Title:
Profiled connecting element as well as a sheet pile wall with such a profiled connecting element
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a profiled connecting element with a constant cross-section for sheet pile wall components such as sheet piles, with a center strip (12) and two hook strips (20, 22) protruding from the two flat sides of the center strip (12) in opposite directions. The transitional sections (24) between the center strip and the hook strips transition in a curved manner into the flat sides (16, 18) of the center strip (12) and the free end sections (30) of the hook strips, together with the flat sides (16, 18) of the center strip (12), each define a jaw (32) for engaging an interlock (38) of the sheet pile wall component (36). The flat sides (16, 18) of the center strip (12) extend, beginning at the transitional sections (24), in the direction of the free end (34) of the center strip (12) at least in parts at a specified opening angle (α) toward each other such that the center strip (12) tapers off toward its free end (34) in this section. In addition, a sheet pile wall, comprised of several sheet piles, is provided, wherein at least two sheet piles are connected to each other through a profiled connecting element of the type described above.



Inventors:
Heindl, Richard (Munich, DE)
Application Number:
12/157500
Publication Date:
12/17/2009
Filing Date:
06/11/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E02D5/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KRECK, JANINE MUIR
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MERCHANT & GOULD P.C. (MINNEAPOLIS, MN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A profiled connecting element with a substantially constant cross-section for sheet pile wall components such as sheet piles, with a center strip and two hook strips protruding from the two flat sides of the center strip in opposite directions; wherein transitional sections of said hook strips transition in a curved manner into the flat sides of the center strip; wherein the free end sections of said hook strips together with the flat sides of the center strip each define a jaw for engaging the interlock of the sheet pile wall component; wherein the flat sides of the center strip, beginning at the transitional sections, extend at least in sections in the direction of the free end of the center strip at a specified opening angle (a) such that the center strip tapers off toward its free end in this section.

2. A profiled connecting element as defined in claim 1, wherein the opening angle (α) of the two flat sides and the distance of the free ends of the hook strips to the flat sides perpendicular to the center axis (M) of the center strip is selected such that an engaged interlock of the sheet pile wall component is always supported at at least two lines in the lock chamber formed by the respective hook strip and the flat side.

3. A profiled connecting element as defined in claim 1, wherein the specified opening angle (α) is in a range of 10 to 30°.

4. A profiled connecting element as defined in claim 3, wherein the specified opening angle (α) is in a range of 15° to 25°.

5. A profiled connecting element as defined in claim 1, wherein the hook strips exhibit an at least approximately constant wall thickness (d) and wherein the greatest distance (c) between the flat sides viewed perpendicular to the center axis (M) of the center strip corresponds at least to one-and-a-half times two times the wall thickness (d) of the hook strips.

6. A profiled connecting element as defined in claim 1, wherein the identically designed hook strips protrude from the center strip running mirror symmetrical to the center axis (M).

7. A profiled connecting element as defined in claim 1, wherein the center strip tapers off only to a common plane with the free end sections of the hook strips.

8. A profiled connecting element as defined in claim 1, wherein the hook strips are designed identically, and wherein the transitional section of each hook strip transitions into a connection section that extends at least approximately at a right angle to the center axis (M) of the center strip and itself transitions into a curved hook section, whose free end section points in the direction of the center strip.

9. A profiled connecting element as defined in claim 7, wherein the curved hook section covers a 180° arc.

10. A profiled connecting element as defined in claim 9, wherein the curved hook section is semicircular.

11. A profiled connecting element as defined in claim 1, wherein the free end of the center strip and the two end sections of the hook strips end at least approximately in a common plane perpendicular to the center axis (M) of the center strip.

12. A profiled connecting element as defined in claim 1, wherein the end of the center strip is formed as a third hook strip.

13. A profiled connecting element as defined in claim 10, wherein one of the flat sides of the center strip, together with the third hook strip, forms a Larssen interlock.

14. A profiled connecting element as defined in claim 1, wherein the profiled connecting element is formed by rolling a blank.

15. A sheet pile wall comprised of several sheet piles, wherein at least two sheet piles are connected to each other through a profiled connecting element as defined in claim 1.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a profiled connecting element with a constant cross-section for sheet pile wall components such as sheet piles, with a center strip and two hook strips protruding from the two flat sides of the center strip in opposite directions, where the transitional sections of the-hook strips transition in a curved manner into the flat sides of the center strip and where the free end sections of said hook strips together with the flat sides of the center strip each define a jaw for engaging an interlock of the sheet pile wall component. In addition, the invention relates to a sheet pile wall, where at least two sheet piles are connected to each other through a profiled connecting element of the type mentioned above.

A profiled connecting element of the type mentioned above is known, for example, from DE 298 21 624 U1. The profiled connecting element exhibits a center strip from which two curved hook strips protrude in a mirror-symmetrical fashion. The wall thicknesses of the hook strips and of the center strips are designed to be at least approximately constant for reasons of manufacturability.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is the principal objective of the present invention to provide an improved profiled connecting element for sheet pile wall components that exhibit a greater rigidity than the connecting elements heretofore known.

According to the invention, this objective is achieved by providing a profiled connecting element with a center strip and two hook strips protruding from two flat sides of the center strip. The transition of the sections extend at least in some parts towards each other in the direction of the free end of the center strip at a pre-specified opening angle such that the center strip tapers off towards its free end in this section.

Such a design of the profiled connecting element based on the invention achieves a greater rigidity of the profiled connecting element in the area of the transitional section of the hook strips into the center strip when compared to the state of the art. As experiments have shown, especially these transitional sections are subject to increased tensile stresses through the design of such profiled connecting elements, while the hook strips themselves are subject to low tensile stresses. With the design of the profiled connecting element based on the invention, especially these transitional sections are particularly reinforced, while the two hook strips can be dimensioned smaller. In particular through the tapered shape of the center strip, arising stresses are introduced into the center strip in a more uniform manner than with comparable profiled connecting elements. In this manner, the profiled connecting element based on the invention exhibits a greater rigidity and strength, in particular in the area of the high stressed transitional sections of the hook strips when compared to the known profiled connecting elements.

In addition, it shall be noted that all progressions of contours, axes, etc. as referenced and defined in the description and the claims shall always be viewed at a cross-sectional plane that is at a right angle to the longitudinal axis of the profiled connecting element.

For example, it is particularly advantageous if the center strip is reinforced not only in the area of the transitional sections but in addition the opening angle of the two flat sides and the distance of the free end sections of the hook strips to the flat sides viewed perpendicular to the center axis of the center strip is selected such that an engaged interlock of a sheet pile wall component is always supported at at least two sides of the lock chamber formed by the hook strip and the flat side. For example, if the profiled connecting element is used to couple sheet piles with so-called Larssen hooks, the Larssen hook will—in the ideal case—be supported in a planar fashion in the lock chamber. However, due to existing manufacturing tolerances and occurring deviations in the installed position, there is often only a single line-shaped contact between the Larssen hook and the lock chamber accompanied by corresponding high loads at the lock and the lock chamber. As a result of the pattern based on the invention, the lock is supported in the lock chamber at at least two lines.

As experiments have shown, the specified opening angle of the flat sides running towards each other is in a range of 10° to 30°, preferably in a range of 15° to 25°. This results in at least a sufficiently high rigidity while with a sufficiently great opening angle, the support effect in the lock chamber mentioned above can be ensured as well.

Due to the rigidity in the area of the transitional sections, the profiled connecting element can be designed with an overall lighter weight than comparable conventional profiled connecting elements. For example, if the hook strips are designed identically and exhibit at least an approximately constant wall thickness, it is sufficient for the function of the profiled connecting element that the wall thickness of the hook strip is less than that of the center strip in its strongest section. For example, the greatest distance between the flat sides viewed perpendicular to the center axis of the center strip corresponds preferably at least to one-and-a-half times, preferably to two times the wall thickness of the hook strips.

To achieve a uniform stress distribution, it is furthermore recommended to design the identically formed hook strips in a manner that they protrude from the center strip, running mirror-symmetrical to the center axis.

If the profiled connecting element is used to connect only two sheet piles, it is recommended—for reasons of saving weight—to dimension the center strip and the hook strips respectively such that on the one hand the required strength in the transitional sections is ensured and on the other hand a malfunction of the hook strips, in which the interlocks of the sheet piles engage, is prevented. For example, it is recommended that for this purpose the center strip tapers off only to a common plane with the free ends of the hook strips.

In a particularly advantageous embodiment of the profiled connecting element based on the invention, the hook strips are designed identical, whereby the transitional section of each hook strip transitions into a connection section that runs at an at least approximately right angle to the center axis of the center strip, with said connection section itself transitioning into a curved hook section, whose free end section points in the direction of the center strip. Alternatively, the hook strips can be designed differently as well, for example as Hoesch claws.

In a particularly advantageous development of this embodiment, the curved hook section covers a 180° arc and preferably exhibits a semicircular shape. Hook strips formed in this manner are particularly suited for engaging Larssen hooks.

If the profiled connecting element is used to couple two sheet piles, it is recommended to let the free end of the center strip and the two end sections of the hook strips end in at least approximately the same plane perpendicular to the center axis of the center strip. This ensures a low weight and at the same time through the design of the center strip that the interlocks of the sheet piles that are engaged in the hook strips do not come apart unintentionally.

For an alternative embodiment of the profiled connecting element based on the invention, it is recommended to design the end of the center strip as a third hook strip. In this case, one of the flat sides of the center strip preferably forms a Larssen interlock together with the third hook strip.

The profiled connecting element based on the invention can be designed as an extruded part. However, it is of particular advantage if the profiled connecting element is manufactured by rolling, preferably by hot rolling. When rolling the profiled connecting element, the rolled sections of the profiled connecting element as well as the transitional sections and the center strip are compressed additionally by the cold or hot forming in their structure in the areas close to the surface, i.e., at material depths of a few tenths of a millimeter to several millimeters, causing an additional increase in strength in these sections.

According to an additional aspect of the invention, the invention also relates to a sheet pile wall comprised of several sheet piles, wherein at least two sheet piles are connected to each other through a profiled connecting element as defined in one of the earlier claims.

For a full understanding of the present invention, reference should now be made to the following detailed description of two exemplary embodiments of the invention as illustrated in the accompanying drawing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top view of the front face of a first embodiment of a profiled connecting element according to the invention for connecting two sheet piles.

FIG. 2 is a top view of the front face of a second embodiment of a profiled connecting element according to the invention for connecting three sheet piles.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The preferred embodiments of the present invention will now be described with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings.

FIG. 1 shows a top view of the front face of a first exemplary embodiment of a profiled connecting element 10 based on the invention. Viewed across its length, the profiled connecting element 10 has a constant cross-sectional shape as can be seen in FIG. 1. The length of the profiled connecting element 10 is adapted to the length of the sheet pile to be engaged in the profiled connecting element 10.

The profiled connecting element 10 features a center strip 12. Close to the longitudinal edge 14 of the center strip 12 shown on top in FIG. 1, two hook strips 20 and 22 protrude from the two flat sides 16 and 18 of said center strip. The two hook strips 20 and 22 are designed identically and are molded onto the center strip 12 mirror-symmetrical relative to the center axis M of the center strip 12.

Since the two hook strips 20 and 22 are designed mirror-symmetrical, their structure is explained in greater detail below based on the hook strip 20 shown in FIG. 1 on the left.

The hook strip 20 features a transitional section 24 that protrudes at an angle of approximately 50° relative to the center axis M of the center strip 12 from said center strip, whereby said transitional section transitions into the flat side 14 while forming a radius R1. The transitional section 24 is followed by a straight running connection section 26 that runs at a right angle relative to the center axis M. The connection section 26 itself transitions into a curved hook section 28 that is shaped like a semi-circle and covers a 180° arc. The inside radius R2 of the semicircular hook section 28 is dimensioned smaller than the radius R1 of the transitional section 24 into the flat side 16.

The free end section 30 of the hook section 28 runs straight, is slightly extended, and points toward the flat side 16 and together with said flat side forms a jaw 32. The length of the free end section 30 is dimensioned such that the opening width of the jaw 32 corresponds at least approximately to the arc diameter b of the semicircular hook section 28.

According to the invention, with the profiled connecting element 10 the flat sides 16 and 18 are inclined toward each other and run toward each other at an opening angle α of 20° in the direction of the free end 34 shown in FIG. 1 such that the center strip 12 tapers off toward its free end 34. In the shown exemplary embodiment, the greatest distance c perpendicular to the center axis M between the two flat sides 16 and 18 (measured directly following the transitional sections 24 of the two hook strips 20 and 22) corresponds to twice the at least approximately constant wall thickness d of the hook strips 20 and 22.

Through the manner of the design of the center strip 12 a significantly greater rigidity is achieved in the area of the transitional sections 24 of the hook strips 20 and 22 when compared to the known profiled connecting elements as described, for example, in DE 298 21 624 U1, such that for the profiled connecting element based on the invention, the hook strips 20 and 22 can be dimensioned with smaller wall thicknesses d than the center strip 12. At the same time, through the interaction of the tapering off flat sides of the center strip 12 and the rounded, angled transitional sections 24, tensions affecting the hook strips 20 and 22 are dissipated better into the profiled connecting element 10.

As FIG. 1 shows, where a sheet pile 36 is engaged in the hook strip 22 shown on the right with its interlock 38 designed as a Larssen hook, the slightly inclined progression of the flat sides 16 and 18 in the area of the hook strips 20 and 22 additionally results in an improved pivotability without the ability of the interlock 38 of the sheet pile 36 to come loose from the hook strip 22.

In this manner, the inclined progression of the flat sides 16 and/or 18 results for one in a greater opening width a of the jaw 32, which in turn allows for pivoting of the interlock 38 of the sheet pile 36 in a greater pivoting range.

On the other hand, the opening angle α of the two flat sides 16 and 18 and thus, their inclines are selected such that the interlock 38 of the sheet pile 36 is supported by the flat sides 16 and 18 and the free end section 30 even in extreme pivoting positions, such that a coming loose of the interlock 38 from the hook strip 20 and/or 22 is effectively prevented.

FIG. 2 shows a second exemplary embodiment of a profiled connecting element 50 based on the invention that differs from the profiled connecting element 10 shown in FIG. 1 only in that the center strip 52 is extended with a constant wall thickness approximately at the height of the bottom sides of the hook strips 54 and 56 and in that its free end 58 is designed as an additional hook strip 60. To this end, the free end 58 is bent at a right angle and is at its end extended in the shape of a wedge when viewed cross-sectionally. In this manner, the hook strip 60 forms together with the extended section of the center strip 52 with the constant wall thickness of a Larssen interlock in which the interlock 38 of an additional sheet pile 36 can engage, as is shown in FIG. 2.

Here too the profiled connecting element 50 distinguishes itself by the greater rigidity when compared to the known profiled connecting elements.

An additional advantage of the two profiled connecting elements 10 and 50 is that through the slightly wedge-shaped pattern of the center strip 12 or 52, respectively in the area of the hook strips 20 and 22 or 54 and 56, respectively, the profiled connecting element 10 or 50, respectively, can be manufactured by hot or cold rolling such that the manufacturing costs can be reduced when compared to those profiled elements manufactured through extrusion. Furthermore, the structure of the profiled connecting elements 10 and 50 is additionally compressed in the area of the transitional sections 24 and in the sections of the center strip 12 that taper off in material depths of several tenths of a millimeter up to several millimeters, resulting in an additional increase in the strength and therefore in the rigidity of the profiled connecting element 10 or 50, respectively.

There has thus been shown and described a novel profiled connecting element as well as a sheet pile wall with such a profiled connecting element which fulfills all the objects and advantages sought therefor. Many changes, modifications, variations and other uses and applications of the subject invention will, however, become apparent to those skilled in the art after considering this specification and the accompanying drawings which disclose the preferred embodiments thereof. All such changes, modifications, variations and other uses and applications which do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention are deemed to be covered by the invention, which is to be limited only by the claims which follow.