Title:
Lightweight concrete panel
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A lightweight cast concrete panel including concrete having a wet weight of between about 132 to about 140 pounds per cubic foot, and air content of between about 7 to about 11 percent.



Inventors:
Hensley, Jason (Shakopee, MN, US)
Kuckhahn, Thomas (Prior Lake, MN, US)
Mantel, Richard (Belle Plaine, MN, US)
Miks, George (Shakopee, MN, US)
Application Number:
11/731231
Publication Date:
10/02/2008
Filing Date:
03/30/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/309.7, 52/309.17
International Classes:
E04C5/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FRANKS, RYAN J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
VIDAS, ARRETT & STEINKRAUS, P.A. (Eden Prairie, MN, US)
Claims:
1. A concrete panel, concrete in said panel having entrained air between about 7 and about 11%, said concrete having a wet weight of between 2144 to 2242 kilograms per cubic meter (132 and 140 pounds per cubic foot).

2. A concrete panel including prestressed cables throughout the concrete panel, concrete in said panel having entrained air between about 7 and about 11%, said concrete having a wet weight of between 2144 to 2242 kilograms per cubic meter (132 and 140 pounds per cubic foot).

3. A cast concrete panel having an upper and a lower surface and at least one layer of reinforced concrete, at least one layer of said concrete in said panel having entrained air between about 7 and about 11%, said concrete having a wet weight of between 2144 to 2242 kilograms per cubic meter (132 and 140 pounds per cubic foot).

4. The cast concrete panel of claim 3 further including a plurality of foam billets therewithin.

5. The cast concrete panel of claim 4 wherein said concrete panel is cast with a lower concrete layer and an upper concrete layer, said lower concrete layer encasing said foam billets, one of said concrete layers having a different air entrainment percentage than said other concrete layer.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to precast concrete panels, and in particular to lightweight concrete panels.

Concrete panels, as used herein, refers to elongated panels of cast concrete, with or without prestressing cables. The concrete panels may be solid concrete or a combination of lower and upper concrete layers surrounding an insulating layer. In all cases, due to the weight of concrete, concrete wall panels tend to be quite heavy.

Additional weight increases the product cost due to added shipping charges. Attempts to decrease the weight of the concrete panels have focused on decreasing the volume of concrete within a given panel. This has involved creating a series of empty cores within the panel to newer techniques of using insulating foam blocks to both decrease weight and increase the insulating R-value of the concrete plank.

The art described in this section is not intended to constitute an admission that any patent, publication or other information referred to herein is “prior art” with respect to this invention, unless specifically designated as such. In addition, this section should not be construed to mean that a search has been made or that no other pertinent information as defined in 37 C.F.R. § 1.56(a) exists.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention provides concrete panels with a markedly decreased weight by dramatically increasing the air entrainment without decreasing the performance characteristics of the concrete panels beyond engineering specification guidelines. The inventors have found that concrete panels may be produced having excellent strength while decreasing weight by entraining air in the concrete between about 7 to about 11 percent. This results in wet concrete weights of between about 132 to about 140 pounds per cubic foot compared to conventional concrete for concrete panels of about 147 pounds per cubic foot.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A detailed description of the invention is hereafter described with specific reference being made to the drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of a typical modem concrete plank formed of several layers, with prestressed cables and insulation.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

It has been found that concrete panels may be manufactured with acceptable strength and handling characteristics while decreasing the weight of the panels. Decreased weight results in lower shipping costs as well as lower manufacturing cost due to a reduction in concrete used. A typical modem cast concrete panel 10 is shown in FIG. 1. It may include a lower layer of concrete 12, an intermediate insulation layer 14 and an upper top concrete layer 16. To reduce weight and provide other advantages, one or more foam billets 30 may be within the panel as shown. These billets are shown and described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,955,014, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference. Note also that such panels often have reinforcing metal such as prestressing cables 22.

The following tables show data on testing done with a variety of concrete mixes in which air content was varied. In Table A, “Normal” refers to the usual mix of concrete in which entrained air content is about 4.5%, the unit weight while wet in pounds per cubic foot was 147.0, the slump was 9.00 inches and the compressive strength after a heat of “sure cure” was 4500 psi, at 7 days was 5950 psi and at 28 days was 7000 psi.

The inventors have found that increasing air content to 9%±2% results in a reduction in wet weight to 136±4. Surprisingly, this decrease in wet weight and increased air entrainment resulted in excellent concrete panels that have the required compressive strengths after cure and are workable as shown by the slump characteristics. The concrete with the increased air content specified may be used in structural concrete panels in any or all of the layers, as desired, to gain the decrease of weight.

TABLE A
NormalABCDEFG
Unit Weight - wet147.0142.2142.2133.8133.8132.2139.2142.4
(lbs/ft3) Observed
Air Content (%)4.5%6.5%7.5%12.0%10.5%12.5%9.0%7.0%
Slump (in)9.008.255.508.505.758.0039.5
fc-sure cure (psi)45005768588938324524300771576772
(8–10 hrs)
fc-7-day (psi)59509115943668898525737394708932
fc-28-day (psi)70001062410977765011923107351211511750

TABLE B
HIJKLMNO
Unit Weight - wet143.2137.2130.8132.6135.2138.0136.8134.4
(lbs/ft3) Observed
Air Content (%)7.5%10.0%14.0%12.5%11.4%9.8%8.2%11.4%
Slump (in)99.5spread8.08.58.0spread9.25
fc-sure cure (psi)62151981193718064487670837645658
(8–10 hrs)
fc-7-day (psi)970573155033649874651034859248684
fc-28-day (psi)12758977061248275937712363756911297

TABLE C
PQRSTUVW
Unit Weight - wet134.0135.8132.8138.6135.8134.4136.2136.6
(lbs/ft3) Observed
Air Content (%)11.5%10.0%11.8%9.4%10.6%11.0%9.8%10.0%
Slump (in)8.58.59.58.58.09.08.758.0
fc-sure cure (psi)56315694445566255853489356885462
(8–10 hrs)
fc-7-day (psi)92539486649896849068765792008601
fc-28-day (psi)112111110682891235011704103001068610189

TABLE D
XYZAAABACADAE
Unit Weight - wet137.4138.2139.8137.4131.4130.8136.4136.6
(lbs/ft3) Observed
Air Content (%)9.5%10.0%8.5%10.0%12.5%12.8%10.2%9.5%
Slump (in)8.597.587.7518.08.08.0
fc-sure cure (psi)63085662494740005375538347534898
(8–10 hrs)
fc-7-day (psi)10403109981001997598271887380849004
fc-28-day (psi)112151124210064982498908561998411418

Cast concrete panels made according to the invention may save over 10 pounds per cubic foot in shipping cost since the concrete may typically be 136 pounds per cubic foot versus conventional concrete in concrete panels of about 147 pounds per cubic foot. The additional entrained air decreases the concrete weight. Under the parameters of the invention, this results in concrete having acceptable performance characteristics both in handling and in the final concrete panels. This invention works for both fixed bed and moving bed casting operations. As used herein, concrete panels refers to concrete cast at a plant using a rolling bed or fixed bed method. On-site pours of concrete do not involve shipping concerns and do not realize the benefits of saved weight.

While this invention may be embodied in many different forms, there are shown in the drawings and described in detail herein specific preferred embodiments of the invention. The present disclosure is an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the particular embodiments illustrated.

This completes the description of the preferred and alternate embodiments of the invention. Those skilled in the art may recognize other equivalents to the specific embodiment described herein which equivalents are intended to be encompassed by the claims attached hereto.