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1. (WO2013153478) SUPPORTING HEAD FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A SUPERSTRUCTURE
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DESCRIPTION

SUPPORTING HEAD FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A SUPERSTRUCTURE

Technical field

The present invention relates to a supporting head for supporting at least a first and a second beam that are suitable for contributing to the temporary support of a superstructure. The present invention further relates to a method for constructing a floor. The invention has particular application in the construction of concrete or concrete and hollow clay block floors or other forms of floor slabs where it is required to support the structure for a period extending beyond laying.

State of the art

A method for constructing a floor is known. It envisages positioning an array of posts, each provided with a supporting head for temporarily supporting a superstructure. In particular, this superstructure comprises formwork in which concrete is poured for the construction of the floor slab. Each of said heads is provided with an upper support and a drop-head element. The drop-head element is movable between a raised position and a lowered position. The drop-head element supports beams. When the drop-head element is in the raised position, all of the beams of the head are used, together with the upper support, to prop up the formwork. in the lowered position, the drop-head element determines the dismantlement, from the superstructure, of all the beams of the head (which can thus be removed).

Object of the invention

In this context, the technical task at the basis of the present invention is to propose a supporting head which is capable of offering considerable operating versatility. It is a further object of the present invention to provide an economical and flexible method for constructing a ceiling.

Brief description of the drawings

The stated technical task and specified objects are substantially achieved by a supporting head and a method comprising the technical features disclosed in one or more of the appended claims.

Additional features and advantages of the present invention will be more apparent from the approximate, and hence non-limiting, description of a preferred but not exclusive embodiment of a supporting head illustrated in the appended drawings, in which:

-figure 1 shows an exploded view of the head according to the present invention;

-figures 2, 3, 4 show perspective views of the head according to the present invention in three different configurations;

-figures 5, 6, 7 show perspective views, in three different configurations, of a part of shoring framework comprising a head according to the present invention;

-figures 8 and 9 show components of a kit comprising a head according to the present invention;

-figure 10 shows a cross section view of a beam used in figures 5, 6, 7; -figures 11 and 12 show a first embodiment of a shoring framework comprising a head according to the present invention;

-figure 13 shows a second embodiment of a shoring framework comprising a head according to the present invention.

Detailed description of preferred embodiments of the invention

In the appended figures, the reference number 1 indicates a supporting head of at least a first and a second beam suitable for contributing to the temporary support of a superstructure, in particular a floor under construction. In the art this head is also known as a "drop head".

The head 1 comprises a structure 2 extending upward. Conveniently, the structure 2 comprises at a top thereof a rest 21 suitable for supporting the superstructure 10 at least partially. This rest 21 is also known in the art as a "head plate" and defines a terminal whereupon the superstructure 10 rests.

The structure 2 further comprises a base plate 23. The base plate 23 of advantageously comprises a plurality of holes for the passage of connection means through the plate 23, said connection means serving to constrain the plate 23 to an underlying support, typically a post 70.

Conveniently, the structure 2 comprises two vertical rods 24, 25 (preferably tubular). The two tubular rods 24, 25 are interposed between the base plate 23 and the rest 21. Conveniently, the structure 2 comprises a spacer 26 which keeps the two rods 24, 25 separate and parallel. Advantageously, the two rods 24, 25 are welded to the base plate 23. The head 1 further comprises a first slide 3 designed to support the first beam 22 and that is movable along said structure 2 at least between a first and a second position. In the first position (see figure 2 or 3 or 5 or 6) the first slide 3 is at a greater height than in the second position (see figure 4 or 7).

The head 1 comprises a second slide 4 that is designed to support the second beam 12. The second slide 4 is movable along said structure 2 at least between a third and a fourth position. In the third position (see figure

2 or 5) the second slide 4 is at a greater height than in the fourth position (see figure 3 or 4 or 6 or 7). In particular, the second slide 4 is movable along said two rods 24, 25. The second slide 4 is below the first slide 3. The first and the second slides 3, 4 are distinct and separate bodies.

Conveniently, the head 1 comprises means 5 for supporting the first slide

3 in the first position.

The means 5 for supporting the first slide in the first position comprise a locking dowel 500, typically a pin 50. In the preferred embodiment the dowel 500 can be inserted in a first seat 30 made on the first slide 3 and in at least a second seat 22 made on the structure 2 so as to support the first slide 3 in the first position. Preferably, the second seat 22 is made in one of said two rods 24, 25, whereas another of said two rods 24, 25 comprises a third seat 32. In a locked configuration of the first slide 3, the dowel 500 is inserted in the first, second and third seats 30,22,32.

Preferably, the dowel 500 can be removed from the second and third

seats 22, 32 (and advantageously also from the first seat 30) to release the first slide 3 relative to the structure 2, permitting the passage of the first slide 3 from the first to the second position; the expression "permitting the passage" means that the dowel 500, if released from the structure 2, no longer opposes the drop of the first slide 3; in the preferred embodiment, in order for the first slide 3 to actually pass from the first to the second position it is also necessary for the second slide 4 not to be locked in the third position; conveniently, the height at which the first slide is located in the second position is lower than the height at which the second slide is located in the third position (in fact, in the preferred embodiment the first slide 3 cannot be located in the second position if the second slide 4 is located in the third position).

The head 1 comprises means 6 for supporting the second slide 4 at least in the third position. The means 6 for supporting the second slide opposes the action of the force of gravity which pushes the second slide downwards, thus blocking the natural movement of the second sliding element. The means 5 for supporting the first slide is constrained to the structure 2. The means 6 for supporting the second slide is constrained to the structure 2.

The means 6 for supporting the second slide comprises an element 60, which fits by interference into said structure 2 and supports from below the second slide 4 in the third position. In particular, the element 60 which is fit is plate-like and has a first and a second hole 601 , 602. The supporting means 5 and/or 6 are removably connectable to the structure 2.

Both the first and second holes 601 , 602 have two converging limiting walls. One of the two rods 24, 25 is inserted into the first hole and one into the second hole 601 , 602. To support the second slide 4 in the third position, the two rods 24, 25 are fit into the converging zone of the first and second holes 601 , 602. In this manner the element 60 is locked relative to the structure 2 and can thus support the second slide 4 above it. When the element 60 is released, the second slide 4 will drop due to

gravity (moving toward the base plate 23). Conveniently, when the element 60 is released from the structure 2, it too will drop due to gravity. In particular, the base plate 23 advantageously also comprises one or more protuberances 230 (typically obtained by pressing). The protuberance 230 is a stop for said element 60; the protuberance 230 prevents the element 60, if released from the structure 2, from interfering with the underlying anchorage elements; said anchorage elements are responsible for connecting an end plate of the post and remaining parts of the post; the end plate of the post is the portion of the post upon which the base plate 23 rests.

Conveniently, the means 6 for supporting the second slide can be disengaged independently from the engagement of the means 5 for supporting the first slide 3. Practically speaking, the means 6 for supporting the second slide can be disengaged even if the means 5 for supporting the first slide 3 is engaged. The head 1 can take on a configuration wherein the means 5 for supporting the first slide performs its support function and the means 6 for supporting the second slide is disengaged (i.e. does not perform its support function). This permits a shifting of the second slide 4 from the third to the fourth position, even in the case in which the first slide 3 remains fixed in the first position. The first and second slides 3, 4 are separate and distinct. The means 5 and the means 6 are also separate and distinct.

In the preferred embodiment the first slide 3 comprises a rest zone 31 for the first beam 11. In particular, in the zone 31 the first slide 3 comprises at least one projecting element intended to fit into the first beam 11 (it preferably comprises a plurality of projecting elements intended to fit into in the first beam 11). For example, such projecting elements comprise: -a lower tooth 88, designed to fit into a lower groove of the first beam; and/or

-two protrusions 89, 90 side by side which fit into an end opening of the first beam 11 , preventing the first beam 11 from shifting horizontally and perpendicularly to the preponderant line of extension of the first beam 11. Conveniently, the first slide 3 comprises a rest zone 33 for a third beam 13. The second slide 4 comprises a rest zone 42 for the second beam 12. Preferably the second slide 4 comprises a rest zone 44 for a fourth beam 14.

Starting from an axis 20 wherealong said structure 2 extends, the rest zone 31 for the first beam and the rest zone 42 for the second beam are located along two directions rotated by 90°.

What has been described with reference to the projecting elements of the first slide 3 in the zone 31 can be repeated for projecting elements situated in the zone 33 (in such a case the projecting elements will interact with the third beam 13). What has been described with reference to the projecting elements of the first slide 3 can be repeated for the second slide 4 (in such a case the projecting elements will be in the zone 42 and/or 44 and will interact respectively with the second and/or the fourth beam 12, 14).

The rest zone 31 for the first beam and the rest zone 33 for the third beam are reciprocally opposite relative to the structure 2. The rest zone 44 for the fourth beam and the rest zone 42 for the second beam are reciprocally opposite relative to the structure 2. The structure 2 is thus interposed between the zones 31 and 33. Analogously, the structure 2 is interposed between the zones 42 and 44.

The first slide 3 provides and completely surrounds at least a first opening 34 for the passage of the structure 2; the second slide 4 provides and completely surrounds at least a second opening 41 for the passage of the structure 2 (in particular, the second opening 41 coincides with said first or said second hole 601 , 602).

The present invention further relates to a kit comprising (see figures 8 and 9):

-a head 1 having one or more of the above-specified features;

-an appendage 71 hooked with the head 1 and/or hookable with a post 70 below the head 1.

The appendage 71 projects in a distancing direction from head 1. Conveniently, the appendage 71 comprises a support 72 in turn comprising at its upper end gripping means (for example a clip 73) for gripping a beam (in particular the above-specified first or second beam 11 , 12). As can be seen in figure 8, the gripping means are elastically returned. In particular, the clip 73 comprises an elastic spring 86 which tends to tighten two arms of said clip 73. The appendage 71 (typically via the gripping means) is suitable for defining an additional rest point for the first or the second beam 11 , 12. Preferably the support 72 is adjustable in height.

The appendage 71 is used above all whenever the first or the second beam is projecting or more in general to better stabilize it. In the preferred embodiment the kit 1 also comprises the post 70 below the head 1. The appendage 71 comprises a clamp 87 which traps the base plate 23 and an upper plate of the post 70 (which are inserted and remain interposed between two parts of the clamp). The upper plate of the post was previously also defined as "end plate" of the post.

The present invention also relates to a shoring framework 100 for constructing a floor. By way of non-!imiting example, the floor can for example be a concrete floor slab as indicated, for example, in figure 11 or 12, or else it could be made of concrete and clay blocks as indicated, for example, in figure 13.

Said shoring framework 100 comprises a group of posts 70 and heads 1 , each head 1 topping a corresponding post 70 and having one or more of the previously described features. The shoring framework 100 in particular comprises a first group of beams, each beam of said first group extending between a pair of said heads 1.

In particular the beams of the first group comprise:

-a first set of beams that rest on the first slide 3 of the heads 1 ; and

-a second set of beams that rest on the second slide 4 of the heads 1. The beams of the first set do not rest on the second slide 4. The beams of the second set do not rest on the first slide 3. Conveniently, the first beam 11 belongs to the first set of beams and the second beam 12 belongs to the second set.

The first and the second set of beams support the weight of a superstructure 10. Typically, the superstructure 10 comprises a formwork (the formwork usually includes a set of panels on the inside of which concrete is poured). Moreover, the shoring framework 100 comprises walkway platforms 76 set by side; for example, said platforms 76 enable an operator to work more comfortably and in complete safety during the construction of the superstructure 10. The platforms 70 are supported or constrained to the beams of the second set.

Conveniently, the beams of the first set extend along a first direction 74, whereas the beams of the second set extend along a second direction 75 extend first direction 74. Advantageously, in concrete and hollow clay block floors the superstructure comprises hollow blocks having a preponderant direction of extension parallel to the second direction 75. Said shoring framework 100 takes on at least:

-a first configuration wherein the heads 1 have the first slide 3 in the first position and the second slide 4 in the third position and wherein the beams of the first and of the second set determine a rest plane of a superstructure 10;

-a second configuration wherein the heads have the first slide 3 in the first position and the second slide 4 in the fourth position and wherein the beams of the first set support at least partially the superstructure 10, whereas the beams of the second set and said walkway platforms 76 are distanced from the superstructure 10 and thus removable.

Conveniently, the shoring framework 100 takes on a third configuration wherein the heads 1 have the first and the second slide 3, 4 respectively in the second and in the fourth position and wherein the beams of the first set are distanced from the superstructure and removable. In the third configuration, the heads 1 have the rest 21 which supports the

superstructure 10.

In this manner, the user has utmost versatility of use. At the moment of construction of the superstructure 10, the first and the second slide 3,4 of the heads 1 are respectively in the first and in the third position. Subsequently, the user can choose between two options described here below. A first option envisages that the operator decides that the support provided by the beams that rest on the first slide 3 of the heads 1 is sufficient on its own; consequently, the beams set on the second slide 4 of the various heads 1 can be lowered. In the case of a concrete and hollow clay block ceiling, this operation could be carried out immediately after pouring the concrete which contributes to defining the superstructure. In this manner, the beams that rest on the first slide 3 of the various heads 1 can be removed and those beams can be reused in another area of the building site. Moreover, in this manner the walkway platforms 76 are also freed and can thus be reused. The superstructure will thus be supported only by the top rests 21 of the heads 1 and by the beams that rest on the first slide 3 of the various heads 1 (advantageously the beams that rest on the first slide 3 of the various heads can be removed after complete curing of the concrete; in the case of a concrete and hollow clay block ceiling, this usually takes place around 28 days after laying).

Alternatively, a second option envisages that the user decides at a certain point of the work that it is possible to simultaneously remove the beams that rest both on the first and on the second slide 3, 4 of each head 1. Consequently, it is possible to lower both the first and the second slide of each head 1.

For example, in the case of a concrete and hollow clay block ceiling, given the lighter weight thereof, it possible to dismantle the beams that rest on the second slide 4 of the heads 1 a few hours after the concrete has been laid; in the meantime, however, the beams that rest on the first slide 3 of the heads 1 will remain erected for an additional period of time.

If the floor slab is instead made solely of concrete, given the greater

weight thereof it could be decided to keep all the beams erected until the concrete is completely cured.

Advantageously, at least one of the beams used has a profile having an "upside-down T" shaped cross section (see figure 10). What is described with reference to said "upside-down T" shaped beam can be advantageously repeated for a plurality of said beams, preferably for all the beams.

Advantageously, said beam is hollow at least at the ends.

Conveniently, the "upside-down T" shaped beam has a section having a base 81 and a stem 82; the stem 82 projects upward from the base 81, in a distancing direction from the base 81. Advantageously, said beam comprises a protuberance 83 for coupling to the walkway platform 76; said protuberance 83 projects upwards from the base 81. Said protuberance 83 is positioned beside the stem 82. Conveniently, the base 81 has two edges 84,85 which converge toward the inside of the base 81 and are inclined relative to the horizontal plane, preferably by an angle of 8.21°. This serves to improve the gripping action by the appendage 71.

The present invention also relates to a method for constructing a floor. Said method comprises a stage of positioning a network of temporary posts 70 and heads; each of said heads being placed at the top of a corresponding post and having one or more of the above-specified features; the posts of the network are in a vertical position.

The method further comprises a stage of positioning a plurality of beams, oriented according to a first and a second direction 74, 75 on pairs of said heads. The first and the second direction 74, 75 are reciprocally perpendicular.

The beams extending along the first direction 74 rest on the first slide 3 of said heads 1. The beams extending along the second direction 75 rest on the second slide 4 of said heads 1.

The method further envisages applying a superstructure 10 above said beams.

The superstructure 10 can comprise formwork intended to receive the poured concrete. The stage of applying the superstructure 10 comprises the stage of resting a set of walkway platforms 76 on the beams extending along the second direction 75. The formwork is placed above said platforms.

The method can further comprise the stages of:

-lowering the second slide 4 of the heads per so as to disengage the beams extending along the second direction 75 from the superstructure 10;

- keeping the first slide 3 of the heads in the first position for an additional period of time, so that the beams extending along the first direction 74 remain further as support for the superstructure 10.

The stage of lowering the second slide 4 causes the lowering of said platforms 76 which, disengaged from the remaining parts of the superstructure 10, can be removed. At least a part of said superstructure is thus destined to remain incorporated in the ceiling; at least a part of said superstructure can be removed after the ceiling is completed.

The invention thus conceived enables a number of advantages to be obtained.

In particular, it allows the user utmost operating flexibility, meeting the plurality of needs that may present themselves from one occasion to the next. In particular, the invention offers the user the option of dismantling only some of the beams, leaving others in place; this makes it possible to limit costs, in fact, the dismantled beams can be reused in another area of the building site (and therefore a smaller number of beams will be necessary overall because some can be reused).

The invention thus conceived is susceptible of numerous modifications and variants, all falling within the scope of the inventive concept that characterises it. Moreover, all the details may be replaced with technically equivalent ones. In practice, all of the materials used, as well as the dimensions, can be any whatsoever according to need.