US 3323819 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 6, 1967 L. c. BARKER 3,323,819
STRUCTURAL JOINTS Filed Dec. 17, 1964 172062212507" 69566 Cl ari efi 3 F] M, m 9
United States Patent 3,323,819 STRUCTURAL JOINTS Leslie Clarence Barker, 20 E. Delaware Place, Chicago, Ill. 60611 Filed Dec. 17, 1964, Ser. No. 419,078 6 Claims. (Cl. 287-48936) This invention relates, generally, to joints, joinders, or connecting means for fastening panels together. More particularly, the invention is concerned with providing a novel structural arrangement for joining, holding, and retaining sheet or plate-like members within a connector and disposed at any of various angles with respect to each other.
In preferred embodiments the invention is directed to a readily and simply assembled combination of joinder and panels firmly and rigidly connected and self-trueing. It is, thus, the aim of this invention to provide an improvement by which panels such as steel sheets are interlocked or joined through novel marginal structures to provide a composite unitary assembly.
It is a principal object of the invention to provide joinder members and panels adapted to couple and interlock to form a self-supporting walled structure, without the use of screws, bolts, rivets or welding means.
It is another object of the invention to provide interlocking sheets and joinders in which the sheets are firmly gripped or locked in place and secured against separation or loosening under stress.
Still another object of the invention is to provide an interlocking panel and joinder assembly in which the joinder members function also as legs or supports for the assembly.
A further object of the invention is to provide a structure consisting of joinder members and panel members of simple form, which can be made up in predetermined shapes and sizes for structures of various kinds, including radiator cabinets, containers, partitions, shower stalls and the like and shipped in knock-down condition, whose costs will be relatively low, and which on assembly will provide structures of sufficient strength and rigidity for the purposes intended.
Another object of the invention is to provide a cabinet formed of separate intersecting wall sections which may be joined together at the corners, or in line, by means of locking strips which not only conceal the edges of adjoining walls but obviate any need for auxiliary mechanical fastening means.
The above and other and further objects and advantages of the invention will be more readily apparent from a reading of the following specification taken in conjunction with the drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary perspective view showing a joinder member with two adjacent panel members connected thereto by means of a stressing wedge in accordance with the present invention.
FIGURE 2 is a transverse sectional view showing a joinder with a pair of associated panels and wedges.
FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary perspective view showing a modified form of joinder adapted to join two panels extending in the same plane, and
FIGURE 4 is a transverse sectional view showing a modified form of an in-line joinder together with connected panels.
The aims and objects of the invention are accomplished by providing in a panel and joinder construction a joinder or coupling member including a pair of hollow through channels or slots defined by walls of the coupling member. Preshaped peripheral edge portions of a sheet or panel are received within the slots of the coupling member and a pair of elongated rods or wedges are then Patented June 6, 1967 forced axially into the slots to anchor the edges of the panels within the slots. That is, when the wedges are inserted into the slots they serve to tension the edges of the panels radially outwardly of the wedges and against contacting surfaces of the joinder member.
Referring now to the drawings, and particularly to FEGURES 1 and 2, for purposes of disclosure, one embodi ment of the invention is shown as a corner joint or joinder 10 which, in the preferred form depicted, consists of a multi-walled extruded or otherwise formed or fabricated structural member consisting of a pair of elongated plates or webs 14 and 18 joined transversely at corresponding longitudinal edges to form a right angle iron 20. Coextensive and integral with and extending radially outwardly from the junction of the webs 14 and 18, and therebetween is a plate, web, or leg 24 which bisects the acute angle defined by the webs 14 and 18. A longitudinal edge of the radial web 24 extending outwardly of and paralleling a line defined by the juncture of webs 14 and 18 is integrally joined to a coextensive cross bar or cross plate 28 along a median line of a principal surface 30 of the cross plate so that the web 24 extends generally at right angles to the principal surface 30, and so that the radial web 24 and the cross plate 28 define a structural element 34 which is generally T-shaped in cross section.
Thus, the joinder 10, as illustrated in FIGURES l and 2, comprises an integral unitary structure which may, for convenience, be described as a symmetrical L-bar 20, and a T-bar 34 joined at the base of its leg 24 to the juncture of the plates 14 and 18 which form the L bar or right angle bar 20. The structure may be fabricated by welding or by extrusion. In the preferred embodiment shown, the laterally extending arms 36 and 38 of the cross plate 28 of the T extend toward and approach positions adjacent the webs 14 and 13 but are spaced therefrom to define elongated slits or lateral openings 40 and 49a communicating with the generally triangularly shaped through slots 44 and 44a formed by the walls or webs of the joinder 10. It is readily apparent that, if so desired, the arms 36 and 33 may approach the webs 14 and 18 very closely. A more defined separation, such as the structure illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 2 is preferred, however, since an appreciable degree of separation provides alternative methods of assembly of the final structure, in a manner which will become apparent as the description proceeds.
In the preferred embodiment of the joinder 10 illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 2, the arms 36 and 38 of the T-bar 34 extend at degrees from the supporting radial plate 24. In the light of the teaching of this invention it will be evident that other angular depositions, particularly angles somewhat less than 20 degrees may be suitable.
The manner in which the panels or sheets are assembled and locked within the joinder will be clearly evident from the drawings. The panels 56 and 50a have marginal edge portions reversely bent to form flanges 54 and 54a, the acute angles formed by the flanges 54 and 54a] and the the principal sheet portions 56 and 56a of the panel being preferably about 45 As shown schematically in the drawings, the panels are shaped at their lateral peripheral portions to conform to the configuration of the receptor or joinder walls. The flanges may be formed by press drawing the margins of the sheet metal panel in the usual manner between male and female dies of the proper shape.
As clearly shown in FIGURES 1 and 2, the arrangement is such that each of the acute-angled flanges 54 and 54a and the portions of the sheet 56 and 56a immediately adjacent thereto will, upon insertion within re- 'spective slots 44 and 44a, abut and fit snugly against the radial plate 24 and the corresponding arms 36 and 38. In order to hold the peripheral portions of the sheets or panels 50 firmly within the joinder 10, elongated wedges 60 and 60a, which in the embodiment of the invention illustrated are preferably rods having a round cross section, are forced under moderate pressurize axially inwardly into the slots 44 and 44a. The thickness or radial dimensions and configuration of each wedge 60 or 60a are such that, when located in position, the Wedge presses radially outwardly against the flange 54, the portion of the sheet .56 adjacent thereto, and against the arm 36 of the T- bar 34 (or against the flange 54a, the sheet portion 56a adjacent thereto, and against the arm 38 of the T -bar 34), to urge, stress, and tension the panel portions against corresponding webs or walls of the joinder, to secure the panels within the joinder to form a strong, rigid corner structure connecting the two panels.
Any preferred method may be used in assembling the final structure. For example, the reversely bent ends of the panels may be introduced laterally into the slots 44 and 44a through the lateral slits 49 and 40a and the wedge then driven longitudinally into place. Alternatively the ends of the panels may be inserted into the slots 44 or 44a longitudinally or axially. The wedging means may be a round solid rod or a hollow rod or tube. Wedges of other cross-sectional configurations may be used, it being required only that the wedges stress radially to urge the panels in abutting engagement with the walls of the joinder to retain the panels under a holding tension when the parts are in fully assembled relation.
The extended or long line of stressed contact between the wedging member and the angled ends of the panels enhances the firmness of the final structure and precludes relative shifting movement.
A modified form of the invention, adapted particularly for joining or connecting sheets or panels in in-line or coplanar rather than corner arrangements, is illustrated in FIGURE 3. It will be readily evident to those skilled in the 'art that the mechanical principles invoked in the inline joinder are basically the same as those applied in the corner-forming assembly of FIGURES 1 and 2. The mechanical form has merely been modified to provide a connector for joining two panels disposed in the same plane.
Referring now to FIGURE 3, the in-line connector 70 comprises an elongated block-like structure. Two laterally spaced through channels or slots 72 and 72a are formed longitudinally within the body 76 of the joinder, rearwardly of a generally fiat face plate or cover plate 78. Later- .ally opening continuous slits 82 and 82a communicating with the slots 72 and 72a are provided to permit passage of the panels 50 and 50m into the corresponding slots 72 and 72a of the connector 70. The peripheral portions of the panels 59 and 50a are bent reversely to form acutely angled flanges 54 and 54a, as previously described.
Assembly of the panels with the in-line connector 70 is carried out in substantially the same manner as described with respect to the corner joinder since, in effect, the principal difference between the two structures is the substitution of two separate wedge support walls 86 and 86a in the in-line connetcor for the single radial wall 24 of the corner joinder.
FIGURE 4 illustrates another form of an in-line panel joinder or connector 90 of a lighter weight construction than the block-like connector 70. The connector 90 includes a flat cover plate or face plate 92. On the rear surface of the face plate 92 and adjacent a longitudinal median line thereof are connected a pair of symmetrically disposed, elongated rearwardly and outwardly extending webs 94 and 94a coextensive with the face plate 92 and integral therewith. The elongated webs 94 and 94a are reversely bent along their lengths to form legs 98 and 98a directed toward the rear surface 100 of the face plate 92 but leaving elongated slits 102 and 102a between 4 the plate and the free ends of the legs 98 and 98a. The
web 94, leg 98 and the plate 92 (or the web 94a, leg 98a and the plate 92) define longitudinal through slots or channels 104 and 104a into which end portions of the panels to be joined are received and held under tension using the same wedging action as previously described.
It will be apparent that the novel joint of this invention may be readily adapted to connect panels at any desired angle and in many fields of use such as radiator cabinets or shower stalls. In all of the forms of the invention, the panels assembled are neatly and attractively connected. Corners and other junctures formed are not only rigid and strong but pleasing in appearance.
A novel and highly eflicient and eflfective means has been provided for securely anchoring or connecting sheets or panels in a dynamically tensioned joinder. In addition, the means of the invention is simple and compact in coristruction and can be readily made in economical commercial procedures for simple andrapid installation without the use of any special tools or techniques.
While disclosures of preferred embodiments of the invention and preferred methods for fabricating the structural components of the invention have been provided, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that numerous modifications, changes, and variations can be made without departing from the essential spirit of the underlying principles of the invention. It is, therefore, desired by the following claims to include in the scope of the invention all such variations and modifications by which substantially the results of this invention may be obtained through the use of substantially the same or equivalent means.
What is claimed is:
1. A wall structure comprising, in combination, a recept-or defining a pair of longitudinally extending slots, a pair of sheet metal panels having corresponding lateral edge portions received axially within said slots of said receptor, marginal portions and principal sheet portions of said panels thereadjacent being disposed in contiguous nesting relationship with corresponding cooperating surfaces of said receptor, said marginal portions of said panels are reversely bent to form an acute angle with said panel 9 portions, and wedging means extending coaxially into said slots, said wedging means consisting of an elongated rod distinct from said edge portions of said sheet metal panels and disposed between and frictionally engaging facing inside surfaces of said reversely bent marginal por-.
tions of said panels thereadjacent resiliently against inside wall surfaces of said receptor to lock said panels frictionally within said receptor.
2. A wall structure comprising, in combination, a pair of sheet metal panels and a structural joint connecting said panels, said joint comprising transversely extending plates integrally joined along corresponding longitudinally extending edges, an elongated bar T-shaped in cross section and consisting of a leg surmounted by a plate coextensive with said leg and extending symmetrically to either side of said leg and transversely thereof, said T- shaped bar being joined at a base of its said leg to the transversely extending plates at the juncture of said plates to extend symmetrically between said plates radially from said juncture to form an integral composite joinder, said plates and said T-shaped bar defining on opposite sides of said leg a pair of symmetrically disposed elongated slots generally triangular in cross section, said slots receiving therewithin along the length thereof reversely bent peripheral portions of said panels to be joined; and rod means extending axially into said slots and urging said peripheral portions of said panels radially outward of said rod means into stressed contact against said plates and said leg to lock said Panels frictionally in said joint.
3. A corner wall structure comprising, in combination, a pair of sheet metal panels and a joinder for connecting said panels, said joinder comprising integrally connected first and second elongated metal elements, said first element consisting of a pair of transversely disposed elongated plates integrally joined along corresponding longitudinally extending edges, said second element consisting of first and second mutually perpendicular elongated rectangular plates, a first longitudinal edge portion of said first plate integrally joined to the second plate along a longitudinal median line of said second plate to define therewith a T in cross section, said second element being integrally joined along a second longitudinal edge portion of said first plate to the juncture of the transversely disposed plates of said first element, whereby said first plate of said second element comprises a radial wall extending between said plates of said first element and bisecting a right angle formed by the transversely dispgsed plates thereof, said plates of said first and second elementsdefining in cooperation with and on opposite sides of said radial wall a pair of symmetrically disposed elongated through slots generally triangular in cross section, said slots adapted to receive therewithin along the length thereof reversely bent peripheral flange portions of said panels to be joined by said joinder; and cooperating wedging means coaxial with and retained frictionally within said slots, said wedging means urging said flange portions of said panels against said plates of said first and said second elements defining said slots to lock said panels within said slots of said joinder.
4. A corner wall structure comprising, in combination, a pair of sheet metal panels and a joinder for connecting said panels, said joinder comprising integrally connected first and second elongated metal elements, said first element consisting of a pair of transversely disposed elongated plates integrally joined along corresponding longitudinally extending edges, said second element consisting of first and second mutually perpendicular elongated rectangular plates, a first longitudinal edge portion of said first plate integrally joined to the second plate along a longitudinal median line of said second plate to define a T in cross section, said second element being integrally joined along a second longitudinal edge portion of said first plate to the juncture of the transversely disposed plates of said first element, whereby said first plate of said second element comprises a radial wall extending between said plates of said first element and bisecting a right angle formed by said transversely disposed plates thereof, said plates of said first and second elements definingin cooperation with and on opposite sides of said radial wall a pair of symmetrically disposed elongated through slots generally triangular in cross section, said pair of panels having reversely bent peripheral edge portions adapted to be frictionally locked within said slots, said reversely bent peripheral edge portions of said panels forming with corresponding adjacent portions of said panels angularly disposed webs respectively generally paralleling and abutting said radial wall of said second element and a cooperating one of said plates of said first element, whereby said angularly disposed webs nest within said slots against said radial wall and said plate of said first element; and longitudinally extending wedging means extending axially within said slots along the length thereof in radial contact and frictional engagement with said second plate of said second element and with said webs of said panels to urge said webs against corresponding cooperating surfaces of said radial wall of said second element and said plate of said first element to lock said panels frictionally Within said slots against displacement therefrom.
5. A corner structure comprising, in combination, a pair of panels and a joinder for said panels, said panels constituting adjacent walls disposed at an angle to form a corner, each of said panels comprising a principal substantially planar wall integral with vertically extending marginal edge portions bent inwardly at angles of substantially 45 to form peripheral flanges generally parallel to one another, said corner structure constituting a unitary corner cap and panel-joining assembly com rising a pair of elongated relatively narrow cover plates integrally connected to one another along peripheral longitudinal edges to form a right angle in cross section; a longitudinally extending leg joined to and coextensive with said connected cover plates and extending radially from the juncture of the said cover plates and therebetween to bisect the right angle formed by said plates; an elongated cross plate coextensive with and surmounting said leg and joined thereto at a free principal longitudinal edge thereof, said cross plate extending laterally and substan tially symmetrically on either side of said longitudinal edge of said leg to form therewith a T in cross section; said cover plates defining in combination with said leg and said cross plate a pair of through slots generally triangular in cross section and disposed symmetrically on either side of said leg; said slots adapted to receive longitudinally therein said bent marginal edge portions of said panels, outer surfaces of said flanges formed by said bent marginal edge portions of said panels seating against opposed corresponding principal surfaces of said leg, and outer surfaces of each said wall adjacent each said flange seating against corresponding inner surfaces of said cover plate; and rod means frictionally retained within said through slots and contacting said cross plates, inner surfaces of said flanges and inner surfaces of each said wall adjacent said flanges and bearing thereagainst; said rods disposed to urge said flanges and said wall thereadjacent against cooperating surfaces of said leg and said cover plates to retain and lock said panels in said comer structure.
6. A wall structure comprising, in combination, a pair of sheet metal panels and a structural joint for connecting said panels, said structural joint and comprising: an elongated flat face plate having principal front and rear surfaces, a pair of symmetrically disposed elongated webs linearly coextensive with said face plate and connected at longitudinally extending marginal edges of said webs to said rear surface of said face plate along a median line of said surface, said webs extending rearwardly and outwardly from said rear surface of said face plate, said Webs being reversely bent along their lengths to form legs directed toward said rear surface of said face plate, edges of said legs approaching adjacent said rear surface but out of contact therewith to form laterally opening passages communicating with longitudinally extending through slots defined by said face plate, said webs, and said legs; said slots receiving therewithin along the length thereof end portions of said panels to be joined by said joint; and elongated wedging means extending axially into said slots and pressing radially outwardly against said end portions of said panels to urge said end portions against said face plate and said Webs to lock said panels frictionally within said joint.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,104,473 1/1938 Watson 395 X 2,877,877 3/ 1959 Davis 52-497 X 2,905,283 9/ 1959 Leach 52282 2,969,589 1/ 1961' Fromson 52584 X DAVID J. WILLIAMOWSKY, Primary Examiner,
l M, CAUN, Ass stant Examiner.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 5,323,819 June 6, 1967 Leslie Clarence Barker It is certified that error appears in the above identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 2, line 53 "20" should read 90 C olumn 3 l 7 'pressurlze" shou1d read pressure line 61 lne connetcor" should read connector Signed and sealed this 12th day of August 1969.
WILLIAM E. SCHUYLER, JR.
Edward M. Fletcher, Jr.
Commissioner of Patents Attesting Officer