US 3024880 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 13, 1962 F. BURMEISTER TRANSLUCENT BUILDING PANELS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 24, 1961 f l 03 gli l I l l x l \llllllllllll||||||| |I||||| March 13, 1962 F. BURMEISTER TRANSLUCENT BUILDING PANELS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 24, 1961 h) w w 1 J um T f. du 4/ \w% ww. Q N Tlw Al 3,Z4,88 Patented Mar. i3, 1962 @ffice 3,624,989 TRANSLUCENT BUILDENG PANELS Frederick Burmeister, St. Aibans, NY., assigner to Seaporcel Metais, inc., Long Island City, NX., a corpnration of Delaware Filed lian. 24, 1961, Ser. No. 84,561 i Claims. (Cl. 1259-64) This invention relates to building panels and more particularly to the type of building panel which is fabricated of two layers of translucent plastic material laminated to the sides of an interior open gridwork core,
Panels of the indicated type are of sandwich design and usually comprise an interior gridwork composed of extruded aluminum beams locked to each other and to a frame or perimeter made of aluminum extruded beams, and a one piece layer of Fiberglas reinforced acrylic-poly ester plastic bonded to each side of the gridwork by means of an adhesive which is activated by heat and pressure.
Translucent building panels of the indicated type have found favor in building constructions because of their light transmitting and insulating qualities, their light weight and their attractive appearance. Another important factor in their favor is the low cost of installation of such panels. They are hindered however, in their acceptance for many other uses in which they can be employed with equal success because of the cost of their construction. While the structure of these panels is relatively simple and it is principally constituted of sheets of plastic and extruded aluminum beams that readily lend themselves to mass production methods, the assembly of such parts is accomplished by a hand operation that raises the cost of these panels above that which would enable them to favorably compete with other customary, though probably less satisfactory, constructions. In the assembly of these panels, the most time consuming operation, so far as labor is concerned, is probably the joining of the aluminum beams together to form the open framework. Recognizing this, the art has tried various expedients to reduce the assembly time of such beams without aecting the strength of the structure, which it will be readily understood, is of great importance in a structure as light in weight as these panels and employed for the purposes for which they have been designed.
The primary purpose of the present invention is to provide an improved translucent building panel of the indicated type which is structurally strong for the purposes intended and yet which is of a construction that readily adapts itself to rapid, low cost assemblage.
Another object of the invention is to provide a translucent building panel of the indicated type in which the gridwork beams are joined by an improved extremely simple yet rugged connection that enables the beams to be readily assembled into gridwork form.
Gther objects of the invention, as well as the advantages thereof, will become apparent from the following description when read in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which FIG. l is a perspective view of a building panel embodying the invention and partially broken away to show its interior construction;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged detailed sectional view taken along the line 2-2 of FIG. l;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged horizontal sectional view taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of one of the core beams;
FIG. 5 is a vertical sectional view on an enlarged scale taken along the line 5--5 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a View similar to FIG. 5, but taken along the line 6-6 of FIG, 3; and
FG. 7 is an enlarged detailed sectional view of the upper end of a longitudinal core beam and associated portions of transverse core beams.
in the drawings, the reference numerals iii, 11 indicate the transverse and longitudinal beam elements, respectively, which make up the interior gridwork core of the panel. Laminated to the sides of the gridwork are two sheets 12, 12 of translucent material such as the plastic above indicated. The edges of the gridwork and the sheets are enclosed by side frame beam elements 13.
It will be noted that the frame elements 10 and 11 are in the nature of I-beams and are preferably made of extruded aluminum, though they may be made of other suitable materials and formed by other methods of construction well known to the art. Each of the elements 19, 11 has a web portion 15 extending from end to end thereof and having provided along its longitudinal edges lianges 16, 16 which project outwardly from each side of the web portion 15. The inner side of each ange is formed by a substantially fiat, plane longitudinal surface 17 which extends throughout the length of the llange, and a coextensive inclined surface 18 joined along one longitudinal edge with plane surface 17 and along its other longitudinal edge with a surface of web portion 15. The outer surfaces of the flanges 16 preferably are minutely grooved longitudinally at i9 to provide a means for holding the adhesive by which such outer surfaces are adhered to the inner surfaces of the plastic sheets 12.
The aforesaid grooved anges 16 on each of the beam lernents Mi and 11, terminate at points short of the ends of such elements so that the ends 20 of the web portion project beyond the ends of such flanges. The length of such projecting ends 2l) is at least as great as the width of the plane surfaces 17 on the llanges 16 and preferably slig'ntiy greater, but less than the distance between the outer edge of a flange 16 and the associated surface of the web portion 15 on which such liange is provided. The upper and lower extremities of each web end 26 are formed to provide oppositely extending, deformable, friction locking members 21, 21, the outer ends of which are normally spaced apart a distance greater than the distance between opposed plane surfaces 17 on the flanges 16 associated with such web. The locking members 21, which preferably are constituted of relatively soft metal aluminum, are constructed so that their outer ends may be readily bent in the assembly of the beams. Thus a web end 2t) of one beam can be frictionally wedged between the opposed plane surfaces 17 on one side of another beam, and the two beams will be frictionally locked together by such members 21.
The beam elements 10 and 11 differ in the respect that they are of different lengths. The lengths of the longitudinal beams 11 are substantially uniform and extend the length of the building panel in substantial parallelism. The shorter beam elements 10 are disposed at right angles to the beams 11 and their lengths depend upon the widths of the spacing between the beams 11 in which they are located. As is customary, the transverse beam elements may be variably arranged in the spacings between the beams 11 to obtain any desired pattern or architectural effect.
In assembling the elements which are lto constitute the interior gridwork of a panel, the longitudinal beams 11 are arranged in substantially parallel relation and then the transverse beams 1G are assembled in interlocked relation on the longitudinal beams. In interlocking a beam 10 with a beam 11, an end 20 of the former is inserted at right angles into the space between the flanges 16 on one side of the latter, with beam 10 slightly tilted to permit the unbent locking members 21 on such end 20 to enter between the opposed plane surfaces 17 of such flanges. Beam 10 is inserted until the adjacent ends of the flanges 16 thereof come into engagement with lthe outer side edges of the flanges on the beam 11. The Workman then turns the transverse beam 10 about its longitudinal axis to bring it to a vertical position. In this turning movement the outer ends of the locking members 21 on beam 10 wipe along the opposed plane surfaces 17 of beam 11 and are bent in opposite directions (note FIG. 6) so that by the time such turning wiping action is completed the transverse beam 10 will be frictionally interlocked with the associated beam 11. As has been indicated and as is shown more clearly in FIG. 7 of the drawings, the length of the tongues on the transverse beams 10` may be greater than the widths of the plane surfaces 17 on the inner sides of the flanges 16 so that such tongues will come into wedging relation with Ithe inclined surfaces 18 thereby enhancing the frictional grip between the beams.
It will be apparent that the assembly of the interior gridwork in the manner indicated can be accomplished in a relatively short period by workmen of relatively little skill. Even though this operation is relatively rapid, it has been found that the friction lock between the beams will provide a rigid structure that may be handled without danger of displacement of the beams and which is capable of sustaining substantial stresses Without becoming disassembled. Thus it is likely that this manner of connecting the beams together may make it possible for the first time in this art to enable the production of these panels to be accomplished in an assembly line operation.
After the interior gridwork elements 10 and 11 have been `assembled in the desired relation, the translucent facing members or sheets 12 are applied to opposite sides of the gridwork with the aid of a suitable adhesive 22 in FIG. 7. The adhesive is preliminarily spread over and along the grooved edge surfaces 19 of all of the gridwork beam elements 10, 11 and adheres the inner surface portions of the sheets 12 overlying such surfaces 19 to the latter. The adhesive bond between the beam elements 10, 11 and the sheets 12 fixes such parts in their desired relationship and coacts with the friction lock between the beam elements to provide a rig1d panel of great strength.
It will be noted that the beams 10 and 11 of the gridwork are each provided centrally of the web portio-n 15 thereof with a pair of spaced longitudinally extending flanges 23, 23 projecting outwardly from each side of the web portion 15. As is shown more clearly in FIG. 4 of the drawings, the flanges 23, 23 inthe transverse beams 10 are approximately coextensive with the edge flanges 16 thereof and extend up to the inner ends of notches 24, 24 provided in the end portions 2t), 20 of the web 15. The notches 24, 24 are of a depth approximately equal to the length of the end portions 2G, 20 and are wide enough to readily receive the flanges 23, 23 of the associated longitudinal beams 11 of the gridwork and the corresponding flanges 23', 23 provided on the side frame beams 13 (note FIG. 5). It will be understood that as a result of this construction the opposing pairs of flanges 23, 23 on two adjacent transverse beams 10 will form with the portions therebetween of the flanges 23, 23 on one longitudinal member 11 and on either another longitudinal member 11, or of the flanges 23', 23' on a side frame beam member 13, a frame adapted to receive a sheet 25 of suitable size. Thus those sheets 25 which are mounted in the frames so formed in the gridwork, will be located centrally of the gridwork and approximately midway between lthe outer side sheets 12, 12. The sheets 25 preferably are made of translucent plastic material of a suitable color or a variety of colors and may be located in any suitable arrangement in said frames in the gridwork to obtain desired color and design effects. It will be apparent that the aforesaid construction enables the resultant color effect to be displayed to equal advantage on both sides of the panel.
The building panel is finished at its edges by the side frame beams 13. Preferably the side beams 13 each include a web por-tion 27 having inwardly extending flanges 28, 28 which are spaced apart a distance equal to the length of the space between the edge flanges 16, 16 in the beam elements 10 and 11 and which are aligned with such flanges 16, 16 (note FIGS. 2, 3 and 5). The locking members 21 of the associated transverse beams 10 are frictionally locked with the inner surfaces of such flanges 28, 28 in the manner previously explained with respect to flanges 16. The flanges 28, 2S also form with outer inwardly extending flanges 29, 29 arranged in spaced parallel relation thereto, a pair of longitudinally extending recesses to receive the associated edge portions of the two facing sheets 12, 12. The said edge portions of the facing sheets may be permanently locked in such longitudinal recesses with the aid of a suitable adhesive, the bond of which may be enhanced by roughening or grooving either one or both opposing surfaces of each pair of flanges 28, 29. The ends of the side frame beams 13 are beveled so that the several flanges thereof will properly enclose the facing sheets 12, 12 and also the colored sheets 2S which may be associated with the ends of such side beams. This construction has the advantage that the outer enclosing flanges 29 ofthe side frame beams form an integral protecting lip for the facing sheets. lt is to be understood however, that the panel may be constructed without the protective flanges 29, so that the side edge portions of the facing sheets are secured to the flanges 2S of such side frame beams in the same manner that the inner portions of such sheets are secured to the flanges 16 of the gridwork beams 10 and 11.
Having illustrated and described a preferred embodiment of my invention, what I claim as my invention is:
i. A structural panel comprising a multiplicity of rigid beams extending approximately the length of the panel in one direction and disposed in spaced parallelism, a plurality of rigid beams of shorter length disposed at right angles to said longer beams, each of said beams having a web portion of substantial depth extending from endto-end thereof and flanges extending along opposite edges of said web portion, the flanges in each of said shorter beams on at least one end thereof, abutting against intermediate portions of the flanges on at least one of said longer beams, the flanges on said longer beams presenting oppositely directed plane surfaces of a width substantially greater than the thickness of the web portion, said abutting ends of said shorter beams having locking projections provided adjacently beyond the associated ange ends and located between said opposed surfaces, said locking projections extending outwardly from the associated web in opposite directions, being made of readily deformable material, and being bent in opposite directions and rictionally engaging such opposed edges in such tight relation, that said projections and opposed surfaces frictionally lock the associated short and long beams together, and a pair of facing sheets of translucent material secured to the outer surfaces of all of said flanges and enclosing the gridworl: formed by said beams.
2. A structural panel as defined in claim l in which said locking projections and said opposed surfaces are constituted of aluminum, the aluminum material of such projections and surfaces being deformed under force so that such elements are formed into a permanent interlocking relation.
3. A structural panel as defined in claim 1 in which the flanges on said longer panels are provided with inclined surfaces located adjacently inwardly of said opposed surfaces, and in which said locking projections are deformed against and are interlocked in wedging relation with said inclined surfaces.
4, A structural panel as dened in claim 1, in which said short and long beams are provided on the longitu- 6 dinal central sections of the web portions thereof with a pair of spaced anges extending in the same direction as said edge flanges, the central spaced langes on associ ated short and long beams forming a plurality of sheet frames intermediate said facing sheets, and colored sheets mounted in said sheet frames.
References Cited in the file of this patent FOREIGN PATENTS 1,069,848 Germany Nov. 26, 1959