Title:
Modular drainage components
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Modular drainage components include a curb liner section, a culvert receiver, a secondary connector, a trapezoidal ditch liner section and a curved ditch liner section. A plurality of curb liner sections are inserted between a roadway and a strip of land to block overflow from the roadway. The culvert receiver is placed between a open ditch liner section and a culvert. The secondary connector provides a flow path for secondary flow to or from a primary flow. A plurality of trapezoidal ditch liner sections or a plurality of curved ditch liner sections may be placed end to end to form a radiused path of flow.



Inventors:
Charon, James W. (Racine, WI, US)
Application Number:
11/377694
Publication Date:
07/20/2006
Filing Date:
03/16/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
405/121
International Classes:
E02B5/02; E01C11/22; E02B5/00; E03B3/11; E03F3/04; E04D13/04
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
LAGMAN, FREDERICK LYNDON
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DONALD J. ERSLER, S.C. (Elm Grove, WI, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A method of creating a modular curb liner, comprising the steps of: providing a plurality of curb liner sections, forming a raised edge on one side of each one of said plurality of curb liner sections; retaining said plurality of curb liner sections adjacent each other with at least one alignment key; and forming a key slot in at least one side of each curb liner section at least along substantially a length of each closed liner section to receive said at least one alignment key.

2. The method of creating a modular curb liner of claim 1, further comprising the step of: inserting said plurality of curb liner sections between a roadway and a strip of land.

3. The method of creating a modular curb liner of claim 1, further comprising the step of: forming a slope from a top of each one of said plurality of curb liner sections to said raised edge.

4. The method of creating a modular curb liner of claim 1, further comprising the step of: locating each one of said plurality of curb liner sections in a channel.

5. The method of creating a modular curb liner of claim 1, further comprising the step of: locating each one of said plurality of curb liner sections such that water may seep between adjacent curb liner sections of said plurality of curb liner sections.

6. A method of creating a modular curb liner, comprising the steps of: providing a plurality of curb liner sections, forming a raised edge on one side of each one of said plurality of curb liner sections; forming a key slot in at least one side of each curb liner section at least along substantially a length of each closed liner section to receive said at least one alignment key, retaining said plurality of curb liner sections adjacent each other with said at least one alignment key; and locating each one of said plurality of curb liner sections such that water may seep between adjacent curb liner sections of said plurality of curb liner sections.

7. The method of creating a modular curb liner of claim 6, further comprising the step of: forming a slope from a top of each one of said plurality of curb liner sections to said raised edge.

8. The method of creating a modular curb liner of claim 6, further comprising the step of: inserting said plurality of curb liner sections between a roadway and a strip of land.

9. The method of creating a modular curb liner of claim 6, further comprising the step of: locating each one of said plurality of curb liner sections in a channel.

10. A method of creating a modular curb liner, comprising the steps of: providing a plurality of curb liner sections, forming a raised edge on one side of each one of said plurality of curb liner sections; forming a key slot in at least one side of each curb liner section to receive at least one alignment key, retaining said plurality of curb liner sections adjacent each other with said at least one alignment key; and locating each one of said plurality of curb liner sections such that water may seep between adjacent curb liner sections of said plurality of curb liner sections.

11. The method of creating a modular curb liner of claim 10, further comprising the step of: forming said key slot at least along substantially a length of each closed liner section.

12. The method of creating a modular curb liner of claim 10, further comprising the step of: inserting said plurality of curb liner sections between a roadway and a strip of land.

13. The method of creating a modular curb liner of claim 10, further comprising the step of: locating each one of said plurality of curb liner sections in a channel.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This is a continuation-in-part application taking priority from Ser. No. 10/952,090 filed on Sep. 28, 2004, which takes priority from Ser. No. 10/862,527 filed on Jun. 7, 2004, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,942,424.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to routing drainage and more specifically to modular drainage components, which provide different modular components for routing drainage.

2. Discussion of the Prior Art

There are two different types of ditch liners. The first type of ditch liner is an open ditch liner. An example of an open type of ditch liner is found in U.S. Pat. No. 3,854,292 to Nienstadt. Nienstadt uses a relatively light plastic resin that is retained with a quantity of stakes. The second type of ditch liner is a closed ditch liner. The closed ditch liner includes a substantially U-shaped trough with a cover. The cover may have openings formed therethrough. Three examples of closed type ditch liners are found in U.S. Pat. No. 5,226,748 to Barenwald et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,443,327 to Akkala et al., and U.S. Pat. No. 5,522,675 to Gunter. The Barenwald et al. and Gunter patents disclose using relatively complicated connecting devices to retain each liner section in tight connection to each other.

Accordingly, there is a clearly felt need in the art for modular drainage components, which route drainage and which may be secured to each other with a connection key.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a modular ditch liner that does not require complicated installation and assembly. An open modular ditch liner includes a plurality of open liner sections and at least one alignment key. The cross section of each open liner section includes a substantially concave shape formed on a top thereof. The plurality of open liner sections are preferably fabricated from cement block on a cement block casting machine. Casting cement blocks is a cost effective manufacturing process relative to cast iron or open cast molding. A key slot is formed on at least one side of each open liner section to receive a single alignment key. However, the at least one key slot may be replaced with at least one key opening. Each key opening is formed through a length of the open liner section, near a side thereof. The key opening is sized to receive an alignment key.

A closed modular ditch liner includes a plurality of closed liner sections, a plurality of covers, and at least one alignment key. The cross section of each closed liner section includes at least one trough contour and a single cover retention lip formed on a top end of each side thereof. The plurality of closed liner sections and covers are preferably fabricated from cement block on a cement block casting machine. Each cover is laterally retained between the two cover retention lips. A key slot is formed on at least one side of the closed liner section to receive a single alignment key. However, the at least one key slot may be replaced with at least one key opening. Each key opening is formed through a length of the closed liner section, near a side thereof. The key opening is sized to receive an alignment key.

The key slot may also include a positive taper or an interference fit. The key slot with an interference fit may have the shape of a negative taper or a substantially rounded shape. The key slot with an interference slot would provide an interference fit to an alignment key. The alignment key includes a block embodiment or an extruded embodiment. The block alignment key would be preferably used in the positive taper key slot. The length of a block alignment key would preferably be as long as an open liner section. Each block alignment key would engage two adjacent open liner sections. The extruded alignment key would be fabricated from an extruded material and preferably retained in an interference fit key slot.

An alignment key may be replaced by a riser section. The riser section includes a side member and an alignment key projection. The length of the riser section is preferably the same as that of the open liner section. The side member constrains the flow of fluid relative to the open liner section. The alignment key projection is sized to be received by one of the key slots of the open liner section. Further, the open liner sections may be formed as a trapezoid to allow the open liner sections to fit curved drain ditch applications. At least one end of the open liner section is angled.

A channel alignment key may be used to connect two adjacent open liner sections. An inside width of the channel alignment key is sized to receive the thickness of the two adjacent open liner sections. An erosion barrier insert may be placed between the ends of two adjacent open liner sections. Each erosion barrier insert has substantially the same cross section, as the open liner section, with the exception of a top portion. The top portion of the erosion barrier insert exceeds the height of the substantially concave shape in the open liner section. A radius liner insert includes a cross section that is the same as that of the open liner section. The radius liner insert is placed between the ends of two adjacent open liner sections to help create a radius with a plurality of open ditch liner sections.

A width expandable modular ditch liner includes a plurality of open liner sections, a plurality of side connection keys and a plurality of expandable liner sections. A pear shaped slot is formed in each side of each open liner section. The pear shaped slot is formed in at least one side of each expandable liner section. A pitch expandable liner section includes a trapezoidal cross section, which enables expandable liner sections to extend from the open liner section at some predetermined angle. A single pear shaped slot is formed in each side of the pitch expandable liner section. Side and end adjacent liner sections are attached to each other with at least one side connection key. Each side connection key includes a tubular body and two rod inserts. Each tubular body includes a first pear shaped side and a second pear shaped side. Each pear shaped side includes a rod opening. Each rod opening is sized to receive a single rod insert.

A mitered width expandable modular ditch liner includes a plurality of open liner sections, the plurality of side connection keys and a plurality of expandable liner sections. A pear shaped slot is formed in each side of each mitered open liner section. The pear shaped slot is formed in at least one side of each expandable liner section. Either at least one side of each open liner section may be mitered and/or at least one side of each mitered expandable liner section is mitered to provide an angle between each open liner section and the expandable liner section. Side and end adjacent liner sections are attached to each other with at least one side connection key. A flow restrictor liner section may be substituted for the expandable liner section.

A liner section spacer is preferably placed between each end of two adjacent liner sections. The liner section spacer includes a pear shaped slot that is sized to be received by one of the tubular bodies of the side connection key. The liner section spacer is fabricated from a resilient material, such as rubber. If the liner section spacer is fabricated from rubber, the rubber preferably has a hardness of 30-60 durometer.

A tapered alignment key may be used to connect the ends and sides of adjacent liner sections. The tapered alignment key may also be tubular. A positive taper key slot is formed in at least one side wall of each liner section. Each end of the tapered alignment key is sized to fit in a single positive taper key slot such that a gap is left between an end wall of the positive taper key slot and an end of the tapered alignment key. Contact between the tapered walls of the positive taper key slot and tapered surfaces of the tapered alignment key provide some positive locking to prevent the tapered alignment key from moving within the positive taper key slot.

A modular curb liner includes a plurality of curb liner sections. At least one alignment key is preferably used to retain the plurality of curb liner sections, adjacent to each other. A key slot is formed in at least one side of each curb liner section to receive the at least one alignment key. One side of each curb liner section includes a raised edge. The other side of each curb liner section is placed, adjacent a road and the one side is placed, adjacent a strip of land.

A culvert receiver includes a liner end and a culvert end. A cross section of each open liner section includes a substantially concave shape formed on a top thereof. The liner end of the culvert receiver is sized to interface with an open liner section. The substantially concave shape preferably matches that of the open liner section. Each side of the culvert receiver preferably flares outward from substantially the liner end to the culvert end. The flare on each side may be straight, curved or any other appropriate shape. The culvert end of the culvert receiver is sized to interface with a culvert. The substantially concave shape flares outward, substantially parallel to each side. At least one alignment key is preferably used to retain a single ditch liner section relative to the liner end of the culvert receiver. A key slot is formed in at least one side, at the liner end of each culvert receiver to receive the at least one alignment key.

A secondary flow connector includes a first end extension, a second end extension and a side extension. The first end extension, the second end extension and the side extension are sized to interface with an open liner section. A cross section of the first end extension, the second end extension and the side extensions each include a substantially concave shape formed on a top thereof. The substantially concave shape continues through a middle of the secondary flow connector. At least one alignment key is preferably used to retain a single open liner section relative to one of the extensions. A key slot is preferably formed in at least one side of each extension to receive the at least one alignment key.

A trapezoidal ditch liner includes at least one end being nonperpendicular to a side thereof. The cross section of each trapezoidal ditch liner includes a substantially concave shape formed on a top thereof. At least one alignment key may be used to retain adjacent trapezoidal ditch liners relative to each other. A curved ditch liner includes a ditch liner with two curved sides and two nonparallel ends. The cross section of each curved ditch liner includes a substantially concave shape formed on a top thereof. A plurality of curved or trapezoidal ditch liners may be placed end to end to form a radius of curved ditch liners.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a modular ditch liner that is fabricated from a heavy, yet economical material.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a modular ditch liner that utilizes an uncomplicated connection device.

It is yet a further object of the present invention to provide a modular ditch liner that does not require the creation of a perfect trench for installation.

It is yet a further object of the present invention to provide a modular curb liner that may be used to keep drainage off grass, adjacent a roadway.

It is yet a further object of the present invention to provide a culvert receiver that may be used as an interface between a ditch liner section and a culvert.

It is yet a further object of the present invention to provide a secondary flow connector that may be used to connect a main plurality of ditch liner sections with a secondary plurality of ditch liner sections.

Finally, it is another object of the present invention to provide a plurality trapezoidal or curved ditch liner sections that may be used to form a radius

These and additional objects, advantages, features and benefits of the present invention will become apparent from the following specification.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an open modular ditch liner in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an open liner section with two key openings formed therethrough in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a side view of an open modular ditch liner in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view of a trench with an open modular ditch liner contained therein in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a side cross sectional view of a trench with an open modular ditch liner contained therein in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a closed modular ditch liner in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a single closed liner section with two key openings formed therethrough in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 8 is a side view of a closed modular ditch liner in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 9 is a cross sectional view of a trench with a closed modular ditch liner contained therein in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 10 is a side cross sectional view of a trench with a closed modular ditch liner contained therein in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a closed modular ditch liner having two trough contours in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 12 is a partial end view of an open liner section with a positive taper key slot of an open modular ditch liner in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 13 is a partial end view of an open liner section with a negative taper key slot of an open modular ditch liner in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 14 is a partial end view of an open liner section with a substantially round key slot of an open modular ditch liner in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 15 is a partial perspective view of an extruded alignment key of an open modular ditch liner in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 16 is a perspective view of a plurality of block alignment keys engaged with a plurality of open liner sections of an open modular ditch liner in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 17 is a perspective view of a plurality of riser blocks engaged with a plurality of open liner sections of an open modular ditch liner in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 18a is a top view of an open liner section with one angled end of an open modular ditch liner in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 18b is a top view of an open liner section with two angled ends of an open modular ditch liner in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 19 is a perspective view of a channel alignment key attached to two adjacent open liner sections of an open modular ditch liner in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 20 is a perspective view of an erosion barrier insert retained between to adjacent open liner sections of an open modular ditch liner in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 21 is a perspective view of a radius liner insert retained between to adjacent open liner sections of an open modular ditch liner in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 22 is a perspective view of a width expandable modular ditch liner in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 23 is a perspective view of a mitered width expandable modular ditch liner in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 24 is an end view of a mitered width expandable modular ditch liner in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 25 is a perspective view of two liner section spacers retained on a side connection key in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 26 is a perspective view of a tapered alignment key and tubular tapered alignment key retained in an open liner section in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 27 is an end view of a mitered width expandable modular ditch liner retained together with a tapered alignment key and a tubular tapered alignment key in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 28 is a perspective view of a plurality of curb liner sections positioned next to each other in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 28a is a perspective view of a plurality of curb liner sections positioned next to each such that water seeps between adjacent curb liners in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 29 is an end view of a curb liner section in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 30 is a top view of a culvert receiver in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 31 is an end view of a liner end of a culvert receiver in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 32 is an end view of a culvert end of a culvert receiver in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 33 is a top view of a secondary connector in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 34 is a top view of a secondary connector with a side extension that is nonperpendicular to an axis of main flow in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 35 is an end view of a secondary connector in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 36 is a side view of a secondary connector in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 37 is a top view of a plurality of trapezoidal ditch liners in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 38 is an end view of a trapezoidal ditch liner in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 39 is a top view of a plurality of curved ditch liners in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 40 is an end view of a curved ditch liner in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

With reference now to the drawings, and particularly to FIG. 1, there is shown a perspective view of an open modular ditch liner 1. With reference to FIGS. 2-4, the open modular ditch liner 1 includes a plurality of open liner sections 10 and at least one alignment key 12. The cross section of each open liner section 12 includes a substantially concave shape 14 formed on a top thereof. Preferably, a tapered surface 16 terminates each end of the substantially concave shape 14. The tapered surfaces 16 are structured to align with the inclines of each side of a ditch 100. Preferably, a key slot 18 is formed on at least one side of each open liner section 10 to receive a single alignment key 12. An alignment key with a square cross section is shown, but the cross section of the alignment key 12 may be other shapes, such as round. The alignment key 12 retains at least two open liner sections 10 in vertical and horizontal alignment to each other. If the base under one of the open liner sections sinks, the alignment key 12 in the adjacent open liner sections will retain the one open liner section in vertical alignment with the adjacent open liner sections.

The key slot 18 may be replaced with a key opening 20. Each key opening 20 is formed through a length of the open liner section 10′, near an end thereof. The key opening 20 is sized to slidably receive the inner alignment key 22. The plurality of open liner sections 10 are preferably fabricated from cement block on a cement block casting machine. Casting cement blocks is a cost effective manufacturing process relative to cast iron or open cast molding. When the open liner sections 10 are placed in the ditch 100, ends of each liner section 10 preferably do not contact each other; a small gap “A” is left between the ends thereof. The value of gap “A” is preferably between 0.01-0.25 inches. It is beneficial for a small amount of water to drain into the ground below the ditch 100. However, the minimum value of gap “A” may also be defined by what gap (space) allows water to seep between adjacent open liner sections 10.

The open modular ditch liner 1 is preferably installed in a ditch 100 with a two inch gravel base 102. A bottom of the substantially concave shape 14 is preferably aligned with the opening of a culvert 104 placed adjacent to the open modular ditch liner 1. With reference to FIG. 5, water 106 that flows through the culvert 104 or drops directly on to the plurality of open liner sections 10 will seep through the gaps between the open liner sections 10 to the gravel base 102. The gaps prevent standing water from forming in the open modular ditch liner 1. The open modular ditch liner 1 is preferably for residential use.

With reference to FIGS. 6-9, a closed modular ditch liner 2 includes a plurality of closed liner sections 26, a plurality of covers 28, and at least one alignment key 30. The cross section of each closed liner section 26 includes a trough contour 32 and a single cover retention lip 34 formed on a top end of each side thereof. Preferably, the cover 28 is sized to be received between the cover retention lips 34. The height of the cover 28 is preferably substantially the same as the height of the cover retention lips 34. Each cover 28 fits over at least one closed liner section 26. The trough contour 32 is preferably U-shaped with two tapered side surfaces 36.

Preferably, a key slot 38 is formed on at least one side of each closed liner section 26 to receive a single alignment key 30. Alignment keys with round and square cross sections are shown, but the cross section of the alignment keys may have other shapes, such as being triangular. The alignment key 30 retains at least two closed liner sections 26. If the base under one of the closed liner sections sinks, the alignment key 12 in the adjacent closed liner sections will retain the one closed liner section in vertical alignment with the adjacent closed liner sections.

The key slot 38 may be replaced with a key opening 42. Each key opening 42 is formed through a length of the closed liner section 26′, near an end thereof. The key opening 42 is sized to slidably receive the inner alignment key 44. The plurality of closed liner sections 26 and the covers 28 are preferably fabricated from cement block on a cement block casting machine. A channel 110 is dug deep enough in a bottom of a ditch 108 to allow the top edges of the closed modular ditch liner 2 to be flush with the tapered sides of the ditch 108.

With reference to FIG. 10, when the closed liner sections 26 are placed in the channel 110, ends of each liner section 26 preferably do not contact each other; a small gap “B” is left between the ends thereof. The value of gap “B” is preferably between 0.01-0.25 inches. It is beneficial for a small amount of water to drain into the ground below the ditch 108. However, the minimum value of gap “B” may also be defined by what gap (space) allows water to seep between adjacent closed liner sections 26. The ends of the covers 28 preferably do not contact each other to allow water to drain into the plurality of closed liner sections 26. A gap “C” is left between the covers to allow water 106 to drain into the plurality of closed liner sections 26. The value of gap “C” is preferably between 0.01-0.25 inches. However, the minimum value of gap “C” may also be defined by what gap (space) allows water to seep between adjacent covers 28.

The closed modular ditch liner 2 is preferably installed in a ditch 108 with a two inch gravel base 102. A bottom of the trough contour 32 is preferably aligned with the opening of a culvert 104 placed adjacent to the closed modular ditch liner 2. Water 106 flows through the culvert 104 or seeps through the gaps between the plurality of covers 28, will seep through the gaps between the closed liner sections 26 to the gravel base 102. The gaps prevent standing water from forming in the closed modular ditch liner 2. The closed modular ditch liner 2 is preferably for residential use.

FIG. 11 shows a closed modular ditch liner 3 where each closed liner section 46 has two trough contours 48. The closed modular ditch liner 3 includes a plurality of closed liner sections 46, a plurality of covers 50, and at least one alignment key 52. The cross section of each closed liner section 46 includes the two trough contours 48 and a single cover retention lip 54 formed on a top end of each side thereof. A support pedestal 56 is formed between the two trough contours 48 to support at least one cover 50. Preferably, the cover 50 is sized to be received between the cover retention lips 54. The height of the cover 50 is preferably the same as the height of the cover retention lips 54.

Each cover 50 fits over at least one closed liner section 46. The plurality of covers 50 may be placed perpendicular or in parallel to a length of the plurality of closed liner sections 46. The trough contour 48 is preferably U-shaped with one tapered side surface 58 and a straight side formed by one side of the support pedestal 56. Preferably, a key slot 60 is formed on at least one side of each closed liner section 46 to receive a single alignment key 52. An alignment key with a square cross section is shown, but the cross section of the alignment key 52 may be other shapes, such as round. The alignment key 52 retains at least two closed liner sections 46.

The key slot 60 may be replaced with a key opening as shown in FIG. 6. The plurality of closed liner sections 46 and the covers 50 are preferably fabricated from cement block on a cement block casting machine. The closed modular ditch liner 3 is positioned in a ditch such that the top edge is flush with the tapered sides of the ditch 102 as shown in FIG. 8. The closed liner sections 46 preferably do not contact each other, a small gap “D” is left between the ends thereof. A small gap “E” is preferably maintained between each cover 50. The value of gaps “D” and “E” are preferably between 0.01-0.25 inches. It is beneficial for a small amount of water to drain into the ground below a ditch. However, the minimum value of gap “D” and “E” may also be defined by what gap (space) allows water to seep between adjacent closed liner sections 46 and covers 50. The open modular ditch liner 3 is preferably for residential use.

With reference to FIG. 12-14, the key slot may also include a positive taper or an interference fit. At least one positive taper key slot 62 is formed in an open liner section 10. The at least one positive taper key slot 62 may be formed on one wall of the open liner section 10 or on both walls. An angle “A” of one wall preferably has a range of between 0.5 to 5 degrees, but other angles may also be used. An angle “B” of the other wall preferably has a range of between 0.5 to 5 degrees, but other angles may also be used. An alignment key is received by the at least one positive taper key 62 in at least two adjacent open liner sections 10.

The key slot with an interference fit may have the shape of a negative taper or a substantially rounded shape. However, other shapes of interference key slots may also be used, besides the negative taper or substantially round. The key slot with an interference slot would provide an interference fit to an alignment key. At least one negative taper key slot 64 is formed in the open liner section 10. The taper may be formed on one wall of the negative taper key slot 64 or on both walls. An angle “C” of one wall preferably has a range of between 0.5 to 5 degrees, but other angles may also be used. An angle “D” of the other wall preferably has a range of between 0.5 to 5 degrees, but other angles may also be used. An interference alignment key 66 may be compressed to be inserted or removed from the negative taper key slot 64. The interference alignment key 66 must be fabricated from a resilient material to allow compression thereof. However, the interference alignment key 66 could also be inserted from an end of the open liner section 10.

At least one substantially round key slot 68 is formed in an open liner section 10. The substantially round key slot 68 is sized to receive the interference alignment key 66. The interference alignment key 66 may be compressed to be inserted or removed from the substantially round key slot 68. The interference alignment key 66 could also be inserted from an end of the open liner section 10.

The alignment key may also include an extruded embodiment or a block embodiment. With reference to FIG. 15, an extruded alignment key 70 preferably includes a key base 72 and at least one key projection 74 extending from the key base 72. At least one substantially round key slot 68 is formed in the open liner section 10 to receive the at least one key projection 74. However, other shapes of interference key slots and key projections may also be used, besides substantially round. The extruded alignment key 70 must be fabricated from a resilient material to allow the at least one key projection 74 to be compressed for insertion into the at least one substantially round key slot 68. The extruded alignment key 70 may also be inserted from an end of the open liner section 10. The extruded alignment key 70 is preferably long enough to retain a plurality of open liner sections 10.

With reference to FIG. 16, a block alignment key 76 includes a block base 78 and a key projection 80 extending from the block base 78. A key slot 18 is disposed in the open liner section 10. The block alignment key 76 preferably has the same length “L” as the open liner section 10. Each block alignment key 76 is positioned to engage two adjacent open liner sections 10. A block alignment key 76′ does not have the same height as the open liner section 10.

With reference to FIG. 17, an alignment key may be replaced by at least one riser section. A first riser section 82 includes a first side member 84 and a first key projection 86 extending from the first side member 84. The first riser section 82 may also include at least one key slot 88 for receiving at least one second key projection of a second riser section 90. The second riser section 90 includes a second side member 92 and the at least one second key projection (not shown) extending from the second side member 92. Lengths of the first and second riser sections are preferably the same as that of the open liner section 10. The first side member 84 constrains the flow of fluid relative to the open liner section 10. The second side member 92 constrains the flow of fluid relative to the first side member 84.

With reference to FIGS. 18a and 18b, an open liner section section may be formed as a trapezoid (viewed from a top) to allow the open liner sections 10′, 10″ to fit curved drain applications. One end of an open liner section 10′ is terminated with an angle “E.” One end of an open liner section 10″ is terminated with an angle “E” and the other end of the open liner section 10″ is terminated with an angle “F.”

The length “L” of any open liner section 10, 10′, 10,″ preferably has a value of between 7-14 inches. The length of any block alignment key 76, 76′, preferably has a value of between 7-14 inches. The length of any riser block 82, 90, preferably has a value of between 7-14 inches. The modular ditch liner 1-3 may be used in other drainage applications, such as swales. It is preferable that adjacent open liner sections 10, 10′, 10″ be arranged to have a gap therebetween for drainage.

With reference to FIG. 19, a channel alignment key 94 is used to connect two adjacent open liner sections 10. The channel alignment key 94 includes a base leg 95 and a first retention leg 97 extending from one end of the base leg 95 and a second retention leg 99 extending from the other end of the base leg 95. An inside length between the first and second retention legs is sized to receive the thickness of the two adjacent open liner sections 10. Use of the channel alignment key 94 eliminates the need for a key slot in each open liner section 10. A channel alignment key could also be used to retain a width (instead of thickness of two adjacent open liner sections 10.

With reference to FIG. 20, an erosion barrier insert 96 is placed between the ends of two adjacent open liner sections 10. Each erosion barrier insert 96 has substantially the same cross sectional area as the open liner section 10, with the exception of a top portion 98. The top portion 98 of the erosion barrier insert 96 extends above a lowest portion 15 of the substantially concave shape 14 in the open liner section 10. The erosion barrier insert 96 reduces the rate of flow through a plurality of open liner sections 10.

With reference to FIG. 21, a radius liner insert 120 includes a cross section that is preferably the same as that of the open liner section 10. One end of the radius liner insert 120 has a dimension X and the other end of the radius liner insert 120 has a dimension Y, where X>Y. The radius liner insert 120 is placed between the ends of two adjacent open liner sections 10 to help create a radius with a plurality of open ditch liner sections 10.

With reference to FIG. 22, a width expandable modular ditch liner 122 includes a plurality of open liner sections 124, a plurality of side connection keys 126 and a plurality of expandable liner sections 128. The plurality of open liner sections 124 do not require a substantially concave shape 125 formed on a top thereof. The top of the plurality of open liner sections 124 may be flat, when used in a width expandable modular ditch liner 122. A pear shaped slot 130 is formed in each side of each open liner section 124. The pear shaped slot 130 is formed in at least one side of each expandable liner section 128. A pitch expandable liner section 132 includes a trapezoidal cross section, which enables the expandable liner section 128 to extend from the open liner section at a predetermined angle. The predetermined angle is created by a side angle created on at least one side of the trapezoidal cross section. A single pear shaped slot 130 is formed in each side of the pitch expandable liner section 132.

Side and width adjacent liner sections are attached to each other with the single side connection key 126. Each side connection key 126 includes a tubular body 134 and two rod inserts 136. Each tubular body 134 includes a first pear shaped side 135 and a second pear shaped side 137. Each pear shaped side includes a rod opening 138. Each rod opening 138 is sized to receive a single rod insert 136. The tubular body 134 is first inserted into a plurality of adjacent liner sections. A single rod insert 136 is then inserted to each rod opening 138. The pitch expandable liner section 132, the expandable liner section 128 and the side connection key 126 allow a width of the opening liner section 124 to be expanded in one or both directions.

With reference to FIGS. 23-24, a mitered width expandable modular ditch liner 140 includes a plurality of open liner sections 142, the plurality of side connection keys 126 and the plurality of expandable liner sections 128. The plurality of open liner sections 142′ do not require a substantially concave shape 143 formed on a top thereof. The top of the plurality of open liner sections 142′ may be flat, when used in a mitered width expandable modular ditch liner 140. The pear shaped slot 130 is formed in each side of each open liner section 142′. The pear shaped slot 130 is formed in at least one side of each expandable liner section 128. At least one side 143 of each mitered width expandable liner section 142′ may be mitered to provide an angle between each open liner section 142′ and the expandable liner section 128′.

At least one side 129 of each open liner section 128′ may be mitered to provide an angle between each expandable liner section 128′ and the open liner section 142′. Side and end adjacent liner sections are attached to each other with at least one side connection key 126. A flow restrictor liner section 144 may be substituted for the expandable liner section 128. The flow restrictor liner section 144 includes an additional height to slow down the flow velocity of water flowing through the mitered width expandable modular ditch liner 140.

With reference to FIG. 25, a liner section spacer 146 may be placed between two adjacent liner sections. The liner section spacer 146 includes a pear shaped slot 148 that is sized to be received by one of the pear shaped sides of the tubular body 134 of the side connection key 126. The liner section spacer 146 is fabricated from a resilient material, such as rubber. If the liner section spacer 146 is fabricated from rubber, the rubber preferably has a hardness of 30-60 durometer.

With reference to FIGS. 26-27, a tapered alignment key 150 is used to connect the ends and sides of adjacent liner sections. The tapered alignment key 150 is preferably fabricated from concrete, but other materials may also be used. A tubular tapered alignment key 152 is preferably fabricated from an extruded plastic material, but other materials may also be used. The tapered alignment key 150, 152 may be characterized as a side connection key. A first side of the tapered alignment key 150, 152 includes a first tapered surface 153 and a second tapered surface 155. A second side of the tapered alignment key 150 includes a first tapered surface 157 and a second tapered surface 159. A positive taper key slot 154 is formed in at least one side wall of the open liner section 10′ and expandable liner sections 156, 158. When the open liner section 10′ is used with at least one expandable liner section 156, 158, the substantially concave shape 14 does not have to be formed in a top thereof. The tapered key slot 154 includes a first tapered wall 160, a second tapered wall 162 and an end wall 164.

An angle “A” of the first tapered wall 160 preferably has a range of between 0.5 to 5 degrees, but other angles may also be used. An angle “B” of the second tapered wall 162 preferably has a range of between 0.5 to 5 degrees, but other angles may also be used. A gap “G” preferably exists between an end of the tapered alignment key 150, 152 and the end wall 164, when the tapered alignment key 150, 152 is fully inserted into the tapered key slot 154. The gap “G” has a preferably width of at least 0.03 inches. Contact between the tapered walls 160, 162 of the positive taper key slot 154 and tapered surfaces 153, 155, 157, 159 of the tapered alignment key 150, 152 provide some positive locking to prevent the tapered alignment key 150, 152 from moving within the positive taper key slot 154.

With reference to FIGS. 28-29, a modular curb liner 4 includes a plurality of curb liner sections 166. At least one alignment key 168 is preferably used to retain the plurality of curb liner sections 166, adjacent to each other. A key slot 164 is preferably formed in at least one side of each curb liner section 166 to receive the at least one alignment key 168. One type of alignment key is shown FIGS. 28-29, but other types of alignment keys may also be used, such as those previously disclosed in this application. One side of each curb liner section 166 includes a raised edge 172. A gradual slope 174 smoothly joins a top of the curb liner section 166 with the raised edge 172. The gradual slope 174 may be curved, straight or any other appropriate contour. The one side of the plurality of curb liner sections 166 are placed adjacent a strip of land 300 and the other side of the plurality of curb liner sections 166 are placed adjacent a road 302.

When the curb liner sections 166 are placed in a channel 304, ends of each curb liner section 166 preferably do not contact each other; a small gap (space) “H” is left between the ends thereof. The value of gap “H” is preferably at least 0.01 inches. It is beneficial for a small amount of water to drain into the ground below the ditch 100. However, the minimum value of gap (space) “H” may also be defined by what gap (space) allows water to seep between adjacent curb liner sections 166.

With reference to FIGS. 30-32, a culvert receiver 176 includes a liner end 178 and a culvert end 180. A cross section of each open liner section includes a substantially concave shape 182 formed on a top thereof. The liner end 178 of the culvert receiver 176 is sized to interface with an open liner section. The substantially concave shape 182 preferably matches that of the open liner section. Each side of the culvert receiver flares outward from substantially the liner end 178 to the culvert end 180. A shape of the flare on each side may be straight, curved or any other appropriate shape. The culvert end 180 of the culvert receiver is sized to interface with a culvert. The substantially concave shape 182 flares outward, substantially parallel to each side. At least one alignment key 168 is preferably used to retain a single open liner section relative to the liner end 178 of the culvert receiver 176. The key slot 164 is preferably formed in at least one side of each culvert receiver 180 at the liner end 178 to receive the at least one alignment key 168. One type of alignment key is shown in FIGS. 30-32, but other types of alignment keys may also be used, such as those previously disclosed in this application.

With reference to FIGS. 33-36, a secondary flow connector 184 includes a first end extension 186, a second end extension 188 and a side extension 190. The first end extension 186, the second end extension 188 and the side extension 190 are sized to interface with an open liner section. A cross section of the first end extension 186, the second end extension 188 and the side extension 190 each include the substantially concave shape 182 formed on a top thereof. The substantially concave shape 182 continues through a middle of the secondary flow connector 184. The at least one alignment key 168 is preferably used to retain a single open liner section relative to one of the extensions. The key slot 164 is formed in at least one side of each extension to receive the at least one alignment key 168. One type of alignment key is shown FIGS. 33-36, but other types of alignment keys may also be used, such as those previously disclosed in this application. The side extension 190 extends substantially perpendicularly from the secondary flow connector 184. However, the side extension 190 may also extend from the secondary flow connector 184′ at a nonperpendicular angle, as shown in FIG. 34.

With reference to FIGS. 37-38, a trapezoidal ditch liner 192 includes at least one end being nonperpendicular to a side thereof. Angles A and B are preferably equal to each other and less than 90 degrees. The cross section of each trapezoidal ditch liner 192 includes the substantially concave shape 182 formed on a top thereof. A plurality of trapezoidal ditch liners 192 may be placed end to end to form a radius of ditch liners. With reference to FIGS. 39-40, a curved ditch liner 194 includes a ditch liner with two curved sides and two nonparallel ends. The cross section of each curved ditch liner 194 includes the substantially concave shape formed 182 on a top thereof. A plurality of curved ditch liners 194 may be placed end to end to form a radius of curved ditch liners 194.

While particular embodiments of the invention have been shown and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made without departing from the invention in its broader aspects, and therefore, the aim in the appended claims is to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.