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Publication numberUS3290850 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 13, 1966
Filing dateMay 4, 1964
Priority dateMay 4, 1964
Publication numberUS 3290850 A, US 3290850A, US-A-3290850, US3290850 A, US3290850A
InventorsByrne Jr Robert E, Tavarozzi Alfred R
Original AssigneeUnion Carbide Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Light diffusing panels
US 3290850 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 13, 1966 R. E. BYRNE, JR. ETAL 3,290,850

LIGHT DIFFUSING PANELS Filed May 4, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTORS ROBERT E. BYRNEJR. ALFRED R.TAVAROZZI 7' DRIVE V Dec. 13, 1966 R. E. BYRNE, JR, ETAL LIGHT DIFFUS ING PANELS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 4, 1964 I NVEN TORS JR. ZZI

ROBERT E. BYRNE M 1% ALFRED R.TAVAR A TTOEWE V United States Patent 3,290,850 LTGHT DIFFUSING PANELS Robert E. Byrne, .Ir., Martinsville, and Alfred It. Tavarozzi, Somerville, N..l., assignors to Union Carbide Corporation, a corporation of New York Filed May 4, 1964, Ser. No. 364,497 Claims. (Cl. 52630) This invention relates to self-supporting translucent plastic panels for a light diffusing panel system which interlock or engage at their longitudinal edges and are supported at opposing lateral ends.

A considerable number of systems have been devised in the use of translucent plastics as ceiling light diffusers. These light diffusers have usually taken the form of a series of translucent plastic panels, normally of a low thickness, to be effectively translucent. This has resulted in a flexible plastic panel which has required substantial support when installed, such as a hanging sup- I porting framework, such as a grid or ladder work, to

hold the whole panel in the plane of the ceiling and prevent bowing-out and distortion. The cost of this framework has been high and the installation thereof has been time consuming and added further expense. Moreover, the flexibility of the panels has kept the allowable size of the panels relatively small causing installation to be a multiple-step operation, resulting in high cost of materials and installation. The additional labor involved has caused this type of lighting to be effectively withheld from residential construction. There is a considerable need and market for a translucent panel system that has substantially none of these shortcomings and is commercially inexpensive and available for residential housing.

Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a translucent panel system that requires little or no special supporting framework.

It is another object of the invention to provide a translucent panel system that can quickly and readily be installed and where any desired panel may be easily removed for cleaning.

It is still another object of this invention to provide a translucent panel system that may be installed as low as one-half the cost, per square foot of the conventional luminous ceiling.

These and other objects are accomplished in the present invention which provides a light diffusing panel structure comprising at least one elongated translucent plastic panel, the longer sides of said panel comprising opposed longitudinal flanges, each of said flanges having an upwardly extending portion disposed at an acute angle with the normal plane of the plastic panel and a second portion integral with said upwardly extending portion and comprising an outward lateral extension thereof, each of said flanges adapted to engage with like flanges of adjacent panels and provide longitudinal reinforcement to each of said panels, said panel being adapted to be supported at the lateral ends thereof.

Various embodiments of the ceiling panels and their arrangements in interlocking relation are possible in this invention as will be set forth in the following description and drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of three translucent panels embodying the invention in interlocking relationship.

FIGURE 2 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of a panel embodying the invention illustrating embodiments of the folds of a flange.

Referring now to the drawings, the translucent panel system embodying the invention, as shown in FIGURES 1 and 2, comprises a series of panels 10, each having a planar surface 12 integral with longitudinal flange 14.

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Flange 14 comprises upwardly extending surface 13, top surface 15 and downwardly extending surface 17 which cooperate with and engage a similar flange of an adjacent panel and hold adjacent panels together as shown in FIGURE 1 to provide high longitudinal reinforcement. Surface 17 is one means by which a flange may be adapted to engage with a similar flange though other modifications are apparent, including the omission of said surface.

In a preferred embodiment, illustrated in FIGURE 2, the panel 10 comprises planar surface 12 integral with convex surface 11 which is integral in turn with shaped flange 14 comprising surfaces 13, 15 and 17.

The panels 10 embodying the invention may readily be supported as shown in FIGURE 1 by trim or molding 18 affixed to a wall or other support so that the panel system is interposed between light source and room to provide a luminous ceiling.

The translucent panel system of the invention is preferably a ceiling system but it may also be adapted to use as a luminous wall panel. The panel could be fastened to the wall, for example, by nails through the flanges or other convenient means.

The longitudinal flanges embodied in the invention may take a number of different shapes but the basic shape is substantially that of arabic figure '7 at the left longitudinal edge and a reverse arabic figure 7 at the right longitudinal edge to give on each panel at least two outward facing flanges which interlock and support and strengthen the entire ceiling unit without support means other than end supports.

The shape of each flange may be as described above but the longitudinal folds thereof may be creased, rounded or post formed. Moreover, the flanges may have additional longitudinal folds or ridges for greater longitudinal stiffness One such configuration is illustrated in the preferred embodiment shown in FIGURE 2 where panel surface 12 and 13 come together in which the apex is backfolded in a longitudinal arch or convex surface 11. The arch and the longitudinal folds are important features of the invention in that stiff panel lengths of up to eight feet or more are made possible.

The panels are held together by the flanges in a regular unit and need no framework for longitudinal support but are supported at the opposing lateral ends of each of the panels by resting, for example, on a wall molding, or other simple support means. Thus the translucent panel system embodying the invention may be installed quickly and at a low cost. Moreover, the panels of the invention may be readily installed by one of ordinary skill. And for cleaning purposes any desired panel may be quickly and easily removed.

For greater lateral strength and width the panels embodying the invention may be provided with corrugations 19 in the flanges as shown, for example, in FIGURE 2 or in the planar surface thereof. The corrugations may be of practically any pattern, regular or irregular and may be accompanied 'by dimples or by other decorative indentations for decorative or strengthening purposes. Examples of possible patterns are gridwork, diamonds, triangles, grooves, circular forms and the like. Preferably the corrugations stop short of at least the planar folded edge in order not to detract from the longitudinal rigidity thereof.

The panel embodying the invention is preferably rectangular in shape, with the longitudinal flanged sides considerably longer than the remaining lateral sides or ends. But the panel shape could be other polygon shapes or even partially circular in accordance with design and room requirements.

A preferable panel material is a rigid polyvinyl chloride light diffusing sheeting about .015 inch thick. Obviously 3 any other translucent plastic or similar material, in varying thicknesses, can be used in this invention.

The above low thickness of the panel is made possible by the reinforcing quality of the longitudinal flanges. The resulting low cost of material and the ease of installing the luminous panel system of the invention contribute to the unusually low overall cost thereof.

What is claimed is:

1. A light diffusing panel structure comprising at least one elongated light diffusing plastic panel, each of the longer sides of said panel folding longitudinally and convexly upward and outward, said longer sides then folding upward and inward and terminating in substantially opposed flanges, each of said flanges having an upwardly extending portion disposed at an acute angle with the normal plane of the plastic panel and a second portion integral with said upwardly extending portion and comprising an outward lateral extension thereof, each of said flanges adapted to engage with like flanges of adjacent panels and provide longitudinal reinforcement to each of said panels, said panel being adapted to be supported at thelateral ends thereof.

2. A luminous ceiling comprising a plurality of panels of claim 1 where said panels inter-engage by means of said flanges and rest on abutments at the ends of said panels.

3. A light diffusing panel structure comprising at least one elongated light diffusing plastic panel, each of the longer sides of said panel folding longitudinally upward and outward, said longer sides then folding upward and inward and terminating in substantially opposed longitudinal flanges, each of said flanges having an upwardly extending portion disposed at an acute angle with the normal plane of the plastic panel and a second portion integral With said upwardly extending portion and comprising an outward lateral extension thereof, said flanges being provided with a plurality of corrugations therein, each of said flanges adapted to engage with like flanges of adjacent panels and provide longitudinal reinforcement to each of said panels, said panel being adapted to be supported at the lateral ends thereof.

4. A light diffusing panel structure comprising at least one elongated light diffusing plastic panel, each of the longer sides of said panel folding longitudinally upward and outward, said longer sides then folding upward and inward and terminating in substantially opposed longitudinal flanges, each of said flanges having an upwardly extending portion disposed at an acute angle with the normal plane of the plastic panel and a second portion integral with said upwardly extending portion and comprising an outward lateral extension thereof, each of said flanges adapted to engage with like flanges of adjacent panels and provide longitudinal reinforcement to each of said panels, said panel having a plurality of lateral corrugations and being adapted to be supported at the lateral ends thereof.

5. A light diffusing panel structure comprising at least one elongated light diffusing plastic panel, each of the longer sides of said panel folding longitudinally upward and outward, said longer sides then folding upward and inward and terminating in substantially opposed longitudinal flanges, each of said flanges having an upwardly extending portion disposed at an acute angle with the normal plane of the plastic panel and a second portion integral with said upwardly extending portion and comprising an outward lateral extension thereof, each of said flanges adapted to engage with like flanges of adjacent panels and provide longitudinal reinforcement to each of said panels, said panel having a plurality of corrugations and dimples and being adapted to be supported at the lateral ends thereof.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,051,598 1/1913 Johnson 160-235 1,889,784 12/1932 Harter 52-53 2,180,504 11/1939 Bradfield 52-588 2,659,807 11/ 1953 Wakefield 240-9 2,800,965 7/1957 Church 240-9 X 2,850,110 9/1958 Benjamin.

2,978,571 4/1961 Rosenblatt 240-9 3,004,141 10/ 1961 Waller et a1. 240-9 3,082,487 3/1963 Fowler et al.

NORTON ANSHER, Primary Examiner. J. F. PETERS, 111., Assistant Examiner. I

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1051598 *Aug 7, 1912Jan 28, 1913Watson Mfg CompanyMetal curtain.
US1889784 *Mar 11, 1931Dec 6, 1932Continental Steel CorpRoofing sheet
US2180504 *Jan 9, 1937Nov 21, 1939American Car & Foundry CoMetal floor construction
US2659807 *May 16, 1949Nov 17, 1953F W Wakefield Brass CompanyCombination luminous and acoustical ceiling
US2800965 *Jul 9, 1953Jul 30, 1957Benjamin Electric Mfg CoLight-transmitting plastic sheet panels
US2850110 *Sep 7, 1954Sep 2, 1958Benjamin Electric Mfg CoTranslucent acoustical ceiling panels
US2978571 *Jul 31, 1956Apr 4, 1961Maurice C RosenblattLuminous acoustical ceiling
US3004141 *Dec 16, 1957Oct 10, 1961Reynolds Metals CoSheet metal panel type ceiling construction
US3082487 *Jun 13, 1957Mar 26, 1963Johns ManvilleCeiling construction
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3402526 *Jun 26, 1967Sep 24, 1968Koppers Co IncModular collector electrode for electrostatic precipitators
US3418792 *Jun 26, 1967Dec 31, 1968Koppers Co IncModular collector electrode for electrostatic precipitators
US3792560 *Jun 2, 1971Feb 19, 1974D NaylorInterlocking metal sheets for use as roofing and/or walling and/or decking
US4573300 *Oct 9, 1981Mar 4, 1986Dan-PalLight transmitting wall panels
US5648873 *May 30, 1996Jul 15, 1997Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanyFor directing sunlight through a structure toward a target area
US5996301 *Nov 26, 1997Dec 7, 1999Estruseone Materie PlastischeWall panel assembly
US6164024 *Oct 28, 1997Dec 26, 2000Konvin Associates Limited PartnershipArchitectural glazing panel system and retaining clip therefor
US6256947Jun 4, 1998Jul 10, 2001Solatube International, Inc.Method and apparatus for a tubular skylight system
US7316749 *Dec 11, 2003Jan 8, 2008Smith Noel GSpray booth structures
USRE36976 *Sep 24, 1996Dec 5, 2000Dan-PalLight transmitting wall panels
WO1994025882A1 *Apr 22, 1994Nov 10, 1994Minnesota Mining & MfgStructured films and use thereof for daylight illumination
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/630, 362/355, D25/109, 52/309.1, 160/235, 248/343
International ClassificationE04C2/54
Cooperative ClassificationE04C2/54
European ClassificationE04C2/54