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COMPOSITE PANELS FOR BUILDING CONSTRUCTIONS Filed March 7, 1956 3 Sheets-Sheet l
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Sept. 19, 1961 j. R. Kitson 3,000,144
COMPOSITE PANELS FOR BUILDING CONSTRUCTIONS Filed March 7, 1956 3 Sheets-Sheet 2
COMPOSITE PANELS FOR BUILDING CONSTRUCTIONS Filed March 7, 1956 3 Sheets-Sheet 3
United States Patent Office
Patented Sept. 19, 1961
COMPOSITE PANELS FOR BUILDING CONSTRUCTIONS Joseph R. Kitson, Newington, Conn., assignor, by mesne » assignments, to Casavan Industries, Paterson, NJ., a corporation of New Jersey
Filed Mar. 7,1956, Ser. No. 570,037
7 Claims. (CI. 50—268)
This invention relates to composite panels for building 10 constructions, and more particularly to panels adapted to be reinforced by a ribbing or grid of mortar or grout occupying interstices in the panel and providing load bearing sections of great strength. The panels are particularly suited for reinforcement by a settable or hard- 15 enable fluid grout poured into the interstices after preliminary installation in the position they are permanently to assume. Owing to the extreme lightness of their construction, the unreinforced panels may accordingly be made in very large sizes which are nevertheless readily 20 handled in constructing a building.
The invention has for one of its main objects the provision of means for rapidly constructing walls, floors and ceilings of buildings by the use of these large panel sections, eliminating thereby the necessity for forming the 25 structure by assembly of individual plates, studs, joists, etc., as in conventional frame houses, and the necessity for temporary supporting forms in poured concrete structures or the assembly of individual small blocks or bricks in conventional masonry construction. Broadly 30 speaking this is of course not new as various attempts have previously been made to use preassembled panels of different types, some of which have gone into very extensive commercial use. Still, even these have been subject to a number of troublesome disadvantages, not the 35 least of which is great weight. This has imposed serious limitations on the size of a panel which can be conveniently and practically handled at the construction site, and has a very direct bearing on the final cost of the panels due to heavy shipping charges in transporting them 40 from their point of manufacture to the place of use. Panels constructed in accordance with the invention herein disclosed are so extremely light in weight that units four feet by sixteen feet, for example, can easily be handled by two men, while units of larger dimensions are entirely practical with one or two more men.
The basic or unreinforced panels are accordingly made in relatively large modular sizes suitable for different types of building or related construction in which they are employed. The panels comprise a relatively thick main body or slab of self-supporting light weight filler or insulating material, and a much thinner impact-resistant sheet material bonded or otherwise secured to the face of the filler slab. As will appear more fully hereinafter, the panels are provided with passages or interstices extending throughout their respective areas which are 5 adapted to receive a hardenable fluid grout, such as concrete, introduced after the erection of the panels. These passages are so formed as to provide a unitary network or grid of hardened concrete in the completed panel installation wherein said concrete serves as the principal reinforcing and load-bearing structure in that installation.
The panels may be constructed from the start to provide completely finished interior and exterior surfaces, doing away with all painting, plastering or papering. Or "5 base surfaces only may be provided, allowing for subsequent finishing to meet individual requirements or tastes. In either case the surfacing is an integral part of the composite panels and is formed, as mentioned above, of relatively thin impact-resistant sheet material "?0 of various kinds such as fiberboard, plywood or light
gauge metal, but more especially of a plastic sheet material such as sheet polystyrene. The latter combines lightness of weight, relatively low cost, ease of producing unusual and attractive decorative effects and excellent moisture resistance with ease of working. Importantly also, it has substantial rigidity and surface hardness and is a good heat insulator, with the result that its use as surfacing material is particularly desirable.
The insulating slab or filler is of cellular construction to reduce weight to a minimum and also to provide a heat and sound insulating batting built integrally into the panel. This filler material, while not generally relied upon primarily for strength in the final structure, must have sufficient rigidity to support itself in large slabs, and to resist substantial deformation by the fluid grout when the latter is poured into interstices defined by the filler material alone or in conjunction with the facing sheets.
A material which has been found to be particularly effective in this respect is a bubble or foam type of polystyrene plastic. This is formed by expanding granular polystyrene resin in a suitable mold using hot water or steam to produce a multi-cellular mass of extremely low density. The cells are air-filled and the density of the resulting mass can be controlled by the amount of polystyrene resin placed in the mold. Commercially the product is made by Dow Chemical Company under the trade name "Styrofoam." The product does not absorb water and has high resistance to mold growth, rot and decay, as well as being vermin and termite proof. In combination with polystyrene plastic sheet facings, to which it is easily bonded by fusing or cementing, it produces a panel that can be easily cut with conventional woodworking tools.
The novel panels may be easily joined when setting them in place by molding strips, or simply by welding or fusing butt joints where the facings are formed of thermoplastic material such as polystyrene. They may be easily secured to building foundations by means of conventional tie rods or bolts embedded in the foundation as will be more fully explained presently.
In order to provide the necessary structural rigidity and strength for supporting compressive as well as lateral or other loads in construction requirements, the filler material is provided with a network of interconnected passages and/or grooves of various designs which are filled, after a panel is set up in position, with a fluid grout. When this sets to a hard condition it provides the principal load-bearing structure of the completed wall. The panel unit itself thus serves not only as a means for forming the load-supporting core of concrete or the like, but also as an integral and permanent part of the completed wall or other load bearing section.
A somewhat modified form of the basic panel unit may be employed as flooring, having built into it reinforced concrete ribs which act as beams to support the necessary floor loads. This form may also serve as a ceiling panel, of course.
These and other advantages of the novel panel construction will become more apparent from the accompanying drawings illustrating typical examples of several practical embodiments of the invention, and from the detailed description of these constructions which follows. It will be understood of course that the examples given are merely illustrative and that the invention is not limited to the precise arrangements shown except to the extent required by the appended claims.
In the drawings,
FIG. 1 is a perspective view in elevation of a portion of an unreinforced building panel constructed in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary view of a portion si the panel shown in FIG. 1, the front face of the panel