US20070175108A1 - Plastic utility shed wall system - Google Patents

Plastic utility shed wall system Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070175108A1
US20070175108A1 US11/323,554 US32355405A US2007175108A1 US 20070175108 A1 US20070175108 A1 US 20070175108A1 US 32355405 A US32355405 A US 32355405A US 2007175108 A1 US2007175108 A1 US 2007175108A1
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Prior art keywords
panel
door
assembly
plastic
edge
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US11/323,554
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Robert Stein
Jed Richardson
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Suncast Corp
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Suncast Corp
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Priority to US11/323,554 priority Critical patent/US20070175108A1/en
Assigned to SUNCAST CORPORATION reassignment SUNCAST CORPORATION ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: RICHARDSON, JED C., STEIN, ROBERT J.
Publication of US20070175108A1 publication Critical patent/US20070175108A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04HBUILDINGS OR LIKE STRUCTURES FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSES; SWIMMING OR SPLASH BATHS OR POOLS; MASTS; FENCING; TENTS OR CANOPIES, IN GENERAL
    • E04H1/00Buildings or groups of buildings for dwelling or office purposes; General layout, e.g. modular co-ordination, staggered storeys small buildings
    • E04H1/12Small buildings or other erections for limited occupation, erected in the open air or arranged in buildings, e.g. kiosks, waiting shelters for bus stops or for filling stations, roofs for railway platforms, watchmens' huts, dressing cubicles
    • E04H1/1205Small buildings erected in the open air
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04BGENERAL BUILDING CONSTRUCTIONS; WALLS, e.g. PARTITIONS; ROOFS; FLOORS; CEILINGS; INSULATION OR OTHER PROTECTION OF BUILDINGS
    • E04B1/00Constructions in general; Structures which are not restricted either to walls, e.g. partitions, or floors or ceilings or roofs
    • E04B1/343Structures characterised by movable, separable, or collapsible parts, e.g. for transport
    • E04B1/34315Structures characterised by movable, separable, or collapsible parts, e.g. for transport characterised by separable parts
    • E04B1/34321Structures characterised by movable, separable, or collapsible parts, e.g. for transport characterised by separable parts mainly constituted by panels
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04BGENERAL BUILDING CONSTRUCTIONS; WALLS, e.g. PARTITIONS; ROOFS; FLOORS; CEILINGS; INSULATION OR OTHER PROTECTION OF BUILDINGS
    • E04B1/00Constructions in general; Structures which are not restricted either to walls, e.g. partitions, or floors or ceilings or roofs
    • E04B1/38Connections for building structures in general
    • E04B1/61Connections for building structures in general of slab-shaped building elements with each other
    • E04B1/6108Connections for building structures in general of slab-shaped building elements with each other the frontal surfaces of the slabs connected together
    • E04B1/612Connections for building structures in general of slab-shaped building elements with each other the frontal surfaces of the slabs connected together by means between frontal surfaces
    • E04B1/6125Connections for building structures in general of slab-shaped building elements with each other the frontal surfaces of the slabs connected together by means between frontal surfaces with protrusions on the one frontal surface co-operating with recesses in the other frontal surface
    • E04B1/6141Connections for building structures in general of slab-shaped building elements with each other the frontal surfaces of the slabs connected together by means between frontal surfaces with protrusions on the one frontal surface co-operating with recesses in the other frontal surface the connection made by an additional locking key
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04BGENERAL BUILDING CONSTRUCTIONS; WALLS, e.g. PARTITIONS; ROOFS; FLOORS; CEILINGS; INSULATION OR OTHER PROTECTION OF BUILDINGS
    • E04B1/00Constructions in general; Structures which are not restricted either to walls, e.g. partitions, or floors or ceilings or roofs
    • E04B1/38Connections for building structures in general
    • E04B1/61Connections for building structures in general of slab-shaped building elements with each other
    • E04B1/6108Connections for building structures in general of slab-shaped building elements with each other the frontal surfaces of the slabs connected together
    • E04B1/612Connections for building structures in general of slab-shaped building elements with each other the frontal surfaces of the slabs connected together by means between frontal surfaces
    • E04B1/6145Connections for building structures in general of slab-shaped building elements with each other the frontal surfaces of the slabs connected together by means between frontal surfaces with recesses in both frontal surfaces co-operating with an additional connecting element
    • E04B1/6162Connections for building structures in general of slab-shaped building elements with each other the frontal surfaces of the slabs connected together by means between frontal surfaces with recesses in both frontal surfaces co-operating with an additional connecting element the connection made by an additional locking key
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04BGENERAL BUILDING CONSTRUCTIONS; WALLS, e.g. PARTITIONS; ROOFS; FLOORS; CEILINGS; INSULATION OR OTHER PROTECTION OF BUILDINGS
    • E04B1/00Constructions in general; Structures which are not restricted either to walls, e.g. partitions, or floors or ceilings or roofs
    • E04B1/38Connections for building structures in general
    • E04B1/61Connections for building structures in general of slab-shaped building elements with each other
    • E04B2001/6195Connections for building structures in general of slab-shaped building elements with each other the slabs being connected at an angle, e.g. forming a corner

Abstract

The present invention provides a system which includes injection molded wall panels, corner posts, and doors having integrated connectors which combine to form a family of variously sized wall assemblies and door assemblies for utility enclosures. The injection molding facilitates integrally formed connectors so that the panels, posts and door frames interlock with one another without the need for separate connectors. A window assembly is provided which optionally can be installed in one of the wall panels to provide light to the interior of the utility enclosure.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application is a continuation of utility patent application entitled Plastic Expandable Utility Shed filed Aug. 30, 2005, the contents of which are herein incorporated in their entirety. This application is also related to Ser. No. 29/230,885 filed May 27, 2005; and Ser. No. 29/230,978 filed May 27, 2005, the contents of which are herein incorporated by reference in their entirety.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention relates generally to utility sheds, and more specifically to a modular wall system constructed of injection molded plastic panels for creating utility shed walls and doors of various sizes from standardized components.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Utility sheds are a necessity for lawn and garden care, as well as general all-around home storage space. Typically, items such as garden tractors, snow blowers, tillers, ATVs, motorcycles, lawn tools and the like are stored within utility sheds for the convenience of the homeowner.
  • The prior art has proposed a number of different panel systems, or kits, comprising blow molded and/or extruded panels which are combined with connector members for forming storage structures, e.g. utility sheds. Unfortunately, blow molding and/or extrusion of panels for utility sheds has resulted in shortcomings within the state of the art products. For example, due to the nature of the manufacturing process, blow molded and/or extruded plastic components cannot be formed with the intricate shapes and/or sharp corners required for integrated connectors. Therefore, these systems require various metal or plastic connector members having a specific cross-sectional geometry that facilitates an engagement between the blow molded or extruded panels to complete the structure.
  • A particularly common structure for the connector members includes a member having cross section in the form of an I-beam. The I-beam defines free edge portions of the connector member which fit within appropriately dimensioned and located slots in the edges of the panel members. U.S. Patent No. D-371,208 teaches a corner extrusion for a building sidewall that is representative of the state of the art I-beam connector members. The I-beam sides of the connector engage with the peripheral edge channels of a respective panel and thereby serve to join such panels together at right angles. Straight or in-line versions of the connector members are also included in the kits to join panels in a coplanar relationship to create walls of varying length.
  • Another shortcoming associated with blow molded panels is the requirement of an inner and an outer wall. The inner and outer walls are a necessary product of the blow molding manufacturing process. While the inner wall may add some rigidity to the panels, it also adds a significant amount of weight and dramatically increases the volume of plastic necessary to form a panel of a given size when compared to other methods of manufacturing, such as injection molding.
  • A further shortcoming associated with blow molded panels relates to accurate control of wall thickness throughout the panels. The blow molding process does not allow the wall thickness of the panels to be accurately controlled. Once the molten plastic is conveyed to the tooling, there is minimal control over where the plastic flows during formation of the panel. Also, the blow molding process does not allow the intentional formation of thick and thin sections within a single panel for engineered rigidity at the points of high stress or high load concentration.
  • Extruded panels generally require hollow longitudinal conduits for strength. Due to the nature of the manufacturing process, the conduits are difficult to extrude in long sections for structural panels. Thus, they also require connectors to achieve adequate length for utility shed walls. A common structure for connecting extruded members has a center I-beam with upper and lower protrusions for engaging the conduits. Wall panels utilizing these connectors are vulnerable to buckling under loads, such as those produced by snow and wind, and may have aesthetically unappealing appearance. U.S. Pat. No. 6,250,022 discloses an extendable shed utilizing side wall connector members representing the state of the art. The connectors have a center strip with hollow protrusions extending from its upper and lower surfaces along its length; the protrusions being situated to slidably engage the conduits located in the panel sections to create the height needed for utility shed walls.
  • Larger structures must perform differently than small structures. Large structures must withstand increased wind and snow loads when compared to smaller structures. Paramount to achieving these needs is a panel system which eliminates the need for extruded connectors to create enclosure walls which resist panel separation, buckling, and racking. A further problem is that the wall formed by the panels must tie into the roof and floor in such a way as to unify the entire enclosure. Also, from a structural standpoint, the enclosure should include components capable of withstanding the increased wind, snow, and storage loads required by large structures. From a convenience standpoint, a door must be present which is compatible with the sidewalls, and which provides dependable pivoting access to the enclosure.
  • Therefore, what is needed in the art is an injection molded modular wall system for utility enclosures. The modular wall system should achieve objectives such as lightweight single wall construction. The construction of the panels should eliminate the need for I-beam type connectors to create a wall assembly which resists panel separation, buckling, and racking. The wall assembly should be capable of withstanding the loads typically associated with utility enclosures. Also, from a convenience standpoint, the wall assembly should include various design features to enable cooperation with shelving and/or other storage enhancements.
  • There are also commercial considerations that must be satisfied by any viable utility shed enclosure system or kit; considerations which are not entirely satisfied by state of the art products. The wall assembly must be formed of relatively few component parts that are inexpensive to manufacture by conventional techniques. The wall assembly must also be capable of being packaged and shipped in a knocked-down state. In addition, the wall assembly must be modular and facilitate the creation of a family of wall assemblies that vary in size but which share common, interchangeable components.
  • Finally, there are ergonomic needs that a wall assembly must satisfy in order to achieve acceptance by the end user. The wall assembly must be easily and quickly assembled using minimal hardware and requiring a minimal number of tools. Further, the wall components must not require excessive strength to assemble or include heavy component parts. Moreover, the wall components must assemble together in such a way so as to not detract from the internal storage volume of the resulting enclosure, or otherwise negatively affect the utility of the structure.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention provides a system including injection molded wall panels having integrated connectors which combine to form a family of variously sized wall assemblies for utility enclosures. The wall panels are formed of injection molded plastic to create light-weight panels having integrally formed ribs and gussets for strength and integrity. The injection molding also facilitates integrally formed connectors so that the panels interlock with one another without the need for separate connectors or fasteners. These integrally formed connectors also allow the wall panels to be utilized for door frames as well as corner sections. The wall panels are also constructed to accept windows for natural lighting, and may include provisions for standard electrical current hookup. The internal surfaces of the wall panels include integrally formed connectors for easy assembly of added components such as shelving, baskets, slat wall storage and the like. The wall assembly further includes a door assembly which may be locked in an open or closed position. The wall assembly eliminates the need for extruded connectors to create enclosure walls which resist panel separation, buckling, racking; and a roof system which allows ventilation while preventing weather infiltration. The walls formed by the panels must tie into the roof and floor in such a way as to unify the entire enclosure.
  • Accordingly, it is an objective of the instant invention to provide a plastic wall assembly which utilizes wall panels having single wall construction with integrally formed ribs and gussets for a lightweight yet robust wall assembly.
  • It is yet another objective of the instant invention to provide a plastic wall assembly which accommodates injection molding plastic formation of the panel components for increased structural integrity.
  • It is a still further objective of the invention to provide a plastic wall assembly which utilizes structural corner assemblies for increased enclosure rigidity.
  • Still another objective of the instant invention is to provide a wall system in which the wall panel members include integrally formed connectors.
  • Yet another objective of the instant invention is to provide a wall assembly which includes wall panels having predetermined sizes for creating enclosures of varying dimensions using common components.
  • Still yet another objective of the instant invention is to provide a wall assembly which may be optionally configured with clear windows thereby allowing natural light to enter the enclosure.
  • Still yet another further objective of the instant invention is to provide a wall assembly which reduces the number of components required to assemble an enclosure and simplifies construction.
  • Other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with any accompanying drawings wherein are set forth, by way-of illustration and example, certain embodiments of this invention. Any drawings contained herein constitute a part of this specification and include exemplary embodiments of the present invention and illustrate various objects and features thereof.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
  • FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of an enclosure constructed using the instant utility wall system;
  • FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the walls and doors of the enclosure shown in FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 is a rear perspective view illustrating a wall panel as utilized in the instant invention;
  • FIG. 4 is a partial section view illustrating assembly of adjacently positioned wall panels;
  • FIG. 5 is a partial section view illustrating assembly of adjacently positioned wall panels;
  • FIG. 6 is a partial view illustrating the assembled wall panels;
  • FIG. 7 is a partial sectional view illustrating assembly of the top portion of the wall panels;
  • FIG. 8 is a partial sectional view illustrating the assembled top portion of the wall panels;
  • FIG. 9A is a rear perspective of a wall panel;
  • FIG. 9B is a partial sectional view illustrating a metal reinforcing strip in the panel connectors;
  • FIG. 10 is a perspective view illustrating one of the corner posts utilized in the instant invention;
  • FIG. 11 is a perspective view illustrating one of the corner posts utilized in the instant invention;
  • FIG. 12 is a perspective view illustrating assembly of first and second corner post members;
  • FIG. 13 is a perspective view illustrating assembly of the door frame member to a wall panel;
  • FIG. 14 is a perspective view illustrating assembly of a wall panel to the floor assembly;
  • FIG. 15 is a perspective view illustrating assembly of the corner post assembly to the wall panel and floor assembly;
  • FIG. 16 is a perspective view illustrating the assembled wall and floor panels;
  • FIG. 17 is a perspective view illustrating one of the door panels utilized in the instant invention as well as assembly of a sliding door latch;
  • FIG. 18 is a perspective view illustrating one of the door panels utilized in the instant invention as well as assembly of a sliding door latch;
  • FIG. 19 is a perspective view illustrating assembly of a door panel to the assembled wall panels;
  • FIG. 20 is a partial perspective view taken along line 1-1 of FIG. 19, illustrating the lower hinge pin, door catch feature, a portion of the roof support structure, door gap seal, and wall key as utilized in the instant invention;
  • FIG. 21A is a perspective view illustrating assembly of the other door frame member to a wall panel and a roof support member;
  • FIG. 21B is a partial view illustrating assembly of the other door frame member to a wall panel and a roof support member;
  • FIG. 21C is an enlarged view of FIG. 21B;
  • FIG. 22A is a perspective view illustrating the assembly of a reinforcement channel and wall panels;
  • FIG. 22B is a partial view illustrating the assembly of a reinforcement channel and wall panels;
  • FIG. 23 is a perspective view illustrating the assembly of shelf support brackets onto the wall panels;
  • FIG. 24 is a partial perspective view taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 23, illustrating wall panel engagement feature of the shelf support;
  • FIG. 25 is a perspective view illustrating a corner shelf mounted on the wall panels;
  • FIG. 26 is a perspective view illustrating a wall panel with a portion cut out for a window;
  • FIG. 27 is a perspective view illustrating a wall panel and the assembly of a window;
  • FIG. 28 is a perspective view illustrating a wall panel and the assembly of a window frame;
  • FIG. 29 is a perspective view illustrating a wall panel and the assembly of window shutters;
  • FIG. 30 is a perspective view illustrating a wall panel and the assembly of flower box supports; and
  • FIG. 31 is a perspective view illustrating a wall panel and the assembled window, shutters, and flower box.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • While the present invention is susceptible of embodiment in various forms, there is shown in the drawings and will hereinafter be described a presently preferred embodiment with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered an exemplification of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the specific embodiments illustrated.
  • Referring to FIGS. 1-31 the walls of the enclosure are formed of left and right side wall assemblies 200, corner post assemblies 300, rear wall assembly 500, front wall assembly 600 and door assembly 700. In various illustrative, albeit non-limiting embodiments, the panels comprising the assemblies may be formed of a suitable plastic such as polystyrene, polypropylene or polyethylene, through the process of injection molding. The result is that the panels comprising the side wall assemblies 200, corner post assemblies 300, rear wall assembly 500 and front wall assembly 600 of the enclosure 10 are formed as unitary panels with integral connectors and cross bracing. Strengthening ribs and gussets are formed within the inner surfaces of the various panels and components in order to enhance rigidity of the panels while leaving the external surface in a generally smooth condition for aesthetic purposes, as shown in FIG. 1.
  • Referring to FIGS. 10-12, a structural corner post assembly 300 is shown. The corner post assembly 300 constitutes one of a plurality of like-configured structural corner post assemblies in the system used to add significant strength and rigidity to the enclosure 10. The corner post assemblies 300 are generally L-shaped having a first member 302 extending at least partially along the front or rear wall of the enclosure and a second member 304 extending at least partially along a side wall of the enclosure. The first corner post members 302 are each configured having a first longitudinal end 306 and a second longitudinal end 308 each including an integrally formed means of attachment illustrated herein as at least one inwardly extending socket 210. The socket is generally constructed and arranged to cooperate with either a floor assembly boss 180 or a roof assembly boss 418 in a generally perpendicular relationship, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 20. To facilitate the perpendicular connection the roof and/or floor assemblies are provided with outwardly extending bosses which preferably have a generally conjugate shape with respect to the sockets. To facilitate the mechanical connection with other structural panel members 202, in a coplanar relationship, the first corner post member is provided a first edge 314 including a means of attachment illustrated herein as a plurality of inwardly extending sockets 330 (FIGS. 10 and 11). The sockets include an inner wall 316, an outer wall 318, and a bottom wall 320. The bottom wall includes at least one and more preferably includes a plurality of apertures or notches 321 there through for cooperative engagement with at least one or a plurality of hook-locks 322 included on an adjacently positioned wall panel or second corner post member 304 (FIGS. 7 and 8). In the preferred embodiment the first edge 314 also includes a groove 324 extending from about the first longitudinal end 306 to about the second longitudinal 308 of the first edge 314. The groove 324 is arranged to cooperate with a wall panel member 202 having a complimentary ridge which includes tapered side walls for compressive engagement with the groove in an interlocking coplanar relationship, as shown in FIG. 13. This interlocking coplanar relationship prevents panel separation, weather and insect intrusion. The second member 304 includes a first end 330 and a second end 332. Extending outwardly along the edge of the second member is a plurality of bosses constructed and arranged to cooperate with sockets 330 integrally formed into the edge of the first member 302. A portion of the bosses include integrally formed hook-locks 322 for cooperation with the apertures or notches 321 provided in the first member or wall panels. The first and second members are attached together by sliding the bosses of the second member into the sockets of the first member and thereafter sliding the second member downward to engage the hook-locks (FIG. 12). The result is a positive mechanical connection between the first member of the post 302 and the second member of the post 304. The outer surface 326 of the corner post assemblies 300 are constructed generally smooth for aesthetic appearance, while the internal portion of the assembly includes a plurality of box structures 328 for added strength, rigidity, and weight carrying capacity. The construction of the corner posts 300 assemblies increase the structural integrity of the enclosure 10 by preventing the corner posts 300 from bowing or bending inwardly or outwardly, and thus, adversely affecting the appearance or operation of the enclosure 10. The L-shaped corner post assemblies 300 are attached to the floor assembly by sliding the first longitudinal end of the corner post assembly over a plurality of bosses, not shown, which extend upwardly from the floor assembly.
  • Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, a structural wall panel 202 is shown. The wall panel 202 constitutes one of a plurality of like-configured panels in the system used to construct the left, right, front and rear wall assemblies 200, 600, and 500. The structural wall panels 202 are each configured having a first longitudinal end 208 including an integrally formed means of attachment illustrated herein as a plurality of sockets 210. A second longitudinal end 212 also including an integrally formed means of attachment illustrated herein as a plurality of sockets 210. The sockets are generally constructed and arranged to cooperate with either a floor assembly or a roof assembly to facilitate mechanical connection in a generally perpendicular relationship. The outer surface 256 and inner surface 258 of the panels 202 are constructed generally smooth having a plurality of ribs 260, extending from the first edge 214 across the panel 202 to the second edge 222, for added strength and aesthetic appearance. The ribs 260 increase the structural integrity of the enclosure 10 by preventing the panels 202 from bowing or bending, inwardly or outwardly and thus adversely affecting the appearance or operation of an assembled enclosure 10.
  • To facilitate mechanical connection with other structural wall panel members 202 in a co-planar relationship the panels are provided with a first edge 214 constructed with a means of attachment illustrated herein as a plurality of sockets 330. The sockets include an inner wall 316, an outer wall 318, and a bottom wall 320. The bottom wall includes an aperture 321 (FIG. 4) or notch there through for cooperative engagement with a hook-lock 322 included on an adjacently positioned wall panel or corner post. For additional structural rigidity between the side wall panels or between the side wall panels and the floor assembly, the wall panels may also include a groove 216. The groove extends along first and second longitudinal ends as well as along the first edge of the panels. The groove 216 is arranged to cooperate with a corner post assembly 300, wall panel member 202, or floor assembly having a complimentary ridge 180 in an interlocking coplanar relationship. The ridge 180 extends from about the first longitudinal end 208 of each panel to about the second longitudinal end 212 of each panel along the second edge 222 of the panels (FIG. 13). An additional ridge 180 (FIGS. 14 and 20) extends around the perimeter of the floor assembly. In a most preferred embodiment the ridge includes a taper constructed and arranged to cooperate with the wall panel groove to provide a weather and insect resistant seal around the lower perimeter of the enclosure.
  • The second edge 222 of each wall panel is constructed generally flat having a plurality of outwardly extending bosses 334. The bosses are constructed and arranged to cooperate with sockets 330 integrally formed into the second edge of the wall panel 202. A portion of the bosses include integrally formed hook-locks 322 for cooperation with the apertures or notches 321 provided in the first member of the corner post assembly or first edge of the wall panels. In addition, the side surfaces of the bosses may include a ramp-lock 250 (FIG. 6) having a ramping surface 254 constructed to cooperate with apertures 252 positioned along the inner wall 316. Bosses 334 are also provided with apertures 340 and function as a means to connect accessories such as shelving, benches and the like to the inner surface of a wall assembly. An additional means is provided to facilitate the mechanical connection with the wall panels and the corner post assemblies. At the junction of the second edge and the second longitudinal end 212 of a wall panel a hook shaped boss 322 is formed. This boss cooperates with a socket 321 formed at the junction of the second longitudinal end and first edge 214 (FIGS. 7 and 8).
  • Referring to FIGS. 4-6, engagement of the bosses 334 and sockets 330 is illustrated. The wall panels 202 are attached together by sliding the bosses of one panel into the sockets of an adjacently positioned wall panel (FIG. 4) and thereafter sliding the wall panel downward to engage the hook-locks (FIG. 5). In addition to engagement of the hook-locks, the downward motion preferably causes the ramping surface 254 to flex the inner wall 316 until the ramp-lock 250 slips through aperture 252 allowing the inner wall to return to its normal position, locking the wall panels in an engaged position. Also, aperture 340 of boss 334 comes into alignment with aperture 256 of wall panel 202. The result is a positive mechanical connection between the panels. The overlapping connection between the panels resists weather infiltration and prevents lifting and/or separation of the panels under high wind loads.
  • In an alternate embodiment, shown in FIGS. 9A and 9B, a metal strip 350 is provided for additional reinforcement. The metal strip is positioned between bosses 334 and the second edge 222 of a wall panel. This strip enhances the strength of the mechanical connection between the panels to further prevent the panels from bowing or bending inwardly or outwardly. It should be appreciated that the groove is constructed and arranged to provide support to the sides of the metal strip 350 to add further rigidity to the assembly.
  • Referring to FIGS. 4-6, 13, 21A, 21B and 21C, a door frame member 750 is attached to a wall panel 202. The door frame member includes at least one hinge pin conduit 718 and a pair of hinge pin clearance sockets 728 integrally formed thereto. The door frame member also includes a door seal 752 integrally formed thereto to provide a weather resistant seal to the door assembly 700. The wall panel 202 and the door frame member 750 are attached together by sliding the bosses of the panel into the sockets of the adjacently positioned door frame member, as shown in FIG. 4, and thereafter sliding the wall panel downwardly to engage the hook-locks, as shown in FIG. 5. In addition to engagement of the hook-locks, the downward motion preferably causes the ramping surface 254 to flex the inner wall 316 until the ramp-lock 250 slips through aperture 252 allowing the inner wall to return to its normal position locking the wall panels in an engaged position. The result is a positive mechanical connection between the wall panel and the door frame member 750. Another door frame member 760, as shown in FIGS. 21A, 21B and 21C, is attached to a wall panel 202. The door frame member is provided with a hinge conduit 718 which cooperates with a hinge pin 720 formed on a door panel 702 to allow pivoting movement of the door panel. Additional support for door frame member 760 is provided by hook 764 positioned on roof support pillar 602. Hook 764 passes through aperture 256 of wall panel 202 and aperture 340 of door frame member 760 to provide a strong mechanical connection to roof support pillar 602.
  • Referring to FIGS. 2, 17 and 18 the door assembly 700 is illustrated. The door assembly includes a pair of door panels 702, a pair of door frame members 750, 760, a hinge means 720, a door handle assembly 728, 729, and a latch assembly 724. The door panel 702 constitutes one of a plurality of like-configured panels in the system used to construct the door assembly. The door panels are configured each having a first longitudinal end 708, a second longitudinal end 712, an inner surface 704, and outer surface 706, a first edge 714, and a second edge 716. To facilitate mechanical connection with door frame members 750, in a pivoting relationship, the first edge of the panels are provided with a pair of circular hinge conduits 718 and a hinge pin 720. The hinge conduits and hinge pin are constructed and arranged to cooperate with hinge pins and conduits integrally formed onto the door frame members 750, 760 to allow pivoting movement of the door panel. The second edge 716 is constructed generally flat with the exception of an optional overlapping seal 722 (FIG. 2) extending the full length of the panel. The optional overlapping seal 722 may be attached by any suitable fastening means well known in the art or may be integrally formed with the panel. The door panels 702 are also provided with an upper and lower sliding latch mechanism 724 (FIGS. 17 and 18), as well as left and right door handles 728, 729 (FIG. 2).
  • The outer surface 706 of the panels 702 are constructed generally smooth having a plurality of raised panels 726 for added strength and aesthetic appearance. The inside surface of the panel 704 is constructed with a plurality of raised panels 726 for added strength and aesthetic appearance. The raised panels 726 increase the structural integrity of the enclosure 10 by preventing the panels 702 from bowing or bending, inwardly or outwardly and thus, adversely affecting the appearance or operation of the enclosure 10.
  • Referring to FIGS. 17 and 18, the door panels 702 are attached to the floor panels, and front wall assembly 600 by sliding the respective hinge pin 720, located on door panel 702, hinge pin 176, located on the floor panel (FIG. 20) and a hinge pin located in a header portion of the roof, not shown, into the corresponding hinge conduits 718 located along the edge of the door panels 702. Either door panel is aligned with the hinge pins by sliding it vertically into place over the respective pins. It should be appreciated that this construction provides an economic advantage by allowing hinge components to be integrally formed onto the door panels. The door panels are also provided with removable and replaceable door latching mechanisms including slide latches 724, left door handle 729 and right door handle 728 (FIG. 2).
  • Referring to FIGS. 17 and 18, installation of the upper and lower slide latches 724 is illustrated. The slide latches are constructed and arranged to allow simple push-in installation. The latch housings 730 are merely pushed into apertures 732 located adjacent the edge 716 in the door panels 702 until the spring clips (not shown) engage an inner surface of the panel. Thereafter one end of the door latch pin 734 is inserted through the housing 730 and pushed downward until spring clip 736 is snapped into place. In this manner the door latches can be installed and removed as needed with out the need for tools or screw type fasteners. By sliding the latch pin 734 to extend it outwardly to engage the roof assembly or the floor assembly the contents within the enclosure 10 are secured. The door handles 728, 729 are constructed and arranged to allow simple push-in installation. The handles are merely pushed into apertures 738 contained in door panels 702 until the spring clips (not shown) engage an inner surface of the panel 702. In this manner the door handles can be installed and removed as needed without the need for tools or screw type fasteners. The handles are also provided with lock apertures allowing the contents within the enclosure to be secured with a padlock or the like.
  • Referring to FIGS. 22A and 22B, a wall panel reinforcement channel 701 is illustrated. The wall panel reinforcement channel is generally C-shaped and includes a first end 740, a second end 742, an outer surface 747, and side surfaces 744. A plurality of flexible hooks 748 extend inwardly from aperture 750. In operation the reinforcement channel is attached to the inner socket wall 316 of a pair of assembled wall panels 202 by inserting the flexible hooks through apertures 256 until the side surfaces 744 engage the wall panels 202. The reinforcement channels are preferably constructed of steel or other suitable metal and provide significant rigidity and weight carrying capacity to the wall assemblies. In addition, the reinforcement channels prevent the panels 202 form bowing or bending inwardly or outwardly, and thus, adversely affecting the appearance or operation of the enclosure 10. In addition, the reinforced ribs provide support for optional cantilever shelves or stackable shelves (not shown) by distributing any load applied to the shelves across the length of the wall panels.
  • Referring to FIGS. 23-25 a shelf system 760 is illustrated. The shelf system includes a shelf 762 supported by shelf brackets 764. Although a corner shelf is illustrated, a straight shelf of any length may also be employed. The shelf brackets 764 are attached to wall panels 202 by means of hooks 766. Each bracket normally has two hooks. The hooks 766 are constructed and arranged to pass through apertures 256 of the wall panels 202 and engage aperture 340 of boss 334. Additional support is provided by hooks 768 which engage the inner portions of inner wall 316 of socket 330. Working in cooperation with hook 768, base plate 770 engages the outer portions of inner wall 316. This provides a tight frictional fit between the wall panels and the brackets while also distributing the load along the wall panel. The shelf is attached to the bracket 764 by engagement of both the base plate and front lip 772 (FIG. 25). In this manner the shelves and shelf brackets can be installed and removed as needed without the need for tools or screw type fasteners.
  • Referring to FIGS. 26-31 installation of a window system 800 is illustrated. The window assembly includes an interior window frame 804, a window panel 806, an exterior window frame 808, shutters 810, 812, and a flower box 814. A wall panel 202 is provided with an area 802 (FIG. 26) to be removed for the installation of the window if desired. The area 802 is provided with means to indicate which portion of the wall panel is to be removed prior to installation of the window. Once this portion of the wall panel is removed, the interior window frame 804 is inserted into the opening. The window frame 804 is provided with a plurality of projections 816 (FIG. 27). A window panel 806 is placed over the interior window frame. The window panel is made of a transparent material and provided with apertures 818 and notches 820 which cooperate with projections 816 to align the window panel with the frame. The exterior window frame 808 is placed over the window panel. The exterior window frame is provided with projections (not shown) which cooperate with 816 to hold the window assembly together. Both the interior and exterior window frames are provided with notches 822 and edge portions 824 that form an interlocking coplanar relationship with the inner surface 258, the outer surface 256, and the ribs 260 of wall panel 202. The result is a positive mechanical connection between the components of the window assembly which will resist weather infiltration.
  • Referring to FIGS. 29-31 window shutters 810 and 812 are illustrated. The shutters are provided with notches 826 and edge portions 828 that form an interlocking coplanar relationship with the outer surface 256 and ribs 260 of the wall panel. In addition, the shutters have notches 830 that cooperate with the first edge 214 of the wall panels. The shutters are attached to the wall panels with fasteners.
  • Referring to FIGS. 30 and 31 a flower box assembly is illustrated. The flower box assembly includes a flower box 814, side brackets 830, and support brace 832. The support brace is provided with an attachment bracket 834 at each end thereof (only one is shown). The bracket is provided with hooks 836. These pass through apertures 256 in the edge portions of the wall panels and hook onto bosses 334 located in sockets 330 of the wall panel. Plates 838 which are provided with an aperture 840 are securely attached to support brace 832 (only one plate is shown). The side brackets are provided with hooks 844, as shown in FIG. 30. The hooks are inserted through apertures 844, formed in the wall panel, and apertures 840 of plate 838 to securely attach the side brackets to the wall panel. The side brackets extend outwardly from the wall panel for cooperative engagement with the upper edge portions of flower box 814 (FIG. 31).
  • All patents and publications mentioned in this specification are indicative of the levels of those skilled in the art to which the invention pertains. All patents and publications are herein incorporated by reference to the same extent as if each individual publication was specifically and individually indicated to be incorporated by reference.
  • It is to be understood that while a certain form of the invention is illustrated, it is not to be limited to the specific form or arrangement herein described and shown. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes may be made without departing from the scope of the invention and the invention is not to be considered limited to what is shown and described in the specification and any drawings/figures included herein.
  • One skilled in the art will readily appreciate that the present invention is well adapted to carry out the objectives and obtain the ends and advantages mentioned, as well as those inherent therein. The embodiments, methods, procedures and techniques described herein are presently representative of the preferred embodiments, are intended to be exemplary and are not intended as limitations on the scope. Changes therein and other uses will occur to those skilled in the art which are encompassed within the spirit of the invention and are defined by the scope of the appended claims. Although the invention has been described in connection with specific preferred embodiments, it should be understood that the invention as claimed should not be unduly limited to such specific embodiments. Indeed, various modifications of the described modes for carrying out the invention which are obvious to those skilled in the art are intended to be within the scope of the following claims.

Claims (18)

1. An injection molded plastic wall system for enclosing a utility shed comprising:
at least two like configured injection molded wall panel members, wherein each of said wall panel members includes a first edge, a second edge opposite said first edge, said second edge including an integrally formed first means for connecting to juxtapositioned wall panel members, a corner post or a door frame member, said first means extends along and from said second edge, said first edge including a plurality of integrally formed sockets constructed and arranged to receive said first means extending along and from said second edge, a first longitudinal end substantially perpendicular to and extending between said first and said second edges, a second longitudinal end opposed to and substantially parallel to said first longitudinal end, a single wall extending between said first and second edges and said first and second longitudinal ends, said single wall being substantially solid and having an inner surface and an outer surface, said at least two like configured wall panel members may be assembled together having a predetermined width;
whereby said first means for connecting to juxtaposed wall panels constitutes the sole means for connecting said juxtaposed wall panels;
wherein injection molding of said wall panel members permits said wall panel members to be molded with a single wall construction having integrally formed connectors;
wherein said wall system may be shipped in a disassembled state and assembled on a desired site.
2. The plastic wall system of claim 1 wherein said first means for connecting to juxtaposed wall panel members, a corner post or a door frame includes a plurality of integrally formed bosses arranged in linear fashion adjacent to said second edge, said bosses are constructed and arranged to cooperate with said juxtaposed wall panel member, corner post or door frame in an interlocking coplanar relationship.
3. The plastic wall system of claim 2 wherein said first means for connecting to juxtaposed wall panel members, a corner post or a door frame includes a plurality of integrally formed elongated inwardly extending arranged along said first edge, each of said sockets includes two side surfaces, a top surface and a bottom surface, said two side surfaces are constructed and arranged to cooperate with said bosses arranged along said second edge to secure said wall panel in a coplanar relationship with respect to said juxtaposed wall member, corner post or door frame.
4. The plastic wall system of claim 3 wherein at least one of said bosses includes a hook lock on a bottom surface thereof for cooperative locking engagement with a hook lock aperture located in said bottom surface of said socket positioned on an adjacently positioned wall panel, corner post or door frame, wherein said bosses are slid into said sockets and then downwardly to secure said wall panel in a coplanar relationship with respect to said juxtaposed wall member, corner post or door frame.
5. The plastic wall system of claim 4 wherein the hook lock of said boss includes a ramp lock, said ramp lock is constructed and arranged to cooperate with an aperture formed in said side surface of said socket to oppose upward movement of said hook lock with respect to said hook lock aperture.
6. The plastic wall system of claim 2 wherein said first means for connecting wall panel members, a corner post or a door frame further includes a metal strip extending along said bosses and positioned between said bosses and said second edge, said metal strip is positioned within an integrally formed groove, wherein said groove is constructed and arranged to provide lateral support of said metal strip.
7. The plastic wall system of claim 1 wherein said first edge includes a groove extending from about said first longitudinal end to about said second longitudinal end, wherein the groove is brought into an interlocking relationship with a corresponding ridge formed on said second edge of an adjacently positioned wall panel, corner post or door frame resulting in a mechanically secure connection.
8. The plastic wall system of claim 7 wherein said ridge includes a taper.
9. The plastic wall system of claim 1 further including a door assembly, said door assembly including at least one door panel member, said door panel member including a first longitudinal end, a second longitudinal end, a first edge being constructed and arranged to cooperate with an adjacently positioned door panel member in a coplanar relationship, a second edge being constructed and arranged to cooperate with a door frame in a pivotal relationship, wherein said door assembly is allowed to open and close in a pivotal fashion.
10. The plastic wall system of claim 9 wherein said door assembly includes hinge conduits integrally formed on said door frame, hinge pins integrally formed on said door panel members are constructed and arranged to cooperate with said hinge conduits to allow said door assembly to pivot.
11. The plastic wall system of claim 9 wherein said door assembly includes at least on latch, said latch is located in an upper portion, a lower portion or both areas of said door panel members and is constructed and arranged to cooperate with a floor member or a roof member to secure said door assembly in a closed position.
12. The plastic wall system of claim 9 wherein said door assembly includes door handles on said door panel members, said door handles are provided with means to lock said door panel members in a closed position.
13. The plastic wall system of claim 1 including a corner post, said corner post including at least two members, said first corner post member comprises a first group of sockets extending along the length of said first member and a second group of sockets extending along the length of said first member and substantially perpendicular to said first group of sockets, said second corner post member comprises a first group of bosses extending along the length of said second member and a second group of bosses extending along the length of said second member and substantially parallel to said first group of bosses, said second member is constructed and arranged to cooperate with said second group of sockets to form said corner post.
14. The plastic wall system of claim 1 further including a window assembly, said window assembly including at least two window frames and a window panel, said window frames are constructed and arranged to cooperate with a hole formed in a wall panel to form a window, a perimeter portion of said window frames cooperates with said inner and outer surfaces of said wall panel to form a weather resistant seal there between, said window panel is positioned between said window frames and in the hole formed in the wall panel.
15. The plastic wall system of claim 14 wherein said window frames and window panel are connected together with friction type fasteners integrally formed on said window frames.
16. The plastic wall system of claim 14 further including shutters attached to said outer surface of said wall panel on both sides of said window assembly.
17. The plastic wall system of claim 14 further including a flower box assembly, said flower box assembly including a flower box, a plurality of side brackets, and a support brace, said side brackets include a hook at one end thereof, said hooks are constructed and arranged to pass through a hole in said wall panel member and cooperate with said support brace positioned on said inner surface of said wall panel member, said side brackets are constructed and arranged to engage the end portions of said flower box for support thereof.
18. The plastic wall system of claim 2 including a shelf assembly, said shelf assembly including a shelf and shelf brackets, said shelf brackets are constructed and arranged to cooperate with apertures in said second edge of said wall panel members and said bosses to provide means to attach said shelf brackets to said wall panel members, said shelf being supported by said shelf brackets.
US11/323,554 2005-12-29 2005-12-29 Plastic utility shed wall system Abandoned US20070175108A1 (en)

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US20060191209A1 (en) * 2005-02-28 2006-08-31 Ron Reisman Modular storage shed system
US20070107326A1 (en) * 2005-10-31 2007-05-17 Michael Uffner Modular cupola assembly
US20070267155A1 (en) * 2006-05-17 2007-11-22 Rich Howe Door for an enclosure
US20080003398A1 (en) * 2006-06-29 2008-01-03 Tapco International Corporation Foam core cement shutter
US20090229194A1 (en) * 2008-03-11 2009-09-17 Advanced Shielding Technologies Europe S.I. Portable modular data center
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US20110209418A1 (en) * 2010-02-26 2011-09-01 Drake Lawrence V Modular enclosure for utility trailers and pickup trucks
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US20110289860A1 (en) * 2009-02-05 2011-12-01 Blue Planet Buildings (Uk) Limited Modular assembly shelter
US20120005968A1 (en) * 2010-07-09 2012-01-12 Ricardo Patino System and method for modular housing
US20120017519A1 (en) * 2009-01-26 2012-01-26 Gunnar Peck Modular Container System
US20120066985A1 (en) * 2009-05-25 2012-03-22 Lukasz Bachorz Enclosure for secondary distribution modular switchgears
US20120274194A1 (en) * 2011-04-28 2012-11-01 Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. Enclosure assembly
US8511001B2 (en) * 2011-07-01 2013-08-20 Suncast Technologies, Llc Slide top shed
US20130277633A1 (en) * 2012-04-18 2013-10-24 Steven Craig Goode System and device for containing a dumpster
US8677790B2 (en) * 2011-12-16 2014-03-25 Rex A. RAMSEY Security enclosure and associated method
US8776449B1 (en) * 2010-02-26 2014-07-15 Marian Gilmore Rowan Shelter building
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US20150132082A1 (en) * 2013-11-11 2015-05-14 Michael N. Goshi Pre-assembly of casework components in shipping container
US9127458B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2015-09-08 Suncast Technologies, Llc Collapsible roof truss assembly and method
AU2015230780B2 (en) * 2009-06-12 2017-05-04 Scales, Alexander Patrick MR Modular building structures
CN107269087A (en) * 2017-07-27 2017-10-20 周兴和 The integrated building of high-grade earthquake can be resisted
US20180002939A1 (en) * 2016-06-29 2018-01-04 Shweta HARVE Portable, protective shelter
US20190017262A1 (en) * 2017-06-22 2019-01-17 Alonso P. Rodriguez Refractory enclosures for high density energy storage systems
US20190271297A1 (en) * 2018-03-02 2019-09-05 Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy A/S Canopy structure and a wind turbine
US10604906B2 (en) 2015-07-22 2020-03-31 Kames Foley Trench box and method of assembly
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US20130277633A1 (en) * 2012-04-18 2013-10-24 Steven Craig Goode System and device for containing a dumpster
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US9127458B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2015-09-08 Suncast Technologies, Llc Collapsible roof truss assembly and method
US20150132082A1 (en) * 2013-11-11 2015-05-14 Michael N. Goshi Pre-assembly of casework components in shipping container
US10604906B2 (en) 2015-07-22 2020-03-31 Kames Foley Trench box and method of assembly
US20180002939A1 (en) * 2016-06-29 2018-01-04 Shweta HARVE Portable, protective shelter
US10428541B2 (en) * 2016-06-29 2019-10-01 Shweta HARVE Portable, protective shelter
US10767364B2 (en) * 2017-06-22 2020-09-08 Alonso P. Rodriguez Refractory enclosures for high density energy storage systems
US20190017262A1 (en) * 2017-06-22 2019-01-17 Alonso P. Rodriguez Refractory enclosures for high density energy storage systems
CN107269087A (en) * 2017-07-27 2017-10-20 周兴和 The integrated building of high-grade earthquake can be resisted
US20190271297A1 (en) * 2018-03-02 2019-09-05 Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy A/S Canopy structure and a wind turbine
US10889984B2 (en) 2018-11-08 2021-01-12 Newage Products Inc. Building assembly

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Effective date: 20051216

STCB Information on status: application discontinuation

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