Title:
Encapsulated architectural element
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides an encapsulated architectural element that protects its content from atmospheric pressure and temperature, water, humidity and other contaminants. Furthermore, all the components composing the element being encapsulated, thus the element are disposed directly on the floor or other surface and installed in only one step. It is possible to have openings through the encapsulated element, reducing the weight of the element. These openings may be used to refrigerate/heat the floor or other surfaces by the passage of air, gas, fluids or to pass materials or equipment in the openings.



Inventors:
Lalonde, Daniel (Saint-Laurent, CA)
Application Number:
11/684706
Publication Date:
09/18/2008
Filing Date:
03/12/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04F13/14
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
FERENCE, JAMES M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BROUILLETTE LEGAL INC. (Montreal, QC, CA)
Claims:
1. An encapsulated architectural element, to be installed on a surface or suspended, comprising: a. a bottom surface; b. a core; c. sides extending upwardly from said bottom surface on the periphery of said bottom surface defining an enclosed volume to receive said core material; d. a protective layer disposed over said core material to seal said enclosed volume.

2. The encapsulated tile of claim 1, wherein said bottom surface and said sides are made of metal.

3. The encapsulated tile of claim 1, wherein said bottom surface and said sides are made of a metal alloy.

4. The encapsulated tile of claim 2, wherein said bottom surface and said sides are made of aluminium.

5. The encapsulated tile of claim 1, wherein said bottom, or face surface and said sides are a unitary.

6. The encapsulated tile of claim 1, wherein said bottom surface and said sides are composed by at least two elements.

7. The encapsulated tile of claim 1, further comprising at least one substantially longitudinal opening.

8. The encapsulated tile of claim 1, further comprising at least one aperture to fix said tile to said surface.

9. The encapsulated tile of claim 1, further comprising interlocking parts to assemble a plurality of said encapsulated elements together.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

There is no cross-reference to related applications.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to architectural elements such as tiles, panels, planks and sheets goods used to cover floors, walls, ceilings or other similar surfaces indoors or outdoors.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In the architectural field, the different materials used to construct floors, partitions, or inclined surfaces are usually consecutively added one onto the other. For some materials, it is necessary to wait for the curing. The waiting time is cumulative when there are many layers composing the architectural element. Thus a high investment in time and effort is required when such architectural elements are constructed in situ.

Floors, walls, roofs and outdoor surfaces are often sensitive to humidity, water or other factors because their composition often includes wood or wood particles which are known to be dimensionally variable in presence of water, humidity, or other factor. There is thus a need to develop an architectural product which is more resistant and easier and faster to install.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

A first object of the present invention is to provide an architectural element that is encapsulated.

A second object of the present invention is to provide encapsulated architectural element. that seals in its content.

A further object of the present invention is to provide an encapsulated architectural element that protects its content from humidity, water, impacts and other contaminants or factors.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an encapsulated architectural element that may be lightened.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide an encapsulated architectural element that contains all the materials required for the construction of a floor or other surfaces such that the architectural encapsulated element may be installed in only one step.

Other and further objects and advantages of the present invention will be obvious upon an understanding of the illustrative embodiments about to be described or will be indicated in the appended claims, and various advantages not referred to herein will occur to one skilled in the art upon employment of the invention in practice.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides an encapsulated element, to be installed on a surface, or suspended, the core material composing the element being encapsulated in an architectural capsule. The element comprises a bottom surface, sides extending upwardly from the bottom surface on the periphery of the bottom surface defining an enclosed volume to receive the core material, and a protective layer disposed over the core material to seal the enclosed volume. In the case of a ceiling the order of the various components would obviously be reversed.

It is to be noted that the term “surface” in the present document refers to any surface such as floors, walls, ceilings, roofs. Furthermore, the encapsulated element may also preferably be used outside on any suitable surface. Thus, even if the description is made in relation with a floor, the use is not limited to floors. The form of the element is not limited to any particular shape and is not necessary planar.

The element of the present invention is composed by a bottom surface and sides extending upwardly from the bottom surface. The sides surround the bottom surface defining an enclosed volume, which contains the core material(s) composing the element and consequently the floor or other surfaces. The sides may be visible or not between each encapsulated element (also simply referred as element in the present document). The element may be disposed side by side with or without joining elements such as grout, mechanical and structural joints, compound fillers, hot and cold welding, chemical welding, magnetic jointing. In the present document, the term “core material” refers to all the content comprised within the enclosed volume. Any material or product suitable or presenting an advantage for the application chosen may be inserted in the enclosed volume of the element. For example, it may comprise an acoustical layer, an insulating layer or any other suitable architectural products. Thus, the material used in the element is enclosed in the enclosed volume and the latter is then sealed with an appropriate product such as a varnish, epoxy, membrane or any other suitable product or mechanical means.

The element of the present invention is particularly useful for materials such as HDF or other wood products which are known to warp, swell or otherwise change with humidity. Furthermore, the bottom surface of the element is preferably a barrier that may be used against the termites in geographical areas where they live.

The material used for the bottom surface and sides of the “capsule” surrounding the core material to be protected may be any metal or alloy, rubber or pvc component suitable for the present application. In the preferred embodiment, aluminium in sheet form is used for its low cost and low density. The tile may be flexible depending of the type of materials and thickness, the shape of the bottom surface and sides composition materials and thus may be adapted for a non-planar surface.

To secure the encapsulated element on a surface, or more particularly on a floor, it is possible to use adhesives, anti-skip means or mechanical means between the encapsulated tiles and the floor surface. Other mechanical means may be used to attach the element together or to attach them onto the surfaces. To attach the element together, any method presently used in flooring may be used, for example interlocking parts. To attach the element onto the floor, an aperture may be made through the tile allowing a fastener to secure the element to the floor. It is to be noted that, even with such apertures, the element is still sealed because the aperture is made prior to the installation and the surface(s) of the aperture is (are) sealed. It is also possible to attach a plurality of spikes under the surface of the element, such that they will penetrate the floor or surfaces and secure the element. The method of installation is similar to the known methods in construction and is very easy to install because it does not need any particular steps or tools as for floating floors. One particular feature is magnetic or electromagnetic fastening.

Substantially longitudinal openings may also be made in the element. These openings may have different forms and paths and may completely pass through the element or not. The openings may be made to lighten the element or to allow the passage of air, gas, fluids or other pressurise substances or residues, networking cables, connective wirering or other known object. For example, it may be used to insert reinforcement such as tensioned cables or any other needed materials. For a maximum effect of refrigeration, all the openings should be disposed such as to form a continuous path across the contiguous element. Sensitive sensor(s) or tactile sensor(s) may also be used.

An image or textured surface may be use or placed, and sealed under the protective layer, adding an aesthetical feature to the element.

The features of the present invention which are believed to be novel are set forth with particularity in the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will become more readily apparent from the following description, reference being made to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a first embodiment of the capsule.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing a second embodiment of the capsule.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional side view of a first embodiment of the encapsulated element.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional side view of a second embodiment of the encapsulated element.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional side view of a third embodiment of the encapsulated element.

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional side view showing interlocking means for the encapsulated element.

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional side view showing another interlocking means for the encapsulated element.

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional side view showing a attach means for the encapsulated element.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

A novel tile will be described hereinafter. Although the invention is described in terms of specific illustrative embodiment(s), it is to be understood that the embodiment(s) described herein are by way of example only and that the scope of the invention is not intended to be limited thereby.

FIG. 1 shows a first embodiment of the capsule 100. The content of the capsule 100 is surrounded by the bottom surface 110 and the sides 120.

FIG. 2 shows a second embodiment of the capsule 200, which is formed by the bottom surface 210 and the sides 220.

FIG. 3 shows a first embodiment of the tile of the present invention. The capsule 300 contains a HDF board 310 (high-density fibreboard) which is secured inside the capsule 300 with a layer of adhesive 320. The HDF board 310 and the sides of the capsule 300 are sealed and protected by a protective layer 330.

In FIG. 4, the HDF board 410 is disposed on a layer of an acoustical isolation 415. The HDF board 410 is preferably disposed on a sheet of polymer 440 which is secured on the layer of acoustical isolation 415 with a layer of adhesive 450. The HDF board 410 and the layer of acoustic isolation 415 are both secured into the box 400 with a layer of adhesive 420. Like the previous embodiment, a protective layer 430 protects and seals the capsule and its content.

In FIG. 5, two substantially longitudinals openings 510 and 520 are shown. They may be used to lighten the encapsulated tile, to pass equipment or materials or to refrigerate or heat the encapsulated tile or other element. An image 530 is fixed on the layer 560 with an adhesive 540 and the element is sealed with the protective layer 550.

The FIGS. 6, 7 and 8 present different ways to attach the tiles, planks or architectural board, together or on a surface. In FIG. 6, the encapsulated tiles are adapted in a similar way than for the floating floor, with male 610 and female 620 parts that interlock together.

The FIG. 7 presents a configuration allowing the tile or other element to be assembled and attached onto a surface. The opening 710 allows a fastener to be secured the tile to the surface. In another embodiment, pluralities of spikes are disposed under the encapsulated element as seen in FIG. 8.

While illustrative and presently preferred embodiment(s) of the invention have been described in detail hereinabove, it is to be understood that the inventive concepts may be otherwise variously embodied and employed and that the appended claims are intended to be construed to include such variations except insofar as limited by the prior art.