US 3417530 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 24, 1968 J. M. LONG 3,417,530
SUSPENDED CEILING SYSTEM Filed Nov. 21, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR. M5 M Lava ATTORNEYS 1968 J. M. LONG 3,417,530
SUSPENDED CEILING SYSTEM Filed Nov. 21, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 4.; w 5 12 If IIIIIIII'IIIIIIII/llll/ I NVENTOR. /4M5 M lava ATTORNEYS Dm. 24, 1968 J. M. LONG 3,417,530
SUSPENDED CEILING SYSTEM Filed Nov. 21, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR. J4M5 M la/va United States Patent 3,417,530 SUSPENDED CEILING SYSTEM James M. Long, Pataskala, Ohio, assignor to Owens- Corning Fiberglas Corporation, a corporation of Delaware Filed Nov. 21, 1966, Ser. No. 595,751 Claims. (Cl. 52-496) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A ceiling system and more particularly to a suspended ceiling construction including preframed panels which are readily mountable and demountable on a suspension system.
Presently suspended ceiling systems have obtained rather widespread acceptance for use in new construction as well as in renovation of older building structures. Regardless of which use, the suspended type ceiling system is readily adapted for the concealment of utility appurtenances as for example heating, ventilating, or air conditioning ducts, electrical conduits, plumbing or the like, which have been attached in spaced relation to the overhead structural framing of the building. In this regard, it is of course essential that the exposed surface of the suspended ceiling system be aesthetic and decorative. Also, it is desirable that the suspended ceiling system be of such a construction that ready access may be had to the various utility structures disposed thereabove, to facilitate suitable maintenance and repair of such utility structures.
Among the problems encountered by the known suspension ceiling systems has been the inability to properly suspend large panels of fibrous material, such as panels of resin bonded glass fibers. When utilizing the known type suspension systems, the ceiling panels are erected from above the mounting system. Manifestly, such procedure requires considerable labor particularly when dealing with large panels because the large panels do not have sufiicient structural rigidity to permit a single mechanic to effect an installation.
It is an object of the present invention to produce a suspended ceiling system of a pleasing appearance which is suspended from the framing construction above which may be easily erected and dismantled.
Another object of the invention is to produce a suspended ceiling system which is light in weight, sturdy, and easy to erect in a plurality of patterns.
Another object of the invention is to produce a ceiling system having preframed panels which exhibit considerable structural rigidity.
Still another object of the invention is to produce a ceiling system employing a preframed fibrous panel which may be readily installed on a supporting grid framework from a point below the grids.
A further object of the invention is to produce a ceiling system which may readily and economically be manufactured and result in a decorative over-all appearance.
A still further object of the invention is to produce a suspended ceiling system in which the supporting framework and the associated ceiling panels are arranged in a manner to form an exposed surface in a three dimensional or relief pattern which renders a pleasingly aesthetic overall appearance.
The above objects of the invention may be achieved in a ceiling system or preframed panels in which each preframed panel comprises a panel unit, a frame for the panel unit consisting of strips for the respective sides of said panel, each strip having an edge wall and generally parallel top and bottom walls, the end of each strip being mitered to fit the end of the adjacent strip, an angle clip means for uniting the ends of the adjacent strip to form corners of the frame, and means for enabling each angle clip to interfit with the adjacent strips ends respectively.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become more readily apparent from reading the following detailed description of an embodiment of the invention when considered in the light of the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of a ceiling system employing the features of the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of a preframed panel of the invention;
FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary view of the exposed surface ceiling system of the invention illustrating the typical arrangement of four preframed panels in assembled form;
FIGURE 4 is a sectional view of the ceiling system taken along the line 44 of FIGURE 3;
FIGURE 5 is a sectional view of the ceiling system taken along the along the line 55 of FIGURE 3;
FIGURE 6 is a perspective fragmentary view of the side strips of the frame of the preframed panels showing the corner clip for joining the mitered corners and a joining clip for joining the side strips of adjacent panels;
FIGURE 7 is a fragmentary perspective view of a pair of adjoining end strips illustrating the manner of securing them together with joining clip means;
FIGURE 8 is a fragmentary perspective view of a wall angle strip for supporting the marginal edges of panels adjacent the vertically extending wall surfaces; and
FIGURE 9 is a perspective view of a partition clip which may be employed in lieu of the clip means illustrated in FIGURE 7.
Referring to the drawings and more particularly to FIGURES l and 2, there is shown the exposed surface of a typical ceiling system employing the structure of the invention. The ceiling system illustrated is comprised of a plurality of preframed panels 10 and a plurality of spaced recessed lighting fixtures 12 which are suspended from a concealed grid framework to be explained in greater detail hereinafter.
A preframed panel 10 is illustrated in FIGURE 2 and typically consists of a section of fibrous material 14 which may have a facing 16 disposed on the bottom exposed surface thereof. In practice, it has been found highly satisfactory to form the fibrous material 14 of resin bonded Fiberglas having a painted surface forming the facing 16. It will be appreciated that other materials, such as a vinyl film facing, may be satisfactorily employed. However, it is desirable that the panels be formed of a material which is light in weight and has sound and heat insulating properties.
The preformed panels 10 are provided with longitudinally extending side strips 18 and transversely extending strips 20 which cooperate to form a frame completely surrounding the marginal edge of the fibrous material 14. The edges of the strips 18 and 20 are typically mitered to enable the adjacent ends thereof to form square corners.
As clearly illustrated in FIGURES 2, 3, and 6 the side strips 18 are formed with a vertically disposed central web portion 22 having a channel shape track 24 extending inwardly from the bottom edge thereof. The track 24 is typically integral and coextensive with the central web portion 22 and is adapted to formthe bottom support wall for the marginal edge of the fibrous material 14 and also provides a means for retaining a corner clip 52, illustrated in FIGURE 6.
At the top edge of the central web portion 22 is an upper wall 26 extending inwardly therefrom. The upper Wall 26 is typically coextensive with the web portion 22 and is generally V-shaped in transverse cross section. The marginal edge of the fibrous material 14 and its associated facing material 16 are held in somewhat compressed condition between the lower surface of the upper wall 2-6 and the upper surface of the bottom wall 24.
Extending outwardly and downwardly on the opposite side of the top edge of the central web 22 from the upper wall 26 is a flange member 28. The free edge of the flange member 28 is flared outwardly away from the outer surface of the central web 22 to more readily receive the upwardly extending arm of a supporting hanger 30 as shown in FIGURE 4. While a number of different types of supporting devices could be employed to support the frames of the panels 10, it has been found that a supporting hanger having a generally inverted T-shaped cross section has been satisfactory. The supporting hanger 30 is typically suspended from ceiling joists or the like by means of wires which extend through respective ones of a series of spaced apart apertures 32. The supporting hanger 30 has a relatively flat bottom wall 34 which terminates in a pair of spaced apart upwardly extending rails 36.
The end strips 20 of the frame of the panels are formed with a vertically disposed central web portion 42 having a channel shaped track 44 extending inwardly from the bottom edge thereof. The track 44 is typically integral and coextensive with central web portion 42 and is adapted to form the bottom support wall for a marginal edge of the fibrous material 14 and also provides the means for retaining one arm of a corner clip 52, illustrated in FIG- URE 6.
At the top edge of the central web 42 is an upper wall 46 extending inwardly therefrom. The upper wall 46 is typically coextensive with the central web 42 and is generally V-shaped in transverse cross section. The marginal edge of the fibrous material 14 and associated facing material 16 are held in somewhat compressed condition between the lower surface of the upper wall 46 and the upper surface of the bottom wall 44.
Extending outwardly from the outer surface of the central web portion 42 is a spacer rail comprising a horizontally disposed portion 48 and an upwardly extending portion 50. The spacer rails are adapted to be integral and coextensive with the central web portion 42.
The side strips 18 and the end strips are preferably formed of lightweight, non-corrosive metal or plastic. The strips may be molded, extruded, stamped or otherwise suitably formed. It will be appreciated that due to their cross-sectional configuration, the strips 18 and 20 may be very readily extruded. The bottom or exposed faces of the strips 18 and 20 are preferably prefinished with a decorative surface finish, and may be of a color which is identical or in contrast to the color of the exposed surface of the facing material 16 to highlight the decorative effect of the exposed surface of the ceiling. In this regard, the bottom surfaces of the bottom wall 34 of the hanger and the horizontally disposed portion 48 of the spacer rails of the end strips 18 may be black in color to enhance a shadow effect between the marginal edges of adjacent panels.
Fabrication of the preframed panels 10 is readily accomplished by initially placing a board of fibrous material 14 of 4 X 8 foot dimensions so as to afford clear access to all four marginal edges thereof. Two side strips 18 of eight foot lengths and two end strips 20 of four foot lengths are selected and then their ends suitably mitered.
In assembling the structure, a corner clip 52 (FIGURE 6) is forced into the respective tracks 24 and 44 of two adjacent side and end strips 18 and 20 to form at least one corner construction of a partially assembled frame. The corner clip 52 is suitably held in its respective track 24 or 44 by detents 54 struck out of the surface of the clip Next, the partially assembled frame is forced onto the side and end of the board such that the respective marginal edges of the board are suitably retained between the lower tracks 24 and 44 and the associated upper walls 26 and 46, respectively. This operation is continued until all four corners are suitably formed and the preframed panel 10 is ready to be installed. Typically, the fabrication of the panels 10 is accomplished in the factory and packaged for delivery to the field installation.
Installation of the ceiling is relatively simple and may be quickly and easily achieved in two general steps. Initially, hanger wires are suspended along spaced parallel lines at intervals which correspond to the disposition of the apertures 28 of the main hangers 30. The hangers 30 are then cut to the desired lengths to match the room dimension it is desired to span. The hangers 30 are then raised to the appropriately desired level for the ceiling. The supporting wires (not shown) are passed through the spaced apertures 32 and are twisted back upon themselves a sufficient amount to fasten and level the hangers 30. Thereby the hangers 30 are disposed in rows spaced on four foot centers across the entire ceiling layout. Since, as it will be clearly apparent, there is no necessity for cross hangers, the next step in the installation procedure is to unpackage and hang the preframed panels 10.
Finally, each of the preframed panels 10 may then be simply installed by tilting to a slight vertical angle and raising it through the opening between adjacent hangers 30, and then shifting the panel horizontally to a position in which the outwardly flared portion of the flange member 28 of the side strip 18 is substantially directly above the respective upwardly extending rail 36 of the hanger 30. The panel is then lowered into a position wherein the flange member 28 nests over the free upwardly extending rail 36 of the hanger 30 in supporting relation, as shown in dotted lines in FIGURE 3. Each of the side strips 18 of the panel 10 is positioned in a like manner with respect to the hangers 30.
In the assembled condition, the spacer rails of the end strips 20 of adjacent ones of the panels 10 are in juxtaposition such that the outer surfaces of the upwardly extending portions 50 abut against each other. The bottom surfaces of horizontally disposed portions 48 of adjacent end strips 20 form an apparently continuous visible surface when viewing the ceiling system from below the assembled panels 10.
In certain instances, it may be necessary to satisfy local building codes to positively join adjacent panels. A series of slots 56 are formed in the web portion 42 of the end strips 20 (FIGURE 7). The slots 56 would typically be spaced on twelve inch centers.
The strips 20 are disposed so that the slots 56 would be in alignment to receive respective end portions of a joining clip 58. The joining clips 58 may be formed of sheet metal, plastic, or the like.
When the joining clips 58 are not in use, it is readily apparent that when it is desired to obtain access to the space the ceiling system underlies, this may be readily done at any desired point along the ceiling and without harm thereto simply by pressing any one or more of the panels 10 upwardly above the plane of the supporting grid framework and then shifting the panel laterally and resting it upon the adjacent framed panel. This may be quickly and easily performed by unskilled labor without damaging the ceiling system.
The edges of the panels 10 which lie adjacent the side walls of the room may be supported by a wall angle strip 60 illustrated in FIGURE 8. The wall angle strip 60 is formed with a vertically extended portion 62 which is adapted to be nailed or otherwise suitably secured to the adjacent wall. The lower portion of the wall angle strip 60 has a stepped horizontally extending section including a shelf portion 64 for supporting the marginal edges of the panels 10; a lower spaced framing portion 66; and web 68 interconnecting the portions 64 and 66. Since it is generally very diflicult to obtain a smooth parting line along the line of contact between the support shelf portion 64 and the associated panel 10, the framing portion 66 is employed to mask the line and produce a pleasing shadow effect peripherally of the ceiling.
It will be manifest from the foregoing description that the unique construction of the side and end strips 18 and 20, respectively, that the marginal edges of the panels are forced between the upper walls 26 and 46 and their associated tracks 24 and 44, the compression caused by the V-shaped cross-sectional configuration of the upper walls provides a tight, neat appearing line between facing material 16 and the free edges of the respective tracks. It has been found that by positioning the apex of the V-shaped cross-sectional configuration of the upper walls 26 and 46 substantially directly above the free edges of the respective tracks 24 and 44 the best results are achieved.
In lieu of the joining clip structure illustrated in FIG- URE 7, a partition clip 70 may be employed in the same manner as the joining clip 58. The clip 70 is provided with laterally extending arms 72 and 74 which may typically be received within respective ones of the slots 56 of the end strips and the side strips 18. The partition clip is further provided with a staked bolt having a threaded shank portion 76 depending from the main body portion thereof. The threaded shank portion 76 of the clip 70 may be employed for retaining auxiliary apparatus such as lighting fixtures, for example, as well as for joining two of the adjacent end strips. It Will be appreciated that the bolt portion 76 of the partition clip 79 must be staked or otherwise suitably secured to the main body portion to militate against any relative rotational movement therebetween.
According to the provisions of the patent statutes 1 have explained the principle and mode of operation of my invention and have illustrated and described what I now consider to represent its best embodiment. However, I desire to have it understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically illustrated and described.
What I claim is:
1. A ceiling system of pro-framed panels supported by a plurality of spaced parallel hangers in which each of said pre-framed panels comprises a generally rectangular panel unit, a frame for such panel unit consisting of strips for the respective sides and ends of said panel, each strip having an edge wall and generally parallel top and bottom walls, the ends of each strip being mitered to fit the end of the adjacent strip, an angle clip for uniting the 4 ends of adjacent strips to form corners of said frame, and track channel means associated with the bottom wall of each of said strips for enabling each angle clip to interfit with adjacent strip ends respectively, the cross sectional configuration of the top wall of each of said strips being generally V-shaped wherein the apex of the V-shaped configuration is disposed substantially above the inner edge of said track channel means, a spacer rail member extending outwardly from the edge wall of the ends of said strips in a direction opposite to that of the panel unit for abutting against a corresponding spacer rail member of an adjacent panel unit, and an outwardly and downwardly depending flange member extending from the edge wall of the sides of said strips in a direction opposite to that of the panel units and received and supported by one of said hangers.
2. The ceiling system defined in claim 1 wherein said panel unit comprises a fibrous material.
3. The ceiling system defined in claim 2 wherein said fibrous material is formed of fibers of glass.
4. The ceiling system defined in claim 1 wherein the marginal edges of said panel unit are respectively compressed *between the apex of the V-shaped configuration of the top wall and the track channel of said strips.
5. The ceiling system defined in claim 1 wherein said strip for the ends of said panel units is provided with a plurality of apertures for receiving joining clips for joining strips with corresponding respective strips of adjacent units.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,081,722 5/1937 WienZierl 287189.36 2,112,631 3/1938 MacDonald 52144 2,743,980 5/1956 Hobbs 52627 X 2,816,632 12/1957 Nardulli 52627 Re. 24,658 6/1959 Hollister 52144 X 3,028,638 4/1962 Goellner 52-627 3,067,323 12/1962 Kember 52-495 X 3,087,205 4/1963 Mancini 52 3,095,943 7/1963 Kemp 52145 X 3,163,961 1/1965 Kemp 52496X FOREIGN PATENTS 338,585 8/1959 Switzerland. 357,588 11/1961 Switzerland.
FRANK L. ABBOTT, Primary Examiner.
C. G. MUELLER, Assistant Examiner.
US. Cl. X.R. 52484, 627