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Title:
SPACER ASSEMBLY FOR AIRCRAFT FLOORING
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/160036
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A spacer assembly for flooring systems, such as for aircraft flooring, includes a spacer panel and one or more flooring panels. The spacer panel includes a core layer and a bottom layer. The core layer has a top face and a bottom face and the bottom layer has a lower face and an upper face that is bonded to the bottom face of the core layer. The lower face of the bottom layer is located adjacent to a structural floor and the bottom layer slides over the structural floor. The one or more flooring panels connect to the top face of the core layer, where the flooring panel and the spacer panel slide over the structural floor. Two or more flooring panels can be connected, such as by an adhesive material, to a spacer panel with a sealant member between the flooring panels to avoid infiltrations of liquids

Inventors:
KOH TUAN HUAT JERRY (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2020/015473
Publication Date:
August 06, 2020
Filing Date:
January 28, 2020
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
TECHNO-COATINGS INC D/B/A TECHNO AEROSPACE (US)
International Classes:
B61D17/10; B62D25/20; E04B1/38; E04B1/68; E04F15/18; E04F19/06
Foreign References:
US20140157700A12014-06-12
US20140033635A12014-02-06
US20020095897A12002-07-25
US20070283654A12007-12-13
US20170254096A12017-09-07
US20180038114A12018-02-08
US7677005B22010-03-16
US5806270A1998-09-15
US20090038254A12009-02-12
US20090151291A12009-06-18
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NIGRELLI, Peter et al. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A spacer assembly for flooring, comprising:

a flooring panel located on a structural fl oor; and

a spacer panel having:

a top face operatively disposed to receive the flooring panel, and a bottom face located on the structural floor, wherein the flooring panel and the bottom face of the spacer panel slide over the structural floor.

2. The spacer assembly of claim 1, wherein the flooring panel is connected to the spacer panel by an adhesive material.

3. The spacer assembly of claim 1, wherein the flooring panel is connected to the spacer panel by an adhesive tape.

4. The spacer assembly of claim 1, wherein the flooring panel includes a cut section located along an edge, wherein the cut section is configured to receive the spacer panel.

5. The spacer assembly of claim 1, comprising:

a first flooring panel; and

a second flooring panel, wherein the first flooring panel and the second flooring panel are connected to the spacer panel.

6. The spacer assembly of claim 5, comprising:

a sealant member located between the first flooring panel and the second flooring panel.

7. The spacer assembly of Claim 6, wherein the sealant member comprises one or more of polyvinyl chloride, extruded polyvinyl chloride, extruded polymers, thermoplastic resins, epoxy resins, silicone, elastomeric gaskets, or combinations thereof.

8. The spacer assembly of claim 6, wherein the sealant member comprises one or more of natural rubber, polyisoprene, polybutadiene, styrene-butadiene rubber, butyl rubber, or nitrile rubber.

9. The spacer assembly of Claim 6, wherein the sealant member is a grout, which is applied between the flooring panels.

10. A spacer assembly for flooring, comprising:

a flooring panel located on a structural floor of a vehicle; and

a spacer panel having:

a top face operatively disposed to receive the flooring panel, and a bottom face adjacent to the structural floor, wherein the flooring panel and the bottom face of the spacer panel slide over the structural floor.

11. The spacer assembly of claim 10, wherein the vehicle is an aircraft.

12. The spacer assembly of claim 10, wherein the vehicle is a watercraft.

Description:
SPACER ASSEMBLY FOR AIRCRAFT FLOORING

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION(S)

[0001] This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/797,832,

filed January 28, 2019, and entitled “SPACER ASSEMBLY FOR AIRCRAFT FLOORING,” which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

[0002] The present disclosure relates to spacer assemblies for aircraft flooring which is

located between flooring panels.

[0003] Spacer panels in in vehicle flooring applications, such as in aircraft flooring applications, refer to elements and devices used for attaching and/or interconnecting flooring sections to produce the appearance and behavior of a monolithic vehicle flooring system, without the need to sequence the installation and/or without removal of individual flooring section s.

SUMMARY

[0004] This disclosure discloses a spacer assembly for vehicle flooring systems, such as for aircraft flooring, and comprising a spacer panel and a flooring panel. The spacer panel may include a top face operatively disposed to receive the flooring panel, and a bottom face located facing the structural floor. The flooring panel and the bottom face of the spacer panel can slide over the structural floor. In an illustrative example, the disclosure describes a system that includes two or more flooring panels connected to the spacer panel, and a sealant member located between the flooring panels, where the sealant member prevents infiltrations of liquids spilled over the flooring panels that could reach the structural floor of the aircraft. In some cases, an adhesive material may be used to connect the flooring panels to the spacer panel . The spacer panel avoids overlapping unions between contiguous flooring panels and, accordingly, the spacer panel enables independent removal and/or installation of any flooring panel without the need to sequence their installation and/or removal. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0005] The present disclosure is illustrated by way of example and not limited in the accompanying figures in which like reference numerals indicate similar elements and in which:

[0006] FIG. 1 shows a section view of an illustrative example showing an exploded detail of a flooring panel and a spacer panel according to aspects of this disclosure;

[0007] FIG. 2 shows a section view of two flooring panel s connected together by an overlap according to aspects of this disclosure;

[0008] FIG. 3 shows a section view of a flooring panel attached to a spacer panel, where the spacer panel is located in a recessed cavity of a monument of an aircraft, according to aspects of this disclosure;

[0009] FIG. 4 shows a section view of a flooring panel attached to a spacer panel, where the spacer panel is located near a structural member of an aircraft, according to aspects of this disclosure;

[0010] FIG. 5 shows a secti on view of two flooring panels, a sealant member and a spacer panel, according to aspects of this disclosure;

[0011] FIGS. 6A-6H shows a plurality of cross-section views of the cut sections of the flooring panels and the form of the spacer panel, according to aspects of this disclosure;

[0012] FIG. 7 shows a section view showing details of a sealant member, a spacer panel, and a flooring panel attached to a floor puck, according to aspects of this disclosure;

[0013] FIG. 8 shows a section view of two flooring panels, a sealant member, and a spacer panel, where the flooring panels and the spacer panel are formed by a plurality of layers, according to aspects of this disclosure; [0014] FIG. 9 shows a section view of an exploded detail view of a flooring panel and a spacer panel, according to aspects of this disclosure;

[0015] FIG. 10 shows a section view of two flooring panels, a sealant member, and a spacer panel, where the flooring panels and the spacer panel are formed by a plurality of layers, according to aspects of this disclosure; and

[0016] FIG. 11 shows a bottom view of flooring sections attached together with spacer panels, according to aspects of this disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0017] In the following description of various illustrative examples, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part hereof, and in which is shown, by way of illustration, various examples in which aspects of the disclosure may be practiced. It is to be understood that other configurations may be utilized, and/or structural and functional modifications may be made, without departing from the scope of the present disclosure.

[0018] Spacer panels can be useful in combination with the panels disclosed in co-pending pending U.S. patent application no. 16/590,038, entitled“Floating Floor Attachment System.” This application discusses a system that allows installation of rigid flooring product to an interior space of a vehicle, such as an aircraft structural floor panel, via discrete floating attachment points that allow for a specific amount of displacement and prevent permanent deformation of the floor panel. This avoids deformations of the flooring panels during the movement of underlying aircraft floor support structures, which are caused by displacement from internal loads due to fuselage pressurization and flight maneuvered, as well as expansion and contraction due to temperature.

[0019] A spacer assembly for flooring applications may be used in a plurality of applications, such as in a building, an aircraft, or other vehicle. In some cases, aircraft flooring may be placed atop the structural flooring of the aircraft, and may include a spacer panel 1 and a flooring panel 7. Referring to FIG. 1, the flooring panel 7 may be located on a structural floor 6 of an aircraft, and the spacer panel 1 has a top face 5 operatively disposed to receive the flooring panel 7, and a bottom face 4 opposite the top face and located adjacent to the structural floor 6. The flooring panel 7 and the bottom face 4 of the spacer panel 1 can slide over the structural floor 6. Accordingly, the spacer panel 1 allows for connecting and/or disconnecting a flooring panel 7 without removing any contiguous element that could be overlapped with the flooring panel 7.

[0020] For example, referring to FIG. 2, if a flooring panel 7 is connected to a flooring panel

7 by an overlapping connection, often, removal of the flooring panel 7 is required to allow for detachment of the flooring panel 7. Accordingly, with the overlapped connection between the flooring panels 7 and 7 , more steps and/or more time is required when replacing a single flooring panel 7 in comparison with the spacer assembly including spacer panel 1 as described in this disclosure.

[0021] Referring to FIG. 3, the spacer panel 1 may be at least partially inserted in a recessed cavity 22 of a monument 21, where the monument 21 is connected to the structural floor 6 of an aircraft. Accordingly, a flooring panel 7 connected to the spacer panel 1 would have an edge located close to the monument 21 that forms a separation 23. The separation 23 provides tolerance to the flooring panel 7 and that allows the flooring panel 7 a lateral displacement produced by forces due to pressurization of the aircraft and/or flying maneuvers, to dynamic loads such as inertia, vibration, slosh dynamics of fluids, and/or to ground loads due to adverse braking or maneuvering during taxiing. Accordingly, the separation 23 prevents compression forces parallel to the length of the flooring panel 7 that may cause deformations and buckling.

[0022] Similarly, in some cases, not illustrated, the spacer panel 1 may be thicker than the recessed cavity 22 of the monument 21. In such cases and during the installation, in order for the spacer panel 1 to extend under the monument 21 to avoid a visible gap, a portion of the top face 5 of the spacer panel 1 may be removed locally. For example, the thickness removal may be accomplished using mechanical means, such as by using a power planer or through additional trimming and reinforcement of the edge panel during the manufacturing process.

[0023] In some cases, referring to FIG. 1 and FIG. 3, the spacer panel 1 may be connected to the flooring panel 7 by an adhesive material 8. [0024] The adhesive material 8 may be selected from adhesives such as, for example silicone adhesives, polymer adhesives, acrylonitrile, acrylic adhesives, cyanoacrylates, epoxy resins, epoxy putty, ethyl ene-vinyl acetate (EVA), polyvinyl butyral (PVB), polyvinyl acetate (PVA), polyester resins, polysulfides, polyurethane, polyvinyl alcohol, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyurethane tapes, butyl rubber tapes, neoprene adhesives, urethane adhesives, and/or combinations thereof.

[0025] In some cases, the adhesive material 8 may be a butyl rubber tape having adhesive on both faces. The adhesive may be deposited on a flexible backing, such as a polyethylene backing. Additionally, each face of the tape may be protected by a backing layer, which is removed during installation of the adhesive material 8 with the flooring panel 7 and the spacer panel 1.

[0026] In some cases, not illustrated, the spacer panel 1 and the flooring panel 7 may be connected by any mechanical fastening means. For example, the spacer panel 1 and the flooring panel 7 may be connected by mechanical fasteners such as bolts, screws, bolts, nuts, rivets, studs, pins, wedges, clamps, equivalent elements which are known by a skilled artisan, and combinations thereof.

[0027] In some cases, referring to FIG. 4, the flooring panel 7 may cover the entire spacer panel

1. For example, this configuration of the flooring panel 7 and the spacer panel 1 allows connecting the flooring panel 7 near a structural member 24 of the aircraft. A separation between the flooring panel 7 and the structural member 24 may be desired to avoid generating deformations due to lateral displacement produced by forces due to pressurization of the aircraft, to flying maneuvers, to dynamic loads such as inertia, vibration, slosh dynamics of fluids, and/or to ground loads due to adverse braking or maneuvering during taxiing.

[0028] Referring to FIG. 5, the flooring panel 7 may include a cut section 16 located in the bottom face 4, where the cut section 16 contacts the top face 5 of the spacer panel 1. The cut section 16 and the top face 5 form a male-female connection. [0029] Referring again to FIG. 5, the spacer assembly may include two flooring panels 7 and 7 connected to a spacer panel 1. Accordingly, the spacer panel 1 is installed between the two flooring panels 7 and 7 providing a continuous flooring surface and providing a rigid connection between the flooring panels 7 and 7 . Such configurations avoid overlaps of the flooring panels 7 and 7 , as well as reduces the need for the use of mechanical fasteners such as bolts, rivets, or nails.

[0030] Making reference to FIG. 5, the flooring panels 7 and 7 may include at least one cut section 16 and 16 located along one of its edges. The edge where the cut section 16 of the flooring panel 7 is located contiguous to the cut section 16 of the contiguous flooring panel 7 that is connected to the spacer panel 1. In this manner, cut sections 16 and 16 generate a male-female connection with the spacer panel 1. The connection between the flooring panels 7 and 7 and the spacer panel 1 may be secured using the adhesive material 8. In some cases, the connection between the flooring panels 7 and 7 and the spacer panel 1 may be secured using mechanical fasteners such as bolts, screws, nuts, rivets, studs, pins, wedges, clamps, equivalent elements that are known by a skilled artisan, or combinations thereof.

[0031] Similarly, in a non-illustrated embodiment, the flooring panels 7 and 7 may be connected to the spacer panel 1 by snap-on fasteners and connections, such as bolt-tube connections, pin-hole connections, or other male-female connections known by a skilled artisan.

[0032] Referring to FIGS. 6A-6H, the flooring panels 7 and 7 may have a cut section 16 and

16 with different forms, such as rectangles, triangles, trapezoids, or trapezoids with curve edges. In other non-illustrated examples, the flooring panels 7 and 7 may have a cut section 16 and 16 having a form such as a hexagon, pentagon, octagon, triangle, parallelogram, or any other regular or irregular polygon.

[0033] Similarly, and also referring to FIGS. 6A-6H, the spacer panel 1 may have a form or shape that fits the form of the cut sections 16, 16 of the flooring panels 7, 7 . For example, the spacer panel 1 may be configured with a form such as a rectangle, a triangle, a trapezoid, or a trapezoid with curve edges, or combinations of such shapes. In other non-illustrated embodiments of the invention, the spacer panel 1 may have a form such as a hexagon, pentagon, octagon, triangle, parallelogram, or any other regular or irregular polygon.

[0034] As also shown in FIG. 5 and FIGS. 6A-6H, the flooring panels 7 and 7 form a gap 17 when connected to the spacer panel 1). In some cases, the gap 17 may be filled with a sealant member 10 that seals the gap 17 and prevents infiltrations of liquids spilled over the flooring panels 7 and 7 and that could reach the structural floor 6 of the aircraft. The infiltrations of liquid could cause damages in electric or electronic instruments and can increase corrosion risk to the aircraft. Additionally, the sealant member 10 may provide an elastic connection between the flooring panels 7 and may provide bending and/or shear resistance to the aircraft flooring.

[0035] In some cases, the sealant member 10 may be grouts of polyvinyl chloride, extruded polyvinyl chloride, extruded polymers, thermoplastic resins, epoxy resins, silicone, elastomeric gaskets, and combinations thereof. In some cases, the sealant member 10 can be made of a material selected from natural rubber, polyisoprene, polybutadiene, styrene-butadiene rubber, butyl rubber, or nitrile rubber.

[0036] In an illustrative example, the sealant member 10 may be a grout, where the grout is applied between the flooring panels 7 and 7 . The grout may be a polymeric material, which can be applied between the flooring panels 7, and 7 when connecting the flooring panels 7 and 7 to the spacer panel 1. The grout allows for filling of discontinuities, cracks, scratches and/or other surface defects of the flooring panels 7 and 7 , Accordingly, the grout may provide an effective seal that avoids infiltrations of liquids in the interlayers of the flooring panels 7 and 7 when they are formed by laminated layers.

[0037] In some cases, the flooring panels 7 and 7 may form a gap 17 having a distance within a range, such as a range between 0mm to 4.572mm, between 1.143mm to 4.572mm, between 2.286mm to 4.572mm, between 1mm and 5mm, between lmm and 2mm, between 1.2mm and 1.5mm, between 1.25mm and 1.5mm, between 1.1mm and 1.7mm, between 1.25mm and 1.75mm, between 1.3mm and 1.75mm, between 1.5mm and 1.8mm, between 1.2mm and 2.5mm, between 2mm and 2.5mm, between 2.2mm and 2.5mm, between 2.286mm and 2.5mm, between 2.5mm and 3mm, between 2mm and 3.5mm, or having a distance of more than 3.5mm.

[0038] Similarly, the cut section 16 and 16 of the flooring panels 7 and 7 may extend inwardly from the edge by a distance, such as a distance between 6.35mm and 25.4mm, between 6.35mm and 25.4mm, between 8mm and 10mm, between 8mm and 9mm, between 10mm and 13 mm, between 10mm and 12.5mm, between 10mm and 15mm, between 12.5mm and 15mm, between 12.5mm and 19mm, between 12.5mm and 25.4mm, between 12.5mm and 30mm, between 19mm and 25.4mm, between 25mm and 35mm, or having a distance of more than 35mm. In some cases, the cut section of each flooring panel may have the same distance from the edge. In some cases, the cut sections 16 and 16 of the flooring panels 7 and 7 have different distances from the edge.

[0039] In some cases, the spacer panel 1 may have a length, as measured in the direction parallel to the distance of the cut section 16, where the length is within a range between 20mm and 25mm, between 25.4mm and 28mm, between 26mm and 27mm, between 27mm and 29mm, between 28mm and 31mm, between 20mm and 30mm, between 30mm and 45mm, between 20mm and 55mm, between 25.3mm and 35mm, between 35mm and 45mm, between 55mm and 65mm, or more than 65mm. In some cases, the length measured in the direction parallel to the distance of the cut section 16 of the spacer panel 1 is the sum of the distances of the cut sections 16 and 16 in which they extend inwardly from the edge of the corresponding flooring panels 7 and 7 .

[0040] Referring to FIG. 7, the flooring panels 7 and 7 may include a panel housing 24 and

24 that is connected to a floor puck 9, where the floor puck 9 is attached to the structural floor 6 of the aircraft by adhesive means and/or fasteners. For example, the floor puck 9 is a floor puck such as the one described in the co-pending U.S. patent application no. 16/590,038. Accordingly, the floor puck 9 may provide a floating connection between the flooring panels 7 and 7 and the structural floor 6.

[0041] Referring to FIG: 9, the spacer panel 1 has a top face 5 operatively disposed to receive the flooring panel 7, and a bottom face 4 that can slide over the structural floor 6. Additionally, the spacer panel 1 may be a laminated panel having a bottom layer 3 bonded to a core layer 2. In this embodiment, the top face 5 corresponds to an upper surface of the core layer 2, and the bottom face 4 corresponds to a lower face to the bottom layer 3.

[0042] Referring to FIG.8, the spacer panel 1 allows the connection of two or more flooring panels 7 of an aircraft flooring. The spacer panel 1 can slide over a structural floor 6 of an aircraft or other vehicle. In this manner, the spacer panel allows building vehicle flooring that can slide monolithically over the structural floor of the vehicle, especially where the flooring uses a system such as the one described in the co-pending U. S. patent application no. 16/590,038. The structural floor 6 of an aircraft may be supported by a plurality structural beams of the fuselage. When the aircraft flooring is installed, the spacer panel 1 may be first installed in the structural floor 6. Later, the flooring panels 7 may be connected to the spacer panel 1.

[0043] Referring to FIG. 8 and FIG. 9, at least one flooring panel 7 may be connected to the core layer 2 by an adhesive material 8. The adhesive material 8 fixes or otherwise adheres the flooring panel 7 to the core layer 2 producing a monolithic body formed by the flooring panel 7 and the spacer panel 1.

[0044] The adhesive material 8 may be an adhesive such as, for example, a silicone adhesive, a polymer adhesive, acrylonitrile, an acrylic adhesive, cyanoacrylate, an epoxy resin, an epoxy putty, ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), polyvinyl butyral(PVB), polyvinyl acetate (PVA), a polyester resin, a polysulfide, polyurethane, polyvinyl alcohol, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a polyurethane tape, a butyl rubber tape, a neoprene adhesive, a urethane adhesive, and/or combinations thereof.

[0045] In some cases, the adhesive material 8 may be a butyl rubber tape having adhesive on both faces. The adhesive may be deposited on a polyethylene backing. Additionally, each face of the tape may be protected by a backing layer, which is removed when installing the adhesive material 8 to the flooring panel 7 and the spacer panel 1.

[0046] Referring to FIG. 8 and FIG. 9, each spacer panel 1 can be formed using a composite architecture and materials similar to each flooring panel 7 as illustrated in co-pending U.S. patent application no. 16/590,038. The flooring panel 7 may be formed by a lower layer 14, an upper layer 15, and a core ply 13 bonded to the lower layer 14 and the upper layer 15. The upper layer 15 may serve as the floor surface of the aircraft flooring system within the fuselage of the aircraft. Accordingly, it may be desirable for the upper layer 15 to include anti-slip patterns, anti-slip coatings, anti-scratching coatings or combinations thereof. Similarly, the upper layer may include a real organic material or engineered material with the appearance of a finished surface, such as carpeting, plastic tiles, wood tiles, and/or another finish surface. In some cases, the finished surface could be pre-installed as part of the upper layer 15, for example, at the moment of manufacturing of the flooring panel 7.

[0047] In some cases, the lower layer 14 and the upper layer 15 of the flooring panel 7 and/or the bottom layer 3 of the spacer panel 1 may be made of a material selected from one or more of aramid fiber composites, carbon fiber composites, fiberglass composites, thermoplastic elastomers, EPDM, polyamides (PA) (e.g. PA12, PA6, PA66), polyetheretherketone (PEEK), thermosetting polyimides, polyamide-imide (PAI), polychlorotrifluoroethylene (PCTFE), polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC), vinylidene polyfluoride (PVDF), ethylene-chlorotrifluoroethylene (ECTFE), cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) copolymers thereof, and/or combinations thereof.

[0048] For example, the upper layer 15 may be a fiber reinforced laminate, such as a laminated material of aramid fibers bonded together with epoxy resin, carbon fibers bonded together with epoxy resin, or fiberglass fibers bonded together with polymeric resins(e.g. unsaturated polyester resins, saturated polyester resins, orthoftalic polyester resins, isophthalic polyester resins, vinyl ester resins, urethane-acrylic resins). In some cases, the fibers may be provided in mats (e.g. woven mats, stitch-bonded mats, agglutinant bonded mats) or as cut fibers.

[0049] The fiber reinforced laminates may be manufactured using one or more methods, such as comprising hand layup, resin transfer molding (RTM), vacuum-assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM), spray-up, vacuum infusion processing, closed cavity bag molding (CCBM), autoclave processing, compression molding, pultrusion, or combinations thereof. [0050] The fiber reinforced laminates are usually selected for aeronautic applications because they provide a high relation of resistance/weight in comparison with metal panels or solid polymer panels.

[0051] In some cases, the core layer 2 and the core ply 13 are materials that provide improved stiffness to the panels 1 and 7 because they make the panel 1 and 7 thicker without adding a significant weight in comparison with the material of the layers 3, 14, and 15. Accordingly, a thicker panel 1 and 7 may haves a greater moment of inertia, hence a greater stiffness.

[0052] The core layer 2 and the core ply 13 are made of a low weight material such as, for example, a non-woven polyester textiles, non-woven polyester textiles including microbeads and perforations (e.g. Coremat®, VitelMat®), pressure stable polyester non-woven textiles having channels (e.g. Soric®), polyethylene foams, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) foams, polymethacrylimide foams, honeycomb core materials (e.g. aluminum, nomex), and combinations thereof.

[0053] For example, during the manufacturing process of the flooring panel 7, the lower layer

14 and the upper layer 15 can be laminated with the core ply 13 by processes such as RTM, vacuum infusion processing, and autoclave processing. In these processes are recommended using as core plies (13) materials such as, for example, pressure stable polyester non-woven textiles having channels (e.g. Soric®), polyethylene foams, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) foams, and polymethacrylimide foams. The materials allows an even flow of resins e.g. polyester, vinyl ester, acrylic, epoxy inside closed molds in order to distribute the resins along the core ply 13 to cover reinforcement materials, such as aramid, carbon or glass fibers.

[0054] The flooring panel 7 may include veils applied to the molds during the laminating process. The veils may provide a smooth finish to the upper layer 15. Additionally, the upper layer 15 may include an anti-slip pattern, such as a grit pattern, squares patter, dots pattern, or another high relief patterns or low relief patterns. In this case, a mold of the flooring panel 7 may have a low relief pattern or a high relief pattern to form the anti-slip pattern of the upper layer 15. Accordingly, the veils allow having an even coverage of the low relief pattern or high relief pattern in the mold, which is important to avoid having fragile edges in the anti-slip pattern of the upper layer 15, which may be produced by a high concentration of resin without reinforcement.

[0055] Similarly, during the manufacturing process of the spacer panel 1, the core layer 2 and a bottom layer 3 can be laminated together by processes such as RTM, vacuum infusion processing, and autoclave processing. In these processes, using core layer 2 materials such as pressure stable polyester non-woven textiles having channels (e.g. Soric®), polyethylene foams, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) foams, and polymethacrylimi de foams may be recommended. The materials allows an even flow of resins (e.g. polyester, epoxy) inside closed molds in order to distribute the resins along the core layer 2 to cover reinforcement materials, such as aramid, carbon or glass fibers.

[0056] In some cases, the bottom layer 3 and/or the lower layer 14 may be made of an elastomeric- thermoplastic panel (e.g. Isodamp® panel). This type of bottom layer 3 may provide acoustical and vibration isolation.

[0057] In some cases, the flooring panels 7 can be made of a laminated sandwich of a lower layer 14, and an upper layer 15 and a core ply 13. The lower layer 14 is made of an elastomeric-thermoplastic panel, and the upper layer 15 is made of wood. The core ply 13 itself may be made of a laminated sandwich material of PVC foam cured between sheets of woven fiberglass fabric pre-impregnated in epoxy resin.

[0058] Accordingly, the upper layer 15 may be manufactured using a material selected from one or more of bamboo, cork, hardwood, laminated wood, engineered wood, plywood, and combinations thereof.

[0059] In some cases, the spacer panel 1 may connect two contiguous flooring sections 25 and

25 as shown in FIG. 11. The flooring sections 25 and 25 may be formed by a plurality of flooring panels 7 and 7 . The spacer panel 1 may have a length that is long enough to cover a portion of an edge or an entire edge of the flooring sections 25 and 25 . Accordingly, a single spacer panel 1 can connect several flooring panels 7 and 7 as shown in FIG. 11. One advantage of this configuration is that the spacer panel 1 can provide stiffness to the joint of the contiguous flooring sections 25 and 25 , because of an avoidance of a plurality of spacer panels 1 that would be located between each contiguous flooring panels 7 and 7 , which would produce a plurality of discontinuities. Additionally, a single spacer panel 1 is easier to install and remove in comparison with a plurality of spacer panels 1.

[0060] The single spacer panel 1 may provide a rigid connection between the flooring sections

25 and 25 forming a monolithic flooring assembly that floats and displaces horizontally thanks to the operation of a plurality of evenly distributed floor pucks 9, such as the floor pucks described in the co-pending U.S. patent application no. 16/590,038.

[0061] In some cases, the flooring assembly may be installed in other places or vehicles such as, for example, pressurized rooms, pressurized vessels, submarines, spaceships, helicopters, boats, ships, and other places or vehicles submitted to compression and decompression, pressurization or forces generated by high speeds and accelerations G- forces.

Examples

Example 1:

[0062] In some cases, such as with reference to FIG. 9, the spacer panel 1 is manufactured by laminating a core layer 2 to the bottom layer 3. The core layer 2 is made of a laminated sandwich material of PVC foam cured between sheets of woven fiberglass fabric pre impregnated in epoxy resin. The bottom layer 3 is made of an elastomeric- thermoplastic acoustic dampening panel.

[0063] In some cases, such as with FIG. 8, the spacer panel 1 is placed over the structural floor

6 of the aircraft and connected to two flooring panels 7 and 7 . The flooring panels 7 and 7 are made of a laminated sandwich of a lower layer 14, and an upper layer 15 and a core ply 13. The upper layer 15 is made of wood. The lower layer 14 is made of an elastomeric-thermoplastic acoustic dampening panel. The core ply 13 is made of a laminated sandwich material of PVC foam cured between sheets of woven fiberglass fabric pre-impregnated in epoxy resin. [0064] In some cases, such as with reference to FIG. 7, each flooring panel 7 and 7 has cut sections 16 and 16 , each cut section 16 and 16 is located in an edge, where the cut sections 16 and 16 are collinear between them. Each cut section 16 and 16 extends inwardly from the edge a distance of about 12.7mm. In some cases, the spacer panel 1 has a length measured in the direction parallel to the distance of the cut section 16, where the length is about 27.7mm. Accordingly, the flooring panels 7 and 7 form a gap 17 of about 2.28mm. In the gap 17, a sealant member 10 is applied as an extruded PVC grout.

[0065] Additionally, the spacer panel 1 and the flooring panels 7 and 7 are bonded together with an adhesive material 8, which is a butyl rubber tape having adhesive on both faces.

Example 2:

[0066] In some cases, such as with reference to FIG. 11, a spacer panel 1 is installed between two adjacent flooring sections 25 and 25 . The spacer panel 1 is connected to a pair of flooring panels 7 and 7 through a longitudinal edge. Referring to FIG. 5, a gap 17 is formed between the flooring panels 7 and 7 , where the gap 17 is about 3mm. In the gap 17, the sealant member 10 may be applied as an extruded PVC grout. The spacer panel 1 dimensions are about 860mm x 152mm x 12.5mm.

Example 3:

[0067] In some cases, such as with reference to FIG. 11, a spacer panel 1' is installed between two adjacent flooring sections 25 and 25”. The spacer panel 1 is connected to an edge of the flooring sections 25 and 25” that is formed by a plurality of transversal edges of the flooring panels 7 and 7 .

[0068] Between flooring sections 25 and 25” is formed a gap 17 of about 3.5mm (not illustrated). In the gap 17, a sealant member 10 is applied as an extruded PVC grout (not illustrated). The spacer panel 1 dimensions are about 460mm x 152mm x

12.5mm.

[0069] It should be understood that the present invention is not limited to the examples described and illustrated, as it will be evident to a person skilled in the art that there are variations and possible modifications that do not depart from the spirit and/or scope of the disclosure.