Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
CLAMP ASSEMBLY WITH MULTIPLE RADIAL LOADING ZONES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/126645
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A clamp assembly for an exhaust joint is disclosed. The clamp assembly includes features configured to engage a first section of the exhaust joint to apply a first radial load to the exhaust joint and a second wedge configured to engage a second section of the exhaust joint to apply a second radial load. An exhaust system including the clamp assembly and a method of use are also disclosed.

Inventors:
KOEHLER, Edwin T. (8100 Tridon Drive, Smyrna, Tennessee, 37167, US)
BOWATER, Bruce D. (1524 Liberty Pike, Franklin, Tennessee, 37067, US)
Application Number:
US2018/067095
Publication Date:
June 27, 2019
Filing Date:
December 21, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
IDEAL CLAMP PRODUCTS, INC. (8100 Tridon Drive, Smyrna, Tennessee, 37167, US)
International Classes:
F16L33/06; F16B2/08; F16L33/04
Foreign References:
US2977995A1961-04-04
JPH09137809A1997-05-27
FR2879692A12006-06-23
US3460788A1969-08-12
US5065648A1991-11-19
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KELSEY, Jeffrey T.G. (BARNES & THORNBURG LLP, 11 South Meridian StreetIndianapolis, Indiana, 46204, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. An apparatus comprising:

a clamp assembly for an exhaust joint, the clamp comprising

a band extending from a first end to a second end, the band being sized to be positioned over the exhaust joint,

a tension mechanism coupled to the first end and the second end of the band, the tension mechanism being operable to move at least one of the first end and the second end relative to the other of the first end and the second end,

a first wedge configured to engage a first section of the exhaust joint to apply a first radial load to the exhaust joint, and

a second wedge configured to engage a second section of the exhaust joint to apply a second radial load.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein:

the band includes an outer segment that extends from the first end to the second end,

the first wedge is positioned in a first pocket defined by the outer segment such that when the band is positioned over the exhaust joint, the first wedge is positioned between the outer segment and the exhaust joint, and

the second wedge is positioned in a second pocket defined by the outer segment such that when the band is positioned over the exhaust joint, the second wedge is positioned between the outer segment and the exhaust joint.

3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein:

the band includes a first inner segment extending from the first end along an inner surface of the outer segment and a second inner segment extending from the second end along the inner surface of the outer segment, the first inner segment includes a first convex surface that faces inward toward a central axis of the clamp,

the second inner segment includes a second convex surface that faces inward toward the central axis of the clamp, and the first wedge includes the first convex surface and the second wedge includes the second convex surface.

4. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein:

the first inner segment includes a first concave surface positioned opposite the first convex surface and a first slot defined by the first concave surface, and

the second inner segment includes a second concave surface positioned opposite the second convex surface and a second slot defined by the second concave surface.

5. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein:

the first wedge includes a first elongated pin that is positioned in the first slot, and

the second wedge includes a second elongated pin that is positioned in the second slot.

6. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein:

the first wedge includes a first elongated body coupled to the outer segment of the band in the first pocket, and

the second wedge includes a second elongated body coupled to the outer segment of the band in the second pocket.

7. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein each of the first elongated body and the second elongated body includes a substantially planar inner surface that is configured to engage the exhaust joint.

8. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein the band includes a first planar section, a second planar section, and a curved section connecting the first planar section and the second planar section.

9. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein:

the band further includes a third planar section, and a second curved section connecting the first planar section and the third planar section, and

the first wedge is positioned in a first pocket defined by the first planar section, the second curved section, and the third planar section.

10. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein:

the band further includes a fourth planar section, and a third curved section connecting the second planar section and the fourth planar section, and

the second wedge is positioned in a second pocket defined by the second planar section, the third curved section, and the fourth planar section.

1 1. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein:

the first end of the band is configured to engage a third section of the exhaust joint to apply a third radial load to the exhaust joint, and

the second end of the band is configured to engage a fourth section of the exhaust joint to apply a fourth radial load to the exhaust joint.

12. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein:

the first end of the band includes a first ear that defines a first planar surface,

the second end of the band includes a second ear that defines a second planar surface that faces the first planar surface, and

the first ear and the second ear are configured to cooperate to apply a third radial load to the exhaust joint.

13. The apparatus of claim 1 , further comprising: the exhaust joint including an inner substrate and an outer substrate positioned over the inner substrate,

wherein the first wedge is engaged with the outer substrate and the second wedge is engaged with the outer substrate.

14. An exhaust system comprising:

an exhaust joint including an inner substrate and an outer substrate positioned over the inner substrate,

a clamp assembly positioned over the exhaust joint, the clamp assembly comprising

a band extending from a first end to a second end, a tension mechanism coupled to the first end and the second end of the band, the tension mechanism being operable to move at least one of the first end and the second end relative to the other of the first end and the second end,

a first wedge that is positioned in a first pocket defined by the band and is engaged with an outer surface of the outer substrate to apply a first radial load to the outer substrate, and

a second wedge that is positioned in a second pocket defined by the band and is engaged with the outer surface of the outer substrate to apply a second radial load to the outer substrate.

15. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the band includes a first planar section, a second planar section, and a curved section that connects the first planar section and the second planar section, the curved section being positioned between the first wedge and the second wedge to engage the outer surface of the outer substrate between the first wedge and the second wedge.

16. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein:

the band further includes a third planar section, and a second curved section connecting the first planar section and the third planar section, and

the first pocket is defined by the first planar section, the second curved section, and the third planar section.

17. The apparatus of claim 16, wherein:

the band further includes a fourth planar section, and a third curved section connecting the second planar section and the fourth planar section, and

the second pocket is defined by the second planar section, the third curved section, and the fourth planar section.

18. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein each of the first wedge and the second wedge includes a substantially planar inner surface engaged with the outer surface of the outer substrate.

19. The apparatus of claim 18, wherein the first wedge includes a first convex inner surface of the band that faces toward a central axis of the clamp, and the second wedge includes a second convex inner surface of the band that faces toward the central axis of the clamp.

20. A method of clamping an exhaust joint, the method comprising:

selecting a clamp including a band positioned over an inner substrate and an outer substrate of the exhaust joint, and

operating a tension mechanism of the clamp to move at least one of a first end and a second end of the band relative to the other of the first end and the second end,

wherein operating the tension mechanism comprises: applying at least one first radial load to a first circumferential section of the outer substrate with the first end and the second end of the band,

applying a second radial load with a first wedge of the clamp to a second circumferential section of the outer substrate, and

applying a third radial load with a second wedge of the clamp to a third circumferential section of the outer substrate.

Description:
CLAMP ASSEMBLY WITH MULTIPLE RADIAL LOADING ZONES

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[OOOl] The present application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/ 609,378, filed December 22, 2017, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The present disclosure relates clamp designs and, more specifically, to a design for a clamp for an exhaust joint.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Clamps are commonly utilized to join together hoses, pipes, and fittings or connectors in, for example, exhaust joints in the automotive industry. Clamps may include an outer band and a locking mechanism to couple the ends of the outer band together and apply tension to the clamp. A radial load may be created by the tension and may be transmitted to the fittings of the joint as a radial load. Examples of clamps are shown and described in U.S. Patent Nos. 8,650,719; 8,677,571 ; 7,302,741 ; and 7,231 ,694, which are incorporated herein by reference.

SUMMARY

[0004] According to one aspect of the disclosure, a clamp for an exhaust joint comprises features configured to engage a first section of the exhaust joint to apply a first radial load to the exhaust joint at a first location and engage a second section of the exhaust joint to apply a second radial load at a second location. The features are spaced apart from the tensioning mechanism of the clamp to exert radial loads at different points around the outer circumference of the exhaust joint. According to other aspects of the disclosure, the clamp is included an exhaust system and is used in a method for clamping an exhaust system.

[0005] According to another aspect of the disclosure, an apparatus comprises a clamp assembly for an exhaust joint. The clamp assembly comprises, a band, which extends from a first end to a second end, sized to be positioned over the exhaust joint, and a tension mechanism coupled to the first end and the second end of the band. The tension mechanism is operable to move at least one of the first end and the second end relative to the other of the first end and the second end. The clamp assembly further comprises a first wedge configured to engage a first section of the exhaust joint to apply a first radial load to the exhaust joint and a second wedge configured to engage a second section of the exhaust joint to apply a second radial load.

[0006] In some embodiments, the band may include an outer segment that extends from the first end to the second end. The first wedge may be positioned in a first pocket defined by the outer segment such that when the band is positioned over the exhaust joint, the first wedge is positioned between the outer segment and the exhaust joint. The second wedge may be positioned in a second pocket defined by the outer segment such that when the band is positioned over the exhaust joint, the second wedge is positioned between the outer segment and the exhaust joint.

[0007] In some embodiments, the band may include a first inner segment extending from the first end along an inner surface of the outer segment and a second inner segment extending from the second end along the inner surface of the outer segment. The first inner segment may include a first convex surface that faces inward toward a central axis of the clamp, and the second inner segment may include a second convex surface that faces inward toward a central axis of the clamp. The first wedge may include the first convex surface, and the second wedge may include the second convex surface.

[0008] Additionally, in some embodiments, the first inner segment may include a first concave surface positioned opposite the first convex surface and a first slot defined by the first concave surface, and the second inner segment may include a second concave surface positioned opposite the second convex surface and a second slot defined by the second concave surface.

[0009] In some embodiments, the first wedge may include a first elongated pin that is positioned in the first slot, and the second wedge may include a second elongated pin that is positioned in the second slot.

[0010] In some embodiments, the first wedge may include a first elongated body coupled to the outer segment of the band in the first pocket, and the second wedge may include a second elongated body coupled to the outer segment of the band in the second pocket. [0011] In some embodiments, each of the first elongated body and the second elongated body may include a substantially planar inner surface that is configured to engage the exhaust joint.

[0012] In some embodiments, the band may include a first planar section, a second planar section, and a curved section connecting the first planar section and the second planar section.

[0013] In some embodiments, the band may further include a third planar section, and a second curved section connecting the first planar section and the third planar section. The first wedge may be positioned in a first pocket defined by the first planar section, the second curved section, and the third planar section.

[0014] Additionally, in some embodiments, the band may further include a fourth planar section, and a third curved section connecting the second planar section and the fourth planar section. The second wedge may be positioned in a second pocket defined by the second planar section, the third curved section, and the fourth planar section.

[0015] In some embodiments, the first end of the band may be configured to engage a third section of the exhaust joint to apply a third radial load to the exhaust joint. In some embodiments, the second end of the band may be configured to engage a fourth section of the exhaust joint to apply a fourth radial load to the exhaust joint.

[0016] In some embodiments, the first end of the band may include a first ear that defines a first planar surface, the second end of the band may include a second ear that defines a second planar surface that faces the first planar surface, and the first ear and the second ear may be configured to cooperate to apply a third radial load to the exhaust joint.

[0017] In some embodiments, the apparatus may further comprise the exhaust joint including an inner substrate and an outer substrate positioned over the inner substrate. The first wedge may be engaged with the outer substrate, and the second wedge may be engaged with the outer substrate.

[0018] According to another aspect, an exhaust system comprises an exhaust joint including an inner substrate and an outer substrate positioned over the inner substrate, and a clamp assembly positioned over the exhaust joint. The clamp assembly comprises a band extending from a first end to a second end, and a tension mechanism coupled to the first end and the second end of the band. The tension mechanism is operable to move at least one of the first end and the second end relative to the other of the first end and the second end. The clamp assembly also comprises a first wedge that is positioned in a first pocket defined by the band and is engaged with an outer surface of the outer substrate to apply a first radial load to the outer substrate, and a second wedge that is positioned in a second pocket defined by the band and is engaged with an outer surface of the outer substrate to apply a second radial load to the outer substrate.

[0019] In some embodiments, the band may include a first planar section, a second planar section, and a curved section that connects the first planar section and the second planar section. The curved section may be positioned between the first wedge and the second wedge to engage the outer surface of the outer substrate between the first wedge and the second wedge.

[0020] In some embodiments, the band may further include a third planar section, and a second curved section connecting the first planar section and the third planar section. The first pocket may be defined by the first planar section, the second curved section, and the third planar section.

[0021] Additionally, in some embodiments, the band may further include a fourth planar section, and a third curved section connecting the second planar section and the fourth planar section. The second pocket may be defined by the second planar section, the third curved section, and the fourth planar section.

[0022] In some embodiments, each of the first wedge and the second wedge may include a substantially planar inner surface engaged with the outer surface of the outer substrate.

[0023] In some embodiments, the first wedge may include a first convex inner surface of the band that faces toward a central axis of the clamp, and the second wedge may include a second convex inner surface of the band that faces toward the central axis of the clamp.

[0024] According to another aspect, a method of clamping an exhaust joint is disclosed. The method comprises selecting a clamp including a band positioned over an inner substrate and an outer substrate of the exhaust joint, and operating a tension mechanism of the clamp to move at least one of a first end and a second end of the band relative to the other of the first end and the second end. The step of operating the tension mechanism comprises applying at least one first radial load to a first circumferential section of the outer substrate with the first end and the second end of the band, applying a second radial load with a first wedge of the clamp to a second circumferential section of the outer substrate, and applying a third radial load with a second wedge of the clamp to a third circumferential section of the outer substrate.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0025] The detailed description particularly refers to the following figures, in which:

[0026] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a clamp assembly for an exhaust joint;

[0027] FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the clamp assembly of FIG. 1 ;

[0028] FIG. 3 is a front elevation view of the clamp assembly of FIG. 1 ;

[0029] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a pipe assembly that may be joined with the clamp assembly of FIG. 1 ;

[0030] FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional elevation view of the pipe assembly of FIG. 4 with the clamp assembly of FIG. 1 ;

[0031] FIG. 5A is a graphical illustration of the radial loads exerted by the clamp assembly of FIG. 1 on the pipe assembly of FIG. 4;

[0032] FIG. 6 is an exploded perspective view of another embodiment of a clamp assembly for an exhaust joint;

[0033] FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional elevation view of the pipe assembly of FIG. 4 with the clamp assembly of FIG. 6;

[0034] FIG. 8 is an exploded perspective view of another embodiment of a clamp assembly for an exhaust joint; and

[0035] FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional elevation view of the pipe assembly of FIG. 4 with the clamp assembly of FIG. 8.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0036] While the concepts of the present disclosure are susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, specific exemplary embodiments thereof have been illustrated by way of example in the drawings and will herein be described in detail. It should be understood, however, that there is no intent to limit the concepts of the present disclosure to the particular forms disclosed, but on the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

[0037] Referring now to FIG. 1 , a clamp or clamp assembly 10 for an exhaust joint is shown. The clamp assembly 10 includes a band 12 and a tensioning mechanism 14 that is attached to the band 12. The tensioning mechanism 14 is operable to tighten or loosen the clamp assembly 10 to apply tension to the clamp assembly 10 when it is used with an exhaust joint.

[0038] The band 12 extends from an end 16 to an opposite end 18 around a central axis 20. The ends 16, 18 are spaced apart from one another such that a gap 22 is defined between the ends. The clamp assembly 10 also includes a pair of wedges 100, 102 that are configured to engage the exhaust joint. In the illustrative embodiment, the wedges 100, 102 are spaced apart from the ends 16, 18 and engage different joint sections around the outer circumference of the joint. When the tensioning mechanism 14 is tightened, the wedges 100, 102 and the ends 16, 18 of the band 12 are configured to apply peak radial loads to the exhaust joint to secure substrates, such as, for example, hose pipes together, as described in greater detail below.

[0039] In the illustrative embodiment, each of the ends 16, 18 of the band 12 includes a loop 24 that defines a slot 26 extending parallel to the central axis 20. Each slot 26 is sized to receive one of the pair of barrels 28, 30 of the tensioning mechanism 14. Each of the ends 16, 18 also includes a channel 32 that extends transverse to the central axis 20 and intersects its corresponding slot 26.

[0040] The tensioning mechanism 14 also includes a threaded fastener such as, for example, a bolt 34 extends through the channels 32 to connect the barrels 28, 30. As shown in FIG. 1 , the bolt 34 extends through the barrel 28 and across the gap 22 between the ends 16, 18. The tip 36 of the bolt 34 is threaded into the barrel 30 to connect the barrels 28, 30 and hence the ends 16, 18 of the band 12. It should be appreciated that in other embodiments the clamp assembly may include other tensioning mechanisms such as, for example, a t-bolt with a barrel trunnion, a t-bolt with a formed trunnion, and other t-bolt-based connections to tighten or loosen the assembly to apply tension.

[0041] Referring now to FIG. 2, the bolt 34 includes a threaded shaft 40 that extends from the tip 36 to a bolt head 42. A socket 44 sized to receive a male ratchet is defined in the bolt head 42. In the illustrative embodiment, the bolt 34 is formed from a metallic material such as, for example, stainless steel but it should be appreciated that in other embodiments other materials such as, for example, a durable plastic may be used.

[0042] The barrel 28 includes an elongated body 50 that includes a cylindrical outer surface 52. The elongated body 50 extends along a longitudinal axis 54, and a threaded bore 56 extends through the cylindrical outer surface 52 transverse to the longitudinal axis 54. The threaded bore 56 is configured to receive and engage the threaded shaft 40 of the bolt 34.

[0043] The other barrel 30 also includes an elongated body 60 having a cylindrical outer surface 62, and the elongated body 60 extends along a longitudinal axis 64. A groove 66 is defined in the cylindrical outer surface 62 on one side of the elongated body 60. A substantially planar surface 68 defines the bottom of the groove 66. As used herein, the term“substantially” should be understood to refer to permit the normal tolerances created by manufacturing variation and other design criteria. As such, a“substantially smooth cylindrical surface” is one that is smooth within the normal tolerances created or permitted by manufacturing variation and other design criteria. In the illustrative embodiment, the groove 66 is sized to receive the head 42 of the bolt 34, which is configured to engage the planar surface 68 when the clamp 10 is assembled.

[0044] A bore 70 extends inwardly from the planar surface 68 through the elongated body 60 of the barrel 30. The bore 70 is sized to receive the threaded shaft 40 of the bolt 34. In illustrative embodiment, the bore 70 is defined by a substantially smooth cylindrical surface. When the barrel 30 is positioned in the slot 26 of the end 18, the bore 70 is aligned with the channel 32 extending through the end 18. Similarly, when the barrel 28 is positioned in the slot 26 of the end 16, the threaded bore 56 of the barrel 28 is aligned with the channel 32 extending through the end 16. [0045] As described above, the band 12 extends from the end 16 to the end 18. In the illustrative embodiment, the band 12 is a single monolithic strip of metallic material that has been rolled and formed into the shape shown in FIGS. 1-3. The band 12 includes an outer segment 80 that extends between the ends 16, 18 and a pair of inner segments 82, 84 that extend along the inner surface 86 of the outer segment 80. As shown in FIG. 2, the inner segment 82 of the band 12 extends from the end 16 along the inner surface 86 to an inner tip 90. Similarly, the other inner segment 84 extends from the end 18 along the inner surface 86 of the outer segment 80 to an inner tip 92. In the illustrative embodiment, the tips 90, 92 are positioned on opposite sides of the band 12 and hence are positioned on opposite sides of the exhaust joint during use. As described in greater detail below, the tips 90, 92 of the inner segments 82 , 84 form part of the wedges 100, 102, respectively, of the clamp assembly 10.

[0046] Referring now to FIG. 3, each of the tips 90, 92 includes a convex surface 94 that faces inward toward the central axis 20 of the clamp assembly 10. In the illustrative embodiment, the convex surface 94 is curved. Each of the tips 90, 92 also includes a concave surface 96 that faces away from the central axis 20 of the clamp assembly 10. Each concave surface 96 defines a slot 98 that extends parallel to the central axis 20. In the illustrative embodiment, the concave surface 96 is curved.

[0047] In the illustrative embodiment, each of the wedges 100, 102 includes an elongated pin that is positioned in a respective slot 98. The wedge 100 includes an elongated pin 104 that is positioned in the slot 98 of the tip 90 of the inner segment 82, while the wedge 102 includes an elongated pin 106 that is positioned in the slot 98 of the other tip 92 of the inner segment 84. In the illustrative embodiment, each of the pins 104, 106 is a metallic dowel pin. Each of the pins 104, 106 includes a cylindrical outer surface 108 that is shaped to match the concave surface 96 defining each slot 98. It should be appreciated that in other embodiments the elongated pins may be omitted from the wedges such that only portions of the band apply radial loads to the exhaust joint.

[0048] As shown in FIG. 3, the wedges 100, 102 are positioned in pockets 1 10, 1 12 defined by sections of the outer segment 80 of the band 12. The outer segment 80 includes a planar section 1 14 that extends from the end 16 to a curved section 1 16. The curved section 1 16 connects the planar section 1 14 to another planar section 1 18. The sections 1 14, 1 16, 1 18 cooperate to define the pocket 1 10 in the band 12.

[0049] The outer segment 80 includes another planar section 120 that extends from the end 18 to a curved section 122. The curved section 122 connects the planar section 120 to another planar section 124. The sections 120, 122, 124 cooperate to define the pocket 1 12 in the band 12. As shown in FIG. 3, the outer segment 80 also includes a curved section 126 that connects planar sections 1 18, 124.

[0050] Referring now to FIG. 4, a substrate assembly 140 of an exhaust joint is shown. The illustrative substrate assembly 140 is configured to form a crush joint in which the end of the outer substrate 142 is crushed onto the end of the inner substrate 144 to resist axial separation and permit the flow of fluid. The outer substrate 142, which is illustratively a metallic pipe, includes an elongated tubular body 146 that extends to an end 148 sized to be positioned over the end 150 of the inner substrate 144. A plurality of axial slots 152 are defined the end 148 of the tubular body 146, which guide the deformation of the body 146 when it is crushed onto the end 150 of the inner substrate 144. Like the outer substrate, the inner substrate 144 is illustratively a metallic pipe including an elongated tubular body 154 that has a cross-sectional diameter that is smaller than the cross-sectional diameter of the elongated tubular body 146 of the outer substrate 142. Each of the bodies 146, 154 define a common longitudinal axis 160 of the substrate assembly 140.

[0051] In use, the clamp assembly 10 is positioned over the ends 148, 150 of the substrates 142, 144, as indicated by broken line in FIG. 4 and shown in cross-section in FIG. 5, and the central axis 20 of the clamp assembly 10 is substantially aligned with the longitudinal axis 160 of the substrate assembly 140. As the tensioning mechanism 14 is tightened, the ends 16, 18 of the band 12 are drawn closer together to reduce the size of the gap 22 and bring the band 12 into engagement with the ends 148, 150 of the substrates 142 , 144. As shown in FIG. 5, the band ends 16, 18 engage the upper region 170 of the substrate assembly 140, the curved section 126 of the outer band segment 80 engages the lower region 172 of the substrate assembly 140, and the wedges 100, 102 engage the sides 174, 176, respectively, of the substrate assembly 140. When the tensioning mechanism 14 is tightened after the band 12 engages the substrate assembly 140 as shown in FIG. 5, the band ends 16, 18 exert increased radial loads in the direction indicated by arrows 180, 182, respectively, and the wedges 100, 102 exert increased radial loads in the directions indicated by arrows 184, 186, respectively, to crush the end 148 of the outer substrate 142 onto the end 150 of the inner substrate 144 and thereby form the exhaust joint. By exerting increased radial loads at various points around the outer circumference of the substrate assembly 140, the clamp assembly 10 distributes the radial loading around the joint to crush the ends 148, 150 at multiple discrete points around the circumference of the joint and thereby prevent pull apart.

[0052] As shown in FIG. 5A, the clamp assembly 10 exerts radial loads 188 where the clamp assembly 10 contacts the substrate 142 and peak radial loads 190, 192, 194, and 196 at locations where the band ends 16, 18 and the wedges 100, 102 engage the end 148 of the outer substrate 142 to crush the ends 148, 150 together and form the joint. In the illustrative embodiment, the ends 16, 18 of the band 12 exert radial loads illustrated by peaks 190, 192 in FIG. 5a at about 30 degrees and about 330 degrees, respectively, around the outer circumference of the substrate assembly 140. The wedge 100 exerts the radial load 194 at about 1 10 degrees around the outer circumference of the substrate assembly 140, and the wedge 102 exerts the radial load 196 at about 250 degrees around the outer circumference of the substrate assembly 140. It should be appreciated that in other embodiments the wedges of the clamp assembly may be located at other positions around the outer circumference of the substrate assembly to change the loading distribution as required by the particularly joint /substrate assembly.

[0053] Referring now to FIGS. 6-7, another embodiment of a clamp assembly (hereinafter clamp assembly 210) is shown. Many features of the clamp assembly of FIGS. 6-7 are similar to the features of the clamp assembly of FIGS. 1 -3 and 5. The reference numbers from FIGS. 1-3 will be used to identify similar features in FIGS. 6-7. The clamp assembly 210 includes a band 212 and a tensioning mechanism 14 that is attached to the band 212. [0054] The band 212 extends from an end 16 to an opposite end 18 around a central axis 20. The ends 16, 18 are spaced apart from one another such that a gap 22 is defined between the ends. The clamp assembly 10 also includes a pair of wedges 230, 232 that are configured to engage the exhaust joint. When the tensioning mechanism 14 is tightened, the wedges 230, 232 and the ends 16, 18 of the band 212 are configured to apply radial loads to the exhaust joint to secure substrates, such as, for example, hose pipes together, as described in greater detail below.

[0055] In the illustrative embodiment, each of the ends 16, 18 of the band 212 includes a loop 24 that defines a slot 26 extending parallel to the central axis 20. Each slot 26 is sized to receive one of the pair of barrels 28, 30 of the tensioning mechanism 14. Each of the ends 16, 18 also includes a channel 32 that extends transverse to the central axis 20 and intersects its corresponding slot 26. The tensioning mechanism 14 also includes a threaded fastener such as, for example, a bolt 34, which extends through the channels 32 to connect the barrels 28, 30 in a manner similar to that described above in regard to clamp assembly 10 of FIGS. 1-3.

[0056] As shown in FIG. 7, the wedges 230, 232 are positioned in pockets 240, 242, respectively, defined by sections of the band 212. In the illustrative embodiment, the band 212 is a single monolithic strip of metallic material that has been rolled and formed into the shape shown in FIGS. 6-7. The band 212 includes a section 214 that extends from the end 16 to a curved section 216. The curved section 216 connects the section 214 to a planar section 218. The sections 214, 216, 218 cooperate to define the pocket 240 in the band 212.

[0057] The band 212 also includes another section 220 that extends from the end 18 to a curved section 222. The curved section 222 connects the section 220 to a planar section 224. The sections 220, 222, 224 cooperate to define the pocket 242 in the band 212. As shown in FIG. 6, the band 212 includes a curved section 226 that connects planar sections 218, 224.

[0058] Each of the wedges 230, 232 includes an elongated body 234 configured to be positioned in the pockets 240, 242, respectively, of the band 212. Each of the elongated body 234 is formed form a metallic material such as, for example, stainless steel, and may be welded to the band 212. Each elongated body 234 includes a substantially planar inner surface 236 and a convex curved outer surface 238 configured to engage the curved inner surfaces of the curved sections 216, 222 of the band 212. In the illustrative embodiment, the outer surface 238 of each body 234 is spot welded to the band 212. As shown in FIG. 7, each inner surface 236 extends tangentially relative to the outer substrate 142 when the clamp assembly 210 is attached to a substrate assembly 140. It should be appreciated that in other embodiments the inner surface of the wedges 230, 232 may be curved in a manner similar to that described above in regard to wedges 100, 102.

[0059] In use, the clamp assembly 210 is positioned over the ends 148, 150 of the substrates 142, 144, as indicated by broken line in FIG. 4 and shown in cross-section in FIG. 7, and the central axis 20 of the clamp assembly 210 is substantially aligned with the longitudinal axis 160 of the substrate assembly 140. As the tensioning mechanism 14 is tightened, the ends 16, 18 of the band 212 are drawn closer together to reduce the size of the gap 22 and bring the band 212 into engagement with the ends 148, 150 of the substrates 142, 144. As shown in FIG. 7, the band ends 16, 18 engage the upper region 170 of the substrate assembly 140, the curved section 226 of the band 212 engages the lower region 172 of the substrate assembly 140, and the wedges 230, 232 engage the sides 174, 176, respectively, of the substrate assembly 140. When the tensioning mechanism 14 is tightened after the band 212 engages the substrate assembly 140 as shown in FIG. 7, the band ends 16, 18 exert increased radial loads in the direction indicated by arrows 180, 182, respectively, and the wedges 230, 232 exert increased radial loads in the direction indicated by arrows 184, 186, respectively, to crush the end 148 of the outer substrate 142 onto the end 150 of the inner substrate 144 and thereby form the exhaust joint. By exerting radial loads at various points around the outer circumference of the substrate assembly 140, the clamp assembly 210 distributes the radial loading around the joint to crush the ends 148, 150 at multiple discrete points around the circumference of the joint and thereby prevent pull apart.

[0060] In the illustrative embodiment, the ends 16, 18 of the band 212 exert radial loads at about 30 degrees and about 330 degrees, respectively, around the outer circumference of the substrate assembly 140. The wedge 230 exerts a radial load at about 1 10 degrees around the outer circumference of the substrate assembly 140, and the wedge 232 exerts a radial load at about 250 degrees around the outer circumference of the substrate assembly 140. It should be appreciated that in other embodiments the wedges of the clamp assembly may be located at other positions around the outer circumference of the substrate assembly to change the loading distribution as required by the particularly joint /substrate assembly.

[0061] Referring now to FIGS. 8-9, another embodiment of a clamp assembly (hereinafter clamp assembly 310) is shown. Many features of the clamp assembly of FIGS. 8-9 are similar to the features of the clamp assemblies of FIGS. 1-7. The reference numbers from FIGS. 1-7 will be used to identify similar features in FIGS. 8-9. The clamp assembly 310 includes a band 312 and a tensioning mechanism 314 that is attached to the band 312. The tensioning mechanism 314 is operable to tighten or loosen the clamp assembly 310 to apply tension to the clamp assembly 310 when it is used with an exhaust joint.

[0062] The band 312 extends from an end 316 to an opposite end 318 around a central axis 20. The ends 316, 318 are spaced apart from one another such that a gap 322 is defined between the ends. The clamp assembly 310 also includes a pair of wedges 230, 232 that are configured to engage the exhaust joint. When the tensioning mechanism 314 is tightened, the wedges 230, 232 and the ends 316, 318 of the band 312 are configured to apply radial loads to the exhaust joint to secure substrates, such as, for example, hose pipes together, as described in greater detail below.

[0063] In the illustrative embodiment, an ear 324 extends outwardly from each of the ends 316, 318 of the band 312. Each ear 324 includes a planar outer surface in the illustrative embodiment. A bore 326 extends through each ear 324 traverse to the central axis 20. The tensioning mechanism 314 includes a threaded fastener such as, for example, a bolt 334 extends through the bores 326 to connect the ears 324. A nut 336 threads onto the end of the bolt 334 to secure the bolt 334 within the bores 326 and cooperates with the bolt to apply tension to the band 312.

[0064] As shown in FIG. 9, the wedges 230, 232 are positioned in pockets 340, 342, respectively, defined by sections of the band 312. In the illustrative embodiment, the band 312 is a single monolithic strip of metallic material that has been rolled and formed into the shape shown in FIGS. 8-9. The band 312 includes a section 344 that extends from the end 316 to a curved section 346. The curved section 346 connects the section 344 to a planar section 348. The sections 344, 346, 348 cooperate to define the pocket 340 in the band 312.

[0065] The band 312 also includes another section 350 that extends from the end 318 to a curved section 352. The curved section 352 connects the section 350 to a planar section 354. The sections 350, 352, 354 cooperate to define the pocket 342 in the band 312. As shown in FIG. 9, the band 312 includes a curved section 356 that connects planar sections 348, 354.

[0066] Each of the wedges 230, 232 includes an elongated body 234 configured to be positioned in the pockets 340, 342, respectively, of the band 312. Each of the elongated body 234 is formed form a metallic material such as, for example, stainless steel, and may be welded to the band 212. Each elongated body 234 includes a substantially planar inner surface 236 and a convex curved outer surface 238 configured to engage the curved inner surfaces of the curved sections 216, 222 of the band 312. In the illustrative embodiment, the outer surface 238 of each body 234 is spot welded to the band 312. As shown in FIG. 9, each inner surface 236 extends tangentially relative to the outer substrate 142 when the clamp assembly 310 is attached to a substrate assembly 140. It should be appreciated that in other embodiments the inner surface of the wedges 230, 232 may be curved in a manner similar to that described above in regard to wedges 100, 102.

[0067] In use, the clamp assembly 310 is positioned over the ends 148, 150 of the substrates 142, 144, as indicated by broken line in FIG. 4 and shown in cross-section in FIG. 9, and the central axis 20 of the clamp assembly 310 is substantially aligned with the longitudinal axis 160 of the substrate assembly 140. As the tensioning mechanism 314 is tightened, the ears 324 and hence the ends 316, 318 of the band 312 are drawn closer together to reduce the size of the gap 322 and bring the band 312 into engagement with the ends 148, 150 of the substrates 142 , 144. As shown in FIG. 9, the band ends 316, 318 engage the upper region 170 of the substrate assembly 140, the curved section 356 of the band 312 engages the lower region 172 of the substrate assembly 140, and the wedges 230, 232 engage the sides 174, 176, respectively, of the substrate assembly 140. When the tensioning mechanism 14 is tightened after the band 312 engages the substrate assembly 140 as shown in FIG. 9, the band ends 16, 18 cooperate to exert an increased radial load in the direction indicated by arrow 360, respectively, and the wedges 230, 232 exert increased radial loads in the direction indicated by arrows 184, 186, respectively, to crush the end 148 of the outer substrate 142 onto the end 150 of the inner substrate 144 and thereby form the exhaust joint. By exerting radial loads at various points around the outer circumference of the substrate assembly 140, the clamp assembly 310 distributes the radial loading around the joint to crush the ends 148, 150 at multiple discrete points around the circumference of the joint and thereby prevent pull apart.

[0068] In the illustrative embodiment, the ends 316, 318 of the band 312 exert a radial load at about 0 degrees, respectively, around the outer circumference of the substrate assembly 140. The wedge 230 exerts a radial load at about 1 10 degrees around the outer circumference of the substrate assembly 140, and the wedge 232 exerts a radial load at about 250 degrees around the outer circumference of the substrate assembly 140. It should be appreciated that in other embodiments the wedges of the clamp assembly may be located at other positions around the outer circumference of the substrate assembly to change the loading distribution as required by the particularly j oint / substrate assembly.

[0069] The foregoing embodiments were chosen and described in order to illustrate principles of the methods and apparatuses as well as some practical applications. The preceding description enables others skilled in the art to utilize methods and apparatuses in various embodiments and with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. In accordance with the provisions of the patent statutes, the principles and modes of operation of this disclosure have been explained and illustrated in exemplary embodiments.

[0070] It is intended that the scope of the present methods and apparatuses be defined by the following claims. However, it must be understood that this disclosure may be practiced otherwise than is specifically explained and illustrated without departing from its spirit or scope. It should be understood by those skilled in the art that various alternatives to the embodiments described herein may be employed in practicing the claims without departing from the spirit and scope as defined in the following claims.