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Publication numberUS20060005495 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/178,756
Publication dateJan 12, 2006
Filing dateJul 11, 2005
Priority dateJul 12, 2004
Also published asCA2512054A1
Publication number11178756, 178756, US 2006/0005495 A1, US 2006/005495 A1, US 20060005495 A1, US 20060005495A1, US 2006005495 A1, US 2006005495A1, US-A1-20060005495, US-A1-2006005495, US2006/0005495A1, US2006/005495A1, US20060005495 A1, US20060005495A1, US2006005495 A1, US2006005495A1
InventorsWilfried Stessel, Stephane Borgers
Original AssigneeWilfried Stessel, Stephane Borgers
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Concealed accessible suspended ceiling system
US 20060005495 A1
Abstract
A multiplicity of suspension members for the ceiling tiles are provided for suspending the tiles from a multiplicity of runners. Each suspension member comprises a longitudinal flange portion, the opposite sides of the flange portion each being connected to a side flange, the side flanges on opposite sides pointing in opposite directions with respect to the longitudinal flange. To allow suspending the suspension member from a runner, the side of the first flange pointing away from the longitudinal flange terminates in suspension means, preferably comprising a hooked profile. The second side flange points in a downward direction and is provided with a third flange which also extends at an angle with respect to the second flange. The third flange is adapted to engage a corresponding slit or groove provided in at least one of the sides of the ceiling tile or panel, or to engage the bottom surface of the ceiling tile.
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Claims(28)
1. A suspended ceiling comprising a suspension system having at least one runner for suspending at least one ceiling panel, adjacent runners defining between them a space for receiving the at least one ceiling panel, the at least one ceiling panel comprising a top face facing the suspension system and a bottom face opposite the top face, the bottom face facing a space to be covered by the suspended ceiling, at least one suspension member connected to the at least one ceiling panel for suspending the at least one ceiling panel to the suspension system, wherein
the suspension member comprises on a first side first suspension means for suspending the ceiling panel and the suspension member from the suspension system, and on a second side opposite the first side taken in height direction of the suspension member, at least one attachment member for attachment of a first ceiling panel to the suspension member in such a way that the ceiling panel is held and maintained by the attachment member, the first suspension means being disposed at a first distance d1 from the attachment member taken in height direction of the suspension member, which first distance d1 is chosen such that it is sufficiently large to accommodate between the top face of the first ceiling panel and the first suspension means a second ceiling panel in thickness direction of the second ceiling panel, and the first suspension means being disposed at a second distance d2 from the upright side edge of the ceiling panel attached to the attachment member, which is sufficient to accommodate a part of the second ceiling panel attached to a second suspension member in width direction of the ceiling panel in such a way as to permit suspending a ceiling panel between the first and a third panel positioned on opposite sides of the ceiling panel.
2. A suspended ceiling as claimed in claim 1 in which the at least one attachment member comprises an abutment edge which is provided to abut against at least part of the top face and at least one upright side face of the ceiling panel.
3. A suspended ceiling as claimed in claim 1 or 2 in which the abutment edge comprises clamping means for clamping the ceiling panel along at least part of the top face and part of the upright side face of the ceiling panel.
4. A suspended ceiling as claimed in claim 3 in which the clamping means comprise a first top flange abutting against the top face of the ceiling panel, a second side flange abutting against at least part of a side face of the ceiling panel.
5. A suspended ceiling as claimed in claim 4 in which the clamping means further comprise a third flange which protrudes from the second flange at a position of the bottom face of the panel, and is provided to clamp the at least one panel between the first top flange and the third bottom flange along part of respectively the top and bottom face of the ceiling panel.
6. A suspended ceiling as claimed in claim 4 in which the clamping means further comprise a third flange which protrudes from the second flange towards the panel and is provided to be received within an interior part of the panel, at a position between the top and bottom face of the ceiling panel.
7. A suspended ceiling as claimed in claim 6 in which at least one upright side face of the ceiling panel comprises at least one groove at a position between the top and bottom face of the panel for receiving the third flange, in view of clamping the ceiling panel within the clamping means between at least part of the top face of the ceiling panel and the groove.
8. A suspended ceiling as claimed in claim 7 in which the groove extends over a substantial length of the side face of the ceiling panel and the clamping means extend over a substantial length of the groove.
9. A suspended ceiling as claimed in claim 8 in which the third flange is connected to the second flange in a resilient manner.
10. A suspended ceiling as claimed in claim 8 in which the third flange is made as a resilient member.
11. A ceiling suspension system as claimed in claim 1 in which the at least one suspension member is slideably mountable to the building construction.
12. A suspended ceiling as claimed in claim 3 in which the suspension means are provided to suspend the ceiling panel in a direction parallel to the upright side attached to the clamping means.
13. A suspended ceiling as claimed in claim 3 in which the suspension means are provided to suspend the ceiling panel to the suspension system in a direction substantially perpendicular to the upright side attached to the clamping means.
14. A ceiling suspension system as claimed in claim 1 in which at a side of the ceiling panel remote from the ceiling suspension system, facing bottom edges of facing ceiling panels are chamfered.
15. A suspended ceiling as claimed in claim 1 in which all ceiling panels have the same or a different length.
16. A suspended ceiling as claimed in claim 1 in which all ceiling panels have the same or a different width.
17. A suspended ceiling as claimed in claim 1 in which facing side faces of adjacent panels connecting the upright sides (4, 14) to which the corresponding suspension members are attached, have complementary engaging surfaces.
18. A suspended ceiling as claimed in claim 1 in which facing side faces of adjacent panels connecting the upright sides attached to the corresponding suspension members, have complementary stepped surfaces.
19. A ceiling suspension system comprising:
a plurality of generally rectangular ceiling tiles having first and second opposed edges;
a grid comprising a plurality of parallel elongated runners suspended from a building structure; and
a plurality of suspension members adapted to capture the opposed edges of the ceiling tiles and comprising a longitudinal flange adapted to overlie the upper surface of a ceiling tile, a first side flange extending upwardly from the longitudinal flange and terminating in a hook adapted to cooperate with a fixation clamp, a second side flange depending downwardly from the longitudinal flange and adapted to lie along at least a portion of the edge of a ceiling tile, and a third flange depending from the second flange, the third flange being generally parallel to the longitudinal flange so that the edge of the ceiling tile is captured by the suspension member between the longitudinal flange and the third flange.
20. The ceiling suspension system of claim 19 wherein the opposed edges of the ceiling tiles include an elongated slot intermediate the upper and lower surfaces of the ceiling tile, the slot adapted to receive the third flange of the suspension member.
21. The ceiling suspension system of claim 19 wherein the third flange of the suspension member engages the lower surface of the ceiling tile.
22. The ceiling suspension system of claim 19 wherein the second flange comprises at least one projection and a complementarily-shaped recess along the length thereof for positively locating the suspension member of a first ceiling tile with the suspension member of an adjacent second ceiling tile.
23. The ceiling suspension system of claim 19 wherein the longitudinal flange comprises a rib extending downwardly therefrom for strengthening the longitudinal flange and for providing a surface for engaging the upper surface of the ceiling tile.
24. The ceiling suspension system of claim 19 wherein the second side flange is stepped inwardly so as to cooperate with an adjacent suspension carrier to provide a reveal between adjacent ceiling tiles.
25. The ceiling suspension system of claim 19 wherein the third flange comprises an edge with projections along the length thereof adapted to bite into the ceiling tiles.
26. The ceiling suspension system of claim 19 wherein the ceiling carriers are sized in length to correspond to the length of the ceiling tiles.
27. The ceiling suspension system of claim 19 wherein the third flange comprises a dog leg profile for providing an engagement surface with the ceiling tile.
28. The ceiling suspension system of claim 19 wherein the runners comprise an inverted T-shaped cross-section with a central web with opposed flanges depending therefrom, the opposed flanges each having a further flange extending upwardly therefrom for capturing the hook of the suspension member so as to prevent disengagement of the suspension member from the runner by horizontal movement of the ceiling tile.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a suspended ceiling comprising at least one ceiling panel and at least one suspension member connected to the at least one ceiling panel for suspending the at least one ceiling panel to a suspension system, the suspension system comprising at least one runner for suspending the at least one ceiling panel, adjacent runners defining between them a space for receiving the at least one ceiling panel, the at least one ceiling panel comprising a top face facing the suspension system and a bottom face opposite the top face, the bottom face facing a space to be covered by the suspended ceiling.

It is known to provide a concealed, accessible ceiling system in which a metal panel is suspended from the runners in a manner to hide the flanges of the runners, but also enable easy removal of an individual panel in the ceiling system to gain access to that spot. See, U.S. Pat. No. 5,311,719, having the same assignee as the present application. This patent discloses a metal panel used in a ceiling system in which the ceiling system comprises a plurality of parallel-extending main runners which are spaced with cross runners. Each of the runners has an inverted T-structure with flanges extending outwardly from a web portion. The metal panel comprises of planar sheet member with a pair of opposite edges that have rims, the panel being dimensioned to span two adjacent main runners. Each of the rims has a suspension structure integral therewith for engaging the outwardly-extending flanges of the main runners. The panels also include stop means to prevent inadvertent lateral movement of the panels relative to the runners, which could cause a release of the panels.

From EP-A-690.183 a concealed suspended ceiling is known which is built up of a multiplicity of ceiling panels removably mounted into a suspension grid with the opposite side walls of each ceiling panel having a longitudinal groove. The suspension grid comprises a plurality of profile rods which are to be received in the longitudinal groove. The longitudinal groove, and preferably the part of the edge of the side wall of the panel situated above the groove (i.e. at a position remote from the suspension grid), is made of an elastic material, which is capable of adapting its shape to the shape of the rods, to receive the rods in it in a fixed, stable manner. The suspension system disclosed in EP-A-690.183 however has the disadvantage that it is only suitable for use with ceiling panels that at least partly are made of an elastic material.

Thus, there is thus a need for a concealed ceiling suspension system which is suitable for use with any type of ceiling panels, regardless of their elasticity.

It is therefore the object of this invention to provide a ceiling suspension system which is suitable for use with ceiling panels which may be made of a material with widely varying elasticity or rigidity.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The suspended ceiling system of the present invention typically comprises a suspension system made up from a multiplicity of runners which together form a primary structure or grid. The primary structure is attached to the building structure using suspension means, such as hanger wire, quick hangers, rigid hangers or any other usual suspension means known to persons skilled in the art.

A multiplicity of suspension members for the ceiling tiles are provided for suspending the tiles from the primary runners. Each suspension member comprises a longitudinal flange portion, the opposite sides of the flange portion each being connected to a side flange, the side flanges on opposite sides pointing in opposite directions with respect to the longitudinal flange.

The first side flange preferably points in an upward direction from the first longitudinal side of the longitudinal flange. To allow suspending the suspension member from a runner, the side of the first flange pointing away from the longitudinal flange terminates in suspension means, preferably comprising a hooked profile, which is attached to or formed in one part with the first side flange and is adapted to be suspended from the runners. For the sake of simple mounting, the first flange preferably has a height that corresponds to at least the thickness of a ceiling tile. The height of the first flange is preferably chosen so that, upon lifting of a tile, sufficient space is left to permit inserting the ceiling tiles horizontally into the gap created between the hooked suspending profile of an adjacent suspending carrier and the upper surface of an adjacent tile.

The second side flange preferably points in downward direction and, in one embodiment, is preferably further provided with a third flange which also extends at an angle with respect to the second flange. The third flange is adapted to engage a corresponding slit or groove provided in at least one of the sides of the ceiling tile or panel, or to engage the bottom surface of the ceiling tile, and preferably extends parallel to the longitudinal flange.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention is further elucidated in the attached figures and description of the figures.

FIGS. 1 a-d show a cross section of different embodiments of the suspension member for suspending a ceiling panel in the suspended ceiling system of this invention.

FIG. 2 shows a view to an embodiment of the suspension member for use with wooden ceiling panels and a panel carrying such a suspension member.

FIGS. 3 a and b show a view to a suspended ceiling of the present invention show from the side covered by it.

FIGS. 4 a-c show a ceiling panel with different embodiments of attached suspension members.

FIG. 5 shows a cross section of ceiling panels attached to suspension members suspended to a suspension grid.

FIG. 6 shows a view to ceiling panels attached to suspension members suspended to a suspension grid.

FIG. 7 is a cross section of a suspension member provided for suspending the ceiling system to an upright wall.

FIGS. 8 a-f shows different stages in the mounting of the ceiling panels.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A preferred embodiment of the ceiling suspension system of this invention is shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. In the system shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, a plurality of runners 23 are suspended from a primary suspension grid comprising a multiplicity of longitudinal main runners 28, suspended to the building construction by means of hangers 27. Within the framework of the present invention it is however also possible to directly suspend the runners 23 to the building construction without an intermediate primary suspension grid.

Preferred embodiments of the ceiling panel for use in the suspended ceiling of the present invention are shown in FIGS. 4 a-c. As can be seen from these figures, each ceiling panel 1 comprises a top face 12 facing the building construction, a bottom face 13 facing the space to be covered by the ceiling panel, two opposite upright longitudinal sides 4, 14 connecting the top and the bottom face, and two opposite upright transverse sides 6, 16. The ceiling panels shown have a substantially rectangular shape. However, depending on the envisaged design of the ceiling, the ceiling panel may have any shape considered suitable by the person skilled in the art. The ceiling panel 1 may, for example, also be substantially square or have the shape of a parallelogram, or any other shape as well.

The ceiling suspension system of the present invention comprises a multiplicity of suspension members 3. A detailed construction of preferred embodiments of the suspension members is shown in FIGS. 1 a-d and 2 a-b. Each suspension member 3 comprises a longitudinally extending upright flange 21, a first end 31 of which is connected to suspension means 2 for suspending the suspension member 3 to a runner 23 of a suspension grid or a runner directly attached to the building construction. The runner 23 may take any shape considered suitable by the person skilled in the art. The runner 23 may, for example, take the form of the well known longitudinal runners widely used in the art of suspended ceilings. The runner 23 may, however, also take the form of an individual hanger or a loop to which the suspension member 3 is to be attached, or any other form considered suitable by the person skilled in the art.

Usually, a suspension member 3 will be mounted to both opposite sides of a ceiling panel 1. It is however also possible to mount only a single suspension member 3 to one side of the ceiling panel, particularly for those panels that are to be positioned along the edges of the suspended ceiling.

The suspension means 2 may take any form considered suitable by the person skilled in the art as well. The suspension means may, for example, take the form of a hook-shaped flange or any other suitable form. It is however preferred that the suspension means 2 comprise a fourth and a fifth flange 24, 25 which are angled with respect to each other as is shown in FIGS. 1 a-d. With such a construction, the tip is provided to receive a corresponding flange of the runner to which the suspension means 2 are suspended. Thus, the suspension means 2 are confined in one single, unambiguous position, which permits to minimize the risk to the occurrence of small variations in the distance between adjacent ceiling panels due to an insufficiently correct positioning. As a consequence, an improved control of the distance between adjacent panels is provided. The angled positioning facilitates sliding of the suspension member over the runner to which it is attached. This is important as the slideable mounting permits, for example, inserting ceiling panels with suspension members mounted thereto from one side or end of a ceiling suspension system and advancing already mounted ceiling panels by sliding them over the suspension grid as additional ceiling panels are added.

A second end 32 of the upright flange 21 opposite the first end is connected to an attachment member 10. The attachment member 10 serves the function of permitting attachment of at least one ceiling panel 1 to the suspension member 3. Thereby, the first suspension means 2 are disposed at a first distance d1 from the attachment member 10 taken in height direction of the suspension member, which first distance d1 is chosen such that it is sufficiently large to accommodate between the top face 12 of the first ceiling panel 1 and the first suspension means 2 of a second ceiling panel in the thickness direction of the second ceiling panel.

The suspension member 3, the suspension means 2, the upright longitudinal flange 21, and the attachment member 10 may all run continuously over the entire length of the suspension member 3 as is shown in FIG. 4 a. The suspension member 3, the suspension means 2, the upright longitudinal flange 21, the attachment member 10 may all have the same or a different length. It is also possible to suspend a ceiling panel using multiple suspension members 3, 33 as is shown in FIG. 4 b. In that case the length of the suspension member will usually be substantially smaller than the length of the side of the ceiling panel to which it is attached. Also in that case each suspension member 3, 33 will comprise an upright longitudinal flange 21 and suspension means 2, and attachment means 10 as is shown in FIG. 4 c. For the sake of simplicity, strength and economic production, it is however preferred that the suspension member 3, the suspension means 2, the upright longitudinal flange 21, the attachment member 10 run continuously over virtually the entire length of the suspension member 3. To facilitate mounting of the suspension members 3 to the suspension grid 28 and to permit accommodating the connector clip 22 for suspending the runner 28 to the primary suspension grid, it may be considered to cut part of the end part from the upright longitudinal flange 21 and of the suspension means 2 (see FIGS. 4 a-4 c and FIG. 6).

The attachment member 10 permits attachment of one or more ceiling panels 1 to the suspension member 3 in such a way that the ceiling panel is held, maintained and supported by the suspension member 3 in more or less fixed position. The holding function may be achieved in various ways known to the person skilled in the art. Possible embodiments of this holding function are shown in FIGS. 1 a-d.

In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 a, the attachment member 10 comprises an abutment edge which is provided to abut against the top face 12 of the ceiling panel and against at least one upright side face 4, 14, 6, 16 of the ceiling panel. The abutment edge may, for example, be fastened to part of the top face 12 and/or upright side face 4, 6, 14, 16 of the ceiling panel by means of gluing, stapling, welding, bolting, or any other mechanical connection considered suitable by the person skilled in the art. Gluing may, for example, be recommendable with ceiling panels made of glass. In that case a close fit of the top and side flange 17, 18 of the abutment edge to the top face and upright side face 12, 4, 6, 14, 16 of the ceiling panel to which the abutment edge is fastened, is important. According to another embodiment, the abutment edge may, for example, comprise multiple protrusions, which are provided to engage the material of the ceiling panel and in that way hold the ceiling panel attached to the suspension member 3. Depending on the nature of the material of which the abutment edge and the ceiling panel 1 are made, the protrusions may additionally be glued, welded or molten in the panel.

Optimum positioning and attachment of the ceiling panel to the suspension member 3 are achieved with an abutment edge which comprises clamping means for holding the ceiling panel in a clamped manner, the clamping means extending along at least part of the top face 12 and along part of the upright side face 4, 14, 6, 16 of the ceiling panel. Depending on the nature of the material of which the ceiling panel 1 and the suspension member 3 are made, a removable mounting of the panel within the suspension member may be achieved or not. The clamping action is achieved with an abutment edge which comprises a first top flange 17 which is provided to abut against at least part of the top face 12 of the ceiling panel. Usually the top flange 17 will abut only against a limited distance of the top face 12. The abutment may be direct or indirect through the interference of one or more protrusions 34 protruding from the first flange 17 to the top face of the ceiling panel (FIG. 1 c). The abutment edge further preferably comprises a second side flange 18 which is provided to abut against part of an upright side face 4, 6, 14, 16 the ceiling panel or against the whole side face. To provide the clamping function, the abutment edge will usually comprise at least one third flange 19 protruding from the second side flange 18 towards the side face of the ceiling panel which is to be clamped. Thereby, the third flange may either protrude into the upright side face 4, 6, 14, 16 of the ceiling panel, which extends along the second side flange 18 of the abutment edge. The third flange 19 may, for example, run substantially perpendicular (FIG. 1 b) with respect to the second flange 18, or extend under a smaller angle if an improved clamping is aimed at (FIG. 1 c). The third flange 19 may as such also be bent or angled in longitudinal direction if an improved control of the clamping action is required as is shown in FIG. 1 c. An angled third flange 19 will usually be clamped within the groove. The third flange 19 may also be toothed in longitudinal direction or comprise multiple protrusions along the longitudinal direction to facilitate insertion, especially in case the ceiling panel does not contain a groove (FIG. 2 a). It is particularly preferred that the third flange 19 is resiliently mounted with respect to the second flange 18 as in that way the clamping action exerted by the abutment edge may be improved. The third flange 19 may further be connected to a fourth flange 39 which is folded back along at least part of the third flange and in that way provides a resilient member. In that way, a kind of clamping force is provided which makes the suspension member 3 difficult to remove from the ceiling panel. The third flange 19 may as such be a resilient member as well.

The width of the top flange and the extent to which the top flange 17 of the abutment edge is attached to the ceiling panel is not critical to the invention and will usually be adapted by the person skilled in the art, depending on the nature and weight of the material of the ceiling panel. Also the nature of the material of which the abutment edge is made will usually be taken into account. The ceiling panel may be clamped within the attachment member over substantially its entire height as is shown in FIG. 1 d or over a part of its height only as is shown in FIGS. 1 a-1 c.

To facilitate attachment of the ceiling panel 1 to the attachment means 10, the ceiling panel preferably comprises a first and a second groove 5, 15 in opposite upright sides 4, 14, 6, 16 of the panel. The grooves may either be provided in the longitudinal 4, 14 or transverse sides 6, 16 of the panel or in both (FIGS. 1 c, 2 b and 4 a). It is, however, also possible to have ceiling panels that do not contain such grooves (FIGS. 1 a, 1 b, 1 d, 4 b, 4 c). In case no groove is provided, the attachment means or part thereof may be attached to the top face 12 and/or the upright side face 4, 14, 6, 16 against which the attachment means 10 abut. It is also possible to use attachment means 10 which may be driven into the material of the ceiling panel, in particular in the upright side face of the panel as is shown in FIGS. 1 b, 4 b. Especially in that case a close fit of the top flange and upright flange of the abutment edge to the top face and upright side face of the ceiling panel is required. This technique may, for example, be used with ceiling panels made of a soft material or, for example, of wood. In that case usually use will be made of a suspension member 3 as shown in FIG. 2 a, where the protrusions 35 facilitate insertion of the third flange 19 into the material of the ceiling panel.

It is, however, also possible to provide at least one groove 7, 8 in one or both transverse sides 6, 16 of the ceiling panel. This permits mounting the ceiling panels in multiple directions (FIGS. 1 c, 2 b, 4 a) or accommodating a suspension member in one pair of opposite grooves, and an intermediate profile to be described below in the other pair of opposite grooves.

The thickness of the ceiling panel 1 will usually be chosen such that it is sufficiently large to accommodate the above-described groove or grooves 5, 7, 8, 15. The distance between each of the grooves 5, 7, 8, 15 and the top and bottom face 12, 13 of the ceiling panel may be the same or different. The distance between the transverse grooves 7, 8 and the top and bottom face 12, 13 may be the same or different as the distance between the longitudinal grooves 5, 15 and the top and bottom face of the ceiling panel, but is preferably the same to permit using the ceiling panels in any desired orientation. Each groove 5, 7, 8, 15 may extend over virtually the whole length of the side face of the ceiling panel into which it is provided, or over part of this length only. The length of the groove will usually be adapted to the length of the corresponding attachment member 10 of the suspension member 3 to be received in the groove. It is however preferred that each groove 5, 7, 8, 15 extends over the whole length of the side face of the ceiling panel into which it is provided, as this facilitates insertion of the suspension member 3 and minimizes the risk to damaging the ceiling panel. From the above given description it follows that the suspension members cannot be seen from the surface below the suspended ceiling, in case the third flange 19 of the suspension member 3 extends within the interior of the ceiling panel. Thus a concealed system is provided, which may look very monolithic if so desired. This may be achieved by minimizing the distance between adjacent panels.

With the above described system, a concealed suspended ceiling is provided wherein facing sides of opposite ceiling panels are attached to suspension members, which in turn are suspended in a direct manner to the building construction or through the intermediate of a suspension grid. From the above described construction of the suspension members it follows that along the sides of the ceiling panels bearing the suspension members, hardly any passage to the space between the ceiling panels and the building construction is provided, thus providing a flame safe ceiling.

In the event the ceiling panel 1 comprises at least one groove 5, 7, 8, 15 the top part 30 of the panel, i.e. the part of the panel located between the groove and the top face of the panel 12, may have the same or different dimension as the bottom part 40 of the panel. This means that the top and bottom part 30, 40 may have the same or a different length and/or width. This feature may, for example, be used to provide visible grooves or reveals between adjacent panels at the visible side of the suspended ceiling, for example, for aesthetic reasons or to provide illumination. Those grooves may extend either in longitudinal or transverse direction of the ceiling only, or in both directions.

Depending on the rigidity of the material of which the ceiling panels 1 are made, the suspension member 3, in particular the first, second and third flange 17-19 may have the same or a smaller length as compared to the side 4, 6, 14, 16 of the panel to which it is attached. The suspension member 3 may either be attached to both longitudinal sides 4, 14 of the ceiling panel or to the transverse sides 6, 16. An improved rigidity of the suspended ceiling is however obtained with a first, second and third flange 17-19 having substantially the same length as the upright side 4, 14, 6, 16 of the ceiling panel to which they are attached. With such a construction, optimum leveling of the ceiling panels is achieved, the suspension member being capable of compensating plastic deformation of the panel carried by it. Within the framework of this invention, it is possible to attach multiple suspension members 3 to one upright of the single ceiling panel as is shown in FIG. 4 b. Within the framework of this invention, it is also possible to attach to a single suspension member an upright side of a single ceiling panel or two or multiple ceiling panels. It is, however, preferred to attach only one single ceiling panel 1 to a suspension member 3 as this improves the versatility of the system and maximizes design possibilities. Attachment of one single panel will also be preferred for ceiling panels made of a heavy or pliable material, as an improved support is provided.

For aesthetic reasons, for example, facing bottom edges at a side of the ceiling panel remote from the ceiling suspension system, may be chamfered. It is also possible to cut an edge from the bottom face and part of the upright side face of facing sides of adjacent panels. This may be of particular importance in case the distance between adjacent panel for one reason or another may vary somewhat. The visibility of such varying distance may be reduced by the chamfered edges.

To improve the monolithic character of the suspended ceiling of this invention and to improve the fire resistant properties of the ceiling, facing side faces 6, 16 of adjacent panels 1 which connect the upright sides 4, 14 to which the suspension members 3 are attached, preferably have complementary engaging surfaces. This may be achieved in different ways. For example, facing side faces of adjacent panels connecting the upright sides attached to the corresponding suspension members, may have complementary stepped surfaces.

As can be seen from FIG. 1 c and FIG. 4 a, the upright second flange 18 and the seventh flange may comprise at least one notch which protrudes from the flange towards an adjacent panel. This is a way to increase the distance between adjacent panels. Preferably notches on facing flanges are positioned in such a way that they take corresponding positions to touch one another. By giving facing notches co-operating, engaging surfaces, an additional fixation of the position of adjacent panels is provided. The engagement is preferably releasable.

The ceiling panels used in the suspended ceiling of the present invention can be made of a single material or of a plurality of materials. They can be made of a single layer or multiple layers adhered to each other. The ceiling panel of this invention can be made of any material considered suitable by the person skilled in the art, for example, wood, cement, plastic, fibrous reinforced plastic, gypsum, glass or any other material or combination of materials.

In the embodiment shown in the attached figures, the ceiling panels are provided to be slideable in the direction in which the suspension member 3, 33 extends.

Thus, with the present invention a suspended ceiling is provided which comprises a multiplicity of ceiling panels, whereby a next ceiling panel is capable of advancing a previously inserted ceiling panel by means of a sliding movement. Thus, a limited number of mounting positions is needed to insert the panels. The panels may be positioned in line, in a staggered configuration or any other desired configuration. The suspended ceiling may be conveniently formed as a substantially flat ceiling extending at one single level or multiple levels. However, opposite sides of a ceiling panel may be positioned at different levels and thus permit constructing a waved or rounded ceiling.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7805904 *Jan 17, 2008Oct 5, 2010Target Brands, Inc.Ceiling grid spanner
US7841149 *Oct 12, 2007Nov 30, 2010Chicago Metallic CorporationConcealed ceiling panel system
US8646238 *Dec 22, 2011Feb 11, 2014Usg Interiors, LlcApparatus, system, and method for facilitating use of thin flexible scrims in a grid-type suspended ceiling
US8898985 *Dec 2, 2011Dec 2, 2014Usg Interiors, LlcCeiling panel system
US8950146 *Dec 3, 2013Feb 10, 2015Awi Licensing CompanyCanopy system and group suspension system therefore
US20120167514 *Dec 2, 2011Jul 5, 2012Usg Interiors, Inc.Ceiling panel system
US20120317915 *Feb 7, 2012Dec 20, 2012Chicago Metallic CorporationSelf-Hanging Notched Ceiling Tile
US20140090328 *Dec 3, 2013Apr 3, 2014Awi Licensing CompanySuspended ceiling system, securing members, and process of installing a suspended ceiling system
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/506.07
International ClassificationE04B2/00
Cooperative ClassificationE04B9/225, E04B9/003, E04B9/24, E04B9/28, E04B9/26
European ClassificationE04B9/22A, E04B9/00B, E04B9/24, E04B9/28, E04B9/26
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 28, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: CHICAGO METALLIC CONTINENTAL B.V.B.A., BELGIUM
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:STESSEL, WILFRIED;BORGERS, STEPHANE;REEL/FRAME:017225/0995
Effective date: 20060202