Title:
Mobile building
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention provides a mobile building having: a an elongate mobile chassis; a pair of foldable frames mounted to the chassis and operable transversely between an extended and a collapsed position; a rigid roof structure longitudinally spanning the pair of frames; a pair of side walls suspended from the pair of frames; and a pair of end walls suspended from the rigid roof structure.



Inventors:
Wilson, Richard Thomas William (Hillsburgh, CA)
Application Number:
11/281561
Publication Date:
05/24/2007
Filing Date:
11/18/2005
Assignee:
Super Shelter Mobile Buildings Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H6/00; E04H1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FIGUEROA, LUZ ADRIANA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT CANADA LLP (MONTREAL, QC, CA)
Claims:
1. A mobile building comprising: an elongate mobile chassis; a pair of foldable frames mounted to the chassis and operable transversely between an extended and a collapsed position; a rigid roof structure longitudinally spanning the pair of frames; a pair of side walls suspended from the pair of frames; and a pair of end walls suspended from the rigid roof structure.

2. A mobile building according to claim 1, wherein: each frame includes a rafter operable between an extended and a collapsed position; and the rigid roof structure includes an upper roof panel and a lower roof panel, a lower portion of the upper roof panel flexibly connected to an upper portion of the lower roof panel; wherein the rafter in the extended position supports the upper and lower roof panels in a substantially planar orientation and the rafter in the collapsed position supports the upper roof panel with the lower roof panel flexibly suspended from the upper roof panel.

3. A mobile building according to claim 2 wherein the frames include stowing clamps engaging the lower roof panel in the collapsed position and releasing the lower roof panel in the extended position.

4. A mobile building according to claim 1 wherein at least one end wall comprises: a gable having a plurality of gable panels in overlapping relation.

5. A mobile building according to claim 4 wherein the gable comprises a pair of upper gable panels and a pair of lower gable panels.

6. A mobile building according to claim 4 wherein the gable includes a curtain rail and an associated end wall comprises a flexible end curtain festooned upon the curtain rail.

7. A mobile building according to claim 4 wherein the gable is suspended from purlins of the rigid roof structure.

8. A mobile building according to claim 1 wherein at least one side wall includes an eaves beam.

9. A mobile building according to claim 8 wherein the eaves beam supports a roller upon which is wound a flexible side curtain.

10. A mobile building according to claim 1 wherein the side wall includes a corner post.

11. A mobile building according to claim 10 wherein the corner post includes a top corner post with a roller engaging an upper surface of a side wall girt.

12. A mobile building according to claim 11 wherein the corner post includes a bottom corner post suspended from the side wall girt.

13. A mobile building according to claim 1 wherein the frames each comprise: at least one post comprising an inner portion and telescopically engaging outer portion with an extendable cylinder engaged there between, wherein an engaging portion of the inner portion is surrounded by a sheet bearing.

14. A mobile building according to claim 1 wherein the frames each comprise: at least one rafter comprising an inner portion and telescopically engaging outer portion with an extendable cylinder engaged there between, wherein an engaging portion of the inner portion is surrounded by a sheet bearing.

15. A mobile building according to claim 1 wherein the chassis includes two wheeled dollies.

16. A mobile building according to claim 1 wherein the wheeled dollies are rotatable about a vertical axis.

17. A mobile building according to claim 1 wherein the frames include two columns having tractors at a base thereof to move the building.

18. A mobile building according to claim 1 wherein the tractors are driven via hydraulic motors.

19. A mobile building according to claim 1 comprising no more than two frames, each frame having two rafters hinged together and two posts each fixed to an associated rafter.

20. A mobile building according to claim 19 comprising hydraulic actuation system including: extension cylinders one in each of the rafters and columns; tilt cylinders connecting the chassis and an adjacent columns; and peak cylinders engaging adjacent rafters, wherein the hydraulic actuation system includes seven control levers each lever controlling two or more associated cylinders with flow balancing, wherein: a first lever actuates the two tilt cylinders simultaneously; a second lever actuates the two peak cylinders simultaneously; a third and a fourth lever actuate four said rafter extension cylinders simultaneously; a fifth and a sixth lever actuate four said column extension cylinders simultaneously; and a seventh lever actuates two column end cylinders simultaneously.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The invention relates to a mobile building having a longitudinally extending mobile chassis mounted with a pair of foldable frames supporting a foldable roof and collapsible walls to create an enclosure in an extended position and to rapidly adopt a collapsed position for vehicular transport.

BACKGROUND OF THE ART

The invention relates to transportable building structures in general and specifically to mobile buildings or shelters that utilize fluid powered extendable frames mounted on a wheeled chassis to enable rapid roadway transport.

An example is described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,763,633, incorporated herein by reference, which relates to an extendable folded framework actuated by hydraulic cylinders between a folded position and a deployed position to support a flexible waterproof fabric covering the roof and walls.

Such transportable building structures have uses in sheltering people and equipment during construction activities, during emergency or humanitarian operations, for military applications, at sporting events, or outdoor social events. Rapid deployment and re-deployment with minimal labour is a benefit of such structures. A single operator can drive a towing vehicle to tow the building structure over roads or terrain to the erection site. Due to the hydraulic powered actuation and control system used to fold and extend the frames to the extended position, the single operator can work alone to erect or collapse the support framework in minutes. Unfurling of the flexible fabric covering the roof and walls can also be performed by the single operator although handling large heavy sheets of covering material may be better performed by a crew of workers. The practical limits of this operation are determined by the amount of time and labour involved in securing various flexible fabric components in position to ensure that the completed tent-like structure resists weather conditions and load conditions such as wind, sand, snow and ice accumulation.

Features of the present invention will be apparent from review of the disclosure, drawings and description of the invention presented below.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

The invention provides a mobile building having: a longitudinally extending mobile chassis; a pair of foldable frames mounted to the chassis and operable transversely between an extended and a collapsed position; a rigid roof structure longitudinally spanning the pair of frames; a pair of side walls suspended from the pair of frames; and a pair of end walls suspended from the rigid roof structure.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In order that the invention may be readily understood, one embodiment of the invention is illustrated by way of example in the accompanying drawings.

FIG. 1 is an isometric simplified view of a mobile building in the extended position with rigid roof and flexible wall coverings removed to show the structure of the mobile chassis to the lower right and the centrally disposed pair of foldable frames which support: longitudinal roof purlins, eaves beams and wall girts; as well as the gables and flexible end curtains of the transverse end walls.

FIG. 2 is an isometric simplified view of the mobile building of FIG. 1 in the collapsed position with wheeled dollies rotated forward to tow the mobile building over a road.

FIG. 3 is a sectional elevation view along line 3-3 of FIG. 1 showing the detailed construction of one of the pair of foldable frames in the extended position.

FIG. 4 is a sectional elevation view along line 4-4 of FIG. 2 showing the detailed construction of one of the pair of foldable frames in the collapsed position.

FIG. 5 is a half-sectional elevation view of a foldable frame in the extended position with rigid roof panels and flexible side wall curtain deployed.

FIG. 6 is a half-sectional elevation view of a foldable frame in the collapsed position with rigid roof panels and flexible side wall curtain stowed.

FIG. 7 is an elevation view of an end wall showing the overlapping gable panels and flexible end curtain deployed.

FIG. 8 is an elevation view of an end wall showing the overlapping gable panels and flexible end curtain stowed.

FIG. 9 is a sectional view along line 9-9 of FIG. 3 through a column of the frame showing telescopically engaging coaxial portions with sheet bearings, of Teflon™ for example, between contact surfaces.

FIG. 10 is an elevation view along line 10-10 of FIG. 1 of a side wall at a corner showing a top corner post suspended from a bracket in the eaves beam with a roller rolling on the upper surface of a side wall girt in phantom outline towards the collapsed position, and showing a bottom corner post suspended from the side wall girt.

Further details of the invention and its advantages will be apparent from the detailed description included below.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 shows the general layout of a mobile building example embodying the invention in a schematic manner. Many of the roof and wall covering components have not been shown in FIG. 1 in order to illustrate the underlying structure of the chassis 1 and foldable frames 2. To simplify the fluid power controls and actuating system, use of two frames 2 may be preferred in some applications however those skilled in the art will recognize that more than two frames can be accommodated without departing from the teaching of this invention.

The mobile building as shown in FIG. 1 has a longitudinally extending chassis 1 upon which are mounted on chassis hinges 3 (FIGS. 3-4) a pair of foldable frames 2 that operate in a transverse plane between the extended operating position shown in FIG. 1 and the collapsed transport position shown in FIG. 2.

To move between the extended position of FIG. 1 and the collapsed position of FIG. 2, the details of the frame 2 construction are explained below with reference to FIGS. 3-4. Each frame 2 in the embodiment illustrated is mounted on a chassis hinge 3 to the chassis 1 and includes a proximal column 4, a proximal rafter 5, a distal rafter 6 and a distal column 7. A rafter hinge 8 pivotally connects the two rafters 5, 6 at the peak, and peak cylinder 21 articulates the rafters 5, 6 to extend and collapse. The chassis cylinder 9 rotates the proximal column 4, and hence the entire collapsed frame 2, about the chassis hinge 3.

The length of each column 4, 7 and each rafter 5, 6 is extended and collapsed in a telescoping manner. Proximal column 4 is of hollow square steel tubing with an upper and lower coaxial telescoping portions extended and retracted by an internally housed cylinder 10. Proximal rafter 5 and distal rafter 6 are also of hollow square steel tubing with an upper and lower coaxial telescoping portions extended and retracted by an internally housed cylinders 11 and 12 respectively. Distal column 7 is of hollow square steel tubing with an upper, middle and lower coaxial telescoping portions 14, 15, 16 extended and retracted by an internally housed cylinder 12 and internally housed cylinder 17. With reference to section 9-9 shown in FIG. 9, the engaging portions of the coaxial telescoping portions 14, 15, 16 are separated and lubricated with sheet bearings 18, of Teflon™ for example. Preferably in a like manner, each coaxial telescoping portion of the rafters 5, 6 and columns 4, 7 are separated and lubricated with like sheet bearings 18 disposed between contacting surfaces.

The eaves joints, i.e.: joining column 4 and rafter 5, and joining column 7 and rafter 6, are rigid and not articulated. Therefore the extended frame 2 shown in FIG. 3 is rigidly fixed when all internal and external cylinders 10, 11, 12, 13, and 17 are extended, the peak cylinder 21 is extended to eliminate rotation at the rafter hinge 8 and the chassis cylinder 9 is withdrawn to eliminate rotation at the chassis hinge 3.

Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, the distal columns 7 may include an end wheel 19 to support the frame 2 and permit rolling on the ground surface as the frame 2 is extended. The end wheel 19 is preferably hinged to the distal column 7 at a wheel hinge 20 to increase ground clearance in the collapsed position of FIG. 4. An optional configuration is to mount motorized tractors powered by hydraulic motors at the bottom of the distal columns 7 and below the chassis 1 to move the building on chain link tracks engaging the ground surface in the extended position.

Having described the basic operation of the frames 2, the construction and operation of the roof and wall structures supported on the frames 2 and chassis 1 will be described below with reference to FIGS. 5-6 showing the roof and side walls, with FIGS. 7-8 showing the end walls.

FIG. 1 shows how the roof and walls are supported on the pair of frames 2. The chassis 1 includes two wheeled dollies 22 that rotate about a vertical axis between the transport position shown in FIG. 2 and the stowed position shown in FIG. 1. The dollies 22 can be manually rotated after the chassis 1 is raised on telescoping trailer legs 23 providing secure ground bearing support to the chassis 1 and frames 2. As noted above, the distal columns 7 of the frames 2 are supported on end wheels 19 or motorized tractors, and the proximal columns 4 of the frames 2 are secured to the chassis 1 with chassis hinge 3 braced with chassis cylinder 9. Longitudinal roof purlins 24, longitudinal eaves beams 25 and longitudinal wall girts 26 are secured to and span across the pair of frames 2. To maintain the shape of the building, the movements of the frames 2 must be substantially synchronized.

As seen in FIGS. 5-6, the roof purlins 24 and eaves beam 25 support rigid upper roof panels 27 and lower roof panels 28. As the supporting rafter 6 moves from an extended position in FIG. 6 to the collapsed position in FIG. 5, the upper roof panel remains fixed at an upper end and is flexibly connected at it's lower end with hinges 41 to the lower roof panel 28 causing the lower roof panel to slip over the eaves beam 25 and hang down vertically rotating about the hinges 41. At the same time the end wheel 19 pivots about the wheel hinge 20 and acts as a stowing clamp to engage and hold the lower roof panel 28 in the collapsed position shown in FIG. 5 and in FIG. 2. Spring loaded stowing clamps are provided on the proximal column to similar effect to clamp the lower roof panel on the other side of the building for transport. Of course the reverse process is followed when the building is extended as the columns 4, 7 extend, the lower roof panels 28 are released from the stowing clamps and slide over the eaves beam 25 to lay in the planar orientation shown in FIG. 6. The lower edge of the lower roof panel 28 includes pins which engage openings in the eaves beam 25 as the rafter 6 extends fully, to secure the lower edge of the lower roof panel 28 to the eaves beam 25.

Flexible side wall curtains 29 are suspended from the eaves beam 25 and wound upon a roller 30 for stowing away. The bottom portion of the curtain 29 is weighed down with a metal rod 31 and the curtain 29 is laterally supported by the girts 26. Ultimately though the frames 2 support the wall curtains 29 since the eaves beam 25 is supported by the pair of frames 2.

Referring to FIGS. 7 and 8, the end walls of the mobile building are also ultimately supported on the frames 2 by suspending the end walls from the purlins 26 and eaves beams 27 of the rigid roof structure. The end wall includes a gable made of two inner gable panels 32 and two outer gable panels 33. The outer gable panels 33 which are connected to the eaves beam 25 slide behind the inner gable panels 32, as the frame rafters 5, 6 collapse, into the collapsed position shown in FIG. 8, while the inner gable panels 32, which are suspended from purlins 24, overlap in a scissor fashion (centered about the peak rafter hinge 8). The gable includes a foldable curtain rail 34 with a flexible end curtain 35 hung upon the curtain rail 34 with curtain rollers 36. The end curtain 35 may be removed from the rail 34 for transport, or gathered and stowed in place. The four corners of the mobile building each include a flexible corner cover 37 that seals between the side wall curtain 29 and the flexible end curtain 35.

As seen in FIG. 10, the side walls at each corner include a suspended corner post for reinforcing the flexible corner cover 37 and providing support for the flexible end curtain 35 and side wall curtain 29. In the embodiment illustrated, the corner post includes a top corner post 38 suspended from a bracket on the eaves beam 25 with a bottom roller 39 engaging an upper surface of a side wall girt 26 and a bottom corner post 40 suspended from the side wall girt 26. The bottom corner post 40 is rotated manually and pinned in place. As the columns 4, 7 are collapsed, the eaves beam 25 and girt 26 approach each other and the top corner post 38 is folded as the roller 39 moves along the girt 26.

It will be understood that the cylinders described above are fluid powered i.e.: pneumatic or hydraulic, requiring a control system to coordinate the motions of the operation and prevent damage due to twisting or misalignment. Preferably the control system includes a radio controlled console 42 communicating with a receiver in a housing 43 with hydraulic pumps, manifolds and valves powering and controlling the movements of the cylinders. The complete hydraulic actuation system therefore includes column and rafter extension cylinders (10-13, 17), two in each of the rafters 5, 6 and three in each of the columns 4, 7; two tilting chassis cylinders 9 connecting the chassis 1 and each adjacent proximal column 4; and two rafter peak cylinders 21 engaging adjacent rafters 5, 6. Seven control levers on the radio control console 42 each control two or more associated cylinders with fluid flow volume balancing to ensure that the building extends and collapses in a substantially parallel fashion. A first lever actuates the two chassis cylinders 9 simultaneously; a second lever actuates the two peak cylinders 21 simultaneously; a third and a fourth lever each actuate two of the four rafter extension cylinders 11, 12 simultaneously; a fifth and a sixth lever actuate four interior column extension cylinders 10, 13 simultaneously; and a seventh lever actuates two exterior column end cylinders 17 simultaneously.

Although the above description relates to a specific preferred embodiment as presently contemplated by the inventor, it will be understood that the invention in its broad aspect includes mechanical and functional equivalents of the elements described herein.