Title:
Prefabricated Panel for Constructing Structures and Methods of Making Such Panels and Constructing Structures with Such Panels
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A prefabricated panel comprising autoclaved aerated concrete for constructing residential, commercial and industrial buildings and other structures including a first facing bonded to one side of the autoclaved aerated concrete, a second facing bonded to the other side of the autoclaved aerated concrete, and reinforcement members that provide structural integrity to the panel and enable the panel to be readily transported to the construction. A method for constructing residential, commercial and industrial buildings and other structures with the prefabricated panels, including constructing the prefabricated panels, transporting the prefabricated panels, and securing together the prefabricated panels with securement means.



Inventors:
Wochnik, Peter (Burbank, IL, US)
Application Number:
12/573632
Publication Date:
04/08/2010
Filing Date:
10/05/2009
Assignee:
AUTOCLAVED CONCRETE TECHNOLOGIES, INC. (Burbank, IL, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04C2/26; E04C2/40
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
FONSECA, JESSIE T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Barnes & Thornburg LLP (CH) (Chicago, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A prefabricated panel for constructing residential, commercial, and industrial structures comprising: a base panel formed from multiple sections of aerated concrete, the multiple sections coupled together with a binder; a series of spaced apart reinforcing structures extending from a first end of the base panel to a second end of the base panel to aid in retaining the orientation of the multiple sections of aerated concrete to provide structural integrity; at least one reinforcement base structure positioned at the first end of the base panel, the reinforcing structures configured to be coupled to the reinforcement base structure, a second reinforcement structure positioned at the second end of the base panel; and wherein the prefabricated panel is transportable as a single unit to a construction site and used with other prefabricated panels to form a structure.

2. The prefabricated panel of claim 1, further including a first facing material covering a first side of the base panel.

3. The prefabricated panel of claim 2, further including a second facing material covering a second side of the base panel.

4. The prefabricated panel of claim 2, wherein the first facing material is a thin-set brick.

5. The prefabricated panel of claim 1, wherein the base panel includes a base structure extending along the width of the panel, the base structure at least partially formed from aerated concrete and includes a reinforcement structure embedded in the concrete.

6. The prefabricated panel of claim 5, wherein the base panel also includes a series of blocks stacked on the base structure, the blocks being coupled to the base and coupled together by use of the binder.

7. The prefabricated panel of claim 1, wherein the reinforcing structures are in the form of steel rods that extend vertically through the base panel.

8. The prefabricated panel of claim 7, wherein the rods are threaded and configured to accept fasteners.

9. The prefabricated panel of claim 8, wherein the first and second reinforcement structures are coupled to the rods by use of the fasteners.

10. The prefabricated panel of claim 1, further including a lifting beam that is coupled to the reinforcing structures to allow the base panel to be transported.

11. The prefabricated panel of claim 1, wherein the base panel is configured to include channels along the edges that extend along the height of the base panel, the channels are configured to accept splices to allow adjacent base panels to be coupled together.

12. The prefabricated panel of claim 1, wherein the base panel includes a base structure extending along the width of the panel, the base structure formed from a channel shaped block filled with mortar and rebar.

13. A prefabricated panel for constructing residential, commercial, and industrial structures comprising: a base panel formed from multiple sections of aerated concrete, the multiple sections being stacked on one another and coupled together with a binder to form the base panel; a series of spaced apart reinforcing rods extending through the multiple sections from a first end of the base panel to a second end of the base panel, the reinforcing rods configured to aid in retaining the orientation of the multiple sections of aerated concrete to provide structural integrity to the base panel; at least one first reinforcement plate positioned at the first end of the base panel, the reinforcing rods configured to be coupled to the at least one first reinforcement plate, at least one second reinforcement plate positioned at the second end of the base panel, the reinforcing rods configured to be coupled to the at least one second reinforcement plate; and wherein the prefabricated panel is transportable as a single unit to a construction site and used with other prefabricated panels to form a structure.

14. The prefabricated panel of claim 13, further including a first facing material covering a first side of the base panel.

15. The prefabricated panel of claim 14, further including a second facing material covering a second side of the base panel.

16. The prefabricated panel of claim 14, wherein the first facing material is a thin-set brick.

17. The prefabricated panel of claim 13, wherein the base panel includes a base structure extending along the width of the base panel, the base structure formed at least partly from aerated concrete and includes a reinforcement structure embedded within the base structure.

18. The prefabricated panel of claim 17, wherein the base panel also includes a series of blocks stacked on the base structure, the block being coupled to the base and together by use of the binder.

19. The prefabricated panel of claim 13, wherein the rods are threaded and configured to accept fasteners.

20. A building structure comprising: a series of prefabricated panels configured to be coupled at their ends to form a wall structure, each of the panels including: a base panel formed from multiple sections of aerated concrete, the multiple sections being stacked on one another and coupled together with a binder to form the base panel; a series of spaced apart reinforcing members extending through the multiple sections from a first end of the base panel to a second end of the base panel, the reinforcing members configured to aid in retaining the orientation of the multiple sections of aerated concrete to provide structural integrity to the base panel; at least one first reinforcement plate positioned at the first end of the base panel, the reinforcing members configured to be coupled to the at least one first reinforcement plate, at least one second reinforcement plate positioned at the second end of the base panel, the reinforcing rods configured to be coupled to the at least one second reinforcement plate; a first facing material covering a first side of the base panel; and a second facing material covering a second side of the base panel.

Description:

The present application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/102,686 filed on Oct. 3, 2008, which is herein incorporated by reference.

The present disclosure relates to a prefabricated panel for constructing residential, commercial and industrial buildings and other structures, a method for constructing residential, commercial and industrial buildings and other structures with such prefabricated panels, means for securing together such prefabricated panels, and a method for constructing such prefabricated panels.

BACKGROUND

Autoclaved aerated concrete is a lightweight concrete believed to have been invented in Europe that consists of grounded sand, cement, lime, water and an expansion agent (i.e., aluminum). It is a commercially available product that has many desirable qualities, including fire protection, high compressive strength, low material weight, ease of workability and handling, durability, versatility, universal application, non-allergenic and efficient construction, excellent acoustic insulation and excellent thermal insulation. Because of all of these qualities, autoclaved aerated concrete is well suited for virtually all areas of building construction and in virtually all climatic conditions throughout the world.

The raw materials of autoclaved aerated concrete—quartzite sand, lime and water—can be found in almost unlimited quantities throughout the world. These raw materials are processed to provide a building material with a large number of air pores, which, together with the calcium silicate hydrates, give autoclaved aerated concrete its exceptional product properties.

SUMMARY

The present disclosure relates to a prefabricated panel comprising autoclaved aerated concrete for constructing residential, commercial and industrial buildings and other structures. The prefabricated panel includes a first facing bonded to one side of the autoclaved aerated concrete and a second facing bonded to the other side of the autoclaved aerated concrete. The prefabricated panel includes reinforcement elements that provide structural integrity to the panel and also enable the panel to be readily transported to the construction site. The prefabricated panel may have openings for windows or doors and may include channels for receiving electrical conduit.

The present disclosure also relates to a method for constructing residential, commercial and industrial buildings and other structures with the prefabricated panels. The method may include constructing the prefabricated panels, transporting the prefabricated panels and securing together the prefabricated panels. The method may also include securing together the prefabricated panels together vertically, to a foundation or floor structure and to a roof or ceiling structure. The present disclosure also relates to means for securing together the prefabricated panels.

Features and advantages of the disclosure will be set forth in part in the description which follows and the accompanying drawing sheets and photographs described below, wherein an embodiment of the disclosure is described and shown, and in part will become apparent upon examination of the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing sheets and photographs.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention and the advantages thereof will become more apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings:

FIGS. 1-6 illustrate side views of prefabricated panels in accordance with illustrated embodiments of the present disclosure, also illustrating alternative forms of cut outs used, for example, to form doors, windows and walk throughs;

FIGS. 7-9 illustrate a prefabricated panel in accordance with an illustrated embodiment of the present disclosure, also including panel end and top and bottom details;

FIGS. 10-11 illustrate a prefabricated panel of FIGS. 7-9 that further includes hardware for transporting the prefabricated panel including a lifting beam and a lifting angle and a plurality of thread rod and washers, also including a detail view;

FIG. 12 illustrates a prefabricated panel with cutouts in accordance with an other embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIGS. 13-14 illustrate a pair of prefabricated panels defining slots and a connection bar for securing together the pair of prefabricated panels in a side-by-side manner and a connection detail illustrating the connection;

FIGS. 15-16 illustrate an other pair of prefabricated panels defining slots and a connection bar for securing together ends of the pair of prefabricated panels so that the prefabricated panels extend at 90 degrees and a connection detail illustrating the connection;

FIGS. 17-18 illustrate an other pair of prefabricated panels defining slots and a connection bar for securing together an end of one of the prefabricated panels with a section of the other prefabricated panel so that the prefabricated panels extend at 90 degrees and a connection detail illustrating the connection;

FIGS. 19-20 illustrate a method of securing the prefabricated panel to a foundation wall in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIGS. 21-22 illustrate methods of securing prefabricated panels vertically and of securing the prefabricated panel to a foundation wall in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIGS. 23-24 illustrate methods of securing prefabricated panels vertically and of securing the prefabricated panel to a roof in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIGS. 25-26 illustrate methods of securing prefabricated panels vertically and of securing the prefabricated panel to a roof in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIGS. 27-28 illustrate methods of securing prefabricated panels vertically and of securing the prefabricated panel to a roof in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIGS. 29-30 illustrate methods of securing prefabricated panels vertically and of securing the prefabricated panel to a foundation wall in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIGS. 31-32 illustrate methods of securing prefabricated panels vertically and of securing the prefabricated panel to a roof in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIGS. 33-34 illustrate methods of securing prefabricated panels vertically and of securing the prefabricated panel to floor panels in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIGS. 35-36 illustrate methods of securing prefabricated panels to floor panels in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIGS. 37-40 illustrate other embodiments of the prefabricated panel of the present disclosure;

FIGS. 41-45 illustrate other embodiments of the means for securing together pairs of prefabricated panels;

FIGS. 46-48 illustrate other embodiments of the hardware for securing in place the threaded rods of the prefabricated panel;

FIG. 49 illustrates other embodiments of the hardware and structure for securing in place the lifting bar of the prefabricated panel;

FIGS. 50-54 illustrate a prefabricated panel and the cross sections illustrate how various portions of the panel are to be constructed, with FIG. 51 showing the upper most support having reinforcing rebar running through a cemented channel, FIG. 52 showing a vertical rod running through the blocks and having a bore in which the rod is positioned filled with concrete to secure the rod; and

FIGS. 55-56 showing the use of lintels positioned above doorways and windows to provide support.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The prefabricated panel in accordance with illustrated embodiments of the present disclosure comprises a prefabricated wall panel 10 for constructing residential, commercial and industrial buildings and other structures. The prefabricated wall panel 10 includes autoclaved aerated concrete base panel 12 disposed between a first facing 14 bonded to one side 16 of the autoclaved aerated concrete base panel 12 and a second facing 18 bonded to the other side 20 of the autoclaved aerated concrete. The prefabricated panel 10 includes reinforcement elements 22 that provide structural integrity to the panel 10 and also enables the panel 10 to be readily transported to a construction site. The prefabricated wall panel 10 may have pre-determined openings or cut-outs for windows 24 or doors 26 and may include channels 28 for receiving electrical conduit.

In accordance with illustrated embodiments of the present disclosure, the reinforcement elements 30 include a plurality of spaced apart reinforcement elements 22, as shown, for example in FIGS. 7-9. The reinforcement elements 30 can be in the form of threaded rods 30 disposed in the autoclaved aerated concrete base panel 12 and extending substantially the entire height of the prefabricated wall panel 10 to provide structural integrity.

Prefabricated wall panel 10 also includes a plurality of spaced c-channels 32, u-channels, or plates (flat or curved) embedded in the aerated autoclaved concrete at the base 34 of the prefabricated wall panel 10 to form a reinforcement base structure, as shown in FIGS. 10 and 11. A plurality of fasteners 36 are used for securing ends 38 of the threaded rods 30 to the metal channels 32 or plates. A lifting beam 40 is positioned on the top 42 of the prefabricated panel assembly 10 and is secured by a plurality of plates 44 and fasteners for removably securing the lifting beam 40 to the ends 38 of the threaded rods 30, as shown in FIG. 10. Upper end of panel 10 may also include an angle iron that is coupled to plate 44 and to rods 30. A flat plate can be used in place of the angle iron, which acts as a reinforcement structure.

The lifting beam 40 enables the prefabricated wall panel 10 to be readily lifted and transported from a manufacturing facility or the like to the construction site. The lifting beam 40 can be removed from the prefabricated wall panel 10 at the construction site and is available for re-use with other prefabricated wall panels 10. The reinforcement elements can be in any other suitable form in accordance with other embodiments of the present disclosure.

The prefabricated wall panel 10 may be assembled in any suitable manner. In accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure, for example, the prefabricated wall panel 10 may be assembled as follows: A base 45 of the prefabricated wall panel 10 is formed comprising a long solid panel of autoclaved aerated concrete, as shown in FIG. 37. The autoclaved aerated concrete base 45 may be 6-12 inches thick, 24 inches tall, and up to 20 feet long or may have any other suitable dimensions as required for a particular installation.

A plurality of spaced steel anchors 32 are embedded in the autoclaved aerated concrete base 45 which may be in the form, for example, of c-channels, u-channels, or plates or the like, as shown in FIG. 37. Blocks 46 of autoclaved aerated concrete of various sizes and dimensions may then be laid on the top of the base 45 and adhered together by a thin-set mortar 48 or any other suitable binder. The blocks 46 may be stacked in a staggered fashion, as shown, for example, in FIG. 37. Alternatively, long panels 50 of autoclaved aerated concrete may be stacked vertically over the base panel 45, as shown, for example, in FIG. 38, or horizontally over the base panel 46, as shown in FIG. 39.

The assembly of autoclaved aerated concrete base panel 12 is cored in alignment with the embedded c-channels 32 or plates to facilitate insertion of the steel rods 30 through the entire height of the concrete base wall 12. The coring may occur after the stacking of the autoclaved aerated concrete blocks 46 or panels 50 or, alternatively, may occur during the stacking process. The rods 30 are attached on one end to the c-channels 32 or plates by fasteners 36 or in any other suitable manner such as by welding.

The top or crown 52 of the concrete base panel 12 is formed by another long solid panel of autoclaved aerated concrete or an autoclaved aerated concrete bond beam formed of autoclaved aerated concrete u-blocks filled with grout and with continuous rebar 49 to act as a reinforcement structure, as shown in FIG. 48.

Facings 14, 18 are applied to each side 16, 20 of the aerated autoclaved concrete assembly with a thin-set mortar 48 or by any other suitable adhesive, as shown in FIG. 7. The facings 14, 18 may be in any suitable form and may have any suitable appearance. For example, for an interior facing, a joint compound finish 18, drywall or the like can be applied and, for an exterior facing, a thin-set brick 14 (face brick) or the like may be applied. Depending on the design of the structure, cut-outs may be made to the assembly for windows 24, doors 26 and the like and the windows and doors may be secured as part of the assembly. Electrical conduit may then also be built into the prefabricated wall panel 10.

The removable lifting beam 40 may then be attached to the top of the prefabricated wall panel 10 by securing it to the other ends of the threaded rods 30 by fasteners 36 or in any other suitable manner, as shown, for example, in FIG. 10. The lifting beam 40 serves as a lifting element and protects the integrity of the prefabricated panel wall 10 during transportation and installation. The lifting beam 40 may then be removed after the prefabricated panel 10 has been transported and installed and can be re-used to move other prefabricated panels.

The present disclosure also includes a method for constructing structures, such as buildings, including means for securing together the prefabricated panels 10 including connectors and structure associated with the prefabricated panel assemblies to facilitate securement. The securing means may be used to secure together ends of adjacent prefabricated panels 10 to form a continuous wall or to form a corner, as shown in FIGS. 13-16. The securing means may also be used to secure an end of one prefabricated panel 10 with the body of another prefabricated panel 10 to form a perpendicular wall extending from the body of the other prefabricated panel 10, as shown in FIGS. 17-18.

FIGS. 13-18 and FIGS. 41-45 provide examples of various securing means, each of which may be used alone or in combination with other securing means during the construction process. In one embodiment, the securing means may comprise a splice 54 received by vertical slots 56 defined on opposed faces of a pair of prefabricated panels 10 positioned side by side. The vertical slots 56 extend along the height of the prefabricated panels 10. Grout, a thin-set mortar 48 or any other suitable material, such as an adhesive, may be applied to the end faces of the prefabricated panels 10. Such securing means may be used to secure together a pair of adjacent prefabricated panels 10 to form a continuous wall, as shown in FIG. 13. For a corner securement, one of the prefabricated panels 10 may instead have a vertical slot 56 formed on the body of the prefabricated panel 10 adjacent the end of the panel 10 or along the body of the panel 10. The splice 54 is received by the vertical slots 56, and grout, a thin-set mortar 48 or any other suitable material may be applied to secure together the prefabricated panel assemblies. The splices 54 may be constructed of any suitable material, including steel or other metal or a synthetic or composite material.

Alternatively, the securing means may comprise a tongue 58 and groove 60 construction with a tongue 58 and groove 60 being formed on opposed end faces of adjacent prefabricated panels 10 for forming a continuous wall, or with one of the tongue 58 or groove 60 being formed on the body of one of the prefabricated panels 10 for forming a corner, as shown, for example, in FIG. 42. Grout, a thin-set mortar or any other suitable material may be applied to bond prefabricated panels 10 together.

As a further alternative, the securing means may instead comprise a mating lap joint 62 formed on opposed faces of adjacent prefabricated panels 10 for forming a continuous wall or on the body of one of the prefabricated panels for forming a corner, as shown, for example, in FIG. 43. Also, a tongue and groove joint 63 can be used as shown in FIG. 42. Grout, a thin-set mortar 48 or any other suitable material may be applied to the bond the prefabricated panels 10 together. As a further alternative, the securing means may instead comprise steel or synthetic straps 64 secured across facings of adjacent prefabricated panels 10 for forming a continuous wall, as shown, for example in FIG. 44.

As a further alternative, the securing means can comprise a construction column 66 having, together with one or more ends of prefabricated panels 10, a tongue and groove construction to facilitate engagement of one or more prefabricated panels 10 to the column 66, as shown in FIG. 45. Grout, a thin-set mortar or any other suitable material may be applied to the bond the prefabricated panels 10 with the column 66.

FIGS. 19-36 illustrate methods by which the prefabricated panels 10 may be secured vertically to other panels 10, to a foundation wall 68, floor panels or other base structure, or to a roof or roof or ceiling structure in accordance with embodiments of the present disclosure. The prefabricated panels 10 may be secured vertically to other panels 10, to a foundation wall 68, floor panels or joists 70 or other base structure, such as concrete beams 71, to a roof 72 or ceiling structure in any other suitable manner in accordance with other embodiments of the present disclosure.

FIGS. 50-54 illustrate the construction of different portions of the prefabricated panel 10. FIG. 51 illustrates the upper block 52 showing rebar 49 tied together and extending through the block. The channel of the upper block 52 filled with concrete to couple the rebar 49 to the upper block 52. FIG. 52 illustrates the vertical rod 30 extending through the upper block 52 and the main building blocks 46 and also showing the rod secured in a vertical bore filled with concrete to secure the rod to the blocks. FIG. 53 shows the lower block 45 and a main building block 46 and a vertical rod 30 passing through both blocks. Also show is the ends of the rebar 49 passing through the lower block 45 of the panel 10. FIGS. 55-56 illustrate the use of lintels 71 over window 24 and door 26 openings to provide additional support.

The method for constructing a structure in accordance with embodiments of the present disclosure may include making the prefabricated panel 10 as set forth herein, transporting the prefabricated panel 10 to the construction site, and constructing the structure by securing together the prefabricated panels 10. Transporting the prefabricated panel to the construction site may include attaching the lifting beam 40 to the prefabricated panel to lift the prefabricated panel at one location and removing the lifting beam from the prefabricated panel at the construction site. The constructing of the structure may include securing together the prefabricated panels by using one or more of the securing means described herein. The constructing of the structure may also include securing together the prefabricated panels together vertically, to a foundation or floor structure and to a roof or ceiling structure.

The present disclosure provides many benefits to the construction industry. For example, all of the walls of the structure can be designed and manufactured at a facility or otherwise apart from the construction site and then can be readily transported to the construction site and readily assembled at the construction site to construct the structure. Such method also provides many costs benefits in that the prefabricated panels can be efficiently and readily on a high volume basis, and autoclaved aerated concrete tends to be an inexpensive material. Further, the construction time is substantially reduced because the prefabricated panels are lightweight and can be readily transported and can be secured together quickly and inefficiently, resulting in substantial savings in equipment and labor and in management time. Additionally, the constructed structure has all of the qualities associated with autoclaved aerated concrete, including durable, versatile fire protection, high compressive strength, low material weight, ease of workability and handling, universal application, non-allergenic and efficient construction, excellent acoustic insulation and excellent thermal insulation.

While embodiments have been illustrated and described in the drawings and foregoing description, such illustrations and descriptions are considered to be exemplary and not restrictive in character, it being understood that only illustrative embodiments have been shown and described and that all changes and modifications that come within the spirit of the disclosure are desired to be protected. The description and figures are intended as illustrations of embodiments of the disclosure, and are not intended to be construed as having or implying limitation of the disclosure to those embodiments. There is a plurality of advantages of the present disclosure arising from various features set forth in the description. It will be noted that alternative embodiments of the disclosure may not include all of the features described yet still benefit from at least some of the advantages of such features. Those of ordinary skill in the art may readily devise their own implementations of the disclosure and associated methods, without undue experimentation, that incorporate one or more of the features of the disclosure and fall within the spirit and scope of the present disclosure and the appended claims.