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Title:
PANEL-FORMING COMPONENT AND SYSTEM FOR USE IN TILT-UP CONSTRUCTION
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to a novel configuration for a panel-forming component for use in tilt-up construction. The present invention further relates to a panel-forming device comprising the panel-forming component of the present invention. A panel-forming component of the present invention is configured as a comer guard that protects a comer of cured casting material from damage during the tilt-up construction process. The panel-forming component of the present invention generally is configured such that it is free of void-enabling obstructions that may hinder a flow of casting material within a panel form. The absence of void-enabling obstructions ensures that the casting material flows about the panel-forming component and cures substantially free of voids.


Inventors:
Takagi, Kyozaburo (Centerville, OH, US)
Uno, Yoshitaka (Fukui, JP)
Application Number:
11/422407
Publication Date:
12/21/2006
Filing Date:
06/06/2006
Assignee:
Fukuvi USA, Inc. (Huber Heights, OH, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B1/18
View Patent Images:
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Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DINSMORE & SHOHL LLP (ONE DAYTON CENTRE, ONE SOUTH MAIN STREET, SUITE 1300, DAYTON, OH, 45402-2023, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A device comprising a panel-forming component comprising a slab engaging face, a form engaging face, and an anchoring portion, wherein: said panel-forming component defines a cross sectional profile defining said slab engaging face, said form engaging face, and said anchoring portion; said panel-forming component is configured such that, where said slab engaging face is oriented horizontally and said form engaging face is oriented vertically in a panel form, said cross sectional profile comprises a casting material engaging surface; and said casting material engaging surface is configured such that a flow of a casting material within said panel form is directed along substantially all of said casting material engaging surface as a level of said casting material rises within said panel form.

2. The device of claim 1, wherein: said casting material engaging surface comprises an inboard portion and an outboard portion; and said inboard portion of said casting material engaging surface defines a substantially continuous, upwardly directed face.

3. The device of claim 1, wherein: said anchoring portion is configured to define a transition from an inboard side of said panel-forming component to an outboard side of said panel-forming component; and said anchoring portion comprises at least one casting material flow-through opening extending through said inboard side of said anchoring portion to said outboard side of said anchoring portion.

4. The device of claim 1, wherein at least a portion of said casting material engaging surface defines a curved cross-sectional profile.

5. The device of claim 4, wherein said curved cross-sectional profile of said casting material engaging surface is configured to encourage the flow of said casting material within said panel form while substantially precluding void creation.

6. The device of claim 1, wherein said anchoring portion comprises an anchoring extension and an anchoring protrusion.

7. The device of claim 6, wherein at least a portion of said anchoring protrusion defines a curved cross-sectional profile.

8. The device of claim 6, wherein said anchoring protrusion is configured to encourage the flow of said casting material about said anchoring portion while substantially precluding void creation.

9. The device of claim 6, wherein said anchoring protrusion is configured such that a cross-sectional width of said anchoring protrusion is substantially larger than a cross-sectional width of said anchoring extension.

10. The device of claim 9, wherein said cross-sectional width of said anchoring protrusion is about fifty percent larger than said cross-sectional width of said anchoring extension.

11. The device of claim 9, wherein said cross-sectional width of said anchoring protrusion is about two times as large as said cross-sectional width of said anchoring extension.

12. The device of claim 1, wherein: said panel-forming component further comprises at least one sealing edge; and said sealing edge defines a cross section that is tapered relative to a remainder of said cross-sectional profile of said panel-forming component.

13. The device of claim 12, wherein said tapered sealing edge defines a slope of less than 45 degrees relative to said slab engaging face.

14. The device of claim 12, wherein said tapered sealing edge defines a slope of less than 45 degrees relative to said form engaging face.

15. The device of claim 12, wherein: said sealing edge is configured of PVC; and said PVC is comprised of a material softer than that comprising said panel-forming component.

16. The device of claim 1, wherein said panel-forming component is configured such that it is substantially free of void-enabling obstructions to the flow of said casting material within said panel form.

17. The device of claim 1, wherein: said device further comprises a plurality of panel-forming bulkheads in addition to said panel-forming component; and said panel-forming bulkheads and said panel-forming component are configured in said panel form to define dimensions of a panel-shaped cavity such that a sufficient amount of said casting material is contained within said panel-shaped cavity to define a panel having peripheral dimensions matching the dimensions of said panel-shaped cavity.

18. The device of claim 1, wherein: said device further comprises a panel of cured casting material in addition to said panel-forming component; and said anchoring portion of said panel-forming component is configured such that said anchoring portion is embedded within said panel of cured casting material.

19. A panel-forming component comprising a slab engaging face, a form engaging face, and an anchoring portion, wherein: said panel-forming component defines an extrudable cross-sectional profile defining said slab engaging face, said form engaging face, and said anchoring portion; and said panel-forming component is configured such that it is substantially free of void-enabling obstructions to a flow of casting material within a panel form where said slab engaging face is oriented horizontally and said form engaging face is oriented vertically in said panel form.

20. A device comprising a panel-forming component comprising a slab engaging face, a form engaging face, and an anchoring portion, wherein: said panel-forming component defines a cross-sectional profile defining said slab engaging face, said form engaging face, and said anchoring portion; said panel-forming component is configured such that, where said slab engaging face is oriented horizontally and said form engaging face is oriented vertically in a panel form, said cross sectional profile comprises a casting material engaging surface defined at least in part by said anchoring portion; and said anchoring portion that defines said casting material engaging surface is configured such that said anchoring portion is substantially free of void-enabling obstructions to a flow of casting material within said panel form.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/692,334 (FUU 0054 MA), filed Jun. 20, 2005.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a novel configuration for a panel-forming component for use in tilt-up construction. The present invention further relates to a panel-forming device comprising the panel-forming component of the present invention.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the present invention, a panel-forming component is configured as a comer guard that protects a corner of cured casting material from damage during the tilt-up construction process.

In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, a panel-forming component is provided comprising a slab engaging face, a form engaging face, and an anchoring portion. The panel-forming component defines a cross sectional profile defining the slab engaging face, the form engaging face, and the anchoring portion. This panel-forming component is configured such that, where the slab engaging face is oriented horizontally and the form engaging face is oriented vertically in a panel form, the cross sectional profile comprises a casting material engaging surface. The casting material engaging surface is configured such that a flow of a casting material within the panel form is directed along substantially the entire casting material engaging surface as a level of the casting material rises within the panel form.

In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, the panel-forming component is configured such that it is substantially free of void-enabling obstructions to a flow of casting material within a panel form where the slab engaging face is oriented horizontally and said form engaging face is oriented vertically in the panel form.

In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, the cross sectional profile of the panel-forming component comprises a casting material engaging surface that is defined at least in part by the anchoring portion of the component. This anchoring portion that defines the casting material engaging surface is configured such that the anchoring portion is substantially free of void-enabling obstructions to a flow of casting material within the panel form.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to present a panel-forming component for use in tilt-up construction. Other objects of the present invention will be apparent in light of the description of the invention embodied herein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

The following detailed description of specific embodiments of the present invention can be best understood when read in conjunction with the following drawings, where like structure is indicated with like reference numerals and in which:

FIG. 1 is an illustration of an embodiment of a panel-forming component according to the present invention comprising a slab engaging face, a form engaging face, and an anchoring portion.

FIG. 2 is an illustration of an embodiment of a panel-forming component according to the present invention wherein a casting material flows about the panel-forming component and cures substantially free of voids.

FIG. 3 is an illustration of an embodiment of a device comprising a panel-forming component of the present invention and a plurality of panel-forming bulkheads.

FIG. 4 is an illustration of an embodiment of a device comprising a panel-forming component of the present invention and a panel of cured casting material.

FIG. 5 is an illustration of a panel-forming component wherein a casting material flows about the panel-forming component and cures with substantial voids.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring generally to the figures, the present invention relates to a device 1 comprising a panel-forming component 10 configured to eliminate or substantially preclude the creation of one or more voids 70 within casting material 40 as it is introduced into, and cures within, a panel form 50. Thus, those practicing the present invention can ensure strong adhesion of the panel forming component 10 to the cured panel by substantially reducing the number of voids created during the casting process. As a result, the panel forming component 10 is less likely to become dislodged during the tilt-up construction process.

As shown in FIG. 1, the panel-forming component 10 generally comprises a slab engaging face 12, a form engaging face 14, and an anchoring portion 16 and defines a cross-sectional profile defining the slab engaging face 12, the form engaging face 14, and the anchoring portion 16. As shown in FIG. 3, the component 10 may be positioned in a panel form 50 such that the slab engaging face 12 is configured to run horizontally and parallel to a level casting surface of the panel form 50. Meanwhile, the form engaging surface 14 is configured to run vertically and parallel to a wall of the panel form 50. Thus, the form engaging surface 14 is perpendicular to the slab engaging face 12 and the level casting surface of the panel form 50.

The panel-forming component 10 is configured such that the cross-sectional profile comprises a casting material engaging surface when the slab engaging face 12 runs horizontally and the form engaging face 14 runs vertically in a panel form 50. This casting material engaging surface is configured such that a flow of a casting material 40 within the panel form 50 is directed along substantially all of the casting material engaging surface as the level of the casting material 40 rises within the panel form 50.

As shown in FIG. 2, the casting material engaging surface comprises an inboard portion 22 and an outboard portion 24. The inboard portion 22 defines a substantially continuous, upwardly directed face. This configuration of the inboard portion 22 eliminates or substantially precludes void 70 creation in the casting material 40 as it rises and cures in the panel form 50. For the purposes of describing the present invention, the term “inboard” refers to the side of the component 10 that generally faces the bulk of the casting material 40 within the panel form 50. The term “outboard,” meanwhile, refers to the side of the component 10 facing away from the bulk of casting material 20, i.e., facing in a direction generally opposite that of the inboard portion 22.

As is illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, portions of the casting material engaging surface may define a curved cross-sectional profile. This curved profile is configured to encourage the flow of casting material 40 about the panel-forming component 10 while substantially precluding void 70 creation in the casting material 40. It is contemplated by the present invention that the curved cross-sectional profile may also include linear portions.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the anchoring portion 16 of the panel-forming component 10 is configured to define a transition from an inboard side to an outboard side of the panel-forming component 10. The anchoring portion 16 generally comprises at least one, but preferably more than one, casting material flow-through opening 26 extending through the inboard side to the outboard side of the anchoring portion 16. These openings 26 further encourage the flow of casting material 40 about the component 10 such that the casting material 40 is directed along substantially the entire casting material engaging surface. These openings 26 also serve to increase the degree to which the panel forming component 10 becomes anchored within the cured panel because casting material extending through the openings 26 will cure, effectively locking the anchoring portion 16 into the cured panel. Further, these flow-through openings 26 may be configured in any shape or size that is sufficient to encourage this flow of casting material 40 from the inboard side to the outboard side while not creating a void-enabling obstruction in the profile of the panel-forming component 10.

As further shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the anchoring portion 16 of the panel-forming component 10 generally comprises an anchoring extension 17 and an anchoring protrusion 18. The anchoring extension 17 may be configured to advance a portion of the panel-forming component 10 from the convergence of the slab engaging face 12 and the form engaging face 14 into a panel-shaped cavity formed by the panel form 50. Meanwhile, the anchoring protrusion 18 may be configured to project from the anchoring extension 17 so as to secure the anchoring portion 16 within the casting material 40 when cured. At least a portion of this anchoring protrusion 18 defines a curved cross-sectional profile. The anchoring protrusion 18 is configured such that it is substantially free of void-enabling obstructions. Thus, the anchoring portion 16 is configured to encourage the flow of casting material 40 about the anchoring portion 16 while substantially precluding void 70 creation in the casting material 40. Further, the anchoring protrusion 18 is configured such that a cross-sectional width of the anchoring protrusion 18 is substantially larger than a cross-sectional width of the anchoring extension 17. For example, the cross-sectional width of the anchoring protrusion 18 may be about fifty percent larger than the cross-sectional width of the anchoring extension 17. Alternatively, by way of example, the cross-sectional width of the anchoring protrusion 18 may be about two times as large as the cross-sectional width of the anchoring extension 17.

Further referring to FIG. 2, the panel-forming component 10 may also comprise at least one sealing edge 30. This sealing edge 30 may define a cross-section that is tapered relative to a remainder of the cross-sectional profile of the panel-forming component 10. A tapered sealing edge 30 of the inboard portion 22 defines a slope of less than 45 degrees relative to the slab engaging face 12. Similarly, a tapered sealing edge 30 of the outboard portion 24 defines a slope of less than 45 degrees relative to the form engaging face 14. These sealing edges 30 are configured to preclude the passage of casting material 40 between the panel-forming component 10 and the panel form 50. Further, the sealing edges 30 are configured to ease the transition of casting material 40 as it flows over the component 10 within the panel form 50. In addition, the sealing edge 30 may be configured of a flexible, yet form-maintaining material. For example, the sealing edge 30 may be configured of PVC where the PVC is comprised of a material softer than that comprising the remainder of the panel-forming component 10.

The panel-forming component 10 of the present invention generally is configured such that it is free of void-enabling obstructions that may hinder the flow of casting material 40 within the panel form 50. The absence of void-enabling obstructions ensures that the casting material 40 flows about the panel-forming component 10 and cures substantially free of voids 70.

As shown in FIG. 3, the device 1 of the present invention may further comprise a plurality of panel-forming bulkheads 52 in addition to the panel-forming component 10. These bulkheads 52 may form the walls of the panel form 50. The panel-forming bulkheads 52 and the panel-forming component 10 may be configured in the panel form 50 to define dimensions of a panel-shaped cavity. This panel shaped cavity may be configured such that a sufficient amount of the casting material 40 is contained within the panel-shaped cavity to define a panel 60 having peripheral dimensions matching the dimensions of the panel-shaped cavity. In FIG. 3, the panel-forming components 10 of the present invention are magnified in size solely to help illustrate the panel-forming component 10 as applied to panel-forming bulkheads 52, or other walls of a panel form 50.

As shown in FIG. 4, the device 1 of the present invention may further comprise a panel of cured casting material 60 in addition to the panel-forming component 10. The anchoring portion 16 of the panel-forming component 10 generally is configured such that the anchoring portion 16 is embedded within the panel of cured casting material 60.

For the purposes of defining and describing the present invention, it is noted that a void-enabling obstruction to the flow of casting material 40 within the panel form 50 would be any aspect of the panel-forming component 10 that would encourage the formation of casting material voids 70 about portions of the component 10, preventing substantially complete encasement of the component 10 by the casting material 40. For example, referring to the panel-forming device illustrated in FIG. 5, one could arguably take the position that the T-shaped portion of the device would function as a void-enabling obstruction because air could be trapped in either of the spaces defined by the panel-forming device as casting material 40 is added to the panel form 50. The trapped air would prevent casting material 40 from filling the spaces, creating a casting material void 70. For the purposes of clarity, hypothetical casting material flow paths are illustrated in FIG. 5 to illustrate the manner in which the voids 70 might be created.

The present invention addresses the potential issues introduced by the void-enabling obstructions potentially created by other panel forming devices by ensuring that the panel-forming component 10 of the present invention is substantially free of void-enabling obstructions, thus eliminating or at least substantially precluding void 70 creation. In addition, the presence of at least one casting material flow-through opening 26 and the curved cross-sectional profile of the anchoring protrusion 18 of the panel-forming component 10 further encourage the flow of casting material 40 about the panel-forming component 10 such that the casting material cures substantially free of voids 70. Thus, the absence of voids 70 between the casting material 40 and the component allows for a strong adhesion of the casting material 40 to the component 10 such that the component 10 is not displaced from the panel 60 of cured casting material during the tilt-up construction process.

For the purposes of defining and describing the present invention it is noted that a component that defines an extrudable cross sectional profile defines a substantially uniform cross section that extends along substantially the entire length of the component. It is contemplated that bodies defining an extruded cross sectional profile may, to a limited extent, embody variations in the uniformity of the cross section due to fabrication process errors or post fabrication process steps. For example, holes may be drilled in an extruded member in specific locations after the member is extruded. Similarly, cuts or cutouts may be formed in the extruded member or the extruded member may be bent or deformed after it is extruded. It is also contemplated that components defining an extruded cross sectional profile may be manufactured through non-extrusion processes such as, but not limited to, injection molding, machining, etc.

It is noted that terms like “preferably,” “commonly,” and “typically” are not utilized herein to limit the scope of the claimed invention or to imply that certain features are critical, essential, or even important to the structure or function of the claimed invention. Rather, these terms are merely intended to highlight alternative or additional features that may or may not be utilized in a particular embodiment of the present invention.

For the purposes of describing and defining the present invention it is noted that the term “device” is utilized herein to represent a combination of components and individual components, regardless of whether the components are combined with other components.

For the purposes of describing and defining the present invention it is noted that the term “substantially” is utilized herein to represent the inherent degree of uncertainty that may be attributed to any quantitative comparison, value, measurement, or other representation. The term “substantially” is also utilized herein to represent the degree by which a quantitative representation may vary from a stated reference without resulting in a change in the basic function of the subject matter at issue. The term “substantially” is further utilized herein to represent a minimum degree to which a quantitative representation must vary from a stated reference to yield the recited functionality of the subject matter at issue.

Having described the invention in detail and by reference to specific embodiments thereof, it will be apparent that modifications and variations are possible without departing from the scope of the invention defined in the appended claims. More specifically, although some aspects of the present invention are identified herein as preferred or particularly advantageous, it is contemplated that the present invention is not necessarily limited to these preferred aspects of the invention.