Title:
Chord reinforcement piece
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus and method of use is provided for application with at least one truss chord having a web and at least one leg, where the leg has a non-linear profile. The universal member is attachable to the leg of the chord, the member having a nonlinear profile similar to that of the chord leg such that the leg and member nest together. The universal member can have a top portion to overlap the chord web and a bottom flange for stiffening. The universal member can be used alone or in conjunction with a second member. The member can nest along the exterior or interior surface of the chord. The member is useful as a splice for connecting chords together and can be used, typically in conjunction with a second member, as a pitch break connector. Further the universal member can be used in hanger applications.



Inventors:
Babich, William Lon (Orlando, FL, US)
Carpenter, John (Hallettsville, TX, US)
Application Number:
09/934015
Publication Date:
05/15/2003
Filing Date:
08/20/2001
Assignee:
BABICH WILLIAM LON
CARPENTER JOHN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B1/24; E04B5/14; E04C3/07; E04C3/11; E04C3/04; (IPC1-7): E04C3/02; E04C3/30; E04H12/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, CHI Q
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BOOTH ALBANESI SCHROEDER PLLC (DALLAS, TX, US)
Claims:

It is claimed:



1. An apparatus for use with at least one metal truss chord, the truss chord having a web and at least one leg extending from the web, the at least one leg having a nonlinear profile, the apparatus comprising: a metal member attachable to a leg of the chord, the member having a length and a wall portion, the wall portion having a non-linear profile substantially similar to the non-linear profile of the chord leg such that the member wall portion and chord leg are capable of nesting together.

2. An apparatus as in claim 1, the member wall having a top edge and wherein the member has a top portion extending from the top edge of the member wall, the top portion capable of overlapping at least a part of the web of the chord when the wall of the member nests with the leg of the chord.

3. An apparatus as in claim 1, the member wall having a bottom edge and wherein the member has a flange extending from the bottom edge of the member wall.

4. An apparatus as in claim 2, the member wall having a bottom edge and wherein the member has a flange extending from the bottom edge of the member wall.

5. An apparatus as in 1, wherein the truss chord has an interior and an exterior surface and wherein the member, when nesting with the chord, contacts the exterior surface of the chord.

6. An apparatus as in 2, wherein the truss chord has an interior and an exterior surface and wherein the member, when nesting with the chord, contacts the exterior surface of the chord.

7. An apparatus as in 4, wherein the truss chord has an interior and an exterior surface and wherein the member, when nesting with the chord, contacts the exterior surface of the chord.

8. An apparatus as in 1, the truss chord having two mirror-image legs extending from the web.

9. An apparatus as in 8, further comprising a second metal member, each of the mutual members attachable to one of the chord legs.

10. An apparatus as in 9, the member wall of each of the metal members having a top edge, each of the metal members having a top portion extending from the top edge of the wall portion.

11. An apparatus as in 9, each metal member having a member wall having a bottom edge, each of the metal members having a flange extending from the bottom edge.

12. An apparatus as in 10, each metal member having a member wall having a bottom edge, each of the metal members having a flange extending from the bottom edge.

13. A truss comprising: a chord having a web portion and at least one 10g extending therefrom, the at least one leg having a non-linear profile; and a metal universal member nested with and attached to the chord, the universal member having a length and a wall portion, the wall portion having a non-linear profile substantially similar to the non-linear profile of the at least one chord leg.

14. As in 13, wherein the universal member wall portion has a top edge and whe re in the universal member has a top portion extending from the top edge of the wall portion, the top portion overlapping at least a part of the web portion of the chord.

15. As in 13, wherein the universal member wall portion has a bottom edge and wherein the universal member has a flange extending from the bottom edge of the wall portion.

16. As in 14, wherein the universal member wall portion has a bottom edge and wherein the universal member has a flange extending from the bottom edge of the wall portion.

17. As in 13, the universal member attached to the chord by a plurality of screws.

18. As in 13, wherein the chord has an interior and an exterior surface and wherein the universal member contacts the exterior surface of the chord.

19. As in 13, the chord having two mirror-image legs extending from the chord web portion.

20. As in 19, further comprising a second universal member, each universal member nested with and attached to one of the chord legs.

21. As in 20, the wall portion of each universal member having a top edge, each universal member having a top portion extending from the top edge of the wall portion, the top portions of each universal member overlapping at least a part of the web of the chord.

22. As in 20, the wall portion of each universal member having a bottom edge, each universal member having a flange extending from the bottom edge of the wall portion.

23. As in 21, the wall portion of each universal member having a bottom edge, each universal member having a flange extending from the bottom edge of the wall portion.

24. As in 21, wherein the top portions of the two universal members overlap one another.

25. As in 13, further comprising a second chord; and wherein the universal member is nested with and attached to the second chord.

26. As in 16, further comprising a second chord; and wherein the universal member is nested with and attached to the second chord.

27. As in 20, further comprising a second chord; and wherein each universal member is nested with and attached to the second chord.

28. As in 23, further comprising a second chord; and wherein each universal member is nested with and attached to the second chord.

29. As in 25, further comprising a tubular member attached to both universal members and attached to both chords.

30. As in 13, further comprising a hanging chord attached to the universal member.

31. As in 30, the hanging chord having a profile different than the profile of the chord.

32. As in 30, wherein the hanging chord is attached to the universal member through an attachment piece.

33. A truss pitch break connector for connecting a first and second chord oriented at a selected angle with respect to one another, each chord having a web and at least one leg extending from the web, the at least one leg having a non-linear profile, the pitch break connector comprising: a connector body having a first and second sections oriented at a selected angle with respect to one another, each section having a wall portion, the wall portion having a non-linear profile similar to the non-linear profile of the at least one leg of the chords such that the first section is capable of nesting with the first chord and the second section is capable of nesting with the second chord.

34. As in 33, wherein the first and second section are butt-welded to one another.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The invention relates to a metallic universal member which can be used to reinforce or connect truss chords, and more particularly, to a universal member which matches the profile of the truss chord leg and can be applied to one or both sides of the truss chord.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Metal chord members are widely used in construction in roof trusses, floor trusses, and various other applications. Often in the design or building of such a construction, a chord may become damaged or need reinforcement or strength enhancement. Further, it is often necessary to splice chord members, connect members at a pitch break or hanger junction.

SUMMARY

[0003] An apparatus and method of use is provided for application with at least one truss chord having a web and at least one leg, where the leg has a non-linear profile. The universal member is attachable to the leg of the chord, the member having a non-linear profile similar to that of the chord leg such that the leg and member nest together. The universal member can have a top portion to overlap the chord web and a bottom flange for stiffening.

[0004] The universal member can be used alone or in conjunction with a second member. The member can nest along the exterior or interior surface of the chord. The member is useful as a splice for connecting chords together and can be used, typically in conjunction with a second member, as a pitch break connector. Further the universal member can be used in hanger applications.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0005] Drawings of a preferred embodiment of the invention are annexed hereto, so that the invention may be better understood, in which:

[0006] FIG. 1 is a top orthogonal view of two universal members utilized on a truss chord;

[0007] FIG. 2 is an end view of FIG. 1 with an additional universal member;

[0008] FIG. 3 is an alternate embodiment of the invention;

[0009] FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of the universal member in a splicing application;

[0010] FIG. 5 is an end view of FIG. 4;

[0011] FIG. 6 is a top orthogonal view of a universal member in a hanger joint application; and

[0012] FIG. 7 is a top orthogonal view of a universal member in an angled hanger joint application. and

[0013] FIG. 8 is a top orthogonal view of the universal member in a pitch break connector application.

[0014] Numeral references are employed to designate like parts throughout the various figures of the drawing. Terms such as “left,” “right,” “clockwise,” “counterclockwise,” “horizontal,” “vertical,” “up” and “down” when used in reference to the drawings, generally refer to orientation of the parts in the illustrated embodiment and not necessarily during use. The terms used herein are meant not only to refer to relative positions and/or orientations, for convenience, and are not to be understood to be in any manner otherwise limiting. Further dimensions specified herein are intended to provide examples and should not be considered limiting.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0015] FIG. 1 presents an orthogonal view of an exemplary metal of truss chord 10 with two metal universal members 12 attached thereto. FIG. 2 is an end sectional view of the chord and members of FIG. 1. The chord is indicated at 10 and is intended primarily for use in residential and light commercial structures requiring a metal chord for use in a truss or any other application. The chord may be used in many applications, including as both the upper chords and the lower chord of a floor truss, roof truss or any other structural member truss. In FIG. 1, the chord 10 is shown in its orientation for an upper roof truss chord. When used as a lower roof truss chord, it would be inverted. The chord 10 may be shaped by a rolling process, as is well known in the art. The chord 10 may be made of any appropriate metallic material such as aluminum or other metals or metal alloys. In many instances it is desirable to provide the metallic chord with a protective coating. The protective coating may be metallic or non-metallic such as paint, epoxy, or the like. For purposes of an exemplary showing, the chord 10 may be considered to be made of high yield strength galvanized steel of 22, 20, 18, 16, or other gauge.

[0016] The exemplary chord 10 is generally U-shaped, having a web 14 and a pair of legs 16. The web 14 is planar throughout the length of the chord and may have one or more depressed, arcuate stiffening ribs 18 formed therein and extending the length CL thereof. At its longitudinal edges, 20, the web 14 terminates in legs 16 which are mirror images of one another.

[0017] Each leg 16 has a first planar portion 24, which is perpendicular to web 14. The portion 24 is followed by a planar, inwardly sloping portion 26, which extends to a planar portion 28, which is perpendicular to the web 14 and parallel to leg portion 24. At its lowermost end, the portion 28 is provided with a flange 30. The flange 30 extends outwardly and may be curled as shown. The legs 16 of chord 10 may be mirror images of each other, as shown. The chord 10 has an exterior surface 32 and an interior surface 34.

[0018] Each leg 16 has a leg cross-section or profile, extending from the longitudinal edge 20 of the web 14 to the chord flange 30, which is non-linear, that is, consists of more than simply a straight piece.

[0019] It is understood that the chord 10 shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 is exemplary only. A wide range of chords and leg profiles can be used. For example, the chord 10 can have only a single leg 16, such as shown in FIG. 3. The chord may employ any number of stiffening ribs 18, extending inwardly or outwardly, from the chord web 14, as in FIGS. 1 and 2, and/or from the chord legs 16, as in FIG. 3. The chords illustrated each show an optional flange 30, which may be straight or have one or more bends.

[0020] Universal member 12 nests with chord 10. Universal member 12 has a length UL and wall portion 40. The wall portion 40 is non-linear and is similar and is similar in shape to the non-linear leg 16 of chord 10 such that the universal member 12 nests with the chord leg 16.

[0021] The universal member wall 40 has a top edge 42 and a bottom edge 44 extending along its length UL. The universal member preferably has a top portion 46 extending from the top edge 42 of the wall 40, which overlaps the web 14 of chord 10 as shown. The top portion 46 may include a dogleg portion 48, as show in FIG. 2 in dashed lines, which overlaps a part of the top portion 46 of an oppositely disposed universal member 12. The top portion 46 may be of any width and may extend over any chord ribs 18 present in the web 14, as seen in FIG. 2. The top portion can, but for ease of manufacture preferably does not have a matching rib. Similarly, the wall portion 40 may over lay ribs 18 on the chord leg 16 with or without having matching ribs, as shown in FIG. 3.

[0022] The universal member preferably has a flange 50 extending from the bottom edge 44 of the wall portion 40. The flange 50 may simply extend outward from the wall portion 40, as shown, or may include further bends, such as the chord leg flange 30.

[0023] The universal member wall 40 may extend only partially along chord leg 16 such that the flange 50 does not contract the leg flange 30, as in FIG. 2, or the wall 40 may extend such that the member flange 50 contacts the leg flange 30, as in FIG. 3.

[0024] The top portion 46 and the flange 50 both act to stiffen the universal member 12. The intent of top portion 46 and flange 50 is to provide lateral support for wall 40. It is a well-known technique that allows support to be provided to a thin walled element such as universal member 12. The result of the top portion 46 and flange 50 being present is that wall 40 will not buckle laterally when universal member 12 has load applied to it.

[0025] The universal member may nest along the exterior surface 32 of the chord 10, or along the interior surface 34 of the chord 10, as shown by universal member 12a in FIG. 2. The universal members may be used in conjunction with one another, for example as a matched pair as seen in FIG. 1, or alone as in FIG. 3.

[0026] The universal members 12 are connected to the chord 10 by an attachment means 36, preferably a self-drilling screw. Other attachment means 36, such as nuts and bolts, welding, epoxy, rivets, or other means such as are known in the art may similarly be used. The attachment means 36 may be employed anywhere along the universal member 12, such as through the wall portion 40, the top portion 46 or, in some cases, even through the flange 50. Further, the attachment means may be applied from the interior or exterior of the chord, as desired. Also, where a chord 10 with opposing legs 16 and two oppositely opposed universal members 12 are employed, the attachment means may extend through both legs 16 and both universal members 12.

[0027] The universal member 12 adds significant strength and stiffness to the chord 10 to which it is attached. The universal member offers an advantage over prior art reinforcement pieces in that the wall 40 of the member 12 nests with, or substantially parallels, the leg 16 of the chord 10, thereby increasing the strength of the chord to a greater degree than a reinforcement member which does not nest with the chord leg. As with any thin-walled element, the strength of the member is proportional to the thickness of the element. Failure occurs in this-walled elements when the member buckles under load. A thicker member will support greater load, that is, it will not buckle as easily as a thinner member. The universal piece 12 will have the effect of making the chord 10 a thicker member, resulting in a stronger assembly provided the assembly is connected together by some attachment means will be stronger than the chord member 10 alone.

[0028] The universal member 12 can be used as a chord reinforcement to reinforce truss chords that are overstressed, such as at overhangs, bottom chords of roof or attic trusses and other stressed areas as known in the art. The members 12 could extend short distances at critical junctures or could act as a chord enhancer, extending along long or entire lengths of a chord.

[0029] The universal member also serves as a repair piece when placed along a section of chord, which is damaged, overloaded due to unforeseen loads places in the chord, where inadequate chords are in use or where the truss or chord has been improperly constructed.

[0030] The universal member can also be used as a connector in hanger applications, as a splice or as a pitch break connector.

[0031] FIGS. 4 and 5 show the universal member 12 used in a splicing application. Two chords 10 are in end-to-end arrangement, as seen in FIG. 4. A single universal member 12 overlaps a section of each of the two chords 10 and is attached to the chords via attachment means 36. The splice joint can also include a stabilizing piece such as tubular member 52, seen in FIG. 5. In such a case, the attachment means 36 preferably extend through the universal member 12, the chord 10 and the tubular member 52. Preferably, two universal pieces 12 would be used in conjunction, one on each leg of each chord, as shown. The attachment means preferably extends through both legs of the chord and the wall portions of the oppositely disposed universal members.

[0032] The universal member 12 can further be used as a reinforcement member along a chord 10 having a hanging member, or hanger, 54 attached thereto as seen in the exploded view of FIGS. 6 and 7. The universal member acts as a mounting surface and strengthens the chord thereby increasing the hanging load 55 the chord can support. The universal member can have brackets attached thereto forming a high-capacity hanger. The hangers can be angled hangers, as in FIG. 7, multiple hangers or combination hangers, as are known in the art.

[0033] The universal member 12 may further be used to create a pitch break connector 70, as shown in FIG. 8. The connector 70 has a body 56 comprised of two sections of universal member 58 and 60. The two sections are joined together, preferably butt-welded, at joint 62. The universal members can be coped and joined, as shown, or formed as an integral piece.

[0034] The pitch break connector 70 overlaps and nests with two chords 10. The chords 10 can be placed at any selected angle with respect to one another, as can the sections 58 and 60 of the connector 70. The connector 70 is attached to the chords 10 by attachment means. As in all of the universal member applications, and as shown in FIG. 8, an oppositely disposed connector 70 can be attached to the opposite legs 16 of the chords 10. In such a case the attachment means 36 may be a screw, bolt of other means, which extends through both pitch break connectors 70 and both legs 16 of the chord 10.

[0035] Modifications can be made to any of the above embodiments without departing from the spirit of the invention.