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Publication numberUS3411752 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 19, 1968
Filing dateJan 23, 1967
Priority dateJan 28, 1966
Also published asDE1625258A1, DE1625258B2, DE1625258C3, DE1659550A1, DE1659550B2, DE1659550C3, US3477751
Publication numberUS 3411752 A, US 3411752A, US-A-3411752, US3411752 A, US3411752A
InventorsBos Andre Gerard
Original AssigneeBos Andre Gerard
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Guardrails such as balcony balustrades
US 3411752 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 19, 1968 A. G. 808 3,411,752

GUARDRAILS SUCH AS BALCONY BALUSTRADES Filed Jan. 25, 1967 United States Patent 47,645 7 Claims. (Cl. 256-22) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The present invention is directed to a guardrail construction which may be delivered to the site of erection in a knock-down condition and quickly erected with a minimum of effort and time. The top and bottom rails are of channel cross secton with inwardly directed stops. The web of each rail is provided with spaced slots therethrough which are 'complemental to the cross section of the spacer bars carried therebetween. Each spacer bar has a pair of spaced openings proximate their free ends, which openings cooperate with the stops on the top and bottom rails and the inner side of the webs of the rails to lock the spacer bars and rails into a unitary rigid construction when U-shaped pins are passed through the openings, the locking pins may be welded in place when assembled and a smooth cover plate slid over the entire construction.

This invention relates to a new kind of aesthetic guardrail such as a balcony balustrade, that can be conveniently and rapidly constructed with sectional members and simple securing means such as pegs in particular.

Already well-known are railings and guardrails consisting basically of bars assembled to handrails, using ordinary pegs, the bars and handrails being obtained by parting off light alloy sections of two different kinds.

In order, however, to ensure satisfactory rigidity of an assembled bar and handrail, it is necessary to use heavy sections in the case of the bars, thereby involving considerable quantities of material for their manufacture and delicate opertions for their assembly.

In the case of such railings, each handrail consists of a flattened U-shaped web having openings formed therein the contours of which match the cross-section of the bars in order that the latter may be inserted into these openings until their end-sections butt against transversely extending thrust flanges formed on the sides of the U-section, opposite the web.

Due, however, to the clearance which must unavoida-bly be provided in the handrail openings to permit free engagement of the bars thereinto, rigid assembly of such bars with the handrail can be satisfactorily ensured only by means of two cooperating zones on thetwo elements, which zones are spaced as far apart from each other as possible.

Recourse has therefore been had, in the case of the bars, to sections with a hollow Web having two sufliciently spaced opposite walls and, in one form of embodiment, a peg extends through these two opposite walls and reacts against the handrail surface facing the thrust flanges. But the manufacture of sections with hollow webs calls for costly die-stocks; further, engaging a peg through two spaced walls in succession requires, for effective assembling, that complementary guiding means he provided accurately on the peg and the handrail web. In addition, serious difficulties are encountered in assembling inclined bars to the handrails of sloping staircase balustrades, since in such cases a peg can be effectively engagedobliquely only through one wall of the hollow bar; more- 3,411,752 Patented Nov. 19, 1968 ice over, punching through a hollow part obliquely is an inconvenient and hence costly machining operation.

In an alternative constructional form resorted to heretofore, assembly is effected with two pegs, each of which is engaged into a sufficiently long conduit formed by two mutually opposed longitudinal channels provided respectively on one of the faces of the bar and on a guiding surface formed on the inner side of the handrail. On the other hand, engaging a peg through a fairly long conduit constituted by two mutually independent elements is obviously a delicate and not very practical operation which furthermore calls for a costly corresponding adaptation of the side of the bar.

The present invention has for its object to overcome these drawbacks and to accordingly provide rigid railings capable of being rapidly and conveniently assembled or even dismantled, such railings comprising two handrail sections similar to the U-shaped handrails described precedingly, in which are assembled light bars of pleasing appearance, using a simple device and particularly a peg bearing against the handrail surface facing the thrust flanges.

In accordance with the invention, each bar is formed with a thin solid web each edge of which is divided into two flanges shaped to substantially form a longitudinal dihedron, assembly being effected through the medium of two securing points spaced as far as possible from the longitudinal centerline of the bar and from each other.

Preferably, the securing points are obtained by welding the end-section of the bar to the handrail thrust flanges, or by means of two pegs extending through the thin web of the bar, level with the handrail web.

Manifestly, the end-section of the bar may have a bearing surface for cooperation with the thrust flanges that is substantially equivalent to that of a tubular member of rectangular cross-section, but on the other hand a bar having a thin web will permit substantial savings of material in comparison with such a tubular member, as well as obviating the need for dies with mandrels, and consequently reducing the cost of fabrication. Further, welding limited to localized areas or engaging a peg through a single thin wall presents no difficulty even should such engagement be carried to the point of a force fit, so that pegs of conventional shape may be used. Moreover, such assembly methods'are entirely suitable for obtaining sloping staircase balustrades.

Such conventional pegs are preferably rigidly united with each other and form fork prongs, whereby such a built-up element permits simultaneous engagement of the two pegs into the thin web and results in a considerable saving in assembly labor costs.

The present invention further relates to an economical type of sectional member which is characterized in that it comprises a thin web each edge of which is divided into two longitudinal flanges which jointly form substantially a dihedron, said flanges being bulged to varying degrees and being possibly ribbed for greater eye-appeal.

Preferably, the flanges of the sectional member are arranged symmetrically in relation to the web thereof as well as in relation to the transverse centerplane through the web, whereby a dual symmetry is achieved which greatly assists rapidity of assembly of the bars engaging into the sectional member since it obviates the need for any kind of selection before engaging the bars into the handrail openings.

With the foregoing and other objects in view, the invention will be more fully described hereinafter, and will be more particularly pointed out in the claims appended hereto.

In the drawings, wherein like symbols refer to like or corresponding parts throughout the several views:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of two rails and of bars about to be assembled thereto to form a balustrade according to the invention.

FIGURE 2 shows in cross-section the balustrade obtained with the elements in FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 3 is a cross-section on an enlarged scale of the bar used in FIGURES 1 and 2.

FIGURES 4a, 4b, 4c, 4d show in cross-section, on a smaller scale, four alternative types of bars in accordance with the present invention.

Referring first to FIGURES 1 and 2, there is shown thereon a lower rail 51a and an upper rail 51b, both of which consist of identical light aluminium alloy sections and have a shallow U-shape in cross-section.

Said sections additionally have a longitudinal symmetry plane, and the sides 52 of the U are formed with inswept rims 53 the facing edges of which leave a longitudinal channel therebetween.

The web 54 of the section, which corresponds to the base of the U, is formed with a plurality of uniformly spaced openings 55 therein, the contours of which match the cross-section of the bars 56 which they are adapted to receive. The inner faces of rims 53 form transversely extending thrust surfaces against which the end-sections of the perfectly upright bars can butt.

Each bar 56 consists basically of a solid thin web 57 each edge of which is divided into two flanges 58 which jointly form, substantially, a dihedron. These identical flanges are arranged symmetrically in relation to the longitudinal and transverse centerplanes of the web. Since these planes are mutually perpendicular, the symmetry axis of the bar will be the intersection line of the two planes.

Lastly, each bar 56 is secured to the lower rail, as will be explained in greater detail hereinafter, by the prongs of a fork 59 which engage into holes 60 formed in the bar web 57 and which bear tangentially against that surface of web 54 which faces the rail rims 53 acting as thrust surfaces.

It will now be readily appreciated that it is possible to assemble a 'balustrade from two sets of elements, supplied respectively at the lengths required to form rails 51 and upright bars, the webs of bar 56 having been previously formed with holes 60 at a distance 1 from the ends of the bars equal to the distance separating the inner faces of rims 53 from rail web 54.

Such assembly operation consists in the steps of:

(a) engaging one end of each "bar into one of the openings in the lower rail 51b until it butts against the transverse thrust surfaces 53;

(b) driving the prongs of forks 59 into the holds 60 by thrusting against the web 54, this operation being facilitated by the pointed ends of the prongs, which prongs thus act as conventional pegs;

(c) engaging the free ends of the bars into the corresponding openings in the upper rail 51a; and

(d) assembling the bars to said rail by a egging process as hereinbefore described.

The upper ends of the bars can then be masked by a handrail 61 in the form of a thin aluminium section each side of which is formed with an outswept surface and an inswept surface.

The handrail may be engaged over the longitudinal upper rail and restrained thereon by an elastic clip-on effect, with comparatively light pressure.

The lower ends of the bars can also be masked by similarly engaging, over the lower longitudinal rail, a lining 62 formed with spring flanges which securely clip into the gap between ridges formed on the facing rims of the rails.

It is to be noted that despite the ease with which a conventional peg 59 can be engaged into the thin web 57, the spacing 2 between the two prongs of the peg ensures a rigid engagement in the transverse sense. Further, longitudinal mutual engagement is ensured by the fact that the full length L of each peg bears against the rail web; moreover, the fact that the peg is a force fit may result in advantageous elastic deformation of the web.

Thus, having regard for the manufacturing tolerances in such elements, it is possible with such an assembly to balance the varied loads which a balustrade bar and rail may be called upon to withstand.

It is furthermore possible to rigidly assemble oblique bars to longitudinal rails without particular difficulty, with a view to constructing a sloping staircase balustrade.

This can be accomplished by providing openings of width somewhat greater than in the case just discussed; in this way, the opposite faces of a bar engaged obliquely into such an opening will bear against diagonally 0pposed lips of the opening, respectively. The hole must also be of larger size so that pegging forks of standard dimensions can be clamped between the web and the upper lip of the corresponding hole.

It has been found that, notwithstanding the clearances, the elastic deformation of the web ensures rigid engagement.

It would additionally be possible, within the scope of the present invention, to very economically assemble straight or oblique bars to the rails by spot-welding the edges of the thrust flanges to the end-sections of the bar flanges. Such securing points widely spaced from the bar centerplane would also permit rigid engagement.

Finally, the unusually aesthetic appearance of the bar 56 is to be noted, despite the fact that its shape is fairly similar to a conventional I-section.

The rounded flange edges 63 (see FIGURE 3) and the insweeps 65 and 66 have radii of curvature which are carefully chosen and blend in with the substantially thinned down middle part 67 of the web. This results in pleasantly rounded shapes, and it is diflicult to see how it would be possible to devise a thin-webbed section providing end bearing-sections comparable to those of the customary tubular section while at the same time yielding to aesthetic requirements.

It should be noted in this connection that the sections can be contoured to suit the kind of lighting to which the bulustrades are to be exposed. Such alternative embodiments (see FIGURES 4a to 4d) can be formed in addition with longitudinal ribs which lend themselves particularly well'to the obtainment of shadow effects.

Although I have disclosed herein the best forms of the invention known to me at this time, I reserve the right to all such modifications and changes as may come within the scope of the following claims.

What I claim is:

1. A demounted quick assembly guardrail construction, comprising;

(a) a base rail and a top rail of generally channeled cross-section, the web of the channel being wider than the upstanding flanges defining a web and the free ends of the legs of the flanges being directed inwardly to form stop means,

(b) the web portion of each rail having spaced slots therethrough the ends of which extend to each side of the major axis of said slot,

(c) spacer bars having a web the cross-section of which is complemental to the slots in the web portion of said base and top rail and which together with the slots and inwardly directed flanges on said top and base rail define a rigid four point contact between the spacer bars and top and bottom rail, said spacer bar webs having adjacently spaced openings proximate the ends thereof lying in the plane of the web; and

((1) locking means adapted to be received through the adjacently spaced openings in said spacer bar webs when the spacer bars have been passed through the slots in the webs of said top and base rail so that the free ends of the spacer bars engage the inwardly directed stop means on said base and top rail, said locking means abutting over a major portion of its area against the inner surface of the web of said base and top rail.

2. The construction of claim 1 further comprising closure cover means snuggly receivable over at least the top rail and having a geometric shape complemental t0 the top rail in its inverted condition to cover the open portion of said top rail to prevent tampering with the locking means and to hide same from view leaving a smooth uninterrupted surface to the hand of the beholder.

3. A guardrail construction as claimed in claim 1 wherein the locking means when in place are welded to the web of said base and top rail to prevent removal.

4. A guardrail as claimed in claim 1 wherein the locking means are U-shaped staple-like members having a cross-section complemental to the openings through the web of the spacer bars.

5. A guardrail construction as claimed in claim 1 wherein said spacer bars have webs, flanges extending to each side of the web at a flared angle to the major axis of the webs.

6. A guardrail construction as claimed in claim 5 wherein the flanges are arcuate.

7. A guardrail construction as claimed in claim 5 wherein the flanges are straightlined in cross-section.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,376,150 4/1921 Miller. 1,791,680 2/ 1931 Miller. 2,066,426 1/ 1937 Skilnik 256-22 2,808,233 10/1957 Spescha 256-22 2,919,113 12/1959 Cofield 256-22 X 3,212,754 10/ 1965 Revell et al. 25622 FOREIGN PATENTS 15,103 7/ 1904 Great Britain.

DAVID J. WILLIAMOWSKY, Primary Examiner.

DENNIS L. TAYLOR, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1376150 *Jan 14, 1920Apr 26, 1921Miller Albert FJoint-lock
US1791680 *Aug 24, 1928Feb 10, 1931Miller Albert FJoint lock
US2066426 *Dec 30, 1935Jan 5, 1937Skilnik Eric RComposite fence structure
US2808233 *Apr 19, 1955Oct 1, 1957Aluminium A G MenzikenRailing structure
US2919113 *Apr 8, 1958Dec 29, 1959Aluminum Fences IncFence post with expansion joint
US3212754 *Apr 18, 1960Oct 19, 1965Reynolds Metals CoInterlocking structure for fences or the like
GB190415103A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3689032 *Feb 18, 1970Sep 5, 1972Heinz Schurmann & CoRailing
US3815876 *Nov 24, 1972Jun 11, 1974Saez JGuard-rail and method of assembly thereof
US4334671 *Jul 30, 1979Jun 15, 1982Yvon De GuiseGuard-rails assembly
US4625948 *Feb 20, 1985Dec 2, 1986Kaljo LustveePicket fence
US5601279 *Jun 7, 1995Feb 11, 1997Plastics Research CorporationPicket fence including slats having U-shaped attachment rails
US5649688 *Feb 17, 1995Jul 22, 1997Baker; Neill E.Railings with continuous spacers
U.S. Classification256/22, D25/121, D25/44, D25/38.1
International ClassificationE04F11/18
Cooperative ClassificationE04F11/181
European ClassificationE04F11/18F