Title:
Wall port, and methods of use and systems thereof
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A wall port device that can attach to a wall that includes a wall portion that includes an extension and an opening therethrough. The device is typically used to allow quick and simple attachment to a spiral wound duct. Also a method of installing and system the incorporates the duct and device.



Inventors:
Raeburn, Stephen W. (Ballston Spa, NY, US)
Application Number:
10/955071
Publication Date:
01/05/2006
Filing Date:
09/30/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/220.8
International Classes:
E04D13/14; B32B3/26; B32B27/12; E04G15/06; E04H12/28
View Patent Images:
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Foreign References:
DE291717C
Primary Examiner:
BARTOSIK, ANTHONY N
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SCHMEISER, OLSEN & WATTS (LATHAM, NY, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. An apparatus comprising: a port, releasably attachable to a wall, said port having a wall portion and a flexible extension extending from said wall portion, said flexible extension having a proximal end and a distal end and an opening extending therebetween, said flexible extension configured such that said axis is angularly variable with respect to said wall portion, wherein said flexible extension includes a surface feature which frictionally engages a surface feature on a duct.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said surface feature formed at least partially from a material different than a material of said flexible extension.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said wall portion is of a flexible material.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said proximal end is configured to receive the removable attachment of a flexible, spiral-wound duct.

5. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein the diameter of said duct is approximately equal to a diameter of said extension.

6. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein said proximal end is configured to only frictionally attach to a flexible, spiral-wound duct.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said opening includes a mesh.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said opening is circular.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising at least one device configured to removably cover said opening.

10. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said surface feature fully surrounds said extension.

11. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein said surface feature is a hoop.

12. The apparatus of claim 1, further wherein said wall portion includes at least one attachment element, configured to attach said wall portion to a planar element.

13. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said opening is approximately equal in size to a cross section of said port extension.

14. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said port extension is between approximately 4″ and 8″ long.

15. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said port extension is circular in cross-section.

16. A system comprising: a port extension having a proximal end and a distal end with a longitudinal axis extending therebetween, said proximal end having a wall portion and forming an opening therethrough, said port extension is configured such that said axis is angularly disposed with respect to said wall portion, further wherein said distal end includes a surface feature at the periphery of said extension.

17. The system of claim 16, further comprising a flexible, spiral-wound duct, removably attached to said surface feature of said distal end of the port extension.

18. A port device comprising: a wall portion having a quick release attachment for releasably securing the wall portion to a wall; and a port extension having a proximal end and a distal end with an opening extending therebetween, said proximal end including said wall portion, further wherein said proximal end includes a surface feature at the periphery of said extension for frictionally engaging a duct.

19. The port device of claim 18, further comprising a plurality of port extensions each having a proximal end and a distal end with an opening extending therebetween.

20. The port device of claim 19, wherein said plurality of openings are of equal size.

21. The port device of claim 19, further comprising a plurality of second openings through said wall portion.

22. The port of device of claim 18, wherein said wall portion includes at least one attachment element, configured to attach said wall portion to a structure.

23. The port device of claim 22, wherein said structure is a tent.

24. The port device of claim 18, wherein said duct is a spiral-wound duct.

25. A system comprising: a wall portion; a plurality of flexible port extensions each having a proximal end and a distal end with a longitudinal axis extending therebetween, said proximal end being attached to said wall portion each forming an opening therethrough, said attachments are configured such that said axis is approximately normal to said wall portion, further wherein said proximal end includes a rigid element at the periphery of said plurality of extensions; and a plurality of flexible spiral-wound ducts removably attached to said proximal ends.

26. The system of claim 25, further comprising a structure, wherein said wall portion is attached to said structure.

27. The system of claim 25, further comprising a HVAC source in fluid communication with said plurality of flexible spiral-wound ducts.

28. A system comprising: a structure that includes a plurality of wall portions, wherein at least two wall portions include an opening therethrough; and a plurality of flexible port extensions each having a proximal end and a distal end with a longitudinal axis extending therebetween, said proximal end being attached to said plurality of wall portions at said openings thereby forming a duct port thereat, said proximal end is such that said axis is approximately normal to said wall portion, further wherein said proximal end includes a rigid element at the periphery of said plurality of extensions; and a plurality of flexible spiral-wound ducts each removably attached to said proximal ends.

29. A method comprising: providing a wall; releasably attaching a flexible port extension to said wall; and attaching a duct to said flexible port by frictional engagement only between the duct and the flexible port.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This Continuation In Part application claims benefit to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/883,234 filed Jul. 1, 2004.

FIELD OF INVENTION

This invention relates generally to the field of wall ports and wall ducting, used for various disparate uses such as HVAC (i.e., Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning), dog exercise course systems, and the like. More particularly, this invention provides for a portable and attachable wall port for portable, temporary, and/or multipurpose structures requiring ventilation, access, and the like. The invention includes methods of use and systems thereof.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

Temporary duct systems and the various accoutrements that are part and parcel with the systems are known in the art.

However, amongst others, the disadvantages of current temporary ducting, or manifold, systems include the numerous parts, requisite tools, difficulty, and expenses (e.g., time, cost, labor, material, etc.) that are required to set up, tear down, alter, etc. the various systems available.

Accordingly, there is a need for a device that makes improvements over current ducting systems, that overcome at least some of the aforementioned deficiencies, and others.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

The present invention provides a device, system that employs the device, and methods of use thereof for a wall port.

A first general aspect of the invention provides an apparatus comprising:

a port, releasably attachable to a wall, said port having a wall portion and a flexible extension extending from said wall portion, said flexible extension having a proximal end and a distal end and an opening extending therebetween, said flexible extension configured such that said axis is angularly variable with respect to said wall portion, wherein said flexible extension includes a surface feature which frictionally engages a surface feature on a duct.

A second general aspect of the invention provides a system comprising:

a port extension having a proximal end and a distal end with a longitudinal axis extending therebetween, said proximal end having a wall portion and forming an opening therethrough, said port extension is configured such that said axis is angularly disposed with respect to said wall portion, further wherein said distal end includes a surface feature at the periphery of said extension.

A third general aspect of the invention provides a port device comprising:

a wall portion having a quick release attachment for releasably securing the wall portion to a wall; and

a port extension having a proximal end and a distal end with an opening extending therebetween, said proximal end including said wall portion, further wherein said proximal end includes a surface feature at the periphery of said extension for frictionally engaging a duct.

A fourth general aspect of the invention provides a system comprising:

a wall portion;

a plurality of flexible port extensions each having a proximal end and a distal end with a longitudinal axis extending therebetween, said proximal end being attached to said wall portion each forming an opening therethrough, said attachments are configured such that said axis is approximately normal to said wall portion, further wherein said proximal end includes a rigid element at the periphery of said plurality of extensions; and

a plurality of flexible spiral-wound ducts removably attached to said proximal ends.

A fifth general aspect of the invention provides a system comprising:

a structure that includes

    • a plurality of wall portions, wherein at least two wall portions include an opening therethrough; and
    • a plurality of flexible port extensions each having a proximal end and a distal end with a longitudinal axis extending therebetween, said proximal end being attached to said plurality of wall portions at said openings thereby forming a duct port thereat, said proximal end is such that said axis is approximately normal to said wall portion, further wherein said proximal end includes a rigid element at the periphery of said plurality of extensions; and

a plurality of flexible spiral-wound ducts each removably attached to said proximal ends. A sixth general aspect of the invention provides a method comprising:

providing a wall;

releasably attaching a flexible port extension to said wall; and

attaching a duct to said flexible port by frictional engagement only between the duct and the flexible port.

The foregoing and other features of the invention will be apparent from the following more particular description of various embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

Some of the embodiments of this invention will be described in detail, with reference to the following figures, wherein like designations denote like members, wherein:

FIG. 1 depicts an elevation sectional view of an embodiment of the reinforced adhered insulation material, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2A depicts a top, or bottom, view of an outer layer of an embodiment of the reinforced adhered insulation material, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2B depicts a top, or bottom, view of an outer layer of a second embodiment of the reinforced adhered insulation material, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 3A depicts an elevation sectional view of a second embodiment of the reinforced adhered insulation material, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 3B depicts an elevation sectional view of a third embodiment of the reinforced adhered insulation material, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 3C depicts an elevation sectional view of a fourth embodiment of the reinforced adhered insulation material, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 4 depicts a perspective view of a roll of the reinforced adhered insulation material, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 5 depicts an elevation sectional view of an embodiment of the reinforced adhered insulation material receiving staple edges, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 6 depicts a perspective view of another embodiment of a roll of the reinforced adhered insulation material, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 7 depicts a front perspective view of an embodiment of a roll of the reinforced adhered insulation material being installed over a formed reinforced concrete wall, partially filled with concrete, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 8 depicts an elevation sectional view of the embodiment in FIG. 7 installed over the formed reinforced concrete wall, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 9 depicts an elevation sectional view of an embodiment of the material over a formed reinforced concrete wall, fully filled with concrete, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 10 depicts a perspective view of an embodiment of the material being installed as an underslab barrier, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 11 depicts an elevation sectional view of an embodiment of the material as installed as an underslab barrier and a foundation wall insulation layer, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 12A depicts an elevation sectional view of a fourth embodiment of the reinforced adhered insulation material, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 12B depicts an elevation sectional view of a fifth embodiment of the reinforced adhered insulation material, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 13 depicts an elevation sectional view of a wood column surrounded by an embodiment of the reinforced adhered insulation material, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 14 depicts a close up view of the embodiment in FIG. 13, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 15 depicts a front perspective view of an embodiment of a wall port apparatus, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 16 depicts a back elevation view of an embodiment of a wall port apparatus, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 17 depicts a side sectional view of an embodiment of a wall port apparatus and a portion of a flexible duct, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 18 depicts a side elevation view of an embodiment of a wall port apparatus connected to a flexible duct, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 19 depicts a perspective view of an embodiment of a system (e.g., dog exercise system) employing the wall port apparatus, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 20 depicts a front perspective view of a second embodiment of a wall port apparatus, in accordance with the present invention; and

FIG. 21 depicts a perspective view of a system (e.g., HVAC and structure system) employing an embodiment of a wall port apparatus, in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Although certain embodiments of the present invention will be shown and described in detail, it should be understood that various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the scope of the appended claims. The scope of the present invention will in no way be limited to the number of constituting components, the materials thereof, the shapes thereof, the relative arrangement thereof, etc., and are disclosed simply as an example of an embodiment. Although the drawings are intended to illustrate the present invention, the drawings are not necessarily drawn to scale.

Turning to the figures, FIG. 1 depicts a cross-sectional view of one embodiment of the invention. The invention, a reinforced adhered insulation material, hereinafter called 10 includes multiple layers of material. The material, or apparatus, 10 includes two outer layers 12, 16. Located between the outer layers 12, 16 are two inner layers, namely an insulation layer 20 and a reflective conductive layer 35.

The outer layers 12, 16 are a scrim layer 12, 16. The scrim outer layers 12, 16 are a reinforced layer that is resistant to initial tearing, abrading, and/or puncturing, as well as, resistant to any expansion of the tear, abrasion, and/or puncture should the layer 12,16 become torn, abraded, and/or punctured. The scrim layer 12, 16 are woven polymers.

In the embodiment shown, the outer layers 12, 16 are made of polyethylene. The insulation layer 20, in this embodiment, is made of a bubble insulation. The reflective conductive layer 35 is comprised, in this embodiment, of a metallic layer with a coating of a polymeric material or a polymeric layer that includes coatings that have reflective and conductive properties (e.g., silver-colored paint, etc.).

Alternatively, the outer layers may be a polymeric material including but not limited to: acrylonitrile-butadiene (ABA), acrylonitrile-butadiene styrene polymer (ABS), acrylonitrile-chlorinated polyethylene styrene terpolymer (ACS), acrylate maleic anhydride terpolymer (AMA), acrylonitrile-methyl methacrylate (AMMA), amorphous polyolefin (APO), acrylonitrile styrene copolymer (AS), acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (ASA), cellulose acetate (CA), cellulose acetate butyrate (CAB), cellulose acetate proprionate (CAP), cellulose nitrate (CN), cycloolefin copolymer (COC), copolyester thermoplastic elastomer (COP), chlorinated polyethylene (CPE), chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC), cellulose triacetate (CTA), chlorotrifluoroethylene (CTFE), ethylene acrylic acid copolymer (EAA), ethyl cellulose (EC), ethylene chlorotrifluoroethylene (ECTFE), ethylene n-butyl acetate (EnBA), ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber (EPDM), ethylene propylene copolymer rubber (EPM), ethylene propylene rubber (EPR), expandable polystyrene (EPS), ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), ethylene/vinyl acetate copolymer (E/VAC), fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP), fiber reinforced plastic (FRP), high impact polystrene (HIPS), high molecular weight high density polyethylene (HMWHDPE), interpenetrating polymer network (IPN), linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), linear polyethylene (LPE), maleic anhydride (MA), methyl methacrylate/ABS copolymer (MABS), methyl methacrylate butadiene styrene terpolymer (MBS), medium density polyethylene (MDPE), melamine phenolic (MP), olefin modified styrene acrylonitrile (OSA), polyamide (PA), polyamide-imide (PAI), polyaryletherketone (PAEK), polyester aklyd (PAK), polyaniline (PAL), polyacrylonitrile (PAN), polyaryl amide (PARA), polyarylsulfone (PAS), polybutylene (PB), polybutadiene acrylonitrile (PBAN), polybutadine (PBD), polybenzimidazole (PBI), polybutylene naphthalate (PBN), polybutadiene styrene (PBS), polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), polycaprolactone (PCL), polycylohexylene terephthalate (PCT), polymonochlorotrifluoroethylene (PCTFE), polyetheretherketone (PEEK) polyetherimide (PEI), polyethylene naphtalene (PEN), polyethylene oxide (PEO), polyethersulfone (PES), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), perfluoroalkoxy (PFA), polyimide (PI), polyisoprene (PI), polyisobutylene (PIB), polyisocyanurate (PIR), polymethactylonitrile (PMAN), polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), polymethylpentene (PMP), paramethylstyrene (PMS), polyolefin (PO), polyoxymethylene (POM), polypropylene (PP), polyphthalamide (PPA), cholorinated polypropylene (PPC), polyphenlyene ether (PPE), polymeric polyisocyanate (PPI), polyphenylene oxide (PPO), polypropylene oxide (PPOX), polyphenylene sulfide (PPS), polyphenylene sulfone (PPSU), polypropylene terephthalate (PPT), polystyrene (PS), polysulfone (PSO, PSU), polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), polytetramethylene terephthalate (PTMT), polyurethane (PU), polyvinyl acetate (PVA), polyvinyl butryl (PVB), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyvinyl chloride acetate (PVCA), polyvinylidene acetate (PVDA), polyvinylidene chlroide (PVDC), polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), polyvinyl fluoride (PVF), polyvinyl carbazole (PVK), polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH), polyvinyl pryyrolidone (PVP), ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), ultra low density polyethylene (ULDPE), vinyl acetate (VA), vinyl acetate ethylene (VAE), and very low density polyethylene (VLDPE). Any polymeric material capable of being hot sealed, hot melted, etc may be used as an outer layer 12 or outer layer 16 in accordance with the method of the present invention.

The first outer layer 12, alternatively called the top outer layer 12 includes an outside surface 13 and an inside surface 14. Similarly, the second outer layer 16, alternatively called the bottom outer layer 16 includes an outside surface 19 and an inside surface 17. The outer layers 12, 16 offer a waterproof layer of protection to the inner layers 20, 35 of the material 10.

Either surface 13, 14 of the top outer layer 12 or either surface 17, 19 of the bottom outer layer 16 may further receive a coating. The coating may be comprised of polymeric material such as Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE), High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), or Low Density Polyethylene (LDE).

Alternatively, the coating may be polymeric material including but not limited to: acrylonitrile-butadiene (ABA), acrylonitrile-butadiene styrene polymer (ABS), acrylonitrile-chlorinated polyethylene styrene terpolymer (ACS), acrylate maleic anhydride terpolymer (AMA), acrylonitrile-methyl methacrylate (AMMA), amorphous polyolefin (APO), acrylonitrile styrene copolymer (AS), acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (ASA), cellulose acetate (CA), cellulose acetate butyrate (CAB), cellulose acetate proprionate (CAP), cellulose nitrate (CN), cycloolefin copolymer (COC), copolyester thermoplastic elastomer (COP), chlorinated polyethylene (CPE), chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC), cellulose triacetate (CTA), chlorotrifluoroethylene (CTFE), ethylene acrylic acid copolymer (EAA), ethyl cellulose (EC), ethylene chlorotrifluoroethylene (ECTFE), ethylene n-butyl acetate (EnBA), ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber (EPDM), ethylene propylene copolymer rubber (EPM), ethylene propylene rubber (EPR), expandable polystyrene (EPS), ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), ethylene/vinyl acetate copolymer (E/VAC), fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP), fiber reinforced plastic (FRP), high impact polystrene (HIPS), high molecular weight high density polyethylene (HMWHDPE), interpenetrating polymer network (IPN), linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), linear polyethylene (LPE), maleic anhydride (MA), methyl methacrylate/ABS copolymer (MABS), methyl methacrylate butadiene styrene terpolymer (MBS), medium density polyethylene (MDPE), melamine phenolic (MP), olefin modified styrene acrylonitrile (OSA), polyamide (PA), polyamide-imide (PAI), polyaryletherketone (PAEK), polyester aklyd (PAK), polyaniline (PAL), polyacrylonitrile (PAN), polyaryl amide (PARA), polyarylsulfone (PAS), polybutylene (PB), polybutadiene acrylonitrile (PBAN), polybutadine (PBD), polybenzimidazole (PBI), polybutylene naphthalate (PBN), polybutadiene styrene (PBS), polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), polycaprolactone (PCL), polycylohexylene terephthalate (PCT), polymonochlorotrifluoroethylene (PCTFE), polyetheretherketone (PEEK) polyetherimide (PEI), polyethylene naphtalene (PEN), polyethylene oxide (PEO), polyethersulfone (PES), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), perfluoroalkoxy (PFA), polyimide (PI), polyisoprene (PI), polyisobutylene (PIB), polyisocyanurate (PIR), polymethactylonitrile (PMAN), polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), polymethylpentene (PMP), paramethylstyrene (PMS), polyolefin (PO), polyoxymethylene (POM), polypropylene (PP), polyphthalamide (PPA), cholorinated polypropylene (PPC), polyphenlyene ether (PPE), polymeric polyisocyanate (PPI), polyphenylene oxide (PPO), polypropylene oxide (PPOX), polyphenylene sulfide (PPS), polyphenylene sulfone (PPSU), polypropylene terephthalate (PPT), polystyrene (PS), polysulfone (PSO, PSU), polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), polytetramethylene terephthalate (PTMT), polyurethane (PU), polyvinyl acetate (PVA), polyvinyl butryl (PVB), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyvinyl chloride acetate (PVCA), polyvinylidene acetate (PVDA), polyvinylidene chlroide (PVDC), polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), polyvinyl fluoride (PVF), polyvinyl carbazole (PVK), polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH), polyvinyl pryyrolidone (PVP), ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), ultra low density polyethylene (ULDPE), vinyl acetate (VA), vinyl acetate ethylene (VAE), and very low density polyethylene (VLDPE). Any polymeric material capable of being dispersed, dispensed, etc as a coating may be used as a coating in accordance with the method of the present invention.

The coatings can increase the strength of the material 10. Further, any color can be used for the coatings for different applications. For example, the top surface 13 of the top outer layer 12 may receive a black coating. For certain applications, the black coating will increase the heat retention of the material 10. Similarly, the bottom surface 14 of the top outer layer 12 may receive a silver, or similar reflective, coating. The silver, or reflective, coating would aid in reflective capability of the material 10. Thus, a silver coating could be placed on various surfaces 13, 14, 17, 19 of various layers 12, 16 depending on the application and the direction towards which the additional reflective qualities are desired. Likewise, a white coating could be placed on various surfaces 13, 14, 17, 19 to enhance reflective qualities of the particular layer to which it is adhered to.

The bubble layer 20 includes a top surface 21 and a bottom surface 22 with an approximate plane of a plurality of bubbles 23 therebetween. The plurality of bubbles 23 may be sized in any standard bubble sizes (e.g., ¼″, ½″, ¾′, etc.) or any custom bubble sizes.

Alternatively, the insulation layer 20 may be closed-cell foam insulation made from materials such as closed-cell polyethylene foam, polypropylene foam, and the like.

The inner layers 20, 35 are adhered in some fashion to at least one of the outer layers 12, 16. In the embodiment shown both inner layers 20, 35 are adhered to each other and to the respective adjacent outer layer 12, 16. For example, the metallic layer 35 is adhered to both the inner surface 14 of the top outer layer 12 and to the top surface 21 of the bubble layer 20. Similarly, the bottom surface 22 of the bubble 20 is adhered to the inner surface 17 of the bottom outer layer 16.

The term, adhered, as used herein means that the two, or more, layers of material are attached to each other via a heating and melting process wherein the two layers of material have different melting temperatures and upon the heating of one, or both, of the adjacent layers results in a adhesion between the two material layers in the area wherein the heat was applied, and subsequent melting has taken place.

The term, adhered, further means that the two, or more layers, are adhered in the region wherein the heating of the one, or both, layers took place. Thus, while the entire area of a layer may be heated, it is not necessary for the entire area of the layer to be heated. For example, instead of heating the entire layer area, a smaller portion, or section, of the layer may be heated. This would result in the smaller portion, or section, being adhered. Further, the heating to the requisite melting temperature may be applied in a particular pattern on a layer. One example, may be only heating a perimeter boundary of the layer. In this manner, only the perimeter boundaries of the layers will be adhered. Another example, includes heating nearly the entire area of the layer with the exception being a certain shaped pattern, wherein no heat is applied. In this manner, the at least two layers will be adhered nearly fully except for the area of the shaped (i.e., non-heated) pattern.

FIGS. 2A and 2B shown top, or bottom, views of two different embodiments of the outer layers 13, 16 of scrim. The outer layers 13, 16 are a reinforced polymer. The layers 13, 16 may be polyethylene (e.g, LLDPE, HDPE, LDE, etc.). The reinforcement may be obtained by having a woven polyethylene (See FIG. 2A), wherein alternating strips of polyethylene are interwoven in a repeating pattern. Alternatively, reinforcing to the outer layers 13, 16 can be provided by a cross-pattern of reinforcing elements 31A, 31B.

FIGS. 3A, 3B, and 3C all depict a similar view (i.e., cross-sectional elevation) as FIG. 1, of alternative embodiments. Additional layers and/or coatings may be added to the material 10 in various quantities and configurations. For example, FIG. 3A shows an embodiment wherein there are two closed-cell insulation layers 20A, 20B. A first layer of closed-cell insulation (e.g., bubble) 20A is bonded, or adhered, to a second layer of closed-cell insulation (e.g., bubble) 20B. A top surface 21B of the bottom layer 20B is adhered to the bottom surface 22A of the top layer 20A. Similarly, the bottom surface 22B of the bottom layer 20B is adhered to the interior surface of the bottom outer layer 16. Additionally, a top surface 21A of the top layer 20A is adhered to the metallic layer 35. As in the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the metallic layer 35 is adhered to the interior surface 14 of the top outer layer 12.

The embodiment shown in FIG. 3B has multiple metallic layers 35, that is a top metallic layer 35A and a bottom metallic layer 35B. The top metallic layer 35A is adhered to both the interior surface 14 of the top outer layer 12 and to the top surface 21 of the closed-cell insulation layer 20. This configuration is repeated symmetrically on the bottom half of the material 10. That is the bottom metallic layer 35B is adhered to both the interior surface 17 of the bottom outer layer 16 and to the bottom surface 22 of the closed-cell insulation layer 20.

FIG. 3C depicts a third embodiment of the material 10 wherein there are multiple closed-cell insulation layers 20 and multiple metallic layers 35. Interspersed between the top closed-cell insulation layer 20A and the bottom closed-cell insulation layer 20B is a second metallic layer 35B. Interspersed between the top closed-cell insulation layer 20A and the top outer layer 12 is a first metallic layer 35A. Thus, the top metallic layer 35A is adhered to both the interior surface 14 of the top outer layer 12 and the top surface 21A of the top closed-cell insulation layer 20A. Similarly, the bottom metallic layer 35B is adhered to both the interior surface 17 of the bottom outer layer 16 and the bottom surface 22B of the bottom closed-cell insulation layer 20B. The bottom outer layer 16 is adhered at its interior surface 17 to the bottom surface 22B of the bottom closed-cell insulation layer 20B.

It should be apparent to one skilled in the art, that numerous configurations are attainable wherein at least one closed-cell insulation layer 20 is adhered with a top outer layer 12 and a bottom outer layer 16 thereby providing a reinforced adhered insulation material 10. The material 10 can be configured in, virtually, any size, shape, and configuration. For example, the material 10 can be made in sizes like a blanket, or tarpaulin. Material 10 made in these sizes would be convenient for applications such as concrete curing covers, shipping blankets, under-concrete slab waterproof membranes, waterproof layers, and the like. The embodiments could be generally fixed in shape and size.

Alternatively, the size and shape of the material 10 may be user-selectable. That is various means can be incorporate into the material 10 so as to allow the user to parcel out the desired shape and/or size for the particular application. FIG. 4 depicts a perspective view of a roll 11 of the material 10. In this embodiment, the roll 11 may include perforations 40 so as to assist the user in tearing at the perforations 40 the desired shape and size. For example, transverse to the roll 11 may be a first set of perforations 40A that are parallel to each other that allow for the full removal of a section of material 10 in the desired length. Additionally, there may be a second set of perforations 40B that are longitudinal to the roll 11. The second set of perforations 40B allow for the selection of varying width(s) of material 10 to be removed from the roll 11 for the desired use. In this manner, a user-selectable and virtually customizable shape and size of material 10 can be obtained. Perforations 40 are defined as an opening, slit, hole, to at least one layer or coating of the material 10, but not through the full depth of the material 10. That is a perforation 40 is partially through the material 10.

The further advantage of the adherence properties of the material 10 allow for the user to further cut, punch, tear, etc. the material 10 into any shape and size without the disadvantage of any of the layers becoming unadhered.

An additional feature can be provided with the material 10 wherein, as shown in FIG. 5, a combination of hot gas 210 (e.g., air, oxygen, etc.) and pressure is applied to portions of the material 10. In the embodiment shown, a compression means 200 is used to selectively apply pressure where hot air 210 is applied. As a result, a compression region 50 can be formed. As FIG. 5 shows a first compression region 50A has already been formed, while a second compression region 50B is currently being formed. The compression means 200 includes a roller 201 with bearing surface 202 held on a support 203. The support 203 is movable (both vertically and horizontally), thus, allowing the roller 201 to engage (i.e., compress) with the material 10 and/or to disengage with the material 10 in various patterns and/or locations. By compressing selective portions of the material 10, additional functions can be obtained.

It should be apparent that, while the compression regions 50 are shown along the periphery of the material 10, other locations and configurations of compression regions 50 are obtainable. For example, compression regions 50 could be interspersed either longitudinally, or transversely, along the material 10. Compression regions 50 may be symmetrical or asymmetrical about either axis. Various patterns (e.g., checkerboard, lines, crossing, diagonal, etc.) of compression regions 50 can, likewise, be made.

Similarly, different width compression regions 50 can be made. Thus, while the bearing surface 202 in FIG. 5 is of a certain width. Either wider, or more narrow, bearing surfaces 202 may be employed. For example, a much narrower (e.g., ¼″, etc.) bearing surface 202 could be used to make compression regions 50. In this embodiment, the compression regions 50 would act more like a folding line, or kerf. The folding line would allow the material 10 to be either pre-folded, in the manufacturing process, out of a single plane or merely aid the user in folding the material 10 out of plane, in situ, more readily.

FIG. 6 depicts a perspective view of another embodiment of a roll 11 of material 10. Included on the roll 11 are perforations 40 transverse to the roll 11 and periphery compression regions 50. Further included on the material 10 are various holes 60. For example, there are a plurality of holes 60A along the periphery compression regions 50. Further, there are a plurality of holes 60B, 60C located on the “field” (i.e., non-compression regions 50) of the material 10. One group of holes 60B are rectangular, while a second group of holes 60C are round.

Further depicted in phantom is a post-manufactured opening 65 of arbitrary shape. This opening 65 may be made by the user with manual or automated means (e.g., knife, scissors, blade, etc.). Alternatively, the opening can be made by a machine (not shown).

It should be apparent that virtually any shape, size and pattern of perforation 40, holes 60, or post-manufactured opening 65 may be may be provided on either a compression region 50 or a non-compression region of the material 10. Ultimately, the perforation 40, hole 60, or post-manufactured opening 65 may result in an opening 70. As with the a tear, abrasion, and/or puncture in the material 10, the construct of the material 10 is such that the opening 70 will not provide a region for delamination of the layers of material 10 due to their adherence.

FIGS. 7 and 8 show a perspective and sectional elevation, respectively of an embodiment appropriate in the curing of concrete. As depicted, formwork 100 is installed in the preparation of the placing of concrete during construction. A common situation is where a partially completed vertical element (e.g., foundation wall, concrete wall, etc.) is being built out of reinforced concrete. The formwork 100 includes two opposing forms 101 extending vertically above a base footing 105, with reinforcing steel (i.e., “rebar”) 104 interspersed therebetween. Often newly placed concrete 102 is placed between the forms 101 wherein the concrete 102 does not extend the full finished height of the element. For example, the concrete 102, in its first placement within the formwork 100 may reached approximately half the height of the forms 101. Alternatively, the concrete 102 may indeed reach near to the full height of the forms 101 (See e.g., FIG. 9). In either event, protection of this new concrete 102 from external effects and maintenance of moisture within the concrete during curing, is necessary.

An advantage of the invention, as shown in this embodiment (See FIGS. 7 and 8) is that the material 10 is configurable by the user so as to, effectively, custom-fit the particular sizing and spacing of formwork 100 and the spacing of the reinforcing 104 without the loss of the full integrity and lamination of the material 10. As shown in FIG. 7, holes 60, perforations 40, and/or post-manufactured 65 may be used to create openings 70 for the rebar 104 to pass through (see FIG. 8).

In FIG. 8, a portion of material 10 can be shown, effectively suspended above freshly placed concrete 102 between the formwork 100. The material 10 includes longitudinally spaced openings 70 that are spaced and configured to allow for periodically spaced reinforcing 104 to extend through the material 10. Further, extending longitudinally, in parallel along the roll 11 of material 10 are two opposing compression sections 50A, 50B. The compression sections 50A, 50B are sized and spaced apart, in this embodiment, so that they may extend vertically so that they may offer adequate nailing, or adhesion, surfaces. In this manner, the material 10 may be located desirously against, or adjacent, to the concrete 102. Further, the possibility of wind, inclement weather (e.g., precipitation, snow, etc.), construction debris, and the like, reaching the curing concrete 102 is minimized. Additionally, the curing of the concrete 102 is improved because the material 10 also serves as a vapor barrier, thereby preventing undesirous rapid curing of the concrete. Further, even though the reinforcing 104 penetrates the material 10, the full lamination of the layers in the material 10 are such that separation between the layers is similarly negated.

It should be apparent that although the opening 70 through the material 10 is shown along the material 10 in an axial fashion, openings 70 may be made in any location, or any pattern on the material 10. Further, the openings 70 can be made either in a compressed area 50 or a non-compressed area (i.e., “field”) of the material 10.

FIG. 9 similarly offers an elevation view of formwork 100 and the placement of concrete 102. In this embodiment, the concrete 102 has been placed the full height of the formwork 100, thereby fulling embedding the rebar 104 in the concrete 102. As a result, material 10 with compressions areas 50A, 50B, is placed over the top of the form walls 101. The material 10 may be attached to the formwork 100.

FIG. 10 depicts another embodiment and application for the material 10. A partially completed construction is shown, wherein a foundation 110 includes a footer 112 and wall 111 bearing thereon. In a typical construction of a slab-on-grade construction reinforced concrete is placed to form a slab 118 (see FIG. 11). Below the slab 118, is compacted gravel and/or subgrade 115. Located between the subgrade 115 and the slab 118 are a plurality of sheets of material 10. The sheets of material (e.g., 10A, 10B, 10C, 10D, etc.) offer both a vapor barrier and an insulation layer between the subgrade 115 and concrete slab 118. Along the perimeter of the material sheets 10 may be placed an attachment means 55 (e.g., double-side tape, glue, adhesive, etc.). The attachment means 55 may also be waterproof. This aids in creating a monolithic waterproof membrane out of all the sheets of material 10A, 10B, 10C, 10D. Further, as discussed above, the sheets of material 10 also another advantage if there are any penetrations (not shown) required through the material 10, there will be no concomitant tearing, ripping, delamination, etc. Examples of the penetrations through the material 10 in this application include penetrations for electrical, plumbing, HVAC, structural items, and the like.

FIG. 11 shows an elevation cross-section of the application depicted in FIG. 10 with the reinforced concrete slab 118 installed over the material 10. The slab 118 includes welded-wire fabric 119. Further shown is a portion of a sheet of material 10A wherein it is bent so as to be both an insulation barrier vertically adjacent to the foundation wall 111 and a portion of the vapor barrier under the slab 118. A compression region 50 may be installed along the bend of the sheet 10A so as to aid in the bending.

FIGS. 12A and 12B show a cross section of two additional embodiments of the present invention wherein in addition to the aforementioned layers (e.g,. 12, 35, 20, 16, etc.), a layer 38 may be added to the material 10 that includes at least one cavity for containing a material (i.e., gas, gel, liquid, powder). The layer 38, hereafter termed the GGL (gas, gel, liquid) layer can be a single cavity (see FIG. 12A) or a plurality of cavities (see FIG. 12B). The at least one cavity can be filled with an insecticide, poison, antibiotic, fungicide, or some combination thereof, so that the material 10 can provide an improved barrier to any requisite vector 180 (e.g., insects, animals, bacteria, fungus, etc.).

For example, as shown in FIGS. 13 and 14, an embodiment such as shown in FIGS. 12A or 12B, can be placed between a wood post 140 partially submerged into the subgrade 115. The material 10 can be constructed and/or cut and/or folded so as to fully surround the portion of the post 140 within the subgrade 115. As FIG. 14 shows a plurality of vectors 180 (e.g., ants) are attempting to reach, in this case, the wood post 140. Although a potion of the outer layers 12, 35 have been compromised by the ants 180, upon the ants 180 reaching the GGL layer 38 they become exposed to the particular gas, gel, and/or liquid in the layer 38 and become dead vectors 180B.

Although FIGS. 12A and 12B indicate that the gas, gel, liquid, powder, may be located within at least one cavity, it should be apparent that alternatively, or in addition, the requisite gas, gel, liquid, powder, can be placed with the polymer used in at least one layer or polymer coating.

Depicted in FIGS. 15 through 21 are various embodiments of the invention, which includes a device, systems employing the various embodiments of the device, and methods of making and use thereof of the present invention.

An embodiment of a wall port device, or apparatus, herein denoted by 300 is shown in perspective view in FIG. 15. The device 300 includes a wall portion 310 and a port extension 330 connected thereto. The port extension 330 has a proximal end 331, abutting the wall portion 310, and a distal end 332. The port extension 330 has a longitudinal axis 390 (See e.g., FIG. 17) extending along its length. The wall portion 310 has a front, or first, surface 311 and a back, or second, surface 312. Through the wall portion 310 is at least one opening 320. The port extension 330 is connected at the proximal end 331 to the wall portion 310 so that the longitudinal axis 390 may be angularly disposed and/or angularly variable with respect to the wall portion 310. For example, the longitudinal axis may be approximately normal to the plane of the wall portion 310. Thus, the port extension 330 will align with the at least one opening 320.

The port extension 330 includes an element 340 at, or near, the distal end 332. The port extension 330 has material 333 that extends from the proximal end 331 to the distal end 332. The element 340 may provide a surface feature 341, 342 by being enclosed within, or attached to, the material 333. The material 333 may be any suitable material that is flexible, semi-flexible, rigid, or semi-rigid. For example, the material 333 may be vinyl, fabric, plastic, metal, composite, or any other suitable material. The term flexible herein is to mean pliable, or semi-pliable. The port extension 330 may be of variable lengths extending away from the wall portion 310. It may come in standard lengths. For example, the length of the port extension 330 may be approximately 4″ to 10″ in length. Should the extension 330 be made of flexible, or semi-flexible material, this allows the axis 390 to be adjustable by the user. This enhances the ability of the user to readily and easily attach a duct to the device 300.

The element 340 may fully, or partially surround the perimeter of the port extension 330. The element 340 may be made of steel or other suitable rigid material to provide a spring bias, snap fit, or other functional engagement due to variations in diameter between the outer periphery of elements 340 and 502. The element 340 may be a hoop. The element 340 may be connected to the material 330, for example, by being sewn within a sleeve at, or near, the distal end 332. Should the material 333 be rigid, or semi-rigid, for example, the element 340 may be omitted in its entirety.

The cross section of the port extension 330 may be circular, as shown in the embodiment in FIG. 15, or other suitable shapes to match with a connecting duct 500 (See e.g., FIG. 17). The port extension 330 abuts and surrounds the opening 320. The shape and size of the cross section of the port extension 330 may match, or differ, from the size and shape of the opening 320. Similarly, although the cross-section shape and size of the port extension 330 is depicted as uniform, the shape and size may vary along the length of material 333. For example, the cross section shape at the proximal end 331 may be square (e.g., 16″ square) in order to match the shape and size of the opening 320, while the cross section shape at the distal end 332 may be round (e.g., 24″ diameter) in order to match the shape and size of the duct 500 (FIG. 17) that may be attached thereto. Thus, the cross sectional shape, and perhaps size, changes along the length of material 333.

The wall portion 310 has a front surface 311 and a back surface 312. Extending through the wall portion 310 is the opening 320. The opening 320 may include a mesh 321, or similar filter material, across the opening 320 that is suitable in size and type for preventing the passage of objects (not shown) across the opening 320. For example, the mesh 321 may be made of nylon suitably sized to act as a bird screen. The mesh 321 can prevent trash, debris, leaves, children, or other objects from passing through the opening 320.

On both the front surface 311 and back surface 312 may be a cover 313a, 313b. The covers 313a, 313b are accessible from the front surface 311 and back surface 312, respectively. They allow the user to unfurl the cover 313a, 313b and cover the opening 320, if desired, when the device 300 is not in use. Thus, the cover 313a, 313b is of suitable non-porous material such as vinyl, fabric, and the like. When either cover 313a, 313b is not in use, they may be rolled up and retained via a retainer 315. The retainer 315 may be any suitable means such as a hook and loop fastening system located, as required, on portions of the cover 313a, 313b and front surface 311 and back surface 312.

Similarly, the cover 313a, 313b may also include a portion of a hook and loop system 314a on its perimeter while a portion of the wall portion 310 has a complimentary portion of a hook and loop system 314b. This hook and loop system 314a, 314b allows for the cover 313a, 313b when in use to be more securely attached to the wall portion 310 thereby providing a weather tight capability. In lieu of the hook and loop system 314a, 314b, other quick-release attachments for the cover 313a, 313b may be employed. For example, zipper(s), snap(s), button(s), and the like (not shown) can be used to ensure that the cover 313a, 313b stays attached to the wall portion 310.

The wall portion 310 may also include a plurality of attachment elements 318 that are suitable for further attaching the wall portion 310 to another structure 410 (See e.g., FIG. 19). The attachment elements 318 may be, for example, zipper(s), hook and loop fastener(s), snap(s), button(s), and the like. The attachment elements 318 may be made out of metal, ceramic, composite, plastic, and the like. The attachment elements 318 allow for the easy removal, installation of the wall portion 310 to, or from, its attachment to the structure 410. Similarly, the attachment elements 318 allow for the easy switching or exchanging of different devices 300 to/from the structure 410.

On both the front surface 311 and the back surface 312, spaced on the perimeter of the opening 320, are a plurality of D-rings 323. The D-rings 323 provide an additional attachment point for connecting various elements together.

The view depicted in FIG. 16 shows the back surface 312 of the device 300 and the various elements on the embodiment.

The device 300 in its entirety, or just individual elements (e.g., wall portion 310, material 33, cover 313, etc.) may alternatively be made of the aforementioned reinforced adhered insulation material 10.

Turning to FIGS. 17 and 18, side views are shown of a typical device 300 and the attachment of a duct 500 thereto. While FIG. 17 shows a sectional view of the impending attachment, FIG. 18 shows an elevational view of the device 300 and duct fully attached.

As can be seen in greater clarity in FIG. 17, the element 340 may include one, or both, of a surface feature that is along the interior 341 of the element 340 and a surface feature that is along the exterior 341 of the element 340. Thus, the interior feature(s) 341 and exterior feature(s) 342 may be of such a configuration so as to project outward from the surface of the element 340, or recess inward from the element 340. For example, the features 341, 342 may be a detent, knob, projection, depression, and the like, or combinations thereof.

Various types of duct 500 may be attached to the device 300. The duct 500 can have various uses as will be discussed below. The duct 500 may be of a flexible material such as coated vinyl. A flexible, spiral wound duct 500 is shown in FIGS. 17 and 18 that includes a rigid helical spiral 502 and flexible material 501 therebetween. Conversely, the duct 500 may be made of rigid material (e.g., PVC, galvanized metal, plastic, etc.). The duct 500 includes a first end 505 and a distal second end 506. The duct 500 has a longitudinal axis 390 that matches the longitudinal axis 390 of the port extension 330. The cross sectional size and shape of the first end 505 of the duct 500 matches, or is generally similar to the cross sectional size and shape of the distal end 332 of the port extension 330 to which the duct 500 will attach and surround.

As the impending attachment is shown in FIG. 17, the first end 505 of the duct 500 will attach to the device 300 so that the distal end 332 of the port extension 330 surrounds the first end 505 of the duct 500. In this manner, the helical spiral 502 exerts an outward force against portion(s) of the interior of the port extension and/or element 340 so that adequate purchase is created between device 300 and duct 500 so that disconnection of the two is prevented. Additionally, in this embodiment, the element 340 and/or other elements of the extension 330 may exert a clamping or binding force around the inserted first end 505 of the duct 500. Alternatively, the element 340 may be lead within the interior of the duct 500 so that the element 340 may exert an outward force against the ductwall. In this embodiment of the duct 500 with flexible material 501, this outward force creates a friction between the port extension 330 and the duct 500 thereby making it difficult for the duct 500 and device 300 to disconnect. An additional advantage, is this connection between the duct 500 and device 300, thus, does not require any additional coupling(s), banding(s), etc. around the connection such as a snap, clip, or clamp. Further, this connection method does not typically require the use of any hand or power tools.

FIG. 19 depicts one embodiment of a ducting system 400 that includes plurality of ducts 500a, 500b, 500c all connected to a structure 410, in this embodiment a manifold box 410. The system 400 shown has an application of a dog exercise system 400, wherein dogs 520a, 520b use the various ducts 500 and structure 410 for exercise and/or dog competitions.

The manifold box 410 includes a plurality of devices 300a, 300b, 300c located on various surfaces of the box 410. The box 410 further includes a removable hatch 402 that allows access to the interior of the box 410. Each of the devices 300a, 300b, 300c includes a port extension 330a, 330b, 330c that allows a first end 505a, 505b, 505c of the ducts 500a, 500b, 500c to connect thereto in the aforementioned fashion. Thus, the dog 520 may enter at any of the second ends 506a, 506b, 506c of the various ducts 500a, 500b, 500c and travel through the ducts 500 and box 410. Clearly, additional structures 400 and ducts 500 may be added to provide a plurality of system arrangements.

Similarly, although the system 400 in FIG. 19 is depicted for the dog exercise application, the system 400 has other suitable uses. For example, the system 400 may be used as an exercise play system for children, or as a HVAC manifold system 400 and the like.

FIGS. 20 and 21 depict other embodiments of the invention, in this case a wall port device 350 and system 400. In contrast to the previously discussed device 300, this embodiment includes a wall portion 310 with a front surface 311 and back surface 312. The wall portion 310 instead has a plurality of devices 300a, 300b, 300c arranged on the wall portion 310 each with a port extension 330a, 330b, 330c. Each device 300a, 300b, 300c has an opening 320a, 320b, 320c. Clearly, the size and configuration of each opening 320 and port extension 320 and the quantity of devices 300 may vary. Further, located on the wall portion 310 are a second set, or plurality of openings 355a, 355b, 355c. These openings 355 are configured without the concomitant port extensions 330 that the device 300 has and thus may be use as windows, access points, fresh air intakes, and the like.

As shown in FIG. 20, an embodiment of the wall port device 350 is attached via attachment means 318 to a structure 410 (e.g., a tent, etc.) wherein the device 350 becomes one of the walls in the structure 410. In the application shown, the device 350 allows the tent 410 to be fully enclosed. Tents such as these are used as temporary structures, often outside, for various events. The invention allows the tent 410 to be cooled and/or heated more readily by hooking up a plurality of ducts 500a, 500b, 500c to the device 350. The distal ends of the ducts 500a, 500b, 500c, can conversely be attached to a HVAC (i.e., Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning) source 510. The device 350 allows the tent enclosure to be more complete and mitigates the need to have various openings and/or sides of the tent removed in order to provide HVAC requirements.

While this invention has been described in conjunction with the specific embodiments outlined above, it is evident that many alternatives, modifications and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, the embodiments of the invention as set forth above are intended to be illustrative, not limiting. Various changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.





 
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