Title:
SEALANT ASSEMBLIES AND METHODS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Sealant assemblies and methods are provided for sealing an interface between a surface and a projection extending from the surface. The sealant assembly includes a flexible member circumscribing an area to form a sealant pocket and a filling sealant at least partially filling the sealant pocket. The filling sealant and the flexible member comprise substantially the same material.



Inventors:
Janoski, Ronald J. (Chagrin Falls, OH, US)
Rundo, Mark C. (Chagrin Falls, OH, US)
Karas, Jonathan A. (Solon, OH, US)
Kerman, Michael Lewis (Romeo, MI, US)
Berard, Nicholas John (Novi, MI, US)
Mazorow, Wayne (Orange Village, OH, US)
Snowwhite, Paul E. (Dexter, MI, US)
Ruede, Paul (Brooklyn, MI, US)
Application Number:
12/503757
Publication Date:
01/21/2010
Filing Date:
07/15/2009
Assignee:
ADCO PRODUCTS, INC. (Michigan Center, MI, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/741.4
International Classes:
E04D13/14; E04G21/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GILBERT, WILLIAM V
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Vivacqua Crane (Ann Arbor, MI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A sealant assembly for sealing an interface between a support surface and a projection extending from the support surface, the sealant assembly comprising: a flexible member circumscribing an area having the interface to form a sealant pocket, the flexible member including a unitary body piece, wherein the unitary body piece includes a first mating surface, a second mating surface opposing the first mating surface, and a third mating surface opposing the support surface, wherein the first mating surface includes a first feature that is removeably engageable with a second feature of the second mating surface; and a filling sealant at least partially filling the sealant pocket, and wherein the filling sealant and the flexible member comprise substantially the same polymeric material.

2. The sealant assembly of claim 1, wherein the first mating surface and the second mating surface are separable by at least a predetermined amount.

3. The sealant assembly of claim 2, wherein the predetermined amount corresponds to a dimension of the projection.

4. The sealant assembly of claim 1, wherein the first feature is a projection on the first mating surface and the second feature is a recess on the second mating surface.

5. The sealant assembly of claim 4, wherein the projection on the first mating surface extends substantially perpendicular to the first mating surface and has an end that extends in a plane that is substantially parallel to the first mating surface, and wherein the recess on the second mating surface is configured to receive the projection.

6. The sealant assembly of claim 1, wherein a height of a cross section of the flexible member decreases in a direction away from the sealant pocket.

7. The sealant assembly of claim 6, wherein the cross section is substantially a right triangle having a first leg that is coextensive with the third mating surface and a second leg opposing the sealant pocket.

8. The sealant assembly of claim 7, wherein the filling sealant comprises a first part having a first color and a second part having a different second color, and wherein the filling sealant has a different third color that is produced by mixing the first part and the second part, wherein the third color indicates whether the first part and the second part were mixed properly.

9. The sealant assembly of claim 8, wherein the third color of the filling sealant is substantially the same as a color of the flexible member.

10. The sealant assembly of claim 9, wherein the third color is a secondary color.

11. The sealant assembly of claim 9, wherein the first color is white and the second color is a primary color.

12. The sealant assembly of claim 9, wherein the first color is white and the second color is a secondary color.

13. The sealant assembly of claim 1, wherein the flexible member conforms to slight variations in the surface.

14. The sealant assembly of claim 1, wherein the flexible member and the filling sealant are formed by blending a premixed first part with a premixed second part, and wherein the premixed first part has a composition comprising: a first polyol in an amount from 85% to 95% by weight; an adhesion promoter in an amount up to 1% by weight; a UV stabilizer in an amount up to 2% by weight; a metal catalyst in an amount from about 0.01% to 0.5% by weight; a dessicant in an amount up to 5% by weight; a first viscosity modifier in an amount up to 5% by weight; and a first pigment in an amount from about 0.2% to 4% by weight, and wherein the premixed second part has a composition comprising: an isocyanate in an amount from about 30% to about 70% by weight; a plasticizer in an amount from about 10% to about 30% by weight; a second viscosity modifier in an amount up to 5% by weight; a second polyol in an amount from about 15% to 55% by weight; a catalyst in an amount up to 0.05% by weight; and a second pigment in an amount up to 2% by weight.

15. The sealant assembly of claim 14, wherein the first polyol and the second polyol further comprise renewable polyols.

16. The sealant assembly of claim 14, wherein the composition of the premixed first part of the flexible member has a higher weight percent of the metal catalyst than the composition of the premixed first part of the filling sealant.

17. The sealant assembly of claim 14, wherein the composition of the premixed first part of the flexible member has a higher weight percent of the first polyol than the composition of the premixed first part of the filling sealant.

18. The sealant assembly of claim 14, wherein the first polyol has the same material composition as the second polyol.

19. A sealant assembly for sealing an interface between a support surface and a projection extending from the support surface, the sealant assembly comprising: a flexible member circumscribing an area having the interface to form a sealant pocket, the flexible member having a composition and including a body piece, wherein the body piece includes a first mating surface, a second mating surface opposing the first mating surface, and a third mating surface opposing the support surface, wherein the first mating surface includes a projection that is removeably engageable with a recess on the second mating surface, and wherein the projection on the first mating surface extends substantially perpendicular to the first mating surface and has an end that extends in a plane that is substantially parallel to the first mating surface, and wherein the recess on the second mating surface is configured to receive the projection, and wherein a cross section of the flexible member is substantially a right triangle having a first leg that is coextensive with the third mating surface and a second leg opposing the sealant pocket; and a filling sealant having the composition and at least partially filling the sealant pocket, and wherein the composition has a first part and a second part, wherein the flexible member and the filling sealant are formed by blending a premixed first part with a premixed second part, and wherein the premixed first part has a composition comprising: a first polyol in an amount from 85% to 95% by weight; an adhesion promoter in an amount up to 1% by weight; a UV stabilizer in an amount up to 2% by weight; a metal catalyst in an amount from about 0.01% to 0.5% by weight; a dessicant in an amount up to 5% by weight; a first viscosity modifier in an amount up to 5% by weight; and a first pigment in an amount from about 0.2% to 4% by weight, and wherein the premixed second part has a composition comprising: an isocyanate in an amount from about 30% to about 70% by weight; a plasticizer in an amount from about 10% to about 30% by weight; a second viscosity modifier in an amount up to 5% by weight; a second polyol in an amount from about 15% to 55% by weight; a catalyst in an amount up to 0.05% by weight; and a second pigment in an amount up to 2% by weight.

20. The sealant assembly of claim 19, wherein the premixed first part of the filling sealant has a first color and the premixed second part of the filling sealant has a different second color, and wherein the filling sealant has a different third color that is produced by mixing the first part and the second part, wherein the third color indicates whether the first part and the second part were mixed properly.

21. The sealant assembly of claim 20, wherein the third color of the filling sealant is substantially the same as a color of the flexible member.

22. The sealant assembly of claim 20, wherein the third color is a secondary color.

23. The sealant assembly of claim 20, wherein the first color is white and the second color is a primary color.

24. The sealant assembly of claim 20, wherein the first color is white and the second color is a secondary color.

25. The sealant assembly of claim 19, wherein the body piece includes a plurality of corner pieces.

26. The sealant assembly of claim 25, wherein the flexible member further includes at least one pair of side extension pieces disposed between two of the plurality of corner pieces.

27. The sealant assembly of claim 26, wherein the at least one pair of side extensions includes a first pair and a second pair, and wherein the first pair has a length that is different from a length of the second pair.

28. The sealant assembly of claim 14, wherein the composition of the premixed first part of the flexible member has a higher weight percent of the metal catalyst and the first polyol than the composition of the premixed first part of the filling sealant, and wherein the first polyol has the same material composition as the second polyol.

29. A method for sealing an interface between a support surface and a projection extending from the support surface, the method comprising: providing a flexible member comprising: a unitary body piece, wherein the unitary body piece includes a first mating surface, a second mating surface opposing the first mating surface, and a third mating surface, wherein the first mating surface includes a first feature that is removeably engageable with a second feature of the second mating surface; separating the first mating surface and the second mating surface; enclosing an area having the interface by moving the flexible member so that the projection passes between the first mating surface and the second mating surface; forming a sealant pocket by engaging the first feature with the second feature and placing the flexible member on the support surface; blending a premixed first part and a premixed second part to create a filling sealant that is substantially the same polymeric material as the flexible member; and at least partially filling the sealant pocket with the filling sealant.

30. The method of claim 29, wherein mixing the filling sealant further comprises apportioning the first part having a first color and the second part having a second color so that the filling sealant has a third color, wherein the third color is substantially the same as a color of the flexible member.

31. The method of claim 29, wherein forming a sealant pocket further comprises applying a layer of adhesive to the support surface and placing the flexible member on the support surface over the adhesive.

32. The method of claim 29, wherein providing a flexible member further comprises blending the premixed first part with the premixed second part, and wherein the premixed first part has a composition comprising: a first polyol in an amount from 85% to 95% by weight; an adhesion promoter in an amount up to 1% by weight; a UV stabilizer in an amount up to 2% by weight; a metal catalyst in an amount from about 0.01% to 0.5% by weight; a dessicant in an amount up to 5% by weight; a first viscosity modifier in an amount up to 5% by weight; and a first pigment in an amount from about 0.2% to 4% by weight, and wherein the premixed second part has a composition comprising: an isocyanate in an amount from about 30% to about 70% by weight; a plasticizer in an amount from about 10% about 30% by weight; a second viscosity modifier in an amount up to 5% by weight; a second polyol in an amount from about 15% to 55% by weight; a catalyst in an amount up to 0.05% by weight; and a second pigment in an amount up to 2% by weight.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. application Ser. No. 11/128,779, filed on May 13, 2005. The disclosure of the above application is incorporated herein by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to sealant assemblies and methods, and more particularly, to sealant assemblies and methods adapted to seal an interface between a surface and a projection extending from the surface.

BACKGROUND

The statements in this section merely provide background information related to the present disclosure and may or may not constitute prior art.

Buildings commonly incorporate roof surfaces designed to repel water and prevent water from leaking into interior areas of the building. Frequently, roof surfaces are also designed to accommodate one or more roof projections extending from the roof surface. For example, it is known to penetrate a roof surface with an exhaust pipe to allow venting of gases generated within the building. When roof projections are necessary, special care must be taken to avoid leak paths at the interface between the roof surface and the roof projection.

In an effort to prevent leaks, it is known to treat the interface area between the exhaust pipe and the roof surface with a sealant assembly. Conventional sealant assemblies are typically formed by circumscribing the exhaust pipe with a curb element to create a roof pocket about the exhaust pipe. Once the roof pocket is formed, a filling sealant is introduced into the roof pocket to complete the sealant assembly.

While frequently useful in various applications, conventional sealant assemblies may fail due to environmental exposure. For example, conventional sealant assemblies include a curb element and a filling sealant that comprise different materials. Using different materials may result in an insufficient bond between the curb element and the filling sealant, leading to separation of the curb element and the filling sealant. Furthermore, different materials often have substantially different coefficients of expansion. The differing coefficients of expansion can result in fracture of the interface between the curb element and the filling sealant as components of the assembly expand and contract at different rates during heating and cooling cycles. Moreover, forming the curb element and the filling sealant from different materials may discourage or prevent integral bonding that may further contribute to failure of any attachment interface between the curb element and the filling sealant. Separation at the interface limits the benefits of the curb element, leaving the filling sealant to seal the projection and the roof.

Conventional pocket sealant assemblies typically have a solid and inflexible curb element. When a roof is not perfectly flat the solid and inflexible curb element will not conform to the roof and may leave gaps between the inflexible curb element and the roof. These gaps may leave a leak path. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,768,838 issued to Georgeau discloses a solid thermosetting polyurethane curb element and U.S. Publication No. 2003/0014926 issued to Champa discloses a curb or structural section having vertical and horizontal portions. However, Georgeau and Champa do not teach that the polyurethane curb element and the structural section are flexible. In addition, Georgeau and Champa do not disclose a chemical composition that allows the curb to conform to irregularities on a roof.

The side walls of many conventional pocket sealant assemblies contribute to water pooling at the juncture between the outer edge of the curb element and the roof. Vertical or nearly vertical lower portions of the outer edge of the curb element allow water to flow down to the roof with little or no lateral momentum. Without lateral momentum, the water often pools next to the sealant pocket, increasing the chances of a leak.

For the reasons set forth above, conventional sealant assemblies may eventually degrade such that the curb element and the filling sealant are disassociated from one another. Such disassociation can contribute to leak-path formation that can lead to unnecessary and potentially catastrophic water damage within the building. Disassociation of the curb element can also introduce a loose object on the roof surface that might introduce a tripping hazard. A disassociated curb element may also tumble from the roof and thereafter present a dangerous falling object.

SUMMARY

Accordingly, it is an aspect of the present invention to obviate problems and shortcomings of conventional sealant assemblies and methods. More particularly, it is an aspect of the present invention to provide sealant assemblies and methods that discourage disassociation between a flexible member and the filling sealant of the sealant assembly.

In accordance with one aspect, a sealant assembly is provided for sealing an interface between a surface and a projection extending from the surface. The sealant assembly includes a flexible member circumscribing an area to form a sealant pocket. The sealant assembly further includes a filling sealant at least partially filling the sealant pocket. The filling sealant and the flexible member comprise substantially the same material.

In accordance with another aspect, a method of sealing an interface between a surface and a projection extending from the surface is provided. The method includes the step of positioning a flexible member on the surface with the flexible member circumscribing the projection and the projection extending through a sealant pocket defined by the flexible member and the surface. The method further includes the step of adding a filling sealant into the sealant pocket, wherein the filling sealant subsequently solidifies such that the flexible member and the solidified filling sealant form a solid sealant assembly with the flexible member and the solidified filling sealant comprising substantially the same material.

In accordance with still another aspect, a sealant assembly is provided. The sealing assembly includes a flexible member circumscribing an area to form a sealant pocket and a solidified filling sealant within the area and filling at least a portion of the sealant pocket. Sufficient plasticizer is included in the formulation to ensure that there is adequate flexibility in the flexible member such that it can conform to a slightly irregular roofing surface. The sealant assembly is formed by a process including the step of positioning the flexible member on a surface with the flexible member circumscribing a projection extending from the surface. The process further includes the step of adding a filling sealant into the sealant pocket, wherein the filling sealant is substantially contained within the sealant pocket. Still further, the process includes the step of permitting the filling sealant to solidify such that the flexible member and the solidified filling sealant form a solid sealant assembly with the flexible member and the solidified filling sealant comprising substantially the same material.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing and other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art to which the present invention relates upon reading the following description with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1A is a perspective view demonstrating an exemplary step of assembling a flexible member to circumscribe a projection extending from the surface;

FIG. 1B is a perspective view of an assembled flexible member;

FIG. 1C is a perspective view demonstrating an exemplary step of adding a filling sealant into a sealant pocket;

FIG. 1D is a perspective view of an exemplary sealant assembly in accordance with aspects of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the sealant assembly taken at line 2-2 of FIG. 1D;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of an exemplary corner element in accordance with aspects of the present invention;

FIG. 4A is a sectional view of the corner element along line 4A-4A of FIG. 3;

FIG. 4B is a sectional view of the corner element along line 4B-4B of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a left side elevational view of the corner element of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a front elevational view of the corner element of FIG. 3;

FIG. 7 is an assembled flexible member in accordance with another exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a sectional view of the flexible member along line 8-8 of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is another embodiment of a corner element in accordance with aspects of the present invention;

FIG. 10 is an isometric view of a flexible member in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 11 is an isometric view of a unitary piece flexible member in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 12A is a side view of a sealant assembly in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 12B is a cutaway view of a connection on a flexible member.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Certain terminology is used herein for convenience only and is not to be taken as a limitation on the present invention. Further, in the drawings, the same reference numerals are employed for designating the same elements, and in order to clearly and concisely illustrate the present invention, certain features may be shown in somewhat schematic form.

FIGS. 1A-1D illustrate an exemplary method of providing a sealant assembly 20 adapted to seal an interface 204 between a surface 200 and one or more projections 202 extending from the surface 200. Sealant assemblies and methods herein may be applied in a wide range of applications. For instance, sealant assemblies may be used in applications where it is necessary to provide a fluid seal at an interface between a projection and a surface. In one example, the sealant assembly can be used to seal an interface between a roof surface and a vent pipe extending from the roof surface.

Sealant assemblies herein include a flexible member that may circumscribe a single projection or any plurality of projections in accordance with aspects of the present invention. Flexible members may be provided in a wide variety of shapes and/or sizes depending on the particular application. Moreover, the flexible member is formed as a single piece. However, the present invention also contemplates that the flexible member is formed from a plurality of pieces that can be assembled together to circumscribe the one or more projections. For example, in an embodiment of the present invention, the flexible member includes a continuous ring in a variety of shapes such as a continuous circular, oval, square, triangular, rectangular, or other continuous shape that can circumscribe a projection. The continuous ring can be placed over the top of the projection to circumscribe the projection adjacent the interface. In further embodiments, the ring may be split so that it is not necessary to place the ring over the top of the projection. For example, the ring may be split at a single location wherein the projection may be laterally inserted through the slit to enter the interior area of the ring. In another example, the ring may be split at two locations, wherein the ring halves may be closed around the projection to circumscribe the projection.

In still further examples, the flexible member has a plurality of corner elements adapted to at least partially circumscribe the projection. For example, as shown in FIGS. 1A-1D, a flexible member 30 includes a plurality of corner elements 40 that are arranged to at least partially circumscribe the one or more projections 202. One exemplary corner element 40 is illustrated in FIGS. 3-6. As shown in FIG. 3, the corner element 40 includes a first extension arm 42 extending along a first extension axis 42a and a second extension arm 44 extending along a second extension axis 44a. As shown, the first extension axis 42a and second extension axis 44a are substantially perpendicular with respect to one another. It is also contemplated that the first and second extension axis may be located at different angular orientations depending on the shape of the flexible member. For example, the first and second extension axis might be located at an angle of 60 degrees from one another to form a triangular flexible member having three corner elements.

The illustrated corner element is shown to include relatively sharp corners. In further embodiments, the corner elements may comprise rounded corners to reduce stress points. For example, the corner element can comprise a first and second extension arm together with a rounded corner portion positioned between the first and second extension arm. In further embodiments, the entire corner element may comprise a rounded corner portion.

As shown in the illustrated embodiment, the extension arms 42, 44 comprise the same length. It is contemplated that the extension arms, if provided, may be longer or shorter than the relative length illustrated in the figures. Moreover, it is contemplated that the extension arms might comprise different lengths in further embodiments.

In accordance with exemplary embodiments of the present invention, the first extension arm 42 can include a first end portion 46a with a first substantially flat surface 48a that is substantially perpendicular to the first extension axis 42a. Similarly, the second extension arm 44 can include a second end portion 46b with a second substantially flat surface 48b that is substantially perpendicular to the second extension axis 44a. Providing the end portions with a substantially flat surface that is substantially perpendicular to the respective extension axis can facilitate connection of flexible member elements. For example, end portions with perpendicular surfaces can allow compression of the end portions without significant development of shear stress and without deforming the end portions away from the extension axis. In contrast, compression of diagonal surfaces can develop significant shear stresses and might wedge against each other to deform the end portions away from the extension axis and therefore interfere with the fastening process.

In further examples, end portions of body components may have alternative configurations to facilitate connection of the components to one another. For example, FIG. 9 depicts a corner element 140 including a first end portion 146a with a tongue 142 and a second end portion 146b with a groove 144. When fastening a plurality of corner elements together, the tongue 142 of one corner element may be inserted within a groove 144 of another corner element to link the corner elements to one another. Providing a tongue and groove arrangement can facilitate fastening the end portions together and can increase the overall strength of the subsequently formed joint.

As shown in FIGS. 4A, 4B, 5 and 6 each corner element can include a substantially flat base 42b, 44b adapted to rest on a substantially flat surface 200. The corner elements further include boundary surfaces 42c, 44c adapted to at least partially define a perimeter boundary of the interior area 32 of the flexible member 30. The corner elements further include an outer surface 42d, 44d extending between the corresponding flat bases 42b, 44b and boundary surfaces 42c, 44c. As shown in FIGS. 4A and 4B, the outer surface, boundary surface, and flat base can form a triangular configuration although other configurations may be employed in accordance with aspects of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is an assembled flexible member 130 in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention. The flexible member 130 includes at least a pair of intermediate segments 50a, 50b. The intermediate segments 50a, 50b, if provided, can extend at least one dimension of the flexible member 130 to create an enlarged sealant pocket 134. In the illustrated embodiment, a second pair of intermediate segments 52a, 52b is also provided to extend a second dimension of the flexible member 130 to further enlarge the sealant pocket 134.

The intermediate segments, if provided, can include a wide variety of sizes to customize the size of the sealant pocket 134. For example, the first pair of intermediate segments 50a, 50b may have a first length and the second pair of intermediate segments 52a, 52b may have a second length. The first and second lengths may be equal or different from one another depending on the desired size of the flexible member 130. For example, the intermediate segments 50a, 50b, 52a, 52b can have substantially identical lengths to form a substantially square shaped flexible member 130. In still further examples, the first pair of intermediate segments 50a, 50b may have a different length than the second pair of segments 52a, 52b to form a substantially rectangular shaped sealant pocket 134. In still further examples, only one pair of segments is used to extend the length of the sealant pocket 134 in a single desired direction. In further examples, the flexible member 130 may be provided as a kit with four relatively long intermediate segments. The relatively long intermediate segments may be cut on site to provide a customized flexible member having an appropriate size. Customizing the flexible member can reduce the overall size of the flexible member wherein less filling sealant is necessary to fill the sealant pocket.

The intermediate segments may also have various shapes in accordance with aspects of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 8, for example, the intermediate segment may have a triangular configuration that matches the configuration of the corner elements. In further examples, the intermediate segments can include a substantially flat surface 56 that is substantially perpendicular to the extension axis of the intermediate segment. Providing a perpendicular flat surface 56 can facilitate fastening of the intermediate segments between opposed corner elements. The intermediate segments can also extend along a substantially straight axis but might extend along a substantially curved axis in further applications.

An exemplary method of sealing an interface between a surface and a surface projection extending from the surface is described with respect to FIGS. 1A-1D but can apply equally to exemplary embodiments described throughout this application. First, the flexible member 30 is positioned on the surface 200 with the flexible member 30 circumscribing the surface projections 202. In the illustrated embodiment, the corner elements 40 are sufficient to circumscribe each of the surface projections 202. Double-sided tape 49 or other adhesive may be used to fasten together the flat end surfaces to maintain the desired shape of the assembled sealant pocket. Once fastened together, the complete flexible member 30 is formed as shown in FIG. 1B. The boundary surfaces 42c, 44c of each extension arm of the completed flexible member cooperate to form a peripheral boundary defining the interior area 32. Once the assembled flexible member 30 is placed against the surface 200, the boundary surfaces 42c, 44c of each extension arm cooperate with the surface 200 adjacent the interior area 32 to form a sealant pocket 34. As shown, the sealant pocket 34 is formed with the surface projections 202 extending through the sealant pocket 34.

The flexible member 30 may also be sealed or fastened with respect to the surface 200. Providing a seal between the flexible member 30 and the surface 200 may help contain filling material within the sealant pocket as the filling material solidifies. Fastening the flexible member 30 to the surface 200 can also help maintain the sealant pocket 34 in the desired location with respect to the one or more surface projections 202. In the illustrated example, tape 36, such as a Butyl tape, can be used to form a seal the flexible member 30 to the surface 200 and/or can help fasten the flexible member 30 with respect to the surface 200. In further examples, an adhesive layer or other sealant layer may be used to aid in sealing and/or fastening of the flexible member.

As shown in FIG. 1C, filling sealant 60 may then be added into the sealant pocket 34. In the illustrated embodiment, filling sealant 60 is added by pouring the filling sealant 60 into the sealant pocket with a bucket 70. In further examples, the filling sealant 60 may be introduced with a hose or other container. Still further, the filling sealant may be added without pouring. For example, filling sealant may be scooped into the cavity, shoveled into the cavity, packed into the cavity, or otherwise introduced into the cavity. The filling sealant 60 may comprise a premixed sealant material or may comprise material of segregated components that are mixed just prior to adding the sealant to the pocket. Mixing just prior to adding the sealant can be conducted in a variety of ways. For example, two or more sealant components may be mixed in a container using a mixing paddle, stirring blade, or manually using a spatula or the like. In further examples, two or more sealant components may be segregated in a cartridge and mixed just prior to adding the filling sealant to the sealant pocket. In one example, a cartridge may be provided with segregated sealant reservoirs that are in communication with a static mixing tip. When dispensing the components from the cartridge, the static mixing tip causes the components to mix as the filling sealant is added to the cavity. Sufficient filling sealant can be added until the level of filling sealant extends to a fill line 61 relative to the surface projections 202. The fill line 61 may be predetermined or may simply comprise the final level that the filling sealant 60 reaches with respect to the surface projections 202. The fill line 61 may be less than, equal to, or greater than the height of the flexible member 30. Providing a fill line 61 that is less than the height of the flexible member 30 can reduce the overall amount of filling sealant 60 necessary to complete the sealant assembly. Providing a fill line 61 that is equal to the height of the flexible member 30 (as shown in FIG. 1D), or greater than the height of the flexible member can avoid trapping water within unfilled portions of the sealant pocket.

As shown in FIG. 2, providing the flexible member and the solidified filling sealant as the same material can cause the filling sealant 60 to be integrally bonded to the flexible member 30 at an interface 47 between the filling sealant and the flexible member. Integral bonding can occur as outer layers of the boundary surfaces of the flexible member 30 soften and blend with the filling sealant that is added into the sealant pocket. After a sufficient period of time, the filling sealant and softened and blended portions solidify wherein the filling sealant 60 is integrally bonded with the flexible member 30 at the interface 47.

Accordingly, the corner elements, intermediate segments (if provided), and the filling material comprise substantially the same material to form a solid, sealed block around the roof protrusions 202. Being formed from the same material, the assembled flexible member and the filling material have the same coefficient of expansion and therefore resist cracks or other failures that may otherwise occur due to temperature fluctuations. Still further, forming the assembled flexible member and the filling material from substantially the same material can facilitate integral bonding at the interface between the flexible member and the filling sealant to further resist cracks or other failures of the connection between the flexible member and the filling sealant.

A wide range of materials may be used as the common material to form the corner elements, intermediate elements (if provided), and the filling material. For example, the common material can comprise a wide variety of polymers, such as polymers and copolymers EPDM, Butyl rubber, Neoprene, SSBS, SEBS, Hypalon, Acrylic elastomers, CPE, PVC, CPVC, epichlorohydrin, ethylene acrylic elastomers, EPR, PIB, polybutadiene rubbers, polynorbomenes, polysulfide, one and two part urethane elastomers, and the like. Other materials may be used as the common material to provide a sealant assembly with components having the same coefficient of expansion or components that form an integral bond with the filling material. Preferably, the flexible member and the filling sealant are formed of materials that include renewable polyols.

In a preferred embodiment, the filling sealant and the flexible member are each composed of a two part composition, a part A and a part B, as shown below in Table 1. More specifically, Table 1 lists each of the components of the composition and provides a percent by weight of each component in part A and in part B, respectively. Additionally, a preferred range of percents by weight of each component is shown. Part A and part B are each pre-mixed separately, and are blended together in substantially equal portions before application.

TABLE 1
FillingFlexiblePreferred
SealantMemberRanges
Component%%%
Part A
Polyols92.2%92.9%85-95%
Adhesion Promoter0.5%0.5%0-1%
UV Stabilizer0.6%0.6%0-2%
Metal catalyst0.1%0.2%0.01-0.5%
Desiccant2.2%2.3%0-5%
Viscosity modifier3.0%2.1%0-5%
Pigment1.5%1.5%0.2-4%
Part A total100.0%100.0%
Part B
Isocyanate47.2%47.2%30-70%
Plasticizer22.2%22.2%10-30%
Viscosity modifier3.4%3.4%0-5%
Polyols27.2%27.2%15-55%
Catalyst0.01%0.01%0.00-0.05%
Pigment0.00%0.00%0-2%
Part B Total100.0%100.0%

Examples of commercially available polyols for use in part A or part B include JEFFOL® PPG-400, JEFFOL® PPG-2000, JEFFOL® G31-23 (JEFFOL® products available from Huntsman Petrochemical Corporation of Austin, Tex.), PLURACOL® P-410, PLURACOL® P-726, PLURACOL® P-2010 (PLURACOL® products available from Wyandotte Chemical Corp. of Wyandotte, Mich.), and VORANOL® 220-56 available from Dow Chemical Company of Midland, Mi. Examples of renewable polyols include SOYOL® R2-052-G available from Urethane Soy Systems Company of Volga, S. Dak., and POLYCIN® GR 53 available from Baker Castor Oil Company of Bayonne, N.J.

Examples of adhesion promoters include amino silanes. Commercially available amino silanes include AP-32 and AP-33 available from Advanced Polymer, Inc. of Carlstadt, N.J., and DOW CORNING Z-6020® available from Dow Chemical Corporation of Midland, Mi. Examples of UV stabilizers include hindered amines and substituted benzophenones. Commercially available UV stabilizers include TINUVIN® 292 and TINUVIN® 328 available from Ciba-Geigy Corporation of Ardsley, N.Y., and CYASORB® UV-9, CYASORB® UV-24, and CYASORB® UV-531 available from Cytec Industries, Incorporated of West Paterson, N.J. Examples of metal catalysts include dibutyltin dilaurate and dibutyltin diacetate, both available from Air Products and Chemicals Inc. of Allentown, Pa. Examples of desiccants include molecular sieves (commercially available from W. R. Grace of Columbia, Md.), oxazolidenes (available from Dow Chemical Corp. of Midland, Mich.) and calcium oxide (commercially available from Mississippi Lime of St. Louis, Mo.).

Sufficient plasticizer is included in the formulation to ensure that there is adequate flexibility in the flexible member such that it can conform to a slightly irregular roofing surface. Examples of plasticizers include dioctyl phthalate (DOP), diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP), and diisononyl phthalate (DINP), available from Alfa Aesar, of Ward Hill, Mass. Examples of isocyanates include allophanate-modified MDI, uretonimine-modified MDI, dimer-modified MDI, and mixed isomers of MDI, available from Bayer, BASF, Huntsman Chemical, and Dow Chemical.

In a preferred embodiment, part A and part B each contain a different color dye or pigment in a range of up to 4% by weight. Upon mixing part A and part B, the two pigments create a new color indicative of proper blending of part A and part B. The new color of the filling sealant is preferably substantially the same as a color of the flexible member. Preferably, a primary color pigment and a secondary color pigment are used, or a secondary or a primary color pigment may also be used with white pigment. Primary color pigments in subtractive color systems are typically cyan, magenta, and yellow. Secondary color pigments in subtractive color systems are typically violet, orange, and green. For example, part A may contain a red pigment and part B may contain a white pigment and upon mixing the composition has a pink color. It should be appreciated that other colors may be employed without departing from the scope of the present invention.

Turning now to FIGS. 10 and 11, a generally rectangular flexible member 310 is shown on an imperfectly flat roof 302 in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. In the example provided, the flexible member 310 includes four corner pieces 312, two short extension pieces 314, and two long extension pieces 316. However, it should be appreciated that other numbers, combinations, and lengths of pieces may be used without departing from the scope of the present invention. Each piece has a substantially triangular cross section and includes a first mating surface 320, a second mating surface 322 opposing the first mating surface 320, and a third mating surface 324 opposing the roof 302. The first mating surface 320 includes a projection 330 that extends substantially perpendicular to the first mating surface 320 and has an end that extends in a plane that is substantially parallel to the first mating surface 320. The second mating surface 322 has a recess 332 configured to receive the projection 330. In the example provided, the projection 330 has a trapezoidal shape, however other shapes may be used without departing from the scope of the present disclosure.

As is seen best in FIG. 11, the flexible body member 310 may conform to slight changes of direction on the roof 302. In the example provided, the flexible member 310 conforms to an arced portion 334 of roof 302. Arced portion 334 of roof 302 is generally an overlap section or standard irregularity in the roof. The overlap section is a part of a roof, whether built-up or single ply, that is raised above the plane of the main body of the roof. In the example provided, the flexible member 310 is adhered to the roof 302 by an adhesive 336. In the example provided, the adhesive 336 is the same composition as the flexible member or the filling sealant as shown in table 1. However, the adhesive 336 may be any sealant or adhesive suitable for adhering sealant assemblies to a roof 302.

Turning now to FIG. 12A, a flexible member 410 is shown in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. In the example provided, the flexible member 410 has a generally square shape; however, the flexible member 410 may have other shapes without departing from the scope of the present disclosure. The flexible member 410 includes a unitary body piece 412 having a generally triangular cross section. The hypotenuse of the generally triangular cross section is coextensive with the outer face 440 of the unitary body piece 412. The outer face 440 directs water away from the juncture between the flexible member 410 and the roof to which it is sealed by allowing the water to build lateral momentum as it travels down the outer face 440. In the example provided, the outer face 440 includes a rounded lower edge 442 and a rounded upper edge 444.

With continued reference to FIG. 12A, in FIG. 12B an enlarged cutaway view a portion of the flexible member 410 is shown. The flexible member 410 includes a first mating surface 420 and a second mating surface 422. The first mating surface 420 includes a projection 430 that extends substantially perpendicular to the first mating surface 420 and has an end 431 that extends in a plane that is substantially parallel to the first mating surface 420. In the example provided, the projection 430 has a trapezoidal shape, however other shapes may be used without departing from the scope of the present disclosure. The second mating surface 422 has a recess 432 including an interference portion 433 configured to receive the projection 430. When the projection 430 is engaged with the recess 432, the interference portion 433 of the recess 432 engages the end 431 of the projection 430, resisting axial separation of the first mating surface 420 and the second mating surface 422. To engage the projection 430 with the recess 432, the projection 430 is preferably inserted into the recess 432 along an axis B. When not engaged, the first mating surface 420 and the second mating surface 422 may be pulled apart along a separation arc A. In the example provided, the first mating surface 420 and the second mating surface 422 are separated by a separation distance 450 and are separable by a maximum separation distance 452. The maximum separation distance 452 is greater than a width or dimension of the projection the flexible member 410 is to encompass. In the example provided, a bead of adhesive 535 is disposed in the recess 532.

A method of sealing an interface between a roof projection and a roof using a flexible member including a unitary body piece will now be described. The roof is first cleared of loose gravel, dirt, granules, or other foreign substances that may interfere with adhesion between a filling sealant and the roof. A first mating surface and a second mating surface of the unitary body piece are separated by an amount corresponding to a dimension of the projection. The unitary body piece is placed around the roof projection by passing the roof projection between the first mating surface and the second mating surface. Preferably, there is at least one inch between the roof projection and each side of the unitary body piece. A mark is traced around the edges of the unitary body piece, and the unitary body piece is removed from around the roof projection. An interface between the roof projection and the roof is sealed with a sealant, and a bead of sealant is applied to the inside of the traced mark. A bead of sealant is then applied within a recess of the second mating surface. The unitary body piece is then placed around the roof projection, and a projection on the first mating surface is engaged with the recess on the second mating surface. The engaged unitary body piece is then placed onto the bead of sealant on the roof and pressure is applied. Preferably, excess sealant is removed from the outside of the unitary body piece. A test amount of a filling sealant is preferably dispensed to confirm a proper mix of components comprising the filling sealant. The sealant pocket created by the unitary body piece is then filled with the filling sealant.

From the above description of the invention, those skilled in the art will perceive improvements, changes and modifications. Such improvements, changes and modifications within the skill of the art are intended to be covered by the appended claims.

While the best modes for carrying out the invention have been described in detail, it is to be understood that the terminology used is intended to be in the nature of words and description rather than of limitation. Those familiar with the art to which this invention relates will recognize that many modifications of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is, therefore, to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced in a substantially equivalent way other than as specifically described herein.