US20150004371A1 - Composite structural panels and components - Google Patents

Composite structural panels and components Download PDF

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Publication number
US20150004371A1
US20150004371A1 US14/295,169 US201414295169A US2015004371A1 US 20150004371 A1 US20150004371 A1 US 20150004371A1 US 201414295169 A US201414295169 A US 201414295169A US 2015004371 A1 US2015004371 A1 US 2015004371A1
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inner core
composite panel
geometry
longitudinally extending
panel
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US14/295,169
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Robert Noble
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NOBLE ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGIES Corp
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NOBLE ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGIES Corp
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Priority to US14/295,169 priority patent/US20150004371A1/en
Assigned to NOBLE ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION reassignment NOBLE ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: NOBLE, ROBERT L
Publication of US20150004371A1 publication Critical patent/US20150004371A1/en
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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04CSTRUCTURAL ELEMENTS; BUILDING MATERIALS
    • E04C2/00Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels
    • E04C2/30Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by the shape or structure
    • E04C2/34Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by the shape or structure composed of two or more spaced sheet-like parts
    • E04C2/3405Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by the shape or structure composed of two or more spaced sheet-like parts spaced apart by profiled spacer sheets
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04CSTRUCTURAL ELEMENTS; BUILDING MATERIALS
    • E04C2/00Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels
    • E04C2/02Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by specified materials
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04CSTRUCTURAL ELEMENTS; BUILDING MATERIALS
    • E04C2/00Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels
    • E04C2/44Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by the purpose
    • E04C2/52Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by the purpose with special adaptations for auxiliary purposes, e.g. serving for locating conduits
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04CSTRUCTURAL ELEMENTS; BUILDING MATERIALS
    • E04C2/00Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels
    • E04C2/44Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by the purpose
    • E04C2/52Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by the purpose with special adaptations for auxiliary purposes, e.g. serving for locating conduits
    • E04C2/521Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by the purpose with special adaptations for auxiliary purposes, e.g. serving for locating conduits serving for locating conduits; for ventilating, heating or cooling
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04CSTRUCTURAL ELEMENTS; BUILDING MATERIALS
    • E04C2/00Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels
    • E04C2/30Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by the shape or structure
    • E04C2/34Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by the shape or structure composed of two or more spaced sheet-like parts
    • E04C2/3405Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by the shape or structure composed of two or more spaced sheet-like parts spaced apart by profiled spacer sheets
    • E04C2002/3411Dimpled spacer sheets
    • E04C2002/3422Dimpled spacer sheets with polygonal dimples
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04CSTRUCTURAL ELEMENTS; BUILDING MATERIALS
    • E04C2/00Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels
    • E04C2/30Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by the shape or structure
    • E04C2/34Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by the shape or structure composed of two or more spaced sheet-like parts
    • E04C2/3405Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by the shape or structure composed of two or more spaced sheet-like parts spaced apart by profiled spacer sheets
    • E04C2002/3411Dimpled spacer sheets
    • E04C2002/3427Dimpled spacer sheets with conical dimples
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04CSTRUCTURAL ELEMENTS; BUILDING MATERIALS
    • E04C2/00Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels
    • E04C2/30Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by the shape or structure
    • E04C2/34Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by the shape or structure composed of two or more spaced sheet-like parts
    • E04C2/3405Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by the shape or structure composed of two or more spaced sheet-like parts spaced apart by profiled spacer sheets
    • E04C2002/3444Corrugated sheets
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04CSTRUCTURAL ELEMENTS; BUILDING MATERIALS
    • E04C2/00Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels
    • E04C2/30Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by the shape or structure
    • E04C2/34Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by the shape or structure composed of two or more spaced sheet-like parts
    • E04C2/3405Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by the shape or structure composed of two or more spaced sheet-like parts spaced apart by profiled spacer sheets
    • E04C2002/3444Corrugated sheets
    • E04C2002/345Corrugated sheets with triangular corrugations
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04CSTRUCTURAL ELEMENTS; BUILDING MATERIALS
    • E04C2/00Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels
    • E04C2/30Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by the shape or structure
    • E04C2/34Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by the shape or structure composed of two or more spaced sheet-like parts
    • E04C2/3405Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by the shape or structure composed of two or more spaced sheet-like parts spaced apart by profiled spacer sheets
    • E04C2002/3444Corrugated sheets
    • E04C2002/3455Corrugated sheets with trapezoidal corrugations
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04CSTRUCTURAL ELEMENTS; BUILDING MATERIALS
    • E04C2/00Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels
    • E04C2/30Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by the shape or structure
    • E04C2/34Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by the shape or structure composed of two or more spaced sheet-like parts
    • E04C2/3405Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by the shape or structure composed of two or more spaced sheet-like parts spaced apart by profiled spacer sheets
    • E04C2002/3472Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by the shape or structure composed of two or more spaced sheet-like parts spaced apart by profiled spacer sheets with multiple layers of profiled spacer sheets
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04CSTRUCTURAL ELEMENTS; BUILDING MATERIALS
    • E04C2/00Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels
    • E04C2/30Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by the shape or structure
    • E04C2/34Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by the shape or structure composed of two or more spaced sheet-like parts
    • E04C2002/3494Apparatus for making profiled spacer sheets
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T29/00Metal working
    • Y10T29/49Method of mechanical manufacture
    • Y10T29/49826Assembling or joining
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T428/00Stock material or miscellaneous articles
    • Y10T428/24Structurally defined web or sheet [e.g., overall dimension, etc.]
    • Y10T428/24628Nonplanar uniform thickness material
    • Y10T428/24661Forming, or cooperating to form cells

Abstract

Composite panels including core layers of particular geometry and optional first and second skin layers. The components optionally are made from fiberboard material. The core has either a linear geometry or made from discrete elements. In exemplary embodiments, longitudinally extending voids extend through the panel. Electrical or mechanical conduits may be inserted through the longitudinally extending voids.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application claims priority to U.S. application No. 61/841,237, entitled, “Composite Structural Panels and Components”, and which was filed Jun. 28, 2013, the entirety of which is referred to and incorporated herein by this reference in its entirety.
  • FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE
  • The disclosure that follows relates to structural panels derived from composite materials.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Although there are a wide variety of known materials and techniques to produce traditional structural panels, improvements upon the materials or techniques may produce a more versatile panel, with improved transportability and functionality. Moreover, there is a need for materials and techniques that reduce consumption of nonrenewable resources, and still provide cosmetic and functional appeal. Accordingly, there is a need for structures and techniques for assembling composite structural panels, and which optionally are fabricated of renewable or waste resources.
  • Traditional structural panels are solid pieces of material sandwiched between two boards. These traditional panels offer benefits such as insulation. They do not, however, provide for plumbing through their inner cores. There is a need for panels with hollow interiors that can provide conduits for electrical and mechanical features.
  • SUMMARY
  • The present disclosure, in its many embodiments, alleviates to a great extent the disadvantages of a high density traditional structural panels by providing a sandwich type of construction in which two planar skin layers are affixed to a central core of a specified geometry. The central core serves to spatially separate the planar skin layers and in an embodiment also forms inner voids between portions of the inner core and/or portions of the inner core and a skin layer. In some embodiments, mechanical elements such as ducting, wiring or other elements may be positioned within the void spaces. Alternatively, the voids may serve as fluid transit ducts such as for ventilation purposes.
  • In one embodiment of the invention, a composite panel is formed from fiberboard material. A bottom side of a first sheet and a top side of a second sheet are attached to an inner core forming the panel. The inner core may have a liner geometry. The linear geometry has a corrugated interior shape.
  • The inner core may also be comprised of discrete elements. The discrete elements may be of any desired geometry, such as cones, overlapping pyramids, non-overlapping pyramids or longitudinally extending ridges. The discrete elements may be aligned to form a longitudinally extending void from one end of the panel to the other. Electrical or mechanical conduits may be inserted into the longitudinally extending voids.
  • It is an object of the present invention to provide composite panels that are lightweight yet retain a desired shape. Due to the relatively low weight to surface area ratio, the panels may be handled by relatively light equipment or crews. The panels may be loaded and transported on the back of a pickup truck and be assembled in remote locations.
  • Other objects of the present invention will become more evident hereinafter in the specification and drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The foregoing and other objects of the disclosure will be apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
  • FIG. 1 is an elevation view of a panel in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 2 is an elevation view of an inner core in accordance with the invention;
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a panel in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an inner core in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 5 is a plan view of an element in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an element in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 7A is a perspective view of an inner core in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 7B is a perspective view of an inner core in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 8A is a plan view of an inner core in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 8B is a cross-sectional view taken along line 5-5 in FIG. 8A of an inner core in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 8C is a cross-sectional view of an inner core in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 9A is a perspective view of an inner core with an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 9B is a detail perspective view of an inner core in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 9C is a cross-sectional view taken along line 5-5 in FIG. 9B of an inner core in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 10A is a perspective view of an inner core in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 10B is a detail perspective view of an inner core in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 10C is a top plan view of an inner core in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 10D is a cross-sectional view taken along line 5-5 in FIG. 10C of an inner core in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 11A is a perspective view of an inner core in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 11B is a detail perspective view of an inner core in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 11C is a perspective view of an element of an inner core in accordance with an embodiment of the invention; and
  • FIG. 11D is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 5-5 and 6-6 in FIG. 11B of an inner core in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.
  • FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a panel in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.
  • FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a panel in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.
  • FIG. 14 is a perspective view of a panel in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.
  • FIG. 15 is a perspective view of a panel in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.
  • FIG. 16 is a perspective view of a panel in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • In the following paragraphs, embodiments will be described in detail by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, which are not drawn to scale, and the illustrated components are not necessarily drawn proportionately to one another. Throughout this description, the embodiments and examples shown should be considered as exemplars, rather than as limitations of the present disclosure. As used herein, the “present disclosure” or “present invention” refer to any one of the embodiments described herein, and any equivalents. Furthermore, reference to various aspects of the invention throughout this document does not mean that all claimed embodiments or methods must include the referenced aspects or features.
  • An example of a panel 10 is illustrated in FIG. 1. The panel 10 has an inner core 20 of a predetermined geometry, a first sheet or skin 30, which is illustrated as a top sheet, and a second sheet or skin 40, which is illustrated as a bottom sheet. It should be appreciated that when used as a wall panel, one of the sheets 30, 40 may be oriented towards the inside of a room and the other one of the sheets 30, 40 may be oriented towards either the inside of a two panel wall, or the inside of an adjacent room or the exterior of a structure. Each of the sheets 30, 40 has an inner surface 32, 42 oriented toward the interior of the panel 10, and an outer surface 34, 44 oriented toward the exterior of the panel 10. Any structure and geometry may be selected for inner core 20 in the present invention that achieves desired structural characteristics, such as stiffness, strain resistance and interior voids creation. The terms “skins” or “sheets” are being used for naming purposes only and not for purposes of limitation, as are the terms “top sheets” and “bottom sheets.”
  • In the illustrated embodiment, it is seen that the inner core geometry forms plural longitudinally extending interior voids 120 between walls 25 of the inner core 20 geometry and the inner surfaces 32 and/or 42 of one or more of the sheets 30, 40.
  • The panel 10 and its components, such as the sheets 30, 40 and core 20 may be formed of any materials that will impart the physical properties and structural integrity desired. Examples of some materials these components include cardpanel, paperpanel, wood, cellulosic composites, compressed cellulose material blends, brass, stainless steel, or other metals, polymeric materials or other cellulosic based products, or combinations of these materials. Some examples of suitable molded and/or compressed cellulose based materials are discussed in commonly owned U.S. Pat. No. 8,297,027, entitled, “Engineered Molded Fiberboard Panels and Methods of Making and Using the Same” and U.S. Pat. No. 8,475,894, entitled, “Engineered Molded Fiberboard Panels, Methods of Making the Panels, and Product Fabricated From the Panels,” both of which are referred to and incorporated herein in their entireties.
  • Illustrated in FIG. 2 is a cross section of an inner core structure. In this embodiment, inner core 20 has a wave or corrugated structure. The corrugated structure features angled flanges 50 positioned between alternating peaks 60. The top and bottom skins (not shown in FIG. 2) are affixed to the respective alternating peaks 60. In some embodiments, the top and bottom skins are affixed to their respective peaks 60 by an adhesive layer. Any suitable adhesive may be selected that provides a desired level of adhesion, heat expansion or contraction, longevity etc. between the peaks 60 and the top and bottom skins.
  • Two general examples of suitable geometries for the inner core 20 are shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. FIG. 3 illustrates a panel with a linear geometry in its inner core. FIG. 4 illustrates an inner core with a discrete geometry. In the case of a linear geometry, a cross-sectional profile exceeds the length of panel 10. Stated another way, the inner core geometry extends from one end of panel 100 to the other end of panel 110. The space between the inner core and the top and bottom skins form void spaces. These void spaces are longitudinally extending voids 120 spanning from one end 100 to the other end 110.
  • Shown in FIG. 4 is a discrete geometry. The inner core includes parallel discrete elements 27. Typically, a discrete element 27 has a peak 28 bordered by axially extending side walls 29. The angle and dimensions of the sidewalls 29 and the dimensions of the peaks 28 may vary to form different discrete geometries. Two examples of possible discrete geometries that can be achieved through the present invention are shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. For example, the discrete element 27 in FIG. 5 has a broad peak 28 with acute angled, small sidewalls 29. The discrete element 27 in FIG. 6 has a narrow peak 28 with acute angled, long sidewalls 29. The discrete element 27 in FIG. 5 has a box-like shape, whereas the discrete element 27 in FIG. 6 has a pyramid-like shape.
  • FIGS. 7 through 11 illustrate some of the many embodiments of the inner core 20 provided by the present invention. Shown in these Figures are perspective views, detailed perspective views, plan views, detailed plan views and elemental perspective views of the inner core embodiments. Generally, as described earlier, top and bottom skins sandwich the inner core. For illustration purposes, these skins are not illustrated in FIGS. 7 through 11.
  • FIGS. 7A and 7B show a perspective view and a detailed perspective view of inner core 20. As shown in FIGS. 7A and 7B, this embodiment has a linear geometry with a corrugated structure 50, 60. The linear feature of this embodiment spans from end 100 of corrugated inner core 20 to the opposing end 110 of corrugated inner core 20. After the top and bottom skins are affixed to the corrugated inner core 20, open space 120 defining longitudinally extending voids are formed between the inner core and the skins.
  • Optionally mechanical or electrical elements may be positioned within one or more of the longitudinally extending void spaces 120 of this embodiment. Examples of such mechanical or electrical elements may include ventilation ducts, wires, lighting, cables, plumbing or conduits. The void spaces provide a protected conduit through the panel. The electrical or mechanical element need not pass through the entire longitudinally extending void space but may terminate at any point in the void 120.
  • FIG. 8A is a plan view of the corrugated inner core 20 of this embodiment. FIGS. 8B and 8C are a cross sectional view and a detailed cross sectional view of the corrugated structure. The corrugated elemental features have angled flanges 50 positioned between alternating peaks or surfaces 60. It should be understood that the angles of the flanges can vary. Sharper angles or more obtuse angles are possible. It should be further understood that the lengths of the alternating peaks or surfaces can vary. By adjusting the angles of the flanges 50 and the lengths of the peaks 60, multiple embodiments of longitudinally extending voids 120 derived from a corrugated wave structure are possible. Larger voids may be constructed by providing an obtuse angle with larger peaks. It should be appreciated that by increasing the width of the longitudinally extending voids, the number of voids per panel is decreased. Increased widths of the void spaces allow for the passage of larger mechanical or electrical instrumentalities.
  • Conversely, the widths of the void spaces may be decreased by shortening the lengths of peaks 60 and decreasing the angles of the angled flanges 50. It should be appreciated that by decreasing the size of the void spaces, the number of voids per panel is increased. Increasing the number of voids per panel allow for increased electrical or mechanical conduits. In addition, because the longitudinally extending voids are isolated from each other, additional insulation to electrical or mechanical instrumentality inside the void is provided. It should also be appreciated that both small and large voids may be implemented within the same panel, if that is a desirable feature.
  • FIGS. 9 through 11 disclose embodiments with discrete elements in the inner core. FIGS. 9A and 9B are a perspective view and a detailed perspective view of an inner core 80 featuring a discrete element. As shown in FIG. 9B, element 200 of inner core 80 has a pyramid-like structure with peaks 28 bordered by axially extending sidewalls 29. For the purpose of naming and not of limitation, this structure will be referred to as a pyramidal embodiment. Although the pyramidal embodiment features a discrete element in the shape of a pyramid 200 that is not continuous for the length of the panel, such as the inner core in the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 7-8, the pyramidal discrete elements 200 may be aligned in parallel rows such that open spaces defining longitudinally extending voids span from one end 100 of panel 80 to opposite end 110. Optionally, electrical and mechanical elements may be inserted into the longitudinally extending void spaces. The electrical or mechanical element need not pass through the entire longitudinally extending void space but may terminate at any point in the void 120.
  • FIG. 9C is a cross sectional view of the pyramidal embodiment of FIGS. 9A-9B. The cross section shows a corrugated structure with angled sidewalls 29 alternating between peaks 28. Similar to the corrugated structure of FIGS. 7-8, the void spaces in the pyramidal embodiment structure can be varied in width and height. Sharper angles or more obtuse angles between the sidewalls 29 and peaks 28 are possible. It should be further understood that the lengths of the alternating peaks 28 are variable. By adjusting these features, multiple embodiments of longitudinally extending voids derived from discrete elements 200 in the inner core 20 are possible. Larger voids may be constructed by providing an obtuse angle between sidewalls 29 and peaks 28. Larger voids are also made possible by increasing the length of the peaks 28. Smaller voids may be constructed by decreasing the angle between sidewalls 29 and peak 28. Smaller voids are also made possible by decreasing the length of peaks 28. By increasing the size of the void spaces, there will be less voids per panel. By decreasing the size of the void spaces, there will be more voids per panel. The number and size of the longitudinally extending voids 120 are dependent upon the characteristics of the electrical or mechanical elements to be inserted into them. It should be further appreciated that both small and large voids may also be implemented within the same panel 10, if that is a desirable feature.
  • FIGS. 10A and 10B illustrate another embodiment of inner core featuring discrete elements 300 with a conical geometry. FIG. 10B is a detailed perspective view of the discrete element 300. Conical discrete element 300 is formed by peaks 360 bordered by axially extending rounded sidewalls 350. For the purpose of naming and not of limitation, this structure will be referred to as a conical embodiment. Although the conical embodiment of FIGS. 10A-10B has a discrete element 300 that is not continuous for the length of the panel, the conical discrete elements 300 may be aligned in parallel rows such that open spaces defining longitudinally extending voids span from one end 100 of panel 10 to the opposite end 110. Optionally, electrical and mechanical elements may be inserted into the longitudinally extending void spaces. The electrical or mechanical element need not pass through the entire longitudinally extending void space but may terminate at any point in the void 120.
  • FIG. 10C shows a plan view and FIG. 10D shows a cross sectional view of the conical embodiment. The cross section depicts a semi-corrugated structure with peaks 360 bordered by axially extending rounded sidewalls 350. Similar to the corrugated structure of FIGS. 7-8 and the pyramidal embodiment of FIGS. 9A-9C, the void spaces in the conical embodiment structure may be varied in width and height. Sharper angles or more obtuse angles between rounded sidewalls 350 and peaks 360 are possible. It should be further understood that the lengths of the peaks 360 are variable. By adjusting the angles of the sidewalls and the lengths of the peaks, multiple embodiments of longitudinally extending voids are possible. Larger voids may be constructed by increasing the angle between the rounded sidewall 350 and peak 360. Larger voids may also be constructed by increasing the size of peaks 360. Smaller voids may be constructed by decreasing the angle between the rounded sidewall 350 and peak 360. Smaller longitudinally extending voids may also be constructed by decreasing the size of peaks 360. An increase in the size of the void spaces results in less voids per panel. Conversely, decreasing the size of the void spaces results in more voids per panel. The number and size of the longitudinally extending voids 120 is dependent upon the characteristics of the electrical or mechanical elements inserted into them. It should be further appreciated that both small and large voids may also be implemented within the same panel, if that is a desirable feature.
  • Another possible shape for an inner core discrete element is shown in FIGS. 11A through 11D. In this embodiment the discrete element 400 is hexagonally or egg-crate shaped with four axially extending sidewalls 410 surrounding peak and valley surfaces 420. For the purpose of naming and not of limitation, this structure will be referred to as a hexagonal embodiment. Unlike the previously disclosed embodiments, the open space between the inner core 95 and the top and bottom skins 30, 40 of the hexagonal embodiment does not define a longitudinally extending void. The hexagonal embodiment has a more undulated inner core than the previously disclosed embodiments. The hexagonal embodiment's increased undulation provides the panel with greater insulating characteristics.
  • A variety of embodiments are possible by either increasing or decreasing the number and/or arrangements of skins 30, 40 or the number and/or arrangements of inner cores 20 or both. For example, a panel may be created without one or both of the top and bottom skins 30, 40. Illustrated in FIG. 12 is an embodiment of a panel 10 with two inner cores stacked on top of one another. Each of the inner cores 80 has a discrete element geometry 200 of the pyramidal embodiment shown in FIGS. 9A-9B. The top inner core 80 is flipped upside down and affixed onto the top of the bottom inner core 80. It should be appreciated that by stacking the top inner core 80 upside down on top of the bottom inner core 80, taller longitudinally extending void spaces 120 may be produced. Taller voids 120 are adaptable to larger electrical and mechanical elements being inserted into them. Optionally first and second skin layers 30, 40 may also be included in this embodiment. It also should be noted that in the embodiments discussed herein where skins 30, 40 are not provided, although the structures shown are referred to as “inner core,” for purposes of continuity with the description of other embodiments, in the non-skin embodiments, surfaces of the inner cores 20 are exposed.
  • FIG. 13 shows another embodiment of a panel 10, including inner cores 20 in stacked relation to one another. Similar to the embodiment shown in FIG. 12, top and bottom skins 30, 40 are not included, but optionally in an alternative embodiment, they can be included. Each of the inner cores 20 has a linear geometry with the one of the inner cores rotated with respect to the other. In the illustrated embodiment, the first or top inner core 20 is rotated 90 degrees relative to the second or bottom inner core 20. Longitudinally extending void spaces 120 are provided in both the x and the y directions. Optionally, electrical and mechanical elements may be routed in either direction through the longitudinally extending voids 120. The electrical or mechanical element need not pass through the entire longitudinally extending void space but may terminate at any point in the void 120. It should be appreciated that this embodiment provides an increased number of void spaces.
  • If desired, additional layers of inner cores 20 may be added. In one example illustrated in FIG. 14, four stacked inner core layers 20 are provided. In this embodiment, the top and bottom inner cores 200 and 215 are orientated in the same direction, and the two middle inner cores 205 and 210 are rotated 90 degrees relative to the top and bottom inner cores 200, 215. The two middle layers are stacked with their peaks touching, and optionally affixed to one another, for example using adhesive or mechanical fasteners, as in other embodiments where layers of inner cores are positioned adjacent to one another. Longitudinally extending void spaces 120 are provided in both the x and y directions. For example, longitudinally extending void spaces 120 in the x direction are formed between the bottom layer 215 and one of the middle layers 210 and also between the top layer 200 and inner layer 205. Likewise, longitudinally extending void spaces 120 in the y direction are formed between the two middle layers 205, 210. Depending on the requirements and specifications of the composite structural panel, it is possible to add additional inner core layers to the embodiment shown in FIG. 14. For example, another two layers arranged like layers 205 and 210 are with respect to each other may be positioned adjacent the free side of layer 200, or layer 215. Additional inner core layers will add thickness to the panel and provide additional longitudinally extending voids.
  • In other embodiments, multiple inner core layers 20 are provided with skin layers 30 and/or 40. FIG. 15 illustrates an embodiment corresponding to that of FIG. 13, but with first and second skins 30, 40 included. Likewise, FIG. 16 illustrates an embodiment corresponding to that of FIG. 16, but with first and second skins 30, 40 included.
  • Additional embodiments of multiple layers of discrete element geometry inner cores with skins are possible. In some embodiments, liner geometry inner cores are layered on discrete element geometry inner cores with skins separating the inner cores. It should be appreciated that any combination and number of inner cores may be included in a composite structural panel depending upon the design specifications and desirable features.
  • Many advantages of composite panels made from fiberboard materials have been described above. An additional advantage of the composite panels in their many embodiments is their weight. The panels are lightweight because of their low-density inner cores. Thus, the panels may be sized so that they can be easily loaded, unloaded and assembled by no more than two people. Due to their light weight, the panels are easily transportable. A pick-up truck can carry a load of panels to remote and isolated locations for easy assembly and disassembly. Further, the panels are fully recyclable and reusable. They can be disassembled and reused at another location.
  • Thus, it is seen that composite structural panels and components are provided. It should be understood that any of the foregoing configurations and specialized components may be interchangeably used with any of the apparatus or systems of the preceding embodiments. Although illustrative embodiments are described hereinabove, it will be evident to one skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the scope of the disclosure. It is intended in the appended claims to cover all such changes and modifications that fall within the true spirit and scope of the disclosure.

Claims (20)

What is claimed is:
1. A composite panel comprising:
at least two inner cores made from fiberboard material, each inner core has a defined geometry and is layered on top of each other; and
a plurality of open spaces formed between the defined geometries of the inner cores.
2. The composite panel of claim 1 wherein the defined geometry of the inner core is linear.
3. The composite panel of claim 1 wherein the inner core has a discrete element geometry.
4. The composite panel of claim 2 wherein the open space forms at least one longitudinally extending void.
5. The composite panel of claim 4 further comprising an electrical element into the at least one longitudinally extending void.
6. The composite panel of claim 4 further comprising a mechanical element inserted into the at least one longitudinally extending void.
7. The composite panel of claim 3 wherein the open space forms at least one longitudinally extending void.
8. The composite panel of claim 7 wherein the discrete elements have a pyramid shape.
9. The composite panel of claim 7 wherein the discrete elements have a conical shape.
10. The composite panel of claim 3 wherein the discrete elements have a hexagonal shape.
11. A composite panel comprising:
a first sheet made from fiberboard material;
a second sheet made from fiberboard material;
an inner core with a defined geometry made from fiberboard material, wherein the first sheet is affixed to the top side of the inner core and the second sheet is affixed to the bottom side of the inner core; and
at least one longitudinally extending void space formed between the top and bottom sheets and the defined geometry of the inner core.
12. The composite panel of claim 11 wherein the defined geometry of the inner core is linear.
13. The composite panel of claim 11 wherein the defined geometry of the inner core has a discrete element geometry.
14. The composite panel of claim 13 wherein the discrete element geometry is conical.
15. The composite panel of claim 13 wherein the discrete element geometry is in the shape of a pyramid.
16. The composite panel of claim 13, wherein the discrete element geometry is hexagonal.
17. The composite panel of claim 11 further comprising one or more inner cores and one or more sheets affixed on top of each other.
18. A method of forming a composite panel comprising:
providing a first and second sheet made from fiberboard material;
providing an inner core made from fiberboard material with a top side and a bottom side;
affixing the first sheet to the top side of the inner core; and
affixing the second sheet to the bottom side of the inner core.
19. The method of forming the composite panel of claim 18 wherein the inner core has a linear geometry.
20. The method of forming the composite panel of claim 18 wherein the inner core has a discrete element geometry.
US14/295,169 2013-06-28 2014-06-03 Composite structural panels and components Pending US20150004371A1 (en)

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