US 3149187 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Se t. 15, 1964 w. L. woop METHOD OF MOLDING A WALL STRUCTURE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 9. 1961 INVENTOR. IVALTER L. 14 000 BY I OER/Au & BLACKHAM A 7'7'0RNE rs Sept. 15, 1964 w. L. WOOD v 3,149,137
METHOD OF MOLDING A WALL STRUCTURE Filed Jan. 9. 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVEN TOR.
WAL. 75/? L. W000 BY 0 BR/A/v & BLAcKHAM ya my A mil/[Y5 United States Patent 3,14%,187 METHQE 6F MGLLlNG A WALL STRUCTURE Walter L. Wood, rein Unit D, N. Elmer, Santa Ana, Calif. Filed Jan. 9, 1961, Ser. No. 81,397 2 Claims. (Qi. Zed-259) This invention pertains to new and improved manufacture of wall constructions.
For many years it has been customary to build up a waterproof wall in a shower, around a bathtub or various other types of locations from the materials used in such walls. Thus, for example, many shower stalls have been created by applying ceramic or other tile to a desired location within a building. This type of general procedure is considered to be unduly expensive for present day conditions. To a large extent such expense is a result of the fact that considerable time is required in order to erect a tile or similar wall and of the fact that the rates paid labor for such work are comparatively high.
it has been realized in the past that one manner of overcoming the problem of the high cost of waterproof or water resistant walls within bu ldings would be to manufacture such walls in a factory where mass production techniques and the like permit the use of comparatively inexpensive materials and permit the use of comparatively unskilled labor. Unfortunately conventional materials as used in showers around bathtubs and the like do not readily lend themselves to complete prefabrication in a factory.
As a result of this, various efforts have been made to develop the use of various newer materials for use in showers or other similar walls. Thus, for example, at the present time it is known to form fiat wall panels out of various known materials and to join these panels to gether on a job site through the use of various types of waterpoof or water resistant fittings. This approach to the problem of lowering costs is considered to be only partially successful because of the costs involved in creating and using such fittings and because of the fact that frequently problems are encountered with them as a consequence of various parts not fitting together in the desired manner and as a consequence of the fact that not infrequently such fittings are used so that waterproof joints are not achieved.
It has been realized for some time that the techniques employed in building various types of structures such as boats could be utilized in creating complete shower or similar constructions in which no joints between individual wall panels and sections would have to be created on a job site. Unfortunately, however, polymer compositions such as are employed with these techniques esthetically do not appear to be overly desirable. The acceptability of any wall structure to a large extent is determined by its appearance as well as by various cost considerations.
The present invention has, as one of its objectives, new and improved manufacture of wall constructions by utilizing polymer compositions in conjunction with other materials so as to provide structures having esthetically desirable characteristics. Another objective of this invention is to mold wall constructions for showers and other related purposes which do not employ joint susceptible of leaks between individual wall panels or areas. A further objective of this invention is to mold wall constructions which may be easily and conveniently formed at a comparatively nominal cost and in which a composition board is used for esthetic aswell as utilitarian purposes as hereinafter described. A still further object of this invention is to provide a new and improved method for creating wall constructions as herein described either 3,149,187 Patented Sept, 15., 1964 alone or in combination with various functional parts of a structure such as a shower stall.
These and various other objects of this invention as well as many specific advantages of it will be more fully apparent to those skilled in the art to which this invention pertains from a detailed consideration of the remainder of this description including the appended claims and the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a shower stall construction in accordance with this invention;
FIG. 2 is a vertical, cross-sectionalview taken at line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary view, in section, showing a part of the structure indicated in FIG. 2; and
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary View corresponding to FIG. 3 illustrating certain details in forming a structure as shown in the preceding figures.
The shower stall shown in the accompanying drawings is at this time considered to be a preferred product of the present invention. Those familiar with the field to which this invention pertains will realize, however, that the basic principles of this invention are not limited to shower stalls formed precisely as shown or even to shower stalls. Thu the features of the invention, as set forth in the appended claims, can be embodied within other structures than the precise structure shown through the use or exercise of routine engineering skill or ability.
As an aid to understanding this invention it can be stated in eccentially summary form that in its broadest aspects it concerns wall constructions including a board member having a back side supported by a polymer composition which engages and surrounds the edges of such a board member and which extends from such a board member as essentially a border. This type of structure may be conveniently created by locating a board member on a mold corresponding to the final shape of a wall construction desired and then covering both the mold and the edges of the board member with a polymer composition and, then curing this composition so as to form a unitary structure which is, of course, removed from the mold.
The actual details of this invention are best explained by referring directly to the accompanying drawing. In these drawings there is shown a complete shower stall ill of the present invention having vertically disposed walls 12 and a bottom shower pan 14. These walls 12 and the shower pan 14 have attached edges 16 which form water-. proof joints in the complete stall 16. The shower pan 14 preferably includes a known type of central type drain extremely important with the present invention and is best seen by examination of FIG. 3 of the drawing. -Each of the walls 12 includes a central composition board 24 and what 'is termed a panel 26 formed of a polymer composition. In a wall 12 the board 24 utilized is prefer-,
ably formed in a known manner of exfoliated and then compressed fibrous material such as, for example, woodmaterial, sugar cane bagasse or the like. various bonding agents of a known type are included'in such composition board for the purpose of securing the individual fibers together. As so formed the board 24 has front and back sides 28 and 39 respectively which are connected by means of side edges 32. invention preferably the side edges 32 are tapered or Frequently 1 In practicing this layer 34 are known at'the present time.
V 7 at V v V sloped away from the front side 28 as indicatedin'FlG. 3 so that back side 39 is slightly smaller than the front side 2%. p a
Inasmuch as a composition board such as the board 24 is somewhat susceptible to the etfects of water and is not considered to have a desired type of decorative, appear- 7 ance preferably the front side 23 is coated by means of a thin layer 34 of a water impervious material. A number of difierent known coating materials for providing the Preferably the layer 34 is composed of 'a melamine resin or similar resin composition which is laminated to the front side 28 by an I appropriate conventional adhesive (not shown). The
layer 34 may of course be provided with any sort of a decorative appearancedesired, in accordance with known; conventional practice.
In the walls 12 the panels 26 covering the boards 24 are preferably formed of a water impervious polymer composition having a reasonable amount of structural V rigidity. 'In the particular stall lQ illustrated the panels 26 are formed of the same material as the shower pan 14 so that the entire stallltl is one integral, self-supporting unit which may be readily transported from a factory to a building where this stall 10 is to be installed. Although a number of difierent polymer compositions may be utilized in orderto achieve this, type of construction it is presently preferred with the present invention to utilize 'what is commonly referred, to as a fiberglass composition. r I V Such fiberglass compositions are well known at the present time. .T hey are, composed of a polymerized polyiner composition material such as a polyester resin containing reinforcing fibers such as glass fibers.
Polymer composition materialsof this type are de scribed in' a number of diiierent texts and other trade literature readily available at this time; In. this connection reference is made to the book Vinyl and Related Polymers by Schildnecht, John Wiley & Son, Inc., New
York, 1952 and Modern Plastic Encyclopedia issue for p 1961, September 1960, vol. 38, No. 1A, publishedby Breskin Publications, Inc, 575 Madison Avenue, New York, New York for additional information with respect to this'type. of polymer composition and polymer composition materials used in the 'same. V
' The panels-26 utilized preferably include as apart of these panels a' so-called gel coatfdo located on their normally exposed surfaces within the complete shower stall V 10. Such a gelcoat is a comparatively thin layer of a.
' polymer composition material such as polymer composition material utilized within the body ofthe panels as. In
boards 24 so as to, in effect, deimea complete border around each of these boards. It will also be realized that the panels 26 have front surfaces which are substantially contiguous to the front side 2801 the boards 24. With this type of construction each of the walls 12 is of 'a substantially fiat configuration such as is normallyclesired within a building. ltjwill be realized, however, that the a type of construction employed in a wall 12 can be utilized with boards such as the boards 24 which are curved to any desired shapefor esthetie and/ or appearance reasons.
' The entire shower stall ltd maybe easily and conveniently created using a technique which is bestdescribed by referring to FIG. 4 of the drawings. In preparing the stall it a mold 569 is preferably prepared so as to have a smooth external surface 52 corresponding to the interior or normally exposed shape of the surface of a shower stall such as the stall T10. Asthe mold 59 is utilized it is preferably located in a vertical manner so that a portion 54 of'it corresponding to the pan is is located at the top of it and so that walls dai'corresponding to the walls 12 are located vertically. After being so located the mold 5% is prepared for use by being coated with a known'type of mold release agent such as a wax composition or the like Next in creating a stall such as the stall ill the boards. 1 24 util zed are located'uponthe walls'56 in positions corresponding to their final positions within a stall shower. i
- These boards 24 may be held in place in several dilferent manners. ln-carryingout the present invention, however,
it has been found to be advisable to secure'them to the walls 556 through the use of pressure sensitive adhesive tape 58' Both sidesof this tape 53 arecoated with an adhesive so that thetape 58 may be located as shown in effect, the gel coat 36 is of the same character asthe body of any of the panels 26 but does not contain a reinforcing sides 28 of the boards 24 a short distance so as to, in effect,
' define a lip like margin or small boarder -37 directlyupon each ofthe boards 24 'Furthenthe gel coat 36 preferably 7 engages the side edges 32 substantially as indicated inthe drawings so as to protect these side'edges and so as to establish a structure capableof physically holding the board 24 in place For the. purpose of providing additional reinforcement against bending of the panels 26 it is preferred tolocate againstthe back surfaces of the boards 24 elongated;-
channels 38 having a generally hat-shaped cross-sectional configuration. These channels 35 include side fianges it! which rest" against the back sides 30 of the boards 24.
These channels 38 are, in' the stall '19, held in-place by. 'the'material within thepanels zroverlaying them and physically hold them again'stthe boards 24: As shown the panels '26 extenda'long the ntire'back sides 36 of the 'material such as fiberglass as indicated in the preceding. i
, As used inthe stall lllthe gelcoat 36 overlays the front FIG. 4 to extend between the walls 56 and a boardZ.
A-tape such as the tape SS'ser es to space a board 24. from a wall 56 so as to allow formation of the smalllip 37 of a gel coat Seas previously indicatedduring the j fabrication of a complete stall ill. Further, a tape such as the tape 58 serves to prevent unwanted resinous material from extending in an undesired or irregular manner over the entirefront side 28 of aboard 24 during subsequent steps as hereafter described.
In order to prevent buckling of'a board 24 upon themold 5% it is preferred to locate within this mold 59 a series of regularly spaced small air holes 69, on'the portions of a wall as normally covered by a board 24. 7 Such air holesoil will prevent airfrorn being-entrapped beneath a board 24 upon a wall 5s as such a board is being located in place, and willprevent the developrnent' of air a pockets should this 'mold'be subsequently heated in order to create a rigid structure. I After locating'a board such as the board 24 in place 'upon the mold 549 it is preferred to position upon the back side 30 of such a board a channel such as the channel v 38 previously described. "Suchachannel'38may be easily held in place'through the use of various known ad I hesives or by merely taping 'it'in place withrsmall sections I (not-shown) of known pressure sensitive tape.
boards124 in order to reinforce these boards and in order 7 toprot'ect-themegainst moisture or the like. i
In considering the preceding it will be realized that the panels 26 utilized extend completely around each of the After these operations are completefit is preferred to apply to the mold 5% a liquid or similar polymer composid tion material capable of forming the so-called ge :coat
36 previously referred to. When sucha material is sprayed upon the mold 50 itwill adhereto' the sm-face ofthis .mold to a sudicient'extent'so that it will not run ofiof it. Further, such a liquidlmaterial Willisimilarly V adhere to the contacted portionsof the board 24 in order to establish a satisfactory type ofseal when the" polymer 5 cause polymerization of the plastic material or materials used.
Normally such a plastic material is applied to the mold surface 52 together with an appropriate type of catalytic agent capable of causing it to set up at room temperature after a reasonable period. Such agents are, of course, Well known. If desired, however, other methods of polymerizing the polymer composition material such as by the application of heat may be employed. After such polymerization is complete the entire stall structure is comparatively rigid; it is, of course, removed from the mold 59 prior to use. In such a structure the polymer composition material is satisfactorily bonded to both the front side 28 and the edges 32 of the boards 24 so as to provide water tight seals or joints protecting against the effects of Water. The particular slope of the edges 32 employed aids in achieving a satisfactory holding and sealing action achieved. This slope is also desirable inasmuch as it facilitates the edges 32 being bent or deformed sli htly if this should be necessary to compensate for any mold irregularities.
Those skilled in the art to which this invention pertains will realize that the techniques described in the preceding can, of course, be applied to creation of bathtubs and various other types of structures and that these techniques can be applied to the manufacture of various types of flat decorative panels. They will further realize that wall constructions as herein described are very advantageous from a commercial as well as a utilitarian sense, and that these Wall constructions offer a number of distinct advantages over prior related structures.
1. A process for forming a wall construction which includes the steps of coating a mold having a shape corresponding to the shape of a surface of said wall construction with a release agent; coating the front side of a composition board with water impervious material; locating a composition board on said mold, so that the water impervious material on the front side of said board is adjacent to said mold; covering said composition board and said mold away from said composition board with a polymer composition including polymer composition material and reinforcing fibers; curing said polymer composition material so as to create a rigid structure upon said mold and so as to bond said polymer composition material to said reinforcing fibers and to said board; and removing the so-cured polymer composition material and said board from said mold.
2. A process for forming a wall construction which includes the steps of coating a mold having a shape corresponding to the shape of a surface of said wall construction with a release agent; coating the front side of a composition board with Water impervious material; locating a composition board on said mold with a member located between said composition board and said mold defining a border spaced from the edges of said composition board, so that a front side of said board is adjacent to said mold; locating a polymer composition material Within said border and along the surface of said mold not covered by said composition board, covering said mold and said composition board with a polymer composition including polymer composition material and reinforcing fibers; curing said polymer composition material so as to create a rigid structure upon said mold and so as to bond said polymer composition material to said reinforcing fibers and to said board; and removing the so-cured polymer composition material and said board from said mold.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,176,692 Smith Mar. 21, 1916 2,431,393 Franklin Nov. 25, 1947 2,855,635 Benning Oct. 14, 1958 2,879,196 Bruclrer Mar. 24, 1959 2,945,266 Mainardi July 19, 1960 FOREIGN PATENTS 231,964 Australia Dec. 29, 1960