Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3255557 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 14, 1966
Filing dateMar 26, 1963
Priority dateMar 26, 1963
Publication numberUS 3255557 A, US 3255557A, US-A-3255557, US3255557 A, US3255557A
InventorsSturm Rolland G
Original AssigneeUnion Tank Car Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Building construction
US 3255557 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 14, 1966 R. G. sTuRM 3,255,557

BUILDING CONSTRUCTION Filed March 26, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.

United States Patent O 3,255,557 BUILDING CONSTRUCTION Rolland G. Sturm, Chicago Heights, Ill., assignor to Union Tank Car Company, Chicago, Ill., a corporation of New .Iersey v Filed Mar. 26, 1963, Ser. No. 267,995 1 Claim. (Cl. 52-81) This invention relates ingeneral to building construction and more particularly to a self-supporting dome construction.

It is an lobject of the present invention to provide an improved self-supporting dome construction.

It is another object to provide a self-supporting dome construction incorporating a new and improved framework.

It is still another object to provide a framework of the aforedescribed character which is simple in construction and relatively inexpensive to erect.

It is yet another object to provide a self-supporting dome framework which is comprised of a maximum number of standardized, identical structural components.

The foregoing and other objects are realized in accord- ICC Patented June 14, 1966 the framework 11, it is adapted to be erected in stages, each stage being a self-contained, self-supporting entity when completed. As a result, it is possible to eliminate much of the rscaffolding frequently required in the erection of a conventional self-supporting dome framework.

As seen in FIGURES 1 and 2, the framework 11 comprises a plurality of struts 16 interconnected in triangular patterns with-each other in a series of horizontal tiers 20-29. Each tier 20-29 is supported from the tier irnance with the present invention by providing an improved self-supporting dome construction. Briefly, the invention contemplates a dome incorporating a framework comprised of a maximum number of standardized, identical structural components. Accordingly, the dome is simpler to construct and less expensive than known dome constructions of a generally similar nature. Collaterally, the framework is constructed in stages; each succeeding stage being a structural entity, capable of standing unsupported by scaffolding or the like when completed.

'The invention, both as to its organization and method of operation, taken with further objects and advantages thereof, will best be understood by reference to the following description taken in connection with the accomj panying drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a diagrammatic front elevational View of a self-supporting dome construction embodying features of the present invention; j

FIGURE 2 is a diagrammatic plan view of one-half of the dome construction illustrated in FIGURE 1, with parts removed;

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged plan view of a portion of the framework incorporated in the dome construction embodying features of the present invention; and

FIGURE 4 is a further enlarged elevational view, partially in section, of a portion of the strut assembly comprising the framework illustrated in FIGURE 3.

Referring now to the drawings and particularly to FIG- URE l, a dome construction erected in accordance with the present invention is illustrated generally at 10. The dome construction 10 incorporates a framework 11, shown somewhat diagrammatically, supported on a foundation 12. The framework 11 is covered with an appropriate skin 13 in Va predetermined manner -to form an enclosure which is protected from the elements, for example, and is free of internal supporting girders and the like.

The framework 11 embodies the primary features of the applicants invention. For example, a majority of the component parts of the entire framework 11 are identical and interchangeable. In other words, the framework 11 is constructed primarily of a single, standardized component. Consequently, as will readily be understood, the usual problems of differentially marking various cornponents, storing them separately so they can be easily identified, and fitting them together in jig-saw fashion, are eliminated. The savings in cost as well as labor are considerable. In addition to the foregoing advantages of referred to.

mediately below it, with the exception of the lowermost tier 20, of course, which rests on the foundation 12. According to the present invention, a great majority of the struts 16 in each tier 20-29 are identical in construction.

Furthermore, each of the tiers Ztl-29, from the lowermost tier 20 upward, is a separate and unitary structural entity, able to stand unsupported by scaffolding or the like when completed. Consequently, the dome construction 10 is readily built from the ground up, or in direct contra-st, from the top down, tier-by-tier, and stands unsupported by scaffolding or the like as each tier is-completed.

Referring specifically to FIGURE 1, the framework 11 of struts 16 is supported from the foundation 12 on a conventional tension ring 40'. The tension ring 40 is mounted on the foundation 12 in a Well known manner. Between the foundation 12 and the tension ring 40, openings 43 provideventilation or the like. To shield the openings 43 from the elements, an apron44 is preferably suspended from the tension ring 40 in any well known manner. The apron 44 might be sheet metal.

The framework 11 is comprised of a plurality of interconnected struts 16, as has been pointed out. In accordance with the present invention,'a great majority of the struts 16 are identical in size, configuration, and the like, as has also been elicited. In other words, a standard structural component is the prime building block in the framework arrangement 11.

Of the struts 16, by far the largest majority are diagon struts 50, as will readily be seen. According to the present invention, all of the diagonal struts 50 in the framework 11 are identical, standard components as hereinabove It is in the arrangement of the struts 16 (which include the diagonal struts 50) that primary features of the present invention reside. This'highly advantageous arrangement affords a considerable saving in the cost and time required to construct the framework 11.

The erection of the framework is hereinafter described as being from the bottom tier 20 up to the top tier 29. It should be understood, however, that the framework 11 might, -as a matter of choice, be advantageously erected from the top tier 29 downwardly to the bottom tier 20. In either case, all the advantagesvof the new and improved framework 11 :are retained.

The lowermost tier 20 of struts 16 includes a predetermined number of diagonal strut-s Silextending upwardly and inwardly from the tension ring 40. The diagonal struts 50 -are interconnected with each other and with a top closure ring 51 of horizontal struts 52. The horizontal struts 52 are of a length calculated so that the ring 51 has a predetermined diameter less than the diameter of the tension ring 40 to accommodate the inward inclination of the lower tier 20 of struts 16 and establish the initial curvature of the dome 10.

When the diagonal struts 50 of the lowermost tier 20 upwardly and inwardly from the ring 51 of horizontal struts v52. These struts 50 are interconnected with each other and with a top closure ring 55 of horizontal struts 56. There are precisely ythe same number of diagonal struts 50 in the tier 21 as there are in the lower tier 20. In like manner, the number of horizontal struts S6 making up the top closure ring 55 is identical to the number of horizontal struts in the top closure ring 51 of the lower tier 20. However, the horizontal struts 56 in the tier 21 are somewhat shorter than the horizontal struts 52, making the ring 55 smaller in diameter than the ring 51 to accommodate the further inward inclination of the tier 21 of struts 16 and further define the curvature of the dome 10.

When the diagonal struts 50 in the tier 21 of struts 16 are appropriately interconnected and the top closure ring 55 is completed, the tier 21 is a structural entity, completely self-supporting. The -tier 21 of struts 16 is then ready to receive the next tier 22 of struts 16.

The next two tiers 22 and 23 of struts 16 are substantially identical in construction to the aforedescribed tiers 20 and 21, utilizing the same number of standard diagonal struts 50 in each case. As -would be expected, however, the top closure ring 60 of horizontal struts 61 interconnecting the diagonal struts 50 in the tier 22 is made smaller than the top closure ring 55 of the tier 21 yby making the horizontal struts 61 shorter. Correspondingly, the top closure ring 64 of horizontal -struts 65 interconnecting the diagonal struts in the tier 23 is made smaller than theclosure ring 60 by further decreasing the length of `the struts 65. Each tier 22 and 23 is incl-ined slightly further inwardly than the immediately preceding tier, and the curvature of the dome construction is appropriately continued. As the top closure rings 60 and 64 of horizontal struts 61 tand 65, respectively, are completed, the corresponding tiers 22 and 23 of struts 16 become structural entities, similar to the aforedescribed tiers 2t) yand 21. Correspondingly, the partially completed framework 11 lstands unsupported as each tier 22 and 23 is completed.

As the construction of the framework 11 progresses upwardly, of course, and the horizontal struts (52, 56, etc.) of succeeding tiers (20, 21, etc.) are shortened, the diagonal struts 5t) in each succeeding tier become more closely packed. A point is soon reached wherein the tiers begin to contain unnecessary numbers of diagonal -struts 50, granted that the foregoing pattern of struts 16 is continued. Accordingly, when the tier 24 of struts 16 is reached, the arrangement of struts 16 is varied in such a manner that the number of struts 16 is greatly reduced and the pattern of struts 16 is opened once more. This is accomplished while maintaining the integrity of the framework 11 and assuring that the tier-24 of the struts is a selfsupporting structural entity when it is completed. The tier 24 of struts 16 :is appropriately referred to as a transition tier.

In essence, `to accomplish this end, the number of diagonal struts 50 is reduced -by one-half over the tiers 20-23 and a plurality of non-diagonal take-up struts 70 are interposed into the transition tier 24 in the manner shown in FIGURES 1 `and 2. The top closure ring 71 of horizontal struts 72 is reduced in diameter, of course, but because the number of horizontal struts 72 is necessarily reduced by one-half also, to l,accommodate the reduced number of diagonal struts 50, the length of each horizontal strut 72 is actually increased over the length of the horizontal lstruts 65 in the tier 23. The non-diagonal take-up struts 70 extend substantially perpendicularly to the closure ring 71 and are referred to herein las vertical struts.

When the transition tier 24 of struts 16 is completed in the aforedescribed pattern, by completing the top closure ring 71 of horizontal struts 72 and connecting corresponding diagonal struts 50 and perpendicular struts 70, the tier 24 is a structural entity, similar to the tiers 20-23.

The transition tier 24 is thus ready to receive the next uppermost tier 25 of struts 16 as the erection of the framework 11 continues.

The foregoing discussion points up the basic pattern of struts 16 employed in erecting the framework 11 ernbodying features of the present invention. A prescribed pattern of substantially identical tiers (Z0-23, for example), containing Ipredominantly diagonal struts 50, is interspersed appropriately with a predescribed number of transition tiers (24, for example) throughout the extent of the framework 11.

At this point, before discussing the completion of the framework 11 and the dome construction 10` according to the present invention, a more detailed discussion of the construction and interconnection of the struts 16 is in order.

Referring specifically to FIGURES 3 and 4, a portion 75 of the framework 11 is shown in substantial detail. The portion 75 is taken from that part of the framework 11 including tiers 22-25, as will be noted in FIGURE l. Since the strut 16 to strut 16 connections throughout the extent of the framework 11 are substantially identical, a description of the struts 16 and the connections in this particular portion 75 of the framework 11 suices to a specific understanding of the framework 11 construction throughout.

Each strut 16 throughout the extent of the framework 11 preferably comprises a tubular member 76 preferably composed of a metal such as aluminum alloy or the like. The tubular members 76 are interconnected by slightly dished conical discs 80. rl`he generally conical configuration of each of the discs permits each succeeding tier (2029) of the struts 16 to be inclined more sharply to the horizontal in a manner which defines the curvature 'of the dome construction 10. The diagonal struts 50 in the lowermost tier 20 of struts 16 might, as a matter of choice, also be secured to conical discs (not shown) generally similar to the discs 80 and secured to the tension ring 40 in any well known manner.

Each tubular strut member 76 carries asubstantially at end plate 81 secured to each of its oppositely disposed ends S2 by welding or the like. The top of each end plate 81 is substantially flush with the outer surface of a corresponding tubular strut member 76, as best seen in FIGURE 4. An attachment plate 83 for securing each end 82 of the tubular strut member 76 to a corresponding conical disc 80 is preferably an extension of the member or a piece attached to each end plate 81 in offset relationship with the outer surface of the strutl member 76. One form of connecting piece includes a gusset plate 84 welded between each attachment plate 83 Vand a corresponding end plate 81. Conventional machine boltsSS extend through apertures (not shown) in the peripheries of the substantially flat conical discs 80 and in the attachment plates S3 of the corresponding struts 16 to secure the struts 16 and the discs 80 together. In assembled relationship, the upper surface of each disc 80 is substantially ush with the outer surface of a cor- -responding tubular strut member 76, as will be noted, to facilitate attaching the skin 13 flush with the framework 11.

The substantially flat conical discs 80 are perforated in different patterns (to receive the machine bolts 85) depending upon which of the tiers 20-29 the discs 80 are associated with. It will be obvious, for example, that the discs 80 associated with the tier 24 require machine bolt receiving apertures (not shown) appropriately positioned for the attachment of the vertical struts 70, for example, an expedient which unnecessary in the lower tiers 2023. To speed the erection of a framework 11, the discs 80 are frequently prepunched and then reamed after assembly.

Turning once more to a. general description of the construction of the framework 11, the transition tier 24 having been completed, the next uppermost tier 25 of 72 associated with the transition tier 24 and are identical in number. Accordingly, the top closure ring 90 has a smaller diameter than the top closure ring 71 associated with the transition ring 24. The tier 25 is thus inclined inwardly slightly more than the tier 24, to further continue the curvature of the dome construction 10.

The tiers 26 and 27 are each substantially identical in construction to the tier 25, utilizing the same number of standard diagonal struts 50 in their construction. The top closure ring 100 of horizontal struts 101 in the tier 26 has a smaller diameter than the top closure ring 90 in the tier 25 because the length of the horizontal struts 100 is decreased, of course, and the number of horizontal struts in each tier 25 and 26 remains the same. Correspondingly, the top closure ring 105 of horizontal struts 106 in the tier 27 has a smaller diameter than the top closure ring 100 because the struts 106 are further shortened. The curvature of the framework 11 is thus continued toward the top of the dome 10. Each of the tiers 25-27 is a unitary structural entity when it is com` pleted, in the manner hereinbefore discussed in substantial detail.

As the construction of the framework 11 progresses upwardly, in this case, and the various horizontal struts (71, 101, etc.) associated with the tiers 25-27 are shortened, once more the standard diagonal struts 50 in each succeeding tier 25-27 become more closely packed. Accordingly, another transition tier 28 substantially identical in concept to the transition tier 24 is interposed into the framework 11.

The transition tier 28 utilizes one-half the number of diagonal struts 50 as are found in each of the tiers 25-27 and vertical struts 110 are interposed into the tier 28 in the manner shown in FIGURE 2, and hereinbefore discussed in ldetail in relation to the transition tier 24 (struts 70). The top closure ring 111 of horizontal struts 112 in the transition tier 28 is reduced in diameter, of

course. halved also, however, t-o accommodate the reduced number of diagonal struts 50, the length of each horizontal strut 112 is actually greater than that of the horizontal struts 106 associated with the tier 27. When the top closure ring of horizontal struts 112 in the tier 28 is completed, the tier 28 is a self-supporting structural entity, in the manner of the tiers 20-27 hereinbefore discussed.

The tier 29, as best seen in FIGURE 2, is another transition tier, generally similar in construction to the tiers 24 and 28 hereinbefore discussed. It is preferable to use another transition tier here because of the extreme curvature of the dome at this point.

Since the number of horizontal struts 102 is ring of horizontal struts 121 connects the diagonal l struts 50 and the vertical struts 115 in the transition tier 29, the number of horizontal struts 121 in the ring 20 being reduced by one-half also. When the top closure ring 120 of horizontal struts 121 is completed, of course, the tier 29 is a self-supporting unitary structural entity. At this point, a small area 124 at the apex of the framework 11 remains unenclosed.

This area 124 of the framework 11 might be closed in various manners, depending, for example, on the necessity of providing access through the roof, or upon other expediencies. In the framework 11 arrangement 6 illustrated, however, six of the standard diagonal struts 50 are precisely suited to finish the framework 11. These struts` 50 are preferably connected at the apex 125 of the framework 11 in a vmanner hereinbefore described, by a substantially flat conical disc 80 (not shown), for example.

When the framework 11 has been erected in the foregoing manner or, in contrast, from the top down, for example, it is the usual practice to cover it with the skin 13 previously referred to. Referring to FIGURES 3 and 4, the skin 13 is preferably comprised of a plurality of appropriately shaped panels of sheet aluminum alloy or the like. Each of the panels 130 is preferably cut on-the-job to overlie a specific set of three.

struts 16, whereupon the panel 130 is tack welded to the appropriate struts 16 and their interconnecting discs 80, as at 131.

A dome construction 10 hasv been described which is simple and relatively inexpensive to erect. A maximum number of substantially identical component struts 50 are utilized in its framework 11. Consequently, the initial cost of the components of the dome 10 is substan tiallyr less than its broadly similar counterparts. Furthermore, the framework 11 lends itself to being erected speedily in comparison to known dome constructions.

Each tier 20-29 of the dome framework 11 is a unitary, structural entity, whether the framework 11 is erected from the base upwardly or from the top downwardly. Accordingly, the necessity of using extensive scaffolding in the erection of the dome framework 11 is obviated, and savings in cost and time are considerable.

While an embodiment described herein is at present considered to be preferred, it is understood that various modifications and improvements may be made therein, and it is intended to cover in theappended claim all such modifications and improvements as fall within the true spirit and scope of t-he invention.

What is desired to be claimed and secured by Letters Patent of the United States is:

A self-supporting dome framework, comprising: a plurality of horizontally disposed circular tiers supported one on top of the other from base means with each tier of successively smaller radius than the one below,

A said plurality of tiers including a first series of tiers, each tier of said first series of tiers comprising struts inclusive only of diagonal struts interconnected end to end only at upper joint means and at lower joint means, and a ring of horizontal struts interconnected end to end at said upper joint means, each of the lower joint means of each higher tier of each of said first series defining a common joint connection with successive ones of said upper joint means of the adjoining lower tier and providing said support for the respective higher tier, each of said last mentioned common joint connections having only the diagonal struts and the horizontal struts extending therefrom, said plurality of tiers further including a transition tier mounted onv the uppermost tier of said first series of tiers, said transition tier comprising strutsl inclusive of diagonal struts interconnected end to end only at upper joint means and at lower joint means, each of t-he alternate ones of the upper joint means of the upper tier of said iirst series of tiers having' common joint connections with successive ones of the lower joint means of said transition tier, each of said last mentioned common joint connections having only diagonal struts and horizontal struts extending therefrom, said transition tier struts being further inclusive of a ring of horizontal strut-s interconnected end to end at said transition tier upper joint means, and a strut connected at each of said transition tier upper joint means and extending perpendicularly downward from said transition tier ring of horizontal struts and having a common joint connection with the remaining other alternate upper joint means in said uppermost tier of said first series of tiers,

each of the last mentioned rcommon joint connections in- Cluding a perpendicularly extending strut having extending therefrom only in addition horizontal and diagonal struts of the uppermost tier of the rst series, and a second series of tiers mounted on said transition tier, each tier of said -second series of tiers comprising struts inclusive only of diagonal struts interconnected end to end only at upper joint means and at lower joint means, and a ring of horizontal Struts interconnected end to end at said upper joint means of said tiers in said Second Series of tiers, each of the lower joint means of the lowermost tier in said 4second series of tiers dening a common joint connection with successive ones of said upper joint means of said transition tier, each of Said last mentioned common joint connections between the transition tier and the lowermost tier of said second series having extending therefrom only the'diagonal struts, the horizontal struts, and one of said perpendicularly extending struts, substantially all of the diagonal struts in said tiers being substantially identical.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,908,236 10/1959 Kiewin 52-81' 2,978,074 4/1961 Schmidt 52,-81 3,061,977 11/1962 Schmidt 52-81 3,094,708 6/1963 Caldwell.

FOREIGN PATENTS 1,818 2/1917 Netherlands.

OTHER REFERENCES Engineering News-Record, pages 46 and 47, Mar. 22, 1956.

EARL J. WITMER, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2908236 *Dec 8, 1955Oct 13, 1959Kiewitt Gustel RRoof structure
US2978074 *Mar 13, 1959Apr 4, 1961Goodyear Aircraft CorpSpherical building structure with curved beams
US3061977 *May 27, 1959Nov 6, 1962Goodyear Aircraft CorpSpherically domed structures
US3094708 *Feb 7, 1958Jun 25, 1963Caldwell AlfredIndoor-outdoor swimming pool and enclosure therefor
NL1818C * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3356412 *Mar 2, 1966Dec 5, 1967Grondstra Jan WRocking toy, seat and the like
US4825602 *Oct 22, 1987May 2, 1989Yacoe J CraigPolyhedral structures that approximate an ellipsoid
US4848047 *Nov 10, 1987Jul 18, 1989Canadian Patents And Development Limited/Societe Canadienne Des Brevets Et D'exploitation LimiteeSpherical buildings
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/81.3, 162/181.1
International ClassificationE04B7/10, E04B1/32
Cooperative ClassificationE04B2001/3247, E04B1/3211, E04B2001/3252, E04B2001/3294, E04B7/105
European ClassificationE04B7/10C, E04B1/32C