Title:
STACKING BAR FOR ROOFING ELEMENTS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Various embodiments of the invention provide a roofing element that has improved stacking characteristics. According to various embodiments, roofing elements for installing on a sloped roof are provided, and each roofing element includes a body portion that defines one or more batten lugs and/or weather bars and at least one stacker bar that corresponds with each batten lug or weather bar. The batten lugs, weather bars, and the stacker bars extend outwardly from a lower surface of the roofing element, and each stacker bar includes a lower surface and one or more tapered surfaces that extend between the lower surface of the stacker bar and the lower surface of the body portion. The tapered surfaces are adapted for urging the upper surface of a vertically stacked roofing element away from the lower surface of the roofing element.



Inventors:
Truss, Andrew (Rancho Cucamonga, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/832328
Publication Date:
02/14/2008
Filing Date:
08/01/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/747.12
International Classes:
E04F21/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
SADLON, JOSEPH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OSTROLENK FABER LLP (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A plurality of roofing elements for installing on a sloped roof, each of said roofing elements comprising: a head end; a nose end; a body portion extending between the head end and the nose end; said body portion having an upper surface and a lower surface, said lower surface being opposite said upper surface, and body portion defining one or more batten lugs disposed substantially adjacent said head end and at least one stacker bar disposed adjacent said each of said one or more batten lugs, said batten lugs and said stacker bars extending outwardly from said lower surface, wherein each stacker bar comprises a lower surface and one or more tapered surfaces extending between said lower surface of each stacker bar and said lower surface of said body portion, said one or more tapered surfaces adapted for urging said upper surface of a vertically stacked roofing element away from said lower surface of said roofing element and said one or more batten lugs.

2. The plurality of roofing elements of claim 1 wherein each of said at least one stacker bar is disposed substantially below an engaging surface of said corresponding batten lug.

3. The plurality of roofing elements of claim 2 wherein: each of said at least one stacker bar is elongated and comprises a head end, a nose end, a first side edge, and a second side edge, said head end adjacent said batten lug, said nose end opposite said head end, and said first and second side edges extending between said head end and said nose end of said stacker bar, and said lower surface of said stacker bar tapers in height relative to said lower surface of said body portion such that said height of said stacker bar is greater toward said head end of said stacker bar than said nose end of said stacker bar.

4. The plurality of roofing elements of claim 1 wherein: each of said at least one stacker bar comprises a head end, a nose end, a first side edge, and a second side edge, said head end being adjacent said batten lug, said nose end being opposite said head end, and said first and second side edges extending between said head end and said nose end of said stacker bar, and a first tapered surface of said one or more tapered surfaces extends from said first side edge of said lower surface of said stacker bar to said lower surface of said body portion.

5. The plurality of roofing elements of claim 4 wherein: a second tapered surface of said one or more tapered surfaces extends from said second side edge of said lower surface of said stacker bar to said lower surface of said body portion.

6. The plurality of roofing elements of claim 5 wherein: a third tapered surface of said one or more tapered surfaces extends from said nose end of said lower surface of said stacker bar to said lower surface of said body portion.

7. The plurality of roofing elements of claim 4 wherein: a second tapered surface of said one or more tapered surfaces extends from said nose end of said lower surface of said stacker bar to said lower surface of said body portion.

8. The roofing elements of claim 1 wherein hot melt wax is applied to at least a portion of a lower surface of each of said plurality of roofing elements during manufacturing, said hot melt wax being adapted to prevent the lower surface of each of said roofing tiles from damaging an upper surface of a vertically stacked adjacent roofing tile.

9. The plurality of roofing elements of claim 1 wherein stacker bar is disposed substantially horizontally adjacent an engaging surface of said corresponding batten lug.

10. The plurality of roofing elements of claim 1 wherein a first stacker bar is disposed substantially below an engaging surface of said corresponding batten lug and a second stacker bar is disposed substantially horizontally adjacent said first stacker bar, said first stacker bar having a tapered surface extending from said lower surface of said body portion to said nose end of said lower surface of said first stacker bar, said second stacker bar having a first tapered surface extending from said lower surface of said body portion to said nose end of said lower surface of said second stacker bar and a second tapered surface extending from said lower surface of said body portion to said first side edge of said lower surface of said second stacker bar, wherein said first side edge is opposite said second side edge and said second side edge is adjacent said first stacker bar.

11. A plurality of roofing elements for installing on a sloped roof, each of said roofing elements comprising: a head end; a nose end; a body portion extending between the head end and the nose end; said body portion defining a profile having at least one arcuate portion and having an upper surface and a lower surface, said lower surface being opposite said upper surface, said body portion defining at least one stacker bar adjacent said arcuate portion, each of said at least one stacker bar extending outwardly from said lower surface, wherein each stacker bar comprises a lower surface and one or more tapered surfaces extending between said lower surface of each stacker bar and said lower surface of said body portion, said one or more tapered surfaces adapted for urging said upper surface of a vertically stacked roofing element away from said lower surface of said roofing element.

12. The plurality of roofing elements of claim 11 wherein said at least one stacker bar adjacent said arcuate portion is a first stacker bar, and said body portion further defines: one or more batten lugs substantially adjacent said head end, and a second stacker bar disposed substantially below an engaging surface of said corresponding batten lug, said batten lugs and said second stacker bars extending outwardly from said lower surface of said body portion.

13. The plurality of roofing elements of claim 12 wherein said first stacker bar is disposed substantially horizontally adjacent said second stacker bar.

14. The plurality of roofing elements of claim 11 wherein: each of said at least one stacker bar comprises a head end, a nose end, a first side edge, and a second side edge, said head end of said stacker bar oriented toward said head end of said roofing element, said nose end of said stacker bar being opposite said head end, and said first and second side edges extending between said head end and said nose end of said stacker bar, and a first tapered surface of said one or more tapered surfaces extends from said first side edge of said lower surface of said stacker bar to said lower surface of said body portion.

15. The plurality of roofing elements of claim 14 wherein: a second tapered surface of said one or more tapered surfaces extends from said second side edge of said lower surface of said stacker bar to said lower surface of said body portion.

16. The plurality of roofing elements of claim 15 wherein: a third tapered surface of said one or more tapered surfaces extends from said nose end of said lower surface of said stacker bar to said lower surface of said body portion.

17. The plurality of roofing elements of claim 14 wherein: a second tapered surface of said one or more tapered surfaces extends from said nose end of said lower surface of said stacker bar to said lower surface of said body portion.

18. The roofing elements of claim 11 wherein hot melt wax is applied to at least a portion of a lower surface of each of said plurality of roofing elements during manufacturing, said hot melt wax being adapted to prevent the lower surface of each of said roofing tiles from damaging an upper surface of a vertically stacked adjacent roofing tile.

19. A plurality of roofing elements for installing on a sloped roof, each of said roofing elements comprising: a head end; a nose end; a body portion extending between the head end and the nose end; said body portion having an upper surface and a lower surface, said lower surface being opposite said upper surface, and said body portion defining one or more weather bars substantially adjacent said nose end and at least one stacker bar adjacent said each of said one or more weather bars, said weather bars and said stacker bars extending outwardly from said lower surface, wherein each stacker bar comprises a lower surface and one or more tapered surfaces extending between said lower surface of each stacker bar and said lower surface of said body portion, said one or more tapered surfaces adapted for urging said upper surface of a vertically stacked roofing element away from said lower surface of said roofing element and said one or more weather bars.

20. The plurality of roofing elements of claim 19 wherein each of said at least one stacker bar is disposed substantially below a lower surface of said corresponding weather bar.

21. The plurality of roofing elements of claim 19 wherein each of said at least one stacker bar is disposed substantially above a lower surface of said corresponding weather bar.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/864,226 filed Nov. 3, 2006 and entitled “Roofing Tile Providing Multiple Tile Shapes or Appearance of the Same,” which is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety, and U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/821,259 filed Aug. 2, 2006 and entitled “Improved Roofing Tile and Roofing Tile System,” which is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

When concrete roofing elements, such as field tiles and trim tiles, are manufactured, they may be stacked together onto a pallet, and then wrapped for shipment to a customer. The process of stacking the roofing elements may be done by hand or by an auto-packer for automatically stacking the roofing elements adjacent each other, for example. Some auto-packers operate by moving roofing elements from a conveyor onto a pallet or onto an existing stack of roofing elements. When stacking the roofing elements onto one another or during shipment, the portions of one roofing element may be nicked, broken, or otherwise damaged by another roofing element stacked above or below the roofing element. In particular, portions of the roofing element that project from a surface of the body of the roofing element, such as batten lugs and weather bars, tend to be particularly susceptible to breakage. Thus, a need in the art exists for a roofing element design that prevents breakage of the roofing element during the packing and/or shipping process.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Various embodiments of the invention provide a roofing element that has improved stacking characteristics. In particular, according to various embodiments, a plurality of roofing elements for installing on a sloped roof are provided wherein each of the roofing elements includes (1) a head end, (2) a nose end, and (3) a body portion extending between the head end and the nose end. The body portion has an upper surface and a lower surface that is opposite the upper surface, and the body portion defines one or more batten lugs substantially adjacent the head end and at least one stacker bar adjacent each batten lug. The batten lugs and the stacker bars extend outwardly from the lower surface. Each stacker bar includes a lower surface and one or more tapered surfaces that extend between the lower surface of the stacker bar and the lower surface of the body portion. The tapered surfaces are adapted for urging the upper surface of a vertically stacked roofing element away from the lower surface of the roofing element and the batten lugs. In a particular embodiment, each stacker bar is positioned substantially below an engaging surface of the corresponding batten lug. In yet another embodiment, a stacker bar is positioned substantially horizontally adjacent the engaging surface of the corresponding batten lug.

According to various embodiments, each stacker bar is elongated and includes a head end, a nose end, a first side edge, and a second side edge. The head end of the stacker bar is adjacent the corresponding batten lug, the nose end is opposite the head end, and the first and second side edges extend between the nose end and the head end of the stacker bar. The lower surface of the stacker bar tapers in height relative to the lower surface of the body portion such that the height of the stacker bar is greater toward the head end of the stacker bar than the nose end of the stacker bar. In one embodiment, a tapered surface extends from the first side edge of the lower surface of the stacker bar to the lower surface of the body portion, and in yet another embodiment, a tapered surface extends from the second side edge of the lower surface of the stacker bar to the lower surface of the body portion. In yet another embodiment, a tapered surface extends from the nose end of the lower surface of the stacker bar to the lower surface of the body portion. In a particular embodiment, all of the above described tapered surfaces may be defined by the stacker bar.

According to various embodiments of the invention, a plurality of roofing elements for installing on a sloped roof are provided, and each of roofing elements element includes (1) a head end, (2) a nose end, and (3) a body portion extending between the head end and the nose end. The body portion defines a profile having at least one arcuate portion and has an upper surface and a lower surface. The lower surface is opposite the upper surface, and the body portion defines at least one stacker bar adjacent the arcuate portion. Each stacker bar extends outwardly from the lower surface and includes a lower surface and one or more tapered surfaces that extend between the lower surface of each stacker bar and the lower surface of the body portion. The one or more tapered surfaces are adapted for urging the upper surface of a vertically stacked roofing element away from the lower surface of the roofing element.

Various other embodiment of the invention provide a plurality of roofing elements for installing on a sloped roof, and each roofing element includes (1) a head end, (2) a nose end, and (3) a body portion extending between the head end and the nose end. The body portion has an upper surface and a lower surface, and the lower surface is opposite the upper surface. The body portion defines one or more weather bars that are disposed substantially adjacent the nose end and at least one stacker bar disposed adjacent each weather bar. The weather bars and the stacker bars extend outwardly from the lower surface. Each stacker bar includes a lower surface and one or more tapered surfaces that extend between the lower surface of the stacker bar and the lower surface of the body portion, and the tapered surfaces are adapted for urging the upper surface of a vertically stacked roofing element away from the lower surface of the roofing element and the weather bars. In a particular embodiment, each stacker bar is positioned substantially below a lower surface of the corresponding weather bar, and in another embodiment, each stacker bar is positioned substantially above a lower surface of the corresponding weather bar.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a tile according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the upper surface of the tile of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a plan view of the lower surface of the tile of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the tile of FIG. 2 along the F-F line;

FIG. 5 is a side view of the tile of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a side view of the tile adjacent the head end of the tile of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7A is a plan view of a lower surface of a tile adjacent a head end of the tile of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7B is a plan view of a lower surface of a tile adjacent a head end of the tile of according to a particular embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 8A is a perspective view of the lower surfaces of stacked tiles according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 8B is a perspective view of the lower surfaces of stacked tiles adjacent the head end of the tiles shown in FIG. 8A;

FIGS. 9A and 9B are end views of stacked roofing tiles that include a central stacking bar according to various embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of an upper surface of a tile according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 11 is a plan view of the upper surface of the tile of FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional view of the tile of FIG. 11 along the C-C line;

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a lower surface of the tile of FIG. 10;

FIG. 14 is a plan view of the lower surface of the tile of FIG. 10;

FIG. 15 is a plan view of the lower surface of the tile adjacent the head end of the tile of FIG. 1;

FIG. 16 is a plan view of a lower surface of a tile adjacent a head end of the tile according to another embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 17 is a side view of the lower surface of the tile adjacent the head end of the tile of FIG. 10;

FIG. 18 is a cross-sectional view of the tile of FIG. 11 along the B-B line;

FIG. 19 is a plan view of an upper surface of a pallet according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 20 is a cross-sectional view of the pallet of FIG. 11 along the A-A line;

FIG. 21 is a cross-sectional view of the pallet of FIG. 11 along the D-D line;

FIG. 22 is an end view of a slipper according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 23A is a side view of a roller according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 23B is an end view of the roller in FIG. 23A;

FIG. 24 is a side view of the roller in FIG. 23A and the edge of a slipper according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 25 is an end view of a slipper according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 26 is a perspective view of an upper surface of a tile according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 27 is a plan view of the lower surface of the tile shown in FIG. 26;

FIG. 28 is a perspective view of an upper surface of tile according to one embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 29 is a plan view of the lower surface of the tile shown in FIG. 28.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Various embodiments of the present invention overcome deficiencies of the prior art by providing an improved roofing system and roofing element. For example, according to one embodiment, a roofing element includes a plurality of tapered surfaces that urge the surfaces of vertically stacked elements away from each other to prevent breakage of portions of the element when the element is stacked and shipped and subjected to loads.

Structure of the Tiles

Various embodiments provide roofing elements (e.g., field tiles and trim tiles) that have improved stacking characteristics. In particular, in one embodiment, a field tile includes a head end, a nose end, a body portion that extends between the head end and nose end, an upper surface of the body portion, and a lower surface opposite the upper surface that defines one or more batten lugs substantially adjacent the head end of the tile and at least one stacker bar that corresponds to each batten lug. The stacker bar and the batten lug extend outwardly from the lower surface of the tile. In addition, the stacker bar includes one or more tapered surfaces that extend from the lower surface of the tile toward a lower surface of the stacker bar. The tapered surfaces are adapted for urging an upper surface of a lower stacked tile away from the lower surface of the tile. In one embodiment, the stacker bar is positioned substantially below an engaging surface of the batten lug, and in another embodiment, the stacker bar is positioned horizontally adjacent the engaging surface of the batten lug.

FIGS. 1-3 and 5-7B illustrate a particular embodiment of the invention. In particular, an S-shaped tile 10 having a pan portion 12 and a cap portion 11 is provided. The tile 10 includes at least one batten lug 30 that extends normally from the lower surface 28 of the tile 10 adjacent the head end 20 of the tile 10. In one embodiment, the batten lug 30 is positioned below the pan portion 12 of the tile 10. The batten lug 30 includes an engagement surface 31 that engages a batten 5 extending across a roofing surface (if battens are used in the installation) and a lower surface 32 that sits adjacent the roofing surface when installed. The tile 10 also includes at least one stacker bar 35 (also referred to as a batten rest) positioned vertically below the batten lug 30 to sit adjacent the batten 5. The batten rest 35 is an elongated protrusions that extend normally from the lower surface 28 of the tile 10. As shown in FIGS. 7A and 7B, each batten rest 35 has a head end 36 that is adjacent the batten lug 30, a nose end 37 opposite the head end 36, and an engaging surface 38 that sits adjacent the batten. The batten rest 35 tapers in height (i.e., the distance from the engaging surface 38 to the lower surface 28 of the tile 10) from the nose end 37 toward the head end 36 such that the height of the batten rest 35 measured at the nose end 37 is less than the height of the batten rest 35 measured at the head end 36. This taper allows the engaging surface 38 of the batten rest 35 to sit substantially adjacent an upper surface of a batten 5 when the tile 10 is installed, giving the tile 10 additional support near the head end 20. In addition, as shown in FIG. 7A, side surfaces 39 of the batten rests 35 taper from the lower surface 28 of the tile 10 toward the engaging surface 38 of the batten rests 35. The tapered surfaces urge an upper surface of an adjacent stacked tile away from the lower surface of the tile 10 Furthermore, the lower surface 28 of the tile 10 further defines two or more stacking bars 40 that are positioned substantially below the outer edges of the cap portion 11 and pan portion 12 of the tile 10. Each stacking bar 40 extends downwardly from the lower surface 28 of the tile 10 and includes a head end 41 that is adjacent the head end 20 of the tile 10, a nose end 42 that is opposite the head end 41, and side surfaces 45 that extend from the lower surface 28 of the tile 10 to a lower surface 44 of the stacking bars 40. The side surfaces 45 taper toward the lower surface 44 of each stacking bar 40 from the lower surface 28 of the tile 10. For example, in the embodiment shown in FIG. 7B, the radii of the transitions between the side surfaces 45 of the stacking bars 40a, 40b and the lower surface 28 of the tile 10 are between about 2 mm and about 18 mm. In a particular embodiment, the radius 45a at the nose end of the stacking bar 40a that is vertically adjacent the pan portion 12 is about 12 mm; the radius 45f at the head end of the outer side surface of the stacking bar 40a is about 10 mm; and the radius 45c at the head end of the inner side surface of the stacking bar 40a is about 6 mm. In addition, the radius 45h at the nose end of the stacking bar 40b that is vertically adjacent the cap portion 11 is about 16 mm; the radius 45j between the head end and nose end of the inner side surface of the stacking bar 40b is about 14 mm; the radius 45m at the head end of the inner side surface 45 of the stacking bar 40b is about 16 mm; and the radius 45p at the head end of the outer side surface 45 of the stacking bar 40b is about 3 mm. Furthermore, according to the embodiment shown in FIG. 7B, the radii of transition between the side surfaces 45 of the stacking bars 40a, 40b and the lower surface of the stacking bars 40a, 40b are between about 2 mm and about 12 mm. In particular, the radius 45b of the transition along the inner edge of the stacking bar 40a between the head end and the nose end of the stacking bar 40a is about 4 mm; the radius 45e of the transition along the outer edge of the stacking bar 40a adjacent the head end of the stacking bar 40a is about 10 mm; the radius 45g of the transition located between the head and end and the nose end of the stacking bar 40a is about 4 mm; the radius 45q of the transition along the outer edge of the stacking bar 40b adjacent the nose end of the stacking bar 40a is about 5 mm; and the radius 45k of the transition along the inner edge and adjacent the nose end of the stacking bar 40b is about 6 mm. Furthermore, in various embodiments, the widths of the stacking bars 40a, 40b are between about 3 mm and 6 mm. In a particular embodiment, the width of the stacking bar 40a is about 4 mm and the width of the stacking bar 40b is about 5 mm.

When the upper surface 17 of a first tile that is stacked vertically adjacent a second tile moves relative to the lower surface 28 of the second tile, the upper surface 17 of the cap portion 11 and the pan portion 12 of the first tile are urged by the stacking bars 40 and/or the tapered side surfaces 39 of the batten rest 35 to move away from the lower surfaces 32 of the batten lugs 30, thus preventing any unwanted breakage of the batten lugs 30. In addition, as shown in FIGS. 6, 7A, and 7B, the height of each stacking bar 40 is adapted for clearing the batten 5 when the tiles 10 are installed. In one embodiment, the stacking bars 40 further serve to stabilize the installed tile 10 with respect to the batten 5.

In a further embodiment, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 7A-8B, the lower surface 28 of the tile 10 defines a central stacking bar 50 that is positioned substantially below a longitudinal groove 15 defined between the inner edges 13, 14 of the edges of the cap portion 11 and pan portion 12, respectively. The central stacking bar 50 extends downwardly from the lower surface 28 of the tile 10 and includes a head end 51 that is adjacent the head end 20 of the tile 10, a nose end 52 that is opposite the head end 51, and side surfaces 55 that extend from the lower surface 28 of the tile 10 to a lower surface 54 of the stacking bar 50. The side surfaces 55 taper toward the lower surface 54 of the stacking bar 50 from the lower surface 28 of the tile 10. When the upper surface 17 of a first tile that is stacked vertically adjacent a second tile moves relative to the lower surface 28 of the second tile, the upper surface 17 of the inner edge 13 of the cap portion 11 of the first tile is urged by the stacking bar 50 to move away from the lower surface 32 of the batten lugs 30, thus preventing any unwanted breakage of the batten lugs 30. For example, FIGS. 9A and 9B show embodiments in which the central stacking bar 50 is included on the tiles 10, and the upper surface 17 of the pan portion 12 is prevented from contacting the batten lug 30 of the adjacent tile.

FIGS. 10-17 illustrate another embodiment of the invention in which Mediterranean shaped tiles are provided with improved stacking characteristics. According to one embodiment shown in FIGS. 10-12, a concrete material roofing tile 100 has a serpentine-shaped profile, and the tile 100 is installed horizontally adjacent another tile 100 to simulate the appearance of a Mediterranean-style clay roof. In particular, the tile 100 includes a central cap-shaped portion 111 intermediate two substantially flat transition portions 112, and on each side of the substantially flat transition portions 112 are arcuate-shaped portions 113, 114 that extend in an upwardly and outwardly direction from the central cap-shaped portion 111, forming the serpentine-like shape. When tiles 100 are installed onto a roofing surface adjacent each other, the arcuate-shaped portions 113, 114 of two adjacent tiles 100 simulate the appearance of the cap-shaped portion 111. Water and debris run off of the cap-shaped portion 111 and the arcuate-shaped portions 113, 114 into the substantially flat transition portions 1 12.

The tile 100 further includes an upper surface 117 that is exposed when installed on a roofing surface and a lower surface 118 that is positioned adjacent the roofing surface when installed. In addition, the tile 100 includes a head end 120, a nose end 119, and a body portion 111. One or more apertures extend through the head end 120 are adapted to receive fasteners to secure the tile to the roof, if required.

As shown in FIGS. 13-17, at least two batten lugs 130 extend normally from the lower surface 118 of the tile 100 adjacent the head end 120 of the tile 100. In one embodiment, the batten lugs 130 are positioned below the substantially flat transition portions 112 of the tile 100. Each batten lug 130 includes an engagement surface 131 that engages a batten extending across a roofing surface (if battens are used in the installation) and a lower surface 132 that sits adjacent the roofing surface when installed. The tile 100 also includes at least two batten rests 135 which are elongated protrusions that extend normally from the lower surface 118 of the tile 110 and are positioned vertically below the batten lugs 130. As shown in FIG. 18, each batten rest 135 has a head end 136 that is adjacent the batten 130, a nose end 137 opposite the head end 136, and an engaging surface 138. The batten rest 135 tapers in height (i.e., the distance from the engaging surface 138 to the lower surface 118 of the tile 100) from the nose end 137 toward the head end 136 such that the height of the batten rest 135 measured at the nose end 137 is less than the height of the batten rest 135 measured at the head end 136. This taper allows the engaging surface 138 of the batten rest 135 to sit substantially adjacent an upper surface of the batten when the tile 100 is installed, giving the tile 100 additional support near the head end 120.

In addition, as shown in FIG. 13, side surfaces 139 of the batten rests 135 taper from the lower surface 118 of the tile 100 toward the engaging surface 138 of the batten rests 135. When tiles 100 are stacked vertically adjacent each other, such as during a stacking operation or shipping, the tapered side surfaces 139 urge the upper surface 117 of a lower stacked tile 100 to move below the lower surface 132 of the batten lugs 130, preventing any unwanted breakage of the batten lugs 130.

Furthermore, according to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 13-17, the lower surface 118 of the tile 100 further defines two or more stacking bars 140 that are positioned below each of the arcuate-shaped side portions 113, 114 of the tile 100. Each stacking bar 140 extends downwardly from the lower surface 118 of the tile 100 and includes a head end 141 that is adjacent the head end 120 of the tile 100, a nose end 142 that is opposite the head end 141, and side surfaces 145 that extend from the lower surface 118 of the tile 100 to a lower surface 144 of the stacking bars 140. The side surfaces 145 taper toward the lower surface 144 of each stacking bar 140 from the lower surface 118 of the tile 100. When the upper surface 117 of a lower stacked tile 100 moves relative to the lower surface 118 of an upper stacked tile 100, the upper surfaces 117 of the arcuate-shaped side portions 113, 114 of a lower stacked tile 100 are urged by the stacking bars 140 to move below the lower surfaces 132 of the batten lugs 130, thus preventing any unwanted breakage of the batten lugs 130. In addition, as shown in FIG. 17, the height of each stacking bar 140 is adapted for clearing the batten when the tiles 100 are installed, and the stacking bars 140 serve to stabilize the installed tile 100 with respect to the batten.

According to one embodiment of the invention, the transitions between (a) the lower surface 118 of the tile 100 and the side surfaces 145 of the stacking bars 140 and (b) between the side surfaces 145 and the lower surface 144 of the stacking bar 140 may have radii of between about 2.5 mm and 9 mm. In addition, the width w of the lower surface 144 of each stacking bar 140 adjacent the nose end 142 of the stacking bar 140 is between about 3 mm and 6 mm.

In a particular embodiment, which is shown in FIG. 15, the radius of the transition between the lower surface 118 of the tile 100 and an outer side portion 145A of the stacking bar 140B positioned below the second arcuate-shaped side portion 114 is about 8 mm; the radius of the transition between the side portion 145A and the lower surface 144 of the stacking bar 140B is about 5 mm; and the radius of the transition between an inner side portion 145B of the stacking bar 140B and the lower surface 144 of the stacking bar 140B is about 5 mm. In addition, the width w of the lower surface 144 of the stacking bar 140B adjacent the nose end 142 is about 3.75 mm. Furthermore, the radius of the transition between the lower surface 118 and an outer side portion 145C of the stacking bar 140A positioned below the first arcuate-shaped side portion 113 is about 5 mm; the radius of the transition between the side portion 145C and the lower surface 144 of the stacking bar 140A is about 5 mm; and the radius of the transition between an inner side portion 145D of the stacking bar 140A and the lower surface 117 of the tile 100 is about 7.5 mm. In addition, the width w of the lower surface 144 of the stacking bar 140A adjacent the nose end 142 is about 3.5 mm.

In another embodiment, which is shown in FIG. 16, the radius of the transition between the lower surface 118 and an outer side portion 450A of the stacking bar 400B positioned below the second arcuate-shaped side portion 230 is about 5 mm; the radius of the transition between the side portion 450A and the lower surface 440 of the stacking bar 400B is about 5 mm; and the radius of the transition between an inner side portion 450B of the stacking bar 400B and the lower surface 440 of the stacking bar 400B is about 3 mm. In addition, the width of the lower surface 440 of the stacking bar 400B adjacent the nose end 420 is about 5.39 mm. Furthermore, the radius of the transition between the lower surface 44 of the stacking bar 400A and an outer side portion 450C of the stacking bar 400A positioned below the first arcuate-shaped side portion 240 is about 5 mm; the radius of the transition between an inner side portion 450D of the stacking bar 40A and the lower surface 440 of the stacking bar 400A is about 3 mm; and the radius of the transition between the side portion 450D and the lower surface 118 of the tile 100 is about 3 mm. In addition, the width of the lower surface 440 of the stacking bar 400A adjacent the nose end 420 is about 5.18 mm.

Similarly, various other embodiments of the invention may include tiles having a substantially flat profile, such as the embodiment shown in FIGS. 26-27. In particular, each tile 300 includes a head end 320, a nose end 319, and a body portion 321 extending between the head end 320 and the nose end 319. The body portion 321 has an upper surface 317 and a lower surface 328 that is opposite the upper surface 317, and the lower surface 317 defines batten lugs 330 substantially adjacent the head end 320 and at least one stacker bar 335 adjacent each batten lug 330. The batten lugs 330 and the stacker bars 335 extend outwardly from the lower surface 328. Each stacker bar 335 includes a lower surface 344 and one or more tapered surfaces 345 that extend between the lower surface 344 of the stacker bar 335 and the lower surface 328 of the body portion 321. The tapered surfaces 345 are adapted for urging the upper surface 317 of a vertically stacked roofing element away from the lower surface 328 of the roofing element and the batten lugs 330. In a particular embodiment, each stacker bar 335 is positioned substantially below an engaging surface 338 of the corresponding batten lug 330. In a further embodiment (not shown), a second stacker bar is positioned substantially horizontally adjacent the engaging surface of the corresponding batten lug.

Furthermore, in one embodiment, the lower surface 328 defines one or more weather bars 355 that are substantially adjacent the nose end 319 and at least one stacker bar 360 adjacent each weather bar 355. The weather bars 355 and the stacker bars 360 extend outwardly from the lower surface 328. Each stacker bar 360 includes a lower surface 361 and one or more tapered surfaces 362 that extend between the lower surface 361 of the stacker bar 360 and the lower surface 328 of the body portion 321, and the tapered surfaces 362 are adapted for urging the upper surface 317 of a vertically stacked roofing element 300 away from the lower surface 328 of the roofing element 300 and the weather bars 355. In the embodiment shown, each stacker bar 360 is positioned substantially above an inner surface 365 of the corresponding weather bar 355. Alternatively, in another embodiment (not shown), each stacker bar is positioned substantially below a lower surface of the corresponding weather bar.

In addition, other roofing elements, such as trim tiles may also include stacker bars. Trim roofing tiles are typically used along the edges of the roof (e.g., rake tiles) and/or along the ridge of the roof and do not typically include batten lugs. An exemplary barrel shaped trim tile 500 according to one embodiment is shown in FIGS. 28-29. The trim tile 500 includes an adhesive projection point 515 that extends from the lower surface 528 of the trim tile 500 adjacent the nose end 519. The adhesive projection point 515 reduces the distance between the lower surface 528 of the nose end 519 of an upper course tile 500 and an upper surface 517 of a head end 520 of a lower course tile 500, which reduces the amount of adhesive to be applied above the fastener of the lower course tile 500. The lower surface 528 of the trim tile 500 may further define a stacker bar 535 adjacent the adhesive projection point 515. The stacker bar 535 extends outwardly from the lower surface 528 and includes a lower surface 544 and one or more tapered surfaces 545 that extend between the lower surface 544 of the stacker bar 535 and the lower surface 528 of the body 521 of the trim tile 500. The tapered surfaces 545 are adapted for urging the upper surface 517 of a vertically stacked trim tile 500 away from the lower surface 528 of the trim tile 500 and the adhesive projection point 515. In a particular embodiment (not shown), stacker bars may be positioned substantially adjacent each side of the adhesive projection point and above the adhesive projection point. In a further embodiment (not shown), a stacker bar is also positioned below the adhesive projection point.

The Manufacturing Process

According to various embodiments of the invention, the process of manufacturing the tiles begins by extruding a concrete-based material onto a mold pallet 70 from an extruder. In one embodiment, as shown in FIGS. 19-21, the upper surface of the mold pallet 70 defines the shape of the lower surface 28 of an S-shaped tile 10, such as the tile 10 shown in FIG. 1. A roller 74, such as the embodiment shown in FIGS. 23A, 23B, and 24, is positioned above a moving conveyor of mold pallets 70 and has a surface that is substantially the shape of the upper surface of the tile. To force the concrete-based material between the roller 74 and the mold pallet 70, according to one embodiment, the roller 74 is spun at a speed slightly faster than the speed at which the mold pallet 70 is moving below the roller 74. The concrete-based material is compressed between the roller 74 and the mold pallet 70 to form a rough shape of the tile. Next, the mold pallet 70 moves below a slipper 72, such as the embodiment shown in FIG. 25, which forms the upper surface of the tile in more detail and within specified tolerances.

In particular, in one embodiment, such as shown in FIG. 24, the slipper 72 overhangs the roller 74 by about 0.4 mm and about 0.6 mm (e.g., about 0.5 mm), which substantially prevents excess concrete-based material from moving between slipper 72 and the roller 74.

In a further embodiment, the mold system further includes cheek bars along each side of the conveyor, and the cheek bars guide the mold pallets 70 through the forming section described above. In a particular embodiment, cheek blocks are coupled to the cheek bars, and the cheek blocks cooperate with the slipper 72 to form the outer edges, or side surfaces, of the engagement members of each tile. For example, in one embodiment, the cheek blocks and the slipper 72 cooperate to form substantially rounded outer edges of the engagement members.

Next, the tile form is heated and cured. In various embodiments, a hot melt wax is then applied to at least a portion of the lower surface of each tile to prevent a lower surface of a vertically stacked tile from scratching or otherwise damaging the upper surface of the adjacent tile. For example, in a particular embodiment, the hot melt wax is applied to weather bars 60 that extend substantially normally from the lower surface of the tile adjacent the nose end of the tile.

After the tiles have been cured and the hot melt wax has dried, the tiles are stacked vertically adjacent each other onto shipping pallets (e.g., wooden pallets). In one embodiment, this stacking process is performed by an automatic palletizer that stacks the tiles vertically adjacent each other and positions them onto the shipping pallet, such as shown in FIGS. 8A and 8B. However, in an alternative embodiment, the tiles are palletized manually. Furthermore, in various embodiments, the stacking bars prevent breakage of the batten lugs of the tiles when the tiles are being palletized.

In addition, in a further embodiment, the mold pallet 70 is sprayed with a friction-reducing material (e.g., oil) prior to the extrusion process, which facilitates the removal of the formed concrete-material from the mold pallet 70. The friction-reducing material has a tendency to pool in indentations defined in the mold pallet 70, such as the indentation that defines the batten lug and the indentation that defines the batten rest, and the pooling can compromise the bonding strength of the concrete-material that makes up the batten lug and batten rest. In one embodiment, to prevent the pooling of the friction-reducing material, a substantially horizontal ridge is defined adjacent the indentation that defines the engagement surface of the batten lug. The horizontal ridge prevents the friction-reducing material from pooling in the indentation that defines the batten lug by redirecting the material to the sides of the tile. In addition, in a further embodiment, a vertical ridge is defined by a bottom surface of the indentation that forms the batten rest. The vertical ridge extends substantially normally from the lower surface of the indentation and substantially along a longitudinal axis of the indentation batten rest, resulting in an indentation in the lower surface of the batten rest. According to one embodiment, the vertical ridge reduces the amount of friction-reducing material that can pool in the indentations in the mold pallet 70 that form the batten lug and the batten rest.

The embodiments of the mold pallet 70, the roller 74, and slipper 72 described above and shown in FIGS. 19-25 may be used to manufacture the S-shaped tiles 10 shown in FIG. 1, for example. However, it should be understood that the shape of the mold pallet, roller, and slipper may be modified to manufacture tiles having different shaped profiles, such as, for example, those tiles shown and described in relation to FIGS. 10, 26, and 28.

CONCLUSION

It may be seen that various embodiments of the present invention overcome deficiencies in the prior art by providing roofing tiles are less susceptible to breaking during stacking or shipping. While various embodiments of the invention have been described in specific detail with reference to the disclosed embodiments, it will be understood that many variations and modifications may be affected within the spirit and scope of the invention as described in the appended claims.





 
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