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Publication numberUS3159514 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 1, 1964
Filing dateAug 1, 1962
Priority dateAug 1, 1962
Publication numberUS 3159514 A, US 3159514A, US-A-3159514, US3159514 A, US3159514A
InventorsNeil V Constantine, Jr Harold S Mcknight, Richard G Schemehorn
Original AssigneeGen Ind Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for fabricating foam core walls
US 3159514 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 1, 1964 4 H. s. MKNIGHT JR.. ETAL 3159514 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR FABRICATING F'OAM CORE WALLS Filed Aug. l, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 ATTORNEY Dec 1 1964 H. s. MCKNIGHT, JR. ETAL 3159514 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR FABRICATING F'OAM CORE WALLS Filed Aug. l, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheel: 2

INVENTOR. HAROLD S. MCKNIGHT, Jr.

RICHARD G. SCHEMEHORN NEIL V. CONSTANTINE ATTORNEY United States Patent O 3159,514 METHOD AND APPARATUS FR FABRICATING FOAM CORE WALLS V Harold S. McKnight, Jr., and Richard G. Schemehorn, Fort Wayne, and Neil V. Constantine, New Haven, nd. assignors to General Industries, Inc., Fort Wayne,

Filed Aug. 1, 1962, Sex. N0. 213,97 14 Claims; (C1. 15679) The present invention relates t f0am core Walls and the method and apparatus focr fabricating the same, and more particularly a unique product, method and apparatus which lend themselves to mass production use in factories which manufacture prefabricated houses.

In the prefabrication 0f honses, it is customary to fabricate in a factory, 011 a mass production basis, certain basic cornponents which go into t he house Structure and which require very litt1e additional fabrication by carpenters at the site where' the building is 1:0 be erected. Examples of these components are wall sections,'partition paneling, roof trusses, roof se0tio-ns and the like. More specifically, these and other basic components are mass produced 011 an assembly line basis in a factory f0r a van'ety of reasons =among which are the reduction of costs as well as control of quality. When a customer purchases a house and desires t0 have the same erected 0n a building lot of bis selection, the basic componenns -are transported from the factory to the buildir'1g site and the1e erected in prirnaa*ily an assembly process With a minimum of lab or. In many instances, the exterior Walls are prefabricated and need only be erected 011 a previously provided foundati0n and joined together at the corners by some suitable means. Roof trusscs, previously prefabricatcd, are mounted 011 the erected Walls, following which substanti=ally completed roofing panels are secured to the rafters thereby completing :the she1l. This operation .is priman'ly one of asse1nbling only prefabricatcd parts in contrast With the moreor lass conventional method 0f custom fabricating all of the walls, roof trusses and roofpanels 011 the building site.

In the merchandising of such prefabricated houses, it is desinable to have a varicty 0f diifercnt house sizes and designs, such that it bec-omes necessary to prefabricate the various components to diflerent sizes and designs. This somewhat complicates mass produotion 011 an assembly line basis of the v2'1ri0us diiferent components such that some of the cost-1educing advantages involved in pref-abrication are lost. The reasons for this arc Well known to persons skilled in the art.x In order t0 minimize this cornplication, a number of prefabricators have designed the basis components, such -as Wall panels, in modules of v2irying sizes such that if a customer 0rders a house of a particular design, particular modu-les making up this design may be selected from thc 'Warehouse 01 3,159514 Patented Dec. l, 1964 one given size and design of module in order t0 retain the desirable features of quality control and economy 0f manufacture which is gained in prefabrioation. I-Iowever, the provision of these plurality of assembly lines requires additional plant, equipment and labor such that c0sts 0f production are corrcspondingly increasecl.

Keeping in mind that it is desirable for a prefabricator to have available a number of different designs and sizes of houses, the present invention is unique in that it overoomes the disadvantages of the prior methods and apparatuses used in prefabricating components in the respect of providing Wall sections and the like which are pre fabricated to length at the factory withont any joints of the cha1acter hefeinabove mentioncd and which may be fabricated on a single production 01 assembly' line which is geared to supply Wall scctions 0f any desired size. In the accomplishment of this salntary purpose, fllxa present invention comprehends the prefabrication of Wall paneling in continuous lengths which may be cut I0 v any desired size as may be nceded for 1a particular house design. 1

It is'therefore an 0bject of this invention t0 provide a panel structure of um'que design which can be made 011 a. contin uous basis to any desired length. As a corol-lary, .it is an object to provide a method for fabricating this paneling. As anadditional object, apparatus f01' fabricating this Wall is provided.

It is another object of this invention to provide plastic foam core Walls which may be made on a continuous basis and cut to any desired length, these walls being provided With cases 01 raceways along the edges there0f for receiving top and bottom plates as weil as electn'cal wiring. A=s a corollary, it is an object t0 provide a method and apparatus for fabricating these particular Walls.

It is yet another object of this invention t0 provide foa1n oore Walls composed of two spaoed-apart lamina- Iions of continuous length having sandwiched therebetween a suitable, expandable plastic material, the Laminations being in themselves composed of individual sheets 'of plywood 01 similar type of build-ing maierial uniquely joincd together t0 provide the continuity in -the leng-ths of the laminatious. As a corollary, it is an 0bjcct to provide a method and apparatus whereby this paneling may be continuously made 011 an assembly line basis with the suitable storage area and shipped to the building site.

Since these modules conventionally include wall secti-ons which are eight (8) foot l0ng and 0f variable width and these Wall sections are joinsd iogether in order 10 provide the finished Wall dosign, there necessarily results a plurality of joints between wall sections Which, because of the dimensional instability of the paneling due to changes in temperature and humidity, results in the joints working opcning and closing in accordance therewith. This, of course, is a feature not t00 desirable to the homeowner inasmuch as the joi1its are usually regardcd -as unsightly. Various methods have been proposed for covering and hiding the joints, hatten strips being an example.

Anothcr disadvantage 1esiding in the prefabrication of modules f0r making up houses 0f diiferent designs and sizes 10sides in thc fact that the factory must have difierent assembly lines set up which are devoted exolusively 10 fii1ished Wall being produced in a continuons length which may be cut to any desired sizc.

It is still another object of this invention to provide the Walls of any 0f the aforementioned objects with-a decorative finish which is also continuous in length.

' Other objects will beco me apparent as. the description prooeeds. V

The above-mentioned and other features and 0bjects of this invention and the'manner of attaining thcm will become more apparent and the' invenii0nitself will be best understood by reference to tl'1e following description of an embodiment 0f the invention taken in conjunction With the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a top plan vicw, partly in diagram, of typical apparatus used in practicing this invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation thereof; v FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional illustration of a scar-f joint used in joining the edges of plywood sheets together;

FIG. 4 is a sectional illustration taken substantially along section line 4-4 of: FIG, l;

FIG. 5 is a cross-scctional illustrationof one of the side mold rails used in the molding press of FIGS. l, 2 and 4; and

FIG. 6 is a fragmentarycnd view of a typica1 Wall fabriczited in accordance with the principles of this in vention.

Referring to the drawings, and 1nore particularly t0 FIG S. 1 and 2 the'apparatus typical of what may be lines.

used in the fabrication of a continuous length cf foam core wall is illustrated. First it should be noted that this apparatus is arranged in a straight line with certain of the raw material being fed into one end and the finished product emerging from the other and. More Partienlarly, this apparatus comprises two parallel, vertically spaced-apart and horizontal conveyors o1 surfaces which may be said to define two spacecl-apart, parallel and horizontal planes which may be considered as paths for the skins or larninations of the finished Wall in the travel thereof from the beginning of the .fabricating process to the end thereof. As shown in FIG. 2 the conveying or guiding surfaces include a framework mounted on wheels 12 and having two sets of parallel, spaeed-apart and horizontally ext nding conveyor rails 14 and 16 which extend in the direction cf material travel. As shown in FIG. l, the conveying or guiding surfaces may be composed of three spaced-apart and parallel bars or in the alternative they may include flat, smooth table surfaces or rollers, whichever may be desired.

At the right-hand end of the conveyor frame 10 and which may be securcd thereto as a part thereof: is a scarfing machine, generally indicated by the reference numeral 18. This machine may be of conventional constrnction and further may be purchased 011 the open market; however, in certain respects the design thereof is important as will appear from the following explanation. Primarily, the machine includes three elongated press elements 20, 22 and 24 which are shown in dashed These elements 20, 22 and 24 are spaced apart to receive therebetween sheets 26 and 28, respectively, of plywood er the like. For example, the elements 20 and 22 are provided with flat, parallel facing surfaces which are spaced apart just sufiiciently to slidingly receive the sheets 26 while the elements 22 and 24 are similarly formed to receive the sheets 28. Also, the press elements 20 and 24 desirably are mounted to be moved toward and away from the respective plywood sheets 26 and 28 so that during one period of operation these elements may be engaged with the plywood sheets and at another rhoment of time they may be moved away therefrom and correspondingly disengaged therefrom.

Suitable heating devices are included in the press elements 20, 22 and 24 such that heat may be quickly and readily transferred to the respective plywood sheets 26 and 28. Electrical or radio frequency heating, as desired, may be used; however, this invention in its broadest aspects conternplates the use of any type of heating which will serve the desired end purpose as will be explained in more detail hereinafter.

The particular purpose of the conveyor 10 and scarfing machine 18 will now be described. While the sheets 26 and 28 have already been described as being in the form of plywood, still, as will becorne apparent from the following description, sheets composed of dillerent building materials may be used in this invention so lang as they have the necessary characteristics to serve as outer laminations of the finished foarn core Wall. F01 the purpose of teaching this invention, the sheets 26 and 28 will be considered as being conventional 4-foot by 8-foot panels of inch or inch thick plywood; however, this invention is not to be construed as being limited thereto.

In the starting of the fabricating process cf this invention, a plural ity of sheets of plywood identified by the refererice numerals 26, 26a, 26b, 28, 28a and 28b are laid on the two surfaces 16 and 14, respectively, as shown in the drawings, such that the longitudinal edges thereof abut as shown. However, before the sheets are laid onto the surfaces 14 and 16, the abutting edges thereof are beveled as Shown at 30 in FIG. 3 for the purpose of providing a scarf joint. An elongated bevel having a tangent value of one-eighth (Ms) has been found to be Satisfactory. However, prior -to abutting these beveled, eom plementary surfaces, a suitable glue or adhesive is first applied thereto. Then sequentially, the individual,

adhesive coated and abutted joints are fitted into the scarfing machine in the position shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 With the press elements 20, 22 and 24 being in compressive engagement with the plywood sheets on both sides thereof for the entire length of the two joints. These two joints are indicated by the reference numerals 32 and 34, respectively. While in this position, the machine 18 is operated to apply heat to these joints 32 and 34 for the purpose of curing the glue or adhesive while the press elements 20, 22 and 24 hold the plywood sheets as well as the joints in position during this eure. After curing, the sheets of plywood are advanced toward the right as viewed in the drawings until the next joints 36 and 38 are brought into osition in the scarfing machine where the same joint-securing process is repeated. This is followed by the joining of the other plywood sheets together such that two single, elongated and integrated panels or sheets emanate from the right-hand side 0f the scarfing machine. These integrated panels, indicated geuerally by the reference numerals 40 and 42, respectively, are composed of the individual panels 26, 28, etc. which have the edges thereof joined together as just explained. These integrated panels 40 and 42, in the manufacturing process, are advanced toward the right in generally the sarne spaced-apart, parallel and horizontal arrangements as originally defined by the two conveyor surfaces 14 and 16; however, there may be some sag and deviation from this strictly parallel relationship as will appear from the following description.

After the integrated panels 40 and 42 are formed, they are fed into a suitable molding press which is generally indicated by the reference numeral 44. This press generally includes a lower, extended area press plate 46 which is supported on legs 48 in a position such that the ilat upper surface 50 thereof lies in a horizontal plane and preferably lies in the Same plane as the conveyor surface 14.

An upper press plate 52 which may be substantially identical to the lower press plate 46 is disposed immediately above the lower plate 46 With the lower fiat surface 54 thereof preferably lying in the plane of the conveyor surface 16. Also, it is desirable to have the upper plate 52 mounted on a suitable lif-t mechanism whereby it may be reciprocally moved toward and away from the lower press plate 46 as may be desired.

As shown more clearly in FIGS. 1 and 4, the two press plates 46 and 52 extend beyoncl the lateral or longitudinal edges of the two integrated panels 40 and 42 such that two n1old side rails 56 and 58 may be inserted between the platte surfaces 50 and 54 as shown for the purpose of defining the mold cavity 60 between the portions of the two integrated panels 40 and 42 which are inserted between the two press plates 46 and 52. The side rails 56 and 58 are spaced apart and parallel and are adapted to engage the opposite lateral edges of the integrated panels 40 and 42 as shown. Gencrally speaking, these two rails 56 and 58 may be considered. as elongated,

straight bars having a plurality of spaced-apart apertures 62 therein which receive, respeetively, a like plurality of steam probes or nozzles 64 and 66 which a1e conneeted to suitable manifolds 68 and 70, respectively, as shown. More particularly, the side rails 56 and 58 are substantially T-shaped in cross-section with the crossbar portion 72 being engaged respeclively 'oy the press plates 46 and 52 and the leg portion 74 (FIG. 5) having a width just suflicient to engage the facing surfaces of the two integrated panels 40 arid 42 as shown. As a matter cf fact, when the two rails 56 and 53 are properly positioned in the mold press 44, the lateral edgcs of the panels 40 and 42 are engaged with the undersides of the crossbars 72 thereof. The leg portions 74 which may be consiclercd as mold inserts, thereupon extend inwarclly a short distance (3 to 4 inches) toward eacl1 other between the two panels 40 and 42 for a purpose which will become apparent from the following description. The

distance which the bar portion 72 of the side rails extends beyond the respective leg portions 74 is selected to be equal to about the thickness of the plywood sheet which is being used. Therefore, if it is desired to use plywood sheets of difierent thicknesses in successive runs, it is only necessary to replace the crossbar portion 72 to accommodate the different thiekness. Any type of joint may be used for mounting the crossbarportion 72 onto the leg portions 74, a typical tongue and groove connection being shown in FIG. 5.

For moving the side -rails 56 and 58 a required distance towa.rd and away from each other, two suitable fluid or air power cylinders 76 and 78 are used, the ower cylinder 76 having a piston rod 80 connected to the side rail 56 as shown, and the cylinder 78 having a pi ston rod 82 connected to the side reu'l 58. By operation of these two cylinders 76 and 78, the two side rails 56 and 58 may be moved toward and away from each other, or in other words toward and away from the lateral edges 0f the integrated panels 40 and 42 as may be desired.

Thc steam probes 64 and 66, respectively, preferably consist of straight lengths of stainless steel er the like tubing having a multiplicity of tiny, longitudinally spaced apertures drilled therein through which stearn may escape. The manifolds or headers 68 and 70 a1e preferably mounted so as to be movable toward and away frorn each other, or in other WOTdS may be moved outwardly to withdraw the steam probes 64 and 66 througl1 the respective apertu'res in the side rails 56 and 58 until the steam probes 64 and 66 completely clear the mold cavity 60. By the same token, the headers 68 and 70 should be rnovable so as to move the respective probes 64 and 66 into the illustrated positions in the mold cavity 60.

A third bar 84 is used to close the left-hand end of the mold cavity 60 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. This particular bar 84 is preferably rectangular in cross-section and engages the left-hand ends of the two side rails 56 and 58 as shown. Also, this rail 84 has a Width equal to the separation between the facing surfaces of the two integrated panels 40 and 42 so as to be engageable thefewith.

The mold cavity 60 is now completely enclosed with the exoeption of the rightha.nd end as viewed in FIGS. 1 and 2. This closure is provided by a Wal-l 86 of ex panded plastic whichcompletely fills the space between the two panels 40 and 42; however, this Wall 86 is not provided until after the first section of the finished foam core Wall of this invention is made. Therefore, in starting the process of. this invention, it is necessary to provide another rail 84 in place of the wa-1l 86 such that the mold cavity 60 Will be completely enclosed 011 all four sides thereof.

A bead-injecting apparatus, indicated generally by the reference numeral 83 in FIG. l, is provided With a nozzle 90 which enters the mold cavity 60 through a suitable aperture in the side rail 56. This aperture is indicated by the numeral 92 in FIG. 2. This apparatus 88 is diagrammatically illustrated; however, it is conventionally available 011 the open market and may take the fonn of any one of many diiferent apparatuses available. As a matter of fact, instead of using this apparatus 88, the function performed thereby may be replaced by a manual operation which will be exp-lained rn0te fully hereinafter.

Theoperation of as rnuch ofthe apparatus as thus far described will now be explained. Following the joining of the individual plywood sheet edges for forming the integrated p-anels 40 and 42 as already described, the right-hand end portions of these panels 40 and 42 are initially inserted fully between the press plates 46 and 52 to the positions illustrated in the figures. While inthis position, the cylinders 76 and 78 are operated to force the mold 1ails 56 and 53 into engagement with the longitudinal edges of the panels 40 and 42 and the stearn probes 64 and 66 are inserted into the mold cavity 60 to the positions illustrated if this has not already been done. The end rail 84 is inserted in position and another end rail 84 is inserted between the panels 40 and 42 on the right-hand side of the mold cavi-ty 60 for completely peripherally enclosing the same. The press plate 52 being reciprocable as previously explained is engaged With the crossbar portion 72. This results in closing the press plates 46 and 52 onto the panels.

With the mold cavity 60 thus closed, a suitable expandable plastic material is injected into the mold cavity 60. While this plastic material may take many different forms, expandable polystyrene is preferred inasmuch as this is initially obtained in the form of small beads, which after being preliminarily processed may be blown by the use of air into the mold cavity. Initially, this particular polystyrene material which is cornmercial-ly available is in the form of srnall, dense crystal beads. However, before These beads are injected into the mold cavity 60, they are put through an unconfined expamion to the bulk density required in the finished article. This preexpansion is provided by the simultaneous application of heat and agit&tion to a quantity of the beads for a desired period of tirne during which the beads are expanded in size to the density desired. These particular pre-expanded beads are the ones which are thereafter injected into the mold cavity 60 by means of the bead-injecting apparatus 88. A quantity of these pre-expanded, polystyrene beads are introduoed into the mold cavity 60 filling the same, follovving which steam is admitted to the headers 68 and 70 which asses through the various steam probes 64 and 66 into the mold cavity 60. This results in heating the polystyrene beads causing thern to expand and '00 bind together and also to fill the voids therebetween. After this full expansion has Laken place, the steam to the headers 60 and 70 is cut 01T, following which the probes 64 and 66 are withdrawn from the cavity. The latent heat in the plastic serves to expand the same into the voids left by the steam probes 64 and 66. A certain time for cooling of the plastic material is required such that for du's period of time the panels 40 and 42 are not moved but are perrnitted to rernain stationary in the press plates 46 and 52. The press p12vtes being in contact with the panels 40 and 42 resist distention thereof unde1' the force of the expanding plastic. After the plastic material has sufficiently cooled so as to stop the funther expansion thereof, the end 1ail 84 is removed from between the press plates, the two side rails 56 and 58 are separated slightly, perhaps an inch o1 so, by means cf the power cylinders 76 and 78, and the press plate 52 being reciprocable may be lifted as desired. The integrated panels 40 and 42 are thereupon advanced toward the right to bring new panel portions into position between the press plates 46 and 52. Also, the left-hand edge of the plastic which was previously formed is now positioned flush With the right-hand ends of the mold rails 56 and 58 so as to provx'de an end wall for the mold cavity 60.

The two side rails 56 and 58 are then moved back into engagement With the edges of the two panel p0rtions 40 and 42 and the end rail 84 is reinstalled. The steam probes 64 and 66 are inserted into the mold cavity 60 and polystyrene beads are injected into the cavity as explained previously. The expansion process as just explained is repeated, and when the plastic material has positioned just inside the edges of the press plates 46 and 52 becomes integrated with the new seetion of plastic which is expanded in place.

In the finished product, it is desired (hat the expanded plastic be adhe red securely to the facing surfaces of the two integrated panels 40 and 42. This is accomplished by coating these particular surfaces either before the edges are joined together 01' after, Wl'lh a suitable adhesive, a water-resistant type cf urea-forrnaldehyde, resorcinal-formaldehyde, casein and rubbcr-resin solvent dispersions, being acceptable. Also, the adhesive may be thermoplastic such that it will softem and band under the heat used to expand polystyrene. These adhesives rnay be applied to the facing surfaces cf the panels immediately following emergence thereof from the scarfing machine 18 or may be applied to the panels pxior to =d1e tirne they are inserted into the scarfing machine 18. Insofar as this invention is concerned, an adhesive which will serve che purpose cf bonding the expanded polystyrene plastic to the laminaticns 40 and 42 is all that is required.

The product which emerges from the press 44, as will now be apparent, is ccntinuous in length, comprising laminations 40a and 42a which have sandwiched therebetween expanded polystyrene plastlc 94. Since ihis paneling emerges f1om tl1e press 44 in much the same manner as an extrusion, it may be cut to any lengch desired.

Since it is contemplated ihat the Wall which emerges from the press 44 be used as Walls and partitions in prefabricated houses or buildings, lt Will be required in many instances that at least one side of this panel have a decorative covering thereon. The application of this decorative covering in the form f wallpaper or the like may be easily and simply accomplished wlthout the provision of any seams. As shown in FIG. 2, tworolls of wallpaper or the like, indicated by the numerals 96 and 98, respectively, are mounted on opposite sides of the finishecl Wall. The weos 106 and 192 from these tw0 rolls 96 and 98 are passed beneath two idler rollers 194 and 106, respectively, which are positloned adjacent to the outer surfaces of the laminations 49a and 42a such that the webs are laid directly onto these surfaces as the paneling is advanced toward the right. In oraler t0 adhere lhe paper [0 the panel surfaces, suitable liquid adhesives may be sprayed onto the panel surfaces by means of sultable spray heads 1P8 and 110, respectively. Thus, all in a single operation, a foam core wall With decorative covering on opposite sides thereof may be prqvided in a continuous length without any joints or seams being exposed. More particularly, tl1e Wall which emerges from a press 44 has a design which ls more clearly shown in FIG. 6. Along the opposite longitudinal edges 0f the finished paneling are provicled two raceways or v0ids indicated by the numeral 112. These raceways or voids 112 are provided, as will be apparent, by the particular shape 0f the side rails 55 and 53. The size of these raceways is made such as to receive, in one given situation, top and bottcm plates as indicated by the dashed llne configuration 114 in FIG. 6 and suitable electrical Wiring 116. Such plates 114 may take the form of ordinary frarning lumber such that in the illustration cf FIG. 6, the Wall will have a widtl1 of substantially two (2) inches. The raceway 112 is actually formed by molding fne polystrene to the partlcular shape shown, in the present instance the raceway being boundecl on the opposite sicles by the marginal edge portions of the two plywood panels 443a and 42a and on the bottorn by the polystyrene itself. While the descriptlon thus far shows that iwo such raceways 112 are provlded in the opposite longitudinal edges of the finished Wall, as will be apparent to persons skilled in the art, only one such raceway or none at all may be provicled. By merely changing t'ne shape of the side rails 56 and 58, the desired result Witl1 respect to formation of the raceways may be obtained.

Similarly, while FIG. 2 illnstrates tne application cf a clecorative coating to holh sides of the paneling, the same arrangernent may be used f01' applying a coating or covering to one side only.

Finally, once the production of the foam Gote Wall has been started and has progressed for some periocl of tlme, immediately following the advancement of a length portion of the integrated panels 40 and 42 into the press 44, several new plywood sheets may be glued together while the expansion process is taking place in the mold 44. This is accornplished by rolling the frame 10 as well as the scarflng machine 18 toward the right untll the endmost edges 0f the two integrated panels 40 and 42 are reached. Two new panels 26 and 28 are then abutted againsl these eclges and glued into place by means of the scarfing machine 18. Since this process requires only a very short tirne and much less time than the expansion process occurring in the mold 44, three, four er more panels may be joined in this period cf time by merely adding new sheetsto the left-hand end f tlxe integrated panels 46 and 42 and joining the edges thereof by means of the machine 18. Thus the machine 13 is moved toward the left in the joining process in steps, moving from joint to joint of tl1e plywood sheets. Thus, the panels or laminations which are fed to the press 4-4 are continuous in length.

While we have described nbove the principles 0f nur invention in connection with specific apparatus, it is to be clearly understood that this description is made only by way of example and not as a limitation to the scope 0x" our invention.

What is clairned is:

1. The method of fabricating foam core walls in a continuous lengtll comprising the steps of feeding a plurality of sheet-like panels along two parallel spaoed-apart planar paths, said panels bcing edge-to-edge and defining the lanes of the aforesaid paths, securing acljacent edges of sald pnnels together in the respective Planes thereof to provide -two elongated integrated panels which are spaced apart and parallel, advancing said integrated panels along the respective paths thereof in successive steps for predetermined distances, sequentially forming successive, contiguous, individual, closed cavities at a common ation between successive, discrete, contiguous length portions of said two integraled panels during the period of time between said successive steps, and introducing and expanding plastic maferial in said cavities at the aforesaid location following the formation thereof, thereby producing an elongated uninterrupted length of expanded foam plastic beiween the elongated integrated panels.

2. The methcd of claizn 1 but including the step of providing an adhesive 011 the facing surfaces of said integrated panels which adheres said expanded plastic thereto.

3. The method of fabricating foam core walls in a continuous lengtl1 comprising the steps of vfeeding a plurality- 0f sheet-like pancls along two parallel spacecl-apart planar paths, said panels being edge-to-edge and defining the lanes of the aforesaid paths, securing adjacent edges of said panels together in the respective lanes thereof m prcvide two elongated integrated panels which are spaced apart and parallel, advancing said integrated panels along the respective paths thereof in successive steps for predeterrnlned distances, providing an adhesive on the facing surfaces of said integrated panels, sequentially forming successive, contiguous, individual, closed cavities at a common location between successive discrete, comtiguous length portions of said two integrated panels during the periocl of time between said successive steps, intrnducizy and expanding plastic material in said cavities at the aforesaid location following the formation thereof, th-efeby providing an elongated uninterrupted length of expanded foam plasn'c between the el'ongated integrated panels, said expanded plastic material being adhered to said panels by said adhesive, and forming raceways in saicl expanded plastic materlal between and along the 0pposite longitudinal edge portions cf said two panels during the time the plastic material is expanded, the raceways in the aforesaid length portions being collinear prolongations cf each other.

4. The method of clairn 1 and including the steps 0f 9 adhering said expanded plastic material t said panels, and securing said sheet-like panels together during the tirne said plastic mater7ia-l is being expanded.

5. The method of fabricating foam core Walls in a continuous length comprising the steps of feeding a plurality o-f sl1eet-like panels along two parallel spaced-apart planar paths, said panels being edge-to-edge and defining the planes of the aforesaid paths, securing adjacent edges of said panels together in the respective planes thereof t0 provide two elongated integrated panels which are spaced apart and parallel, advancing said interated panels along the respective paths thereof in successive steps for predetermined distances, forrning a mold cavity Which is closed on all sides between discrete length portions of said two integrated panels, said mold cavity being formed once during each of said advancing steps and contiguous with a preceding cavity, introducing plastic material into said mold cavity, and expanding said plastic material into engagernent With said length portions of said two integrated panels and also into engagement With previously expanded plastic material to thereby foam plastic between the elongated integrated panels.

6. The method of fabricating foam core Walls in a continuous length comprising tl1e steps of feeding a plurality of shetdike panels along two parallel spacedapart planar paths, said panels being eclge-to-ege and defining the planes of the afc resaid paths, secur-ing adjacent edges of said panels together in tl1e respective planes thereof to provide two elongated integrated panels which are spaced apart and parallel, feeding parallel portions of said two integrated panels into a reciprocating molding press having two parallel and spaced-apart press plates which engage the opposite unter surfaces 0f said panel portions thereby positioning a mold cavity between said panel portions, providing opposite elosing ends and sides between said panel portions around tl1e marginal edges thereef for closing the periphery of said cavity, closing tl1e press plates onto said panels for closing said cavity, introducing an expandable plastic into said cavity, expanding said plastic un-til it fills said cavity and engages the facing surfaces Cf said panel portions, opening said cavity aclvancing said panel portions with the expanded plastic therebetween th*ough said molding press to a poi nt at Whicl1 two succeeding panel portions are moved into registry with said press and the edge of said expanded plastic is in position between said press plates t0 serve as one of said opposite cavity ends, closin-g the rernaining end and sides of said cavity, and then repeating theintroduet ion of expandable plastic into the latter mold cavity and expanding the sarne as before, thereby providing an additional section cf expanded plastic paneling whieh is a continuation in length 0f the first section arorementiorte&

7. Apparatus fior producing foam core Walls in a cantinuous length comprising means for conveying a plurality cf sheet-like'panels along two parallel spaced-apart s planar paths With said panels being in edge-to-edge relapanels in said respective paths together to provide two elongated integrated panels which are spaoed apart and parallel, a reciprocaole rn0lding press having upper and lower spaced-apart and parallel press plates which are engageable With the opposite outer surfaces cf length portions of said two integrated panels, means closing the outer peripheral marginal edg es of the space between said length portions cf said two panels to thereby provide a mold cavity, means f01' introducing a plastic material into said cavity, and; heat means: selectively movable into and out of said cavity for expanding said plastic material while in said cavity.

8. Apparatus for producing foam core walls in a comtinuops length cornprising a mechanisrn for jo'ining edges of adjacent panels together, a molding press spaced from said mechanism for receiving two parallel spaced-apart 10 length portions of panels, means for conveying flat panels along two generally parallel spaced-apart paths between said mechanism and said press, said mechanism including means for joining in edge-to-edge relation a plurality of discrete panels in said two paths, respectively, for providing two integrated elongated panels which are in said paths, respectively, said press including two spacedapart plates Which are parallel and spaced apart, said two plates being relatively reciprocable into engagement With the opposite outer surfaces of length portions of said two integrated panels, respectively, said plates having a width at least as wide as said integrated panels, two spaced-apart elongated mold rails engageable With and parallel to the opposite longitudinal edge portions, respectively, of said length portions and extending between said two integrated panels to provide sides for a mold cavity between said length portions, an end rail engageable With and extending transversely between said length portions to provide a third side for said mold cavity which extends between said mold rails, a fourth 'side spaced frorn said end rail and extending between said mold rails for completing the closure of said mold cavity, said fourth side being closed by previously expanded and advanced foarn plastic between said two integrated panels, means for inserting plastic material into said mold cavity, and heat means selectively movable into and out of said cavity for expanding said plastic material to fill completely said mold cavity to thereby form a section of the continuous length of Wall.

9. Apparatus for producing foam core Walls in a comtinuous length comprising a mechanism for joining edges 0f adjacent panels together, a molding press spaced from said mechanism for receiving two parallel spaced-apart length portions of panels, means for conveying flat panels along two generally parallel spaced-apart paths between said mechanism and said press, said mechanism including means for joining in edge-to-edge relation a plurality of discrete panels in said two paths, respectively, for providing two integrated elongated panels which are in said paths, respectively, said press including two spacedapart plates which are parallel and spaced apart,eaid two plates being relatively reciprocable into engagement With the opposite outer surfaces 0 f length portions of said two integ'rated panels, respectively, said plates having a Width at least as wide as said integrated panels, two spacedapart elongated mold rails engageable with and parallel to the opposite longitudinal edge portions, respectively, of said length portions and extending between said two integrated panels to provide sides for a mold cavity between said length portions, two elongated mold inserts adjacent and parallel to said mold rails respectivelyand interposed between the longitudinal marginal edges cf said length portions to provide elongated raceways in the finished paneling, an end rail engageable with and extending transversely between said length portions to provide a third side for said mold cavity which extends between said mold rails, a fourth side spaced from said end rail and extending between said mold rails for completing the closur e of said mold cavity, said fourth side being closed by previously expanded and advanced f0am plastic between'said two integrated panels, means for inserting plastic material into said mold cavity, and heat means selectively movable into and out of said cavity for expai1ding said plastic material to fill-completely said mold cavity to thereby form a section of Ehe continuous length 0f Wall.

10. Apparatus for producing foam core Walls in a coutinuous length comprising a mechanisrn for joining edges ing means. for joining in edge-to-edge relatiori a plul.l rality of discrete panels in said two patl1s, respectively, for providing two integrated elongated panels whieh are in said paths, respeetively, said press inelu ling two spacedapart plates which are parallel and spaced apart, said two plates being relatively reciprocable into engagement Witl1 the opposite outer surfaces cf length portions of said two integn.ted panels, respectively, said plaies having a Width at least as wide as said integrated panels, two spaced-apart elongated mold rails engageable Willi and parallel to the opposite longitudinal edge portions, respectively, f said lengtl1 pertiens and extending between said two integrated panels to provide sides for a mold cavity between said length portions, an end rail engageable with and extending transverse.y between said length portions to provide a tl1ird side for said mold cavity which extends between said mold rails, a fourth sicle spaeed frcm said end rail and extenrling between said mold rails for completing the closure of said mold cavity, said fourth side being closed by previously expanded and advanced foarn plastic between said two in tegrated panels, means for moving said mold rails away from said press and out of engagement witl1 said length portions, means for inserting plastic material into said mold cavity, and heat means selectively rnovable into and out of said cavity for expancling said plastic material to fill completely said mold cavity to thereby forrn a section of the continuous length of Wall.

11. Apparatus for proclucing foarn core Walls in a comtinuous lcngth comprising a mechanism for joining edges of adjacent panels t'ogether, a molding press spaced from said mechanism for receiving two parallel spaced-apart length portions of panels, means for conveying flat panels along two generally parallel spaced-apart paths between said mechanism and said press, said meehanism including means for joining in edge-to-edge relation a plurality of discrete panels in said two paths, respectively, for providing two inlegrated elongated pancls which are in said paths, respeetively, said press including two spacedapart plates which are parallel and spaced apart, said two plates being relatively reciprocable into engagement With tl1e opposite outer surfaces f length portions of said two integrated panels, respectively, said plates having a Wiclth at least as wide as said integrated panels, two spaced-apart elongated mold rails engageable With and parallel to the opposite longitudinal edge portions, respectively, of said length portions and extending between said two integrated panels to provide sides for a mold cavity between said length portions, an end rail engageable With and extending transversely between said length portions to provide a third side for said mold cavity which extencls between said mold rails, a fourth sicle spaeed from said end rail and extending between said mold rails for completing the closure of said mold cavity, said fourth side being closed by previously expanded and advanced foarn plastic between said two integrated panels, 1neans for inserting plastic material into said mold cavity, and heat means seleetively mevable into and cut er" said cavity for expanding aai l plastie material to fill completely said mold cavity to thereby form a section of tl1e continuous length cf Wall.

12. Apparatus for producing foarn core Walls in a continuous length comprising a mechanism for joining edges of adjacent panels together, a molding press spaced from said mechanisrn for receiving two parallel spacedapart length portions of panels, means for conveying flat panels along two generally parallel spaced-apart paths between said mechanism and said press, said nrechanism including rneans for joining in edge-to-edge relation a plurality of discrete panels in said two paths, respectively, for providing two integrated elongated panels which are in said paths, respectively, said mechanisrn being rnovable toward and away from said press for joining a nurnber of panel eclges togetlrer to there'oy lengtl1en said integrated panels, said press including two spaced-apart platcs whicn are parallel and spaced apart, said two plates being relatively reciprocable into engagernent wilh tl1e opposite outer surfaces of length portions'of said two integrated panels, respectively, said plates having a width at least as wicle as said integrated panels, two spaced-apart elongated mold rails engageable with and parallel to the opposite longitudinal edge portions, respectively, of said length portions and extending between said two integrated panels to provide for a mold cavity between said length portions, and end rail engageable Willi and extending transversely between said length portions to provide a third side for said mold cavity which extends between said mold rails, a fourth side spaced from said end rail and extending between said mold rails for completing the closure of said mold cavity, said fourth side being closed by previonsly expanded and advanced foarn plastic betwee said two integrated panels, rneans for inserting plastic material into said mold cavity, and heat means selectively movable into and out of said cavity for expanding said plastic material to fill completely said mold cavity to thereby form a section of the continuous length of wall.

13. Apparatus for producing foam core Walls in a continuous length comprising a mechanism for joining edges of adjacent panels together, a molding press spaced from said mechanisrn for receiving two parallel spacedapart length portions of panels, rneans for conveying flat panels along two generally parallel spaced-apart paths between said mechanisnr and said press, said mechanism including means for joining in edge-to-edge relation a plurality of discrete panels in said two paths, respectively, for providing two integrated elongated panels which are in said paths, respectively, said press including two spacedapart plates which are parallel and spaced apart, said two plates being relatively reciprocable into engagement with 'tbe opposite ouler surfaces of length portions of said two integrated panels, respectively, said plates having a width at least as wide as said integrated panels, two spaced-apart elongated mold rails engageable with and parallel to the opposite longitudinal edge portions, respectively, er" said length portions and extending between said two integrated panels to provide sides for a mold cavity between said length portions, said mold rails each having an elongated insert secured thereto and extending in parallelism therewith, said inserts extending toward eaeh other but being spacecl apart and operatively engaging the marginal longitudinal edges of said length portions, an end rail engageable with and extending transversely between said length portions to provide a third side for said mold cavity whieh extends between said mold rails, a fonrt'n side spaced from said end rail and extending between said mold rails for completing the Closure 0f said mold cavity, said fourth side being closed by previously expanded and advanced foam plastic between said two integrated panels, rneans for inserting plastic material into said mold cavity, and heat means selectively rnovable into and out of said cavity for expanding said plastic materialto fill cornpletely said mold cavity to thereby forma a section of the continuous length of wall.

14. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein each mold rail cornprises an elongated bar-like mernber having opposite parallel longitudinally extending surfaces, two elongated spacer elements rernovably secured to said two surfaces in parallelism therewith, said bar-like mernber having an elongated insert portion projecting beyond said elements which is narrower than the overall thickness of said mernbei and said elements secured thereto, said member witl1 said elements thereon being engageable by tl1e upper and lower press plates, respectively, and said insert portion being insertable between and engageable with facing surface portions of said integrated panels whereby to provide raceways along the opposite longitudinal edges cf the-exparided plastie material in the finished Wall.

(Referenees an following page) References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Mason Max. 19 1935 Coryell Jan. 12, 1937 5 Goss et a1 Apr. 23, 1940 Paley May 2, 1944 Ware et a1. Aug. 12, 1947 14 Magee Oct. 4, 1949 Payzant Oct. 16, 1951 Simon et a1 Dec. 27, 1955 Hoppe Oct. 7, 1958 Sisson Feb. 10, 1959 Kloote et a1. Oc-t. 6, 1959 Edberg et a1. Aug. 29', 1961 Edberg July 10, 1962 VUNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent N0. 3, 159,514 December l, 1964 Harold S. McKnight, Jlf, et a1.

. It is hereby certified that error appears in the above numbered patent requiring-correction and that ehe said Letters Patent should read as corrected below.

Column 2, line 30, for "cases" read chases columri l2, line 9, after "provide" insert sides lines 16 and 17, for "betwee" read between Signed and se'aled this 20th day 015 April 1965.

(SEAL) Attest: y

EDWARD J. BRENNER Commissioner 0f Patents ERNEST W. SWIDER Attest ing Officer

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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Classifications
U.S. Classification156/79, 29/429, 156/324, 156/547, 264/46.5, 156/583.1, 156/157, 264/46.3
International ClassificationE04B1/76, B29C44/32, B32B27/00
Cooperative ClassificationE04B1/76, B32B27/00, B29L2009/00, B29C44/326, B29L2007/00
European ClassificationB29C44/32C, B32B27/00, E04B1/76