Montana Patent of the Month – September 2021

When you need to pull metal cable through space you use a cable gripping mechanism. These usually have “teeth” to bite the cable and hold it securely in position. Depending on the industry these are used in, they may be used in scenarios with pull and thrust forces in the range of 5,000 – 100,000 lbs. When the load bearing is this high, the tool needs to be made with a metal that can handle it. This means there needs to be a compromise between metals that can manage a high load capacity and high hardness. Two very different qualities in metal characteristics. The result usually ends up with a metal whose gripping surface wears down considerably faster. Roddie, Inc. has designed a new metal cable gripper which uses a removable cable gripper insert to overcome this limitation.

They have created a set of cable gripper jaws with a removable cable gripping surface insert. The gripper jaw has a recess for the insert to be placed. The insert then engages with the gripper member by a special mechanical interlocking – such as dove tail locks. This combination allows the insert and gripper member to each be made of different materials and therefore different hardness ratings. This allows for the gripper to have the required characteristics to support the high capacity and the insert to have the required characteristics to securely hold the cable with minimal wear over time. Even if it does wear, or if a new job requires a new type of metal, the insert can be easily replaced. One can simply slide the insert in or out thanks to the mechanical dovetails engagement.

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