Title:
Building block
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The building block with an open top and bottom. One end of the block is provided with a pair of vertical slots and the other end of the block is provided with a pair of vertical fins for insertion into the vertical slots of an adjacent block. The bottom of the block is provided with a pair of horizontal slots and the top of the block is provided with a pair of horizontal fins for insertion into the horizontal slots of an overlying block. The horizontal fins and slots are respectively provided with pegs and holes that, in adjacent blocks, can be brought into registry with one another. One end of the block is also provided with a notch and the other end of the block is provided with a key for insertion into a notch in an adjacent block.



Inventors:
Albert, Abdallah Joe (Laredo, TX, US)
Application Number:
10/867644
Publication Date:
01/05/2006
Filing Date:
06/16/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B5/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CAJILIG, CHRISTINE T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Stephen R. Greiner, Esquire (Bethesda, MD, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A building block, comprising: a front wall having a top, bottom and opposed ends, said front wall also having a first horizontal fin extending upwardly from the top thereof and a first horizontal slot in the bottom thereof, said front wall further having a first vertical fin extending outwardly from one of said opposed ends thereof and a first vertical slot in the other of said opposed ends thereof, said front wall additionally having a first pair of connecting pegs extending upwardly from said first horizontal fin and a first pair of holes penetrating said first horizontal slot for receiving a first pair of connecting pegs from another building block; a back wall having a top, bottom and opposed ends and being positioned adjacent to said front wall, said back wall also having a second horizontal fin extending upwardly from the top thereof and a second horizontal slot in the bottom thereof, said back wall further having a second vertical fin extending outwardly from one of said opposed ends thereof and a second vertical slot in the other of said opposed ends thereof, said back wall additionally having a second pair of connecting pegs extending upwardly from said second vertical fin and a second pair of holes penetrating said second horizontal slot for receiving a second pair of connecting pegs from another building block; a pair of side walls connecting said front wall to said back wall so as to form a rectangular box with an open top and an open bottom, one of said side walls having a key extending outwardly from the top thereof and the other one of said side walls having a notch in the top thereof adapted to receive a key extending from another building block.

2. The building block according to claim 1 wherein said front wall tapers in thickness from its bottom to its top.

3. The building block according to claim 1 wherein said front wall, said back wall, said pair of side walls, said horizontal fins, said vertical fins, said connecting pegs, and said key are integrally formed.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to static structures and, more particularly, to interconnecting modules having vertical and horizontal keys.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Assembling buildings from conventional cinderblocks has never been particularly easy. Moving blocks and mixing mortar, even in small quantities, can be backbreaking. Of course, constant vigilance is also required since improperly applying mortar or misaligning blocks can lead to a catastrophic failure of a building formed of cinderblocks. Thus, masonry work is usually performed by highly skilled laborers at great cost to their employer.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In light of the problems associated with assembling buildings from conventional cinderblocks, it is a principal object of the invention to provide a building block that requires no mortar to join it to an adjacent block. The block is constructed to interlock with a neighboring blocks of like kind that are positioned above, below, or to either side. The building blocks can be permanently joined together with adhesives or temporarily by friction. Either construction technique produces a strong building wall.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a building block of the type described that is self-aligning. Construction of a structure with the inventive building blocks can proceed at a rapid pace with a crew of minimally skilled laborers resulting in reduced costs to a builder.

It is still another object of the invention to provide a building block that requires neither prolonged training nor special tools to utilize. In fact, the inventive building block is believed to be particularly intuitive to employ.

It is another object of the invention to provide a building block of the type described that simulates the look of clapboards and helps to shed precipitation away from joints between courses of blocks. Thus, a building constructed with the inventive building blocks is particularly watertight and need not be sheathed in siding.

It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof in a building block for the purposes described that is lightweight in construction, inexpensive to manufacture, and dependable in use.

Briefly, the building block in accordance with this invention achieves the intended objects by featuring a front wall that tapers in thickness from its bottom to its top and has a first horizontal fin extending upwardly from its top thereof and a first horizontal slot in its bottom. The front wall further has a first vertical fin extending outwardly from one of its ends and a first vertical slot in the other of its ends. A back wall is positioned adjacent to the front wall and has a second horizontal fin extending upwardly from its top and a second horizontal slot in its bottom. The back wall further has a second vertical fin extending outwardly from one of its ends and a second vertical slot in the other of its ends. A pair of side walls connects the front and back walls so as to form a rectangular box with an open top and an open bottom. One side wall has a key extending outwardly from its top and the other side wall has a notch in its top adapted to receive a key extending from another block. Holes penetrate the first and second horizontal slots for receiving connecting pegs extending upwardly from the first and second horizontal fins extending from another block.

The foregoing and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention may be more readily described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a building block in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an inverted perspective view of the building block of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a top view showing the interconnection of several building blocks positioned side by side with the outermost blocks having portions broken away.

FIG. 4 is a side view showing the interconnection of several building blocks stacked atop one another with portions being broken away to reveal details thereof.

Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the accompanying drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now to the FIGS., a building block in accordance with the present invention is shown at 10. Building block 10 includes opposed, front and back walls 12 and 14 connected at their ends by side walls 16 and 18 so as to form a rectangular box with an open top and an open bottom. Back and side walls 14, 16 and 18 have an even thickness, one sufficient to bear expected lodes. Front wall 12, however, is twice as thick as walls 14, 16 and 18 at its bottom and tapers in thickness toward its top with its outer surface sloping inwardly. At its top, front wall 12 has the same thickness as walls 14, 16 and 18.

Front wall 12 is provided with horizontal and vertical fins 20 and 22 for connecting to a pair of adjacent blocks. Horizontal fin 20 extends along the top of front wall 12 and vertical fin 22 extends along the end of front wall 12 proximate side wall 16. Fins 20 and 22 intersect at a right angle, as shown at 24, for mutual reinforcement.

Front wall 12 has horizontal and vertical slots 26 and 28 dimensioned to snugly receive fins 20 and 22 of adjacent blocks. Horizontal slot 26 extends along the bottom of front wall 12. Vertical slot 28, however, extends along the end of front wall 12 proximate side wall 18.

Like front wall 12, back wall 14 has horizontal and vertical fins 30 and 32 for connecting to a pair of adjacent blocks. Horizontal fin 30 extends along the top of back wall 14 and vertical fin 32 extends along the end of back wall 14 adjacent side wall 16. Fins 30 and 32 intersect at a right angle, as shown at 34, for purposes of reinforcement.

Back wall 14 has horizontal and vertical slots 36 and 38 dimensioned to snugly receive fins 30 and 32 of adjacent blocks. Horizontal slot 36 extends along the bottom of back wall 14. On the other hand, vertical slot 38 extends along the end of back wall 14 proximate side wall 18.

Fins 20, 22, 30 and 32 and slots 26, 28, 36 and 38 are positioned so that block 10 can easily be mated with adjacent counterparts as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. Fins 20 and 22 and slots 26 and 28 are equally spaced apart and are parallel to one another. Similarly, fins 30 and 32 and slots 36 and 38 are equally spaced from one another and are parallel to one another.

Fin 20 is trisected into three fin segments 20a, 20b and 20c by a pair of pegs 40 that extend upwardly therefrom. As shown, pegs 40 are positioned inwardly of side walls 16 and 18. Each peg 40 has a diameter measuring about one-half the thickness of front wall 12 at its top and has a height that is about two times the thickness of front wall 12 at its top. Each peg 40 is integrally formed with front wall 12 and fin 20.

Fin 30 is trisected into three fin segments 30a, 30b and 30c by a pair of pegs 42 that extend upwardly therefrom. Pegs 42 are positioned inwardly of side walls 16 and 18 and are directly opposite pegs 40. Each peg 42 has a diameter measuring about one-half the thickness of back wall 14 and has a height that is about two times the thickness of back wall 14. Each peg 42 is integrally formed with back wall 14 and fin 30.

A pair of holes 44 trisect slot 26 into three slot segments 26a, 26b and 26c. Holes 44 are positioned inwardly of side walls 16 and 18 and directly beneath pegs 40. Each hole 44 has a diameter measuring about one-half the thickness of front wall 12 at its top and a depth of about two times the thickness of front wall 12 at its top. Fin segments 20a, 20b and 20c fit, respectively, into slot segments 26a, 26b and 26c of another block.

Slot 36 is trisected into three slot segments 36a, 36b and 36c by a pair of holes 46 in the bottom of back wall 14. Holes 46 are positioned inwardly of side walls 16 and 18 and are directly opposite holes 44 and beneath pegs 42. Each hole 46 has a diameter measuring about one-half the thickness of back wall 14 and a depth of about two times the thickness of back wall 14. Fin segments 30a, 30b and 30c fit, respectively, into slot segments 36a, 36b and 36c of another block.

A key 48 extends outwardly from the top of side wall 16 midway between fins 22 and 32. As shown, key 48 is shaped like a trapezoid and has an outer, free end that is wider than its inner end. For strength, key 48 is integrally formed with wall 16 and the height or thickness thereof is substantially the same as the thickness of walls 14, 16 and 18.

Side wall 18 has a notch 50 in its top midway between slots 28 and 38. Notch 50 is shaped like a trapezoid to snugly accommodate a key 48 extending from an adjacent block and has an outer end that is narrower than its inner end. The depth of notch 50 is the same as the height of key 48 to fully receive a key 48 therein.

The use of building blocks 10 to construct a wall of a building structure is straightforward. First, a line of blocks 10 is placed upon, and attached to, a level footing in a desired location with front walls 12 facing the exterior of the structure. Then, vertical fins 22 and 32 of adjacent blocks 10 are positioned within vertical slots 28 and 38. Next, keys 48 are slid into notches 50 of adjacent blocks 10 as shown in FIG. 3 so as to form the first course of the wall. Then, the second and subsequent courses of blocks 10 are positioned atop the first by repeating the steps required to assemble the first course. It should be noted that as the second and other courses are stacked, pegs 40 and 42 are inserted into holes 44 and 46 and horizontal fins 20 and 30 are inserted into horizontal slots 26 and 36 as shown in FIG. 4 making the assembled wall extremely rigid.

If desired, a suitable adhesive can be used to secure blocks 10 together. It is anticipated that the adhesive would be placed in slots 26, 28, 36 and 38, holes 44 and 46, and notch 50 at the time of assembly. After the adhesive has cured, the easy removal of: fins 20, 22, 30 and 32 from slots 26, 28, 36 and 38; pegs 40 and 42 from holes 44 and 46; and key 48 from notch 50 would not be possible. A structure formed from blocks 10 joined with an adhesive is believed to be stronger than one formed from conventional cinderblocks joined with mortar. Because the bottoms of front wall 12 overlap exterior joints, precipitation cannot penetrate into the structure.

While the invention has been described with a high degree of particularity, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that modifications may be made thereto. For example, block 10 is preferably molded from Portland cement or reactive powder concrete, but could be made of any other suitable material. Therefore, it is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the sole embodiment described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.