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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
POST FOUNDATION
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/137652
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
One embodiment is an earth penetrating apparatus with foldable, lockable wings. The apparatus includes a frame consisting of a tube (1), fixed steering fins (2) and fastening plates (7). Wings consisting of a reinforcement (9) and a blade (12) are attached to the fastening plates (7) with a bolt (10) and nut (1 1) to create a hinge joint, making the wings foldable. A locking- and wedge-piece (14) attached to a rod (15) is placed inside the frame tube (1 ), and an end cap (17) is fitted to the upper end of the frame tube (1). The rod (15) and end cap (17) are locked together by a nut (18) and a key- wedge (19), creating a wing locking mechanism. The wing locking mechanism is released by removing the nut (18) and replacing the end cap (17) with a hit cap (20). When deployed in a horizontal position the wings provide a large area that resists sinkage.

Inventors:
KOIVUOJA, Mikko (Vanha Porvoontie 284C, Vantaa, 01260, FI)
Application Number:
FI2016/000030
Publication Date:
August 17, 2017
Filing Date:
December 27, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
KOIVUOJA, Mikko (Vanha Porvoontie 284C, Vantaa, 01260, FI)
International Classes:
E04H12/22; E02D5/54; E02D5/80
Foreign References:
SU1086070A11984-04-15
SU1196452A11985-12-07
SU1430464A11988-10-15
US3772838A1973-11-20
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WESTERLUND, Kim (Insinööritoimisto West Coast Oy, Kuormakatu 2, Turku, 20380, FI)
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Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A post foundation comprising: - a frame tube (1) fixed steering fins (2) made of steel plate, welded to the frame tube (1) fastening plates (7) welded to the frame tube (1) - wings made from a reinforcement (9) and blade (12), fastened by their reinforcements (9) between a pair of fastening plates (7) with a bolt (10) wherein every wing reinforcement (9) is attached to a pair of fastening plates (7) by a hinge joint made from a bolt (10) and a nut (11), the wing reinforcement (9) has got a hook-formed appendage and one widened end, a locking- and wedge-piece (14) designed to connect with the hooks of the wing reinforcements (9) is attached to a rod (15) and fitted inside the frame tube (1), an end cap (17) is fitted to the end of the frame tube (1) and is also attached to the rod (15) and thereby the locking- and wedge-piece (14) by a nut (18) and a key- wedge (19).

2. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein every wing reinforcement (9) has a hook-formed appendage and a widened end, and the widened end of the wing reinforcement (9) connects with the frame tube (1) when a wing has opened 90 degrees, thereby acting as a stopper.

Description:
Post Foundation

The present disclosure relates generally to post foundations.

In known post foundations of metal ground anchor type, vertical support may be insufficient for posts that are subjects to heavy load. This can result in issues like sinkage, especially in gravel or otherwise soft soil. Another issue with known post foundations of this type is their limited ability to withstand horizontal load, which can result in a wobbly post. The foundation might even fail to keep the post upright if under heavy horizontal load. Sinkage is an issue due to the fact that known post foundations are designed to penetrate the ground as efficiently as possible during installation. There is however little that stops the post foundation from sinking deeper into the ground after installation. Therefore the post might sink too deep into the ground with time. A post that has sunken too deep or has failed to stand upright will require reinstallation. There exists a need of a post foundation of metal ground anchor type, which can withstand great vertical and horizontal forces. The goal of this invention is to create a post foundation, which can withstand large amounts of vertical and horizontal load, providing superior utility and life expectancy compared to known post foundations.

The goal of this invention can be achieved by manufacturing a tube framed post foundation, which has wings attached to its lower end. The wings are fixed by a hinge joint, which enables them to be folded in against the tube frame at the start of the installation. A wedge- and locking piece that will keep the wings locked in this folded position is attached to a rod and placed inside the frame tube.

An end cap is fitted to the end of the frame tube, and the rod with the wedge- and locking piece attached to it runs through the end cap. The end of the rod is machined to a smaller diameter than the rest of the rod, and is also threaded. The hole in the end cap is of such size, that the threaded section of the rod will pass through it, but not the rod itself. The end cap has a countersink with a diameter larger than the diameter of the rod. The rod will thus pass through the end cap until the shoulder at the end of the rod's threaded section connects with the bottom of the countersink in the end cap. The threaded section of the rod goes through the end cap and is fitted with a nut above the end cap. The nut locks the rod and the end cap together. The bottom half of the round end cap is machined to a diameter smaller than the inner diameter of the frame tube, and will thus fit inside the frame tube. The upper half of the end cap on the other hand has a larger diameter and will not fit inside the frame tube. The end cap is fitted to the end of the frame tube in such a way that it is partly inserted into the tube. The upper half of the end cap has a machined countersink, in which the nut fits and is protected. The end cap and the rod each have a groove, in which a wedge is fitted. The wedge stops the rod and the end cap from rotating relative to each other, thus enabling fastening and loosening of the nut. The wedge- and locking piece connects with the hooks of the wings and will not let the rod move upwards, while the end cap and nut prevent the rod from moving downwards. This is how the locking of the wings is achieved. The wings are locked in this folded position as long as the nut at the threaded section at the top end of the rod is in place. Removal of the nut releases both the wing locking mechanism and the end cap, which can now be removed.

For the second installation phase, the end cap is replaced by a hit cap, which has a machined countersink deeper than the length of the threaded section of the rod. The countersink has a diameter larger than that of the threaded section of the rod, but smaller than that of the rod itself. This allows the threaded section of the rod to fit into the countersink of the hit cap until the shoulder at the end of the threaded section of the rod connects with the bottom of the hit cap.

By hitting the hit cap the force is transmitted to the rod at the shoulder between the threaded and unthreaded section of the rod. The rod and thereby also the attached wedge- and locking piece are forced downwards, thereby releasing the locking mechanism of the wings. The wedge- and locking piece also forces the wings to open slightly when it moves downwards inside the frame tube.

The bottom half of the round hit cap has a diameter smaller than the inner diameter of the frame tube, and thus fits inside the frame tube. The top half of the hit cap on the other hand has a diameter larger than the inner diameter of the frame tube, which allows the hit cap to fit inside the frame tube to a depth equal to the height of the lower half of the hit cap. At this point the shoulder of the larger, upper half of the hit cap connects with the end of the frame tube, the force is transmitted to the frame and the entire post foundation is driven deeper into the ground when the hit cap is hit. The ground guides the wings fully open as the post foundation is forced deeper into the ground.

When the wings reach a horizontal position they are fully open. At this point the wider ends of the wing reinforcements connect with the post foundation frame tube, preventing the wings from opening any further. When deployed in this horizontal position the wings provide a large area that resists sinkage, thus preventing the post foundation from sinking any deeper. After installation the hit cap and the rod with the attached wedge- and locking- piece can be removed and used in the installation of multiple post foundations.

Many aspects of the disclosure can be better understood with reference to the following drawings. In the drawings, like reference numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the several views.

FIG. 1 is an illustration of an earth-penetrating post foundation in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. The figure shows a post foundation either before or after installation, as the wings are open in both cases.

FIG. 2 is an illustration of a section view of the wing locking mechanism of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1 in a locked state, during the first phase of installation.

FIG. 3 is an illustration of a section view of the locking mechanism of the apparatus in FIG. 1 in an unlocked state, during the second phase of installation.

FIG. 4 is an illustration of a partial section view of the apparatus in FIG. 1 with the wings deploying during the third and final phase of installation

Throughout the following description specific details are set out to provide a more thorough understanding of the invention. However, the invention may be practiced without these particulars. In other instances, well known elements may have not been shown or described in detail to avoid unnecessarily obscuring the present invention. Accordingly, the description and drawings are to be regarded in an illustrative, rather than restrictive, manner.

FIG. 1 is an illustration depicting an earth-penetrating post foundation in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. The figure shows a post foundation either before or after installation, as the wings are open in both cases. In this case the figure is used to describe a post foundation before installation. The apparatus includes a frame 1 made from steel tube, to which fixed steering fins 2 of steel plate have been welded with welds 3. In this case, the frame tube has a diameter of 1 14,3mm and a wall thickness of 5mm. The length of the frame tube 1 depends on the desired installation depth; in this case the frame tube 1 is 900mm long. The shape and size of the fixed steering fins 2 vary depending on factors like soil type. In this case the fixed steering fins 2 are made from 5mm steel plate, with a tip length of 300mm, tip width of 136mm, width of fin section of 63mm and a total length of 1000mm.

In this case there are four fixed steering fins 2, which are configured around the frame tube 1 at 90 degrees intervals and welded to the frame tube 1 with welds 3. The fixed steering fins 2 form a tip at the bottom end of the apparatus, and the tip forming sections of the fixed steering fins 2 are welded together with welds 4. The bottom end of the frame tube 1 is plugged. In this case a round plate 5 of 106mm diameter, made from 4mm steel plate, is welded to the bottom end of the frame tube 1 with weld 6.

Fastening plates 7 are also welded to the frame tube 1 with welds 8. There are two fastening plates 7 for every wing, and they are welded at the height desired for the deployed wings. The wing reinforcement 9 is an essential part of the wing locking mechanism. Furthermore it acts as a wing fastener and also stopper, preventing the wing from opening up more than 90 degrees. The wing reinforcement 9 is equipped with a hook- formed appendage, which makes it possible to lock the wings in a closed position during the first part of installation. Before installation, the frame tube 1 is fitted with an assembly consisting of a locking- and wedge-piece 14, which is attached to a rod 15. In this case the round locking- and wedge- piece is machined from one piece of steel, and welded to the rod 15 with weld 16. In this case the rod is made of steel and has a diameter of 24mm. The end of the rod is machined to a smaller diameter than the rest of the rod, and is also threaded.

A round end cap 17 with a hole through and countersinks machined in both ends is fitted to the end of the frame tube 1. The threaded part of the rod 15 fits through the hole of the end cap 17. The threaded part of the rod 15 is fitted through the end cap 17 until the shoulder at the end of the threaded part connects with the bottom of the countersink in the end cap 17. The rod 15 and the end cap 17 are locked together with a locking nut 18. In this case the end cap 17 is machined from one piece of steel, its narrower part has a diameter of 100mm and wider part 120mm, and it has a height of 90mm. The end cap 17 and rod 15 both have a straight key groove, in which a key-wedge 19 fits. The key-wedge 19 locks the rod 15 and end cap 17 from rotating in relation to each other, thus enabling fastening and loosening of the nut 18. The nut 18 will fit into the countersink at the top side of the end cap 17 and is thus protected when force is applied to the end cap in order to drive the apparatus into the ground.

FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram depicting an earth -penetrating post foundation in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. The figure shows a section view of the wing locking mechanism in locked position during the first phase of installation. The end cap 17 is fitted to the end of the frame tube 1, and is penetrated by the threaded section of the rod 15. The rod 15 and the end cap 17 are locked from moving in relation to each other by a nut 18 and a key-wedge 19. The other end of the rod 15 is attached to the wedge- and locking piece 14 and this whole assembly is thus prevented from moving downwards. The locking part of the wedge- and locking piece 14 connects with the hook-formed appendages on the wing reinforcements 9 and prevents the wings from deploying and the rod 15 from moving upwards, and at the same time the end cap 17 prevents the rod 15 from moving downwards. In this way the wing locking mechanism is achieved. The wings will stay locked in this folded position as long as the nut 18 at the threaded section of the rod 15 is in place.

The wing blade 12 is in this case configured in a wide V-angle profile. In this case the wing blade 12 is made from 5mm sheet steel, and welded together with the wing reinforcement 9 with weld 13 to form a wing, where the V-shape of the blade is open downwards when the wing is in a deployed state.

FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram depicting an earth-penetrating post foundation in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. The figure shows a section view of the wing locking mechanism in unlocked position during the second phase of installation. The wing reinforcement 9 is fastened between the fastening plates 7 with a bolt 10. The bolt 10 is fixed in relation to the frame of the apparatus with a locking nut 1 1. The gap between the fastening plates 7 is 1mm wider than the thickness of the wing reinforcement 9, which enables the bolt to serve as a hinge joint for the wing. Thanks to the hinged joints the wings are able to open up from a closed state into a deployed state. The widened end of the wing reinforcement 9 works as a stopper by preventing the wing from opening up any further when a wing has opened up to a horizontal position. The stopping mechanism is created by the wider end of the wing reinforcement 9 connecting with the frame tube 1. In this second phase of installation the nut 18 and end cap 17 are removed, and the end cap is replaced with a hit cap 20. By hitting the hit cap 20 the rod 15 is forced downwards, which in turn forces the wedge- and locking piece 14 downwards. The wedge- and locking piece 14 releases the wing locking mechanism and simultaneously forces the wings to open slightly.

FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram depicting an earth-penetrating post foundation in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. The figure shows a partial section view of the apparatus during the third and final phase of installation. The hit cap 20 will only partially fit into the frame tube 1 , due to the top section of the hit cap 20 having a larger diameter than the inner diameter of the frame tube 1. When the top section of the hit cap 20 connects with the end of the frame tube 1, the hit cap can no longer force the rod 15 downwards, but the force applied to the hit cap is instead transferred to the frame of the apparatus. At this point the entire apparatus will be forced deeper into the ground when force is applied to the hit cap 20. The ground forces the wings to open further as the apparatus is driven deeper into the ground.

FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram depicting an earth-penetrating post foundation in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. The figure shows a post foundation either before or after installation, as the wings are open in both cases. In this case the figure is used to describe a deployed apparatus, after installation is completed. When a wing has opened 90 degrees it is in a horizontal position. At this point the wider end of the wing reinforcement 9 connects with the frame tube 1, preventing the wing from opening any further. When the wings have opened fully (90 degrees) the wedge- and locking piece 14 can move freely inside the frame tube 1. This enables the wedge- and locking piece 14 together with the rod 15 and the hit cap 20 to be removed and used in the installation of multiple post foundations. In this case the apparatus has four wings fastened around the frame of the apparatus in 90 degree intervals.

Note that the exemplary embodiment described above is only one example with the purpose of explaining the mechanical functions of the invention. Other embodiments of the invention could for instance utilize wings with the V-shape open upwards when deployed. The profile of the wing blades could for instance be straight or M-shaped. The amount of wings utilized could vary, and the wings could be mounted at different height levels, for instance 2 levels of wings with 3-4 wings at each level. The locking- and wedge-piece could be inverted, which would also inverse the direction of the force required to operate the locking and opening mechanism. A web or cover could be fastened between the wings, which would further increase the load bearing capacities of the apparatus in loose soil. While specific embodiments of the present invention have been provided, it is to be understood that these embodiments are for illustration purposes and not limiting. Many additional embodiments will be apparent to persons of ordinary skill in the art reading this disclosure.

The features, functions and advantages that have been discussed can be achieved independently in various embodiments of the present disclosure or may be combined in yet other embodiments of the present disclosure. Other systems, methods, features and advantages of the present disclosure will be or become apparent to one with skill in the art upon examination of the following drawings and detailed description. It is intended that all such additional systems, methods, features, and advantages be included within this description, be within the scope of the present disclosure, and be protected by the accompanying claims.