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International Patents: Welding, Joining, and Assembly of Aluminum Extrusions

US9951971 — SOLAR MIRROR ARRAY SYSTEM, METHODS AND APPARATUSES THERETO — Werner Extrusion Solutions LLC (USA) — An apparatus for transferring force to a frame of a solar mirror array. The frame has at least one structural element. The apparatus includes a torque plate. The apparatus includes at least one node attached to and in contact with the plate which connects with the structural element. An apparatus for attaching a primary solar mirror frame array with a secondary mirror frame array. A solar trough frame for holding solar mirrors. The present invention pertains to a method for attaching a strut and a strut end piece together. The method comprises the steps of placing the strut end piece in contact with the strut. There is the step of rotational welding or friction stir welding of the strut end piece to the strut. The subject solar frame design incorporates improvements in the extruded and other profiles and components and in the way that they are combined into a framework to support the mirrors. These improvements yield a more efficient system from profiles that are more easily extrudable at a wider variety of available extrusion operations through parts that are easily fabricated and assembled, utilizing the unique design opportunities provided by the aluminum extrusion process and by other processing and joining techniques discussed in this patent application which work to both enhance performance and reduce the overall cost of the final installation.

US9951971 — SOLAR MIRROR ARRAY SYSTEM, METHODS AND APPARATUSES THERETO

US9944216 — AUTOMATED SOFT TONNEAU COVER — BOS Automotive Products, Inc. (USA) — This disclosure relates to cover system used, for example, as a tonneau cover of a pickup truck bed. A retractable cover system includes a frame that provides an opening and includes laterally spaced apart guide rails which may be made of aluminum extrusions and includes a drive system. A flexible cover has laterally opposing edge portions with intermittent retainers received in the guide rails. The retainers are configured to slide relative to the guide rails between first and second positions within the opening in response to actuation of the drive system. Multiple spaced apart bows extend laterally between guide rails. The bows provide a laterally and outwardly extending arc that maintains tension on the flexible cover laterally between the retainers. The cover system 20 includes a frame 22 having laterally spaced apart guide rails 24, which may be provided by aluminum extrusions. A flexible cover 26, or soft tonneau cover, which may be constructed from typical soft tonneau cover materials, for example vinyl, is supported by and can slide within the guide rails 24 secured to the lateral sides 14 of the truck bed 12. A drive system 28 slides the flexible cover 26 between the open and closed positions along a path provided by the guide rails 24.

US9944216 — AUTOMATED SOFT TONNEAU COVER

US9932004 — VEHICLE ENERGY ABSORPTION SYSTEM — Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (Japan) — A sensor bracket assembly is configured to extend between a sensor beam and a bumper beam of a vehicle. The sensor bracket assembly can include a bracket first section that is configured to be directly or indirectly connected to the bumper beam. The sensor bracket assembly can also include a bracket second section that is configured to be directly or indirectly connected to the sensor beam. The sensor bracket assembly can further include a spacer section that projects from the bracket first section and is configured to extend towards but be spaced from one of the second section of the bracket and the bumper beam. The exemplary energy absorbing structure can include a series of aluminum extrusions welded to the front bumper beam of a vehicle. As described above, this energy absorbing structure serves to absorb impact energy to limit the deceleration forces of an object such as a pedestrian’s leg, and to transfer a G-signal to a series of sensors mounted to the structure. When a requisite G-signal is received by the sensors, a supplemental restraint system (SRS) of the vehicle can deploy a pop-up hood system to partially lift the hood (also called the bonnet). This hood system can lift the hood to provide additional crush space (i.e., as a crumple zone) to rigid engine bay components in the event of impact between a pedestrian and the hood.

US9932004 — VEHICLE ENERGY ABSORPTION SYSTEM

US9926742 — TOP STEP FOR ALUMINUM LADDER — New-Tec Integration (Xiamen) Co., Ltd. (China) — A top step for a step ladder is described. The top step comprises an assembled member comprising two or more step elements, two side members and a metal tube. The front end and the rear end of the assembled aluminum member are provided with front and rear skirts, respectively. The upper and the lower end of the side members have an upper edge and a lower edge for clamping to the two sides of the assembled member or the two sides of an assembled unit formed by the metal tube and the assembled aluminum member, thereby covering the spaces between the front skirt and the back skirt.

US9926742 — TOP STEP FOR ALUMINUM LADDER

US9926669 — ROUND SHAFT TRACK GUIDE AND TRACK ASSEMBLY — Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG (Germany) — The present invention generally relates to track assemblies for material handling carts. More particularly, the present invention relates to a base structure and single clamping element for fixing the linear shaft in position and a track assembly using the base structure and a single clamping element. An assembly and method for removably installing a round linear track to a floor is provided. The assembly includes a track guide made of an aluminum extrusion having a plurality of curved bearing surfaces to support a round track segment and a clamp, also formed of an aluminum extrusion, to removably capture the round track in the track guide. The method includes placing a segment of round track on a lead portion of the track guide; moving the segment of track into a supporting portion of the track guide; and capturing the segment of round track in the track guide with a clamp.

US9926669 — ROUND SHAFT TRACK GUIDE AND TRACK ASSEMBLY

US9926013 — AUTOMOBILE VEHICLE BODY STRUCTURE — Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (Japan) — In an automobile vehicle body structure, a steering hanger is formed from a metal pipe on one side in a vehicle width direction and a carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) pipe on the other side in the vehicle width direction, and a steering column is supported on the metal pipe, for ensuring the strength with which the steering column is supported while minimizing any increase in the weight of the steering hanger. The steering column support part comprises an aluminum pipe fitted unto an outer periphery of the steering hanger main body and an aluminum extrusion that connects the aluminum pipe to the steering column. The aluminum extrusion has a truss structure when viewed axially of the steering hanger main body and comprises a fixed portion affixed to a dash panel lower. The aluminum pipe is connected to a CFRP linking member connecting an upper part of a dash panel lower and a center tunnel. The collision load of a frontal collision input is transmitted into the dash panel lower to the high strength center tunnel for preventing the dash panel lower from collapsing to the rear while minimizing any increase in the weight, and for enhancing the stiffness of the steering hanger to prevent vibration of the steering column.

US9926013 — AUTOMOBILE VEHICLE BODY STRUCTURE

US9918566 — DISPLAY CASE DOOR ASSEMBLY WITH VACUUM PANEL AND LIGHTING FEATURES — Anthony, Inc. (USA) — A display case door assembly for a temperature-controlled storage device (refrigerator, freezer, display case, etc.) through which objects within can be viewed includes a vacuum panel, a hinge rail made of an aluminum extrusion, and a lighting element. The vacuum panel includes a first vacuum pane, a second vacuum pane, and an evacuated gap between the first and second vacuum panes. The evacuated gap provides thermal insulation for the vacuum panel. The hinge rail is coupled to an edge of the vacuum panel and configured to rotate along with the vacuum panel between an open position and a closed position. The lighting element is coupled to at least one of the edge rail and the vacuum panel and configured to emit light toward an interior of the temperature-controlled storage device when the hinge rail and vacuum panel are in at least the closed position.

US9918566 — DISPLAY CASE DOOR ASSEMBLY WITH VACUUM PANEL AND LIGHTING FEATURES

US9915046 — SELF ALIGNMENT STRUCTURE FOR APPLICATIONS JOINING EXTRUDED MEMBERS — HFW Solutions, Inc. (USA) — The present disclosure relates generally to structures and methods for self-aligning bridge decking members made of aluminum extrusions to be joined through various methods including, without limitation, fusion welding, friction stir welding, and mechanical fastening applications. Aluminum bridge decking can be prefabricated in modular units and joined together on site when placed in service. Aluminum bridge decking is more easily transported that heavier metals or preformed concrete. Aluminum bridge decking may be employed in new structures, or it may be used to refurbish an aging bridge structure. A self-alignment structure for joining extruded members is the subject of this invention. The self-aligning structure includes one or more decking members including an upper panel and a lower panel connected by webbing members. One side of the decking member has a void space between the upper panel and lower panel and another side the decking member may have a vertical webbing member between the upper panel and the lower panel. The self-aligning structure further includes an upper shelf and lower shelf, each shelf extending horizontally relative to the vertical webbing member. The shelves being operable to align a neighboring decking member, forming abutment joints in preparation for a friction stir welding process.

US9915046 — SELF ALIGNMENT STRUCTURE FOR APPLICATIONS JOINING EXTRUDED MEMBERS

US9911880 — METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR FORMING AND MOUNTING A PHOTOVOLTAIC ARRAY — SolarCity Corporation (USA) — The present invention relates to integral frames for standard PV laminates, and to the associated mounting hardware which attaches to the integral frames, made of aluminum extrusions, for the purpose of securing the PV module to a roof or support structure. Exemplary embodiments include a photovoltaic (PV) module framing and coupling system which enables the attachment of PV modules to a roof or other mounting surface without requiring the use of separate structural support members which attach directly to and span between multiple PV modules in a formed PV array and a cable management system that holds, directs, organizes, and otherwise manages cables, wires, cord, and similar components of and relating to a PV array.

US9911880 — METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR FORMING AND MOUNTING A PHOTOVOLTAIC ARRAY

US9909306 — MANUFACTURES, METHODS AND STRUCTURES TO REDUCE ENERGY TRANSFER IN BUILDING CURTAIN WALLS — Arconic Inc. (USA) — The present invention relates to building products and more particularly, to window structures, curtain walls, and curtain wall assemblies using aluminum extrusions for frames. A manufacture and method for reducing thermal transfer through window systems has a composite window cap retainer. The retainer has an aluminum extrusion at least partially covered by a thermal spacer having reduced relative thermal conductivity. The thermal spacer is mechanically supported by the metal extrusion and mechanically intermediates and thermally insulates between the cap and the metal window structures to which the cap is secured, reducing thermal transfer between the inside and outside environments of a building.

US9909306 — MANUFACTURES, METHODS AND STRUCTURES TO REDUCE ENERGY TRANSFER IN BUILDING CURTAIN WALLS

US9884654 — VEHICLE ROOF FRAME ARCHITECTURE — Ford Global Technologies, LLC (USA) — A roof structure includes a roof support longitudinally extending over a compartment area at a lateral centerline of a vehicle. A plurality of pillars made of U-shaped aluminum extrusions, continuous one-piece extrusions, support the roof support and include a transverse leg extending laterally outward from the roof support to a curved section, and a vertical leg extending downward from the curved section to a vehicle beltline. The U-shaped pillars can further comprise two side extrusions and a roof extrusion connected by a curved corner casting. Windows are assembled to openings that are defined by two pillars, the roof support and the vehicle beltline.

US9884654 — VEHICLE ROOF FRAME ARCHITECTURE

US9840841 — METHOD OF CONFIGURING WALLS — DIRTT Environmental Solutions, LTD. (Canada) — A method of configuring a modular wall having a plurality of different types of interchangeable wall modules having extruded frame member made of aluminum with different types of compatible connection components, each connection component being configured to align with another connection component at an interface to form an interface connection for securing the connection components together with one or more universal connection interface members. The modular wall system is configured for on-demand reconfiguration without laborious alteration to aspects of the walls system, modules, and components thereof. Reconfiguration of modules is facilitated by removing the universal connection interface member from the interface connection, thereby releasing the attachment mechanism and allowing rearrangement of the module(s). Replacement of the universal connection interface member secures the reconfigured modules in place in the rearranged wall system.

US9840841 — METHOD OF CONFIGURING WALLS

US9777971 — MODULAR HEAT EXCHANGER — Lockheed Martin Corporation (USA) — The present invention relates to energy conversion in general, and, more particularly, to heat exchangers used for ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC). A heat exchanger comprising a plurality of aluminum plates that are demountably attached to a frame is disclosed. Each plate comprises a plurality of channels for conveying a primary fluid through the heat exchanger. The frames are arranged in the frame so that spaces between adjacent frame pairs define conduits for conveying a secondary fluid through the heat exchanger. A corrosion-resistant, friction stir weld joint joins the aluminum input manifold and the aluminum extruded frame to one another. Also, each inlet distributor of the plurality of inlet distributors to the respective plate assembly of the plurality of plate assemblies comprises a friction stir weld joint. The plates are mounted in the frame so that they can be individually removed from the frame. Further, each of the channels is fluidically connected to input and output ports for the primary fluid by detachable couplings. As a result, heat exchangers in accordance with the present invention are more easily repaired or refurbished than prior art heat exchangers.

US9777971 — MODULAR HEAT EXCHANGER

US9772122 — TURBO-COMPRESSOR-CONDENSER-EXPANDER — Appollo Wind Technologies LLC (USA) — An isothermal turbo-compressor-condenser-expander (ITCCE) arrangement includes heat-transferring fan blades that are mounted on, or surround, individual conduits to promote air exchange and heat transfer. The open framework rotates in free air to promote heat exchange. An ITCCE bladed assembly includes a driven central hub assembly with a first fluid coupling. A first inner plenum is in fluid communication with the fluid coupling. A plurality of compressor conduits within multiport hollow aluminum extrusions extend radially, and pass fluid from, the first inner plenum to an outer plenum that acts as an equalizing line. The joint between a blade extrusion and tubular channel can be formed by brazing, welding, or high strength adhesives. A return path is provided to a second inner plenum from the outer plenum. The conduits can define an airfoil shape and/or are axially twisted, generating axial airflow. The return path can include return multiport conduits.

US9772122 — TURBO-COMPRESSOR-CONDENSER-EXPANDER

US9755571 — PHOTOVOLTAIC MOUNTING SYSTEM WITH CHEMICAL FLASHING — SolarCity Corporation (USA) — Photovoltaic mounting systems having sealant injection system are provided herein. Such sealant injection systems provide improved directional control of sealant flow and improved sealing of roof penetrations during mounting with one or more fasteners. Such systems can include a bracket assembly having a removable sealant injection package, which holds the injector system in place while joining upper and base portions made of aluminum extrusions. The sealant injection package includes a collapsible sealant injection reservoir and is adapted to provide directionally controlled release of sealant upon collapse. Such a system can further include sealant injection guides that direct flow of sealant during mounting and pads or caps that cover and enclose the injected sealant so as to ensure adequate sealing of any roof penetrations and maintain its integrity over time. Such systems further allow for sealant injection packages to be interchanged or replaced as needed and allow for ready removal or replacement of the bracket after mounting while maintaining the seal of any roof penetrations.

US9755571 — PHOTOVOLTAIC MOUNTING SYSTEM WITH CHEMICAL FLASHING

US9574588 — METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR FORMING AND MOUNTING A PHOTOVOLTAIC ARRAY — SolarCity Corporation (USA) — A photovoltaic (PV) module framing and coupling system enables the attachment of PV modules to a roof or other mounting surface without requiring the use of separate structural support members which attach directly to and span between multiple PV modules in a formed PV array. The apparatus provides a parallel coupling for securely interlocking the outside surfaces of parallel frame members made of aluminum extrusions together in a side to side arrangement to form an array with improved structural load distribution. The coupling may attach to a slot in the frame at substantially any position along the length of the frame thereby enabling the interconnection of adjacent PV modules along both an x and y axis. The apparatus may further provide a rotating portion and locking portion, mounting brackets for direct connection to a mounting surface, grounding teeth, and a twist-lock engagement means for interlocking and aligning PV modules in the array.

US9574588 — METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR FORMING AND MOUNTING A PHOTOVOLTAIC ARRAY

US9555569 — PLASTIC OVERMOLDING OF ALUMINUM EXTRUSIONS — Magna Exteriors Inc. (Canada) — A plastic overmold aluminum extrusion including at least one plastic overmold and aluminum extrusion for the manufacture of components used in transportation vehicle structures such as enclosed structures, which can be used in applications such as cross car members. The aluminum extrusion is formed with sufficient cross sectional properties and features such as an internal web to help prevent undesirable collapses under injection or compression molding pressures. This improves part geometry and strength while minimizing weight. A plurality of protrusions and/or local deformations on an outer wall of the extrusion can be used to create strong mechanical interface to the plastic. Localized deformations can result from a combination of the applied plastic pressure under injection or compression molding pressures and the proximity of outer gaps of the internal web structure. A process of making the plastic overmold aluminum extrusion includes inserting at least one aluminum extrusion into a mold without mandrels and delivering plastic forming the plastic overmold.

US9555569 — PLASTIC OVERMOLDING OF ALUMINUM EXTRUSIONS

US9553481 — SOLAR-POWERED LIGHTING DEVICE AND CHARGING SYSTEM — Goal Zero LLC (USA) — A freestanding solar-powered charging system includes a baseplate, a substantially vertical frame member having a first end and a second end, the first end coupled to and extending from the baseplate, one or more panels coupled to the second end of the vertical frame member, each of the panels having an upper surface with a photovoltaic cell, an energy storage device electrically coupled to the photovoltaic cell, and one or more electrical connectors supported by the vertical frame member and electrically coupled to the energy storage device, the electrical connectors configured to engage any one or more of a plurality of consumer electronic devices for charging the consumer electronic devices. The frame member can be made from a number of bent aluminum extrusions shaped so that panels are disposed at an angle to increase the incidence of solar radiation on photovoltaic cells. In one embodiment, the individual frame members are attached to a central core that may be an aluminum extrusion, while the platforms are manufactured from aluminum plates cut to shape and bent aluminum extrusions are used for the table supports. Fasteners are used to attach electrical connectors to a frame member. A press-fit, snap-fit, extruded feature, etc. can be used to interconnect the various components of the charging system.

US9553481 — SOLAR-POWERED LIGHTING DEVICE AND CHARGING SYSTEM

USA9533721 — PLATFORM TRAILER WITH REINFORCED NECK — East Manufacturing Corporation (USA) — A platform trailer includes a neck reinforcement structure located in the neck region. The neck reinforcement structure includes a first a beam reinforcement structure located adjacent an inner side of the first beam that is oriented toward the second aluminum beam, and a second beam reinforcement structure located adjacent an inner side of the second beam that is oriented toward the first beam. A plurality of internal cross members, each comprising a first end welded to a first inner plate and a second end welded to a second inner plate, extend between and interconnect the first and second beam reinforcement structure. A fifth wheel plate is fixedly secured by a plurality of fasteners to both the first and second beams. A kingpin is connected to the fifth wheel plate and is adapted to be engaged by an associated tractor fifth wheel. The first and second beams are made of an aluminum alloy, and the first and second beam reinforcement structure, internal cross members, and fifth wheel plate are defined from a metal other than an aluminum alloy. The neck reinforcement structure allows for use of aluminum alloy beams with a reduced height in the neck region of the trailer.

USA9533721 — PLATFORM TRAILER WITH REINFORCED NECK

US9522446 — METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR FORMING A HARD DISK DRIVE BASE PLATE WITH AN EXTENDED HEIGHT — Cheung Woh Technologies Ltd. (Singapore) — A method for forming a hard disk drive base plate with an extended height is described. The method may include forming an initial hard disk drive base plate, forming a filler shim, and forming a shroud. The method may also include joining the initial hard disk drive base plate, the filler shim, and the shroud to extend a height of walls of the formed initial hard disk drive base plate, and to form the hard disk drive base plate with the extended height. The base plate can be made of a forged 6061 aluminum alloy, and the shroud can be made of an extruded 6061 aluminum alloy shape. The filler shim is stamped from a 4000 series aluminum all to achieve proper fusion during the welding to form the extended height hard disk drive plate sufficient to house a finished hard disk drive, including the spindle, motor, actuator, and other parts of a hard disk drive assembly.

US9522446 — METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR FORMING A HARD DISK DRIVE BASE PLATE WITH AN EXTENDED HEIGHT

US9505448 — TRANSVERSE SILL REINFORCEMENT FOR A TRUCK BED AND METHOD OF MAKING A SILL REINFORCEMENT — Ford Global Technologies, LLC (USA) — A sill reinforcement assembly is provided for a sill area of a pick-up truck bed that is supported on and connected to a pair of frame rails. A unitary one-piece sill reinforcement, made of an aluminum extrusion, is secured to the frame rails below the pick-up truck bed by a frame bolt fastener. The unitary reinforcement includes a continuous tubular receptacle for the frame bolt. One or more transverse walls of the reinforcement are connected by one or more bridging walls to the tubular receptacle. The transverse walls are connected by one-sided fasteners to a laterally extending wall of transverse beams. The frame bolt extends through the truck bed floor, the tubular receptacle, the transverse beam and is secured to the frame rails below the pick-up truck bed.

US9505448 — TRANSVERSE SILL REINFORCEMENT FOR A TRUCK BED AND METHOD OF MAKING A SILL REINFORCEMENT

US9505092 — METHODS FOR FAN ASSEMBLIES AND FAN WHEEL ASSEMBLIES — Greenheck Fan Corporation (USA) — Fan assemblies, and in particular fan wheels and stator assemblies for fan assemblies, are disclosed. In one embodiment, the fan wheel includes a wheel back having an outer surface forming one of a curved dome-shape and a truncated cone-shape. The fan wheel may also include a plurality of fan blades radially spaced about and mounted to the outer surface of the wheel back. In one embodiment, each of the fan blades is formed from a segment of an airfoil-shaped aluminum extrusion, made of either 6063 or 6061 alloy, defining at least one internal cavity. The fan blade first ends can be provided with a compound cut profile with at least one curved cut such that the first end of the blade is mounted flush to the wheel back outer surface. The stator assembly can also be provided with a plurality of stator blades formed from airfoil-shaped aluminum extrusion segments and provided with compound cut profiles. Each of the fan blades are mounted to the base, also a 6063 or 6061 aluminum extrusion, by welding, wherein the fan blades and base are heat treated to achieve at least a T5 or T6 hardness level after the step of mounting each of the fan blades to the base.

US9505092 — METHODS FOR FAN ASSEMBLIES AND FAN WHEEL ASSEMBLIES

US9500304 — ASSEMBLY INCLUDING PARTS MADE OF DISSIMILAR METALS AND THE METHOD OF MANUFACTURING THE ASSEMBLY — Ford Global Technologies, LLC (USA) — A method of joining parts with an electromagnetic joining process and an assembly made according to the process. Seals are assembled to a first part and a second part is assembled over the first part and the seals. A lubricant is applied to the first part between the seals to preoccupy or partially fill the area within the joint to prevent moisture from penetrating into the joint and causing corrosion. A portion of the second part, which can be a tubular aluminum extrusion, is deformed into recesses formed in the first part to join the first and second parts.

US9500304 — ASSEMBLY INCLUDING PARTS MADE OF DISSIMILAR METALS AND THE METHOD OF MANUFACTURING THE ASSEMBLY

US9499216 — FLOOR LOAD STRUCTURE FOR VEHICLE BODY TO FRAME MOUNT — Ford Global Technologies, LLC (USA) — A vehicle floor structure includes a cross member made of an aluminum extrusion having a substantially constant cross section shape. A spacing member, made of an aluminum alloy sheet, is disposed beneath the cross member for securing to a chassis frame. The spacing member is positioned relative to the cross member to define an enclosed cavity between the spacing member and the cross member. The floor structure also includes a first collar affixed within the enclosed cavity. A fastener extends through the spacing member and the cross member, compressing the first collar when the floor structure is secured to the chassis frame.

US9499216 — FLOOR LOAD STRUCTURE FOR VEHICLE BODY TO FRAME MOUNT

US9469352 — HALF-ROUND TRAILER AND TRAILER BODY WITH EXTRUDED PANEL SIDE WALLS — East Manufacturing Corporation (USA) — A trailer includes a chassis and a trailer body connected to the chassis. The trailer body includes left and right vertical side walls and a curved floor. The left and right side walls each include a plurality of extruded aluminum panels, abutted in series, wherein each of the panels comprises spaced apart inner and outer walls and the inner walls of the panels on left or right side define the inner face of their respective walls. The adjacent abutted panels of the left and right side walls are welded together by an inner weld located in an inner seam and an outer weld located in an outer seam defined adjacent the outer walls of the abutted panels. The left inner and outer welds and the right inner and outer welds extend continuously and substantially coextensive with the left inner and outer seams and the right inner and outer seams, respectively.

US9469352 — HALF-ROUND TRAILER AND TRAILER BODY WITH EXTRUDED PANEL SIDE WALLS

US9461579 — APPARATUS FOR FORMING AND MOUNTING A PHOTOVOLTAIC ARRAY — SolarCity Corporation (USA) — A photovoltaic (PV) module framing and coupling system enables the attachment of PV modules to a roof or other mounting surface without requiring the use of separate structural support members which attach directly to and span between multiple PV modules in a formed PV array. Each module is framed by aluminum extrusions. The apparatus provides a parallel coupling for securely interlocking the outside surfaces of parallel frame members together in a side to side arrangement to form an array with improved structural load distribution. The coupling may attach to a slot in the frame at substantially any position along the length of the frame thereby enabling the interconnection of adjacent PV modules along both an x and y axis. The apparatus may further provide a rotating portion and locking portion, mounting brackets for direct connection to a mounting surface, grounding teeth, and a twist-lock engagement means for interlocking and aligning PV modules in the array.

US9461579 — APPARATUS FOR FORMING AND MOUNTING A PHOTOVOLTAIC ARRAY

US9445554 — MULTI-AXIS CONTROLLED SELF-CLIMBING TREE TRIMMER — Vandypalm, Inc. (USA) — A multi-axis controlled self-climbing tree trimmer used for shaping and severing peripheral growth from a tree is provided herein. The trimmer typically includes a structural segment constructed from extruded aluminum shapes assembled using various attaching joints at the corners, attaching plates, and brackets hinged together to form a rigid chassis that surrounds a tree trunk climbing segment and a trimming portion. The basic structural aluminum members can be easily assembled by mitering the ends and attaching together with off-the-shelf components using similar aluminum extrusions with threaded fasteners and tapped closures that slide into encapsulating grooves that are shaped into the basic aluminum forms. The climbing portion is retained within the structural segment in the form of a number of inward-extending carriages containing one or more rollers for gripping the tree trunk during climbing, and the trimming portion may include a rotatable split ring gear containing centrifugally rotating trimming blade members and/or a cutting tool on a position-able arm. When rotated, the blade members unlatch and pivot, into the trunk of the tree to effect controlled trimming. The system may utilize a multi-axis control system that uses linear interpolation, circular interpolation and coordination of all axes to enable the trimmer to follow an XYZ contour selected by a user.

US9445554 — MULTI-AXIS CONTROLLED SELF-CLIMBING TREE TRIMMER

US9403239 — SYSTEMS FOR MANUFACTURING ELONGATE WELDMENTS — The Boeing Company (USA) — Elongate metal structures, generally with constant cross-sectional profiles along their lengths, may be used in a variety of applications for a variety of reasons. Commonly, such structures are formed using an extrusion process. For example, aluminum extrusions are commonly used in many applications, including as brackets, tracks, frames, rails, mullions, heat sinks, etc. In aerospace applications, extrusions may be used for seat tracks, ribs, spars, joints between various panels, etc. Methods of manufacture include welding two or more elongate members together to define an elongate weldment, wherein the welding results in a weld region that is in tension and regions adjacent to the weld region that are in compression, and longitudinally stretching the elongate weldment. Tools and systems for manufacturing elongate weldments, as well as apparatuses, such as aircraft, that include elongate weldments, also are disclosed.

US9403239 — SYSTEMS FOR MANUFACTURING ELONGATE WELDMENTS

US9399492 — PLATFORM TRAILER WITH EXTRUDED FLOOR PANEL CROSS MEMBERS — East Manufacturing Corporation (USA) — In accordance with one aspect of the present development, a platform trailer includes a chassis comprising first and second aluminum beams each including an upper flange and a lower flange connected by a web. The first and second beams are arranged parallel to each other and each extend from a forward end to a rear end in the direction of a longitudinal axis of the trailer. The first and second beams are each defined with an arch comprising an upwardly oriented apex located between the forward and rear ends. At least one axle assembly connected to the chassis and includes a left wheel and tire assembly and a right wheel and tire assembly. A platform is supported on the first and second beams of the chassis. The platform includes spaced-apart left and right side rails and a plurality of extruded aluminum panels that each extend from a left lateral end abutted with said left side rail to a right lateral end abutted with said right side rail. Each of the panels comprises an upper wall, a lower wall spaced-apart from the upper wall, and first and second spaced-apart end walls that are connected to and extend between the upper and lower walls. The extruded aluminum panels are abutted in series with the first end wall of one panel abutted with the second end wall of an adjacent abutted panel such that the respective upper walls of adjacent abutted panels of the platform together define an upper, cargo supporting surface of the platform. The platform is arched to correspond with the arch of the first and second beams. A welding procedure for constructing the platform trailer is also disclosed.

US9399492 — PLATFORM TRAILER WITH EXTRUDED FLOOR PANEL CROSS MEMBERS

US9366018 — LONG SPAN STADIUM RISER SYSTEM — Dant Clayton Corporation (USA) — The present invention generally relates to modules used to construct tiered seating structures used in stadiums and arenas to provide seating for spectators. These structures include an underlying support structure that holds a runner and riser assembly. The runner and riser assembly provide an area on which people may walk on the seating structure and provides a base for attachment of seats r bleachers. Often, these runner and riser assemblies are constructed as precast concrete construction modules that are shipped to the installation site and then assembled on-site. Making the runner and riser modules from aluminum extrusions can reduce the weight of the modules and make installation of the modules quicker and easier. To wit, an L-shaped module for construction of tiered stadium seating is provided. The module is formed from a plurality of hollow aluminum extrusions that are longitudinally welded to form a riser portion and a runner portion. The riser portion rises vertically from a connection to the runner portion. The interior of the extrusions may be used as concealment spaces for hardware or to aid in fluid drainage. Connections to a support structure may be spaced at distances of 20 feet or greater.

US9366018 — LONG SPAN STADIUM RISER SYSTEM

US9352710 — ANTI-COLLISION COMPONENT — Kobe Steel, Ltd. and DAIDO KOGYO CO., LTD. (Japan) — The present invention relates to an anti-collision component for automobiles, such as a bumper reinforcement, a door impact beam, a roof reinforcement, an FUP (front underrun protector) for a truck, and an RUP (rear underrun protector) for a truck. An anti-collision component consisting of a metal hollow profile for automobiles includes a collision side flange, a body side flange, and a web connected to the flanges. The hollow profile has a longitudinal end at which a cross-sectional configuration is deformed by swaging to reduce a dimension between the flanges. The following relations are established: tW>TWRCI = (tWTW) where tW is a wall thickness of the web at the end, TW is a wall thickness of the web at a portion where the cross-sectional configuration is not deformed, and RCI is an inside corner radius of a corner formed of the web and each flange at the portion.

US9352710 — ANTI-COLLISION COMPONENT

US9278611 — ROLL UP PICK-UP TRUCK BOX COVER WITH LOCK DOWN SLATS — Laurmark Enterprises, Inc. (USA) — A cover assembly for a pick-up truck vehicle box having a plurality of extruded aluminum slats with each slat pivotally connected to at least one adjacent slat and end fittings attached to opposite ends of each of the plurality of slats. Side rails are attachable to the vehicle box. Locking elements associated with each side rail are movable to engage and hold the end fittings onto the side rails. The locking element including a hook on a roll rod pivotally positioned within an arc section of the side rail. The roll rod is movable from a first position wherein the hook projects into a slot in the end fittings to a second position wherein the hook is withdrawn from the slot.

US9278611 — ROLL UP PICK-UP TRUCK BOX COVER WITH LOCK DOWN SLATS

US9273885 — ROOF INTEGRATED PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEM — Building Materials Investment Corporation (USA) — A roof integrated photovoltaic system includes a plurality of photovoltaic panels each having a right end, a left end, a front edge, and a back edge encased in a frame made of aluminum extrusions joined together. A right end coupler is secured to the right ends of at least some of the photovoltaic panels and a left end coupler is secured to the left ends of at least some of the photovoltaic panels. The right end couplers and the left end couplers are configured to interlock and form a seal when two of the plurality of panels are moved into end-to-end engagement with each other. At least one front edge coupler is affixed to at least some of the plurality of photovoltaic panels at the front edges thereof and at least one back edge coupler is affixed to at least some of the plurality of photovoltaic panels at the back edges thereof. The front edge couplers and the back-edge couplers configured to interlock when two of the plurality of panels are moved into edge-to-edge engagement and a seal is positioned to prevent water from penetrating at the junction of a front edge of one panel and the back edge of an adjoined panel. Panels are installed on a roof in end-to-end and front edge to back edge relationship to form a photovoltaic array and are electrically interconnected to produce electricity when exposed to sunlight. Flashing and gap filling faux panels are provided as part of the system.

US9273885 — ROOF INTEGRATED PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEM

US9085307 — VIBRATION DAMPING SHAPED ALUMINUM EXTRUSION — Kobe Steel, Ltd. (Japan) — An object of the present invention is to provide a vibration damping shaped aluminum extrusion having a weight reduction effect and having a high damping effect used for a structure or the like requiring the control of vibration, such as transport structure. A vibration damping shaped aluminum extrusion achieves the features of weight reduction and a high damping effect. The vibration damping shaped aluminum extrusion includes a pair of face plates which face each other and a plurality of ribs connecting the face plates, wherein a damping material such as a modified asphalt-based resin or butyl based synthetic rubber bonded by heating to achieve adhesion to at least on the central part of the rib in an inner surface of a hollow part formed by the face plate and the rib. A positioning recess or a positioning protrusion may be formed so that a damping material is provided on the central part of the face plate in an inner surface of the hollow part.

US9085307 — VIBRATION DAMPING SHAPED ALUMINUM EXTRUSION

US8943773 — UNIVERSAL JOINT SYSTEM — AGN Universal, LLC (USA) — The present invention is directed generally to systems and methods of construction, and more specifically, to systems and methods for adhering and sealing joints between adjoining materials. A universal joint system, to be used in construction, for joining two or more cladding materials together. The joint system is configured to replace conventional caulks joints prone to failure due to short UV longevity or improper installation conditions. The joint system is comprised of interlocking aluminum extrusions and rubber gasket extrusions along with supportive components. The joint system is configurable for both vertical and horizontal installations and can be used with any substrate finishes.

US8943773 — UNIVERSAL JOINT SYSTEM

US8540012 — HEAT EXCHANGER — Lockheed Martin Corporation (USA) — The present invention relates to ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) systems in general, and, more particularly, to a heat exchanger for use in such systems. A heat exchanger and a method for fabricating the heat exchanger are disclosed. The heat exchanger comprises a heat exchanger core that is formed from a plurality of stacked aluminum alloy panels that are joined together via friction stir welding. Each panel in the core is formed from at least two aluminum alloy extrusions that are joined to one another via friction stir welding.

US8540012 — HEAT EXCHANGER


Editor’s Note: A portion of the patents listed here first appeared in the June 2018 issue of Light Metal Age. To receive the current issue, please subscribe.

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