Title:
Double ended connector / utility unit
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to a device for connecting insulation panels of insulated concrete formwork. Each panel has opposing edges and male interconnecting means on a first edge and female interconnecting means on a second edge. The device is a block with opposing edges wherein each opposing edge of the block has similar interconnecting means that mate with the interconnecting means on one of the edges of each of the panels.



Inventors:
Williams, Kenneth Richard (Havelock, CA)
Application Number:
12/009451
Publication Date:
07/24/2008
Filing Date:
01/18/2008
Assignee:
Ideas Without Borders Inc. (Havelock, CA)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
249/189
International Classes:
E04B2/28; E04G11/06
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
KATCHEVES, BASIL S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PRETI FLAHERTY BELIVEAU & PACHIOS LLP (BOSTON, MA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A device for connecting insulation panels of insulated concrete formwork, each panel having opposing edges and male interconnecting means on a first said edge and female interconnecting means on a second said edge, comprising: a block with opposing edges wherein each opposing edge of the block has only male interconnecting means and said male interconnecting means can mate with said female interconnecting means on said second edge of each of said panels.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein the block is rectangular.

3. The device of claim 1 wherein the interconnecting means extend along the entire length of each opposing edge of the block.

4. The device of claim 1 wherein two rows of interconnecting means are aligned on each edge of the block.

5. The device of claim 1 wherein the device is formed from polystyrene.

6. A device for connecting insulation panels of insulated concrete formwork, each panel having opposing edges and male interconnecting means on a first said edge and female interconnecting means on a second said edge, comprising: a block with opposing edges wherein each opposing edge of the block has only female interconnecting means and said female interconnecting means can mate with said male interconnecting means on said first edge of each of said panels.

7. The device of claim 6 wherein the block is rectangular.

8. The device of claim 6 wherein the interconnecting means extend along the entire length of each opposing edge of the block.

9. The device of claim 6 wherein two rows of interconnecting means are aligned on each edge of the block.

10. The device of claim 6 wherein the device is formed from polystyrene.

11. A system for insulating concrete formwork, comprising: a plurality of insulation panels wherein each panel has opposing edges and male interconnecting means on a first said edge and female interconnecting means on a second said edge; and at least one block connecting two of said insulation panels wherein each opposing edge of said block has only male interconnecting means that can mate with said female interconnecting means on said second edge of each of said panels.

12. A system for insulating concrete formwork, comprising: a plurality of insulation panels wherein each panel has opposing edges and male interconnecting means on a first said edge and female interconnecting means on a second said edge; and at least one block connecting two of said insulation panels wherein each opposing edge of said block has only female interconnecting means that can mate with said male interconnecting means on said first edge of each of said panels.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. §119 to Canadian Patent Application No. 2,574,694 entitled “DOUBLE ENDED CONNECTOR/UTILITY UNIT” filed Jan. 19, 2007, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention relates to a device intended for use with all insulated concrete formwork (ICF) systems.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

Insulated concrete formwork is a well known system used for setting concrete foundations. Typically, such formwork incorporates a series of insulation panels joined by a series of webs. The top and bottom surfaces of the insulation panels typically have interconnecting means to join the panels to other panels situated above or below. For many types of insulation panels, the top surfaces will have one type of interconnecting means, such as male interconnecting means. The bottom surface of each panel will have an interconnecting means that connects to the interconnecting means from the top surface. Where the top surface of each panel has male interconnecting means, the bottom surface of other panels will have female interconnecting means for receiving the male interconnecting means.

As such, ideally the nature of the interconnecting means on the upper and lower surfaces of the formwork matches the interconnecting means on the formwork of each individual ICF manufacturer. That is, separate devices must be manufactured to be compatible with the ICF of each producer. The ICF geometries typically comprise a male connector on the upper surface and a female connector on the lower surface and can consist of one or more rows of circular, rectangular or slotted shapes of matching male and female features.

Where two insulation panels each have a female interconnecting bottom edge and a male interconnecting top edge, the panels can only be connected in a unidirectional fashion. In cases where an obstruction such as a gable, a door frame or a window frame is encountered during the construction of insulated concrete formwork and one or more panels must be cut so that a portion of the panel fits against the obstruction, the off cut is typically disposed of because either the female interconnecting bottom edge or the male interconnecting top edge has been cut away. It would be desirable to use the portions of those cut panels rather than disposing of them. This could be achieved if the remaining portion of the panel could be inverted and attached to another panel.

The present invention also can be used to utilize existing formwork with non uniform width developed to provide support for brick veneer on one or both faces of a wall. By inverting such formwork at the base of the wall such that a wider portion engages the ground, the greater width provided supports the bearing of the wall on the ground. This could eliminate the cost and time expended to prepare a separate concrete footing in advance of assembling a wall of insulated concrete formwork. Use of the present invention on the upper narrower end of the inverted ledger unit enables the next course of ICF to be placed with the top side uppermost, thus allowing the wall to be finished with conventional ICF panels.

A further application of the present invention is demonstrated when a concrete wall is poured. When pouring concrete into the assembled ICF units, it is very difficult to avoid fouling of the upper side of the ICF unit with concrete. Cleaning the interconnecting means along this upper surface is a very time consuming but necessary to achieve interlocking when the next course of ICF units are placed for upward continuation of the wall construction. The unit described herein can be positioned temporarily along the top of the wall to protect the formwork on the upper side of the wall. After pouring the concrete, the unit can be removed for reuse and construction of additional wall height can be continued without delay.

Finally, the present invention can also be used to further stabilize insulated concrete formwork systems. More particularly, two like units having male or female interconnecting means may be connected together by a stabilizing means such as a web. This application is particularly useful where the units have greater heights such that the outward pressure of the greater mass of concrete between the units is more significant.

The desire to attach like surfaces of insulation panels is reflected in the prior art. The prior art discloses panels with reversible connecting means. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,428,933 (Philippe) discloses an insulating construction member with a top and bottom surface each having alternating projections and recesses as interconnecting members. The alternating interconnecting means on the top and bottom surfaces are arranged symmetrically so that they may be interconnected with a like member in a bi-directional and/or reversible manner.

An insulating foam panel having alternating projections and recesses on its top and bottom surfaces is also disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,401,419 (Beliveau). The alternating projections and recesses permit the attachment of the top side and/or bottom side of a panel with either the top side or the bottom side of a like panel.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,820,384 (Pfeiffer) discloses insulation panels with alternating teeth and sockets along opposing edges of each panel. Thus, each panel may engage either opposing vertical end of a horizontally adjacent block panel.

The prior art reversible systems each disclose panels with alternating male and female interconnecting means. However, insulated concrete form systems incorporating panels with only male interconnecting means or female interconnecting means: on their top and bottom surfaces are still in use. There is a need for a means for making such systems reversible.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

The invention here comprises a device of connecting insulation panels of insulated concrete formwork. Each insulation panel has opposing edges and male interconnecting means on a first edge and female interconnecting means on a second edge. The devices includes a block with opposing edges wherein each opposing edge of the block has only male interconnecting means and said male interconnecting means can mate with said female interconnecting means on said second edge of each of said panels.

A further embodiment of the invention comprises a device for connecting insulation panels of insulated concrete formwork. Each insulation panel has opposing edges and male interconnecting means on a first edge and female interconnecting means on a second edge. The device includes a block with opposing edges wherein each opposing edge of the block has only female interconnecting means and said female interconnecting means can mate with said male interconnecting means on said first edge of each of said panels.

A further embodiment of the invention comprises a system for insulating concrete formwork. The system includes a plurality of insulation panels wherein each panel has opposing edges and male interconnecting means on a first said edge and female interconnecting means on a second said edge. The system further comprises at least one block connecting two of said insulation panels wherein each opposing edge of said block has only male interconnecting means that can mate with said female interconnecting on said second edge of each of said panels.

A further embodiment of the invention comprises a system for insulating concrete formwork. The system includes a plurality of insulation panels wherein each panel has opposing edges and male interconnecting means on a first said edge and female interconnecting means on a second said edge. The system also includes at least one block connecting two of said insulation panels wherein each opposing edge of said block has only female interconnecting means that can mate with said male interconnecting means on said first edge of each of said panels.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In drawings which illustrate by way of example only preferred embodiments of the invention:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an insulation panel that has been severed into two portions;

FIG. 2A is an exploded perspective view of the portions of the insulation panel from FIG. 1 and a double ended connector with female interconnecting means;

FIG. 2B is an exploded perspective view of the portions of the insulation panel from FIG. 1 and a double ended connector with male interconnecting means;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of insulated concrete formwork incorporating two double ended connectors.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

An insulation panel 10 is shown in FIG. 1. The insulation panel 10 is formed from a malleable substance such as polystyrene or the like. The insulation panel 10 has a bottom edge 14 and a top edge 18 which opposes the bottom edge 14. The bottom edge 14 and the top edge 18 each have means for connecting the insulation panel 10 to other insulation panels.

The top edge 18 of the insulation panel 10 shown in FIG. 1 has a series of male interconnecting means 22. The male interconnecting means 22 include projections 26 and bridges 30. It will be apparent to a person skilled in the art that the male interconnecting means may have variable shapes and sizes and may or may not include bridges or portions connecting the projections. The bridges 30 each connect adjacent projections 26.

The bottom edge 14 of the insulation panel 10 has a series of female interconnecting means 34. The female interconnecting means 34 include recesses 38 and grooves 42. It will be apparent to a person skilled in the art that the female interconnecting means may have variable shapes and sizes and may or may not include grooves or portions connecting the recesses. It will also be apparent to a person skilled in the art that the female interconnecting means are of a shape and size to receive the variably shaped and sized male interconnecting means. The recesses 38 and the grooves 42 are each defined by the insulation panel 10. The grooves 42 each connect adjacent recesses 38. The female interconnecting means 34 are sized to receive male interconnecting means having the dimensions of the male interconnecting means 22. Specifically, the recesses 38 are sized to receive projections having the dimensions of projections 26 and grooves 42 are sized to receive bridges having the dimensions of bridges 30.

The insulation panel 10 shown in FIG. 1 has been cut into a first portion 50 and a second portion 54.

FIG. 2A shows insulated concrete formwork 58 incorporating the first portion 50 of the insulation panel 10 and the second portion 54 of the insulation panel 10. The second portion 54 of the insulation panel 10 has been flipped and positioned above the first portion 50 in a manner to connect with the first portion 50 of the insulation panel 10.

A block 60 is also shown in FIG. 2A. The block 60 is rectangularly shaped and formed from a malleable substance such as polystyrene or the like. The block 60 has a bottom surface 64 and a top surface 68 opposing the bottom surface 64. The top surface 68 and the bottom surface 64 of the block 60 have like interconnecting means.

The like interconnecting means of the block 60 shown in FIG. 2A are female interconnecting means 72. The female interconnecting means 72 extend along the entire length of the top surface 68 and the bottom surface 64 of the block 60. The female interconnecting means 72 on the top surface 68 and the bottom surface 64 are each aligned into two rows. The female interconnecting means 72 include recesses 76 and grooves 80. The grooves 80 each connect adjacent recesses 76. The female interconnecting means 72 are sized so that they may receive the male interconnecting means 22 of the insulation panel 10. Specifically, the recesses 76 may receive the projections 26 and the grooves 80 may receive the bridges 30.

FIG. 2B shows insulated concrete formwork 90 incorporating the first portion 50 of the insulation panel 10 and the second portion 54 of the insulation panel 10. The second portion 54 of the insulation panel 10 has been flipped and positioned below the first portion 50 in a manner to connect with the first portion 50 of the insulation panel 10.

A block 94 is also shown in FIG. 2b. The block 94 is rectangularly shaped and formed from a malleable substance such as polystyrene or the like. The block 94 has a bottom surface 96 and a top surface 98 opposing the bottom surface 96. The top surface 98 and the bottom surface 96 of the block 94 have like interconnecting means.

The like interconnecting means of the block 94 shown in FIG. 2B are male interconnecting means 100. The male interconnecting means 100 extend along the entire length of the top surface 98 and the bottom surface 96 of the block 94. The male interconnecting means 100 on the top surface 98 and the bottom surface 96 are each aligned into two rows. The male interconnecting means 100 include projections 104 and bridges 106. The bridges 106 each connect adjacent projections 104. The male interconnecting means 100 are sized so that they may be received by the female interconnecting means 34 of the insulation panel 10. Specifically, the projections 104 may be received by the recesses 38 of the insulation panel 10 and the bridges 106 may be received by the grooves 42 of the insulation panel 10.

Insulated concrete formwork 160 is shown in FIG. 3. The insulated concrete formwork 160 has been partially cut away to show the components of the insulated concrete formwork 160. The insulated concrete formwork 160 incorporates four insulation panels 164, 168, 172 and 176. Insulation panels 164 and 172 have been flipped such that their respective bottom surfaces 180 and 184 are facing upward.

The insulated concrete formwork 160 shown in FIG. 3 also incorporates two blocks 94. A block 94 connects insulation panels 164 and 168 and a block 94 connects insulation panels 172 and 176.

Each of the insulation panels 164, 168, 172 and 176 has a series of slots 196. Each of the blocks 94 also have a series of slots 200. The slots 196 of the insulation panels 164, 168, 172 and 176 receive webs 204 of the insulated concrete formwork 160.

The insulated concrete formwork 160 also incorporates a continuous stirrup 208 for each set of two insulation panels and two reinforcing members 212 and 216 for each set of insulation panels. An adhesive substance 220 is put between the insulation panels 164, 168, 172 and 176 and the blocks 188 and 192. The adhesive substance 220 is a substance that may be poured and that sets upon drawing, such as concrete, grout or the like.

In operation, the block is used when it becomes necessary to connect surfaces of insulation panels and the surfaces have like interconnecting means. This may occur when a slanted gable (not shown) is encountered during the construction of insulated concrete formwork. As seen in FIG. 1, the insulation panel 10 is cut at an angle to match the slope of the gable to form first portion 50 and second portion 54. If the second portion 54 of the insulation panel 10 is to be set flush with the gable, it must be flipped over, as seen in FIGS. 2A and 2B. To then attach the second portion of the insulation panel with the first portion 50 of the insulation panel 10, the block 60 or the block 94 is used. Thereafter, it may be necessary to cut the block 60 or the block 94 at an angle matching the slope of the gable such that the block may be laid flush with the gable. Further insulation panels or a portion of a further insulation panel may also be connected to the block 60 or block 94.

Numerous modifications may be made to the embodiments described above without departing from the scope of the invention, which is defined by the claims.