Title:
DECK ASSEMBLY
United States Patent 3813839


Abstract:
A deck assembly is described whereby each of at least two substantially identical modules include a panel, said panel having a portion thereof defining a groove adjacent to one edge of the panel; a plurality of ribs depending from the panel, one of the ribs carrying a flange having a locking notch or groove; a tongue extending along another edge or end of the panel, a lip extension extending outward from the portion of the panel defining the groove. The two modules may be interlocked together with a sealing strip interposed between the lip extension and the panel to provide a unitary platform, roof or cover.



Inventors:
Simpson Jr., Eric (Sepulveda, CA)
Fried, Morton (Mountain Valley, CA)
Application Number:
05/280109
Publication Date:
06/04/1974
Filing Date:
08/14/1972
Assignee:
MARTIN MARIETTA ALUMINUM INC,US
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/394
International Classes:
E04B5/10; E04C2/08; E04D3/30; (IPC1-7): E04C1/30
Field of Search:
52/394,588,630
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3675594DRAFTING TABLE1972-07-11Kritske
3590545STRUCTURAL ASSEMBLIES1971-07-06Webb
3555762N/A1971-01-19Constanzo
3458000IMPLEMENT CONTROL APPARATUS1969-07-29Fiquet
3186525Interconnected panel constructions1965-06-01Gresham et al.
3100556Interlocking metallic structural members1963-08-13De Ridder
3043407Grids1962-07-10Marryatt



Primary Examiner:
Sutherland, Henry C.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Crowley Jr. Jr., John Shane Charles A. N.
Claims:
We claim

1. A deck assembly comprising at least two structural modules to form a platform, said deck assembly including

2. The deck assembly of claim 1 wherein the panel is substantially planar, the grooved portion of the panel faces upwardly in a direction substantially perpendicular to the panel and the tongue extends in a downward direction.

3. The deck assembly of claim 1 wherein said first flange is arced outwardly from one of the ribs in a concave upward direction.

4. The deck assembly of claim 1 wherein said first flange carries an undersurface having a plurality of locking notches thereon.

5. The deck assembly of claim 4 wherein said rib carrying the said second flange is shorter than any other rib.

6. The deck assembly of claim 1 wherein the resilient sealing strip is neoprene.

7. The deck assembly of claim 1 wherein the ribs depend in a vertical direction from the panel.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a deck assembly for forming a platform that comprises a plurality of structural modules interlocked together to form a unitary platform, roof, cover or the like.

It is contemplated by this invention to provide a suitable structurally sturdy platform, roof or cover for large reservoirs and the like so that the surface of the platform may function as an adequate barrier between the contents contained in the reservoir and the outside environment so as to retard the contamination of the reservoir contents.

In the past wooden covers have been constructed to protect the reservoir contents; however, it has been found that such structures are subjected to dry rot, particularly from the moisture of the reservoir contents, such as water, and as a result such structures must be repeatedly repaired or periodically replaced. The use of metal reservoir covers have eliminated this problem to a great extent.

Various types of metal structural panels and panel assemblies are present in the art. A common type may include that shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,385,182 and 3,062,338. These structures have been found to be generally satisfactory for the needs to which they have been individually constructed but they would not be generally acceptable as a reservoir platform, roof or cover that provides an effective bearer to protect the contents within the reservoir from the outside environment.

It is an object of this invention to provide a deck assembly which may be simply and efficiently assembled and which may be both structurally sturdy and may provide an effective barrier for protecting the contents in a reservoir or the like. Other objects will become apparent to those skilled-in-the-art from an inspection of the description hereinafter set forth.

STATEMENT OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with certain of its aspects, the novel deck assembly of this invention may comprise at least two structural modules to form a platform, said deck assembly including (a) a first module having a panel, said panel having a portion thereof defining a groove adjacent to one edge of the panel; a plurality of ribs depending from the panel and adapted to support said panel, one of said ribs carrying a first flange having a locking notch positioned thereon, said rib carrying said first flange extending outwardly from the portion of the panel defining the groove; a tongue extending along the edge of the panel opposite to the edge thereof defining the groove; a lip extension extending outwardly from the portion of the panel defining the groove, in a direction substantially parallel to the panel, said lip extension having a free end; and a second flange depending from said panel having a hooked end, said second flange spaced inwardly of said tongue and adjacent thereto; (a) a second module substantially identical with the first, said first and second modules being interlocked together such that the tongue of said first module fits into the portion of the panel defining the groove of said second panel and the hooked end of the second flange of said first module fits into the locking notch of the first flange of said second module; and (c) a resilient sealing strip interposed between the lip extension and the panel.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The structural module of this invention may comprise a panel. Preferably the panel may be generally planar and rectangular in shape and may have a relatively thin cross-section. The cross-section of the panel may vary and it may be corregated or U-shaped. The dimensions of a typical panel may be about 20 feet in length between its corresponding sides and about 8 feet in width between its corresponding ends.

One end of the panel may carry a portion thereof defining a groove adjacent to one end thereof. Preferably the grooved portion may extend along the entire edge or end of the panel from one side of the panel to its other side. The cross-section of the grooved portion may also vary but preferably the cross-section may be U-shaped with the grooved portion being arranged such that it faces in an upward direction, that is, in a direction substantially perpendicular to the planar panel.

The grooved portion may also carry a lip extension which extends outwardly therefrom and which generally follows the contour of the panel. Preferably the lip extension may be planar and may extend along the entire length of the grooved portion in a direction off-set from but substantially parallel to the panel. The width of the lip extension should be such that it may support an elongated sealing strip (hereinafter described) when it may be positioned on the upper surface thereof.

A plurality of ribs may depend from the panel. These ribs may rest on a joist or beam and thus support the panel above the joist. The ribs may extend vertically from the bottom surface of the panel. Preferably the cross-section of each rib may be varied and may be in the shape of an "I" and "L." The number of ribs that may depend from each panel is not critical to this invention except that there should be a sufficient number to prevent the panel from unduly sagging when it extends between the adjacent joists. Preferably, the ribs may extend across the entire length of the panel from one of its sides to the other.

One of the ribs that depends from the panel nearest one end thereof may carry a first flange which extends outwardly from the rib. The first flange may have a locking notch or groove positioned thereon. Preferably the locking groove will extend along the entire length of the first flange. Further, the flange may preferably carry a plurality of locking notches or grooves, say two in number, in order to provide the suitable adjustment hereinafter described. In the preferred form, the first flange may be arcuate in shape and may extend from one of the ribs in a concave upward direction. The undersurface of the first flange may carry a sliding surface and the locking grooves may be positioned on the arced sliding surface of the first flange.

Since the locking grooves and the first flange of one structural module may be meshed with a complementary element contained in a second structural module as hereinafter described, it is necessary for the particular rib carrying the first flange to be positioned nearest one end of the panel.

The panel may be provided with a tongue which may extend along the edge or end of the panel opposite to the edge or end of the panel that carries the grooved portion. Preferably the tongue may depend generally vertically from the panel in a direction substantially perpendicular to the panel.

The panel may also carry a second flange which depends therefrom. Preferably the second flange may extend along the entire length of the panel. The upper section of the second flange may depend vertically from the panel. Also the lower section of the second flange may be generally arcuate in shape and may carry an elongated rim which may be arranged along the entire length of the end of the second flange to define a hooked end thereof. Further, the second flange may extend downwardly from the panel a distance approximately equal to that distance defined between the first flange and the panel.

Since the second flange of one structural module may become secured to the first flange of an adjacent second module, the second flange must extend from the panel near the end of the deck opposite to the end thereof from which the rib having the first flange depends. The second flange may be positioned inwardly from the end of the panel a distance which is greater than the distance measured by the planar width of the lip extension.

This invention also comtemplates interlocking two or more structural modules above described to form a continuous platform or the like. To produce interlocked structural modules it may be simply necessary to position the tongue of a first module into the grooved portion of a second module. The first module may then be rotated about the axis of juncture between the tongue and grooved portion until the rim of the second flange of the first module contacts the sliding surface of first flange of a rib extending from the second module. More rotational movement will result in the rim of the second module snapping into the first grooved notch or surface on the sliding surface of the first flange of the second module. To provide an adjustment it may be possible to further rotate the second module about the axis of juncture with the result that the rim of the second module will pop-out of the first grooved surface and continue to slide along the sliding surface on the first flange of the second module until the rim snaps into the second grooved surface on the first module.

In order to provide a seal at the juncture of the two modules a resilient sealant strip may be positioned between the upper surface of the lip extension and the undersurface of the panel. Preferably the sealant strip may be positioned along the entire length of the lip extension. It will be understood that as the second module is being rotated about the axis of juncture, pressure will be applied to the surfaces of the sealant strip with the result that the strip will become compressed between the panel and the lip extension to provide an effective seal therebetween. Typically the normal thickness of the sealant strip may be about 1/16 of an inch. The sealant strip in a sealing engaging position may be compressed to about 1/32 of an inch. The resilient sealant strip may be made up of a variety of material. Preferably the strip may be composed of a plastic material, say neoprene, which is relatively easy to compress and is composed of closed cells which thereby prevents moisture from seeping through the plastic material.

Once the two substantially identical modules are interlocked together as above indicated suitable self-tapping screws or the like may be drilled through the ribs and into the joist to rigidly fix the position of the modules with respect to one another and thus to provide a sturdy platform.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a sectional view of a module of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a partial perspective view of the deck assembly of this invention; and

FIG. 3 is a blown-up sectional partial view of the deck assembly taken along lines 3--3 of FIG. 2.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The structural module, generally indicated by 1 and shown in FIG. 1, may comprise a generally planar panel 2. The panel 2 may be rectangular in shape and have a relatively thin cross-section. The panel may be 20 feet in length between its corresponding sides and about 8 feet in width between its corresponding ends.

One edge or end of the panel 2 may carry an elongated grooved portion 3 which may extend along the entire end of the panel 2 from one side of the panel to its other side and which may have a U-shaped cross-section.

Extending outwardly from the grooved portion 3 along its entire length from one side of the panel to its other side, there may be provided a lip extension 4 which is planar in shape. The lip extension 4 may extend in a direction off-set from but substantially parallel to the planar panel 2.

A pair of ribs 5 may depend generally vertically from the panel 2. These ribs 5 may rest on a joist or beam 6 to support the panel above the joist 6. One of the ribs 2 may be "I" shaped while the other may be "L" shaped. Each rib 5 may extend across the entire length of the panel 2 from one of its sides to the other.

One of the ribs 5 may carry a first flange 7 which extends outwardly from the rib 5 along the entire length of the rib 5. The first flange 7 may be arcuate in shape and may extend from one of the ribs 5 in a concave upward direction. The first flange 7 may have an undersurface which comprises a sliding surface 8 and a pair of locking notches or grooves 10 positioned on the arced sliding surface 8. The locking grooves 10 may extend along the entire length of the first flange 7. Since the locking grooves 10 of one module may be meshed with a complementary element in a second module, the rib 5 carrying the first flange 7 should be positioned nearest one end of the panel 2.

The panel 2 may be provided with a tongue 9 which may extend along the edge or end of the panel 2 opposite to the edge or end of the panel 2 that carries the grooved portion 3. The tongue 9 may depend generally vertically from the panel 2 in a direction substantially parallel to the panel 2.

The panel 2 may also carry a second flange 11. The second flange 11 may depend from the panel 2 and extend along the entire length of the panel 2 from one of its sides to the other. The upper section of the second flange 11 is arranged to depend vertically from the panel 2 while the lower section is generally arcuate in shape and carries an elongated rim 12 at its end. The rim may extend along the length of the end of the second flange 11 to thereby define a hooked end thereof. The second flange 11 may extend downwardly from the panel 2 a distance approximately equal to that distance defined between the first flange 8 and the panel 2. Also since the second flange 11 of one structural module may become secured to the first flange 7 of an adjacent second module, the second flange must extend from the panel 2 nearest the end of the panel 2 opposite to end thereof from which the rib 5 having the first flange 7 depends. Further, the second flange 11 may be positioned inwardly from the end of the panel 2 a distance which is slightly greater than the distance measured by the planar width of the lip extension 4.

FIG. 3 illustrates more particularly the seal being provided at the modular junction when two substantially similar modules may be interlocked together. A sealant strip 13 may be positioned between the upper surface of the lip extension 4 and the undersurface of the panel 2. The strip 13 is arranged along the entire length of the lip extension 4 to provide an effective seal at the modular junction.

Suitable self-tapping screws 14 may be drilled through one of the ribs 5 and into the joist 6 to rigidly fix the position of the modules with respect to one another and thus to provide a sturdy platform.

Although this invention has been described with reference to certain aspects and certain embodiments, it will be apparent to those skilled-in-the-art that changes and modifications may be made thereto which fall within the scope of the claims.