Title:
MODULAR STRUCTURES
United States Patent 3728837


Abstract:
A modular structure includes elongated modular members which are assembled into a multi-sided panel or post. Each modular member has a side extending the width of the member. A web spaced inwardly from a first end of the side extends from the inner surface of the side toward the first end and a first flange extends from the end of the web toward the inner surface but with an entry slot therebetween. The web and flange form a first opening. A second web extends from the inner surface at the other end. A second flange is attached to the second web in spaced relationship therewith on the side toward the first web so as to provide a second opening having an entry slot. In most cases the modular members are assembled with the first flange of each member in the second opening of the adjacent member.



Inventors:
KIEFER A
Application Number:
05/118824
Publication Date:
04/24/1973
Filing Date:
02/25/1971
Assignee:
KIEFER A,US
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
256/DIG.5
International Classes:
E04H17/16; E04H17/20; (IPC1-7): E04H12/00; E04H17/20
Field of Search:
52/730,731,732,570,588,423,737,738,40,276,292,300,619,620,720 256
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3594972SUSPENDED CEILING CONSTRUCTION1971-07-27Jones
3562995N/A1971-02-16Zwickert
3290853Metal extrusion1966-12-13Pucci et al.
3276182Tapered structural member1966-10-04Handley
3055399Article and method of forming1962-09-25Bush et al.
3009549Extruded structural member1961-11-21Miller
1608672Tubular construction material1926-11-30Rappaport
1265990N/A1918-05-14Benner



Primary Examiner:
Faw Jr., Price C.
Claims:
I claim

1. A structure comprising at least one elongated modular member having a cross section including a side extending substantially the full width of said member, said side having an inner surface and an outer surface, a web spaced inwardly from a first end of said side extending away from said inner surface toward said first end, a first flange fastened to the outer end of said web and extending toward the said side with a first slot between the end of said flange and said side, said web, and said flange providing a first opening, a second web extending away from said inner surface adjacent the second end of said side and having a thickness less than the width of said slot, and a second flange fastened to said second web on the side thereof toward said first end of said side with a second opening between said second web and second flange of such size sufficient to receive a first flange of a similar modular member, said second flange extending toward said side and terminating a distance therefrom greater than the thickness of said first web so as to provide a second slot.

2. A structure according to claim 1 in which said second web extends substantially normal to said inner surface.

3. A structure according to claim 2 including two of said members assembled with their outer surfaces forming substantially parallel outer sides of said structure, the first flange of each member being received in said second opening of the other member and the second flange of each member being received in said first opening of the other member.

4. A structure according to claim 2 including four of said members assembled with their first ends adjacent to the second ends of adjacent members to form a substantially square structure with their outer surfaces forming the outer surface of said structure, the second flange of each member being received in the first opening of the adjacent member.

5. A structure according to claim 1 including at least three modular members assembled to form a hollow structure having the same number of sides as the number of modular members, the outer surfaces of said members forming the outer surfaces of said structure, the second flange of each member being received in the first opening of the adjacent member, the angle between said inner surface and said second web being equal to 180° minus 360° divided by the number of sides.

6. A structure according to claim 1 in which said first web includes a first leg extending substantially normal to said inner surface and a second leg extending from said first leg substantially parallel to said inner surface, and said second web includes a third leg extending substantially normal to said inner surface, a fourth leg extending from said third leg intermediate its ends to said second flange a distance slightly greater than the thickness of said first flange, and a flange substantially normal to said second flange extending toward said first web.

7. A structure according to claim 1 in which said first web includes a first leg extending from said inner surface and a second leg extending from said first leg substantially normal thereto, and said second web includes a third leg extending from said inner surface and a fourth leg extending from said third leg to said second flange, said first flange having a flange extending from its end toward said first leg substantially parallel to said second leg.

8. A structure according to claim 7 in which said first and third legs extend toward each other at angles of 60° to said inner surface.

9. A structure according to claim 7 in which said first leg is substantially normal to said inner surface.

10. A structure according to claim 9 including at least four modular members assembled with their first ends adjacent to the second ends of adjacent members to form a hollow structure having the same number of sides as the number of modular members, the outer surfaces of said members forming the outer surfaces of said structure, the second flange of each member being received in the first opening of the adjacent member, the angle between said inner surface and said third leg being equal to 180° minus 360° divided by the number of sides.

Description:
This invention relates to modular structures and more particularly to extruded modular members made of aluminum which may be assembled to form panels and posts for use in a fence. Posts and panels are often made hollow to reduce their weight. Because of their bulk the shipping cost is relatively high and a large storage space is required. In most cases the posts are larger in cross section than the panels or horizontal members and two different structures must be provided. When the posts and panels are made of a plurality of members additional fastening means must be provided to hold the members assembled.

It is therefore an object of my invention to provide modular members which can be extruded and which are relatively compact for shipping and storage.

Another object is to provide such modular members which can be assembled with like members and held together without separate fastening means to form structures having two different cross sections.

Still another object is to provide modular members that can be made in various shapes to make structures having different numbers of sides.

These and other objects will be more apparent after referring to the following specification and attached drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is an end view of a modular member of my invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view of two members of FIG. 1 assembled to form a panel;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view of four members of FIG. 1 assembled to form a post;

FIG. 4 is an elevation of a fence made with panels and posts of FIGS. 2 and 3;

FIG. 5 is a view taken on line V--V of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 1 showing a second embodiment of my invention;

FIG. 7 is a sectional view of two members of FIG. 6 assembled to form a panel;

FIG. 8 is a sectional view of four members of FIG. 6 assembled to form a post;

FIG. 9 is a view similar to FIG. 1 showing a third embodiment of my invention;

FIG. 10 is a sectional view of three members of FIG. 9 assembled to form a post;

FIG. 11 is a view similar to FIG. 1 showing a fourth embodiment of my invention;

FIG. 12 is a sectional view of five members of FIG. 11 assembled to form a post;

FIG. 13 is a view similar to FIG. 1 showing a fifth embodiment of my invention; and

FIG. 14 is a sectional view of eight members of FIG. 13 assembled to form a post.

Referring more particularly to FIGS. 1 to 5 of the drawings, reference numeral 2 indicates a modular member of my invention. The member 2 has a side 4 extending the full width thereof. The side 4 has a flat outer surface 6 and an inner surface 8 which is also flat for a majority of its width. The side 4 preferably has its ends 10 and 12 tapered at a 45° angle. A web 14 spaced inwardly from end 10 extends from surface 8 away from the side 4 and toward end 10. The web 14 includes a side 16 normal to side 4 and a side 18 attached to the free end of side 16 parallel to side 4. A flange 20 extends from side 18 toward surface 8 parallel to side 16. The side 4 has a flange 22 at its end extending toward flange 20 with a slot 24 therebetween. A square 26 is provided on the inside corner between sides 4 and 16 with one side aligned with the outer end of flange 22. An opening 28 is provided by sides 4, 16 and 18 and flange 20. A web 30 extends away from surface 8 at end 12. A flange 32 is fastened to that side of web 30 toward web 14 in spaced parallel relationship with web 30 and extends toward surface 8 with an opening 34 between web 30 and flange 32 of such size as to receive flange 20 of another member 2. A slot 35 is provided between side 4 and the end of flange 32. A flange 36 extends normal to flange 32 toward web 14. A groove 37 may be provided in web 30 on the side away from web 14 for a purpose which will appear later.

As shown in FIG. 2 two members 2 may be assembled to form a panel 38. It will be seen that the end of web 30 of each member 2 abuts the end of flange 22 of the other member 2 and that the flange 20 of each member 2 is received snugly in the opening 34 of the other member 2 so that a hollow panel is provided.

As seen in FIG. 3 four members 2 are assembled to form a panel or post 40. It will be seen that the flange 36 and a portion of web 30 of each member 2 is received in opening 28 of an adjacent member 2 with the end of web 30 bearing against side 16, the sides of flanges 20 and 36 abutting, the end of flange 20 against the side of flange 32, and the exterior side of flange 30 bearing against the aligned sides of flange 22 and square 26.

Panels 30 and posts 40 may be assembled as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 to make a fence. Three pairs of aligned holes 42 are provided in each post 40 with the holes in each post being in alignment with the holes in the other posts. A panel 38 passes through each set of holes 42 with their long side vertical. A fitting 44 is provided in each of the grooves 37 for receiving fencing 46.

FIGS. 6 to 8 show a second embodiment of my invention in which reference numeral 48 indicates a modular member of my invention. The member 48 has a side 50 which is substantially the same as side 4 of the first embodiment with an inner surface 52, a flanged end 54 and a tapered end 56. A web 58 spaced inwardly a short distance from end 54 extends from inner surface 52 in the same manner as in the first embodiment. The web 58 has sides 60 and 62 which together with side 50 and flange 64 secured to the end of side 62 form an opening 66. A slot 68 is provided between flanged end 54 and the end of flange 64. This construction is essentially the same as that of FIG. 1. A flange 70 extends from the end of flange 64 into opening 66 parallel to side 50. A web 72 extends from surface 52 at its end 56 and has a leg 74 extending toward web 58. A flange 76 is fastened to the end of leg 74 and extends toward surface 52 in spaced parallel relationship with web 72 so as to provide an opening 78 and a communicating slot 80. A groove 82 may be provided on the outside of web 72.

As shown in FIG. 7 two members 48 may be assembled to form a panel 38' essentially the same as panel 38. It will be seen that the end of web 72 of each member 48 abuts the flanged end 54 of the outer member 48 and that the flanges 64 and 70 of each member is received in the opening 78 of the other member 48 with the flange 64 bearing against web 72, flange 70 bearing against leg 74 and the end of flange 70 abutting flange 76.

As shown in FIG. 8 four members 48 may be assembled to form a substantially square panel or post 40' essentially the same as post 40. It will be seen that the leg 74 and flange 76 of each member 48 is received in opening 66 of an adjacent member 48 with the end of flange 76 bearing against flange 64, the flange 76 and side 62 abutting, the end of web 72 a butting side 60, and the side of web 72 bearing against the end 54.

Panels 38' and posts 40' may be assembled in the same manner as panels 38 and posts 40 to make a fence with posts 40' being provided with three spaced apart pairs of aligned holes 42'.

FIGS. 9 and 10 show another embodiment of my invention construction may be used in making a triangular post or panel. In this embodiment reference numeral 84 indicates a modular member having the same basic construction as the other embodiments. The member 84 has a side 86 with a flat outer surface 88 and an inner surface 90. A web 92 spaced inwardly from one end of surface 90 has sides 94 and 96 arranged normal to one another. A flange 98 extends from the end of side 96 toward side 86 parallel to side 94 and a flange 100 extends from the end of flange 98 toward side 94 parallel to side 96. Thus, an opening 102 is provided having an entry slot 104. It will be seen that this construction is the same as that of FIG. 6 except that side 94 is arranged at an angle 106 of 60° rather than an angle of 90°. A web 108 extends from the other end of surface 90 at an angle 110 of 60°. The web 108 has a leg 112 parallel to side 84 extending toward web 92. A flange 114 extends from the end of side 112 toward surface 90 normal thereto. Thus, an opening 116 is provided having an entry slot 118.

As shown in FIG. 10, three panels 84 may be assembled to form a panel or post 119. It will be seen that a portion of side 112 and flange 114 of each member 84 is received within opening 102 of the adjacent member 84 in essentially the same manner as in the assembly of FIG. 8.

FIGS. 11 and 12 show an embodiment of my invention similar to those of FIG. 6 and 9, but which is used to make a pentagonal post or panel. Modular member 120 has a side 122 with a web 124 having a side 126 extending normal from the inner surface of side 122 adjacent one end thereof and a side 128 parallel to side 122. A flange 130 extends toward side 122 from the end of side 128 and a flange 132 extends from flange 130 parallel to side 128. Thus, an opening 134 is provided having an entry slot 136. A web 138 extends from the other end of side 122 at an angle 140 of 108°. The web 138 includes a side 141 and a side 142 normal thereto. A flange 144 extends from the end of side 142 normal thereto. Thus, the construction of member 120 is basically the same as that of member 48 (FIG. 6) except that the angle 140 is 108° instead of 90° .

As shown in FIG. 12 five panels 120 may be assembled to form a panel or post 146. A portion of side 142 and flange 144 of one member 120 is received in opening 134 of the adjacent member 120 in the same manner as in FIGS. 8 and 10.

FIGS. 13 and 14 show another embodiment very similar to that of FIGS. 11 and 12. Modular member 120' has the same construction as that of member 120 except that its angle 140' is 135° instead of 108°. Eight members 120° are assembled to form an octagonal post or panel 150.

It will be seen that in making up three-sided, four-sided, five-sided and eight-sided posts the angle at which each of the webs (30, 72, 108, 138 and 138') adjacent the end of the modular members extend from the inner surface of the member is equal to 180° -(360° divided by the number of sides). Modular members for making up posts having other numbers of sides may be made up by using the same equation.

While several embodiments of my invention have been shown and described, it will be apparent that other adaptations and modifications may be made without departing from the scope of the following claims.