US 3798861 A
Interior or exterior building partitions are assembled in a factory or, in some cases, on a job site by keying vertical flights of premolded stackable modulus with extruded uprights of any required height. The modules or blocks are injection-molded from translucent colored plastics in the form of two hollow sections which are welded into a closed unit. Each module is contoured for interlocking engagement with a pair of the uprights and for interfitting stabilized engagement with adjacent modules above and below in the partition assembly.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States 7 Patent [191 Weiss  3,798,861 [451 Mar. 26, 1974 1 WALL CONSTRUCTION MODULE AND SYSTEM  Inventor: Alexander C. H. Weiss, 404
Morrison PL, Apt. C, Springdale, Ariz. 72764  Filed: Apr. 10, 1973  Appl. No.: 349,803
Guignon 52/308 Thibert 3,252,260 5/1966 Mills 52/308 X 3,387,421 6/1968 Robertson 52/436 X Primary ExaminerPrice C. Faw, Jr. Attorney, Agent, or Firm-B. P. Fishburne, Jr.
[5 7] ABSTRACT lnterior or exterior building partitions are assembled in a factory or, in some cases, on a job site by keying vertical flights of premolded stackable modulus with extruded uprights of any required height. The modules or blocks are injection-molded from translucent colored plastics in the form of two hollow sections which are welded into a closed unit. Each module is contoured for interlocking engagement with a pair vof the uprights and for interfitting stabilized engagement with adjacent modules above and below in the partition assembly.
14 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PATENTEDMAR26 m4 SHEET 1 BF 2 PATENTEDMARZS mm 3798 861 sum 2 0F 2 WALL CONSTRUCTION MODULE AND SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION blocks and slabs, transparent glass modules, and other like devices. Some examples of the patented prior art are shown in US. Pat. Nos. 2,158,089; 3,193,434; 3,276,177 and 3,267,628. While some of these prior art proposals have been successfully utilized to a limited extent in the construction industry, they have in general failed to meet the requirements of the industry in terms of economy of production and assembling, adequate strength and durability, and artistic appeal. Some prior proposals have excelled in one or more of the above areas at the expense of being sub-standard in other areas. For these reasons, particularly during the current building construction program, there is a great need for a quality product of the type in question which can be economically manufactured and assembled by unskilled labor and will possess the desirable structural and artistic features.
Accordingly, it is the object of this invention to improve significantly on' the known prior art used in the construction of architectural structural walls and partitions of the ornamental type which are capable of both inside and outside usage. More particularly, the inven'- tion provides for the rapid assembling in a remote plant or on the job site of walls andpartitions which embody' colored translucent thermoplastic modules which are adapted to be assembled in vertical courses between pairs of extruded upright members or rails to which the modules are mechanically keyed and interlocked. Weather-tight sealing of all joints is provided for. A unique light-diffusing and heat-insulating means is utilized within the hollow translucent modules. Walls constructed according to the invention have reasonable load bearing capacity and artistic appeal in a variety of color mixtures. Monotonous horizontal cleavage lines between adjacent vertical courses of the modules can be avoided to further improve the appearance of the finished wall.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent during the course of the following detailed description.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWING FIGURES FIG. 1 is a perspective view ofa block or module employed in the invention.
FIG. 2 is a vertical cross sectional view taken through two sections of the module before its final assembly and welding together into a unit.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a modified form of module utilized at the base or foot of the partition.
FIG. 4 is a similar view of a modified module utilized at the head of the partition.
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary perspective view ofa primary vertical extruded locking member employed in the assembly.
FIG. 6 is a similar view of a modified type of locking member for use at ends of a partition.
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary horizontal cross section taken through a partition embodying the invention.
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary vertical section through a typical partition embodying the invention. I
FIG. 9 is a side elevation on a reduced scale ofa wall section embodying the invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to the drawings in detail wherein like numerals designate like parts, the numeral 10 designates generally a wall construction module forming a key element of the invention. This block or module is preferably injection-molded in two unequal height hollow sections 11 and 12 from translucent cellulose acetate butyrate. This particular material is preferred because of its superior weathering ability, colorretention, dimensional stability and general resistance to aging. However, certain other molding materials generally meeting the requirements could be utilized. The translucent module 10 is formed in any desirable color and in this connection it is contemplated employing blocks or modules in a variety of colors in the wall being constructed.
Subsequent to molding, the two hollow module sections 11 and 12 are joined and permanently welded together in the form of a completely closed hollow unit, as depicted in FIG. 1. To facilitate this, the upper open end of the lower section 12 is recessed at 13 to closely receive a reduced flange extension 14 on the lower open end of the upper section 11.
Referring to the assembled and unitized block 10, the same possesses parallel opposing major area side walls 15 and 16 which may be suitably sculptured to meet the taste of the user during the molding process. Additionally, the top of each module 10 is tapered or beveled to produce two upwardly converging flat faces 17 which are symmetrically arranged with respect to a vertical center line and define an included angle of 90. The angularity of the faces 17 may be varied in some instances. A relatively narrow central continuous flat face 18 is formed on the top of the module 10 between the two converging faces 17 and all of these faces 17 and 18 extend for the entire length of the module 10, as clearly shown in FIG. I.
Similarly, the opposite ends of each module 10 are symmetrically tapered to form pairs of converging flat beveled faces 19 which preferably define included angles of approximately The bottom of each module 10 is recessed throughout the length thereof forming upwardly converging faces 20 which are parallel to the faces 17 with a narrow intervening flat face 21 directly below the flat face 18 and between the converging faces 20.
Additionally, the opposite vertical ends of each module 10 are formed to provide throughout the entire height of the module a straight open-ended cylindrically curved channel 22 for locking purposes, as will be further described. This continuous locking channehas viewed in cross section, FIG. 7, is formed by vertical arcuate wall 23 which encompasses more than one-half of a circle and preferably about 240 so asto form a restricted vertical entrance slot 24 leading into the channel 22.
It is contemplated providing the basic modules 10 in different heights so that in a typical partition assembly produced with them the usual monotonous horizontal cleavage lines, as appear in conventional walls, may be avoided. That is to say, the horizontal cleavage lines between modules making up distinct vertical courses of the wall may be staggered vertically. To effect this re- A sult, the lower module sections 12 can be molded in two or three different heights and the upper section 11 in two different heights. This would allow the production of blocks or modules in a variety of different vertical heights so as to vary the horizontal cleavage lines in the finished wall considerably.
To further improve the artistic effect of the finished wall, prior to the welding together of the two module sections 11 and 12, each has introduced into its internal cavity a crumpled sheet of clear polyvinyl chloride having a thickness of about 0.001 inch. Such crumpled sheet may measure approximately 18 inches square prior to crumpling. The advantages of using the polyvi nyl chloride component inside of the block 10 are threefold. First, it forms a light-diffusing element within the translucent block due to its many facets produced by the crumpling, and tends to enhance a third dimensional effect. Secondly, the heat insulating ability of the hollow walls will be increased by the use of the crumpled film or sheet which'is indicated at 25 in the drawings. Thirdly, the fire-resistant capabilities of the walls and module will be increased since polyvinyl chloride will not support flame and is considered to be selfextinguishing, whereas cellulose acetate butyrate will support flame but is very slow burning. In addition to improving the appearance of the colored translucent wall, the crumpled polyvinyl chloride inside of the ho]- low blocks tends to reduce glare.
The finished wall structure made from the modules 10 and shown in fragmentary form in FIGS. 7 and 8 involves any necessary number of vertical extruded generally X-shaped locking or keying members 26 as well as end extruded keying members 27. These locking members are preferably formed of polyvinyl chloride and may be opaque and colored in any desired manner.
Each extruded locking member 26 comprises opposite parallel vertical walls 28 whose surface ornamentation, if any, may be varied. The walls 28 will lie flush with the opposite major faces and 16 of the assembled modules 10, as shown. The lengths of the members 26 and 27 will bechosen dependent upon the height of the wall being constructed which of course will be a variable.
The X-formation of each vertical locking member 26 formed by its two intersecting and crossing walls 29, forming angles of 45, will produce, on the opposite sides of the member 26 opposing recesses spanning an included angle of 135 and therefore shaped to receive the converging end faces 19 of the modules 10 on each side of a vertical member. As shown in FIG. 7, the modules 10 may be recessed at 30 adjacent to the walls 28 oflocking members 26 to produce substantially flush or continuous opposite wall surfaces.
To achieve the necessary interlocking engagement between stacked modules 10 and members 26 in the vertical courses of a wall, each member 26 is provided on opposite sides and at the center crossing point of its X-formation walls 29 with a pair of oppositely facing cylindrically curved locking channel elements 31 having restricted entrance slots 32 extending continuously for the full length of the member 26. The elements 31 are formed integrally with the locking member 26 during the extrusion process utilized to form the locking member. Preferably, the arcuate locking channel elements 31 are somewhat resilient so that they may be snapped into the locking channels 22 in the ends of the modules 10. The modules may be assembled with the intervening members 26 by bringing the elements 31 into the channels 22 of the modules by an endwise sliding movement, if preferred, rather than utilizing the capability of the parts snapping together. Necessarily, the diameters of the elements 31 and channels 22 will be chosen for a secure interlocking fit but without difficulty in assembling the parts manually.
In addition to the interlocking engagement of the members 26 with the vertical tapered ends of the stacked modules as shown in FIG. 7, there is a secure stabilizing interlocking and interfitting relationship between the tops and bottoms of adjacent modules 10 in each vertical course of the wall or partition as depicted in FIG. 8. That is to say, the upper tapered end of each module 10 having the converging faces l7interfits with the correspondingly recessed bottom of the next mo dule having the converging faces 20. In this manner, the vertical courses or flights in the wall can be erected easily in a factory or on a job site by unskilled labor and with a minimum of effort, as will be further explained.-
In conjunction with the locking members 26 between vertical courses of the modular wall, the previouslymentioned end vertical locking members 27 also.
formed by extrusion are interposed between the endmost course of blocks and whatever adjacent solid structure 33 is present, such as a vertical column or concrete wall. The locking member 27, as shown in FIG. 6, has a channel-shaped body including a wide vertical wall 34 and two right angular walls 35 interconnected with the center of the wall 34 by converging diagonal webs 36. In essence, the locking member 27 comprises one-half of one of the X-shaped members 26 and serves the identical function as the member 26 in the wall assembly by interlocking with the vertical beveled ends of one vertical course of modules having converging faces 19. The webs 36 of the member 27 are arranged at the proper angles to mate with the faces 19, as shown in the drawings. On the interior side of the locking member 27 at a center thereof a somewhat resilient cylindrically curved vertical key 37 or locking element similar to the element 31 is provided integrally on the member 27. This key 37 has a longitudinal slot 38 which enhances the resiliency of the key element so that it may be snapped into the channel 22 and will yield to pass through the entrance slot 24 of this channel.
The coaction of the modules 10 with the locking members 26 and 27 and the nested stacked arrangement involving the inter-fitting of the tapered and recessed top and bottoms of the modules assures that the opposite sides of theconstructed wall will be true or straight without misalignment of modules.
FIGS. 3 and 4 show modified modules 39 and 40 which are utilized at the sill and head of the wall, respectively, to complete the assembly. As shown in FIG. 9 which depicts an erected wall section, the sill and head modules 39 and 40 are of uniform height while the intermediate main modules 10 are constructed in several different heights, as previously explained, to eliminate continuous horizontal cleavage lines in the wall. The two modified modules 39 and 40 may be formed by injection molding from cellulose acetate butyrate and like the main modules 10 are translucent and are made in any desired color or tint with crumpled polyvinyl chloride film enclosed inside for the purposes previously explained. The head module 40 has a flat upper cap 41 welded thereto and has its bottom recessed with the identical angular configuration which includes the previously-described converging faces 20 and intervening narrow flat area 21. This enables the head module 40 to'interfit properly with the top of the uppermost block or module having the correspondingly converging faces 17. The base or sill modules 39 have flat bottom caps 42 and their tops are upwardly tapering at 43 with an intervening flat 44 to properly interfit with the bottom recess of the next uppermost wall module 10 as shown in FIG. 8. Each of the modules 39 and 40 has its opposite ends tapered in the identical manner described for the main modules 10 so as to provide flat converging end faces 45 to interlock or interfit with the locking members 26 and 27, as shown in FIG. 7. Likewise, the modules 39 and 40 are provided in their opposite ends with locking channels 46 constructed identically to the channels 22 of the main modules and adapted to serve the identical purposes in the wall assembly, namely, to receive the keying elements 31 and 37 in interlocking engagement.
As previously noted, the wall erected from the described hollow modules and the associated vertical locking members 26 and 27 can be assembled in a factory and shipped to a job site, or may be assembled on the job site in the case of excessively large walls. The assembly procedure for the wall is very simple and is as follows.
Theassembly beginsby installing one of the end vertical members 27 in a fixed position. One of the bottom or sill modules 39 is keyed into the recessed side of the vertical locking member 27 and also to one of the intermediate X-members 26. Following this, additional modules 10 of identical width but varying height are keyed and assembled to the two parallel vertical members 26 and 27 until the first vertical course of the wall is completed by the application of one of the head modules 40 to the uppermost main module 10 and also by keying this head module to the members 26 and 27.
To the remaining exposed side of vertical member 26 and to a second parallel member 26, the second vertical course of the wall is assembled in the exact manner just described and this assembly procedure is repeated utilizing additional members 26 until the required expanse of vertical wall is completed. At such point, another end vertical member 27 is utilized to finish off the second end of the wall as depicted in FIG. 9.
The top and bottom of the assembled partition or wall are finished and anchored by means of an extruded head rail 47 and sill 48. These elements may conveniently be aluminum extrusions and their specific designs may be varied to meet the needs of a particular installation. The head rail and sill are firmly anchored to a ceiling and floor structure, respectively, and they possess channel formations to receive the top and bottom portions of the modules 39 and 40 as shown in FIG. 8.
' Upon completion of the wall assembly, a compatible foamable sealant is injected into the vertical channels 22 between the interlocking components 31 and 23, see FIG. 7. This further Waterproofs the assembled wall. All vertical seams between the members 26 and 27 and the blocks 10, 39 and 40 are calked. Prior to nesting or bringing into engagement the inter-fitting tapered and recessed ends of the modules in the vertical plane, FIG. 8, a head of transparent non-hardening silicone waterproof sealant is preferably applied along the apex flat 18 and 44 of each module. Other minor refinements and touching up at the job site may be performed as required.
It is believed that the foregoing description renders the novelty and the versatile utility of the invention fully apparent and it is also thought that the numerous advantages and economies incident to the invention have been fully explained. However, by way of summary and conclusion, the wall embodying the invention possesses the following important qualities which will meet the architectural requirements for translucent exterior walls:
l. Translucent color.
2. Softly diffused natural light having a light transmission value of about 55 percent.
3. Excellent insulation value with-a U factor of about 0.22. v
4. A textured sculptured wall surface without glaring reflected light.
5. Effective weathering with built-in ultra-violet inhibitors.
6. High impact strength of 45 foot pounds PSI at 72 fahrenheit, 25 foot pounds PSI at zero degrees fahrenheit.
7. Excellent color retention, non-fading, no discoloration in 10 to 20 years depending upon climatic conditions.
8. By virtue of the mechanical interlocking of the wall system, it can be assumed that this type of structure could pass any code requirements on wind loading and deflection.
9. The third dimensional see-through quality of the transparent colors plus the dividend in visual color lines which occur at horizontal locking joints creating this mutation of the two colors of the joined blocks.
10. A very important factor of the block wall system is its built-in fire retardant which makes it acceptable in all major building code areas.
It is to be understood that the form of the invention herewith shown and described is to be taken as a preferred example of the same, and that various changes in the shape, size and arrangement of parts may be resorted to, without departing from the spirit of the invention or scope of the subjoined claims.
1. A wall construction module comprising a hollow translucent generally rectangular body formed of plastics material, said body having a tapered top including flat converging faces and a recessed bottom including flat converging faces, the body having vertical ends which are tapered and which include pairs of flat converging faces extending for the entire height of the body, and there being a vertical recessed locking channel formed in each end of the body extending from the top to the bottom thereof and located centrally with respect to the converging faces of said ends, the arrangement being such that said module may be stacked in in- 3. The structure of claim 2, and said material comprising a crumpled section of transparent thin plastic film.
4. The structure of claim 3, and said body formed of cellulose acetate butyrate and said film being formed of polyvinyl chloride.
5. A wall structure comprising plural side-by-side vertical courses of stacked interlocking modules, said modules being hollow and translucent and formed of varying colors within each course, said modules having interfitting correspondingly tapered and recessed tops and bottoms, said modules having correspondingly tapered vertical ends and said ends being vertically recessed to form continuous locking channels at the opposite sides of each vertical course of modules in the wall, and vertically extending locking members between adjacent vertical courses of said modules and being recessed on opposite sides to interfit with the tapered vertical ends of the modules and having on opposite sides of said locking members continuous vertically extending keying elements adapted to interlock within said locking channels.
6. The structure of claim 5, and wherein said locking members are extrusions and said keying elements are arcuate in cross section and resilient so that they may yield and snap into said locking channels.
7. The structure of claim 6, and said locking channels being substantially cylindrical in cross section and having continuous vertical entrance slots for said keying elements, said slots being narrower than the widths of the keying elements and being narrower than the internal diameters of said locking channels.
8. The structure of claim 7, and a foamable sealant disposed in said locking channels following assembly of the wall structure to waterproof the assembly.
9. The structure of claim 5, and the modules forming said vertical courses in the wall being of varying heights within each course to avoid the formation of continuous horizontal cleavage lines extending across plural courses.
10. The structure of claim 5, and said interfitting tapered and recessed tops and bottoms including pairs of flat converging walls which are symmetrical with respect to a vertical center line through the wall.
11. The structure of claim 5, and the vertically extending locking members including forward and rear walls which are substantially flush in assembly with the opposite major faces of said stacked and interlocked modules.
12. The structure of claim 5, and elongated extrusion members at the top and bottom of the wall structure including channel recesses receiving the top and bottom of the wall structure and securing the wall structure against lateral movement.
13. The structure of claim 12, and separately formed head and sill finishing modules adapted to interlock with the uppermost and lowermost modules in said vertical courses and also interlocking with said vertically extending locking members and with said head and sill extrusion members.
14. The structure of claim 1, and said body initially formed in two separate sections each having an open end to facilitate producing the sections by injection molding, and interengaging flange parts on the open ends of said sections adapted to be welded together for permanently unitizing said module.