US 3359695 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1967 J. F. GAZERRO ACCESS TILE WITH HINGE LEAVES 2 Sheets-Sheet l Filed Oct. 14, 1964 INVENTOR, Jose 1k E Gazer "0 BY yd IK/v r f flTTORNEY.
1967 J. F. GAZERRO 3,359,695
ACCESS TILE WITH HINGE LEAVES Filed Oct. 14, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 V I (3331m ATTORNEY, I
United States Patent 3,359,695 ACCESS TILE WITH HINGE LEAVES Joseph F. Gazerro, 23 Hickory Drive, Westport, Conn. 06880 Filed Oct. 14, 1964, Ser. No. 403,705 10 Claims. (Cl. 52-127) This invention relates to a tile ceiling structure and to an access tile sub-assembly forming part of said structure.
At the present time many ceilings, in offices and homes for example, comprise a grid of support bars, and rectangular ceiling tiles which rest on, and are supported by, the bars. Such ceilings often include panel lighting and air conditioning outlets which require duct work, valves and wiring to which access is required from time to time.
It is an object of this invention to provide structure which facilitates and simplifies getting at ducts, wiring, valves and the like disposed above a ceiling.
The invention will best be understood by reading the following description -in connection with the drawings, in which;
FIG. 1 is a perspective view partly cut away and in cross section, of an embodiment of the invention, viewed from above,
FIG. 2 is a view of a ceiling, including an access tile assembly comprising the invention, showing the access tile in full lines in closed position and in dotted lines in open position,
FIG. 3 is a top perspective view partly broken away and in cross section, showing the access tile in relation to a pair of Z bars and a pair of splines comprising a tile supporting grid and the adjoining ceiling tiles,
FIG. 4 is a side elevation largely in cross section taken on the lines 44 of FIG. 3,
FIG. 5 is an end elevation taken on the lines 5-5 of FIG. 4,
FIG. 6 is a detail of a portion of FIG. 1, shown in enlarged scale,
FIG. 7 is a detail view partly in cross section, taken on the line 77 of FIG. 4, and
FIG. 8 is a detail view showing how the rear ends of the access tile hinge members 14 and 20 are engaged between parallel horizontal portions of the bars 26.
In ceilings of the kind to which this invention relates a grid of tile supporting members is suspended in any suitable way. The grid members which extend in one direction may be Z-bars and the members which cross them may be flat splines. The important fact about them is that they provide horizontally extending supports for the edges of the tiles, other than the access tile. Usually the tiles have kerfs around their perimeters and the grid members have laterally extending flanges which engage the tiles by being inserted into the kerfs.
In the embodiment of the invention shown in the drawings an access tile assembly is provided comprising, the tile 10, grooved only along two opposite edges with the grooves a and b, with its two other opposite edges stepped so that its upper half 10a is of reduced width in one direction and does not engage the support grid comprising Z-bars 26 and cross bars or splines 28, and the hinges 12 and 18, comprising, leaves 14 and 16, and leaves 20 and 22 respectively. Leaves 14 and 20 engage opposite sides of the access tile. The leaves 16 and 22 are supported from opposed portions of the supporting grid and preferably also from the edges of the ceiling tiles, sometimes referred to in the industry as field tiles, which are spaced laterally from the access tile 10, and are not supported along those edges by the support frame or grid. Leaves 16 and 22 remain stationary and leaves 14 and 20, which engage the edges of the access tile 10, are pivotally connected at one end to the leaves 16 and 22 respectively 3,359,695- Patented Dec. 26, 1967 and are free to swing, and to suspend the access tile in a position in which it hangs down from the ceiling when it is not locked to the supporting frame by the slide means to be described. The hinges are disposed along the edges of the tiles which are at right angles to the Z-bars 26 and the hinge members 14 may be extended at one end by the slide members 32.
The ceiling tiles 24 are supported on and between two Z bars 26 and two splines or flat strips 28, which are normal to the Z bars, comprising a support frame which is suspended in any suitable way, as by the wire hangers 30.
The Z bars 26 comprise the horizontal, oppositely extending bottom flanges 26a and 26b, and the top horizontal flange 260. The flange 260 has the downwardly extending bead 25, and the flange 26a, which is below flange 260, has a raised portion, which may be formed by turning back and over the forward end portion of flange 26a, forming an abutment 29. A three sided clip 27 may be inserted between flanges 26a and 26c and retained there with its free ends abutting against the head 25 and the abutment 29 respectively, to engage one end of hinge leaves 16 and 22 respectively of pairs of hinges 12 and 18, in a manner and for a purpose which will be more fully described.
The members 28 are thin flat flexible strips wide enough to enter half way into kerfs or reentry slots in the sides of ceiling tiles disposed on opposite sides of said members. As shown herein they are short, flexible strips which extend between pairs of Z bars. No splines 28 are used along the sides of a ceiling space which is occupied by an access tile. The ceiling tiles 24, other than the two tiles 24 which are on opposite sides of an access tile 10, engage and rest on two splines 28 as well as two Z bars. Splines 28 are omitted on opposite sides of an access tile and the proximate sides of the adjoining ceiling tiles 24 are used to support hinge leaves 16 and 22, of the pairs of hinge leaves 14, 16 and 20, 22, comprising part of an access tile assembly.
The ceiling tiles 24 are each provided with a peripheral kerf or groove g and they are supported in rows by and between pairs of Z bars, with the groove in two opposite edges engaged :by the opposed bottom flanges 26a and 26b respectively of the pair of Z bars, and between a pair of splines 28 which enter halfway into the groove g in the other two opposite edges of the ceiling tiles 24. Each spline 28 thus comprises two oppositely extending portions or flanges 28a and 28b which enter into the groove g in the opposed edges of the ceiling tiles on either side of it.
Thus the flanges 26a and 26b of a pair of Z bars 26 respectively are inserted in the groove g in two opposite edges of each ceiling tile 24, and the flanges 28a and 28b of a pair of flexible splines 28 are inserted in the groove g in the two other opposite edges of tall the ceiling tiles 24 except along the adjacent sides of the two ceiling tiles 24 which are disposed on opposite sides of the access tile 10. The access tile assembly may be substituted for any of the ceiling tiles between two laterally adjacent ceiling tiles 24 supported between a pair of support bars having coacting flange means which is the mechanical equivalent of flanges 26a and 26b of the bars 26 described herein.
The two leaves 14 and 16 of hinge 12 are pivotal'ly joined together at one end by the pivot p. The first hinge leaf 14 comprises a flange or spline portion 14a, projecting outwardly from along the longitudinal mid-line of a facing portion 14b, which is disposed in a vertical plane and extends along, and parallel to, the face of the edge of the tile 10 above the groove a, in which the spline portion 14a is inserted. The second hinge leaf of a hinge 12 comprises the flange or spline portion 16a projecting outwardly from and along the longitudinal mid-line of a facing portion 16b, which is disposed in a vertical plane and extends along and parallel to the upper part of the face of the edge of the adjacent ceiling tile 24, in the groove g of which the. flange or spline portion 16a is inserted.
Similarly the leaves 20' and 22 comprising hinge 18- are pivotallyjoined together at. one end by a pivot p. The first hinge leaf 20 comprises a flange or spline portion 20a, projecting outwardly from along the longitudinal mid-line of a facing portion Ztlb, and adapted to be inserted in the groove b in the edge of the access tile 10- opposite to the edge grooved with groove a, and the facing portion 2%, which is disposed in a vertical plane and extends along and parallel to the face of the edge of tile 10 above the groove b, in which the spline portion 20a is inserted. The second hinge leaf 22 of hinge 18- comprises the flange or spline portion 22a, adapted to be inserted in the groove g along the laterally abutting edge of the ceiling tile 24 which is on the opposite side of tile 19 from the ceiling tile which is engaged by leaf 14aof hinge 1'2, and projecting outwardly from along the longitudinal mid-line of a facing portion 22b, which is disposed in a Vertical plane and extends along, and parallel to, the face of the edge of the ceiling tile 24, above the groove g, in which the flange or spline portion 22a is inserted.
At their rear ends the single leaves 16 and 22 have extensions, identified by the letter (see FIG. 8) which project beyond the rear end of the hinge leaves 14 and 20; into the space between fl anges 26a and 260 of the Z bar. Preferably spring clips 27 are inserted between these flanges of the Z-bar to clasp the extension 2.
The forward ends of hinge leaves 14 and 20 comprise the slides 32' and 34 respectively, which are shown connected to leaves Hand 20 for longitudinal movement in the planes of the leaves 14 and 20 respectively, by pins 325: and 34a respectively projecting from the slides through the slots s in leaves 14 and 20- respectively. Pro jecting downwardly from the slides 32 and 34 are the finger pieces 1 by which the slides may be moved, either outwardly, to extend the length of the leaves so that they extend over the flange 26b of adjacent Z bar 26, to support and lock the access tile assembly in closed position i.e. in the plane of the ceiling, or inwardly to disengage the leaves 14 and 20 from bar 26 thus allowing the tile to swing down for giving access through the ceiling. While thus swung. down the access tile is supported; by its hinges from the laterally adjoining ceiling tiles and also by the extensions e of the vertical portions 14b and 20b of leaves 14 and 20- wh-ich project into the space between parallel upper and lower flanges 260, 26a of the Z bar which is at the rear end of the access tile. Preferably spring clips 27 are inserted between these flanges of the Z bar to clasp the extensions e and so cooperate in holding the access tile.
As indicated above the access tile is stepped along the two opposite edges which confront a pair of Z bars 26 respectively. The upper half 10a of the access tile 10 is narrower than the distance between a pair of said bars, permitting the upper half to be swung up between a pair of Z bars. The lower half 10b; projects outwardly on opposite sides toward the adjacent bars 26, providing portions 100 which abut against the lower surfaces of the adjacent bars 26 when access tile 10 is in closed position. Since the height or cross sectional thickness of portions 10c is the same as the height or cross sectional thickness from the under surface of access tile 10 to the bottom of grooves a and b in the other lateral edges of tile 16, and from the under surface of tiles 24 to the bottom of grooves g in the lateral edges of tiles 24, in closed position the upper portion 19a. of the access tile will extend up between the opposed pair of Z bars 26 and, the bot- 4 tom surface of tile 10 will be flush with the bottom surface of tiles 24.
From the description of the hinges given above, it will be understood that slides 32 and 34, by which the length of hinge leaves 14 and 20 may be extended, overlie the outer surface of the hinge leaves and when the access tile is raised to. closed position and the slides are moved forwardly to extend the length of leaves 14 and 20 respectively, the will project. over and :above the opposed flange 26a of the opposed bar 26, and will rest on the top of that flange, thus locking the access tile in the plane of the. ceiling tiles 24.
The forward ends and 200 of the hinge leaves 14 and 20 are turned up and back and they are interconnected by the crossmember 36 which serves to strengthen the. structure and protect the hinge leaves 14 and 20 from becoming bent by holding them in spaced parallel relation. The rod or cross member 36 may be attached to the ends 14c and 20c in any effective way. As shown herein the turned back portions of ends 140 and 20c are apertured with holes h adapted to receive the bent over ends 36a of member 36.
The structure described herein makes it easy and convenient to have access to the space above the ceiling, to inspect or repair duct work and electric wiring, or to ad just valves, or for any other reason. With this structure it is not necessary to handle the access tile in the process of getting at the space above the ceiling, or to make suc- Cessive trips up and down a step ladder to first remove the access tile and later to return it, as has heretofore been required with prior art tile ceilings.
There has thus been described an improved tile ceiling structure and an improved access tile assembly by which the above stated object is accomplished ina simple, effective and thoroughly practical way.
What I claim is:
1. An access tile and hinge assemblyfor use in a ceiling comprising, a support frame including a plurality of spaced bars and a plurality of ceiling or wall tiles supported be tween said bars, said access tile being stepped along two" opposite edges with its upper portion narrower in one direction than the distance between two adjacent bars and with its lower portion wider than the distance between said two adjacent bars and adapted to abut against the lower surface, of said bars whenit is in closed position, theother two edges of the access tile being slotted with longitudinal slots, a pair of. hinges on opposite sides of the access tile, each hinge comprising, a first leaf having a flange received in one of said slots and a portion normal to the flange extending along a portion of the edge of the access tile in the slot of which. the flange of said first hinge leaf is inserted, and a second leaf pivotally attached to the first leaf at one end and comprising, aflange received in a slot in the edge of the laterally adjoining tile and a portion normal to the flange extending along a portion of the edge of the tile in the slot of which the flange of said second hinge leaf is inserted, and slide means carried by the first hinge leaves which are movable to extend the first leaves above said bars, to support and lock the access panel in closed position when the access tile is in the plane of the ceiling.
2. A ceiling or wall construction comprising, a supporting frame having spaced parallel bars, a number of tiles supported on the frame in edge to edge abutting relation, and an access tile supported between two laterally adjacent tiles for movement from a closed position in which it lies in the plane of the other tiles to an open position in which it hangs down at an angle to the plane of the other tiles, and hinge means comprising two pairs of hinges, each pair comprising two leaves, the second of which extends along, and is engaged with, an inner edge of one of the two laterally adjacent tiles, and the first leaf of which extends along, and is engaged with, the. edge of the access tile which is opposed to the edge of the adjacent tile with which the second leaf is engaged, means pivota-lly joining the second and first leaves at one end, the first leaf;
comprising a slide reciprocable longitudinally and adapted to increase the length of the first leaf when moved in one direction, the slide having a downwardly extending finger piece by which the slide may be moved, to extend the first leaf over one of the bars of the said frame, to support and lock the access tile in closed position and disposed in the plane of the other tiles, and to decrease the length of the first leaf and disengage it from the support frame to unlock the access tile so it may be swung down from the plane of the other tiles to an open position.
3. A ceiling structure comprising, a plurality of horizontal support bars spaced apart in parallel relation, each bar comprising a vertical intermediate portion and a plurality of horizontally extending portions spaced apart and disposed one above another, a plurality of ceiling tiles supported between a pair of said bars and spaced apart to receive a third tile between them, a third tile, and means for mounting the third tile from said ceiling tiles and from one of said bars for swinging movement between a closed position in which it is level with the ceiling tiles and cooperates with them to form a closed ceiling, and an open position in which it is angularly related to the plane of the ceiling tiles leaving an opening in the ceiling through which access may be had to the space above the ceiling, comprising pairs of hinge leaves, one leaf of each pair being engaged with, and supported by, said spaced ceiling tiles respectively, and the other leaf of each pair of hinges being engaged with the third tile on opposite sides thereof, the second mentioned leaf of each pair being extended at one end to enter into the space between the said plurality of horizontally extending bar portions disposed one above another of one bar, and means for adjusting the length of the second mentioned leaf of each pair to enact with the other of said support bars by being projected above a horizontally extending portion of the other bar when it is desired to hold the third tile in closed position.
4. A ceiling structure comprising a plurality of horizontal support bars spaced apart in parallel relation, each bar comprising a vertical intermediate portion and a plurality of horizontally extending portions spaced apart and disposed one above another, a plurality of ceiling tiles supported between a pair of support bars and spaced apart laterally to provide space for an access tile to be disposed between them, an access tile, hinge means comprising, first leaves engaged with the access tile along its lateral edges respectively, and second leaves pivoted to the first leaves respectively at one end and engaged with the said two ceiling tiles along their opposed lateral edges respectively, the leaves which engage the respective side edges of the access tile being extended at one end to project into the space between vertically aligned horizontally extending portions of one of the support bars, spring clip means, disposed between said vertically aligned horizontally extending portions of said one of the support bars, and in horizontal alignment with the extensions of the hinge leaves which project into the said space, and adapted to clasp the extensions of said hinge leaves.
5. The structure claimed in claim 1 in which the slide means has a projection providing a finger piece by which the slide means can be moved, for locking the access panel in closed position, or for unlocking the access panel for swinging on its hinged means to open position.
6. In a ceiling comprising a grid of supporting members and a number of tiles supported by said supporting members, an access tile and hinge means comprising two pairs of binge leaves interconnecting the tiles on opposite sides of the access tile to the respective sides of the access tile for swinging movement between a position in which the access tile is disposed in the plane of the ceiling to a position in which it is angularly disposed with respect to the ceiling while remaining attached to the ceiling.
7. The structure claimed in claim 6 in which at least one of the first leaves of said pairs of leaves has adjacent one end a slide movable longitudinally of the first leaf and, when moved in one direction while the leaf is in the plane of the ceiling, extends the lengths of the first leaf sufiiciently to rest on, and be supported by, said grid.
8. The ceiling structure set forth in claim 6 in which the leaves of each pair being pivotally connected at one end, the first hinge leaf of each pair being attached to the access tile, and having latch means at one end to engage one part of the supporting grid, and the second hinge leaf of each pair being supported by opposed portions of the supporting grid, the second hinge leaves remaining fixed in the plane of the ceiling while the first hinge leaves are movable to swing the access tile from the plane of the ceiling.
9. The structure claimed in claim 8 in which the second hinge leaf of each pair is engaged with a tile which adjoins its access tile.
10. The structure claimed in claim 6 in which the access tile has kerfs in two opposite edges, and kerfs are provided in the adjacent edges of the tiles which are disposed on opposite sides of the access tile, each of said pair of hinge leaves comprising a pair of L-shaped leaves disposed back to back and pivotally joined together at one end, one leaf engaging one of said kerfs in the access tile and the other leaf engaging the adjacent kerf of the laterally adjoining tile.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,070,150 2/1937 Venzie 52127 2,698,071 12/1954 Lee 52-484 2,854,706 10/ 1958 Merlino 52484 X 2,926,237 2/ 1960 Sorenson 52-484 X 3,001,616 9/1961 Griffin 52475 X JOHN E. MURTAGH, Primary Examiner.