US20040211141A1 - Decorative siding panel and method of manufacture - Google Patents

Decorative siding panel and method of manufacture Download PDF

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US20040211141A1
US20040211141A1 US10/424,969 US42496903A US2004211141A1 US 20040211141 A1 US20040211141 A1 US 20040211141A1 US 42496903 A US42496903 A US 42496903A US 2004211141 A1 US2004211141 A1 US 2004211141A1
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panel
coating
applying
textured
siding
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US10/424,969
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Howard Sandy
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Sandy Howard M.
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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F13/00Coverings or linings, e.g. for walls or ceilings
    • E04F13/07Coverings or linings, e.g. for walls or ceilings composed of covering or lining elements; Sub-structures therefor; Fastening means therefor
    • E04F13/08Coverings or linings, e.g. for walls or ceilings composed of covering or lining elements; Sub-structures therefor; Fastening means therefor composed of a plurality of similar covering or lining elements
    • E04F13/0864Coverings or linings, e.g. for walls or ceilings composed of covering or lining elements; Sub-structures therefor; Fastening means therefor composed of a plurality of similar covering or lining elements composed of superposed elements which overlap each other and of which the flat outer surface includes an acute angle with the surface to cover
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F13/00Coverings or linings, e.g. for walls or ceilings
    • E04F13/07Coverings or linings, e.g. for walls or ceilings composed of covering or lining elements; Sub-structures therefor; Fastening means therefor
    • E04F13/08Coverings or linings, e.g. for walls or ceilings composed of covering or lining elements; Sub-structures therefor; Fastening means therefor composed of a plurality of similar covering or lining elements
    • E04F13/0871Coverings or linings, e.g. for walls or ceilings composed of covering or lining elements; Sub-structures therefor; Fastening means therefor composed of a plurality of similar covering or lining elements having an ornamental or specially shaped visible surface
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F13/00Coverings or linings, e.g. for walls or ceilings
    • E04F13/07Coverings or linings, e.g. for walls or ceilings composed of covering or lining elements; Sub-structures therefor; Fastening means therefor
    • E04F13/08Coverings or linings, e.g. for walls or ceilings composed of covering or lining elements; Sub-structures therefor; Fastening means therefor composed of a plurality of similar covering or lining elements
    • E04F13/0875Coverings or linings, e.g. for walls or ceilings composed of covering or lining elements; Sub-structures therefor; Fastening means therefor composed of a plurality of similar covering or lining elements having a basic insulating layer and at least one covering layer
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F13/00Coverings or linings, e.g. for walls or ceilings
    • E04F13/07Coverings or linings, e.g. for walls or ceilings composed of covering or lining elements; Sub-structures therefor; Fastening means therefor
    • E04F13/08Coverings or linings, e.g. for walls or ceilings composed of covering or lining elements; Sub-structures therefor; Fastening means therefor composed of a plurality of similar covering or lining elements
    • E04F13/18Coverings or linings, e.g. for walls or ceilings composed of covering or lining elements; Sub-structures therefor; Fastening means therefor composed of a plurality of similar covering or lining elements of organic plastics with or without reinforcements or filling materials or with an outer layer of organic plastics with or without reinforcements or filling materials; plastic tiles
    • E04F13/185Coverings or linings, e.g. for walls or ceilings composed of covering or lining elements; Sub-structures therefor; Fastening means therefor composed of a plurality of similar covering or lining elements of organic plastics with or without reinforcements or filling materials or with an outer layer of organic plastics with or without reinforcements or filling materials; plastic tiles with an outer layer imitating natural stone, brick work, tiled surface or the like

Abstract

A decorative siding panel is disclosed. The panel preferably comprises a thermoformed unit which includes upper and lower attachment flanges bordering a central area which is formed with a raised profile to simulate natural stone. The panel preferably includes means for attachment to adjacent panels forming a given horizontal course. The panels are preferably thermoformed to a desired shape, a textured coating in a series of coating stages, a color is applied to the texture and the coatings fixed to the unit.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention [0001]
  • The present invention generally relates to decorative wall panels and methods for their manufacture. More specifically, the present invention relates to a simulated stone wall covering which is comprised of overlapping panels, and methods of fabrication. [0002]
  • 2. Description of the Prior Art [0003]
  • In the construction and finishing trades there have been many prior attempts to simulate a brick, stone or tile surface using materials less expensive than the genuine material. Some of these attempts involved cutting the genuine brick, stone, etc. into thin slabs which are then adhered to a conventional concrete wall, etc. for support. See, for example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,131,514; 1,669,351; 3,660,214; 3,740,910; 3,521,418; 3,775,916; 3,646,715; 2,122,696; 2,149,784; 2,339,489; 3,426,490; and 1,902,271. The expense, time, and care involved in cutting the brick or stone, etc. into desired thin slabs and then adhering them to the desired surface or substrate detract from the advantages of such techniques. [0004]
  • Another attempt to simulate a brick, stone, tile, etc. exterior involves pouring a mortar or concrete mix into a mold or form which includes the desired relief, e.g., brick, stone, etc. This technique is described, for example, in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,002,322 and 3,874,140. Various limitations are inherent in this technique. For example, in order for the concrete or mortar mix to properly and completely fill the molds without leaving air pockets the mix must contain a considerable amount of water. This detracts from the strength of the cured mixture and increases the curing time. The finished product unfortunately still has the appearance of concrete and is all the same color, i.e., it does not have one color for the bricks or stone relief and a different color for the spacing between the brick or stone shapes. Moreover, it is difficult if not impossible to obtain sharp edges on the brick or stone shapes in these molds. As a result, the shapes are not as realistic as desired. [0005]
  • Another technique simply involves making panels or sections from plastic which has been molded to the desired relief. The panels or sections are then used as the outer decorative facing for the structure to be covered. See, for example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,882,218; 3,177,279; and 3,232,017. Of course, these products do not provide a totally realistic appearance and would not be adequate as a substitute for real brick, stone, tile, etc. in all situations. [0006]
  • Still other techniques involve making simulated brick or tile elements out of plastic and then bonding them to a supporting panel or sheet with adhesive. See U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,991,529 and 4,079,554. Again, such a technique includes serious limitations. [0007]
  • Yet another technique involved forming two layers of magnesite applied to a metal lathe. The second layer is of a different color than the first layer. Before the second layer hardens, grooves are cut therethrough to form the shape of bricks, for example, and to reveal the underlying layer of magnesite. See U.S. Pat. No. 1,583,748. Disadvantages with this technique include the lack of stone relief. Further, this process does not provide for graduation of color. Finally, the product resultant from this process requires a skilled installer using skim coat and mortar. [0008]
  • Another technique described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,426,490 involves forming individual brick veneer blocks made of concrete or fired clay which are adhered to a wire mesh in panel form. The panels are then secured to a wall with nails or staples. Mortar is then applied between the veneer blocks and forced into the wire mesh. This technique also suffers as a result of its cumbersome method of application which does not lend itself to quick application. [0009]
  • U.S. Pat. No. 3,496,694 describes yet another method in which molded formations made from cementitious plaster, plastic, or other suitable decorative material are adhered to a flexible base material. The prefabricated material may then be rolled up and transported to the job site where it is attached to the frame of a building. The disadvantage of this method is that it requires an even flat surface for mounting. This product resultant from the method requires an installation process which is material-intensive. [0010]
  • U.S. Pat. No. 3,868,801 describes a building panel for a prefabricated house. The panel includes masonry elements (such as bricks), polyester mortar, wire mesh, polymer foam, and inner facing layers are held together by the mortar and foam. [0011]
  • U.S. Pat. No. 3,344,570 describes a reinforced flooring tile including a body of concrete with reinforcing framework embedded therein. The network is thermoplastic synthetic resin or metallic reinforcing. [0012]
  • U.S. Pat. No. 3,067,545 describes an artificial siding for frame buildings. A brick-like block is made of standard concrete block mixture which may include coloring pigments and water-proofing agents. The block is molded on metal mesh in such a manner that it extends through the mesh. The exterior surface of the walls of the building are covered with wooden-sheathing and then felt paper. The brick/mesh pieces are then nailed to the wall individually as siding in such a manner that the mesh overlaps the mesh of the piece in the row below it. Presumably the spaces between adjacent bricks would have to be sealed in some manner. [0013]
  • U.S. Pat. No. 2,819,495 describes a method for making building blocks having a molded mortar surfacing simulating a plurality of bricks or stones. The mortar is first placed into a mold and must be tamped into compartments; then additional intermediate layers are added, after which concrete mix is added to form the main portion of the block. A disadvantage of this technique is that the facing is applied to the concrete block prior to the required conventional steam or oven curing of the block. Accordingly, additional care is required to handle such blocks prior to curing. [0014]
  • U.S. Pat. No. 2,748,443 describes a particular technique (involving a specially designed stencil) for applying a plastic mix, like mortar, to the face of a building in a predetermined pattern to simulate stone blocks. However, the wall to be faced is first covered with lathing over which is provided a continuous coating of plastic mix and then a brown coat. Then the mortar mix is applied with the aid of the stencil. This technique, of course, would not be practical for use with individual building blocks, nor is it a convenient technique even for large building faces. [0015]
  • U.S. Pat. No. 1,571,849 describes a multi-step method for making building blocks which is similar to that described in U.S. Pat. No. 2,819,495. A grate is placed on a flat plate and a concrete mix is then placed into the openings in the grate and must be tamped down until it is even with the top of the grate. The grate is then removed and the spaces between the shapes formed by the grate are filled with cementitious compost colored differently than the shapes left by the grate. Then another concrete mixture is added to form another layer. The resulting structure is then removed from the mold on the flat plate and placed in the bottom of a mold of a cement block forming machine where the main portion of a cement block is formed on top. [0016]
  • U.S. Pat. No. 2,618,815 describes a method for applying a coating of plaster or cement to a wall to simulate the appearance of stone, cement blocks, or similar construction units. A plastic mold is filled with a concrete and mortar mix. The mold is then placed against a wall until the mortar mix adheres and sets. Alternatively, the mold may be coated with an adhesive coating such as a mixture of paraffin and kerosene. Marble dust, quartz particles or the like are then spread onto the coating, followed by ground stone particles. The mold is then filled with the mortar mix. Then the mortar mix may be pressed against the wall and the mold removed immediately, leaving the marble dust and paraffin-kerosene coating covering the mortar. [0017]
  • U.S. Pat. No. 2,130,911 describes a prefabricated building unit in which a first layer is applied directly onto a Celotex, fiber board, etc. The first layer may be plaster or cement (0.25 to 2 inches thick). Then facing elements made from natural stone, cement, wood, metal, linoleum or the like are pressed onto the surface of the first layer while either or both are in a plastic or semi-cured condition. Alternatively, the facing elements may be secured to the first layer by cement or adhesive. The facing elements may be pre-formed or may be formed from a plastic material on the base member in a continuous operation. [0018]
  • U.S. Pat. No. 3,304,673 describes a pre-cast panel which is adapted to be keyed to adjacent panels with specially formed inserts. The panel includes a base layer of cement and an embossed outer layer which simulates brick. Before the base layer is set the outer layer is added and then a mold is impressed against the surface of the outer layer to emboss it and provide a simulated brick facing. The outer layer may include pigments for coloring. Alternatively, the outer layer may be cast in a separate mold, hardened, and then laid in place over the first layer. [0019]
  • U.S. Pat. No. 3,503,165 describes a structural panel made of concrete. A simulated brick appearance may be achieved by putting a thin layer of wet concrete over the face of the panel and then pressing a mold downwardly into the wet concrete to imprint a brick appearance. [0020]
  • Each of the methods disclosed in these prior references display the disadvantage of a tedious and rather involved fabrication process and/or a labor and material intensive installation process. In this connection, fabrication techniques which emphasize extensive use of concrete or stone layering may be as expensive as the materials which they were developed to replace. Further, many of the end results of these prior processes require an involved installation process. Finally, none of these prior processes achieve the goal of a low cost, low weight, easily assembleable system, where the end result closely replicates stone or masonry. [0021]
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention addresses the above and other disadvantages of prior decorative wall panels and methods for their fabrication. [0022]
  • In a general embodiment, the system of the invention includes a series of connectable panels, where each panel comprises a one-piece substrate or base layer and a decorative layer bonded to the frontal surface of the substrate. The base layer may be formed from a variety of materials and may be molded into a variety of forms and shapes. Structurally, the panel includes features which allow for its ready-installation on a wall or other surface via an adhesive or conventional fasteners. [0023]
  • In a preferred embodiment, the panel includes features which allow it to overlap and to be structurally integrated into other panels so as to form a continuous course. In such a fashion, a series of courses of panels may be aligned relative to each other to adopt the visual appearance of natural stone or masonry. [0024]
  • The present invention also includes a method of fabrication of the aforedescribed panels. In one embodiment, the method of fabrication includes the sequential steps of intermittently heating the panel, applying a base coating about the frontal surface of the panel, introducing a pigment on the frontal surface of the panel, applying one or more texturing compounds to yield a desired texture and finish, applying one or more sealer coats to the textured coat and then thermobinding all layers to each other and to the panel. [0025]
  • desired texture and finish, applying one or more sealer coats to the textured coat and then thermobinding all layers to each other and to the panel. [0026]
  • The present invention presents several advantages over prior art structures and methods for their fabrication. A second benefit of the invention is the design of the system which prevents moisture from being trapped between the substrate and the facing structure. In such a fashion, degeneration of the facing and the system itself is significantly reduced. [0027]
  • Another such advantage is the ease of fabrication. Panels of the present invention may be produced in an assembly-line process. In such a fashion, the end product is of a consistent appearance and quality. Further, the ability to use an assembly-line process renders the system more economical than competitive systems.[0028]
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIGS. 1A-1B are perspective views of one embodiment of the panel system of the invention. [0029]
  • FIG. 2 is a detailed, perspective view of the embodiment of the panel system of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 1A-1B. [0030]
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the invention as shown in its intended application in a series of rows and courses. [0031]
  • FIG. 4 is a perspective, detailed view of one embodiment of the connector tab system of the present invention. [0032]
  • FIG. 5 is a perspective, detailed view of a second embodiment of a connector system of the present invention. [0033]
  • FIG. 6 is a side view of a drainage system operable in the present invention. [0034]
  • FIG. 7 is a perceptive view of a second embodiment of a drainage system operable with the present invention.[0035]
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • The system of the present invention comprises a series of fabricated panels, each of which is adapted to be applied, in combination with other panels, to a surface so as to replicate alternating courses of cut stone or masonry. [0036]
  • In one embodiment, the panel [0037] 2 of the present invention defines a front 4 and a back 6 surface. When viewed in cross-section, the panel 2 defines a profile having a top 8 and a bottom 10 flange. Each of flanges 8, 10 define planar surfaces which are substantially coplanar to each other. These flanges 8, 10 are adapted to attach to a mounting surface 20, e.g. a wall, via conventional fasteners or adhesives (not shown). Flanges 8 and 10 bound a convex surface 18, as will be discussed below. Flanges 8 and 10 are designed to replicate a mortar joint when appearing in a series of horizontal courses, such as illustrated in FIG. 3.
  • Flanges [0038] 8, 10 bound a convex face surface 18 as shown in FIG. 2. This convex surface 18 extends outwardly from the mounting surface 20 in the fashion of cut stone or masonry. In such fashion, the outward bow of surface 18 from surface 20 may be varied, depending on the type of masonry or stone sought to be imitated.
  • Panel [0039] 2 may be made from a variety of materials which can be molded or thermoformed to a desired shape. It is contemplated that acrylic/pvc, such as Kleerdex Vinyloy 103, may be used. Alternately, the use of ABS and Styrene is also contemplated as being within the scope of the invention for use as panel 2.
  • The profile of panel [0040] 2 may be varied depending on the “look” sought to be replicated. In the instance of an acrylic/pvc, a flat panel may be thermoformed into a desired shape in a manner familiar to those skilled in the art.
  • Panel [0041] 2 defines a first and second end, 22 and 24 respectively, as illustrated in FIG. 2. Both first 22 and second ends 24 are provided with means to attach each panel to each adjacent panel comprising a given course. In one embodiment, this attachment means may compromise one or more studs or tabs 25 disposed at the first end 22 of each panel 2 and a corresponding aperture(s) 28 disposed in the second end 24. In such a fashion, each panel 2 can be interconnected with adjacent panels in a manner illustrated in FIGS. 1A-1B.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 4, the studs or tabs [0042] 25 may include an elongate stem 30 which defines an outside diameter larger than the inside diameter of aperture 28. Stem 30 may be bisected into multiple subcomponents such that stem 30 may be compressed to fit into protrusion 28 in a manner familiar to those skilled in the art.
  • Still other means of attachment are also envisioned within the spirit of the invention. By reference to FIG. 5, panels [0043] 2 may be provided with a stud 40 about one end and a groove 42 about the opposite end. Stud 40 may include along its length an area of a reduced radial diameter which is receivable in groove 42, again in a manner familiar to those skilled in the art.
  • These alternate means of interconnecting adjacent panels, in conjunction with the natural tendency of the convex faces of adjacent panels [0044] 2 to “nest within each other” provides a ready means to ensure proper horizontal alignment of a course of panels 2.
  • It is inevitable that any surface exposed to the elements will allow some moisture to penetrate through to the mounting surface [0045] 20. If this moisture was not allowed some method of escape or migration, retention of this moisture could result in deterioration of said mounting surface 20. Alternatively, moisture collection in the airspace 17 behind the panels 2, if not allowed means to dry, could also result in a substantial deterioration of the panel 2. Further, moisture collecting behind panel 2, when frozen, could weaken or destroy the adhesive bonds between panels 2 and the mounting surface 20.
  • In one preferred embodiment, each panel [0046] 2 is provided with one or more moisture outlets 60. These outlets 60 are desirably formed on the lower portion of convex face 18, as illustrated in FIGS. 1A-1B and 2. In such a fashion, moisture, e.g. rain, will not be prone to enter these outlets 60 while conversely, moisture present behind panels 2 will be disposed to exit void space 17.
  • Moisture outlets [0047] 60 may define a circular or semi-circular shape. In one illustrated embodiment, outlet 60 includes a partial cap or lid 61 which extends over aperture 62. In such a fashion, greater resistance to moisture intrusion may be obtained. Alternately, outlet 60 may be formed with intersecting grooves 63 such as illustrated in FIG. 7. This embodiment offers the benefit of preventing insects, e.g. wasps, from entering said apertures and nesting in the void space 17.
  • The present invention is also directed to a method of fabricating panels [0048] 2. As set forth above, panel 2 is desirably formed from a thermoformable material, e.g., cellular polyethylene, which is shaped via the technique of thermo forming or plastic injection or rotational molding in a desired shape or series of shapes. Once formed, panel 2 is evenly heated about its front 4 and back 6 surfaces. This heating may be accomplished via a hot air convection. It has been discovered that, in the example of cellular polyethylene, an even heat of 80° F. is optimum to the fabrication process of the invention. This optimum temperature range, however, will vary depending on the material composition and thickness of the panel. This temperature is desirably maintained for some fifteen minutes prior to the initiation of subsequent steps in the process.
  • Once heated to an optimum temperature, a base coating is applied over the frontal surface [0049] 4 of the panel 2. This coating may include an acrylic polymer bonding agent. The purpose of this coating is to prepare and set up the molecular surface of the formed substrate with a bonding agent that allows color primer coat to make a mechanical and flexible attachment to the said surface without direct interface with the face of panel 2. This coating may be applied by spray, brush or atomization process in a manner familiar to those skilled in the art. The panel 2 and the base coat is then heat-dried. In a preferred embodiment, this drying process may be accomplished by circulating hot air at a temperature of 168-170° F. for about fifteen minutes about the frontal surface 4 of panel 2.
  • A primer coating is next applied over the base coat to the frontal surface [0050] 4. This coating may include a DryVit Color Primer as made by Dryvit Systems Inc., or other pigmented acrylic primer, e.g. Dryvit Color Prime This coating is then air dried, again at a temperature of between 100-120° F., for a duration of some fifteen minutes.
  • A first textured coating is then applied to the coated surface. This coating may comprise a mixture of one or more of an aggregate, sand, silica, quartz crystals, and a binder, e.g. DryVit, Stone Mist or DryVit Ameristone. The first textured coating is preferably applied to a 50% coverage This mixture may again be sprayed, atomized or brushed over the frontal surface [0051] 4 of panel 2. Once applied, this first textured coating is allowed to remain partially wet prior to the introduction of the next coating.
  • A solution of water-based or oil colored pigments and/or dyes is next applied to the partially wet surface of the first textured coating. In a preferred embodiment, the mixture may be comprised of 100 parts water to 125 parts colored pigments and/or dyes. In the example of a sand-colored texture, it has been discovered that a mixture of 100 parts water to 125 parts acrylic-based paint provides an optimum look and feel. The pigment or dyes used in this step may include a number of commercially available products, e.g. DryVit® Color Primer or Benjamin Moore® Acrylic Paint. This pigment or dye solution is preferably applied with a “stacato” or rapidly flinging or irregular motion. The application of this solution is also preferably applied under a selected pressure and at a selected distance between the means of application and the front [0052] 4 of panel 2.
  • The impact of the pigment or dye solution on the wet, first textured coating results in a wide dispersal of the pigment into a wide variety of shapes. The size and configuration of these shapes is determined by a number of factors including the pressure at which the pigment is applied, the viscosity of the pigment, and the distance of the surface [0053] 4 of panel 2 from the means of application. The application of the pigment onto the wet surface also results in a “bleeding” of the pigment solution into muted color tones, tints and contrasts. Each of the variables may be altered again depending on the pressure of application, the viscosity of the mixture and the distance of the means of application to the front surface 4 of panel 2.
  • A second textured coating is next applied to the substrate. This second textured coating may again be comprised of a mixture of one or more of aggregate, sand, silica, quartz crystals and a 100% acrylic binder. This coating is preferably partial (as opposed to complete) in order to highlight textures felt desirable for the particular application. In this connection, it may be desirable to use a different mixture of texturing agents, or to apply the texture in a different manner, than the initial texture coating to achieve optimum results. [0054]
  • If desired, an additional coating of a colored solution may be added, as desired. Additionally, additional or varying textured layers may also be applied to reach a desired color and texture. [0055]
  • Once a desired texture and color is achieved, a sealer is applied to the front surface [0056] 4 of the panel 2. This coating preferably comprises a semi-gloss or high gloss, e.g., DryVit® Demandit 100% clear acrylic coating, again dependent on the desired end application. Over this coating, a second flat, semi-gloss or high gloss coat is applied, with this procedure being repeated to replicate the depth or field of depth of strata found in natural stone, marble, graphite or limestone.
  • The coated and textured substrate is then preferably heated to a temperature of between 168-170° F. for some fifteen minutes to complete the drying process. Each panel [0057] 2 of the system is then ready for installation.
  • An example of one embodiment of the fabrication method of the present invention is set out below. [0058]
  • EXAMPLE 1
  • A sheet of acrylic/pvc (Kleerdex Vinyloy 103, Acrylic/PVC, P-1 haircell texture) having a thickness of 0.040 and/or 0.60 was thermoformed into a stone or a stone molding configuration. The sheet was evenly heated to 80° F. A base coating (Quickstone Conditioner) was sprayed over the face of the pre-heated acrylic/pvc formed sheet. The substrate and base coating was heat dried by circulating hot air at a temperature of 100° F., for the duration of approximately fifteen minutes. A primer coating (DryVit® Color Primer) was then sprayed over the surface of the base coating. The sheet, base coating and color prime were then heat dried by circulating hot air at a temperature of 100° F., for a duration of fifteen minutes. An initial or first and partial coating of a mixture of aggregate, silica, sand, quartz crystal and 100% DryVit acrylic binder emulsion was then sprayed over the face of the pre-formed and base coated sheet. The partial coating on the surface of the sheet was allowed to remain wet. A solution (100 parts water to 125 parts acrylic-based paint) of DryVit® Color Primer was applied onto the wet surface. The solution was mechanically applied with a “staccato” motion to produce color muting, bleeding, graduation and blotching. A second partial coating of a mixture of aggregate, sand, silica, quartz crystal and 100% acrylic binder emulsion (DryVit® Stone Mist) was sprayed onto the face of the pre-formed sheet. The sheet and base coat, prime coat and aggregate coatings was then heat dried by circulating hot air at a temperature of 100° F., for a duration of approximately fifteen minutes. A flat, semi-gloss or high gloss (DryVit® Demandit 100% clear acrylic coating) was then applied over the second partial coating to act as a sealer. A solution of a flat sealer coat (DryVit® Demandit 100% clear acrylic coating) was then applied over the second partial coating to replicate the depth of field. The formed sheet with the completed base coat, prime coat and aggregate coats and clear acrylic coatings (DryVit® Demandit 100% Clear Acrylic coating) was then heat dried by circulating hot air at a temperature of 170° F., for a duration of approximately fifteen minutes. [0059]
  • An alternative method of fabrication also utilizes a thermoformable panel, as described above. A solution of water-based pigments, dyes, emulsions or acrylics, or combinations of these compounds, are sprayed or atomized over the surface of a body of temperature-regulated water such as may be maintained in a vat or pool. By their nature, these compounds are lighter than water and thus form a sheen- or film on the water surface. This film forms into irregularly-shaped puddles as the pigment mixture and the water mutually repels each other. [0060]
  • A panel again preferably comprising a thermoplastic panel, is heated to a temperature of some 80° F. To this heated surface, a base coat, e.g. an acrylic polymer bonding agent is applied via spraying, brushing or atomization over the face of the preheated panel. The substrate and base coating are heat dried by circulating hot air at a temperature of 100° F. for some fifteen minutes. [0061]
  • A primer coating is then applied to the base coating by brush, spray or atomization. This coating is also heat dried by circulating hot air at a temperature of between 100° F. for some fifteen minutes. [0062]
  • A coating of aggregate, silica, sand, quartz, and 100% acrylic binder emulsions (Dryvit Stone Mist #25 sized stone) was sprayed onto the face of the primer coat, base coat and pre-formed substrate. The substrate, base coat, primer coat and aggregate coat was then heat dried by circulating air at a temperature of 100° F., for the duration of 15 minutes. [0063]
  • The coated, front surface of the heated panel is lowered into the film emulsion. This film adheres to the panel in the irregular pattern which is maintained in the vat or container. This film serves to enhance the natural, fragmented, colored, distressed, aged, antiqued color and/or toned qualities of natural stone. The end product is again heated to 170° F. to promote curing. [0064]
  • An example of this second method of fabrication is set forth below. [0065]
  • EXAMPLE 2
  • A sheet of acrylic/pvc (Kleerdex Vinyloy 103) having a thickness of 0.040 was thermoformed into a stone molding configuration. The sheet was then evenly heated to 80° F. A base coating (Quickstone Conditioner) was then sprayed over the face of the pre-formed, pre-heated acrylic/pvc formed sheet. The substrate and base coating was then heat dried by circulating hot air at a temperature of 100° F., for the duration of approximately fifteen minutes. A primer coating (DryVit® Color Primer, pigmented acrylic polymer) was then sprayed over the surface of the base coat and preformed substrate. The substrate, base coating and prime coat were then heat dried by circulating hot air at a temperature of 100° F., for a duration of approximately fifteen minutes. A coating of aggregate, sand, silica, quartz crystals and 100% acrylic binder emulsions (DryVit Color Primer) was then sprayed over the face of the primer coat, base coat and pre-formed sheet. The substrate, base coat, primer coat and aggregate coat were then heat dried by circulating hot air at a temperature of 100° F., for a duration of approximately fifteen minutes. [0066]
  • A reservoir filled with water was heated to a temperature of 100° F. An antiquing solution of a water-based pigments (Quickstone® Custom Antiquing Colored Acrylic Paint) in a solution of 100 parts water to 125 parts acrylic, enamel paint was sprayed over the surface of the temperature regulated water to produce an irregular film. [0067]
  • The sheet, base coat, primer coat and aggregate coat was immersed face down into the floating film. The film maintained its irregular and shaped puddle effect as it adhered itself to the surface of the coating and thus created the desired replication and effects of naturally fragmented, colored, distressed, aged, antique, color and tonal qualities of natural stone. The substrate, base coat, primer coat, aggregate coat and antique coat were then heat dried by circulating hot air over the front surface of the sheet at a temperature of 120° F. for the duration of approximately fifteen minutes. [0068]
  • Although particular detailed embodiments of the apparatus and method have been described herein, it should be understood that the invention is not restricted to the details of the preferred embodiment. Many changes in design, composition, configuration and dimensions are possible without departing from the spirit and scope of the instant invention. [0069]

Claims (43)

What is claimed is:
1. A wall panel adapted to be fastened to a mounting surface, said panel comprising:
(a) a formed, thermoplastic panel defining a back and a front surface where said front surface is outwardly-curved whereby said outwardly-curved surface is bounded by one or more attachment flanges where each said flange extends to said mounting surface, said curved surface defining a void space between said mounting surface and said outwardly curved surface; and
(b) said front surface of said panel including:
(i) one or more textured layers; and (ii) one or more pigmented layers, where each of said layers are thermobonded to said panel.
2. The wall panel of claim 1 further including means to attach a given panel to adjacent, horizontally-oriented panels.
3. The wall panel of claim 2 where said panel further defines a first and second end where each said first end includes a male connector which is receivable in a female connector disposed on said second end on an adjacent panel.
4. The wall panel of claim 1, wherein each said mounting flange defines a planar surface which is adapted to contact said mounting surface.
5. The wall panel of claim 1 wherein the thermoplastic panel is made of acrylic.
6. The wall panel of claim 1 further including means to drain any fluid trapped in said void space.
7. The wall panel of claim 6 wherein said drainage means includes one or more apertures formed on a bottom-most portion of said curved surface.
8. The wall panel of claim 1 wherein said textured layers are partially comprised of a mixture including an aggregate, sand, silica, quartz crystals and a binding agent.
9. The wall panel of claim 7 where said aperture includes means to limit access into the void space through said aperture.
10. The wall panel of claim 1 where said attachment flange, when said panel is joined to the other panels in a series of horizontal courses, resembles a motor joint.
11. A siding assembly for an exterior wall surface made up of a plurality of siding units, said units adapted to be affixed to the wall surface with similar units in overlapping horizontal courses with the units of each course lying in overlapping relation to each other, each of said units comprising:
a main body portion including a front face and a rear face, said front face including a substantially convex main portion bounded by one or more linear lip portions; and
said front face defining at one end a male connector where said male connector is adapted to fit into an aperture in an adjoining siding unit, said front face defining at the opposite end a female connector adapted to receive a male connector disposed on an adjoining siding unit;
said lip portion adapted to contact said wall surface such that the convex portion defines a void space between said rear face and said wall surface; and
a textured layer thermobonded to said front face.
12. The siding assembly of claim 11 wherein said front surface defines means to drain the void space.
13. The siding assembly of claim 12 wherein said drainage means comprises one or more apertures disposed in the lower surface of the convex main portion such that any moisture collecting in said void space may pass through said aperture.
14. The siding assembly of claim 11 where said main body portion is comprised of a thermoformable material.
15. The siding assembly of claim 14 where said thermoformable material includes acrylic/pvc.
16. The siding assembly of claim 11 wherein said textured layer includes alternating layers of a texturing agent and a pigment.
17. The siding assembly of claim 11 where said textured layer is formed from a method comprising the steps of:
(a) heating the main body portion;
(b) applying a base coating to the front surface of said main body portion;
(c) drying said base coat about said main-body portion;
(d) applying a primer coat to the front surface of said main body portion;
(e) heat drying said primer coat for a selected time interval;
(f) applying a textured coating; and
(g) heating the main body portion to dry each for a selected time interval.
18. The method of claim 17 further including the steps of:
(a) applying a pigment to the textured coating;
(b) heat drying the coating for a selected time interval; and
(c) applying a sealer to the frontal surface of the main body portion.
19. The method of claim 17 wherein the textured coating is drawn from a group consisting of one or more of an aggregate, sand, silica, and/or quartz crystals and a binder emulsion.
20. The method of claim 17 wherein the main body portion is heated to a temperature of 80° F.
21. The method of claim 17 where the steps of heat drying occur in a range of 120-170° F.
22. The method of claim 17 where the pigmentation is applied irregularly over the textured surface.
23. A facing panel structure for a wall comprising a plurality of sheets whose outer surface is contoured for simulating at least one of various construction facing materials, positioned thereon in spaced relation with each other and with mortar line portions simulated between said construction material, each of said sheets having flange portions extending one or more edge portions, said flange portions bounding a substantially convex portion, said convex portion defining at one end a mating protrusion and at the second end a mating aperture adapted to receive the mating portion from an adjacent panel structure, said convex portions defining one or more drainage apertures about their bottom surface, whereby upon mounting said sheets of material on said wall said mating protrusions of one sheet are received in said mating protrusion on adjoining sheets of material, said outer surface of said panel provided with a pigmented, textured coating which is sealed and thermally bonded to said outer surface.
24. The facing panel structure of claim 23 wherein said substantially convex portion of said sheet defines a void area between the facing panel structure and the wall.
25. The facing panel of claim 23 wherein said sheets are formed of a cellular polyethylene.
26. The facing panel of claim 23 wherein the textured coating is applied using the sequential steps of:
(a) applying a base coating to the front surface of said sheet;
(b) drying said base coat about said sheet;
(c) applying a primer coat to the front surface of said sheet;
(d) heat drying said primer coat for a selected time interval;
(e) applying a textured coating;
(f) applying a pigment to the textured coating;
(g) heat drying the coating for a selected time interval;
(h) applying a sealer to the frontal surface of the sheet; and
(i) heating the sheet to dry each for a selected time interval.
27. The method of claim 25 further including the initial step of first heating the sheet.
28. A siding assembly for an exterior wall surface made up of at least a first siding unit and a second siding unit where each of said siding units defines a front and back surface, each of siding units comprising:
a body molded in a described configuration to define a face surface bounded by one or more attachment portions, the front surface of said body including one or more textured layers bonded to said surface;
said body including a first and a second end where said first end includes a raised portion and said second end defines an aperture, where said raised portion is adapted to be received in said aperture formed in said second siding unit to align said horizontal flange portions of the first and second siding unit;
said flange portion defining a substantially coplanar surface adapted to contact said wall surface;
said first surface defining a void area between said back surface and said wall; and
means to allow the drainage of moisture which may collect in said void area.
29. The siding assembly of claim 28 wherein the body is comprised of a thermoplastic.
30. The siding assembly of claim 28 wherein the body is comprised of a moldable material.
31. The siding assembly of claim 28 wherein said flanges are formed horizontally.
32. A method of manufacturing a siding member which includes a base member having a front and back surface, comprising the steps of:
(a) applying a first base coating to a front surface of the base member;
(b) applying a second, primer coating to said first surface of the base member;
(c) applying a third textured coating to said first surface of said base member;
(d) applying a fourth, pigmented coating to said first surface of said base member;
(e) applying a fifth sealant coat to said fourth, pigmented coating; and
(f) curing said multiple layers.
33. The method of claim 31 further including the step of applying a fifth sealant coat to said fourth, pigmented coating.
34. The method of claim 31 further including the steps of curing the first and second layers prior to the application of a subsequent layer.
35. The method of claim 31 where said curing step is accomplished by circulating a hot gas across the front surface of said bound member.
36. The method of claim 31 wherein said gas is air.
37. The method of claim 31 where the gas is heated to a temperature in the range of 100-120° F.
38. The method of claim 31 further including the step of first forming the base member into a profile having a convex face bounded by horizontal flange members.
39. The method of claim 31 where the textured coating comprises a binding agent and one or more compositions drawn from the group of aggregate, sand, silica or quartz crystals.
40. The method of claim 31 wherein the coatings are sprayed, atomized, brushed or trowelled.
41. The method of claim 31 where in the hot gas is applied to the front surface for approximately fifteen minutes.
42. The method of claim 31 further including a step taken prior to the application of the sealing coating wherein the textured frontal surface is immersed in a mixture of water over which has been dispersed a coating of a water-insoluble pigment.
43. The method of claim 41 where the water/pigment mixture is in the range of 100 parts water and 125 parts pigment.
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