US 3177022 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 6 1965 J. F. MCKEE ETAL. 3,177,022
LATCHING MEGHANISM FOR OVERHEAD DOORS Filed May 7, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet l IIN". nl" lll JUG Uli
April 6, 1965 J. F. MCKEE r-:TAL 3,177,022
LATOHING MEOHANISM FOR OVERHEAD DOORS Filed May 7, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United etat 3,177,022 lv ECHANlSM FR VERHEAD BQSRS l John F. McKee and Reynold E. Schumacher, Aurora, lll., assignors to McKee Boor Company, a corporation of Illinois Filed May 7, i963, Ser. No. 27d,544
1 Claim. (Cl. 225tl) This invention relates to a latching mechanism for an overhead door and more particularly is concerned with providing a simplified, low cost, reliable latching mechanism that is easy to install, adjust and operate.
vThe principal objects of the invention are to provide a latching mechanism: that is stable in both its latchk position and'its release position; that may be left in its latch position during door closure to automatically latch without-any requirementfor manual actuation; that is readily adjustable to engage a track mounted strike over a considerable range of track taper; that is adaptable to variousrdoor clearance conditions such as may occur due to heaving of the door, or due to 'obstacles such as snow, ice or stones under the door and preventing complete closure thereof; and that is readily releasible by a door opening motion applied to the latching mechanism l to'facilitate enlarged illustration;
'.FIG. 2 is a fragmentary vside elevational view of the actuator element of the latching mechanism of this invention;v
FlG. 2A is an enlarged fragmentary view of the actuator structurej PEG. 3 is a fragmentary plan view illustrating the details of the latch and strike arrangement provided for each track;
FlG. 4 is a side elevational View illustrating additional details of the latch; and y FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of the actuator illusrating it in its latch release position.
` Referring now to the drawings, and particularly to FlG. l thereof, there is a fragmental illustration of an overhead door designated generally as l@ and having a central portionl 10C, a left-hand portion lille, and a right hand portion ltlR. 'Ihe door l@ may comprise a plurality of hingedly-connectedhorizontal sections, one or more of which are equipped with guides 11 (see FIG. 3), operating in guideways defined by tracks l2 that lead upwardly at a slight incline adjacent to the opposite edges of the door for cooperably controlling door opening and door closing movements.
The latching mechanism which is also shown fragmentally in FIG. 1 includes left and right hand latch assemblies, designated generally at ML and MR, respectively, mounted on the corresponding door portions and acentral latch actuator l5 mounted on the door center portion itlC and rotatable about its central axis A between a latch position as represented in FIG, l and a release position as represented in FIG. 5i lt should be apparent that the axis A is oriented generally normal to the plane of the door lil. Each guide track l? has a strike 16 mounted at an intermediate point therealong and projecting transannees iiatezated Apr. S, 1955 versely of the track direction to present a downwardly directed strike face lo? for engagement by thevcorrespending' latch. ln FlG. l a spring driven bolt i7 is shown immediately above the actuator l5 and may be controlled by any suitable lock unit (not shown) for securing the actuator in its latch position as shown in FlG. l.
.Each latch assembly includes a door mounted bracket l and a pivotbracket i9, each having integrally formed upper and lower ears lSE and WE, respectively, provided with aligned'apertures to receive a vertical hinge sleeve Ztl. A helical coil spring 2l is disposed in telescoping relation about the hinge sleeve Ztl. At the right edge of the door,the spring 2l Vhas its upper end 2U extended to abut against the door bracket 18 and its lower end ZlL extended to abut against the pivot bracket i9 and` tended to abut against the pivot bracket 19. The pivot bracket 1S" has outwardly directed upper and lower guide wingsl BW and a horizontally elongated slot 19S (see EEG. 4) intermediately thereof to accommodate selectively adjustable mounting of the throw 22 which is illustrated as beine of right angle contiguration to accommodate reversible mounting or" the throw.
As is apparent from a consideration of FIGS. l, 3 and 4, the throw 22 is comprised of right angularly oriented, integrally connected long and short jaw plates, ZZL and 22S, respectively. Each jaw puate has a pair of horizontal jaw edges Z4 and 25 for selective latching engagement with the abutment face idF of the corresponding strike l5, and a pair of cam edges 24C and 2SC for selective camming engagement with the corresponding strike to cause the throwr to pivot enough to permit it to pass beneath the strike and return automatically to strike engaging position. This automatic action of the pivotally mounted throws allows the door lil to be closed when the latch assemblies are in their latch position as shown in PEG. l.
Ehe iaw and cam edges on the different jaw plates 221. and 22S of each throw 22 are arranged in inverted relationship as required to enable reversible mounting'of the throw for presenting either the long jaw 2.2L or the short jaws 2S for engagement with the strike i6. the illus'- trated arrangement, the longer jaw plate 22L serves for mounting to the pivot bracket i9 and a nut and bolt fastener 26 engages through a central hole in the plate Y and through the slot lS in the pivot bracket. Where the strikes lo are spaced further apart, the shorter jaw plate 22S serves for mounting to the pivot bracket .i9 and the longer plate 22L,'which is then inverted horn the position in which it is illustrated herein,'is in position to engage the strike le. Finally, each pivot bracket i9 has an outer edge liange llF having a central eye to facilitate the attachment of a cable end.
The latch actuator unit .l5 includes a mounting plate 2S for stationary attachment to the door, aire'taining plate 29 overlying and rigid with the mounting plate 28 and having an open center bordered by an annular wall oltset 29A to define an annular guideway ZnlG (see FIG. 2A) between the mounting and retaining plates and encircling the airis A, av guide plate Sil having edge oisets StiE slidably movable along the guideway, and a support shell 3l liked to the guide plate and rotatable jointly therewith.
A pair ot' cable spools 32 and 33 are mounted within the actuator shell 3l at locations spaced symmetrically about the axis A and as shown in FIG. l where the actuator is in latch position, the spool 32 is in the first quadrant and the spool 33 is in the third quadrant, whereas, when the actuator is at release position (seefFIG. 5),
the spool 32 is in the second quadrant andthe spool 33 is in the fourth quadrant. The shell structure 31 has inter-V "rupted peripheral side walls 31W at its periphery to pro- 1` vide access passages for the cable that is to beV secured `upon these spools.
" The cable -end 34L ,engaged to the left hand latch assembly 14Lvleads onv to the spool 32 which is remoteV therefrom when the actuator 15 is in its latch position of FIG. 1, and it is trained about the spool 32 in a spirally Vvinwardly winding vconfiguration relative tothe Vaxis A.
and 33 of the actuator 15 and having opposite ends con riected to the latch assemblies 14L and 14R to enable rotation of the actuator 15 from its latch position 'of FIG. k1 to its Vrelease position of FIG. 5 to cause corresponding )pivotal movement of each throw 22 from an outboard `position (shown in full lines in FIG; 3) to an inboard position (shown in phantom lines in FIG. 3).V To eliminate interference between the Vcable lengths'exiting from the spools 32 and 33, the spools are located in laterally oiset vertical planes as shown in FIG. 2. Where a single line of cable is employed, as shown herein, the spools are rotatably mounted on the actuator shell 31.
One important feature of the invention is that the movement of the actuator 15 from its latch position ofV l 21 are stressed and act to swing the Vthrows toward their outboard position. This subjectsV each cable end to a pull and applies torque to the actuator through the spools 32 and 33. Since the line of action of the cable ends moved over center as the actuator was turned to its release position of FIG. 5, the applied torque, due to the springs acting to swing the throws 22 to latch position, acts in an opposite sense on the-actuator 15 and tends to hold itin release positionV and resist return movement. The shell 31 of the actuator has an integral diameteral offset portion 31H providing a handle for'operating the latch arrangement Yfrom the inside of the door. The usual handle The provision of vertically spaced jaw edges in combination with automatically camming throws biased toward latch position permitsthe arrangement to adapt to changes in door clearance conditions such as occur after the door installation isA completed. l Y
It should be understood that the description of the preferred form of the invention is for thepurpose of complying with Section 1-12, Title 35, lofthe U.S. Code and that the claims should be construedas broadly as prior art will per-mit.
What is claimed is: Y
Latching mechanism for an overhead. door having door mounted guides operable in vertical tracks disposed alongiside the door, a separate strike for secure'rnent at an intermediate point along each track, a separate 'throw for each strike, means "for mounting each throw to the door for shifting Amovement between an outboard position wherefV symmetrically from said axis such that when said actua` tor is at latch position, one spool is in a first quadrant of e rotary position'about said axis and the other spool is in 35 is mounted on the outside of the door and has a shaft i 35S keyed Vto the base wall 31B of the actuator shell 31 mechanism and initiate door opening movement.
a third quadrant of rotary position about said axis and when the actuator is at release position, said one spool is in a second quadrant of rotary position about said axis and said other spool is in a second quadrant of .rotaryV position about said axis, and a single piece of cable providing a length of cable engaged to each throw and engaged in a spirally inwardly winding configuration upon Vthe spool thatv is remote Vfrom the corresponding throw when said actuator `is in latch position, with vthe line of the cable from the spool to thethrow moving vertically Y beyond said axis when the actuator is rotated from latch position to release position to enable the Vbiasing action of said resilient means lactingthrough the cable to yieldably hold'theV actuator at its release position, wherein said actuator spools are offsetA horizontally a slight distance and individually rotatable and a singlecable line has its intermediate portion engaged u-pon'said spools and its vend portions attached to the throws.V
References Cited by Examiner Y UNrTEDjsTATEs PATENTS 1,603,379 10/26 Dautrick. 1,613,023 1/27 Diete. Y 2,389,315 11/45 Kerr 292-21 2,661,787 V12/53 Erdal 153-120 2,730,393 'I1/56 Ries -292-244 V*Fornitore PATENTS( i 263,933 `9/13 Germany.,V
M. HENsoNwooD, n., Primary Examiner.
THOMAS J. HICKEY, Examiner.