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1. (WO2018226699) CABLE TIE WITH TAIL CUT OFF GUARD
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CABLE TIE WITH TAIL CUT OFF GUARD

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the benefit under Article 8 of the Patent Cooperation Treaty of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/516,715 filed on June 8, 2017, the entire disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The invention generally relates to cables ties and more particularly to a cable tie having a guard to protect a cut off portion of the cable tie.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

[0003] The present invention will now be described, by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0004] Fig. 1 is a perspective view of prior art cable tie;

[0005] Fig. 2 is a side view illustrating prior art cable tie with a first strap end engaged with the tie head of the prior art cable tie having a severed cable tie extension exposed;

[0006] Fig. 3 is a perspective view of a cable tie with the tail cut off guards of this invention;

[0007] Fig. 4 is a side view a cable tie of this invention;

[0008] Fig. 5 is a top view a cable tie of this invention;

[0009] Fig. 6 is a front view a cable tie of this invention;

[0010] Fig. 7A is a first side cross-section view of a first cable tie mold thai may be implemented in a method according to the invention;

[0011] Fig. 7B is a second side cross-section view of a first cable tie mold that may be implemented in a method according to the invention;

[0012] Fig. 7C is a third side cross-section view of a first cable tie mold that may be implemented in a method according to the invention, showing the first material applied in the first cable tie mold;

[0013] Fig. 7D is a front cross-section view of a first cable tie mold that may be implemented in a method according to the invention, showing the first material applied in the cable tie mold;

[0014] Fig. 8A is a first side cross-section view of a second cable tie mold that may be implemented in a method according to the invention;

[0015] Fig. 8B second side cross-section view of a second cable tie mold that may be implemented in a method according to the invention;

[0016] Fig. 8C is a third side cross-section view of a second cable tie mold that may be implemented in a method according to the invention;

[0017] Fig. 9A is a side cross-section view of a third cable tie mold that may be implemented in a method according to the invention;

[0018] Fig. 9B is a first cross-section view of a fourth cable tie mold that may be implemented in a method according to the invention;

[0019] Fig. 9C is a second side cross-section view of a fourth cable tie mold that maybe implemented in a method according to the invention;

[0020] Fig. 10 is a side view i llustrating the motion of a first strap end of a cable tie around a bundle and towards a first side of a tie head of the cable tie with a cable tie tension tool in proximity to the tail cut off guard of the tie head.;

[0021] Fig. 11 is a side view illustrating a succession of steps from the above Fig. 10, having the cable tie tension tool in communication with the tail cut off guard of the tie head where the first strap end traverses into the cable tie tension tool with the illustrated tension;

[0022] Fig. 12 is a side view illustrating a succession of steps from the above Fig. 1 1, having the first strap end traverse in the cable tie tension tool with the illustrated tension;

[0023] Fig. 13 is a side view illustrating various positions of cable tie tension tool in communication with the tail cut off guard;

[0024] Fig. 14 is a side view illustrating a cutting of the cable tie;

[0025] Fig. 15 is a section view of the tie head and the tail cut off guard assembly containing a section of cable tie strap subsequent to a severing of the cable tie strap;

[0026] Fig. 16 is a section view of the tie head and radial guard assembly containing a section of cable tie strap subsequent to that illustrated in Fig. 15;

[0027] Fig. 17 is an alternative perspective view of a cable tie with the tail cut off guards of this invention; and

[0028] Fig. 18 is another alternative perspective view of a cable tie with the tail cut off guards of this invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0029] Reference will now be made in detail to embodiments, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. In the following detailed description, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the various described embodiments. However, it will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art that the various described embodiments may be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well-known methods, procedures, components, circuits, and networks have not been described in detail so as not to unnecessarily obscure aspects of the embodiments.

[0030] Although the disclosure hereof is detailed and exact to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention, the physical embodiments herein disclosed merely exemplify the invention which may be embodied in other specific structures. While the preferred embodiment has been described, the details may be changed without departing from the invention.

[0031] Figure 3 illustrates an embodiment of a cable tie 300 having a cable tie strap 310 attached to an extending from a tie head 340. The tie head 340 has a first lateral side 370 and a second lateral side 375. The first lateral side 370 and second lateral side 375 are separated by a front side 390 and an opposed rear side 395. The tie head 340 has a insertion side 350 forming a bottom surface of the tie head 340 and an extension side 360 forming a top surface opposite the insertion side 350. The cable tie strap 310 is attached to the rear side 395 of the tie head 340. As shown in Figures 3 and 5, an orifice 510 extends through the tie head 340. The orifice 510 extends between the insertion side 350 of the tie head 340 and the extension side 360 of the tie head 340. The orifice 510 is configured to receive at least a portion of the cable tie strap 310. A tail cut-off guard 385 extends from the extension side of the tie head 340 and is situated adjacent the orifice 510.

[0032] The cable tie strap 310 includes a first strap end 320 and a second strap end 330. The cable tie strap 310 includes a strap outer surface 332 and a strap bundle surface 334 opposed from the strap outer surface 332. Extending between the strap outer surface 332 and the strap bundle surface 334 is a lateral strap side 336. The strap outer surface 332, strap bundle surface 334 and lateral strap side 336 form a substantially flat cable tie strap 310 extending between and including the first strap end 320 and the second strap end 330.

[0033] As shown in Figures 3 and 4, the strap bundle surface 334 incorporates a first engagement means 410 along a length L2 (324) of the cable tie strap 310, which can be continuous or intermittent incorporation along the length L2 (324) of the cable tie strap 310. Alternatively, the strap outer surface 332 incorporating a first engagement means 410 along a length L2 (324) of the cable tie strap 310, which can be continuous or intermittent incorporation along the length L2 (324) of cable tie strap 310. Alternatively, the cable tie strap 310 may incorporate a circular, oval or geometric cross-section.

[0034] A combination of the first lateral side 370, second lateral side 375, front side 390 and rear side 395 encapsulate the orifice 510. A pawl 530 is attached to a rear side interior surface 520 for cooperating with the first engagement means 410 on the cable tie strap 310. Alternatively, the pawl 530 is attached to a front side interior surface 540 for cooperating with the first engagement means 410 on the cable tie strap 310.

[0035] As shown in Figure 4, the tail cut-off guard 385 extends from the extension side of the tie head by a distance 420. In the embodiment illustrated in Fig. 4, the distance 420 forms a constant radius. Alternatively, the distance 420 of the tail cut-off guard 385 may differ from the constant radius extending the distance 420 a second tail cut-off guard 385 where a plurality of tail cut-off guards 385 are employed.

Alternatively, the tail cut-off guard 385 may incorporate an oval or other geometric orientation having a non-constant radial measurement or constant radial measurement.

[0036] As shown in Figures 5 and 6, the tail cut-off guard 385 comprises a pair of walls having a thickness 550 that flank the orifice 510. The tail cut off guard 385 has a thickness 550 which does not impose on or block the orifice 510 contained in the tie head 340.

[0037] As shown in Figures 4 and 6, the tail cut off guard 385 is attached to the insertion side 350 of the tie head 340 at an intersection plane 430. The intersection plane 430 may be preferably parallel to the insertion side 350 of the tie head 340.

Alternatively, the intersection plane 430 may have a parabolic orientation. Alternatively, intersection plane 430 may have an angular orientation with respect to the insertion side 350 of the tie head 340. Alternatively, the intersection plane 430 may have an incrementally variable orientation.

[0038] As shown in Figures 4 and 5, the tail cut off guard 385 is attached to the tie head 340 at the intersection plane 430 from the rear side 395 of the tie head 340 to the front side 390 of the tie head 340. Alternatively, the tail cut off guard 385 may attached to the tie head 340 at the intersection plane 430 from a position of proximity to the rear side 395 of the tie head 340 to a position of proximity to the front side 390 of the tie head 340.

[0039] As shown in Figures 4 and 6, a junction 440 between the tail cut off guard 385 and one of the first lateral side 370 or second lateral side 375 has a planar orientation being along an intersection line 450 defined by the intersection plane 430. Alternatively, the junction 440 between a tail cut-off guard 385 and one of the first lateral side 370 or second lateral side 375 having an overlapping orientation where the tail cut off guard extends beyond a beyond a planar orientation with the first lateral side 370 or the second lateral side 375. Alternatively, the junction 440 between a tail cut off guard 385 and one of the first lateral side 370 or second lateral side 375 having an overlapping orientation where the first lateral side 370 or second lateral side 375 extends beyond a planate orientation with the tail cut off guard 385.

[0040] The tail cut off guard 385 is formed of the same material forming the tie head 340. Alternatively, the tail cut off guard 385 may be formed of a material with greater density than that comprising the tie head 340. Alternatively, the tail cut off guard 385 may be formed of a material with lower density than that comprising the tie head 340.

[0041] Alternatively, as shown in Figures 17 and 18, tail cut off guards 1785, 1885 may be applied to a variety of tie head 1740, 1840 geometries. The tail cut off guard 1785 and tie head 1840 may comprise varied geometries. The varying geometries of the tail cut off guard 1785 and the tie head 1840 include but are not limited to an extension 1720 having a quadrilateral orientation where tail cut off guard plane 1750 is convex 1730 with respect to the orifice 510, Fig. 17. The varying geometries of the tail cut off guard 1785 and the tie head 1840 include but are not limited to a tail cut off guard 1885 having a junction 1842 with the tie head 1840 where the junction 1842 resides entirely on the tie head 1840 second side 1860 and does not incorporate the tie head 1840 first lateral side 1870, second lateral side 1875, front side 1890, or the rear side 1895, Fig. 18. Tail cut off guards 1785, 1885 may be applied to a variety of tie head 1740, 1840 orientations to the cable tie strap 1710, 1810, including but not exclusively normal entry, Fig. 17, where the tie head 1740 is perpendicular to the cable tie strap 1710, and parallel entry, Fig. 18.

[0042] As shown in Figures 7 A, 7B, 7C and 7D, a method according to the present invention of forming a cable tie 300. Figure 7A shows a first cable tie mold 700 having the tail cut off guard cavity 702. When first assembled, as shown in Figure 7B, the first cable tie mold 700 provides a cable tie head cavity 704 in fluid communication with a cable tie strap cavity 706. In addition, a tail cut off guard cavity 708 in fluid

communication with at least a portion of the cable tie head cavity 704. A first material is injected into the first cable tie mold 700. The first material is held for a first curing time, allowing the material to cure to a sufficient or desired hardness, thereby by forming a tie head 340 coupled to a cable tie strap 310, where the tie head 340 is coupled to the tail cut off guard 385. As shown in Figure 7C and 7D, a completed cable tie 300 where the tie head 340 is coupled to the tail cut off guard 385, e.g. the cable tie 300 depicted in Figure 3, is then removed from the first cable tie mold 700.

[0043] As shown in Figures 8A, 8B and 8C, alternatively, depicts another method according to the present invention of forming a cable tie 300. Figure 8A shows a second cable tie mold 800 with a removable insert 802. When first assembled, as shown in Figure 8B, the second cable tie mold 800 provides a cable tie head cavity 804 in fluid communication with a cable tie strap cavity 806. The removable insert 802 interfaces at least a portion of the cable tie head cavity 804. A first material is injected into the second cable tie mold 800. The first material is held for a first curing time, allowing the material to cure to a sufficient or desired hardness, thereby by forming a tie head 340 coupled to a cable tie strap 310. The second cable tie mold 800 is then modified by removing the removable insert 802, thereby creating a modified cable tie head cavity 808. Where the molded tie head 340 and cable tie strap 310, now coupled together, were removed from the second cable tie mold 800 to remove the removable insert 802, it is replaced into the second cable tie mold 800, as shown in Figure 8C. A second material is injected into the modified cable tie head cavity 808. To combine the tail cut off guard 385 and cable tie

302 lacking a tail cut off guard 385, the first material and second material are held in the second cable tie mold 800 for a second curing time, which may be shorter, the same as, or longer than the first curing time, depending on the material used. A completed cable tie, e.g. the cable tie 300 depicted in Figure 3, is then removed from the second cable tie mold 800.

[0044] Such method may include the step of maintaining the cable tie 302 within the second cable tie mold 800 during the modification of the modified cable tie head cavity 808.

[0045] Such method may include removing the cable tie 302 from the second cable tie mold 800 prior to modifying the second cable tie mold 800, and placing at least a portion of the cable tie 300 in the second cable tie mold 800, after modifying the second cable tie mold 800, prior to injecting the second material into the cable tie head cavity 808.

[0046] As shown in Figures 9A, 9B and 9C, alternatively, depicts another method according to the present invention of forming a cable tie 300. In this process, a plurality of molds is used in series to successively mold different portions of a completed cable tie. Figure 9A shows a third cable tie mold 900 having a cable tie head cavity 902 coupled to a cable tie strap cavity 904. A first material is injected into the third cable tie mold 900. The first material is held for a first curing time, allowing the material to cure to a sufficient or desired hardness, thereby by forming a cable tie 302 comprising a tie head 340 coupled to a cable tie strap 310. The cable tie 302 is removed from the third cable tie mold 900 and placed into a fourth cable tie mold 950, as shown in Figure 9B. As shown

in Figure 9C, the fourth cable tie mold 950 contains a cavity in which the cable tie 302 is situated and cooperating with a tail cut off guard cavity 906, which interfaces with at least a portion of the tie head 340. A second material is injected into the fourth cable tie mold 950 to at least substantially fill the tail cut off guard cavity 906. A cable tie 300 is then created by holding the cable tie 302 and second material in the fourth cable tie mold 950 for a second curing time, which may be shorter, the same as, or longer than the first curing time, depending on the material used. A completed cable tie, e.g. the cable tie 300 depicted in Figure 3, is then removed from the fourth cable tie mold 950. One advantage of using a two mold process, as partially illustrated in Figures 9A-9C, is that a second cable tie 302 may be formed contemporaneously with the forming of the tail cut off guard 385 on the first cable tie 302. That is, once the first cable tie 302 is removed from the third cable tie mold 900 and placed in the fourth cable tie mold 950 to form the tail cut off guard 385 on the first cable tie 302, the third cable tie mold 900 may be used to form a second cable tie 302.

[0047] The method partially depicted in Figures 9A-9C may be changed without departing from the invention. For instance, rather than removing the cable tie 302 from a third cable tie mold 900 and placing it in a fourth cable tie mold 950, the cable tie 302 may remain in a strap mold base 910, and may be associated with a tail cut off guard mold 930. Thus, the fourth cable tie mold 950 would be formed by the strap mold base 910 into which the first material was injected, and by the tail cut off guard mold 930, which includes the tail cut off guard cavity 906. Such association of a strap mold base 910 and a tail cut off guard mold 930 may be achieved a variety of ways, such as by horizontal or vertical rotation of the strap mold base 910 after the first curing time, and registration of the strap mold base 910 with the tail cut off guard mold 930. Basically, the molding process may be achieved through any known or later developed molding technologies, including core toggle molding, robotic transfer, rotary platen, indexing plate and horizontal rotary stack.

[0048] Alternatively, rather than modifying a tie mold or changing tie molds, a second material may be applied or disposed directly onto the cable tie in a preferred pattern, or a cured second material may be adhered to the cable tie. The application of a second material directly onto the cable tie may be achieved by extruding a bead of the second material substantially contemporaneously with the placement of the second material onto the cable tie.

[0049] Alternatively, referencing Figures 17 and 18, a method according to the present invention where a variety of tie head 1740, 1840 geometries may be incorporated to form a cable tie 100, having the tail cut off guard 1785, 1885. The varying geometries of the tail cut off guard 1785 and the tie head 1840 include but are not limited to an extension 1720 having a quadrilateral orientation where tail cut off guard plane 1750 is convex 1730 with respect to the orifice 510, Fig. 17. The varying geometries of the tail cut off guard 1785 and the tie head 1840 include but are not limited to a tail cut off guard 1885 having a junction 1842 with the tie head 1840 where the junction 1842 resides entirely on the tie head 1840 second side 1860 and does not incorporate the tie head 1840 first lateral side 1870, second lateral side 1875, front side 1890, or the rear side 1895, Fig. 18. Alternatively, a method according to the present invention where a variety of tie head 1740, 1840 orientations to the cable tie strap 1710, 1810 may be applied to form a cable

tie 100 having the tail cut off guard 1785, 1885. The variety of tie head 1740, 1840 orientations to the cable tie strap 1710, 1810 include but are not limited to normal entry, Fig. 17, where the tie head 1740 is perpendicular to the cable tie strap 1710, and parallel entry, Fig. 18.

[0050] As shown in Figures 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14, a method according to the present invention of applying a cable tie 300 having the tail cut off guard 385. Figure 10 shows maneuvering the first strap end 320 of the cable tie strap 310 of the cable tie 300 around a periphery 1010 of a bundle 1020. Subsequently, maneuvering the first strap end 320 in a direction 1030 of the tie head. As shown in Figure 11, traversing the first strap end 320 beyond the insertion side 350 of the tie head 340 and into the orifice 510 of the tie head 340. Traversing the first strap end 320 beyond the extension side 360 of the tie head 340 and the distance 420 of the tail cut off guard. Placing a cable tie tension tool 1110 in connection with the cable tie 300 at a location 1120 along a periphery 1130 of the tail cut off guard 385. Mechanically encouraging the first strap end 320 of the cable tie strap 310 of the cable tie 300 into the cable tie tension tool 1110. Alternatively, the cable tie tension tool 1110 may be placed in connection with the cable tie 300 at a location 1120 along a periphery 1130 of the tail cut off guard 385 at a time before or after the first strap end 320 traverses beyond the extension side 360 of the tie head 340 and the distance 420 of the tail cut off guard.

[0051] As shown in Figure 12, a continued mechanically encouraging 1210 of the first strap end 320 of the cable tie strap 310 of the cable tie 300 into the cable tie tension tool 1110 occurs until a preset or desired condition is obtained as directed by settings in the cable tie tension tool 1110. At such point, the cable tie tension tool 1110

mechanically applies a cutting tension the cable tie strap 310 at the location 1120 along a periphery 1130 of the tail cut off guard 385 where the cable tie tension tool 1110 communicates with the tail cut off guard 385.

[0052] As shown in Figure 13, the cable tie tension tool 1110 may operate along a complete spectrum 1310 of the periphery 1130 of the tail cut off guard 385 where the cable tie tension tool 1110 communicates with the tail cut off guard 385.

[0053] As shown in Figure 14, the mechanical application of the cutting tension to the cable tie strap 310 at the location 1120 along a periphery 1130 of the tail cut off guard 385 where the cable tie tension tool 1110 communicates with the tail cut off guard 385 severs 1410 the cable tie strap 310 at the periphery 1130 of the tail cut off guard 385.

[0054] As shown the Figures 15 and 16, the mechanical application of the cutting tension to the cable tie strap 310 at the location 1120 along a periphery 1130 of the tail cut off guard 385 where the cable tie tension tool 1110 communicates with the tail cut off guard 385 severs the cable tie strap 310 at the periphery 1130 of the tail cut off guard 385. The mechanical tension extends the cable tie strap 310 such that the resulting tie extension surface 1510 of the cable tie strap 310 resides at an initial length L3 (1520) from the extension side 360 of the tie head 340. As shown in Figure 16, an opposite reaction 1610 to the mechanical tension described traverses the resulting tie extension surface 1510 of the cable tie strap 310 towards the extension side 360 of the tie head 340. The resulting tie extension surface 1510 traverses towards the extension side 360 of the tie head 340 to a position 1620 at or below the periphery 1130 of the tail cut off guard 385 and at a distance L4 (1630) from the extension side 360 of the tie head 340. The distance L4 (1630) being less than the distance L3 (1520).

[0055] Alternatively, referencing Figures 17 and 18, a method according to the present invention of applying a cable tie 100 having the tail cut off guard 1785, 1885 may be applied to a variety of tie head 1740, 1840 geometries. The varying geometries of the tail cut off guard 1785 and the tie head 1840 include but are not limited to an extension 1720 having a quadrilateral orientation where tail cut off guard plane 1750 is convex 1730 with respect to the orifice 510, Fig. 17. The varying geometries of the tail cut off guard 1785 and the tie head 1840 include but are not limited to a tail cut off guard 1885 having a junction 1842 with the tie head 1840 where the junction 1842 resides entirely on the tie head 1840 second side 1860 and does not incorporate the tie head 1840 first lateral side 1870, second lateral side 1875, front side 1890, or the rear side 1895, Fig. 18.

Alternatively, a method according to the present invention of applying a cable tie 100 having the tail cut off guard 1785, 1885 may be applied to a variety of tie head 1740, 1840 orientations to the cable tie strap 1710, 1810. The variety of tie head 1740, 1840 orientations to the cable tie strap 1710, 1810 include but are not limited to normal entry, Fig. 17, where the tie head 1740 is perpendicular to the cable tie strap 1710, and parallel entry, Fig. 18.

[0056] The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Furthermore, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described. While the preferred embodiment has been described, the details may be changed without departing from the invention.

[0057] While this invention has been described in terms of the preferred

embodiments thereof, it is not intended to be so limited, but rather only to the extent set forth in the claims that follow. For example, the above-described embodiments (and/or aspects thereof) may be used in combination with each other. In addition, many modifications may be made to configure a particular situation or material to the teachings of the invention without departing from its scope. Dimensions, types of materials, orientations of the various components, and the number and positions of the various components described herein are intended to define parameters of certain embodiments, and are by no means limiting and are merely prototypical embodiments.

[0058] Many other embodiments and modifications within the spirit and scope of the claims will be apparent to those of skill in the art upon reviewing the above description. The scope of the invention should, therefore, be determined with reference to the following claims, along with the full scope of equivalents to which such claims are entitled.

[0059] As used herein, One or more' includes a function being performed by one element, a function being performed by more than one element, e.g., in a distributed fashion, several functions being performed by one element, several functions being performed by several elements, or any combination of the above.

[0060] It will also be understood that, although the terms first, second, etc. are, in some instances, used herein to describe various elements, these elements should not be limited by these terms. These terms are only used to distinguish one element from another. For example, a first contact could be termed a second contact, and, similarly, a second contact could be termed a first contact, without departing from the scope of the various described embodiments. The first contact and the second contact are both contacts, but they are not the same contact.

[0061] The terminology used in the description of the various described embodiments herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting. As used in the description of the various described embodiments and the appended claims, the singular forms "a", "an" and "the" are intended to include the plural forms as well, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. It will also be understood that the term "and/or" as used herein refers to and encompasses any and all possible combinations of one or more of the associated listed items. It will be further understood that the terms "includes," "including," "comprises," and/or "comprising," when used in this specification, specify the presence of stated features, integers, steps, operations, elements, and/or components, but do not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, integers, steps, operations, elements, components, and/or groups thereof.

[0062] As used herein, the term "if is, optionally, construed to mean "when" or "upon" or "in response to determining" or "in response to detecting," depending on the context. Similarly, the phrase "if it is determined" or "if [a stated condition or event] is detected" is, optionally, construed to mean "upon determining" or "in response to

determining" or "upon detecting [the stated condition or event]" or "in response to detecting [the stated condition or event]," depending on the context.

[0063] Additionally, while terms of ordinance or orientation may be used herein these elements should not be limited by these terms. All terms of ordinance or orientation, unless stated otherwise, are used for purposes distinguishing one element from another, and do not denote any particular order, order of operations, direction or orientation unless stated otherwise.