US 3475869 A
Abstract available in
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 4, 1969 R. H. JAHN 3,475,869
' VENTILATED SUSPENDED CEILING STRUCTURE Filed Sept. '1. 1966 BY ATWRNEYS United States Patent 3,475,869 VENTILATED SUSPENDED CEILING STRUCTURE Reinhardt H. Jahn, Chicago, Ill., assignor to Chicago Metallic Sash Company, Chicago, 111., a corporation of Illinois Filed Sept. 7, 1966, Ser. No. 577,689 Int. Cl. E04!) /55; E04f 17/04 US. Cl. 52-173 5 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates generally to ceiling support arrangements having intersecting runner elements and more particularly to such runners have ventilating means for use in a ventilated suspended ceiling system.
In the past, suspended ceiling systems have been known wherein metal runners are suspended by wires or similar elements. A plurality of such supported runners interconnected with one another form a grid system for supporting ceiling panels or tiles. The main structural element used in forming such prior known suspended ceiling structure was an elongated metallic element having a vertically extended stem portion for attachment from above, and a laterally extending portion at the lower edge of the stem portion constructed to receive and support an edge portion of the ceiling panels. An edge of a pair of ceiling panels could thereby be supported by the laterally extending portion on opposite sides of the stem portion. In such an arrangement, each ceiling panel would abut against the vertically extended stern portion, thereby providing a tight fit between each panel and the stern portion.
Such a prior known arrangement would not permit air to circulate upwardly between the ceiling panels, due to the tight fitting relationship between the laterally extending portion and the edges of each of the panels.
An object of the present invention, therefore, is to provide a suspended ceiling grid system which is so designed that air may pass between adjacent ceiling panels for ventilation of the space thereabove.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a runner structure for use in grid systems supporting ceiling panels and the like, which is so designed that only one type of runner need be employed to facilitate the above-mentioned ventilation.
A further object of the invention resides in the Provision of a novel runner for supporting ceiling panels, which permits ventilation of the space thereabove and which is of simple and efiicient design.
A further object of the present invention resides in the Patented Nov. 4, 1969 provision of a novel runner structure for mounting and supporting ceiling panels in an easy and simplified manner while maintaining communication of air from below the suspended ceiling structure to the area above the ceiling structure.
These and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of an end portion of a runner for supporting ceiling panels which is constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a sectional view of the runner illustrated in FIGURE 1 taken approximately on the line II-II of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a sectional view, similar to FIGURE 2, of a modified form of the runner structure;
FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the invention;
FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of still another embodiment of the present invention; and
FIGURE 6 is a sectional view, similar to FIGURES 2 and 3, of a further embodiment of the present invention.
Like reference numerals throughout the various views of the drawing are intended to designate the same or similar structures.
With reference to the drawing in detail, each of the figures illustrates a main runner element, generally designated with the reference numeral 10, which is illustrated without the structure required for interconnection with another runner element for purposes of clarity. The main runner element 10 is generally formed by a vertical stem portion 12, a lateral portion 14, and a head 16. The main runner element 10 is illustrated as being formed from a single piece of sheet material which is rolled at one edge of the stem portion 12 to form the bead 16 and folded at the other edge of the stern portion 12 to form the lateral portion 14. As illustrated, the stem portion 12 may be joined to the lateral portion 14 by means of an ofiFset 17. The lateral portion 14, which is formed as an extension of the lower edge of the stem portion 12, is folded along a pair of lines, indicated with the reference numerals 18 and 20, to form reinforced edges 22 and 24 respectively. In order to provide ventilation from below the lateral portion 14 to an area above the lateral portion 14, a plurality of apertures 26 are provided therein.
In the embodiment illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 2, a space 28 is formed in the lateral portion between the two overlapping pieces of sheet material forming the reinforced edge 22. A spacer 30 is generally formed by a lateral portion 32 and a vertical portion 34. The lateral portion 32 of the spacer 30- is inserted into the space 28 of the lateral portion 14 and is slidable therealong. The spacer 30 is provided with a plurality of notches 36 which cooperate with the apertures 26 to provide regulated control of the amount of air passing through the apertures 26. That is, the spacer 30, being slidable along the main runner element 10 can be positioned as illustrated in FIGURE 1 or can be positioned to close the apertures 26 and prevent the passage of air therethrough.
As more clearly illustrated in FIGURE 2, the lateral portion 14 provides support for ceiling panels, generally designated with the reference numeral 38. The spacer 30 maintains an edge of a respective ceiling panel 38 at a spaced distance from the stem portion 12 and the apertures 26 to permit the passage of air through the main runner element. The portion 17 maintains the other ceiling panel a spaced distance from the stem portion 12 to provide a balanced condition of the main runner element 10 when it is supported by the bead 16. That is, the portion 17 and the spacer 30 are so dimensioned so that the stern portion 12 is approximately midway between the edges of the two ceiling panels 38 supported on the lateral portion 14.
The embodiment illustrated in FIGURE 3 is very similar to that illustrated in FIGURE 1. As shown therein, a spacer 40 includes a pair of lateral portions 42 and 44 joined together by a vertical, U-shaped member 46. A notch 47, similar to the notch 36 illustrated in FIGURE 1, is provided in the spacer 40 and cooperates with the aperture 26 to allow ventilation through the runner element 10 and between adjacent edges of the ceiling panels 38. As shown in FIGURE 3, the lateral portions 42 of the spacer 40 is supported between the two overlying portions of the lateral portion 14 forming the reinforced edge 22 and the lateral portion 44 of the spacer 40 is supported between the two overlying portions of the lateral portion 14 forming the reinforced edge 24 thereof. The spacer 40 may also be slidable with respect to the runner element 10 to provide regulation of the amount of air flow through the apertures 26.
The embodiment illustrated in FIGURE 4 includes a. spacer 48 generally formed by a clip portion 50 resiliently engaging the head 16 of the runner 10, a vertical portion 52 extending along and abutting with the stern portion 12, a lateral portion 54, and a vertical portion 56 supported on the lateral portion 54. An edge of a ceiling panel 38 or the like will abut against the vertical portion 56. In this manner, an edge of a ceiling panel 38 will be spaced from the stem portion to permit the passage of air through the apertures 26 and upwardly past the edges of the ceiling panels 38 supported on the reinforced edge 24.
FIGURE illustrates still another embodiment of the present invention for spacing the edges of ceiling panels 38 from the stem portion 12 of the main runner element 10. As shown therein, the stern portion 12 is deformed to provide convex portions 58 which are disposed for being engaged by an edge of a ceiling panel 38 or the like. The convex portion 58 supports an edge of the ceiling panel 38 a spaced distance from the stem portion 12 to allow the passage of air through the apertures 26 and pass to the edge portions of the ceiling panels 38. As shown in FIGURE 5, the convex portion 58 is preferably positioned midway between a pair of adjacent apertures 26 to further enhance the passage of air through the main runner element and pass the edges of the ceiling panels 38 supported thereon.
FIGURE 6 illustrates still another embodiment of the present invention and generally includes a retainer 60 formed by a clip portion 62 surrounding the bead 16, a vertical portion 64 supported adjacent the vertical portion 12 and a lateral portion 66 extending from a lower edge of the vertical portion 64. A spacer 68 is formed of a lateral portion 70, a vertical portion 72, a lateral portion 74, and a vertical portion 76 joined together at their edges. The lateral portion 66 of the retainer 60 abuts with the lateral portion 70 of the spacer 68 to maintain the spacer 68 in the position illustrated in FIGURE 6. The spacer 68 includes a plurality of apertures 78 which cooperate with the apertures 26 to provide regulated control of the ventilation through the main runner element 10. The vertical portion 76 of the spacer 68 supports an edge of the ceiling panel 38 a fixed distance from the stem portion 12 to further facilitate the passage of air through the runner element 10 and past the edge of the ceiling panel 38.
In each of the embodiments illustrated in FIGURES 1-6, it is apparent that the desired ventilation may be achieved by controlling the amount of air passing through the aperture 26. This control of the amount of air passage is accomplished by positioning the spacers with respect to the runner element to open or close the apertures 26. Furthermore, the stem portion 12 is provided at its lower edge with the portion 17 for spacing adjacent edges of ceiling panels 38 in equal distance therefrom to maintain the stem portion 12 in a substantially vertical line when tiles are supported on the lateral portions 14.
Although various minor modifications might be suggested by those versed in the art, it should be understood that I wish to embody within the scope of the patent warranted hereon all such embodiments as reasonably and properly come within the scope of my contribution to the art.
The invention claimed is:
1. A runner element for supporting ceiling panels comprising:
an elongated member having a vertically extending stem portion and a laterally extending portion,
a folded-over portion of said runner defining the said laterally extending portion on one side of said stem, there being a space formed between the folded-over portions of the runner,
an aperture formed within said laterally extending portion spaced outwardly from the folded-over portion thereof and inwardly of the margin thereof, and
a spacer element having a leg carried within the space formed intermediate the folded-over portions of said runner element and having an upstanding portion adapted to abut an edge of a ceiling panel to retain said ceiling panel in spaced relation from said aperture.
2. The runner element as set forth in claim 1 wherein said spacer element is slidably carried between said foldedover portions and its said leg is positionable over said aperture to control the effective airflow area of the said aperture.
3 A runner element for supporting ceiling panels comprising:
an elongated strip having a stem portion and a lateral portion forming a T-bar,
said lateral portion having overlapping pieces forming a space therebetween and an aperture in the lowermost piece,
a spacer member mounted on said elongated strip and including a lateral portion and an extended portion,
the lateral portion of the spacer member slidably supported between said overlapping piece and cooperable with said aperture for regulating the opening thereof, and
said extended portion being spaced inwardly of the outer edge of the lateral portion of said T-bar.
4. A runner element as defined in claim 3 wherein said lateral portion includes means for slidably supporting opposite edges of said spacer, wherein said extended portion is formed between the opposite edges of said spacer, and wherein said regulating means includes an aperture in said spacer cooperable with said aperture in said strip.
5. A runner element for supporting ceiling panels comprising:
an elongated strip, said elongated strip having a stem portion and a lateral portion forming a T-bar, said lateral portion having an aperture therein,
said elongated strip having a bead supported on an upper edge of said stem portion, and further including a retainer releasably attached to said head and having a surface extending orthogonally from said 5 6 stem portion, and spaced from the lateral portion of References Cited a jggg i UNITED STATES PATENTS said spacer having a number of lateral sections, 3,101,661 8/1963 Bibb 98 4O XR one of said sections abutting said orthogonal surface, 5 3,103,863 9/1963 Kodaras 9840 and another section abutting said lateral portion of 3,127,827 4/1964 Ericson 98-40 sald elongated strlp, 3,207,057 9/1965 Brown et al 52 475 XR said other section having an opening, said spacer being shiftable along the elongated strip for aligning the KENNETH DOWNEY Primary Examiner opening in the spacer with the aperture in the elonl0 gated strip, said other section terminating in an up- U S C1 X R standing portion spaced from the stern portion of said elongated strip for spacing a ceiling panel away from 9840 said aligned aperture and opening.