US 3153304 A
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Oct. 20, 1964 Filed Sept. 50, 1960 ACOUSTICAL SUSPENDED CEILING 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 IN VEN TOR.
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ACOUSTICAL SUSPENDED 02mm;
Filed Sept. 30, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 M I z INVENTOR. V/A/Cf/VT [m/aa/s 74 Arrow/[v5 United States Patent 3,153,3ii4 A'CGUS'HECAIJ SUSPENDED QEILING Vincent Evangelista, Erooldyn, N.Y., assignor to Givens- (Corning Fiberglas Corporation, a corporation of Delaware Filed Sept. 39, 195i), Ser. No. 59,7) tjlairns. ((Ci. Sli -W1) The present invention relates to an acoustical ceiling and has particular reference to a ceiling of the suspended type incorporating panels or tiles of sound absorbing material.
Suspended ceilings have gained widespread acceptance for their use in new construction, and in the renovation of older buildings. In either use, this type ceiling is particularly adapted to the concealment of unsightly utility structures such as heating or air conditioning duct work,
electric conduits, piping, and the like, which have been attached in spaced relation to the overhead structural framing in the building. In this connection it is of course desirable that the surface of the suspended ceiling be decorative and pleasing to the eye. Further, it is highly desirable that the suspended ceiling be constructed in a manner to provide access to the utility structures it underlies, to facilitate the normal maintenance or necessary repair of the utilities. In addition to the improvement in decorative aspects, and of equal if not greater importance, suspended ceilings are adapted to be constructed of material having high acoustical absorption properties.
In view of the foregoing, it is an object of this invention to provide an acoustical suspended ceiling having both a high acoustical factor and a very pleasing appearance, that also permits ready access to the utility structures in the space whichit underlies.
-t is a more general object of this invention to provide an acoustical ceiling constructed in the form of a plurality of preformed acoustical panels secured in a supporting framework which is suspended from the framing construction above, that is economical to manufacture, simple yet sturdy in construction, and comparatively easy to erect or dismantl Another important object of the invention is to provide an acoustical suspended ceiling constructed and arranged so that the decorative face, and side portions of each acoustical panel depend below the supporting framework to present a plurality of sound absorbing surfaces.
A further object of this invention is to provide an acoustical ceiling that is light in weight, sturdy, and easy to erect in a plurality of patterns.
Another object of this invention is to provide an acoustical ceiling that is adapted to permit the easy removal and reinstall-ation of one or more acoustical panels without any damage thereto, and without disturbing the surrounding supporting structure.
Another object of this invention is to provide a suspended ceiling constructed and arranged to permit the utilization of acoustical panels even though their outermost edges may have been slightly disfigured or damaged in handling, and yet not diminish the decorative and pleasing appearance of the exposed surface of the ceiling.
A still further object of the present invention is .to provide an acoustical suspended ceiling in which the supporting framework and the acoustical panels are associated in a manner to form an exposed surface in a three dimensional or relief pattern that is acoustically functional and pleasing to the eye.
3,153,394 Patented Oct. 20, 1964 A. feature of this invention lies in the utilization of the panel supporting structure to form a coplanar exposed bordering network which blends decoratively with and adds to the three dimensional esthetic effect produced by the plurality of panel surfaces projecting or underlying in depending fashion below the network.
The aforegoing objects of the invention and other objects and advantages which hereinafter appear may fully be understood from a study of the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings which are illustrative of preferred embodiments of the invention, it being understood, however, that the invention is not restricted to a strict conformity with the showing of the drawings but may be changed and modified as long as such changes make no material departure from the salient features of the invention as expressed in the appended claims.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is an underside perspective view partly in section of a portion of a ceiling embodying the prncip les of the invention, and in which an acoustical panel is illustrated as being inserted in the supporting framework;
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged perspective view of an acoustical panel of the type illustrated in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a bottom view of a portion of the ceiling illustrated in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 4 is an underside view of a portion of an alternative construction of a ceiling embodying the principles of the invention;
FIGURE 5 is a perspective view partly in section of a portion of the ceiling illustrated in FIGURE 3 as taken on lne 5 -5; and
FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary bottom view of another ceiling construction embodying the principles of the invention.
Briefly stated, the invention in a preferred embodiment is an acoustical suspended ceiling having a three dimensional or relief patterned exposed surface, and composed of a plurality of step edged acoustical panel-s each nesting in and depending below a mesh of a suspended supporting network or grid formed of coplanar, inverted, intersecting T-bars, and each panel presenting a plurality of sound absorbing surfaces.
Referring to the drawings in greater detail, there is illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 3 a portion of an acoustical suspended ceiling embodying the principles of the invention. In this embodiment a reticulated supporting framework lti, composed of a plurality of equidistantly spaced, longitudinally extending parallel stringers 12 and a plurality of spaced crossbars 16 extending between the stringers l2 and in abutting relation therewith, is sus pended at a desired common level by a series of supporting wires 19 attached to the stringers 12 and anchored to the ceiling beams 20 or other overhead structure of a room. Supported in and depending below each reticulation or mesh of the supporting framework It and in associated exposed relation therewith, is an acoustical panel 24.
The stringers l2 and the crossbars 16 have substantially identical cross-sectional conformations in the form of T- sections, and are positioned in inverted relation with their webs 13, 17 disposed vertically and their flanges 14, 18 being horizontal and extending laterally on both sides of each web. The webs 13 of the stringers 12 have a plurality of perforations 11, spaced apart adjacent their as upper edge, which are adapted to receive the supporting wires 19 suspended from the ceiling beams 24). The webs f3, 17 may be equal in height dimension and preferably of a height somewhat greater than the thickness of the supported edge portion of each panel 24 to permit ready access to perforations 11.
The flanges 14, 18 of the stringers 12 and the crossbars 16 are of identical width. However, the flanges of the crossbars 16 are cut away at either end so that the underside of the end portions of the webs 17 will seat upon the flanges lid of the stringers 12, and the vertical ends of the Webs 17 will abut the webs 13 of the stringers 12. Thus, the fianges lid, 13 are made to lie in a horizontal coplanar flush alignment with their bottom faces exposed to form in the completed ceiling an exposed, decorative, bordering network for the panels.
The aforesaid abutting relationship of the stringers f2 and crossbars 16 affords further advantages. The crossbars 16 being slidable longitudinally of their associated stringers in this arrangement provides case in installation and maintenance of the supporting framework 10, and facilitates changes in the ornamental pattern thereof. This bracing abutting relation also provides desired rigidity for the supporting framework lift. In this connection, if additional rigidity is desired, conventional slipon joint clips (not shown) may be utilized to fasten the abutting webs of the stringers and the crossbars.
The stringers 12 and their associated crossbar 16 ar spaced in relation to each other to accommodate acoustical panels 24 of preselected dimensions. The webs 13, 17 and the flanges 1d, 18 of opposed stringers 12 and crossbars 16 form a hollow shelf for mounting each of the acoustical panels 24- in supported relation, and additionally serve to conceal any disfigurement of tne outermost edges or corners of the acoustical panels which may have occurred in handling.
The stringers 12 and the Crossbars 16 are preferably of lightweight, non-corrosive metal or plastic. They may be molded, extruded, stamped or otherwise suitably formed. The bottom or exposed face of the flanges 14, 13 is preferably prefinished with a decorative surface finish, and may be of a color which is identical or in contrast to the color of the acoustical panels 24 to highlight the decorative effect of the exposed surface of the ceiling.
The acoustical panels 24 forming a part of the ceiling of this invention are preferably of fibrous glass material which has been fabricated into board-like tiles or panels having a density of about /2 pounds per cubic foot having acoustical porosity. In addition to having a high acoustical absorption factor, such panels are thermally insulating, inherently fire-resistant, and have a relatively high strength to weight ratio. Little moisture is absorbed or retained by such panels, and as a consequence, they have been found capable of spanning relatively large distances without sagging. If desired, however, panels fabricated from other materials which have good acoustical properties may be incorporated in the ceiling of the invention.
As is clearly shown in FIGURES 1 and 2, the acoustical panels 24 utilized in carrying out the invention are of a special inverted step edged, or overhanging flange construction. Each side of the panels 24 has a marginally extending upper portion which, with like portions of the other sides, forms a continuous overhanging flange 25 that is coextensive with the top surface of the panel. The lower portion of each side is in the form of a recessed edge 26 coextensive with a margin of the exposable decorative surface 27 of the panel.
The top surface of each panel 24 may be of square or rectangular configuration, and preferably of standard dimensions in which acoustical panels are generally furnished, such as 12." x 12, 24 x 24", 24" x 48", or the like. The bottom decorative surface 27 is preferably geometrically similar to the top surface. In this connection, each of the edges 2-6 of the panel 2% is recessed a distance at least equal to the lateral extent of the flanges 14, 18 of the stringers 12 and crossbars 16 from their webs 13, 1?.
The overall thickness of each panel is governed by three factors, namely, the extent of structural support necessary to support the overall dimensions of the panel, the acoustical performance of the exposed edges, and the extent of three dimensional or relief effect sought. in this regard the overhanging flange 25, by way of example, may be of a thickness that is approximately one-half the total thickness. dimension of each panel 24 to provide adequate support for the weight of the panel. The overhanging flange 25 additionally serves to protect the recessed surfaces when the panels are being handled. Further, the width of each recessed edge 26 is such that when a panel 24 is in its nested supported position in the ceiling, the plane of the exposed decorative surface 27 depends below the plane of the adjacent exposed supporting flanges in a decorative three dimensional or relief pattern.
In addition to contributing to the three dimensional or relief effect of the finished ceiling, the exposed recessed edges 26 from a plurality of sound absorbing surfaces which add to the overall acoustical absorption efficiency of the panel. If desired, the decorative exposed surface 27 of each panel 24 may be covered with a film or thin sheet of material, such as a 5 mil vinyl or polyester film, having an imprinted decorative pattern, and adhered over the entire surface 27. In such case, the acoustical eficiency of the panel is generaliy lowered because of the sealing character of the film which tends to screen the sound absorbing porosity of the surface. Sufficient surfaces are presented, however, by the sound absorbing porous edges 26 to insure a satisfactory acoustical rating. In this connection, the total surface area of the exposed recessed edges must constitute at least 7% and preferably up to 14% of the total exposed sound absorbing surface of each panel.
The decorative surface 2'7 of each panel 24 may be smoothly planar, striated, perforated, or fissured as desired. Preferably all of the surfaces of each panel 24, excluding the top surface, are painted with a decorative acoustical type paint which does not modify in any large degree the sound absorbing characteristics of the panel. Such paints are preferably of a color having high light reflecting properties though other appropriate colors ineluding variegated pigmented types may be used if desired.
Installation of the ceiling is relatively simple and may be quickly and easily performed in a variety of sequences. By way of example, installation may start with the anchoring of supporting wires 19 to the ceiling beams 2d in selected, spaced relation. The stringers 12, which are preferably furnished in long lengths, generally do not exactly match the room dimension it is desired to span. In such case, the stringers may be cut to the desired length, or one or more lengths may be assembled longitudinally in-line with conventional spliced connectors joining the abutting ends. The stringers 12 are then raised to the approximately desired level for the ceiling. The supporting wires 19 are passed through appropriate perforations 11 and twisted back upon themselves a sufiicient amount to fasten and level the stringers. After the stringers have been disposed in their proper parallel spaced relationship, the crossbars 16, cut to proper size, and preferably from the same material being used for the stringer, are applied between adjacent stringers at the desired intervals. As previously discussed, suitable slipon joint fasteners may be applied over the abutting webs 13, 1'7 to add further rigidity to the supporting framework ltl. As seen in FIGURE 1, each acoustical panel 24 may then be simply installed by tilting the panel to a general vertical direction, and raising it through the opening between opposed stringers and crossbars, and then pivoting it to horizontal position with the exposed surface 27 in a downward direction. The panel is then lowered into a nesting, supporting relationship with the flanges of opposed stringers and crossbars. Of course, if desired, the panels 24 may be installed concomitantly with the installation of the crossbars. After the supporting framework and the panels 24 have been installed to span the entire room a finish border of appropriate cornice boards or edge moldings can be applied to the walls of the room underlying the marginal edges of the exposed ceiling.
In view of the foregoing, it is readily apparent that when for any reason it is desired to obtain access to space the ceiling underlies, this may be readily done at any desired point along the ceiling and without harm thereto simply by pressing any one or more of the panels 24 upwardly above the plane of the supporting framework, and then shifting the same laterally and resting them on the adjacent supporting framework, or tilting the panel and removing it through the opening between the opposed stringers and crossbars. This may be quickly and easily performed by unskilled labor without in any way damaging the ceiling.
FIGURE 5 is illustrative of how the flanges of the support members are a highlighting decorative part of the ceiling construction in addition to their panel support function. The upper faces of the flange 14 full underlie in concealing supporting relation overhanging flange 25 portions of adjacent panels. The exposed face of the flange 14 decoratively spans the distance between opposed depending recessed edges 26 of adjacent panels while being Withdrawn some distance from the plane of the major exposed surfaces 27 of the panels. In such position the exposed faces of the flanges lend themselves to a highly pleasing complementary association with the panels highlighting both the color and geometric configuration thereof.
It is manifest that by the means of the present acoustical panels and the present suspension means, a ceiling may be arranged in a variety of ornamental patterns. As seen in FIGURES 1 and 3, the panels of the ceiling have been installed in a regular pattern of a plurality of panels in a side-by-side row alignment which may be termed a checkerboard pattern. A modification of this ornamental pattern is shown in FIGURE 4 wherein the panels in one row are offset from the panels in the adjacent row and the flanges 13 of the crossbars are similarly offset. 6f course, in any modification, the three dimensional or relief pattern, and the corresponding functional effect in the exposure of a plurality of sound absorbing surfaces of each panel will be maintained.
The portion of an exposed ceiling shown in FIGURE 6 is substantially similar to the arrangement illustrated in FIGURES l and 3 with the slight modification that each of the panels are rectangular in shape and are supported on exposed flanges 14 of stringers only. In this instance, the supporting network having been formed without the crossbars, each of the panels in a row abuts the adjacent panel meeting in a linear abutting relationship at 28, and exposing bottom portions of the overhanging flanges 25 in addition to the recessed edges 26. Thus, while the decorative effect of a completely enclosing bordering flange network is somewhat diminished in this instance, this construction does afford the advantages of retaining a three dimensional relief pattern and exposing a greater amount of sound absorbing surface. Additionally, savings are made in the installation cost both in labor and material.
Other obvious modifications in the geometrical layout of the exposed silrface of the ceiling are readily apparent, such as constructing the framework in a triangular or diamond shaped pattern and constructing the panels correspondingly, Such modifications, however, do not depart from the principles of this invention as expressed in the following claims.
1. An acoustical ceiling adapted to cover the interior overhead structure in a building comprising anopen grid framework of supporting members, means for supporting said framework at a selected level below said overhead structure, a plurality of spaced panels of porous acoustical material each having upper peripheral flange portions with overhanging opposite panel sides depending therefrom with exposed surfaces and bounding a major exposed bottom face of the respective panel, the porosity of said bottom face of each panel being less. than that of the exposed surfaces of said depending sides the bottom portions of said framework lying in a common plane and being exposed in said ceiling, the peripheral flange portions of each of said panels being concealed and supported by said framework, and the exposed surfaces of said depending sides as well as the bottom face of each of said panels projecting below the plane of the bottom portions of said framework, the sum of the areas of said exposed sides being at least 7% of the total panel area exposed in said ceiling.
2. An acoustical ceiling adapted to cover the interior overhead structure of a building comprising a network of panel supporting members, means securing said network at a selected level below said overhead structure, the bottom surfaces of said network lying in a common plane and exposed in said ceiling, a plurality of acoustically porous panels, each said panel having a peripherally continuous overhanging flange and planar recessed depending side portions terminating at the bottom face of the panel, the porosity of said bottom face of each panel being less than that of the depending recessed side portions, each said panel bridging an opening in said network with its overhanging flange supported on and concealed by supporting members bounding said opening, said depending side portions of each said panel projecting downwardly through the opening which the panel bridges, each panel thereby presenting a plurality of sound absorbing surfaces exposed in said ceiling.
3. The acoustical ceiling of claim 2 wherein the recessed depending side portions of each panel are vertical and the bottom face of the panel is substantially coextensive with the dimensions of the opening whereby each said panel is upwardly removable from said network.
4. An acoustical ceiling adapted to cover the overhead structure of the building comprising an open grid framework of supporting members, means securing said frame work at a selected level below said overhead structure, a plurality of acoustical panels each having a peripherally continuous overhanging flange portion with recessed side portions depending therefrom and bounding a major exposed bottom face, the bottom surface of said framework lying in a common plane and being exposed in said ceiling, said overhanging flange portion of each of said panels being concealed and supported by said framework, said depending recessed side portions and major face of each of said panels projecting below the plane of the bottom surfaces of said framework and being exposed in said ceiling, a thin sheet of film material coextensive with and adhered to each bottom face of said panels, the sum of the areas of the exposed depending recessed side portions being at least 7% of the total area of each panel exposed in said ceiling.
5. In an acoustical ceiling a plurality of spaced parallelly extending supporting members disposed at a selected level below the overhead framing structure of the building, said members each having a horizontal continuous support ledge with its bottom surface exposed in said ceiling, acoustical panels supported by and spanning the space between adjacent supporting members, each said panel having upper peripheral flange portions with overhanging opposite panel sides depending therefrom with exposed surfaces and bounding a major bottom face of the respective panel, a thin sheet of film material coextensive with and adhered to each bottom face of said panels, the peripheral flange portions of each of said panels being concealed and supported by adjacent sup porting members, the exposed surfaces of said depending sides and bottom face of each of said panels projecting below the plane of the bottom surfaces of said supporting members and exposed in said ceiling, the sum of the areas of the exposed sides being at least 7% of the total area of each panel exposed in said ceiling, said panels each being upwardly removable from said supporting members.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 507,430 Graham Oct. 24, 1893 Haertel Nov. 24, 1942 Merlino Oct. 7, 1958 Grosskortenhaus June 19, 1959 FOREIGN PATENTS Switzerland Oct. 16, 1951 Germany Dec. 6, 1951 France Apr. 15, 1953 France Nov. 23, 1959 France Dec. 7, 1959 OTHER REFERENCES Modern Plastics: Fibrous Glass Tile, p. 183. Oc-