Title:
MOVEABLE BARRIER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A moveable barrier includes a frame having a plurality of spaced apart frame members and a reinforcing layer fastened to at least one of the frame members. A first concrete portion at least partially embeds at least one of the frame members, and a foot assembly is attached to the frame. The foot assembly is rotatable from a stored position generally in-plane with the frame, to a deployed position generally normal to the plane of the frame.



Inventors:
Jirsa, Stephen (Cardiff., CA, US)
Application Number:
12/166023
Publication Date:
01/07/2010
Filing Date:
07/01/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
404/6
International Classes:
E04C5/08; E01F13/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GITLIN, MATTHEW J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GREER, BURNS & CRAIN, LTD (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A moveable barrier comprising: a frame including a plurality of spaced apart frame members; a reinforcing layer fastened to at least one of said frame members; a first concrete portion at least partially embedding at least one of said frame members; and a foot assembly attached to said frame, wherein said foot assembly is adjustable from a stored position generally in-plane with said frame, to a deployed position generally normal to the plane of said frame.

2. The moveable barrier of claim 1 wherein the concrete portion is concrete having a density of 400 to 1760 kg/m3 (25 to 110 pcf).

3. The moveable barrier of claim 1 wherein said first concrete portion at least partially embeds a first side of said at least one frame member, and further comprising a second concrete portion at least partially embedding a second side of said at least one frame member.

4. The moveable barrier of claim 3 further comprising a foam substrate disposed between said first concrete portion and said second concrete portion.

5. The moveable barrier of claim 1 wherein said reinforcing layer includes a slit and expanded metal lath.

6. The moveable barrier of claim 1 wherein said foot assembly comprises: a generally elongate leg; an attachment member extending generally perpendicularly from said leg; and a receiving member disposed in said frame and configured for receiving the attachment member to couple said leg to said frame.

7. The moveable barrier of claim 6 wherein said leg and said attachment member are fixed, and wherein said attachment member is rotatable with respect to said receiving member.

8. The moveable barrier of claim 7 wherein said attachment member is received at an interior surface of said receiving member.

9. The moveable barrier of claim 7 wherein said attachment member and said receiving member have aligned holes at 90-degree increments to receive a fastener to fix the rotational position of said attachment member with respect to said receiving member.

10. A moveable barrier comprising: a frame including a plurality of spaced apart frame members; a first concrete portion at least partially embedding a first side of at least one of said frame members; a second concrete portion at least partially embedding a second side of at least one of said frame members, wherein said first and second concrete portions extend generally the length and width of said frame; and a foot assembly attached to said frame, wherein said foot assembly is rotatable from a stored position generally in-plane with said frame, to a deployed position generally normal to the plane of said frame.

11. The moveable barrier of claim 10 further comprising a reinforcing layer fastened to at least one of said frame members.

12. The moveable barrier of claim 10 further comprising a lifting formation on an exterior surface of the moveable barrier.

13. The moveable barrier of claim 10 wherein said foot assembly comprises: a generally elongate leg; a generally cylindrical attachment member extending generally perpendicularly from said leg; and a receiving member disposed in said frame and configured for receiving the attachment member to couple said leg to said frame; wherein said leg and said attachment member are fixed, and wherein said attachment member is rotatable with respect to said receiving member.

14. The moveable barrier of claim 13 wherein said attachment member is received at an interior surface of said receiving member.

15. A moveable barrier comprising: a frame including a plurality of spaced apart frame members; a reinforcing layer fastened to at least one of said frame members; a first concrete portion attached to at least one of said frame members; and a foot assembly attached to said frame, wherein said foot assembly is rotatable from a stored position generally in-plane with said frame, to a deployed position generally normal to the plane of said frame, said foot assembly comprising: a generally elongate leg; a generally cylindrical attachment member extending generally perpendicularly from said leg; and a receiving member disposed in said frame and configured for receiving the attachment member to couple said leg to said frame; wherein said leg and said attachment member are fixed, and wherein said attachment member is rotatable with respect to said receiving member.

16. The moveable barrier of claim 15 further comprising a front surface, a rear surface opposite said front surface, a top surface, a first side surface and a second side surface, wherein said front surface, said rear surface, said top surface, said first side surface and said second side surface are concrete.

17. The moveable barrier of claim 15 wherein said frame members comprise at least one C-channel member, and said first concrete portion at least partially embeds said C-channel member.

18. The moveable barrier of claim 15 wherein said receiving member is a square tube and said attachment member is received at an interior surface of said receiving member.

19. The moveable barrier of claim 18 wherein said receiving member is disposed between and attached to two frame members.

20. A moveable barrier comprising: a plurality of frame members arranged to define a frame; at least one intermediate layer attached to said frame and having a first density; at least one concrete layer encapsulating said first layer and overlying said frame, said concrete layer having a density greater than said first density; a foot assembly attached to said frame, wherein said foot assembly is adjustable from a stored position generally in-plane with said frame, to a deployed position generally normal to the plane of said frame.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to moveable barriers. Another aspect of the present invention relates to a moveable barrier having a rotatable leg assembly.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Barriers are used in a variety of situations, such as crowd control barriers to direct crowds in a desired location, as cordoning barriers to limit access to areas located behind the barrier, and as protective barriers to protect objects located behind the barrier.

Barriers typically include a metal frame having a top rail, a bottom rail, and a plurality of vertical rails positioned between the top rail and the bottom rail. This fence-type of barrier also typically has a base attached to the bottom rail for supporting the frame in a vertical position. The base is typically fixed to the frame such as with a bolted connection. A disadvantage of a bolted or welded connection is that the base is in a fixed position with respect to the frame, making storage and transportation of the barrier difficult.

Concrete barriers are also known. Solid concrete barriers are strong and prevent viewing across the barrier, however concrete is extremely heavy. As such, concrete barriers are very difficult to transport and maneuver into position. Concrete barriers typically require very massive concrete bases to maintain them in the upright position. Due to their weight and to the structures required to anchor them to the ground, concrete barriers tend to leave a footprint at the location where they are placed, even after they are removed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A moveable barrier includes a frame having a plurality of spaced apart frame members and a reinforcing layer fastened to at least one of the frame members. A first concrete portion at least partially embeds at least one of the frame members, and a foot assembly is attached to the frame. The foot assembly is adjustable from a stored position generally in-plane with the frame to a deployed position generally normal to the plane of the frame.

Another embodiment of a moveable barrier includes a frame having a plurality of spaced apart frame members and a first concrete portion at least partially embedding a first side of at least one of the frame members. A second concrete portion at least partially embeds a second side of at least one of the frame members. The first and second concrete portions extend generally the length and the width of the frame, and a foot assembly is attached to the frame. The foot assembly is rotatable from a stored position generally in-plane with the frame to a deployed position generally normal to the plane of the frame.

In another embodiment of a moveable barrier, a frame has a plurality of spaced apart frame members. A reinforcing layer is fastened to at least one of the frame members, and a first concrete portion is attached to at least one of the frame members. A foot assembly is also attached to the frame and is rotatable from a stored position generally in-plane with the frame to a deployed position generally normal to the plane of the frame. The foot assembly includes a generally elongate leg, a generally cylindrical attachment member extending generally perpendicularly from the leg, and a receiving member disposed in the frame and configured for receiving the attachment member to couple the leg to the frame. The leg and the attachment member are fixed, and the attachment member is rotatable with respect to the receiving member.

Another embodiment of a moveable barrier includes a plurality of frame members arranged to define a frame, at least one intermediate layer attached to the frame and having a first density, and at least one concrete layer encapsulating the first layer and overlying the frame. The concrete layer has a density greater than the first density. Also included is a foot assembly attached to the frame, wherein the foot assembly is adjustable from a stored position generally in-plane with the frame, to a deployed position generally normal to the plane of the frame.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a moveable barrier of the present invention having a panel and a foot assembly in a deployed position;

FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of the moveable barrier of FIG. 1 with the foot assembly in a stored position;

FIG. 3 is a partial perspective view of the panel of FIG. 1 with portions broken away to reveal the material layers thereof;

FIG. 4 is a section view of the panel taken along line A-A of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is an exploded view of the foot assembly of the moveable barrier of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a front perspective view of the foot assembly of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a section view of the foot assembly taken along line A-A of FIG. 6; and

FIG. 8 is a section view of the foot assembly taken along line B-B of FIG. 6.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIGS. 1-2, a moveable barrier is generally designated 10. The moveable barrier 10 includes a panel 12 and foot assembly, generally indicated as 14. The panel 12 has a front surface 16, a rear surface 18, a top surface 20, a first side surface 22 and a second side surface 24, each surface preferably being formed of concrete.

The foot assembly 14 is attached to the panel 12 and is rotatable from a stored position generally in-plane with the panel (shown in solid lines in FIG. 2), to a deployed position generally normal to the plane of the panel (shown in FIG. 1 and in dashed lines in FIG. 2). The foot assembly 14 is preferably made of metal, and more preferably is made of steel, however, it is also contemplated that the foot assembly can be made of other types of metal or rigid material such as fiber glass and carbon fiber composites.

Referring now to FIGS. 3-4, the portions of the panel 12 are broken away to reveal a frame 26. The frame 26 includes a plurality of frame members 28 including a top frame member 30, a bottom frame member 32 (see FIG. 6), side frame members 34, and at least one intermediate frame member 36. The frame members 30, 32, 34 generally define the periphery of the frame 26.

The frame 26 is made of a plurality of C-channel frame members 28, but can be made of other types of frame members and can include different types of frame members, such as metal studs, or any other shaped members. The frame 26 is also preferably made of steel, however, it is also contemplated that the frame can be made of other types of metal or rigid material such as fiber glass and carbon fiber composites.

The frame members 28 include a web 38 and two opposing flanges 40 projecting normally from each end of the web, as is known in the art with respect to C-channels. Each frame member 28 is arranged and attached to at least one other frame member to form the frame 26.

The frame 26 is fabricated by attaching the frame members 28 together with fasteners such as screws, rivets or any other method. A reinforcing layer, such as slit and expanded metal lath 42, or wire mesh or other reinforcement known in the art, is also used to connect the frame members 28 into the frame 26. The reinforcing layer 42 is preferably attached to the exterior front, rear, sides, and top surfaces of the frame 26 at the flanges 40.

Located at the front surface 16 of the panel 12 is a first concrete portion 44, and located at the rear surface 18 is a second concrete portion 46. The first concrete portion 44 embeds the reinforcing layer 42 and the flange 40 nearest the front surface 16, and the second concrete portion 46 embeds the reinforcing layer 42 and the flange 40 nearest the rear surface 18. It is also contemplated that the concrete portions 44 and 46 can be fastened to the frame 26 instead of or in addition to embedding the frame.

The concrete portions 44, 46 can be made of conventional, lightweight or aerated concrete. For purposes of this patent application, conventional concrete has a cured density of about 2400 kg/m3 (150 pcf), while lightweight concrete has a cured density of about 1922 kg/m3 (120 pcf) or less. Aerated concrete, or foam concrete, is a species of lightweight concrete typically having a cured density of about 160 to 2243 kg/m3 (10 to 140 pcf). Preferably, the concrete portions 44, 46 are lightweight concrete having a cured density of about 50 to 70 pcf, and more preferably, having a cured density of about 60 pcf.

Disposed between the first concrete portion 44 and the second concrete portion 46 is an intermediate substrate 48, preferably a lightweight material such as polystyrene foam. It is contemplated that other layers can be incorporated on the panel 12. With the foam and lightweight concrete construction, the panel 12 is significantly lighter than a conventional, solid concrete slab barrier, while retaining high strength characteristics due to the frame 26 structure.

To form the panel 12, the frame members 28 are fastened in the preferred arrangement. The intermediate substrate 48 is disposed between the frame members 28, generally spanning from web 38 to web of adjacent frame members. The intermediate substrate 48 is about 1 to 5 inches thick, and is preferably about 3½ inches thick.

The reinforcing layer 42 is laid across the first flanges 40 located near the front surface 16 of the respective frame members 28, and is secured to the frame member with screws, ties, spot welding or any other fastening method. The reinforcing layer 42 is similarly laid across and secured to other flanges 40 located near the rear surface 18 of the frame members 28 as well as sides 22 and 24 and top 20, and secured in place. It is contemplated that the reinforcing layer 42 can be laid across all or a portion of the frame member 28. Alternatively, it is contemplated that no reinforcing layer 42 is used.

When the frame 26 is complete, it is preferably taken to a pouring pad and placed between forms. As is known in the art, the pouring pad is a conventional, planar, horizontal surface that is used, typically with forms, in the fabrication of precast concrete structures.

Concrete is poured onto the frame 26 such that the front surface 16, the rear surface 18, the top surface 20, the first side surface 22 and the second side surface 24 of the panel 12 each have a layer of concrete. It is also contemplated that a lower surface 50 can also have a layer of concrete, however it is preferred that the bottom frame member 32 (FIG. 6) does not have a layer of concrete at the exterior surface of its web 38.

Referring to FIG. 4, the first concrete portion 44 and the second concrete portion 46 each have a total thickness in the range of about 1 to 4 inches, and preferably about 2¼ inches, with about ¼ inch to 2 inches, and preferably about 1 inch of thickness located to the exterior of the frame 26. Referring to FIG. 3, it is also contemplated that there is about ¼ inch to 2 inches of thickness, and preferably about 1 inch of thickness of concrete at the top surface 20, the first side surface 22 and the second side surface 24.

It will further be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the size and configuration of the frame members 28, in addition to the type and amount of concrete used, will vary to suit the use. For example, a barrier wall that is intended to bear a large load will require different frame and concrete characteristics than a barrier wall that is intended to bear a small load. The preferred dimensions of the panel 12 can be in the range of about 5 to 20 feet and preferably about 10-feet in length, about 4 to 10 feet and preferably about 6 feet in height, and about 4 to 12 inches and preferably about 5½ to 7½ inches in width.

Further, it is contemplated that the panel 12 can have openings where concrete is removed or not poured, and can be of any desirable shape and dimension. It is also contemplated that the panels 12 can have linking structures so that multiple barriers 10 can be linked to form a generally continuous wall. Further still, it is contemplated that the panel 12 can include a lifting formation 52 (see FIG. 1) to facilitate the transportation of the moveable barrier 10.

Referring now to FIGS. 5-8, one foot assembly 14 of the moveable barrier 10 will described, although it is contemplated that one or a plurality of foot assemblies can be used with the moveable barrier 10. The foot assembly 14 includes a generally elongate leg 54 attached to a generally cylindrical attachment member 56 that extends generally perpendicularly from the leg. The legs 54 have a length in the range of about 3 to 7 feet, and preferably about 5 feet, depending on the size of the panel 12.

The attachment member 56 has a cylindrical shape, however other shapes are contemplated, such as square, triangle and others. The dimensions of the attachment member 56 are in the range of about 1 to 3 feet, and preferably about 1½ feet in length with an outer diameter of about 3 to 5 inches, and preferably about 4 inches.

The leg 54 and the attachment member 56 are preferably fixed together, such as with a weld or any other fastening method. At least one and preferably two pairs of aligned holes 58 are located on the attachment member 56 and spaced at about 180-degrees from each other such that each hole is about 90-degrees from the adjacent hole.

A receiving member 62 is generally hollow and is configured for receiving the attachment member 56 to couple the leg 54 to the frame 26. The bottom frame member 32 is attached to the frame 26 and includes an opening 60 in the web 38 of the bottom frame member (FIG. 5). The receiving member 62 extends through the opening 60.

As shown in FIG. 6, an upper portion 64 of the receiving member 62 is disposed between adjacent intermediate frame members 36, and a lower portion 66 extends outwardly from the bottom frame member 32. The lower portion 66 engages the top surface of the leg 54 and provides a clearance 67 (FIG. 8) between the top surface of the leg 54 and the bottom surface of the bottom frame member 32.

The adjacent intermediate frame members 36 are C-channel members with their respective webs 38 facing towards each other and their respective flanges 40 facing away from each other, however other shaped members are contemplated. The intermediate frame members 36 are attached to the bottom frame member 32, and it is contemplated that the intermediate frame members 36 can also be attached to other frame members 28. As shown in FIG. 7, the flanges 40 of the intermediate frame members 36 can be received in a slot of the flanges of the bottom frame member 32, or attached in any other manner.

The receiving member 62 is square-tube shaped and has two opposite surfaces engaging the webs 38 of the two adjacent intermediate frame members 36. The receiving member 62 is attached to the intermediate frame members 36 along the length of the receiving member, such as with screws or power-driven nails, 68. A group of these fasteners 68 is installed to attach the low ends of members 36 and 62 such that the fasteners 68 extend into the annular space between 56 and 62 as shown in FIG. 7 such that they do not interfere with the adjustability of 56 within 62. While the receiving member 62 preferably has a square-tube shape, other shapes, such as a cylinder-shape, are contemplated. The dimensions of the square-tube are in the range of about 3 to 6 inches by 3 to 6 inches by ⅛ to ¾ inches, and most preferably 4½ by 4½ by 3/16 inches. The height of the receiving member 62 can be the entire height or a portion of the height of the panel 12, however it is preferred that the receiving member 62 have a height of at least a ⅙ of the height of the panel, and preferably have generally the same height as the panel.

Referring to FIGS. 5-8, the attachment member 56 is received at an interior surface 70 of the receiving member 62. The generally cylindrical attachment member 56 is adjustable within and with respect to the receiving member 62, where “adjustable” should be understood to encompass, without limitation, rotatable, removable, insertable, displaceable, and foldable.

To rotatably fix the attachment member 56 with respect to the receiving member 62, the receiving member also preferably has two pairs of aligned holes 72 that are spaced at about 180-degrees from each other such that each hole is about 90-degrees from the adjacent hole. In the square-shaped embodiment, there is preferably one hole 72 on each surface of the square.

When the attachment member 56 is received in the receiving member 62, the holes 72 are alignable with the holes 58 (see FIGS. 5 and 8). A fastener 74, such as a bolt, is used to fix the rotational position of the attachment member 56 with respect to the receiving member 62. The clearance 67 between the bottom frame member 32 and the leg 54 permits the user to insert and remove the fastener 74.

When the moveable barrier 10 is in use, the legs 54 are rotated to a deployed position that is generally normal to the plane of the panel 12, and the fastener 74 fixes that position. When the moveable barrier is to be removed or transported, the fastener 74 is removed from the holes 58, 72 and the legs 54 are rotated to a position that is generally in-plane with the panel 12, and the fastener 74 is re-inserted into the holes to fix that position. When the fastener 74 is removed from the holes 58, 72, it is contemplated that the attachment member 56 is removable from the receiving member 62. However, it is also contemplated that the attachment member 56 can be rotatably fixed to the receiving member 62, such as by providing an annular rim to the top surface of the attachment member, or a protrusion that travels within a slot of the receiving member.

The combination of the lightweight concrete and steel panel 12 with the rotatable foot assembly 14 makes the moveable barrier 10 strong, lightweight, and easily transportable. Further, when the moveable barrier 10 is removed, there is little to no impact, footprint or evidence on the environment where the moveable barrier was once placed.

While specific embodiments of the moveable barrier of the present invention have been shown and described, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made thereto without departing from the invention in its broader aspects and as set forth in the following claims.





 
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