US 3000144 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
p 19, 1961 J. R. KITSON 3,000,144
COMPOSITE PANELS FOR BUILDING CONSTRUCTIONS Filed March 7, 1956 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR JOSEPH R. KITSON /7i$ ATTORNEYS Sept. 19, 1961 J. R. KITSON COMPOSITE PANELS FOR BUILDING CONSTRUCTIONS Filed March 7, 1956 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 iiiiiiz! .I'NVENTOR Jose PH 7?. K1 T50N 3;
l: ATTORNE vs P 1961 J. R. KlTSON 3,000,144
COMPOSITE PANELS FOR BUILDING CONSTRUCTIONS Filed March 7, 1956 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 l Jl ll l 28 :IL IL I fig 11 INVENTOR JOSEPH R. K1 T50N ummq km /7/'s AITORNEYS United States Patent 3,000,144 COMPOSITE PANELS FOR BUILDING CONSTRUCTIONS Joseph R. Kitson, Newington, Conn., assignor, by mesne assignments, to Casavan Industries, Paterson, NJ., a
corporation of New Jersey Filed Mar. 7, 1956, Ser. No. 570,037 7 Claims. (Cl. 50-268) This invention relates to composite panels for building constructions, and more particularly to panels adapted to be reinforced by a ribbing or grid of mortar or grout occupying interstices in the panel and providing load bearing sections of great strength. The panels are particularly suited for reinforcement by a settable or hardenable fluid grout poured into the interstices after pre liminary installation in the position they are permanently to assume. Owing to the extreme lightness of their construction, the unreinforced panels may accordingly be made in very large sizes which are nevertheless readily handled in constructing a building.
The invention has for one of its main objects the provision of means for rapidly constructing walls, floors and ceilings of buildings by the use of these large panel sections, eliminating thereby the necessity for forming the structure by assembly of individual plates, studs, joists, etc., as in conventional frame houses, and the necessity for temporary supporting forms in poured concrete structures or the assembly of individual small blocks or bricks in conventional masonry construction. Broadly speaking this is of course not new as various attempts have previously been made to use preassembled panels of diiferent types, some of which have gone into very extensive commercial use. Still, even these have been subject to a number of troublesome disadvantages, not the least of which is great weight. This has imposed serious limitations on the size of a panel which can be conveniently and practically handled at the construction site, and has a very direct bearing on the final cost of the panels due to heavy shipping charges in transporting them from their point of manufacture to the place of use. Panels constructed in accordance with the invention herein disclosed are so extremely light in weight that units four feet by sixteen feet, for example, can easily be handled by two men, while units of larger dimensions are entirely practical with one or two more men.
The basic or unreinforced panels are accordingly made in relatively large modular sizes suitable for difierent types of building or related construction in which they are employed. The panels comprise a relatively thick main body or slab of self-supporting light weight filler or insulating material, and a much thinner impact-resistant sheet material bonded or otherwise secured to the face of the filler slab. As will appear more fully hereinafter, the panels are provided with passages or interstices extending throughout their respective areas which are adapted to receive a hardenable fluid grout, such as concrete, introduced after the erection of the 'panels. These passages are so formed as to provide a unitary network or grid of hardened concrete in the completed panel installation wherein said concrete serves as the principal reinforcing and load-bearing structure in that installation.
The panels may be constructed from the start to provide completely finished interior and exterior surfaces, doing away with all painting, plastering or papering. Or base surfaces only may be provided, allowing for subsequent finishing to meet individual requirements or tastes. In either case the surfacing is an integral part of the composite panels and is formed, as mentioned above, of relatively thin impact-resistant sheet material of various kinds such as fiberboard, plywood or light 3,000,144 Patented Sept. 19., 1961 ice gauge metal, but more especially of a plastic sheet material such as sheet polystyrene. The latter combines lightness of weight, relatively low cost, ease of producing unusual and attractive decorative effects and excellent moisture resistance with ease of working. Importantly also, it has substantial rigidity and surface hardness and is a good heat insulator, with the result that its use as surfacing material is particularly desirable.
The insulating slab or filler is of cellular construction to reduce weight to a minimum and also to provide a heat and sound insulating batting built integrally into the panel. This filler material, while not generally relied upon primarily for strength in the final structure, must have suficient rigidity to support itself in large slabs, and to resist substantial deformation by the fluid grout when the latter is poured into interstices defined by the filler material alone or in conjunction with the facing sheets.
A material which has been found to be particularly effective in this respect is a bubble or foam type of poly styrene plastic. This is formed by expanding granular polystyrene resin in a suitable mold using hot water or steam to produce a multi-cellular mass of extremely low density. The cells are air-filled and the density of the resulting mass can be controlled by the amount of polystyrene resin placed in the mold. Commercially the product is made by Dow Chemical Company under the trade name Styrofoam. The product does not absorb water and has high resistance to mold growth, rot and decay, as well as being vermin and termite proof. In combination with polystyrene plastic sheet facings, to which it is easily bonded by fusing or cementing, it produces a panel that can be easily cut with conventional woodworking tools.
The novel panels may be easily joined when setting them in place by molding strips, or simply by welding or fusing butt joints where the facings are formed of thermoplastic material such as polystyrene. They may be easily secured to building foundations by means of conventional tie rods or bolts embedded in the foundation as will be more fully explained presently.
'In order to provide the necessary structural rigidity and strength for supporting compressive as well as lateral or other loads in construction requirements, the filler material is provided with a network of interconnected passages and/or grooves of various designs which are filled, after a panel is set up in position, with a fluid grout. When this sets to a hard condition it provides the principal load-bearing structure of the completed wall. The panel unit itself thus serves not only as a means for forming the load-supporting core of concrete or the like, but also as an integral and permanent part of the completed wall or other load bearing section.
A somewhat modified form of the basic panel unit maybe employed as flooring, having built into it reinforced concrete ribs which act as beams to support the necessary floor loads. This form may also serve as a ceiling panel, of course.
These and other advantages of the novel panel construction will become more apparent from the accompanymg drawings illustrating typical examples of several practical embodiments of the invention, and from the detailed description of these constructions which follows. It will be understood of course that the examples given are merely illustrative and that the invention is not limited to the precise arrangements shown except to the extent required by the appended claims.
In the drawings,
FIG. 1 is a perspective view in elevation of a portion .of an unreinforced building panel constructed in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary view of a portion of the panel shown in FIG. 1, the front face of the panel slab;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the panel, taken on line 33 of FIG. 1;
FIG. -4is a view similar to that of FIG. 3 but showing a modified form of panel;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary view showing floor and wall panels permanently installed in position on a foundation in a completed building;
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view illustrating one form of a completed corner joint using panels employing thermoplastic exterior and interior sheet facing material;
FIGS. 7 and 8 are cross-sectional views of pairs of abutting panels showing two different types of joints;
FIG. 9 is a. longitudinal crosssection of a floor or ceiling panel showing reinforced concrete ribbing embedded therein;
FIG. 10 .is a transverse section on line 10-10' of FIG. 9; 7
FIG. 11 is a front elevational view of .a panel having a decorative natural stone facing, some of the facing being removed to show the underlying panel surface;
FIG. 12 is a transverse sectional view taken on line 12-12 of FIG. 11; and
FIG. 13 is a broken view in cross section of a panel similar to that shown in FIG. 3 but'employing internal tie members extending between the facing sheets.
The basic panel unit P, a small section of which is shown more particularly in FIG. 1 of the drawings, is generally rectangular in shape, the overall dimensions being subject to wide variation. Most desirably, the panels are manufacured in standard modular dimensions suitable for building construction, and these may then be readily out if necessary at the building site. By'reason of the remarkable lightness .in weight of the basic panel unit, modular dimensions substantially greater than any heretofore practical in building panels may be used. Thus, for example, sections from four to eight feet wide by sixteen to twenty feet long are easily handled, as-even the thickest panels normally used weigh on the average less than one-half pound per square foot.
Each panel P is composed of a relatively thick central block or slab 20 of multi-cellular, lightweight, stiff filler material sandwiched between relatively thin, hard sheets 22, 24 of facing material. As mentionedhereinabove, the filler slab may be any lightweight insulating material having at least sufiicient rigidity to be -largely self-supporting, such as felt, rock wool or a cellulosic material, but preferably is foamed polystyrene plastic. While the thickness of this slab will of course vary in practicedepending upon the particular requirements and the -materials used, this dimension will ordinarily range from two to six inches. The facing sheets 22, 24, may likewise be formed Many of several types of suitable material and may be alike or different, but as shown inthe drawings they are each composed of'polystyrene plastic sheet. In general the thickness of these-sheets is such as to give them substantial rigidity and in'practice will-vary from around one-sixteenth to one-quarter of an inch, oneeighth of an inch being about the average for most purposes,
In order to allow for the reinforcement of the-panels to support heavy structural loads, theyare formed inspaced furrows 26, 28, are formed in each face, the
furrows in each set being parallel to each other and substantially perpendicular to'those in the other :set, thereby leaving small rectangular lands :30 which are elevated above the main body of the slab. Facing sheets 22, 24, are bonded to these lands, forming with the' slab :a network of intercommunicating passages adjacent the facing sheets into which the fluid grout may easily flow. When this 'hardens, it forms a rigid grid of great compressive strength at each side of the filler slab. The latter is also formed or routed to provide grooves 32, 34, somewhat narrower than the furrows but substantially deeper, being approximately half the thickness of the slab. A series of grooves 32 are spaced along one face of the slab and extend across its width at an angle to the furrows. In the example shown the grooves extendat approximately 45 to the furrows which run parallel to the respective edges of the slab. Grooves 34 in the other face of the slab are similarly angled with respect to the furrows in that face, but extend in a direction diagonally opposite to that of grooves 32. Where the depth of the grooves is just slightly greater than half the (thickness of the slab, the two intercommunicate at the points of intersection. These grooves also are filled with grout in the final construction, which, when hardened, forms a series of trusses supplementing the straight compressive strength of the panel provided by the grids at the surfaces ofthe slab with which they form an integral box construction. These trusses also, by reason of their web thickness or depth impart column strength to the panel, as well as bracing the facings 22, 24, against direct, laterally imposed loads. This is further enhanced by reason of thecommunication between the grooves 32, 34, at their points of intersection which allows the concrete reinforcement to form ties or cross-bracing at these points.
A generally similar arrangement of reinforcing passages is present in the panel construction shown in FIG. 4. In this case,-the slab 20ais provided with a single set of slotsor interstices 36 locatedinterrnediate the faces of the slab, and there is accordingly formed a central grid of reinforcing concrete. Grooves 32,34, similar to those in FIG. 3 'are'again employed to form webs or ribs on either side of the central reinforcing grid, and these extend in diagonally opposite directions across the respective faces of the slab as before.
Each of the panels is also desirably formed with peripheral troughs 37, 370, formed in the exposed edges of the slabs 20, 20a, respectively, to provide a space between adjoining panels in a building construction for purposes that will be explained later.
Construction of a wall using the panels is easily accomplished, as shown more particularly in FIGS. 5 through 8. As'seen in FIG. 5, a conventional concrete footing or foundation wall F is formed with tie rods 38 embedded therein .at spaced intervals. Wall panels are then set-on edge on the foundation, withv the tie rods 38 projecting up into recesses 40 gouged in the slab material at the appropriate locations. In gouging these recesses, which may be done with almost any long sharp instrument such as a chisel, drill or even a pointed stick, they are made sufliciently large-so as to intersect someo-f the passages in the slab and thus ensure that concrete will flow'into the recesses. After the panels are set in position, the various-interstices in the panels are filled with concrete 42 which is poured into the panels at their exposed upper=edgesand flows throughout the network of passages including the recesses 40 to tie the panels to the foundation.
-In joining panels, either at an-angle orin the same plane, the sheet polystyrene is simply welded by heat to form a smooth, continuous, tight joint as the panels are set in position. In'the corner joint illustrated in FIG. 6, an edge portion'of each of the panels is cut back for a distance equal to the thickness of the adjoining panel, leaving only the outer facing in each case. The panels are then set in position .with their respective facings in abutment and welded at the junctions 44, 46. This leaves an opencornerspace 48. which is eventually filled with concrete to form a post 50.. 7
' The joining of panels in the same planeis' accomplished inthesame :mannenasseenin FIG. 7. Again the abutting edges-:of the facings are welded together when the panels are set in position. The troughs 37 in the adjacent edges of the panels form between them a space 52 which is subsequently filled with concrete providing a rib 54.
A modified form of panel construction is shown in FIG. 8, in which facings 22, 24', are formed at opposite edges with tongue-and-groove interlocking means molded in the edges of the sheet material. This arrangement facilitates erection of building walls by holding the panels in position until the concrete is poured; In the specifically illustrated form shown, the facings at one edge of a panel extend beyond the edge of the slab 20 and are bent inwardly and then outwardly to form a tongue 56 having recesses 57 at each side. At the opposite edge of the panel, the facings also extend beyond the slab forming a socket 58. Each of the edges of the facing at this point is provided with interior barbs 59 adapted to snap into the recesses 57 when two panels are pushed together edgewise. This provides temporary support for the panels and the adjoining edges may then be welded together and the concrete poured as before.
There is also illustrated in FIG. a floor panel in posi tion on the foundation, and one of these panels is shown in somewhat greater detail in FIGS. 9 and 10. The panel here is generally similar to the wall panels in much of its construction. Thus it comprises a central slab 60 of Styrofoam, for example, having bonded to its opposite surfaces facing sheets 62, 64. Adjacent the lower facing 64, the slab has a series of spaced parallel grooves 66 running lengthwise within which are disposed beams or bars 68 of reinforced concrete. Bars 68 are preformed by placing a steel reinforcing rod 68a under tension and holding such tension while a surrounding shell 68b of concrete is poured and allowed to set, in conventional manner. The preformed, reinforced bars 68 are then embedded in slab 60 by molding the latter around these beams while supported in a suitable mold cavity, during or after which the lower and upper facings 64, 62, respectively, are bonded to the slab. If desired, additional interstices 70 may be formed in the panel, similar to those previously described. It will be apparent that the undersurface 64 of these panels serves as a finished ceiling where this is required.
In the foregoing discussion it has been assumed that the facings 22, 24, on panel P provide the finished wall surfaces, and as mentioned these may be colored or given simulated marble or other finishes for decorative purposes. It will be apparent however that these facings may serve only as roughly finished wall surfaces to which clapboards, shingles or the like may be applied on the outside, or to which other paneling or paper may be applied on the inside. Shingles, for example, are easily nailed to the walls after they have been set in place and the cement poured and allowed to set. The nails can be driven directly through the concrete forming the grid subjacent the panel facings, or they may be spaced to pass through the facings at the points where the latter rest on and are bonded directly to the lands 30 of the slab.
Provision may also be made for combining a natural stone facing with the panels, as shown in FIGS. 11 and 12. In this instance, the outer facing 80 of a panel has ridges 82 molded in its surface which are so formed as to provide pockets having the outline of the size and shape of pieces of natural stone veneer 84. These pieces are cut in a variety of standard sizes and shapes and are held in correspondingly shaped pockets by a suitable mastic 86. Mortar 88 is then filled into the joints between adjacent stones, covering ridges 82 to give the ap pearance of a regular masonry wall. Since the stone in this instance supports no load whatever and is merely for appearance, it can be very thin, thus providing a natural stone finish at very low cost. Different sizes and shapes of stones can be employed to get a varied arrangement as shown in the drawings, and the work of select- 6 7 ing stones of the right size and shape to give an attractive finished wall is greatly facilitated by reason of the pockets formed in the panel 80. Obviously the same arrangement can be used for stone, tile or brick of uniform size and shape, if desired.
In .FIG. 13 there is illustrated a further modification of the basic panel construction shownin FIGS. 1 to 3, in which tie members 90, extending between opposite facings 22, 24, are embedded in the filler slab 20 when this is formed. These tie members are spaced at intervals throughout the panel and are preferably formed of a plastic of any type having suitable strength and rigidity, although they may obviously be of metal or Wood if desired. Each member comprises a central columnar portion 92 terminating at each end in an enlargement or head 94. Facings 22, 24 are secured to heads 94 by cementing or fusing which may be in addition to, or in place of, cementing or fusing the facings directly to the filler slab 20 itself. The use of tie members with enlarged heads as here shown affords relatively large surfaces at the ends of the members for bonding the facing sheets while avoiding excess weight in the members 90. Where the outer surfaces of these members are located substantially flush with the faces of slab 20, this is the preferred arrangement. However, if the ends of the tie members are allowed to project substantially beyond the faces of the slab, as may be done to provide the space to be filled by concrete instead of employing the furrows 26, 28, in the slab itself, the process of embedding the tie members in the slab is simplified if they are of substantially uniform cross section throughout their extent.
Many other modifications in the details of the various arrangements specifically illustrated herein will be obvious to those skilled in this field and it will be understood that changes may accordingly be made without departing from the scope of the invention which is defined in the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
l. A concrete reinforced building panel of large modular dimensions, comprising a main body slab of low density, relatively low strength expanded thermosetting plastic resin, and thin impact-resistant sheet facing material secured on the surface of said slab, the latter being formed to provide at least two sets of spaced parallel passages extending throughout the panel area, the passages in one set being disposed at an angle to those in the other set and intersecting the latter to provide multiple points of communication between the two sets throughout the panel area, and a hardened concrete grout filling said passages and providing an integral rigid grid of interconnected structural mcmbers serving as the principal load-bearing support in said panel.
2. A concrete reinforced building panel as defined in claim 1, wherein said sets of intersecting passages are formed in a face of said main body slab between the latter and said sheet facing material, whereby said concrete grid is in contact with and directly supports said facing material throughout its extent against structural loads applied to the face of the panel.
3. A concrete reinforced building panel as defined in claim 1, wherein said body slab is formed of expanded polystyrene.
4. A concrete reinforced building panel as defined in claim 1, wherein said sheet facing material projects peripherally beyond the edges of said slab for engagement with corresponding edges of adjacent panels to form a passage between such panels and within which said concrete is also disposed.
5. A concrete reinforced building panel as defined in claim 1, wherein one of said sets of passages comprises parallel grooves extending across the face of said slab and of a depth of at least one half the thickness of said slab.
I 6. A concrete reinforced building panel as defined in claim 5, wherein a further set of parallel grooves is formed in said slab, said further set being formed in the opposite slab face from the first set and being disposed at an angle thereto to cause the two ,sets ofsgrooves to intersect at multiple points throughout the panel area.
7. A concrete reinforced floor panel of generally rectangu'lar shape and large modulardimensions at least one of which is equal toone dimension of the floorspan to be bridged, said panel comprising a main body slab of low density, relatively low strength "expanded thermosetting plastic resin, and'thin impact resistant sheet facing material secured on'the surface of said slab, at least one reinforced concrete rib embedded in said slab extending lengthwise of the span to be bridged by said panel, and sets of parallel passages in said slab communicating with each other adjacent said facing material, and hardened concrete filling said passages and forming with said reinforced rib the principal load-bearing structure of said floor panel.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS;
De laSauce Jan. 24, Comstock May 7, Harrap June-8, Powell Nov. 2, Holcomb Apr. 19', Boyer ;May 22,, Willson 'Se'pt. 23, ,Stone Aug. 29, Willson Apr. 10, Kropa et a1 Nov,-20, Simon et a1 Dec.27, Jones Jan. 17, Lighter May 29,
FOREIGN PATENTS France Oct. 12, France J-uly 1'8, Germany Dec. 8,