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Publication numberUS3359696 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 26, 1967
Filing dateMay 19, 1965
Priority dateMay 19, 1965
Publication numberUS 3359696 A, US 3359696A, US-A-3359696, US3359696 A, US3359696A
InventorsSnaith William T
Original AssigneeJohns Manville
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ceiling construction
US 3359696 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 26, 1967 'w.T.sNA|TH 3,359,696

CEILING CONSTRUCTION Filed May 19, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. M/ILL/AM 31/42/774 x/zw A v- TOKA/EY Dec. 26, 1967 w. T. SNAITH 3,

CEILING CONSTRUCTION Filed May 19, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 44 1 46 i 4o M m m INVENTOR.

\A/ILLIAM T 5NA/7H BY V A T TORNEY United States Patent 3,359,696 CEILING CONSTRUCTION William T. Snaith, Weston, Conn., assignor to Johns- Manville Corporation, New York, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed May 19, 1965, Ser. No. 457,063 14 Claims. (Cl. 52314) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Recessed edge portions of ceiling panels having exposed faces with parallel grooves rest on, and form groovesimulating spaces with, elongated support members arranged parallel to the grooves. These spaces, together with the exposed lower faces of the support members and the exposed grooved faces of the panels, form in visual eifect an integrated grooved pattern, in which the support members are camouflaged.

This invention relates to ceilings formed of panels, the edge portions of which are supported on elongated support members. More particularly, the invention relates to such ceilings in which the elongated support means or runners are exposed, but due to their relationship with the panels are camouflaged.

Many different means for installing ceiling panels have been evolved over the years. One method of installing such panels is to first install a number of spaced, parallel, elongated support members, typically T-shaped bars called runners, in spaced relationship to the actual ceiling structure. The panels are then arranged so that opposite edge portions are supported by the flanges of the runners. Cross support members are also supported by the main runners in the same manner as the panels and are arranged between the panels to cover the joints formed by the abutting panel edge portions. This type of installation has a number of advantages, including ease and speed of installation, easy accessibility to the space between the panels and the ceiling structure, and economy of the required support members.

One of the disadvantages of this type of ceiling installation, however, is that the support members are visible, thereby detracting from the desired impression of an overall expanse of panels. Methods have been developed for concealing the support runner structure by forming the edge portions of the panels in such a way that the upper part of the panel edge portion will rest upon the structural support member while the lowermost part of the edge portion will extend below the runner and abut the adjacent panel, thereby hiding the runner from view. This type of arrangement, however, while succeeding in concealing the support members, adds to the expense of the panels and makes installation of the panels more difficult. Furthermore, such an arrangement usually causes the space between the panels and the actual ceiling structure to be inaccessible. This means that once the ceiling panels have been installed, a panel in the interior of the ceiling cannot be removed without removing a number of other panels, first starting at a wall and working toward the panel to be removed.

A different approach to the problem of concealing the support members has been to decorate the exposed surface of the support members to match the decorative surface of the panels. While this type of approach lessens the contrast between the panels and the support members, nevertheless, the grid or checkerboard arrangement of the support members is visible and noticeably frames each panel.

It would be highly advantageous to provide a ceiling panel arrangement wherein the panels can be installed and manufactured simply and economically and yet cause the support runners, at least the runners extending in one direction, to be unnoticeable.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a ceiling panel arrangement wherein the runners extending in one direction are unnoticeable, although not actually concealed from view.

Another object of this invention is to provide a ceiling panel arrangement wherein the runners extending in one direction add to, and become part of, the decorative appearance of the panels.

Briefly, the invention comprises an arrangement employing the usual grid system of support members and a modified type of lay-in panel. The edge portions of the panels supported by the support members are recessed so that the exposed surfaces of the panel are substantially flush with the lower surfaces of the support members, and the panel surfaces are provided with parallel grooves extending in the same direction as the main runners whereby the main runners blend in with the surface decoration of the panels.

The nature of the invention will be more fully understood and other objects may become apparent when the following detailed description is considered in connection with the accompanying drawing, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a pictorial representation of a panel of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a partial pictorial representation showing adjacent support runners supporting a ceiling panel of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a transverse sectional view taken on line 33 of FIG. 2, illustrating a typical random groove arrangement in a panel surface;

FIG. 4 is a pictorial representation of a portion of a ceiling in which panels of the present invention have been installed;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view similar to that of FIG. 3, but illustrating a symmetrical arrangement of grooves in the panel surface;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view similar to that of FIG. 5, but showing a different arrangement of grooves in the panel surface;

FIG. 7 is a sectional view similar to that of FIG. 6, but showing another modified groove arrangement in the panel surface;

FIG. 8 is a partial pictorial representation of a main support runner having a spacer clip attached to the web thereof; and

FIG. 9 is a view similar to that of FIG. 8, but showing a modified spacing arrangement integral with the web.

Referring to the drawing, FIG. 1 shows a panel 10 formed of any suitable material which can be readily grooved, and preferably which is acoustically effective, such as a fibrous composition containing mineral wool fibers, glass fibers or cellulosic fibers. The invention is not limited to these materials, however, but may also be practical with suitable nonacoustical material. The face 11 of the panel to be exposed to view is provided with a number of grooves or striations 12 extending the full length of the panel parallel to the side edges thereof. The edge portions of the panel to be supported by the support runners are notched or recessed as indicated at 14 for a purpose which will be made clear hereinafter.

Referring to FIG. 2, the panel 10 of FIG. 1 is illustrated as being supported in the usual manner of a lay-in panel. Elongated support runners 16 of T-shaped crosssection are supported by wires 18 from the ceiling support beams 20. Opposite edges of the panel 10 rest on the flanges 22 of the runners 16, and structural crossmembers 24 are provided between adjacent panels. The end portions of the cross-members 24 also rest on the flanges 22 of the runners 16 while the flanges 25 of the cross-members support the adjacent edges of the panels 10. This invention is not so much concerned with concealing the cross-rnembers 24- from view, although as disclosed hereinafter, this can be done, but particularly with concealing or camouflaging the main support runners 16.

Referring to FIG. 3, a panel 26 is shown as being supported between adjacent parallel runners 28. The edge portions of the panel 26 are notched or recessed as indicated at 30 so that the bottoms of the recesses rest on the upper surfaces of the flanges 32 of runners 28. As illustrated, the depth of a recess is substantially equal to the thickness of the flange of the support runners so that the lower or exposed surface of the panel 26 is in substantially the same plane as the lower surface of the flange 32 to provide the ceiling installation with the appearance of an integral surface. The grooves 34 in the face of the panel 26 are parallel to the runners 28 and preferably are spaced apart by various amounts to provide 'a random pattern of grooves. The width of a groove 34 is substantially equal to the distance between the side wall 36 of the recess 30 and the edge of the flange 32, which makes it appear that the space between the panel and the runner flange is another groove or striation. This portion of the recess 30 thus may be termed a groovesimulating recess portion, which, with the lower surface of the flange 32, provides, in visual eifect, a grooved pattern complementary to that of the exposed surface of the panel 26. This arrangement, plus the fact that the face of the panel is flush with the face of the flange 32 of the support runner 28, makes it appear that the exposed portion of the runner 28 is part of the panel surface, forming therewith and with the associated groove-simulating portion, in visual effect, an integrated grooved pattern. To increase this camouflaged effect, the underside of the flange 32 may be painted to match the color of the surface of the panel 26 or it may be provided with an overlay material, such as decorative plastic, to simulate the surface decoration of the panel. In addition to the grooves 34, it is contemplated that the panel surface may be provided with various other types of ornamentation such as different types of paint, embossed patterns or perforations. Should additional decorative features be added to the panel surface it is also contemplated that the exposed surface of the runner 28 could be given the same type of decoration to heighten the impression of a continuous integral surface.

To further increase the camouflaged effect, it is preferred that the distance A between at least one pair of grooves 34 be substantially the same as the width B of the exposed face of the runners 28. This is done to prevent the runners from being conspicuous due to the space on either side of the runner flanges being separated a different amount than the distance between any two of the grooves of the panel face. This can also be accomplished by arranging the grooves in the panel face in such a manner that the width of the exposed runner face is not equal to the distance between any two of the grooves, but is equal to what one would expect the spacing of grooves in that location to be. For example, should the grooves in the panel be arranged so that the distance between adjacent grooves progressively increases from one end of the panel to the other, then the width of the runner flange 32 would be substantially equal to the spacing one would expect to occur if the progression of groove spacing were continued.

As illustrated in FIG. 4, an installation of ceiling panels constructed in accordance with the present invention effectively camouflages the main support runners 28. The grooves 34 arranged parallel to the runners 28 appear similar to the spacing which provides the groove-simulating portions on either side of the runners, and since the spacing between some of the grooves 34 is substantially the same as the width of the exposed flanges of the runners, the appearance of an overall expanse of ceiling panels is created. The cross-support members 38 have not been shown as altered in any way to simulate the surface of the ceiling panels although the surface of the members may be decorated .to simulate the appearance of the panels and of the main support runners 28. If desired, the cross-support members can be provided with grooves which extend transversely of their length, to be matched with the grooves of the panels, and thus to camouflage the presence of the cross-support members. This is not necessary, however, since camouflaging of the runners alone usually accomplishes the desired esthetic effect.

A preferred groove arrangement is illustrated in FIG. 5 which shows a panel 40 having grooves 42 therein. The grooves are parallel to the support runners 44 and are spaced unevenly so as to present a random pattern. Even though the spacing between the grooves is not equal the grooves are arranged symmetrically about the center line 46 of the panel running parallel to the runners 44. This enables the panels to be installed without regard to which of the recessed edges is supported on which of the runners 44 while yet obtaining the desired overall ceiling appearance. If the panel grooves are not symmetrically arranged in this manner, the workman installing the panels has to align them so that the grooves of one panel coincide with, and comprise a continuation of, the grooves of the adjacent panels.

FIG. 6 illustrates another modified panel arrangement in which the grooves 48 of the panel 50 are themselves of unequal width so that there is no need for the workman installing the panels to be concerned about whether the space provided by the groove-simulating recess portion between the side wall 52 of the recess 54 and the edge of the flange 56 of runner 58 is the same as the widths of the grooves. In this arrangement, even though the spacing may be different it is not noticeable because it is consistent with the unequal widths of the grooves.

As illustrated in FIG. 7, the grooves 60 of the panel 62 may be evenly spaced apart a distance substantially equal to the width of the flange 64 of the runners 66. This achieves the objective of camouflaging the support runners without requiring a random pattern of grooves or striations.

In order to facilitate the installation of the panels with respect to obtaining predetermined spacing between the side walls of the panel recesses and the side edges of the runner flanges to provide the groove-simulating recess portions, the arrangement shown in FIG. 8 may be utilized. A spring clip 68 is attached to the Web 70 of the runner 72, the resilient leg portion of the clip extending outwardly from the web at a point adjacent the flanges 74, as indicated by reference numeral 76. It is merely necessary to apply a number of such clips at spaced intervals along the lengths of the main support runners to assure that the edge portions of the panels will abut the legs of the clip, thereby automatically spacing the side wall of the panel recess the desired distance from the edge of the runner flange.

Instead of utilizing separate members such as the spring clips described above, the web of the runner may be dimpled as indicated at 78 in FIG. 9. The dimple 78 extends outwardly from the web 80 of the runner 82 and provides the same function as the spring clip described in the preceding paragraph. Of course, it is not necessary to provide means for spacing the edge of a panel from the web of the adjacent runner since it is possible to merely lay the panels in place, manually arranging them to achieve the desired spacing. Structure for automatically spacing the panel edges, however, facilitates and speeds panel installation, and is desirable.

In addition to camouflaging the main support runners, the present invention has a number of other advantages. The simple edge arrangement provided for the panels is easier to manufacture than the edge structure of panels which physica'lly cover the flange of the support runners.

Moreover, by leaving the runners exposed, any single panel can be readily removed without necessitating the removal of other adjacent panels first. Furthermore, the particular construction of the panel decreases the likelihood of an exposed edge of the panel, that is, where the side wall of the recess joins the panel face, from being damaged during shipment and handling. Any damage which may occur during shipping and handling is usually done to the extremities of the panels which are not exposed to view but are supported on the upper surfaces of the runner flanges.

While the present invention has been described particularly with respect to lay-in panels, which are usually rather large, in the order of 2 x 4 or 4' x 8', it is apparent that the invention may be applied also to panels of smaller size. Further, While the invention has been described with respect to panels having grooves extending the full length thereof, it should be apparent that the invention can be practiced by providing a panel with grooves only some of which extend the full length thereof. So long as there are a sufficient number of grooves which do extend the full length of the panel, and which serve to de-emphasize the spacing on opposite sides of the support flanges, the basic concept of the invention can be utilized.

It is to be understood that other variations and modifications of the present invention may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention. It also is to be understood that the scope of the invention is not to be interpreted as limited to the specific embodiments disclosed herein but only in accordance with the appended claims when read in the light of the foregoing disclosure.

What I claim is:

1. In a ceiling construction (a) a pair of parallel elongated support means,

(b) horizontally extending flanges on the support means at the lowermost portions thereof and having exposed faces facing downwardly,

(c) a panel between the pair of support means and having an exposed face facing downwardly,

(d) the exposed face of the panel having a plurality of grooves therein extending parallel to the support means,

(e) both edge portions of the panel adjacent the support means having a recess in the underside thereof substantially parallel to the support means and extending from one end of the panel to the opposite end,

(f) the bottom of each recess resting on the adjacent flange of the adjacent support means,

(g) the side wall of each recess being spaced from the edge of the adjacent flange a distance substantially equal to the width of at least one of the grooves, thereby forming a groove-simulating recess portion and (h) the depth of the recesses being substantially equal to the thickness of the support flanges, whereby the said groove-simulating recess portions and the exposed faces of the flanges provide, in visual effect, a grooved pattern complementary to that of the exposed face of the panel.

2. A ceiling construction as recited in claim 1, wherein the distance between at least one pair of adjacent grooves is substantially equal to the width of the exposed flange portion of the support means.

3. A ceiling construction as recited in claim 2, wherein the distance between each pair of adjacent grooves is different than the distance between the next pair of adjacent grooves.

44. A ceiling construction as recited in claim 2, wherein all the grooves are substantially equally spaced apart.

5. A ceiling construction as recited in claim 2, wherein the widths of some of the grooves are different than the widths of other grooves.

6. A ceiling construction as recited in claim 2, wherein the depth of each groove is substantially equal to thedepth of the recess.

7. A ceiling construction as recited in claim 1, wherein the grooves are symmetrically arranged about the center line of the panel extending parallel to the grooves.

8. In a ceiling construction (a) a pair of parallel elongated support means of T- shaped cross-section,

(b) the T-shaped support means being arranged in inverted position so that the horizontal flanges forming the cross of the T comprise the lowermost portion of the support means and provide downwardly facing exposed faces,

(c) a ceiling panel between the pair of support means and having a downwardly facing exposed face,

(d) the exposed face of the panel having a plurality of grooves therein extending parallel to the T-shaped support means,

(e) opposite edge portions of the panel adjacent the support means having a recess in the underside thereof substantially parallel to the support means,

(f) the bottoms of the recesses of the panels resting on the flanges of the support means,

(g) the side walls of the recesses being spaced from the edges of the adjacent support flanges a distance substantially equal to the width of at least one of the grooves, thereby forming a groove-simulating recess portion, and

(h) the said groove-simulating recess portions and the exposed faces of the flanges providing, in visual effect, a grooved pattern complementary to that of the exposed face of the panel.

9. A ceiling construction as recited in claim 8, including additionally, means on the vertical web of the T-shaped support means abutting the edges of the panels to space the side walls of each panel recess a predetermined distance from the edge of the flange of the support member.

10. A ceiling construction comprising (a) a plurality of spaced parallel support means,

(b) a plurality of panels supported at opposite edge portions by the support means and having downwardly facing exposed faces,

(c) each support means having horizontally extending flanges at the lowermost portion thereof having upper surfaces and side edges and providing downwardly facing exposed faces,

(d) the edge portions of the panels supported by the support means being recessed,

(e) the recessed portions having bottom surfaces resting on the upper surfaces of the flanges of the support means, and the recessed portions also having side walls spaced from the side edges of the flanges, thereby forming groove-simulating recess portions,

(f) each panel having a plurality of grooves in the exposed face thereof, the grooves extending parallel to the support means,

(g) the width of at least one of the grooves in each panel face being substantially equal to the width of the space between the side edge of the flange of the support means and the side wall of the adjacent recess, and

(h) the depth of the recessed portions being substantially equal to the thickness of the support flanges,

whereby the lower surface of the panels lies in substantially the same plane as the lowermost surface of the support flanges.

(i) the said groove-simulating recess portions, the exposed faces of the flanges, and the exposed faces of the panels thus forming, in visual effect, an integrated grooved pattern.

11. A ceiling construction as recited in claim 10, including additionally, means on the support means abutting the edgesof the panelsto space the sidewall of the, recessed portion a predetermined distance from the-side edges of the support flanges.

12,. A ceiling construction as recitedin claim 10, in-

cluding additionally, further elongated support means the end, portionsof which are supported, on the flanges of the first elongated support means, the further support means being arranged between the edges of the panels. transverse to the grooves in the faces thereof and the further support, means having flanges coveringthejoints between adjacent panels.

13. A ceiling construction as. recited in -claim 1 0, wherein the exposed surfaces of the snpport'fianges are decorated similar to the exposed surfacesof the support means.

14. A ceiling construction as recited in claim 10, wherein the distance between at least one pair of grooves in each panel is substantially equal to the width ofthe exposed support fiang$.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS FRANK L. ABBOTT, Primary Examiner.

PRICE C. FAW, ROBERT S. VERMUT,

Assistant Examiners.

Patent Citations
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US2882559 *Apr 6, 1955Apr 21, 1959Duo Flex CorpAcoustical ceiling
US3234692 *Jan 16, 1964Feb 15, 1966Internat Pipe And Ceramics CorTile construction
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3518800 *Jun 24, 1969Jul 7, 1970Connor Forest IndFlooring system
US3910000 *Apr 16, 1974Oct 7, 1975Paul S KelseyPrecast panels with corner-divider projections
US4679375 *Sep 23, 1983Jul 14, 1987Donn IncorporatedSuspension ceiling grid system with narrow-faced grid
US4712350 *May 16, 1986Dec 15, 1987Chicago Metallic CorporationCentering arrangement for T members of a suspended ceiling
US6523314Dec 29, 2000Feb 25, 2003Usg Interiors, Inc.Ceiling grid with resilient centering tabs
US7712274Dec 29, 2006May 11, 2010Usg Interiors, Inc.Downwardly accessible lift-and-shift ceiling system
US7937903 *Mar 7, 2007May 10, 2011PortafabPanelized ceiling system
US20080155927 *Dec 29, 2006Jul 3, 2008Usg Interiors, Inc.Downwardly accessible lift-and-shift ceiling system
US20080216431 *Mar 7, 2007Sep 11, 2008Mcgee WaynePanelized Ceiling System
DE3434999A1 *Sep 24, 1984Apr 4, 1985Donn IncTraggitter fuer eine abgehaengte decke und tragschiene fuer ein derartiges traggitter
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/314, 52/778, D25/160
International ClassificationE04B9/04
Cooperative ClassificationE04B9/0464, E04B9/0435
European ClassificationE04B9/04J, E04B9/04E