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Publication numberUS2970677 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 7, 1961
Filing dateDec 9, 1955
Priority dateDec 9, 1955
Publication numberUS 2970677 A, US 2970677A, US-A-2970677, US2970677 A, US2970677A
InventorsLynne R Smith, Jr Otis A Springs
Original AssigneeGen Fireproofing Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Metallic partitioning devices
US 2970677 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 7, 1961 o. A. SPRINGS, JR. ETAL 2,970,677


Feb. 7, 1961 o. A. SPRINGS, JR., ETAL 2,970,677

METALLIC PARTITIONING DEVICES Filed Dec. 9. 1955 3 Sheets-Sheet 2:


' OT/$/4.SPR/NGS, JR.

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Feb. 7, 1961 o. A. SPRINGS, JR., EIAL ,970,

METALLIC PARTITIONING DEVICES Filed Dec. 9, 1955 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Milling INVENTORS-' OTIS/7. SpRl/vss, JR. ana L V/V/VE R. 544/ TH @m, @waa @W,


United States Patent METALLIC PARTITIONING DEVICES Otis A. Springs, Jr., and Lynne R. Smith, Saiamanca, N.Y., assignors, by mesne assignments, to The General Fireproofing Company, Youngstown, Ohio, at corporation of Ohio Filed Dec. 9, 1955, Ser. No. 552,059

2 Claims. (Cl. 189-'34) This invention relates to improvements in convertible metallic partitioning devices such as are useful, for example, in converting general ofiice spaces into groups of private offices. The field of application of the invention may be indicated for example by reference to US. Patents Nos. 1,571,230; 1,816,512; 1,849,852; and 2,132,601. More specifically, the present invention relates to improvements in the structurally cooperative metallic panels, posts, glass panel holders, and accessory components entering into the provision of forms adapting the structural components for quick set-up and/0r dismantling; as well as ready conversion into a large variety of plan-form arrangements.

It is a particular object of the invention to provide, in constructions as aforesaid, an improved locking device whereby the panel and post components of the construction may be relatively assembled or dismantled with improved facility and in minimum time, while at the same time assuring improved rigidity of assembly.

Another object of the invention is to provide a construction as aforesaid such as will facilitate rearrangement or conversion of the structural components into a large variety of unit forms. 7

Another object of the invention is to provide improved structural components accessory to the primary panel and post components as aforesaid for finishing the assembly into forms of optimum appearance.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will appear from the specification hereinafter.

In the drawing:

Fig. l is a fragmentary vertical sectional view through an exemplification of the panel and post interlock mech anism of the invention;

Fig. 2 is a fragmentary horizontal section taken along line 11-11 of Fig. 1;

Fig. 3 is a fragmentary vertical section, taken along line IIIIII of Fig. 1;

Fig. 4 is a side elevational view of a panel component embodying the improved interlock of the invention;

Fig. 5 is a diagrammatic perspective view illustrating the mode of assembly of post and panel components of the construction;

Fig. 6 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view through top portions of a post and metallic panel and glass panel assembly, showing a preferred form of glass retainer arrangement;

Fig. 7 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along line VIIVII of Fig. 6;

Fig. 8 is a fragmentary perspective view of a glass retainer element of the construction of Figs. 6, 7;

'Fig. 9 is a fragmentary view corresponding to Fig. 2, but showing a modified form of interlock mechanism;

Fig. 10 is a sectional view through an element of the mechanism of Fig. 9 prior to assembly therein; and

Fig. 11 is a fragmentary section taken along line XI-XI of Fig. 9.

As illustrated more generally in Fig. 5, constructional units embodying the invention typically comprise generally a series of posts designated 10 and a series of panels designated 12. These components are adapted to be relatively assembled to provide any desired planform layout 'wherein the metallic panels 12 extend from the post members 10 perpendicular to any of the four sides thereof. For example, Fig. 5 illustrates a right-angle assembly of two panel members upon a post assuming the function of a coroner post, but it will be understood that the posts may also be employed as intermediate connectors between mutually aligned panel members as well as angularly disaligned panels, with equal facility. Furthermore, as illustrated in Figs. 1 and 5, the panels 12 and the posts it] are adapted to mount glass panels as indicated generally at 14.

The posts 1.0 are shown to be of square-sectioned metal wall form, such as may be conveniently fabricated from standard stock square tubing; and because of the features of the improved interlock device of the present invention the walls of the post members it) require no sectional form modification (such as shown for example in the prior patents referred to) in order to obtain rigid assembly connections between the posts and panel members of the present invention. In the case of the present invention the posts 10 require only to be suitably apertured as indicated at 16. The apertures 16 are of keyhole shape and are provided in the form of vertically spaced pairs of apertures in the side walls of the post members, at all four sides thereof. Thus, provision is made for mounting panels to extend from any of the four sides of each post. Subsequent to any desired set-up of the construction, unused and exposed-to-view apertures are covered by means of plates 20 having spring finger devices 22 (Figs. 1, 2) fixed to their inner faces and shaped to be removably slip-fitted under elastic distortion into the apertures 16. Cap plates as indicated at 24 (Fig. 5) are also furnished to slip-fit downwardly upon the upper ends of the posts. At their bottom ends the posts are preferably provided with any suitable screwtype vertical adjustment device or the like as indicated at 26 for levelling the posts during assembly of the unit, and a vertically slidable covering collar 28 may be furnished to enclose the adjustable foot to complete the finished appearance of the assembled unit.

The panel members 12 each comprise a pair of spaced metal sheets 3ii3ti spot-welded or otherwise firmly affixed adjacent their ends to channel sectioned frame pieces 32 (Figs. 1, 2, 3) and adjacent their top edges to a channel piece 33, whereby the sheets 30-3ii are maintained in parallel spaced relation. At their top and end marginal edges the sheets 30-3ti are inwardly turned at right angles, as indicated at 34, and then again reverse bent as indicated at 36; thereby providing a finished and firmly stabilized construction of thepanel 12. At vertically spaced intervals, corresponding to the dimensions between the vertically paired apertures 1616 on the posts 10, the panels 12 are provided at their opposite ends with headed studs 49 carried by shanks 42 threaded at their rear ends as indicated at 43 to accommodate self-locking nuts 44. The shanks 42 of the studs are slip-fitted through apertures in the framing channels 32, and through apertures formed in hat-sectioned brackets 46 which is spot-welded or otherwise suitably fixed to the web portions of the channel frame members 32. A hearing plate or washer 48 is disposed under the nut 44, and a leaf spring 50 or other suitable elastic member is disposed between .the bracket 46 and the washer 48. The parts are so dimensioned and the nut 44 is so arranged on the shank 42 that when the unit is in assembled relation the spring 50 biases the stud head 49 inwardly, as to the broken line position thereof shown in Fig. 1, although the spring 50 permits the stud head to be forced outwardly, as to the solid line position thereof shown in Figs.

Patented Feb. 7, 1961 1 and 2. The rear face of the stud head. 43 is cam shaped as indicated at 52, and the stud head 4% is formed of slightly smaller diameter compared to the large diameter portion of the keyhole slot 16 in the post 10, but is larger than the width of the small portion of the keyhole slot. The shank 42 of the locking member is dimensioned to freely slip-fit downwardly into the smaller portion of the keyhole slot 16; and hence it will be appreciated that the panels 12 of the present invention may be readily assembled upon the posts by simply moving the panels laterally into position against the posts while inserting the stud heads 49 through the large portions of the keyhole slots 16. This disposes the unit into the broken line position thereof shown in Fig. 1, whereupon the panel member may then be pressed downwardly so as to cause the surfaces 52 of the locking studs to cam against the upper edges of the reduced width portions of the keyhole slots 16.

This action causes the studs to be drawn outwardly against the action of the springs 58, while at the same time permitting the shank portions of the studs to sink downwardly into the reduced width portions of the keyhole slots. The springs 5i) thereupon function to assist the mechanically cooperating surface portions of the locking mechanisms in holding the panel and posts in firmly assembled relation. To further stabilize the locking studs, they are provided with guide block formations 14 dimensioned to slide-fit between the flange portions some of the panel sheets; thereby providing a more stable looking mechanism.

Disassembly of any previously united post and panel components may be quickly accomplished by simply lifting the panel component relative to the post component until the stud heads are free to pull out through the enlarged portions of the keyhole slots whereupon the components are freely available for reassembly in any converted form of layout, as may be desired. Thus, it Will be appreciated that the interlocking mechanism of the present invention comprises an automatically operating device requiring no tools or adjustments by the users incidental to assembly and disassembly operations. The interlock devices are at all times in condition to assume their intended functions in fool-proof manner, without requiring adjustments or tightening operations, such as are usually required in connection with prior art arrangements.

As shown in Figs. 1 and 2, the groove at the upper edge of the panel section 12 is readily adapted to receive the lower edge of a glass panel such as indicated at 14. l referably, a strip of rubber or other suitable material as indicated at 6% wil be employed to cushion the mounting of the glass panel edge in the metal panel 12; and channel-sectioned glass holders as indicated at 62 are preferably employed to receive the opposite end edges of the glass panel 14 in similar manner. These glass holders may be of any suitable channel-section form, but as shown in Figs. 67 the glass holders are preferably formed to comprise a slightly concave back plate 79 to which is spot-welded or otherwise suitably afiixed a glass retaining channel piece 72. As shown in Figs. 6, 7, 8, the glass holder is centrally slotted at its upper end as indicated at 74, and at its lower end the channel piece 72 is chamfered and extended as indicated at 76 (Fig. 6) so as to be adapted to wedge-fit into the space between the post it and the panel flanges 36 36 and the top channel 33; whereby the bottom ends of the glass holders are ac curately centered and firmly pressed against the posts. The glass panels per se are then slip-fitted downwardly into the glass holders until the bottom edges rest in the top channel pontion of the metal panel 12, and the upper ends of the glass holders are then locked to the upper ends of the posts by means of fork clamps '76.

The clamps 76 comprise bent sheet metal strips of such width as to snugly lie within the channel portion 72 of the glass holders. At their upper ends the clamps 76 are rearwardly bent as indicated at 78 to fit into the recess 74 at the top of the glass holder, and are then bent upwardly and then reversely as indicated at 80 so as to be adapted to slip-fit upwardly and over and to embrace upon an inwardly embossed portion 82 of the post side wall. The post is slightly notched at its upper edge as indicated at 84 (Figs. 5, 6) to permit the clamp 76 to slide downwardly into a portion substantially fiush with the top of the post. The clamp then terminates in an inclined end or finger portion 86 which spring locks the clamp behind the embossed portion 82 of the post member. Thus, the upper end of the glass holder is positively centered and locked relative to the upper end of the post. The cap piece 24 then slip-fits downwardly upon the upper end of the post to substantially cover and finish the construction at that point. The clamp 76 is preferably dimensioned and shaped so as to press outwardly against the inner surface of the cap skirt when the cap is pressed into position; whereby the clamp further contributes to maintenance of the entire assembly in firmly secured condition.

Figs. 9, 10, 11 illustrate another possible form of postpanel interlocking mechanism of the invention. In this case an elastically deformable nut as indicated at 99 is employed in lieu of the nut and spring assembly 44, 46, 48, 50. In this case the nut member may be constructed of any suitable semi-rigid but elastic material such as nylon or some other suitable plastic material. Prior to its assembly upon the threaded shank of the stud 4%), the nut 94} will preferably be only partially threaded through itscentral bore, Fig. 10. Hence, when the nut 99 is threaded upon the shank 43 of the stud, as to the position shown in Fig. 9, it will automatically lock itself upon the stud at the desired position thereon. The elastically deformable skirt portion of the nut 9% will then operate to bias the stud inwardly, as in the manner of the operation of the spring 50 referred to hereinabove in connection with the construction shown in Figs. l-3; while at the same time permitting the headed stud 40 to be forced toward its open position against the elasticity of the skirt 90 incidental to mounting of a panel 12 upon a post it To further stabilize the stud 40 incidental to assembly and disassembl'y o-pepations relative to a post member, the skirt of the nut 90 may be notched as indicated at 9292 for cooperation with boss portions 9494 bent outwardly from the channel member 32. Thus, the nut 90 is maintained against vertical shiftings in the channel 32 when vertical pressures are applied against the headed end of the stud 40.

Although only a few forms of the invention have been illustrated and described in detail herein, it will of course be appreciated that various changes may be made in the specific designed construction of the parts without departing from the spirit of the invention or the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. In a metal partition construction including a post having a keyhole slot, the combination, comprising, a panel having opposite spaced side walls whose ends adjacent the post are turned inwardly at right angles to the said side walls and thence are turned inwardly toward the body of the panel to provide spaced walls defining a groove, and means connecting the panel with the post, said means comprising a channel whose web is coextensive with the space between the spaced walls and provides a bottom for said groove, the web of said channel having an opening and also having spaced side flanges disposed parallel to the inner face of the spaced side walls of the panel and secured thereto, a stud including a shank passing through said groove and the opening in the web of the channel, a head at one end of the shank exposed beyond the mouth of said groove and engaging with the edges of the keyhole slot, said shank having screw threads at its end opposite the head to receive a nut, and an enlarged portion on the shank of the stud located between the head and the threaded portion thereof, said enlarged portion fitting snugly between the walls defining said groove to stabilize the stud against lateral movement upon force being applied to an exposed side of the panel.

2. In a metal partition construction, including a post having a keyhole slot, the combination, comprising, a panel having opposite spaced side walls whose ends adjacent the post are turned inwardly at right angles to the plane of the walls and thence are turned inwardly parallel to the plane of said walls to provide a groove extending throughout the vertical height of the edge of the panel, and means connecting the panel with the post, said means comprising a channel Whose web forms the bottom of said groove and whose flanges are secured to the inner face of the side walls of the panel, said web having an opening, a boss on the inner face of the web of the channel, a stud including a shank passing through said groove and the opening in the web of the channel, a head at one end of the shank engageable with the edges of the keyhole slot, said shank having external threads at the end opposite the head, a block on the shank and located between the head and said threads, said block being of larger diameter than the shank and fitting snugly between the sides of said groove to stabilize the stud against lateral movement imposed by a force exerted on the outer face of the panel, and a nut of yieldable non-metallic material having -a body including a notch for receiving the said boss on the web of the channel, said nut being fitted to the screw threads of the stud of the shank.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS OTHER REFERENCES Sweets 1954 Catalog, Section 21a/Ha, page 66, The E. F. Hauserman Co.

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U.S. Classification52/769, 52/792.1, 52/127.12, 52/239
International ClassificationE04B2/74
Cooperative ClassificationE04B2/7437, E04B2/7435
European ClassificationE04B2/74C3E2, E04B2/74C3E1