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Publication numberUS3186525 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 1, 1965
Filing dateJul 27, 1961
Priority dateJul 27, 1961
Publication numberUS 3186525 A, US 3186525A, US-A-3186525, US3186525 A, US3186525A
InventorsBarker Layle B, Gresham George S, Webster John L
Original AssigneeReynolds Metals Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Interconnected panel constructions
US 3186525 A
Images(4)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 1965 G. s. GRESHAM ETAL 3,186,525

INTERCONNECTED PANEL CONSTRUCTIONS Filed July 27. 1961 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVE TT GRESHAM BS R SCO June 1955 e. s. GRESHAM ETAL 3,

INTERCONNECTED PANEL CONSTRUCTIONS 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed July 27, 1961 INVENTORS GEORGE SCOTT GRESHAM JOHN L. WEBSTER BY LAYLE B. BiRyKER I )77m THEIR ATTORNEYS June 1, 1965 G. s. GRESHAM ETAL 3,186,525

INTERCONNECTED PANEL CONSTRUCTIONS Filed July 27, 1961 v V 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 42 e7 67 67 26 34 45 65 e5 27 64 66 66 4e 54 /j 1 I GEORGE sc T"T EE Z\%A JOHN L. WEBSFEFF BYLAYLE B. BARKER- K THEIR ATTORNEYS J1me 1965 G. s; GRESHAM ETAL 3,186,525

INTERCONNECTED PANEL CQNSTRUCTIONS 4 Sheets-SheetA INVENTORS GEORGE SCQTT GRESHAM JOHN L. WEBSTER LAYLE B. BARKER g )1 TH ElR ATTORNEYS *9 a i i; 3 W E E Filed July 27. 1961 United States Patent 3,186,525 INIERCGNNECTED PANEL CONSTRUCTIUNS George S. Gresham, John L. Webster, and Layle B. Barker, all of Henrico County, Va, assignors to Reyn oltls Metals Company, Richmond, Va., a corporation of Delaware 7 Filed July 27, 1961, Ser. No. 127,2Q8 4 Claims. (Cl. 18934) This invention relates to improved constructions formed (from a plurality of panel constructions and the like and to improved methods and parts for forming such constructions or the like.

It is well known to provide panel constructions formed from a plurality of end sections and wall sections interconnected together in any suitable manner whereby the panel construction has opposed end wall means and opposed outer surface means supported in spaced relation by rigidifying means of the wall and end sections. In this manner, the resulting panel construction can be interconnected with other panel constructions to form any desired structure.

For example, it has been found that when the end sections and Wall sections are formed of metallic materials and the like, the resulting panel constructions are not only strong and rugged but also light in weight, whereby the same can readily be transported and handled.

While such panel constructions have a wide variety of uses, it has been found that such panel constructions are readily adaptable for forming aircraft landing strips or mats, the panel constructions being arranged in a suitable pattern .on the ground and interconnected together.

In this manner the individual panel constructions can be fabricated at one location, transported to the desired location, and, thereafter, interconnected together to form the landing mat or the like. Alternately, the panel constructions can be fabricated at the desired site in a relatively simple and rapid manner.

In either event, the interconnected panel constructions can be readily disconnected when the particular landing mat is no longer required and transported to a new location to form another landing mat or be utilized for other purposes.

Accordingly, one of the purposes of this invention is to provide improved panel constructions which can be readily and elfectively interconnected together in a simple and non-time-consuming manner, and, thereafter, be adapted to be disconnected when desired.

In particular, each panel construction of this invention has novel flange means at the end. walls thereof which are adapted to be interconnected to flange means of an adjacent panel construction by an interlocking member of this invention, the panel constructions being arranged in the desired pattern and the locking member being thereafter inserted in locking relation with the adjacent flange means to hold the panel constructions together.

Special slots are defined between the adjacent panel constructions of this invention and are utilized for initially receiving the locking members before the same are subsequently inserted in their respective locking positions.

Such slots can be subsequently filled by inserts of this invention, whereby the resulting structure will have a continuous and substantially smooth outer surface means.

-In this manner, when the interconnected panel constructions of this invention are utilized for forming a landing mat, the upper landing surface of the mat provides a substantially flush surface whereby mud and the like cannot form between the panel constructions. Also, arresting books on carrier type aircraft will not catch on the upper surface of the landing mat.

Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide 3,186,525 Fatented June 1, 1965 an improved structure formed from a plurality of panel constructions or the like.

Another object of this invention is to provide an improved method for making such structures or the like.

A further object of this invention is to provide improved parts for making such structures or the like.

Other objects, uses and advantages of this invention are apparent from a reading of this description, which proceed-s with reference to the accompanying drawings forming a part thereof and wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary, perspective View illustrating an aircraft landing mat or the like of this invention formed from a plurality of panel constructions of this invention.

FIGURE 2 is an enlarged, fragmentary, cross-sectiona l view taken on line 22 of FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary, perspective view illustrating the starter end section utilized for forming one of the panel constructions of FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary, perspective view illustrating one of the wall sections utilized for forming one of the panel constructions of FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 5 is a view similar to FIGURE 4 and illustrates another wall section of this invention.

FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary, perspective view illustrating one of the terminal end sections utilized for forming one of the panel constructions of FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 7 is a fragmentary, perspective view illustrating one of the locking members utilized to form the land ing mat of FIGURE 1 by interlocking together adjacent panel constructions.

FIGURE 8 is a fragmentary, perspective view illustrating an insert for the landing mat of FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 9 is an end view illustrating the method of interconnecting the pair of wall sections of FIGURES 4 and 5 to the starting end section of FIGURE 3 to form part of the panel constructions of this invention.

FIGURE 10 is an enlarged, fragmentary end view illustrating one modification of the wall sections of FIG- URES 4 and 5.

FIGURE 11 is a view similar to FIGURE 10 and illustrates another modification of the Wall sections of FIGURES 4 and 5.

FIGURE 12 is a fragmentary, perspective view illustrating adjacent panel constructions of this invention before the same have been interlocked together by one of the methods of this invention.

FIGURE 13 is a view similar to FIGURE 2 and illustrates another type of panel construction of this invention for forming a landing mat or the like similar to FIG- URE 1.

FIGURE 14 is a fragmentary, perspective view illustrating the starting end section utilized for forming one of the panel constructions of FIGURE 13.

FIGURE 15 is a fragmentary, perspective view illustrating one of the wall sections utilized for forming one of the panel constructions of FIGURE 13.

FIGURES 16 and 17 are fragmentary, perspective views which respectively illustrate terminal end sections utilized for forming one of the panel constructions of FIG- URE 13.

FIGURE 18 is a side view illustrating the method of interconnecting a pair of wall sections of FIGURE 15 to the starter end section of FIGURE 14 to form part of one of the panel constructions of FIGURE 13.

While the various features of this invention are hereinafter described and illustrated as being particularly adaptable for forming an aircraft landing and launching mat or strip, it is to be understood that the same can be utilized for forming other structures having other uses, as desired, such as structural elements for buildings and the like.

Therefore, this invention is not to be limited to only ensasas e; the embodiments thereof illustrated in the drawings, as the drawings are merely utilized to illustrate one of the wide variety of uses of this invention.

Referring now to FIGURE 1, an improved aircraft launching and landing mat or strip of this invention is generally indicated by thereference numeral 20 and cornprises a plurality of full-lengthpanel constructions 21 of this invention and a plurality of half-length panel constructions 22 of this invention interconnected together in a mannerhereinafer described by a plurality of locking members 23 interconnected to adjacent sets of flange means 24 of adjacent panel constructions 21 and 21, 22 and having a plurality of inserts 25 disposed therebetween in a manner hereinafter described to fill all voids between the panel constructions 21 and 2.2 .on the upper surfaces thereof.

As illustrated in FIGURE 2, each panel construction 21 or 22 comprisesa starter end section 26, a plurality of wall sections 27 and 28, andterminal end sections 29 interconnected together in a manner hereinafter described, whereby the particular panel construction 21 or 22 has a pair of opposed end wall means 30 and a pair of Opposed outer surface means 31 supported in spaced relation by a plurality of Tr-shaped rigidifying means 32.

While the end sections -26'and 29 and wall sections 27 and 28 can ,beformed in any suitable manner and of any suitable material, the embodiments of the end sections 26 and 29 and wall sections.27 and 28 illustrated in the drawings are formed by extruding metallic material, such 1 as aluminum-containing metallic material or the'like, in a conventional extruding apparatus in a manner well known in the art. Thereafter, the individual end sections 26 and 29 and wall sections 27 and 28 canbe cut in the desired lengths from the extruded stock to form the panel construction 21 or 22 of the desired size.

As illustrated in FIGURE 3, each starter end section 26 comprisesan end wall 33 having a pair of outer walls 34 integrally connected to the opposed ends of the end wall 33, each outer wall 34 having a hooked-shaped lip or projection 35 extending therefrom. Each lip 35 has a convex surface 36 preferably provided with a center of curvature disposed on theterminaledge37 of the outer surface of the respective outer wall 34, for a purpose hereinafter described.

An inwardly directed, centrally disposed flange 38 ex.-

the flan-ge47 is complementary to the channels 40 of the end section 2'6 previously described.

The other end 45 of the outer wal1.44 of each'wall section 27 has a hooked-shaped lip or projection 54 extend-.

' viously described."

' 53 of the flange 57 has'an end'dl extending beyond the parallel to tr e tends from the end wall 33 of each end section 26 and has a pair of opposed concave surfaces 39 also provided with centers of curvature respectively disposed on the terminal edges 37 of the outer surfaces of the outer walls 34, the

flange 38 cooperating with the lips 35 to define outwardly facing channels 49.

A pair of legs or flanges 4l extend outwardly from the opposed ends of the end wall 33' of each end section 26 and are respectively inwardly offset from the outer surfaces of the outer walls 34 to define channels 4-2 therewith, the flanges 41 respectively having turned ends 43 extending toward each other for a purpose hereinafter described. 7 7

As illustrated in FIGURE 4, each wall section 27 comprises an outer flat wall 44 having opposed ends 45 and 46 respectively provided with complementary interlocking configurations.

In particular, a flange 47 extends inwardly from the end 45 of the outer wall 44 of each wall section 27 and has an arcuate' portion 48 cooperating with the end 45 to define an outwardly facing channel 49, the arcuate portion 48 of the flange 47 having a concave surface 59 preferably provided with a center of curvature disposed on the terminal edge 51 of the outer surface of the outer wall 44 whereby the channel 49 is complementary to the lips 35 of the end section 26. previously described.

The flange 47 of each wall section 27 has an inturned end portion 52provided with a convex surface 53 which also has a center of curvature disposed on the terminal edge 51 of the outer surface of the outer wall 44, whereby concave surface 59 thereof to permit opposed wall sections 27 and 28 to be interconnected together in a manner the leg 63 thereof integrally connected to and extending inwardly from the inside surface 64 of the outer. wall 44 of each-wall section 27, whereby the cross-elements 65 of, the T-shaped flanges 62 are disposed substantially outer wall 44 and are spaced therefrom.

A- plurality of pairs of inwardly. directed'ribs 66 extend. inwardly from the inside surface 64 of the outer Wall 44 of each wall section, 27 and definepocket 67 therebetween, each pocket 67 having a width. slightly larger than the width of the cross-elements 65 of the T-shaped flanges 62, for a purpose hereinafter described.

The T-shaped flanges 62' and ribs 66 of eachwall section27 and 28 areso constructed and arranged that the cross-elements 65 of the T-shaped fia'nges d2 of a wall section 23 are adapted to be received in the pockets 67 of an opposed wall section 27, whilethe'cross-elements 65 of the wall section .27 are adapted tobe received in the pockets d7 of the wall section .23 in a manner hereinafter described. Accordingly, it can be seen that the wall sections 23 are substantially identical to the wall sections 27, except that the wallsections 23 have one additional T- shaped flange 52 and one less pair of ribs 66, whereby the wall sections 27 and 23am complementary to each other in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 2.

Therefore, like parts of the wall sections 27 and 28 are indicated by like reference numerals, and the particuiardetails of the parts of the wall sections 28 indicated by reference numerals can be obtained by referring to the description of the wall section 27 above concerning that particular reference numeral.

Asillustrated in FIGURE 6, each terminal end section 29 comprises an end wall 63 having an outer wall 63 integrally interconnected thereto. A flange ;extends outwardly from the end wall 68 and is inwardly offset from the outer surface of the outer wall 69 to define a channel '71 therewith, the flange 7% having a turned end 72 extending downwardly away from the outer Wall 69, for a purpose hereinafter described.

A flange 73 extends inwardly from the free end 74 of the'outer Wall 69 of each end section 29 and is provided with an arcuate portion 75 whichcooperates with the end '74 of the outer wall 69 to define an outwardly facing: channel 76, the arcuate portion 75 'of the flange 73 hav-' by the flange 73 is complementary to the channels 60 of the wall sections 27 and 28 previously described.

Accordingly, it can be seen that the end sections 26 and 29 and Wall sections 27 and 28 of each panel construction 21 and 22 can be formed with the desired configurations by simple extruding operations, whereby the overall cost of such end sections 26 and 29 and wall sections 27 and 28 is relatively small. However, it is to be understood that the end sections 26 and 29 and wall sections 27 and 28 can be formed by any other method, as desired.

When it is desired to form a panel construction 21 or 22 from the end sections 26 and 29 and wall sections 27 and 28, the same can be assembled together in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 9, the panel constructions 21 and 22 being substantially identical except for certain details hereinafter described.

In particular, a pair of opposed wall sections 27 and 28 are respectively interconnected to the starter end section 26 by having the flanges 47 thereof complementally received in the channels 40 of the end section 26 while the hooked-shaped lips of the end section 26 are complementally received in the channels 49 of the Wall sections 27 and 28.

To effect such interconnection between the end section 26 and the wall sections 27 and 28, each wall section 27 and 28 has its outer wall 44 disposed angularly relative to the respective outer wall 34 of the end section 26 in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 10, whereby the respective lip 35 of the end section 26 can be partially received in the channel 49 of the respective wall section 27 or 28, with the terminal edges 37 and 51 of the end section 26 and wall section 27 or 28 abutting each other. Thereafter, the respective wall section 27 or 28 is pivoted relative to the end section 26 so that the outer' wall 44 thereof can be brought into the same plane as the plane of the outer wall 34 of the end section 26. As the respective wall section 27 or 28 is being pivoted relative to the end section 26, the inturned end portion 52 of the flange 27 thereof slides on the concave surface 39 of the flange 38 of the end section 26, whereby the flange 47 is fully received in the respective channel 40 of the end section 26 when the outer walls 44 and 34 of the wall section 27 or 28 and end section 26 are brought into aligned relation.

When the respective wall section 27 or 28 has its outer wall 44 disposed in the same plane as the plane of the outer wall 34 of the end section 26, axial movement between the end section 26 and the respective wall section 27 or 28 is prevented by the interlocking relation of the hooked-shaped lip 35 of the end section 26, with the flange 47 of the respective wall section 27 or 28. Therefore, it can be seen that the wall sections 27 and 28 can be respectively interconnected to the end section 26 in a relatively simple manner, the wall sections 27 and 28 being interconnected to the wall section 26 in unison, or separately, as desired.

As illustrated in FIGURE 9, the wall section 27 has been interconnected to the end section 26 before the wall section 28 is connected thereto.

As the wall section 28 is being interconnected to the end section 26 and is pivoted from the position illustrated in full lines to the position illustrated in dotted lines in FIGURE 9, the cross-elements 65 of the T-shaped flanges 62 of the wall section 28 are received in the pockets 67 of the wall section 27 whereby the cross-elements 65 of the wall section 28 abut the inside surface 64 of the outer wall 44 of the wall section 27 when the outer wall 44 of the wall section 28 is disposed in the same plane as the plane of the respective outer wall 34 of the end section 26. Similarly, the cross-elements 65 of the wall section 27 are received in the pockets 67 of the wall section 28 and abut against the inside surface 64 of the outer wall 44 thereof in the manner illustrated in FIG- URE 9.

When the outer walls 44 of the wall sections 27 and 28 are brought into alignment with the outer walls 34 of the end section 26, the outturned flanges 58 of the wall sections 27 and 28 abut against each other, whereby the ends 61 thereof can be suitably secured together by any suitable means, such as rivets 81 or the like. Therefore, the opposed pair of wall sections 27 and 28 are permanently interconnected to the end section 26 when the outturned portions 58 thereof are secured together, whereby the outer walls 44 of the wall sections 27 and 28 cooperate with the outer walls 34 of the end section 26 to define part of the outer surface means 31 of the panel construction 21 or 22, the outer walls 44 of the wall sec tions 27 and 28 being held parallel to each other by the T-shaped flanges 62 thereof.

Thereafter, another pair of wall sections 27 and 28 are interconnected to the ends 46 of the first pair of wall sections 27 and 28 in substantially the same manner as illustrated in FIGURE 9, whereby the flanges 47 of the additional pair of wall sections 27 and 28 are complementally received in the channels 60 of the first pair of wall sections 27 and 28, with the lips 54 thereof complcmentally received in the channels 49 of the additional pair of wall sections 27 and 28.

Subsequently, the additional pair of wall sections 27 and 28 are secured together at the abutting outturned end portions 58 thereof by the rivets 81 or the like.

In this manner, the additional pair of opposed wall section-s 27 and 28 are permanently interlocked to the first pair of opposed wall sections 27 and 28.

Accordingly, it can be seen that the panel construction 21 or 22 can be formed by serially interconnecting pairs of opposed wall sections 27 and 28 onto the previously connected wall sections 27 and 28 until the particular panel construction 21 or 22 has the desired width. Only two such pairs of opposed wall sections 27 and 28 are illustrated in FIGURE 2 for forming each panel construction 21 or 22. However, it is to be understood that additional pairs of wall sections 27 and 28 can be interconnected thereto in substantially the same manner illustrated in FIGURE 9, if desired.

Further, while the panel construction 21 illustrated in FIGURE 2 has the upper outer surface means 31 thereof formed entirely of Wall sections 27, it is to be understood that the upper outer surface means 31 can be formed entirely by the wall sections 28 or by alternating the wall sections 27 and 28. Regardless of the arrangement of the wall sections 27 and 28 the panel construction 21 or 22 comprises two opposed rows 82 and 83 of interconnected wall sections 27 and 28.

When it is desired to form the other end wall means 38 of the particular panel construction 21 or 22, a pair of terminal end sections 29 are respectively interconnected to the extreme right-hand pair of wall sections 27 and 28 by having the flanges 73 thereof complementally received in the channels 60 of the wall sections 27 and 28 while complementally receiving the lips 54 of the wall sections 27 and 28 in the channels 76 thereof in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 2, the end sections 29 being interconnected to the wall sections 27 and 28 in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 9.

When the end sections 29 have been interlocked to the terminal pair of wall sections 27 and 28 in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 2, with the outer walls 69 thereof respectively disposed in the same planes as the planes of the outer walls 44 of the Wall sections 27 and'28, the free ends 84 of the end walls 68 of the end sections 29 abut each other and can be suitably secured together, such as by welding 85 or the like. If desired, the free end 84 of each end section 29 can have a beveled surface 86 to facilitate such welding operation or the like.

Therefore, it can be seen that the panel constructions 21 and 22 can be rapidly formed by appropriately interlocking together the end sections 26 and 29 and wall sections 27 and 28 in the above manner, whereby the sasspne particular panel: constructions 21 and 22 can have the desired width.

Thecompleted panel construction 21 or 22 is readily adapted to absorb impacts and the like imposed against the outer surface means 31 thereof, such as forces caused by landing aircraft and the like, because the T-shaped flanges 62 of the wall sections 27 and 28 firmly support the outer surface means 31 in spaced relation.

The ribs 66 of the wall sections 27 and 28 permit limited movement of the cross-elements 65 of the T-shaped flanges 62 relative to the opposed. wall section 27 or 28' when impacts are imposed on the outer surface means 31 thereof but prevent major movements thereof whereby buckling of the T-shaped flanges 62 is prevented by the ribs 66.

Thus, it can be seen that the panel constructions 21 and 22 of this invention are readily adaptable for forming landing and launching mats for aircraft and the like, because the same are relatively strong while being light in weight. 7

While the mating surfaces of the ribs as and the end surfaces of the cross-elements as of the T-shaped flanges 62 of the wall sections 2'7 and 28 are respectively illustrated as being disposed substantially perpendicular to the inside surfaces 64 of the outer walls 44; it is to be understood that the same can be modified in any desired manner.

For example, as illustrated in FIGURE 10 the crosselements 65;: of the flanges 62a, of the wall sections '27 and 28 can be provided with rounded ends 87 whichiare complementary to inner concave surfaces 88 defined by the ribs 560 on the other wall section 27 or 28.

If desired, the cross-elements 65a of the wall sections 27 and 28 illustrated in FIGURE 10 can have thev end surfaces 87 thereof snugly engaged against the concave surfaces 88 f the ribs 66a of the other wallcsection 27 or 28, whereby no limited movement is permitted between the T-shaped flanges 62a'and the opposed wall section 27 or 28. Alternately, the ribs 6dr; could be spaced atdistance sufficient to permit such limited movement in substantially the same manner as illustrated in FIGURES 2 and 9.

Also, the cross-elements 65 of the T-shaped flanges 62 of the wall sections 27 and 28 couldbe modified in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 1l,'whereby the cross- 1 elements 65b of the T-shaped flanges 62b each have slant- If desired, the cross-elements 66b illustrated in FIG URE 11 can be wedged between the ribs 66b of the other wall section 27 or 28, as illustrated, whereby no limited movement is permitted between the cross-elements 66b of the T-shaped flanges 62b and the other wall section 27 or 28. However, the ribs 66b could be so spaced relative to each otherthat limited movement is permitted between the crosselements 66b and the other wall section 27 or 28, as illustrated in FIGURES 2 and 9.

Whether the wall sections 27 and 28 have the cross elements 65 and ribs 66 formed in the manner illustrated I in FIGURES 2, 10 or 11, it can be seen that the ribs as i tend to stabilize and locate'the proper position of the cross-elements 65 relative to the opposed wall section C) G9 posed Wall sections 27 and 28 do not act compositely when forces are imposed thereagainst but act somewhat individually, because the other ends 45 thereof are not mechanically secured together, whereby a certain softness is provided between the opposed wall sections 27 and 28 and impacts are more readily absorbed by the wall sections 27 and 28 of this invention than if the ends 45 thereof were also mechanically secured together in the same manner as the ends 46 thereof;

Thus, it can be seen that the panel constructions 21 and 22of this invention are readily adaptable for forming landing and launching mats for aircraft and the like,

because the same are relatively-stable and substantially light in weight.

When it is desired .to form the. landing and launching mat 20 of FIGURE 1 from a plurality of panel constructions 21 and 22, the panel constructions 21' and 22 are jdisposed on-a level surface of the ground in the pattern illustrated in FIGURE 1, wherein thepanel constructions21 and 22 are arranged in aligned rows 91; the panel constructions 21 and 22 in each row 91 having adjacent ends 92 abutting each other to'define seams 93 there-i between which are staggered relative to theseams 93 in the rows 91' adjacent thereto for a purpose now to be t three sets of flange means 24 extending outwardly from each end wall means 31} thereof, two off-the sets of flange means 24 being located at the ends 93 thereof, with the remaining set of flange means 24' being disposed inter- The lengthstof the end sets ofmediate the ends 93; flange means 24 are substantially? one-half the length of the intermediate set of flange means 24, while the distance between the intermediate set of flange nseam 24 and each set of end flange lmeans'24 is slightly longer than the length of the intermediate set of flange means 24, as illustrated in FIGURES '1 and 12.

The shorter panel constructions 22 only have two sets of flange means 24 extending from the end wall means 30 thereof, each set of. flange means 24 'being' located at one of the ends 93'thereof and 'having a length substantiallyequal to the lengthof the sets of flange means 24 at the ends 93' of the longer panel constructions 21, with the distance between the sets ,of flange means 24 for each panelconstruction 22 being greater than twice the length of each set of flange means 24 thereof for a purpose hereinafter described. ,7 As previously set forth, the panel constructions 21 and 22 are arranged on the ground in, the pattern illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 12, whereby 'the panel constructions 21 and 22 of each row 91 thereof are staggered relative to the panel constructions 21' and 22 in adjacent rows 91. The panel constructions 21 and 22 are so' placed relative to each other, that the shorter sets of flange means 24 at the-ends 93 of aligned panel constructions 21 or 21 and 22 of each row 91 are slightly spaced from an intermediate set of flange means 24 of -a panel construction 21 ina row 91 adjacentthereto in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 12, whereby a narrow slot 94 is defined between the adjacent sets of flange means 24.

, Further, the: portions .of the end walls 30 of the adjacent panel constructions'21 sand22 which have the flanges 41 and cut away define wider, slots 95-between adjacent panel constructions 21 or 21" and 22in the manner illus trated in FIGURE 12, the slots'95 being longer than the length of the adjacent setsof flange means 24 of the panel constructions 21 and 22. a

After adjacent rows 91 of panel constructions 21 and 22 have been disposed together in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 12, the same are adapted to be interlocked together by the locking members 23 of this invention. Of course, each row 91 of panel constructions 21 and 22 can be interlocked to an adjacent row 91 before another row 91 is set in place, as desired.

As illustrated in FIGURE 7, each locking member 23 has a narrow body portion 96 provided with a pair of opposed ends 97 and 98, the end 97 being rounded for a purpose hereinafter described.

A cross-element 99 is integrally interconnected to the end 98 of the body port-ion 96 of the locking member 23, whereby the opposed legs of the cross-element 99 extends on each side of the body portion Two pairs of opposed flanges 1M extend outwardly from the opposite side of the body portion 96 of the locking member 23 and are inwardly offset relative to the ends 97 and 98 thereof, each flange 101 having a turned end 162 extending away from the turned end 1&2 of the other flange 1d]. disposed on the same side of the body portion 96 that the respective flange lt l extends therefrom.

The locking members 23 are cut into desired lengths substantially equal to or slightly smaller than the length of the intermediate sets of flange means 24 of the panel constructions 21. Of course, the locking member 23 may be longer than the intermediate sets of flange means 24, but not longer than the slots 95, as will be apparent hereinafter.

In this manner, each locking member 23, while being held with its longitudinal axis disposed horizontally, can be inserted vertically downwardly into a slot Q5 between adjacent panel constructions 21 or 21 and 22 and thereafter be longitudinally moved toward adjacent sets of flange means 24 of the panel constructions 21 or 21 and 22, so that the cross-element 99 of the locking member 23 will be received in the channels 42 and 7:1 of adjacent panel constructions 21 or 21 and 22, with the body portion 96 being received in the slot 94 disposed between the adjacent sets of flange means 24. As the locking member 23 is moved longitudinally toward the opposed sets of flange means 24, the turned ends 102 of the flanges ltll thereof cooperate with the turned ends 43 and '72 of the end sections 26 and 29 of the adjacent panel constructions 21 or 21 and 22 to interlock the same together in the manner illustrated at the left-hand end of FIGURE 2, whereby the adjacent panel constructions are interlocked together. Also, the cross-element 99 of the locking member 23 has its upper surface disposedflush with the outer surface means 31 of the mat 2% so that a smooth surface is provided by the locking member 23.

There-fore, it can be seen that the locking members 23 can be readily utilized to interlock together adjacent sets of flange means 24- and thus adjacent panel constructions 21 or 2 1 and 22 in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 1.

After the locking members 23 have been utilized to interconnect together the adjacent rows 91 of panel constructions 21 and 22 in the above manner, the slots 95 between the adjacent rows 91 of panel constructions 2'1 and 22 can be filled with uitable means, such as the inserfs 25 of FIGURE 8 or any other suitable means whereby no voids will be provided between the adjacent rows 91 of interlocked panel constructions 21 and 22 which could collect mud, catch hooks of carrier-type aircraft or provide other adverse conditions.

In particular, as illustrated in FIGURE 8, each insert 25 is formed by extruding a suitable material, such as aluminum-containing metallic material or the like, and comprises a flat outer wall 1% having a pair of depending legs 1&5 inwardly offset relative to the ends 106 of the outer wall 104, the legs 105 preferably diverging away from each other as they extend away from the outer 1d wall 1&4 and having hooked-shaped free ends 107 for a purpose hereinafter described.

The inserts 25 are cut to lengths substantially equal to the lengths of the slots previously described. Thus, each insert 25 can be vertically inserted in a slot 95 by press-fitting the legs 1G5 thereof against the opposed end wall means 30 of the adjacent panel constructions 21 or 21 and 22 in the manner illustrated in the right-hand end of FIGURE 2, whereby the hooked-shaped ends 107 of the legs 1&5 spring outwardly and hook against the terminal edges 1% of the end wall means 30 in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 2 when the insert 25 is fully inserted in the slot 95.

Therefore, it can be seen that the inserts 25 are readily retained in the slots 95 and have the outer walls 1M thereof respectively filling the channels 42 and 7.1 of the end sections 26 and 29 of the panel constructions 21 and 22 to provide a smooth outer surface means 31 of the mat 20 in the manner illustrated in FIGURES 1 and. 2. If desired, the inserts for the mat 25) can be formed of any suitable material, such as aluminum-containing metallic material, plastic or the like.

When inserts such as is illustrated at 25 are utilized, it can be seen that the completed landing and launching mat 2t has a substantially smooth upper outer surface means 31 which is readily adapted to receive landing aircraft and the like.

While the panel constructions 21 and 22 can have any desired dimensions, one embodiment of the mat 2%) that has been found satisfactory comprises panel constructions 21 having an overall length of approximately 10 feet while the panel constructions 22 have an overall length of 5 feet. The rows )1 of panel constructions 21 and 22 are so positioned relative to each other that the panel coverage of each panel construction 21 and 22 is approximately 2 feet between the medial portions of adjacent slots 94. Thus, the actual width of a panel construction 21 or 22 from the outermost points on the flanges 41 and 7%) thereof is approximately 1 foot and 9 7 inches. The length of the intermediate sets of flange means 2 is approximately 2 feet 3 inches long. The length of the locking members is approximately 2 feet long, while the length of the slots 95 and, thus, the length of the inserts 25' are approximately 2 feet 9 inches long.

While the landing and launching mat 20 illustrated in FIGURE 1 has been described as being formed from the panel constructions 21 and 22 of this invention, it is to be understood that the unique-looking means and filling means of this invention could be combined with other types of panel constructions, as desired.

For example, the mat 2%) can be formed from a panel construction .1 12 of this invention illustrated in FIGURE 13 and interconnected together by the locking members 23 in substantially the same manner as set forth above in regard to the panel constructions 21 and 22, there being half-length and full-length panel constructions 112.

Each panel construction 112 comprises a starter end section 1-1-3, a plurality of like wall sections 114 and a pair of terminal end sections 115 and 1 16 interlocked together in a manner hereinafter described to define opposed end Wall means 117 and opposed outer surface means 118 of the panel construction 112 supported in spaced relation by substantially truncated V-shaped rigidifying means 119 in a manner hereinafter described.

While the end sections 1-13, 115 and 1-16 and wall section s 11d of the panel constructions 112 can be formed in any suitable manner and of any suitable material, the embodiments thereof illustrated in the drawings are formed by extruding metallic material, such as aluminumcontaining metallic material or the like, in a conventional extruding apparatus in a manner well known in the art. Thereafter, the individual wall sections 114 and end sections 1'13, 115 and 116 are cut to desired lengths from the extruded stock to oneness anel construction 112 of tion 113 comprises an end wall res having a pair of op- I posed outer Walls 121 and 122 integrally connected and offset relative to the end wall 124 I The outer wall 122 of the end section 113 has a hookedshapedlip 123 provided with a convex surface 12d pref-.

erably provided with a center of curvature disposed on theterrninal edge 125 of the outer surface of the outer wall 122. The lip 123 cooperates with an inwardly directed extension 12.6 of the end wall 12% to define a channel 127 therewith, the extension 126 having a concave surface 128 also provided with acenter of curvature disposed on the terminal edge 125 of the outer surface of the outer wall 122.

The other outer wall 121 of the end section 113 has a free end 129 provided with a lip 13%, similar to the lip 123 and having a convex surface 131 provided with a center of curvature disposed on the terminal edge 132 of the outer surface of the outerwall 121.

A flange 133 of each end section 113 has a first portion 134 extending inwardly frorrrthe free end 129 of the j outer Wall 121 and is provided with an intermediate por- 1 tion 135 disposed substantially parallel to the outer wall 121. The flange 133 has a rev'ersely turned end portion 136 provided with a hooked-shaped end 137. p The flange 133 of each end section 113 has an outwardly directed extension 138 projecting from the first portion 13% thereof and cooperating with the lip 136 to define a channel 139 identical to the channel 127 previously described. The extension 138 has a concave surface 146 also provided with a center of curvature disposed on the terminal edge 132 of the outer surface of the outer wall 121.

A leg or flange 141 of each end section 113 extends inwardly from the outer wall 121 intermediate the ends thereof and has a hooked-shaped end 142 for a purpose hereinafter described.

A pair of flanges 143 extend outwardly from the end 7 wall 121 ofeach end section 113 and are inwardly offset relative to the outer walls 121 and 122 thereof to define channels 144'therewith. Each flange 143 has a turned end 1144 directed toward the turned end 144 of the other fiange'143 for a purpose hereinafter described.

As illustrated in FIGURE 15, each wall section 114 comprises a fiat outer wall 145 provided with a pair of In particular, the free end 146 of the outer wall 1-1-5 of each wall section 114 has a hooked-shaped lip or projection 148 provided with a convex surface 149 preferably provided with a center of curvature disposed on the terminal edge 15:) of the outer surface of the outer wall 145.

A flange 151 has an intermediate portion 152 extending inwardly from the free end ldd of the outer wall 145 of each wall section 114 and is provided with an intermediate portion 153 disposed substantially parallel to the outer wall 145. The flange 151 has a reversely turned end portion 15 provided with a hooked-shaped end 155 whereby the flange 151 is substantially identical to the flange 133..

An outwardly directed extension 15dis carried by the first portion 152 of the flange 151- and cooperates with the lip 148 to define a channel 157 substantially similar to the channels 127 and 139 of the end section 113, the extension 1 155 having a concave surface 158 also provided with a center of curvature disposed on the terminal edge 15th of 1 the outer surface of the outer wall 145. i V

The other end 147 of the outer wall of each wall section 114 has an inwardly directed flange 159 provided 7 with an arcuate portion 161 cooperating with the end 147 curvature disposed on the terminal edge 163 of the outer surfwceof the outer wall 1 15.

The flange .159 of each wall section 114 has an inturned end portion 15d provided with a convex surface also provided with a center of curvature disposed on the terminal edge 165 of the outer surface of the outer wall 145 whereby the flange 159 is complementary to the channels 127 and 139 of the end section 113 :andto the channel 157 of another wall'section 114 in a manner hereinafter described;

A hooned sha ed projection 166 extends inwardly from the outer wall 145 of each wall section 114 and cooperates with an inwardly directed rib 167 to define a pocket 16$ therewith for; a purpose hereinafter described.

As illustrated in FIGURES 16 and'l'7 each terminal end section 115' and 116 comprises an end 'wall 169 having an outer wall 17%? integrally connectedand offset relative 'to the end wall 1&9, the end sections 115 and 116 being substantially identical except that the end section 115 has a longer outer wall 170 than the outer wall17tl of the end section 116. 7

The outer wall 17%) of each'end section 115 and 116 has a flange 171 extending inwardly from the free end 1'72 thereof and provided with an arcuate portion 173 cooperating with the freeend 172 to define an outwardly facing channel 174 identical to the channel151 previously described, the, arcuate portion 173 having a concave surface175 preferably provided with, a center of curvature disposed on the terminal edge 176 of the outer surface of theouter wall 17%. V V 1 The flange 171' of each end section 115 and 116 has van inturned end portion 177 provided with ,a convex surface 1'78 also having a center of curvaturedisposed on the, terminal edge 176 of :thegouter surface of the outer wall 17% whereby theoflange 171 is complementary to the channel. 157 of a wall section 11 3.

A hooked-shaped projection 179 extends inwardly from the outer wall 170 of each end section 115 and 116 and cooper-ates with an inwardly directed rib 180' to define a pocket 181 for a purpose hereinafter described.

The outer .wall'169 of each end section 115 and 116 has an outwardly directed flange 182. inwardly offset relative to the outer wall 171 to define a channel 183 therewith, the flange 1&2 having a turned end 184 extending away from the outer wall .170 for a purpose hereinafter described.

Therefore, it can be seen that the end sections 113, 115 and 116 and wall sections 114 of the panel con- 'struction, 112' can be made in a relatively simple manner by merely extruding metallic material or the like whereby'the sections 113-116 can be inexpensively formed with the particular configurations illustrated in the drawings.

When it is desired to' form a panel construction 112 from the sections 113- 116, 21 pair of wallsections 114 are initially interconnected to the starter end section 113 in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 18 by having the flanges 155 thereof complementally received in the channels 12'7and 139' of the end section 113 while receiving the lips 123 and 13d of the end section'113 in the channels 161 thereof. 7

To thus interconnect a wall section 114 to'the end section 113, the outer wall 145 of the wall section 114 is angularly disposed relative tothe respective outer wall 122 or 121 of the end scction113 so thatlthe lip 13% or 123 thereof can be partia ly received in the channel .161 with the terminal edge 163 of the wall section 114 abutting the terminal edge, 125 or 132 of the end section 113. Thereafter, the wall section 114 is pivoted relative. the end section 113 to bring the outer wall 145 thereof into the same plane as the plane of the outer wall 121 or 122 of the end section 113. As the wall section 114 is so pivoted, the convex surface 165 of the flange 159 thereof slides on the concave surface 1413 or 128 of the extension 138 or 126 of the end section 113 in the manner illustrated 13 in FIGURE 18 whereby the flange 159 is fully received in the channel 139 or 127 of the end section 113.

The wall section 114a illustrated in FIGURE 18 is first interconnected to the outer wall 123 of the section 113 in the above manner. As the wall section 114a is being pivoted relative to the end section 113 to bring the outer wall 145 thereof into alignment with the outer wall 121 of the end section 113, the hooked-shaped projection 166 of the wall section 114a snaps over the hooked-shaped end 142 of the flange 141 of the end section 113 and interlocks therewith in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 18 whereby the Wall section 114a is, fully interlocked to the end section 113.

Further, as the end section 114:: is being pivoted relative to the end section 113, the outer .wall 145 of the Wall section 114a abuts against the intermediate portion 135 of the flange 133 of the end section 113 in the manner illustrated in full lines in FIGURE 18 whereby the outer wall 145 of the wall section 114a can be interconnected to the intermediate portion 135 of the flange 133 of the end section 113 by rivets 185 or the like.

Thereafter, the wall section 1141) is interconnected to the outer wall 121 of the end section 113 in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 18. As the wall section 114b is being pivoted relative to the end section 113, the hooked-shaped projection 166 thereof cams over the hooked-shaped end 137 of the flange 133 and interlocks therewith as illustrated in dotted lines in FIGURE 18 whereby the wall section 11412 is fully interlocked to the end section 113.

Further, as the Wall section 114b is being pivoted relative to the end section 113, the outer wall 145 of the wall section 114b is brought into engagement with the intermediate portion 153 of the flange 151 of the wall section 114a and can be secured thereto by the afore mentioned rivets 1S5 whereby the wall sections 114b and 114a are interconnected together and are respectively interconnected to the end section 113.

Therefore, the wall sections 114a and 114b respectively define the beginning of two rows 186 and 187 of Wall sections 114b forming the panel construction 112.

Subsequently, additional wall sections 114 are interconnected alternately to the rows 186 and 187 of wall sections 114 in the above manner to build the panel construction 112 into the desired width.

When it is desired to form the other opposed end wall means 117 feet of the panel construction 112, the end sections 115 and 116 are interconnected thereto in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 13.

In particular, when the row 186 of wall sections 114 has one additional wall section 1114 .therein over the number of wall sections 114 in the row 1 87 thereof, the end section 115 is interconnected to the extreme left-hand wall section 114c of the row 187 in the manner illustrated in FIGURE :13 with the outer wall 170 of the end section 115 being secured to the intermediate portion 153 of the flange 151 of the wall section 1 14c by the aforementioned rivets 185 and the hooked-shaped projection 179 of the end section 115 being interlocked with the hooked-shaped end 155 of the flange 151 of the wall section 114a.

Thereafter, the end section 116 is interconnected to the wall section 114d in a like manner whereby the end Walls 169 of the end sections 115 and 116 are brought together and can be suitably secured together by Welding 188 or the like. I

Therefore, it can be seen that the interconnected end sections 11 3, 115 and 116 and wall sections 114 can be assembled together in a relatively rapid and simple manner to provide the panel construction 112 of the desired size by simple interlocking arrangements and mechanical locking means whereby the flanges 133 and 151 of the end section 113 and wall sections 114 define the aforementioned truncated V-shaped rigidifying means 119 extending between the opposed outer surface means 118 of the panel construction 112. In this manner, any forces imposed on the outer surface means 118 of the panel construction 112 is distributed over a large area by the intermediate portions 135 and 153 of the flanges 133 and 151 so that the panel construction 1112 can withstand relatively heavy loads imposed thereagainst, such as forces imposed by landing aircraft and the like.

When it is desired to interconnect together a plurality of panel constructions 112 to form the landing mat 20 previously described, the flanges 14 3 and 182 of end sections 113 and end sections 115 and 116 are cut away either before the same are assembled into the panel construction 112 or thereafter, as desired, in the same manner that the flanges 41 and 70 of the end sections 26 and 29 of the panel constructions 21 and 20 were cut away to define the sets of flange means 24 which can be interlocked together by the locking members 23 in the manner set forth above. Also, the inserts 25 or 103 can be utilized with the panel constructions 112 in the manner illustrated in the right-hand end of FIGURE 13 to fill all voids between adjacent panel constructions 1 12 in the above manner.

Therefore, it can be seen that this invention provides improved landing mats and the like formed from improved panel constructions interlocked together in a manner heretofore unknown by novel interlocking members and methods. Further, novel inserts are provided for filling all voids in such landing mats or the like.

While the form of the invention now preferred has been disclosed as required by the statutes, other forms may be used, all coming within the scope of the claims which follow.

What is claimed is:

1. In combination, a pair of panel constructions each having an end wall disposed adjacent the end wall of the other panel construction, each end wall having a pair of outwardly directed flanges, each pair of flanges having free ends turned toward each other, and a locking member respectively disposed between said adjacent end walls of said adjacent panel constructions, said locking member having opposed pairs of legs extending outwardly therefrom, each pair of legs having free ends turned away from each other and respectively disposed in interlocking engagement with said turned ends of said adjacent flanges of said adjacent panel constructions, said locking member having means disposed against the outer surfaces of the adjacent flanges of said adjacent end walls.

2. In combination, a pair of panel constructions each having an end wall disposed adjacent the end wall of the other panel construction, each end wall having a pair of outwardly directed flanges spaced from said flanges of the other panel construction to define a slot therebetween, each pair of flanges having free ends turned toward each other, and a locking member having a body portion disposed in said slot and having opposed pairs of legs extending outwardly from said body portion, each pair of legs having free ends turned away from said other and respectively disposed in interlocking engagement with said turned ends of said adjacent pairs of flanges of said adjacent panel constructions, said locking member having means disposed against the outer surfaces of the adjacent flanges of said adjacent end walls.

3. In combination, a pair of panel constructions each having an end wall disposed adjacent the end wall of the other panel construction, each end wall having a pair of outwardly directed first and second flanges spaced from said flanges of the other panel construction to define a slot therebetween, each pair of flanges having free ends turned toward each other, and a locking member having a body portion disposed in said slot and having opposed pairs of first and second legs extending outwardly from said body portion, each pair of legs having free ends turned away from each other and respectively disposed in interlocking engagement with said turned ends of said adjacent pairs of first and second flanges of said adjacent panel constructions, said locking member having a pair 7 of opposed third legs extending outwardly from said body A having opposed outer surface means and having an end wall disposed adjacent the end Wall of the other panel construction, each end Wall having a pair of outwardly directed first and second flanges spaced from said flanges of the other panel construction to define a slot therebetween, each pair of flanges having free ends turned toward each other, said first fiange' of each panel construction being offset inwardly from said surface means thereof,-and a locking member having a body portion disposed in said slot and having opposed pairs offirst and second legs extending outwardly from said body portion, eachv pair of legs having free ends-turned away from each other and respectively disposed in locking engagement with said turned ends of said adjacent pairs of first and second flanges of said adjacent'panel constructions, said locking member having a cross element connected to one tions.

end of the body portion thereof and disposed flush with said outer surface means of said adjacent panel construc-t References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES- PATENTS 7 Parks '2091 Kemp 189 -3 4X Armstrong 204 Schaffert Q 189-34 .Gauvin 189-34 Ceilings, 189-34X- Millard 18934 Kivett et a1 '189-34 X Stoner et al. 18934 Pollock et al. V 189-34' De Ridder f18934 HARRISON, R. MOSELEY, Primary Exai niner.

CORNELIUS D. ANGEL, Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3289375 *May 7, 1964Dec 6, 1966Cline Aluminum Products IncPanel construction
US3415516 *Feb 20, 1964Dec 10, 1968Charles D. MattinglyDiving boards
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Classifications
U.S. Classification52/792.1, 52/630, 52/588.1, 52/579
International ClassificationE04C2/08
Cooperative ClassificationE04C2/08
European ClassificationE04C2/08