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Publication numberUS3033283 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 8, 1962
Filing dateOct 8, 1958
Priority dateOct 8, 1958
Publication numberUS 3033283 A, US 3033283A, US-A-3033283, US3033283 A, US3033283A
InventorsJorgensen Robert A
Original AssigneeWood Specialty Products Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Folding door
US 3033283 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1962 R. A. JORGENSEN 3,033,283

FOLDING DOOR Filed Oct. 8, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Rob erhqI Jorensen INVENTOR.

BY 2;, I96

y 1962 R. A. JORGENSEN 3,033,283

FOLDING DOOR Filed Oct. 8, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Rob er'i' H. Jorgens en INVENTOR.

United States Patent 3,033,283 FOLDING DOOR Robert A. Jorgensen, Edmonds, Wash., assignor to Wood Specialty Products, Inc., Mountlake Terrace, Wash., a corporation of Washington Filed Oct. 8, 1958, Ser. No. 765,961 3 Claims. (Cl. 160-183) This invention pertains to folding doors, and relates particularly to folding doors of the type wherein a plurality of slats are interconnected pivotally for folding and unfolding in a zig-zag pattern.

It is a principal object of the present invention to provide a folding door of the class described and which is capable of use in relatively massive sizes for closing large openings.

Another important object of this invention is the provision of a folding door of the class described and which includes a hinge construction which functions to interconnect the slats and additionally to limit the unfolding of the slats to a uniform predetermined maximum angle for pleasing symmetry of appearance.

Still another important object of the present invention is to provide a folding door of the class described which includes a slat hinge construction which serves to absorb the shock incident upon unfolding of the slats quickly to their maximum angle.

A further important object of this invention is the provision of a folding door of the class described which includes a slat hinge construction which is attachable to the slats without positive connectors such as screws or other conventional fasteners.

A still further important object of the present invention is the provision of a folding door of the class described which is adapted for suspension within an opening and movable between folded and unfolded positions with complete freedom from binding.

A further important object of this invention is the provision of a folding door of the class described which is of simplified construction for economical manufacture and facility of installation, and which is of rugged construction for long and faithful operation.

The foregoing and other objects and advantages of the present invention will appear from the following detailed description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which like reference numerals indicate like parts, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a foreshortened fragmentary view in side elevation of a folding door construction embodying the features of the present invention, the same being shown in unfolded condition, parts being broken away to disclose details of construction;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 22 in FIG. 1 and illustrating the preferred manner of interconnecting the door slats;

' FIG. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 3-3 in FIG. 1 and showing in plan view a preferred embodiment of the slat hinge construction;

FIG. 4 is a foreshortened fragmentary view in side elevation, similar to FIG. 1, showing the door in folded condition, parts thereof being sectioned to disclose details of construction;

FIG. 5 is a foreshortened sectional view taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a foreshortened fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 66 in FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary sectional View taken along the line 7 7 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 8-8 in FIG. 7.

The folding door of the present invention includes a plurality of elongated slats of wood or other suitable material. The slats preferably are of uniform thickness and width and are interconnected at their longitudinal edges for folding and unfolding in a zig-zag pattern.

In the embodiment illustrated, each of the main slats 10 is provided with rounded opposite longitudinal edges. An internal groove is provided in each longitudinal edge, each groove being wider at its inner closed end than at its outer end, with the latter opening onto the rounded edge along a line displaced laterally from the central plane of the slat. Moreover, the open ends of the grooves at op1 posite sides of a slat are displaced laterally to opposite sides of the central plane of the slat.

The main slats are arranged in such manner that the grooves in adjacent ends of adjacent slats face each other, and these ends are interconnected pivotally by means of a flexible connector which includes an intermediate web 12 and enlarged marginal beads 14. The beads are proportioned for reception in the enlarged inner ends of the grooves of adjacent slat edges, with the web extending therebetween. The connectors may be made of various materials, preferably synthetic thermoplastic material such as vinyl plastic, or other suitably flexible and preferably substantially non-elastic substance.

The assembly of main slats is adapted for mounting within an opening for movement between folded and unfolded conditions. In the preferred embodiment illustrated, this is achieved by means of a jamb slat 16 and an intermediate jamb connector slat 18. The jamb slat is adapted for positive attachment, as by means of screws as illustrated, to the surface of a jamb 2t) defining the opening to be closed, and the intermediate jamb slat is connected pivotally at one edge to the adjacent edge of the jamb slat. Such pivotal connection is made, in the embodiment illustrated, by means of a connector 22 of the type described hereinbefore. In this instance, however, the grooves in which the marginal beads are seated may terminate on the adjacent rounded edges of the slats on the central planes of the latter. The opposite edge of the intermediate jamb slat is connected to the adjacent edge of the innermost main slat 10, by means of a connector 12 and offset grooves, in the manner previously explained.

The jamb slat and intermediate jamb slat preferably are proportioned in such manner that the connector 22 is dis-. posed approximately on the center line of the jamb. In this manner, the door will be disposed in the central plane of the opening when unfolded.

The outermost main slat 10 is connected pivotally to the lead or hand pull slat 24, through an intermediate lead slat 26, by means of the flexible connector 28, in manner similar to the connection of the innermost main slat to the jamb slat 16. In the preferred embodiment illustrated, the lead slat is approximately twice the thickness of the other slats, for convenient gripping, and is supported in a fixed position parallel to the plane of the door opening, by means described in detail hereinafter.

Means is provided for supporting the folding door in suspended condition within the door opening. In the embodiment illustrated, such support includes an elongated track member 30 which is substantially U-shaped in cross section (FIG. 7). The track member is adapted for attachment to the upper horizontal frame member defining the door opening, with the side sections depending downwardly therefrom, preferably on the center line of the frame member. Projecting inwardly from the lower ends of the side sections of the track member are V-shaped roller guides 32 which function to support the spaced rollers 34 for movement along the track member. The rollers are mounted on opposite ends of a cross shaft 36, and the latter is provided with a central transverse bore through which the pin 38 is freely received. A peripheral groove is provided adjacent the upper end of the pin for a) receiving the keeper 40, the latter resting upon the cross shaft and supporting the pin therefrom.

A plurality of roller and pin assemblies are carried by the track member, for supporting at least some of the slats 10 in suspended condition, preferably in a manner now to be explained.

An elongated hinge plate 42 is provided for attachment to the upper end of each of the main slats 10. The hinge plate is U-shaped in cross section and is preferably the same Width as the slat, The upper end of the slat is reduced in width for receiving the hinge plate, the lower edges of the side sections 44 of the plate resting upon the shoulder 46 formed at the narrowed section of the slat. The side sections 44 of the hinge plate preferably are longer than the reduced end of the slat, thereby providing a space 48 between the upper edge of the slat and the closed end of the hinge plate. This space is utilized for purposes described more fully hereinafter.

Novel means is provided for securing the hinge plate to the slat. As best shown in FIG. 4, the lower edges of the side section 44 of the hinge plate are offset inwardly to provide longitudinal burr lips 50, and these are adapted to be received within corresponding spur cuts 52 (FIG. 1) formed in the opposite faces of the slat as a continuation of the shoulder 46. Attachment of the hinge plate to the slat preferably is made by flaring the sides 44 initially so that the burr lips 50 just clear the reduced end of the slat, slipping the hinge plate over the slat into abutment with the shoulders 46, and then crimping the sides 4, as with an air gun, to seat the burr lips in the spur cuts 52. Removal of the hinge plate may be achieved by driving it off endwise.

Alternatively, the hinge plates may be secured to the slats by means of screws or other fasteners. This manner of fastening is illustrated in the drawings by the attachment of the hinge plate 54 to the lead slat 24, by means of the screw 56.

The hinge plates 42 for the main slats are made some what longer than the width of the slats, in order to overhang the rounded edges of the latter. The opposite ends of each hinge plate are provided with laterally offset flanges which project to opposite sides of the center line of the hinge plate. These lateral flanges project in opposite directions on hinge plates attached to adjacent slats, as illustrated at 58, 58' and 60, 60 in FIG. 5. These oppositely directed adjacent flanges are adapted to be overlapped, and are provided with registering apertures for the reception of the pivot pin 62. The pivot pin is provided at its lower end with an enlarged head 64, and adjacent its upper end with an annular groove adapted to receive the keeper 66.

By the foregoing arrangement of oppositely directed overlapping flanges pivotally interconnected by the pins 62, it will be apparent that adjacent main slats are con' nected together at adjancent ends for pivotal movement on a fixed pivot axis. Moreover, since the pivot axes a the opposite ends of a main slat are displaced laterally to opposite sides of the center plane of the slat, it will be apparent that the plurality of main slats are arranged for folding and unfolding in a zig-zag pattern.

Referring to FIG. 2 of the drawings, it was pointed out earlier that the grooves at the opposite rounded edges of a main slat open onto the rounded edges on lines displaced laterally to opposite sides of the center plane of the slat. Thus, the web 12 of the connectors interconnecting adjacent ends of adjacent main slats are displaced laterally from the central planes of Said slats, alternately on pposite sides of the central planes. By this arrangement of alternately offset connectors, adjacent slats are limited automatically to a fully unfolded angle of less than 180". This limit of unfolded angle also effects automatic folding of adjacent panels in the reverse pattern of unfolding, as will be apparent.

Abutment means is provided on the hinge plates to limit the foregoing maximum angle of unfolding of adjacent slats. Such abutment means is provided in the embodiment illustrated by the ends 44 of the side sections of the hinge plates opposite the laterally projecting flanges. Thus, referring to FIG. 3 of the drawings, the adjacent ends 44 opposite the pivot pins 62 are arranged for mutual abutment when adjacent slats have been unfolded to a maximum predetermined degree. These abutments provide a mechanical stop which absorbs the shock incident upon quick unfolding of the door, and eliminates the possibility of excessive strain being impressed upon the flexible connectors 12. This is particularly important with folding doors of relatively massive size, since such strains on the connectors tend either to break the com nectors or the rounded edges of the slats.

The hinge plates 68 and 70 attached to the intercom nected jamb slat 16 and intermediate jamb slat 18, respectively, as well as the hinge plates 54 and 72 attached to the interconnected lead slat 24 and intermediate lead slat 26, respectively, are of similar construction, with the exception that the overlapping ends are connected together pivotally by hinge pins 74 and 76, respectively, located on the central planes of the slats. No abutments are provided adjacent said pivots for limiting the angle of unfolding.

Referring now particularly to FIG. 1 of the drawings, it is to be noted that alternate hinge plates are arranged to underlie the hinge plate interconnecting them. In this preferred arrangement, the underlying hin e plate is pro vided with a central aperture through its closed end for receiving freely therethrough the lower end of the pin 38 which is suspened freely from the cross shaft 36 of the roller assembly. The lower end of the pin 38 is provided with an enlarged head 78 which abuts the under side of the hinge plate and is confined in the space 43 provided above the upper edge of the slat. Thus, this hinge plate and its attached slat are supported directly by the roller assembly and the adjacent hinge plates and attached slats are supported directly upon the underlying lateral flanges of the intermediate hinge plate suspended from the roller assembly. Accordingly, in a preferred embodiment of the invention a roller assembly is associated with each of the alternate underlying hinge plates, thus reducing the number of roller assemblies to a minimum.

The loose fit between the pin 38 and the opening in the hinge plate permits a practicable degree of lateral movement of the slats without causing binding of the rollers in the track member.

The foregoing alternate overlapped arrangement of hinge plates also serves to eliminate all strain upon the keepers 66 carried by the pivot pins 62, since all of the weight of the overlying hinge plates and attached slats is borne by the lateral flanges of the underlying hinge plates.

In the preferred embodiment ilustrated, the lead slat 24 is supported from the track member 30 in such a manner as to be maintained in a fixed plane parallel to the plane of the door opening. This is achieved by the provision of two sets of roller assemblies secured to the lead slat at points spaced along the central plane of the slat. Referring particularly to FIG. 1 of the drawings, each of these roller assemblies includes the spaced rollers 34 mounted on the cross shaft 36, described hereinbefore. However, the previously described pin 38 is replaced With a screw 80 which is received freely through the transverse bore in a cross shaft 36. The threaded end of the screw is secured in the lead slat. The screw head 82 abuts against the upper side of the cross shaft 36 and a Washer 84 abuts against the side of the cross shaft, being secured in such position by such means of the underlying pin 86 which is secured in a transverse hole through the screw shank.

These spaced pairs of rollers not only serve to maintain the lead slat in a fixed position parallel to the door opening, but also prevent the lead slat from being pushed upwardly into engagement with the track member as the in I lead slat is pulled or pushed during unfolding and folding of the door. Such upward movement of the lead slat is limited by abutment of the rollers 34 against the upper closed section of the track member 30.

In the operation of the folding door described hereinbefore, unfolding of the door to close an opening is eifected by grasping the lead slat 24 in the hand and drawing the same toward the side of the opening opposite the jarnb 20. Due to the friction between the overlapped lateral flanges 58, 58 and 60, 60' of the hinge plates and the degree of stiffness of the flexible connectors 12, all of the slats tend to unfold simultneously but in decreasing magnitude toward the jamb 20. If the pull on the lead slat is initiated quickly and stopped abruptly, the momentum may cause some of the slats to unfold fully, in which case the 'abutments 44' provided by adjacent ends of the side sections 44 of the hinge plates, absorb the shock and prevents damage to the slats or flexible connectors. In any event, the door is fully unfolded when all of the abutments are in engagement, and the slats form a zig-zag pattern with uniform included angles between adjacent slats.

The folding of the door is effected by the reverse procedure described hereinbefore. As the lead slat 24- is pushed in the direction of the jamb 20 the intermediate slats begin to fold automatically toward each other in the direction to reduce the included angle between adjacent slats. This is achieved by virtue of the fact that the maximum included angle between adjacent slats is limited to less than 180". Due to the friction of overlapping lateral flanges on the hinge plates and the degree of stiffness in the flexible connectors, all of the slats tend to fold simultaneously but with progressively decreasing included angles toward the lead slat. Thus, when the door is fully folded the slats are brought into substantially parallel face to face relation with a minimum of impact noise.

It will be observed that the flexible connectors present a pleasing rounded appearance throughout the range of folding and unfolding of the slats and provide a decorative effect while simultaneously closing the spaces between adjacent slats.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the arts that various changes may be made in the details of construction described hereinbefore. For example, various types of suspension systems may be substituted for the roller assemblies described. Although the embodiment illustrated utilizes only an overhead suspension system, the hinge plates and track assembly may be duplicated at the bottom ends of the slats, if desired. Moreover, the folding door assembly may be arranged to traverse an opening in the vertical direction by utilizing the hinge plates and track system at both ends of horizontally disposed slats. The foregoing and other changes may be made, as desired, without departing from the spirit of this invention and the scope of the appended claims.

Having now described my invention, I claim:

1. A folding door comprising a plurality of elongated slats, a hinge plate secured to at least one end of each slat, the opposite connecting ends of each hinge plate projecting beyond the opposite lateral sides of its associated slat and being in overlapping engagement with projecting ends of adjacent hinge plates, pivot means interconnecting adjacent overlapped projecting ends of adjacent hinge plates, said pivot means being operable independently one from the other and being oifset laterally from the central planes of the slats with alternate pivot means being positioned on alternate sides of said central planes to effect folding and unfolding of the slats in a zig-zag pattern, the hinge plates being substantially U- shaped in cross section having side sections and a connecting wall, the portions of the hinge plate side sections disposed on the side of offset of the pivot means terminating short of the end of the plate to permit adjacent hinge plates to pivot together on the pivot means, and the portions of the hinge plate side sections disposed on the opposite side of offset of the pivot means extending fully to the end of the plate and forming abutment means for mutual engagement by adjacent ends of the latter side sections independent of the slats during unfolding of the slats to limit the degree of unfolding to less than and supporting means projecting pivotally from at least some of the hinge plates for sliding engagement with an elongated track member adjacent thereto.

2. The folding door of claim 1 including inwardly projecting burr lips on the free ends of the hinge plate side sections engaged in corresponding spur cuts in the slat, the distance between the burr lips and the connecting wall of the hinge plate being greater than the distance between the spur cuts and the adjacent end of the slat, whereby to provide a space between the connecting wall of the hinge plate and the end of the slat for receiving freely a portion of the supporting means.

3. The folding door of claim 1 wherein the supporting means comprises a pin projecting freely through an opening in the hinge plate and having an enlarged head interposed between the hinge plate and the underlying slat, a cross shaft mounted freely on the pin for longitudinal and axial movement thereon, abutment means on the outer end of the pin for confining the cross shaft on the pin, and roller means on the cross shaft for engagement with the elongated track member.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,186,128 Preston June 6, 1916 2,677,420 Kuyper May 4, 1954 2,691,187 Lorenz Oct. 12, 1954 2,746,540 Dixon May 22, 1956 FOREIGN PATENTS 459,981 Great Britain Jan. 19, 1937 576,187 Great Britain Mar. 22, 1946 132,274 Sweden July 10, 1951

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1186128 *Jun 4, 1915Jun 6, 1916Albert F PrestonBinding-strip.
US2677420 *Dec 3, 1951May 4, 1954Rolscreen CoFolding door
US2691187 *Jan 11, 1952Oct 12, 1954American Hard Rubber CoHinge construction for lid members for refrigerator chests
US2746540 *May 4, 1955May 22, 1956Jr Guy E DixonAccordion folding door
GB459981A * Title not available
GB576187A * Title not available
SE132274A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3131753 *Jul 21, 1960May 5, 1964Dixon Guy EFolding door with flexible joint
US3205935 *May 29, 1963Sep 14, 1965Louverdrape IncFoldable traverse screen
US3229751 *Feb 11, 1964Jan 18, 1966Alan Moorer ClarenceFolding door structure
US3267989 *Jan 21, 1963Aug 23, 1966Voisine Marc ClaudeFolding screen
US3643713 *Sep 20, 1969Feb 22, 1972Massetani ManlioMachine to manufacture closing folding elements and the doors and shutters manufactured with the same
US4357979 *Mar 12, 1981Nov 9, 1982Marontate John DSkirted accordion folding doors
US4887659 *Jul 7, 1988Dec 19, 1989Frommelt Industries, Inc.High speed folding door
US4922987 *Jan 9, 1989May 8, 1990Woodfold-Marco Mfg., Inc.Secure type folding door
US5025846 *May 12, 1989Jun 25, 1991Frommelt Industries, Inc.High speed folding door
US5143137 *Mar 8, 1990Sep 1, 1992Rite-Hite CorporationOverlapping seal for insulated folding door
US5295527 *Aug 28, 1992Mar 22, 1994Rite-Hite CorporationFolding door system
Classifications
U.S. Classification160/183, 160/199
International ClassificationE06B3/32, E06B3/48
Cooperative ClassificationE06B3/481
European ClassificationE06B3/48B