Title:
Diagonal brace channel
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A diagonal brace channel having a U-shaped first portion and a C-shaped second portion that is disposed to received a first diagonal brace member. The C-shaped second portion having a first top flange and a first bottom flange that are configured such that friction forces retain the first diagonal brace member in the desired position. A pair of parallel grooves are formed on each outer surface of the U-shaped first portion so that a visual guide is provided for the locations to install permanent fasteners to secure the diagonal brace channel to a primary framing member. The diagonal brace channel further providing an inverse C-shaped third portion to retain a second diagonal brace member in the desired position until permanent fasteners are installed.



Inventors:
Hall, Brian (Orlando, FL, US)
Armstrong, Jim (Orlando, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/774769
Publication Date:
04/24/2008
Filing Date:
07/09/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04C3/04
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, CHI Q
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Matthew G. McKinney (Winter Springs, FL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A diagonal brace channel comprising: a U-shaped first portion of said diagonal brace channel having a first vertical planar member and a second vertical planar member; said first portion further comprising a horizontal planar member interposed between said first vertical planar member and a second vertical planar member to provide rigidity and structural support to said diagonal brace channel; and a C-shaped second portion of said diagonal brace channel disposed to receive a first diagonal brace member; said second portion having a first top flange that overlays an upper surface of said first diagonal brace member and having a first bottom flange that overlays a bottom surface of said first diagonal brace member so that said first top flange and said first bottom flange are configured such that friction forces retain said first diagonal brace member in the desired position.

2. The diagonal brace channel of claim 1 further comprising a first pair of parallel grooves formed on an outer surface of said first vertical planar member so that a visual guide is provided for the locations to install permanent fasteners to secure said first diagonal brace channel to a first side of a primary framing member.

3. The diagonal brace channel of claim 2 further comprising a second pair of parallel grooves formed on an outer surface of said second vertical planar member so that a visual guide is provided for the locations to install permanent fasteners to secure said diagonal brace channel to a second side of said primary framing member.

4. The diagonal brace channel of claim 1, further comprising an inverse C-shaped third portion having a second top flange that overlays an upper surface of a second diagonal brace member and a second bottom flange that overlays a bottom surface of said second diagonal brace so that said second top flange and said second bottom flange are configured such that friction forces retain said second diagonal brace member in the desired position until permanent fasteners are installed.

5. The diagonal brace channel of claim 1 further comprising a panel having a first primary framing member and an opposing second primary framing member; said frame further comprising a first secondary framing member and opposing second secondary framing member adjacent to said first primary framing member and said second primary framing member to complete said frame so that said first diagonal brace member bisects said panel to provide structural support to said panel.

6. The diagonal brace channel of claim 1, wherein said diagonal brace channel is extruded through a die process to a pre-determined size.

7. The diagonal brace channel of claim 1, wherein said diagonal brace channel is comprised of an aluminum alloy.

8. The diagonal brace channel of claim 1, wherein said first diagonal brace member is of hollow construction.

9. A diagonal brace channel comprising: a U-shaped first portion of said diagonal brace channel having a first vertical planar member and a second vertical planar member; said first portion further comprising a horizontal planar member interposed between said first vertical planar member and a second vertical planar member to provide rigidity and structural support to said diagonal brace channel; a C-shaped second portion of said diagonal brace channel disposed to receive a first diagonal brace member; said second portion having a first top flange that overlays an upper surface of said first diagonal brace member and having a first bottom flange that overlays a bottom surface of said first diagonal brace member so that said first top flange and said first bottom flange are configured such that friction forces retain said first diagonal brace member in the desired position; a first pair of parallel grooves formed on an outer surface of said first vertical planar member so that a visual guide is provided for the locations to install permanent fasteners to secure said first diagonal brace channel to a first side of a primary framing member; and a second pair of parallel grooves formed on an outer surface of said second vertical planar member so that a visual guide is provided for the locations to install permanent fasteners to secure said diagonal brace channel to a second side of said primary framing member.

10. A diagonal brace channel comprising: a U-shaped first portion of said diagonal brace channel having a first vertical planar member and a second vertical planar member; said first portion further comprising a horizontal planar member interposed between said first vertical planar member and a second vertical planar member to provide rigidity and structural support to said diagonal brace channel; a C-shaped second portion of said diagonal brace channel disposed to receive a first diagonal brace member; said second portion having a first top flange that overlays an upper surface of said first diagonal brace member and having a first bottom flange that overlays a bottom surface of said first diagonal brace member so that said first top flange and said first bottom flange are configured such that friction forces retain said first diagonal brace member in the desired position; a first pair of parallel grooves formed on an outer surface of said first vertical planar member so that a visual guide is provided for the locations to install permanent fasteners to secure said first diagonal brace channel to a first side of a primary framing member; a second pair of parallel grooves formed on an outer surface of said second vertical planar member so that a visual guide is provided for the locations to install permanent fasteners to secure said diagonal brace channel to a second side of said primary framing member; an inverse C-shaped third portion having a second top flange that overlays an upper surface of a second diagonal brace member and a second bottom flange that overlays a bottom surface of said second diagonal brace so that said second top flange and said second bottom flange are configured such that friction forces retain said second diagonal brace member in the desired position until permanent fasteners are installed; a panel having a first primary framing member and an opposing second primary framing member; said frame further comprising a first secondary framing member and opposing second secondary framing member adjacent to said first primary framing member and said second primary framing member to complete said frame so that said first diagonal brace member bisects said panel to provide structural support to said panel.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Cross-Reference to Related Applications

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/852,730 filed Oct. 19, 2006. The disclosure of the provisional application is incorporated herein by reference.

2. Field of the Invention

The present invention provides for an improved method and system to attaching diagonal bracing members during construction of aluminum framed structures.

3. Description of the Prior Art

Individual aluminum structural members are joined together to form a rectangular framed panel. The framed panels are then joined together to form a larger structure. Typically, a diagonal brace member is used to join one corner of a frame panel to an opposing corner of the panel thereby bisecting the panel. The diagonal brace member promotes the ability of the frame panel to resist racking and increase structural integrity. The framed panels are covered with a screening material used to prevent leaves and insects from penetrating.

It is common in the industry that the diagonal bracing member is “toe-nailed” into the structural member of the frame to secure it in place. This means that the diagonal brace member is held adjacent to the structural member and a fastener, such as a screw, is angled through the diagonal brace member and the structural member to secure it in position. Although toe-nailing has been used in the prior art, it is an undesirable attachment method due to its lack of strength in resisting shear and tension forces.

Moreover, there are additional undesirable consequences of the prior art methods of attaching diagonal brace members. For example, during the fabrication process the length of the diagonal bracing member is cut slightly short for the frame so that it can be adjusted and positioned within the frame as it is being installed. The diagonal bracing member is installed and secured to the frame by toe-nailing screws. The diagonal brace member allows the frame to be squared up and to account for any inconsistencies of the structural members.

Once the panels are fabricated, they are stacked and loaded on a truck and shipped to the jobsite. During the shipping process, a frame may become out of square and require an adjustment. In the prior art, the fasteners for the diagonal brace member would have to removed so that the diagonal brace member could be adjusted to bring the fame back into square then the fasteners reinstalled.

When installers are placing a panel at a jobsite to construct a larger structure, the diagonal bracing member prevents the panel from having the freedom of movement to allow the installers to fit the framed panel properly into position. This is especially detrimental in the installation of a roof panel, which causes the installers to go through a rigorous process of releasing the fasteners for the diagonal bracing enough so that there is a freedom of movement without dropping the diagonal brace member.

It is these shortcomings of the prior art to which the present invention is directed for an improved method and system for installation of diagonal bracing members. Accordingly, there is a need for an improved method of attaching diagonal bracing members that provides easier method of adjustment in the fabrication process.

Another need exists in the art for a more secure attachment of the diagonal bracing member that increases resistance to shear and tension forces.

Another need exists in the art for a method to identify the location of installation for the fasteners for the diagonal bracing member.

Another need exists in the art for an improved method of easily securing and adjusting diagonal brace members on the jobsite.

Another need exists in the art for an improved method of securing diagonal brace members that is adaptable to a variety of different structural member sizes and configurations.

It is, therefore, to the effective resolution of the aforementioned problems and shortcomings of the prior art that the present invention is directed.

However, in view of the prior art at the present invention was made, it was not obvious to those of ordinary skill in the pertinent art how the identified needs could be fulfilled.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This invention is an extruded diagonal brace channel comprising a U-shaped first portion having a first vertical planar member and a second vertical planar member; the first portion further comprising a horizontal planar member interposed between the first vertical planar member and a second vertical planar member to provide rigidity and structural support to the diagonal brace channel; a C-shaped second portion of the diagonal brace channel disposed to receive a first diagonal brace member; the second portion having a first top flange that overlays an upper surface of the first diagonal brace member and having a first bottom flange that overlays a bottom surface of the first diagonal brace member so that the first top flange and the first bottom flange are configured such that friction forces retain the first diagonal brace member in the desired position; a first pair of parallel grooves formed on an outer surface of the first vertical planar member so that a visual guide is provided for the locations to install permanent fasteners to secure the first diagonal brace channel to a first side of a primary framing member; a second pair of parallel grooves formed on an outer surface of the second vertical planar member so that a visual guide is provided for the locations to install permanent fasteners to secure the diagonal brace channel to a second side of the primary framing member; an inverse C-shaped third portion having a second top flange that overlays an upper surface of a second diagonal brace member and a second bottom flange that overlays a bottom surface of the second diagonal brace so that the second top flange and the second bottom flange are configured such that friction forces retain the second diagonal brace member in the desired position until permanent fasteners are installed.

The present invention provides the ability for fabricators to install the novel diagonal brace channels to a structural member. However, the diagonal brace member is positioned within the framed panel without physically attaching fasteners, which would secure for the diagonal brace member into a potentially unnatural position. This allows for the diagonal brace member to move freely into (and out of) position during the trip to the jobsite.

Accordingly, at the jobsite the installers are able to place the framed panel into its proper position and make the appropriate adjustments without fighting against the resistance of the diagonal brace member. This is accomplished by the present invention as the top and bottom flanges of the channel prevent the diagonal brace member from falling out while allowing it to slide within the confines of the diagonal brace channel. Once the frame is squared up and the diagonal brace member is positioned in the desired location, fasteners are used to secure the diagonal brace member to the diagonal brace channel.

The present invention is comprised of an aluminum alloy and is extruded from a cross section die. The U-shaped channel allows it to be attached to a secondary framing member and the C-shaped horizontal channel is what accepts the diagonal bracing member. In the preferred embodiment, there is one U-shaped vertical channel but there can be up to two C-shaped horizontal channels disposed on either side of the vertical U-shaped channel for applications that require diagonal bracing members to come into both sides of a framing member. One C-shaped channel is an inverted C-shape to accommodate the diagonal brace member on an adjacent panel.

There are parallel grooves that are incorporated into the vertical U-shaped channel. The grooves provide a visual guide as to the location to install fasteners into the diagonal brace channel so that the fasteners will not interfere with the internal fasteners of the framing members. The dimensions of the diagonal brace channels are variable in order to accommodate different size framing members and diagonal bracing members.

It is therefore a primary object of the invention to provide an improved method to secure diagonal brace members in the construction of aluminum screen enclosures.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved method of attaching diagonal bracing members that provides easier method of adjustment in the fabrication process.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a more secure attachment of the diagonal bracing member that increases resistance to shear and tension forces.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a method to identify the location of installation for the fasteners for the diagonal bracing member.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved method of easily securing and adjusting diagonal brace members on the jobsite.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved method of securing diagonal brace members that is adaptable to a variety of different structural member sizes and configurations.

These and other important objects, advantages, and features of the invention will become clear as this description proceeds.

The present invention, accordingly, comprises the features of construction, combination of elements, and arrangement of parts that will be exemplified in the description set forth hereinafter and the scope of the invention will be indicated in the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a fuller understanding of the nature and objects of the invention, reference should be made to the following detailed description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing an embodiment of the diagonal brace channel of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view showing an embodiment of the diagonal brace channel of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing an embodiment of the double diagonal brace channel of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view showing an embodiment of the double diagonal brace channel of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a partial perspective view showing the diagonal brace channel and double diagonal brace channel installed in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a partial perspective view showing the double diagonal brace channel installed in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view showing a complete assembly of roof panels and the diagonal braced channel and double diagonal brace channel.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

FIG. 1 shows the diagonal brace channel 10 is comprised of several planar members configured in a novel fashion. A first portion of diagonal brace channel 10 is U-shaped and formed of a first vertical planar member 20 and a second vertical planar member 40 so that it is adaptable to slip snuggly around a box beam framing member (not shown). A horizontal planar member 30 is interposed between first vertical planar member 20 and second vertical planar member 40 to provide rigidity and structural support to diagonal brace 10.

A second portion of diagonal brace channel 10 is C-shaped so that it is adaptable to receive a first diagonal brace member (not shown). A top flange 50 overlays an upper surface of diagonal brace member and a bottom flange 50 overlays a bottom surface of diagonal brace member. Top flange 50 and bottom flange 60 are configured such that friction forces retain a diagonal brace member in the desired position until permanent fasteners are installed. Referring now to FIG. 2, a pair of parallel grooves 25 are formed in the outer surface of first vertical planar member 20 to provide a visual guide for the locations to install permanent fasteners. Similarly, a pair of parallel grooves 45 are formed in the outer surface of second vertical planar member 40. Parallel grooves 25, 45 are disposed such that the screw bosses of adjoining members do not interfere with the permanent fasteners.

Referring now to FIG. 3, a double diagonal brace channel 200 is shown with the addition of a second C-shaped (inverse) member facing outwards to secure a second diagonal brace member (not shown). Similar to diagonal brace channel 10 shown in FIG. 1, a portion of double diagonal brace channel 200 is U-shaped and formed of a first vertical planar member 140 and a second vertical planar member 240 so that it is adaptable to slip snuggly around a box beam framing member (not shown). A horizontal planar member 130 is interposed between first vertical planar member 140 and second vertical planar member 240 to provide rigidity and structural support to double diagonal brace 200 and is sized appropriately to the box beam framing member.

The first C-shaped member is comprised of a top flange 150 that overlays an upper surface of diagonal brace member and a bottom flange 160 overlays a bottom surface of diagonal brace member. Top flange 150 and bottom flange 160 are configured such that friction forces retain diagonal brace in the desired position until permanent fasteners are installed. Similarly, a second C-shaped (inverse) member is comprised of a top flange 250 and bottom flange 260 and adapted to receive and restrain a diagonal brace member (not shown) with frictional forces.

Referring now to FIG. 4, a pair of parallel grooves 225 are formed in the outer surface of second vertical planar member 240 to provide a visual guide for the locations to install permanent fasteners. Similarly, a pair of par grooves 145 are formed in the outer surface of first vertical planar member 140. Parallel groves 225, 145 are disposed such that the screw bosses of adjoining members do not interfere with the permanent fasteners.

FIG. 5 shows diagonal brace member 90 installed with a rectangular panel and being secured by diagonal brace channel 10 at a first end and secured by double diagonal brace channel 200 at a second end. A first diagonal brace channel is secured to first primary framing member 85 and a double diagonal brace channel 200 is secured to second primary framing member 80. The panel is comprised of a first primary framing member 85 and an opposing second primary framing member 80. A first secondary framing member 75 and opposing second secondary framing member 70 are joined to the first primary framing member 85 and second primary framing member 80 to complete the frame. Diagonal brace member 90 bisects the panel to provide structural support to the panel.

FIG. 6 shows a detailed view of double diagonal brace channel 200 secured in place. Framing member fasteners 27 are installed in mounting grooves of double diagonal brace channel 200 to secure it to second primary framing member 80. Brace member fasteners 55 are installed through top flange 250 and 150 into diagonal brace member 90. Referring now to FIG. 7 shows a several panels joined together and utilizing both the diagonal brace channel 10 and the double diagonal brace channel 200 at the appropriate locations.

The particular embodiments disclosed above and in the drawings are illustrative only, as the invention may be modified and practiced in different but equivalent manners apparent to those skilled in the art having the benefit of the teachings herein. Furthermore, no limitations are intended to the details of constructions or design herein shown. It is therefore evident that the particular embodiments disclosed above may be altered or modified and all such variations are considered within the scope and spirit of the invention.

It is also to be understood that the following claims are intended to cover all of the generic and specific features of the invention herein described, and all statements of the scope of the invention, which as a matter of language, might be said to fall there between.

Now that the invention has been described,