US 2978758 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 11, 1961 H. s. DUNN WATER-BEAM CANOPY 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 28, 1960 l l I INVENTOR. Hmow 5.DUNN,
April 11, 1961 H. s. DUNN 2,978,758
WATER-BEAM CANOPY Filed March 28. 1960 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 (O ?.l no 2| \L Jim/ t INVENTOR HAROLD 6. DUNN,
4 r raR/vE Y April 1961 H. s. DUNN 2,978,758
WATER-BEAM CANOPY Filed March 28, 1960 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Z5 11 i f 44 INVENTOR. 1 HAROLD 5. DU NN,
H TTORNEY WATER-BEAM CANOTY Harold S. Dunn, 163 Fiesta Way, Fort Lauderdaie, Fla.
Filed Mar. 28, 1960, Ser. No. 17,862
6 Claims. ((Il. 20957.5)
This invention relates broadly to canopies for covering outdoor areas, such as patios, swimming pools or the like and constitutes a substitution for the conventional canvas awnings presently employed.
The invention contemplates, a canopy that includes a plurality of spaced apart rafter beams of H-formation' and with the space between the beams being spanned by" preferably molded panels of expanded polystyrene ofi such 'thickness that the panels. may be slightlybowed; upwardly to constitute water drainage and with means; at each end of the panels that provide a novel connection for the ends of the panels with the H-rafters and whereby the connecting means constitute a flashing so that water draining from the panels will be directed into. the upper trough of the rafters to be subsequently dis charged from the ends of the rafters.
The immediate need for a canopy of this typearises fronrthe many shortcomings of shelters, such as canvas awning covers, where the shelters are kept in placethroughout the year. Under such conditions, deterioration takes place very rapidly by reason of the actionof. the sun, rain, and wind. Canvas. is relatively cheap for forming ashelter when considering the first installation costs and then again approximately one-half thatmucli for renewal and it has been found that canvas in this area will last about three to four years at most in exposed areas. Unless a large number of rafters. are employed, adding to the expense, the canvas roof must have one to one-half inch pitch per foot inorder to shed water; fast enough. If many liberties are taken with this matter of pitch, the water willcollect in depressions and; rapid deterioration takes place. Even with a new and Well-designedcanvas awning, stretching of material and seams will take place. Wind actionwill acjcelera'teweari and eventual rippingof va canvas canopy after a period. of use. Further, canvasis hot, asthere is no insulating efi'ect in this type of covering. j
- In presenting this invention the immediate thought is to offer a relatively low priced shelter for canopies, carports', patios, andthe like in competitionwith canvas; coverings butnot subject to the disadvantages of canvasand the like. Galvanized steel piping has been thebasis for canvas patio frame-work and this. invention contemplates the useof aluminum (anodized) tubing and chan; nels as the basis for the supporting. structure of. this., canopy.
Novel features of constructionand operation of the device will be more, clearly apparent during th ecourse of the following deseription, reference being. had to the accompanyingdrawingswherein has been illustrated the. preferred formsof the device and wherein like characj 6o ters of reference are employed to denote like parts throughout, the several figures.
In the drawings: Figure l is a fragmentary top plan view of a canopy constructed in accordance with the invention, i
I F gure 2 is an enlargedend view of the structure of Figure 1',
.Pa te P?- 1. 61
Figure 3' is, an enlarged transverse sectiontakensubstantially on line, 3 30f Figure 1,.
Figure 4 is a fragmentary perspective; view of a combined connec tor for the panels and a drip strip,
Figured. is a perspeetive view of one canopyeforming anel. r p Figure. 6'is a transverse section taken through a pair of adjacent panels and illustrating one form of uniting and weathering the longitudinal abutting edges dr" thepanel,
Figure 7 isa similar view illustratinga further con;
necting means. for the longitudinal edges of the panels,
Figure 8 is a similar view illustrating a further modified form of connecting means between the longitudinal' abutting edges of the panels,
Figure 9 is a combined supporting post and down spout for the H-beams,
Figure l0,is a section takenonline 10.-10 of Figure:
The beams 5 areinstalled in equidistantly spaced relation and with a suitable incline downwardly from the build ing to which it is attached, thus constituting a drainage gutter that is coextensive witheach of the beams. 5. The
several beams 5 mayv be connected against lateral flexing by purlins 9...
Disposed in bowed connected relation with respect to adjacent upper edges ofthe sidewalls 6, are panels 10.
The panelsgll) are preferably formed of expanded polystyrene, approximatelyone inch thick and having a den sity of about two to three pounds per cubic foot; One
example of a desired panel will have a dimension of: about six feetlong and two to three feet, wide. The.
panels 10;are provided .along their end portions with V5 grooves 11. The longitudinal abutting edges of the panelswill be connected and weathered in a manner to be. presently described. W
The panels 10 are connected to adjacent bearns. 5
through the mediumof a combined connector and drip;
strip, illustrated as. a whole by the numeral 12, see particularly Figure 4. The strip 12 is also preferably formed of relatively thin aluminum sheets having a lower; con-.
necting flange. 13 and withthe flange 13 .being bent upon itself to form a wedge 14; The wedge 14 is proportioned: to snugly. seat within the grooves 11., The wedge 14. is' extended outwardly,. forming a flange 15, that has its.
free edge angled downwardly at 16, to form a.weathering drip strip for thestructure. The flange .13. is apertured at spaced apart points, 'as at..17, to receive fasten.- ing screws: 18 that, have threaded engagement within. suitable openings forrned in the Walls 6 of the H-beam adjacent the upper edges thereof. It will be apparent, that the several panels 10 constituting one section of the canopy will be engaged with thestrips 12 in fully seated relation to the grooves 11 and it should be under stood, that the'strips 12 will be co-extensive with the beams or rafters 5. The panels in their straight position will obviously partially overlap the rafters 5. It now. becomes necessarythat the panels be connected at one end to one rafter and then bowed upwardly so that the opposite end and its connector strip 12 may be engaged over themarginal portion of the adjacent wall 6 after which, the screws 18 are engaged withthe. walls 6 and the. entire, assembly maintained-"in bowed covering relation with respect to a particular area to be enclosed. With' the wall 6, the flange 15 of the strips will overlie the upper.
marginal edges'of the beamfi and with the single flange 16 slightly extending into the upper channel 8. Thus, 7
Water will drain in opposite directions fromthe'pa nels 10 to fall downwardly into the upper channel 8 where it will be conveyed outwardlyfor suitable disposal. The wedge 14 will preferably be adhesivelybonded into the grooves 11.
Since the canopy will be formed of multiple panels 10 in parallel abutting relation, it becomes necessary that the panels be weathered with respect to each other along their longitudinal abutting edges. Oneexample for a weathering between the abutting edges of the panels has been illustrated in Figure 6. Here, the longitudinal edges of the panels 10 are slotted at 19, to receive connector strips 20 that preferably extend for the full length of the panels. The strip 20 is also preferably formed of aluminum or polyester resin fiberglass plastics and at assembly, the strip 20 is adhesively bonded into the grooves 19 and the abutting edges of the panels are also adhesively bonded together. -It will of course be apparent that in the assembly of the panels with respect to the strips 12, the panels will be simultaneously bonded and weathered along their longitudinal edges.
, In Figure 7 there has been illustrated a modified form of weathering for the longitudinal edges of the panels, comprising tongues 21 and grooves 22 along the opposite longitudinal edges of each panel. The tongues and grooves will have interlocking engagement as clearly shown in Figure 7 and theabutting edges of the tongues and grooves are likewise adhesively bonded.
Figure 8 illustrates a further modified connection for the longitudinal edges of the panels and in this. instance, there has been provided an elongated I-beam section 23, proportioned to receive the marginal edge portions of the panels 10 to the full depth of the I-beam. The I-beam is preferably serrated upon its inner surfaces longitudinally as indicated at 24 that constitutes a water barrier and in addition, the end portions of the panels are adhesively bonded into the channel ofthe I-bearn. Since the canopy structure is of bowed formation, it follows that the I-beam 23 will be initially bowed in accordance with the curvature of the canopy.
Since the beams must be supported at their outer ends, there has been provided preferably square aluminum posts 25. The posts 25 at their lower ends are set in the concrete 26 forming the floor slab for the structure to be enclosed. Since the posts 25 are hollow, it follows that these posts could effectively serve as downspouts of the water draining from the beams 5; The posts have a dimension that permits their upper ends to be fully seated into the lower channel of the beam 5 to contact the web portion 7. The web portion 7 is preferably apertured axially of the posts 25, as shownat 27 and the metal surrounding the aperture is preferably flared downwardly to facilitate the flow of water from the upper channel of the beam downwardly through the post 25. A transverse dam 28 is installed within the upper channel 8 adjacent to the aperture 27 so that any water draining from the beam will be directed downwardly through the posh Sothat no water will collect at the bottom of the post, the post has been set in the concrete a predetermined depth and the concrete rising in-- side the post to the floor level. The post is then provided with a drainage opening 29 facing outwardly with respect to the structure so that each of the posts sup-- porting the beams 5 serve the dual function of creating an ornamental support and a very desirable water takeoff. There will be no corrosion or rusting, since the beam 5 and the posts 25 are formed of aluminum; The upper. ends of the posts will be secured in any desirable t manner within the lower channel of the beam 5 against shifting and the same also applies to the darn 28.
A further desirable method of draining the water from the beams 5 has been illustrated in Figures 1 and 11. Here, the beams 5 are supported by the posts 25 and the posts constitute the only supporting means for the beams and do not contemplate water drainage therethrough. A novel form of gutter has been provided that, comprises a U-shaped channel 30 that functions as a spanning transverse member for the canopy structure, and also a transverse drainage member. It frequently happens that in carports, garages or the like that a sufficient opening must be provided for the entry of vehicles and with the conventional spacing of the beams illustrated in the invention, it becomes necessary that a spanning and supporting member be provided to sup port an intermediate beam or beams. A channel three to four inches in height will be capable of supporting at least one intermediate beam 5, while the beams at each side of the opening are supported by the posts 25. The beam 30 is slotted and fitted upwardly into the lower channel 8 of the beams 5 at each side of the opening and also anintermediate beam and either welded or otherwise conveniently fixedly connected with the beams. The channel 30 projects below the marginal edges of the beams 5 throughout the span, and constitutes a transverse gutter that receives the flow of Water from the upper channel 8 of the beams through the aperture 27, thus draining the water laterally with respect to the canopy and at the same time providing a very desirable spanning supporting element for the intermediate beam. The dam 28 will of course be installed within the upper channel 8 so as to direct all water downwardly through the aperture 27.
It will be apparent from the foregoing that an exceptionally strong water-beam canopy has been provided. The rafters or beams 5, probably spaced about six feet apart, would have considerable strength as they would be four inches high in total. Probability is that they will span twelve to fifteen feet without appreciable sag. If there is any tendency toward sagging, this can be readily overcome by suitable intermediate supports. Purlins would be spaced at suitable intervals cross-ways of the rafters and secured by interior brackets to the lower half of the H-beams. These purlins would be one by two inches, rectangular tubing installed on edge. Thus, it will be seen that there would be no penetration by screw holes in the upper part of. the beams that might otherwise constitute areas of leakage.
With the rafters in place and the purlins holding the structure together and preventing outward thrust, the canopy would constitute a covering or roof structure having a series of arch panels, lending to the structure a symmetrical form that is both waterproof and insulating. The panels in effect constitute a thick cloth, cloth with insulating and translucent qualities. The panels will be arched approximately three to four inches, providing a very effective drainage of water to the gutters formed by the .H-beams. It is also possible that the panels maybe initially molded in an arched manner if found desirable. The end portions of the panels below the wedge grooves 11 may be formed slightly indented for clearance of the panels with respect to the beams and to permit the upper end portions of the panels to extend an appreciable distance over the strip 12. -With the marginal longitudinal edges of the panels being weathered along their abutting edges, it will be apparent that there hasb'een provided a very tight and waterproof arched root, which can come loose only by rather complete destruction of the polystyrene sheet. The polystyrene sheets can be additionally water-proofed by painting, covering and bonding the panels with a thin sheet of polyester resin fiberglass or, covering the upper faces of the panels witha thin sheet of aluminum.
It should be pointed out that the canopy comprises a system of interval guttering, permitting water to drain from the areas of the canopy at spaced apart points rather than the large volume of water that would be discharged from the conventional canvas awning. The trouble with most add-to structures is that height is rapidly lost in the necessity to keep dropping progressively in order to drain water away from a suitable high point. If a patio shelter goes out far enough from a house, a tall person cannot well stand erect in a current typical construction. The angularity of the beams 5 will be relatively little and it has been found that a pitch of from A3 inch to A inch per foot will be adequate and this pitch is hardly enough to be observed. The interval guttering disclosed in this application has achieved a relatively flat roof, in contrast with the large pitch in a typical lean-t or in a gables type roof where all of the pitch is concentrated in one or two sections. In a rather large roof construction it has been found that the pitch of the beams will probably be not more than two or three inches. By up-thrusting the arches by three inches in a six foot span, it provides a good drop of one inch per foot (half one way and half the other) in the interval guttering construction. The Weathering between the marginal edges of the panels is parallel with the flow of water, all with excellent pitch for quick flow-oft and due to the rapid flow of water from the panels in opposite directions, the problem of weathering the abutting edges is not acute at this point. Various means may be employed for attachment to the house as will be well within the expected skill of the mechanic in assembling the device. The discharge of water from the beams may be done in any desirable manner but preferably by the means illustrated in Figures 9-11.
The important benefits of a structure such as that presented in this application are as follows:
(1) Such a roof would be strong and light in weight.
(2) It would be translucent.
(3) It would not be discriminated against in building codes any more so than is canvas. A piece of expanded polystyrene flying through the air in storm conditions and striking a person would not hurt more than a strip of canvas cloth.
(4) The construction would be long-lasting.
(5) The construction is 100 percent water-proof.
(6) The construction is cool, since there has been employed one of the best insulating materials now available.
(7) The problem of height loss so common with add-to structure by designing a relatively flat drainage roof.
(8) No other roof to the knowledge of the applicant, such as canvas, aluminum and even of conventional wood construction is so completely guttered and with practically no drip or drainage at the edges of the structure.
(9) The design of construction permits its use with plywood and other materials other than expanded polystyrene for the roofs. In such cases the property of translucency would be lost.
It is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the precise construction shown, but that changes are contemplated as readily fall within the spirit of the invention as shall be determined by the scope of the subjoined claims.
Having described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. A canopy structure for overlying relation to a patio or other area to be protected, comprising a plurality of metallic supporting beams of H-shape that are connected at their inner ends to an adjacent building and inclined downwardly and outwardly, the H-beams being equidistantly spaced apart and parailel, an upper channel of the beams constituting water drainage troughs, elongated closure panels formed of expanded polystyrene foam that are cumulative in spanning relation to the spaces between the beams, metallic connector strips engaged with the opposite ends of the panels, the strips constituting the means for connecting the ends of the panels to adjacent upper edges of the beams, the strips also constituting a flashing whereby water flowing from the panels will be directed into the trough of the beams, the panels being longitudinally upwardly bowed throughout their length whereby water falling upon the panels will be drained in opposite directions to be discharged into the troughs of the beams, and means to support the beams at their outer end portions, the said means also conveying the water away from the beams.
2. The structure according to claim 1, wherein the cumulative panels have abutting relation along their marginal longitudinal edges, the abutting edges of the beams being adhesively bonded together.
3. The structure according to claim 1, wherein the beams have upwardly and downwardly facing channels defined by side Walls and a connecting web, the said panels provided entirely across their opposite ends with V-shaped grooves, the said strips having a downwardly extending flange portion for connection to outer sides of the side walls adjacent their upper marginal edges, the strips also having a wedge portion that is adapted to have a wedging engagement into the V-shaped grooves whereby to support the opposite ends of the panels with respect to the upper marginal edges of the beams, the said strips being co-extensive with the beams and flanged to overlie and partially extend into the trough whereby to direct water from the panels to the trough.
4. The structure according to claim 2 wherein the abutting edges of the panels are slotted and with the slots of adjacent beams being in registry and a filler strip that simultaneously engages the slots of adjacent panels at assembly, the strips also being adhesively bonded into the slots, the said strips being translucent.
5. The structure according to claim 2, wherein the panels along their abutting longitudinal edges have a tongue and groove connection that is adhesively bonded together.
6. The structure according to claim 2, wherein the longitudinal edges of the panels are connected by I-beam sections and with adjacent edges of the panels engaging in the opposite channels of the I-beam, the inner surfaces of the I-beam being longitudinally serrated, the marginal portions of the panels being adhesively bonded into the channels of the I-beam.
References Cited in'the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 168,257 Inghels Sept. 28, 1875 1,965,601 Kotrboty July 10, 1934 2,360,031 Andrews Oct. 10, 1944 2,682,923 Yuhas July 6, 1954 2,865,267 Bailey Dec. 23, 1958 FOREIGN PATENTS 807,019 Germany June 25, 1951