Title:
ELECTROMAGNETIC SHIELDING SLEEVE FOR PROTECTING BUNDLES OF CABLES AND METHODS OF CONSTRUCTION THEREOF AND PROTECTING WIRES THEREWITH
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A tubular electromagnetic shielding sleeve has a longitudinal slit. The inventive sleeve includes a substrate (11) and a layer (12) of electrically-conductive material which is fixed to the inner face of the substrate (11), the layer (12) extending essentially from one edge (11a) to the other longitudinal edge (11b) of the substrate (11). Moreover, the substrate (11) and the layer (12) are separated from one another along a split segment (13) on at least one first longitudinal edge (11a). The invention can be used, for example, to protect bundles of electric cables (14) for use in aeronautics.



Inventors:
Rodrigues, Thierry (Ecouen, FR)
Lernon, Andre (Mareuil Sur Ourcq, FR)
Dumont, Fabrice (Compiegne, FR)
Koch, Rainer (Gilocourt, FR)
Application Number:
11/751927
Publication Date:
05/29/2008
Filing Date:
05/22/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
H01R9/03; H02G3/04
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NIXON & VANDERHYE, PC (ARLINGTON, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A wrappable sleeve for protecting elongate members, comprising: a non-conductive substrate having an outer face and an inner face extending between opposite longitudinally extending edges overlapping one another along a length of said sleeve to provide a wrapped substrate; and a metallic layer attached to said inner face of said substrate and having opposite unfolded longitudinally extending edge regions brought together to provide a circumferentially continuous metal shield within said wrapped substrate.

2. The wrappable elongate sleeve of claim 1 wherein said opposite unfolded edge regions overlap one another.

3. The wrappable elongate sleeve of claim 1 wherein said substrate is biased to self curl.

4. The wrappable elongate sleeve of claim 1 wherein said unfolded longitudinal edge regions extend to opposite free edges that face in opposite directions from one another.

5. The wrappable elongate sleeve of claim 1 wherein said unfolded longitudinal edge regions remain in abutment with said inner face of said non-conductive substrate.

6. A wrappable sleeve for protecting elongate members, comprising: a non-conductive textile substrate having an outer face and an inner face extending between opposite edges defining a width of said substrate and overlapping one another along a length of said sleeve to provide protection to the elongate members; and a metallic layer attached to said inner face of said substrate and having opposite free edges extending along the length of said sleeve and being brought together to provide an uninterrupted metal shield, said free edges defining a width of said metallic layer, said width of said non-conductive layer being no greater than said width of said metallic layer.

7. The wrappable sleeve of claim 6 wherein said metallic layer is attached to said substrate by at least one row of stitches.

8. A wrappable sleeve for protecting elongate members, comprising: a non-conductive textile substrate having an outer face and an inner face extending between opposite longitudinal edges, said substrate providing circumferentially continuous protection to the elongate members; and a metallic layer of interlaced wires having opposite free edges extending along a length of said sleeve, said free edges being arranged to overlap one another to provide a circumferentially continuous metal shield, said metallic layer being attached to said substrate by at least one row of stitches extending along at least one of said free edges and adjacent one of said longitudinal edges of said substrate.

9. The wrappable sleeve of claim 8 wherein one row of stitches extends along one of said free edges of said metallic layer adjacent one of said longitudinal edges of said substrate and another row of stitches extends along the other of said free edges of said metallic layer adjacent the other of said longitudinal edges of said substrate.

10. The wrappable sleeve of claim 8 wherein said opposite longitudinal edges overlap one another to provide an overlap portion, said overlap portion extending up to 90 degrees circumferentially about said sleeve.

11. The wrappable sleeve of claim 8 wherein said free edges of said metallic layer overlap one another to provide an overlap portion, said overlap portion extending up to 90 degrees circumferentially about said sleeve.

12. The wrappable sleeve of claim 8 wherein said textile substrate is woven at least in part from monofilaments.

13. The wrappable sleeve of claim 12 wherein said monofilaments are polyester.

14. The wrappable sleeve of claim 12 wherein said textile substrate is thermoformed into a self-curling fabric.

15. The wrappable sleeve of claim 12 wherein said textile substrate is woven at least in part from multifilaments.

16. The wrappable sleeve of claim 8 wherein said interlaced wires are braided.

17. The wrappable sleeve of claim 16 wherein said wires are at least in part copper.

18. A wrappable sleeve for protecting elongate members, comprising: a woven substrate having an outer face and an inner face, said outer face providing circumferentially continuous protection to the elongate members; a metallic layer of interlaced wires having opposite free edges arranged to overlap one another to provide a circumferentially continuous metal shield about the elongate members; and a row of stitches extending adjacent one of said free edges and attaching said metallic layer to said inner face of said substrate.

19. The wrappable sleeve of claim 18 further comprising another row of stitches extending adjacent the other of said free edges.

20. The wrappable sleeve of claim 18 wherein at least one of said free edges of said metallic layer is spaced from said substrate.

21. The wrappable sleeve of claim 18 wherein said substrate has opposite longitudinal edges extending along a length of said sleeve and defining a width of said substrate and said free edges of said metallic layer defining a width of said metallic layer, said width of said metallic layer being at least as great as said width of said substrate.

22. A wrappable sleeve for protecting elongate members, comprising: a woven substrate having an outer face and an inner face extending between opposite longitudinal edges extending along a length of said sleeve and defining a width of said substrate, said inner face adjacent one of said longitudinal edges being arranged to overlap said outer face adjacent the other of said longitudinal edges to provide circumferentially continuous protection to the elongate members; a metallic layer of interlaced wires having opposite free edges defining a width of said metallic layer, said free edges being arranged to overlap one another to provide a circumferentially continuous metal shield about the elongate members; and wherein said width of said metallic layer is at least as great as said width of said substrate.

23. The wrappable sleeve of claim 22 further comprising at least one row of stitches attaching said metallic layer to said inner face of said substrate.

24. A method of constructing a wrappable sleeve for providing electromagnetic protection to wires, comprising: forming a non-conductive textile substrate having an outer face and an inner face extending between opposite edges defining a width of said substrate; interlacing wires to form a metallic layer having opposite free edges defining a width of said metallic layer, said width of said substrate being no greater than said width of said metallic layer; and attaching said metallic layer to said inner face of said substrate so that said opposite free edges of said metallic layer are arranged to overlap one another.

25. The method of claim 24 further including thermoforming said substrate after the attaching the metallic layer to the substrate.

26. A method of protecting wires against electromagnetic interference in a wrappable textile sleeve, said wrappable textile sleeve having a non-conductive textile substrate with an outer face and an inner face extending between opposite edges extending along a length of the sleeve and a metallic layer attached to the inner face of the substrate and having opposite edge regions, the method comprising: wrapping the substrate and the metallic layer about the wires and bringing the opposite edges of the substrate into overlapping arrangement with one another and bringing the edge regions of the metallic layer into overlapping contact with one another with the over lapping edge regions remaining in a generally flat and an unfolded configuration.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is a continuation of prior U.S. application Ser. No. 10/550,727, filed Sep. 26, 2005, which was the National Stage of International Application No. PCT/FR04/00695, filed Mar. 22, 2004, which claims the benefit of French Application No. FR03/03552, filed Mar. 24, 2003, all of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field

The present invention relates to textile sleeves used to protect bundles of electrical cables, and more particularly to textile sleeves and their methods of construction and use for providing electromagnetic protection to electric wires or cables.

2. Related Art

The present invention applies generally to protecting wires, cables or bundles of wires by electromagnetically shielding them in order to protect them from electromagnetic interference and radio-frequency interference.

This type of electromagnetic protection is routinely used in the automotive, rail cabling and aeronautical fields.

Electromagnetic interference protection standards are drawn up for each field of application and may require protection of the order of 40 to 45 dB in the automotive field or of the order of 80 to 90 dB in the aeronautical field.

Self-closing sleeves of polyester fabric coated with copper or nickel for providing electromagnetic protection are known in the automotive field, for example.

Electrical continuity is provided by an overlap on the outside face of the textile sleeve, where a folded longitudinal edge produces copper-to-copper contact.

A protective sleeve of the above kind is described in the document EP 1 175 683 in particular.

However, this kind of sleeve can offer only low protection to interference and is therefore difficult to transpose to the aeronautical field.

In the aeronautical field, maximum efficiency in terms of electromagnetic shielding is obtained by using copper wires, for example in the form of a copper braid.

In the conventional way, copper wires are overbraided around the cable to be protected, for example with a coverage rate of around 75%. The coverage rates required in the aeronautical field are frequently in excess of 90%.

A layer overbraided with textile filaments may be added to provide mechanical protection of the bundle of cables and the copper shielding.

However, the above shielding is difficult to fit to a bundle of cables.

Moreover, it is particularly difficult, or even impossible, to maintain and replace shielding and mechanical protection elements if the bundles of cables are installed and connected in their operational configuration.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to eliminate the problems cited above and to propose an electromagnetic shielding sleeve providing efficient shielding at lower cost, in particular in the aeronautical field.

To this end, the present invention is directed to a longitudinally slit tubular electromagnetic shielding sleeve comprising a substrate and an electrically conductive material layer fixed to an internal face of the substrate, the layer extending substantially from one longitudinal edge of the substrate to the other longitudinal edge thereof.

According to one aspect of the invention, the substrate and the electrically conductive material layer are separated in a split segment at one first longitudinal edge at least.

This split segment thus forms a housing adapted to receive the second longitudinal edge of the substrate, so that electrical continuity can be produced in the layer of electrically conductive material that is fixed from one edge of the substrate to the other edge thereof.

Thanks to this split segment, electrical continuity may be produced inside the sleeve, so that this area of electrical contact is protected by the first longitudinal edge of the substrate on the outside face of the sleeve.

Furthermore, thanks to the longitudinally slit substrate, it is easy to fit and in particular to replace a worn out sleeve, even if the bundles of cables are positioned for their final application. This facilitates maintenance and retro-fit operations.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the electrically conductive material layer is formed of an interleaved copper wire structure, providing a high density of copper to assure efficient shielding of the bundles of cables.

A braided copper wire structure produces a high rate of coverage by the electrically conductive material around the cables to be protected.

According to another preferred feature of the invention, the substrate is produced in the form of a sheet thermoformed into a self-curling strip with an overlap.

Thus the shape of the substrate greatly facilitates fitting the sleeve with an overlap producing electrical continuity in the split segment of the sleeve.

Thus the second longitudinal edge of the sleeve is adapted to be inserted between the substrate and the electrically conductive material layer in the split segment.

This sleeve is particularly suitable for protecting bundles of electrical cables in the aeronautical field, but may also be used in the automotive and rail sectors.

Further features and advantages of the invention will become apparent in the course of the following description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the appended drawings, which are provided by way of non-limiting example:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an electromagnetic shielding sleeve of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a view of a first embodiment of an electromagnetic shielding sleeve of the invention;

FIG. 3 is a view in cross section of the first embodiment of an electromagnetic shielding sleeve of the invention fitted around a bundle of cables;

FIG. 4 is an end view of a second embodiment of an electromagnetic shielding sleeve of the invention; and

FIG. 5 is a view in cross section of the second embodiment of an electromagnetic shielding sleeve of the invention fitted around a bundle of cables.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The general principle of an electromagnetic shielding sleeve of the invention is described first with reference to FIG. 1.

The general shape of the sleeve 10 is that of a slit tube.

In the present example the sleeve more particularly comprises a substrate 11 adapted to curl up on itself to form a longitudinally slit tube.

This substrate is preferably produced from a plane strip in the form of a thermoformed sheet. The thermoforming operation converts the flat strip into a self-curling strip with an overlap, the longitudinal edges 10a, 10b of the sleeve being adapted to come into contact with each other in an overlap portion.

The substrate is preferably a woven textile strip. The textile filaments may be polyester monofilaments and/or multifilaments, for example.

For example, polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) filaments may be used.

Alternatively, a substrate may be produced from NOMEX® from du Pont de Nemours.

The NOMEX® or PPS substrate provides effective mechanical protection of the cables to be protected.

A NOMEX® substrate has the additional advantage of good fire resistance.

According to the invention, this textile substrate 11 is associated with an electrically conductive material layer 12.

The layer 12 is preferably formed from braided copper wires.

Tinned or nickel-plated copper wires may be used, and copper wires with a diameter from 0.10 mm to 0.25 mm, and preferably from 0.12 mm to 0.15 mm, can be braided to form an elongate strip of conductive material.

The braiding technique produces a strip in which the rate of coverage by the copper is of the order of 92% of the total area of the strip.

This copper layer 12 is fixed to an internal face 11c of the substrate so as to extend from one longitudinal edge 11a of the substrate 11 to the other longitudinal edge 11b thereof.

As clearly shown in FIG. 1, this conductive material layer may extend over only a limited longitudinal portion of the sleeve 10.

Of course, this layer 12 may equally extend over the whole of the length of the sleeve 10.

As clearly shown in FIG. 2, in a first embodiment, the substrate 11 and the layer 12 are separated in a split segment 13 along a first longitudinal edge 11a of the substrate 11.

Accordingly, in this split segment 13, the second longitudinal edge 10b of the sleeve may be inserted between the substrate 11 and the layer 12.

The split segment 13 subtends an angle α that is sufficient to allow sufficient insertion of the second longitudinal edge 10b into this split segment 13.

The angle a may be substantially equal to 90°, for example.

As shown clearly in FIG. 3, when this sleeve 10 is fitted around a bundle of cables 14, the second longitudinal edge 10b of the sleeve 10 is inserted between the layer 12 of conductive material and the substrate, more particularly the first longitudinal edge 11a of the substrate, so that electrical continuity may be obtained in the layer 12, thanks to contact between the longitudinal edges 12a, 12b of the copper layer 12.

Thus there exists an overlap portion 15 in which one longitudinal edge 10a of the sleeve 10 overlaps the other longitudinal edge 10b thereof. This overlap portion 15 subtends an angle α from 60° to 90° with respect to the longitudinal axis of the tubular substrate 11.

This overlap portion 15 is larger or smaller according to the diameter of the bundles of cables 14 to be protected, what is important being to have good contact between the two longitudinal edges.

A second embodiment of the electromagnetic shielding sleeve of, the invention is described next with reference to FIGS. 4 and 5.

In this embodiment, the substrate 11 and the electrically conductive material layer 12 are separated in two split segments 13 and 13′, one of these split segments 13 being adjacent to the first longitudinal edge 10a of the sleeve 10 and the other split segment 13′ being adjacent to the second longitudinal edge 10b of the sleeve.

Accordingly, as shown clearly in FIG. 5, these split segments 13, 13′ are adapted to be interleaved in an overlap portion 15′ so that the edges 12a, 12b of the conductive layer come into contact with each other inside the sleeve and the longitudinal edges 11a, 11b of the substrate come into contact with each other outside the sleeve.

Accordingly, in both embodiments described above, electrical continuity of the conductive material layer 12 is produced inside the sleeve 10, the substrate 11 covering this contact portion to maintain the electrical connection mechanically.

Reliable and efficient shielding is thus obtained, suitable for bundles of aeronautical cables.

This electromagnetic shielding sleeve may be fabricated by sewing the electrically conductive material layer 12 to the substrate 11 by means of one or more rows of stitches 16, 16′, 16″ extending in the longitudinal direction of the sleeve 10, for example.

At least one of the rows of stitches 16′ is sufficiently far from one longitudinal edge 10a of the sleeve to allow separation of the substrate and the layer 12 in the vicinity of that longitudinal edge.

If the substrate is a thermoformed textile woven strip, the copper braid is fixed to the textile woven strip by lines of stitches before the thermoforming step.

Alternatively, this sleeve could be produced by a tube weaving process, one layer being made of copper wires and one layer being made of textile filaments. A double weaving process of this kind would eliminate the operation of fixing the copper layer to the textile filament layer during fabrication of the sleeve.

The electromagnetic shielding sleeve of the invention therefore achieves efficient shielding and is simple to use around bundles of cables to be protected, even if the latter are installed in an engine and connected up, for example.

Of course, many modifications may be made to the embodiment described above without departing from the scope of the invention.

In particular, in the second embodiment, in which a split segment is provided at both longitudinal edges of the sleeve, one of the longitudinal edges, comprising both the substrate and the electrically conductive material layer, may be inserted integrally between the substrate and the conductive material layer of the other longitudinal edge.

Moreover, the edges 12a, 12b of the electrically conductive material layer 12 may extend more or less as far as the longitudinal edges 11a, 11b of the substrate 11 if it suffices to produce a small area of overlap of the two edges 12a, 12b of the electrically conductive material to provide electrical continuity.

Furthermore, the tubular sleeve could be formed, instead of from a self-curling strip, from a plain strip adapted to be curled up around a bundle of cables and held in that position by fixing means such as cable ties or rings distributed along the length of the sleeve.

Moreover, the substrate may be formed of a knitted or braided textile strip.

Similarly, the conductive material layer may be made from woven copper wires.





 
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