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Publication numberUS20080016816 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/677,083
Publication dateJan 24, 2008
Filing dateFeb 21, 2007
Priority dateJul 19, 2006
Publication number11677083, 677083, US 2008/0016816 A1, US 2008/016816 A1, US 20080016816 A1, US 20080016816A1, US 2008016816 A1, US 2008016816A1, US-A1-20080016816, US-A1-2008016816, US2008/0016816A1, US2008/016816A1, US20080016816 A1, US20080016816A1, US2008016816 A1, US2008016816A1
InventorsDo Yeon Kim
Original AssigneeDo Yeon Kim
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Beam/Column With Stiffening Stick
US 20080016816 A1
Abstract
The present invention provides a method and apparatus for forming a structural member for use in forming a frame for an architectural structure comprising a first portion of a beam having a first longitudinal section with a first pair of legs extending to one side of the first longitudinal section and a second portion of a beam having a second longitudinal section with a second pair of legs extending to one side of the second longitudinal section. A fastener is placed within a pair of projections that extend from a beam fastener to enable one to fasten the first pair of legs of the first longitudinal section to the second pair of legs of the second longitudinal section, whereby the pair of projections of the beam fastener prevent the over-tightening of the fastener.
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Claims(20)
1. A structural member for use in forming a frame for an architectural structure, comprising:
a first portion of a beam having a first longitudinal section with a first upper leg extending to one side of said first longitudinal section and a first lower leg extending to one side of said first longitudinal section;
a second portion of a beam having a second longitudinal section with a second upper leg extending to one side of said second longitudinal section and a second lower leg extending to one side of said second longitudinal section;
at least one fastener; and
a first beam fastener having a first pair of spaced apart projections for receiving said fastener within said first pair of projections, said first beam fastener in conjunction with said fastener connecting said first upper leg of said first longitudinal section to said second upper leg of said second longitudinal section, whereby said first pair of projections of said first beam fastener prevent the over-tightening of said fastener.
2. The structural member according to claim 1 further comprising a pre-manufactured truss component, said truss component connecting to said first portion of said beam or said second portion of said beam.
3. The structural member according to claim 1 wherein said first beam fastener further comprises a stiffening track.
4. The structural member according to claim 1 wherein said fastener further comprising a head portion having a head portion width.
5. The structural member according to claim 4 wherein said first pair of projections of said first beam fastener further comprising a first spaced apart width that is equal to or greater than said head portion width of said fastener.
6. The structural member according to claim 4 further comprising a second beam fastener having a second pair of spaced apart projections for receiving said fastener within said second pair of projections, said second beam fastener in conjunction with said fastener connecting said first lower leg of said first longitudinal section to said second lower leg of said second longitudinal section, whereby said second pair of projections of said second beam fastener prevent the over-tightening of said fastener.
7. The structural member according to claim 6 wherein said second beam fastener further comprises a stiffening track.
8. The structural member according to claim 6 wherein said second pair of projections of said second beam fastener further comprising a second spaced apart width that is equal to or greater than said head portion width of said fastener.
9. A structural member for use in forming a frame for an architectural structure, comprising:
a first portion of a beam having a first longitudinal section with a first pair of legs extending to one side of said first longitudinal section;
a second portion of a beam having a second longitudinal section with a second pair of legs extending to one side of said second longitudinal section;
at least one fastener; and
at least one of said first pair of legs or at least one of said second pair of legs having a beam fastener said beam fastener having a pair of spaced apart projections for receiving said fastener within said pair of projections, said beam fastener in conjunction with said fastener connecting at least one of said first pair of legs of said first longitudinal section to at least one of said second pair of legs of said second longitudinal section, whereby said pair of projections of said beam fastener prevent the over-tightening of said fastener.
10. The structural member according to claim 9 wherein said beam fastener further comprises a stiffening track.
11. The structural member according to claim 9 further comprising a pre-manufactured truss component, said truss component connecting to said first portion of said beam or said second portion of said beam.
12. The structural member according to claim 9 wherein said fastener further comprising a head portion having a head portion width.
13. The structural member according to claim 12 wherein said pair of projections of said beam fastener further comprising a spaced apart width that is equal to or greater than said head portion width of said fastener.
14. A method for forming a structural member for use in forming a frame for an architectural structure, comprising:
providing a first portion of a beam having a first longitudinal section with a first upper leg extending to one side of said first longitudinal section and a first lower leg extending to one side of said first longitudinal section;
providing a second portion of a beam having a second longitudinal section with a second upper leg extending to one side of said second longitudinal section and a second lower leg extending to one side of said second longitudinal section:
providing a first beam fastener having a first pair of projections;
providing at least one fastener within said first pair of projections of said first beam fastener; and
fastening said fastener within said first pair of projections of said first beam fastener to said first upper leg of said first longitudinal section and to said second upper leg of said second longitudinal sections whereby said first pair of projections of said first beam fastener prevent the over-tightening of said fastener.
15. The method according to claim 14 further comprising providing a pre-manufactured truss component, said truss component being connected to said first portion of said beam or said second portion of said beam.
16. The method according to claim 14 wherein said fastener further comprising a head portion having a head portion width.
17. The method according to claim 16 wherein said first pair of projections of said first beam fastener further comprising a first spaced apart width that is equal to or greater than said head portion width of said fastener.
18. The method according to claim 16 further comprising:
providing a second beam fastener having a second pair of spaced apart projections; and
fastening said fastener within said second pair of projections of said second beam fastener to said first lower leg of said first longitudinal section and to said second lower leg of said second longitudinal section, whereby said second pair of projections of said second beam fastener prevent the over-tightening of said fastener.
19. The method according to claim 18 wherein said second pair of projections of said second beam fastener further comprising a second spaced apart width that is equal to or greater than said head portion width of said fastener.
20. The method according to claim 17 further comprising:
providing a socket, said socket having an internal dimension that is fitted to said head portion of said fastener, said socket having an outer dimension that is equal to or greater than said first spaced apart width of said first pair of projections of said first beam fastener; and
turning said socket on said head portion of said fastener to fasten said fastener within said first pair of projections of said first beam fastener to said first upper leg of said first longitudinal section and to said second upper leg of said second longitudinal section, whereby said pair of projections of said first beam fastener prevent the over-tightening of said fastener.
Description
CROSS REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority from and is related to commonly owned U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/831,796 filed Jul. 19, 2006, entitled: Beam/Column with Stiffening Track, this Provisional Patent Application incorporated by reference herein.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to construction components such as beams, columns, and trusses. More specifically, it relates to beams and columns which have specific modifications to allay the weakest mode of failure on beams and columns which are used commonly in the pool enclosure industry.

BACKGROUND

Aluminum framing components, such as those used in the construction of pool, patio and porch enclosures, consist generally of hollow aluminum extrusions and open back extrusions, which are fastened together and may be used separately or in a system. The hollow extrusions used today have top and bottom walls and two sidewalls. In one environment, they are used in screen enclosures as beams, purlins, rails, uprights and the like. Generally, the larger the area of the enclosure, the bigger, stronger and heavier the extrusions must be in order to meet the design, structural loads and wind pressure resistance standards required by building codes. The new building codes require aluminum enclosures to be built to withstand higher wind speeds than ever before and significantly higher design pressures and structural loads than in the past. The result is an enclosure that must consist of heavier and larger beam members to meet the same span and height criteria than was previously necessary under prior building codes.

The popularity of screen enclosures has been increasing throughout the country. However, due to the plethora of screen pool enclosure failures during the hurricanes of 2004 to 2005, the need to improve the performance of beams and columns is a real necessity, if the pool enclosure industry is to survive and grow. This is particularly true with the typical size of enclosures getting larger, thus requiring components to span greater distances while allowing for contractors to construct an enclosure without undue hardship and expensive equipment.

The applicant has identified the earliest mode of failure of the typical self-mating beam that is the most common component in the industry. As shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B, the prior art beams/columns are created by putting together two beam halves 20, 30 of the beam/column. Each beam halve 20, 30 has a longitudinal section 22, 32, an upper leg 24, 34 extending to one side of the longitudinal section 22. 32 and a lower leg 26, 36 extending to one side of the longitudinal section 22, 32, respectively. As shown in FIG. 1B, a self-tapping screw 40 is used to connect or “stitch” the two beam halves 20, 30 of the beam together. The screws 40 are typically placed at some incremental spacing on the top flanges (consisting of upper legs 24, 34) and bottom flanges (consisting of lower legs 26, 36) of the two beam halves 20, 30. When loaded, the beam exhibits the earliest mode of failure known as localized flange buckling occurring in between the “stitching” screws on the compression elements of the beam or column. The most common way of increasing the structural strength of the load carrying beams and columns is to increase the overall dimensions and the thickness of the beams. This results in excessively large beams and columns which are very heavy for installers to handle and to erect without the use of large construction equipment.

Thus, there is a need for an apparatus and method to improve the fabrication and structural performance of a beam or column which allows for longer spans in pool enclosures, including screen roofs and walls.

Nothing in the prior art provides the benefits attendant with the present invention.

Therefore, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improvement which overcomes the inadequacies of the prior art devices and which is a significant contribution to the advancement of the pool enclosure art.

The foregoing has outlined some of the pertinent objects of the present invention. These objects should be construed to be merely illustrative of some of the more prominent features and applications of the intended invention. Many other beneficial results can be attained by applying the disclosed invention in a different manner or modifying the invention within the scope of the disclosure. Accordingly, other objects and a fuller understanding of the invention may be had by referring to the summary of the invention and the detailed description of the preferred embodiment in addition to the scope of the invention defined by the claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

For the purpose of summarizing this invention, this invention provides a novel component that can be used in the fabrication of a beam or column which allows for longer spans in pool enclosures, including screen roofs and walls. The component can be combined with a truss system to achieve even longer spans in screen roofs and walls in pool enclosures. The component has a unique track-like profile extruded as part of the outer-most flange which stiffens and strengthens that element to achieve greater spans. This flange modification also serves to prevent installers from stripping screw threads when installing screws to join the parts of the beam/column together with a screw gun. The flange modifications (the track profile) also have multiple applications by allowing the use of clips which can be attached to the track utilizing thumb-screws or other devices to attach or hang items such as plant hangers, strung lighting, and pictures to list a few examples. The use of the modular system of the present invention, which includes the beam/column component and the prefabricated truss, allows for the capability to build screened pool enclosures with much fewer beams and columns, and smaller sized beams and columns, thus reducing the inventory normally required by installers, and the cost of the enclosure. Additionally, for the same size beams/columns and number of beams/columns compared to existing systems, a much stronger enclosure is erected by using the current invention.

The applicant's newly designed component addresses the weakest part of the beam/column that causes the member to fail when loaded. It does so by strengthening the element of the beam/column (the flange) by providing a stiffening track which serves to strengthen the flange, thus delaying when failure occurs, and allowing for more load to be carried by the beam/column for a given size and thickness. This stiffening track typically runs the length of the flange. This enables this newly designed beam/column to have longer spans than comparable sized and weighted existing beams/columns used in the pool enclosure industry.

A feature of the present invention is to provide a structural member for use in forming a frame for an architectural structure, comprising a first portion of a beam having a first longitudinal section with a first upper leg extending to one side of said first longitudinal section and a first lower leg extending to one side of said first longitudinal section; a second portion of a beam having a second longitudinal section with a second upper leg extending to one side of said second longitudinal section and a second lower leg extending to one side of said second longitudinal section; at least one fastener; and a first beam fastener having a first pair of spaced apart projections for receiving said fastener within said first pair of projections, said first beam fastener in conjunction with said fastener connecting said first upper leg of said first longitudinal section to said second upper leg of said second longitudinal section, whereby said first pair of projections of said first beam fastener prevent the over-tightening of said fastener.

Another feature of the present invention is to provide a structural member for use in forming a frame for an architectural structure, comprising a first portion of a beam having a first longitudinal section with a first pair of legs extending to one side of said first longitudinal section; a second portion of a beam having a second longitudinal section with a second pair of legs extending to one side of said second longitudinal section; at least one fastener; and at least one of said first pair of legs or at least one of said second pair of legs having a beam fastener, said beam fastener having a pair of spaced apart projections for receiving said fastener within said pair of projections, said beam fastener in conjunction with said fastener connecting at least one of said first pair of legs of said first longitudinal section to at least one of said second pair of legs of said second longitudinal section, whereby said pair of projections of said beam fastener prevent the over-tightening of said fastener.

Yet another feature of the present invention is to provide a method for forming a structural member for use in forming a frame for an architectural structure comprising providing a first portion of a beam having a first longitudinal section with a first upper leg extending to one side of said first longitudinal section and a first lower leg extending to one side of said first longitudinal section; providing a second portion of a beam having a second longitudinal section with a second upper leg extending to one side of said second longitudinal section and a second lower leg extending to one side of said second longitudinal section; providing a first beam fastener having a first pair of projections; providing at least one fastener within said first pair of projections of said first beam fastener; and fastening said fastener within said first pair of projections of said first beam fastener to said first upper leg of said first longitudinal section and to said second upper leg of said second longitudinal sections whereby said first pair of projections of said first beam fastener prevent the over-tightening of said fastener.

The foregoing has outlined rather broadly the more pertinent and important features of the present invention in order that the detailed description of the invention that follows may be better understood so that the present contribution to the art can be more fully appreciated Additional features of the invention will be described hereinafter which form the subject of the claims of the invention. It should be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the conception and the specific embodiment disclosed may be readily utilized as a basis for modifying or designing other structures for carrying out the same purposes of the present invention. It should also be realized by those skilled in the art that such equivalent constructions do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A is a side cross-sectional view of two beam half sections of the prior art;

FIG. 1B is a side cross-sectional view of two beam half sections of the prior art screwed together to form a beam;

FIG. 2A is a side cross-sectional view of two beam half sections of the present invention;

FIG. 2B is a side cross-sectional view of two beam half sections of the present invention screwed together to form a beam;

FIG. 3 is a blown-up side cross-sectional view of one side of two beam half sections of the present invention being screwed together to form a beam; and

FIG. 4 is a side cross-sectional view of two beam half sections of the present invention screwed together to form a beam with a truss system.

Similar reference characters refer to similar parts throughout the several views of the drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a novel component that can be used in the fabrication of a beam or column which allows for longer spans in pool enclosures, including screen roofs and walls. The component has a unique track-like profile extruded as part of the outer-most flange which stiffens and strengthens that element to achieve greater spans.

Referring now to the drawings wherein the showings are for purposes of illustrating a preferred embodiment of the invention only and not for purposes of limiting the same. FIGS. 2A and 2B show a beam being created by putting together two beam halves 20, 30 of the beam/column where each beam halve 20, 30 has a beam fastener 50 of the present invention.

Specifically, FIG. 2A shows each beam halve 20, 30 having a longitudinal section 22, 32, an upper leg 24, 34 extending to one side of the longitudinal section 22, 32 and a lower leg 26, 36 extending to one side of the longitudinal section 22, 32, respectively. The modification to the prior art beam halves 20, 30 of FIGS. 1A and 1B being the beam fastener 50. The beam fastener 50 of the present invention prevents the over-tightening of a fastener, such as a screw, and acts as a stiffening track for the beam that is formed from the two beam halves 20, 30.

As shown in FIG. 2B, a self-tapping screw 40 can be used to connect or “stitch” the two beam halves 20, 30 of the beam together. The screws 40 are typically placed at some incremental spacing on the top flanges (consisting of upper legs 24, 34) and bottom flanges (consisting of lower legs 26, 36) of the two beam halves 20, 30. The beam fastener 50 of the present invention comprising a pair of spaced apart projections 52. The spaced apart projections 52 of the beam fastener 50 of the present invention have a spaced apart width 54 that is equal to or greater than the head portion width 44 of the head portion 42 of the screw 40. Thus, in use, the screw 40 is placed inside the pair of spaced apart projections 52 of the beam fastener 50. The screw then threadably connects the upper leg 24 of the longitudinal section 22 of one beam halve 20 to the upper leg 34 of the longitudinal section 32 of the other beam halve 30. Whereby, the over-tightening of the screw 40 is prevented once the screw 40 is turned (threaded) below the pair of spaced apart projections 52 of the beam fastener 50 of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a blown-up side cross-sectional view showing only the upper leg 24 of the longitudinal section 22 of one beam halve 20 being threadably connected by screw 40 to the upper leg 34 of the longitudinal section 32 of the other beam halve 30 to form a beam using the pair of spaced apart projections 52 of the beam fastener 50. The pair of spaced apart projections 52 of the beam fastener 50 have a spaced apart width 54 that is equal to or greater than the head portion width 44 of the head portion 42 of the screw 40.

In addition, FIG. 3 shows a socket 60 that has an internal dimension 62 that is fitted to the head portion width 44 of the head portion 42 of the screw 40. The socket 60 has an outer dimension 64 that is equal to or greater than the spaced apart width 54 of the pair of projections 52 of the beam fastener 50 of the present invention. Thus, in use, the socket 60 rotatably turns the head portion 42 of the screw 40 within the pair of projections 52 of the beam fastener 50 to threadably connect the screw 40 to the upper leg 24 of the longitudinal section 22 of one beam halve 20 to the upper leg 34 of the longitudinal section 32 of the other beam halve 30 to form a beam. Whereby, the pair of spaced apart projections 52 of the beam fastener 50 of the present invention prevent the over-tightening of the screw 40 since the outer dimension 64 of the socket 60 cannot fit within the spaced apart width 54 of the pair of projections 52 of the beam fastener 50 of the present invention. As a result, the socket 60 is lifted off the head portion 42 of the screw 40 once the screw 40 has been sufficiently threaded to the correct depth and engagement in forming the beam from the beam halves 20, 30.

Typically, a screw gun (not shown) is used in conjunction with the socket 60. Again, the socket 60 cannot enter the stiffener track (pair of spaced apart projections 52 of the beam fastener 50) so the screw 40 leaves the socket 60 as the screw 40 rotates downward to the correct depth and engagement in forming the beam from the beam halves 20, 30. The height and width of the pair of spaced apart projections 52 of the beam fastener 50 (the stiffening track), the head portion width 44 of the head portion 42 of the screw 40, and the outer dimension 64 of the gun screw socket 60 are such that the stiffening track 50 allows the screw head 42 to enter the space within the stiffening track 50, but is too narrow to allow the gun screw socket 60 to follow. The stiffening track 50 height and height of the screw head 42 allows the screw 40 to reach adequate torque levels as the gun screw socket 60 no longer can turn the screw 40. This allows for consistent, uniform, and reliable accuracy when installing these “stitching” screws 40.

Additionally, as shown in FIG. 4, the applicant has provided for a novel pre-manufactured truss component 70 that readily attaches to either or both sides of the beam/column 20, 30 to increase the structural performance to achieve longer spans efficiently by minimizing the weight added to the system by using a truss 70 which is more efficient than increasing the length and/or thickness of the beam/column.

The present disclosure includes that contained in the appended claims, as well as that of the foregoing description. Although this invention has been described in its preferred form with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that the present disclosure of the preferred form has been made only by way of example and that numerous changes in the details of construction and the combination and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

Now that the invention has been described,

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7743538 *Jan 15, 2008Jun 29, 2010Ideal Shield, LlcExtruded plastic u-channel sign post covers
US7877962Jan 16, 2008Feb 1, 2011Teffenhart Jr Thomas JosephSystem and method having an improved self-mating beam
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/633, 52/745.18, 52/844
International ClassificationE04C3/02, E04C3/30
Cooperative ClassificationE04C2003/0417, E04C2003/0465, E04C2003/043, E04C3/06, E04C3/32
European ClassificationE04C3/32, E04C3/06
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 21, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: ENGINEERED INNOVATIONS, LLC, FLORIDA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:KIM, DO YEON;REEL/FRAME:018912/0763
Effective date: 20070219