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Патент USA US3086499

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April 23, 1963
R. L. RATHER ETAL
3,086,491
MARINE TOW CHAIN
Filed July 5, 1961
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IN VEN TOR-S
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FM WW
ATTORNEY
United States Patent 07"
3,086,491
Patented Apr. 23, 1.963
1
2
3,086,491
of generally rectangular section ‘for best use of the avail
able space in the fairing and no wider than the link bars
‘MARINE TOW ‘CHAIN
Roy L. Rather'and Vilmuth P. Goerland, Houston, Tex.,
assignors ‘to Commercial Engineering Corporation,
for minimum frontal area.
In the ‘accompanying ‘drawings which illustrate'the in
vention:
FIG. 1 is a schematic elevation showing the novel
Filed .hily :5, 1961, Sen No. 122,014
chain being towed behind a vessel.
ll-Claims. (Cl. 114——235)
FIG. 2 .is a transverse section taken substantially on
This invention relates to tow chain devices, particularly
line 2-—2 of FIG. 3.
of the type utilized .in towing an underwater object, such 10
FIG. 3 .is an enlarged elevation showing one of the
as a sounding or listening body, behind a moving vessel.
faired link structures and portions .of adjacent links, parts
Where this type of device must carry .a harness of con
being broken away for clearer illustration of the under
du'ctor wires, it has been difficult to protect the wires
lying structure.
Harris County, Tex., a corporation of Texas
from bending, stretching, and rubbing ‘stresses both during
.FIG. lshows thechain, generally designated-6, secured
towing, due to vibrations and ?exing of the cable, and 15 to a reeling drum 7 mounted on the sternof a vessel 8.
during winding and unwinding upon a drum at the stern
At :the lower end of the tow chain is a towed .body 9
of the vessel. Also, it has not been possible to increase
carrying suitable instruments .for the ‘intended purpose.
the number of wires that run along the device without
Carried by thetow-chain is a conductor harness-extending
at the same time increasing the frontal area of ‘the device
from body 9 to the vessel and generally designated '10.
and, therefore, its resistance to the water. The provision 20
Each link of the tow .chain comprises a longitudinal
of fairing stabilizes "the tow chain or ‘cable inits transit
stress bearing bar .12 of atrapezoidal section, deeper than
through the water, but materially ‘complicates the prob
its width, having aneye .13 at its upper end pivotally .re
lem-of winding the device "on a storage'drum. However,
ceiving a U-shaped loop 14a which is suitably vsecured,
previous fairing arrangements mounted on tow cables
as by welding, to the lower ‘end of the next upper bar
have been subject to stacking up ‘at the bottom of the 25 12a. The loop 14 at the lower end of bar 12, likewise,
cable.
is pivotally received in the eye 13a rat-the top of the next
Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to
lower bar 13. Projecting laterally from bar 121?ush with
provide a tow‘chain of the above type having means for
the inner edges thereof and, ‘conveniently welded ‘thereto,
protecting the supported conductor harness from the
area pairof ‘parallel-cheek plates .16 which, at their vlower
usual stretching, bendingandcha?ng stresses during tow 30 and upper ends are provided with restricted rolled or out
ing operations and during winding and unwinding on .a
set portions ‘17 ‘and 18 for a purpose ‘to be described.
drum.
Extending between plates 16 in a line spaced somewhat
Another objectis to :providea tow chain for submerged
outwardly from bar (12 are a pair of abutment ‘pins 19
objects in which the individual links are provided with
and 20 forming ‘a pocket 'therebetween. Conductor har
fairing which cooperates to constrain the conductor in an 35 ness 10 of generally rectangular‘section is received be
undulating or serpentine form such that the convolutions
tween plates 16 in undulations designated 21, 22 and 23.
thereof are free "to ?ex longitudinally to minimize stresses
.Reoeived'between theouter ends of plates “and form
on the conductor itself.
ing a fairing structure therewith is an outwardly tapered
Another object is to provide -a tow ‘chain ihaving fair
member 25, preferably of buoyant material such as wood
ing within whichtheconduotor is ‘supported in undulating 40 or a suitable resinoid. The inner face of member 25‘ is
or serpentine form so that longitudinal stresses are ap
of longitudinally undulating contour including a central
plied to rrelativelytfree convolutions which may ?ex with
salient .26 and terminal salients 2.7 vand 28. Central
minimum of rubbing action against the link r-andeinl a
salient .26 constrains central harness convolution 21 in
manner to spread bending stresses along the loops :or 45 the pocket between pins 19 and ‘20, while the terminal
convolutions and thereby greatly prolong the life "of the
salients form .end convolutions .22 and 2.3 of the harness,
conductor.
rather loosely con?ning .thecrests of the harness at the
Another object is to provide ,means for substantially
ends of the link between these terminal salients and the
increasing the number "of conductor wires carried by the
ends .of .bar ‘12. Outset portions 17 and 18ofthe>cheek
towing device ‘without increasing the frontal ‘area of the
plates receive the so con?ned crests of the:conductors.
device in towing.
A pair of metal strips .30 and .31 are secured to the
These‘obj‘ects and others are attained in the herein
buoyant body 25'by means of a rivet 32 ‘from which the
disclosed ‘tow fchain structure which consists'of a plurality
strips project inwardly along the body. At the inner end
of ‘pivoted links, each ‘link having a longitudinal stress
of each strip there is _ provided a reentrant, outwardly
bearing bar‘with pivotal attachments 'at the end. Parallel 55 bent, resilient ‘ear, .as 33, which, in the assembly, is re
cheek plates project laterally from the bar .and an ‘out
ceived in an ‘aperture 34 ‘near the outer edge of corre
wardly tapered, buoyant body is secured between the
sponding cheek plate 16. These strips ‘and ears .form
ends of these plates and forms fairing therewith. The
detachable securing latches maintaining the body 25 and‘
inner iface'of the buoyant body is of undulating contour
so as to cooperate with suitably positioned elements be
tween the plates vfor constraining the conductor harness
received between the plates in undulating form which
greatly minimizes stresses and wear on the conductor
during loading and bending of the chain. The harness is
harness =proper‘ly assembled with the remaining portions
60 of the fairing.
In order to assemble the link with the conductor har
ness which, of course, is ?exible, the cable is ?rst inserted
?atwise in undulations between cheek plates 16. Body
25‘ is then inserted between the outer edges of the cheek
3,086,d91
4
3
plates with its undulating inner face bearing against the
harness.
each link having a longitudinal stress bearing bar with
parallel plates projecting laterally therefrom;
Su?icient pressure is then applied to body 25
to cause the cable to assume an undulating form corre
a member detachably closing the space between said
sponding with the contour of the inner face of the body.
The central or crest convolution 21 is ?rmly secured in
a ?exible conductor received longitudinally between
the pocket between pins v19 and 20 by means of central
said plates;
longitudinally spaced elements between said plates hear
plates opposite said bar;
salient 26. However, due to the fact that voids are pro
vided adjacent the concave sides of terminal convolutions
22 and 23, these convolutions are free to ?ex longitudinal
ly to accommodate longitudinal loading applied between
10
the links as well as bending of the chain, even the severe
bending occasioned by winding the chain upon the drum.
Resilient material may be lodged in these voids, if de
volutions between said elements and the ends of said
walls;
sired.
there being space adjacent said last convolutions permit
ting ?exing thereof to accommodate loading and
pivoting of the chain with minimum stressing of said
It has been found, accordingly, that the cable is sub
stantially relieved of restricted bending stresses as well as
stretching and cha?ng action so that durability of the cable
is much increased. Nevertheless, the cable may be readily
conductor.
5. A marine tow chain as described in claim 4 in which
removed from and replaced within the links upon de
said closing member tapers outwardly to form fairing.
tachment and reapplication of the fairing body. The tor
sional resiliency of the conductor cable tends to stabilize
the fairing structures in proper alignment for winding on
the storage drum. The rectangular harness permits the
accommodation of maximum number of conductor wires
within the available fairing spaces while retaining the slim
6‘. A marine tow chain comprising a plurality of links
each comprising a longitudinal stress carrying bar with
pivotaly attachments at its ends for adjacent links;
parallel walls projecting laterally from said bar;
spaced elements between said walls providing a pocket
therebetween;
frontal aspect of the chain for less resistance to the
water.
ing against one side of said conductor;
and inward salients on said closing member bearing
against the opposite side of said conductor and con
straining said conductor into an undulating form with
a convolution between said elements and other con
a ?exible conductor received between said walls;
Further, one or more conductors may lead out of
the harness intermediate any pair of fairings as, for ex
ample, when it is desired to deploy instruments at various
depths along the tow chain.
30
Various details are not essential and these may be modi
?ed in various respects as will occur to those skilled in the
art without departing from the spirit of the invention.
said conductor in a convolution in said pocket and
The exclusive use of all modi?cations as come within the
scope of the appended claims is contemplated.
35
We claim:
1. In a marine tow cable;
a link structure having a ‘longitudinal stress bearing part
with pivotal attachments at its ends for adjacent
said terminal salients forming other convolutions in
said conductor and con?ning said conductor in prox
imity to said bar;
said last convolutions being free to ?ex to minimize
stressing of said conductor during loading and bend
ing of the chain;
links;
and means securing said fairing member in position
between said plates.
7. A marine tow chain comprising a plurality of pivot
ally connected links each having a longitudinal stress
means forming a chamber through said structure;
a ?exible conductor harness extending through said
chamber;
and transversely spaced elements in said chamber bear
ing against longitudinally spaced portions of said
an outwardly tapered fairing member receivable be
tween said walls opposite said bar;
said member having an undulating face opposing said
conductor with longitudinally spaced central and ter
minal salients;
said central salient bearing against and constraining
45
harness and opposite sides thereof and constraining
said portions against longitudinal displacement and
bearing bar;
parallel plates projecting laterally therefrom;
a pair of elements between said plates forming a pocket
said harness to an undulating path within the said
therebet-ween;
structure.
a ?exible conductor received between said plates;
a ‘fairing member received between said plates;
2. A marine tow chain comprising a plurality of pivot
ally connected links each having a longitudinal stress bear
said member having longitudinally spaced salients hear
ing ‘against said cable opposite said bar and cooperat
ing member;
ing with said elements to constrain said conductor in
an undulating form with convolutions capable of
a fairing member spaced transversely from said mem
her;
?exing longitudinally during loading and bending of
and means between said members forming an undulat
the chain;
ing path longitudinally through the link and adapted
for periodic constraining engagement of a ?exible
conductor passing therethrough to constrain the en
and snap means for securing said fairing member in
gaged portion of said conductor against longitudinal
8. Structure as described in claim 7 in which said snap
position.
60 means comprises apertures in said plates and resilient ele
displacement.
ments on said fairing member positioned to enter said
3. A conductor carrying link for a marine tow chain
apertures when said member is urged home between said
comprising a longitudinal stress bearing structure having
p ates.
pivotal attachments at its ends for adjacent links;
9. Structure as described in claim 8 in which said fair
a fairing structure spaced transversely of said stress
ing
member is of buoyant material and said resilient ele
65
bearing structure and secured thereto;
ments include strips projecting inwardly therefrom and
means in the space between said structures present
resilient ears projecting outwardly from said strips for re
ing a longitudinally undulating face toward one of
ception in said apertures.
said structures;
v10. In a marine tow cable;
and means confronting said face for con?ning a ?exible 70
a link structure having a longitudinal stress bearing
conductor therein to a normally corresponding un
par: with pivotal attachments at its ends for adjacent
dulating path and engaging at least a portion of said
in s;
conductor against longitudinal displacement.
means forming a chamber through said structure;
a ?exible conductor harness extending through said
4. A marine tow chain comprising a plurality of pivot
ally connected links;
75
chamber;
3,086,491
6
and a central salient bearing against a concavity in one
side of said ‘conductor and a pair of parts bearing
against the convexity opposite said concavity.
11. In a marine tow cable;
a link structure having a longitudinal stress bearing 5
part with pivotal attachments at its ends for adjacent
links;
_
and, an additional salient spaced longitudinally from
said central salient and bearing against said one side
of said conductor to form an additional convolution
therein.
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
_
means forming a chamber through said structure;
a ?exible conductor harness extending through said
chamber;
10
a central salient bearing against a concavity in one side
of said conductor and a pair of parts bearing against
the convexity opposite said concavity;
UNITED STATES PATENTS
1,293,347
2,401,783
2,873,013
2,391,501
2,951,111
CQrwin —————————————— —— Feb- 4,
Vlfllcoxon ____________ __ June 11,
Plodl ---------------- -- Mal‘- 17,
Rather ______________ __ June 23,
Anderson et a1 --------- -- Aug‘ 30,
1919
1946
1959
1959
1960
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