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Publication numberUS3280526 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 25, 1966
Filing dateSep 10, 1964
Priority dateSep 10, 1964
Publication numberUS 3280526 A, US 3280526A, US-A-3280526, US3280526 A, US3280526A
InventorsAmbrose Pepitonc
Original AssigneeTorjesen Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Connector assembly for door partition
US 3280526 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


Filed Sept. 10, 1964 INVENTOR AME/P055 PZP/ TO/VP ATTORNEY Oct. 25, 1966 A. PEPITONE 3,280,526

CONNECTOR ASSEMBLY FOR DOOR PARTITION Filed Sept. 10, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 IIllllllllllll'llllllllnl INVENTOR #452055 PHD/704M;

FIG. 7

Mg/wm ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,280,526 CONNECTOR ASSEMBLY FUR DOOR PARTITION Ambrose Pepitone, Brooklyn, N.Y., assignor to Torjesen, Inc, Brooklyn, N .Y., a corporation of New York Filed Sept. 10, 1964, Ser. No. 395,459 3 Claims. (Cl. 52240) This invention relates to a partition device, and more particularly to a partition wall device of the type wherein a series of individual panels are shiftable longitudinally along a track between a stored position and an edge to edge abutting position, the panel members in the latter named position forming a dividing wall.

Still more particularly, this invention relates to a partition assembly of the type described wherein individual, separately moveable panels are integrated into a unitary composite partition, each of the member panels of the partition being provided with a pneumatic seal assembly for forming a seal between the panel and the surfaces adjacent the upper and lower edges of the panel.

Still more particularly, this invention relates to a novel connector device for providing an air passage between adjacent panel members, the device automatically connecting adjacent panels when the same are shifted to the edge to edge abutting position thereof, and automatically disconnecting said passage when the panels are spread apart, as for storage.

The invention, in its more particular form, contemplates novel mechanism for adapting known air coupling fixtures for use on individual panels of a partition assembly whereby the connector fixtures will be automatically coupled when an adjacent pair of panels is shifted to edge to edge abutting position and will be automatically disconnected when the same are separated.

It is known to provide a variety of types of panel structures with pneumatically actuated seal forming mechanisms for forming a mechanical seal between the lower edge of a panel and the floor and/or between the upper edge of the panel and an overhead structure. Suitable pneumatic structures are shown in United States Patents 3,086,261 and 3,126,050.

Various means for forming a pneumatic coupling between the seal members of individual adjacent panels have been suggested.

The present invention relates to automatic means for adapting a so called snap air coupling as exemplified by the coupling shown in United States Patent Re. 23,120, to render the same subject to use as the coupling mechanism in a partition assembly whereby the act of sliding the panels into edge to edge abutting position automatically couples the air mechanisms of adjacent panels and wherein the forces which effect a separation of the said panels automatically uncouple the same.

Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide an automatic air coupling for adjacent leaves or panels of a partition forming assembly or the like.

A further object of the invention is the adaptation for automatic operation of a conventional snap coupling device.

A still further object of the invention is the provision of a partition assembly incorporating novel coupling and uncoupling devices, automatically engage-ables as the individual panel members are moved together and automatically disengaged as these parts are separated.

To attain these objects and such further objects as may appear herein or be herein-after pointed out, reference is made to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a diagrammatic side elevational view of a partition assembly in accordance with the invention;

FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view of a seal and 'ice coupling between adjacent panels, parts being broken away to show details of construction of the seal;

FIGURE 3 is a vertical section through a coupling device in accordance with the invention;

FIGURE 4 is a horizontal section taken along. the line 4-4 of FIGURE 3;

FIGURES 5, 6 and 7 are views similar to FIGURE 4, showing the position of the parts, respectively in the partially coupled, fully coupled and partially uncoupled positions thereof.

In accordance with the invention, there is diagrammatically shown in FIGURE 1 a series of panels 10 supported for translatory movement by an overhead track 11. The doors are shiftable between edge to edge abutting position, as shown in FIGURE 1, to side by side stored position, i.e. in parallelism with panel 10a, FIGURE 1. Various mechanisms, not forming a part of this invention, are adapted for the movement of the panels along the track and for the storage of such panels in side by side relation. Since the movement and storage mechanism form no part of the present invention, no further reference need be made thereto.

Each of the panels incorporates a pneumatic seal mechanism 12, as best shown in FIGURE 2, suitable mechanisms being shown in United States Patents Nos. 3,086,261 and 3,126,050. The mechanisms do not form a part of this invention but generally consist of an expansion member 13 which may be inflated within a containing space provided by movable shell member 14 on a block 15 fixed to the door. It will be recognized that when the expansion member 13 is inflated with air, the movable shell member is shifted downwardly, causing the resilient seal structure 16 to be pressed against the floor.

Preferably there is provided an automatic compressor assembly 17, FIGURE 1, which serves to keep the air pressure within the system at a predetermined level calculated to maintain the seal members 16 against the floor.

The present invention relates to a novel coupling assembly 20 embodied in adjacent doors or panels for forming a series of pneumatic connections between adjacent panels so that pressure applied by the compressor member 17 reaches each of the pneumatic seal actuating assemblies 12. In accordance with the invention, the coupling assembly 20 includes a male component 21 projecting from an edge portion of one panel and directed toward a female component 22 of an adjacent panel, the female component being recessed within the material forming the panel. Each of the components 20, 21 has mounted thereon a part of a known snap coupling device, a suitable device being fully illustrated in United States Patent Reissue 23;120. A full description of the snap coupling illustrated in the present embodiment need not be made since the same appears in the above noted reissue patent, the coupling itself being described herein only to the extent necessary to illustrate the invention.

The coupling includes a tubular body portion 23, having mounted thereon a collar 24 which is spring biased to the position shown in FIGURE 3. A detent operator 25 yieldably projects from the front end of the body member 23, the collar 24 being biased toward the detent operator member.

The snap connector includes a plug member 26 insertible into a bore formed within the body portion 23. The connection between the plug member 26 and the plug receiver member 27 is eifected by inserting the plug member 26 into the bore until the detent operator 25 is located against and depressed by abutment portion 26a formed on plug member 26. Mechanism supported within the plug receiver member 27 acts, in the abutting and compressing positions of parts 25 and 27 aforesaid, to be pressed into annular groove 28 formed in plug 26 to maintain the plug receiver member in the seated position over the plug member 26.

It will be understood that when the receiver member is thus seated over the plug member, a substantially leak free air connection is effected between the said parts. It is important to note that separation of the parts 26, 27 cannot be accomplished without first retracting or withdrawing collar 24 in the direction of the detent operating member 25. More specifically, separation of the parts 26, 27 must be preceded by a movement of the collar 24 toward the left, as shown in FIGURE 3. The apparatus of the present invention automatically effects the aforesaid operation of retracting the collar to permit separation of the locked together snap connector parts in advance of any relative movement of the air conductor components of the snap connector.

The plug member 26 is mounted on a securing bracket 30 fixed to an edge 31 of a panel member 10. The bracket, which is mortised into the core of the door, includes upper and lower aligning apertures 32, 33 and a vertical, rearwardly disposed web 34 integrally formed with horizontal extension legs 35, 36. A slide aperture 37 is formed in web 34.

The member 26 is connected to slide spool 39, the outer end of which is made fast to air conduit 38. The slide spool 39 includes a pair of spaced annular shoulders 40, 41 to either side of the Web 34, a central reduced portion 42 of the spool lying within and forming a sliding fit with the aperture 37.

From the foregoing it will be seen that the air conduit 38 and spool 39 which carries the plug 26 are axially movably mounted with respect to the web 34 within limits defined by the spacing between shoulders 46 and 41.

The plug receiver component 27 of the fastener assembly is made fast to a bracket 56 carried on the adjacent face of the next succeeding panel 10. The receiver member 27 is fixed to the bracket 50 as by clamp nuts 51, 52 lying to either side of the bracket. Additionally, extending from the bracket are a pair of locator studs 54, 55, the studs being preferably beveled or tapered at their end portions 56, 57. Preferably the locating apertures 32, 33 of bracket 30 are similarly beveled to facilitate the alignment and insertion of the studs 54, 55. 7

Referring now to FIGURES 3 and 4, the Web 34 forms a support for pivotally mounted clamp leaves 60, 61. The leaves are notched as at 62, the notches being fitted within suitably spaced apertures formed in the web 34, the leaves 60, 61 being thus pivotally mounted to the web 34 so that their free ends 63, 64 are movable toward and away from each other. A pair of coiled springs 65, 66 are connected in a tensioned condition in spanning relation of the leaves and tend to urge the free ends 63, 64 of the leaves toward each other to the position shown in FIGURE 4. The surface of the leaves immediately inward of the ends 63, 64 are formed with outwardly diverging cam surfaces 67, 68, for purposes which will appear hereafter.

In describing the operation, it is to be assumed that the doors are disposed in stored or non-partition forming position.

The doors or panels may be shifted across the support track 11 either manually or by a suitable motorized mechanism. The pneumatic connection between adjacent doors is formed by merely sliding a pair of adjacent doors into edge to edge abutting condition. The position of the parts as they are progressively moved toward each other is shown in FIGURES 3 and4.

When the doors as positioned in FIGURE 3 are further shifted toward each other, the locating studs or pins 54, 55 will enter into locating apertures 32, 33, respectively, so as to assure accurate positioning of the plug 26 with respect to the plug receiver member 27 of the connection forming component. As the doors continue to be shifted toward each other from the position of FIGURE 4 to that of FIGURE 5, it will be observed that the uppermost end of the plug member 26 enters the bore formed in the body portion 23 of the plug receiver member. Further, the cam portions 67, 68 of the leaves 60, 61, respectively, engage against and are spread by the inwardly moving leading edge of the collar portion 24. With continued approach movement between the adjacent doors, the plug member 26 engages against the internal connecting mechanism within the plug receiver member 27, urging the spool member outwardly and causing a sliding of the spool member 39 within aperture 37 so that the spool member shifts outwardly from a position at which shoulder 40 engages the web 34 to a position at which the shoulder 41 engages the inner edge of web 34.

With the continued closing movement of the doors, the plug member slides to the fully inserted or connected position within the plug receiver member 27 and the leaves 66, 61 slide over the outer face of the collar 24.

In the'fully engaged position which is shown in FIG- URE 6, relatively steep cam faces 69, 70 formed on the leaves 69, 61, respectively, lie against an annular shoulder portion 24a formed on the trailing face of the collar member 24. It will be understood that in the position shown in FIGURE 6, the input conduits are connected to output conduit 38 through the medium of engaged connector apparatus.

From the foregoing it should be further understood that the separation of the doors for storage may be effected in the device of the present invention through the simple expedient of sliding the doors 10 apart. It will be understood that in the first part of said separating movement, the collar 24 will be retracted from the position of FIG- URE 6 to the position of FIGURE 7 by reason of the engagement between annular shoulder 24a of the collar and the cam surfaces 69, 70 formed on the leaves. Further, the initial separating movements of the doors will be accommodated by the slip or lost motion connection between the spool 39 and the web 34.

The first separating movements of the doors do not result in any relative movement between the plug member 26 and the body portion 23 of the plug receiver member 27. Rather, this initial relative movement of the doors is permitted by the slip fit between the spool 39 and the web 34 and enables the leaves 60, 61 to retract the collar 24 in a direction outwardly of the body portion 23 without any such relative movement. Further separating movement of the doors in turn disconnects and separates plug 26 and the plug receiver 27 but only after the locking collar has previously been withdrawn. With the afore said elements disconnected, there is no further obstacle to separation of the adjacent panels.

Thus, by the simple expedient of the slip fit connection of the connector member and through the use of the novel camming jaws, it is possible to accommodate readily available snap connector members to a sliding door partition.

Further, the operations which normally require manual attention, i.e. the retraction of the snap connector collar prior to any relative movement between the snap connector parts, in the present invention are automatically effected, permitting an air connection to be formed between adjacent doors by the simple expedient of sliding doors into connection and permitting the connection to be broken by the equally simple expedient of separating the doors.

The invention is not restricted for use with the specific snap connector shown, but various other connector mechanisms may be adapted as will be readily appreciated by a worker in the art.

Having thus described the invention and illustrated its use, what is claimed as new and is desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

1. In a partition structure including a series of panels movable on guide means between edgeto edge abutting and side by side stacked positions, said panels having floor seal members pneumatically shiftable into contacting relation with the floor, an air connection assembly for linking the pneumatic assembly of one panel to that of an adjacent panel for automatic connection when said panels are moved to abutting position, and disconnection when said panels are shifted apart, comprising a male connector member mounted on one said panel, a female connector member mounted on the next adjacent panel and positioned to receive said male member when said panels are moved to abutting relation, one of said connector members being mounted for limited longitudinal movement with respect to its supporting panel, locking means mounted on the other said connector member and reciprocable longitudinally with respect to said panels between locking and releasing positions of said connector members, for locking said connector members in the connected position against separating forces exerted between said connector members when said locking means is in locking position, gripper means carried by the panel having said one connector member for drawing said locking means to said releasing position as said panels are moved apart, said longitudinally movable connector member and said gripper means providing a slip fit with said locking means whereby, upon separating movement of an adjacent pair of panels from said edge to edge abutting position, said one connector member will not move relative to said other connector member until said gripper means has moved said locking member to the releasing position thereof, further separating movement of said panels releasing said gripper means from said locking means.

2. A partition structure comprising first and second doors shiftable in a linear direction on a track into and out of edge to edge abutting position, first and second air conduits on said first and second doors respectively, said conduits being positioned to be shifted into engagement in the abutting position of said doors, one of said conduits being mounted for limited reciprocal movement in said linear direction with respect to its associated door, locking means on other said conduit reciprocably moveable in said linear direction between locking and unlocking positions for locking said conduits against relative movement in the locking position thereof, gripper means carried by the door having said reciprocably moveable conduit, said gripper means being located in potential direct contact with said locking means, said reciprocally mounted conduit and said gripper means being effective to shift said locking means from said locked to said unlocked position as said doors are moved out of edge abutting position in advance of relative separating movement of said conduits.

3. A device in accordance with claim 2 wherein said locking means comprises a collar surrounding said other conduit and said gripper means comprises a pair of spring biased fingers having cam entrance portions, said fingers being shifted to collar embracing position as said doors are moved to said abutting position, said fingers carrying said collar for a distance with said gripper means as said doors are moved out of edge to edge abutting position.

References tilted by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS Re. 23,120 6/1949 Earle et al. 285277 2,921,436 1/1960 Canner 285277 3,126,050 3/1964 Lapof 2068 X FOREIGN PATENTS 905,808 9/1962 Great Britain.

HARRISON R. MOSELEY, Primary Examiner.


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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4101149 *Feb 17, 1976Jul 18, 1978Henry FleischerCoupling device
US4108475 *Feb 19, 1976Aug 22, 1978Henry FleischerCoupling device
US4139222 *Apr 22, 1977Feb 13, 1979Santa Fe International Corp.Quick connect/disconnect coupling assembly
US4756656 *Mar 3, 1986Jul 12, 1988The United States Of America As Represented By The United States Department Of EnergySectional device handling tool
US4942709 *Mar 22, 1989Jul 24, 1990Waldron Michael PDisplay panels and connector system therefor
US4989386 *Nov 26, 1987Feb 5, 1991Collis Howard GPanel building elements
US5471791 *May 20, 1994Dec 5, 1995Rosconi AgMobile partition wall
US5577348 *Jul 20, 1995Nov 26, 1996Rosconi AgPartition wall with sliding termination panel
US6108989 *Jul 22, 1997Aug 29, 2000Dorma Gmbh & Co. KgWall partition system and a device for securing a wall partition system
US6305128 *Aug 23, 2000Oct 23, 2001Illinois Tool Works, Inc.Insulated bulkhead
US6682106 *Sep 25, 2001Jan 27, 2004Orbit Irrigation Products, Inc.Non-rotating quick connector for lawn sprinklers
US7014221 *Dec 22, 2003Mar 21, 2006Usui Kokusai Sangyo Kaishi LimitedJoint for piping
US7083120 *Nov 4, 2003Aug 1, 2006Briggs & Stratton Power Products Group, LlcPressurized fluid delivery apparatus
US7472842Apr 13, 2006Jan 6, 2009Briggs & Stratton CorporationPressurized fluid delivery apparatus
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US20080110580 *Nov 14, 2006May 15, 2008Rite-Hite Holding CorporationInsulated curtain for a door
US20110168335 *Aug 31, 2009Jul 14, 2011Harald HoopmannMobile Partition
U.S. Classification52/64, 285/277, 52/240, 160/40, 285/319, 285/317, 49/477.1, 49/127
International ClassificationE06B7/20, E06B7/18
Cooperative ClassificationE06B7/20
European ClassificationE06B7/20