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Title:
CHINESE FINGER AND OUTER LAYER REMOVED FROM CORD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2013/110362
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An assembly adapted for connecting two ends of a steel cord (14) comprises a connector tubular fabric (100) for connecting steel cords at two connecting ends. The steel cord is a multi-layer steel cord having a core and at least one layer and possibly a wrapping filament. At least one layer is absent at the two connecting ends of the steel cords over a total length L2 and the tubular fabric is positioned so that it fits within said total length L2 thereby avoiding an increase in diameter over the length L2.

Inventors:
ONISHCHENKO SERGEY (RU)
Application Number:
PCT/EP2012/071027
Publication Date:
August 01, 2013
Filing Date:
October 24, 2012
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
BEKAERT SA NV (BE)
International Classes:
F16G11/08; B65H69/02; D07B1/00; F16G11/00; F16G11/02
Foreign References:
US2596513A1952-05-13
US3047652A1962-07-31
US0161508A1875-03-30
US2435284A1948-02-03
GB1462735A1977-01-26
US2596513A1952-05-13
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MESSELY, Marc (Bekaertstraat 2, Zwevegem, BE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1 . An assembly of two steel cords and a tubular fabric for connecting said steel cords at two connecting ends,

said steel cords being a multi-layer steel cord having a core and at least one layer and possibly a wrapping filament, characterized in that at least said one layer is absent at the two connecting ends of said steel cords over a total length L2, said tubular fabric being positioned so that it covers at least part of said total length L2 thereby avoiding an increase in diameter over the length L2.

2. An assembly according to Claim 1 , wherein said tubular fabric has a particular length l_i ranging from 0.5 cm to 20 cm.

3. An assembly according to Claim 2, wherein l_i is smaller or equal to L2.

4. An assembly according to claim 3, wherein said tubular fabric has a wall

thickness δ and wherein said at least one layer has filaments with a maximum diameter of d^, the absence of said at least one layer resulting in a thickness decrease of 2xd^ over a length L2, the positioning of said tubular fabric resulting in a thickness increase of 2xc5 over a length Li, the global effect being 2xc5 - 2xde over a length L1 .

5. An assembly according to claim 4, wherein 2xc5 - 2xdns positive.

6. An assembly according to claim 4, wherein 2xc5 - 2xdns negative.

7. An assembly according to Claim 1 , wherein said multi-layer steel cord

comprises a core and an inner layer twisted around the core and further an outer layer twisted around said inner layer and then the wrapping filament.

8. An assembly according to Claim 7, wherein said multi-layer steel cord

comprises a core of three filaments and an inner layer of nine filaments twisted around the core and further an outer layer of fifteen filaments twisted around and then a further wrapping filament.

9. An assembly according to Claim 7, wherein said multi-layer steel cord

comprises a core of only one filament and an inner layer of six filaments twisted around the core and further an outer layer of twelve filaments twisted around and then a further wrapping filament.

10. An assembly according to Claim 7, wherein the outer layer or both of the outer layer and the wrapping filament is/are removed at the two connecting ends.

1 1 . An assembly according to Claim 7, wherein the inner layer or both of the core and the inner layer is/are removed at the two connecting ends.

12. An assembly according to Claim 10 or 1 1 , wherein the remaining filaments of each connecting end may be heated by electrical resistance and overtwisted together.

13. An assembly according to any one of Claim 1 to 12, wherein the two ends of said tubular fabric are soldered to the exterior filaments of the steel cords.

14. A method of connecting two steel cords at two connecting ends by means of a tubular fabric, said method comprising the steps:

- removing at least one layer at the two connecting ends of the two steel cords;

- connecting the two ends by means of a tubular fabric.

15. A method of connecting two steel cords at two connecting ends by means of a tubular fabric, said method comprising the steps:

- connecting the two ends by means of a tubular fabric resulting in a

connected assembly;

- wrapping the connected assembly by means of a wrapping filament thereby avoiding to wrap on top of the tubular fabric.

Description:
CHINESE FINGER AND OUTER LAYER REMOVED FROM CORD

Description

Technical Field

[1 ] The invention relates to a tubular fabric for connecting two steel cords, and an assembly of two steel cords and a tubular fabric for connecting said steel cords at two connecting ends. The invention further relates to a method of connecting two steel cords at two connecting ends by means of a tubular fabric.

Background Art

[2] A tubular fabric for connecting two steel cords is known in the art and is sometimes referred to as a "Chinese finger". The assembly 10 of Chinese finger 100 and steel cords 14 is shown in Figures 1 a, 1 b and 1 c. Figure 1 a shows a longitudinal view, Figure 1 b a cross-section according to plane l-l and Figure 1 c a cross-section according to plane ll-ll. Chinese finger 100 is composed of metal threads or wires 12 helically interwoven or braided to form a cylindrical braiding. Between adjacent successive threads 12 in the axial direction and in the peripheral direction, are spaces 13. The resulting network of lozenges is very flexible and facilitates radial expansion and contraction of the tubular fabric when it is positioned on the ends of two steel cords and contraction and gripping of those ends when the joined cords are subjected to forces tending to pull the cords from one another. The general purpose is to use such a tubular fabric or Chinese finger to connect two steel cords each time there is a fracture during twisting.

[3] GB 1462 735 disclosed a tubular fabric which was similar to that shown in Figure 1 a except that the braiding formed by the metal threads or wires were embedded in a rubber cylindrical body. This cylindrical body naturally filled the spaces between the metal threads or wires. However, because of the elastomeric cylindrical body, it might be insufficient to subject the tubular fabric to a slight axial compression to make it expand radially and allow it to be positioned easily on the ends of two steel cords which are to be connected.

[4] Besides, an assembly of two steel cords connected by such a tubular fabric or by hitherto known tubular fabrics has a quite visible disadvantage that the diameter increases over the length of the tubular fabric. In case it is desirable to have continuous cords available by such assemblies, this diameter increase might have difficulties in the subsequent operations of such cords, e.g. guiding the cords through a steelastic installation when rubberising of such cords.

[5] US 2596 513 also disclosed a coupling or joint of a Chinese finger , the two connecting ends of the belt may be cut down to form a shoulder and cylindrical end portions which permit the coupling to surround these end portions and still not enlarge the resulting diameter substantially beyond that of the belt. Of course, it also described that for the belt of a rope or the like, when the diameter is so small that the paring down of the belt ends to accommodate the coupling is not desirable and a slight increase in diameter will not be detrimental. On one hand, indeed it disclosed a method to avoid a substantial increase in diameter; on the other hand, for a belt of the rope or the like, e.g. steel cord, as the diameter of the filaments is too small to be cut down, it may have undesirable results in operation, e.g. at a high risk of fracture. Thus, it is not a preferable way to avoid the diameter increasing of the joint part in case of the use of the coupling on a belt of steel cord or the like.

Disclosure of Invention

[6] The primary object of the invention is to mitigate drawbacks of the prior arts.

[7] The further object of the invention is to decrease the diameter over the length of the tubular fabric. [8] The another object of the invention is to increase tensile strength at level of fracture.

[9] According a first aspect of the invention, there is provided an assembly of two steel cords and a tubular fabric for connecting the steel cords at two connecting ends. The steel cords are multi-layer steel cords having a core and at least one layer and possibly a wrapping filament, e.g. a core of one filament or a plurality of filaments and one layer or two or more layers with a plurality of filaments of each layer twisted around the core, further a wrapping filament may be wrapped around the outer layer of such steel cords.

At least one layer is absent at the two connecting ends of said steel cords over a total length L 2 . The tubular fabric is positioned so that it fits within the total length L 2 thereby avoiding an increase in diameter over this length L 2 .

[10] Preferably, the tubular fabric of the assembly according to the invention has a particular length l_i ranging from 0.5 cm to 20 cm, e.g. 1 cm to 3 cm or 5 cm to 10 cm. If the length l_i is shorter than 0.5 cm, it would not sufficient to subject the tubular fabric to provide a strong connection of the two ends of the cords, which would easily cause tensile strength decreasing at level of fracture. If the length l_i is longer than 20 cm, it would be a waste of material and a longer tubular fabric can not facilitate their positioning over the two ends of the cords to be connected. The tubular fabric with a particular length l_i is positioned so that it fits within the total length L 2 , Li and L 2 preferably satisfy the expression l_i < L 2 .

The tubular fabric has a wall thickness δ while at least one layer of the multi-layer steel cord has filaments with a maximum diameter of d^, which means that the absence of said at least one layer results in a thickness decrease of 2xd^ over a length L 2 while further positioning of said tubular fabric is resulting in a thickness increase of 2xc5 over a length Li. That's to say, the global effect on the joint part of such an assembly according to the invention is 2x6 - 2x6t over a length Li . 2x6 - 2x6t can either be positive or negtive in order to avoid an increase in diameter over the length l_2. If 2x6 - 2x6t is positive, the total diameter of the joint part will be a little bit larger than the diameter of the other parts of said steel cord but still much smaller than the sum of the 2x6 + 2x6t in case there is no removal of any layers of the steel cord. If 2x6 - 2x6t is negative, the total diameter of the joint part is much smaller than the other parts of the steel cord, which has a significant improvement of avoiding an increase in diameter over the length l_2.

[12] In a particular embodiment, the multi-layer steel cord comprises a core and an inner layer twisted around the core and further an outer layer twisted around the inner layer, e.g.1 +6+12 or 3+9+15 multi-layer steel cord construction with a core filament and an inner layer of six filaments twisted around the core filament and twelve filaments as an outer layer further twisted around the inner layer. Possibly, there is a wrapping filament wrapped around the outer layer, this is then referred to as 1 +6+12 +1 or 3+9+15 +1 .

[13] In this particular embodiment, the outer layer or both of the outer layer and the wrapping filament is/are removed at the two connecting ends, e.g. for a multi-layer steel cord construction with a wrapping filament 3+9+15 +1 , the outer layer of fifteen filaments or both of the fifteen filaments and the wrapping filament is/are removed at the two connecting ends resulting in a reduction of the diameter at the two connecting ends.

[14] Thus, the two connecting ends will have a decreased diameter because of the absence of the outer layer or both of the outer layer and the wrapping filament at the two connecting ends of the steel cords. This would further avoid an increase in diameter when the tubular fabric is put over both steel cord ends.

[15] Alternatively, the two connecting ends will have a decreased diameter because of the absence of the inner layer or both of the inner layer and the core at the two connecting ends of the steel cords, e.g. for a multilayer steel cord construction with a wrapping filament 1 +6+12 +1 , the inner layer of six filaments or both of the core filament and the inner layer of six filaments is/are removed at the two connecting ends. This would further avoid an increase in diameter when the tubular fabric is put over both steel cord ends.

[16] The remaining filaments of each connecting end may be heated by

electrical resistance and overtwisted together in order to be further connected by the tubular fabric to form an assembly according to the invention. The heating may be effected by various simple means such as a heating press or gripper with jaws gripping and encompassing the two connecting ends.

The assembly of the invention, preferably, the two ends of the tubular fabric are soldered to the exterior filaments of the steel cords in order to obtain a sufficiently high breaking strength of the joint part and allow proper tensioning of the assembly. A solder has proven to provide a stronger bonding than an adhesive resin. Moreover, a solder is to be preferred above a weld, since welding may make the assembly too brittle.

[18] According a second aspect of this invention, a method of connecting two steel cords at two connecting ends by means of a tubular fabric is provided. The method comprises the steps:

- removing at least one layer at the two connecting ends of the two steel cords;

- connecting the two ends by means of a tubular fabric.

[19] According a third aspect of this invention, a method of connecting two

steel cords at two connecting ends by means of a tubular fabric is provided, the method comprises the steps:

- connecting the two ends by means of a tubular fabric resulting in a

connected assembly; - wrapping the connected assembly by means of a wrapping filament thereby avoiding to wrap on top of the tubular fabric.

Brief Description of Figures in the Drawings

[20] Figure 1 a is an axial section of a known assembly of two steel cords

connecting by a known connector tubular fabric according to the prior art. Figure 1 b a cross-section according to plane l-l in Figure 1 a.

Figure 1 c a cross-section according to plane ll-ll in Figure 1 a.

[21 ] Figure 2a shows an axial section of a first preferred embodiment of the invention.

Figure 2b a cross-section according to plane l-l in Figure 2a.

Figure 2c a cross-section according to plane ll-ll in Figure 2a.

[22] Figure 3a shows an axial section of a second preferred embodiment of the invention.

Figure 3b a cross-section according to plane l-l in Figure 3a.

Figure 3c a cross-section according to plane ll-ll in Figure 3a.

[23] Figure 4a shows an axial section of a third preferred embodiment of the invention.

Figure 4b a cross-section according to plane l-l in Figure 4a.

Figure 4c a cross-section according to plane ll-ll in Figure 4a.

Mode(s) for Carrying Out the Invention

[24] Fractures of a steel cord may happen during the twisting process.

However, it is desirable to have continuous cords with long lengths available so as to obtain uniform continuous reinforcing elements. Having long lengths of equal diameter avoids difficulties during the rubberising of the cords. Especially for the joint part, which is the part where two steel cords are joined together, it is desirable to have a strong connection as well as an equal diameter or a minimized change in diameter. [25] The known assembly 10 shown in Figure 1 a is composed of two steel cords 14 connected by a known connector tubular fabric 100. The diameter (a radial thickness) of the assembly over the length of the tubular fabric is equal to the sum of diameter of the steel cord itself and the radial thickness of the tubular fabric. So there is a substantial increase in diameter.

[26] There may be different embodiments of the connector tubular fabric or the Chinese finger, but two specific examples are: One with sixteen filaments with a diameter of 0.1 1 cm illustrated as the tubular fabric 100 and one with thirty-two filaments with a diameter of 0.09 cm illustrated as the tubular fabric 200. The tensile strength of the filaments of the two Chinese fingers is preferred to be ultra tensile strength, which means at least 3800 MPa.

[27] A first preferred embodiment 20 according to the invention and shown in Figure 2a is similar to that shown in Figure 1 a except that at the two connecting ends 16 of the steel cords 14 the six filaments of the outer layer are absent over a total length L 2 as can be seen from a comparison of cross-sections Fig. 2b and Fig. 2c. This means that the tubular fabric 200 with a particular length l_i when positioned and fitting within the total length L 2 of one core filament does not increase the diameter, at least not over the length L 2 .

[28] Removal of the outer layer filaments at the two connecting ends of the two steel cords is done manually and with appropriate cutting means, e.g. by means of a pair of pliers. Further, in order to avoid the filaments at the cutting point becoming loose, they are connected to the rest of the steel cord by means of solder.

[29] After that, the two ends of tubular fabric are soldered to the exterior

filaments of the steel cords in order to increase tensile strength at level of fracture. If the two ends of tubular fabric are not soldered to the exterior filaments of the steel cords, the connection of the two ends of the steel cords is bad, which will cause too big a loss of tensile strength at level of fracture.

[30] In case the customer wants a steel cord with a wrapping filament 24, e.g. a steel cord 22 with a construction of 3+9+15 +1 , a second preferred embodiment 30 shown in Figure 3a illustrates the assembly according to the invention.

At the two connecting ends of the steel cord 22 the fifteen filaments of the outer layer are absent over a total length L2". The tubular fabric 200 with a particular length L1 " is positioned and just matches with the total length L2". The result is that the diameter of the assembly over the length L2" decreases significantly compared with the known assembly shown in Figure 1 .

[31 ] Removal of the outer layer filaments at the two connecting ends of the two steel cords is also done manually and with appropriate cutting means, e.g. by means of a pair of pliers. Then the remaining filaments at the two connecting ends of the steel cord - the three core filaments and the inner layer nine filaments - are heated and overtwisted in order to obtain a thinner radial diameter of the ends further to contribute to the diameter decreasing of the assembly over the length L 2 " . This heating is also done to avoid contact stresses between the cord ends and the Chinese finger thereby leading to an improved breaking load of the connection.

[32] Further, in order to avoid the filaments (the fifteen outer layer filaments) at the cutting point becoming loose, they are connected to the rest of the steel cord by means of solder.

[33] After that, the two ends of tubular fabric are soldered to the exterior

filaments of the steel cords in order to increase tensile strength at level of fracture. [34] Then a wrapping filament 24 is wrapping the steel cord 22 but no wrapping on top of the tubular fabric is done in order to avoid the diameter increasing of the joint part of the assembly.

Alternatively, wrapping may be done over the assembly and the tubular fabric. The drawback is that this increases the diameter, but the advantage is that this continuous wrapping without interruptions

strengthens the assembly.

[35] A third embodiment shown in Figure 4 according to the invention is also about an assembly of a tubular fabric 100 for connecting two ends of a steel cord 32 further with a wrapping filament 34, e.g. 1 +6+12+1 steel cord construction.

[36] At the two connecting ends of the steel cord 32 the core filament and the six filaments of the inner layer are absent over a total length L 2 "' . This means that the tubular fabric with a particular length l_i " is positioned and partially overlaps with the total length L 2 "' . It is quite obvious that the diameter of the assembly over the length L 2 of the tubular fabric decreases significantly compared with the known assembly shown in Figure 1 .

[37] Removal of the core filament and the inner layer filaments at the two

connecting ends of the two steel cords is also done manually and with appropriate cutting means, e.g. first untwisting the outer layer, then removing the core filament and the inner layer filaments by means of a pair of pliers, and thereafter twisting again the outer layer filaments.

[38] In order to avoid the filaments (the core filament and the inner layer

filaments) at the cutting point becoming loose, they are connected to the rest of the steel cord by means of solder.

[39] The two ends of the steel cord 32 are then connected by means of a

tubular fabric resulting in a connected assembly after the two ends of tubular fabric are soldered to the exterior filaments of the steel cords in order to increase tensile strength at level of fracture.

[40] Further, wrapping the connected assembly by means of a wrapping

filament 34 on top of the tubular fabric as shown in Figure 4 is done.

[41 ] It is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the assemblies of the embodiments above, but that it may also be applied to assemblies comprising a tubular fabric for connecting two ends of a steel cord or steel cords with a non-increasing diameter over the length of the tubular fabric.