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US20050260035A1 - Concrete finishing apparatus and method for finishing freshly poured or partially cured concrete - Google Patents

Concrete finishing apparatus and method for finishing freshly poured or partially cured concrete Download PDF

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Publication number
US20050260035A1
US20050260035A1 US10851805 US85180504A US2005260035A1 US 20050260035 A1 US20050260035 A1 US 20050260035A1 US 10851805 US10851805 US 10851805 US 85180504 A US85180504 A US 85180504A US 2005260035 A1 US2005260035 A1 US 2005260035A1
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Prior art keywords
concrete
finishing
member
surface
movable
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Abandoned
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US10851805
Inventor
Tony Dabramo
Bruno Dabramo
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Dabramo Tony F
Dabramo Bruno C
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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F21/00Implements for finishing work on buildings
    • E04F21/20Implements for finishing work on buildings for laying flooring
    • E04F21/24Implements for finishing work on buildings for laying flooring of masses made in situ, e.g. smoothing tools
    • E04F21/241Elongated smoothing blades or plates, e.g. screed apparatus
    • E04F21/244Elongated smoothing blades or plates, e.g. screed apparatus with means to adjust the working angle of the leveling blade or plate

Abstract

The present invention relates generally to a concrete finishing, smoothing and/or leveling apparatus and, more particularly, to a concrete smoothing and leveling apparatus which is operable on freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete to smooth the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete surface to a flat, level surface.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    The present invention relates generally to a concrete finishing, smoothing and/or leveling apparatus and, more particularly, to a concrete smoothing and leveling apparatus which is operable on freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete to smooth the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete surface to a flat, level surface.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    There is a growing need in the industry for close-tolerance, flat and level concrete floors for various buildings or structures, such as warehouses, manufacturing facilities and the like. Many manufacturing plants include high-precision equipment which must be level and thus benefit from having close-tolerance floors to allow for easier initial installation, set up and/or reorganization of the equipment. Additionally, high-density warehouse facilities often utilize narrow aisles and high-reach forklifts to reach tall storage racks for shelving. Any offset from level of the floor then corresponds to an offset from vertical of the high-reach forklift, which may result in difficulty in maneuvering the forklifts along the aisles and in reaching the upper shelves. Such warehouse facilities thus also benefit from very smooth and accurately level floors for efficient installation and use of equipment and for stocking of the shelves.
  • [0003]
    Close-tolerance floors are often referred to in the industry as “super-flat floors” or simply “super flats”. Such super-flat floors are typically expensive for concrete contractors to produce, since such projects usually require specialized equipment and experienced personnel with a thorough knowledge of the process. Because of the high cost of the super-flat floors, often only specified areas of a building floor will be made to super-flat specifications, such as within anticipated aisleways of a given floor plan. However, the spacing or location of the aisles then cannot be easily adjusted or changed later, which increases future renovation costs and possibly the future value and usefulness of the facility.
  • [0004]
    Close-tolerance, super-flat concrete floors are specified, measured and compared in the concrete industry according to concrete floor profile specification variables. One of these variables is for floor flatness “F-F” and another is for floor levelness “F-L”. These two specifications together are generally referred to in the industry as F-numbers. The F-number system offers a repeatable method for measuring floor quality through statistical means known in the art. Concrete floors having F-numbers near or above the range of F-F 80 and F-L 80 are typically regarded as being super-flat concrete floors.
  • [0005]
    Super-flat concrete floors are much more difficult and expensive to achieve than those conventionally poured. In order to achieve such super-flat floors, construction work site personnel must be highly trained and skilled, and special equipment is often required to place and finish the concrete. Striking-off wet, uncured concrete to a specified grade for a conventional floor can be performed using hand tools. However, a large number of workers are required to finish the floor, and production speed of the floor is thus relatively slow with such conventional processes. The production process is also more expensive due in part to the large amount of skilled labor necessary to achieve a super-flat concrete floor. Additionally, as an operator continues to work with the manual devices, such as trowels and scrapers, for a long period of time, the operator will tire as the day goes on, which will have an adverse affect on the final F-numbers and quality of the floor. Therefore, because many flat floors are finished by manual labor, the floors are likely to have relatively poor accuracy in the overall surface levelness and flatness.
  • [0006]
    In many applications, the use of a laser screeding device, such as the Somero Laser Screed, developed by Somero Enterprises of Houghton, Mich., is often required when the goal of a super-flat floor is to be achieved. Other special application tools and equipment, such as highway straight edges, power trowels, pan machines and double trowels, may be used separately, at the same time, or in combination with one another, during the finishing process. Because a significant amount of time and effort of experienced and skilled workers and special equipment and/or machinery is required to achieve a super-flat floor quality, achieving such a floor is often a relatively expensive and time consuming process.
  • [0007]
    Many concrete processing applications have implemented a spinning tube, or the like, in constructing a concrete floor or surface. However, such spinning tube applications are implemented as an initial strike-off tool or screed for striking-off or screeding freshly placed and uncured concrete to the desired grade. These tube type roller screeds are necessarily supported on some type of preset forms or screed rails to maintain grade height. Because these screeding devices are applicable only to freshly poured, uncured concrete, implementation of such devices does not result in a close-tolerance or super-flat concrete floor surface. The additional manual processes still have to be performed on the surface after the initial screeding operation is completed, and after the concrete is at least partially cured and set up, in order to obtain such a super-flat, high quality, floor surface.
  • [0008]
    Additional methods utilized to obtain super-flat concrete floors are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,695,532. As disclosed therein, an automated device includes at least one rotatable finishing member, the device being suitable for use on only partially cured concrete. One problem with the device of U.S. Pat. No. 6,695,532 is that the rotation of the one or more rotatable finishing members creates heat and friction when applied to the surface of partially cured concrete. The heat and/or friction then causes the partially cured concrete to become clumpy, discolored on its surface and/or causes the water contained in the partially cured concrete to “boil off”.
  • [0009]
    Another problem associated with the devices/methods disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,695,532, is that the operator of the device needs to confirm that the one or more finishing members are rotating in the proper directions relative to the movement of the device to ensure that any cement paste or residue is carried forward. Additionally, the use of one or more rotatable finishing members could lead to cement paste or residue particles becoming attached to the surface of the one or more rotatable finishing members, thereby creating a repeated defect in the surface of the leveled concrete.
  • [0010]
    Therefore, there is a need in the art for a simplified concrete smoothing and leveling apparatus which is capable of finishing a concrete surface to a super-flat or close-tolerance finish without the drawbacks associated with previous devices/methods. The apparatus should require minimal manual labor processes, be inexpensive to build and easy to operate over an entire floor surface.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0011]
    The present invention is designed to provide a concrete floor or surface finishing apparatus which is operable to finish a surface of a freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete slab to a super-flat, smooth and level floor surface. The apparatus of the present invention requires minimal manual labor processes to achieve the desired floor surface quality. Additionally, the apparatus of the present invention is applicable to large floor surface areas, whereby the entire floor surface can achieve the desired super-flat and level floor qualities.
  • [0012]
    In one embodiment, the present invention relates to a concrete finishing apparatus for smoothing and leveling freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete comprising: (a) a movable unit which is movable and supported over and/or on the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete, the movable unit being movable in at least a first direction and being supported on the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete by at least one track member which engages a surface of the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete; and (b) at least one straight edge finishing member mounted on the movable unit, the at least one straight edge finishing member defining a straight edge contact surface therealong which is adapted to contact the surface of the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete as the at least one straight edge finishing member is moved over the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete, wherein the at least one track member has an interior surface and an exterior surface, the exterior surface coming into contact with the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete, wherein the interior surface of the at least one track member contains a plurality of transverse members.
  • [0013]
    In another embodiment, the present invention relates to a method for finishing a concrete surface of freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete comprising: (A) providing a concrete finishing apparatus comprising: (I) a movable unit which is movable and supported over and/or on the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete, the movable unit being movable in at least a first direction and being supported on the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete by at least one track member which engages a surface of the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete; and (ii) at least one straight edge finishing member mounted on the movable unit, the at least one straight edge finishing member defining a straight edge contact surface therealong which is adapted to contact the surface of the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete as the at least one straight edge finishing member is moved over the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete; (B) moving the concrete finishing apparatus along the concrete surface such that the concrete finishing apparatus is supported on the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete surface, the concrete finishing apparatus being supported on the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete by the at least one track member; and (C) engaging the at least one straight edge finishing member with the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete surface while the concrete finishing apparatus is undergoing movement, wherein the at least one track member has an interior surface and an exterior surface, the exterior surface coming into contact with the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete, wherein the interior surface of the at least one track member contains a plurality of transverse members.
  • [0014]
    To the accomplishment of the foregoing and related ends, the invention, then, comprises the features hereinafter fully described and particularly pointed out in the claims. These embodiments are indicative, however, of but a few of the various ways in which the principles of the invention may be employed. Other objects, advantages and features of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the invention.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0015]
    FIG. 1 is a top view of a concrete finishing apparatus according to one embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0016]
    FIG. 2 is a side view of the concrete finishing apparatus of FIG. 1;
  • [0017]
    FIG. 3 is a top view of a concrete finishing apparatus according to another embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0018]
    FIG. 4 is a top view of a concrete finishing apparatus according to another embodiment of the present invention; and
  • [0019]
    FIG. 5 is a partial enlarged view of one track of the concrete finishing apparatus of FIG. 1.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0020]
    As is noted above, in one embodiment the present invention relates to a concrete finishing apparatus for smoothing and leveling freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete comprising: (a) a movable unit which is movable and supported over and/or on the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete, the movable unit being movable in at least a first direction and being supported on the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete by at least one track member which engages a surface of the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete; and (b) at least one straight edge finishing member mounted on the movable unit, the at least one straight edge finishing member defining a straight edge contact surface therealong which is adapted to contact the surface of the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete as the at least one straight edge finishing member is moved over the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete.
  • [0021]
    As used herein, a straight edge finishing member is defined as a member formed from any suitable material (plastic, metal, etc.) that is substantially flat and level. The one or more straight edge finishing members of the present invention can be any shape so long as they include at least one flat surface that comes into contact with the concrete surface to be leveled and/or smoothed. Additionally, it should be noted that in the following text, where utilized, range limits may be combined.
  • [0022]
    Turning now to the Figures, FIG. 1 is a top view of one embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 1 illustrates a concrete finishing apparatus 100 designed to smooth and/or level freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete. The concrete finishing apparatus 100 includes a movable unit 102, which is movable via any suitable means, and a straight edge finishing member 104 mounted to the front of movable unit 102. The straight edge finishing member 104 is able to be placed into contact with the surface of the concrete while the movable unit 102 is undergoing movement, thereby permitting smoothing and leveling of the concrete surface.
  • [0023]
    Straight edge finishing member 104 includes a cross member 104 a which is connected via any suitable means to movable unit 102 and a leveling member 104 b which is connected to cross member 104 a in such a manner as to permit a leveling member 104 b to smooth and/or level a concrete surface. In another embodiment, straight edge finishing member 104 can be connected to movable unit 102 via two or more cross members 104 a (not shown). It should be noted that although straight edge finishing member 104 is shown in FIG. 1 to be mounted to the top of movable unit 102, the present invention is not limited thereto.
  • [0024]
    Although not shown in FIG. 1, straight edge finishing member 104 is mounted and/or connected to movable unit 102 in such a manner that straight edge finishing member 104 can be raised and/or lowered (i.e, vertically adjusted) as is required to produce a super-flat, smooth and level floor surface. In one embodiment, straight edge finishing member 104 is mounted to movable unit 102 via a suitable hydraulic cylinder, electric motor, mechanical leveling system, lever arm, moment arm, etc.
  • [0025]
    In another embodiment, the concrete finishing apparatus 100 may include a laser leveling system. The straight edge finishing member 104 is then vertically adjustable in response to the laser leveling system. The straight edge finishing member 104 may also or otherwise be variably weighted to adjust or vary an amount of force or downward pressure being applied to the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete by the straight edge finishing member 104.
  • [0026]
    As noted above, movable unit 102 includes at least one track member which provides support for movable unit 102 and permits movable unit 102 to move over and/or on top of freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete without creating any depressions and/or any markings in the concrete surface. Additionally, the at least one track member of the concrete finishing apparatus spreads the weight of the movable unit over an area of the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete to limit depression of the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete by the movable unit.
  • [0027]
    As is shown in FIGS. 1 to 4, the concrete finishing apparatus of the present invention may include one or more straight edge finishing members 104. FIG. 3 illustrates a concrete finishing apparatus 100 a having a straight edge finishing member 104 mounted to the rear of movable unit 102. The remainder of concrete finishing apparatus 100 a is identical to that of concrete finishing apparatus 100, and therefor a detailed discussion thereof is omitted for brevity.
  • [0028]
    FIG. 4 illustrates a concrete finishing apparatus 100 b having two straight edge finishing members 104 mounted to opposite ends of movable unit 102. The remainder of concrete finishing apparatus 100 b is identical to that of concrete finishing apparatus 100, and therefor a detailed discussion thereof is omitted for brevity.
  • [0029]
    In one embodiment, the straight edge finishing members 104 of concrete finishing apparatus 100, 100 a and/or 100 b may be positioned relative to the movable 102 unit such that the long axis of the leveling member 104 b of the straight edge finishing members 104 is generally normal to the direction of travel of the concrete finishing apparatus 100, 100 a or 100 b, when the apparatus is traveling in a straight line.
  • [0030]
    Alternately, the straight edge finishing members 104 of concrete finishing apparatus 100, 100 a and/or 100 b may be positioned relative to the movable unit 102 such that the long axis of the leveling member 104 b of the straight edge finishing members 104 is skewed or canted relative to the direction of travel of the concrete finishing apparatus 100, 100 a or 100 b, when the apparatus is traveling in a straight line.
  • [0031]
    In yet another embodiment, the orientation of the long axis of leveling member 104 b of any one or more of straight edge finishing members 104 is adjustable in order to change the skew or angle of straight edge finishing members 104 depending on the application. Adjustable straight edge members 104, if so desired, can be accomplished via any suitable means which permits any one or more of straight edge members 104 to be adjusted in a manner similar to a snow-plow blade. Although the present invention is not limited hereto, one such suitable means is a pivot means located at the interface of cross member 104 a and leveling member 104 b. Alternatively, cross member 104 a can be pivotably mounted to movable unit 102.
  • [0032]
    As shown in FIG. 1, the at least one track member takes the form of two continuous tracks 106 and 108. Tracks 106 and 108 are preferably independently drivable via at least one motor or the like, or may be chain driven, or driven via any other drive means. As is shown in FIGS. 1 to 5, movable unit 102 is driven via a motor 110. Motor 110 provides power to one or more of track drive members 112 (see FIG. 2) in order to permit movable unit 102 to be driven in any given direction as desired. Motor 110 may be powered by any suitable means including, bot not limited to, gas, electric, diesel and propane. Motor 110 may also provide power to the system used to vertically move straight edge finishing member 104. In one embodiment, tracks 106 and 108 are driven by four corresponding sets of track driving members 112 comprising two tires mounted on an axle. Although not shown, tracks 106 and 108 can be replaced by a single track which can be driven by a single set of driving members 112. In this embodiment, driving members 112 can be, for example, tires or rollers, depending on the width of the single track.
  • [0033]
    Although FIG. 2 illustrates an embodiment of the present invention where movable unit 102 has four track driving members 112 per continuous track 106 or 108, the invention is not limited thereto. The number of track driving members used in the present invention depends partly on track length/size and partly on the need to ensure that each track is adequately supported throughout its length to ensure that the device of the present invention does not mark or depress the concrete surface as the device of the present invention passes thereover. In one embodiment, movable unit 102 has 3, 4, 5, 6 or more track driving members 112. Alternatively, each track, track 106 or track 108, can have a few as two track driving members 112 placed at opposite ends of tracks 106 and 108.
  • [0034]
    The length and/or width of the tracks 106 and 108 is not limited to the ranges disclosed herein so long as tracks 106 and 108 are designed to permit movable unit 102 to move over and/or on top of freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete without creating any depressions and/or any markings in the concrete surface. Similarly, the diameter and/or the spacing between track driving members 112 is not import so long as tracks 106 and 108 are sufficiently support and tracks 106 and 108 are designed to permit movable unit 102 to move over and/or on top of freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete without creating any depressions and/or any markings in the concrete surface.
  • [0035]
    In one embodiment, the diameter of track driving members 112, as denoted by line A′ in FIG. 2, is in the range of about 5 to about 30 inches, or in the range of about 7 to about 27 inches, or in the range of about 11 to about 25 inches, or even in the range of about 15 to about 21 inches. In one embodiment, the diameter of track driving members 112 is about 23 inches.
  • [0036]
    In one embodiment, the length from the center of the front most track driving member 112 to the center of the back most track driving member 112, as denoted by line B′ in FIG. 2, is in the range of about 30 to about 100 inches, or in the range of about 40 to about 90 inches, or in the range of about 50 to about 80 inches, or even in the range of about 60 to about 70 inches. In one embodiment, the length from the center of the front most track driving member 112 to the center of the back most track driving member 112 is about 84 inches.
  • [0037]
    In one embodiment, the width of tracks 106 and 108, as denoted by line C′ in FIG. 1, is in the range of about 3 to about 30 inches, or in the range of about 6 to about 27 inches, or in the range of about 9 to about 24 inches, or even in the range of about 12 to about 21. In one embodiment, the width of tracks 106 and 108 is about 12 inches.
  • [0038]
    In light of the above dimensions, suitable tracks 106 and 108 are mounted on track driving members 112 to yield a movable unit which is able to move over and/or on top of freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete without creating any depressions and/or any markings in the concrete surface. The tracks utilized in the concrete finishing apparatus of the present invention can be formed from any suitable material (e.g., plastic, rubber, metal, etc.) so long as the tracks leave no marks or depressions in the concrete surface to be leveled and/or smoothed. Preferably, the tracks utilized in the concrete finishing apparatus of the present invention are formed so as to be smooth.
  • [0039]
    In one embodiment, a concrete finishing apparatus according to the present invention creates a down pressure of less than about 100 pounds per square foot, or a down pressure of less than about 50 pounds per square foot, or even a down pressure of less than about 25 pounds per square foot. In another embodiment, a concrete finishing apparatus according to the present invention creates a down pressure of about 1 to about 100 pounds per square foot, or a down pressure of about 10 to about 90 pounds per square foot, or even a down pressure of about 20 to about 80 pounds per square foot.
  • [0040]
    In the concrete finishing apparatus of the present invention, the interior surface of the one or more tracks (e.g., tracks 106 and 108) are reinforced with transverse members 140. As is shown in FIG. 5, the interior surface 108 a of track 108 is reinforced with a plurality of transverse members 140 a and 140 b. Transverse members 140 a are generally U-shaped pieces which have two flanges at the opposite ends thereof, the flanges being a suitable distance apart so as to pass on either side of track driving members 112. Transverse members 140 b are substantially flat. Although transverse members 140 b may have a roughed interior surfaces to facilitate traction between the tracks 106 and 108 and the track driving members 112. The width of transverse members 140 a and 140 b is not critical, and can be varied depending upon the size of the one or more tracks contained in the concrete finishing apparatus of the present invention. In one embodiment, the width of transverse members 140 a are in the range of about 0.1 to about 12 inches, or in the range of about 0.5 to about 10 inches, or even in the range of about 2 to about 8 inches. In one embodiment, the width of transverse members 140 b are in the range of about 0.1 to about 12 inches, or in the range of about 1 to about 9 inches, or even in the range of about 3 to about 6 inches.
  • [0041]
    As is shown in the partial view of FIG. 5, the interior of the one or more tracks is lined with an alternating pattern of transverse members 140 a and 140 b, with two adjacent transverse members 104 a forming the beginning and end of the endless loop of each track. It should be noted that the present invention is not limited to an alternating setup of transverse members 140 a and 140 b. Transverse members 140 a and 140 b can be formed of any suitable material (e.g., metal, plastic, rubber, etc.) and are attached to the interior surface of the one or more tracks via any suitable attachment means (adhesive, glue, rubber cement, or mechanical attachment means such as rivets or staples). As would be apparent to one of skill in the art, some of the transverse members 140 and to track driving members 112 are not depicted in FIG. 5 so that a clearer view of the arrangement of the transverse members 140 can be shown.
  • [0042]
    Movable unit 102 is steerable via suitable controls mounted to control panel 130. In the embodiment where movable unit 102 has tracks 106 and 108, control panel 130 includes individual controls for each of tracks 106 and 108 to permit each of track 106 and 108 to undergo independent movement. This enables an operator of concrete finishing apparatus 100, 100 a or 100 b to be able to maneuver the concrete finishing apparatus on any desired path. Additionally, control panel 130 also includes the control or controls necessary to vertically orient straight edge finishing member 104 as desired.
  • [0043]
    As seen in FIGS. 1 to 4, movable unit 102 may include an operator station 120 having a seat 122 and a seat mount 124 for an operator to sit at and drive and control concrete finishing apparatus 100, 100 a or 100 b. In one embodiment, the seat mount 124 of operator station 120 may be pivotally mounted to the movable unit 102 in order to allow the operator to turn the seat and platform so the operator is facing in the direction of travel of the movable unit 102. In this embodiment, it is desirable that control panel 130 is also mounted to pivotable seat mount 124 so that the control panel 130 is always in front of the operator (not shown).
  • [0044]
    Alternately, a concrete finishing apparatus according to the present invention may include a movable unit 102 which does not include a place for a driver to sit or ride on, and may otherwise be controlled via remote control (not shown). Optionally, the concrete finishing apparatus may be programmable to perform the finishing processes in a controlled, programmed manner, without affecting the scope of the present invention.
  • [0045]
    As noted above, a concrete finishing apparatus according to the present invention is drivable over and supported on freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete and operable to finish the concrete to a highly smooth, flat and level finish. Preferably, as the vehicle is driven in either direction, only one or more straight edge finishing members positioned forwardly and/or rearwardly with respect to the direction of travel are lowered to finish and/or smooth the surface of the concrete.
  • [0046]
    Therefore, the present invention provides a concrete smoothing and finishing apparatus and method for smoothing freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete to a super-flat, high quality finish. The apparatus is operable to provide a smooth finish over a large area and requires minimal manual processes. Thus, the present invention provides a more efficient and effective smoothing and finishing apparatus and method for achieving high quality, super-flat and level floor surfaces. In addition, the machine and process method of the present invention may also serve to significantly shorten the cure cycle time of the finished concrete surface such that in the overall perspective, less time, effort, and cost may be incurred by the construction contractor, while at the same time, improving the overall quality of the finished concrete surface.
  • [0047]
    Although the present invention has been shown and described with respect to certain embodiments, it is obvious that equivalent alterations and modifications will occur to others skilled in the art upon the reading and understanding of this specification. In particular with regard to the various functions performed by the above described components, the terms (including any reference to a “means”) used to describe such components are intended to correspond, unless otherwise indicated, to any component which performs the specified function of the described component (e.g., that is functionally equivalent) even though not structurally equivalent to the disclosed structure which performs the function in the herein illustrated exemplary embodiments of the invention. In addition, while a particular feature of the invention may have been disclosed with respect to only one of several embodiments, such feature may be combined with one or more other features of the other embodiments as may be desired and advantageous for any given or particular application.

Claims (21)

  1. 1. A concrete finishing apparatus for smoothing and leveling freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete comprising:
    (a) a movable unit which is movable and supported over and/or on the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete, the movable unit being movable in at least a first direction and being supported on the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete by at least one track member which engages a surface of the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete; and
    (b) at least one straight edge finishing member mounted on the movable unit, the at least one straight edge finishing member defining a straight edge contact surface therealong which is adapted to contact the surface of the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete as the at least one straight edge finishing member is moved over the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete,
    wherein the at least one track member has an interior surface and an exterior surface, the exterior surface coming into contact with the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete, wherein the interior surface of the at least one track member contains a plurality of transverse members.
  2. 2. The concrete finishing apparatus of claim 1, wherein the at least one straight edge finishing member has a width that extends beyond the width of the movable unit and the straight edge finishing member is mounted on the movable unit such that the width of the straight edge finishing member is perpendicular to the direction of travel of the movable unit.
  3. 3. The concrete finishing apparatus of claim 1, wherein the straight edge finishing member is positioned in front of the movable unit as the movable unit moves in the first direction.
  4. 4. The concrete finishing apparatus of claim 1, wherein the straight edge finishing member is positioned behind of the movable unit as the movable unit moves in the first direction.
  5. 5. The concrete finishing apparatus of claim 1, wherein straight edge finishing members are positioned at opposite ends of the movable unit as the movable unit moves in the first direction.
  6. 6. The concrete finishing apparatus of claim 1, wherein the straight edge finishing member is vertically adjustable relative to the movable unit.
  7. 7. The concrete finishing apparatus of claim 6, further including a laser leveling system, the at least one straight edge finishing member being vertically adjustable in response to the laser leveling system.
  8. 8. The concrete finishing apparatus of claim 1, wherein the at least one straight edge finishing member is variably weighted to adjust or vary an amount of force or downward pressure being applied to the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete by the straight edge finishing member.
  9. 9. The concrete finishing apparatus of claim 1, wherein the at least one track member spreads the weight of the movable unit over an area of the partially cured concrete to limit depression of the partially cured concrete by the movable unit.
  10. 10. The concrete finishing apparatus of claim 1, wherein the movable unit is adjustably weighted to adjust an amount of down pressure of the straight edge finishing member on the partially cured concrete surface.
  11. 11. The concrete finishing apparatus of claim 9, wherein the at least one support comprises at least two continuous tacks.
  12. 12. The concrete finishing apparatus of claim 1, wherein the downward pressure created by the concrete finishing apparatus is less than about 100 pounds per square foot.
  13. 13. The concrete finishing apparatus of claim 1, wherein the downward pressure created by the concrete finishing apparatus is less than about 50 pounds per square foot.
  14. 14. The concrete finishing apparatus of claim 5, wherein one of the two straight edge finishing members is lowerable to contact and smooth the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete surface when the movable unit is moved in the first direction, while the other of the two straight edge finishing members is lowerable to contact and smooth the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete surface when the movable unit is moved in a second direction, the second direction being generally opposite the first direction.
  15. 15. The concrete finishing apparatus of claim 1, wherein the at least one straight edge finishing member is mounted on the movable unit such that the width of the at least one straight edge finishing member is canted relative to the first direction.
  16. 16. The concrete finishing apparatus of claim 1, wherein the at least one straight edge finishing member is adjustably mounted on the movable unit such that the width of the at least one straight edge finishing member is adjustable to adjust an angle of the at least one straight edge finishing member relative to a direction of travel of the movable unit.
  17. 17. A method for finishing a concrete surface of freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete comprising:
    (A) providing a concrete finishing apparatus comprising:
    (I) a movable unit which is movable and supported over and/or on the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete, the movable unit being movable in at least a first direction and being supported on the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete by at least one track member which engages a surface of the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete; and
    (ii) at least one straight edge finishing member mounted on the movable unit, the at least one straight edge finishing member defining a straight edge contact surface therealong which is adapted to contact the surface of the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete as the at least one straight edge finishing member is moved over the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete;
    (B) moving the concrete finishing apparatus along the concrete surface such that the concrete finishing apparatus is supported on the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete surface, the concrete finishing apparatus being supported on the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete by the at least one track member; and
    (C) engaging the at least one straight edge finishing member with the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete surface while the concrete finishing apparatus is undergoing movement,
    wherein the at least one track member has an interior surface and an exterior surface, the exterior surface coming into contact with the freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete, wherein the interior surface of the at least one track member contains a plurality of transverse members.
  18. 18. The method for finishing a concrete surface of freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete of claim 17, wherein the at least one straight edge finishing member has a width that extends beyond the width of the movable unit and the straight edge finishing member is mounted on the movable unit such that the width of the straight edge finishing member is perpendicular to the direction of travel of the movable unit.
  19. 19. The method for finishing a concrete surface of freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete of claim 17, wherein the straight edge finishing member is positioned in front of the movable unit as the movable unit moves in the first direction.
  20. 20. The method for finishing a concrete surface of freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete of claim 17, wherein the straight edge finishing member is positioned behind of the movable unit as the movable unit moves in the first direction.
  21. 21. The method for finishing a concrete surface of freshly poured and/or partially cured concrete of claim 17, wherein straight edge finishing members are positioned at opposite ends of the movable unit as the movable unit moves in the first direction.
US10851805 2004-05-21 2004-05-21 Concrete finishing apparatus and method for finishing freshly poured or partially cured concrete Abandoned US20050260035A1 (en)

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US6386793B1 (en) * 1999-01-29 2002-05-14 Wirtgen Gmbh Device for smoothing a concrete paving surface
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US6474906B1 (en) * 1999-12-10 2002-11-05 Terramite Corporation Single roller concrete finishing machine
US6322287B1 (en) * 2000-04-10 2001-11-27 James E. Yelton Aggregate grading machine
US6308785B1 (en) * 2000-05-24 2001-10-30 Rod Earl Rhoden Adjustable grader-spreader bar
US6551018B2 (en) * 2001-03-29 2003-04-22 Blaw-Knox Construction Equipment Corporation Apparatus for tamping paving material
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