Title:
Holdown with reinforced back
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A connector for tying a first building structural member to a second building structural member in conjunction with fastener means and an anchor member, that better withstands tension forces than the prior art, is more economical to produce than the prior art, is easier to produce than the prior art, and is easy to install.



Inventors:
Lin, Jin-jie (Livermore, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/090381
Publication Date:
09/28/2006
Filing Date:
03/25/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E02D27/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GLESSNER, BRIAN E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Cypher Law Offices (1714 Franklin St., #100-329, OAKLAND, CA, 94612-3409, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A connector for tying a first building structural member to a second building structural member in conjunction with fastener means and an anchor member, said connector comprising: a. a seat member, having a back edge, said seat member being formed with an opening, said opening being formed for receiving said anchor member therethrough to attach said connector to said second building structural member; b. a first side member connected to said seat member; c. a second side member connected to said seat member; and d. a unitary back member having: i. a lower portion connected to said seat member, and an upper portion connected to said first and second side members; ii. an enlarged opening proximate said seat member such that said lower portion of said back member adjacent said seat member forms a reinforcing flange along at least a portion of said back edge of said seat member; wherein: a) said back member is formed to interface with said fastener means to attach said back member to said first building structural member; and b) said upper portion of said back member is divided into first and second back plates each having an inner edge extending away from said enlarged opening.

2. The connector of claim 1, wherein: a. said first and second back plates are mutually opposed.

3. The connector of claim 2, wherein: a. said inner edge of said first plate faces said inner edge of said second plate.

4. The connector of claim 1, wherein: a. said first and second opposed back plates are integrally connected to and joined by said reinforcing flange.

5. The connector of claim 4, wherein: a. said first and second side members are integrally connected to said seat member.

6. The connector of claim 5, wherein: a. said back member is integrally connected to said first and second side members.

7. The connector of claim 6, wherein: a. said back member is integrally connected to said seat member.

8. The connector of claim 1, wherein: a. said reinforcing flange is connected to said seat member along the greater portion of said back edge of said seat member.

9. The connector of claim 1, wherein: a. said connector has a substantially rigid washer member formed with a receiving portion having an opening for receiving said anchor member therethrough, and said substantially rigid washer member is located proximate said first side member and said second side member to provide lateral bracing to said first and second side members when said connector is under tension loads.

10. The connector of claim 9, wherein: a. said receiving portion of said washer member is dimensioned to closely fit between said first side member and said second side member to provide lateral bracing when said connector is under tension loads.

11. The connector of claim 10, wherein: a. said receiving portion of said washer member conforms exactly to the shape of said first and second side members.

12. The connector of claim 1, wherein: a. said connector has a substantially rigid washer member located proximate said seat member and formed with a receiving portion having an opening for receiving said anchor member therethrough.

13. The connector of claim 12, wherein: a. said washer member has a base formed to be in registration with said seat member.

14. The connector of claim 13, wherein: a. said base of said washer member conforms exactly to the shape of said seat member.

15. The connector of claim 12, wherein: a. said washer member is n-shaped; b. said receiving portion is formed with a back edge and an outward edge; c. said washer member has a back flange integrally connected to said back edge and extending towards said seat member, said back flange formed with a back flange base that is formed to be in registration with said seat member; and d. said washer member has an outward flange integrally connected to said outward edge of said receiving portion and extending towards said seat member, said outward flange formed with an outward flange base that is formed to be in registration with said seat member.

16. The connector of claim 15, wherein: a. said seat member is formed with at least one embossment that interfaces with said washer member to hold said washer member in said seat member.

17. The connector of claim 16, wherein: a. said seat member has a front edge; and b. said connector is formed with at least one embossment that interfaces with said outward flange base of said washer member to hold said washer member within said seat member by preventing said washer member from moving toward said front edge of said seat member.

18. The connector of claim 17, wherein: a. said first and second side members each have a top edge; and b. said connector is formed with at least one embossment that interfaces with said receiving portion of said washer member to hold said washer member within said seat member by preventing said washer member from moving toward said top edges of said first and second side members.

19. The connector of claim 4, wherein: a. said inner edges of said first and second opposed back plates of said back member have matching curvilinear contours that are substantially equidistant.

20. The connector of claim 19, wherein: a. said first and second side members each have a front edge; and b. said front edges of said first and second side members have curvilinear contours.

21. The connector of claim 20, wherein: a. said seat member has a front edge; and b. said front edges of said first and second side members are connected through said front edge of seat member.

22. The connector of claim 1, wherein: a. said seat member is a concave seat member.

23. The connector of claim 22, wherein: a. said first and second back plates are mutually opposed; b. said inner edge of said first plate faces said inner edge of said second plate; c. said first and second opposed back plates are integrally connected to and joined by said reinforcing flange; d. said first and second side members are integrally connected to said concave seat member; e. said back member is integrally connected to said first and second side members; f. said back member is integrally connected to said concave seat member; g. said reinforcing flange is connected to said concave seat member along the greater portion of said back edge of said concave seat member; h. said connector has a substantially rigid washer member located proximate said first side member and said second side member to provide lateral bracing to said first and second side members when said connector is under tension loads, said washer member formed with a receiving portion having an opening for receiving said anchor member therethrough; i. said connector has a substantially rigid washer member located proximate said concave seat member and formed with a receiving portion having an opening for receiving said anchor member therethrough; l. said washer member has a base formed to be in registration with said concave seat member; m. said base of said washer member conforms exactly to the shape of said concave seat member; n. said washer member is n-shaped; o. said receiving portion is formed with a back edge and an outward edge; p. said washer member has a back flange integrally connected to said back edge and extending towards said concave seat member, said back flange formed with a back flange base that is formed to be in registration with said concave seat member; q. said washer member has an outward flange integrally connected to said outward edge of said receiving portion and extending towards said concave seat member, said outward flange formed with an outward flange base that is formed to be in registration with said concave seat member; r. said concave seat is formed with at least one embossment that interfaces with said washer member to hold said washer member in said concave seat; s. said concave seat has a front edge; t. said connector is formed with at least one embossment that interfaces with said outward flange base of said washer member to hold said washer member within said concave seat member by preventing said washer member from moving toward said front edge of said concave seat member; u. said first and second side members each have a top edge; v. said connector is formed with at least one embossment that interfaces with said receiving portion of said washer member to hold said washer member within said concave seat member by preventing said washer member from moving toward said top edges of said first and second side members; w. said first and second side member each have a front edge; x. said concave seat member has a front edge; and y. said front edges of said first and second side members are connected through said front edge of concave seat member.

24. The connector of claim 1 in a connection, wherein: a. said connector is fastened to a first building structural member with a plurality of fastener members; b. said connector receives an anchor member, which is restrained against said connector; and c. said anchor member is attached to and restrained by a second building structural member.

25. The connector of claim 1, wherein: a. said first and second back plates are formed with a plurality of fastener openings.

26. The connector of claim 25 wherein: a. said connector has a washer member located proximate said seat member; and b. said seat member is formed with at least one embossment that interfaces with said washer member to hold said washer member in said seat.

27. A method of forming the connector of claim 1, wherein: a. said opening is formed in said seat member; b. said connector has an outer circumference; c. the greater part of said outer circumference is lance cut from a sheet metal blank; d. the greater part of said unitary back member is bent out of said sheet metal blank; e. said first and second side members are bent out of said sheet metal blank; f. said remainder of said outer circumference is cut from said sheet metal blank, separating said connector from said sheet metal blank; and g. the remainder of said unitary back member is bent into its final form.

28. A method of forming the connector of claim 25, wherein: a. said opening is formed in said seat member; b. said plurality of fastener openings in said first and second back plates are formed; c. said connector has an outer circumference; d. the greater part of said outer circumference is lance cut from a sheet metal blank; e. the greater part of said unitary back member is bent out of said sheet metal blank; f. said first and second side members are bent out of said sheet metal blank; g. said remainder of said outer circumference is cut from said sheet metal blank, separating said connector from said sheet metal blank; and h. the remainder of said unitary back member is bent into its final form.

29. A method of forming the connector of claim 26 wherein: a. said opening is formed in said seat member; b. said plurality of fastener openings in said first and second back plates are formed; c. said at least one embossment is formed in said seat member; d. said connector has an outer circumference; e. the greater part of said outer circumference is lance cut from a sheet metal blank; f. the greater part of said unitary back member is bent out of said sheet metal blank; g. said first and second side members are bent out of said sheet metal blank; h. said remainder of said outer circumference is cut from said sheet metal blank, separating said connector from said sheet metal blank; and i. the remainder of said unitary back member is bent into its final form.

30. A connector for tying a first building structural member to a second building structural member in conjunction with fastener means and an anchor member, said connector comprising: a. a seat member, having a back edge, said seat member being formed with an opening, said opening being formed for receiving said anchor member therethrough to attach said connector to said second building structural member; b. a first side member, having a back edge, connected to said seat member; c. a second side member, having a back edge, connected to said seat member; and d. a back member having: i. a lower portion connected to said back edge of said seat member, and an upper portion connected to said back edges of said first and second side members; ii. an enlarged opening proximate said seat member such that said lower portion of said back member adjacent said seat member forms at least one reinforcing flange along at least a portion of said back edge of said seat member; wherein: a) a part of said upper portion of said back member is formed to interface with said fastener means to attach said back member to said first building structural member; b) said part of said upper portion of said back member formed to interface with said fastener means has first and second back plates each having an inner edge extending away from said enlarged opening; c) said first back plate is connected to said back edge of said first side member; d) said second back plate is connected to said back edge of said second side member; and e) said lower portion of said back member connects to at least one of said back edges of said first and second side members.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a connector for anchoring a first building structural member to a second building structural member. The connector works in conjunction with a separate anchor member that is received by or is attached to the second building structural member and fastener means for attaching the connector to the first building structural member.

Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods impose forces on a building that can cause structural failure. To counteract these forces, it has become common practice to strengthen or add ties between the structural members of a building in areas where such cataclysmic forces are typically focused. For example, framed walls can be attached to the foundation instead of merely resting on it. The connections between the framed walls of each floor can be strengthened. And joists can be connected to both their headers and the support member for their header. One of the most common connectors designed for strengthening structural connections in called a holdown by the inventor. Holdowns are commonly used to anchor framed walls to the foundation.

Early holdowns where constructed from two or more separate pieces of metal, and the pieces were welded together. These holdowns had to be painted to resist rusting because welding destroys the zinc coating of galvanized sheet metal. They were heavy and costly to produce because of the additional manufacturing steps and manual labor involved in welding and painting operations.

State of the art holdowns are made from galvanized sheet metal formed on progressive die machines and require no welding or painting. These advancements have reduced the cost of making holdowns while increasing their ability to withstand tension forces. However, ongoing research and development have demonstrated that it is possible to produce holdowns that are more inexpensive to produce and stronger for many connections.

Most of the holdown connectors of the prior art that work in conjunction with a separate anchor member work in a similar fashion. The anchor member, which is attached to the second structural member, attaches at the seat of the connector. This seat is connected to a back member. The back member attaches to the first building structural member, generally a stud in a framed wall. Most holdown connectors have one or more side members to increase the strength of the connector or to connect the seat member to the back member.

Most prior art holdown connectors that attached to a separate anchor member share a common characteristic: they are formed with a planar or flat seat. Furthermore, the interfaces between the seat member and the back and side members are generally perpendicular.

When sufficiently strong tension forces are exerted on structural members attached to such prior art holdown connectors, the seat of the connector will deflect, and the back member, and side members, if present, will bend inward, toward the attachment point of the seat with the anchor member. The action is somewhat analogous to pulling a slack rope taught. This deflection of the seat, back and side members elongates the holdown connector, loosening the connection between the joined structural members. The effectiveness of the holdown is thereby reduced.

Accordingly, the state of the art was advanced by the design of holdowns that have seats that taper toward the attachment point of the seat with the anchor member. Under even the strongest tension forces, such a connector will have little capacity for further inward bending and will, therefore, not have its effectiveness reduced in this manner.

There is still a continuing need in the art for a connector that can be made more inexpensively, installed more easily, and with better withstands forces imposed by cataclysmic events.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide a connector, for tying a first building structural member to a second building structural member in conjunction with fastener means and an anchor member, that better withstands tension forces than the prior art. This object is achieved by providing a connector that has a unique back member with a reinforcing flange along the back of the seat member. This object is also achieved by providing a connector with relatively uniform material thickness throughout, as can be achieved by forming this connector by means of a wiping bends on progressive die machinery.

An object of the present invention is to provide a connector, for tying a first building structural member to a second building structural member in conjunction with fastener means and an anchor member, that is more economical to produce than the prior art. This object is achieved by providing a connector that can be manufactured with standard die press machinery from a blank of galvanized metal, that is simpler to manufacture than prior art connectors also manufactured with standard die press machinery, that uses less material than the prior art, that can be manufactured from lighter gauge materials, that requires no costly secondary operations such as painting and welding, that does not require such difficult primary operations as drawing, and that wastes less material than the prior art.

An object of the present invention is to provide a connector, for tying a first building structural member to a second building structural member in conjunction with fastener means and an anchor member, that is easier to produce than the prior art. This object is achieved by providing a connector that can be manufactured with standard die press machinery, that requires no costly secondary operations such as painting and welding, that does not require such difficult primary operations as drawing, and that has fewer parts than the prior art.

An object of the present invention is to provide a connector, for tying a first building structural member to a second building structural member in conjunction with fastener means and an anchor member, that is easy to install. This object is achieved by using a design that is amenable to current building practices.

An object of the present invention is to provide a connector for tying a first building structural member to a second building structural member in conjunction with fastener means and an anchor member. The connector comprises a seat member, a first side member, a second side member, and a unitary back member. The seat member has a back edge, the seat member being formed with an opening, the opening being formed for receiving the anchor member therethrough to attach the connector to the second building structural member. The first side member is connected to the seat member. The second side member is connected to the seat member. The unitary back member has a lower portion, an upper portion and an enlarged opening. The lower portion is connected to the seat member. The upper portion is connected to the first and second side members. The enlarged opening is proximate the seat member such that the lower portion of the back member adjacent the seat member forms a reinforcing flange along at least a portion of the back edge of the seat member. The back member is formed to interface with the fastener means to attach the back member to the first building structural member. The upper portion of the back member is divided into first and second back plates each having an inner edge extending away from the enlarged opening.

An object of the present invention is to provide a method of making this connector. According to the method, the opening is formed in the seat member, the connector has an outer circumference, the greater part of the outer circumference is lance cut from a sheet metal blank, the greater part of the unitary back member is bent out of the sheet metal blank, the first and second side members are bent out of the sheet metal blank, the remainder of the outer circumference is cut from the sheet metal blank, separating the connector from the sheet metal blank, and the remainder of the unitary back member is bent into its final form.

An object of the present invention is to provide a connector that comprises a seat member, a first side member, a second side member, and a back member that is not unitary. The seat member has a back edge, and is formed with an opening, the opening being formed for receiving the anchor member therethrough to attach the connector to the second building structural member. The first side member has a back edge and is connected to the seat member. The second side member also has a back edge and the second side member is also connected to the seat member. The back member has a lower portion, an upper portion, and an enlarged opening. The lower portion is connected to the back edge of the seat member, and the upper portion is connected to the back edges of the first and second side members. The enlarged opening is proximate the seat member such that the lower portion of the back member adjacent the seat member forms at least one reinforcing flange along at least a portion of the back edge of the seat member. A part of the upper portion of the back member is formed to interface with the fastener means to attach the back member to the first building structural member. The part of the upper portion of the back member formed to interface with the fastener means has first and second back plates, each having an inner edge extending away from the enlarged opening. The first back plate is connected to the back edge of the first side member. The second back plate is connected to the back edge of the second side member. The lower portion of the back member connects to at least one of the back edges of the first and second side members.

These and other objects of the present invention will become apparent with reference to the drawings, the description of the preferred embodiment and the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a connector formed in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a section of the connector of FIG. 1. The connector is shown with an n-shaped washer.

FIG. 3 is front elevation view of the connector of FIG. 1, shown with an n-shaped washer.

FIG. 4 is a side elevation view of the connector of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the connector of FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view of the connector of FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 is a side elevation view of the connector of FIG. 1.

FIG. 8 is a back elevation view of the connector of FIG. 1, shown with an n-shaped washer.

FIG. 9 is a side elevation view of the n-shaped washer of FIG. 12.

FIG. 10 is a front elevation view of the n-shaped washer of FIG. 12.

FIG. 11 is a bottom elevation view of the n-shaped washer of FIG. 12.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of an n-shaped washer formed with flanges having rounded edges to fit in registration with the rounded form of seat member of the present invention.

FIG. 13 is a side view of a section of the connector of FIG. 1, shown with an n-shaped washer. The holdown of FIG. 1 is shown fastened to a wooden stud and to a concrete foundation.

FIG. 14 is a top plan view of a section of the connector of FIG. 1, shown with an n-shaped washer, taken along line 14-14 of FIG. 13.

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of a connector formed in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 16 is a perspective view of a section of the connector of FIG. 15. The connector is shown with an n-shaped washer.

FIG. 17 is front elevation view of the connector of FIG. 15, shown with an n-shaped washer.

FIG. 18 is a side elevation view of the connector of FIG. 15.

FIG. 19 is a back elevation view of the connector of FIG. 15, shown with an n-shaped washer.

FIG. 20 is a side view of a section of the connector of FIG. 1, shown with an n-shaped washer. The holdown of FIG. 1 is shown fastened to a steel channel stud and to a concrete foundation.

FIG. 21 is a top plan view of a section of the connector of FIG. 1, shown with an n-shaped washer, taken along line 21-21 of FIG. 20.

FIG. 22 is a top plan view of the progressive die formation of the connector of FIG. 15.

FIG. 23 is a top plan view of the progressive die formation of the connector of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 15, a connector 1 formed in accordance with the present invention consists of a seat member 2, having a back edge 3, a first side member 4 connected to the seat member 2, a second side member 5 connected to the seat member 2, and a unitary back member 6, in which the parts of the back member 6 are joined to each other without parts outside the back member intervening. The seat member 2 is formed with an opening 7. The back member 6 has a lower portion 8 connected to the seat member 2, and an upper portion 9 connected to the first side member 4 and the second side member 5. The back member 6 has an enlarged opening 10 proximate the seat member 2, such that the lower portion 8 of the back member 6 adjacent the seat member 2 forms a reinforcing flange 8 along at least a portion of the back edge 3 of the seat member 2. The enlarged opening 10 means that there is less material in the back member 6 so that it is less likely that the material of the back member 6 will be stretched when the connector 1 is formed. The upper portion 9 of the back member 6 is divided into a first back plate 11 and a second back plate 12. The first and second back plates 11 and 12 are opposed, and each has an inner edge 13 that extends away from the enlarged opening 10.

The first and second back plates 11 and 12 are extensions of the reinforcing flange 8. In the preferred embodiment, the upper and lower portions of the back member 6, where the lower portions connectors to the back edge 3 of the seat member 2 and the upper portion connects to the first and second side members 4 and 5, preferably lie in substantially the same plane.

As shown in FIGS. 13 and 20, the connector 1 is used for tying a first building structural member 14 to a second building structural member 15 in conjunction with fastener means 16 and an anchor member 17. The opening 7 in the seat member 2 is formed to receive the anchor member 17 therethrough to attach the connector 1 to the second building structural member 15. The back member 6 is formed to interface with the fastener means 16 to attach the back member 6 to the first building structural member 14. In the preferred form of the invention, the first building structural member 14 is a wood post or wall stud 14. In an alternate form of the invention, as shown in FIG. 20, the first building structural member 14 is a steel channel post or wall stud 14. As shown in FIG. 13, when the connector 1 is attached to a wood post or wall stud 14, it is preferably mounted on an outer face of the wood post or wall stud 14, and the fastener means 16 are preferably self-drilling wood screws 16. As shown in FIG. 20, when the connector 1 is attached to a steel channel post or wall stud 14, the connector 1 is preferably mounted within the steel channel post or wall stud 14, and the fastener means 16 are preferably steel framing screws 16. Although the fastener means 16 are preferably screws 16, the fastener means 16 could be another form of mechanical fastener, such as nails, bolts, rivers, welds or adhesives.

If the connector 1 is formed for attachment to a wood post or wall stud 14, the connector 1 is preferably formed so that it is approximately as wide as the wood post or wall stud 14, which is typically a double 2×4 member. This form is best shown in FIGS. 17 and 19. If the connector 1 is formed for attachment to a steel channel post or wall stud 14, the connector 1 is preferably formed so that it is narrow enough to fit within the steel channel post or wall stud 14. This form is best shown in FIGS. 3 and 8.

The connector 1 of the present invention is a significant improvement over the prior art. It can be produced on automated progressive die machinery with essentially no waste of material. This means that there is virtually no manual labor involved in the formation and assembly of the connector, and there is a 30% material saving when compared to the most similar prior art connectors. Both translate into substantial cost savings, and the enormous material savings translates directly into less waste and savings in time, money and energy related to disposal or recycling of waste material. The connector 1 of the present invention is such a significant improvement over prior art holdown connectors that is can be used to replace several different types, further reducing production, inventory, shipping and related costs. Furthermore, quality is highly uniform as compared to prior art holdown connectors, which means that quality control is less burdensome and less expensive. The design of the connector 1 of the present invention is not only a substantial step forward in ease of production, but can achieve load values the same as or better than prior art holdown connectors using lighter gauge steel, which again conserves raw materials, energy and cost. Using the same or heavier gauge steel, the connector 1 of the present invention can achieve markedly higher load values. Testing has shown that the failure mode for the connector 1 of the present invention is shearing of the fasteners 16 or of the first building structural member 14, which demonstrates how strong the connector 1 of the present invention is. The connector 1 of the present invention also incorporates a design that allows connectors 1 manufactured according to the same method to be made relatively wide, for attachment to wood structural members, and sufficiently narrow to be inserted in steel channel structural members, as well as other narrow installation environments.

The tables below show the remarkable load values achieved in early testing of the connector 1 (labeled PHD-B1-8 through PHD-B2-14) of the present invention:

Test Data and Allowable Loads Summary
Test Data per pair of Holdowns (lbs)
FastenersSetup ASetup BSetup C
ModelAnchorQtyScrewTestLoad @UltimateLoad @UltimateLoad @Ultimate
No.GaDia. (in)SDS¼LengthNo.⅛″ DeflLoad⅛″ DeflLoad⅛″ DeflLoad
PHD-12162.5″L03511760360801176038160
B1-8
PHD-10162.5″L03213350322101223033050
B2-14
PHD-10202.5″K99019260430702300048560
B1-8
PHD-10242.5″K84524130433602536047310
B1-8
PHD-10243.0″K92328850420902588045500
B1-8
PHD-10242.5″K99229840580302407057020
B2-8
PHD-10302.5″L03318680749501359068870
B2-14′
Test Results
(per connector)CalculatedAllowableAllowable
AveAllowableTension LoadTension
LowestLoad @Load (lbs)Unrounded (lbs)Load (lbs)
ModelAvg UltUlt/3⅛″ DeflDFLSPFDF/SPSPF/HFDF/SPSPF/HF
No.(lbs)(lbs)(lbs)(133)(133)(133)(133)(133)(133)Comments
PHD-1856060135880752063205880505758805055original design, no
B1-8cookie cutter
PHD-1631553686395752063205368461753704615Cookie cutter
B2-w/improved screw
14pattern
PHD-22908717810565940079007178617371806175original design, no
B1-8cookie cutter, skip
lowest 4 screw holes
PHD-226687227123731128094807227621572256215original design, no
B1-8cookie cutter
PHD-218987015136831128094807015603370156035original design, no
B1-8cookie cutter, 3″ SDS
PHD-287639503134781128094809503817395058175Cookie cutter
B2-8w/improved screw
pattern
PHD-3595511478806814100118508068693880706940Cookie cutter
B2-w/improved screw
14pattern

As shown in FIGS. 1, 8, 15 and 19, the first and second back plates 11 and 12 preferably are mutually opposed and, more particularly, the inner edge 13 of the first back plate 11 faces the inner edge of the second back plate, but the first and second back plates could overlap. Preferably, the first and second opposed back plates 11 and 12 are integrally connected to and joined by the reinforcing flange 8. Preferably, the first and second side members 4 and 5 are integrally connected to the seat member 2. Preferably, the back member 6 is integrally connected to the first and second side members 4 and 5. Preferably, the back member 6 is also integrally connected to the seat member 2. The integral connection between the side members 4 and 5, the back member 6, and the seat member 2 gives the preferred embodiment added strength to resist both tension and compression forces.

The connector 1 formed in accordance with the present invention is preferably formed from sheet steel and the design makes it possible to manufacture the connector 1 on a progressive die machine with a minimum of stretching or compression of the material. The prior art includes a similar connector with a concave seat member, back member and side members, all of which are formed by drawing a sheet metal blank over a mold, resulting in integral connection of the parts. However, the drawing process has the disadvantage of being slow, difficult to control, time-consuming and therefore expensive. Furthermore, it stretches the material of the connector, weakening it particularly long its front edge, where the material is stretched thinnest. The connector 1 of the present invention improves on this prior art by being relatively quick to produce in an easily-controlled process that is less expensive and does not weaken the material of the connector 1.

As shown in FIGS. 8 and 19, the reinforcing flange 8 is preferably connected to the seat member 2 along the greater portion of the back edge 3 of the seat member. The reinforcing flange 8 of the present invention prevents deformation of the connector 1 under loading and thereby improves its load-bearing capacity. The reinforcing flange 8 introduces a bend at the back edge 3 of the seat member 2, which reinforces the seat member 2, and the material of the reinforcing flange 8 lies outside the plane of the seat member 2, and closer to parallel with the forces that otherwise act to deform the seat member 2. The reinforcing flange 8 shares the load imposed on the seat member 2. This, combined with the inherent improvements in manufacture, mean that the connector 1 of the present invention can achieve higher load capacities than the prior art, equal load values with lighter gauge steel, or both. In addition, the drawing process of the prior art required material that was trimmed away after the connector was formed. The connector 1 of the present invention wastes no material and this can result in a thirty percent material saving over the prior art.

As shown in FIGS. 3 and 17, in the preferred embodiments the first and second side members 4 and 5 of the connector 1 are formed generally parallel to each other. The first and second side member 4 and 5 can also be formed so that they converge towards each other or diverge away from each other as the distance from the seat member 2 increases.

As shown in FIGS. 13 and 20, a connector 1 formed in accordance with the present invention is preferably used with a substantially rigid washer member 18 located proximate the seat member 2. Most preferably, the washer member 18 rests directly on the seat member 2, since compression forces on the washer member 18 are preferably transmitted to the connector 1 through the seat member 2. The washer member 18 is preferably formed with a receiving portion 19 which has an opening 20 for receiving the anchor member 17 therethrough.

The washer member 18 can be located proximate the first side member 4 and the second side member 5 to provide lateral bracing to the first and second side members 4 and 5 when the connector is under tension loads. When the connector 1 is under load, the tendency is for the connector 1 to elongate and for the first and second side members 4 and 5 to be pulled together near the seat member 2, and the seat member 4 helps resist this tendency. If the washer member 18 is so formed, the receiving portion 19 fits closely between the first and second side member 4 and 5. Most preferably, the receiving portion 19 of the washer member 18 preferably conforms exactly to the shape of the first and second side members 4 and 5.

As shown in FIGS. 3 and 17, in the preferred embodiments the washer member 18 is proximate the seat member 2. In the preferred embodiments, the washer member 18 provides similar lateral bracing as when the washer member 18 sits proximate the first and second side members 4 and 5. This is because the receiving portion 19 of the washer member 18 is preferably of a width that closely fits between the first side member 4 and the second side member 5. The seat member 2 that receives the washer member 18 is thereby braced at points where it is substantially as wide as the distance between the first and second side members 4 and 5. Preferably, the washer member 18 has a base 21 formed to be in registration with the seat member 2. Most preferably, the base 21 of the washer member 18 conforms exactly to the shape of the seat member 2.

The substantially rigid washer member 18 can be formed as a solid block with an opening 20 for receiving the anchor member 17 therethrough. As described above, the receiving portion 19 should be wide enough so that the washer member 18 closely fits between the first side member 4 and the second side member 5. If formed as a solid member, the washer member 18 preferably has a base 21 that is formed to be in registration with the seat member 2 to provide improved bracing of the seat member 2. Such a base 21 preferably conforms exactly to the shape of the seat member 2. The preferred embodiment of the washer member 18, however, is n-shaped as shown in FIGS. 9-12.

As best shown in FIGS. 2 and 16, the preferred n-shaped washer member 18 has a receiving portion 19 formed with a back edge 22 and an outward edge 23. As shown in FIG. 12, a back flange 24 integrally connects to the back edge 22 and extends towards the seat member 2. The back flange 24 has a back flange base 25 that is formed to be in registration with the seat member 2. An outward flange 26 integrally connects to the outward edge 23 and also extends towards the seat member 2. The outward flange 26 has an outward flange base 27 that is also formed to be in registration with the seat member 2.

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 16, the seat member 2 is preferably formed with at least one embossment 28 that interface with the washer member 18 to hold the washer member 18 within the seat member 2. Preferably, the seat member 2 has a front edge 29. The connector 1 is preferably formed with at least one embossment 28 that interfaces with the outward flange base 27 of the washer member 18 within the seat member 2 by preventing the washer member 18 from moving toward the front edge 29 of the seat member 2. Preferably, the first and second side member 4 and 5 each have a top edge 30 and the connector 1 is formed with at least one embossment 28 that interfaces with the receiving portion 19 of the washer member 18 to hold the washer member within the seat member 2 by preventing the washer member 18 from moving toward the top edges 30 of the first and second side members 4 and 5. Similar prior art connectors, when failing after achieving maximum loads, deform and allow the washer member, even when similarly restrained, to slip forward and collapse. In the connector 1 of the present invention, the design, with its reinforcing flange 8, is such that the connector 1 does not deform and the washer member 18 is restrained, maintaining its shape and allowing the connector 1 of the present invention to achieve higher loads than the prior art. The most common mode of failure for the connection 100 of the present invention is for the first structural member 14 to split or for the fasteners 16 to shear off.

As shown in FIGS. 1-4, 7 and 8, in some embodiments the inner edges 13 of the first and second opposed back plates 11 and 12 of the back member 6 preferably have matching curvilinear contours that are substantially equidistant. Preferably, the first and second side members 4 and 5 each have a front edge 31 and the front edges 31 of the first and second side members 4 and 5 have curvilinear contours. The curvilinear contours between the first and second opposed back plates 11 and 12 allow for a wider distribution of fastener members 16 in each of the opposed back plates 11 and 12, allowing the connector 1 to achieve higher loads. Preferably, the fastener members 16 are driven through fastener openings 32, sized to match the prescribed fastener members 16, in the back member 6. If the first building structural member 14 is made of steel, the connector can be welded to it, in which case no fastener openings 32 are needed. The curvilinear contours on the front edges 31 of the first and second side members 4 and 5 are formed because the first and second opposed back plates 11 and 12 of one connector 1 of the present invention are contiguous with the first and second side member 4 and 5 of the next connector 1 of the present invention when the connectors 1 are cut from a sheet metal blank. Preferably, the front edges 31 of the first and second side members 4 and 5 are connected through the front edge 29 of the seat member 2.

In the present invention, the seat member 2 is preferably formed as a concave member. As seen in FIG. 1, in the preferred form of the invention the concave seat member 2 is curvilinear, but angular variations are also considered to be within the scope of the present invention.

As shown in FIGS. 13 and 20, the anchor member 17 can consist of an anchor bolt 33 and a holding means 34 attached thereto. The anchor bolt 33 can be formed with distal end 35 and a proximal end 36. When the second building structural member 15 is a concrete foundation 15, the distal end 35 embedded in the concrete foundation 15, as shown in FIGS. 13 and 20. The proximal end 36 can be formed with a threaded portion 37 to which the holding means 34, generally a threaded nut, can releasably attach, completing the anchor member 17.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 15, the back member 6 is preferably formed with a plurality of fastener openings 32 to receive fastener means 16.

As shown in FIG. 13, when the first building structural member 14 is made of wood, the fastener means 16 are preferably wood screws with cutting points. They can also be nails, threaded bolts with nuts, lag screws, steel screws, welds or adhesives, or the like. The use of self-drilling wood screws as fastener means 16 eliminates the need for the added step of drilling a hole for a regular bolt or screw that has no drilling point. Also, screws need not pass all the way through the first building structural member 14 from the front side 38, so access to the back side 39 of the first building structural member 14 is not necessary. Self-drilling wood screws create a stronger connection than nails, and self-drilling wood screws can be installed almost as quickly as nails if a powered driver is used.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 15, the enlarged opening 10 in the back member 6 is preferably bounded by the curved upper edge 40 of the reinforcing flange 8 and two upwardly slanted edges 41 that connect the curved upper edge 40 of the reinforcing flange 8 to the inner edge 13 of the opposed back plates 11 and 12 of the back member 6. Preferably, the front edges 31 of the first and second side members 4 and 5 are connected to the front edge 29 of the seat member 2 by two downwardly slanted edges 42. The two upwardly slanted edges 41 of one connector 1 of the present invention are contiguous with the two downwardly slanted edges 42 of the next connector 1 of the present invention when the connectors 1 are cut from a sheet metal blank; the curved upper edge 40 of the reinforcing flange 8 of one connector 1 of the present invention is contiguous with the front edge 29 of the seat member 2 of the next connector 1 of the present invention when the connectors 1 are cut from a sheet metal blank.

As shown in FIGS. 5, 6 and 14, the opening 7 in the seat member 2 is obround in shape to accommodate misalignment of the anchor member 17 and the first building structural member 14.

FIGS. 13 and 20 show typical uses of the preferred embodiment. In both, the first building structural member 14 is a vertical stud 14 of a framed wall and the second building structural member 15 is a concrete foundation 15. The present invention may also be used to transfer tension loads between floors of a framed structure, or to tie horizontal joists to masonry or concrete walls, or to tie purlins to each other, or the like.

Installation of the connector 1 and the n-shaped washer member 18 of the preferred embodiment to form a foundation-to-wood-stud connection is shown in FIG. 13. The connection also secures the transfer member 43, or mudsill as it is generally known, to the second building structural member 15.

First, an anchor bolt 33 is embedded in the second buildings structural member 15, which is commonly a poured concrete foundation. This can be done by placing the distal end 35 of the anchor bolt 33 in the wet concrete or by forming the second building structural member 15 with the proximal end 36 of the anchor bolt 33 protruding from it. An opening 44 is drilled in the transfer member 43 and the anchor bolt 33 is inserted therethrough with the threaded portion 37 of the proximal end 36 of the anchor bolt 33 exposed above the top of the transfer member 43.

The threaded portion 37 of the anchor bolt 33 is inserted through the opening 7 in the seat member 2, and the opening 20 in the receiving portion 19 of the n-shaped washer member 18. The back member 6 of the connector 1 is set against the front side 38 of the first building structural member 14. Fastener means 16 are driven through the fastener openings 32 in the back member 6 and into the first building structural member 14, forming a tight fit between the back member 6 of the connector 1 and the first building structural member 14. A holding means 34 is then placed on the threaded portion 37 of the anchor bolt 33 and tightened down, completing the anchor member 17, and the connection 100.

The method of forming of the connector 1 of the present invention is best illustrated by FIG. 22 and FIG. 23 which show the connector 1 being formed on a progressive die. As illustrated, there are idle stations that leave room for the tool blocks that are used for wiping bend operations. The connector 1 of the present invention is preferably formed on an automated die press. According to the preferred method of forming the connector 1, the opening 7 is formed in the seat member 2. The connector has an outer circumference 45. The outer circumference 45 is the outline of the part in a flat sheet of material, preferably galvanized sheet steel. The greater part of the outer circumference 45 is preferably lance cut from a sheet metal blank 46. Preferably, a small portion in the very middle of the connector 1 is left uncut, so that the successive connectors 1 cut out of the sheet metal blank 46 remain connected to each other until separated in the last step on the automated die press. For the preferred method, the greater part of the unitary back member 6 is bent out of the sheet metal blank 46, preferably by a wipe operation. The wipe can either be up or down. The still flat side members 4 and 5 and the seat member 2 are held by a tool block. Then, the first and second side members 4 and 5 are bent out of the sheet metal blank 46, the remainder of the outer circumference 45 is cut from the sheet metal blank 46, separating the connector from the sheet metal blank 46, and the remainder of the unitary back member 6 is bent into its final form, preferably all in one step, a three-sided wipe in which the seat member 2 is held by a tool block. Although the rest of the unitary back member 6 is preferably bent up or down in an earlier step, the middle portion that preferably connects the connectors 1 until the final step remains flat. In the final step, it is preferably bent and severed at once.

In its preferred form, the connector 1 of the present invention has first and second back plates 11 and 12 that are formed with a plurality of fastener openings 32. The fastener openings 32 can be formed by casting, punching, boring or the like, and are preferably sized to closely accommodate the preferred fasteners, which for attachment to wood structural members are ¼″ diameter self-drilling wood screws. The more preferred self-drilling wood screws are Simpson Strong-Tie SDS screws, which come in lengths of 1½″ to 6″.

If the connector 1 of the present invention has first and second back plates 11 and 12 that are formed with a plurality of fastener openings 32, the method of forming the connector 1 includes the step of forming the plurality of fastener openings 32.

Preferably, the connector 1 of the present invention has a washer member 18 that is located proximate the seat member 2, and the seat member 2 is formed with at least one embossment 28 that interfaces with the washer member 18 to hold the washer member 18 in the seat member 2. The washer member 18 is preferably inserted in the connector 1 after the connector 1 has been removed from the progressive die machine. Preferably, there are four embossments 28, two in front of the washer member 18 and two above the washer member 18. The embossments 28 in front of the washer member 18 are preferably formed on the progressive die machine, but the two embossments 28 above the washer member 18 are preferably formed after the washer member 18 has been inserted in the connector 1, a secondary operation.

In an alternate embodiment, the connector 1 of the present invention comprises a seat member 2, a first side member 4, a second side member 5, and a back member 6 that is not unitary. The seat member 2 has a back edge 3, and is formed with an opening 7, the opening 7 being formed for receiving the anchor member 33 therethrough to attach the connector 1 to the second building structural member 15. The first side member 4 has a back edge 47 and is connected to the seat member 2. The second side member 5 also has a back edge 47 and the second side member 5 is also connected to the seat member 2. The back member 6 has a lower portion 8, an upper portion 9, and an enlarged opening 10. The lower portion 8 is connected to the back edge 3 of the seat member 2, and the upper portion 9 is connected to the back edges 47 of the first and second side members 4 and 5. The enlarged opening 10 is proximate the seat member 2 such that the lower portion 8 of the back member 6 adjacent the seat member 2 forms at least one reinforcing flange 8 along at least a portion of the back edge 3 of the seat member 2. A part of the upper portion 9 of the back member 6 is formed to interface with the fastener means 16 to attach the back member 6 to the first building structural member 14. The part of the upper portion 9 of the back member 6 formed to interface with the fastener means 16 has first and second back plates 11 and 12, each having an inner edge 13 extending away from the enlarged opening 10. The first back plate 11 is connected to the back edge 47 of the first side member 4. The second back plate 12 is connected to the back edge 47 of the second side member 5. The lower portion 8 of the back member 6 connects to at least one of the back edges 47 of the first and second side member 4 and 5.