Title:
STRUCTURAL PANEL SYSTEM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention includes a structural panel having a panel core. A truss with a plurality of rebar receiving bends that project beyond a surface of the panel core and a mesh proximate a surface of the panel core can be provided. Rebar can be received within the rebar receiving bends. A mesh can be provided proximate to the panel core, with a portion of the mesh extending beyond a surface of the panel core. The panel core can define a structural member receiving channel, and a structural member can be received with the structural member receiving channel.



Inventors:
Blomquist Jr., Barry L. (Minneapolis, MN, US)
Application Number:
12/202825
Publication Date:
03/05/2009
Filing Date:
09/02/2008
Assignee:
VOLCANWALL PANEL SYSTEMS, INC. (Minneapolis, MN, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/454, 52/585.1
International Classes:
E04C2/26; E04B1/48; E04C2/10; E04F13/04
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
SADLON, JOSEPH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FREDRIKSON & BYRON, P.A. (MINNEAPOLIS, MN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A structural panel, comprising: a panel core having a first surface, a second surface generally opposed to the first surface, a third surface, and a fourth surface generally opposed to the third surface; a mesh proximate the first or second surface; a truss in apposition to the third or fourth surface, the truss having a plurality of rebar receiving bends, the rebar receiving bends projecting beyond at least one of the first and second surfaces of the panel core and the mesh; and a rebar received within the rebar receiving bend of the truss.

2. The structural panel of claim 1, wherein a wire of the mesh cooperates with the rebar receiving bend to form a rebar slot.

3. The structural panel of claim 2, wherein the rebar is positioned outwardly of the mesh wire and inwardly of the rebar receiving bend with respect to the panel core.

4. The structural panel of claim 1, further including a coating in apposition to at least one of the first or second surfaces of the panel core.

5. The structural panel of claim 1, wherein the panel core includes a foamed resinous polymeric material.

6. The structural panel of claim 1, wherein the panel core includes a plurality of panel core sections with a truss between each section.

7. A structural panel system, comprising: a panel core having a first surface, a second surface generally opposed to the first surface, a third surface, and a fourth surface generally opposed to the third surface; and a mesh proximate to the first surface or the second surface of the panel core, the mesh comprising a plurality of lateral and longitudinal mesh wires, a portion of the mesh extending beyond at least one of the third and fourth panel core surfaces.

8. The structural panel system of claim 7, further including a second panel having a second panel core, the mesh extending continuously past the third or fourth surface of the first panel past the third or fourth surface of the second panel.

9. The structural panel system of claim 8, wherein the mesh is in a facing relationship to the first or second surface of the first and second panel cores.

10. A panel, comprising: a panel core having a first surface, a second surface generally opposed to the first surface, a third surface, a fourth surface generally opposed to the third surface, a fifth surface, and a sixth surface generally opposed to the fifth surface, the panel core defining a structural member receiving channel.

11. The panel of claim 10, the panel core defining a first structural member aperture through the fifth surface and a second structural member aperture through the sixth surface, the structural member receiving channel being between the first structural member aperture and the second structural member aperture.

12. The panel of claim 11, wherein a second panel is placed adjacent the panel, the second panel having a second panel core defining second panel first and second structural member apertures and a second panel structural member receiving channel therebetween, the second panel apertures being aligned with the panel apertures and a structural member received within both channels.

13. The panel of claim 10, further including a truss in apposition to at least one of the third or fourth surfaces of the panel core, wherein the structural member receiving channel is generally parallel to the truss.

14. The panel of claim 10, further including a truss having a plurality of rebar receiving bends projecting beyond the first or second surface of the panel core and a rebar received within the rebar receiving bend, wherein the structural member receiving channel is generally transverse to the rebar.

15. The panel of claim 10, further including a structural member received within the structural member receiving channel.

16. The panel of claim 15, wherein the structural member includes an I-beam.

17. The panel of claim 10, wherein the panel core comprises a plurality of panel core sections.

18. The panel of claim 17, wherein each panel core section includes a structural member receiving channel.

19. The panel of claim 17, wherein every other panel core section includes a structural member receiving channel.

20. A structural panel, comprising: a panel core having a first surface, a second surface generally opposed to the first surface, a third surface, a fourth surface generally opposed to the third surface, a fifth surface, and a sixth surface generally opposed to the fifth surface; a mesh proximate to the first surface or the second surface of the panel core, a portion of the mesh extending beyond at least one of the third or forth surfaces of the panel core; a truss having a plurality of rebar receiving bends, the rebar receiving bends projecting beyond at least one of the first and second surfaces of the panel core and the mesh proximate the first or second surfaces of the panel core; the panel core defining a first structural member aperture through the fifth surface and a second structural member aperture through the sixth surface, a structural member receiving channel being between the first structural member aperture and the second structural member aperture.

21. The structural panel of claim 20, further including a rebar received within the rebar receiving bend of the truss and generally orthogonal to the truss.

22. The structural panel of claim 20, further including a structural member being received within the structural member channel.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/969,079, titled Structural Panel System, filed Aug. 30, 2007, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention generally relates to structural panels.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Structural panels are utilized in the construction of structures such as residential and commercial buildings. Buildings constructed of panels have superior mold resistance, fire resistance, and strength properties compared to conventional, stick frame construction.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In some embodiments, the invention includes a structural panel having a panel core, a mesh proximate to the panel core, and a truss in apposition to the panel core. The truss can have a plurality of rebar receiving bends that project beyond a surface of the panel core and beyond the mesh. A rebar can be received within the rebar receiving bends of the truss. Such a structural panel with rebar provides for improved strength characteristics compared to traditional structural panels, and provides an easy method of connecting panels to form a structure.

Embodiments of the invention also include a structural panel system comprising a panel core and a mesh proximate to the panel core. A portion of the mesh can extend beyond a surface of the panel core. The extended portion of mesh is useful for overlapping with a second structural panel to simplify the construction process. Further, the structural panel can also include a truss with rebar receiving bends and a rebar received within the bends, as described above.

In certain embodiments, the invention includes a panel with a panel core defining a structural member receiving channel. A structural member, such as an I-beam, can be received with the structural member receiving channel. Such a structural member is useful for providing increased strength characteristics to the panel. In addition, the panel can also include the extending mesh and/or the truss with rebar receiving bends as described above. Embodiments of the invention also include methods of making and using any of the panels described herein, and structures containing such structural panels.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 shows a schematic perspective view of a structural panel core in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 shows a perspective cut-away view of a structural panel in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 3 shows a schematic end view of a structural panel in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 4 shows a schematic top plan view of a structural panel showing structural member apertures in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 5 shows a perspective view of a portion of a truss and mesh wire connection in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

For the purpose of promoting an understanding of the principles of the invention, reference will now be made to the embodiments illustrated in the drawing and specific language will be used to describe the same. It will, nevertheless, be understood that no limitation of the scope of the invention is thereby intended; any alterations and further modifications of the described or illustrated embodiments, and any further applications of the principles of the invention as illustrated therein, are contemplated as would normally occur to one skilled in the art to which the invention relates.

In some embodiments, the invention includes a structural panel 10 having a panel core 20. The structural core is generally useful for providing a core to attach structural components of the panel as well as to provide insulting properties to the panel. As shown in FIG. 1, the panel core 20 can include a first surface 30 (e.g., a front surface), a second surface 34 (e.g., a back surface) generally opposed to the first surface 30, a third surface 38 (e.g., a side surface), a fourth surface 42 (e.g., a side surface) generally opposed to the third surface 38, a fifth surface 46 (e.g., a top surface), and a sixth surface 50 (e.g., a bottom surface) generally opposed to the fifth surface 46. Such embodiments can include a generally cube shape with a rectangular cross-section.

In some embodiments, the panel core 20 comprises a plurality of panel core sections, each having a generally rectangular cross-section and first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth surfaces, as described above. The panel core sections can be placed in apposition to each other to form the panel core 20. In some embodiments, the panel core sections can be placed on a compression machine and compressed together. Trusses, as discussed further below, can be placed between the panel core sections before compression. While the sections are compressed, a mesh, as discussed further below, can be attached (e.g., welded) to the trusses. Such mesh will hold the panel core sections together when the panel core sections are released from compression.

The panel core 20 can comprise any material. In some embodiments, the panel core 20 can include a material that is lightweight, strong, moisture resistant, and thermal and noise insulating. For example, the panel core 20 can comprise a foamed resinous polymeric material that is solid when cured (e.g., polystyrene, polyurethane, polyvinylchloride, and combinations thereof). In some embodiments, the panel core material is commercially available polystyrene.

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, some embodiments of the structural panels include a truss 60 in apposition to at least one of the surfaces (e.g., side surfaces) of the panel core 20. In certain embodiments, the truss 60 is provided between each interface of two panel core sections. The truss 60 can be useful for providing rigidity to the structural panel 10, and also for serving as a connection for other components, as described further herein. In some embodiments, the truss 60 can comprise a wire. The gauge of the truss can be varied to resist different loads. For example, a 10 gauge wire can be used for heavier load applications and a 12 gauge wire for lighter load applications.

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the truss 60 can be bent in a zigzag configuration to provide strength and a series of rebar receiving bends 70. The angle of the bends 70 may be varied depending on structural loading imposed on the panel (e.g., 30 degrees, 45 degrees, or 60 degrees). Further, in certain embodiments, the angle of the bends may vary within a single truss member.

In some embodiments, the rebar receiving bends 70 project beyond a surface of the panel core, such as the first and/or second surfaces of the panel core 20. The rebar receiving bends may project beyond the panel surface to any amount that can be coated to form a finished structural panel (as discussed further below). For example, in some embodiments, the projection is less than about 2 inches. In other embodiment, the projection is less than about 1.5 inches. Such bends 70 are useful for providing a configuration for allowing a rebar 76 to be received within the bend. In some embodiments, the rebar 76 is received within the rebar receiving bends of the truss 60 in a generally orthogonal relationship to the truss 60. The rebar may be of any size, including ΒΌ inch diameter rebar.

In some embodiments, the structural panel 10 includes a mesh 80. Mesh 80 can be provided proximate (e.g., in a facing relationship) to both first and second surfaces of the panel core 20. In certain embodiments, mesh 80 comprises mesh wires. The mesh 80 can include lateral and longitudinal (e.g., horizontal and vertical, respectively) mesh wires 84, 86 attached together (e.g., by welding at the right angle intersections). The mesh wire can be of any suitable size, such as 6 gauge, 10 gauge, 14 gauge or 20 gauge. In some embodiments, the lateral and longitudinal mesh wires are formed of different gauge mesh wires. For example, in some embodiments the mesh includes 10 gauge lateral mesh wire and 6 gauge longitudinal mesh wire.

In some embodiments, a portion of the mesh extends beyond at least one of the panel core surfaces. For example, a portion of the mesh can extend beyond a plane defined by one or more of the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth surfaces of the panel core 20.

In some embodiments, a second panel having a second panel core is provided, and the mesh 80 extends continuously past one or more of the third, fourth, fifth or sixth surfaces of the first panel core past the corresponding third, fourth, fifth or sixth surface of the second panel core. Such extension is useful for easy assembly of a structure utilizing structural panels. The individual structural panels can be set alternatively front to back such that the mesh extension allows for easy alignment of the panels to form a structure. Further, such an extension can be bent at a right angle relative to the rest of the mesh to provide an inside corner. The mesh extension of the first panel can be in apposition to mesh on the second panel, or the mesh on the second panel can be removed such that the mesh extension of the first panel sits directly facing the panel core of the second panel. In embodiments having overlapping mesh, ring clips may be attached (e.g., three clips per side) to join the mesh sections of the adjacent structural panels. In some embodiments, additional mesh material can be provided and attached to form external corners and/or to strengthen internal corners.

In some embodiments, the mesh 80 is placed such that at least one of its mesh wires 84, 88 is adjacent the rebar receiving bend of the truss 60, as shown best in FIG. 5. In certain embodiments, the rebar receiving bends of the truss project beyond the mesh. Such a configuration provides a rebar receiving slot. In such embodiments, rebar 76 can be placed outward of the mesh 80 and inward of the rebar receiving bend, relative to the panel core 20.

In some embodiments, the mesh 80 and the truss 60 can be attached together. For example, the mesh 80 and the rebar receiving bend can be welded together. In certain embodiments, the mesh 80 and each rebar receiving bend are welded together at four spots. In such embodiments, the two or more panels can be placed end to end with the mesh 80 extending to both panels. Rebar 76 can be inserted through the rebar slots. In some embodiments, the rebar can extend past the junction of the first and second structural panels (e.g., past the junction of the third surface of the first panel and the fourth surface of the second panel) to provide a strong connection between two panels to form a structure. In some embodiments, as shown in FIG. 2, rebar receiving bends extend past both the first and second surfaces and rebar can be provided on both sides of the panel.

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, some embodiments of the structural panel 10 include a panel core 20 that defines a first structural member aperture 100 through the fifth surface 46 and a second structural member aperture (not shown) through the sixth surface 50. In such embodiments, a structural member receiving channel 100, as shown in hidden lines in FIG. 3, is included between the first structural member aperture 100 and the second structural member aperture. The structural member receiving channel 100 can be sized to receive a structural member 110 to provide additional structural strength to the structural panel 10. In some embodiments, to panel core sections are cut to form a cavity corresponding to the shape of the structural members. The structural member receiving channel can then be formed when the core panel sections are brought together and compressed, as discussed above.

In some embodiments, a structural member 110 is inserted through the first or second structural member apertures and is received within the structural member channel. The structural member 110 can include any member suitable to provide structural strength to the structural panel 10. In certain embodiments, the structural panel 10 includes an I-beam. In such embodiments, the structural member receiving channel may be shaped as an I-beam, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 4. In other embodiments, the structural member 110 includes a liquid agent that can be added to cure within the channel, such as, for example, at a job site. In certain embodiments, the liquid agent includes concrete mix or a flowable polymer resin that cures within the structural member channel.

In certain embodiments, structural panels can be set on top of each other, such as with the fifth surface 46 of one panel facing the sixth surface 50 of another panel. In such embodiments, the structural member apertures of each panel can be aligned, and a single structural member 110 can be inserted though the structural member receiving channels of two or more adjacent panels.

As discussed above, some embodiments of the panel core 20 include a plurality of panel core sections. In such embodiments, each panel core section can include a structural member receiving channel 100 and/or structural member receiving apertures. In other embodiments, every other panel core section includes a structural member receiving channel 100 and/or structural member receiving apertures. The number of channels and corresponding structural members included will depend of the strength requirements of the structure.

The structural member receiving channels and structural members can be included in any desired orientation. In some embodiments, the truss 60 is in apposition to the third or fourth surfaces of the panel core 20, and the structural member channel is generally parallel to the truss 60. As discussed above, the structural panel 10 can include a truss 60 with a plurality of rebar receiving bends 70 projecting beyond the first or second surface of the panel core 20 and mesh 80, with a rebar 76 received within the rebar receiving bend. In such embodiments, the structural member channel can be generally transverse to the rebar 76.

In some embodiments, the first and second surfaces of the panels are covered with a coating 120. The coating 120 can include any material suitable for a structural panel 10, including concrete, plaster and/or stucco. Further, the coating 120 can include a single layer or include several separate layers. In some embodiments, the coating has a thickness that covers the first or second surfaces of the panel core 20 and extends outwardly to cover the mesh 80 and rebar receiving bends 70. The coating can be included on both the first and second sides of the structural panel 10, and can be applied by any suitable method, such as spraying and/or troweling, on the job site after the panels have been assembled to form a structure.

Embodiments of the invention also include methods of assembling and using any of the various embodiments of structural panels described above. Further, embodiments of the invention include methods of assembling two or more of any of the various embodiments of structural panels discussed above to form a structure, and also include structures formed of such panels.

In certain embodiments, the invention includes a method of assembling two or more of any of the structural panels described above. In some embodiments, a first structural panel 10 and a second structural panel are placed end to end (e.g., with the third or fourth surfaces of each panel facing the other). The mesh of one of the panels can overlap with the adjacent panel. Rebar 76 can be inserted into the rebar receiving slots to join the two panels without the need for clips or welds. Additional panels can be attached in this manner. This method is also useful for allowing the panels to be placed in a generally straight line (e.g., the first and second surfaces of the panels being in the same general plane), if desired.

Further, panels may also be placed in a vertical relationship (e.g., with the fifth or sixth surfaces of each panel facing each other). In embodiments of panels having a structural member receiving channel 100, the structural receiving channel of each of the panels in the vertical relationship can be aligned and a structural member 110, such as an I-beam, can be introduced into the channels to provide additional strength.

In use, the structural panel 10 of this invention is arranged horizontally, vertically, or skewed relative to the ground, and may be used as a floor panel as well as a vertical side panel or angled roof panel.

While the invention has been described in conjunction with specific embodiments thereof, it is evident that many alternatives, modifications, and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art in light of the foregoing description. Accordingly, it is intended to embrace all such alternatives, modifications, and variations, which fall within the spirit and broad scope of the invention.