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Title:
NON-KINKING SELF-WRAPPING WOVEN SLEEVE AND METHOD OF CONSTRUCTION THEREOF
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2014/121265
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A wrappable textile sleeve and method of construction thereof is provided. The wrappable textile sleeve includes an elongate wall extending along a longitudinal axis between opposite ends with lengthwise extending edges extending parallel or substantially parallel with the longitudinal axis between the opposite ends. The wall is woven from lengthwise extending warp yams and circumferentially extending weft yarns. The weft yams form a plurality of discrete annular bands, with adjacent bands having weft yams of different diameters to provide the wall with discrete enhanced hoop strength regions and with discrete enhanced flexibility regions, where the enhanced hoop strength and enhanced flexibility regions alternate in adjacent relation with one another.

Inventors:
WOODRUFF ALEXA A (US)
MALLOY CASSIE M (US)
HARRIS DAVID A (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2014/014639
Publication Date:
August 07, 2014
Filing Date:
February 04, 2014
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
FEDERAL MOGUL POWERTRAIN INC (US)
International Classes:
B32B5/24; D03D1/00; B60R16/02; D03D13/00; D03D15/00; H02G3/04
Foreign References:
US20120037263A12012-02-16
US20110083879A12011-04-14
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STEARNS, Robert, L. et al. (2600 W. Big Beaver RoadSuite 30, Troy MI, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A wrappable textile sleeve, comprising:

an elongate wall extending along a longitudinal axis between opposite ends with lengthwise extending edges extending along said longitudinal axis between said opposite ends, said wall being woven from at least one lengthwise extending warp yarn and a plurality of circumferentially extending weft yarns, said weft yarns forming a plurality of discrete annular bands with adjacent bands being formed with weft yarns of different diameters from one another.

2. The wrappable textile sleeve of claim 1 wherein alternating bands are spaced from one another by intervening bands, said alternating bands having weft yarns with substantially the same diameter as one another and said intervening bands having weft yarns of a different diameter from said alternating bands.

3. The wrappable textile sleeve of claim 2 wherein said alternating bands are formed entirely from weft yarns having a larger diameter relative to said weft yarns forming said intervening bands.

4. The wrappable textile sleeve of claim 3 wherein said intervening bands and said alternating bands are formed with weft yarns having a diameter ratio of about 1 :3, respectively.

5. The wrappable textile sleeve of claim 1 wherein said weft yarns are monofilaments and said at least one warp yarn is a multifilament.

6. The wrappable textile sleeve of claim 1 wherein said wall is woven in a plain weave.

7. The wrappable textile sleeve of claim 1 further comprising an outer layer bonded to an outer surface of said wall.

8. The wrappable textile sleeve of claim 7 wherein said outer layer is foil.

9. The wrappable textile sleeve of claim 1 wherein at least some of said weft yarns are heat-set to bias said opposite edges into overlapping relation with one another.

10. A method of constructing a wrappable textile sleeve, comprising:

weaving an elongate wall from at least one lengthwise extending warp yarn extending along a longitudinal axis of the sleeve between opposite ends and a plurality of circumferentially extending weft yarns extending circumferentially between opposite overlapping edges; and

forming a plurality of discrete circumferentially extending annular bands extending between the opposite edges with the weft yarns during the weaving process with adjacent bands being formed with weft yarns having different diameters from one another.

1 1. The method of claim 10 further including forming the bands with the smaller diameter weft yams having an increased axially extending width relative to the bands with the larger diameter weft yams.

12. The method of claim 10 further including forming alternating bands spaced axially from one another by intervening bands, and forming the alternating bands having weft yarns with substantially the same diameter as one another and forming the intervening bands having weft yarns of a different diameter from the alternating bands.

13. The method of claim 12 further including forming the alternating bands entirely from weft yarns having a larger diameter relative to the weft yarns forming the intervening bands.

14. The method of claim 13 further including forming the intervening bands and the alternating bands with weft yarns having a diameter ratio of about 1 :3, respectively.

15. The method of claim 10 further including weaving the wall having a plain weave.

16. The method of claim 10 further including bonding an outer layer to an outer surface of the wall.

17. The method of claim 10 further including heat-setting at least some of the weft yarns to bias the opposite edges into overlapping relation with one another.

Description:
NON-KINKING SELF-WRAPPING 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. 61/760,607, filed February 4, 2013, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field

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

2. Related Art

[0003] It is known to utilize textile sleeves to protect elongate members from a variety of external environmental conditions. Woven sleeves can either be formed having a seamless, tubular wall, or an open, wrappable wall having opposite lengthwise extending edges configured to overlap one another. Wrappable woven sleeves are typically constructed with relatively stiff weft monofilament yarns (also referred to as fill yarns) that extend widthwise and circumferentially about the wall to provide the sleeve with high hoop strength, thereby inhibiting the sleeve from being crushed or flattened. Unfortunately, although woven sleeves having stiff weft yarns attain high hoop strength, they have limited flexibility along their length, thereby reducing their ability to be routed about circuitous, meandering paths, and if bent too much, cause the sleeve wall to kink and form openings along a seam between the overlapping edges, wherein the openings formed provide a source for ingress of contamination, whether fluid or solid in form. In some cases, in order to provide a more flexible sleeve when increased flexibility is necessary, woven wrappable sleeves are fabricated in their entirety from more flexible multifilament weft yarns or from very fine, small diameter weft monofilaments; however, these sleeves, although having an increased flexibility, suffer from a greatly reduced hoop strength, and thus, are prone to being crushed or flattened in use, thereby subjecting the elongate members being protected therein to damage.

[0004] Accordingly, what is needed is a woven textile sleeve that combines the benefits of a woven sleeve having both a high hoop strength and a woven sleeve that is flexible, thereby providing protection against being crushed, while at the same time, being flexible, non-kinking, and resisting the formation of opening between overlapping edges when routed over circuitous, meandering paths and when bent around corners of 90 degrees or more.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] In accordance with one aspect of the invention, a wrappable textile sleeve is provided. The textile sleeve includes an elongate wall extending along a longitudinal axis between opposite ends with lengthwise extending edges extending parallel or substantially parallel with the longitudinal axis between the opposite ends. The wall is woven from lengthwise extending warp yarns and circumferentially extending weft yarns. The weft yarns form a plurality of discrete annular bands, with adjacent bands having weft yarns of different diameters.

[0006] In accordance with one aspect of the invention, a method of constructing a wrappable textile sleeve is provided. The method includes weaving an elongate wall from lengthwise extending warp yarns extending parallel or substantially parallel with a longitudinal axis between opposite ends of the wall and circumferentially extending weft yarns extending generally transverse with the longitudinal axis between opposite edges that extend along the longitudinal axis between the opposite ends. Further, forming a plurality of discrete circumferentially extending annular bands extending between the opposite edges with the weft yarns during the weaving process with adjacent bands being formed with weft yarns having different diameters from one another.

[0007] The woven, self-wrapping sleeve provides the desired protection to elongate members contained therein, while also having an enhanced degree of flexibility to allow the sleeve to be routed about corners of 90 degrees or more without kinking and/or causing an opening to be formed between opposite, overlapping lengthwise extending edges. The enhanced flexibility is provided by forming alternating discrete, flexible bands spaced axially from one another by intervening bands, wherein the flexible bands are formed in their entirety with weft yarns having a decreased diameter relative to the intervening bands. In contrast, the intervening bands are formed having weft yarns with relatively increased diameters relative to the adjacent, flexible bands, wherein the intervening bands with increased diameter weft yarns provide enhanced hoop strength to the wall of the sleeve, thereby providing crush resistance to the wall.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] These and other aspects, features and advantages of the present invention will become more readily appreciated when considered in connection with the following detailed description of presently preferred embodiments and best mode, appended claims and accompanying drawings, in which:

[0009] Figure 1 is a perspective view of a woven, wrappable sleeve constructed in accordance with one aspect of the invention shown wrapped about an elongate member to be protected by the sleeve;

[0010] Figure 2 is an enlarged partial view of a wall of the sleeve of Figure 1 ; and

[001 1 ] Figure 3 is a view similar to Figure 1 of a woven, wrappable sleeve constructed in accordance with another aspect of the invention shown wrapped about an elongate member to be protected. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0012] Referring in more detail to the drawings, Figure 1 illustrates a textile sleeve 10 constructed in accordance with one aspect of the invention wrapped about an elongate member 12 (e.g. flexible wire harness or other flexible member) to be protected. The sleeve

10 has an elongate wall 14 that extends along a central longitudinal axis 16 between opposite ends 18, 20 with lengthwise extending edges 22, 24 extending along the longitudinal axis 16 in parallel or substantially parallel relation therewith between the opposite ends 18, 20. As best shown in Figure 2, the wall 14 is woven from at least one or a plurality of lengthwise extending warp yarns 26 and a plurality of circumferentially extending weft yarns 28, 29.

The respective weft yarns 28, 29 are woven to form a plurality of discrete annular bands, shown here, by way of example and without limitation, as alternating pairs of bands A, B extending and alternating in adjacent relation with one another along the longitudinal axis 16 with immediately adjacent bands A, B having respective weft yarns 28, 29 with different diameters from one another. For purposes of distinction, the bands A alternate along the length of the sleeve 10 with bands B intervening between the alternating bands A, such that the individual bands A are spaced axially from one another, as are the bands B. As shown, the bands A are woven from weft yarns 28 having a first diameter and the bands B are woven from weft yarns 29 having a second diameter, wherein the first and second diameters are different from one another, represented as the first diameter being smaller than the second diameter. As such, the sleeve 10 is formed having varying physical properties along the length of the sleeve 10 due to the different diameters of the weft yarns 28, 29 in the respective bands A, B. The bands A, having the very fine, relative small diameter monofilament weft yarns 28, provide the sleeve 10 with enhanced flex regions that result in an enhanced ability of the sleeve 10 to flex and bend around corners, including corners of 90 degrees or more, without kinking and without forming openings or gaps between the overlapping edges 22, 24. Meanwhile, the bands B, having the larger diameter monofilament weft yams 29 relative to the weft yams 28, provide the sleeve 10 with stiff, rigid regions relative to the bands A, thereby providing the wall 14 with enhanced hoop strength to prevent the wall 14 from being flattened or crushed, thereby providing the elongate member 12 contained within the sleeve 10 with protection against damage from being crushed.

[0013] The warp yam 26 can be provided of any suitable yam material, including monofilament or multifilament yam, and in any suitable number of ends. Preferably the warp yam 26 is provided at least in part of multifilament yam, and preferably entirely from multifilament yam to enhance the coverage protection provided by the wall 14 to the enclosed elongate member 12.

[0014] The weft yams 28, 29 are provided as monofilament yam within both bands A, B, and can be provided at least in part as heat-settable monofilament yam, if desired to heat-set the wall 14 into a thermally formed, self- wrapping wall. The alternating bands A and intervening bands B, as discussed above, have differently sized weft monofilaments relative to one another, thereby providing the sleeve with bands A having an increased flexibility and the bands B having an increased hoop and crush strength. In accordance with one aspect of the invention, the reduced diameter weft yams 28 in the flexible bands A are about 1/3 the diameter of the more stiff weft yams 29 forming the more rigid bands B. Accordingly, the bands A, B have weft yams 28, 29 with a ratio in diameters of about 1 :3, respectively, which has been found to provide the sleeve 10 with both excellent bending flexibility and radial crush strength performance.

[0015] The bands A, B are sized in axially extending widths relative with one another to provide the desired amount of flex (bands A) and hoop strength (bands B), while at the same time preventing the wall 14 from kinking and forming openings/ gaps along the seam between the overlapping edges 22, 24. Accordingly, the overlapping edges 22, 24 are assured of remaining in their intended overlapped relation with one another to best prevent the ingress of contamination, whether fluid contamination or solid contamination. In one presently preferred embodiment, the axially extending widths of the bands A are greater than the axially extending widths of the bands B, which has been found to provide the desired flexibility and hoop strength, wherein the bands A were about 2 times the width of the bands

B, thereby forming a ratio of widths of about 2: 1 for the bands A, B, respectively. If the relative axially extending widths of the bands A, B is not maintained, the wall 14 can either sacrifice the hoop strength desired, such as if the bands A are too wide relative to the bands

B, or the wall can be too stiff and lack the flexibility desired, thereby causing the wall 14 to be subject to kinking and forming openings/gaps along the seam between the edges 22, 24, such as if the bands B are too wide relative to the bands A. Accordingly, it should be recognized that a balance needs to be maintained between the respective widths of the bands

A, B to provide the sleeve 10 with the ability to flex without kinking and forming openings/gaps, while also retaining the desired hoop strength without being too stiff.

[0016] If the sleeve 10 is intended to be used as a "standalone" sleeve, thereby being free of any additional layers, then the wall 14 is woven having a relatively high density of yarn in both the warp and weft directions so that the weave construction is tight and the yarns 26, 28,

29 do not have freedom to move relative to one another. This is preferably achieved by weaving the wall 14 in a relatively high warp and pick count in a plain weave pattern. The tight weave pattern also enhances the ability of the sleeve 10 to resist abrasion. Otherwise, as shown in an alternate embodiment of the invention in Figure 3, wherein the same reference numerals, offset by a factor of 100, are used to identify like features, if the sleeve 1 10 has an outer layer 30 bonded to an outer surface of the wall 1 14, such as a layer of foil, then the density of the warp yarn is significant reduced from that for the standalone sleeve 10 shown in Figure 1 , such as 1 warp yarn every 0.7", by way of example, and wherein the fill density will be dependent on the warp and fill yarn size. The reduced density of the warp yarn allows the sleeve 1 10 to remain flexible without causing the foil layer 30 to tear.

[0017] Many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is, therefore, to be understood that the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described, and that the scope of the invention is defined by any ultimately allowed claims.