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Title:
FLEXIBLE, ABRASION RESISTANT, WOVEN SLEEVE AND METHOD OF CONSTRUCTION THEREOF
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/198445
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A woven sleeve and method of construction are provided. The sleeve (10,10') has a flexible, abrasion resistant elongate wall (12,12') constructed from woven monofilament and/or multifilament yarns. The wall is configured to bound a cavity extending along a central axis(18) of the sleeve. The wall is woven with warp yarns (23) that extend generally parallel to the central axis of the sleeve and fill yarns (24) that extend circumferentially about the sleeve, generally transversely to the central axis. The warp yarns are bundled into individual, discrete groups (22), with each group (22) including a plurality of yarns (23) in side-by-side relation with one another, wherein each of the yarns (23) within the same discrete group (22) is interlaced over the same side of a common fill yarn (24).

Inventors:
QIU XIAODAN (US)
GAO TIANQI (US)
MEHBUBANI RITESH (US)
WINTERS DANNY (US)
ADAMSKI EMMA (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2020/024908
Publication Date:
October 01, 2020
Filing Date:
March 26, 2020
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
FED MOGUL POWERTRAIN LLC (US)
International Classes:
D03D3/02; H02G3/04
Foreign References:
US20150337465A12015-11-26
US20160309626A12016-10-20
EP2973905A12016-01-20
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STEARNS, Robert L. et al. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A woven textile sleeve for routing and protecting elongate members, comprising: an elongate wall configured to bound a cavity extending a longitudinal central axis of the sleeve, said wall being woven with warp yams extending parallel to said central longitudinal axis and fill yams extending transversely to said warp yams, said warp yams being woven as discrete bundles of yam filaments, wherein each said discrete bundle of yam filaments includes a plurality of yam filaments arranged in side-by-side abuting relation with one another, with said yam filaments in each discrete bundle extending over and under the same said fill yams with one another.

2. The textile sleeve of claim 1, wherein each said bundle of yam filaments extends over a single fill yam and under a single fill yam in repetition.

3. The textile sleeve of claim 1, wherein said fill yams include monofilaments and multifilaments that alternate with one another along the longitudinal central axis.

4. The textile sleeve of claim 1, wherein said wall has opposite edges biased into overlapping relation with one another by at least some of said fill yams being heat-set.

5. The textile sleeve of claim 1, wherein at least some of said bundles include monofilaments.

6. The textile sleeve of claim 5, wherein at least some of said bundles include multifilaments.

7. The textile sleeve of claim 6, wherein at least some of said bundles include only monofilaments and wherein at least some of said bundles include only multifilaments.

8. The textile sleeve of claim 6, wherein at least some of said bundles include monofilaments and multifilaments.

9. The textile sleeve of claim 8, wherein each of said bundles include monofilaments and multifilaments.

10. The textile sleeve of claim 5, wherein each of said bundles include only monofilaments.

11. The textile sleeve of claim 5, wherein said monofilaments have a larger diameter relative to the fill yams.

12. The textile sleeve of claim 5, wherein at least one of said monofilaments within at least one of said discrete bundles has a larger diameter from other ones of said yam filaments within said at least one of said discrete bundles.

13. The textile sleeve of claim 1, wherein at least one yam filament within at least one of said discrete bundles of warp yams is a different type of material from other ones of said yam filaments within said at least one of said discrete bundles.

14. The textile sleeve of claim 1, wherein at least one yam filament within at least one of said discrete bundles of warp yams has a different diameter and is formed of a different type of material from other ones of said yam filaments within said at least one of said discrete bundles.

15. The textile sleeve of claim 1, wherein at least some of said bundles include multifilaments.

16. The textile sleeve of claim 15, wherein at least some of said bundles include only multifilaments.

17. The textile sleeve of claim 16, wherein each of said bundles include only multifilaments.

18. A woven textile sleeve for routing and protecting elongate members, comprising: an elongate wall configured to bound a cavity extending a longitudinal central axis of the sleeve, said wall being woven with warp yams extending parallel to said central longitudinal axis and fill yams extending transversely to said warp yams, said warp yams being woven as discrete bundles of monofilaments, wherein each said discrete bundle of monofilaments includes a plurality of monofilaments arranged in side-by-side abutting relation with one another, with said monofilaments in each discrete bundle extending over and under the same said fill yams with one another, and said fill yams being woven as monofilaments and multifilaments;

wherein each said bundle of monofilaments extends over a single fill yam and under a single fill yam in repetition;

wherein said fill yam monofilaments and said fill yam multifilaments alternate with one another along the longitudinal central axis; and

wherein said wall has opposite edges biased into overlapping relation with one another by at least some of said fill monofilaments being heat-set.

19. A method of constructing a textile sleeve, comprising:

weaving an elongate wall configured to bound a central cavity extending parallel to a central longitudinal axis of the sleeve with the wall having warp yams extending parallel to the central longitudinal axis and fill yams extending transverse to the warp yams;

weaving the warp yams in discrete bundles of yams, each of the bundles having a plurality of yam filaments arranged in side-by-side abutting relation with one another, with the yam filaments in each discrete bundle extending over and under the same fill yams with one another; and

weaving the fill yams including monofilaments and multifilaments.

20. The method of claim 19, further including weaving each the bundles including monofilaments.

21. The method of claim 20, further including providing at least one monofilament within each of the discrete bundles having a larger diameter from other ones of the yam filaments within the discrete bundles.

23. The method of claim 20, further including weaving each said bundles including multifilaments.

24. The method of claim 23, further including weaving each of the monofilaments in the bundles being in side-by-side relation with one of the multifilaments in in the bundles.

Description:
FLEXIBLE, ABRASION RESISTANT, WOVEN SLEEVE AND METHOD OF

CONSTRUCTION THEREOF

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Serial No.

62/824,217, filed March 26, 2019, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field

[0002] This invention relates generally to textile sleeves for protecting elongate members, and more particularly to woven sleeves.

2. Related Art

[0003] It is known to contain and protect elongate members, such as wires and wire harnesses, for example, in woven protective sleeves, such as in automobiles, aircraft or aerospace craft, to provide protection to the wires against abrasion, fluid and thermal affects. In order to achieve the multiple types of desired protection, and to ensure optimal protection to the elongate members against the effects of abrasion, the protective sleeve may have multiple layers, with some of the layers being specifically provided for different types of protection. For example, one layer may be provided for optical coverage to inhibit seeing through the sleeve, e.g. a sheet of plastic material, while another layer may be provided for abrasion resistance, and yet another layer may be provided for protection against thermal conditions. Although the aforementioned multilayer sleeves may provide suitable protection against various environmental conditions, unfortunately they are typically bulky, thereby requiring an increased volume of space, and further, they tend to be relatively heavy and exhibit low flexibility. Further yet, providing suitable protection against abrasion can still remain a challenge. Having to include multiple layers can prove problematic in some applications, particularly applications requiring routing cables or hoses through tight, winding areas, as well as applications having weight restrictions, such as aircraft and aerospace applications, for example.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] One aspect of the invention provides a woven textile sleeve for routing and protecting elongate members including an elongate wall configured to bound a cavity extending a longitudinal central axis of the sleeve. The wall is woven with warp yams extending parallel to the central longitudinal axis and fill yams extending transversely to the warp yams. The warp yams are woven as discrete bundles of yam filaments. Each of the discrete bundle of yam filaments includes a plurality of yam filaments arranged in side-by- side abutting relation with one another. The yam filaments in each discrete bundle extend over and under the same fill yams with one another.

[0005] In accordance with another aspect, the invention provides a method of constructing a textile sleeve, comprising: weaving an elongate wall configured to bound a central cavity extending parallel to a central longitudinal axis of the sleeve with the wall having warp yams extending parallel to the central longitudinal axis and fill yams extending transverse to the warp yams. Further, weaving the warp yams in discrete bundles of yams, with each of the bundles having a plurality of yam filaments arranged in side-by-side abutting relation with one another, with the yam filaments in each discrete bundle extending over and under the same fill yams with one another. Further yet, weaving the fill yams including monofilaments and multifilaments.

[0006] Another aspect of the invention provides a woven sleeve for routing and protecting elongate members from exposure to abrasion and other environmental conditions, such as contamination. The sleeve has a flexible, abrasion resistant wall constructed from woven monofilament and multifilament yams. The wall is configured to bound a cavity that extends along a central axis of the sleeve between opposite open ends. The wall is woven with warp yams that extend generally parallel to the central axis of the sleeve and fill (also referred to as weft) yams that extend circumferentially about the central axis of the sleeve, generally transversely to the central axis. The warp yams are bundled into individual, discrete groups, with each group including a plurality of monofilaments in immediate, side-by-side, abutting relation with one another, wherein each of the monofilaments within the same discrete group is interlaced to extend over and under the same side of a same (common) fill yam. The groups of bundled warp yams provide enhanced abrasion resistance to abrasive forces along the length of the sleeve, while also providing the sleeve with a relatively reduced weight as compared to a similar plain weave sleeve (a plain weave does not include discrete groups of side-by-side yams) of the same size, while the synergies provided by the warp and fill yams further provide the sleeve with enhanced optical coverage, an ability to flex smoothly without kinking about meandering paths and comers, while also being economical in manufacture and in use.

[0007] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the wall of the sleeve can be constructed as a circumferentially continuous, seamless tubular wall.

[0008] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the wall of the sleeve can be formed as a wrappable wall having opposite edges extending generally parallel with the central axis, wherein the opposite edges are configured to overlap one another to bound the cavity configured for receipt of the elongate member to be protected.

[0009] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the discrete bundles of warp monofilaments can extend over a single fill yam and under a single fill yam in repeating fashion.

[0010] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the discrete bundles of warp monofilaments can extend over a plurality of the fill yams and under a plurality of the fill yams in repeating fashion. [0011] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, each of the discrete bundles of warp monofilaments can be provided having three (3) or more monofilaments to provide enhanced abrasion resistance.

[0012] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the fill yams can be provided as multifilaments and monofilaments, with the multifilaments providing enhanced optical coverage and the monofilaments being heat-set to bias the opposite edges of the wall into overlapping relation with one another.

[0013] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the fill yams can be provided including multifilaments and monofilaments in alternating relation with one another along the length of the sleeve, such that the immediately adjacent fill yams extend over and under, respectively, the same warp yam, to provide an optimal self-wrapping configuration and optimal optical coverage to the sleeve.

[0014] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the fill yams can be provided including multifilaments and monofilaments in bundled, side-by-side relation with one another, such that each passage (pick) of the fill yam includes a multifilament and a monofilament either pulled in parallel relation with one another, twisted with one another, or served with one another, such that the bundled multifilament and monofilament fill yams extend over and under the same warp yam in side-by-side relation with one another, to provide an optimal self-wrapping configuration and optimal optical coverage to the sleeve.

[0015] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the warp monofilaments can be provided having a larger diameter relative to the fill yams to enhance abrasion protection to the fill yams.

[0016] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, at least one warp monofilament within one or more of the discrete bundles of warp monofilaments can have a different diameter from other ones of the warp monofilaments within the discrete bundle, with the warp monofilaments having the greater diameter providing protection to the warp monofilaments having the lesser diameter.

[0017] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, at least one warp monofilament within one or more of the discrete bundles of warp monofilaments can be a different type of material from other ones of the warp monofilaments within the discrete bundle.

[0018] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, at least one warp monofilament within one or more of the discrete bundles of warp monofilaments can have a different diameter and be formed of a different type of material from other ones of the warp monofilaments within the discrete bundle.

[0019] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, at least one warp monofilament within one or more of the discrete bundles of warp monofilaments can have a larger diameter, such as about 0.25mm, for example, and be formed of a different type of material, such as Nylon, for example, from other ones of the warp monofilaments having a diameter of about 0.22mm, for example, and being formed of PET, for example, within the discrete bundle. The larger diameter monofilaments are provided to enhance abrasion resistance from an optimally abrasion resistant material, thereby providing protection to the smaller, less expensive monofilaments, which also provide enhanced abrasion resistance in synergistic fashion with the larger diameter monofilaments.

[0020] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, a method of constructing a textile sleeve is provided. The method includes weaving an elongate wall configured to bound a cavity that extends along a central longitudinal axis of the sleeve with the wall being having warp yams extending parallel to the central longitudinal axis and fill yams extending transverse to the warp yams. Further, the method includes weaving the warp yams in discrete bundles of yams, with each of the bundles having a plurality of monofilament yams arranged in side-by-side abutting relation with one another, wherein the warp yams in each discrete bundle extends over and under the same fill yams with one another.

[0021] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the method can further include weaving the wall having opposite edges extending generally parallel to the central longitudinal axis, and wrapping the opposite edges in overlapping relation with one another to circumferentially bound the cavity.

[0022] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the method can further include weaving the wall as a circumferentially continuous, seamless tubular wall.

[0023] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the method can further include weaving the bundles over and under a single fill yam in repeating fashion.

[0024] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the method can further include heat-setting at least some of the fill yams to bias the opposite edges into overlapping relation with one another.

[0025] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the method can further include providing the fill yams as monofilaments and multifilament yams.

[0026] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the method can further include weaving the fill yams as monofilaments and multifilament yams in alternating relation with another along the length of the sleeve.

[0027] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the method can further include weaving the warp yams and the fill yams in a warp rib weave pattern.

[0028] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the method can further include weaving at least one warp monofilament within one or more of the discrete bundles of warp monofilaments having a different diameter from other ones of the warp monofilaments within the discrete bundle to further enhance the abrasion resistance of the wall and reduce the cost associated with manufacture of the wall. [0029] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the method can further include weaving at least one warp monofilament within one or more of the discrete bundles of warp monofilaments of a different type of material from other ones of the warp monofilaments within the discrete bundle to further enhance the abrasion resistance of the wall and reduce the cost associated with manufacture of the wall.

[0030] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the method can further include weaving at least one warp monofilament within one or more of the discrete bundles of warp monofilaments having a different diameter and being formed of a different type of material from other ones of the warp monofilaments within the discrete bundle to further enhance the abrasion resistance of the wall and reduce the cost associated with manufacture of the wall.

[0031] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the method can further include weaving at least one warp monofilament within one or more of the discrete bundles of warp monofilaments having a larger diameter, such as about 0.25mm, for example, and being formed of a different type of material, such as Nylon, for example, from other ones of the warp monofilaments having a diameter of about 0.22mm, for example, and being formed of PET, for example, within the discrete bundle, such that the larger diameter monofilaments provide enhanced abrasion resistance with an optimally abrasion resistant material, thereby providing abrasion resistance protection to the smaller, less expensive monofilaments, which also provide enhanced abrasion resistance in synergistic fashion with the larger diameter monofilaments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0032] These and other aspects, features and advantages will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art in view of the following detailed description of presently preferred embodiments and best mode, appended claims, and accompanying drawings, in which: [0033] Figure 1 is schematic perspective view of a woven, wrappable sleeve constructed in accordance with one aspect of the invention, with the sleeve shown carrying and protecting elongate members therein;

[0034] Figure 1A is a view similar to Figure 1 of a woven, circumferentially continuous sleeve constructed in accordance with another aspect of the invention, with the sleeve shown carrying and protecting elongate members therein;

[0035] Figure 2 is an enlarged schematic plan view of a portion of a wall of the sleeves of Figures 1 and 1A constructed in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;

[0036] Figure 2 A is a view similar to Figure 2 illustrating a portion of a wall of the sleeves of Figures 1 and 1A constructed in accordance with another embodiment of the invention;

[0037] Figure 2B is a view similar to Figure 2 illustrating a portion of a wall of the sleeves of Figures 1 and 1A constructed in accordance with yet another embodiment of the invention;

[0038] Figure 2C is a view similar to Figure 2 illustrating a portion of a wall of the sleeves of Figures 1 and 1A constructed in accordance with yet another embodiment of the invention;

[0039] Figure 2D is a view similar to Figure 2 illustrating a portion of a wall of the sleeves of Figures 1 and 1A constructed in accordance with another embodiment of the invention;

[0040] Figure 2E is a view similar to Figure 2 illustrating a portion of a wall of the sleeves of Figures 1 and 1A constructed in accordance with another embodiment of the invention;

[0041] Figure 2F is a view similar to Figure 2 illustrating a portion of a wall of the sleeves of Figures 1 and 1A constructed in accordance with another embodiment of the invention;

[0042] Figure 2G is a view similar to Figure 2 illustrating a portion of a wall of the sleeves of Figures 1 and 1A constructed in accordance with another embodiment of the invention; and [0043] Figure 3 is a plan view of a wall of the sleeves of Figure 1 constructed in accordance with another non-limiting embodiment of the disclosure shown prior to being wrapped into a tubular configuration.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0044] Referring in more detail to the drawings, Figure 1 shows schematic representation of a woven, wrappaple textile sleeve, referred to hereafter as sleeve 10, constructed in accordance with one aspect of the invention, while Figure 1A shows a similar view of a circumferentially continuous sleeve 10' constructed in accordance with another aspect of the invention. The sleeve 10 has a wrappable elongate wall 12, while the sleeve 10' has a circumferentially continuous, seamless wall 12', each for routing and protecting an elongate member(s), such as wires or a wire harness 14, for example, from exposure to abrasion and the ingress of contamination, debris and the like. Other than the wall 12 being wrappable and the wall 12' being circumferentially continuous and seamless, the sleeves 10, 10' and the associated yams, discussed hereafter, used for their construction are similar, and thus, the discussion hereafter is directed to the sleeve 10, for sake of simplicity only, with it to be recognized that the same discussion applies equally to the sleeve 10', unless specifically stated otherwise. The elongate wall 12, unlike wall 12', has opposite edges 16, 17 extending generally parallel to a central, longitudinal axis 18, wherein the edges 16, 17 are preferably biased into overlapping relation with one another in "cigarette wrapped" fashion to fully enclose the elongate members 14 within a central cavity 20 of the sleeve 10. The cavity 20, unlike cavity 20' (Figure 1A), is readily accessible along the full length of the wall 12, via separation of the opposite edges 16, 17, so that the elongate member(s) 14 can be readily disposed radially, relative the axis 18, into the cavity 20, and conversely, removed from the cavity 20, such as during service. To provide the desired protection to the elongate members 14 against abrasion, and to optimize the structural integrity of the wall 12, 12' against wear from abrasion, the wall 12, 12' is woven with separate, discrete warp yam bundles 22 extending generally parallel to the central longitudinal axis 18, wherein each bundle 22 is made up of a plurality of warp yams 23 arranged in side-by-side, abutting relation with one another. The bundles 22, having multiple warp yams 23 in abutting, side-by-side relation, minimize yam movement within the wall 12, 12', such that the individual warp yams 23 within each bundle 22 do not move significant relative to one another, thereby reducing internal friction within the wall 12, 12', which in turn reduces abrasion between warp yams 23, even while the wall 12, 12' is moving in abutment against some external vehicle member, such as an engine component or frame member, by way of example and without limitation. Additionally, the bundles 22 provide the outer surface of the wall 12, 12' with an increased surface area of warp yam 23 material, with the increased surface area of yam material acting to distribute loads applied on the outer surface uniformly and widely over and beyond the impacted area of the wall 12, 12', thereby acting to reduce high point loads, thus, reducing abrasion. The wall 12, 12' is further woven with weft yams, also commonly referred to as fill yams 24, extending generally circumferentially about the wrapped wall 12 in generally transverse relation to the warp yams 23. The fill yams 24 can be provided, at least in part, as heat-settable yams, if desired, such that upon heat-setting the fill yams 24 while a curled or wrapped configuration, the wall 12 is biased to self-curl the opposite edges 16, 17 into overlapping relation with one another. The bias is imparted by heat-setting the fill yams 24, such as heat-settable monofilament yams, into their curled configuration about the central longitudinal axis 18, thereby rendering the wall 12 self-curling, also referred to as self wrapping. It is to be recognized that by reducing the relative movement between warp yams 23, there is also a corresponding reduction in reduced relative movement and friction between the warp yams 23 and the fill yams 24, thereby further reducing internal friction and abrasion within the wall 12, 12'. [0045] Depending on the application needs, the wall 12, 12' can be constructed having any suitable size, including length and diameter. When the wall 12 is in its self-wrapped tubular configuration, generally free from any externally applied forces, the edges 16, 17 preferably overlap one another in self-biased fashion at least slightly to fully enclose the cavity 20, and thus, provide enhanced protection to the wires 14 contained in the cavity 20. The edges 16, 17 are readily extendable away from one another under an externally applied force sufficient to overcome the shape memory bias imparted by the fill yams 24 to at least partially open and expose the cavity 20. Accordingly, the wires 14 can be readily disposed into the cavity 20 during assembly or removed from the cavity 20 during service. Upon releasing the externally applied force, the edges 16, 17 return automatically to their shape memory, overlapping self- wrapped position under the bias imparted by the heat-set fill monofilament yams 24.

[0046] The discrete warp yam bundles 22, in accordance with one aspect of the disclosure, can be formed of any suitable monofilament yams 23. The monofilament warp yams 23, in addition to providing enhanced abrasion resistance as a result of being bundled in side-by- side, abutting or substantially abutting relation with one another, provide enhanced, optimal surface area coverage to the wall 12, thereby inhibiting the ingress of contamination, debris, or the like into the cavity 20, thereby providing enhanced protection to the elongate members 14 contained within the cavity 20. In one exemplary sleeve embodiment (Figure 2), the bundles 22 were formed with four (4) monofilament warp yams 23, and in another exemplary embodiment (Figure 2A), a wall 112, 112' of a sleeve 110, 110' can include at least one warp monofilament 23' within the discrete bundles 22 of warp monofilaments 23 having a different diameter (larger) from other ones of the warp monofilaments 23 within the discrete bundle 22, thereby providing enhanced abrasion protection to the smaller diameter warp monofilaments 23. In the non-limiting embodiment of Figure 2A (illustrating only the area identified in FIG. 2, with the remaining portion of the wall 112, 112' repeating as shown in FIG. 2), the bundles 22 were formed with three (3) monofilament warp yams 23, though two (2) or more warp yams 23 could be used; however, it has been discovered that having at least three (3) warp yams 23 provides greatly improved abrasion resistance protection. The discrete bundles 22 are shown in Figures 2 and 2A, by way of example and without limitation, as being woven in a warp rib-type weave pattern, with each discrete bundle 22 extending over a common single fill yam 24 and then under a common single fill yam 24, in repeating fashion, though other warp rib-type weave .

[0047] The fill yams 24 can be provided as any suitable monofilament and/or multifilament material, including heat-settable monofilament and/or multifilament polymeric material. In the exemplary sleeve embodiments shown in Figures 2 and 2A, the fill yams 24 are provided as both heat-settable monofilaments 24' (though non-heat-settable monofilaments can be used, particularly with the wall 12') and high coverage multifilaments 24, spaced from one another such that the immediately adjacent yams 24, 24' extend, respectively, over and under the same warp yam 23 (a fill yam 24 extends over a first warp yam 23 while an immediately adjacent fill yam 24' extends under the first warp yam 23). To provide the wall 12 with increased self-wrapping capacity and increased optical coverage, to inhibit seeing through the wall 12 into the cavity 20, thereby enhancing protection against the ingress of contamination, the fill yam 24 monofilaments and multifilaments are woven in alternating fashion with one another along the length of the sleeve 10. As shown in Figure 2A, the fill yams 24, 24' can be provided having a reduced cross-section area (reduced diameter) relative to at least some of the warp yams 23, which facilitates providing the sleeve 10 with an increased degree of flexibility, while also inhibiting abrasion of the fill yams 24, 24', given the more numerous and tightly packed warp monofilaments 23 are prone to absorb the abrasion. Accordingly, at least some or all the warp monofilaments 23', as shown, can be provided having a larger diameter relative to the fill yams 24, 24' to enhance abrasion protection to the fill yams 24, 24'. However, should the fill yams 24, 24' become abraded, it has been discovered that the tightly packed, abutting warp yams 23, 23' of the bundles 22 are able to maintain the integrity of the structure of the wall 12, 12', thereby maintaining protection of the elongate member(s) 14. Further yet, the fill yams 24 can be provided having a relative low pick density (picks-per-inch), which ultimately increases the production run rate (speed at which the wall 12, 12' is woven), thereby decreasing cost of manufacture, while also decreasing the overall material content, and thus, further reducing costs associated with production of the sleeve 10.

[0048] The yams 23, 24, 24' can be provided of any desired thermoplastic material, such as one or more of polyester, PPS, Nomex, by way of example and without limitation, and further can include inorganic material, such as one or more of fiberglass and basalt, by way of example and without limitation.

[0049] In accordance with another aspect of the invention at least one warp monofilament 23' within one or more of the discrete bundles 22 of warp monofilaments 23 can be a different type of material from other ones of the warp monofilaments 23 within the discrete bundle 22.

[0050] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, as shown in Figure 2A, at least one warp monofilament 23' within one or more of the discrete bundles 22 can have a different diameter and be formed of a different type of material from other ones of the warp monofilaments 23 within the discrete bundle 22. Accordingly, synergies can be optimized by providing the warp monofilaments 23, 23' within a common bundle 22 having different diameters and/or from different materials, to both enhance abrasion resistance, while at the same time improving economies of manufacture and reducing cost. For example, in one exemplary embodiment, at least one warp monofilament 23' within one or more of the discrete bundles 22 of warp monofilaments 23 can have a larger diameter, such as about 0.25mm, for example, and be formed of a different type of material, such as Nylon, for example, from other ones of the warp monofilaments 23 having a diameter of about 0.22mm, for example, and being formed of PET, for example, within the discrete bundle 22. The larger diameter monofilaments 23' are provided to enhance abrasion resistance from an optimally abrasion resistant material, e.g. Nylon, thereby providing protection to the smaller, less expensive monofilaments 23, which also provide enhanced abrasion resistance in synergistic fashion with the larger diameter monofilaments 23'. It is to be recognized that the diameters and materials selected for the warp monofilaments 23, 23' can be selected as desired for the intended application.

[0051] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, as shown in Figure 2B (illustrating only the area identified in FIG. 2, with the remaining portion of the wall 212, 212' repeating as shown in FIG. 2), a wall 212, 212' of a sleeve 210, 210' can include the fill yams being provided including multifilaments 24 and monofilaments 24' in bundled, side-by- side relation with one another, such that each passage (woven as a single pick) of the fill yam includes both the multifilament 24 and the monofilament 24' either pulled in parallel relation with one another, twisted (both are helically spiraled together) with one another, or served (one is helically spiraled about the other) with one another, such that the bundled multifilament and monofilament fill yams 24, 24' extend over and under the same warp yams 23, 23' in side-by-side relation with one another, to provide an improved self-wrapping configuration and optimal optical coverage to the sleeve.

[0052] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, as shown in Figure 2C (illustrating only the area identified in FIG. 2, with the remaining portion of the wall 312, 312' repeating as shown in FIG. 2), a wall 312, 312' of a sleeve 310, 310' can be constructed in similar fashion as discussed above for the wall 212, 212'; however, the fill yams can be provided including only multifilaments 24 woven with bundles 22 of warp yams 23 and optionally warp yams 23'.

[0053] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, as shown in Figure 2D (illustrating a view similar to FIG. 2), a wall 412, 412' of a sleeve 410, 410' can be constructed in similar fashion as discussed above for any of the walls 12, 12', 112, 112', 212, 212', 312, 312'; however, at least one, and shown as all of the warp yams within each of the bundles 22 can be provided as multifilaments 23". Accordingly, the coverage against ingress of contamination and the flexibility of the wall 412, 412' are greatly increased.

[0054] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, as shown in Figure 2E (illustrating a view similar to FIG. 2), a wall 512, 512' of a sleeve 510, 510' can be constructed in similar fashion as discussed above for any of the walls 12, 12', 112, 112', 212, 212', 312, 312'; however, at least one of the bundles 22, and shown as alternating bundles 22, can be provided as multifilaments 23". Accordingly, alternating bundles 22 include only multifilaments 23" and alternating bundles 22 include only monofilaments 23. Accordingly, the coverage against ingress of contamination and the flexibility of the wall 512, 512' are greatly increased by the multifilaments 23" as is the resistance to abrasion by the monofilaments 23.

[0055] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, as shown in Figure 2F (illustrating a view similar to FIG. 2), a wall 612, 612' of a sleeve 610, 610' can be constructed in similar fashion as discussed above for any of the walls 12, 12', 112, 112', 212, 212', 312, 312'; however, each of the bundles 22 can be provided including multifilaments 23" and monofilaments 23. In the embodiment shown, the bundles 22 including the monofilaments 23 and multifilaments 23" alternating with one another, such that an increased surface friction of the multiflaments 23" act to fix and lock the abutting monofilaments 23 in place. Accordingly, the coverage against ingress of contamination and the flexibility of the wall 612, 612' are greatly increased by the multifilaments 23" as is the resistance to abrasion by the monofilaments 23.

[0056] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, as shown in Figure 2G (illustrating a view similar to FIG. 2), a wall 712, 712' of a sleeve 710, 710' can be constructed in similar fashion as discussed above for any of the walls 12, 12', 112, 112', 212, 212', 312, 312'; however, each of the bundles 22 can be provided including multifilaments 23" and monofilaments 23, such as discussed for wall 612, 612'; however, the multifilaments 23" and monofilaments 23 are arranged differently. In the embodiment shown, each of the bundles 22 multifilaments 23" in side-by-side, abutting relation with one another. In the exemplary embodiment, a pair of multilaments 23 are arranged in side-by-side, abutting relation with one another, and a single monofilament 23 is arranged along each side of the pair of multifilaments 23" in abutment therewith. Accordingly, the increased surface friction of the multiflaments 23" acts to fix and lock the abutting monofilaments 23 in place. Accordingly, the coverage against ingress of contamination and the flexibility of the wall 712, 712' are greatly increased by the multifilaments 23" as is the resistance to abrasion by the monofilaments 23.

[0057] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, as shown in Figure 3, a wall 812 of a sleeve 810 can be constructed in similar fashion as discussed above for any of the walls 12, 112, 212, 312, with the wall 812 having opposite edges 816, 817 extending generally parallel to a central, longitudinal axis 818, wherein the edges 816, 817 are preferably biased into overlapping relation with one another. At least one or both edges 816, 817 can include edge regions 816', 817' spanning a plurality of warp yams 23 along the entirety of the length of the sleeve 810, such as between about 4-10 warp yams 23, by way of example and without limitation, wherein the edge regions 816', 817' are woven with a plain weave pattern. Accordingly, the fill yam 24, 24' within the edge region 816', 817' is woven with the warp yams 23 in a plain weave pattern. An intermediate main body region 30 extending between and from one edge region 816' to the opposite edge region 817' is woven with the warp rib weave pattern of the fill yam 24, 24' with the warp yam 23, as discussed above. With the opposite edge regions 816', 817' having a plain weave pattern, it has been found that upon bending the sleeve 810 about sharp comers, the opposite edges 816, 817 remain in their overlapped relation with one another, and avoid being separated or otherwise opened from one another. Accordingly, openings between the opposite edges 816, 817 are inhibited, thereby providing optimal coverage to the elongate member 14 contained within the sleeve 810.

[0058] Obviously, many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is contemplated that all features of all claims and of all embodiments can be combined with each other, so long as such combinations would not contradict one another. It is, therefore, to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.