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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
COMPOSITE WALL PANEL
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2013/052997
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A composite panel system comprises a floor, a wall panel and a roof panel which are fabricated with a structural frame; a mesh for bracing the structural frame; and a foam for bonding a cladding material to the mesh and frame to create a strong lightweight panel.

Inventors:
DIGNEY DAMIEN JOHN (AU)
Application Number:
PCT/AU2012/001222
Publication Date:
April 18, 2013
Filing Date:
October 09, 2012
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
PROJECT MODULAR AUST PTY LTD (AU)
DIGNEY DAMIEN JOHN (AU)
International Classes:
F16S1/10; E04B1/76; E04C2/284; E04C2/34
Foreign References:
US7836663B22010-11-23
US6099768A2000-08-08
US20040261356A12004-12-30
AU1834301A2001-08-09
US4019297A1977-04-26
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
VARSITY IP (Varsity Lakes, QLD 4227, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A composite wall panel comprising :

a fabricated structural frame;

a mesh for bracing the structural frame; and

a foam for bonding a cladding material to the mesh and frame to create a strong lightweight panel.

2. A composite wall panel according to claim 1 , wherein the composite wall panel provides a building structural panel for use in a building construction as a floor panel, or a wall panel or a roof panel.

3. A composite wall panel according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the building panel comprises a perimeter frame to be bonded and/or fastened to inner studs at various spacings.

4. A composite wall panel according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the composite wall panel provides a thermal and acoustic break between the framing structure and the cladding material.

5. A composite wall panel according to claim 1 , wherein the structural frame comprises a steel frame manufactured from thin sheets of galvanized steel formed into steel vertical studs adapted for use with horizontal steel tracks that are fixed to the floor and ceiling with the vertical studs arranged spaced apart in the tracks, and fastened at the top and bottom.

6. A composite wall panel according to claim 1 , wherein the frame comprises a conventional timber frame of timber components. 7. A composite wall panel according to claim 1 , wherein the frame comprises a composite stud frame comprising a composite of wood and plastic materials.

8. A composite wall panel according to any one of claims 5 to 7, wherein the frame comprises one or more multi-frame openings, each multi-frame opening being structured to be converted into an opening of desired size as required. 9. A composite wall panel according to claim 8, wherein the frame openings comprise an opening for a window, a door or a sliding door or window.

10. A composite wall panel according to claim 1 , wherein the mesh comprises a grid profile reinforcing mesh sheet which is attached directly to the structural frame, wherein the mesh sheets are formed of steel wire and welded to the steel frame with a mesh fabric attached to the frame.

11. A composite wall panel according to claim 10 when dependent upon claim 6, wherein the mesh sheets are attached to timber studs with mesh fabric attached to the timber frame.

12. A composite wall panel according to claim 1 , wherein the mesh is a fibreglass or a carbon fibre mesh. 13. A composite wall panel according to claim 1 , wherein the mesh is attached to the frame using a loop or hoop iron mesh tie and fasteners, wherein the hoop iron is diagonally or horizontally installed over the mesh to fasten the mesh to the frame. 14. A composite wall panel according to any one of claims 10 to 13 wherein the mesh is a square mesh manufactured from ribbed wires that are welded together with equal spacing in both directions to form square apertures, or a rectangular mesh forming rectangular apertures. 15. A composite wall panel according to claim 14, wherein the mesh aperture size is variable and dependent upon the use of the wall panel, wherein for a panel installed in a house in an area which is prone to cyclone activity or high winds then the reinforcing mesh used in the wall panel has a small aperture in order to prevent any projectiles from piercing through the wall and penetrating the building. 16. A composite wall panel according to claim 1 , wherein the bonding of the external cladding to the mesh and frame with the foam provides a composite wall panel without any mechanical fixings for fixing the exterior cladding to the frame.

17. A composite wall panel according to claim 16, wherein the foam is a high density polyurethane foam which is applied with a spray gun.

18. A composite wall panel according to claim 1 , wherein the mesh is attached to the frame and spaced apart a distance from the frame on the same side of the frame to which the external cladding is attached.

19. A composite wall panel according to claim 18, wherein the distance which the external cladding is spaced apart from the frame is variable and determined by the thickness formed by the bonding foam between the external cladding and the frame of the composite wall panel.

20. A new panel system comprising vertical wall panel elements, horizontal floor panel elements, horizontal ceiling panel elements and angular roofing panel elements that use structural benefits of the composite panel of any one of claims 1 to 19.

Description:
COMPOSITE WALL PANEL

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to a composite panel system incorporating mesh and structural foam and to al building solution for construction purposes. The invention also relates to buildings and construction systems employing vertical wall panel elements, horizontal floor panel elements, horizontal ceiling panel elements and angular roofing panel elements that use the structural benefits of a composite panel design of the present invention.

The invention particularly relates to, but is not necessarily limited to, a steel framed stud panel with attached steel reinforcing mesh adhered to cladding material or a reinforced board with spray foam materials to increase structural strength, bracing of panel, thermal- barrier and acoustic-barrier standards, and to buildings and construction systems employing such panels.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Panels fabricated with a structural steel frame have sheet materials generally mechanically fastened to the steel framework. This presents issues in providing a thermal break from exterior cladding material and allowing heat transmission through the cladding and into the steel framed structure. Mechanical fastening in conventional systems is also time consuming and costly.

In prior art as set out below, are existing systems relating to composite panels only. Many factory formed panels are used in the building industry to construct floors, walls and roofs for buildings, which are required to meet specific strength, bracing resistance, thermal-barrier and acoustic-barrier standards. Examples of commercially successful panels are disclosed in US 7,768,368-B1 , in the name of Edward Rubio.

While such panels have proven successful, they can always be improved. For example, with US 7,68 ,368-B1 , the need for joiner pieces to adhere mesh to stud cores and the use of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) insulating core base and concrete external material is difficult to manufacture efficiently without cracking of concrete material occurring. Panels are also generally very heavy to transport to site.

US Patent No. 2008/0115442 A1 ("Chi Wai Cheng") discloses a composite sandwich wall panel comprising two skins of sheeting material, mesh and polystyrene laminated together to form a composite structural panel. The inherent strength of the panel is attributed to the adhesion of the external cladding material to the inner core, which is strengthened by the mesh reinforcement.

This method of manufacture for structural insulated panels (SIP's) with board cladding generally employs machinery to press the components under pressure and heat.

US Patent No. 5,889,037 ("Gary L Josey") discloses a composite wall panel with core frame members and insulating elements with external board skins. Composite sandwich panels are commonly accepted in the industry as an engineered solution, with heavy reliance on adhesives for integrity.

US Patent No. 5,526,629 ("Joseph A Caverness") discloses a composite building panel using a steel frame member to embed into a concrete screed to form the structural panel. This method may be subject to cracking due to lack of reinforcement for the concrete material.

Reference to any prior art in this specification is not, and should not be taken as, an acknowledgment or any form of suggestion that this prior art forms part of the common general knowledge in any country.

Clearly it would be advantageous if a composite wall panel could be devised that helped to at least ameliorate some of the shortcomings described above. In particular, it would be beneficial to provide for a structural panel that is lightweight and high strength and provides a panel with strong bracing properties for high wind and impact applications. It would also be beneficial if the panel provided an easy method of manufacture offsite without expensive machinery.

STATEMENT OF THE INVENTION

One embodiment of the present invention provides a building panel which can be manufactured in a range of heights, widths and/or thicknesses from a minimum number of different components. A preferred embodiment may also provide such a panel which has minimal thermal bridging, for improved thermal- barrier characteristics, whilst still obtaining high bracing and structural properties.

The preferred embodiment may provide a building panel which minimises corrosion by separating dissimilar materials.

One advantage of the preferred embodiment of the building panels is to provide a reduction of structural studs required for fabrication.

In accordance with a first aspect, the present invention provides a composite wall panel comprising: a fabricated structural frame; a mesh for bracing the structural frame; and a foam for bonding a cladding material to the mesh and frame to create a strong lightweight panel.

Preferably, the composite panel system provides a building structural panel for use in a building construction as a floor panel, or a wall panel or a roof panel. The building panel may comprise a perimeter frame to be bonded and/or fastened to the inner studs at various spacings.

Preferably, the composite panel system may comprise a panel which

Offers a thermal and an acoustic break between the framing structure and a cladding material.

Preferably, the structural frame may comprise a steel frame manufactured from thin sheets of galvanized steel formed into steel vertical studs adapted for use with horizontal steel track that are fixed to the floor and ceiling with the vertical studs are arranged spaced apart in the tracks, and fastened at the top and bottom. Preferably, the steel frame is cold formed rolled section or steel hollow section.

Alternatively, the frame may comprise a conventional timber frame of timber components.

Alternatively, the frame may comprise a composite stud frame comprising a composite of wood and plastic materials.

Preferably, the frame may comprise one or more multi-frame openings, each multi-frame opening being structured to be converted into an opening of desired size as required. Preferably, the frame openings may comprise an opening for a window, a door or a sliding door or window. Preferably, the mesh may comprise a grid profile reinforcing mesh sheet which is attached directly to the structural frame. Preferably, the mesh sheets are formed of steel wire and welded to the steel frame with mesh fabric attached to the frame. Alternatively the mesh sheets may be attached to timber studs with mesh fabric attached to the timber frame.

Preferably the mesh may be a fibreglass or a carbon fibre mesh or any other mesh profile suitable for bracing and reinforcing the composite wall panel.

Alternatively the mesh may be attached to the frame using loop or hoop iron mesh tie and fasteners. Preferably the hoop iron can be diagonally or horizontally installed over the mesh to fasten the mesh to the frame.

Preferable the reinforcing mesh is a spatial mesh manufactured from high tensile steel wire. Preferably the reinforcing mesh may be a square mesh manufactured from ribbed wires that are welded together with equal spacing in both directions to form square apertures or may be a rectangular mesh forming rectangular apertures. Preferably the reinforcing mesh does not cover the multi- frame openings for a window, a door or a sliding door or window.

Preferably the mesh aperture size may be varied dependent upon the use of the wall panel. For example, if the panel is to be installed in a house in an area which is prone to cyclone activity then the reinforcing mesh used in the wall panel has a small aperture in order to prevent any projectiles from piercing through the wall and penetrating the building. Preferably the mesh can be in small or large grid sizes typically from 20mm x 20mm x 1 mm wire to 200mm x 100mm x 9mm wire.

Preferably the mesh is attached to the frame on the same side of the frame to which the external cladding is to be attached.

Preferably, the external cladding material is spaced apart from the frame by the mesh, with the mesh facing the cladding material. Preferably, the external cladding may be bonded to the mesh and frame with a foam. Therefore no mechanical fixings are required for fixing the exterior cladding to the frame, as the foam bonds to the mesh and frame gluing to the exterior cladding.

Preferably the exterior cladding may comprise a fibre cement siding or fibre cement cladding used to cover the exterior of the composite panel system. Preferably and typically for the roof panels the external cladding material may comprise a steel or metal cladding. For example, a coated metal which comes in different styles and colours and may have a corrugated or flat profile.

Preferably, the roof panel, floor panel or the wall panel may comprise a composite wall panel.

Preferably, the foam may be a high density polyurethane foam which may be applied with a spray gun.

Preferably an interiorcladding may be glued and/or mechanically fixed to the inside of the frame.

Preferably, the thickness formed by the bonding foam between the external cladding and the frame of the composite panel provides a thermal break or thermal barrier which is formed as an element of low thermal conductivity placed in the composite wall panel to reduce or prevent the flow of thermal energy between conductive materials. As well the bonding foam also provides improved structural acoustic properties.

Preferably the thermal break is achieved by having a wall in which the thickness of the bonding foam can be varied to achieve different thermal breaks between the conductive materials. That is, the cladding can be spaced off the mesh at 10mm or 50mm to give the wall additional thermal and acoustic properties.

In a still further aspect, the present invention provides a new panel system comprising of vertical wall panel elements, horizontal floor panel elements, horizontal ceiling panel elements and angular roofing panel elements that may use structural benefits of the composite panel design.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

An embodiment of the invention is now described by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

Fig. 1 shows a front, side and top views of a composite panel in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

Fig. 2 and 3 show an expanded view of a panel, without foam added, Fig. 2 is shown with an exterior flat panel and Fig, 3 with a corrugated exterior panel; Fig. 4 shows the structural wall panel framing attached to mesh reinforcing elements in accordance with the composite panel of Fig. 1 ;

Fig. 5 illustrates framing and mesh panel being suspended over extemal cladding material elements and foam being applied through mesh onto the external cladding to create bonding and composite panel structure in accordance with Fig. 1

Fig. 6 show exploded sectional views along line B-B through the composite panel of Fig. 2; and

Fig. 7 show exploded sectional views along line D-D through the composite panel of Fig. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The structural capacity and bracing strength of lightweight composite panel systems may vary given construction methods. The construction of a composite panel system 10, 20 inaccordance with the present invention consists of a structural steel frame 12, an internal cladding 15 and an external cladding 11. The external cladding 1 1 being bonded by foam 14 to a steel reinforcing mesh 13 and to the frame 12 as shown in Figs 1 to 3.

Figure 1 also illustrates an aperture 16 in the external cladding 11 , the frame 12, the mesh 13 and the internal cladding 15. The aperture 16 or the multi-frame openings allow the composite panel 10, 20 to include openings which are structured to be converted into an opening of desired size as required. The openings 16 are typically an opening in the panel for a window, a door or a sliding door or window.

Figs 1 and 2 show the composite panel 10 in which the external cladding is in the form of a flat sheet of fiber cement siding or fibre cement cladding 11 which is used to cover the exterior of a composite panel 10 in both commercial and domestic applications. The fiber cement siding 11 is manufactured in a sheet form and is used not only as external cladding but may also be used as an internal cladding and in particular in bathrooms. Alternatively, the external cladding sheets 11 may be a magnesium oxide board, timber plywood, steel rolled profile roof sheeting, or any material suitable for the intended application.

Fig. 3 illustrates a composite panel 20 in which an external cladding 21 is in the form of a corrugated galvanised iron sheet 21 which is used to cover the exterior of a composite panel 20 in both commercial and domestic applications. Corrugated galvanised iron is a building material composed of sheets of hot -dip galvanised mild steel, cold-rolled to produce a linear corrugated pattern in them. The corrugations increase the bending strength of the sheet in the direction perpendicular to the corrugations, but not parallel to them. Figure 4 shows the structural steel frame 12 which may be constructed from timber, steel or any composite framed alternative. To simplify the process only a steel frame 12 will be used throughout the description however it is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to only a steel frame 12.

The frame 12 is constructed with a top wall plate 24, a bottom wall plate

23 and a number of vertical studs 17. The aperture 16 in this case for a window also includes two horizontal studs 17.

The mesh 13 is attached to the steel frame 12 by any suitable process which will secure the mesh 13 to the frame 12. For example, by welding or by using a loop or hoop iron mesh tie (not shown) and a suitable fastener such as a metal screw, a screw bolt or rivet. When the loop or hoop tie is used the iron is stretched across the diagonal or horizontally across the panel to further provide reinforcement to the composite panel 10, 20.

The mesh 13 shown in Figures 1 to 7 is a grid profile reinforcing mesh which is attached directly to the structural frame 12. The mesh sheets 13 are formed of steel wire and welded to the steel frame 12. When used with timber studs a mesh fabric is attached to the frame to allow the mesh 13 to be welded.

The mesh 13 can alternatively be manufactured from other materials such as fibreglass or carbon fibre mesh or any other mesh profile suitable for bracing and reinforcing the composite panel system 10, 20.

As shown in Figure 4 the mesh 13 is a square mesh manufactured from high tensile steel wire. The square mesh 13 is manufactured from ribbed wires that are welded together with equal spacing in both directions to form square apertures. Alternatively the mesh 13 may be a rectangular mesh forming rectangular apertures or any other shape provided the mesh 13 provides the reinforcement required for the composite panel 10, 20.

It should be noted that the mesh aperture size may be varied and is dependent upon the use of the wall panel. For example, if the panel is to be installed in a house in an area which is prone to cyclone activity then the reinforcing mesh used in the wall panel would have a relatively small aperture in order to prevent any projectiles from piercing through the wall and penetrating the building. The mesh 13 can be in small or large grid sizes typically from 20mm x 20mm x 1 mm wire to 200mm x 100mm x 9mm wire.

The mesh 13 is attached to the frame 12 on the same side of the frame 12 to which the external cladding 11 is to be attached.

As shown in Figure 5 a number of cladding material sheets 11 are placed in a jig (not shown) to the desired size of the composite panel 10, 20. The mesh 13 and frame 12 as shown in Figure 4 is then suspended over sheets 11 with the desired spacing. A lightweight structural spray foam product 14 is then applied via a spray gun under pressure through the mesh 13 directly to the rear side of the external cladding material sheets 11. The foam 14 bonds to form a substrate of the external cladding sheets 1 , the mesh 13 and the frame 12. A thermal break and improved structural acoustic properties are created due to the spacing separating the external cladding sheets 11 , the mesh 13 and the frame 12 with foam product 14. Since the foam 14 is used to fix the external cladding 11 to the frame 12 and mesh 13 no mechanical fixings are required for fixing the exterior cladding 11 to the frame 12, as the foam 14 bonds to the mesh 13 and frame 12 therefore gluing or fixing the exterior cladding 11 .

The distance which the external cladding 11 is spaced apart from the mesh 13 and frame 12 is therefore variable to provide the composite panel 10, 20 with a variable thermal break or thermal barrier which is formed as an element of low thermal conductivity placed in the composite wall panel 10, 20 to reduce or prevent the flow of thermal energy between conductive materials. The external cladding 1 1 can be spaced off the mesh 13 with a variable gap or space of between 10mm to 100mm to give the wall additional thermal and acoustic properties.

Figures 6 and 7 show an exploded sectional view of the two composite wall panels 10, 20. Figure 6 shows the composite wall panel 10 with the relatively flat external cladding material 11 and Figure 7 shows the composite wall panel 20 with the corrugated external cladding 21 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. ADVANTAGES

It will be apparent that the composite panel system of the present invention has many advantages over prior art systems. The panels are structural, lightweight, high impact and allow for high bracing characteristics due to mesh, foam and cladding material connections.

The manufacture of panels is simplified with no mechanical fastenings required. The thermal break of cladding and frame materials is achieved due to mesh fabric sheet providing larger surface area of bonding integration between the cladding and foam, not otherwise achieved with stud frame connections only. Accordingly high integrity building ratings can be achieved as are required for example in cyclone prone areas.

Some advantages of the present invention may include;

Provide a structural panel which is lightweight and high strength

Provide a panel with strong bracing properties for high wind and impact applications.

Provide an easy method of manufacture offsite without expensive machinery

To reduce the thickness of sheeting material to wall structure whilst still achieving high impact resistance

To negate the requirement for mechanical fastening of linings to framed wall members.

Or at least to provide an alternative to existing composite wall panels. VARIATIONS

It will be realized that the foregoing has been given by way of illustrative example only and that all other modifications and variations as would be apparent to persons skilled in the art are deemed to fall within the broad scope and ambit of the invention as herein set forth. Throughout the description and claims of this specification the words "comprise" and variations of that word such as "comprises" and "comprising" are not intended to exclude other additives components integers or steps.