Wire Twisting System and Method
1. A method of manufacturing a safety wire twisting system, comprising:
- attaching a fastening body to a shaft;
configuring the fastening body to be rotatable about the axis of the shaft;
configuring the fastening body to in incorporate at least one aperture acting as an insertion point for safety wire to be inserted;
positioning at least one cam-locking lever within the fastening body;
configuring first and second slots on either side of the cam-locking lever; and
attaching a torque provider to the fastening body to provide rotation.
A novel head device generally consisting of at least one aperture that is capable of excepting different sizes of safety wire, at least one cam-locking lever, which may incorporate a spring return mechanism, is disclosed. The body may be rotated by a mechanical means which twists the safety wire. In preferred embodiment, the various elements of the safety wire twister device are each configured with means of limiting torque or twists of safety wire to eliminate possibility of over torqueing or twisting of safety wire.
- 1. A method of manufacturing a safety wire twisting system, comprising:
attaching a fastening body to a shaft; configuring the fastening body to be rotatable about the axis of the shaft; configuring the fastening body to in incorporate at least one aperture acting as an insertion point for safety wire to be inserted; positioning at least one cam-locking lever within the fastening body; configuring first and second slots on either side of the cam-locking lever; and attaching a torque provider to the fastening body to provide rotation.
- View Dependent Claims (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20)
The embodiments herein relate to the application of safety wire onto bolts, screws, cap screws, studs, nuts, turnbuckles, and screws, among other fastening mechanism. More particularly, the invention relates to the twisting of various sizes of safety wire to prevent the various fastening mechanisms from loosening due to vibration or other causes on aircraft, helicopters, ships, army tanks, race cars, race motorcycles and various other items where loosening of these fastening mechanisms could be deadly.
The aircraft industry along with many other industries are required to utilize various forms of safety measures to prevent loosening of critical components such a fastening mechanisms due to vibration or other factors. One of the safety measures employed is the use of safety wire to insure that fasteners, such as cap screws, studs, nuts, bolts, turn buckle screws etc. are safely and securely installed. Examples of such fastening mechanisms are shown in
The current method of applying safety wire requires a pair of manually operated safety wire pliers, an example of which is shown in
To address these and other problems, the embodiments herein are safer, faster, provide consistent results, save valuable time, and provides better application of safety wire, and greatly reduces repetitive-motion, repetitive-stress, and carpal-tunnel types of injuries to mechanics.
The safety wire twister embodiments described herein provides a new and improved battery powered safety wire twisting tool, which includes a means for securely holding two ends of a wire to twist the wire to a predetermined level of torque (which can be set by a user). The embodiments comprise a fastener body, typically comprised of hard tool steel or a similar type of material, which is attached to a shaft for rotating the head. The embodiments further include a slip or overload clutch, which acts as a torque limiter that automatically slips or disengages the clutch at a predetermined torque. This is useful for preventing over-twisting, ripping, or disengagement of the safety wire.
In describing the invention, it will be understood that a number of techniques and steps are disclosed. Each of these has individual benefit and each can also be used in conjunction with one or more, or in some cases all, of the other disclosed techniques. Accordingly, for the sake of clarity, this description will refrain from repeating every possible combination of the individual steps in an unnecessary fashion. Nevertheless, the specification and claims should be read with the understanding that such combinations are entirely within the scope of the invention and claims.
Novel and innovative safety wire twisting devices, apparatuses, and methods for positioning and twisting safety wire around fasteners, such as cap screws, studs, nuts, bolts, and turnbuckle screws are discussed herein. In the following description, for purposes of explanation, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present invention. However, it will be evident to one skilled in the art that the present invention may be practiced without these specific details.
One potential user of the safety wire twister systems described herein can be the aircraft industry, although other industries such as automotive would certainly benefit as well. For example, the average automotive technician may have an extensive tool collection of significant value and a tool cabinet worth potentially even more. As such, at present, it is likely that some version of a conventional “wire-twister” mechanism (e.g. that shown in
The safety wire twister systems described herein can be used for applying safety wire to an aircraft, helicopter, army tank, vehicle, motorbike, boiler or any other item that may have bolts, screws, nuts, turnbuckles or any type of connector that needs to be secured as to not loosen from vibration or other mechanical disturbance.
One means of achieving this feature is through a slip clutch 208, as briefly shown in
However, an embodiment also exists in which a slip clutch 208 is positioned not within the torque provider 108, but instead located directly within the fastening head 104. This separate slip clutch 600 is described in more detail with respect to
Next, the fastener body 104 is typically configured to accept and hold one or more free ends of the safety wire. The fastener body 104 may incorporate only one aperture 304, or may have more aperture(s) 304, and can be locked to accept the free (unattached) ends of safety wire.
As further shown in
As shown in
In an embodiment, the lever(s) 308 are manufactured of A-2 tool steel or a similar suitable material which has a aperture through it allowing the lever(s) 308 to pivot around a pin 312. In an embodiment, the pin 312 can be a hardened dowel pin, roll pin, or similar item.
The fastener body 104 also has a slot 316 machined into a taper 320 to receive the lever(s) 308. The aperture(s) 304 are machined so as to connect with the slot 316, to allow the safety wire to pass through passageway 450 formed by these under the lever(s) 308.
The fastener body 104 may incorporate only a single aperture 308 in the small diameter end of the fastener body 104. Further, the taper 320 may also be omitted, thus achieving a straighter to the outer surface of the fastener body 104.
When using the embodiments herein, the end or ends of the safety wire are entered into the apertures of the small diameter of the fastener body 104. The safety wire travels through the passageway 450 formed by the aperture 304 and first slot 316, before exiting through a second slot 350 located behind the lever(s) 308. Upon pulling the wire twisting tool away from the item the safety wire is attached to, the cam-locking lever(s) 308 fixedly engage with the safety wire, thus preventing the ends of the safety wire from being pulled back through the passageway 450 in the fastener body 104.
Once the cam-locking lever(s) 308 have fixedly engaged the safety wire, the torque provider 108 can then be activated. As such time, the fastener body 104 would be rotated about its center axis and thus would commence twisting the safety wire engaged by the head the fastener body 104.
As stated earlier, the slip clutch 208\600, or other torque limiting device can act to stop excessive or unwanted twisting of the fastener body 104 at a user-designated torque threshold.
To release the ends of the safety wire from the passageway 450 and the cam-locking lever(s) 308, the top end of the lever(s) 308 are specially positioned to be finger-accessible and thus easily pushed forward toward, which disengages the lever(s) 308 from the safety wire within the passageway 450. At that time, a user will pull the fastener body 104 away from the wire, leaving a completed twisted wire pair attached to the fastening mechanism.
Additionally, in a embodiment, the fastener body 104 will incorporate features such as a specially-shaped shaft 324 (
In this embodiment, the fastening body 104 is not directly attached to the shaft 628 of the torque provider 108. Instead, the fastening body is attached to the shaft 324 which is attached to the clutch plate 620. The clutch plate 620 selectively engages and disengages with the drive plate 624, which is directly attached to the shaft 628 of the torque provider 108. Under most circumstances, including when the system 100 is at rest and not in use, the clutch plate 620 is mechanically attached to and moves in mechanical unison with the drive plate 624.
However, there are circumstances in which the clutch plate 620 separates from the drive plate 624, namely when a predetermined threshold of resistance to torque (coming from the safety wire currently engaged with the fastening body 104). At this time, when slip clutch 600 causes the fastening body 104 to cease rotating.
Normal operation of the system 100 and the clutch plate 600 occurs when the torque provider 108 drives (rotates) the drive plate 624. Under normal circumstances, pressure from the spring 644 onto the clutch plate 620 causes the clutch plate 620 to engage with the drive plate 624. The clutch plate 620 is affixed to the shaft 324, and the shaft 324 drives (rotates) the fastening body 104. Consequently, when the clutch plate 620 is engaged with the drive plate 624, and the torque provider 108 is activated, the fastening body 104 rotates.
However, when resistance to torque on the drive plate 624 reaches its max (e.g. when the wire reaches correct number of twists), the force being applied to the drive plate 624 exceeds the force of the spring 644 being exerted on the clutch plate 620, so that the clutch plate 620 becomes disengaged from the drive plate 620. At that time, the clutch plate 620 is no longer transferring rotational force to the shaft 324. Consequently, the shaft 324 will cease rotating, such that the fastening body 104 will in turn cease rotating.
The spring forces that clutch plate toward the drive plate. So, the clutch plate moves along the horizontal axis 650 shown in
In an embodiment, a cork ring 684 (
While preferred materials for elements have been described, the embodiments herein are not limited by these materials. Wood, plastic, rubber, foam, metal alloys, aluminum, and other materials may comprise some or all of the elements of the safety wire twister embodiments described herein. Additionally, the fastener body 104 may be coated or plated various ways such as but not limited to chrome, zinc or black oxide.
Once the safety wire has been twisted, but the fastening body 104 has not yet been removed, the process of removal is simple. A user merely moves the lever 308 back to its forward or “open” position, and then manually slides off the fastening body. The result is shown in
As stated, the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the invention, and is not intended to limit the invention to the specific embodiments illustrated by the figures or description below. That is, although the present invention has been illustrated and described herein with reference to preferred embodiments and specific examples thereof, it will be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that other embodiments and examples may perform similar functions and/or achieve like results. All such equivalent embodiments and examples are within the spirit and scope of the present invention, are contemplated thereby, and are intended to be covered by the following claims.