Title:
Construction element and joining member
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention provides a construction element (10) including a resiliently deformable shell portion (12) and a set settable composition (14) within the shell. The invention further provides a construction element joining member (30) is provided for joining two or more construction elements (10) together in the construction of a structure (18), the joining member (30) having a body (32) which has a resiliently deformable portion (34) and securing means (36) for securing the joining member (30) to one or more construction elements (10) thereby to join the construction elements (10) while permitting for resilient deformation thereof. The invention extends to a construction system using the elements (10) and the joining member (30).



Inventors:
Charmat, Didier Robert Louis (Nassau, BS)
Luty, John Mark (South Ascot, GB)
Application Number:
10/168319
Publication Date:
12/19/2002
Filing Date:
06/20/2002
Assignee:
CHARMAT DIDIER ROBERT LOUIS
LUTY JOHN MARK
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B29C63/02; B44C1/10; B44C5/04; E04B1/68; E04B2/04; E04C2/22; E04D3/35; E04D3/366; E04D3/38; E04F13/00; E04F13/08; B29C63/48; E04B2/02; (IPC1-7): E04B2/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
GREEN, CHRISTY MARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NIXON & VANDERHYE, PC (ARLINGTON, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A construction element which permits a structure constructed using said element to deform in sympathy with weather and other natural forces and to recover to substantially to its original state, said element including: a resiliently deformable shell portion; and a set settable composition within the shell, said composition having a higher compressive strength than the shell while the shell has a higher tensile strength than said composition.

2. A construction element as claimed in claim 1, wherein the resiliently deformable shell portion is made of an elastomeric material so that said element is capable of deformation and elastic recovery.

3. A construction element as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the resiliently deformable shell portion is manufactured to high dimensional accuracy levels so that when a plurality of said elements are used together in the construction of a structure the accumulated error in dimensions is minimal and does not affect the aesthetic or structural integrity of the structure.

4. A construction element as claimed in claim 3, wherein the resiliently deformable shell portion is manufactured to a 0.05% linear accuracy.

5. A construction element as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the resiliently deformable shell portion is in the form of a plastics container into which the settable composition is cast and permitted to set to form said element.

6. A construction element as claimed in claim 5, wherein the container forms a barrier to the ingress of water into the container where it affects the set settable composition.

7. A construction element as claimed in claim 5, wherein the container is manufactured by a moulding process selected from injection moulding, injection blow moulding, and injection stretch blow moulding.

8. A construction element as claimed in claim 7, wherein the wall thickness of the container thus moulded is several hundred microns.

9. A construction element as claimed in any one of claims 5 to 8, wherein the container is moulded to have desired surface features which are either aesthetic or functional or both.

10. A construction element as claimed in claim 9, wherein the container is moulded to have formations which permit accurate location of said element relative to other similar elements.

11. A construction element as claimed in claim 9, wherein the container is moulded to have certain aesthetic features, such as a log like appearance, a brick wall like appearance, or other desired aesthetic qualities.

12. A construction element as claimed in any one of claims 7 to 11, wherein the container is moulded from a plastics material selected from PVC, PP, HDPE, PET, and ABS.

13. A construction element as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein he settable composition is a cementitious settable composition.

14. A construction element as claimed in claim 13, wherein the cementitious settable composition is a concrete.

15. A construction element as claimed in claim 13, wherein the cementitiious settable composition is a Portland cement.

16. A construction element as claimed in claim 15, wherein the cementitious settable composition is a Sorel cement.

17. A construction element joining member for joining two or more construction elements together in the construction of a structure, the joining member having a body which has a resiliently deformable portion and securing means for securing the joining member to one or more construction elements thereby to join the construction elements while permitting for resilient deformation of the structure at the joints.

18. A construction element joining member as claimed in claim 17, wherein the body is made from a high-density thermoplastic polymer.

19. A construction element joining member as claimed in claim 17 or claim 18, wherein the body is injection moulded or extruded with the resiliently deformable portion being co-moulded or co-extruded with the remainder of the body.

20. A construction element joining member as claimed in any one of claims 17 to 19, the resiliently deformable portion is in the form of a zone of resiliently deformable material from which the securing means extend to together define the body.

21. A construction element joining member as claimed in any one of claims 17 to 20, wherein the securing means is in the form of male dovetailed portion with thermoplastic elastomer padded faces configured for engagement with female dovetailed grooves provided in the construction elements to be joined.

22. A construction element joining member as claimed in claim 21, wherein the male dovetailed portion and the female dovetailed groove are complementarily knurled to permit locking of the male potion to the female groove thereby to effect securing of the construction elements to each other.

23. A construction element joining member as claimed in any one of claims 17 to 20, wherein the securing means is in the form of a pair of knurled arms separated by an opening into which a wedge member is receivable for urging the arms apart, wherein in use the arms are urged apart by the wedge member located in a groove defined in the construction elements thereby to retain the arms in the root or base of the groove and to secure the construction elements together.

24. A construction element joining member as claimed in any one of claims 17 to 20, wherein the securing means is in the form of a knurled tapered portion which is sized and dimensioned complementarily to a tapered knurled groove such that in use when the knurled tapered portion is urged into the groove the joining member is secured to the construction elements thereby securing the construction elements together.

25. A construction element joining member as claimed in any one of claims 17 to 20, wherein the securing means is in the form of a pair of arms which are inserted into a complementary groove in the construction element to engage the base or root of the groove, and one or more hooks directed away from the free ends of the arms, the hooks being configured for engagement with an inverted hook of the same type thereby to secure construction elements provided with the joining member together.

26. A construction system using the construction elements as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 16 and joining members as claimed in any one claims 17 to 25 to secure the construction elements together.

27. A construction element substantially as herein described and illustrated.

28. A joining member substantially as herein described and illustrated.

29. A construction system substantially as herein described and illustrated.

30. A new construction element, a new joining member, or a new construction system substantially as herein described.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to a construction element and joining member particularly useful in non-static structures.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

[0002] The applicant is aware that at present there are three types of construction used for constructing buildings, such as houses. These three types are:

[0003] brick, stone and/or concrete;

[0004] timber and timber composites; and

[0005] steel with brick and/or timber.

[0006] The first type, i.e. the brick, stone and/or concrete construction, leads to a brittle structure having good compressive strength but limited flexibility and poor tensile strength and is thus prone to cracking, from which there is no recovery, until the structure fails. There exist many types of concrete block based building systems based on interlocking building blocks or, more traditionally the blocks are held together with brittle mortar and thus these building block systems do not improve the problems associated with cracking of structures built using such systems as the blocks and the mortar are prone to cracking when stressed.

[0007] The second type, i.e. the timber construction, has its own problems in that timber is weak when stressed along the grain but strong when stressed across the grain. Furthermore, fixing means used to fix timber to other construction elements, or even to other timber, for example staples, nails, screws and/or glue are prone to unexpected failures and can also weaken the timber.

[0008] The third type, i.e. the steel with brick and/or timber construction, attempts to address the weaknesses of the first two types by combining their strengths. The third type however requires specialist design and construction techniques.

[0009] The applicant is further aware that structures of the above types often suffer damage which detracts from the aesthetic value of the structure, herein after referred to as decorative damage, as a result of weather, such as hurricanes, soil settlement resulting in structural movement, heaving soils resulting in structural movement, and earthquakes which cause horizontal shear resulting in decorative damage or even total destruction of the structure.

[0010] Thus, the applicant has identified a need for a structure which can be erected by two semi-skilled workers with minimal equipment to a standard equivalent to or better than traditional skilled construction methods, including internal and external decorations, fixtures, fittings and services.

[0011] The structure for which a need has been identified should preferably be capable of being erected, and withstanding, all reasonable constructions sites, whether the site has settling soil, heaving soil, rock, clay, gravel or loam.

[0012] The above house should also be able to withstand wind, cold, heat, and moderate earth tremors. Although it would be ideal if such a structure could withstand all extremes of weather and nature this is off course impractical and thus the structure should be able to withstand weather and nature at levels at least the same as those of skilled construction method structures.

[0013] The applicant has identified various modularized house construction systems however these do not address to a sufficient degree the above identified needs.

[0014] The applicant believes that the above needs can best be satisfied by a construction system in which the construction elements, including decorative finishes are manufactured in a controlled factory environment with a sufficient degree of precision to permit assembly on site under non-ideal conditions by semi-skilled workmen.

[0015] Further, such a construction system should be able to withstand adverse weather and nature conditions as described above.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0016] Thus, according to a first aspect of the invention there is provided a construction element which permits a structure constructed using said element to deform in sympathy with weather and other natural forces and to recover to substantially to its original state, said element including:

[0017] a resiliently deformable shell portion; and

[0018] a set settable composition within the shell, said composition having a higher compressive strength than the shell while the shell has a higher tensile strength than said composition.

[0019] The resiliently deformable shell portion may be made of an elastomeric material so that said element is capable of deformation and elastic recovery.

[0020] Furthermore, said resiliently deformable shell will permit said element to damp ground vibrations, to enter into shear mode, and to absorb and recover from torsional forces.

[0021] The resiliently deformable shell portion may be manufactured to high dimensional accuracy levels so that when a plurality of said elements are used together in the construction of a structure the accumulated error in dimensions is minimal and does not affect the aesthetic or structural integrity of the structure.

[0022] The resiliently deformable shell portion may be manufactured to a 0.05% linear accuracy i.e. 0.5 mm error per meter run.

[0023] The resiliently deformable shell portion may be moulded from a resiliently deformable plastics material to a 0.05% linear accuracy.

[0024] Typically, the resiliently deformable shell portion is in the form of a plastics container into which the settable composition is cast and permitted to set to form said element.

[0025] Generally the container forms a barrier to the ingress of water into the container where it affects the set settable composition.

[0026] The container may be injection moulded, injection blow moulded, or injection stretch blow moulded. However, typically the container will be injection stretch blow moulded thereby resulting in a uniform thickness moulding of the container.

[0027] The wall thickness of the container thus moulded may be several hundred microns.

[0028] The container may be moulded to have desired surface features which are either aesthetic or functional or both.

[0029] Typically, the container may be moulded to have formations which permit accurate location of said element relative to other similar elements i.e. interlocking formations.

[0030] The container may however be moulded to have certain aesthetic features, such as a log like appearance, a brick wall like appearance, or other desired aesthetic qualitities.

[0031] The container may be moulded from a wide range of plastics material including, but not limited to, PVC, PP, HDPE, PET, and ABS. The plastics material may include recycled plastics material.

[0032] Where the container is moulded from PET the definition of finish of said element is far in excess of that achievable by traditional concrete casting methods.

[0033] The settable composition may be a cementitious settable composition.

[0034] The cementitious settable composition may be a concrete.

[0035] The cementitiious settable composition may be a Portland cement.

[0036] The cementitious settable composition may be a Sorel cement. The Sorel cement may include magnesium oxychloride and water.

[0037] The cementitious settable composition is selected to have a low viscosity at casting and to flow easily into a container while having a set hardness at least equivalent to that of Portland cement.

[0038] When Sorel cement is used the resiliently deformable shell portion also acts as waterproofing to prevent hydrophilic degradation of the Sorel cement.

[0039] According to a second aspect of the invention, there is provided a construction element joining member for joining two or more construction elements together in the construction of a structure, the joining member having a body which has a resiliently deformable portion and securing means for securing the joining member to one or more construction elements thereby to join the construction elements while permitting for resilient deformation of the structure at the joints.

[0040] The body may be made from a high-density thermoplastic polymer.

[0041] The body may be injection moulded or extruded with the resiliently deformable portion being co-moulded or co-extruded with the remainder of the body.

[0042] The resiliently deformable portion may be in the form of a zone of resiliently deformable material from which the securing means extend to together define the body.

[0043] The securing means may be in the form of male dovetailed portion with thermoplastic elastomer padded faces configured for engagement with female dovetailed grooves provided in the construction elements to be joined.

[0044] The male dovetailed portion and the female dovetailed groove may be complementarily knurled to permit locking of the male potion to the female groove thereby to effect securing of the construction elements to each other.

[0045] In another embodiment, the securing means is in the form of a pair of knurled arms separated by an opening into which a wedge member is receivable for urging the arms apart. In use the arms are urged apart by the wedge member located in a groove defined in the construction elements thereby to retain the arms in the groove and to secure the construction elements together.

[0046] In yet another embodiment, the securing means is in the form of a knurled tapered portion which is sized and dimensioned complementarily to a tapered knurled groove in the construction element such that in use when the knurled tapered portion is urged into the groove the joining member is secured to the construction elements thereby securing the construction elements together.

[0047] In yet a further embodiment, the securing means is in the form of a pair of arms which are inserted into a complementary groove in the construction element and one or more hooks directed away from the free ends of the arms, the hooks being configured for engagement with an inverted hook of the same type thereby to secure construction elements provided with the joining member together. The hooks may be knurled for frictional engagement with other hooks. Also, the hooks may have locking formations for locking opposed hooks in the engaged condition.

[0048] The invention extends to a construction system using the construction elements and the joining members of the invention as described above.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0049] The invention will now be described, for purposes of non-limiting illustration only, with reference to the accompanying drawings.

[0050] In the drawings,

[0051] FIGS. 1 and 2 show a container which is a shell for a construction element in side and top view;

[0052] FIGS. 3 to 6 show, in various views, the container of FIG. 1 having grooves and other aesthetic and functional features;

[0053] FIG. 7 shows, in three dimensional schematic view, a construction element cast of Sorel cement in a container;

[0054] FIG. 8 shows, in three dimensional schematic view, a groove in a construction element indicating areas of highest strength;

[0055] FIGS. 9 to 11 show, in schematic representation, joining members of various configurations engaged with the groove of FIG. 8;

[0056] FIG. 12 show, in three dimensional end view, a joining member of the invention;

[0057] FIG. 13 shows, in sectional side view, another embodiment of the joining member;

[0058] FIG. 14 shows, in sectional side view, detail of the joining member of FIG. 13;

[0059] FIGS. 15 to 17 show, in various detailed views, another embodiment of the joining member;

[0060] FIG. 18 shows, in three dimensional view, a joining member of the invention in use; and

[0061] FIGS. 19 and 20 show, in schematic representation, a structure built from construction elements of the invention and using the joining member of the invention.

[0062] In the figures, reference numeral 10 generally indicates a construction element, broadly in accordance with the invention.

[0063] The construction element 10 includes a resiliently deformable shell portion 12, in the form of a plastics container, and a set settable composition 14, in the form of Sorel concrete, within the shell.

[0064] The container 12 is made of an elastomeric material so that said element is capable of deformation and elastic recovery.

[0065] Furthermore, said container 12 will permit said element 10 to damp ground vibrations, to enter into shear mode, and to absorb and recover from torsional forces.

[0066] The container 12 is manufactured to high dimensional accuracy levels so that when a plurality of said elements 10 are used together in the construction of a structure 18 the accumulated error in dimensions is minimal and does not affect the aesthetic or structural integrity of the structure. Thus, the container 12 is manufactured to a 0.05% linear accuracy i.e. 0.5 mm error per meter run.

[0067] The container 12 forms a barrier to the ingress of water into the container where it affects the set settable composition 14.

[0068] The container 12 is injection stretch blow moulded thereby resulting in a uniform thickness moulding of the container and the wall thickness of the container 12 thus moulded may be several hundred microns.

[0069] The container 12 is moulded to have formations 20 which permit accurate location of said element 10 relative to other similar elements 10 i.e. interlocking formations.

[0070] The container 12 may be moulded from a wide range of plastics material including, but not limited to, PVC, PP, HDPE, PET, and ABS. The plastics material may include recycled plastics material.

[0071] The settable composition 14 of the embodiment is a Sorel cement including magnesium oxychloride and water.

[0072] The Sorel cement is selected to have a low viscosity at casting and to flow easily into a container while having a set hardness at least equivalent to that of Portland cement.

[0073] A construction element joining member 30 is provided for joining two or more construction elements 10 together in the construction of a structure 18, the joining member 30 having a body 32 which has a resiliently deformable portion 34 and securing means 36 for securing the joining member 30 to one or more construction elements 10 thereby to join the construction elements 10 while permitting for resilient deformation of the structure 18 at the joints 19.

[0074] The body may be made from a high-density thermoplastic polymer.

[0075] The body 32 is injection moulded from a high-density thermoplastic polymer with the resiliently deformable portion 34 being co-moulded with the remainder of the body 32.

[0076] The resiliently deformable portion 34 is in the form of a zone of resiliently deformable material 36 from which the securing means 36 extend to together define the body 32.

[0077] In FIGS. 9 to 12, the securing means 36 is in the form of male dovetailed portion 38 with thermoplastic elastomer padded faces 40 configured for engagement with female dovetailed grooves 42 provided in the construction elements 10 to be joined.

[0078] In another embodiment, the securing means 36 is in the form of a pair of knurled arms 44 separated by an opening 46 into which a wedge member 48 is receivable for urging the arms 44 apart. In use the arms 44 are urged apart by the wedge member 48 located in a groove 50 defined in the construction elements 10 thereby to retain the arms 44 in the groove 50 and to secure the construction elements 10 together.

[0079] In yet another embodiment, the securing means 36 is in the form of a knurled tapered portion 52 located on the construction elements 10 which is sized and dimensioned complementarily to a tapered knurled groove 54 in the joining member 30 such that in use when the knurled tapered portion 52 is urged into the groove 54 the joining member 30 is secured to the construction elements thereby securing the construction elements 10 together.

[0080] In yet a further embodiment, the securing means 36 is in the form of a pair of arms 56 which are inserted into a complementary groove 58 in the construction element and one or more hooks 60 directed away from the free ends of the arms 56, the hooks 60 being configured for engagement with an inverted hook of the same type thereby to secure construction elements 10 provided with the joining member 30 together. In this embodiment, the joining member 30 is used as an intertwined pair one of which is slid into a dovetail on two edge aligned blocks 62 until the leading one abuts a stop. When a the other joining member is struck by a sharp blow the toothed shoes 64 ride up each other and in so doing draw the faces 66 of the dovetails closer and thus clamp the block faces together.

[0081] It will be clear to those skilled in the art that other embodiments of the invention exist and are included in the scope of the invention.

[0082] The claims which follow form an integral part of the disclosure of the invention as if specifically reproduced here.