through the bores 57 and 59 to fasten the clips 41 and 43 together. Once the sleeve ends 27 and 33 have been inserted into the chambers 61 and the clip 41 is connected to the clip 43 by the bolt 45, the bolt 45 may be rotated whereby the threaded portion 89 will draw the second clip 43 towards the first clip 41. Alternatively, upon the proper rotation of the bolt 45, the second clip 43 will be moved away from the first clip 41. The bolt 45 may be used to draw the clips 41 and 43 together to achieve any desired hoop stress within the sheet material 17 which extends around the elongate member 15. As the clips 41 and 43 are drawn together, eventually the inner walls 53 of each clip will abut one another whereby the sleeve 13 cannot be tensioned any further.

Various features of the invention have been particularly shown and described in connection with the illustrated embodiments of the invention, however, it must be understood that these particular arrangements merely illustrate, and that the invention must be given its fullest interpretation within the terms of the appended claims.