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Publication numberUS3534514 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 20, 1970
Filing dateDec 13, 1968
Priority dateDec 13, 1968
Publication numberUS 3534514 A, US 3534514A, US-A-3534514, US3534514 A, US3534514A
InventorsGellert Donald P
Original AssigneeSunbird Ind Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Shelter using semi-rigid flexed walls
US 3534514 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 20, 1970 D. P. GELLERT 3,534,514

SHELTER USING SEMI-RIGID FLEXED WALLS Filed Dec. 15, 1968 INVENTOR. DONALD I? GELLERT ATTORNEYS Patented Oct. 20, 1970 3,534,514 SHELTER USING SEMI-RIGID FLEXED WAI LS Donald P. Gellert, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, Vll'glll Islands, assignor to Sunbird Industries, Inc., St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, a corporation of the Virgin Islands Filed Dec. 13, 1968, Ser. No. 783,669 Int. Cl. E04b l/32, 7/08 US. C]. 52-80 12 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The present shelter employs walls which are semi-rigid or somewhat flexible. There are two such walls of like configuration with matching parts of their periphery being curved and joined by means having a hinge action which afiords flexing and spreading apart of the walls, except at the curved joined parts which are exposed generally upward, somewhat like a roof ridge. Portions of the free edges are secured in spread relation on the ground or on a base such as a concrete slab. The sides may be a sector of a circle, the arcuate edges being joined, the lower radial edges being spread and secured on the ground or base, and the other radial edges being generally upright. The open space between the sidewalls may be closed by an upright wall. The curvature of the joined edges results in some outward bowing of the sides when spread apart, and additional means may be provided to increase the convexity of the side walls, which increases the volume of the shelter.

There is need for a shelter which is portable, or which may be prefabricated, shipped in compact condition, and easily erected at a selected site. The underlying principles of the present improvement are applicable to shelters of small or large size. An example of a small shelter is a beach cabana intended to partially shield one or two persons in seated or lying position. An example of a larger structure is a vacation but for summer living, or a bungalow or house for all-year living. The shelter also may be used in industry for the protection of products being stored.

The present shelter employs walls which are semi-rigid or somewhat flexible. They may be made of plywood or of a plastics material laminated in sheet form with fabric or woven fibre glass. Walls of larger size may consist of multiple panels secured edge to edge by means which holds them in alignment at the adjoining edges, so that the multiple panel wall flexes in much the same fashion as though made of a single panel.

The shelter comprises two such walls of like configuration, with matching parts of their periphery being curved and joined by means having a hinge action which affords flexing and spreading apart of the walls, except at the curved joined parts. The joined parts are exposed generally upward, somewhat like a roof ridge, while the re maining edges are free to be spread apart. At least portions of the spread edges are secured in spread relation on the ground or a base surface such as a poured concrete slab.

In most forms of the invention the remaining portions of the spread edges are generally upright. In one form the two like sides are approximately a sector of a circle, the arcuate edges being joined, the lower radial edges being secured on the ground or base, and the other radial edges being generally upright. For an enclosed shelter the open space between the side walls near the generally upright edges is closed by an upright wall, and this wall is conveniently given one or more openings provided with closures such as a door or window.

In another form the two like walls may be defined by a curved top edge, a bottom edge, and two end edges,

in which case the bottom edges are spread apart and secured to the ground or base, and the spread end edges are the generally upright edges. This structure, if enclosed, employs two upright end walls.

In still another form, the two like side walls are each defined by an are somewhat less than a half circle, and by two bottom edges somewhat less than 180 apart. The arcuate edges are joined, and the configuration is such that when the side walls are spread apart, all four bottom edges come approximately into a plane, and may be secured to the ground or a concrete slab or other base. This structure is enclosed without requiring the use of upright end walls.

In all forms the curvature of the joined edges results in some outward bowing or flexing of the sides when spread apart. At the generally upright free edges the sides may be nearly straight. However, any means, such as a spreader between the side walls, or the upright end wall previously mentioned, may act as a means which holds the joined edges or roof ridge at a somewhat reduced elevation, and this increases the bowing or outward convexity of the side walls. This improves the outside appearance of the structure, and increases the interior volume of the shelter, or makes it more useful for most purposes.

The foregoing and additional features are described in the following detailed specification, which is accompanied by drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a side elevation of sector shaped side walls in flat condition;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the side walls when spread apart;

FIG. 3 is a front elevation including an upright wall with door and windows;

FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 are views respectively like FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, but showing a modification in which the top and bottom edges are joined by two end edges;

FIGS. 7, 8 and 9 are views respectively like FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, but showing a modification in which the curved wall has a more complex curvature;

FIGS. 10, 11 and 12 are views corresponding respectively to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, but showing a modification in which the sides are sectors which are nearly a half cycle in configuration, the shelter being enclosed without need for an upright end wall;

FIGS. 13, 14 and 15 are views respectively like FIGS.

. l, 2 and 3, but showing how a side wall of large dimension may be built up of multiple panels secured edge-to-edge by means which causes the panel to flex much as though made of a single piece of material;

FIG. 16 is a fragmentary section showing one method of securing adjacent panels together; and

FIG. 17 is a fragmentary view showing another method of securing adjacent panels together.

Referring to the drawing, and more particularly to FIG. 1, there are two like semi-rigid flexible walls, one of which is shown at 20, and the other of which is disposed directly behind the wall 20 in face to face relation, the walls at this time being flat. A part 24 of the periphery is curved and joined by means having a hinge action, here sug guested by three hinges 26, but of course a greater number may be used, and even a continuous strip of hinge material may be used. These curved edges remain joined in edge to edge relation, and in the structure shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the joined edges are exposed generally upward, somewhat like a roof ridge. The remainder of the peripheries, in this case the edges 28 and 30, are free of one another, and adapted to be spread apart. The edges 28 are secured in spread relation on the ground, or to a base surface such as the concrete slab and foundation shown at 32 in FIG. 3. The remaining spread edges, in this case, the edges 30, are generally upright.

In the specific case shown in FIG. 1 the configuration of the two like sides 20 and 22 is a sector of a circle, and it is the arcuate edges 24 that are joined. The bottom edges 28 which are secured to the ground or base are radial edges, and the generally upright edges 30 are the other radial edges.

In the case of a small open structure, such as a beach cabana, the space between the side walls near the upright edges 30 is left open. However, in the case of a larger structure which is to be fully enclosed, the open side is closed by a generally upright wall indicated at 34 in FIGS. 2 and 3. This wall may have one or more openings with closures acting as a door 36 and/ or windows 38.

In preferred fom the curved hinged edge 24 is preferably sealed, as by means of long narrow strips of sealing material bent to inverted V shape and secured about the curved edge as is indicated at 40 in FIG. 2. This strip serves as roofing material. By selection of an extruded flexible plastics material the strip may itself act as the hinging material for the side walls. A sealing strip would not be required or used for a small beach shelter or cabana intended to protect only against wind and sun.

By comparison of FIGS. 1 and 2, it will be seen that when the side walls are spread apart, the generally upright edges 30 tip forward or outward, thus providing an overhang indicated at 42 in FIG. 2. The ridge peak is correspondingly lowered. In FIG. 1 the sector is somewhat less than a quadrant or 90, Whereas in FIG. 2, the sector appears to be somewhat greater than a quadrant or 90, this change resulting from the spreading apart of the side walls.

In FIG. 3 the side walls at their edges 30 have been drawn straight. It should be understood however that cross sections taken further back, will have some convexity or outward curvature. This flexing of the walls results from the curved edges 24 remaining enforcedly in edge to edge relation.

The convexity of the side walls may be increased by lowering the top ridge or peak of the structure. This is not shown in FIG. 3, but may be explained with reference to FIG. 9. In FIG. 9 the ridge or peak 44 has been lowered from the dotted line position 44' to the solid line position 44, and this causes the side Walls to convex from the dotted line position 46' to the curved condition shown in solid lines at 46.

The change in question may be obtained by pulling the ridge peak downward in any desired fashion, and in practical cases, this is done by appropriately shaping the up right wall which closes the open end of the shelter. The same result may also be produced by any form of tension member pulling the ridge downward toward the base.

This action incidentally somewhat increases the overhang at the ridge peak, as is shown in FIG. 8 by the change from the broken line position 44 to the solid line position 44. The same principles apply to the structure shown in FIGS. 1-3, the only change needed being appropriate configuration and dimension of the upright end wall 34, the end wall then serving as a means to convex the side walls 20 and 22. In most practical cases such convexity may be preferred, because it makes for greater useable interior space, and improved external appearance.

It will be understood that the side walls are secured to the base by any appropriate fastening means, here schematically represented at 54. In this case of a rudimentary srtucture such as a beach cabana, the bottom edges 28 may be sunk or pushed for a short distance into the sand or, more elaborately, by using sand anchors."

Referring now to FIGS. 4-6, the two like pieces or side walls there shown are defined by a curved top edge 60, a bottom edge 62, and two end edges 64 and 66. The bottom edge may be straight but is preferably given a slight convexity downward. The curved top edge may conform to the arc of a circle and acts as the hingedly joined edge, here indicated by the hinges 68.

In FIG. the side walls have been spread apart at the bottom, and this tends to straighten the bottom edge 62, that is the two bottom edges lie substantially in a horizontal plane. The resulting shelter may be open at both ends, or if desired may be closed by generally upright end Walls indicated at 70. The top edges or ridge are preferably sealed by a long narrow strip of material 72 bent to inverted V shape and secured to the side Walls, as previously described for the structure of FIGS. 1-3. Here again one or both end walls may be provided with a door 74 and/or windows 76. Moreover, the structure may be secured at its lower edges to a suitable base such as the concrete slab shown at 32 in FIG. 3, although this slab has been omitted in FIG. 6 to save space on the drawing. In FIG. 6 the side walls are shown substantially straight, but here again it may be preferred to convex the same outwardly, and this may be done by appropriately shaping the end walls 70 and/ or by the use of tension means as indicated by the broken line 47 in FIG. 9 pulling the ridge of the structure downward.

FIGS. 7, 8 and 9 illustrate the fact that the curved joined edges need not conform to the arc of a circle. In fact, the flexible nature of the side walls accommodates more complex curvatures such as that shown at in FIG. 7. This is sinuous and is joined by multiple hinges suggested at 82. The substantially straight edge at 84 is secured to the ground or other base. The substantially straight edges 86 are generally upright, and in the present case provide some overhang even before the side Walls are spread apart. Mere spreading of the side walls will lower the ridge line somewhat as indicated at 80 in FIG. 8, and this increases the overhang as indicated at 44 in FIG. 8. If the side walls are additionally outwardly convexed, as by tension means 47, as shown at 46 in FIG. 9, the ridge line is lowered still further as shown in solid lines at 80, and the protective roof overhang is increased as shown in FIG. 8 by the change from broken line corner 44 to the solid line corner 44.

The upright end wall 88 conforms to the desired convexity of the side walls and may be the means for producing a desired convexity, as previously explained. Here again the end wall 88 may have a door, as suggested at 90, and may have additional fenestration if desired. As before the structure is preferably secured at its bottom edge to the ground, or more desirably to a suitable base such as the concrete slab shown in FIGS. 3 and 15. The slab is omitted in FIG. 9 to conserve space on the drawing.

Still another form of shelter embodying features of the present invention, may be described with reference to FIGS. 10, 11 and 12. In this case the two like sides are defined by a circular arc 92 which is somewhat less than a half circle, and are further defined by two bottom edges 94- and 96, which are somewhat less than 180 apart. Differently expressed, in this form of the invention the side walls are still a sector of a circle but the sector is nearly a half circle in area. The surved edge 92 is the hinged edge, as suggested by the five hinges 98. When the side walls are spread apart the four bottom edges 94' and 96 come approximately into a common plane as shown. in FIG. 11. At the same time the ridge 92 is lowered somewhat, and in FIG. 11 appears to be a full half circle. Here again, the ridge may be sealed by a strip of suitable sealing or roofing material indicated at 100, or by other suitable precautions. The strip 100 may be designed to also serve as a hinge for hinging the side edges together. Here also the structure is preferably secured at its bottom edge to the ground or more preferably to a suitable base such as a concrete foundation slab, not shown. Although no door and fenestration is indicated in FIGS. 10-12, it will be understood that either or both of these may be provided in the side walls. In that connection, it will be understood that in FIGS. l-9, a door and/or fenestration may be provided in the side walls, although shown only in the end wall where they are most easily, conveniently and inexpensively provided.

As so far described the side walls are assumed to each be a single continuous panel of semi-rigid but somewhat flexible material. In the case of a small structure such as a beach cabana, this is readily done, but in the case of larger structures, each side wall may consist of multiple panels secured approximately edge to edge, as shown in FIGS. 13 through 16. In FIG. 13 each side wall is made up of 8 panels, the largest ones of which shown at 102 may be of standard plywood size, that is 4 by 8 in dimension. Three panels are of full size and the others are cut somewhat smaller to provide the desired curved edge or ridge 104. As before the curved edges are joined or hinged as indicated at 106.

The adjacent edges are secured by means which holds them in alignment. One such means employs covering strips indicated at 108 in FIG. 16. These strips cause the large-area multiple-panel side walls to flex much as though made of a single piece of material, when flexed downwardly as viewed in FIG. 16, that is convexly upward. In FIG. 13 the illustrated sector is a quadrant. When the side walls are spread apart, the ridge is lowered and tipped forward to provide some roof overhang as shown in FIG. 14. Although not so shown in FIG. 15, the side walls may be additionally convexed, as previously described. The bottom edges are secured to the ground or to a base such as the concrete foundation slab 110, the fastening means being schematically suggested at 112.

Instead of using fastening strips such as the strips 108 previously shown, the multiple panels may be secured by direct overlap as shown in FIG. 17. In FIG. 17 a panel 120 is secured to the adacent panel 122 by an overlap shown at 124. A line of fastening means is required along only one edge as indicated at 126, this being the edge which tends to separate or open up if the panels 120 and 122 are bent downward, that is, convexly upward at the overlap 124. It will be understood that a line of fastening means 126 near one edge is adequate, because the left edge of panel 122 tends to bear against rather than to separate from panel 120 when the panels are being convexed upwardly.

The side walls may be made of plywood, with a thickness dependent on the size. In small size the thickness may be about A, inch, and in larger size, say up to sixteen feet radius, the thickness may be about inch. Other materials which may be used are Masonite in a grade designed for exterior use, aluminum sheetings, aluminum ceramic sheeting, steel sheeting, fibre glass impregnated with epoxy, fibre glass impregnated with polyester resin, acrylic sheeting, a sheet material known as ABS, corrugated cardboard surfaced with polyethylene, and others.

For integral hinging by means of a strip made of a plastics material the plastic used may be polypropylene as an example. Conventional metal hinging may be used, supplemented by an extruded strip, and in both cases the extrusion may be H shaped in cross section to receive the upper edge of each of the side walls.

The structure may be finished with a surface treatment using marine deck paint, siding paint, acrylic paint, or by using fibre glass and epoxy.

In small size the structure may be used as a beach cabana, dog house, tool shed, ticket booth, etc. In larger size it may be used as a warehouse, a sleeping shelter, a vacation house, a military shelter, and for other purposes.

It is believed that the method of constructing, assembling and using my improved shelter, as well as the advantages thereof, will be apparent from the foregoing detailed description. It will also be understood that while the improved shelter has been described in several preferred forms, additional changes may be made Without departing from the scope of the described invention.

I claim:

'1. A shelter comprising two like semi-rigid flexible walls, matching parts of their periphery being curved and joined by means having a hinge action afi'ording flexing and spreading apart of the walls except at the said curved joined parts which remain joined in edge to edge relation, said joined parts being exposed generally upward somewhat like a roof ridge, the remainder of the peripheries being spread apart, at least a portion of the spread edges being secured in spread relation on the ground or base surface, the configuration of the two like sides is approximately a sector of a circle, the arcuate edges being the joined edges, the lower radial edges being secured on the ground or base, the other radial edges being the generally upright edges.

2. A shelter as defined in claim 1, in which the remaining portions of said spread edges are generally upright.

3. A shelter as defined in claim 2, in which the open space between the sides near the generally upright edges is closed by a generally upright wall.

4. A shelter as defined in claim 1, in which the two like sides are each defined by a circular are somewhat less than a half circle, and two bottom edges somewhat less than apart, the arcuate edges being the joined edges, and the configuration being such that when the side walls are spread apart the four bottom edges come approximately into a plane, and are secured to the ground or base.

5. A shelter as defined in claim 1, in which each side wall consists of multiple panels secured approximately edge to edge, adjacent edges being secured by means which holds them in alignment at the adjoining edges, so that the large-area multiple-panel side walls flex much as though made of a single piece of material.

6. A shelter as defined in claim 1, in which the open space between the sides near the generally upright edges is closed by a generally upright wall.

7. A shelter as defined in claim 3, in which the generally upright wall has one or more openings with closures acting as a door and/or window.

8. A shelter as defined in claim 1, in which there is a means holding the joined edges or ridge at a reduced elevation such that the side walls are convexed outward.

9. A shelter as defined in claim 2, in which there is a means holding the joined edges or ridge at a reduced elevation such that the side walls are convexed outward.

10. A shelter comprising two like semi-rigid flexible walls, matching parts of their periphery being curved and joined by means having a hinge action affording flexing and spreading apart of the walls except at the said curved joined parts which remain joined in edge to edge relation, said joined parts being exposed generally upward somewhat like a roof ridge, the remainder of the peripheries being spread apart, at least'a portion of the spread edges being secured in spread relation on the ground or base surface, in which the two like pieces are defined by a curved top edge, a bottom edge, and two end edges, the side walls being hingedly joined along the curved top edges, the bottom edges being spread apart and secured to the ground or base, and the spread end edges being the generally upright edges.

11. A shelter as defined in claim 10, in which there are two generally upright end walls secured between the spread apart side walls near the generally upright edges.

12. A shelter as defined in claim 11, in which the generally upright wall has one or more openings with closures acting as a door and/or window.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS JOHN E. MURTACH, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2356768 *Jun 22, 1942Aug 29, 1944Masonite CorpBuilding construction
US2982290 *Jan 8, 1958May 2, 1961Rudolf Hunziker WalterPortable prefabricated shelter
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5226264 *Jan 4, 1991Jul 13, 1993Walters David PPortable shelter for air conditioner
US6799791Dec 19, 2002Oct 5, 2004Aerotail, Llc.Deployable vehicle fairing structure
US6915611Dec 19, 2002Jul 12, 2005Aerotail, LlcDeployable structure
WO2004056643A2 *Dec 19, 2003Jul 8, 2004Aerotail LlcDeployable structure
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/81.1, D25/18, 52/222
International ClassificationE04H1/12, E04B1/344
Cooperative ClassificationE04H1/12, E04B1/344
European ClassificationE04B1/344, E04H1/12