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Publication numberUS3143165 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 4, 1964
Filing dateJul 18, 1961
Priority dateJul 18, 1961
Publication numberUS 3143165 A, US 3143165A, US-A-3143165, US3143165 A, US3143165A
InventorsRobert H Howard, Ted W Lewis, Jerry N Worthy
Original AssigneeRobert H Howard, Ted W Lewis, Jerry N Worthy
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Metal frame structure and preformed structural units comprising the same
US 3143165 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

g- 1964 "r. w. LEWIS ETAL METAL FRAME STRUCTURE AND PREFQRMED STRUCTURAL UNITS COMPRISING THE SAME Filed July 18, 1961 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Q N Y m i- "a u LE R i LL X it Q R R x n Q Q Q Q INVENTORS Ted W. Lewls a Roberi H. Howard Jerry Worthy x {g BY ATTORNEY 8- 1964 T w. LEWIS ETAL 3,

METAL FRAME s'ruc'ruRE AND PREFORMEZD STRUCTURA UNITS COMPRISING THE SAME Filed July 18, 1961 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Robert H. Howard Jerry Worthy Fig.5 BY 7 @wz'ffi ATTORNEY Aug. 4, 1964 'r. w. LEWIS ETAL METAL FRAME STRUCTURE AND PREFORMED STRUCTURAL UNITS COMPRISING THE SAME Filed July 18, 1961 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTORS Ted W. Lewis Robert H. Howard Jerry Worthy Z2 23 ATTORNEY Aug. 4, 1964 'r. w. LEWIS ETAL 3,143,165

METAL FRAME STRUCTURE AND PREFORMED STRUCTURAL UNITS COMPRISING THE SAME 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed July 18, 1961 INYENTORS Ted W. Le wls IMMII Robert H. Howard Jerry Worthy BY @QXKW ATTORNEY Aug. 4, 1964 'r. w. |-:w|s ETAL 3,143,165

METAL FRAME STRUCTURE AND PREF'ORMED STRUCTURAL UNITS COMPRISING THE SAME Filed July 18, 1 961 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTORS Ted W. Lewis Robert H. Howard Jerry Wo rfhy ATTORNEY United States Patent Office 3,143,165 Patented Aug. 4., 1964 3,143,165 METAL FRAME STRUCTURE AND PREFORMED STRUQTURAL UNITS COMPRISING THE SAME Ted W. Lewis, 7225 .Eewel Ave, Fort Worth, Tex; Robert H. Howard, @109 Preston Highway, Louisville, Ky; and Jerry N. Worthy, 2210 Main St., Big Spring, Tex.

Filed July 18, 1961, Ser. No. 124,869 2 Ciairns. (Cl. 160394) This invention relates to building construction, and it has particular reference to structures adapted to be erected as permanent or temporary enclosures for swimming pools, patios, and the like, or for the protection of nursery stock and hot house plant growth, and the principal object of the invention resides in the provision of a frame structure which can be easily and rapidly assembled with preformed aluminum parts capable of being extruded, or formed on a sheet metal break, and secured by screws, bolts, or other removable devices.

An important object of the invention, is that of providing a structural frame having means formed in its vertical and horizontal supporting members for the attachment of a screen covering to exclude insects, and other undesirable elements from the enclosure, and providing means for the application of a sheet plastic material over the screen covering, if desired, to exclude wind and moisture from outside while admitting sunlight.

Another object of the invention resides in the provision of a novel extruded I-beam unit formed with integral longitudinal grooved flanges between the top and bottom plates on opposite sides of the web for attaching roof covering thereto in a horizontal plane.

Yet another object of the invention is that of providing plate, stud and purlin units adapted to be joined in horizontal and vertical arrangement with respect to the I-beam units, and to each other, by especially designed coupling devices adapted to expedite assembly and afford detachable but rigid association of the assembled units.

An important object of the invention resides in the provision of a relatively light but economical building structure which is readily adaptable to implement existing structures, or as an independent enclosure set apart by itself, and embodying features by which structures of various floor plan dimensions can be provided.

A further object of the invention is that of providing a novel flexible spline adapted to be impressed into specially designed grooves formed in the several structural units for rigidly securing plastic sheeting thereto as a closure for the structure, and adequately sealing out moisture and inclement weather therefrom.

Broadly, the invention contemplates the provision of an arrangement of structural units which can be readily adapted for interchangeability, and assembled with a minimum of effort and time, while affording an extremely light and durable structure, capable of providing comfortable and pleasant housing in practically all types of weather.

While the foregoing objects are paramount, other and lesser objects will become manifest as the description proceeds, taken in connection with the appended drawings wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary perspective illustration showing an assembled structural frame attached to an existing building, the latter being also fragmentarily shown.

FIGURE 2 is a transverse sectional view through the I-beam unit, on lines 2-2 of FIGURE 1, showing the integral grooved flanges and the manner of attaching the screen and plastic sheeting thereto for a roof cover.

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged fragmentary illustration, in transverse section, through one of the grooved flanges on the I-beam unit illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 2.

FIGURE 4 is a transverse sectional view, on lines 4-4 of FIGURE 1, through one of the stud units, showing the arrangement of longitudinal grooves for securing the screen and sheet plastic thereto for wall covering, and showing both screen and plastic secured thereto.

FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary perspective illustration of the flexible spline for securing the sheet plastic material to the several units, as shown particularly in FIGURES 2, 3, and 4.

FIGURE 6 fragmentarily illustrates, in partial section, the structure attached to an existing building.

FIGURE 7 is a fragmentary perspective illustration of a corner assembly, showing the manner in which the units are assembled and the attachment of the screen and sheet plastic covering.

FIGURE 8 is an exploded perspective illustration of a corner assembly showing the manner of connecting the horizontal and vertical units.

FIGURE 9 is a fragmentary transverse sectional view of one of the purlin units.

FIGURE 10 is a fragmentary plan view, partially exploded, to illustrate a four-way plate, or plate and purlin assembly.

FIGURE 11 is a fragmentary exploded view, in perspective, illustrating the association of the I-beam with the facia gutter, as shown in transverse section in FIG- URE 6.

FIGURE 12 is an exploded transverse sectional view of one of the stud or plate members and the manner of its assembly.

FIGURE 13 is an exploded transverse sectional view of another stud or plate member, and showing its manner of assembly, and

FIGURE 14 is a transverse sectional view of a plate for transforming one of the elements shown in FIG- URES 12 and 13 into a purlin, as shown in FIGURE 9.

The invention is primarily concerned with the provision of preformed structural units of different shapes and characteristics capable of being fitted together and rigidly joined to produce a frame structure, and although such frame structure may, if desired, be enclosed with rigid wall and roofing materials, such as sheet aluminum, Wall board, and the like it is primarly designed for the erection of open structures to be enclosed by metal or plastic screening, whereby the enclosure is open to the atmosphere, and embodying means by which air and moisture can be excluded by the application of a pliable sheeting, such as sheet plastic.

A typical structure is illustrated fragmentarily in FIG- URE 1 in which is shown a plurality of spaced vertical studs 10 which are connected at their upper and lower ends by horizontal plate members 11 and 12, the latter being secured to a suitable foundation 13, such as a concrete floor, by bolts 14, or other device. The plates 11 and 12 are connected at the corners of the structure by specially designed fittings 15, such as that illustrated in FIGURES 7 and 8, which will be presently described in greater detail.

The studs and plates 11 and 12 are rectangular in transverse section, as shown in FIGURES 4 and 8, and comprise male sections 16 and interchangeable female sections 17 or 18, as illustrated in the exploded views shown in FIGURES 12 and 13. The several illustrations depict a variety of cross-sectional configurations in the walls of the members 10, 11 and 12 defining grooves 19, 20 and 21 longitudinally of the basic male sections 16, and similar grooves 22, 23, 24 and 25 in the interchangeable female sections 17 or 18 whose functions will presently become apparent.

The corner fittings 15, by which the upper and lower plates 11 and 12 are connected at right-angles, as shown in FIGURES 7 and 8, comprises an angular molded elem nt having a rectangular body 26 formed with a plurality of projections 27 extending from two of its surfaces in right-angular arrangement, and a similar projection 28 extending at right-angles in a plane transverse to that of the members 27, and each of these projections 27 and 28 are rectangular in transverse section and have dimensions less than that of the body 26 to define shoulders 29 thereon.

The projections 27 and 28 are adapted to be received in the ends of the plates 11 and 12 and the studs 10 which abut the shoulders 29, as shown in FIGURE 7, or as indicated by the dotted arrows in FIGURE 8. The studs 10 and plates 11 and 12 are secured to the projections 27 and 28 by screws 30, or other suitable device, such as shown in FIGURES 7 and 8. The body 26 of the fitting is formed on three sides with angular grooves 31 and 32 which are aligned with the grooves 19, and 21 of the base sections 16, or the grooves 22, 23, 24 and of the interchangeable sections 17 or 18 of the studs 10 or plates 11 and 12.

In the construction of partitions, as illustrated in plan in FIGURE 10, the plate members 11 may be connected at right-angles by the use of fittings 33 which are rectangular in transverse section, and having dimensions adapting the same to be received in the ends of the members 11, as indicated by the dotted arrows in FIGURE 10, and having right-angular flanges or a plate 34 by which they can be attached by screws 35 to a plate 11 arranged at right-angles thereto. Screws 30 are employed to secure the plate members 11 to the fittings 33. The flanges which form the grooves 19, 20, 22 and 23, or 24 and 25, are slotted at 36 to provide continuous angular grooves such as provided for by the angular grooves 31 and 32 in the corner fittings 15. The plates 11 may also be employed intermediate the top and bottom plates 11 and 12, as shown in FIGURE 1.

The structure is capable of being erected so that no internal supports are necessary for the roof structure over relatively long spans. Supported at spaced intervals between parallel upper plate members 11 are I-beams 37 whose web 38 and top and bottom flanges 39 and 40 may be of any desired dimension according to the length of the span. The members 37 are formed of aluminum and are therefore substantially lighter in weight than steel beams of comparable dimensions. A typical beam 37 is illustrated in transverse section in FIGURE 2, and is shown in perspective in supporting position in FIGURES 1 and 11. The upper flange 39 is preferably wider than the bottom flange 40 although both flanges may be the same width if desired.

The I-beam 37 is designed to provide a suitable means for attaching the metal fabric and plastic roof covering thereto. A right-angular flange 41 is formed on each side of the web 33 and spaced above the bottom flange 40, as shown in FIGURES 2, 3 and 11. The flanges 41 have longitudinal grooves 42 and 43 therein which correspond to the grooves in the studs 10 and plates 11 and 12, previously described. The spacing of the flanges 41 from the bottom flange 40 of the I-bearn 37 approximates lateral dimension of the plate members 11 so that, when these members are joined to the beam 37 at its ends,

4 the grooves in the flanges 41 and the plate members 11 can register as indicated in FIGURE 1.

The beam 37 is fitted to the supporting plate 11 by cutting back the web 38 and the flanges 41 so that the lower edge of the cutaway flange 40 can rest upon the supporting plate 11 and so that the flanges 41 will abut the same in alignment with the top surface of the plate 11, the grooves therein being notched, as at 36 in FIG- URE 10, to provide an angular continuity in the position just described. The undersurface of the lowermost flange 41) of the beam 37 is suspended and is aligned with the undersurfaces of the adjacent frame members.

The intermediate supporting members of the roof, generally called purlins 44, are connected at one end to the top plate members 11, as shown in FIGURE 1, and at their opposite ends to the beam 37, as shown in FIG- URE 9. The purlins 44 are readily formed by combining one of the female sections 17 or 18, shown in FIGURES l2 and 13, with a face plate 45, shown in FIGURE 14, which is coextensive with the female section and is applied in the same manner as the male sections 16.

The face plate 45 is formed with a pair of flanges 46 projecting at right-angles from its inner face and spaced from each longitudinal edge. The flanges 46 are identical in transverse section with the flanges 47 of the sections 16, shown in FIGURES 12 and 13, and are bent sharply outwardly at 48 at right-angles to their axial planes and at obtuse angles to form latching members engageable with the opposing crimped edges 49 of the side walls 50 of the sections 17 or 18, as illustrated in FIGURE 9.

The purlins 44 thus have a thickness approximating one-half that of the studs 10 or plates 11 and 12 and are arranged edgewise in the structure, and their arrangement is such, as depicted in FIGURES 1 and 9, to abut the beam 37 between the grooved flanges 41 and the bottom flanges 40, the top and bottom surfaces of the purlins 44 being cut back the width of the flanges 40 and 41 to cause the grooves 22 and 23 in the tops of the purlins 44 to be aligned with those of the flanges 41, and also to align the undersurfaces of the purlins with that of the beam 37, as shown in FIGURE 9. The grooves 42 and 43 in the flanges 41 are notched, as at 36 in FIGURE 10, to produce an angular continuity thereof with the grooves 22 and 23 in the top surface of the purlins 44.

It is desirable, especially when the structure is to be attached to an existing building 51, as shown fragmentarily in FIGURES 1 and 6, to provide a gutter 52 along the facia 53 of the roof structure 54 to carry away rainwater andprevent its flowing on to the flat roof of the attached structure.

The gutter unit 52 is illustrated fragmentarily in perspective in FIGURE 11 and comprises an integrated unit formed with an attaching plate 55 having an integral right-angular plate 56 projecting horizontally therefrom, intermediate the upper and lower edges of the plate 55, and having a vertical flange 57 formed therewith near its outer'edge. The upper portion of the attaching plate 55 and the outer flange 57, with the horizontally extending plate 56, define a trough. The attaching plate 55 is secured along the facia 53 of the building 51 beneath the eaves 54 of the roof thereof.

Extending beyond the outer vertical flange 57 of the gutter unit 52 is a shelf 58 in which is formed a pair of grooves 59 and 60 which serve the same function as the grooves formed in the studs 16, plates 11 and 12, and the flanges 41 of the beam 37. The grooves 59 and 60 are notched at 61 to register with the grooves 42 and 43 to provide angular continuities therefor, as indicated in FIGURES 6 and 11.

Formed with the lowermost edge of the attaching plate 55 is a right-angular flange 62 which provides a supporting surface for the beam 37 which is cut away, as shown in FIGURE 11, to cause a portion 63 of the web 38 of the beam 37, and its lower flange 40, to extend beneath the member 56 and the shelf 58 and rest upon the flange 62, as indicated with greater clarity in FIGURE 6, and to which the lower flange 40 of the beam 37 is attached by screws 64'. A slot 65 is cut in the web 38, as shown in FIGURE 11, to receive the shelf 58, in the manner shown in FIGURE 6, so that the upper portion of the web 38 can abut the flange 57 of the gutter unit 52 and the grooves 42 and 43 can be aligned with the notches 61.

A bafile plate 66 for the gutter unit 52 is arranged along the upper edge of the flange 57 and engages a shoulder 67 which is defined by an offset in the upper portion of the flange 57, and the plate 66 is secured thereto by screws 68. The upper edge of the baffle plate 66 is bent at right angles to define a flange 69 under which the upper flange 39 of the beam 37 is positioned, as shown in FIGURES 6 and 11, and secured thereto by screws 70.

The spacing between the gutter plate 56 and the flange 62 therebelow is such that the upper plate members 11 can be joined to the gutter unit 52, as illustrated in FIGURE 1, and a portion of the top thereof can be cut back in the same manner as the beam 37 to cause the grooves in the plate 11 to be aligned with those of the flange or shelf 58, or with notches similar to the notches 61 therein. The facia plate 55 is secured to the existing building 51 by screws 71.

The frame structure described above is enclosed by metal or plastic screening material 72 which is attached along the studs 1% plates 11 and 12, the shelf 58 and the flange 41 of the beam 37, as indicated in FIGURES 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and by means of a flexible tubular spline 73 preferably formed of plastic, or similar material.

The spline 73, which may be provided on spools, or the like, is pressed into the grooves against the screen material 72 in the manner shown in FIGURES 3, 4 and 7. The grooves are preferably fluted longitudinally, as apparent in FIGURES 3 and 4, to properly grip the screen 72, and as will presently be shown, a sheet plastic material 74 which may be applied over the screen 72 and secured in the companion grooves by an especially designed spline 75 shown in FIGURES 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, and which will be described in greater detail.

It will be noted, by reference particularly to FIGURES 2, 3 and 4, that the screen material 72 is applied to the outermost grooves in the several elements while the sheeting material 74 is secured in the innermost grooves since the plastic sheeting 74 is applied, when used, over the screen 72 and may be removed when desirable by removing the spline 75. In mild and dry weather the plastic material 74 is not required unless it is desirable to employ an opaque or tinted material to shut out sunlight, or to subdue the suns rays.

The spline 75, shown in transverse section in FIG- URES 2, 3 and 4, and fragmentarily in perspective in FIGURE 5, comprises a tubular body 76 having a web portion 77 formed therewith which has a flange 78 extending substantially at right-angles from one side but slightly arcuate downwardly to overlap the marginal edge of the plastic sheet material 74, when the spline 75 is placed in its groove, and also overreaches the secured edge of the underlying screen 72, thus covering the spline 73, as best illustrated in FIGURE 3. Opposite the flange 78 the web 77 has a lip 79 formed therealong which engages the surface of the groove member adjacent the innermost groove and provides a cover for the latter, as shown in FIGURE 3.

The spline 73, by reason of its highly flexible character, is capable of being arranged in the right-angular grooves 31 and 32, as shown in FIGURES 7 and 8, or in the cross-over slots 36, as shown in FIGURE 10, or the slots 61, as indicated in FIGURE 11. The spline 75, while being extremely flexible, is adapted to be mitered at the turns or corners, in the manner shown 6 in FIGURE 7, and has the appearance of molding. It is apparent, of course, that the spline 75 may also be used to secure the screen 72, if desired, when the plastic sheeting 74 is not applied thus providing a finished appearance to the structure in the use of either or both of the covering materials 72 and 74.

The structural units herein shown and described are capable of being modified in form and design, from time to time, by persons skilled in the art, and joined in a variety of arrangements to provide structures of different shapes and dimensions, without departing from the spirit and intent of the invention or the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. In a building structure as described, an elongated structural member of hollow, thin walled construction, formed of extruded light weight metal, generally rectangular in transverse section, having a pair of closely spaced, longitudinally extending channels in a marginal portion of one side thereof, the channels being substantially U- shaped in transverse section and having longitudinally fluted bottom wall portions, one of the side walls of each of the channels having an integral longitudinal bead extending inwardly from its outer edge and forming a restricted longitudinal opening in the top of the channel, a sheet of flexible sheet material having a marginal portion thereof received in one of the longitudinally extending channels and extending outwardly beyond the adjacent longitudinal edge of said one side of the elongated structural member, and an elongated retaining member consisting essentially of a flexible tube, circular in transverse section, formed of molded plastic material and characterized by its relative stiffness, yieldably inserted in the channel above the sheet material, in frictional engagement therewith, whereby displacement of the sheet material from the channel is positively prevented, the flexible tube having a relatively thick integral longitudinal web extending radially outwardly from one side thereof, and having an integral longitudinal flange, arcnate in transverse section, extending laterally from the outer edge of the web and overlying the other of the channels and an adjacent portion of the flexible sheet material, and an integral longitudinal lip on the side of the web opposite the flange overlying the adjacent edge of said one of the channels.

2. In a building structure as described, the combination of an I beam having an integral longitudinal flange on one side of its intermediate web portion, parallel to its top and bottom flanges, in spaced apart relation thereto, having a pair of closely spaced, longitudinally extending channels therein, a sheet of flexible material having a marginal portion thereof received in one of the channels and extending outwardly beyond a longitudinal edge of the flange, and an elongated retaining member received in said one of the channels, above the flexible sheet material, in frictional engagement therewith, whereby the flexible sheet material is secured against displacement from said one of the channels, and a gutter member arranged perpendicularly to the I beam and having an end portion of the I beam connected thereto intermediate its ends, the gutter member having bottom and side portions defining a trough, and having an integral longitudinal flange extending laterally outwardly therefrom, opposite the first mentioned flange of the I beam, having a pair of closely spaced, longitudinally extending channels therein corresponding to the longitudinally extending channels of the I beam and communicating therewith, the gutter member having a downward extension of one of its side members, on the side of the trough opposite said flange, forming with said side member a vertically extending flange for atttachment of the gutter member to a supporting surface, and having an integral longitudinal flange extending laterally outwardly from References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Fould Nov.- 18, 1941 Gilbert et al May 20, 1958 Brown et a1. June 3, 1958 Davis Mar. 17, 1959 Dunn Apr. 25, 1961 Dunn May 9, 1961 FOREIGN PATENTS Canada Oct. 10, 1950

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Classifications
U.S. Classification160/394, 52/15, 160/380, 160/395, 160/392, 160/179, 160/371
International ClassificationE04H3/16, E04B1/00, E04B1/24, E04H15/64
Cooperative ClassificationE04H3/16, E04B2001/2481, E04B2001/2448, E04B1/24, E04B2001/2421, E04B1/0046, E04H15/646, E04B2001/2451, E04B2001/2463, E04B2001/2406
European ClassificationE04H15/64B4, E04B1/24, E04H3/16, E04B1/00E