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Publication numberUS3053353 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 11, 1962
Filing dateJan 23, 1958
Priority dateJan 23, 1958
Publication numberUS 3053353 A, US 3053353A, US-A-3053353, US3053353 A, US3053353A
InventorsMiller James T
Original AssigneeMiller Ind Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Frame for curtain wall construction
US 3053353 A
Images(3)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 11, 1962 J. 'r. MILLER 3,053,353

FRAME FOR CURTAIN WALL CONSTRUCTION Filed Jan. 25, 1958 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR.

James Z Mil/er ATTORNEYS Sept. 11, 1962 J. T. MILLER FRAME FOR CURTAIN WALL CONSTRUCTION s' Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 23, 1958 I I I z 1 1 1 F ig. 6

INVENTOR.

James 7. Mil/er Fig. 5

A T TORNEYS 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 MIHHI 96 mi! 92 4....lllllllilll Fig. /0

INVENTOR.

James 7. Mil/er (g M W ATTORNEYS 4 m 4 9 M v 9 U Y 6 i 6 2 M m B m m g H Sept. 11,1962

J T MILLER FRAME FOR CURTAIN WALL CONSTRUCTION Filed Jan. 23, 1958 3,053,353 FRAME FGJR CURTAIN WALL CONSTRUCTEQN James T. Miller, Reed City, Mich, assiguor to Miller Industries, lnc., Reed City, Mich, a corporation of Michigan Filed Jan. 23, 1958, Ser. No. 710,763 4 Claims. (Cl. 189-44) This invention relates to buildings and building walls of curtain wall construction. This invention relates more particularly to a frame for supporting a curtain wall struct-ure.

Buildings having curtain wall construction derive their support other than from their outer walls. The curtain walls are only required to provide weather protection for the building edifice. Accordingly, large window walls may be provided, of transparent, opaque or translucent material. Numerous different Wall forming construction materials may be used without particular concern for structural strength. Window and door openings may be provided as needed and where needed without regard to structural supports of the building. Numerous other advantages are also obtainable.

Store fronts of curtain wall construction have become increasingly popular. Curtain wall construction lends itself well to change for different store tenants. Single doors may be changed for double doors. Transparent or opaque walls may be provided, door and window openings may be relocated, etc.

Although curtain wall construction has a decided advantage over conventional wall construction, there are certain disadvantages in presently known curtain wall constructions. These include the cost of revision. Curtain wall members are usually designed and built to close specifications and include parts which are fabricated and cut other than on the job. The assembly and fitting of such parts must be done carefully, or else replacement parts mustbe kept on hand. Most of the curtain wall members are permanently secured together on the job. Any errors in fabrication or assembly can prove costly since the different members cannot be readily taken apart. It will also be appreciated that, although curtain wall construction is more adaptable to change than conventional walls, there is considerable cost involved in revision including the cost of labor and the loss of materials.

This invention teaches having a curtain wall supporting frame comprising members formed to include a certain cross section but which may be formed to any length and may be cut to size on the job. A minimum number of different members make up the curtain wall supporting frame and each includes means of interlocking engagement with the other members. All of the members are readily disengaged from each other and, provided they are of suitable length, may be reused again and again.

' The disclosed embodiment of this invention includes a frame having extruded members of tubular cross section arranged to provide vertical support for the curtain wall elements. Such tubular members may be reinforced, if required, or may receive and house electrical, heating, communication and other building service facilities. The face of such vertical supports is formed to receive another member in snap-on interengagement therewith. The snap-on members also serve as means for supporting and spacing horizontal curtain wall framing and supporting members. The horizontal members are tubular in cross section and include curtain wall receiving grooves in the top and bottom faces thereof. Such grooves also serve to receive means employed to removably secure the horizontal members to the vertical members and to further fix the spacer members more securely in place. The spacer members are made of two parts formed for cooperative snap-on interengagement and which provide inc a curtain wall receiving space therebetween. The horizontal members and the spacers are both made to include a certain cross section but may be of any selected length and therefore may also be cut to size on the job.

Those familiar with curtain wall construction will appreciate numerous other advantages in the curtain wall structure herein disclosed upon a further reading of this specification.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective illustration of a building having a curtain wall construction made in accord with the teachings of this invention.

FIG. 2 is an enlargement of an assembled section of the curtain wall frame shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a cutaway view through the vertical framing members to show certain features thereof.

FIG. 4 is an exploded view of the different framing parts making up the proposed curtain wall construction.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged perspective of a corner framing element.

FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view of the corner framing element of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is an enlarged cross sectional view of two of the framing elements about to be engaged together.

FIG. 8 is an enlarged cross sectional view of the two framing members of FIG. 7 as engaged together.

FIG. 9 is an enlarged cross sectional view of the finally assembled curtain wall framing members, as seen in an interesting horizontal plane.

FIG. 10 is an enlarged cross sectional View of the finally assembled curtain wall framing members, as seen in an interesting vertical plane.

Referring to the drawings in more detail, FIG. 1 shows a building lit of curtain wall construction. This particular building is shown to include three floors, or to be a large show room, auditorium, or the like. In a building of this size more vertical and horizontal members might be provided than are shown. The spacing of the horizontal and vertical members is dependent upon the structural stength required of the curtain wall supporting members. The particular spacing shown is for best illustration purposes. The actual number of floors, size of the building, structural aspects of the building, etc., form no part of this invention.

The building 10 includes a foundation 12 within which are embedded foot pieces L4- or the like. Such foot pieces or members 14 receive and support the vertical frame members 16. The vertical frame members 16 are connected together by horizontally disposed members 18. The vertical and horizontal members form a lattice work frame 20 which receives and supports the curtain wall members 22. In the building shown all of the curtain wall members are transparent. However, as discussed, opaque walls of any suitable material might be provided if desired. The short panels 24 at the base of the building are of such opaque construction.

The doors 26 may be as shown, a single door, or may be relocated elsewhere. Other doors may also be provided if desired in place of other of the curtain wall members 22.

In the illustrated embodiment of this invention the curtain wall supporting frame 29 is shown to have the horizontal members 18 engaged to the inner side faces of the vertical members 16; reference FIGS. 1 and 2. The horizontal and vertical members may be disposed in a reverse relationship, that is, with the horizontal members 18 engaged to the outer face of the vertical frame members 16, if desired. Thus, the inner and outer faces of the curtain wall construction as hereinafter described are to be considered as reversible. The arrangement shown has the advantage of presenting a vertical shielding side face 28 of each vertical member 16 on opposite sides of each curtain wall panel 22. However, there are certain other advantages to having the other side of the curtain wall frame 20 exposed externally.

Both the vertical and horizontal framing members 16 and 18 are formed to include a tubular cross section. The vertical members 16 may be structurally reinforced by an I-beam or the like 30 received within the tubular space 32 thereof, as shown in FIG. 3. The tubular space 32 of the vertical frame members, or the tubular space 34 of the horizontal members, may also be used to receive electrical, plumbing, or other service lines 36 therethrough, as shown by FIG. 3.

The horizontal frame members 18 are vertically supported and spaced on the vertical frame members by spacer members 38. The spacer members 38 are not visible in FIG. 1 because they are behind the curtain wall panels 22. However, they appear in the other figures quite clearly. Such spacers are an important part of the curtain wall frame 20.

'FIG. 4 shows an exploded perspective of the different parts of the curtain wall frame 20 in which the spacer members 38 are seen to include two separate parts or members 40 and 42. The spacer parts 40 and 42 are adapted for cooperative interengagement and are shown as engaged together in the other figures of the drawings.

Referring to FIG. 4 in further detail, the vertical members 16, horizontal members 18 and spacer parts 40 and 42 are to be assumed as extending on in their respective planes of reference. Such members are shown cutoff for purposes of better illustration.

The vertical frame members 16 serve as structural frame supports and include an end wall 44 closing the space 32 thereof. A pair of flanges 46 and 48 extend outwardly from the end wall 44. These flanges lie contiguous with the side faces 28 of the vertical member. Inwardly disposed and respectively inclined surfaces 50 and 52 are formed on each of the flanges. 46 and 48 (see FIGS. 7 and 8). Such surfaces extend the full length of the vertical frame member 16 and form detent ridges, as will be shown. Inboard of the ends of flanges 46 and 48, and also formed and extended from the end wall 44, are shouldered flanges 54 and 56. The shouldered flanges 54 and 56 provide a surface of engagement for the spacer part 42, as will be later described.

The spacer members 38 of the frame 20, includes the interengaging parts 40 and 42 as afore mentioned. The spacer part 40 has a channel cross section comprising the end wall 57 and side walls 58 and 59. Inwardly projected flanges 60 and 61 are formed from the side walls 58 and 59 and include the terminal ribs 62 and 64, respectively. These ribs include detents 66 and 68, see FIG. 9, which are engaged with the other spacer part 42 as will be described.

The detents 66 and 68 of ribs 62 and 64 extend the full length of the ribs. The detents are laterally flexible, to a limited extent, as permitted by the combined flexure permitted by flanges 60 and 61, side Walls 58 and 59, and the connecting end wall 57. In those instances in which a shallow spacer part 40 is preferable to the deep section shown, the detent ribs 62 and 64 may be provided on the end wall 57 itself; it being under-' stood that the side walls 58 and 59 would be of less width. The side walls would still include the inbent flange walls 70 and 72 which are shown. These terminal flanges '70 and 72 are spaced apart to receive the other spacer part 42 therebetween and into engagement with the detents 66 and 68.

The spacer member or part 42 inclues parallel spaced flanges 74 and 76 extending on one side thereof and disposed for engagement with the detent ribs 62 and 64 of spacer part 40. Detent engaging flanges 78 and 80 are extended from the opposite side of spacer part 42 and are disposed for engagement with the detent pro- The spaced flanges 74 and 76 are thin enough to have a certain amount of lateral resilience. A detent receiving groove 82 is formed near the end of each of the spaced flanges 74 and 76 and is adapted to receive the detents 66 and 68 therein. The flanges 74 and 76 are formed near their ends to include an inclined surface 84 which allows the detents 66 and 68 easier access to the grooves 82. The ends of the flanges 74 and 76 butt against the wall 60 of the spacer part 40. Such butting engagement limits the disposition of the shouldered flanges 70 and 72 relative to the spacer part 42 and provides an elongated space 86 within which the curtain wall panel members 22 are receivable.

The interlocking engagement of the spacer member or part 42 to the vertical frame member 16 is shown by FIGS. 7, 8 and 9. The spacer part 42 includes relief grooves 88 and 90 on each side and near the base of the detent engaging flanges 78 and 80. These relief grooves enable the detent engaging flanges to have a degree of lateral resilience permitting their snap-on engagement with the detent providing flange walls 46 and 48 of the vertical member 16.

Referring to FIG. 7, the engagement of the detent engaging flanges 78 and 80 with the inclined surface 50 of the flange walls 46 and 48, deflects each flange laterally until it passes over the intersection of surface 50 with the inclined surface 52. The detent engaging flange returns substantially to its original position, as shown in FIG. 8, with the flange engaged to surface 52. The end of the flange walls 46 and 48 engage and butt against the spacer part 42.

The spacer parts 42 include an open elongated slot 92 provided centrally thereof and at each end; as seen in FIG. 4. A threaded fastener 94 is received through the slot 92. A clamping member 96 is held by a nut 98, on one end of the fastener. A wedging bolt head 100 is provided on the other end of the fastener. The wedging bolt head 100 is spaced by washer 99 for engagement within the shouldered flanges 54 and 56. The sides of the clamping member 96 overlap the slot 92 and are disposed to engage the spacer member 42.

When the fastener 94 is tightened the shoulder flanges 54 and 56 are then engaged to the spacer part 42 and the detent flanges 78 and 80 are thereafter held in stressed zrggagement with the receiving flange members 46 and The horizontally disposed frame members 18 are formed to include curtain wall receiving grooves 102 and 104 within the top and bottom side walls thereof. The grooves 102 and 104 are separate and apart from the closed tubular space 34 of the horizontal member and are provided near one side face thereof. The open sides of the curtain wall receiving grooves are formed to include inwardly disposed ridges 106 and 108 disposed for engagement with the clamping member 96.

The clamping member 96 is received within the grooves 102 and 104, as disposed next adjacent the vertical frame member 16. The clamping member includes a heel portion 110 which is engaged with the ridge 108. As the clamping member 96 is drawn towards the vertical frame member 16, the horizontal member 18 is clamped in vertically fixed relation to the vertical member 16. The clamping member 96 also engages the spacer part 42 in place as previously described.

Corner forming frame members are used in providing a building of curtain wall construction as shown in FIG. 1. The corner frame member may be two angle members 111 and 112, as shown or otherwise, secured together by fasteners 113. The cover frame members 111 and 112 provide curtain wall receiving grooves 114 and 116 therebetween. The corner frame members may include a foot piece at each end which is received in the grooves 102 and 104 of the horizontal frame member, or other means of attachment may be provided.

Assembly The disclosed curtain wall frame 20 has been shown to include vertical members 16, horizontal members 18,

I and spacer members 38. Each of the frame members are of a prescribed cross section but may be made in any selected lengths. The cross sectional shapes are readily formed from a lightweight material, such as aluminum, by extrusion. As disclosed, only four basic shapes are required to produce a curtain wall frame.

In practical use a manufacturer would produce given lengths of each of the frame forming parts 16, 18, 40 and 42. Such parts could be in eight, ten, twenty foot or other lengths. The extruded frame parts would be received on the site of a building location and would be cut to length as required on the job.

The building is assumed to be erected without exterior walls. The foundation 12 is prepared to receive some means of locating the disposition of the vertical curtain wall frame structure. This may include the foot members 14, reinforcing I-beam members 30, or other suitable means.

The vertical frame members 16 are first erected. Such members may be of one piece or may include several lengths engaged together by connectors telescoped within their ends, or by some other suitable means. Where more than one length of a vertical frame member is required, it may be assembled to the required length and then erected or it may be assembled as the height of the building wall increases during the construction.

Spacer member parts 42 are next assembled to the vertical members 16. The length of the spacer member parts 42 is determinative of the height at which the horizontal members 18 will be disposed. The spacer member parts 42 are disposed with the detent flanges 78 and 80 thereof engaged with the side wall flanges 46 and 48 of the vertical frame member 16; and more particularly with the detent flanges 78 and 80 engaged with the surfaces 50 of the vertical member flanges.

A solid blow with a mallet against the member 42 drives the detent flanges 78 and 80 over the intersection of surfaces 50 and 52 and into snapped-on interlocked engagement with the flanges 46 and 48 of the vertical frame member. The fastener 94 is next disposed within the slot 92 at the end of the spacer member 42. The head 100 of the fastener is received behind the shouldered flanges 54 and 56 of the vertical member. The clamping member 96 is held in a loose vertical disposition by the closely spaced flanges 74 and 76 of spacer part 42, between which it is received.

The elongated slots 92 may be preformed in the spacer member parts 42 or may be formed therein by means of a special punch tool right on the building site.

The horizontal framing members 18 are next received against the vertical members 16. The horizontal members 18 are received and supported on the top of the spacer member parts 42. The curtain wall receiving grooves 102 and 104 of the horizontal frame member 18 are disposed next adjacent the vertical frame member 16. Groove 104, which is deeper than groove 102, is disposed downwardly to receive the heel portion 110 of clamp 96 therein.

The fastener 94 is next tightened to draw the spacer part 42 into more secure engagement with the vertical frame member 16, and to secure the horizontal frame member 18 in place. The bolt head 100 is wedged behind shoulder flanges 54 and 56 of the vertical frame member 16. The heel portion 110 of the clamping member is engaged behind the ridge 108 of groove 104, in the horizontal frame member 18.

It is understood that the length of the horizontal frame members 18 may be extended by telescoping adapters received in the ends of aligned members or by some other means. The connecting joint of two aligned horizontal frame members may be received over one of the spacer parts 42 for further structural reinforcement.

, lowered into the curtain wall receiving groove 102 of the next lower horizontal member. The side edges of the curtain wall panel 22 lie against the spacer parts 42 next adjacent the flanges 74 and 76 of spacer parts on opposite sides of the curtain wall receiving space.

The assembly is completed by engaging the spacer part 40 to the spacer part 42. The detent ribs 62 and 64 are engaged with the spaced flanges 74 and 76. A light blow with a mallet forces the detent portions 66 and 68 of ribs 62 and 64 into snap-on interlocking engagement within the receiving grooves 82 of the spaced flanges. The ends of the flanges 74 and 76 butt against the wall 60 of spacer part 40 to limit and locate the inturned flanges 7t) and 72 thereof in close spaced relation to the transverse wall of part 42. Such disposition completes the curtain wall receiving space 86 between the two spacer parts and the curtain wall panel 22 is securely located within the framing structure 20.

The entire curtain wall is made up in this manner. The whole curtain wall frame 20 may be erected first, or certain of the curtain wall panels 22 may be glazed or otherwise fixed in place, as described, in the course of building the curtain wall structure.

While a preferred embodiment of this invention has been illustrated and described it will be understood that other modifications and improvements may be made thereto. Such of these modifications and improvements as incorporate the principles of this invention are to be considered as included in the hereinafter appended claims unless these claims by their language expressly state otherwise.

I claim:

1. A curtain wall structure for building walls, and comprising: structural curtain wall forming members of extruded lightweight material and of undetermined length; said structural members including vertical sup ports, horizontal supports, and spacers capable of being cut to selected length for use; said vertical supports and spacers including interengaging snap-on portions vertically disposed and receiving said horizontal supports in supported relation thereto; said horizontal supports being engaged to said vertical supports at selected vertical heights thereon, said spacers being interengaged with said vertical supports in spaced supporting relation to said horizontal supports; and removable fastener means securing said horizontal supports to said vertical supports at such selected vertical heights and obscured from view, said fastener means including parts supplementing the snap-0n engagement of said spacers to said vertical supports and other parts engaging said horizontal supports in secure abutting relation to said vertical supports.

2. A curtain wall structure for building walls, and comprising; an extruded structural member formed to include a tubular cross section and another extruded tubular structural member engaged transversely thereto; a curtain wall receiving member received in snap-on interlocking engagement with said first mentioned structural member and including other means of more secure engagement thereto; said other means including an element disposed for interlocking engagement with said second mentioned structural member; said other structural member having a curtain wall receiving groove provided therein and including an inbent flange provided near the opening thereof, and said element including a heel clamp disposed in ,said groove and in interlocking engagement with said inbent flange.

3. A curtain wall structure for building Walls, and comprising; an extruded structural member formed to include a tubular cross section and another extruded tubular structural member engaged transversely thereto; a curtain Wall receiving member received in snap-on interlocking engagement with said first mentioned structural member and including other means of more secure engagement thereto; said other means including an open end slot in said curtain wall receiving member, a threaded fastener including interlocking means of engagement with said first mentioned structural member, said fastener being received through said slot, and a heel clamp operatively disposed on said fastener and having the clamp end thereof disposed for interlocking engagement with said second mentioned structural member.

4. A curtain wall supporting structure, comprising; parallel spaced horizontally and vertically disposed members secured together in transverse relation to each other; said horizontally disposed members being extruded members of tubular cross section formed to include curtain wall receiving grooves within the upper and lower faces thereof; said vertically disposed members comprising a fixed and a removable part, said parts having snap means and said movable part being snapped to said fixed part, said horizontal member being supported on said removable part and spaced thereby from adjacent horizontal receiving surface disposed in parallel spaced relation and providing a curtain wall receiving space therebetween; the receiving surface of one of said snap-on parts being aligned with the back side wall of said curtain wall receiving grooves of said horizontal members, said horizontally disposed members having a deeper curtain wall receiving groove in the lower face thereof and first receiving a curtain wall member therein, said curtain wall being next received in the groove of the upper face of the next adjacent horizontal member and against said curtain wall receiving surfaces of adjacent of said one snap-on parts; the other of said snap-on parts providing a curtain wall side edge retaining member as received in snap-on engagement with said one part.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,965,598 Koenig July 10, 1934 2,015,447 Esser Sept. 24, 1935 2,085,281 Wagoner June 29, 1937 2,280,142 Daniels Apr. 21, 1942 2,800,983 Toney July 30, 1957 2,866,527 Schilling Dec. 30, 1958 FOREIGN PATENTS 655,526 Great Britain of 1951 520,859 Canada of 1956

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3152672 *Oct 16, 1959Oct 13, 1964Westinghouse Electric CorpPost for walls
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Classifications
U.S. Classification52/477, 52/235, 52/220.2, 52/456, D25/61, 52/772
International ClassificationE04B2/88, E04B2/96
Cooperative ClassificationE04B2/962
European ClassificationE04B2/96A