Title:
Fire stop wall unit
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A fire retardant wall unit including a foam block and first and second steel pans is provided. The first steel pan and the second steel pan both have a left flange and a right flange. The foam block, the first steel pan, and the second steel pan are all about equal in length. When the wall unit is assembled, the foam block lies between the first and second steel pans, the left flange of the second steel pan overlaps the left flange of the first steel pan, and the right flange of the first steel pan overlaps the right flange of the second steel pan, in an offset manner.



Inventors:
D'andrea, Anthony (Hialeah, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/067798
Publication Date:
08/31/2006
Filing Date:
02/28/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04C1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FONSECA, JESSIE T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Walter J. Tencza Jr. (Edison, NJ, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. An apparatus comprising: a foam block having a length, a width, and a depth; a first steel pan having a left flange and a right flange, wherein the first steel pan has a length and a width and the left flange of the first steel pan has a depth and the right flange of the first steel pan has a depth; a second steel pan having a left flange and a right flange, wherein the second steel pan has a length and a width and the left flange of the second steel pan has a depth and the right flange of the second steel pan has a depth; wherein the lengths of the foam block, the first steel pan, and the second steel pan are about equal; and wherein the width of the second steel pan is about the same as the width of the first steel pan; wherein the width of the foam block is about the same or slightly less than the width of the first steel pan, so that the foam block can be inserted in between the left flange and the right flange of the first steel pan; and wherein the width of the foam block is about the same or slightly less than the width of the second steel pan, so that the foam block can be inserted in between the left flange and the right flange of the second steel pan; and wherein the foam block is inserted in between the left flange and the right flange of the first steel pan and simultaneously in between the left flange and the right flange of the second steel pan so that the left flange of the second steel pan at least partially overlaps the left flange of the first steel pan and the right flange of the first steel pan at least partially overlaps the right flange of the second steel pan.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the left flange of the second steel pan is attached to and lies against the left flange of the first steel pan; and wherein the right flange of the second steel pan is attached to and lies against the right flange of the first steel pan.

3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the left flange of the second steel pan and the left flange of the first steel pan are attached to a first side of the foam block; and the right flange of the second steel pan and the right flange of the first steel pan are attached to a second side of the foam block, wherein the second side is opposite the first side.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the foam block is comprised of rigid expanded polystyrene

5. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the first steel pan has a body portion between its left and right flanges; the second steel pan has a body portion between its left and right flanges; the foam block has a front and a back; and wherein the first steel pan is attached to the foam block so that the foam block lies between the left and right flanges of the first steel pan and a majority of the front of the foam block lies against the body portion of the first steel pan; and the second steel pan is attached to the foam block so that the foam block lies between the left and right flanges of the second steel pan and a majority of the back of the foam block lies against the body portion of the second steel pan.

6. An apparatus comprising a first foam block having a front, a back, a top, a bottom, a left side, and a right side; a first U-shaped steel member having a central portion, a left portion, and a right portion; wherein the right side of the first foam block can be placed between the left portion and the right portion of the first U-shaped member, so that the right side of the first foam block lies against and is covered by the central portion of the first U-shaped member; and wherein the first foam block has a width and the left portion and the right portion of the first U-shaped member overlap a small part of the width of the first foam block, when the central portion of the first U-shaped member covers the right side of the first foam block.

7. The apparatus of claim 6 wherein when the right side of the first foam block is placed between the left portion and the right portion of the first U-shaped member, the left portion lies against the back of the first foam block and the right portion lies against the front of the first foam block.

8. The apparatus of claim 6 further comprising a second foam block having a front, a back, a top, a bottom, a left side, and a right side; a second U-shaped steel member having a central portion, a left portion, and a right portion; wherein the left side of the second foam block can be placed between the left portion and the right portion of the second U-shaped member, so that the left side of the second foam block lies against and is covered by the central portion of the second U-shaped member; wherein the second foam block has a width and the left portion and the right portion of the second U-shaped member overlap a small part of the width of the second foam block, when the central portion of the second U-shaped member covers the right side of the second foam block; and wherein the first U-shaped member is connected to the second U-shaped member to connect the first foam block to the second foam block.

9. A method comprising the steps of: providing a foam block having a length, a width, and a depth; providing a first steel pan having a left flange and a right flange, wherein the first steel pan has a length and a width and the left flange of the first steel pan has a depth and the right flange of the first steel pan has a depth; providing a second steel pan having a left flange and a right flange, wherein the second steel pan has a length and a width and the left flange of the second steel pan has a depth and the right flange of the second steel pan has a depth; wherein the lengths of the foam block, the first steel pan, and the second steel pan are about equal; and wherein the width of the second steel pan is about the same as the width of the first steel pan; and wherein the width of the foam block is about the same or slightly less than the width of the first steel pan, so that the foam block can be inserted in between the left flange and the right flange of the first steel pan; and wherein the width of the foam block is about the same or slightly less than the width of the first steel pan, so that the foam block can be inserted in between the left flange and the right flange of the first steel pan; wherein the width of the foam block is about the same or slightly less than the width of the second steel pan, so that the foam block can be inserted in between the left flange and the right flange of the second steel pan; and wherein the foam block is inserted in between the left flange and the right flange of the first steel pan and simultaneously in between the left flange and the right flange of the second steel pan so that the left flange of the second steel pan at least partially overlaps the left flange of the first steel pan and the right flange of the first steel pan at least partially overlaps the right flange of the second steel pan.

10. The method of claim 9 further comprising attaching the left flange of the second steel pan to the left flange of the first steel pan so that the left flange of the second steel pan lies against the left flange of the first steel pan; and attaching the right flange of the second steel pan to the right flange of the first steel pan so that the right flange of the second steel pan lies against the right flange of the first steel pan.

11. The method of claim 10 further comprising attaching the left flange of the second steel pan and the left flange of the first steel pan to a first side of the foam block; and attaching the right flange of the second steel pan and the right flange of the first steel pan to a second side the foam block, wherein the second side is opposite the first side.

12. The method of claim 9 wherein the foam block is comprised of rigid expanded polystyrene

13. The method of claim 9 wherein the first steel pan has a body portion between its left and right flanges; the second steel pan has a body portion between its left and right flanges; the foam block has a front and a back; and further comprising attaching the first steel pan to the foam block so that the foam block lies between the left and right flanges of the first steel pan and a majority of the front of the foam block lies against the body portion of the first steel pan; and attaching the second steel pan to the foam block so that the foam block lies between the left and right flanges of the second steel pan and a majority of the back of the foam block lies against the body portion of the second steel pan.

14. A method comprising providing a first foam block having a front, a back, a top, a bottom, a left side, and a right side; providing a first U-shaped steel member having a central portion, a left portion, and a right portion; and placing the right side of the first foam block between the left portion and the right portion of the first U-shaped member, so that the right side of the first foam block lies against and is covered by the central portion of the first U-shaped member; and wherein the first foam block has a width and the left portion and the right portion of the first U-shaped member overlaps a small part of the width of the first foam block, when the central portion of the first U-shaped member covers the right side of the first foam block.

15. The method of claim 14 wherein when the right side of the first foam block is placed between the left portion and the right portion of the first U-shaped member, the left portion lies against the back of the first foam block and the right portion lies against the front of the first foam block.

16. The method of claim 15 further comprising providing a second foam block having a front, a back, a top, a bottom, a left side, and a right side; providing a second U-shaped steel member having a central portion, a left portion, and a right portion; and placing the left side of the second foam block between the left portion and the right portion of the second U-shaped member, so that the left side of the second foam block lies against and is covered by the central portion of the second U-shaped member; wherein the second foam block has a width and the left portion and the right portion of the second U-shaped member overlaps a small part of the width of the second foam block, when the central portion of the second U-shaped member covers the right side of the second foam block; and wherein the first U-shaped member is connected to the second U-shaped member to connect the first foam block to the second foam block.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to improved methods and apparatus concerning fire prevention devices.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Prefabricated wall and building systems are generally known. A known wall panel or unit is manufactured with steel facing on a front and a back of a foam block core. The foam block is typically made of rigid expanded polystyrene. The steel is laminated to the foam block. This wall panel is commonly known as an SIP (Structural Insulated Panel). These panels are common in cooler and freezer designs as well as other types of building. Typically, the wall panels are placed inside an anchored floor track. A top cap, having a U-Channel is secured and caps off the top of the wall panel when assembled. These wall panels also use connecting pieces, which overlap the fronts or backs of each panel to join the wall panels when assembled.

The result of this known technology is a prefabricated wall system that has sheet steel facing on the two exposed sides (front and back) and is capped on the top and the bottom of the wall panel. Thus, of the six available sides of a wall panel currently only four sides are protected with steel facings or components. This leaves the two vertical sides of the wall panel with exposed expanded polystyrene even though these two vertical sides are concealed within the wall panel connecting pieces.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention, in one or more embodiments, creates a fire-stop between wall panels or units on the two vertical edge sides (left and right sides) of each wall panel that have exposed expanded polystyrene. The left and right sides or edges are typically capped with steel. This can be done in various ways. It is preferred that the material should be steel protecting the expanded polystyrene on all sides of a wall panel in order to be an effective fire-stop.

The present invention in one or more embodiments provides a wall unit or apparatus comprising a foam block and first and second steel pans. The foam block typically has a length, a width, and a depth. The first steel pan and the second steel pan typically both have a left flange and a right flange.

The foam block, the first steel pan, and the second steel pan typically have lengths, which are equal. The first steel pan and the second steel pan typically have widths, which are equal. The foam block typically has a width, which is slightly less than the width of the first steel pan and the second steel pan. When the steel pans are laminated to either the front or the back of the foam block, they are slightly offset to allow the opposing flanges to overlap on the vertical edges or sides of the foam block. The foam block typically has a width, which is typically slightly less than the width of both steel pans, so that the foam block can be inserted in between the left flange and the right flange of either of the first steel pan to form a combination of the foam block and the first steel pan. The left flange of the second steel pan can then overlap the left flange of the right steel pan while the right flange of the first steel pan can overlap the right flange of the second steel pan, i.e. in an offset configuration. The foam block, the first steel pan, and the second steel pan together form a fire retardant wall unit.

When the wall unit is assembled, typically the left flange of the second steel pan overlaps the left flange of the first steel pan and the right flange of the first steel pan overlaps the right flange of the second steel pan, i.e. in an offset configuration. In addition, the left flange of the second steel pan is attached to and lies against the left flange of the first steel pan, and both are attached to the foam block. The right flange of the first steel pan is attached to and lies against the right flange of the second steel pan and both are also attached to the foam block. The foam block may be comprised of rigid expanded polystyrene.

The first steel pan may have a body portion between its left and right flanges. The second steel pan, similarly, may have a body portion between its left and right flanges. The first steel pan may be attached to the foam block so that the foam block lies between the left and right flanges of the first steel pan and a front of the foam block lies against the majority of the body portion of the first steel pan. The left flange of the first steel pan may lie against a first edge of the foam block while the right flange of the first steel pan may be spaced apart from a second edge, opposing the first edge of the foam block. The right flange of the second steel pan can be inserted into the space between the right flange of the first steel pan and the second edge of the foam block. The second steel pan may be attached to the foam block so that the foam block lies between the left and right flanges of the second steel pan and a back of the foam block lies against the majority of the body portion of the second steel pan.

In another embodiment of the present invention, an apparatus is provided comprising a first foam block, and a first U-shaped steel member having a central portion, a left portion, and a right portion. A right side of the first foam block can be placed between the left portion and the right portion of the first U-shaped member, so that the right side of the first foam block lies against and is covered by the central portion of the first U-shaped member. The left portion and the right portion of the first U-shaped member may overlap a small part of a width of the first foam block, when the central portion of the first U-shaped member covers the right side of the first foam block. When the right side of the first foam block is placed between the left portion and the right portion of the first U-shaped member, the left portion may lie against a back of the first foam block and the right portion may lie against a front of the first foam block.

A second foam block and a second U-shaped steel member similar to the first foam block and the first U-shaped steel member may be provided and may be attached to the first foam block.

The present invention also provides a method including providing a foam block, a first steel pan, and a second steel pan as previously described. A method is also disclosed providing a first foam block and a first U-shaped member as previously described.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a first steel pan;

FIG. 2 shows perspective views of the first steel pan of FIG. 1, of a foam core, and of a second steel pan in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of an assembled wall unit including the first steel pan, the foam core, and the second steel pan;

FIG. 4 shows a top view of the assembled wall unit of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 shows a top view of the assembled wall unit of FIG. 3 connected to another similar assembled wall unit;

FIG. 6 shows a top view of first and second assembled wall units in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7 shows a top view of the first and second assembled wall units of FIG. 6 connected together; and

FIG. 8 shows a top view of another embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a first steel pan 10. The steel pan 10 includes body portion 10b, which is connected to flanges 10c and 10a. The flanges 10c and 10a are typically at right angles with respect to the body portion 10b. There is a plurality of holes 10d through the flange 10c. A fastener, such as a screw or bolt, can be inserted through any of the holes 10d through the flange 10c. The flange 10a has a plurality of similar holes 10e, shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.

FIG. 2 shows perspective views of the first steel pan 10 of FIG. 1, of a foam core 20, and of a second steel pan 12 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The second steel pan 12 is similar to the first steel pan 10. The second steel pan 12 includes flanges 12c and 12a and body portion 12b. The flanges 12c and 12a are at right angles with respect to the body portion 12b. There are a plurality of holes 12d through the flange 12c. There is a plurality of similar holes, not shown, through the flange 12a. A fastener, such as a screw or bolt, can be inserted through any of the holes 12d through the flange 12c, or through the similar holes in flange 12a.

The first steel pan 10 has a width, measured from the inner surface of flange 10c to the inner surface of flange 10a, of W1, which may be about forty-one inches. The first steel pan 10 has a length measured from the top of body portion 10b to the bottom of body portion 10b, which may be about two hundred and ninety-five inches. The flanges 10c and 10a may have depths, D1, which may be about two inches.

The second steel pan 12 has a length L3 that is typically the same as the length L1 of the first steel pan 10. The flanges 12c and 12a of the second steel pan have a depth D3, which is typically the same as the depth D1 of the flanges 10c and 10a, respectively. The second steel pan 12 has a width, W3, measured from the inner surface of flange 12c to the inner surface of flange 12a, which is typically the same as the width W1, of the first steel pan 10.

The foam core or block 20 is comprised of front 22, back 24, and sides 26, 28, 30, and 32. The foam core 20 may be a solid rectangular block comprised of rigid expanded polystyrene. The foam core 20 may have a width W2 that may be slightly less than the width W3 of the second steel pan 12. The foam core 20 may have a depth D2 of three inches and a length L2 that is about equal to the lengths L1 and L3 of the steel pans 10 and 12, respectively.

FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of an assembled wall unit 1 including the first steel pan 10, the foam core or block 20, and the second steel pan 12. In operation, the foam core or block 20 may be first inserted into the space between the flanges 12c and 12a as shown by FIGS. 2 and 3, so that a first edge or side 28 of the foam block 20 is against the flange 12c but there is a space between a second opposing edge or side 30 of the foam block 20 and the flange 12a. The first steel pan 10 may then be oriented so that a portion of the left flange 10c overlaps the left flange 12c of the second steel pan 12 and a portion of the right flange 12a of the second steel pan 12 overlaps the right flange 10a of the first steel pan 10, in an offset manner, as shown by FIGS. 2 and 3. The flange 10c can be attached to the flange 12c and to the side 28 of the core 20 by fasteners, such as screws, such as screw 44 through one of the plurality of holes 10d in the flange 10c, through one of the plurality of holes 12d in the flange 12c, and into the side 28. The holes 10d should line up with corresponding holes 12d in the assembled configuration of FIG. 3. Similarly, holes in the flange 10a should line up with holes in the flange 12a in the assembled configuration of FIG. 3. Fasteners, such as screws, can also be inserted through holes in the flange 12a, then through holes 10e in the flange 10a, and into the side 30 of the core 20.

When the wall unit 1 has been assembled as in FIG. 3, the flange 10c presses against and is in contact with the flange 12c, which presses against and is in contact with the side 28 of the foam core 20. In addition, the flange 12a presses against and is in contact with the flange 10a, which presses against and is in contact with the side 30 of the core 20. This configuration provides a tight fire proof or fire retardant fit. The steel pans 10 and 12 completely surround the sides 22, 24, 28, and 30 of the core 20. Typically steel caps, not shown would also be provided on the top 26 and the bottom 32, so that the core 20 would be completely surrounded by steel.

FIG. 4 shows a top view of the assembled wall unit 1 of FIG. 3. FIG. 4 shows an outer portion of fastener 44 in solid lines and an inner portion of fastener 44, in dashed lines. The inner portion of fastener 44 is located in flanges 10c and 12c and in core 20 FIG. 4 also shows an outer portion of a fastener 42 in solid lines and an inner portion of the fastener 42. The inner portion of the fastener 42 is located in flanges 10a and 12a and in core 20.

FIG. 5 shows a top view of the assembled wall unit 1 of FIG. 3 connected to another similar assembled wall unit 101. The wall units 1 and 101 may be connected together by plates 150 and 152 which may connect the wall units 1 and 101 together by use of a series of surface fasteners on either side of each of the connecting plates 150 and 152, which fasten the connecting plates 150 and 152 to the wall panels or units 1 and 101, or by use of a fastening system that allows the connecting plates 150 and 152 to act as a clamping device on the wall panels or units 1 and 101, and when tightened are drawn together, such fastening system could be similar to a bolted connection. The plates 150 and 152 may be made of steel.

FIG. 6 shows a top view of first and second assembled wall units 201 and 301 in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention. The first assembled wall unit 201 may include a core 220 and steel plates 210 and 212. The core 220 may be the same as the core 20 shown in FIG. 2, and may include sides 222, 224, 228, 230 and top 226. A U-shaped steel member 250 may be attached to the side 230. The U-shaped steel member 250 may include portions 250a, 250b, and 250c. Portion 250a may rest against steel plate 210, portion 250b may rest against side 230 of the core 220, and portion 250c may rest against steel plate 212.

The second assembled wall unit 301 may be similar or identical to the first assembled wall unit 201. The second assembled wall unit 301 may include a core 320 and steel plates 310 and 312. The core 320 may be the same as the core 20 shown in FIG. 2, and may include sides 322, 324, 328, 330 and top 326. A U-shaped steel member 350 may be attached to the side 330. The U-shaped steel member 350 may include portions 350a, 350b, and 350c. Portion 350a may rest against steel plate 310, portion 350b may rest against side 330 of the core 320, and portion 350c may rest against steel plate 312.

FIG. 7 shows a top view of the first and second assembled wall units 201 and 301 of FIG. 6 connected together. The members 250 and 350 are joined to form an “H” section with screws, bolts or welds, before the wall units 201 and 301 are assembled.

FIG. 8 shows a top view of another embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 8 shows an assembled wall units 401 and identical assembled wall unit 501. Assembled wall unit 401 includes steel plates 410 and 412 and core 420. Core 420 may be similar to core 20 shown in FIG. 2. Similarly wall unit 501 includes steel plates 510 and 512 and core 520. The wall units 401 and 501 are connected together by steel H connector 650. Connector 650 has portions 650a, 650b, 650c, 650d, and 650e. Fastener 652a is inserted through a hole in the portion 650a, through a hole in steel plate 410 and into core 420. Fastener 652c is inserted through a hole in the portion 650c, through a hole in steel plate 412 and into core 420. Fastener 652d is inserted through a hole in the portion 650d, through a hole in steel plate 512 and into core 520. Fastener 652e is inserted through a hole in the portion 650e, through a hole in steel plate 512 and into core 520.

Although the invention has been described by reference to particular illustrative embodiments thereof, many changes and modifications of the invention may become apparent to those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. It is therefore intended to include within this patent all such changes and modifications as may reasonably and properly be included within the scope of the present invention's contribution to the art.