Title:
Resiliently deformable construction element covering
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention provides a resiliently deformable construction element covering (10) which permits a structure constructed using said covering to deform in sympathy with weather and other natural forces and to recover to substantially to its original state. The covering (10) includes a resiliently deformable film (12) having at least a portion (46) extending beyond the surface of the construction element (40) onto which the film is to be applied thereby to a define a flap (46) which overlaps onto an adjacent construction element, and an adhesive (16) for applying the film (12) to the construction element. The covering (10) also includes a coating composition or system (22) capable of being applied to the film and of dissipating, most of any decorative damage over an area around a stressed area of the film which is causing the decorative damage thereby to form individual cracks in the coating composition that are substantially invisible to the naked eye. The invention also extends to a pre-manufactured construction element (40) for use in assembly of structures using semi-skilled labour.



Inventors:
Charmat, Didier Robert Louis (Nassau, BS)
Luty, John Mark (South Ascot, GB)
Application Number:
10/168313
Publication Date:
04/24/2003
Filing Date:
10/21/2002
Assignee:
CHARMAT DIDIER ROBERT LOUIS
LUTY JOHN MARK
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B29C63/02; B44C1/10; B44C5/04; E04B1/68; E04B2/04; E04C2/22; E04D3/35; E04D3/366; E04D3/38; E04F13/00; E04F13/08; E04B2/02; (IPC1-7): E04B1/62; E04F15/14; E04F15/22
View Patent Images:
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20060207201Panel system and methodSeptember, 2006Klimek
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20060048472Playstone paverMarch, 2006Serre
20080155935SINGLE STRIP SINGLE WEB GRID TEEJuly, 2008Raheel et al.
20030159392Insect screen comprising partially overlapping segmentsAugust, 2003Broek et al.
20090019711MODEL ELEMENTARY FLEXORJanuary, 2009Milka
20080092480Wall-mounted ornamental architectural members and mounting methodApril, 2008Stanley



Primary Examiner:
HORTON, YVONNE MICHELE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
YOUNG & THOMPSON (209 Madison Street Suite 500, Alexandria, VA, 22314, US)
Claims:
1. decorative damage dissipating construction element covering which permits a structure constructed using said covering to deform in sympathy wit weather and other natural forces and to dissipate decorative damage, said covering including: a resiliently deformable film having at least a portion extending beyond the surface of the construction element onto which the film is to be applied thereby to a define a flap which overlaps onto an adjacent construction element; an adhesive for applying the film to the construction element; and coating composition or system including a particulate inorganic material for dissipating most of any decorative damage over an area around a stressed area of the film, to which said composition is applied, which is causing the decorative damage thereby to form individual cracks in the coating composition that are substantially invisible to the naked eye.

2. A resiliently deformable construction element covering as claimed in claim 1, wherein the resiliently deformable film is an elastomeric film.

3. A resiliently deformable construction element covering as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the resiliently deformable film is a thermoplastic elastomeric film.

4. A resiliently deformable construction element covering as claimed in claim 3, wherein the thermoplastic elastomeric film is styrene-ethylene/butylene-styrene (SEBS) film having upto 1000% elongation.

5. A resiliently deformable construction element covering as claimed in claim 4, wherein suitable compounding agents such as inorganic fillers are added to produce a resiliently deformable film which is suitable as a wall covering in that it has sufficient stiffness so that it does not sag under its own weight nor is it tacky to the touch while also having adequate elastic memory of about 100% deformation, to stretch and recover with movement of the construction elements to which it is applied.

6. A resiliently deformable construction element covering as claimed in claim 4 or claim 5, wherein the resiliently deformable covering also serves as a sound and/or thermal insulation.

7. A resiliently deformable construction element covering as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the coating composition or system includes a polar inorganic material which is applied to the film and which is receptive to paint and ink thereby to permit paint and/or ink to be applied to the inorganic material and thus to the film.

8. A resiliently deformable construction element covering as claimed in claim 7, wherein the polar inorganic material includes particles of quartz, marble, limestone, or the like.

9. A resiliently deformable construction element covering as claimed in claim 8, wherein the particles are in the form of fine granules or powder,

10. A resiliently deformable construction element covering as claimed in any one of claims 7 to 9, wherein the polar inorganic material is pressed into the surface of the film which is to be painted after tat surface has been heated to above the glass transition temperature of the species in the film having the highest glass transition temperature but below the melting point of the film so that the film loses its elasticity and becomes plastic thereby retaining the inorganic material in the surface.

11. A resiliently deformable construction element covering as claimed in claim 8 or claims 9, wherein the surface layer of the film is plasticly reformed about the particles providing a mechanical key for each particle thereby retaining the particles in the surface.

12. A resiliently deformable construction element covering as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the flap of film which extends beyond the edges of the surface onto which the film is applied, together with the inorganic material and any paint or ink which has been applied thereto, is tapered in the plane of the thickness of the covering so that it overlaps with a complementary tapered section on an adjacent construction element to form a resiliently deformable covering spanning a joint between the adjacent construction elements while limiting the thickness of the covering in the overlap region to substantially that of the covering on the remainder of the construction elements.

13. A resiliently deformable construction element covering as claimed in claim 12, wherein the width of the resiliently deformable covering spanning the joint is variable and limited only by the width of the tapered portions of the flap.

14. A resiliently deformable construction element covering as claimed in claim 13, wherein the overlapping of the flap from one construction element onto an adjacent construction element, permits an otherwise visibly imperfect joint to be covered and to appear perfect due to the complementary tapered portions overlying each other to form a uniform covering over the joint.

15. A construction element having a peripherally extending joint arrangement for attaching the construction element to adjacent construction elements, the construction element being covered with a resilienty deformable covering, as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, the resiliently deformable covering having a flap portion tapered in the plane of thickness extending beyond the joint arrangement.

16. A construction element as claimed in claim 15, including a complementary tapered portion at another edge of the construction element for receiving the flap portion of an adjacent construction element thereby to permit the joint arrangement to be imperceptibly covered in use.

17. A resiliently deformable construction element covering, substantially as herein described and illustrated.

18. A construction element, substantially as herein described and illustrated.

19. A new resiliently deformable construction element covering or a new construction element substantially as herein described.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to a resiliently deformable construction element covering particularly useful in non-static structures.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

[0002] The applicant is aware that at present there are three types of construction used for constructing buildings, such as houses. These three types are:

[0003] brick, stone and/or concrete;

[0004] timber and timber composites; and

[0005] steel with brick and/or timber.

[0006] The first type, i.e. the brick, stone and/or concrete construction, leads to a brittle structure having good compressive strength but limited flexibility and poor tensile strength and is thus prone to cracking, from which there is no recovery, until the structure fails.

[0007] The second type, i.e. the timber construction, has its own problems in that timber is weak when stressed along the grain but strong when stressed across the grain. Furthermore, fixing means used to fix timber to other construction elements, or even to other timber, for example staples, nails, screws and/or glue are prone to unexpected failures and can also weaken the timber.

[0008] The third type, i.e. the steel with brick and/or timber construction, attempts to address the weaknesses of the first two types by combining their strengths. The third type however requires specialist design and construction techniques.

[0009] The applicant is further aware that structures of the above types often suffer damage which detracts from the aesthetic value of the structure, herein after referred to as decorative damage, as a result of weather, such as hurricanes, soil settlement resulting in structural movement, heaving soils resulting in structural movement, and earthquakes which cause horizontal shear resulting in decorative damage or even total destruction of the structure.

[0010] Thus, the applicant has identified a need for a structure which can be erected by two semi-skilled workers with minimal equipment to a standard equivalent to or better than traditional skilled construction methods, including internal and external decorations, fixtures, fittings and services.

[0011] The structure for which a need has been identified should preferably be capable of being erected, and withstanding, all reasonable constructions sites, whether the site has settling soil, heaving soil, rock, clay, gravel or loam.

[0012] The above house should also be able to withstand wind, cold, heat, and moderate earth tremors. Although it would be ideal if such a structure could withstand all extremes of weather and nature this is off course impractical and thus the structure should be able to withstand weather and nature at levels at least the same as those of skilled construction method structures.

[0013] The applicant has identified various modularized house construction systems however these do not address to a sufficient degree the above identified needs.

[0014] The applicant further believes that the above needs can best be satisfied by a construction system in which the construction elements, including decorative finishes are manufactured in a controlled factory environment with a sufficient degree of precision to permit assembly on site under non-ideal conditions by semi-skilled workmen.

[0015] Further, such a construction system should be able to withstand adverse weather and nature conditions as described above.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0016] Thus, according to a first aspect of the invention there is provided a resiliently deformable construction element covering which permits a structure constructed using said covering to deform in sympathy with weather and other natural forces and to recover to substantially to its original state, said covering including:

[0017] a resiliently deformable film having at least a portion extending beyond the surface of the construction element onto which the film is to be applied thereby to a define a flap which overlaps onto an adjacent construction element;

[0018] an adhesive for applying the film to the construction element;

[0019] a coating composition or system capable of being applied to the film and of dissipating most of any decorative damage over an area around a stressed area of the film which is causing the decorative damage thereby to form individual cracks in the coating composition that are substantially invisible to the naked eye.

[0020] The resiliently deformable film may be an elastomeric film, however, experience has taught that rubber degrades with time and is not ideally suited for the task.

[0021] Thus, the resiliently deformable film may be a thermoplastic elastomeric film i.e. a TPE film. An example of TPE's which do not suffer from the problems of rubber is styrene-ethylene/butylene-styrene (SEBS) which may have upto 1000% elongation, however, the degree of elongation may be reduced by using compounding additives, such as fillers.

[0022] The principle of SEBS is that two thermoplastic species are compounded to a homogeneous melt and cooled. The one species i.e. butylenes or ethylene/butylenes has a glass transition temperature of below −40° C. and the other species i.e. styrene has a glass transition temperature of 80° C. Thus, at ambient temperature, the one species is in a rubbery state while the other is in a glassy state thereby providing a balance between stiffness and elongation depending on the ratio of the species in the SEBS.

[0023] SEBS is available in strips and sheets.

[0024] Suitable compounding agents such as inorganic fillers, for example, talc, clay, calcium carbonate, and/or titanium oxide can be added to produce a resiliently deformable film which is suitable as a wall covering in that it has sufficient stiffness so that it does not sag under its own weight nor is it tacky to the touch while also having adequate elastic memory, for example 100% deformation, to stretch and recover with movement of the construction elements to which it is applied.

[0025] The resiliently deformable covering may also serve as a sound and/or thermal insulation.

[0026] The adhesive may be a hot melt pressure sensitive adhesive, such as Etimelt 89E and National 281E from National Starch & Chemical. This type of adhesive is routinely applied to panel boards and are stable with time and capable of on-site application with no specialist equipment or skills.

[0027] The adhesive may be formulated to control tack strength, shear strength, melt temperature, and the like, as is commonplace in the art.

[0028] The coating composition or system may include a polar inorganic material which is applied to the film and which is receptive to paint and ink thereby to permit paint and/or ink to be applied to the inorganic material and thus to the film.

[0029] The polar inorganic material may be particles of quartz, marble, limestone, or the like,

[0030] The particles may be in the form of fine granules or powder.

[0031] The polar inorganic material may be pressed into the surface of the film which is to be painted after that surface has been heated to above the glass transition temperature of the species in the film having the highest glass transition temperature but below the melting point of the film so that the film loses its elasticity and becomes plastic thereby retaining the inorganic material in the surface.

[0032] Where the inorganic material is in the form of particles, the surface layer of the film is plasticly reformed about the particles providing a mechanical key for each particle thereby retaining the particles in the surface.

[0033] In use, the coating composition expands and contracts together with the deformation of the structure to which it is applied so that the painted and/or inked inorganic material particles separate and act as pixels of colour creating a network of minute cracks in the micron size range which pixels collectively move apart or together thereby to dissipate any stress cracks while remaining substantially invisible to the naked eye.

[0034] The flap of film which extends beyond the edges of the surface onto which the film is applied, together with the inorganic material and any paint or ink which has been applied thereto, is tapered in the plane of the thickness of the covering so that it overlaps with a complementary tapered section on an adjacent construction element to form a resiliently deformable covering spanning a joint between the adjacent construction elements while limiting the thickness of the covering in the overlap region to substantially that of the covering on the remainder of the construction elements.

[0035] The width of the resiliently deformable covering spanning the joint is variable and limited only by the width of the tapered portions of the flap.

[0036] The overlapping of the flap from one construction element from one construction element onto an adjacent construction element, as described above, permits an otherwise visibly imperfect joint to be covered and to appear perfect due to the complementary tapered portions overlying each other to form a uniform covering over the joint.

[0037] In the event of deformation of the structure in the joint regions due to weather, forces of nature, soil settlement, soil heaving, earthquakes, or the like, the covering over the joint region deforms in sympathy with the deformation of the structure thereby preserving the decorative finish and limiting, if not avoiding, decorative damage.

[0038] The invention extends to a construction element having a peripherally extending joint arrangement for attaching the construction element to adjacent construction elements, the construction element being covered with a resiliently deformable covering, substantially as described above, having a flap portion tapered in the plane of thickness extending beyond the joint arrangement and a complementary tapered portion at an opposite corresponding edge of the construction element for receiving the flap portion of an adjacent construction element thereby to permit the joint arrangement to be imperceptibly covered in use.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0039] The invention will now be described, by way of non-limiting illustration only, with reference to the accompanying drawings.

[0040] In the drawings,

[0041] FIG. 1 shows, in schematic representation, a network of micron sized cracks in a region of stress;

[0042] FIG. 2 shows, in three dimensional schematic view, a pair of construction elements having a resiliently deformable covering having a tapered flap region at the edge of each construction element;

[0043] FIG. 3 shows, in edge view, the construction elements of FIG. 2; and

[0044] FIG. 4 shows, also in edge view, the construction elements of FIG. 3 with the flap in an overlapping position.

[0045] In FIG. 1, reference numeral 10 generally indicates a resiliently deformable covering broadly in accordance with the invention.

[0046] The covering 10 includes a resiliently deformable film 12, in the form of a thermoplastic elastomeric film i.e. a TPE film. In the embodiment shown the TPE is styrene-ethylene/butylene-styrene (SEBS).

[0047] As previously described, the principle of SEBS is that two thermoplastic species are compounded to a homogeneous melt and cooled. The one species i.e. butylenes or ethylene/butylenes has a glass transition temperature of below −40° C. and the other species i.e. styrene has a glass transition temperature of 80° C. Thus, at ambient temperature, the one species is in a rubbery state while the other is in a glassy state thereby providing a balance between stiffness and elongation depending on the ratio of the species in the SEBS.

[0048] On the underside 14 of the film 12 is provided an adhesive 16 which is a hot melt pressure sensitive adhesive, such as Etimelt 89E and National 281E from National Starch & Chemical.

[0049] The adhesive 16 may be formulated to control tack strength, shear strength, melt temperature, and the like, as is commonplace in the art.

[0050] Since the SEBS film is non-polar and inks and paints will not adhere to it, a coating composition 18 is applied to an upper surface 20 of the film 12. The coating composition 18 includes a polar inorganic material 22 which is applied to the film and which is receptive to paint and ink 24 thereby to permit paint and/or ink to be applied to the inorganic material 22 and thus to the film 12.

[0051] In the embodiment shown the polar inorganic material 22 is in the form of fine granules 26 of quartz, marble, limestone, or the like,

[0052] The polar inorganic granules 26 are pressed into the surface 28 of the film 12 which is to be painted after that surface 28 has been heated to above the glass transition temperature of the styrene species in the film i.e. above 80° C. but below the melting point of the film so that the film 12 surface 28 loses its elasticity and becomes plastic thereby retaining the inorganic material granules 26 in the surface 28.

[0053] The surface layer 28 of the film 12 is plasticly reformed about the granules 26 providing a mechanical key for each granule 26 thereby retaining the granules in the surface 28.

[0054] In use, the coating composition 18 expands and contracts together with the deformation of the structure to which it is applied in the direction arrows 30 so that the painted and/or inked inorganic material granules 26 separate and act as pixels of colour creating a network of minute cracks 32 in the micron size range, which pixels collectively move apart or together thereby to dissipate any stress cracks while remaining substantially invisible to the naked eye.

[0055] In FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, reference numeral 40 generally indicates a pair of construction elements to which the resiliently deformable covering has been applied.

[0056] Each of the construction elements 40 has a peripherally extending joint arrangement 42 for attaching the construction element to adjacent construction elements, the construction elements 40 being covered with a resiliently deformable covering 44, substantially as described above, having a flap portion 46 tapered in the plane of thickness extending beyond the joint arrangement 42 and a complementary tapered portion 48 at an opposite corresponding edge 49 of the construction elements 40 for receiving the flap portion 46 of an adjacent construction element thereby to permit the joint arrangement 42 to be imperceptibly covered in use.

[0057] The flap 46 of film which extends beyond the edges of the surface onto which the film is applied, together with the inorganic material and any paint or ink which has been applied thereto, is tapered in the plane of the thickness of the covering so that it overlaps with a complementary tapered section 48 on an adjacent construction element to form a resiliently deformable covering 50 spanning a joint 52 between the adjacent construction elements 40 while limiting the thickness of the covering in the overlap region 54 to substantially that of the covering 44 on the remainder of the construction elements 40.

[0058] The width 56 of the resiliently deformable covering 50 spanning the joint 52 is variable and limited only by the width of the tapered portions 46, 48 of the flap.

[0059] The overlapping of the tapered flap 46 from one construction element onto an adjacent construction element, as described above, permits an otherwise visibly imperfect joint 52 to be covered and to appear perfect due to the complementary tapered portions 46, 48 overlying each other to form a uniform covering 50 over the joint 52.

[0060] In the event of deformation of a structure including the elements 40 due to weather, forces of nature, soil settlement, soil heaving, earthquakes, or the like, the covering 50 over the joint region 52 deforms in sympathy with the deformation of the structure thereby preserving the decorative finish and limiting, if not avoiding, decorative damage.

[0061] The construction elements 40 are pre manufactured in a controlled factory environment and can be assembled on site by semi-skilled workers to provide a structure, such as a house, having a high standard finish as well as being resistant to weather and other natural forces, such as settling soils, heaving soils, tremors and the like.

[0062] It will be clear to those skilled in the art that other embodiments of the invention exist and are included in the scope of the invention.

[0063] The claims which follow form an integral part of the disclosure of the invention as if specifically reproduced here.





 
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