US 3739050 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 12, 1973 T KQNCZ E TAL PROCESS AND APPARATUS FOR MAKING LARGE-AREA CONCRETE PANELS Filed March 10, 1971 m n@ NS M INVENToRs T/HAMER K UNCZ MAX Z/M ERL/ ATTORNEYS June 12, 1973 -1-,KQNCZ ETAL PROCESS AND APPARATUS FOR MAKING LARGE-AREA CONCRETE PANELS Filed March 10. 1971 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 NN Q NN S ZU S fu Y mmm ...m
yM ,A mx w Wm@ United States Patent O 3,739,050 PROCESS AND APPARATUS FDR MAKING LARGE-AREA CONCRETE PANELS Tihamer Koncz, Witiponerstrasse 297 Buchzelgstrasse, 8053 Zurich, Switzerland, and Max Zimmerli, Zurich, Switzerland; said Zimmerli assignor to said Koncz Filed Mar. 10, 1971, Ser. No. 122,841 Claims priority, application Switzerland, Mar. 13, 1970, 3,760/70; Germany, Feb. 13, 1971, P 21 06 937.4, P 71 05 480.3
lint. Cl. B28b 5/00, 7/22, 7/26 U.S. Cl. 264-39 17 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A process of and apparatus are provided for mass producing large-area concrete floor and wall slabs wherein liftable inner form panels for forming said slabs are mounted in upright positions on trolley cars, a pair of said movable panels being mounted on each car. A series of cars are moved on tracks to positions at a concreting station wherein the cars are laterally aligned and the pair of movable inner panels on each car is sandwiched between upright stationary outer form panels in a battery of forms provided at the concreting station. The forms are filled with concrete While they are held closed by hydraulic press means, and thereafter the trolley cars are moved on the tracks through a curing oven to an unloading station where the slabs are removed. The movable form panels are cleaned, and the trolley cars and form panels are returned to the concreting station to repeat the cycle. An overhead crane may be provided to lift the movable panels and separate them from the slabs before the trolley cars enter the curing oven.
The present invention relates to a process and apparatus for economical mass production of large-area concrete Wall and floor slabs.
Heretofore, attempts have been made to reduce the cost of producing residential and commercial buildings by prefabrication methods and/or by using concrete forms. However, the equipment for making concrete buildings has been expensive, the rate of production has been limited, and the building costs have remained relatively high. The problem was more difficult when making apartment buildings having Walls and floors of many different sizes.
The present invention increases the rate of production without requiring unduly expensive equipment or a large number of personnel and reduces building costs materially as compared to the methods used heretofore. This is achieved by a mass production process wherein liftable upright panels are mounted on a series of trolley cars which are moved on parallel tracks through a concreting station and a curing oven to an unloading station and then back to their original position for the next cycle. Each trolley car supports two slabs, and a pair of the liftable form panels fit between the slabs and are adapted to be sandwiched between stationary form panels at the concreting station whereby eight'or more slabs may be poured while a number of such form panels are clamped in closed position by a hydraulicpress. The apparatus facilitates manufacture of wall and lloor slabs of many different sizes. In one embodiment of the invention the liftable form panels are removed and placed on empty circulating trolley cars before the slabs are cured in the oven. The upright slabs on each trolley car may be gradually moved farther apart by diverging tracks as the cars move through the oven.
An object of the invention is to provide a continuous mass production process for manufacturing concrete building slabs at minimum cost.
a Another object of the invention is to provide inexpensive equipment for economical production of wall and door slabs of different sizes.
These and other objects, uses and advantages of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following drawings, descriptions and claims.
In the drawings:
FIG. l is a schematic side elevational view on a reduced scale showing an apparatus for producing concrete Wall and oor slabs or panels;
FIG. 2 is a schematic plan view of the apparatus of FIG. l on the same scale, portions being shown in dotdash lines to illustrate use of two panelizers with one return track; and
FIG. 3 is a foreshortened schematic plan view similar to FIG. 2 but showing a modified form of the invention, the path of movement of the trolley cars and liftable form panels being shown in dot-dash lines with arrows.
Referring more particularly to the drawings, in which like parts are identified by the same numerals throughout the several views, FIGS. 1 and 2 show a slab-forming apparatus constructed according to this invention having liftable or movable form panels 1 mounted in pairs on a series of trolley cars 2, which move on various rails through a concreting station 4 and a curing oven 16 to an unloading station from which the finished concrete slabs 15 are lifted to a stack 20. The form panels 1 are removed from the trolley cars 2 and separated from the slabs 15 at a disassembly station 17 wherein the form panels 1 are lifted and moved laterally above the slabs to empty cars 2 returning on rails 21 to the original installation site A. This apparatus, which is described in more detail below, provides a simple economical way to mass produce large-area concrete wall and floor slabs of various sizes and thicknesses.
The trolley cars used to carry the form panels may be of fixed or variable width. As herein shown, the cars 2 are of the variable-width type and are provided with a pair of laterally spaced horizontal supporting bars 102 with a width suicient to support the slabs 15 in Vertical positions and a spaced pair of inclined parallel connecting links 103 which are pivotally connected at their opposite ends to the bars 102 to hold them parallel at all times while permitting them to move laterally relative to each other from a closely spaced position on the rails 9 to a widely spaced position on the rails 9a. Each supporting bar 102 has a pair of wheels 104 which engage the rails to hold the bar in a horizontal position in alignment with the other bar 102, whereby the four Wheels 104 of each trolley car maintain the at upper surfaces of the two bars 102 in a horizontal plane.
A track system may be provided to facilitate circulation of the trolley cars having conventional parallel rails and,
if desired, means for transferring the cars from one set of rails to another. As herein shown, four pairs of rails 9 are provided to carry the trolley cars 2 through the concreting station 4, the disassembly station 17, and the curing oven 16. The rails 9 are parallel until they reach the discharge end of the station 4 and then diverge so that the track width gradually increases to the maximum beyond the discharge end at 9a. The parallel rails 121 and 21a, hereinafter described, have the same maximum track width as the rails at 9a. The rails 21 leading back to station A and the transfer rails 31 of the carriage 3 preferably have the same track width as the rails 9.
Suitable carriages may be provided for transferring the trolleys 2 from the rails 9a to the rails 21a and from the rails 21 to the rails 9. As herein shown, rectangular platforms 3 and 18 are provided for this purpose and are mounted to move laterally on rails 7 and 13, respectively, by supporting wheels 32 and 181. These platforms may be of similar construction and support rails 31 and 121 parallel to the rails 9 and 21. The length of each platform and the rails thereon may be slightly greater than the length of the trolleys 2. The transverse rails 7 and 13, respectively, are located in rectangular depressions or channels 71 and 131 so that the upper surfaces of the rails 31 and 121 are in the Same horizontal plane as those of the rails 9, 9a, 21 and 21a.
Each concrete wall or oor panel or slab is made by pouring concrete at station 4 into the mold cavity formed between one of the liftable form panels 1 and one of the fixed-location form panels 8 provided at said station. The panels 1 and 8 may be heated prior to and during such pouring. Two form panels 1 are releasably mounted in fixed positions`on each trolley car 2 with their outer vertical mold surfaces facing outwardly and accessible for cleaning and for subsequent coating with a suitable mold lubricant, parting compound or separation medium. Said outer mold surfaces, which engage and shape the concrete, are preferably at or substantially flat.
In the apparatus shown herein, the circulating form panels 1 each consist of a supporting framework covered at both sides with flat sheet metal panels and having lifting devices 42 at their opposite ends. They may also be provided with lateral disconnecting devices. They are not provided with shakers or vibrators as are provided with the form panels 8, but they may be heated to an elevated temperature, such as 120 to 180 F., by electric resistance heaters or by heating tubes containing a hot uid, such as steam or hot oil, so as to start heating the concrete as soon as it is poured.
A pair of movable form panels 1 is mounted on each trolley car 2 with the flat concrete-engaging mold surfaces thereof in vertical positions. At the installation site A, such mold surfaces are freely accessible and are cleaned thoroughly, for example, with a wire brush and a spray of water. After said surfaces are cleaned, then they are covered with a suitable parting compound or lubricant in the conventional manner.
At the site A there are applied to the form panels 1 all inserts which are required, such as wire rods or wire mesh reinforcement, metal braces, hooks or lifting devices, or means for forming holes for lifting or bracing during construction, frames for arches, doors or windows or other openings, wood mounting blocks, electrical conduit, heating pipes or ducts, exhaust ducts or the like. For example, there may be mounted on a form panel 1 a hollow internally-threaded piece of metal or plastic which is adapted to receive a large screw or bolt, such as 1/z-inch or 2Mr-inch bolt for lifting or mounting of the finished concrete panel. When the form panels 1 are constructed to form concrete Wall panels, it is preferable to place conventional door or window frames which extend the full distance between the concrete-engaging mold surfaces of said form panels (i.e., a distance corresponding to the full thickness of the concrete slab) and thereby prevent tiow of concrete into the QQQ? Q? WillQW OPSIIIIE- EaCh concrete wall slab or panel may have one or two window openings and/or a door opening. If desired, a complete wood or metal window with glass in place may be mounted on each form panel 1. The same is true of the doors, but it is preferable to place only the door frame on the form panel 1. Where the window frame only is placed on the panel 1, the glazing can be done at a later time at the construction site. When wooden windows are employed, it is sometimes desirable to mount wooden blocks on the form panel 1 at the margin of the window opening so that the wooden window frame can be subsequently nailed to such blocks at the construction site.
After all of the door or window frames, reinforcements and constructional or electrical parts have been manually attached to or installed on the form panels 1 at the installation site A, the trolley car 2, together with the pair of form panels 1 thereon, is pushed from rails 21 to the rails 31 of the platform 3 (see FIG. 2), and the platform is pushed laterally in the direction of the arrow B. When the rails 31 are aligned with a pair of rails 9, the trolley car 2 is moved olf of the platform 3 in the direction of the arrow C to a waiting place near the entrance side of the concreting station 4 as shown in FIG. 2. In the particular apparatus shown herein, the movements of the trolley cars 2 and the platform 3 are effected manually. In the production line the operations are repeated until four cars 2 are in the aforesaid waiting place on rails 9. At this place any further equipping or preparatory work can be preformed at each car 2 before it is moved to station 4.
Suitable platforms, trestles or scaifolds may be provided for the workers at said waiting place and/or the installation site A to enable them to carry out the installation work eliiciently.
After the preparatory work at the waiting place is completed, the four pairs of form panels 1 are ready to be moved on the four cars 2 to the noncreting station 4, which is provided with battery of live fixed-location form panels 8. The panels 8 are suspended from lixed lateral overhead beams 6 with their flat concrete-engaging mold surfaces in vertical positions parallel to and spaced laterally from the at concrete-engaging mold surfaces of the form panels 1 and parallel to the underyling rails 9. Each of the beams 6 is provided with a series of suspending devices, such as the devices 51 hereinafter described, for supporting the ve panels 8 and the four pairs of panels 1 in juxtaposition in a mold battery with the margins of their vertical mold surfaces in proper horizontal alignment. The form panels 1 are provided with handles or lifting devices 42 at their opposite ends to be caught by said suspending devices of the beams 6 when a pair of form panels 1 is properly positioned on its car 2 between two of the form panels 8. After the four pairs of form panels 1 on the four cars 2 are so positioned at station A and are caught by said suspending devices, the two horizontal beams 6 are raised somewhat by a suitable lifting means such as a screw lift or jack means or a conventional hydraulic lifting unit so that all of said form panels 1 and the trolley cars 2 attached thereto are lifted above the rails 9y as shown in lFIG. 1 along with the panels 8.
The suspending devices of the beam 6 may be guided parallel to the beam by rollers or other conventional antifriction guide means so that both the movable form panels 1 and the so-called fixed-location form panels 8 can be pushed a short distance laterally in the direction of the arrow B or E to adjust the distance between the panels 1 and 8 or to open and close the eight mold cavities formed between said panels. In this way, the desired intermediate space can be obtained for the concrete panels 1S that are to be cast in said mold cavities. In the apparatus shown herein, the station 4 permits casting of slabs with thicknesses which vary substantially, for example, from 3 inches to l() inches (more usually 4 inches to 8 inches).
It will be understood, of course, that the expression fixed location as applied to the form panels 8 is not intended to rule out or exclude such small lateral movements of said form panels at the station 4.
The form panels 1 may be provided with lateral spacers to determine the width of each rectangular mold cavity formed by the panels 1 and 8` and the thickness of the concrete slab or panel 15, which may be `3 to 6 inches for wall panels and 4 to 8 inches for -floor slabs. Such lateral spacers may be inserted between each form panel 1 and the adjacent form panel 8 after the panels 1 and 8 at station 4 are lifted by the beams 6 to the position shown in FIG. 1 and before the entire battery of forms is pressed together to close the mold cavities.
Suitable press means may be provided to move the form panels laterally to the closed position and to hold them closed until the concrete has been poured. As herein shown, a pair of conventional hydraulic presses 10 are provided for this purpose and are rigidly supported at one end by upstanding brackets 11 which are firmly anchored in the ground. The presses 10 apply a high force to the outer form panels 8 of the battery at station 4 to press the form panels 1 and 8 together and thereby close the four mold cavities. An equal and opposite reaction force is applied to the fixed brackets 11, and the mold cavities are maintained closed by the presses during pouring of the concrete and until the concrete slabs 15 have adequate strength to permit opening of the molds.
The battery of form panels at station 4 are moved outwardly to open the mold cavities either manually or mechanically. Opening is preferably effected in a positive manner by suitable motor means, such as the hydraulic presses 10, acting through cables, chains, rods or the like, interconnecting the form panels to ensure that all form parts become again separated from one another and return to their original open positions.
A concrete pouring machine i12 is mounted on the beams 6 and arranged like a crane to move longitudinally and transversely above the form panels 1 and 8 and to discharge fresh concrete from the concrete filled trough or funnel into each of the mold cavities while they are held closed by the presses 10. As herein shown, a pair of horizontal rails 61 are provided to support the wheels 112 of the machine 12 and to guide the machine 12 longitudinally in the direction of the arrow C so that it can be moved from one end of the underlying mold cavity to the other. As in a conventional crane, the pair of rails 61 extend between the beams f6 and are movably supported on the beams by wheels or the like to move laterally parallel to the beams in the direction of arrow B or E so that the machine 12 can be moved from one mold cavity to another.
In carrying out the process of this invention, a conventional concrete may be employed containing water, sand, portland cement or the like, and other conventional ingredients. Most conventional types of concrete are suitable including those which set up rapidly, such as the so-called high early concrete which sets up in 3 days at normal temperatures. It is usually preferable to employ a more common and less expensive concrete such as Type 1 concrete or the like which requires about 7 days to set up at normal temperatures. When using such Type 1 concrete, it is preferably to introduce heated concrete from the machine 12 into the mold cavities at station 4 (for example, at a temperature of 100 to 150 F.) and to heat both the form panels 1 and the form panels 8. The heating means for the panels 8 may be the same as that previously described for the panels 1 and preferably heats the form panels 8 to an elevated temperature, such as 120 to 180 F. By heating the concrete at station 4, the setting time is greatly shortened.
After each of the concrete slabs 15 at station 4 has hardened to the extent that it has enough strength to be self-supporting and will no longer collapse under its own weight (for example, approximately percent of its final strength), the battery of the molds may be the four cars 2 becomes set on the rails 9 and can be pushed to the disassembly station L17, which is located between the concreting station 4 and the curing oven- 16.
Suitable means, such as a crane or a block-and-pulley tackle, may be provided at station 17 to lift the form panels 1 on each car 2 vertically between the two concrete slabs 1'5 which are carried by the supporting bars 102 and 103 0f that car. As herein shown, a pair of conventional cranes 14 are provided for this purpose and are mounted by suitable wheels on a pair of fixed lateral horizontal rails I141. The cranes are attached to an I- beam 26 and support the beam in a horizontal position as they raise and lower the beam and as the beam is moved laterally in the direction of the arrow E.
lGrappling means 5 or the like are provided at opposite ends of the beam 26 for engaging the lifting devices 42 of the form panels 1 and for detachably connecting the panels to the beam so that they may be lifted above the slabs 15 to the position shown in FIG. 1 and then moved laterally with the beam in the direction of arrow E to a position above the rails 21. The empty form panels l'may then be lowered with the beam 26 by the cranes 14 to set the empty panels on an empty car 2 waiting there for them. The grappling means 5 are then released, the beam is returned to the elevated position by the cranes and moved laterally back to a position for removing another pair of form panels 1 at station 17.
After the pair of associated form panels l1 are removed at station 17, the pair of exposed concrete slabs 15 are now moved on the associated trolley car 2 into a hot tunnel or curing oven 16 and kept there until they have acquired the desired strength (for example, percent or more of the final strength). As shown, the oven has enclosing walls 161 with an opening 162 at each end which may be closed by doors. Whereas the time for setting up at station 4 may be relatively short (for example, 10 to 30 minutes), substantially more time is required in oven 16. For example, with an oven temperature of F. and a slab thickness of 4 inches, the slabs 15 may be kept in oven '16 for about 90 minutes to obtain adequate strength, assuming that conventional Type 1 concrete is used. A somewhat greater heating time may be required if the thickness 0f the slabs is increased substantially.
The rails 9 are preferably parallel as they run through the concreting stations 4 and may remain parallel through disassembly station 17 and the oven 16. However, as herein shown, each pair of rails is installed so that the track width gradually increases froml the exit end of station 4 to the end of the track near the transverse rails 13 so that the wheels 104 at one side of each trolley car 2 and the associated supporting bars 102 are forced farther and farther away from the wheels on the opposite side of that car as the car is advanced. The links 4103 permit such separation of the two supporting bars 102 by pivoting at their opposite ends to permit one bar 102 to move a short distance ahead of the other as shown at the discharge end of oven 16, where the rails 9a are widely spaced. The wide spacing of the vertical slabs 15 achieved by widening of the tracks makes it possible to inspect the inside faces of the concrete panels. Separation of the rails at station 17 is also advantageous in facilitating removal of the form panels 1.
After the trolley cars 2 leave the oven 16 and arrive at the end of the rails 9a, they are moved one at a time onto the rails 121 of the platform '18 so that the finished concrete slabs or panels 15 may be moved with the platform in the direction of the arrow F for subsequent removal. The platform is moved laterally to a position as shown in FIG. 2 with its widely spaced rails 121 in alignment with the Widely spaced rails 21a, and the trolley car is rolled olf the platform and down the rails 21a to a suitable unloading station 30 where the concreteI slabs may be removed. The empty car 2 is then returned on tracks 21a and 1211 to the return track at 21 which carries the car back to station A after it takes on a pair of empty form panels 1 returning from station 17.
A conventional crane or hoist may be employed to remove the concrete slabs from the trolley cars and deliver them to one or more stacks 20 for storage or to a pallet for removal by a lift truck to a suitable storage area or to a construction site. For example, one or more cranes 19 may be provided for raising and lowering a horizontal beam 24 having hooks or grappling means 124, which may be attached to the opposite end portions of the beam 24 to suspend it in a horizontal position as it is raised and lowered by the crane.
The crane is guided longitudinally, parallel to the rails 21a, on rails or beams 119 which extend over a pair of parallel lateral horizontal rails 22 supported by posts 122. The opposite ends of the rails 119 are supported on the rails 22 in a conventional manner by wheels or the like so that the pair of rails 119 and the crane thereon can be moved laterally from a loading position over a trolley car on rails 21a to an unloading position at a stack 20. The construction of the crane and the supporting tracks is conventional and forms no part of the invention. The other cranes shown herein may also be of conventional construction.
In the species of FIGS. 1 and 2, the trolley cars 2 and form panels x1 are continually circulating during mass production of the concrete slabs or panels 15, the form panels 1 being removed at station 17 so that they do not pass through the oven 16.
FIG. 3 illustrates a simplified form of the invention, which is the same as the form of FIGS. 1 and 2, except that the disassembly station 17 and the crane l14 and related parts are omitted and replaced with a crane 23 and associated means for lifting the form panels and returning them above the concreting station 4 to empty waiting cars 2. In this species the circulating path of the trolley cars 2 on rails 9, 9a, 121, 21a, Z1 and 31 remains the same as in the species of FIG. 1.
The crane 23 may be of any conventional type and is mounted to move on a pair of parallel horizontal rails 33 so that the form panels 1 may be lifted off a trolley car 2 at the discharge end of the oven 16 and returned to an empty car 2 by moving it above the oven and the concreting station along the path shown in dot-dash lines in FIG. 3. As herein shown, the crane comprises a platform 123 with wheels guiding it on the rails 33, a pair of hoists 28 with hooks or grappling members 128 attached to a longitudinal beam 29, and grappling members or hooks 129 on the beam for catching the lifting devices 42 of the form panels.
As indicated in FIG. 2, the lateral rails 22 may extend a substantial distance on each side of the track at 21a so that it is possible to locate several stacks 20 on both sides of the track. It will also be understood that the transverse rails 7 and 13 of the species of FIG. 3 or the rails 7, 13 and 141 of the species of FIG. 1 may extend equal distances on both sides of the tracks at 21 in the event the rails 9 and 9a, the stations 4 and 17, and the curing oven 16 of the panelizer are duplicated to permit formation of concrete slabs on both sides of track 21. Such duplication, indicated schematically by dot-dash lines in FIG. 2, makes it possible for one return track 21 and one installation site A to serve two manufacturing units or panelizers simultaneously where it is desired to conserve space. One platform 3, one platform 18, and one crane assembly 14 would also be sufficient for both of said manufacturing units or panelizers.
Such a variant with two panelizers and one return track 21 is desirable when the apparatus is positioned near a construction site and arranged to form concrete wall panels at the same time as floor slabs are being formed. For example, one manufacturing unit or panelizer could be adjusted to make concrete floor slabs with sizes up to 24 by 12' and thicknesses up to 6 or 8 inches while the other panelizer is adjusted to make concrete wall panels with sizes up to 29 X 84 and thicknesses of 3 or 4 inches.
The apparatus at the concreting station 4 as disclosed herein is particularly advantageous because it may easily be adjusted to change the size and thickness of the panels in accordance with the architectural plan of the building under construction. The hydraulic presses 10 readily accommodate changes in slab thickness (for example, from 2 inches to l() inches) and changes in the overall size of the form panels and also make it possible to mold different size slabs simultaneously at the station 4.
The process and apparatus of `this invention makes it possible to produce large-area concrete slabs or panels of many square meters area economically and with but small personnel and with comparatively inexpensive equipment. In comparison with the production capacity, the number of form panels needed is small. Moreover, relatively expensive parts of the apparatus, such as hydraulic presses, vibrators, concrete-pouring machines and so forth are needed only singly and not in numbers. Furthermore, mass production by substantially continuous operation is possible with an overall time for each cycle which is relatively low, such as 2.5 to 4 hours for an ordinary 7- day concrete, such as Type l concrete. The waiting time for hardening of the concrete is greatly reduced.
It will be understood that variations and modification of the specific devices and methods disclosed herein may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention.
Having described our invention, we claim:
1. A process for mass producing large-area concrete floor or wall slabs (15) comprising mounting a large number of trolley cars (2) on a series of supporting tracks (9), which extend through a concreting station (4) and a curing oven (16), and on a return track (21) leading to an installation site (A), mounting pairs of movable forms 1) on empty trolley cars (2) and moving them on the return track (21), to said installation site, one pair being mounted on each car and having exposed vertical concrete-engaging mold surfaces facing outwardly at each side of the car, thereafter moving the forms (1) and associated cars (2) to the supporting tracks (9) at the inlet side of said concreting station (4), said station having a mold battery comprising at least 4 fixed-location forms (8) with vertical outer concrete-engaging mold surfaces, the mold surfaces of each pair of adjacent forms (8) facing each other and being spaced apart and located to receive a pair of said movable forms (1) when the associated trolley car (2) is moved on one of the supporting tracks (9) to the concreting station (4), moving a series of pairs of said movable forms (1) on their associated cars (2) to said concreting station and placing them in juxtaposition with the fixed-location forms (8) in the mold battery so that the vertical mold surface of each movable form (1) faces the vertical mold surfaces of a fixed-location form (8) and is spaced therefrom to define a mold cavity for forming one of said slabs (1S), thereby forming a series of mold cavities, thereafter moving the forms (1 and 8) together and applying lateral pressure thereto by a pressing means (10) to close the mold cavities, pouring a concrete mix into each of the closed mold cavities to fill the same while heating the forms, allowing the concrete to set for a period of time suicient to render the resulting slabs (15) self-supporting, removing the lateral pressure and separating the fixed-location forms (8) from the slabs, thereafter moving the slabs (15) with the movable forms (l) on the trolley cars (2) out of the concreting station, two slabs being supported on each car, continuing movement of said cars on the supporting rails (9) with the slabs (15) through a curing oven, heating the concrete in said oven for a period of time sutcient to harden and strengthen the same, thereafter moving the slabs (15) on the trolley cars (2) to an unloading zone (30), lifting the hardened slabs (15) from the cars, thereafter returning the empty cars (2) on the return track (21) toward the installation site for a subsequent cycle, each of said movable forms (1) being separated from the associated slabs 15), lifted olf the associated trolley car after the car leaves said concreting station and before it reaches said unloading zone and thereafter being mounted on an empty trolley car and cleaned before the cycle is repeated to form more of said slabs 15).
2. A process as defined in claim 1 wherein each pair of movable forms (1) is lifted off the associated trolley car (2) before the car and the slabs (15) thereon enter the curing oven (16) and is moved to a position above said return track (21) and lowered onto a returning empty car (2) on said track.
3. A process as defined in claim 2 wherein the two slabs (15) on each trolley car (2) are gradually moved farther apart as the car is moved through the curing oven (16).
4. A process as deined in claim 1 wherein each pair of movable forms (1) is lifted off the associated trolley car (2) after it leaves said curing oven (16) and is moved to a position above an empty car (2) and lowered onto said car before the car reaches the concreting station (4) in a. subsequent cycle.
5. A process as defined in claim 1 wherein at least 8 slabs are formed at said concreting station at one time and wherein said oven will hold at least 16 slabs supported on at least 8 trolley cars.
6. A process as defined in claim 1 wherein the oven (16) is heated to a temperature of 150 to 200 1:".
7. A process as defined in claim 6 wherein the slabs (15) are heated for 10 to 30 minutes at said concreting station (4) and are heated 1 to 4 hours in said oven (16).
8. A process as defined in claim 1 wherein at least four pairs of said movable forms (1) and at least five tixedlocation forms (8) are provided at said concreting station to effect simultaneous molding of at least eight slabs (15) l at said station.
9. A process as defined in claim 8 wherein lthe movable forms 1), the associated trolley cars (2) and the xedlocation forms (8) are lifted in unison at said concreting station (4).
10. A process as defined in claim 9 wherein the movable forms (1) and the fixed-location forms (8) are suspended on lateral beams (6) and are movable laterally on said beams.
11. A process as defined in claim 10 wherein hydraulic pressure is applied by said pressing means (10) to the outer forms (8) at opposite sides of the mold battery.
12. Apparatus for mass producing large-area concrete oor or wall slabs comprising a large number of trolley cars (2) mounted to circulate on a series of horizontal supporting tracks (9), which extend through a concreting station (4) and a curing oven (6), and on a return track (21) leading away from an unloading zone (30) to an installation site (A), a large number of pairs of movable forms (1) adapted to be detachably mounted on said trolley cars (2), each of said pairs having exposed vertical concrete-engaging mold surfaces facing outwardly at each side of the trolley car, means (3) for moving the trolley cars from the installation site to the supporting tracks (9) at the inlet side of said concreting station (4), said station having a mold battery comprising at least 4 fixed-location forms v(8) with vertical concrete-engaging mold surfaces, the mold surfaces of each pair of 'ad-jacent forms (8) facing each other and being spaced apart and located to receive a pair of said movable forms (1) when the associated trolley car (2) is moved on one of the supporting tracks (9) to the concreting station (4), whereby a series of pairs of said movable forms (1) mounted on said trolley cars (2) may be placed in juxtaposition with the fixed-location forms (8) in the mold battery so that the vertical mold surfaces of each movable form (1) faces the vertical mold surface of a fixed-location form (8) and is spaced therefrom to define a mold cavity for forming a slab (15), said mold battery thereby forming a series of pairs of mold cavities, press means (10) for moving the forms (1 and 8) t0- gether and applying lateral pressure thereto to close the mold cavities, means (12) mounted for longitudinal and transverse movement above the forms for pouring a concrete mix into each of the closed mold cavities to fill the same, means for heating the slabs in the oven (16) t0 harden and strengthen them, hoisting means (14 or 23) mounted for longitudinal and lateral movement for lifting each pair of said movable forms (1) from the associated trolley car (2) on the supporting rails (9 or 9a) after the car leaves said concreting station and before it reaches said unloading zone and for moving said pair to a position above a returning empty car (2) where it may be lowered onto the car, means (18, 21a) for moving the slabs (15) on the trolley cars (2) to said unloading zone, hoisting means (19) mounted for movement longitudinally and transversely for lifting the hardened concrete slabs (15) from the cars at said Zone, and track means (21a, 121) for returning the empty cars to said return track for a subsequent cycle.
13. Apparatus as dened in claim 12 wherein said firstnamed hoisting means comprises crane means (14) mounted on overhead lateral rails (141) to move from a disassembly station (17), which is located between said concreting station (4) and said oven (16), to a position above the return track (21).
14. Apparatus as defined in claim 12 wherein said iirstnamed hoisting means comprises crane means (23) mounted on overhead rails (33) to move from a position above the supporting rails (9a) near the discharge end of the oven (16) to a position above empty cars (2) returning to the concreting station (4).
15. Apparatus as defined in claim 12 wherein each trolley car is divided into two parts (102) in their lengthwise direction, the two parts being connected together by pivoted links (103), and wherein the track width is gradually increased in a direction toward the discharge end of the oven to increase the distance between the slabs (15) as they move in that direction.
16. Apparatus as defined in claim 12 wherein the return track (21) is laterally spaced from the supporting tracks (9) and carriage means are provided for moving the trolley cars transversely from one track to the other comprising a movable platform (3 or 18) having tracks (31 or 121) for supporting the wheels of the trolley cars which may be moved into alignment with the return track or one of the supporting tracks.
17. Apparatus for mass producing large-area concrete oor or wall slabs (15) comprising a plurality of trolley cars (2) mounted to circulate in a travelling direction through a concreting station (4) and on a return track (21) leading away from an unloading zone (30) to an installation site (A), a plurality of movable forms (1) adapted to be detachably mounted on said trolley cars (2), each of said forms having exposed vertical concreteengaging mold surfaces means (3) for moving the trolley cars from the installation site to said concreting station (4), said station having a mold battery comprising a plurality of fixed-location forms (8) with vertical concreteengaging mold surfaces, the mold surfaces of adjacent forms (8) facing each other and being spaced apart and located to receive a pair of said movable forms 1) when the associated trolley car (2) is moved to the concreting station (4), whereby movable forms (1) mounted on said trolley cars (2) may be placed in juxtaposition with the fixed-location forms (8) in the mold battery so that the vertical mold surfaces of each movable form 1) faces the Vertical mold surface of a fixed-location form (8) and is spaced therefrom to define a mold cavity for forming a slab (15), said mold battery thereby forming mold cavities, means for moving at least some of said fixed-location forms in a right angled direction relative to the travelling direction of said trolley cars, press means (10) for moving the forms (1 and 8) together and applying lateral pressure thereto close the mol dcavities, means (12) for pouring a concrete mix into each of the closed mold cavities to ll the same, means for separating said movable forms (1) from said slabs (15), means for moving the slabs on the trolley cars (2) to an unloading zone, and track means (21a, 121) for returning the empty cars t0 said return track for a subsequent cycle.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 9/ 1927 Hanley 425-88 12/1953 Van Loon 264-297 U.S. Cl. X.R.
264-297, 336, DIG. 43; 425-88