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Publication numberUS3217452 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 16, 1965
Filing dateJun 28, 1961
Priority dateJun 28, 1961
Publication numberUS 3217452 A, US 3217452A, US-A-3217452, US3217452 A, US3217452A
InventorsSteele Melvin A
Original AssigneeSteele Melvin A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Wall and partition construction
US 3217452 A
Images(4)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1965 M. A. STEELE WALL AND PARTITION CONSTRUCTION 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed June 28, 1961 INVENTOR. MELVIN A. STEELE BY 52 5 ATTORNEYS Nov. 16, 1965 STEELE 3,217,452

WALL AND PARTITION CONSTRUCTION Filed June 28, 1961 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. MELViN A. STEELE ATTORNEYS Nov. 16, 1965 M. A. STEELE WALL AND PARTITION CONSTRUCTION 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed June 28, 1961 FIG. 4

INVENTOR. MELVIN A. STEELE ATTO NEYS Nov. 16, 1965 M. A. STEELE 3,

WALL AND PARTITION CONSTRUCTION Filed June 28, 1961 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 FIG. 9

FIG. 10

FIG. II

INVENTOR. MELVIN A. STEELE I 2 ATTOR EYS United States Patent 3,217,452 WALL AND PARTITION CONSTRUCTION Melvin A. Steele, New York, N.Y. (1600 Bayshore Road, Villas, NJ.) Filed June 28, 1961, Ser. No. 120,246 Claims. (Cl. 52272) This invention relates to improvements in wall and partition construction and more particularly to a novel partition construction which may be simply erected to form a wall of desired length and shape in a building.

In the building industry the trend is towards flexibility of layout in office space. Large floor areas are left unencumbered by walls or posts and are subdivided by partition walls to meet the specific needs of the tenants.

The partition Wall construction must have sufficient structural strength and have suitable exterior finish which is adaptable for receiving decorating material. Further, this type of wall construction should be easily assembled by relatively unskilled labor so that the final cost of subdividing the large open area is reasonable. Often times, a single partition or small section of the wall must be removed to provide the services such as electrical, telephone, recording lines, necessary in any office.

The improved wall and panel construction of the present invention permits progressive erection of the wall, allows removal and replacement of any panel in the partition wall without disturbing the remaining panels, permits any of the services, such as wiring or piping, usually found in partition walls to be added without dismantling the entire wall, is easy to assemble and disassemble so as to permit changes in the layout of rooms as desired and takes a variety of decorative finishes.

Heretofore, partition wall construction while dismountable, often required extensive Work to remove a single partition. Also, special structures were normally required to carry the services to the enclosed area. Further erection of a predetermined length of partition wall was dithcult due to creeping. Creeping is the gain or loss in the desired overall wall length which occurs during. its erection. The variation in wall length is due to the fractional variations occurring in the assembling of the individual panels. The overall variation could be critical if the end of the wall abuts a post, wall or other immovable object.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a partition wall which may be quickly and accurately assembled to form a rigid wall structure of a predetermined length and which eliminates creepage.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a rigid partition wall having a plurality of panels in which any one panel can be easily removed and replaced without disturbing its adjacent panels.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a partition wall which permits adding or replacing of services, such as wiring, easily without materially disturbing the partition wall.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a partition wall which can be easily disassembled and reassembled by unskilled labor to vary the layout of rooms or enclosed areas.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a novel means of interconnecting and sealing the space between adjacent panel units in the wall structure and eliminate a separate cap or covering piece.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide an easily assembled wall structure having a plurality of panels having outer surfaces suitable for decorative finishing, which is structurally strong, pleasing in looks, retards sound, adaptable to mass production, low in cost and durable in use.

3,217,452 Patented Nov. 16, 1965 ice According to the general features of this invention a novel panel wall is provided which has floor and ceiling guide members which coact with panel units to firmly hold the panel units in a fixed, predetermined position. Each partition panel is properly placed once the floor and ceiling members are in their proper positions. A connecting member is positioned between adjacent partition wall panels which is slotted from end to end and adapted to be rotated in place. To remove a panel, a vertical edge of one surface of the panel to be removed coacts with its abutting connecting member and by rotating the member and pivoting the panel, the panel is easily removed.

Other and further features, objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to one skilled in the art, from the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is an exploded view in perspective showing one form of a partition wall in accordance with the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a vertical sectional view partially broken away, taken along line 2-2 of FIGURE 1 with the members of the exploded view shown in juxtaposition;

FIGURE 3 is a partially broken away, front elevational view of the vertical section shown in FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 4 is a reduced front elevational view, partially broken away showing a portion of an assembled partition wall made in accordance with the present invention;

FIGURE 5 is the same view as in FIGURE 4, showing a partition panel in the process of being removed;

FIGURE 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 6-6 of FIGURE 5;

FIGURE 7 is a front elevational view of the lower portion of the wall structure shown in FIGURE 5 FIGURE 8 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIGURE 6, showing a sequence in removing a partition from a wall;

FIGURE 9 is a front elevational view similar to FIG- URE 7 showing the sequence shown in FIGURE 8;

FIGURE 10 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG- URE 8 showing a further sequence in the removal of a partition;

FIGURE 11 is the partial front elevational view corresponding to FIGURE 10;

FIGURE 12 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG- URE 10 showing the last step in the removal of a partition;

FIGURE 13 is the partial front elevational View corresponding to FIGURE 12;

FIGURE 14 is an exploded perspective view showing the ceiling partition wall members; and

FIGURE 15 is a sectional view of two panels in assembled position showing a further embodiment of an insulating member.

In the accompanying drawings like reference characters refer to like parts, throughout the several views.

The partition wall shown in FIGURES 1 and 4 include ceiling and floor assemblies and 102 respectively which removably retain panels or partition units 20 in side to side abutting relation to form a rigid demountable partition wall of a predetermined length.

The interchangeable flush panel units 20 shown in FIGURE 1 have substantially flush facing surfaces. Each panel unit 20 includes opposed facing sheets or panel face skins 23 which are identical in construction and are rigidly secured together and spaced apart in opposed relationship, as seen best in FIGURES 1, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 15. As seen best in FIGURES 1 and 15, the sides of sheets 23 are reversely turned to form end lips or arms 21 and are inwardly turned to form a transverse portion or end wall 64. The outer edge of portion 64 is inwardly turned to firm a lip 65. Lips 65 of a corresponding end of a panel 20 are spaced apart to form an opening 22 in FIGURE. 1. Laminated to the inner faces of corresponding sheets 23 is an expanded paper filling or honeycomb core 24. Core 24 is preferably impregnated against moisture, vermin and mildew and is bonded to sheets 23 with a high strength adhesive to form a high impact resistant, rigid partition capable of withstanding large compressive and transverse forces. While a honeycomb core backing is shown and described, other material may be used such as fibrous material, which has sound deadening and other insulating qualities. Core material 24 abuts the inner edge of lips 65 at opposite sides of panel 20, as shown inFIGURE 3.

Attached in some manner, such as by glue, along the outer surfaces of portions 64 at each side of a panel 20, is a sound proofing strip 25, preferably made of felt. Strip 25 prevents metal to metal contact in a manner as described below.

Ceiling assembly 100 as a ceiling channel or member 1 which abuts the ceiling. Advantageously, the surface of channel 1 contacting the ceiling, not shown, may be provided with a ribbed cushion or coating of rubber or other flexible material, such as plastic, to form a nonslip, yieldable but firm surface with the ceiling, as well as to compensate for irregularities in the surface of the ceiling. Channel 1 has a center groove or depression 2. The centerline of the wall to be erected is usually marked along the ceiling and floor of the room to be divided. Groove 2 allows channel 1 to be axially aligned with the center line marked on the ceiling. Channel 1 is shaped in the form shown in FIGURES l and 2 and is formed from metal strip of suitable gage and width. The side edge portions of channel 1 are shaped to provide a pair of tracks or retaining grooves 3 directed outwardly and the ends are bent reversely to form arms 4. The deformation in channel 1 provided by tracks 3 and arms 4 serves to stiffen channel 1 and increase its rigidity and which can therefore be made from lighter gage sheet metal. In forming and shaping channel 1, a continuous metal strip may be fed through a forming machine having a series of roller dies of appropriate shapes preferably channel 1 is cut to lengths which are convenient to handle and ship.

Shaped to be slidably received within channel 1 is a generally U-shaped partition positioner 5 having a groove or recess 6 centrally disposed in its base. At opposite sides of the base of positioner 5 are outwardly directed protuberances or flanges 7 which are shaped to be received snugly and slidably in tracks 3 in channel 1, as seen best in FIGURE 2. When flanges 7 are received within tracks 3, recess 6 is vertically aligned with recess 2 in channel 1. The outer ends of the arms of positioner 5 are outwardly and reversely bent to form a lip 8 to be used in a manner as described hereinafter. Spaced apart on the innner surfaces of each of the arms of positioner 5 are inwardly directed pairs of protuberances or ribs 9. Protuberances 9 are substantially perpendicular to the base of the U of positioner 5 and in each arm are spaced apart a predetermined distance.

Positioners 5 are formed from metal strip of suitable gage and width. In forming and shaping positioner 5, a continuous metal strip may be fed through a forming machine having a series of roller dies of appropriate shape and size and are cut to desired length.

Telescopically received within the arms of positioner 5, are a series of locking members 10, a pair of which is seen in FIGURE 1. Locking member 10 is generally U-shaped, having a base 10A with side arms extending generally perpendicularly therefrom. A pair of locking members 10 are operatively disposed within positioner 5 with the plane containing each base 10A being substantially perpendicular to the ceiling and with the edges of their arms being in face to face relation. All locking members 10 are the same and only one will be described in detail. As seen best in FIGURES 1 and 14, each side arm of locking member 10 has a groove or channel 11 therein which is parallel to the base 10A. Each groove 11 corresponds in width and cooperatively mates with a corresponding protuberance 9 in side wall of positioner 5. As seen best in FIGURE 14, one end of locking member 10 is of a greater width than the end containing groove 11 as indicated at 60, forming a shoulder 62 at the line of change over. Portion 60 of locking member 10 is of a width such that the edges of its arm are received within end lips 21 of a panel 20. Each of the side arms of portion 60 of locking member 19 has a cut-out section along its leading edge, forming an edge 71, shown in FIGURES 1 and 14. The length of the side arms of portion 60 up to edge 71 is substantially equal to the distance from the inner surface of end lip 21 to lips 65 in a panel 20. Portion 60 of locking member 11 has slots 12 cut in each of its arms substantially parallel to groove 11. The rearward edge of each of slots 12 is axially aligned with corresponding edge 71. Slots 12 are shaped and formed to receive lip 21 of a panel 20 therein as shown in FIGURES 2 and 3. As seen best in FIGURES 1 and 14, when members 10 are telescopically received within positioner 5 protuberances 9 mate with corresponding grooves 11 and the edges of the side arms of paired locking members 10 are adjacent and face. While positioner 5 was shown to have inwardly directed protuberances and member 10 a mating groove, these could be reversed.

Floor assembly 102 has a channel floor plate 26 with upstanding arms 26a. Advantageously the underside of the base of channel 26 has a yieldable surface attached thereto of plastic or the like, which is non-slippery and is deformable so as to compensate for any uneven surfaces. Preferably, along the upper surface of the base of channel 26 is a depression 66 along the centerline thereof. Depression 66 is preferably formed by coining in which the material on the upper surface is deformed without disturbing the lower surface of the base of channel 26. Arms 26a of channel 26 contain inwardly directed protuberances or flanges 67 which are parallel and spaced a predetermined distance from the upper surface of the base of channel 26. Protuberances 67 cooperate with the upper surface of channel 26 to form a groove or track 27 parallel to and abutting each edge of the base of channel 26.

Slidably mounted along channel 26 are a plurality of panel holders 29. Advantageously, panel holder 29 is formed from a pair of generally U-shaped members 68 having a base portion in back to back relation and a pair of outwardly directed arms 30 and 31. The base portions of U-shaped member 68 are mounted back to back, as seen best in FIGURES 1 and 2, in any convenient way, such as welding, bolting and the like. Preferably members 68. have an outwardly tapered, lower portion 62. Arms 30 of members 68 have a thickness slightly less than the thickness of track 27 in channel 26 so as to slidably mate therewith. Panel holder 29 is slidably movable within tracks 27 but prevented from lateral displacement by reason of protuberances or flanges 67 in arms 26a of floor channel 26. Advantageously a strengthening rib 72 is positioned vertically along the outer surfaces of the bases of members 68 as shown in FIGURES 1 and 2. Rib 72 is preferably pressed in member 68. Arms 31 of member 68 have their outer edges upwardly turned as at 70 to form a seat for panel 20. As shown best in FIGURE 2, panel 26 is received within upwardly turned arms 70. The outer edges of arms 70 are bent outwardly at an angle as shown at 32.

Preferably member 68 is pressed or stamped to shape from a coil of sheet material. In practice a progressive die is used for stamping to shape.

Disposed between consecutive panels 20 is tubular member 18. Tubular member 18 has a longitudinal slot or opening 19 therein. Tube 18 is generally of the same height as panel 20 and has a diameter slightly less than the distance between the inner surfaces of a pair of facing end lips 21 of a panel 20. In an assembled position, tubular member 18 will be received between adjacent panels 20 and be slidably mounted between corresponding end walls 64 and end lips 21 as shown best in FIGURES 4 and 6. If slot 19 extends the entire length of tubular member 18, the length of tubular member 18 could vary. If tubular member 18 is greater in length than corresponding panel 20, then slot 19 could be of a length slightly greater than the length of end lips 21.

One manner of fabricating tubular member 18 which has been found satisfactory is to roll form it from a coil of flat material. The material would be progressively rolled to desired shape with the ends separated to form slot 19. The rolled tube is cut to length.

A ceiling cover 13 has a U-shaped lower portion which overlays along the upper portion of the outer surface of sheet 23 of panel 20 and is provided with an offset hook portion 14 which is adapted to engage lip 8 of positioner 5 as seen best in FIGURE 2. The upper edge 16 of cover 13 is provided with an offset hook portion which is adapted to engage arm 4 of ceiling channel 1. To position ceiling cover 13, book 14 is positioned in its mating lip 8 of positioner 5 and the upper hook 15 is pressfitted into engagement with arm 4 of ceiling channel 1. To remove cover 13, an outward force is urged along upper edge 16 and the upper portion swung out and cover 13 is then lifted off of lip 8.

A base cover or floor channel side panels 34 have a double rebent flange forming a clip or hook portion 35. Base cover 34 has an outwardly directed flange 37 intermediate of its edges for providing a finger hold or kick plate for removing or positioning base cover 34, as will be discussed hereinafter. The upper edge of base cover 34 is turned downwardly to provide a channel 36, which is adapted to engage edge 32 of panel holder 29. Clip 35 of base cover 34 is adapted to be clipped over arms 28 of floor channel 26 and channel 36 engaging edge 32.

FIGURE 15 shows a further embodiment of a construction preventing metal to metal contact between tubular member 18 and adjoining panels 20. Instead of a strip of felt along end walls 64 of panel 20, a plastic strip 511 is used having an enlarged head 82 and a flexible finger 84. Finger 84 passes through opening 22 at the end of panel and engages tubular member 18. Head 82 of strip 81 is wedged behind lips 65. Plastic strip 81 acts in a manner similar to felt strip 25. Finger 84 is preferably long enough to slide over the outer surface of tubular member 18 as it rotates.

The panel wall construction may be assembled as follows: Individual panels 20 are preferably preassembled at the factory and delivered in finished form as shown in the drawings. The center line of the wall to be erected is marked on the floor and the ceiling. The base of floor channel 26 is positioned along the floor with depression 66 being axially aligned with the centerline of the floor. Floor channel 26 is secured to the floor along the center line by any convenient means such as bolts, screws or rivets 74. Depression 66 aids in starting a drill and insures proper alignment of floor channel 26. Panel holders 29 are disposed along floor channel 26 in sliding relationship. Advantageously, holders 29 may be snapped into floor channel 26 by reason of the inherent flexibility of mating arms 26a and 30. As shown the edges of arms 30 coact with track 27 along the base of floor channel 26 to prevent lateral displacement. If an end of the partition wall connects with a building wall, a wall channel 17 is secured to the building wall at a desired height by means of bolts, screws and the like through openings 80.

Ceiling channel 1 is secured to the ceiling with the axis of depression 2 lying in the same vertical plane as the center line marked along the ceiling. Ceiling channel 1 may be secured to the ceiling in any convenient manner, such as bolts, studs and the like along depression 2. Also,

depression 2 aids in initially positioning a drill. Partition positioners 5 are slidably mounted in ceiling channel 1 with protuberances 7 cooperatively received in tracks 3 in channel 1, as seen best in FIGURE 2.

A first panel 20 is received within the outwardly extending arms of wall channel 17 and positioned on the upper surface of arms 31 between upstanding arms 70 of panel holder 29. If desired this panel support holder 29 is positioned abutting the building wall beneath wall channel 17 and another holder 29 supports the opposite end of panel 21) and extends beyond the remote edge of the panel as seen best in FIGURE 4.

A locking member 10 is telescopically received within positioner 5 with the protuberances 9 which are nearest to the wall received in channels 11. Positioner 5 is slidably moved along tracks 3 to a position above the edge of panel 20 furthest from wall channel 17. During this locking movement, sliding member 10 is displaced within positioner 5, sufl'icient to be freely moved above panel 20. Panel 20 is firmly urged against channel 17. As seen best in FIGURES 2 and 3, locking member 10 is lowered and portion thereof is received between sheets 23 of a panel unit 20 with the inner surface of the base 10A of portion 69 abutting lips with edges 71 abutting corresponding end lips 21. Corresponding end lips 21 are received within slots 12 in each side arm portion 60 of locking member 10. Panel 20 is thus fixedly secured to locking member 10 to prevent relative horizontal movement. Positioner 5 is affixed in some manner to channel 1, such as by placing a screw 46 through the groove 6 in positioner 5 and through groove 2 in channel 1 into the ceiling. Panel 20 is locked in fixed position other than vertical movement, since locking member 10 is fixedly positioned in positioner 5.

A tubular member 18 is positioned within end lips 21 of the first panel 20 and abuts strip 25. Tube 18 is supported on the upper surface of arms 31 of panel holder 29 previously positioned. A second locking member 10 is positioned within afiixed partition positioner 5. The next panel unit 20 is placed in edge to edge relation to the first panel such that its end lips 21 receive tube 18 in between with the lower edge of the second panel 20 resting on panel holder 29 previously positioned. Another panel holder 29 is slidably positioned in floor channel 26 and positioned to support the end remote from channel 17 of second panel 20. This panel holder 29 extends outwardly beyond the end of second panel 20 to support a third panel end in the same manner as described above with respect to the first panel. The second locking member 10 is lowered from positioner 5 and aflixed to the upper edges of end lips 21 of the second panel in a manner previously described with respect to first locking member 10. Thus, second panel 20 is fixedly positioned with respect to first panel 26 by reason of the fixed predetermined dimensions of the distance between pairs of protuberances 9 in positioner 5. A second partition positioner 5 is placed in position straddling the free end of second panel 20 and the process described above is repeated with respect to another panel 20.

This assembling technique is repeated until the partition wall is completed. As is evident, each panel is fixedly positioned in predetermined relation with its adjoining panels with no gain or loss in the overall length of the wall.

While in this open position service lines may be laid along floor channel 26 on both sides of the vertical portion of members 68 and vertically through tubular members 18. It is evident that no threading of wires is necessary.

After the Wall has been assembled ceiling cover 13 is applied by engaging hook 14 of cover 13 with lip 8 of partition positioner 5 and pivoting ceiling cover 13 upwardly or counter clockwise as shown in FIGURE 1, so that hook 15 of cover channel 13 and arm 4 of ceiling channel 1 are pressed together and frictionally engage.

Base cover 34 is clipped into position by sliding hook 35 over the upper edge of arm 28 of floor channel 26 and raising cover 34 until channel 36 can he slid over edge 32 of panel holder 29.

The assembled wall structure provides a neat appearance. Tubular members 18 eliminate covers, clips and pivots heretofore required to interconnect adjacent panels and cover spaces inbetween.

The Wall structure can be easily disassembled to provide easy access to the service lines or to provide additional service lines as needed. If only a single panel is desired to be removed, the base cover 3 3 is removed by lifting along flange 37 until channel 36 is free of edge 32 and the cover is rotated outwardly and then lifted further until hook 35 is disengaged from arm 28. Similarly the ceiling cover channel 13 is removed by pressing outwardly and downwardly disengaging flange 15 from flange 4 and lifting hook 14 from lip 8.

Referring specifically to FIGURES 5 through 13 a sequence of operations is shown for removing a single panel, 2%.

After the ceiling cover 13 and base cover 34 are removed, a rigid rod or piece of material, such as wood, metal or the like, indicated at 33, is placed across upper arms 28 of floor channel 26 intermediate of the panel holders 29 supporting the panel desired to be removed, i.e. 2012, as seen best in FIGURE 6. Panel holders 29 supporting panel 28b are moved along floor channel 26 away from panel b, as shown in FIGURES 5 and 6. With panel holders 29 so removed, panel 20b is lowered until it rests on rod 33. Since panel 20b is juxtaposed to tubular members 18 on opposite sides there is no lateral displacement but only vertical, slidable movement. As seen in FIGURE 5, panel 20b is lowered as well as adjacent tubular members 18. Locking members It attached on opposite upper edges of panel 20b as seen in FIGURE 5, move with panel 2%. One of the tubular members 18 is rotated so that slot 12 faces one of the longitudinal end lips 21 of panel 20b. As seen in FIGURE 6, tube 18 to the left of panel 2% is shown rotated until slot 19 faces the left rear end lip 21. Tubular member 18 can be rotated in a variety of ways, one manner is providing an opening or hole 84 through which can be received a tool or tubular rod and rotating the rod. Pivoting panel 2012 about the tubular member 18 to its right, as viewed in FIGURES 8 and 9, allows the left rear end lip 21 of panel 201) to be received within slot 19 of the adjacent tubular member 18. Exerting a counterclockwise movement on panel 20 as viewed in FIGURES 8 through 11 rotates the left tubular member 18 as shown and frees the end of panel 20b and permits panel 2% to be removed, as seen in FIGURES 12 and 13.

After the work on the service lines is performed, panel 28b is replaced in its original position by the inverse of the steps described above and shown in FIGURES 513.

It will be understood that the partitions can be made in accordance with the invention in varying widths or thickness.

From the foregoing it will be seen that the present invention provides a partition structure which can be easily and economically formed from a minimum number of stock parts. The parts are designed that substantially all of them can be formed readily from sheet or plate material by simple punching, drawing, rolling, bending, welding or in other relatively inexpensive operations, adaptable for more production. The construction provided by the present invention is adaptable for meeting substantially all conditions such as corners, intersections, doors and the like without necessitating the use of parts of special size or shape.

The partition structure is one which can be quickly and easily erected in the field by unskilled labor without the aid of special tools or apparatus. Inasmuch as the panels as well as other important parts are detachable, the partition may be disassembled, adjusted or altered without necessitating demolishing the partition or destroying or injuring any of the parts or adjacent portions of the building in which the partition is installed.

While the present invention was shown and described with respect to a certain type of panel structure, other types of structures may be used.

While certain novel features of the invention have been disclosed or pointed out in the annexed claims it will be understood that various omissions, substitutions and changes may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of this invention and it is understood that the foregoing description is illustrative only, the scope of the invention being defined solely by the claims granted.

What is claimed is:

I. A partition wall from which selected panel units can be removed comprising a plurality of panel units disposed in edge to edge planar relation, each of said panel units having a pair of spaced apart lips extending from opposite sides and facing adjoining panel units, a floor plate extending below said panel units, panel holders slidably mounted on said floor plate and engaging lower edges of adjacent panel units, a ceiling member extending above said panel units, the longitudinal axis of said ceiling members and the longitudinal axis of said floor plate define a plane, which plane passes through said panel units, a position member longitudinally and slidably mounted in said ceiling member, locking members having means thereon engaging the panel units, means removably mounting a pair of said locking members in said position member for transverse movement to the longitudinal axis of said ceiling member, said position member straddling adjoining panel units, said pair of locking members being spaced apart a predetermined distance so that each of said locking members engages a corresponding one of said adjoining panel units and prevents longitudinal and transverse movement of said units with respect to said ceiling member, a rotat able tube abutting facing edges of adjoining panel units and disposed between facing pairs of lips, said tube having a longitudinal slot therein for cooperatively receiving a lip of an abutting edge of a panel unit when said panel unit is pivoted about its opposite edge, and means fixedly securing said position member with respect to said ceiling member when one of said locking members engages a panel unit.

2. A partition wall from which selected panel units can be removed comprising a plurality of panel units disposed in edge to edge planar relation, each of said panel units having a pair of spaced apart lips extending from opposite edges and facing adjoining panel units, means supporting said panel units, said means being displaceable for lowering selected panel units, a rotatable tube abutting facing edges of adjoining panel units and disposed between facing pairs of lips, said tube having a longitudinal slot therein adapted to cooperatively receive a lip of an abutting edge of a panel unit when said panel unit is pivoted about its other edge, a member having spaced apart arms adapted to be disposed above and straddling facing edges of adjoining panel units, a pair of locking members cooperatively mating with said member for movement transverse to the longitudinal axis of said panel wall, one end of each of said locking members cooperatively and removably engaging the upper edge of a panel unit for preventing longitudinal and transverse movement of said panel units, said one end of said locking members having a slot therein adapted to receive an edge of a side wall of said panel unit.

3. A partition structure comprising a plurality of panel units in planar relation, a floor plate extending below said panel units, panel holders slidably mounted on said floor plate and engaging lower edges of adjacent panel units, a ceiling member extending above said panel units, the longitudinal axis of said ceiling member and the longitudinal axis of said floor plate defining a plane,

which plane passes through said panel units, a position member longitudinally and slidably mounted in said ceiling member, locking members having means thereon engaging the panel units, means removably mounting a pair of said locking members on said position member for transverse movement to the longitudinal axis of said ceiling member, said position member straddling adjoining panel units, said pair of locking members being spaced apart a predetermined distance so that each of said locking members engages a corresponding one of said adjoining panel units and prevents longitudinal and transverse movement of said units with respect to said ceiling member, and means fixedly securing said position member with respect to said ceiling member when one of said locking members engages a panel unit.

4. A dismountable partition structure from which selected panel units can be removed comprising a plurality of panel units in planar relation, means supporting said panel units, said means being displaceable for lowering selected panel units, a rotatable tube abutting facing edges of adjoining panel units, said tube having a longitudinal slot therein adapted to cooperatively receive a longitudinal end of an abutting edge of the panel unit to be removed when said panel unit is pivoted about its other edge, a first member disposed above and straddling facing edges of adjoining panel units, a locking member having means removably engaging a panel unit, and means mounting a pair of said locking members on said first member for vertical slidable movement and in predetermined spaced apart relation so that each of said pair of locking members engages a corresponding panel unit and prevents horizontal and transverse movement of said panel units.

5. An assembly for fixedly positioning panel units of a partition wall comprising a first member disposed above said panel units and having spaced apart longitudinally extending grooves therein, a second member having a generally inverted U-shaped cross-section slidably mounted in said first member, said second member having a base and upstanding arms with protuberances extending along opposite edges of said base slidably mating with said grooves in said first member, each of said arms having a pair of spaced apart transverse protuberances thereon, a locking member having opposite side walls with grooves therein extending inwardly from one edge, said last mentioned grooves cooperatively mating with corresponding protuberances in opposite arms of said second member, said second member straddling an adjoining pair of panel units and having a pair of locking members therein, and means at the opposite edges of said walls of each of said pair of locking members cooperatively engaging a panel unit of said adjoining pair of said panel units and preventing longitudinal and transverse movement thereof for holding said panel units in fixed relationship.

6. An assembly for fixedly positioning a panel unit of a partition wall comprising a first member disposed above said panel unit and having spaced apart longitudinally extending grooves therein, a second member having a generally inverted U-shaped cross-section slidably mounted in said first member, said second member having a base and upstanding arms with protuberances extending along opposite edges 'of said base slidably mating with said grooves in said first member, a locking member cooperatively mating with said second member for movement transverse to the surface of said base of said second member and having one end abutting an end of said panel unit, said one end of said locking member having a slot therein parallel to the direction of movement, said slot receiving therein an edge of a wall of said panel unit for preventing longitudinal and transverse movement of said panel unit.

7. An assembly for fixedly positioning panel units of a partition wall comprising a member having spaced apart downwardly extending arms disposed above and straddling facing edges of adjoining panel units, a pair of locking members cooperatively mating with said member for movement transverse to the longitudinal axis of said panel units, one end of each of said locking members cooperatively and removably engaging the upper edge of a corresponding one of said adjoining panel units for preventing longitudinal and transverse movement of said panel units, said one end of said locking members having a slot therein in which is received an edge of said corresponding panel unit.

8. An assembly for fixedly positioning a panel unit of a partition wall comprising a first member disposed above said panel unit, a second member having a inverted U- shaped cross-section slidably mounted in said first member, said second member having a base and spaced-apart downwardly extending arms, a locking member cooperatively mating with said second member for movement transverse to the surface of said base of said second member and having one end abutting an end of said panel unit, said one end of said locking member having a slot therein parallel to the direction of said movement, said slot receiving therein an edge of a wall of said panel unit for preventing longitudinal and transverse movement of said panel unit.

9. A partition wall from which selected panel units can be removed comprising a plurality of panel units disposed in edge to edge planar relation, each of said panel units having a pair of spaced apart lips extending from opposite sides and facing adjoining panel units, a floor plate extending below said panel units, panel holders slidably mounted on said floor plate and engaging lower edges of adjacent panel units, a ceiling member extending above said panel units, the longiudinal axis of said ceiling member and the longitudinal axis of said floor plate defining a plane, which plane passes through said panel units, a position member longitudinally and slidably mounted in said ceiling member, locking members having means thereon engaging the panel units, means removably mounting a pair of said locking members in said position member for transverse movement to the longitudinal axis of said ceiling member, said position member straddling adjoining panel units, said pair of locking members being spaced apart a predetermined distance so that each of said locking members engage a corresponding one of said adjoining panel units and prevents longitudinal and transverse movement of said units with respect to said ceiling member, and means fixedly securing said position member with respect to said ceiling member when one of said locking members engages a panel unit.

10. A dismountable partition structure comprising a plurality of panel units in edge to edge contiguous relation, each of said panel units having at its opposite ends vertical edges, each provided with an internal vertically extending recess open at said edge of the panel and in registry with a similar recess in the adjacent edge of an adjacent panel unit, a ceiling member disposed above said panel units, a plurality of inverted U-shaped members slidably mounted in said ceiling member with each straddling contiguous edges of adjacent panel units, said U- shaped member having a base and spaced-apart downwardly extending arms, a locking member cooperatively mating with said U-shaped member for movement transverse to the surface of said base of said U-shaped member and having one end abutting an end of one of said straddled panel units, said one end of said locking member having a slot therein parallel to the direction of said movement, said slot receiving therein an edge of a corresponding panel unit, and a tubular member extending into adjacent recesses of adjacent panel units for releasably preventing relative transverse movement of adjacent panel units, said tubular member having a longitudinal opening therein for cooperatively receiving a vertical edge of the adjacent panel unit end which is to be removed, said tubular member being rotatable about its vertical aXis to pivot said adjacent panel unit about its opposite end, said panel unit being movable out of engagement with said locking member to enable separation of said panel unit from adjacent panel units of the partition structure.

References Qited by the Examiner UNITED McKecknie et a1. 29-426 Bingham 2016 Marshall 50-144 McKee 29426 Mayes 50 144 10 Bohnsack 189--34 Bohnsack 18934' Young 189-34 Gralf 189-34 Graff 18934 RICHARD W. COOKE, 111., Primary Examiner.

JOEL REZNEK, HENRY C. SUTHERLAND,

Examiners.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification52/242, 52/241, 52/584.1, 52/127.7
International ClassificationE04B2/76, E04B2/78
Cooperative ClassificationE04B2/7845
European ClassificationE04B2/78B3