Modular Building Panels
Zipblock building panels are great for building walls. The panel shown in the above picture only measures 2-feet-by-2-feet-by-4-inches. A small panel like this might be used under a window sill. An assortment of larger panel sizes, like say for instance an 8-feet-by-4-feet-by-4-inch panel, could be used in wall sections that don’t have windows or doors.
When you build a wall with our hybrid Zipblock system you simply stick panels and blocks together whenever and wherever they are needed. Zipblock blocks and panels are all fully interlocking, inter-compatible, and interchangeable. Building a wall with Zipblocks is as simple as assembling a set of toy building bricks.
Our wall building system is virtually a zero waste system. While you could build all your walls and then cut out windows and doors, this is not the way our system is intended for use. Needlessly cutting parts out of panels is a waste of time and money. With our system you never have to cut out sections of panels to create openings for doors and windows. With our system you use the largest panel sizes available wherever and whenever you can and then use blocks to create window and door openings.
Here is a good view of a Zipblock modular building panel laying on its side.
On the right-front you can see the 2-1/4-inch holes. These holes provide easy access for small electrical and plumbing runs.
On the left side of the panel you can see a pattern of closed holes. This pattern provides an intuitive grid for drilling holes into the sides of panels when needed.
This picture shows the second wall panel that was cast from a new prototype wall panel mold. During our first mold pour we simply did not add enough foam, so the panel that we cast was not complete.
As are rule of thumb, if you don’t know how much polyurethane foam to add to a mold it is always better to add too little foam than it is to add too much. If you add too much foam to a mold you run the risk of mold failure due to increased mold pressure. Polyurethane foam exerts anywhere from 1 to 5 pounds of pressure as it cures. One of the benefits of adding too little foam to your first cast is that it is easy examine your cast and then figure how much more foam you’ll need for a full cast.
We mixed up 64 ounces of 3 pound foam in a bucket using drill mixer to make this part! You have to admit, this part came out excellent, especially when you consider that the foam was simply mixed with a drill and then poured into the mold.
4 inch thick panels can be used to build single story dwellings. 6 and 8 inch panels can be used to build multi-story buildings. Rebar and concrete can be poured into chases to provide additional load support.
This polyurethane foam wall panel measures 2-foot-by-2-foot-by-4-inches. Were this a solid block of foam its volume would occupy 2304-cubic-inches. Due to the chases that run through the panel, and the grooved sides, this panel only occupies approximately 1670-cubic-inches or 0.967-cubic-feet of polyurethane foam.
The reduction from 2304-cubic-inches to 1670-cubic-inches represents a 28% reduction in the amount of foam required to create this panel. This reduction translates into an immediate 28% savings in materials costs, allows passage for electric and plumbing, and allows you to create thicker, more desirable panels as few people like thin walls. Thicker walls naturally tend to make people feel more secure.
Were this 2-foot-by-2-foot-by-4-inch panel made from 3-pound foam it would weigh approximately 2.9 pounds. Based on this information we can estimate that an 8-foot-by-4-foot-by-4-inch panel made from 3-pound foam would weigh approximately 23.2 pounds.
Were this 2-foot-by-2-foot-by-4-inch panel made from 5-pound foam it would weigh approximately 4.8 pounds. Based on this information we can estimate that an 8-foot-by-4-foot-by-4-inch panel made from 5-pound foam would weigh approximately 38.4 pounds.