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Publication numberUS20040231250 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/793,325
Publication dateNov 25, 2004
Filing dateMar 4, 2004
Priority dateMar 5, 2003
Also published asCA2459521A1, US20090320382
Publication number10793325, 793325, US 2004/0231250 A1, US 2004/231250 A1, US 20040231250 A1, US 20040231250A1, US 2004231250 A1, US 2004231250A1, US-A1-20040231250, US-A1-2004231250, US2004/0231250A1, US2004/231250A1, US20040231250 A1, US20040231250A1, US2004231250 A1, US2004231250A1
InventorsMartin Husted, Darin Klein, Esaul Garcia
Original AssigneeHusted Martin D., Klein Darin J., Esaul Garcia
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Masonry structure
US 20040231250 A1
Abstract
A factory-build masonry fireplace includes a firebox, casing, and chimney system, where the firebox defines a cavity. Masonry panels are removably attached to the periphery of the cavity. Each masonry panel has firebrick housings configured to hold a corresponding firebrick, wherein the housings can optionally be arranged in a running bond and herringbone patterns, among others. Additionally, the base masonry panel defines an opening configured to hold a removable ash dump, the opening covered with a removable cover. In another arrangement, masonry panels have protruding walls that are configured to hold a corresponding firebrick. The masonry panels are used to build traditionally site built masonry structures.
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Claims(35)
What is claimed is:
1. A factory built fireplace having an appearance that is substantially that of site built masonry while being substantially lower in cost than traditional masonry fireplaces, the masonry fireplace comprising:
a firebox defining a cavity having a pair of side areas, a rear area, and a base area, the cavity sized to receive flammable material;
a chimney system attached to an upper opening of the firebox;
a pair of side masonry panels, each side masonry panel is configured to be removably attached to one of the side areas;
a rear masonry panel is configured to be removably attached to the rear area;
a base masonry panel includes a cover and an opening, the cover is removably disposed over the opening, the base masonry panel is configured to be removably attached to the base area;
a plurality of brick housings, at least one of the brick housings configured to attach to each masonry panel; and
a plurality of firebricks, each firebrick is adapted to fit in at least one brick housing, at least one firebrick has a groove configured to engage with at least one brick housing, wherein each brick housing is configured to engage mortar material.
2. The masonry fireplace of claim 1, wherein each of the brick housings comprises an elongated holding member extending from a wall of the housing, the holding member having an end configured to fit within the groove of the brick to hold one of the bricks in combination with the mortar material.
3. The masonry fireplace of claim 1, wherein each masonry panel comprises a plurality of brick housings spaced apart defining channels between the bricks, the channels having a generally uniform width and are configured to receive mortar.
4. The masonry fireplace of claim 1, wherein the rear masonry panel is sized to cover substantially the entire rear area, the base masonry panel is sized to cover substantially the entire base area, and the side masonry panel is sized to cover substantially the entire side area.
5. A factory built masonry fireplace comprising:
a firebox defining a cavity, the cavity having a frame with at least one side area, a rear area and a base area;
a chimney system attached to the firebox;
at least one masonry panel removably attached to the at least one side area, rear area and base area of the firebox cavity frame; and
at least one firebrick housing removably attached to the at least one masonry panel, the housing configured to receive and hold a firebrick.
6. The masonry fireplace of claim 5, wherein the firebrick housing is configured to engage an amount of mortar material.
7. The masonry fireplace of claim 5, wherein the at least one firebrick housing is a plurality of housings disposed on the at least one masonry panel in a running bond pattern.
8. The masonry fireplace of claim 7, wherein the plurality of housings are arranged so as to define a gap between each housing, the gap configured to receive mortar material.
9. The masonry fireplace of claim 5, wherein the at least one firebrick housing is a plurality of housings disposed on the at least one masonry panel in a herringbone pattern.
10. The masonry fireplace of claim 9, wherein the plurality of housings are arranged so as to define a gap between each housing, the gap configured to receive mortar material.
11. The masonry fireplace of claim 5, wherein the masonry panel is disposed on the base area of the firebox and defines a base opening at a location proximal to a front opening of the fireplace and a cover removably disposed over the base opening.
12. The masonry fireplace of claim 5, wherein the at least one firebrick housing comprises at least one holding member.
13. The masonry fireplace of claim 12, wherein the at least one holding member is configured to hold the firebrick in combination with mortar material.
14. The masonry fireplace of claim 12, wherein the at least one holding member is a tab that extends from a wall of the housing, the tab configured to engage with the brick.
15. The masonry fireplace of claim 14, wherein the tab is connected to the wall of the housing and has longitudinal edge, at least a portion of the edge has a thickness less than the width of a groove of the firebrick.
16. The masonry fireplace of claim 14, wherein the housing is formed of metal, and the tab has a generally flat body between the wall of the housing and the longitudinal edge.
17. A method for building a factory built masonry fireplace comprising:
providing a firebox defining a cavity having a frame with at least one side area, a rear area and a base area;
attaching a chimney system to the firebox;
installing at least one masonry panel on the at least one side area, rear area and base area of the firebox cavity frame, the at least one masonry panel having a plurality of firebrick housings disposed thereon; and
disposing a firebrick into each of the plurality of firebrick housings.
18. The method of claim 17, wherein the firebrick is pre-cut and configured to fit in at least one of the plurality of firebrick housings.
19. The method of claim 17, further comprising disposing mortar material between the firebrick housings.
20. The method of claim 17, wherein the mortar material comprises high-temperature cement.
21. The method of claim 17, wherein the masonry panel disposed over the base of the firebox defines an opening disposed proximal to the front of the fireplace, the panel having a cover removably disposed over the opening, wherein an ash dump is removably disposed in the opening, the opening located proximal to the front of the fireplace.
22. A method of producing a fireplace, comprising:
installing a masonry panel for a wall of a fireplace, the masonry panel having a plurality of brick housings, the housings having at least one holding member and configured to grip firebricks;
disposing bricks in the brick housings; and
disposing bonding mixture between the brick housings.
23. The method of claim 22, wherein the holding member is a tab.
24. The method of claim 22, wherein the plurality of brick housings are configured so that a plurality channels are formed between the bricks when the bricks are received by the brick housings.
25. The method of claim 24, further comprising disposing bonding mixture in the plurality of channels.
26. The method of claim 22, wherein the bonding mixture is high temperature cement.
27. The method of claim 22, further comprising:
installing a masonry panel that defines an opening;
providing a cover to open and close the opening; and
providing a removable container below the opening in the masonry panel for receiving ash from within the fireplace.
28. A masonry structure comprising:
a masonry panel; and
a plurality of brick housings, at least one of the brick housings having a base and a wall and a holding member extending from the wall, the holding member configured to engage with a brick.
29. The masonry structure of claim 28, wherein the base is attached to the masonry panel by at least one fastener.
30. The masonry structure of claim 28, wherein the brick housing comprises a second wall having a holding member, the first and second walls have an inner surface and an outer surface, the inner surfaces define a portion of a cavity sized to receive a brick, wherein each holding member is a tab extending into the cavity.
31. The masonry structure of claim 30, wherein the first and second walls are generally parallel.
32. The masonry structure of claim 29, wherein the masonry panel forms a portion of a storage box.
33. The masonry structure of claim 28, wherein the holding member is a flange adapted to generally prevent the brick from being pulled out of at least one of the brick housings when the brick is disposed in that brick housing.
34. A kit for preparing a factory built masonry fireplace, comprising:
a firebox defining a cavity having a frame with at least one side area, a rear area and a base area;
a chimney system configured to attach to the firebox;
a plurality of masonry panels configured to fit the at least one sidewall, rear wall and base of the firebox, the panels having a plurality of firebrick housings disposed thereon; and
a plurality of firebricks, each brick configured to be disposed in a firebrick housing.
35. The kit of claim 34, further comprises high temperature cement.
Description
RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application relates to and claims the benefit of the provisional application 60/452,478, filed Mar. 5, 2003, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention is directed to masonry, and in particular to factory built masonry.

[0004] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0005] Masonry structures have are well known in the art and have existed for many years. Many traditionally site built masonry structures (e.g., fireplaces, countertops, brick walls, and the like) may have to be constructed by a mason and thus can be expensive. Traditional site built masonry structures can also require significant installation time. For example, site built masonry fireplaces commonly found in residential structures and can be expensive and require substantial installation time.

[0006] Over the years, factory built fireplaces have grown in popularity due to the increased cost of site constructed masonry structures. Additionally, building code restrictions in some localities limit or altogether prohibit the use of masonry chimneys, making the use of factory built fireplaces desirable in these localities. Moreover, factory built fireplaces are capable of being installed in multi-level buildings, where construction of traditional masonry units is not feasible.

[0007] Even where the construction of masonry fireplaces is feasible, construction usually requires a significant amount of time and costs, significantly more than a factory-built fireplace. Additionally, installation of traditional masonry fireplaces generally requires the services of a licensed mason or other construction professional, adding to the cost of construction.

[0008] Throughout the development of the factory-built fireplace industry, designers have sought to design fireplaces to resemble traditional masonry built fireplaces. For example, recent designs of factory-built fireplaces have incorporated refractory panels to better resemble a masonry fireplace. However, such refractory panels, and other similar designs, have been incapable of achieving the desired masonry look. In another example, bricks have been added to the firebox area of a fireplace in an attempt to create a masonry look. However, such construction design has proved structurally unstable, often falling and breaking, and thus unable to provide adequate retention of bricks. Additionally, such designs have provided poor alignment of bricks and have not been capable of providing multiple brick pattern arrangements.

[0009] The desire for factory-built fireplaces that resemble masonry fireplaces is particularly strong among owners and builders of high-end homes, who prefer the traditional look of masonry fireplaces. However, as noted above, some localities restrict or prohibit the use of masonry fireplaces due to, for example, the risk of seismic activity in the locality. Thus, there is a need for factory built masonry structures that resemble site built masonry.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] In accordance with one embodiment of the invention disclosed herein, panels can comprise a backing and a plurality of walls attached to the backing. The walls can have holding members configured to hold a body, such as a brick or tile. The holding members of the walls cooperate to receive and hold firebricks. The holding members can be tabs that extend from the walls of the panels. The walls having the holding members can be generally perpendicular to the panels. The panels can be prefabricated panels used to build traditionally site built masonry structures. The site built masonry structures can be, e.g., fireplaces, countertops, brick walls, or hearths.

[0011] In accordance with one embodiment of the invention disclosed herein, a factory-built fireplace is designed to look like a traditional masonry fireplace. The fireplace comprises a firebox having an inner cavity and a chimney system. The cavity preferably comprises a frame comprising rails or panels that define the periphery of the cavity. The frame defines side areas, a rear area, a base area and a top opening in the firebox, wherein the opening is preferably connected to the chimney system. In addition, the fireplace includes masonry panels configured to be installed on the side areas, rear area and base area of the cavity frame.

[0012] The masonry panels are preferably made of a metallic material, such as steel. However, the panels can be made of any material providing the necessary structural, thermal, and other characteristics required in fireplace construction. Also, the panels are preferably sized to cover substantially the entire side, rear and base areas of the cavity frame. Additionally, the panels preferably have a thickness capable of providing adequate structural support to the masonry material installed thereon.

[0013] The panel disposed over the base of the firebox cavity optionally defines an opening therethrough. The opening is preferably disposed near a front edge of the base of the firebox, wherein the front edge of the base is near the front end of the firebox. Additionally, a removable cover can optionally be disposed over the opening. The opening is preferably sized to receive a removable ash dump, which is capable of receiving ashes produced during the burning of logs or other material in the fireplace. The ash dump is preferably configured to be easily removed from the opening and to be easily emptied. The cover and the ash dump are preferably configured to be removed and replaced without the use of any tools.

[0014] The fireplace also includes a plurality of firebrick housings configured to be installed on the masonry panels. For example, the housings can be bolted, screwed, riveted, or welded to the panels. The firebrick housings can optionally be attached to the panels so that they are arranged in a running bond, a herringbone pattern, or other decorative pattern. The housings are preferably disposed such that a gap is between adjacent housings. Optionally, the housings can be disposed so that there is no gap between adjacent housings.

[0015] The firebrick housings are preferably sized to receive a firebrick thereon. However, the housings can optionally be configured to receive any material suitable for use in a fireplace or other high-temperature environment. Additionally, the housings preferably comprise at least one holding member configured to adequately hold a firebrick in the housing. In one embodiment, for example, the holding member is a structure that extends from the wall of the housing. The extending structure is advantageously configured to engage with at least one groove in the firebrick. In another example, the holding member is a plurality of protuberances extending outward from the surface of the housing, configured to receive mortar around the protuberances, and to adhere to a firebrick disposed thereon. In still another example, the housing can be configured to receive and hold a firebrick without the use of mortar or other adhering material. Additionally, mortar is preferably introduced into the gaps disposed between the housings to achieve the look of a traditional masonry fireplace.

[0016] The firebricks of the masonry panels are configured to be coupled to the panels. Preferably, the panels have firebrick housings configured to receive and hold firebricks. A portion of the firebrick is preferably of similar shape as a portion of the housing. For example, both the firebrick and housing can be generally rectangular. In one embodiment, the firebrick comprises the pair of sides, each side having a channel or groove that is configured to receive a portion of the holding member. The channel or groove can have a generally U-shaped or similar cross-section. The groove can extend along a portion of the firebrick. In another embodiment, the groove extends from one side of the firebrick to an opposing side of the firebrick. The masonry panel can comprise bricks having grooves and some bricks without grooves.

[0017] In accordance with another embodiment, factory-built masonry structures are able to be constructed at significantly less cost than traditional masonry structures. The masonry panels are preferably constructed such that the costly layout of the brick pattern is eliminated. Additionally, individual brick housings are preferably incorporated into the panel to advantageously allow fast and accurate construction. For example, the panels can be constructed having the firebrick housings pre-arranged in a specific pattern, such as running bond or herringbone. Moreover, the firebricks supplied with the fireplace are preferably pre-cut and identified as corresponding to a particular housing, advantageously reducing the time, and thus the cost, of construction. For example, the fireplace can be constructed by an individual who may not normally have expert masonry skills, again reducing the construction costs. For example, the fireplace can be constructed by a certified fireplace installer or a homeowner. Accordingly, a factory-built masonry fireplace can be constructed to resemble a traditional masonry fireplace at less than 20% of the cost and significant savings in installation time.

[0018] In accordance with another embodiment, the necessary materials for constructing a factory-built masonry fireplace are provided in a kit. The kit preferably comprises a firebox defining a cavity with a frame, the frame having side areas, a rear area, a base area, and a top opening. The kit also comprises a chimney system, wherein the chimney system connects to the top opening of the cavity frame. The kit also comprises a plurality of masonry panels preferably configured to be removably attached to the side areas, rear area and base area of the cavity frame. A plurality of firebrick housings is preferably attached to the masonry panels. Additionally, a plurality of preferably pre-cut firebricks is provided, wherein the firebricks preferably correspond to the plurality of housings. The kit also comprises an amount of high-temperature cement.

[0019] The kit enables the user to easily install the plurality of firebrick housings onto the masonry panels and arrange the housings in a desired pattern, such as running bond or herringbone. Alternatively, the housings can be pre-installed and arranged at a factory prior to delivery of the kit to the user. The user then installs the masonry panels on the side areas, rear area, and base area of the cavity frame. Optionally, the masonry panels and the cavity frame are assembled and pre-installed at the factory. The user can mix the high-temperature cement to prepare mortar material. The user can place the bricks into the housings of the panel, where the firebrick preferably corresponds to the housing. The user can repeat this process with the remaining firebrick housings. Once the user has installed the plurality of firebricks in the plurality of housings, the user can apply mortar material into any gaps between any adjacent firebricks to grout the firebrick assembly. The user can then allow the masonry fireplace cure for a desired amount of time before use. Once the masonry fireplace is properly cured, the user can optionally install a facade around the fireplace, as desired. The facade can be formed of masonry panels having housing configured to receive and hold firebricks. Firebricks can be coupled to the masonry panels to achieve a site built masonry appearance.

[0020] Other objects, advantages, and features of embodiments of the present invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in this art from the ensuing detailed description of preferred embodiments thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0021]FIG. 1A is an elevated frontal view of a factory-built fireplace having masonry panels installed therein.

[0022]FIG. 1B is a side view of the fireplace of FIG. 1A.

[0023]FIG. 2A is an exploded view of the fireplace illustrated in FIG. 1A illustrating the masonry panels installed on the rear wall, sidewalls and base of the fireplace cavity.

[0024]FIG. 2B is a top view of a masonry panel for the base of the fireplace having a herringbone pattern.

[0025]FIG. 3A is a top view of a masonry panel for the base of the fireplace, illustrating the firebrick housings thereon.

[0026]FIG. 3B is a perspective view of a masonry panel for the fireplace.

[0027]FIG. 4 is a top view of a firebrick housing configured to receive a firebrick.

[0028]FIG. 5 is a sectional view of the firebrick housing of FIG. 4 along line 5-5.

[0029]FIG. 6A is a top view of a firebrick housing in accordance with another embodiment.

[0030]FIG. 6B is a side view of the firebrick housing of FIG. 6A.

[0031]FIG. 7 is a top view of a firebrick housing in accordance with another embodiment.

[0032]FIG. 8 is a sectional view of the firebrick housing of FIG. 7 along line 8-8.

[0033]FIG. 9A is a top view of a firebrick housing in accordance with another embodiment.

[0034]FIG. 9B is a side view of the firebrick housing of FIG. 9A.

[0035]FIG. 10A is a top view of a firebrick housing having protuberances.

[0036]FIG. 10B is a side view of the firebrick housing of FIG. 10A.

[0037]FIG. 11A is a perspective view of a firebrick housing.

[0038]FIG. 11B is a perspective view of a firebrick configured to fit in the housing of FIG. 11A.

[0039]FIG. 12A is a perspective view of a firebrick housing.

[0040]FIG. 12B is a perspective view of a firebrick configured to fit in the housing of FIG. 12A.

[0041]FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a firebrick having a pair of grooves.

[0042]FIG. 14 is a side view of the firebrick of FIG. 13.

[0043]FIG. 15 is an exploded sectional view of a masonry panel for the base of the fireplace illustrating an ash dump.

[0044]FIG. 16 is an elevated frontal view of a factory-built fireplace having masonry panels in accordance with another embodiment.

[0045]FIG. 17 is a perspective view of a masonry storage box.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0046] With reference to FIGS. 1A and 1B, a factory-built masonry fireplace 100 is illustrated therein. The fireplace 100 generally comprises a firebox 10 having a front end 12 and a rear end 14. The firebox 10 defines a cavity 30 and panels 40 b, 50 b, 60 b are preferably disposed in the cavity 30. In the illustrated embodiment, the fireplace 100 has a chimney outlet 20, which is part of a chimney system (not shown). However, the fireplace 100 can be vent free, thus not requiring a chimney system. The fireplace 100 can be adapted to burn various types of materials. For example, the fireplace 100 can be a wood and/or gas burning fireplace.

[0047]FIG. 2A illustrates the fireplace 100 of FIG. 1A with the panels 40 b, 50 b, 60 b removed. The cavity 30 has a frame (not shown) with a rear area 40 a, side areas 50 a and a base area 60 a. The frame can comprise at least one rail that defines the periphery of the cavity 30. The frame can optionally comprise a plurality of panels, such as a rear wall 40 a, sidewalls 50 a and a base 60 a. Optionally, the panels 40 b, 50 b, 60 b can comprise the frame areas 40 a, 50 a, 60 a.

[0048] The panels 40 b, 50 b, 60 b are preferably removably attached to the rear area 40 a, side areas 50 a, and base area 60 a, respectively. For example, the panels 40 b, 50 b, 60 b can be riveted, bolted, screwed, welded, or connected with other connectors or fasteners to the cavity frame areas 40 a, 50 a, 60 a. In the illustrated embodiment, the panels 40 b, 50 b, 60 b are in the form of masonry panels configured to receive a body, such as a firebrick.

[0049] The panels 40 b, 50 b, 60 b are preferably made of metal. For example, the panels 40 b, 50 b, 60 b can be made of steel. Optionally, the panels 40 b, 50 b, 60 b can be made of a sheet metal commonly used in the fireplace industry. However, the panels 40 b, 50 b, 60 b can optionally be made of any material providing the necessary structural, thermal, and other characteristics required in fireplace construction.

[0050] The panels 40 b, 50 b, 60 b are preferably sized to cover substantially the entire frame areas 40 a, 50 a, 60 a, respectively. Additionally, the panels 40 b, 50 b, 60 b are preferably configured to provide adequate structural support to masonry material disposed thereon. For example, the panels 40 b, 50 b, 60 b can have a thickness capable of providing said structural support.

[0051] According to the illustrated embodiment, the panels 40 b, 50 b, 60 b comprise a running bond pattern. However, the panels 40 b, 50 b, 60 b can comprise other patterns, such as a herringbone pattern, as illustrated in FIG. 2B.

[0052]FIG. 3A illustrates a panel 60 b in the form of a masonry panel for the base of the fireplace 100. The panel 60 b is configured to receive and hold a plurality of firebricks. According to the illustrated embodiment, a plurality of templates or firebrick housings 70 is preferably removably attached to the panel 60 b. It should be understood that the firebrick housings 70 can be similarly arranged on the panels 40 b, 50 b disposed on the rear area 40 a and side areas 50 a of the firebox cavity 30.

[0053] In the illustrated embodiment, the plurality of housings 70 are aligned in a running bond pattern. However, the housings 70 may be arranged in other patterns, such as a herringbone pattern. Additionally, according to the illustrated embodiment, the housings 70 are preferably aligned in a row with no gap between the ends of the housings 70. Also, the housings 70 are disposed such that there is a gap between the rows of housings 70. Optionally, the housings 70 can be arranged so that there is a gap between the housings 70 forming a row. Also, the housings 70 can optionally be arranged so there is no gap between the rows of housings 70.

[0054] The housings 70 are preferably attached to the masonry panels 40 b, 50 b, 60 b with readily available connectors and fasteners (not shown), such as bolts, screws, rivets or welds.

[0055]FIG. 3B illustrates a panel 60 b for the base of the fireplace 100. The panel 60 b is configured to receive and hold at least one brick. In the illustrated embodiment, the plurality of firebrick housings 70 are attached to the panel 60 b and are aligned in a herringbone pattern. There can be gaps 102 between the sides or the ends of the housings 70. Optionally, in some embodiments, there may be no gaps between the housings 70. Although not illustrated, the panel 60 b and the housings 70 can be integrally formed.

[0056] At the periphery of the panel 60 b are edges 104, each edge having a plurality of openings or holes 106 that are used to couple the masonry panel 60 b to the fireplace 100. According to the illustrated embodiment, the edges 104 comprise a flat body having openings 106 configured to receive a screw, fastener, or other suitable device for attaching the panel 60 b to the fireplace 100. Thus, to install the masonry panel 60 b, the panel 60 b can be placed in the desired location in the fireplace 100 and fasteners can be passed through the openings 106 to secure the panel 60 b to the fireplace.

[0057] The housings 70 are preferably attached to the masonry panel 60 b by passing fasteners through at least one opening or hole 108 in each of the housings 70. In the illustrated embodiment, the housings 70 are attached to a backing of the panel 60 b and the backing of the panel 60 b can be sheet metal or other suitable structure for holding the housings 70 which in turn hold firebricks. In one embodiment, each of the housings 70 has a plurality of holes 108 to ensure that the housings remain attached to masonry panel 60 b when bricks are disposed and held within the housings 70. Although not illustrated in FIG. 3B, firebricks can be installed in the housings 70 as discussed below.

[0058] The panel 60 b in the illustrated embodiment is generally flat. However, the panel 60 b can have other shapes. For example, the panel 60 b can preferably comprise at least one flat portion and at least one curved portion. In one embodiment, at least a substantial portion of the panel 60 b is curved. Those skilled in the art recognize that there are various shapes and configurations to achieve a desired appearance of masonry panel.

[0059]FIG. 4 is a top view of the firebrick housing 70. The housing 70 is adapted to be attached to a structure and hold a body. The housing 70 can have at least one sidewall 110 and a base 112. The sidewall 110 and base 112 may cooperate to define a cavity 114, which is preferably configured and sized to receive a firebrick. In the illustrated embodiment, the housing 70 comprises a pair of sidewalls 110. In another embodiment not illustrated, the housing 70 comprises one sidewall 110 and the base 112 forming a generally L-shape bracket.

[0060] Each sidewall 110 has an inner surface 116 and a holding member 78 a. The inner surface 116 defines a portion of the cavity 114. The sidewall 110 has at least one holding member 78 a that is configured to engage with a firebrick to hold at least a portion of a firebrick within the housing 70. The holding member 78 a has a longitudinal surface or edge 79 that can engage with the firebrick. However, the holding member 78 a can have any shape that can engage with the firebricks. Optionally, the sidewall 110 can have a plurality of holding members 78 a, as illustrated in FIG. 4. The holding member 78 a can extend from at least one side of the wall 110. In one embodiment, for example, the housing 70 has a pair of sidewalls 110, each sidewall 110 has a pair of holding members 78 a. The holding members 78 a extend from the inner surface 116 and into the cavity 114. Thus, a plurality of holding members 78 a extend from the walls 110 for engaging the firebrick. The holding members 78 a can be disposed at various locations along the sidewall 110 to ensure that the firebrick is securely held in the housing 70.

[0061] The base 112 has several holes 108 that can be used to attach the housing 70 to the panel, such as masonry panel 60 b. However, the base 112 can optionally be welded or attached to the panel 60 b in any other suitable manner so that the housing 70 can hold a firebrick. In the illustrated embodiment, the base 112 has a generally rectangular shape and is attached to the pair of sidewalls 110. The base 112 has a pair of opposing side edges that are attached to the bottom edge of the sidewalls 110 and defines the bottom of the cavity 114.

[0062] The cavity 114 is preferably similar in shape to at least a portion the firebrick which is pre-cut to be received in the cavity 114. In the illustrated embodiment, the cavity 114 is generally rectangular and configured to receive a similarly shaped firebrick. However, the cavity 114 can be any other suitable shape and size for receiving a firebrick.

[0063]FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the housing 70 shown in FIG. 4 along line 5-5. A portion of the firebrick 120 (shown in phantom) is shown disposed within the cavity 114. The holding members 78 a are located on either side of the firebrick 120 and engage with grooves 122 in the firebrick 120.

[0064] The firebrick 120 is preferably configured to engage with at least one of the holding members 78 a to ensure that the firebrick 120 remains in the panel 60 b. In one embodiment, the firebrick 120 has at least one groove 122 along a side 124 of the firebrick 120. The groove 122 is sized for receiving the end portion 125 of the holding member 78 a to limit the movement of the firebrick 120. Preferably, at least a portion of the edge 79 is disposed within the groove 122. Optionally, the firebrick 120 can comprise a pair of sides 124 and a plurality of grooves 122. The firebrick 120 can have the groove 122 along one side 124 and another groove 122 along another side 124. In the illustrated embodiment, for example, the firebrick 120 is generally rectangular and has a pair of sides 124 that are generally parallel and rectangular, each side 124 having the groove 122.

[0065] The holding member 78 a in the form of a flange or tab can extend from the wall 110 and engage with the firebrick 120. The holding member 78 a has one side connected to the wall 110 and another side having the end 125. As shown in FIGS. 3B and 5, an opening 126 is defined by the holding member 78 a and the wall 110. The holding member 78 a can have a generally curved cross-section, straight cross-section, or any other suitable shape to hold the firebrick in the housing 70. In the illustrated embodiment, the holding member 78 a has a cross-section that has a curved portion and straight end portion. The member 78 a can have a generally uniform thickness. Those skilled in the art recognize that the member 78 a can have a non-uniform thickness. The member 78 a, for example, can have a thickness that is reduced towards the end 125.

[0066] The holding member 78 a has the end 125 that is configured and sized to fit in a portion of the firebrick 120 to thereby hold the firebrick 120. In the illustrated embodiment, the end 125 of the holding member 78 a is preferably configured to fit within the groove 122 of the firebrick 120. However, the end 125 may be configured to fit within a hole or other structure in the firebrick 120 for holding the firebrick.

[0067] The grooves 122 and the holding members 78 a can be arranged so that the bottom of the firebrick 120 engages with the base 112. The base 112 can inhibit the movement of the firebrick 120. However, the grooves 122 and the holding members 78 a can be arranged so that the bottom of the firebrick 120 and the base 112 are spaced apart so that a cement mixture can be received in the gap between the firebrick 120 and the base 112. Further, the firebrick 120 and base 112 can be spaced apart so that at least one of the holding members 78 b, 78 c (described below) are disposed between the firebrick and the base.

[0068]FIG. 6A and FIG. 6B illustrate the firebrick housing. The housing 70 preferably has at least one sidewall 110 having a plurality of holding members 78 a, where at least one holding member 78 a is located on either side of the wall 110.

[0069] In the illustrated embodiment, the housing 70 comprises the pair of walls 110. A first holding member 78 a is disposed on one side of the wall 110 and a second holding member 78 a is disposed on the other side of the wall 110. The walls 110 are spaced apart and configured to receive the firebrick 120 within the cavity 114 and engage with at least one firebrick 120 a, which is exterior the housing 70. In other words, the wall 110 engages with the firebricks located on either side of the wall 110. As in the illustrated embodiment, each sidewall 110 has a pair of holding member 78 a, each holding member 78 a engages the groove of the firebrick. Although not illustrated, the wall 110 can have a plurality of holding members 78 a located on one side of the wall 110 and a plurality of holding member 78 a located on the other side of the wall 110.

[0070] Gaps 102 can be formed between adjacent firebricks 120 as shown in FIG. 6B. Cement mixture can be disposed in the gaps 102 to further ensure that the firebricks 120 remain in the masonry panel 60 b. Optionally, the cement mixture can be placed within voids between the firebricks 120, 120 a and the housing 70 to ensure that the firebricks remain securely attached to a masonry panel 60 b. Thus, the holding member 78 a in combination with a cement mixture ensure that the firebricks 120, 120 a remain securely coupled to the firebrick housings 70. The housing 70 can comprise a variety of different holding members. For example, the housing 70 can have at least two of the holding members that in combination hold the firebrick 120.

[0071]FIG. 7 illustrates a firebrick housing 70 that is generally similar to the housing 70 of FIG. 6. The firebrick housing 70 has a plurality of holding members 78 a extending into the cavity 114 configured to engage a firebrick. The housing 70 can have a lip or flange 113 at its upper and lower ends for engaging the ends of the firebrick. The flanges 113 can inhibit movement of the firebrick which is captured by the housing 70. Thus, the holding members 78 a and flanges 113 cooperate to ensure that the firebrick remains securely held in the housing 70. In the illustrated embodiment, the holding members 78 a prevent the firebrick from being moved away from the base 112 and the flange 113 prevents the firebirck from sliding along the longitudinal axis of the housing 70. Although not illustrated, there are other suitable structures that can prevent undesirable movement of the firebrick disposed within the housing 70.

[0072] With respect to FIG. 8, the holding members 78 a are located on each side of the firebrick, shown in phantom. In the illustrated embodiment, the holding member 78 a is in a form of flange or tab. The tab 78 a is generally straight and extends at an angle from the wall 110. The end 125 of the tab 78 a is preferably adapted to engage with grooves 122 to hold the firebrick. When the brick 120 is held by the housing 70, flexible walls 110 of the housing 70 can contact and tightly grip the sides 124 of the brick 120. Further, the bottom of the brick 120 preferably contact the upper surface of the base 112 to reduce movement of the brick 120 relative to the housing 70.

[0073]FIG. 9A and FIG. 9B illustrate a firebrick housing. The housing 70 preferably comprises at least one sidewall 72 and a base 74 defining a cavity 76. In one embodiment, the housing 70 has at least two sidewalls 72 extending from the base 74 and defining the cavity 76, which is generally rectangular in shape and is preferably configured to receive a firebrick. However, the housing 70 is not limited to having at least two sidewalls 72. In another embodiment, the housing 70 comprises a single sidewall 72. The sidewall 72 can be formed of metal or other suitable material for holding firebricks.

[0074] The cavity 76 is preferably configured to receive a pre-cut firebrick. However, the cavity 76 can optionally be configured to receive a brick that is not pre-cut. In another option, the cavity 76 can be configured to receive any material suitable for use in a fireplace or other high-temperature environment. In the illustrated embodiment, the base 74 of the housing 70 has a generally rectangular shape. However, the base 74 is not limited to a rectangular shape and can comprise other shapes configured to receive a firebrick of generally similar shape.

[0075] In the illustrated embodiment, a holding member 78 b is preferably disposed on the base 74 of the firebrick housing 70. The holding member 78 b can optionally be removably attached to the base 74 of the housing 70 using any number of connectors or fasteners, such as screws or rivets. In another option, the holding member 78 b can be welded to the base 74 of the housing 70.

[0076] The holding member 78 b is preferably configured to hold a firebrick in the housing 70 in combination with mortar material. In the illustrated embodiment, the holding member 78 b is a wire mesh. However, the holding member 78 b can comprise any structure capable of holding a firebrick on the housing 70. For example, the holding member can comprise a plurality of protuberances 78 c, as illustrated in FIGS. 10A and 10B. In another example, the at least one sidewall 72 can comprise the holding member.

[0077] With continued reference to FIG. 9B, a fastener in the form of a rivot or bolt 75 passes through the base 74 and can connect the housing 70 to the panel 60 b. A head of the bolt 75 is located between the wire mesh 78 b and the base 74. However, the bolt 75 can be located in any suitable position for coupling the housing 70 to the base 74. Optionally, a plurality of fasteners 75 can be used to attach the housing 70 to the panel 60 b.

[0078]FIG. 11A illustrates a firebrick housing 71 having the sidewall 110 around a portion of its periphery. The housing 71 has the pair of holes 108 for coupling the housing to the masonry panel 60 b.

[0079] The side wall 110 comprises a pair of generally flat bodies at an angle to each other. The walls 110 are configured to engage with a portion of a firebrick. The walls 110 can inhibit movement of the firebrick 120 disposed within the housing 71. Although not illustrated, housing 71 can comprise a holding member to ensure that the firebrick remains attached to the masonry panel 60 b.

[0080]FIG. 11B illustrates a firebrick configured to engage with the housing 71 of FIG. 11A. The firebrick 123 is sized and shaped so that a portion of the firebrick 123 fits within the cavity 114 of the housing 71. In the illustrated embodiment, the firebrick 123 has a pair of sides 125 that can contact the sides 110 of the housing 71 to inhibit movement of the firebrick 123.

[0081]FIG. 12A illustrates another embodiment of a firebrick housing. The housing 73 has a sidewall 110 around a portion of its periphery. The base 112 of the housing 73 is generally triangular and configured to hold a firebrick of generally similar shape. The sidewalls 110 can engage with the outer surfaces 127 of the firebrick 129 (shown in FIG. 12B) disposed within the housing 73 to ensure proper alignment of the firebrick.

[0082] With reference to FIG. 3B, a variety of different shaped housings can be used to form the panel 60 b. For example, housings 70, 71, 73, in addition to other shaped housings, can be used to form the herringbone pattern or other desired pattern. Some of the housings can comprise a holding member to ensure that the firebricks remain properly secured in the masonry panel 60 b. The housing 70 can comprise a variety of different holding members, such as holding members 78 a, 78 b, 78 c. It is contemplated that those skilled in the art can determine the appropriate type and sized of housing and holding members for a desired pattern of firebricks, structural properties of the panel, and the like. A further advantage is provided where the housings 70 have holes or apertures so that the housings can be conveniently and quickly coupled to masonry panels 60 b either on site or in the factory.

[0083]FIG. 13 is perspective view of the firebrick 120 similar to the firebrick of FIG. 5. As discussed above, the firebrick 120 is configured to fit within the cavity 114 of the housing, such as housing 70. A portion of the firebrick 120 is preferably of similar shape as a portion of the housing 70.

[0084] In the illustrated embodiment, the firebrick 120 comprises the pair of sides 124, each side 124 having the channel or groove 122. The groove 122 is generally U-shaped. However, the groove 122 is not limited to a U-shape and can comprise other shapes configured to receive a portion of the holding member, such as holding member 78 a. In other embodiments for example, the groove 122 can be V-shaped.

[0085] The groove 122 can extend along a portion of the side 124 or along the entire length of the side 124. The groove 122 can have a longitudinal axis that is generally parallel to the upper surface 130 and the lower surface 132 of the firebrick 120. The groove 122, of course, can be at different locations on the brick 120 depending on the configuration of the housing that the brick is attached to. Further, many of the bricks 120 disposed in the masonry panel 60 b may not have any groove 122. In other words, the panel 60 b can comprise bricks 120 having grooves 122 and some bricks 120 without grooves.

[0086] The firebrick 120 can be coupled to the panel (e.g., the panel 60 b) by inserting the firebrick 120 into the cavity 114 of a housing (e.g., the housing 70) so that the holding member 78 a contacts and presses against the firebrick 120 as the firebrick passes through the cavity 114. The holding members 78 a are pushed away or towards the sidewalls 110 as the brick 120 is inserted into the cavity 114. When the firebrick 120 reaches the desired position, the ends 125 of the holding member 78 a move into the groove 122, preferably when the bottom of the firebrick is near the base 112, resulting in the firebrick 120 being held by the housing. Thus, the firebrick 120 can be quickly and conveniently installed or assembled by pushing the firebrick into the cavity 114 and against the base 112 and the members 78 a snap into the grooves 122 thereby securing the brick in the fireplace 100. Thus, firebrick can be held captive by the panel without the use or mortar or cement. The firebrick can be attached to the fireplace 100, as shown in FIG. 1A, without the use of cement.

[0087] Preferably, the firebrick 120 is held by the panel 60 b so that the firebrick 120 cannot be pulled off of the panel 60 b. Thus, the firebrick 120 can be permanently attached to the panel 60 b without the use of cement or mortar. Optionally, the firebricks can be coupled to the housings by sliding the ends 125 of the holding members 78 a into the ends of grooves 122 of the brick. The ends 125 can then be slide along the groove 122 until the brick reaches the desired position. A further advantage is provided where the firebricks can be pre-cut and identified as corresponding to a particular housing, advantageously reducing the time, and thus the cost, of construction. In one embodiment, the brick has indicia or markings that indicate a corresponding housing that is configured to receive that brick.

[0088] Cement or mortar can be used to achieve a traditional site built masonry appearance. For example, after bricks 120 are attached to the panel 60 b, cement can fill in the spaces between the bricks 120 resulting in a masonry panel that has a traditional masonry appearance. The cement can provide structural support to further ensure that the bricks 120 remain attached to the panels 60 b. Those skilled in the art recognize that there are various methods of attaching bricks 120 the panels and applying cement to achieve the desired appearance.

[0089] As illustrated in FIGS. 2B, 3A, and 15 by the dashed lines, a cover 180 is preferably removably disposed on the base masonry panel 60 b proximal to an edge 62 b, wherein upon installation of the panel 60 b in the fireplace 100, the edge 62 b is proximal to the front end 12 of the fireplace 100. The cover 180 is preferably configured to be easily removed from the panel 60 b without requiring any specific tools for removal.

[0090]FIG. 15 illustrates an exploded sectional view of the base masonry panel 60 b. The cover 180 is removably disposed over an opening 182 defined in the base panel 60 b. In the illustrated embodiment, the cover 180 has a several bricks, or portions of bricks, that match the pattern of bricks formed by the panel 60 b. However, the cover 180 can have other surfaces and designs. Optionally, the cover 180 can have a handle 183 attached to its upper surface. The handle 183 can be used, for example, to move the cover 180 to expose the opening 182.

[0091] The opening 182 is preferably disposed proximal to an edge 62 b of the panel 60 b, wherein the edge 62 b is proximal to the front end 12 of the fireplace 100 upon installation of the panel 60 b. Material, such as logs, for burning can be located between the opening 182 and the masonry panel 40 b. In the illustrated embodiment, the cover 180 and opening 182 are rectangular in shape. However, the cover 180 and opening 182 are not limited to this shape and can comprise other shapes, such as a square.

[0092] An ash dump 184 is preferably removably disposed in the opening 182 and configured to receive ashes produced by the burning of logs (not shown) in the fireplace 100. The ash dump 184 is preferably made of metal. Optionally, the ash dump 184 can be made of other materials having the necessary fire resistant characteristics required for use in a fireplace 100. Preferably, the ash dump 184 is configured to be easily removed from the opening 182. For example, the ash dump 184 can comprise handles 184 a. In the illustrated embodiment, the generally rectangular ash dump 184 comprises the pair of handles at its ends. The handles 184 a can be sized and configured for convenient gripping. The ash dump 184 has an opening 186 at its upper end so that ash can pass through the opening 186 and into the ash dump 184. Those skilled in the art recognize that the ash dump 184 can comprise any structure configured to allow easy removal of the ash dump from the opening 182. However, the ash dump 184 is not limited to this shape and can comprise a cross-section having other shapes, such as a square. The ash dump 184 can be used in combination with panels as described herein.

[0093] A further advantage is provided where ashes can be conveniently removed from the cavity 30. Ashes are produced and accumulate on the masonry panel 60 b as material (e.g., a wood log) burns in the fireplace 100. In the illustrated embodiment, the cover 180 can be manually removed exposing the opening 182 and the ash dump 184. Ash from the cavity 30 can be conveniently swept through the opening 182 so that the ash falls through the opening 186 and into the ash dump 184. Thus, ash produced from the burning of material can be removed from the cavity 30 and stored in the ash dump 184. The cover 180 can be replaced to cover the opening 182 for an attractive brick pattern defined by the panel 60 b and the cover 180. These steps can be repeated to remove ashes within the cavity 30 for an attractive, ash free, fireplace 100. In one embodiment, the material, such as wood logs, for burning can be located between the opening 182 and the masonry panel 40 b so that the cover 180 can be removed and ash can be dumped in the ash dump 184 while the wood logs conveniently remain in the cavity 30. The ash dump 184 can preferably be removed from the fireplace 100 and emptied while the wood logs remain in the cavity 30.

[0094] The ash within the ash dump 184 can be conveniently disposed of by removing the cover 180 and exposing the ash dump 184. The ash dump 184 can be pulled through the opening 182 and removed from the fireplace 100, preferably without employing tools. The ash dump 184 can be transported to a garbage container (e.g., a trash can) and the ash from the ash dump 184 can be transferred to the garbage container. The empty ash dump 184 can be replaced in the fireplace 100 by passing the ash dump 184 through the opening 182. The cover 180 can be placed over the opening 182 and the ash dump 184, thereby hiding the ash dump 184 underneath the cover 180 and the panel 60 b.

[0095]FIG. 16 illustrates another embodiment of a factory built masonry fireplace 100. The fireplace 100 is in the form of a gas fired fireplace that is vent free.

[0096] The fireplace 100 can have panels defining at least a portion of its face or facade. In one embodiment, the fireplace 100 comprises at least one panel 200 that can be similar to the panels described herein. The panel 200 can define a portion of the opening of the cavity 30. In the illustrated embodiment, the fireplace 100 comprises an upper panel 200 and a lower panel 202. The upper panel 200 defines the upper portion of the rectangular opening of the fireplace 100 and the lower panel 202 defines the lower portion of the opening. Firebricks are advantageously coupled to the panels 200, 202 for site built masonry appearance. Optionally, the fireplace 100 can have a panel 206 at its lower end. In the illustrated embodiment, the panel 206 defines the hearth of the fireplace 100. Although not illustrated, masonry panels that are similar to the panels described herein can be used to form a mantel or other portions of a fireplace.

[0097] In practice, the masonry fireplace 100 described above can be constructed using a kit. The kit preferably comprises the firebox 10, the chimney system (not shown), and the panels 40 b, 50 b, 60 b, preferably preinstalled in the cavity 30 of the fireplace 100. The panels 40 b, 50 b, 60 b preferably have a plurality of firebrick housings (e.g., housing 70) pre-installed thereon. The kit also comprises a plurality of firebricks, preferably pre-cut and corresponding to the plurality of housings 70. The kit can also have an amount of a preferably high-temperature cement mixture.

[0098] A user mixes the high-temperature cement mixture, applies it to a firebrick housing 70 and disposes the corresponding firebrick in the housing 70. For example, a user can apply the cement to a housing 70 having a wire mesh 78 b or a plurality of protuberances 78 c such that the cement is disposed between openings in the wire mesh 78 b or around the protuberances 78 c. Optionally, a user can dispose a brick in a housing 70 configured to receive and hold a firebrick without the application of high-temperature cement or other mortar material. The user can then repeat this procedure with the remaining housings 70 to construct the masonry fireplace. Once the user has installed all the firebricks in the corresponding housings, the user can apply the high-temperature cement material to any gaps between adjacent firebricks to grout the gaps. The methods of assembling the fireplace which are described herein are not limited to the exact sequence of acts described, nor is it necessarily limited to the practice of all of the acts set forth. Other sequences of events or acts, or less than all of the events, or simultaneous occurrence of the events, may be utilized in practicing the disclosed embodiments. The panels can be used to achieve site built masonry appearance of indoor and outdoor structures. For example, the fireplace 100 can be can be outdoor fireplace.

[0099] The holding members described herein can be used to couple bricks to various types of structures. As illustrated in FIG. 17, the brick panels can form a storage structure 210 in the form of a wood storing box. The structure 210 can be self standing or connected to another structure. For example, the panels can be similar to the panel 60 b and can form a wood storing box that has an opening 212 for receiving at least a portion of wood logs. In one embodiment, the walls of the box are formed from panels similar to panels 60 b. In the illustrated embodiment, side panels 216 and a front panel 220 can form the vertical walls of the box 210. Panel 224 forms the bottom of a chamber 225 which is configured to receive wood logs. An upper surface or ceiling 226 defines the upper portion or the ceiling of the chamber 225 and the panel 228 forms the back of the chamber 225. In the illustrated embodiment, the top 232 of the box 210 is formed of cement. However, the top 232 or any other portion of the box 210 can be formed of the panels described herein. For example, in another embodiment, the entire outer surface of the structure 210 is formed by the panels configured to receive and hold bricks. Bricks can be placed into the panels such that holding members and walls of the panels cooperate to hold the bricks. Thus, the bricks illustrated in FIG. 17 can be installed with or without the use of cements. Cement, of course, can be applied between the bricks to grout the panels to achieve site built masonry appearance. The storage structure 210 can also be constructed from various types of metals and other materials with suitable characteristics such as plastics, wood, or composite materials. For example, the structure 210 can have a portion made of wood and a portion made of metal. Preferably the bricks are attached to a panel that is similar to panel 60 b and substantially made of metal. One of ordinary skill in the art can determine the appropriate combination of material type, thickness, and shape to achieve the desired structural characteristics.

[0100] The various embodiments disclosed herein can be used to form fire pits, brick walls, brick counters, and other structures that can be made of bricks. For example, disclosed embodiments can form at least a portion of a countertop of an outdoor barbecue.

[0101] Although the inventions disclosed herein have been disclosed in the context of certain preferred embodiments and examples, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the inventions disclosed herein extend beyond the specifically disclosed embodiments to other alternative embodiments and/or uses of the inventions and obvious modifications and equivalents thereof. Thus, it is intended that the scope of the inventions disclosed herein should not be limited by the particular disclosed embodiments described above, but should be determined only by a fair reading of the embodiments that follow.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US20100095952 *Jul 2, 2009Apr 22, 2010Fmi Products, LlcMasonry structure
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/36.3, 52/27
International ClassificationF24B1/195, F24B13/02, F24C15/06, E04F19/00, F24B1/191, F23M5/04
Cooperative ClassificationF23M5/04, F24B1/191, F23M2900/05004, E04F19/005
European ClassificationE04F19/00B, F23M5/04, F24B1/191
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 27, 2009ASAssignment
Owner name: FMI PRODUCTS, LLC, CALIFORNIA
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Effective date: 20090323
Owner name: FMI PRODUCTS, LLC,CALIFORNIA
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Dec 17, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: DESA IP, LLC, FLORIDA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:DESA FMI, LLC;REEL/FRAME:020255/0774
Effective date: 20071214
Jul 29, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: DESA FMI, LLC, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:HUSTED, MARTIN D.;KLEIN, DARIN J.;GARCIA, ESAUL;REEL/FRAME:015625/0849
Effective date: 20040726