Title:
PREFABRICATED PANEL FOR BUILDING CONSTRUCTION AND PROCESS FOR MANUFACTURING SUCH A PANEL
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Prefabricated panel (1) for building construction that includes a core (2) that is made of insulating material and that is covered on its two faces by a uniform concrete layer (3A, 3B), and in which there are provided, close to one face of the plate, housings (4) for struts (5) that project at one end for the purpose of sealing them against the ground, and, on the opposite face of the plate, housings (7) for reinforcement elements (8) extending between two parallel edges of the panel (1) and projecting beyond these edges so as to constitute a belt element, in the assembled state of the panel (1) with adjacent panels (21, 22). The prefabricated pane is useful for the construction of outer walls of a building with a very light structure.



Inventors:
Malapert, Philippe (Clamart, FR)
Application Number:
12/304230
Publication Date:
02/04/2010
Filing Date:
06/04/2007
Assignee:
SARL COMEPS FRANCE (Bournezeau, FR)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/742.14, 52/745.13, 52/745.19
International Classes:
E04C2/284; E04B1/00; E04B1/12
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
HIJAZ, OMAR F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NIXON & VANDERHYE, PC (ARLINGTON, VA, US)
Claims:
1. Prefabricated panel (1) for building construction that comprises a core (2) that is full of insulating material in the form of a plate that is covered on its two faces by a uniform concrete layer (3A, 3B), characterized in that in said plate that forms the core (2), there are provided: On the one hand, close to one face of the plate, a first series of housings (4) for reinforcement elements (5) constituting struts when the panel is set up on the ground, whereby at least one of their ends (18) projects for the purpose of sealing them against the ground, and On the other hand, on the opposite face of the plate, a second series of housings (7) for reinforcement elements (8) extending between two parallel edges of the panel (1) and projecting beyond these edges so as to constitute a belt element, in the assembled state of said panel (1) with adjacent panels (21, 22).

2. Panel according to claim 1, wherein the first series of housings (4) and the second series of housings (7) are free of communication zone between them so as to avoid the formation of thermal bridges.

3. Panel according to claim 1, wherein the housings (4, 7) are made in the form of grooves whose longitudinal axes are orthogonal from one series to the next.

4. Panel according to claim 1, wherein the reinforcement elements (5, 8) are metal elements.

5. Panel according to claim 1, wherein the reinforcement elements (5, 8) are also used as a support to a preferably metal trellis (6, 9), arranged parallel to each face of the plate that forms the core (2) of the panel in the immediate proximity of the latter.

6. Panel according to claim 1, wherein the sections (11) of the panel (1) are at least partially beveled to adapt to the adjacent panels (21, 22) by forming an assembly of the groove-assembly type, whereby the assembly is interrupted to provide a free-angle zone (12) that allows the belt elements of two adjacent panels to be connected.

7. Panel according to claim 1, wherein the core (2) is made of preferably high-density expanded polystyrene.

8. Panel according to claim 1, wherein the faces of the plate that form the core (2) have striated surfaces for a better adhesion of the concrete to the latter.

9. Assembly of prefabricated panels for building construction according to claim 1, wherein the reinforcement elements (8) extending between two edges parallel of the panel (1) are housed in horizontal grooves that are made in the core (2) of the panel, on its face turned toward the outside of the building, so as—after connection of the projecting ends of the reinforcement elements of adjacent panels—to form a horizontal girdle of the construction, by thus constituting a self-supporting-type structure.

10. Process for manufacturing a prefabricated panel according to claim 1, comprising the following successive stages: Cutting of an expanded polystyrene plate by providing, on the one hand, a first series of grooves that are parallel to one another on one face of the plate and, on the other hand, a second series of parallel grooves on the other face of the plate, whereby the longitudinal axes of the grooves are orthogonal from one series to the next and partially beveled sections of the plate, Incorporation of reinforcement elements (5, 8) in their respective grooves, by allowing their projecting ends beyond the edges of the plate, Attachment of a preferably metal trellis (6, 9) on each face of the plate, with hooking of said framework on the reinforcement elements (5, 8), so as to form a reinforced plate, Pouring a uniform layer of self-smoothing concrete on one face of said reinforced plate and then drying the concrete, Pouring a uniform layer of self-smoothing concrete on the other face of said reinforced plate and then drying the concrete.

11. Process for building construction using prefabricated panels according to claim 1, and also comprising: The vertical placement of each panel and the sealing against the ground of the projecting ends (18) of the reinforcement elements (5) that form vertical struts, housings (7) of the belt elements that are found arranged horizontally on the face of the panel rotated toward the outside of the building to be constructed, Drawing-together and contact of the beveled sections (11) of adjacent panels, Installation of the connection between the corresponding projecting ends of the belt elements that are arranged horizontally, at the free-angle zones (12) between the adjacent panels, by creating a complete belt of the construction.

12. Process according to claim 11, wherein a preferably metal vertical framework, with which the projecting ends of the horizontal reinforcement elements (8) are made integral, is arranged in the free-angle zone (12) between two adjacent panels.

13. Process according to claim 11, wherein a formwork (14) that makes it possible to pour the concrete there is arranged around the free-angle zone (12) between two adjacent panels.

14. Building constructed by the process according to claim 11, wherein the outer walls consist of an assembly of prefabricated panels (1, 21, 22) according to claim 9.

15. Process according to claim 12, wherein a formwork (14) that makes it possible to pour the concrete there is arranged around the free-angle zone (12) between two adjacent panels.

16. Panel according to claim 2, wherein the housings (4, 7) are made in the form of grooves whose longitudinal axes are orthogonal from one series to the next.

Description:

This invention relates to the field of the construction of buildings using prefabricated panels, and it relates more particularly to the prefabricated panel per se, the assembly of several panels together, and the processes for manufacturing said panels, as well as the construction of the building using these prefabricated panels.

The important construction quality criteria include especially the mechanical strength and heat insulation of the walls that form the outer jacket of the building. These criteria can be met by the use of two materials with opposite but complementary properties, which are reinforced concrete and expanded polystyrene.

Actually, on the one hand, reinforced concrete is inexpensive, easy to use, has very good mechanical strength and is nonflammable, but it has the drawback of heavy weight and poor heat insulation.

By contrast, expanded polystyrene, which is also inexpensive, has excellent heat insulation and very low weight, but it has the drawback of being inflammable and having a very low mechanical strength.

Among the processes for simultaneous use of these two materials in the construction of buildings, it is possible to cite:

A method that consists in mounting polystyrene panels on the construction site, in placing a reinforcement around these panels, then in spraying concrete on each of the faces of the polystyrene panel.

Another method comprises the installation of two parallel polystyrene panels that are used as a framework, the incorporation of crosspieces and metal frames, then the pouring of concrete inside the space that is formed by the two panels, and then the coating of the outer faces of the polystyrene with concrete.

Still another method consists in using polystyrene blocks in the form of parallelepiped hollow blocks, in placing metal reinforcements inside the recesses of the parallelepiped hollow blocks, and in pouring concrete into them, whereby the whole is then covered with concrete on the outside.

The major drawbacks of these methods are as follows. First, during the construction, the polystyrene part is visible, which is an important obstacle to the development of this type of construction because expanded polystyrene, in the mind of the public, is a down-market material with an image of very low strength. In addition, these walls are not reproduced in an identical manner since they are manufactured on site; in particular the coating concrete layer is not uniform and is difficult to reproduce from one wall to the next, from one construction project to the next. In addition, when the expanded polystyrene is used as a formwork, it is necessary to provide guide elements for their mounting or frameworks and crosspieces that are at the origin of thermal bridges.

The object of this invention is therefore to eliminate the above-mentioned drawbacks by proposing a construction process that combines the use of reinforced concrete and expanded polystyrene and that is simple to execute, whereby the creation of thermal bridges that interfere with the thermal insulation of the manufactured walls is avoided.

Another object of the invention is to propose a process for the production of walls for low-cost and totally reproducible buildings.

For this purpose, it has been considered to design a factory-prefabricated panel that comprises a core made of expanded polystyrene-type insulating material that is covered on its two faces with a layer of concrete.

Such panels have been described in particular in the patents DE 3242364 or U.S. Pat. No. 4,669,240; however, these modular elements have either metal crosspieces for holding the two outer walls of the panel, or metal frameworks that link these two walls together; thermal bridges are therefore present in these modules.

Likewise, the module that is described in the patent U.S. Pat. No. 5,697,189, formed by a concrete panel that is equipped with internal cavities filled with expanded polystyrene, exhibits the drawback that the concrete communicates from one face to the next.

These internal concrete bonds are also at the origin of undesirable thermal bridges.

Another object of the invention is therefore to design prefabricated panels and an assembly of these panels that is free of thermal bridges, while having high mechanical strength and being very light.

For this purpose, this invention therefore relates first of all to a prefabricated panel for building construction that comprises a core that is full of insulating material in the form of a plate that is covered on its two faces by a uniform concrete layer, characterized in that in said plate that forms the core, there are provided:

    • On the one hand, close to one face of the plate, a first series of housings for reinforcement elements constituting struts when the panel is set up on the ground, whereby at least one of their ends projects for the purpose of sealing them against the ground, and
    • On the other hand, on the opposite face of the plate, a second series of housings for reinforcement elements extending between two parallel edges of the panel and projecting beyond these edges so as to constitute a belt element, in the assembled state of said panel with adjacent panels.

The prefabricated panel that comprises elements for connection with adjacent panels makes it possible to produce, in a very quick period of time, the construction of buildings whose walls, in particular the outer walls, consist of such panels. Whereby the two faces of the insulating-material plate are covered at the factory with a concrete layer, the insulating layer is masked and is not at all visible during the construction. Furthermore, whereby the application of concrete can be carried out flat at the factory, the thickness of these concrete layers is uniform and very reproducible from one panel to the next. It is therefore possible to ensure—for all the panels—identical properties in terms of mechanical strength or thermal insulation, for example.

Advantageously, the first series of housings and the second series of housings provided in the plate that forms the core of the panel are free from communication zone between them so as to avoid the formation of thermal bridges. Thus, the reinforcements that are arranged on one face are separated from the reinforcement elements that are arranged on the other face of the core that is made of insulating material. In addition, there is no communication zone between the two outer layers of concrete.

The housings are advantageously made in the form of grooves whose longitudinal axes are orthogonal from one series to the next. These grooves can either be flush with the outer surface of the plate made of insulating material or come out on the surface of this plate.

The reinforcement elements are preferably metal elements.

A preferably metal trellis can be applied on—or be arranged parallel to—each face of the plate that forms the core of the panel in the immediate proximity of the latter. Preferably, the reinforcement elements can also be used as a support to this framework. The dimensions of this trellis advantageously correspond to the surface of each of the faces of the plate.

So as to be able to assemble the panels between them by forming an angle, it is advantageous that the sections of the panel be at least partially beveled to adapt to the adjacent panels by forming an assembly of the groove-assembly type, whereby the assembly is interrupted to provide a free-angle zone that allows the belt elements of two adjacent panels to be connected. In the case where a concrete layer covers the beveled section, it may be advantageous—to prevent the creation of a thermal bridge via the concrete—to provide a discontinuous beveled section, namely the incorporation of a belt of insulating material crosswise to said section.

Preferably, the core is made of preferably high-density expanded polystyrene or of rigid foam with closed cells.

The faces of the plate that forms the core preferably have striated surfaces for a better adhesion of the concrete to the latter.

The thus manufactured panel is inexpensive and has good mechanical strength as well as excellent thermal insulation. In addition, whereby the core may have a significant thickness, this panel has very little weight relative to the existing prefabricated panels. It is therefore easily transportable up to the construction sites. The reduced weight of these panels also entrains the limitation of the thickness of the necessary foundations to support these panels.

This invention also relates to an assembly of prefabricated panels for building construction as described above, whereby the reinforcement elements that extend between two parallel edges of the panel are housed in horizontal grooves made in the core of the panel, on its face turned toward the outside of the building, so as—after connection of the projecting ends of the reinforcement elements of adjacent panels—to form a horizontal framework of the construction, by thus constituting a self-supporting-type structure. Such a structure is stable, rigid and undeformable.

This invention also relates to a process for manufacturing a prefabricated panel as described above, comprising the following successive stages:

    • Cutting of an expanded polystyrene plate by providing, on the one hand, a first series of grooves that are parallel to one another on one face of the plate and, on the other hand, a second series of grooves that are parallel on the other face of the plate, whereby the longitudinal axes of the grooves are orthogonal from one series to the next and sections of the plate are partially beveled,
    • Incorporation of reinforcement elements in their respective grooves, by allowing their projecting ends beyond the edges of the plate,
    • Attachment of a preferably metal trellis on each face of the plate, with hooking of the trellis on the reinforcement elements, so as to form a reinforced plate,
    • Pouring a uniform layer of self-smoothing concrete on one face of said reinforced plate and then drying the concrete,
    • Pouring a uniform layer of self-smoothing concrete on the other face of said reinforced plate, then drying the concrete.

This very simple process can easily be carried out at the factory.

This invention also relates to a process for building construction using such prefabricated panels, including the process for manufacturing above, and also comprising:

    • The vertical placement of each panel and the sealing against the ground of the projecting ends of the reinforcement elements that form vertical struts, housings of the belt elements that are found arranged horizontally on the face of the panel rotated toward the outside of the building to be constructed,
    • Drawing-together and contact of the beveled sections of adjacent panels,
    • Installation of the connection between the corresponding projecting ends of the belt elements that are arranged horizontally, at the free-angle zones between the adjacent panels, by creating a complete belt of the construction.

Advantageously, in the free-angle zone between two adjacent panels, a preferably metal vertical framework—with which the projecting ends of the horizontal reinforcement elements are made integral—is arranged.

In addition, around the free-angle zone between two adjacent panels, can be arranged a formwork that makes it possible to pour concrete there.

This construction process is therefore very simple and very quick to use. The thus produced construction is, besides its properties of mechanical strength and thermal insulation, very inexpensive.

The thus produced walls make it possible to fit standard roofs (frameworks and covers) there and can easily be covered by a standard finishing coating.

Openings, such as doors and windows, can be arranged in said panel at the factory. In addition, the plate that is made of insulating material and that constitutes the core can also be cut or machined so as to provide sheathing for electric cables or pipes. The only thing left to do on the construction site is to make the connections for these cables or pipes.

The upper ends of the vertical reinforcement elements can project from the upper edge of the panel so as to constitute hooking elements (for example for towing chains) for the purpose of handling and transport of said panel at the factory or on the construction site. These projecting ends can also make possible the attachment or the affixing to said panel of various other construction elements, in particular roof elements.

This invention also relates to a building that is constructed by the process above, characterized in that the outer walls consist of an assembly of prefabricated panels as described above.

Other particular features and advantages will emerge from the description below of a non-limiting embodiment example of the invention with reference to the accompanying figures in which:

FIG. 1 is a longitudinal top view of a panel according to this invention;

FIG. 2 is a partial top view of an assembly of three adjacent panels according to this invention;

FIG. 3 is a front view of the assembly according to FIG. 2.

As shown in FIG. 1, a panel according to this invention consists of a core 2, preferably made of expanded polystyrene, sandwiched between two concrete layers 3A (outer layer) and 3B (inner layer). The core 2 forms a plate that can itself consist of an assembly of polystyrene blocks that are glued together, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, and referenced 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d . . . (the words “inner” and “outer” refer, in the entire text, to the positioning of the faces of the panel during the construction of the building).

In the plate forming the core 2, close to its inner face, housings 4 that are parallel to one another and that consist of grooves (vertical when the panel is set up on the ground) are provided. These housings 4, shown here in FIG. 1 as opening on the inner face of the core 2, accommodate metal reinforcements 5 that are kept in place in the housing by wedges (not shown). The inner trellis 6 that is arranged parallel to the inner face of the core 2 is attached to these vertical reinforcements 4. During the application of self-smoothing concrete on the inner face of the core 2, this concrete forms the inner concrete layer 3B and also fills the grooves that form housings 4 by embedding the framework 6 and the vertical reinforcements 4.

On the outer face of the core 2, housings 7 (horizontal when the panel is set up on the ground) that are designed to accommodate the horizontal reinforcement elements 8 are cut out. An outer trellis 9 is arranged parallel to the outer face of the plate that forms the core 2. This trellis is connected by multiple connections 10 to the horizontal reinforcement elements 8 to keep it in place in particular during the pouring of the concrete, and to separate it (by a small distance) from the outer face of the core 2.

When the concrete of layer 3A is poured over the outer face of the core 2, this concrete also fills the openings that are left in the housings 7 around the reinforcement element 8 and covers the reinforcement element 8 and the outer trellis 9.

The spacing of the inner trellis 6 and the outer trellis 9 of the respective faces of the polystyrene plate can also be done using ribs or projections made on the surface of said plate so that the trellis are almost entirely covered in the concrete.

The grooves that are used as housing in the metal reinforcements 5 and 8 can have various shapes, for example U, T, dovetailed, etc. . . . : they are also used as molds for the concrete that has been poured there.

To fill said housings and to form the layers that cover each face of the core 2, the preferably self-smoothing concrete can be cast all at once or in several times; in this latter case, it is possible to use concretes of different natures.

The reinforcement elements 5 and 8 can consist of a single rod or profile, or advantageously, as in the example shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, of an assembly of several rods (four here) that are connected together by crosspieces, for example, of the zigzag type, as is the conventional method at construction sites using reinforced concrete.

The vertical sections of the panel 1 are partially beveled 11, here at 45°. This beveled form 11 allows the panel 1 to be applied against two adjacent panels 21 or 22, as can be seen in FIG. 2. The angle zone that is then left free 12 between two adjacent panels is a space that makes it possible to join the horizontal reinforcement elements of two adjacent panels and to link them, for example, by welding them to one another and/or to a framework 13 that is positioned vertically as shown in FIG. 2. Such a connection between two adjacent panels thus considerably solidifies the structure.

After assembling two adjacent panels according to the invention, a formwork 14 can be installed around the angle zone 12 so that the concrete can be cast into it.

Finally, it is possible to coat the concrete layers 3A and 3B, either at the factory, or at the end of the construction, by a finishing coating 15A and 15B.

As can be seen in FIG. 3, openings 16, 17 can be made in the entire panel so as to affix it at the factory or on the site respectively of windows or doors.

The thus manufactured panel can be easily anchored on the ground 15 in particular using lower projecting ends 18 of the reinforcement elements 5 that form vertical struts and that are connected to construction elements, such as roofing, by means of upper projecting ends 19 of these same reinforcement elements 5, which are also used for hooking during handling and for transport of said panel. The horizontal reinforcement elements 8 that form a belt of the construction are arranged—when there are openings provided for windows or doors—on both sides of these openings in the vertical direction.

Each panel can, by itself, constitute the entire wall of a building; the assembly of four panels according to the invention makes it possible to produce, for example, the four outer walls of a house, thus constructed very quickly.

The composite walls that are made using panels according to this invention are both rigid and light. The thickness of the polystyrene core can be, for example, on the order of 30 centimeters; the thickness of the inner and outer concrete layers 3A and 3B can be, for example, between 2 to 3 centimeters, approximately.

Finally, for a better seating and better stability of the panel in the construction, longitudinal housings made in the upper and/or lower horizontal sections of the panel 1 and designed to accommodate beams, for example made of concrete, can be provided.

Such lay-outs can actually prove useful when the panels are to support covers of significant weight.