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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
GUARD INSERTS AND SYSTEMS AND METHODS OF USING SAME
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/067854
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A guard insert having a body and a guide. The body can include a top surface, an opposed bottom surface, and a plurality of side edges extending between the top and bottom surfaces and including a front side edge. The body can define a slot and a plurality of fastener-receiving openings. The slot can extend inwardly from the front side edge. The plurality of fastener-receiving openings can extend through the top and bottom surfaces, with each opening of the plurality of fastener-receiving openings being configured to receive a fastener. The guide can be securely received within the slot of the body. The guide can have an outer peripheral wall and an inner peripheral wall. The outer peripheral wall can have a shape complementary to the slot, and at least a portion of the inner peripheral wall can define a channel configured for receiving yarn.

Inventors:
PROCTOR, Tim (133 Hullander Hollow Road, Ringgold, GA, 30736, US)
HARRIS, Thompson (634 Van Dell Drive, Rock Spring, GA, 30739, US)
Application Number:
US2018/053339
Publication Date:
April 04, 2019
Filing Date:
September 28, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
SHAW INDUSTRIES GROUP, INC. (616 East Walnut Avenue, Dalton, GA, 30720, US)
International Classes:
D04B15/54; B65H54/00; B65H57/00; D01H1/16; D01H1/42; D01H7/00; D01H13/04; D02G1/02; D02G3/00; D04B15/38
Domestic Patent References:
WO2011064711A22011-06-03
Foreign References:
US3502282A1970-03-24
US4480805A1984-11-06
US20030209001A12003-11-13
DE484640C1929-10-21
US5074485A1991-12-24
EP2570377A12013-03-20
CN108298369A2018-07-20
US2317318A1943-04-20
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ANDERSON, Joseph P. et al. (Ballard Spahr LLP, 999 Peachtree Street Suite 100, Atlanta GA, 30309, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A guard insert, comprising: a body having a top surface, an opposed bottom surface, and a plurality of side edges extending between the top surface and the bottom surface, the plurality of side edges comprising a front side edge, the body defining a slot and a plurality of fastener-receiving openings, the slot extending inwardly from the front side edge, and the plurality of fastener- receiving openings extending through the top and bottom surfaces, wherein each opening of the plurality of fastener-receiving openings is configured to receive a fastener; and a guide securely received within the slot of the body, the guide having an outer peripheral wall and an inner peripheral wall, the outer peripheral wall having a shape complementary to the slot, and at least a portion of the inner peripheral wall defining a channel configured for receiving yarn.

2. The guard insert of claim 1, wherein the plurality of side edges further comprises a back side edge and first and second end edges extending between the front and back side edges, wherein the body has a width corresponding to a distance between the first and second side edges along a first axis, wherein at least one opening of the body is positioned on each side of a reference plane oriented perpendicular to the first axis, and wherein the reference plane divides the body into a first body portion and a second body portion.

3. The guard insert of claim 2, wherein the reference plane bisects the width of the body.

4. The guard insert of claim 2, wherein the first body portion and the second body portion have unequal widths relative to the first axis.

5. The guard insert of claim 2, wherein the body comprises an upper body portion and a lower body portion, the upper body portion overlying at least a portion of the lower body portion, and wherein the upper body portion and the lower body portion have respective outer edge portions and respective slot portions that cooperate to define the slot of the body.

6. The guard insert of claim 5, wherein each of the upper and lower body portions comprise a top surface and an opposed bottom surface, and wherein the bottom surface of the upper body portion is securely coupled to the top surface of the lower body portion.

7. The guard insert of claim 6, wherein the upper body portion and the lower body portion are integrally formed as a one-piece structure.

8. The guard insert of claim 5, wherein the upper body portion comprises a thickness ranging from about 0.0625 inch to about 0.125 inches.

9. The guard insert of claim 5, wherein the lower body portion comprises a thickness ranging from about 0.125 inch to about 0.25 inches.

10. The guard insert of claim 5, wherein the lower body portion comprises a pair of legs extending in opposite directions relative to the first axis, and wherein each leg of the pair of legs extends beyond a respective outer edge portion of the upper body portion.

11. The guard insert of claim 10, wherein each leg of the pair of legs defines at least one opening of the plurality of fastener-receiving openings of the body.

12. The guard insert of claim 10, wherein at least a portion of the upper body portion projects upwardly relative to the pair of legs of the lower body portion.

13. The guard insert of claim 2, wherein the first and second body portions comprise respective front edge portions positioned on opposite sides of the slot at a selected angle relative to the reference plane.

14. The guard insert of claim 13, wherein the selected angle is a selected obtuse angle.

15. The guard insert of claim 2, wherein the first body portion and the second body portion define a central body portion of the body, and wherein the body further comprises a pair of legs extending in opposite directions relative to each other away from the central body portion.

16. The guard insert of claim 15, wherein the central body portion comprises a thickness greater than a thickness of each leg of the body.

17. The guard insert of claim 15, wherein the central body portion comprises a thickness ranging from about 0.0625 inch to about 0.25 inches.

18. The guard insert of claim 15, wherein each leg of the pair of legs comprise a thickness ranging from about 0.125 inch to about 0.25 inches.

19. The guard insert of claim 1, wherein the body comprises a thickness ranging from about 0.125 inch to about 0.25 inches.

20. The guard insert of claim 15, wherein each leg of the body defines at least one opening of the plurality of fastener-receiving openings.

21. The guard insert of claim 15, wherein the plurality of fastener-receiving openings comprises a pair of openings.

22. The guard insert of claim 21, wherein each leg of the body defines an opening of the pair of openings.

23. The guard insert of claim 22, wherein the reference plane bisects the width of the body, and wherein the pair of openings are substantially equally spaced from the reference plane.

24. The guard insert of claim 15, wherein the central portion of the body defines the slot.

25. The guard insert of claim 24, wherein the first and second body portions of the central body portion comprise respective front edge portions positioned on opposite sides of the slot at a selected angle relative to the reference plane.

26. The guard insert of claim 25, wherein the selected angle is a selected obtuse angle.

27. The guard insert of claim 1, wherein the body comprises a thermoplastic material.

28. The guard insert of claim 27, wherein the thermoplastic material comprises polylactic acid (PLA), Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), Polyvinyl Alcohol Plastic (PVA), or combinations thereof.

29. The guard insert of claim 1, wherein the guide comprises a ceramic material, a plastic material, or combinations thereof.

30. The guard insert of claim 1, wherein the guide comprises an at least partially arcuate shape.

31. A guard system for a yam twisting apparatus, comprising: a cover having an interior surface and an opposed exterior surface, the cover defining at least one opening configured to overlie a yam twisting zone of the yam twisting apparatus and a plurality of fastener-receiving openings configured to receive respective fasteners; a guard insert securely affixed to the interior surface of the cover, the guard insert comprising, a body having a top surface, an opposed bottom surface, and a plurality of side edges extending between the top surface and the bottom surface, the plurality of side edges comprising a front side edge, the body defining a slot and a plurality of fastener-receiving openings, the slot extending inwardly from the front side edge, and the plurality of fastener-receiving openings extending through the top and bottom surfaces, wherein each opening of the plurality of fastener-receiving openings is configured to receive a fastener, and a guide securely received within the slot of the body, the guide having an outer peripheral wall and an inner peripheral wall, the outer peripheral wall having a shape complementary to the slot, and at least a portion of the inner peripheral wall defining a channel configured for receiving yam passing through a yam twisting zone of the yam twisting apparatus; and a plurality of fasteners configured to securely affix the guard insert to the interior surface of the cover, each fastener being configured to be operatively received through aligned openings of the plurality of fastener-receiving openings of the guide insert and the cover, wherein the guide and at least a central portion of the body are received within the at least one opening of the cover, thereby permitting yam passing through the yam twisting zone to be received through the channel of the guide while substantially enclosing the at least one opening of the cover.

32. The guard system of claim 31, wherein the plurality of side edges of the body of guard insert further comprises a back side edge and first and second end edges extending between the front and back side edges, wherein the body has a width corresponding to a distance between the first and second side edges along a first axis, wherein at least one opening of the body is positioned on each side of a reference plane oriented perpendicular to the first axis, and wherein the reference plane divides the body into a first body portion and a second body portion.

33. The guard system of claim 32, wherein the reference plane bisects the width of the body.

34. The guard system of claim 32, wherein the first body portion and the second body portion have unequal widths relative to the first axis.

35. The guard system of claim 32, wherein the body of the guard insert comprises an upper body portion and a lower body portion, the upper body portion overlying at least a portion of the lower body portion, and wherein the upper body portion and the lower body portion have respective outer edge portions and respective slot portions that cooperate to define the slot of the body.

36. The guard system of claim 35, wherein each of the upper and lower body portions comprise a top surface and an opposed bottom surface, wherein the bottom surface of the upper body portion is securely coupled to the top surface of the lower body portion.

37. The guard system of claim 36, wherein the upper body portion is integrally formed with the lower body portion.

38. The guard system of claim 35, wherein the lower body portion comprises a pair of legs extending in opposite directions relative to the first axis, wherein each leg of the pair of legs extends beyond a respective outer edge portion of the upper body portion.

39. The guard system of claim 38, wherein each leg of the pair of legs defines at least one opening of the plurality of fastener-receiving openings of the body.

40. The guard insert of claim 38, wherein at least a portion of the upper body portion projects upwardly relative to the pair of legs of the lower body portion.

41. The guard system of claim 35, wherein the upper body portion defines the central portion of the body that is configured for receipt within the at least one opening of the cover.

42. The guard system of claim 35, wherein the upper body portion of the guard insert has a shape substantially complementary to at least a portion of the at least one opening of the cover.

43. The guard system of claim 31, wherein the central portion of the body of the guard insert has a shape substantially complementary to at least a portion of the at least one opening of the cover.

44. The guard system of claim 31, wherein the body of the guard insert has a maximum width that is greater than a maximum width of the at least one opening of the cover.

45. A method of installing a guard insert, comprising: operatively positioning a guard insert relative to an interior surface of a cover for a yarn twisting apparatus, the guard insert comprising: a body having a top surface, an opposed bottom surface, and a plurality of side edges extending between the top surface and the bottom surface, the plurality of side edges comprising a front side edge, the body defining a slot and a plurality of fastener-receiving openings, the slot extending inwardly from the front side edge, and the plurality of fastener-receiving openings extending through the top and bottom surfaces, wherein each opening of the plurality of fastener-receiving openings is configured to receive a fastener; a guide securely received within the slot of the body, the guide having an outer peripheral wall and an inner peripheral wall, the outer peripheral wall having a shape complementary to the slot, and at least a portion of the inner peripheral wall defining a channel configured for receiving yarn passing through a yarn twisting zone of the yarn twisting apparatus, wherein the guard extends substantially across at least one opening of the cover, aligning each opening of the plurality of fastener-receiving openings of the body of the guard insert with a respective opening of the cover; securing a fastener through each of the aligned openings of the body of the guard insert and the cover.

Description:
GUARD INSERTS AND SYSTEMS AND METHODS OF USING SAME

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims priority to and the benefit of the filing date of U.S.

Provisional Patent Application No. 62/565,628, filed on September 29, 2017, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

FIELD

[0002] The present invention relates to yam twisting machines and, more particularly, to guard inserts designed for use with the covers or guards of such yam twisting machines.

BACKGROUND

[0003] As shown in FIGS. 1-2, conventional yam twisting machines commonly include covers (also commonly referred to as guards) with central openings that permit yam to travel through a desired yam path, such as through a yam twisting zone 110 of a yam twisting machine 120. As part of the yam twisting process, in some instances, it can be desirable to splice yam ends together. During such splicing, loose yam can enter the central opening. Due to the size of these openings, if the yam becomes wrapped around a machine operator's hand and/or fingers, the yam can cause significant injuries to the operator as the yam is pulled by, for example, an overfeed roller positioned below the cover. Thus, there is a need in the pertinent art for devices, systems, and methods that reduce or eliminate the potential for injuries to a machine operator of a yam twisting machine.

SUMMARY

[0004] Described herein, in various aspects, is a guard insert that comprises a body and a guide. The body includes a top surface, an opposed bottom surface, and a plurality of side edges extending between the top surface and the bottom surface. The plurality of side edges comprises a front side edge. The body defines a slot and a plurality of fastener-receiving openings. The slot extends inwardly from the front side edge, and the plurality of fastener- receiving openings extends through the top and bottom surfaces. Each opening of the plurality of fastener-receiving openings is configured to receive a fastener. The guide can be securely received within the slot of the body. The guide includes an outer peripheral wall and an inner peripheral wall. The outer peripheral wall of the guide can have a shape that is complementary to the slot and at least a portion of the inner peripheral wall can define a channel configured for receiving yarn.

[0005] Also disclosed herein is a guard system for a yarn twisting apparatus. The guard system can comprise a cover, a guard insert, and a plurality of fasteners. The cover can have an interior surface and an opposed exterior surface. The cover can define at least one opening configured to overlie a yam twisting zone of the yam twisting apparatus and a plurality of fastener-receiving openings configured to receive respective fasteners. The disclosed guard insert can be securely affixed to the interior surface of the cover with the plurality of fasteners. Each fastener can be configured to be operatively received through aligned openings of the plurality of fastener-receiving openings of the guide insert and the cover. The guide and at least a central portion of the body can be received within the at least one opening of the cover, thereby permitting yarn passing through the yarn twisting zone to be received through the channel of the guide while substantially enclosing the at least one opening of the cover.

[0006] Further disclosed herein is a method of installing the guard insert. The method can include operatively positioning the guard insert relative to the interior surface of the cover for the yam twisting apparatus. The method can also include aligning each opening of the plurality of fastener-receiving openings of the body of the guard insert with a respective opening of the cover. The method can further include securing a fastener through each of the aligned openings of the body of the guard insert and the cover.

[0007] Additional aspects of the invention will be set forth, in part, in the detailed description, and claims which follow, and in part will be derived from the detailed description, or can be learned by practice of the invention. It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only and are not restrictive of the invention as disclosed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] These and other features of the preferred embodiments of the invention will become more apparent in the detailed description in which reference is made to the appended drawings wherein: [0009] FIG. 1 shows an image of an exemplary cover of a yarn twisting apparatus, as disclosed herein.

[0010] FIG. 2 shows an image of an exemplary cover of a yarn twisting apparatus, as disclosed herein.

[0011] FIG. 3A shows a top view of an exemplary body of a guard insert, as disclosed herein. FIG. 3B shows a bottom view of the exemplary body of the guard insert of FIG. 3 A, as disclosed herein. FIG. 3C shows an isometric view of the exemplary body of the guard insert of FIG. 3A, as disclosed herein. As shown, the body can define a slot and a pair of openings. FIG. 3D shows a side view of the exemplary body of the guard insert of FIG. 3A, as disclosed herein. As shown, the body of the guard insert can have first and second body portions angularly oriented relative to each other, as disclosed herein.

[0012] FIG. 4 is a top view of another exemplary body of a guard insert, as disclosed and described herein.

[0013] FIG. 5 A shows a top view of another exemplary body of a guard insert, as disclosed herein. FIG. 5B shows a bottom view of the exemplary body of the guard insert of FIG. 5 A, as disclosed herein. FIG. 5C shows an isometric view of the exemplary body of the guard insert of FIG. 5A, as disclosed herein. As shown, the body can comprise a central body portion and a pair of legs extending in opposite directions away from the central body portion.

[0014] FIG. 6A shows a top view of another exemplary body of a guard insert, as disclosed herein. FIG. 6B shows a bottom view of the exemplary body of the guard insert of FIG. 6A. FIG. 6C shows an isometric view of the exemplary body of the guard insert of FIG. 6A, as disclosed herein. As shown, the body can comprise an upper body portion and a lower body portion, with the bottom surface of the upper body portion being securely coupled to the top surface of the lower body portion. The lower body portion can comprise a pair of legs, and each leg can extend beyond a respective outer edge of the upper body portion, as further disclosed herein.

[0015] FIGS. 7A and 7B depicts an exemplary guard insert, as disclosed herein. As shown, the guard insert can comprise a body and a guide securely received within a slot of the body. [0016] FIG. 8 depicts an exemplary guard system for a yam twisting apparatus, as disclosed herein. As shown, the guard system can comprise a cover, a guard insert, and a plurality of fasteners.

[0017] FIG. 9 depicts another exemplary guard system for a yarn twisting apparatus, as disclosed herein. As shown, at least a portion of a guard insert is received within an opening of a cover, and the guard insert is secured to the cover using a plurality of fasteners. As further shown in FIG. 9, the guide of the guard insert can comprise a channel configured for receiving yam passing through a yam twisting zone.

[0018] FIG. 10 depicts another exemplary guard system for a yarn twisting apparatus, as disclosed herein. FIG. 10 provides an interior, bottom view of a cover having a guard insert securely affixed thereto.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0019] The present invention can be understood more readily by reference to the following detailed description, examples, drawings, and claims, and their previous and following description. However, before the present compositions, articles, devices, systems, and/or methods are disclosed and described, it is to be understood that this invention is not limited to the specific compositions, articles, devices, systems, and/or methods disclosed unless otherwise specified, as such can, of course, vary. It is also to be understood that the terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular aspects only and is not intended to be limiting.

[0020] The following description of the invention is also provided as an enabling teaching of the invention in its best, currently known aspect. To this end, those of ordinary skill in the relevant art will recognize and appreciate that changes and modifications can be made to the various aspects of the invention described herein, while still obtaining the beneficial results of the present invention. It will also be apparent that some of the desired benefits of the present invention can be obtained by selecting some of the features of the present invention without utilizing other features. Accordingly, those of ordinary skill in the relevant art will recognize that many modifications and adaptations to the present invention are possible and can even be desirable in certain circumstances and are thus also a part of the present invention. Thus, the following description is provided as illustrative of the principles of the present invention and not in limitation thereof. [0021] Various combinations of elements of this disclosure are encompassed by this invention, e.g. combinations of elements from dependent claims that depend upon the same independent claim.

[0022] Moreover, it is to be understood that unless otherwise expressly stated, it is in no way intended that any method set forth herein be construed as requiring that its steps be performed in a specific order. Accordingly, where a method claim does not actually recite an order to be followed by its steps or it is not otherwise specifically stated in the claims or descriptions that the steps are to be limited to a specific order, it is no way intended that an order be inferred, in any respect. This holds for any possible non-express basis for interpretation, including: matters of logic with respect to arrangement of steps or operational flow; plain meaning derived from grammatical organization or punctuation; and the number or type of aspects described in the specification.

[0023] All publications mentioned herein are incorporated herein by reference to disclose and describe the methods and/or materials in connection with which the publications are cited.

[0024] It is also to be understood that the terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular aspects only and is not intended to be limiting. As used in the specification and in the claims, the term "comprising" may include the aspects "consisting of and "consisting essentially of." Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. In this specification and in the claims which follow, reference will be made to a number of terms which shall be defined herein.

[0025] As used herein, the singular forms "a," "an" and "the" include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, for example, reference to a

"reinforcement material" includes aspects having two or more reinforcement materials unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

[0026] Ranges can be expressed herein as from "about" one particular value, and/or to "about" another particular value. When such a range is expressed, another aspect includes from the one particular value and/or to the other particular value. Similarly, when values are expressed as approximations, by use of the antecedent "about," it will be understood that the particular value forms another aspect. It will be further understood that the endpoints of each of the ranges are significant both in relation to the other endpoint, and independently of the other endpoint. It is also understood that there are a number of values disclosed herein, and that each value is also herein disclosed as "about" that particular value in addition to the value itself. For example, if the value "10" is disclosed, then "about 10" is also disclosed. It is also understood that each unit between two particular units are also disclosed. For example, if 10 and 15 are disclosed, then 1 1, 12, 13, and 14 are also disclosed.

[0027] Optionally, in some aspects, when values are approximated by use of the antecedent "about" or "substantially," it is contemplated that values within up to 15%, up to 10%, or up to 5% (above or below) of the particularly stated value or characteristic can be included within the scope of those aspects.

[0028] As used herein, the terms "optional" or "optionally" mean that the subsequently described event or circumstance may or may not occur, and that the description includes instances where said event or circumstance occurs and instances where it does not.

[0029] The word "or" as used herein means any one member of a particular list and also includes any combination of members of that list.

[0030] Described herein, in various aspects and with reference to FIGS. 3 A- 10, is a guard insert 10. It is contemplated that the disclosed guard insert 10 can prevent yam from wrapping around an overfeed roller of a yam twisting apparatus 120. In exemplary aspects, the guard insert 10 can comprise a body 12. Optionally, the guard insert 10 can further comprise a guide 50. In one aspect, the body 12 can include a top surface 14, an opposed bottom surface 16, and a plurality of side edges extending between the top and bottom surfaces. In this aspect, the plurality of side edges can comprise a front side edge 20. In a further aspect, the body 12 can define a slot 28 and a plurality of fastener-receiving openings 30. The slot 28 can extend inwardly from the front side edge 20 and can be configured to receive the guide, as further disclosed herein. The plurality of fastener-receiving openings 30 can extend through the top and bottom surfaces 14, 16, and each opening of the plurality of fastener-receiving openings 30 can be configured to receive a fastener 90 (e.g., a bolt). It is contemplated that, in some aspects, the plurality of fastener-receiving openings 30 can comprise a pair of openings, as further described herein.

[0031] In further exemplary aspects, the plurality of side edges of the guard insert 10 can further comprise a back side edge 22 and first and second end edges 24, 26 extending between the front and back side edges 20, 22. In these aspects, the body 12 can have a width corresponding to a distance 32 between the first and second side edges 24, 26 along a first axis 60. It is contemplated that the body 12 can have any desired width suitable for its intended purpose, as further disclosed herein. For example, it is contemplated that the body 12 can have a width ranging from about 0.1 inch to about 20 inches; or from about 0.75 inch to about 10 inches; or from about 1 inch to about 5 inches; or from about 1.75 inches to about 2 inches. Similarly, the body 12 can have any desired thickness such as, for example, a thickness (e.g., a maximum thickness) ranging from about 0.01 inch to about 5 inches; or from about 0.025 inch to about 1 inch; or from about 0.05 inch to about 0.75 inch; or from about 0.125 inch to about 0.25 inch.

[0032] Referring to FIGS. 3A-4, in some optional exemplary aspects, the body 12 can define a main body portion 36 and an angled body portion 38. In these aspects, the angled body portion 38 can be angularly oriented relative to the main body portion 36 within a reference plane 70 that is oriented perpendicular to the first axis 60. It is contemplated that the angled body portion 38 can be oriented downwardly at a selected angle relative to the main body portion 36, as shown in FIG. 3D. Optionally, the selected angle can be a selected acute angle ranging from about 15 degrees to about 75 degrees. In further aspects, at least one opening 30 of the body 12 can be positioned on each side of the reference plane 70. In these aspects, the reference plane 70 can divide the body 12 into a first body portion 12a and a second body portion 12b. Optionally, in some aspects, the reference plane 70 can bisect the width of the body 12 such that the first and second body portions 12a, 12b can have equal widths relative to the first axis 60. Alternatively, in other aspects, the first and second body portions 12a, 12b can have unequal widths relative to the first axis 60.

[0033] Referring now to FIGS. 5A-5C, in some exemplary aspects, the first body portion and the second body portion of the guard insert 10 can define a central body portion 40 of the body 12. In these exemplary aspects, the body 12 can further comprise a pair of legs 42 extending in opposite directions relative to each other away from the central body portion 40. It is contemplated that the central body portion 40 can comprise any desired thickness suitable to achieve its intended purpose. Similarly, it is contemplated that each leg of the pair of legs 42 can comprise any desired thickness. In these aspects, the desired thickness of the central body portion 40 and the pair of legs 42 can be measured relative to the first axis 60. Optionally, the central body portion 40 can comprise a thickness greater than the thickness of each leg 42 of the body 12. For example, the central body portion 40 can comprise a thickness ranging from about 0.01 inch to about 5 inches; or from about .025 inch to about 1 inch; or from about 0.05 inch to about 0.75 inch; or from about 0.0625 inch to about 0.25 inch; and each leg of the pair of legs 42 can comprise a thickness ranging from about 0.01 inch to about 5 inches; or from about 0.025 inch to about 1 inch; or from about 0.05 inch to about 0.75 inch; or from about 0.125 inch to about 0.25 inch.

[0034] Optionally, in some aspects, each leg 42 of the body 12 can define at least one opening of the plurality of fastener-receiving openings 30. As noted above, it is contemplated that, in some aspects, the plurality of fastener-receiving openings 30 can comprise a pair of openings. Optionally, as shown in FIGS. 5A-5C, each leg 42 of the body 12 can define an opening 30 of the pair of openings. In these aspects, the body 12 can have a first width that corresponds to the distance between first and second side edges 44, 46 of the central body portion 40 along the first axis 60 and a second width that corresponds to the distance between outer side edges 48, 49 of each respective leg 42 along the first axis 60. In these aspects, each opening of the pair of openings or at least one opening of the plurality of fastener-receiving openings 30 can be defined within a respective leg 42 on each side of the disclosed reference plane 70. Optionally, in some aspects, the reference plane 70 can bisect the width of the body 12 such that the pair of openings 30 can be substantially equally spaced from the reference plane 70.

[0035] In further aspects, and with reference to FIGS. 5A-5C, it is contemplated that the central body portion 40 can define the slot 28 and the first and second body portions 12a, 12b of the body 12. As shown in FIGS. 3A, and 5A, the first and second body portions 12a, 12b (FIG. 3 A) or the central body portion 40 (FIG. 5 A) of the guard insert 10 can comprise respective front edge portions 20a, 20b, positioned on opposite sides of the slot 28 at a selected angle 34 relative to the reference plane 70. As shown in FIG. 5A, it is contemplated that the selected angle 34 can be a selected obtuse angle between about 90.5 degrees and about 179.5 degrees, preferably between about 123.5 degrees and about 123.9 degrees, most preferably between about 123.7 degrees and about 123.8 degrees. Alternatively, the selected angle 34 can be perpendicular or substantially perpendicular to the reference plane 70, as shown in FIG. 3A.

[0036] In other exemplary aspects, and with reference to FIGS. 6A-6C, the body 12 of the guard insert 10 can comprise an upper body portion 112a and a lower body portion 112b. In these aspects, the upper body portion 112a can overlie at least a portion of the lower body portion 112b (relative to a vertical axis). In further aspects, the upper body portion 1 12a and the lower body portion 112b can have respective outer edge portions (i.e., respective plurality of side edges). In these aspects, outer edge portions of the upper body portion 1 12a can comprise front edge portions 20a, 20b, a back edge portion 22a, and first and second side edge portions 24a, 26a. The outer edge portions of the lower body portion can comprise 20c, 20d, a back edge portion 22b, and first and second side edge portions 24b, 26b. In still further aspects, the upper body portion 112a and the lower body portion 112b can also have respective slots 28a, 28b that cooperate to define the slot 28 of the body 12. Each of the upper and lower body portions 112a, 112b can comprise a top surface 14a, 14b and an opposed bottom surface 16a, 16b, and the bottom surface 16a of the upper body portion 112a can be securely coupled to the top surface 14b of the lower body portion 1 12b. Optionally, in these aspects, the upper body portion 1 12a and the lower body portion 112b can be integrally formed as a one-piece structure. Alternatively, the upper and lower body portions 1 12a, 1 12b can be secured together using any means suitable for such coupling, including for example, adhesives, fasteners, and the like. It is contemplated that the upper body portion 112a can have any desired thickness suitable for achieving its intended purpose. For example, and without limitation, it is contemplated that the upper body portion 112a can comprise a thickness ranging from about 0.01 inch to about 5 inches; or from about 0.025 inch to about 1 inch; or from about .05 inch to about .75 inch; or from about 0.0625 inch to about 0.125 inch. Similarly, it is contemplated that the lower body portion 1 12b can have any desired thickness suitable for achieving its intended purpose. For example, without limitation, it is

contemplated that the lower body portion 1 12b can comprise a thickness (e.g., a maximum thickness) ranging from about 0.01 inch to about 5 inches; or from about 0.025 inch to about 1 inch; or from about 0.05 inch to about 0.75 inch; or from about 0.125 inch to about 0.25 inch. It is contemplated that the respective thickness of the upper and lower body portions 112a, 1 12b can be the same. Alternatively, the upper and lower body portions 1 12a, 112b can each comprise a different thickness. In still further aspects, the upper and lower body portions 112a, 1 12b can comprise respective front edge portions 20a, 20b, 20c, 20d, positioned on opposite sides of respective slots 28a, 28b at a selected angle 34 relative to the reference plane 70. It is contemplated that the selected angle 34 can be a selected obtuse angle. For example, the selected angle can be between about 90.5 degrees and about 179.5 degrees, preferably between about 123.5 degrees and about 123.9 degrees, most preferably between about 123.7 degrees and about 123.8 degrees. [0037] In these aspects, the lower body portion 112b can comprise a pair of legs 42, which can extend in opposite directions relative to the first axis 60. Each leg of the pair of legs 42 can extend beyond a respective outer edge portion of the upper body portion 112a. More particularly, each leg of the pair of legs 42 can extend beyond first and second end edges 24a, 26a of the upper body portion 112a. In further aspects, each leg of the pair of legs 42 can define at least one opening of the plurality of fastener-receiving openings 30b of the lower body portion 1 12b. In these aspects, at least a portion of the upper body portion 112a can project upwardly relative to the pair of legs 42 of the lower body portion 112b.

[0038] In further aspects, it is contemplated that the body 12 can comprise any material suitable for its intended use. In some exemplary aspects, the body 12 can comprise heat stabilized biaxially-oriented PET (BoPET), amorphous PET (aPET), recycled PET (rPET), polyethylene terephthalate glycol-modified (PETG), polyolefin, cyclic olefin copolymer (COC), cyclic olefin polymer (COP), polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), polylactic acid (PLA) copolymers, nylon, cellulose acetate, poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), polycarbonate, polyethylene (PE), high density polyethylene (HDPE), low density polyethylene (LDPE), or a copolymer thereof. In some preferred aspects, the body 12 can comprise a thermoplastic material such as, without limitation, polylactic acid (PLA), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyvinyl alcohol plastic (PVA), or combinations thereof.

[0039] As further disclosed herein, and with reference to FIGS. 7A-7B, 9, and 10, in exemplary aspects, the guard insert 10 can also comprise a guide 50 configured for receipt within the slot 28 of the body 12. In these aspects, the guide 50 can have an outer peripheral wall 52 and an inner peripheral wall 54. The outer peripheral wall 52 can have a shape complementary to the slot 28 of the body 12 such that the guide 50 can be securely received within the slot. In further aspects, at least a portion of the inner peripheral wall 54 of the guide 50 can define a channel 56 configured for receiving or guiding yarn passing through a yarn twisting zone 1 10 of a yam twisting apparatus 120. It is contemplated that the guide can comprise any desired shape so long as the shape is compatible for receipt within the slot 28 of the body 12. Optionally, the guide 50, and more particularly the inner and/or outer peripheral walls of the guide, can have at least a partially accurate shape. In some aspects, it is contemplated that the shape of the inner peripheral wall can cooperate with the shape of the outer peripheral wall to define a desired cross-sectional shape of the guide 50. For example, it is contemplated that the inner and outer peripheral walls of the guide 50 can cooperate to define a U-shape. Optionally, it is possible for the inner peripheral wall to have a shape that is different than the shape of the outer peripheral wall, as shown in FIGS. 7A-7B. In these aspects, it is contemplated that the guide 50 can comprise any material suitable for its intended purpose, such as and without limitation, ceramic, plastic, acrylic, metal, or combinations thereof. For example, a guide suitable for use with the present invention includes the ceramic, U-shaped guide manufactured by Epic Enterprises, Inc. (Part No.

EE106169). Additionally, it is contemplated that the disclosed guard insert can be designed for use with the FusionTwister manufactured by Volkmann.

[0040] Referring to FIGS. 8-10, also disclosed herein is a guard system 100 for a yam twisting apparatus 120. In exemplary aspects, the guard system 100 can comprise a cover 80, the disclosed guard insert 10, and a plurality of fasteners 90. In these aspects, the cover 80 can have an interior surface 82 and an opposed exterior surface 84. In further aspects, the cover 80 can define at least one opening 86 configured to overlie at least a portion of the yam twisting apparatus 120. In still further aspects, the cover 80 can define a plurality of fastener- receiving openings 88 configured to receive respective fasteners 90 (e.g., bolts). It is contemplated that the cover 80 can be configured for use with any yarn twisting apparatus having at least one opening 86, as described herein. In operation, it is contemplated that the cover 80 can be configured for positioning between a yam source and a yarn overfeed roller of a yarn twisting apparatus. In further aspects, the guard insert 10 can be securely affixed to the interior surface 82 of the cover 80. In further aspects, the plurality of fasteners 90 can be configured to securely affix the guard insert 10 to the interior surface 82 of the cover 80. Each fastener 90 can be configured to be operatively received through aligned openings of the plurality of fastener-receiving openings 30, 88 of the guard insert 10 and the cover 80. In these aspects, the guide 50 and at least a central portion of the body 12 can be received within the at least one opening 86 of the cover 80, thereby permitting yam passing through the yarn twisting zone 110 to be received through the channel 56 of the guide 50 while substantially enclosing the at least one opening 86 of the cover 80. As further disclosed herein, the body of the guard insert 10 can comprise an upper body portion and a lower body portion. In these aspects, the upper body portion can define the central portion of the body 12 that is configured for receipt within the at least one opening 86 of the cover 80. In further aspects, the central portion of the body 12 of the guard insert 10 can have a shape substantially complementary to at least a portion of the at least one opening 86 of the cover 80. In still further aspects, it is contemplated that the body of the guard insert 10 can comprise a maximum width that is greater than a maximum width of the at least one opening 86 of the cover 80.

[0041] Also disclosed herein is a method of installing the disclosed guard insert 10. The method can include operatively positioning the disclosed guard insert 10 relative to the interior surface 82 of the cover 80 for the yarn twisting apparatus 120 such that the guard insert 10 extends substantially across the at least one opening 86 of the cover 80. More particularly, the top surface 14 of body 12 of the guard insert 10 can be positioned relative to the interior surface 82 of the cover 80. Once the guard insert 10 is operatively positioned, the method further comprises aligning each opening of the plurality of fastener-receiving openings 30 of the guard insert 10 with a respective opening 86 of the cover 80. Following alignment of the respective openings, the method includes securing a fastener 90 through each of the aligned openings, thereby substantially enclosing the at least one opening 86 of the cover 80.

[0042] In use, it is contemplated that the guard insert and the guard system disclosed herein can offer many advantages to improve yarn twisting operations. As described herein, the disclosed guard insert can be operatively positioned relative to the at least one opening of the cover to substantially enclose the opening. Due to the size and configuration of the disclosed guard insert, it is contemplated that such positioning of the guard insert relative to the opening of the cover can minimize the possibility of yarn becoming entangled with a roller as the yarn passes through the yarn twisting zone. It is further contemplated that such positioning of the guard insert relative to the opening of the cover as disclosed herein can also eliminate or substantially reduce the potential for injuries to operators of the yam twisting apparatus.

[0043] Although the function of a variety of features of the claimed guard inserts are described in detail herein, it is contemplated that many of these features, both alone and in combination with other features, can also serve an ornamental purpose.

EXEMPLARY ASPECTS

[0044] In view of the described products, systems, and methods and variations thereof, herein below are described certain more particularly described aspects of the invention. These particularly recited aspects should not however be interpreted to have any limiting effect on any different claims containing different or more general teachings described herein, or that the "particular" aspects are somehow limited in some way other than the inherent meanings of the language literally used therein.

[0045] Aspect 1 : A guard insert, comprising: a body having a top surface, an opposed bottom surface, and a plurality of side edges extending between the top surface and the bottom surface, the plurality of side edges comprising a front side edge, the body defining a slot and a plurality of fastener-receiving openings, the slot extending inwardly from the front side edge, and the plurality of fastener-receiving openings extending through the top and bottom surfaces, wherein each opening of the plurality of fastener-receiving openings is configured to receive a fastener; and a guide securely received within the slot of the body, the guide having an outer peripheral wall and an inner peripheral wall, the outer peripheral wall having a shape complementary to the slot, and at least a portion of the inner peripheral wall defining a channel configured for receiving yam.

[0046] Aspect 2: The guard insert of aspect 1, wherein the plurality of side edges further comprises a back side edge and first and second end edges extending between the front and back side edges, wherein the body has a width corresponding to a distance between the first and second side edges along a first axis, wherein at least one opening of the body is positioned on each side of a reference plane oriented perpendicular to the first axis, and wherein the reference plane divides the body into a first body portion and a second body portion.

[0047] Aspect 3: The guard insert of aspect 2, wherein the reference plane bisects the width of the body.

[0048] Aspect 4: The guard insert of aspect 2, wherein the first body portion and the second body portion have unequal widths relative to the first axis.

[0049] Aspect 5: The guard insert of any one of aspects 2-3, wherein the body comprises an upper body portion and a lower body portion, the upper body portion overlying at least a portion of the lower body portion, and wherein the upper body portion and the lower body portion have respective outer edge portions and respective slot portions that cooperate to define the slot of the body. [0050] Aspect 6: The guard insert of any one of aspects 2-5, wherein each of the upper and lower body portions comprise a top surface and an opposed bottom surface, and wherein the bottom surface of the upper body portion is securely coupled to the top surface of the lower body portion.

[0051] Aspect 7: The guard insert of aspect 5 or aspect 6, wherein the upper body portion and the lower body portion are integrally formed as a one-piece structure.

[0052] Aspect 8: The guard insert of any one of aspects 5-7, wherein the upper body portion comprises a thickness ranging from about 0.0625 inch to about 0.125 inches.

[0053] Aspect 9: The guard insert of any one of aspects 5-8, wherein the lower body portion comprises a thickness ranging from about 0.125 inch to about .25 inches.

[0054] Aspect 10: The guard insert of any one of aspects 5-9, wherein the lower body portion comprises a pair of legs extending in opposite directions relative to the first axis, and wherein each leg of the pair of legs extends beyond a respective outer edge portion of the upper body portion.

[0055] Aspect 11 : The guard insert of aspect 10, wherein each leg of the pair of legs defines at least one opening of the plurality of fastener-receiving openings of the body.

[0056] Aspect 12: The guards insert of aspect 10 or aspect 11, wherein at least a portion of the upper body portion projects upwardly relative to the pair of legs of the lower body portion.

[0057] Aspect 13: The guard insert of any one of aspects 2-12, wherein the first and second body portions comprise respective front edge portions positioned on opposite sides of the slot at a selected angle relative to the reference plane.

[0058] Aspect 14: The guard insert of aspect 13, wherein the selected angle is a selected obtuse angle.

[0059] Aspect 15: The guard insert of aspect 2, wherein the first body portion and the second body portion define a central body portion of the body, and wherein the body further comprises a pair of legs extending in opposite directions relative to each other away from the central body portion. [0060] Aspect 16: The guard insert of aspect 15, wherein the central body portion comprises a thickness greater than a thickness of each leg of the body.

[0061] Aspect 17: The guard insert of aspect 15 or aspect 16, wherein the central body portion comprises a thickness ranging from about 0.0625 inch to about 0.25 inches.

[0062] Aspect 18: The guard insert of any one of aspects 15-18, wherein each leg of the pair of legs comprise a thickness ranging from about 0.125 inch to about 0.25 inches.

[0063] Aspect 19: The guard insert of any one of the preceding aspects, wherein the body comprises a thickness ranging from about 0.125 inch to about 0.25 inches.

[0064] Aspect 20: The guard insert of any one of aspects 15-19, wherein each leg of the body defines at least one opening of the plurality of fastener-receiving openings.

[0065] Aspect 21 : The guard insert of any one of aspects 15-20, wherein the plurality of fastener-receiving openings comprises a pair of openings.

[0066] Aspect 22: The guard insert of aspect 21, wherein each leg of the body defines an opening of the pair of openings.

[0067] Aspect 23: The guard insert of aspect 21 or aspect 22, wherein the reference plane bisects the width of the body, and wherein the pair of openings are substantially equally spaced from the reference plane.

[0068] Aspect 24: The guard insert of any one of aspects 15-23, wherein the central portion of the body defines the slot.

[0069] Aspect 25: The guard insert of any one of aspects 15-24, wherein the first and second body portions of the central body portion comprise respective front edge portions positioned on opposite sides of the slot at a selected angle relative to the reference plane.

[0070] Aspect 26: The guard insert of aspect 25, wherein the selected angle is a selected obtuse angle.

[0071] Aspect 27: The guard insert of any one of the preceding aspects, wherein the body comprises a thermoplastic material. [0072] Aspect 28: The guard insert of aspect 27, wherein the thermoplastic material comprises polylactic acid (PLA), Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), Polyvinyl Alcohol Plastic (PVA), or combinations thereof.

[0073] Aspect 29: The guard insert of any one of the preceding aspects, wherein the guide comprises a ceramic material, a plastic material, or combinations thereof.

[0074] Aspect 30: The guard insert of any one of the preceding aspects, wherein the guide comprises an at least partially arcuate shape.

[0075] Aspect 31 : A guard system for a yarn twisting apparatus, comprising: a cover having an interior surface and an opposed exterior surface, the cover defining at least one opening configured to overlie a yarn twisting zone of the yarn twisting apparatus and a plurality of fastener-receiving openings configured to receive respective fasteners; a guard insert securely affixed to the interior surface of the cover, the guard insert comprising, a body having a top surface, an opposed bottom surface, and a plurality of side edges extending between the top surface and the bottom surface, the plurality of side edges comprising a front side edge, the body defining a slot and a plurality of fastener-receiving openings, the slot extending inwardly from the front side edge, and the plurality of fastener-receiving openings extending through the top and bottom surfaces, wherein each opening of the plurality of fastener-receiving openings is configured to receive a fastener, and a guide securely received within the slot of the body, the guide having an outer peripheral wall and an inner peripheral wall, the outer peripheral wall having a shape complementary to the slot, and at least a portion of the inner peripheral wall defining a channel configured for receiving yam passing through a yarn twisting zone of the yam twisting apparatus; and a plurality of fasteners configured to securely affix the guard insert to the interior surface of the cover, each fastener being configured to be operatively received through aligned openings of the plurality of fastener-receiving openings of the guide insert and the cover, wherein the guide and at least a central portion of the body are received within the at least one opening of the cover, thereby permitting yarn passing through the yarn twisting zone to be received through the channel of the guide while substantially enclosing the at least one opening of the cover.

[0076] Aspect 32: The guard system of aspect 31 , wherein the plurality of side edges of the body of guard insert further comprises a back side edge and first and second end edges extending between the front and back side edges, wherein the body has a width corresponding to a distance between the first and second side edges along a first axis, wherein at least one opening of the body is positioned on each side of a reference plane oriented perpendicular to the first axis, and wherein the reference plane divides the body into a first body portion and a second body portion.

[0077] Aspect 33: The guard system of aspect 32, wherein the reference plane bisects the width of the body.

[0078] Aspect 34: The guard system of aspect 32, wherein the first body portion and the second body portion have unequal widths relative to the first axis.

[0079] Aspect 35: The guard system of any one of aspects 32-34, wherein the body of the guard insert comprises an upper body portion and a lower body portion, the upper body portion overlying at least a portion of the lower body portion, and wherein the upper body portion and the lower body portion have respective outer edge portions and respective slot portions that cooperate to define the slot of the body.

[0080] Aspect 36: The guard system of aspect 35, wherein each of the upper and lower body portions comprise a top surface and an opposed bottom surface, wherein the bottom surface of the upper body portion is securely coupled to the top surface of the lower body portion.

[0081] Aspect 37: The guard system of aspect 35 or aspect 36, wherein the upper body portion is integrally formed with the lower body portion.

[0082] Aspect 38: The guard system of any one of aspects 35-37, wherein the lower body portion comprises a pair of legs extending in opposite directions relative to the first axis, wherein each leg of the pair of legs extends beyond a respective outer edge portion of the upper body portion.

[0083] Aspect 39: The guard system of aspect 38, wherein each leg of the pair of legs defines at least one opening of the plurality of fastener-receiving openings of the body.

[0084] Aspect 40: The guard insert of aspect 38 or aspect 39, wherein at least a portion of the upper body portion projects upwardly relative to the pair of legs of the lower body portion. [0085] Aspect 41 : The guard system of any one of aspects 35-40, wherein the upper body portion defines the central portion of the body that is configured for receipt within the at least one opening of the cover.

[0086] Aspect 42: The guard system of any one of aspects 35-41, wherein the upper body portion of the guard insert has a shape substantially complementary to at least a portion of the at least one opening of the cover.

[0087] Aspect 43 : The guard system of any one of aspects 31 -42, wherein the central portion of the body of the guard insert has a shape substantially complementary to at least a portion of the at least one opening of the cover.

[0088] Aspect 44: The guard system of any one of aspects 31 -42, wherein the body of the guard insert has a maximum width that is greater than a maximum width of the at least one opening of the cover.

[0089] Aspect 45 : A method of installing a guard insert, comprising: operatively positioning a guard insert relative to an interior surface of a cover for a yam twisting apparatus, the guard insert comprising: a body having a top surface, an opposed bottom surface, and a plurality of side edges extending between the top surface and the bottom surface, the plurality of side edges comprising a front side edge, the body defining a slot and a plurality of fastener-receiving openings, the slot extending inwardly from the front side edge, and the plurality of fastener-receiving openings extending through the top and bottom surfaces, wherein each opening of the plurality of fastener-receiving openings is configured to receive a fastener; a guide securely received within the slot of the body, the guide having an outer peripheral wall and an inner peripheral wall, the outer peripheral wall having a shape complementary to the slot, and at least a portion of the inner peripheral wall defining a channel configured for receiving yarn passing through a yarn twisting zone of the yarn twisting apparatus, wherein the guard extends substantially across at least one opening of the cover, aligning each opening of the plurality of fastener-receiving openings of the body of the guard insert with a respective opening of the cover; securing a fastener through each of the aligned openings of the body of the guard insert and the cover.

[0090] Although several embodiments of the invention have been disclosed in the foregoing specification, it is understood by those skilled in the art that many modifications and other embodiments of the invention will come to mind to which the invention pertains, having the benefit of the teaching presented in the foregoing description and associated drawings. It is thus understood that the invention is not limited to the specific embodiments disclosed hereinabove, and that many modifications and other embodiments are intended to be included within the scope of the appended claims. Moreover, although specific terms are employed herein, as well as in the claims which follow, they are used only in a generic and descriptive sense, and not for the purposes of limiting the described invention, nor the claims which follow.