Title:
Glass block panel anchor and reinforcing system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A reinforcing segment and anchor system for glass blocks which includes a plastic panel anchor having a perimeter wall engaging portion end for attachment to a perimeter wall and an elongated portion with retaining clips at right angles to said perimeter wall engaging portion, a plastic reinforcing segment having rails on each side for slidable insertion between the elongated portion and the retaining clips, the reinforcing segment being dimensioned to fit between rows of the glass blocks in conjunction with spacers that space the glass blocks apart with a predetermined gap.



Inventors:
Friesen, John (Vancouver, CA)
Friesen, Matthew (South Surrey, CA)
Application Number:
10/908347
Publication Date:
12/07/2006
Filing Date:
05/09/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04C1/42
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
BUCKLE JR, JAMES J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP (VANCOUVER, BC, CA)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A reinforcing system for a glass block wall, comprising: a plastic panel anchor having a first end attachable to a perimeter frame and a second end rigidly attached and perpendicular to said first end, said second end having a plurality of openings along its length to permit passage and bonding of mortar.

2. A system according to claim 1, including a first elongated plastic reinforcing segment engageable with said plastic panel anchor being dimensioned to fit between rows of said glass blocks in combination with a spacer and to provide resistance to forces applied laterally to said glass blocks.

3. A system according to claim 2, wherein said first reinforcing segment has a clasp at one end and a clasp connector at an opposite end and said panel anchor has one of a clasp and a clasp connector so that a clasp end of one of said first reinforcing segments and said panel anchor may be engaged and locked together.

4. A system according to claim 1, wherein said first reinforcing segment has a series of holes along its length to permit the passage therethrough of mortar during construction.

5. A system according to claim 2, wherein said panel anchor has a plurality of retainer clips spaced apart along a length of said panel anchor on either side thereof.

6. A system according to claim 5, wherein said retainer clips are L-shaped projections.

7. A system according to claim 6 wherein said first reinforcing segment is snugly, slidably received within said retainer clips.

8. A system according to claim 1, wherein said plastic is an injection moldable polymer.

9. A system according to claim 8, wherein said polymer is reinforced.

10. A system according to claim 2, wherein said clasp includes a pair of arms projecting forwardly from an end of one of a panel anchor or reinforcing segment and having shoulders at a distal end of said arms on outside edge surfaces thereof and said clasp connector includes laterally spaced abutments on another of said panel anchors or said reinforcing segments slidably contacting and pressing said arms closer together as said panel anchor and said reinforcing segment moves together until fully engaged at which point said arms spring outwardly and said shoulders engage said abutments to lock said panel anchor and said reinforcing segment together.

11. A system according to claim 1, including a second reinforcing segment having a plurality of retainer clips extending upwardly from a top surface thereof and snugly slidably receiving said first reinforcing segment.

12. A system according to claim 1, wherein said panel anchor and said second reinforcing segment have abutments spaced along their length of a thickness equal to a desired gap to facilitate the correct thickness of mortar below the panel anchor.

13. A system according to claim 1, wherein said first and second reinforcing segments have openings along their length to permit passage and bonding of mortar during construction of said glass block wall.

14. A system according to claim 1, including a corner piece having two reinforcing segments joined at an angle, said two reinforcing segments slidably engageable with ends of said first reinforcing segment.

15. A system according to claim 14, wherein one of said two reinforcing segments has a clasp and another a clasp connector.

16. A reinforcing system for a glass block wall, comprising: a first plastic reinforcing segment having connectors operative to rigidly connect to another reinforcing segment, said first reinforcing segment having openings along its length to permit passage and bonding of mortar and being dimensioned to fit between rows of said glass blocks in conjunction with spacers.

17. A system according to claim 16, wherein said first and second reinforcing segments have a clasp at one end and a clasp connector at an opposite end so that a clasp end of one of said first reinforcing segments may be inserted into and locked to a clasp connector end of another of one of said first and second reinforcing segments.

18. A system according to claim 16, wherein said first reinforcing segment has a plurality of retainer clips spaced apart along its length on either side thereof.

19. A system according to claim 18, including a second reinforcing segment slidably insertable into the retainer clips of said first reinforcing segment.

20. A system according to claim 16, wherein said plastic is an injection moldable polymer.

21. A system according to claim 20, wherein said polymer is reinforced.

22. A system according to claim 16, wherein said plastic is polypropylene.

23. A reinforcing system for a glass block wall, comprising: a first plastic reinforcing segment having a plurality of clips spaced apart along its length on either side thereof, and being dimensioned to fit between rows of said glass blocks; and a second plastic reinforcing segment snugly slidably insertable into said first plastic reinforcing segment through a space between said clips and a top surface of said first reinforcing segment, said second reinforcing segment and said first reinforcing segment when engaged being dimensioned to fit between rows of said glass blocks.

24. A system according to claim 23, wherein said retainer clips are L-shaped with a base of the L's on one side spaced upwardly from a top surface of said first plastic reinforcing segment and facing the base of the L's on an opposite side.

25. A system according to claim 23, wherein said first plastic reinforcing segment has a plurality of spaced apart abutments on an underside thereof spaced along its length dimensioned to provide space for the mortar.

26. A system according to claim 23, wherein said reinforcing segments have openings along their length to permit passage and bonding of mortar.

27. A system according to claim 23, wherein said plastic is an injection moldable polymer.

28. A system according to claim 27, wherein said polymer is reinforced.

Description:

FIELD

The present invention relates to a panel anchor system for glass block walls, which is installed during the construction of the glass block wall.

BACKGROUND

Glass block walls are gaining increasing acceptance both as feature walls and for use in providing walls for other purposes. For example, prisons are now using glass block walls so that guards can see that inmates are on the other side without seeing clear images of the inmates. Unlike brick walls, glass block walls must be supported from the perimeter structure around the wall. For glass block walls that use mortar, the conventional support as seen in FIGS. 1-3 consists of a strip of galvanized sheet metal, called panel anchors, 13 sufficiently narrow to fit within the two ridges 15 that run along the outside edges of glass blocks. The panel anchor 13 is bent 90 degrees at one end so that end can be screwed to a perimeter wall support while the remainder of the panel anchor 13 is fitted between the ridges of the adjacent glass blocks as seen in FIG. 3. A pair of galvanized wire reinforcing rods 11 held parallel by periodic cross braces 17 integral with the wire reinforcing rods 11 are placed over the panel anchor 13 and mortar is mixed and placed over the reinforcing rods 11 and panel anchor 13. Another block is placed over the mortared outside edge containing the panel anchors 13 and the wire reinforcing rods 11. Such anchoring is repeated every 2 or 3 rows. The panel anchor 13 and the wire reinforcing rods 11 come in various lengths. Usually workmen purchase the longest length of reinforcing rods 11 which come in 10-foot lengths and simply cut them to length on the job site to the desired length. Unfortunately, cutting the reinforcing rods 11 exposes the steel in the region of the cut. Similarly, bending the panel anchor 13 causes cracks in the galvanized coating and also exposes the underlying steel to corrosion. Corrosion of the panel anchor 13 and reinforcing rods 11 eventually results in discoloration and cracking of the mortar. In order to fix this problem, the entire wall must be demolished and a new wall with new materials built in its place.

In order to eliminate this problem, suppliers began making the panel anchors out of stainless steel. However, stainless steel panel anchors are expensive and increase the cost of materials significantly. In any event, the panel anchors are only part of the problem. The reinforcing rods must also be made of stainless steel.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the invention there is provided a reinforcing segment and panel anchor system for glass blocks, which includes a plastic panel anchor having an injection molded 90° first end attachable to a perimeter frame and a second end rigidly attached and perpendicular to the first end having a plurality of openings along its length to permit passage of mortar.

Preferably. a first elongated plastic reinforcing segment is engageable with the plastic panel anchor being dimensioned to fit between rows of the glass blocks in combination with a spacer and to provide resistance to forces applied laterally to the glass blocks.

The reinforcing segment has a clasp at one end and a clasp connector at an opposite end so that a clasp end of one of the reinforcing segments may be inserted into and locked to a clasp connector end of another of the reinforcing segments.

The panel anchor and the reinforcing segment each have a series of holes along their length to permit the passage and bonding therethrough of mortar during construction. The panel anchor is also capable of accepting traditional wire reinforcing.

In another aspect of the invention there is provided a first plastic reinforcing segment having connectors operative to rigidly connect to another reinforcing segment, the reinforcing segment having openings along its length to permit passage and subsequent bonding of mortar and being dimensioned to fit between rows of the glass blocks in conjunction with spacers.

The reinforcing segment may have a clasp at one end and a clasp connector at an opposite end so that a clasp end of one of the reinforcing segments may be inserted into and locked to a clasp connector end of another of the reinforcing segments.

Advantageously, the plastic is any polymer, but the preferred polymer is a member of the olefin family, namely, glass filled polypropylene.

In yet another aspect of the invention there is provided a first plastic reinforcing segment having a plurality of clips spaced apart along its length on either side thereof, the reinforcing segment trip having openings along its length to permit passage and bonding of mortar and being dimensioned to fit between rows of the glass blocks. A second plastic reinforcing segment is snugly slidably insertable into the first plastic reinforcing segment through a space between said clips and a top surface of the first reinforcing segment, said second reinforcing segment having openings along its length to permit passage and bonding of mortar and being dimensioned to fit between rows of the glass blocks.

The retainer clips may be L-shaped with a base of the L's on one side spaced upwardly from a top surface of the first plastic reinforcing segment and facing the base of the L's on an opposite side.

The first plastic reinforcing segment may have a plurality of spaced apart abutments on an underside thereof dimensioned to provide a space for the mortar.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further features and advantages will be apparent from the following detailed description, given by way of example, of a preferred embodiment taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the reinforcing rods;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a metal panel anchor with a perimeter wall engaging part at 90 degrees to an elongated part;

FIG. 3 a perspective view of a pair of adjacent glass blocks with a portion cut away showing how the segments and reinforcing rods are installed;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the plastic panel anchor showing a bottom thereof;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the plastic reinforcing segment with end connectors showing the bottom surface;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the plastic panel anchor with the reinforcing segment slidably inserted into the panel anchor;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the invention, the embodiment including the assembly of the plastic panel anchor with a reinforcing segment with an end adjacent the panel anchor, and with both the panel anchor and the reinforcing segment having end connectors;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the invention which includes the assembly of the plastic panel anchor with two reinforcing segments slidably inserted into the panel anchor and into one of the reinforcing segments, both the panel anchor and the reinforcing segment having no end connectors;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view showing the detailed construction of the attachment between two reinforcing segments.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view showing a portion of a glass block wall with the panel anchor and reinforcing segments installed between rows of the glass blocks;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of another variant of the invention, which includes a pair of cross glass block spacers overlying the reinforcing segment;

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the reinforcing segment of FIG. 11 showing the addition of a panel anchor which slidably receives the reinforcing segment;

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of another variant of the invention which includes a reinforcing segment having connectors at either end and a pair of cross glass block spacers integrally connected to the reinforcing segment proximate either end thereof;

FIG. 14 is a right angle corner piece having connectors on each end; and

FIG. 15 is a right angle corner piece with two reinforcing segments slidably inserted therein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION WITH REFERENCE TO THE DRAWINGS

Referring to FIG. 4, the plastic panel anchor 10 is injection molded with polypropylene plastic reinforced with glass particles, although other reinforcing materials can be used. The panel anchor 10 has perimeter wall engaging part 12 and an elongated part 16 at right angles to the perimeter wall engaging part 12. The perimeter wall engaging part 12 has screw slots 14 which permit passage of screws in order to fasten the panel anchor 10 to a perimeter wall. The elongated part 16 has a series of holes 20 that permit the passage and subsequent bonding of mortar. Periodically spaced along the edges of the elongated part are integral retaining clips 19 on the top and glass cross block spacers 18 on the bottom.

Referring to FIG. 5, a reinforcing segment 22 is shown having a series of regularly spaced holes 46, an elongated track 48 on either side and a clasp 24 at one end. A clasp connector 26 is located at an end opposite the clasp 24 and receives and locks to a clasp 24 of another reinforcing segment 22.

Referring to FIG. 6, a reinforcing segment 22 is inserted into the elongated part of the panel anchor 10 with the elongated track passing through the retaining clips 19 with its clasp connector end 26 first. Using the retaining clips 19 to slidably retain the reinforcing segment 22 rather than using an end connection, continuous adjustment is possible.

Referring to FIG. 7, there is shown a variant of the embodiment of FIGS. 5 and 6, which includes a panel anchor 10 with a clasp at its end 24. The clasp 24 engages and locks to an end 26 of a reinforcing segment 16. Obviously, the lengths of the reinforcing segments are fixed and so cannot be adjusted to accommodate a non-standard length of wall.

Referring to FIG. 8, there is shown another variant of the invention including the panel anchor 10 without end connectors and two reinforcing segments with the panel anchor 10 and one of the reinforcing segments 58 having retaining clips spaced along the length on either side thereof slidably receiving ends of the other reinforcing segment 56. Obviously, this system offers a large range of continuous adjustability enhanced lateral strength.

Referring to FIG. 9, the interconnection details of two reinforcing segments are shown. Each reinforcing segment consists of one male end 25 and one female end 26. The male end 25 of one segment is inserted into the female end 26 of the second reinforcing segment. The hooked arms of the clasp on the male end 25 snap over the shoulders 27 of the female end 26 locking one reinforcing segment 22 to another.

Referring to FIG. 10, shows a series of glass blocks 30 stacked together to form a wall. The interconnected reinforcing segments 22 are located between upper and lower rows of glass blocks 30 with a panel anchor 10 in place. Standard glass cross block spacers would ordinarily be installed at the intersection of four glass blocks in order to space the blocks both along a vertical direction as well as a horizontal one.

Panel anchors 10 are used in every second or third row of glass blocks 30. First a layer of mortar is laid down over the perimeter side of the glass blocks. Next, the panel anchor 10 is positioned at either end of a row on top of the glass blocks 30 along the center thereof with a few reinforcing segments 22 attached. The panel anchors 10 are screwed into the perimeter of the window opening and the remaining reinforcing segments 22 inserted. Finally, the entire structure is coated with a second coating of mortar and another row of glass blocks is laid on top. Reinforcing segments 22 are used along with panel anchors 10 every second or third row of the glass blocks 30.

Another variant of the invention is shown in FIG. 11, in which a reinforcing segment 22 of the type having end connectors and periodically grooved outside surfaces 50 of the rails is shown. The reinforcing segments 22 overlay a pair of cross-spacers 54, which serve to space the glass blocks both vertically and horizontally. Holes 27 in the reinforcing segment 22 snugly slidably receive block protrusions 29 on cross glass block spacers 54. The grooved outside surfaces 50 of the rails engage a pair of bumps 64 (see FIG. 14) to provide some resistance to sliding a reinforcing segment 56 under the retaining clips of another reinforcing segment 58 or panel anchor 10 (see FIG. 8).

FIG. 12 shows a panel anchor 10 with a pair of reinforcing segments 22 and 23 with one reinforcing segment 22 slidably received by the panel anchor 10 and a second reinforcing segment 23 connected at its end to the one reinforcing segment 22. The entire panel anchor-spacer system is placed over cross glass block spacers 54.

In a further variant of the invention shown in FIG. 13, a reinforcing segment 22 has two integrally connected cross glass block spacers 54 proximate either end thereof.

FIG. 14 discloses a right angle section 60 of a reinforcing segment having a clasp connector 24 at one end and a female connector 26 at the other end. The section 60 can be any angle such as 45 degrees.

FIG. 15 discloses a right angle section 62 of a reinforcing segment having no connectors at either end but with retaining clips 18 to slidably receive reinforcing segments 22. The section 60 can be any angle such as 45 degrees.

The use of plastic reinforcing segments and panel anchors provides a number of advantages. Firstly, there is no corrosion problem as with conventional galvanized steel. Secondly, several polymers have a very low coefficient of expansion and do not tend to crack the mortar after it has set. The plastic panel anchor is very rigid and imparts greater strength against forces applied laterally to a glass block wall. While reinforced polypropylene is particularly well-suited for this application, any polymer would work. However, all of the foregoing materials are preferably reinforced with glass fibres or other suitable reinforcing material.

Although the present invention has been described in relation to particular embodiments thereof, many other variations and modifications and other uses will become apparent to those skilled in the art. It is preferred, therefore, that the present invention be limited not by the specific disclosure herein, but only by the appended claims.