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Publication numberUS3023861 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 6, 1962
Filing dateFeb 13, 1961
Priority dateFeb 13, 1961
Publication numberUS 3023861 A, US 3023861A, US-A-3023861, US3023861 A, US3023861A
InventorsJoseph Bak
Original AssigneeRollform Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tall-form construction for a coustical ceilings
US 3023861 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

ii, @awnted Man 6, 19 2 FIG. 6 is a sectional View similar to that of FIG. 3,823,861 illustrating a modification of the present invention.

T-FGRM CQNSTRUCTEON FOR AtIQUSTlQAL Considered in certain of its broader aspects, the instant CEZLINGS Joseph Bali, Livonia, Mich assignor to Rolltorm, incor: porated, Pittslielrl Township, Mich, a corporation of Michigan Continuation of application fier. No. 772,642, Nov. 5, 1958. This application Feb. 13, 1961, Ser. No. 89,606

9 Claims. (Cl. 189-66) This invention relates to T-frame suspension assemblies for supporting acoustical panels as a drop ceiling, and more particularly to a new construction for interlocking the individual T-shaped members of the suspension assembly.

This is a continuation of the copending application Serial No. 772,042, filed November 5, 1958, and now abandoned.

One widely used construction for supporting acoustical panels as a drop ceiling spaced below and suspended from another ceiling or overhead supporting structure is a T-frame suspension assembly comprising interlocking elongated T-members having a T-shaped cross section arranged in a grid-like pattern. An acoustical panel is disposed within each of the squares of the grid-like pattern and supported by the horizontal flanges of the T members bounding each square. The individual T members have end projections which interlock with one another and a main T member extending perpendicularly therebetween to complete the assembly. This construction requires that the identical ends of each of the T members be matched with each other to obtain the proper interlocking relationship, and experience has proved that the unskilled laborers usually employed to assemble these suspension assemblies cannot be depended on to properly interlock each of the T members in all cases.

it is one object of the present invention to provide a T-frame suspension assembly having each T member positively and independently locked to the vertical leg of the main T member extending perpendicularly thereto.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a T-frame suspension assembly havin parallel spacedapart main T members with aligned T members on opposite sides thereof positively and independently connected thereto.

it is a further object of the present invention to provide a T-frarne suspension assembly having individual T members that can be positively locked to main T members extending perpendicular thereto without regard as to which end of the individual T members is presented toward the main T member.

It is a still further object of the invention to provide a T-frame suspension assembly that can be rapidly assembled in an economical manner and which will be positively interconnected at all points to insure a rugged assembly.

Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary isometric view of a T- frame suspension assembly embodying features of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged sectional view taken along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional view taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along the line 55 of FIG. 3; and

invention comprises a ceiling grid suspension system having a plurality of laterally spaced, parallel main frame members interconnected by transverse cross frame members. The longitudinal frame members usually are made in twelve-foot lengths or sections and a plurality of these sections are spliced together end-to-end to make up a main frame member which extends entirely across the ceiling. The cross frame members usually are made in four-foot lengths or sections and each transverse frame member or section extends between and is connected at its ends to adjacent main frame members. It will be readily appreciated however that, while the above-described pattern of main and cross frame members is most common and while it is the one illustrated in FIGURE 1, other spacings between the main frame members and other patterns of assembly sometimes are used and are contemplated as within the scope of this invention. The main and cross frame members here shown are of inverted T-shape in transverse sections.

Referring to FlG. 1, a T-frame suspension assembly 10 is illustrated which is comprised of parallel spacedapart main T members 12 having a vertical leg 14 and horizontal flanges A plurality of cross T members 26 extend transversely between and interconnect each pair of main T members 12, as will be described hereinafter, and a plurality of cross T members 22 extend between each pair of cross T members 29 half way between and parallel to the main T members 12 to define a grid-like pattern made up of a plurality of squares in each of which an acoustical panel 24 may be supported.

As most clearly illustrated in FIG. 2, each of the acoustical panels 24 are supported on the horizontal flanges or" the T members corresponding to the flanges 18 of the main T member 12, and are retained against horizontal movement by the vertical legs of each of the T members corresponding to the vertical leg 14 of the main T member 12. The entire assembly may, of course, be supported from a ceiling or other suitable structure thereabove by a plurality of wire hangers 26 having the lower ends thereof attached to the vertical leg 14 of the main T members 12 and the upper ends attached to the ceiling (not shown).

As most clearly illustrated in FIG. 3, one end of each of the cross T members 29 is cut away as at 28 to leave a flange 3% projecting outwardly from the upper half thereof with a tab 32 projecting from the flange 30, the width of the tab 32 being less than the width of the flange 39 to provide shoulders 34 on the end of the flange 39. The other end of each of the cross T members 2b is cut away as at 36 to provide a flange 38 projecting outwardly from the lower half thereof with a tab ll) projecting from the flange 38, the width of the tab being less than the width of the flange 38 to provide shoulders 42 on the end of the flange 33.

The main T member 12 has an upper vertical slot 44 through which the tab 32 is inserted, as illustrated in FIG. 3, until the shoulders 34 on the flange 30 engage the vertical leg 14 of the main T member 12 to limit the extension of the tab 32 into the slot 44. An algined lower vertical slot 45 is also provided through which the tab 40 is inserted until the shoulders 42 on the flange 38 engage the vertical leg 14. Horizontal flanges 46 of each of the cross T members 20 are also cut away from each end as at 48 to enable the vertical leg of each of the cross T members 20 to rest directly on the horizontal flanges 18 of the main T member 12 with the bot-tom surface of the flanges flush with the bottom surface of the horizontal flanges 18. When the parts are assembled in the manner described above, the tab 40 of the left-hand cross frame member 20 shown in FIGURE 3 projects into the cut-away portion 28 of the right-hand cross frame member 20 but the cut-away portion 28 is sufficiently large so that the edges thereof are spaced from the tab 40. Similarly, the tab 32 of the right-hand cross frame member 20 projects into the cut-away portion 36 of the left-hand cross frame member 20 but the cut-away portion 36 is sufficiently large so that the edges thereof are spaced from the tab 32.

Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, as well as to FIG. 3, each of the tabs 32 and 40 are prevented from withdrawing from the slots 44 and 45 by wedge members 50, which can be any suitable member that can be passed through central apertures in the tabs 32 and 40 and wedged againsed the vertical leg 14 of the main T member 12. In the preferred form illustrated, nails are used as the wedge members 50 since the shanks thereof can be readily inserted through the apertures in the tabs 32 and 40 and the heads thereof will engage the vertical leg 14 of the main T member to enable the nails to be forced in until they are flexed slightly, as most clearly illustrated in FIG. to draw the shoulders 34 and 42 tightly against the vertical leg 14. If nails are used as the wedge members 50, the shanks thereof may also be provided with a plurality of annular grooves 54, as illustrated in FIG. 6, which will dig into the vertical leg 14 of the main T member to more firmly secure the nails in place. When nails 50 are used in the manner described, they not only have a wedging function but they also serve as tension pins to exert a constant pull on the cross frame members under conditions at assembly and in use. The resilient action of the nail wedges or tension pins exerts a constant pull on the cross frame members which holds the cross frame members 20 butted tightly against the main frame members 12 thus maintaining a tight system in which all of the components or frame members mutually cooperate to strengthen and support each other.

By forming the ends of the cross members 20 in the manner described, each cross T member can be positively locked to a main T member 12 by the wedging members 50 in a very simple manner and with a good firm wedging action that pulls the members tightly together to insure that they will not accidentally disengage from the main T members. Further, with this construction, one end of each cross member 20 can only be inserted with in the slots 44 and the other end can only be inserted in the slots 45 so that the possibility of un skilled workmen incorrectly connecting the T members is virtually eliminated. In each instance, endwise butting engagement of the horizontal flange 46 laterally against the side flange 18 prevents rotation of the main T member 12 about its longitudinal axis in one direction and endwise butting engagement of the locking flange 30 against the vertical leg 14 prevents rotation of the main T member in the other direction. Manifestly, the provision of cross frame members 20 at opposite sides of the main frame member 12 further strengthens and reinforces the frame structure. Also, when the frame assembly is suspended beneath a suitable supporting structure by the hangers 26, loads carried by the T frame assembly press the cross frame members 20 endwise against the main T members 12 to provide and further assure a tight rigid T frame assembly.

It is important to keep the joints between the main frame members 12 and the cross frame members 20 tight because they are exposed at the ceiling and if these joints are loose they make a bad appearance. Also, tight joints keep the main frame members 12 and the cross frame members 20 from rolling or twisting torsionally after assembly and adversely affecting the appearance of the ceiling. As described, the main frame members 12 and conventionally made in twelve-foot lengths and, as they usually are formed from essentially thin-walled rolled sheet steel and are inherently relatively flexible, some torsional deflection inevitably will occur unless these members are held securely by the cross frame members. Also, after the grid framework is assembled, the filler boards 24 are dropped into the grid openings and it sometimes happens that they fall in such a way as to exert lateral pressure against a frame member at one side of the opening. If the grid joints are loose, lateral pressure of the filler boards produces a roll or twist in the frame members which results in an unsightly wavy appearance in the ceiling below. This condition is largely prevented if a tight assembly of the grid components is maintained.

The difficulty of maintaining a tight grid assembly, however, is aggravated by the conditions under which the parts are assembled. The usual practice is first to assemble the main frame members 12 and then to assemble the cross frame members 20. In practice, one end of a cross frame member 20 is inserted into its proper slot and fastened by a tension pin 50. The unattached end of the cross frame member is then slipped into its proper slot and fastened by another tension pin 50. However, since the total length of the cross frame member 20 is greater than the spacing between the main frame members 12, the unattached end of the cross frame member can be introduced into its slot only by racking it or pulling it obliquely with respect to the main frame members and then pushing it laterally into the slot usually while simultaneously twisting or rolling the main frame member. When the cross frame member 20 is racked it inevitably tightens or flexes the tension pin 50 at its attached end, and if the pin is not sufliciently flexible and resilient to maintain a constant tension on the cross frame member under these conditions it will take a permanent set and the result will be a loose joint at the attached end of the cross frame member after the unattached end has been slipped into its slot. The loose joint in turn may produce any of the undesirable conditions described above.

Initial misalignment of the slots 44 and 45 in the main frame members 12 is another condition occurring almost inevitably at assembly that makes it diflicult to maintain tight joints between the main and cross frame members unless the butted ends of the cross frame members are held solidly against the main frame members by the resilient action of tension pins. It sometimes happens that the slots in the main frame members 12 are not aligned precisely prior to assembly of the cross frame members 20. When this occurs, the cross frame members 20 are racked or cocked slightly so that they extend obliquely with respect to the main frame members even after both ends of the cross frame members are assembled and fastened by the tension pins 50. This racked condition, of course, tightens and flexes the tension pins 50 at both ends of the cross frame members 20. As a result, successive assembled cross frame members 20 have a wavy or zigzag appearance when a sight is taken across the ceiling and along the assembled cross frame members. To correct this condition, it is necessary to shift the main frame members 12 slightly longitudinally sufficiently to bring the cross frame members 20 precisely at right angles. It is important that the tension pins 50 maintain a constant tension at all times under these conditions and that they take up any slack occasioned by the final adjustment of the longitudinal frame members.

If the tension pins 50 function properly to maintain tight joints in the grid system under all normal conditions at assembly and thereafter so that each member at all times engages, strengthens and reinforces other members to which it is connected, the total time required to assemble the system is greatly reduced and the job of assembling the system is simplified. Workers are required to spend relatively little time in realigning and straightening individual members of the system. As a result, labor costs for assembly are minimized and the appearance of the finished job is improved.

While it will be apparent that the embodiments of the invention herein disclosed are well calculated to fulfill the objects of the invention, it will be appreciated that the invention is susceptible to modification, variation and change without departing from the proper scope or fair meaning of the subjoined claims.

What is claimed is:

l. A T-frame suspension assembly comprising a main T member having horizontal flanges and a vertical leg with aligned upper and lower vertical slots therethrough, a pair of cross T members disposed on opposite sides of and substantially perpendicular to said main T member,

each of said cross members having a vertical leg and horizontal flanges, the vertical leg of one of said cross mem bers being cut away at the end adjacent said main T member to provide a cut-away portion at its lower half and a locking flange projecting from the upper half thereof which extends through said upper vertical slot, the vertical leg of the other cross T member being cut away to provide a cut-away portion at its upper half and a locking flange projecting from the lower half thereof which extends through said lower vertical slot, said flanges projecting into the cut-away portions and being spaced from the edges thereof, and wedge members extending through each of said flanges and wedging against the vertical leg of the main T member to prevent the disengagement of the locking flanges from said slot.

2. The subject matter as claimed in claim 1 wherein said wedge members comprise nails having the shanks thereof passing transversely through said locking flanges with the heads thereof engaging said vertical leg of the main T member with suflicient force to flex the shanks of the nails.

3. A T-frame suspension assembly comprising a plurality of parallel spaced-apart main T members interconnected by aligned cross T members extending transversely therebetween, each of said T members having a vertical leg and horizontal flanges, each of said main T members having aligned upper and lower vertical slots in the vertical leg thereof at the point of connection of each of the cross T members therewith, each of said cross T members having the vertical leg on one end thereof cut away to provide a cut-away portion at its lower half and an upper locking flange projecting from the upper half thereof with a tab projecting from the end of the locking flange, each of said cross T members having the vertical leg cut away at the other end thereof to provide a cutaway portion at its upper half and a lower locking flange projecting from the lower half thereof with a tab projecting from the end of the locking flange, one of the cross T members of each pair connected to a main T member having the tab on said upper locking flange thereof extending through the upper vertical slot in said main T member, the other of the cross T members of each said pair having the tab on the lower locking flange projecting through the lower vertical slot, said tabs projecting into the cut-away portions and being spaced from the edges thereof, and nails having the shanks thereof passing transversely through each of said tabs with the heads thereof bearing against opposite sides of the vertical leg of the main T members with suflicient force to flex the shanks of the nails.

4. The subject matter as claimed in claim 3 wherein each of said slots have substantially the same length as the Width of said tabs and wherein the width of said tabs is less than the width of their respective flanges to form shoulders on the ends of said flanges which limit the projection of the tabs through the slots and which are drawn into tight engagement with the vertical legs of the main T members by the flexing of the nails.

5. A T-frame suspension assembly comprising a main T member having horizontal flanges and a vertical leg with a vertical slot therethrough, a cross T member disposed substantially perpendicular to said main T member and having a vertical leg and horizontal flanges, the vertical leg of the cross T member being cut away at the end adjacent said main T member to provide a locking flange projecting therefrom with a tab of reduced width projecting from the end of the locking flange, said slot having a length substantially equal to said tab, said tab extending through said vertical slot with the end of the locking flange engaging said vertical leg, and a nail having a shank thereof extending transversely through said tab with the head thereof bearing against the vertical leg of the main T member on the side opposite that engaged by the end of said locking flange, the shank of said nail being flexed to draw the end of said locking flange tightly against the vertical leg of the main T member, the vertical leg of the cross T member being further cut away adjacent to said locking flange to provide a recess sufficiently large to receive a tab of a second cross T member adapted to extend into the recess without engaging the sides thereof.

6. In a ceiling grid system, a main frame member having a laterally extending base portion and a vertical web portion with aligned upper and lower vertical slots therethrough, a pair of cross frame members at opposite sides of and extending substantially perpendicularly to and butting endwise against said main frame member, each of said cross frame members having a vertical web portion and a horizontal flange portion, the vertical web portion of one of said cross frame members being cut away at the end adjacent said main frame member to provide a cut-away lower portion and a longitudinal flange on the upper portion thereof extending through said upper vertical slot, the vertical web portion of the other cross frame member being cut away to provide a cutaway upper portion and a longitudinal flange on the lower portion thereof extending through said lower vertical slot, said flanges projecting into said cut-away portions and being spaced from the edges thereof, and a wedge member 0n the flange of each cross frame member lockingly engaged on the side of said main frame member opposite said cross frame member and holding the butted end of said cross frame member tight against the main frame member and preventing disengagement of the flange from said slot.

7. In a ceiling grid system, a main frame member having a laterally extending base portion and a vertical web portion with aligned upper and lower vertical slots therethrough, a pair of cross frame members on opposite sides of and extending substantially perpendicularly to and butting endwise against said main frame member, each of said cross frame members having a vertical web portion and a horizontal flange portion, the vertical web portion of one of said cross frame members being cut away at the end adjacent said main frame member to provide a cut-away lower portion and a longitudinal flange on the upper portion thereof extending through said upper vertical slot, the vertical web portion of the other cross frame member being cut-away to provide a cut-away upper portion and a longitudinal flange on the lower portion thereof extending through said lower vertical slot, said flanges projecting into said cut-away portions and being spaced from the edges thereof, and a resilient tension member extending transversely through the flange of each cross frame and bearing against the side of said main frame member opposite said cross frame member to draw and hold the butted end of said cross frame member against said main frame member under conditions of assembly and use of said grid system.

8. In a ceiling grid system, a main frame member having a laterally extending base portion and a vertical web portion with aligned upper and lower vertical slots therethrough, a pair of cross frame members at opposite sides of and extending substantially perpendicularly to said main frame member, means associated with said cross frame members butting against said main frame member at opposite sides thereof to support the same, each of said cross frame members having a vertical web portion and a horizontal flange portion, the lower portion of the vertical web of one of said cross frame members being cut away at the end thereof adjacent said main frame member to provide an upper longitudinal flange and said upper longitudinal flange extending through said upper vertical slot, the upper portion of the vertical web of the other cross frame member being cut away to provide a lower longitudinal flange and said lower longitudinal flange extending through said lower vertical slot, said flanges extending into said cut-away portions and being spaced from the edges thereof, and a flexible and resilient member carried by the projecting end portion of the flange of each cross frame member bearing against the side of said main frame member opposite said cross frame member to draw and hold the butting means associated with said cross frame member against said main frame member under normal conditions of assembly and use of said grid system and thereafter.

9. In a ceiling grid system, a main frame member including a laterally extending base portion and a vertical web portion having slot means therein, a pair of cross frame members at opposite sides of and extending substantially perpendicularly to said main frame member, said cross frame members including horizontal flange portions and vertical web portions having longitudinal tabs extending in opposite directions through said slot means, means associated with said cross frame members butting against said main frame member at opposite sides thereof, and nails having head portions and flexible and resilient shank portions extending transversely through the projecting ends of said tabs, the head portions of said nails being wedged against said main frame member and the shank portions of said nails being flexed to exert a constant tension on said tabs tending to draw and hold said butting means tightly against said main frame member under normal conditions of assembly and use.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 995,630 Naugle June 20, 1911 20 1,101,745 Jones June 30, 1914 2,689,630 Drury Sept. 21, 1954 2,897,013 Delp July 28, 1959

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US995630 *May 20, 1910Jun 20, 1911Berger Mfg CompanyKnockdown metal form for concrete sidewalks.
US1101745 *Jan 23, 1911Jun 30, 1914Levi P HazenMetal window-sash.
US2689630 *Nov 13, 1950Sep 21, 1954Drury Cooper CCeiling construction
US2897013 *Aug 30, 1954Jul 28, 1959Delp Preston PKnockdown scaffold
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3142367 *Feb 16, 1962Jul 28, 1964Donn Prod IncControlled expansion structural beam and grid structure including same
US3150440 *Jul 30, 1962Sep 29, 1964Chicago Metallic Sash CompanyMethod of producing suspended ceiling runners
US3175655 *Jun 1, 1964Mar 30, 1965Donn Prod IncControlled expansion structural beam and grid structure including same
US3286427 *Jul 31, 1963Nov 22, 1966Hastings Aluminum Products IncCeiling structure
US3292332 *Dec 21, 1960Dec 20, 1966Chicago Metallic Sash CoSuspended ceiling structure
US4034534 *Jan 16, 1976Jul 12, 1977Intalite InternationalLouvered ceiling
US4525973 *Jan 9, 1984Jul 2, 1985Chicago Metallic CorporationSuspended ceiling system
US4548013 *May 9, 1984Oct 22, 1985Enrique Reina BricenoCeiling suspension system
US4625470 *Dec 15, 1983Dec 2, 1986Intalite International N.V.Openwork screen assembly
US6256958Mar 22, 1999Jul 10, 2001Perf-X-Dek, L.L.C.Floor joist system
DE2847007A1 *Oct 28, 1978Apr 30, 1980Gruenzweig & Hartmann MontageAus einzelnen bauelementen zusammengesetzte kassettendecke
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/665, 181/293, 52/506.7, 52/667, 52/781
International ClassificationE04B9/06, E04B9/12
Cooperative ClassificationE04B9/122
European ClassificationE04B9/12B