Title:
Method and apparatus for reinforcing construction sheeting
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A reinforced construction sheathing for use in building construction, including a planar sheet, configured to be attached to a building support structure by fasteners installed through the planar sheet and into the support structure. The planar sheet has opposite inner and outer face surfaces. A reinforcing strip is attached to at least one face of the planar sheet around an outer perimeter of the planar sheet and is configured to reinforce the planar sheet to resist fastener tear-through and pull-through in the outer perimeter of the planar sheet. A second reinforcing strip can be attached to an opposite face of the planar sheet around the outer perimeter of the planar sheet. A method of manufacturing a sheathing product used in construction of buildings is also provided and includes the steps of forming a planar sheet from one or more base products, and attaching a reinforcing strip to at least one face of the planar sheet at an outer perimeter of the planar sheet.



Inventors:
Fonseca, Fernando S. (Provo, UT, US)
Application Number:
10/273408
Publication Date:
08/28/2003
Filing Date:
10/16/2002
Assignee:
FONSECA FERNANDO S.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/506.06, 52/511, 52/506.01
International Classes:
E04B1/26; (IPC1-7): E04B5/00; E04B1/38
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Primary Examiner:
A, PHI DIEU TRAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Femando S. Fonseca (Lindon, UT, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A reinforced construction sheathing for use in building construction, comprising: a) a planar sheet, configured to be attached to a building support structure by fasteners installed through the planar sheet and into the support structure, the planar sheet having opposite inner and outer face surfaces; and b) a reinforcing strip, attached to at least one face of the planar sheet around an outer perimeter of the planar sheet, the reinforcing strip being configured to reinforce the planar sheet to resist fastener tear-through and pull-through in the outer perimeter of the planar sheet.

2. A device as in claim 1, further including a second reinforcing strip attached to an opposite face of the planar sheet around the outer perimeter of the planar sheet.

3. A device as in claim 1, wherein the reinforcing strip is at least ¾ of an inch wide.

4. A device as in claim 1, wherein the reinforcing strip has a minimum width corresponding to a maximum width of the support structure to which the planar sheet is to be attached.

5. A device as in claim 1, wherein the reinforcing strip is bonded to the planar sheet and is formed of a material selected from the group consisting of: fiberglass; composite material; nano-material; plastic; metal; tape; and paper.

6. A device as in claim 1, wherein the planar sheet is formed of a material selected from the group consisting of: plywood; oriented strand board; flake board; gypsum board; and particle board.

7. A device as in claim 1, wherein the planar sheet further includes a central, non-reinforced area within the outer perimeter to which the reinforcing strip is not attached.

8. A device as in claim 1, wherein the reinforcing strip is further attached to an opposite face of the planar sheet and to an edge of the planar sheet, the reinforcing strip being configured to provide a continuous reinforcing structure beginning on the inner face of the planar sheet, extending around the edge of the planar sheet, and terminating on the outer face of the planar sheet.

9. A device as in claim 1, wherein the reinforcing strip increases the capacity of the planar sheet by at least 15%.

10. A device as in claim 1, wherein the planar sheet is provided in ready-to-use sizes selected from the group consisting of: 4 feet by 8 feet; 2 feet by 8 feet; 4 feet by 10 feet, 4 feet by 12 feet; and 2 feet by 4 feet.

11. A method of manufacturing a sheathing product used in construction of buildings, comprising the steps of: a) forming a planar sheet from one or more base products; and b) attaching a reinforcing strip to at least one face of the planar sheet at an outer perimeter of the planar sheet.

12. A method in accordance with claim 1 comprising the further step of attaching a second reinforcing strip to the outer perimeter of the planar sheet on a second, opposite face of the planar sheet.

13. A method in accordance with claim 11, wherein the reinforcing strip is bonded to the planar sheet and is formed of a material selected from the group consisting of: fiberglass; composite material; nano-material; plastic; metal; tape; and paper.

14. A method in accordance with claim 11, comprising the further step of attaching the reinforcing strip to an edge of the planar sheet and to a second, opposite face of the planar sheet to provide a continuous reinforcing structure beginning on the at least one face of the planar sheet, extending around the edge of the planar sheet, and terminating on a face opposite the at least one face of the planar sheet.

15. A method in accordance with claim 1 comprising the further step of applying the reinforcing strip only to the outer perimeter of the planar sheet and leaving a central area of the planar sheet non-reinforced by the reinforcing strip.

16. A method in accordance with claim 11, wherein the step of attaching a reinforcing strip is selected from the group of attachment methods consisting of: taping; spraying; laminating; painting; and bonding.

17. A method of applying sheathing to a building, comprising the steps of: a) situating a planar sheet adjacent a support structure of the building to which the planar sheet is to be attached; and b) installing fasteners through a reinforcing strip disposed on a face of an outer perimeter of the planar sheet, through the planar sheet, and into the support structure.

18. A method in accordance with claim 17, further comprising the step of attaching the reinforcing strip to the outer perimeter of the planar sheet prior to installing fasteners through the reinforcing strip, through the planar sheet, and into the support structure.

19. A method in accordance with claim 17, wherein the step of installing fasteners further includes installing fasteners through another reinforcing strip disposed on an opposite face of the planar sheet.

20. A method in accordance with claim 17, wherein the reinforcing strip is bonded to the planar sheet and is formed of a material selected from the group consisting of: fiberglass; composite material; nano-material; plastic; metal; tape; and paper.

21. A method in accordance with claim 17, further comprising the step of attaching the reinforcing strip to an edge of the planar sheet and to a second, opposite face of the planar sheet to provide to provide a continuous reinforcing structure beginning on an inner face of the planar sheet, extending around the edge of the planar sheet, and terminating on an outer face of the planar sheet.

22. A method in accordance with claim 17, wherein the step of situating a planar sheet further includes situating a planar sheet with a central area of the planar sheet non-reinforced by the reinforcing strip.

23. A method in accordance with claim 17, wherein the step of attaching a reinforcing strip is selected from the group of attachment methods consisting of: taping; spraying; laminating; painting; and bonding.

24. A method of reinforcing a planar sheet attached to a building, comprising the steps of: a) attaching a reinforcing strip to an outer perimeter of the planar sheet; and b) installing fasteners through the reinforcing strip, through the planar sheet and into a structure to which the planar sheet is attached.

25. A method in accordance with claim 24, wherein the reinforcing strip is bonded to the planar sheet and is formed of a material selected from the group consisting of: fiberglass; composite material; nano-material; plastic; metal; tape; and paper.

26. A method in accordance with claim 24, wherein the step of attaching a reinforcing strip includes the step of applying the reinforcing strip only to the outer perimeter of the planar sheet and leaving a central area of the planar sheet non-reinforced.

27. A method in accordance with claim 24, wherein the step of attaching a reinforcing strip is selected from the group of attachment methods consisting of: taping; spraying; laminating; painting; and bonding.

Description:

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 60/329,973, filed Oct. 16, 2001.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention relates generally to a device and a method of use thereof for reinforcing construction sheeting materials used in building.

[0004] 2. Related Art

[0005] Exterior walls in buildings constructed around the world are often provided with “shear walls,” that is, walls which carry shear or lateral forces in the plane of the wall. Shear forces can be applied to shear walls by external forces acting on the wall such as wind, hurricanes, seismic activity, or vibratory forces carried by the ground on which the building rests. Shear walls can take many different forms, but in typical construction projects are often constructed by fastening or nailing a piece of sheathing, such as plywood, oriented strand board, or particle board, onto a support structure, such as a frame formed of 2×4 dimensional lumber. In such an application, the frame of the building is generally constructed with dimensional lumber, after which external walls are attached to the frame to enclose the building. Once attached, the sheathing carries shear forces in the plane of the wall, thereby adding support to the building and resisting external forces, such as wind, seismic forces, etc.

[0006] Because of their importance to the structural integrity of a building, failure of shear walls is a concern for designers and constructors of buildings. Shear walls can fail in a number of manners, but often fail in areas around the nails or fasteners which secure the sheathing to the frame. Typical failure modes of shear walls near the fasteners are fastener pull-through or tear-through. For instance, nail pull-through is the result of the sheathing product failing around the head of the nail, whereby the sheathing around the head of the nail pulls away from the sheathing directly under the head of nail. Nail pull-through thus leaves a failure location that appears as a round hole formed in the sheathing. Nail tear-through occurs when a section of the sheathing adjacent the nail is torn away from the supporting sheathing material. Nail tear-through thus leaves a channel formed in the side of the sheathing defined by the “path” through which the nail tore through the sheathing.

[0007] Reducing undesirable tear-through and pull-through of shear walls has been problematic in that a compromise between strength and economy must be made when selecting the sheet or sheathing and nail pattern used to form the wall. For instance, the strength of a shear wall formed of 5/8″ thick sheeting could be improved by using 1″ thick sheeting, or the nail pattern could be altered to include nails which are spaced closer together. However, in addition to improving the strength of the wall, the cost of constructing the wall would also be increased, due to more expensive material and labor costs. Also, by increasing the thickness of the sheathing, the weight of the wall would be increased, which would necessarily increase the load that the underlying building framing must support.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] It has been recognized that it would be advantageous to develop a sheathing product that can be used with conventional construction materials and yet can withstand considerably higher shear loads.

[0009] The invention provides a reinforced construction sheathing for use in building construction, including a planar sheet, configured to be attached to a building support structure by fasteners installed through the planar sheet and into the support structure, the planar sheet having opposite inner and outer face surfaces. A reinforcing strip can be attached to at least one face of the planar sheet around an outer perimeter of the planar sheet, the reinforcing strip being configured to reinforce the planar sheet to resist fastener tear-through and pull-through in the outer perimeter of the planar sheet.

[0010] In accordance with a more detailed aspect of the present invention, the system includes a second reinforcing strip attached to an opposite face of the planar sheet around the outer perimeter of the planar sheet.

[0011] In accordance with a more detailed aspect of the present invention, the reinforcing strip is at least ¾ of an inch wide.

[0012] In accordance with a more detailed aspect of the present invention, the reinforcing strip has a minimum width corresponding to a maximum width of the support structure to which the planar sheet is to be attached.

[0013] In accordance with a more detailed aspect of the present invention, the reinforcing strip is bonded to the planar sheet and is formed of a material selected from the group consisting of: fiberglass; composite material; nano-material; plastic; metal; tape; and paper.

[0014] In accordance with a more detailed aspect of the present invention, the planar sheet is formed of a material selected from the group consisting of: plywood; oriented strand board; flake board; gypsum board; and particle board.

[0015] In accordance with a more detailed aspect of the present invention, the planar sheet further includes a central, non-reinforced area within the outer perimeter to which the reinforcing sheet is not attached.

[0016] In accordance with a more detailed aspect of the present invention, the reinforcing strip is further attached to an opposite face of the planar sheet and to an edge of the planar sheet, the reinforcing strip being configured to provide a continuous reinforcing structure beginning on the inner face of the planar sheet, extending around the edge of the planar sheet, and terminating on the outer face of the planar sheet.

[0017] In accordance with a more detailed aspect of the present invention, the reinforcing strip increases the capacity of the planar sheet by at least 15%.

[0018] In accordance with a more detailed aspect of the present invention, the planar sheet is provided in ready-to-use sizes selected from the group consisting of: 4 feet by 8 feet; 2 feet by 8 feet; 4 feet by 10 feet; 4 feet by 12 feet; and 2 feet by 4 feet.

[0019] In accordance with yet another aspect of the present invention, a method of manufacturing a sheathing product used in construction of buildings is provided and includes the steps of forming a planar sheet from one or more base products; and attaching a reinforcing strip to at least one face of the planar sheet at an outer perimeter of the planar sheet.

[0020] In accordance with a more detailed aspect of the present invention, the method includes the further step of attaching a second reinforcing strip to the outer perimeter of the planar sheet on a second, opposite face of the planar sheet.

[0021] In accordance with a more detailed aspect of the present invention, the reinforcing strip is bonded to the planar sheet and is formed of a material selected from the group consisting of: fiberglass; composite material; nano-material; plastic; metal; and paper.

[0022] In accordance with a more detailed aspect of the present invention, the method includes the further step of attaching the reinforcing strip to an edge of the planar sheet and to a second, opposite face of the planar sheet to provide a continuous reinforcing structure beginning on the at least one face of the planar sheet, extending around the edge of the planar sheet, and terminating on a face opposite the at least one face of the planar sheet.

[0023] In accordance with a more detailed aspect of the present invention, the method includes the further step of applying the reinforcing strip only to the outer perimeter of the planar sheet and leaving a central area of the planar sheet non-reinforced by the reinforcing strip.

[0024] In accordance with a more detailed aspect of the present invention, the step of attaching a reinforcing strip is selected from the group of attachment methods consisting of: taping; spraying; laminating; and bonding.

[0025] In accordance with a more detailed aspect of the present invention, a method of applying sheathing to a building is provided and includes the steps of situating a planar sheet adjacent a support structure of the building to which the planar sheet is to be attached, and installing fasteners through a reinforcing strip disposed on a face of an outer perimeter of the planar sheet, through the planar sheet, and into the support structure.

[0026] In accordance with a more detailed aspect of the present invention, the method includes the further step of attaching the reinforcing strip to the outer perimeter of the planar sheet prior to installing fasteners through the reinforcing strip, through the planar sheet, and into the support structure.

[0027] In accordance with a more detailed aspect of the present invention, the step of installing fasteners further includes installing fasteners through another reinforcing strip disposed on an opposite face of the planar sheet.

[0028] In accordance with a more detailed aspect of the present invention, the reinforcing strip is bonded to the planar sheet and is formed of a material selected from the group consisting of: fiberglass; composite material; nano-material; plastic; metal; and paper.

[0029] In accordance with a more detailed aspect of the present invention, the method includes the further step of attaching the reinforcing strip to an edge of the planar sheet and to a second, opposite face of the planar sheet to provide to provide a continuous reinforcing structure beginning on an inner face of the planar sheet, extending around the edge of the planar sheet, and terminating on an outer face of the planar sheet.

[0030] In accordance with a more detailed aspect of the present invention, the step of situating a planar sheet further includes situating a planar sheet with a central area of the planar sheet non-reinforced by the reinforcing strip.

[0031] In accordance with a more detailed aspect of the present invention, the step of attaching a reinforcing strip is selected from the group of attachment methods consisting of: taping; spraying; laminating; and bonding.

[0032] In accordance with a more detailed aspect of the present invention, a method of reinforcing a planar sheet attached to a building is provided and includes the steps of attaching a reinforcing strip to an outer perimeter of the planar sheet, and installing fasteners through the reinforcing strip, through the planar sheet and into a structure to which the planar sheet is attached.

[0033] In accordance with a more detailed aspect of the present invention, the reinforcing strip is bonded to the planar sheet and is formed of a material selected from the group consisting of: fiberglass; composite material; nano-material; plastic; metal; and paper.

[0034] In accordance with a more detailed aspect of the present invention, the step of attaching a reinforcing strip includes the step of applying the reinforcing strip only to the outer perimeter of the planar sheet and leaving a central area of the planar sheet non-reinforced.

[0035] In accordance with a more detailed aspect of the present invention, the step of attaching a reinforcing strip is selected from the group of attachment methods consisting of: taping; spraying; laminating; and bonding.

[0036] Additional features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the detailed description which follows, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which together illustrate, by way of example, features of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0037] FIG. 1 is a partial perspective view of a shear wall constructed in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

[0038] FIG. 2a is a partial, side, cross-sectional view of the shear wall of FIG. 1;

[0039] FIG. 2b is a partial, side, cross-sectional view of another shear wall in accordance with the present invention;

[0040] FIG. 2c is a partial, side, cross-sectional view of another shear wall in accordance with the present invention; and

[0041] FIG. 3 is a partial, side, cross-sectional view of another shear wall in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0042] Reference will now be made to the exemplary embodiments illustrated in the drawings, and specific language will be used herein to describe the same. It will nevertheless be understood that no limitation of the scope of the invention is thereby intended. Alterations and further modifications of the inventive features illustrated herein, and additional applications of the principles of the inventions as illustrated herein, which would occur to one skilled in the relevant art and having possession of this disclosure, are to be considered within the scope of the invention.

[0043] As illustrated in FIG. 1, a shear wall, indicated generally at 10, in accordance with the present invention is shown having a reinforced construction sheet or sheathing for use in forming a shear wall of a building. The system can include a planar sheet or sheathing product 12 configured to be mounted on and supported by a support structure 14. The planar sheet 12 can be attached to the support structure 14 by fasteners 16, such as nails, staples or screws. As shown in FIGS. 2a through 3, the planar sheet 12 has an inner face 18 and an outer face 20. Thus, in one aspect, the inner face 18 would be abutted against the supporting structure 14, after which fasteners 16 would be installed through the planar sheet and into the supporting structure.

[0044] The system advantageously includes a reinforcing strip 22 which can be applied to the planar sheet or sheathing product 12 to increase the shear load that the planar sheet is capable of carrying by reducing incidents of fastener tear-through or pull-through. The reinforcing strip 22 is shown in FIG. 1 as attached to the outer face 20 of the planar sheet 12 around an outer perimeter 24 of the planar sheet. The reinforcing strip can be attached to the planar sheet with resin and/or adhesive. After attachment of the reinforcing strip to the outer perimeter, fasteners 16 can be installed through the reinforcing strip 22, through the planar sheet 12, and into supporting structure 14. Thus, the reinforcing strip 22 is configured to reinforce the planar sheet to resist fastener tear-through and pull-through in the outer perimeter of the planar sheet. In addition to reinforcing the planar sheet to resist fastener tear-through and pull-through, the reinforcing strip can generally increase the capacity of the planar sheet. As used herein, the term “capacity” shall mean physical characteristics of the planar sheet such as load bearing capacity, stiffness, energy absorption capacity, displacement, fastener tear-through resistance, fastener pull-through resistance, shear strength, etc.

[0045] The present invention can be utilized in any number of applications that require the presence of a sheet or sheathing attached to a support frame. By providing an efficient and easily installed reinforcing strip on areas of the planar sheet which are to be pierced by fasteners, the present invention can provide a sheathing product that is substantially more resistant to failure than conventional sheathing products of similar dimensions. For instance, it has been found that planar sheet or sheathing products treated with the present invention can withstand loads of up to 15-50% higher than comparable, untreated products. In one embodiment, the reinforcing strip increased the capacity of the planar sheet by at least 15%. This increased capacity is accomplished without requiring the use of larger or heavier sheathing or closer nail spacing and is accomplished by adding only minimal weight to the system. The reinforced planar sheet 12 can be used on all manner of construction projects, and can be used to form exterior or interior walls, roofing, sections, etc.

[0046] The planar sheet 12 can be of any material known to those skilled in the art, including plywood, oriented strand board (“OSB”), flake board, particle board, etc. Similarly, the fasteners, while primarily shown in the figures as nails, can be any type known to those skilled in the art, including screws, bolts, rivets, staples and the like. The planar sheet can be provided in ready-to-use sizes such as 4 feet by 8 feet sheets, 2 feet by 8 feet, 4 feet by 10 feet, 4 feet by 12 feet, 2 feet by 4 feet, etc. Thus, the planar sheet can be obtained as readily available sheathing products, enabling easy use of the present invention and also ensuring compliance with existing building codes. In this manner, the sheathing product can be reinforced in a central location, such as a manufacturing plant or lumber yard, and can be shipped already reinforced to various job sites.

[0047] In addition to being reinforced prior to being provided to the job site, the planar sheet or sheathing 12 can be reinforced on-site. That is, non-reinforced sheeting can be delivered to the job site, and the reinforcing strip can be applied prior to attaching the sheathing to a support structure or frame. Of course, a combination of the two can also be provided. That is, standard-shaped, pre-reinforced sheets can be used to cover most sections of the framing, and when necessary, a smaller or odd-shaped sheet can be cut from non-reinforced sheathing to which a reinforcing strip can be applied. Thus, the present invention can be tailored to the specific requirements of the job at hand, as dictated by the framing of the building such as apertures formed in the framing to accommodate windows, doors, etc.

[0048] The reinforcing strip 22 can be formed of a variety of materials, including fiberglass, composite material, nano-material, plastic, metal, tape and paper. For instance, in one embodiment, the reinforcing strip was attached to the planar sheet or panel according to the following procedure. Woven fiberglass strips, or pieces of tape, were used as the reinforcing strip. The fiberglass was comprised of 9-ounce per square yard cloth, which was 0.012 inches thick and cut into 1½ inch wide strips. The edges of the fiberglass tape were seamed to avoid fraying of the tape. The resin solution used to bond the tape was an isophthalic resin solution with a resin hardener added at 1.5 percent of the resin weight. A wet lay up procedure was used to apply the tape to the panel. The edges of the planar sheet or panel were first coated with the resin solution, while the fiberglass tape was saturated with the resin solution. The wet tape was then applied to the resin on the panel and then additional resin was spread over the tape on the panel. The fiberglass tape was then allowed to cure at room temperature and pressure for at least 24 hours before nailing the panel to a support structure.

[0049] While the above procedure was found to be effective, alternate methods and materials can be used to attach the reinforcing strip to the planar sheet or sheathing. For example, the reinforcing strip can be attached to the planar sheet by taping the strip to the sheet, bonding the strip to the sheets, spraying a strip on the sheet, rolling the strip on the sheet, applying a laminate to the sheet, etc. The reinforcing strip can additionally be formed of nano-materials such as scratch-resistant lacquers, high strength composites and high strength plastics. Carbon-graphite composite can also be advantageously used as the reinforcing strip. Numerous variations in attachment methods and materials can be utilized to obtain equivalent reinforcement of the planar sheet or sheathing product.

[0050] While FIGS. 1 and 2a illustrate the use of a reinforcing strip on the outer 20 face of the planar sheet 12, the strip can be attached to more than one face of the planar sheet. For instance, as shown in FIG. 2b, two pieces of reinforcing strip 22 and 22a can be used, with one strip 22a being applied to the inner face 18 and another strip 22 being attached to the outer face 20 of the planar sheet 12. This can add additional strengthening of the planar sheet in the areas in which fasteners are driven through the sheet. The reinforcing strip can also be attached to or wrapped around the entire edge of the planar sheet 12, as shown in FIG. 2c. Here, a single piece of reinforcing strip 22c is bonded to the inner face 18, the lateral edge 26, and the outer face 20, thus providing a continuous reinforcing structure beginning on the inner face of the planar sheet, extending around the edge of the planar sheet, and terminating on the outer face of the planar sheet. In each of these embodiments, the reinforcing strip can be applied to the outer perimeter 24 (shown in FIG. 1) of the planar sheet 12.

[0051] While the reinforcing strip can be formed of any size, in one embodiment the reinforcing strip 22 is at least ¾ of an inch wide. By forming the strip in a width of at least this size, the strip can be wide enough to fully cover the area of the planar sheeting which is placed next to the supporting structure 14. The planar sheet 12 can be attached to any suitable supporting structure 14, which in addition to being dimensional lumber such as 2×4 boards, can include metal framing or the like. Because the supporting structure may often be formed of 2×4 dimensional lumber, the width or thickness provided for securing the planar sheet will often be approximately 1½ inches, corresponding to the actual width or thickness of a dimensional 2×4. Thus, when formed on the planar sheet in a ¾ inch strip, the reinforcing strip on one planar sheet will cover half of the 2×4, while the reinforcing strip on an adjacent sheet can cover the other half of the 2×4. In one embodiment of the invention, the reinforcing strip has a minimum width which corresponds to a maximum width of the support structure to which the planar sheet is to be attached. Thus, the reinforcing strip will cover the planar sheet in the outer perimeter area that contacts the supporting structure, regardless of the size and type of support structure used.

[0052] In one aspect of the invention, the planar sheet 12 includes a central, non-reinforced area 28 to which the reinforcing strip is not attached. This central area corresponds to the area of the planar sheet that is not included in the outer perimeter. Thus, in this aspect, the present invention need only be applied to the outer perimeter of the planar sheet, minimizing the amount of reinforcing strip necessary to provide significant reinforcement of the planar sheet or sheathing product. Such a configuration can reduce costs in applications with costly reinforcement material. In addition, the reinforcing strip can be placed along the entire outer perimeter of the planar sheet, or only in selected portions to maximize the benefit/cost ratio of applying the reinforcing tape.

[0053] In addition to being used on and in connection with new building projects, the present invention can be advantageously used in connection with renovating or retrofitting existing buildings. Since many existing buildings were constructed prior to the advances made by the present invention, the shear walls contained in the buildings may be overly susceptible to failure due to fastener tear-through or pull-through. In such cases, the invention can be used to reinforce a planar sheet which is already attached to a building. One example of such a use is illustrated in FIG. 3 wherein an existing planar sheet 12a is fastened to an existing support structure 14a by existing fastener 16a. A reinforcing strip 22d can be applied to the outer face 20a of the planar sheet 12a over the existing fastener 16a. Fasteners 16 can then be attached through the reinforcing strip 22d, through the planar sheet 12a, and into structure 14a to reinforce the planar sheet 12a. Thus, the present invention can be used to retrofit previously constructed shear walls to provide additional structural strength to resist forces due to wind, seismic activity, etc.

[0054] As discussed, the reinforcing strip can be applied in number of ways. In one aspect, the reinforcing strip is applied by forming a mixture of chopped glass fiber and resin or adhesive and spraying, painting, rolling or otherwise applying the mixture to the planar sheet. The mixture can then be allowed to cure, after which fasteners can be attached through the reinforcing strip and into the underlying support structure. This embodiment can be particularly advantageous when used to reinforce sheathing on existing structures, as the reinforcing strip will be applied on-site and can be easily brought to the site in a container and sprayed, painted or rolled onto the existing sheathing.

[0055] While the above discussion focused on the present invention as used in building construction applications, it is not limited to building applications. For example, the present invention can be advantageously used in the fabrication of truck trailers and the like, which often include sheeting materials nailed or riveted to an underlying frame. Due to shear forces induced by the trailer moving through air, such sheeting materials are subject to high shear forces which can lead to premature failure of the sheeting in areas around the fastener/frame interface. The present invention can be used to reinforce such sheeting and consequently increase the capacity of the sheeting. Additionally, the present invention can be used in the manufacture of goods such as furniture formed of particle board, wherein the particle board can be reinforced with a reinforcing strip to avoid premature failure of the furniture.

[0056] It is to be understood that the above-referenced arrangements are illustrative of the application for the principles of the present invention. Numerous modifications and alternative arrangements can be devised without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention while the present invention has been shown in the drawings and described above in connection with the exemplary embodiments(s) of the invention. It will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that numerous modifications can be made without departing from the principles and concepts of the invention as set forth in the claims.





 
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