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Publication numberUS3416277 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 17, 1968
Filing dateMar 16, 1967
Priority dateMar 16, 1967
Publication numberUS 3416277 A, US 3416277A, US-A-3416277, US3416277 A, US3416277A
InventorsGreiner James A, Wood Howard J
Original AssigneeHoward J. Wood, James A. Greiner
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Building components
US 3416277 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 17, 1968 H. J.WOOD ET AL 3,416,277

BUILDING COMPONENTS Filed Marh 16, 19s? INVENT0R.. HOWARD (1. W000 BY (JAMES 14. GREINE'R ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,416,277 BUILDING COMPONENTS Howard J. Wood, 1456 Sunset Point Road 33515, and James A. Greiner, 1263 Flushing Drive, Clearwater, Fla. 33516 Filed Mar. 16, 1967, Ser. No. 623,754 6 Claims. (Cl. 52-300) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Building components for the erection of vaults, cesspools, settling tanks, sludge tanks, reservoirs for water or grain and the like which consist of precast panels with key joints in the edges joined by stress keys into a wall structure and a template which sits on top of said joined panels to align and to strengthen the erected structure.

This invention relates to improved building components and to the method for erecting such components into strong, structures such as walls, vaults, cesspools, settling tanks, sludge tanks, reservoirs for water or grain and the like. More particularly, this invention relates to improved pre-formed or pre-cast building components, and to the means for erecting same, whereby an integral building structure can be obtained.

It has been the generally standard practice to erect structures such as sludge tanks by casting them in situ. In so doing, a concrete base is first poured and permitted to set up or cure. Then, the walls forming the tank are cast to complete the structure.

Occasionally, attempts are made at pre-casting the side walls and then joining them. The following patents teach such: 1,617,527, 1,877,898, 2,144,630, 2,644,997, and 2,844,848.

Unfortunately, when such approaches are used to build vaults, cesspools, settling tanks, sludge tanks, water reservoirs and the like, it is generally found that water tends to seep through the joints between the panels. Also, it is found that it is extremely difficult to maintain the wall panels in lateral alignment. The greater the depth of the side wall and the longer its length, the more difiicult it becomes to contain the internal pressure of the sludge. The wall panels tend to bow outwardly at the joints. Obviously when this happens, the leakage becomes even more acute. Indeed, there is considerable danger of the tank collapsing.

An object of this invention is to provide building components and methods for erecting them whereby improved building structures are obtained.

Another object is to provide a pre-cast panel and a method for affixing them together so as to provide a watertight joint between them.

Still another object is to provide an improved method for erecting such pre-cast panels, whereby lateral misalignment will be prevented.

A further object is to provide improved pre-cast panels which can be erected into an integral building structure easier and quicker than heretofore.

A still further object is to provide improved pre-cast panels and methods for erecting them into a structure, whereby the completed structure reacts as an integral unit.

Another object is to provide improved methods for erecting a structure of pre-cast panels which are affixed together. In this respect, it is further contemplated that any stress exerted on the joints between the wall panels be transmitted throughout the entire panel or panels.

Another object is to provide improved methods for erecting a structure of precast panels wherein only the first few panels erected require lateral bracing, the joints "ice between the panels being strong enough to support the panels thereafter without additional aid.

Another object is to provide improved pre-cast panels and methods for erecting them, whereby a structure which is stronger and sturdier than heretofore generally believed possible is provided.

The invention accordingly comprises the several steps and the relation of one or more of such steps with respect to each of the others and the apparatus embodying features of construction, combination of elements and arrangement of parts which are adapted to effect such steps, all as exemplified in the following detailed disclosure, and the scope of the invention will be indicated in the claims.

The above objectives are accomplished by pre-casting panels, preferably of concrete or the like, with a key-joint of predetermined configuration in each of their side edges. After an appropriate base or support for the wall panels has been formed, the wall panels are erected by standing them on end and inserting a stress key into the key-joints of abutting panels. The key-joints and the stress keys are of a design to thereafter permit a grout mix to be poured into the key-joints, and when the grout mix sets or cures, a virtually water-tight joint between abutting panels is provided. Stress-key locks used with said joints function to transmit any stress on the joint through the entire panel or panels, so that a mechanically sound joint is provided.

Alignment templates which are generally elongated, substantially rectangular-shaped pre-cast slabs are aflixed atop the panels in a fashion such as to overlap the joints between the panels. Each template has a slot formed in its bottom wall which substantially corresponds to the width or thickness of the panels, for assisting in seating the template atop the panels. Also, a substantially wider slot or recess is formed in the top face of the template, which is filled with concrete, after all the templates have mounted, to form essentially an integral building structure. The templates perform the dual function of laterally aligning the panels and of forming a cap-walk about the top of the panels. When erected in this manner, the joints between the pre-cast wall panels are virtually water-tight and the entire structure reacts as an integral unit. It should be apparent that the components and the methods of the invention are equally applicable for constructing numerous structures of circular, square, rectangular or other configurations.

For a fuller understanding of the nature and objects of the invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawing in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a portion of a sludge tank, assembled in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view, partially cut away to illustrate the key-joint, the stress key used to afiix the panels together, and the stress-key lock;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of a portion of two panels, illustrating the manner in which the key-joints and stresskey locks are formed in their end edges;

FIG. 4 is a partial side plan view of two joined panels, illustrating the manner in which the key-joints, stress keys, and stress-key locks function to tightly join the panels together;

FIG. 5 is a partial top plan view of two joined panels, illustrating the joint formed between them;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken transversely through the wall of FIG. 1, illustrating the construction of and the manner in which a template is afiixed atop the wall panels; and

FIGS. 7-9 are partial top plan views illustrating alternative constructions for the templates.

Similar reference characters refer to similar parts throughout the several views of the drawing.

Referring now to the drawing, in FIG. 1 there is shown a portion of a wall which wall may comprise a side wall of, for example, a settling tank, and which is formed and erected in accordance with the present invention, as fully described below. The wall 10 is erected on a base 12 of suitable construction and is formed of a number of pre-forrned or pre-cast concrete wall panels 14. A triangular-shaped fillet 16 is poured along the base of the wall 10, on the interior side thereof, to form a strong bottom joint. A similar fillet also can be poured along the base on the exterior side thereof, for additional strength and support, if desired. A cap-walk 18 is formed along the top of the wall 10, and a handrail 20 can be provided along one or both sides of the cap-walk.

In order to prevent leakage and to provide a strong joint between the wall panels 14, a key-joint 22 (FIG. 3) is formed in each of the two side edges of the wall panels, during the pre-casting operation. In the illustrated case, the key-joints 22 are in the form of a slot 24 having side walls 26 which taper inwardly toward one another, from the edge of the wall panel, and join with the side wall of a cylindrical-shaped aperture 28 in a manner so as to leave an arcuate portion of the apertures side wall open. The slot 24 and the aperture 28 extend along the entire length of the edge of the wall panel. The aperture 28 preferably is formed by pre-casting the concrete or other like-hardenable substances about a stress-key lock 30 (FIG. 2) which is a tube 32 with a longitudinal slot 34 therein. The side walls 26 of the slot 24 preferably taper inwardly to the tube 32, to points on each of the respective sides of the slot 34, as illustrated in FIG. 3. This makes for a reinforced key-joint with the stress mostly on the tube 32.

Reinforcing rods 36 also are preferably included in the panels 14, and the ends thereof are preferably affixed, as by welding, to the tubes 32. Thus, any stress at the joints between the wall panels is transmitted throughout each of the entire wall panels, as explained more fully below.

In erecting the panels 14, they are vertically erected on base 12, with the two side edges which are to be joined, abutted together. A stress key 40, with two vertical lock arms, such as tubes 41 and 42 (or rods, or bars), afiixed together in spaced relation by a spacer bar 44, next is inserted into the key-joints 22 in the two wall panels. The spacing between the tubes 41 and 42 is such that the edges of the wall panels are tightly drawn together when the tubes 41 and 42 are driven, respectively, into the tubes 32 in the wall panels. Indeed, the tubes may even be tapered toward each other, if desired, to assist in drawing the edges of the joined panels together.

The length of the stress key 40 may correspond to the height of the wall panels 14 so that only one stress key is used. Preferably however, a number of short stress keys 40 are used, each being driven into the key-joint and stress-key locks 30 one at a time with a wooden mallet or drive member, such as a 2" x 4" member. Stress keys of this latter type are much easier to handle, store and transport and, furthermore, are far less difficult to insert since the initial lateral alignment of the panels is not as critical as would be with a longer length stress key.

The stress keys 40 can be of various sizes. For example, in constructing the walls of a settling tank stress keys formed of standard 1 /2" steel pipes aflixed together in spaced relation with steel bars having dimensions of 10" x 2 /2 x V2" were used and found to be entirely satisfactory. The tubes 41 and 42 of the stress keys need not be circular, for square, rectangular and triangularshaped, as well as other shaped tubes, can be used. In such cases, the tubes 32 of the stress key locks 30, of course, are correspondingly shaped.

After the stress keys 40 have been inserted into the stress-key locks 30, to erect the wall panels 14, a number of templates 50 (FIGS. 1 and 6) are placed along the top of them and are thereafter joined together, in the manner described below, to form an integral cap-walk structure. The templates 50 are substantially rectangularshaped, pre-cast concrete slabs which have a recessed cavity 52 (FIG. 6) in the top wall 54 thereof that extends along its length and centrally across a substantial portion of its width. The bottom wall of thetemplates 50 includes two sections 56 and 57 which taper angularly downward from the side walls 58 and join with a flat section 60 that is centrally positioned with respect to the vertical axis of the slab. Another recessed cavity 62 which has side walls that taper slightly inward and which is of a width that substantially corresponds to the thickness of the wall panels 14 is centrally formed in the flat section 60. The cavity 62 is of a depth such that the top of a wall panel will seat therein and the template will be securely supported atop of it. The tapered side walls of the cavity 62 assist in aligning the templates 50 atop the wall panels 14.

The templates 50 can be of the same length as the wall panels, and are placed on top of them so as to overlap the joints between them. By overlapping the joints in this manner, the templates function both to provide additional support for the joints and assist in maintaining the wall panels 14 in lateral alignment.

An aperture 68 which substantially corresponds in size and shape to the slots 24 in the abutted wall panels is formed in templates 50, in alignment with the slots 24. A heavy gauge mesh 70 is inserted through these apertures, into the slots 24. Thereafter, the slots 24 are completely filled with a grout mix 46 of any suitable type which will develop a strong bond with the steel, as illustrated in FIG. 3. The grout mix is poured up to the bottom of the recessed cavity 52 in the templates 50, thus knitting the templates securely to the top of the Wall panels. The grout mix also fills any voids or cracks in the joint and, when it sets, it reinforces the bars 44 of the stress keys 40. Accordingly, a virtually leak-proof, strong joint between the wall panels 14 is provided. In fact, it is found that only the first few wall panels 14 which are erected need to be braced since the joints are strong enough to support the wall panels without any other aid. It can therefore be seen that substantial time and material, and hence money, can be saved using the described wall panels and method of erecting them. The recessed cavities 52 in the top walls 54 of the templates 59 next are filled with concrete so that all of the templates are effectively locked together to form a substantially integral structure. Reinforcing rods 66 can be embedded in the concrete in the recessed cavities 52, for providing still additional support and strength to the structure.

In addition to the above-mentioned functions performed by the templates 50, the templates also function as a cap-walk about the tops of the wall panels 14. A railing 20 can be provided for safety on one or both sides of the top of the templates, as illustrated in FIG. 1.

The template 50 can also be formed L-shaped, as shown in FIG. 7; cross-shaped, as shown in FIG. 8; and T-shaped as shown in FIG. 9, for seating atop the wall panels at corners, at intersections and at abutments. With templates 50 of these shapes, the reinforcing rods 66 in the recessed cavities 52 can be embedded and afiixed together, as illustrated, to form a securely interlocked integral structure.

It can be seen that wall panels pre-cast with key-joints 22 in their side edges can be easily and quickly afiixed together with the stress keys 40. Furthermore, the construction of the key-joints 22 is such that after fixedly joining the wall panels together in abutting relationship, they can be filled with a grout mix to provide a strong and virtually water-proof or leak-proof joint. By afiixing reinforcing rods 36 in the pre-cast Wall panels to the stress key locks 30, any stress on the joints is transmitted through both of the joined panels. Accordingly, a very strong joint is provided. A cap-walk can be provided along the tops of the wall panels, by aflixing a number of templates 50 to the tops thereof. By overlapping the joints between the wall panels with the templates, the wall panels can be easily laterally aligned. Also, by filling the recessed cavities 52 in the top walls 54 of the templates, a substantially integral cap-walk structure is provided. This cap-walk essentially interlocks the entire structure together, to provide a rigid sturdy structure.

It will thus be seen that the objects set forth above, among those made apparent from the preceding description, are efliciently attained and, since certain changes may be made in carrying out the above method and in the construction set forth without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawing shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

It is also to be understood that the following claims are intended to cover all of the generic and specific features of the invention herein described, and all statements of the scope of the invention, which, as a matter of language, might be said to fall therebetween.

Now that the invention has been described, What is claimed is:

1. Building components for erecting walls, vaults, cesspools, settling tanks, sludge tanks, reservoirs and the like comprising, in combination: at least two pre-cast panels to be joined together along one edge of each thereof, each edge having a key-joint formed therein abutting the keyjoint of the other panel, said key-joint comprising a slot and an aperture, said slot having side walls in communication with said aperture, at least one stress key inserted into the abutted key-joints, said key having a pair of lock arms which telescope into said apertures of said abutted key-joints, and joined together in spaced relation by a spacer bar, the distance between said lock arms being such as to tightly draw the edges of said wall panels together, templates positioned along the top edge of said panels and overlapping the joints therebetween, said templates each having a recessed cavity in the top wall thereof and an aperture therein coinciding with each of said key-joints, a heavy gauge mesh extending through said aperture and along the length of said abutting key-joints, a grout mix filling said joints and said aperture to fill any voids and cracks in said points and to provide a substantially waterproof, integral connection between said panels, and said recessed cavities in said templates being filled with concrete and the like after said templates are positioned to form a substantially integral, rigid structure.

2. Building components, as claimed in claim 1, wherein said apertures of said key-joints each have a metal tubular pipe therein with a slot formed in the side wall thereof along their lengths facing the slot of said key-joint, and wherein said precast panels each have a plurality of reinforcing rods embedded therein, the ends of said reinforcing rods being afiixed to said tubular pipes, whereby stresses imposed on the joints between said panels are transmitted through said panels.

3. Building components, as claimed in claim 1, wherein said key-joints each comprise an aperture formed by casting said hardenable material about a pipe having a slot in its side wall along its length and a slot formed in the edge of said wall panel having side Walls which taper inwardly from said edge to engage said pipe on each of the respective sides of said slot therein, said slot in said pipe 'being in communication with said slot in the edge of said Wall panel.

4. Building components, as claimed in claim 1, wherein said templates each have a recessed cavity formed in the bottom Wall thereof which is of a Width that substantially corresponds to the thickness of said Wall panels, the top edge of said panels being received therein to fixedly seat said templates atop said panels.

5. Building components, as claimed in claim 4, further including reinforcing bars embedded in the concrete and the like in said recessed cavities in the top Walls of said templates.

6. Building components, as claimed in claim 4, further including at least one railing vertically supported from the top wall of said templates.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 694,320 2/ 1902 Miller 5 2--5 86 1,045,519 11/1912 Conzelman 52432 2,096,185 10/1937 Layng 61-48 2,45 6,049 12/ 1948 Carrozza 52586- 3,296,764 1/ 1967 Tremblay 52580 FOREIGN PATENTS 889,320 1/ 1944 France.

217,361 6/ 1924 Great Britain.

607,539 8/ 1960 Italy.

HENRY C. SUTHERLAND, Primary Examiner.

U.S. Cl. X.R. 52-432, 442, 586

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4018021 *Sep 13, 1974Apr 19, 1977Jimmy DowBuilding and method of making same
US4118266 *May 9, 1977Oct 3, 1978Kerr Jack BMethod for forming an improved insulated metal frame
US4386875 *Sep 2, 1981Jun 7, 1983Deblende RemiApparatus to support a frame of casing element for forming a beam on a pile-plank screen
US4942709 *Mar 22, 1989Jul 24, 1990Waldron Michael PDisplay panels and connector system therefor
US5160212 *Sep 12, 1991Nov 3, 1992Suomen Vuolukivi OyCorner joint for building units of stone
US5197248 *Sep 15, 1992Mar 30, 1993Ppa Industries, Inc.Prefabricated column assembly
US20060062633 *Nov 7, 2005Mar 23, 2006Delzotto Laurie AMethod for constructing a pre-cast deck, dock steps and dock system
U.S. Classification52/300, 52/442, 52/432
International ClassificationE04C2/06
Cooperative ClassificationE04C2/06
European ClassificationE04C2/06