US 2770298 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 13, 1956 w. HlATT FOLDABLE CLOSURE Filed July 6, 1954 United States Patent FOLDABLE CLOSURE Wilbur L. Hiatt, Indianapolis, Ind., assignor to Splendor,
Inc., Indianapolis, Ind., a corporation Application July 6, 1954, Serial No. 441,555
1 Claim. (Cl. 160-199) This invention relates to a folding door or closure, and more particularly to one of the solid panel, accordion type. a
It is the primary object of this invention to provide foldable closure which preserves the desired pantographtype or equalizing action while dispensing with the complicated and expensive mechanism heretofore believed to be necessary to impart such action. As is well known, an accordion type foldable closure should be of such construction that upon being opened or closed its articulated panels will have an equalizing action or what is known as a pantograph-type action. With the present invention this type of action is achieved in a manner characterized by simplicity, reduction of expense, of the number of working parts and of the amount of labor required to assemble the closures.
It is a further object of the present invention to pro vide a foldable door construction wherein the conventional hinges are dispensed with thereby reducing the expense of the construction as well as the number of parts thereof.
It is a still further object of the present invention to provide a foldable closure of such construction that it is less susceptible to damage than the conventional construction. As is. well known, in those constructions wherein a pantograph is employed if the bottom of the lead post is pushed back relative to the top of that post damage will ensue. With the present invention, however, such an occurrence would have no detrimental effect upon the construction. This results from the particular and specific nature of the means hinging the re spective panels together.
The primary feature of the present invention resides in the resilient or flexible hinge which is substantially V-shaped in cross section, said hinge tending to bring the panels to rest in a position approximately midway between their open and closed position whereby the movement of said panels is equalized.
The full nature of the invention will be understood from the accompanying drawings and the following description and claims:
In the drawings Fig. 1 is a top plan view of the invention with the cornice removed.
Fig. 2 is a side elevation view of the invention with parts removed and other parts shown in section for the purpose of better illustration.
Fig. 3 is a top plan view of the invention similar to Fig. l with the exception that the closure is shown in collapsed or folded condition and no roller assemblies are illustrated.
Fig. 4 is a vertical section view through the roller assembly and track.
Fig. 5 is a top plan view showing the construction and shape of one of the panels.
Fig. 6 is a top plan view showing a modified form of panel.
Fig. 7 is a vertical section view through a hinge and adjacent panel, parts of both being broken away.
2,770,298 Patented Nov. 13, 1956 ice In the drawings the opening which the invention is designed to close is indicated generally at 10. This open= ing is defined on one side by a wall, partition or the like 11 and on the other side by a wall, partition or the like 12. It is understood, of course, that the closure can serve as a door for a room, a closet or the like; as a partition or divider; as a showcase or window display closure; as a wardrobe or closet front, and other" allied uses.
Secured to the wall, partition or the like 11 is the jamb channel 13 having the vertically extending groove or slot 14 for sliding reception and mounting of the hinge which will hereinafter be described. This channel serves as the anchoring end for the plurality of upright panels shown generally at 15 which make up the closure assembly. These panels consist of the necessary half panels 16 and 17 at opposite ends of the assembly as well as the full panels 18 disposed therebetween. These panels are preferably formed of aluminum, steel or the like, and as a result may be colored in a pleasing manner with any of a plurality of colors. The aluminum doors may, of course, be anodized if desired.
Each panel has converging, spaced jaws 19 formed along its longitudinal or side edges. Each jaw defines a vertical slot 14 within which the hinges are anchored, the hinges projecting through the narrowed opening or mouth 20 of the slot.
At the free end of the closure is mounted the lead or rolling post 21 which also has formed vertically on its inside longitudinal edge the jaws 19 for reception of the connector or hinge.
All full panels and the lead post are suspended from individual roller assemblies, the rolers of which are preferably although not necessarily formed of nylon. These roller assemblies are designed in such manner as to eliminate sagging and to maintain a unique ease of operation. The carriage for each roller assembly is shown generally at 22, it comprising a channel 23 having opposed tracks 24 and 25 formed preferably of extruded aluminum to insure maximum ease and smoothness of operation. The track may be. concealed in the ceiling or mounted below ceiling level, as desired. An attractive and easily in stalled cornice can be provided to conceal the roller assembly if it is mounted below ceiling level.
Engageable with the/tracks are the rollers 26 which are rotatable about the pin 27 which projects outwardly from the block 28. A bore is formed through the block to receive the pin 29. The upper end 30 of this last mentioned pin projects above the block and is enveloped or encased in a rubber collar 31, a portion \of which collar projects above the end of the pin as shown in Fig. 4.
That portion of the elongated pin 29 which depends from the block is encased within a rubber sleeve or collar 32. This sleeve is loosely mounted about the pin so that it may rotate relative thereto at such times as the collar engages the adjacent face 33 of the track, thereby facilitating the movement of the roller assembly relative to the track or carriage. That is to say that at times the roller assembly will not be depending in a truly perpendicular manner as shown in Fig. 4 but instead will be cocked or tilted a very slight degree to one side or the other into engagement with one of the adjacent faces 33 of the tracks. At such times friction would. to a certain extent, at least, impede the free travel of the roller assembly relative to the tracks. However, with the provision of the rotating rubber sleeve the friction is reduced to a minimum at such times as it is in engagement with one of the adjacent track portions 33.
In addition to serving as a friction reducing medium the rubber or the like sleeve also cushions or mutes the sound which would otherwise result upon its engagement with the track. Still further, the sleeve also serves as a spacer or guide which is designed to keep the panels suspended from the carriage assembly in as true a vertical position as is possible.
The lower extremities of the pin are enlarged to form ayok-e or bifurcation 34. The upper extremity of the panel as shown in Fig. 4 is received within the bifurcation and is anchored by "a cotter pin 35 or any other suitable medium. As will be observed by reference to Fig. 2 the roller connected to one panel rides on one of the two tracks while the roller connected to adjacent panels rides on the other of the tracks.
In order to provide some stop for the lead post when the door is in its closed position, a detent 36 is formed in the upper or top panel of the track. By reason of this construction that portion of the rubber collar 31 that projects above the head of the,pin will engage the detent as the'door is nearing its closed position and will be depressed thereby so that that portion may clear the detent. This stop is of such nature that while it serves its objective of holding the lead post and entire assembly in a closed position when desired, it nonetheless does not impede the ready opening of the door. The detent is so small that a simple thrust on the door will cause the rubber collar 31 again to be depressed so as to clear it'and thereby permit a completion of the door opening movement.
The connectors or hinges for the respective panels are preferably formed of vinyl plastic or other flexible material as well as deformable materials such as leather. The hinge consists of substantially V-shaped, elongated strips of the flexible or resilient material as shown generally at 37. Each longitudinal edge of the strips has a bead 38 or the like formed thereon to a size that approximates, but is slightly smaller than, the cross sectional area of the slots 14. The thickness of the resilient strips adjacent their beaded, longitudinal extremities is less than the width of the openings 20.
As is thus apparent, in assembling the connectors or hinges it is necessary only to run the elonged strips upwardly or downwardly through the elongated grooves 01' slots. Since the longitudinal edges or beads of the strips are enlarged to an extent such that they cannot pass through the opening 20 but only through the end of the groove 14, the hinge is firmly anchored in position. I
Each bead or longitudinal marginal edge of the strips has formed theret'hrough the longitudinal bore 39. A
screw 40 or the like is thrust into each end of the bore as shown in Fig. 7 for the purpose of expanding or distending the bead outwardly, i. e. radially, into firm anchoring engagement with the inner walls defining the groove.
A modification of the panel construction is shown in Fig. 6 wherein similar portions are referred to by the same number as the principal embodiment of the panel with the exception that the letter a has been added thereto.
By reason of the character, nature and construction of the connectors or hinges they serve as an equalizing agent in connection with the folding or unfolding of the respective panels. That is to say, they bring about a pantograph type action while eliminating the troublesome equalizing mechanisms which characterize the conventional folding door.
While the invention has been illustrated and described in detail in the drawings and foregoing description, the same is to be considered as illustrative and not restrictive in character, it being understood that only the preferred embodiment has been shown and described and that all changes and modifications that come within the spirit of the invention and the scope of the claim are also desired to be protected.
The invention claimed is: a
A foldable closure movable between folded and extended positions comprising a series of upright closure panels each having a slot formed along its longitudinal edges, said slots being narrowed at their mouths, and hinges for equalizing the folding and unfolding action of said panels, said hinges connecting each panel to its adjacent panels and comprising a normally substantially V-shaped strip of resilient material, said strip terminating along its longitudinal edges in beads sized to be slidingly received within the slots of said upright panels, said beads having openings formed therein at their opposite ends, and means inserted Within said openings for radially distending said heads into frictional engagement with the walls defining said slots.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS