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Publication numberUS1761659 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 3, 1930
Filing dateJan 18, 1928
Priority dateJan 18, 1928
Publication numberUS 1761659 A, US 1761659A, US-A-1761659, US1761659 A, US1761659A
InventorsCummings Frank D
Original AssigneeCummings Frank D
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Building construction
US 1761659 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 3, 1930. F. D. CUMMINGS 1,761,659

BUILDING CONSTRUCTION (QUAKEPROOF BUILDING) Filed Jan. 18, 1928 k @WGLMJLW J ia J g I wttorfleys i zontal earth. movements.

. rigid type of building construction which thus constitutedbetween each pair of oppos- 65 7 Patented June 3, 1930 I i I if r V UNETED' STATES @ATENT" 7 OFFICE rna vx D. CUMMINGS, or Los AnG Ln'sycALIronnIAf L BUILDING oonsrnrrcrron (QUAxEPRoon BUILDING) Application filed January 18; 1928'. Serial No; 247,607.

This invention relates to improvements in easy and automatic subsequent adjustment I building construction, (quake-proof buildby which gravity can restore the building to ing). itsnormal position with respect to its foun- More especially 'it provides for the emdation after the disturbing force has been 5 bodiment of quake-absorbing elements, spent. i

which have particular utility and. impor- These objects and results may be attained tance in regions where buildings are liable by providing one or more horizontal-slip to receive sudden and severe shocks, such as cleavages in. the foundation, specifically result from earth-tremors, and violent horiillustrated herein'as a seriesof bearing cups 7 arranged in suitably spaced relation along The enormous property damage and ineach side of the foundation; anda like series cidental destruction of life caused by earthofwinverted cups on the building proper,

quakes, particularly in cities, may be 'atregistering with the first cups; andone. or

tributed in large measure to they prevailing more rolling bearing elements in the pocket lacks flexibility so that the swaying of the ed'cups. Specifically the bearing elements earth produces allstages of injury, ranging are represented, in one form,.as balls, of from mere dislocation of furniture to comdiameter sufiicient to. space apartthe halves plete collapse of buildings. Even in the of each pocket so that the entireweight of 29 modern steel frame buildings where tensile the building will rest on the balls. The 7 strengthof frame has proved sufiicient to cups. should be large enough in horizontal avoid collapse, the contents andwalls have diameter, and shallow enough in curvature, suffered from the severity of the shaking. to permit of a desired relative horizontal And in regions where earthquakes areprevamovement of foundation and building, with 25 lent, they constiute an'ever present threat of but little verticalmovement; but preferably danger to life which makes the population the cu a ure l in re s oward edges extremely uncomfortable. Yet in answer to of h c p, Wh limits the re iv movethis challenge, civilization'has not heretoment in, any direction, so that there will fore, so far as I am aware, developed any be a constantly-increasing opposing elfect, 39 means for making the structure and contents d t0 he g ntle raising of the building of sizable buildings safe against earthquakes. proper which is occasioned by such move- The present invention provides relief by ment. And when the quake is past the slight resort to the principle of inertia and of eurvat-ureof the cups will permit gravity flexible or slipconnection to -the. ground, a o draw the bullding back to normal posi- 35 combination which holds the building and tl n On its foundation. During a lateral 5 contents approximately stationary while the movement of the earth, the foundation earth shakes back and forth beneath it. To moves with it, butby the effect of inertia the this end. it proposes to erectthe building building tends to remain stationary. The with provision for limited movement of slight rise in the bottom of the cup lifts it building horizontally, relativeto itsfoundaa li le, amotion whloh is harmless to the tion. That is, the foundation maymove with ldlng, especially when applied equally the quake while the building proper remains hll parts of'the bulldmg as a unit; and substantially at rest, due both to itsinertia le nds o restrain the building from v and to gravity, which tend to resist its disrolllng out ofits cups, both during the quake placement from normal position. A feature and at all times,due provision having: been of importance is that this movement, relamadein the under pinning to prevent an tively of foundation and building, although uneven settling of the foundation into the confined to a single horizontal plane, may be earth with lapse of time, i

in any direction in that plane. Andit is a 1 Although ball-bearings appear, at the 5 further feature that provision is: made for present time, to be the preferred means of providing for the mentioned relative movement of building and foundation, roller bearings may be employed with somewhat similar results. In such case, however, the rollers would be arranged in two horizontal planes around the building walls, those in one plane extending all in like direction and providing for movement to and fro in opposite directions, east and west for example, While the rollers in the other plane would extend all in a direction differing by ninety degrees to provide for movement in other opposite directions, as north and south. Then an earth oscillation in any horizontal direction could occur by movement on one or both sets of rollers, without being transmitted in any dangerous degree to the build ing itself. Both forms involve the principle of constructing a building so that one portion thereof can be moved with respect to another or other portions; and so that the several portions readjust themselves after the moving force has departed.

The illustrated embodiments of the in Vention are intended merely to disclose Working embodiments of the inventive idea, without limiting the scope of the invention to these embodiments. t is intended that the patent shall cover by suitable ex pression in the appended claims what ver features of patentable novelty exists in the invention disclosed.

In the accompanying drawings, which are more or less diagrammatic:

Figure 1 is a perspective of a portion of a building embodying features of the invention;

Figure 2 is a plan of a fragment of the foundation of Figure 1, the upper structure being removed to the cleavage plane indicated at 2-2;

Figure 3 is a fragmentary elevation in section on 3-3 of Figure 2, but including a bit of the superstructure;

Figure 4 is a view like Figure 3 showing avariation in the cup and surrounding construction;

Figure 5 is a perspective of another em bodiment Figure 6 is a diagrammatic view showing positions which may be assumed by cups and ball when a shock occurs;

Figure 7 is an elevation of a fragment of a building illustrating another embodiment of the invention, using rollers in place of balls;

Figure 8 is a perspective in section through a wall of Figure 7;

Figure 9 is a perspective, in section, of another modified form of the invention; and

Figure 10 is a perspective, in section, of still another modification.

Referring to the drawings and especially to the form of the invention illustrated in Figure 1, a building foundation is represented at 10 and the building proper 12, is mounted on this foundation, but is held apart from it, at a plane of cleavage at the level 2-2 by a multiplicity of balls 14; which intervene and carry the total weight of the building above this level. The balls 14 may be arranged in any suitably spaced relation along the foundation, on all four sides, they being of sufficient number and of sufficient individual and aggregate strength to withstand the stresses due to weight, which can be calculated or estimated with reasonable accuracy. And they are of sufficient diameter to hold the superstructure at a desired small distance above the foundation, and to roll easily. Preferably they would be of steel or alley, non-corrodible metal. As many can be used as are necessary for subdividing the weight to the reasonable carrying capacity of each ball. As illustrated in Figures 1-3 each ball stands singly in a shallow cup 16, and is covered by a shallow cup 18, the two together making a pocket which inclos' the ball securely. The lower cup 16 is embedded in the foundation 10 and opens upward; the upper cup 18 is embedded in the building 12, preferably in a sill 19 thereof, opens downward, and registers witl the cup 16 under normal conditions. Preferably the cups are considerably greater in horizontal diameter than are the balls, according to the expected amplitude of oscillation of the earth by quake, for which it is desired to provide, and each cup bottom has a shallowing curvature from centre outward in all directions to near the edge lip 20 where the curvature becomes more abrupt. Thus the building 12 under normal conditions rests squarely above the foundation 10, and is so maintained by the curvature of t 1e respective cups, against being moved horizontally, with respect to its foundation, under the influence of any light or inconsequential force. But a force which is capable of moving the earths surface of the region is free to do so without equally moving the building. The foundation can oscillate to and fro under the building, as indicated in Figure 6, while inertia holds the building itself substantially unmoved, with the balls 14 acting as ball-bearings between foundation and building. l v ith twelve inch cups and three inch balls there can be a relative movement approximating a little less than twelve inches in any direction in the horizontal plane of the balls. However, there will an opposing effect produced by the curves of the cups, slight at first but continually increasing, because in order for a ball to roll toward the lips of its associated cups there must be a slight raising of the building from its foundation. As a result, very little of earth oscillation will be communicated to the building and menses that little will not be applied directly and suddenly. What force is transmitted .to the building is applied in a'manner to cause its slight, gradual and easy rise above the foundation, with little tendency to upset or dislocate the buildings contents.

The abruptness of the curve near the lip of each cup 16, 18, constitutes a limitation of relative motion of building and foundation, eliminating the possibility of such a large movement as would carry the building ofi its foundation, or the foundation from under the building. If the earth vibration should be so extensive in horizontal amplitude .a to reach this limit, any excess would have to be transmitted to the building. While it might be hoped that the building would in this event suffer only mildly, or not at all, nevertheless this shows the desirability of taking into account the known or expected amplitude of oscillation of earth in designing the size of the cups. But the gentle rise of the main surfaces of the cups 16, 18 of each pocket acts on the balls with camlike effect; and when the oscillating force has ceased gravity of the building will return the balls to the centresof their respective pockets, thus returning the building, in gentle and easy fashion, to'its normal position with respect to the foundation 10.

The structural arrangements for introducing the rolling bearing between building and foundation may vary, but in general each cup should be set securely in its own part of the structure and the bearing surfaces of cups and balls or other rolling element should be hard, so that the weight will not produce indentation, To provide a low intensity of indenting force, and of crushing force onthe rolling element the number of balls maybe increased of rollers may be used. The employment of rollers provides line contacts instead of point contacts, and thus reduces the intensity of crushing force due to weight of building, but introduces the problem of caring for earth oscillations which are not strictly in the direction of rolling. The invention provides for this by making two planes of cleavage as indicated at a and b in Figure 7, close together, in which all rolls 22 in the same cleavage are parallel, and are at right angles to those in the other cleavage. By this device a hori zontal oscillation of foundation in any direction whatsoever can find relief in one or the other or in both of these two cleavages, without the oscillation being communicated to the building itself, so long as thestruc tural limits of permissible rolling are not exceeded by the earth oscillation. To pro-v vide for the return to normal position, if building be not left squarely over foundation, one or both of the troughs 26, 28, for

the rollers, corresponding to the cups 16, 18,

- for the balls, may be made with bearing surstand vertical stresses.

facesconcave, having a cam profile in cross section resembling that of the cups and balls in Figure 2; or the bearing blocks for the. rolls may have plane faces, Fig.8, and

means he provided to restore normal posi thus further diminishing crushing force, and

the fact that horizontal oscillations of earth could occur without raising the building even the trifling amount which is incidental to the form of Figure 3. But such a slight raising should not be serious, because a building. is naturally constructed to with matic return to normal position by making the rollers 22 of cam' shape, as in Figure The use of plane 10, and any desired amplitude of oscillav tion may be cared for by making the peripheral surface of the cam large enough for the desired lateral travel to ocur while the cam roll is rocking from itsnormal quiet position, illustrated, nearly ninety degrees to its maximum elevation.

" Each ball, or each roller, as the case may be, should carry its proportionate amount of the total weight of thebuilding above, and thus it may be desirable to provide for their individual vertical adjustment, re-' moval and replacement. In Figures 3 and 5 wedges 17 are suggested for this purpose, the lower bearing block 16 being mounted loosely for movement vertically, influenced in one direction by the wedges and in the other direction by gravity. Thus, each ball 14 may be made to carry its share of the load; and, when desired, the wedges may be. taken out to permit block 16 and associated ball 14 to be removed, and replaced, or new ones to be substituted. a The drawings: indicate several of the various ways in which the invention may be embodied so as to constitute the desired cleavage between foundation and superstructure of a building.

when a lateral movement occurs makes it desirable to provide special means for restoring position to normal if necessary.

For which purpose it is suggested that cer- 5 tain of the rollers be made accessible and provided with means for the attachment of gearing for turning them, the crushing stresses here being reduced by arranging the rollers in groups; but in Figure 9 where m arranged singly cam surfaces can be provided so that when there has been displacement gravity will cause a return. The cam surface may be either on the roller or on its bearing; and in Figure 10 is illustrated the former of these styles.

When balls are used the balls may be expected to become slightly flattened in their normal positions, by compression, and with lapse of time, or their cup bearings may no intentionally be made each with a slight depression 21, in Figure 6, at the centre to guide the ball when free to a setting in its desired central normal position. Such flattening or depression tends to make the device unresponsive to diminutive and harmless earth tremors, but the severe suddenness with which any shock of importance occurs will effect a rolling. The very considerable inertia of the heavy building will 0 insure that even though there be a tendency of the bearing to stick, the cleavage will always occur at this place provided by the invention, rather than by a breaking part of the regular structural materials 12 of the building, in all parts of which the bonding and the friction are much greater. The building will tend to remain stationary and intact while the ground moves freely under it. And, preferably, the piping and wiring connections within the building, at

the plane or planes of cleavage, will be flexible enough to permit the said rolling without breaking or damaging the connections.

It will be understood that the term building is herein used in a general sense to include various sorts of structures, and that the invention may be applied to engineering constructions built for purposes other than buildings, as for example, bridges, roads,

5o abutments, pipe lines; and that in other respects the invention is not limited to the precise structures herein shown.

The invention claimed is:

A structure divided with horizontal foundation cleavage and provided at the cleavage with antifriction bearing devices; adjustable means associated with one member of a bearing for adjustment of said member vertically with respect'to the building and the other member, thereby to set the position of that bearing for carrying load equally with other bearings.

Signed at Boston, Massachusetts, this thirteenth day of January, 1928.



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U.S. Classification52/167.5
International ClassificationE04H9/02
Cooperative ClassificationE04H9/023
European ClassificationE04H9/02B3