It is a continuation of the provisional application filed on May 19, 2003, application No. 60/470.994
|U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
||Schaaf et al.
||Taylor et al.
||Kemerer et al.
||Porter et al.
||Bauer et al.
||Francis et al.
||Francis et al.
||Francis et al.
- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
- I-XL Thin Brick Brochure
- The Insulock Thin Brick System Brochure
- US Brick Systems, Brochure
- Thin brick technical notes 28, Brick Industry Association
- Thin brick technical notes 28a, Brick Industry Association
- Thin brick technical notes 28b, Brick Industry Association
- Thin brick technical notes 28c, Brick Industry Association
This invention relates a method and material for forming a thin brick veneer panel covering an exterior or interior wall construction. The panel can also be used for other purposes, such as brick fences, landscaping, and community entrances.
It is well known that a major disadvantage of conventional brick construction is that it is expensive, labor intensive, and should be done by people skilled in the brick laying art. Therefore, thin brick panel has been developed for many years to reduce the cost and the time involved and the amount of skill required to produce a brick construction.
One thin brick panel is provided in U.S. Pat. No. 6,516,578 which includes an expanded polystyrene foam panel having a plurality of laterally extending channels formed therein for receiving a plurality of thin brick units. The thin brick units are bonded with an adhesive directly on to the foam panel. The backside of foam panel has a plurality of depressions adapted to provide increased surface area for an adhesive used to bind the backside to a substrate. The panel has mating features for mating the sides of the panel with an adjacent panel, which include tongue and groove features. Strips of a mesh fabric may span several panels to bind the panels together. The panel is fastened to an existing structure or a building with an adhesive and/or a mechanical fastener that includes a washer member and a threaded or non-threaded fastener, such as a nail, inserted through the washer member.
A major problem for this invention is cost. The panel is considerably thick because of the mating features on the sides of panel, and the depth of the channels holding brick units in position. A thick panel means more raw materials and more difficulty when replacing the vinyl siding or cedar panels of an existing house if no modifications to the exiting construction. For binding thin brick unit to the backboard, other components (adhesives and wash members and fabric mesh strips) are employed, which adds more cost to the invention. Complicated manufacturing processes are required to form brick retaining channels, mating features, and back side depressions. Some wastes of materials are inevitable during the cutting processes.
Due to these reasons such thin brick panel is not very cheap compared to a conventional brick wall and is relatively expensive compared to vinyl sidings. Thus, people use conventional bricks for high-end houses and vinyl sidings for low-end houses.
Another thin brick panel is provided in U.S. Pat. No. 4,662,140, which includes a sheet of metal having a plurality of tabs punched therein and extending outward from a first side thereof. Also positioned on the first side of the sheet metal panel are adhesive strips for permanently affixing bricks to the panel's first, or outer, side with the bricks positioned in a given spaced array on the panel by the tabs extending therefrom. The tabs provide support for the bricks when initially positioned upon the panel.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The use of metal sheets is not desirable since such materials often have sharp edges making them dangerous to handle. Metals are subject to corrosion and deterioration creating paths for potential leakage and dislodgment of the bricks or mortar. In addition, a metal panel is difficult to cut and shape in meeting custom requirements at the work site. Some of thin brick panels are pre-fabricated. The pre-fabricated brick panels generally consist of one-half inch bricks secured in conventional patterns to a backing board. The major problem of the panels is that the pre-fabricated brick panels are difficult to transport and difficult to cut into desired shapes.
Accordingly, it is an advantage of present invention to provide a thin brick veneer panel which has few components and low cost to compete with not only conventional bricks but also vinyl sidings and cedar panels.
It would be another advantage of present invention to provide a very thin brick veneer panel which is as thin as ½ inch or less for easily replacing the vinyl sidings of a existing house with no modification of the existing construction.
It would be a further advantage of present invention to provide a simple and effective method to hold brick units mechanically and permanently without any adhesive, mesh strips, and other devises.
It would be another advantage of present invention to provide the simplest method to fasten mortar and whole brick facing to the wall structure permanently by using only specially designed nails.
It would be further advantage to provide a flexible brick panel which can be easily adapted to various building structures, such as windows, doors, and corners at work site.
It would be another further advantage to provide a very light weight of brick panel, which can be easily transfer from one place to another place
It would be another advantage to provide a brick panel with flexible assembly processes, which can be easily assembly at plant, or on ground of work site, or on the wall during installation.
The present invention discloses a real thin brick veneer panel for covering an exterior or interior wall construction. It is about ½ inch thick. The brick veneer includes a solid polymer back sheet having plurality of brick holders which are disposed in a plurality of horizontal rows to receive a plurality of thin brick veneers which have a tongue edge on at least one of bottom side and top side. The brick holders comprise of a bottom fin and a top fin that extend outwardly at 0 to 90-degree angle. The back sheet may be attached to a wall structure with nails, staplers or other normal fasteners.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The thin brick veneers can be slide into the brick holders to attach to the back sheet mechanically. Mortar then applied to the space between the brick veneers to form a brick wall construction. However, before applying mortar, a special nail besides normal fasteners will be fastened to the wall structure through the back sheet to add addition security. The nail has a shoulder and a cap. The shoulder fastens the back sheet and prevents the cap from all the way down to the back sheet. The space between shoulder and cap will receive mortar to form a mortar fastener. Mortar will flow underneath and over the cap. After mortar set, the nail not only secures the back sheet but also secures the whole thin brick facing to the wall structure for permanent attachment.
FIG. 1. A front view of a thin brick panel in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 2. A cross-sectional side view through the thin brick panel along line A-A′.
FIG. 3. A front view of a back sheet in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 4. A cross-sectional side view through the back sheet along line B-B′.
FIG. 5. A front view of a thin brick in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 6. A cross-sectional side view through the thin brick along line C-C′.
FIG. 7. A top view of a special nail in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 8. A cross-sectional side view through the special nail along line D-D′.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
FIG. 9. Samples of different shapes of thin bricks and brick holders.
As illustrated in FIGS. 1 & 2, a thin brick veneer panel is comprised of a solid polymer back sheet (2), a plurality of thin brick veneers (3), and mortar (4) between adjacent thin brick veneers (3).
The back sheet (2) has plurality of integrally formed brick holders (5) to receive a plurality of thin brick veneers (3) which have a slop tongue edge (6) on bottom. The brick holders (5) comprise of a bottom fin (7) and a top fin (8) that extend outwardly. The bottom fin (7) bears the weight of the brick veneers (3) at an acute angle. The top fin (8) works with bottom fin (7) to keep the brick veneers (3) in place. Each brick holder (5) is separated from an adjoining brick holder by a notch (9) or a slot. The thin Brick veneers (3) slide into brick holders (5) to attach to the back sheet (2) mechanically.
FIGS. 3 and 4 show a front view and a side view of the back sheet (2). The back sheet (2) may be extruded or co-extruded with a plurality of brick holders (5) which extend across the length of the back sheet (2). The brick holder (5) are defined by a top fin (8) and a bottom fin (7) that are integrally formed into the back sheet (2). The material of back sheet (2) is variable. Plastic material with low LTEC is preferred. Hardness of fins may be higher than that of back portion of back sheet (2). The back sheet (2) can be extruded in many widths and with many fin shapes and does not have a thickness limitation. For a ½ inch thick panel, the thickness of the sheet is about 1/16 inch. The extruded sheet may be cut into any length depending on the needs of the user. After extrusion, the fins are notched out at certain locations to form the brick holders and provide a path for water or moisture to escape.
FIGS. 5 & 6 show the front and side view of a thin brick veneer (3). The thin brick veneer (3) has a slop tongue edge (6) on bottom side. With this tongue (6), the brick holders (5) will firmly hold brick veneers (3) permanently in place without any adhesive.
The thin brick veneers (3) may be kiln clay, cut stone, or concrete, or other materials. It is normally 7/16/inch thick or less. Shapes of the tongue edge of the thin bricks are not limited. FIG. 9 shows some different shapes of thin bricks and brick holders.
In FIG. 2, the thin brick panel is mounted to a wall structure 1 with a plurality of normal fasteners (10) and special nails (11). The fasteners (10) firmly hold the back sheet (2) against the wall structure (1). And the special nails (11) firmly hold the back sheet (2) and whole brick facing to the wall structure (1). The special nails (11) should be attached to the wall structure (1) through back sheet (2) before applying mortar (4).
As illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8. The nail (11) has a shoulder (12) and a cap (13). The shoulder (12) fastens the back sheet and prevents the cap (13) from all the way down to the back sheet (2). The space between shoulder (12) and cap (13) will receive mortar (4) to form a mortar fastener. Mortar (4) flows into underneath of cap (13) and over the cap (13). After mortar cured, the nail (11) not only secures the back sheet (2) but also secure the whole thin brick facing. Shape of the cap may be various.
In order to bind the adjacent panels together, the sides (14) and (15) of the back sheet are overlapped and then fastened to the wall structure (1) by normal fasteners (10). The width of edge of back sheet is similar to the distance between adjacent brick veneers. The thickness of edges is about 1/16 inch or less.
The assembling of thin brick veneer panels is flexible to fit any needs. Brick veneers (3) could be attached to the brick sheet (2) in manufacture plant, or on ground at work site, or on the wall during installation. Because the back sheet (2) is thin plastic sheet, it is easy to be cut and shaped to accommodate variations in existing or new wall structures and to meet any architecture requirements, such as windows, doors, and corners.
Typical installation procedures are as follows:
- 1. Attach back sheets to a wall structure. First horizontally, then vertically
- 2. Attach special nails to the back sheet and wall structure
- 3. Slide brick veneers into brick holders
- 4. Apply mortar to space between brick veneers
The back sheet could be formed in different processes. A typical process is as follows:
- 1. Extrusion or co-extrusion of back sheet
- 2. Cutting to desire length
- 3. Punch or cut notches