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Publication numberUS3331177 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 18, 1967
Filing dateFeb 23, 1965
Priority dateFeb 23, 1965
Publication numberUS 3331177 A, US 3331177A, US-A-3331177, US3331177 A, US3331177A
InventorsGodfrey William C
Original AssigneeGodfrey William C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Structural building unit
US 3331177 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 18, 1967 w. c. GODFREY 3,331,177


FIG. 4

INVENTOR WILLIAM C. GODFREY gw ma? ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,331,177 STRUCTURAL BUILDING UNIT William C. Godfrey, 1024 Olivia Ave., Ann Arbor, Mich. 48104 Filed Feb. 23, 1965, Ser. No. 434,527 2 Claims. (Cl. 52-376) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE In a structural building unit consisting of nested inner and outer hollow members which are rigid and in which the outer member is generally rectangular in transverse cross section and the inner member has a noncircular conic transverse cross section so that the unit can function as a beam with the inner and outer members reinforcing each other.

This invention relates generally to structural building units that are assembled side-to-side to form ceilings, floors, walls and the like.

This invention contemplates constructing roofs, foundations, floors, ceilings, walls and the like with structural units that are lightweight yet strong and have good structural characteristics; that provide thermal and sound insulation; that can be manufactured simply and economically in long lengths and then cut to any desired length; and that can be assembled into a wall in a simple and effective manner.

Further objects, features and advantages of this invention will become apparent from a consideration of the following description, the appended claims, and the accompanying drawing in which:

FIGURE 1 is a vertical sectional and fragmentary perspective view of one structural unit having a pair of nested tubular members, the outer tubular member having a rectangular transverse cross section and the inner tubular member having an oval transverse cross section so that the members reinforce each other in accordance with the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary perspective view of a plurality of structural units constructed in accordance with the present invention and assembled side-to-side to form a floor, ceiling, wall and the like;

FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary perspective view of a finished ceiling panel supported by a plurality of structural units assembled side-to-side with the panel spaced from the units by nailing strips fastened longitudinally along each of the units;

FIGURE 4 is a sectional view illustrating finished floor and ceiling panels that are spaced and supported by a plurality of structural units assembled side-to-side;

FIGURE 5 is a vertical section illustrating a corner between two vertical walls which are constructed with a plurality of structural units;

FIGURE 6 is a perspective view of a connector useful in joining a wall and a ceiling which are constructed with a plurality of structural units;

FIGURE 7 is a vertical section of three building units assembled side-to-side with each unit having an inner member formed with a parabolic transverse cross section; and

FIGURE 8 is a vertical section of two building units each of which has an outer member formed with a top wall, a bottom wall, and a side wall where the side wall of one unit functions as a second side wall for an adjacent unit when the units are assembled side-to-side.

Referring to FIG. 1, a structural unit 10 constructed in accordance with the present invention comprises an inner tubular member 12 nested within an outer tubular member 14. Outer member 14 has a generally rectangulat transverse cross section and is formed with a top wall 16, a bottom wall 18, and opposite side walls 20, 22. Inner member 12 has a generally elliptical transverse cross section and is dimensioned to fit closely in outer member 14 abutting the top, bot-tom and side walls 16, 18, 20, 22 at zones 24, 26, 28, 30, respectively, spaced around the periphery of the inner member 12. Member 12 is fastened to member 14 at the abutting zones 24, 26, 28, 30 longitudinally along the members to form a unitary structure. A pair of blocks 36, 38 are fastened in the upper inside corners of member 14 in the space between member 14 and member 12. Blocks 36, 38 are longitudinally coextensive with members 12, 14 and have rounded lower faces that mate with member 12. Blocks 36, 38 serve as a base for nailing flooring, paneling or roofing to unit 10 and also reinforce members 12, 14.

Members, 12, 14 have a seamless construction and are formed, in a preferred embodiment of the invention, of paperboard comprising laminated sheets of paper. Blocks 36, 38 are also formed from strips of laminated paperboard in the preferred embodiment. Such materials are relatively inexpensive, lightweight, and have good thermal and sound insulation qualities as compared to conventional materials used in structural building units. Tubes and strips of paperboard can be manufactured economically in long lengths and then cut to a desired length. Member 12 and blocks 36, 38 are glued on member 14 either before or after members 12, 14 are cut to a desired length.

In general, a single tubular member formed of such material would have poor structural characteristics and could not withstand compressional and flexural stresses normally present in floors, ceilings, Walls and the like. In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, it has been found that when a pair of the tubular members having a dissimilar cross sections are nested in abutting relation, one member reinforces the other to provide a unit with good structural characteristics. The rectangular cross section of member 14 provides fiat exterior walls to which paneling, plasterboard, or other finish materials that can be applied. The rectangular cross section also restrains collapsing of the inner member and facilitates assembling the units side-to-side. Side walls 20, 22 provide desirable transverse compression characteristics to unit 10. On the other hand, the conical cross section of member 12 supports the middle of top wall 16, bottom wall 18, and side walls 20, 22, and provides good fiexural characteristics to the unit 10.

The structural characteristics of a single unit 10 are further enhanced when a plurality of the units 10 illustrated in FIG. 1 are assembled side-to-side as illustrated in FIG. 2 to form a floor, for example. Each unit 10 is packed or fitted tightly against an adjacent unit. Preferably adjacent units are secured together by gluing abutting side walls. With a plurality of units 10 assembled as illustrated in FIG. 2, each unit will reinforce adjacent units and provide a fiat solid base on which sub-flooring can be laid and fastened in place by nailing through the top walls 16 into blocks 36, 38.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3, a strip 44 of laminated paperboard is glued along the bottom wall 18 of each unit 10 adjacent the left side wall 20 as viewed in FIG. 3. A sheet of plasterboard 46 or other suitable paneling is fastened on strips 44 as by nailing or gluing. Strips 44 space panel 46 from units 10 and serve as a base for nailing. A plurality of conduits 48 are formed between adjacent ones of the strips 44. Conduits 48 may be used for electrical wiring or plumbing. A separate end strip 50 of paperboard is fastened on the end one of the units 10, at the right end as viewed in FIG. 3, to provide continuous support and spacing for sheet 46.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4, a plurality of structural units 60 are assembled side-to-side to support and space a pair of panels 61, 62. By way of example, panels 61, 62 may be vertical walls in a partition between two rooms or panel 62 may be a first story ceiling while panel 61 is a second story floor. The units 60.

are substantially identical to units illustrated in FIG. 1 with like elements designated with like reference numerals. Nailing blocks 63, 64 made of laminated paperboard are fastened in opposite inside corners of the outer member 14. Nailing strips 66, 68 corresponding to strip 44 in FIG. 3 are fastened on opposite outside corners of top wall 16 and bottom wall 18, in line with blocks 63, 64, respectively. Strips 66, 68 space panels 61, 62 from units 60 and serve as a nailing base for the panels. As illustrated in FIG. 4, the inner member 12 may be filled with insulation 70 if desired, particularly when one of the panels 61, 62 is an outside wall exposed to the elements.

Referring to FIG. 5, a structural unit 72 may be used in the corner between vertical walls formed by units 10 which are assembled side-to-side as illustrated in FIG. 3. Unit 72 spaces and supports the units .10. Unit 72 is constructed of paperboard and comprises an outer tubular member 74 having a square cross section and an inner tubular member 76 having a circular cross section.

FIG. 6 illustrates a wall to ceiling connector 80 useful with building units constructed in accordance with the present invention. Connector 80 comprises a pair of trough-shaped members 82, 84. A bottom leg 86 on the member 82 is glued to the top 88 of member 84. Member 82 opens in a horizontal direction to receive a ceiling unit 90. Member 84 opens downwardly to receive the top of a wall unit 92. Units 90, 92 may be substantially identical to the units 10, 60 illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 4.

Although inner member 12 has been disclosed herein with an elliptical cross section as the preferred embodiment, other cross sections for the member 12 can be used to strengthen the outer member 14. Conical cross sections including elliptical, parabolic and hyperbolic cross sections are contemplated to increase the strength of the unit. The inner and outer members should be longitudinally coextensive and fastened together to increase the rigidity of the unit. Referring to FIG. 7 wherein like elements are designated with like numerals, an inner member 100 having a parabolic transverse cross section is nested in outer member 14. Member 100 has its peak abutting and secured to top Wall 16 and its legs abutting and secured to bottom wall 18. In general when inner members having parabolic or hyperbolic cross sections are used, the inner member is arranged in the outer member 14 with its peak abutting the wall of the outer member for which additional support is required. For example in FIG. 7, flooring would be attached directly on upper walls 16.

FIG. 8 illustrates a further embodiment of the present invention where a fiat top wall 110, a fiat bottom wall 112 and one fiat side wall 114 reinforce a tubular memher 116 having an oval transverse cross section. Four blocks 118, 120, 122, 124 are fastened on member 116 as by gluing. Blocks 118-124 fill the space between walls 110, 112, .114 and member 116 and also serve as a nailing base. Walls 110, 112, 114 are in turn glued on blocks 118-124 abutting member 116. Each block has a rounded inner contour to mate with member 116 and a squared outer corner to support walls 110, 112, 114 in a generally rectangular configuration open at one side. Walls 110, 112, 114, blocks 118424 and member 116 are substantially coextensive in a longitudinal direction. The top and bottom walls 110, 112 are offset laterally of member 116 in a direction away from side wall 114 to extend laterally outwardly from one side of member 116 and form top and bottom recesses 126, 128 at the other side of member 116. The lateral extensions of the top and bottom walls of one unit nest in the recesses 126, 128, respectively, of an adjacent unit when units are assembled sideto-side. When several units are tightly packed or fitted together, a rigid construction is provided. Preferably adjacent units are fastened together with glue with the units nested side-to-side. The side wall 114 of one unit functions as a second side wall for an adjacent unit with top, bottom and side walls being reinforced by the inner members 116 and vice versa. This construction achieves structural characteristics closely similar to the structural characteristics of the constructions illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3. As with the units illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, walls 110, 112, 114, blocks 118-124, and member 116 (FIG. 8) are constructed of paperboard in the preferred form.

One important advantage of the present invention is achieved when hollow members are arranged side-to-side and extend longitudinally in closely spaced parallel relation to span the floor, ceiling, wall, and the like. The hollow members can be constructed of materials, such as paperboard, that are inexpensive, lightweight and have good thermal and sound insulating characteristics. The hollow members can be reinforced with other members also constructed of paperboard. The reinforcing members are contoured to provide flat top and bottom surfaces and fill the space between adjacent hollow members when the hollow members are assembled together. The structural characteristics of the construction are further improved when the hollow members and the reinforcing members are all fastened securely together into a rigid assembly.

It will be understood that the structural building unit which is herein disclosed and described is presented for purposes of explanation and illustration and is not intended to indicate limits of the invention, the scope of which is defined by the following claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A structural building unit comprising an outer hollow longitudinally extending structural member of rectangular shape having four planar sides, an inner hollow structural member telescoped in said outer member and extending within said outer member in a direction longitudinally of said outer member, said inner member being of a rigid construction and being of a shape in transverse cross section of a conic section, said inner member being in abutting reinforcing engagement with each of said planar sides of said outer member.

2. A structural building unit according to claim 1 in which said inner member is of an elliptical shape in transverse section and has an arcuate outer surface, and at least one block member is disposed on said outer surface and disposed in one corner of said outer member so that .said block member abuts two of said sides of said outer member so as to provide a base for nailing.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 369,796 9/1887 Kelly l6l68 601,036 3/1898 Camp 52--480 1,803,390 5/1931 Howard 52480 X 2,029,048 1/1936 Atwood l6ll39 2,129,441 9/1938 Otto 526l5 X 2,578,781 12/1951 Brundige l6l139 2,593,714 4/1952 Robinson 161-139 X 3,228,822 1/1966 Norman 526l5 X FOREIGN PATENTS 231,277 3/ 1959 Australia.

FRANK L. ABBOTT, Primary Examiner.

M. O. WARNECKE, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
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US1803390 *Nov 20, 1928May 5, 1931Clark Howard ThomasAcoustic wall or ceiling structure
US2029048 *Jul 31, 1934Jan 28, 1936Atwood Harry NTubular structural unit and method of making the same
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3516553 *Sep 25, 1968Jun 23, 1970Tel E LectBoom construction
US4135756 *Dec 3, 1976Jan 23, 1979Massey-Ferguson Services N.V.Roll-over protective structure for vehicles and method of construction therefor
US5245770 *Jul 10, 1991Sep 21, 1993Samsung Heavy Industries, Co., Ltd.Dipper stick for excavator of high strength polymeric composite materials and method for manufacturing such
US5316709 *Dec 11, 1992May 31, 1994Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.Method of making a dipper stick for an excavator from high strength polymeric composite materials
US6226944Apr 5, 1999May 8, 2001Mouchel Consulting LimitedReinforced structural member
US6735916Mar 8, 2001May 18, 2004Mouchel Consulting LimitedReinforced structural member
US20070234651 *Mar 22, 2007Oct 11, 2007Richard GageModular building unit for a protective shelter
US20110072734 *Jun 14, 2007Mar 31, 2011Newby Roland LCompact interior safe room
EP0674059A1 *Mar 21, 1995Sep 27, 1995LG MOUCHEL & PARTNERS LIMITEDReinforced structural member
U.S. Classification52/376, 52/783.1, D25/117, 428/117, 52/220.3
International ClassificationE04C3/02, E04C2/40, E04C3/28
Cooperative ClassificationE04C2/40, E04C3/28
European ClassificationE04C2/40, E04C3/28