Title:
Composite wall tie system and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A composite wall tie structure is disclosed for supporting or anchoring building materials to a building structure. The composite wall tie has a vertical leg for affixation to a building structure and a horizontal leg for placement in the mortar between courses of building materials. The horizontal portion of the wall tie has bristle-like protuberances and/or perforations thereon for anchoring the leg within mortar. The materials of construction of the wall tie are preferably selected from composites that are moisture impermeable and corrosion resistant. The wall tie system may also comprise a mounting and alignment bracket attached to the vertical legs of multiple wall ties at regular horizontal intervals to accommodate the secure attachment of wall ties to wall studs.



Inventors:
Smith, Earl (Virginia Beach, VA, US)
Application Number:
11/179980
Publication Date:
01/18/2007
Filing Date:
07/12/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B1/38
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Primary Examiner:
FIGUEROA, LUZ ADRIANA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
David J. Bolduc (Virginia Beach, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A wall tie member for securing building materials to a building structure, comprising: a vertical leg having a top portion and a bottom portion and a front face and a back face; and a horizontal leg having a front edge, a back edge, a right edge and a left edge and a top face and a bottom face; said vertical leg bottom portion being rigidly affixed to said horizontal leg back edge, thereby defining a substantially L-shaped member; said top face or said bottom face of said horizontal leg having an adhesion enhancing surface for anchoring said horizontal leg within mortar connecting building materials; said adhesion enhancing surface comprising a plurality of spaced apart protuberances on said top face or said bottom face of said horizontal leg; wherein said vertical leg is configured to be attached to an underlying building structure; and wherein said horizontal leg is configured to be anchored within said mortar connecting building materials exterior to said underlying building structure; and wherein the material of construction of said vertical leg and horizontal leg comprises a corrosion resistant, moisture impermeable composite material.

2. A wall tie member according to claim 1, further comprising: a substrate having a vertical portion between said front and back faces of said vertical leg and a horizontal portion between said top and bottom faces of said horizontal leg; and wherein a bottom portion of said vertical portion of said substrate is rigidly connected to a back portion of said horizontal portion of said substrate; and wherein said substrate is configured to transfer a load exerted on said horizontal leg by said building materials through said horizontal portion of said substrate to said vertical portion of said substrate and to said vertical leg and said underlying building structure.

3. A wall tie member according to claim 1, wherein said adhesion enhancing surface of said horizontal leg further comprises: at least one perforation hole extending through said horizontal leg from said top face to said bottom face of said horizontal leg for allowing adhesion of mortar between said top face and said bottom face of said horizontal leg.

4. A wall tie member according to claim 2, further comprising: at least one perforation hole extending through said horizontal leg from said top surface to said bottom surface of said horizontal leg and said horizontal portion of said substrate for allowing adhesion of mortar between said top surface and said bottom surface of said horizontal leg. wherein said at least one perforation hole through said substrate has a peripheral surface covered by said composite material.

5. A wall tie member according to claim 1, further comprising: a plurality of affixation holes extending through from said front surface to said back surface of said vertical leg for allowing attachment of said vertical leg to a plurality of affixation locations on said underlying building structure; and a plurality of fasteners adapted to be placed through said plurality of affixation holes and attachment to said underlying building structure.

6. A wall tie member according to claim 2, further comprising: a plurality of affixation holes extending through from said front surface to said back surface of said vertical leg and said vertical portion of said substrate for allowing attachment of said vertical leg to a plurality of affixation locations on said underlying building structure; and a plurality of fasteners adapted to be placed through said plurality of affixation holes and attachment to said underlying building structure; wherein said plurality of affixation holes through said substrate has a peripheral surface covered by said composite material.

7. A wall tie member according to claim 1, wherein said composite material is selected from the group moisture impermeable, corrosion resistant, high strength composite materials consisting of: Acrylonitrile/Methylacrylate copolymer; Regenerated Cellulose; CA; CAB; Cyclo-olefin copolymer; E-CTFE; ETFE; EP; FKM; PAN; ABS; PA 4,6; PA 6; PA 6,6; PA 6,6 30% GFR; PA 11; PA 12; PAI; Polyaramid Polyparaphenylene terephthalamide; Polyaramid Polymetaphenylene isophthalamide; PBI; PBT; PBT 30% GFR; PC; Polycarbonate-30% Glass Fibre Filled; PCTFE; PEEK; PEI; PES; Polyethylene-Carbon filled; HDPE; LDPE; UHMW PE; PEN; PET, PETP; PHB; PHB92/PHV 8; PI; PMMA; Acrylic; Polymethylpentene; POMC; POMH; Polyphenyleneoxide PPO (modified), PPE (modified); PPO 30% GFR; PPS; PPS-40% GFR; Polyphenylsulphone; PP; PS; PS-X-Linked; PTFE; PTFE 75/Glass 25; PTFE 25% GF; UPVC; PVF; PVDC; PVDF; Silicone Elastomer; Teflon; Teflon PFA; iron; steel; aluminum; tin; titanium; beryllium; carbon; carbon fibers; concrete; glass reinforced plastics; carbon fiber reinforced plastics; and mixtures, oxides and alloys thereof.

8. A wall tie member according to claim 2, wherein said composite material is selected from the group moisture impermeable, corrosion resistant, high strength composite materials consisting of: Acrylonitrile/Methylacrylate copolymer; Regenerated Cellulose; CA; CAB; Cyclo-olefin copolymer; E-CTFE; ETFE; EP; FKM; PAN; ABS; PA 4,6; PA 6; PA 6,6; PA 6,6 30% GFR; PA 11; PA 12; PAI; Polyaramid Polyparaphenylene terephthalamide; Polyaramid Polymetaphenylene isophthalamide; PBI; PBT; PBT 30% GFR; PC; Polycarbonate-30% Glass Fibre Filled; PCTFE; PEEK; PEI; PES; Polyethylene-Carbon filled; HDPE; LDPE; UHMW PE; PEN; PET, PETP; PHB; PHB92/PHV 8; PI; PMMA; Acrylic; Polymethylpentene; POMC; POMH; Polyphenyleneoxide PPO (modified), PPE (modified); PPO 30% GFR; PPS; PPS-40% GFR; Polyphenylsulphone; PP; PS; PS-X-Linked; PTFE; PTFE 75/Glass 25; PTFE 25% GF; UPVC; PVF; PVDC; PVDF; Silicone Elastomer; Teflon; and Teflon PFA; and wherein the material of construction of said substrate is selected from the group of high strength materials including: iron; steel; aluminum; tin; titanium; beryllium; carbon; carbon fibers; concrete; glass reinforced plastics; carbon fiber reinforced plastics; and mixtures, oxides and alloys thereof.

9. A wall tie member according to claim 1, wherein said horizontal leg further comprises: an adhesion enhancing surface on said front edge, said right edge and said left edge, said top face or said bottom face of said horizontal leg, for anchoring said horizontal leg within mortar connecting building materials; said adhesion enhancing surface comprising a plurality of spaced apart protuberances on said front edge, said right edge and said left edge, said top face or said bottom face of said horizontal leg.

10. A wall tie member according to claim 9, wherein said adhesion enhancing surface of said horizontal leg further comprises: at least one perforation hole extending through said horizontal leg from said top face to said bottom face of said horizontal leg for allowing adhesion of mortar between said top face and said bottom face of said horizontal leg.

11. A wall tie system comprising: a plurality of wall ties, each of said wall ties comprising: a vertical leg having a top portion and a bottom portion and a front face and a back face; and a horizontal leg having a front edge, a back edge, a right edge and a left edge and a top face and a bottom face; said vertical leg bottom portion being rigidly affixed to said horizontal leg back edge, thereby defining a substantially L-shaped member; said top face or said bottom face of said horizontal leg having an adhesion enhancing surface for anchoring said horizontal leg within mortar connecting building materials; said adhesion enhancing surface comprising a plurality of spaced apart protuberances on said top face or said bottom face of said horizontal leg; wherein said vertical leg is configured to be attached to an underlying building structure; and wherein said horizontal leg is configured to be anchored within said mortar connecting building materials exterior to said underlying building structure; and wherein the material of construction of said vertical leg and horizontal leg comprises a corrosion resistant, moisture impermeable composite material; and an alignment and mounting bracket having a front face and a back face and a horizontal length; said alignment and mounting bracket comprising a horizontal strip of corrosion resistant, moisture impermeable thermoplastic material; wherein said back face of said vertical leg of each of said of wall ties is affixed to said alignment and mounting bracket at regular spaced intervals along said horizontal length of said alignment and mounting bracket.

12. The wall tie system according to claim 11, wherein said alignment and mounting bracket further comprises: an angled portion along said horizontal length of said alignment and mounting bracket; said angled portion being adapted to span a corner portion of said underlying building structure.

13. The wall tie system according to claim 11, further comprising: a substrate having a vertical portion between said front and back faces of said vertical leg and a horizontal portion between said top and bottom faces of said horizontal leg; and wherein a bottom portion of said vertical portion of said substrate is rigidly connected to a back portion of said horizontal portion of said substrate; and wherein said substrate is configured to transfer a load exerted on said horizontal leg by said building materials through said horizontal portion of said substrate to said vertical portion of said substrate and to said vertical leg and said underlying building structure.

14. The wall tie system according to claim 11, wherein said adhesion enhancing surface of said horizontal leg further comprises: at least one perforation hole extending through said horizontal leg from said top face to said bottom face of said horizontal leg for allowing adhesion of mortar between said top face and said bottom face of said horizontal leg.

15. The wall tie system according to claim 13, further comprising: at least one perforation hole extending through said horizontal leg from said top surface to said bottom surface of said horizontal leg and said horizontal portion of said substrate for allowing adhesion of mortar between said top surface and said bottom surface of said horizontal leg. wherein said at least one perforation hole through said substrate has a peripheral surface covered by said composite material.

16. The wall tie system according to claim 11, further comprising: a plurality of affixation holes extending through from said front surface to said back surface of said vertical leg for allowing attachment of said vertical leg to a plurality of affixation locations on said underlying building structure; and a plurality of fasteners adapted to be placed through said plurality of affixation holes and attachment to said underlying building structure.

17. The wall tie system according to claim 13, further comprising: a plurality of affixation holes extending through from said front surface to said back surface of said vertical leg and said vertical portion of said substrate for allowing attachment of said vertical leg to a plurality of affixation locations on said underlying building structure; and a plurality of fasteners adapted to be placed through said plurality of affixation holes and attachment to said underlying building structure; wherein said plurality of affixation holes through said substrate has a peripheral surface covered by said composite material.

18. The wall tie system according to claim 11, wherein said composite material is selected from the group moisture impermeable, corrosion resistant, high strength composite materials consisting of: Acrylonitrile/Methylacrylate copolymer; Regenerated Cellulose; CA; CAB; Cyclo-olefin copolymer; E-CTFE; ETFE; EP; FKM; PAN; ABS; PA 4,6; PA 6; PA 6,6; PA 6,6 30% GFR; PA 11; PA 12; PAI; Polyaramid Polyparaphenylene terephthalamide; Polyaramid Polymetaphenylene isophthalamide; PBI; PBT; PBT 30% GFR; PC; Polycarbonate-30% Glass Fibre Filled; PCTFE; PEEK; PEI; PES; Polyethylene-Carbon filled; HDPE; LDPE; UHMW PE; PEN; PET, PETP; PHB; PHB92/PHV 8; P1; PMMA; Acrylic; Polymethylpentene; POMC; POMH; Polyphenyleneoxide PPO (modified), PPE (modified); PPO 30% GFR; PPS; PPS-40% GFR; Polyphenylsulphone; PP; PS; PS-X-Linked; PTFE; PTFE 75/Glass 25; PTFE 25% GF; UPVC; PVF; PVDC; PVDF; Silicone Elastomer; Teflon; Teflon PFA; iron; steel; aluminum; tin; titanium; beryllium; carbon; carbon fibers; concrete; glass reinforced plastics; carbon fiber reinforced plastics; and mixtures, oxides and alloys thereof.

19. The wall tie system according to claim 13, wherein said thermoplastic material is selected from the group moisture impermeable, corrosion resistant, high strength composite materials consisting of: Acrylonitrile/Methylacrylate copolymer; Regenerated Cellulose; CA; CAB; Cyclo-olefin copolymer; E-CTFE; ETFE; EP; FKM; PAN; ABS; PA 4,6; PA 6; PA 6,6; PA 6,6 30% GFR; PA 11; PA 12; PAI; Polyaramid Polyparaphenylene terephthalamide; Polyaramid Polymetaphenylene isophthalamide; PBI; PBT; PBT 30% GFR; PC; Polycarbonate-30% Glass Fibre Filled; PCTFE; PEEK; PEI; PES; Polyethylene-Carbon filled; HDPE; LDPE; UHMW PE; PEN; PET, PETP; PHB; PHB92/PHV 8; P1; PMMA; Acrylic; Polymethylpentene; POMC; POMH; Polyphenyleneoxide PPO (modified), PPE (modified); PPO 30% GFR; PPS; PPS-40% GFR; Polyphenylsulphone; PP; PS; PS-X-Linked; PTFE; PTFE 75/Glass 25; PTFE 25% GF; UPVC; PVF; PVDC; PVDF; Silicone Elastomer; Teflon; and Teflon PFA; and wherein the material of construction of said substrate is selected from the group of high strength materials including: iron; steel; aluminum; tin; titanium; beryllium; carbon; carbon fibers; concrete; glass reinforced plastics; carbon fiber reinforced plastics; and mixtures, oxides and alloys thereof.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a wall tie system for supporting bricks and other veneers on a building structure. More specifically, the present invention comprises a composite wall tie that is lighter and more corrosion resistant as compared to conventional metallic brick wall ties. In the composite wall tie system, a series of wall ties are secured at regular intervals to a supporting bracket designed to best distribute, align and affix a series of wall ties to a building structure.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Brick and concrete structures are common in the prior art. Many structures are built from brick, concrete and the like because of their many advantages including: durability and strength; fire resistance; temperature and sound insulation; general attractiveness; and ease of maintenance, i.e., elimination of the rotting, denting, warping, rusting, splitting, peeling, and fading associated with wooden structures, as well as a deterrent to wood consuming insects such as termites.

It should be understood that the facing material described hereinafter as brick can also be concrete, cinderblock, stone, granite, slate, mortar and other structural materials and veneers and combinations thereof. It is necessary when building a brick structure for the brickwork to be supported periodically so that it does not fall away from the building structure. Methods for accomplishing this support include the use of masonry headers and metallic brick ties, which are used to secure the non load-bearing brick veneer to a load bearing frame. The headers, bonders or wall ties are attached to the primary structure such as a wood studded structure, a reinforced concrete frame or to a steel framed structure, to which the load is transferred.

Use of wall ties has grown since testing has shown that metal-tied walls are more resistant to water penetration than were masonry-bonded walls. Bonders or headers, used in masonry-bonded walls may provide direct paths for possible water penetration. Testing also indicated that the compressive strength of metal-tied cavity walls and solid walls, and the transverse strength of metal-tied solid walls were comparable to those of masonry-bonded walls. The use of wall ties has continued to increase over the years due to a trend away from massive, multi-course masonry walls to relatively thin masonry cavity walls, double-course walls and veneers. Investigation into the performance of masonry-bonded walls in which the bonded courses are of different materials indicates frequent shear failures in the headers. The use of backing systems other than masonry, i.e., steel, concrete and wood, has also rendered bonding with masonry headers impossible, leading to the development of a number of different metal tie systems.

Typically, wall ties perform three primary functions between a course of brick and its backing or another course of masonry: 1) provide a connection, 2) transfer lateral loads, 3) permit in-plane movement to accommodate differential movements and, in some cases, restrain differential movement. In addition to these primary functions, metal ties (as joint reinforcement) may also be required to serve as horizontal structural reinforcement or provide longitudinal continuity.

For a tie system to fulfill these functions, it must: 1) be securely attached to both masonry courses or the brick veneer and its backing, 2) have sufficient stiffness to transfer lateral loads with minimal deformations, 3) have a minimum amount of mechanical play, 4) be corrosion-resistant and 5) be easily installed to reduce installation errors and damage to the tie system. This listing is far from complete; special project conditions, unusual details and special building code requirements must also be considered. Availability and cost are always factors in product specifications. However, cost should not have a major influence on the selection of a wall tie system since the cost of ties is typically a very small part of the total wall cost.

There are a number of different wall tie systems available for brick masonry wall systems. One type of wall tie system is the unit tie system which include rectangular “box” ties, “Z” ties and corrugated ties. Rectangular and “Z” ties are usually fabricated from cold-drawn steel wire and are available for use in more corrosive environments. Rectangular and “Z” ties are used to bond walls constructed of two or more masonry wythes. “Z” ties should only be used to bond walls constructed with solid units (not less than 75% solid) or grouted units. Rectangular ties may be used with either solid or hollow units. Such wire ties should not have a bend or dip: Bends in the tie reduce the capacity of the tie to transfer lateral load and also facilitate water transfer. Corrugated sheet steel ties are typically manufactured from steel sheet and are also available in stainless steel. Corrugated ties are typically used in low-rise, residential veneer over wood frame construction.

Another type of wall tie system available for brick masonry wall systems includes continuous horizontal joint reinforcement systems. Continuous horizontal joint reinforcement is typically made from 8-11 gage wire, or 3/16 in. diameter wire, in lengths of 10 to 12 ft. The most common configurations are the ladder, truss, and tab types. Joint reinforcement may be used in multi-wythe solid walls, masonry cavity walls, brick veneer with masonry backing, and grouted masonry walls. As with wire ties, the cross wires should be without dips. Truss-type joint reinforcement is not recommended for use in cavity walls or brick veneer with masonry backing. The configuration of the truss diagonals can restrain differential movement between wythes and possibly result in bowing of the walls.

Another type of wall tie system is the adjustable tie system which was developed to accommodate the use of face brick whose bed joints did not align vertically with interior masonry wythes and has been extended to ties used to attach brick to other systems, resulting in the use of both adjustable unit ties and adjustable ties with joint reinforcement. Adjustable unit ties typically include typically two-piece systems, consisting of a single or double eye and pintle arrangement. The advantages offered by adjustable tie systems are not without possible problems: 1) Mislocation of adjustable ties placed prior to construction of facing wythes, if extreme, can render the ties useless. 2) Adjustable ties may encourage less than perfect layout of the wall system since a built-in adjustment allowance is available. 3) Large variations in construction tolerances may not allow full engagement of ties installed before facing wythes are constructed. 4) Improperly positioned ties may result in large vertical tie eccentricity. 5) The structural performance of some adjustable ties in regard to strength and stiffness is less than that of standard unit ties or joint reinforcement.

The most common types of wall ties used in modern residential buildings of cement block and brick masonry construction have traditionally been fabricated of a thin L-shaped corrugated metal bracket. They are generally made of steel, tin or aluminum because these materials are durable and inexpensive. The wall tie is typically nailed or otherwise secured to the vertical studs or header (building frame) with the horizontal section placed on the course of bricks below it. One or more courses of brick are then placed on the horizontal section of the wall tie and are secured thereto with mortar. One particular size of wall tie commonly used measures 4 inches tall by 3½ inches per leg, and are of 1/32 to 1/16 inch thick metal. Some metal wall ties are protected against corrosion by hot-dip galvanizing. The density of the galvanization will depend on the corrosive level of the environment, however stainless steel can also be used in highly corrosive environments. The wall ties may also be protected from corrosion with paint or some other coating that protects exposed areas from corrosion.

Typically, the sizing and spacing of wall ties has been based largely on empirical information and the designer's judgment. Typically, wall ties are installed at not less than one per three square feet of wall area, not more than 32 inches apart horizontally, and not more than 16 inches apart vertically. Since wood stud framing is usually on 16″ centers, the limit of 32″ on center horizontally would permit one tie in every other stud, but the one tie per three square feet requirement would then limit the vertical spacing to 13 inches, which would require that ties be installed in every fourth course of brick, unnecessarily slowing down the mason. Therefore, in order to comply with standards and maximize mason productivity, it is suggested that a wall tie be attached to each stud (at 16″ or 24″ off center) not to exceed every 16″ vertically (6 courses for 2¼″ high units (modular and standard) and 5 courses for 2¾″ high units (queen, princess, king, engineer, and Norwegian).

Questions concerning strength, stiffness, corrosion and the effects of these on the long-term performance of wall ties have been posed. Selection of a tie system to function properly under these conditions is further complicated by the vast number of tie types available and the variety of materials from which they are fabricated. Some tie systems, however, are poorly designed and do not provide adequate load transfer for brick masonry.

Thus, one problem with metal wall ties is that the metal bends or deforms under a sufficient load. The deformation of the wall ties will cause the brickwork to come away from the underlying support structure. The deformation of the member will cause cracks and weakening of the brick structure, necessitating eventual replacement of the wall ties and brickwork. The deformation of the wall tie will also cause cracks, weakening and eventual failure of the brick tie, also causing cracks or failure of the brickwork. The cracks in the brickwork will also cause moisture to enter beneath the brickwork thereby damaging the underlying structure and exposing it to wood infesting insects.

It is another problem with a metal wall tie that by its nature, steel (or other metals) is corrosive. Corrosion of the metal wall tie can cause cracks to extend up from the ends of the wall ties. The corrosion product of steel will occupy 10 to 20 times as much space as the steel itself. This expansion generates tremendous pressure when confined. As mentioned herein above, this bending from compression is capable of breaking apart the brick masonry, or lifting the brick, thereby necessitating replacement of the wall tie and brickwork. The corrosion of the member will also cause cracks and weakening and eventual failure of the brick tie, also causing cracks or failure of the brickwork. The cracks in the brickwork will also cause moisture to enter beneath the brickwork thereby damaging the underlying structure and exposing it to wood infesting insects. To repair this problem, it is often necessary to replace the wall tie with a new one. Typically, three to four courses of the exterior brick masonry must be removed in order to perform this repair. This is very expensive.

It is another problem with metal wall ties that metal by its very nature will expand and contract due to thermal expansion. This thermal expansion will inevitably cause any protective coatings such as paint or galvanization to be decimated over time and allow the underlying metal to be exposed to moisture, thereby causing corrosion. Furthermore, because these coatings are relatively thin, they are easily damaged during shipping and installation of the wall tie. Many wall ties are shipped as a straight corrugated strip, which is bent before installation. This bending inherently cracks the coating at the weakest point of the wall tie. Only a small amount of exposed metal is necessary to commence the corrosion process in large areas of the wall tie.

Furthermore, corrosion of the metal wall tie creates greater problems. By their nature brick and concrete are very porous. Water can easily permeate the typical brick or concrete block. This is the reason drainage devices (called weep holes) are typically built into these veneers in order to prevent accumulation of moisture between the veneer and the underlying structure of the building. Accumulation of moisture can cause damage to the underlying wooden or metal structure. However, some moisture is still retained between the veneer and the structure. This inevitably leads to corrosion of exposed metal members in the structure, i.e., the metal wall ties. When the wall ties fail, the brick veneer loses another anchor point on the underlying structure, which can cause the brickwork to come away from the structure, cause cracks, or even completely collapse.

Therefore, a need exists for a new and improved wall tie system that can be fabricated from materials, which have sufficient structural strength, as well as being resistant to corrosion.

The prior art includes a variety of wall tie assembles. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,212,841 to Plume entitled “Brick Tie, in Moulded Plastic,” describes a brick-tie that is constructed as a one-piece molding in plastic. The molding has a vertical arm, which is secured to the stud by a nail, and a horizontal arm, which is mortared between courses of bricks. The nail is located near the junction between the arms, and the junction is chunky enough to be inflexible. The bridge, which spans the space between the bricks and the stud, is also thick enough to be inflexible. Although device of Plume attempts to provide for a lightweight, corrosion resistant structure, the device of Plume still does not provide for a wall tie with sufficient structural strength for its intended purpose.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,035,099 to Lapish entitled “Wall Tie,” discloses a wall tie connector for masonry-veneer that has a ductile attachment plate for attachment to a support frame or to the masonry. The wall tie has a pair of protruding apertured flanges in which a ductile bar with a keying portion is keyed into an aperture to prevent rotation about its longitudinal axis. A retaining tie member is slideably mounted on the bar, and is connectable to masonry veneer or to a support member. The ductile attachment plate may have secondary flanges orthogonal to the main apertures flanges, and so arranged as to penetrate an insulation layer or to key into a masonry wall. Although device of Lapish attempts to provide a structurally durable yet flexible member, the device of Lapish still does not provide for a wall tie having a lightweight, corrosion resistant structure with sufficient structural strength for its intended purpose.

Thus, the prior art devices identified above suffer a host of disadvantages. None of the devices above provide for a wall tie structure that is both lightweight yet structurally rigid while also being corrosion resistant. A plastic wall tie as described above is not suffucuently structurally rigid, and metallic or galvanized structures still are not corrosion resistant as the galvanization is easily damaged during transport and installation.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a new and useful wall tie structure.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a wall tie structure that is made of composite materials such that it is lightweight compared to prior art wall tie.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a wall tie structure of the above-described character that is formed of composite materials that have sufficient structural strength to support or anchor the brickwork thereon.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a wall tie structure of the above-described character that is formed of composite materials and is simple and relatively inexpensive to fabricate.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a wall tie structure of the above-described character that is formed of composite materials having a rigidifying means affixed thereto or therein.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a wall tie structure of the above-described character that is formed of composite materials such that it is moisture impermeable.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a wall tie structure of the above-described character that is formed of composite materials such that it is corrosion resistant.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a wall tie structure of the above-described character wherein the wall ties are affixed to a spacing and alignment member.

The foregoing and other objects of the present invention, as well as the invention itself, may be more fully understood from the following description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention, a new and useful lightweight moisture impermeable wall tie structure is disclosed. The wall tie is fabricated as an L-shaped member using composite materials. The wall tie may be rigidified using additional stiffening materials within a thermoplastic matrix. The invention further comprises a spacing and alignment member along which multiple wall ties are affixed at spaced apart intervals to accommodate the alignment and affixation of multiple wall ties according to the space between wall studs.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a new and useful wall tie structure.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a wall tie structure that is made of composite materials such that it is lightweight compared to prior art wall ties.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a wall tie structure of the above-described character that is formed of composite materials that have sufficient structural strength to support or anchor the brickwork thereon.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a wall tie structure of the above-described character that is formed of composite materials and is simple and relatively inexpensive to fabricate.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a wall tie structure of the above-described character that is formed of composite materials having a rigidifying means affixed thereto, thereby minimizing or preventing fatigue and breakage of the wall tie.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a wall tie structure of the above-described character that is formed of composite materials such that it is moisture impermeable.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a wall tie structure of the above-described character that is formed of composite materials such that it is corrosion resistant.

Additional objects and advantages of the invention will be set forth in part in the description that follows, and in part will be obvious from the description, or may be learned by practice of the invention. The objects and advantages of the invention will be obtained by means of instrumentalities in combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings illustrate a complete embodiment of the invention according to the best modes so far devised, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view a prior art corrugated galvanized wall tie.

FIG. 2 is a side view of a prior art wall tie showing the operable relationship between the wall tie, the underlying structure and the brickwork anchored/supported thereby.

FIG. 3 is an elevation view showing a brick veneer structure and (in ghost) wall studs and wall ties thereunder showing an incorrect installation of wall ties.

FIG. 4 is an elevation view showing a brick veneer structure and (in ghost) wall studs and wall ties thereunder showing a correct installation of wall ties.

FIG. 5 is a front elevation view showing the preferred embodiment of the composite wall tie of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a plan view of the composite wall tie in FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional side elevation view along line 7-7 of the composite wall tie of FIG. 5.

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional side elevation view showing wall tie having an interior frame encased in a composite material.

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional side elevation view showing wall tie having an interior frame encased in a composite material and showing the composite material in the perforation and affixation hole.

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view of a preferred configuration of an angled affixation hole with fastener and sealant.

FIG. 11 is a front elevation view of multiple wall ties mounted on the horizontal alignment and mounting bracket.

FIG. 12 is a front elevation view of an alternate embodiment of multiple wall ties mounted on the horizontal alignment and mounting bracket.

FIG. 13 is a plan view of multiple wall ties mounted on the outside of a right angle mounting bracket.

FIG. 14 is a plan view of multiple wall ties mounted on the outside of a right angle mounting bracket.

FIG. 15 is a plan view of multiple wall ties mounted on an obtuse angle bracket, on the exterior or the interior sides (in ghost) of the angled bracket.

FIG. 16 is a plan view of multiple wall ties mounted on an acute angle bracket, on the exterior or the interior sides (in ghost) of the angled bracket. I

FIG. 17 is a plan view of multiple wall ties mounted on an arcuate bracket on the exterior or the interior sides (in ghost) of the rounded, arc-shaped bracket.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to the figures where similar parts are numbered the same throughout. FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a typical embodiment of bent corrugated metal strip used as a wall tie in the prior art. As mentioned herein above, the metal strip typically comprises a thin steel, tin or aluminum strip having an L-shaped cross-section. The dimensions of the unbent wall tie are approximately 029 inch (22 gauge) thick, by ⅞″ wide by 6½ inch long. FIG. 2 shows the typical configuration of a prior art wall tie affixed to a building structure and having bricks and mortar supported or anchored therewith.

Referring now to FIGS. 3-4: FIGS. 3-4 are elevation views of a masonry veneer with the wall studs and wall ties shown in ghost therebehind. FIG. 3 shows a generally random distribution of wall ties affixed to the structure underlying the brick veneer. As can be seen, some wall ties are affixed to the structure, but are not attached to the wall studs thereunder. The does not provide appreciable support or anchoring to the brick veneer. Furthermore, as is seen in FIG. 3, the wall ties are spaced unevenly and do not provide the required support of not less than one per three square feet of wall area, not more than 32 inches apart horizontally, and not more than 16 inches apart vertically. In order to comply with standards and maximize mason productivity, the wall ties should be attached to each stud (at 16″ or 24″ off center) not to exceed every 16″ vertically (6 courses for 2¼″ high units (modular and standard) and 5 courses for 2¾″ high units, as is shown in FIG. 4.

Referring now to FIGS. 5-10: In these embodiments, the wall tie 1 comprises a composite structure having a generally L-shaped cross-section. The wall tie 1 has a vertical leg 20 which is affixed to the underlying structure (building header or wall stud) and which is rigidly attached to a horizontal leg 10, about which bricks and mortar are laid. The dimensions are 1/40-⅛ inches and preferably at least 0.023-0.040 inch (17-30 gauge) thick, by 0.75-2.5 inch wide for each leg and a length between 3-5 inches for the vertical leg 20 and 2-3 inches for the horizontal leg 10. In the preferred embodiment, the vertical leg 20 is 4 inches tall by 2 inches wide and the horizontal leg 10 is 3 inches long and 2 inches wide.

The materials of construction of the vertical leg 20 and horizontal leg 10 of the wall tie 1 are preferably composite materials that are lightweight (relative to the prior art steel composition). In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the primary material of construction of the wall tie 1 is preferably a thermoplastic material that is lightweight and has a high tensile strength. Examples of such preferred thermoplastics includes Acrylic, ABS (and glass fiber reinforced ABS), Acetyl Copolymer (AC and glass reinforced AC), High Density PolyEthylene (HDPE), Ultra High Molecular Weight PolyEthylene (UHMPE), Nylon (including heat stabilized, impact modified, glass-filled, polyamide and copolymer flame retardant nylons, and combinations thereof), Polycarbonate, Polypropelene, Polyimide (PI and glass fiber reinforced PI), Polyamide-Imide, Polystyrene, Teflon™, and Epoxies.

More specifically, the substances that may be used as a composite construction of or coating for a composite wall tie include: Acrylonitrile/Methylacrylate copolymer; Regenerated Cellulose; Cellulose Acetate (CA); Cellulose Acetate Butyrate (CAB); Cyclo-olefin copolymer; Ethylene-Chlorotrifluoroethylene copolymer (E-CTFE); Ethylene-Tetrafluoroethylene Copolymer (ETFE); Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene Copolymer (FEP); Polyacrylamide/acrylate Hydrogel; Hexafluoropropylenevinylidenefluoride copolymer (FKM); Polyacrylonitrile (PAN); Polyacrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS); Polyamide-Nylon 4,6 (PA 4,6); Polyamide-Nylon 6 (PA 6); Polyamide-Nylon 6,6 (PA 6,6); Polyamide-Nylon 6,6-30% Glass Fiber Reinforced (PA 6,6 30% GFR); Polyamide-Nylon 11 (PA 11); Polyamide-Nylon 12 (PA 12); Polyamide/imide (PAI); Polyaramid Polyparaphenylene terephthalamide; Polyaramid Polymetaphenylene isophthalamide; Polybenzimidazole (PBI); Polybutylene terephthalate (PBT); Polybutylene terephthalate-30% Glass Fiber Reinforced (PBT 30% GFR); Polycarbonate (PC); Polycarbonate-30% Glass Fibre Filled; Polychlorotrifluoroethylene (PCTFE); Polyetheretherketone (PEEK); Polyetherimide (PEI); Polyethersulfone (PES); Polyethylene-Carbon filled; Polyethylene-High density (HDPE); Polyethylene-Low Density (LDPE); Polyethylene-Ultra High molecular Weight (UHMW PE); Polyethylene naphthalate (PEN); Polyethylene terephthalate Polyester, (PET, PETP); Polyhydroxybutyrate-Biopolymer (PHB); Polyhydroxybutyrate/Polyhydroxyvalerate 8%-Biopolymer (PHB92/PHV 8); Polyimide (PI); Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA); Acrylic; Polymethylpentene; Polyoxymethylene-Copolymer Acetal-Copolymer (POMC); Polyoxymethylene-Homopolymer Acetal-Homopolymer (POMH); Polyphenyleneoxide PPO (modified), PPE (modified); Polyphenyleneoxide (modified), 30% Glass Fiber Reinforced (PPO 30% GFR); Polyphenylenesulfide (PPS); Polyphenylenesulfide-40% Glass Fiber Reinforced (PPS-40% GFR); Polyphenylsulphone; Polypropylene (PP); Polystyrene (PS); High Impact Conductive Polystyrene; Polystyrene-Cross-linked (PS-X-Linked); Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE); Polytetrafluoroethylene coated Glass Fabric (PTFE 75/Glass 25); Polytetrafluoroethylene filled with Glass (PTFE 25% GF); Polyvinylchloride-Unplasticized (UPVC); Polyvinylfluoride (PVF); Polyvinylidenechloride (PVDC); Polyvinylidenefluoride (PVDF); Silicone Elastomer; and Tetrafluoroethylene-perfluoro(alkoxy vinyl ether)-Copolymer PFA. (Teflon PFA).

As an example of the properties of HDPE which make it desirable as a material for a light-weight corrosion resistant (moisture impermeable) material of construction for a wall tie structure are the following properties: HDPE has a density of 0.0338-0.0348 lb/in3 (0.948 g/cc); Water Absorption of 0.01%; Moisture Vapor Transmission of 0.965 cc-mil/100 in2-24 hr-atm; Tensile Strength of 3480-6530 psi (30 Mpa); Yield Strength of 2180-4350 psi (21.9 Mpa); a Tensile Modulus 116-144 ksi (0.86 Gpa); a Flexural Modulus of 72.5-220 ksi (0.928 Gpa); a linear Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE) at 20° C. of 77.8 μin/in; and a Melting Point of 255-268° F. (130° C.). Thus desirable physical properties include low density for light weight (0.5-3.0 g/cc); Low Water absorption (less than 0.1%); a low CTE (less than 250 μin/in); relatively high melting point (more than 160° F./60° C.); High tensile strength of (15-100 Mpa); High Yield Strength (5-40 Mpa); a relatively high Tensile Modulus (0.5-2.5 Gpa); a relatively high Flexural Modulus (0.7-4.0 Gpa).

Each of the horizontal legs 10 and vertical legs 20 has opposing surfaces that provide functionality to the composite wall tie 1 structure. The horizontal leg 10 has a top face 10b and a bottom opposing face 10a, a front edge 10c and rear edge 10d, as well as left and right side edges 10e, 10f. The bottom face 10a and top face 10b of the horizontal leg 10 are substantially flat and these faces 10a, 10b are situated between the bricks and/or mortar of the wall anchored thereby. The front edge 10c, left edge 10e and right edge 10f and also situated within the mortar between vertical courses of bricks and adjacent bricks in a course. The vertical legs 20 have front 20a and back 20b opposing faces. The back face 20b of the vertical leg 20 is substantially flat and abuts the underlying building structure to which it is attached. The front face 20a of the vertical leg 20 is adjacent to the bricks that are laid around the top face 10b and the bottom face 10a of the horizontal leg 10. The vertical leg also has a top portion 20c and a bottom portion 20d, which bottom portion 20d is rigidly attached to the rear edge 10d of the horizontal leg 10.

Referring to FIGS. 8-9: In order to increase the tensile and flexural strength of the lightweight composite wall tie 1 and comply with certain building codes, another embodiment of the composite wall tie 2 may also include a substrate 200 comprising metal frame/substrate or other interior support member located between the front and back faces 20a, 20b of the vertical leg 20 and between the top and bottom faces 10b, 10a of the horizontal leg 10. More specifically, in this embodiment of a composite wall tie 2 a solid interior frame or substrate 200, comprises a vertical substrate leg 220 rigidly attached to a horizontal substrate leg 210 constructed as described above, which is located between the front and back faces 20a, 20b of the (plastic) vertical leg 20 and between the top and bottom faces 10b, 10a of the (plastic) horizontal leg 10. A metallic substrate 200 also allows for simple detection of the placement of the wall tie 2 by magnetic means, thereby facilitating location and repair of any wall ties 2 that need repair or replacement.

The material of construction of the substrate 200 may be selected from the group of high tensile and flexural strength metals such as iron, steel, aluminum, tin, titanium, beryllium and mixtures, oxides and metal alloys. The material of construction of the substrate may also be selected from the group of high strength materials such as carbon, carbon fibers, concrete and glass reinforced or carbon fiber reinforced plastics and other materials having high tensile and flexural strength. Furthermore, the substrate may include various combinations of the aforementioned metallic and/or other composite materials.

The interior support structure may include for example solid substrates (vertical and horizontal legs 220, 210 of the substrate rigidly affixed to each other) which are encased in or coated with the aforementioned thermoplastic material. Furthermore, rather than a solid interior frame 200, the substrate 200 or support structure may include a mesh, wire frame or particulate composite disposition of the aforementioned materials of composition. In addition, in order to comply with building codes, the substrate and/or composite may also comprise fire and/or heat resistant compositions including asbestos and/or carbon.

As mentioned herein above in one embodiment of the invention, the lightweight composite material (primarily a thermoplastic substance) may be used alone or may be used to encase an interior support structure 200. Preferably the thermoplastic is applied to the support structure 200 by spray coating. However, the materials may be combined by insertion of the support structure 200 within an extruded plastic casing. The thermoplastic may also be heated to enhance adhesion of the casing (vertical and horizontal legs 20, 10) to the internal support structure 200. The thickness of the casing is preferably sufficient to prevent permeation of moisture therethrough and onto the support structure to prevent oxidation of the internal structure 200. Preferably, the casing has a thickness of at least 0.005-0.015 inch thickness and the interior support 200 has a thickness ranging between 0.005 to 0.025 inch thickness. Preferably the overall thickness of the wall tie legs 10, 20 is 0.025-0.040 inch However, the horizontal leg 10 and the vertical leg 20 may range in thickness from as little as 0.015 inch to as much as 0.10 inch depending on the materials of construction of the wall tie 1, 2 and their load bearing capabilities.

Referring again to FIGS. 5-7. In yet another embodiment of a wall tie 3, the material of construction of the horizontal leg 10 and vertical leg 20 may be selected from the group of high tensile and flexural strength and preferably non-corrosive metals such as iron, steel, stainless steel, aluminum, tin, titanium, beryllium and mixtures, oxides and alloys of those metals. The material of construction of the wall tie 3 may also be selected from the group of high strength materials such as carbon, carbon fibers, concrete and glass reinforced or carbon fiber reinforced plastics and other materials having high tensile and flexural strength. Furthermore, the wall tie 3 may include various combinations of the aforementioned metallic and/or other composite materials. As used herein, the description of the further components of the wall tie 1 apply equally to the second and third embodiments of the wall tie, 2, 3.

In an exemplary embodiment, the above described wall tie 1, 2, 3 is used with a course of typical bricks. Modular bricks have typical nominal dimensions of 4 inches in width (3½-3⅝ inch) by 8 inches in length (7½-7⅝ inch) and nominal heights of 2⅔, 3⅕ and 4 inches, and a joint thickness (for mortar) of ⅜ to ½ inch. Multiple wall ties 1, 2, 3 are preferably secured to the underlying building structure to be 16 inches (on center) apart to anchor alternate bricks (15 inches) with a ⅜ to ½ inch of mortar between each adjoining brick side face. Each wall tie 1-3 is situated between two vertically adjacent bricks with ¼-½ inch of mortar between the brick bottom and top faces adjacent the top face 10b and bottom face 10a of the horizontal leg 10 of the wall tie 1-3.

Referring to FIGS. 5-7 and 9-10: In order to affix the wall tie 1-3 to the underlying building structure, affixation holes 40 are provided through the vertical leg 20 of the wall tie 1, 2, 3. The holes 40 allow placement of a fastener 45 therethrough to allow for said fastener 45 to secure the vertical leg 20 of the wall tie 1, 2 to the underlying structure. Preferably, the affixation holes 40 also have the thermoplastic composite on the faces 40a of the holes 40 (on the hole faces 40a normal to the front and back faces 20a, 20b of the vertical leg 20) to prevent moisture from contacting the substrate 200 in the reinforced wall tie 2, thereby preventing oxidation of the substrate 200. The fastener 45 preferably comprises a nail of 4-6 inches in length and 3/16- 5/16 inch diameter. They are preferably hot-dipped, galvanized or plastic coated metallic fasteners 45. The fastener 45 may also comprise a barbed nail or a screw and may also comprise a strong plastic or Teflon fastener 45 that can withstand a hammer drive into the structure.

There are preferably at least two affixation holes 40 through the vertical leg 20 of the wall tie 1-3 on opposing ends of the vertical leg 20 of the wall tie 1, i.e. one each hole 40 in the top portion 20c and bottom portion 20d of the vertical leg 20. Wall studs (2×4 or 2×6 boards forming part of the building frame which are typically spaced 16 inches on center) provide a more secure attachment of the wall tie 1 to the underlying building structure. The central axis of the securing/affixation holes 40 may be normal to the front and back faces 20a, 20b of the vertical leg 20 of the wall tie 1 (as well as the abutting face of the underlying building structure). However, in the preferred embodiment of the invention, the securing holes 40 have an axis relating to the face of the underlying structure at substantially 45 degrees. More specifically, the holes 40 are related to the abutting face of the underlying building structure “downwardly” (approximately 45 degrees off vertical) to provide for greater load transference and a secure attachment from the wall tie 1 to the fastener 45 and from the fastener 45 to the vertical leg 20, through the fastener 45 and to underlying building structure. The angle of the axis between the affixation hole 40 and the face of the underlying structure can vary between 115 degrees and 15 degrees off vertical, but is preferably 45 degrees off vertical.

To enhance the moisture impermeability of the wall tie 1 structure and further prevent corrosion, the affixation holes 40 are preferably filled with a self-sealing substance 47 between the fastener 45 and the interior (composite/plastic coated) walls 40a of the affixation holes 40. The self-sealing substance 47 preferably comprises tar, but may also include rubber, silicone, and other moisture impermeable sealing compounds. Also to prevent the onset of corrosion, the materials of construction of the fasteners 45, which may be nails, screws or other anchors are preferably selected from the variety of corrosion resistant materials including galvanized metal, Teflon™, polyester, and the materials of construction listed herein above as the composite materials of construction of the wall tie structure. Thus, when the fastener 45 is affixed through the affixation hole 40 to the underlying building structure, the self sealing substance 47 forms a moisture impermeable layer between the fastener 45 and the affixation hole 40 as well as a moisture impermeable barrier between the fastener 45, upper wall tie 1 leg and the underlying building structure. Furthermore, the wall tie 1 may be prefabricated with the fasteners 45 already partially imbedded within the sealing compound 47 in the affixation holes 40 in order to provide ease of installation.

Referring to FIGS. 5-7 and 9: To enhance adhesion of the mortar and/or bricks to the surfaces of the wall tie 1-3, i.e., the faces of vertically adjacent bricks, the bottom face 10a and top face 10b of the horizontal leg 10 are preferably textured such as a sanded, corrugated, dimpled and/or perforated texture. Such texturing enhances adhesion of mortar thereto and/or therethrough to provide a firm anchorage of the mortar and bricks to the faces of the horizontal leg 10. More specifically, the wall tie preferably has adhesion enhancing surfaces on and/or the top and bottom faces 10b, 10a of the horizontal leg 10 of the wall tie 1 comprising perforations 50 and bristles 60, i.e., spaced apart raised bumps or protuberances.

Referring again to FIGS. 5-7 and 9: One or more surfaces of the horizontal leg 10 of the wall tie are fabricated so as to enhance the adhesion of the mortar and thereby adjacent bricks to those surfaces. More specifically, the bottom face 10a and top face 10b of the horizontal leg 10 have raised surfaces thereon comprising spaced apart bumps or protuberances and most specifically stiff bristles 60. The texture of the bristles 60 is that of a stiff brush or comb raised above the underlying surfaces of the horizontal leg 10. Each protuberance 60 or bristle is essentially cylindrical with a diameter of 10-50 mils and 10 mils to ⅛ inch in length. While the bristles are preferably cylindrical, they may also comprise other geometric prisms, i.e., circular, elliptical, rectangular, triangular, pentagonal, hexagonal and other regular and irregular polygonal prisms. The combed surface covers 10-60 percent of the top face 10b and/or bottom face 10a of the horizontal leg 10. Preferably the bristles 60 cover 40 to 50 percent of the opposing top and bottom faces 10b, 10a of the leg. Furthermore, the front edge 10d and/or left and right side edges 10e, 10f of the horizontal leg 10 may also have protuberances 60 there on to enhance adhesion in and to the mortar and to restrict movement of the horizontal leg 10 within the mortar between adjacent bricks. The protuberances 60 on the front and side edges of the horizontal leg 10 comprise one or more bristles 60 spaced apart in one or two rows of protuberances along these smaller edges 10c, 10e, 10f. Furthermore, the top and bottom faces 10b, 10a and front and side edges 10c, 10e, 10f as well as the protuberances 60 may further be textured such as a sanded, corrugated, dimpled and/or perforated texture.

Referring again to FIGS. 5-7 and 9: The horizontal leg 10 preferably also has perforations, i.e., holes 50 therethrough running between the top and bottom faces 10b, 10a of the horizontal leg 10 of the wall tie 1 or 2 or 3. These holes 50 provide an additional interior surface to which the mortar can adhere within the horizontal leg 10 of the wall tie 1, thereby providing and even stronger anchoring of the wall tie 1 to the mortar between adjacent bricks. Furthermore the holes 50 allow any accumulated moisture in the bricks and/or mortar to drain out from the brick and/or mortar through the wall tie 1 structure. Draining of moisture prevents accumulation of moisture in the veneer thereby minimizing moisture damage to the wall tie 1 and the underlying structure to which the wall tie 1 is affixed. There is preferably at least one hole 50 through the horizontal leg 10 of the wall tie 1, and more preferably a plurality of holes 50 through the horizontal leg 10 of the wall tie 1. Preferably the holes 50 in the horizontal leg 10 are essentially cylindrical with a diameter of 10-50 mils and 10 mils to ⅛ inch in length, i.e., the thickness of the horizontal leg 10. The holes extend through 10-60 percent the horizontal leg 10 from the top face 10b to bottom face 10a. Most preferably, and to ensure the strength of the horizontal leg 10 is not compromised, the holes 50 extend through only 10-30 percent of the horizontal leg 10. The holes 50 may be spaced at regular intervals or may be randomly distributed through the horizontal leg 10 of the wall tie 1.

Referring to FIG. 9: In the embodiments of the wall tie 2 having a substrate 200 therein, preferably the holes 50 also extend through the substrate 200 and also have the thermoplastic composite on the faces 50a of the holes 50 (on the hole faces 50a normal to the top and bottom faces 10b, 10a of the horizontal leg 10) to prevent moisture from contacting the substrate 200, thereby preventing oxidation of the substrate 200 within the composite wall tie 2.

Referring now to FIGS. 11-12: In the composite wall tie system, a series of wall ties 1, 2 are secured at regular intervals to a spacing, alignment and supporting bracket 100 comprising a strip of material designed to best distribute, align and affix a series of wall ties 1, 2 to a building structure. The materials of construction of the bracket 100 are described above in the materials of construction of the wall tie 1. The strip is preferably one inch in height, i.e., in the longer dimension of the vertical leg 20, and 1/40 to ¼ inch thick, i.e., in the dimension normal to the front and rear faces 20a, 20b of the vertical leg 20. The supporting bracket 100 comprises a strip of composite material to which the back faces 20b of the vertical leg 20 of the wall ties 1 are affixed. Alternately and preferably, the bracket strip 100 is integral with a portion of the vertical leg 20 of the wall tie 1 such that the front and back sides of the strip 100 are flush and integral with the front and back faces 20a, 20b of the vertical leg 20 of the wall tie 1 thereby allowing the back face 100b of the strip 100 and the back face 20b of the vertical leg 20 to be flush with the surface of the building structure to which it is attached. The bracket 100 is preferably four feet long in order to be compatible with the four foot widths of plywood that are used in building structures. However, the composite wall tie system may comprise any number of wall ties evenly spaced on a longer bracket strip and may even comprise a flexible strip 100 packaged in a roll.

As is shown in FIGS. 11-12, the strip 100 may be located anywhere along the back 20b of the vertical leg 20. As is shown in FIG. 11, the bracket 100 may be located on the bottom portion 20d of the vertical leg 20, either flush with the bottom, i.e., adjacent the rear edge 10c of the horizontal leg 10, or above that edge. Likewise, as is shown in FIG. 12, the bracket 100 may be located on the top portion 20c of the vertical leg 20, either flush with the top edge or below that edge. Most preferably, the strip 100 is located in the bottom portion 20d of the vertical leg, and above the lower affixation hole 40 so as not to interfere with the affixation of the wall tie 1 to the building structure. Alternately, the affixation hole 40 may also extend through the bracket 100. The wall ties 1, 2 are preferably spaced 16 inches apart on center in order for them to be affixed to wall studs which are typically 16 inches apart on center in a typical building structure. In some structures or portions of structures the studs are spaced apart by 20 inches on center. Therefore in another embodiment of the wall tie system with the bracket, the wall ties are spaced apart by twenty inches on center.

Referring now to FIGS. 13-17: While most wall ties are installed in straight lines, i.e., along a horizontal line on a planar wall of a building structure, it is also within the scope of this invention to have wall ties spaced apart on a bracket spanning angles for the corners or rounded portions of a building structure. In FIGS. 13 and 14 the wall ties 1, 2 are shown attached to a right angle bracket 101, on the exterior and the interior sides of the angled bracket 101 respectively. In FIG. 15 the wall ties 1, 2 are shown attached to an obtuse angle bracket 102, on the exterior or the interior sides (in ghost) of the angled bracket 102. In FIG. 16 the wall ties 1, 2 are shown attached to an acute angle bracket 103, on the exterior or the interior sides (in ghost) of the angled bracket 103. In FIG. 17 the wall ties 1, 2 are shown attached to an arcuate bracket 104, on the exterior or the interior sides (in ghost) of the rounded, arc-shaped bracket 104.

In each of the angled brackets of FIGS. 13-16, the bracket has an angled portion 110 which conforms to the angle of the underlying building structure. In the angled brackets 101-103, the brackets may have a rigid angled shape 110 of solid construction. Alternately, the brackets 101-103 may have a prefabricated crimp 120 therein to allow the bracket 101-103 to be bent into a variety of angles from acute to obtuse to right angles to conform to any desired angle of the underlying building structure. In the rounded bracket 104 of FIG. 17 the bracket 104 may be fabricated from rigid materials with a variety of curvatures, but most preferably on rounded surfaces uses flexible bracket material suited to conform to any rounded surface.

While the principles of the invention have now been made clear in illustrated embodiments, there will immediately be obvious to those skilled in the art, many modifications of structure, proportions, elements, materials, and components used in the invention, which are particularly adapted for specific environments and application requirements without departing from those principles. Therefore, by the appended claims, the applicants intend to cover any modifications and other embodiments as incorporate those features which constitute the essential features of this invention.