US 3696567 A
A prefabricated cast concrete building panel is provided with an embedded fitting comprising a tubular positioner and a rod axially aligned with it. The upper end of the positioner projects from the top edge of the panel, and the lower end of the rod projects from the bottom edge of the panel. The embedded ends of the positioner and rod have a screw thread relationship, so that by rotating the positioner the spacing between its top and the top edge of the panel may be varied. A sleeve may surround the positioner portion within the panel, and crushable means may be located within the panel directly beneath the lower end of the positioner. An opening in the positioner may be provided for engagement by connector means for lifting the panel.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Villaneu [451 Oct. 10,1972
 Inventor: Michel Villaneu, Paris, France  Assignee: IBS Industrialized Building Systems Incorporated 221 Filed: Dec. 21, 1970 21 Appl.No.:99,874
2,065,510 12/1936 Bennett ..52/122X Black ..52/122 Pinter ..52/125 Primary Examiner-Price C. Faw, Jr. Attorney-Breitenfeld & Levine  ABSTRACT A prefabricated cast concrete building panel is provided with an embedded fitting comprising a tubular positioner and a rod axially aligned with it. The upper end of the positioner projects from the top edge of the panel, and the lower end of the rod projects from the bottom edge of the panel. The embedded ends of the positioner and rod have a screw thread relationship, so that by rotating the positioner the spacing between its top and the top edge of the panel may be varied. A sleeve may surround the positioner portion within the panel, and crushable means may be located within the panel directly beneath the lower end of the positioner. An opening in the positioner may be provided for engagement by connector means for lifting the panel.
12 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEB nun 0 I972 SHEET 1 BF 2 FIG. 3
INVENTOR M/CHEL V/LL/J/VEAU ATTORNEYS PATENTE D 10 I97? SHEET 2 OF 2 FIG. 2
INVENTORI RNEYS aiiltllV/ MICHEL V/LLA/VEA U BY WW0 PREFABRICATED BUILDING PANEL HAVING POSITIONER MEANS This invention relates to prefabricated cast concrete building panels, and more particularly to wall-forming panels and the fittings with which such panels are furnished for a variety of purposes.
Conventional prefabricated wall panels have cast into them the following separate fittings:
l. Hangers-these are loop members adapted to be engaged by hooks of cranes or derricks for lifting the panels into place during construction of the building;
2. Positionersthese are tubes or rods projecting upwardly from the top edge of each panel. After a panel is in place in the building, the bottom edge of the next successive panel is seated on the positioners of the panel in place, to provide a space between the opposed panel edges. The space permits the edges of floor panels to rest on the top edge of the lower wall panel, and ultimately the space is filled with concrete;
3. Joint reinforcements-these are numerous rods projecting from the top and bottom edges of the panel. When the space between successive vertical panels is filled with concrete, these rods furnish continuity of reinforcement between the panels, which themselves include embedded steel reinforcement.
It is an object of the present invention to greatly simplify, and reduce the cost of manufacture of, prefabricated cast concrete panels by providing such panels with a single fitting capable of performing the functions of all the conventional fittings mentioned above.
Due to imperfections in molding concrete building panels, and for other reasons, the tops of all the positioners of all the panels on a single level of the building are usually not in a single horizontal plane when the panels are set in place. Thus, before the panels of the 'next level are seated upon these positioners, shims or the like must be placed on the positioners to insure that all the panels of the next level will be seated in a horizontal plane. Providing shims is time consuming, especially since they are often knocked off their respective positioners and must be replaced before the next panel is set in place.
It is an object of the present invention to simplify and speed up and thereby reduce the cost of, construction of buildings with prefabricated cast concrete building panels by providing positioners which can be adjusted in height so that the need for shimming is eliminated.
It is another object of the invention to provide such a building panel with fittings which insure proper vertical alignment both longitudinally and laterally, of successive panels placed on top of one another.
Additional objects and features of the invention will be apparent from the following description in which reference is made to the accompanying drawings:
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a building panel according to this invention being placed upon a similar panel already set in place;
FIG. 2 is a vertical cross-sectional view through the panel, the central part of which has been broken away so that both the top and bottom edges of the panel can be seen;
FIG. 3 is a vertical cross-sectional view through a finished joint between two panels according to this invention;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary bottom view of the panel;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view along line 55 of FIG. 4; and
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary vertical cross-sectional view through a panel showing an alternative embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 1 shows a prefabricated cast concrete panel 10, illustrative of the present invention, about to be assembled with a similar panel 11 already set in place. While panels according to this invention may be of any suitable size, it may help in understanding the invention to point out that a typical panel 10 may be about 30 feet long, about 10 feet high, and about 6 inches thick. The panels may be used to form both exterior walls of the building and interior partitions.
Each panel has embedded in it at least one, but preferably several, fittings, and if several are employed they may be spaced every 6 to 12 feet along the length of the panel, depending among other things, upon the dimensions of the panel.
A fitting chosen to illustrate the present invention may be seen best in FIG. 2. The principal elements of the fitting are a rigid tubular positioner l4 and a rod 15, both of which may be formed of steel. Positioner 14 is partially and movably embedded in panel 10, its upper portion projectingupwardly from the top edge 16 of the panel. Positioner 14 is provided, in its exposed portion, with two horizontally aligned openings 29, adapted to receive connectors, such as hooks 30 (FIG. 1) of cranes or derricks used to lift panel 10 into place in the building. Rod 15 is much longer than positioner 14, but is of smaller diameter than the positioner, and is almost completely embedded in panel 10, the lower end region of the rod projecting below the bottom edge 17 of the panel. Rod 15 and positioner 14 are axially aligned and preferably vertical when the panel is in its final position in the building. The fitting extends through the full height of the panel (see FIG. 1), its ends projecting above the top edge and below the bottom edge of the panel.
The upper externally threaded end 18 of rod 15 is arranged within the lower end of positioner 14. An internally threaded nut 19, fixed within the lower end of the positioner such as by welding or a suitable adhesive, threadably engages the upper end 18 of rod 15. Thus, if positioner 14 is rotated about its axis, the threaded engagement with rod end 18 causes the positioner to move longitudinally and vary the length of its exposed portion, i.e., vary the spacing between the top 20 of positioner l4 and top edge 16 of panel 10.
When a panel 10 is to be cast, one or more fittings I4, 15, 19 are arranged in the mold, and a sleeve 23 which may be for example, of metal, plastic, or cardboard, may he slipped over the lower portion of positioner 14 within the mold. Also, a ring 24 preferably formed of a crushable material, such as foamed plastic or corrugated cardboard, is placed around rod 15 in engagement with the lower end of positioner 14. Concrete is then poured into the mold, and hardens to produce the panel with the fittings embedded in it. The presence of sleeve 23 prevents concrete from engaging positioner 14, whereby the positioner can be moved, within the sleeve, with respect to the hardened concrete panel. Ring 24 prevents concrete from engaging the meshing screw threads of nut 19 and rod end 18, which might otherwise lock these members against relative movement. Furthermore, if ring 24 is crushable, it permits positioner 14 to be rotated in a direction resulting in movement of the positioner into the panel. In other words, if ring 24 were rigid, or not present, the rigidity of the ring or of the concrete would prevent movement of positioner 14 into the panel 10. However, with a crushable ring 24 present, positioner 14 can be rotated in either direction, and is permitted to move into the panel by crushing ring 24.
An alternative embodiment of the sleeve and ring is shown in FIG. 6. In this arrangement, sleeve 23' extends downwardly beyond the lower edge of positioner l4 and is formed with an inwardly directed flange at its lower end. Ring 24' is supported on the flange. In this way, the positioner 14, sleeve 23, and ring 24 can be handled as a unit.
Use of sleeve 23 or 23' is not essential. Panel 10 could be cast with a bore in its top edge aligned with rod 15, and having a diameter slightly larger than that of positioner 14. After hardening of the panel, positioner 14 could then be slipped into the bore and threadably engaged with rod end 18.
The bottom edge 17 of panel 10 is preferably formed with a depression 27 (FIGS. 2, 4, and 5) surrounding each rod 15. In the present example the depression has substantially a truncated pyramidal shape. Seated against the top wall of depression 27 is a rectangular metal washer 28, about equal in size to the size of the top wall. The width of washer 28, and hence of the depression top wall, is about equal to the diameter of positioner 14, as indicated in FIGS. 3 and 4.
Assume panel 11 (identical to panel is in place in the building under construction, and the edges of floor panels 31 (FIG. 3) are supported on its top edge 16. The tops 20 of positioners 14 of panel 11 are checked to see whether they are all in the same horizontal plane. If not, the positioners are rotated to bring about this condition. Then, the interior of each positioner 14 is filled with a fluid grout 33, preferably of the nonshrinking or expansive type. Thereafter, but before grout 33 hardens, panel 10 is lifted, by engagement of hooks 30 with openings 29 in its positioners l4, and placed directly above panel 11. As panel 10 is lowered toward panel 11, construction personnel guide the lower ends of rods 15 projecting from panel 10 into the positioners 14 of panel 11. Thus, cooperation of the rods 15 and positioners l4 insure longitudinal and lateral alignment of the panels 10 and 11. Lateral alignment of the panels is more critical than longitudinal alignment due to the relatively small thickness dimension of the panels, and perfect lateral alignment is insured by the converging side walls of each depression 27 which engage positioner l4 and cam panel 10 laterally until washer 28 of panel 10 seats upon top of its respective positioner 14. Since washer 28 and hence the top wall of depression 27 is longer than the diameter of positioner 14, some leeway in longitudinal positioning of panel 10 is provided for.
After panel 10 is positioned, the space above top edge 16 and between the edges of floor panels 31 is filled with jointing concrete or grout 32, to establish horizontal continuity between the floor panels. It will be seen that the grout-filled positioner 14 and rod 15 embedded inside it provide vertical continuity of reinforcement between panels 10 and 11 through the joint formed by concrete 32. Furthermore, since all the vertically aligned fittings in all the vertically aligned panels of the building are interconnected in this way, there is vertical continuity of reinforcement throughout the building.
The invention has been shown and described in preferred form only, and by way of example, and many variations may be made in the invention which will still be comprised within its spirit. It is understood, therefore, that the invention is not limited to any specific form or embodiment except insofar as such limitations are included in the appended claims.
What is Claimed is:
1. A prefabricated cast concrete building panel having top and bottom edges, and including at least one elongated hollow positioner projecting upwardly from the top edge of said panel, a portion of the length of said positioner being embedded in said panel, said positioner having an open upper end and being movable vertically with respect to said panel so that the spacing between the top of said positioner and the top edge of said panel may be adjusted, and means carried by said panel for maintaining said positioner in any desired position of adjustment, whereby after the panel is in place forming part of a building, said positioner can be adjusted to locate its top at the most suitable height for engaging and supporting the bottom edge of another similar panel.
2. A prefabricated building panel as defined in claim 1, wherein said maintaining means is an element embedded in said panel and having a screw thread engagement with said positioner.
3. A prefabricated building panel as defined in claim 1 including at least one rod partially embedded in said panel in alignment with said positioner, the lower end of said rod projecting below the bottom edge of said panel and being sized to fit into the upper end of said positioner, whereby after the panel is in place forming part of a building the upper end of said positioner can accommodate the lower end of said rod of another similar panel. I
4. A prefabricated building panel as defined in claim 3 wherein the upper end of said rod is formed with a screw thread and forms part of said maintaining means, and said positioner carries screw thread means engaging said rod screw thread.
5. A prefabricated building panel as defined in claim 3 including a depression, in the bottom edge of said panel, surrounding said rod.
6. A prefabricated building panel as defined in claim 1 including at least one opening in the upper projecting part of said positioner for accommodating a connector by means of which said panel may be lifted.
7. A prefabricated building panel as defined in claim 1 including a sleeve embedded in said panel and surrounding the portion of said positioner embedded in said panel, said positioner being movable within said sleeve, said sleeve maintaining said positioner free of engagement with the cast concrete so that said positioner can move with respect to the panel.
8. A fitting adapted to be partially embedded within a cast concrete prefabricated building panel, comprising an elongated tubular positioner, a rod concentric with said positioner, and means providing a screw thread relationship between one end of said rod and one end of said positioner, whereby one end of the tubular positioner is closed, said rod extending into only a portion of the length of said tubular positioner, said portion being shorter than the total length of the positioner, the total length of said positioner and rod exceeding the height of the panel with which the fitting is to be used.
9. A fitting as defined in claim 8 including a sleeve surrounding said positioner, said positioner being movable within said sleeve.
10. A fitting as defined in claim 8 wherein said sleeve extends below said positioner and accommodates readily crushable means directly adjacent to the end of said positioner having said screw thread relationship with said rod.
11. A fitting as defined in claim 8 including at least one opening in said positioner for accommodating a connector by means of which the panel of which the fitting will form a part may be lifted.
12. A prefabricated cast concrete building panel having top and bottom edges, and including at least one positioner partially embedded in said panel and pro- 5 jecting upwardly from the top edge of said panel, said positioner being movable vertically with respect to said panel so that the spacing between the top of said positioner and the top edge of said panel may be adjusted; readily crushable means within said panel directly beneath the bottom of said positioner; and means carried by said panel for maintaining said positioner in any desired position of adjustment, whereby after the panel is in place forming part of a building, said positioner can be adjusted to locate its top at the most suitable height for engaging and supporting the bottom edge of another similar panel.