Title:
Structural member
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A structural member includes an outer frame unit, a multi-cellular frame unit, and a foam filler. The outer frame unit confines an inner space. The multi-cellular frame unit is disposed in the inner space of the outer frame unit, and cooperates with the outer frame unit to define a plurality of cellular spaces within the inner space. The foam filler fills the cellular spaces.



Inventors:
Chou, Ju-li (Kaohsiung City, TW)
Lin, Cheng (Kaohsiung City, TW)
Application Number:
10/074674
Publication Date:
08/14/2003
Filing Date:
02/13/2002
Assignee:
CHOU JU-LI
LIN CHENG
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/783.17
International Classes:
E04C2/34; (IPC1-7): E04C2/32
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
GLESSNER, BRIAN E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HUSCH BLACKWELL LLP/Milwaukee (INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY DEPARTMENT 555 EAST WELLS STREET, SUITE 1900, MILWAUKEE, WI, 53202, US)
Claims:

We claim:



1. A structural member, comprising: an outer frame unit that confines an inner space; a multi-cellular frame unit disposed in said inner space of said outer frame unit, said multi-cellular frame unit cooperating with said outer frame unit to define a plurality of cellular spaces within said inner space; and a foam filler that fills said cellular spaces.

2. The structural member as claimed in claim 1, wherein said outer frame unit is made of a lightweight material.

3. The structural member as claimed in claim 2, wherein said lightweight material is selected from the group consisting of wood, plastic steel, and a phenolic-resin-based polymer.

4. The structural member as claimed in claim 3, wherein said phenolic-resin-based polymer contains clay.

5. The structural member as claimed in claim 1, wherein said outer frame unit includes a parallel pair of face panels, and a plurality of side panels interconnecting adjacent peripheral edges of said face panels.

6. The structural member as claimed in claim 1, wherein said multi-cellular frame unit is porous.

7. The structural member as claimed in claim 1, wherein said multi-cellular frame unit is made of a metal.

8. The structural member as claimed in claim 7, wherein said metal is steel.

9. The structural member as claimed in claim 1, wherein said multi-cellular frame unit includes at least two corrugated plates, and at least one partition plate sandwiched between two of said corrugated plates.

10. The structural member as claimed in claim 9, wherein said multi-cellular frame unit is made of a metal.

11. The structural member as claimed in claim 10, wherein said metal is steel.

12. The structural member as claimed in claim 1, wherein said multi-cellular frame unit includes a metal plate bent to form said cellular spaces within said inner space.

13. The structural member as claimed in claim 12, wherein said metal plate is a steel plate.

14. The structural member as claimed in claim 1, wherein said foam filler is made of polyester.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The invention relates to a structural member, more particularly to a structural member which is lightweight, which has high stress resistance, corrosion resistance, and tensile strength, and which can be used in various applications.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] Referring to FIG. 1, a conventional partition 1 includes a plurality of units 11. Each of the units 11 includes two face panels 111 disposed on opposite sides of a structural grid 112, two slabs 114 mounted on the inner surfaces of the face panels 111 respectively, and a styrofoam layer 115 sandwiched between the slabs 114. Sealing panels 116 are mounted on the structural grid 112 so as to seal spaces between two adjacent face panels 111. Concrete is filled into spaces between opposing sealing panels 116. Although the partition 1 can be installed with relative ease, the bearing strength is insufficient for use as main structural members of a building.

[0005] Referring to FIG. 2, a conventional floor structure 2 includes a corrugated plate 21 formed with a plurality of alternately arranged peaks and valleys 211, a plurality of steel bars 22 mounted within the valleys 211 of the corrugated plate 21, a steel grid 222 disposed on the peaks 211 of the corrugated plate 21, and a concrete layer 23 formed on the corrugated plate 21 and having the bars 22 and the grid 222 embedded therein. Although the conventional floor structure 2 has sufficient bearing strength required for a floor structure, the construction process thereof is time and labor intensive and is thus costly.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] Therefore, the object of the present invention is to provide a structural member which is lightweight, which has high stress resistance, corrosion resistance, and tensile strength, and which can be used in various applications.

[0007] The structural member according to this invention includes an outer frame unit, a multi-cellular frame unit, and a foam filler. The outer frame unit confines an inner space. The multi-cellular frame unit is disposed in the inner space of the outer frame unit, and cooperates with the outer frame unit to define a plurality of cellular spaces within the inner space. The foam filler fills the cellular spaces.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent in the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawings, of which:

[0009] FIG. 1 is an exploded fragmentary perspective view of a conventional partition;

[0010] FIG. 2 is a perspective, partly sectional cutaway view of a conventional floor structure;

[0011] FIG. 3 is an exploded fragmentary perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the structural member according to this invention;

[0012] FIG. 4 is a fragmentary partly sectional perspective view of the preferred embodiment;

[0013] FIG. 5 is a fragmentary partly sectional perspective view of another preferred embodiment of the structural member according to this invention;

[0014] FIG. 6 is a schematic view showing the preferred embodiment when applied to a wall structure;

[0015] FIG. 7 is a schematic fragmentary perspective view showing the preferred embodiment when applied to a floor structure; and

[0016] FIG. 8 is a fragmentary sectional view showing the preferred embodiment when applied to a road or bridge structure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0017] Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, the preferred embodiment of a structural member 3 according to this invention is shown to comprise an outer frame unit 3′, a multi-cellular frame unit 3″, and a foam filler 36.

[0018] The outer frame unit 3′ confines an inner space, and includes a parallel pair of face panels 31 and a plurality of side panels 33 interconnecting adjacent peripheral edges of the face panels 31. The outer frame unit 3′ can be made of a lightweight material, such as wood, plastic steel, and a phenolic-resin-based polymer. Among them, the phenolic-resin-based polymer is preferred for the lightweight material since phenolic resin has characteristics, such as water resistance, corrosion resistance, flame resistance, and rigidity. If the phenolic-resin-based polymer is selected to produce the outer frame unit 3′, a minor amount of clay can be optionally added thereto.

[0019] The multi-cellular frame unit 3″ is disposed in the inner space of the outer frame unit 3′, and cooperates with the outer frame unit 3′ to define a plurality of cellular spaces 35 within the inner space. The multi-cellular frame unit 3″ is made of a metal, such as steel. The multi-cellular frame unit 3″ of this embodiment includes three porous corrugated plates 32, and two porous partition plates 34, each of which is sandwiched between two adjacent ones of the porous corrugated plates 32. Adjacent ones of the face panels 31 and the porous partition plates 34 are interconnected via the peaks and valleys 321 of the porous corrugated plates 32.

[0020] The foam filler 36 fills all of the cellular spaces 35 via the pores 30 of the corrugated plates 32 and the partition plates 34. Preferably, the foam filler 36 is made of polyester having the properties of rigidity, flame resistance, and corrosion resistance, and is foamed using a blowing agent that is not harmful to the environment.

[0021] When pressure is applied to the top face panel 31 of the outer frame unit 3′, it will be distributed via the corrugated configuration of the multi-cellular frame unit 3′. Therefore, the bearing strength of the structural member 3 according to this invention is enhanced.

[0022] Referring to FIG. 5, another preferred embodiment of the structural member 4 according to this invention is shown to be similar to the previous embodiment, except that the multi-cellular frame unit 42 is formed by bending a metal plate (such as a steel plate) into the configuration shown in FIG. 5 so as to form the cellular spaces 45 within the inner space of outer frame unit 41.

[0023] In view of aforesaid, the structural member according to this invention is lightweight, has high stress resistance, corrosion resistance, and tensile strength, and can thus be used in various applications.

[0024] Referring to FIG. 6, the structural member 3 according to this invention can be easily installed on a wall grid 6 by any suitable manner (such as with the use of nails 5) so as to form a wall structure. Referring to FIG. 7, the structural member 3 according to this invention can also be easily installed on a floor grid 7 so as to form a floor structure. Referring to FIG. 8, the structural member 3 according to this invention can be applied to serve as a road or bridge surface.

[0025] While the present invention has been described in connection with what is considered the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is understood that this invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments but is intended to cover various arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent arrangements.