Title:
PREFAB PANEL FOR REALIZING A DOUBLE LAYER WALL IN BUILDINGS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Prefab panel for assembling a double layer wall of a building, with structural support function and thermal insulation. The panel includes at least one element of brick material having an exposed surface, a connection surface, a narrow side with a protrusion, and an opposite narrow side with a recess. Panel also includes an intermediate layer composed of cement mortar, and at least one element of insulating material with a connection surface, an exposed surface, a narrow side with a protrusion, and an opposite narrow side with a recess.



Inventors:
Franco, Valente Carmine (Villa Latina, IT)
Maurizio, Peccolo (Lugano, CH)
Application Number:
11/843477
Publication Date:
03/20/2008
Filing Date:
08/22/2007
Assignee:
BIT TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED (Luxembourg, LU)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/590.1, 52/745.19, 52/513
International Classes:
E04F13/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PAINTER, BRANON C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GREENBLUM & BERNSTEIN, P.L.C. (RESTON, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A prefab panel for assembling a double layer wall of a building, with structural support function and thermal insulation, comprising: at least one element of brick material having an exposed surface, a connection surface, a narrow side with a protrusion, and an opposite narrow side with a recess, an intermediate layer composed of cement mortar, at least one element of insulating material with a connection surface, an exposed surface, a narrow side with a protrusion, and an opposite narrow side with a recess.

2. The prefab panel according to the claim 1, wherein: the connection surface of the at least one element of insulating material, is arranged facing the intermediate layer composed of cement mortar and comprises recesses or grooves, wherein a cross-section is substantially shaped as a “C” with its aperture oriented towards the layer of cement mortar.

3. The prefab panel according to the claim 2, wherein: the cross-section of the grooves is substantially shaped as a “swallow tail” with its aperture oriented towards the layer of cement mortar.

4. The prefab panel according to the claim 1, wherein: a thickness (d) of the at least one element of insulating material ranges from approximately 5 to approximately 15 cm.

5. The prefab panel according to the claim 1, wherein: the at least one element of brick material contains a plurality of through bores extending over the whole length of the at least one element of brick material, each of which forms an insulating air chamber.

6. The prefab panel according to the claim 1, wherein: a thickness of the at least one element of brick material ranges from approximately 8 to approximately 15 cm.

7. The prefab panel according to the claim 1, wherein: a total thickness of the prefab panel ranges from approximately 25 to approximately 45 cm.

8. The prefab panel according to the claim 1, wherein: the at least one element of brick material and the at least one element of insulating material have essentially of the same dimensions of length, and width, respectively.

9. The prefab panel according to the claim 1, wherein: a plurality of elements of brick material and a same plurality of elements of insulating material are suitably assembled, with the help of an intermediate layer composed of reinforced cement mortar to form a wall of the height corresponding to the length of the single elements of brick material and insulating material, respectively, and of the width corresponding to the width of the single elements, multiplied by the number of individual elements of brick material and insulating material in the corresponding direction, respectively, forming the wall height, and width, respectively.

10. The prefab panel according to the claim 1, wherein: a length of the at least one element of insulating material ranges from approximately 100 to approximately 300 cm, and that the minimum density of the insulating material is approximately 20 kg/m3.

11. The prefab panel according to the claim 1, wherein: the at least one element of brick material is of a rectangular shape.

12. The prefab panel according to the claim 1, wherein: the recess in the at least one element of brick material extends over a whole length of the at least one brick material.

13. The prefab panel according to the claim 1, wherein: the at least one element after assembly of the building forms an inner wall surface of the building.

14. The prefab panel according to the claim 1, wherein: the intermediate layer composed of cement mortar further comprises a suitable reinforcing structure of steel bars.

15. The prefab panel according to the claim 1, wherein: the at least one element of insulating material comprises polystyrol.

16. The prefab panel according to the claim 1, wherein: the at least one element of insulating material is of a rectangular shape.

17. The prefab panel according to the claim 1, wherein: the recess in the at least one element of insulating material extends over a whole length of the at least one insulating material.

18. The prefab panel according to the claim 1, wherein: the at least one element of insulating material after assembly of the building forms the outside wall surface of the building, thereby forming a double layer wall with structural support function and thermal insulation.

19. A method of making prefab panel for assembling a double layer wall of a building, with structural support function and thermal insulation, comprising: connecting at least one element of brick material having an exposed surface, a connection surface, a narrow side with a protrusion, and an opposite narrow side with a recess to an intermediate layer composed of cement mortar; and connecting at least one element of insulating material having a connection surface, an exposed surface, a narrow side with a protrusion, and an opposite narrow side with a recess to the intermediate layer.

20. The method of making a prefab panel according to the claim 19, wherein: the connection surface of the at least one element of insulating material, is arranged facing the intermediate layer composed of cement mortar and comprises recesses or grooves, wherein a cross-section is substantially shaped as a “C” with its aperture oriented towards the layer of cement mortar.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. §119 of Swiss Patent Application No. 01343/06, filed Aug. 23, 2006, the disclosure of which are expressly incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a prefab panel of double layer walls in buildings to provide structural support as well as thermal insulation. The prefab panel can be utilized, preferably but not exclusively, as external walls of residential homes, private or public administrative or office buildings, e.g., schools and hospitals.

2. Background and Related Information

Prefab double layer walls are known as such in the building trade. The present invention refers in particular to a solution for double layer walls, as disclosed in European patent application filed Feb. 13, 2006, under the number EP-06405065, the disclosure of which is hereby expressly incorporated by reference in its entirety, and of which the present invention intends to provide a further improvement. The contents of the patent application cited above, concerning an “element in brick material for realizing prefab panels for buildings,” thus is considered part of the description of the present invention.

EP-06405065, which is commonly assigned to the assignee of the present patent application, describes an element in brick material (a kind of brick or tile of oblong form) presenting certain specific properties rendering it suitable to be assembled into a double layer wall using an intermediate cement mortar layer in the inter-space between two elements of brick material arranged opposite each other. Each element of brick material contains a plurality of longitudinally extending bores forming isolating air chambers or, if filled with insulation material or with cement mortar, improve the thermal insulation properties or the structural mechanical resistance properties of the element. Assembly of two elements of brick material to form a double layer wall is illustrated in a series of figures in EP-06405065 (e.g. the FIGS. 9, 10, 13, 16, 17, 29 and 30), whereas other figures show the possibility of forming angled elements of buildings, enclosing 90° angles (FIG. 22). This disclosure demonstrates the great versatility of this element of brick material, which after suitable assembly permits utilizing a vast array of applications. Thus, the present invention does not seek to replace the teachings of the EP-06405065 cited above with respect to the solutions for assembling two elements of brick material arranged opposite each other, but seeks to enlarge the characteristics of applications with the help of substantially improved thermal insulation properties of double layer walls realized using the teachings of the patent application cited. As mentioned above, EP-06405065 describes the possibility of filling the longitudinal bores of the elements of brick material with more or less ecological insulation material, but this permits limited improvement merely of the thermal insulation properties in comparison with the improvement to be reached using the present invention, without impairing in any way the teachings of the preceding European patent EP-06405065.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention applies the teachings of commonly owned European patent EP-06405065 concerning the basic structure of the double layer wall realized as well as the method of manufacturing thereof, and thus of realizing or utilizing in a rational and economical manner double layer walls suitable for all the applications provided and illustrated in the preceding application, but presenting much higher thermal insulation values compared with the ones provided according to the patent application referred to.

In other words, the present invention includes advantages that can be reached by substituting, in a prefab double layer wall construction, one of the layers of elements of brick material according to the teachings of EP-06405065 with elements of thermal insulating material, e.g., polystyrol, presenting essentially the same outline form as the elements of brick material substituted. However, these layers are not provided with longitudinal through bores for better mechanical strength. This wall layer of polystyrol is intended, as recommended by the thermal insulation technology for buildings, to be used as the outer wall layer of the building in order to obtain the maximum advantage of applying double layer walls of this type.

The present invention relates to a prefab panel for assembling a double layer wall of a building, with structural support function and thermal insulation. The panel includes at least one element of brick material having an exposed surface, a connection surface, a narrow side with a protrusion, and an opposite narrow side with a recess, an intermediate layer composed of cement mortar, at least one element of insulating material with a connection surface, an exposed surface, a narrow side with a protrusion, and an opposite narrow side with a recess.

The prefab panel can further provide that the connection surface of the at least one element of insulating material, is arranged facing the intermediate layer composed of cement mortar and comprises recesses or grooves, wherein a cross-section is substantially shaped as a “C” with its aperture oriented towards the layer of cement mortar.

The prefab panel can further provide that the cross-section of the grooves is substantially shaped as a “swallow tail” with its aperture oriented towards the layer of cement mortar.

The prefab panel can further provide that a thickness of the at least one element of insulating material ranges from approximately 5 to approximately 15 cm.

The prefab panel can further provide that at least one element of brick material contains a plurality of through bores extending over the whole length of the at least one element of brick material, each of which forms an insulating air chamber.

The prefab panel can further provide that a thickness of the at least one element of brick material ranges from approximately 8 to approximately 15 cm.

The prefab panel can further provide that a total thickness of the prefab panel ranges from approximately 25 to approximately 45 cm.

The prefab panel can further provide that at least one element of brick material and the at least one element of insulating material have essentially of the same dimensions of length, and width, respectively.

The prefab panel can further provide that a plurality of elements of brick material and a same plurality of elements of insulating material are suitably assembled, with the help of an intermediate layer composed of reinforced cement mortar to form a wall of the height corresponding to the length of the single elements of brick material and insulating material, respectively, and of the width corresponding to the width of the single elements, multiplied by the number of individual elements of brick material and insulating material in the corresponding direction, respectively, forming the wall height, and width, respectively.

The prefab panel can further provide that a length of the at least one element of insulating material ranges from approximately 100 to approximately 300 cm, and that the minimum density of the insulating material is approximately 20 kg/m3.

The prefab panel can further provide that at least one element of brick material is of a rectangular shape.

The prefab panel can further provide that a recess in the at least one element of brick material which extends over a whole length of the at least one brick material.

The prefab panel can further provide that at least one element after assembly of the building forms an inner wall surface of the building.

The prefab panel can further provide that an intermediate layer composed of cement mortar further comprises a suitable reinforcing structure of steel bars.

The prefab panel can further provide that at least one element of insulating material includes polystyrol.

The prefab panel can further provide that at least one element of insulating material is of a rectangular shape.

The prefab panel can further provide that a recess in the at least one element of insulating material which extends over a whole length of the at least one insulating material.

The prefab panel can further provide that at least one element of insulating material after assembly of the building forms the outside wail surface of the building, thereby forming a double layer wall with structural support function and thermal insulation.

The present invention provides a method of making prefab panel for assembling a double layer wall of a building, with structural support function and thermal insulation, including connecting at least one element of brick material having an exposed surface, a connection surface, a narrow side with a protrusion, and an opposite narrow side with a recess to an intermediate layer composed of cement mortar; and connecting at least one element of insulating material having a connection surface, an exposed surface, a narrow side with a protrusion, and an opposite narrow side with a recess to the intermediate layer.

The method of making a prefab panel can further include that the connection surface of the at least one element of insulating material, is arranged facing the intermediate layer composed of cement mortar and comprises recesses or grooves, wherein a cross-section is substantially shaped as a “C” with its aperture oriented towards the layer of cement mortar.

Other exemplary embodiments and advantages of the present invention may be ascertained by reviewing the present disclosure and the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention is further described in the detailed description which follows, in reference to the noted plurality of drawings by way of non-limiting examples of preferred embodiments of the present invention, in which like numerals represent like elements throughout the several views of the drawings unless otherwise noted, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a cross-section of an inventive panel, the basic construction of which is the same as the one shown in the FIG. 13 of the EP-06405065, but with the difference that one of the elements of brick material according to the present invention has been substituted by an element of polystyrol;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged view of the element of polystyrol according to the FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an alternative element of polystyrol material applicable within the frame of the present invention, the outer shape of which is perfectly equal to the one of the element of brick material shown in e.g. the FIG. 13 of the EP-06405065;

FIG. 4 is the possibility of combining two elements of polystyrol with an intermediate layer of cement mortar to form a separating wall in a building. This possibility, however, is shown merely to underline the versatility of the manufacturing system for producing the inventive panels.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The particulars shown herein are by way of example and for purposes of illustrative discussion of the embodiments of the present invention only and are presented in the cause of providing what is believed to be the most useful and readily understood description of the principles and conceptual aspects of the present invention. In this regard, no attempt is made to show structural details of the present invention in more detail than is necessary for the fundamental understanding of the present invention, the description taken with the drawings making apparent to those skilled in the art how the several forms of the present invention may be embodied in practice.

Before the inventive solutions are described in more detail, some definitions of general character are to be outlined:

  • In the exemplary figures, the term “upper side surface,” and “lower side surface” respectively, refer to the surface as illustrated, i.e., the term, “lower side” refers to an element surface facing downwards in the exemplary figures, where the term “upper side” refers to an element surface facing upwards. Of course it is apparent these definitions are merely for ease of explaining the invention with reference to the drawings, particularly since, when in use, the “upper” and “lower” sides of the elements are arranged in vertical position, and after assembly, the panels on the building site will form just outside or inside wall surfaces of the building.
  • The term “polystyrol,” as a material forming the basic insulating element for the present invention, is understood generally as an expanded polystyrol of the type normally used for insulating or packaging purposes, etc. It is understood the present invention is not limited to the application of a particular type of thermal insulating material, and can utilize any thermal insulating material presenting suitable thermal insulation properties, which can be shaped into plates of the desired cross-sections. Thus, also non-expanded material can be also used, provided it can be shaped mechanically.

The figures illustrate several preferred embodiments of the present invention. FIG. 1 illustrates a cross-sectional representation of a prefabricated panel according to the present invention, which generally corresponds to FIG. 13 of EP-06405065. The corresponding description of the panel according to FIG. 13 of EP-06405065 thus can be generally adapted to the panel represented in FIG. 1, and in particular to elements not shown in FIG. 1, such as, e.g., steel reinforcement structures (formed e.g., as a cage), or the application of suitable distancing members. As these items are part of the technique of manufacturing of the panels described in EP-06405065, these details are not described in more detail here. It is to be noted that the manufacturing equipment for producing the panel according to FIG. 14 of EP-06405065 can be used for producing the panel according to FIG. 1 of the present invention. The main difference, however, is that in the exemplary embodiment depicted in FIG. 1, one of the elements of brick material forming the walls of the sandwich type panel according to EP-06405065 is replaced by an element of thermal insulating material, e.g., polystyrol, having a cross-section of form that can be the same as, or at least similar to, the replaced one element of brick material.

In FIG. 1, an element of brick material of rectangular form is designated 1, presenting a lower side (i.e., exposed) surface 2, an upper side (i.e., connecting) surface 3, a narrow side with a protrusion 5, and an opposite narrow side with a recess 6 extending over a whole length of element 1 (i.e., perpendicular to the page). Moreover, recess 6 is formed to receive protrusions of another element 1. This element 1 of brick material, which can also contain the longitudinal through bores known from the FIG. 13 of the EP-06405065, and which, after assembly of the wall panel on the building site, is oriented in a vertical position to form the inner wall side. In this regard, according to the well known technique of laying out isolating panels, the inner wall side is the one presenting lower thermal insulation, whereas the outer wall side presents the higher thermal insulation.

In FIG. 1, in the sense of a mere example, two elements 1 and 1′ are shown arranged side by side in such a manner that they form a connection where protrusion 5′ is inserted into recess 6. In this regard, a wall of a building can include any number of elements 1, 1′ arranged side by side, of variable length and suitable to form—as shown in the EP-06405065—the various types of walls cited in that document.

Above element 1 of brick material, relative to the orientation of the drawing in FIG. 1, an intermediate layer 7 of cement mortar is provided with suitable reinforcing steel bars (not shown). The thickness of this intermediate layer depends on the application intended of the panel and thus can be chosen from a few centimeters to some decimeters.

The panel then is completed on its upper side with an element 8 of thermal insulating material, e.g., polystyrol, which is also of rectangular form that includes a lower side surface 9, an upper side surface 10, a narrow side 11 with a protrusion 12, and an opposite narrow side with a recess 13 extending over a whole length of element 8 of thermal insulating material, e.g., polystyrol. The element 8 of thermal insulating material, e.g., polystyrol, which provides high thermal insulation capacity, is provided to form, after assembly of the panel on the building site, an outside wall surface of the building.

Generally, the dimensions of the length (l) and the width (m) (not indicated in the Figures, all of which show cross-sections at right angles to the length of the panel, but are indicated in the corresponding figures in EP-06405065) of the element 1 of brick material and of the element 8 of the thermal insulating material 8, e.g., polystyrol, can be equal or can be multiples of each other (the width of the thermal insulating material being, e.g., twice, or half of, the width of the element of brick material).

For improved anchoring in the cement mortar 7, the element 1 of brick material as well as the element 8 of the thermal insulating material, e.g., polystyrol, are provided with recesses or grooves extending longitudinally, where the recesses or grooves in the element 1 of brick material are the same as shown in the examples represented in EP-06405065, such that element 14 in the element 8 of thermal insulating material, e.g., polystyrol—located in the lower side surface 9 of the element, i.e., the surface oriented towards the intermediate layer of the cement mortar 7 presents a cross-section shaped as a “C” open towards the cement mortar 7.

The orientation of the grooves 14 extending longitudinally is not essential for the present invention. It is to be noted, however, that these grooves permit secure anchoring of the element 8 of thermal insulation material, e.g., polystyrol (which is typically light weight with little to no mechanical resistance properties) in the cement mortar 7. A preferred shape of the grooves 14, shown in the FIG. 1 in an exemplary embodiment, is the “swallow tail” cross-section, with the opening oriented towards the layer of cement mortar 7. An advantage of this shape is that it can aid in the manufacturing process.

According to a preferred embodiment of the panel of the present invention, the thickness d of the element 8 of thermal insulating material, e.g., polystyrol ranges from approximately 5 cm to approximately 15 cm.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, the element 1 of brick material contains a plurality of bores 15, 15′, . . . 15n, representing insulating air chambers, extending longitudinally through element 1. In some embodiments, the plurality of bores 15, 15′, . . . 15n, can also be filled with cement mortar (for increasing the mechanical resistance of the element 1), or with other thermally insulating material, as represented in EP-06405065.

According to a further embodiment of the present invention, the thickness f of the element 1 of brick material can range from approximately 8 cm to approximately 15 cm, whereas the total thickness D of the panel can ranges from approximately 25 to approximately 45 cm.

The length (l) of the element 8 of thermal insulating material, e.g., polystyrol (not shown in the figures, but the length (l) of the element is similarly depicted in FIG. 3 of the EP-06405065), practical experience has shown that this length can range from approximately 100 to approximately 300 cm, with the minimum density of the thermal insulating material being approximately 20 kg/m3.

In FIG. 2, the element 8 of thermal insulating material, e.g., polystyrol according to FIG. 1 is shown enlarged for better visibility of the geometric details.

In FIG. 3, an alternative embodiment depicting element 8 of thermal insulating material, e.g., polystyrol is shown, in which the grooves 14 are of the same, or of a similar, cross-sectional shape as the anchoring grooves of element 1 as shown in EP-06405065.

Expressed in other words, the cross-section of the element 8 of the thermal insulating material, e.g., polystyrol can be the same, or similar to, the element 1 of brick material. This can present several advantages in manufacture, for example, when the frame required for producing the panel remains independent of the type of element (of brick material or of thermal insulating material, e.g., polystyrol) is used, the flexibility of the plant for manufacturing the panels can be improved.

In an alternative embodiment of the present invention, FIG. 4 depicts panel elements 8 of thermal insulating material, e.g., polystyrol, which builds on the teachings of EP-06405065. For example, if panel elements of thermal insulating material, e.g., polystyrol, of adequate thickness (d) are chosen, using the same frames that are used for manufacturing, e.g., the sandwich panels according to the FIG. 13 of EP-06405065, the panels shown in the FIG. 1 of the present invention can be produced. Alternatively, for specific cases of application, double layer panels according to the FIG. 4, with two layers of elements 8 of thermal insulating material, e.g., polystyrol, can also be produced.

In one embodiment, the present invention makes use of traditional materials, such as brick or tile material or plates of slate, and polystyrol which provides excellent insulation properties, reinforcing steel and cement mortar, but combines these materials in a unique and original manner, such that prefab wall panels of large dimensions can be obtained. In addition, such a configuration can also provide increased structural strength, thermal insulation, and a more favorable finish.

In addition, other advantages of the present invention are seen in the simplification of the manufacturing process for the structural elements in the manufacturing plant with the help of a standardized method of assembling the single elements, which is practically the same for all types of prefab panels. Therefore, production time and thus cost can be reduced substantially.

It is noted that the foregoing examples have been provided merely for the purpose of explanation and are in no way to be construed as limiting of the present invention. While the present invention has been described with reference to exemplary embodiments, it is understood that the words which have been used herein are words of description and illustration, rather than words of limitation. Changes may be made, within the purview of the appended claims, as presently stated and as amended, without departing from the scope and spirit of the present invention in its aspects. Although the present invention has been described herein with reference to particular means, materials and embodiments, the present invention is not intended to be limited to the particulars disclosed herein; rather, the present invention extends to all functionally equivalent structures, methods and uses, such as are within the scope of the appended claims.

Further, when an amount, concentration, or other value or parameter, is given as a list of upper preferable values and lower preferable values, this is to be understood as specifically disclosing all ranges formed from any pair of an upper preferred value and a lower preferred value, regardless whether ranges are separately disclosed.

LIST OF REFERENCE NUMERALS

  • 1 element of brick material
  • 2 lower side surface of the element of brick material
  • 3 upper side surface of the element of brick material
  • 4 narrow side
  • 5 protrusion
  • 6 recess
  • 7 intermediate layer of cement mortar
  • 8 thermal insulating material
  • 9 lower side surface of the thermal insulating material
  • 10 upper side surface of the thermal insulating material
  • 11 narrow side
  • 12 protrusion
  • 13 recess
  • 14 groove
  • 15, 15′, . . . 15n through bores extending longitudinally
  • 16 inter-space or hollow room