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Publication numberUS3496690 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 24, 1970
Filing dateApr 17, 1967
Priority dateApr 17, 1967
Publication numberUS 3496690 A, US 3496690A, US-A-3496690, US3496690 A, US3496690A
InventorsReinhardt H Jahn
Original AssigneeChicago Metallic Sash Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Main runner part
US 3496690 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 24., 1970 R. H. J AHN 3,496,690

MAIN RUNNER PART Filed April 17, 196'? INVENTOR.

US. Cl. 52-232 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A structure for connecting a pair of identically constructed runner ends, particularly in a fire-rated suspension system, each runner including an intermediate elongated web and means along one longitudinal edge for supporting ceiling panels and the like, which runners are to be connected with adjacent ends in abutting relation and the web members in longitudinal alignment, each runner having a tongue integrally joined with the associated web member and extending longitudinally from the end thereof, with each tongue being laterally offset at its juncture with the web member the thickness of the latter to dispose such tongue at the adjacent side of the web member of the abutting runner, each web member having guide means engageable with an intermediate portion of the tongue of the other runner member operated to restrict lateral movement thereof and maintain the alignment of said web members, the opposite ends of each tongue extending beyond the cooperable guide means and wholly disposed at the same side of the web member of the other runner, cooperable interlocking means being provided on the respective tongues and web members for opposing longitudinal separating movement of said runner ends but permitting free relative movement of the runner ends towards one another, the respective runners being constructed to localize deformation of the panel-supporting means under the application of heat to the abutting end portions of such supporting means.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to fire-resistant suspended ceiling structures for supporting acoustical tile ceiling panels and the like, and more particularly to an arrangement of runners for supporting ceiling panels and the like which will absorb any expansion movement without buckling during intense heat, such as during a fire. More specifically, the present invention contemplates a runner structure which is disposed for longitudinally abutting with another runner structure and is slidable with respect thereto to prevent buckling of the entire runner arrangement during intense heat in the immediate surroundings.

Recently, panels or tiles which are made from relatively non-inflammable or fire-resistant mineral materials have been employed in ceiling arrangements for resisting or retarding the effects of a fire in the immediate surroundings. Such panels or tiles are supported by an arrangement of runners which are usually suspended from the adjacent walls or from another ceiling.

Although the panel members may be relatively fireresistant to prevent the passage of intense heat therethrough, their relative effectiveness is dependent upon the support offered by the runner arrangement. If, for instance, the runners supporting the ceiling panels expand during periods of intense heat, the entire runner arrangement will buckle and allow the fire and heat to pass therethrough.

It has been found that metallic runners will tend to expand under an applied thermal load, approximately one quarter to one-half inch per each eight foot length of runner. This amount of expansion, particularly when it United States Patent 3,496,690 Patented Feb. 24, 1970 occurs in a series of aligned and abutting runners, is capable of creating a considerable expansion and buckling of the ceiling structure, ultimately effecting a rupture in the ceiling expanse and permitting the fire to pass through the runner and panel arrangement. Therefore, a ceiling structure will remain relatively fire-resistant as long as the runners, supporting the panels, remain in a tight fitting relationship to each other and the runners will not buckle under intense thermal loads.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is, therefore, directed to a suspended ceiling structure having fire-rated runner structures constructed to provide for expansion thereof upon the application of heat to prevent distortion of the ceiling structure for a given length of time without permitting flame and heat to pass therethrough.

It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a suspended ceiling structure which will absorb expansion within itself and remain relatively fire-resistant during periods of intense heat.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a suspended ceiling structure which is relatively simple in construction and which is so constructed that only a single type of runner is required for the entire ceiling structure.

A novel feature of the present invention resides in the provision of a runner which is disposed for interlocking with an adjacent runner in longitudinally abutting relationship and which is dis-posed for absorbing expansion at the coupling point thereof.

These and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention are realized from an arrangement of cooperating runners wherein one of the runners generally comprises an elongated web member having a flange extending along the length thereof and disposed for supporting a panel or the like, and wherein one longitudinal end of the web member and the flange are separated from one another and the flange is deformable along a substantially transverse line at the juncture thereof with the web member so as to allow for expansion of the entire runner when in abutting relationship with another runner.

These results are accomplished by the provision of a connecting structure in which each cooperating runner is provided with a tongue which is integrally joined with the associated web member and extends longitudinally therefrom, such tongue being laterally offset at its juncture with the web member by approximately the thickness of the latter. Each web member is provided with guide means engageable with intermediate portion of the tongue of the other runner to restrict lateral movement thereof and thereby maintain alignment of said web members, with the opposite ends of each tongue extending beyond the cooperable guide means and wholly disposed at the same side of the web member of the other runner. Cooperable interlocking means are provided on the respective tongues and the web members in the form of abutments or shoulders which oppose longitudinal separating movement of the runner ends but do not restrict opposite movement of the runner ends and consequently do not impede expansion movement of the runners under the application of heat thereto.

The invention will, however, be more fully realized and understood from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing wherein:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWING FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a longitudinal end portion of a runner constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view of the runner illustrated in FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a plan view in longitudinal section of a pair of runners in engagement with One another and illustrated in their relative positions prior to the application of heat thereto and prior to any expansion thereof; and

FIGURE 4 is a side elevational view of a pair of runners in engagement with one another and illustrated in their relative positions after the application of a considerable amount of heat thereto and after an expansion thereof.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF 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, and in particular to FIGURE 1, there is shown a runner constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention which is adapted for interlocking with a like constructed runner in longitudinally abutting relationship. The runner generally comprises an elongated web member and an elongated flange 12 extending longitudinally along the length of the web member 10 and secured thereto substantially along the entire length thereof in substantially orthogonal relationship. The flange 12 is disposed for receiving the edges of ceiling panels and the like on opposite sides of the web member 10. A bead 14 is secured to an upper edge of the web member 10 and provides reinforcement thereto. The web member 10, flange 12 and bead 14 may be constructed from a single sheet of material which is rolled at one end to form the bead 14, bent at a point 15 to form the web member 10 and onehalf of the flange 12, and folded upon itself to form the remaining portions of the flange 12. The sheet material is folded at one longitudinal edge thereof to form a reinforced edge 16 while the first fold therein forms a reinforced edge 18 on the flange 12. A portion of the sheet material is removed at an area, generally designated with the reference numeral 20, to provide a reduced crosssectional area at that point on the flange 12. Therefore, the flange 12 is deformable along a transverse line at the juncture of the flange 12 with the web member 10. Similarly, a notch 22 is provided in the bead 14 immediately adjacent the juncture thereof with the web member 10 to provide a point of deformation thereof.

A channel guide 24 is provided on the web member 10 which may be formed by cutting the sheet material along two parallel vertical lines and deforming the sheet material between the two cuts to provide the shape illustrated in the figures. A pair of openings 26 and 27 are provided by such deformation at each end of the channel guide 24 for receiving an end of a cooperating runner therein. Formation of the channel guide 24, by deformation of the sheet material forming the web member 10, forms a shoulder 28 adjacent the opening 26, as illustrated in FIGURE 3. A depressed portion 29 is formed by deformation of a portion of the web member 10 immediately adjacent the channel guide 24. One end of the portion 29 is defined by the opening 27. The channel guide 24 and portion 29 are of approximately the same width and the lengths of openings 26 and 27 are approximately equal.

An extension 30 of the web member 10 supports, by means of an offset portion 32, a tongue 34 in longitudinal alignment therewith. A tab 36 is formed on the tongue 34 and is provided with a shoulder 38 thereon. The tongue 34 is disposed for being received in the channel guide 24 of a cooperating runner, and the shoulder 38 is disposed for engaging the shoulder 28 therein.

As more clearly illustrated in FIGURE 2, the width of the tongue 34 is substantially equal to the width of the i openings 26 and 27 so that a tight fitting relationship will occur when one runner is interrbcked with another. It

l l l lillllil M l um m 4 should be noted from FIGURE 2 that the juncture points of the bead 14 and the flange 12 with the web member 10 are spaced from one end of the channel guide 24 which forms the opening 26. This relative position of the elements permits a stronger interlocking between cooperating runners.

FIGURE 3 is a plan view in longitudinal section illustrating two cooperating runners in longitudinally aligned abutting relationship. As illustrated therein, the two cooperating runners are interlocked with one another by inserting a longitudinal end of the tongue 34 of one runner 'hrough the openings 26 and 27 in the channel guide 24 of a cooperating runner. The tab 36 is sufficiently resilient to permit insertion thereof through the aperture 26, and interlocking with the shoulder 28 after the insertion is performed. As illustrated, the combined thickness of the tab 36 and the tongue 34 is greater than the thickness or width of the opening 26, thereby restricting withdrawal of the tongue 34 from the channel guide 24. One extreme end of the tongue 34 overlaps with the depressed portion 29 and in the relative positions illustrated in FIGURE 3 it is spaced laterally from the surface of the portion 29. The width of the opening 27 is equal to or slightly greater than the combined thickness of the tab 36 and the tongue 34. Therefore, longitudinal movement of one runner away from the other runner is restricted by the abutment of the shoulder 28 with the shoulder 38. However, longitudinal movement of the two runners toward one another is im peded only by abutment of the beads 14 with one another and the flanges 12 with one another. That is, the tongue 34 of one runner can move longitudinally inwardly within the channel guide 24.

When the runners are in the abutting relationship and relative positions illustrated in FIGURE 3, the offset portions 32 of each abut with one another. When, however, the runners are moved toward one another, from the relative positions illustrated in FIGURE 3, the offset portions 32 tend to cam the adjacent tongue 34 toward an adjacent surface of the channel guide 24 and the tab 36 a uts with a surface of the portion 29 to maintain a greater rigidity between the two runners. Furthermore, as illustrated in FIGURE 4, the width of the tongues 34 is substantially equal to the inner width of the channel guide 24 and the length of the openings 26 and 27. Therefore, the runners are maintained in aligned position with respect to one another during movement of one with respect to the other. As illustrated in FIGURE 4, expansion of the runners and relative movement of one with respect to the other will cause deformation of the extended ends of the beads 14 and the flanges 12. The reduced cross-sectional portion 20 and the notch 22 can be so dimensioned to provide equal deformation of the bead 14 and the flange 12 with relative movement of one runner with respect to the other. Such dimensioning of the reduced cross-section 20 and the notch 22 will also maintain the runners in aligned position with respect to one another.

It can be readily appreciated that the runner structure described in the foregoing permits relative slidable movement of one runner with respect to another runner during expansion thereof when subjected to excessive heat. The runners will remain in aligned position with respect to one another so as to eliminate buckling of the ceiling structure and retard the passage of heat and fire therethrough.

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 adapted for aligned connection with a like runner, which runner includes an intermediate elongated web member having a i ongitudinally extending reinforcing be ad alongone longitudinal edge thereof, ant; flange means along the other longitudinal edge thereof for supporting ceiling panels and the like, said runner having a tongue integrally joined with and extending longitudinally from the end of said web member, said tongue being laterally offset with respect to the web member the thickness of the latter and disposed wholly at the same side of the plane of the web member, the latter having longitudinally adjacent portions spaced longitudinally inwardly from the adjacent end thereof, which are struck out from the web member, one of which is struck out at the same side of said plane as said tongue, and the other at the opposite side of said plane, the adjacent edges of the adjacent struck-out portions being substantially aligned in a common plane, and respectively forming guiding means for engagement with the tongue of a cooperable runner, said second-mentioned struck-out portions being disposed intermediate said first-mentioned struck-out portions and the adjacent end of said web member, said first-mentioned struck-out portions being offset approximately the thickness of the web member, and said second-mentioned struck-out portions being offset, at least twice the thickness of the web member, and a laterally olfset rearwardly facing abutment, struck out from said tongue and extending outwardly from the face thereof toward said plane of the web member, the latter having longitudinally extending slots therein disposed adjacent said bead and said flange means, whereby said web member terminates and said tongue begins at a point spaced longitudinally rearwardly from the respective ends of said head and said flange means with the free end of said bead defining the effective end of the runner thereat, said free end portion of said head at the adjacent slot being joined to the remaining portion of the bead by a portion of lesser strength, operative to localize deformation thereof, under the application of heat, to said portion of lesser strength.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,189,139 6/1965 Znanyrowski 52573 3,221,466 12/1965 Downing et al. 52726 3,221,846 12/ 1965 Brown et al. 52484 3,284,977 11/ 1966 Lickliter et al 52573 3,290,075 12/1966 Jahn.

3,374,596 3/1968 OBrien et a1. 52726 HENRY C. SUTHERLAND, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3189139 *Jun 26, 1962Jun 15, 1965Eastern Prod CorpCeiling construction
US3221466 *Feb 13, 1964Dec 7, 1965Donn Prod IncDual purpose interlocking beam connectors
US3221846 *Sep 7, 1962Dec 7, 1965Donn Prod IncCrossing beam
US3284977 *Apr 8, 1965Nov 15, 1966LickliterExpansion splice
US3290075 *Jan 20, 1964Dec 6, 1966Chicago Metallic Sash CoInterlocking runner connection
US3374596 *May 17, 1965Mar 26, 1968Kinkead IndustriesSuspended ceiling system
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3589089 *Oct 20, 1969Jun 29, 1971Eastern Prod CorpStructural beam for ceiling suspension system
US3846031 *Apr 4, 1972Nov 5, 1974Rollform IncCeiling grid system expansion joint
US4549383 *Sep 8, 1983Oct 29, 1985Chicago Metallic CorporationSuspended ceiling grid system
US4685262 *Oct 17, 1985Aug 11, 1987Consolidated Systems, Inc.Main beam for ceiling panel suspension system
US4785595 *Jan 29, 1988Nov 22, 1988Chicago Metallic CorporationFire-rated main runner
US4785603 *Nov 28, 1986Nov 22, 1988National Rolling Mills Inc.Interlocking cross tee
US4794745 *Dec 15, 1986Jan 3, 1989National Rolling Mills Inc.Tier drop grid system
US4827681 *Sep 8, 1987May 9, 1989National Rolling Mills, Inc.Interlocking cross tee
US4866900 *Nov 23, 1987Sep 19, 1989Chicago Metallic CorporationDrywall furring system
US5347783 *Mar 4, 1993Sep 20, 1994Armstrong World Industries, Inc.Prenotched fire-rated runner
US5349803 *Jun 7, 1993Sep 27, 1994Armstrong World Industries, Inc.Lanced fire-rated runner
US6351919Jul 1, 2000Mar 5, 2002Worthington Armstrong VentureCompression relief section
US6729100Apr 30, 2002May 4, 2004Usg Interiors, Inc.Main tee splice
US7607273 *Oct 27, 2009Henderson Andrew GBuilding member
US20080060876 *Sep 8, 2006Mar 13, 2008Henderson Andrew GBuilding member
US20090293403 *May 15, 2007Dec 3, 2009Filoma Construction Ltd.Connections for suspended ceiling system
US20140331587 *Nov 30, 2012Nov 13, 2014Dallan S.P.A.Inverted T Main Runner for Forming Support Structures for False Ceilings
EP1703034A1 *Mar 18, 2005Sep 20, 2006Chicago Metallic ContinentalCeiling suspension system
EP2085531A2 *Jan 27, 2009Aug 5, 2009Saint-Gobain Acoustical Products International B.V.Ceiling frame for holding ceiling panels having a cross runner with a locally impressed nose section.
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/232, 52/506.7
International ClassificationE04B9/06, E04B9/08
Cooperative ClassificationE04B9/064, E04B9/08
European ClassificationE04B9/08, E04B9/06E