Title:
Truss systems and methods
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Embodiments of truss systems and methods are disclosed. One system embodiment comprises a first chord, a second chord, and a continuous web member connected to the first chord and the second chord.



Inventors:
Hughes, Mitchell A. (Duluth, GA, US)
Application Number:
11/030768
Publication Date:
07/13/2006
Filing Date:
01/07/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04C3/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LAUX, JESSICA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THOMAS | HORSTEMEYER, LLP (3200 WINDY HILL ROAD, SE SUITE 1600E, ATLANTA, GA, 30339, US)
Claims:
1. A truss system, comprising: a first chord; a second chord; and a continuous web member connected to the first chord and the second chord.

2. The system of claim 1, wherein the first chord is a top chord and the second chord is a bottom chord.

3. The system of claim 1, wherein the continuous web member is comprised of a light gauge steel.

4. The system of claim 1, wherein the continuous web member is at least one of tubular and non-tubular in configuration.

5. The system of claim 1, wherein the continuous web member is bent in a manner that allows contact at defined locations along the first chord and the second chord.

6. The system of claim 1, wherein the continuous web member has a round cross section.

7. The system of claim 1, wherein the continuous web member has a square cross section.

8. The system of claim 1, wherein the continuous web member has an oval cross section.

9. The system of claim 1, wherein the continuous web member has a rectangular cross section.

10. The system of claim 1, wherein the continuous web member has a protuberance configured to extend at least one of into a cavity of the continuous web member and out from a surface of the continuous web member.

11. The system of claim 1, wherein the continuous web member comprises a tubular structure having a discontinuity when viewed in cross section.

12. The system of claim 1, wherein the second chord is comprised of two or more structural members.

13. The system of claim 1, wherein the first chord is comprised of two or more structural members.

14. The system of claim 1, wherein the continuous web member contacts at least one of the first chord or second chord at a defined angle.

15. The system of claim 1, wherein the continuous web member is continuous through at least two locations of at least one of the first chord and the second chord.

16. A truss method, comprising: connecting a lengthwise continuous web member between a first chord at a first location, a second chord at a second location, and the first chord at a third location.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein connecting comprises at least one of attaching the lengthwise continuous web member to the first chord with a web-to-chord connector and attaching the lengthwise continuous web member to the second chord with a web-to-chord connector.

18. The method of claim 16, wherein connecting comprises attaching the lengthwise continuous web member to the first chord with at least one of two web-to-chord connectors and a welded web-to-chord connector.

19. The method of claim 16, wherein connecting comprises attaching the lengthwise continuous web member to the second chord with at least one of two web-to-chord connectors and a welded web-to-chord connector.

20. The method of claim 16, further comprising connecting the lengthwise continuous web member to a second first chord.

21. The method of claim 16, further comprising connecting the lengthwise continuous web member to a second second chord.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present disclosure is generally related to the construction industry, and, more particularly, is related to truss systems and methods used in the construction of commercial and residential buildings.

BACKGROUND

In the construction industry, truss systems and components are increasingly formed from light gauge metal due at least in part to the rising cost and declining quality of wood. Components formed from light gauge metal are generally lighter and stronger than their wood counterparts. Light gauge metal components also provide consistent material quality, are not subject to shrinkage, and are resistant to fire and pest infestation.

A number of proprietary and generic light gauge steel truss systems are currently available to the construction industry. Referring to FIG. 1, shown is a conventional floor truss system 10 that comprises a top chord 12, a bottom chord 14, and discontinuous web members 18 that may be connected to each other and/or to the top chord 12 and bottom chord 14 by gusset plates 16. The top chord 12, bottom chord 14, and web members 18 are in this example indicated as proprietary, non c-shaped metal chord and web members, with the webs 18 extending into and between the flanges of the top chord 12 and the bottom chord 14. The same configuration can be used for roof truss systems.

Referring to FIG. 2, shown is a conventional generic roof truss system 19 that comprises multiple c-studs as top chords 24, and/or bottom chords 21, discontinuous c-stud webs 22, and optional gusset plates 23. The top chords 24, bottom chord 21, and discontinuous web members 22 may be connected to each other by lapping webs 22, back-to-back with top chords 24 and/or bottom chord 21, or through use of a gussett plate 23. Proprietary truss systems currently available are basically variations of the generic truss systems with modifications of web and chord member component shapes designed to make a stronger, lighter system that will presumably, be more easily fabricated with increased cost competitiveness in the market place.

In a historical context, light gauge steel truss systems are fairly new to the construction industry. The first generation of light gauge steel truss systems are essentially copies of wood based truss systems. Though a number of proprietary designs have helped make a stronger, lighter, better designed light gauge steel truss system, their heritage remains obvious. In spite of the significant advantages light gauge steel truss systems have over their wood counterparts, high material and fabrication costs typically prevent significant market penetration of this product.

SUMMARY

One truss system embodiment comprises a first chord, a second chord, and a continuous web member connected to the first chord and the second chord.

One truss method embodiment comprises connecting a lengthwise continuous web member between a first chord at a first location, a second chord at a second location, and the first chord at a third location

Other systems, methods, features, and advantages of the disclosed systems and methods will be or become apparent to one with skill in the art upon examination of the following drawings and detailed description. It is intended that all such additional systems, methods, features, and advantages be included within this description, be within the scope of the present disclosure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Many aspects of the truss systems and methods can be better understood with reference to the following drawings. The components in the drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon clearly illustrating the principles of the present invention. Moreover, in the drawings, like reference numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the several views.

FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram that illustrates a conventional truss system using proprietary truss shapes.

FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram that illustrates a conventional truss system using c-shaped members, commonly referred to as c-studs or studs.

FIG. 3 is a front elevation view that illustrates an embodiment of a truss system.

FIG. 4 is a front elevation view that illustrates another embodiment of a truss system.

FIGS. 5A-5C are side elevation views that illustrate various embodiments of connectivity between the chords and continuous web members of the truss systems shown in FIGS. 3 and 4.

FIGS. 6A-6F are cross-sectional schematic views of various embodiments of the continuous web members shown in FIGS. 3-5C.

FIG. 7 is a front elevation view that illustrates another embodiment of a truss system.

FIGS. 8A-8B are side elevation views of various embodiments of connectivity between the chords and continuous web members of the truss systems shown in FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is a front elevation view that illustrates another embodiment of a truss system.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Disclosed herein are various embodiments of truss systems and methods (herein, referred to as a truss system for brevity). In some embodiments, such a truss system may comprise roll-formed light gauge metal components, utilizing strengths and properties of steel in a manner not previously considered by current and past designs. By utilizing a tubular section or like-configured structure, or other configuration, comprised of material bent and/or bent and spliced as necessary to form a continuous (e.g., length-wise continuous) web member that connects to continuous or discontinuous members comprising top and bottom chords of a truss assembly, the continuity of the web member acts to improve strength-to-weight ratios improving product material efficiencies, while simultaneously providing significant reductions in fabrication and assembly times, and allowing practical assembly of trusses of shallow depths.

A top chord(s) or compression chord of a truss, for horizontally oriented trusses, or compression chord of a truss, for vertically oriented trusses (both herein referred to as a top chord), generally acts to distribute loads to web members, with the resulting re-direction of the loads and forces creating what is commonly referred to as truss, or load distribution. Additionally, the top chord may act to redistribute forces from the webs, primarily through compression, along the chord path. A bottom chord(s) of a truss, for horizontally oriented trusses, or tension chord of a truss, for vertically oriented trusses (both herein referred to as a bottom chord), generally acts to distribute loads applied to the bottom chord of the truss into the web members, for redistribution of forces through frame-truss action, and to redistribute forces from the webs, primarily through tension, along the chord path. Individual and/or continuous web members, when connected to one or more chord members, in a primarily triangular pattern, generally act to redistribute loads and forces in such a way as to efficiently carry and transfer loads to truss supports, typically through compression and tension. Additionally, truss web members may act as supports for chord sections, reducing the span for the chords, and the distribution of the chord forces into the web elements.

FIG. 3 illustrates an embodiment of a truss assembly or system 60 in a pitched or multi-chord configuration. The truss system 60 comprises a top chord 11, a bottom chord 30, and a continuous web member 20. The top chord 11 and bottom chord 30 each may be single members (continuous), or in some embodiments, may be multiple members (discontinuous). For example, although the bottom chord 30 is shown using a single member (although two or more may be used), the top chord 11 may be configured using two members connected at the apex of the truss system 60 or some other location, or a single member that is bent in triangular configuration or some other fashion. The continuous web member 20, in one embodiment, is configured as a continuous (e.g., continuous between a first connection and second connection at separate locations along the top chord 11 with an intervening connection at the bottom chord 30), a tubular member or like-configured structure that is connected to the top chord 11 and bottom chord 30 using a web-to-chord connector 40. The web-to-chord connector 40 may comprise a screw or other fastener, or a weld. The bottom chord 30 may also be made up of continuous members as indicated, or as discontinuous members in linear alignment, and/or otherwise. The top chords 11, and bottom chords 30, may also be comprised of multiple members with two or more top chords 11, on one or opposing sides of the continuous web member 20, or two or more bottom chords 30, on one or opposing sides of the continuous web member 20 (e.g., see FIG. 5).

FIG. 4 illustrates an embodiment of a truss system 70 in a shallow and/or flat truss configuration. The truss system 70 comprises a top chord 11 and a bottom chord 30, with a continuous web member 20 provided between the top chord 11 and bottom chord 30 and connected to the same using web-to-chord connectors 40. Although the continuous web member 20 is shown provided at an angle between chords 11 and 30, it would be understood that a vertical orientation 50 for the continuous web member 20 is possible in one or more locations.

FIGS. 5A-5C are side elevation views that illustrate various embodiments of connectivity between the chord and web members of the truss systems shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. FIG. 5A shows one connectivity embodiment 90 wherein the top chord 11 and bottom chord 30 are c-shaped, and the continuous web member 20 is disposed between the “c” of the chords 11 and 30 and fixed to each side of the “c” using a web-to-chord connectors 40.

FIG. 5B shows another connectivity embodiment 100 wherein two top chords 11, each having a c-shape, are provided back-to-back. The continuous web member 20 is disposed between the two top chords 11 and fixed to each chord 11 using a using web-to-chord connector 40. The bottom chord 30 and continuous web member 20 are connected in similar fashion.

FIG. 5C shows another connectivity embodiment 110 having a top chord 11, bottom chord 30, and continuous web member 20 arranged in similar fashion to the embodiment 90 shown in FIG. 5A, except two or more web-to-chord connector 40a may be used to secure the continuous web member 20 to either the top chord 11, bottom chord 30, or both (and/or may be welded, as represented by 40b). Other connecting or attaching mechanisms may be used (e.g., clamps, pins, rivets, etc.).

FIGS. 6A-6F are cross-sectional schematic views of various embodiments of the continuous web members 20 shown in FIGS. 3-5C. FIG. 6A shows a continuous web member embodiment 20a that is round in configuration. FIG. 6B shows a continuous web member embodiment 20b that is square in configuration. FIG. 6C shows a continuous web member embodiment 20c that is oval in configuration. FIG. 6D shows a continuous web member embodiment 20d that is rectangular in configuration. FIG. 6E shows a continuous web member embodiment 20e that is square, or rectangular, in configuration, with one or more protuberances provided within the cavity formed by the structure of the web member, and/or extending out from the web member. FIG. 6F shows a continuous web member embodiment 20f that is square, or rectangular, in configuration, with one or more discontinuities when viewed in a cross-sectional view. It would be understood by one having ordinary skill in the art that one or more of these cross-sectional configuration embodiments may be used in a single truss system, such as truss system 60 or 70.

The truss webs can also be flattened at the area in contact with the chord(s) to facilitate improvements in the ease of connection between the web and the chord(s).

FIG. 7 shows an embodiment of a truss system 120, comprising flattened areas 31 of the continuous web members 20, as well as top chord 11 and bottom chord 30 which connect to the continuous web member 20 via web-to-chord connectors 40. FIG. 8 shows side views of select components shown in FIG. 7. In particular, FIGS. 8A (assembly 130) and 8B (assembly 140) represent sections with concentric top 11 and or bottom chords 30, and a one sided top and/or bottom chord, respectively.

Referring to FIG. 9, shown is an embodiment of a truss system 150 comprising a predominantly continuous web member 20, with one or more discontinuities of the web that occur at the connection 41 of the web to the top 11 and/or bottom chord 30, but at least one continuity of web through the joint at the connection area between web and top or bottom chord. Such configurations maintain substantial benefits found in a continuous web. Some of the benefits of this modification to the continuous web include ability to build and ship trusses in multiple sections, for future assembly or assembly in the field, or to avoid the need for splices within the web section.

It should be emphasized that the above-described embodiments of the disclosed truss systems and methods, particularly, any “preferred” embodiments, are merely possible examples of implementations, merely set forth for a clear understanding of the principles of the invention. Many variations and modifications may be made to the above-described embodiment(s) without departing substantially from the spirit and principles of the invention. All such modifications and variations are intended to be included herein within the scope of this disclosure and protected by the following claims.