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Publication numberUS3524292 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 18, 1970
Filing dateFeb 7, 1968
Priority dateFeb 7, 1968
Publication numberUS 3524292 A, US 3524292A, US-A-3524292, US3524292 A, US3524292A
InventorsBottom Theodore J
Original AssigneeAlumna Kraft Mfg Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Interlocking panel assembly
US 3524292 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 18; 1 970 T; J. BOTTOM 3,524,292

INTERLOCKING PANEL ASSEMBLY Filed'Feb. 7, 1968 THE ODOPE J. BOTTOM :1. cuakmvwwz Patented Aug. 18, 1970 U.S. Cl. 52-522 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A panel assembly having a plurality of interconnected panels. Each panel includes a first flange and a second flange at opposite sides. The first flange of each panel has an arcuate portion and an oppositely disposed, curved portion. The second flange has an arcuate portion and an oppositely disposed, substantially S-shaped portion. The first flange of each panel snaps into the second flange of the next adjacent panel. In connecting coacting first and second flanges, the curved end portion of the first flange enters and bears against the arcuate bearing portion of the second flange, while the arcuate portion of the first flange cams or springs the resilient, substantially S-shaped portion of the second flange by bearing against an inclined tab, and moves into an arcuate hook portion. The substantially S-shaped portion of the second flange resiliently embraces the arcuate portion of the first flange, thereby efiectively attaching the coacting flanges and adjacent panels. The resilient, substantially S-shaped portion underlies the second flange and body of the adjacent panel and accordingly, because access is prohibited, unintentional or accidental disconnection of the panels is prevented.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to improvements in an interlocking panel assembly, and more particularly to an improved connection between adjacent associated panels, and to an improved panel construction.

One type of prior panel assembly incorporated an interlocking side connection which required the individual adjacent panels to be initially located in substantially end-to-end relation to align tongue and groove structure, and then required such panels to be slidably moved in an endwise direction for connection in side-by-side relation. Another type of panel assembly incorporated an interfitting tongue and groove structure that did not positively interlock per se, and therefore the associated panels could be simply separated. Still another interlocking tongue and groove structure did not permit a quick snap connection, and therefore, did not realize quick panel assembly, but rather, required a relatively slower, timeconsuming procedure. Many of the prior panel assemblies required the fastening of component parts of the panels to the frame on which the panel assembly was mounted in order to retain the panels in interlocked assembly.

In any event, the prior structures did not achieve a panel assembly in which the adjacent panels were positively interlocked and in which the panels could still be quickly and easily assembled by simply placing the panels successively in sideby-side relation.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present panel assembly incorporates panels of identical construction which can be readily interlocked and assembled by snapping together coacting side flanges of adjacent associated panels. The positive connection is achieved automatically during the act of placing successive adjacent panels in side-by-side relation, without the need for auxiliary fastening devices.

Each panel includes a body having a first flange at one side and a second flange at the opposite side, the first flange of each panel snapping into an interfitting second flange of the next adjacent panel. The first flange has an arcuate portion and an oppositely disposed, curved end portion. The second flange has an arcuate bearing portion and an oppositely disposed, substantially S-shaped portion that is resiliently yieldable.

In connecting coacting flanges of associated adjacent panels, the curved end portion of the first flange enters and bears against the arcuate portion of the second flange, the curvature radius of the curved end portion being less than that of the arcuate bearing portion. The arcuate portion of the first flange engages an inclined tab of the substantially S-shaped portion of the second flange, the distance between the arcuate portion and end portion of the first flange being greater than the distance between the arcuate bearing portion and tab of the second flange. Upon continued swinging movement of one panel relative to the other, incident to alignment of the panels on a supporting surface or frame, the resilient substantially S-shaped portion will spring outwardly to admit the arcuate portion of the first flange into the arcuate hook portion of the substantially S-shaped portion. During this camming action, the curved end portion of the first flange bears and pivots upon the arcuate bearing portion of the second flange.

When connected, the hook portion of the second flange snaps over and embraces the arcuate portion of the first flange for a positive attachment. To attain this advantageous result, the curvature radius of the arcuate portion of the first flange is less than of the hook portion, and the distance between the arcuate portion and end portion, of the first flange is less than that between the arcuate bearing portion and the hook portion of the second flange.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a fragmentary, perspective view of a panel;

FIG. 2 is an end view of two interlocked panels, and

FIG. 3 is an enlarged end view of coacting flanges of adjacent panels just prior to positive attachment.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now by characters of reference to the drawing, and first to FIG. 1, it will be apparent that each panel 10 of the panel assembly is identical in structure so that a detailed description of one will suflice for each other.

The panel 10 is constructed of sheet metal and includes an elongate body 11. The body 11 is of inverted, substantially U-shape having a top wall 12 and integral, depending and divergent side walls 13 and 14. The walls 12-14 of body 11 are provided with alternately arranged elongate channels 15 and ribs 16 for strength.

Extending laterally from and formed integrally with the side wall 13, is a first flange, referred to by 17. A second flange indicated by 18 is formed integrally with and extends laterally from the side wall 14. The first and second flanges 17 and 18 are located on opposite sides of the panel body 11.

The first flange 17 includes a revesely bent portion 20 extending integrally from the side wall 13 of body 11, the reversely bent portion 20 turning inwardly toward the second flange 18. An arcuate portion 21 extends integrally from the reversely bent portion 20 and turns laterally outward. Extending integrally from and connected by an intermediate web 22, is a curved end portion 23. The curved end portion 23 and arcuate portion 21 are disposed in oppositely facing relation.

For reasons which will later appear, the curvature radius of the curved end portion 23 of the first flange 17 is less than the curvature radius of the arcuate portion 21.

The second flange 18 includes a reversely bent portion 24 extending integrally from the side wall 14 of panel body 11, the reversely bent portion 24 turning inwardly toward the first flange 17. An arcuate bearing portion 25 extends integrally from the reversely bent portion 24, and turns laterally outward. Integrally interconnected to the arcuate bearing portion 25 by an intermediate web 26, is a substantially S-shaped portion, generally indicated by 27. As is best shown in FIG. 3, the substantially S-shaped portion 27 consists of an arcuate hook portion 30 disposed opposite the arcuate bearing portion 25, and an outwardly inclined tab 31 extending integrally from the hook portion 30.

For reasons which will later appear, the curvature radius of the curved end portion 23 of the first flange 17 is less than the curvature radius of the arcuate bearing portion 25 of the second flange 18. Moreover, the curvature radius of the arcuate portion 21 of the first flange 17 is less than the curvature radius of the arcuate hook portion 30 of the second flange 18.

Another structural relationship existing is that the distance between the arcuate portion 21 and curved end portion 23 of the first flange 17 is greater than the distance between the arcuate bearing portion 25 and the tab 31 of the second flange 18, yet such distance is less than the distance between the arcuate bearing portion 25 and the hook portion 30 of the second flange 18.

With the described structure of flanges 17 and 18, when the first flange 17 of one panel is inserted into the second flange 18 of an associated adjacent panel 10, the curved end portion 23 of the first flange 17 will bear against the arcuate portion of the second flange 18, while the arcuate portion 21 of the first flange 17 bears against and engages the tab 31. Upon continued swinging movement of the first flange 17, the curved end portion 23 pivots on the arcuate portion 25, and the arcuate portion 21 carns the resilient, substantially S-shaped portion 27 outwardly until the arcuate portion 21 clears the tab 31. At which time, the arcuate portion 21 enters into the hook portion 30 and the substantially S-shaped portion 27 springs back so that the hook portion 30 snaps over the arcuate portion 21 to interlock the flanges 17 and 18 securely.

It is thought that the functional advantages of the panel assembly have become fully apparent from the foregoing detail and description of parts, but for completeness of disclosure, the assembly of the panel will be briefly described. While the interlocking connection of only two adjacent panels 10 is described in detail, it will be understood that the interlocking connection of each successive adjacent panel will be identical.

It will be assumed that one panel 10 is located with its flanges 17 and 18 resting on a supporting, subjacent surface.

First, another panel 10 is located in side-by-side relation with its first flange 17 overlying the second flange 18 of the associated panel. Then such panel is tilted so that the curved end portion 23 of the first flange 17 can be inserted into the flange 18 and specifically into engagement with the arcuate bearing portion 25 of the second flange 18. As the panel 10 is swung downwardly to bring the associated panels 10 into alignment, the arcuate portion 21 of the first flange 17 engages the inclined tab 31 of the substantially S-shaped portion 27 of the second flange 18. Upon continued swinging movement of the panel 10, the arcuate portion 21, bearing on the inclined portion 31, cams the resilient substantially S-shaped portion 27 outwardly. During this camming action, the curved end por- 4 tion 23 of the first flange 17 bears pivotally against the arcuate bearing portion 25. When the substantially S- shaped portion 27 is sprung sufficiently, the arcuate portion 21 will snap into the hook portion 30 of the substantially S-shaped portion 27. The resilient, substantially S- shaped portion 27 springs back to its initial unsprung position, whereby the hook portion 30 snaps over and engages the arcuate portion 21 of the first flange 17. The coacting flanges 17 and 18 are then effectively interfltted and interlocked.

The positive connection between adjacent associated panels 10 is achieved automatically during the act of placing successive adjacent panels 10 in side-by-side relation, without the need for auxiliary fastening devices. The coacting flanges 17 and 18 of such adjacent panels 10 are interfltted, and by pivotally swinging one panel 10 relative to the other panel 10, the coacting flanges 17 and 18 are snapped together for positive interlocking connection. Because the substantially S-shaped portion 27, which incorporates the hook portion 30, is a part of the second flange 18 underlying the coacting flange 17, the substantially S-shaped portion 27 is not readily accessible from the top of the assembled panels, and therefore unintentional or accidental disconnection of the associated panels is precluded.

Although the invention has been described by making detailed reference to a single preferred embodiment, such detail is to be understood in an instructive, rather than in any restrictive sense, many variants being possible within the scope of the claims hereunto appended.

I claim as my invention:

1. A panel comprising:

(a) an elongate body having a first flange at one side and a second flange at the opposite side,

(b) the first flange including:

(1) a reversely bent portion extending from the body and turning inwardly toward the second flange,

(2) an arcuate portion extending from the reversely bent portion and turning laterally outward, and

(3) a curved end portion extending from and disposed opposite the arcuate portion, the arcuate portion and end portion being connected by an intermediate web,

(0) the second flange including:

( 1) a reversely bent portion extending from the body and turning inwardly toward the first flange,

(2) an arcuate bearing portion extending from the last said reversely bent portion and turning latally outward, and

(3) a substantially S-shaped portion providing an arcuate hook portion extending from and disposed opposite the last said arcuate portion, and providing an outwardly inclined tab extending from the hook portion, the substantially S- shaped portion and the last said arcuate portion being connected by an intermediate web,

(d) the distance between the arcuate portion and end portion of the first flange being less than the distance between the arcuate bearing portion and the hook portion of the second flange, and

(e) the curvature radius of the curved end portion of the first flange being less than the curvature radius of the arcuate bearing portion of the second flange.

2. A panel comprising:

(a) an elongate body having a first flange at one side and a second flange at the opposite side,

(b) the first flange including:

(1) a reversely bent portion extending from the body, and turning inwardly toward the second flange,

(2) an arcuate portion extending from the reversely $36111 portion and turning laterally outward, an

(3) a curved end portion extending from and disposed opposite the arcuate portion, the arcuate portion and end portion being connected by an intermediate web,

() the second flange including:

(1) a reversely bent portion extending from the body and turning inwardly toward the first flange,

(2) an arcuate bearing portion extending from the last said reversely bent portion and turning laterally outward, and

(3) a substantially S-shaped portion providing an arcuate hook portion extending from and disposed opposite the last said arcuate portion, and providing an outwardly inclined tab extending from the hook portion, the substantially S- shaped portion and the last said arcuate portion being connected by an intermediate web,

(d) the distance between the arcuate portion and the end portion of the first flange being greater than the distance between the arcuate bearing portion and tab of the second flange, yet being less than the distance between the arcuate bearing portion and hook portion of the second flange,

(e) the curvature radius of the curved end portion of the first flange being less than the curvature radius of the arcuate portion of thesame first flange,

(f) the curvature radius of the curved end portion of the first flange being less than the curvature radius of the arcuate bearing portion of the second flange, and

(g) the curvature radius of the arcuate portion of the first flange being less than the curvature radius of the arcuate hook portion of the second flange.

3. A panel assembly comprising:

(a) a plurality of interconnected, elongate panels,

(b) each panel including:

(1) a body having a first flange at one side and a second flange at the opposite side,

(2) the first flange including:

(I) a reversely bent portion extending from the body and turning inwardly toward the second flange,

(II) an arcuate portion extending from the reversely bent portion and turning laterally outward, and

(HI) a curved end portion extending from and disposed opposite the arcuate portion, the arcuate portion and end portion being connected by an intermediate web,

(3) the second flange including:

(I) a reversely bent portion extending from the body and turning inwardly toward the first flange,

(II) an arcuate bearing portion extending from the last said reversely bent portion and turning laterally outward, and

(III) a substantially S-shaped portion providing an arcuate hook portion extending from and disposed opposite the last said arcuate portion, and providing an outwardly inclined tab extending from the hook portion, the substantially S-shaped portion and the last said arcuate portion being connected by an intermediate web,

(c) the first flange of each panel snapping into and interfitting the second flange of the next adjacent panel,

-(d) the distance between the arcuate portion and the end portion of the first flange of each panel being less than the distance between the arcuate bearing portion and hook portion of the second flange, so that the arcuate portion and end portion of the first flange of each panel is received in the arcuate hearing portion and hook portion respectively of the second flange of the next adjacent panel when the coacting flanges are snapped together, and

(e) the curvature radius of the curved end portion of the first flange of each panel being less than the curvature radius of the arcuate bearing portion of the coacting second flange of the next adjacent panel so as to bear pivotally thereagainst as the resilient, substantially S-shaped portion of the second flange yields upon snapping the first flange into the second flange, and so that the curved end portion of the first flange is received within the arcuate bearing portion of the coacting second flange when the first and second flanges are snapped together.

4. A panel assembly comprising:

(a) a plurality of interconnected, elongate panels,

(b) each panel including:

(1) a body having a first flange at one side and a second flange at the opposite side, (2) the first flange including:

(I) a reversely bent portion extending from the body and turning inwardly toward the second flange,

(II) an arcuate portion extending from the reversely bent portion and turning laterally outward, and

(HI) a curved end portion extending from and disposed opposite the arcuate portion, the arcuate portion and end portion being connected by an intermediate web.

(3) the second flange including:

(1) a reversely bent portion extending from the body inwardly toward the first flange,

(II) an arcuate bearing portion extending from the last said reversely bent portion and turning laterally outward, and

(III) a substantially S-shaped portion providing an arcuate hook portion extending from and disposed opposite the last said arcuate portion, and providing an outwardly inclined tab extending from the hook portion, the substantially S-shaped portion and the last said arcuate portion being connected by an intermediate web,

(0) the first flange of each panel snapping into and interilitting the second flange of the next adjacent P (d) the distance between the arcuate portion and the end portion of the first flange of each panel being greater than the distance between the arcuate bearing portion and tab of the second flange of the next adjacent panel so that the arcuate portion of the first flange bears against the inclined tab of the second flange and resiliently spreads the substantially S- shaped portion of the second flange as the curved end portion of the first flange pivotally bears on the arcuate bearing portion of the second flange upon snapping the first flange into the second flange, and yet such distance between the arcuate portion and end portion of the first flange being less than the distance between the arcuate bearing portion and hook portion of the second flange so that the arcuate portion of the first flange is received in the hook portion of the second flange the curved end portion of the first flange is received in the arcuate bearing portion of the second flange, and

(e) the curvature radius of the curved end portion of the first flange being less than the curvature radius of the arcuate portion of the same first flange,

(f) the curvature radius of the curved end portion of the first flange being less than the curvature radius of the arcuate bearing portion of the second flange so that the curved end portion bears pivotally on the arcuate bearing portions as the first flange is snapped into the second flange, and

(g) the curvature radius of the arcuate portion of the FOREIGN PATENTS first flange being less than the curvature radius of the 910 110 11/1962 Great Britain arcuate hook portion of the second flange so that the arcuate hook portion retentively receives the ar- OTHER REFERENCES cuate ortion of the first flan e when the flan es have been sfiapped together 5 g 5 288,72}, March 1965, Netherlands application, 3 sheets of Drawmg only. R f 't d e ALFRED c. PERHAM, Primary Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,241,284 3/1966 Gregoire s2 522 X 10 3,293,819 12/1966 Heirich 52-588 X 52536, 588

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Referenced by
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US3690085 *Nov 13, 1970Sep 12, 1972Cookson Sheet Metal Dev LtdRoofing and siding sheets and the like
US3708943 *Apr 22, 1970Jan 9, 1973Olin CorpAluminum facing and roofing sheet system
US3759007 *Sep 14, 1971Sep 18, 1973Steel CorpPanel joint assembly with drainage cavity
US3906696 *Jan 23, 1974Sep 23, 1975Armco GmbhProfiled panel for the cladding of walls, ceilings, roofs and the like
US4063393 *May 10, 1973Dec 20, 1977Toti Andrew JPanel assembly structure and procedure for assembling same
US4109437 *Mar 30, 1977Aug 29, 1978Howmet CorporationBuilding panel
US4114247 *Jul 5, 1977Sep 19, 1978Toti Andrew JMethod of assembling a panel assembly structure
US4120123 *Nov 15, 1976Oct 17, 1978Knudson Gary ArtStructural cap and composite structure for buildings and the like
US4125340 *Feb 7, 1977Nov 14, 1978Kaspar KlausTrafficable surface for mechanical parking apparatus, ramps, lifting platforms or the like
US4266385 *Jun 1, 1979May 12, 1981Oehlert James AInterlocking building panel construction
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Classifications
U.S. Classification52/522, D25/121, 52/536, 52/588.1
International ClassificationE04D3/36, E04D3/363
Cooperative ClassificationE04D3/363
European ClassificationE04D3/363