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Publication numberUS20100186343 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/507,639
Publication dateJul 29, 2010
Filing dateJul 22, 2009
Priority dateNov 14, 2005
Publication number12507639, 507639, US 2010/0186343 A1, US 2010/186343 A1, US 20100186343 A1, US 20100186343A1, US 2010186343 A1, US 2010186343A1, US-A1-20100186343, US-A1-2010186343, US2010/0186343A1, US2010/186343A1, US20100186343 A1, US20100186343A1, US2010186343 A1, US2010186343A1
InventorsRobert B. MacDonald, Philip A. MacDonald
Original AssigneeMacdonald Robert B, Macdonald Philip A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method for Installing Wall Panels to the Exterior Wall of a Building
US 20100186343 A1
Abstract
A method for installing wall panels to an exterior building wall is provided. The method applies the rainscreen principle. Interlocking components are used to attach aluminum or other wall panels to an exterior wall. In one aspect, the method includes fastening a bracket assembly to the exterior building wall, fastening an attachment clip to the bracket assembly, providing a panel perimeter strip, providing a wall panel, fastening the wall panel to the panel perimeter strip along one side surface of the wall panel, providing a through-opening through the wall panel thereby permitting fluid communication from an atmosphere into the hollow interior portion of the wall panel, and sliding an infill strip into a slot of the panel perimeter strip between the attachment clip and the through opening so as to cover a fastener of the bracket assembly; The system is held together non-adhesively.
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Claims(17)
1. A method for installing a wall panel to an exterior building wall, the wall panel having an exterior flat surface and at least two side surfaces bent inwardly at an angle to the exterior flat surface and defining a hollow interior portion, and the method comprising:
operatively connecting an attachment clip to a wall surface of the exterior building wall, the attachment clip having a central fastening surface and at least two opposing wing members extending outwardly from the central fastening surface;
providing a first panel perimeter strip comprising:
a generally C-shaped member sitting inside a corner of the wall panel and extending along an inside portion of the side surface, and
a receiving member integrally attached to the C-shaped member that extends beyond the side surface of the wall panel and provides a slot adapted to engage and interlock a first of the at least two wing members of the attachment clip, thus connecting the wall panel to the attachment clip and thereby to the wall;
fastening the wall panel to the first panel perimeter strip along one side surface of the wall panel;
providing a through-opening through the wall panel, thereby permitting fluid communication from an atmosphere into the hollow interior portion of the wall panel and so as to permit ingress and egress of air and moisture to provide a pressure-balanced and moisture-drained interior environment for the wall panel; and
sliding an infill strip into the slot of the first panel perimeter strip between the attachment clip and the through opening;
wherein the system is held together non-adhesively.
2. The method of claim 1, further comprising fastening a bracket assembly to the exterior building wall; and wherein:
the step of operatively connecting the attachment clip to the wall surface of the exterior building wall comprises fastening the attachment clip to the bracket assembly by at least one fastener; and
the infill strip covers the fastener of the bracket assembly.
3. The method of claim 2, wherein the two wing members of the attachment clip are each adapted to engage a receiving member of a panel perimeter strip.
4. The method of claim 3, wherein:
fastening the wall panel to the first panel perimeter strip comprises running at least one rivet through the first panel perimeter strip and through the one side surface of the wall panel; and
the through-opening through the wall panel defines the at least one rivet such that the interior portion of the wall panel is ventilated at least partially through the at least one rivet.
5. The method of claim 4, wherein the infill strip is fabricated from a substantially rigid material comprising a metal material, a polycarbonate material, polyethylene, or combinations thereof.
6. The method of claim 2, wherein the first bracket assembly comprises two back-to-back L angle brackets fastened to each other to form a generally Z shaped assembly, a first end of which is for attachment to the wall and a second end of which is for fastening to the attachment clip.
7. The method of claim 1, wherein the wall panel comprises an aluminum composite material.
8. The method of claim 1, wherein the wall panel comprises an aluminum composite material which is routed and bent generally perpendicularly to form the exterior and side surfaces.
9. The method of claim 1, wherein the first fastener comprises a threaded fastener.
10. The method of claim 1, wherein the panel perimeter strip is pre-assembled to the wall panel before being fastened to the first bracket assembly.
11. The method of claim 2, further comprising:
providing a second panel perimeter strip in accordance with the first panel perimeter strip;
attaching a second panel perimeter strip to a second of the at least two opposing wing members of the attachment clip;
fastening a second wall panel to the second panel perimeter strip along one side surface of the second wall panel such that the side surface of the second wall panel faces the side surface of the first wall panel; and
providing a through-opening through the second wall panel, thereby permitting fluid communication from the atmosphere into the hollow interior portion of the second wall panel.
12. The method of claim 11, wherein the infill strip is engaged with the slot of the first panel perimeter strip prior to installing the second wall panel.
13. The method of claim 11, wherein:
the first panel perimeter strip and the second panel perimeter strip are adjacent one another; and
the infill strip is introduced to the slots of the first and second adjacent panel perimeter strips after two adjacent wall panels have been installed.
14. The method of claim 11, further comprising:
applying an isolation tape between the attachment clip and the bracket assembly.
15. The method of claim 2, wherein the bracket assembly comprises steel.
16. The method of claim 1, wherein the infill strip comprises a strip of aluminum composite material.
17. The method of claim 11, further comprising:
installing a panel stiffener component inside the hollow interior portion of the first and second wall panels to reinforce the exterior surfaces of the wall panels and preventing deforming or popping of the wall panels.
Description
STATEMENT OF RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/273,303 which was filed on Nov. 14, 2005. That application is titled “Dry Joint Aluminum Wall Panel Attachment System,” and was published as U.S. Patent Publ. No. 2007/0119105. The application is incorporated herein in its entirety by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This section is intended to introduce various aspects of the art, which may be associated with exemplary embodiments of the present disclosure. This discussion is believed to assist in providing a framework to facilitate a better understanding of particular aspects of the present disclosure. The Background section should be read in this light, and not necessarily as admissions of prior art.

1. Field of the Invention

The present disclosure relates to wall panel attachment systems. More particularly, the present disclosure pertains to methods of attaching wall panels to exterior wall surfaces.

2. Discussion of Technology

There are various problems with known aluminum wall panel attachment systems. Conventionally, such systems have relied upon adhesive or caulk to “seal” the aluminum panel from the elements. However, under exposure to heat and cold and moisture, the adhesive or caulk breaks down. This, in turn, compromises the stability of the system and creates an undesirable appearance. Even when such a seal is functional, there may be undesirable effects on the aluminum panels as the interior environment can trap heat which affects the panels, creating “oil-canning” or popping in response to the pressure differential. In spite of such seals, such systems can also trap moisture in the wall cavity, which results in oxidation of parts and staining or deterioration of exterior wall surfaces.

More recently systems have been developed according to the “rainscreen principle.” This means that the wall cavity is vented, resulting in a temperature and pressure equalized system with moisture drainage. However, such systems can be difficult to install, relying on many components to be milled or adapted on-site, and requiring excessive labour costs and specialty materials. A need exists for a method of installing wall panels using exterior wall panel attachment systems and which permit the ingress and egress of moisture behind the panels.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A method for installing wall panels to an exterior building wall is provided. The wall panel has an exterior flat surface and at least two side surfaces bent inwardly at an angle to the exterior flat surface and defining a hollow interior portion. The wall panel preferably comprises an aluminum composite material. In one arrangement, the wall panel comprises an aluminum composite material which is routed and bent generally perpendicularly to form the exterior and side surfaces.

In one aspect, the method includes fastening a bracket assembly to the exterior building wall. The bracket assembly may define two back-to-back L-angle brackets fastened to each other to form a generally Z-shaped assembly. A first end of the L-angle bracket is for attachment to the wall, and a second end is for fastening to the attachment clip. The bracket assembly may comprise steel.

The method also includes fastening an attachment clip to the bracket assembly by at least one fastener. The attachment clip has a central fastening surface fastened to the bracket assembly, and at least two opposing wing members extending outwardly from the central fastening surface. Preferably, the two wing members of the attachment clip are each adapted to engage a panel perimeter strip.

In one aspect, a bracket assembly is not used and the attachment clip is not connected to a bracket assembly. Instead, the bracket assembly connects to additional framing or to shims that are part of a wall surface.

The method also includes providing a first panel perimeter strip. The first panel perimeter strip has a generally C-shaped member sitting inside a corner of the wall panel. The C-shaped member extends along an inside portion of the side surface. The first panel perimeter strip also has a receiving member. The receiving member is integrally attached to the C-shaped member and extends beyond the side surface of the wall panel. The receiving member provides a slot adapted to engage and interlock one of the wing members of the attachment clip. In this way, the wall panel is connected to the attachment clip and thereby to the wall.

The method also includes fastening the wall panel to the first panel perimeter strip along one side surface of the wall panel. A through-opening is provided through the wall panel, thereby permitting fluid communication from an atmosphere into the hollow interior portion of the wall panel and so as to permit ingress and egress of air and moisture to provide a pressure-balanced and moisture-drained interior environment for the wall panel. The method then includes sliding an infill strip into the slot of the first panel perimeter strip. The infill strip resides between the attachment clip and the through opening so as to cover the fastener of the bracket assembly. The infill strip is fabricated from a substantially rigid material comprising a metal material, a polycarbonate material, polyethylene, or combinations thereof. Preferably, an aluminum composite material is used.

In one embodiment of the method, fastening the wall panel to the first panel perimeter strip comprises running at least one rivet through the first panel perimeter strip and through the one side surface of the wall panel. The through-opening through the wall panel defines the at least one rivet such that the interior portion of the wall panel is ventilated at least partially through the rivets. Thus, the rivets contribute to the ventilation of the panel.

The method is designed to be repeated so as to place a plurality of wall panels in side-by-side array. Thus, the method may further comprise:

  • providing a second panel perimeter strip in accordance with the first panel perimeter strip;
  • attaching a second panel perimeter strip to a second of the at least two opposing wing members of the attachment clip;
  • fastening a second wall panel to the second panel perimeter strip along one side surface of the second wall panel such that the side surface of the second wall panel faces the side surface of the first wall panel; and
  • providing a through-opening through the second wall panel, thereby permitting fluid communication from the atmosphere into the hollow interior portion of the second wall panel.

Additional wall panels may be attached to the exterior wall using additional bracket assemblies, attachment clips and panel perimeter strips.

The infill strip may be engaged with the slot of the first panel perimeter strip prior to installing the second wall panel. Alternatively, the infill strip may be introduced to the slots of the first and second adjacent panel perimeter strips after two adjacent wall panels have been installed.

The method may also comprise installing a panel stiffener component. The panel stiffener component is positioned inside the hollow interior portion of the first and second wall panels to reinforce the exterior surfaces of the wall panels and to prevent deforming or popping of the wall panels. In any instance, the wall panel array is held together non-adhesively.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

So that the manner in which the above recited features of the present invention can be better understood, certain drawings are appended hereto. It is to be noted, however, that the appended drawings illustrate only selected embodiments of the inventions and are therefore not to be considered limiting of scope, for the inventions may admit to other equally effective embodiments and applications.

FIG. 1 shows a simplified cut-through view of the dry joint aluminum wall panel attachment system, according to the preferred embodiment.

FIG. 2 shows a panel perimeter strip used in the attachment system.

FIG. 3 shows an attachment clip used in the attachment system.

FIG. 4 shows a cut-through view of a panel stiffener optionally used in the attachment system.

FIG. 5 shows a cut-through view of the aluminum composite material (ACM) used in the panels.

FIGS. 6, 7, 8 show progressive steps in the formation of an ACM panel for use in the present system.

FIG. 9 shows a cut-through view of an infill strip used in the attachment system.

FIG. 10 shows a detailed view of the preferred placement of the infill strip in the attachment system.

FIG. 11 shows a simplified elevational view of the sub-framing used before mounting the ACM panels in the present system.

FIG. 12 shows a detailed view of the complete attachment system with sub-framing.

FIGS. 13, 14 and 15 show progressive steps in the installation of panels in the present system (first method).

FIG. 16 shows a view of the installation of lengths of infill strip in the present system (second method).

FIG. 17 shows a view of a finished wall paneled exterior.

FIG. 18 shows a cut-through view of an alternative panel perimeter strip.

FIGS. 19 and 20 show cut-through views of two versions of an alternative panel stiffener.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present panel attachment system 10 uses an extruded aluminum attachment system for fastening fabricated panels to all building surfaces 52. The system's strength is further enhanced by the use of an extruded perimeter frame design.

The system 10 is designed to the standard of the rainscreen principle. Simply, it is designed so that the wall cavity is vented, resulting in a pressure equalized system as seen in FIG. 1. Controlled moisture drainage within the system, coupled with this equalized pressure, contributes to effective, maintenance free construction.

The extrusion process begins with an aluminum billet, the material from which the profiles are extruded. The billet must be softened by heat prior to extrusion process. The heated billet is placed into the extrusion press, a powerful hydraulic device wherein a ram pushes a dummy block that forces the softened metal through a precision opening, known as a die, to produce the required shapes. The extruded shape may have a mill or anodized finish.

The system includes a panel perimeter strip 14 (FIG. 2), which is attached to the ACM panel 32 using counter sunk rivets 36. The panel perimeter strip is designed to fit together with the attachment clip 16 (FIG. 3). The custom designed extrusion allows for maximum attachment area without foregoing structural integrity.

The attachment clip 16 (FIG. 3) is used on site to attach the panel perimeter strip 14 to the building as illustrated in FIG. 12. The clip 16 is designed so as to interlock with the panel perimeter strip 14 while holding the infill strip 38 (FIG. 10) securely in place.

The system optionally includes a panel stiffener 18 component (FIG. 4), which may be used on large sized panels. The stiffener 18 is used to prevent the popping or “oil canning” of the panel. As the panel heats up, the panel expands and makes a popping sound. The stiffener 18 reinforces the panel to reduce this effect.

The panel stiffener 18 may comprise a hollow tube, as shown in FIG. 4. An internally reinforced panel stiffener 18A, 18B may alternatively be used for greater stability (see FIGS. 19 and 20). Where panel stiffeners are used, the panel perimeter strip may be adapted to better locate and secure the stiffener component. A panel perimeter strip 14A having profile as shown in FIG. 18 may be advantageous for this purpose. The extended interior lip of the panel perimeter strip operates to secure the panel stiffener component.

Panel stiffeners may be provided in different sizes depending on the wind pressures to which the panel will be exposed. A larger width panel stiffener 18B may be advantageous where there are greater wind loads on the panel system or if less deflection on the panel is desired. It will be appreciated that the construction of the panels also provides a basic level of rigidity and stiffeners are not necessarily required.

As shown in FIG. 5, the aluminum composite material 20 (ACM) consists of a core of low density polyethylene 24 sandwiched between two sheets of aluminum 22 (each approximately 0.5 mm thick). The finish face of the aluminum is coated with a polyvinylidene fluoride coating. The inner aluminum layer is typically coated with chrome or polyester coatings. The standard thickness of the panel is 5/32″ (4 mm) but thickness may range from ⅛″ (3 mm) to ¼″ (6 mm), depending on customer preference or structural requirements.

A finished ACM panel 32 may be fabricated from a flat sheet of ACM 26 using different types of router and cutting bits 28 (FIG. 6). After the sheet of ACM has been cut and routed, it is then bent along the router lines to form the finished panel 32 (FIG. 7). The newly shaped panel 32 is then assembled with the panel perimeter strip 14 using a panel rivet 36 to complete the finished panel assembly (FIG. 8). A standard panel rivet for this application is 3/16″ diameter.

there are various methods to accomplish the routing and cutting process:

Method 1

  • Handheld router (not shown): A handheld router is used more often when reworking a panel to a different size. This method requires the simplest tool set up, but is the most labor-intensive method of fabrication due to the lengthy time for setup and layout of each different panel.

Method 2

  • Vertical table saw (not shown): A vertical table saw can also be used, both to cut and rout the panels. Custom “V” routing blades can be purchased to rout the panels. Panel design is limited using the vertical table saw in itself. Using it in combination with the hand held router has its advantages, but it is still a costly way to manufacture panels.

Method 3

  • CNC-Machine (not shown): The computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine is a complete and concise way to manufacture panels. Once the panel has been designed by a CAD operator it is then sent directly to the machine. This machine has been found to be very useful and economical for manufacturing panels. This is the applicants' preferred method for cutting and routing panels.

The infill strip (FIG. 9) is typically cut to a width of approximately 1¼″ (32 mm) for a ½″ (13 mm) joint. The infill strip replaces the conventional caulk joint, giving the panel system a clean, maintenance free appearance. The infill strip also is used to hide the fasteners 48 for the attachment clip (FIG. 10).

As shown in FIG. 11, to install the panel system, sub framing is first constructed using two back-to-back galvanized steel “L” angles 40 (FIG. 12); the two “L” angles allow the installer to level the substrate in all 3 axes before installation of panels. The sub framing is typically installed horizontally at each horizontal joint as shown in FIG. 11. The method of installation of the framing at its correct installation measurements starts at the bottom of the substrate wall and moves up, making sure that each row is level to the previous row installed.

A layer of isolation tape 42 may be applied to the back of aluminum attachment clips 16 (FIG. 3) to prevent direct contact between the galvanized steel sub framing and the aluminum attachment clip and thus prevent galvanic action (electrolytic decay of the aluminum) over time. Preferably, stainless steel self-drilling screws are used to fasten aluminum attachment clips to steel sub framing 40. After determining a logical order of installation, each panel is to be plumbed and leveled to ensure a tight and concise fit from panel to panel.

Infill strip is preferably shipped in long lengths and are to be cut to fit on site. The strips may have a protective plastic coating, which is then removed from the face of the infill strips before installing them. These infill strips can be installed one or two ways:

First, as shown in FIGS. 13-15, the infill strips may be slipped in before the adjacent panel is installed when the edge of the joint is not accessible, or when the infill strip has a curve or bend in it. The infill strip 38 is fitted into the space between the panel 32 return and the attachment clips 14 as illustrated in FIG. 13 and FIG. 14. Then an adjacent panel 32′ is installed so that the infill strip 38 and attachment clip 16 engage into the slots in the panel edge at the perimeter strip 14′ (FIG. 15).

As an alternative method of installation, the installer can slide the infill strip 38 in from the end (FIG. 16), which allows for a simplified installation of the panels. The infill strips are not installed until an area is complete. This means that panels can be adjusted for straightness and position even after adjacent panels have been installed. The difficulty with this method is that the end of the joint will not always be accessible (i.e. wall or window frame) and the infill strip 38 may have a tendency to catch on the attachment clips as it is being slid into the joint. To aid in the sliding of the strip, a tool may be used to pull the leading edge over the clips (not shown).

The finish faces of the panels may have a protective film 50 to protect against minor abrasions that may occur during handling and installation. The protective film may be peeled back from the returns of the panels before installing. To keep the panels clean and free of construction debris, generally the protective plastic film 50 is only removed from the faces of the panels once the landscaping has been completed, as seen in FIG. 17.

The foregoing description illustrates only certain preferred embodiments of the invention. The invention is not limited to the foregoing examples. That is, persons skilled in the art will appreciate and understand that modifications and variations are, or will be, possible to utilize and carry out the teachings of the invention described herein. Accordingly, all suitable modifications, variations and equivalents may be resorted to, and such modifications, variations and equivalents are intended to fall within the scope of the invention as described and within the scope of the claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8166716Jul 2, 2010May 1, 2012Macdonald Robert BDry joint wall panel attachment system
US8745941Feb 8, 2011Jun 10, 2014Robert B. MacDonaldMethod for installing wall panels to the exterior wall of a building
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/747.1
International ClassificationE04B2/82, E04B1/38
Cooperative ClassificationE04F13/0826, E04F13/0889, E04F13/12
European ClassificationE04F13/12, E04F13/08R, E04F13/08B2C8F
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 7, 2012ASAssignment
Owner name: EXTERIOR WALL SYSTEMS, LTD., CANADA
Effective date: 20120410
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:MACDONALD, ROBERT B.;MACDONALD, PHILIP A.;REEL/FRAME:028254/0101