Title:
Barricade system, a method of forming same and methods of using same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A reusable wall barricade assembly is disclosed. The assembly is composed of a plurality of interlocking barricade wall segments or panels which fasten securely together. The wall segments are formed with a foam interior core portion for sound deadening capabilities and with a tough, smooth exterior skin to prevent damage to the foam interior and present a pleasing exterior appearance. The outer skin substantially encases the interior core portion and has at least three edge portions. Connectors connect one panel to another at an edge portion of each panel such that a barrier of the desired height and length can be made to separate one spatial area from another spatial area, such as in a mall or other construction area. The panels are suitable for facile assembly, disassembly and reuse, providing an economical alternative to conventional barricade structures.



Inventors:
Hughes, Kevin D. (Superior, WI, US)
Magnuson, Larry R. (Webster, WI, US)
Copeland, Rory (Balsam Lake, WI, US)
Application Number:
10/211807
Publication Date:
02/06/2003
Filing Date:
08/02/2002
Assignee:
HUGHES KEVIN D.
MAGNUSON LARRY R.
COPELAND RORY
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/36.1
International Classes:
E04G21/24; E04G21/30; E04G21/32; (IPC1-7): E04B7/00; E04B1/00; E04H1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ADDIE, RAYMOND W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JOEL D. SKINNER, JR. (HUDSON, WI, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A barrier system for separating one spatial area from another, comprising: a. at least two unitary panels, each panel comprising at least one substantially rigid interior core portion and a durable, substantially hard outer skin material, the skin material substantially encasing the interior core portion, and having at least three edge portions; and b. connecting means for connecting one panel to another at an edge portion of each panel such that a barrier of the desired height and length can be made to separate one spatial area from another spatial area.

2. A barrier system, comprising: a. at least two unitary panels, each panel comprising at least one substantially rigid interior core portion and a substantially hard outer skin material, the skin material substantially encasing the interior core portion, and having a plurality of edge portions; and b. at least one connector for connecting one panel to another at an edge portion of each panel.

3. A reusable construction barricade assembly, comprising a plurality of wall panel segments filled with form and having reinforcing bars; and fasteners for reversibly secureing the wall panels together.

4. The assembly of claim 3, further comprising at least one U-shaped channel upon which the wall panel rests.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to barricade systems used to define one spacial area from another and to provide protection between such areas. Such barricade systems are particularly useful in protecting construction areas from pedestrian traffic areas.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Various types of barricade systems have been proposed for uses such as protecting highway workers from traffic, protecting certain building areas from dust and/or fumes from adjacent areas, and protecting pedestrians from workmen in construction areas. Barricade systems that protect pedestrians from workmen in construction areas include both interior and exterior construction sites. Exterior sites include, for example, street construction and building construction. Interior uses include, for example construction and remodeling of stores in shopping malls.

[0003] Barricade systems used for protecting pedestrians from construction and remodeling stores in shopping malls are generally made of wood framing with materials such as wallboard, pressboard or the like attached to the framing. Such barricades usually have dusty and noisy construction while being erected, provide little sound protection to pedestrians from noise generated during store construction and/or remodeling, and usually are sent to landfills when dismantled. Further, when wallboard, the more commonly used material, is utilized in the construction of the barrier, many man-hours are used in taping and painting the wallboard for esthetic purposes.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] The present invention, in one aspect, provides a barrier system, for separating one spacial area from another comprising

[0005] a) at least two unitary panels, each panel comprising at least one substantially rigid interior core portion, i.e., the core, and a durable, substantially hard outer skin material, i.e., the skin, the skin material substantially encasing the interior core portion, and having at least three edge portions; and

[0006] b) connecting means for connecting one panel to another at an edge portion of each panel such that a barrier of the desired height and length can be made to separate one spacial area from another spacial area.

[0007] The substantially rigid interior core portion is preferable formed of materials such as, for example, phenolic impregnated kraft honeycomb; aluminum honeycomb; expanded polystyrene foam; urethane foam preferably having a density of about 2 lb/ft3 to about 30 lb/ft3, more preferably having a density of about 4 lb/ft3 to 12 lb/ft3; extruded polystyrene; and end-grain balsa panels.

[0008] The durable, substantially hard outer skin material is preferably formed of materials such as, for example aluminum; steel, preferably stainless steel; plastics such as, for example, ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene), Kydex™, polyethylene, or plastic laminates hardboard; plywood; paper; and/or fiberglass.

[0009] The panels are preferably square or rectangular in shape and measure in length and height such that opposite sides of one panel are preferably the same in length or height of that of an adjoining panel For convenience, measurements are preferably in increments of 6 or 12 inches or in tenths of a meter.

[0010] Overall size of various panels comprising the barrier system is dependent on the size requirements of a particular barrier system, typically both the height and length of the final wall, the configuration of the barrier system, e.g., the number of curved or corner panels, and requirements of storage and ease of handling of the panels.

[0011] Thicknesses of panels can be, for example, in the range of from about 0.5 inches to about 4 inches, preferably about 1 inch to 3 inches, more preferably about 2 inches. Thickness is dependent on such factors as, for example, the rigidity, durability, sound insulating and similar requirements.

[0012] The connecting means are preferably formed of, for example, aluminum; steel; plastics and fiberglass reinforced plastic pultrusions; and manufactured wood or hardwood. Tie connecting means can be of any shape capable of holding one panel in alignment with another panel and stabilizing the barrier system. One such configuration can comprise, for example, H channel extending between panels and channel extending along perimeter portions such as at the top as a rigidifying cap and/or inverted at the bottom as a rigidifying base for adjoining panels.

[0013] The present invention, in another aspect, provides a method of providing a barricade system for separating one spacial area from another, the steps comprising

[0014] 1) providing at least two unitary panels, each panel comprising a substantially at least one rigid interior core portion and a durable, substantially hard outer skin material, the skin material substantially encasing the interior core portion, and having at least three edge portions;

[0015] 2) providing connecting means; and

[0016] 3) aligning the panels adjacent, one to another;

[0017] 4) placing connecting means for connecting one panel to another such that a barrier of the desired height and length can be made to separate one spacial area from another spacial area.

[0018] 5) connecting each panel to an adjacent panel by use of the connecting means to form a barricade system.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019] FIG. 1 is a top view of a portion of a barricade system of the invention shown partially broken away.

[0020] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of panels and connecting means of a portion of a barricade system of the invention, shown partially broken away.

[0021] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of panels and connecting means of a portion of a barricade system of the invention, shown partially broken away.

[0022] FIGS. 4a and 4b are perspective views of panels, connecting means and a core portion of a barricade system of the invention, shown partially broken away.

[0023] FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional top view of a portion of a barricade system of the invention.

[0024] FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional top view of two panels and connecting means of an embodiment of the invention.

[0025] FIG. 7 is a perspective view with portions broken away to show panel construction and connecting means of an embodiment of the present invention.

[0026] FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a partially constructed barricade system of the present invention.

[0027] FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a partially constructed barricade system of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0028] With reference to the drawings, like reference numbers designate like, similar or corresponding elements of the invention throughout the several views.

[0029] In the drawings, FIG. 1 is top view of a portion of a barricade system of the present invention. Barricade 10 has two substantially flat wall panels, panel 14a and panel, 14b with end portions 14b′ and 14b″ shovel and curved panel 20. Panels 14a and 14b have rigid interior core portions (not visible) and durable, substantially hard outer skin material 16a, 16b, 16c, and 16d substantially encasing the core portion 14a and 18a, 18b, 18c, and 18d substantially encasing the core portion 14b.

[0030] Panels 14a and 14b are connected using H channel 15a and panel 14b is connected to curved panel 20 using H channel 15b with panels being inserted between “legs” of the H channel. The panels can be temporarily secured to the H channel using tape glue, caulk, or other such means as are well-known in the art. Means for securing panels to the H channel preferably should secure the panels sufficiently to maintain the structural integrity of the barrier system during use and yet permit disassembly after use for storage or reuse in another location.

[0031] In FIG. 1, curved panel 20 has two rigid interior core portions (not visible) substantially encased by outer skin material, the first core portion being substantially encased by skin material 22a, 22b and 22c and the second core portion being substantially encased by skin material 22c, 22d and 22e. Skin material 22c is shown extending between the core portions to form the curved portion of the panel.

[0032] Alternatively, a single core portion can extend continuously on the inner curved surface and, optionally, skin material, e.g., 22b and 22e can form a continuous skin portion on such single core portion. First and second core portions are shown having unencased edge portions 24a and 24b which are somewhat protected by skin material 22c. However, such edges can also be encased in skin material to provide further protection for the core and/or durability for the panel. The curved contour of panel 20 is maintained by brace 26. A further similar brace can be attached at the bottom of corner panel 20.

[0033] Barricade 10 is shown attached to an existing wall 12 by means of L-shaped bracket 20. Additional such L-shaped brackets can be used as needed along the juncture of existing wall 12 and barricade 10. When the existing wall is, for example, an interior wall of a mall corridor, i.e., a store front, the wall is typically termed a “bulkhead”. The barricade system of the invention is particularly useful for separating work areas at store front rebuilding locations from mall pedestrian traffic.

[0034] FIG. 2 shows portions of two wall panels 34a, 34b having urethane foam rigid interior core portions, shown broken away in panel 34b as core 32, having durable, substantially hard layers 36a and 36b on each visible major surface thereof and on the opposite surfaces (not shown). Further, channel portions 37a, 37b extend around perimeter portions of panel 34a and channel portions 37c, 37d extend around perimeter portions of panel 34b as durable substantially hard outer skin material. Panels 34a and 34b are connected to each other by strap 38 which can be of any suitable material such as, for example, metal or plastic. Additional straps can be used along the juncture of panels 34a and 34b sufficient to secure the panels to each other but permit easy disassembly.

[0035] FIG. 3 shows a structure similar to that of FIG. 2 with two panels having rigid foam cores, core 42 being shown, and outer skin material substantially encasing the core portion. In FIG. 3, the panels are connected together using a fastening system such as, for example, Dual Lock™ Reclosable Fasteners available from 3M Company, St. Paul, Minn. Fastener portions 48a and 48b are adhered to panels 44a and 44b, respectively, and aligned such that fastener portion 48c can join to both fastener portions 48a and 48b and secure the panels to each other. As with the strap shown in FIG. 2, additional fastener system portions can be used to provide structural integrity.

[0036] FIG. 4a shows panel 54 having skin material substantially encasing an interior core (not shown), panel 54 being similar in structure to panel 34a in FIG. 2 but with channel portions 57a and 57b shown wrapping around an edge portions of the core. Means for connecting panel 54 to another panel are provided by double-faced tape means 58a and 58b having one face adhered to panel 54 and the other face covered by removable protective material (shown). FIG. 4b shows panel 54 with Π channel portion 57a and channel portion 57b partially broken away to show core portion 52.

[0037] FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional top view of a portion of a barricade system wherein two panels 64a and 64b having foam core portions 62a and 62b respectively. Panels 64a and 64b are shown connected together at right angles to form a corner panel by L bracket or L channel 68. Where an L bracket or discontinuous L channel is used, multiple brackets or channel may be used to provide sufficient structural integrity.

[0038] FIGS. 6 and 7 show panels 72a and 72b having slots 74a and 74b around perimeter portions of the panels with FIG. 7 being a cross-sectional view taken at line 7-7 of FIG. 6. FIG. 7 shows a panel having a substantially rigid interior core of honeycomb material. Slots 74a and 74b are preferably at corner perimeter portions and can be present at spaced intervals at the panel perimeter portions or can be around the entire perimeter portion of a panel. When present at intervals, the slots are preferably situated in each panel such that panels of similar size are interchangeable and any panel placed next to another panel has opposing slots.

[0039] Adjacent panels 72a and 72b are aligned with slots opposed. Panels 72a and 72b are connected by connecting means which includes slots 74a and 74b on panel perimeters and connectors formed of -shaped channel 76a which runs between one panel and an adjacent panel and T -shaped channel 76b which connects at least that perimeter portion of one panel adjacent a perimeter portion of an adjoining panel at perimeter portions of a barricade system.

[0040] When slots are present around the entire perimeter portion of each panel, -shaped channel 76a can extend the length and/or width of adjoining panels such that one section of -shaped channel 76a does not interfere with a perpendicular slot and -shaped channel extending therethrough. Also, T-shaped channel 75b can extend more continuously along perimeter portions of a barricade system. Alternatively, channel similar to that shown in FIG. 2 can extend along perimeter portions of the barricade system in lieu of T -shaped channel.

[0041] In FIG. 8, a partially constructed barrier system of the present invention at an interior store front is shown. Barrier system 80 is constructed of flat panels 82a, 82b, 82c, 82d and 82e and curved corner panel 83. Flat panels 82a, 82c, 82d and 82e are shown having rigidifying straps 84 across the panel interior surfaces. Rigidifying straps 84 (shown in phantom) are preferably spaced at a distance from floor surface 86 such that straps 84 are at a level where pedestrians might bump the panels.

[0042] Panels 82b and 82c are shorter in height than panels 82a, 82d and 82e. However, panels 82b and 82c together are equal in height to panels 82a, 82d and 82e. Panels of various heights can be used in a barricade system of the present invention as long as the size of each panel is sufficient that together the panels form a barricade system of the desired size.

[0043] Flat panel 82d has door 88 located therein for workmen entrance and egress from a pedestrian traffic area to behind the barrier system to permit access to a store front (behind the barricade system. Further, the barricade system is incomplete, requiring further panels and connecting means to extend beyond panel 82e to enclose wall 89.

[0044] FIG. 9 is a partially constructed barrier system of the present invention similar to that shown in FIG. 8. Barrier system 90 is constructed of flat panels 92a, 92b, 92c, 92d and 92e and curved corner panel 3 Panel 92d includes door 98, the barrier system extends upward from floor 96, and further panels are required to complete the wall beyond panel 92e. In this embodiment, the barrier system extends across the front of and spaced from the store front as in FIG. 8 and further extends, with panel portion 102, from the top of the panel tall perpendicular to the floor to store front bulkhead 100 and extend from perpendicular panels 92 to bulkhead 100. Straps 104 (most shown in phantom) serve as means to add stabilization to connected panels 92 as well as to support panel portion 102. Panel portion 102 can be a single panel or multiple panels connected together as previously described.

[0045] The skin material can be attached to the core portion by methods well-known to those skilled in the art such as by glue, caulk, double-faced tape, and the like or formed with the core portion as is also well-known to those skilled in the art.

[0046] The substantially rigid interior core portion can be formed of materials such as, for example, phenolic impregnated kraft honeycomb; aluminum honeycomb or Nomex® honeycomb, available, for example, from General Veneer Mfg. Co.; expanded polystyrene foam; urethane foam such as that available, for example, from Atlas Roofing or Dow Corning; extruded polystyrene; and end-grain balsa panels available, for example, from General Veneer Mfg. Co. Most preferred are cores of kraft honeycomb and urethane foam preferably having a density of about 2 lb/ft3 to about 30 lb/ft3, more preferably having a density of about 4 lb/ft3 to 12 lb/ft3, due to weight and cost considerations.

[0047] The durable, substantially hard outer skin material is preferably formed of materials such as, for example, aluminum; steel, preferably stainless steel; plastics such as, for example, ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene) foam, Kydex™, polyethylene, or plastic laminates; hardboard; plywood; paper; and/or fiberglass. ABS has been found to be particularly useful due to sound deadening properties and durability.

[0048] The panels are preferably square or rectangular in shape and measure in length and height such that opposite sides of one panel are preferably the same in length or height of that of an adjoining panel. For convenience, measurements are preferably in increments of 6 or 12 inches or in tenths of a meter.

[0049] The connecting means are preferably formed of, for example, aluminum; steel plastics; fiberglass reinforced plastic pultrusions available, for example, from Falcon Pultrusion Products; and manufactured wood or hardwood.

[0050] Referring to FIGS. 10-12, an embodiment of the reusable mall wall barricade assembly is composed of a number of standard sized wall panels that measure four feet wide and twelve feet high and have a thickness of about two inches. Each vertical edge of the panel includes several interlocking hook members, each spaced at a standard height from the bottom of the panel. With the panels standing vertically, one edge of a first panel is butted against an edge of a second panel. The interlocking hook members are engaged between the two panels to secure them together. An edge of a third panel is butted against the open edge of the second panel and again the interlocking hook members are engaged between the two panels to secure them together. Thus, a barricade twelve feet high is easily constructed. Also included in the assembly are a pair of angle panels, each having sections jointed at about a ninety-degree angle. One such angle panel is shown in FIG. 11. One angle panel is secured at each end of a series of linear panels to change the direction of the barricade surface to form a U-shaped assembly as depicted in FIG. 12. The angle panels preferably have a smooth, rounded comer to protect pedestrians that pass by the barricade assembly. By adding several standard sized panels beyond each angle panel, a self supporting U-shaped barricade assembly is formed for enclosing a store front for remodeling, as depicted in FIG. 12.

[0051] One standard sized panel contains a three foot wide standard door installed flush with the panel flat surface. This special panel provides access to the work area contained within the barricade assembly from outside the barricade, as shown in FIGS. 10 and 12. Several other standard twelve foot high panels are also available to adjust the overall width of the barricade assembly. One such panel has a width of two feet, while another such panel has a width of one foot. Incorporating one or more of these smaller width panels into the barricade assembly allows varying the overall width of the assembly in one foot increments to provide just the right fit for any store front.

[0052] All panels of the assembly are constructed of a high density, rigid foam material, such as polyurethane, polypropylene or other suitable foam product. The foam material provides for sound control during construction work within the store front. All panels of the assembly also have a rigid, impervious surface covering, such as a MARLITE sheet. In addition, a T-shaped plastic insert is secured at each joint between panels to fill the joint and provide a smooth outward appearance.

[0053] For added strength and security, reinforcing bars are inserted between joined panels about six inches from the top of the panels and about six inches from the bottom of the panels, as indicated in FIG. 10. Optionally, a plastic U-shaped channel is provided on which the barricade rests to protect the floor of a mall.

[0054] The descriptions above and the accompanying drawings should be interpreted in the illustrative and not the limited sense. While the invention has been disclosed in connection with an embodiment or embodiments thereof, it should be understood that there may be other embodiments which fall within the scope of the invention as defined by the claims. Where a claim, if any, is expressed as a means or step for performing a specified function it is intended that such claim be construed to cover the corresponding structure, material, or acts described in the specification and equivalents thereof, including both structural equivalents and equivalent structures, material-based equivalents and equivalent materials, and act-based equivalents and equivalent acts.