CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
This application is an originally filed U.S. Patent application and bears no relation to any previously filed domestic or foreign application, patent, registration, utility model, provisional application, or publication.
- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to direction of airflow through an air register.
Hot and cold air registers are used to disperse flowing air into rooms or adjacent environments. Some are made to direct a substantially laminar flow in one direction, others are designed to disperse the airflow in multiple directions. Most, however, release streams of air that create drafts in the adjacent areas. Drafts develop when the register includes louvers or other air guiding devices that allow substantially laminar flow from the pressure side of the associated register.
Some registers include multiple directional louvers or guides that are intended to produce multiple airflow columns in desired directions. However the louvers themselves typically remain fairly consistently shaped. One common louver shape is simply flat, planar blades that are parallel to one another and spaced apart to allow airflow, with direction imparted by the louver angular orientation.
Other forms of registers may include arcuate louvers that produce a similarly arcuate airflow. Depending upon the degree of bend formed in the louvers, a certain amount of turbulence is created after the air leaves the register. Such turbulence results in mixing of the forced air with ambient air. This is desirable when even warm or cool air distribution is desirable. However, arcuate louvers are costly to form.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
A need therefore has remained for an air distribution register that will effectively discharge air in desired directions, and that will initiate turbulence without requiring arcuate louvers.
Preferred embodiments of the invention are described below with reference to the following accompanying drawings.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred form of air register;
FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the exemplary register;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken substantially along line 3-3 in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmented view of the area enclosed within the dashed circle identified by the numeral 4 in FIG. 3, only showing exemplary exit airflow;
FIG. 5 is a top plan view; and
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view.
This disclosure of the invention is submitted in furtherance of the constitutional purposes of the U.S. Patent Laws “to promote the progress of science and useful arts” (Article 1, Section 8).
Before describing exemplary elements of the preferred embodiments in detail, general aspects of the invention will first be discussed.
In one aspect of the invention, the air register 10 includes a top panel 12 having a top surface 13 and an opposed bottom surface 14. Top openings 15 in the panel 12 extend between the top and bottom surfaces 13, 14. An air transmission grid 18 with top and bottom grid surfaces 20, 21, include a plurality of individual cells 19 formed by cell walls 22, 23, at least some of which open along grid top and bottom surfaces. The grid 18 is joined to the bottom surface 14 of the top panel 12 such that at least some of the cells 19 open into the top openings 15. A bottom panel 24 has an upper surface 25 and an opposed lower surface 26 and bottom openings 27 that extend between the upper and lower surfaces 25, 26. The bottom panel 24 is joined to the grid 18 along the bottom grid surface 21. The bottom and top openings are offset to opposed sides of associated cells.
In another aspect, the register 10 is comprised of a laminated body including top and bottom panels 12, 24 on opposed sides of a central grid 18. The grid includes wall members 22, 23 extending between the top and bottom panels 12, 24 and arranged to form at least one open ended cell 19. The top panel 12 includes a top opening 15 in open communication with the cell 19 adjacent one wall member 22 of the grid 18 and the bottom panel 24 includes a bottom opening 27 in open communication with the cell 19 adjacent another wall member 22 of the grid 18.
In the above aspects, the described structures are arranged to be placed in a forced air stream, such that the moving air will pass from the top panel, through the top openings 15, into the associated cells 19, and finally out through the bottom openings 27. Due to the offset nature of the top and bottom openings 15, 27, and the orientation of the cell walls 22, 23, the air will become turbulent within the cell before exiting through the bottom openings. Also, once the air exits the bottom openings, further turbulence will occur to facilitate mixing of the forced air with surrounding ambient air. The openings 15, 27 may be arranged in any of various orientations to disperse the discharging air.
It should also be noted that the preferred register 10 may be constructed in numerous sizes to accommodate various air flow situations. For example, preferred forms of the register 10 may be used as an air discharge or return, in heating and ventilating construction or other areas where it is desirable to mix and distribute forced air with surrounding ambient air.
The registers may be used in horizontal orientations such as within ceiling mounted fixtures, in vertical orientations such as in wall mounted fixtures, or in other angular orientations. Thus, the terms “top, bottom, upper and lower” should be understood broadly to include such other orientations.
The preferred top and bottom panels 12, 24 may be substantially identical in configuration, but with the respective openings 15, 27, offset somewhat to provide directional air flow and to encourage turbulence within the grid cell 19 therebetween. The panels and grid may be formed of a metal such as aluminum, or may be other materials such as an appropriate plastic, according to the needs of the user.
It may also be noted that the openings 15 may be oriented in various angular pattern arrangements. This may be done to facilitate dispersion of the airstream in several directions. In most cases, the desired air discharge will be in a direction away from the register 10. On the other hand, a register 10 with one or more sets of openings 15, 27 (such as illustrated) may be used to provide discharge in more multiple directions.
In preferred forms, the openings 15, 27 are elongated, spanning a plurality of the individual cells 19 along the grid 18. The width and length dimensions of the various openings 15, 27 may vary according to the size of the register. It is also preferable that the openings be substantially parallel to one another and spaced apart by equal distances that relate to the spacing between adjacent cells 19 in the grid 18. The exemplary arrangement illustrated in the sectional views of FIGS. 3 and 4 may be accomplished uniformly across the register. Such spacing is desired to be such that the top openings 15 will be situated adjacent one set of associated walls 22 of the adjacent cells, while the bottom opening 27 will be situated adjacent to an opposite set of the grid walls. Thus, the openings are staggered as may be understood by viewing FIG. 4.
Walls 23 of the grid divide the areas between the openings 15, 27 so multiple cells are associated with each set of openings. The walls 23 confine air passed through individual cells to aid in creation of turbulence.
Also from an examination of FIG. 4, it may be understood that the cells are substantially rectangular. In the illustrated example, the cells are substantially square with a common side dimension. Whether the cells are rectangular, including square, or other rectilinear shape, a dimension across the opening on opposed surfaces 20, 21 (FIG. 2) thereof are preferred to be greater than the corresponding width dimensions than the openings 15, 27. More preferably, the width dimensions of the openings 15, 27 are less than one-half the corresponding width dimension of the associated cells as demonstrated by the enlarged view in FIG. 4.
The grid 18 is preferably comprised of a plurality of intermeshed or interleaved sheets that, together, form a matrix of substantially identical individual open-ended cells 19. The grid may be formed by conventional means and be sized according to need, but is preferred to remain in the above described relation to the openings 15, 27 such that the openings are smaller than the associated cell width dimension.
One preferred connection for securing the two panels 12, 24, and the grid 18 together is afforded by a mechanical appliance such as provided by the exemplified joining brackets 30. The brackets 30 are shown merely as an example of a configuration that will secure the top and bottom panels 12, 24 in position with respect to one another. To this end, tabs 31 may be provided on the top plate 12 and substantially identical tabs 32 may be provided on the bottom plate 24. The brackets 30 may include appropriate slots 33, 34 that receive the respective tabs 31, 32 substantially as shown in FIG. 1. Once received, the tabs may be bent over to secure the brackets in place and to lock the panels in position with respect to one another.
It is pointed out that other bracket or mounting arrangements may be made, including a frame-type perimeter that could be made simply by providing the brackets of length dimensions substantially equal to the corresponding dimensions of the register. Other mounting arrangements including spot-welding, fasteners or other arrangements may also be used for effectively securing the top and bottom panels over the central grid 18. However, the preferred connection is mechanical to enable dismantling the register for cleaning.
It is preferred that the walls 22, 23 of the grid be arranged in intersecting parallel wall configurations that form the rectangular cell shapes. It is preferred that these walls be oriented substantially perpendicular to the plates 12 and 24 substantially as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. Thus, the panels 12 and 24 partially close the otherwise open-ended rectangular cells, forming a top and bottom partial closures.
The orientation and relationship of the openings 15, 27 and walls 22, 23 are such that air moving into one of the openings will strike the opposed panel surface and become turbulent before exiting through the opposite opening. This discharge air will remain turbulent once discharged and will therefore not flow in a substantially laminar state, but will readily mix with the ambient surrounding air.
In compliance with the statute, the invention has been described in language more or less specific as to structural and methodical features. It is to be understood, however, that the invention is not limited to the specific features shown and described, since the means herein disclosed comprise preferred forms of putting the invention into effect. The invention is, therefore, claimed in any of its forms or modifications within the proper scope of the appended claims appropriately interpreted in accordance with the doctrine of equivalents.