Title:
CONCRETE FORMS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Moisture resistant foundation footing form sections constructed from corrugated plastic are disclosed. Supports for holding sections of reinforcing bar, and connecting the side walls of the form sections are included. The form sections can be secured in position with stakes, and leveling devices for leveling the form once it is secured in position are disclosed. The form sections disclosed herein can be reused, but they do not attract insects and therefore they do not have to be removed from finished foundation footings.



Inventors:
Huber, Donald G. (Tacoma, WA, US)
Application Number:
11/670355
Publication Date:
08/23/2007
Filing Date:
02/01/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B1/38
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080313981Tiled Panel ShutterDecember, 2008Donley et al.
20080104902LOW PROFILE SUPPORT PANEL FOR A DOCK SEALMay, 2008Ashelin et al.
20090090081Fastening element for dry construction elements,and method for the production of such a fastening elementApril, 2009Knauf
20070000190Panel for the production of a swimming poolJanuary, 2007Desjoyaux et al.
20090159718Building Designs and Heating and Cooling SystemsJune, 2009Andrews et al.
20020066254Reinforced formed part, process for its production and its useJune, 2002Ebbinghaus
20090249714Precast concrete modular stairwell towerOctober, 2009Combs et al.
20070056228Interlocking laminated support matMarch, 2007Penland Sr. et al.
20080271411CLEAN OUT COVERNovember, 2008Ledvina
20080289291Shingle installation deviceNovember, 2008Chestnut Jr.
20060162266Durable shutter and method for its productionJuly, 2006Hay III



Primary Examiner:
FERENCE, JAMES M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
David L Garrison (SEATTLE, WA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A form section comprising: a. a plurality of anchoring devices; b. a plurality of leveling devices, wherein the leveling devices are movable along the anchoring devices; and c. a pair of substantially planar side walls, each side wall having a long axis, a first end, a second end, an interior surface an exterior surface, a top edge, and a bottom edge. whereby anchoring devices anchor the side walls in a substrate and the leveling devices are movable along the anchoring devices to support the side walls at the desired level.

2. A form section comprising: a. a plurality of stakes; b. a plurality of leveling discs; and c. a pair of substantially planar side walls. whereby anchoring devices anchor the side walls in a substrate and the leveling devices are movable along the anchoring devices to support the side walls at the desired level.

3. The form section of claim 2, wherein the side walls are made from corrugated plastic having spaced, integral interconnecting ribs between two facing sheets of plastic, each side wall having a long axis, a first end, a second end, an interior surface an exterior surface, a top edge, and a bottom edge; wherein the side walls are constructed such that the channels created by the integral interconnecting ribs are open at the top edge and the bottom edge of the side walls, whereby the channels are sized to allow the stakes to be inserted and anchor the sidewalls in a substrate.

4. The form section of claim 3, wherein the stakes are made from plastic.

5. The form section of claim 3, wherein the leveling disc is made from a sheet metal ring with leaves extending towards the center of the ring to form an aperture, wherein the leaves also extend in a direction below the plane of the ring whereby the level disc is adjustable at different positions along the length of the stake.

6. The form section of claim 3, wherein a plurality of side walls can be connected end to end by a clip.

7. The clip of claim 6, wherein the is made of plastic.

8. The clip of claim 6, wherein the clip is made of metal.

9. The method for creating a foundation footing form comprising the steps of: a. preparing a substrate at a location where a foundation footing is desired such that it comprises at least one roughly level surface; b. selecting the appropriate number of form sections, the sections having a pair of substantially planar side walls made from corrugated plastic having spaced, integral interconnecting ribs between two facing sheets of plastic, the side walls being constructed such that the channels created by the integral interconnecting ribs are open at the top edge and the bottom edge of the side walls; securing the side walls in a desired location using stakes inserted through channels in the side walls whereby the stakes anchor the side walls in the substrate; d. securing side walls end to end to one another; e. positioning the side walls to the desired level by resting the side walls on leveling discs when the leveling discs are attached to stakes; and f. pouring concrete into the form.

10. The method according to claim 9, wherein the means for ensuring the form section is level is by attaching leveling discs to the stakes at the desired height with the leaves of the leveling discs extending toward the substrate.

11. The method according to claim 9, wherein the means for securing the side walls end to end to one another is by using clips.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This APPLICATION claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/765,243 entitled “REUSABLE STAKE FOR CONCRETE FORMS,” filed Feb. 2, 2006.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The disclosure herein relates to an apparatus and method for forming concrete footings and forms for use in building construction. In particular, this document describes reusable anchoring stakes and alignment clips for lightweight and collapsible form sections, and a method for using the form sections with the stakes and alignment clips.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In the art of building construction it is common practice to cast the base or foundation with concrete. A trench or excavation channel is prepared into which the forms, either made from steel or wood, are set up adjacent and connected to each other matching the dimensions of the required foundation (footing). The forms, which are steel panels or wooden boards or planks, are put into position on their edges across from each other and parallel to each other near the side walls of the trench.

The materials that are commonly used for concrete forms are easily damaged. If steel forms are dented or bent, they are essentially useless. Wood forms are difficult if not impossible to use over and over again. Moreover, wood is a precious resource, and thus undesirable for use as a disposable form material.

After being placed into position, the forms are usually secured by stakes and other devices that are sufficient to prevent the form from being displaced. As more and more governments update their respective building codes, the number of locations that require pier blocks to be reinforced with steel is growing. Steel reinforcement generally takes the form of reinforcing bars (re-bar) that is placed in the form in such a manner that the wet concrete completely covers the reinforcing bar. Horizontally oriented reinforcing bar is generally held in place by using separate reinforcing bar mounting stands. Some of the generally available reinforcing bar stands can be connected to the form after the form has been constructed, while others are positioned in the form and the reinforcing bar is placed on the device. Vertically oriented reinforcing bar is generally secured in the form by devices that are connected to the form after it is constructed. Placing the reinforcing bar securing devices in the desired location within the form requires additional labor and some degree of skill.

Precise location of the forms in a horizontal attitude has been a problem due to irregularities in the ground surface on which the forms are placed. Heretofore, adjustment of the forms at the precise height and level has been difficult.

After the forms are completely assembled and the reinforcing bar has been secured, concrete is poured within the forms and allowed to set and cure. Typically, when the concrete has hardened, the form is removed by a process that is labor intensive, and generally requires as much physical labor and cost as the initial set up. Additionally, concrete can stick to the forming faces of wood, steel and other materials to the point where adequate cleaning is impossible. Release from the concrete once it has set usually requires the use of a release agent or labor-intensive scraping which complicates the construction process.

In addition to the problems noted above, the concrete forms that are generally used for foundation footings can be difficult to handle because of their weight and bulk. These heavy bulky forms generally require at least a medium sized truck to move enough material to create a form for a single-family dwelling. Once the foundation has been completed, the truck must be used again to transport the form to the next job site. The forms must be stored when they are not used for extensive periods of time, which requires significant space. These problems and others add time and costs to foundation construction, which increases the purchase price paid for a newly constructed building by consumers.

A number of inventions have attempted to address the problems associated with conventional foundation footing forms. U.S. Pat. No. 5,399,050, issued to Jacobus discloses thermoplastic side walls that can be connected with bars to create a form with integrated drainage tiles. The form is left in place after the concrete has cured. The Jacobus patent does disclose a device that reduces labor costs by leaving it in place after the concrete has cured, but it still must be assembled on the construction site by connecting the two side walls together. The Jacobus patent does not address the fact that the pre-made side walls may be too long in some instances and may be difficult to cut to the correct size. Additionally, the Jacobus patent does not address the placement of vertical and horizontal reinforcing bar in the form, nor does it provide any means for securing such reinforcing bar in the form.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,475,950, issued to Palmer, discloses a lightweight permanent concrete footing form having a horizontal base with two side walls extending upwardly therefrom. The form disclosed in the Palmer patent also has ducts for draining water away from the completed footing. As with the Jacobus Patent, the disclosure of the Palmer patent does not address how the plastic form can be cut to size, nor does it address reinforcing bar placement or securing the reinforcing bar in the form. Additionally, the devices disclosed in both the Jacobus and Palmer patents include integral drainage conduits and this could make the devices bulky such that they would require significant storage space prior to use and at least a medium sized truck for transportation to the job site.

Thus a need exists for forms for concrete foundation footings that are not made from wood or metal so that these resources can be preserved. Such forms should be lightweight and easily installed by a minimum number of laborers. A need also exists for such forms that would provide integral devices for placing and securing both vertically and horizontally oriented reinforcing bar in the form. Such forms that are, collapsible, easily stored and easily transported would be significant improvements over the prior art.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, it is an object of this disclosure to provide an easily assembled pre-fabricated form sections for the construction of concrete foundation footings which are easily located at the desired height and level.

Another object of this disclosure is to provide such form sections that are resistant to the effects of moisture.

Yet another object of the disclosure is to provide such form sections that can be easily anchored in their desired position on a construction site.

It is also an object of this disclosure to provide form sections, for constructing concrete footings, that do not need to be removed from the footings once they have set.

A yet further object of this disclosure is to provide form sections that are lightweight, collapsible, easily stored and easily transported.

The devices disclosed herein overcome the disadvantages of the prior art with form sections assembled from side walls that are pre-fabricated at a remote location and can be quickly installed on a construction site for considerably less cost than wood side walls. The plastic side walls disclosed herein are resistant to moisture so they can be used in a great variety of climates and they can be assembled in considerably less time by fewer laborers than conventional sidewalls.

The side walls disclosed herein are constructed of corrugated plastic. Corrugated plastic is well known material having two parallel facing sheets and spaced, integral interconnecting ribs between the facing sheets. The plastic sheet material can be easily extruded from a variety of plastic resins such as polyethylene, polypropylene, and the like. This material is also referred to as fluted plastic.

One preferred embodiment of the form sections has a pair of substantially planar plastic side walls that are connected to each other using interlocking supports, spaced along the length of the form. The supports can be placed in the side walls before shipment, in a form assembly area that is away from the job site, or they can be placed in the forms at the job site. The pre-assembled form sections can then be stored in a collapsed configuration until needed. The supports are used for positioning and can also secure vertical and horizontal reinforcing bar in the form. In their collapsed configuration the form sections are easily stored and transported.

In use, the side walls are placed end to end in the desired shape of the foundation footing to create a form section for the footing. The completed form is secured in position by placing stakes through the channels of the corrugated plastic and into the substrate below the form section. The form section is then leveled by using leveling devices on the stakes.

The reusable stake is preferably a plastic rod sized to fit snugly into the channels in the side walls and which have a leveling disc slidable along the length of the rod which supports the bottom edge of the side walls at the desired height. Tile leveling disc may be placed at any location vertically along the stake to provide the precise height and level desired for the side walls.

Reinforcing clips designed to bridge the intersection of two panels in an end to end relationship are disclosed. The reinforcing clips keep the panel ends in alignment, thereby avoiding a bulge in the concrete poured into the forms.

In another preferred embodiment, the ends of the side walls have either a tab or a complimentary cut out portion, through which a stake is placed to hold the form sections together. This embodiment would be used in place of using clips to hold a two side walls in an end to end configuration.

The plastic form sections disclosed herein are water-resistant, light weight, easily placed in position, and relatively inexpensive. This application discloses a number of devices for placing and securing reinforcing bar within the form sections and a means for leveling the form sections. The form sections are easily stored, and material sufficient for a single family dwelling can be easily transported in a standard sized pickup truck, thereby saving on transportation costs. The form sections can be set up in a fraction of the time required for forms made from conventional material, thus significant savings can be realized on labor costs.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention, both as to its organization and manner of operation, together with further objects and advantages, may best be understood by reference to the following descriptions, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is an elevated perspective view of a form section constructed from the side walls disclosed herein and supported by the reusable stakes equipped with the leveling discs to establish the height and level of the side walls. Reinforcing clips are shown joining the side walls in an end to end configuration.

FIG. 1A is a top view of a leveling disc.

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the side walls with leveling discs shown positioned along the stakes to establish the height and level of the side walls. Reinforcing clips are shown joining the side walls in an end to end configuration.

FIG. 3 is a elevated perspective view of a form section constructed with a pair of sidewalls.

BEST MODE OF CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

Turning now to the drawings, the form sections and accessories will be described in preferred embodiments by reference to the numerals of the drawing figures wherein like numbers indicate like parts.

FIG. 1 shows a form section of the type that is disclosed herein. As seen in FIG. 1, the side walls 10 and 11 of the form section of the embodiment depicted in the figure, are composed out of a have a pair of opposed corrugated plastic sheets 2 and 4 with spaced, integral interconnecting ribs in between corrugated plastic sheets 2 and 4. The channels or spaces between the interconnecting ribs are oriented at a right angle to the long axis of the side walls such that the resulting channels are vertical when the side wall is placed on the substrate at a job site. FIG. 3 shows a form section composed of two side walls of the type that is disclosed herein.

In one preferred embodiment, the side walls of the form section are ten feet in length, and the stakes 24 are placed about every two feet along the side walls. However, other preferred embodiments have side walls that can be longer or shorter than ten feet. The corrugated plastic sheets used to construct the side walls can be any thickness that is sufficient to resist deformation under the hydrostatic pressure of non-cured concrete in the forms, and the side walls used in at least one preferred embodiment is one-half of an inch thick. Reinforcing clips 20 and 21 are shown joining the side walls 10 and 11 in an end to end configuration. Reinforcing clips 20 and 21 can be made of plastic, metal or any other suitable material. In another preferred embodiment, the side walls can be connected in an end to end configuration by use of complimentary tabs and notches in side walls 10 and 11. The complementary tabs and notches are connected such that the vertical channels of the complementary tabs and notches inside side walls 10 and 11 are capable of receiving stake 24. In this embodiment, stake 24 serves not only as an anchor, but also to keep the side walls 10 and 11 in an end to end configuration.

After construction of the footing form is complete, the side walls must be leveled. Measuring the level can be accomplished using a standard carpenter's level laid on the top edge of the side walls or it can be performed with surveying instruments or any other device suitable for checking the level of the side walls. In one embodiment, to adjust the level of the side walls, the stake is positioned in the ground and the leveling disc 32 is moved upward along the stake. Disc 32 is shown in FIG. 1A. This procedure of leveling is performed for each stake until the entire form section is level. In this embodiment, leveling disc 32 is made from a sheet metal ring with leaves 40 extending towards the center of the ring to form an aperture 44. The leaves also extend in a direction below the plane of the ring 32. Leveling disc 32 is attached to stake 24 with the leaves extending toward the substrate. Thus, leveling disc 32 can slide along stake 24 in only in the direction opposite of the substrate. Therefore, leveling disc 32 allows easy adjustability in one direction, while providing support to the side walls.

As is best seen in FIG. 2, the surface 25 of the ground on which the side walls are assembled may be uneven. Stakes 24 are configured with the leveling discs 32 positioned at the location along the stakes so that the panels are positioned at the desired vertical height and level. Discs 32 maintain their position on stakes 24 by friction or other suitable means. In the preferred embodiment, friction is used between a plastic stake 24 and sheet metal disc 32. In this embodiment, stake 24 should be thin enough to fit through leveling disc 32, but thick enough that the friction in between the stake 24 and leveling disc 32 is sufficient to support the weight of the side walls at the desired level.

While the stakes used for the forms can be constructed of any suitable material, three-eighths inch plastic round bar is used to secure one preferred embodiment of the forms described herein.

Adjacent side walls can be secured to each other using stakes through complimentary tab and notch connectors as described above. Alternatively, a U-shaped stake (not shown in the figures) can be used such that one leg of the U-shaped stake is placed in a channel in the corrugated plastic side wall and the other leg is placed in a channel of an adjacent side wall. The U-shaped stake can also be used to position and secure side walls opposite other side walls. The U-shaped stake can also serve to position and secure vertical and horizontal reinforcing bars in the form before the concrete is poured in the form. Additionally, clips configured for encompassing the edge of two end adjacent side walls are used to prevent bulging of the ends of the side walls when located away from the stakes.

If any part of a side wall is too long for a space in the form sections, it can be easily trimmed so that it can fit in the available space. Corners in the foundation footing can be formed using special corner form sections or using standard side walls not designed specifically for corners. In one embodiment, this can be done by creating corner section clips. This can be done with any suitable material such as plastic or metal. The clips would resemble clips 20 or 71, but the clip would have a 90 degree angle. This would allow a corner to be formed by two side walls that are connected end to end at a 90 degree angle.

Referring to FIG. 2, in a preferred method, the invention can be easily set up at a minimum of cost in materials and labor. First, a substrate 25 such as dirt must be made a roughly level surface. The appropriate form sections are then selected to form the desired shape. The form sections are composed of a plurality offside walls such as side walls 10 and 11. Each side wall has a plurality of vertical channels. The form sections are then secured in the desired location by inserting the stakes into the substrate. Leveling the form sections is then done by adjusting the leveling discs 32 along the length of the stakes 24. Once leveling discs 32 are in position, the form sections are then supported by the leveling discs. Concrete can then be poured in the form sections. In addition, multiple form sections can be connected end to end by using clips as in FIG. 2 to increase the size of the form sections.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY

The invention has applicability in the field of construction using concrete. In particular the current invention describes a number of embodiments of form sections and leveling devices for foundation footing forms. The embodiments of the form sections disclosed above are light weight, moisture resistant, easily stacked and easily stored. The form sections of the current invention can be easily installed in less time by fewer laborers than forms made from materials that are generally used.

In compliance with the statute, the invention has been described in language more or less specific as to structural features. It is to be understood, however, that the invention is not limited to the specific features shown, since the means and construction shown comprise preferred forms of putting the invention into effect. The invention is, therefore, claimed in any of its forms or modifications within the legitimate and valid scope of the appended claims, appropriately interpreted in accordance with the doctrine of equivalents.