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Publication numberUS3100012 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 6, 1963
Filing dateApr 14, 1961
Priority dateApr 14, 1961
Publication numberUS 3100012 A, US 3100012A, US-A-3100012, US3100012 A, US3100012A
InventorsDunn Harold S
Original AssigneeDunn Harold S
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Support for flexible awning cover
US 3100012 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 6, 1963 H. s. DUNN 3,100,012

SUPPORT FOR FLEXIBLE AWNING COVER 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 r INVENTOR. 7\ L 4 HAROLD s. DUNN BY 2 37 \n ATTORNEY 1963 H. s. DUNN 3,100,012

SUPPORT FOR FLEXIBLE AWNING COVER Filed April 14, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG.7


INVENTOR. HAROLD S. DUNN BYE Q ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,100,012 SUPPORT FOR FLEXIBLE AWNING COVER Harold S. Dunn, 163 Fiesta Way, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Filed Apr. 14, 1961, Ser. No. 103,082 Claims. (Cl. 16089) This invention relates to improvements in shelter devices, such as awning structures that are connected to a preformed building to extend outwardly to form a cover for patios, open porches or the like and to also constitute a shelter device such as a free standing structure having a ridge pole and outwardly and downwardly extending cover sections such as are commonly recognized as non-permanent protective covers for vehicles or the like.

The invention contemplates basically a relatively rigid supporting structure over which is disposed a normally flexible covering, such as sheets :of canvas, vinyl or other fabric or membrane and whereby the sheets have an overlying engagement with relatively thick polystyrene panels to support the sheet against flexing due to wind conditions and that would normally greatly shorten the life [of the sheets.

The invention contemplates a plurality of metallic extrusions, such as aluminum that constitute a supporting framework upon which the polystyrene panels are supported and with each of the extrusions having head portions that have spline grooves whereby the normally flexible sheet or sheets may be splined thereto to closely engage the polystyrene panels and with certain of the frame members having downwardly opening spline grooves for the splined reception of flexible valance forming sheets, such sheets possibly being at the opposite ends of the supporting structure or possibly also being along the front frame member to constitute an ornamental or decorative finish for the device.

The invention provides an extruded head rail of such configuration that the head rail may be connected to the wall of a building and angled outwardly and downwardly in accordance with the normal drainage angle of the structure, together with the extruded end rails, rafter forming rails and a forward rail, all mitered and connected together at their meeting ends whereby a rigid framework is provided into which is disposed relatively thick insulating panels of expanded polystyrene and with the polystyrene panels being of a thickness whereby their upper surfaces are flush with the head portions of the rails so that sections of flexible covering may be disposed over the structure and splined into the spline grooves of the several rails.

The invention also contemplates a separate shelter device whereby a pair of head rails are bolted together to form a ridge pole for oppositely extending inclined covers.

Novel features of construction and operation of the device will be more clearly apparent during the course of the following description, reference being bad to the accompanying drawings wherein has been illustrated the preferred forms of the device and wherein like characters of reference are employed to denote like parts throughout the several figures.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of an awning constructed in accordance with the invention,

FIGURE 2 is a transverse section on an enlarged scale, taken substantially on line 22 of FIGURE 1,

FIGURE 3 is a longitudinal sectional view taken substantially on line 33 of FIGURE 1,

FIGURE 4 is a greatly enlarged fragmentary section taken through either one of the end rails or the forward rails.

FIGURE 5 is a transverse section employing a pair of 3,100,012 Patented Aug. 6, 1963 "Ice head rails in connected relation with respect to a pair of outwardly and downwardly extending cover devices and constituting a ridge pole for a shelter device that is remote from any building structure,

FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary perspective View of an end portion of the supporting frame structure,

FIGURE 7 is a transverse section through a modified form of end rail and/or front rail having a splined groove for supporting a vertically arranged balance, and

FIGURE 8 is a perspective view of one polystyrene panel.

Referring specifically to the drawings, and particularly to FIGURE 1 there has been illustrated a shelter or awning device, indicated as a whole by the numeral 5. The shelter device comprises a rigid supporting frame, embodying a head rail 6, a forward rail 7, end rails 8 and with the rails 6 and 7 being connected by equidistantly spaced apart rafter forming members 9 and with the rafter forming members being held in spaced apart relation by purlins 10, forming square or rectangular openings 11, see particularly FIGURE 6. The awning or shelter is supported at its forward edge by posts 12, which may be pipe sections or any other desirable supporting structure, in the manner that will be presently described. The posts are suitably anchored at their lower ends and preferably engage a longitudinally extending angle iron 12' that underlies the forward side of the framework.

Referring particularly to FIGURE 2, the head rail 6 is coextensive with the overall length of the shelter or awning and embodies a web portion 13, having a lower T-head 14- and a head 15. The head 15 embodies a right angle flange 16 that terminates in an upstanding extension 17 that is angled with respect to the flange 16 in accordance with the particular angularity of the shelter. The extension 17 is angled outwardly at 18 at its free edge whereby to form a groove for the reception of caulking material 19 when the device is anchored to a preformed wall section 20 of the building, by screws or like fastening devices 21. The head 15 from the opposite side of the web 13 is formed relatively thick, as shown at 22 and the section 22 is provided with an upwardly opening spline groove 23. The rail 6 is additionally anchored and supported to the wall 20 by angle brackets 24, connected to the T-head '14 either by welding or screw devices while the vertical leg of the bracket 24 is anchored to the wall 20 by screws or like fasteners 25. All of the rails and connecting members are preferably formed of light weight metal such as extruded aluminum.

The forward rail 7 as shown in FIGURE 2 is of L- shape, having a web portion 26, a lower flange 27 and an upper thickened head 28. The head 28 is provided with an upwardly opening spline groove 29, corresponding to the spline groove 23. The end rails 3 are substantially identical in construction to the forward rail 7 and the rails 6, 7 and 8 are mitered at their abutting ends and rigidly connected to form the relatively large surrounding framework for the structure. Each of the rails 6 and 7 is additionally connected together by inverted T-shaped rafters 9, see particularly FIGURE 3 and the rafters 9 are equidistantly spaced apart and notched for interengagement with the rails 6 and 7 to be welded or bracketed at their opposite ends to the rails 6 and 7. The rafters 9 are coextensive in height to the rails 6 and '7. The rafters 9 embody a vertical web portion 30, a lower flanged head portion 31 and an upper thickened head portion 32 and with the head portion 32 being provided with a pair of spaced apart upwardly opening spline grooves 33. The purlins 10, see particularly FIGURE 2 are of inverted T-shape, having a vertical web 34 and a flanged base 65. The purlins may be disposed between the several rafters 9 and the end rails 8 and are notched at their opposite ends for interengagement with the rafters 3 and the end rails and connected in any suitable manner, by angle brackets 36. The several openings 1'1, formed by the end rails, the rafters and the purl'ins provide peripheral supports in each opening 11 for the resting support of relatively thick panels 37 of expanded polystyrene. The panels 37 are transversely notched as at 38, across two opposite ends to engage beneath the heads 32 of the rafters 9 to be disposed flush with the tops of the heads and with the panels being supported upon the flanges of the several rails. The end rails 8 correspond to the rail 7, having the web 26, the lower flange 27 and the head 28, having the spline groove 29. With the structure so far described, there has been provided a relatively rigid metallic frame defining openings 11 and with the openings having the lower flanges 6, 27 and 31 that constitute the support for the panels 37 that are dimensioned to engage within the openings 11 and the assembly, provides a relatively uninterrupted surface over the entire area of the shelter.

With the frame in assembled relation as illustrated and connected to the wall 20 by the head rail 6 and supported at its outer end by the posts 12, sheets of flexible canvas, plastic or other desirable material is then disposed over the frame, as indicated is FIGURE 1 at 39. Each of the sheets 39 is generally rectangular in shape and the marginal edges of each sheet 39 are connected into the spline grooves 23, 29 and 38 by vinyl strips 40*, securely fastening the several sheets throughout their marginal edges and with the sheets 39 lying flat upon the upper sides of the panels 37. Thus, the sheets are prevented from flexing or otherwise being distorted by wind pressures and presents a very ornamental awning or shelter, since the sheets 39 may be of any desirable color and it has been found, that sheet plastic lends itself readily to this particular use. The polystyrene panels, While furnishing a very desirable supporting base for the sheets '39, are also heat insulating.

In FIGURE 7 there has been illustrated a modified form of end rail and/or forward where it becomes necessary or desirable that the shelter be provided with a hanging valance. In this modification, the rail embodies a web portion 41, an inwardly extending base flange 42 and a thickened head 43 having an inner upwardly opening spline groove 44 and an outwardly and downwardly opening spline grove 45, wherein a valance sheet 46 may be suitably anchored by a vinyl spline 47.

Where a shelter is desired that is to be installed remotely from a permanent or preformed structure, it has been found desirable to employ duplicate structures, such as that illustrated in FIGURE 2 and such structures normally require a ridge pole and to facilitate such an arrangement, a pair of identical head rails 6 have their upper extension 17 bolted together, as indicated at 48 in FIGURE 5. The base flanges 14 are preferably rigidly connected together by an angle plate 49, all other elements remaining as before described. The structure in FIG- URE is obviously supported at its outer edges by posts 12.

In the use of the device, the frame, including the head rail '6, the forward rail 7, the end rails 8, the rafter members 9 and the purlins having been initially assembled, the structure is elevated to permit the head rail 6 to be anchored to the existing wall of the building and the posts 112 having been initially embedded in cement at their lower ends, the structure is supported upon the wall of the building at a predetermined angularity in accordance 'with the angularity of the extension 17 of the head rail 6. The posts 12 may be formed in any desirable structural section, either cylindrical, square or angular and the posts are of course connected to the underlying angle 12'. Since the purlins r10 span the usually long openings as defined by the end rails and the rafter members, the purlins define the openings 11 in each section of the shelter structure. The flanges of the several members project into the opening in the same plane and constitute the lower supporting ledge for the polystyrene panels 37. Since the panels 37 are to be anchored beneath the head portions of the end rails and the rafters, the panels have been transversely notched at Z opposite ends so as to provide an extension that engages within the channels formed by the rails. The panels are inserted .by slightly flexing the polystyrene suificiently to engage its opposite ends in interlocking engagement with the end rails and the rafters thus, securely holding the panels '37 against accidental movement. With the several panels in position, the strips of canvas or plastic sheeting are then disposed over each opening to extend from the head rail 6 to the forward rail 7 and having a width corresponding to the width of the sectional openings as defined by the end rails and rafter members. The strips of canvas or plastic 39 are then fastened to the frame by forcing its marginal edges into the spline groove of the head rail, one spline groove of the rafter rails and the spline groove of the end rail. After which, the forward end of the sheet 39 is splined into the grooves of the forward rail and any excess material may obviously be cut away. Where plastic sheeting is employed, it may be found necessary to form the spline grooves slightly larger or possibly the vinyl spline strips may be reduced in diameter due to the thickness of the material constituting the plastic sheeting. In the assembled or completed installation the sheeting is flatly resting upon the tops of the panels 37 and is held in relatively tight position to prevent any flexing of the material.

It will be apparent from the foregoing that a very novel arrangement of structural features has been provided to constitute an awning or shelter device for use over porches, patios or the like and the several frame members are economically extruded from aluminum, creating a relatively rigid frame that is extremely light in weight but also constitutes a very rigid support for the panels 37 and the sheets 39. In the assembly as illustrated in FIGURE 1, the only structure visible upon the top of the shelter is in the intermediate portion of the heads 32 of the rafters, between the splines for the cover sheets 39. With the several extrusions preformed, it is very simple to connect the several frame members, including the head rail, the forward rail, the end rails, the rafters and the purlins and then to secure the head rail 6 to the wall 20 and support the forward end of the frame by the posts 1-2. The vinyl strips 40 have been employed heretofore in securing insect screening or the like and is notorious for its holding power in maintaining sheet material against shifting and in a taut manner. The device is cheap to manufacture, is strong, durable and most effective as an awning or shelter device that has an exceptionally long life, since the only material subject to normal wear in conventional awnings would be the canvas or other flexible cover 39 and in this case, the life of the cover 39 is greatly extended since it is not subject to flapping in the wind nor is it permitted to sag to constitute basins that would catch and support rain water.

The basic and outstanding features of the hereindescribed structure are: 1) Simplicity and unnecessary duplication of metal parts; (2) economy resulting from such construction; (3) the ornamental appearance of the device; (4) greater ease of installation; and (5) greater facility in dismantling the structure when a storm is threatening of hurricane force. This last factor is important because it is highly important that a readily demountable roof structure be such as to comply with the same building code restrictions attaching to orthodox canvas roof structures. Such canvas patio roofs are not subject to the same rigiorous restnictions that hold for socalled permanent type roofs. When the structure is to be either partially or wholly dismantled, it is a simple matter to withdraw the vinyl spline strips, lift the canvas or other covering from the structure and then to flex the individual polystyrene panels upwardly to disengage the frame, permitting the open frame to remain, since it would offer little if any wind resistance. The structure of this application is an important improvement over applicants Patents Nos. 2,950,727 and 2,957,483.

The splining of the sheets into the spline grooves presents a very desirable method of connection of the sheets over the framework that is substantially water tight. In some cases it may be found desirable to apply an adhesive to the top surface of the polystyrene panels on installation and the canvas or other covering will then.

adhere to the panels. 011 removal, in face of storm danger, procedure would be the same and the canvas or other covering and the polystyrene panels can be removed as a unit and promptly reinstalled by resplining the marginal edges of the covering after the polystyrene panels have been flexed to their interlocked engagement with the frame structure. Many variations of vinyl sheeting and vinyl coated materials are now available and it would seem that these will be preferred for the flexible weathering covering. it is likely that such materials will last at least ten years before renewal is necessary.

It should be stated at this point that the use of adhesives will not harm the possibility of changes and renewals in the basic structure. if a flexible top eventually wore out or something about it was displeasing to the owner, the canvas or other covering at the perimeter near the spline groove could be trimmed away, leaving the whole canvas or other covering stuck to the panel. Then a new covering could be applied as the single thickness of the old covering that has adhered to the panel would not be objectionable in thickness. It will be readily apparent that canvas, painted or not, and some of the new plastic fabrics and membranes vinyls etc. can be made to last for a long time when disposed over this structure. Present life for a patio roof in Florida when using canvas as a conventional awning cover, is approximately three to four years. :In the present structure no wind will push up through the roof and the covering will remain as smooth as originally installed with no dips between rafters, allowing for rapid drainage of rain water. In the proposed structure, the workload on the spline should be relatively easy with the sealing off of up-thrust wind by the polystyrene panels beneath. If found necessary, a small amount of adhesive can be used in the splining process. it can be seen that the structure of this invention provides a very solid fill of the expanded polystyrene panels, with embedded purlins and will be very strong against lateral thrust etc.

It is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the precise construction shown, but that changes are contemplated as readily fall within the spirit of the invention as shall be determined by the scope of the subjoined claims.

Having described my invention what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:

1. An awning or shelter device of the character described for attachment to an exterior wall of a building to project forward at an incline, comprising a rigid frame that includes an extruded metallic head rail that is fixed to the building, a forward extruded metallic rail and extruded metallic end rails rigidly connecting the head rail and the forward rail, the head rail and the forward rail being also connected by spaced apart parallel rafter-forming rails, the end rails and the forward rail being L-shaped in cross-section and having a vertical web, a lower right angle flange and a thickened head, the head rail having a vertical web, a lower right angle flange and an upper thickened head, and with the last-named head being extended and upwardly flanged that constitutes a mounting plate for connecting the head rail to the building, the rafter rails being of inverted T -shape having oppositely extending lower flanges carried by a vertical web, the rafter rails also having thickened heads, the several rails being co-extensive in height and with the rails defining generally rectangular openings, the several lower flanges extending peripherally of the openings, each of the thickened heads upon their tops being provided with spline grooves, the rails form ing peripheral channels for each of the openings, a plurality of expanded polystyrene panels spanning each of the openings and with the panels interlocking into the channels of the end rails and the rafter rails and resting upon the lower flanges of the end rails and the rafter rails, the panels being of such thickness that theupper faces of the panels lie flush with the heads of the several rails and flexible cover strips disposed over the panels and with their marginal edges overlapping the several thickened heads and splined into the several spline grooves.

2. The structure according to claim 1, wherein the thickened heads of the rafter rails are provided with a pair of upwardly opening spline grooves to receive the marginal edges of adjacent strips.

3. The structure according to claim 1, wherein the panels at opposite ends are transversely notched to have interfitting engagement beneath the thickened heads of the end rails and the rafter rails and to fully seat within the channels of the end and rafter rails.

4. The structure according to claim 1, wherein the openings defined by the several rails are spanned by purlin rails that are fixed at their opposite ends to the end rails and the rafter rails, the said purlins being of inverted T-shape having a vertical web portion and oppositely extending flanges, the purlins being co-extensive in height to the other rails.

5. The structure according to claim 1, wherein the extension plate of the head rail is angled with respect to the web of the head rail in accordance with the inclination of the awning, the said awning at its forward side being supported by ground posts.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,028,725 Hodgson June 4, 1912 2,824,341 Ashton et al. Feb. 24, 1958 2,837,153 Brown et a1 June 3, 1958 2,877,877 Davis Mar. 17, 1959 2,950,727 Dunn Aug. 30, 1960

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1028725 *Jan 11, 1911Jun 4, 1912Ernest Franklin HodgsonRoof construction.
US2824341 *Nov 25, 1953Feb 25, 1958Harold B NealAwning
US2837153 *Dec 2, 1955Jun 3, 1958Brown Harold HMetallic building wall
US2877877 *Sep 23, 1957Mar 17, 1959Davis Jr Hugh NPanel wall construction
US2950727 *Nov 27, 1959Aug 30, 1960Harold S DunnSupport for flexible awning covers
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3616838 *Nov 12, 1969Nov 2, 1971Barr Samuel JWeather shield means for sliding doors
US3924365 *Dec 10, 1973Dec 9, 1975Robert Elliott OrbergSeal and curtain support means
US3932968 *Feb 5, 1974Jan 20, 1976Heirich William CWall paneling system
US3994104 *Mar 30, 1976Nov 30, 1976Gurrola Hector RSupported roof structure
US4103466 *Jan 14, 1977Aug 1, 1978Yoshida Kogyo K.K.Bay window unit
US4188764 *Apr 3, 1978Feb 19, 1980Gode Charles RPrefabricated greenhouse structure
US4285175 *Aug 17, 1979Aug 25, 1981Struben Francis LThermalized awning
US4411109 *Sep 18, 1981Oct 25, 1983Struben Francis LBeam-braced awning
US4665671 *Mar 28, 1986May 19, 1987American Floor Covering CompanyMethod for assembling an awning
US4768317 *Nov 4, 1985Sep 6, 1988Markham Gaynor PUltra-lite stationary awning structures
US4797020 *Dec 7, 1987Jan 10, 1989Creative Structures, Inc.Self-locking mortise and tenon joint
US4888921 *Sep 2, 1988Dec 26, 1989Markham Gaynor PHeader bar for awning structure
US5058333 *Apr 2, 1990Oct 22, 1991Airflo Aluminum Awning CompanyFoam panel roof mounting system
US5381844 *Mar 31, 1993Jan 17, 1995Struben; Francis L.Portable two-way aluminum awning for recreational vehicles
US5660005 *Dec 5, 1994Aug 26, 1997Tacoma; Michael T.High strength, light weight, portable building
US6848222 *Mar 11, 2003Feb 1, 2005Crest Products Inc.Protective and decorative valance in an awning for use with permanent building structures
US7065934 *Jan 6, 2005Jun 27, 2006Crest Products Inc.Method of retrofitting a protective and decorative valance to an awning for use with permanent building structures
US8413386 *Nov 18, 2004Apr 9, 2013Daryl FazekasBuilding protection structures and methods for making and using the protection structures
US20040177566 *Mar 11, 2003Sep 16, 2004Crest Products Inc.Protective and decorative valance in an awning for use with permanent building structures
US20050102914 *Nov 18, 2004May 19, 2005Daryl FazekasBuilding protection structures and methods for making and using the protection structures
US20050115163 *Jan 6, 2005Jun 2, 2005Crest Products Inc.Method of retrofitting a protective and decorative valance to an awning for use with permanent building structures
U.S. Classification160/89, 160/392, 52/63, 135/121, 135/119, 52/74, 52/93.2, 52/479, 135/161, 160/46
International ClassificationE04F10/00, E04F10/02
Cooperative ClassificationE04F10/02
European ClassificationE04F10/02