Title:
Free access floor structure
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A free access floor structure which is able to prevent an adjustment stand and free access floor panels from rising, thereby significantly improving the reliability of the free access floor construction. The free access floor includes free access floor panels 14 and panel supports 32. The panel support 32 consists of an adjustment stand 24 having a placement stand 24 for placing thereon corners of the free access floor panels 14 and a tubular member 28 under the placement stand 26, and a support base which is fixed to a floor of a building and supports the adjustment stand 24 at a top thereof in a manner to freely adjust height of the adjustment stand. The support base is provided with a circular groove 40a formed around a surface of a screw rod member 40 in a circumferential direction, and the tubular member 28 of the adjustment stand 24 is provided with a screw hole 28a for allowing a tip of a male screw be engaged with the circular groove 40a.



Inventors:
Ishizu, Osamu (Tokyo, JP)
Application Number:
09/726181
Publication Date:
11/29/2001
Filing Date:
02/28/2001
Assignee:
ISHIZU OSAMU
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04F15/00; E04F15/024; (IPC1-7): E04B2/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DORSEY, DENNIS
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MURAMATSU & ASSOCIATES (Irvine, CA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A free access floor structure including free access floor panels and panel supports for supporting the free access floor panels, comprising: an adjustment stand having a placement stand for placing thereon corners of the free access floor panels and a tubular member under the placement stand; and a support base which is fixed to a floor of an architectural structure and supports the adjustment stand at a top thereof in a manner to freely adjust height of the adjustment stand; wherein the support base is provided with a groove formed around a surface in a circumferential direction in an endless manner, and the tubular member of the adjustment stand is provided with a screw hole allowing a tip of a male screw be engaged with the groove on the support base when tightening the male screw through the screw hole.

2. A free access floor structure as defined in claim 1, wherein the support base, comprising: a support base foot fixedly erected on the concrete floor and having a screw hole which has an axis extended in a vertical direction; a screw rod member whose lower portion is connected to the screw hole, height of the screw rod member is adjustable by rotating in the screw hole; a lock nut provided on the screw rod member at a lower portion thereof for firmly attaching the screw rod member to the support base foot 36 at an upper portion thereof; a support nut provided at an upper portion of the screw rod member for supporting the adjustment stand by having its top in direct contact with the bottom surface of the tubular member; and a circular groove provided on the screw rod member at above the support nut in an endless manner around a surface of the screw rod member.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This present invention relates to a structure of a free access floor formed on a concrete floor of a building in a double-floored structure having a predetermined space between the concrete floor and the free access floor.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The interior of recent architectural structures, such as an office building, are increasing in an array of various information equipment such as computers, word processors, copy machines, and an array of several related devices and components. In order to prevent from negligently and disorderly leaving the wiring and components connected to such equipment on the office building floors, a free access floor structure has been on the increase. The free access floor structure is established by creating a space between the concrete floor surface and a office building floor, making a double-floored structure, thereby enabling to store the above mentioned wiring and components in that space. An example of conventional structure of the free access floor is shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. In these conventional examples, a plurality of panel supports 12 are upwardly erected on the concrete floor 10, and the corners of plurality of free access floor panels 14 are placed on the panel supports 12 to be supported.

[0003] As shown in FIG. 5, the panel supports 12 are assembled as follows. A tubular foot base 16 is fixedly erected on the concrete floor 10 by using, for example screws. On the top of the tubular foot base 16, a small circular support panel 18 is attached. Then, the bottom of a screw rod member 20 is attached on the support panel 18 through welding, for example, to make a straight line starting from tubular foot base 16.

[0004] A support nut 22 is coupled to the screw rod member 20 through a screw, and a screw hole 22a is formed on the support nut 22. A male screw is screwed into the screw hole 22a, thereby contacting the tip of the male screw with the screw rod member 20. This will allow the support nut 22 to be fixed to the screw rod member 20 so that the screw rod member 20 is not able to turn. The foregoing tubular foot base 16, the screw rod member 20, the support nut 22 and the male screw constitute a support base as a whole for the free access floor.

[0005] On the support nut 22 attached to the screw rod member 20 as noted above, the bottom surface of a tubular member 28 of an adjustment stand 24 is placed, thereby supporting the adjustment stand 24. The adjustment stand 24 has a placement stand 26 for placing the corners of the free access floor panels 14 thereon. The adjustment stand 24 also has the tubular member 28 noted above for receiving therein the upper portion of the screw rod member 20.

[0006] A screw hole 28a is formed at a lower portion of the tubular member 28 of the adjustment stand 24. A male screw is screwed into the screw hole 28a for contacting the tip of the male screw with the surface of the screw rod member 20, thereby fixing the adjustment stand 24 to the screw rod member 20.

[0007] In the foregoing conventional structure of the free access floor, various structural members under the floor panels 14 noted above support weight and shock received by the free access floor panels 14. Namely, the weight and shock are supported by a sum of a support force produced by the contact between the screw rod member 20 and the support nut 22, a pressure force produced by the contact between the tip of the male screw and the screw rod member 20 by tightening the male screw through the screw hole 22a, and a pressure force produced by the contact between the tip of the male screw and the screw rod member 20 by tightening the male screw through the screw hole 28a.

[0008] However, in this type of conventional free access floor structure, since the connection between the tip surface of the male screw which is tightened through the screw hole 28a and the surface of the screw rod member 20 is considered a line contact. Therefore, it is not possible to achieve a sufficiently large pressure force between the male screw and the screw rod member 20.

[0009] Due to this limitation, when the free access floor panels 14 receive external forces coming from side-to-side or from bottom to top, or a shock from top to bottom which produces vibration of the floor panels 14, the free access floor panels 14 may be upwardly dislocated. For example, when the shock caused by falling the equipment on the free access floor panels 14 due to disasters, such as earthquakes, the free access floor panels 14 may vibrate in the up-down direction, incline or deform relative to a horizontal level, or may be temporarily dislocated in the vertical direction.

[0010] In addition, the free access floor panels 14 are screw coupled to the placement stands 26 on the adjustment stand 24 of the panel support 12. Thus, the forces applied to the adjustment stand 24 through these free access floor panels 14 may overpower the above noted pressure force between the tip of the male screw and the screw rod member 20, making the adjustment stand 24 dislocate or rise in the vertical direction as well. Under this circumstances, such rise of the free access floor panels 14 cannot be avoided, resulting in such problems as gradual decrease in the reliability and strength and stability of the overall free access floor structure.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0011] In view of such problems, it is an object of the present invention to provide a structure of free access floor that can prevent the rise of the free access floor panels and adjustment stands, thereby improving the reliability of the free access floor construction.

[0012] It is another object of the present invention is to provide a structure of free access floor consisting of a support base fixed to the concrete floor and an adjustment stand that receives the floor panels thereon in which the connection between the support base and the adjustment stand will not separate from each other due to vibration or shock.

[0013] In order to achieve the above mentioned objectives, one aspect of the present invention is a free access floor structure furnished with free access floor panels and panel supports for supporting the free access floor panels. The panel support of the present invention consists of an adjustment stand having a placement stand for placing thereon corners of the free access floor panels and a tubular member under the placement stand, and a support base which is fixed to a floor of an architectural structure and supports the adjustment stand at a top thereof in a manner to freely adjust height of the adjustment stand. The support base is provided with a groove formed around a surface in a circumferential direction in an endless manner, and the tubular member of the adjustment stand is provided with a screw hole allowing a tip of a male screw be engaged with the groove on the support base when tightening the male screw through the screw hole.

[0014] According to the present invention, the circular groove is formed around the support base in the circumferential direction, and the screw hole is formed on the tubular member for contacting the tip of the male screw with the circular groove when screwing the male screw into the screw hole. Therefore, when the male screw is tightened so that the tip thereof is fit into the circular groove, the connection between the two is securely made and will not separate from each other. Thus, it is able to prevent the adjustment stand and the free access floor panels from rising, thereby significantly improving the reliability of the free access floor structure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] FIG. 1 is a side view of the free access floor structure in one embodiment of the present invention.

[0016] FIG. 2 is a partially enlarged cross sectional side view of the panel support member shown in FIG. 1.

[0017] FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the panel support member shown in FIG. 2.

[0018] FIG. 4 is a side view of the conventional free access floor construction.

[0019] FIG. 5 is an exploded view of the panel support member shown in FIG. 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0020] The embodiment of the present invention will be explained in detail hereafter, with reference to the drawings provided. FIGS. 1-3 will be referred to in order to explain the free access floor structure in the embodiment of the present invention.

[0021] In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the free access floor is constructed on the concrete floor 10 (building floor) of an architectural structure such as a building with use of a plurality of panel support members 32 fixedly erected on the concrete floor 10. The corners of free access floor panels 14 are placed on the panel support members 32 to be supported thereby.

[0022] The panel support member 32, as shown in FIG. 3, is configured by a support base foot 36 which has a tubular shape and is attached to the concrete floor 10 by such means as screws in the vertical direction and a support plate 38 provided at the top of the support base foot 36. The support plate 38 is formed with a screw hole 38a which has an axis extended in the vertical direction.

[0023] As shown in FIG. 2, the panel support member 32 further includes a screw rod member 40 whose lower portion is connected to the screw hole 38a of the support plate 38 by a screw. Further, a lock nut 42 is provided on the screw rod member 40 on the support plate 38. The lock nut 42 is firmly attached to the upper surface of the support plate 38, by rotating the screw rod member 40 in the screw hole 38a, thereby firmly attaching the screw rod member 40 to the support base foot 36.

[0024] FIG. 2 further shows that a support nut 44 is screwed in at an upper portion of the screw rod member 40, and this support nut 44 supports the adjustment stand 24 by having its top in direct contact with the bottom surface of the tubular member 28. The above mentioned support base foot 36, the screw rod member 40, the lock nut 42, and the support nut 44 constitute a support base as a whole.

[0025] The top of the adjustment stand 24, as shown in FIG. 3, is provided with the placement stand 26, which supports the corners of free access floor panels 14 thereon. The adjustment stand 24 includes the tubular member 28 which fits over the top of the screw rod member 40.

[0026] The screw hole 28a is formed at the lower portion of the tubular member 28. This screw hole 28a is connected with a male screw (not shown), and a tip of the male screw contacts the screw rod member 40 when the male screw is tightened, thereby attaching the adjustment stand 24 to the screw rod member 40.

[0027] As shown in FIG. 3, above the support nut 44, a circular (endless) groove is formed around the shaft (circumference) of the screw rod member 40. As shown in FIG. 2, the bottom of the tubular member 28 comes into contact with the support nut 44, allowing the end of the male screw that is screwed into screw hole 28a be fitted in the circular groove 40a.

[0028] In the panel support configured as described in the foregoing, for adjusting the height of the placement stand 26 of the panel support member 32, in FIG. 2, the lock nut 42 and the support nut 44 are loosened, and the screw rod member 40 is then turned around and moved up and down.

[0029] At the same time, the male screw in the screw hole 28a is loosened as well, making the tip of the male screw slide along the circular groove 40a in a circumferential direction. This will allow only screw rod member 40 to turn, and not the adjustment stand 24. Upon finishing the height adjustment of the placement stand 26 of the adjustment stand 24, the male screws should once again be tightened into the lock nut 42, the support nut 44, and the screw hole 28a, respectively, restricting the up and down movement of the placement stand 26 and the screw rod member 40.

[0030] According to the structure of the free access floor in the embodiment of the present invention, the circular groove 40a is formed around the upper portion of the screw rod member 40 in the circumferential direction, and the screw hole 28a is formed at the lower portion of the tubular member 28 for contacting the tip of the male screw with the circular groove 40 when screwing the male screw into the screw hole. Therefore, when the male screw is tightened so that the tip thereof is fit into the circular groove 40a, the connection between the two is securely made and will not separate from each other. Thus, it is able to prevent the adjustment stand 24 and the free access floor panels 14 from rising, thereby significantly improving the reliability of the free access floor structure.

[0031] The present invention has been explained in detail thus far with respect to the specific embodiment. However, the present invention is not limited to the foregoing embodiment. Based on the technical ideas of the present invention, various variations and modifications are possible. For example, the structure formed at the upper portion of the screw rod member is not necessarily limited to the upper portion thereof, and similarly, the structure formed at the lower portion of the screw rod member is not necessarily limited to the lower portion thereof.

[0032] As has been described in the foregoing, the circular groove is formed around the screw rod member in the circumferential direction, and the screw hole is formed on the tube member for contacting the tip of the male screw with the circular groove when screwing the male screw into the screw hole. Therefore, when the male screw is tightened so that the tip thereof is fit into the circular groove, the connection between the two is securely made and will not separate from each other. Thus, it is able to prevent the adjustment stand and the free access floor panels from rising, thereby significantly improving the reliability of the free access floor construction.