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Publication numberUS3310922 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 28, 1967
Filing dateApr 13, 1964
Priority dateApr 13, 1964
Publication numberUS 3310922 A, US 3310922A, US-A-3310922, US3310922 A, US3310922A
InventorsHoffmann Jr George A
Original AssigneeCertain Teed Prod Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Visible ceiling suspension system
US 3310922 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 28, 1967 G. A. HOFFMANN, JR 3,310,922

VISIBLE CEILING SUSPENSION SYSTEM Filed April 15, 1964 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 I it 2 g 2 A TTURNEVE.

G. A. HOFFMANN, JR 3,310,922


March 28, 1967 Filed April 15, 1964 March 28, 1967 G. A. HOFFMANN, JR 3,310,922


United States Patent C 3,310,922 VISIBLE CEILING SUSPENSION SYSTEM George A. Hotfrnann, .Jn, Kansas City, Mo., assignor, by

This invention relates to the suspension of acoustical insulation panels and suspending means for acoustical insulation panels and refers more particularly to such means and suspension systems wherein a visible array of acoustical panel support means is provided, the said visible array so formed and covered or painted as to simulate a wood or other like material support system.

There have been previously provided a very great number of acoustical insulation panel suspension systems. Conventionally, however, it is attempted and has been desirable to hide the suspension means for such panels to as great a degree as possible. This has been preferred for appearance reasons and also to maximize the panel area presented to the interior of a ceiling. Some suspension systems, it is true, do display runners or supports to a greater or lesser degree which carry the acoustical panels. However, these are often painted to resemble the panels or otherwise semi-obscured or merely deplored as neccessities rather than sought as a goal.

The basic purposes of the instant invention include the development of a method for suspending multiple frame-type supports at predetermined intervals from existing structural members while simultaneously providing a framework adapted to support ceiling panels placed above each section of module formed by the support members. The support members, per so, are designed to simulate exposed beam-type framing members when ceiling panels are set in place above each section or module formed by the framing supports. The beam-type framing supports are designed to be suspended below existing structural members by use of suitable attachment clips and suitable hanger or furring straps to provide sufficient space between the structural members and framing supports to conceal mechanical equipment. Furthermore, the main beam supports are designed for parallel installation or can be interlocked with cross beam supports at right angles to form a network of framing members connected in square or rectangular modules to support the ceiling panels placed above each square or rectangular section or module. The ceiling panels are held in place in the modules by corner clips designed to restrict the movement of ceiling panels in any horizontal direction, but to permit upward movement so the panels may be removed for access to mechanical equipment installed in the area between the structural members and the beam-type ceiling support members.

An object of the invention is to provide a suspension system for insulation panels of either thermal or acoustical character wherein either rigid, nonresilient and noncompressible panel boards or deformable semi-rigid tiles may be employed therewith.

Another object of the invention is to provide a suspension system for acoustical and thermal insulation tiles, which suspension system is adapted to itself form an attractive decorative feature, while additionally performing all the desired functions of a drop ceiling suspension system and also adequately though flexibly supporting said various types of tiles.

Another object of the invention is to provide a drop ceiling suspension system wherein the suspension system itself comprises a decorative feature and wherein same appears to be of solid massive construction adapted to simulate a wood beam system or the like, yet wherein 3,31%,922 Patented Mar. 28, I967 ice the suspension system itself is very light, easy to handle, assemble and remove for repair or replacement or accessibility therebehind.

Another object of the invention is to provide a drop ceiling suspension system wherein the suspension system itself forms an important decorative element of the ceiling and is fully accessible to view yet wherein a maximum surface of the acoustical or thermal tiles themselves is exposed for the various purposes thereof.

Other and further objects of the invention will appear in the course of the following description thereof.

In the drawings, which form a part of the instant specification and are to be read in conjunction therewith, embodiments of the invention are shown and, in the various views, like numerals are employed to indicate like parts.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view from below of a drop ceiling suspension system utilizing acoustical or thermal insulation tiles therewith embodying the instant invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective View from above of a preferred suspension construction of the type seen in FIG. 1, parts thereof cut away to condense the view in the space available and also to better show the construction of the individual elements.

FIG. 3 is a view taken along the line 33 of FIG. 2 in the direction of the arrows.

FIG. 4 is a view taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 2 in the direction of the arrows.

FIG. 5 is a plan view from above of the upper lefthand corner of FIG. 2, that is, a fragmentary portionof the figure of FIG. 2, with an acoustical panel emplaced.

FIG. 6 is a view taken along the line 6-6 of FIG. 5 in the direction of the arrows.

FIG. 7 is an exploded detail perspective of the corner clip as seen in the various views of FIGS. 2-6, inclusive.

FIG. 8 is a view analogous to that of FIG. 2, but showing a modified form of suspension structure and suspending clip means therewith.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view from above of a suspension system construction analogous to those seen in FIGS. 2 and 8 but showing a modified engagement of certain parts whereby to facilitate end and side wall system closure, parts thereof cut away to condense the View in the space available and also to better show the construction of the individual elements.

FIG. 10 is a view taken along the line liP-10 of FIG. 9 in the direction of the arrows.

Conventional acoustical insulation panel boards or tiles may be rigid, nonresilient and noncompressible pieces or deformable yet semi-rigid. Such may be the case in either instance when a fibrous mot, such as a glass fiber mat bonded with a plastic resin is employed. In such case, where the glass fibers are stiff and heavy and the glass fiber-resin mixture is relatively high density, a brittle punky structure may be employed.

On the other hand, a resilient, deformable yet essentially semi-rigid acoustical insulating panel may be provided. Functionally, this description means that the tile is deformable relative to itself to decrease its dimension in any direction and yet of sufiicient rigidity and resilience to snap back to its original shape after the deforming force is removed and, when returned to that shape, retain it even when being suspended only by the edges thereof. A typical resilient fibrous mat fabricated to these specifications may be preferably formed of glass fibers having an average diameter of less than 10 microns and preferably about 4 microns randomly oriented in the mat. Glass fibers of this described character may be bonded together with a plastic, preferably thermosetting resin to form this mat. A number of plastics are suitable for such a binder, including phenol condensation products,

melamine resins, urea-formaldehyde resins, urea-melamine resins and vinyl chloride acetate resins. Such a binder is preferably employed in the ratio of 15-35 percent by weight of the thermal insulation or 17-55 percent by weight based on the weight of the glass fibers. The fibers and binder, when bonded together to compose the mat should typically form a mat having a density in the range of 2-5 pounds per cubic foot. The above description is illustrative and not limiting with respect to typical optimal tiles to be employed with the instant invention.

Since drop ceiling installations are rapidy superseding theold type of acoustical tile adhered to a finished ceiling, it is important to note that fire code regulations require all tile used in drop ceilings to be of a fireproof nature. Tile that would burn does so much more readily and violently if there is an air space behind it. The tile disclosed is fireproof and meets the fire code requirements in addition to possessing the qualities set forth.

In both modifications of the inventive panel suspension system to be described, the panel tiles may be removed from and replaced into the suspension means at will. This feature permits access to the space above the tiles wherein heating, ventilating and air conditioning ducts, electrical conduits for lighting or other purposes are normally disposed; thus making such equipment accessible. It further permits the removal of the tile from the suspension means for cleaning or resurfacing and restoration to place in the suspension system Without any disturbance of the elements of the latter.

Referring first to FIGS. 2-7, inclusive, wherein is shown the preferred construction of the insulation paneling system, at 10 and 11 are generally designated two main beams, each engaged by a pair of cross beams generally designated 12 and 13, beam 10 also shown engaged by a fragmental portion of another cross beam generally designated 14. Each beam member has a floor a, side walls 12 and (vertical with respect to the horizontal floor) and horizontal upper flanges d and 2. Thus, as an example, cross beam 13 has floor 13a, vertical walls 13b and 130 and horizontal upper flanges 13d and 132. Likewise, main beam 11 has floor 11a, side walls 11b and 11c and overlying horizontal flanges 11d and 11e. Such will not be repeated for each of the other members, but they are like lettered for the given number of the beams. Punchout lock tabs 11 (particularly see FIG. 3) and 101 are provided centrally of side wall zones 19g and 11g from which the upper flanges 11d and lie and 19d .and lite have been removed and wherein vertical slots 11/1 and ltlh have been provided. Slots 1012 and 11h extend approximately one-third the height of the side walls.

The flange removal zones 11g, the slots 11k and the punch-out tabs 11 as well as the analogous beam members are provided in the cross beam-main beam engagement zones for purposes to be described Referring to the cross beams 12, 13 and 14, at the ends thereof, and inwardly thereof substantially a distance equal to half the width of the floors 13a or itla are slots 121', 113i and 14: which extend entirely across the floors 12a, 13a and 14a and two-thirds, approximately, of the height of the walls 121) and 120, 135 and 130 and 14b 14c. Thus, slots 12f, 131' and 141' mate with slots 1% and 1111 to provide an engagement of the cross and main channel members whereby the floors 12a, 13a and 14a lie on the floors 11a and 10a in face-to-face relationship.

The suspension clips cooperate between the main beams, their upper flanges lle and 11d and We and 10d and any overlying structural. They comprise base pieces generally designated 15 having a top platform 15a with an opening 15b therethrough, downwardly extending lateral extending flanges 15c and downwardly extending end flanges 15a. A conventional externally threaded bolt 16 passes its lower end through opening 15b and engages nut 16a therebelow. The head 16b of the bolt overlies the lower L-leg 17a connected to upper L-leg 17b of support generally designated 17 having a series of perforations 170 in the upper end thereof to permit various height attachment to an overlying structural ceiling member or the like. It should be understood that such suspension member is merely preferred and not necessary as will be evidenced by the description of another support member with respect to FIG. 8.

The corner clip which is adapted to receive one edge corner of an acoustical panel of the type described is best seen in FIG. 7 and comprises a lower member generally designated 18 having a central slot 18a and a lower edge 18b on which it is adapted to rest on a cross beam or cross beams lower surfaces 13a and 14a, for example. Additionally, there are provided side edge slots 18c which define arms 18d which may be bent to one side as seen in the various views, particularly FIG. 5, to overlie and abut against the outer faces of the side walls, for example 14b and 13c of cross beams. An upper engaging piece generally designated 19 has a lower edge 19a, a central slot 1% adapted to engage slot 18a of member 13 and side slots 19c defining side partial arms 190. which are analogous to arms 180?, but are generally not bent to one side as they will overlie and abut against the outside surfaces of side walls of main beams such as 10b and 10c.

In operation, a grid or array of longitudinal and cross beams are made up by engaging the end slots 121?, for example, with the slots 11k and 14th of main beams and punching out the engaging members 10] and 11f to secure the engagement. The same is done with respect to a cross member such as 13. Corner members are then inserted as described at least in two opposing (catercornered) engagements between cross and main beams and suspension members are installed in each main beam preferably between cross beam engagements therewith. The suspension members may be first nailed up and the grid array then attached thereto or vice versa, the former easier. As the members 15 can be rotated they may be easily fitted into the flanges, for example 11d and 11s and then turned at right angles to make a posi tive engagement with the downwardly extending flanges in frictional engagement with the side walls 11b and lie. The panel members are then laid on top of the structurals with the panel being of such area as to abut up against the cross corner members in opposed corners with the side edge there also abutting against the bolt shafts 16 for further positioning. Four corner members may be used if desired to give a complete circumferential edge engagement or corner engagement of the panels. If the panels are resilient they may be snapped in from below after the grid array has been applied in place, or, alternatively, if resilient or rigid, may be laid in to the formed array before same is engaged with the ceiling suspension members 15.

To splice either longitudinal or cross beam members, a member as seen at 20, generally designated, is provided which has a floor 20a, side walls 20b and 20c and underlying top flanges 26d and 20a. The engagement is made by crimping down the flanges 12d and 12a to engage and crimp downwardly also the already V-punched center portion of the member 20 on each flange 26d and 20e thereof.

The structural array of FIG. 8 differs from that seen in the foregoing figures only in that (1) no corner members are employed, (2) different suspension members are employed, and for an additional purpose, and (3) a further panel receiving and positioning flange structure is provided. These will now be described.

All parts identical to parts in FIGS. 2-6, inclusive, will be numbered the same, but primed, and not redescribed.

Instead of short horizontal flanges 12a and 132 on cross beams 12 and 13, there are provided half beam width flanges 12 and 13 on the free edges of which are erected vertical flanges 12k and 13k adapted to receive and abut against the opposed edges of an insulation panel member.

Abutment and positioning for the other panel edges erally designated 21 having base portions 21a adapted to frictionally fit within the beam flanges, walls and floors. Connected to the side edges of base portions 21a are crimped extensions 21b, which lie against, for example, walls 101) and 100'. Slotted upper extensions 210 may be connected to overhead structurals in various conventional ways.

Beam interconnections, interlockings and splicings are accomplished in the same manner as previously described with respect to the earlier described figures.

FIGS. 9 and 10 differ from the showings of FIGS. 2 and 8 only in that the engagement of cross beams with main beams at a side or end wall is made more versatile. That is, the engagements between cross beams with a main beam, the latter lying along a side wall or an end wall is provided such that the main beam may be adjusted inwardly or outwardly on the cross beams whereby a snug, secure, aligned engagement is possible without having a plurality of slots cut in the cross beams or without excessive necessity of splicing and cutting of cross beams. Thus, referring specifically to the figures, if there are two main beams 40 and 41, with main beam 41 lying parallel to and along a side or end wall of a room, the following structural relationships will be present or provided. Cross beams 42 and 43 are adapted at the right-hand ends thereof in the view of FIG. 9 to engage main beam 40 in the identical manner of engagement of cross beams with main beams previously described. Thus, this is a rigid engagement without relative movement possible in the same horizontal plane of main beam 40 and cross beams 42 and 43. A corner clip generally designated 44 is attachable and usable in the same manner as previously described.

However, the engagement of the left-hand ends of cross beams 42 and 43 with main beam 41 is not an engagement of the character previously described. Instead of slots interengageable between the cross beams and the main beam as previously described, instead U- shaped openings 41a and 41b are cut the entire height of the flange whereby the trough cross beams 42 and 43 may slide to and fro in the same plane in lie-in engagement with the main beam 41. This is most clearly seen in FIG. 10. Thus it is seen that only a very small portion of the cross beams 42 and 43 need actually lie within the trough of main beam 41 for the engagement to be complete. A suspension member generally designated 45 may in its upper portion abut against and engage the wall against which main beam 41 lies whereby to support main beam 41 therefrom.

From the foregoing it will be seen that this invention is one well adapted to attain all of the ends and objects hereinabove set forth together with other advantages which are obvious and which are inherent to the structure.

It will be understood that certain features and subcombinations are of utility and may be employed without reference to other features and subcombinations. This is contemplated by and is within the scope of the claims.

As many possible embodiments may be made of the invention without departing from the scope thereof, it is to be understood that all matter herein set forth or shown in the accompanying drawings is to be interpreted as illusstrative and not in a limiting sense.

6 Having thus described my invention, I claim: 1. A structural unit for a suspended ceiling system comprising a pair of parallel horizontal main beam members, said members each C-shaped in transverse section with 5 a horizontal bottom wall and two vertical side walls connected thereto,

the upper edges of said side walls having inwardly oriented horizontal top flanges connected thereto,

a pair of parallel horizontal cross beam members normal to the main beams and laterally spaced from one another,

said cross beams in transverse section like the main beams, including bottom and side walls and top flanges,

a continuous slot in each cross beam adjacent each end thereof extending across the bottom wall and up a portion of the side Walls,

the main beam side wall top flanges relieved at desired cross beam engagement zones with the main beam side walls thereat also vertically slotted downwardly from their top edges,

said cross beams each engaged with an adjacent side wall of each of said main beams by means of said slots to form a rectangular structural unit,

a rectangular ceiling tile received on the upper surfaces of adjacent horizontal flanges of said main and cross beams whereby tile side edges overlie the beam bottom walls between side walls,

and means mounted on upwardly facing port-ions of said beams engaging side edges of said tile aiding in fixing its position on said unit.

2. A unit as in claim 1 wherein said fixing means comprise at least one corner clip, same comprising a pair of flat, rectangular, oppositely slotted self-engaging plates normal to one another, one said plate having slots engaging the flange relieved main beam vertical sides and the other having slot defined side edge tabs lying outside the vertical side walls of a cross beam, said clip positioned at a corner juncture of cross and side beam and received within the side walls of each.

3. A unit as in claim 1 wherein the fixing means comprises a vertical flange fixed to the free edge of the nonadjacent cross beam top horizontal flanges.

4. A unit as in claim 1 wherein one of the main beams in one of the vertical side walls adjacent the other main beam is completely relieved of the side wall height thereof at the desire-d cross beam engagement zones whereby adjustable maincros-s beam engagement is achievable.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS FOREIGN PATENTS 642,849 6/1962 Canada.

FRANK L. ABBOTT, Primary Examiner. RICHARD W. COOKE, JR., Examiner.


Assistant Examiners.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3694987 *Mar 17, 1970Oct 3, 1972Henggeler AldoSurface supporting assembly with a supporting network
US3791089 *Jul 24, 1972Feb 12, 1974Alderman RSuspended ceiling
US3797192 *Mar 9, 1972Mar 19, 1974De Jonge MGrid ceiling
US3848385 *Jun 12, 1970Nov 19, 1974Nat Ceiling CorpModular ceiling construction
US4034534 *Jan 16, 1976Jul 12, 1977Intalite InternationalLouvered ceiling
US4625470 *Dec 15, 1983Dec 2, 1986Intalite International N.V.Openwork screen assembly
US4682453 *Oct 1, 1985Jul 28, 1987Klas HolmgrenFloor construction suitable for installation in rooms containing switchgear, computers, and like electrical apparatus, and a method for producing such a floor construction
US4761919 *Apr 30, 1987Aug 9, 1988O'keeffe's, Inc.Multiple skylight guttering system
US4848054 *Feb 26, 1988Jul 18, 1989Blitzer Jacob HMiniature ceiling beam T-bar cover cap
US5653077 *Mar 12, 1996Aug 5, 1997Park Range Construction, Inc.Adjustable floor joist support system
US5964072 *Oct 9, 1996Oct 12, 1999Rasmussen; Gunnar VestergaardConstruction framework with intercrossing beams
US8640408 *Dec 15, 2011Feb 4, 2014Saint-Gobain Ecophon AbGrid system for a suspended ceiling
US9163402 *Feb 19, 2014Oct 20, 2015Arktura LlcSuspended architectural structure
US9506249 *Feb 17, 2014Nov 29, 2016Arktura, LlcSystem and method for a supported architectural design
US20090175679 *Jan 3, 2008Jul 9, 2009Bretford Manufacturing, Inc.Joint configuration for metal tubes
US20100043330 *Sep 25, 2003Feb 25, 2010Jan SvenssonFunctional ceiling system
US20120159890 *Dec 15, 2011Jun 28, 2012Saint-Gobain Ecophon AbGrid System For A Suspended Ceiling
US20160102456 *Oct 9, 2015Apr 14, 2016Keith DietzenTruss assembly
EP0049432A2 *Sep 25, 1981Apr 14, 1982Gema Bauelemente AGSuspended grid-panel ceiling
EP0049432A3 *Sep 25, 1981Jun 9, 1982Gema Bauelemente AgSuspended grid-panel ceiling
EP0049433A2 *Sep 25, 1981Apr 14, 1982Gema Bauelemente AGGrid-panel ceiling
EP0049433A3 *Sep 25, 1981Jun 9, 1982Gema Bauelemente AgGrid-panel ceiling
WO1997013932A1 *Oct 9, 1996Apr 17, 1997Gunnar Vestergaard RasmussenConstruction framework with intercrossing beams
U.S. Classification52/506.6, 52/664, 403/346
International ClassificationE04B9/12, E04B9/06, E04B9/10
Cooperative ClassificationE04B9/122, E04B9/10
European ClassificationE04B9/10, E04B9/12B