Title:
Tie clip for insulated concrete forms
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
One possible embodiment for the invention could be a tie clip used to hold a plurality of preformed insulated concrete forms together. The tie clip could be a definite length of nine gauge high carbon hanger wire comprising a front portion, a rear portion, a front bend, a middle bend, and a rear bend; the front bend forms at least a portion of the front portion into a front hook capable of engaging at least a portion of a first preformed insulated concrete form; the rear bend forms at least a portion of the rear portion into a rear hook capable of engaging at least a portion of a second preformed insulated concrete form; and the middle bend which connects the front portion to the rear portion and provides retaining tension for the tie clip that is essentially transmitted to the first and second preformed insulated concrete forms.



Inventors:
Gamboa, Hector (Sparks, NV, US)
Application Number:
11/055761
Publication Date:
08/24/2006
Filing Date:
02/10/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B1/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20100050559Pyramid Rebar SupportMarch, 2010Tillery
20070074460PORTABLE DRILLING MAST STRUCTUREApril, 2007Belik
20040148871Undersiding flashing receiverAugust, 2004Fandel
20050284043Stair system with expandable centerDecember, 2005Sorenson Jr.
20080302047DRYWALL JOINT SYSTEM AND METHODDecember, 2008Schraga
20060080920Corner moldings and coolers made therewithApril, 2006Barr
20070028557HEIGHT-ADJUSTABLE, STRUCTURALLY SUSPENDED SLABS FOR A STRUCTURAL FOUNDATIONFebruary, 2007Kelly et al.
20070180783WINDOW FRAME WITH SELF-ALIGNING AND SELF-ATTACHING MEANSAugust, 2007Amato
20100024349METHOD OF DEPLOYING A PREFABRICATED STRUCTUREFebruary, 2010Pope
20060048460Ridge hood and ridge coverMarch, 2006Schwind
20030070375Decorative ceiling panelApril, 2003Dosser



Primary Examiner:
FONSECA, JESSIE T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
John D. Long (Reno, NV, US)
Claims:
I claim as my invention:

1. A tie clip for holding preformed insulated concrete forms together comprising: A) a definite length of nine gauge high carbon hanger wire having a front portion, a rear portion, a front bend, a middle bend, and a rear bend; B) the front bend being an acute angle, which forms at least a portion of the front portion into a front hook capable of engaging at least a portion of a first preformed insulated concrete form; C) the rear bend being an acute angle, which forms at least a portion of the rear portion into a rear hook capable of engaging at least a portion of a second preformed insulated concrete form; and D) the middle bend being an obtuse angle, which connects the front portion to the rear portion, orienting the rear hook and front hook towards one another.

2. A tie clip of claim 1 wherein front and rear hooks lie in the same plane.

3. A tie clip of claim 2 wherein the front, middle and rear bends all lie in the same plane.

4. A tie clip of claim 1 wherein the rear and front hooks transmit a retaining tension to preformed insulated concrete forms attached to the tie clip.

5. A tie clip of claim 4 wherein the angle of the middle bend can be adjusted to control the amount of retaining tension.

6. A tie clip of claim 5 wherein the angle of the middle bend angle is decreased to increase the retaining tension.

7. A tie clip of claim 6 wherein the angle of the middle bend angle is increased to decrease the retaining tension.

8. A tie clip of claim 1 wherein at least portions of the preformed insulated concrete forms are plastic connectors.

9. A tie clip for holding a plurality of preformed insulated concrete forms together, comprising: A) a definite length of nine gauge high carbon hanger wire having three bends, a first bend, a middle bend and a rear bend, separating the length into four portions, a rear tip, a rear section, a front section and a front tip; B) the rear tip is connected by the rear bend to the rear section to form a rear hook; C) the front tip is connected by the front bend to the front section to form a front hook; D) the front section is connected by a middle bend to the rear section; wherein the front and rear hooks are capable of transmitting retaining tension to preformed insulated concrete forms attached to the tie clip.

10. A tie clip of claim 9 wherein the front hook and second hook are oriented towards one another.

11. A tie clip of claim 9 wherein the first bend, middle bend and rear bend share a common plane.

12. A tie clip of claim 11 wherein the rear tip, rear section, front section and front tip share a common plane.

13. A tie clip of claim 12 wherein the rear hook and the front hook share a common plane.

14. A tie clip of claim 9 wherein the front bend and rear bend are acute angles.

15. A tie clip of claim 9 wherein the middle bend is an obtuse angle.

16. A tie clip of claim 15 wherein changing the obtuse angle can adjust the retaining tension transmitted by the rear and front hooks.

17. A tie clip for holding preformed insulated concrete forms together comprised of: A) a front portion that is movably connected to a rear portion; B) the front portion being comprised of an engaging end connected to a front hook; C) the rear section being comprised of a catch end connected to a rear hook; wherein the engaging end adjustably interlocks with the catch end to allow for the adjustment of the overall length of the tie clip.

18. A tie clip of claim 17 wherein the engaging end is serrated to allow the engagement of the engaging end by the catch end.

19. A tie clip of claim 18 wherein the catch end has a ratchet mechanism that engages the serrated edge of the projection.

20. A tie clip of claim 19 wherein at least a portion of the engaging end is received within the catch end.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application incorporates by reference and claims priority to the U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/755,800 filed Jun. 07, 2004.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable.

REFERENCE TO A “MICROFICHE APPENDIX”

Not Applicable.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to tie clips used in building construction components, and specifically to those tie clips, which may be used in conjunction with preformed insulated concrete forms.

BACKGROUND

As essentially shown in FIG. 1, preformed insulated concrete forms, generally indicated by reference numeral 10, are generally used in newer systems of building construction, whereby a plurality of preformed insulated concrete forms 10 may be assembled together to essentially provide an overall concrete form 50 of a wall or other building components. Once the overall concrete form 50 is generally assembled, reinforcing building materials (not shown) such as rebar may added to the cavity 60 of the overall concrete form 50. After that is done, then concrete or other suitable building material could be essentially poured into the cavity 60. One the concrete or the like hardens, the foam sheets 20 may generally become integral insulation for the formed building structure (e.g., wall) (not shown).

One such example of a preformed insulated concrete form 10 could essentially be comprised from foam sheets 20 held apart in an essentially parallel planar fashion by a plastic connector 40 proximately located between the two foam sheets 20. The foam sheets 20 orientation essentially forms a cavity 60 into which concrete or the like may be poured.

Each foam sheet 20 could be seen as having two sides and four edges. The two sides could be a front side 22 and a back side 24. The four edges could be a top edge 26, a bottom edge 28 and two side edges 30. The four edges may have one or more indentations, depressions, and corresponding protrusions, projections and the like, which may essentially allow a plurality of preformed insulated concrete forms 10 to generally have some means of fitting together (e.g., a friction or force-type of fit). This means of fitting could allow the operator to generally assemble together a plurality of preformed insulated concrete forms 10 into a desired overall concrete form 50.

The plastic connector 40 can be a relatively rigid web piece of plastic. The plastic connector 40 can generally be attached to the back sides 24 (e.g., at their midsections) of the two foam sheets 20 of the preformed insulated concrete form 10.

During building construction, the operator could essentially first lay a concrete foundation or footing (not shown) for wall(s) support. Then the operator could assemble together a plurality of the preformed insulated concrete forms 10 into a first tier (not shown) that essentially lies upon the concrete footing or foundation of the building. The operator afterwards generally assembles a second tier (not shown) of preformed insulated concrete forms 10 on top of the first tier. By essentially assembling several tiers of insulated concrete forms (e.g., one tier of top of another) an overall concrete form 50 could be constructed for a structure of the building (e.g., a wall-not shown).

In assembling the insulated concrete forms 10 into the overall concrete form 50, the operator may generally rely upon the above described force or friction fit of the edges to hold together the assembled preformed insulated concrete forms 10. However, the described force fit, in some circumstances, may be undone by the various forces, including those of nature. Strong winds descending on a job site could possibly apart an assembled overall concrete form 50, scattering and damaging the previously assembled together preformed insulated concrete forms 10. The insulated concrete forms 10 may be seen as having essentially a relatively large surface area in relation to their weight, thus providing them with suitable aerodynamics for wide dispersion by a strong wind.

Additionally, the weight of the overall poured concrete and other forces may overcome the force fit to essentially result in the misalignment of the preformed insulated concrete forms 10 of the overall concrete form 50. This result could possibly cause the resulting structure to be improperly formed to the wrong shape, dimensions or both.

To attempt to remedy such issues, it has been observed that operators may attempt to bind together a plurality of preformed insulated concrete forms 10 by placing a plastic tie around the respective plastic connectors 40. In this manner, the user can essentially use the plastic ties to interlock several preformed insulated concrete forms 10 that are laid in a tier.

A possible limitation to plastic tie methodology could be the effect of weather upon the plastic used in such plastic ties. In cold weather, the plastic could possibly become essentially brittle and possibly cause the plastic ties to snap apart under the stress of holding a plurality of preformed insulated concrete forms 10 together. In hot weather, it is possible that the plastic could soften and stretch thereby possibly resulting in the creation of gaps or other distortions occurring between the individual preformed insulated concrete forms 10. Such gaps and distortions could possibly be seen as affecting the final measurements and shape of the resulting structure.

Another possible limitation to the plastic tie methodology is that since the plastic ties are very flexible, the operator generally has to insert his or her hands deep into one or more overall concrete forms 50 to bring a plastic tie around two or more plastic connectors 40. While this action in itself is not difficult, it could be seen as being essentially labor and time consuming, hence essentially costly.

Another possible limitation to the plastic tie technology is the presence of rebar and other sharp edged reinforcing materials added to the overall concrete form 50 that could lead to the repeated cutting and otherwise injuring of the hands and limbs of the operator applying the plastic ties to the preformed insulated concrete forms 10.

What is generally needed therefore is a new device that can essentially be used to generally secure concrete insulated forms. The new device should be seen as being easily, inexpensively, and quickly installed; generally not be susceptible to shrinkage or breakage; and can essentially be used in a wide variety of temperatures and operating conditions.

SUMMARY OF ONE EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

Advantages of One or More Embodiments of the Present Invention

The various embodiments of the present invention may, but do not necessarily, achieve one or more of the following advantages:

the ability to resist stretching due to temperature;

the ability to be quickly and easily installed;

the ability to be inexpensively manufactured;

the ability to facilitate the laying of several tiers of insulate concrete without the need for scaffolding;

the ability to reduce the likelihood of wind damage to combined insulated concrete forms;

the ability to reduce the likelihood of injury to those combining preformed insulated concrete forms; and

provide a reliable means of securing a plurality of preformed insulated concrete forms.

These and other advantages may be realized by reference to the remaining portions of the specification, claims, and abstract.

Brief Description of One Embodiment of the Present Invention

One possible embodiment of the invention could be a tie clip for holding preformed insulated concrete forms together comprising a definite length of wire having a front portion, a rear portion, a front bend, a middle bend, and a rear bend; the front bend being an acute angle, which forms at least a portion of the front portion into a front hook capable of engaging at least a portion of a first preformed insulated concrete form; the rear bend being an acute angle, which forms at least a portion of the rear portion into a rear hook capable of engaging at least a portion of a second preformed insulated concrete form; and the middle bend being an obtuse angle, which connects the front portion to the rear portion to orient the rear hook and front hook towards one another.

Another version might be a tie clip for holding a plurality of preformed insulated concrete forms together, comprising a wire having multiple bends, separating the wire into front and rear portions; one bend forms the rear portion into a rear hook, a second bend, wherein the front and rear hooks are capable of transmitting retaining tension to preformed insulated concrete forms attached to the tie clip.

Another version might be a tie clip for holding preformed insulated concrete forms together comprised of a front portion that is movably connected to a rear portion, the front portion being comprised of an engaging end connected to a front hook, the rear section being comprised of a catch end connected to a rear hook, wherein the engaging end adjustably interlocks with the catch end to allow for the adjustment of the overall length of the tie clip.

The above description sets forth, rather broadly, a summary of one embodiment of the present invention so that the detailed description that follows may be better understood and contributions of the present invention to the art may be better appreciated. Some of the embodiments of the present invention may not include all of the features or characteristics listed in the above summary. There are, of course, additional features of the invention that will be described below and will form the subject matter of claims. In this respect, before explaining at least one preferred embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of the construction and to the arrangement of the components set forth in the following description or as illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. In addition, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is substantially a three-dimensional cutaway view of a plurality of preformed insulated concrete forms assembled into an overall concrete form.

FIG. 2 is substantially a three dimensional view of one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 3 is substantially a three-dimensional cutaway view of one embodiment of the invention engaging a plurality of preformed insulated concrete forms.

FIG. 4 is substantially a three-dimensional view of another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 5 is substantially a three-dimensional view of yet another embodiment of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF CERTAIN EMBODIMENTS OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

In the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part of this application. The drawings show, by way of illustration, specific embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. It is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and structural changes may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention.

As essentially shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the invention could be a tie clip, generally referenced by numeral 5, for holding preformed insulated concrete forms 10 together. The tie clip 5, in at least one embodiment, could be generally comprised of a definite length (e.g., in at least one embodiment approximately two feet long) of nine-gage high carbon hanger wire 100 formed with three bends 140 in essentially the same plane: the front bend 122, the middle bend 124 and a rear bend 126.

The middle bend 124 could be seen as generally connecting two portions, generally indicated by reference numeral 130, of the wire 100 together at an obtuse angle. In at least one embodiment, the obtuse angle could be seen as being essentially a 170° degree angle. In at least one embodiment, the two portions 130 and their respective components could be seen as sharing or lying in a common plane.

The two portions 130 could be seen as being comprised of a front portion, generally indicated by reference numeral 132, and a rear portion, generally indicted by reference numeral 134. The front portion 132 could be generally comprised of a front tip 142, a front bend 122, and front section 144. In at least one embodiment, the front tip 142 could be seen as being approximately one inch long. The front bend 122 could be seen as connecting the front tip 142 and front section 144 at an acute angle, in essentially the same plane, to generally form a front hook 146. In at least one embodiment, the acute angle of the front bend 122 could be seen as being approximately 45° degrees. In at least one embodiment, the front hook 146 could be capable of essentially engaging at least a portion of the plastic connector 40 of a first preformed insulated concrete form 70. In at least one embodiment, all the components of the front portion 132 could share or otherwise lie in a common plane.

The rear portion 134 could be seen as being essentially compromised of a rear tip 152, a rear bend 126, and a rear section 154. The rear bend 126 could be seen as connecting the front tip 142 and front section 144 at an acute angle, in essentially the same plane, to generally form the rear hook 156. In at least one embodiment, the rear tip 152 could be seen as being proximately three and half inches long. In at least one embodiment, the acute angle of the rear bend 126 could be seen as being approximately 50° degrees. In at least one embodiment, the rear hook 156 could be capable of essentially engaging at least a portion of the plastic connector 40 of a second preformed insulated concrete form 72. In at least one embodiment, all the components of the rear portion 134 could share or otherwise lie in a common plane.

In the operation of at least one embodiment of the invention, the front and back hooks, 146, 156, respectively, could essentially engage the plastic components 40 of different preformed insulated concrete forms 10 so that the retaining tension essentially imparted by the middle bend 124 may be generally transmitted to the joined first and second preformed insulated concrete forms, 70, 72. In this manner, the retaining tension could be seen as essentially opposing any reciprocal forces generally imparted by a plurality of preformed insulated concrete forms 10, which are joined together by a tie clip 5. The retaining tension could possibly be adjusted by changing the angle of the middle bend 124. This angle could be essentially increased so as to shorten the overall operating length of the invention (i.e. the distance between the front hook 146 and the rear hook 156) and essentially increasing the retaining tension of the tie clip 5. Conversely, the increasing the angle of the middle bend 124 could be seen as decreasing the tension of the tie clip 5 and correspondingly increasing the overall operating length of the tie clip 5.

Another embodiment of the invention as shown essentially in FIG. 3 whereby the tie clip 5 is comprised of two separate portions 200 movably joined together. The portions 200 could be comprised of a front portion 210 and a rear portion 220. The front portion 210 could be seen as being comprised of an engaging end 212 connected to a front hook end 214. The front hook end 214 could be formed as a front hook 216, which could be essentially suitably shaped and sized to engage at least a portion of a plastic component 40 of a preformed insulated concrete form 10. In at least one embodiment, the engaging end 212 has a serrated edge 218.

The rear portion 220 could similarly be comprised of a rear hook end 222 connected to a catch end 224. The rear hook end 222 features a rear hook 223 suitably shaped and sized to essentially engage at least a portion of the plastic component 40 of a preformed insulated concrete form 10. In at least one embodiment, the catch end 224 generally features a ratchet mechanism 226 that receives and retains the engaging end 212 of the front portion 210. In at least one embodiment, the ratchet mechanism 226 could have a pawl (not shown) or similar device (not shown), which could essentially engage the serrated edge 218 of the engaging end 212 of the front portion 210. In at least one embodiment, the ratchet mechanism 226 could be generally fitted with a release mechanism (not shown) for filly or partially releasing the engaging end 310 from the ratchet mechanism 226 after the engaging end's introduction into the ratchet mechanism 360. In this manner, the rear portion 220 can reversibly receive (e.g., adjustably interlock with) the front portion 210. Thus the tie clip 5 can have its operating length adjusted for various different applications with various different styles of preformed insulated concrete forms 10 while still maintaining necessary retaining tension.

In FIG. 4, another embodiment of the invention shows the use of a front portion 210 with a serrated engaging end 212 that could be reversibly received by the catch end 224 of the rear portion 220. The catch end 224 in this embodiment could have an engaging end aperture 300 which may generally be connected to an essentially hollow interior 302. In one version, at least a portion of the engaging end 212 could essentially pass through the engaging end aperture 300 generally into at least a portion of the hollow interior 302. The rear portion 220 could possibly further feature one or more prongs 304 generally biased towards and essentially located proximately to the engaging end aperture 300. The prong(s) 304 could possibly engage the serrated edge 218 of any engagement end 212, which may generally be received by the catch end 224. Similarly, the operator could generally apply pressure against the bias of the prongs 304 to bring the prong(s) 306 essentially out of contact with the serrated edge, thus generally allowing reversible receipt of the front portion 210 by the rear portion 220 for the overall length adjustment of the tie clip 5. In at least one embodiment, each prong 304 could have a lever 306 by which the operator could exert pressure against the bias of the prongs 304 to disengage the prong(s) 304 from the serrated edged 218 of the engaging end 212.

For one possible operation of one possible embodiment of the single piece tie clip 5, the operator would generally place at least two preformed insulated concrete forms 10 next to one another for affixing by the invention. At that time the operator could generally grab a unitary tie clip 5 by the rear portion 132 to essentially direct the front hook 146 to the plastic connector 40 of the essentially farthest placed of the two preformed insulated concert forms 10. The front hook 146 could engage at least a portion of said plastic connector 40. The operator would then bring the rear hook 156 over to the plastic connector 40 of the other preformed insulated concert form 10. The operator could exert leverage on the rear tip 152 to assist the rear hook 156 in engaging the plastic connector 40 of the other preformed insulated concert form 10. In this manner, the tie clip 5 would exert retaining tension upon the now connected preformed insulated concrete forms 10.

CONCLUSION

Although the description above contains many specifications, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention but as merely providing illustrations of some of the presently preferred embodiments of this invention. Thus, the scope of the invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents rather than by the examples given.