Title:
FLOORING SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR INSTALLING INVOLVING A CORRUGATED MEMBER AND A PANEL FLOORING MEMBER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A first description of a flooring system includes; a corrugated member containing metal and having ribs and valleys; a panel flooring member positioned over the ribs; and a fastener attaching the flooring member to one of the ribs. Each rib has a maximum transverse width of three inches, and each valley has a maximum top transverse width of three inches with such valley-to-rib width ratio having a range from 1.0 to 3.5. A second description of a flooring system includes a panel flooring member and a corrugated member similar to those of the first flooring system, but without the dimensional specifications of the ribs and valleys of the first flooring system, and includes a screw attaching the flooring member to the rib, wherein the screw has a pair of upper wings and a pair of lesser-protruding lower wings. Methods are disclosed for installing the described flooring systems.



Inventors:
Doppler, Gregory E. (Loveland, OH, US)
Mcgill, Scott K. (Cincinnati, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/958655
Publication Date:
06/18/2009
Filing Date:
12/18/2007
Assignee:
CORNERSTONE SPECIALTY WOOD PRODUCTS, LLC (Cincinnati, OH, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/745.05
International Classes:
E04B5/21; E04G11/48
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
IHEZIE, JOSHUA K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THOMPSON HINE L.L.P. (DAYTON, OH, US)
Claims:
1. A method for installing a flooring system comprising the steps of: a) obtaining a corrugated member having a plurality of substantially parallel and longitudinally extending ribs and valleys, wherein the corrugated member contains metal, wherein each rib has a transverse width of up to three inches, wherein each valley has a top transverse width of up to three inches, wherein a ratio of the transverse top width of each valley to the transverse width of each adjoining rib has a range from 1.0 to 3.5, wherein each valley has a bottom, and wherein each rib has a substantially equal height above the bottom of each adjoining valley; b) obtaining a panel flooring member having top and bottom sides; c) disposing the panel flooring member over and in contact with the corrugated member with the bottom side of the panel flooring member contacting a multiplicity of the ribs of the corrugated member; d) obtaining a fastener; and e) attaching the panel flooring member to one of the ribs of the corrugated member using the fastener.

2. The method of claim 1, also including, after step e), exposing the top side of the panel flooring member to at least one of walking floor traffic and rolling floor traffic.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the ribs are substantially identical and the valleys are substantially identical, and wherein the corrugated member has a substantially constant thickness and the panel flooring member has a substantially constant thickness.

4. The method of claim 3, wherein the corrugated member consists essentially of steel, has a thickness of substantially 24 gage, and has a yield strength of substantially 80 ksi, and including, after step e), exposing the top side of the panel flooring member to rolling floor traffic having a dynamic rolling load of at least 350 psi.

5. The method of claim 3, wherein the corrugated member is a monolithic member, and wherein each rib has a plurality of undulations.

6. The method of claim 3, wherein the corrugated member is a monolithic member, and wherein each rib has a plurality of top indentations.

7. The method of claim 3, wherein the corrugated member is a monolithic member having a curved edge joining each rib to each adjoining valley.

8. The method of claim 3, wherein the fastener obtained in step d) is a screw, and wherein step e) inserts the screw first into the top side of the panel flooring member, then out through the bottom side of the panel flooring member, and then into the one rib of the corrugated member.

9. The method of claim 8, wherein the screw includes in serial flow relationship a counter-sinkable head, a pair of opposing upper wings, a threaded portion, a pair of opposing lower wings, and a drill bit, wherein the threaded portion radially extends more than the drill bit, wherein the lower wings radially extend more than the drill bit, at least as much as the threaded portion, and less than the upper wings, wherein the upper wings radially extend more than the threaded portion and less than the head, and wherein the lower wings are adapted to remain intact while passing through the panel flooring member and to break off upon encountering the one rib allowing the threaded portion to threadably engage the one rib during step e).

10. The method of claim 9, wherein the screw has a length which is less than the thickness of the panel flooring member plus the height of the one rib.

11. The method of claim 8, wherein the screw includes in serial flow relationship a counter-sinkable head, a pair of opposing upper wings, a threaded portion, a pair of opposing lower wings, and a drill bit, wherein the threaded portion radially extends more than the drill bit, wherein the lower wings radially extend more than the drill bit, at least as much as the threaded portion, and less than the upper wings, wherein the upper wings radially extend more than the threaded portion and less than the head, and wherein the lower wings are adapted to remain intact while passing through only a portion of the panel flooring member and to break off in the panel flooring member before encountering the one rib allowing the threaded portion to threadably engage the one rib during step e).

12. The method of claim 11, wherein the screw has a length which is less than the thickness of the panel flooring member plus the height of the one rib.

13. A flooring system comprising: a) a corrugated member having a plurality of substantially parallel and longitudinally extending ribs and valleys, wherein the corrugated member contains metal, wherein each rib has a transverse width of up to three inches, wherein each valley has a top transverse width of up to three inches, wherein a ratio of the transverse top width of each valley to the transverse width of each adjoining rib has a range from 1.0 to 3.5, wherein each valley has a bottom, and wherein each rib has a substantially equal height above the bottom of each adjoining valley; b) a panel flooring member having top and bottom sides, wherein the panel flooring member is disposed over and in contact with the corrugated member with the bottom side of the panel flooring member contacting a multiplicity of the ribs of the corrugated member; and c) a fastener attaching the panel flooring member to one of the ribs of the corrugated member.

14. The flooring system of claim 13, wherein the top side of the flooring panel member is exposed to at least one of walking floor traffic and rolling floor traffic.

15. The flooring system of claim 13, wherein the ribs are substantially identical and the valleys are substantially identical, and wherein the corrugated member has a substantially constant thickness and the panel flooring member has a substantially constant thickness.

16. The flooring system of claim 15, wherein the corrugated member consists essentially of steel, has a thickness of substantially 24 gage, and has a yield strength of substantially 80 ksi, and wherein the top side of the panel flooring member is exposed to rolling floor traffic having a dynamic rolling load of at least 350 psi.

17. The flooring system of claim 15 wherein the corrugated member is a monolithic member, and wherein each rib has a plurality of undulations.

18. The flooring system of claim 15 wherein the corrugated member is a monolithic member, and wherein each rib has a plurality of top indentations.

19. The flooring system of claim 15, wherein the corrugated member is a monolithic member having a curved edge joining each rib to each adjoining valley.

20. The flooring system of claim 15, wherein the fastener is a screw having an upper portion and a lower portion, wherein the upper portion is disposed in the panel flooring member and extends substantially the entire thickness of the panel flooring member, and wherein the lower portion threadably engages one of the ribs of the corrugated member.

21. The flooring system of claim 20, wherein the panel flooring member includes a through hole extending from the top side to the bottom side, wherein the screw includes in serial flow relationship a head disposed in the through hole and countersunk in the top side of the panel flooring member, a pair of opposing upper wings disposed in the through hole, a threaded portion threadably engaged with the one rib but not threadably engaged with the panel flooring member, a pair of locations of broken-off opposing lower wings, and a drill bit disposed below the one rib, wherein the through hole has a diameter below the upper wings which radially extends more than the drill bit, at least as much as the threaded portion, and less than the upper wings, and wherein the upper wings radially extend more than the threaded portion and less than the head.

22. The flooring system of claim 21, wherein the screw has a length which is less than the thickness of the panel flooring member plus the height of the one rib.

23. A method for installing a flooring system comprising the steps of: a) obtaining a corrugated member having a plurality of substantially parallel and longitudinally extending ribs and valleys, wherein the corrugated member contains metal, wherein each valley has a bottom, and wherein each rib has a substantially equal height above the bottom of each adjoining valley; b) obtaining a panel flooring member having top and bottom sides, wherein the panel flooring member has a substantially constant thickness; c) disposing the panel flooring member over and in contact with the corrugated member with the bottom side of the panel flooring member contacting a multiplicity of the ribs of the corrugated member; d) obtaining a screw including in serial flow relationship a counter-sinkable head, a pair of opposing upper wings, a threaded portion, a pair of opposing lower wings, and a drill bit, wherein the lower wings radially extend more than the drill bit, at least as much as the threaded portion, and less than the upper wings, and wherein the upper wings radially extend more than the threaded portion and less than the head; and e) attaching the panel flooring member to one of the ribs of the corrugated member using the screw by inserting the screw first into the top side of the panel flooring member, then out through the bottom side of the panel flooring member, and then into the one rib of the corrugated member with the threaded portion threadably engaged with the one rib.

24. The method of claim 23, wherein the screw has a length which is less than the thickness of the panel flooring member plus the height of the ribs.

25. The method of claim 23 also including, after step e), exposing the top side of the panel flooring member to at least one of walking floor traffic and rolling floor traffic.

26. The method of claim 23, wherein the lower wings are adapted to remain intact in the panel flooring member and to break off upon encountering the one rib of the corrugated member.

27. The method of claim 23, wherein the lower wings are adapted to remain intact while passing through only a portion of the panel flooring member and to break off in the panel flooring member before encountering the one rib of the corrugated member.

28. A flooring system comprising: a) a corrugated member having a plurality of substantially parallel and longitudinally extending ribs and valleys, wherein the corrugated member contains metal, wherein each valley has a bottom, and wherein each rib has a substantially equal height above the bottom of each adjoining valley; b) a panel flooring member having top and bottom sides, wherein the panel flooring member has a substantially constant thickness, wherein the panel flooring member is disposed over and in contact with the corrugated member with the bottom side of the panel flooring member contacting a multiplicity of the ribs of the corrugated member, and wherein the panel flooring member includes a through hole extending from the top side to the bottom side; and c) a screw including in serial flow relationship a head disposed in the through hole and countersunk in the top side of the panel flooring member, a pair of opposing upper wings disposed in the through hole, a threaded portion threadably engaged with one of the ribs of the corrugated member but not threadably engaged with the panel flooring member, a pair of locations of broken-off opposing lower wings, and a drill bit disposed below the one rib, wherein the through hole has a diameter below the upper wings which radially extends more than the drill bit, at least as much as the threaded portion, and less than the upper wings, and wherein the upper wings radially extend more than the threaded portion and less than the head.

29. The flooring system of claim 28, wherein the screw has a length which is less than the thickness of the panel flooring member plus the height of the one rib.

30. The flooring system of claim 28, wherein the top side of the flooring panel member is exposed to at least one of walking floor traffic and rolling floor traffic.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates generally to flooring systems and methods for installing flooring systems and more particularly to those systems and methods involving a corrugated member and a panel flooring member.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Conventional flooring systems include mezzanine flooring systems which provide one or more floor levels between the main floor and the main ceiling and are used, for example, in warehouses. The mezzanine floor typically is used by people with or without wheeled carts or wheeled pallet jacks to store goods on, and remove goods from, one or more shelf levels accessible from the mezzanine floor.

Conventional flooring-panel mezzanine flooring systems use 20 to 16 gage corrugated steel B or N type roof deck having parallel and longitudinally extending ribs and valleys. B-type roof deck has each rib have a transverse width equal to 3.50 inches and each valley have a top transverse width equal to 2.50 inches with a height of each rib above the bottom of each adjoining valley equal to 1.5 inches. N-type roof deck has each rib have a transverse width equal to 5.38 inches and each valley have a top transverse width equal to 2.62 inches with a height of each rib above the bottom of each adjoining valley equal to 3 inches. At least some of the valleys of the B or N type roof deck are attached to a structural mezzanine substructure or are attached to rack-supported or shelving-supported substructure at a height above a main floor. Tongue-and-groove wood-product flooring panels are then placed over the ribs of the B or N type roof deck. Typically, topside screws are used to attach a flooring panel to at least some of the ribs of the B or N type roof deck. Attachment by bottom-side screws is also known. U.S. Pat. No. 6,718,720 teaches attachment by a bottom-side radially-expanding fastener such as a rivet. Another flooring-panel mezzanine flooring system is known which uses a corrugated member having parallel and longitudinally extending 6 inch wide ribs and six inch wide valleys with a rib height of 7 to 8 inches, wherein each rib has 3 or 4 longitudinally-extending surface grooves which are about one-half of an inch across and about three-eighths of an inch deep.

A known topside screw design for attaching a wood-product flooring panel to a steel rib of B or N type roof deck includes in serial flow relationship a counter-sinkable head, a pair of opposing upper wings to help cut the flooring panel to counter-sink the head, a threaded portion to threadably engage the rib, a non-threaded portion at least substantially equal in length to the roof deck thickness to prevent thread-caused roof deck lift-up as a drill bit encounters the steel rib, and the drill bit to drill through the roof deck and then the rib.

A known topside screw design for attaching a wood-product flooring panel to a thick, non-corrugated steel, heavy gage support member includes in serial flow relationship a counter-sinkable head, a pair of opposing upper wings to help cut the flooring panel to counter-sink the head, a threaded portion to threadably engage the rib, a pair of opposing, less-radially-extending lower wings to widen the hole to prevent the threaded portion from threadably engaging the flooring panel to prevent thread-caused flooring panel lift-up as a drill bit encounters the steel support member, and the drill bit to drill through the roof deck and then the support member, wherein the lower wings break off when they encounter the thick, heavy gage support member.

Conventional concrete mezzanine flooring systems pour concrete over composite or non-composite steel deck, such as 18 to 24 gage, non-composite 1.5C type deck having parallel and longitudinally extending ribs and valleys. The 1.5C type deck has each rib have a transverse width equal to 1.75 inches and each valley have a top transverse width equal to 4.25 inches with a height of each rib above the bottom of each adjoining valley equal to 1.5 inches. Composite steel deck is fabricated to bond to the concrete so that the concrete and steel act together as a composite section. Non-composite steel deck serves strictly as a form for the concrete requiring reinforcing bars to be placed in the slab. Typically, enough concrete is poured to extend several inches above the ribs.

Conventional roofs include exposed corrugated roof deck, such as 16 to 24 gage steel 1.0E type roof deck having parallel and longitudinally extending ribs and valleys. The 1.0E type roof deck has each rib have a transverse width equal to 1.13 inches and each valley have a top transverse width equal to 2.87 inches with a height of each rib above the bottom of each adjoining valley equal to 1.0 inches.

What is needed is an improved flooring system and method for installing involving a corrugated member and a panel flooring member.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A first method of the invention is for installing a flooring system and includes steps a) through e). Step a) includes obtaining a corrugated member having a plurality of substantially parallel and longitudinally extending ribs and valleys, wherein the corrugated member contains metal, wherein each rib has a transverse width of up to three inches, wherein each valley has a top transverse width of up to three inches, wherein a ratio of the transverse top width of each valley to the transverse width of each adjoining rib has a range from 1.0 to 3.5, wherein each valley has a bottom, and wherein each rib has a substantially equal height above the bottom of each adjoining valley. Step b) includes obtaining a panel flooring member having top and bottom sides. Step c) includes positioning the panel flooring member over and in contact with the corrugated member with the bottom side of the panel flooring member contacting a multiplicity of the ribs of the corrugated member. Step d) includes obtaining a fastener. Step e) includes attaching the panel flooring member to one of the ribs of the corrugated member using the fastener.

A first expression of an embodiment of the invention is for a flooring system including a corrugated member, a panel flooring member, and a fastener. The corrugated member has a plurality of substantially parallel and longitudinally extending ribs and valleys, and the corrugated member contains metal. Each rib has a transverse width of up to three inches, and each valley has a top transverse width of up to three inches. A ratio of the transverse top width of each valley to the transverse width of each adjoining rib has a range from 1.0 to 3.5. Each valley has a bottom, and each rib has a substantially equal height above the bottom of each adjoining valley. The panel flooring member has top and bottom sides. The panel flooring member is positioned over and in contact with the corrugated member with the bottom side of the panel flooring member contacting a multiplicity of the ribs of the corrugated member. The fastener attaches the panel flooring member to one of the ribs of the corrugated member.

A second method of the invention is for installing a flooring system and includes steps a) through e). Step a) includes obtaining a corrugated member having a plurality of substantially parallel and longitudinally extending ribs and valleys, wherein the corrugated member contains metal, wherein each valley has a bottom, and wherein each rib has a substantially equal height above the bottom of each adjoining valley. Step b) includes obtaining a panel flooring member having top and bottom sides, wherein the panel flooring member has a substantially constant thickness. Step c) includes positioning the panel flooring member over and in contact with the corrugated member with the bottom side of the panel flooring member contacting a multiplicity of the ribs of the corrugated member. Step d) includes obtaining a screw including in serial flow relationship a counter-sinkable head, a pair of opposing upper wings, a threaded portion, a pair of opposing lower wings, and a drill bit, wherein the lower wings radially extend more than the drill bit, at least as much as the threaded portion, and less than the upper wings, and wherein the upper wings radially extend more than the threaded portion and less than the head. Step e) includes attaching the panel flooring member to one of the ribs of the corrugated member using the screw by inserting the screw first into the top side of the panel flooring member, then out through the bottom side of the panel flooring member, and then into the one rib of the corrugated member with the threaded portion threadably engaged with the one rib.

A second expression of an embodiment of the invention is for a flooring system including a corrugated member, a panel flooring member, and a screw. The corrugated member has a plurality of substantially parallel and longitudinally extending ribs and valleys, and the corrugated member contains metal. Each valley has a bottom, and each rib has a substantially equal height above the bottom of each adjoining valley. The panel flooring member has top and bottom sides. The panel flooring member has a substantially constant thickness. The panel flooring member is positioned over and in contact with the corrugated member with the bottom side of the panel flooring member contacting a multiplicity of the ribs of the corrugated member. The panel flooring member includes a through hole extending from the top side to the bottom side. The screw includes in serial flow relationship a head positioned in the through hole and countersunk in the top side of the panel flooring member, a pair of opposing upper wings positioned in the through hole, a threaded portion threadably engaged with one of the ribs of the corrugated member but not threadably engaged with the panel flooring member, a pair of locations of broken-off opposing lower wings, and a drill bit positioned below the one rib. The through hole has a diameter below the upper wings which radially extends more than the drill bit, at least as much as the threaded portion, and less than the upper wings. The upper wings radially extend more than the threaded portion and less than the head.

Several benefits and advantages are derived from one or more or all of the methods and expressions of an embodiment of the invention. In one example involving the first method and the first expression of an embodiment having the detailed dimensional description of the corrugated member, the configuration of the geometry of the corrugated member allows a thinner corrugated member to support a desired dynamic rolling load on the panel flooring member, using conventional topside screw fasteners, thereby substantially reducing the total cost of the flooring system without reducing the performance of the flooring system. In one example involving the second method and the second expression of an embodiment having the detailed description of the screw used to attach the panel flooring member to one of the ribs of the corrugated member, the configuration of the geometry of the screw allows a shorter screw to be used while still preventing panel-flooring-member lift-up, thereby preventing, in short height rib flooring systems, undesired contact of a screw positioned directly over a solid portion of the underlying substructure.

SUMMARY OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional, end elevational view of an embodiment of a flooring system of the invention showing a topside-screw-type fastener attachment of the panel flooring member of the flooring system to one rib of the corrugated member of the flooring system with the corrugated member supported on a solid portion of a substructure;

FIG. 2 is a top planar view of the corrugated member of FIG. 1 before the panel flooring member is disposed over the corrugated member;

FIG. 3 is an end elevational view of the corrugated member of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an end elevational view of a different corrugated member whose ribs have undulations;

FIG. 5 is an end elevational view of a different corrugated member whose ribs have top indentations;

FIG. 6 is an end elevational view of a different corrugated member having a curved edge joining each rib to each adjoining valley;

FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of the screw-type fastener of FIG. 1 before it is used to attach the panel flooring member to the one rib of the corrugated member; and

FIG. 8 is an enlarged view of a portion of FIG. 1 showing the screw-type fastener attaching the panel flooring member to the one rib of the corrugated member.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

It is noted that like parts are numbered alike throughout the figures. Referring now to the drawings, FIGS. 1-3 and 7-8 show an embodiment of the present invention. A first expression of the embodiment of FIGS. 1-3 and 7-8 is for a flooring system 10 including a corrugated member 12, a panel flooring member 14, and a fastener 16. The corrugated member 12 has a plurality of substantially parallel and longitudinally extending ribs 18 and valleys 20, and the corrugated member 12 contains metal. Each rib 18 has a transverse width 22 of up to three inches, and each valley 20 has a top transverse width 24 of up to three inches. A ratio of the transverse top width 24 of each valley 20 to the transverse width 22 of each adjoining rib 18 has a range from 1.0 to 3.5. Each valley 20 has a bottom 26, and each rib 18 has a substantially equal height 28 above the bottom 26 of each adjoining valley 20. The panel flooring member 14 has top and bottom sides 30 and 32. The panel flooring member 14 is disposed over and in contact with the corrugated member 12 with the bottom side 32 of the panel flooring member 14 contacting a multiplicity of the ribs 18 of the corrugated member 12. The fastener 16 attaches the panel flooring member 14 to one of the ribs 18 of the corrugated member 12.

In one application of the first expression of the embodiment of FIGS. 1-3 and 7-8, the top side 30 of the flooring panel member 14 is exposed to at least one of walking floor traffic and rolling floor traffic. In the same or a different application, the ribs 18 are substantially identical and the valleys 20 are substantially identical, and the corrugated member 12 has a substantially constant thickness and the panel flooring member 14 has a substantially constant thickness.

In a first enablement of the first expression of the embodiment of FIGS. 1-3 and 7-8, the corrugated member 12 is a C type galvanized or painted steel deck available from Vulcraft (a division of Nucor Corporation of Charlotte, N.C.), and the panel flooring member 14 is a ResinDek® panel available from Cornerstone Specialty Wood Products of Cincinnati, Ohio.

In one construction of the first expression of the embodiment of FIGS. 1-3 and 7-8, the ribs 18 and the bottom 26 of the valleys 20 are substantially planar and parallel. In one variation, the corrugated member 12 consists essentially of steel, has a thickness of substantially 24 gage, and has a yield strength of substantially 80 ksi (thousand pounds per square inch), and the top side 30 of the panel flooring member 14 is exposed to rolling floor traffic having a dynamic rolling load of at least 350 psi (pounds per square inch).

Applicants tested an example of the flooring system having a conventional screw as the fastener, a ResinDek® LD panel as the panel flooring member 14, and a 22 gage 10C type deck as the corrugated member 12. Over 40,000 cycles of simulated repeat pallet jack wheel traffic were run to simulate 10 years of pallet jack traffic with the equivalent of 2,000 pounds on a pallet jack with a dynamic rolling load of 350 psi. There were no failures of the flooring system upon completion of the cycle testing. Applicants have had made a limited number of the screws 44 of FIG. 7 and have tested fifteen of them to test attaching a ResinDek® LD panel (as the panel flooring member) to a 22 gage 1.0C type deck (as the corrugated member). There were no failures in attaching the ResinDek® LD panel to the 22 gage 1.0C type deck using the screw of FIG. 7. Applicants have yet to undertake the cycle testing of the flooring system 10 having the screws 44 of FIG. 7 as was done with the flooring system having the conventional screws.

In a first different construction, as shown in FIG. 4, the corrugated member 112 is a monolithic member, and each rib 118 has a plurality of undulations 134. In a second different construction, as shown in FIG. 5, the corrugated member 212 is a monolithic member, and each rib 218 has a plurality of top indentations 236. In a third different construction, as shown in FIG. 6, the corrugated member 312 is a monolithic member having a curved edge 338 joining each rib 318 to each adjoining valley 320.

It is noted that in FIGS. 1-3 and 7-8, a valley 20 also includes two sides 40 joining the bottom 26 of the valley 20 to the two adjoining ribs 18. Note the same is true for the two sides 140 seen in FIG. 4, the two sides 240 seen in FIG. 5, and the two sides 340 seen in FIG. 6.

In any construction, such as those shown in FIGS. 3-6, it is noted that the terminology “transverse width” of a rib is defined to be the actual transverse width of the rib when the rib meets the two adjoining valley sides along a substantially straight edge (such as straight edge 42 seen end-on and shown along with the transverse width 22 in FIG. 3) and is defined to be the transverse distance the panel flooring member contacts and is within one-eighth inch of contacting the two adjoining valley sides when the rib meets the two adjoining valley sides along a curved edge (such as curved edge 338 shown along with the transverse width 322 in FIG. 6).

Likewise, it is noted that the terminology “top transverse width” of a valley is defined to be the actual transverse distance between the tops of the two sides 40 of the valley 40 when the sides of the valley meet the two adjoining ribs along a substantially straight edge (such as straight edge 42 seen end-on and shown along with the top transverse width 24 in FIG. 3) and is defined to be the transverse distance between the two sides at points along the two sides which are one-eighth inch from the panel flooring member when the two sides of the valley meet the two adjoining ribs along a curved edge (such as curved edge 338 shown along with the top transverse width 324 in FIG. 6).

In one enablement of the first expression of the embodiment of FIGS. 1-3 and 7-8, the fastener 16 is a screw 44 having an upper portion 46 and a lower portion 48. The upper portion 46 is disposed in the panel flooring member 14 and extends substantially the entire thickness of the panel flooring member 14. The lower portion 48 threadably engages one of the ribs 18 of the corrugated member 12. Other types of fasteners, including adhesives, are left to the artisan.

In one variation, the panel flooring member 14 includes a through hole 50 extending from the top side 30 to the bottom side 32. In one illustration, the screw 44 includes in serial flow relationship a head 52 disposed in the through hole 50 and countersunk in the top side 30 of the panel flooring member 14, a pair of opposing upper wings 54 disposed in the through hole 50, a threaded portion 56 threadably engaged with the one rib 18 but not threadably engaged with the panel flooring member 14, a pair of locations 58 of broken-off opposing lower wings 60, and a drill bit 62 disposed below the one rib 18. The through hole 50 has a diameter below the upper wings 54 which radially extends more than the drill bit 62, at least as much as the threaded portion 56, and less than the upper wings 54. The upper wings 54 radially extend more than the threaded portion 56 and less than the head 52. In one example, the screw 44 has a length which is less than the thickness of the panel flooring member 14 plus the height 28 of the one rib 18. In another illustration, the design of the screw is left to the artisan.

A first method of the invention is for installing a flooring system 10 and includes steps a) through e). Step a) includes obtaining a corrugated member 12 having a plurality of substantially parallel and longitudinally extending ribs 18 and valleys 20, wherein the corrugated member 12 contains metal, wherein each rib 18 has a transverse width 22 of up to three inches, wherein each valley 20 has a top transverse width 24 of up to three inches, wherein a ratio of the transverse top width 24 of each valley 20 to the transverse width 22 of each adjoining rib 18 has a range from 1.0 to 3.5, wherein each valley 20 has a bottom 26, and wherein each rib 18 has a substantially equal height 28 above the bottom 26 of each adjoining valley 20. Step b) includes obtaining a panel flooring member 14 having top and bottom sides 30 and 32. Step c) includes disposing the panel flooring member 14 over and in contact with the corrugated member 12 with the bottom side 32 of the panel flooring member 14 contacting a multiplicity of the ribs 18 of the corrugated member 12. Step d) includes obtaining a fastener 16. Step e) includes attaching the panel flooring member 14 to one of the ribs 18 of the corrugated member 12 using the fastener 16.

In one example of the first method, additional fasteners (not shown) are used for additional attachments of the panel flooring member 14 to the one, and/or to others, of the ribs 18. In the same or a different example, the first method also includes, after step e), exposing the top side 30 of the panel flooring member 14 to at least one of walking floor traffic and rolling floor traffic.

In one application of the first method, the ribs 18 are substantially identical and the valleys 20 are substantially identical, and the corrugated member 12 has a substantially constant thickness and the panel flooring member 14 has a substantially constant thickness.

In one implementation of the first method, the ribs 18 and the bottom 26 of the valleys 20 are substantially planar and parallel. In one variation, the corrugated member 12 consists essentially of steel, has a thickness of substantially 24 gage, and has a yield strength of substantially 80 ksi, and the first method includes, after step e), exposing the top side 30 of the panel flooring member 14 to rolling floor traffic having a dynamic rolling load of at least 350 psi.

In a first different implementation, as shown in FIG. 4, the corrugated member 112 is a monolithic member, and each rib 118 has a plurality of undulations 134. In a second different implementation, as shown in FIG. 5, the corrugated member 212 is a monolithic member, and each rib 218 has a plurality of top indentations 236. In a third different implementation, as shown in FIG. 6, the corrugated member 312 is a monolithic member having a curved edge 338 joining each rib 318 to each adjoining valley 320.

In a first enablement of the first method, the fastener 16 is a screw 44 having an upper portion 46 and a lower portion 48. The upper portion 46 is disposed in the panel flooring member 14 and extends substantially the entire thickness of the panel flooring member 14. The lower portion 48 threadably engages one of the ribs 18 of the corrugated member 12. Other types of fasteners, including adhesives, are left to the artisan.

In a first variation of the first enablement of the first method, the screw 44 includes in serial flow relationship a counter-sinkable head 52, a pair of opposing upper wings 54, a threaded portion 56, a pair of opposing lower wings 60, and a drill bit 62. The threaded portion 56 radially extends more than the drill bit 62. The lower wings 60 radially extend more than the drill bit 62, at least as much as the threaded portion 56, and less than the upper wings 54. The upper wings 54 radially extend more than the threaded portion 56 and less than the head 52. The lower wings 60 are adapted to remain intact while passing through the panel flooring member 14 and to break off upon encountering the one rib 18 allowing the threaded portion 56 to threadably engage the one rib 18 during step e). In one example, the screw 44 has a length which is less than the thickness of the panel flooring member 14 plus the height of the one rib 18.

In a second variation of the first enablement of the first method, the screw 44 includes in serial flow relationship a counter-sinkable head 52, a pair of opposing upper wings 54, a threaded portion 56, a pair of opposing lower wings 60, and a drill bit 62. The threaded portion 56 radially extends more than the drill bit 62. The lower wings 60 radially extend more than the drill bit 62, at least as much as the threaded portion 56, and less than the upper wings 54. The upper wings 54 radially extend more than the threaded portion 56 and less than the head 52. The lower wings 60 are adapted to remain intact while passing through only a portion of the panel flooring member 14 and to break off in the panel flooring member 14 before encountering the one rib 18 allowing the threaded portion 56 to threadably engage the one rib 18 during step e). In one example, the screw 44 has a length which is less than the thickness of the panel flooring member 14 plus the height of the one rib 18.

In one procedure involving adapting the screw 44 to have the lower wings 60 break off where desired, design of the thickness and/or the longitudinal extent of the lower wings 60 should be able to be determined by experimentation. Thinner and/or longitudinally shorter lower wings 60 should be able to break off in a panel flooring member 14 of a specified density and still prevent panel-flooring-member lift-up. Thicker and/or longitudinally longer lower wings 60 should be able to pass completely through the panel flooring member 14 of a specified density and break off upon encountering the one rib 18 unless the one rib 18 is too thin which could result in the lower wings creating a hole in the rib as wide or wider than the threaded portion 56 preventing the threaded portion 56 from threadably engaging the one rib 18.

In a third variation of the first enablement of the first method, the design of the screw is left to the artisan.

A second expression of the embodiment of FIGS. 1-3 and 7-8 is for a flooring system 10 including a corrugated member 12, a panel flooring member 14, and a screw 44. The corrugated member 12 has a plurality of substantially parallel and longitudinally extending ribs 18 and valleys 20, and the corrugated member 12 contains metal. Each valley 20 has a bottom 26, and each rib 18 has a substantially equal height 28 above the bottom 26 of each adjoining valley 20. The panel flooring member 14 has top and bottom sides 30 and 32. The panel flooring member 14 has a substantially constant thickness. The panel flooring member 14 is disposed over and in contact with the corrugated member 12 with the bottom side 32 of the panel flooring member 14 contacting a multiplicity of the ribs 18 of the corrugated member 12. The panel flooring member 14 includes a through hole 50 extending from the top side 30 to the bottom side 32.

In the second expression, the screw 44 includes in serial flow relationship a head 52 disposed in the through hole 50 and countersunk in the top side 30 of the panel flooring member 14, a pair of opposing upper wings 54 disposed in the through hole 50, a threaded portion 56 threadably engaged with one of the ribs 18 of the corrugated member 12 but not threadably engaged with the panel flooring member 14, a pair of locations 58 of broken-off opposing lower wings 60, and a drill bit 62 disposed below the one rib 18. The through hole 50 has a diameter below the upper wings 54 which radially extends more than the drill bit 62, at least as much as the threaded portion 56, and less than the upper wings 54. The upper wings 54 radially extend more than the threaded portion 56 and less than the head 52.

In one example of the second expression of the embodiment of FIGS. 1-3 and 7-8, the screw 44 has a length which is less than the thickness of the panel flooring member 14 plus the height of the one rib 18. In one application of the second expression of the embodiment of FIGS. 1-3 and 7-8, the top side 30 of the flooring panel member 14 is exposed to at least one of walking floor traffic and rolling floor traffic. In one variation, the corrugated member 12 is B-type roof deck or N-type roof deck. In another variation, the corrugated member 12 is C-type deck.

A second method of the invention is for installing a flooring system 10 and includes steps a) through e). Step a) includes obtaining a corrugated member 12 having a plurality of substantially parallel and longitudinally extending ribs 18 and valleys 20, wherein the corrugated member 12 contains metal, wherein each valley 20 has a bottom 26, and wherein each rib 18 has a substantially equal height 28 above the bottom 26 of each adjoining valley 20. Step b) includes obtaining a panel flooring member 14 having top and bottom sides 30 and 32, wherein the panel flooring member 14 has a substantially constant thickness. Step c) includes disposing the panel flooring member 14 over and in contact with the corrugated member 12 with the bottom side 32 of the panel flooring member 14 contacting a multiplicity of the ribs 18 of the corrugated member 12.

Step d) includes obtaining a screw 44 including in serial flow relationship a counter-sinkable head 52, a pair of opposing upper wings 54, a threaded portion 56, a pair of opposing lower wings 60, and a drill bit 62, wherein the lower wings 60 radially extend more than the drill bit 62, at least as much as the threaded portion 56, and less than the upper wings 54, and wherein the upper wings 54 radially extend more than the threaded portion 56 and less than the head 52. Step e) includes attaching the panel flooring member 14 to one of the ribs 18 of the corrugated member 12 using the screw 44 by inserting the screw 44 first into the top side 30 of the panel flooring member 14, then out through the bottom side 32 of the panel flooring member 14, and then into the one rib 18 of the corrugated member 12 with the threaded portion 56 threadably engaged with the one rib 18.

In one example of the second method, the screw 44 has a length which is less than the thickness of the panel flooring member 14 plus the height of the ribs 18. In the same or a different example, additional fasteners (not shown) are used for additional attachments of the panel flooring member 14 to the one, and/or to others, of the ribs 18. In the same or a different example, the second method also includes, after step e), exposing the top side 30 of the panel flooring member 14 to at least one of walking floor traffic and rolling floor traffic. In one variation, the corrugated member 12 is B-type roof deck or N-type roof deck. In another variation, the corrugated member 12 is C-type deck.

In a first variation of the second method, the lower wings 60 are adapted to remain intact in the panel flooring member 14 and to break off upon encountering the one rib 18 of the corrugated member 12.

In a second variation of the second method, the lower wings 60 are adapted to remain intact while passing through only a portion of the panel flooring member 14 and to break off in the panel flooring member 14 before encountering the one rib 18 of the corrugated member 12.

In one arrangement of either or both of the methods and either or both of the expressions the embodiment of FIGS. 1-3 and 7-8, the one rib 18 is attached to an underlying mezzanine-flooring-system substructure 64, and the flooring system 10 is a mezzanine flooring system.

In a first choice of materials for one or more or all of the methods and expressions of an embodiment of the invention, and different constructions thereof, the panel flooring member (such as panel flooring member 14) contains wood such as compressed wood fibers such as a ResinDek® panel available from Cornerstone Specialty Wood Products of Cincinnati, Ohio. In a second choice, the panel flooring member contains resin-impregnated non-wood fibers. In a third choice, the panel flooring member contains plastic. In a fourth choice, the panel flooring member is a pre-cast concrete panel. In a fifth choice, the panel flooring member contains plywood veneers, or oriented strand board chips pressed together under heat and pressure with wax and resin binders. In a sixth choice, the panel flooring member contains medium density fiberboard fibers or industrial particleboard wood particles. Other choices of materials for the panel flooring member, and choices (such as, but not limited to, steel) for the metal contained in the metal-containing corrugated member 12, 112, 212, and 312, are left to those skilled in the art.

Several benefits and advantages are derived from one or more or all of the methods and expressions of an embodiment of the invention. In one example involving the first method and the first expression of an embodiment having the detailed dimensional description of the corrugated member, the configuration of the geometry of the corrugated member allows a thinner corrugated member to support a desired dynamic rolling load on the panel flooring member, using conventional topside screw fasteners, thereby substantially reducing the total cost of the flooring system without reducing the performance of the flooring system. In one example involving the second method and the second expression of an embodiment having the detailed description of the screw used to attach the panel flooring member to one of the ribs of the corrugated member, the configuration of the geometry of the screw allows a shorter screw to be used while still preventing panel-flooring-member lift-up, thereby preventing, in short height rib flooring systems, undesired contact of a screw positioned directly over a solid portion of the underlying substructure.

The foregoing description of several methods and several expressions of an embodiment of the invention has been presented for purposes of illustration. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form and steps disclosed, and obviously many modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teaching. It is intended that the scope of the invention be defined by the claims appended hereto.





 
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