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Title:
PANEL ASSEMBLIES AND METHODS TO ASSEMBLE THE SAME
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/132213
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A panel assembly can include a first panel having a peripheral side located between an upper and a lower surface of the first panel and a first opening. The panel assembly can also include a second panel having a second opening. An elongated insert can be coupled to the first panel, the elongated insert having a coupling side, where the first opening of the first panel can be sized and shaped to coupleably receive the elongated insert such that the coupling side is positioned proximal to the peripheral side. The panel assembly can also include a fastening insert, where the second opening of the second panel can be sized and shaped to receive the fastening insert. A fastener can be received by the fastening insert and the elongated insert, the fastener coupling the first panel to the second panel via the fastening insert and the elongated insert. Related methods for assembling the panel assembly are also provided.

Inventors:
CHADWELL, David (700 SW 7th Street, Renton, Washington, 98057, US)
Application Number:
US2017/066643
Publication Date:
July 19, 2018
Filing Date:
December 15, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
HARPER ENGINEERING COMPANY (700 SW 7th Street, Renton, Washington, 98057, US)
International Classes:
F16B5/01; F16B5/02; F16B13/00; F16B13/14; F16B37/00
Foreign References:
US20140202615A12014-07-24
DE202009000019U12010-05-20
US3842486A1974-10-22
US20080170928A12008-07-17
CA2700709A12009-04-16
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ABEDI, Syed et al. (Seed Intellectual Property Law Group LLP, Suite 5400701 Fifth Avenu, Seattle Washington, 98104-7064, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A panel assembly comprising:

a first panel having:

a peripheral side located between an upper and a lower surface of the first panel; and

a first opening; and

a second panel having a second opening;

an elongated insert having a coupling side, the first opening of the first panel sized and shaped to coupleably receive the elongated insert such that the coupling side is positioned proximal to the peripheral side;

a fastening insert, the second opening of the second panel sized and shaped to receive the fastening insert; and

a fastener received by the fastening insert and the elongated insert, the fastener coupling the first panel to the second panel via the fastening insert and the elongated insert.

2. The panel assembly of claim 1 wherein the elongated insert includes one or more recesses which define a flow region around a main body of the elongated insert.

3. The panel assembly of claim 1 wherein the elongated insert includes at least one cutting edge disposed on a side of the elongated insert, the cutting edge sized and shaped to penetrate a portion of the first panel when the elongated insert is coupleably received by the first panel.

4. The panel assembly of claim 1 wherein the elongated insert further includes:

at least a pair of cutting edges disposed on a side of the elongated insert, each of the pair of cutting edges sized and shaped to penetrate a portion of the first panel when the elongated insert is coupleably received by the first panel.

5. The panel assembly of claim 4 wherein each of the pair of cutting edges includes a plurality of apertures which are sized and shaped to define a serrated edge thereof.

6. The panel assembly of claim 4 wherein the elongated insert further includes:

a core pusher member disposed between the pair of cutting edges, the core pusher member sized and shaped to displace the portion of the first panel when the elongated insert is coupleably received by the first panel.

7. The panel assembly of claim 1 wherein the elongated insert further includes:

at least a first pair of cutting edges disposed on a first side of the elongated insert, each of the first pair of cutting edges protruding outwardly from a first side surface of the elongated insert; and

a first core pusher member protruding outwardly from the first side surface of the elongated insert, the first core pusher member located between the first pair of cutting edges to define a first flow region between a first one of the first pair of cutting edges and the first core pusher member and a second flow region between a second one of the first pair of cutting edges and the first core pusher member.

8. The panel assembly of claim 7 wherein a front side of the elongated insert includes a recess which is sized and shaped to define a front side flow region.

9. The panel assembly of claim 7 wherein the elongated insert further includes:

a second pair of cutting edges disposed on a second side of the elongated insert, the second side being opposite the first side, each of the second pair of cutting edges protruding outwardly from a second side surface of the elongated insert; and

a second core pusher member protruding outwardly from the second side surface of the elongated insert, the second core pusher member located between the second pair of cutting edges to define a third flow region between a first one of the second pair of cutting edges and the second core pusher member and a fourth flow region between a second one of the second pair of cutting edges and the second core pusher member.

10. The panel assembly of claim 9 wherein a front side of the elongated insert includes a recess which is sized and shaped to define a front side flow region.

1 1 . The panel assembly of claim 10 wherein the first, second, third, and fourth flow regions and the front side flow region are sized and shaped to receive a potting compound which flows around the elongated insert, a flow of the potting compound around the elongated insert bonding the elongated insert to the first panel.

12. The panel assembly of claim 1 wherein the fastening insert includes a cap portion and a shaft portion, the cap portion including a fastener aperture and the shaft portion including a threaded insert aperture, the fastener aperture being substantially coaxial with the threaded insert aperture, the fastener aperture and the threaded insert aperture defining a fastener receiving aperture which is sized and shaped to receive the fastener.

13. The panel assembly of claim 12 wherein the fastener receiving aperture is located at an offset relative to a central axis of the fastening insert.

14. The panel assembly of claim 12 wherein the fastener receiving aperture is located to be substantially coaxial with a central axis of the fastening insert.

15. The panel assembly of claim 12 wherein the fastening insert is located proximal to an edge of the second panel.

16. The panel assembly of claim 12 wherein the cap portion includes a pair of openings disposed around a periphery of the cap portion, the pair of openings sized and shaped to receive a potting compound which flows into the second panel to bond the fastening insert to the second panel.

17. A method of assembling a panel assembly, the method comprising: coupling an elongated insert to a peripheral side of a first panel;

coupling a fastening insert to a second panel; and

coupling the first panel to the second panel via a fastener which extends through the elongated insert and the fastening insert.

18. The method of claim 17 wherein coupling an elongated insert to a peripheral side of a first panel includes:

inserting the elongated insert in the first panel;

injecting a potting compound, the potting compound flowing around the elongated insert to bond the elongated insert to the first panel.

19. The method of claim 18 wherein inserting the elongated insert in the first panel includes cutting through a portion of the first panel when the elongated insert is moved longitudinally into the first panel.

20. The method of claim 19 wherein inserting the elongated insert in the first panel includes displacing the portion of the first panel when the elongated insert is moved longitudinally into the first panel.

21 . The method of claim 17 wherein coupling a fastening insert to a second panel includes:

inserting the fastening insert in the second panel;

injecting a potting compound, the potting compound flowing into the second panel to bond the fastening insert to the second panel.

22. The method of claim 18 further comprising locating the fastening insert proximal to an edge of the second panel.

Description:
PANEL ASSEMBLIES AND METHODS TO ASSEMBLE THE SAME

BACKGROUND

Technical Field

This application is generally related to panel inserts and, more particularly, to panel insert assemblies.

Description of the Related Art

Composite panels generally provide strength and durability benefits, reduce weight, and tend to reduce maintenance costs typically associated with metal structures. Typical examples of composite panels can include carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) panels, honeycomb panels, or other panels having a composite of a resin matrix and sheets embedded in the matrix. While composite panels provide benefits, assembling composite panels has been problematic. For example, typical methods of assembling composite panels have involved using a tab and slot arrangement, where a first panel includes a tab extending from an edge that is coupled to a slot included on a second panel. Other methods of assembling composite panels have involved orienting panels

perpendicularly to each other and having fasteners extending through a panel edge to couple them together, or having an angle bracket, e.g., L-shaped bracket, coupled to inside faces of the panels and fastened to the panels.

Such methods of coupling composite panels, however, limit or restrict opportunities to disassemble the panels post-coupling, as disassembling the panels can lead to damage to the components used to assemble the panels. Further, the restriction or limitation of disassembling the panels post-coupling prevents finishing the panels, i.e., applying decorative finishes, prior to the assembly. Still further, the hardware required to assemble the panels adds avoidable weight, results in costly and complex manufacturing and/or assembly fixtures, and results in unsightly or aesthetically unpleasant components. BRIEF SUMMARY

In various implementations, panel assemblies and components thereof, and related methods to assemble the same with robust, compact, and efficient form factors enable ease of assembly/disassembly of panels that can be used to construct various components and structures. Further the various implementations described herein improve aesthetic appeal and reduce the weight footprint of the various components and structures that can be constructed via the various implementations of panel assemblies and components thereof described herein. For example, in one non-limiting implementation, a panel assembly can be summarized as a first panel having a peripheral side located between an upper and a lower surface of the first panel, and a first opening; and a second panel having a second opening. The panel assembly can include an elongated insert having a coupling side, where the first opening of the first panel is sized and shaped to coupleably receive the elongated insert such that the coupling side is positioned proximal to the peripheral side; and a fastening insert, where the second opening of the second panel is sized and shaped to receive the fastening insert. The panel assembly can include a fastener received by the fastening insert and the elongated insert, the fastener coupling the first panel to the second panel via the fastening insert and the elongated insert.

For example, in another non-limiting implementation, a method of assembling a panel assembly can be summarized as including coupling an elongated insert to a peripheral side of a first panel; coupling a fastening insert to a second panel; and coupling the first panel to the second panel via a fastener which extends through the elongated insert and the fastening insert.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

Figure 1 is a perspective of a panel assembly, according to one example implementation.

Figure 2 is a partially exploded view of the panel assembly of Figure 1. Figure 3 is a partial cutaway view of the panel assembly of Figure 1 , taken along line 3-3.

Figure 4A is a perspective view of an elongated insert, according to one example implementation. Figure 4B is another perspective view of the elongated insert of Figure 4A.

Figure 4C is a cross-sectional view of the elongated insert of Figure 4A, taken along line 4C-4C.

Figure 5A is a perspective view of an elongated insert, according to one example implementation.

Figure 5B is another perspective of the elongated insert of Figure 5A.

Figure 6A is a perspective view of an elongated insert, according to one example implementation.

Figure 6B is a perspective view of an elongated insert, according to one example implementation.

Figure 6C is a perspective view of an elongated insert, according to one example implementation.

Figure 6D is a perspective view of an elongated insert, according to one example implementation.

Figure 6E is a cross-sectional view of the elongated insert of Figure 6D, taken along a central plane of the elongated insert.

Figure 6F is a perspective view of an elongated insert, according to one example implementation.

Figure 6G is a cross-sectional view of the elongated insert of Figure 6F, taken along a central plane of the elongated insert.

Figure 6H is a perspective view of an elongated insert, according to one example implementation.

Figure 6I is another perspective view of the elongated insert of Figure 6H.

Figure 6J is a perspective view of an elongated insert, according to one example implementation.

Figure 6K is a cross-sectional view of the elongated insert of Figure 6J, taken along a central plane of the elongated insert.

Figure 7A is a top perspective view of a fastening insert, according to one example implementation.

Figure 7B is a bottom perspective view of the fastening insert of Figure 7A. Figure 7C is a top perspective view of a fastening insert, according to one example implementation.

Figure 7D is a bottom perspective view of the fastening insert of Figure 7C.

Figure 7E is a top perspective view of a fastening insert, according to one example implementation.

Figure 7F is a bottom perspective view of the fastening insert of Figure 7E.

Figure 7G is a top perspective view of a fastening insert, according to one example implementation.

Figure 7H is a bottom perspective view of the fastening insert of Figure 7G. Figure 7I is a top perspective view of a fastening insert, according to one example implementation.

Figure 7J is a cross-sectional view of the fastening insert of Figure 7I, taken along a central plane of the fastening insert.

Figure 8A is a top perspective view of a fastening insert, according to one example implementation.

Figure 8B is a bottom perspective view of the fastening insert of Figure 8A.

Figure 8C is a top perspective view of a fastening insert, according to one example implementation.

Figure 8D is a bottom perspective view of the fastening insert of Figure 8C. Figure 8E is a top perspective view of a fastening insert, according to one example implementation.

Figure 8F is a bottom perspective view of the fastening insert of Figure 8E.

Figure 9A is a top perspective view of a fastening insert, according to one example implementation.

Figure 9B is a bottom perspective view of the fastening insert of Figure 9A.

Figure 9C is a top perspective view of a fastening insert, according to one example implementation.

Figure 9D is a bottom perspective view of the fastening insert of Figure 9C.

Figure 9E is a top perspective view of a fastening insert, according to one example implementation.

Figure 9F is a bottom perspective view of the fastening insert of Figure 9E. Figure 9G is a top perspective view of a fastening insert, according to one example implementation.

Figure 9H is a bottom perspective view of the fastening insert of Figure 9G.

Figure 10A is a perspective view of a panel illustrating pre-installation of an elongated insert, according to one example implementation.

Figure 10B is a perspective view of an installation fixture, according to one example implementation.

Figure 10C is a perspective view of the panel of Figure 8A illustrating intermediate-installation of the elongated insert.

Figure 10D is a perspective of the panel of Figure 10A illustrating post- installation of the elongated insert.

Figure 1 1 A is a perspective view of a panel illustrating pre-installation of a fastening insert, according to one example implementation.

Figure 1 1 B is a perspective of an installation fixture, according to one example implementation.

Figure 1 1 C is a perspective view of the panel of Figure 8A illustrating intermediate-installation of the fastening insert.

Figure 1 1 D is a perspective view of the panel of Figure 8A illustrating post- installation of the fastening insert.

Figure 12 is a perspective view of a panel assembly, according to one example implementation.

Figure 13 is a perspective view of a panel assembly, according to one example implementation.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In the following description, certain specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of various disclosed embodiments. One skilled in the relevant art will recognize that embodiments may be practiced without one or more of these specific details. In other instances, well-known structures and devices associated with panel assemblies and related apparatuses, systems, and methods may not be shown or described in detail to avoid unnecessarily obscuring descriptions of the embodiments. Unless the context requires otherwise, throughout the specification and claims which follow, the word "comprise" and variations thereof, such as "comprises" and "comprising," are to be construed in an open, inclusive sense, that is, as "including, but not limited to."

Reference throughout this specification to "one implementation" or "an implementation" means that a particular feature, structure or characteristic described in connection with the implementation is included in at least one implementation. Thus, the appearances of the phrases "in one implementation" or "in an implementation" in various places throughout this specification are not necessarily all referring to the same implementation. Furthermore, the particular features, structures, or characteristics may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more implementation.

As used in this specification and the appended claims, the singular forms "a," "an," and "the" include plural referents unless the content clearly dictates otherwise. It should also be noted that the term "or" is generally employed in its sense including "and/or" unless the content clearly dictates otherwise.

Figures 1-3 illustrate a panel assembly 10, according to one example implementation. The panel assembly 10 includes a first panel 12 and a second panel 14 coupled to the first panel 12. The first panel 12 includes an elongated insert 16, according to one example implementation, and the second panel 14 includes a fastening insert 18, according to one example implementation. The first panel 12 is coupled to the second panel 14 via a fastener 20, e.g., screw, bolt, etc., which is inserted through the fastening insert 18 and couples to the elongated insert 16.

The first and second panels 12, 14 are generally composite panels. For example, Figures 1-3 illustrate a honeycomb panel. The honeycomb panel generally includes a pair of face sheets, typically comprising metallic structures or fiber-reinforced thermosetting or thermoplastic composite structures, coupled to, and sandwiching, a honeycomb core. In other implementations, however, the first and second panels 12, 14 can comprise other composite structures, such as, for example, CFRP panels, or other panels having a composite of a resin matrix and sheets embedded in the matrix. As illustrated in Figures 1 -3, the first and second panels 12, 14 are removably coupled to each other via the elongated insert 16, the fastening insert 18, and the fastener 20. Assembling the first and second panels 12, 14 in this manner, advantageously, allows the panels (e.g., first and second panels 12, 14) to be disassembled with relative ease, reduces the weight footprint, avoids damaging the panels caused during disassembly of permanently coupled panels, e.g., via fasteners extending directly through edges or positioned proximal to edges of the panels, and avoids use of unattractive attaching structures, such as the tab, slot arrangement of prior designs. Further, the ease of assembly/disassembly permits finishing the panels prior to assembly.

By way of example, as described above, the first panel 12 and the second panel 14 can be assembled with relative ease by removably coupling each other via the elongated insert 16, the fastening insert 18, and the fastener 20. Thus, the first panel 12 can be uncoupled by removing the fastener 20, which permits the first panel 12 and/or the second panel 14 to be reused without damaging either the first panel 12 or the second panel 14 during disassembly. By way of further example, assembling the panel assembly 10 in this manner can facilitate positioning, aligning, and/or repositioning any attaching panel, e.g., second panel 14, by locating the fastening insert 18 anywhere within a boundary of the attaching panel, e.g., second panel 14. By way of further example, assembling the panel assembly 10 according to the various implementations described herein can improve the aesthetic appearance of panel assemblies. For instance, as illustrated in Figures 1 -3, the external surfaces of the elongated insert 16 are substantially flush with external surfaces of the first panel 12, and top and bottom surfaces of the fastening insert 18 are substantially flush with external surfaces of the second panel 14. In this manner, the panel assembly 10 provides an aesthetically pleasing view, along with the other improvements discussed above.

Figures 4A-C illustrates the elongated insert 16 that is coupled to the first panel 12. In some implementations, the elongated insert 16 can comprise metallic structures, such as aluminum, titanium, steel, etc. In such implementations, the metallic structures can be fabricated via machining, casting, or other suitable processes and methods. In other implementations, the elongated insert 16 can comprise plastic materials, such as various polyamides, including Torlon, IXEF, etc. In such implementations, the elongated insert 16 can be made via injection molding, or other suitable processes and methods. The elongated insert 16 includes a main body 22 which has a generally rectangular shape with a front side 23 that has a generally arcuate shape. In other implementations, however, the elongated insert 16 may have other shapes and

configurations, such as square, cylindrical, elliptical, etc. The main body 22 includes a pair of sides 24a, 24b which are a mirror image of each other with respect to a longitudinal central axis 25. The main body 22 also includes a back side 26 that is located at an opposite end of the front side 23.

At each side 24a, 24b, the main body 22 includes core pusher members 27a, 27b that protrude outwardly from corresponding side surfaces 28a, 28b. Each core pusher member 27a, 27b is generally rectangularly shaped and includes corresponding front surfaces 29a, 29b that are oriented to angularly extend relative to a vertical axis 30 of the main body 22. Each core pusher member 27a, 27b is centrally located relative to a pair of corresponding cutting members 31 a, 31 b. In particular, one of the pair of cutting members 31 a, 31 b is located above the corresponding core pusher members 27a, 27b to define corresponding first flow regions 32a, 32b and the other of the pair of cutting members 31 a, 31 b is located below the corresponding core pusher members 27a, 27b to define corresponding second flow regions 33a, 33b.

Each cutter member 31 a, 31 b protrudes outwardly relative to the corresponding side surfaces 28a, 28b and includes a plurality of apertures 34 which define a plurality of teeth 35. In particular, upper surfaces and lower surfaces of each cutter member 31 a, 31 b protrude outwardly from the corresponding side surfaces 28a, 28b and taper inwardly to define corresponding sharp edges. In this manner, the plurality of apertures 34, the taper and protrusion define substantially serrated edges 36a, 36b on each side of the elongated insert 16. At a front end, each cutter member 31 a, 31 b includes corresponding cutting edges 37a, 37b. Each cutting edge 37a, 37b is defined by a generally prism-shaped surface, having an edge that extends angularly relative to the vertical axis 30 of the main body 22. Although the cutting edges 37a, 37b in this implementation include a generally prism-shaped surface, in other implementations, however, the cutting edges 37a, 37b may include other shaped surfaces that are capable of having a generally sharp edge to cut through various panels, as described in more detail below. As described above, the front side 23 of the main body 22 has a generally arcuate shape. The front side 23 includes a recess 39 which at least partially extends through the front side 23 to define a front flow region 40. The back side 26 of the main body 22 includes an insert aperture 41 that at least partially extends through the main body 22 in a longitudinal direction, e.g., along the longitudinal central axis 25. The insert aperture 41 is sized and shaped to optionally coupleably receive a threaded insert 42. In some implementations, the threaded insert 42 can be coupled to the main body 22 via a press-fit connection, where an outer diameter of the threaded insert 42 is sized and shaped to be less than a diameter of the insert aperture 41 , thus coupling the threaded insert 42 to the main body 22 via frictional forces. In other implementations, however, the threaded insert 42 can be coupled to the main body 22 via welding, fastening, adhering, or other suitable coupling structures. As illustrated in Figures 4A-4C, the threaded insert 42 is generally hollow and includes a plurality of threads. The plurality of threads are sized and shaped to coupleably receive the fastener 20 which couples the first panel 12 to the second panel 14. Still further, in some implementations, the threaded insert 42 can be omitted. In such implementations, the insert aperture 41 can be sized and shaped to include threaded structures that couple to the fastener 20, e.g., tapped apertures, blind fasteners, etc.

Figures 5A, 5B illustrates an elongated insert 416 according to another example implementation. The elongated insert 416 provides a variation in which the elongated insert 416 generally excludes or omits the core pusher members 27a, 27b and cutting members 31 a, 31 b. The elongated insert 416 includes a main body 422 having a pair of sides, 424a, 424b, a back side 426, and a front side 423. Each side 424a, 424b includes a corresponding recess 435a, 435b extending partially through the main body 422 to define corresponding side flow regions 436a, 436b. In some implementations, each side 424a, 424b can include a boss element 425 which extends or protrudes outwardly from a corresponding side surface. The boss element 425 is generally sized and shaped to strengthen a joint formed with the elongated insert 416 and the panel the elongated insert 416 is coupled to. For instance, the boss element 425, post-coupling, resists decoupling of the elongated insert 416, as removal would require overcoming the shear forces of the joint formed between the panel and the elongated insert 416. The front side 423 includes a front recess 437 extending partially through the front side 423 to define a front flow region 440. The side flow regions 436a, 436b and the front flow region 440 collectively define a flow region or path for a potting compound to flow around the elongated insert 416 to couple or bond the elongated insert 416 to a panel, e.g., first panel 12, second panel 14, etc. In particular, the back side 426 includes a pair of apertures 439 extending therethrough, which are sized and shaped to allow the potting compound to be applied to the elongated insert 416 inserted into a panel, e.g., first panel 12, second panel 14, etc., and are generally aligned with the corresponding side flow regions 436a, 436b to allow the potting compound to be applied.

Figure 6A illustrates an elongated insert 516 according to another example implementation. The elongated insert 516 is generally similar to the elongated insert 416 but provides a variation in which an insert aperture 541 extends through a main body 522, in lieu of an insert aperture and/or a threaded insert extending through a back side, e.g., back side 426. Again, the elongated insert 516 includes a pair of apertures 539 extending through a back side 526 of the elongated insert 516. As illustrated in Figure 6A, the elongated insert 616 also includes a front flow region 540 and side flow regions 536a, 536b.

Figure 6B illustrates an elongated insert 616 according to another example implementation. The elongated insert 616 is generally similar to the elongated insert 516 but provides a variation in which a main body 622 includes recesses 636a, 636b disposed in corresponding sides 624a, 624b and extending through a substantially T-shaped back side 626, and a front recess 637 disposed on a front side 623 that define an upper flange 649 and a lower flange 651 . The upper flange 649 extends beyond the lower flange 651 to define side flow regions 636a, 636b and front flow region 640. In this implementation, the side flow regions 636a, 636b and the front flow region 640 are advantageously sized and shaped to selectively allow an increased surface area to adhere to a corresponding panel to which the elongated insert 616 is coupled. Again, as illustrated in Figure 6B, an insert aperture 641 extends through the main body 622, in particular, through the upper flange 649 and the lower flange 651.

Figure 6C illustrates an elongated insert 716 according to another example implementation. The elongated insert 716 is generally similar to the elongated insert 616, but provides a variation in which a main body 722 includes a back side 726 having an insert aperture 741. The insert aperture 741 extends partially through the main body 722 via the back side 726. Again, a threaded insert 742 can be coupled to the main body 722 via the insert aperture 741.

Figures 6D-6E illustrate an elongated insert 816 according to another example implementation. The elongated insert 816 is generally similar to the elongated insert 716, but provides a variation in which an insert aperture 841 extends through a main body 822 via a back side 826 at an angular orientation. In particular, as illustrated in Figure 6E, the insert aperture 841 extends angularly relative to a central axis 850 toward a lower flange 851 of the elongated insert 816 at an angle a. In some implementations, the angle a can be in a range of about 15 to 20 degrees.

Figures 6F-6G illustrate an elongated insert 916 according to another example implementation. The elongated insert 916 is generally similar to the elongated insert 816, but provides a variation in which an insert aperture 941 extends through a main body 922 via a back side 926 at an angular orientation toward an upper flange 949 of the elongated insert 916. In particular, as illustrated in Figure 6F, the upper flange 949 of the main body 922 includes a recess 953 that extends partially through the main body 922. The recess 953 generally has an eye-shape which defines a receiving surface 954 that extends angularly relative to a central axis 950 of the elongated insert 916. In this manner, the insert aperture 941 and the receiving surface 954 extend angularly relative to the central axis 950 at an angle a, where the insert aperture 941 and the receiving surface 954 are sized and shaped to allow a fastener to extend angularly relative to the central axis 950. Again, in some implementations, the angle a can be in a range of about 15 to 20 degrees.

Figures 6H-6I illustrate an elongated insert 1016 according to another example implementation. The elongated insert 1016 is generally similar to the elongated insert 616, but provides certain variations. The elongated insert 1016 includes a main body 1022 that includes recesses 1036a, 1036b disposed in corresponding sides of the main body 1022. The main body 1022 includes a substantially rectangular-shaped back side 1026. The back side 1026 includes a pair of lower notches 1051 a, 1051 b. In general, the larger area of the back side 1026 is sized and shaped to provide extra material for retention of potting compound on a panel edge. The back side 1026 includes an insert aperture 1041 that extends partially through the main body 1022 via the back side 1026. In this implementation, the main body 1022 includes a pair of apertures 1039 extending therethrough, which are sized and shaped to allow the potting compound to be applied to the elongated insert 1016 inserted into a panel, e.g., first panel 12, second panel 14, etc. The pair of apertures 1039 are located proximal to the back side 1026, extending through a top side or upper flange of the main body 1022.

Figures 6J-6K illustrate an elongated insert 1 1 16 according to another example implementation. The elongated insert 1 1 16 is generally similar to the elongated insert 1016, but provides certain variations. In particular, the elongated insert 1 1 16 includes a main body 1 122 that includes an angular back side 1 126. The angular back side 1 126 extends in an angular orientation relative to a central axis 1 150 of the elongated insert 1 1 16. For example, in some implementations, the angular back side 1 126 is angularly oriented relative to the central axis 1 150 at an angle a. The angular orientation of the back side 1 126 facilitates coupling first and second panels where one or both of the first and second panels may be oriented at an angular configuration. As such, the angle a can vary to accommodate the angular orientation of the first and/or second panels. The main body 1 122 includes an insert aperture 1 141 that extends through the back side 1 126 and a top side or upper flange 1 149 of the main body 1 122. As illustrated in Figures 6J, 6K, the insert aperture 1 141 is defined at least in part by a lip region 1 188 and an elliptical shaped region 1 189 that are angularly oriented relative to an upper surface 1 190 of the top side or upper flange 1 149 at an angle β. The lip region 1 1 18 in some implementations may be sized and shaped to receive a head of a fastener that extends angularly to couple the first and/or second panels.

Figures 7A-7B illustrate the fastening insert 18 that is coupled to the second panel 14. In some implementations, the fastening insert 18 can comprise metallic structures, such as aluminum, titanium, steel, etc. In such implementations, the metallic structures can be fabricated via machining, casting, or other suitable processes and methods. In other implementations, the fastening insert 18 can comprise plastic materials, such as various polyamides, including Torlon, IXEF, etc. The fastening insert 18 includes a cap portion 44 and a shaft portion 45. The cap portion 44 has a generally cylindrical shape and includes a pair of slots 46 extending therethrough and positioned proximal to a periphery of the cap portion 44. In some implementations, the cap portion 44 includes a fastener aperture 47 that extends through the cap portion 44. The fastener aperture 47 is surrounded by a neck down region 48 disposed in the cap portion 44 which is sized and shaped to provide a countersink 49. The countersink 49 is sized and shaped to receive a fastener, e.g., fastener 20, such that an exterior surface of the fastener sits substantially flush with an exterior surface of the cap portion 44 when the fastener is coupleably received by the fastening insert 18. In other implementations, however, the cap portion 44 can exclude a fastener aperture 47 and have a solid structure. In some implementations, as shown in Figures 7A-7B, the fastener aperture 47 is located at an offset relative to a central axis 50 of the fastening insert 18. Positioning the fastener aperture 47 at the offset advantageously provides positional flexibility during assembly of the panel assembly 10 as the fasteners, e.g., fastener 20, that couple the first panel 12 to the second panel 14 can be positioned proximal to the edges of the panels, e.g., second panel 14.

The shaft portion 45 extends outwardly from a lower surface 51 of the cap portion 44. The shaft portion 45 includes a shaft insert aperture 52 that extends through the shaft portion 45 to define a generally hollow structure of the shaft portion 45. The shaft insert aperture 52 is located in the shaft portion 45 to be substantially coaxial with the fastener aperture 47 of the cap portion 44. The shaft insert aperture 52 is sized and shaped to optionally coupleably receive a fastening threaded insert 53. In some implementations, the fastening threaded insert 53 can be coupled to the shaft portion 45 via a press-fit connection, where an outer diameter of the fastening threaded insert 53 is sized and shaped to be less than a diameter of the shaft insert aperture 52, thus coupling the fastening threaded insert 53 to the shaft portion 45 via frictional forces. In other implementations, however, the fastening threaded insert 53 can be coupled to the shaft portion 45 via welding, fastening, adhering, or other suitable coupling structures. Still further, in some implementations, the fastening threaded insert 53 can be omitted. In such implementations, the shaft insert aperture 52 can be sized and shaped to include threaded structures that couple to the fastener 20, e.g., tapped apertures, blind fasteners, etc., or the shaft insert aperture 52 can be a through hole, i.e., extending through the shaft portion 45. As illustrated in Figures 7A-7B, the fastening threaded insert 53 is generally hollow and includes a plurality of threads. The plurality of threads are sized and shaped to optionally coupleably receive the fastener 20 which couples the first panel 12 to the second panel 14.

Moreover, as illustrated in Figures 1-3, in some implementations, the fastening threaded insert 53 can be omitted and the fastener 20 can extend through the shaft insert aperture 52 and fasten to the threaded insert 42 of the elongated insert 16. In instances where the fastening insert 18 includes a fastening threaded insert 53, as illustrated in Figures 5A-5B, the fastener 20 can be threadedly received by the fastening threaded insert 53 of the fastening insert 18 and the threaded insert 42 of the elongated insert 16.

As illustrated in Figures 7A-7B, the fastening insert 18 also includes a rib portion 55. The rib portion 55 extends from an outer surface of the shaft portion 45 to the lower surface 51 of the cap portion 44. The rib portion 55 is generally sized and shaped to improve strength and stability of the fastening insert 18.

Figures 7C-7D illustrate a fastening insert 1 1 18 according to an alternative implementation. The fastening insert 1 1 18 is generally similar to the fastening insert 18 illustrated in Figures 7A-7B, but provides a variation in which a lower surface 1 151 includes a plurality of boss elements 1 1 15 which extend or protrude outwardly from the lower surface 1 151. The boss elements 1 1 15 are generally sized and shaped to strengthen a joint formed with the fastening insert 1 1 18 and the panel to which the fastening insert 1 1 18 is coupled. For instance, the boss elements 1 1 15, post-coupling, resist decoupling of the fastening insert 1 1 18, as removal would require overcoming the shear forces of the joint formed between the panel and the fastening insert 1 1 18. As illustrated in Figures 7C-7D, the fastening insert 1 1 18 includes a fastener aperture 1 147 which extends through a cap portion 1 144 and is located to be offset relative to a central axis 1 150 of the fastening insert 1 1 18. Again, the fastener aperture 1 147 is substantially coaxial with a shaft insert aperture 1 152 that extends through a shaft portion 1 145.

Figures 7E-7F illustrate a fastening insert 1218 according to an alternative implementation. The fastening insert 1218 is generally similar to the fastening insert 1 1 18 illustrated in Figures 7C-7D, but provides a variation in which the fastening insert 1218 includes a shaft insert aperture 1252 that extends through a shaft portion 1245 but omits a fastener aperture that extends through a cap portion 1244. In general, in such an implementation, the fastening insert 1218 does not include an aperture that extends through a body of the fastening insert 1218. Further, as illustrated in Figure 7F, the fastening insert 1218 is sized and shaped to optionally coupleably receive a fastening threaded insert 1253.

Figures 7G-7H illustrate a fastening insert 1318 according to an alternative implementation. This fastening insert 1318 is generally similar to the fastening inserts illustrated above, but provides a variation in which the fastening insert 1318 includes a shaft portion 1345 that extends between a cap portion 1344 and a support portion 1346. In particular, the shaft portion 1345 extends at an angular orientation relative to a central axis 1350 of the fastening insert 1318. As such, in this implementation of the fastening insert 1318, a shaft insert aperture 1352 that extends through the shaft portion 1345 is offset from the central axis 1350 and extends at an angular orientation relative to the central axis 1350 such that a central shaft portion axis 1377 is angularly spaced apart relative to the central axis 1350 at an angle β. Further, similar to the fastening insert 1218 illustrated in Figures 7E-7F, the fastening 1318 omits a fastener aperture that extends through the cap portion 1344. While the fastening insert 1318 illustrated in Figures 7G-7H omits boss elements, in other implementations, the fastening insert 1318 can include one or more boss elements. Moreover, in some implementations, the fastening insert 1318 can include a fastener aperture which extends through the cap portion 1344 and can be sized and shaped to receive a fastening threaded insert.

Figures 7I-7J illustrate a fastening insert 1818 according to an alternative implementation. This fastening insert 1818 is generally similar to the fastening inserts illustrated above, for example, fastening insert 1318, but provides certain variations. The fastening insert 1818 includes a cap portion 1844 that has an asymmetric shape, such as, for example, a substantially oval shape and a shaft portion 1845 that extends between the cap portion 1844 and a support portion 1846. The asymmetric shape can facilitate a clocking feature, for example, where the cap portion 1844 is sized and shaped to be received in an aperture of a panel in a certain orientation. For instance, such a clocking feature can facilitate locating the fastening insert 1818 in a panel.

The shaft portion 1845 extends at an angular orientation relative to a central axis 1850 of the fastening insert 1818. As such, in this implementation of the fastening insert 1818, a shaft insert aperture 1852 that extends through the shaft portion 1845 extends at an angular orientation relative to the central axis 1850 such that the insert aperture 1852 is angularly oriented relative to the central axis 1850 at an angle β. The angle β can vary to accommodate a wide variety of installations. Further, in contrast to the fastening insert 1318, the insert aperture 1852 extends through the cap portion 1844 and at least partially through the shaft portion 1845 but omits extending through the support portion 1845. Again, the insert aperture 1852 can be sized and shaped to receive a fastening threaded insert, which may function as a blind fastening threaded insert, for example, blind fastening threaded insert 1853.

Figures 8A-8B illustrate a fastening insert 1 18 according to an alternative implementation. The fastening insert 1 18 is generally similar to the fastening insert 18 illustrated in Figures 7A-7B, but provides a variation in which a fastener aperture 147 extends through a cap portion 144 and is located to be substantially coaxial with a central axis 150 of the fastening insert 1 18. In other implementations, however, the cap portion 144 can exclude the fastener aperture 147 and have a solid structure. As illustrated in Figures 8A-8B, a shaft portion 145 of the fastening insert 1 18 is also located centrally relative to the central axis 150 of the fastening insert 1 18 and includes a shaft insert aperture 152 which is substantially coaxial with the fastener aperture 147. The fastening insert 1 18 illustrated in Figures 8A-8B also includes a pair of rib portions 155, where each rib portion extends from an outer surface of the shaft portion 145 to a lower surface 151 of the cap portion 144 and is a mirror image of each other relative to the central axis 150. In other implementations, however, the fastening inserts 18, 1 18 can include more than one or a pair of rib portions 55, 155, or may omit rib portions 55, 155.

Figures 8C-8D illustrate a fastening insert 218 according to an alternative implementation. The fastening insert 218 is generally similar to the fastening insert illustrated in Figures 8A-8B, but provides a variation in which a lower surface 251 includes a plurality of boss elements 225 which extend or protrude outwardly from the lower surface 251. The boss elements 225 are generally sized and shaped to strengthen a joint formed with the fastening insert 218 and the panel to which the fastening insert 218 is coupled. For instance, the boss elements 225, post-coupling, resist decoupling of the fastening insert 218, as removal would require overcoming the shear forces of the joint formed between the panel and the fastening insert 218. As illustrated in Figures 8C-8D, the fastening insert 218 includes a fastener aperture 247 which extends through a cap portion 244 and is located to be substantially coaxial with a central axis 250 of the fastening insert 218. The fastener aperture 247 is also substantially coaxial with a shaft insert aperture 252.

Figures 8E-8F illustrate a fastening insert 318 according to an alternative implementation. The fastening insert 318 is generally similar to the fastening insert 218 illustrated in Figures 8C-8D, but provides a variation in which the fastening insert 318 includes a shaft insert aperture 352 that extends through a shaft portion 351 , but omits a fastener aperture that extends through a cap portion 344. In general, in such an implementation, the fastening insert 318 does not include an aperture that extends through a body of the fastening insert 318. Further, as illustrated in Figure 8F, the fastening insert 318 is sized and shaped to optionally coupleably receive a fastening threaded insert 353.

Figures 9A-9B illustrate a fastening insert 1418 according to an alternative implementation. The fastening insert 1418 is generally similar to the fastening insert 218 illustrated in Figures 8C-8D, but provides a variation in which a cap portion 1444 has a larger cross sectional area and, more generally, a larger footprint, and includes a support portion 1451. As illustrated in Figures 9A, 9B, a footprint of the support portion 1451 is generally less than the footprint of the cap portion 1444. A shaft portion 1445 extends between the cap portion 1444 and the support portion 1451. The fastening insert 1418 includes a pair of rib portions 1455a, 1455b that protrude outwardly from an outer surface of the shaft portion 1445. Each rib portion 1455a, 1455b extends between a lower surface 1457 of the cap portion 1444 and an upper surface 1458 of the support portion 1451. Each rib portion 1455a, 1455b mirrors the other relative to a central axis 1450 of the fastening insert 1418. In some implementations, the fastening insert 1418 can include one rib portion, or any number of rib portions, or may omit the rib portions 1455.

As illustrated in Figures 9A-9B, the fastening insert 1418 includes a fastening aperture 1447 which extends through the cap portion 1444 and is located to be substantially coaxial with the central axis 1450 of the fastening insert 1418. The fastener aperture 1447 is also substantially coaxial with a shaft insert aperture 1452 that extends through the shaft portion 1445 and the support portion 1451. The cap portion 1444 includes a pair of slots 1446. Additionally, the fastener aperture 1447 is surrounded by a neck down region 1448 disposed in the cap portion 1444 which is sized and shaped to provide a countersink 1449. The countersink 1449 is sized and shaped to receive a fastener, e.g., fastener 20, such that an exterior surface of the fastener sits substantially flush with an exterior surface of the cap portion 1444 when the fastener is coupleably received by the fastening insert 1418.

Figures 9C-9D illustrate a fastening insert 1518 according to an alternative implementation. The fastening insert 1518 is generally similar to the fastening insert 1418 illustrated in Figures 9A-9B, but provides a variation in which a fastener aperture 1547 and a shaft insert aperture 1552 are sized and shaped as a slot to receive one or more fasteners that can be moved within the slot to facilitate alignment of surrounding structures that are to be coupled. The fastener aperture 1547 extends through a cap portion 1544 and a center of the fastener aperture 1547 is substantially aligned with a central axis 1550 of the fastening insert 1518. As illustrated in Figures 9C-9D, a shaft portion 1545 extends between the cap portion 1544 and a support portion 1551 . The fastening insert 1518 illustrated in Figures 9C-9D includes a first rib portion 1555a and a second rib portion 1556a, and a third rib portion 1555b and a fourth rib portion 1556b. The first rib portion 1555a and the second rib portion 1556a are a mirror image of respective third rib portion 1555b and fourth rib portion 1556b relative to the central axis 1550 of the fastening insert 1518.

The cap portion 1544 includes a pair of slots 1546. Additionally, the fastener aperture 1547 is surrounded by a neck down region 1548 disposed in the cap portion 1544 which is sized and shaped to provide a countersink 1549. The countersink 1549 is sized and shaped to receive a fastener, e.g., fastener 20, such that an exterior surface of the fastener sits substantially flush with an exterior surface of the cap portion 1544 when the fastener is coupleably received by the fastening insert 1518.

Figures 9E-9F illustrate a fastening insert 1618 according to an alternative implementation. The fastening insert 1618 is generally similar to the fastening insert 1418 illustrated in Figures 9A-9B, but provides a variation in which there are two fastener apertures 1647 extending through a cap portion 1644 of the fastening insert 1618, and two shaft insert apertures 1652 extending through respective shaft portions 1645 and a support portion 1651 of the fastening insert 1618. Again, the shaft portions 1645 extend between the cap portion 1644 and the support portion 1651 of the fastening insert 1618. As illustrated in Figures 9E-9F, centers of the fastener apertures 1647 and the shaft insert apertures 1652 are substantially aligned with each other. In some implementations, as illustrated in Figures 9E, 9F, the shaft portions 1645 are generally equally spaced apart relative to a central axis 1650 of the fastening insert 1618.

The fastening insert 1618 illustrated in Figures 9E-9F includes a first rib portion 1655a and a second rib portion 1656a, and a third rib portion 1655b and a fourth rib portion 1656b. The first rib portion 1655a and the second rib portion 1656a are a mirror image of respective third rib portion 1655b and fourth rib portion 1656b relative to the central axis 1650 of the fastening insert 1618. Further, the cap portion includes a pair of slots 1646. Additionally, each fastener aperture 1647 is surrounded by a respective neck down region 1648 disposed in the cap portion 1644 which is sized and shaped to provide a respective countersink 1649. The countersinks 1649 are sized and shaped to receive a fastener, e.g., fastener 20, such that an exterior surface of the fastener sits substantially flush with an exterior surface of the cap portion 1644 when the fastener is coupleably received by the fastening insert 1618.

Figures 9G-9H illustrate a fastening insert 1718 according to an alternative implementation. The fastening insert 1718 is generally similar to the fastening insert 1618 illustrated in Figures 9E-9F, but provides a variation in which the fastening insert 1718 includes two shaft insert apertures 1752 that extend through respective shaft portions 1745 and a support portion 1751 , but omit fastener apertures that extend through a cap portion 1744. In general, in such an implementation, the fastening insert 1718 does not include an aperture that extends through a body of the fastening insert 1718. However, the shaft insert apertures 1752 are optionally sized and shaped to coupleably receive a fastening threaded insert 1753.

The fastening insert 1718 illustrated in Figures 9G-9H includes a pair of rib portions 1755a, 1755b that protrude outwardly from an outer surface of respective shaft portions 1745. Each rib portion 1755a, 1755b mirrors the other relative to a central axis 1750 of the fastening insert 1718. In some implementations, the fastening insert can include one rib portion, or any number of rib portions, or may omit the rib portions 1755. Further, the cap portion 1744 of the fastening insert 1718 includes a pair of slots 1746.

Figures 10A-10D illustrate various stages of installation of the elongated insert 16 in the first panel 12. With reference to Figures 10A-10D and continued reference to Figures 1 -4D, the elongated insert 16 can be coupled to the first panel 12 via an elongated insert fixture 60, as illustrated in detail in Figure 10B. In particular, as illustrated in Figure 10B, the elongated insert 16 is coupled to the first panel 12 such that the insert aperture 41 and/or the threaded insert 42 of the elongated insert 16 is located at a peripheral side 8 of the first panel 12. Locating the elongated insert 16 in this manner allows the first panel 12 to be coupled to an adjacent panel, e.g., at or along one or more of the peripheral sides 8, such as through the honeycomb core, with the coupling side of the elongated insert 16, i.e., back side 26 exposed to be coupled to an adjoining panel, i.e., second panel 14. Constructing panel assemblies, e.g., panel assembly 10, in this manner allows for ease of construction and assembly and/or disassembly. For example, using the components of the panel assemblies according to the various implementations described herein reduces the overall weight footprint of the panel assemblies, e.g., panel assembly 10, and permits constructing structures, enclosures, etc., by assembling a plurality of panel assemblies via peripheral sides of one or more of the panel assemblies, which panel assemblies can be removably coupled and reused upon disassembly, and can be decoratively finished prior to installation.

The elongated insert fixture 60 includes a pair of opposing sides 61 protruding outwardly from a back side 62. The opposing sides 61 protrude outwardly from the back side 62 to define an elongated insert receiving region 63. The elongated insert receiving region 63 is sized and shaped to tautly receive the elongated insert 16. In particular, the back side 62 of the elongated insert fixture 60 includes a first fixture aperture 64 which is positioned to align with the insert aperture 41 disposed on the back side 26 of the elongated insert 16. Adjacent to the first fixture aperture 64, the elongated insert fixture 60 includes a pair of adhesive apertures 65, each adhesive aperture 65 spaced apart from the first fixture aperture 64. As illustrated in Figure 10A, the elongated insert 16 is received in the elongated insert receiving region 63 and is coupled to the elongated insert fixture 60 via a fixture fastener 66 which extends through the first fixture aperture 64 and the insert aperture 41 and, more particularly, is coupled to the threaded insert 42 (Figure 10D) received in the insert aperture 41.

With specific reference to Figure 10A, the first panel 12 is illustrated prior to installation of the elongated insert 16. The first panel 12 includes an insert slot 67 which is sized and shaped to receive the elongated insert 16. In particular, the insert slot 67 has a certain width W, which width W is sized to be slightly less than a width W1 of the elongated insert 16. In this manner, as the elongated insert 16 is inserted in the insert slot 67 via the elongated insert fixture 60, the cutting members 31 a, 31 b on each side of the elongated insert 16 cut through the honeycomb core of the first panel 16. More particularly, the prism-shaped surfaces of the cutting edges 37a, 37b contact the honeycomb core to create an initial cut and as the elongated insert 16 travels longitudinally, the serrated edges 36a, 36b continue to cut through the honeycomb core. As illustrated in Figure 10A, the positioning of the cutting members 31 a, 31 b proximal to the upper and lower face sheets of the first panel 12 on either side of the elongated insert 16 facilitates flow of adhesive near or adjacent to the face sheets as the cutting members 31 a, 31 b pierce or cut through the honeycomb core, as described in more detail below.

As the elongated insert 16 travels longitudinally with the cutting members 31 a, 31 b cutting through the honeycomb core as described above, each core pusher member 27a, 27b contacts the honeycomb core and drives or pushes the honeycomb core away from honeycomb core that was cut or serrated via the cutting edges 37a, 37b of the cutting members 31 a, 31 b. In particular, as the elongated insert 16 is inserted and the honeycomb core is cut, the angular front surfaces 29a, 29b of the core pusher members 27a, 27b contact portions of the honeycomb core between the cutting members 31 a, 31 b, and push or drive these portions away at least equal to a width of each cutting member 31 a, 31 b to create openings proximal to the corresponding first and second flow regions 32a, 32b, 33a, 33b.

With specific reference to Figure 10C, the elongated insert 16 is inserted via the elongated insert fixture 60. After installation, a potting compound 68, such as, for example, an epoxy based resin or other form of adhesive, can be applied by using injector nozzles, applicator guns, or the like, for example, as indicated via an applicator gun 69. The potting compound 68 is injected into the first panel 12 via one or the pair of adhesive apertures 65. In implementations where the potting compound 68 is applied through one of the pair of fixture adhesive apertures 65, the potting compound 68 can flow from one of the adhesive apertures 65 into the first panel 12 and around the elongated insert 16 and exit from the other of the pair of adhesive apertures 65, indicating sufficient volume of the potting compound 68 has been applied. Thereafter, any excess or residual potting compound 68 can be removed. Removal can be accomplished by scraping off excess potting compound or by wiping away excess potting compound 68 via a knife, wiping cloths, or the like.

The potting compound 68 flows along the sides of the elongated insert 16 via the first and second flow regions 32a, 32b, 33a, 33b and along the front side 23 of the elongated insert 16 via the front flow region 40 (Figure 10A). In this manner, the potting compound 68 collects around a periphery of the elongated insert 16 and is thereafter cured. In some implementations, the potting compound 68 can be cured at ambient temperature or at elevated temperatures by use of appropriate heaters.

The elongated insert fixture 60 can, in some implementations, be removed prior to curing, or in other implementations, post-curing. In either implementation, the elongated insert fixture 60 is removed by removing the fixture fastener 66, leaving the elongated insert 16 installed in the first panel 12, as illustrated in Figure 10D, with the external surfaces of the elongated insert 16 being substantially flush with the external surfaces of the first panel 12.

While the implementation of Figures 10A-10D illustrates installation of the elongated insert 16 in the first panel 12, in other implementations, the various other implementations of the elongated insert described herein, e.g., elongated inserts, 416, 516, 616, 716, 816, 916, etc., can be installed in a similar manner. For instance, elongated inserts 416, 516, 616, 716, 816, 916 can be installed in the first panel 12 via the elongated insert fixture 60 where the adhesive apertures 65 can be sized and shaped to align with the pair of apertures 439, 539 disposed on the back side 426, 526 of the corresponding elongated insert 416, 516, or adjacent to a vertical flange of corresponding T-shaped back sides (e.g., back side 626, 726, 826, 926) of elongated inserts 616, 716, 816, 916. In such an implementation, the omission of the cutting members 31 a, 31 b and the core pusher members 27a, 27b can facilitate increase in a volume of flow of potting compound 68 via increase in area of the flow regions, e.g., side flow regions 436a, 436b, 536a, 536b, 636a, 636b, etc. and/or front flow regions 440, 540, 640, etc. In this manner, additional installation flexibility can be obtained. For instance, in applications where the potting compound 68 has lower viscosity, the volume of the potting compound 68 needed to provide sufficient bond strength may be provided by the elongated insert 16. In other applications where the potting compound 68 has a higher viscosity, the volume of the potting compound 68 needed to provide sufficient bond strength may be provided by the elongated inserts 416, 516.

Figures 1 1 A-1 1 D illustrate various stages of installation of the fastening insert 18 in the second panel 14. With reference to Figures 1 1A-1 1 D and continued reference to Figures 1-3 and 7A-8B, the fastening insert 18 can be coupled to the second panel 14 via a fastening insert fixture 70, as illustrated in detail in Figure 1 1 B. As illustrated in Figure 1 1A, the second panel 14 includes a panel aperture 17 which is sized and shaped to receive the fastening insert 18. The panel aperture 17 is located proximal to an edge 9 of the second panel 14, which coupleably receives the fastening insert 18. Locating the fastening insert 18 proximal to the edge 9 of the second panel 14 advantageously allows for flexibility in construction of the panel assemblies according to the various

implementations of panel assemblies described herein, as doing so can provide relative ease of assembly/disassembly, sufficient strength properties which reduce or mitigate cracking or other failure modes, and reduce weight foot prints and high cost associated with fastening panels proximal to the edges thereof for the various reasons discussed above. By way of example, locating the fastening insert 18 proximal to the edge 9 can eliminate use of the complicated, heavy tab-slot, L-bracket, etc., configurations. By way of further example, locating the fastening insert 18 proximal to the edge 9 according to the various implementations described herein can improve the shear and other strength capabilities of the panel assemblies.

In particular, the panel aperture 17 is sized and shaped to have an outer diameter which is substantially or approximately equal to the outer diameter of the cap portion 44 of the fastening insert 18. The fastening insert fixture 70 includes a central portion 71 and a tab portion 72. The central portion 71 , in some implementations, has a generally circular shape; however, in other implementations, the central portion 71 can have other shapes and configurations, such as square, elliptical, etc. The tab portion 72 extends outwardly from a peripheral edge of the central portion 71 in an angular orientation relative to an external surface of the central portion 71. The angular orientation of the tab portion 72 facilitates providing access to a user to install and/or remove the fastening insert fixture 70 as described in more detail below.

The central portion 71 of the fastening insert fixture 70 includes a pair of fixture adhesive apertures 73 that are located proximal to a peripheral edge of the central portion 71.

With specific reference to Figure 1 1 C, the fastening insert fixture 70 is removably coupled to the fastening insert 18 such that the fixture adhesive apertures 73 substantially align with the pair of slots 46 of the fastening insert 18. In some

implementations, the fastening insert fixture 70 can be removably coupled to the fastening insert 18 via adhering, such that the fastening insert fixture 70 may be removed after the installation of the fastening insert 18 is completed. For example, a lower surface 80 of the fastening insert fixture 70 can include adhesives that bond with or adhere to an upper surface of the cap portion 44 of the fastening insert 18.

As illustrated in Figure 1 1 C, the fastening insert fixture 70 is coupled in the manner described above, with the lower surface 80 coupled to the upper surface of the cap portion 44 such that the tab portion 72 is angularly oriented relative to the upper surface of the cap portion 44. Thus, the tab portion 72 allows users to grip, manipulate, and position a combination of the fastening insert fixture 70 and the fastening insert 18 on the second panel 14. Thereafter, the fastening insert fixture 70 along with the fastening insert 18 is inserted into the second panel 14 such that the fastening insert 18 is received in the panel aperture 17.

After installation, a potting compound 81 , such as, for example, an epoxy based resin or other form of adhesive, can be applied by using injector nozzles, applicator guns, or the like, for example, as indicated via an applicator gun 82, which potting compound 81 fills the voids, openings, or spaces in the second panel 14 created by the panel aperture 17. The potting compound 81 is injected into the second panel 14 via one or both of the pair of fixture adhesive apertures 73. In this manner, the potting compound 81 flows into the second panel 14 and around the fastening insert 18, in particular, the shaft portion 45, to couple the fastening insert 18 to the honeycomb core of the second panel 14. In some implementations, a backing plate or masking tape can be coupled to the other side second panel 14 to prevent the potting compound 81 from contacting a working surface or other supporting structures.

In implementations where the potting compound 81 is applied through one of the pair of fixture adhesive apertures 73, the potting compound 81 can flow from one of the fixture adhesive apertures 73 into the second panel 14 and around the fastening insert 18 and exit from the other of the pair of fixture adhesive apertures 73, indicating sufficient volume of the potting compound 81 has been applied. Thereafter, any excess or residual potting compound 81 can be removed. Removal can be accomplished by scraping off excess potting compound or by wiping away excess potting compound 81 via a knife, wiping cloths, or the like.

After application of the potting compound 81 , in some implementations, the potting compound 81 can be cured at ambient temperature. In some implementations, the fastening insert fixture 70 can be removed prior to curing, or in other implementations, post-curing. In either implementation, the fastening insert fixture 70 is removed by peeling off the fastening insert fixture 70 from the fastening insert 18 via the tab portion of the fastening insert fixture 70, as illustrated in Figure 1 1 D, with the external surfaces of the fastening insert 18 being substantially flush with the external surfaces of the second panel 14.

Moreover, as illustrated in Figures 1-3 and 1 1A-1 1 D, a number of various implementations of the fastening inserts, e.g., fastening inserts 18, 1 18, 218, 318, 1 1 18, 1218, 1318, 1418, 1518, 1618, 1718, etc. can be installed in the second panel 14 in a similar manner discussed above. For example, Figures 1-2 and 1 1 A, 1 1 D illustrate the fastening insert 1 18 installed in the second panel 14. Although other fastening inserts can also be installed in a similar manner, for the sake of clarity of description and illustration, fastening insert 1 18 is described in more detail. For example, in some implementations, the central portion 71 of the insert fixture 70 can be sized and shaped to couple to the cap portions (e.g. cap portions 1444, 1544, 1644, 1744, etc.) of fastening inserts (e.g., fastening inserts 1418, 1518, 1618, 1718, etc.). Further, the panel aperture 17 of the second panel 14 can be sized and shaped to receive corresponding fastening inserts (e.g., fastening inserts 1418, 1518, 1618, 1718, etc.).

Further, as illustrated therein, fastening inserts 18, 1 18 can be installed from either side of the second panel 14. In this manner, one or more first panels 12 or other components can be coupled to one or more second panels 14 along various positions and orientations to configure various panel assemblies having the various elongated inserts 16, 416, 516, etc. described herein.

By way of example, Figure 12 illustrates a panel assembly 210 according to one example implementation. The panel assembly 210 provides a variation in which a first panel 212 includes a first elongated insert 216a, generally similar to the elongated insert 16, and a second panel 214 includes a second elongated insert 216b, generally similar to the elongated insert 516. Again, the second elongated insert 216b provides a variation in which an insert aperture 241 extends through a top side 219 of the second elongated insert 216b. Further, a fastener 220 extends through the insert aperture 241 and is coupled to a threaded insert 242 disposed in the first elongated insert 216a. Accordingly, the first and second panels 212, 214 are coupled to each other via the fastener 220 which extends through the insert aperture 241 of the second elongated insert 216b and is coupled to the first elongated insert 216a disposed in the first panel 212. Further, as illustrated in Figure 12, the second panel 214 includes fastening inserts 218a, 218b which are generally similar to the fastening insert 1 18. Thus, the second panel 214 can be coupled to other panels via one or more of the fastening inserts 218a, 218b at or near those positions.

By way of example, Figure 13 illustrates a panel assembly 310 according to one example implementation. The panel assembly 310 provides a variation in which a first panel 312 includes an elongated insert 316, which is generally similar to the elongated insert 16, and a second panel 314 includes a fastening insert 318, which is similar to the fastening insert 1 18. In this implementation, the fastening insert 318 is located distal from an edge of the second panel 314. Again, the first and second panels 312, 314 are coupled to each other via a fastener 320 which extends through the fastening insert 318 and is coupled to the elongated insert 316.

Although Figures 12-13 illustrate the panel assemblies 210, 310 that respectively form corner and T-joints via corresponding elongated inserts 216a, 216b and elongated insert 316 and fastening insert 318, in other implementations, corner joints of panel assemblies can be formed via elongated insert 616 coupled to a first panel and elongated insert 716 coupled to a second panel, with a fastener coupling the elongated inserts 616, 716. In some implementations, a corner joint can be formed via the fastening insert 1 1 18 coupled to a first panel and the elongated insert 316 coupled to a second panel, with a fastener coupling the fastening insert 1 1 18 and the elongated insert 316. In some implementations, a corner joint can be formed via the fastening insert 1318 coupled to a first panel and the elongated insert 916 coupled to a second panel, with a fastener coupling the elongated insert 916 and the fastening insert 1318. In such an

implementation, the angular orientations of the shaft insert aperture 1352 and the insert aperture 941 can advantageously be sized and shaped to align in order to facilitate coupling capabilities in locations where access is limited and strength capabilities of the joint are compromised.

Similarly, T-joints of panel assemblies can be formed via fastening insert 218 coupled to a first panel and elongated insert 716 coupled to a second panel, with a fastener coupling the fastening insert 218 to the elongated insert 716. Again, in some implementations, a T-joint can be formed via the fastening insert 1318 coupled to a first panel and the elongated insert 916 coupled to a second panel, with a fastener coupling the elongated insert 916 and the fastening insert 1318.

In some implementations, co-planar joints of panel assemblies can be formed via fastening insert 816 coupled to a first panel and elongated insert 916 coupled to a second panel, with a fastener coupling the elongated insert 916 and the fastening insert 816. Again, the angular orientations of the insert aperture 941 and the insert aperture 841 can advantageously be sized and shaped to align in order to facilitate coupling capabilities in locations where access is limited and strength capabilities of the joint are compromised.

The various implementations described herein can be combined to provide further implementations. The modularity of the various implementations of the panel assemblies described herein can facilitate use thereof in a wide variety of applications. For instance, the panel assemblies and components thereof can be applied to rapidly construct various interior components of aircrafts, for example, floor panels, stowage compartment panels, etc. In other applications, the panel assemblies and components thereof can be used to construct enclosures by assembling a plurality of panel assemblies according to the various implementations of the panel assemblies described herein in a relatively cost- effective and quick manner. Such enclosures can, for example, be used in a wide variety of applications, such as for rapid deployment shelters, temporary construction sites, etc. For instance, a rapid deployment shelter can be constructed by assembling back, sides, front, and top wall structures. Each wall structure, i.e., back, sides, front, and top can be coupled to each other via the various implementations of the elongated inserts, fasteners, fastening inserts, etc., described herein. Moreover, the various implementations of the panel assemblies and components thereof described herein can enable rapid deployment and field use by enabling ease of portability. For instance, having the various

implementations of elongated inserts (e.g., elongated inserts 16, 216a, 216b, 316, 416, 516, 616, 716, 816, 916, 1016, etc.) and fastening inserts (e.g., fastening inserts 18, 1 18, 218a, 218b, 318, 1 1 18, 1218, 1318, 1418, 1518, 1618, etc.) configured to be installed flush on or in the various panels (e.g., panels 12, 14, 212, 214, 312, 314, etc.) can allow the various panels to be efficiently and compactly stacked without damage to the elongated inserts, fastening inserts, or other adjoining hardware, during transportation to the deployment sites.

These and other changes can be made to the embodiments in light of the above-detailed description. In general, in the following claims, the terms used should not be construed to limit the claims to the specific embodiments disclosed in the specification and the claims, but should be construed to include all possible embodiments along with the full scope of equivalents to which such claims are entitled. Accordingly, the claims are not limited by the disclosure. This application also claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Nos. 62/445,644, filed January 12, 2017, and 62/501 ,565, filed May 4, 2017, and are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.