Title:
Grid-Shaped Mat
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed is a grid-shaped mat which is used especially for protecting floors or strengthening a floor cover. Said grid-shaped mat comprises a number of strip-shaped elements (1, 1′; 1″) which are bent several times, extend in a longitudinal direction (A), and form the grid structure of the mat (10). The lateral length (b) of the element (1, 1′; 1″) that is longer from a cross-sectional perspective runs perpendicular to the longitudinal direction of mat. At least two adjacent elements (1, 1′) are hingedly connected to each other with the aid of at least one pin (2) that extends in the longitudinal direction (A) of the elements, respectively. Such a mat is easy to produce while the floor cover that is applied to the mat coheres significantly better after drying and hardening than when a conventional wire grill is used.



Inventors:
Torres Vila, Juan Antonio (Astigarraga-Guipúzcoa, ES)
Application Number:
11/793537
Publication Date:
06/26/2008
Filing Date:
11/12/2005
Assignee:
FORTATECH AG (St. Gallen, CH)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/662
International Classes:
E04C2/42; E02D3/00; E04C5/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FIORELLO, BENJAMIN F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Brian Roffe, Esq. (11 SUNRISE PLAZA, SUITE 303, VALLEY STREAM, NY, 11580-6111, US)
Claims:
1. Latticed mat, especially used for soil conservation or to protect a ground-covering, characterised in that the lattice structure of the mat (10) is formed by a number of curved strap-shaped elements (1,1′;1″;21;31) with a flat cross-section, which are aligned with their longer cross-section sides transversely to the longitudinal extension of the mat (10), while each element (1, 1′; 1″; 21, 21′;31, 31′) has at least two openings (3, 4; 23, 24; 33, 34) disposed at a distance (d) from each other, which are provided to each accept an axis (2), via which axis (2) at least two elements (1,1′; 1″; 21;31) adjacent in the longitudinal axis (L) of the mat (10) are flexibly joined to each other.

2. Latticed mat according to claim 1, characterised in that the elements (1,1′; 1″; 21;31) are formed by curved metal straps or flat wires, which are made of steel, preferably a high-strength steel, or another metal.

3. Latticed mat according to claim 1, characterised in that the elements (1,1′; 1″) are longitudinally extended and curved in several places, whereby in each case two adjacent elements (1,1′; 1″) are flexibly joined to each other by means of at least one axis (2) running in the longitudinal direction (A) of the elements and projecting through the two elements (1, 1′).

4. Latticed mat according to claim 3, characterised in that two adjacent elements (1, 1′) are each joined together by means of an axis (2) extending over the entire length of the elements (1, 1′).

5. Latticed mat according to claim 3, characterised in that the curved elements (1, 1′, 1″) are essentially U-shaped, trapezoidal, zig-zag shaped or rounded, and interstices (5, 6) are formed which are delimited by two elements (1, 1′) in each case.

6. Latticed mat according to claim 1, characterised in that curved elements (21; 31) are pivotably held on the respective axes (2), whereby these elements (21; 31) consist of individual parts (21′; 21″, 31′, 31″) arranged in rows and connected with each other.

7. Latticed mat according to claim 6, characterised in that each individual part (21′; 21″, 31′, 31″) of the elements (21) consists of two parallel connecting pieces (21a, 21b) provided with openings (23, 24) for the respective axis (2) and an intermediate piece (21c) linking these connecting pieces (21a, 21b) and enclosing an angle with these, whereby the intermediate pieces (21c) are curved away from the individual parts arranged in rows, alternating in opposing directions, and whereby they are connected to each other, preferably welded, alternating with the connecting pieces (21a) provided with openings (23) for the one axis and the connecting pieces (21b) provided with openings (24) for the other axis.

8. Latticed mat according to claim 6, characterised in that a rhombus-type formed body is formed by two respective individual parts (31′, 31″) disposed side by side in a row, which formed body is linked at two opposing corners (36, 37) with an adjacent formed body of the same row, whereby the two individual parts are connected to each other via a connecting piece (31a, 31b) provided with an opening (33, 34) in each case for the respective axis (2).

9. Latticed mat according to claim 7, characterised in that the connecting pieces (21a, 21b) each form a fork-shaped gap (25, 35), in which gaps (25, 35) the connecting pieces (23, 34) of the elements (21, 31) adjacent in the longitudinal axis (L) of the mat (10) can be inserted before the insertion of the axis (2).

10. Latticed mat according to claim 1, characterised in that the thickness of the mat corresponds approximately to the longer cross-section side (b) of the element (1, 1′; 1″; 21;31).

11. Use of the latticed mat according to claim 1 for internal reinforcement of asphalted ground-coverings.

12. Use of the lattice mat according to claim 1 for protection of unbound layers of granulate or of embankments or earth banks.

13. Use of the lattice mat according to claim 1 for protection of ground or green areas which may be used for traffic.

14. Use of the lattice mat according to claim 1 for protection of slopes.

Description:

The invention relates to a latticed mat, especially for soil conservation or to protect a ground covering, and also the use of the inventive mat according to one of claims 1 to 10.

Mats of this type in the form of flat wire lattices, made of wires welded together or interwoven into a hexagonal wire mesh, are known in the art. They are used, for example, to reinforce asphalted ground coverings. Such mats are delivered to the site in rolls or as panels, where they are spread out on the ground before application of the layer of asphalt. Once the asphalt layer has dried and hardened, they improve its cohesion. One disadvantage of these wire lattices is that they are deformed by being rolled up during storage and transport, rendering laying and actual installation more difficult. A further disadvantage to which they are subject in this connection is greater deformation due to their structure.

In the case of welded lattices, it is disadvantageous that these can only be produced as small areas, since they cannot be rolled and are also heavy. Due to the approximately two-dimensional design of these lattices, only a very limited wedging or bonding between them and the material surrounding them occurs.

The present invention is based on the problem of creating a latticed mat of the first-mentioned type, which enables simple handling with respect to storage and installation, and with which the reinforcement of a ground covering, or the protection of the ground, of the slope or similar is improved, with which the thicknesses of the layer is reduced or an increase of the lifetime of same is effected.

This problem is solved according to the invention by a latticed mat with the features of claim 1.

Further preferred embodiments of the inventive latticed mat and their use form the subject matter of the subclaims.

The inventive latticed mat is simple and economical to manufacture. It can be used for a wide variety of purposes. Its use is especially advantageous in the reinforcement (armouring) of asphalted ground coverings. The mat has a number of strap-shaped elements, curved in several places and extending longitudinally, which form the lattice structure of the mat. The depth of the interstices corresponds to the side of these elements which is longer, seen in cross-section, which can for example be 10 to 15 mm.

The layer of asphalt applied to the inventive mat coheres substantially better after drying out and hardening than when an ordinary wire lattice is used.

This means that the asphalt layer consolidated according to the invention better withstands both stresses and weathering (frost, high temperatures etc.), i.e. in particular, cracking and deformations of the ground covering, which lead to expensive maintenance works, are largely prevented. Vehicles may also be driven over the inventive mat before or during asphalting, without it being damaged or displaced as a result.

A further advantage of the inventive mat lies in the fact that it can easily be rolled up into a roll or folded like a concertina and spread out again, without the risk of the mat becoming deformed or entangled in itself by being rolled up and thereafter being difficult to spread out.

The invention will next be explained in more detail with the aid of the drawings, which show:

FIG. 1 an embodiment of a zigzag shaped element for an inventive latticed mat and also a connection element to connect two such elements;

FIG. 2 a part of the zigzag shaped element according to FIG. 1 on an enlarged scale;

FIG. 3 two elements of the latticed mat known from FIG. 1 in connected condition;

FIG. 4 a latticed mat assembled from the elements according to FIGS. 1 to 3;

FIG. 5 and FIG. 6 embodiments of inventive latticed mats;

FIG. 7 a sectional top view of a variant of elements according to the invention;

FIG. 8a, 8b, 8c perspectival views of a further variant of an elements; and

FIG. 9a, 9b, 9c a perspectivally shown embodiment of a strap-shaped element to form a lattice structure.

FIGS. 1 and 2 show an element 1, which has been evenly bent several times, extending in the longitudinal axis A, for a latticed mat 10 shown in FIG. 4, which is preferably curved from a metal strip with a flat cross-section. The longer cross-section sides have a side length b, which for example can be 10 to 15 mm. The thickness of the strip is designated as e in FIG. 2 (it is, e.g. 1 mm). The element 1 can for example be made from a high-tensile strength steel with a nominal tensile strength of 1000 to 2200 N/mm2. The individual bends of the element 1 in the embodiment shown are essentially U-shaped, while the side 1a joining these two legs 1b, 1c of the prong (distance a according to FIG. 2) is somewhat smaller than the distance a1 between legs 1b, 1c at the open end of the prong.

The length of the legs 1b, 1c is designated in FIG. 2 as h. At a somewhat lesser distance d from each other lie two openings 3, 4 made in each leg 1b, 1c for a connecting pin or axis 2, which is preferably in the form of a steel rod. As can be seen from FIG. 3, two elements 1, 1′ which have been bent in several places can be connected together by means of the axis 2, by guiding the axis 2 through the openings 4 nearer the open end of the one element 1 and through the openings 3 of the other element I′ lying nearer the connection side 1a. A number of interstices 5, 6 are enclosed by the two elements 1, 1′ thus assembled and/or by their interlocking U-shaped bends which may be essentially rectangular, their depth being defined by the side length b. The area of the interstices can for example be 80×120 mm.

Analogously to the elements 1, 1′ according to FIG. 3, in accordance with FIG. 4 further elements 1″ can be attached to form a lattice structure, in which case a further axis 2′ for connecting two adjacent elements V, 1″ is inserted into corresponding openings 3, 4.

The inventive latticed mat 10 can easily be rolled up into a roll and be spread out again in its longitudinal axis L (cf. FIG. 4), in which case the elements 1, 1′, 1″ are pivoted about corresponding axes 2, 2′. Unlike ordinary wire lattices made from welded wires, there is no risk here that the mat may become deformed by being rolled up and thereafter be difficult to roll out.

The inventive latticed mat 10 constructed in the way described above can be used for a wide variety of purposes. It is especially advantageously used for internal reinforcement of asphalted ground coverings, in which the vertically running interstices 5, 6 of the spread latticed mat 10 are filled with asphalt. The depth of the interstices 5, 6 corresponds to the strip width, i.e. for example 10 to 12 mm. Another use would be for this mat 10 to be used as armouring or reinforcement in concrete.

Due to its three-dimensional structure, the asphalt layer applied to the inventive mat 10 coheres substantially better after drying out and hardening than when an ordinary wire lattice is used which is practically only two-dimensional, i.e. except where wires cross each other, the thickness corresponds only to that of one wire. This means that the asphalt layer consolidated according to the invention is better able to withstand both stresses and weathering (frost, high temperatures etc.) leading to cracks and deformations, which lead to expensive maintenance works.

A further advantage lies in the fact that the inventive mat 10, especially when made from a high tensile strength steel, can be driven over before or during asphalting, without thereby being damaged or displaced. It would also be possible for several mats, which may differ in terms of size or quality, to be easily joined together or to overlap each other.

The inventive mat 10 is also suitable to protect drivable areas of land or green areas, e.g. areas of parkland, which can be driven on without wheel ruts, even when for example the terrain is soft.

Unbound layers of granulate such as e.g. layers of gravel or stone, can also advantageously be consolidated by the inventive mat 10. These could also be earth banks or embankments, in which preferably several mats 10 are layered one on top of another.

Finally, slopes or inclines could also be protected with the inventive mat 10, or layers of vegetation could be fixed onto these (erosion protection). This is where the pivotability of the individual elements about the axes 2 is advantageous, allowing at least partial adaptation to the terrain. It would also be possible to use the mat 10 for fencing purposes.

As indicated in FIG. 5 and FIG. 6, the individual bends of the elements 1 forming the lattice structure and thus also the interstices enclosed by the adjacent elements differ completely from those in FIG. 1 to 4. So the prongs can e.g. be pointed, rounded or trapezoidal.

Obviously, instead of a single continuous axis or steel rod 2, several axes or lugs could be used for the pivotable connection of adjacent elements 1, in which case the use of the continuous steel rod is especially simple and contributes to rendering the mat 10 more rigid and thus also to better protection of the ground or of the ground covering.

In principle, according to FIG. 7, two or more elements 1, 7 could be arranged so as to interlock. Then in corresponding fashion, four elements are held jointly by one axis 2. This further increases the strength of the mat, especially when it is used as an overlay.

In place of the longitudinally extended elements 1, described above, which are bent several times, it would be possible to use, for example, elements 21 and/or 31 according to FIG. 8a, 8b, 8c or 9a, 9b, 9c to form a lattice structure. Here, too, these are bent strap-shaped elements, which are pivotably held on the axes 2, and which in turn are aligned with their longer cross section sides transversally or perpendicularly to the longitudinal extension of the mat. They are equally advantageously made from metal, for example from high tensile strength steel. They each have two openings 23, 24 or 33, 34 lying at a distance d from each other, which are provided to accept one of the axes 2 each. According to FIGS. 8c and 9c, a number of such elements 21 or 31 are assigned to the axes 2.

In the variants shown in FIGS. 8a, 8b and 8c, curved elements 21 are pivotably held on the respective axes 2, where these elements 21 are made from individual parts 21′; 21″ arranged adjacently and interconnected.

Each individual part 21′, 21″ is formed from two parallel connecting pieces 21a, 21b provided with openings 23, 24 for the respective axis 2 and also an intermediate piece 21c joining the connecting pieces 21a, 21b and enclosing an angle with these. The intermediate pieces 21c of the adjacently arranged elements 21 are angled alternately in opposite directions. The connecting pieces 21a provided with the openings 23 for the one axis and the connecting pieces 21b provided with the openings 24 for the other axis of the individual parts 21′, 21″ arranged adjacently are preferably welded to each other alternately.

When the individual pieces 21′, 21″ are assembled the connecting pieces 21 provided with the openings 23 to accept the one axis 2 each form a fork-shaped gap 25, in which the connecting pieces 24 of the elements adjacent in the longitudinal axis L of the mat 10 can each be inserted before insertion of the axis 2.

FIG. 9a shows two individual parts 31′, 31″ of an element 31 consisting of two parallel connecting pieces 31a, 31b with the openings 33, 34 lying at a distance d from each other provided for the respective axis 2 and an intermediate piece 31c connecting these connecting pieces 31a, 31b and enclosing an angle with these. The intermediate pieces 31c provided with an additional angle are angled alternately in opposite directions.

According to FIG. 9b, the connecting pieces 31a provided with the openings 33 for the one axis and the connecting pieces 31b provided with the openings 34 for the other axis of the adjacently arranged individual parts 31′, 31″ are preferably welded to each other. After being welded together, these are characterised by a rhombus-type structure. The individual parts 31′, 31″, welded in pairs, are arranged side by side in a row and connected at two opposite corners 36, 37 with an adjacent structure from the same row. The two individual parts 31′, 31″ making the rhombus-type structure each form a fork-shaped gap 35 at their connecting pieces 31a, into which the connecting pieces 34 of the elements 31 adjacent in the longitudinal axis L of the mat 10 can be inserted, before inserting the axis 2.

FIG. 9c shows a section from a formed mat, composed of a number of elements 31 consisting of individual parts 31′, 31″, which are pivotably held together by the axes 2.

These mats according to FIG. 8c and FIG. 9c have an optimal absorption of forces both in the longitudinal and in the transverse axis with respect to their longitudinal extensions.