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Title:
DE-MOUNTABLE TENSIONED MEMBRANE STRUCTURE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2002/014632
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A de-mountable tensioned membrane structure (100) is erectable to cover a zone (1000). Outer frames (30) with support arms (31) supported on brackets (11) on concrete footing members (10), have the posts (51) of respective inner frames (50) suspended therefrom. The membrane (70), interposed between the outer and inner frames (30, 50), has low points (73) connected to the footing members (10) and high points (72) connected to the ends of support arms (55) of the inner frames (50). The inner ends of the support arms (55) are pulled down the posts (31) to cause the support arms (55) to swing outwardly to cause the membrane (70) to be tensioned.

Inventors:
LESTER MICHAEL JOHN (AU)
Application Number:
PCT/AU2001/001006
Publication Date:
February 21, 2002
Filing Date:
August 14, 2001
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SHADE STRUCTURES BIRDAIR PTY L (AU)
LESTER MICHAEL JOHN (AU)
International Classes:
E04B7/14; E04H15/18; (IPC1-7): E04H15/42; E04B1/32; E04B1/344; E04H15/18
Domestic Patent References:
WO1999041473A11999-08-19
WO1994024392A11994-10-27
Foreign References:
US4813442A1989-03-21
Other References:
DATABASE WPI Derwent World Patents Index; Class Q46, AN 1998-313979
DATABASE WPI Derwent World Patents Index; Class Q46, AN 1992-433727/52
DATABASE WPI Derwent World Patents Index; Class Q43, AN 2001-318431/34
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Fisher, Adams Kelly (AMP Place 10 Eagle Street Brisbane, Queensland 4000, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS
1. A demountable tensioned membrane structure including : a plurality of footing members locatable in a selected array or configuration; at least one outer frame having a plurality of outer frame arms supportable on the footing members and each hingedly connected to a central member; at least one inner frame having a substantially vertical post or shaft suspendable from a respective outer frame; an arm attachment member slidably mounted on, or extending from within, the piston shaft; a plurality of support arms hingedly mounted at their inner ends to the arm attachment means; and actuating means to move and/or locate the arm attachment means relative to the post or shaft; and a flexible tensionable membrane attachable to the post or shaft and securable at its periphery to the support arms.
2. A structure as claimed in Claim 1, wherein: the tensionable membrane is secured at high points to the support arms at or adjacent the outer ends of the support arms, and at low points to the footing members.
3. A structure as claimed in Claim 1 or Claim 2, wherein: the structure has two or more pairs of outer frames and inner frames to support respective portions or zones of the tensioned membrane.
4. A structure as claimed in any one of Claims 1 to 3 wherein: each footing member has a body of concrete, on which is mounted a bracket to support one of the outer frame arms, the bracket having a roller to support a respective outer frame arm, and removable pin means to releasably secure the outer frame arm to the bracket.
5. A structure as claimed in Claim 4 wherein: each bracket has a shaft telescopically received in a bore in a respective footing member to enable the height of the bracket to be varied relative to the footing member.
6. A structure as claimed in any one of Claims 1 to 5 wherein: the central member of the outer frame is of substantially cruciform or star shape, with attachment plates to hingedly receive inner ends of the outer frame arms.
7. A structure as claimed in Claim 6 wherein: a universal joint is provided on an underside of the central member to releasably support the post or shaft of the inner frame.
8. A structure as claimed in any one of Claims 1 to 7 wherein: the inner frame has three or four support arms extending substantially radially from the arm attachment means, comprising a collar slidably mounted on the post or shaft, the support arms being hingedly or pivotally connected to the collar of the arm attachment means.
9. A structure as claimed in any one of Claims 1 to 8 wherein: the inner frame further includes a cover attachment means, comprising a bale ring, at or adjacent the upper end of the post or shaft, to which the centre of the tensionable member is attachable.
10. A structure as claimed in Claim 8 wherein: the tensionable membrane has a plurality of tensionable strips or cables attachable to the cover attachment means and to the support arms to radially and tangentially tension the membrane as the collar is moved away from the cover attachment means.
11. A structure as claimed in Claim 2 wherein: each support arm of the or each inner frame is provided intermediate a respective pair of outer frame arms of the or each outer frame and respective pair of footing members; and the tensionable membrane is interposed between the support arms of the or each inner frame and the outer frame arm of the or each outer frame.
12. A method of erecting a demountable tensioned membrane structure including the steps of: a) locating a plurality of footing members in a selected array or configuration; b) supporting outer frame arms of at least one outer frame on the footing members, the outer frame arms being hingedly connected to a central member; c) attaching a flexible tensionable membrane to a cover attachment means on a substantially vertical post or shaft of at least one inner frame, the or each inner frame having a plurality of support arms with inner ends hingedly mounted to arm attachment means slidably mounted on, or extending from within, the post or shaft, and with actuating means to move and/or locate the arm attachment means relative to the post or shaft; d) attaching the periphery of the tensionable membrane to each support arm at or adjacent outer ends of the support arms; e) lowering the outer frame (s) and connecting the posts or shaft (s) of the inner frame (s) to the central member (s); raising the outer frame (s) to an erected position and securing the outer frame arms to the footing members; g) attaching intermediate portions of the periphery of the tensionablé membrane to the footing members; and h) moving the arm attachment means along the post (s) or shafts, to move the inner ends of the support arms away from the cover attachment means, to cause the outer ends of the support arms of the inner frame (s) to swing outwardly to tension the tensionable membrane.
13. A demountable tensioned membrane structure erected by the method of Claim 12.
14. A demountable tensioned membrane structure demounted by the steps (h) to (a) of the method of Claim 12.
Description:
TITLE : DE-MOUNTABLE TENSIONED MEMBRANE STRUCTURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention THIS INVENTION relates to a de-mountabie tensioned membrane structure.

The invention is particularly suitable for, but not limited to, a de-mountable marquee having a tension membrane.

2. Prior Art There are many applications for temporary structures which can provide coverage and protection from the elements.

Examples include marquees which can be erected at sporting events, social events or as temporary protection from the elements for articles and equipment such as motor vehicles, boats, advertising displays and the like.

Typically, marquees are based on tent-like construction and employ supporting poles which encroach on the space to be covered, ie., it is not possible to provide an unobstructed covered area.

In addition, the fabric (eg., canvas) covering has little, if any, tension, applied thereto and is liable to flap or vibrate under wind loads.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION One difficulty is to provide temporary structures which are relatively easy to erect and dismantle, but which can withstand relatively high wind ladings. It is also preferable that such de-mountable structures be relatively compact for storage and transport.

AU-B-40401/85 (572753) (PETER MARK KAMOLS et al) discloses an umbrella where a pliable cover is secured substantially centrally to an upper part of a shaft and, at its periphery, to the outer eds of a number of support arms, each support arm being hingedly connected at its inner end to an arm attachment means which is slidably mounted on the shaft, below the cover. The cover is opened and tensioned radially and tangentially when the arm attachment means is moved away (ie.,

downwardly) from the cover attachment means. (This is in contrast to conventional umbrella mechanisms where the covers are opened and tensioned by moving the arm attachment means towards the cover attachment means.) It is proposed to apply the principle of that umbrella to a de- mountable tensioned membrane structure.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a de- mountable tensioned membrane structure which is relatively easy to erect and de-mount.

It is a preferred object of the present invention to provide such a structure where the structure can withstand relatively high wind loadings.

It is a further preferred object of the present invention to provide such a structure where the cover is provided between inner and outer frames and the tension membrane is securable to footings at a plurality of locations around its periphery.

In a still further preferred object, the present invention resides in a method of erecting (and de-mounting) such a structure.

In one aspect, the present invention resides in a de- mountable tensioned membrane structure including: a plurality of footing members locatable in a selected array or configuration; at least one outer frame having a plurality of outer frame arms supportable on the footing members and each hingedly connected to a central member; at least one inner frame having a substantially vertical post or shaft suspendable from a respective outer frame; an arm attachment member slidably mounted on, or extending from within, the post or shaft; a plurality of support arms hingedly mounted at their inner ends to the arm attachment means; and actuating means to move and/or locate the arm attachment means relative to the post or shaft; and

a flexible tensionable membrane attachable to the post or shaft and securable at its periphery to the support arms.

Preferably, the tensionable membrane is secured at high points to the support arms at or adjacent the outer ends of the support arms, and at low points to the footing members.

The structure may have two or more pairs of outer frames and inner frames to support respective portions or zones of the tensioned membrane.

Preferably, each footing member has a body, eg., of concrete, on which is mounted a bracket to support one of the outer frame arms. Preferably, the bracket has a roller to support the outer frame arm, and removable pin means to releasably secure the outer frame arm to the bracket. Low points on the periphery of the tensioned membrane can be releasably anchored to the brackets.

Preferably, each bracket has a shaft telescopically received in a bore in a respective footing member to enable the height of the bracket to be varied relative to the footing member.

Preferably, the central member of the outer frame is of substantially cruciform or star shape, with attachment plates to hingedly receive inner ends of the outer frame arms.

Preferably, a universal joint is provided on the underside of the central member to releasably support the post or shaft of the inner frame.

Preferably, the inner frame has three or four support arms extending substantially radially from the arm attachment means (which may comprise a collar slidably mounted on the post or shaft), the support arms being hingedly or pivotally connected to the collar of the arm attachment means.

Preferably, the inner frame includes a cover attachment means, eg., a bale ring, at or adjacent the upper end of the post or shaft, to which the centre of the tensionable member is attachable.

Preferably, the tensionable membrane has a plurality of tensionable strips or cables attachable to the cover attachment means and to the support arms to radially and tangentially tension the membrane as the collar is moved away from the cover attachment means.

In a second aspect, the present invention resides in a method for erecting (or de-mounting) the structure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS To enable the invention to be fully understood, a preferred embodiment will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which : FIGS. 1 to 7 are schematic views illustrating the sequence of erecting the de-mountable tension membrane structure in accordance with the present invention; FIG. 8 is a side view of a footing member; FIG. 9 is a side view of detail on FIG. 8 ; FIG. 10 is a view taken on section A on FIG. 8; FIG. 11 is a side view of the interconnection between inner and outer frames; FIG. 12 is a view taken on section B on FIG. 11; FIG. 13 is a view taken on section C on FIG. 11 ; FIG. 14 is a side view of the inner frames; FIG. 15 is a view taken on section D on FIG. 14; FIG. 16 is a side view of upper portions of a pair of adjacent footing members; and FIG. 17 is a view taken on section E on FIG. 16.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to FIG. 1, a plurality of footing members 10 (to be hereinafter described in more detail) are located in position (by a forklift or crane 2000) around the zone 1000 to be covered by the structure 100, eg., in the nature of a marquee.

In the embodiment of the present invention, four (4) of the (concrete) footing members 10 are provided to support each outer frame 30, there being two outer frames 30 provided for the marquee. As shown, the footings 10a, 10b for adjacent outer frames 30 are placed back-to- back.

Referring to FIG. 2, the outer frames 30 (to be hereinafter described in more detail) are assembled and are raised (eg., by a crane 2000 or winch 4000) to a level to allow the inner frames 50 and tensionable membrane 70 to be assembled.

The outer frame arms 31 rest on roller supports on brackets 11 on the footing members 10 and the outer frames 30 are raised by the crane 2000 or winch 4000.

The brackets 11 in the adjacent double footing members 10a, 10b are adjusted to different heights to prevent the adjacent outer frames 30 clashing during erection. When both outer frames 30 are erected, the higher brackets 11 (on footing members 10b) are lowered so that all of the brackets 11 are at the same level.

Referring to FIG. 3, the inner frames 50 (to be hereinafter described in more detail) are positioned and assembled and the tensionable membrane 70 is secured to bale rings 57 (to be hereinafter described) at or adjacent the upper end of the posts 51 (to be hereinafter described) of the inner frames 50 and"high points"72 of the peripheral portions of the tensionable membrane 70 are attached at, or adjacent, the outer ends of the support arms 55 (to be hereinafter described) of the inner frame.

Referring to FIG. 4, the outer frames 30 are lowered and are connected to the inner frames 50 and the outer frames 30 are then simultaneously raised (eg., by the crane 2000/winch 4000) to raise both the inner frames 50 and the tensionable membrane 70 as shown in FIG.

5. When the outer frames 30 are fully raised, the support arms 31 are pinned to the brackets 11. The"low points"73 of the peripheral portions of

the tensionable membrane 70 are attached to the footing members 10- see FIG.-6-and the collars 52 (to be hereinafter described) on the inner frames 50 are moved downwardly (ie., in the manner described in AU-B- 40404/85) to cause the support arms 55 to be swung outwardly to tension the tensionable membrane 70 as shown in FIG. 7. Cables 71 in the tensionable membrane can be adjusted to suit the final tensioning of the membrane.

Referring to FIG. 8, each footing member 10 has a bracket 11, shown in more detail in FIGS. 9 and 10, which has a yoke 12 at the upper end of a post 13 telescopically slidably mounted in a vertical bore 14 in the concrete body 15 of the footing member 10. The brackets 11 can be raised and lowered relative to the footing members 10 to prevent clashing of the outer frames 50 as hereinbefore described.

A rubber roller 16 is rotatably mounted in the lower portion of the yoke 12, and a removable pin 17 is operable to releasably secure an outer end of one of the outer frame arms 31 to the upper portion of the yoke 12 and thereby to the bracket 11.

Referring to FIGS. 8 to 12, the outer frame 30 has four radially extending outer frame arms 31 hingedly connected to a substantially cruciform shape central member 32, having attachment plates 33 hingedly connected to yokes 34 at the inner ends of the outer frame arms 31 via hinge pins 35. As hereinbefore described, the outer ends of the frame arms 31 are supported by the rollers 16 on the brackets 11 on the footing members 10 and are releasably secured to the brackets by the removable pins 17. The rollers 16 allow inward and outward movement of the outer frame arms 31 relative to the brackets 11 (and footing members 10) as the outer frame 30 is raised and lowered.

Referring to FIG. 11, a universal joint 36 enables releasable interconnection between the central member 32 of an outer frame 30 with the substantially vertical post 51 of the complementary inner frame 50.

Referring to FIGS. 11 to 15, each inner frame 50 has a

substantially vertical post 51 on which is slidably mounted a collar 52 having four pairs of radially extending attachment plates 53 to which are hingedly connected inner end fittings 54 at the inner ends of the four radially extending support arms 55. Brackets 56 at the outer ends of the support arm 55 enable attachment of tensioning cables or straps 71 provided under, or integral with, the tensionable membrane 70.

An actuating means (eg., an electric winch 3000, which may be mounted at the lower end of the post 51) is operable to move the collar 52 up and down the post 51 towards, or away from, a bale ring 57 mounted on the post 51 adjacent its upper end.

The tensionable membrane 70 has a hole through which the post 51 extends and the periphery of the hole is secured to the bale ring 57 and is overlaid by a fabric flashing 90. The tensioning cables 71 are secured to the bale ring 57 and the brackets 56 on the support arms 55.

The tension cables 71 may lie below, or be secured to, the tensionable membrane 70.

The"high points"72 of the periphery of the membrane 70 are attached to the support arms 55 at or adjacent their outer ends; while as shown in FIG. 6, the"low points"73 of the membrane 70 are attached to the footing member 10 via the tensionable cables (or straps) 71 (see FIGS. 16 and 17) connected to brackets 19.

To enable the outer frames 30 to be raised and lowered- see FIGS. 2,4 and 5, rope pullers 60 (see FIGS. 8 and 9) are releasably connected to the ends of the outer frame arms 31 via hooks 61. The rope pullers 60 are connected to a winch 4000 (or the crane 2000) and by pulling the ends of the outer frame arms 31 inwardly, the outer frames 30 are raised, the outer ends of the outer frame arms 31 riding over the rubber rollers 16 on the brackets 11. When the outer frames 30 are raised to the desired height, the outer frame arms 31 are secured to the brackets 11 by the removable pins 17.

After the outer frames 30 are fully raised and the"low

points"73 of the membrane 70 have been attached to the footing members 10 (see FIG. 6), the actuating means, eg., cables 3001 attached to the winch 3000 move the collars 52 downwardly on the vertical posts 51 to cause the support arms 55 to swing outwardly to tension the membrane 70 (in co-operation with the tension cables 71) in the manner described in AU-B-40401/85. The marquee 100 is now erected as illustrated in FIG. 7.

To de-mount the marquee 100, the erection sequence is reversed.

It will be noted that each outer frame 30 acts to support a complementary inner frame 50, and that complementary portions of the tension membrane 70 are"sandwiched"between a pair of the outer and inner frames 30/50. This has the advantage that the respective frames 30,50 will tend to oppose any excessive flexing of the membrane 70 under strong winds.

It will be noted by the skilled addressee that each of the support arms 55 extend intermediate an adjacent pair of the outer frame arms 31; and that the"high points"of the peripheral portions of the membrane 70, supported by the support arms 55, provide unobstructed access to the interior of the marquee 100.

It will be further apparent to the skilled addressee that the suspension of the inner frames 50 from the outer frames 30 enables the zone 1000 under the marquee to be free of columns or other internal obstructions.

In the embodiment illustrated, the marquee 100 has a pair of outer frames and a pair of inner frames to support the membrane 70. In alternative embodiments, a single outer frame 30 and inner frame 50 may be provided; or three or more pairs of outer and inner frames 30,50 may be provided to provide coverage for a greater zone 1000.

Various other changes and modifications may be made to the embodiments described and illustrated without departing from the present invention.