Title:
Drywalls Joint
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A drywall joint, suitable for joining dry wall panels of wall and ceiling structures, wherein each drywall panel has an outer surface and an opposite inner surface, the joint including: (a) an outer joint section, extending at least partially the height of and being disposed against the outer surface of the drywall panels; (b) an inner joint section, extending at least partially the height of and being disposed against the inner surface of the drywall panels; and (c) connectors for coupling the outer and inner joint sections together so as to sandwich the drywall panels between the outer and inner joint sections, the connectors including: i. first engagement formations on one of the outer and inner joint sections, and ii. correspondingly positioned second engagement formations on the other of the inner and outer joint sections, the first engagement formations being so positioned and shaped that they pass through the dry wall panels to inter engage with the second engagement formations in the other of the inner and outer joint sections when the outer and inner joint sections are coupled together.



Inventors:
Hamilton Banks, John George (Alberton, ZA)
Application Number:
12/083862
Publication Date:
05/28/2009
Filing Date:
10/31/2006
Assignee:
LAFARGE PLATRES (CEDEX, FR)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/718.04
International Classes:
E04B1/38
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
QUAST, ELIZABETH A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BUCHANAN, INGERSOLL & ROONEY PC (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A drywall joint, suitable for joining dry wall panels of wall and ceiling structures, wherein each drywall panel has an outer surface and an opposite inner surface, the joint comprising: (a) an outer joint section, extending at least partially the height of and being disposed against the outer surface of the drywall panels; (b) an inner joint section, extending at least partially the height of and being disposed against the inner surface of the drywall panels; and (c) connectors for coupling the outer and inner joint sections together so as to sandwich the drywall panels between the outer and inner joint sections, the connectors comprising: i. first engagement formations on one of the outer and inner joint sections, and ii. correspondingly positioned second engagement formations on the other of the inner and outer joint sections, the first engagement formations being so positioned and shaped that they pass through the dry wall panels to inter engage with the second engagement formations in the other of the inner and outer joint sections when the outer and inner joint sections are coupled together.

2. The drywall joint of claim 1, wherein the first engagement formations comprise tongue formations on one of the outer and inner joint sections and the second engagement formations comprise grooves on the other of the inner and outer joint sections, which grooves are complimentarily dimensioned to receive the tongue formations.

3. The drywall joint of claim 2, wherein the tongue formations define lateral hook or barb elements, lugs, or beads.

4. The drywall joint of claim 2, wherein the first engagement formations and the second engagement formations engage in a snap-fit fashion.

5. The drywall joint of claim 1, wherein the inner joint section is separate to the outer joint section.

6. The drywall joint of claim 1, wherein the inner joint section comprises an elongate body having legs so as to define an elongate body having a substantially U-shaped or square transverse cross-sectional profile.

7. The drywall joint of claim 6, wherein at least one groove is included in at least two legs of the U-shaped or square elongate body.

8. The drywall joint of claim 6, wherein the inner joint section is re-enforced at each corner zone between adjoining legs of the elongate body.

9. The drywall joint of claim 1, wherein the inner joint section comprises an elongate body having a U-shaped cross sectional profile and includes a spacer dimensioned to locate between and space the free ends of the inner joint section.

10. The drywall joint of claim 1, wherein the inner joint section is dimensioned matingly to engage a neighbouring inner joint section.

11. The drywall joint of claim 1, wherein the outer joint section includes a tongue formation and two legs laterally extending from the tongue formation, the tongue formation being dimensioned to locate in a groove provided in the inner joint section, and the legs beings dimensioned to locate against the outer surface of the dry wall panels.

12. The drywall joint of claim 11, wherein the tongue formation has a double head comprising a first bead, dimensioned and configured to locate in a groove provided on the inner joint section; a second bead, following the first bead; and the two legs laterally extending from the second bead of the tongue formation, the second bead serving as a groove for receiving the tongue formation of another abutting outer joint section.

13. The drywall joint of claim 1, wherein the drywall panels are adjoined in a side by side fashion such that one dry wall panel forms a junction with another drywall panel, the joint arrangement being such that: (a) the outer joint section is disposed against the outer surface of the dry wall panels at the junction; (b) the inner joint section is disposed against the inner surface of the drywall panels at the junction; and (c) the first engagement formations on one of the inner and outer joint sections are positioned and shaped such that they pass through the junction intermediate the drywall panels to inter engage with the second engagement formations in the other of the inner and outer joint sections for coupling the outer and the inner joint sections together.

14. The drywall joint of claim 1, wherein the drywall panels are arranged in an angular fashion relative to each other wherein one drywall panel forms a junction with another drywall panel at a corner zone such that: (a) two outer joint sections extend at least partially the height of the drywall panels and are disposed against the outer surfaces thereof at the corner zone; (b) the inner joint section extends at least partially the height of the drywall panels and is disposed against the two inner surfaces of the drywall panels at the corner zone; and (c) the first and second engagement formations inter engage such that the inner joint section is nestled in the corner zone.

15. The drywall joint of claim 1, wherein at least two drywall panels are joined in a parallel and abutting relationship to form a double walled structure, wherein each drywall panel has an outer surface and an opposite inner surface and wherein the panels are positioned such that the outer surface of a first drywall panel abuts the inner surface of a parallel and abutting second drywall panel, the arrangement being such that: (a) a first outer joint section is disposed against the outer surface of the first drywall panel; (b) an inner joint section is disposed against the inner surface of the first drywall panel; (c) the connectors are disposed for coupling the first outer joint section to the inner joint section to sandwich the first drywall panel between the first outer joint section and the inner joint section; and (d) a second outer joint section is disposed against the outer surface of the second drywall panel, the second outer joint section having engagement formations for inter engaging with the connectors provided on the first outer joint section in order to couple the first and second outer joint sections together thereby securing the second drywall panel there-between.

16. The drywall joint of claim 15, wherein the first outer joint section is provided with connectors comprising first engagement formations in the form of a tongue formation; and wherein the inner joint section is provided with connectors comprising second engagement formations in the form of a groove, such that the tongue formation of the first outer joint section passes through the first drywall panel to inter engage with the groove on the inner joint section.

17. The drywall joint of claim 15, wherein the engagement formations of the second outer joint section are provided in the form of a tongue formation which passes through the second drywall panel to inter engage with a tongue formation provided in the first outer joint section so as to couple the first and second outer joint sections to each other for securing the second drywall panel to the first drywall panel.

18. The drywall joint of claim 15, wherein at least two drywall panels are joined in a spaced relationship to each other to form a double walled structure, wherein each drywall panel has an outer surface and an opposite inner surface and wherein the panels are positioned such that the inner surfaces face each other, the arrangement being such that: (a) a first outer joint section is disposed against the outer surface of one drywall panel; (b) a second outer joint section is disposed against the outer surface of the other drywall panel; (c) the connectors are disposed for coupling the two outer joint sections to an intermediate inner joint section so as to sandwich each of the drywall panels between an outer joint section and the intermediate joint section, the connectors comprising: i. first engagement formations on either of the outer and the inner joint sections, and correspondingly positioned second engagement formations on the other of the inner and outer joint sections, the first engagement formations being so positioned and shaped that they pass through the drywall panels to inter engage with the second engagement formations in the other of the inner and outer joint sections when the outer and inner joint sections are coupled together.

19. A drywall joint substantially as herein described and exemplified, and/or described with reference to the accompanying figures.

Description:

INTRODUCTION

This invention relates to a joint and to components of such a joint for joining drywall panels and plasterboards of wall and ceiling structures in such a manner that it at least partially eliminates the need for nails, screws or the like fasteners.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

Drywall, which commonly consists of a thin layer of gypsum between two layers of heavy paper, is widely used for walls and ceilings in most buildings today because it is both faster and cheaper to install than brick, mortar and plaster. Drywall panels are commonly fastened to inside wall and ceiling frameworks of residential houses, offices and other buildings. In particular, edges of adjacent drywalls are butted together and fastened to the framework by means of nails or drywall screws to form so-called butt joints between adjacent panels.

After a drywall is installed, the butt joints are filled with a joint compound, which is spread into and along each side of the joint. Immediately afterwards paper tape, which is used to reinforce the drywall and to hide imperfections, are pressed into the wet compound, before excess material is smoothed away. Nail and screw depressions are also covered with joint compound, as are imperfections caused by the installation of air-conditioning vents and other fixtures. This tape coat is followed by a second and often third coat of the joint compound, with sanding of the treated areas where needed after each coat has completely dried to make them as smooth as the rest of the wall surface. The wall is subsequently painted or covered with wallpaper.

An alternative to paper tape is to use self-adhesive mesh or fiber tape which can be applied directly over the butt joints and which eliminates the need for initial joint filling, thus saving installation time and costs. However, a shortcoming of using mesh or fiber tape is that it results in a mechanically weaker joint than that which can be achieved with paper tape.

The use of nails and/or screws in joining drywall panels has a number of disadvantages and shortcomings that complicate a drywall erection process as a whole. Firstly, care must be taken not to fracture the drywall at a point where the nail or screw enters. Also, trying to pry out a bent nail from a drywall is likely to tear up more drywall than it's worth and as such one must be certain that each nail precisely enters the correct spot on a drywall for locating in a joist in the support frame. Use of certain nails may not hold firmly into the framing and may pop out later on, causing the drywall to become dislodged at least in part from the support frame.

A further disadvantage is that nails or screws can be forced too deeply into the drywall, causing the paper to break. The fasteners must be set just a little below the surface to leave a shallow dimple without breaking the paper on the drywall. This dimple gets filled with joint compound later. On the other hand, it also happens that fastener heads are not sunk deeply enough into the drywall, leaving an unsightly hump after application of the tape coat. Moreover, joint compound over the screw and nail heads shrink a little, and as such joint compound must be applied repeatedly to screw and nail heads to cover the same properly.

Yet a further disadvantage is that apertures resulting from nails and screws where they protrude through a drywall generally decrease fire performance of drywall structures at these locations. It is, inter alia, for this reason that manufacturers have very strict regulations about how many fasteners need to be used to attach drywall.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

It is accordingly an object of the present invention to provide a novel joint and components for such a joint for joining drywall panels and plasterboards of wall and ceiling structures in a manner that will overcome or at least minimize the disadvantages associated with prior art joining arrangements, or at the very least will provide a useful alternative to existing drywall joining means.

It is a particular object of the invention to provide a joint and associated components for joining drywalls in such a manner that it at least in part eliminates the need for nails, screws or the like fasteners.

It is yet a further object of the invention to provide a virtually screwless and nailless drywall joint and associated components that will permit the use of mesh or fiber tape or any other jointing tape or system to form a joint that is mechanically equivalent to or stronger than that which can be achieved with paper tape.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the invention there is provided a drywall joint suitable for joining drywall panels of wall and ceiling structures wherein each drywall panel has an outer surface and an opposite inner surface, the joint comprising

an outer joint section extending at least partially the height of and being disposed against the outer surface of the drywall panels;
an inner joint section extending at least partially the height of and being disposed against the inner surface of the drywall panels; and
connectors for coupling the outer and the inner joint sections together to sandwich the drywall panels between the outer and inner joint sections, the connectors comprising

    • first engagement formations on one of the outer and inner joint sections, and correspondingly positioned second engagement formations on the other of the inner and outer joint sections, the first engagement formations being so positioned and shaped that they pass through the drywall panels to inter-engage with the second engagement formations in the other of the inner and outer joint sections when the outer and inner joint sections are coupled together.

A plurality of panels may be joined in the above fashion.

For the purpose of this specification, the term “drywall” should be interpreted also to include and refer to plasterboard, sheetrock, wallboard, gypsum board, and the like. The term “panels” should be interpreted to include panels commonly used in the art for example wood panels and Nutec panels.

The joint may be adapted to adjoin adjacent drywall panels in a side-by-side fashion wherein one drywall panel forms a junction with another drywall panel, the joint arrangement being such that

the outer joint section is disposed against the outer surface of the drywall panels at the junction;
the inner joint section is disposed against the inner surface of the drywall panels at the junction; and
the first engagement formations of the connectors are so positioned and shaped that they pass through the junction intermediate the drywall panels to inter-engage with the second engagement formations in the other of the inner and outer joint sections for coupling the outer and the inner joint sections together.

In another embodiment of the invention the joint may be adapted to adjoin adjacent drywall panels in an angular fashion relative to each other wherein one drywall panel forms a junction with another drywall panel at a corner zone. In this embodiment two outer joint sections may extend at least partially the height and be disposed against the outer surfaces of the two drywall panels at the corner zone;

the inner joint section may extend at least partially the height and be disposed against the two inner surfaces of the drywall panels at the corner zone; and
the first and second engagement formations may inter-engage such that the inner joint section is nestled in the corner zone.

The first engagement formations may comprise tongue formations on one of the outer and inner joint sections, and the second engagement formations may comprise grooves on the other of the inner and outer joint sections that are complimentary dimensioned to receive the tongue formations therein. In particular, the second engagement formations may be grooves on the inner joint section and the first engagement formations may be tongue formations that extend from the outer joint section and engage in the grooves in the inner joint section. It will be appreciated that the engagement formations may comprise a single engagement formation, such as a single tongue formation and/or a single groove formation or may comprise a plurality of tongue formations and/or groove formations.

The tongue formations may define lateral hook or barb elements, lugs, or beads that engage the second engagement formations. The first and second engagement formations of the joint may engage in the form of a snap-fit.

The inner joint section may be separate from the outer joint section. In a preferred form of the invention the inner joint section extends the height of the drywall panel. The inner joint section may comprise an elongate body having a substantially U-shaped or square transverse cross-sectional profile.

The inner joint section may include at least one groove, extending the height of the inner joint section, in at least two legs, but preferably three legs of the U-shaped or square elongate body. The inner joint section may be reinforced at each corner zone between adjoining legs of the elongate body.

In the U-shaped embodiment of the inner joint section, the inner joint section may include a spacer dimensioned to locate between and space the free ends of the inner joint section to prevent the same from bending towards each other in use.

The inner joint section may be dimensioned matingly to engage a neighboring inner joint section, thus increasing the spacing between two parallel walls in a double-walled structure.

The outer joint section may include the tongue formation and two legs laterally extending from the tongue formation, the tongue formation being dimensioned to locate in the grooves on the inner joint section, and the legs being dimensioned to locate against the outer surface of drywall panels. In use, the arrangement may be such that the drywall panels are sandwiched between the legs of the outer joint section and the inner joint section.

The outer joint section may include a double-beaded tongue formation having a first bead, which is dimensioned to locate in the grooves on the inner joint section, a second bead following the first bead, and the two legs laterally extending from the second bead of the tongue formation, the arrangement being such that the second bead serves as a groove for receiving the tongue formation of an abutting other outer joint section. In particular, the arrangement may be such that the legs of a first outer joint section may be forced open by the tongue formation of a second outer joint section such that the first bead of the tongue formation of the second outer joint section locates in the second bead of the tongue formation of the first outer joint section.

More particularly, the joint may be adapted also to join at least two, but possibly more, parallel and abutting drywall panels to each other to form a double-walled structure, wherein each drywall panel has an outer surface and an opposite inner surface and wherein the panels are positioned such that the outer surface of a first drywall panel abuts the inner surface of a parallel second drywall panel, the arrangement being such that

a first outer joint section is disposed against the outer surface of the first drywall panel;

an inner joint section is disposed against the inner surface of the first drywall panel; connectors are disposed for coupling the first outer joint section to the inner joint section to sandwich the first drywall panel between the first outer joint section and the inner joint section, particularly the tongue formation of the first outer joint section passing through the first drywall panel to inter-engage with the grooves on the inner joint section;

a second outer joint section is disposed against the outer surface of the second drywall panel;
the tongue formation of the second outer joint section passing through the second drywall panel to inter-engage with the tongue formation of the first outer joint section, thus coupling the first and second outer joint sections to each other for securing the second drywall panel to the first drywall panel.

The joint may be adapted also to join at least two parallel drywall panels, as described in the immediately preceding paragraph, in spaced relationship to each other to form a double-walled structure, wherein each drywall panel has an outer surface and an opposite inner surface and wherein the panels are positioned such that the inner surfaces face each other, the arrangement being such that

a first outer joint section is disposed against the outer surface of one drywall panel;
a second outer joint section is disposed against the outer surface of the other drywall panel;
the inner joint section is disposed intermediate and against the inner surfaces of the two drywall panels;
the connectors are disposed for coupling the two outer joint sections to the intermediate inner joint section to sandwich each of the drywall panels between an outer joint section and the intermediate inner joint section, the connectors comprising

    • first engagement formations on either of the outer and the inner joint sections, and correspondingly positioned second engagement formations on the other of the inner and outer joint sections, the first engagement formations being so positioned and shaped that they pass through the drywall panels to inter-engage with the second engagement formations in the other of the inner and outer joint sections when the outer and inner joint sections are coupled together.

SPECIFIC EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

Without limiting the scope thereof, a few embodiments of the invention will now be described by way of example only and with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein—

FIG. 1 is an exploded isometric view of a joint according to a first embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded plan view of the joint of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an assembled isometric view of the joint of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an assembled plan view of the joint of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a plan view of a joint according to a second embodiment of the invention illustrating a wall arrangement wherein one drywall panel forms a junction with another drywall panel at a corner zone;

FIG. 6 is a plan view of a joint according to a third embodiment of the invention wherein two sets of drywall panels are arranged about a square inner joint section, such as when erecting workstations;

FIG. 7 illustrates how one inner joint section matingly engages a neighboring inner joint section to increasing the spacing between two parallel walls in a double-walled structure; and

FIGS. 8(a) to 8(d) illustrates a number of different embodiments of the outer joint section.

A drywall joint according to the invention is generally designated by reference numeral [10]. The joint [10] is adapted for joining drywall panels [12, 14, 16, 18] of wall and ceiling structures. Each drywall panel has an outer surface [12.1, 14.1, 16.1, 18.1] and an opposite inner surface [12.2, 14.2, 16.2, 18.2].

The joint [10] comprises an outer joint section [20] extending at least partially the height of and being disposed against the outer surface [12.1, 14.1, 16.1, 18.1] of the drywall panels [12, 14, 16, 18]. It also comprises an inner joint section [22] extending at least partially the height of and being disposed against the inner surface [12.2, 14.2, 16.2, 18.2] of the drywall panels.

The joint [10] further comprises connectors [20.1, 22.1] for coupling the outer and the inner joint sections [20, 22] together to sandwich the drywall panels [12, 14 and 16, 18] between the outer and inner joint sections [20, 22]. The connectors comprise first engagement formations [20.1] on one of the outer and inner joint sections [20, 22], and correspondingly positioned second engagement formations [22.1] on the other of the inner and outer joint sections [22, 20], the first engagement formations [20.1] being so positioned and shaped that they pass through the drywall panels [12, 14 and 16, 18] to inter-engage with the second engagement formations [22.1] in the other of the inner and outer joint sections [22, 20] when the outer and inner joint sections [20, 22] are coupled together.

The first engagement formations [20.1] comprise tongue formations [20.1] on one of the outer and inner joint sections [20, 22], and the second engagement formations [22.1] comprise grooves [22.1] on the other of the inner and outer joint sections [22, 20] that are complimentary dimensioned to receive the tongue formations [20.1] therein. In particular, the second engagement formations are grooves [22.1] on the inner joint section [22] and the first engagement formations [20.1] are tongue formations [20.1] that extend from the outer joint section [20] and engage in the grooves [22.1] in the inner joint section [22]. It will be appreciated that the engagement formations may be provided singularly or a plurality of formations may be provided to constitute the engagement formations.

It is envisaged that these engagement formations add strength to the joints apart from providing a simple and efficient way in which to join the panels.

The tongue formations [20.1] define lateral hook or barb elements, lugs, or beads, as illustrated, which engage the second engagement formations [22.1]. The first and second engagement formations [20.1, 22.1] of the joint [10] engage in the form of a snap-fit.

The inner joint section [22] is separate from the outer joint section [20]. In the illustrated embodiment of the invention both the inner joint section [22] and the outer joint section [20] extend the height of the drywall panel.

The inner joint section [22] comprises an elongate body [22.2] having a substantially U-shaped or square (see FIG. 6) transverse cross-sectional profile. It includes at least one groove [22.1] extending the height of the inner joint section [22], in at least two legs, but preferably three legs [22.5.1, 22.5.2, 22.5.3] of the U-shaped or square elongate body [22.2]. In the square-shaped embodiment of the inner joint section [22] of FIG. 6, the inner joint section [22] includes grooves [22.1] in each of the four legs of the inner joint section [22]. The inner joint section [22] may include reinforcement [22.3] (see FIG. 5) at each corner zone [22.4] between adjoining legs [22.5.1, 22.5.2 and 22.5.2, 22.5.3] of the elongate body [22.2].

In the U-shaped embodiment of the inner joint section [22], the inner joint section [22] may also include a spacer [24] (see FIGS. 4 and 5) dimensioned to locate between and space the free ends [22.6] of the inner joint section [22] to prevent the same from bending towards each other in use.

The outer joint section [20] includes the tongue formation [20.1] and two legs [20.3] laterally extending from the tongue formation [20.1], the tongue formation [20.1] being dimensioned to locate in the grooves [22.1] on the inner joint section [22], and the legs [20.3] being dimensioned to locate against the outer surface [12.1, 14.1, 16.1, 18.1] of the drywall panels. In use, the arrangement is such that the drywall panels are sandwiched between the legs [20.3] of the outer joint section [20] and the inner joint section [22].

FIGS. 1 to 4 illustrate the manner in which the joint [10] is adapted not only to adjoin adjacent drywall panels in a side-by-side fashion, but also to join two parallel panels in spaced relationship relative to each other. In these embodiments two drywall panels [12, 14 and 16, 18 respectively] form a junction and the outer joint section [20] passes through the junction intermediate the panels [12, 14 and 16, 18 respectively] to engage the inner joint section [22].

Referring now to the joint [10] between drywall panels [12, 14], which are arranged in side-by-side fashion, the outer joint section [20], and particularly the legs [20.3] of the outer joint section [20], is disposed against the outer surface [12.1, 14.1] of the drywall panels [12, 14] at the junction. The inner joint section [22] is disposed against the inner surface [12.2, 14.2] of the drywall panels [12, 14] at the junction. The tongue formations [20.1] of the outer joint section [20] are so positioned and shaped that they pass through the junction intermediate the drywall panels [12, 14] to inter-engage with the grooves [22.1] on the inner joint section [22] for coupling the outer and the inner joint sections [20, 22] together. It will be appreciated that the same arrangement is present between drywall panels [16, 18], which are also joined in side-by-side fashion.

The same joint [10] is adapted alternatively or simultaneously to join at least two sets of parallel drywall panels [12, 14 and 16, 18] in spaced relationship to each other to form a double-walled structure, wherein the drywall panels are positioned such that the inner surfaces [12.2, 14.2, 16.2, 18.2] face each other. In this arrangement a first outer joint section [20] is disposed against the outer surface [12.1, 14.1] of one set of drywall panels [12, 14]; a second outer joint section [20] is disposed against the outer surface [16.1, 18.1] of the other set of drywall panels [16, 18]; and the inner joint section [22] is disposed intermediate and against the inner surfaces [12.2, 14.2, 16.2, 18.2] of the two sets of drywall panels [12, 14, 16, 18]. The tongue formations [20.1] of the two opposing outer joint sections [20] pass through the junctions intermediate the drywall panels [12, 14 and 16, 18 respectively] to engage opposing grooves [22.1] on the inner joint section [22] for coupling the two outer joint sections [20] to the intermediate inner joint section [22], thereby sandwiching each of the drywall panels [12, 14 and 16, 18 respectively] between an outer joint section [20] and the intermediate inner joint section [22].

As can be seen in FIG. 7, the inner joint section [22] is adapted also matingly to engage a neighboring inner joint section [22] to increase the spacing between two parallel drywalls [12, 14 and 16, 18] in a double-walled structure. More particularly, the arrangement is such that the free ends [22.6] of one inner joint section [22] locate in the grooves [22.1] of the neighboring inner joint section [22] to maintain the inner joint sections [22] in spaced relationship. With this arrangement, it is possible to provide for double-walled structures of a various wall thicknesses by adding more inner joint sections [22].

FIG. 5 illustrates another embodiment of the invention where the joint [10] is positioned to adjoin adjacent drywall panels [12, 14] in an angular fashion relative to each other, wherein one drywall panel [12] forms a junction with another drywall panel [14] at a corner zone [26]. In this embodiment two outer joint sections [20] are disposed against the outer surfaces [12.1, 14.1] of the two drywall panels [12, 14] at the corner zone [26]. The inner joint section [22] is disposed against the two inner surfaces [12.2, 14.2] of the drywall panels [12, 14] at the corner zone [26] such that it is nestled in the corner zone [26]. The tongue formations [20.1] of the outer post sections [20] pass through apertures in the drywall panels [12, 14] and locate in grooves [22.1] on the inner joint section [22], while the legs [20.3] of the outer post sections [20] locate against the outer surfaces [12.1, 14.1] of the two drywall panels [12, 14].

FIG. 6 is an elaborate example of the joint [10] according to the invention, where the joint [10] has a square transverse cross-sectional profile and where it is engaged by four outer joint sections [20] at four sides of the inner joint section [22].

FIG. 8(a) illustrates an outer joint section [20] having a tongue formation [20.1] defined by a single bead with the legs [20.3] extending from the tongue formation [20.1]. FIGS. 8(b)-(d) illustrate outer joint sections [20] that each include a double-beaded tongue formation having a first bead [20.1], which is dimensioned to locate in the grooves [22.1] on the inner joint section [22], a second bead [20.2] following the first bead [20.2], and the two legs [20.3] laterally extending from the second bead [20.2]. In this embodiment, the second bead [20.2] serves as a groove for receiving the tongue formation [20.1] of an abutting other outer joint section [20].

This arrangement is illustrated in FIG. 4, which exemplifies use of the joint [10] alternatively or simultaneously to join at least two sets of, but possibly more, parallel and abutting drywall panels to each other to form a double-walled structure, wherein each drywall panel [12, 14, 30, 32] has an outer surface [12.1, 14.1, 30.1, 32.1] and an opposite inner surface [12.2, 14.2, 30.2, 32.2] and wherein the panels are positioned such that the outer surfaces [12.1, 14.1] of a first set of drywall panels [12, 14] abut the inner surfaces [30.2, 32.2] of a second set of parallel drywall panels [30, 32].

The arrangement is such that a first outer joint section [20] is disposed against the outer surfaces [12.1, 14.1] of the first set of drywall panels [12, 14]; and an inner joint section [22] is disposed against the inner surfaces [12.2, 14.2] of the first set of drywall panels [12.14]. The tongue formation [20.1] of the first outer joint section [20] pass through the first set of drywall panels [12, 14] to inter-engage with the grooves [22.1] on the inner joint section [22]. A second outer joint section [20] is disposed against the outer surface [30.1, 32.1] of the second set of drywall panels [30, 32] and the tongue formation [20.1] of the second outer joint section [20] pass through the second set of drywall panels [30, 32], forcing open the legs [20.3] of the first outer joint section [20] to inter-engage with the tongue formation [20.1] of the first outer joint section [20], thus coupling the first and second outer joint sections [20] to each other for securing the second set of drywall panels [30, 32] to the first set of drywall panels [12, 14]. More particularly, the legs [20.3] of the first outer joint section [20] are forced open by the tongue formation [20.1] of a second outer joint section [20] such that the first bead [20.1] of the tongue formation of the second outer joint section [20] locates in the second bead [20.2] of the tongue formation of the first outer joint section [20].

After the joint is in place, it is covered with mesh or fiber tape [34] to cover the joint. Although joint compound can first be applied to the joint and paper tape used equally well with this joint, it is anticipated that, because of its unique construction, the joint according to the invention will permit the use of mesh or fiber tape only (i.e. in the absence of joint compound) to form a joint that is mechanically equivalent to or stronger than that which can be achieved with paper tape.

Moreover, because of the fact that the joint of the invention does not make any apertures through the drywall panels, as is the case when nails or screws are used, it is also anticipated that the joint should increase fire performance of the drywall.

It is also possible to insert a sonic gasket between the inner and outer joint sections [20, 22], and particularly between the tongue formations [20.1] and the grooves [22.1] to enhance acoustic performance of wall and ceiling structures.

It will be appreciated that many other embodiments of the invention may be possible without departing from the spirit or scope thereof as set out in the consistory clauses.