US 2482339 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
I SePL 20, 1949- T. L. HIBBARD ET AL 2,482,339
PLASTIC PANEL WITH MOUNTING MEANS Filed Deo. 29, 1944 /7 fig/4' Z Z, zZ/bbd/rd ff. Jrwarje IN V EN TOR. By MM cw@ mence sq. zo, 1949 PLASTIC PANEL WITH MOUNTING MEANS Thomas L. Hibbard, Birmingham, and Milton Jovanovich, Detroit, Mich., a'ssiznors to Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, Mich., a corporation of Delaware Application December 29, 1944, Serial No. 570,444
This invention relates to the structure of' transparent plastic panels; and, more particularly, a method of mounting such panels so that the attaching means will be masked.
The use of decorative panels formed from the transparent plastics has widened markedly in the past few years. Considering the colors available, the workability, and the particularly lustrous apperance of such materials as the acrylics, designers have been resorting to them more and more, not only in automotive practice but in a 1 claim. (er. 'zz-1s) 'y method. The invention may be practiced either Y on articles which are .moulded in their nal wide range of other applications as well. These panels may be used with a colored opaque backing or with an intaglio design on the reverse purely as a decorative note, or they may be used as a crystal for instruments or as a light lens, in which case the central portion of the panel, at least, is clear and the opaque rim portions give the effect of a bezel. The difllculty heretofore-has been in devising a suitable mounting and attaching means for these panels since, because of their transparency, any such means used on the back is readily apparent from the face of the panel. The mounting means usually used include extending lugs which are received in corresponding apertures in the supporting panel and engage a frictional retainer, a tapped hole in the plastic panel Areceiving a screw extending through the supporting panel or threaded metal inserts originally moulded in the plastic panel, which are engaged by a screw or other means from the supporting panel. Other devices have also been adopted for this use, but all of them have the disadvantage that they are clearly visible from the front of the panel and largely spoil the decorative effect which otherwise might be achieved.
The purpose of this invention is to provide a method of masking the attaching means which is readily adaptable to any form of panel and equally advantageous for any type of mounting means now used. Following the teaching of this specication, it is possible to use any shape of panel and readily mask the attaching means from the front without destroying the illusion of depth otherwise obtainable inthe opaqued back panel. This may be applied equally to panels which are entirely opaque on the reverse, or those which have a transparent center section serving as an instrument cover or the like. 'I'he only limitation on the use of the invention -is that the attaching means should be somewhere near the edges of the panel; but since this is the usual practice at all events, this limitation does not impair the useful scope of the proposed form or on those which are fabricated from sheet material and then formed to any desired configuration. Not only does it mask the attaching means but the choice of-suitable colors and shapes used may serve as an additional decorative feature in itself, even increasing the illusion of depth given by the normally treated plastic. It is fully as durable as the panel itself, and the masking effect will be available during the entire life of the structure.
With these and other objects in view, the invention consists in the arrangement, construction and combination of various parts of the improved device, described in the specication, claimed in the claims, andA shown in the accompanying drawings in which:
Figure 1 is a perspective view of a rectangular panel employing the present invention.
Figure 2 is a transverse view of a similar panel using the lug attaching means, the panel being .shown partially in section through one of the other panels employing still. other attaching v means and masking arrangements.
Referring to Figures 1 and 2, I0 indicates a generally rectangular panel formed of a transparent plastic material, such as Luclte or Plexiglas to cite those best known, but any other synthetic resin material which is transparent may be used and the word plastic as used here, is directed to such materials. The
panel has a face Il and rounded top and bottom edges i2 and I3. In the form shown, it has squared ends I4 and a back surface I8 substantially parallel to the face Il. Of c ourse, if desired, the ends may also be rounded off and in intaglio design impressed on the back which may be finished with a contrasting color. The back of the panel is covered with an opaque coating l5 of the desired color. A
The lugs I6 serving asv attaching means are secured to the back of the panel lo either by integrally moulding them on the panel in the course of construction; or, if the panel is formed initially from sheet stock, by cementing .'lowels in place 'plastic panel is to be attached and thus secured firmly in the desired position. However, whichever method is followed, the juncture of the lug I8 and the back I8 of the panel is readily visible from the front of the panel and spoils the decorative effect. In order to avoid this defect, slots I1 are formed along the top and along the bottom edges I2 and I3, extending far enough into the panel so as to cover theh junction between the lugs I6 and the back I8 of the panel. A coating of opaque material is then flowed throughthe slot I 'I leaving an opaque film I9 on the surfaces thereof. This gives the effect of an inner frame in the panel III and completely masks the lugs I6. The slot I1 is here shown as extendingv uniformly through the entire length of the panel; but it may be formed only in the locality of attaching lugs and may be designed with any particular contour -ofthe inner line as will best t the decorative scheme desired. The slot I'I may be formed either by moulding it in the original panel with retracting die sections, if the panel be so formed, or it can be readily applied to any shape panel formed of sheet' stock by a saw kerf formed in the material ju-t -before assembling. While the opaque film I8 is shown on both sides and bottom of the slot I'I, it will be understood that it need only be applied to the surface of the slot adjacent the face II of the panel to be effective both for decorative and masking purposes. As a practical matter, it is more easily applied to all three surfaces and its presence, of course, does no harm.
A modication of thegeneral idea is shown in Figure where, instead of coating the inner portions of the slot with a paint film, a strip formed of an opaque or merely translucent material, preferably a plastic, is slipped in place in the slot I1 and secured therein by frictional contact or by subsequent staking or cementing. This method is somewhat more expensive since the strip 20 and slot I'I must be formed to corresponding size and the strip must be cut to proper length. However, it does have one advantage since the normal tendency of the two extending portions of the panel 2| and 22 on either side of the slot I1 is to warp inwardly in the course of time, thereby throwing' the lugs I6 out, of their desired normal alignment and imposing a certain amount of stress at the points of attachment to the panel. When the slot I'I is filled with the strip 20, this warpage is prevented and the misalignment of the lugs I8 is avoided. Nevertheless, for all practical purposes and in most applications, the slight amount of warpage which follows the formation of the kerf is not sumciently marked to be harmful.
The same method of masking is shown in Figures 3 and 4 in which the attaching means employed differ. Thus, in Figure 3, a boss 23 is moulded on the back of the panel and a tapped hole 24 formed in it extending through to the slot 25 in the panel 26. Again, the interior of the slot 25 is flowed with an opaque coating, forming the illm 21 and the back of the panel is covered with a similar coating 28 of the same or contrasting color. One advantage of this form of attachment is that the hole 24 extends to the slot 25 and is more easily formed than is a blind hole.
In Figure 4, the block 3l has a metallic insert 3| moulded in place, the exterior of the insert being knurled as at 32 to promote the bond between it and the plastic material. The insert vhas a tapped hole 33; and, again, a slot 34 is formed by moulding or byv a saw kerf and an opaque illm 35 is formed therein and on the back of the panel at 85. Otherwise, the construction follows that described in detail with reference to Figure l. The same method is of ready application to whatever form of attaching device is used, and it is equally advantageous with all of them. Not only is the attaching device masked from view from the front, but the mask may accentuate by judicious choice of color the depth of the plastic panel bymultiplying theseparated planes, or it may itself be-rendered practically invisible. It is only necessary that the slots be made deep enough so that the fastening means is obscured from view when the line of sight to the panel is confined within appropriate limits as indicated in Figure 4. The construction is readily and cheaply applied and is a positive mask. When` the wide range of possible applications is considered, its value as a practical attaching means will be appreciated.
In Figure 6, the panel 4I is cemented to the support 42 and the kerf 43 has the usual opaque coating 44. However, the opaque coating 45 on the back is extended over and around the end 4i of the kerf 43 as at 41 to mask the break in the kerf itself. In Figure 7, the panel 5I is attached to the support 52 by sliding into a channel shaped' member 53 -secured to the support and having one flange extending into the kerf 54. As before, the
` kerf has an opaque coating 55 and the back is back until the edges 68 andv 68 meet sealing the kerf. Due allowance may be made in moulding the panel if a plane front surface is desired orparticularly if the panel is fabricated from sheet stockthe edges may slope off slightly.
Some changes may be made in the arrangement, construction and combination of the various parts of the improved device, without departing from the spirit of the invention, it is the intention to cover by the claims such changes as may .reasonably b e included within the scope thereof.
The invention claimed is: i v
1. A panel formed of transparent plastic material having a face and a back, an attaching lug formed on the back of said panel adjacent an edge thereof, a slot in said panel extending inwardly from said edge and overlying said lug, and an opaque film formed on at least one side of said slot.
2. A panel formed of transparent plastic material having a face and a back, an attaching metallic insert moulded in said panel adjacent to the back and an edge thereof, a slot in said panel extending inwardly from said edge and overlying said insert, and an opaque hn formed on at least one side of said slot.
3. A panel formed of transparent plastic material having a face and a back, an attaching means formed on the back of said panel adjacent an edge thereof, a slot in said panel extending inwardly from said edge and overlying said attaching means, an opaque lm formed on at least one side of said slot, and an arcuate depression in the Measso back parallel to the slot and at least in part laying between the inner edge of the slot and the face and coated with an opaque lm whereby the edge of the slot is concealed.
4. A panel formed of transparent plastic material having a face and a back, an attaching means formed in the back of said panel adjacent an edge thereof, a slot in said panel extending inwardly from said edge and overlying said attaching means, an opaque strip inserted in said slot, and an arcuate depression in the back parallel to slot and at least in part laying between the inner edge of the slot and the face and coated with an opaque lm whereby the edge of this slot is concealed.
5. A decorative panel formed of transparent plastic material having a face and a back, attaching means formed on the back of said panel adjacent an edge thereof, a slot in said panel extending inwardly from said edge and overlying said attaching means and an opaque material in said slot, said slot and opaque material extending inwardly a suillcient distance from the edge o! the plastic material to mask the attaching means when viewed from all appropriate positions.
6. The structure recited in claim 5 in which the opaque material comprises a coating applied to at least one side of said slot.
' 7. The structure recited in claim 5 in whichithe opaque material comprises a strip inserted into said slot.
THOMAS L. HIBBARD. MILTON JOVANOVICH.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the le of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,291,879 Hess Jan. 21,1919 2,223,721 Ernstoff Dec. 3,1940 2,289,634 Dieter July 14, 1942 2,354,857 Gits et al. Aug. 1, 1944 2,376,305 Bauer May 15, 1945 2,379,595 Roe July 3,1945
FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 112,503 Austria 1929