US 2934180 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Apri-l 26, 1960 A, B HAMMlTT ETAL 2,934,180
STRUCTURAL ELEMENT 2 SheetsSheet 1 Filed Jan. 18, 1955 INVENTORS Wwwr mmf@ RZ m WN w W A v.HM
April 26,l 1960 A. B. HAMMn'T ETAL STRUCTURAL ELEMENT 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 18, 1955 Figi.
E.. mM r M mnfm W W m A AM Figi.-
STRUCTURAL ELEMENT Andrew B. Hammitt, Trenton, and Herbert L. Birum, Jr., Titusville, NJ.
Application llanuary 18, 19,55, Serial No. 482,540
2 Claims. (Cl. 189-34) Thisv .invention relates to structuralA elements and is particularly directed to elements for supporting sheets of wall forming material in forming walls, partitions and other building constructions.
in erecting building constructions with sheets of wall forming material, such as metal, plasterboard, berboard, cement-asbestos sheets and the like, the usual practice has been to hold the sheets in place by battens or positionng strips of rigid material. The battens are usually arranged to overlap the edges of adjacent sheets of material and are secured to other battens which are similarly located on the opposite sides of the sheets. The battens are generally held together by fastening means which extend between the adjacent sheets and serve to draw the battens together to clamp the sheet material. In addition, fairly complicated base members are usually required to support the upper and lower edges of the sheets and to secure them to the adjacent Hoor, ceiling or other supporting surfaces.
- While this type of construction has been generally satisfactory, considerable time, labor and expense have been required to assemble the fasteners with the various elements and to secure them in place. Moreover, where holes must be drilled in the elements to receive the fasteners, the elements cannot later be used in another assembly unless the fasteners are located in the same positions or where appearance is not a factor to be considered. lA further disadvantage of prior art constructions lies in the fact that, Where service lines, such as gas or water pipes or electrical wiring, are necessary, special assemblies are required.
These disadvantages of prior art constructions are overcome with the present invention and novel structural elements are provided which require no additional fastening means or special tools and which may be applied to the sheet material quickly and easily, even by unskilled workmen or home craftsmen. In addition, no holes are required to be drilled in the elements. Consequently, they may be used repeatedly in completely different assemblies. Furthermorethc elements of the present invention include a space or raceway which may be used to house service lines without modification of the elements or special assemblies.
In accordance with the present invention, these advantages are preferably attained by providing structural elements which are generally U-shaped or H-shaped in cross section and are formed with lever means, such as flanges or the like, projecting from the side members thereof and extending inwardly and forwardly between the side members. Preferably, the flanges are spaced a distance from the connecting member of the element. Thus, when a sheet of material is inserted between the side members, it will abut the inwardly projecting flanges and will force them rearwardly toward the connecting member, thereby causing the free edge portions of the side members to be deflected inwardly so as to bear against the sheet material and clamp it in place.
The elements may be composed of any material which e 2,934,186 y Paiented Apr. 26, 1960 is rigid but not brittle, such as metal, plastic or the like, and may be formed in any suitable manner, as by forging, casting or extrusion. Preferably, however, the elements are formed of extruded aluminum, as this metal is relatively inexpensive and may be readily nailed, drilled, sawed or otheriwse worked. Also7 `this material is acceptable for either indoor or outdoor constructions.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide novel structural elements which require no additional fastening means or special tools for use and application. l
Another object of the present invention is to provide novel structural elements which include a raceway for' service lines. Y A further object of the present invention is to provide novel structural elements which may be repeatedly reused in different assemblies.
An additional object of the present invention is tol provide novel structural elements which may be quickly and easily positioned even by unskilled workmen or home craftsmen.
A specific object of the present invention is to provide novel structural elements which are generally U-shaped or H-shaped in cross section and are formed with lever means projecting from the side members and extending inwardly and forwardly between the side members while being spaced from the connecting members of the elements.
These and other objectsl and features of the present invention will be apparent from the following description thereof wherein reference is made to the figures of the accompanying drawings.
ln the drawings:
Fig. l is a perspective partly in section of a typical building construction embodying the present invention;
Fig. 2 is a sectional view taken on the line 2--2 of Fig. l and illustrating a typical batten strip embodying the present invention;
Fig. 3 is a sectional view of a modified form of the batten strip of Fig. 2 embodying the present invention;
Fig. 4 -is a sectional View of a further modification of a batteri strip embodying the present invention;
Fig. 5 is a sectional view of an additional batten strip embodying the present invention;
Fig. 6 is a sectional View taken on the line 6 6 of Fig. l and showing a typical base member embodying present invention;
Fig. 7 is a sectional view of a modified base member embodying the present invention;
Fig. 8 is a sectional View taken on the line 8-8 of Fig. l and showing a typical corner post embodying the present invention;
Fig. 9 is a sectional View of a modified form of a corner post embodying the present invention; and
Fig. l0 is a sectional view of a typical batten strip embodying the present invention for use at an inter section of three sheets of material.
in those forms of the invention chosen for purposes of illustration in the drawings, Fig. 1 illustrates a building construction comprising sheets 2 of wall forming material, such as plasterboard, fiberboard, metal, cementasbestos or the like, supported by various structural elements, such as batten strips 4, base members 6 and corner posts S, each embodying the present invention,
As stated above, the structural elements may be made of any material which is rigid but not brittle, such as metal, plastic or the like. Moreover, the elements may be formed in any desired manner, as by casting, forging, extrusion or the like. Preferably, however, the elements are formed of extruded aluminum since this metal is soft enough to be sawed, drilled, nailed or otherwise worked without difficulty.
In Figs. l and 2, the invention is illustrated as embodied in a hatten strip 4 which is generally H-shaped in cross section and comprises a pair of spaced side members 16 joined by a connecting member 12 and having a sheet receiving slot therebetween. The side members are preferably parallel. However, they may be curved or may be inclined divergingly or convergingly from the connecting member 12. As shown, lever means, such as flanges 14 are formed on the inner faces 15 of the side members 16 and are spaced a distance from the connecting member 12. The flanges 14 project inwardly forwardly between the side members 1t? and are spaced adis'tance from the connecting member 12. Thus, when sheet of material 2 is inserted between the side members 10, it will engage the anges 14 and when the sheet is thereafter forced inward toward the connecting web 12, it will force or bend the flanges 14 rearwardly toward thevconuecting member 12, as indicated in dotted lines in Fig. 2. The flanges 14 will then act as levers, causing the free edges 13 of the side members l@ to be urged inwardly toward each other and into clamping engagement with the sheet 2 and hold it in place.
Moreover, as seen in Fig. 2, the space 2t! between the flanges 14 and connecting member 12 forms a raceway which may be used to house service lines, such as pipes 22 for gas or water and electrical wiring 2e. With such a construction it is unnecessary to provide special assemblies to house the service lines.
If desired, the inner faces 16 of the side members 10 may be provided with one or more ribs or teeth 26 formed adjacent the free edges 18 thereof to grip or bite into the sheet 2 when it is clamped by the side members 1d and, thereby, prevent the sheet 2 from becoming loosened or dislodged.
In addition, if desired, the side members 10 may be provided with lines of weakness or somewhat thinner zones such as the scoring or grooves 28 to insure flexing or inward movement of the free edges 13 of the side members 10 upon insertion of a sheet of wall forming material therebetween. Thus, as shown in Fig. 2, grooves 23 may be formed in the outer faces 30 of the side members 1t) at a point adjacent the juncture of flanges 14 and preferably along a line spaced from the free edge 18 of the side members somewhat farther than the flanges 14. The grooves or other lines of weakness obviously should not be such as to impair the structural strength of the element and of only sutlicient effectiveness to facilitate the clamping actionrof the free edges 18 of the side members. However, the use of such so called lines of weakness is, of course, optional since the batten will function to cause the free edges thereof to clamp effectively against the opposite surfaces of the sheet material even without the grooves 28.
In 'some instances and particularly when the batten strips Vare exposed to the weather, it is also desirable to provide the side members with sealing means adjacent the free edges thereof and preferably on the inner surfaces thereof so that the sealing means will engage the sheet material. For this purpose the inner faces 16 of the side members 10 may be formed with slots or grooves 32 or be otherwise shaped to receive sealing strips 34. When so constructed, the inward movement of the free edges 1S of the hatten serves to clamp the sheet and urge the sealing strips 34 into engagement therewith so that a weather tight seal will be formed.
The basic structure described above may be modified o'r incorporated in various forms to provide numerous structural elements. For example, as illustrated in Fig. 3, the hatten may, if desired, be formed with flanges 14 on only one of the side members 16) and the lines of weakness, if provided, may be in the form of grooves 36 on the inner surface of the side members adjacent the inner edges of the anges 14. This construction, obviously, will grip the sheet material in the same manner as that of Fig. 2 and may be preferred in the event one of the side members 19 should be thicker than the other or arranged so that even slight deflection or inward binding thereof is not desired.
Moreover, as seen in Fig. 4, the batten strip may be formed with curved side members 3S. When so formed, the free edges 18 may be formed to clamp the sheet, as seen at 40, or to bite Vinto the sheet, as seen at 42, for more permanent retention.
In the modification shown in Fig. 5, a recess 44 is formed in the outer face 30 of one of the side members ift' extends longitudinally of the batten strip throughout its entire length. The recess 44 is generally U shaped in cross section and is provided on its opposing faces with a plurality of ribs 46 extending longitudinally'of the recess 44 and p-arallel to the edges thereof to receive and retain fastening means such as bolt 48 for seeming the hatten to framework elements 50 or other elements of the construction. Y
The invention is illustrated in Fig. 6 as embodied in a base member for securing the edges ofthe sheet material to an adjacent surface, such as the door 52 or a wall or ceiling. As shown, the base member comprises a strip of material having a generally U-shaped cross section throughout the length thereof. The opposing side members S4 are preferably parallel and are connected adjacent one end by a surface engaging member 56. The side members 54 are each formed with a flange 58 which projects inwardly and forwardly between the side members 54.
The base member may be secured to a wall, ceiling, door or the like in any suitable manner, as by nails or screws 60 extending through the surface engaging member 56. Sheet material is secured to the base member in the same manner as described above with respect to the battens. Thus, if a sheet of wall forming material is inserted between the side members 54, it will engage anges 53 forcing them rearwardly and causing them to act as levers urging the free edges of the side members 54 toward each other and into clamping engagement with the sheet material '2. When used as a base molding, the weight of the sheet material serves to continuously urge the free edges of the side members of the batten into engagement with the sheet material.
If desired, the surface engaging member 56 of the base member 6 may be divided centrally, as illustrated in Fig. 7. Thus, two identical elements 62 and 64 may be provided which can be assembled, as shown, to form the base member 6 or can be spaced any desired distance apart in the event the sheet material 2 to be supported were too large to be inserted between the side members 54 or :is of some special thickness which is not of a usual standard.
, Whenever it is necessary or desirable to form a corner, a corner post such as that illustrated in Fig. 8 may be used. This construction comprises two strips of material 66 and 68 connected by a web 70. The strips 66 and 68 are generally L-shaped in cross section throughout the length thereof and which are correspondingly arranged so as to provide two pairs of spaced parallel members '72 and 74 with one of the pairs of parallel members, for example members 72, extending at right angles to the other pair 74. The web 70 preferably extends between the vertex of the 'strips 66 and 68 so as to join the strips and form an integral unit. `In addition, each of the parallel members is provided with flanges 76 which extend inwardly and forwardly between adjacent parallel members for engagement by the sheets of material to be held in place.
In use, one sheet of material is inserted between the parallel members 72 while another sheet is inserted between the parallel ,members 74. The sheets engage the flanges 76 and force them rearwardly .causing the free edges 78 ofthe parallel members to be urged toward each other to clamp the sheets in place.
Where Ygreater rigidity is required `of the `corner post,
the construction of Fig. '9 may beused. lIn this form of the invention,arectangular vpost 80 is Aprovided on two of its sides 82 and 84 with projections 86, 88, 90 and 92 which form generally U-shaped members arranged with the open portions thereof extending at right angles to each other. Projections 86 and 88 project from side 82 of the post 30 and are parallel to each other while projections 9t) and 9-2 project from side 84 of post 80 and are parallel to each other. Moreover, each of the projections 86, 8S, 9) and 92 have flanges 94 formed on the inner face thereof which extend forwardly' and inwardly between the adjacent parallel projections. Thus, the corner post of Fig. 9 dilfers from that of Fig. 8 by the addition of a substantially rigid post 80, for the connecting member 70. The corner constructinof Fig'. 7 is used in the same way as that of Fig. 6 in that the sheets of wall forming material are securely held in place by the side portions of the angularly disposed U-shaped channelsA side lil@ of post S0 are provided to receive and retain a thrid sheet of material. The sheets are secured to the device o-f Fig. 10 in the same manner as described for the corner posts, battens and other elements.
Obviously, if desired, additional projections could be formed to provide for a fourth sheet and, if the post 80 were formed pen-tagonal or hexagonal, similar means could be provided to secure additional sheets. Moreover, any of the elements shown may be provided with grooves similar to grooves 2S of Fig. 2.
Furthermore, any of the elements shown may be provided with clamping teeth or ribs, such as 26 in Fig. 2. in addition, any of the elements may, if desired, -be formed with grooves similar `to grooves 28 of Fig. 2 or grooves 32 of Fig. 3 to receive sealing strips so that, when a sheet of wall forming material is gripped by the side members, a weather tight seal will be formed. Moreover, as pointed out above, the side members may be parallel or may incline inwardly or outwardly from the connecting member or, as a further alternative, may be curved, as seen in Fig. 4.
As stated above, the various elements are preferably formed of extruded aluminum, since this method of fabrication is relatively inexpensive and elements formed of altuninum may be readily nailed, drilled, sawed or otherwise worked. Furthermore, the elements are preferably made in widths corresponding to the standard sizes of sheets of wall forming material and may be of any desired length.
n utilizing elements embodying the present invention to erect a building construction, several different methods may be employed, depending upon -the degree of pennanence desired. For example, where ilexibility is essential, a wall or partition may be erected with no additional fastening means whatsoever. In such a construction, a base member, such as seen in Fig. 7, is placed against a Wall or other vertical structure which the new partition is to abut. A second base member is laid on the floor, or other lower supporting surface, and a sheet of wall forming material is then inserted between the side members of the 4two base members. The weight of the sheet acting against the flanges of the lower base member will generally be sullicient by itself to cause the free ends of the side members to clamp the sheet firmly and, by shoving the sheet into the vertical base member, the vertical edges of the sheet may be secured. A third base member is then wedged between the top of the sheet and the ceiling or upper supporting surface to secure the top of the sheet. This wedging action will also tend to force the sheet more strongly into the other elements, thereby assuring that the sheet is rigidly secured on all sides.
If the distance between'the oor'and ceiling is greater' than theheight of a single sheet, additional sheets may be added in tiers with a hatten strip, such as those of Figs. 2-5 extending between the tiers and supporting the upper edge of the lower sheet and the lower edge of the upper sheet. In this way, as many tiers as are necessary may be added.
It should be noted that, in erecting the construction described above, the only fastening means employed is the clamping action of the base members and battens, if used. Thus, with a saw as the only tool available, it is possible to t and erect a wall or partition which will bestrong and rigid and will have an attractive appearance.
When itis desired to modify or relocate the partition, the upper base member is forced out of its wedging position and, thereafter, the construction may be readily disassembled. Moreover, since no holes or additional fasteners were required, the same elements may be used to erect a new construction.
If a more permanent construction is desired, the base members may be secured to the adjacent walls, lloors, ceilings or other supporting surfaces by means of nails, screws or other suitable fastening means extending through the surface engaging portion of the base members. Since these fasteners would not extend through any visible portion of the base members, the members could still be used in other later arrangements.
Furthermore, while it has been stated that additional fasteners are not required, it will be obvious that additional fasteners may be used, if desired, to secure the sheets to the various elements or for any other purposes.
As stated above, the invention is not restricted to the specific elements shown in the drawing. Moreover, the side members of the various elements may be curved or straight and may be parallel or inclined inwardly or outwardly from the connecting member. Furthermore, the free edges of the side members may be plain or may be provided with ribs or teeth to facilitate the gripping action. In addition, any of the elements may have grooves formed adjacent their free edges to receive sealing strips, as seen in Fig. 2.
Numerous other changes and modifications may obviously be made without departing from the scope of the invention. Therefore, it should be clearly understood that those forms of the invention described above and shown in the figures of the accompanying drawings are intended to be illustrative only and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention.
What we claim is:
1. A structural element in the form of an elongated strip of material which is stijf but bendable comprising a pair of spaced side members presenting a sheet receiving slot therebetween, a connecting member joining said side members and holding the bases thereof in predetermined spaced relation, and anges carried by the side members and located on the inner surfaces thereof at positions spaced from the free edges of said side members, said flanges projecting inwardly between said members in position to be engaged by a sheet of material inserted into said slot and the free edges of the side members being movable by said flanges whereby insertion of a sheet into engagement with said flanges will urge said free edges toward each other, said side members being formed with lines of weakness extending parallel to and adjacent said flanges between said flanges and said connecting member to facilitate inward flexing of the free edges of said side members, said anges being spaced a distance from said connecting member and cooperating with said connecting memberto form a raceway for service lines.
2. A building construction comprising two sheets of material arranged with the adjacent edges thereofin spaced parallel relation, and a batten strip extending parallel to said edges of said sheets and serving to conceal and support said edges, said batten strip being gen- 7 erally H-.shaped in eross Sestion and Comprising e. pair 1f-spaced generally parallel side members, a Cmineetius member joining the side members and spaced from tb free edges thereof, and anges formed'integrally with said batten strip on the 4inner'faces of said side members at 'points spaced from the free edges of the side members, said anges projecting forwardly and inwardly between the side members, said edges of said sheets being inserted between said side members at opposite ends of said batten strip and engaging said anges, the'free edges of said side members being deected by said flanges and sheets and urged toward each other int engagement with the opposite faces of said sheets, said anges beingspaced from said connecting member and cooperating v'vyithl said aille il@ ef 'this getest wissel '775,090
@meeting member t0 .ferm a ,rseway fOr `Siwi linee 1.5. 2.723527 UNITED STATES PATENTS Martin v 1 7--- Dee. 29, 1896 5....... r Noy. 15, 1904 Bullock` ,...-f Oct. 21, 1913 Aire K K A.. Aug. 3, 1926 Simon f .Tune 18, 1929 Campbeil Aug. 6, 1929 Sipe 1...' 'Aug. 6, 1929 Sharp -sf May' 11, 1937 Davey s Sept. 11, 1951 Humphery T-n Dec. 16, 1952 Martin Apr. 28, 1953 tf1: fr??? Nov' 15! 195.5