Title:
Panel system for forming poured concrete walls
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A panel system for forming poured concrete walls. The system includes at least two panels which are arranged in a spaced apart position relative to each other and form a cavity therebetween adapted to receive poured concrete. At least one attachment boss is removably mounted to at least one of the panels so that the attachment boss is positioned in the cavity and so that, following a concrete pour, the attachment boss is embedded in the concrete. A fastener is attached to the attachment boss after the concrete has set and a firring strip is thereafter attached to the fastener.



Inventors:
Kitchens, Wendall (Smyrna, GA, US)
Application Number:
11/048593
Publication Date:
08/17/2006
Filing Date:
02/01/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B2/00
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Primary Examiner:
SAFAVI, MICHAEL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Hovey Williams LLP (Overland Park, KS, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A panel system for forming poured concrete walls comprising: at least two panels arranged in a spaced apart position relative to each other and forming a cavity therebetween adapted to receive poured concrete, at least one attachment boss removably mounted to at least one of said panels so that said attachment boss is positioned in said cavity, said at least one attachment boss being embedded in concrete following a concrete pour into said cavity, a fastener attachable to said at least one attachment boss following embedment of the at least one attachment boss in concrete.

2. The invention as defined in claim 1 where said attachment boss includes an internally threaded bore and wherein said fastener comprises a threaded fastener dimensioned to threadably engage said threaded bore.

3. The invention as defined in claim 1 wherein said attachment boss is constructed of plastic.

4. The invention as defined in claim 1 and comprising a plurality of attachment bosses being removably mounted to said at least one panel, said attachment bosses being linearly aligned with respect to each other.

5. The invention as defined in claim 1 and comprising an elongated firring strip secured to said at least one fastener.

6. The invention as defined in claim 5 wherein said fastener comprises an enlarged head and wherein said firring strip includes a retainer channel dimensioned to frictionally lock onto said enlarged head.

7. The invention as defined in claim 6 wherein said retainer channel is made of a flexible material and includes at least one retaining barb, said retaining barb extending beneath said enlarged head when said enlarged head is positioned in said retainer channel.

8. The invention as defined in claim 6 wherein said firring strip comprises a plastic extrusion.

9. The invention as defined in claim 6 and comprising means for adjusting the distance between said enlarged head and said attachment boss.

10. The invention as defined in claim 9 wherein said adjusting means comprises a threaded connection between said fastener and said attachment boss.

11. The invention as defined in claim 1 and comprising a channel member secured to said panel, said channel having a cavity dimensioned to receive an end of said fastener and retain said fastener at a predetermined position relative to said panel.

12. The invention as defined in claim 1 wherein said attachment boss includes a main body having one end mounted to said panel and a retainer flange at its opposite end, said retainer flange being greater in cross-sectional area than said main body.

13. The invention as defined in claim 1 wherein said attachment boss is solid in cross section.

14. The invention as defined in claim 1 wherein said attachment boss includes a threaded bore and wherein said fastener comprises a threaded end which threadably engages said attachment boss bore and a barbed end.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

I. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to a panel system for forming poured concrete walls.

II. Description of Related Art

There are many previously known panel systems for forming poured concrete walls, floors and ceilings, hereinafter collectively referred to as walls. Furthermore, a number of these previously known systems utilize reusable aluminum panels.

In these previously known aluminum panel systems, the panels are generally rectangular in shape having a top, bottom and two spaced apart sides. At least two panels are positioned in a spaced-apart relationship relative to each other and form a concrete receiving cavity therebetween. Consequently, after the entire panel system has been erected in the shape of the desired poured concrete wall, the concrete is poured into the cavity and allowed to set. Thereafter, the aluminum panels are removed from the formed concrete wall and reused in subsequent projects.

There are many situations, however, where it is desirable to attach a firring strip to the poured concrete wall. This is particularly true for an above the ground poured concrete wall.

Previously, in order to attach firring strips to the poured concrete wall it has been necessary to attach the firring strip to the poured concrete wall after the concrete has set by shooting a nail through the firring strip and into the concrete wall utilizing a specialized gun which propels the nail through the stud and into the wall using an explosive charge. This previously known method, however, suffers from several disadvantages.

First, the equipment, as well as the nails and explosive charges used to propel the nails through the firring strip and into the concrete wall, are relatively expensive and difficult to use. Furthermore, the use of such equipment may lead to injury of the installer due to splintering of the firring strip and/or chip fracture of the concrete wall while the nail is driven into the wall.

A still further disadvantage of these previously known systems is that the nails oftentimes do not provide a sufficiently secure attachment of the firring strip to the concrete wall. This, in turn, can lead to failure of the wall itself by the unwanted and undesirable detachment of the firring strip from the wall.

A still further disadvantage of these previously known methods for attaching firring strips to a wall is that, although ideally the concrete wall is perfectly vertical once poured, in practice the face of the concrete wall is oftentimes not precisely vertical after the wall has been poured and set. When this happens, firring strips attached to the wall must be shimmed in order to render the firring strip vertical. This, however, is a difficult and time-consuming procedure. Furthermore, even when the firring strips are properly shimmed so that the face of the firring strip is vertical, oftentimes the faces of the firring strips will not be aligned in the same vertical plane along the length of the wall. When this happens, the final wall material attached to the firring strips will likewise not lie in a vertical plane and thus result in an unacceptable final wall surface.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

The present invention provides a panel system for poured concrete walls which overcomes all of the above-mentioned disadvantages of the previously known systems.

In brief, the panel system according to the present invention comprises at least two generally rectangular panels which are arranged so that the panels are spaced apart from each other. In doing so, a cavity is formed between the facing panels designed to receive poured concrete. Preferably, the panels are constructed of aluminum and, in a practical application, many panels are attached together in a side-by-side relationship to form the perimeter of the desired final concrete wall.

At least one, and preferably a plurality, of attachment bosses are removably mounted to at least one of the panels so that, when the panels are positioned in preparation for a concrete pour, the attachment bosses are positioned within the cavity. Consequently, following the concrete pour, the bosses become embedded within the concrete wall.

A fastener is attachable to each attachment boss following the concrete pour and after the concrete has set and the panels have been removed. These attachment bosses are preferably vertically aligned with other, preferably at predetermined horizontal distances from each other, e.g. at horizontally spaced intervals of sixteen inches, so that a free end of each fastener protrudes outwardly from the poured concrete wall. Preferably, each fastener comprises a bolt having an enlarged head and a threaded shank which threadably engages an internally threaded bore in the attachment boss.

The fasteners are utilized to attach a firring strip to the poured concrete wall. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the firring strip is made of a flexible material, such as plastic or nylon, and includes a channel dimensioned to snap onto the fastener heads thus attaching the firring strip to the fasteners and simultaneously attaching the firring strips to the concrete wall. Since the fasteners are preferably threadably attached to the attachment bosses, the precise spacing of the enlarged head of the fasteners relative to the poured concrete wall may be adjusted by rotatably adjusting the fastener in its associated attachment boss. In this fashion, the fastener heads may be adjusted so that they all lie in a common vertically oriented plane so that the subsequent attachment of the firring strip to the fastener heads also vertically aligns the firring strips in a vertical plane.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

A better understanding of the present invention will be had upon reference to the following detailed description, when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, wherein like reference characters refer to like parts throughout the several views, and in which:

FIG. 1 is an exploded fragmentary view illustrating a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary sectional view illustrating the preferred embodiment of the present invention in preparation for a concrete pour;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 but illustrating the preferred embodiment of the invention following the concrete pour but before removal of the forming panel;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view similar to FIG. 3, but illustrating the panels removed from the concrete wall;

FIG. 5 is a plan view illustrating an exemplary forming panel;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary side view illustrating the preferred embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 7 is a view taken substantially along line 7-7 in FIG. 6 and enlarged for clarity;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary side view illustrating one fastener used in combination with the preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view illustrating a preferred embodiment of a firring strip used in conjunction with the present invention;

FIG. 10 is a view similar to FIG. 2, but illustrating a second preferred embodiment for temporarily mounting the attachment bosses to the forming panel; and

FIG. 11 is a view similar to FIG. 7, but illustrating an alternative embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

With reference first to FIGS. 2 and 5, a preferred embodiment of the panel system 20 for forming poured concrete walls is shown and comprises at least two panels 22 and 24 which are arranged in a spaced apart position and generally parallel to each other as best shown in FIG. 2. In doing so, the panels 22 and 24 form a cavity 26 therebetween adapted to receive poured concrete.

As best shown in FIG. 5, each panel 22 is generally rectangular in shape having an outer frame 28 with a sheet 30 extending around and secured to the frame 28. Both the sheet 30 and frame 28 are preferably constructed of aluminum and the panels 22 are typically manufactured in a variety of different widths.

With reference now to FIGS. 1 and 2, the panel system 20 further comprises at least one attachment boss 32 having a main body 34 and a retaining flange 36. The main body 34 is illustrated in FIG. 1 as being generally cylindrical in shape although it may assume any desired shape without deviation from either the spirit or scope of the present invention. Similarly, the retaining flange 36 is illustrated as hexagonal in shape but may be of any desired shape provided that the retaining flange 36 has a greater cross-sectional area than the main body 34, at least in one dimension.

Preferably, the attachment boss 32 is of a one-piece plastic construction although materials, such as nylon, steel, other metals, or the like may alternatively be used.

With reference now particularly to FIG. 1, an elongated fastener 40 is associated with each attachment boss 32. Preferably, the fastener 40 includes an elongated threaded shank 42 which is dimensioned to threadably engage a threaded bore 44 formed in the attachment member 32. The fastener 40 also includes an enlarged head 46 for a reason to be subsequently described.

With reference now to FIGS. 2 and 5, at least one, and preferably a plurality, of attachment bosses 32 are removably attached to the panel 22 and/or the panel 24 so that, when the panels 22 and 24 are arranged as shown in FIG. 2, the attachment bosses 32 are positioned in the cavity 26. Different ways may be used to removably secure the attachment bosses 32 to the panel 22. For example, as shown in FIG. 2, a bolt 48 may extend through the sheet 30 of the panel 22 and threadably engage the internally threaded bore 44 of the attachment member 32 such that the attachment member 32 is secured to the panel 22 and positioned within the cavity 26 adapted to receive the concrete pour.

With reference now to FIG. 10, an alternative method of removably mounting the attachment bosses 32 to the panel 22 is shown. A channel member 50 defining an interior channel 52 is attached to the panel 22 on the side opposite the cavity 26. The channel 52 is dimensioned to frictionally engage the fastener 40. Consequently, with the fastener 40 threadably secured to the attachment boss 32, an outwardly extending portion 54 of the fastener 40 protrudes through an opening 56 in the panel 22 and into the retaining channel 52 of the retainer channel 50. In doing so, the retainer channel 50 securely, but removably, mounts the attachment bosses 32 to the panel 22.

The attachment bosses 32 can also be removably mounted to the panel 22 by a temporary adhesive.

As best shown in FIG. 5, preferably, the attachment members 32 are vertically linearly aligned relative to each other and are spaced apart from each other in vertically aligned rows at predetermined distances, e.g. sixteen inches.

With reference now to FIG. 3, in forming the poured concrete wall, concrete 60 is poured into the cavity 26 and allowed to set or cure. In doing so, the concrete 60 embeds the attachment boss 32 in the concrete 60. Thereafter, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the bolt 48 is removed and the panels 22 and 24 removed from the cured concrete wall. Upon removal of the panels 22, as best shown in FIG. 4, the threaded end 62 faces outwardly from and is aligned with one side 62 of the formed concrete wall 60.

Alternatively, if the attachment bosses 32 are removably secured to the panel 22 as shown in FIG. 10, the panel 22 is simply pulled away from the formed concrete wall.

With reference now to FIGS. 1, 6, 8 and 9, the fasteners 40 are secured to the attachment bosses 32 as best shown in FIG. 6. Furthermore, the position of the enlarged head 46 of each fastener 40 relative to the formed wall may be adjusted by rotatably adjusting the fastener 40 in its associated attachment boss. Such an attachment may compensate for any non-vertical orientation of the poured concrete wall 60, shown in exaggeration in FIG. 6.

With reference to FIGS. 1, 6, 7 and 9, an elongated firring strip 70 includes a retainer channel 72 defining a channel 74 dimensioned to receive the enlarged head 46 of the fastener 40. Additionally, preferably one or more barbs 78 are formed on the retainer channel 72 which are dimensioned to fit under the enlarged head 46 of the fastener 40 thus locking the fastener 40 to the firring strip 70.

Preferably, the firring strip 70 is constructed of a flexible material and, preferably, comprises a one-piece plastic or nylon extrusion. Therefore, in order to attach the firring strip 70 to the fastener heads 46 as shown in FIG. 6, the firring strip 70 is compressed against the fastener head 46, thus flexing the retainer channel 72 outwardly as shown in phantom line in FIG. 7. This, in turn, allows the fastener head 46 to enter into the channel 74 and, following entry, the barbs 78 engage the underside of the fastener head 46 thus firmly retaining the firring strip 70 to the concrete wall 60.

Consequently, in practice, after the concrete wall has been poured and the fasteners 40 secured to their associated attachment bosses 32 such that the heads 46 of the fasteners 40 are aligned with each other, the firring strips 70 may be easily and rapidly snap mounted onto the fasteners 40, and thus attached to the concrete wall 60. Since the attachment bosses are aligned at predetermined intervals, e.g. sixteen-inch horizontal spacing, any desired conventional wall treatment may be thereafter attached to the firring strips 70 in the conventional fashion.

Although the fasteners 40 have been described as threaded fasteners which threadably engage a threaded bore in the attachment bosses 32, it will be understood that other types of fasteners which attach in different fashions to the attachment bosses 32 may alternatively be used without deviation from either the spirit or scope of the invention. For example, the attachment bosses 32 may merely comprise a solid plug into which a screw may be driven.

With reference now to FIG. 11, an alternative method of attaching the firring strip 70 to the attachment boss 32 is shown in which a threaded end 100 of a fastener 102 threadably engages the attachment boss 32. The other end 104 of the fastener 102 protrudes outwardly from the formed wall 60 and includes at least one, and preferably a plurality of, barbs 106. The firring strip 70 includes a channel 108 dimensioned to receive the barbed end 104 of the fastener 102. Consequently, in order to attach the firring strip 70 to the fastener 102, the firring strip 70 is pressed against the barbed ends 104 of the fasteners 102 whereupon the barbs 106 frictionally engage the interior sides of the channel 108 and secure the firring strip 70 to the wall 60.

Similarly, it may be understood that, although in the preferred embodiment of the invention the firring strips 70 snap onto the fasteners 40, any other conventional means may be used to attach the firring strips to the fasteners 40.

Having described my invention, however, many modifications thereto will become apparent to those skilled in the art to which it pertains without deviation from the spirit of the invention as defined by the scope of the appended claims.





 
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