US 3182423 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
R. 6. JENNINGS 3,182,423
ERECTING PARTI' IQN WALLS Filed Feb. 13., 1963 May 11, 1965 V I3 I |o :M \I fill "\qi 2| l4 20 I9 puu.
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I5 27 I6 ROGER G. JEmmss United States Patent Ofiice 3,l82,i23 Patented ma 11, was
3,182,423 ERECTING PARTITHQN WALLS Roger G. Jennings, Kcnsington, Calif, assigror to Pacific Vegetable Oil Corporation, San Francisco, tC-alitfl, a corporation of California Filed Feb. 13, 1963, Ser. No. 258,261 4 Claims. (Cl. Sit-70) This invention relates to a method of constructing buildings, and more particularly to a simplified, quick procedure of manufacturing walls and ceilings with modular pre-fabricated panels in such a Way that dismantling the building for subsequent reconstruction can be done with a minimum of time and labor.
A curtain wall building, well-known to the architectural profession, is a structure constructed with vertical columns and horizontal beams linked together into a rigid frame that maintains the buildings primary structural integrity. This frame is enclosed by fastening sectional wall and ceiling panels, such as modulator sandwich panels, to it. A sandwich panel in general comprises a pair of substantially parallel skins made from plywood, sheet rock, paper or other similar wall surfacing, separated by a low density core material such as rigid plastic foam or a wooden frame.
The various methods heretofore used to attach the sandwich panels to the building frame and to each other, so as to provide a rigid water-tight structure, have not been fully satisfactory. One such method is to bolt the panels, but bolting is quite time consuming, is expensive, and alignment of the bolt holes is ditiicult, especially in reassembling the building, as at a new site. Riveting is another such method, but riveting is also very time consuming and expensive. Furthermore, when rivets are used, it becomes difficult and time consuming to dismantle the structure and often damages the areas around where the rivets were. All these mentioned methods also suffer from another disadvantage-they are not always completely water-tight.
An important object of my invention is to provide on improved method of quickly and securely fastening wall and ceiling panels to supporting columns and beams of a curtain wall building, and also to each other.
Another object of my invention is to provide an improved method of removably fastening wall and ceiling panels to supporting frames and to each other.
Another object of my invention is to provide an improved method for disconnecting wall panels from each other and from supporting columns and beams without damage to any of the structures involved.
Still another object of my invention is to provide a new method of establishing a rigid water-tight seal at the junctures of building panels and the supporting framework to which they are fastened.
Yet another object of my invention is to provide a sturdy, permanent-type building structure which can be quickly and easily assembled, disassembled, transported, and otherwise handled like a temporary, portable build- In accordance with my invention, the rigid frames of curtain-wall buildings are constructed of columns and beams having an I-shaped cross section, such as conventional steel I-beams, positioned such that their webs are transverse to the plane of the wall or ceiling. Prefabricated sandwich panels or other suitable wall or ceiling enclosing structures are inserted between the flanges of adjacent columns and beams and securely but removably fastened to them by filling the joints with a rare-expanded plastic foam in such a way that the plastic foam holds the panels, the columns, and the beams together, filling in the openings between these elements tightly and rigidly and bonding to the elements, to unite them into a strong, weather-tight structure.
No bolts, rivets or other types of fastening devices are required or used to connect the panels to their supporting members, yet the plastic bond is generally more sturdy and lasting than one made with bolts or rivets. In striking contrast to a bolted or riveted bond, in accordance with my invention this plastic bond can be broken and reestablished quickly, easily, and as often as desired with substantially no wear and tear on the panels or their supports. This means that a building constructed according to my invention can be dismantled, removed to another site, and reerccted as other portable buildings, and yet provide the tightness, strength, and overall integrity heretofore provide donly by non-portable socalled permanent structures.
Other objects and advantages of my invention will become apparent from the following description and the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary view in side elevation of a portion of a curtain wall constructed according to my in vention, showing two adjacent pre-fabricated wall panels joined to an I-beam supporting column, with a portion broken away to show the enclosed parts in section;
P16. 2 is an enlarged view in section taken along the line 22 of FIG. 1, showing the device and arrangement for breaking the plastic foam seal between the panels and the beam; and
FIG. 3 is a View in section taken along the line 33 of FIG. 2, on a reduced scale, showing in solid lines the seal-breaking device in rest position and, in broken lines, the same device partially withdrawn.
Walls As the drawings illustrate, in the preferred form of my invention, the wall 16 of a curtain-wall, rigid frame building comprises a series of spaced, vertical I-beam c0lumns 11 supporting sandwich panels 12 which fit in between the fianges 13 and 14 of the columns 11 with one skin or surface 15 resting against one flange 13. The dimensions of the panels 12 or such that when they are in position between the columns 11, the other skin 16 is spaced from the other flange 14 and their end edges 17 are close to, but not abutting, the columns web 18. A rigid metal cap member 19 with a main body portion 25) and lateral flanges 21 and 22 rests against the skin 16 and forms an enclosed space at the joint with the skins 16, the panel end edges 17, and the column 11, A preexpanded plastic foam 23 completely fills this enclosed space, serving both as a bonding agent to hold the panels 12, the column 11, and the end cap 19 together, and as a weather-tight seal for the joint. This plastic foam 23 so securely bonds the enclosing elements together that the joint is generally stronger and more permanent than one that is riveted or bolted.
Erecting this wall in is a relatively rapid procedure as compared with the prior-art procedures employing joints that are fastened by rivets, bolts or the like. After the columns 11 are in place, the wall panels 12 are installed by elcvating them and then slipping them down between the flanges 13 and 14 of their supporting columns 11. Each panel 12 is then accurately positioned with one skin 15 flush with the flanges 13 on one corresponding side of the columns 11, and the caps 19am then positioned over the other side of the columns 11 and temporarily affixed to the panels 12 as by pressure-sensitive adhesive 29 or the like. A pie-expanded plastic foam composition is then forced through an opening 24 close to the bottom of the main body portion 20 of the cap 19, into the enclosed space of each joint bounded by the cap 19, the panels 12 and the column 11 until this space is filled completely. As the foam 23 solidifies it bonds to the panels Q 12, the column 11 and the cap 1% and links them rigidly and securely to each other. This solidified foam 23 also .seals off the spaces between the panels 12, the column opening 24 were near the top, the foam 23 could solidifyenough, before it had traveled down to the bottom, to adhere to the enclosing structures and block further passage of foam, creating air spaces which would weaken the joint.
Any number of panels 12 can be placed one upon another to pnovide a wall of any desired height, so long as the panels are sufiiciently strong to support the weight of successive panels. Cross-frame members may of course be used where desired or needed.
As is apparent from the foregoing description, the wall constructed in accordance with this invention is as sturdy and permanent as any curtain wall constructed from the same panels and columns in any manner known to the trade. However, portability involving quick dis assembly and reassembly is one of the unique advantages of my invention, and is provided for by including in the joint between the panels and columns a generally U-shaped cutter made from a strong yet flexible length ofwire,
top or under the bottom of the column flanges 13 and 14 so that cutterends 28 are exposed and thus accessible from outside the column. By pulling on the ends 28,
the cutter 25 is withdrawn from its position inside the,
column 11,,andthe upward or downward travel of the cross-overporti on 26 breaks the bond between the foam l just as they are between adjacent vertical columns 11 in a wall.
Once the panels 12 have been placed between the beams or rafters 11, the cutters 25 are properly positioned and the caps 19 affixed to the panel [skins 16. The preexpanded plastic foam 23,.is injected from a convenient point near the cave line and forcedunderpressure all through. the enclosed space in the joints. It makes no difiierence Whether the ceiling or roof is flat, i.e. horizontal, or peaked-the foam 23 will completely fill the space in the joints if sufficient pressure is used.v
After the joints in the walls, ceilings and the roof have been filled and bonded in the foregoing manner, the region of the joint between the roof and the walls may be filled and tightly sealed by foaming in place some additional pre-expanded plastic or other suitable composition using conventional procedures now in practice for building insulation; The final result is a completely weather-tight structure of permanent-quality construction, yet which can be swiftly and easily disassembled and reassembled.
Many types. of panels or wall, ceiling, and roof enclosures can be joined to this I-beam rigid frame with the method of my invention. However, prefabricated sandwich panels 12 are preferred, since they are easy to handle, quick to install, and possess many other superiorv qualities. These sandwich panels are made generally from two paral lel sheets of aluminum, plywood, cement; asbestos board, or other similar sheet-form building material separated by a low density or'lo'w cost core material, preferably but not necessarily a cellular plastic. Whatever the panels, they should be fabricated so that their width is slightly less than the distance between the webs 18 of their adjacentsupporting columns, joists or rafters 11, but greater material 23 and the end 17 of the panel 12,-thus releas- 7 ing the panel 12 from the column'll. Although the cellular plastic foam 23 is strong enough to provide a sturdy, permanent-type bond between the panels 12 and their columns 11, it is weak compared to the severing force exerted by the cutter 25, and it is readily broken down by the slicing action of the cutter 25 as it moves along the side of the panel 12.
In the preferred situation, cutters 25 are placed ateach end 17 of each panel 12 so. that when the cutters 25 at the two ends 17 of a panel12have been removed, the
panel 12 is free for removal from between the columns 11. Removal of the panel 12 can then be accomplished simply by hoisting it up from between the columns 11 in a manner the reverse of that by which they are installed.
Any excess foam 23that is left on the panels 12' and Ceilings and'roofs V When ceilings or roofs are constructed from Sandwich than the distance between the edges of the flanges 13 and 14 of the supporting elements 11. Thus the panels 12 will slip in betweenthe supporting elements without rub bing against the webs 13 and yet will not fall out because of the restrictive force exerted by the laterally extending flanges 13 and 14. The thickness of the panels 12 should be sufficiently less than-the distance between the twoflanges 13 and 14' of a supporting column, etc., to provide 'a passageway from the foam 23 to get in between the sides of the panels 12 and the webs'18 of the supports.
Various types of foarnable plastics may, be used in this invention, including'phenolics, polyesters, epoxiesv and polyurethanes, with polyurethanes and epoxies preferred.
All theseare common, well-known compositions and are commercially available. Polyurethanes are especially advantageous since they now are relativelymoderate in cost, are easily handled, and'bond tightly to substantially any solid surface with which they come into contact; Itis desirable that the plastic components be pre-expanded to a cellular or foam structure :prior to any, substantial polymerization of the components, and prior to the introduction of the cellular material into the joints between the panels. Use of plastic foaming C mpositions which are not pie-expanded often results in excessive pressures, limitation in heightsto whichthe foam will rise in the cap, and other difiiculties in the fabrication of the structure. Furthermore, the use of a pre-expanded foam permits introduction of the composition at oneplace only, i.e. at the bottom of the column or end ofthe beam, rather than at several holes spaced along thecolumn or beam.
panels according to this invention, the ceiling joists and" Y the rafters are. also'madefroml-bearns 11. These are If foaming compositions which expand considerably during the polymerization process are used instead of preexpanded compositions, accurate calculations are necessary todetermine the propenquantity to ,be injected into;
the several holes spaced along the cap. By using pre-expanded foam, only the amount sufficient to completely fill the cavity withinr'the cap19 can be easily determined;
This enables thefoam 23 to be injected at the: bottom of a column 11 or one end of a beam andthe flow continued until foam :appears at the-top of the column or the other end of the "beam 11, indicating that the cavity is;filled completely. Furtherfore, filling by conventional procedures is only a hit-or-miss proposition and quite often results in non-filled voids which weaken the bond.
Since polyurethane and other pre-expanded foams exhibit excellent bond strength to virtually any substrate, it can be seen that this method of injecting the foam at the bottom of the cap or at one end of the cap 19 until it comes out the other end results in a bond of maximum strength. In fact, it has been found that the bond strength between the panels and their supporting beams or columns generally exceeds the strength of conventional fastenings.
To those skilled in the art to which this invention relates, many changes in construction and widely difiering embodiments and applications Of the invention will suggest themselves without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. The disclosures and the description herein are purely illustrative and are not intended to be in any sense limiting.
1. A curtain wall type of structure, comprising a plurality of spaced-apart I-beams having webs parallel to each other and flanges aligned with each other, each I-beam having one web and two flanges, one on each side of said Web,
a plurality of sheet-like flat panels each longer than the distance between flanges of adjacent I-beams and each shorter than the distance between the webs thereof and each narrower than the distance between the flanges of a said I-beam, disposed at each end between said flanges of one I-beam and bridging between two I-beams and lying against the flange on one side only of each said I-beam and spaced from the other flange thereof,
a rigid cap member on the opposite side of each I-beam from said panel, lying outside of and generally around the opposite flange thereof and having a portion generally parallel to said opposite flange and end portions lying beyond said opposite flange and extending in toward and against said two panels,
means adhesively aflixing said end portions to said panels,
plastic foam filling the space enclosed by said panel, I-
beam, and cap and bonded thereto, and
a cutting wire at each juncture of a panel with an I- beam, said wire being in said plastic foam and extending across the thickness of said panel and down each side edge thereof and having an end available for pulling, so as to tear said plastic foam and aid thereby in taking down said structure.
2. The structure of claim 1 having an opening adjacent the bottom of said cap, for use in putting in the plastic foam.
3. A method of erecting a curtain wall from I-beam columns, sandwich panels, and rigid cap members of channel configuration, comprising the steps of erecting said I-beam columns in line with their webs parallel and their flanges collinear and with their webs further apart than the length of the panels and the flanges closer together than the length of the panels,
sliding each panel in between each pair of erected I- beam columns, from the end of the columns, between said flanges, abutting each said panel on one said flange at each end, positioning a cutting wire at each juncture of each panel with each I-beam column, extending across the thickness of said panel and down each side edge thereof,
placing a said cap over the other flange of each column with its channel surrounding said flange and its end edges engaging two said panels, one on each side of said web, said wire then having an exposed end available for pulling, so that when said wire is pulled it will tear said plastic foam so that said panels can be removed,
adhesively aflixing said end edges to said panels, and
flowing plastic foam into the space defined by said column, panels, and cap, to fill that space and bond to said column, panels, and cap.
4. The method of claim 3 wherein said columns are vertical, said panels are lowered into place from the upper ends of said columns, and each said cap has an opening adjacent its lower end through which said plastic is flowed into said space.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS Re. 24,767 12/51 Simon et al. 20646 1,481,249 1/24 Beinecke 50--72 1,899,454 2/33 Bemis 50-368 2,019,230 10/35 Lyon 50171 2,177,264 10/39 Relihan 50366 2,664,740 1/54 Cochrane 50437 2,742,115 4/56 Strong 50-20 2,985,287 5/61 Schulz 20646 3,003,810 10/ 61 Kloote et al.
3,014,611 12/61 Marshall 204 FOREIGN PATENTS 70,565 of 1914 Switzerland.
OTHER REFERENCES Plastering Industries, January 1961, pp. 17-19.
JACOB L. NACKENOFF, Primary Examiner.
HENRY C. SUTHERLAND, Examiner.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,182,425 May 11, 1965 Roger G. Jennings It is hereby certified that error appears in the above numbered patent requiring correction and that the said Letters Patent should read as corrected below.
Column 1, line 20, for "modulator" read modular line 40, for "provide on" read provide an column 2, line 15, for "provide donly" read provided only line 41 for "or such" read are such column 4, line 42, for "from the foam" read for the foam column 5, line 40, for "said two panels" read two said panels Signed and sealed this 22nd day of February 1966.
ERNEST W. SWIDER EDWARD J. BRENNER Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents