US 3522834 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Inventor: Leonard J. Corcoran 595 King George Way, West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada  Application No.: 799,624
 Filed: Feb. 17,1969
 Patented: Aug. 4, 1970  SELF-STORING ROLLER SCREENS 3 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
 U.S. Cl. 1. 160/23, 160/ 133, 279  Int. Cl. E06b 9/20  Field of Search 160/23, 133,274,279
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,121,898 12/1914 Davis 160/23 1,947,070 2/1934 Traut 160/23 Primary Examiner- J. Karl Bell Attorney-Fetherstonhaugh and C0.
ABSTRACT: A screen including a frame-supported shade capable of being rolled up and stored in a frame part and extended to position of use by remotely operated means.
Patented Aug. 4, 1970 I l I I l I I l I I l I I U.S. PATENT 3,522,834 SELF-STORING ROLLER SCREENS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to window screens and particularly to screen units adapted to be assembled with other similar units on an office building or the like having rows of closely spaced windows.
The devices presently in use to exclude the direct rays of the sun from a room are not entirely suitable for use on an office building where a large number of windows must be shaded. It is desirable that the shades of all the windows of each floor be operated in unison and the trend today is towards the use of automatic equipment to operate the window shades. For example, a photo-electric cell may be employed to respond to outside light intensity so that all the shade units on one side of the building will be raised or lowered according to the sun exposure on that particular building side. Since conventional screens are required to be operated individually, or at least in small groups, it is neither economical nor practical to install the screens on an office building if the use of such sophisticated operating equipment is contemplated.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present screen includes a frame on which a shade and connected cords are roller-mounted to form the equivalent of an endless belt which can be moved in either direction by rotation of a centre shaft included in the roller structure. The centre shaft can be coupled to the corresponding shaft of an adjacent screen with the second shaft being coupled to a third and so on, so that drive means connected to the shaft of one screen can readily raise andlower the shades of a multitude of screens covering all the windows of one floor of an office building. The several moving parts making up the screen are supported and guided in such-a way that a small electric motor cupants ofan office might find distracting.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary front elevation of the invention,
partly in section, 7
FIGURE 2 is an end elevational as viewed in the direction indicated by the line 2-2 of FIGURE l,
FIGURE 3 is a vertical section taken on'the line 3-3 of FIGURE 1.,
FIGURE 4 is a vertical section taken on the line 4-4 of FIGURE l,and
FIGURE 5 is a sectional plan view taken on the line 5-5 of FIGURE 1.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The screen, generally indicated by the numeral 10, is provided with a rectangular frame 11 formed ofa top housing 12, side rails 14,.and a bottom rail 15.
Housing 12 is a box-like structure, preferably formed of aluminum, and having a bottom wall 17 in which a longitudinally extending slot 18 is formed. The ends of housing I2 are closed by removable plates 20 which are of nylon or other suitable plastic material. These plastic end plates 20 of the housing are provided with central openings which form longitudinally aligned bearings 21. A locating rod 22 is suitably connected to the end plates 20 to extend through the housing 12 parallel to the wall 17 and near the slot 18. Not far from the plates 20, the rod 22 is fitted with rotatably mounted pulleys 23.
The side rails 14 are identical and consist of lengths of extruded aluminim or plastic to provide opposing channels 24 and passages 25 which are connected by slots 26, see particularly FIGURE 5. A small guide pulley 28 is rotatably mounted in the lower end of each tubular side rail 14 with its axis of rotation at right angles to the corresponding axis of a vertically aligned pulley 23. Preferably, the pulleys 23 and 28 are of the same diameter.
Bottom rail 15 is also an extruded aluminum strip and the opposite open ends 30 of this tubular rail are slidably received in the channels 24 of the side rails so that the bottom rail can move freely up and down in the frame 11. Rail 15 has a lon gitudinal passage 31, a T-shaped channel 32 which extends along the upper edge of said rail, and top flanges 33. At each open end 30 of the bottom rail, a small guide pulley 34 is mounted for rotation about a transverse axis.
Journalled in the bearings 21. is an inner shaft 38 formed of steel tubing or the like and having ends 39 and 40 which project a short distance outwardly of the walls 20. Shaft 38 extends through the centre of an outer tube 44, the opposite ends and 46 of this tube being spaced inwardly of the housing walls 20. Bearings 47 and 48, preferably of plastic material, rotatably support the ends 45 and 46 of the outer tube on the inner shaft 38.
Mounted between the inner shaft 38 and the outer tube 44 is a torsion spring 50 having opposite ends 51 and 52. As shown in IFIGIUIRIE l, the spring end 51 is secured to the tubular shaft 38 while the opposite end 52 of said spring is anchored to the tube 44. Thus, any tendency of the inner shaft and outer tube to counter-rotate is resisted by the torsion spring 50.
Secured to the inner shaft 38 is a sheave 55, this sheave being disposed near the inner face ofthe left wall 20 (FIGURE 1) and spaced from the end 45 of the outer tube. Another sheave 56 of the same size is locked to the shaft 38 near the right wall 20 and this sheave is spaced from the end 46 of the outer tube.
The V-groove sheaves 55 and 56 are connected by a nylon cord 58. One end 59 of this cord is suitably anchored to the sheave 55 and is wound therearound an appropriate number ofturns. From the sheave 55, a length 58a of the flexible cord 58 extends over an adjacent pulley 23 and through slot 18 and passage 25 of the left side rail, said cord length then being trained over pulley 28. Cord 58 then has an intermediate length 58b which extends through passage 31 of the bottom rail and is guided in this passage by the two end pulleys 34. Next, a length 58c of the cord passes over the lower pulley 28 of the right side rail 14 and travels through the passage 25 of this rail to pass over the pulley 23 thereabove. Finally, the cord length 580 again projects through the slot l8 and is wound around the sheave 56 with the cord end being secured in some suitable manner to this sheave. It will be noted, the cord 58 is wrapped around both sheaves in the same direction and by the same number of turns.
The outer tube 44 is fitted with a flexible solar shade generally indicated at 64. It should be noted that shade 64 is wound upon the tube 44 in the opposite direction to which the cord ends 59 and 60 are wound upon their respective sheaves. The solar shade 64 extends downwardly over the locating rod 22 between the pulleys 23 and through the housing slot 18 the shade having an unrolled edge 65 and side edges 66 which latter edges are slidably received in the opposing slots 26 of the rails 14. The lower or unrolled edge 65 of the shade is secured by any suitable means within the T-shaped channel 32 of the bottom rail. From the foregoing, it will be seen that the cord 58 and the shade 64 together form a flexible member at all times whether the shade is raised or lowered in the frame 11. It should be observed also that the diameters ofthe sheaves 55 and 56 are considerably larger than the outside diameter of the tube 44. When the upper part of the shade 64 is wound upon the outer tube 44 as described and said shade is in raised position, the rolled portion of the shade has a diameter which may be substantially equal to the diameters of the two sheaves 55 and 56. At this time, the torsion spring 50 exerts minimum pressure tending to counter-rotate shaft 38 and tube 44. As the solar shade is lowered, the cord 58 is wound up faster than the shade 64 is paid out so that the spring 50 is subjected to greater torsion and this increased torsion is transmitted to the cord and the shade. in this manner, tension on the shade 64 and the cord 58 is progressively increased to a desirable maximum tension when the shade is fully lowered.
In this particular embodiment ofthe invention, the shade 64 is formed ofa multitude of small horizontal louvers or slats 68 which are supported by vertical wires 69. The slats 68 are tilted downwardly at a slight angle to the wires 69 and said wires are quite flexible so that the shade can easily be rolled about the tube 44 or unrolled therefrom.
As shown in FIGURE 4, the periphery of tube 44 has a longitudinally extending groove 72 and a number of circumferentially spaced fins 73. In order to secure the shade 64 to the tube 44, the upper edge 74 of the shade is placed in the groove 70 and the tube is then rotated so that some of the uppermost slats enter between the fins 73. By so constructing the tube 44, the shade is securely locked to the tube without the need for conventional fasteners.
To prevent damage to the ends of the slats 68, shaft 38 is fitted, near the sheaves 55 and 56, with opposing buffer discs 76 and 77, the discs preferably being made ofa suitable hardwearing plastic material. The opposing faces 76a and 77a of these discs are bevelled and the discs may be rotatably mounted on the inner shaft 38. As the shade 64 is raised or lowered in the frame 11, the slat ends 66 are prevented from coming into contact with the sheaves by the discs 76 and 77. Thus, the slat ends 66 are protected from damage by the discs 76 and 77 also the bevelled faces 76a and 76b ensure that the shade is wound and unwound evenly, without touching and thereby hindering the free rotation of the counter-rotating sheaves since to do so would impose a br aking action which could interfere with the raising and lowering ofthe shade.
Screen is particularly intendedfor use over a window and normally the device is mounted on the outer face of the building by securing the housing 12 and side rails 14 to appropriate building parts. Other identical screens 10a are suitably secured to the building face alongside screen 10 so as to cover adjoining windows. The inner shafts 38 ofthe several screens are connected together by couplings 80 and pins 81. When one shaft 38 is rotated by any suitable means, the shaft of the next adjacent screen is also rotated as are all the connected shafts of the row of screens extending across the face ofthe building.
, One means for raising and lowering the shade 64 is illustrated in FIGURES l and 2. This means comprises of a worm gear 84 which is keyed to the end 39 of the inner shaft Meshing with the gear 84 is a worm 85 which is mountedon a stem 86. This stem extends through the housing 12 and into theinterior of the building. The interior end of the stem 86 is fitted with a suitable operating device such as a hand crank 87.
To lower the shade 64, the hand crank 87 is turned to rotate the shaft 38. Rotation of shaft 38 causes the sheaves 55 and 56 to wind up the cord 58 whereupon the edge 65 of the shade is pulled downwardly against the progressively increasing resistance of the spring 50. Since the cord 58 is free to move 'endwise'as required through the side and bottom rails of the frame 11, the downward pull exerted by said cord is always equal on both sides of the shade 64. By balancing the pressure applied to pull the shade down in this manner, the bottom rail l 5 always remains absolutely horizontal which eliminates any tendency of said rail and the side edges 66 ofthe shade to bind in the side rails 14 as the shade is lowered or raised within the frame 11. When the shade reaches a selected position extending across the window, it is held against further movement, either up or down, by tension of the spring 50.
As previously mentioned, when the shade is up, only reduced tension is applied by the spring 50. This tension is increased as the shade is lowered due to the relative sizes of the sheaves 55 and 56 and the circumference of that portion of the shade which is wound upon the outer tube 44. Thus, maximum pressure is applied to the solar shade by the torsion spring 50 when the shade is fully down and this pressure is sufficient to hold the shade tight so that it cannot be rattled or moved about to any great extent within the frame 11 by a breeze flowing past the face of the building. When the solar screen 64 is in the fully raised position, the top flanges 33 of the bottom rail 15 bear against the underside of the bottom wall 17 of the housing 12 so as to substantially seal off the slot 18 and protect working parts of the apparatus from the weather.
1. A self-storing roller screen comprising a rectangular frame including an end housing, an inner shaft having opposite ends journalled in the end housing, an outer tube rotatably mounted on the inner shaft between the opposite ends thereof, a torsion spring connecting the inner shaft to the outer tube, a flexible shade wound upon the outer tube and having an unrolled edge extending away from the end housing, a sheave non-rotatably secured to each opposite end of the inner shaft, a length of cord wound upon each sheave in a direction opposite to the direction the flexible shade is wound upon the outer tube, said lengths of cord extending across the frame and being operatively connected to the unrolled edge of the flexible shade, means on the frame remote from the end housing around which each length of cord slidably extends in the form of a loop, and said torsion spring applying a predetermined tension to the lengths of cord and the flexible shade, and buffer discs mounted on opposite ends ofthe inner shaft to prevent side edges of the flexible shade from coming into contact with the sheaves.
2. A self-storing roller screen comprising a rectangular frame including a top housing, side rails and a bottom rail slidably mounted in said side rails, said top housing having end walls, an inner shaft journalled in the end walls and having opposite ends projecting therethrough, an outer tube rotatably mounted on the inner shaft between the end walls of the top housing, a torsion spring connecting the inner shaft to the outer tube, a flexible shade having one edge rolled upon the outer tube and an unrolled edge secured to the bottom rail, a sheave non-rotatably secured to each opposite end of the inner shaft, a cord having opposite ends wound upon the sheaves in a direction opposite to the direction the flexible shade is wound upon the outer tube and an intermediate length slidablysecured to the bottom rail, said torsion spring applying a predetermined tension to the cord and the flexible shade, said side rails being tubular and fitted with interior guide pulleys around which the cord is looped, said bottom rail being tubular and having interior guide pulleys, said cord extending freely through the tubular side and bottom rails and being trained over the guide pulleys thereof.
3. A self-storing roller screen comprising a rectangular frame including a top housing, side rails and a bottom rail slidably mounted in said side rails, said top housing having end walls, an inner shaft journalled in the end walls and having opposite ends projecting therethrough, an outer tube rotatably mounted on the inner shaft between the end walls of the top housing, a torsion spring connecting the inner shaft to the outer tube, a flexible shade having a plurality of spaced slats, said outer tube having circumferentially spaced longitudinal fins on the periphery thereof, some said slats engaging the fins to non-rotatably secure the flexible shade to the outer tube, said flexible shade having an unrolled edge secured to the bottom rail, a sheave non-rotatably secured to each opposite end of the inner shaft, a cord having opposite ends wound upon the sheaves in a direction opposite to the ated to proportionately increase the predetermined tension on the cord and the flexible shade as said flexible shade is unrolled, and buffer discs mounted on opposite ends of the inner shaft, said buffer discs having opposing bevelled faces to prevent side edges of the flexible shade from coming into contact with the sheave and to ensure the flexible shade is wound evenly on the outer tube.