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Publication numberUS3263735 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 2, 1966
Filing dateApr 22, 1964
Priority dateApr 22, 1964
Publication numberUS 3263735 A, US 3263735A, US-A-3263735, US3263735 A, US3263735A
InventorsFrancis Vecchiarelli, Vasas Martin M
Original AssigneeAlcan Aluminum Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Roller tube
US 3263735 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

F. YECCHIARELLI ET AL ROLLER TUBE Filed April 22, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 PRIOR; ART

RANCIS VECCHIARELL I MARTIN M. VASAS I NVENTORS Aug. 2,1 6 F. VECCHIARELLI ETAL ROLLER TUBE Filed April 22, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 v INVENTORS FRANCIS VECCHIARELLI BY MARTIN M. VASAS ATTORNEY .9 mm On 5 (w r B on 8 m v 6 fin 5 Nm Q vv v k wm mm mm United States Patent 3,263,735 ROLLER TUBE Francis Vecchiarelli, River Edge, N.J., and Martin M.

Vasas, Bridgeport, Conn., assignors, by mesne assignments, to Alcan Aluminum Corporation, New York,

N .Y., a corporation of New York Filed Apr. 22, 1964, Ser. No. 361,844 4 Claims. (Cl. 160-242) This invention rel-ates to awning assemblies and more particularly to a roller tube for use in awning assemblies which is simpler in design and permits the utilization of an awning assembly between the fully rolled-up and fully rolled-down positions while utilizing fewer awning panel members than prior art devices.

One type of present-day awning assembly finding extremely widespread use is that of the substantially all metallic assembly which is comprised of a plurality of metallic panel members, each being elongated panel members having a substantially curved cross-section for winding about a roll-up tube and each being further provided with beaded edges which are so formed as to interleave with beaded edges of adjacent awning panel members so as to permit rotational movement between adjacent panel members while, at the same time, suitably connecting panel members to one another to prevent the entrance of either sun or rain between panel members.

The awning assembly is secured to a vertical support such as a wall, for example, and has its lower end conneoted to a roller tube about which all of the panel members are wound with the awning assembly in its fully rolled-up position. The roller tube is designed to house a wind-up mechanism provided with bias means which is normally biased to urge the awning assembly towards the fully rolled-up position. The bias means is provided with means for transferring stored energy in the bias means to rotate the roller tube in the direction to cause the awning assembly to move to the fully rolledup position. In order that the awning assembly may be operated to the rolled-down position, or to any position between the fully rolled-up and fully rolled-down positions, the assembly is further provided with an operating cord which is secured at a first end thereof to the roller tube and which, when pulled down at its free end, acts to operate against the force of the biasing member so asto unwind the metallic panel members from the roller tube in order to move the awning assembly toward the fully rolled down position. The awning assembly may be secured in any desired position simply by tying the free end of the operating cord .to any suitable tie point which may be provided.

In present-day awning devices the roller tubes employed therein have normally been designed to provide a single channel for receiving the lower end of the lowermost awning panel member and for receiving one end of the operating cord for moving the awning assembly to the rolled-down position. It thereby becomes necessary to manufacture the roller tube by providing a channel of sulficient dimensions to accommodate both the lowermost panel member and one end of the operating cord. Also, due to the design of such roller tubes having such a channel, when the awning assembly is in the fully rolled down position, at least the lowermost panel and possibly the two lowermost panels will be Wound about the roller tube in this position due to the resolution of the counteracting forces exerted by the awning assembly bias means and the operating cord. Thus, two such panel members provide substantially no function whatsoever other than to link the roller tube member to the remaining panel members, since the two lowermost panel members do not unwind from the roller tube so as to increase the effective covering area of the awning assembly.

The roller tube of the instant invention is so designed as to provide the same functions as such prior art roller tubes with first and second channels being provided in the roller tube, and further permitting all of the panel members of the awning assembly to be unwound from the roller tube when in the fully rolled-down position.

The roller tube of the instant invention is comprised of a substantially cylindrical elongated member having first and second channels extending inwardly from the surface of said tube and at spaced intervals from one another. A first one of said channels is shaped to provide a substantially cylindrically shaped profile for the purpose of receiving the beaded lower end of the lowermost awning panel member. Said first cylindrical channel permits relative rotational movement between the lowermost panel member and .the roller tube so as to facilitate both the winding and unwinding of the panel members from the roller tube. The second channel is designed to receive one end of the operating cord, and, due to the fact that the lowermost panel and the one end of the operating cord are secured in a spaced relationship relative to one another, this permits the awning assembly to be moved to its fully rolled-down position, in which position all of the panel members including the lowermost panel members are unwound from the roller tube and are thereby all utilized to cover or shade the region being protected by the awning assembly. Thus, with the roller tube arrangement of the instant invention employed in .the awning assembly, the fully rolled-down position of the awning assembly may be achieved wit-hfewer awning panel members than prior art devices, while at the same time, the roller tube of the instant invention is simple in design and compares favorably withpresent-day roller tubes, as to cost of fabrication of the roller tube as well as the cost of materials and assembly of the total awning assembly. Thus, the design of the roller tube of the instant invention is such as to permit said roller tube to occupy said fully rolled-down position without the necessity for having any panels wound about said roller tube, thereby providing an awning assembly which may achieve the same rolled down position as prior art assemblies, at the same time requiring at least one less awning panel member having a roller tube of much simpler design than that of the prior art devices.

Since the cord of the roller tube assembly is the one element of the assembly which is most likely to wear well before the others, the assembly is so designed as to enable the cord to be readily removed and/ or replaced without any need whatsoever for disassembling any of the elements of the roller tube assembly. In normal operation, however, the roller tube assembly is designedso as to effectively prevent removal of the cord.

It is therefore, one object of the instant invention to provide a novel roller tube for use in awning assemblies and the like, having spaced channels provided along the length of said roller tube for receiving the awninglowermost panel and the awning assembly operating cord;

Still another object of the instant invention is'to provide a novel roller tube for awning assemblies and the like which is so designed as to require fewer awning slats than present-day awning assemblies.

Still another object of the instant invention is to provide a novel roller tube for awning assemblies and the like which is provided with a first elongated channel along the length of said roller tube for receiving both the awning assembly lowermost panel and a second elongated channel for receiving the awning assembly operating cord wherein said channels are positioned at spaced intervals along the surface of said tube requiring fewer awning slats in the awning assembly.

These and other objects of the instant invention will become apparent when reading the accompanying description and drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of an awning assembly, as shown in the partially rolled-down position.

FIGURE 2a is a cross-sectional view of the operating assembly of the awning structure shown in FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 2b is an exploded view showing one end of the operating mechanism of FIGURE 2a.

FIGURE 3 shows the roller tube of the instant invention.

FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of a prior art roller tube.

FIGURE 5 is a perspective view showing another detail of the roller tube assembly of FIGURES l-3.

Referring now to the drawings, FIGURE 1 shows an awning assembly comprised of a plurality of metallic panel members 11 which have substantially curved profiles and are bent at their ends to form the beads 11a and 11b which interengage with one another so as to form a pivotal coupling therebetween thereby facilitating the rolling up of the panel members 11 in a manner to be more fully described. The topmost edge of the uppermost panel is secured to the vertical wall 12 at the end points 13. A rainguard member 14 may be provided along the entire upper edge of the uppermost panel in order to prevent any rain from entering between the right-hand edge of the uppermost panel and the vertical wall 12. This arrangement is optional depending upon the requirements of the user.

The beaded edge 11b (FIG. 3) of the lowermost panel 11" is pivotally secured to a roller tube 15. Roller tube 15 is provided with end caps 16 and 16' (only one of which can be seen in FIGURE 1) having a projection 16a for receiving the first end 17a of a rod 17. The lower end 17b of rod 17 is pivotally secured to a support means 18 which is rigidly secured to the vertical wall 12. The pivotal support means 18 permits rotation of the rod 1 in the directions shown by arrow 19 to permit the awning assembly to be moved to either the rolled-up and rolleddown positions or any intermediate position therebetween. The left-hand end of the awning assembly 10 is likewise provided with a rod 17' affixed to a pivotal support means 18' at the end 17b of the rod 17'.

The awning assembly is provided with biasing means (see FIGURE 2) which acts to rotate the roller tube 15 counterclockwise in the direction shown by arrow 20 about the longitudinal axis of roller 15 so as to tend to urge the awning assembly towards the fully rolled-up position. Operating cord means 21 has a first end 21a secured to roller tube 15 and a second free end 21b which may be grasped so as to pull the awning assembly 10 to the rolled-down position. After the awning assembly is adjusted to the desired height, the operating cord 21 may then be suitably tied or fastened in any other suitable manner about a post 22 provided along the vertical wall 12 so as to retain the awning assembly in the desired rolled-down position.

FIGURE 3 shows the roller tube 15 of the invention which is provided with a first groove or channel 25 for receiving the bead 11b" of the lowermost panel 11". A second channel 26 provided in roller tube 15 and spaced a predetermined distance away from channel 25 is provided for receiving the end 21a of operating cord 21 which is secured in channel 26 simply by tying a suitable knot 210 in cord 21 near end 21a and sliding this knot into the confines of the substantially C-shaped channel 26 so as to suitably secure end 21a of the operating cord 21 therein.

Turning now to FIGURES 2a and 2b, the roller tube '15 is shown as having an end bearing member 27, shown in both FIGURES 2a and 2b, which is provided with first and second flat faces 27a and 27b which are designed to abut against the shoulder 28 formed by the inwardly facing channel 26 of roller tube 15. The end plug 27 is pro vided with a substantially circular opening 30 for receiving torque rod 31 which has a substantially square crosssection. A plate member 36 is positioned adjacent the right-hand side of end plug 27 and is secured to one end 32a of a helical spring member 32 at opening 36a. The plate 36 has a shoulder 36b which abuts the shoulder 28 of roller tube 15. The helical spring 32 is wound about the square rod 31 in the manner shown in FIGURE 2a and is secured at its opposite end 3211 to plug 37 which has a square opening to key it to rod 31.

First and second end caps 16 and 1 6 are positioned at the left and right-hand ends of roller tube 15 and are each provided with a circular aperture 33 which is ended abruptly to form a shoulder or ledge 34 having a substantially square-shaped opening 35 for receiving the square rod 31 therethrough. Square rod 31 is thereby firmly keyed to end cap 16' and thereby prevented from rotating. Both of said end caps 16 and 16 are provided with such cylindrical and square shaped openings 33 and 35 so as to support the rod 31 at the ends thereof, as well as keying the rod 31 to prevent rotation thereof. Bearings 27 and 27 provided adjacent the end caps 16 and 16' respectively, have circular openings 30 which receive rod 31 and permit rotation of roller tube 15 relative to rod 31.

The end 32a of helical spring 32 is secured to plate 36 as provided on rod 31 so as to impart any rotation of spring end 32a to the plate 36. The plate 36 is provided with a circular opening 36c which permits it to rotate about the substantially square shaped rod 31. The opening 33 in the end cap member 16' is sealed by means of an end cap button 44 which is pressure fitted into the opening 33.

The operation of the roll-up mechanism of the awning assembly is as iollows:

Let it be assumed that the operating cord 21, as shown in FIGURE 1, is pulled down in a direction to cause the roller tube to be driven clockwise in the direction shown by arrow 38 (FIG. 2b). Thus, the shoulder 28 of roller tube 15 bears against the shoulder 36b in plate 36 causing it to likewise rotate in the direction shown by arrow 38. The end 32a of spring 32, being secured to plate 36 is rotated with plate 36 placing it under compression since its opposite end 32b is held against movement by the plug 37. As the operating cord is pulled down, the awning is then moved from the fully rolled-up position towards the rolled-down position. :It should be noted that roller tube 15 is free to rotate about rod 31 due to bearings 2727'. In order to maintain the awning in any particular rolleddown position, the operating cord is simply tied about the pin 22 provided on the vertical wall 12 of FIGURE 1.

When it is desired to return the awning assembly either to the fully rolled-up position or to a position intermediate the fully rolled-down position and the fully rolled-up position, the operating cord is simply untied from the holding pin 22 and either released completely or released slowly. When so released, the energy stored in helical spring means 32 causes the spring to release its stored energy driving the end 32a thereof clockwise in the direction shown by arrow 39 of FIGURE 2a, likewise driving the plate 36 in the clockwise direction. Shoulder 36b of end plate 36 bears against the shoulder 28 of projection 29 provided in roller tube 15 causing the roller tube member 15 to likewise be driven in the clockwise direction 39. This causes the awning panel members 11 to be wound about the roller tube until the awning assembly reaches either the fully rolled-up position, or some position intermediate the fully rolled-down position, depending only upon the control exerted by the user.

The end caps 16 and 16' may be secured to the roller tube 15 by providing speed-nut members 40 at the ends thereof which urge the end caps 16 and 16 inwardly towards the roller tube 15 so as to secure the end caps and, hence, the entire operating assembly within the roller tube 15. Speed nuts 40 rest upon the shoulders 34 in opening 33 of end caps 16 and 16'. The end plug 27 may likewise be provided with a speed-nut 41 to secure it in the lefthand end position, as shown in [FIGURE 2a. The speednut is further shown in perspective in FIGURE 2b, and is adapted to remain stationary with the square rod 31 while at the same time preventing the removal of end cap 16 without first removing the speed-nut 40.

Considering the prior art embodiment of roller tube 15', shown in FIGURE 4, it should be noted that the channel 40 receives operating cord 21 at end 21a thereof and is provided with a lip 41a which receives the bead 11b" of lowermost awning panel 11". Utilizing the roller tube 15' of FIGURE 4 in the awning assembly of FIGURE 1, when the awning assembly is in the fully rolled-down position, the lowermost panel 11" will occupy the position, as shown in FIGURE 4, so that it is substantially wound about the roller tube 15'. This is due to the use of a single channel 40 which requires at least one panel to be wound about the roller tube in order to maintain the appropriate counter-acting forces between the operating cord 21 and the helical spring 32.

In the roller tube of the instant invention, which can best be seen in FIGURE 3 of the drawings, the roller tube 15 is provided with a channel formed by first and sec- 0nd projections 25a and 25b extending inwardly towards one another and along cylindrical surface of the roller tube 15. The projections 26a and 26b of channel 26 face inwardly, as shown in FIGURE 3, to enclose the substantially .C-shaped channel 26. The channel 25 is a substantially cylindrical shaped design to pivotally receive bed 11b" of lowermost panel 11 in the manner shown so as to permit relative movement between roller tube 15 and panel 11", while at the same time, securing the lower end thereof to the roller tube. The operating cord 21 is retained within the C-shaped channel 26 by tying a knot 21c at the end 21a of cord 21 and sliding the knotted portion into the channel in the manner shown in FIGURE 3 so as to rigidly secure the end 21a of cord 21 within the channel 26.

in operation of the roller tube 15 of the instant invention, the fully rolled-down position can be seen in FIG- URE 1 and, due to the fact that the cord 21 secured in channel 26 is spaced from channel 25 in which the panel 11" is secured, the panel 11 is not wound about roller tube 15, but is unwound in the manner shown in FIG- URE 3 so that all panels of the awning assembly are thereby unwound when the awning is in the fully rolleddown position. Thus, with the roller tube of the instant invention, the awning assembly may achieve the identical fully rolled-down posit-ion as awning assemblies of the prior art by the use of 'fGiWC-I awning panel members.

[FIGURE 5 is a perspective view showing a portion of the roller tube means assembly which is so designed as to permit removal of the cord 21 and replacement thereof in a very simple manner. The end cap 16 shown in FIG- URE 5 is provided with a cavity 50 (note also dotted line 50 of FIGURE 2a) which cavity is immediately adjacent the left-hand end of roller tube 15. The end cap is further provided with an opening 51, which can best be seen in FIGURES 2a and 2b, which opening 51 extends through the end cap and communicates with the interior of roller tube 15. If it is desired to remove the cord 21 for any purpose, this may be very simply performed by rotating the roller tube 15 (either clockwise or counterclockwise) so that the channel 26 is in alignment with the cavity 50 in the manner shown in FIGURE 5. 'In order to retain the roller tube 15 in this position relative to the end cap 16', any long, narrow and substantially rigid member such as, for example, a nail '52 may be inserted into the opening 51 so that it extends into the interior of roller tube means 15. -Due to the relationship of the cavity 50, the channel 26 and the bearing member 27, when the nail 5 2 is inserted into the opening 51, the nail will enter either one of the two notches 27b or 27c, shown in FIGURE 21). In this position the end bearing 27 will be locked against rotation relative to the end cap 16', thereby preventing the roller tube means from rotating relative to end cap '16. This will retain the roller tube means in a stationary position relative to the end cap until the cord is removed. If the cord is removed due to the fact that it has frayed or torn, another cord may be prepared and inserted simply and readily. After insertion of either the original or a new cor-d with a suitable knot such as the knot 21c of FIGURE 3 near its extreme end, the nail 52 may then be removed to enable the roller tube means to return to its normal functioning position. it should be under-stood that either of the two end caps, or both end caps 16 and 16' may be provided with a cavity 50 for the purpose of keying the roller tube means 15 to the end cap in order to remove and/or replace the cord 21. Since the cord is the only element of the assembly which is more likely to wear out or fray prior to any of the other components therein, the arrangement of FIGURE 5 enables the replacement of the cord without any necessity for disassembling the roller tube assembly.

It can, therefore, be seen that the instant invention provides a roller tube for awning assemblies which is simple in design and which permits positioning of awning assemblies in the fully rolied-down position, while using fewer panel members than prior art structures, thereby providing a substantial saving in both cost and fabrication of the entire awning assembly.

Although this invention has been described with respect to preferred embodiments thereof, it should be understood that many variations and modifications will now be obvious to those skilled in the art, and it is preferred, therefore, that the scope of this invention be limited not by the specific disclosure herein, but only by the appended claims.

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive privilege or property is claimed are defined as follows:

1. A roll-up awning assembly, comprising, in combination, roller tube means, a plurality of elongated panel members forming said awning, an operating mechanism including an operating cord for rolling down said awning asesernbly, wherein said tube means comprises an elongated substantially annular-shaped tube having the lowermost of said panel members operatively connected thereto; a first substantially C-shaped groove in the face of said tube parallel to the longitudinal axis thereof containing therein a knotted end of said operating cord, the lips of said C-shaped groove being adapted to engage said knot and retain the same within said C-shaped groove to control the rotation of said roller tube means; a second substantially C-sh-aped groove in the face of said tube parallel to the longitudinal axis thereof and circumferentially spaced from said first groove and receiving one end of the lowermost panel member adjacent said roller tube, means to pivotally secure said panel members to said roller tube; means for controlling the roll-up and roll-down operation; and an abutment within said tube adapted for driving engagement with roller rotating means within said tube.

2. The device of claim 1, in which said aboutment extends throughout the length of the tube and is formed by the inwardly deformed wall of said first substantially C-shaped groove.

3. For use in a roll-up awning assembly having a plurality of elongated panel members forming said awning and an operating mechanism including an operating cord for rolling down said awning assembly and means for rolling said assembly into extended or rolled up positions; a roller tube, said tube being substantially annular shaped, a first operating cord receiving, substantially C-shaped groove in the face of said tube and extending parallel to the longitudinal axis thereof, a second panel member receiving, substantially C-shaped groove in the face of said tube, said second groove extending parallel to said first groove and to the longitudinal axis of said tube and circum ferentially spaced from said first groove, and a driving abutment extending inwardly from said tube and extending longitudinally parallel to said first and second grooves.

7 8 4. The structure of claim 3 wherein said abutment eX- 2,269,350 1/ 1942 Williams 1605 6 X tends throughout the length of the tube and is formed by 2,894,572 7/ 1959 Nelson 16067 X an inwardly deformed wall of said first groove. 01, 9/ 1961 AI 1derson 160 -67 X 3,004,591 10/1961 Klng 16062 References Cited by the Examiner FOREIGN PATENTS UNITED STATES PATENTS 7 228,474 5/1960 Australia.

220,987 /1879 Putnam 160306 X 74 41 1 1904 Newen 1 HARRISON R. MOSELEY, Przmary Exammer.

1,870,730 8/1932 Hyland 67 X 10 D. L. TAYLOR, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3334454 *Mar 17, 1966Aug 8, 1967Awning Products CoAwnings and canopies
US3724524 *Feb 25, 1971Apr 3, 1973Da Lite Screen CoPicture screen roller fabric attachment
US3955611 *Aug 5, 1970May 11, 1976C & K Sales CorporationAwning construction
US4033397 *Nov 26, 1975Jul 5, 1977The Scott & Fetzer CompanyRoll bar device for retractable awnings
US4212492 *Oct 26, 1978Jul 15, 1980Walter JohnsenRoll-up truck bed cover
US5246052 *Dec 7, 1992Sep 21, 1993Valterra Products, Inc.Awning hook
US5275223 *Feb 28, 1992Jan 4, 1994Sebastian MagroSupport roller provided with roll-up mechanism for rolling doors, gates and the like
US5613539 *May 21, 1996Mar 25, 1997Kraler; FranzRoll down shutter having a rotating, self-locking winding shaft
US6131641 *Oct 7, 1999Oct 17, 2000Porter Athletic Equipment CompanyRetractable guide for flexible partition
US6279641Mar 10, 1999Aug 28, 2001White Consolidated Industries, Inc.Cover design for retractable awnings
US6382293Dec 19, 2000May 7, 2002Camco Manufacturing, Inc.Awning tension assembly and method
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Classifications
U.S. Classification160/242, 160/61, 160/67
International ClassificationE04F10/08, E04F10/00, E04F10/06
Cooperative ClassificationE04F10/0625, E04F10/0633, E04F10/0614, E04F10/0648, E04F10/08
European ClassificationE04F10/08, E04F10/06H