Integral fame system for windows and doors
Kind Code:

An intregral frame system, made from extruded aluminum sections (1), for fixing windows and doors of buildings, that is water tight and particularly resistant to the impact caused by storms, having tracks for window and door shutters fully integrated (2), possessing a thermal break system throughout (3) and in which all of its elements may be attached jointly to the outer wall of buildings, from the exterior, with great ease, made possible by its lateral and lower flanges.

Sweeney, John D. (Hollywood, SC, US)
Ferreira, Antonio (Caldas de Vizeta, PT)
Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E06B1/02; E06B1/20; E06B3/00; E06B1/32; (IPC1-7): E04C2/38
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Primary Examiner:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Harleston Law Firm, LLC (Columbia, SC, US)
1. frame for mounting windows and doors in buildings, made of aluminum sections, characterized by consisting of a single block structure, made of extruded aluminum, that is water tight and having all of its components fully integrated, that is particularly resistant to storms:

2. Frame, in accordance with claim 1), characterized by the inclusion in its single integrated system (1) two lateral flanges, approximately 7.63 cms (three inches) wide and a minimum of 2 mm thick, and one lower flange, except in the case of doors, approximately 7.63 cms (three inches) wide and a minimum of 2 mm thick (5), which are attached to buildings from the exterior, by means of screws (13), reducing the rigidity that would result from interior as well as exterior attachment, providing the necessary flexibility to the entire system.

3. Frame, in accordance with claim 1), characterized by), the inclusion in its single integrated system (1) the tracks for water tight shutters for windows or doors, which must have a minimum thickness of 0.18 cms (0.07 inches), in order to withstand the frontal impact of storms.

4. Frame, in accordance with claim 1), characterized by, the inclusion in its single integrated system (1) a thermal break system throughout (3), which is made possible by the system being made entirely from extruded aluminum.

5. Frame, in accordance with claim 1), characterized by the aluminum sections (1) having a sufficient space between them, in the area where they fit together, to absorb the impact caused by storms. This space functions, therefore, like a veritable “expansion joint” of the system.

6. Aluminum sections in accordance with claim 5), characterized by the respective grooves for the screws (11) and their position, which, in the critical elements, must be rotated in the opposite direction to the impact of the storm, or, rotated at least 30 degrees inwards, in the opposite direction to the impact (12), so as to increase the strength of the entire system.



The problem of protecting buildings and homes against storms, more especially hurricanes, has been an on-going problem faced by known construction techniques, predominantly in certain coastal areas of the United States of America, that are more vulnerable to such occurrences. Doors and windows of buildings are the most susceptible elements in attempting to protect buildings against storms. This is due to the fact that their failure to provide adequate resistance to the force of the elements, will allow strong air currents to permeate which will contribute, apart from other damages wrought, to the implosion of the edifice itself.


Patents cited:

    • U.S. Pat. No. 6,378,254
    • U.S. Pat. No. 5,755,270
    • U.S. Pat. No. 5,540,018
    • U.S. Pat. No. 5,487,244
    • U.S. Pat. No. 5,595,233
    • U.S. Pat. No. 5,596,849
    • U.S. Pat. No. 5,740,639
    • U.S. Pat. No. 6,289,642
    • U.S. Pat. No. 6,189,264
    • U.S. Pat. No. 5,918,430
    • U.S. Pat. No. 5,907,929
    • U.S. Pat. No. 5,857,298

The techniques currently used for doors and windows that are especially resistant to storms include, among others, laminated impact resistant glass, windows with impact protective systems such as accordion shutters, Bahamas shutters, colonial shutters, rolling shutters, storm panels and plywood sheathing.

However, although all of the systems described below meet the applicable building codes and especially the new laws that have come into force along the coastal regions of the United States of America that are most vulnerable to hurricanes, they have several shortcomings:

    • 1) Impact glass: when hurricane debris strikes the window, the glass breaks but is held in place by the laminate thus avoiding the internal pressurization which causes structural damage as well as water intrusion from the rain. However, it is not possible to merely replace the glass, it is necessary to remove the entire frame which must be replaced. This also implies new interior and exterior trim and paint. This becomes quite costly to the consumer and to the insurance industry, which in turn raises its premiums after houses are damages by these type of wind storm events.
    • 2) Accordion shutters: this system is placed on the outside of the window or door opening and is manually dragged across the opening when a hurricane threatens. The drawbacks of this system are several: a ladder is required to close them if the home does not have double hung windows; they are not very attractive aesthetically, they require a great deal of maintenance and can be very expensive, particularly when the cost of the windows must also be included in addition to the shutter, when calculating the total cost.
    • 3) Bahamas shutters: this system, while architecturally pleasing, has the following disadvantages: a ladder is required to close them; they spoil the view from the windows because the shutters are in the way; and these shutters cannot be applied over doors.
    • 4) Colonial shutters: This traditional system of shutters must be closed from the exterior and therefore requires the use of a ladder to affix the required protective bars. This system cannot be applied to large openings in buildings due to the clearance space required on the sides of the openings.
    • 5) Roll down shutters: this system is the most costly although it is also the most versatile since the shutter can be operated inside and outside, manually or by electrical means. However, the cost of the windows, the frame and installation are high and not very attractive as the boxes accommodating the shutters are located outside the building.
    • 6) Storm panels: this is a system of corrugated panels that are placed into permanently mounted tracks that are located above or below the window or door opening. The disadvantages of these panels are, principally, the following: they are too heavy for the elderly to manage, they create storage issues, they require a ladder to install and are very time consuming to put up.


The invention which is the subject of this patent application seeks to avoid the disadvantages of the systems outlined above: a) it can be used by any age group or by the handicapped; b) it prevents water infiltration from seeping through the window frame due to the flanges that are built into the system; c) the system can be fitted with all types of different window and door manufacturer products for new construction or remolding; d) it is fastened to the exterior by stainless steel screws inserted into 2×4 stud wall jacks for strength; e) includes a new thermal break system designed specifically for the integral frame system for the temperatures indigenous to the hurricane prone regions in the eastern coastal regions of the US; i) it is more cost effective than retrofitting an existing window in already built homes with a new window and roll down shutter; g) it is more cost effective to install on new constructions since all that the builders has to do is raise the header to accommodate the roll shutter box size; h) it will save money on service charges for scaffolding and labor charges since the frame system is designed to allow access from the inside of the house; (i) it will not deteriorate from UV rays such as the vinyl windows and are much stronger due to the frame being manufactured out of structural aluminum; (j) it allows homeowners, builders and property management companies to quickly close up their homes when threatened by a hurricane and can then evacuate the affected region faster, without having to lose precious minutes or hours boarding up with plywood, panels or storm shutters; (l) allows for greater security from looting in the aftermath of the storm since the tracks secure the roll shutter from being removed; (m) it is aesthetically pleasing since its elements are integrated and the frame may be covered by wood trim or other materials.

Now follows a more detailed description of the invention with reference to the attached drawings which show the following:

FIG. 1, a view of the integral frame system with various numbered components, in accordance with the description below and with the header separated;

FIG. 2, a magnified view of a part of the previous figure containing the aluminum sections with thermal break system.


The invention consists of:

    • 1) An integral frame system, for windows and doors, that is water tight in its installation with all its elements fully integrated (FIG. 1), so that they are attached conjointly to the construction in question;
    • 2) An inner frame in extruded aluminum (1) as deep as the walls of the construction, to which are coupled, on the outside, the water tight shutter tracks (2) of the window (or door), made of aluminum with a minimum thickness of (0.18 cms) 0.07 inches to be able to withstand the frontal impact of a storm;
    • 3) The inner frame (1) possesses a thermal break system throughout (3), which is made possible by the extruded aluminum used to build the entire system.
    • 4) The upper part or header (4) of this integral frame system for windows and doors acts as a support for the shutter box coupled to it.
    • 5) The same frame, by means of its flanges, approximately 7.63 cms (three inches) wide (5) which are part of the same integral system, permit the system to be affixed to the wall of the edifice from the exterior with great ease.
    • 6) A frame which allows a window or door to be attached (6) with a thermal break system (7) in its interior, attached by means of screws (8).
    • 7) The sill (9) has a 4° angle descending outwards, which allows for proper drainage of water.
    • 8) This sill is optional in the case of doors, where the lower flange is also removed.
    • 9) The extruded aluminum sections (1) (FIG. 2) must have sufficient space between them, where they fit together (10), to absorb the impact caused by a storm.
    • 10) The sections are also characterized by the position of the screw grooves (11), which should, whenever possible, be rotated in the opposite direction to the impact from the storm, or at least, have a minimum rotation of 30° degrees in the opposite direction to the impact (facing inwards) (12).