Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3381738 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 7, 1968
Filing dateSep 26, 1967
Priority dateJul 29, 1963
Publication numberUS 3381738 A, US 3381738A, US-A-3381738, US3381738 A, US3381738A
InventorsGood Charles R, Harris Donald S, Lindahl Robert L, Merrill Bennett W
Original AssigneeNew Castle Products Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Movable space divider structures
US 3381738 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 1968 c. R. GOOD ETAL 3,381,738


y 7,1968 c. R. GOOD ETAL 3,381,738


May 7, 1968 c. R. GOOD ETAL MOVABLE SPACE DIVIDER STRUCTURES Original Filed July 29, 1963 6 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTORS EHARLES R 600D May 7, 1968 c. R. GOOD ETAL MOVABLE SPACE DIVIDER STRUCTURES 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 Original Filed July 29, 1965v 4 4 n. o llllnllll'll' 1- III r May 7, 1968 c. R. GOOD ETAL MOVABLE SPACE DIVIDER STRUCTURES Original Filed July 29, 1963 IVA/ mrfl wm 8 IS H United States Patent 3 Claims. (Cl. 160-40) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLUSURE A partition consisting of a series of movable panels which are extendable across a wall opening in an extended position, and a jamb panel movable within a fixed jamb housing and operated by a lever to move outwardly of the fixed jamb housing and into engagement with the extended panels facing the panels into end-toend engagement and forming an eifective sound-retarding seal between adjacent panels.

The application is a division of copending application Ser. No. 298,367, filed July 29, 1963.

The invention relates to a movable space divider structure formed from a plurality of panels arranged for coplanar positioning, the panels being movable into a stacked storage position when the divider is not in use. More specifically, the invention is directed to a new and improved sealing arrangement, the features of the im- 7 provements mutually cooperating to provide substantially improved sound insulation and ease of divider operation.

The establishing and maintaining of an efficient sound seal above, below and along the sides of each panel is essential to efficient use of a divider as a sound barrier. Peripheral leakage can make even the most efiicient panel construction ineifective. Peripheral sealing arrangements cannot be unduly complex as case of movement of the panels into and out of operative position is an important consideration of the effectiveness of a space divider of this type.

It is an object of the invention to provide a new and improved movable space divider structure exhibiting highly effective sound transmission loss characteristics and capable of ready and efficient operation into and out of operation position.

Still another object is to provide a new and improved panel structure and peripheral sealing arrangement for use in a folding type space divider, the combined panel structure and sealing arrangement providing for improved efficiency in sound insulation.

Still a further object is to provide a new and improved space divider sealing arrangement including operable means for locking a series of panels arranged in coplanar relation in efficient end sealing relation.

Other objects not specifically set forth will become apparent from the following detailed description of the invention made in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary elevation of the movable space divider structure of the invention illustrating the same in operative position;

FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic fragmentary plan view of the structure of FIG. 1 illustrating the panel portions thereof in inoperative stacked relation in broken lines;

FIGS. 3A and 3B are fragmentary longitudinal sections of the divider structure of FIG. 1 as viewed generally along line 3-3 therein;

FIGS. 4A and 4B are fragmentary sections of the divider structure of FIG. 1 as viewed generally along line 4-4 therein;

FIGS. 5A and 5B are fragmentary longitudinal sections of the divider structure of FIG. 1 is viewed gene-rally along long 5-5 therein;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary section of the operating means of the divider structure as viewed generally along the line 6-6 in FIG. 5A;

FIG 7 is an enlarged fragmentary section of a portion of the operating means as viewed generally along line 7-7 of FIG. 8;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary end view of the operating means as viewed generally along line 88 in FIG. 7;

'FIG. 1 illustrates the movable space divider structure 10 of the invention as comprising a plurality of flat panels arranged in hingedly paired relation. The panel arrangement includes any appropriate number of full panels 11 and 12. hingedly interconnected at top and bottom corner portions, hingedly interconnected opposite end pairs of full panels 13 and panels 14, and a longitudinally movable jamb panel 15 telescopically received in a fixed jamb housing 16 at one end of the structure. In addition to the panel arrangement, the structure includes an overhead recessed track assembly 17 supporting a plurality of trolley assemblies 18 thereon and which are suitably attached to the top portions of the various panels. The trolley assemblies 18 extend downwardly through a special ceiling panel structure 19. The floor structure 20 carries a special floor track assembly 21 in which is received a plurality of panel guide means 22.

The fixed jamb housing 16 extends vertically continuously between the ceiling panel structure 19 and floor structure 20 and is fixw to side wall portion 23 which defines one end of the opening in which the space divider is received. A vertical jamb post 24 is mounted along the opposite fixed side wall portion 25 completing the surrounding structure defining the opening in which the divider is received.

FIG. 2 illustrates the general arrangement and in broken lines shows the stacking of the pairs of panels when the space divider structure is in its inoperative position. Handle means 26 are provided with each hingedly interconnected pair of panels to permit movement of the panels into folded positions as controlled by movement of their respective trolley assemblies 18. The folded panels can then be readily moved longitudinally of the opening into the stacked position illustrated in broken lines in FIG. 2. The fixed jamb housing 16 includes therein jamb panel operating means controlled by exposing handle means 27 which upon operation provides for movement of the jamb panel 15 into and out of the jamb housing 16.

Each of the panels of the divider are of similar construction, including transversely spaced and generally coextensive face plates 23 each having a fiber blanket 29 covering the inner face thereof. The fiber blankets 29 are spaced transversely from one "another to define an air space 30 internally of the panel. Further details of the construction of the individual panels are shown and described in the parent application Ser. No. 298,367.

FIG. 5B illustrates adjacent ends of pairs of panels adapted for hinged interconnection such as the panels 11 and 12. Alternate hinge brackets 33 include a hinge pin 41 or a recess 42 for interconnection of the adjacent panels. Each end surafce of each panel includes an end sealing arrangement involving a special vertically continuous sealing strip 43 suitably mounted in a channel member 44 which extends vertically of the panel.

FIG. 3A illustrates the top structure of the fixed jamb housing 16 as including a top filler plate or board suitably attached to the ceiling. A vertically extending back post 91 is suitably attached to the side wall portion 23 by fasteners 92 located at any suitable interval such as shown in FIG. 4A. The vertical sides of the housing 16 include face plates 93 of any suitable type, such as the plates 28 of the panels, these plates being decorated in the same manner as the panel plates. The plates 93 are suitably attached by fasteners 94 to side wall members 95 and 96 extending vertically continuously and formed from any suitably structural material including such material particularly adapted for sound insulation. In this respect the fixed jamb housing may be of any appropriate construction as long as the same is capable of establishing a sound transmission loss which is at least comparable to that of the panels. However, the critical problems of panel construction are not present in the fabrication of the fixed jamb housing as weight limitations are not present and the jamb housing is substantially thicker than the individual panels, thereby providing greater latitude in the type of materials used. In this respect the structure of the housing 16 can at least approach that of an effective fixed wall.

Transverse end closures 97 extend between the face plates 93 and the top and bottom seal assemblies as shown in FIGS. 3A and 4A and further extend vertically continuously to define therebetween an opening 98 through which the movable jamb panel 15 is operable. The outer surfaces of the vertical end members 97 have attached thereto vertically continuous sealing members 99 having inwardly projecting flexible lip portions which engage the outer side surfaces of the movable jamb panel 15 to seal off the interior of the jamb housing 16. The bottom portion of the jamb housing as shown in FIG. 4A is similarly constructed and includes a plate member 100 sealing off the adjacent end of the floor recess in which the channel member 79 is mounted.

As shown in FIG. A, the jamb panel is of the same structure as the panels described above but is of lesser width, approximately /2 the width of a full panel, as it merely moves a relatively short distance into and out of the fixed jamb housing 16. It will be understood that the jamb panel may be of any suitable width depending on the extent of movement desired. The housing 16 at convenient operating height includes a transverse operating shaft 101 suitably journaled therein and projecting from opposite sides thereof with operating handle means 27 being fixed thereto. Internally the shaft 101 is supported by a bracket structure 102 suitably fixed within the housing 16 and carries thereon a drive sprocket 103 also illustrated in FIG. 6. A drive chain 104 extends upwardly from the sprocket 103 into engagement with an upper sprocket 105 suitably fixed to an idler shaft 106 (FIGS. 1 and 6) which is supported within the housing 16 by bracket means 107. The drive chain 104 includes adjustable turnbuckles 108 for ready assembly and adjustment thereof.

Each shaft 101 and 106 has fixed thereto a bifurcated crank arm 109 projecting outwardly therefrom in a direction longitudinally of the space divider structure. The outer end of each crank arm has pivotally attached therto a bar member 110 by means of a transverse pivot pin 111. The outer end of each bar member 110 has fixed thereto a pair of spaced straps 112 projecting therefrom and fixing between the outer ends thereof an adjustment collar 113 which threadedly receives therethrough an adjustment bolt 114.

As best shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, the outer end of each adjustment bolt 114 projects through an attachment block 115 which is fixed by fasteners 116 to spacers 50 arranged along the outermost end surface of the movable jamb panel 15. In this respect the spacers 50 can serve multiple functions not only for the purpose of interconnecting the side portions of a panel, but also for attachment of various operating elements such as those forming a part of the operating means of the movable jamb panel. The block 115 includes a central bore 117 provided with an inclined enlargement 118 communicating with the inner surface thereof to permit the bolt 114 to pivot relative to the block in an upward direction. The bolt 114 is retained in the block by a transverse rollpin 119 suitably fixed in a transverse groove extending through the opening 117 and seated in an annular groove 120 formed in the bolt 114. The outer bottom surface portion 121 of the aperture 117 is enlarged downwardly to permit rocking of the bolt 114 about the axis of the rollpin 119.

Rotation of the shaft 101 by either of the handle means 27 in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 6 results in a lifting of the crankarms 109 and the inclining and retraction of the bars 110 accompanied by appropriate movement of the jamb panel 15 into the jamb housing 16. This operation is illustrated in broken lines in FIG. 6. Retraction of the jamb panel 15 results in a longitudinal releasing of the panels of the space divider structure thus permitting the same to be folded relative to one another and moved into stacked relation as shown in FIG. 2. When the panels are moved from a stacked relation into coplanar positioning during closing of the structure, operation of the jamb panel 15 into the position shown in FIGS. 5A and 6 results in longitudinal outward movement of the jamb panel into tight engagement with the adjacent end of the panel 14. The degree of travel afforded the jamb panel 15 by the operating means is sufficient to force all of the panels longitudinally of the structure into locked, tight end surface engagement thus establishing automatically a complete vertical edge seal between the adjacent panels brought about by adequate mutual compression of juxtaposed end surface sealing strips 43. Adjustment of this travel is readily accomplished by tool engagement of the exposed slotted ends of the bolts 114.

While the jamb panel 15 is sealed relative to the housing 16 by the vertically continuous sealing strips 99, the inner end surface of the jamb panel will preferably include thereon a transverse sealing strip 122 which as shown in FIG. 5A engages the opposed inner surfaces of the side wall members 96 of the housing 16. This additional seal further assures complete sound proofing along the tortuous path defined by the relatively moving jamb panel 15. Additionally, the jamb housing 16 may include a pair of vertically continuous fiber blankets 123 located immediately inwardly of the opening of the housing through which the jamb panel 15 moves to thus further establish complete soundproofing. Actually, it is preferable to substantially fill the jamb housing 16 with fiber blankets in virtually all dead space areas and without interfering with jamb panel operation.

The panel sealing arrangements are of particular importance as any peripheral leakage would destroy the advantages gained from the use of the uniquely constructed panel. The sealing strips 66 of the overhead sealing arrangement do not move with the panels but are readily available to efiiciently engage the top surfaces thereof when the same are placed in coplanar position. The fixing of the overhead sealing strips 66 in the opening does not interfere with eflicient use of the opening. The mounting of the bottom sealing strips 39 on the panels avoids the presence of an obstacle during passage through the opening and avoids damage to the strips. However, the bottom strips 39 preferably should not engage the floor surface as undue wear can result and dirt and other foreign particles may become adhered to the sealing lips and destroy the effectiveness thereof as a result of movement of the panels. Accordingly, the special floor surface cover plates 82 provide special advantages in that they supply a raised surface which does not constitute an obstacle to complete use of the opening and yet permits efiicient sealing action with the sealing strips 39 carried along the bottoms of the panels. Furthermore, the cover plates 82 can be readily removed to fully expose the channel 80 to clean the same. Foreign matter will accumulate in the channel and such an accumulation may interfere with eificient movement of the panels. Thus the bottom seal-ing arrangement avoids several disadvantages while providing ease of assembly and maintenance.

The panel 14 which is located adjacent the fixed jamb post 24 is forced into outer end sealing strip engagement with the jamb post 24 by operation of the jamb panel 15. This sealing arrangement is shown in FIG. 5B and the sealing strip 43 of the endmost panel 14 establishes an efficient seal with the outer surface of the jamb post 24. The jamb post 24 is suitably fixed to the opposite side wall ortion 25 by fasteners 127.

Obviously certain modifications and variations of the invention as hereinbefore set forth may be made without departing from thespirit and scope thereof, and therefore only such limitations should be imposed as are indicated in the appended claims.

We claim:

1. A space divider assembly comprising a series of panels suspended from overhead track means and extending to a floor, said panels being disposed for movement into and out of coplanar end engaging relation, each of said panels having peripheral sealing means at their margins, a fixed jamb housing aligned with said series, jamb means in said housing, and manually operable means for moving said jamb means longitudinally of said assembly relative to said housing into end engagement with an adjacent panel to force said panels into end sealing engagement with one another longitudinally of said assembly and thereby bias 'said sealing means along said vertical margins, said manually operable means being retractable to release said force on said panels whereby they may be easily moved out of coplanar end engaging relation, said jamb housing being located at one end of said space divider assembly and extending from said track means to said floor, said jamb means being in the form of a panel which is telescopically movable into and out of said housing, said housing and jamb panel including sealing means acting therebetween on opposite sides thereof to maintain a sound transmission seal in the operative position of said jamb panel.

2. In a space divider assembly including a series of panels suspended from overhead track means and extending to a floor and disposed for movement into and out of coplanar end-engaging relation, the improvement in jamb means for said panel series comprising a jamb support member, a relatively movable jamb mounted on said support member for telescopic movement with respect to said support member longitudinally of said panel series and into end engagement with an adjacent said panel to force said panel series into said end engaging relation with one another longitudinally of said panel assembly and being further movable in retracting relation to said support member to release said force on said panels, said jamb support member further having manually operable means for effecting said jamb movement including a transverse rotatably mounted shaft, a pair of handles mounted on the opposite ends of said shaft with one each of said handles being positioned at each transverse side of said assembly, and a jamb operator positioned within said support member and connected to said shaft and operable upon rotation of said shaft to apply an extension force between said jamb and said member when said shaft is rotated in one direction and to apply a retractive force between said jamb and said member when said shaft is rotated in the opposite direction.

3. The space divider assembly of claim 2 further comprising sealing means between said jamb support member and said relatively movable jamb on opposite sides of said jamb effective to maintain a sound transmission seal in the operative position of said jamb.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 885,703 4/1908 Stose 49320 1,278,210 9/1918 Rabinowitz 49-320 1,893,147 1/1933 Oberdorfer et al. 40 2,299,573 10/ 1942 Fair-burst 49127 2,929,445 3/1960 Haws 16040X 3,235,915 2/1966 Glaser 160-40X DAVID J. WILLIAMOWSKY, Primary Examiner.

D. L. TAYLOR, Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US885703 *Feb 2, 1907Apr 21, 1908Walter MunchWindow construction.
US1278210 *Jun 19, 1916Sep 10, 1918Henry RabinowitzWindow.
US1893147 *Feb 25, 1929Jan 3, 1933Circle A Products CorpFolding partition
US2299573 *Mar 25, 1940Oct 20, 1942John T FairhurstFoldable partition
US2929445 *Apr 4, 1956Mar 22, 1960Ernest R HawsFoldable partition
US3235915 *Jun 6, 1961Feb 22, 1966Hauserman Co E FSliding panel partition
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4462192 *Jun 1, 1982Jul 31, 1984American Standard, Inc.Seal assembly
U.S. Classification160/40, 49/320, 160/199
International ClassificationE06B3/32, E06B3/48
Cooperative ClassificationE06B3/481
European ClassificationE06B3/48B