Canadian Patents Database / Patent 2641755 Summary

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(12) Patent: (11) CA 2641755
(54) English Title: BUILDING PANELS WITH SUPPORT MEMBERS EXTENDING PARTIALLY THROUGH THE PANELS AND METHOD THEREFOR
(54) French Title: PANNEAUX DE CONSTRUCTION COMPORTANT DES ELEMENTS DE SUPPORT Y PENETRANT PARTIELLEMENT, ET PROCEDE ASSOCIE
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • E04C 5/07 (2006.01)
(72) Inventors :
  • BEAVERS, JAMES L., JR. (United States of America)
  • SOLPER, BRUCE, B. (United States of America)
(73) Owners :
  • GLOBAL BUILDING SYSTEMS, INC. (United States of America)
(71) Applicants :
  • GLOBAL BUILDING SYSTEMS, INC. (United States of America)
(74) Agent: NA
(74) Associate agent: NA
(45) Issued: 2011-07-12
(86) PCT Filing Date: 2007-01-25
(87) Open to Public Inspection: 2007-09-20
Examination requested: 2008-08-07
(30) Availability of licence: N/A
(30) Language of filing: English

(30) Application Priority Data:
Application No. Country/Territory Date
60/782,372 United States of America 2006-03-14

English Abstract




A building panel for residential and commercial construction uses a plurality
of insulating blocks connected together
by adhesive. The insulation blocks are typically made of foam. A plurality of
support members are disposed on opposite sides of
the insulting blocks and offset with respect to the adjacent support member.
The support member are typically made of metal and
can have different shapes including "T" shape, "U" shape, and "L" shape. Each
support member has a head portion in contact with
a surface of the insulating block and a stem portion extending into the
insulating block and having a length less than a width of the
insulating block so that a thermal conduction path of the support member is
discontinuous across the insulating block. The panel can
be used as a curtain wall panel in high-rise construction, as well as bodies
for aircraft, automotive, and marine applications.


French Abstract

Panneau de construction pour bâtiments résidentiels et commerciaux, utilisant une pluralité de blocs isolants joints entre eux par un adhésif. Les blocs isolants sont généralement constitués de mousse. Une pluralité d'éléments de support sont placés sur des côtés opposés des blocs isolants et décalés par rapport à l'élément de support adjacent. Les éléments de support sont généralement constitués de métal et peuvent présenter des formes différentes, notamment une forme en T, une forme en U et une forme en L. Chaque élément de support possède une partie de tête venant au contact d'une surface du bloc isolant et une partie de queue pénétrant dans le bloc isolant et dont la longueur est inférieure à une largeur du bloc isolant, de façon à établir un chemin de conduction thermique discontinu en travers du bloc isolant. Le panneau peut être utilisé comme panneau pour mur-rideau dans des bâtiments élevés, et pour former des carcasses dans les applications aéronautiques, automobiles et marines.


Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.


CLAIMS:
1. A method of making a building panel comprising:

assembling a plurality of panel forms to form a panel mold having a
hollow cavity within the panel mold, an overall size and shape of the hollow
cavity
substantially defining an overall size and shape of the building panel, the
hollow
cavity having a width and a height that is substantially the same as a width
and a
height of the building panel;

providing a first metal sheet;

bending the first metal sheet to form a first support member having a
length that is substantially the same as a length of the first metal sheet,
wherein
bending the first metal sheet to form the first support member consists of
bending
the first metal sheet by a first predetermined angle across the length of the
first
metal sheet to form a first portion of the first metal sheet, a second portion
of the
first metal sheet, and a bend connecting the first portion of the first metal
sheet to
the second portion of the first metal sheet;

disposing the first support member within the hollow cavity such that
the length of the first support member is substantially parallel to the height
of the
hollow cavity and such that the first support member touches an interior
surface of
the panel mold only at the bend connecting the first portion of the first
metal sheet
to the second portion of the first metal sheet;

filling an unoccupied space in the hollow cavity of the panel mold
with a semi-fluid insulating material; and

solidifying the semi-fluid insulating material to form an insulating
material that surrounds and encases at least the first support member.

2. The method of claim 1, further comprising:
providing a second metal sheet;

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bending the second metal sheet to form a second support member
having a length that is substantially the same as a length of the second metal

sheet, wherein bending the second metal sheet to form the second support
member consists of bending the second metal sheet by a second predetermined
angle across the length of the second metal sheet to form a first portion of
the
second metal sheet, a second portion of the second metal sheet, and a bend
connecting the first portion of the second metal sheet to the second portion
of the
second metal sheet;

disposing the second support member within the hollow cavity such
that the length of the second support member is substantially parallel to the
height
of the hollow cavity and such that the second support member touches another
interior surface of the panel mold at the bend connecting the first portion of
the
second metal sheet to the second portion of the second metal sheet, wherein
the
interior surface of the panel mold and the another interior surface of the
panel
mold are separated by the width of the hollow cavity.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein disposing the first and second
support members within the hollow cavity further comprises offsetting the
first and
second support members such that a line drawn from the bend connecting the
first
portion of the first metal sheet to the second portion of the first metal
sheet to the
bend connecting the first portion of the second metal sheet to the second
portion
of the second metal sheet forms a first angle with the interior surface of the
panel
mold, wherein the first angle is less than ninety degrees.

4. The method of claim 3, wherein the first predetermined angle is
substantially equal to the second predetermined angle.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein disposing the first and second
support members within the hollow cavity further comprises disposing the first
and
second support members such that the first and second portions of the first
and
second metal sheets extend no further than halfway across the hollow cavity.



6. A method of manufacturing a building panel comprising:
providing an insulating block;

providing a first metal sheet;

bending the first metal sheet no more than three times to form a first
support member consisting of a head portion and a stem portion, the head
portion
and the stem portion substantially planar in shape, the stem portion disposed
substantially perpendicular to the head portion; and

attaching the first support member to the insulating block such that a
length of the first support member is substantially parallel to a height of
the
insulating block, such that the head portion abuts a surface of the insulating
block
and the stem portion partially penetrates the insulating block from the
surface of
the insulating block, wherein the surface of the insulating block is normal to
a
thickness of the insulating block, the thickness of the insulating block less
than the
height of the insulating block and less than a width of the insulating block.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein bending the first metal sheet no
more than three times to form the first support member consists of:

bending the first metal sheet by substantially 90 degrees to form the
stem portion of the first support member and a first portion of the first
metal sheet
that is substantially perpendicular to the stem portion of the first support
member;

bending the first portion of the first metal sheet by substantially 180
degrees to form a second portion of the first metal sheet that is
substantially
parallel to the first portion of the first metal sheet; and

bending the second portion of the first metal sheet by substantially
180 degrees to form a third portion of the first metal sheet such that the
first,
second, and third portions of the first metal sheet form the head portion of
the first
support member.

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8. The method of claim 7, further comprising:

providing a second metal sheet to form a second support member
that is substantially planar;

encasing the second support member within the insulating block
such that a length of the second support member is substantially parallel to
the
height of the insulating block and such that the second support member is
surrounded by the insulating block.

9. The method of claim 8, wherein encasing the second support member
within the insulating block comprises disposing the second support member
within
the insulating block in an angled manner such that a plane containing a width
and a
length of the second support member and a plane that is parallel to the length
of the
insulating block forms an angle that is less than ninety degrees.

10. The method of claim 6, wherein bending the first metal sheet no
more than three times to form the first support member consists of:

bending the first metal sheet by substantially 90 degrees to form the
stem portion of the first support member and a first portion of the first
metal sheet
that is substantially perpendicular to the stem portion of the first support
member;
bending the first portion of the first metal sheet by substantially
180 degrees across the length of the first metal sheet to form a second
portion of
the first metal sheet that is substantially parallel to the first portion of
the first metal
sheet, such that the first and second portions of the first metal sheet form
the head
portion of the first support member.

11. A prefabricated building panel comprising:

an insulating block having a width spanning from a first outer surface of
the insulating block to a second outer surface of the insulating block, the
width of the
insulating block corresponding to a width of the prefabricated building panel;
and

22


a first support member affixed to the insulating block, the first
support member having a cross-section in a direction that is perpendicular to
a
length of the first support member, the first support member affixed to the
insulating block such that the length of the first support member is
substantially
parallel to a height of the insulating block, the cross-section of the first
support
member consisting of a head and a stem that are both substantially planar in
shape, wherein the stem joins the head at substantially a ninety degree angle,
wherein the head of the first support member is disposed at the first outer
surface
of the insulating block and is substantially parallel to the first outer
surface of the
insulating block, and wherein the stem of the first support member is
surrounded
and encased by the insulating block.

12. The prefabricated building panel of claim 11, wherein the stem
extends from the head at substantially a midway point of the head such that
the
cross-section of the first support member is substantially T-shaped.

13. The prefabricated building panel of claim 12, further comprising a
second support member embedded within the insulating block, the second support
member having a cross-section in a direction perpendicular to a length of the
second support member, the second support member affixed to the insulating
block such that the length of the second support member is substantially
parallel
to the height of the insulating block, the cross-section of the second support
member being substantially rectangular, the second support member disposed
within the insulating block such that a plane parallel to the length and a
width of
the second support member forms an acute angle with one of the first and
second
outer surfaces of the insulating block.

14. The prefabricated building panel of claim 13, further comprising a
third support member affixed to the insulating block, the third support member
having a cross-section in a direction that is perpendicular to a length of the
third
support member, the third support member affixed to the insulating block such
that
the length of the third support member is substantially parallel to the height
of the
insulating block, the cross-section of the third support member consisting of
a

23


head and a stem that are both substantially planar in shape, wherein the stem
joins the head at substantially a ninety degree angle, wherein the head of the
third
support member is disposed at the second outer surface of the insulating block
and is substantially parallel to the second outer surface of the insulating
block, and
wherein the stem of the first support member is surrounded and encased by the
insulating block.

15. The prefabricated building panel of claim 11, wherein the stem
extends from the head at substantially an endpoint of the head such that the
cross-section of the first support member is substantially L-shaped.

24

Note: Descriptions are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.


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Building Panels with Support Members Extending Partially
Through the Panels and Method Therefor

Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates in general to
construction materials and, more particularly, to residential
and commercial building panels containing insulating foam and
support members extending partially through the insulating
foam.

Background of the invention

[0003] Residential and commercial building construction uses
a variety of building materials and construction techniques to
complete the structure. In some building projects, lumber or
metal studs are used for the framing. The frame structure is
held together with nails, screws, and bolts. An exterior
siding such as stucco, wood, vinyl, brick, or aluminum is
placed over the frame structure. Insulation is placed between
the studs of the frame structure. The interior coverings such
as drywall are affixed to the inside of the frame structure.
The entire building project is typically performed on the
construction site. The use of interior and exterior siding

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over frame is costly and labor and time intensive. Wood
framing is of inferior quality and subject to insect damage and
warping. Metal framing is thermally conductive which is
undesirable in view of energy costs. The frame-based structure
is susceptible to the effects of aging and storm damage. While
frame construction has been dominant in the building industry
for many years, other more cost effective and time efficient
solutions are becoming more common.

[0004] One alternative building approach involves the use of
hollow sectional forms, which are put together in the shape of
the exterior wall. The hollow forms are filled with concrete
and then disassembled when the concrete sets, leaving a
concrete wall. The concrete wall is long-lasting and strong
against the. elements, but the forms are generally expensive to
setup.

[0005] Another building approach involves the use of pre-
fabricated building panels which are manufactured off-site and
then assembled together on-site. One such building panel is
discussed in U.S. Patent No. 6,79'6,093 as having a plurality of
I-beam-shaped metal struts spaced about 18 inches apart with
insulating foam blocks disposed between the metal struts. The
metal struts have cut-outs along the length of the I-beam to
reduce the total metal area and associated thermal
conductivity. FIG. 1 shows exemplary prior art I-beam metal
strut 12 between foam blocks 14. While the structural panel
has good load-bearing characteristics, the I-beam metal strut
12 is continuous across foam block 14, at least through
portions of the metal struts and, consequently, is thermally
conductive through the continuous metal areas. Since I-beams
12 go completely through foam blocks 14, heat and cold will

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conduct from one side to the other side of the wall structure.
in the summer, I-beam 12 conducts heat from the exterior to the
interior of the building. In the winter, I-beam 12 conducts
cold from the exterior to the interior of the building. In any
case, the I-beam construction decreases the thermal insulation
property of the building panels.
[00061 A need exists for building. panels combining strength
with thermal insulating efficiency.

Summary of the Invention

[00071 in one embodiment, the present. invention. is a
building panel for residential and commercial construction
comprising a plurality of insulating blocks connected together
by adhesive. A plurality of support members are disposed on
opposite sides of the insulting blocks for providing structural
support. Each support member has a head portion in contact
with a surface of the insulating block and a stem portion
extending into the insulating block and having a length less
than a width of the insulating block so that a thermal
conduction path of the support members is discontinuous across
the insulating blocks.

[00081 in another embodiment, the present invention is a
building panel comprising an insulating material having a
width. A plurality of support members is disposed in the
insulating material for providing structural support. Each
support member has a thermal conduction path that is less than
the width of the insulating material.
[00091 In another embodiment, the present invention is a
building panel comprising an insulating material having a
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width. A plurality of support members is disposed in the insulating material
for
providing structural support. The support members have a thermal conduction
path that is discontinuous across the width of the insulating material.

[0010] In another embodiment, the present invention is a method of making
a building panel comprising the steps of providing an insulating material
having a
width, and disposing a plurality of support members into the insulating
material for
providing structural support. The support members have a thermal conduction
path that is discontinuous across the width of the insulating material.

[0011] In another embodiment, the present invention is a building structure,
comprising a frame having a plurality of columns and a plurality of building
panels
disposed between the columns of the frame. Each building panel includes an
insulating material having a width, and a plurality of support members
disposed in
the insulating material for providing structural support. The support members
have
a thermal conduction path that is discontinuous across the width of the
insulating
material.

In another embodiment, the present invention is a method of making
a building panel comprising: assembling a plurality of panel forms to form a
panel
mold having a hollow cavity within the panel mold, an overall size and shape
of
the hollow cavity substantially defining an overall size and shape of the
building
panel, the hollow cavity having a width and a height that is substantially the
same
as a width and a height of the building panel; providing a first metal sheet;
bending
the first metal sheet to form a first support member having a length that is
substantially the same as a length of the first metal sheet, wherein bending
the
first metal sheet to form the first support member consists of bending the
first
metal sheet by a first predetermined angle across the length of the first
metal
sheet to form a first portion of the first metal sheet, a second portion of
the first
metal sheet, and a bend connecting the first portion of the first metal sheet
to the
second portion of the first metal sheet; disposing the first support member
within
the hollow cavity such that the length of the first support member is
substantially

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parallel to the height of the hollow cavity and such that the first support
member
touches an interior surface of the panel mold only at the bend connecting the
first
portion of the first metal sheet to the second portion of the first metal
sheet; filling
an unoccupied space in the hollow cavity of the panel mold with a semi-fluid
insulating material; and solidifying the semi-fluid insulating material to
form an
insulating material that surrounds and encases at least the first support
member.
In another embodiment, the present invention is a method of
manufacturing a building panel comprising: providing an insulating block;
providing
a first metal sheet; bending the first metal sheet no more than three times to
form
a first support member consisting of a head portion and a stem portion, the
head
portion and the stem portion substantially planar in shape, the stem portion
disposed substantially perpendicular to the head portion; and attaching the
first
support member to the insulating block such that a length of the first support
member is substantially parallel to a height of the insulating block, such
that the
head portion abuts a surface of the insulating block and the stem portion
partially
penetrates the insulating block from the surface of the insulating block,
wherein
the surface of the insulating block is normal to a thickness of the insulating
block,
the thickness of the insulating block less than the height of the insulating
block and
less than a width of the insulating block.

In another embodiment, the present invention is a prefabricated building
panel comprising: an insulating block having a width spanning from a first
outer
surface of the insulating block to a second outer surface of the insulating
block, the
width of the insulating block corresponding to a width of the prefabricated
building
panel; and a first support member affixed to the insulating block, the first
support
member having a cross-section in a direction that is perpendicular to a length
of the
first support member, the first support member affixed to the insulating block
such
that the length of the first support member is substantially parallel to a
height of the
insulating block, the cross-section of the first support member consisting of
a head
and a stem that are both substantially planar in shape, wherein the stem joins
the
head at substantially a ninety degree angle, wherein the head of the first
support
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member is disposed at the first outer surface of the insulating block and is
substantially parallel to the first outer surface of the insulating block, and
wherein the
stem of the first support member is surrounded and encased by the insulating
block.

Brief Description of the Drawings

[0012] FIG. 1 illustrates a known wall panel with I-beam strut disposed
completely through the panel;

FIG. 2 illustrates interconnected foam-filled wall panels with support
members inserted partially into the panel;

FIG. 3 illustrates a "T"-shaped support member;

FIG. 4 illustrates the "T"-shaped support member with multiple cut-outs;
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FIG. 5 illustrates the "T"-shaped support member with
alternate cut-outs;
FIG. 6 illustrates the "T"-shaped support member for
insertion into the foam-filled panel;

FIG. 7' illustrates the "T"-shaped support member for
insertion into a recess of foam-filled panel;
FIG. 8 illustrates an "L"-shaped support member for
insertion into a recess of the foam-filled panel;
FIG. 9 illustrates a cut-away of the foam-filled
panel with the "T"-shaped support member installed;
FIGs. 10a-10f illustrate a top view of the foam-
filled panel with different arrangements of support members;
FIG. 11 illustrates the foam-filled panel with

support members installed.in horizontal and vertical positions;
FIGs. 12a-12b illustrate alternate shapes for the
foam-filled panel with support members; and
FIG. 13 illustrates the use of foam-filled panels in
high-rise buildings between frame columns.

Detailed Description of the Drawings

[00131 The present invention is described in one or more
embodiments in the following description with reference to the
Figures, in which like numerals represent the same or similar
elements. While the invention is described in terms of the
best mode for achieving the invention's objectives, it will be
appreciated by those skilled in the art that it is intended to
cover alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as may be
included within the spirit and scope of the invention as
defined by the appended claims and their equivalents as

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supported by the following disclosure and drawings.
[00143 Residential, commercial., and industrial building
construction can be done much more efficiently and cost
effectively with pre-manufactured wall, roof, floor, and
ceiling panels. The pre-manufactured panels can be made in a
controlled environment, such as a manufacturing facility,
shipped to the construction site, and then assembled together
to form the walls and roof of the building. The pre-
manufactured panels stand strong against adverse environmental
conditions, such as wind, rain, snow., hurricane, flood, and
earthquake. The wall and roof panels are easy to assemble into
the complete building structure on the job site. As will be
demonstrated, the wall and roof panels of the present invention
provide. improved insulation, i.e., higher R-value insulation
factor, as compared to the prior art,
[00151 To construct a building with the wall and roof panels
as described herein, an architect or builder will design and
layout the building structure. The building may be a home,
office, industrial, hotel, or commercial structure of any size
and shape and as tall as the local building codes permit. The
building designer will specify a blueprint of the building,
including dimensions for the walls and roof. The designer then
selects wall and roof panels to conform to the building
blueprint, i.e.., the walls and roof are made with a plurality
of building panels assembled together according to the design.
The panels can be round, rectangle, triangle, curved, polygon,
or any other convenient shape. The selected panels are
connected together on the. job site to form the walls and roof
of the building. The building panels can be stacked on-end
with appropriate support for multi-story structures.

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[0016 FIG. 2 illustrates a portion of building structure 20
with two building panels or sections 22 connected together at
joint 26. Building panels are each made with one or more
insulating blocks 28. The insulating blocks 28 may be made
with expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam formed in 48-inch blocks.
Alternatively, the blocks 28 can have other lengths and be made
with fiberglass, pap.er, or any other thermally insulating
material- The height of each insulating block depends on the
building design, typically ranging from 8-1Q feet. The
thickness of the insulating blocks ranges from 4-8 inches. In
other embodiments, the insulating blocks may range from 2 to 12
inches in thickness. For walls greater than 48 inches in
length, a plurality of insulating blocks 28 are interconnected
to run the length of the wall. Adjacent insulating blocks 28
are held together with an adhesive, e.g., urethane glue.
Building panel 22 may have side end caps 34 for support and
protection of the foam block. Building panel 22 may also have
top and bottom end caps (not shown). The top cap is a metal
angle or "L'`-shaped brace running along the top perimeter of
panel 22, contacting the top and sides of the insulating
blocks. The bottom cap is a metal angle or "L"-shaped brace
running along the bottom perimeter of panel 22, contacting the
bottom and sides of the insulating blocks. For the wall
panels, the bottom cap may be formed in or attached to the
foundation of the building structure to aid in aligning the
walls and to meet hurricane and earthquake standards.
[00171 Support members or struts 30 are inserted into
insulating blocks 28 to provide structural support and
withstand the environmental elements, e.g., wind, rain, and
snow. The building panels 22 are also resistant to water,

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mold, mildew, insects, fire, hurricanes, and earthquakes.
Support members 30 and insulating blocks 28 compliment one
another to provide a strong yet thermally isolating building
panel. Support member 30 can be made from a variety of
materials capable of providing structural support with the
insulating block, such materials including metal (steel,
aluminum or composite metal), ceramic, concrete, fiberglass,
graphite, wood, plastic, cardboard, rubber, and composites of
such materials.
[00181 In one embodiment, support members 30 are formed in
the shape of a "T" and run the height of the wall, from top to
bottom. The stem of support member 30 extends partially into
the insulating block 28 but does not extend completely through
the insulating block. The support members 30 are installed on
opposite sides of panel 22, in an alternating pattern and
offset or staggered with respect to the adjacent support
members on the other side of the building panels, as shown in
FIG. 2. The support members are about 12-18 inches apart on
center of each member, and about 24-36 inches apart on each
side of the building panel.

[0019] The use of panel 22 provides several advantages for
building construction. The building panels can be made off-
site, in a. controlled environment such as a manufacturing
facility, and then transported to and assembled at the building
site. The off-site manufacturing provides cost saving
efficiencies in terms of accessibility to mass production
equipment, sheltered work environment, and ready access to raw
materials. The building panels can be formed to any size and
shape in accordance with the building design. The panels can
be straight, curved, angled, etc. The insulating blocks 28

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provide exceptional insulation properties against the outside
elements. Each inch of thickness of the insulating block
yields about R-4 insulation factor. A 6-inch thick foam panel
would provide about R-24 value of insulation. The support
members 30 provide structural strength to panel 22. With
support members 30, an 8-foot by 8-foot by 6-inch section of
panel 22 can withstand in excess of 27,000 lbs. of total axial
loading directed against surface 32.
[0020] In most if not all prior designs, the support. struts
in the foam blocks are continuous through the panel, see
exemplary I-beam 12 in FIG.. 1. The continuous metal structure
of I-beam 12 through foam block 14 provides a continuous
thermal conduction path from the interior surface to the
exterior surface that reduces the R-value insulation factor of
the prior art panel.
[0021] An important feature of building panel 22 is its
thermal non-conductivity properties in combination with the
structural strength it provides. The thermal non-conductivity
property of panel 22 arises from the fact the support members
extend only partially through the building panel. As seen in
FIG. 2, each support member 30, on both sides of panel 22,
stops in the interior portion of the insulating block 28 and
does not extend completely through from the interior surface to
the exterior surface of the building panel. In one embodiment,
the support member extends about half way through the
insulating block. In a 6-inch insulating block, the "T"
support member extends about 3 inches into the insulating
block. Support members 30 are typically made with metal and as
such have high thermal conductive properties. The support
members 30 inherently exhibit a thermal conduction path through

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the metal. The foam portion of panel 22 has high thermal
insulation properties. Since the support members 30 do not
extend all the way from the interior surface to the exterior
surface of panel 22, there is no channel of high thermal
conductivity from the interior surface to the exterior surface
in the body of the building panel. Thus, the thermal
conduction path associated with the support members is
discontinuous through panel 2.2 as the insulating material
blocks the thermal transfer at the point where the support
member stops in the interior of the insulating block 28.
[0022] It is understood that thermal transfer through panel
22 is not completely eliminated with the use of support members
30 as insulating blocks 28 are not perfect thermal isolators.
However, the high thermal. transfer associated with the metal
support members is certainly discontinuous across the wall
panel 22 and as such significantly improves its R-value
insulation factor for the. wall panel as a whole..
[0023] The, structural strength of building panel 22 arises
from the arrangement of the support members 30 in the
insulating blocks 28. Each "T"-shaped support member 30 has a
head portion parallel to and in contact with the interior and.
exterior surfaces of panel 22. The stem of the "T"-shaped
support member extends into the insulating block 28. The "T"-
shaped support members 30 are positioned on opposite sides of
panel 22, in an alternating pattern and offset or staggered
with respect to the adjacent support members on the opposite
side of the building panel. The embedded stem of support
members 30, arranged as shown in FIG. 2, increases the
structural strength of panel 22.
[0024] The support member 30 is shown in FIG. 3 having head
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portion 40 and stem portion 42. The support member is formed
from a rolled sheet of steel that is bent to the desired "T"
shape. The steel is 20 gauge thickness, although other gauge
steel could be used as well.. The "T"-shape of the support
member is formed using a sheet metal bending machine and
process. At about 1 inch into the width of the steel plate a
first 180 bend is made at point 44, commonly known as a
"double-hem." At another 2 inches into the width of the steel
plate a second 180 bend is made at point 46. At another 1 inch
into the -width of the steel plate a third bend at 90 is made at
point 48. The steel plate is cut at about 3 inches past point
48 to form stem 42. The. result is the double-hem "T"-:shaped
support member 30 having head portion 40 width of 2 inches,
stem portion 42 of 3 inches, and a length the same as the
height of panel 22, i.e., 8-10 feet. in other embodiments, the
head portion 40 can range from 2-4 inches and the stem portion
42 can range from 1-6 inches.

[00251 A support member 50 is shown in FIG. 4 having the
same dimensions as support member 30 including head portion 52
and stem portion 54. The support member 50 has a plurality of
cut.-outs or openings 56 formed in the stem portion 52.. FIG. 5
shows that support member 50 can have cut-outs or openings 56
of different sizes, shapes, and patterns. The cut-outs reduce
the thermal conductivity and weight of the support member
without significantly reducing its structural strength for
panel 22.
[0026 FIG. 6 illustrates in cross-section groove or slot 58
cut into a side surface of insulating blocks 28 from the bottom
to the top of panel 22. For a 6-inch thick insulating block,
the groove 58 is about 3 inches deep into the insulating block.

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An adhesive 60 such as urethane glue is disposed into groove
58. A groove 58 is cut into insulating blocks 28 of panel 22
for each support member 30. The stem portion 42 of support
members 30 are then inserted into the groove 58 until the head
portion 40 contacts the surface of insulating block 28, The
stem portion 42 cures with adhesive 60 and forms a secure union
between support member 30 and insulating block 28.

[0027] In an alternate embodiment, a shallow trench or
recess 62 is cut into insulating block 28 to sufficient depth
to contain head portion 40,, as shown in cross-section in FIG.
7. The stem portion 42 is inserted into groove 58 to cure with
adhesive 60. The top surface of head portion 40 is co-planar
with the side surface of insulating blocks 28 and provides a
flush surface for panel 22.

E0028] Another embodiment for the support member is shown in
cross-section in FIG. 8. The "L"-shaped support member 70 has
head portion 72 and stem portion 74. The support member is
formed from a rolled sheet of steel that is bent to the "L"
shape. About 1 inch into the width of the steel plate a first
180 bend is made at point 75. At another 1 inch into the width
of the steel plate a third bend at 90 is made at point 77. The
steel plate is cut at about 3 inches past point 77 to form stem
74.. The result is an "L"-shaped support member 70 having head
portion 72 width of 1 inch, stem portion 74 of 3 inches, and a
length the same as the height of panel 22, i.e., 8-10 feet.
[0029] A shallow trench or recess 76 is cut into insulating
block 28 to sufficient depth to contain head portion 72. A
groove 78 cut into a side surface of insulating blocks 28 from
the bottom to the top of panel 22. Fora 6-inch thick
insulating block, the groove 78 is cut about 3 inches deep into

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the insulating block. An adhesive 80 such as urethane glue is
disposed into groove 78. A groove 78 is cut into insulating
blocks 28 of panel 22 for each support member 30. The stem
portion 74 of support members 70 are then inserted into the
grooves 78 until the top surface of head portion 74 is co-
planar with the side surface of insulating blocks 28. The
recessed head portion provides a flush surface for panel 22.
[00301 FIG. 9 shows a cut-away of insulating block 28 with
support member 30 in place. Note that the cut-outs or openings
56 in the support member 30 also improve the adhesive of the
stem portion to the insulating block 28. Alternately, the
stems portions can be textured, roughened, corrugated, or
partially punched for better adhesion in groove 58 to the
insulating block.

[00311 FIGs. 10a-10f illustrate alternate embodiments of the
support members. Each figure is a cross-sectional view of
panel 22.
[00321 FIG_ 10a shows "U"-shaped support members 90 disposed
in insulating block 28 extending the height of panel 22. The
"U"-shaped support members 90 are formed by making two 90 bends
in the sheet of steel. The "U"-shaped support member 90 has a
head portion and two stem portions extending partially into
insulating block 28, but does not extend all the way through
from the interior surface to the exterior surface of panel 22.
Accordingly, the thermal conduction path through panel 22,
attributed to the metal support members, is discontinuous. The
support members 90 are installed on opposite sides of panel 22,
in an alternating pattern and offset or staggered with respect
to the adjacent support members on the other side of the
building panel. The support members are about 12-18 inches

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apart on center of each member. The "U"-shaped support member
90 can also be recessed into insulating block 28 as described
in FIG. 7.
[0033] FIG. lOb shows "T"-shaped support members 100
disposed in insulating block 28 extending the height of panel
22. Opposing "T"-shaped support members 100 are directly
opposite one another., but still do not extend all the way
through from the interior surface to the exterior surface of
panel 22. in the embodiment of FIG. 10b, there is a break or
gap between opposing "T" support members 100,. the space being
filled with foam to block the thermal conduction path from the
interior surface to the exterior surface of panel 22.
Accordingly, the thermal conduction path through panel 22,
attributed to the metal support. members, is discontinuous.
[0034] FIG. 10c illustrates the "T shaped support members
100 of FIG. 10b with thermally insulating connectors .102 placed
between opposing "T"-shaped support members 100. The thermal
insulating connectors 102 are made of plastic or other rigid
thermally isolating material. The thermal insulating
connectors 102 provide additional strength for the support
members 100, while blocking the thermal conduction path from
the interior surface to the exterior surface of panel 22.
Accordingly, the thermal conduction path through panel 22,
attributed to the metal support members, is discontinuous.
[0035] FIG.. 10d shows straight support members 110 embedded
within the interior of insulating material 108. In this
embodiment, the panel 22 can be made by creating a form of the
outline of the building panel. The support members 110 are
placed into the form, and the form is filled with the
insulating material 108, e.g., paper, foam, or fiberglass. The

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insulating material 108 is mixed with an adhesive to create a
semi-fluid mixture that surrounds and encases the support
members 110 as the form is filled. When the insulating
material hardens, the panel forms are removed, leaving panel
22. The support members 110 do not extend all the way through
from the interior surface to the exterior surface of panel 22.
In the embodiment of FIG. lOd, there is a break or gap on
either end of the support member 110 before the interior and
exterior surfaces of panel 22. The space of the gap is filled
with the insulating material 108 to block the thermal
conduction path from the interior surface to the exterior
surface of panel 22. Accordingly, the thermal conduction path
through panel 22, attributed to the metal support members, is
discontinuous.

[00361 FIG. lOe shows straight support members 110 in
combination with "T"-shaped support members 112 embedded within
the interior of insulating material 108. As with FIG. 10d, the
panel 22 can be made by creating a form of the outline of the
building panel. The support members 110 and 112 are placed
into the form, and the form is filled with the insulating
material 108 in its semi-fluid state to surround and encase the
support members 110 and 112 as the form is filled. When the
insulating material hardens, the panel forms are removed,
leaving panel 22.. The support members 110 and 112 do not
extend all the way through from the interior surface to the
exterior surface of panel 22, which blocks the thermal
conduction path from the interior surface to the exterior
surface of panel 22. Accordingly, the thermal conduction path
through panel 22, attributed to the metal support members, is
discontinuous.

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[0037] FIG. 10f shows angled support members 114 embedded
within the interior of insulating material 108. As with FIG.
10d, panel 22 can be made by creating a form of the outline of
the building panel. The support members 114 are placed into
the form, and the form is filled with the insulating material
108. The insulating material 108 is mixed with an adhesive to
create a semi-fluid mixture that surrounds and encases the
support members 114 as the form is filled. When the insulating
material hardens., the panel forms are removed, leaving panel
22. The support members 114 do not extend all the way through
from the interior surface to the exterior surface of panel 22.
In the embodiment of FIG. 10f, there is a break or gap on
either end of the support member 114 before the interior and
exterior surfaces of panel 22, The space of the gap is filled
with the insulating material 108 to block the thermal
conduction path from the interior surface to the. exterior
surface of panel 22. Accordingly, the thermal conduction path
through panel 22, attributed to the metal support members, is
discontinuous.
[0038] Another embodiment of panel-22 is shown in FIG. 11.
The stem of "T"-shaped support members 116 and 118 extend only
partially into the insulating material.. However, the support
members do not extend the complete height of panel 22.
Instead, panel 22 has a row of vertical support members 116,
followed by a row of horizontal support members 118, followed
by a row of vertical support members 116, and another row of
horizontal support members 118, and so on.. In areas 120, there
are horizontal support members 118 on the opposite surface of
panel 22.
[0039] Wall panel.22 can be formed with horizontal and
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vertical conduits or air channels to run electric wire and
plumbing pipes. Doors and windows can be cut into wall. panel
22 in the manufacturing facility or at the construction: site..
The wall panel can be formed to any shape- FIG. 12a shows a
curved wall panel 122 with "T" support members 124. FIG. 12b
shows an "S" shaped wall panel.126 with "T" support members
128.

[0040] Roof panels for the building structure 20 can be
manufactured as described for building panel 22. The same is
true for floor and ceiling panels. Since roof panels rest at
an angle or flat, these panels may include additional support
for vertical loads bearing into the surface of the panel.
[0041] Another application for panel 22 involves high-rise
construction. Most high-rise buildings have a frame structure
with curtain wall panels placed between columns of the frame
structure. Building panels like 22 are ideally suited to be
disposed between the frame structure of a high-rise building.
In FIG. 13, frame structure 130 has columns 132 made of red
iron or steel. Curtain wall panels 22 are placed between
columns 132 and rest on ears 134 or are pinned to columns 132.
Once in position; curtain wall panels 22 are welded to columns
132. The curtain wall panel has an exterior surface that can
be covered with mesh, sto; dinsglass, and an exposure surface
such as stucco, granite, brick, or slate. The interior surface
of the curtain wall panel has sheet rock and decorative
covering such as paint or wall paper. Curtain wall panel 22
can be formed with horizontal and vertical conduits or air
channels or chases to run electric wire and plumbing pipes.
Alternatively, foam-filled panel 22 can be formed within
another panel that acts as the curtain wall panel. The

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electric and plumbing lines can be placed in gaps between the
curtain wall panel and the inner foam-filled panel 22.
[0042] Panels like 22 have applications in many other
industries, such as aircraft fuselage, automobile bodies, and
marine hulls. The panels are strong, exhibit high thermal
insulation properties, and can be formed to any size and shape,
which would be well-suited to such applications.
[0043] While one or more embodiments of the present
invention have been illustrated in detail, the skilled artisan
will appreciate that modifications and adaptations to those
embodiments may be made without departing from the scope of the
present invention as set forth in the following claims.

-18-

A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.

For a clearer understanding of the status of the application/patent presented on this page, the site Disclaimer , as well as the definitions for Patent , Administrative Status , Maintenance Fee  and Payment History  should be consulted.

Admin Status

Title Date
Forecasted Issue Date 2011-07-12
(86) PCT Filing Date 2007-01-25
(87) PCT Publication Date 2007-09-20
(85) National Entry 2008-08-07
Examination Requested 2008-08-07
(45) Issued 2011-07-12
Lapsed 2017-01-25

Abandonment History

There is no abandonment history.

Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Request for Examination $800.00 2008-08-07
Application Fee $400.00 2008-08-07
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 2 2009-01-26 $100.00 2008-10-15
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 3 2010-01-25 $100.00 2010-01-05
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 4 2011-01-25 $100.00 2010-12-31
Final Fee $300.00 2011-04-08
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 5 2012-01-25 $200.00 2011-12-30
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 6 2013-01-25 $200.00 2012-12-31
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 7 2014-01-27 $200.00 2013-12-30
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 8 2015-01-26 $200.00 2015-01-19
Current owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Current Owners on Record
GLOBAL BUILDING SYSTEMS, INC.
Past owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Past Owners on Record
BEAVERS, JAMES L., JR.
SOLPER, BRUCE, B.
Past Owners that do not appear in the "Owners on Record" listing will appear in other documentation within the application.

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Document
Description
Date
(yyyy-mm-dd)
Number of pages Size of Image (KB)
Representative Drawing 2008-11-26 1 14
Abstract 2008-08-07 1 72
Claims 2008-08-07 5 194
Drawings 2008-08-07 9 286
Description 2008-08-07 18 921
Cover Page 2008-11-27 2 54
Claims 2010-08-16 6 241
Description 2010-08-16 20 984
Abstract 2011-06-16 1 72
Cover Page 2011-06-16 2 55
Assignment 2008-08-07 3 106
Prosecution-Amendment 2010-02-16 2 67
Prosecution-Amendment 2010-08-16 15 634
Correspondence 2011-04-08 2 61
Correspondence 2016-08-12 1 26
Correspondence 2016-09-07 1 24
Correspondence 2016-09-07 1 33