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Title:
INSULATING FORMWORK PANEL AND MANUFACTURING SYSTEM AND PROCESS THEREFOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2022/126230
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The problem of rendering an insulating formwork panel both fire-resistant and easily cutable along its length is solved by manufacturing the panel in class A polyurethane and by embedding a fiberglass reinforcing mesh therein. According to illustrated embodiments, the insulating formwork panel further comprises at least one longitudinal rail that is secured to the panel so as to extend at least partially along a top edge thereof, wherein the bottom edge of the panel is configured to cooperate with the top edge of another similar concrete wall formwork panel for mounting thereto.

Inventors:
MEILLEUR SERGE (CA)
GRENON ANDRÉ (CA)
Application Number:
PCT/CA2021/000104
Publication Date:
June 23, 2022
Filing Date:
December 14, 2021
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
POLYCRETE INT INC (CA)
International Classes:
B29C44/18; B28B7/22; B28B23/22; B29C45/14; E04G11/06; E04G11/08; E04G17/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2001032380A12001-05-10
Foreign References:
US20080124576A12008-05-29
US4816091A1989-03-28
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
AGENCE DE BREVETS FOURNIER et al. (CA)
Download PDF:
Claims:
27

WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. An insulating formwork panel comprising: a rectangular-shaped class A polyurethane panel having a length, a height and a thickness; the height of the panel defining top and bottom opposite edges; at least one fiberglass reinforcing mesh embedded within the class A polyurethane panel; and an attaching rail that is secured to the panel so as to extend at least partially along the top edge thereof; the attaching rail including connecting portion to receive attachments for connecting the insulating formwork panel to a second insulating formwork panel in a parallel relationship; wherein the bottom edge of the panel is configured to cooperate with the top edge of a third concrete wall formwork panel for mounting thereto.

2. The insulating formwork panel as recited in claim 1 , wherein the class A polyurethane is a made from a two-component, closed cell, rigid polyurethane foam system.

3. The insulating formwork panel as recited in claim 1, wherein the at least one fiberglass reinforcing mesh is coated so as to be alkali resistant.

4. The insulating formwork panel as recited in claim 1 , wherein the thickness of the class A polyurethane panel defines two opposite side faces thereof; the at least one fiberglass reinforcing mesh being positioned substantially parallel to both opposite side faces.

5. The insulating formwork panel as recited in claim 4, wherein one of the at least one fiberglass reinforcing mesh is positioned at about a third of the thickness closer to one of the two opposite side faces than to the other one of the two opposite side faces.

6. The insulating formwork panel as recited in claim 4, wherein the attaching rail is T-shaped.

7. The insulating formwork panel as recited in claim 6, wherein the T-shaped rail includes an attaching portion that extends generally parallel to the top edge of the panel, and a strip extending perpendicularly from the attaching portion so as to define an anchoring portion embedded within the panel and a guide portion extending out of the panel.

8. The insulating formwork panel as recited in claim 7, wherein the T-shaped rail is so positioned that the anchoring portion thereof is superimposed to said one of the at least one fiberglass reinforcing mesh.

9. The insulating formwork panel as recited in claim 7, wherein the attaching portion includes a plurality of longitudinally aligned spacer rodreceiving holes.

10. The insulating formwork panel as recited in claim 4, wherein the at least one fiberglass reinforcing mesh includes at least two fiberglass reinforcing meshes that are registered with a respective one of the two opposite faces.

11. The insulating formwork panel as recited in claim 1 , wherein the attaching rail is T-shaped.

12. The insulating formwork panel as recited in claim 11 , wherein the T-shaped rail includes an attaching portion that extends generally parallel to the top edge of the panel, and a strip extending perpendicularly from the attaching portion so as to define an anchoring portion embedded within the panel and a guide portion extending out of the panel.

13. The insulating formwork panel as recited in claim 12, wherein the bottom edge of the panel includes a slot that is registered with the guide portion along the thickness thereof and that defines a female connector portion; the guide portion defining a male connector portion that is configured to be complementary received within the female connector portion of a third insulating formwork panel allowing connecting the insulating formwork panel and the third insulating panel in a stable stacking arrangement. 14. The insulating formwork panel as recited in claim 12, wherein the attaching portion includes a plurality of longitudinally aligned spacer rodreceiving holes.

15. The insulating formwork panel as recited in claim 1 , wherein the attaching rail is made of PVC (polymerizing vinyl chloride).

16. The insulating formwork panel as recited in claim 1 , wherein the attaching rail is made of metal.

17. The insulating formwork panel as recited in claim 1 , wherein the at least one fiberglass reinforcing mesh extends substantially along both the full length and the full height thereof.

18. The insulating formwork panel as recited in claim 1 , wherein the thickness of the class A polyurethane panel defines two opposite side faces thereof; at least one of the two opposite side faces includes facing thereon.

19. An insulating formwork panel comprising: a rectangular-shaped class A polyurethane panel having a length, a height and a thickness; the height of the panel defining top and bottom opposite edges; at least one fiberglass reinforcing mesh embedded within the panel; and a T-shaped attaching rail made of PVC (polymerizing vinyl chloride) that is secured to the panel so as to extend at least partially along the top edge thereof; the T-shaped rail including an attaching portion that extends generally parallel to the top edge of the panel, and a strip extending perpendicularly from the attaching portion so as to define an anchoring portion embedded within the panel and a guide portion extending out of the panel; the T-shaped attaching rail being so positioned that the anchoring portion thereof is superimposed to one of the at least one fiberglass reinforcing mesh; the attaching portion including connecting portion to receive attachments for connecting the insulating formwork panel to a second insulating formwork panel in a parallel relationship; wherein the botom edge of the panel includes a slot that is registered with the guide portion along the thickness thereof and that defines a female connector portion; the guide portion defining a male connector portion that is configured to be complementary received within the female connector portion of a third insulating formwork panel allowing connecting the insulating formwork panel and the third insulating panel in a stable stacking arrangement.

20. A system for manufacturing an insulating formwork panel, the system comprising: at least one molding apparatus that is configured to be operatively connected to a polyurethane injection machine (PIM) and including a) a meshreceiving table having front and back longitudinal sides, two lateral sides and a botom, b) a cover closably mounted to the mesh-receiving table and that defines a mold cavity with the mesh-receiving table when closed thereon, and c) a plurality of heating elements on at least one of the mesh-receiving table and cover; at least one mesh distributor, each positioned adjacent a respective one of the at least one molding apparatus, for feeding a portion of mesh thereto; whereby, in operation, the insulating formwork panel is manufactured by i) moving the portion of mesh from the at least one mesh distributor to the respective one of the mesh-receiving table, ii) closing the cover, iii) injecting polyurethane into the mold cavity while the plurality of heating elements are energized, iv) waiting until the polyurethane stabilizes, v) opening the cover, and vi) removing the insulated formwork panel with the portion of mesh embedded therein.

21. The system as recited in claim 20, further comprising a PIM operatively connected to the at least one molding apparatus for controllably injecting polyurethane in the mold cavity.

22. The system as recited in claim 21 , wherein the at least one molding apparatus includes a plurality of molding apparatuses, each positioned adjacent the PIM. 31

23. The system as recited in claim 22, further comprising a control panel coupled to both the PIM and to the plurality of molding apparatuses for controlling the injection of polyurethane in the plurality of molding apparatuses in sequence.

24. The system as recited in claim 21, further comprising a control panel coupled to both the PIM and molding apparatus.

25. The system as recited in claim 20, wherein the mesh-receiving table further includes an elongated member secured to the bottom thereof along a portion of the first longitudinal side; the elongated member defining a ledge for receiving a rail to be imbedded in the insulating formwork panel and for distancing the rail from the bottom during molding; whereby, in operation, the rail received onto the ledge further defining a first longitudinal support for the portion of the mesh.

26. The system as recited in claim 25, wherein the mesh-receiving table further includes a mechanism secured to the elongated member for removably securing the rail to the elongated member during molding.

27. The system as recited in claim 25, wherein the mesh-receiving table includes a second longitudinal support for the portion of the mesh which extends along the second longitudinal side so as to be levelled with the first lateral support.

28. The system as recited in claim 25, wherein the at least one molding apparatus further including a sliding bar that is movably mounted to the mesh-receiving table and that defines a back wall of the cover when the cover is closed on the mesh-receiving table.

29. The system as recited in claim 28, wherein the sliding bar is mounted to the mesh-receiving table along and substantially parallel to the back longitudinal side thereof so as to be slidable transversally towards and away the front longitudinal side thereof between retracted and molding positions; the retracted position yielding a distance between the sliding bar and the first 32 longitudinal support that is greater than a width of the portion of mesh; while in the molding position, the distance between the sliding bar and the first longitudinal support corresponds to the width of the portion of mesh.

30. The system as recited in claim 28, wherein the sliding bar includes an elongated plate that defines a second longitudinal support for the portion of the mesh which extends along the second longitudinal side so as to be levelled with the first lateral support; the elongated plate further yielding a slot in the insulated formwork panel; the rail including a guide portion that is registered with the slot and that defines a male connector portion that is configured to be complementary received within the slot of another insulating formwork panel allowing connecting the insulating formwork panel and the other insulating panel in a stable stacking arrangement.

31. The system as recited in claim 20, wherein the cover includes a lateral side wall that further defines a mesh immobilizer that is movable in a locking position that prevents the portion of mesh received on the meshreceiving table from moving longitudinally.

32. The system as recited in claim 31 , wherein the cover and the lateral side wall are both independently mounted to the mesh-receiving table for independent pivotal movement relative thereto.

33. The system as recited in claim 32, wherein the lateral side wall is a double wall.

34. The system as recited in claim 31 , wherein the at least one molding apparatus further comprising a mesh stretching mechanism, secured to the mesh-receiving table on one of the lateral sides thereof that is opposite the mesh immobilizer, for stretching the portion of mesh when the mesh immobilizer is in its locking position.

35. The system as recited in claim 34, wherein the mesh stretching mechanism includes a mesh grabber that is secured to the mesh-receiving 33 table between the mesh-receiving table and the at least one mesh distributer for slidable movement towards and away the mesh-receiving table.

36. The system as recited in claim 35, wherein the mesh grabber includes top and bottom plates that are assembled for relative movement towards and away each other.

37. The system as recited in claim 20, wherein the cover is pivotably mounted to the mesh-receiving table.

38. The system as recited in claim 20, wherein the cover is defined by a generally rectangular frame that is closed on one side by a top plate and on the other side by a bottom plate.

39. The system as recited in claim 38, wherein at least one of the plurality of heating elements is secured to the cover so as to be in conductive contact with at least one of the top and bottom plates.

40. The system as recited in claim 20, wherein at least one of the plurality of heating elements is secured to the bottom of the mesh-receiving table thereunder.

41. The system as recited in claim 20, wherein the at least one molding apparatus includes a latching assembly mounted to both the meshreceiving table and the cover for selectively locking the cover onto the meshreceiving table when the cover is closed.

42. The system as recited in claim 41 , wherein the latching assembly includes a plurality of toggle latches that are linked together for their operation in unison.

43. The system as recited in claim 20, wherein the at least one mesh distributor includes a reel for receiving and unwinding a mesh roll.

44. The system as recited in claim 20, wherein the mesh is made of fiberglass. 34

45. A process for manufacturing an insulating formwork panel, the process comprising: providing at least one molding apparatus that is operatively connected to a polyurethane injection machine (PIM); each of the at least one molding apparatus including a) a mesh-receiving table, b) a cover closably mounted to the mesh-receiving table and that defines a mold cavity with the mesh-receiving table when closed thereon, and c) a plurality of heating elements on at least one of the mesh-receiving table and cover; positioning a fiberglass mesh unto the at least one mesh-receiving table when the cover of the at least one molding apparatus is in its first position; moving the cover in its second position; injecting polyurethane into the mold cavity while the at least one heating element is controllably energized so as to form the insulating formwork panel with the mesh embedded therein; waiting until the insulating formwork panel is stabilized; opening the cover; and removing the insulating formwork panel from the at least one molding apparatus.

46. The process as recited in claim 45, further comprising preheating the mold cavity.

47. The process as recited in claim 46, wherein the mold cavity is pre-heated between about 50°C and 60°C.

48. The process as recited in claim 45, further comprising applying a release agent within the mold cavity prior to positioning the fiberglass mesh unto the at least one mesh-receiving table.

49. The process as recited in claim 45, further comprising positioning a spacer-rod-receiving rail within the mold cavity prior to positioning the fiberglass mesh unto the at least one mesh-receiving table.

50. The process as recited in claim 49, wherein the spacer-rodreceiving rail is T-shaped. 35

51. The process as recited in claim 45, further comprising immobilizing and stretching the fiberglass mesh after positioning the fiberglass mesh unto the at least one mesh-receiving table and prior to said injecting polyurethane.

52. The process as recited in claim 45, wherein the polyurethane is of class A.

53. The process as recited in claim 45, wherein the fiberglass mesh is coated so as to be alkali resistant before being positioned unto the at least one mesh-receiving table.

54. A process for manufacturing insulating formwork panels, the process comprising: continuously feeding and guiding a T-shaped strip of metal and a sheet of a fiberglass mesh into a laminating machine having an entrance and an exit, while controllably pouring a polyurethane mix at the entrance of the laminating machine, resulting in a continuous feed of panel at the exit of the laminating machine; the continuous feed of panel including a strip of metal on a first longitudinal edge thereof; forming a longitudinal groove within the continuous feed of panel on a second longitudinal edge thereof that is opposite the first longitudinal edge; and periodically cutting transversally the continuous feed of panel to form the insulating formwork panels.

55. The process of claim 54, wherein the laminating machine is heated between about 50°C and 60°C.

56. The process of claim 54, further comprising: continuously forming a flat strip of metal into the T-shaped strip of metal upstream from the laminating machine.

57. The process of claim 55, further comprising: 36 punching holes into the flat strip of metal upstream of said continuously forming a flat strip of metal into the T-shaped strip of metal.

58. The process of claim 54, further comprising: heating at least one of the T-shaped strip of metal and the sheet of fiberglass mesh prior to said continuously feeding and guiding a T-shaped strip of metal and a sheet of a fiberglass mesh into a laminating machine.

59. The process of claim 54, further comprising applying a release agent into the laminating machine.

60. A system for manufacturing insulating formwork panels, the system comprising: a polyurethane injection machine; a metal strip uncoiler to uncoil a metal strip in a continuous manner; a roll-former located downstream from the metal strip uncoiler to receive the metal strip therefrom in a continuous manner and to shape the metal strip in a T-shaped strip; the T-shaped strip defining an attaching portion perpendicular to a strip portion; the strip portion defining a guide portion on a first lateral side of the attaching portion and an anchoring portion on a second lateral side of the attaching portion; a fiberglass mesh dispenser to dispense a fiberglass mesh in a continuous manner; a heated laminating machine having an entrance and an exit and being coupled to the polyurethane injection machine so as to receive polyurethane therefrom at the entrance; the entrance of the laminating machine being located downstream from both the fiberglass mesh dispenser and the rollformer so as to continuously receive the fiberglass mesh and the T-shaped strip therefrom to form and yield at the exit a continuous feed of polyurethane panel with both the fiberglass mesh and the T-shaped strip embedded therein in such a way that the attaching portion of the T-shaped strip is on a first lateral edge of the continuous feed of polyurethane panel with the guide portion extending outwardly from the polyurethane panel; 37 a groove maker located downstream from the heated laminating machine and positioned to make a longitudinal groove on a second lateral edge of the continuous feed of polyurethane panel; the longitudinal groove being registered with the guide portion; and a panel cutter located downstream from the groove maker to periodically cut transversally the continuous feed of polyurethane panel to form the insulating formwork panels.

61. The system as recited in claim 60, further comprising: a rotary punch located downstream from the metal strip uncoiler and upstream from the roll-former to receive the metal strip in a continuous manner and to cut holes therein; the holes are located in the metal strip to defines spacer rod-receiving holes in the attaching portion of the T-shaped strip.

62. The system as recited in claim 60, further comprising a heated table downstream from the roll-former and from the fiberglass mesh dispenser and upstream from the heated laminated machine to receive, pre-heat and orient the T-shaped strip and the fiberglass mesh.

63. The system as recited in claim 60, further comprising at least one facing dispenser upstream from the entrance of the heated laminating machine to dispense at least one sheet of facing to the heated laminating machine in a continuous manner.

64. An insulating formwork panel made of class A polyurethane having at least one fiberglass reinforcing mesh embedded therein so that the at least one fiberglass reinforcing mesh extends along both the length and height of the panel.

Description:
TITLE

Insulating Formwork Panel and Manufacturing System and Process Therefor

BACKGROUND

[0001] The present invention relates to concrete wall formworks.

More specifically, the present invention is concerned with concrete wall formwork panels that can be assembled to form a mold into which concrete is poured. Once assembled and filled with concrete, the modules are left in place thereby providing a concrete wall with insulating panels on both of its sides.

[0002] A formwork for casting a concrete wall is traditionally assembled on the premises using two wood or metal panels, maintained in spaced parallel relationship by tie-wires and other appropriate connection means at their ends.

[0003] A drawback of known concrete wall formwork panels is that, while they sometimes include isolation, none are known to be both insulating and fire-resistant.

[0004] Another drawback of known concrete wall formwork panels is that they are not designed to be cut on site to allow adjusting their length during installation. For example, United States Patent No. 8,276,340 B2, issued to Polycrete International Inc. on October 2, 2012, and titled “Concrete Wall Formwork Module”, describes a concrete wall formwork module including a metal grid having horizontal rods that renders the module difficult to cut along its length.

[0005] Finally, concrete wall formwork modules, such as the previously described module, are known which include pre-assembled pair of panels. In addition to not being both insulating and fire-resistant, they cannot be installed on site through reinforcing steel rods.

[0006] A concrete wall insulating formwork panel that is free of the above-described drawbacks is therefore desirable.

SUMMARY

[0007] The problem of rendering an insulating formwork panel both fire-resistant and easily cutable along its length is solved by manufacturing the panel in class A polyurethane and by embedding a fiberglass reinforcing mesh therein so that the mesh extends along both the length and height of the panel.

[0008] According to an illustrative embodiment, there is provided an insulating formwork panel comprising:

[0009] a rectangular-shaped class A polyurethane panel having a length, a height and a thickness; the height of the panel defining top and bottom opposite edges;

[0010] at least one fiberglass reinforcing mesh embedded within the class A polyurethane panel; and

[0011] an attaching rail that is secured to the panel so as to extend at least partially along the top edge thereof; the attaching rail including connecting portion to receive attachments for connecting the insulating formwork panel to a second insulating formwork panel in a parallel relationship;

[0012] wherein the bottom edge of the panel is configured to cooperate with the top edge of a third concrete wall formwork panel for mounting thereto. [0013] According to a more specific illustrative embodiment, there is provided an insulating formwork panel comprising:

[0014] a rectangular-shaped class A polyurethane panel having a length, a height and a thickness; the height of the panel defining top and bottom opposite edges;

[0015] at least one fiberglass reinforcing mesh embedded within the panel; and

[0016] a T-shaped attaching rail made of PVC (polymerizing vinyl chloride) that is secured to the panel so as to extend at least partially along the top edge thereof; the T-shaped rail including an attaching portion that extends generally parallel to the top edge of the panel, and a strip extending perpendicularly from the attaching portion so as to define an anchoring portion embedded within the panel and a guide portion extending out of the panel; the T-shaped attaching rail being so positioned that the anchoring portion thereof is superimposed to one of the at least one fiberglass reinforcing mesh; the attaching portion including connecting portion to receive attachments for connecting the insulating formwork panel to a second insulating formwork panel in a parallel relationship;

[0017] wherein the bottom edge of the panel includes a slot that is registered with the guide portion along the thickness thereof and that defines a female connector portion; the guide portion defining a male connector portion that is configured to be complementary received within the female connector portion of a third insulating formwork panel allowing connecting the insulating formwork panel and the third insulating panel in a stable stacking arrangement.

[0018] According to another illustrative embodiment there is provided a system for manufacturing an insulating formwork panel, the system comprising: [0019] at least one molding apparatus that is configured to be operatively connected to a polyurethane injection machine (PIM) and including a) a mesh-receiving table having front and back longitudinal sides, two lateral sides and a bottom, b) a cover closably mounted to the mesh-receiving table and that defines a mold cavity with the mesh-receiving table when closed thereon, and c) a plurality of heating elements on at least one of the meshreceiving table and cover;

[0020] at least one mesh distributor, each positioned adjacent a respective one of the at least one molding apparatus, for feeding a portion of mesh thereto;

[0021] whereby, in operation, the insulating formwork panel is manufactured by i) moving the portion of mesh from the at least one mesh distributor to the respective one of the mesh-receiving table, ii) closing the cover, iii) injecting polyurethane into the mold cavity while the plurality of heating elements are energized, iv) waiting until the polyurethane stabilizes, v) opening the cover, and vi) removing the insulated formwork panel with the portion of mesh embedded therein.

[0022] According to still another illustrative embodiment, there is provided a process for manufacturing an insulating formwork panel, the process comprising:

[0023] providing at least one molding apparatus that is operatively connected to a polyurethane injection machine (PIM); each of the at least one molding apparatus including a) a mesh-receiving table, b) a cover closably mounted to the mesh-receiving table and that defines a mold cavity with the mesh-receiving table when closed thereon, and c) a plurality of heating elements on at least one of the mesh-receiving table and cover; [0024] positioning a fiberglass mesh unto the at least one meshreceiving table when the cover of the at least one molding apparatus is in its first position;

[0025] moving the cover in its second position;

[0026] injecting polyurethane into the mold cavity while the at least one heating element is controllably energized so as to form the insulating formwork panel with the mesh embedded therein;

[0027] waiting until the insulating formwork panel is stabilized;

[0028] opening the cover; and

[0029] removing the insulating formwork panel from the at least one molding apparatus.

[0030] According to yet another illustrative embodiment, there is provided a process for manufacturing insulating formwork panels, the process comprising:

[0031] continuously feeding and guiding a T-shaped strip of metal and a sheet of a fiberglass mesh into a laminating machine having an entrance and an exit, while controllably pouring a polyurethane mix at the entrance of the laminating machine, resulting in a continuous feed of panel at the exit of the laminating machine; the continuous fee of panel including a strip of metal on a first longitudinal edge thereof;

[0032] forming a longitudinal groove within the continuous feed of panel on a second longitudinal edge thereof that is opposite the first longitudinal edge; and [0033] periodically cutting transversally the continuous feed of panel to form the insulating formwork panels.

[0034] According to another illustrative embodiment, there is provided a system for manufacturing insulating formwork panels, the system comprising:

[0035] a polyurethane injection machine;

[0036] a metal strip uncoiler to uncoil a metal strip in a continuous manner;

[0037] a roll-former located downstream from the metal strip uncoiler to receive the metal strip therefrom in a continuous manner and to shape the metal strip in a T-shaped strip; the T-shaped strip defining an attaching portion perpendicular to a strip portion; the strip portion defining a guide portion on a first lateral side of the attaching portion and an anchoring portion on a second lateral side of the attaching portion;

[0038] a fiberglass mesh dispenser to dispense a fiberglass mesh in a continuous manner;

[0039] a heated laminating machine having an entrance and an exit and being coupled to the polyurethane injection machine so as to receive polyurethane therefrom at the entrance; the entrance of the laminating machine being located downstream from both the fiberglass mesh dispenser and the rollformer so as to continuously receive the fiberglass mesh and the T-shaped strip therefrom to form and yield at the exit a continuous feed of polyurethane panel with both the fiberglass mesh and the T-shaped strip embedded therein in such a way that the attaching portion of the T-shaped strip is on a first lateral edge of the continuous feed of polyurethane panel with the guide portion extending outwardly from the polyurethane panel; [0040] a groove maker located downstream from the heated laminating machine and positioned to make a longitudinal groove on a second lateral edge of the continuous feed of polyurethane panel; the longitudinal groove being registered with the guide portion; and

[0041] a panel cutter located downstream from the groove maker to periodically cut transversally the continuous feed of polyurethane panel to form the insulating formwork panels.

[0042] Other objects, advantages and features of the insulating formwork panel and system and process for manufacturing thereof will become more apparent upon reading of the following non-restrictive description of illustrative embodiments thereof, given by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0043] In the appended drawings:

[0044] Figure 1 is a perspective view illustrating a process for making a concrete wall using insulating formwork using insulating formwork panels according to a first illustrative embodiment;

[0045] Figure 2 is a perspective view of an insulating formwork panel from Figure 1 ; the polyurethane panel being shown translucid to better show the mesh embedded therein;

[0046] Figure 3 is a cross-section taken along lines 3-3 in Figure 2;

[0047] Figure 4 is a perspective view of an insulating formwork panel according to a second illustrative embodiment; [0048] Figure 5 is a cross-section taken along lines 5-5 in Figure 4;

[0049] Figure 6 is a perspective view illustrating a molding apparatus according to a first illustrative embodiment, wherein the cover of the apparatus is shown closed;

[0050] Figure 7 is a perspective view of the molding apparatus from

Figure 6, wherein the cover of the apparatus is shown opened;

[0051] Figure 8 is a front elevation of the molding apparatus from

Figure 6;

[0052] Figures 9A-9E are perspective views illustrative the operation of the molding apparatus from Figure 6;

[0053] Figure 10 is a top plan view of a plant layout according to an illustrative embodiment, including a plurality of molding apparatus from Figure 6;

[0054] Figure 11 is a partial perspective closeup view of the molding machine from Figure 6, and more specifically of the distal end thereof;

[0055] Figure 12 is a flowchart illustrating a process for manufacturing an insulating formwork panel according to a first illustrative embodiment;

[0056] Figures 13 and 14 are respectively top plan and side elevational views of a machine for manufacturing insulating formwork panel according to an illustrative embodiment; and [0057] Figure 15 is a flowchart illustrating a process for manufacturing an insulating formwork panel according to a second illustrative embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0058] In the following description, similar features in the drawings have been given similar reference numerals, and in order not to weigh down the figures, some elements are not referred to in some figures if they were already identified in a precedent figure.

[0059] The use of the word “a” or “an” when used in conjunction with the term “comprising” in the claims and/or the specification may mean “one”, but it is also consistent with the meaning of “one or more”, “at least one", and “one or more than one”. Similarly, the word “another” may mean at least a second or more.

[0060] As used in this specification and claim(s), the words

“comprising” (and any form of comprising, such as “comprise” and “comprises”), “having” (and any form of having, such as “have” and “has”), “including” (and any form of including, such as “include” and “includes”) or “containing” (and any form of containing, such as “contain” and “contains"), are inclusive or open- ended and do not exclude additional, unrecited elements.

[0061] An insulating formwork panel 10 according to a first illustrative embodiment will now be described with reference to Figures 1 to 3.

[0062] As can be seen in Figure 1 and as will be described hereinbelow in more detail, a plurality of insulating formwork panels 10 can be assembled into a formwork 12 that form a mold into which concrete 14 is poured. [0063] As will also be explained hereinbelow in more detail, the panels 10 are assembled into a formwork on site, which allows pre-installing concrete reinforcing rods 15, whereby two panels 10 are positioned on the opposite side thereof before being attached using spacer rods 16.

[0064] Also, the panels 10 are configured to be cooperatively mounted on top of each other.

[0065] Each panel 10 comprises a rectangular-shaped class A polyurethane panel 18, having a length “I”, a height “h” and a thickness “t”, the height h of the panel defining top and bottom opposite edges 20 and 22 and the thickness “t” defining two parallel opposite side faces 23 and 23’.

[0066] The polyurethane used for the panel 18 is of class A, which is fire-resistant. For example, a two-component, closed cell, rigid polyurethane foam system such as Demilec ECO-PUR© 382-00 can be used. Such a material has a thermal resistance R of 6.8 per inch (about 2.54 cm). In addition, the density of the polyurethane panel 18 is such that it can be easily cut on site to adapt its length “I" on site using tools commonly available to construction workers, such a radial saw.

[0067] The thickness “t” and density of the polyurethane panel 18 is adapted to the application, and more specifically to the height and thickness of the concrete wall to form. According to the illustrated embodiment, the panel 18 has a thickness of 2 ” (about 5,72 cm), and a density of 2,5 Ib/cu.ft which is suitable to withstand a lateral thrust exerted on the panel 10 of at least 1200 Ib/sq.ft.

[0068] According to another embodiment, the polyurethane panel 18 has a different thickness and/or density than described hereinabove.

[0069] The panel 10 further comprises a fiberglass reinforcing mesh 24 that is embedded in the polyurethane panel 18. The mesh 24 is generally rectangular and extends generally along the full length and height of the panel 18.

[0070] An example of such a mesh 24 is the Adfors 3D mesh ‘52’ from the Saint-Gobain corporation, which has a 5,5 mm thickness, a Leno weave having warp and weft of 5.0 and 7.9 per cm respectively, and having a minimum of 300gr/sq.m. Such a mesh is also coated so as to be alkali resistant.

[0071] The mesh 24 is not limited to the above-described embodiment. For example, the mesh size and thickness may be different, but the mesh size such as to let the polyurethane pass therethrough during its expansion. Also, different types of coating may be applied thereto or the coating can be omitted.

[0072] According to the first illustrative embodiment, the mesh 24 is positioned generally parallel to both side faces 23-23’ and closer to the side face 23. More specifically, the fiberglass reinforcing mesh 24 is positioned at about a third of the thickness closer to one of the two opposite side faces 23 than to the other one of the two opposite side faces 23’.

[0073] As will become apparent herein below, the mesh 24 is not limited to such a position within the panel 18. Also, more than one mesh 24 can be mounted to the panel 18.

[0074] The panel 10 further includes a longitudinal T-shaped rail 26 that is secured to the polyurethane panel 18 so as to extend at least partially along the top edge 20 thereof. More specifically, the rail 26 includes an attaching portion 28 extending perpendicularly from a strip 27, in the middle thereof. The strip 27 defines, on opposite sides of the attaching portion, an anchoring portion 30 and a guide portion 32 respectively.

[0075] The rail 26 is mounted to the panel 18 so that the attaching portion 28 sits onto the top edge 20 of the panel 18 with its face 34 on the side of the guide portions 32 being levelled with the surface of the top edge 20. This results in the anchoring portion 30 being embedded in the panel 18 and the guide portion 32 extending perpendicularly from the top edge 20. The rail 26 is further laterally positioned within the panel 18 so that the anchoring portion 30 and the mesh 24 are superimposed.

[0076] The attaching portion 28 is provided with a series of longitudinally aligned holes 36 that allows receiving spacer rods 16 for connecting two panels 18 and maintaining them in a parallel relation during pouring of concrete 14.

[0077] According to another embodiment (not shown), other attachments than the illustrated spacer rods 16 mounted in holes 36 can be used for connecting and maintaining two facing panels 18 together.

[0078] As will be described herein below in more detail, the rail 26 is secured in the panel 18 during moulding thereof so as to be integral therewith. The anchoring portion 30 allows bringing stability and strength to the resulting assembly. The anchoring 30 is bounded to the panel 18 due to the great physical properties of polyurethane.

[0079] The anchoring portion 30 is not limited to the illustrated embodiment and can take other form.

[0080] The guide portion 32 defines a male connector portion that is configured to be inserted in a complementary slot 40 that is provided in the bottom edge 22 and that is aligned with the guide portion 32. The bottom edge 22 further includes a recess 42 that is configured to accommodate the spacer rods 16 when attaching two facing panels 10. The recess 42 further defines a small flange 43 that is provided to prevent concrete from seeping between panels 16 (see Figure 1). As illustrated in Figure 1 , the tongue and groove arrangements of the top and bottom edges 20 and 22 allows rapidly stacking panels 10 in a stable way to form the formwork 12. [0081] The rail 26 is made of PVC (polymerizing vinyl chloride), which is a self-extinguishing fire-resistant material. According to another embodiment, the rail 26 is made of another rigid polymeric material or of another rigid fire-retardant material.

[0082] Contrarily to formwork modules from the prior art, the length of a panel 10 can be modified easily on the construction site, by cutting the panel 10 using for example a radial saw or another cutting tool. This is allowed by the structure of the panel 10 which comprises constituents 18, 24 and 26 that can all be easily cut.

[0083] Moreover, all constituents 18, 24 and 26 of the panel 10 are made of fire-resistant materials.

[0084] As illustrated in Figure 1 , a formwork 12 can be assembled by longitudinally abutting panels 18 according to the required length and by stacking them up to the desired height.

[0085] Turning now to Figures 4 and 5, an insulating formwork panel 38 according to a second illustrative embodiment will now be described. Since the panel 38 is similar to the panel 10, only the differences there between will be described herein for concision purposes.

[0086] Compared to the panel 10, the panel 38 has two reinforcing meshes 24 instead of only one, and they are mounted to the polyurethane panel 18 on both opposite side faces 23 and 23’. Such a configuration of the insulating formwork panel improves the resistance of the panel against the lateral thrust of the concrete in some application. The panel 38 can also be used, for example, where the resulting walls is to be in contact with an existing building, the meshes 24 acting as an exterior finish that further yields improved resistance to fire and mildew. [0087] Moreover, the insulating panel 38 is provided with a short reinforcing mesh 40, where the reinforcing mesh 24 was positioned in the first illustrative embodiment, i.e. adjacent the anchoring portion 30 of the rail 26. This has been found to strengthen the anchoring of the rail 26 to the polyurethane panel 18, when a main reinforcing mesh 24 is not at such a location within the panel 18.

[0088] According to still another embodiment (not shown) of an insulating panel, more than two reinforcing meshes 24 are included and/or are positioned differently than illustrated within the polyurethane panel 18.

[0089] A system 50 for manufacturing a panel 10 according to a first illustrative embodiment will now be described first with reference to Figures 6 to 8, and 11.

[0090] The system 50 comprises a polyurethane injection machine

(PIM) 52, a plurality of molding apparatuses 54, each operatively coupled to the PIM 52, a plurality of mesh distributors 56, each positioned adjacent a corresponding molding apparatus 54, and a control panel 58 coupled to both the PIM 52 and molding apparatuses 54.

[0091] The polyurethane injection machine 52 is operatively connected to two feeding tanks 60 and 60’ which feed the PIM 52 with an isocyanate and a polyol as it is commonly known in the art. The PIM 52 is coupled to the molding apparatuses 54 to inject polyurethane therein. According to the illustrative embodiment, the PIM 52 is of the high-pressure type, but is not limited thereto.

[0092] Since PIMs and the operation thereof are believed to be well known in the art, they will not be described herein in more detail for concision purposes. [0093] The mesh distributors 56 are in the form of reel uncoilers, each for receiving and unwinding a mesh roll 62. The mesh distributors 56 are not limited to the illustrated embodiment and can take other form. The mesh distributors 56 may also be equipped with a sensor or an encoder (both not shown) to monitor the length distributed.

[0094] The molding apparatus 54 comprises a mesh-receiving table 64 supported by four legs 66, a pivotable cover 68 that defines a mold cavity with the table 64 when closed thereon, a plurality of heating elements 70 on both the table 64 and cover 68, a mesh immobilizer 72 that further defines a distal lateral side wall of the cover 68, a sliding bar 74, that further defines an extension of the back wall of the cover 68 when the cover 68 is closed onto the. table 64, a mesh stretching mechanism 76 mounted to the proximal lateral side wall 78 of the table 64 and a cover latching assembly, including a plurality of toggle latches 80 mounted to both the table 64 and cover 68 therebetween. The toggles are linked together for faster opening and closing of the cover 68 but are not limited to such an assembly.

[0095] The cover 68 is defined by a generally rectangular frame 82 that is closed on one side by a top plate 84 and on the other side by bottom plate 86, a front frame element 87 thereof being longer and wider than the remaining peripheral frame elements.

[0096] Series of frame elements 88 and 88’ are further secured to the rectangular frame 82 so as to extend therethrough perpendicularly to the front frame element 87, which allow mounting the top and bottom plates 84 and 86 thereto. The frame elements 88-88’ extends beyond the frame 82 towards the back to further define mounting elements that are pivotably mounted to the back of the table via bracket assemblies 90 which extend upwardly therefrom.

[0097] Some of the frame elements 88 are longer than others 88’ so as to extend farer from the back of the cover 68 and are further joined by transversal beams 92, which define a handle to manually pivot the cover 68. [0098] The configuration of the cover 68 and/or its mounting to the mesh-receiving table 64 may have another configuration than illustrated.

[0099] Some of the heating elements 70, which are of the oven-type, are secured to the cover 68 between the top and bottom plates 84 and 86, while others are secured to the table 64 thereunder. The table 64 and cover 68 being made of a metal, such as aluminum, the heat is conducted therethrough from the elements 70. The heating elements 70 are connected to the control board 58 so as to both be controlled and energized by it. According to another embodiment (not shown), the number or type of heating elements is different than illustrated.

[00100] The mesh-receiving table 64 includes a rectangular frame 94, and a bottom 96 secured to the frame 94. The rectangular frame 94 is configured and sized to generally complement the frame 82 of the cover 68.

[00101] An elongated rectangular member 98 is secured to the bottom 96 of the table 64 along the front edge thereof, which defines a ledge for receiving the T-shaped rail 26 and that further allows its distancing from the bottom 96. Clamp elements 100 are further secured to the rectangular 98 to allow further securing the rail 26 to the rectangular 98. As can be better seen on Figure 11 , the rail 26 thus positioned defines a first support on the front side of the table 64 to receive the mesh 24 thereon.

[00102] According to another embodiment, the clamp elements 100 are replaced by another rail securing mechanism, such as, for example, a pneumatic air pressure system (not shown).

[00103] The sliding bar 74 includes an elongated narrow plate 102 secured thereto so as to extend therefrom at a same distance from the bottom 96 than the anchoring portion 30 of the rail 26 when positioned on the elongated member 98. The plate 102 defines a second support for receiving the mesh 24. [00104] The plate 102 is further provided to create the slot 40 during the molding of the polyurethane panel 18.

[00105] The sliding bar 74 is mounted to the table 64 along its back- edge side 104 so as to be slidable transversally towards and away the front ledge 98, parallel thereto between a retracted and a molding position.

[00106] To that effect, the back of the sliding bar 74 is secured to a plurality of sliding pins 106 (see on Figure 11 ) via a plate 107. Each of the sliding pins 106 is slidably mounted in a cylindrical guide 108 for reciprocal movement therein. The guide 108 is secured to the table 64 via a mounting bracket 110. An actuating mechanism 112 is mounted to the bracket 110 that allows pushing the pin 106 and therefore the bar 74 towards the ledge 98 and to lock the sliding bar 74 in a predetermined molding position. When a mesh 24 is positioned on the rail 26 and on the plate 102 there between, such a predetermined position causes the mesh 24 to be immobilized laterally therebetween. The actuating mechanism 102 is in the form of a lever arm pivotably mounted to the bracket 110 to be operatively coupled to the pin 106.

[00107] A person skilled in the art, will now appreciate that the backward sliding of the sliding bar 74 allows, after molding, to release the plate 102 from the hence created slot 40 in the panel 18, thereby allowing to remove the panel 10 from the molding apparatus 54.

[00108] According to another embodiment (not shown), another actuating mechanism than illustrated is provided for sliding the bar 74.

[00109] With reference more specifically to Figure 11, the mesh immobilizer 72 is in the form of a double wall 114 that is pivotably mounted to the table 64 to be movable towards and away the bottom 96 thereof. More specifically, the double wall 114 is pivotably mounted to the back of the table 64 via a bracket assembly 90 (see Figure 6). [00110] As can be seen in Figures 7 and 11 , showing respectively the opened and closed positions of the double wall 114, the double wall 114 clamps a portion of the mesh 24 onto both the rail 26 and plate 102 when in the closed position, thereby preventing any longitudinal movement of the squeezed portion.

[00111] The mesh stretching mechanism 76 includes a mesh grabber 116 that is slidably mounted to the table 64 for reciprocal movement towards and away the table 64.

[00112] With reference more specifically to Figures 7 and 8, the mesh grabber 116 includes a bottom plate 118 and a top plate 120 that is slidably mounted to the bottom plate 118 via two compact linear actuators 122, so that energizing the actuators 122 causes the top plate 120 to move towards the bottom plate 118, grabbing onto the portion of the mesh 24 inserted therebetween.

[00113] Each compact actuator 122 is slidably mounted to the proximal lateral side wall 78 of the table 64 via a linear actuator 124 to be movable towards and away the table 64 in unison.

[00114] It has been found that stretching the mesh 24 during the molding of the panel 10 prevent any undesired displacement of the mesh 24, such as waving, within the polyurethane panel 18, after molding.

[00115] The mesh stretching mechanism 76 is not limited to the illustrated embodiment. For example, other type of actuators can be used. Also, another mechanism can be provided to selectively grab onto the mesh 24.

[00116] According to still another embodiment (not shown), both the mesh immobilizer 72 and the mesh stretching mechanism 76 are omitted. [00117] While the molding apparatus 54 is adapted for the configuration of a panel 10, it is believed to be within the reach of a person skilled in the art to use the above teaching to adapt the molding apparatus 54 for manufacturing panels 38 or panels having other configurations, such as panel 38.

[00118] Other characteristics and features of the system 50 for manufacturing a panel 10 will become more apparent upon reading the following description of the operation thereof with references to Figures 9A to 9E and 12.

[00119] Prior to molding a panel 10, the molding apparatus 54 is preheated to about 55°C (step 204 in Figure 12). The operating/molding temperature may vary between about 45°C and 55°C. The heating elements 70 are controlled by a controller (not shown) in the control panel 58, which is further coupled to a temperature sensor (not shown) provided on the apparatus 54, so that the temperature is regulated to the desired value.

[00120] Also, prior to the injection of polyurethane, a release agent is applied within the mold cavity (step 206 in Figure 12). Since such a release agent is believed to be well-known in the art, it will not be described herein in more detail.

[00121] As illustrated in Figure 9A, the T-shaped rail 26 is then first positioned as described hereinabove (step 208 on Figure 12), and then, a portion of mesh 24 is unreeled from the mesh distributor 56 and positioned on the table 64 as described hereinabove (step 210 on Figure 12). This is done while the sliding bar 74 is at its molding position.

[00122] The mesh immobilizer 72 is then closed to immobilize the mesh 24 at the distal end of the table 64 (see arrow 126 on Figure 9B) and the mesh grabber 116 is then closed onto the mesh near the proximate end of the table 64 (Figure 9C) (step 212 in Figure 12). [00123] Then, while both sides of the mesh 24 is thus grabbed, the mesh stretching mechanism 76 is operated so that the mesh grabber 76 is moved away from the table 64 by both linear actuators 124 (see arrow 128 on Figure 9D).

[00124] While the mesh 24 is under tension by the mesh stretching mechanism 76, the cover 68 and the toggle latches 80 are closed (step 214 on Figure 12) and the polyurethane is then injected within the cavity of the molding apparatus 54 (see Figure 9E and step 216 in Figure 12).

[00125] During the injection, both the injection flow and the temperature of the molding apparatus 54 are controlled by the controller.

[00126] The controller is further programmed with predetermined injection and product stabilization times, which are indicated on the control panel 58. For that purpose, the control panel 58 is provided with a display 130 that allows visualizing the operation of the system 50, including the injection and product stabilization times.

[00127] The control panel 58 is then configured to emit a warning light and/or sound signal to inform the operator that the molding process has ended.

[00128] After the product is stabilized (step 218 on Figure 12), the cover 68 is then opened (step 220) and the sliding bar 74 is moved back, releasing the plate 102 from the panel 10 (step 222).

[00129] The mesh immobilizer 72 is then unlocked and raised.

[00130] The excess fiberglass mesh 24 is then cut at each longitudinal end of the panel 10, which can then be removed from the apparatus 54. [00131] The apparatus 54 can then be cleaned so that the molding process may begin anew to manufacture another panel 10 as per the above.

[00132] It has been found that each panel 10 must have a minimum of one week of curing before delivery and use.

[00133] Figure 10 illustrates an example of layout of a plant 132 to manufacture panels 10 or 38 according to illustrative embodiments.

[00134] According to such a layout 132, a plurality of apparatuses 54 are positioned around the PIM 52, to maximize the use thereof, considering the idle time of the apparatuses 54 during the stabilization phase. More specifically, the layout 132 allows the injection of polyurethane in sequence in the apparatuses 54, while previously injected apparatuses 54 are in their stabilization or demolding step. The number and relative positions of apparatuses 54 may differ than illustrated.

[00135] As examples, the step of preparing the mold before injection takes about thirty (30) seconds. The actual polyurethane injection takes about four (4) to eight (8) seconds depending on the injection head used and the capacity of the machine 52. The stabilization step lasts about eight (8) minutes and the demolding takes about thirty (30) seconds.

[00136] A process 200 for manufacturing an insulating formwork panel 10 or 38 according to a first illustrative embodiment is summarized in Figure 12.

[00137] Turning now to Figures 13 and 14, a system 150 for manufacturing insulating formwork panels according to a first illustrative embodiment will now be described first with reference to Figures 13 and 14. [00138] As will become more apparent upon reading the following description, the system 150 allows the continuous production of panels 10 or 38.

[00139] The system 150 comprises a metal strip uncoiler 152 for the continuous feed of a metal strip 154, a rotary punch 155 and a “T” roll former 156 downstream from the uncoiler 152, to shape the metal strip 154 into a continuous T-shaped strip 158, first facing and fiberglass mesh dispensers 160 and 162, downstream from the ‘”T” roll-former 156, a heated table 164, a second facing dispenser 166 and a pouring head 168 for the polyurethane, both registered with the heated table 164, a laminating machine 170, located downstream of the heated table 164, a groove maker 172, downstream from the laminating machine 170, a panel cutter 174, downstream from the groove maker 172, and a conveyor 176 for receiving the resulting insulating panel 180.

[00140] The metal strip uncoiler 152 is loaded with a steel band reel or with a reel of another metal or material that is suitable to be formed into a rigid attaching rail 182, similar to the rail 26 described hereinabove.

[00141] The rotary punch 155 is aligned with the strip feed and is provided to create a series of aligned holes within the metal strip 154. Such holes serve the same purpose than the holes 36 described hereinabove. Since the portion of the T-shaped strip 158 corresponding to the attaching portion 28 (see on Figure 3) is bi-folded, the rotary punch 155 is configured to create a pair of registered holes (not shown) that will define a single hole after folding of the strip 154.

[00142] According to another embodiment, another device or mechanism than then rotary punch 155 can be provided to perforate the strip 154. Also, the rotary punch can be located downstream from the “T” roll-former 156. [00143] The “T" roll-former 156 includes a plurality of guides and rollers that together force the strip 154 into the T-shaped strip 158. Since such a roll-former is believed to be well-known in the art, it will not be described herein in more detail for concision purposes. According to another embodiment (not shown), another mechanism or device is provided to T-form the strip 154. According to still another embodiment (not shown), the uncoiler 152 and rollformer 156 are omitted and a T-shaped strip 158 is directly provided either continuously or pre-cut to a desire length.

[00144] The fiberglass mesh dispenser 162 and both facing dispensers 160 and 166 are in the form of reel uncoilers, respectively loaded with a roll of fiberglass mesh 24 and with rolls of sheet material 184 selected to cover both lateral sides of the resulting panel 180, such material can be for example a fire retardant material with high bounding to polyurethane, adding strength to the panel, and water resistance. While both sheets 184 are indicated as being identical, they can be made of different materials or have different thickness for example.

[00145] It is to be noted that the resulting panel 180 is identical to the panel 10 with the following exceptions:

[00146] - the attaching rail corresponding to rail 26 is made of metal and the attaching portion 28 thereof is formed by a double fold;

[00147] - the panel 180 includes facing material on both lateral side faces 23-23’.

[00148] According to another illustrative embodiment one or both facings are omitted and so are the corresponding dispensers 160 and 166. According to such an embodiment, a non adhesive belt liner is added on the top and bottom traction steel belts 185 of the laminating machine 170. [00149] The heated table 164 includes guiding elements (not shown), such as rollers and/or channels, to align and maintain in predetermined positions the T-shaped strip 158, the mesh 24 and the facings 184. The pouring head 168 is operatively coupled to the polyurethane injection machine 52. The polyurethane pouring speed is adjusted with the laminating speed and also depend on the polyurethane mixture as it is conventionally known.

[00150] The laminating machine 170 is heated to between about 50°C and 60°C, depending also on the polyurethane mix, as it is believed to be well- known in the art.

[00151] The laminating machine 170 includes guiding elements (not shown), such as rollers and/or channels, that pull, align and maintain in predetermined positions the T-shaped strip 158, mesh 24, facings 184 and polyurethane during the continuous forming process. Among such guiding elements, lateral side belts 185’, which are automatically actuated by the adhesion of the polyurethane, are provided to laterally contained the polyurethane

[00152] The resulting continuous panel 186 that exits the laminating machine 170 is then longitudinally cut along its length by the groove maker 172 to form a groove 40 on the edge of the continuous panel 186. The groove maker 172 includes a rigid flat member (not shown) that is configured to cut into the polyurethane panel 186 during the movement thereof along the longitudinal axis.

[00153] Finally, the panel cutter 174 includes a travelling saw to cut the continuous panel periodically, resulting in the insulating formwork panel 180, which exits via the conveyor.

[00154] A release agent may be applied into the laminating machine 170 to facilitate the exit of the continuous panel 186 therefrom, especially on the surface thereof directly in contact with polyurethane. [00155] It is to be noted that the system 150 includes one or more controllers 188 to precisely operate and synchronize the laminating machine 170, the groove maker 172 and cutter 174. Of course, the number and/or functions of the controllers may be different than described with reference to the system 150.

[00156] A process 300 for the continuous manufacturing of an insulating formwork panel 180 according to a first illustrative embodiment is summarized in Figure 15 and includes:

[00157] 302 - forming a continuous feed of a metal strip into a T- shaped strip;

[00158] 304 - countinously feeding and guiding the T-shaped strip of metal and a sheet of a fiberglass mesh into a laminating machine while controllably pouring a polyurethane mix at the entrance thereof, resulting in a continuous feed of panel at the exit of the laminating machine, which includes a T-shaped strip on a first longitudinal edge thereof;

[00159] 306 - forming a longitudinal groove within the continuous feed of panel on a second longitudinal edge thereof;

[00160] 308 - periodically cutting transversally the continuous feed of panel to form insulating formwork panel of a predetermined length.

[00161] While the expression ‘continuous’ and ‘continuous manner’ are used herein to indicate that the manufacturing of a plurality of insulating formwork panels is done from a single feed of constituent materials, it is to be understood that such a feed may be interrupted, for example to reload any one of the feeding elements thereof. [00162] The system 150 and process 300 may be adapted to manufacture insulating formwork panels that are differently configured than the panel 180, such as for example panels including more than one fiberglass meshes and/or that are differently positioned within the polyurethane.

[00163] Among the many advantages of the insulating formwork panel 10, 38 or 180 compared to a conventional insulating formwork panel made of polystyrene:

- the panel 10 has a thermal resistance of R 6.8 compared to R 4 for a polystyrene panel;

- the panel 10 is fire-resistant, while a polystyrene panel is only fire-retardant;

- the panel 10 does not shrink, while a polystyrene panel may shrink and requires a stabilization period of 21 days; and

- the panel 10 can be mounted on site on opposite sides of reinforcing rods 15.

[00164] It is to be understood that embodiments of the insulating formwork panel and manufacturing apparatus therefor are not limited in their application to the details of construction and parts illustrated in the accompanying drawings and described hereinabove. Other embodiments can be foreseen and practiced in various ways. It is also to be understood that the phraseology or terminology used herein is for the purpose of description and not limitation.