Title:
Insulated Concrete Wall Section Form
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A system, method, and apparatus for forming insulated concrete structures, using a foam panel and lightweight cementious type of material as forms. The assembled forms are then preferably placed into position to form a wall and/or roof type of structure which then has concrete or another cementious type of material filled into at least some of the voids formed in the forms.



Inventors:
Montoya, Robert (Albuquerque, NM, US)
Ciling, Sammy (Temecula, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/138344
Publication Date:
03/12/2009
Filing Date:
06/12/2008
Assignee:
MIGHTY WALL INDUSTRIES CORPORATION (Albuquerque, NM, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/742.14, 52/425
International Classes:
E04B2/86; E04B2/02; E04C1/41; E04C2/288
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
SADLON, JOSEPH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mighty Wall Industries Corporation (Albuquerque, NM, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A form comprising: a spacer panel attached to a support panel with an adhesive; and said spacer panel comprising one or more voids therebetween prior to a form-setting material being deposited into said one or more voids.

2. The form of claim 1 wherein said spacer panel comprises an expanded foam material.

3. The form of claim 1 wherein said support panel comprises gypsum.

4. The form of claim 1 wherein said spacer panel comprises a plurality of spacers and grooves.

5. The form of claim 1 wherein said spacer panel comprises a chase disposed therein.

6. The form of claim 1 wherein said form comprises one or more alignment structures.

7. A form comprising: a spacer panel attached to a support panel by a portion of said spacer panel being embedded within said support panel; and one or more voids therebetween prior to a form-setting material being deposited into said one or more voids.

8. The form of claim 7 wherein said spacer panel comprises an expanded foam material.

9. The form of claim 7 wherein said support panel comprises gypsum.

10. The form of claim 7 wherein said spacer panel comprises a plurality of spacers and grooves.

11. The form of claim 7 wherein said spacer panel comprises a chase disposed therein.

12. The form of claim 7 wherein said form comprises one or more alignment structures.

13. A form comprising: a spacer panel comprising one or more spacers and one or more grooves; a support panel attached to said spacer panel; one or more voids provided between said spacer panel and said support panel, said voids formed from said grooves; and said spacer panel and said support panel constructed from different materials.

14. The form of claim 13 wherein said spacer panel comprises an expanded foam material.

15. The form of claim 14 wherein said expanded foam material comprises expanded polystyrene foam.

16. The form of claim 13 wherein said spacer panel is attached to said support panel with an adhesive.

17. The form of claim 13 wherein said spacer panel is attached to said support panel by the support panel being formed around an end portion of at least one of said spacers.

18. The form of claim 13 further comprising an alignment structure selected from a joint consisting of a lap joint, a tongue and groove joint, a mortise and tenon joint, a biscuit joint, a finger joint, a box joint, a dove tail joint, and combinations thereof.

19. A method for creating a structural building component comprising: providing a form having a support panel attached to a spacer panel, the spacer panel comprising one or more spacers extending from a surface thereof, the spacers made from substantially the same material as the spacer panel; erecting the form at a jobsite; filling the form with a form-setting material; and allowing the form-setting material to harden.

20. The method of claim 19 wherein the form is left in place after the form-setting material has hardened, thus forming a portion of the structure being constructed.

21. The method of claim 19 further comprising disposing one or more reinforcing members within the form.

22. The method of claim 19 further comprising providing a chase within the form.

23. The method of claim 19 wherein erecting the form at a job site comprises aligning at least two forms with one another via an alignment structure.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to and the benefit of the filing of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/943,450, entitled “Insulated Concrete Wall Section Form”, filed on Jun. 12, 2007, and the specification thereof is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention (Technical Field)

The present invention relates to a form system which enables a user to rapidly and efficiently produce a concrete or other form-setting reinforced structural member having an insulated exterior portion.

2. Description of Related Art

Concrete forms, including those made from an insulative material, such as expanded polystyrene foam, have been known for some time. The problem with known forms, however, is that they are often difficult and/or time consuming to stack together or otherwise assemble. Further, known concrete forms for use in the construction of buildings and the like do not incorporate and thus provide an interior surface which can be quickly, easily, and inexpensively finished. U.S. Pat. No. 5,172,533 to Gibbar, Jr. for example, teaches a panel which requires a user to cut grooves into a slab of expanded polystyrene foam, lay reinforcing members into the grooves, close off the ends of the grooves, fill the grooves with a concrete, allow the concrete to harden, then glue an outer panel onto it, before it can be transported to the jobsite and erected. Of course this entire procedure is very time consuming and even when the panel is finally produced, the procedure forces a user to transport and then attempt to position into place the very heavy panel.

There is thus a need for a concrete form, particularly for the construction of buildings and the like, which not only provides an insulating effect, but which also enables a user to quickly, easily, and inexpensively finish interior portions of buildings and the like so constructed while simultaneously providing a user with the ability to fill the form while it rests in its intended position.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An embodiment of the present invention comprises a form having a spacer panel attached to a support panel with an adhesive and comprising one or more voids therebetween prior to a form-setting material being deposited into the one or more voids. The spacer panel can be made from an expanded foam material, including but not limited to an extruded polystyrene foam. The support panel can be made of various materials, including but not limited to gypsum. The spacer panel preferably has a plurality of spacers and grooves on at least one of its surfaces and one or more wire chases disposed therein. The form can also have one or more alignment structures, including but not limited to a lap joint, a tongue and groove joint, a mortise and tenon joint, a biscuit joint, a finger joint, a box joint, a dove tail joint, and combinations thereof.

An embodiment of the present invention also comprises a form having a spacer panel attached to a support panel and forming one or more voids therebetween prior to form-setting material being deposited into the one or more voids. The spacer panel may be attached to the support panel by a portion of the spacer panel being embedded within the support panel.

Another embodiment of the present invention comprises a form having a spacer panel with one or more spacers and one or more grooves, a support panel attached to the spacer panel, one or more voids provided between the spacer panel and the support panel, the voids formed from the grooves; and the spacer panel and the support panel constructed from different materials. The spacer panel can be attached to the support panel by the support panel being formed around an end portion of at least one of the spacers.

An embodiment of the present invention also comprises a method for creating a structural building component which includes providing a form having a support panel attached to a spacer panel, the spacer panel having one or more spacers extending from a surface thereof, the spacers made from substantially the same material as the spacer panel; erecting the form at a jobsite; filling the form with a form-setting material; and allowing the form-setting material to harden.

In the method, the form can be left in place after the form-setting material has hardened, thus forming a portion of the structure being constructed. The method can also include disposing one or more reinforcing members within the form; and/or providing a wire chase within the form. Two or more forms can be erected at job site and aligned with one another via an alignment structure.

Objects, advantages and novel features, and further scope of applicability of the present invention will be set forth in part in the detailed description to follow, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, and in part will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon examination of the following, or may be learned by practice of the invention. The objects and advantages of the invention may be realized and attained by means of the instrumentalities and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated into and form a part of the specification, illustrate one or more embodiments of the present invention and, together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention. The drawings are only for the purpose of illustrating one or more preferred embodiments of the invention and are not to be construed as limiting the invention. In the drawings:

FIGS. 1-3 are perspective view drawings illustrating embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view drawing illustrating a spacer panel according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIGS. 5 and 6 are end view drawings illustrating an embodiment of a form of the present invention;

FIGS. 7 and 8 are perspective, end-view drawings illustrating a squared corner section and a rounded corner section according to embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view drawing illustrating a squared corner section disposed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention;

FIGS. 10 and 11 are end view drawings of an embodiment of the present invention illustrating most preferred dimensions for some aspects of that embodiment;

FIG. 12 is a side-view, perspective drawing illustrating an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 13 illustrates an embodiment of the present invention wherein hardened material-filled forms, according to an embodiment of the present invention, are supporting a roof structure;

FIG. 14 illustrates an embodiment of the present invention wherein hardened material-filled forms, according to an embodiment of the present invention, are supporting a roof structure and wherein side panels have a mesh pre-applied thereto;

FIG. 15 is a drawing illustrating a side-view of a panel having a spacer panel is glued to a support panel;

FIG. 16 is a drawing illustrating a side-view of a panel having openings for a wire chase disposed within the spacer panel;

FIG. 17 is a drawing illustrating a top-view of a panel having an opening for a wire chase disposed within the spacer panel; and

FIG. 18 is a drawing illustrating a front view of a panel wherein wire chases are disposed within the panel.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

An embodiment of the present invention is directed to a concrete form structure, particularly a lightweight concrete form structure which enables a user to rapidly create insulated concrete-reinforced structural members.

The terms “concrete”, “cement” and “cementious material” are used interchangeably throughout this application and are intended to include any type of structural material which can be disposed within a form while in at least a substantially liquid form and which can then either harden or be hardened into an at least substantially solid material. Accordingly, the terms “concrete”, “cement” and “cementious material” include but are not limited to all known types and formulations of concretes and plasters. The term “form-setting materials” is also intended to include and used interchangeably with “concrete”, “cement” and “cementious materials”, and additionally includes plastics, resins, and any other materials which can flow and harden into a solid material.

Referring now to the Figures, according to an embodiment of the present invention, form 10 preferably comprises spacer panel 12 attached to support panel 14. Spacer panel 12 preferably comprises spacers 16 and grooves 18. In one embodiment, spacer panel 12 is most preferably formed from a material known to exhibit thermal insulating properties. In a most preferred embodiment, spacer panel 12 is preferably formed from an expanded or extruded polystyrene or foam-rubber material. Although spacer panel 12 can be constructed to comprise virtually any length, width, and height, in a most preferred embodiment, spacer panel 12 comprises a length and width suitable for use in wall panels. For example, in one embodiment, spacer panel 12 comprises a length of from about 7.5 feet to about 14 feet tall, and a width of from about 3 to about 4 feet. Upon studying this application, those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that spacer panel 12 can comprise almost any height as determined by any given application. In a preferred embodiment, spacer panel 12 most preferably comprises a height of about 1 inch to about 24 inches, and spacer panel 12 most preferably comprises a height of from about 4 inches to about 12 inches.

Support panel 14 is most preferably made from a light-weight form-setting material. Although in one embodiment support panel 14 is most preferably made from a light-weight form-setting material which has a very short set time. Support panel 14 can be formed from any material known to those skilled in the art to be useful in the construction of a form and can include any form-setting material, e.g. cement, concrete, plastics, resins, etc. Although support panel 14 can also be constructed to virtually any length and width, support panel 14 preferably comprises a length and width substantially similar to that of a corresponding spacer panel 12 which attaches thereto. In addition, although the thickness of support panel 14 can be selected to provide the most desirable results for a given application, the thickness of support panel 14 is preferably from about one half of an inch to about 4 inches, and most preferably from about 1 inch to about 2 inches. Because an embodiment of the present invention wherein a portion of one or more spacers 16 are embedded into support panel 14 comprises a support panel 14 which is most preferably made from a light-weight form-setting material, the mass of resulting form 10 is preferably substantial enough to permit form 10 to be placed in an upright position and remain in that position, with little or no bracing, until filled with a form-setting material.

In one embodiment, as best illustrated in FIG. 6, form 10 is most preferably provided by inserting, at least partially, the tips of one or more spacers 16 of spacer panel 12 into support panel 14 before the material from which support panel 14 is made has set into its solid form. In this embodiment, one or more protrusions 20 are preferably disposed at or near terminal ends of spacers 16. One or more protrusions 20 preferably enable the wet form-setting material of support panel 14 to flow around them, thus causing protrusions 20 to become embedded into the wet form-setting material and when the wet form-setting material has hardened, thus fixedly attaching spacer panel 12 to support panel 14.

In a most preferred embodiment, support panel 14 preferably comprises a flat clean exterior surface, which most preferably forms an interior surface of a structure and which readily enables a user to apply texture or coating thereto, or alternatively, to simply paint, stain or coat support panel 14, thus eliminating the need for installation of drywall or another material and thus facilitating the rapid finishing of buildings constructed from the forms of the present invention.

In one embodiment, one or more corner sections 22 are preferably provided. Although corner sections 22 can comprise a rounded, square, or flattened shape, virtually any shape can be provided. As best illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8, corner sections 22 most preferably comprise a rounded or square shape. In this embodiment, when a plurality of form-setting material forms 10 are arranged to create a corner, one or more corner sections 22 are preferably abutted thereto as illustrated in FIG. 9. Upon studying this application, those skilled in the art will recognize multiple ways in which corner section 22 can be held against form-setting material forms 10, including tie wire, buttressing braces, scab braces, other braces, and the like. As further illustrated in FIG. 9, rebar 24 is preferably disposed within forms 10 prior to being filled with concrete or another form-setting material 26.

Because a preferred embodiment of the present invention results in the concrete (or other form-setting material) portion residing in an interior side of the insulative spacer panel 12, for a building constructed from forms 10, the thermal mass of the material thus resides within the insulative shell of the building and therefore provides a more stable temperature controlled environment which is less susceptible to temperature cycles associated with a warmer daytime temperature and a cooler nighttime temperature.

In one embodiment, the grid pattern formed by the voids between spacer panel 12 and support panel 14 fully complies with and/or exceeds the requirements of the “SCREEN-GRID ICF” as defined in the International Residential Code. In this embodiment, at least one length of ⅜″ rebar is preferably disposed within each row and column of voids created by spacer panel 12 and support panel 14. And in this embodiment, the spacing of each void preferably meets and/or exceeds construction standards. Further, FIGS. 10 and 11 illustrate dimensions commensurate with a most preferred embodiment of the present invention. As illustrated therein, a most preferred width and/or height of each row and column formed between spacer panel 12 and support panel 14 is most preferably about 6 inches. Further, the most preferred thickness of an outer portion of spacer panel 12 is preferably about 2¾″ but can, of course, be adjusted to provide higher or lower insulation values for a particular application.

In an alternative embodiment of the present invention, spacer panel 12 of form 10 can comprises an additional flat panel, which is also preferably formed from a quick-setting, lightweight form-setting material, disposed on a front face thereof. As with support panel 14, the additional support panel can optionally be fixedly attached to spacer panel 12 via one or more protruding members around which the additional support panel hardens, or it can be attached with an adhesive. Alternatively, or in addition thereto, one or more pitted or otherwise hollow recesses can optionally be formed into a front face of spacer panel 12, thus enabling portions of the additional support panel, if applied in at least substantially liquid form, to flow therein prior to hardening. By providing the additional support panel on a front face of spacer panel 12, a user can quickly and easily finish an exterior surface of a structure formed therefrom.

Because of the waffle-shaped, rebar-reinforced, concrete (or other material) portion which is provided by filling the forms of the present invention with rebar and material, the resulting wall portions, having an insulative outer surface and most preferably a readily finishable interior surface, are thus capable of supporting substantial loads. The wall sections of the building can themselves thus provide load-bearing structure, capable of supporting upper floors and/or a roof, as illustrated in FIG. 13. In this embodiment, roof panels 40 most preferably comprise spacer panel 42, which is most preferably formed from a material known to exhibit thermal insulating properties. In a most preferred embodiment, spacer panel 42 is preferably formed from an expanded or extruded polystyrene or foam-rubber material and panels 40 most preferably comprise dimensions which are suitable for forming roof panels 40. Panels 40 can comprise dimensions similar to those of wall panels 10. Spacer panel 42 preferably comprise one or more channels 44. In a preferred embodiment, a plurality of reinforcing members, such a rebar or concrete wire are preferably arranged on spacer panel 42 before lightweight cementious or other material 46 is poured and/or formed onto at least a portion of spacer panel 42, thus providing a structural rigidity to roof panel 40. After roof panels 40 are placed on the top of a structure, forms are preferably placed against one or more spacer panels 40 before a material is disposed within recessed areas 48 formed by spacer panels 42 and material 46.

In one embodiment, illustrated in FIG. 14, panel 10 optionally comprises exterior mesh 30 for example a fiberglass mesh, and a base coat across a substantial surface area of at least one side of panel 10, thus eliminating the additional steps needed for application of exterior lathe and base coat and greatly reduces the amount of labor required to complete construction. In this embodiment, mesh 30 is most preferably applied along an entire length of panel 10, but does not extend all the way to each side thereof. Accordingly, after placing panels 10, a user need only apply strips of mesh where two panels meet 32, thus locking the panels together and greatly reducing installation labor. In one embodiment, form-setting material placed within the voids hardens and the panel is thus installed, the insulated form-setting material form's exterior face is preferably coated with a fiberglass mesh applied with an adhesive ground coat followed by a stucco color coat or other finish. An acrylic stucco color coat, acrylic paint or other paint, stain or coating can be used to coat the exterior of the finished structure created with panels 10. Stone and masonry products can be attached to the exterior face of the product. Wooden furring strips are preferably attached to the wall by embedding screws into the form-setting material cavity prior to pouring form-setting material therein, or another type of form-setting material attachment product is preferably provided to connect furring strips to the form-setting material core. The siding can be attached to the furring strips by conventional methods.

As best illustrated in FIG. 15, in an alternative embodiment of the present invention, spacer panel 12 is preferably attached directly to support panel 14 with an adhesive. In this embodiment, support panel 14 is preferably a pre-formed panel having dimensions as previously discussed. While support panel 14 can comprise a form-setting type of material, in this embodiment, support panel 14 is most preferably a panel formed from a gypsum type of material, such as a sheet of drywall.

FIGS. 16-18 illustrate an embodiment of the present invention wherein spacer panel 12 comprises one or more wire chases 50 disposed therein. While the number, size, shape, and location of wire chases 50 can be adjusted to fit any particular application, as one non-limiting example, spacer panel 12 preferably comprises horizontal wire chases at a height for electrical wall-sockets, and for light switches which are respectively provided at a height of from about six inches from a bottom edge of an erected panel section to a height of about 1 foot and from a height of about three and one-half feet from a bottom of an erected panel to a height of about four and one-half feet. Spacer panel 12 also optionally comprises vertically arranged wire chases positioned from an upper portion of an erected panel to an intersecting horizontal wire chase and most preferably are spaced about every two to about every four linear feet of a wall formed from panels 10. In one embodiment, wire chases 50 are cut into spacer panel 12 with a hot-knife having a ring-type of blade, and the resulting cut-away portion, having a substantially circular cross-section—formed from the ring-type blade, is then preferably pulled from panel 12 as a an elongated rod-type member. Of course other methods can be used to create a void in panel 12 for use as wire chase 50 as those skilled in the art will readily appreciate upon studying this application. Wire chase 50 permits a user to run wires through panel 10 without the use of a conduit prior to, or after concrete or other form-setting material has been disposed within panel 10.

As is also best illustrated in FIGS. 16 and 17, spacer panels 12 also optionally comprise one or more alignment structures 52 disposed on one or more sides of spacer panel 12. Although alignment structures 52 are illustrated as being a protrusions and/or rounded recesses, the particular shape of structures 52 are not essential, but are preferably shaped such that adjacently disposed panels 10 can mate with one another, thus enabling a user to quickly align the adjacently disposed panels with one another. Other types of alignment structures that can also optionally be used and will produce desirable results for various applications include but are not limited to: a lap joint, a tongue and groove joint, a mortise and tenon joint, a biscuit joint, a finger joint, a box joint, a dove tail joint, and combinations thereof.

Because preferred embodiments of the present invention comprise spacer panel 12 already attached to support panel 14, forms according to embodiments of the present invention can be filled while standing in a vertical or substantially vertical position such that the form-setting material can be poured into form 12 where a wall is desired, thus avoiding the need to transport and/or erect a heavy panel which already has been filled with concrete or another form-setting material.

In one embodiment, form 10 comprises only spacer panel 12 attached to support panel 14 and does not comprise additional panels or sheets. According to one embodiment of the present invention, form 10 is designed and/or intended to be left in place after hardening of the concrete or other form-setting material, thus forming a portion of the completed wall or roof structure. One embodiment of the present invention does not rely on the use of metal and/or plastic components for attaching support panel 14 to spacer panel 12. Although spacer panel 12 is most preferably made from an expanded polystyrene foam material, other materials, including plastics and expanded foams can also be used and will provide desirable results.

Although consistently referred to as “flat panel 14”, this is done merely for simplicity and to refer to a most preferred embodiment. Accordingly, the physical shape of flat panel 14 is not intended to be limited only to flat and substantially flat shapes, but rather can comprise any shape capable of attaching to spacer panel 12. Thus, this panel is also referred to herein as a “support panel.”

Although the invention has been described in detail with particular reference to these preferred embodiments, other embodiments can achieve the same results. Variations and modifications of the present invention will be obvious to those skilled in the art and it is intended to cover in the appended claims all such modifications and equivalents. The entire disclosures of all references, applications, patents, and publications cited above are hereby incorporated by reference.