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Publication numberUS20020116889 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/083,026
Publication dateAug 29, 2002
Filing dateFeb 26, 2002
Priority dateFeb 27, 2001
Also published asCA2373769A1
Publication number083026, 10083026, US 2002/0116889 A1, US 2002/116889 A1, US 20020116889 A1, US 20020116889A1, US 2002116889 A1, US 2002116889A1, US-A1-20020116889, US-A1-2002116889, US2002/0116889A1, US2002/116889A1, US20020116889 A1, US20020116889A1, US2002116889 A1, US2002116889A1
InventorsJames Moore
Original AssigneeEco-Block
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Corner web member and corner of a form system
US 20020116889 A1
Abstract
A corner web member is disclosed that may be used for making corner structures in building form systems, such as systems used to construct concrete walls. When used for this purpose, the corner web member is preferably at least partially disposed within a side panel that forms a corner section of the form system used to construct walls. The present invention further includes methods of manufacturing the corner structures and methods of using the same to construct buildings. It is noted that this abstract is provided to comply with the rules requiring an abstract that will allow a searcher or other reader to ascertain quickly the subject matter of the technical disclosure. The abstract is submitted with the understanding that it will not be used to interpret or limit the scope or meaning of the claims pursuant to 37 C.F.R. § 1.72(b).
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Claims(31)
What is claimed is:
1. A corner block, comprising:
a. a panel; and
b. a corner web member at least partially disposed within the panel, the corner web member comprising:
i. first and second mounting bodies each having an inner edge and an outer edge, the inner edge of the first mounting body connected to the inner edge of the second mounting body;
ii. a first bridging member having an exterior edge and an interior edge which is connected to the outer edge of the first mounting body; and
iii. a second bridging member having an exterior edge and an interior edge which is connected to the outer edge of the second mounting body,
wherein at least one of the first and second mounting bodies, the first mounting body and the first bridging member, or the second mounting body and the second bridging member are oriented non-linearly to each other in plan view.
2. The corner block of claim 1, wherein the panel is formed of polystyrene.
3. The corner block of claim 1, wherein the panel has an interior surface, and wherein at least a portion of a selected one of the first bridging member or the second bridging member extends through and out of the interior surface of the panel.
4. The corner block of claim 3, wherein a portion of both the first and second bridging members adjacent their respective exterior edges extend out of the interior surface of the panel.
5. The corner block of claim 4, wherein the portions of the first and second bridging members that extend out of the interior surface of the panel define at least one opening therethrough.
6. The corner block of claim 5, wherein each opening is of a size to receive a portion of a respective flexible linking member therethrough.
7. The corner block of claim 6, wherein each of the first and second bridging members include at least two openings, and wherein when the panel is disposed upright, the openings are vertically spaced apart from each other.
8. The corner block of claim 1, wherein the corner web member is an integral structure.
9. The corner block of claim 1, wherein the corner web member is formed of plastic.
10. The corner block of claim 1, wherein the first and second mounting bodies and the first and second bridging members are substantially planar and substantially stiff between their respective edges.
11. The corner block of claim 1, wherein the first and second mounting bodies are pivotally connected to each other at their respective inner edges.
12. The corner block of claim 1, wherein the first mounting body is pivotally connected to the first bridging member and wherein the second mounting body is pivotally connected to the second bridging member.
13. The corner block of claim 1, wherein each of the first and second mounting bodies defines at least one aperture therethrough.
14. The corner block of claim 1, wherein each of the first and second bridging members defines at least one aperture therethrough.
15. The corner block of claim 5, wherein each of the first and second bridging members defines at least one aperture, each aperture disposed intermediate the respective interior edge and the opening.
16. The corner block of claim 1, wherein the panel has an exterior surface that forms a panel corner comprising a non-linear angle in the exterior surface in plan view,
wherein the inner edges of the respective first and second mounting bodies are substantially linear along a length and form a corner panel edge where the mounting bodies intersect, and
wherein the corner panel edge is disposed within the panel adjacent its panel corner.
17. The corner block of claim 16, wherein the corner panel edge is disposed substantially parallel to the panel corner.
18. The corner block of claim 1, wherein the panel has an exterior surface that forms a panel corner comprising a non-linear angle in the exterior surface in plan view,
wherein the first and second mounting bodies are oriented at substantially a right angle to each other in plan view, and
wherein the panel corner also forms substantially a right angle.
19. A corner web member, comprising:
a. first and second mounting bodies each having an inner edge and an outer edge, the inner edge of the first mounting body pivotally connected to the inner edge of the second mounting body;
b. a first bridging member having an exterior edge and an interior edge pivotally connected to the outer edge of the first mounting body; and
c. a second bridging member having an exterior edge and an interior edge pivotally connected to the outer edge of the second mounting body,
wherein the first mounting body, second mounting body, first bridging member, and second bridging member have apertures therethrough.
20. The corner web member of claim 19, wherein the first and second mounting bodies and the first and second bridging members are formed of plastic.
21. The corner web member of claim 19, wherein a portion of at least one of the first mounting body, second mounting body, first bridging member, and second bridging member is disposed within a side panel.
22. The corner web member of claim 19, wherein a portion of at least one of the first mounting body, second mounting body, first bridging member, and second bridging member is integrally formed into a side panel.
23. The corner web member of claim 19, wherein the first and second bridging members each define at least one opening therethrough adjacent the respective exterior edge.
24. The corner web member of claim 19, wherein the corner web member is an integral structure.
25. A form system, comprising:
a. a corner side panel having an interior surface and having a corner web member at least partially disposed therein, the corner web member comprising:
i. first and second mounting bodies each having an inner edge and an outer edge, the inner edge of the first mounting body connected to the inner edge of the second mounting body;
ii. a first bridging member having an exterior edge and an interior edge which is connected to the outer edge of the first mounting body; and
iii. a second bridging member having an exterior edge and an interior edge which is connected to the outer edge of the second mounting body;
b. a first side panel having a first end and an interior surface that is spaced apart from the interior surface of the corner side panel;
c. a second side panel having a second end and an interior surface that is spaced apart from the interior surface of the corner side panel, wherein the first end of the first side panel is disposed adjacent the second end of the second side panel at an interface so that the first and second side panels form a non-linear angle in plan view at the intersection thereof; and
d. means for interconnecting the first side panel and the corner side panel and interconnecting the second side panel and the corner side panel.
26. The system of claim 25, wherein the interconnecting means comprises at least one flexible linking member.
27. The system of claim 25, wherein the interconnecting means comprises at least one connector.
28. The system of claim 25, wherein the first and second side panels and the corner panel are formed of polystyrene.
29. The system of claim 25, wherein the non-linear angle formed at the intersection is substantially a right angle and a junction formed at the inner edge of the first mounting body and the inner edge of the second mounting body is also substantially a right angle in plan view.
30. A method of constructing a form system, comprising:
a. providing a corner side panel having an interior surface and having a corner web member at least partially disposed therein, the corner web member including: (i) first and second mounting bodies each having an inner edge and an outer edge, the inner edge of the first mounting body connected to the inner edge of the second mounting body; (ii) a first bridging member having an exterior edge and an interior edge which is connected to the outer edge of the first mounting body; and (iii) a second bridging member having an exterior edge and an interior edge which is connected to the outer edge of the second mounting body;
b. positioning a first side panel having a first end and an interior surface at a location that is spaced apart from the interior surface of the corner side panel;
c. positioning a second side panel having a second end and an interior surface at a location that is spaced apart from the interior surface of the corner side panel and also so that the first end of the first side panel is located adjacent the second end of the second side panel at an interface so that the first and second side panels form a non-linear angle in plan view at the intersection thereof; and
d. interconnecting the first side panel and the corner side panel; and
e. interconnecting the second side panel and the corner side panel.
31. The method of claim 30, wherein the first and second side panels are interconnected to the corner side panel using at least one flexible linking member.
Description

[0001] This patent application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/271,852, which was filed on Feb. 27, 2001, and which is fully incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention encompasses a component that may be used to form a corner panel used in a wall system.

[0004] 2. Background Art

[0005] Concrete walls in building construction are often produced by first setting up two parallel form walls and pouring concrete into the space between the forms. After the concrete hardens, the builder then removes the forms, leaving the cured concrete wall.

[0006] This prior art technique has drawbacks. Formation of the concrete walls is inefficient because of the time required to erect the forms, wait until the concrete cures, and take down the forms. This prior art technique, therefore, is an expensive, labor-intensive process.

[0007] Accordingly, techniques have developed for forming concrete walls that use a foam insulating material. The modular form walls are set up parallel to each other and connecting components hold the two form walls in place relative to each other while concrete is poured therebetween. The form walls, however, remain in place after the concrete cures. That is, the modular walls, which are constructed of foam insulating material, are a permanent part of the building after the concrete cures. The concrete walls made using this technique can be stacked on top of each other many stories high to form all of a building's walls. In addition to the efficiency gained by retaining the form walls as part of the permanent structure, the materials of the form walls often provide adequate insulation for the building.

[0008] In prior art systems, however, the corners for form systems have proven to be difficult to manufacture and construct. Often a specific side panel must be manufactured and used, in which the side panels are non-linear to form an angle equal to that required for the building (i.e., 90 degrees). These corner panels necessary to make a corner structure in the prior art concrete form systems are expensive and structurally weak.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] The present invention comprises a corner web member that may be used for making corner structures in building form systems, particularly for systems used to construct concrete walls. The corner web member is preferably at least partially disposed within a side panel that forms a corner section, i.e., a corner side panel.

[0010] The corner web member includes first and second mounting bodies and first and second bridging members. The first mounting body is attached to the second mounting body at a juncture, which is preferably a pivotal connection. The first bridging member is connected to the first mounting body at the edge opposite the edge to which the second mounting body is attached. Likewise, the second bridging member is connected to the second mounting body at the corresponding edge.

[0011] The corner web member is disposed within the corner side panel and advantageously provides structural strength thereto. Although not required, the presently preferred embodiment is designed so that the corner web member is at least partially integrally formed within the corner side panel.

[0012] The corner side panel can by formed to have different angles. The most common angles are substantially 90 and 135 degrees.

[0013] The present invention also includes a method of constructing a portion of a form wall system having at least one corner panel described herein. The present invention further encompasses a method of using the corner web member to manufacture the panel itself.

[0014] These and other features and advantages of the present invention will become more readily apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015]FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention shown being used with an exemplary wall system.

[0016]FIG. 2 is a perspective side view of a FIG. 1 taken along line 2-2.

[0017]FIG. 2A is an alternative view of FIG. 2 showing concrete disposed between the two opposed side panels.

[0018]FIG. 3 is a perspective view of connector shown in FIG. 2.

[0019]FIG. 4 is a perspective view of one embodiment of one corner web member of the present invention.

[0020]FIG. 5 is a top plan view of FIG. 1 and that uses the corner web member shown in FIG. 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0021] The present invention is more particularly described in the following examples that are intended as illustrative only since numerous modifications and variations therein will be apparent to those skilled in the art. As used in the specification and in the claims, “a,” “an,” and “the” can mean one or more, depending upon the context in which it is used. The preferred embodiment of the present invention is now described with reference to the figures, in which like numbers indicate like parts throughout the figures.

[0022] As shown in FIGS. 1-5, the present invention comprises a corner web member 60 that is preferably used for constructing the corner wall or panel 10 of buildings and the like. Before describing illustrative embodiments of the present invention, however, exemplary components that are used to form the associated concrete form wall are addressed to provide context.

[0023] As best shown in FIG. 2, side panels 20 are used to form the wall, in which each side panel 20 has a top end 24, a bottom end 26, a first end 28, a secondend 30, an exterior surface 32, and an interior surface 34. The illustrated side panel 20 has a thickness (separation between the interior surface 34 and exterior surface 32) of approximately two and a half (2½) inches, a height (separation between the bottom end 26 and the top end 24) of sixteen (16) inches, and a length (separation between the first end 28 and second end 30) of forty-eight (48) inches. The dimensions may be altered, if desired, for different building projects, such as increasing the thickness of the side panel 20 for more insulation. Half sections of the side panels 20 can be used for footings.

[0024] Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, the interior surface 34 of one side panel 20 faces the interior surface 34 of another side panel 20 and the opposed interior surfaces 34 are laterally spaced apart from each other a desired separation distance so that a cavity 38 is formed therebetween. Concrete—in its fluid state—is poured into the cavity 38 and allowed to substantially cure (i.e., harden) therein to form the wall structure, as shown in FIG. 2A. The opposed interior surfaces 34 are usually parallel to each other. The volume of concrete received within the cavity 38 is defined by the separation distance between the interior surfaces 34, the height of the side panels 20, and the length of the side panels 20.

[0025] The illustrated side panels 20 are constructed of expanded polystyrene (“EPS”), which provides thermal insulation and sufficient strength to hold the poured concrete C until it substantially cures. The formed concrete wall using expanded polystyrene with the poured concrete C has a high insulating value so that no additional insulation is usually required. In addition, the formed walls have a high impedance to sound transmission. However, other materials may be used to form the side panels, including, but not limited to, other polystyrene materials, wood, plywood, combined steel frame and plywood center (commonly known as a steel-ply panel), or any other solid material that can be coupled to either a web member 40 or a connector 50 and can withstand the forces exerted by the fluid concrete when poured into the cavity 38 without substantial bowing, warping, breaking, or other type of failure. The opposed side panels may be formed of the same material or different materials.

[0026] As shown in FIG. 2 and disclosed more completely in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,170,220 and 6,336,301 and in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/848,398 (all of which are incorporated herein in their entireties), each side panel 20 has at least one web member 40 formed into it. Each web member 40 formed within one side panel 20 is usually separated a predetermined longitudinal distance from other web members 40, which is typically eight (8) inches. Based on the preferred length of the side panel 20 of forty-eight (48) inches, six web members 40 are formed within each side panel 20. A portion of each web member 40 is shown integrally formed within one side panel 20 and is to be cured within the concrete C so that the web member 40 strengthens the connection between the side panel 20 and the concrete C. That is, since the web member 40 is an integral part of the side panel 20, it bonds the side panel 20 to the concrete C once the concrete is poured and substantially cures within the cavity 38. However, other designs are contemplated to be used with the present invention, such as systems in which the web member is not integrally formed into the side panel and, for example, the web member is slid into slots precut into the side panel at the construction site. Still another design with which the present invention may be used includes systems having the web members, side panels, and connectors shipped to the construction site as an integral unit. Such exemplary designs are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,901,494, 5,390,459, and 5,497,592, which are also incorporated herein in by reference.

[0027] Referring still to FIG. 2, portions of each web member 40 that extend through the interior surface 34 of the side panel 20 forms one or more attachment points 44. The attachment points 44 are disposed within the cavity 38 and are spaced apart from the interior surface 34 of the side panels 20. However, as one skilled in the art will appreciate, the attachment points 44 may take any of a number of alternate designs formed by or independently of the web members 40, including as examples: slots, channels, grooves, projections or recesses formed in the side panels; hooks or eyelets projecting from or formed into the side panels; twist, compression or snap couplings; or other coupling means for engaging cooperating ends of the connectors.

[0028] The illustrated attachment points 44 of the web members 40 extend into the cavity 38 and the attachment points 44 of each web member 40 formed within one side panel 20 are spaced apart from the attachment points 44 of the web members 40 formed within the opposed side panel 20. Thus, the web members 40 in this illustrative design do not directly contact each other; instead, each attachment point 44 independently engages the connector 50 that interconnects the web members 40 and, accordingly, the side panels 20.

[0029] Referring now to FIG. 3, the illustrated connector 50 has opposed ends 52 and a length extending therebetween. The ends 52 of the connectors 50 are each of a shape to engage one attachment point 44 of two respective web members 40 within opposed panels. In conjunction, each end 52 of the connector 50 has a track 54 into which the attachment point 44 is complementarily and slidably received. Thus, the illustrated connectors 50 engage two attachment points 44 on opposed web members 40, which position the interior surfaces 34 of the side panels 20 at a desired separation distance and support the side panels 20 when the fluid concrete is poured into the cavity 38 The connector 50 thus makes a two-point connection with opposed web members 40 because each connector has two ends 52 that each couple to one attachment point 44, although it is contemplated making a four-point connection (i.e., each connector 50 engages four attachment points 44 instead of two as illustrated in the figures). As also noted above, however, the web members and connectors can be formed as an integral unit for use with the present invention.

[0030] Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 3, the connectors 50 also define an aperture 56 of a size to complementary receive a re-bar (not shown) therein. The re-bar provides reinforcing strength to the formed wall. The diameter of the re-bar can be one-quarter (¼) inch or other dimension as required for the necessary reinforcement, which depends on the thickness of the concrete wall and the design engineering requirements. The connectors 50 usually have two or more apertures 56 and rebar can be positioned in any of the apertures 56 before the concrete is poured into the cavity 38. The apertures 56 can be designed so that the re-bar is securably snapped into place for ease of assembly.

[0031] To alter the width of the cavity 38 (i.e., the separation between the interior surfaces 34 of the opposed side panels 20), different connectors 50 can have varying lengths. The width of the cavity 38 can be two (2), four (4), six (6), eight (8) inches or other separation. Different connectors 50 are sized accordingly to obtain the desired width of the cavity 38. Also, as one skilled in the art will appreciate, the fire rating, sound insulation, and thermal insulation increase as the width of the cavity 38, which is filled with concrete, increases. One skilled in the art will appreciate that the cavity 38 may only be partially filled with concrete, but such an embodiment is usually not desired.

[0032] The web members 40 and connectors 50 are usually constructed of a thermoplastic, but other materials may be used. Factors used in choosing the material include the desired strength of the web member 40 and connector 50, the compatibility with the material used to form side panels 20 and with the concrete, and cost. Another consideration is that the end plates of the web members (positioned adjacent the exterior surface of the side panel 20) should be adapted to receive and frictionally hold a metal fastener, such as a nail or screw, therein, thus providing the “strapping” for a wall system that provides an attachment point for gypsum board (not shown), interior or exterior wall cladding (not shown), or other interior or exterior siding (not shown).

[0033] Referring back to FIGS. 1 and 2, one skilled in the art will appreciate that a plurality of side panels 20 can be longitudinally aligned to form a predetermined length and be vertically stacked to form a predetermined height. For example, the first end 28 of one side panel 20 abuts the second end 30 of another side panel 20 and the bottom end 26 of one side panel 20 is disposed on the top end 24 of another side panel 20. Thus, a series of side panels 20 can be aligned and stacked to form the concrete system into which concrete C is poured to complete the construction of the wall. One consideration, however, is that the side panels 20 are not vertically stacked too high and filled at once so that the pressure on the bottom side panel 20 is greater than the yield strength of the web members 40 or side panels 20. Instead, the stacked wall of panels 20 can be filled and cured in stages so that the static and dynamic pressures are not excessive on the lower side panels 20.

[0034] Still referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the side panels 20 are optionally provided with a series of projections 35 and indentations 37 that complementarily receive offset projections 35 and indentations 37 from another side panel 20 (i.e, a tongue-and-groove-type system) to facilitate the stacking of the components. The projections 35 and indentations 37 in the adjacent side panels 20 mate with each other to form a tight seal that prevents leakage of concrete C during wall formation and prevents loss of energy through the formed wall.

[0035] In the context of these exemplary components and referring now to FIGS. 1, 4, and 5, the present invention is disclosed, which comprises a corner web member 60 and a corner panel 10 formed using the corner web member. The corner web member 60, shown best in FIG. 4, is illustrated in its preferred environment, namely, for use with a side panel 20 that forms a corner section 10, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 5.

[0036] The corner web member 60 includes first and second mounting bodies 62, 63 and first and second bridging members 70, 71. The corner web member 60 may be integrally formed or, alternatively, some or each of the components may be manufactured or formed separately and subsequently joined together.

[0037] The first mounting body 62 is has an inner edge 64 and an outer edge 65 and, likewise, the second mounting body 63 has an inner edge 64 and an outer edge 65. It is preferred that the first and second mounting bodies 62, 63 are substantially planar and also substantially stiff—as opposed to flimsy—between their respective edges 64, 65. The inner edges 64 of the first and second mounting bodies 62, 63 are connected together at a juncture 66. The juncture 66 may either stationarily position the mounting bodies 62, 63 relative to each other or, alternatively, constitute a pivotal connection between the mounting bodies.

[0038] In conjunction, the first bridging member 70 has an exterior edge 72 and an interior edge 74, which is connected to the outer edge 65 of the first mounting body 62 at a first intersection 76. Similarly, the second bridging member 71 has an exterior edge 72 and an interior edge 74, which is similarly connected to the outer edge 65 of the second mounting body 63 at a second intersection 77. As with the juncture 66, the respective intersections 76, 77 may either stationarily position the components relative to each other or form a pivotal connection therebetween. Likewise, it is preferred that the first and second bridging members 70, 71 are substantially planar and substantially stiff between their respective edges 72, 74. Of note, however, it is contemplated using mounting bodies 62, 63 and bridging members 70, 71 that are arcuate instead of substantially planar, as illustrated in FIGS. 1, 4, and 5.

[0039] There may be one side panel 20 or two separate but abutting side panels 20 into which the corner web member 60 is disposed. Regardless of the design, the side panel 20 (or panels) forms a side panel corner 22, which is a non-linear angle in a portion of the exterior surface 32 of the corner panel 10 in plan view. For a single, integral side panel 20, the exterior surface 32 may have two linear portions that intersect at the side panel corner 22. For the two-side panel design, the first side panel is disposed abutting the second side panel to form the side panel corner 22. For ease of reference, the remaining discussion addresses the single side panel design, although FIGS. 1 and 5 may be construed as showing either design.

[0040] Although the corner web member 60 may be inserted into slots (not shown) formed in a side panel 20, the corner web member 60 is preferably at least partially embedded within the corner side panel 10. To that end, at a manufacturing facility, the corner web member 60 is positioned into a mold (not shown) that is used to form the side panel 20. In conjunction, web members 40, if used, are also positioned within that mold. Portions of those components that ultimately extend out of the side panel 20, such as the attachment points 44 of the web members 40 and portions of the bridging members 70, 71 (as discussed below), are located at the applicable position so as to avoid being embedded within the materials forming the side panel 20. The material used to form the side panels 20—such as polystyrene—is injected or fed into the mold after it is closed via a pipe or other means to form the side panel 20. Obviously, the components positioned within the interior of the mold before injection are integrally formed into the side panel 20 when the injected material hardens or solidifies.

[0041] As one skilled in the art will appreciate, side panels 20 using different angles in the side panel corner 22 and having different dimensions are contemplated. Nonetheless, it is preferred to use the same corner web member 60 for making these different side panel configurations. To achieve this objective, it is desired that the juncture 66, first intersection 76, and the second intersection 77 be pivotally connections. As such, the mounting bodies 62, 63 can be positioned at different angles relative to each other and to the respectively attached bridging members 70, 71. The ability to change the angular relationship of the components allows a corner web member 60 of a predetermined dimension to be used in side panels of varying sizes.

[0042] Referring again to FIGS. 1 and 5, one skilled in the art will appreciate that although the side panel corner 22 of substantially 90 degrees (or a right angle) is shown to result in the corner side panel 10 having an “L” shaped exterior surface in plan view, other angular displacements or angles are contemplated, preferably in the range of 45 to 170 degrees and more preferably in the range of 75 to 135 degrees. One skilled in the art will further appreciate that it is more feasible to use the corner web member 60 in forming angles greater than right angles, such as between 100 degrees and 150 degrees, than forming angles of less than 90 degrees.

[0043] Referring still to FIG. 5, the corner web member 60 straddles the side panel corner 22, in which the first mounting body 62 and the first bridging member 70 are on one side of the side panel corner 22 and the second mounting body 63 and the second bridging member 71 are on the opposite side. Preferably, the inner edges 64 of the respective first and second mounting bodies 62, 63 are substantially linear along their height and form a corner panel edge 67 at the juncture 66 and that corner panel edge 67 is disposed within the side panel 20 adjacent the side panel corner 22. Thus, as one skilled in the art will appreciate by referring to FIGS. 1 and 5, the side panel corner 22 and the corner panel edge 67 extend parallel to each other. Additionally, the corner panel edge 67 forms an angle in plan view that preferably is substantially equal b the non-linear angle formed by the exterior surface 32 of the corner side panel 10.

[0044] As illustrated best in FIG. 5, the corner panel edge 67 and the side panel edge 22 are both right angles in plan view and disposed parallel to each other, i.e., parallel-along their height dimension. As such, the first and second mounting bodies 62, 63 and the exterior surface 32 of the side panels 20 are also parallel to each other.

[0045] Still referring to FIG. 5, the mounting bodies 62, 63 are located below the exterior surface of, or recessed within, the side panel 20, preferably at a distance of approximately one-quarter (¼) on an inch from the exterior surface. Alternatively, the mounting bodies 62, 63 may abut the exterior surface of the side panel 20. In either deign, the mounting bodies 62, 63 of the corner web member—similar to the end plate of the exemplary web member 40 described above—may be adapted to receive and frictionally hold a fastener, such as a nail or screw, therein, thus providing “strapping” for a wall system that allows attachment of gypsum board (not shown), interior or exterior wall cladding (not shown), or other siding or wall treatment (not shown).

[0046] In addition to the juncture 66 being angled as discussed above, it is also preferred that the first intersection 76 and the second intersection 77 also form a non-linear angle in plan view, which is illustrated in FIG. 4 and can be appreciated by FIG. 5. It is alternatively contemplated, however, in an another design that the first and second intersections 76, 77 are linear. Since the corner web member 60 is used in a non-linear side panel, it is preferred that at least one of the juncture 66 and first and second intersections 76, 77 form a non-linear angle and more preferably that all three connections have non-linear angles as illustrated.

[0047] As noted above, it is preferred that portions of the corner web member 60 are integrally formed into the side panel 20 (i.e., using the molding process described above and similar techniques). To assist in forming the bond between the side panel 20 and the corner web member 60, it is preferred that apertures 80 are formed into at least one of the mounting bodies 62, 63 or the bridging members 70, 71, more preferably into all bridging members and mounting bodies.

[0048] To form the apertures 80, the first and second mounting bodies 62, 63 each comprise spaced-apart mounting members 68 interconnected by at least one spacer 69 so that the apertures 80 are formed intermediate the mounting members 68. Similarly, the first and second bridging members 70, 71 comprise at least one strut 78 extending from adjacent the respective first and second intersections 76, 77 to the body 79 of the first and second bridging members 70, 71. As such, the apertures 80 are formed intermediate the respective first and second intersections 76, 77 and the bodies 79 of the first and second bridging members 70, 71. The spacing between the adjacent spacers 69 and between the adjacent struts 78 and their respective lengths define the dimensions of the apertures 80. The desired dimensions are determinable by one skilled in the art based on structural strength of the materials, thickness of the components, cost (i.e., larger the apertures 80, the less expensive), surface area desired, and the like. One skilled in the art will also appreciate that the apertures 80 allow the material forming the side panels to circumscribe more completely the embedded portions of the corner web members to anchor better the corner web member 60 within the respective side panel 20.

[0049] Referring back to FIGS. 1 and 5, the illustrated embodiment of the corner web member 60 has a portion of both the first bridging member 70 and the second bridging member 71 extending through and out of the interior surface 34 of the corner side panel 10. As one skilled in the art will appreciate, alternative designs involve only one of the bridging members extending out of the interior surface—as opposed to portions of both the first and second bridging members 70, 71 as illustrated.

[0050] In the presently preferred embodiment, only a portion of the both the first and second bridging members 70, 71 adjacent their respective exterior edges 72 extend out of the interior surface 34 of the corner side panel 10. This portion of the corner web member 60 that extends from the interior surface 34 of the corner side panel 10 enhances the bond between and with the concrete poured within the cavity 38 and the side panel. That is, since the corner web member 60 is disposed within the side panel 20 and also a portion extends into the cavity 38, that portion extending into the cavity “locks” within the concrete once the concrete is poured and substantially cures within the cavity 38 and that portion is already integrally formed into the panel 10.

[0051] The corner web member 60 is preferably formed from plastic, more preferably high-density plastic such as high-density polyethylene or high-density polypropylene, although other suitable polymers may be used. Other contemplated plastics include acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (“ABS”) and glass-filled polyethylene or polypropylene. Other materials that may be used are other plastics and thermoplastics (including polyvinyl chloride (P.V.C.), polytetrafluoethylene (P.T.F.E.), polyamides such as nylon), metal, and natural and other synthetic materials. Factors used in choosing the material include the desired strength of the corner web member 60, the compatibility with the material used to form corner side panels 10 and with the concrete C, and cost.

[0052] The present invention also encompasses a method of fabricating or building a wall structure 10. As one skilled in the art will appreciate, two side panels 20 and the corner side panel 10 are erected in a spaced-apart relationship to form the cavity 38 into which the concrete is poured, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 5. The two side panels 20 may be abutting structures interconnected by a panel connector, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 5, or be integrally formed side panels, similar to the corner panel member. The side panels 20 are connected by means known in the art, including the exemplary connectors 50 described above. The corner side panel 10 using the corner web member 60 forms the corner location. To assist interconnecting the corner side panels 10 to the opposed side panels 20, it is preferred that the portions of the corner web member 60 that extend out of the interior surface 34 of the side panel 20 define at least one opening 82 therethrough. More preferably, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 4, there are two or more openings 82 in the first and second bridging members 70, 71 so that, when the corner web member 60 is disposed upright, the openings 82 are vertically spaced apart from each other. Each opening 82 is of a size to receive a portion of a respective flexible linking member 90 therethrough.

[0053] As further disclosed in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/848,398 (which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety), flexible linking members 90 include, by way of example, a zip-tie, plastic tie strap, tie wire, or other similar-component. Although not required, it is preferred that the flexible linking member 90 be contiguous and connect to itself by forming a closed loop. Regardless of the design of the flexible linking member 90, that linking member 90 may establish or buttress a connection between the opposed side panel 20 and is particularly valuable for situations in which the respective interior surfaces 34 are not parallel to each other. If the opposed side panels 20 are parallel, then connectors 50 or the like may alternatively or supplementally be used.

[0054] Referring to the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 5, both connectors 50 and flexible linking members 90 are used. A portion of the interior surface 34 of the corner side panel 10 faces a portion of the interior surface 34 of the opposed side panel 20 to form the cavity 38 therebetween. In this illustrated design, the flexible linking member 90 extends to interconnect the openings 82 of the two bridging members 70, 71 and a connection point on both opposed side panels 20. That connection point may include, for example, an extender (not shown) that is connected to the attachment point 44 formed on side panels 20, a slot formed into the web member 40, or to a portion of the connector 50. As such, in this illustrated design, a portion of one flexible linking member 90 traverses through the two openings 82 at a given vertical location in the corner web member 60 and also traverses through the respective extender, slot, or other connection means associated with two web members that are formed with the two side panels 20 to interconnect all of the members together. In fact, there are two flexible linking members 90 illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 5—one for each set of openings 82 at a given vertical position—so that the concrete form system is advantageously structurally reinforced.

[0055] Returning to the method of the present invention, after the side panels 20 are interconnected and stationarily positioned relative to each other, concrete is poured into the cavity 38 and allowed to cure. Accordingly, the wall structure is formed using the present invention, in which the corner sections 10 are seamlessly formed and are structurally strong.

[0056] Although the present invention has been described with reference to specific details of certain embodiments thereof, it is not intended that such details should be regarded as limitations upon the scope of the invention except as and to the extent that they are included in the accompanying claims. For example, as noted above, the present invention is described with reference to a system incorporating the depicted concrete form system, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the present invention is applicable to other types of concrete form systems utilizing one or more form panels or other concrete retaining and/or molding elements retained in position by one or more connectors or other relative position-fixing elements. In another variation, the side panels opposed to the corner panel including the corner web member may be formed of plywood or the like, which may optionally be removed after concrete poured into the cavity 38 substantially cures. Additionally, although the present invention is described with reference to the corner web member being used in a system, method and components employed for use in the forming of concrete building walls, the present invention may also find application in the formation of various other types of products of concrete and/or other moldable and curable materials such as, for example, structural and non-structural building components and consumer products of concrete, plastics, and other synthetic and natural materials.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7874112Jun 8, 2009Jan 25, 2011Nova Chemicals Inc.Footer cleat for insulating concrete form
US8037652 *Jun 14, 2007Oct 18, 2011Encon Environmental Construction Solutions Inc.Insulated concrete form
US8468761 *Oct 5, 2011Jun 25, 2013Encon Environmental Construction Solutions Inc.Insulated concrete form
US20110265413 *Jul 7, 2011Nov 3, 2011Pedro Del Pino GarciaHolding units for stay in place molds
US20130047539 *May 6, 2011Feb 28, 2013Epaminondas KatsalidisBuilding Structure
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/426, 52/379, 52/589.1
International ClassificationE04G11/06, E04B2/86
Cooperative ClassificationE04B2002/867, E04B2/8641
European ClassificationE04B2/86G1
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 26, 2002ASAssignment
Owner name: ECO-BLOCK, FLORIDA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MOORE, JAMES, D., JR.;REEL/FRAME:012644/0510
Effective date: 20020215