Means for constructing buildings
United States Patent 2300181

This invention relates to building construction and has particular relation to a means for and a method of reinforcing masonry joints primarily for the purpose of preventing cracks in the walls due to subsequent settling. More and more attention is being directed to that type of building structure...

Spaight, Harold L.
Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Spaight, Harold L.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/694, 52/DIG.7
International Classes:
E04B1/41; E04B2/10
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This invention relates to building construction and has particular relation to a means for and a method of reinforcing masonry joints primarily for the purpose of preventing cracks in the walls due to subsequent settling.

More and more attention is being directed to that type of building structure in which premoulded units are employed and laid up with mortar joints to form the walls and frequently the partitions thereof. The pre-moulded units under consideration include cement and cinder "blocks," and Particularly blocks embodying a new type of sound absorbent and insulating material commercially known as Waylite, as well as clay tile and even standard brick.

It has been my experience that walls employing such pre-formed masonry units are more susceptible to subsequent cracking, Particularly around door and window openings, than walls of monolithic construction.

Building walls of this type of unit construction, however, have numerous inherent advantages not enjoyed by walls employing other types of material.

It is, therefore, a primary object of my invention to provide a means for and a method of reinforcing walls of this type so as to eliminate a large proportion of the cracks frequently appearing in such walls after the foundation has had an opportunity to settle.

Another object of my invention is to provide a reinforcement and tie means which may be easily handled and manipulated by the workman, which is adapted to a wide variety of applications and one which may be manufactured at such low cost that It may be incorporated in a building structure at practically negligible cost beyond that of the customary structure, Other and further features and objects of my invention will be more apparent to those skilled 4n in the art upon a consideration of the accdmpanying drawing and following specification, wherein is disclosed a single exemplary embodiment of the invention, with the understanding, however, that such changes may be made therein 4.5 as fall within the scope'of the appended claim, without departing from the spirit of the invention.

In said drawing: Figure 1 is a view in perspective of a joint reinforcement and tie member constructed in accordance with a preferred embodiment of my Invention rod Figure 2 is a fragmentary view of a building wall enploying joint reinforcement and tie members such as illustrated in Figure 1 with a portion of the wall broken away to better illustrate the arrangement and the method of applying the tie members, and Figure 3 is a fragmentary view in perspective of a brick wall in which reinforcing and tie members, such as shown in Figure 1, have been employed.

Referring now to these drawings, and particularly to Figure 1 thereof; I have shown at 10 a preferred form of a reinforcement and tie member adapted to be applied in accordance with the method hereinafter described.

The size of building blocks of the type describer has been more or less standardized at eight by eight by sixteen inches. Such blocks are usually provided with vertically extending channels or openings 15 for dead air spaces and in order to reduce the weight of the blocks. Ordinarily the diameters of the openings 15 are such and they are so spaced that the minimum distance between the walls of the openings and the side walls of the block is about two inches. The blocks are usually laid so that the openings extend vertically.

My invention contemplates the embedding of a pair of light metal rods in the bonding mortar parallel to but spaced from the edges of the blocks. These rods, indicated at I! and 12 in :30 Figure 1, may be spaced apart aPproximately six inches as a standard size and joined together by cross members 13. These cross members may be at any desired angle to the longitudinal rods, but it is preferable that they be placed diagonally .5 with the adjacent cross members arranged in opposed relation as shown so as to make the entire reinforcement and tie member sibstantially rigid against distortion in the plane of the mortar joint.

The diagonal bracing system may be formed of a single, light weight rod bent in zigzag fashion and fastened at each bend to one of the longitudinal rods I I and 12 by spot welding or the like and as indicated at 14, 16 and 17.

It will be obvious that other means may be employed in securing the cross members or braces to the longitudinal rods. For example, the diagonals may comprise a single piece of wire of lighter gauge than the rods, and this wire may 5n be looped or wound around the rod instead of welded thereto. However, I prefer and find it more practical to weld the side rod, and cross with the latter lapping the side rods.

The manner in which masonry ties, constructed in accordance with my invention, are applied is illustrated in the elevational and sectional view of a representative type masonry wall (Figure 2).

The building blocks 18 are set in mortar :and built up from a substantial footing 19 and the joints between the blocks in vertically adjacent courses are usually staggered as shown and in accordance with usual practice. Where door or window openings are left, the lintel 21 and the sill 22 may be either building or concrete block of the required length or may be of concrete or 1 the like cast in place.

I have frequently noted cracks in finished structures of this nature, such as those shown in dotted lines at 23. These cracks usually appear only after the building has had time to settle.

These cracks have appeared to be practically unavoidable but I have found that, with my mortar joint reinforcement and tie member, these cracks, and particularly those radiating outwardly from door and window openings, are substantially eliminated.

It is preferable that reinforcing members be embedded in the mortar joints just above all door openings and in the joints just below the sills in window openings. It is also usually desirable that additional reinforcing members be located throughout the wall or between every third or fourth course of blocks.

These reinforcing members preferably extend entirely around a building except where interrupted by window, door or other openings. It will be apparent that such members may be readily formed to extend around a corner as shown at 24.

One rod 12 of the reinforcing member is cut as indicated at 26 in Figure 1, and the other rod I bent as at 16 and as shown at 24 in Figure 2. The cut ends 25 of the rod 12 are permitted to extend toward the other or uncut rod and thus serve to doubly reinforce the corner blocks and joints.

Figure 3 illustrates the manner in which devices constructed in accordance with my invention may be incorporated in brick walls. The members 10 may be embedded in the mortar joints at every six to eight courses, and the wall is thus reinforced against cracking as previously described. In addition, the members 10 may be utilized as spacers between the outer portion 21 of the wall and its backing 28. Entirely hollow walls may be thus provided without the use of numerous bricks or masonry tie members which may, in themselves, transfer a considerable amount of heat through the wall. It will be ap0 parent that the elimination of these brick tie members will permit the use of extremely simple brick work at a considerable saving in labor cost.

I have devised a means and method for reinforcing masonry walls which, although extremely simple and inexpensive to use, eliminates certain deficiencLes more or less inherent in walls of the natureTiescribed. Such reinforcement members offer no obstacles to the workman and are easy to handle.

Although I have described a specific embodiment of my invention, it is apparent that modifications thereof- may be made by those skilled in the art. Such modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of my invention as set forth in the appended claim.

I claim as my invention: For use in a wall having courses of blocks, means for tying together the courses including a pair of spaced-apart parallel-extending side rods, and means for joining the side rods comprising a third rod formed in flat zig-zag shape with the bends on opposite sides of the zig-zag member welded to the two side rods in a plane displaced from the plane of the two side rods whereby the thickness of the tying means at the joint between side members and zig-zag members is the thickness of the zig-zag member and a side rod thereby forming means for supporting the zig-zag member out of contact with the supporting course of blocks and permitting cement to flow freely around the tying member.