Title:
Method and Apparatus for Using Foam Panels as Forms for Making Concrete Walls
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A foam panel concrete form is provided for using connectors which extend on each side of a joint in the foam panel concrete form and into complementary shaped openings in ties which hold two adjacent panels in a spaced and parallel relationship. The connector can pass into the openings in adjacent ties with little resistance in a first rotary position of the connector. After the connector is inserted a predetermined distance into the openings, then the connector is rotated to a second rotational position within the openings so that flanges of the connector are disposed on each side of respective ties and thereby hold adjacent ties and the adjacent foam panels in a substantially fixed relationship with respect to each other during a time when concrete is poured between the foam panels.



Inventors:
Boeshart, Patrick E. (Sioux City, IA, US)
Application Number:
12/350449
Publication Date:
04/30/2009
Filing Date:
01/08/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/655.1, 52/742.14
International Classes:
E04B2/96; E04B2/30; E04G21/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
CHILCOT, RICHARD E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STURM & FIX LLP (Des Moines, IA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. Apparatus comprising: a connector having a longitudinal axis and having a cross sectional shape transverse to the longitudinal axis, which cross sectional shape includes at least one cross sectional dimension thereof on one portion thereof which is larger than another cross sectional dimension thereof on another portion thereof, said another cross sectional shape on the another portion thereof being spaced from the first cross sectional shape of the first portion thereof along the longitudinal axis thereof, a first foam panel having at least one side disposed substantially in a first plane; a second foam panel having at least one side disposed substantially in a second plane which is substantially parallel to the first plane; a first tie having one portion thereof disposed in the first foam panel and a second portion thereof disposed in the second foam panel; a first opening disposed in the first tie, said first opening being approximately the same cross sectional shape as the cross sectional shape of the connector whereby the connector can pass into the first opening with little resistance in a first rotary position of the connector; a third foam panel having at least one side disposed substantially in the first plane; a fourth foam panel having at least one side disposed substantially in the second plane; a second tie having one portion thereof disposed in the third foam panel and a second portion thereof disposed in the fourth foam panel; a second opening disposed in the second tie, said second opening being approximately the same cross sectional shape as the cross sectional shape of the connector whereby the connector can pass into the second opening with little resistance in the first rotary position of the connector; and the connector having a second rotational position along the longitudinal axis within the first and second openings wherein the connector is in the first and second openings of the first and second ties and wherein at least a portion of the connector is disposed radially outwardly from the longitudinal axis more than for holding the first and second ties and the first, second, third and fourth panels in a fixed relationship with respect to each other during a time when concrete is poured between the first and second and the third and fourth foam panels.

2. A method of constructing a concrete form comprising: placing a first tie having one portion thereof disposed in a first foam panel and a second portion thereof disposed in a second foam panel; placing the first foam panel having at least one side disposed substantially in a first plane; placing the second foam panel having at least one side disposed substantially in a second plane which is substantially parallel to the first plane; providing a connector having a longitudinal axis and having a cross sectional shape transverse to the longitudinal axis, which cross sectional shape includes at least one cross sectional dimension thereof on one portion thereof which is larger than another cross sectional dimension thereof on another portion thereof, said another cross sectional shape on the another portion thereof being spaced from the first cross sectional shape of the first portion thereof along the longitudinal axis thereof; placing a first opening disposed in the first tie, said first opening being large enough whereby the connector can pass into the first opening with little resistance in a first rotary position of the connector; providing a second tie having one portion thereof disposed in a third foam panel and a second portion thereof disposed in a fourth foam panel; placing the third foam panel having at least one side disposed substantially in the first plane; placing the fourth foam panel having at least one side disposed substantially in the second plane; arranging to have a second opening disposed in the second tie, said second opening being approximately the same cross sectional shape as the first opening whereby the connector can pass into the second opening with little resistance in the first rotary position of the connector; placing the connector into the first and second openings of the first and second ties respectively in the first rotary position thereof; and rotating the connector to a second rotational position within the first and second openings wherein the connector is in the first and second openings of the first and second ties for holding the first and second ties and the first, second, third and fourth panels to be held in a fixed relationship with respect to each other during a time when concrete is poured between the first and second and the third and fourth foam panels and thereby serving to re-enforce the concrete after the concrete has cured.

3. Apparatus comprising: a connector having a longitudinal axis and having a cross sectional shape transverse to the longitudinal axis, which cross sectional shape includes at least one cross sectional dimension thereof on one portion thereof which is larger than another cross sectional dimension thereof on another portion thereof, said another cross sectional shape on the another portion thereof being spaced from the first cross sectional shape of the first portion thereof along the longitudinal axis thereof; a first foam panel having at least one side disposed substantially in a first plane; a second foam panel having at least one side disposed substantially in a second plane which is substantially parallel to the first plane; a first tie having one portion thereof disposed in the first foam panel and a second portion thereof disposed in the second foam panel; a first opening disposed in the first tie, said first opening being approximately the same cross sectional shape as the cross sectional shape of the connector whereby the connector can pass into the first opening with little resistance in a first rotary position of the connector; a third foam panel having at least one side disposed substantially in the first plane; a fourth foam panel having at least one side disposed substantially in the second plane; a second tie having one portion thereof disposed in the third foam panel and a second portion thereof disposed in the fourth foam panel; a second opening disposed in the second tie, said second opening being approximately the same cross sectional shape as the cross sectional shape of the connector whereby the connector can pass into the second opening with little resistance in the first rotary position of the connector; and the connector having a second rotational position along the longitudinal axis within the first and second openings wherein the connector is in the first and second openings of the first and second ties and wherein at least a portion of the connector is disposed radially outwardly from the longitudinal axis more than for holding the first and second ties and the first, second, third and fourth panels in a fixed relationship with respect to each other during a time when concrete is poured between the first and second and the third and fourth foam panels.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

This is a continuation in part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/774,707, filed Jul. 9, 2007 to a METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR USING FOAM PANELS AS FORMS FOR MAKING CONCRETE WALLS, from which priority is hereby claimed and which earlier patent application is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF TECHNOLOGY

The present invention relates generally to connectors for concrete wall forming systems of a type using foam panels; and more particularly to a special connector utilized to secure adjacent panel sections together.

BACKGROUND

While wall forming systems have been in use for many years, the last two decades has seen considerable development in this industry in the use of expanded polystyrene panels as forms for poured concrete walls. After the concrete has hardened, the panels may be left in place on the walls to serve as permanent insulation, or they may be stripped off to reveal the exposed concrete.

Upon introduction of this new wall forming system, it was found that it was unnecessary to use small “building blocks” to create the form panels to build a form system for receiving poured concrete. Rather, larger and larger panels are now being utilized to create the concrete forms. Developments in this field include U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,765,109 and 4,916,879 to Boeshart show how to make right angle corners and “T” intersections, which patents are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

Adjacent sections of foam panels have pre-formed mating tongue and groove connections that hold them together on the main portions of the foam panel sections. But sometimes these tongue and groove portions need to be trimmed off to make a foam panel form that is shorter than the length of a standard foam panel length. When this occurs it is necessary to find another way to hold adjacent foam panels together during the time that the concrete is being poured and cured. Solving this problem in the industry has been difficult and labor intensive, with many proposed solutions being not sufficiently reliable. Accordingly, there remains a need for solving this difficult problem.

SUMMARY

The present invention relates to a foam panel concrete form using connectors which extend on each side of a joint in the foam panel concrete form and into complementary shaped openings in ties which hold two adjacent panels in a spaced and parallel relationship. The connector can slide into the openings in adjacent ties with little resistance in a first rotary position of the connector. When the connector is rotated to a second rotational position within the openings, the connector is positioned in the openings to help hold adjacent ties and the adjacent foam panels in a fixed relationship with respect to each other during a time when concrete is poured between the foam panels.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the present invention providing a concrete form constructed of foam panels;

FIG. 2 is a top view of a connector made in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2a is a cross sectional view taken along line 2a-2a of FIG. 2;

FIG. 2b is a cross sectional view taken along line 2b-2b of FIG. 2;

FIG. 3 is a side view of the connector shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing the connector of FIGS. 2 and 3 in readiness to extend into an opening in a tie;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing the connector of FIGS. 2 and 3 located in an opening in a tie;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing the connector of FIGS. 2 and 3 located in the opening in the tie and turned 90 degrees to lock the connector to the tie;

FIG. 7 is a top view of the connector and tie shown in FIG. 5 and shows the tie connected to a form;

FIG. 8 is a top view of the connector and tie shown in FIG. 6, and also shows how the connector is pivoted from the position shown in FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a top view of the connector and tie shown in FIG. 8, and also shows how the connectors and ties are connecting sections of concrete forms that have been cut to a specific length. The connectors and ties hold the flat edges of the forms together while concrete is poured into the forms and over the ties and connectors;

FIG. 10 is a top view of the connector and tie similar to that shown in FIG. 9, except that in FIG. 10 the connectors and ties are connecting sections of concrete forms that have tongue and groove joints to help hold them together while concrete is poured into the forms and over the ties and connectors; and

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of FIG. 9 of the present invention shows ties molded into the foam panels to hold adjacent foam panels in a spaced parallel relationship and connectors placed on and in the ties to hold the form sections together and to reinforce the concrete after it has cured.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to the drawings wherein like reference numerals designate identical or corresponding parts throughout the several views, FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a preferred embodiment 10 of the present invention.

FIGS. 2, 2a, 2b and 3 show a connector 21 with a rear portion 21r, a leading flange or front portion 21e, a longitudinal centerline 21d, flanges 21f with spaces 21s there between. FIGS. 2a and 2b show cross sections 2a-2a and 2b-2b with dimensions “a” and “b”, dimension “a” being less than dimension “c” and more than “d” of the opening 16 shown in FIG. 4 and dimension “b” being less than the dimension “d” of opening 16 as shown in FIG. 4, i.e. a<c a>d b<d. This dimensional relationship of parts allows the procedures described below for use of the connectors 21 to work to hold the ties 11 in place while concrete is being poured into forms 10 comprised of panels 22. Applicant markets these connectors 21 under the trademark BLOCK LOCKS™.

These ties 11 shown in FIGS. 4-11 can be made of a solid plastic material which are preferably the same material as the ties in the two patents referred to above which are incorporated herein by reference. Each side of the tie 11 has a portion (not shown) which is molded inside of the panel 22, but of course could be the type that slips down into a groove in panels 22 if desired. Outer portions 13 have an opening 16 thereof which can be seen in greater detail in FIGS. 4-6, which will be discussed later. Inner portions 14 of the tie 11 extend between the outer portions 13 and have a plurality of extension tabs 14t thereon to allow an ultimate user to put one or more reinforcing rods 30 between adjacent tabs 14t, as shown in FIG. 11. This allows the concrete to be formed between the foam panels 22 and when it cures the connector 21 will be in a proper relationship. This helps to ensure that adjacent ties and adjacent foam panels are held in a substantially fixed relationship with respect to each other during a time when concrete is poured between the foam panels.

FIG. 10 shows that foam panels 22 have a tongue portion 22t on one edge and a groove portion 22g on the other edge thereof for mating with one another.

Referring now to FIGS. 9, 10 and 11 which show the top and bottom, respectively, of a form 10 comprised of two foam panels 22 being held in spaced relationship by a plurality of ties 11 which are formed therein and extend between the two forms 22. It is important to note that sometimes these forms 10 need to be trimmed to be shorter than the standard length as shown in FIG. 9 because the concrete wall needs to be shorter than a multiple of the length of such standard forms 10. When this occurs, the tongue portion 22t and groove portion 22g, for example as shown in FIG. 10, are trimmed off so that they are like shown in FIG. 9. A glue gun with hot glue (not shown) is applied to these planar edges and the adjacent flat edges of foam panels 22 are glued together. Once that has been done, there needs to be something more than merely glue to hold this joint 22s together when concrete is introduced, since the concrete exerts pressure on the panels 22 which tends to cause the joint 22s to come apart. Therefore, the connector 21 is introduced to reinforce the form 10 and is inserted in the step-by-step fashion shown in FIGS. 4-6.

Looking at FIG. 4 for example, the connector 21 in the orientation shown, can be slid through the opening 16 in the direction of the arrow. It is noted that when this is done, the top portion 21f of the connector 21 extends through the top portion 16t of the opening 16 in portion 13 of the tie 11. Similarly, the lower portion 21f of the connector 21 extends through the lower portion 16b of the opening 16. It will be appreciated that the connector 21 can easily pass into and through the opening 16 in this fashion as shown sequentially from FIG. 4 to FIGS. 5 and 7 in the direction of the arrow shown in FIG. 4. After the connector 21 has been passed through all of the openings at the joint shown in FIG. 11 with the joint 22s glued together, then the connector 21 is rotated 90° as shown sequentially from FIGS. 5 and 7 to FIGS. 6 and 8. This would typically be done by grasping the connector 21 by hand, which can be done easily without any tools because there is little or no friction involved, as contrasted from the procedure shown in parent U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/774,707. Once the connector 21 is so rotated to the position shown in FIGS. 6 and 8, this will hold the joint 22s together where it has been glued. In fact, it may not be necessary to apply the adhesive between the joint. For each of the openings 16 in the ties, for example as shown in FIGS. 2, 12 and 17, a connector 21 will be inserted in the manner shown sequentially in FIGS. 4-6. While it may not be necessary that every one of these openings 16 has a connector 21 therein, the more connectors 21 that are installed, the stronger the joint 22s or 22g and 22t will be. While the ties 11 of FIGS. 9-11 are shown spaced apart by the same amount, it will be understood that they could be spaced apart a shorter distance so that the ties 11 are in different spaces 21s than the ones shown in FIGS. 9-11. Or, of course the ties 11 could be spaced farther apart than shown in FIGS. 9-11 and the connector 21 could just be made longer to accommodate such increased spacing between adjacent ties 11.

Obviously many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that, within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.