Title:
Reinforcing bracket for use with insulated concrete forms
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A vertical reinforcing bracket for an insulated concrete form wall includes: a formed rigid material of sufficient strength that is shaped to add stiffness and assist in accurate placement of vertical reinforcement within the formwork. Openings are formed in the embedded tongue portion of the bracket to aid in the accurate positioning of vertical reinforcement within the insulated concrete formwork wall to reduce thermal bridging and to accommodate other building attachments or strengthening features of the bracket. Although the preferred embodiment of the patent uses steel, alternative materials with satisfactory structural properties may be substituted. The reinforcing bracket is intended mainly for use in correctly locating vertical reinforcement near ends of walls and along the sides of openings in walls constructed in insulated concrete forms. In addition, reinforcing brackets anchored in the hardened concrete by the reinforcing bars may be utilized to attach and support other building elements.



Inventors:
Williams, Kenneth Richard (Lakefield, CA)
Stewart, Cooper Edward (Pelican Rapids, MN, US)
Drysdale, Robert George (Ancaster, CA)
Application Number:
12/586417
Publication Date:
03/25/2010
Filing Date:
09/21/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/745.15
International Classes:
E04B1/38; E04B1/00
View Patent Images:



Foreign References:
EP0173437
Primary Examiner:
HIJAZ, OMAR F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ideas Without Borders (PO Box 537, Havelock, ON, K0L 1Z0, CA)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A bracket adapted for use in insulated concrete form work of parallel spaced insulation panels which concrete is placed in after all reinforcement and supports have been positioned in the forms, the bracket being accurately created for alignment and positioning of vertical reinforcement in ends of walls and edges of openings, comprised of a steel bracket in an L-shape with a single horizontal embedment tongue with said tongue having at least three openings for vertical reinforcement, at least one opening centered in the width of the wall for placement of a single reinforcement bar and at least one pair of openings spaced for parallel placement of vertical reinforcement at said end of walls or edges of wall openings, where in the tongue will have at least one interior tab aligned with the inside face of the insulation panel to provide interior support during concrete placement where in said interior tab opening reduces thermal bridging of said bracket, the face element of the L-shaped bracket provides a fastening element flush with the exterior face of the insulation form panel.

2. The bracket as claimed in claim 1, where in the embedded alignment tongue is composed of a singular element and acts as the sole embedment into the concrete wall installed in the horizontal position which enables the claimed bracket to be installed at horizontal joints between the said panels of form insulation either at the wall ends, openings edges and along the flat face of the said wall insulation panels.

3. The bracket as claimed in claim 2, further comprising locations of accurately sized and spaced openings for said vertical reinforcement placement through said tongue embedment, such as to accommodate centrally positioned vertical reinforcement members and pairs of equally spaced openings for vertical reinforcing in a side by side configuration as required by the structural situation.

4. The bracket as claimed in claim 1 wherein said exterior face tab component includes strengthening and stiffening elements including additional support accessories for the face tab, folds, struts, and ridges for stiffening interface between embedment tongue and face tab.

5. The bracket as claimed in claim 1 where in the additional anti thermal bridging slots in either single or multiple positions and any shape within the said tongue element so as to optimize energy performance.

6. The bracket as claimed in claim 5, further comprising the step of bending a tab perpendicular to the horizontal tongue creating a slot to reduce thermal bridging for which the said perpendicular tab provides additional bracket and reinforcing support against the interior face of the insulating form panel for secure positioning during concrete placement.

7. The bracket as claimed in claim 1 wherein the bracket is formed from cold rolled light gauge steel being 18 gauge or thinner.

8. A method of attaching window and door components and other building elements to insulated concrete formed walls with the single tongue portion of the steel L bracket embedded into the center concrete portion of the wall, with an exterior face tab portion that installs flush with the outer surface of the insulated concrete formwork prior to concrete placement where in the bracket face tab which is flush with the exterior panel face, wall ends, opening edges, providing the tongue portion of said bracket face tab with structural anchoring at the wall ends and wall openings by way of the vertical reinforcement placed through the said vertical openings for solid structural attachment of said additional building elements at those wall ends and openings edges, the method comprising placing the said bracket into the horizontal joints of the insulating form side panels and end wall caps materials horizontal joints, as the insulated form work is stacked in place, in as many stacked horizontal insulating form joints as required for providing the necessary structural rigidity and stability for installation of door and window elements.

9. The method as clamed in claim 8 wherein said bracket has the structural element of a single tongue embedment provided by the structural anchoring from the insertion of vertical reinforcement through the said openings in the tongue required for attaching other building elements to the insulated formed concrete wall.

10. The method as claimed in claim 8 wherein said bracket has the structural element of a single face tab installed flush with the exterior face of the insulated form side panel with sufficient strength and rigidity in the bracket face tab providing the required anchoring properties for attaching other building elements.

11. The method as claimed in claim 8 further comprising of openings in the embedded tongue portion of the steel bracket to reduce thermal bridging from attached building elements directly to the concrete wall.

12. A method as claimed in claim 8 wherein the reinforcing bracket is formed from cold rolled light gauge steel being 18 gauge or thinner.

13. The method as claimed in claim 8 further allowing other materials and manufacturing processes to be used to produce said reinforcing bracket capable of satisfying the principles of the said invention.

14. The method as claimed in claim 8 further comprising the step of positioning the reinforcing bracket in a vertical position to support horizontal reinforcement.

15. The method as claimed in claim 8 further comprising the step of inserting reinforcing brackets vertically through joints between insulating form units or through slots cut into the face of the insulated form side panels.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/136,619 filed Sep. 19, 2008 which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a vertical reinforcement bracket for insulated concrete form walls, to allow accurate and secure placement of vertical reinforcing at wall ends and at the vertical edges of wall openings.

2. Description of Related Art

This invention relates generally to building systems and more particularly to improved apparatus and method for positioning vertical reinforcing in poured concrete walls made with insulated concrete formwork that remains a permanent part of the wall. Use of the reinforcing bracket reduces the need to tie and splice vertical reinforcing at frequent intervals. Also, the reinforcing bracket can be used effectively to attach and support other building elements such as windows, doors, intersecting walls and cabinets or other elements. The reinforcing bracket is economical to manufacture and compact for shipment. One product can serve a multitude of purposes and through the use of light gauge steel with its high strength and weight efficiency; this product has excellent energy savings and raw material minimization properties.

The preferred embodiment of the invention is based on cold forming of light gauge sheet steel material, however molding, extruding, or stamping reinforcing brackets using other materials such as plastics are alternatives consistent with the principles of the invention.

Positioning of vertical reinforcement in reinforced concrete walls poured in insulated concrete forms tends to utilize existing practices for cast-in place concrete in traditional forms where horizontally positioned reinforcement is employed to tie vertical reinforcement in place. By this technique, the length of vertical reinforcing bar that can be placed during construction is limited by the feasible height for lifting the subsequent courses of the insulated concrete forms over this previously positioned vertical reinforcement. Thus the construction process is slowed by the need for frequent tying of short lengths of vertical reinforcement and excess reinforcement is required as the result of the frequent splicing of the vertical bars. Generally in concrete wall construction either a single reinforcing bar is placed in the center of the wall at the wall ends or around window and door openings or pairs of equally spaced vertical reinforcing bars are installed at wall ends and around window and door openings, so with the use of stay-in-place insulated concrete formwork a mechanism for securely and accurately positioning the vertical reinforcement is needed.

There exist other steel brackets designed for use in insulated concrete formed walls, however these existing brackets are heavy gauge embedments designed for supporting floor joist systems and are designed to only interact with horizontal reinforcement with no consideration for typical vertical reinforcement alignment and placement issues in insulated concrete formwork. An example of this type of bracket is the Bracket For Concrete Forms U.S. Pat. No. 7,024,833 while this bracket is designed for embedment into insulated concrete form walls its designed purpose is to support numerous types of ledger floor systems. Its uses a heavy gauge steel U-shaped embedment bracket and only addresses horizontal reinforcement placement as a method so as not to interfere with the typical horizontal rebar placement, with no regards to positioning or support of said reinforcement.

In addition, areas near the ends of walls and adjacent to the vertical edges of openings require the accurate positioning and support of the vertical reinforcement. However, positioning of other devices intended to serve as attachment points for other building elements may also interfere with correct location of this vertical reinforcement. Anchorage of these devices within the concrete may require that vertical reinforcement be shifted further away from the wall ends or openings. As a result of the foregoing problems and disadvantages, there is a need in building construction using insulated concrete forms for a more reliable cost effective apparatus and method for accurately positioning and supporting vertical end wall reinforcement in poured concrete walls made with permanent concrete formwork such as insulated concrete forms. In addition, such apparatus and construction method may facilitate the attachment and support of other building elements.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention solves the above problems by providing a reinforcing bracket that extends through the insulating layer either along the face of the wall, at the ends of walls or at vertical edges of openings. At the ends of walls, these brackets can be positioned along the joints between individual insulating forming elements typically called “end caps” or directly penetrate through any other type of stay in place form material or directly through the insulating layer. The bracket is designed to stay in place during installation of vertical reinforcement and pouring of concrete in the formed space, which subsequently provides anchorage for the reinforcing bracket. Preformed openings in the bracket provide for accurate positioning over significant heights of wall which permits the lowering of vertical reinforcement into the wall through these vertically aligned openings after the formwork is installed.

This apparatus and method permits rapid construction of significant heights of walls followed by accurate positioning of vertical reinforcement. Such positioned reinforcement does not require tying since their location is accurately controlled by the openings in the brackets. In addition to more reliable and rapid construction, cost effectiveness is also improved by reduced time and materials through increased vertical spacing between splices in vertical reinforcement.

The existence of vertical reinforcing brackets anchored into the hardened concrete inside of the permanent formwork offers opportunity for additional savings in construction time and materials through the subsequent use of this apparatus to attach and support other building elements. Preferably fabricated from light gauge steel sheets, the thickness of the metal may be altered and folds, ribs and support accessories may be added to provide additional strength and stiffness to accommodate attachment of loads or to resist forces. Other materials with the necessary strength and stiffness requirements may be used instead of steel.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings are included to provide a further understanding of the invention and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification. The illustrated embodiments of the invention and, together with detailed description, serve to explain the principles of the invention.

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of an individual ICF (insulated concrete form) element without the bracket described herein.

FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the reinforcement bracket within an insulated concrete formed wall described herein.

FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of the reinforcing bracket used to position vertical reinforcing described herein.

FIG. 4 shows a top view of a single reinforcing bracket prior to bending into shape described herein.

FIG. 5 shows a top view of multiple reinforcing brackets on a large sheet of material prior to cutting out and bending described herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the following description, the use of “a,” “an,” or “the” can refer to the plural. All examples given are for clarification only, and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention. The accompanying drawings are included to provide a further understanding of the invention and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification. They illustrate embodiments of the invention and, together with detailed description, serve to explain the principles of the invention.

Referring to FIG. 1, according to a preferred embodiment, insulated concrete formwork 13 includes side panels 10 that include horizontal surfaces 11 and end surfaces 12. The side panel 10 is typically joined together to another parallel side panel 10 by a pattern of ties 15 leaving a hollow space between the panels 10 to be filled with concrete.

Referring to FIG. 2, an ICF (insulated concrete form) wall according to preferred embodiment includes multiple ICF components 13 made up of individual components such as side panels 10 joined together with ties 15. Ends of walls and sides of openings in the wall may be closed using end wall cap material 14 as shown in FIG. 2, one skilled in the art will realize that a plethora of other good choices exist for end wall or opening sides materials. In the cut-away section of the ICF wall in FIG. 2, a reinforcing bracket 60 is shown providing alignment and support for vertical reinforcing 61. Reinforcing brackets 60 may be positioned through the side panel 10 of the ICF 13 at the horizontal joints 11 or positioned in the vertical end joints 12 to support reinforcement 61 or to serve as position and attachment points for other building elements. Another alternative is to place reinforcing brackets 60 through saw cuts into the ICF end wall 14 or ICF form sides 10 as required to support vertical reinforcement 61 or to serve as position and attachment points for other building elements.

Referring to FIG. 3, in a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the reinforcing bracket 60 has a single tongue portion 65 that embeds in the concrete to align and support vertical reinforcing 61, and a face portion 66 that allows for fastening to the ICF side panel 10 or for attaching other building elements. The tongue portion 65 that embeds into the concrete is fitted with openings 62 to accurately position and support vertical reinforcement 61 in form 13. An option is to create a slot 63 in the tongue by bending a flange 64 into position to fit against the inside face 10 of the form 13, this tab 64 will also help secure the bracket into the ICF 13 prior to concrete placement keeping it secured in place during the concrete pour. The slot 63 in the tongue 65 will help to minimize thermal bridging for increase energy efficiency. The face plate 66 is placed against the outside face of 10, 12, or 14. There are other shapes besides round holes 62 to secure and align the vertical reinforcing that would be obvious to one skilled in the art. For example, to secure reinforcing 61 in shaped keyed slots could be used and still achieve the same result as an enclosed hole. Further, they need not be circular holes 62 as in FIG. 3, to accomplish aligning and securing the vertical reinforcement in its specified location. Vertical reinforcement 61 for the concrete wall is placed in the bracket 60 after the ICF wall is constructed and is later bonded into the concrete as it hardens.

Referring to FIG. 4, which shows the reinforcing bracket 60 in a flattened state prior to bending into the L-shape shown in FIG. 3. The dimension (V+Z+X) determines the distance that the tongue 65 may be embedded into the poured concrete. When the tab 64 is in place as shown in FIG. 3 the dimension T coincides with the thickness of the form side panel 10 or the end cap wall material 14. The dimensions W and U dictate the size of the tab 64 and the size of the opening 63 to reduce thermal bridging and to aid in securing the bracket 60 into the formwork 13 or the end cap material 14. Strength and stiffness requirements of the remaining bracket material will affect the choice of these dimensions. Those skilled in the art may decide if tab 64 can be entirely removed or to create additional openings for reduced thermal bridging. There can be many variations in the shape of the reinforcing bracket to satisfy the intent and specified functions of the invention. The shape, dimensions, pattern of openings 62, 63 in the tongue 65 may be altered for additional savings of material.

Referring now to FIG. 5, this shows the flattened vertical reinforcing brackets 60 as in FIG. 4 grouped into a multiple pattern for ease and efficiency in manufacturing. Those skilled in the art will find obvious that any type of sheet material of sufficient strength and stiffness may be used in manufacturing. It will also be apparent to one skilled in the art that the reinforcing bracket 60 need not be shaped with just three reinforcement openings 62 or a single thermal bridge reducing opening 63, and the tab 64 in the bracket 60 could be any number, shape, orientation, or size to accomplish the same results.