Title:
MULTI-LAYER CONSTRUCTION PANEL SYSTEM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A construction panel system formed of a first, substrate panel with a perimeter rim, a number of second panels, and attachments for attaching the number of second panels and the first, substrate panel in a spaced apart orientation to form a construction panel. The perimeter rim on the first, substrate panel is used to attach a number of construction panels to each other and to other structures.



Inventors:
Carlson, Peter M. (La Crescenta, CA, US)
Ishler, Michael W. (Santa Monica, CA, US)
Baker, John H. (Venice, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/854361
Publication Date:
03/12/2009
Filing Date:
09/12/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/282.3
International Classes:
E04B1/38
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MAESTRI, PATRICK J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP (Glendale, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A construction panel system, comprising: a first, substrate panel; and at least one second panel; and attachments for attaching the at least one second panel and the first, substrate panel in a spaced apart orientation to form a construction panel.

2. The construction panel system of claim 1, wherein the spaced apart orientation of the first, substrate panel and the at least one second panel form an air space therebetween.

3. The construction panel system of claim 1, wherein the first, substrate panel has a perimeter rim for use in attaching two or more construction panels together or to other structures.

4. The construction panel system of claim 1, wherein the first, substrate panel is formed of material selected from the group consisting of fiberglass, polymers, composite plastics, metal, plywood, composite wood products, and composite materials.

5. The construction panel system of claim 1, wherein the at least one second panel is formed of material selected from the group consisting of aluminum, steel, stainless steel, titanium, plastics, wood, paper, composite materials, and resins.

6. The construction panel system of claim 1, wherein a plurality of generally polygonal second panels are provided for each first, substrate panel.

7. The construction panel system of claim 6, wherein the plurality of generally polygonal second panels are generally triangular.

8. The construction panel system of claim 6, wherein the plurality of generally polygonal second panels are spaced apart from each other.

9. The construction panel system of claim 1, wherein the attachments are selected from the group consisting of nuts and bolts, posts, and adhesives.

10. The construction panel system of claim 3, wherein a plurality of the construction panels are attached together by connecting the construction panels along their respective rims.

11. The construction panel system of claim 1, wherein a plurality of the construction panels are attached together by connecting the construction panels along their respective rims.

12. The construction panel system of claim 1, wherein material is placed between the first, substrate panel and the at least one second panel.

13. The construction panel system of claim 1, wherein material is fire retardant material.

14. A construction panel system, comprising: a first, substrate panel having a perimeter rim; and a plurality of second generally polygonal panels; and attachments for attaching the plurality of second panels and the first, substrate panel in a spaced apart orientation to form a construction panel.

15. The construction panel system of claim 14, wherein the first, substrate panel is formed of material selected from the group consisting of fiberglass, polymers, and composite plastics, plywood, composite wood products, and composite materials.

16. The construction panel system of claim 14, wherein the at least one second panel is formed of material selected from the group consisting of aluminum, steel, stainless steel, titanium, plastics, wood, paper, composite materials, and resins.

17. The construction panel system of claim 14, wherein a plurality of the construction panels are attached together by connecting the construction panels along their respective rims.

18. The construction panel system of claim 14, wherein the spaced apart orientation of the first, substrate panel and the plurality of second panels form air spaces therebetween.

19. The construction panel system of claim 14, wherein the plurality of generally polygonal second panels are spaced apart from each other.

20. The construction panel system of claim 14, wherein fire retardant material is placed located between the first, substrate panel and the at least one second panel.

Description:

BACKGROUND

The invention relates to construction panels, and more particularly to a construction panel formed of at least two layers that are spaced apart from each other.

Construction panels are known in the home and commercial construction industries. For example, there are panels that have plywood as an outer layer, an internal framework of supporting studs, plasterboard as an inner layer, insulation material sandwiched between the outer and inner layers, and passages for electrical and communications conduits. These prefab construction panels systems are sometimes used to allow for faster building.

Suspended ceiling systems are also well-known in commercial construction, wherein a series of T-shaped rails are suspended by wires in a grid pattern, with the openings in the grid being occupied by lightweight fiber panels, lighting fixtures, and the like. These suspended ceiling systems, however, are adapted to form flat ceilings and do not provide for much visual interest.

There accordingly remains a need for a construction panel that permits great flexibility and visual interest in wall and ceiling construction.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top view of a single construction panel of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a top view of an exemplary embodiment of a series of construction panels of the invention assembled into a larger unit.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view showing an exemplary embodiment of construction panels of the invention attached together.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view showing an exemplary embodiment of an attachment for holding a first, substrate panel together with a second panel in a spaced-apart manner.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Turning first to FIG. 1, there is shown a top view of an exemplary embodiment of a construction panel 10 of the invention (shown here as a generally triangular-shaped panel). These construction panels 10 can be used to form interior walls and ceilings in buildings and other structures including pavilions. Each construction panel 10 has a first, substrate panel 12 which functions as a base portion, and at least one second panel 14, which functions as a skin portion which is attached to the first, substrate panel 12 in a spaced apart manner. The first, substrate panel 12 can be formed of materials such as fiberglass, injection-molded plastic, polymers, composite plastics, metal and the like. The at least one second panel 14 is preferably formed of metal such as stainless steel, titanium, aluminum or other materials, but other materials such as plastic, wood, paper, and composite materials and the like can be used. Gaps 22 can preferably be left between edges 38 of the adjacent second panels 14 in a construction panel 10, as shown in FIG. 3.

Turning to FIG. 2, there is shown a top view of an exemplary embodiment of a series of construction panels 10A, 10B, 10C, 10D, 10E, and 10F of the invention (shown here as triangular-shaped panels) that have been attached together, e.g. by bolts, rivets, welding, adhesive, etc., to form a larger panel structure 20 with the gaps 22 formed between the second panels 14 and with gaps 36 between the construction panels 10A, 10B, 10C, 10D, 10E, and 10F. These gaps 22 and 36 can have the same or different widths, as desired. The construction panels 10A, 10B, 10C, 10D, 10E, and 10F and larger panel structure 20 can be used to form interior walls and ceilings in buildings and other structures including pavilions. In the case of the larger panel structure 20 being used as a ceiling structure, people looking up will see the generally triangular second panels 14 through the gaps 22 and 36. The construction panels 10A, 10B, 10C, 10D, 10E, and 10F are shown attached together into a generally hexagonal shaped structure. However, the construction panels 10A, 10B, 10C, 10D, 10E, and 10F can be configured to have a wide variety of shapes and sizes to allow them to be used in a wide range of applications. For example, the construction panels can be polygonal in general, e.g., rectangular, hexagonal, can have straight or curved sides, can be formed flat or can have curvature, and can be other shapes.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view showing parts of an exemplary embodiment of a construction panel 10A of the invention attached to a partial view of a second construction panel 10B. Each construction panel 10A and 10B has a first, substrate panel 12 which functions as a base portion, and at least one second panel 14, and preferably a plurality of second panels, which functions as a skin portion which is attached to the first, substrate panel 12 in a spaced apart manner. The first, substrate panel 12 can be formed of materials such as fiberglass, injection-molded plastic, polymers, composite plastics, metal, plywood, composite wood products, other composite materials and the like. The at least one second panel 14 is preferably formed of metal such as steel, stainless steel, titanium, aluminum or other materials, but other materials such as plastic, wood, paper, and composite materials and the like can be used. Spacers 16 are used to space the at least one second panel 14 apart from the first, substrate panel 12, thereby creating an air space 18. Besides creating a certain visual appearance in open seam areas 22 between individual second panels 14 and the underlying first, substrate panel 12, these air spaces 18 can also help increase the fire retardancy of the construction panels 10 overall. The spacers 16 can comprise metal studs or other attachments that join the first, substrate panel 12 to the second panel 14. To permit two or more construction panels 10 to be connected together, the first, substrate panel 12 can be provided with a perimeter rim 30. Besides providing an attachment point for two or more construction panels 10A, 10B and 10C, the perimeter rim 30 will give the first, substrate panel 12 greater constructional integrity and resistance to flexing. The construction panels can be attached together along their perimeter rims 30, e.g., by nuts and bolts 32. However, rivets, adhesive, and other methods of attachment can be used. For ease of assembly, holes 34 can be provided at predetermined positions along the perimeter rim 30. The second panels 14 can be sized and shaped such that when attached to the first, substrate panel 12, that gaps 36 remain between perimeter edges 38 of adjacent second panels 14. These gaps 36 can add visual interest to construction panels and can allow the substrate panel to be observed. The gap widths can be adjusted to be as narrow or wide as desired, or, can be filled with other structures, such as H-shaped inserts (not shown), which may be formed of expanded wire or other shapes and/or materials, if desired.

The construction panels 10 can be made to be generally flat or can have curvature, with the material, size and color of the first, substrate panel 12 and the second panels 14 selected based on aesthetic and other requirements. The second panels 14 can be flat or can also have curvature, texture or the like to create a desired visual appeal. Also, the number of second panels 14 per first, substrate panel 12 can be selected based on aesthetic and other design considerations. Between the construction panels, sealing means such as sealant material or gaskets 40 (as shown in FIG. 3) can be used if desired to provide for improved waterproofing and weatherproofing.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional detail view showing an exemplary embodiment of an spacer 16 for holding a first, substrate panel 12 together with a second panel 14 in a spaced-apart manner to create an airspace 18 therebetween. The spacers 16 can comprise, for example, a number of metal studs 42 affixed (e.g. welded) to a lower surface 44 of the second panels 14. The stud 42 can have a threaded end 46 which will be passed through a hole 48 in the first, substrate panel 12. A separator 50 will be located on the stud 42 between the second panels 14 and the first, substrate panel 12. A washer 52 will preferably be placed on an upper surface 54 of the first, substrate panel 12 and a nut 56 threaded onto the threaded end 46 will be used to hold the parts together. Thus, depending on the length of the stud 42 and height of the separator 50, the height of the airspace 18 can be adjusted. Instead of using studs 42 welded to the upper surface of the second panels 14, bolts can also be passed through a hole through the second panel (not shown), adhesive can be used to hold the panels together, or other mechanical devices can be used. Shown placed between the first, substrate panel 12 and the second panel 14 is an optional layer of material 58, such as fire retardant material.

One advantage of providing a construction panel as described above is that the second panel can be formed of relatively thin and costly materials, with the first, substrate panel 12 providing structure support for the second panels 14, thereby allowing a designer great flexibility in creating a desired visual and architectural effect that could not otherwise be achieved with panels formed of single panels.

Although embodiments of the present invention have been described in detail hereinabove in connection with certain exemplary embodiments, it should be understood that the invention is not limited to the disclosed exemplary embodiments, but, on the contrary is intended to cover various modifications and/or equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the present invention, as defined in the appended claims.