Патент US7596919 — Lightweight composite roofing tiles — Google Патенты

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CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/419,584, filed Oct. 18, 2002.

REFERENCE TO SEQUENCE LISTING, TABLE, OR COMPUTER PROGRAM LISTING APPENDIX SUBMITTED ON A COMPACT DISC

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STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

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BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of Invention

The present invention relates to roofing tiles of a type typically used on residential and other non-industrial buildings. More particularly, the invention relates to lightweight roofing tiles that are molded from a plastic-composite material to simulate conventional tiles and certain types of shingles.

2. Description of Prior Art

Roofing tiles and shingles are available in a variety of styles and materials. Conventional roofing tiles are typically concrete, clay or ceramic tiles provided in many styles, such as Roman or Spanish-S style. Specialty-type shingles include slate and cedar shake shingles. Such tiles and shingles generally offer longer life and less maintenance potential as compared with asphalt shingles, and they provide opportunities for unique and exotic roofing aesthetics not available with asphalt shingles. However, conventional roofing tiles and specialty-type shingles suffer from several drawbacks and disadvantages. In general conventional roofing tiles are relatively heavy, and they are not easily stacked for transportation to the job site or for carrying from the ground to the roof. The tiles must often be hand stacked and securely bound for transportation, and the heavier tiles must be carried to the roof a few at a time, or with the use of large material handling equipment. The unit cost of slate and shake shingles is relatively high. Thicker pieces of slate provide a better quality roof, but unit, handling and installation costs increase as the thickness of the slate increases. The unit cost of concrete tile is typically less than slate and shake shingles, but the concrete tiles are also typically heavier, resulting in higher handling and installation costs. Roofing tiles and specialty shingles also require special installation procedures specific to the tile and shingle configuration and type. Consequently, the installed cost of conventional roofing tiles, and slate and shake shingles, is relatively high due to high unit costs, and/or the high cost of labor to handle and install the tiles and shingles. As a result of these and other drawbacks and disadvantages known through the roofing industry, use of conventional roofing tiles and specialty shingles is typically limited to installation on relatively expensive buildings.

Prior roofing tiles and shingles made from plastic-composite materials have attempted to address some of the above-noted disadvantages of such conventional roofing materials. Composite roofing tiles are generally lightweight, and therefore, present the opportunity to reduce costs associated with handling and installation of relatively heavy conventional tiles and slate shingles. However, many prior composite roofing tile and shingle configurations are fabricated as “copies” of conventional tiles and shingles. Except for weight reduction in certain configurations, such prior composite tiles and shingles suffer from many of the same stacking, transportation, handling and installation difficulties as conventional tiles and shingles. The installed cost of such composite roofing materials is also relatively high. The unit cost of composite tiles and shingles is typically higher than the cost of tiles and shingles made from conventional materials, and when individual tiles and shingles are installed, the labor installation cost is the same as for installation of conventional roofing materials. In addition, prior composite roofing tiles and shingles often discolor in visibly evident patterns due to extended exposure to sun and weather. This discoloration results from the composition of the plastic-composite material, the molding process, and/or the configuration of the tiles. Visually detectable discoloration is often associated with uniform reinforcing or molding structures formed on the underside of the tiles or shingles, causing uniform patterns of regular transitions between thick and thin sections of the pieces that discolor non-uniformly upon extended exposure to outside elements. Due to the high cost of molds, fabrication of prior composite roofing tiles and shingles is typically limited to only a few configuration images. As a result, installation of such composite materials is often visibly evident due to the repeating image patterns as installed onto a roof, and the subsequent discoloration of the tiles and shingles. Prior composite roofing tiles and shingles also typically have difficulty meeting requirements for resistance to wind uplift as designated for roof construction in certain geographic areas of the country. As a result of the above-identified and other known disadvantages, prior composite roofing tiles and shingles have meet with only limited success in the market place, and the bulk of the roofing sold continues to be made from conventional materials.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The primary objective of the present invention is to provide a new and improved composite roofing tile that is adapted for presentation of conventional roofing tiles and shingles, and that addresses the above-identified drawbacks and disadvantages of prior roofing tiles and shingles made from both conventional and composite materials.

An important objective of the invention is to provide a roofing tile that is molded from plastic-composite material to obtain a lightweight, yet durable roofing tile.

Another important objective of the invention is to provide a composite roofing tile that includes multiple tile or shingle images on a single tile board. This aspect of the invention results in reduced handling and installation time and labor as compared with time and labor associated with conventional single-image tiles and shingles, and enables potential enhanced pattern randomness for installed tiles and shingles using the same number of mold cavities.

Another important objective of the invention is to provide a composite roofing tile that is configured to present multiple tile and shingle images as individual images rather than as multiple connected images. This aspect of the invention assists in further achieving an installed roof with no readily visible repetition of image patterns on the roof.

Another important objective of the invention is to provide a composite roofing tile that is suitable for provision of alternate types of images, such as slate and shake shingles, Roman or Spanish-S tiles, and other tile and shingle configuration images on the same basic configuration tile board. This aspect of the invention results in a reduction of design and manufacturing costs, simplification of installation procedures with a single basic installation procedure for the multiple tile image configurations for reduction in installation time and costs, and improved selection choices for the consumer, including up to the time the tile is actually installed onto a roof.

Another important objective of the invention is to provide a composite roofing tile that is installable with standard, variable or uniformly changing graduated vertical exposure, as desired.

Another important objective of the invention is to provide a composite roofing tile that is configured for ease of stacking and handling. This aspect of the invention results in improved ease and cost reduction of transportation to the job site, and from the ground to the roof. Roofing tiles can be stacked for shipping, and for carrying stacked multiple tiles at one time from the ground to the roof, regardless of the specific tile or shingle images formed in the tile.

Another important objective of the invention is to provide a composite roofing tile that is configured for interlocking engagement with adjacent tiles when being stacked and handled, as well as when installed onto a roof. This aspect of the invention further enhances ease of handling and installation procedures.

Another important objective of the invention is to provide a composite roofing tile that does not discolor in visibly evident patterns from extended exposure to sun and weather when installed on a roof.

Another important objective of the invention is to provide a composite roofing tile that is fabricated with multiple image patterns on the tile board, resulting in further reduction of visibly evident repeating patterns in an installed roof.

Another important objective of the invention is to provide a composite roofing tile that provides reliable, long installed life, thereby contributing to reduced life-cycle costs.

Another important objective of the invention is to provide a composite roofing tile with improved resistance to wind uplift as compared with prior composite roofing tiles and shingles, and that is capable of meeting such requirements as may be specified in certain locations in the country.

Another important objective of the invention is to provide a composite roofing tile that, in implementation of the above objectives, and despite the typically high unit cost of composite roofing tiles and shingles, results in an installed roof at less cost than both conventional roofing tiles and specialty shingles, and prior composite roofing tiles and shingles.

These and other objectives and advantages of the invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

A preferred embodiment roofing tile according to the invention is formed as a generally rectangular board, with two or more tile or shingle images formed side by side in the board. The board is formed with side and top weather locks, and support structure to establish an air space between the tile and the roof deck. Non-uniform reinforcing ridges are formed on the underside of the tile images so that, even if the tiles discolor, the images will not discolor in parallel or visibly evident repeating lines. The tiles are configured to interlock when stacked together for shipping, handling and stacking on the roof to reduce packaging materials and on-site disposal of such materials. The tiles are also configured for self-adjusting, self-centering in side-to-side relation with adjacent tiles as installed on the roof.

Among the further advantages of roofing tiles in accordance with the invention, the rectangular board provides ease of handling and ease of roof layout by the installer. Multiple tile or shingle images per tile (i.e. composite tile board) reduces the number of pieces the installer handles. The weather locks allow for contraction and expansion of the tiles due to temperature changes and deflections in the roof deck, and they provide enhanced weatherproof characteristics as compared with conventional tiles and recent synthetic shingles.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front view of a roofing tile incorporating the unique aspects of the present invention.

FIGS. 2 and 3 are left and right side views, respectively, of the roofing tile shown in FIG. 1 .

FIGS. 4 and 5 are top (head lap end) and bottom (nose end) views, respectively, of the roofing tile.

FIG. 6 is a rear view of the roofing tile.

FIGS. 7 and 8 are cross-sectional views taken substantially along the lines 7 -7 and 8 -8. respectively, of FIG. 1 .

FIG. 9 is a side view of two stacked roofing tiles.

FIGS. 10A-C are side views of installed roofing tiles positioned at three different vertical tile exposures designated as V1. V2 and V3 .

FIG. 11 is a nose-end view similar to FIG. 5 of two interlocked roofing tiles as installed onto a roof.

FIG. 12 is an enlarged fragmentary view of the self-centering, interlocking waterlock established between adjacent installed tiles shown in FIG. 11 .

FIGS. 13-17 are views of a composite trim piece for use with the tiles.

While the invention is susceptible of various modifications and alternative constructions, certain illustrated embodiments have been shown in the drawings and will be described below in detail. It should be understood, however, that there is no intention to limit the invention to the specific forms disclosed, but on the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, alternative constructions, and equivalents falling within the spirit and scope of the invention.

Reference numerals shown in the drawings correspond to the following:

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