Title:
Reinforced structural component
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A reinforced structural member is disclosed that includes a composite matrix formed of plastics reinforced with wood fibers (or glass fibers) and additives including calcium carbonate and ashes; and a reinforcing element (e.g., aluminum alloy or steel) as skeleton with the composite matrix formed therearound. The structural member has the advantages of being not susceptible to deform due to direct sunlight, and a great increase of structural strength. In one embodiment the reinforcing element has a hollow, axial tube. In another embodiment the structural member is shaped as either a rod or a plate.



Inventors:
Chen, Chin-hui (Taipei City, TW)
Application Number:
11/607056
Publication Date:
06/05/2008
Filing Date:
12/01/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04C5/07
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KATCHEVES, BASIL S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BRUCE H. TROXELL (FALLS CHURCH, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A reinforced structural member comprising: a composite matrix formed of a composite material; and a reinforcing element with the composite matrix formed therearound.

2. The reinforced structural member of claim 1, wherein the composite material is plastics reinforced with wood fibers.

3. The reinforced structural member of claim 1, wherein the reinforcing element includes a hollow tube.

4. The reinforced structural member of claim 3, wherein the reinforcing element further includes a plurality of elongate members of T-section spaced around the tube.

5. The reinforced structural member of claim 3, wherein the composite matrix is filled in the tube.

6. The reinforced structural member of claim 1, wherein the composite material is plastics reinforced with glass fibers and additives.

7. The reinforced structural member of claim 1, wherein the composite material is plastics reinforced with wood fibers and additives.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of Invention

The present invention relates to structural components and more particularly to a structural member shaped as a rod, plate, or the like and having a matrix formed of a composite material such as plastics reinforced with wood fibers (or glass fibers) and additives, and a reinforcing element such as aluminum alloy or steel.

2. Related Art

Conventionally, wood products such as wood rods or metal products such as metal rods have drawbacks including high cost, not waterproof, and susceptible to getting rust or corrosion. Such products are particularly susceptible to getting rust or corrosion when they are disposed in an outdoor environment.

Rods or plates made of plastics reinforced with wood fibers are widely employed as constructional components of fences, sheds, boardwalks, equipment of amusement parks, etc. Such reinforced products are advantageous for being highly resistant to moisture, not susceptible to breakage, durable, and not susceptible to getting rust or corrosion.

While the reinforced products have the above advantages, they tend to deform over a period of time of use due to direct sunlight. Thus, applications of such reinforced products are relatively limited. Hence, a need has arisen for an improved reinforced material.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a reinforced structural member comprising a composite matrix formed of plastics reinforced with wood fibers (or glass fibers) and additives including calcium carbonate and ashes; and a metal reinforcing element with the composite matrix formed therearound. The reinforced structural member of the present invention has the advantages of being not susceptible to deform due to direct sunlight, and a great increase of structural strength.

In one aspect of the present invention the metal reinforcing element has a hollow, axial tube for reducing weight and increasing structural strength of the structural member.

In another aspect of the present invention the metal reinforcing element is a skeleton for supporting the composite matrix such that the structural strength of the structural member is greatly increased.

In yet another aspect of the present invention the structural member is shaped as a rod or a plate.

The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first preferred embodiment of reinforced structural member (e.g., rod of circular section having a first configuration of reinforcing element) according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a broken-away perspective view of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of a second preferred embodiment of reinforced structural member (e.g., rod of square section having a second configuration of reinforcing element) according to the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of a third preferred embodiment of reinforced structural member (e.g., rod of square section having a third configuration of reinforcing element) according to the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of a fourth preferred embodiment of reinforced structural member (e.g., plate of rectangular section having a fourth configuration of reinforcing element) according to the present invention; and

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of a fifth preferred embodiment of reinforced structural member (e.g., plate of rectangular section having a fifth configuration of reinforcing element) according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a reinforced structural member in accordance with a first preferred embodiment of the present invention is shown. The structural member comprises a reinforcing element 10 as skeleton and a composite matrix 20 with the reinforcing element 10 integrally formed therein. Each component is discussed in detailed below.

The composite matrix 20 is formed of a composite material such as plastics reinforced with wood fibers (or glass fibers) and additives including calcium carbonate and ashes.

The reinforcing element 10 is formed of aluminum alloy or steel. In this embodiment, the reinforcing element 10 is formed of aluminum alloy. The reinforcing element 10 has an axial tube 11 as a core and a plurality of elongate members 12 of T-section spaced around the tube 11. The composite matrix 20 can be also filled in the tube 11 or not in addition to filling around the reinforcing element 10 depending on applications. By configuring as above, the structural strength of the structural member is greatly increased.

Referring to FIG. 3, a second preferred embodiment of reinforced structural member (e.g., rod of square section including a composite matrix 20 and a second configuration of reinforcing element 30) according to the present invention is shown. The reinforcing element 30 includes four elongate members 32 of T-section equally spaced around a hollow, axial tube of a section of eight sides.

Referring to FIG. 4, a third preferred embodiment of reinforced structural member (e.g., rod of square section including a composite matrix 20 and a third configuration of reinforcing element 40) according to the present invention is shown. The reinforcing element 40 includes eight elongate members 42 of L-section spaced around a hollow, axial tube of a section of square in which the eight elongate members 42 are divided into four groups each extended from one of four sides of the tube and consisted of a larger elongate member 42 and a smaller elongate members 42.

Referring to FIG. 5, a fourth preferred embodiment of reinforced structural member (e.g., plate of rectangular section including a composite matrix 20 and a fourth configuration of reinforcing element 50) according to the present invention is shown.

Referring to FIG. 6, a fifth preferred embodiment of reinforced structural member (e.g., plate of rectangular section including a composite matrix 20 and a fifth configuration of reinforcing element 60) according to the present invention is shown.

While the present invention herein disclosed has been described by means of specific embodiments, numerous modifications and variations could be made thereto by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention set forth in the claims.