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Title:
A CONNECTION SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/039724
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates in general to a connection system for building construction components. In particular, the present invention is suitable for use in modular building systems, such as those utilising laminated veneer lumber. The connection system having a first connector and a second connector. Each connector having a first elongate member having a first longitudinal axis terminating at a first end and a second end. A second elongate member having a second longitudinal axis terminating at a third end and a fourth end. The first elongate member being connected to the second elongate member such that the second longitudinal axis is coplanar with and transects the first longitudinal axis. The first connector and the second connector are located within a first construction element. A bracket having a planar member having at least two loci for attaching the planar member to an end of a second construction element. An annular flange having a longitudinal axis perpendicular to the planar member; and wherein the planar member and annular flange cooperate to direct a sheer force toward the centre of the second construction element. The bracket is adapted to be connected to the first and second connectors to connect the first and second construction elements.

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Inventors:
GLADMAN, Paul (8104 Ephraim Island Parade, Paradise Point, Queensland 4216, 4216, AU)
Application Number:
AU2017/050930
Publication Date:
March 08, 2018
Filing Date:
August 31, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
GLADMAN, Paul (8104 Ephraim Island Parade, Paradise Point, Queensland 4216, 4216, AU)
International Classes:
E04B1/38; E04B1/26; E04B1/58
Foreign References:
JP2015137458A2015-07-30
JP2009084781A2009-04-23
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RAVEN IP (PO Box 391, Varsity Lakes, Queensland 4227, 4227, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1 . A connection system for connecting construction elements, the system comprising:

a first connector and a second connector, each connector comprising: a first elongate member having a first longitudinal axis terminating at a first end and a second end;

a second elongate member having a second longitudinal axis terminating at a third end and a fourth end, the first elongate member being connected to the second elongate member such that the second longitudinal axis is coplanar with, and transects the first longitudinal axis; and

wherein the first connector and the second connector are located within a first construction element;

a bracket comprising:

a planar member having at least two loci for attaching the planar member to an end of a second construction element;

an annular flange having a longitudinal axis perpendicular to the planar member; and

wherein the planar member and annular flange cooperate to direct a sheer force toward the centre of the second construction element; and wherein the bracket is adapted to be connected to the first and second connectors to connect the first and second construction elements.

2. A connection system as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the corresponding first, second, third and fourth ends of the first and second connectors are adapted to cooperate respectively with the second construction elements.

3. A connection system as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the first connector and the second connector are spaced apart a distance within the first construction element.

4. A connection system as claimed in claim 3, wherein the spaced apart distance of the first and second connectors aligns an end of the first connector with one of the at least two loci of the planar member of the bracket and a corresponding end of the second connector with the other one of the at least two loci of the planar member of the bracket.

5. A connection system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the first and second longitudinal axes of the first and second connectors transect at a perpendicular angle.

6.. A connection system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the first and second elongate members of the first and second connectors are cylindrical in cross section.

7. A connection system as claimed in claim 6, wherein the first elongate member is cylindrical in shape and includes a transverse opening for receiving the second elongate member.

8. A connection system as claimed in claim 6 or claim 7, wherein the second elongate member comprises a first cylindrical part having a threaded body which is received in the transverse opening of the first elongate member and a second part having an internally threaded cylindrical body adapted to receive the threaded body of the first part, the first and second parts of the second elongate member being in removable connection with the first elongate member.

9. A connection system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the first, second, third and fourth ends of the first and second connectors have an internally threaded cylindrical body.

10. A connection system as claimed in claim 3, wherein the first construction element comprises two sets of coplanar machined bores which transect at a perpendicular angle to form two four-way through bores which are adapted to receive the first and second connectors.

1 1 . A connection system as claimed in claim 10, wherein at least one of the corresponding ends of the first and second connectors further comprises a locating washer inserted into each respective through bore with one end in an abutting relationship with the end of the connector and another end of the locating washer projecting from an outer surface of the first construction element to act as a location guide for the second construction element.

12. A connector system as claimed in claim 10 or claim 1 1 , wherein the first construction element has a square cross-section with corresponding ends of the first and second connectors aligned on each face of the first construction element.

13. A construction system as claimed in claim 12, wherein the first construction element is adapted to receive up to four second construction elements, an end of each second construction element abutting against a face of the first construction element.

14. A connection system as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the planar member of the bracket is an elongate metal strip, having upper and lower edges and a front and a back located between the upper and lower edges.

15. A connector system as claimed in claim 14, wherein the annular flange projects from the back of the planar member.

16. A connection system as claimed in claim 14 or claim 15, wherein an end of the second construction element has a recess adapted to receive the bracket.

17. A connection system as claimed in claim 1 1 or claim 16, wherein the recess is adapted to receive the locating washers projecting from the outer surface of the first construction element.

18. A connection system as claimed in claim 14 or claim 15, wherein the planar member comprises a first loci adjacent the upper edge and a second loci adjacent the lower edge.

19. A connection system as claimed in claim 18, wherein each loci comprises a hole in the planar member through which passes a fastener for connecting the bracket to the second construction element and the second construction element to the first construction element.

20. A connector system as claimed in claim 19, wherein each fastener is received within a hole extending longitudinally in the second construction element and one end of each fastener being received into a corresponding end of the first or second connector, the other end of each fastener being secured to the second construction element.

21 . A connector system as claimed in claim 1 9 or claim 20, wherein the fastener is a threaded fastener and the other end of threaded fastener is secured to the second construction element by at least one nut.

22. A connection system as claimed in any one of claims 19 to 21 , wherein the fastener further comprises a washer plate between the threaded fastener and the at least one nut securing the second construction element.

23. A connection system as claimed in claim 1 3, wherein the first construction element is adapted to receive one second construction element with the end of the second construction element abutting against a first face of the first construction element, a second face of the first construction element opposing the first face has a recess around the corresponding first and second connectors for receiving a washer plate.

24. A connection system as claimed in claim 23, wherein the washer plate is secured to the first and second connectors ends by a threaded fastener and securing nut.

25. A connection system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the first construction element is a post and the second construction element is a beam.

26. A connection system as claimed in claim 25, wherein the beam and/or post are formed from an engineered wood product.

27. A connection system as claimed in claim 26, wherein the engineering wood product is a laminated veneer lumber.

28. A method of connecting a first construction element to a second construction element, the method comprising the steps of:

forming two spaced apart first recesses and two second, intersecting recesses in a first construction element;

locating a first connector and a second connector in the first and second recesses in the first construction element, each connector providing a connecting end in a first surface of the first construction element;

positioning a locating washer in the connecting ends of the first and second connectors, with one end of the locating washer in an abutting relationship with the end of the connectors and another end of the locating washer projecting from the first surface of the first construction element;

locating a bracket in an end of a second construction element, the bracket comprising a planar member having at least two loci aligned with two elongate holes in the second construction element and an annular flange having a longitudinal axis perpendicular to the planar member;

positioning the second construction element over the locating washers in the first construction element such that the second construction element and the bracket are in an abutting relationship with the first construction element; locating a fastener within each elongate hole in the second construction element, the fastener passing through the two loci in the bracket and cooperating with the connecting ends of the first and second connectors; and providing a securing device to secure the second construction element to the first construction element.

29. A method as claimed in claim 28, wherein the first and second connectors comprise any one of the features of claims 1 to 9.

30. A method as claimed in claim 28, wherein the bracket comprises and one of the features of claims 14, 15, 18 and 1 9.

31 . A method as claimed in any one of claims 28 to 30, wherein the step of locating a bracket in the end of a second construction element further comprises the step of providing a recess adjacent the end of the second construction element in which the bracket may be located.

32. A method as claimed in claim 28, wherein the first and second recesses comprise two intersecting bore holes drilled between opposing faces of the first construction element, the first construction element having a square cross- section.

33. A method as claimed in claim 32, wherein a longitudinal axis of each of the bore holes are coplanar and perpendicular.

34. A method as claimed in claim 32 or claim 33, wherein the positioning of second construction elements on the square cross-section of the first construction element provides connection for up to four second construction elements, an end of each second construction element abutting against a face of the first construction element.

35. A method as claimed in any one of claims 28 to 34, wherein the step of providing a securing device to secure the second construction element to the first construction element further comprises providing a washer plate between the fastener and the securing device.

36. A method as claimed in any one of claims 28 to 35, wherein the first construction element is a post, and the second construction element is a beam.

37. A method as claimed in claim 36, wherein the beam and/or post are formed from an engineered wood product.

38. A method as claimed in claim 37, wherein the engineering wood product is a laminated veneer lumber.

Description:
A Connection System

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to the field of building construction. In one form, the invention relates to a connection system for building construction components. In particular, the present invention is suitable for use in modular building systems, such as those utilising laminated veneer lumber.

It will be convenient to hereinafter describe the invention in relation to a connection system for modular building systems, however it should be appreciated that the present invention is not limited to that use only and can be applied to a wide range of building materials and building systems.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It is to be appreciated that any discussion of documents, devices, acts or knowledge in this specification is included to explain the context of the present invention. Further, the discussion throughout this specification comes about due to the realisation of the inventor and/or the identification of certain related art problems by the inventor. Moreover, any discussion of material such as documents, devices, acts or knowledge in this specification is included to explain the context of the invention in terms of the inventor's knowledge and experience and, accordingly, any such discussion should not be taken as an admission that any of the material forms part of the prior art base or the common general knowledge in the relevant art in Australia, or elsewhere, on or before the priority date of the disclosure and claims herein.

Laminated veneer lumber (LVL) is one of the most widely used high strength engineered wood products for construction applications. It is relatively versatile and is used for permanent structural applications such as beams, lintels, purlins, truss chords and formwork. In timber frame construction, LVL construction elements such as beams need to be connected to posts to support flooring frames or wall frames.

LVL is a composite product manufactured by bonding together multiple thin layers of wood veneers under heat and pressure. Prior to lamination, the veneers are dried and the grains of each veneer are oriented in the same direction. This makes LVL stronger, straighter and more uniform than solid timber and overcomes some of timber's natural limitations such as strength- reducing knots, and being limited to the length of the tree logs available. Due to its composite nature, LVL is much less likely than conventional lumber to warp, twist, bow, or shrink. In contrast to materials such as plywood, this gives different mechanical properties against different axes.

The aforementioned characteristics of LVL mean it has clear span capabilities of up to 6 metres, exceeding the clear span capabilities of most timber. Furthermore it is well suited to building systems such as half-timbering which is based on traditional post, beam and peg construction methods. However one of the ongoing challenges of such systems is improving connection of posts and beams.

Laminated beams are engineered timber products that are quite different to solid sawn timber when being cut or modified in any way. This is particularly important in the connection of posts and beams as incorrect connections may reduce the capacity of a beam and cause serious structural failure. For example, the notching of LVL beams not only decreased the effective section of the member in the location of notch but also creates stress concentrations in what is already a highly stressed beam. These stress concentrations make the beam prone to splitting. Given that most LVL products are used as beams and headers loaded parallel to the glue lines, any drilling, tapering or notching that takes place in LVL reduces the net section and may introduce stress concentrations at the notching or drilling location.

Hence there is an ongoing need for simple and efficient solutions for connecting posts and beams, even beams up to 6 metres in length.

Clearly it would be advantageous if connection system for building construction components could be devised that helped to at least ameliorate some of the shortcomings described above. In particular, it would be beneficial if connection systems suitable for use in modular building systems, such as those utilising laminated veneer lumber was devised or to at least provide a useful alternative.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The design of the present invention stem from the realisation that degradation of construction elements such as splitting or delamination at their ends, can be ameliorated or overcome by redirecting deleterious shear forces away from the edges of the elements, preferably towards the centre of the building element. The connection system provides a cost efficient assembly of construction elements such as posts and beams in the assembly of ground floor structures, foundation platforms or whole buildings.

In accordance with a first aspect, the present invention provides a connection system for connecting construction elements, the system comprising: a first connector and a second connector, each connector comprising: a first elongate member having a first longitudinal axis terminating at a first end and a second end; a second elongate member having a second longitudinal axis terminating at a third end and a fourth end, the first elongate member being connected to the second elongate member such that the second longitudinal axis is coplanar with, and transects the first longitudinal axis; and wherein the first connector and the second connector are located within a first construction element; a bracket comprising: a planar member having at least two loci for attaching the planar member to an end of a second construction element; an annular flange having a longitudinal axis perpendicular to the planar member; and wherein the planar member and annular flange cooperate to direct a sheer force toward the centre of the second construction element; and wherein the bracket is adapted to be connected to the first and second connectors to connect the first and second construction elements.

Preferably, the corresponding first, second, third and fourth ends of the first and second connectors may be adapted to cooperate respectively with the second construction elements. The first connector and the second connector may be spaced apart a distance within the first construction element. The spaced apart distance of the first and second connectors may align an end of the first connector with one of the at least two loci of the planar member of the bracket and a corresponding end of the second connector with the other one of the at least two loci of the planar member of the bracket.

Preferably, the first and second longitudinal axes of the first and second connectors may transect at a perpendicular angle.

Preferably, the first and second elongate members of the first and second connectors may be cylindrical in cross section. Alternatively, the first and second elongate members of the first and second connectors may be square, rectangular or triangular in cross section or any other desired cross- sectional shape. Preferably, the first elongate member may be cylindrical in shape and includes a transverse opening for receiving the second elongate member.

Preferably, the second elongate member may comprise a first cylindrical part having a threaded body which is received in the transverse opening of the first elongate member and a second part having an internally threaded cylindrical body adapted to receive the threaded body of the first part, the first and second parts of the second elongate member being in removable connection with the first elongate member.

Preferably, the first, second, third and fourth ends of the first and second connectors may have an internally threaded cylindrical body.

Preferably, the first construction element may comprise two sets of coplanar machined bores which transect at a perpendicular angle to form two four-way through bores which are adapted to receive the first and second connectors.

Preferably, at least one of the corresponding ends of the first and second connectors may further comprise a locating washer inserted into each respective through bore with one end in an abutting relationship with the end of the connector and another end of the locating washer projecting from an outer surface of the first construction element to act as a location guide for the second construction element.

Preferably, the first construction element may have a square cross- section with corresponding ends of the first and second connectors aligned on each face of the first construction element. The first construction element may be adapted to receive up to four second construction elements, an end of each second construction element abutting against a face of the first construction element.

Preferably, the planar member of the bracket may be an elongate metal strip, having upper and lower edges and a front and a back located between the upper and lower edges. The annular flange may project from the back of the planar member.

Preferably, an end of the second construction element may have a recess adapted to receive the bracket. The recess may be adapted to receive the locating washers projecting from the outer surface of the first construction element. Preferably, the planar member may comprise a first loci adjacent the upper edge and a second loci adjacent the lower edge. Each loci may comprise a hole in the planar member through which passes a fastener for connecting the bracket to the second construction element and the second construction element to the first construction element. Each fastener may be received within a hole extending longitudinally in the second construction element and one end of each fastener being received into a corresponding end of the first or second connector, the other end of each fastener being secured to the second construction element.

Preferably, the fastener may be a threaded fastener and the other end of threaded fastener is secured to the second construction element by at least one nut. The fastener may further comprise a washer plate between the threaded fastener and the at least one nut securing the second construction element.

Preferably, the first construction element may be adapted to receive one second construction element with the end of the second construction element abutting against a first face of the first construction element, a second face of the first construction element opposing the first face has a recess around the corresponding first and second connectors for receiving a washer plate. The washer plate may be secured to the first and second connectors ends by a threaded fastener and securing nut.

Preferably, the first construction element may be a post and the second construction element is a beam. The beam and/or post may be formed from an engineered wood product. Preferably, the engineering wood product may be a laminated veneer lumber.

In accordance with a further aspect, the present invention provides a method of connecting a first construction element to a second construction element, the method comprising the steps of: forming two spaced apart first recesses and two second, intersecting recesses in a first construction element; locating a first connector and a second connector in the first and second recesses in the first construction element, each connector providing a connecting end in a first surface of the first construction element; positioning a locating washer in the connecting ends of the first and second connectors, with one end of the locating washer in an abutting relationship with the end of the connectors and another end of the locating washer projecting from the first surface of the first construction element; locating a bracket in an end of a second construction element, the bracket comprising a planar member having at least two loci aligned with two elongate holes in the second construction element and an annular flange having a longitudinal axis perpendicular to the planar member; positioning the second construction element over the locating washers in the first construction element such that the second construction element and the bracket are in an abutting relationship with the first construction element; locating a fastener within each elongate hole in the second construction element, the fastener passing through the two loci in the bracket and cooperating with the connecting ends of the first and second connectors; and providing a securing device to secure the second construction element to the first construction element.

Preferably, the first and second connectors may comprise any one of the features of the connectors described in the first aspect. Preferably, the bracket may comprise and one of the features of the bracket described in the first aspect.

Preferably, the step of locating a bracket in the end of a second construction element may further comprise the step of providing a recess adjacent the end of the second construction element in which the bracket may be located. The first and second recesses may comprise two intersecting bore holes drilled between opposing faces of the first construction element, the first construction element having a square cross-section. A longitudinal axis of each of the bore holes may be coplanar and perpendicular.

Preferably, the positioning of second construction elements on the square cross-section of the first construction element may provide connection for up to four second construction elements, an end of each second construction element abutting against a face of the first construction element.

Preferably, the step of providing a securing device to secure the second construction element to the first construction element may further comprise providing a washer plate between the fastener and the securing device.

Preferably, the first construction element may be a post, and the second construction element may be a beam. The beam and/or post may be formed from an engineered wood product. Preferably, the engineering wood product may be a laminated veneer lumber. Any one or more of the above embodiments or preferred features can be combined with any one or more of the above aspects.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will be understood more fully from the detailed description given hereinafter and from the accompanying drawings of the preferred embodiment of the present invention, which, however, should not be taken to be limitative to the invention, but are for explanation and understanding only.

Fig. 1 shows a side on sectional view of an LVL beam and post connected using the connection system in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

Fig. 2 shows a perspective view of a bracket in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

Fig. 3 illustrates a perspective view of an end part of an LVL beam in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

Fig. 4 shows a sectional view of the end of the LVL beam of Fig. 3;

Fig. 5 illustrates an end of an LVL beam showing the end part of Fig. 3 installed in between two LVL beam sections;

Fig. 6 shows the bracket of Fig. 2 and the end part of Fig. 3 prior to the bracket being installed into the end part;

Fig. 7 shows the bracket installed into the end part in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

Fig. 8 shows a sectional perspective view of the bracket and end part of

Fig. 7;

Fig. 9 shows an end view of the LVL beam of Fig. 5;

Figs 10 and 1 1 illustrate a connector in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention with the connector in the disassembled form in Fig. 1 0 and in the assembled form in Fig. 1 1 ;

Fig. 1 2 shows two connectors installed in an LVL post with one face of the post showing the locating washers installed;

Fig. 13 illustrates a cross sectional view of the post of Fig. 12;

Figs. 14 and 1 5 show the post with two connectors installed in bore holes drilled in the post with locating washers just prior to installation in Fig. 14 and with the locating washers in an abutting relationship with the ends of the connectors in Fig. 15;

Fig. 16 and 1 7 shows an LVL beam and post connected using the connection system in cross sectional views from an angle in Fig. 1 6 and from the side as viewed in Fig. 1 7;

Fig 18 shows a bracket installed on a post using fasteners to hold the bracket in place with the beam removed to provide clarity of the underlying structure;

Figs 19 to 23 illustrate a beam connected to a post using the connection system in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

Figs. 24 and 25 illustrates the connection of three beams to one post using the connection system in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention; and

Figs. 26 and 27 illustrate a further embodiment of the present invention which is adapted for longer clear spans using the connection system of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The following description, given by way of example only, is described in order to provide a more precise understanding of the subject matter of a preferred embodiment or embodiments.

The present invention has been designed due to the realisation that a simple, but robust connection system can be provided to join large construction elements such as beams and posts, such that in use a moment or turning effect of a force is allowed to continue through the post to the opposite side of a corresponding beam. The connection system also ensures that degradation of construction elements such as splitting or delamination at their ends, can be ameliorated or overcome by redirecting deleterious shear forces away from the edges of the elements, preferably towards the centre of the construction element.

The present invention in its broadest form and as illustrated in Fig. 1 provides a connection system 1 0 for connecting construction elements 1 1 , 1 2 such as posts and beams in a quick and simple manner with the use of minimal tooling with increased clear span capabilities. The system comprises first and second bi-directional connectors 20 and the bracket 40. Each connector 20 has a first elongate member 21 having a first longitudinal axis terminating at a first end 23 and a second end 24. A second elongate member 25, 26 has a second longitudinal axis terminating at a third end 27 and a fourth end 28. The first elongate member 21 is connected to the second elongate member 25, 26 such that the second longitudinal axis is coplanar with, and transects the first longitudinal axis. The first and second connectors 20 are located within a first construction element 1 1 . The bracket 40 has been designed to direct a sheer force toward the centre of the second construction element 1 2. The bracket 40 has a planar member 41 and an annular flange 48. The planar member 41 has at least two loci 44 for attaching the planar member 41 to an end of a second construction element 12. The annular flange 48 having a longitudinal axis perpendicular to the planar member 41 . The planar member 41 and annular flange 48 cooperate to direct a sheer force toward the centre of the second construction element 12. The bracket 40 is adapted to be connected to the first and second connectors 20 to connect the first and second construction elements 1 1 , 12.

Fig. 1 illustrates the connection system 10 used to connect a post 1 1 to a beam 12. While the present invention will be described and illustrated using structural components manufactured from engineered wood products such as laminated veneer lumber (LVL) or glued laminated timber (Glulam), the present invention is not only limited to these engineered wood products. The present invention can also be utilised with structural timbers such as hardwood and the like which are strong, durable and able to carry loads. The rating and profile of structural components relies most importantly on spans and loadings.

The laminated veneer lumber (LVL) illustrated in Fig. 1 is used in the post 1 1 and the beam 12. The LVL post 1 1 may be constructed for example from multiple layers (4 x 45 mm) of LVL cold pressed together to form a 180 mm x 180 mm cross section and cut to the required height. As will be shown in Figs. 12 to 15 at each required beam junction two sets of 2 x 40 mm diameter holes are predrilled in a factory at 200 mm centre to centre apart on the faces of the post 1 1 resulting in two 4 way through bores. The LVL beam 12 consists of an LVL block 50 and two LVL beams 1 5 (nominally, for example 45 mm x 300 mm beams). The LVL block 50 for use in the present invention may be of any convenient size, for example 270 mm x 300 mm x 90 mm. The LVL block 50 is cold pressed between the two LVL beams 15 to form the LVL beam 12.

As illustrated in Fig. 1 a single beam 12 is attached to the post 1 1 . The LVL block 50 is located within an end of the LVL beam 12 and has a recess 53 machined into the block body 51 designed to receive the bracket 40. The recess 53 also allows the locating washers 30 positioned in the ends of the connectors 20 to act as a locating guide for the beam 12 and subsequent fasteners 70. Fasteners 70 shown as threaded bolts pass through longitudinal extending holes 55 in the LVL block body 51 and through two loci 44 located in the bracket 40. The fasteners 70 extend into an end of the connector 20 and are secured into the connector 20 by driving the end 71 to screw the fastener 70 into place. A washer plate 65 is then placed over the ends of the fasteners 70 and locking nuts 80 secure the beam 1 2 in place on the post 1 1 . With a single beam 12, connection to the post 1 1 on the opposite side of the connectors 20 includes a washer plate 60 received within a recess in the post 1 1 and is secured by fasteners 75, 80.

Figs. 2 to 9 show further details of the bracket 40, the LVL black 50 and the LVL beam 12. Fig. 2 illustrates a bracket 40 according to an embodiment of the present invention. In this view can be seen the planar member 41 in the form of a plate (nominally 40 mm x 1 0 mm x 240 mm) washer plate, two loci 44 in the form of holes for attaching the planar member 41 to a second construction element 12, and an annular flange 48 in the form of a metal pipe section (nominally 5.5 mm, 90 mm diameter). The planar member 41 of the bracket 40 is an elongate metal strip having upper and lower edges 46, 47 with a front 42 and back 43 separated between the upper and lower edges 46, 47. The first loci 44 is located adjacent the upper edge 46 and a second loci 44 is located adjacent the lower edge 47 of the planar member 41 . Each loci 44 comprises a hole in the planar member 41 through which passes a fastener 70 for connecting the bracket 40 to the LVL beam 12. The longitudinal axis of the annular flange 48 is perpendicular to the planar member 41 . In this embodiment the bracket 40 is of unitary construction with the planar member 41 welded to the annular flange 48.

Figs. 3 and 4 show the LVL block 50 for use in the present invention in perspective view Fig. 3 and sectional view Fig. 4. As described above the block 50 may be of any convenient size, for example 270 mm x 300 mm x 90 mm. The block body 51 has an end 52 which has been modified by machining such as using a router to include a recess 53 configured to receive the bracket 40 of the present invention. For example, the recess 53 may include a circular rebate 56 (nominally of 90 mm diameter) followed by a rebated circle 57 (90 mm diameter, 7 mm wide and 50 mm deep) cut into the end grain of the LVL connection block body 51 . The bottom end 54 of the recess 53 is open to allow the beam 12 to slide over the locating washers 30 in the post 1 1 to facilitate the installation of the beam 12 to the post 1 1 .

In addition to the recess 53 two holes 55 have been drilled through the

LVL block body 51 at a first locus and second locus to receive a threaded bolt 70 (for example an M16 threaded bolt) or other means for connecting the bracket 40 to the LVL block 50. The holes 55 are for example, 18 mm diameter holes drilled right through the block body 51 (in the 270 mm direction) positioned approximately 50 mm centre/centre from the top and 200 mm c/c apart.

Fig. 5 shows the LVL block 50 and two LVL beams 1 5 (nominally, for example 45 mm x 300 mm beams) to form the LVL beam 12.

Figs. 6 to 8 illustrate the bracket 40 and the LVL block 50 with the bracket positioned for insertion into the block 50 shown in Fig. 6 and located within the recess 53 cut into the end 52 of the LVL block 50 as shown in Fig 7 and the section view Fig. 8 respectively. A connection means 70 such as a threaded bolt can be passed through the bracket 40 and into the end of the LVL block 50. In such a manner, sheer force is redirected towards the centre of the beam 12 to resist delamination of the LVL block 50.

Fig. 8 shows a section view of the LVL block 50 with the bracket 40 positioned in the recess 53. The two loci 44 of the bracket 40 are aligned with the longitudinally extending holes 55 in the LVL block body 51 . The annular flange 48 of the bracket 40 is positioned within the rebated circle 57 and the back side 43 of the planar member 41 rests against the recess 53 and the bottom of the circular rebate 56.

Fig. 9 illustrates an end view of the LVL beam 12 with the LVL block 50 and the bracket 40 installed within the recess 53 and the two LVL beams 1 5 surrounding the LVL block 50. From this view the annular flange 48 is located within the rebated circle 57 and the front side 42 of the planar member 41 is shown with the two loci 44 of the bracket 40.

Figs. 10 and 1 1 illustrate a connector 20 according to the present invention in disassembled form Fig. 10 and assembled form Fig. 1 1 . The embodiment of the connectors 20 show a first cylindrical elongate member 21 consisting of a single 140 mm x 39 mm diameter grade 8.8 steel tube, provided with a transverse M16 threaded hole 22 and 25 mm deep M16 threaded holes (not shown) drilled at the first end 23 and second end 24 respectively.

The second cylindrical elongate member 25, 26 comprises two components, a first part 25 having a threaded bolt 29 which can be inserted into the transverse M16 threaded hole 22 of the first elongate member 21 and a second part 26 which also receives the threaded bolt 29 within the threaded hole (not shown) drilled in the third end 27 of the second part 26. The third end 27 and the fourth end 28 comprise steel cylinders 25, 26 formed from 50 mm x 39 mm diameter gauge 8.8 steel tube with M16 threaded holes through the centre which are in threaded engagement with the ends of the bolt 29.

As shown in Fig. 1 1 the first and second longitudinal axes of the first and second connectors 20 transect at a perpendicular angle. When assembled the first elongate member 21 has a longitudinal axis and the second elongate member 25, 26 has a longitudinal axis which transect or are formed at right angles.

Figs. 1 2 to 15 show an LVL post 1 1 with a square cross section showing four faces. An LVL post 1 1 of the type shown in Fig. 12 may be constructed for example from multiple layers (4 x 45 mm) of LVL cold pressed together to form a 1 80 mm x 180 mm cross section and cut to the required height. At each required beam junction 2 x 40 mm diameter holes spaced apart are predrilled in a factory at 200 mm c/c apart on the faces of the post resulting in a 4 way through bore. The bores are sized to receive the bi-directional connector 20 according to the present invention which may be factory installed at these holes. Inserted in one face of the post 1 1 are two locating washers 30 which are received within the bores and abut against an end 23, 24, 27, 28 of the connector 20, the locating washers 30 extend from the surface of the post 1 1 and serve a dual purpose of (i) transferring the shear from the post 1 1 to a beam 12, and (ii) acting as a location guide for the beam 1 2 and subsequent bolts 70.

Fig. 1 3 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the post of Fig. 12 showing the connectors 20 of Figs. 1 1 and 12 in position in the post 1 1 , the connectors 20 allow the moment or turning effect of the force to continue through the post 1 1 to the opposite side of the post 1 1 to either a corresponding beam 12 or washer plate 60. A single post 1 1 may have up to four beams 1 2 respectively located on the post 1 1 with a beam 12 located on each face of the post 1 1 . Where no beam 12 is located on a corresponding opposite end of the connector 20 a washer plate 60 is mounted within a recess in the post 1 1 .

Once on site a locating washer 30 in the form of a 40 mm long 40 mm diameter grade 8.8 steel tube with an 18 mm diameter smooth bore hole, is tapped into each 20 mm recess provided in the bore holes in the post 1 1 . As illustrated in Fig. 13 the connector ends 23, 24 are shown in section to illustrate the threaded holes 29 within the ends 23, 24. Likewise but not shown the ends 27, 28 also have similar threaded holes 29 for receiving a corresponding fastener 70, 75.

Figs. 14 and 1 5 illustrate the post 1 1 installed on pad 1 3 which could in use form the post of a floor frame.

Figs. 1 6 and 17 show a preferred embodiment of the connection system

10 for connection of the post 1 1 to a beam 12 in cross section viewed from an angle Fig. 16 and side on Fig. 17. The beam 12 has been rebated or recessed with a corresponding slot 53 which allows it to slide over the location washers 30 and be located in the correct position during assembly. This arrangement also has the advantage of being self-supporting while fasteners or anchor bolts 70 are installed and tightened. The location and self-support are particularly beneficial features of the connection system 1 0 and connection method of the present invention.

During assembly, the beam 12 is slid into place over the location washers 30 on the post 1 1 . The end of the beam 12 includes a bracket 40 of the type described in Figs. 6 to 9. The bracket 40 includes a planar member 41 having at least two loci 44 for attaching the planar member 41 to the end 52 of the beam 12, and an annular flange 48 having a longitudinal axis perpendicular to the planar member 41 . The planar member 41 and annular flange 48 cooperate to direct a sheer force toward the centre of the beam 1 2.

A M16 grade 8.8 threaded anchor bolt 70 with a 10 mm squared off end 71 is slid through the 1 8 mm predrilled holes 55 in the LVL block body 51 and subsequently through the loci hole 44 in the bracket 40. The anchor bolt 70 then extends through the locating washers 30 and is screwed in tight to the threaded hole 29 in the end 24 of the connector 20 in the post 1 1 . As illustrated each beam 12 has two anchor bolts 70 for attachment to the post 1 1 . The anchor bolts 70 are screwed, for example by an impact driver and 10 mm socket. A threaded bolt 75 is also screwed in the other threaded hole 29 in the other end 23 of the connector 20. Once both the bolts 70 and 75 are in position a 250 mm x 75 mm x 8 mm washer plate 60, 65 is located in position single M16 nut 80 is then fastened onto each of the bolts 70, 75 and tightened, for example, using an impact driver and socket to about 80 Nm Torque. Once tight a second M16 nut 80 is tightened on to each anchor bolt 70 to act as a secondary locking nut.

This connection system 1 0 provides rapid and simple connection on site. It can utilise as few as three standard parts such as a threaded bolts 70 and 75, washer plate 60 and 65 and M16 nuts 80 and it only requires minimal tools, such as a ratchet gun and 1 0 mm, 24 mm sockets.

Connection to all beams 1 2 can be achieved by repeating the method described to achieve four-way connection on the post 1 1 . At locations where a single beam 1 2 connects to a post 1 1 and there is no corresponding beam 12, then instead a 90 mm x 300 mm x 10 mm washer plate 60 can be bolted against the post 1 1 . Preferably, a recess (not shown) in the post 1 1 is rebated to receive the washer plate 60.

The aforementioned connection system 10 and method of connection works on beam lengths up to and including the 4.8 m clear span. Clear spans between 4.8 and 6 metres can be achieved by minimal change to the aforementioned method. For example, the LVL block 50 can be re- dimensioned to a 270 mm x 400 mm x 90 mm block and the CNC machining remains the same. The side beams 15 can be re-dimensioned to 400 mm x 45 mm x length to form the larger beams 12. Fig. 18 illustrates the placement of the bracket 40 on the anchor bolts 70 with the beam 12 and LVL block 50 removed for clarity. In this position the annular flange 48 is shown welded to the back 43 of the planar member 41 . The anchor bolts 70 pass through the loci holes 44 in the bracket 40 and into the locating washers 30 mounted in the post 1 1 .

Figs. 19 to 23 illustrate the assembly of a single beam 12 to a post 1 1 . The beam 1 2 has the LVL block 50 cold pressed between the LVL beams 1 5 and is placed over the locating washers 30 in the post 1 1 . As shown in Fig. 20 as only one beam 12 is fitted to the post 1 1 on the opposing side of the connectors 20 a washer plate 60 is secured to the post 1 1 . Fig. 21 shows the anchor bolts 70 which are used to secure the beam 12 to the post 1 1 being located within the longitudinal extending holes 55 in the LVL body 51 within the LVL block 50. As shown in Fig. 22, the square end 71 of the anchor bolt 70 is driven into the threaded ends of the connector 20 to secure the anchor bolt to the post 1 1 and washer plate 65 is installed over the ends of the anchor bolts 70. In Fig. 23, nuts 80 are threaded and secured to the end of the anchor bolts 70 to secure the beam 1 2 to the post 1 1 .

Figs. 24 and 25 illustrate the connection of three beams 1 2 to a single post 1 1 using the connecting system 1 0 of the present invention. Each beam 12 is slid down over the locating washers 30 on each side of the post 1 1 and as previously described are secured to the post 1 1 using the fastener 70, the washer plate 65 and the locking nuts 80. Fig. 25 also shows the side of the post 1 1 which does not have a corresponding beam 1 2 extending from the opposite side has a washer plate 60 secured to the connectors 20 by anchor bolts 75 and nuts 80.

Figs 26 and 27 illustrate a further embodiment of the present invention in which the connecting system 10 is adapted for longer clear spans. In this embodiment, with reference to the embodiment shown in Fig. 26 a revision is made to the top connector M16 threaded bolt 70 and in place of fixing and locking nuts 80, a 20 mm deep coil spring 90 is slid over the end of the threaded bolt 70 and a locking nut 80 is wound on to hand tightness as illustrated in Fig. 26 and in greater detail in Fig. 27. This unique feature facilitates a degree of flexibility in the joint to prevent over stressing the post 1 1 under extreme loads. While this invention has been described in connection with specific embodiments thereof, it will be understood that it is capable of further modification(s). This application is intended to cover any variations uses or adaptations of the invention following in general, the principles of the invention and including such departures from the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice within the art to which the invention pertains and as may be applied to the essential features hereinbefore set forth.

ADVANTAGES

In essence, embodiments of the present invention stem from the realisation that a simple, but robust connecting system can be provided to join large construction elements such as beams and posts, such that a moment or turning force is allowed to continue through the post to the opposite side of a corresponding beam.

Advantages provided by the bi-directional connectors of the connecting system of the present invention comprise the following:

• can be used with solid wooden construction elements or light construction elements (such as LVL which is 40% lighter);

• can connect construct elements such as posts and beams to provide a fast, simple and cost efficient assembly of ground floor structures, foundation platforms or whole buildings;

• can facilitate increased clear span capabilities compared with LVL beams of the prior art, up to 6 metre spans;

• simple and quick to manufacture;

• can be used to connect construction elements such as posts and beams, using a small number of tools; and

• can facilitate connection of up to four beams to a post.

The bracket of the present invention is designed to direct shear force between the attachment loci and distribute it towards the centre of the block. Shear forces are unaligned forces pushing one part of a body in one direction and another part of a body in the opposite direction. In materials such as LVL shear force acting in a direction perpendicular to its length can result in delamination. In essence, embodiments of the present invention stem from the realisation that degradation of construction elements such as splitting or delamination at their ends, can be ameliorated or overcome by redirecting deleterious shear forces away from the edges of the elements, preferably towards the centre of the building element.

Advantages provided by the bracket of the connecting system of the present invention comprise the following:

• reduced splitting or separation at an end of a construction element;

• reduced delamination at the end of LVL construction element;

· increased clear span capabilities compared with LVL beams of the prior art; and

• simple and quick to manufacture.

The advantages of the connecting system provides the ability to connect structural components with clear spans of over 4.5 metres through the combination of connectors mounted within a post and a bracket rebated into an end of a beam.

The present invention has been designed to provide a simple, but robust connection system can be provided to join large construction elements such as beams and posts. The connection system also ensures that degradation of construction elements such as splitting or delamination at their ends, can be ameliorated or overcome by redirecting deleterious shear forces away from the edges of the elements, preferably towards the centre of the construction elements.

The combination of the connectors, bracket and locating washers allows a beam which has been rebated or recessed with a corresponding slot to slide over the location washers and be located in the correct position during assembly. This arrangement also has the advantage of being self-supporting while fasteners or anchor bolts are installed and tightened. The location and self-support are particularly beneficial features of the connection system and connection method of the present invention.

VARIATIONS

It will be realized that the foregoing has been given by way of illustrative example only and that all other modifications and variations as would be apparent to persons skilled in the art are deemed to fall within the broad scope and ambit of the invention as herein set forth.

As used herein the term "and/or" means "and" or "or", or both.

As used herein "(s)" following a noun means the plural and/or singular forms of the noun.

In this specification, adjectives such as first and second, left and right, top and bottom, and the like may be used solely to distinguish one element or action from another element or action without necessarily requiring or implying any actual such relationship or order. Where the context permits, reference to an integer or a component or step (or the like) is not to be interpreted as being limited to only one of that integer, component, or step, but rather could be one or more of that integer, component, or step etc.

The above description of various embodiments of the present invention is provided for purposes of description to one of ordinary skill in the related art. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to a single disclosed embodiment. As mentioned above, numerous alternatives and variations to the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art of the above teaching. Accordingly, while some alternative embodiments have been discussed specifically, other embodiments will be apparent or relatively easily developed by those of ordinary skill in the art. The invention is intended to embrace all alternatives, modifications, and variations of the present invention that have been discussed herein, and other embodiments that fall within the scope of the above described invention.

In the specification the term "comprising" shall be understood to have a broad meaning similar to the term "including" and will be understood to imply the inclusion of a stated integer or step or group of integers or steps but not the exclusion of any other integer or step or group of integers or steps. This definition also applies to variations on the term "comprising" such as "comprise" and "comprises".




 
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