US 3494379 A
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Feb. l0, 1970 M. HINDEN AIR TURNING-ASSEMBLY AND MOUNTING RAIL Filed June 5, 1968 IN VEN TOR. MILTON HINDEN BY 5mm ATTORNEY United States Patent 3 494 379 AIR TURNING ASSEMIILI? AND MOUNTING RAIL Milton I-Iinden, Massapequa, N.Y., assignor to Duro-Dyne gorgoration, Farmingdale, N.Y., a corporation of New Filed June 5, I968, Ser. No. 734,679 Int. Cl. Ftl 1/04; F24f 13/08 US. Cl. 138-39 14 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An air turning assembly for a ducted fiuid system, such as an air conditioning or heating system, comprising rails adapted to be mounted to opposed duct walls and air turning blades extending between the rails and connecting the same, the assembly characterized by the blades being formed of a readily compressible, vibration damping material, such as a glass fiber mass shaped and lightly impregnated with a polymer, the blades forming the sole connection between the rails before mounting, the rails providing novel, readily applied fastener mechanisms for securing the blade ends thereto.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention This invention is in the field of air turning devices for use in ducted systems.
The prior art As is well known, in ducted systems such as air conditioning and heating systems, it is conventional to employ an air turning or guide assembly at bends in the ducts. Such a device typically comprises a pair of metal rails fastened to parallel walls of the duct, the rails being linked by curved metallic blades having their opposed ends fastened to the rails. Illustrations of such an assembly may be found in US. Patents Nos. 2,861,597 of Nov. 25, 1958; 2,959,195 of Nov. 8, 1960; and 2,972,358 of Feb. 21, 1961. By the use of such turning assemblies, frictional losses in conducting the air about the bends of the ducted system are reduced.
Certain problems inhere in the use and fabrication of air guide assemblies generally. Particularly, a high noise factor has been experienced, the noise being occasioned by a rattling or vibration between the blades and the rails. The rattling is usually the result of an imperfect connection between the blades and the rails, coupled with the natural tendency of the blades to flutter or vibrate under the influence of air flowing through the system.
Noise generated in the ducts is particularly objectionable since it is conducted throughout the ducted system and amplified by the fact that the ducts themselves act as a sounding board or resonant chamber.
A further drawback in the fabrication of certain air turning assemblies is the requirement that much of the assembly work of connecting the rails and blades must be carried out at the factory rather than in the field. Since many ducted systems employ non-standard turn angles and may vary in other specifics, it is necessary carefully to measure the job requirements and communicate them to the plant. Fabrication of turning assemblies in the field permits conforming the turn assembly to the duct. However, such field fabrication must be effected with conventional hand tools, thus leading to the formation of a high percentage of improper junctions between the blades and the rails of the turn assembly.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to an air turn assembly and rail therefor wherein the blades comprise a readily ice compressible, vibration damping material, such as a shaped glass fiber mass impregnated with a polymeric or like material to maintain the blades in a given shape.
The blades are supported between parallel rails and form the sole linkage between the rails until the assembly is mounted in the duct. No metal to metal connections exist at the junction of the blades and rails and, hence, there is no possibility of rattling. Connection between the blades and the rails is simply and permanently effected without any of the metal working steps which are required with all other air turn assemblies, thus greatly facilitating manufacture.
The rails are provided with sockets for reception of the end portions of the blades and are additionally provided with locking means for a blade end inserted into the socket, the locking means preferably taking the form of a cam assembly which, in the locking position, deforms the readily compressible blade parts to prevent retraction of the blade from the sockets.
It is therefore an object of the invention to provide an improved air turn assembly and rail therefor.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a noise-free air turn assembly which may be readily assembled in the field without the metal working steps normally required in the fabrication of assemblies theretofore known.
To attain these objects and such further objects as may appear herein or be hereinafter pointed out, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, forming a part hereof, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a horizontal sectional view through a typical duct assembly, showing the environment in which the turn assemblies are employed;
FIGURE 2 is a magnified section taken on the line 2-2 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a horizontal section taken on the line 33 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a vertical section taken on the line 44 of FIGURE 3;
FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of an air turning as sembly in accordance with the invention.
Referring now to the drawings, 10 is a typical duct installation for conducting treated air, such as cooled or heated air, from a treatment source to a distribution point or points. It is conventional at the corners C of any such ducted systems to provide an air guide or air turn assembly, referred to generally as 11, for purposes of facilitating the bending of the air about the corners, to minimize turbulence and, hence, frictional loss.
The turn assembly 11 in the illustrated embodiment comprises upper and lower spaced rails 12, 13, fastened respectively to the upper and lower parallel Walls of the duct by sheet metal screws or the like (not shown), the rails 12, 13 carrying curved air guide blades 14. In the illustrated embodiment, the rails 12, 13, which are identical, are generally U-shaped in section-see FIG- URE 2incorporating a central web 15 and vertically directed, parallel spacer legs 16, 17. The rails are provided at regularly spaced intervals with apertures or sockets 18, the sockets being outlined by outwardly deflected, spaced tabs or shoulder portions 19. Preferably the sockets and tabs are formed in a single punching operation, the legs 16, 17 being formed in the same operation. As best seen from FIGURE 4, the tabs 19 in the area between the legs 16, 17 converge or are inclined toward each other for purposes which will appear hereafter.
Directly adjacent each of the sockets 18 formed on the rails 12, 13 is a locking member 20. The locking members preferably comprise a cam 21 which may have a slightly upwardly directed thumb engaging portion 22 to facilitate pivotal movement of the cam. The cam is eccentrically, pivotally connected to the rails by a pivot pin or rivet 23 extending through the material of the rail and the cam, a friction washer 24 being preferably interposed between the cam and the rail. The rivet 23 is headed above the web portion and below the cam 21 so that the cam is permanently but pivotally aflixed to the web portion.
A locking dimple or detent 25 may be provided, the dimple being preferably integral with the web portion 15 and deflected from the surface thereof to block retractile movement of the cam 21 from the locking to the open position.
In FIGURE 3 the cam 21 is shown in dot and dash lines in the open position, and in solid lines in the closed position. In the open position, it will be observed that the cam lobe 26 and all other portions of the cam are clear of registry with the aperture or socket 18. However, when the cam is pivoted to the full line position shown in FIGURE 3, the lobe 26 will overlie and register with the socket 18. Further, in such locked position, the dimple or detent 25 will lie against the rear face 27 of the cam, to maintain it in the locked position.
The blade members 28, in accordance with the present invention, are formed of vibration damping materials capable of maintaining their own shape but which may be readily compressed. As an example of such material, and without limitation, there may be mentioned a compressed, heat resistant fiber composition which has been molded under moderate pressure to the desired shape and which has been impregnated, or to which has otherwise been applied, a binding material, such as an adhesive or polymer, which will prevent flaking, disin tegration, crumbling or deformation of the unstressed blade. The quantity of binder or adhesive added is not suflicient to displace the air from between the fibers but suflicient merely to cause the fibers to form a cohesive mass.
The blade is readily compressible or yieldable. While no strict limits of yieldability or compressibility need be defined since they are not critical, it will be appreciated that the material must be sufficiently readily deformable to permit the manual shifting of the locking cam 21 to be effected and to result in a substantial indentation of the blade under the influence of the cam. Without limitation but by way of example, a suitable material of about thickness in the area to be engaged by the cam may be compressed to about three quarters of its original thickness by a pressure of about 15 to 20 pounds applied by opposed finger tips.
It will be appreciated that variations from this density or compressibility factor will be operative, it being necessary merely that the material be sufiiciently dense to maintain its shape and that operation of the cam will result in the exertion of a significant compressive force against the material, resulting in an indentation of the material. Materials such as the usual metals, for instance, would not be suitable since the cam would not indent itself into the material but, rather, would deflect the metal away and, further, since the movement of the cam to locking position might result in a bending of the cam itself rather than a compression and deformation of the blade material.
The blade itself is shaped to conform to the socket 18 at the junction of the socket and the web 15. The blade includes a generally arcuate front surface 29 and an arcuate rear surface 30, the rear surface having a central depressed area 31 running the length of the blade. Preferably the material in the depressed area 31 is of a slightly greater density than the remainder of the blade to augment the anchorage of the cam in the material.
An air turn unit is assembled from the components previously described by severing upper and lower lengths of rail material from a stock supply, the lengths being adapted to fit in the corners C. Suitable lengths of blade material, in number corresponding to the number of sockets in the rail, are then severed from a bulk supply, the lengths of the blades being, of course, determined by the spacing of the duct walls.
The units are assembled by forcing the blade components into the sockets 18 of the opposed rails. As the tabs 19 taper inwardly or converge from the wide point defined by the surface of the web 15, it will be observed that the blades are compressed when they are forced through the sockets and are tightly gripped by the tabs 19. The tabs are preferably formed with V- shaped slots therebetween to augment the anchorage or connection with the inserted portions of the blades.
After the blades have been assembled and frictionally retained within the sockets, the cams 21 are shifted from the dot and dash position shown in FIGURE 3 to the solid line position, to indent the blades and lock the same within the sockets against retractile movement.
It should be noted that the force developed between the cam and blade preferably is sufficient to bias the rear surface 27 of the cam against the dimples 25, to provide a force equilibrium condition which prevents any rattling of the cams themselves. It will thus be noted that the two rails 12, 13 are united with the blades without any metal to metal contact between the rails and blades.
The air turn unit may then be assembled within the duct in the usual manner by driving sheet metal screws between the web portion 15 of the rails and the duct.
The affixation of the blades to the rails requires no hand tools whatever. The only tools required to fabricate an air turn assembly at the job site are shears for cutting the rails to desired length and a pen knife, scissors or hand saw for separating desired lengths of blade material from the stock lengths supplied.
From the foregoing it will be appreciated that an essentially vibration-free, noiseless air turn assembly is provided. The use of sound damping blade material not only eliminates the possibility of rattles at the points of connection between the blades and the rails but also damps the rails themselves against any oscillation within the ducts.
Variations within the spirit of the invention will readily suggest themselves to skilled workers in the art and, accordingly, the invention is to be broadly construed within the scope of the appended claims.
Having thus described the invention and illustrated its use, what is claimed as new and is desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. An air turn assembly for the ducts of an air conditioning or heating system, comprising first and second spaced parallel support rail members adapted to be mounted to opposed parallel walls of a duct, a plurality of parallel air turning vanes supported between said rails, said vanes being formed of a soft, readily compressible and deformable damping material, such as a porous polymer impregnated, shaped fibrous mass, fastener means on said rails for supporting the ends of said blades, said fastener means comprising blade receiver sockets formed in said rails and matching the cross sections of said blades, and locking means on said rails for deforming said blades, thus to resist removal of said blades from said sockets.
2. A device in accordance with claim 1 wherein said locking means comprises a movable member mounted adjacent said sockets and shiftable between locking and unlocking positions of said blade respectively in registry with said sockets and clear of said sockets.
3. A device in accordance with claim 2 wherein said movable member comprises a cam member, and pivot means supporting said cam member on said rail for movement in a plane parallel to said rail.
4. A device in accordance with claim 3 and including detent means on said rail for fixing said cam member in said locked position.
5. A device in accordance with claim 3 wherein said blades include recessed central portions, said central portions being of higher density than other portions of said blades, and said cam member, in said locked position, enters and compresses said central portion of said blade.
6. A mounting member for supporting in air turning position in a duct a series of blades formed of soft, readily compressible material, such as polymer stiffened, shaped fibrous mass, comprising a rail member of generally U-shaped cross section, the central branch of said U-shaped rail defining a series of open sockets formed to correspond to the cross section of said blades, and movable locking means on said rail shiftable into registry with said sockets for deforming and, hence, locking said blades in said sockets.
7. A device in accordance with claim 6 wherein said sockets are outlined by outwardly directed shoulder portions lying between said legs of said U-shaped rail.
8. A device in accordance with claim 7 wherein said shoulder portions are tapered to converge at points progressively further from said central branch.
9. A device in accordance with claim 8 wherein said shoulder portions are slotted to permit lateral deflection thereof.
10. A device in accordance with claim 6 wherein said locking means comprises a cam member pivotally connected to said central branch for movement in a plane parallel to said branch.
11. A device in accordance with claim 10 and including detent means interposed between said cam member and said rail for retaining said cam member in said locking position.
12. An air turn assembly for use in a ducted system, such as an air conditioning or heating system, compris- 6 ing first and second spaced parallel support rail members adapted to be mounted to opposed parallel walls of a duct, a plurality of spaced parallel air turn blades ex tending between and disposed perpendicular to said rail members, said blades being formed of yieldable, vibration damping, fibrous material such as readily compressible molded fibrous mass with a shape retaining binder, means on said rails for fastening the end portions of said blades to said rails by engagement between said means and said blades, said blades forming the sole linking connection between said rails prior to mounting of said rails in said duct.
13. A device in accordance with claim 12 wherein said means for fastening said end portions comprise tapered socket portions for compressing said blades responsive to insertion of said blades into said socket portions.
14. A device in accordance with claim 13 and including locking means for preventing retractile movement of said blades from said sockets.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,996,596 4/1935 Smith 13839 2,826,221 3/1958 Speiser 98121 XR 3,217,631 11/1965 Thompson 98-121 3,270,657 9/1966 Jaye 981 10 MEYER PERLIN, Primary Examiner