US 2822584 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 11, 1958,
L. F. U RBAIN SUSPENDED CEILING CONSIRUC'IIONv 2 Sheets- Sheet l Filed 001;. 6, 1950 I /INVENTOR.
Feb. 11, 1958 F. URBAIN 2,822,584
SUSPENDED CEILING CONSTRUCTION Filed Oct. e. 1950 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 C111 @gij i4 5 g i WINNIE 45 .45 Z5 4 50 30 g 3; 55 3Q W 55 J4 34 .5J)4
' IN VEN TOR. 94 3 florzjazrafifl United Sttes Patent SUSPENDED CEILING CONSTRUCTION Leon F. Urbain, Chicago, 11].
Application October 6, 1950, Serial No. 188,755
1 Claim. (Cl. 20-4) This invention relates generally to the assembly of walls and other surfaces from construction elements such as acoustical tile, and is concerned more particularly with structural means for securing such construction elements in position.
The present invention generally contemplates the production of a ceiling or wall comprised of a plurality of wall slabs or building units, each having a peripheral kerf. For purposes of illustration, the building units will be referred to as acoustical tile which is generally formed from compacted, fibrous material and is, therefore, relatively soft. The invention is not to be limited to acoustical tile as it may be applied to other building units, such as those made of cork, composition, ceramic, or other materials with equal facility. Considerable difliculty has been encountered in the past in mounting such units. Nailing is impossible with certain types of units and affords an unsightly appearance at best. Assembly with glue is impractical as the units must be held in place until the glue dries. Furthermore, it is impossible to disassemble glued units without damage to the units.
In my Patent No. 2,340,911, dated February 8, 1944, and entitled Means for Assembling Construction Units, I proposed a mechanical mounting system'in which longitudinal and transverse splines are inserted in the kerfs in the peripheral edges of the acoustical tile and are supported from a sub-wall. This invention contemplates the provision of a structure which is more quickly and economically assembled and constitutes an improvement on the aforesaid patent.
The general object of this invention is the provision of improved structure for securing kerfed acoustical tile in position toform a wall.
Other and further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the foregoing description when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a portion of a ceiling supported by structure embodying the principles of my invention.
Fig. 2 is an enlarged perspective view showing certain details of the invention and taken along the line 2-2 of Fig. 1.
Fig. 3 is a perspective view similar to Fig. 2, and showing the reversibility of the structure.
Fig. 4 is a perspective view showing my improved hanger or clip.
Fig. 5 is a sectional view showing the clip in installed position and taken along the line 55 of Fig. 6.
Fig. 6 is a sectional view taken along the line 66 of Fig. 5.
Fig. 7 is a view similar to Fig. 2 showing a modified form of clip and supporting rail.
Fig. 8 is an enlarged perspective view showing an improved closure spline.
Fig. 9 is a perspective view showing a pair of splines joined together by a splicer.
2,822,584 Patented Feb. 11,
Fig. 10 is a sectional view taken along the line 10-10 of Fig. 9. i
Fig. 11 is a sectional view similar to Fig. 6 showing a modified clip, and
Fig. 12 is a perspective view similar to Fig. 4 showing the clip of Fig. 11.
A ceiling structure 12 is shown in Fig. l and comprises a plurality of aligned acoustical tiles 14. Each of the tiles shown in the drawings is square and the tiles are aligned, although it is contemplated that rectangular tiles might be used or the tiles might not be aligned. A supporting frame or wall construction includes a plurality of channel shaped sleepers 16 to which rails or channels 18 are secured by any suitable means, such as by wire 20. Each rail 18 includes horizontal flanges 22 interconnected by a vertical web 24.
Each of the tiles 14 is provided with a peripheral kerf 26 which is readily formed with a slotting saw. In the past, such kerfs often have been rather wide but it is simpler and more economical to make the kerfs equal in width to the width of a standard saw blade. The tiles 14 are supported by a plurality of splines 2%, each of which is equal in length to a plurality of tiles, and, as a specific example, may be on the order of 6 to 8 feet in length. In the preferred embodiment of my invention, each spline 23, as shown in Figs. 2, 3, and 5-11, is formed of a single strip of sheet metal. The strip is folded along its longitudinal center line to provide a horizontal longitudinal flange 30 of double thickness. The double thickness of sheet metal then is directed downwardly to form a web 32 extending at right angles to the flange 39. The outer sections of the sheet metal strip extend oppositely from one another to form a horizontal flange 34 extending parallel to the horizontal flange 30. The horizontal flange 34 is of a single thickness and readily fits within the kerfs 26 in the edges of the tiles.
Each spline 23 is supported by a plurality of clips or hangers 36 shown in detail in Fig. 4. As may be seen in Fig. 1., there is only one such hanger for several tiles, and it has been found in practice that there need be only one hanger for every three to six feet, thus materially reducing the amount of metal needed for hangers and reducing the labor required in assembling a wall or ceiling of acoustical tile. Each hanger 36 includes a vertical flange 38 which is horizontally slotted at 40 to provide a horizontal ear 42 joined to the main portion of the flange 38 by a neck 44. A horizontally extending lug 46 is formed integral with the flange 38 and is adapted to be bent into a vertical position, at which time it is spaced slightly from the ear 42. A tab 43 is struck out of the vertical flange 38 near the center of the lower portion thereof and is adapted to be bent substantially vertically downwardly. A horizontal flange 56 extends at right angles from the lower edge of flange 38 and is doubled back upon itself to form an inturned flange 52. .The inturned flange 52 is spaced from the horizontal flange 50 by a bight portion 54, a distance substantially equal to the thickness of the horizontal flange 30 of the spline 28.
In order to support a spline from the rails 18, it is necessary only to place the car 42 of a hanger 36 over the lower horizontal flange of one of the rails 18 and then to bend the tab 46 vertically upwardly from a position shown in Fig. 6 to the position shown in Figs. 2 and 5. The hanger 36 then is securely fastened to the rail 18 and cannot come loose. The hanger is secured to the spline by inserting the horizontal flange 30 of the spline between the horizontal and inturned flanges 59 and 52 of the hanger and forcing the outer longitudinal edge of the flange 30 against the bight portion 54 of the hanger. The tab .48 then is bent over from the dotted line position of Fig. 6 to the solid line position securely to grip the spline 23. As best may be seen in Fig. 6, the inturned flange 52 is somewhat narrower than the flange 30 of the spline so that splines having horizontal flanges of somewhat different widths can be accommodated without the free edge of the inturned flange 52 preventing snug engagement of the longitudinal edge of the flange 30 with the bight portion 54 of the hanger. It is to be understood that the hanger can be secured first to a rail 18 and then to a spline 28 as just described or the hanger first can be secured to the spline and then to the rail. The splines and hangers can be installed with equal facility by a right handed man in the positions shown in Figs. 1, 2 and 4-5 or by a left handed man simply by reversing the parts as shown in Fig. 3. The hangers may be used equally well with rails 18 having narrow vertical webs 24 as shown in full lines in all of the figures or with rails having wide vertical webs as shown in dashed lines in Fig. 5.
In Fig. 7 I have shown a modified form of hanger which is useful with a channel or rail 55 similar to that disclosed in my aforesaid Patent 2,340,911. The rails 55 replace the rails 18 and each has a horizontal web 56 which has vertical flanges 58 along its longitudinal edges, and the lower edges of these flanges are inturned to form horizontal confronting flanges 60. The hanger 62 illustrated in Fig. 7 is provided with a vertical flange 64 narrowing from a position near the bottom of the flange to a neck portion 66 near the top of the flange. A pair of ears 68 extends horizontally from above the neck portion 66 and is integral with the flange 64. The remainder of the clip 62 is similar to the clip 38 and includes a struck out tab 70, a horizontal flange 72, and an inturned flange 74. To support a spline 28 by means of the hanger 62, the ears 68 are placed in position above the confronting flanges 60 of the rail 55 by rotating the hanger to a position perpendicular to the rail 55 as shown in Fig. 7. The spline 28 then is secured to the hanger 62 in the same manner as described heretofore by inserting the flange 30 between the flanges 72 and 74 and bending the tab 70 downwardly.
Besides supporting the tiles 14 longitudinally by means of the splines 28, it is necessary to joint the tiles to one another laterally to prevent leakage of air between the edges of the tiles and to maintain the tiles in correct alignment to provide a smooth surface. For this purpose, I provide closure splines 76 which, in their simplest form, are illustrated in Fig. 2. In this form, the closure splines 76 comprise straight pieces of sheet material which preferably is metal, fiber, or plastic. The closure splines 76 are of proper width and thickness to fit snugly within the kerfs 26, and are of proper length to etxend from the flange 34 of one spline to the flange 34 of the next spline.
In instances where there is some force acting substantially normal to the surface of the tiles 14 which tends to deform the tiles, as by moisture tending to Warp the tiles, I provide a rigid closure spline 78, as shown in Fig. 8. 'This spline has a substantially T-shaped cross-section and has horizontal flanges 80 formed of a single thickness of sheet material and an upstanding web 82 which is a double thickness formed by folding the sheet back upon itself. The sheet material may be metal, plastic, fiber, or any other suitable material. The web 82 provides vertical stiffness and prevents the lateral edges of the tiles from shifting vertically relative to one another.
As noted heretofore, the splines 28 conveniently may be of 6 to 8 feet in length. Such length is not suflicient for most rooms and I, therefore, have provided a splicer 84 shown in Figs. 1, 9 and for joining splines together in longitudinal alignment. Each such splicer is similar to the lower portion of one of the clips 36 or 62 previ ously described and includes a horizontal flange 86, an inturned flange S8 spaced therefrom by a bight portion 90, and a tab 92. Splines 28 are secured together in longitudinal alignment by placing the horizontal flanges 30 between the horizontal flanges and inturned flanges 86 .and 88 of the splieer 84 and by then bending the tab 92 downwardly against the vertical webs 32 of the splines 28.
A modification of the hanger 36 usable with the rails 18 is shown in Figs. 11 and 12 and similar parts therein are identified by similar numerals with the addition of the subscript a. The modified clip 36a includes a vertical flange 38a and an integral horizontal ear 42a spaced from the main portion of the flange by a slot 40a. The ear 42a is joined to the main portion of the flange 3811 by an integral neck 44a. A rearwardly deflected lug 46a is adapted to be bent upwardly into parallelism with the ear 42a following installation of the hanger upon a rail as described heretofore. A horizontal flange 94 of somewhat greater length than the vertical flange 38a extends at right angles therefrom and conveniently in the direction away from the lug 46a. The flange 94 is somewhat narrower than the flange 30 of the spline 28 with which it normally is to be used so that splines having flanges of variant widths may be hung. Elongated tabs 96 are struck out from the edges of the vertical flange 38a and extend generally in the same direction as the horizontal flange 94 at an acute angle relative thereto. The tabs 96 extend beyond the edge of the flange 94 and the clip 36a is secured to a spline 28 by placing the flange 94 beneath the horizontal flange 30 of the spline, bending the larger portion of the tabs 96 into parallelism with the flange 94 along the top of the horizontal flange 30, and then bending the tips of the tabs 96 downwardly as at 98 along the web 32 of the spline securely to fasten the clip or hanger and spline together. The hanger is secured to a rail 18 in exactly the same fashion as was described with regard to the hanger 36.
The spline and hanger construction described herein is more economical to produce and to install than is any construction heretofore known. This is due in large measure to the simple form of the longitudinal or runner spline 28 which may be formed in a single operation from sheet metal to produce the spline illustrated or which may be extruded. A greatly reduced number of hangers can be used, there being only one hanger needed for every 3 to 6 feet of spline as against the former requirement of one hanger for each foot of spline, and the hangers may be readily installed by either a right or left handed person, and are positively locked to both the supporting rails and the splines. The manner in which the tiles are assembled, one row at a time, is similar to that heretofore known and is believed to be so obvious as to render a detailed description not necessary.
Although I have shown and described certain embodiments of my invention herein, it is to be understood that this is for illustrative purposes only and that the invention is not to be limited thereby but is to include all that which falls fairly within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
I claim: 1
A supporting structure for kerfed wall construction units comprising an elongated spline member having a web normally positioned vertically in installed position, a first flange formed on one side of said Web and adapted to cooperate with kerfed wall construction units, a second flange formed on said web and extending substantially perpendicular thereto and spaced from said first flange, a clip having a substantially flat body portion disposed normally vertically and parallel with said web, the lower side of said body portion having a first flange formed thereon disposed substantially perpendicular thereto, the edge of said first clip flange disposed away from said body portion having a second flange formed thereon and extending below said first clip flange and toward said body portion, said clip flanges engaging said second spline flange, said second clip flange engaging the face of said second spline flange disposed toward said first spline flange being shorter than said second spline flange, a tab formed from said body portion and connected substantially at the junction of said body portion and said first clip flange,
said tab being bent over against said'web in a direction away from said body portion to lock said clip flanges in engagement with said second spline flange, a channel having a horizontally disposed flange and a vertically disposed flange, an ear formed on said body portion and spaced therefrom to define a slot extending substantially parallel to said clip flanges, said horizontal channel flange extending into said slot, and a lug attached to said body portion and spaced from the free end of said ear and bendable into a position contacting the face of said vertical channel flange disposed away from said horizontal channel flange to lock said clip on said channel.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,612,075 Tapman Dec. 28, 1926 6 Black Dec. 6, 1932 Davis Feb. 7, 1933 Venzie June 13, 1933 Walper Oct. 24, 1933 Macleod Dec. 11, 1934 Manske et al Oct. 22, 1935 Venzie May 20, 1941 Urbian Feb. 8, 1944 Olsen Feb. 28, 1950 Haertel Feb. 19, 1952 FOREIGN PATENTS Great Bn'tain Oct. 11, 1938