Title:
Protective wire net, a protective structure constructed with the net and the use of the protective wire net for the construction of a protective structure
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A protective wire net comprises an array of longitudinal wires (12) arranged side by side and each intertwined with at least one respective adjacent longitudinal wire (12). Each of one or more longitudinal metal cables (14) is also intertwined with at least one adjacent longitudinal wire (12). One ore more transverse wires (34) and/or metal cables (16) may also be provided, arranged in a transverse direction relative to the longitudinal wires (12) and outside intertwining regions (22) defined by portions (20) of adjacent longitudinal wires (12) which are bent around one another, the transverse wires (34) and/or metal cables (16) being intertwined or interlaced with one or more of the longitudinal wires (12).



Inventors:
Ferraiolo, Francesco (Ca'de' Fabbri (Bologna), IT)
Application Number:
10/576593
Publication Date:
04/12/2007
Filing Date:
10/22/2003
Primary Class:
International Classes:
H01B7/08; E01F7/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
EKIERT, TERESA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FLYNN THIEL, P.C. (KALAMAZOO, MI, US)
Claims:
1. 1-14. (canceled)

15. A protective wire net comprising an array of longitudinal wires arranged side by side and each intertwined with at least one respective adjacent longitudinal wire, further comprising one or more longitudinal metal cables each intertwined or interlaced with at least one adjacent longitudinal wire.

16. A protective wire net according to claim 15, wherein the one or more longitudinal metal cables are interposed between the array of longitudinal wires.

17. A protective wire net according to claim 16, further comprising a plurality of the said longitudinal metal cables arranged at regular intervals relative to one another and alternating with one or more wires.

18. A protective wire net according to claim 15, wherein at least one of the longitudinal metal cables defines an edge of the net.

19. A protective wire net according to claim 15, further comprising one or more transverse wires and/or metal cables arranged in a transverse direction relative to the longitudinal wires and outside intertwining regions defined by portions of adjacent longitudinal wires which are bent around one another, the transverse wires and/or metal cables being intertwined or interlaced with one or more of the longitudinal wires.

20. A protective wire net according to claim 19, wherein the transverse cables comprise bent portions of the longitudinal cables.

21. A protective wire net according to claim 20, further comprising anchoring means for anchoring one or more transverse wires and/or metal cables to one or more longitudinal wires and/or longitudinal metal cables.

22. A protective wire net according to claim 21, wherein the anchoring means comprise at least one ring or eye, or a portion of longitudinal and/or transverse cable that is bent and secured to itself in order to form a loop-like element, which is provided on the longitudinal and/or transverse metal cables and through which at least one longitudinal wire or one longitudinal or transverse metal cable extends.

23. A protective wire net according to claim 22, further comprising coupling means so as to couple, in use, the wire net to other protective wire nets.

24. A protective wire net according to claim 23, wherein the coupling means comprises one of the following elements: rings, clips, cables, or equivalent means.

25. A protective wire net according to claim 23, wherein the coupling means comprises coupling elements formed directly on one or more transverse cables.

26. A protective wire net according to claim 15, wherein it is a double-twist net with hexagonal meshes.

27. A protective wire net comprising an array of longitudinal wires arranged side by side and each intertwined with at least one respective adjacent longitudinal wire, one or more transverse wires and/or metal cables arranged in a transverse direction relative to the longitudinal wires, the transverse wires and/or metal cables being intertwined or interlaced with one or more of the longitudinal wires, characterized in that it further comprises anchoring means for anchoring one or more transverse wires and/or metal cables to one or more of the longitudinal wires.

28. A protective wire net according to claim 27, wherein the anchoring means comprise at least one ring or eye, or a portion of longitudinal and/or transverse cable that is bent and secured to itself in order to form a loop-like element, which is provided on the longitudinal and/or transverse metal cables and through which at least one longitudinal wire or one transverse metal cable extends.

29. A protective structure, comprising at least one protective wire net according to claim 27 and fixing means for fixing the net to a slope.

30. A protective structure according to claim 29, further comprising at least two of the said protective wire nets joined together by coupling means.

31. A protective structure according to claim 30, wherein the coupling means comprise at least one longitudinal and/or transverse metal cable.

32. Use of a protective wire net comprising an array of longitudinal wires arranged side by side and each intertwined with at least one respective adjacent longitudinal wire, one or more transverse wires and/or metal cables arranged in a transverse direction relative to the longitudinal wires, the transverse wires and/or metal cables being intertwined or interlaced with one or more of the longitudinal wires, and anchoring means for anchoring one or more transverse wires and/or metal cables to one or more of the longitudinal wires, for the construction of a protective structure according to claim 29.

Description:

The present invention relates to the field of protective wire nets. The invention has been developed with particular reference to a protective wire net comprising an array of longitudinal wires arranged side by side and each intertwined with at least one adjacent longitudinal wire.

The present invention also relates to a protective structure comprising at least one protective wire net of the above-mentioned type and to the use of this protective wire net to construct the structure.

In the field of protective wire nets, it is known to produce protective nets which are constituted by wires that are intertwined with one another. These nets are generally used to construct structures for protecting embankments, rocky slopes, or similar earth structures to prevent the detachment of rocks or the progress of landslides and avalanches which might put roadways, habitations, infrastructures, or heavily frequented areas at risk. Known protective structures are composed of nets of the above-mentioned type which are anchored to the ground by metal stakes or other anchorings which constitute nodal points of the structure.

Frequently, the strength of known nets is not sufficient to withstand the stresses to which they are subjected and it is therefore necessary to superimpose reinforcing cables or panels on the nets by fixing them to the metal stakes or to the other anchorings. In this case, the numerous steps in the fixing of the nets and of the cables or panels, which are generally performed in poorly accessible areas, render the installation of the entire protective structure quite impractical, consequently extending installation times and inevitably increasing installation costs.

The object of the present invention is to solve the problems of the prior art by providing a very reliable and strong protective net, the use of which enables protective structures to be constructed easily, quickly, and at a low cost.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a protective wire net which is of inexpensive construction and which can be produced by a conventional machine operation.

In order to achieve the objects indicated above, the subject of the invention is a protective wire net of the type indicated in the introduction to this description which further comprises one or more longitudinal metal cables, each intertwined with at least one adjacent longitudinal wire.

One of the main advantages of the present invention is the particular tensile strength of the net in the longitudinal direction of the cables included therein. This characteristic enables protective structures to be constructed without additional cables or panels superimposed on the nets, thus reducing installation times and costs. Another advantage of the present invention is that the wires and the cables can be netted simultaneously by means of conventional machines which thus enable the cables to be incorporated in the wire net by means of a single process and to be distributed in accordance with any predetermined pattern.

According to another characteristic of the present invention, transverse wires and/or metal cables may be arranged in a transverse direction relative to the wires and outside or inside intertwining regions defined by portions of adjacent longitudinal wires which are bent around one another. The transverse wires and/or metal cables thus arranged are intertwined or interlaced with one or more of the longitudinal wires.

The main advantage which results from the insertion of transverse wires and/or metal cables is that of increasing the strength of the net in the direction transverse the longitudinal wires in a simple manner. The introduction of the wires and/or cables does not in fact involve modification of the conventional net-production process but purely the addition of a step after the longitudinal wires have been netted.

Further characteristics and advantages will become clear from the following detailed description given with reference to the appended drawings which are provided purely by way of non-limiting example and in which:

FIG. 1 is a generalized diagram of a protective wire net according to the present invention,

FIG. 2 is a partial view of a protective wire net according to the present invention from above,

FIG. 3 is a partial view of another protective wire net according to the present invention from above,

FIG. 4 is a partial view of a further protective wire net according to the present invention from above,

FIG. 5 is a partial view sectioned on the line IV of FIG. 3,

FIG. 6 is a schematic view of a variant of the net of FIG. 3 from above,

FIG. 7 is a schematic view of a further variant of the protective wire net of FIG. 3 from above,

FIG. 8 is a partial view of an edge portion of a net according to the present invention from above, and

FIG. 9 is a partial view from above of a protective structure comprising at least two protective wire nets according to the present invention; in particular, the connection region of the two nets is shown.

With reference now to FIG. 1, a protective wire net 10, preferably but in non-limiting manner a double-twist net with hexagonal meshes, comprises an array of wires 12 which are arranged side by side and each of which is intertwined with at least one respective longitudinal wire 12. The wires 12 may preferably but in non-limiting manner be made of ordinary steel such as, for example, a steel with a tensile strength of about 500 Mpa; naturally this value is not intended to be limiting of the invention.

Each of one or more metal cables 14, 16 is intertwined or interlaced with at least one adjacent longitudinal wire 12. The metal cables 14, 16 may be arranged in two preferential directions and, preferably but in non-limiting manner, may be joined to each other or to the wires 12 by anchoring means 18. The anchoring means 18 may be arranged, for example but in non-limiting manner, at each point of intersection of two cables 14, 16 or only at some points and, preferably, at the ends of each cable 14, 16. The distribution of the anchoring means 18 in the wire net 10 is substantially uniform but the anchoring means 18 may be concentrated in predetermined regions of the wire net 10 if it is necessary to produce a protective wire net which comprises regions having different surface strengths.

The distribution of the cables 14, 16 in the wire net 10 is also substantially uniform, but their positions may be varied in predetermined regions. In particular, it has been found that, in terms of strength, it is particularly advantageous to arrange the cables 14, 16 at regular intervals within the range of from 20 cm to 1.5 metres with preferred intervals of 25, 40, 50 and 100 centimetres. However, these values should not be considered as being in any way limiting of the invention.

The remaining drawings show, by way of example, some embodiments of the invention in which the same reference numerals have been used to indicate corresponding elements.

With reference now to FIG. 2, a protective wire net 10 comprises an array of longitudinal wires 12 each of which comprises at least one twisted portion 20 and one non-twisted portion 21 and which are arranged side by side so as to define a longitudinal direction of the protective wire net 10. Each wire 12 is intertwined with at least one other respective longitudinal wire 12, preferably in their respective twisted portions 20.

The wire net 10 further comprises one or more longitudinal metal cables 14 interposed between the wires 12. The longitudinal cables 14 may be arranged between two wires 12 or beside one wire, for example, at an edge of the wire net 10. The longitudinal metal cables 14 comprise portions 24 around which twisted portions 20 of at least one or more adjacent wires 12 are twisted. According to a further advantageous characteristic of the present invention, the longitudinal cables 14 may also comprise twisted portions which are engaged with the longitudinal wires of the wire net.

FIG. 3 shows a further embodiment of the present invention in which a protective wire net 10 similar to that shown in FIG. 2 comprises one or more transverse cables 16 arranged transversely relative to the longitudinal cables 14. The transverse cables 16 are intertwined or interlaced, throughout their length or for only part thereof, with the wires 12 and/or with the longitudinal cables 14 and are arranged outside intertwining regions 22 defined by two twisted portions 20 of wires 12 and/or by the portions 24 of longitudinal cables 14.

To facilitate the arrangement of a transverse cable 16 within a wire net 10, passages may be formed between the wires 12 and, for example as shown in FIG. 5, may be constituted by respective central bends in the non-twisted portions 21. The path of a transverse cable 16 through the protective wire net 10 preferably but in non-limiting manner comprises non-twisted portions 21 with central bends and non-twisted portions 21 without central bends, arranged in alternation with one another.

Preferably, the transverse cables 16 are secured relative to the wires 12 and/or to the longitudinal cables 14 by the above-described anchoring means 18, more preferably by shaped plates 30 or clamps 32, as shown in FIG. 3, and even more preferably by means of eyes 42 formed directly in the transverse cables 16 or engaged thereon as shown in FIG. 8. Naturally, anchoring means of the same type or of different types may equally well be used in the same net, without thereby departing from the scope of the present invention.

In one of the further embodiments shown in FIG. 4, the protective wire net 10 comprises one or more transverse wires 34 which are engaged with the wires 12 or with the longitudinal cables 14 by means of the above-described anchoring means 18. In this configuration, the anchoring means 18 disposed at the edge of the net 10 comprise an end 36 of each transverse wire 34 which is bent onto a wire 12 or onto a longitudinal cable 14.

As shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, the transverse cables may comprise one or more bent portions 28 of longitudinal cables 14. Preferably but in non-limiting manner, the bent portions 28 form parts of longitudinal cables 14 that are disposed at the edge of the net 10, and they extend from one extremity of the net to the other. Different bent portions 28 may extend through the same meshes of the wire net, as shown in FIG. 6, or may equally well extend through different meshes, as shown in FIG. 7.

A protective structure formed in accordance with the present invention comprises one or more protective wire nets 10 as described above and means of known type for fixing to the ground, such as hook-headed spikes, ties, or rivets, preferably engaged with the cables 14, 16. Two or more wire nets may be joined together by coupling means such as, for example, rings, clips, cables, or equivalent means.

According to a particularly advantageous embodiment of the present invention, the coupling means comprise coupling elements formed directly on one or more transverse cables 16 of at least one of the wire nets. As shown in FIG. 9, the transverse cables 16 comprise, for example, at one end thereof, a portion which is bent and clamped to itself to form a loop-like element or eye 42. A further coupling element such as a wire, a rope, or a cable 50 is arranged through the meshes of the two nets 10 and the eyes 42 of the transverse cables 16, connecting pairs of adjacent eyes 42 to one another.

The overall resistance of the protective structure to external stresses can thus be increased, both because the two wire nets 10 are firmly joined together and because the protective structure has a continuity of transverse cables 16 also including the coupling cable 50.

In the embodiment shown in FIG. 9, the protective wire nets 10 which are joined together are oriented with the longitudinal wires 12 arranged in the same direction. In this case, the coupling means 42, 50 are disposed at the ends of the transverse metal cables 16. Alternatively, the coupling means may also be arranged in regions remote from the edges of the wire net 10 so that the joining region of two or more nets comprises overlapping portions of wire nets.

Naturally, many variations may be provided for without thereby departing form the scope of the present invention. For example, the wire nets which form the protective structure may be arranged in different orientations and the coupling means may also be formed on the longitudinal metal cables and transverse metal cables may extend through them.

In use, one or more nets 10 are placed on a portion of a slope, embankment, or similar earth structure which is to be protected, for example, to prevent the detachment of rocks or stones. Each net is then fixed to the portion of slope by the application of a plurality of fixing means with a uniform distribution or with a concentrated distribution in regions where greater strength is required. Alternatively, stakes or posts are fixed in the ground leaving at least a portion projecting and then one or more nets 10 are suspended and fixed on the projecting portions in an inclined position relative to the ground. This arrangement is particularly advantageous for checking the progress of moving masses such as landslides, avalanches or tree-trunks.

Naturally, the principle of the invention remaining the same, the forms of embodiment and details of construction may be varied widely with respect to those described and illustrated without thereby departing from the scope of the present invention.