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Title:
MANUFACTURE METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR IMPROVED EFFICIENCY REDUCED COST ROPE FOR PELAGIC TRAWLS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2015/049701
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present disclosure provides a method for producing a rope (35) that is useful for forming mesh in pelagic trawls, that is stronger for a given amount of material, has lesser drag, is capable of exhibiting same or bettered lift when subjected to water flow at trawl mesh angles of attack, while also being less costly to manufacture, in comparison to known helix rope constructions. Most broadly the method and apparatus of the present disclosure include a standard braiding apparatus (11) where an additional planetary carrier apparatus orbits about the outside of the usual planetary carrier apparatus, at a same or similar height as the usual planetary carrier apparatus, at a lower speed than the usual planetary carrier apparatus, and preferably carrying less bobbins (19) than the usual planetary carrier apparatus.

Inventors:
ERLENDSSON HJORTUR (IS)
SAFWAT SHERIF (US)
Application Number:
PCT/IS2014/050009
Publication Date:
April 09, 2015
Filing Date:
October 03, 2014
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
HAMPIDJAN HF (IS)
International Classes:
D04C3/40; D04C1/12
Domestic Patent References:
WO2013121446A12013-08-22
WO2003054291A12003-07-03
WO1998046070A11998-10-22
WO2003081989A22003-10-09
WO2011009924A22011-01-27
WO2011009929A22011-01-27
WO2013121446A12013-08-22
Foreign References:
US20120118131A12012-05-17
US5127783A1992-07-07
Other References:
EDWIN J. GIBBONS: "Plain Braids, Braiders and Braiding", THE MELLIAND TEXTILE MONTHLY, vol. 3, no. 11, February 1932 (1932-02-01), pages 928 - 929, XP055157191
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ARNASON FAKTOR (IS-113 Reykjavik, IS)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims:

1. A braiding apparatus capable of forming a braided sheath about a central core, the braiding apparatus including a support member and at least a first planetary carrier apparatus including : a series of drivers carried by the support member and arranged so as to encircle an imaginary axis line 20 passing through a braiding point; a mechanism to rotate adjacent of said drivers in opposite directions; a plurality of cars, each car capable of:

a) carrying a quantity of a strand; and

b) being driven by the drivers for travel in serpentine intersecting paths in opposite directions around the braiding point,

the braiding apparatus characterized by the fact that the braiding apparatus includes a second planetary carrier apparatus. 2. The braiding apparatus of claim 1 further characterized in that the braiding apparatus includes an upper braid ring 12 and a lower braid ring 13.

3. The braiding apparatus of claim 1 further characterized in that the second planetary carrier apparatus includes a track 14 and a reverse curved track portion 24 that are positioned at a height that is above a height that is positioned the first planetary carrier apparatus.

4. The braiding apparatus of any one of claims 1 to 3 further characterized in that the second planetary carrier apparatus mainly carries and orbits at least one bobbin 19 mainly external portions of strands 397 that are situated between upper and lower braid rings 12 and 13

5. The braiding apparatus of claim 4 further characterized in that at least a car 15 of the second planetary carrier apparatus passes along a reverse curved track portion 24 between imaginary axis line 20 and at least a strand 397 associated with at least a bobbin 18 of the first planetary carrier apparatus with a lesser quantity of passes per revolution of the at least a car 15 around the imaginary axis line 20 compared to the quantity of passes of at least a strand 397 between other strands 397 and the imaginary axis line 20 per revolution of the at least a bobbin 18 around the imaginary axis line 20, thereby causing a strand (36) paying out from bobbin 19 to be interwoven with other strands 397 forming the braided sheath with a lesser quantity of bindings (44) per complete rotation of the strand (36) around the central core.

6. The braiding apparatus of claim 4 further characterized in that the at least a car 15 of the second planetary carrier apparatus revolves around imaginary axis line 20 a lesser quantity of complete revolutions per unit time in comparison to the quantity of complete revolutions per unit time that bobbins 18 of the first planetary carrier apparatus revolve around imaginary axis line 20, thereby causing strand (36) to be interwoven with other strands 397 forming the braided sheath and to spiral about the central core 37 with a different braid angle than a braid angle associated with other strands 397 of the braided sheath.

7. The braiding apparatus of any one of claims 3 to 6 further characterized in that the track 14 and the reverse curved track portion 24 are made of more than one rail. 8. The braiding apparatus of claim 1 wherein the second planetary carrier apparatus includes a digitally controlled apparatus that includes car 15.

9. A process for forming a rope having a strand 36 that is larger than strands 397 forming a braided sheath 398 about a central core and that has a different braid angle than at least most of the strands 397 forming the braided sheath about the central core, the process including proving a central core 37, feeding the central core through a braiding apparatus having at least four bobbins forming a coverbraid about the central core, the process characterized by steps of:

a) orbiting about the outside of an imaginary axis line 20 that lies coaxial with the longitudinal axis of the central core, and also orbiting about the outside of an orbit taken by bobbins 18 forming the braided sheath 398 formed of strands 397, at least another bobbin 19 that carries at least one strand 36; and

b) orbiting the at least another bobbin 19 about the outside of the central core's imaginary axis line 20 at a lesser rate of revolution about the central core's imaginary axis line 20 than is the rate of revolution about the outside of the central core's imaginary axis line 20 of the bobbins 18 providing strands 397; c) passing in a weaving path the at least another bobbin 19 with at least one of the strands 397, where the at least another bobbin 19 interweaves with lesser than all the bobbins 18 providing a strand 397 during each complete orbit of the at least another bobbin 19 about the outside of the central core's imaginary axis line 20.

10. The process of claim 9 wherein step ( c ) of the process is further characterized by the fact that the at least another bobbin interweaves with only one of the bobbins that provide a strand 397.

11. The process of claim 9 wherein step ( c ) of the process is further characterized by the fact that the at least another bobbin interweaves with only two of the bobbins that provide a strand 397.

12. The process of claim 9 wherein step ( c ) of the process is further characterized by the fact that the at least another bobbin interweaves with at least two of the bobbins that provide a strand 397.

Description:
Manufacture Method and Apparatus for Improved Efficiency Reduced

Cost Rope for Pelagic Trawls

Technical Field

The present disclosure relates generally to the technical field of ropes and more particularly to ropes used in forming pelagic mesh in pelagic trawls where such ropes are formed from a strength member core surrounded by a braided sheath wherein the braided sheath is formed of several strands and one of the strands is significantly larger in diameter than the other strands so as to form a series of cambered sections capable of either or both causing lift and/or reducing drag when such rope is subjected to water flow about the rope in a position that corresponds to a position assumed by ropes used in forming pelagic trawl mesh in pelagic trawls. Such ropes are known as "helix ropes". Background Art

Pelagic trawls include trawls used to catch Alaska pollock, blue whiting, capelin, herring, mackerel, pearlside, hoki, hake and other fish species. Pelagic trawls have their pelagic mesh formed mainly of ropes. Pelagic mesh in a pelagic trawl is mesh having a mesh size that is three meters (3 m) and greater. A main problem in the pelagic trawl fishing industry and the pelagic trawl net manufacturing industry is high operational costs minimizing profitability. Price competition is severe and thus high cost and high quality ropes such as ropes used in climbing applications, yachting applications and seismic applications, to name a few are not feasible for use in forming the pelagic mesh of pelagic trawls because the pelagic mesh are constantly damaged and replaced, and require replacement even when not damaged as they are made as thin and as light as possible in order to minimize drag and concurrent fuel consumption, and thus are worked at high loads relative to break points and therefore fail rather quickly. For this reason, more costly coverbraided (including "overbraided") ropes, as opposed to braid jacketed twines used in small mesh netting of say lesser than six hundred millimeters (600 mm) mesh size, are not favored for forming the pelagic mesh of pelagic trawls. Indeed, considering the world wide pelagic trawl industry as a whole, it is a fact that it is against the trend in the industry to design and form the pelagic mesh portion of pelagic trawls from coverbraided ropes.

Due to the severe price competition, presently the vast majority of pelagic trawls have their pelagic mesh portion formed of non-jacketed braided or twisted twines. These are low cost to produce, low cost to replace, and easy to splice. It is important that the ropes be easy to splice as splicing has become the dominant form of connecting front part mesh in pelagic trawls as it is much stronger than knotting and also much lower in drag than knotting, allowing much lowered manufacture costs as well as lowered drag and concurrent lowered fuel consumption. The difficulty in splicing coverbraided ropes and especially in splicing tightly coverbraided ropes such as helix ropes is another reason that coverbraided ropes have lost favor among pelagic trawl manufacturers and end users.

One of the main problems caused by the fact that coverbraided ropes are largely out of favor in forming the pelagic mesh portion of pelagic trawls is that the most easily handled and in fact the preferred variant of self-spreading meshed trawls employ a coverbraid in the self-spreading rope construction and it is self-spreading trawls that have the lowest environmental impact of all pelagic trawl constructions. Thus, it is important to increase market demand for self- spreading trawls in order to increase the use of low environmental impact pelagic trawls. Ultimately, it is catch per unit effort that is most important to fishing company customers. Therefore, if such new self-spreading rope constructions are to gain acceptance by the fishermen, newer and better self-spreading rope constructions for self-spreading trawls must better some factor that the bettering of which improves the catch per unit effort. Likewise, if market demand is to be increased for such self-spreading trawls, that are the variety of pelagic trawls that have the lowest environmental impact of any type of pelagic trawl, such self- spreading trawls must increase the catch per unit effort.

The main factor in improving catch per unit effort of pelagic trawls at the rope level is to reduce the drag of a rope at angles of attack found in the pelagic netting portions of pelagic trawls and consequently the drag of a pelagic trawl. Even more importantly, is to both reduce the drag while concurrently either maintaining the amount of lift and/or increasing the amount of lift compared to what is presently exhibited by the lowest drag embodiments of self-spreading trawls. The reduced drag concurrently reduces fuel consumption, and also can increase trawl opening, while sufficient lift maintains the trawl open along its length during turns and side currents thereby permitting marine mammal escape and precluding marine mammal by-catch. In addition to preventing marine mammal by-catch, the self-spreading trawls being able to retain open their long dimension during turns and side currents means that fish herded into and along the length of the trawl are not sieved through the mesh and de-scaled and lost, to die of de-scaling while not being counted to the catch quota, but rather are properly herded into the collection bag and counted to the catch quota. The counting to the catch quota of fish killed by the trawl is essential to preserving healthy fisheries as well as to preserving the food source for marine mammals and seabirds. Furthermore, both the lower drag of as well as the sufficient lifting forces of self-spreading trawls independently or concurrently lead to increased catch per unit effort, and thus lead to increased customer acceptance and demand, causing the self-spreading trawls to be used with their favorable environmental properties as opposed to use of alternative trawl types that do not possess the favorable environmental impact properties of self-spreading trawls.

Helix ropes, as defined above and also further defined herein, are used in self-spreading pelagic trawls known as "Helix Trawls" manufactured and sold by Hampidjan HF of Iceland. The original teaching of such helix ropes is contained within now Published Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) International Publication No. WO/1998/046070, International Application No. PCT/US1998/007848 (see FIG. 29), and a latter teaching of such helix ropes also is contained within now Published Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) International Publication No. WO 03/081989 A2, International Application No. PCT/US03/10114 (see FIG. 6). Helix ropes, and the "Helix Trawls" manufactured by Hampidjan HF of Iceland, have acquired a reputation of exhibiting excessively greater drag than modern, state of the art cordage used to form other pelagic trawl nets and especially non-self- spreading pelagic trawl nets in the present state of the art. The increased drag concurrently results in smaller trawl openings, reduced towing speed and increased fuel consumption at given tow speeds. For this reason the use of helix ropes to form self-spreading trawls such as Helix Trawls has not gained wide acceptance among fishing entities, despite the fact that they offer other favorable properties, such as preventing by-catch of marine mammals that would otherwise be caught in non-self-spreading trawls when the back end of such non-self- spreading trawls collapses, such also as enhanced ability to selectively fish as the trawls do not collapse, and other. Problematically, it is the helix ropes that also are the preferred form of a self-spreading rope for forming a self-spreading pelagic trawl because they are the most reliable embodiment of a self-spreading rope useful for forming a self-spreading pelagic trawl, other embodiments having lost favor and no longer being in use.

Beyond the highly favorable environmental factors of helix rope formed pelagic trawls, there are other instances when helix rope formed pelagic trawls are highly useful. These include in slow trawl speed applications, and in quick turning applications at deep depths with much warp out, as in these circumstances the self-spreading properties of self-spreading trawls prevents the trawls from collapsing, thereby not only preventing by-catch of marine mammals and enhancing selective fishing, but also maintaining the trawl fishing the selected species for a greater portion of the time. So, where such operational conditions prevail it is favorable to the final catch per unit effort equation to employ even the presently known higher drag and higher cost self-spreading trawls formed of the helix rope. However, these circumstances are not the norm, but rather are the exception, and in such cases the greater fuel consumption of such trawls is not favored, but rather tolerated and it remains that lowering drag and concurrently lowering fuel consumption is a most important factor in increasing customer demand for such environmentally favorable trawls.

In attempt to solve problems present with known Helix ropes,

International Application No. PCT/EP2010/060663 having International Publication No. WO 2011/009924 A2, and International Application No. PCT/EP2010/060670 having International Publication No. WO 2011/009929 A2 teach further embodiments for helix ropes where such embodiments are lowered drag embodiments. However, as taught in such references, such embodiments also are higher in cost to produce than prior embodiments of helix ropes. For this reason, these embodiments have failed to be adopted. Thus, it can readily be appreciated that it is important not only to reduce the drag of helix ropes, but also to reduce the cost of manufacturing a lowered drag helix rope. Furthermore, as the cost of a helix rope is widely considered in relation to an amount of strength obtained from a helix rope for a certain cost to produce such helix rope, it can readily be appreciated that it is important to both lower the drag of a helix rope as well as to reduce the cost to manufacture a lowered drag helix rope, for a given amount of breaking strength for a mesh bar formed of the helix rope, in order to accelerate adoption into the commercial midwater and/or pelagic trawl fishing industry of the environmentally friendly helix rope formed self-spreading trawls and thus permit the fisheries, fish and resource as well as the fishermen, marine mammals and seabirds whose livelihoods depend upon such fish and resource to benefit from the reduced by-catch and reduced fossil fuel consumption associated with the use of a lowered drag helix rope in forming midwater and/or pelagic trawls.

Thus, it can readily be appreciated that a long felt need exists to provide an alternative rope that reduces drag in comparison to known helix rope constructions while also maintaining the positive characteristics and associated benefits of known helix rope constructions, so as to reduce the drag of pelagic trawls, while maintaining positive benefits, in order to once again generate favor among fishing entities to use the low environmental impact self-spreading trawls that also greatly enhances marine mammal safety and permits more selective fishing, while concurrently reducing fuel consumption per unit of fish caught.

Thus also, it can readily be appreciated that a long felt need exists to provide a rope having reduced drag as well as reduced manufacture costs, compared to known helix rope constructions, so as to reduce the drag and cost of pelagic trawls formed of such helix rope.

Thus yet again also, it can readily be appreciated that a long felt need exists to provide a rope having reduced drag compared to known helix ropes, to reduce the manufacture costs of trawls formed of such reduced drag ropes, and also to at least preserve the amount of lift that such reduced drag and reduced cost ropes are capable of generating while subject to a water stream and yet more preferably to increase the amount of lift such ropes are capable of creating while subject to a water stream, so as to reduce the drag and cost of pelagic trawls formed of such ropes while concurrently enhancing the environmentally superior properties of such trawls.

To further describe a helix rope: a helix rope is a type of a "coverbraided" rope, the term "coverbraided" rope also known herein and in the industry as "overbraided" rope. The cover or sheath is formed by a braided sheath that is itself formed of strands. What distinguishes a helix rope from any other type of tightly coverbraided rope useful in forming pelagic mesh in pelagic trawls is that in a helix rope one of the strands forming the braided sheath is substantially larger than the other strands forming the braided sheath. The state of the art and the trend in the industry in forming any helix rope for the commercial pelagic trawl net industry is to form the braided sheath, including the spiraling strand, where the spiraling strand either is:

(a) one of a total quantity of strands forming the braided sheath where: (i) the total quantity of strands forming the braided sheath preferably is an even number quantity; and (ii) the spiraling strand follows the same path around and about the outside of the strength member core as do all other strands forming the braided sheath; and

(b) the spiraling strand follows the same path around and about the outside of the strength member core as do all other strands forming the braided sheath (i.e. has the same pick angle and/or same braid angle and/or same lay angle and/or same amount of advance as do other strands forming the braided sheath), with some alternative embodiments of such embodiment including that the spiraling strand is not included within the braided sheath but is adhered and/or otherwise formed onto the outside surface of the braided sheath, such as by extrusion. Thus, it can readily again be appreciated that the present state of the art as well as the present trend in the industry teaches one to form a helix rope where the path that a spiraling strand follows along and about the outside of the strength member core and/or around and about the external portion of the helix rope is same as the path followed by individual strands forming the remainder of the braided sheath that is formed about the outside of the strength member core.

One advantage of known constructions of helix ropes is that all strands forming the braided sheath are similarly tightly bound to the strength member core as well as to one another, making for a very tightly braided enveloping braided sheath that tightly binds the enclosed strength member core, thereby making for a maximally rigid coverbraided rope, as is the goal of the industry in employing coverbraids about strength member cores. That is, it is the goal of the industry to achieve a maximally rigid rope for use in pelagic trawl mesh when forming a coverbraid about a strength member core, and for this reason the coverbraid is formed as tight as feasible, as the tighter the coverbraid, the more rigid the resulting rope. It thus can readily be appreciated that the state of the art and the trend in the industry is to make all strands forming a braided sheath about a strength member core equally tightly bound to the strength member core and unable to have any part of any of the strands forming the cover braid be pulled away from the core by the fingers of a person of usual strength when the rope is bent or when it is not bent. This is accomplished by both maxing the tension on the braiding strands as tight as feasible during the coverbraided process while also forming the coverbraid in such a fashion and construction that all strands forming the coverbraid have a same pitch, and are all equally woven into the braided construction of the coverbraided sheath enveloping the strength member core.

Thus, it can readily again be appreciated that the present state of the art as well as the present trend in the industry teaches one to form a helix rope where a spiraling strand included in the helix rope has a same pitch as do other strands forming the braided sheath of the helix rope.

International Application No. PCT/IS2012/050017, having publication number WO 2013/121446, teaches a method for producing a rope for trawls that addresses the long felts needs described above, and that is contrary to the state of the art and against the trend of the industry. This published PCT application teaches that to produce such a rope, a new braiding apparatus is employed where such braiding apparatus includes a standard and/or conventional braiding apparatus useful for forming a standard coverbraided and/or overbraided rope having a central core, excepting that there is an additional planetary carrier apparatus orbiting around the outside of the usual planetary carrier apparatus, where such secondary planetary carrier apparatus ideally is positioned lower than, that is beneath, the usual planetary carrier apparatus and/or apparatuses, such as by being attached to a lower plate of the braiding apparatus.

However, such teaching of a braiding apparatus has failed to be adopted into the industry and has failed to produce a satisfactory rope for trawls that addresses the long felt needs in the industry.

Disclosure

It is an object of the present disclosure to teach a method and an apparatus for producing a rope for trawls that resolves the long felt needs in the industry described above, and that in particular provides for a rope having a core, a coverbraided sheath, and at least one additional strand (including twine and/or rope and/or filament) that is bound to the coverbraided sheath and/or core by being interwoven into the coverbraided sheath at a different braid angle and a different number of weaves per unit distance of the rope in comparison to other strands forming the coverbraided sheath, that is larger in diameter and/or circumference in comparison to other strands forming the coverbraided sheath, and that spirals around and about the external portion of the rope and/or spirals around and about the central core of the rope in a single direction. That is, in some embodiments more than one such larger diameter and/or larger circumference strand may be employed, but they all spiral in a same lay direction.

It is another object of the present disclosure to provide for a rope of the present disclosure that is useful for forming pelagic mesh in pelagic trawls and that has lesser drag when subjected to water flow at trawl mesh angles of attack than known helix ropes, as well as processes and apparatuses for forming and using such.

Another object of the present disclosure is to provide for a rope of the present disclosure that is useful for forming pelagic mesh in pelagic trawls and that is stronger than known constructions of helix rope, as well as processes and apparatuses for forming and using such.

Yet another object of the present disclosure to provide for a rope of the present disclosure that is useful for forming pelagic mesh in pelagic trawls and that has lesser drag when subjected to water flow at trawl mesh angles of attack than known helix ropes while also being less costly to manufacture.

Yet another object of the present disclosure is to provide for a rope of the present disclosure that is useful for forming pelagic mesh in pelagic trawls, that is stronger for a given amount of material, has lesser drag and is capable of exhibiting same or bettered lift when subjected to water flow at trawl mesh angles of attack, while also being less costly to manufacture, in comparison to known helix rope constructions.

Disclosed is a construction for a low drag and improved strength rope of the present disclosure that achieves the stated objects of the present disclosure, and processes and apparatuses for forming such. Most broadly, the construction of the low drag and improved strength rope of the present disclosure comprises a strand 36 arranged and included into the rope 35 so as to spiral about the rope 35, the spiraling strand 36 having a larger diameter than strands 397 forming the braided sheath, and where the spiraling strand 36 exhibits a greater pitch in comparison to a pitch exhibited by strands 397 forming the braided sheath about the strength member core 37.

For the purposes of the present disclosure, the term "pitch" means the amount of advance in one turn of one strand twisted about another strand or strands (or about the strength member 37) when viewed axially. Thus, the amount of advance of the spiraling strand 36 in one turn about the remainder of rope 35 and/or about the strength member core 37, when viewed axially, is greater than the amount of advance exhibited by a strand 397 in one turn about the remainder of rope 35 and/or about the strength member core 37, when viewed axially. Consequently, and in other terms, the spiraling strand exhibits less linear length per unit length of the rope 35 in comparison to the linear length exhibited by strands 397 per unit length of the rope 35.

In other embodiments, it is said that the spiraling strand exhibits a braid angle that is an angle that is more acute than a braid angle exhibited by other strands 397 forming the braided sheath forming the rope of the present disclosure. For the purposes of the present disclosure, the term "braid angle" is defined as the angle that braid yarns and/or strands make with respect to the longitudinal axis of the rope 35. The braid angle of the strands 397 and the braid angle of the spiraling strand 36 is described with reference to FIG. 1 as follows: Imaginary straight dashed line 401 is parallel to the longitudinal axis of rope 35; Imaginary straight dashed line 403 is parallel to the longitudinal axis of strands 397; and Imaginary straight dashed line 404 is parallel to the longitudinal axis of spiraling strand 36. The braid angle of strands 397 is identified by reference numeral 407 (i.e. angle Alpha) and is defined by the more acute angle formed by the intersection of imaginary straight dashed line 403 with imaginary straight dashed line 401. The braid angle of spiraling strand 36 is identified by reference numeral 406 (i.e. angle Beta) and is defined by the more acute angle formed by the intersection of imaginary straight dashed line 404 with imaginary straight dashed line 401.

In the presently preferred embodiment of the instant disclosure the braid angle for the spiraling strand 36 is lesser than the braid angle for strands 397 forming the braided sheath.

In other embodiments, it is said that the spiraling strand exhibits a braid angle that is different than a braid angle exhibited by the majority, and preferably by all, of the strands 397 forming the braided sheath 398 that is formed about the strength member of the rope of the present disclosure 35. More specifically, the braid angle of the spiraling strand 36 is selected so that the spiraling strand has less linear length per unit length of the rope 35 in comparison to the linear length per unit length of the rope 35 exhibited by strands 397 forming the braided sheath 398. Such constructions for a rope of the present disclosure as disclosed herein are contrary to the state of the art and against the trend in the industry.

In a most preferred embodiment, the helix strand passes underneath other strands forming the braided sheath with a frequency that is lesser than is a frequency with which other strands forming the braided sheath are passed underneath one another. That is, the spiraling strand is woven into the braided sheath less often per unit of distance along the long dimension of the rope of the present disclosure than are other strands forming the braided sheath. Further disclosed is a construction of a rope of the present disclosure and process for forming such having greater strength than known constructions of helix rope. Most broadly such construction of a rope of the present disclosure includes a spiraling strand included within the strands forming that braided sheath where such spiraling strand is both larger in diameter than other strands forming the braided sheath; is passed under other strands forming the braided sheath a lesser number of times per unit distance along the long dimension of the rope of the present disclosure, i.e. is passed under other strands forming the braided sheath with a lesser frequency than other strands forming the braided sheath are passed under one another; is bound to the strength member contained within the braided sheath by other strands forming the braided sheath and with a lesser frequency of binding than are other strands forming the braided sheath (i.e. the spiraling strand is bound to the strength member and to the remainder of the braided sheath by other strands forming the braided sheath and with less passes underneath another strand forming the braided sheath per unit distance along the long dimension of the rope of the present disclosure in comparison to the amount of passes used to bind to the braided sheath other strands forming the braided sheath). The spiraling strand may have a different elasticity, such as a lower elasticity and/or a higher elasticity than other strands forming the braided sheath, with a lower elasticity presently preferred. In one embodiment, the spiraling strand is a braided construction, and in another embodiment it is a monofilament of a material including polyurethane or the like, and in yet another embodiment it has a twisted construction wherein the lay direction of the twisted spiraling strand corresponds to the direction of lay that the spiraling strands forms about the strength member and the remainder of the braided sheath.

In order to produce the rope of the present disclosure, a new braiding apparatus is employed where such braiding apparatus includes a standard and/or conventional braiding apparatus useful for forming a standard coverbraided and/or overbraided rope having a central core, such as may be a strength member core, except that there is an additional and/or secondary planetary carrier apparatus orbiting around the outside of the usual planetary carrier apparatus, where the additional and/or secondary planetary carrier apparatus ideally is positioned at the same height that is positioned the usual planetary carrier that is found with the standard and/or conventional braiding apparatus. This construction and configuration for the new braiding apparatus of the present disclosure may be accomplished, for example, such as by forming the additional and/or secondary planetary carrier apparatus attached to an additional track that is also positioned at the same or at a similar height as the usual track found in the conventional and/or standard braiding apparatus. The secondary and/or additional planetary carrier apparatus may include one, or several, carriers and/or shuttles that carry one, or more, bobbins that contain and permit unspooling of a twine that is larger than twines mainly forming the coverbraided strands about a core, i.e. that permit unspooling of a twine that forms spiraling strand 36. The bobbin(s) carrying the strand that forms spiraling strand 36 orbit in a single lay direction. There may be one bobbin carrying one spiraling strand 36, or several such bobbins, though one is preferred for lower cost of manufacture, while more than one may in some instances provide for further lowered drag.

Such construction and configuration of a braiding apparatus is contrary to the state of the art and against the trend in the industry.

Optimally, the additional planetary carrier apparatus orbits at a lower speed than does the primary carrier apparatus.

Possessing the preceding characteristics, the rope of the present disclosure answers needs long felt in the industry. These and other features, objects and advantages are likely to be understood or apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon having read the present disclosure and accompanying various drawing figures. Brief Description of the Drawings

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a section of a rope of the present disclosure in accordance with the present disclosure.

FIG. 2 is a side plan view of a cross section of a braiding apparatus of the present disclosure for forming the rope of FIG. 1, where the cross section lies in a plane that is parallel to a central axis of a preferred embodiment of the braiding apparatus of the present disclosure.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of a cross section of the braiding apparatus of the present disclosure taken along section line 3 - 3 of FIG. 2

Best Mode for Carrying Out the Disclosure

FIG. 1 illustrates a rope of the present disclosure in accordance with the present disclosure that is identified by the general reference character 35. In reference to FIG. 1, the rope of the present disclosure 35 includes a braided sheath 398 formed about a strength member core 37. The braided sheath 398 is formed of multiple strands 397 and at least one spiraling strand 36. The spiraling strand 36 preferably is included within the braided sheath in the manner and fashion as taught above and herein, but also alternatively may be situated mainly about the outside of the braided sheath 398 in the manner and fashion as taught herein, such as when spiraling strand 36 is formed of a substance such as polyurethane and adhered mainly to the outside of braided sheath 398.

The present disclosure is based upon the surprising and unexpected discovery that a rope 35 of the present disclosure having a longer pitch for its spiraling strand 36 in comparison to other strands 397 forming the braided sheath 398, as is contrary to the state of the art and against the trend in the industry, provides a highly favorable rope 35 for forming the pelagic netting portion of pelagic trawls by achieving and satisfying the above described long felt needs of the industry and accomplishing the objects of the present disclosure. The result of forming pelagic trawls of the rope of the present disclosure is selected from a group consisting of lowered fuel consumption, lowered trawl drag, greater trawl mouth opening, bettered efficiency of pelagic trawl fishing operations, lowered trawl production costs and improved environmental impact of pelagic trawl fishing operations. The rope of the present disclosure itself has the consequences of lowered low-drag rope production costs, lowered drag in comparison to known helix ropes, and lift sufficient to improve trawl opening and efficiency of fishing operations in comparison to known helix ropes constructions while concurrently maintaining the improved environmental impact of helix rope self-spreading trawl constructions.

The construction of the rope of the present disclosure includes the spiraling strand 36 having a greater pitch in comparison to a pitch exhibited by other strands 397 forming the braided sheath 398 that forms the coverbraid about the strength member core 37. In other embodiments, it is said that the spiraling strand exhibits a braid angle that is an angle that is more acute than a braid angle exhibited by other strands forming the braided sheath forming the rope of the present disclosure.

In a most preferred embodiment, the spiraling strand 36 passes underneath other strands forming the braided sheath 398 with a frequency that is lesser than is a frequency with which other strands 397 forming the braided sheath 398 are passed underneath one another. That is, the spiraling strand 36 is woven into the braided sheath less often per unit of distance along the long dimension of the rope 35 than are other strands 397 forming the braided sheath 398. A consequence of this construction for a rope of the present disclosure is that the spiraling strand is less tightly bound to the remainder of the rope and also is less tightly bound to the strength member core than are other strands 397 forming the braided sheath, as is contrary to the state of the art and against the trend in the industry that is to make all strands forming a braided sheath about a strength member core equally tightly bound to the strength member core and unable to have any part of the strand pulled away from the core by the fingers of a person of usual strength when the rope is bent or when it is not bent.

Further disclosed is a construction of a rope 35 and process for forming such having greater strength than known constructions of helix rope. Most broadly such construction of a rope 35 of the present disclosure includes a spiraling strand 36 included within the other strands 397 forming that braided sheath 398 where such spiraling strand 36 is both larger in diameter than other strands 397 forming the braided sheath 398; is passed under other strands 397 forming the braided sheath 398 at spiraling strand bindings 44 formed of the other strands 397 a lesser number of times per unit distance along the long dimension of the rope 35, i.e. is passed under other strands 397 forming the braided sheath at spiraling strand bindings 44 with a lesser frequency than other strands 397 forming the braided sheath 398 are passed under one another; is bound to the strength member contained within the braided sheath by other strands 397 forming the braided sheath and with a lesser frequency of binding than are other strands 397 forming the braided sheath 398 (i.e. the spiraling strand 36 is connected to the strength member 37 and to the remainder of the braided sheath 398 by other strands 397 forming the braided sheath and with less passes underneath another strand 397 forming the braided sheath per unit distance along the long dimension of the rope 35 in comparison to the amount of passes used to bind to the braided sheath 398 other strands 397 forming the braided sheath 398). The spiraling strand 36 may have a different elasticity, such as a lower elasticity and/or a higher elasticity than other strands forming the braided sheath 398, with a lower elasticity presently preferred. In one embodiment, the spiraling strand 36 is a braided construction, and in another embodiment it is a monofilament of a material including polyurethane or the like, and in yet another embodiment it has a twisted construction wherein the lay direction of the twisted spiraling strand corresponds to the direction of lay that the spiraling strand forms about the strength member 37 and the remainder of the braided sheath 398.

Possessing the preceding characteristics, the rope 35 of the present disclosure answers needs long felt in the industry.

Ideally, the strands 397 are not circular in cross section, but are flattened, such as a tape, with a minimal thickness and a maximum width. The aspect ratio of the flattened strand 397 can be from 50 : 1 to 2 : 1, with from 2 : 1 to 12 : 1 being presently used, with at least 3 : 1, 4: 1, 5 : 1, 6: 1, 7 : 1 and 8 : 1 being preferred. This requires that each strand 397 is itself formed of at least two, and up to at least two hundred, individual linear elements (hereinafter "sub-strands") 901 that themselves are either fibers and/or filaments, or are plaits of fibers and/or filaments. Presently, each strand 397 is preferably formed of for example, three sub-strands for a smaller diameter rope of the present disclosure, up to ten sub strands for a larger diameter rope of the present disclosure, with at least two to three sub-strands for ropes of the present disclosure of a diameter (herein including "equivalent diameter") of lesser than nine mm being presently preferred, and with at least three to five sub-strands for ropes of the present disclosure of a diameter greater than nine mm being presently preferred. The term "equivalent diameter" shall mean the diameter a rope would be if it was a rope having a circular cross section, when measured with about ten kg of tension, say nine to eleven kg of tension. This can be calculated by measuring the volumetric displacement of a rope, and applying that to a cylindrical form, in order to arrive at the cylinder's diameter.

The thickness of the wall of the braided sheath 398 is preferentially less than one millimeter, and may be up to two millimeters or even more.

When the strength member 37 is selected to be a braided strength member, the braid angle of the other strands 397 forming the braided sheath 398 differ from and preferably are greater than the braid angle of strands forming the braided strength member 37. When the strength member is a twisted strength member, the pitch of the other strands 397 forming the braided sheath differ from the pitch of the strands forming the strength member 37.

In all embodiments, the strength member 37 preferably is formed of a substance that is more elastic than a substance mainly forming strands 397.

In order to optimize the flattened form of each such strand 397, the multiple individual sub-strands 901 either are laid parallel to one another or are loosely laid (i.e. twisted) about one another so as to result, after being braided about the strength member core 37, in the flattened tape-like shape mentioned above. Presently, parallel laid is the preferred embodiment. The sub-strands themselves either can be parallel laid or twisted plaits and formed either of further sub-sub-strands or of individual filaments and/or fibers.

As shall be readily apparent to those skilled in the art upon having read the instant disclosure, the exact count of the sub-strands 901 to form strands 397 forming the braided sheath of any particular rope of the present disclosure is determined by several factors, primarily being :

a) a diameter of strength member core 37 that forms the core about which the braided sheath is formed;

b) a desired thickness of the braided sheath;

c) a desired pick-angle and corresponding constructional elongation ability of the braided sheath;

d) a desired strength and elasticity of the braided sheath in relation to the strength and elasticity of the strength member core 37 forming the core; and e) a selected filament and/or fiber type for forming the strands and/or sub-strands.

Experimentation with any carrier count and strand count, for any particular braiding apparatus, taking into account at least the above factors shall allow those skilled in the art to determine whether the sub-strands forming the strands 397 are better laid parallel to one another or loosely twisted, and to what degree to twist them if they are to be twisted, i.e. what pitch they are best twisted at. For example, for a roughly ten to twelve millimeter diameter rope of the present disclosure of a minimal strand count according to the known art, each strand is formed of three parallel yarns, and each of the yarns has six monofilaments within it that are twisted rather loosely. The looseness of the twist is selected so that the monofilaments in the yarn can move relative to one another so as to permit the yarn to form a flattened shape to the yarn when the braided sheath is formed. The monofilaments may be of circular cross section or may be of a "side-by-side" cross sectional configuration. One skilled in the art can begin with this formula, and upon having read the information contained within the instant disclosure, empirically derive a suitable strand construction for use in forming any diameter of any ropes of the present disclosure, it being the practice in the art to empirically derive any rope construction formulas to fit any particular fabrication plant's particular braiding apparatusry, twisting machinery, filament type, tension applied to carrier strands, diameters and other characteristic of the components, machinery and methods in forming a certain rope.

Most ideally, those sub-strands that pack better, i.e. result in minimal void space and preferentially no void space between the sub-strands, as well as between the strands themselves that form the braided sheath, are preferable for a given strength. Various conventional sub-strands having asymmetrical cross sections that also are sufficiently strong while packing better than circular cross sectional shaped sub-strands are useful.

Ideally, the sub-strands forming the strands 397 that in turn form the braided sheath 398 have minimal and preferably no void space between one another. For maximal abrasion resistance and aesthetic acceptance by end users, ideally each of the strands 397 contact adjacent strands 397, so that portions of strength member core 37 or portions of whatever is enveloped by the braided sheath is not discernible by an unaided healthy human eye.

For a superior drag reducing embodiment, at least some diameters of rope of the present disclosure including approximately sixteen mm and eighteen mm diameters have been found to have a lowest drag when void space exists between adjacent strands forming the braided sheath, so that what is enveloped by the braided sheath is discernible by an unaided healthy human eye. In such embodiments it is still preferable that the rope of the present disclosure has minimal, including no void space between sub-strands forming the strands making up the braided sheath.

To assist this preferred construction of the sub-strands and strands, a type of monofilament known as "glued together" or "side by side" monofilament, is highly useful and presently preferred. Such monofilaments are made by extruding two circular cross section monofilaments from dies that are situated very close to one another so that prior to the filaments fully drying the adjacent filaments adhere to one another, forming a monofilament of a roughly figure eight cross section.

However, when such "side by side" monofilament strands are not available, circular cross sectional shaped sub-strands are highly useful.

Polyethylene and various forms of high tenacity polyethylene are useful for forming the braided sheath as well as the spiraling strand, and any hydro-phobic substances are preferred for lower drag applications than hydrophilic substances for forming the braided sheath and the strands and sub-strands. In certain applications and especially in high abrasion applications nylons, filaments used to form kraft rope and other hydrophilic substances are useful. In order to use the rope of the present disclosure to form a lowered drag self-spreading trawl it is needed to:

(a) form as much of the mesh of the pelagic trawl as possible, and especially as much of the pelagic mesh of the trawl as possible, from the rope of the present disclosure; and

(b) position the rope of the present disclosure in such a fashion that it has a particular orientation relative to the exterior of the trawl and also relative to the long dimension of the trawl. More particularly, the rope of the present disclosure is used to form mesh bars and/or mesh legs of the trawl where ropes of the present disclosure 35 having either right handed or left handed lay orientations for the spiraling strand are selected and positioned so that when viewed from external at least the top and sides of the trawl, and in the instances of a pure midwater trawl that shall not be fished in bottom contact when viewed from all sides of the trawl, with the mesh legs and/or mesh bars at intended angles of attack and intended percentages of mesh opening, the cambered sections of that portion of each rope of the present disclosure that is external the trawl are able to generate lift vectors having greater magnitudes normalized to the long dimension of the trawl and directed away from the interior of the trawl compared to the lift vector magnitudes directed toward the long axis of the trawl and able to be generated by those cambered sections that are on the portions of the ropes of the present disclosure internal the trawl. In other words, those cambered sections on the portion of the ropes of the present disclosure that are external the trawl are more parallel to the intended oncoming water flow vector and/or to the planned long dimension of the trawl than are the cambered sections of each rope of the present disclosure that are internal the trawl.

(c) Another way of describing such orientation for ropes of the present disclosure to best be used to form a lowered drag self-spreading trawl is that when viewed from a position both external the trawl as well as looking from the mouth of the trawl toward the aft of the trawl, those ropes of the present disclosure 35 having right handed lays for their spiraling strands direction about the main rope of the present disclosure body have their leading edges being the left hand side of each such rope of the present disclosure, while those ropes of the present disclosure 35 having left handed lays for their spiraling strands direction about the main rope of the present disclosure body have their leading edges being the right hand side of such ropes of the present disclosure.

Other uses for ropes of the present disclosure include forming lowered drag pelagic trawls and/or portions of lowered drag pelagic trawls, such as portions of four meter mesh size and lower, where the lay orientation and/or orientation of the cambered sections of the ropes of the present disclosure is not controlled so as to result in a self-spreading trawl. One fashion of forming such a lowered drag trawl of the present disclosure is to form all or as much as possible of the pelagic mesh of a trawl from ropes 35 of the present disclosure where all such ropes of the present disclosure have the same lay direction for their spiraling strand.

Splicing Embodiments of the Present Disclosure

In order to minimize drag of pelagic trawls formed of ropes of the present disclosure, it is best to form slings of rope of the present disclosure and connect those to form the pelagic mesh. Especially, such slings are used to form the legs and/or mesh bars of the pelagic mesh. A sling is a section of a rope having an eye at both ends, although in some instances an eye could be at only one end. To achieve the minimized drag it is needed to maximize the strength of the eye, and this is accomplished by forming an eye with a spliced connection where such spliced connection is made in such a fashion as to conserve more of the rope of the present disclosure's breaking strength than is able to be conserved by the use of knots practical for use in pelagic trawls (i.e. knots not so bulky as to result in a high drag trawl, or in an easily abraded trawl). The term "spliced sling" for purposes of the instant disclosure shall mean a portion of a rope of the present disclosure having a spliced eye located at one or both ends of itself.

Industrial Applicability

A rope of the present disclosure and a sling formed from a rope of present disclosure as formed by the process taught hereinabove is useful for forming self- spreading trawls, for forming non-self-spreading lowered drag trawls, and for forming self-spreading lowered drag trawls of lowered noise and also for forming lowered drag trawls of lowered noise.

Production Methods for Forming the Rope of the Present Disclosure:

A preferred process for forming the rope of the present disclosure is to provide a central core such as may be a hollow braided rope such as a strength member core 37, feed the central core through a braiding apparatus having at least four bobbins and preferably at least eight bobbins, so as to form a braided sheath 398 (i.e. an"overbraid") about the central core 37, where the braided sheath has at least four and preferably eight or more strands 397, respectively, the method characterized by steps of:

a) orbiting about the outside of an imaginary axis line 20 that lies coaxial with the longitudinal axis of the central core, and also orbiting about the outside of an orbit taken by bobbins 18 forming the braided sheath 398 formed of strands 397 at least another bobbin 19 that carries at least one strand 36; and

b) orbiting the at least another bobbin 19 about the outside of the central core's imaginary axis line 20 at a lesser rate of revolution about the central core's imaginary axis line 20 than is the rate of revolution about the outside of the central core's imaginary axis line 20 of the bobbins 18 providing strands 397; and c) passing in a weaving path (i.e. in a serpentine path) the at least another bobbin 19 with at least one of the strands 397 and/or with at least one of the bobbins providing at least one of the strands 397, where the at least another bobbin interweaves with lesser than all the bobbins 18 providing a strand 397 during each complete orbit of the at least another bobbin 19 about the outside of the central core's imaginary axis line 20, and preferably interweaves with either two or one of the bobbins 18 that provide a strand 397, although it may be opted to interweave the at least another bobbin 19 with more than two bobbins 18 that provide a strand 397.

In order to form a preferred embodiment of the rope of the present disclosure, and in particular in order to form that embodiment of the rope of the present disclosure where the spiraling strand 36 is bound to the rope body by means of being woven into the other strands 397 forming the braided sheath, although with a different weaving construction than is applied to other strands 397 forming the braided sheath, a new braiding apparatus is required : Examples of Braiding Apparatuses of the Present Disclosure:

In order to produce the rope of the present disclosure, a new braiding apparatus is employed where such braiding apparatus includes a first planetary carrier apparatus with cars that carry bobbins or other structure capable of storing and paying out strands (including twine, yarn, and other cordage) useful for forming a coverbraided and/or overbraided rope having a central core, such as may be a strength member core, and also includes another carrier apparatus capable of orbiting a car or cars of the another carrier apparatus around the central core and also capable of passing at least the car of the another carrier apparatus in serpentine fashion between two cars of the first planetary carrier apparatus.

A particular example of a preferred embodiment of a braiding apparatus of the present disclosure is taught with reference to FIG. 2 and FIG. 3:

FIG. 2 is a side plan view of a cross section of a braiding apparatus of the present disclosure for forming the rope of FIG. 1, where the cross section lies in a plane that is parallel to and intersects imaginary axis line 20 that lies coaxial with the longitudinal axis of the central core 37 of the rope being formed by the braiding apparatus of the present disclosure, and that in a preferred embodiment of the present disclosure is also an axis line of the longitudinal axis of the braiding apparatus of the present disclosure.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of a cross section of the braiding apparatus of the present disclosure taken along section line 3 - 3 of FIG. 2

In reference to FIG. 2 : shown is a braiding apparatus 11 of the present disclosure having upper braid ring 12 and lower braid ring 13. Upper and lower braid rings 12 and 13 provide a straight line orientation to portions of strands 397 that are between upper and lower braid rings 12 and 13. Strands 397 are paying-out of bobbins 18 that are loaded on cars (not shown) of a first planetary carrier apparatus (not shown). Bobbins 18 of the first planetary carrier apparatus and their associated cars, as well as machinery associated with bobbins 18 and their associated cars, such as a track, gears, shuttle and more, are constructed and configured as known in the art for known braiding apparatuses, with the exception that size and scale may be altered in order to accomplish the goals of the present disclosure, for example a greater spacing may be made between bobbins than usual such as by making the cars with a wider dimension than usual.

A shaped track 14 takes a path around the outside of the cage formed by the braid strands at an elevation that is between upper and lower braid rings 12 and 13. The shaped track show is made of one rail, but may be made of more than one rail. The elevation of shaped track 14 is such that a powered car 15 that rides upon shaped track 14 and spiraling strand bobbin 19 carried upon powered car 15, are both situated at an elevation that is lower than upper braid ring 12 and above lower braid ring 13 (i.e. that is an elevation that is between upper and lower braid rings 12 and 13). Powered car 15 may include an electrical motor that receives electrical energy transmitted through contact strips (not shown) that run along the entire length of shaped track 14 and are powered, so as to provide electrical power to a motor (not shown) located within or attached to powered car 15 and geared so as to impart power to a drive gear or a drive wheel, such as a drive wheel 16 adapted to fit into a groove formed into a portion of the shaped track. The shaped track 14 may be held in place by supports 22 and 23 that connect to other portions of the braiding apparatus of the present disclosure in such a fashion as to not impede the travel of cars, bobbins and strands associated with the present disclosure.

In reference also to FIG. 2 : the shaped track 14 takes a path around the outside of the cage formed by the braid strands 397 except for shaped track reverse curved portion 24, that is situated between track void gaps 17 that are situated in a horizontal path of travel of braid strands 397, and that are situated so that braid strands 397 pass through the track void gaps 17, while also forming a gap distance of a length small enough that powered car 15 can traverse from shaped track 14 to reverse curved portion 24 and again to shaped track 14 without difficulty. The terminal portions of the shaped track 14 and the terminal portions of reverse curved portion 24 of shaped track 14 may be tapered so as to facilitate reception of those terminal portions into the receiving portion 26 of powered car 15 that is adapted to be received by the cross sectional form of shaped track 14. The powered car may also be driven by gears located in shaped track 14 and reverse curved portion 24 of shaped track 14.

One method for driving car 15 along the shaped track and the reverse curved portion of the shaped track is to have a chain drive on the outside edge of the shaped track, much like a chainsaw chain, where the chain drive revolves around the shaped track 14 and meshes with gears and/or another portion of car 15 so as to impart travel of car 15 along the shaped track 14. When car 15 crosses the void gaps onto reverse curved track portion, a similar type of chain drive arrangement can be formed with the reverse curved track portion so as to impart travel of the car 15 along the reverse curved track portion and back across the other void gap and once again onto shaped track 14 where car 15 again meshes with the chain drive of shaped track 14. As is understood by those skilled in the art, a chain drive is located on the convex curved edge of the reverse curved track portion and on the exterior and/or convex curved edge of shaped track 14. The power is imparted to the chain drive by a motor that is geared to mesh with the chain drive and can be located outboard of the chain drive and shaped track 14, i.e further away from imaginary axis 20 compared to the chain drive and shaped track 14.

In another embodiment, a spinning disk that meshes with car 15 on its interior edge can be situated exterior and surrounding the shaped track 14, while another drive mechanism, such as a chain drive, imparts travel to the car 15 while it is on the reverse track portion.

The powered car is controlled, either by the gears, or by an electrical control unit with associated sensors, so as to travel at a rate that provides both for the powered car to cross track void gaps 17 at a time when the powered car does not collide with a strand 397, and also so as to cause powered car 15 to traverse the entire course of reverse curved portion 24 so as to cause spiraling strand 36, that pays out from spiraling strand bobbin 19 carried upon the powered car, to interweave with a selected quantity of strands 397, such as one, two or three of strands 397, with one strand being preferred, and with two strands also being useful, though more strands are useful. Though the cross section of spiraling strand 36 would not normally be visible in the taken cross sectional view shown in FIG. 3, it is shown in the drawing of FIG. 3 to promote understanding of the position of spiraling strand 36 relative to the position of strands 397 during the event of powered car 15 passing along reverse curved portion 24 of track 14, which is the only portion of track 14 that lies closer to imaginary axis line 20 than lie the portions of strands 397 that are situated between upper and lower braid rings 12, 13.

The powered car 15 preferably is of a streamlined shape so as to permit any strands 397 that collide with powered car 15 to easily pass around powered car 15, for which purpose a sufficient distance between upper and lower braid rings 12 and 13 is useful to permit both high tension on strands 397 and also the easy deflection of strands 397 about powered car 15, should such deflection be necessary. Spiraling strand 36, that pays out from spiraling strand bobbin 19, passes around the outside edge of upper braid ring 12 as shown in FIG. 2, then travels toward the braid point 27 as do other strands 397, thereby causing the spiraling strand 36 to be interwoven with other strands 397 forming the braided sheath with :

i) a lesser quantity of bindings per complete rotation of the spiraling twine 36 around the central core 37; and

ii) a longer braid angle than is the braid angle of other strands 397.

Resultantly, a rope of the present disclosure is formed, thereby accomplishing goals of the present disclosure.

In another embodiment, the another carrier apparatus is an additional and/or secondary planetary carrier apparatus orbiting mainly around the outside of the usual planetary carrier apparatus, where the additional and/or secondary planetary carrier apparatus ideally is positioned at the same height or slightly above a height that is positioned the first planetary carrier apparatus. This construction and configuration for the new braiding apparatusbraiding apparatus of the present disclosure may be accomplished, for example, such as by forming the secondary planetary carrier apparatus attached to an additional track that is also positioned at the same or at a similar height as the track of the first planetary carrier apparatus, or above the height of the first planetary carrier apparatus. The secondary planetary carrier apparatus may include one, or several, cars that carry one, or more, bobbins that contain and permit unspooling of a twine 36 that is larger than twines 397 mainly forming the coverbraided strands about a core, i.e. that permit unspooling of a twine that forms spiraling strand 36. The bobbin(s) carrying the strand that forms spiraling strand 36 orbit in a single lay direction. There may be one bobbin carrying one spiraling strand 36, or several such bobbins, though one is preferred for lower cost of manufacture, while more than one may in some instances provide for further lowered drag.

Such construction and configuration of a braiding apparatus is contrary to the state of the art and against the trend in the industry.

Optimally, the additional planetary carrier apparatus orbits at a lower speed than does the primary carrier apparatus.

The effect of the lower orbit speed is to cause a spool containing the twine that is to form the spiraling twine 36 (i.e. the spiraling twine spool) to orbit at a lower rate of revolutions per unit time than do spools carrying strands that are to form strands 397 that are used in forming the primary braided sheath. Additionally, the number of times that the carrier apparatus passes the spiraling spool underneath spools of strands 397 forming the primary braided sheath is less frequent in comparison with number of times that strands forming the primary braided sheath pass under one another. A result is that in the final formed rope of the present disclosure the spiraling strand 36 exhibits a longer pitch than do strands 397 forming the primary braided sheath, and is attached and thus bound to the rope body 35, and to the braided sheath 398, less frequently than are strands 397 forming the primary braided sheath attached and thus bound to one another and to the rope body.

In another embodiment, the another carrier apparatus is a digitally controlled apparatus that both includes a car on a track positioned so that the car revolves about the central core and that also includes a digitally controlled actuator and mechanism for passing the car in serpentine fashion between either two cars of the first planetary carrier apparatus or between two twines (including yarns, strands or other cordage) that are being paid out from two cars of the first planetary carrier apparatus.

Examples of a Braiding Apparatus and a Production Method of the Present Disclosure:

1. A braiding apparatus capable of forming a braided sheath about a central core, the braiding apparatus including a support member and at least a first planetary carrier apparatus including : a series of drivers carried by the support member and arranged so as to encircle an imaginary axis line 20 passing through a braiding point; a mechanism to rotate adjacent of said drivers in opposite directions; a plurality of cars, each car capable of:

a) carrying a quantity of a strand; and

b) being driven by the drivers for travel in serpentine intersecting paths in opposite directions around the braiding point,

the braiding apparatus characterized by the fact that the braiding apparatus includes a second planetary carrier apparatus.

2. The braiding apparatus of example 1 further characterized in that the braiding apparatus includes an upper braid ring 12 and a lower braid ring 13.

3. The braiding apparatus of example 1 further characterized in that the second planetary carrier apparatus includes a track 14 and a reverse curved track portion 24 that are positioned at a height that is above a height that is positioned the first planetary carrier apparatus.

4. The braiding apparatus of any one of examples 1 to 3 further characterized in that the second planetary carrier apparatus mainly carries and orbits at least one bobbin 19 mainly external portions of strands 397 that are situated between upper and lower braid rings 12 and 13

5. The braiding apparatus of example 4 further characterized in that at least a car 15 of the second planetary carrier apparatus passes between imaginary axis line 20 and at least a strand 397 associated with at least a bobbin 18 of the first planetary carrier apparatus a lesser quantity of passes per revolution of the at least a car 15 around the imaginary axis line 20 compared to the quantity of passes of at least a strand 397 between other strands 397 and the imaginary axis line 20 per revolution of the at least a bobbin 18 around the imaginary axis line 20, thereby causing a strand (36) paying out from bobbin 19 to be interwoven with other strands 397 forming the braided sheath with a lesser quantity of bindings per complete rotation of the strand (36) around the central core. 6. The braiding apparatus of example 4 further characterized in that the at least a car 15 of the second planetary carrier apparatus revolves around imaginary axis line 20 a lesser quantity of complete revolutions per unit time in comparison to the quantity of complete revolutions per unit time that bobbins 18 of the first planetary carrier apparatus revolve around imaginary axis line 20, thereby causing strand (36) to be interwoven with other strands 397 forming the braided sheath and to spiral about the central core 37 with a different braid angle than a braid angle associated with other strands 397 of the braided sheath.

7. The braiding apparatus of any one of examples 3 to 6 further characterized in that the track 14 and the reverse curved track portion 24 are made of at least two rails.

8. The braiding apparatus of example 1 wherein the second planetary carrier apparatus includes a digitally controlled apparatus that includes car 15.

9. A process for forming a rope having a strand 36 that is larger than strands 397 forming a braided sheath 398 about a central core and that has a different braid angle than at least most of the strands 397 forming the braided sheath about the central core, the process including proving a central core 37, feeding the central core through a braiding apparatus having at least four bobbins forming a coverbraid about the central core, the process characterized by steps of:

a) orbiting about the outside of an imaginary axis line 20 that lies coaxial with the longitudinal axis of the central core, and also orbiting about the outside of an orbit taken by bobbins 18 forming the braided sheath 398 formed of strands 397, at least another bobbin 19 that carries at least one strand 36; and

b) orbiting the at least another bobbin 19 about the outside of the central core's imaginary axis line 20 at a lesser rate of revolution about the central core's imaginary axis line 20 than is the rate of revolution about the outside of the central core's imaginary axis line 20 of the bobbins 18 providing strands 397; c) passing in a weaving path the at least another bobbin 19 with at least one of the strands 397, where the at least another bobbin 19 interweaves with lesser than all the bobbins 18 providing a strand 397 during each complete orbit of the at least another bobbin 19 about the outside of the central core's imaginary axis line 20.

10. The process of example 9 wherein step ( c ) of the process is further characterized by the fact that the at least another bobbin interweaves with only one of the bobbins that provide a strand 397.

11. The process of example 9 wherein step ( c ) of the process is further characterized by the fact that the at least another bobbin interweaves with only two of the bobbins that provide a strand 397.

12. The process of example 9 wherein step ( c ) of the process is further characterized by the fact that the at least another bobbin interweaves with at least two of the bobbins that provide a strand 397.

Further Examples of a Braiding apparatus of the Present Disclosure: 1. A braiding apparatus capable of forming a braided sheath about a central core, the braiding apparatus preferably including : a support member; at least a first planetary carrier apparatus including : a series of drivers carried by the support member and arranged in a circle around a braiding point; a mechanism to rotate adjacent of said drivers in opposite directions; a plurality of cars, each car constructed and configured to carry a quantity of a strand, such as on a bobbin that is mounted on a spindle associated with each car, the plurality of cars constructed and configured to be driven by the drivers for travel in serpentine intersecting paths in opposite directions around the braiding point, the braiding apparatus characterized by the fact that the braiding apparatus includes a second planetary carrier apparatus (that itself preferably is supported by a support member, that may stand, or depend from a ceiling, for example). 2. The braiding apparatus of example 1 further characterized in that the second planetary carrier apparatus is positioned at a same height (including a similar height), or that is above a height that is positioned the first planetary carrier apparatus. 3. The braiding apparatus of any one of examples 1 and 2 further characterized in that the second planetary carrier apparatus is constructed and configured to mainly carry and orbit bobbins external bobbins that are carried by the first planetary carrier apparatus, where the second planetary carrier apparatus includes a series of drivers carried by the support member and arranged in a circle around a braiding point; a mechanism to rotate adjacent of said drivers in opposite directions; a plurality of cars, each car constructed and configured to carry a quantity of a strand, such as on a bobbin that is mounted on a spindle associated with each car, the plurality of cars constructed and configured to be driven by the drivers for travel in serpentine intersecting paths in opposite directions around the braiding point, wherein the first and second planetary carrier apparatuses are constructed and configured so that at least a car of the second planetary carrier apparatus passes between the braiding point and at least one car of the first planetary carrier apparatus, in a serpentine intersecting path with the at least one car of the first planetary carrier apparatus, thereby passing a spiraling strand (36) carried upon the at least a car of the second planetary carrier apparatus between the central core and a strand carried upon the at least one car of the first planetary carrier apparatus (such as may most easily be accomplished when the secondary planetary carrier apparatus' cars are above the track, cars and spindles and bobbins of the first planetary carrier apparatus), thereby causing the spiraling strand (36) to be interwoven with other strands forming the braided sheath.

It is preferred that the cars of the first planetary carrier apparatus have a larger dimension, especially a larger footprint and/or square area when viewed from above, than do cars of the second planetary carrier apparatus, so as to create sufficient space between strands of adjacent cars of the first planetary carrier apparatus to permit passage of a car of the second planetary carrier apparatus. For example, the cars of the first planetary carrier apparatus may be sufficient greater in overall cross sectional surface area when viewed from above so that a car from the second planetary carrier apparatus, that is on a track mounted above the tract of the first planetary carrier apparatus, may easily pass between strands converging at the braid point from cars of the first planetary carrier apparatus, thereby causing thereby causing the spiraling strand (36) to be interwoven with other strands forming the braided sheath.

Furthermore, in the presently preferred embodiment of the present disclosure, less than all cars of the first planetary carrier apparatus ever pass outboard of, that is further from the braiding point than, a car of the second planetary carrier apparatus. The car or cars of the first planetary carrier apparatus selected to take a serpentine path with a car or cars of the second planetary carrier apparatus are constructed and configured differently than other cars of the first planetary carrier apparatus, and most particularly have a tooth that catches upon a portion of a selected car or cars of the second planetary carrier apparatus, causing the selected cars of the first and second planetary carrier apparatuses to take a serpentine path, preferably in opposite directions, relative to one another. The tooth on the car or cars of the first planetary carrier apparatus preferably is elevated above the track of the first planetary carrier apparatus so as to be at a similar level as the selected car or cars of the second planetary carrier apparatus.

Additionally, the present disclosure in some preferred embodiments envisions a third track, that is a second track associated with the second planetary carrier apparatus, and that is situated so that strands associated with the first planetary carrier apparatus depend from the cars and/or bobbins associated with the first planetary carrier apparatus, pass outboard, that is further away from the braiding point than, the third track, and then continue on a path to the braiding point. The third track may be designed and configured to receive the selected car or cars of the second planetary carrier apparatus that take the serpentine path relative to the selected car or cars of the first planetary carrier apparatus.

4. The braiding apparatus of example 3 further characterized in that the first and second planetary carrier apparatuses are constructed and configured so that the at least a car of the second planetary carrier apparatus passes between the braiding point and a car of the first planetary carrier apparatus a lesser quantity of passes per revolution of the at least a car of the second planetary carrier apparatus around the braiding point, thereby causing the spiraling strand (36) to be interwoven with other strands forming the braided sheath with a lesser quantity of bindings per complete rotation of the spiraling twine (36) around the central core.

5. The braiding apparatus of example 3 further characterized in that the first and second planetary carrier apparatuses are constructed and configured so that the at least a car of the second planetary carrier apparatus revolves around the braiding point a lesser quantity of complete revolutions per unit time in comparison to the quantity of complete revolutions per unit time that cars of the first planetary carrier apparatus revolve around the braiding point, thereby causing the spiraling strand (36) to be interwoven with other strands forming the braided sheath and to spiral about the central core with a different braid angle than a braid angle associated with other strands of the braided sheath that are associated with cars of the first planetary carrier apparatus, thereby causing the spiraling twine (36) to have a greater magnitude of advance about the central core than do other strands forming the braided sheath and that are associated with cars of the first planetary carrier apparatus.

6. The braiding apparatus of any one of examples 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 further characterized in that the second planetary carrier apparatus is constructed and configured to couple carriers to an additional track that is positioned at a same height (including a similar height) as a track constructed and configured to couple with the first planetary carrier apparatus.

7. The braiding apparatus of any one of examples 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 further characterized in that the second planetary carrier apparatus includes at least one and as many as several carriers that carry at least one and as many as several bobbins, where the quantity of bobbins carried by the secondary planetary carrier apparatus is lesser than a quantity of bobbins carried by the first planetary carrier apparatus. 8. The braiding apparatus of any one of examples 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 further characterized in that the second planetary carrier apparatus is constructed and configured to carry a quantity of bobbins that is lesser than a quantity of bobbins carried by the first planetary carrier apparatus, and where the second planetary carrier apparatus further is constructed and configured to orbit the bobbins that it carries in a single direction, whereas the first planetary carrier apparatus is constructed and configured to orbit its bobbins in both a clockwise as well as a counterclockwise direction.

9. The braiding apparatus of any one of examples 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 further characterized in that the second planetary carrier apparatus is constructed and configured to carry a quantity of bobbins that is lesser than a quantity of bobbins carried by the first planetary carrier apparatus, and where the second planetary carrier apparatus further is constructed and configured to orbit the bobbins that it carries at a lower speed than does the first planetary carrier apparatus orbit the bobbins carried by the first planetary carrier apparatus.

10. The braiding apparatus of any one of examples 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 further characterized in that the second planetary carrier apparatus is constructed and configured to carry a quantity of bobbins that is lesser than a quantity of bobbins carried by the first planetary carrier apparatus, and where the second planetary carrier apparatus further is constructed and configured to orbit the bobbins that it carries at a lesser quantity of complete rotations per unit of time than does the first planetary carrier apparatus orbit the bobbins carried by the first planetary carrier apparatus.

11. The braiding apparatus of any one of the above examples where the second planetary carrier apparatus' cars are above the track, cars, spindles and bobbins of the first planetary carrier apparatus.

12. The braiding apparatus of any one of the above examples where the second planetary carrier apparatus' cars are above the track, cars, spindles and bobbins of the first planetary carrier apparatus, and a space between adjacent cars of the first planetary carrier apparatus is sufficient to allow passage of a car of the second planetary carrier apparatus along with its associated strand and any bobbin between the braid point and any strand associated with a car of the first planetary carrier apparatus. 13. The braiding apparatus of example 1 wherein the second planetary carrier apparatus includes a digitally controlled apparatus that both includes a car on a track of the second planetary carrier apparatus, the track positioned so that the car revolves about the central core and/or the braid point, and that also includes a digitally controlled actuator and mechanism for passing the car either:

a) in serpentine fashion between either more than two cars of the first planetary carrier apparatus or between more than two twines (the term "twines" in the present disclosure including yarns, strands and/or other cordage) that are being paid out from two cars of the first planetary carrier apparatus; or

b) between at least two cars of the first planetary carrier apparatus so as to cause the car of the second planetary carrier apparatus to pass from the track of the second planetary carrier apparatus, between the at least two cars of the first planetary carrier apparatus and/or between at least two twines associated with the at least two cars of the first planetary carrier apparatus, then between one of the at least two cars and/or between one of the at least two twines of the first planetary carrier apparatus and the braid point, and then return to the track of the second planetary carrier apparatus by continuing in the same direction that is either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction around one of the at least one car and/or at least one twine of the at least two cars and/or the at least two twines of the first planetary carrier apparatus. That is, in more simple terms, the at least one car of the second planetary carrier apparatus passes in almost a complete revolution around either one car and/or around one twine associated with the first planetary carrier apparatus, this explanation being understandable to those skilled in the art. In order to accomplish this, in a presently preferred embodiment, a bobbin of the second planetary carrier apparatus is housed within or atop an electromagnet that is itself held in position on a car of the second planetary carrier apparatus also b by virtue of an electromagnet. When this car and this bobbin housed in and/or atop an electromagnet are nearly adjacent a selected car of the first planetary carrier apparatus, a sensor notifies a control unit that then signals an electromagnetic housing of the bobbin and/or spindle of the car of the first planetary carrier apparatus to be energized with a charge opposite the charge associated with the electromagnet housing within which or atop of which is the car of the second planetary carrier apparatus. The electromagnets associated with the two cars are shaped so as to have preferably flattened sides of a square or hexagon that mate. Simultaneously, the electromagnetic connection between the car of the second planetary carrier apparatus and the track of the second planetary carrier apparatus is de- energized. Resultantly, the car of the second planetary carrier apparatus and the car of the first planetary carrier apparatus are attached to one another by the electromagnetic charges and/or energy. At this point, gears and teeth on the car of the second planetary carrier apparatus and the car of the first planetary carrier apparatus meet, and cause rotation of the electromagnetic housing of the spindle and/or bobbin associated with the car of the first planetary carrier apparatus, with gearing that causes a complete rotation about its own upright (vertical) axis of the electromagnetic housing of the spindle and/or bobbin associated with the car of the first planetary carrier apparatus. At the point of completion of this complete rotation, the electromagnetic car of the second planetary carrier apparatus is recharged, by the control unit, and grabs and holds the spindle and/or bobbin of the second planetary carrier apparatus, while the electromagnet associated with the car and/or spindle and/or bobbin associated with the first planetary carrier apparatus is de-energized so as to release the housing associated with the bobbin and/or spindle of the second planetary carrier apparatus. At the point of this release, simultaneously, the gears and teeth that cause the rotation through a geared mechanism of the housing of then bobbin and/or spindle associated with the car of the first planetary carrier apparatus are configured to pass one another so as to no longer meet thus no longer able to impart the energy to the rotational mechanism. Subsequently, the respective cars continue on their respective tracks, until they again come adjacent to one another and the process is repeated. The at least one car of the second planetary carrier apparatus revolves less frequently about the braid point than do the cars of the first planetary carrier apparatus.

While the present disclosure has been described in terms of its presently preferred embodiments, others, most likely, having read the instant disclosure, may suggest various alternatives and variations, which are intended to be encompassed by the present disclosure and the claims of the present disclosure.