Title:
Framing corner joint and method of manufacture
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A framing corner joint includes first and second framing rails of fiberglass-reinforced resin construction. The first and second framing rails have hollow mitered ends. A pair of thermoplastic plugs are received in the mitered ends of the respective framing rails. Each of the plugs includes a body inserted into the hollow interior of an associated framing rail and a flat plug flange at an angle of 45° to the body. The plug flanges extend outwardly from the peripheries of the bodies between the rail ends and have flat end faces that are bonded to each other. The bodies of the plugs preferably are hollow, and preferably are received by interference press-fit within the ends of the rails. The plug flanges of the plugs preferably are welded to each other.



Inventors:
Brown, Randy J. (Puyallup, WA, US)
Application Number:
11/397290
Publication Date:
10/25/2007
Filing Date:
04/04/2006
Assignee:
Milgard Manufactoring Incorporated
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
IHEZIE, JOSHUA K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MASCO/REISING (Troy, MI, US)
Claims:
1. A framing corner joint that includes: first and second framing rails of fiberglass-reinforced resin construction, said first and second framing rails having hollow mitered ends, a pair of thermoplastic plugs received in said mitered ends of said rails, each of said plugs including a body inserted into the hollow end of an associated rail and a flat end wall at an angle of 45° to said body, said end walls extending outwardly from peripheries of said bodies between said mitered ends of said rails and having flat end faces that are bonded to each other.

2. The framing corner joint set forth in claim 1 wherein said plugs are of constructions that are mirror images of each other.

3. The framing corner joint set forth in claim 1 wherein each of said plug bodies is received by interference press-fit within the associated rail end.

4. The framing corner joint set forth in claim 3 including a sealing or bonding agent between said plug bodies and interior surfaces of said rails.

5. The framing corner joint set forth in claim 3 wherein said plug bodies are hollow.

6. The framing corner joint set forth in claim 1 wherein said end walls are welded to each other.

7. The framing corner joint set forth in claim 6 wherein said end walls are imperforate.

8. A framing corner joint that includes: first and second framing rails of fiberglass-reinforced resin construction, said first and second framing rails having interiors of predetermined mirror-image contours and hollow mitered ends, a pair of thermoplastic plugs received in respective ends of said rails, said plugs having constructions that are mirror images of each other, each of said plugs including a hollow body received by interference press-fit into the hollow interior of the associated rail end and an imperforate flat end wall at an angle of 45° to said body, said end walls extending outwardly from peripheries of said bodies between said rail ends and having flat end faces that are welded to each other.

9. A method of joining mitered ends of fiberglass-reinforced framing rails, which includes the steps of: (a) providing a pair of plugs, each of said plugs having a body and an end wall at an angle of 45° to said body, said plugs being of thermoplastic construction and of geometries that are mirror images of each other, (b) press fitting the bodies of said plugs into mitered ends of said rails so that the end walls of said plugs overlie the mitered ends of said rails, and (c) bonding said end walls to each other.

10. The method set forth in claim 9 wherein said step (c) is carried out by welding said end walls to each other.

11. The method set forth in claim 9 including applying a bonding agent to said bodies prior to said step (b).

Description:

The present disclosure relates to corner joints in framing structures for windows and/or doors for example, and to a method of making such a corner joint.

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

When joining the ends of lineal rails at the corners of structural sash and framing members of building windows, for example, the mitered corners of the lineal rails can be thermally welded to each other when the rails are of vinyl construction. Fiberglass-reinforced composite rails have many advantages over vinyl, but cannot readily be welded to each other. Mechanical joining has been used, increasing the cost of the framing corner and/or deleteriously affecting the sealing properties of the corner joint. One objective of the present disclosure is to provide the ability to weld the corners of a fiberglass-reinforced composite window or door framing to obtain the sealing benefits of a welded joint while retaining other benefits of using fiberglass-reinforced composites.

The present disclosure involves a number of aspects that can be implemented separately from or in combination with each other.

A framing corner joint in accordance with one aspect of the present disclosure includes first and second framing rails of fiberglass-reinforced resin construction. The first and second framing rails have hollow mitered ends. A pair of thermoplastic plugs are received in the mitered ends of the respective framing rails. Each of the plugs includes a body inserted into the hollow interior of an associated framing rail and a flat end wall at an angle of 45° to the body. The end walls extend outwardly from the peripheries of the bodies between the rail ends and have flat end faces that are bonded to each other. The bodies of the plugs preferably are hollow, and preferably are received by interference press-fit within the ends of the rails. Once inserted, the flanges of the two plugs preferably are welded to each other to join that corner of the framing member.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The disclosure, together with additional objects, features, advantages and aspects thereof, will best be understood from the following description, the appended claims and the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a framing structure in accordance with one exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary elevational view on an enlarged scale of the portion of FIG. 1 within the area 2;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view on an enlarged scale of the corner joint illustrated in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the upper rail in FIG. 2 having the plug inserted therein; and

FIGS. 5-8 are views of the plug illustrated in FIG. 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 illustrates a building window assembly 20 in accordance with one exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure. Window assembly 20 includes an outer framing 22 that presents one type of framing structure, an upper sash 24 that presents another type of framing structure, and a lower sash 26 that presents a framing structure similar to upper sash 24. Upper sash 24 includes upper and lower framing rails 28 and framing sides rails 30. Lower sash 26 may be of similar construction. Framing rails 28,30 are of elongated fiberglass-reinforced resin construction having interiors of predetermined geometry and mitered ends at angles of 45° where the rails are joined to each other. At least the ends of the rails are open and hollow. The central portions of the rails may be hollow, or may be filled with insulating material such as polyurethane foam. The interiors of the rails are mirror images of each other at each corner.

FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate a framing corner joint 32 in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure where an upper rail 28 is joined to a side rail 30. A first plug 34 is assembled to the mitered end of rail 28, and a second plug 36 is assembled to the mitered end of rail 30. Plug 34 has a body 38, which preferably is hollow to reduce cost and is received within the hollow mitered end of rail 28. An end wall 40 closes one end of hollow body 38 and is disposed at an angle of 45° to the axis of body 38. End wall 40 preferably is imperforate for strength and rigidity, as best seen in FIGS. 5 and 8, although perforations or openings could be provided without departing from the present disclosure in its broadest aspects. End wall 40 preferably extends outwardly from the periphery of body 38 to form a lip or flange that overlies and abuts the end of rail 28 when plug 34 is fully inserted into the end of the rail, as best seen in FIG. 4. The flange on the plug provides a positive stop for the insertion of the plug into the rail, although it is possible to insert the plug to the proper distance without the flange. In addition, the flange provides more surface area for a bond between the rail members and excess material to assure a seal between the rail members, although it is possible to butt weld the plugs with just the edges of the plug walls and this can provide enough excess material to provide the seal between the two rail members. Body 38 has a peripheral contour that corresponds with the predetermined interior contour of rail 28, and preferably is received by interference press-fit within the interior of rail 28. Adhesive or another suitable bonding or sealing agent may be applied to the outer surface of plug body 38 before the plug body is press-fitted into the interior of rail 28. The periphery of end wall 40 preferably follows the periphery of body 38 but extends radially outwardly therefrom so as to overlie and abut the end of rail 28 as previously described.

Plug 36 (FIG. 3) has a construction that is a mirror image of plug 34, with a hollow body 42 received within the interior of rail 30 and an end wall 44 that closes the end of hollow body 42. For simple rail geometries, plugs 34, 36 may be identical. For more complex rail geometries of the type illustrated in the drawings, plugs 34, 36 are non-identical but are mirror images of each other along the planes of end walls 40, 44. The geometry of plug 34 illustrated in FIGS. 5-8 for example, accommodates strengthening ribs on the inside of the rail. The periphery of end wall 40 follows the periphery of body 38 with a slight radial flange or lip that corresponds to the thickness of the rail wall. Plugs 34, 36 are of respective one-piece thermoplastic constructions such as PVC, polyurethane or other weldable thermoplastic material.

After the plugs 34, 36 have been inserted into the respective rails 28, 30, the end walls 40, 44 of plugs 34, 36 are welded or otherwise secured to each other. This may be carried out by thermal or solvent welding, for example. During this welding operation, the framing ends are held tightly against each other. The flange portions of end walls 40,44 that overlie the ends of the respective rails are sources of excess material that can be pushed into the seam to create pressure to improve the bond around the insides of the respective rails. This excess material can also be pushed outside of the seam to create a watertight seal at the seam. Such excess material is preferred to help assure a good seal and tight bond to the framing rail, with excess material possibly being pushed to the outside of the respective rails and trimmed after the welding operation. Thermoplastic material will be exposed between the ends of the respective rails, but will be as thin as possible depending on the accuracy of the mitered cuts and the squareness of the assembly. The thermoplastic material will fill the gaps between the rail members and is desired to be as thin as possible and preferably less than 0.010″. The preferred embodiment would be where the mitered corners are cut perfectly and assembled squarely, and all of the thermoplastic material is squeezed out from the joint leaving only a minuscule bond layer.

There thus have been disclosed a framing corner joint and a method of making a framing corner joint that fully satisfy all of the objects and aims previously set forth. The disclosure has been presented in conjunction with an exemplary embodiment, and a number of additional modifications and variations have been discussed. Other modifications and variations readily will suggest themselves to persons of ordinary skill in the art in view of the foregoing discussion. The disclosure is intended to embrace all such modifications and variations as fall within the spirit and broad scope of the appended claims.