US 3282613 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 1, 1966 INVENTOR. 1 01/42 4. AXELSO/V/V United States Patent 3,282,613 PANEL CONNECTOR Folke A. Axelsonn, Grand Haven, Mich., assignor to Airspace, Inc, Fruitport, Mich, a corporation of Michigan Filed Feb. 28, 1964, Ser. No. 348,183 Claims. (Cl. 28720.92)
This invention relates to a panel assembly, and more particularly to an interlocked panel assembly joined without bolts or like connectors to form a completed structural building paneling having uniquely sealed, flush, connection joints.
Relatively inexpensive, rapidly and easily assembled building construction is particularly advantageous for buildings to be employed as animal houses, storage buildings, and like purposes. These must normally have insulated walls and roof, especially if employed in cold climates. Such insulated construction ordinarily requires considerable manual labor, time, expense and skill to assemble .the walls and roof and then install the proper insulation.
It is an object of this invention to provide a unique panel assembly capable of being rapidly and easily assembled without any special skills whatever and with very little time.
It is another object of this invention to provide a unique panel construction for buildings that is inexpensively manufactured and capable of interlocking into an assembled construction using a novel compression-tension connection.
Another object of this invention is to provide a building panel construction enabling self-insulated panels to be easily and quickly assembled with a sea-led, leakproof, weather tight joint between the panels, yet without any special sealing compound, paste siding, etc. conventionally necessary.
Another object of this invention is to provide a building panel connection structure effecting a sealed, flush mount joint enabling the panels to be employed for roofing as well as for side walls. The substantially flush seam between the panels does not contribute to ice accumulation during the winter. The interlocked panels are further rigid and sturdy in construction. The attachment of the panels .to support-s maintains the tight connection of the panel joints.
These and several other objects of this invention will become apparent upon studying the following specification in conjunction with the drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a pair of panels of this invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective fragmentary view of the panels illustrated in FIG. 1 with the joint shown in exploded form; and
FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional elevational fragmentary view of the completed connection between the panels.
Referring now specifically to the drawings, the building panel assembly is formed of a plurality of panels, two of which, 12 and 14, are shown interlocked at joint connection 16.
Each of the panels is a laminant, having a foam core 18 and a pair of enveloping cover sheets 20 and 22 bonded to the foam. The foam is of a rigid type such as a rigid polyurethane foam, expanded in place between the panel cover sheets when held in a suitable mold. The sheets or skins 20 and 22 are preferably of a slightly flexible, thin gauge sheet metal. The sheet metal is thick enough to form a rigid connection joint when bent to form sturdy interconnecting depending flanges. conceivably, the skins can be formed of a molded polymeric substance with the connection flanges preformed.
Each of the panels has a pair of opposite edge protrusions (for example) 24 and 26 on panel 14, and 28 and 30 on panel 12. These protrusions are elongated along the entire edge, are about half the depth of the edge, and are adjacent .the faces 32 and 33 of the panels that are to be attached to and adjacent rigid frame elements (51,53, 55) when the panels are mounted to a building frame construction. Normally, faces 32 and 33 will be the inner faces, i.e. inner wall surfaces of the building, and faces 34 and 35 will be the outer faces, i.e. outer wall surfaces exposed to the weather.
It is conceivable, however, that faces 34 and 35 might be placed on the inside of the building with faces 32 and 33 exposed to the outside, provided faces 32 and 33 are mounted to the frame element for reasons to be explained hereinafter with respect to the compression-tension features of the joints.
Each of the panels also includes a pair of elongated recessed areas along the opposite edges, e.g. recesses 38 and 40 for panel 14 and 42 and 44 for panel 12. These elongated recesses also assume about half of the depth of the edges, and are adjacent faces 34 and 35 of the panels, opposite to the faces abutted against the frame elements when the units are mounted.
The skin 20 on panel 14 and the corresponding skin on the adjacent panels extends beyond the foam material and into the recessed areas 38 and 40 on both side edges of the panel. 'Ihese overhanging sheet metal skins are bent back upon themselves. Thus, the overhanging flange portion 20' is bent inwardly to form the connecting flange portion 20" that extends into the recess. The angle of the bend is greater than degrees and less than degrees, .to form aninterlocking V configuration on the flange. The two flanges of the adjacent edges of the two adjacent panels therefore extend toward each other and then back away from each other in divergent fashion, into their respective recessed areas. The extended portions do not meet, but rather leave a gap therebetween;
Interconnected with these flanges is :a. generally U- shaped channel clip 50 which has slightly convergent legs 52 and 54. These legs, therefore, are at an angle less than 90 degrees with respect to the bottom of the U. Both legs 52 and 54 are at the same angle with respect to the bottom, and at the same angle as flange connectors 20' are with respect to their flange portions 20". The legs and flanges thus fit together neatly as illustrated in FIG. 3 when the unit is assembled. The Width of the channel strip is just slightly larger than the gap between the flange portions 20 to allow the channel strip to tightly hold the elements together in tension.
For ease of assembly, a resilient channel clip retainer 60 is mounted in one of the adjacent recesses for each panel. This retainer includes -a first leg 60 affixed to the inner face 62 of the metal liner in the recess as by welding, and a second, resiliently deformable leg 60" closely spaced adjacent flange 21". Thus, leg 54 of the channel connector can be pressed between flange 21" and leg 60" to temporarily deform leg 60' slightly against its inherent resilient bias to hold a channel strip in place while assembling the rest of the unit.
The opening between the flanges 20" and 21" and adjacent the bottom of the channel strip 50 is filled with a strip seal, preferably a hollow deformable tube 66 of rubber, plastic, or similar rubber-like deformable resilient material. The tube has a diameter slightly larger than the gap left between the elements. This tubing strip is pressed into place during assembly to deform it somewhat and cause it to seal tightly against flanges 20" and 21" as well as against the bottom of the U-shaped clip. The complete joint is thus weather tight, sealed against moisture or air entry, and substantially flush with the panel surface.
I a ASSEMBLY The assembled panel construction has an interlocked joint with a compression area between the edge protrusions, and an adjacent tension area between the flange connectors. It is assembled in the manner illustrated generally in FIG. 2. Normally, one panel, e.g. 12, is first mounted to frame supports 51 and 53, with face 33 abutting the support frame elements. A channel strip 50 is then placed with one leg in the recess 42 and shifted so that the leg 54 is forced between the deformable retainer leg 60 and leg 21" of the panel connector flange. The next panel 14 is then tilted :at an angle as illustrated in FIG. 2 and shifted so that flange 20" is placed inside leg 52 of the channel strip. The panel 14 is then rotated so that its face 32 lies flat against the frame supports 55, etc. By so doing, legs 21" and 20 are 'both engaged tightly with the channel. This movement of the second panel to a co-planar relationship to the first panel forces the two projections 26 and 28 into compressive engagement. It also places the flange portions and channel strip in interlocking tension. This second panel is then secured to the frame.
To finish the joint and make it weather tight, the tubing strip is forced down into the channel opening to deform it and seal it against the channel and the flange walls. This completes the connection.
The next panel is then attached to panel 14 in the same way. This process continues to assemble the entire enclosure wall and/ or roof. It will be realized that the units are therefore readily assembled to a tight relationship having excellent sealing qualities. Assembly is rapidly and easily achieved.
It will be obvious to those having ordinary skill in this field that the preferred form of the invention illustrated may be modified in detail to suit a particular type of enclosure, use, or weather conditions while still employing the concept disclosed. Therefore, this invention is to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims and the reasonable equivalents thereto, rather than to the specific preferred form of the invention illustrated.
I. A panel assembly comprising: a plurality of adjacent panel-s having interconnected edges; said edges each having one protruding part in compressive abutment with the protruding part of the adjacent panels, and a second part in tensile connection with the second parts of the adjacent panels; said protruding parts being adjacent the surfaces of said panels to be attached to supports, and said second parts being adjacent the surfaces of said panels to be opposite the supports; said second parts being spaced from adjacent second parts of adjacent panels to form a recess therebetween and including portions bent back upon themselves into said recess; said tensile connection including a channel shaped clip with slightly convergent legs spanning said 'bent back portions to define an outwardly facing elongated groove therebetween; and a compressible seal strip in said groove to seal the connection.
2. A panel assembly comprising: a pair of adjacent panels placed edge to edge; each of said panels having an edge portion in abutment with the adjacent edge portion, and each having a recessed edge portion; each of said panels having a flange projecting into said recessed portion and bent back at an angle greater than degrees; a channel receiving the two adjacent flanges, and having legs formed to fit closely against said bent portions; and a resilient seal strip impressed into said channel to seal the connection and form a substantially flush, smooth joint surface.
3. A building panel assembly to be mounted to frame supports, comprising: a plurality of laminated insulated panels, each having an outer surface skin of slightly flexible, sturdy material; the edges of each panel being stepped, including elongated abutment protrusions adjacent the faces of said panels to abut the frame supports; the protrusions of the adjacent panels being in compressive abutment with each other when assembled; each of said edges also including elongated recessed portions adjacent the surfaces of said panels to be opposite the frame supports; each of said panel skins extending over said recessed portion but terminating short of the edge of said protrusion, and bent more than 90 degrees back upon itself into said recessed portion to form a V-shaped connector with an inner flange; an elongated generally U-shaped channel clip having slightly convergent legs fitting around and receiving said plate V flanges and fitting in said recessed portions to form an interlocked tension joint when said panels are assembled and mounted to frame supports; and a compressible resilient seal strip in said channel clip compressed between said plate V flanges to form a sealed, substantially flush surface at the connection.
4. The assembly in claim 3 wherein said recessed portion on at least one edge of each of .said panels includes a flexible retainer attached in said recessed portion and resiliently holding one leg of said V channel clip against one of said plate V flanges.
5. The assembly in claim 3 wherein said seal strip compnises a hollow resilient tube pressed into said channel to a deformed condition in contact with the bottom of said clip and the bent back plate V flanges.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,577,881 12/1951 Dugas 52584 2,822,898 2/1958 Richards 52471 HARRISON R. MOSELEY, Primary Examiner.
I. BREIER, Assistant Examiner.