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Publication numberUS3443340 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 13, 1969
Filing dateAug 14, 1967
Priority dateAug 14, 1967
Publication numberUS 3443340 A, US 3443340A, US-A-3443340, US3443340 A, US3443340A
InventorsHelmick B J, Patterson Harold Clyde
Original AssigneePatterson Harold Clyde, Helmick B J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Adjustable spring-loaded supporting roller assembly for sliding doors and the like
US 3443340 A
Abstract  available in
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 13, 1969 ADJUSTABLE SPRING-LOADED SUPPORTING ROLLER ASSEMBLY FOR SLIDING DOORS AND THE LIKE Filed Aug. 14, 1967 FIG. 1.

J. HELMICK ETAL 3,443,340

FIG. 4.

5. .J. HEL M/CK, hf CL r05 PATTERSON A 'rro/zA/Ey United States Patent 3,443,340 ADJUSTABLE SPRING-LOADED SUPPORTING ROLLER ASSEMBLY FOR SLIDING DOORS AND THE LIKE B. J. Helmick, 303 Deborah Court, Upland, Calif.

91786, and Harold Clyde Patterson, 1445 Viewtop Drive, Clearwater, Fla. 33516 Filed Aug. 14, 1967, Ser. No. 661,172 Int. Cl. E05d 13/02; A47h 15/02 US. Cl. 49420 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An adjustable spring-loaded supporting roller assembly for sliding panels, such as sliding doors and windows, movable along a track, the roller assembly having a track engaging roller which is spring-loaded into engagement with the track, and a generally wedge shaped roller positioning cam with a novel rack and pinion adjustment for adjustably limiting deflection of the roller toward the panel under the action of its biasing spring to establish the normal operating position of the roller relative to the panel and transmitting vertical loads between the roller and panel.

This invention relates generally to closures of the class which comprise a sliding closure panel, such as a door or window, movable along a supporting track. The invention relates more particularly to a novel adjustable springloaded supporting roller assembly for such panels.

Closures of the class to which this invention pertains are well known in the art and are widely used in a variety of building structures. Generally speaking, such a closure comprises a stationary metal rectangular frame to be fixed within a door or window opening in a wall, and at least a pair of relatively movable closure panels mounted within the frame. One of these panels is a fixed panel which is securely fastened to the frame and occupies a portion only of the frame so as to define with the frame an access opening through the frame. The other panel is a movable panel which is supported on the frame for movement between an open position, wherein the movable panel is located at one side of the fixed panel to uncover the access opening, and a closed position, wherein the movable panel is extended across and closes the access opening. To this end, the movable panel is provided with a number, typically 2, of supporting roller assemblies along the lower edge of the panel. These roller assemblies include circumferentially grooved supporting rollers which ride on a supporting track extending along the lower horizontal member of the closure frame. The upper edge of the movable panel is guided in the frame in various ways, as by providing the upper panel edge with a groove or channel for slida-bly receiving a rib along the upper horizontal member of the frame.

The movable panel is commonly installed in the closure frame in such a way that the panel is capable of limited vertical floating movement relative to the frame. This floating movement assures maximum freedom of panel movement between its open and closed positions and permits the panel to be conveniently removed from and replaced in the frames by first elevating the panel to disengage its supporting rollers from the frame track. However, this capability of vertical floating movement of the panel introduces a problem in that it tends to permit accidental disengagement of the panel rollers from the frame track. For example, when opening or closing the movable panel, the latter may be inadvertently raised in a manner which tends to disengage the rollers from the track. In order to prevent such inadvertent disengagement of the rollers, the latter are commonly spring-loaded into enice gagement with the track. As a consequence, the rollers remain in contact with the track at all times, even though the movable panel is inadvertently raised slightly. The roller biasing springs are relatively weak and serve merely to urge the rollers toward the track and not transmit vertical loads between the rollers and the panel. These vertical loads are transmitted by roller positioning members or stops which limit deflection of the rollers toward the panels against spring action. Generally, these roller positioning stops are adjustable to permit adjustment of the limiting positions of the supporting rollers relative to the panel.

A wide variety of spring-loaded supporting roller assemblies for the purpose described have been devised. Representative of such roller assemblies are those disclosed in the following prior art patents: 3,040,391, 3,090,084, 3,120,033, 3,175,255, 3,283,444, 3,284,953, 3,299,575.

These existing roller assemblies, however, are characterized by certain deficiencies, notably relatively great complexity, high cost of manufacture, difliculty of adjustment, and poor load carrying capability.

It is a general object of this invention to provide an improved roller assembly of the character described which avoids the above noted and other deficiencies of the existing roller assemblies of this class.

It is another object of the invention to provide a roller assembly of the character described wherein the panel sup porting roller isparticularly easy to adjust and automatically locks in adjusted position.

A further object of the invention is to provide a roller assembly of the character described having improved load carrying capability.

Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those versed in the art from a consideration of the following description, the appended claims and the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a side elevation of a sliding screen door assembly embodying a movable screen panel supported on a pair of roller assemblies according to the invention;

FIGURE 2 is an enlarged fragmentary section through the lower end of the movable screen panel in FIGURE 1 illustrating, in side elevation, one of the supporting roller assemblies of the panel;

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged longitudinal section through the roller assembly in FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 4 is an enlarged section taken on line 44 in FIGURE 2; and

FIGURE 5 is an enlarged section taken on line 55 in FIGURE 2.

FIGURE 1 of these drawings illustrates a closure 10 of the kind to which this invention pertains. In this instance, the closure is a sliding screen door assembly including an outer rectangular frame 12 containing a fixed screen panel 14 and a movable screen panel 16. The fixed panel 14 is securely fastened in any convenient way to the frame 12. This panel occupies a portion of the frame only, whereby the right-hand side of the panel and the right-hand side of the frame, in FIGURE 1, define therebetween an access opening. The movable panel 16 is movable between its closed position of FIGURE 1, wherein the panel extends across and closes the access opening through the frame 12, and an open position (not shown), wherein the movable panel is located at one side of the fixed panel and uncovers the access opening. Along the lower edge of the movable panel .1 6 are a pair of roller assemblies 18 according to the invention for movably supporting the panel on a track 20 extending along the lower member 22 of the closure frame 12.

The primary contribution of the present invention resides in the unique arrangement and construction of the supporting roller assemblies 18. These roller assemblies are essentially identical so that a description of one assembly will suflice for both. Referring particularly to FIGURES 2 through 5, the roller assembly 18 of the invention which has been selected for illustration in the drawings will be seen to comprise a supporting frame 24 which, in this instance, is a rectangular metal frame of the movable panel 16. Supported on the panel frame for vertical floating movement toward and away from the frame is a track engaging supporting roller 26 which is circumferentially grooved to ride along the track 20. The roller is carried by a yoke 28 which is spring-loaded toward the trace by a spring 30. Adjustably mounted on the panel frame 24 is a roller positioning stop or cam 32 of wedge shape which is engageable with the supporting yoke 28 to limit deflection of the roller 26 toward the frame 24 against the action of the roller spring 30. According to this invention, the roller positioning cam 32 is adjustable by novel rack and pinion adjusting means 34 including a rotary pinion 36 meshing with a rack 38 which is secured to the cam.

Referring now in more detail to the drawings, the panel frame 24 will be seen to be hollow and to define a cavity 40 along the lower edge of the movable screen panel 16. This cavity contains the roller assemblies 18. In the lower Wall 41 of this cavity are a pair of openings 42 (only one shown) through which the rollers 26 protrude for engagement with the frame track 20. Each roller yoke 28 has the general form of a bell crank and includes a main arm 44 with spaced depending roller supporting arms 46 at one end which straddle and rotatably support the corresponding panel roller 26. The opposite end of the main yoke arm 44 extends into one end of a roller support 48 of generally channel shape and cross section. The arm is pivotally mounted intremediate its ends on a pin 50 which extends between and is terminally secured to the support sidewalls 52. The roller support 48 is installed in the panel frame '24 by inserting the support laterally into the frame cavity 14 to the corresponding frame opening 42 and then moving the support longitudinally to its final position of installation shown in FIGURE 2, wherein one end of the support is snugly positioned between the bottom wall 41 and the top wall 54 of the cavity. The roller support is firmly secured in this final position of installation in any convenient way. When in this position, the roller 26 of the roller assembly protrudes through the frame opening 42, as shown. The roller biasing spring 30 is a spring blade which is rigidly secured at one end to the main arm 44 of the roller supporting yoke 28 and seats at its distal end against the top wall 54 of the panel frame cavity 40 in such a way that the spring urges the roller 26 downwardly away from the movable panel 16 and toward the panel guide track 20.

When the movable panel 16 is installed in the closure frame 12, the lower panel supporting rollers 26 engage the frame track and the upper end of the panel is confined by coacting guide means (not shown) on the upper horizontal member 56 of the frame and the upper end of the panel frame 24. As noted earlier, these coacting guide means commonly comprise a rib on the closure frame which slidably engages in a mating guide groove or channel along the upper edge of the panel frame. The rollers 26 are circumferentially grooved in the manner explained earlier and shown best in FIGURE 4 to permit the rollers to ride along the track 20 without slipping laterally from the track.

It is evident from FIGURE 2 that the weight of the movable panel 16 acts downwardly to the pivot 50 of each roller assembly 18 and produces a moment or torque on the corresponding roller yoke 28 which urges the yoke in a crosswise direction, as viewed in FIGURE 2, against the resisting action of the yoke spring 30. Rotation of each roller yoke 20 under the weight of the movable panels 16 is limited by the roller positioning stop or earn 32 f the corresponding roller assembly 18. Thus, as shown best in FIGURES 3 and 4, the cam 32 is slidable along the lower wall 58 of the roller support 48 to a position wherein the narrow end of the cam is located between the latter wall and the adjacent end of the main roller yoke arm 44. The cam is then disposed for engagement by the arm to limit the deflection of the roller 26 toward the panel 16 against the action of the roller spring 30. In the limiting position of deflection of each roller 26, the weight of the movable panel 16 is obviously transmitted directly through the roller to the frame track 20. Under these conditions, the rollers 26 support the panel 16 from movement along the track. The springs 30 serve to yieldably urge the rollers against the track so that the rollers'will remain in contact with the track even through the panel 16 is inadvertently raised as it is moved.

An important feature of the invention resides in the rack and pinion means 34 for adjusting the roller positioning stops or earns 32 to adjust the limiting positions of deflection of the panel rollers 26 toward the panel 16 and, thereby, the normal operating positions of the rollers relative to the panel. This adjustment permits proper vertical positioning of the panel in the closure frame 12. As already noted, the rack and pinion adjustment means 34 of each roller assembly 18 comprises a rack 38 proper secured to the respective roller positioning cam 32 and a pinion 36 meshing with the rack for driving the rack and thereby the cam endwise. Referring to FIGURE 4, it will be seen that the pinion 36 of each roller assembly has a rear coaxial shaft 60 which is slidably journaled in a bore 62 in the rear side wall 52 of the channel-shaped roller support 48. Extending coaxially from the front side of the pinion is a circular head 64 which is slidably journaled in a bore 66 in the front wall 52 of the roller support. The head has a screwdriver slot 68 and is exposed through an aligned opening 70 in the panel frame 24 to permit engagement of a screwdriver tip in the slot. It is now evident, therefore, that the pinion 36 of each roller assembly may be rotated in either direction to selectively extend and retract the corresponding roller positioning cam 32 relative to the adjacent roller yoke 28 and thereby adjust the limiting position of deflection of the respective roller 26 toward the movable panel 16.

Each roller assembly 18 also includes means for releasably locking its pinion 36 against rotation and thereby locking its cam 32 in each position of adjustment thereof. This locking means comprises at least one detent 72 (FIG- URE 5) projecting from the front end of one tooth of the pinion for selective engagement in a number of uniformly spaced holes 74 in the front wall 52 of the roller support 48. The pinion is retractable rearwardly relative to the support to disengage the detent from its current receiving hole 74 and thereby release the pinion for rotation. The detent holes 74 are located to retain the pinion in a number of uniformly spaced angular positions and thus retain the corresponding roller positioning cam 32 in different positions of adjustment. A Spring 76 acting between the pinion and the rear wall 52 of the roller support 48 retains the pinion detent 72 in interlocking engagement with its current receiving hole 74.

When it becomes necessary to adjust the roller positioning cam 32 of either roller assembly 18, a screwdriver is engaged in the slot 68 of the respective pinion 36. The pinion is then urged rearwardly by the screwdriver to disengage the pinion detent from its receiving hole 74, after which the pinion is rotated in one direction or other by the screwdriver to adjust the corresponding roller positioning cam 32 to the desired setting. The detent returns to engagement with its new aligned hole 74 when the pinion is released in its adjusted position, thus to relock the cam 32 in its new position of adjustment.

Although a specific embodiment of the present invention has been illustrated and described herein, it will be understood that the same is merely exemplary of presently preferred embodiments capable of attaining the objects and advantages hereinbefore mentioned, and that 3,443,340 6 the invention is not limited thereto; variations will be which said track engaging roller projects for engagereadily apparent to those versed in the art, and the invenment with said track, and tion is entitled to the broadest interpretation within the said rack and pinion means comprise a rack secured terms of the appended claims. to said cam and slidably supported for endwise move- The inventors claim: 5 ment relative to said frame to adjust said cam end- 1 1. A spring-loaded supporting roller assembly for a wise and thereby said limiting position of deflection sliding closure panel movable along a track, comprising: of said roller, and a pinion meshing with said rack a frame, and having central shaft means journaled in said a track engaging roller, frame, and one end of said shaft means being exposed means supporting said roller on said frame for float- 10 through an access opening in said frame and coning movement of said roller relative to said frame in taining means for receiving a tool for rotating said a direction normal to the rotation axis of the roller, pinion and thereby adjusting said rack and cam. a spring acting between said frame and roller for urg- 8. A supporting roller assembly according to claim 7 ing said roller away from said frame and toward a wherein:

track engaging position, said pinion is movable axially relative to said frame, a wedged-shaped cam for limiting deflection of said and roller toward said frame against the thrust of said said roller assembly further comprises locking means spring, and for releasably locking said pinion against rotation rack and pinion means operatively connected between said frame and cam for adjusting said cam to adjust thelimiting position of deflection of said roller. 2. A supporting roller assembly according to claim 1 wherein:

said rack and pinion means comprise a rack secured to said cam, a pinion journaled on said frame and and thereby locking said rack and cam in adjusted position, said locking means including a detent projecting axially from the face of said pinion adjacent said frame wall access opening for selective engagement in a number of holes spaced about the latter opening, a spring acting between said frame and pinion for urging said pinion axially in the meshing with said rack, and means accessible exteriorly of said frame for turning said pinion to adjust said rack and thereby said cam. 3. A supporting roller assembly according to claim 2 including:

means for releasably locking said pinion against rotation to retain said cam and rack in adjusted posidirection of said access opening to a locking position, wherein said detent is disposed for selective interlocking engagement in said holes, and said pinion being axially retractable against the thrust of said pinion spring to disengage said detent from its current receiving hole by axial pressure of said tool against said shaft means, thereby to release tion. said pinion for turning to adjust said rack and cam. 4. A supporting roller assembly according to clairnl 9. A supporting roller assembly according to claim wherein: 5 8 including:

said rack and pinion means comprise a rack secured a generally channel-shaped support mounting said track to said cam, a pinion slidably journaled on said frame for rotation on and movement along the central axis of the pinion and meshing with said rack, whereby said pinion is rotatable to adjust said rack and thereby said cam, a spring acting between said frame and pinion for urging said pinion in one axial direction relative to said frame,

coacting locking means on said pinion and frame urged engaging roller, said cam, said rack, and said pinion to form a unitary roller assembly adapted for installation in said frame, and

said roller opening in said frame is dimensioned to permit insertion of said unitary roller assembly into said frame cavity through the latter opening.

10. A supporting roller assembly according to claim 9 wherein:

into interlocking engagement by said pinion spring 5 said supporting means for said track engaging roller for releasably locking said pinion against rotation comprises a generally bell crank shaped supporting to retain said rack and thereby said cam in adyoke having a main arm pivotally mounted intermejusted position, said pinion being retractable against diate its ends on said channel-shaped support and the pressure of said pinion spring to disengage said a pair of roller support arms extending from one locking means and thereby release said pinion for end of said main arm into straddling relation with rotation, and means exteriorly of said frame for and supporting rotatably said roller, said one end retracting and turning said pinion. of said main yoke arm extending beyond one end 5. A supporting roller assembly according to claim 4 of said channel-shaped support to position said h i roller externally of said support for engagement with said locking means comprise a detent on said pinion Said track, e Othtir end of Said main Y arm selectively engageable in openings in said frame eXtending sa'ld -S aped upport for enspaced about said pinion axis. gagemellt Wlth Bald Ty/I166.r 61;] zsupportln roller assembly according to clalm 1 References Cited said roller supporting means comprise a generally UNITED STATES PATENTS bell crank shaped yoke including a main arm piv- 1,086,316 2/1914- Forsyth l691 otally supported lntermediate its ends on said frame 3 084 51/1963 Banner 49 420 on a pivot axis parallel to Said r l r aXiS and a P 3 1 0 033 2 19 4 Andres 4 9 2 of roller supporting arms extending laterally from 3 4 4 11 19 6 Andres 49 420 one end of id main arm into Straddling relation 31284953 11/ 196 6 Rifkin IIIIII: 49 420 with and rotatably supporting i roller, and ,29 ,5 5 1/1967 Du Shane 49 420 said cam is engageable with t e other end of and is 3,386,208 6/1968 Banner 49 420 adjustable lengthwise of said main yoke arm. 7. A supporting roller assembly according to claim 1 wherein:

said frame comprises the rectangular frame of a sliding closure and has an internal cavity containing said roller assembly and an edge opening through DAVID J. WILLIAMOWSKY, Primary Examiner. 0 J. K. BELL, Assistant Examiner.

U.S. Cl. X. R. 16-91

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1086316 *Jun 10, 1907Feb 3, 1914George H ForsythSash construction.
US3090084 *May 16, 1960May 21, 1963Anjac Mfg CoMounting for sliding panels for doorways and the like
US3120033 *Jan 16, 1962Feb 4, 1964Aluminite Mfg CoSliding door, or the like, with floating rollers
US3283444 *Dec 11, 1964Nov 8, 1966Aluminite Mfg CoSliding door corner and roller assembly
US3284953 *Jan 25, 1965Nov 15, 1966Florida Aluminum Entpr IncSliding panel structure
US3299575 *Sep 7, 1965Jan 24, 1967Universal Molding CoCombined corner and roller for screen frames
US3386208 *May 10, 1966Jun 4, 1968Anjac Mfg CoAdjustable door roller construction
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3526995 *Feb 3, 1969Sep 8, 1970Robert M SaundersRoller assembly for sliding doors
US3774342 *May 28, 1971Nov 27, 1973Kaufman Window Door CorpSliding screen door
US3879894 *Feb 5, 1973Apr 29, 1975Anderson Mfg Co V ESliding screen door
US4805262 *Sep 17, 1987Feb 21, 1989Jw Window Components, Inc.Sliding panel roller assembly
US5659926 *Dec 15, 1995Aug 26, 1997Dietrich; Timothy R.Trailer door roller reinsertion bracket
US5860189 *Mar 6, 1997Jan 19, 1999An; Tae-HeupDoor wheel
US6021547 *May 7, 1998Feb 8, 2000Anthony Bearings Pty Ltd.Door adjustment mechanism
US6681445 *Sep 7, 2001Jan 27, 2004Chen Chang Plastics Co., Ltd.Pulley set for doors and windows
US7770329Jul 13, 2005Aug 10, 2010Milgard Manufacturing IncorporatedDoor roller system
US20070017065 *Jul 13, 2005Jan 25, 2007Milgard Manufacturing CorporationDoor roller system
US20100175327 *Jul 8, 2008Jul 15, 2010Sven BuschDriver Device for a Sliding Door
Classifications
U.S. Classification49/420, 16/91
International ClassificationE05D15/06
Cooperative ClassificationE05D15/0669
European ClassificationE05D15/06D2B2