Title:
Truss joint reinforcement plate
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A truss joint reinforcement plate (10) for reinforcing a pitch break in a truss, so as to substantially limit flexion of the truss at the point of the pitch break. The truss joint reinforcement plate (10) is defined by a substantially planar member (15) having a first end (20) and a second end (25) adapted so as to allow the first and second ends (20, 25) to be bent across a first fold region (30) such that the first and second ends (20, 25) are disposed at a selectable angle to one another allowing the truss joint reinforcement plate (10) to be adapted to a wide range of pitch angles. The truss joint reinforcement plate (10) also includes a first and second panel members (35, 40) each having an inboard end (36, 41) and a distal end (38, 43). The first and second panel members (35, 40) are bendable at a second fold region (45) disposed at the junction of the inboard ends (36, 41) and the planar member (15). Further, first panel member (35) and the second panel member (40) are disposed in spaced relation from each other, preferably, substantially parallel to one another and disposed at a right angle to planar member (15).



Inventors:
Williams, Troy D. (Lenoir City, TN, US)
Application Number:
10/078986
Publication Date:
08/21/2003
Filing Date:
02/20/2002
Assignee:
WILLIAMS TROY D.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/657, 52/696
International Classes:
E04C3/17; E04C3/18; (IPC1-7): E04B1/38; E04C5/00
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Primary Examiner:
MORRISON, NASCHICA SANDERS
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PITTS & LAKE P C (KNOXVILLE, TN, US)
Claims:

Having thus described the aforementioned invention, we claim:



1. A truss joint reinforcement plate for substantially limiting flexion of a truss at a pitch break, said truss joint reinforcement plate comprising: a substantially planar member constructed of a rigid material, said substantially planar member including a first end, a second end and a first fold region disposed between said first and said second ends whereby said first and said second ends are adapted to be disposed at a selectable angle to one another; a first panel member proximate said first end, said first panel member having a distal end and an inboard end, said inboard end adjoining said substantially planar member; and a second panel member proximate said second end, said second panel member having a distal end and an inboard end, said inboard end adjoining said substantially planar member, wherein a second fold region is provided at a junction of said inboard ends of said first and said second planar members and said substantially planar member, and further wherein said first panel member and said second panel member are in spaced relation from one another, whereby a narrow elongated gap is disposed between said first and said second panel members.

2. The truss joint reinforcement plate of claim 1 wherein said first and said second panel members are integral with said substantially planar member.

3. The truss joint reinforcement plate of claim 1 wherein a plurality of hole members are disposed at said first fold region to facilitate folding of said first and said second ends of said substantially planar member.

4. The truss joint reinforcement plate of claim 1 wherein a plurality of hole members are disposed at said second fold region to facilitate folding of said first and said second panel members along said second fold region.

5. The truss joint reinforcement plate of claim 4 wherein said plurality of hole members are substantially elliptically shaped.

6. The truss joint reinforcement plate of claim 1 wherein said rigid material is steel.

7. The truss joint reinforcement plate of claim 1 wherein said first and said second panel members are substantially parallel to one another.

8. The truss joint reinforcement plate of claim 1 wherein said first and said second panel members have longitudinal axes substantially perpendicular to a longitudinal axis of said substantially planar member.

9. The truss joint reinforcement plate of claim 1 wherein said narrow elongated gap is in substantial alignment with said first fold region.

10. A truss joint reinforcement plate for substantially limiting flexion of a truss at a pitch break, said truss joint reinforcement plate comprising: a substantially planar member constructed of a rigid material, said substantially planar member including a first end, a second end and a first fold region disposed between said first and said second ends whereby said first and said second ends are adapted to be disposed at a selectable angle to one another whereby said first and said second ends are adapted to be disposed at a selectable angle to one another; a first panel member proximate said first end and integral with said substantially planar member, said first panel member having a distal end and an inboard end, said inboard end adjoining said substantially planar member; and a second panel member proximate said second end and integral with said substantially planar member, said second panel member having a distal end and an inboard end, said inboard end adjoining said substantially planar member, wherein a second fold region is provided at a junction of said inboard ends of said first and said second planar members and said substantially planar member, and further wherein said first panel member and said second panel member are in spaced relation from one another, whereby a narrow elongated gap is disposed between said first and said second panel members.

11. The truss joint reinforcement plate of claim 10 wherein a plurality of hole members are disposed at said first fold region to facilitate folding of said first and said second ends of said substantially planar member.

12. The truss joint reinforcement plate of claim 10 wherein a plurality of hole members are disposed at said second fold region to facilitate folding of said first and said second panel members along said fold region.

13. The truss joint reinforcement plate of claim 10 wherein said plurality of hole members are substantially elliptically shaped.

14. The truss joint reinforcement plate of claim 10 wherein said rigid material is steel.

15. The truss joint reinforcement plate of claim 10 wherein said narrow elongated gap is in substantial alignment with said first fold region.

16. The truss joint reinforcement plate of claim 10 wherein said first end of said planar member and said second end of said planar member each have a selected length and said first and said second panel members have a selected width, wherein said selected length is greater than said selected width.

17. A truss joint reinforcement plate for substantially limiting flexion of a truss at a pitch break, said truss joint reinforcement plate comprising: a substantially planar member constructed of a rigid material, said substantially planar member including a first end, a second end and a first fold region disposed between said first and said second ends whereby said first and said second ends are adapted to be disposed at a selectable angle to one another, said first end of said planar member and said second end of said planar member each have a selected length; a plurality of hole members disposed at said first fold region to facilitate folding of said first and second ends of said substantially planar member; a first panel member proximate said first end and integral with said substantially planar member, said first panel member having a selected width, a distal end and an inboard end, said inboard end adjoining said substantially planar member; a second panel member proximate said second end and integral with said substantially planar member, said second panel member having a selected width, a distal end and an inboard end, said inboard end adjoining said substantially planar member, wherein a second fold region is provided at a junction of said inboard ends of said first and said second planar members and said substantially planar member, and further wherein said first panel member and said second panel member are in spaced relation from one another, whereby a narrow elongated gap is disposed between said first and said second panel members and is in substantial alignment with said first fold region, and further wherein said selected length is greater than said selected width; and a plurality of elliptical hold members disposed at said second fold region to facilitate folding of said first and said second panel members along said second fold region.

18. The truss joint reinforcement plate of claim 17 wherein said rigid material is steel.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] Not Applicable

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[0002] Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] 1. Field of Invention

[0004] This invention pertains to a truss joint reinforcement plate. More particularly, it relates to a plate for reinforcing the inherent weakness at pitch breaks in trusses, such as roof trusses.

[0005] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0006] Metal, or steel, trusses have long been used in commercial construction, and the use of metal truss construction in residential dwellings is steadily increasing. And, while metal, or steel, trusses are very efficient at supporting vertical loads when erected, it is known that there is an inherent weakness at pitch breaks that makes moving and lifting metal trusses into place cumbersome and difficult. In this regard, it is known that the trusses tend to flex at the pitch breaks. What is needed in the art is a reinforcement plate for reinforcing the pitch break to substantially limit flexion of the truss at the point of the pitch break while a truss is being moved.

[0007] Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a truss joint reinforcement plate for reinforcing the pitch break so as to substantially limit flexion of the truss at the pitch break.

[0008] Another object of the present invention is to provide a truss joint reinforcement plate that can be manufactured inexpensively.

[0009] Still another object of the present invention is to provide a truss joint reinforcement plate that is readily configurable to pitch breaks of various angles and configurations.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] According to one embodiment of the present invention, a truss joint reinforcement plate for reinforcing a pitch break in a truss, so as to substantially limit flexion of the truss at the point of the pitch break is provided. The truss joint reinforcement plate is defined by a substantially planar member that includes a first end and a second end adapted so as to allow the first end and the second end to be bent across a first fold region such that the first end and the second end are disposed at a selectable angle to one another, thus allowing the truss joint reinforcement plate to be adapted to a wide range of pitch angles. The truss joint reinforcement plate also includes a first panel member and a second panel member each of which includes an inboard end and a distal end. The inboard ends are, preferably, integral with the planar member. Further, the first and second panel members are bendable at a second fold region disposed at the junction of the inboard ends and the planar member. Further, first panel member and the second panel member are disposed in spaced relation from each other, preferably separated by a narrow elongated gap, and in the preferred embodiment are substantially parallel to one another and, preferably, are disposed at a right angle to the substantially planar member.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011] The above-mentioned features of the invention will become more clearly understood from the following detailed description of the invention read together with the drawings in which:

[0012] FIG. 1 is a plan view of the truss joint reinforcement plate of the present invention.

[0013] FIG. 2 is a front elevation view of a truss, such as might be used for a cathedral ceiling, showing one application of the truss joint reinforcement plate of the present invention.

[0014] FIG. 3 is a close-up perspective view showing the truss joint reinforcement plate as used in the type of configuration shown in FIG. 2 showing the truss joint reinforcement plate and the associated strengthening strap.

[0015] FIG. 4 is a front elevation view of a truss of a different configuration showing a further application for the truss joint reinforcement plate.

[0016] FIG. 5 is a close-up perspective view showing the truss joint reinforcement plate as used to reinforce the type of truss shown in FIG. 4.

[0017] FIG. 6 is a front elevation view of a truss of yet another configuration showing still another application for the truss joint reinforcement plate.

[0018] FIG. 5 is a close-up perspective view showing the truss joint reinforcement plate as used to reinforce the type of truss shown in FIG. 6.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0019] A truss joint reinforcement plate for reinforcing a pitch break in a truss, so as to substantially limit flexion of the truss at the point of the pitch break, constructed in accordance with the present invention, is illustrated generally as 10 in the figures. The truss joint reinforcement plate 10 includes a substantially planar member 15 that includes a first end 20 and a second end 25. The first end 20 and the second end 25 are adapted to allow the first end 20 and the second end 25 to be bent across a first fold region 30 such that the first end 20 and the second end 25 are disposed at a selectable angle to one another. As explained in greater detail below, this allows truss joint reinforcement plate 10 to be adapted to a wide range of pitch angles. The truss joint reinforcement plate 10 also includes a first panel member 35 and a second panel member 40. The first panel member 35 and the second panel member 40 have an inboard end 36 and 41, respectively, and a distal end 38 and 43, respectively. The inboard ends 36 and 41 are, preferably, integral with planar member 15 and a second fold region 45 is disposed at the junction of the inboard ends 36 and 41 and planar member 15.

[0020] Further, first panel member 35 and the second panel member 40 are disposed in spaced relation from each other, preferably separated by a narrow elongated gap 50, and in the preferred embodiment have longitudinal axes that are substantially parallel to one another. Additionally, in the preferred embodiment, the longitudinal axes of the first and second panel members 35 and 40 is substantially perpendicular to a longitudinal axis of the substantially planar member 15. In the preferred embodiment, the first panel member 35 is disposed proximate the first end 20 of the substantially planar member 15, while the second panel member 40 is disposed proximate the second end 25 of the substantially planar member.

[0021] Preferably, the first and second panel members 35 and 40, respectively, are dimensioned such that the first and second ends 20 and 25, respectively, of the substantially planar member 15 have a length that is longer than the width of the first and second panel members 35 and 40, respectively. Thus, as shown in FIG. 1, the first and second ends 20 and 25, respectively, of the substantially planar member 15 extend beyond the edge of the first and second panel members 35 and 40, respectively. As seen in FIG. 1, the first fold region 30 is in substantial alignment with the narrow elongated gap 50 disposed between the first panel member 35 and second panel member 40.

[0022] In the preferred embodiment, truss joint reinforcement plate 10 is fabricated from a strong, rigid material, preferably steel. And, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that a plurality of truss joint reinforcement plates 10 can be stamped from a sheet of steel with very little residual waste material being generated. In order to facilitate bending of the planar member at the first fold region 30, a plurality of hole members 52 are disposed along the first fold region 30. Similarly, in order to facilitate folding of the first panel member 35 and the second panel member 40 along the second fold regions 45, a plurality of hole members 55, which are preferably elliptical, are provided along the second fold region 45.

[0023] In use, the truss joint reinforcement plate 10 is used to reinforce the inherent weakness, i.e. susceptibility to flexion, found at the pitch breaks of a truss. Examples of common pitch breaks are illustrated in FIGS. 2, 4 and 6. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the trusses illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 6 have a pitch break, illustrated within the circled region, that defines an acute angle with respect to the interior of the truss. As seen in FIGS. 5 and 7, the truss joint reinforcement plate 10 is positioned on the pitch break such that the planar member 15 overlaps the angle of the pitch. The planar member 15 is bent, along fold region 30 such that the first and second ends, 20 and 25, respectively, form an angle substantially equivalent to the angle of the pitch. The first panel member 35 and the second panel member 40 are then bent, along second fold regions 45 such that the first panel member 35 and the second panel member 40 lie in substantially the same plane as defined by the truss. The truss joint reinforcement plate 10 is then secured to the truss by a plurality of fasteners such that the overlapped first panel member 35 and second panel member 40 as well as the first and second ends, 20 and 25 of the planar member 15 are secured to the truss components. It will be appreciated that the steeper the angle defined by the pitch break, the greater the degree of overlap between the first panel member 35 and second panel member 40. Once secured, the truss joint reinforcement plate 10 acts to reinforce the pitch break and substantially limit flexion of the truss at the pitch break.

[0024] As seen in FIG. 2, when the angle of the pitch break is obtuse with respect to the interior of the truss, as is the case in trusses for cathedral or vaulted ceilings, The first panel member 35 and second panel member 40 will not overlap when bent to conform to the plane defined by the truss, but rather will be angled away from one another. To compensate for this and further reinforce the truss joint, a bridge member 60 is provided for bridging the gap defined between the first panel member 35 and second panel member 40 and for securing the first panel member 35 and second panel member 40 to one another and to the truss.

[0025] From the foregoing description, it will be recognized by those skilled in the art that a truss joint reinforcement plate offering advantages over the prior art has been provided. Specifically, the truss joint reinforcement plate of the present invention provides a truss joint reinforcement plate for reinforcing the pitch break so as to substantially limit flexion of the truss at the pitch break, that can be manufactured inexpensively and hat is readily configurable to pitch breaks of various angles and configurations.

[0026] While the present invention has been illustrated by description of several embodiments and while the illustrative embodiments have been described in considerable detail, it is not the intention of the applicant to restrict or in any way limit the scope of the appended claims to such detail. Additional advantages and modifications will readily appear to those skilled in the art. The invention in its broader aspects is therefore not limited to the specific details, representative apparatus and methods, and illustrative examples shown and described. Accordingly, departures may be made from such details without departing from the spirit or scope of applicant's general inventive concept.