Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
AN UNDERGROUND CABLE ANCHORING DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/092646
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
This invention relates to an anchoring device (10) for preventing or hindering theft of underground cables (14). The device (10) comprises a cable engaging portion (12) for operatively securing the device (10) to a cable (14), and an elongate anchoring member (16) extending in a lateral direction away from the cable engaging portion (12). The cable engaging portion (12) has a surface (18) operatively facing substantially in a longitudinal direction (20) of the cable (14).

Inventors:
MEYER, Gerrit Hendrik (Plot 4, Kameelfontein WegKameelfontei, Roodeplaat 0039 Pretoria, 0039, ZA)
Application Number:
IB2018/058817
Publication Date:
May 16, 2019
Filing Date:
November 09, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
MEYER, Gerrit Hendrik (Plot 4, Kameelfontein WegKameelfontei, Roodeplaat 0039 Pretoria, 0039, ZA)
International Classes:
H02G9/02
Domestic Patent References:
WO2009019618A12009-02-12
Foreign References:
ZA200302307B2004-04-19
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DM KISCH INC. (P O Box 8, Sandto, 2146 Johannesburg, 2146, ZA)
Download PDF:
Claims:
An underground cable anchoring device, comprising:

a cable engaging portion for operatively securing the device to a cable; and

an elongate anchoring member extending in a lateral direction away from the cable engaging portion and having a surface operatively facing substantially in a longitudinal direction of the cable.

An underground cable anchoring device according to claim 1 , further comprising a second elongate anchoring member extending in a lateral direction away from the cable engaging portion, the second elongate anchoring member having a surface operatively facing substantially in the longitudinal direction of the cable.

An underground cable anchoring device according to claim 2, wherein the lateral directions of the anchoring members are substantially opposite relative to each other.

An underground cable anchoring device according to claim 2 or 3, wherein the extent to which the surfaces of the elongate anchoring members extend in the lateral directions is unequal.

5. An underground cable anchoring device according to any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the anchoring member has a second surface operatively facing in a substantially opposite direction relative to the surface of the anchoring member.

6. An underground cable anchoring device according to any one of claims 2 to 4, wherein the second anchoring member has a second surface operatively facing in a substantially opposite direction relative to the surface of the second anchoring member.

7. An underground cable anchoring device according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein each anchoring surface is concave in length and or width.

8. An underground cable anchoring device according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the cable engaging portion comprises a gripping surface for operatively gripping an outer surface of the cable.

9. An underground cable anchoring device according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the cable engaging portion comprises a pair of opposing jaws for operatively clamping the cable therebetween.

10. An underground cable anchoring device according to any one of the preceding claims that is manufactured from one of a polymeric material and a metal.

1 1 . An underground cable anchoring device according to any one of the preceding claims that is manufactured by one of a moulding, casting and additive manufacturing process.

12. An underground cable anchoring device, comprising:

a cable engaging portion for operatively securing the device to a cable; and

an anchoring member having a surface operatively facing substantially in a longitudinal direction of the cable, characterized in that a centroid of the anchoring surface is operatively spaced from a longitudinal axis of the cable.

13. The underground cable anchoring device of claim 12, wherein the anchoring member has a second surface operatively facing in a substantially opposite direction relative to the surface of the anchoring member, characterized in that the centroid of the second surface is operatively spaced from the longitudinal axis of the cable.

14. An underground cable anchoring system, comprising a plurality of anchoring devices according to any of the preceding claims, the plurality of anchoring devices fixed to an underground cable at regular intervals along the length of the cable.

15. The underground cable anchoring system according to claim 14, wherein the size of the regular interval is between a half meter and seven meters.

16. The underground cable anchoring system according to claim 15, wherein the size of the regular interval is five meters.

17. An underground cable anchoring device, substantially as herein described and exemplified and/or described with reference to the accompanying figures.

18. An underground cable anchoring system, substantially as herein described and exemplified and/or described with reference to the accompanying figures.

Description:
AN UNDERGROUND CABLE ANCHORING DEVICE

FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a device for preventing or hindering cable theft.

More particularly, the invention relates to an anchoring device for preventing or hindering theft of underground cables.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The ease and economic viability of the recycle and reuse of metals makes it an attractive means of reducing the cost of metal production. This results in a high demand for scrap metal, stimulating the price thereof. Copper is one such a metal, having wide application in long distance distribution of power and communication signals. Due to the high demand for scrap metal, cable theft has become prevalent in many countries, especially developing countries. Damage caused by cable theft extends beyond capex cost of replacement thereof. In many cases, damage caused by power-outages or communications breakdowns exceed the capex cost of replacement of the cable by orders of magnitude. Cable trenches within industrial operations are usually access controlled and may, to a degree, provide sufficient protection against cable theft. However, underground cables, spanning longer distances, cannot adequately and economically be protected by means of providing trenches or enclosures.

During the theft of underground cables, an end thereof is exhumed and fixed to a vehicle, such as an earth-moving vehicle, train or even a pick-up truck, which is then used to pull the remainder of the cable from the ground. In this way, the cable is stolen without the whole length of the cable having to be exhumed.

Consequently, a need exists for protecting underground cables from theft. OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an underground cable anchoring device with which the applicant believes the aforementioned disadvantages may at least be alleviated or which may provide a useful alternative for known anchoring devices aimed at preventing or hindering cable theft. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to a first aspect of the invention there is provided an underground cable anchoring device, comprising a cable engaging portion for operatively securing the device to a cable; and an elongate anchoring member extending in a lateral direction away from the cable engaging portion and having a surface operatively facing substantially in a longitudinal direction of the cable.

The underground cable anchoring device may further comprise a second elongate anchoring member extending in a lateral direction away from the cable engaging portion. The second elongate anchoring member may have a surface which operatively faces substantially in the longitudinal direction of the cable.

The lateral directions of the anchoring members may be substantially opposite relative to each other. The extent to which the surfaces of the elongate anchoring members extend in the lateral directions may be unequal.

The anchoring member may have a second surface operatively facing in a substantially opposite direction relative to the surface of the anchoring member. The second anchoring member may have a second surface operatively facing in a substantially opposite direction relative to the surface of the anchoring member.

Each anchoring surface may be concave in length and or width.

The cable engaging portion may comprise a gripping surface for operatively gripping an outer surface of the cable. The cable engaging portion may furthermore comprise a pair of opposing jaws for operatively clamping the cable therebetween.

The underground cable anchoring device may be manufactured from one of a polymeric material and a metal and by one of a moulding, casting and additive manufacturing process.

According to a second aspect of the invention, there is provided an underground cable anchoring device, comprising a cable engaging portion for operatively securing the device to a cable; and an anchoring member having a surface operatively facing substantially in a longitudinal direction of the cable, characterized in that the centroid of the anchoring surface is spaced from the longitudinal axis of the cable. The anchoring member may have a second surface operatively facing in a substantially opposite direction relative to the surface of the anchoring member. The second surface may be characterized in that the centroid of the second surface may be spaced from the longitudinal axis of the cable.

According to a third aspect of the invention, there is provided an underground cable anchoring system, comprising a plurality of anchoring devices as aforementioned, the plurality of anchoring devices being fixed to an underground cable at regular intervals along the length of the cable.

The size of the regular intervals may be between a half meter and seven meters, and may particularly be five meters.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE ACCOMPANYING DIAGRAMS

The invention will now further be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying figures wherein: is a perspective view of an underground cable anchoring device according to a first embodiment of the invention; figure 2 is a perspective view of the underground cable anchoring device of figure 1 , operatively fixed to an underground cable; figure 3 is a top view of the underground cable anchoring device of figure 1 ; figure 4 is a front view of the underground cable anchoring device of figure 1 ; figure 5 is a side view of the underground cable anchoring device of figure 1 ; and figures 6 - 8 show front views of an underground cable anchoring device according to a second set of embodiments of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

As shown in figures 1 to 5, an underground cable anchoring device according to a first example embodiment is generally indicated by reference numeral 10. The underground cable anchoring device 10 comprises a cable engaging portion 12 for operatively securing the device 10 to a cable 14 (shown in figure 2). The cable 14 is typically used to transmit power, signals etc. over long distances, and is, in use buried underground. It will however be understood that any type of cable or rope, of which at least a portion is buried underground, and which portion needs to be anchored in the underground position, falls within the scope of the invention. When applied to electrical cables, the aim of the invention might in particular be the prevention or hindrance of theft thereof.

The device 10 further comprises an elongate anchoring member 16 that extends in a lateral direction away from the cable engaging portion 12. It will be understood that the cable engaging portion 12 extends substantially along the length of the cable 14, and therefore that the lateral direction relative to the cable engaging portion 14, is thus a lateral direction relative to a longitudinal axis of the cable 14, when the device 10 is secured to the cable 14.

The elongate anchoring member 16 has a surface 18 which operatively faces substantially in a first longitudinal direction 20 (shown in figure 2) of the cable 14. The device 10 furthermore comprises a second elongate anchoring member 22 that extends in a lateral direction away from the cable engaging portion 12. The second elongate anchoring member 22 also has a surface 24 operatively facing substantially in the longitudinal direction 20 of the cable 14. The lateral directions in which the elongate anchoring member 16 and the second elongate anchoring member 22 extend, are substantially opposite relative to each other, as is best illustrated in figure 4. The length of the elongate anchoring member 16, and therefore the extent to which the elongate anchoring member 16 extends in its respective lateral direction, and the length of the second elongate anchoring member 22, and therefore the extent to which the second elongate anchoring member 22 extends in its respective lateral direction, are unequal. It follows that, for example in this embodiment, the length of the surface 18 of the elongate anchoring member 16 is shorter than the length of the surface 24 of the second elongate anchoring member 22 for purposes described in more detail below. Consequently, the extent to which the respective elongate anchoring members extend in the lateral directions is unequal.

The cable engaging portion 12 may comprise first and second opposing gripping surfaces (26, 28). The first and second gripping surfaces (26, 28) therefore acts as a pair of opposing jaws, to operatively receive and clamp the cable 14 therebetween. The opposing jaws may operatively be forced towards each other to exert the clamping force on and secure the device 10 to the cable 14 by means of cable ties, wire or other suitable means (not shown). In this respect, the gripping surfaces (26, 28) are toothed to facilitate the gripping function without causing notable or substantial damage to the cable 14.

In use, the device 10 is secured to the cable 14 as described above, before the cable 14 is installed underground.

When the cable 14 is being pulled from the ground during attempted theft of the cable 14, a force is exerted along the length of the cable 14, and therefore substantially along the first longitudinal direction 20 of the cable. Since the device 10 is secured to the cable 14, no relative movement between the device 10 and the cable 14 is permitted. The surfaces (18, 24) interact with the ground in which the cable is buried so that an opposing force acts on the elongate anchoring members (16, 22) so as to oppose the exerted force. This opposing force accordingly acts to anchor the cable 14 in its underground location and prevents, or at least substantially hinders, the cable from being pulled from its underground position. Because of the unequal lengths of the elongate anchoring members (16, 22) and respective surfaces (18, 24) as aforementioned, an imbalance in the forces exerted on the elongate anchoring members (16, 22) results in the device exerting a resultant couple on the cable 14. This couple results in a twisting or bending action exerted on the cable 14. The opposing forces exerted on the elongate anchoring members (16, 22) and the couple working in on the cable 14, together oppose forces exerted on the cable 14, thereby facilitating the anchoring of the cable in its underground position.

In this embodiment, the elongate anchoring member 16 has a second surface 30 facing in an opposite direction to the surface 18, so that the second surface 30 operatively faces in a second longitudinal direction 32 of the cable 14.

Similarly, the second elongate anchoring member 22 has a second surface 34 facing in an opposite direction to the surface 24 so that the second surface 34 operatively faces in the second longitudinal direction 32 of the cable 14.

When a force is applied to the cable 14 in the second longitudinal direction 32, second surfaces (30, 34) resist the force in a similar way that the surfaces (18, 24) resist the force applied in the first longitudinal direction 20 as described above. This accordingly provides the additional benefit of a single device 10 resisting movement of the cable when pulling forces are applied in either of the longitudinal directions (20, 32). As is shown in the figures, the surfaces (18, 24, 30 and 34) are concave in length and width to act as scoops. The scoops increase the surface area to improve the efficiency with which the anchoring members (16, 22) oppose the force applied to the cable 14. The concavity in the length and width of the members further ensures that the device will anchor the cable, when the forces exerted on the cable are not purely along the longitudinal axis of the cable 14. For instance, when the device is installed with the lateral directions being substantially horizontal, the concavity in the width of the members will oppose forces having an upward component thereby resisting movement of the cable 14 in a substantially upward direction.

The device 10, further includes a number of braces 36 to impart rigidity to the device 10.

The device 10 is manufactured from a polymeric material, such as a plastics material. Typically, the device 10 is manufactured by means of a moulding, casting or additive manufacturing (also known as 3-d printing) process. Alternatively, the device 10 is manufactured from a metal utilizing a similar or any other suitable process. The invention further extends to a second set of example embodiments (shown in figures 6 to 8) of an underground anchoring device 100, that comprises a cable engaging portion 120 for operatively securing the device to a cable 14. The second example embodiment further comprises an anchoring member 140 that has a surface 160 which operatively faces substantially in the first longitudinal direction of the cable and which surface is characterized in that it has a centroid 180 which, operatively, is spaced a distance x from the longitudinal axis of the cable. The device has a second surface (not shown), facing in the second longitudinal direction of the cable. The second surface is also characterized in that it has a centroid that is spaced from the longitudinal axis of the cable.

It should be clear that the anchoring member of the second example embodiment 100 need not necessarily be elongate. It follows that the surface 160 of the anchoring member 140 may be circular (as in the embodiment shown in figure 6), square oval or any other shape, provided that the centroid of the surface is spaced from the longitudinal axis of the cable, when the device is secured to the cable. As shown in figure 6, where the surface is viewed along the longitudinal axis of the cable 14, the extent of the surface 160 in a first lateral direction exceeds the extent z of the surface 160 in an opposing lateral direction, so that the centroid 180 is offset from the longitudinal axis of the cable 14 by the distance x.

The anchoring member 140 of the device 100 of figure 7 only extends in one lateral direction away from the cable 14, resulting in the centroid 180 being offset from the cable 14 by the distance x.

In figure 8, the extent of the surface 160 in the first lateral direction is equal to the extent z of the surface 160 in the opposing lateral direction. However, due to the shape of the surface 160, the centroid 180 is offset from the longitudinal axis of the cable 14 by distance x.

In use of the second set of embodiments, when a force is exerted along the first longitudinal direction of the cable 14, the ground within which the cable is buried exerts an opposing force on the surface of the anchoring member. Since the centroid is spaced from the longitudinal axis of the cable 14, a couple results, which is exerted on the cable. The opposing force and the couple collectively resist the force exerted on the cable in a similar manner described in relation to the first embodiment.

In general, when used as an underground cable securing system, a plurality of anchoring devices (10, 100) are secured to the underground cable 14 at regular intervals along the length of the cable 14. The number of devices used will therefore be determined by the overall length of the cable 14. The size of the regular intervals is between a half meter and seven meters, and will typically be around five meters, but can be varied according to a particular installation. By providing the devices at regular intervals, the overall functionality of the device is enhanced in such system and therefore provides a means for securing an underground cable thereby preventing or minimizing theft of said cable. It will also be understood that the regular intervals may be even smaller than half a meter without departing from the scope of the invention.

It should be noted that the size of the device (10, 100), and particularly the shape and size of the cable engaging portion 12 may be selected based on a diameter of the cable 14. Furthermore, it should be noted that the device may comprise only the elongate anchoring member 16, and not the second elongate anchoring member 22. In such a case, the centroids of both the surface 18 and the second surface 30 will naturally be spaced from the longitudinal axis of the cable 14, resulting in the advantages as aforementioned.

It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the invention is not limited to the precise details as described herein and that many variations are possible without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as illustrated and exemplified. The description above is presented in the cause of providing what is believed to be the most useful and readily understandable description of the principles and conceptual aspects of the invention. In this regard, no attempt is made to show structural details of the invention in more detail than is necessary for a fundamental understanding of the invention. The words used here should be interpreted as words of description rather than words of limitation.