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Publication numberUS3486549 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 30, 1969
Filing dateJan 31, 1968
Priority dateJan 31, 1968
Also published asDE1804880A1
Publication numberUS 3486549 A, US 3486549A, US-A-3486549, US3486549 A, US3486549A
InventorsRosenquist Kurt E
Original AssigneeLouverdrape Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Folding panel or door
US 3486549 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 30, 1969 K. E. RQSENQUIST FOLDING PANEL OR DOOR Fi led Jan. 51, 1968 w Kw w N 5 E m mw w f w K United States Patent ()1 ice 3,486,549 Patented Dec. 30, 1969 U.S. Cl. 160-183 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A folding panel or door for covering windows, doors or the like made up of a plurality of hingedly connected vertical slats. The hinges are formed integrally on the slats, one of the hinge elements being semi-cylindrical and the other hinge element having a retaining flange for receiving or being received by the semi-cylindrical member. Spring members are provided within the retaining flange to urge the hinge elements together in every position the slats might take relative to one another.

Background of the invention Because of their many advantageous features such as durability, attractiveness and economy, foldable panels or doors for covering windows, doorways or other openings have come into wide use. One type of such a panel comprises a plurality of elongated, vertically arranged slats which are hingedly mounted together. The hinges used in such a panel generally comprise first and second hinge elements integrally formed with the slats and a third hinge element such as a hinge pin. The slats are provided with carriers which slide in tracks mounted along the upper surface of the opening or along both the upper and lower surfaces. Such a panel can be extended and retracted either manually by pulling or pushing the leading slat or by use of conventional traversing mechanisms such as those employing a cord and pulley system.

The use of the third hinge element increases the cost of the panel because it cannot be integrally formed with the slats. It also increases the cost of the assembly of the panel as the hinge elements integral with the slats must first be positioned and the third hinge element then slid into place. Several proposals have been advanced for providing a two-element hinge; however, the construction of these hinges prevents their opening and closing all the way, that is, from a fully retracted or stacked position to a fully extended position.

Summary of the invention In accordance with the present invention, a foldable panel or door is provided in which the various slats are provided with hinge elements which cooperate in such a manner to permit the panel to be completely retracted or extended and yet do not require the use of a third hinge element. This is accomplished by forming the hinge elements such that one of them acts as the male portion and the other the female portion when the panel is folded back, and such that the hinge elements reverse this relationship when the panel is opened, that is, the one hinge element now acts as the female member and the other, the male member. In order to prevent relative movement between the hinge elements that will result in rattles or other undesirable sounds, spring members are positioned within the hinge to urge the elements against each other in every position that the panel assumes. This greatly reduces undesired sounds but does not interfere with the opening and closing of the panel. The spring members also prevent the panel from drifting from the open position as the result of wind or other influences.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved folding panel or door.

It is another object of the present invention to provide such a folding panel or door in which the hinges connecting adjacent slats are comprised of only two hinge elements.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent upon reference to the accompanying description and drawings in which:

Brief description of the drawings FIGURE 1 is a front elevation of a folding panel or door according to the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 22 of FIGURE 1 and showing the panel in the extended or closed position;

FIGURE 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 33 of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 4 is a cross-sectional view showing a portion of the panel in the retracted or opened position;

FIGURE 5 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 5-5 of FIGURE 4;

FIGURE 6 is a cross-sectional view of a modification of the panel shown in FIGURES 15; and

FIGURE 7 is a partial perspective view showing the spring member used in the modification of FIGURE 6.

Description of the invention Turning now to FIGURES 1 through 5, a folding panel or door 10 is constructed of a plurality of elongated, vertically arranged slats 11. Each of the slats 11 is provided at one side with a curled edge which forms a semi-cylindrical portion 12 having an internal cavity 13. The other side of each of the slats 11 is provided with a retaining flange 14 having a depending lip 15. The extreme edge of this side of each slat 11 is also provided with an upstanding limiting lip 16 which functions to prevent the panels extending into a flat position. Positioned in each of the retaining flanges 14 is an elongated serpentine leaf spring 17.

As can be seen in FIGURE 2, when the folding panel or door is near its fully extended position, the retaining flange 14 serves as the female member with the semicylindrical portion 12 of the adjacent slat serving as the male member. The lip 15 retains the semi-cylindrical portion 12 within the flange 14. The spring 17 urges the portion 12 against the flange 14 and thus prevents these two members from relative lateral movement. The spring 17 is maintained in place by the lip 16.

When the panel or door is near its retracted or compacted position, the hinge elements reverse their func tions as is shown in FIGURE 4. As can be seen from FIGURE 4, the portion 12 now acts as the female member, retaining in its cavity 13 the lip 15 of the flange 14. Once again, the spring 17 serves to urge the two hinge elements together to prevent their relative lateral movement. As can be seen, this reversing of the function of the two hinge elements permits the adjacent slats 11 to be folded into parallel relationship.

As shown in FIGURES 1 and 5, each of the slats 11 may be provided with a carrier 18 for sliding in a track 19 mounted adjacent the upper surface of the opening to be covered. If desired, the movement of the carriers can be controlled by a conventional pulley and cord transversing mechanism as indicated by the cord 20.

FIGURES 6 and 7 show an embodiment of the folding panel or door of the present invention in which the elongated serpentine spring is replaced by a plurality of individual spring members 21, preferably of spring steel and bent so as to force the hinge elements together. In order to prevent vertical movement of the spring members 21 along the length of the hinges, the spring members are preferably bent at one end to form teeth 22 which dig into the surface of the slat facing the retaining flange 14. As will be apparent, other spring configurations could also be used to perform the functions performed by the spring members 17 and 21.

The invention may be embodied in other specific forms not departing from the spirit or central characteristics thereof. The present embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive.

What is claimed is:

1. A foldable panel or door comprising a plurality of elongated slat members; hinge means cooperatively coupling adjacent slat members whereby said panel can be extended or compacted, each of said hinge means comprising a semi-cylindrical member formed along the edge of one of said slat members and a retaining and limiting means formed along the edge of the nextadjacent slat member, said retaining and limiting means comprising a flange extending from said slat member and having a portion extending generally parallel thereto, a retaining lip depending from said portion toward said slat member, and a limiting lip formed on the edge of said slat and extending upwardly therefrom, the upper edge of said limiting lip being spaced from said slat member by a distance less than the distance between th lower edge of said depending retaining lip and said slat member whereby an opening is formed between said lips for receiving said semi-cylindrical member, said retaining lip retaining said semi-cylindrical member within said retaining and limiting means when said panel is in the extended position and being retained within said semicylindrical member when said panel is in the compacted position, said limiting lip controlling the relative positions of said panels in the extended position and being dimensioned so as to permit said slat members to define an angle substantially greater than and spring means positioned in said retaining and limiting means between said flange and said limiting lip and engaging said semicylindrical member.

2. The panel of claim 1 wherein said spring means comprises an elongated serpentine leaf spring.

3. The panel of claim 1 wherein said spring means comprises a plurality of curved spring members spaced along said retaining and limiting means.

4. The panel of claim 1 wherein means are provided for transversing said slat members whereby said panel may be moved to the opened or closed position.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,566,236 12/1925 Skurdal 16178 X 2,586,561 2/1952 Poggi 206 X 2,692,794 10/ 1954 West. 3,273,632 9/1966 McCabe 160-206 X 3,359,594 12/1967 Pastoor 160199 X 2,059,582 11/1936 Hurewitz 161-184 X FOREIGN PATENTS 963,770 7/ 1964 Great Britain.

DAVID J. WILLIAMOWSKY, Primary Examiner P. C. KANNAN, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 160199, 235; 16-1

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1566236 *Mar 21, 1924Dec 15, 1925Skurdal AnsophHinge
US2059582 *Jan 24, 1934Nov 3, 1936Alexander HurewitzFinding for a clasp
US2586561 *Oct 27, 1948Feb 19, 1952Giovanni PoggiFolder shutter slat and folder shutter made thereby
US2692794 *Dec 26, 1951Oct 26, 1954Charles D WestAntirattle device for windows
US3273632 *Jun 17, 1964Sep 20, 1966 Fire damper
US3359594 *Apr 2, 1965Dec 26, 1967Pastoor Beno JohannesFolding closures
GB963770A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3733651 *Aug 25, 1971May 22, 1973Steelcase IncHinge for knockdown cabinet
US3972365 *Apr 13, 1972Aug 3, 1976Panelfold Doors, Inc. (Entire)Extruded plastic folding door
US3994330 *Jun 11, 1975Nov 30, 1976American Shower Door Co., Inc.Releasably restrained folding door for showers and the like
US5301735 *Oct 19, 1992Apr 12, 1994Chen Chang ThanTextured folding door and frame assembly
US5996671 *Sep 10, 1998Dec 7, 1999Hunter Douglas Inc.Connection system between a carrier and pantograph in the control system of a window covering
US6116322 *Aug 21, 1997Sep 12, 2000Hunter Douglas Inc.Control system for a vertical vane covering for architectural openings
US6135188 *Sep 30, 1996Oct 24, 2000Hunter Douglas Inc.Tassel for control system for a vertical vane covering for architectural openings
US6223804 *May 13, 1998May 1, 2001Andrew J. TotiHinge mechanism and window cover system
US6311756Jan 6, 2000Nov 6, 2001Hunter Douglas Inc.Mounting system for coverings for architectural openings
US6325132Nov 18, 1999Dec 4, 2001Hunter Douglas Inc.Pantograph and control system for a vertical vane covering for architectural openings
US6330900Nov 3, 1999Dec 18, 2001Hunter Douglas Industries BvHolder for a depending architectural covering
US6330902 *Jul 31, 2000Dec 18, 2001Chang Than ChenLength adjustable foldable door assembly
US6408924Nov 28, 2001Jun 25, 2002Hunter Douglas Inc.Control system for a vertical vane covering for architectural openings
US6457509Sep 15, 2000Oct 1, 2002Hunter Douglas Inc.Hanger pin for vertical vane coverings for architectural openings
US6491085Mar 14, 2000Dec 10, 2002Hunter Douglas Inc.Control and suspension system for a vertical vane covering for architectural openings
US6601637Apr 30, 2001Aug 5, 2003Andrew J. TotiHinge mechanism and window cover system
US6755230Apr 16, 2002Jun 29, 2004Hunter Douglas Inc.Powered control system for a covering for architectural openings
US6983784Jun 25, 2002Jan 10, 2006Hunter Douglas Inc.Control system for a vertical vane covering for architectural openings
US20040123959 *Aug 4, 2003Jul 1, 2004Toti Andrew J.Hinge mechanism and window cover system
U.S. Classification160/183, 160/199, 160/235
International ClassificationE06B3/48, E06B3/32
Cooperative ClassificationE06B3/481
European ClassificationE06B3/48B
Legal Events
Jan 6, 1989ASAssignment
Effective date: 19881216
Jan 6, 1989AS06Security interest
Effective date: 19881216