Title:
Lightweight concrete forming panel with face sheet reinforcement
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A lightweight concrete reinforcing panel with face sheet reinforcement is provided having a face sheet and a frame with reinforcing members. The reinforcing members preferably extend between opposed rails of the frame and have openings therethrough with braces extending transversely to the axis ofthe reinforcing members. The braces may be provided by cutting and bending the reinforcing member to form flanges and the openings, and may alternate on either side of the reinforcing member, or alternatively may be separate, discrete bracing elements which pass through the openings. Thus positioned, the bracing elements may pivot on the reinforcing member to flex with the face sheet. The bracing elements may be linear, such as bars, loops, or other shapes to spread the load applied to the front side of the face sheet.



Inventors:
Ward, Philip T. (Leawood, KS, US)
Brewka, Roman (St. Joseph, MO, US)
Application Number:
09/791400
Publication Date:
08/29/2002
Filing Date:
02/23/2001
Assignee:
WARD PHILIP T.
BREWKA ROMAN
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/630, 52/800.1, 52/801.1, 249/192
International Classes:
E04G9/06; (IPC1-7): E04G9/06
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
SAFAVI, MICHAEL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Hovey Williams LLP (Overland Park, KS, US)
Claims:
1. A lightweight concrete forming panel with face sheet reinforcement comprising: a face sheet having a front concrete-receiving side and a back side; a frame coupled to said face sheet and extending rearwardly therefrom, said frame including first and second opposed elongated rails and an elongated reinforcing member having a longitudinal axis, a first side and an opposed second side, a first edge adjacent said back side of said face sheet and a second edge relatively remote from said back side of said face sheet, said reinforcing member extending along said back side substantially between said rails, said reinforcing member including at least one opening along the length thereof, said frame further including at least one brace positioned for engagement with said back side of said face sheet and extending from said first side of said reinforcing member transversely to said longitudinal axis and positioned proximate said opening.

2. A lightweight concrete forming panel as set forth in claim 1, wherein said brace is a flange formed from said reinforcing member and extending transversely to the longitudinal axis thereof.

3. A lightweight concrete forming panel as set forth in claim 2, wherein said reinforcing member includes a plurality of openings and a plurality of braces comprising flanges formed from said reinforcing member, at least one of said plurality of flanges extending from said first side of said reinforcing member and at least another of said plurality of flanges extending from said second side of said reinforcing member generally opposite to said one flange.

4. A lightweight concrete forming panel as set forth in claim 3, wherein there are a plurality of said one flanges and a plurality of said another flanges along the length of said reinforcing member, said one flanges alternating with said another flanges.

5. A lightweight concrete forming panel as set forth in claim 4, including a plurality of said reinforcing members in spaced-apart, substantially parallel orientation, said flanges extending only a portion of the distance between adjacent reinforcing members.

6. A lightweight concrete forming panel as set forth in claim 1, wherein said braces include a discrete bracing element passing through said opening.

7. A lightweight concrete forming panel as set forth in claim 6, wherein said discrete bracing element is pivotally engaged by said reinforcing member at said opening.

8. A lightweight concrete forming panel as set forth in claim 7, wherein said discrete bracing element is welded to said back side of said face sheet.

9. A lightweight concrete forming panel as set forth in claim 6, said reinforcing member including a plurality of openings and a plurality of said bracing elements passing through respective ones of said openings, wherein at least some of said bracing elements are elongated bars.

10. A lightweight concrete forming panel as set forth in claim 9, wherein said bars extend substantially perpendicular to said reinforcing member.

11. A lightweight concrete forming panel as set forth in claim 9, said frame including third and fourth spaced apart rails substantially parallel to one another and substantially perpendicular to said first and second rails, wherein said bars are pivotally engaged by said reinforcing member and wherein said bars have spaced-apart ends held by respective ones of said first and second rails.

12. A lightweight concrete forming panel as set forth in claim 6, wherein at least some of said bracing elements are loops.

13. A lightweight concrete forming panel as set forth in claim 12, wherein said loops include spaced-apart loop arms passing through separate openings in said reinforcing member.

14. A lightweight concrete forming panel as set forth in claim 1, wherein said reinforcing member is a L-shaped member.

15. A lightweight concrete forming panel as set forth in claim 1, wherein said reinforcing member is a T-shaped member.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention concerns a concrete forming panel used as a temporary forming material for the application of fluid cementations material thereagainst to provide for its form after hardening. More particularly, it is concerned with a concrete forming panel which includes a reinforcement for the face sheet which reduces the overall weight of the panel by the configuration and placement of the reinforcement.

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0004] Concrete is typically poured into forms which permit the concrete to set in a desired shape or configuration. The forms are then removed, leaving the solidified concrete to form a structural member, such as a wall or the like. In small construction jobs, plywood may be used as the form and supported by wood studs until the concrete hardens into the desired shape. Such forming practices are well known but not particularly economical when a builder must repeatedly form similar walls during a series of construction projects.

[0005] For this reason, reusable concrete forming panels of metal have been developed which may be positioned and held together to provide a concrete forming wall with a central cavity. Such known forming panels include those shown in, for example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,708,315, 4,958,800, 5,058,855, 5,184,439, and 5,965,053, the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference. Aluminum forming panel systems provide faster construction set up than standard steel and plywood systems, are lighter in weight, and typically leave a smooth wall surface which is better looking than other construction form systems.

[0006] Such aluminum forming panels must be relatively rigid and of sufficient strength to resist deformation due to the weight of the concrete bearing against the face sheet. Existing aluminum forming panels employ a frame and a face sheet which utilize a number of channels in the form of generally unshaped “hats” and stiffeners to minimize the bending or other deformation of the face sheet. However, such channels and stiffners have heretofore added significant weight to the forms, and moreover have provided reinforcement along only substantially linear stretches across and along the back of the face sheet. While effective, the necessary material adds expense and weight to the forming panel, making handling more difficult.

[0007] There has thus developed a need for a forming panel useful in many environments which includes is lighter in weight but remains relatively stiff while more efficiently using material in the face sheet stiffening members than past forming panels.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] These objects have largely been achieved by the lightweight concrete forming panels with face sheet reinforcement in accordance with the present invention. That is to say, the present invention permits the use of reusable metal forming panels with a more efficient use of the face sheet stiffening members than those of the prior art, and which more effectively distributes the loads placed on the face sheet. By providing reinforcing members which distribute the load transversely to the longitudinal axis of the reinforcement members, more efficient use of material and more effective face sheet reinforcement may be achieved.

[0009] In greater detail, the forming panels of the present invention include a frame and a face sheet, both preferably primarily of aluminum. As used herein, “aluminum” is intended to refer to both elemental aluminum and alloys wherein the primary constituent is aluminum. The face sheet is a relatively thin sheet of aluminum, and the frame includes at least one rail and at least one reinforcing member extending across the back side of the face sheet. The reinforcing member is elongated having a longitudinal axis and is advantageously provided with braces extending transversely therefrom. The braces are either formed from the reinforcing member by cutting and bending the reinforcing member, or alternatively by separate braces of metal, preferably aluminum, extending transversely from the longitudinal axis. Such separate braces include both linear members such as bars, or alternatively arcuate or polygonal shaped braces which are positioned to bear against the reinforcing members. The reinforcing members have openings to permit such separate braces to pass therethrough, the reinforcing members acting as a fulcrum to permit limited pivoting movement of the braces. Such movement is helpful to allow limited flexing of the face sheet as poured concrete rises against the opposite side of the face sheet

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] FIG. 1 is a fragmentary, rear perspective view of a forming panel of the present invention showing the face sheet and the frame with reinforcing members having a plurality of openings therealong and alternating flanges formed from the material bent to provide the openings;

[0011] FIG. 2 is an enlarged, fragmentary vertical cross-sectional view taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1 showing a T-shaped reinforcing member with alternating flanges welded to the back side of the face sheet;

[0012] FIG. 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary horizontal cross-sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2 showing the configuration of the openings formed by bending the flanges;

[0013] FIG. 4 is a fragmentary, rear perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the forming panel of the present invention, showing reinforcing members having bracing elements with flanges extending both vertically and horizontally across the back side of the face sheet;

[0014] FIG. 5 is an enlarged, fragmentary vertical cross-sectional view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 4 showing the arrangement of the bracing elements on the intersecting reinforcing members;

[0015] FIG. 6 is an enlarged, fragmentary horizontal cross-sectional view taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 4 showing the arrangement of the bracing elements on the intersecting reinforcing member;

[0016] FIG. 7 is an fragmentary, rear perspective view of a second alternate embodiment of a forming panel in accordance with the present invention, wherein the bracing elements are provided as loops passing through openings of the reinforcing members;

[0017] FIG. 8 is an enlarged, fragmentary horizontal cross-sectional view taken along line 8-8 of FIG. 7 showing the attachment of the bracing elements to the reinforcing members extending across the back side of the face sheet;

[0018] FIG. 9 is an enlarged, fragmentary rear elevational view showing the bracing elements of FIG. 7 attached by welding beads to the back side of the face sheet and the reinforcing members;

[0019] FIG. 10 is a rear perspective view of a third embodiment of the forming panel of the present invention including bracing elements provided as elongated bars extending transversely to and passing through openings of the reinforcing members, the bars being held by the end rails.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0020] Referring now to the drawing, a lightweight concrete forming panel 10 in accordance with the present invention broadly includes a face sheet 12 and a frame 14. The face sheet is relatively thin, usually between about 0.090 and 0.125 inches in thickness, and includes a front side 16 against which concrete is poured for forming and hardening and a back side 18. The frame 14 includes at least one rail, as where the frame is circular, oval or otherwise of a continuous arcuate shape, but more typically includes a pair of elongated, parallel, spaced-apart side rails 20 and 22, and a pair of elongated, parallel, spaced-apart end rails 24 and 26 (as best seen in FIG. 10) which are joined together at their respective ends by welding or mechanical fasteners to form the shape of a polygonal, typically rectangular, frame 14 as shown in the drawings. The face sheet 12 is of a shape complemental to and attached with the back side 18 of the face sheet 12 welded or otherwise secured to the front edges of the rails. The frame 14, and both the face sheet and the frame are preferably provided of metal. One example of the primary material used in the metal forming panel 10 hereof is aluminum and its alloys, such as ASTM 6061 T-6 aluminum. The frame 14 further includes reinforcing members 28 which extend across the back side 18 of the face sheet to provide a degree of rigidity and prevent deformation of the face sheet 12.

[0021] In greater detail, the side rails 20 and 22 and the end rails 24 and 26 are cast or extruded into elongated members which have relatively little material included therein, such as extruded members with hollow channels or solid members of about the same thickness as the face sheet, they may be provided with a front edge 30 and a bend 32 proximate the rear edge 34. The bend 32 helps to resist deformation due to impact and loads placed on the face sheet and the rails. The bend 32, or similarly openings in a hollow rail, also enable the rails to help retain the reinforcing members 28 in position.

[0022] The reinforcing members 28 are preferably elongated to span the distance between spaced-apart rails and have a first leg 34 which extends generally perpendicular to the face sheet 12 and a second leg 36 angularly oriented relative to the first leg. A plurality of reinforcing members 28 may be provided, preferably in spaced relationship as shown in FIGS. 1, 4, 7 and 10. The reinforcing members may be generally positioned to extend between the side rails 20 and 22, but may also be oriented in intersecting relationship as shown in FIG. 4 so that they may extend alternatively, or only, in a generally perpendicular orientation to the end rails 24 and 26. The second leg 36 is preferably substantially parallel to the face sheet 12 whereby the reinforcing member 28 is generally T-shaped or L-shaped in cross-section. The first leg 34 has a front edge 38 which engages or lies immediately proximate the back side 18 of the face sheet 12, and may be welded thereto or alternatively not fastened to the back side 18. The first leg 26 includes a plurality of openings 40 spaced across its length, as shown in FIGS. 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. The openings 40 are positioned at the front edge 38 of the first leg 36.

[0023] A plurality of braces 42 extend transversely to the longitudinal axis of the first leg 34 of the reinforcing members 28 and are positioned adjacent the openings 40. The braces 42 may include flanges 44 and 46 which are formed by cutting the first leg 34 to provide the openings 40. The flanges 44 are oriented to extend opposite the flanges 46 and alternate therewith, so that good load distribution is provided against the reinforcing members 28 on both sides of the first leg 34. Thus, the flanges provide for improved load distribution relative to the substantially linear force concentrations along the front edge 38 of the first leg 34. The flanges 44 and 46 extend only a portion of the distance between adjacent spaced-apart reinforcing members to provide force distribution without weakening the reinforcing members along the front edge 38 and maintaining the desired goal of lightness in weight.

[0024] As shown in FIGS. 4 through 6, transverse reinforcing members 48 may be provided especially adjacent the end rails 24 and 26 to provide additional reinforcement and strengthening. The transverse reinforcing members are configured similarly to the reinforcing members 28 and include a first leg 34a and a second leg 36a and present openings 40a therealong. This configuration is especially beneficial with forms having longer end rails as the load—essentially the hydraulic head caused by the weight of the fluid concrete—may be greater at the lower end of an upright forming panel 12 or when two or more forming panels 10 are stacked. In this configuration, the flanges 44 and 46 of the reinforcing members 28 extend toward the end rails, and the flanges 44a and 46a of the transverse reinforcing members 48 extend toward the side rails.

[0025] FIGS. 7 through 9 illustrate an additional embodiment of the forming panel 10 wherein the braces 42 include loops 50 passing through the openings 40 and positioned by the flanges 44 and 46 of the reinforcing members 28. The loops may be welded to the back side 18 of the face sheet 12 by beads 52 or welded to the flanges 44 and 46, or both. The loops 50 further extend the area of force distribution transferred from the face sheet 12 to the reinforcing member 28. Beneficially, the passage of the loops 50 through the openings 40 cause the first leg 34 to act as a fulcrum about which the loops 50 may have limited pivoting. This pivoting action may help to allow the face sheet 12 to flex as concrete is poured against the front side of the face sheet 12 and thereby avoid stress concentrations as the concrete rises.

[0026] FIG. 10 illustrates a further embodiment of the forming panel 10 of the present invention, wherein the braces 42 include elongated bars 54 which are substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis ofthe reinforcing members and pass through the openings 40 in the reinforcing members. The bars 54 may be welded to the reinforcing members 28, the face sheet 12, or both. Alternatively, the bars 54 may simply be received by the openings 40, lie adjacent the back side 18 of the face sheet 12, and held in place by the end rails 24 and 26. The bends 32 of the rails are beneficial in that they cover the ends of the bars.

[0027] In use, the forming panels 10 are coupled together in side by side relationship or at angles to one another to form corners, stacked atop on another to increase the possible height of the wall to be formed, and joined by tie bars to opposing forms so that concrete, to include all types of flowable cementatious material, may be poured therebetween. As the concrete rises during pouring, its weight increasingly bears against the front side 16 of the face sheet 18. This weight might otherwise substantially bend and deform the relatively thin face sheet 12, except for the reinforcing members which span the back side 18. The reinforcing members 28 avoid stress concentrations along the front edge thereof which would create lines across the face sheet 12 and in the hardened concrete by the use of the braces 42. The braces, which occupy only a limited area on the back side 18 of the face sheet 12, help to maintain a more even force distribution and avoid deformation of the face sheet 12 without adding substantial weight to the forming panel 10. Lightness in weight of the forming panel 10 arising from limiting the amount of material included therein not only makes it more economical to produce, but makes the forming panels 10 easier to handle and less expensive to ship. Thus, much of the strength of existing forming panels is achieved in forming panel that is lighter, less expensive and easier to handle.

[0028] Although preferred forms of the invention have been described above, it is to be recognized that such disclosure is by way of illustration only, and should not be utilized in a limiting sense in interpreting the scope of the present invention. Obvious modifications to the exemplary embodiments, as hereinabove set forth, could be readily made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the present invention.

[0029] The inventors hereby state their intent to rely on the Doctrine of Equivalents to determine and assess the reasonably fair scope of their invention as pertains to any apparatus not materially departing from but outside the literal scope of the invention as set out in the following claims.