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Publication numberUS3289370 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 6, 1966
Filing dateDec 21, 1964
Priority dateDec 21, 1964
Publication numberUS 3289370 A, US 3289370A, US-A-3289370, US3289370 A, US3289370A
InventorsEtten Wallace D Van
Original AssigneeEtten Wallace D Van
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Self-supporting prefabricated panels and sealing members therefor
US 3289370 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

W. D. VAN ETTEN SELF-SUPPORTING PREFABRICATED PANELS AND Dec. 6, 1966 SEALING MEMBERS THEREFOR Filed Dec. 21, 1964 2 Sheets Sheet l INVENTOR [fax/0K5 fl lf A/fffffl/ d/W ATTORNEYS Dab 19% w. D. VAN ETTEN 3,289,379

SELF-SUPPORTING PREFABRICATED PANELS AND SEALING MEMBERS THEREFOR Filed Dec. 21, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR M10465 J V WMFrrE/V ATTOR NEYS United States Patent Ofiice 3,289,370 Patented Dec. 6, 1966 3 289,370 SELF-SUPPORTING IREFABRICATED PANELS AND SEALING MEMBERS THEREFUR Wallace D. Van Etten, RD. 2, Box 402, Warwick, N.Y. Filed Dec. 21, 1964, Ser. No. 419,692 4 Claims. (Cl. 52--309) This invention relates to weatherproof joints between prefabricated building units and in particular to such joints in combination with building panels which consist of a side wall and half-roof portion constructed integrally with a supporting arch.

In my patent application Serial No. 145,804, filed October 18, 1961, there is described a building unit constructed of fiber-reinforced plastic which is adapted to be joined edge-to-edge with similar units to form small buildings. Each of' these units is a panel of generally L shape in profile and includes a side wall section and a half-roof section formed integrally with an arch extending along each of the side edges of the wall and half-roof sections. The free edge of the half-roof section is provided with an integral depending flange. The panels may be assembled by first securing together the just-mentioned roof flanges of two panels, as with bolts, to form a whole roof section and two spaced side walls. Then another pair of similarly joined panels may be joined to the first pair by securing together the sides of the arches of the pair. This arrangement results in a seam along the ridge of the assembled structure and a plurality of spaced seams which extend up one side wall, across the roof and down the other side wall. The present invention has for its object the formation of weatherproof seals at these seams and, more broadly, the provision of weatherproof or watertight seams between building panels generally.

The invention will be further understood from the following detailed description taken with the drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is a schematic perspective view of a simple building constructed of four prefabricated panels;

FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary top plan view, on an enlarged scale, of the portion of the building of FIGURE 1 where the four panels meet;

FIGURE 3 is a sectional view, on an enlarged scale, taken on the line 33 of FIGURE 1, and showing the sealing arrangement between adjacent arches of two panels;

FIGURE 4 is a sectional view, on an enlarged scale, taken on the line 44 of FIGURE 1, and showing the sealing arrangement between the depending roof flanges of two panels;

FIGURE 5 is a sectional View taken on the line 5-5 of FIGURE 4; and

FIGURES 6 and 7 are sectional views, corresponding to FIGURE 3, showing second and third forms of sealing arrangements between adjacent arches.

Referring to FIGURE 1 there isshown, schematically, a simple small building assembled from four prefabricated panels 10 which are joined together along weatherproof seams 12, 14 constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention. As shown, only four panels 10 have been employed, but it will be appreciated that additional pairs of panels may be added onto the front or rear of the illustrated building. It will be appreciated also that windows and doors may be provided in the sides where desired and that vertical end panels (not shown) and a suitable horizontal base (not shown), such as a concrete slab, may also be provided, all as described in the aforesaid application Serial No. 145,804.

Each panel 10 is an integral unit including a sloping half-roof section 16 merging at its lower end with a ver tical side wall section 18. Along each side edge of the panel is an integrally formed, inwardly extending arch 20 which is of gradually increasing width from each end toward the middle. A base flange 22 extends in a horizontal plane along the lower end of the side wall section 13 and is integrally formed with the side wall section 18 and with the lower end of each arch 20. The free end of the half-roof section 16 is integral with a depending roof flange 24 which is also integral at its ends with the upper ends of the arches 20. The flange 24 and the arches 20 are provided with preformed apertures 26 therethrough for receiving bolts 28 employed in securing adjacent panels 10 to each other or in securing the base flange 22 to a concrete slab or the like.

Preferably, the panels 10 are molded in laminate form of fiber-reinforced polyester plastic material, acrylic resin or other resin. The fiber may be synthetic or natural fiber but preferably is glass fiber in fabric, mat or chopped form. Additional strengthening members, such as steel plates or rods, may be incorporated in the laminate, or plastic strengthening ribs may be molded integrally with either the side wall or half-roof portions. Any appropriate molding technique may be employed such as hand lay-up, spray-up or preform for matched die molding.

Referring to FIGURES 2, 3 and 4 there is shown on an enlarged scale one manner in which the seams 12, 14 between adjacent panels may be weatherproofed. Referring first to the seam construction 12 between the side wall and half-roof sections 18 of two abutting panels 10 (that is, between adjacent arches of two abutting panels) as shown in FIGURE 3, it will be seen that the junction between each arch 20 and the remainder of its panel is provided with a groove 30. When the arches 20 are drawn together by tightening the bolts 28, a channel of substantial width and depth is formed along the abutting surfaces of the two panels 10. The channel thus formed has lateral boundaries defined by the grooves 30. The bottom of the channel is defined by a deep central portion 32 which tapers inwardly and which terminates where the flat portions of the arches 20 engage each other. The surface 33 of each arch 20 in the area between the groove 30 and the tapered portion 32 is flat and is inclined upwardly from the groove 30 toward the exterior of the panel.

A sealing strip 34 formed in a shape complementary to the channel between the panels 10 is retained therein by being clamped between the arches 20 along the central portion 32. The outer exposed surface of the strip 34 is flat and is flush with the exterior surfaces of the panels 10.

In order to improve the resistance of the seam 12 to the passage of water, the sealing strip 341 is provided with a pair of longitudinal grooves 38 which cooperate with the surfaces 33 of the channel to form a pair of continuous enclosed passages extending the entire length of the strip 34. These passages, particularly in combination with the sloping surfaces 33, are important in maintaining a waterproof seam. Water which seeps between the strip 34 and the panels 10 at the exposed surfaces will tend to find its way to the interior of the building by capillary action which will exist in the thin film of water. This action is hindered first by the abrupt change in direction at the grooves 30 and by the sloping of the surfaces 33. More important, however, is the presence of the enclosed passages which are of sufficient height and width to disrupt the capillary action. Water finding its way to the passages will drain away by virtue of the slope of the half-roof sections 16 and the vertical position of the side wall sections 18 of the panels 10.

In FIGURE 4 there is shown one manner of providing a weatherproof seam 14 along the ridge of the building between two abutting roof flanges 24. In this embodiment the seam 14 consists of a generally T-shaped sealing strip 44 having a cap portion 46 and a vertical body 48. The body 48 is clamped between the opposed surfaces of the adjacent roof flanges 24 and the cap portion overlies part of the adjacent half-roof sections 16. The four panels are held in abutting relationship by four angle brackets 50, two of which are shown in FIGURE 4. One bracket 50 is disposed at the corner of each panel in engagement with the respective roof flange 24 and with the respective arch 20, and bolts 28 are passed through the opposed legs of the different brackets, as shown.

The undersurface of the cap portion 46 of the ridge strip 44 is provided with two longitudinal grooves, one disposed on each side of the body 48. In the assembled seam 14, the grooves 52 define with .the upper surface of the half-roof sections 16 a pair of passages which, like the passages formed by the grooves 38 in FIGURE break the capillary action of any water attempting to seep between adjacent roof flanges 24.

FIGURE 4 also shows a conduit 54 which has been incorporated into one of the half-roof sections 16 during fabrication of the latter. The conduit 54 projects through the arches of the respective panel and is connected to a corresponding conduit in the next panel so as to form a continuous passage for receiving electric cables or the like.

Preferably ridge strip 44 and each of the roof and side strips 34 are formed in a single length so that no splicing is necessary If it becomes necessary to splice two lengths, a portion of each end may be cut away so that the ends may be overlapped, as shown in FIGURE 5, and secured together with a waterproof adhesive. If desired, the ends may be mitered in a conventional manner.

The strips 34 and 44 may be constructed of resilient rubber-like material, as illustrated, or of more rigid material, such as the same material of which the panels are formed. During assembly of a building the strips will be placed in position before final drawing together of the panels 10. In most instances the ridge strip 44 may be slid into the channel just before insertion of the bolts which will pass through the roof flanges 24.

In FIGURE 6 there is shown a second form of side and half-roof seam 12!) which also provides additional structural strength. As shown, there is provided a separate rigid arch member 56 of substantial thickness which is coextensive with and clamped tightly between the ad jacent arches 20b of two panels 10]). The arches 20b are inclined outwardly from the center of their respective panels 10b for closer nesting of the panels during storage and transit and for added strength in long span buildings.

The separate arch members 56 are each constructed of a lightweight, high-strength core 58 which is of the same width as the panel arches 20b. Surrounding the core 58 on all sides is a molded-on shell 60 of fiberreinforced plastic formed, for example, of the same material as the panels 10b. The core 58, which in trans verse cross section has the shape of a trapezoid in order to conform to the inclined panel arches 20b, is formed of foamed plastic, honeycomb of plastic or metal sheet construction, or other lightweight filler. Electrical conduits 70 or other piping may be incorporated in the core 58 as it is manufactured, or the core 58 may be provided with molded or drilled holes to receive wiring directly. The shell 69 defines a batten member 80 which cooperates with adjacent portions of the panels to form a weatherproof joint.

Integral with each arch 20b is a longitudinally extending, outwardly projecting rib 76 which forms a support and seal for the batten member 66. The outer surface of each rib 76 is provided with a longitudinal groove 78 which forms with the undersurface of the batten member 80 a passage for breaking capillary action and for draining away Water. The edges of the batten member terminate in flanges 82 which snap over and tightly engage the lateral surfaces of the ribs 76 to aid in forming a weatherproof joint.

Panels having the arch construction shown in FIG- URE 6 may be assembled with bolts 2312 which pass through the panel arches 20b and through the separate arch member 56. As shown, spacer sleeves 72 surrounding the shanks of the bolts are provided inside the arch member 56, and wedge-shaped Washers 74 are provided at the bolt head and at the nut to mate with the inclined arches 2%.

In FIGURE 7 there is shown a third form of a side and half-roof seam 120. As in the construction shown in FIGURE 6, there is provided a separate arch member 96 which is coextensive with and clamped tightly between adjacent arches 200 of two panels Me. As before, each arch member 96 consists of a central trapezoidal core 98 of lightweight construction, such as foamed plastic, and an outer shell 100 of fiber-reinforced plastic. Electrical conduits 70 or other piping may be incorporated in the core 98 as well as electrical outlet boxes, one of which is illustrated at 102. As in the previously described embodiments the panels are joined together with bolts, one of which is illustrated at 280.

The junction of each panel arch 200 with its respective half-roof section 16c has a longitudinal generally L-shaped groove 104 which is undercut below the exterior surface of the half-roof portion 16c. In the assembled form these grooves 104, receive laterally extending flanges 106 formed integrally with the shell 100 of the beam 96. The undersurface of each flange 106 is provided with a longitudinal groove 38c for forming a capillary break.

-It will thus be seen that the present invention provides a seam construction between prefabricated building panels which is weatherproof and easily incorporated during assembly of the panels. Modifications will occur to those skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the invention, and it is therefore not intended that the above-described details be limiting except as they appear in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A building structure formed of separate self-supporting prefabricated panels, each of said panels including a wall section and a flange depending from at least one edge of the wall section in a direction generally normal to the wall section, each panel having a shoulder portion extending along the juncture between each flange and its Wall section; adjacent panels being disposed with their flanges facing each other in opposed relationship; an elongated sealing member interposed between the opposed flanges, each sealing member having a batten portion cooperating with the shoulder portions of the panels and an integral leg depending therefrom and extending between the panel flanges; fastening means passing through opposed flanges and the leg of the sealing member thereby holding the panels in sealing relationship; said sealing member forming with the flanges of adjacent panels an unobstructed enclosed passage defined in part by the respective panel flange and in part by the sealing member, said passage extending substantially the entire length of said sealing member and parallel to said flanges, either one of said shoulders or said batten having a groove for breaking the capillary action acting within any film of water which has penetrated between said sealing member and the flanges.

2. A building structure according to claim 1 in which the shoulder portion of the panel is a depressed shoulder in which the back portion of the sealing member fits to form a substantially flush surface with the wall section of the panel.

3. A building structure according to claim 1 in which the shoulder portion is in the form of a raised rib extending above the surface of the wall section of the panel and the back portion of the sealing element being in References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 646,495 4/ 1900 Jager 52-468 1,243,020 10/1917 Waugh 52395 1,429,351 9/1922 Jackson 52-578 2,021,868 11/1935 Patterson 52394 2,157,189 5/1939 Schlesinger 52395 2,188,090 1/1940 Young 52459 2,642,632 6/1953 Savage 52400 2,822,898 2/1958 Richards 52468 7/1960 Malarkey 5281 1/1962 Lucchesi 5 2169 6/1962 Dunn 52-396 6/ 1963 Underhill 52471 4/1964 Smith et al. 52395 10/ 1964 Harry 52309 FOREIGN PATENTS 11/ 1959 Canada. 2/1900 France. 10/ 1935 Great Britain.

3/ 1959 Italy.

OTHER REFERENCES Civil Engineering, August 1953 page 44 (vol. p. 532). Prefabrication, August 1957, pages 452-456.

FRANK L. ABBOTT, Primary Examiner.



M. O. WARNECKE, Assistant Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3427662 *Mar 16, 1966Feb 18, 1969Jacuzzi Bros IncSwimming pool construction
US3443265 *Jun 30, 1967May 13, 1969Hauck Charles JPool cover
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US4023317 *Oct 14, 1975May 17, 1977Lloyd Erwin BettgerBuilding unit
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US20130029156 *Feb 22, 2012Jan 31, 2013Pn Ii, Inc.Self supportive panel system
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U.S. Classification52/309.11, 52/220.1, 52/93.1, 52/762, 52/471
International ClassificationE04B1/68, E04H1/12, E04B1/348
Cooperative ClassificationE04B1/6815, E04H1/12, E04B1/34846
European ClassificationE04B1/348C5, E04H1/12, E04B1/68L