US 3046617 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 31, 1962 M. GRAYBOFF LIGHT-TRANSMITTING STRUCTURAL PANEL Filed Jan. 25, 1959 I NVEN TOR: MAQ/L y/y G94 )1GO/ff' B2 A A TZOQNEY United States Patent Oiiice Patented July 31 1962 3,045,617 LIGHT-TRANSMHTING STRUCTURAL PANEL Marilyn Grayboiii, S1 Perry Road, Bloomfield, NJ. Filed Jan. Z3, 1959, Ser. No. 788,619 3 Claims. tCl. 20-15) This invention relates generally to light-transmitting structural panels, and has particular reference to panels of grid-like nature intended primarily for ceiling inst-allations, rigidifying cores for sandwich panel construction, and solar shade devices.
It is the general Vobject of the invention to provide a panel which has structural value in that it is stiffer and more rugged, per unit weight, and can span greater hori- Zontal distances without supplementary support than open work structures heretofore used.
A more particular `object of the invention is `to provide a panel that may be manufactured at relatively low cost from simple sheet stock, and that may if desired be formed in its entirety of a single sheet of appropriate flat material such as aluminum or `other metal, or plastic.
Another object of the invention is toI provide a bas-ic structural pattern which lends itself readily to variations that produ-ce correspondingly different effects in ithe appearance and light-transmitting or light-baffling qualities of the resultant panel.
One of the advantages of the improved panel structure is .that it `may be manufactured by existing machinery, and the manufacturing process involves no waste of material. Moreover, despite the fact that it can be made of light-weight thin-gauge material, it is usually rigid and self-supporting, and can span large areas vwithout sagging or requiring extraneous reinforcement.
Another feature of the invention lies in the `special structural design which `makes both faces the same, and thus makes the panel reversible. This is of importance in installations involving odd-shaped areas, since left-over or partially damaged sections o-f the panel are available for use `either frontward or backward.
Another advantage achieved by the improved panel is that it is unusually ornamental in appearance, yand by simple relatively minor modifications in the basic design a large variety of different ornamental effects can be obtained.
Several ways `of achieving these `objects and advantages, and such other benefits as may hereinafter be pointed out, are illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in whichv'FIGURE l is a perspective View illustrating ya panel construction of the present invention in 'an intermediate stage of manufacture;
FIGURE 2 is a perspective View similar to FIGURE l, showing the panel in its fully manufactured condition;
FIGURE 3 is a partial sectional View taken substantially along the line 3-3 of FIGURE l;
FIGURE 4 is a partial sectional view taken substantially along the line 4-4 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 5 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line 5-5 of FIGURE 4;
FIGURE 6 is a sectional view similar to FIGURE 4. illustrating a modified form of the invention;
FIGURE 7 is a sectional View generally similar to that of FIGURE 5, illustrating another modification;
FIGURE S is la sectional view similar to FIGURES 5 and 7, illustrating still another embodiment of fthe invention; and
FIGURE 9 is a sectional view similar to FIGURE 8, showing a further modification of the invention.
In forming a panel of the improved kind, an initially Vflat sheet 10 is first bent or rolled into a generally corrugated crosssectional configuration. TheV 'sheet` may be of metal, plastic, or other suitably bendable material, and may be quite thin. For example, aluminum :sheet having a thickness of 0.014 inch has proven satisfactory for the purpose.
The bending ofthe sheet is such as to form 'a plurality of `alternate fiat-faced ridges 11 and troughs 12. Thus, the uppermost region or crest of each ridge 11 is an elongated flat wall 13. These walls extend in substantially coplanar relation to all the other similarly located walls 13. Extending downwardly from the longitudinal sides of the walls 13 are spaced side walls 14. In the preferred construction illustrated these walls 14 are perpendicular `to the walls 13. At their lower edges the walls 14 join the elongated fiat walls 15 which are, `like the walls 13, in coplanar relation to one another.
Since the ridges 'on each side of the panel define the troughs on the other, it will be understood that each of the hat faces 13 (shown uppermost in FIGURESl and 2) is just `as much the floor of a trough as any `of the flat faces 15, Similarly, with respect to each trough floor, the ladjacent pair of walls 14 defines the Iside walls of the trough. For the sake of convenience, therefore, the walls 13 and 15 may be referred to herein in terms of ridges and troughs, as well as upper and lower.
In manufacture, the ridges and troughs may -be rolled or otherwise formed in the sheet 10 by bending the sheet downwardly along the lines 18 vand upwardly `along the lines 19. The corners 13 define the longitudinal boundaries `of the top walls 13, `and the corners 19 define the longitudinal boundaries of the bottom Walls r15.
The bends 18 and 19 are preferably arranged parallel to one another, and it is also advantageous to locate the bends 1S on opposite sides of each top wall 13 at the same distance from each other as the bends 19 on opposite sides of each bottom Wall 15. Moreover, it is preferable to make all the side walls 14 of the same height. As a result, the top and bottom walls 13 and 15 will all be of the same lateral dimension, and the corrugations of the sheet 10 will be of the same dimensions on both sides of the sheet.
`Formed in each top wall 13, at longitudinally spacedintervals, are a plurality of generally U-shaped cuts or severance lines 20. The U-shaped cuts have bight o r end portions extending generally laterally or crosswise, and legs extending generally longitudinally close to the opposite top wall corners 18. Extending crosswise between the free ends of each U-shaped cut 20 is a bend line 21. In this way a generally rectangular 'area 22 is defined within each U-shaped cut 20 and bend line 21, andl these areas are arranged in a row along each top wall 13. These areas are spaced from each other by intermediate bridges 23. It will be noted that in FIGURE 1 the end portion of each cut 20 is nearer to the observer, while the bend 21 associated with the cut is remote from the observer. Y
Each wall 15 is also formed with a series or row of generally U-shaped cuts V25, spaced longitudinally; with each cnt having its end portion extending laterally or crosswise, and its legs extending longitudinally adjacent to' the opposite corners 19 Yof each bottom wall.` Extend'- ing crosswise between the free ends of each cut 25 is a bend line 26. Y Each ofthe cuts 25 and its associated bend 26 defines an'enclosed generally rectangular Varea 27. There are a plurality of such areas 27 oneach bottom wall 15. These areas are in substantial alignmentVV with the top wall `areas 22, in the construction chosen for illustrationl in FIGURE 1. bridges 28 between ladjacent bottom Wall areas 27 are in substantial lateral alignment with Vthe 'topf wallfbridg'e's 23.' It will also be noted that in FIGUREl `the end portions of the bottom wall cuts 25 are remote'r from th'e observer, while the bend lines 26 are nearerytofthe 0bserver.k V;
' The sheet 10 in the condition of FIGURE' l isalso illus- Similarly, the bottonr'wallv trated in FIGURE 3, wherein are seen the end portions of the top wall cuts 20, and in hidden lines the end portions of the bottom Wall cuts 25. The bend lines 21 of the top walls, and 26 of the bottom walls, do not appear in FIGURE 3, as these lines are not necessarily present at this stage of manufacture.
In FIGURES 2 and 4 the sheet 10 is shown at a later stage of manufacture, wherein the top wall areas 22 have been struck down into the troughs beneath them, and the bottom wall areas have been struck up into the troughs above them. Each struck-up portion or fin is preferably bent through an angle of from about to 90, and in the illustrated construction a 90 bend has been shown. Thus, each of the regions 22 leaves at its former location in the top wall a through aperture or opening 29 bounded by the cut 20 and bend 21. Each region 22 constitutes a light barrier disposed crosswise within its trough between the side walls 14 of the trough.
As may be observed in FIGURE 5, the rectangular struck-down light barriers 22 have their lower ends lying adjacent to the plane of the bottom walls 15.
It will be observed that the light barriers and the trough side walls conjointly define a mesh-like pattern of adjacent rows of light-transmitting passages. Obviously these passages are well adapted to pass a high percentage of light through the panel. In well-known fashion, the surfaces of each passage effectively reiiect and diffuse the light that is passing through, and where the panel is employed as a ceiling installation it serves in desirable fashion to obscure the light source from an observer at natural angles of observation.
It will also be observed that in the manufacture of the panel no waste material is involved. Moreover, the corrugating process, the formation of cuts, and the bending of the light barriers into their respective troughs are i procedures that may be carried out with existing machines and by known techniques. Even though the sheet material of which the panel is made may be relatively thin and light in weight, the resultant panel structure is unusually staunch and form-retaining. This is due in part to the vertically arranged walls 14 which have a substantial rigidifying effect.
Another advantage of the construction stems from the slight clearance between the bent fins and the Walls 14, since deformation is thus prevented. For example, if one part of the panel is deformed by a blow, the impact will not be readily transmitted to adjoining parts since the clearances at the edges of the bent light barriers have a cushioning effect. This desirable quality is absent from grids of rigidly assembled or welded kind. Moreover, the clearances referred to allow for greater tolerance in fitting the panels since slight compression or stretching of the panel is feasible. This adaptability is absent from rigidly assembled or welded structures.
The panel may be employed in the form of sections having a shape and size as may be best suited for any particular purpose. Generally the panel sections are rectangular, approximately four feet square, and the width of each trough may be approximately an inch or so. These dimensions are given by way of illustration only, and it will be readily understood that these dimensions may be varied without altering the basic nature of the structure. The supporting of each panel in a horizontal disposition (for a ceiling installation or the like) presents no particular problems. Each section is readily adapted to be supported along any of its marginal edges.
While the construction shown in FIGURES 1-5 illustrates the openings 29 and 30 as being relatively large, and the connecting bridges 23 and 28 correspondingly narrow, the openings in the panel may, if desired, occupy a lesser proportion of the panel area. For example, in FIGURE 6 there is shown an arrangement in which the 4laterally extending top wall bridges 23a (corresponding to the bridges 23 of FIGURES 1-5) occupy a greater proportion of the total top Wall area, `while the openings 29a occupy a smaller proportion of the top wall area. The construction of FIGURE 6 illustrates further that the struck-up light barriers 22a and 27a need not necessarily be the same in depth as the troughs in which they lie. The panel of FIGURE 6 will transmit less light than that of FIGURES l-5, but in some installations a modified construction of this kind may be desirable or useful. Its ornamental effect, and its acoustic qualities, are different from the constructions shown in FIGURES l-S.
FIGURE 6 illustrates also that it is possible to arrange the light barriers in offset planes, to produce correspondingly different light transmitting and light-Source concealing effects.
The modified construction shown in FIGURE 7 is one in which the top and bottom walls 13b an 15b have lateral `dimensions appreciably greater than the height of the trough side walls 14b. Depending upon the dimensions of the U-shaped cuts formed in the top and bottom walls, the transverse light barriers may have a variety of dimensional characteristics. As shown in FIG- URE 7, the depth or height of each barrier 22h and 27h is substantially the same as the total depth of the panel, but this may obviously be varied to produce correspondingly different ornamental effects, and corresponding variations in the light-transmitting, light-source concealing and acoustical qualities of the panel.
Another possible modification is depicted in FIGURE 8, in which the struck-down top wall light barrier areas 22C have a somewhat U-shaped coniiguration with a curved bight or free edge. Similarly, the struck-up light barriers 27e have a free edge that is convexly rounded. In an arrangement of this kind, the openings that are left in the top and bottom walls will be correspondingly nonrectangular in shape. This may be desirable under cern tain circumstances, for ornamental or other reasons.
In the modified construction shown in FIGURE 9, each of the light barriers 22d and 27d is itself subdivided into a plurality of sections. These sections may be arranged 1`n a single plane, or otherwise, as may be desired, and they may have the same or different heights. Correspondingly varied effects can thus be produced.
From the foregoing it will be noted that the invention provides a light-transmitting structural panel, and a method of manufacture, which fully accomplish their intended objectives and are well adapted to meet practical conditions of manufacture and use. By the employment of one or more of the modifications suggested, the illuminating and acoustical eiects, as well as the esthetic appearance of the panel, may be varied to suit diverse conditions and tastes.
Although the panel structure with bends in the ius is primarily intended for horizontal disposition, as in ceiling installations, it will be readily understood that vertical utilization for partition purposes, structural cores for stress-skin panels, or otherwise, is entirely feasible. Moreover, where the panels are to be installed vertically for sun shading or privacy, the fins can be bent to angles other than 90 without affecting the strength or structural value of the panels.
In general it will be understood that many of the details herein described and illustrated may be modilied by those skilled in the art without necessarily departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as expressed in the appended claims.
l. A light-transmitting structural panel comprising a single sheet bent along parallel lines to provide a generally corrugated cross-sectional contour having alternate flat-faced ridges and troughs, the ridges on each side of the panel defining the troughs on the other, the side walls of each ridge and trough being parallel to each other and perpendicular to the face thereof, the trough bottoms being provided with `spaced struck-up portions extending into said troughs, each of said portions lying across almost the entire width of said troughs to define light barriers, the ridge crests being provided with spaced struckdown portions extending into the interior of said ridges, each of said portions lying across almost the entire width of said ridges to dene light barriers, said trough bottoms and ridge crests having openings in the regions originally occupied by said struck-up and struck-down portions respectively, said openings occupying most of the area of said ridge crests and trough bottoms Iand said openings being separated by relatively narrow connecting bridges joining the side walls of said ridges and troughs, and said barriers and the trough and ridge side walls conjointly defining a grid-like pattern of adjacent rows of light-transmitting passages through the panel.
2. A panel according to claim 1, wherein there is clearance between the lateral edges of each struck-up and struck-down portion and the respective trough `and ridge side walls.
3. A panel according to claim 1, wherein said barriers and openings are substantially rectangular.
4. A/ panel according to claim 1, wherein the height of said barriers is approximately equal to the depth of the troughs and height of the ridges respectively into which they extend.
5. A panel according to claim 1, wherein the height of said barriers is less than the depth of the troughs and height of the ridges respectively into which they extend.
6. A panel according to claim 1, said barriers being substantially perpendicular to said trough bottoms and ridge crests respectively.
7. A panel according to claim 1, each of said barriers having a convexly rounded free end.
8. A panel according to claim 1, each of said barriers comprising a plurality of closely adjacent sections arranged in a single plane and independently anchored at their roots to the trough bottoms `and ridge crests respectively.
References Cited in the tile Aof this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Zane Dec. 24, 1940