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Title:
BRAIDED TEXTILE SLEEVE WITH LOCKED YARNS AND METHOD OF CONSTRUCTION THEREOF
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/023570
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A protective braided sleeve (10) and method of construction are provided. The braided sleeve includes a seamless, circumferentially continuous, tubular wall (12) extending lengthwise along a central longitudinal axis (14) between opposite ends (16, 18). The wall (12) includes a plurality of yarns (20) braided with one another. At least one of the yarns (20) is activatable To lock the plurality of yarns (20) in fixed relation with one another to inhibit the expansion of the wall (12).

Inventors:
HARRIS DAVID A (US)
Application Number:
US2018/044079
Publication Date:
January 31, 2019
Filing Date:
July 27, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
FED MOGUL POWERTRAIN LLC (US)
International Classes:
D04C1/02; D04C1/06
Domestic Patent References:
WO2016010730A12016-01-21
Foreign References:
US20160122915A12016-05-05
US20170167062A12017-06-15
US20140220276A12014-08-07
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STEARNS, Robert L. et al. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A protective braided sleeve, comprising:

a seamless, circumferentially continuous, tubular wall extending lengthwise along a central longitudinal axis between opposite ends, said wall including a plurality of yams braided with one another, at least one of said yams being activatable to lock said plurality of yams in fixed relation with one another to inhibit the expansion of said wall.

2. The protective braided sleeve of Claim 1 , wherein said at least one activatable yam includes a low melt yam provided to melt and solidify and bond abutting ones of said yams with one another.

3. The protective braided sleeve of Claim 2, wherein said wall includes non- activatable yam, with said at least one activatable yam having a lower melt temperature than said non-activatable yam.

4. The protective braided sleeve of Claim 3, wherein said at least one activatable yam and said non-activatable yam are provided in an equal number of ends with one another.

5. The protective braided sleeve of Claim 4, wherein said activatable yams and said non-activatable yams are braided in a respective 1 : 1 braid pattem, with said activatable yams and said non-activatable yams altemating with one another in opposite S and Z helical directions.

6. The protective braided sleeve of Claim 3, wherein said activatable yams and said non-activatable yams are braided in a respective 1 :2 braid pattern, with said activatable yams and said non-activatable yams altemating with one another in opposite S and Z helical directions.

7. The protective braided sleeve of Claim 3, wherein said activatable yams and said non-activatable yams are braided in a respective 1 :3 braid pattern, with said activatable yams and said non-activatable yams altemating with one another in opposite S and Z helical directions.

8. The protective braided sleeve of Claim 3, wherein said activatable yams and said non-activatable yams are braided in a respective 2: 1 braid pattern, with said activatable yams and said non-activatable yams altemating with one another in opposite S and Z helical directions.

9. The protective braided sleeve of Claim 3, wherein said activatable yams and said non-activatable yams are braided in a respective 3: 1 braid pattern, with said activatable yams and said non-activatable yams altemating with one another in opposite S and Z helical directions.

10. The protective braided sleeve of Claim 2, wherein said at least one activatable yam includes a bicomponent yam having an inner core and an activatable outer sheath having a melt temperature less than a melt temperature of the inner core.

1 1. The protective braided sleeve of Claim 10, wherein said inner core is heat-settable.

12. The protective braided sleeve of Claim 10, wherein said outer sheath and said inner core are activatable to melt and heat-set, respectively, at the same temperature.

13. The protective braided sleeve of Claim 1 , wherein the entirety of said yams include a low melt material provided to melt and solidify and bond abutting ones of said yams with one another.

14. The protective braided sleeve of Claim 1, wherein at least one of said yams is non- activatable.

15. The protective braided sleeve of Claim 1 , wherein said at least one activatable yam is heat-shrinkable.

16. The protective braided sleeve of Claim 1 , wherein said activatable yam is activated to lock said plurality of yams in fixed relation with one another to inhibit the expansion of said wall.

17. The protective braided sleeve of Claim 16, wherein said wall includes non- activatable yam, with said at least one activatable yam being melted and solidified to lock said plurality of yams in fixed relation with one another to inhibit the expansion of said wall.

18. A method of constructing a protective braided sleeve, comprising:

braiding a plurality of yams with one another to form a seamless tubular wall extending lengthwise along a central longitudinal axis; and providing at least one of the plurality of yarns being an activatable yarn, which, upon being activated, locks the yarns of the wall relative to one another.

19. The method of Claim 18, further including providing the at least one activatable yam as a low melt yam to selectively melt and solidify and bond abutting ones of the yams with one another upon applying a suitable heat source thereto.

20. The method of Claim 19, further including braiding the wall including non- activatable yam, with the at least one activatable yam having a lower melt temperature than the non-activatable yam.

21. The method of Claim 20, further including braiding the at least one activatable yam and the non-activatable yam in an equal number of ends with one another.

22. The method of Claim 21, further including braiding the activatable yams and the non-activatable yams in a respective 1 : 1 braid pattem, with the activatable yams and the non-activatable yams alternating with one another in opposite S and Z helical directions.

23. The method of Claim 20, further including braiding the activatable yams and the non-activatable yams in a respective 1 :2 braid pattem, with the activatable yams and the non-activatable yams alternating with one another in opposite S and Z helical directions.

24. The method of Claim 20, further including braiding the activatable yams and the non-activatable yams in a respective 1 :3 braid pattem, with the activatable yams and the non-activatable yams alternating with one another in opposite S and Z helical directions.

25. The method of Claim 20, further including braiding the activatable yams and the non-activatable yams in a respective 2: 1 braid pattem, with the activatable yams and the non-activatable yams alternating with one another in opposite S and Z helical directions.

26. The method of Claim 20, further including braiding the activatable yams and the non-activatable yams in a respective 3 : 1 braid pattem, with the activatable yams and the non-activatable yams alternating with one another in opposite S and Z helical directions.

27. The method of Claim 19, further including providing the at least one activatable yam as a bicomponent yam having an inner core and an activatable outer sheath having a melt temperature less than a melt temperature of the inner core.

28. The method of Claim 27, further including providing the inner core being heat- settable.

29. The method of Claim 27, further including providing the outer sheath and the inner core being activatable to melt and heat-set, respectively, at the same temperature.

30. The method of Claim 18, further including providing the entirety of the yams including a low melt material to melt and solidify and bond abutting ones of the yams with one another.

31. The method of Claim 18, further including providing at least one of the yams being non-activatable.

32. The method of Claim 18, further including providing the at least one activatable yam as being heat-shrinkable.

33. The method of Claim 18, further including activating the at least one activatable yam and fixing the plurality of yams against shifting movement relative to one another.

Description:
BRAIDED TEXTILE SLEEVE WITH LOCKED YARNS

AND METHOD OF CONSTRUCTION THEREOF

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 62/538,534, filed July 28, 2017, and U.S. Application Serial No. 16/046,919, filed July 26, 2018, which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field

[0002] This invention relates generally to textile sleeves, and more particularly to braided textile sleeves.

2. Related Art

[0003] It is known to protect elongate members in braided textile sleeves against a variety of environmental conditions and affects and for bundling and routing purposes. Braided sleeves commonly have a wall braided as a circumferentially continuous, seamless wall, sometimes referred to as a 'closed' wall. One known advantage of a closed, braided wall construction is that the wall can be circumferentially expanded to facilitate sliding the wall over an elongated member by manually pushing and physically holding the opposite ends of the wall in a compressed fashion. By pushing the opposite ends toward one another and manually holding the wall in an axially compressed state, the braided wall is caused to take on an increased diameter and a reduced length. When in the increased diameter state, the wall can be readily disposed over the elongate member. Then, after sleeve is installed over the elongate member, the installer can release and stretch the wall, thereby taking on a circumferentially decreased diameter and increased length. Then, in order to maintain the sleeve in an "as intended" installed state, tape is commonly wrapped about at least a portion of the sleeve to prevent the yarns from shifting and expanding, thereby fixing the sleeve in the desired location. The tape is also typically adhered to an outer surface of the elongate member being protected by the sleeve to further fix the sleeve in its desired location.

[0004] The aforementioned ability to fix the yarns of the braided wall in their intended location and to fix the sleeve in an intended location on the elongate member via tape comes with potential drawbacks. For example, the tape must be purchased separately and inventoried, thereby adding cost to the application. Further, the tape can become damaged and/or contaminated during assembly and while in use, thereby affecting its ability to maintain the yams and the sleeve in their intended fixed location. Further yet, the tape can be unsightly upon application, or can otherwise become unsightly over time. Additionally, application of tape can be labor intensive, thereby adding further cost to the application.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] In accordance with one aspect of the invention, a protective textile sleeve includes a seamless, circumferentially continuous, tubular braided wall extending lengthwise along a central longitudinal axis between opposite ends. The wall includes a plurality of yams braided with one another, with at least one or more of the yams being an activatable adhesive yam to bond the yarns in fixed relation with one another, upon selective activation of the at least one activatable yarn, to inhibit the expansion of the braided wall upon being activated, thereby maintaining the wall in the desired confirmation upon assembly without the need for secondary fixation mechanisms.

[0006] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the braided yams, in addition to the activatable yarns, can include heat-shrinkable and non-heat-shrinkable yarns, with the heat-shrinkable yarns being oriented relative to the non-heat-shrinkable yarns to facilitate locking the yarns relative to one another upon the heat-shrinkable yarns being shrunken.

[0007] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the activatable yarns can be at least one of UV activatable, heat-activatable or chemically activatable.

[0008] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the activatable yams can be bicomponent filaments including a core and an activatable outer sheath, wherein the outer sheath can be a hot melt material, wherein the hot melt material has a lower melt temperature than the core, such that when the outer sheath is melt, the core remains unmelted to provide stability and structure to the sleeve.

[0009] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the bicomponent can be provided wherein the inner core is heat-settable, and wherein the outer sheath and the inner core are activatable to melt and heat-set, respectively, at the same temperature.

[0010] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the at least one activatable yam can include a low melt yam (being constructed at least in part via a hot melt material) provided to melt and solidify and bond abutting ones of said yams with one another.

[0011] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the wall can include non- activatable yam, with the hot melt material of the at least one activatable yam having a lower melt temperature than the non-activatable yam.

[0012] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the at least one activatable yam and the non-activatable yam can be provided in an equal number of ends with one another.

[0013] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the activatable yams and the non-activatable yams can be braided in a respective 1 : 1 braid partem, with the activatable yarns and the non-activatable yarns alternating with one another in opposite S and Z helical directions.

[0014] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the activatable yarns and the non-activatable yarns can be braided in a respective 1 :2 braid pattern, with the activatable yarns and the non-activatable yarns alternating with one another in opposite S and Z helical directions, thus reducing the more costly content of the activatable yam relative to the non-activatable yam and enhancing flexibility of the sleeve by reducing the amount of melted and solidified material, relative to a sleeve having a greater content of activatable yam.

[0015] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the activatable yams and the non-activatable yams can be braided in a respective 1 :3 braid partem, with the activatable yams and the non-activatable yams alternating with one another in opposite S and Z helical directions.

[0016] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the activatable yams and the non-activatable yams can be braided in a respective 2: 1 braid partem, with the activatable yams and the non-activatable yams alternating with one another in opposite S and Z helical directions, thereby providing an enhanced bond force between the yams by providing a greater number of activatable yams relative to non-activatable yams.

[0017] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the activatable yams and the non-activatable yams can be braided in a respective 3: 1 braid partem, with the activatable yams and the non-activatable yams alternating with one another in opposite S and Z helical directions.

[0018] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the entirety of the yams can include a low melt material provided to melt and solidify and bond abutting ones of the yams with one another. [0019] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, at least one of the yarns of the sleeve can be provided as being a non-activatable monofilament and/or multifilament, as desired to provide the sleeve with the desire type of protection and flexibility.

[0020] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the at least one activatable yam can be heat-shrinkable.

[0021] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, a method of constructing a braided textile sleeve includes braiding a plurality of yams with one another to form a seamless tubular wall extending lengthwise along a central longitudinal axis, with at least some of the yams being provided as activatable yams, which, upon being activated, bond with and lock the yams of the sleeve relative to one another, thereby maintaining the wall in the desired configuration upon assembly without the need for secondary fixation mechanisms.

[0022] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the method can include providing at least one or more of the braided activatable yams as heat-fusible yam (referred to herein as a low melt yam), such as formed at least in part including an exposed hot melt material.

[0023] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the method can further include providing the yams as heat-shrinkable and non-heat-shrinkable yams, with the heat-shrinkable yams being oriented relative to the non-heat-shrinkable yams to facilitate locking the yams relative to one another upon the heat-shrinkable yams being shrunken.

[0024] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the method can further include braiding the heat-shrinkable yams and the non-heat-shrinkable yams in alternating relation with one another in both S and opposite Z helical directions about the circumference of the sleeve to provide the sleeve with a substantially balanced content of the heat-shrinkable yams and the non-heat-shrinkable yams. [0025] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the method can further include providing the activatable yams as at least one of UV activatable yams, heat- activatable yams, or chemically activatable yams.

[0026] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the method can further include providing the activatable yams as bicomponent filaments including a core and an activatable outer sheath, wherein the outer sheath can be a hot melt material having a lower melt temperature than the core.

[0027] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the method can further include providing the core being heat-settable at the same temperature used to melt the outer sheath.

[0028] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the method can further include braiding the at least one activatable yam and the non-activatable yam in an equal number of ends with one another.

[0029] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the method can further include braiding the activatable yams and the non-activatable yams in a respective 1 : 1 braid pattem, with the activatable yams and the non-activatable yams altemating with one another in opposite S and Z helical directions.

[0030] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, to enhance flexibility and reduce cost of the activatable yam over a 1 : 1 ratio, the method can further include braiding the activatable yams and the non-activatable yams in a respective 1 :2 braid pattem, with the activatable yams and the non-activatable yams altemating with one another in opposite S and Z helical directions.

[0031] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, to enhance flexibility and reduce cost of the activatable yam over a 1 :2 ratio, the method can further include braiding the activatable yams and the non-activatable yams in a respective 1 :3 braid pattem, with the activatable yarns and the non-activatable yarns alternating with one another in opposite S and Z helical directions.

[0032] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, to enhance rigidity and bond strength between the yarns over a 1 : 1 ratio, the method can further include braiding the activatable yams and the non-activatable yams in a respective 2: 1 braid pattem, with the activatable yams and the non-activatable yams altemating with one another in opposite S and Z helical directions.

[0033] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, to enhance rigidity and bond strength between the yams over a 2: 1 ratio, the method can further include braiding the activatable yams and the non-activatable yams in a respective 3 : 1 braid pattem, with the activatable yams and the non-activatable yams altemating with one another in opposite S and Z helical directions.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0034] These and other aspects, features and advantages of the present invention will become more readily appreciated when considered in connection with the following detailed description of presently preferred embodiments and best mode, appended claims and accompanying drawings, in which:

[0035] Figure 1 is a schematic perspective view of a tubular braided sleeve constructed in accordance with one embodiment of the invention shown in an axially compressed, pre-activated first state;

[0036] Figure 2 is a view similar to Figure 1 with the tubular braided sleeve shown in an axially extended, activated second state;

[0037] Figures 3A-3F illustrate plan views of a portion of wall of a tubular braided sleeve in accordance with different aspects of the disclosure; [0038] Figure 4 A is a fragmentary view of an activatable monofilament used in the construction of a tubular braided sleeve in accordance with an aspect of the disclosure; and [0039] Figure 4B is a fragmentary view of an activatable bi-component filament used in the construction of a tubular braided sleeve in accordance with an aspect of the disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0040] Referring in more detail to the drawings, Figures 1 and 2 illustrate a tubular braided protective textile sleeve, referred to hereafter as sleeve 10, constructed in accordance with one aspect of the invention. The sleeve 10, as braided in a single, continuing braiding process, has a braided, circumferentially continuous, seamless tubular wall 12 bounding a through passage, also referred to as cavity 13, extending lengthwise along a central longitudinal axis 14 between open opposite ends 16, 18. The wall 12 is axially compressible to attain an assembly, nonactivated first state, wherein a plurality (intended to mean more than 1 yam and equal to or less than the entirety of the yarns) braided yarns, indicated generally at 20, forming the wall 12 are free to shift, also referred to as slide, relative to one another, such that the nonactivated first state provides the wall 12 having an ability to be axially compressed to a decreased length LI and increased diameter Dl (Figure 1) via expanded relative movement of the braided yams 20 and is axially extendible to attain an increased length L2 and decreased diameter D2 (Figure 2) via contracted relative movement of the braided yarns 20. While the wall 12 is at least partially or fully biased into the axially compressed, assembly friendly first state, the wall 12 is able to be readily assembled about an elongate member 22 to be protected, with the wall 12, and thus, the cavity 13, having an enlarged diameter relative to the elongate member 22, and then, while in the axially extended second state, at least one or more ends (end, as understood in the art is a single yarn filament) of the braided yarns 20 forming the wall 12 is/are provided as activatable yarn 20', which upon being activated, selectively lock the yarns 20 relative to one another, thereby maintaining and preventing the yarns 20 from shifting relative to one another, and thus, maintaining the wall 12 in its desired assembled configuration (length and diameter) and location relative to the elongate member 22. Accordingly, the sleeve 10 is able to remain in its intended, as assembled location along the elongate member 22 without need for secondary fixation mechanisms, such as tape, tie wraps and the like, thereby enhancing assembly efficiencies, reducing cost, and improving the overall appearance of the assembly over the useful life thereof.

[0041] The braided yarns 20 forming the entirety of the wall 12 can be provided entirely as activatable yam 20' (Figure 3A). Otherwise, as few as one or more of the yams 20, but less than the entirety, forming the wall 12 can be provided as activatable yam 20', with the remainder of the yams 20 being provided as non-activatable yam 20". The activatable yam 20' is provided as at least one of a heat-fusible yam, such as from a hot melt material having a melt temperature less than the melt temperature of the non- activatable yams 20", and/or from a cross-linked heat-shrinkable yam (heat-shrinkable is intended to mean yams that can be activated to shrink 10% or more, up to 90%, of their original, non-activated length). As noted, the yams 20 forming a portion of the wall 12 can also include non-activatable yam 20", and if incorporated, can be provided as any desired type of non-activatable yam, whether monofilament and/or multifilament, such that the non-activatable yam 20" is neither readily heat-fusible (not readily capable of being heated to melt and solidify upon being cooled) nor heat-shrinkable (not capable of being shrunken up 10% of their original length). The activatable yam 20' and non- activatable yam 20", if non-activatable yam 20" yams are provided, can be provided a desired number of relative ends (an end is known as a single yam) alternated with one another about the circumference of the sleeve 10 in the opposite S and Z helical directions (S and Z directions illustrated in Figure 3A, as would be understood by a skilled artisan in the textile arts upon viewing the disclosure herein) in any desired respective ratio of ends of activatable yam 20' to non-activatable yam 20", such as 1 : 1 (Figure 3B); 1 :2 (Figure 3C); 1 :3 (Figure 3D); 3 : 1 (Figure 3E); or 2: 1 (Figure 3F), by way of example and without limitation, to provide the sleeve 10 with a substantially circumferentially balanced content of the activatable and non-activatable yams 20', 20", as desired for the intended application and as needed for the desired strength of fixation of the activatable and non- activatable yams 20', 20" with one another, with a higher content of activatable yams 20' providing a greater bond of the yams 20 with one another. The activatable yams 20' can be at least one of UV activatable, heat activatable, fluid activatable, or otherwise.

[0042] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the activatable yam(s) 20' can be provided as solid, monolithic pieces of a single material filament (Figure 4A) and/or as bicomponent filament (Figure 4B) including an inner core 24 (activatable, such as being heat-settable to take on a heat-set shape, or non-activatable) and an activatable outer sheath 26 surrounding the inner core 24, wherein the outer sheath 26 can be a hot melt material having a lower melt temperature than the material of the inner core 24, by way of example.

[0043] In use, the sleeve 10, with the activatable yam 20' being braided and initially maintained in a non-activated first state, is disposed about the elongate member 22. While disposing the sleeve 10 about the elongate member 22, the yams 20', 20" (if provided), are free to move and shift relative to one another, such that the wall 12 is able to be readily compressed axially and expanded radially to provide an enlarged through cavity 13 for the receipt of the elongate member 22 (Figure 1). Then, upon locating the sleeve 10 in the desired location about the elongate member 22, the wall 12 can be axially stretched to take on an axially elongated, radially contracted state, such that the wall 12 is brought into snug or close fit relation about the elongate member 22 (Figure 2). Then, the activatable yam(s) 20' can be activated, such as via application of a suitable heat, UV, or chemical, for example, via any desired application process, wherein the activated yam(s) 20' is either melted and/or shrunken to lock the entirety of the yams 20 relative to one another. If melted, the yams 20 are bonded with one another via melted and solidified material of the yams 20', and if shrunken, the friction imparted between the yams 20 and possibly with the elongate member 22 effectively locks the yams 20 relative with one another. Accordingly, with the entirety of the yams 20 being locked relative to one another, the wall 12 is assured of remaining in its intended location on the elongate member 22. Further yet, it bicomponent yams 20' are provided, the inner core 24 is heat-set to retain is helical shape, thereby enhancing radial stiffness and providing the sleeve 10 with an enhanced crush and hoop strength, while the outer sheath 26 is melted and solidified to lock the yams 20 to one another, as discussed above. It is to be recognized that the activation of the bicomponent yams 20' can be performed at a single temperature suitable to heat-set the inner core 24 and melt the outer sheath 26.

[0044] In accordance with another aspect of the disclosure, a method of constructing a braided textile sleeve 10 is provided. The method includes braiding a plurality of yams 20 with one another to form a seamless tubular wall 12 extending lengthwise along a central longitudinal axis 14, with at least some of the yams 20 being provided as activatable yams 20', which, upon being activated, via application of a source of heat, or chemical, or UV radiation, depending on the type of activatable yam 20' used, lock the yams 20 of the sleeve 10 relative to one another, thereby preventing the yams 20 from slipping and expanding radially. Accordingly, the wall 12 is maintained in its intended configuration and location relative to an elongate member 22 extending therethrough. [0045] The method can include providing at least one or more of the activatable braided yams 20' as heat-fusible yam, such as from a hot melt material. Further, the method can include providing one or more of the activatable yams 20' as heat-shrinkable yams, with the heat-fusible yam 20' and/or heat-shrinkable yams 20' being oriented relative to non-heat-fusible yams 20" (if provided) and/or non-heat-shrinkable yams 20" (if provided) to facilitate locking the yams 20 relative to one another upon the non-heat- fusible yams 20" being heated, melted and fused and/or heat-shrinkable yams 20" being shrunken. If heat-shrinkable yams 20' are provided in combination with heat-fusible yams 20', the method can include providing the yams 20' such that a common temperature can be used to both activate the shrinking and fusing, thereby simplifying the process, with the non-activatable yams 20" being unaffected by the temperature used to shrink and melt the respective yams 20'

[0046] In accordance with another aspect of the disclosure, the method can further include braiding activatable heat-fusible yam 20' and/or heat-shrinkable yams 20' and non- activatable, non-heat-shrinkable yams 20" in alternating relation with one another about the circumference of the sleeve to provide the sleeve 10 with a substantially balanced content of the heat-fusible yam 20' and/or heat-shrinkable yams 20' and non-heat- shrinkable yams 20".

[0047] In accordance with another aspect of the disclosure, the method can further include providing the activatable yams 20' as at least one of UV activatable yams, heat- activatable yams, or otherwise.

[0048] In accordance with another aspect of the disclosure, the method can further include providing the activatable yams 20' as bicomponent filaments including a non- activatable or activatable (heat-settable, takes on a heat-set shape without melting) core 24 and an activatable outer sheath 26, wherein the outer sheath 26 can be a hot melt, fusible material having a melt temperature lower than the melt temperature of the material of the core 24, wherein the inner core 24 and outer sheath 26 can be activated at the same temperature suitable to both heat-set the inner core 24 and melt the outer sheath 26.

[0049] Many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. In addition, it is to be recognized that a braided tubular wall constructed in accordance with the various aspects of the invention can take on a multitude of uses, including that of a protective or bundling member, by way of example and without limitation. It is, therefore, to be understood that the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described, and that the scope of the invention is defined by any ultimately allowed claims.