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Title:
A FIRE RETARDANT UNIT USED IN WALL CONSTRUCTION, AND A METHOD FOR PREPARING THEREOF
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2001/073237
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
This invention relates to a fire retardant unit used in wall construction, and a method for preparing thereof. The fire retardant unit consists of a dual layer of sheet means, one or more layers of a support screen between the layer of sheet means, and one or more layers of water absorbing means supported by the support screen. Becoming so-called \'water-wall\' by absorbing water, a wall stacked with the fire retardant units provides improved fire retardant effects, when a fire breaks out in the space partitioned by the wall.

Inventors:
Michael YI. (301 2379-3, Sandae-ri Ankang-eup Kyongju 780-805, Sandae-ri Ankang-eup Kyongju 780-805, KR)
Application Number:
PCT/KR2001/000548
Publication Date:
October 04, 2001
Filing Date:
March 31, 2001
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
Michael YI. (301 2379-3, Sandae-ri Ankang-eup Kyongju 780-805, Sandae-ri Ankang-eup Kyongju 780-805, KR)
International Classes:
E04B1/94; (IPC1-7): E04B1/94
Foreign References:
JPS52158518U1977-12-01
JPH1037617A1998-02-10
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kim, Won-joon (305 Soohyup Bldg. 917, Dunsan-dong, Seo-ku Taejon 302-828, KR)
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Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:
1. A fire retardant unit used in wall constructions comprising: a plurality of layers of sheet member; at least one layer of support placed between said sheet members; and an absorbing member placed between said sheet members.
2. 1 (Alternative) A fire retardant unit used in wall constructions comprising: a plurality of layers of sheet member; and an absorbing member placed between said sheet members.
3. The fire retardant unit of Claim 1, wherein said absorbing member is a polymer of high absorptivity.
4. The fire retardant unit of Claim 2, wherein said polymer of high absorptivity includes a component selected from the group comprising : a natural polymer, a graft-polymerized starch, a graft-polymerized cellulose, a synthetic polymer, an acrylic acid, a vinyl alcohol, an acryl amide, an oxyethylene, combinations thereof, and the like.
5. The fire retardant unit of any one of Claim 1 through Claim 3, wherein at least one of said sheet members is absorbent.
6. The fire retardant unit of any one of Claim 1 through Claim 4, wherein at least one of said sheet members comprises a material selected from the group consisting of metal, concrete, stone, gypsum, lime, ceramic, and combinations thereof.
7. The fire retardant unit of any one of Claim 1 through Claim 5, wherein said at least one support screen comprises a material selected from the group consisting of paper, non-woven fabric, natural fiber, synthetic fiber, metallic reticulum, and combinations thereof.
8. The fire retardant unit of any one of Claim 1 through Claim 6, wherein said at least one support screen is attached to the inside of one of said sheet members in a monolithic manner.
9. The fire retardant unit of any one of Claim 1 through Claim 7, further comprising a water-supply means located between said sheet members.
10. The fire retardant unit of any one of Claim 1 through Claim 3, further comprising a projecting binding part is formed at one extremity of said dual sheet member and a depressed binding part is formed at the other extremity thereof, enabling a firm binding of the unit.
11. The fire retardant unit of any one of Claim 1 through Claim 9, further comprising a binding means penetrating said dual sheet member, said binding means dimensioned and configured so as to retain said fire retardant unit in the proper morphology after expansion.
12. The fire retardant unit of in Claim 10, wherein said binding means comprises a connection tube and a connection pin, the outer periphery of said connection pin tightly inserting into the inner periphery of said connection tube so as to prevent separation of sheet members and support screen, said connection pin slipping partially out of said connection tube so as to distance said sheet members farther from each other as said absorbing member is expanded by adsorption of water.
13. The fire retardant unit of any one of Claim 1 through Claim 11, wherein an adiabatic member is installed between said sheet members.
14. A method of constructing a fire wall in which the fire retardant unit as set forth in any one of Claim 8 through Claim 12 is attached to an ordinary wall of a building or fixed inside of a building and then said water-supply means is connected to a fire-extinguishing water supply line activated by a fire sensor.AMENDED CLAIMS [received by the International Bureau on 30 August 2001 (30.08.01); original claim 14 cancelled; remaining claims unchanged (1 page)] comprises a connection tube and a connection pin, the outer periphery of said connection pin tightly inserting into Ahe inner periphery of said connection tube so as to prevent separation of sheet members and support screen, said connection pin slipping partially out of said connection tube so as to distance said sheet members farther from each other as said absorbing member is expanded by adsorption of water, 12. The fire retardant unit of any one of Claim 1 through Claim 11, wherein an adiabatic member is installed between said sheet members.
15. 13 A method of constructing a fire wall in which the fire retardant unit as set forth in any one of Claim 8 through Claim 12 is attached to an ordinary wall of a building or fluxed inside of a building and then said water-supply means is connected to a fire\'. extinguishing water supply line activated by a lire sensor.
Description:
A FIRE RETARDANT UNIT USED IN WALL CONSTRUCTION, AND A METHOD FOR PREPARING THEROF TECHNICAL FIELD The present invention relates to a fire retardant unit used in wall construction and a method of constructing a fire wall using the fire retardant unit, aiming particularly to retard the spread of fire by delaying the burning and reducing the burning rate of the wall and further preventing ignition of other structures and areas caused by conduction and/or other heat transfer through the wall.

BACKGROUND ART Diverse materials are used in the construction of the walls of homes and other buildings and also in partitions dividing internal spaces thereof. In the West, including the US., many different materials are used in the construction of walls. Among them, : wood or metallic materials are preferred for beauty\'s sake and ease of maintenance.

On the other hand, concrete and stone are more commonly used in some parts of the East, including Korea.

Such structures as homes or other buildings may be equipped with fire resistant materials in preparation for the outbreak of fire. In this regard, it is desirable to provide the structure itself with fireproofing and/or fire resistant materials.

A multi-layered wall is one conventionally known fire-retarding structure. For example, the outermost layer facing the outside of the building may be a board made of

gypsum or concrete and an inner layer is a shield which itself comprises a plurality of layers and acts as a fire barrier. Conventional shielding/siding has a sheet of metallic material such as vinyl, tin or aluminum as the outermost layer. The first inner layer is an insulation layer made of insulation material or wood. The second inner layer, if any, comprises another sheet of metallic material, such as tin or aluminum. In the event of a fire breaking out in one part of such a wall, this sheet and insulation layer retard flames from spreading to the other part of the wall. However, flames will be held only until the metallic sheet melts, at which point it loses its barrier capability.

However, this conventional fire wall does not take long to melt and/or be destroyed. In addition, even, before the destruction of the wall, further ignition can happen at the various parts of the wall due to use of materials having a low flash point or high thermal conductivity. Hence, increased casualties and property damage result from the fast spread of the fire.

The internal spaces of a comparatively large edifice may often be subdivided for convenience of use. In such cases, for the convenience of installation and demolition and further for economic reasons, simplified bulkheads and partitions of various materials are used instead of a concrete.

The conventional simplified bulkhead is comprised of two boards made of concrete, metal, gypsum, or wood, with a clearance maintenance means and a shape maintenance means placed therebetween.

Such conventional bulkhead is not fire resistant. If a fire breaks out in a spot in the spaces partitioned off, the bulkhead is burnt out in an instant, followed by the fire spreading to the adjacent areas. This increases the chances that the fire, although small at the beginning, will grow into a larger or uncontrollable disaster.

Accordingly, a strategic method is urgently needed in which fire can be

contained by fire resistant structures.

DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION The present invention has been conceived for solving the above-mentioned problems, the object of which is to provide a fire containment unit used in constructing a fire wall. The unit/wall can prevent or retard a fire from spreading and transferring to spaces other than that where the fire breaks out. It is another object of the present invention to provide a method of constructing a fire wall using said fire retardant unit.

In order to achieve these objectives, the present invention teaches that a water absorbing material is placed in a space within a unit/bulkhead which may be integral in a wall or attached thereto. In the event of a fire, a gel is formed by absorption of a large amount of water which is supplied for extinguishing the fire, thereby retarding the spread of the fire and the transmission of heat. A fire wall constructed with the fire retardant unit pursuant to the present invention forms a"water barrier"which will not flow away as water ordinarily does. (hereinafter, referred to as"hydrated gelatinous wall").

The present invention relates to a fire retardant unit comprised of dual sheet members with one or more support screens placed therebetween, each support screen supporting an absorbing member. The resulting structure may itself take the shape of a layered sheet member, which can be secured onto a structure to be protected, or may be integral therewith.

A resin of high absorptivity (hereinafter,"absorbent","absorbing member"or

"absorbing gel","absorbers") can absorb only liquid, unlike commonly used absorbents which are used to reduce humidity in sealed packages. However, it can absorb liquid water at a very high rate. When it absorbs water, it rapidly transforms into a hydrated gel.

Once it enters the gelatinous form, it does not emit or vaporize water even if it is pressurized or heated under disastrous conditions.

Such absorbing members as can be employed in the present invention may include not only all existing absorbers of high absorptivity but also such novel absorbers of high absorptivity and/or other improved properties, which will be developed in the future in the relevant art. Natural polymers such as graft-polymerized starch or graft-polymerized cellulose, or synthetic polymers such as acrylic acid, vinyl alcohol, acryl amide, oxyethylene, etc. can be used in the present invention. Further, powder form (spheric, amorphous), film type, fabric type (short fiber, long fiber, non-woven fiber), or the like, can be used depending upon circumstances.

The sheet member used in the present invention is a plate-like body dimensioned and configured to maintain the shape of the fire retardant unit and is made of absorbent or permeable or in some embodiments, impermeable, material or any combination thereof. Hence, it can be made of metal, concrete, gypsum, stone, lime, ceramic, and combinations or equivalents thereof. In case of using a metal, aluminum or tin can be used together in the view of their aesthetic appearance and durability, but the invention is not limited thereto. These materials may also be selected for heat resistance, cost, or for other properties.

A shielding member of a suitable material may also be provided to the sides and/or the extremities of the two sheet members in order to shield the components of the fire retardant unit from the environment, and/or external forces and conditions. The shielding member can be made of the same material as the sheet member, or not. In a

fire, a hydrated gelatinous wall is formed by the water supplied from a sprinkler or hose or the like to the absorbing member through the permeable/absorbent sheet member or through preformed apertures.

The support screen has a function of distributing the absorbing member evenly while at the same time supporting it. The support screens are usually made of paper, non-woven fabric, natural fiber, synthetic fiber, or metallic reticulum and an absorbing member can be placed between two support screens or between a support screen and a sheet member. The absorbent can also be attached to one side or both sides of the support screen.

For easy construction of the fire retardant unit of the present invention, the support screen can be monolithically fixed inside of one of the sheet members. In this case, an absorbing member is attached to the other side of this fixed support screen, whereby one side (a half) of the fire retardant unit is completed.

In the present invention, a water-supply means that communicates with an existing or installed fire-extinguishing water supply line operated by a fire sensor may be employed, preferably installed in the upper area or in the upper and the middle areas between the sheet members. In this way, water can be distributed directly between the sheet members to hydrate the absorbing member.

The fire retardant unit according to the present invention is made with various sizes and shapes and is preassembled or assembled instantly at construction sites for constructing fire walls. In order to assemble the fire retardant unit with facility and to increase the degree of strength of the completed fire walls as well as to ease the flow of water, it is desirable that the shielding member at one side or end of the dual sheet member has a projecting binding part while the shielding member at the other side thereof has a depressed binding part. During assembly, the projecting binding part of

one unit inserts into the depressed binding part of the other unit adjacent thereto, resulting in a tight assembly. Alternatively, the binding parts may be used to secure the unit directly to the wall or other parts of the building/structure.

Note that if the fire retardant unit is large in size, deformation of the shape and the structure is rendered a matter of concern. Moreover, the unit might collapse after the hydrated gelatinous wall is formed, for the dual sheet member is forced apart, and the unit opened, by the expansion of the absorbing member as it becomes the heavy-weight/high-bulk hydrated gelatinous wall. In this regard, if the fire retardant unit is sized larger than a predetermined scale, a plurality of binding means penetrating the dual sheet member are preferably installed so as for the fire retardant unit to be able to keep its original morphology during hydration and consequent expansion.

Thus a case may arise where an intended increase of the interval between the sheet members is necessary, but the sheet member of the unit must continue to prevent the hydrated gelatinous wall from collapse. In this case, the above binding means may comprise a connection tube and a connection pin. Here, the outer periphery of the connection pin is inserted into the inner periphery of the connection tube using the press fit method, thereby preventing detachment of the sheet member and the support screens.

When the absorbent expands, the sheet members will remain attached and continue to support the absorbent, maintaining the gelatinous hydrated wall as an effective water barrier.

In the present invention, it is also possible that a conventional adiabatic member (a heat sink or insulator) is used in the unit in order to increase the fire retardant effect and to make the structure have heat shielding properties even in the normal, dry, condition.

The fire retardant unit pursuant to the present invention does not require

watertightening, for the absorbing member already has a high degree of water retainment in the hydrated gelatinous wall and it forms to the shape of its contaiment.

Further, the present invention provides a method of constructing a fire wall using the fire retardant unit as described hereinabove.

When using an embodiment of the fire retardant unit having no water-supply means, the fire wall may be constructed by simply attaching plural units to an ordinary wall or by fixing the units at predetermined places inside of the building, as partitions or on partitions.

When using an embodiment of the fire retardant unit having a water-supply means, the fire wall is constructed by attaching the units to a wall or fixing them at predetermined places inside of the building and then connecting the water-supplying means to a water supply line that is operated by a fire sensor.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Fig. 1 is a partial-section perspective view of a fire retardant unit in one embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 2 is an exploded perspective view of a fire retardant unit in one embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 3a is a partial-section perspective view of a fire retardant unit in another embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 3b is a partial-section perspective view of a fire retardant unit in another embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 4 is a sectional view taken along the line A-A\'as in Fig. 3b.

Fig. 5 is a sectional view taken along the line B-B\'as in Fig. 3b.

Fig. 6 shows an assembled fire retardant unit with connection of the water-supply means.

Fig. 7a is an example of the fire retardant unit used in the embodiment as shown in Fig. 3a.

Fig. 7b shows operation of the fire retardant unit of Figure 7a.

Fig. 8 is a perspective view of the appearance of the fire retardant unit in another embodiment of the present invention.

*Key to the Drawings* 10, 20,30,40: fire retardant unit 11, 11\', 21,21\' : sheet member 12,22,32: support screen 13,23,33: absorbing member 14: adiabatic member 24: water-supplying means 24a: water-permeating aperture 25: connection tube 26: connection pin 31 : case 31 a : flow path 3 lb : tube connection part 31c, 41a : projected binding part 31d, 42b: depressedbindingpart 31e : water-permeating aperture 100: water piping BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION The examples of embodiment of the fire retardant unit according to the present invention will be described below, with reference to the accompanying drawings.

Fig. 1 is a partial-section perspective view of a fire retardant unit in one embodiment of the present invention and Fig. 2 is an exploded perspective view of a fire retardant unit in one embodiment of the present invention.

As illustrated therein, the fire retardant unit according to the present invention comprises sheet members 11,11\', support screen 12 laminated between sheet members 11,11\', and absorbing member 13 laminated between sheet members 11, 11\'. Formed at the extremities of sheet members 11, 11\'is shielding means (not shown) that isolates the inner components from the outside.

Sheet members 11,11\'are platelike bodies spaced a predetermined distance apart, between which support screen 12 and absorbing member 13 are situated in a uniform manner.

One or more layers of support screen 12 are placed between said dual sheet member 11,11\'. Support screen 12 can be reticulated, see Figs. 1 and 2. Absorbing member 13 is inserted and stably positioned in the apertures or on the surface of this retiform support screen 12.

Further, by providing adiabatic member 14 situated between the layers of support screen 12, not only can the thermal conduction be effectively reduced during a fire but also the additional insulation can be had in the normal (dry, unhydrated) condition. Adiabatic member 14 is preferably made of a fireproofing material with low thermal conductivity.

Another embodiment is provided, see Figs. 3 through 7, wherein water is directly sprayed between the sheet members, thus greatly increasing the availability of water to make the gelatinous hydrated wall.

Fig. 3a is a partly-sectioned perspective view of a fire retardant unit with a water-supply means in an embodiment of the present invention. It can be seen herein that sheet members 21,21\'are fastened with a binding means (illustrated at a rivet, but not limited thereto) so as to retain the structure of the unit.

As can be seen in the drawings, in a fire, water can be supplied very quickly by

the water-supply means (which communicates with a water supply line or a fire extinguisher system) that a hydrated gelatinous wall is formed in the unit in a very short period of time.

Water-supply means 24 is generally placed at the upper end between sheet members 21,21\'. However, if fire retardant unit 20 is tall and narrow, water-supplying means 24 is preferably provided to several places in the middle as well as the upper end so as to increase the amount of water to be absorbed, whereby a hydrated gelatinous wall is formed more rapidly.

At the bottom face of water-supplying means 24 are formed a plurality of water-permeating apertures 24a, so that water can be sprayed uniformly throughout the unit.

Here, sheet members 21,21\', support screen 22, and absorbing member 23 all have such structures and properties as are similar to those of the members described in reference to the previous embodiment.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a block type fire retardant unit, see Fig. 3b. Fig. 4 is a sectional view taken along the line A-A\'as in Fig. 3b. Fig. 5 is a sectional view taken along the line B-B\'as in Fig. 3b. Fig. 6 shows the assembled fire retardant unit as shown in Fig. 3b and the connected of the water-supply means.

This block type fire retardant unit is structured to look like a small case 31 encasing the fire retardant unit as shown in and described with respect to Fig. 1 so as to facilitate assembly and handling.

Formed at the upper end of case 31 is a flow path 3 la which leads water to the inside of case 31, part of flow path 31a projecting toward the outside to form a tube connection part 3 lob that enables a water-supplying tube to be connected thereto.

Formed at the bottom face of flow path 31a are a plurality of apertures 31e

which enable water to be sprayed evenly onto absorbing member 32 and support screen 33 located inside of the unit.

Further, for easy assembly, a projecting binding part 31c is formed at the upper end of the block type unit and a depressed binding part 3 Id is formed at the lower end thereof. At the time of assembling block type fire retardant unit 30, depressed binding part 31d of one unit 30 is inserted into projected binding part 31c of another unit 30, or into complementary fittings on other structures such as the building, beams, partitions, support columns, etc.

Here, support screen 32 and absorbing member 33 have such structures and properties as are similar to or identical with those of the ones as described hereinbefore.

Each member so comprised can be connected and fastened with a rivet penetrating each member. However, absorbing member 13 may not have enough space to expand after absorbing water if each component is tightly and immovably fastened with a rivet, so that only a small amount of water can be absorbed by absorbing member 13, with a resulting low flame-shielding effect. In preparation therefor, the components can be connected with such a binding member as illustrated in Figs. 7a and 7b.

This binding member comprises a connection tube 25 and a connection pin 26.

Connection tube 25 is installed in an aperture penetrating each component and connection pin 26 (whose outer extremity is enlarged in an open position) is inserted into both ends of connection tube 25, thereby preventing disintegration of the components. The inner diameter of connection tube 25 should be smaller than or equal to the outer diameter of connection pin 26 so that connection pin 26 can tightly be fitted in connection tube 25 for firmer binding of each component.

Connection tube 25 and connection pin 26 remain firmly connected under normal conditions. However, while absorbing member 13 is expanded by absorbing water, connection pin 26 little by little slips out of connection tube 25 to distance sheet members 11,11\'farther from each other. Thereupon, more space is created between sheet members 11,11\', enabling a larger amount of water to be absorbed by absorbing member 13.

Another example of embodiment of block type fire retardant unit 40 is given in Fig. 8, of which the overall shape is hexagonal. However, the shape of unit 40 is not restricted thereto but can be diversified, which is apparent to those having skill in the art, so that a detailed description thereof will not be given hereinafter.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY The present invention in which an absorbing member absorbs a large amount of water and forms a hydrated gelatinous wall is effective to prevent or retard a wall from being destroyed by fire. The present invention is also effective to prevent or retard further ignition at the other spots by preventing conduction of heat through or along the wall. The result is a drastic reduction of casualties and damages.