Title:
Beam stabilizer
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A beam stabilizer, comprising a threaded tubular part, and a screw like part, threaded together, and can be applied to either side of an I-beam, set within a foundation wall cavity, and tightened in place so as to fix the beam within the cavity at its precise set location, to be sure that the beam remains in place, once installed, during building of a residence or small building.



Inventors:
Ennis, Lawrence A. (Des Peres, MO, US)
Lewis, James M. (Kirkwood, MO, US)
Application Number:
11/433223
Publication Date:
11/23/2006
Filing Date:
05/11/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04G21/26
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
FONSECA, JESSIE T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Paul M. Denk (St. Louis, MO, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A beam stabilizing device for use in conjunction with a beam, resting upon a foundation wall, within its cavity, and said stabilizing device provided for retaining the beam in a precisely set location once installed, each stabilizing device including a tubular segment, the tubular segment having internal threads upon its internal surface, a screw segment, said screw segment having external threads, and being threadedly engaged within the tubular component, at least one of said tubular component and screw segment having a bolt head provided integrally thereon, to allow for turning of that segment or component relative to the other, to provide for contraction or expansion of the stabilizing device, whereby a stabilizing device will be located to either side of the beam, and turned into expansion for biasing against the beam, and the internal surface of the foundation cavity, to snuggly fix the beam in place once installed and set.

2. The beam stabilizing devices of claim 1, wherein each beam stabilizing device is fabricated from a polymer.

3. The beam stabilizing device of claim 1, wherein each beam stabilizing device is made from metal.

4. The beam stabilizing device of claim 1, and wherein said screw segment also has a hollow interior.

5. The beam stabilizing device of claim 1 and wherein said hollow tubular component of each beam stabilizing device having a series of gradations provided thereon, to indicate where a cut may be made in order to shorten its length.

6. The beam stabilizing device of claim 5 wherein the gradations are formed as circumferential grooves.

7. The beam stabilizing device of claim 1 and including a pair of screw segments, one of each screw segment threadily engaging within each end of said tubular segment, to provide for double adjustment of the stabilizing device during its application for use in conjunction with a beam.

8. The beam stabilizing device of claim 7, wherein the tubular, segment is rectangular or square in cross section.

9. The beam stabilizing device of claim 8, wherein each screw segment is at least five inches in length.

10. The beam stabilizing device of claim 9, wherein each screw segment has a head provided at its outer end, and can accommodate a tool for use in the threaded adjustment of each screw segment within the tubular segment.

11. The beam stabilizing device of claim 7, wherein the tubular segment is annular in cross section.

12. The beam stabilizing device of claim 7, wherein each beam stabilizing device may fit between the upper and lower cords of any beams to provide for their fixed spacing with respect to each other during installation and usage.

13. The beam stabilizing device of claim 7, wherein a pair of the stabilizing devices fit between the upper and lower segments of the web of any beam to provide for fixation of the beams when installed and during usage.

14. The beam stabilizing device of claim 1, wherein a pair of the stabilizing devices may fit between the structural member of any building, and the initial beam, to insure for fixation of the beam relative to the structural member when installed and during usage.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This nonprovisional patent applications claims priority to the provisional patent application having Ser. No. 60/683,597, which was filed on May 23, 2006.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to the stabilization of steel or wood beams, or any beams for that matter, that are supported upon or embedded partially within a foundation, as for residential or building construction, and which system includes a mechanical stabilizing device and a filler product in order to support the beam within a foundation wall, and then fill it with composition to provide a surface area of plaster or related material to furnish the appearance of a finished surface where the beam enters the foundation wall.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

When foundations are poured from concrete, or formed from concrete block, steel I- or H-beams are sometimes specified. Thus, when such construction is undertaken, a beam pocket is usually created for the steel or structurally designed wood beam, where the beam fits within the pocket, within the foundation wall, for support. In some municipalities, the building inspector or the structural engineer on the project requires that the steel or wood beam be stabilized in what is identified as a beam pocket. This process can be costly and time consuming to the contractor, particularly where concrete must be poured within the pocket, after the beam is located in place, and then filled to capacity to complete the foundation wall.

Traditionally, the beam pocket and its associated stabilization have been handled one of several different ways. In some instances, brick and mortar may be used to filled the pocket void after the beam is set in place, or a form of some sort is erected and concrete is hand trowelled into the pocket void, to fill it to capacity, around the beam. Then, the form is eventually removed, and the concrete or block surface finished off, as may be necessary. Obviously, this can be time consuming, and rather additionally costly.

Various other concepts have shown related means for stabilization of various structures. For example, the patent to Astrom, U.S. Pat. No. 891,897, shows a trench brace. This is a brace, that in principle, includes at least two components, one being threaded within the other, or having a nut that threads upon a bolt, and extends within a tube, so as to provide for expansion characteristics between these two relative components, with each of the components having a shoe at either end for use for impaling into or against a form, so as to prevent the trench from collapsing. This is essentially a shoring device. It is not for use for the same purpose of this current invention, but does show the use of tubular members, one even being a screw, that may be expanded apart, for biasing against two other components.

The stope jack to Niceley, U.S. Pat. No. 2,462,662, shows a similar type of device related to the previous shoring device, but this particular jack is for application down in the mine, for use for a variety of purposes, even for replacing timbers. But, in this instance, as shown in its drawings, it is used to provide support against any wall or support, as can be noted. It does include a pipe section, centrally located, between a pair of hex nut members, that may be turned upon a hex screw, in order to expand the stope jack between the various walls. Again, this device may have some relationship to the current invention, from the standpoint of being an expansion device, but it is really not structured like the stabilizer of the current invention, nor used for the same purpose.

The patent to Johnson, U.S. Pat. No. 2,584,022, shows a surface pipe bracing and centering means. This device shows a series of flexible struts, as can be seen, where there are four of them that may used simultaneously principally for biasing against a bracing or pipe, to hold it into position when installed. As can be seen, the struts can be biased against the web of an I-beam, as noted, for their installation. This device is for use for centering and holding a pipe braced into position, but not for stabilization of the location of an I-beam, within a foundation wall.

The patent to Abraham, et al., U.S. Pat. No. 4,893,784, shows a method and apparatus for jacking basement walls. This device is a complex type of jacking means, as can be seen, that may be pinned to the basement floor, and then secured by a bracket to the floor joist, and then biased by means of a wall brace, through the use of an assembly, for apparently pushing the wall in some direction to bring it back into alignment. This is not really the current invention.

The patent to Hanna, U.S. Pat. No. 5,516,069, shows an adjustable construction support apparatus. This device is a supported assembly, that may be adjusted vertically, by means of its tongue member, that threadedly mounts upon a shaft, for raising or lowering of the bracket assembly, that can hold a beam structure in place, as during construction. This is generally what is shown in the drawings for usage of this particular device. Once again, this is not the structure of the current invention, since the current invention does not include any type of adjustable construction support apparatus, that may include any type of a footing assembly nor a height adjustment assembly, nor any type of a bracket assembly, that would relate to the subject matter of this current invention.

Finally, the prior patent to Larsen, U.S. Pat. No. 5,845,450, shows another bracing system. This device is applied for use for bracing a masonry basement wall of a building against inward buckling, as due to hydrostatic pressure, where a prearranged I-beam can be biased against the surface of the concrete block wall, to prevent its inward buckling, with the bottom of the beam incorporating a floor plate that is secured to the floor by suitable bolts, and with the upper part being secured by a plate and bracket means for securing the upper end of the beam against the same concrete block wall, as noted.

These are examples of prior art known to the Applicant.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This current invention contemplates the formation of a structure and system for furnishing beam stabilization. Essentially, this device uses at least one, but normally a pair, of expansion type bolts, that can be placed on either side of an I-beam, so as to brace it, laterally, within a foundation cavity, before any concrete or other materials provided therein, so as to seal up the ends of the I-beam, when in place. Normally, as is known, foundation walls usually have a cavity provided partially through the foundation wall, as along its upper edge, usually interiorly thereof, and into which the various I-beams, for example, the bearing support I-beam will locate. The current invention provides stabilization for such a located beam. The beam stabilizer of this invention is then located within the cavity, on either side of the web of the I-beam, and screws up against the upright or web portion top cord or bottom cord of the I-beam, in order to fix it in place. Then, the foam or other filler material can be inserted into the rest of the cavity, and plastered on the inside wall surface, once hardened, to complete the surface of the foundation, and to make it look like it is a finished wall, where the I-beam enters its foundation cavity. Obviously, the I-beam is normally rested or supported upon the bottom of the formed cavity, as can be understood.

The current invention utilizes a stabilizer device, which may be formed of plastic, metal, or the like, is a type of screw, one part that threadedly engages one within the other, and expands to bias against the sides of the cavity, and likewise to bias with some degree of force against the web of the beam. Usually, the cavity has substantial width so that the beam can be shifted to either side, to give a precise locating within the building structure, before it is fixed in place by means of the stabilizing device of this invention.

The stabilizing device of this invention has two components. One is an outer segment, and a threaded bolt member, the latter locating within the outer segment. The outer part has a hollow interior, and is threaded internally thereof, so that the inner screw can be threaded therein, to provide for expansion characteristics between the two components, so the stabilizing member can be threaded inwardly, to shorten its length, or threaded outwardly, in order to expand its length, and bias against the side of the foundation cavity, and the surface of the web of the I-beam, during installation. This can be done on both sides of the I-beam, so as to fix it permanently in place, once it has been precisely set. The inner screw component may have a hex or other shaped edge, so that a wrench can be applied thereto, to allow for it to be expanded outwardly, or turned internally, as during usage. Likewise, the outer component in addition has integral hex or other shaped surfaces provided thereon, so a wrench can likewise be applied thereto, to hold it in position, while the inner screw part is forcibly turned outwardly, to biased tightly against the I-beam, and the inner wall of the foundation cavity. Thus, once a stabilizer is located in place, to either side of the center beam or web of the I-beam structure, then foam can be injected therein, of the type that is currently used to foam in place, and to expand, and fill the cavity. Then, the foam is cut along the surface of the foundation, and a plaster can be simply plastered thereon, onto the interior surface of the foam, to give it a finished appearance, to make it look like the foundation wall is complete, but that the I- or other beam extends integrally into the same.

It is, therefore, the principal object of this invention to provide a beam stabilizer for stabilizing an I-, H- or related beam in place, when set upon a supporting surface within a foundation wall.

Another object of this invention is to provide a lightweight type of stabilizing means, in the category of a threaded means, each of which can be expanded to either side of an I-beam to stabilize it in place when precisely set within a foundation wall.

Another object of this invention is to provide a beam stabilizing means that can be very easily adjusted, in situ, to precisely hold a beam in place once installed.

Another object of this invention is to provide a beam stabilizer that may be easily adjusted and set by a single worker.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a beam stabilizer, formed as lightweight polymer or related materials as a threaded means, that can be expanded or contracted easily, when used for stabilization purposes.

These and other objects may become more apparent to those skilled in the art upon review of the summary of the invention as provided herein, and upon undertaking a study of the description of its preferred embodiment, in view of the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In referring to the drawings,

FIG. 1 shows an end view of a beam, stabilized in place within a foundation wall cavity, through the usage of the beam stabilizers of this invention;

FIG. 2 shows a side view of one of the beam stabilizers of this invention;

FIG. 3A shows an isometric view of a screw part of a beam stabilizer of this invention;

FIG. 3B shows a side view thereof;

FIG. 3C shows an end view thereof;

FIG. 3D shows an opposite end view thereof;

FIG. 3E shows a cross sectional view of the inner screw portion of the beam stabilizer, taken along the line 3E-3E of 3D;

FIG. 4A shows an isometric view of the tubular portion of the beam stabilizer of this invention;

FIG. 4B shows a side view thereof;

FIG. 4C shows a right end view thereof;

FIG. 4D shows a left end view thereof;

FIG. 4E is a cross sectional view of the tubular portion of the beam stabilizer taken along the line 4E-4E of 4D;

FIG. 5A shows a length of a tubular member that provides for double adjustment of the beam stabilizer during usage and application;

FIG. 5B discloses a side view of the threaded tubular member with a bolt threadily engaged within each end to provide for adjustment during usage when stabilizing a beam or related item;

FIG. 6A shows a view of a pair of the beam stabilizers provided between the spaced I-beams, and more specifically their cords, at both the upper and lower levels, to provide for fixed spacing; and,

FIG. 6B shows the upper and lower stabilizers provided between the initial beam and other adjacent structural members, to keep the I-beam in fixed position.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

In referring to the drawings, and in particular FIG. 1, the beam stabilizer of this invention is readily disclosed. As can be noted, it shows a stabilizing member 1 that is located within a foundation wall F, which in this type of construction, includes a cavity C, provided partially through the foundation wall, as along its upper edge. And, into such a cavity locates the various I-beams, as at I, to provide bearing support for any floor structure. When this is done, normally, the rest of the cavity is filled with a foam, the expanding type, and then leveled at the surface, covered with a plaster, to provide precision location for the I-beam within the foundation wall, through the usage of the stabilizers 1, as can be seen.

The invention of this device is to provide a stabilizer device, within the cavity, that screws against the upright portion or web of the I-beam, as at W, in order to fix it in place. Subsequently, then expanding foam, or even concrete, can be inserted into the rest of the cavity, and plastered, to complete the surface of the foundation. Obviously, the I-beam is rested or supported upon the bottom of the cavity, as can be noted at B.

In addition, the beam stabilizer is a plastic, or metal, type of screw, one that threadedly engages one part within another, and can be expanded, to bias against the sides S of the cavity, to stabilize the beam and position it in place. Usually the cavity has substantial width, so the beam can be shifted in a direction to either side, to give it a precise locating within the building structure.

FIG. 2 shows the stabilizing device or member 1 of this invention. It has two components, an outer segment 2, and a threaded bolt like member 3, that locates and threadedly engages within the threaded member 4, of the part 2. Generally, component part 2 is a hollow tubular like member, and is threaded on its interior, as can be seen in FIG. 4E, while the second component, or the screw like part 3, is threaded externally, and screws within the tubular member 2, as can be noted. The component 2 is hollow, as at 5, and has a boss 6 provided at its opposite end, and has lands provided thereon, usually of a hex or square configuration, or the like, so that a wrench can be applied thereto, to hold it in place, or to turn it, when the two components of the stabilizing device are either expanded or contracted. It can be seen, that the tubular like member 2 of the stabilizing device is threaded internally thereof, as at 7, so as to accommodate the threaded member 3 therein, during its installation and usage.

Also, the outer surface of the component 2 of the stabilizing member as a series of grooves, provided around its periphery, or circumference, as noted at 8, and these grooves provide for a break off of the length of the member 2, if it is too long for fitting within the size of cavity formed and preseited.

The inner screw component 3, as noted in FIG. 3A, etc., is also threaded, along its surface, as at 9, along its length. At its outer end, as at 10, it also is hex shaped, or has other shape, so that a wrench can be applied thereto. In addition, the outer surface of the member 2, as previously explained, is likewise or complementary shaped. Thus, wrenches may be applied to one or both of these surfaces 4 and 6, so that one may be turned relative to the other, to expand the stabilizing device, when it is being installed, or contracted, in order to adjust it for installation. Normally, the stabilizing member will be extended, in order to bias reasonably tightly against the web or center W of the I-beam, and likewise, biased with some degree of force against the side S, of the foundation cavity, when located.

As can be seen in FIG. 1, one of these stabilizers is placed to either side of the center of the beam 1, and the beam will have been previously properly positioned, so that the stabilizers can then be expanded, for biasing against the sides of the cavity, and to fix the beam into its set position, once precisely located.

Following this, foam can be applied into the remaining portions of the cavity, to fill the cavity around the beam stabilizing devices, encompass the I-beam, all to finish the project. It may be desirable, but not necessary, that a plywood or other form may be placed against the surface of the foundation wall, surrounding the beam, so as to attempt to locate the foam, or other concrete, within the cavity, during its application.

More specifically, the beam stabilizing device of this invention is simply two pieces of a high strength plastic nut and bolt, but it may be made of other materials, such as metal, or the like. The beam stabilizing component 3, in practice, has found to be useful if it is an approximate six inch (6″) long hollow threaded rod, generally 1.605 inches in diameter, with one edge incorporating integrally its hex head, so as to allow for a wrench to be applied thereto, to help in its manipulation when adjusted into a tightening position. The second component 2, is a hollow long tube, approximately 0.140 inches thick at its end. This thickness increases up to a point where it meets its solid end, that has been molded into a threaded 1.605 inch nut, sized to receive the screw component 3, during its installation. This tubular section is 2.5 inches in diameter, with the exception that the last 0.75 inches may have its 1.90 inch eased hex nut bolted into its structure. On the body of the tube, the small reference marks, that are located approximately every one fourth of an inch (¼″), make it easy for cutting of the tube, to provide a length that is more accurate for being accommodated within the cavity, and against the I-beam, during its installation.

The beam stabilizer, before usage, may need to be cut to the proper length. It has the potential of extending from eleven inches (11″) maximum, to less than two inches (2″) in length, depending upon the pocket cavity to be filled. After cutting the beam stabilizer, a construction adhesive should be applied to both ends. The stabilizer is then placed into the beam pocket void with the tubular section against the beam, and the other part against the concrete wall. The device is then tightened using the molded nut heads, as at 10, while a wrench or channel locks may be applied to the surface 4, to hold one component of the device stable, while the other is turned, to adjust the stabilizing device into fixed position. The two stabilizers are placed to either side of the web W of the located beam, or directly opposite each other, in their force applied to the beam, a final tightening of the two stabilizing devices snug the steel beam fixed into the foundation cavity, once set.

FIGS. 5A and 5B disclose an alternative method for beam stabilization, including a length of tubular member 11 having an opening 12 provided therethrough, and the opening is threaded, for some distance inwardly, at both ends, as at 13 and 14, so that threaded members, as shown at 15 and 16, can be threaded therein, and adjusted, to provide for positioning of an I-Beam, other structural beam, or related materials, when the beam stabilizer is located in place. Hence, the threaded members 15 and 16 can be threaded inwardly, or outwardly, relative to the tubular member 11 in which they threadily engage, to provided for adjustment in the beam stabilizer as it is located adjacent a beam, to achieve the desired results. It should be understood that various threaded members and the threads of the tubular member may be coordinated so that, for example, you may have a left hand thread on one side, with a right hand thread on the other, so that as the threaded members are tightened, turning one to tighten against one web or flange, or beam cord, it tightened it, and will not loosen the threaded member at the opposite end of the stabilizer. This is just a matter of coordinating the various threaded arrangements, to insure that once the stabilizer is tightened and positioned, it remains so.

As an example, in one embodiment, the tubular member may be approximately 14 inches more or less in length, and comprise a 2 inch, more or less, square bar of material. The adjustment members 15 and 16 may comprise bolts, and may be 6 inches, more or less, each in length. Obviously, the beam stabilizer can be made of a polymer, or metal, or any other related materials that can withstand some degree of force, and be of any shape in cross section.

This use is related to the stabilization of engineered floor joist systems. Making the tubular member of a square design, or rectangular design, may reduce the cost of manufacture, and make it easier for installation, since a square type of tubular member may be held in position, while adjustments are made. But, nevertheless, it is conceivable that the tubular member could be made to other shapes, such as round, as can be understood.

One of the usual expansion foams have been found to work very well to fill up the cavity, once the beam and the stabilizers have been located, normally of the type of foam product that has expansion characteristics that rapidly expand to surround the entire cavity, the beam, the stabilizer, and fills the entire pocket of the cavity. At this point, the mechanical aspects of the beam stabilizers will be fixed in place, holds the beam precisely at its set location, to assure that the beam remains in place. Furthermore, plaster can be applied to the outer surface of the foam, in order to assimilate the appearance of the foundation wall, to make it look like the beam extends directly into the foundation wall, in its structure.

FIG. 6a shows the application of the beam stabilizer 17 which is the upper stabilizer, and 18 which is the lower stabilizer, located and positioned between the upper and lower cords or flanges of the I-beams 19 and 20. Each of the I-beams 19 and 20 has their cords are upper and lower flanges 21 and 22, and these types of beams, frequently, made of wood, will incorporate their upper and lower cords, and the beam stabilizers 17 and 18 are designed for inner fitting between cords, in order to keep the beams from tilting, and remain in position, once set. Once again, the beam stabilizers may be of the type as previously described with respect to FIGS. 1 and 2, or even FIG. 5b. And, these beam stabilizers may preferably locate between the sides of the various cords, as shown, or, as an alternative, may even fit between a pair of the joist, at their upper and lower web areas, as at 23 and 24, respectively, to assure that the joist or beams remain spaced apart, fixably, and to perform as weight bearing members to their fullest capacity.

FIG. 6b shows how the beam stabilizers 25 and 26 may fit between the side structural member, as at 27, and the initial joist or wood beam, as at 28, could perform in the manner as previously described with respect to the beam stabilizers of FIG. 6a.

Variations or modifications to the subject matter of this invention may occur to those skilled in the art upon reviewing the development as provided herein. Such variations, if within the concept of this development, are intended to be encompassed within the scope of the invention as defined. The depiction of the invention in the drawings, and its definition within the preferred embodiment, are set forth for illustrative purposes only.





 
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