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Publication numberUS3718295 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 27, 1973
Filing dateDec 29, 1970
Priority dateDec 29, 1970
Publication numberUS 3718295 A, US 3718295A, US-A-3718295, US3718295 A, US3718295A
InventorsMoore A
Original AssigneeMoore A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Barrel-curved, wreck-resistant cabin
US 3718295 A
Abstract
A light-weight, shock-resistant vehicular cabin or other insulated, barrel-curved container, mainly constructed of elongated, stave-like members, each of which comprises: a pair of spaced side pieces (of wood, sheet metal or metallic mesh), having outer edges that curvingly slope from the greatest bulge of the container toward the forward and rearward ends of the cabin; firm, molded filler material (plastic - preferably foamed - or light-weight concrete or the like) between the side pieces; and a hollow element or elements in the filler, containing gaseous material (air or other gas, optionally pressurized, or gas-cell-containing foam plastic). The hollow elements may be: single, sealed, bent tubes, each being nearly the length of the cabin; cans in end-to-end relation; bent bamboo or straight bamboo sections; slender, plastic tubes; or small balloons. The gaseous material in the hollow elements may be: air or non-aerial gas at or above atmospheric pressure; or gas-cell-containing foam plastic, which optionally may be under internal, above-atmospheric pressure. Bonding material is between adjacent faces of the stave-like members, and preferably the assembled members are tautly encompassed by hoops or equivalent looped means - for example, tautly applied metallic mesh. The outer skin means may comprise rubber sheeting or other rubber coating. In the preferred vehicular form, windowed doors or hatches are provided.
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United States Patent [191 Moore Feb. 27, 1973 1 i BARREL-CURVED,WRECK- RESISTANT CABIN [76] Inventor: Alvin Edward Moore, 916 Beach Boulevard, Waveland, Miss. 39576 [22] Filed: Dec. 29, 1970 [21] Appl. No.: 102,320

Primary Examiner-Edward A. Sroka Att0meyAlvin Edward Moore [5 7 ABSTRACT A light-weight, shock-resistant vehicular cabin or other insulated, barrel-curved container, mainly constructed of elongated, stave-like members, each of which comprises: a pair of spaced side pieces (of wood,'sheet metal or metallic mesh), having outer edges that curvingly slope from the greatest bulge of the container toward the forward and rearward ends of the cabin; firm, molded filler material (plastic preferably foamed or light-weight concrete or the like) between the side pieces; and a hollow element or elements in the filler, containing gaseous material (air or other gas, optionally pressurized, or gas-cellcontaining foam plastic). The hollow elements may be: single, sealed, bent tubes, each being nearly the length of the cabin; cans in end-to-end relation; bent bamboo or straight bamboo sections; slender, plastic tubes; or small balloons. The gaseous material in the hollow elements may be: air or non-aerial gas at or above atmospheric pressure; or gas-cell-containing foam plastic, which optionally may be under internal, above-atmospheric pressure. Bonding material is between adjacent faces of the stave-like members, and preferably the assembled members are tautly encompassed by hoops or equivalent looped means for example, tautly applied metallic mesh. The outer skin means may comprise rubber sheeting or other rubber coating. In the preferred vehicular form, windowed doors or hatches are provided.

34 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures 'PATENTEUFEBZYW 3718.295

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BARREL-CURVED, WRECK-RESISTANT CABIN The current plethora of vehicular crashes throughout the world, highly destructive of life and property, necessitates a new form of cabin or other container that will strongly resist shocks and yet be light in weight. Accordingly, an object of this invention is to provide such a structure that has the large strength-weight ratio of barrel-curved surfaces and comprises exteriorly curved, barrel-stave-like members, having inwardly converging side pieces, tautly held together by hoops or other looped strengthening means, that on receiving a major exterior blow are forced to wedge toward each other and thus are nearly wreck-proof. Some of the other purposes of the invention are to provide: (1) a stave-like construction member having an exterior curved surface and comprising strength-providing, planar side pieces that inwardly converge toward each other, filler material between the side pieces that is plastic when applied but sets into a shape-preserving substance and reinforcing means in this substance; (2) such a member in which the filler material is optionally foamed plastic or light-weight concrete; (3) such a member in which the said reinforcing means comprises at least one tubular member; and (4) a vehicular cabin comprising stave-like construction members with elongated, inwardly converging side pieces, firm filler material between the side pieces and strong, curved looped means encompassing the members and tautly holding the pairs of adjoining side pieces in wedging arrangement.

Other objects of this invention will be apparent from the following specification and the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a vehicular cabin structure, shown without application of the optional and preferred outer streamlined skin means, and as being broken away in forward and lower portions to indicate them in cross section along a vertical, fore-andaft plane containing the longitudinal axis of the container;

FIG. 2, on a scale slightly reduced from that, of FIG. 1, is a front elevational view of the invented cabin, showing a bottom part as broken away to indicate it in cross section is at the plane 2--2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 2A is a diagram indicating in construction lines the method of determining the shape and size of the stave-like members that are at the four rounded corners of the cabin;

FIG. 3 is a detail sectional view in cross section from a median, longitudinal plane thru one of the curved stave-like construction members;

FIG. 4 is a similar detail, sectional view, showing a joint between two straight tubular elements in a straight section of a stave-like member for example, that of FIG. 6;

FIG. 5 is a detail, sectional view of a curved stavelike member comprising cans that are bonded together at their adjacent ends;

FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of a stave-like member having a straight middle part and barrelcurved ends;

FIG. 7 is a view in cross section from a plane comparable to that indicated at 7-7 of FIG. 6, showing a plurality of stave-like members assembled in a cabin or other container, optionally like that of FIG. 6; or it may be considered as a cross section of a middle part of a container that, like FIG. 1, is entirely barrel curved at its exterior;

FIG. 8 is a cross sectional view of the structure of FIG. 7 from a plane comparable to that indicated at 8 8 of FIG. 6;

FIG. 9 is a sectional detail view, similar to FIG. 4, showing a row of cans of different diameters, bonded together at their end caps, in a stave-like member; and

FIG. 10 is a sectional detail view, illustrating a means for fastening an end of a stave-like member to a door, window frame, hatch, or the like.

FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate a container that is especially designed as cabin structure of a boat, aircraft or car; but without the side windowed elements and with solid barrel-head ends instead of the front and rear windows it may be used as a barrel-like container. This structure comprises: a plurality of side-by-side-assembled, stavelike, construction members, each of which has a pair of side pieces, 1, tubular means (or other hollow, gas-containing elements, for example helium-filled balloons) 2, 3, 4, containing gaseous material, and filler material, 5(or 9), around or over the tubular means.

The hollow elements may be one or more sealed, gascontaining cans of the elongated type shown at the bottom of FIG. 1, or may comprise a plurality of endjoined cans or helium-filled, cylindrical or spherical balloons of plastic or very thin metal of the type shown in any of FIGS. 3 to 9.

The shorter cans preferably are of one of the common types currently made and sold in large quantities, and in some of the invented structures they optionally may be used cans. The type shown in FIGS. 9 and 10 comprises a thin-metal cylinder and end caps permanently bonded to the cylinder. Other optionally used types are: cans of the kind currently used to hold paint, comprising a thin-metal cylinder, a factory-bonded end cap, and another cap that is a snap-on lid; cans of molded plastic; and cylindrical glass jars or other glass containers of gaseous material. Where, as in FIGS. 7 and 8, only one can (2') spans all or most of the distance between the two side pieces 1 the currently preferred type of tubular means is the common onegallon form of metal can, having a snap-on lid which is preferably permanently soldered, brazed or glued in place, sealing the inside of the can.

In some structures the barrel-curving of the cabin (of 7 its entire outer surface, as in FIG. I, or of the surface of the cabin ends, as in FIG. 6,) has a radius of longitudinally sectional curvature that is sufficiently large to cause the narrowing of the distance between the pair of side pieces in each stave-like member from its midship parts to its end portions to be relatively small. In such cabins the cans or other hollow elements of the member optionally may be of the same diameter from one of its ends to the other; and then there is a little more filler material flanking the cans at the middle of the member than near either of its ends. But when the radius of the longitudinal barrel curvature is such that the cabin's outer surface pitches sharply inward (toward the longitudinal axis and toward the bow or stem) the cans, tubes or the like preferably have larger diameters at the middle of the cabin than at its ends.

The sectional detail view in FIG. 3 is from a plane that longitudinally bisects one of the stave-like members. The partial row here shown of end-joined cans,

containing air or other gaseous material (or cylindrical or spherical balloons, preferably containing helium at above-atmospheric pressure) may be considered as part of a continuously arcuate stave-like member, such as are used in the continuously barrel-curved cabin form of FIG. 1; or as an end part of the cabin form generally indicated in FIG. 6, which comprises a straight-in-longitudinal section middle portion (6) and forward and after barrel-curved portions (7). The cans 8 are preferably in contact at their innermost points (their lower points in FIG. 3); and the illustrated stavelike member is here shown as comprising light-weightaggregate concrete, 9, as a filler material (between the two side pieces), formed into barrel-curved shape in a mold. But in connection with the cans or balloons 8 or any of the other hollow elements of FIGS. 1 to 10, the filler material of the stave-like member optionally may be: concrete; or concrete, containing reinforcing sections of bamboo (11 in FIGS. 7 and 8); from plastic (preferably of the closed-gas-cell type, preferably and optionally containing reinforcing sections of bamboo, l l; or metal (preferably aluminum or aluminum alloy), poured into a mold in molten-condition, between metal side pieces that are held at inclinations to each other by the sides of the mold. When the filler material is molten metal the hollow elements of course are not plastic balloons; and in any event, such thin balloons are not preferred. Metallic tubes or metallic or glass cans of usual thickness are superior in strength to very thin plastic or very-thin-metal balloons, even when they are of very thin aluminum or copper and inflated at considerable pressure. Nevertheless, the arched nature of the balloon walls, together with the tendency of the substantially rigid foam plastic 'or concrete to wedge between the inclined side pieces, makes use of such balloons feasible, and at times desirable, in very lightweight but strong stave-like members.

When the side pieces of a stave-like member are of plywood, other lumber, or laminated cloth or metal fabric that has been impregnated with plastic or portland cement, filler material of any of the above-mentioned kinds strongly adheres to them at all times. When they are of sheet metal, foam plastic or cooled molten metal filler also will thus strongly adhere. And usually concrete also will adhere to the sheet-metal sides; but in this case their faces optionallymay be roughened, for example by coarse-grinding.

Another way of making a stave-like member having metalic side pieces is (1) cutting side pieces of expanded metal or other mesh (preferably of aluminum alloy) into the desired, curved-edge shape; (2) placing two such pieces in a mold, one against the slanting interior surface of each side of the mold; (3) placing the optional, hollow, filler-reinforcing elements between the pieces of mesh; (4) pouring the tiller material in plastic condition between the side pieces; (5) allowing the filler to set; and (6) taking the completed stave-like member from the mold. In this form some of the filler material partly protrudes thru interstices of the mesh; and thus the stave-like member has rough outer side surfaces. This roughness aids in adherence of the bonding material between sides of the assembled stave-like members.

In an optional but not currently preferred form of the stave-like members the filler-reinforcing and cabin-insulating cans of any of the figures illustrating this invention may be replaced by a plurality of superposed sections or bent pieces of bamboo (such as 11) or other slender, elongated, hollow, gas-containing elements (such as lengths of straight or bent plastic tubes of small diameter).

The form of tubular means shown in FIG. 5 comprises sealed cans 10 (containing gaseous material) that are specifically designed for a barrel-curved stavelike member (which may be entirely barrel-curved or partially barrel-curved as indicated in FIG. 6). Each of the cans 10 comprises a cylindrical part and a pair of end caps that slant inwardly toward each other, and toward the center line of curvature of the barrel-curved member or portion. These cans, optionally bonded together at their ends by welding, brazing, epoxy glue, or the like, are placed in a mold and the filler material (optionally of foam plastic, concrete, or metal as shown in FIG. 5) is formed around them, into the desired barrel-curved shape of the entire barrel-curved member or of its barrel-curved end portions.

The straight middle portion 6 of the form of stavelike member shown in FIG. 6 may comprise a single sealed tube, of the general type indicated at 2 in FIG. 1, but bent only in its end portions; or it may be made as shown in FIG. 4 or FIG. 9. In FIG. 4 cans 12 of the same diameter are illustrated as fixed together in a row by the bonding material 14. This bonding material, optionally used with the cans 12 or any of the other endjoined cans of this invention, may be epoxy putty or other glue, brazing, soldering or welding. In FIG. 6 two sealed cans, l6 and 18 (containing gaseous material), are shown as end-joined at the joint 20. This joint may be of the type of FIG. 4; or, alternatively, the two cans l6 and 18 may be replaced by a row of end-joined cans of the type shown in FIG. 9. Here each end cap of a smaller can fits into the recess of an end cap of a larger can; and the two are preferably fixed together, before forming the filler material around them, by the bonding material 22. Foam plastic 24 is shown in-FIG. 9 as the filler material but when concrete (shown in FIGS. 3, 4, 8 and 10) or metal (as shown in FIG. 5) is utilized the bonding material 22 is preferably eliminated and during molding the end-joined cans are held in tight contact by a can-end-engaging bolt at each end of the mold.

The outer and inner edges of the side pieces of the stave-like member are optionally shaped as indicated in FIG. 1 or FIG. 2. They may comprise a shaped plank or piece of plywood or fabric-reinforced plastic; if of thick plywood, or a plank, or plastic, the outer skin means (26 in FIG. 3) and the inner skin means (28 in FIGS. 1 and 3) may be fixed to each piece 1 by glue combined with screws, nails, long tacks or the like. But when the pieces are of metal (preferably aluminum or aluminum alloy) the skins are fixed to them by bonding material (glue, brazing, soldering or welding), optionally with the aid of screws in metal angles fixed to edge portions of the pieces and imbedded in the filler material.

The skin means utilized optionally may be: a thick coating of waterproof paint or air-set liquid rubber cement on the inner and outer surfaces of the assembled stave-like members (for example, 28 and 30 in FIG. 1 rubber sheeting (32 in FIG. 2), optionally in gores, tautly stretched over and bonded to the outer and/or inner surfaces of the stave-like members; glued, closely woven fabric; or paint-coated stucco of the type shown at 26 or 28 in FIG. 3 or in FIGS. 7, 8 and 10. As indicated in FIG. 3, the inner stucco 28 (and optionally the exterior stucco) comprises a layer of fabric, 34 (of metal mesh or coarsely woven cloth, but preferably of apertured, expanded metal, for example of aluminum alloy), and stucco material that is plastic when applied but then sets into a firm, shape-preserving substance. This material may comprise epoxy putty or Portland cement and fine, light-weight aggregate, such as pumice, small plastic globules or the like, (36 in FIGS. 3, 8 and or the cement utilized with this fine aggregate may be epoxy resin (such synthetic-plastic stucco is shown at 38 in FIG. 7); and the inner skin means indicated at 40 in FIG. 8 optionally may be either stucco of this type of gores of rubber sheeting glued to the stave-like members and to each other at their adjacent edges.

In each form of the cabin or other container the stave-like members are held in clamped relation to each other by a looped means, shown in FIGS. 1 and 3 as strong, metallic, barrel-hoop-like rings or hands, 41, preferably of aluminum alloy or thin steel. Instead of these bands 41, this looped means that tautly holds the elongated members together (with the aid of glue between their juxtaposed faces) may be glued wire mesh (optionally in gores that are fastened together at their contacting edges, or in spirally wound strips). Preferably the bands 41 are endless, but optionally they may be in the form of a split ring that is, a band having ends (for example of apertured pipe strap); and the ends of this band are clamped toward each other and welded, riveted or bolted together. Screws or the like, in addition to the glue used, may fasten these bands (or the wire mesh, or the rings 41 when as is preferable they are apertured) to the side pieces 1.

The gaseous material in each of the disclosed forms of hollow or tubular means may be air, helium or other gas, optionally under above-atmospheric pressure, or gas-cell-containing foam plastic as indicated at 42 in FIG. 4. Curved metallic tubes of the type indicated at 2 may be filled with pressurized gas (for example with air under above-atmospheric pressure of pounds or more); the gas inlet opening is then permanently sealed with bonding material; and then thegas-filled tube is bent with the aid of dies into the desired curvature. A single elongated tube optionally replacing the cans 16, 18 and 44 of FIG. 6 also may be bent at its ends in this manner. The middle portion 6 of the sealed, gas-filled tube is held straight by the die, while the two curved end portions 7 are bent out of straight condition. Instead of the above-mentioned pressurized gas, gas-cellcontaining foam plastic inside the tubular members that are to be bent may be placed under above-atmospheric pressure in a known manner; and the optional foam plastic in any of the other tubular members or cans may similarly be pressurized.

Stave-like members of any of the above forms may be assembled into a vehicular cabin or other container that is circular in cross sections, as indicated in FIGS. 7

and 8 with the center line of the radii of exterior curvature being shown at 46. This line is straight, and in this form of the invention it is the longitudinal axis of the cabin or other container. The cabin of FIG. 1 optionally may be made in this circular-in-cross section form, in which the stave-like members are all alike and comprise side pieces, each adjoining pair of which are bonded together in a planar joint, the middle plane of which coincides with a radial plane (48 in FIGS. 7 and 8).

Another optional type of the container which may be made of the assembled stave-like members of the above described forms is shown in FIG. 2. In each cross section normal to the longitudinal axis of this form the exterior curvature comprises arcs of different radii, and these arcs do not have the same center line of curvature. For example, the center line of the cross-sectional arc of curvature of the stave-like members on the lefthand side of FIG. 2 (excepting those of the cabins rounded comers) is indicated at 49. This straight line is also the center of curvature of the side piece boundary curves in the radial planes 50 of the left-hand part of the figure, each of which is the median, boundary plane between two adjoined side pieces 1. And the center line of curvature of the lower stave-like members (of the arcs of the cabin skin means), and of the side piece boundary curves in the radial planes 52 which are between lower side pieces 1, is shown at 54 (in FIG. 1).

The shape of the stave-like members at the four rounded cabin corners is determined in accordance with the diagram of FIG. 2A. The two arcs 56 and 58 are comparable to cross-sectional-plane arcs of the outer and inner curvatures of the upper set of the assembled stave-like members; and the arcs 60 and 62 are comparable to cross-sectional-plane arcs of the outer curvature 64 and the inner curvature 66 of the right-hand set of stave-like members of FIG. 2. The arcs 56 and 60 intersect at the point 68', and 58 and 62 intersect at point 70. On the straight line 71 between points 68 and is located the center line of curvature of the arcs 72 and 74 of the stave-like member (or members) at the rounded upper right-hand cabin corner. The specific position of this straight center line depends on the arcuate curve necessary to provide a smooth fairing at the corner.

As shown in the lower, left-hand part of FIG. 2 this smooth fairing optionally may comprise two stave-like members having adjoined side pieces that meet and are bonded together along the plane 76 along the median plane between the side piece 78 (that is parallel to a plane 50) and the side piece 80 (parallel to a plane 52). Alternatively, the rounded-corner fairings may comprise only one stave-like member, having a span over the entire distance between side pieces 78 and 80 as indicated at the lower right-hand corner fairing of FIG. 2. In any event the gas-containing tubes, cans or the like in the corner fairings may be any of the abovedescribed types, and may comprise a single bent tube 2 or any suitable plurality of the disclosed hollow elements.

FIGS. 7 and 8 indicate the manner in which the distance between the pair of side pieces 1 of each of the barrel-curved, stave-like members decreases from a cross-sectional plane of greatest cabin perimeter toward the bow (or the stern). In a cabin or other container that has an exterior barrel-curved surface extending in continuous barrel curvature from the bow to the stern there is only one such plane, normal to the containers axis; this may be substantially midway between the forward and rear ends, as illustrated in FIG. 1; or (as is preferable in streamlining the cabin of a vehicle) this plane of the greatest barrel-like bulge may be considerably nearer to the bow than to the stern. But in a cabin or other barrel-curved container which, as indicated in FIG. 6, has a straight midship section and barrel-curving only at its ends there are two cross-sectional planes of the greatest perimeter from which the barrel-curving decreases toward ends of the structure one toward the bow, and the other toward the stern. The cross-sectional plane of FIG. 7 may be considered either as one of these two last-named planes or as the single plane of greatest perimeter of a continuously barrel-curved cabin. In any event, from this plane of greatest perimeter the barrel-curved surface of each stave-like member slopes toward an end of the container and toward a smaller cross-sectional perimeter. In FIGS. 7 and 8 a plane of greatest cabin perimeter is indicated at 82; and from this plane toward an end of the cabin the cross-sectional cabin perimeters as well as barrel curvature of each of the stave-like members slope, for example to the perimeter 84 at a plane comparable to 8-8 of FIG. 7 and on beyond I this plane to the last-named end of the container. As indicated in FIGS. 7 and 8, the outer edges of the side pieces 1 similarly are curved inward from a plane of greatest cabin bulge; and this curving progressively causes their forward and after portions to be spaced closer together than their distance apart at points nearer to the middle of the cabin or other container. The hollow, gas-containing elements between each pair of the side pieces thus are sufficiently small in diameter (or in bulk of bamboo pieces) to fit in the narrower portions of the stave-like members.

Since the preferable use of this container is as an insulated vehicular cabin, it is illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 as having windowed openings. These may be doors, upper hatches (optionally solid), or fixed windows. The windowed openings that are illustrated as examples are: a door at 86, on the viewers side of FIG. 1, having a windowed portion 87 and a solid portion 88; a similar door at 89, on the far side of the cabin; a pair of windows (or doors), on opposite sides of the vehicle at 90 and 91; a forward window at 92 (plexiglass' or glass), having two panes, 93 and 94; and a rearward window with two panes 95 and 96 (which in a land vehicle including an aircraft that lands on a solid surface may be hinged and used as a small door).

Each of the side windowed openings (for example, 86 or 90) is preferably strongly held in place by bolts of the type shown in FIG. at 97. These bolts preferably are utilized whether they are fixed to an end of a continuously curved stave-like member or to one that has a straight part at the windowed opening. Each bolt is inserted thru an opening in the end tubular member (for example 97A in FIG. 10), is placed in a hole in the end cap 978 and clamped there by a nut and epoxy putty or other bonding material. In assembling each of the shorter stave-like members to a windowed opening its frame 97C is appropriately drilled, the bolt is inserted in the frame hole and clamped there by the nut 97D, which tits in a countersunk recess in the frame.

Each of the end windows has a bracing frame that adds considerable strength to the cabin and vehicle. The main structure of this frame is preferably an endless band 98, and preferably of metal (for example aluminum alloy or steel). At each window a slender, bracing bar, 99, optionally may be provided, but preferably and as illustrated this bracing element is only in the larger, front window. These cabin-bracing frames not only provide extra cabin strength and protection for its occupants by the arched strength of their outer perimeters and the optional bracing bars and by each of the inner panes 94 and 96 when an outer pane 93 or is broken, but they also are of considerable utility in the assembly of the cabin or other container.

ASSEMBLY OF THE CABIN The first step in assembling the structure is the placing of the curved bands 98 in proper position on a fixture or fixtures. This fixture means comprises a pair of curved, upright, member-positioning bars on each side of the cabin, having curved inner surfaces (facing toward each other and toward the container being built) whose curvatures conform to those of the cabin at planes spaced from each other in fore-and-aft direction. These bars, fairly close together and near the middle of the cabin, are hinged to the factory floor, and have diagonally-bracing reinforcing bars that are also hinged at their bases to the floor. So that before each positioning of a stave-like member in the assembly the reinforcing bars are hinged sidewise out of the way of movement of the member-positioning bars, and these latter bars are then pivoted away from the cabin enough to permit insertion of the stave-like member.

After the first step the method of assembly comprises the following other steps: (2) Placing the bottommost or keel-area stave-like member 100 below the bracing bands 97 and 98 (the side pieces 1 preferably have been notched, as at 102, to facilitate assembly of the bands and stave-like members). (3) Applying epoxy putty or other glue to the outer faces of the bottom stave-like member, and also coating with such glue two other members on their faces that are to join those of the bottom member. (4) Placing the glued faces of these two other members on the fixture and in contact with the bottom member, one on each side of it. (5) Similarly gluing and placing the next two of the members, one on each side of a central plane that contains the longitudinal axis of the cabin. (6) Continuing to thus glue and position successive stave-like members until they are all in place; with the topmost one (comparable to the middle stave-like member of FIGS. 7 and 8) fitting snugly and wedgingly between adjacent members. (7) Optionally before the glue has entirely set, the bands 41(or one of the other optional forms of the looped member-supporting means) are glued and strongly placed in clamping, encompassing relation to the stave-like members. When the bands are endless, barrel-like hoops they preferably are forced up a forward or after part of the barrel curvature (as barrel hoops are forced), and then are welded, screw-fastened or nailed to the outer edges of the side pieces 1. After the first endless band 41 (or equivalent pipe strap having ends or the first turn of a spirally wound mesh) is in place and fastened, the curved, member-positioning, jig bars and their braces are pivoted out of the way; and then the remainder of the looped means is fastened around the basic, insulating cabin frame. The part of the looped means at each container end may be in a position similar to that indicated at 104; or where the ends of the side pieces 1 are exteriorly notched a hoop or bent piece of pip strap 106 is fitted tightly in place in the exterior notch. Then, as shown in FIG. 1, epoxy putty or other bonding material, 108, is applied over the band and against the edges of the notch. (8) A selected one of the above-described skin means is applied around and bonded to the outer surfaces of the stave-like members and the looped means.

In the above method of making a vehicular cabin the frames of the doors (or hatches) and windows are positioned between shorter stave-like members, as above described. These doors and other windowed elements may be installed in their frames in previous sub-assembly; or they may be positioned in a final assembly step, No. (9).

Within the scope of the following claims, various changes in the specific disclosed structure may be made. For example: in boats, aircraft or land vehicles resiliently-cushioning, inflated tubes may be attached around, or to the bottom half of the cabin; cylindrical or spherical balloon means, aiding in stabilizing the craft, may be attached above or placed inside the top portion of the cabin; a deck (providing extra vehicular strength) may be fixed inside the bottom part of the cabin; wheels and wheel supports may be attached to the bottom of the cabin in any known manner or within the technical province of the mechanic; and instead of the cans of FIGS. 7 and 8, cylindrical or spherical balloons or layers of bamboo sections 11 may be utilized, imbedded in the foam plastic, concrete or other filler material; and the longitudinal axes of the elongated construction members may be entirely straight, these members thus being shaped like the middle portion only of FIG. 6 (like portion 6), and assembled to form a cylindrical container that does not have barrel-curved ends.

In the claims, unless otherwise qualified: the term barrel-curved means arcuately curved in sections along planes containing a longitudinal axis of the structure referred to and also arcuately curved in cross-sectional planes that are normal to said axis; the expression barrel curvature that in the said cross-sectional planes may be circular, or may be non-circular; the term looped means" signifies: barrel-hoop-like rings, solid or apertured bands, strips of metallic mesh, one or a plurality of elongated, helically or spirally wound strips of metallic mesh or other fabric, gores of such mesh or fabric, and/or equivalent looped means tightly placed over an assembly of elongated construction members; the word tubular" means hollow and inclosing a space of circular or non-circular cross section that has a longitudinal axis; cans signifies short or elongated tubular articles of circular or non-circular cross section, having end closures, and of any wall material including plastic, metal or bamboo; gaseous material: gas or gas-cell-containing foam plastic; gas: a pure gas or mixture of gases; plastic: any type of synthetic or natural plastic, including rubber.

Iclaim:

1. A useful-load-holding container, having upper, lateral and lower wall portions, arcuate exterior surfaces at least the container-end portions of which are barrel-curved, an inclosed load-containing space, and a longitudinal axis, comprising:

a plurality of elongated, stave-like construction members, at least the end portions of which have barrel-curved outer surfaces, said members being in assembled, contiguous, side-by-side arrangement in said four walls and encompassing said load-containing space; each of said members having wedge shape in cross sections normal to its longitudinal center line and comprising: a pair of spaced-apart, container-strength-providing side pieces, having surfaces that converge toward each other and toward said load-containing space, each of said side pieces having a thickness that is a minor percentage of the maximum width of the stave-like member; hollow, tubular means, comprising at least one hollow element between each inclined pair of the said side pieces; gaseous material in said hollow means; and containerstrength-providing filler material, which sets from plastic condition into shape-preserving substance between and in contact with said side pieces, in contact with said hollow means, and having outer surfaces that conform to the exterior periphery of said container; each adjacent pair of the said stavelike members having a said side piece of one of said pair contiguous to a side piece of the other member of the pair, the two side pieces being adjoined substantially along a junction plane that extends thru a center line of transverse curvature of the said arcuate exterior surfaces of the container and having a tendency to resistingly wedge together under major external blows; and

and means holding said stave-like members together in assembled arrangement, comprising containerstrength-providing looped means, encompassing the said plurality of stave-like members.

2. A device as set forth in claim 1, in which the said container is a vehicular cabin, and said cabin comprises: door means adapted to permit the passage of a person thru it into or out of the cabin; and windowed means.

3. A cabin as set forth in claim 2, comprising: a curved, endless, cabin-strength-providing band, bracingly positioned inside and connected to interior surfaces of end portions of said construction members; and windowed means inside and connected to the said band.

4. A cabin as set forth in claim 3, in which: the said band is of metal and has recesses in forward and after portions of its inside surface, all cross sections of the band being relatively thicker in its middle part and thinner in the said forward and after portions, at the said recesses; and the said windowed means comprises transparent panes, inside and connected to the said recesses.

5. A cabin as set forth in claim 4, comprising bar-like bracing means connected to and spanning space between separated portions of the said band.

6. A cabin as set forth in claim 2, comprising, at each of its end portions, a curved endless, cabin-strengthproviding band, bracingly positioned inside and connected to interior surfaces of end portions of said constrtiction members; and windowed means inside and connected to each of said bands.

7. A device as set forth in claim 2, in which: the said hollow means comprises tubular walls of metal; the said door means comprises at least one door, in a portion of said wall portions, and having a frame; the said plurality of construction members comprises members extending from one end part of the cabin to the other and further comprises shorter construction members that have end portions that are adjacent to said frame; and each of the said end portions comprises: a metallic element, bridging across a hollow space in said tubular walls; and fastening means fixed to said metallic element and to said frame.

8. A cabin as set forth in claim 2, in which the said hollow element is an elongated tube; and the said filler material is substantially rigid.

9. A cabin as set forth in claim 2, in which: each of the said construction members comprises a plurality of hollow elements; and each of said hollow elements is tubular.

10. A device as set forth in claim 1, in which each of the said junction planes intersects at least a middle portion of the said arcuate exterior surfaces in a straight line, parallel to the said longitudinal axis.

1 l. A device as set forth in claim 1, in which the said arcuate exterior surfaces are circular in cross sections normal to said longitudinal axis, and the said center line of curvature substantially coincides with said longitudinal axis.

12. A device as set forth in claim 1, in which: the said arcuate exterior surfaces are noncircular in cross sections normal to the said longitudinal axis; and the said planes extend thru a plurality of spaced-apart, parallel center lines of curvature of said barrel curved surfaces.

13. A device as set forth in claim 12, in which the said container is a vehicular cabin, having door and window means, at least one of which is a door, adapted to permit passage of a person thru it, into and out of the cabin.

14. A device as set forth in claim 13, in which part of the said door is a window.

15. A container member as set forth in claim 1, in which the said filler material comprises elongated tubes of smaller diameter than that of said hollow elements.

16. A container as set forth in claim 1, in which the said members comprise bamboo elements.

17. A container as set forth in claim 1, in which said hollow elements have walls of metal.

18. A container as set forth in claim 1, in which said gaseous material is gas under above-atmospheric pressure.

19. A device as set forth in claim 1, in which:

the middle portion of said exterior surfaces also is barrel-curved, these portions smoothly merging into said barrel-curved container-end portions; the middle portions of said stave-like members also are barrel-curved, smoothly merging into said barrel-curved surfaces of the end portions of these members; and the said junction planes intersect the said exterior surfaces of the container in continuous arcs between the ends of the container.

20. A device as set forth in claim 1, in which: the said container is a vehicular cabin; the middle part of said cabin, between its bow and stem portions, is cylindrical; and said barrel-curved exterior surfaces comprise only said container-end portions.

21. A device as set forth in claim 1, in which: each of a plurality of cross-sectional planes normal to said longitudinal axis intersect said exterior surfaces of the container in at least four outwardly curved arcs of transverse curvature; one of the said last-named arcs being in each of said upper, lateral and lower wall portions and having a center of curvature that is in a said center line at which said junction planes between the side pieces at that arc intersect; the said center lines for said wall portions being at different locations, and spaced from and parallel to said longitudinal axis.

22. A device as set forth in claim 1, comprising a rounded junction between each adjacent pair of ends of said upper, lateral and lower wall portions, in which: cross-sectional planes normal to said longitudinalaxis intersect said exterior surfaces in eight outwardly curved arcs of transverse curvature; one of the said eight arcs being at each of said upper, lateral and lower wall portions and having a center of curvature that is in a said center line at which the junction planes between the side pieces at that arc intersect; one of the said eight arcs being at each of the said rounded junctions between adjacent ends of the wall portions and having a center of curvature that is in a center line of transverse curvature at which junction planes between the side pieces at that arc intersect; the said eight center lines being at different locations, and spaced from and parallel to said longitudinal axis.

23. A light-weight, load-containing, wreck-resistant cabin, having: a middle part and bow and stern parts; a curved periphery, at least the bow and stem portions of which are barrel-curved; a fore-and-aft axis; upper, lateral and lower walls, each of which is outwardly bowed and has arcs in cross sections normal to said axis with centers of arc curvature in a center line, the said center lines of the said walls being at different locations, and spaced from and parallel to said longitudinal axis; the said cabin comprising:

skin means having streamlined surfaces forming said periphery;

withing said skin means: juxtaposed, fore-and-aft-extending rows of fastened-together cans, each row having a plurality of non-coinciding can-axes arranged to conform to said curved periphery; said rows being in side-by-side arrangement around said longitudinal axis and encompassing a loadcontaining space; said can-axes at said bow and stem barrel-curved parts in each of said rows being successively nearer to said longitudinal axis from a middle portion of said cabin of greater cross-sectional area to an end portion of the cabin; the centers of said cans of each of said bow and stern parts in each adjacent pair of said juxtaposed rows being successively nearer together, from the said middle portion of greater area to said end portion; gaseous material in said cans; and firm, cabin-strength-providing material, conforming to said curved periphery, between said skin means and said cans, comprising wedge-shaped portions between cans.

24. A cabin as set forth in claim 23, comprising rounded junctions between adjacent pairs of said walls that have, as parts of said curved periphery, arcs of curvature in cross sections normal to said longitudinal axis with radii shorter than those of said arcs in said walls, and with centers of curvature in different center lines; the said junctions comprising fore-and-aft-extending rows of fastened-together cans; portions of said filler material extending between said last-named cans and said skin meansv 25. A cabin as set forth in claim 23, in which said middle cabin part is cylindrical.

26. A cabin as set forth in claim 23, in which said middle part is barrel-curved, with its exterior smoothly merging with said barrel-curved bow and stem portions of the said curved periphery.

27. A curved container comprising elongated construction members that are wedge-shaped in cross sections, each of said members having barrel-curved exterior surfaces and an opposite elongated surface and comprising:

A pair of elongated, spaced-apart, containerstrength-providing side pieces, each having a thickness that is a minor percentage of the maximum cross-sectional width of said member, the said side pieces being inclined toward each other from the exterior to the interior of the member, having a pair of elongated edges at the curved outer surface of the container that are farther apart than the distance between the opposite pair of side-piece edges at said opposite elongated surface;

container-strength-providing,hollow, tubular means between the said side pieces;

gaseous material in the said hollow means; and

shape-holding filler material, between said side pieces and in contact with said hollow means;

the said container further comprising means strongly fastening together contiguous side pieces of each adjacent pair of said construction members; at least some of the junction planes between contiguous side pieces intersecting at a common line, the said line containing centers of curvature of arcs of the curved exterior of the container, the said arcs lying in planes normal to an axis of the container.

28. A container as set forth in claim 27, in which said side pieces comprise metallic mesh.

29. Structure as set forth in claim 27, in which said hollow means comprises at least one tubular member.

30. Structure as set forth in claim 29, in which the said gaseous material is gas under above-atmospheric pressure.

31. Structure as set forth in claim 27, in which said filler material is concrete.

32. A container element as set forth in claim 27, in which said shape-holding material is foam plastic.

33. A container element as set forth in claim 27, in which the said shape-holding material comprises concrete.

34. A container as set forth in claim 27 having a straight-in-longitudinal-section middle portion and barrel-curved end portions, in which longitudinal sections, thru said members and in median planes containing the containers axis, intersect said curved outer surface in straight lines in said middle portion, and in curved lines at said barrel-curved end portions that taper inward from said middle portion toward said axis.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3895593 *Sep 24, 1973Jul 22, 1975Moore Alvin ELight-weight, durable, water-traversing vehicle
US3990736 *Apr 15, 1974Nov 9, 1976Allen Prescott BaumerCamper construction
US4098389 *Aug 20, 1976Jul 4, 1978Bunker Ramo CorporationThree position platen control mechanism
US5934743 *Apr 21, 1997Aug 10, 1999Daimler-Benz AgImpact absorbing outer body structure of a motor vehicle
US6398165 *Nov 2, 2000Jun 4, 2002The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The NavyProtective enclosure with peripheral fluid storage facility
Classifications
U.S. Classification244/119
International ClassificationB64C1/00, B62D29/00, B62D23/00, B62D39/00
Cooperative ClassificationB64C2001/0063, B62D23/00, B64C2001/0081, B62D39/00, B62D29/00, B64C1/062
European ClassificationB62D29/00, B62D23/00, B62D39/00, B64C1/06F2