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Publication numberUS3501185 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 17, 1970
Filing dateJul 11, 1966
Priority dateJul 11, 1966
Publication numberUS 3501185 A, US 3501185A, US-A-3501185, US3501185 A, US3501185A
InventorsBrown Donald A, Downing Lucien R Jr
Original AssigneeDonn Prod Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cross beam connector
US 3501185 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 17, 1970 D. A. BROWN ET AL 3,501,185

CROSS BEAM CONNECTOR Filed July 11, 1966 v 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 March 17, 1970'; D. A. BROWN ET AL 3,501,185

CROSS BEAM CONNECTOR Filed July 11, 1966 .4 Sheets-Sheet 2 D. A. BROWN ET CROSS BEAM CONNECTOR March 17, 197i) .4 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed July 11, 1966 ATTORNEYS United States Patent Other:

3,501,185 CROSS BEAM CONNECTOR Donald A. Brown, Westlake, and Lucien R. Downing, Jr., Avon Lake, Ohio, assignors to Donn Products, Inc., a corporation of Ohio Filed July 11, 1966, Ser. No. 564,070 Int. Cl. F16b 1/00; E04b 1/08 U.S. Cl. 287-189.36 24 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The invention will be described in relation to lightweight structural beams used in suspended grid structures, e.g. acoustical or luminous ceilings, as it is best suited for this purpose.

Briefly, a suspended or dropped ceiling is formed by suspending a plurality of main beams from a main ceiling, floor, or superstructure whichever the case might be. The beams are usually disposed in parallel spaced relationship spanning the length or width of a room, whichever is more convenient. The ends of the beams, normally, abut sidewalls where they are secured and supported. Intermediate support of the beams is provided by any suitable means, e.g. wires suspended from the main ceiling, etc., and secured to the beam at spaced intervals along its length. A plurality of cross beams are then disposed between the main beams forming a predetermined geometric configuration, e.g. squares or rectangles. The cross beams are interlocked with the main beams on which they are also supported. Panels, e.g. acoustical tile or luminous, are then placed in the openings formed by the intersecting beams to complete the suspended ceiling.

A major problem confronted in installations of this type is the manner in which the beams are interlocked. This invention solves this problem by providing a beam connector which permits quick and easy installation of the grid structure, while further providing a beam juncture which is rigid and not readily disconnected.

Briefly stated, this invention is in a beam connector for holding together a pair of overlapping tongues of a pair of confronting beams in a slot in the web of an intersecting main beam. In accordance herewith, the tongues are provided with oppositely disposed latches which become interlocked when the tongues are forced into overlapped position in the slot. The tongues are also provided with means coacting with the sides of the slot for wedging the overlapped tongues together. The confronting beams are each provided with means coacting with the main beam for supporting it in fixed predetermined relation to the main beam when the tongues are overlapped and interlocked within the main beam slot.

The following description will be better understood by having reference to the annexed drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary side view of an embodiment of a cross beam of this invention;

FIG. 2 is an end view of the cross beam as it appears in the plane indicated by the line 22 of FIG. 1';

FIG. 3 is a bottom view of the cross beam as it appears in the plane indicated by the line 33 of FIG. 1;

3,501,185 Patented Mar. 17, 1970 FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view showing a portion of a main beam and a pair of opposing cross beams of FIG. 1 in exploded relation to the main beam portion;

FIG. 5 is a side vieW of the tongue portion of the cross beam of FIG. 1 engaged in the slot of a main beam shown in cross section;

FIG. 6 is a top sectional view showing tongues of opposing cross beam segments of FIG. 1 interlocked in a slot of a main beam segment;

FIG. 7 is a plan view of a portion of a grid system composed of intersecting cross beams of FIG. 1 and main beams forming a geometric configuration;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary side view of another embodiment of 'a cross beam of this invention as seen from the plane indicated by the line 88 of FIG. 9;

FIG. 9 is an end view of the cross beam as seen from the plane indicated by the line 9-9 of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary side view of the cross beam as seen from the plane indicated by the line 1010 of FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is an exploded view of a pair of confronting cross beams of FIG. 8 in intersecting relation with main beam;

FIG. 12 is a top sectional view of a pair of confronting cross beams of FIG. 8 in intersecting relation with a main beam;

FIG. 13 is a side view of a cross beam of FIG. 8 in intersecting relation with a main beam shown in cross section;

FIG. 14 is a top view of a plurality of main and cross beams of FIG. 8 in intersecting relation forming a grid system having a predetermined geometric configuration;

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of another embodiment of this invention; and

FIG. 16 is another perspective view of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 15 as seen when rotated Referring more particularly to FIGS. 1-7, there is shown an embodiment of a cross beam, generally indicated at 5, which is designed for interlocking engagement with a main beam, generally indicated at 6.

Cross beam 5 is characterized by a web portion 7, having spaced marginal edges 8 and 9, which are preferably parallel. Any suitable flange means may be disposed along the marginal edges 8 and 9, eg a rolled flange, a bead, a unilaterally extending flange or a bilaterally extending flange. In the embodiment shown, a bilaterally extending flange 11 is disposed along the lower marginal edge 8, and a bilaterally extending flange 12, of smaller width, is disposed along the upper marginal edge 9. As more readily seen in FIG. 2, the cross beam 5 is formed from a single piece of material, which is, preferably, lightweight sheet metal.

The main beam 6 is characterized by a web portion 13 having marginal edges 14 and 15, which are also preferably parallel. Similar flanges may be disposed along the lower and upper marginal edges 14 and 15, respectively. In the embodiment shown, a bilaterally extending flange 16 is disposed along the lower marginal edge 14, and the upper marginal edge 15 is rolled to form a head 17.

A tongue engaging and receiving slot 18 is formed as by a punching operation in the web 13 of the main beam 16, intermediate the marginal edges 14 and 15. In cases where a plurality of cross beams intersect the main beam to form a grid system, a plurality of similar slots are spaced at desired intervals along the web 13, of the main beam. The slot 18 is designed to receive a tongue extending from the end of a cross beam, e.g. tongue 19 of cross beam 5, or a pair of overlapping tongues extending from opposing cross beams, e.g. tongues 19 and 19a of cross beams 5 and 5a, respectively (FIG; 4). Tongue 19 extends from the end of the cross beam 5 and may be a continuation of the web 7. Tongue 19 projects outwardly from the plane of the web 7, and lies substantially in a plane which is spaced from, and desirably parallel, to the plane of web 7.

A support land 21 is formed in the bottom marginal edge 22 of the tongue 19, adjacent its distal extremity 23. A shoulder 24 is formed in the marginal edge 22 adjacent the land 21. When the tongue 19 is inserted in the slot 18, the shoulder 24 locks behind the web 13 as the land 21 rests against the supporting slot edge 2 in the web 13 and keeps the tongue 19 from being pulled from the slot when in this position.

A stepped shoulder formed in the upper marginal edge 26 of tongue 19 includes an upper land 30 and a stop 25.

Stop abuts the web 13 of the main beam 6, when the tongue 19 is inserted in the slot 18. The shoulder 24 and stop 25 are oppositely disposed and axially spaced apart at least the width of the web 13, and coact together with the web 13, to prevent transverse movement of the tongue 19 through the slot 18. Lands 21 and are conveniently spaced apart a distance equal to the height of the slot 18 and to coact with the top and bottom edges of the slot 18 to prevent transaxial movement of the beam.

A pair of spaced apart elongated embodiments or lances 27 and 28, adjacent the tongues distal extremity 23 and marginal edges 22 and 26, respectively, are formed in the tongue 19, and project outwardly from the plane of the tongue 19. The lances 27 and 28 are designed to interlockingly engage the adjacent side of the slot 18, as the tongue 19 is inserted therein. If only a single tongue 19 is inserted through beam 6, it is held in such interlocking engagement by the projections 18a and 1812 (FIG. 4). Thus a single beam may be held in intersecting interlocking relationship with a main beam. Projections 18a and 18b are not required where two beams are interlocked in the same slot 18. Projections 18c and 18d are not needed for use with the tongue structures of this invention as they are with other tongue structures, but are shown to illustrate the utility of this invention with a conventional H-slot.

A dished out rib portion 29 of the tongue 19, preferably, longitudinally coextensive therewith, projects inwardly from the plane of the tongue 19 in a direction towards the plane of the web 7.

A dimple or detent 31 is formed in the tongue portion 29, and projects inwardly from the plane of the tongue portion 29. The dimple 31 is in axially spaced relation from the tongues distal extremity 23.

A locking detent or latch 32 is formed in the tongue portion 29, intermediate the dimple 31 and the distal extremity 23, and similarly project inwardly from the plane of the tongue portion 29. The locking latch 32 is designed to interlockingly engage a similar but oppositely disposed latch on a tongue of an opposing beam, when the tongues are brought together in overlapping relation in the slot 18 (FIG. 6). The dimple 31 is designed to engage the distal extremity of the tongue of an opposing beam when the beams are overlapped in the slot 18, and keep the tongues in substantially parallel planes, whereby the looking latches are restrained from disengagement. When so interlocked, the cross beam webs 7 and 7a lie in a common plane.

Cross beam flange 11 is cut back adjacent the tongue, and forms a shoulder 33, which abuts marginal edge 34 of the main beam flange 11. The shoulders 24 and 33 coact with the web 13 and flange edge 34, respectively, to restrain disengagement of the tongue 19 from the slot 18.

FIGS. 4 and 6 illustrate how the tongues of coaxially disposed cross beams 5 and 5a, respectively, are interlocked in the slot 18 of the main beam 6. The tongues 19 and 19a are forced together axially of each other in overlapping relation within slot 18. Tongues 19 and 19a, projecting from webs 7 and 7a, respectively, are oppositely disposed to keep flanges 11 and 11a, respectively, aligned, whereby the geometric configuration of the grid is formed. The opposing tongues 19 and 19a are brought together until their respective shoulders 24 and 24a hook over and interlock behind the web 13. As the beams 5 and 5a are brought together, their respective locking latches 32 and 32a become lockingly engaged.

The elongated lances 27 and 28 and 27a and 28a formed in the tongues 19 and 19a, respectively, wedgingly engage adjacent sides of the slot 18 clearing projections 18c and 18d (FIG. 4) to keep the latches 32 and 32a, respectively, in interlocked mating engagement. When in such interlocked position, the lances 31 and 31a compressively engage the adjacent distal extremities 23a and 23, respectively, to help prevent disengagement of the locking latches. In this manner, the opposing cross beams 5 and 5a, respectively, are locked together within the slot 18 of the main beam 6.

FIG. 7 illustrates a portion of a grid system having a predetermined rectangular geometric configuration formed by intersection beams, including a plurality of cross beams 5 disposed between and interlocked in end-to-end relation with a plurality of main beams 6 disposed in parallel relation in a common plane or three-dimensional grid pattern.

Referring generally to FIGS. 8-14, and more particularly to FIGS. 810 there is shown another embodiment of a cross beam, generally indicated at 110. The cross beam has a web 111 with spaced parallel marginal edges 112 and 113. A panel-supporting flange 114, i.e. a bilaterally extending flange is secured along one marginal edge 112. A reinforcing bead or flange 115 is secured along the other marginal edge 113. A plurality of perforations 116 may be formed in the bead 115 and spaced therealong. Wire, e.g. wire 117, or other suspension means attached to the existing ceiling or superstructure and secured to the bead 115 through the perforations 116 may be provided as intermediate supports for the cross beam 110.

A tongue 118 is formed in at least one end of the cross beam 110. The tongue 118 is preferably an extension of the cross beam web 111. The proximal end 119 of the tongue 118 extends into the web 111 and its distal end 120 extends beyond the web 111. The tongue 118 projects from the plane of the web 111 and substantially lies in a plane which is parallel to the plane of the web 111. The tongue 118 is designed to be inserted into a configured slot 121, in the web 122 of a similar main beam 123. The tongue 118 has a pair of opposing parallel marginal edges 124 and 125, which are preferably parallel to the webs marginal edges 112 and 113, respectively.

A stop 128 is disposed on the tongues marginal edge 124 adjacent the panel-supporting flange 114. When the cross beam 110 is interlocked with the main beam 123, the stop 128 abuts the main beam web 122 (FIG. 13). The stop 128 has a relatively small cross sectional area. This is purposely done to permit shearing of the stop 128 from the marginal edge 124 when force is applied against the step 128. The reason for this will be explained later on in greater detail.

A notch 129 is placed in the other marginal edge of the tongue 118 between its distal extremity 130 and the stop 128. The notch 129 is in spaced relation from the stop 128. The notch 128 receives the web 122- of the main beam 123 when the tongue 118 is inserted in the slot 121 and the stop 128 abuts the adjacent main beam web 122.

A dimple or embossment 133 is formed in the tongue 118 adjacent one of its marginal edges, preferably, adjacent tongue edge 125 containing the notch 129. The embossment 133 axially spans the notch 129 and coacts with an adjacent side of the configured slot, e.g. side 134 (FIG. 11), when the tongue 118 is inserted therein. The embossment 133 acts as a wedge to force tongue 118 against a similar,'but oppositely disposed, tongue 118a on a confronting cross beam 110a (FIGS. 11 and 12). The embossment 133 projects from the plane of the tongue 118 in a direction away from the plane of the web 111. It should also be noted that the tongue 118 is, preferably, two adjacently disposed pieces of metal. The tongue 118 can be formed in a manner that one piece of metal will engage the adjacent side of the slot to help bias the tongue against the other tongue.

A detent 135 is formed in the tongue 118 between its distal extremity 130 and stop 128, and adjacent the other marginal edge 124. The detent 135 projects from the plane of the tongue 118 in the same or opposite direction as the embossment 133. An abutting edge 136 of the detent 135 is in spaced relation from the stop 128, the distance therebetween being equal to, or slightly larger than, the thickness of the main beam 122. This distance is substantially equal to the width of the notch 129. The detent 135 is designed to interlockingly engage the adjacent side of the slot or a projection or stop 148 in the slot 121, and is provided as an additional holding mechanism forholding the tongue 118 within the slot 121 of the main beam 123.

A dished rib portion 137 is also formed in the tongue 118. The rib portion 137 is longitudinally coextensive with the tongue 118 and reinforces the tongue 118. The rib portion 118 projects from the plane of the tongue 118 in a direction towards the plane of the web 111.

A latch or lance 140 is formed in the rib portion 137 intermediate the tongues distal end 130 and the stop 128. The latch 140 is disposed in spaced relation from the stop 128, and in predetermined relation to a similar, but oppositely disposed, latch 140 on a confronting tongue 118a of a similar opposing cross beam 110a (FIGS. 11 and 12). The lances 140 and 140a of the cross beams 110 and 110a, respectively, become interlocked when the confronting tongues 118 and 118a, respectively, are inserted in the configured slot 121 of the main beam 123.

A portion 141 of the panel supporting flange 114 adjacent the stop 128 is deformed out of its plane forming a support 142 which rests on adjacent panel-supporting flange 143 of the main beam 123 when the beams are interlocked. The support 142 lies in a plane which is parallel to the plane of the panel-supporting flange 114. An abutment 144 is also formed between the support 142 and the adjacent panel-supporting flange 114. When the main and cross beams are interlocked, the abutment 144 borders the adjacent marginal edge, e.g. the edge 145, of the panel-supporting flange 143 of the main beam 123. The support 142 and abutment 144 are designed to override the adjacent panel-supporting flange 143 or the main beam 123 when the cross beam 118 expands because of an increase in temperature. The abutment 144 is in spaced relation from the stop 128 and is determined by the distance of the main beams panel supporting flange edge, e.g. edge 145, from the web 122. The support 142 is offset from the plane of the panel-supporting flange 114 so that the panel-supporting flanges 114 and 143 of the main and cross beams 110 and 123, respectively, are aligned and in the same plane, thus, presenting a more aesthetic appearance.

The slot 121 in the web of the main supporting beam 123 is configured for receiving a single tongue }118 and lockingly engaging it therein, or receiving a pair of similar 'but oppositely disposed tongues 118 and 118a and interlocking them therein. This is accomplished by providing a pair of stops 148 and 149 on opposing marginal edges 150 and 151, respectively, of the slot 121. This gives the slot 121 the appearance of an elongated H- section. The opposing stops .1 48 and 149 divide the slot 121 into a pair of connected adjacently disposed recesses 152 and 153, having their longitudinal axis at right angles to the longitudinal axis of the web 122 (FIG. 11). For example, the tongue 118 of cross beam 110' is inserted into one tongue receiving recess 152, and the tongue 118a of the confronting cross beam .1101: is inserted into the adjacent recess 153 (FIG. 11). The coaction between the various parts on the opposing tongues 118 and 118a, respectively, when they are in the slot 121 would be as previously described, i.e. the embossments 133 and 133a, would coact with the slot sides 134 and 134a, respectively, to wedge the tongues 118 and 1180: together, the stops 128 and 1281: would abut their respective sides of the main beam Web 122, the detents 135 and 135a would lock behind the main beam web 122, the notches 129 and 129a would receive the main beam web 122 or stop 149, the latches and 140a would engage and interlock, and the supports 142 and 142a would rest on the adjacent main beam panelsupporting flange 143.

The main beam 123, as illustrated, has a configuration similar to the cross beam 110, i.e. a web 122 having spaced parallel marginal edges 154 and 155, a panelsupporting flange 143 disposed along one marginal edge 154, and a reinforcing bead or flange 156 disposed along the other marginal edge 155. A plurality of perforations 157 are similarly disposed in the bead 156, for attaching thereto, wires 158 or other suspension means fastened to the superstructure or old ceiling, providing in termediate supports for the main beam .123.

Referring more particularly to FIG. 14, there is shown a grid system 160 comprised of a plurality of previously described intersecting main and cross beams 123 and 110, respectively, interlocked in the manner described and forming a predetermined geometric configuration for supporting panels, e.g. acoustical or luminous panels 161, having similar configurations.

Referring more particularly to FIGS. 15 and 16 there is shown an embodiment of the invention which is particularly well suited for use in a controlled expansion grid system as described in Patent No. 3,175,655. The tongue of this beam is designed to laterally deflect so as not to distort the grid system upon thermal expansion of the main beam members. This is accomplished by shearing or cutting the web along the line 171 adjacent the panel supporting flange 172. The cut 171 is preferably a continuation of the lower marginal edge 173 of the tongue 174. In this embodiment, latch 175 is slightly enlarged, and the detent 176 is crimped to project in the same direction as the latch 175, rather than in a difierent direction. the detent 176 thus interlocks with the projection or lug 148 (FIG. 11), rather than the slot side 121.

Two reinforcing ribs 177 and .178 project from the plane of the tongue 174 in an opposite direction from the detent 176 and latch 175. The notch 179 and embossment 180 are formed in the rib 177, the embossment 180 -projecting from the plane of the rib 177 in a direction farther away from the plane of the tongue 174. The detent 176 and stop 181 are formed in the rib 178, the detent 176 projecting from the plane of the rib 178 back towards the plane of the tongue 174. The reinforcing ribs 177 and 178 are carried into the web 170 of the cross beam slightly beyond the bead flange edge 182.

The cut 171 is extended at least to the end of the adjacent lower rib 178. Upon expansion of the main beam the tongue 174 of the cross beam will laterally defiect, for example, to the position shown in dotted line at 186 by rotating roughly about the dotted line indicated at 183. If the reinforcing ribs 177 and .178 extend farther into the web 170 it may be necessary to provide a similar cut in the web 170 adjacent the upper rib 177, the cut being a continuation of the upper marginal edge 184 of the tongue 174.

It may be desirable to further weaken the tongue 174 adjacent to ends of the ribs 177 and 178, e.g. along line 185 in order to facilitate bending or lateral deflection of the tongue 174. This can be accomplished by placing a slight surface cut in the tongue 174 along the line 185.

The tongue 174 is made from two pieces of lightweight sheet metal which are formed slightly apart. The two pieces are compressed closer together when opposing tongues are inserted in the slot of a main beam. When inserted in the slot such that the latches .175 are positioned for interlocking coaction, the compression forces holding the tongues close together will be relaxed or relieved enough that the two pieces of each tongue will resiliently spring slightly apart, one piece compressively engaging the adjacent side of the slot, and the other piece compressively engaging the adjacent piece of the oppos ing tongue. This resilient spring-like action of the tongues helps keep the latches interlocked, and the tongues together in the slots of the main beam.

Thus there has been provided new and novel cross beams for interlocking coaction with an intersecting main beam. The cross beams herein disclosed are particularly well suited for use in a grid system where the expansion of the various beams is controlled to keep the grid from becoming distorted upon expansion of the beams.

Other modes of applying the principle of this invention may be employed instead of those specifically set forth above, changes being made as regards the details herein disclosed, provided the elements set forth in any of the following claims, or the equivalent of such be employed.

It is, therefore, particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed as the invention:

1. A connector for holding a pair of tongues of confronting cross beams in side-by-side at least partially overlapped relation in a slot disposed in the web of a main intersecting beam, comprising:

(a) a pair of latches each disposed adjacent and in identical spaced relation from the free end of a respective one of the at least partially overlapped tongues, said latches projecting from the tongues into the space therebetween and correspondingly configured for mating interlocking engagement with each other; and

(b) means coacting between each cross beam and the main beam for supporting the tongues in the slot of the main beam with said latches interlocked with each other.

2. The connector of claim 1, which includes:

() means on each overlapped tongue coacting with an adjacent side of the slot for wedging the tongues together and keeping the latches interlocked.

3. The connector of claim 1, which includes:

(0) means disposed in upper marginal edges of the overlapped tongues, engaging the web of the main beam and restricting movement of each tongue in one of two directions along an axis angularly disposed to the longitudinal axis of the main beam; and

((1) means disposed in lower marginal edges of the overlapped tongues, engaging the web of the main beam and restricting movement of each tongue in the other of said two directions.

4. A cross beam interlockingly engaging a similar but oppositely disposed confronting cross beam in a slot formed in a web of a main beam, said beam comprising in combination:

(a) a web having spaced parallel marginal edges;

(b) a panel supporting flange secured along one marginal edge;

(e) a tongue disposed at one end of the cross beam for interlocking engagement in the slot of the main beam, said tongue lying substantially in a plane parallel to the plane of the web and defined by opposing mar ginal edges, and being in at least partially overlapped relation with a similar tongue of the confronting cross beam;

(d) means carried by the tongue adjacent its marginal edge closest the flange, engaging the web of the main beam, to restrain movement of the cross beam in one of two directions along an axis angularly disposed to the longitudinal axis of the main beam;

(e) other means carried by the tongue adjacent its marginal edge farthest from the flange, engaging the web of the main beam to restrain movement of the cross beam in the other of said two directions;

(f) means disposed on the cross beam in supported engagement on the main beam such that the panel supporting flange of the cross beam and a panel supporting flange of the main beam, lie in the same plane;

(g) means axially spanning the distance between said means (d) and (e) and projecting from the plane of the tongue, said means wedgingly engaging an adjacent side of the slot; and

(h) a latch adjacent the free end of the tongue and projecting therefrom towards the adjacent overlapped tongue of the confronting cross beam, said latch interlockingly engaging a correspondingly configured latch similarly disposed adjacent the free end of the tongue of the confronting cross beam.

5. The cross beam of claim 4 wherein the means (d) includes a shoulder for abutting the side of the web of the main beam farthest from the cross beam.

6. The cross beam of claim 5 wherein the means (e) includes another shoulder for abutting the side of the web of the main beam closest the cross beam.

7. The cross beam of claim 4 which includes a stop disposed on the marginal edge of the tongue closest the flange, for abutting the web of the main beam when the tongue is interlocked in the slot, said stop being shearable.

8. The cross beam of claim 4, wherein the support means includes a portion of the cross beam flange configured to rest on the flange of the main beam while the remaining cross beam flange is aligned with and in the same plane as the main beam flange.

9. The cross beam of claim 7, wherein the means (d) includes: a detent in spaced relation from the stop and projecting from the plane of the tongue, the detent coacting with the stop to hold the web of the main beam therebetween when the beams are interlocked.

10. The cross beam of claim 9 wherein means (g) includes: an embossment formed in the tongue adjacent its marginal edge farthest from the detent, the embossment projecting from the plane of the tongue in a direction away from the plane of the web.

11. The cross beam of claim 10, wherein the detent is adjacent the marginal edge whereon the stop is disposed.

12. The cross beam of claim of 11, which includes: (i) a dished portion longitudinally coextensive with the tongue and projecting from its plane in a direction towards the plane of the web for reinforcing the tongue.

13. A ceiling grid for supporting panels therein having a predetermined geometric configuration formed by a plurality of intersecting main and cross beams, each main beam comprising:

(a) a web with tongue receiving slots therein and having spaced parallel marginal edges;

(b) a panel-supporting flange along one marginal edge;

and each cross beam comprising:

(0) a web having spaced parallel marginal edges;

(d) a panel supporting flange along one marginal edge;

(e) a tongue extending from at least one end of the beam and being a continuation of the web, the tongue projecting from the plane of the web and lying substantially in a plane which is parallel with the plane of the web, the tongue being defined by opposing marginal edges;

(f) a stop disposed on the tongues marginal edge adjacent the flange for abutting the web of the main beam when the beams are interlocked, the stop being shearable when force is applied thereto;

(g) a notch in the other tongues marginal edge in spaced relation to the stop for receiving the web of the main beam therein when the beams are interlocked;

(h) a support formed in the flange adjacent the tongue for resting on the main beam flange when the beams are interlocked;

(i) a latch disposed on the cross beam tongue adjacent the free end thereof and intermediate its marginal edges in spaced relation to the stop and projecting from the plane of the tongue in a direction towards the plane of the web, said latch configured and located for interlocking engagement with a similarly located and correspondingly configured but oppositely disposed latch adjacent the free end of a tongue of a confronting cross beam when the confronting beams are interlocked in the configured slot in the main beam web.

.14. The ceiling grid of claim 13, which includes:

(j) a detent formed in the tongue adjacent one of its marginal edges in spaced relation from the stop and projecting from the plane of the tongue in a direction away from the plane of the web, the detent coacting with the stop to hold the web of the main beam therebetween when the beams are interlocked; and

(k) an embossment formed in the tongue adjacent its marginal edge farthest from the detent, the embossment projecting from the plane of the tongue in a direction away from the plane of the web and axially spanning the notch.

15. The ceiling grid of claim 14, wherein the detent is adjacent the marginal edge whereon the stop is disposed, and the grid includes a dished portion longitudinally coextensive with the tongue and projecting from its plane in a direction towards the plane of the web for reinforcing the tongue.

16. The ceiling grid of claim 15 which includes panels disposed between the intersecting beams and supported on the beams panel supporting flanges.

17. A crossing beam for intersecting interlocking engagement with another crossing beam in a slot in the web of a main beam, the crossing beam comprising in combination:

(a) a web having spaced parallel marginal edges;

(b) a laterally extending flange along one of the marginal edges;

(c) a tongue at one end of the crossing beam and lying in a plane which is parallel to the plane of the web, the tongue designed for intersecting interlocking engagement with a slot in the web of the main beam, the tongue including:

(d) an upper marginal edge;

(e) a lower marginal edge;

(f) a stepped rear shoulder in the upper marginal edge and defining a recessed marginal edge, the stepped shoulder including a land disposed intermediate the upper marginal edge of the tongue and the recessed marginal edge of the shoulder;

(g) a recess in the lower marginal edge including a forward shoulder, the rear and forward shoulders being axially spaced;

(h) a lance projecting out of the plane of the tongue in a direction away from the plane of the Web, the lance extending in an axial direction and spanning the axial space between the rear and forward shoulders;

(i) a locking latch projecting out of the plane of the tongue in a direction toward the plane of the web and disposed intermediate the upper and lower marginal edges, respectively, of the tongue; and

(j) means for integrally connecting the tongue to the Web.

18. The crossing beam of claim 17, which includes:

(k) a dimple axially spaced from the locking latch and positioned for engagement with a distal extremity of a similarly shaped but oppositely disposed tongue.

19. The crossing beam of claim 18, which includes:

(1) a rib portion axially coextensive with the tongue intermediate its upper and lower marginal edges and adjacent the lance, the rib portion projecting out of the plane of the tongue towards the plane of the web, the locking latch disposed in the rib portion and projecting therefrom in the same direction as the rib portion projects, and the latch being disposed within the axial space spanned by the lance.

20. A cross beam designed for interlocking engagement with a similar but oppositely disposed cross beam in the slot of a main beam, comprising in combination:

(a) a web with parallel marginal edges;

(b) a panel supporting flange disposed along one marginal edge for abutting a panel supporting flange of a main beam;

(c) a tongue projecting from the web and lying in a plane which is parallel to the plane of the web, at least a portion of the tongue designed to extend through the slot of a main beam;

((1) a latch projecting from the plane of the tongue adjacent the free end thereof and configured and located for interlocking engagement with a similarly located and correspondingly configured but oppositely disposed latch adjacent the free end of the tongue of an opposing cross beam when tongues of the cross beams are brought together in the slot of a main beam; and

(e) means coacting with the cross beam for supporting the cross beam relative to the main beam such that panel supporting flanges of the cross beam and main beam lie in the same plane.

21. The cross beam of claim 20, which includes:

(f) means coacting with the tongue for wedging the tongue against the tongue of an opposing cross beam when tongues of the cross beams are brought to gether in the slot of a main beam.

22. The cross beam of claim 21, which includes:

g) a shearable stop projecting from a marginal edge of the tongue, for abutting the web of a main beam when the tongue is placed in the slot of a main beam.

23. The cross beam of claim 22, which includes:

(h) a detent disposed on the tongue and projecting from the plane of the tongue in the same direction as the latch, said detent being in spaced relation from the stop for interlockingly engaging the web of a main beam therebetween.

24. The cross beam of claim 23, which includes:

(i) at least one rib for reinforcing the tongue, the rib being coextensive with the tongue and extending partially into the web; and

(j) a cut disposed in the web adjacent the panel supporting flange, and extending into the web substantially as far as the reinforcing rib extends into the web, for allowing the tongue to laterally deflect out of its plane in response to thermal expansion of a main beam.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS REINALDO P. MACHADO, Primary Examiner 5 ANDREW V. KUNDRAT, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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Classifications
U.S. Classification52/664, 403/252, 52/232
International ClassificationE04B9/12, E04B9/06
Cooperative ClassificationE04B9/122
European ClassificationE04B9/12B