Title:
Insulated Supports
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Insulated supports are provided. In this regard, representative insulated support includes: a framing member having opposing faces and opposing sidewalls extending between the faces, the framing member further having a cutout positioned along a length thereof; and an insulated plug sized and shaped to be received within the cutout such that the insulated plug, when inserted into the cutout, increases an insulation (R) value of the support.



Inventors:
Greenberg, Michael D. (Bloomfield, CT, US)
Application Number:
11/775310
Publication Date:
01/15/2009
Filing Date:
07/10/2007
Assignee:
UNITED TECHNOLOGY CORP. (East Hartford, CT, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/352
International Classes:
E04C1/39
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PAINTER, BRANON C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Getz Balich LLC (Farmington, CT, US)
Claims:
1. An insulated support comprising: a framing member having opposing faces and opposing sidewalls extending between the faces, the framing member further having a cutout positioned along a length thereof; and an insulated plug sized and shaped to be received within the cutout such that the insulated plug, when inserted into the cutout, increases an insulation (R) value of the support.

2. The support of claim 1, wherein the framing member is a length of dimensional lumber.

3. The support of claim 2, wherein the framing member is a length of 2″×6″ timber framing.

4. The support of claim 1, wherein the cutout extends between the opposing faces.

5. The support of claim 4, wherein: the cutout is defined by inner walls of the framing member; and at least one of the inner walls is contoured to form an interference fit with a corresponding sidewall of the plug.

6. The support of claim 5, wherein the at least one of the inner walls exhibits a convex shape and the corresponding sidewall of the plug exhibits a concave shape.

7. The support of claim 1, further comprising means for reinforcing the framing member adjacent to the cutout.

8. The support of claim 7, wherein the means for reinforcing comprises a cleat plate attached to the framing member.

9. The support of claim 1, wherein the cutout is a recess formed in a first of the faces.

10. The support of claim 9, wherein: the cutout is a first cutout; and the framing member has a second cutout formed in a second of the faces, the second cutout being a recess.

11. The support of claim 10, wherein: the first cutout and the second cutout are symmetric; and the support further comprises a second insulation plug sized and shaped to be received within the second cutout.

12. The support of claim 1, wherein the insulated plug is a molded plug that is molded in place within the cutout.

13. An insulated support comprising: a framing member formed of a length of dimensional lumber, the framing member having opposing faces and opposing sidewalls extending between the faces, the framing member further having cutouts positioned along a length thereof; and insulated plugs sized and shaped to be received within the cutouts such that the insulated plug, when inserted into the cutouts, increase an insulation (R) value of the support.

14. The support of claim 13, wherein each of the cutouts receives a corresponding one of the insulation plugs.

15. The support of claim 13, further comprising a through-hole extending between the faces, the through-hole being sized and shaped to accommodate a utility run.

16. The support of claim 15, wherein the through-hole is a lined through-hole.

17. The support of claim 16, wherein: the support further comprises a segment of corrugated electrical conduit; and the through-hole is lined with the segment of corrugated electrical conduit.

18. The support of claim 15, wherein the through-hole passes through at least one of the plugs.

19. The support of claim 13, wherein a space between adjacent cutouts is shorter than a space between an endwall of the framing member and an adjacent one of the cutouts.

20. The support of claim 13, wherein at least one of the cutouts is a recess formed in a first of the faces.

Description:

BACKGROUND

1. Technical Field

This disclosure generally relates to building construction.

2. Description of the Related Art

Demand for electricity and other sources of energy continues to put an emphasis on the need for energy efficiency. This is particularly so in the case of building construction design. In this regard, tremendous strides have been made toward energy efficiency of structures. By way of example, heat loss from insulated wall cavities has been reduced. However, some of this reduction in loss has resulted in somewhat weaker structures, such as those in which increased stud spacing of a wall is used in order to increase the availability for insulation placement. This can also have an impact on the interior of the wall, such as by reducing locations for attaching drywall, for example.

SUMMARY

Insulated supports are provided. In this regard, an exemplary embodiment of an insulated support comprises: a framing member formed of a length of dimensional lumber, the framing member having opposing faces and opposing sidewalls extending between the faces, the framing member further having cutouts positioned along a length thereof; and insulated plugs sized and shaped to be received within the cutouts such that the insulated plug, when inserted into the cutouts, increase an insulation (R) value of the support.

Another embodiment of an insulated support comprises: a framing member having opposing faces and opposing sidewalls extending between the faces, the framing member further having a cutout positioned along a length thereof; and an insulated plug sized and shaped to be received within the cutout such that the insulated plug, when inserted into the cutout, increases an insulation (R) value of the support.

Other systems, methods, features and/or advantages of this disclosure will be or may become apparent to one with skill in the art upon examination of the following drawings and detailed description. It is intended that all such additional systems, methods, features and/or advantages be included within this description and be within the scope of the present disclosure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Many aspects of the disclosure can be better understood with reference to the following drawings. The components in the drawings are not necessarily to scale. Moreover, in the drawings, like reference numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the several views.

FIG. 1 is a schematic view of an embodiment of an insulated support.

FIG. 2 is a partially cut-away, schematic view another embodiment of an insulated support.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional, schematic view of the embodiment of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a partially cut-away, schematic view another embodiment of an insulated support.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional, schematic view of another embodiment of an insulated support.

FIG. 6 is a partially cut-away, schematic view another embodiment of an insulated support.

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional, schematic view of the embodiment of FIG. 6.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Insulated supports are provided. In this regard, several exemplary embodiments will be described that generally involve framing members. In some embodiments, a framing member is formed of dimensional lumber that incorporates one or more cutouts. Plugs of insulation are positioned within the cutouts. As such, a support with decreased weight and increased insulation properties compared to conventional timber framing is provided. Notably, at least some of these supports are capable of being worked by conventional construction tools.

Referring now to the drawings, FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram depicting an exemplary embodiment of a support. As shown in FIG. 1, support 100 includes a framing member 102. In this embodiment, the framing member is formed of a length of 2″×6″ dimensional lumber although various other dimensions and/or materials can be used in other embodiments. Framing member 102 includes opposing faces 106, 108, with sidewalls 110, 112 extending between the faces, and endwalls 114, 116 extending between the sidewalls and faces.

A series of cutouts, e.g., cutout 104, are located along the length of the framing member. The cutouts extend between the faces and, in this embodiment, are generally rectangular and are located along the framing member such that spacing between adjacent cutouts is generally uniform, while spacing between an end of the framing member and an adjacent cutout is generally longer. Providing this additional material of the framing member at the ends enables the framing member to be trimmed without necessarily affecting the cutouts and provides an increased area for attachment of fasteners while reducing a likelihood of splitting the framing member. In other embodiments, various other sizes, shapes, locations and numbers of cutouts can be used. Notably, the cutouts reduce the overall weight of the support and, thus, transportation costs associated with shipping the supports can be lower than that associated with shipping conventional supports formed of similar materials.

Insulation plugs, e.g., plug 120, are positioned at least partially within each of the cutouts. The plugs can be formed of various materials, such as an insulating foam that is typically used as building insulation, e.g., polyurethane foam. The plugs increase the insulation value (i.e., R value) of the support.

FIGS. 2 and 3 schematically depict another exemplary embodiment of a support. As shown in FIG. 2, support 200 includes a framing member 202, a portion of which is presented. Framing member 202 includes opposing faces 206, 208, with sidewalls 210, 212 extending between the faces, and endwalls (one of which is shown) extending between the sidewalls and faces.

A series of cutouts, e.g., cutout 204, are located along the length of the framing member. As shown in FIG. 3, the cutouts extend between the faces. In this embodiment, the cutouts are generally rectangular, with the inner walls 218 of the framing member that define the cutouts being generally perpendicular to the faces. However, various other configurations can be used. Note that the cutouts also are evenly spaced along the length of the framing member, with the length of material between the endwall 214 and cutout 204 being longer than the length of material between cutout 204 and an adjacent cutout 216. In other embodiments, various other spacing could be used.

Insulation plugs, e.g., plug 220, are positioned at least partially within each of the cutouts. As shown in FIG. 3, the plug has opposing faces 222, 224, with sidewalls (e.g., 226) that contact the inner walls of the cutouts. Notably, in this embodiment, the sidewall 226 is generally perpendicular to the faces 222, 224 of the plug.

Another embodiment of a support is depicted schematically in FIG. 4. As shown in FIG. 4, support 400 includes a framing member 402 that incorporates a set of cutouts (e.g., cutout 404) into which plugs (e.g., plug 406) are placed. In contrast to the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1, this embodiment additionally incorporates cleat plates, e.g., plate 408, that reinforce the framing member adjacent to the cutout locations.

FIG. 5 schematically depicts another embodiment of a support. In particular, FIG. 5 is a cut-away depicting an alternative configuration of a cutout and plug arrangement. As shown in FIG. 5, support 500 includes a framing member 502 that incorporates one or more cutouts, e.g., cutout 504. Cutout 504 is defined by contoured inner walls, e.g., inner wall 506, of the framing member. Thus, at least one of the inner walls is not generally perpendicular to the face of the framing member.

An insulation plug is positioned at least partially within each of the cutouts. For instance, a plug 508 is positioned within the cutout 504. The sidewalls, e.g., sidewall 510, defining a periphery of the plug are generally complementary to the inner walls of the cutout. Specifically, in this embodiment, the sidewalls of the plug are concave and the inner walls of the cutout are convex. When inserted into the cutout, the plug tends to stay in position within the cutout due to an interference fit formed between the inner walls of the framing member and the sidewalls of the plug. In other embodiments, various other shapes of complementary features can be used. Note, however, that the shapes used in the embodiment of FIG. 5 provide an increased thickness of the framing member in a vicinity of the cutout into which fasteners can penetrate.

Another embodiment of a support is depicted schematically in FIGS. 6 and 7. As shown in FIG. 6, support 600 includes a framing member 602 that incorporates cutouts 604, 606. Notably, each of the cutouts of this embodiment is configured as a recess, in contrast to a through-cut as depicted in the previous embodiments. Specifically, as can be seen in FIG. 7, cutout 604 is located in face 608 and cutout 606 is located in face 610. In this embodiment, the recesses oppose each other and are symmetric although various other numbers, locations and configurations of recesses can be used in other embodiments.

Each cutout mounts an insulation plug. In particular, cutout 604 mounts a plug 612 and cutout 606 mounts a plug 614. Notably, a span 620 of material separates the plugs and provides a structural web for improving bending strength of the framing member.

In some embodiments, various portions of the framing member, such as the span 620, can be configured as separate pieces that are joined as an assembly. In this regard, various joinery techniques, such as mortise and tendon, dove tailing and/or butt joining, can be used. Notably, when separate pieces are used, various materials and/or grades of materials can be used, such as oriented strand board (OSB) and plywood, for example. Additionally, cleat plates can be used, in some embodiments, for reinforcement and/or as an attachment technique for joining constituent components that are used to form various portions of the framing member.

Reinforcement of a support can be accomplished in various manners if desired. By way of example, a sheet of material can be fixed to one or more faces of a support. In some embodiments, such a sheet can be formed of wood, e.g., plywood or OSB, or sheet metal.

Support 600 also incorporates a through-hole 622 that is sized and shaped to accommodate a utility run, such as a cable run. In this embodiment, the through-hole is formed through the two plugs 612, 614, as well as through the material 620. In other embodiments, however, various other locations could be used for one or more through-holes.

It should be noted that the through-hole of FIG. 6 is lined. In this regard, a section of tubing 624, such as electrical grade PVC tubing is used. In other embodiments, other materials can be used to line and/or define a through-hole. By way of example, a corrugated material (e.g., flexible electrical conduit) can be used. Notably, the corrugations of such a material can be compressed toward each other after insertion into the through-hole, thereby tending to secure the lining in place. This feature can also enhance mechanical retention of the plug within the cutout. In other embodiments, a through-hole can be unlined.

It should be emphasized that the above-described embodiments are merely possible examples of implementations set forth for a clear understanding of the principles of this disclosure. Many variations and modifications may be made to the above-described embodiments without departing substantially from the spirit and principles of the disclosure. By way of example, spacing of cutouts between each other and/or from the periphery of a framing member can be selected based on one or more of strength of the support and insulation value. All such modifications and variations are intended to be included herein within the scope of this disclosure and protected by the accompanying claims.