Title:
PVC WALL FRAME SYSTEM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A system is provided for constructing a wall frame having a PVC stud, a PVC channel member, a groove formed in the PVC stud and a tongue formed in the PVC channel, wherein the tongue and groove are adapted to detachably couple the PVC stud and the PVC channel. The invention includes snap-on features that allow the components to be removably secured. The invention provides components that are constructed to eliminate insect infestation, rotting, shrinkage, warping and splintering.



Inventors:
Swain Jr., Guillermo (Coral Gables, FL, US)
Application Number:
12/433449
Publication Date:
11/05/2009
Filing Date:
04/30/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04C2/20
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Primary Examiner:
CANFIELD, ROBERT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CHRISTOPHER & WEISBERG, P.A. (Plantation, FL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A PVC stud system for constructing a wall frame, comprising: a PVC stud; a PVC channel member; a groove formed in the PVC stud; and a tongue formed in the PVC channel, wherein the tongue and the groove are adapted to detachably couple the PVC stud and the PVC channel.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is related to and claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/049,102, filed Apr. 30, 2008, entitled PVC WALL FRAMING SYSTEM, the entirety of which is incorporated herein by reference.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

n/a

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to plastic wall framing systems. More particularly, the invention relates to PVC framing systems having snap-on components.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Known framing systems include wood framing systems and metal framing systems. These known framing systems are used to construct various residential and commercial building structures, including partitions.

Wood framing systems are widely accepted by the construction industry. Carpenters are familiar with wood frame construction and can nail wood frames together quickly with nail guns. In spite of the ease of construction, wood framing systems have several drawbacks, including absorbing moisture; increasing fire risk; and increasing susceptibility to insect infestation, rotting, shrinking, warping, and splintering; among other drawbacks. Additionally, the cost of purchasing lumber continues to increase.

Metal framing systems are less widely adopted than wood framing systems, but have found popularity in the commercial construction industry. The construction industry is trade-oriented, so workers are less inclined to embrace the special training required to properly snip and cut the metal frame members. Additionally, metal screws are needed to construct the metal frames. Metal framing systems have several drawbacks, including poor thermal performance, poor sound performance and tendency to oxidize (e.g. rust), among other drawbacks.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention overcomes these drawbacks and other drawbacks of known systems by providing PVC framing systems having snap-on components. The PVC framing systems may be used to construct various residential and commercial building structures, including partitions. The PVC framing components may include studs and tracks, angles, furring channels, and other PVC framing components.

According to one embodiment, the snap-on components may employ a tongue and groove configuration. For example, the tracks may include tongues, or protrusions, that engage grooves that are formed in the studs. Alternatively, the studs may include tongues, or protrusions, that engage grooves that are formed in the tracks. As a result, no additional hardware, such as nails, screws, or other hardware may be needed to construct the PVC frames. The snap-on feature reduces the amount of time needed to assemble PVC frames. The snap-on feature also reduces construction costs that otherwise would be associated with fastening the PVC frames, including the cost of the additional hardware (e.g., nails, screws, etc.) and the corresponding power tools (e.g., nail gun, screw gun, etc.).

According to one embodiment, the PVC framing components may be extruded or injection molded into desired shapes. This allows the PVC framing components to be formed as one piece components with features such as crevices, holes, protrusions and other features. Additionally, the appearance of the PVC framing components may be modified using stains or pigments.

The PVC framing components provide several benefits over wood and/or metal framing components. For example, the PVC components absorb little moisture; do not oxidize; may be manufactured to reduce fire risk and to eliminate insect infestation, rotting, shrinking, warping, and splintering; among providing other benefits.

Furthermore, the PVC framing components are workable similar to wood framing components. Thus, end users may continue to use traditional wood working techniques, tools, fasteners, etc., to construct the PVC framing systems.

These and other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent through the detailed description of the embodiments and drawings attached hereto. It is also to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and not restrictive of the scope of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A more complete understanding of the present invention, and the attendant advantages and features thereof, will be more readily understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like designations refer to like elements, and wherein:

FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a stud and track assembly for a non-load bearing application according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2A is a cross-sectional view of a stud for a non-load bearing application according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2B is a cross-sectional view of a track for a non-load bearing application according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3 illustrates a snap-on feature for a stud and track assembly according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 4 illustrates a perspective view of a stud and track assembly for a load bearing application according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 5A is a cross-sectional view of a stud for a load bearing application according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 5B is a cross-sectional view of a track for a load bearing application according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 6 illustrates a snap-on feature for a stud and track assembly according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 7A illustrates a bridging strip in a non-engaged position for securing adjacent studs according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 7B illustrates adjacent studs having openings for receiving a bridging component according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 8 illustrates a bridging strip in an engaged position for securing adjacent studs according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 9 illustrates PVC hat channels that may be secured to trusses in a ceiling or to a wall structure for anchoring a partition material according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 10 illustrates PVC furring strip that may be secured to masonry walls for anchoring a partition material according to one embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

While specific embodiments of the invention are discussed herein and are illustrated in the drawings appended hereto, the invention encompasses a broader spectrum than the specific subject matter described and illustrated. As would be appreciated by those skilled in the art, the embodiments described herein provide but a few examples of the broad scope of the invention. There is no intention to limit the scope of the invention only to the embodiments described herein. Like reference numbers will be used herein to identify like elements.

FIG. 1 illustrates an embodiment of the PVC framing system 10 having studs 12 and a track 14. According to one embodiment, the studs 12 and the track 14 may be constructed of a PVC material or other synthetic material. The track 14 may be formed in a U-shaped geometry to include projections 15 that extend into cavity 16 from opposing inner side surfaces 13 of the track 14. While the projections 15 are illustrated to be generally rectangular in shape, the projections 15 may be any shape, including wedge shape, circular shape, triangular shape, or any other shape. According to one embodiment, the projections 15 may be positioned along a longitudinal direction “L” at spaced intervals along the track 14. For example, the projections 15 may be positioned along the longitudinal direction “L” at regular intervals of four inches center-to-center, six inches center-to-center, eight inches center-to-center, twelve inches center-to-center, etc.

FIG. 2A illustrates a cross-sectional view of the stud 12. The stud 12 may include a C-shaped geometry and may include an opening 22 that runs along one side of the stud 12 in a lengthwise direction. The opening 22 may be provided to expose a hollow central portion 20 of the stud 12. According to one embodiment, the studs 12 may be designed having geometrical shapes that minimize the use of material to provide lightweight studs. These lightweight studs may be used for non-load bearing applications, such as providing a framing structure to hang drywall or other partition forming material. According to one embodiment, ribs may be formed on the stud 12 to increase load bearing capacity. For example, ribs may be formed in an interior portion of the stud 12 to increase load bearing capacity. According to one embodiment, opposing grooves 24 may be formed on external surfaces of the stud 12 to receive corresponding projections 15 from the track 14. According to one embodiment, the stud 12 may include passages that enable objects, such as electrical wires, plumbing pipes, and/or other objects, to pass through the stud 12. One skilled in the art will readily appreciate that the studs 12 may be formed of different geometrical shapes without departing from the spirit of the invention.

FIG. 2B illustrates a cross-sectional view of the track 14. The track 14 may include a U-shaped geometry and may include an opening that runs along one side of the track 14 in a lengthwise direction. The opening may be provided to expose a hollow central portion 26 of the track 14. According to one embodiment, ribs may be formed in the track 14 to increase retention strength. Opposing projections 15 may be formed on internal surfaces of the track 14 to engage corresponding grooves 24 that are provided on the studs 12. Alternatively, projections may be formed along a bottom surface 27 of the track 14 to engage a bottom portion of the stud 12 in order to provide an enhanced structure to resist lateral movement of the stud 12. One skilled in the art will readily appreciate that the track 14 may be formed of different geometrical shapes to receive the studs 12 without departing from the scope of the invention.

FIG. 3 illustrates an embodiment of the PVC framing system 10 wherein the grooves 24 on the stud 12 are aligned with the projections 15 on the track 14. The stud 12 and the track 14 may be fastened together with a snapping mechanism. For example, a downward force may be applied to the stud 12 to securely snap the stud 12 onto the track 14. Once engaged, the stud 12 and track 14 may be mechanically coupled together. According to one embodiment, the stud 12 and track 14 may be unlocked by applying an upward force to the stud 12 in a direction away from the track 14. Other fastening mechanisms will be appreciated by those skilled in the art and are intended to be encompassed by the invention.

FIG. 4 illustrates a second embodiment of the PVC framing system 40 having studs 42 and a track 14. According to one embodiment, the studs 42 and the track 14 may be constructed of a PVC material or other synthetic material. The track 14 may be formed in a U-shaped geometry to include projections 15 that extend into cavity 16 from opposing inner side surfaces 13 of the track 14. While the projections 15 are illustrated to be generally rectangular in shape, the projections 15 may be any shape, including wedge shape, circular shape, triangular shape, or any other shape. According to one embodiment, the projections 15 may be positioned along a longitudinal direction “L” at spaced intervals along the track 14. For example, the projections 15 may be positioned along the longitudinal direction “L” at regular intervals of four inches center-to-center, six inches center-to-center, eight inches center-to-center, twelve inches center-to-center, etc.

FIG. 5A illustrates a cross-sectional view of the stud 42. The stud 12 may include a rectangular shaped geometry. The center portion 50 of the stud 42 may be hollow. Alternatively, the center portion 50 of the stud 42 may include reinforcing ribs to increase load bearing capacity of the stud 42. For example, the reinforcing ribs may be formed in an interior portion of the stud 42 to increase load bearing capacity. According to one embodiment, the studs 42 may be designed having geometrical shapes that minimize the use of material to provide lightweight studs. These reinforced lightweight rectangular studs 42 may be used for load bearing applications, such as supporting weighted structures. According to one embodiment, the studs 42 may include passages that enable objects, such as electrical wires, plumbing pipes, and/or other objects, to pass therethrough. According to one embodiment, opposing grooves 24 may be formed on external surfaces of the stud 42 to receive corresponding projections 15 from the track 14. One skilled in the art will readily appreciate that the studs 42 may be formed of different geometrical shapes without departing from the spirit of the invention.

FIG. 5B illustrates a cross-sectional view of the track 14. The track 14 may include a U-shaped geometry and may include an opening that runs along one side of the track 14 in a lengthwise direction. The opening may be provided to expose a hollow central portion 26 of the track 14. According to one embodiment, ribs may be formed in the track 14 to increase retention strength. Opposing projections 15 may be formed on internal surfaces of the track 14 to engage corresponding grooves 24 that are provided on the studs 42. Alternatively, projections may be formed along a bottom surface 27 of the track 14 to engage a bottom portion of the stud 42 in order to provide an enhanced structure to resist lateral movement of the stud 42. One skilled in the art will readily appreciate that the track 14 may be formed of different geometrical shapes to receive the studs 42 without departing from the scope of the invention.

FIG. 6 illustrates an embodiment of the PVC framing system 40 wherein the grooves 24 on the stud 42 are aligned with the projections 15 on the track 14. The stud 42 and the track 14 may be fastened together with a snapping mechanism. For example, a downward force may be applied to the stud 42 to securely snap the stud 42 onto the track 14. Once engaged, the stud 42 and track 14 may be mechanically coupled together. According to one embodiment, the stud 42 and track 14 may be unlocked by applying an upward force to the stud 42 in a direction away from the track 14. Other fastening mechanisms will be appreciated by those skilled in the art and are intended to be encompassed by the invention.

FIG. 7A illustrates a bridging strip 70 having strip openings 72. FIG. 7B illustrates studs 42 having stud openings 75 with stud projections 76. The bridging strip 70 is designed to pass through the stud openings 75 so that the stud projections 76 engage the strip openings 72.

FIG. 8 illustrates the bridging strip 70 in an engaged position for securing adjacent studs 42 according to one embodiment of the invention. The bridging strip 70 may be provided through the stud openings 75 so that the strip openings 72 are mechanically coupled to the stud projections 76. The bridging strip 70 provides enhanced support to the PVC framing structure 40 by interlocking the studs 42. While the stud projections 76 are illustrated to be generally rectangular in shape, the stud projections 76 may be any shape, including wedge shape, circular shape, triangular shape, or any other shape. The stud projections 76 and the bridging strip 70 may be fastened together with a snapping mechanism. For example, a downward force may be applied to the bridging strip 70 to securely snap the stud projections 76 into the strip openings 72. Once engaged, the stud 42 and bridging strip 70 may be mechanically coupled together. According to one embodiment, the stud 42 and the bridging strip 70 may be unlocked by applying an upward force to the bridging strip 70. Other fastening mechanisms will be appreciated by those skilled in the art and are intended to be encompassed by the invention.

FIG. 9 illustrates a PVC hat channel 90 that may be secured to trusses in a ceiling or to a wall structure. FIG. 10 illustrates PVC furring strip 100 that may be secured to masonry walls. The PVC hat channel 90 and the PVC furring strip 100 may be provided to anchor a partition material, such as drywall or other partition material.

Once in place, the PVC framing system 10,40 may be used to mount a partition material, such as drywall or other partition material. The partition material may be mounted to the PVC framing structure using traditional wood screws. In this regard, the PVC material is workable like wood. If needed, the PVC components may be cut using wood working power tools. Therefore, the invention provides a new technology that will be readily adopted by end users that are traditionally slow to adopt new technologies.

According to one embodiment, the invention provides improved sound transmission, improved thermal efficiency and enhances environmental performance, as measured by Leeds guidelines for “green” construction. The invention enhances environmental performance by providing recyclable, reclaimable and/or reusable products.

It will be appreciated by persons skilled in the art that the present invention is not limited to what has been particularly shown and described herein above. In addition, unless mention was made above to the contrary, it should be noted that all of the accompanying drawings are not to scale. A variety of modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teachings without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention.





 
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