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Publication numberUS3258062 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 28, 1966
Filing dateJan 9, 1964
Priority dateJan 9, 1964
Publication numberUS 3258062 A, US 3258062A, US-A-3258062, US3258062 A, US3258062A
InventorsLucian T Lambert
Original AssigneeLucian T Lambert
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Overhead door safety catch
US 3258062 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 28, 1966 L. T. LAMBERT OVERHEAD DOOR SAFETY CATCH 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 9, 1964 Jig- INVENTOR LUC/AN I LAMBERT ATTORNEYS June 28, 1966 LAMBERT 3,258,062

OVERHEAD DOOR SAFETY CATCH Filed Jan. 9, 1964 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. LUCIA N 7.' LAMBERT llwifilulwm A TTOR/VEYS June 28, 1966 L. T. LAMBERT OVERHEAD DOOR SAFETY CATCH 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Jan. 9, 1964 INVENTOR LUC/AN 7. LAMBERT A TTORNEYS United States Patent 3,258,062 OVERHEAD DOOR SAFETY CATCH Lucian T. Lambert, 6084 E. 18th, Tulsa, Okla. Filed Jan. 9, 1964, Ser. No. 336,812 3 Claims. (Cl. 160-201) This invention relates to overhead doors. More particularly it relates to a safety device to prevent the accidental falling of overhead doors.

Overhead doors of the type to which this invention relates, typically comprise a multiplicity of hinged horizontal panels having guide rollers which operate within a track permitting the door to be raised from a relative lower closed vertical position to a relatively upper open horizontal position. In many instances, to facilitate the raising and lowering, a counterbalance means is provided to assist in raising the door and prevent the rapid acceleration of the door as it is being closed. In many instances manufacturers use heavy duty coil-type springs which are adapted to uncoil during the raising operation and hence assist the operator and, conversely, wind up during the lowering operation and hence prevent the rapid acceleration of the door to the vertical closing position. In many instances these doors weight as much as 300 pounds or more and if the spring or counterbalance means breaks during the raising operation the operator must then support the full Weight of the door which in many instances becomes impossible to do causing injury and damage to persons and property. Many overhead .doors include glass paneling which shatters and breaks causing additional injury.

Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to overcome this problem associated with many overhead doors and provide a safety catch which prevents the falling of the door in that event of failure of the counterbalancing means.

Another object of this invention is to provide a ratchetlike safety catch for the guide rollers normally associated with overhead door panels which permits movement of the door in one direction and prevents movement in the other direction until released manually or electrically by the operator.

These and other objects of this invention will become more apparent upon further reading of the specifications and claims when taken in conjunction with the following illustrations of which:

FIGURE 1 is a frontal elevational view depicting a portion of an overhead door using the apparatus of this invention.

FIGURE 2 is a partial side elevation view depicting the modifications required of the overhead door guide roller rail.

FIGURE 3 is a schematic view describing the means by which the safety catch apparatus of this invention may be adapted to an electrically operated overhead door.

FIGURE 4 is a sectional view taken along the line 4-4 of FIGURE 5.

FIGURE 5 is a top sectional view taken along the line 55 of FIGURE 4.

Detailed description Referring now to FIGURE 1 the safety catch of this invention is adapted to be used in conjunction with a typical garage or enclosure 10 having an overhead door 11 which includes a multiplicity of panels 12 connected by hinges 14 which permits pivotal movement between the sections. In many instances, each hinge includes a bracket 16 to which is attached a guide roller, shown in later views, for movement within a guide railing or track 3,258,862 Patented June 28, 1966 18. Usually, this railing extends on each side of the overhead door and includes a vertical portion 20 and upper horizontal portion 22 connected by a curved portion 24. The overhead door includes a cable bracket 26 to which is afiixed cable 28 which extends vertically to a drum 30 which permits winding of the cable as the door is raised. The drum 30 is attached to a horizontal shaft 32 which extends to the other side of the door where a similar cable drum is attached. A typical counter balancing system for overhead doors includes a coil spring one end of which is attached either to the shaft 32 or to the cable drum 30 and the other end of which is fixed with respect to the drum or shaft such that in operation the spring will be wound and unwound to provide a counter balance force.

The safety catch of this invention is generally indicated by the numerals 48 which are hereinafter more fully described. Each of the safety release members are interconnected by a cable 42 which extends from an upper fixed bracket 44 to a foot release lever 46 which is hingeably attached to the floor 48. In some instances it is desirable to maintain the cable 42 relatively taut and a spring 50 is provided in many instances for this purpose.

In FIGURE 2 the modification and construction of guide rail 18 as used in most overhead door systems is depicted describing one or more slots 52 which are spaced from each other depending upon the spacing between the guide rollers of the overhead door. The slots 52 are cut in the guide rail in any well known manner or they may be formed as a part of the original equipment. In a typical installation the lower most slot 52 is placed about 6 feet from the floor 48 with any upper slots spaced approximately 2 feet above. It is to be understood that in some instances a single safety catch 40 which would include a single slot 52 is adaptable for satisfactory use in this invention. However, two such safety catches are usually preferable in each guide rail 18.

In FIGURE 3 a diagrammatic illustration describes the use of this type invention with an electrically operated overhead type door using safety catches 40 in conjunction therewith. In such installations an electrically operated control switch which is normally adapted to mechanically raise and lower the door, not shown, is adapted to make and break electrical connection 62 to solenoid 64 having a reciprocatable core 66. Attached to the core 66 is a safety catch release cable 68 which is attached to each of the safety catches 40, as hereinafter described on each side of the overhead door. The cable 68 extends over appropriate sheaves 70, 72 and 74 to a termination point 76 with the end of the cable attached to a tension spring 78.

In operation, upon closing the switch for raising the door the solenoid 64 is not actuated and release cable 68 remains in a relatively taut position. As each of the overhead door rollers pass the safety catches they will pivot against the bias of spring 78 in one direction. The rollers however cannot return past the safety catches until released, when it is desired to lower the door. Upon closing the appropriate switch the solenoid 64 is actuated and core 66 reciprocates downward pivoting the safety catches 44 to an inactive position permitting the door rollers to pass thereby.

Referring now to FIGURES 4 and 5 a more detailed explanation of the safety catch 40 of this invention is illustrated. The catch comprises parallel plate members 80 between which is suitably positioned lower stop member 82. Release member 84 is pivotally assembled between plates 88 about a pin or shaft 86. Release member 84 includes an upper horizontal stop portion 88 and a lower edge 90 interconnected forwardly by a relatively vertical portion 92 and arcuate portion 94. The portions 92 and 94 are an important feature of this invention in that if any part thereof is adjacent to the path of the guide roller there is a normal tendency to drive release member downward into the safety catch position in that instance the manual or electrical release is not fully operative. Rearwardly, an arcuate portion 96 is provid d which connects upwardly with pivot arm 98 which extends angularly outward with respect to the main body portion. At the outer termination of the arm 98 is a sleeve 100 through which release cable 42, or cable 68 in the electrically operated door model is threaded and retained by a locking set-screw 102. In some instances it is desirable that the sleeve 100 be pivotally attached to arm 98 which would prevent undue angular stress movement of the cable 42. The safety catch assembly 40 substantially as described is attached to the guide railing 18 preferably along the relatively vertical portion by inserting the body portion of member 84 through a slot or opening 52 and thence welding or otherwise attaching the plate portions 80 to the guide rail such as by welding 104 or they may be bolted in place. As shown in FIGURES 4 and 5 the roller assembly, usually associated with the hinges interconnecting the door panels 12 includes a bearing or bushing portion 16 through which a shaft 106 is positioned and rotatable therein. At the end of the shaft 106 is a guide roller 108 which normally travels within the provided track of railing 18.

In the operation and use of this invention when the overhead door panels 12 are being raised either manually or by the electrical operation the rollers 108 upon striking the curved surface 94 of the member 84 will cause same to pivot about shaft or pin 86 and thus permit the rollers to move upwardly therepast. However, any downward movement of the overhead door panels 12 is restrained by engagement of rollers 108 against the upper surface 88 of member 84 which in turn pivots downwardly against stop member 82 and hence retains the door in the position shown until released by manually operating foot lever 46, as shown in FIGURE 1, which pivots member 84 out of the path of roller 108 as shown in the dotted lines of FIGURE 4, permitting its movement downward.

In the preferred operation for most overhead door systems two safety catches 40 are utilized on each side of the overhead door. However, this is not to be held as limiting as in some instances safety catches on one side may be adequate. In use when the door is in its upper most position the rollers will normally not rest on the upper horizontal surface 88 of member 84 but will merely be in position in that instance the counter balance means or the door holding force breaks. In that instance the rollers will drop only a few inches into engagement with surface 88 and thence be retained. By thus positioning the rollers with respect to the member 84 it is not necessary to raise the door prior to pivoting lever 84 out of position.

It is to be understood that in the modification of this invention that hand operated levers instead of foot operated levers as shown FIGURE 1 may be utilized to release the safety catches. Additionally, it is understood that cables 42 and 68 may be either of a steel or in some instances high strength synthetic materials.

Although this invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it is manifest that many changes may be made in the details of construction and configuration of the components without departing from the spirit and the scope of this disclosure. Accordingly, the detailed description is made by way of example only and is not intended to constitute a limitation of the invention which is delineated in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A door construction comprising the combination of,

.a plurality of panels hingeably pivoted to each other along horizontal axes,

a plurality of guide rollers attached to the vertical edge of said panels,

a guide rail adjacent each of said vertical edges and contiguous to said rollers, said rail including a substantially overhead horizontal portion, at least one vertical slot in the upper part of said vertical portion of at least one of said guide rails, and a safety catch comprising plate means attached do said nail adjacent said slot,

a release member pivotally connected to said plate means for movement from a first position wherein a stop portion extends through said slot to at least across the path of said guide rollers to a second position out of the path of said roller first means attached to said release member to normally bias said release member in said first position, and

second means to overcome said bias and to pivot and maintain said release member in said second position.

2. A safety catch for retaining, in one position, overhead door rollers with respect to a roller track comprising parallel plate members attachable to said track contiguous to an opening in said track,

a release member pivotally connected between said plate members in one position across the path of said rollers, a forward stop portion on said release members extending through said opening, said release member having a pivot arm angularly outwardly and rearwardly from said forward portion,

a stop member positioned between said plate members and below said release member adapted in such position to limit the downward pivotal movement of said release when in said position across the path of said rollers,

a sleeve at the outer termination of said pivot arm,

a release cable attached to said sleeve and spring biased to normally maintain said release member in said one position,

means operative to pull said cable and overcome said bias to pivot said release member away from said position across said path.

3. A door construction comprising the combination a plurality of panels hingeably pivoted together along horizontal axes,

a plurality of spaced guide rollers attached to the vertical edges of said panels,

a guide rail adjacent each of said vertical edges receiving said rollers, said rail including a substantially vertical portion curving upwardly to a substantially overhead horizontal portion,

a plurality of vertically spaced slots in the said substantially vertical portion of one of said guide rails,

a safety catch adjacent each of said slots having, vertically parallel plate members attachable to said rail on each side of said slot, a stop member attached between said plate members at the lower end of said slot,

a release member pivotally connected between said plate members and having a forward stop portion, said release member pivoted through said slot from a first position across the path of said guide rollers and against said stop member to a second position out of the path of said guide rollers, said release member having a rearward pivot arm,

a pivotal sleeve at the outer termination of said pivot arm,

release cable attached to said sleeve, and spring biased to normally maintain said release member in said first position, one end of said cable attached to a foot operated actuator for pulling said cable to overcome said bias and pivot said release member to said second position.

(References on following page) 5 6 References Cited by the Examiner 2,287,372 6/ 1942 Blodgett 160113 2,703,247 3/1955 Wolf et a1.

UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,971,790 2/1961 Reid et a1 292235 6/1904 Stewart 292235 X 1; Peelle. 292 23 X 5 REINALDO P. MACHADO, Primary Examiner. 3 Jones 0 12/1935 Johnson et a1. HARRISON R. MOSELEY, Examzner. 3/ 1938 McCloud 160-3 19 X D. L. TAYLOR, Assistant Examiner. 4/ 1941 Bayer.

Patent Citations
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US762770 *Mar 24, 1904Jun 14, 1904Henry S StewartDoor-opening apparatus.
US1404053 *Jan 30, 1919Jan 17, 1922Peelle Co TheCanopy door
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US2026091 *Aug 4, 1931Dec 31, 1935Overhead Door CorpMultiple door construction
US2110231 *Jul 28, 1934Mar 8, 1938Gen Door CompanyClosure-operating device
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US2703247 *Apr 9, 1953Mar 1, 1955Frantz Mfg CompanySafety catch for overhead doors
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3393422 *Mar 25, 1966Jul 23, 1968Jack KatzManually-operable door closing assembly
US4413489 *Sep 18, 1981Nov 8, 1983Packard Industries, Inc.Furniture lock
US4782674 *Jan 23, 1986Nov 8, 1988Johnson James JLocking means for the doors of trucks vans and the like
US5560658 *Apr 13, 1995Oct 1, 1996Plyco CorporationConstruction of and latching arrangement for large-size overhead bi-fold doors
US6042158 *Mar 7, 1997Mar 28, 2000Rite-Hite Holding CorporationDrop-catch mechanism for vertically movable doors
US6145570 *Oct 12, 1998Nov 14, 2000Wayne-Dalton Corp.Locking system for sectional doors
US6189266 *Jun 2, 1999Feb 20, 2001Arthur A. MihalcheonSafety brake mechanism for overhead sectional door
US6263948Apr 19, 2000Jul 24, 2001Overhead Door CorporationBottom bracket for upward acting door
US7114753Feb 9, 2001Oct 3, 2006Rite-Hite Holding CorporationLatch assembly for a sectional door
US7464438Oct 24, 2007Dec 16, 2008Marks Robert TSectional door track with improved roller access
US7905523 *Nov 29, 2004Mar 15, 2011Brose Schliesssysteme Gmbh & Co. KgMotor vehicle lock
US8474096Aug 9, 2010Jul 2, 2013Supervalu, Inc.Truck and trailer door safety device
US8827332 *Oct 7, 2011Sep 9, 2014CIW EnterprisesSelf-engaging emergency egress lock assembly
US20050134054 *Nov 29, 2004Jun 23, 2005Brose Schliesssysteme Gmbh & Co. KgMotor vehicle lock
US20130088025 *Apr 11, 2013CIW EnterprisesSelf-Engaging Emergency Egress Lock Assembly
US20150035291 *Oct 20, 2014Feb 5, 2015Short Go, Inc.Single-Motion Mechanically Leveraged Latch Apparatus for Horse Trailer Stall Divider
WO1988001002A1 *Aug 5, 1987Feb 11, 1988Crawford Door ProdArrangement for a spring fracture safety device for an overhead sliding door
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U.S. Classification160/201, 292/230, 292/DIG.360
International ClassificationE05D13/00, E05B47/00, E05B53/00, E05B65/00
Cooperative ClassificationE05B65/0021, E05B47/00, E05B53/003, E05D13/003, Y10S292/36
European ClassificationE05B65/00G, E05D13/00B