Title:
COVER FOR PRESTRESSED CONCRETE MEMBER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A prestressed structural concrete system is disclosed that includes a prestressed concrete structural member and a cover configured to securely engage a cavity of the member to substantially seal the cavity from an outside environment. The cover includes a surface configured to achieve a substantially fluid tight seal with the concrete member.



Inventors:
Baur, Kenneth C. (Mohnton, PA, US)
Allamena, Alicia (Manheim, PA, US)
Graziano, Gary C. (Lititz, PA, US)
Application Number:
12/542547
Publication Date:
12/03/2009
Filing Date:
08/17/2009
Assignee:
HIGH INDUSTRIES, INC. (Lancaster, PA, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/745.21
International Classes:
E04C5/08; E04B1/66
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Primary Examiner:
TRIGGS, ANDREW J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MCNEES WALLACE & NURICK LLC (HARRISBURG, PA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A prestressed structural concrete system comprising a prestressed concrete structural member comprising a cavity; and a cover configured to securely engage the cavity and substantially seal the cavity from an outside environment.

2. The system of claim 1, the prestressed concrete structural member further comprising a fitting at least partially disposed in the cavity.

3. The system of claim 1, wherein the cover comprises at least one protruding feature configured to engage the cavity and a sealing surface that substantially conforms to a surface of the prestressed structural member.

4. The system of claim 1, wherein the cover comprises a layer of adhesive material.

5. The system of claim 1, wherein the cover comprises a rib.

6. The system of claim 1, wherein the protruding feature comprises at least two protruding portions separated by a discontinuity.

7. The system of claim 1, wherein the body is composed of a resilient material.

8. A cover for sealing a cavity of a prestressed concrete structural member, comprising at least one protruding feature configured to engage the cavity; and a sealing surface that substantially conforms to a surface of the prestressed structural member.

9. The cover of claim 8, further comprising: a layer of adhesive material in contact with the sealing surface.

10. The cover of claim 8, further comprising: a rib protruding from the sealing surface.

11. The cover of claim 8, wherein the protruding feature comprises at least two protruding portions separated by a discontinuity.

12. The cover of claim 8, wherein the body is composed of a resilient material.

13. A method for sealing a cavity of a prestressed concrete structural member, comprising: providing a prestressed concrete structural member comprising a cavity; at least partially inserting a cover into the cavity to substantially seal the cavity from an outside environment.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein the prestressed structural concrete member further comprises a fitting at least partially disposed in the cavity.

15. The method of claim 13, wherein the cover achieves a substantially fluid tight seal with the prestressed concrete structural member when the cover is securely engaged with the cavity.

16. The method of claim 13, wherein at least one protruding feature of the cover releasably engages the cavity.

17. The method of claim 13, wherein a sealing surface of the cover substantially conforms to a surface of the prestressed structural member to form a substantially fluid tight seal.

18. The system of claim 13, wherein a layer of adhesive material is disposed between the cover and the prestressed concrete structural member to improve the seal between the cavity and the outside environment.

19. The system of claim 13, wherein a rib protrudes from the cover and contacts the prestressed concrete structural member to improve the seal between the cavity and the outside environment.

20. The system of claim 13, wherein the protruding feature comprises at least two protruding portions separated by a discontinuity, the protruding portions including a surface that conforms to and engages a surface of the cavity to securely engage the cover to the prestressed concrete structural member.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of and claims the benefit of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/873,593 filed Oct. 17, 2007, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to components for use with moldable building materials, and more specifically to covers for use with prestressed concrete members.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a prestressed structural concrete system including a prestressed concrete structural member and a cover configured to securely engage a cavity of the member and substantially seal the cavity from an outside environment.

The present invention further relates to a cover for sealing a cavity of a prestressed concrete structural member. The cover includes at least one protruding feature configured to engage the cavity, and a sealing surface that substantially conforms to a surface of the prestressed structural member.

The present invention yet further relates to a method for sealing a cavity of a prestressed concrete structural member. The method includes providing a prestressed concrete structural member comprising a cavity, and at least partially inserting a cover into the cavity to substantially seal the cavity from an outside environment.

An advantage of an embodiment of the present invention is that the cover can quickly and easily be installed.

Other features and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following more detailed description of the preferred embodiment, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of protected prestressed concrete structure system according to the disclosure.

FIG. 2 is a partial top view of the protected prestressed concrete structure system of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a cover of the present disclosure.

FIG. 4 is a side view of the cover of FIG. 3.

FIG. 4A is a side view of an alternative embodiment of the cover of FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a side sectional view of the cover of FIG. 3 taken along line B-B.

FIGS. 5A-5D show various alternative embodiments of section C of FIG. 5.

FIG. 6 shows a top perspective view of an alternative embodiment of a cover according to the disclosure.

FIG. 7 is a partial top view of the protected prestressed concrete structure system of FIG. 1 having the cover inserted into the cavity of the member.

Wherever possible, the same reference numbers will be used throughout the drawings to refer to the same or like parts.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIGS. 1 and 2 show an exemplary embodiment of a prestressed structural concrete system (system) 5 according to the disclosure. The system 5 includes a prestressed structural concrete member (member) 10 and a cover 20. In one embodiment, the member 10 is a prestressed concrete building fa├žade. The member 10 includes an insert or fitting 12. The top half of member 10 is shown as transparent along the horizontal plane formed by line A-A for clarity. In one embodiment, fitting 12 may be a lifting fitting used for engaging lifting equipment (not shown) to lift member 10 into a position. For example, the fitting 12 may be a lifting fitting such as those manufactured by Meadow Burke of Tampa, Fla. The fitting 12 includes an interface 13 for engaging lifting equipment. In this exemplary embodiment, one fitting 12 is disposed within the member 10. In another embodiment, the member 10 may include one or more fittings 12.

In one embodiment, the fitting 12 is cast within the member 10 as shown in FIG. 1. In another embodiment, the fitting 12 may be disposed in the member 10 by temporarily disposing an object in the casting of the member 10, removing the object from the member 10 to form a void, and inserting and securing a fitting 12 within the void. In yet another embodiment, a void may be formed in the member 10, such as by drilling with a masonry drill bit, and a fitting 12 is then inserted into the void and secured therein.

As further shown in FIG. 1, the member 10 includes a cavity 14. The fitting 12 is at least partially disposed in the cavity 14. The cavity 14 includes an opening 15 and cavity surface 16. In this exemplary embodiment, the cavity 14 has a generally oval cross-section or shape. In another embodiment, the cavity 13 may have a circular, square, rectangular or other geometric cross section or shape.

According to the present disclosure, the cover 20 is configured to be at least partially inserted into the cavity 14. When the cover 20 is inserted into the cavity 14, the cover 20 releasably engages the cavity surface 16 to secure the cover 20 to member 10. In such a manner, the cover 20 substantially seals the cavity 14 from exposure to the environment proximate member 10. In one embodiment, the cover 20 protects the cavity 14 from exposure to rain and/or other precipitation that may enter the cavity 14 and cause damage to member 10. For example, the cover 20 protects the cavity from rain that can later freeze and damage the member 10. In other examples, the cover 20 protects the cavity 14 from accumulating liquid, such as rain, that may provide a breeding environment for insects such as mosquitoes. In yet another example, the cover 20 substantially seals the cavity 14 from the outside environment, thereby inhibiting the cavity 14 from providing a breeding ground for vermin.

FIGS. 3 and 4 shows an example of an exemplary embodiment of cover 20. The cover 20 includes a body portion 22 and a protruding portion 28. The body portion 22 includes a raised portion 26 and a seal portion 24. The seal portion 24 includes a seal surface 25. The cover 20 is formed of a resilient, non-corroding material, such as rubber, polymer, plastic, ceramic, metal, metallic alloys and combinations thereof. In another embodiment, cover 20 may include a pigment similar to that of the member 10 so as to effectively camouflage the cover 20. In another embodiment, seal portion of body 24 is formed of a material having enhanced resiliency compared to the body portion 22.

In this exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the protruding portion 28 includes a first protruding portion 28a and a second protruding portion 28b separated by a discontinuity 34. The protruding portion 28 includes an outer side wall 29. In this embodiment, outer side wall 29 is substantially perpendicular to seal surface 25. Outer side wall 29 is selected to substantially conform to the shape of at least a portion of cavity surface 16 (FIGS. 1 and 2). In an alternative embodiment shown in FIG. 4A, outer side wall 29 is tapered in from plane 36 which is substantially perpendicular to seal portion 22 by angle 38. The discontinuity 34 reduces the force required to insert the cover 20 in the cavity 14 by providing a bending region for the protrusions 28.

In another embodiment, the protruding portion 28 may be a single solid protruding portion having no discontinuity 34. In another embodiment, the protruding portion 28 may include two or more protruding portions 28 separated by one or more discontinuities 34.

FIG. 5 shows a cross section of cover 20. FIGS. 5A, 5B, 5C and 5D show various alternative embodiments of the seal portion 24 as shown by partial section C. As shown in FIG. 5, the cover 20 includes a recessed region 32 is disposed between seal portion 24 and body portion 22. The recessed region 32 provides improved independent movement therebetween, which provides improved capability of the seal portion 24 to achieve conformal contact with member 10 (FIG. 1).

FIG. 5A shows an alternative embodiment of seal portion 24 including a rib 40. Rib 40 protrudes from the seal portion 24. Rib 40 improves conformal contact with member 10. As shown in FIG. 5A, seal portion 24 includes a single rib 40. In another embodiment, seal portion 24 may include one or more ribs 40.

FIG. 5B shows another alternative embodiment of seal portion 24 including a recess 42. As shown in FIG. 5B, seal portion 24 includes a single recess 42. In another embodiment, seal portion 24 includes one or more recesses 42. In yet another embodiment, recess 42 may be filled with adhesive material.

FIG. 5C shows another alternative embodiment of seal portion 24 including a layer of adhesive material 44. In one embodiment, the adhesive material 44 may be a caulk or double-sided adhesive tape to achieve a substantially fluid tight seal with the member 10 (FIG. 1).

FIG. 5D shows yet another alternative embodiment of seal portion 24 including an enhanced resilient portion 46 having a greater resiliency than seal portion 24.

It is to be understood that each of these embodiments may include an application of adhesive material 44, if desired, providing not only an improved seal, but also providing a technique to secure the cover to the concrete member without fasteners. However, if desired, cover 20 may be configured to receive mechanical fasteners, such as by forming apertures (not shown) in body 22.

FIG. 6 shows a top perspective view of an alternative embodiment of cover 20. As shown in FIG. 6, the cover 20 includes a recess 30. Recess 30 includes sidewall 32 and protrusion inner sidewall 48. The recess 30 enhances the ability of the cover 20 to conform to cavity 14 of member 10 (FIG. 1).

FIG. 7 shows a top section view similar to FIG. 2, however, in FIG. 7, the cover 20 has been inserted in cavity 14 of member 10. As shown in FIG. 7, the sidewall 29 of protrusion 28 of cover 20 has securely engaged cavity surface 16 of cavity 14 of member 10 to securely releasably attach cover 20 to member 10. As used herein, the term securely releasably attached means that a force is necessary to remove the cover from engagement with the member 10. For example, an operator would grip the cover 20 to pull the cover from the cavity 14 of member 10. In another example, an operator may use a tool to pry the cover 20 from the cavity 14 of member 10.

Cover 20 forms a conformal contact with a corresponding surface of member 10, and in particular, seal surface 25 of seal portion 24 conformally contacts member 10 to substantially seal cavity 14 from outside environment 100.

While the invention has been described with reference to a preferred embodiment, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the invention without departing from the essential scope thereof. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out this invention, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims.





 
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