|Publication number||US20040140067 A1|
|Application number||US 10/348,045|
|Publication date||Jul 22, 2004|
|Filing date||Jan 20, 2003|
|Priority date||Jan 20, 2003|
|Also published as||CA2455370A1|
|Publication number||10348045, 348045, US 2004/0140067 A1, US 2004/140067 A1, US 20040140067 A1, US 20040140067A1, US 2004140067 A1, US 2004140067A1, US-A1-20040140067, US-A1-2004140067, US2004/0140067A1, US2004/140067A1, US20040140067 A1, US20040140067A1, US2004140067 A1, US2004140067A1|
|Inventors||Timothy Kelley, David Green|
|Original Assignee||Kelley Timothy J., Green David G.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (16), Referenced by (7), Classifications (4), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
 The invention generally relates to insect screens, such as for window or door units, screen porches, or other applications. Recently, new materials have been proposed for insect screening. These new materials are generally thinner than conventional screening materials and provide for improved visibility through the screening material.
 Due to the thin configuration of the new insect screening materials, prior art insect screen frame assemblies are generally not able to maintain the screening material in tension as the screening is disposed within a frame. Therefore, a need exists for an improved insect screen frame assembly capable of maintaining thinner screening material in tension.
 In accordance with the present invention, there is provided an insect screen. The screen includes a frame having a screen retention groove. A cover is configured to engage the frame. The cover comprises a rib configured to be inserted into the groove. Screening is held in tension between the frame and the cover and trapped between the rib and the groove. A first adhesive is positioned between the frame and the cover in contact with the screening.
 In accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present invention, there is provided an insect screen for maintaining the position of screening under tension. The screen includes a rectangular frame and cover. The frame comprises a screen contact surface having at least one screen retention groove and having an inner portion adjacent to an opening defined by the rectangle and an outer portion, wherein the groove separates the inner portion and the outer portion. The frame also comprises a cover contact surface having at least one notch. The cover comprises a frame contact side, and a non-contact side opposite the frame contact side. A hook is also included with the cover. The hook is configured to position the cover relative to the frame by interacting with the notch. A rib is located on the frame contact side and configured to be disposed within the groove. Screening is positioned between the frame and cover and trapped between the rib and the groove. Adhesive tape is disposed between the frame and cover. The adhesive tape is also in contact with the screening.
 There is also provided a method for maintaining the position of a screening under tension in a frame. The method includes providing a frame comprising a screen contact surface including at least one screen retention groove, and placing the screening over the frame. The method also includes providing a cover comprising a frame contact side and a non-contact side opposite the frame contact side. A rib is located on the frame contact side and is configured to be disposed within the groove. Adhesive is disposed on the frame contact side and the cover is pressed against the frame so that the frame contact side of the cover is disposed against the frame. The rib is inserted into the grove such that at least a portion of the screening is disposed between the rib and the groove and at least a portion of the screening is disposed between the first adhesive tape and the frame.
FIG. 1 is a front view of an insect screen frame assembly in accordance with the invention.
FIG. 2 is a side view of the insect screen of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a back view of the insect screen of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is an isometric view of the insect screen of FIG. 1.
FIG. 5 is an isometric view of a clip used with the present invention.
FIG. 6 is a side cross-sectional view of a bottom rail in accordance with the invention.
FIG. 7 is a side cross-sectional view of a rail or stile in accordance with the invention.
FIG. 8 is a side cross-sectional view of a rail during assembly in accordance with the invention showing the engagement of the frame with the cover.
FIG. 9 is a side cross-sectional view of screening disposed on a support structure.
FIG. 10 is a side cross-sectional view of screening positioned against frames during assembly of an insect screen frame.
FIG. 11 is a side cross-sectional view of screening positioned against covers during assembly of an insect screen frame.
FIG. 12 is an exploded view of the corner components of the insect screen frame assembly.
 The present invention is applicable to many different types of window or door units, such as windows or doors, which include insect screening in proximity to the windows or doors. For simplicity, the invention will be described mostly in the context of a window, although the invention may also be used with a door, screen porch, recreational vehicle, and other applications. FIGS. 1-4 illustrate one particular embodiment of an insect screen 90 including a frame assembly 100 in accordance with the invention. Insect screening 110 is located within the frame perimeter. The insect screen frame assembly 100 may be engaged to a frame surrounding window glass, a sash frame, a casement frame, or a frame of any window or patio door type or combination. The window may be capable of being opened or closed. The window may be, for example, a bay window, bow window, projection window, a double-hung window, a roof window, egress window, an awning window, a casement window, a gliding window, and the like. In addition, the insect screen frame assembly may be used in a screen porch or other environment without an adjacent window or door.
 Typically, the frame assembly 100 may include two pair of opposed frame members engaged with corresponding covers. When screening is included in the frame assembly 100, an insect screen 90 is formed.
 A first pair of opposed frame members includes a bottom rail 102 and a top rail 104 that are oriented parallel to a horizontal frame axis. A second pair of opposed frame members includes a first side stile 106 and a second side stile 108 that are oriented parallel to a vertical frame axis. The four frame members 102, 104, 106, and 108 can generally form a square or rectangle shape. However, the insect screen frame assembly 100 may be any shape and may include different numbers of frame members.
 Screening 110 is disposed within the open area or frame opening 101 defined by the insect screen frame assembly 100. Screening 110 generally defines a portion of a plane and includes a plurality of individual elements. Element 112 is shown parallel to stile 106 and stile 108. Element 114 is shown parallel to rail 102 and rail 104. However, the elements of screening 110 may comprise a variety of configurations. Openings 132 are located between individual elements of screening 110. The size of openings 132 depends on the distance between the horizontal and vertical screening elements.
 The screening 10 shown in FIGS. 1, 3, and 4 is not drawn to scale, for ease of illustrating the individual elements. In one embodiment, the insect screening material includes screen elements having a diameter of about 0.005 inch (0.13 mm) or less. The screen elements have a tensile strength of at least about 5500 psi (40 mega Pascals). In a preferred embodiment, the transmittance of the screening 110 is at least about 0.75 and the reflectance of the screening 110 is about 0.04 or less to reduce the visibility of the screening. Examples of screening 110 are discussed in U.S. patent application Ser. Nos. 10/068,069 and 10/259,221, both titled “REDUCED VISIBILITY INSECT SCREEN” and filed on Feb. 6, 2002 and Sep. 26, 2002, respectively, which are incorporated herein by reference.
FIG. 6 shows a cross sectional view of bottom rail 102. Element 114 is shown disposed within rail 102. The cross-sectional views of stiles 106 and 108 are identical to FIG. 7. FIG. 7 also shows a cross-sectional view of the narrower top rail 104. However, a variety of configurations are possible within the scope of the invention. For example, all rails and stiles could have the same width.
 With reference to FIGS. 6-8, the details of the cross-sectional configuration of the rails and stiles will now be discussed. The cross sectional view of rail 104 is shown in FIG. 8 during assembly. However, rail 102, stile 106, and stile 108 generally comprise similar cross-sectional configurations with similar components. Rail 104 is generally comprised of frame 116 and cover 120. Cover 120 is configured to engage frame 116 with screening 110 generally disposed between cover 120 and frame 116. The frame 116 includes a cover contact surface 134 suitable for engaging the cover 120.
 With reference to frame 116 the inner portion 117 is defined as the portion of the frame 116 between the screen retention groove 118 and the inner frame perimeter 101 where the screening 110 first comes into contact with the rail or stile. The outer portion 119 of the frame 116 is defined as the area of the frame 116 between the groove 118 and the outer frame perimeter 162. A frame subassembly is multiple frames joined to enclose an open area for screening, such as four frames joined in a rectangle, before the covers are added. Preferably, the groove 118 extends around the perimeter of the frame subassembly.
 With reference to cover 120, the inner portion 123 is defined as the portion of the cover 120 between the rib 122 and the inner cover perimeter 161 where the screening 110 first comes into contact with the rail or stile. The outer portion 121 of the cover 120 is defined as the area of the cover between the rib 122 and the outer cover perimeter 163.
 Frame 116 includes a groove 118 disposed in the surface of the frame 116 that engages the cover 120. Groove 118 is generally parallel to the outer frame perimeter 162. Notch 136 may also be located on frame 116. Notch 136 is useful for positioning cover 120 with respect to frame 116. Notch 136 is preferably located along the outer frame perimeter 101 of the frame 162, although additional locations are possible.
FIG. 7 shows a cross sectional view of top rail 104. Element 512 is shown disposed within rail 104. With reference to frame 516 the inner portion 517 is defined as the portion of the frame 516 between the groove 518 and the inner frame perimeter 501 where the screening 512 first comes into contact with the rail or stile. The outer portion 519 of the frame 516 is defined as the area of the frame 516 between the groove 518 and the outer frame perimeter 562.
 With reference to cover 520, the inner portion 523 is defined as the portion of the cover 520 between the rib 522 and the inner cover perimeter 561 where the screening 512 first comes into contact with the rail or stile. The outer portion 521 of the cover 520 is defined as the area of the cover 520 between the rib 522 and the outer cover perimeter 563.
 Frame 516 includes a groove 518 disposed in the surface of the frame 516 that engages the cover 520. Groove 518 is generally parallel to the outer frame perimeter 562. Notch 536 may also be located on frame 516. Notch 536 is useful for positioning cover 520 with respect to frame 516. Notch 536 is preferably located along the outer frame perimeter 562 of the frame 516, although additional locations are possible. For example, notch 536 may also be located on the frame 516 and configured to position the frame relative to the cover 520. In another embodiment, the cover 520 may define a notch for engaging a hook on the frame.
 In FIG. 8, cover 120 is shown being brought into engagement with frame 116. Cover 120 includes rib 122 positioned to engage groove 118. The combination of rib 122 and groove 118 are useful for providing pressure against screening 110 to keep screening 110 in tension between rails 102, 104 and stiles 106, 108. For example, cover 120 is shown at an angle of about 8 degrees with respect to frame 116 as the cover 120 is positioned on the frame 116 during assembly. At an 8 degree angle, rib 122 contacts screening 110 and pushes some elements of screening 110 into groove 118. This action tensions screening 110 and provides additional friction to keep screening 110 in tension. Rib 122 may contact screening 110 when cover 120 is at a variety of angles with respect to frame 116. For example, exemplary contact angles range from 5 degrees to 35 degrees. Higher contact angles generally secure screening 110 with more frictional force than lower contact angles of the cover 120 and frame 116.
 Rib 122 is shown with a generally elongated shape. However, rib 122 can comprise a variety of configurations while serving the function of tensioning screening 110 and maintaining screening 110 in tension. For example, rib 122 may also be jagged, hemispherical or elliptical. Rib 122 is shown extending from cover 120 at approximately a 90 degree angle. However rib 122 may extends from the cover 120 at a variety of angles. In a preferred embodiment, rib 122 extends from the cover at an angle between 80 and 100 degrees.
 Cover 120 may also include hook 134. Hook 134 is used to engage notch 136 on frame 116. The combination of hook 134 and notch 136 is useful for positioning cover 120 with respect to frame 116.
 Cover 120 may also include a first adhesive 124. First adhesive 124 is generally disposed on the side of the cover 120 that contacts screening 110, on the inner portion 123 of the cover 120. First adhesive 124 may be tape or a hot melt adhesive. In a preferred embodiment, adhesive 124 includes a high performance pressure sensitive tape. A high performance pressure sensitive tape is generally defined as capable of essentially permanently supporting loads of greater than 300 grams per square centimeter of adhesive at temperatures of 150° F. (65° C.) or higher.
 In addition to contacting screening 110, adhesive 124 may also contact the engaging surface of frame 116 through openings 132 in screening 110. This configuration is believed to further secure screening 110.
 In another embodiment, a second adhesive 130 may be disposed on frame 116. A second adhesive 130 is shown on the surface of frame 116 between groove 118 and notch 136 on the outer portion 119 of the frame. Second adhesive 130 may comprise single or double sided tape or hot melt adhesive. In a preferred embodiment, second adhesive 130 also includes a high performance adhesive or pressure sensitive tape. Adhesive 130 preferably includes a non-creep property, which prevents screening 110 from losing tension within the perimeter of the frame assembly 100. In addition to contacting screening 110, adhesive 130 may also contact the engaging surface of cover 120 through openings 132 in screening 110. This configuration is believed to further secure screening 110.
 The first and second adhesives for attaching the screening 110 to the cover 120 and for attaching the frame 116 to the screening 110 may be the same or different. Suitable adhesives for each application include those having sufficient shear strength and creep resistance to hold the screen in tension for significant periods of time. Pressure sensitive adhesives can be also be used, provided that they have sufficient shear strength and resistance to creep. An additional feature useful for pressure sensitive adhesives is that they have a level of conformability sufficient to allow them to pass through the open areas of the screening 110 and adhere to the adjacent frame or cover. Pressure sensitive adhesive systems particularly useful in this regard are those comprising foam backings having pressure sensitive adhesive layers attached to each major surface thereof.
 Foams particularly useful as backings for pressure sensitive adhesives in the present invention are those commonly referred to as syntactic foams. A syntactic foam comprises a polymeric matrix surrounding hollow microbeads, microballoons, or microbubbles, as they are variously called. Hollow microbeads made of flexible polymeric materials are preferred, since they provide the foam backing with flexibility, and hence conformability, while at the same time contributing to the strength of the foam material under various conditions of tensile and shear loading. In forming the polymeric matrix for the foam, crosslinkable polymeric materials, in particular acrylates and methacrylates, have been found useful. Useful foams are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,103,152, incorporated herein by reference.
 In producing the pressure sensitive adhesive layers attached to the foam backing, crosslinked pressure sensitive adhesives, especially acrylic adhesives, have been found useful. Examples of useful adhesives are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,695,837, and in U.S. Pat. No. 6,448,337, both incorporated herein by reference. It is also contemplated that some pressure sensitive adhesives may undergo post-application treatments, such as heat curing, to improve adhesion, provided that such curing can be performed without producing adverse effects such as loss of screen tension. An especially useful class of pressure sensitive adhesive materials is the VHB™ line of foam tapes, commercially available from 3M Company, St. Paul, Minn.
 In an alternative, the first and second adhesive may comprise a hot melt adhesive. Hot melt adhesives are a resinous adhesive which achieve a solid state and resultant strength by cooling. Before heating, a hot-melt adhesive is a thermoplastic, 100% solid material. Upon the application of heat, the usual operating temperature is in the range of 175 to 205 deg. C. (350 to 400 deg. F.), the material changes to a fluid state. Once the heat is removed, the adhesive sets by simple cooling.
 A fastener (not shown) may also fasten cover 120 to frame 116. The fastener may comprise a variety of forms including staples, nails, screws, bolt, hinged mechanisms, welds, snap fits, or latches. A fastener may operate in conjunction with adhesive 124 and 130. In an alternative embodiment, a fastener may operate without the use of any adhesive on cover 120 and frame 116. Fasteners may allow the cover to be tightened over time and further tension the screening. For example, tightening the fasteners could bring the rib into further engagement with the groove to further tension the screening.
 Cover 120 and frame 116 may be constructed from a variety of materials. In a preferred embodiment, cover 120 and frame 116 are formed from aluminum. However, in alternative embodiments, any one or both of cover 120 and frame 116 may be formed from a thermoplastic material, roll-formed steel, or a PVC/wood fiber composite. Examples of PVC/wood composite material are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,441,801; 5,486,553; 5,497,594; 5,518,677; 5,539,027; 5,695,874; 5,773,138, the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference.
 With reference to FIGS. 9-11, a method of constructing an insect screen will now be discussed. First, screening 110 is disposed in a support structure 200 and is adjusted to be fairly evenly positioned within the support structure. Support structure 200 can comprise a square, rectangle, or other shape, preferably corresponding to but slightly larger than the shape of the frame assembly 100. The cross-sectional views in FIGS. 9-11 including elements 202, 204, 206, and 208 show only two sides of the rectangle. Once screening 110 is disposed within support structure 200, screening 110 is placed over a base support 211 that rests on surface 214. The base support 211 is also rectangular or corresponds to the shape of the frame subassembly.
 In the cross-sectional views of FIGS. 9-11, only elements 210 and 212 of base support 211 are visible. Base support 211 combined with the weight of support structure 200 make the screening taut. Screening 110 may then be treated with a material to prevent corrosion, bond the elements, or otherwise improve the aesthetic nature of screening 110. Next, the support structure 200 and screening 110 is removed from the base support 211. The frame subassembly 116 consisting of corresponding frame components of the stiles 106, 108 and rails 102, 104 are placed on the rectangular shaped base support 211. In one embodiment, a corner key is used to interlock the frame members at the junction of stiles 106, 108 and rails 102, 104. FIG. 5 shows a corner key 181 within rail 102 and stile 106 used to join the rail 102 and the stile 106. Corner keys are useful for maintaining the structural integrity of frame assembly 100.
FIG. 12 shows an exploded view illustrating the assembly of rail 102 with stile 106. In an alternative embodiment, bridge 196 is shown in frame 116. Bridge 196 typically adds support to frame 116, although such support is not necessary to the invention. Bridge 196 may also aid the insertion of corner key 181 into frame 116. Corner key 181 is generally shown as a “T” shape. However, corner key 181 may also generally comprise an “L” shape or a variety of other shapes while remaining within the scope of the invention. During assembly, lock 197 may be inserted in the end of frame 116. Next, tab 198 may be inserted into a corresponding frame on stile 106, thereby forming the frame subassembly. In some embodiments, it may be desirable to use adhesive on lock 197 or tab 198 to further secure the corner keys to the frames.
 A piece of tape or layer of adhesive may be included on the surface of each frame member 116. The screening and support structure 200 are then placed on top of the frame members 116, as shown in FIG. 10. The adhesive on the frame 116 secures the screening 110 in a taut position. As the screening 110 is held in place by the adhesive, the excess screening that extends beyond the frame 116 is cut and removed from the portion of the screening 110 secured by the frame 116.
 Finally the hook 134 of cover 120 is positioned in the notch 136 of the frame 116 throughout the entire perimeter of the frame subassembly. The cover 120 is rotated toward each frame 116, inserting the rib 122 into the groove 118. Finally, the adhesive 124 on the cover 120 contacts the screening 110, to hold the screening in tension and provide some bonding of the cover to the frame through the openings in the screening. The covers 120 are installed for each of the stiles and rails to form the insect screen frame assembly 100.
 The insect screen frame assembly 100 may also include locking clips 150 and 152 to lock assembly 100 to a frame, such as the frame of a window or door. Locking clips 150 and 152 also make it easier to remove assembly 100 from a frame of a window or door. Locking clip 150, is shown with more detail in FIG. 5. Clip 152 comprises a similar configuration as clip 150, but is a mirror image of clip 150. Preferably, the clips 150 are positioned on the side of the frame assembly that will face the interior of a structure it is used with.
 A handle 154 is included on clip 150 to enable a user to more effectively manipulate frame assembly 100 or clip 150. Handle 154 is shown extending outward from the interior side of the frame assembly 100 in FIG. 2. However, alternative embodiments are possible in which handle 154 does not extend outward from frame assembly 100. A user may typically position rail 104 in a corresponding groove located in a window or door unit. Clips 150 and 152 are then slid inward toward the center of rail 102. The user then pulls rail 102 of frame assembly 100 toward the window until rail 102 is tight with the frame of the window or door unit. The user slides clips 150 and 152 away from the center of rail 102 until catch 156 slides into a mating portion of the frame of a window or door unit. The user may slide clips 150 and 152 away from the center of rail 102 using handle 154. Alternatively, clips 150 and 152 may be connected to a spring mechanism which automatically biases clips 150 and 152 away from the center of rail 102.
 The foregoing description of various embodiments of the invention has been presented for the purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. Many modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teaching. It is intended that the scope of the invention be limited not by this detailed description, but rather by the claims appended hereto.
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|Jan 13, 2004||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: ANDERSEN CORPORATION, MINNESOTA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:KELLEY, TIMOTHY J.;GREEN, DAVID G.;REEL/FRAME:014255/0730;SIGNING DATES FROM 20040109 TO 20040112