US 2957483 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
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United tates Patet ffice,
Patented Oct.` 25, 1960 INSULATING AND LIGHT TRANSMITTING SUP- PRTING PANEL FOR CANVAS AWNING STRUCTURES Harold S. Dunn, 163 Fiesta Way, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Filed June 26, 1959, Ser. No. 823,161
5 Claims. (Cl. 13S-5) This invention relates to canvas awning structures and particularly to detachable and underlying supporting panels for the canvas.
Canvas awnings are usually supported upon a tubular pipe frame, embodying upright leg portions and inclined frame members that are all connected together to form an open frame for the overlying and connected support of a canvas covering. The inclined frame members constitute supporting rafter along which the canvas is secured by hems.
The purpose of this invention is to provide a plurality of separate panel devices that have clipped engagement with the intermediate and end forming rafter and whereby to closely underlie and support the canvas against flexing. Canvas awnings customarily have a relatively short life, since the canvas under the influence of rain and other weather conditions, tends to sag and form basins for the reception of water. This collecting of water tends to rot the canvas and, the frequent flexing of the canvas under the influence of wind, serves to deteriorate the canvas to such an extent that it is soon torn and requires replacement. Replacement of canvas awnings is relatively expensive.
The purpose of this invention is to provide a plurality of sheets of foam plastics that constitute not only a supporting medium against the flexing of the canvas, but constitutes a heat insulating means that is semi-opaque, providing a relatively smooth surface beneath the canvas that will permit a certain degree of light rays to pass therethrough.
A further object of the invention resides in forming the supporting panels of the well recognized expanded polystyrene and with each end of the panels being provided with novel forms of relatively thin I-beam structures that receive the opposite ends of the panel into one channel of the I-beams, while the opposite channels of the I-beams are proportioned to snugly engage the rafter forming pipes and the hem portions of the canvas covering that is laced around the rafters.
A further object of the invention resides in forming underlying semi-rigid and semi-opaque panels that may be flexed intermediate their length to permit the engagement of the channels over the rafters and whereby the device may be quickly and easily installed with respect to the awning and the supporting rafters and just as easily removed.
Novel features of construction and operation of the device will be more clearly apparent during the course of the following description, reference being had to the accompanying drawings wherein has been illustrated a preferred form of the device and wherein like characters of reference are employed to denote like parts throughout the several gures.
In the drawings:
Figure 1 is a perspective view of an awning device showing the invention applied thereto in dotted lines,
t Figure 2 is an enlarged fragmentary transverse section taken substantially on line 2-2 of Figure l,
Figure 3 is a perspective view of one panel and,
Figure 4 is a fragmentary transverse section illustrating a modified form I-beam connection to the panel.
Refrering specically to the drawings, the numeral 5 designates an awning device, formed of canvas or a similar product and having the usual valance 6. The awning 5 is supported upon a pipe framework, defined by upstanding posts 7, a connecting pipe rail 8 and a plurality of rafter forming pipes 9. The rafter forming pipes 9 are usually connected in any desirable manner to the side of a building or the like and are usually inclined to support the canvas 5 for drainage purposes.
The canvas 5 is connected to the several rafter forming pipes 9 by a canvas hem 10. The hem'10 is connected throughout its length to each of the rafters 9 and is provided at its lower edges with grommets or the like whereby lacing 11 serves as the connecting means for the canvas awning 5. The structure so far described is conventional and forms no part of the present invention. i
Adapted to engage between each adjacent pair of rafters 9 to extend longitudinally of the awnings are a plurality of relatively thick panels 12, preferably formed of expanded polystyrene and having a high degree of insulating qualities, yet permitting a relatively small amount of light to pass therethrough. The panels 12 are substantially coextensive with the Spacing between the rafters 9. Fixedly engaged with each end of the panels 12, are preferably extruded aluminum I-beams 13, providing oppositely extending channels 14. The I- beams 13 are snugly engaged with the opposite end of the panels 12 and may be frictionally engaged therewith or cemented against displacement. The channels 13 may also be provided with longitudinally extending ribs 15, shown in Figure 4 and whereby the I-beams may be additionally frictionally held against displacement from the ends of the panels.
l-n use, the several panels 12 are cut a predetermined length in accordance with the spacing of the rafters 9. The channels 13 are engaged at each end of the panel either by frictional engagement therewith, cementing or as in Figure 4, to be held by the ribs 15. With the I-beams 13 snugly engaged with the panels 12, the panels are then bowed downwardly intermediate their length, engaging the free channel 14 with the adjacent rafters 9, the channels 14 are of such depth that the wrap around hem 19 engages the web portion 14a of the I-beams, while the free edges of the flanges 1417 engage the wrap -around hem 10 and when released from its bowed position, the panels 12 will be xedly supported with respect to the rafters, the hems and to relatively closely underlie the canvas 5 and will thereby provide a flat supporting surface for the canvas 5 that will prevent stretching and forming of basins that collect water and will maintain the canvas at all times against flexing by the wind and providing a relatively uninterrupted drainage surface. Further, the panels 12, as formed of expanded polystyrene are somewhat translucent and will reflect some of the light that passes through the canvas 5 downwardly, establishing a soft illumination beneath the underside of the canvas while at the same time effectively preventing the transmission of heat. Should the occasion arise, the panels 12 may be flexed downwardly to a degree that permits the outer channel 14 of each end I-beam to be ydisengaged from its respective rafters 9. However in normal use, the panel 12 is relatively rigid.
It will be apparent from the foregoing that a very novel type of supporting panel has been provided for canvas awnings or similar covering of a flexible nature. The
panels and the I-beams 13 are quickly and easily assembled and are quickly and easily connected with adjacent rafters to closely underlie the canvas 5. The device is simple in construction, is strong, durable, cheap to manufacture and greatly prolongs the life of the conventional canvas cover. The underside of the panels 12 may be decorated in any desirable manner, to further enhance the underneath appearance of the structure.
It is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the precise construction shown, but that changes are contemplated as readily fall within the spirit of the invention as shall be determined by the scope of the subjoined claims.
Having described my invention, what I Yclairn as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. The combination with an awning structure formed of flexible woven fabric that is supported in overlying relation to a supporting structure defined by pipe sections that are equidistantly spaced apart to form rafters and with the fabric being connected to the rafters, relatively thick panels that extend between adjacent rafters, means carried by the ends of the panels that partially embrace the adjacent rafters and whereby to support the panels against displacement and to closely underlie the fabric to support the fabric against ilexing, the panels comprising sheets of foam plastics having a high degree of resistance to the passage of heat, the said sheets also being serniopaque.
2. The combination with a canvas awning structure that comprises an upper exible canvas covering that is supported upon a pipe frame having spaced apart rafterforming members, the covering being connected to the rafters throughout their length, supporting panels that underlie the covering, the panels at their opposite ends being provided with metallic I-beam devices for their full width, the I-beams engaging the panels and whereby the ends of the panels engage one channel of the beam, the panels adapted to span an opening `between a pair of adjacent rafters and with an opposite channel of the I-beams partially embracing the rafters, the panels being relatively thick and comprising sheets of expanded polystyrene, the panels having a high degree of resistance to the passage of heat from the awning, the panels also being semi-opaque to permit the passage of a relatively low degree of illumination, the panels supporting the canvas covering flat and against flexing.
3. The structure according to claim 2, wherein the I-beams are formed of extruded aluminum and having upper and lower flanges that are connected by a central web to form the channels, the ends of the panel engaging into a channel to have abutting engagement with the web, the channels having a height corresponding to the thickness of the panel and whereby the I-bearns have a rela tively fixed engagement with the panel, the connection of the covering with respect to the rafters embodying wraparound ilaps, the outer channel of each I-bearn also embracing the flaps.
4. The structure according to claim 2, wherein the I-beams comprise upper and lower flanges and a central connecting web to form identical and oppositely facing channels, the inner faces of the flanges provided with longitudinally extending spaced apart serrations and whereby the end of the panel is frictionally held in its respective channel against accidental displacement.
5. The structure according to claim 2, whereby the I-beams frictionally engage the ends of the panel and are additionally cemented with respect to the panel.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 510,920 Leonard Dec. 19, 1893 2,388,297 Slaughter Nov. 6, 1945 2,730,772 Jones Jan. 17, 1956 2,889,840 McIlwaine June 9, 1959