Leave-in-Place Concrete Retention forms

Abstract

A form into which concrete may be poured for the formation of grid pavement in situ is comprised of a sheet base having top and bottom surfaces, the top surface having a plurality of hollow frusta projecting there from preferably in a uniform pattern and creating an interstitial space there between within which a first site material, namely concrete, is poured to create a grid with areas and a second site material, namely soil, sand or an aggregate, occupies the frusta and is in communication with the underlying subsoil. In order to prevent wet concrete from infiltrating the hollowed frusta during pouring of concrete into the interstitial space, lids of a preferably biodegradable substance such as compressed peat are inserted into or over the frusta openings. The lids may be easily broken into pieces which fall into the hollowed frusta after the concrete has cured so that the second site material can be added therein. When the second material is soil, the peat will increase the soil's capacity to retain moisture and add nutrients promoting vegetation growth. Removable lids are also contemplated.

Claims

1 . A leave-in-place concrete retention form, comprising a plurality of hollow frusta projecting from a surface of a base; each of said plurality of hollow frusta having a proximal opening and a distal opening; said proximal opening being through said base; said distal opening having a lid. 2 . A leave-in-place concrete retention form, comprising: a) a base having a plurality of openings; b) a plurality of hollow frusta projecting from a surface of said base; each of said plurality of hollow frusta having a void in communication with one of said plurality of openings; each of said frusta further having a distal opening; and c) a plurality of lids; each of said plurality of lids covering said distal opening of each of said plurality of frusta. 3 . A leave-in-place concrete retention form, comprising: a) a base having a plurality of openings; each of said plurality of openings having a perimeter; b) a plurality of hollow frusta projecting from a surface of said base; each of said plurality of hollow frusta having at least one, but not two, side walls, a proximal end and a distal end; said proximal end being in communication with said perimeter of said opening; said distal end being truncated and terminating in a distal edge; c) a distal opening defined by said distal edge; and d) a plurality of lids; each of said plurality of lids covering said distal opening of each of said plurality of frusta.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION [0001] The subject invention relates generally to a method and apparatus for the formation of permeable concrete surfaces, and more particularly to a leave-in-place form used for the creation of permeable pavement surfaces consisting of strong structural materials having regularly interspersed void areas which may be filled with pervious materials such as soil, gravel or sand and which may also be occupied by live vegetation. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION [0002] Concrete grid pavements or “green parking lots” have been employed for several decades to provide a bearing surface having adequate strength to accommodate vehicles or heavy foot traffic while allowing infiltration of surface water. Particularly when the voided areas of such structures are occupied by grasses or other vegetation they provide significant aesthetic enhancement of their environment in addition to their more utilitarian benefits of reducing urban heat, storm water runoff and downstream erosion and sediment pollution. [0003] Grid pavements find utility in areas including: parking lots, especially fringe or overflow parking areas; parking aprons, taxiways, blast pads, and runway shoulders at airports; emergency stopping and parking lanes and vehicle cross-overs on divided highways; on-street parking aprons in residential neighborhoods, recreational vehicle camping area parking pads; private roads, easement service roads and fire lanes; industrial storage yards and loading zones; boat ramps; driveways for residential and light commercial use; and bike paths, walkways, patios and swimming pool aprons. [0004] Grid pavements have been created using a variety of products and methods. One commonly known method is to form the permeable surface out of a multiplicity of pre-cast concrete grid pavers incorporating voided areas, usually in consistent geometric patterns. Such pavers fall into two categories: lattice and castellated. Lattice pavers have a flat surface that forms a continuous pattern of concrete when installed. Castellated grid pavers are characterized by crenels and merlons that are exposed when pervious materials are added and show a higher percentage of grass surface sometimes making the grass appear continuous when installed. Concrete grid pavers range in weight from 45 (20 kg) lbs. to 90 lbs (40 kg). The percent of open area generally ranges between 20% and 50%. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) defines concrete grid pavers as having maximum dimensions of 24 in. long by 24 in. wide (610 mm by 610 mm) and a minimum nominal thickness of 3⅛ in. (80 mm). The minimum required space thickness of the webs between the openings is 1 in. (25 mm). Concrete grid pavers are typically precast and trucked to a job site for installation. Because of their considerable weight, bulkiness and increased volume (over wet concrete) pre-cast pavers are difficult to handle (often requiring two people) and expensive to transport. Moreover, surface preparation for such units is labor and time intensive requiring a compacted soil sub-grade, a dense-graded base of compacted crushed stone, and bedding sand. [0005] Another method of producing grid pavements, and the context within which the subject invention is couched, involves the pouring of concrete slabs covering large areas. Poured-in-place concrete slabs are created using special concrete retention forms (sometimes also called ‘formers’) to shape the void areas. Because slabs poured from this method may be reinforced with steel, they are suitable for heavy loads and impart maximum resistance to movement caused by frost heave or settling. [0006] Prior art references relating to forms for in situ preparation of grid pavements are not found in great abundance. U.S. Pat. No. 3,802,790 issued to Blackburn in 1974 describes a form having a sheet base with a plurality of projecting hollow closed peaks at one side of the sheet base and open to the other side of the sheet base. The form serves to define or shape a first space composed of the interiors of the peaks and a second space surrounding the walls of the peaks. The first and second spaces are filled with different site materials. A significant shortcoming of the Blackburn apparatus is that the tops of each closed peak must be manually removed such as by cutting in order to expose the underlying space for filling. Such a task is both labor and time intensive and impractical for project of large proportion. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION [0007] The subject invention rather broadly provides a three dimensional template or “form” into which concrete may be poured for the formation of areas of grid pavement in situ. Like forms of the prior art, the subject apparatus may be generally characterized as having an ‘egg tray’ configuration with peaks and valleys wherein a first site material, namely concrete, is poured into the interconnecting valley areas and a second site material, namely soil, sand or an aggregate, occupies the hollow peaks. Unlike prior art forms, however, the tops of the peaks are truncated to enable filling. In order to prevent wet concrete from overflowing into the open tops of the peaks during the pouring process, temporary sealing means are provided. In a first embodiment, the sealing means are comprised of ‘lids’ of compressed peat which are pre-shaped to fit in mating engagement with the peak openings as more fully described herein. The lids may be easily broken into pieces which fall into the underlying voids after the concrete has cured so that the second site material can be added. When the second material is soil, the peat will increase the soil's capacity to retain moisture and add nutrients promoting vegetation growth. In another embodiment, the peak openings may be temporarily sealed using a sheet material such as a durable plastic wrap for instance which is bonded to the perimeter of each opening. The plastic covering may be easily removed from the openings after the pour using a utility knife or other suitable means. In still another embodiment, the lids are constructed of a more durable material such as wood, metal or plastic which are reusable. [0008] There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof that follows may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are, of course, additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and which will form the subject matter of the claims appended hereto. In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting. As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception, upon which this disclosure is based, may readily be utilized as a basis for the designing of other structures, methods and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present invention. It is important, therefore, that the claims be regarded as including such equivalent constructions insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention. [0009] Further, the purpose of the foregoing abstract is to enable the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the public generally, and especially the scientists, engineers and practitioners in the art who are not familiar with patent or legal terms or phraseology, to determine quickly from a cursory inspection the nature and essence of the technical disclosure of the application. The abstract is neither intended to define the invention of the application, which is measured by the claims, nor is it intended to be limiting as to the scope of the invention in any way. [0010] It is, therefore, a primary object of the subject invention to provide a leave-in-place concrete retention form for in situ preparation of pavement surfaces having regularly interspersed void areas which said form includes a plurality of hollowed peaks which are truncated and closed with removable lids of peat, plastic or other suitable means. [0011] It is also a primary object of the subject invention to provide concrete retention forms having temporary biodegradable lids which are easily broken using the foot or hand tool and which upon breaking fall into the underlying void to provide a means of enhancing moisture retention and provision of nutrients to surrounding soil and vegetation. [0012] Another object of the subject invention is to provide concrete retention forms in a variety of shapes which in turn produce a variety of visually pleasing grid pavement designs. [0013] Still another object of the subject invention is to provide concrete retention forms which are light weight and stackable and therefore easily transportable. [0014] Yet another object of the subject invention is to provide concrete retention forms which cover a greater surface area than do conventional grid pavers and which may be interconnected to form larger form systems. [0015] Another object of the subject invention is to provide concrete retention forms that are simple in design, comprised of a limited number of components and therefore capable of rapid construction and installation at relatively low costs. [0016] These together with other objects of the invention, along with the various features of novelty which characterize the invention, are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this disclosure. For a better understanding of the invention, its advantages and the specific objects attained by its uses, reference should be had to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter in which there is illustrated a preferred embodiment of the invention. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS [0017] The invention will be better understood and objects other than those set forth above will become apparent when consideration is given to the following detailed description thereof. Such description makes reference to the annexed drawings wherein: [0018] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a concrete retention form made in accordance with the subject invention, portions of which are illustrated in exploded and cut-away views to better reveal the construction thereof; [0019] FIG. 2 is a partial plan view of two of the subject apparatus in abutting relationship; [0020] FIG. 3 is a partial sectional view of the subject apparatus with lids mounted; [0021] FIG. 4 is a partial sectional view of the subject apparatus after concrete has been poured and leveled and further illustrating breaking of the peat lids; [0022] FIG. 5 is a partial sectional view of the subject apparatus with voids backfilled and vegetation planted therein; [0023] FIG. 6 is a partial perspective view of a second embodiment of the subject concrete retention form equipped with plastic film covers rather than lids. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT [0024] Reference is made to FIGS. 1-3 in which a preferred embodiment of the subject concrete retention form, denoted generally by reference numeral 10 , is illustrated in perspective, plan and sectional views, respectively. Concrete retention form 10 is comprised of a substantially planar base 12 having top and bottom surfaces 12 a and 12 b , respectively. Base 12 includes a plurality of openings 14 which are preferably but not essentially arranged in an organized fashion and which may be of any geometric shape, substantially square being shown. Each opening 14 is defined by a perimeter 16 and is in direct communication with the interior of a hollowed frustum 18 which may be either frusto-conical (where the opening is round) or frusto-prismatoid (where the opening is comprised of three or more sides) in shape and extends normal to the top surface 12 a of base 12 to a height h f . The height h f of each frustum 18 is equal. Irregular shapes are also contemplated, but not preferred. [0025] Each frustum is comprised of either a single continuous side wall 20 (where the opening is round or amorphous) or at least three side walls 20 (where the opening is non-circular but otherwise definable in shape) having a proximal end 22 in communication with perimeter 16 of opening 14 , and a distal end 24 which terminates in distal edge 26 which defines the boundaries of distal opening 28 . As may be appreciated, each opening 14 is shared by both base 12 and a frustum 18 . Accordingly, openings 14 may also be considered a feature of frusta 18 and are therefore hereinafter referred to as “proximal openings 14 ”. Each side wall 20 has an interior surface 20 a and an exterior surface 20 b . An empty space or void 30 exists between the two parallel planes of proximal opening 14 and distal opening 28 . Each side wall 20 is preferably tapered inward such that proximal opening 14 is larger than distal opening 26 . [0026] As may also be appreciated, the subject concrete retention form 10 may be viewed very generally as a plurality of frusta existing between two parallel planes; the first plane being perforated base 12 ; the second plane being imaginary and occupied by the distal edge 26 of the frusta. The side walls 20 of each frustum 18 together serve to divide the area between parallel planes and within the outer margins of the form into two identifiable spaces; the first space being the above plurality of voids 30 that exist between the interior surfaces 20 a of the side walls; the second space being the continuous interstitial space 31 that exists between the exterior surfaces 20 b . As will be readily understood by those skilled in the art, these two spaces are intended to receive site materials of different character from one another with the form actually separating the two. More specifically, it is intended that the second space will be occupied by a paving material such as concrete to create the desired structural grid and the first space will be occupied by one or more pervious materials such as soil, gravel or sand as well as live vegetation. Forms 10 may be fabricated from a variety of materials including wood, metal, fiber or molded plastics, the latter being preferred. [0027] With particular reference now being made to FIG. 3 , it may be observed that each frustum 18 includes a lid 32 in sealing engagement with its distal opening. Lid 32 may be attached directly on top of distal edge 26 (not shown) using a variety of bonding materials to create a seal between abutting surfaces to avoid seepage of wet concrete into void 30 . In a preferred embodiment, however, the side wall 20 of each frustum 18 includes a ring 34 attached to the interior surface 20 a and projecting into void 30 parallel to the plane of base 12 and at a distance “d” below distal edge 26 . Distance d is substantially equal to the thickness of lid 32 such that the top surface of the lid 32 lies flush with distal edge 26 when seated. The top surface 36 of ring 34 serves as a shoulder upon which a portion of the outer circumference of lid 32 rests. Note that the diameter of lid 32 must be sized to fit in slidable engagement with that portion of interior surface 20 a that exists above ring 34 . To secure lid 32 in place, a bead 38 of adhesive may be applied between lid 32 and top surface 36 as shown, again creating a barrier to prevent wet concrete from seeping into void 30 . [0028] Each lid 32 is preferably but not essentially made of a biodegradable or partly biodegradable material. For example, the lid may be fabricated from peat, clay or a peat/clay mixture that has been compressed and molded into the desired shape. The composition may further include vegetable fibers for added stability. The incorporation of polymeric additives and in particular carbohydrate-based additives into peat-containing lids may tend to stabilize the swelling properties of the peat over time. For instance, it is desirable to slow the natural tendency of the peat to swell when exposed to the wet concrete so as not to interfere with the leveling thereof. The peat material used in the present invention is preferably either reed-sedge peat, humus peat or sphagnum peat. Prior to use, the peat material may be screened to remove rocks, sticks and other large objects that may interfere with the molding process. In certain circumstances it may be desirable to reduce the particle size of the peat material. To accomplish the particle size reduction, the peat material is preferably dried, ground to a desired granulation, and then rewetted until the peat material has the desired moisture content. The clay material used in the present invention is preferably ball clay, glacial lake clay or a combination of the two. Other additives that may be incorporated into the biodegradable lid component of the present invention include fly ash, sand, grain elevator residue, sawmill/wood product residues, carbon black and paper mill sludge. Each lid 32 may further include plastic mesh webbing either inside, on its surface, or both to impart structural stability. [0029] In order to provide additional support to base 12 , a plurality of bridges 44 interconnect frusta 18 . Each bridge 42 is comprised of an upright wall, normal to base 12 , and connected at each end to the exterior surface 20 b of a pair of neighboring frusta 18 . The height of each bridge 42 is less than height h f of each frustum 18 . Each frustum 18 has four bridges 42 radiating there from; two along a first axis, and two along a second axis perpendicular to the first. [0030] As illustrated in FIG. 2 , forms 10 may be joined together to create larger pavement surfaces. To facilitate the attachment of one form to another, base 12 includes a flange 40 about its perimeter and extending perpendicular to top surface 20 a . Forms 10 may be placed next to one another such that flanges 40 come into abutting relationship as shown. A plurality of clips 42 hold the flanges together. [0031] Alternatively, or in addition to the foregoing, forms 10 may be held in abutting relation to one another by mounting a structural support member 100 , such as rebar, to each form as shown. Note that a single length of rebar can span a plurality of abutting forms 10 . To accomplish this, each bridge 42 is adapted with a slot 46 a , 46 b for receiving a length of rebar in “snap-in-place” fashion. As may be observed, a first length of rebar may be mounted in all slots 46 b that share a common axis. Similarly, a second length of rebar may be mounted in all slots 46 a that share a common axis that is perpendicular to the first axis. To prevent perpendicular lengths of rebar from intersecting one another in the same plane slots 46 b are formed deeper in bridges 44 than are slots 46 a . Accordingly, lengths of rebar mounted in slots 46 b will lay below lengths of rebar mounted in slots 46 a . In all instances, structural support members 100 will be situate within interstitial space 31 at a distance above base 12 and below the plane occupied by distal edges 26 . Members 100 thereby serve the dual purpose of enhancing the structural integrity of the system while facilitating the interconnection of its component forms 10 . Those skilled in the art will appreciate that numerous other means for interconnecting forms 10 exist, the above being merely illustrative. Method of Use [0032] The subject concrete retention forms may be used to create a permeable pavement surface consisting of a concrete grid having regularly interspersed void areas which may be filled with pervious materials and vegetation. In one method of producing such a surface, sub surface soil 102 is raked and leveled (“proof-rolled”) and a number of forms 10 are then laid onto the prepared sub-soil with the bottom surface 20 b contacting the soil 102 . Adjacent forms are connected to one another using clips 42 as heretofore described or by other suitable connection means, and structural support members 100 are added between frusta 18 if desired. Forms 10 may be cut to any desired shape after which the perimeter of the entire system is enclosed by abutting wood or metal forms which also serve as screed rails for leveling of the poured concrete. All distal openings 28 are sealed using lids 32 . A wet concrete mix is then poured into interstitial space 31 and leveled using a screed to the height h f represented by the distal edge of each frustum 18 . Note that together, distal edge 26 and the top surface of lids 32 will serve as additional guides for the screed which will remove substantially all concrete there from during the leveling process. The concrete is permitted to cure after which lids 32 may be broken into smaller pervious particles 44 which fall to the bottom of each frusta between proximal openings 14 and in communication with the underlying sub-soil 102 as illustrated in FIG. 4 . [0033] All voids 30 are then backfilled with the second site material through distal openings 28 and leveled with distal edge 26 . As mentioned, the second site material can be any pervious material such as soil, sand or aggregate. In the case of the former, the decomposing peat or peat/clay material will help retain moisture and provide nutrients to vegetation 104 planted within each void 30 ( FIG. 5 ). [0034] With reference now being invited to FIG. 6 , a second embodiment of the subject concrete retention form is illustrated in perspective view having a durable plastic sheet 50 mounted across the distal opening 28 of each frustum 18 . Plastic sheet 50 serves the same function as the previously described lids 32 , namely to prevent accidental infiltration of concrete material into voids 30 . Once the concrete is cured, plastic sheets 50 may be removed from openings 28 using an appropriate hand tool such as a utility knife. [0035] Although the present invention has been described with reference to the particular embodiments herein set forth, it is understood that the present disclosure has been made only by way of example and that numerous changes in details of construction may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Thus, the scope of the invention should not be limited by the foregoing specifications, but rather only by the scope of the claims appended hereto.

Description

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    FR-2960568-A1December 02, 2011Sols SaMold for realizing concrete flooring to make concrete slabs or platforms for public transport, has hollow studs formed of biodegradable polymeric material such that studs are degraded when studs are in contact with water
    US-8282310-B2October 09, 2012White Charles RPaver installation system