US 3577864 A
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United States Patent  Inventor Louis Sommerfeld 165 West End Ave., New York, N.Y. 10023  Appl. No. 861,781  Filed Sept. 29, 1969  Patented May 11, 1971  FRAME WITH DEFORMABLE LOCKING MEANS 7 Claims, 3 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl 52/473, 52/664, 98/121, 287/189.36 51 Int. Cl E06b 7/08, F24f 13/08  Field of Search 52/473, 660, 669, 664, 666, 74, 78; 287/l89.36(A); 98/121  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,422,744 4/1967 Tamoff 52/473 """yum mil 1.
FOREIGN PATENTS 1,339,490 1963 France Primary Examiner-John E. Murtagh Attorney-Blum, Moscovitz, Friedman & Kaplan ABSTRACT: An assembly which includes a frame and an airguiding panel such as a louver. The frame has a pair of panelcarrying vertical ribs respectively formed with notches while the panel has opposed edge portions of a cross section matching that of the notches and received therein. Each of the ribs of the frame is provided next to its notch with a deforma ble locking nib while the edge portion of the panel adjacent to the locking nib is formed with a locking cutout. According to the method of the invention after the panel is situated within the notches of the ribs, the deformable locking nib is bent into the locking cutout to remain therein for providing a positive lock between the panel and the frame, thus preventing the panel from snapping or otherwise being removed out of the frame.
I Pltcnted May 11, 1.971 3,577,864, r
FRAME WI'II-I DEFOIRMABLIE LOCKING MEANS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to air-guiding assemblies and to methods for assembling the same.
In particular, the present invention relates to that type of assembly where the panels function to control the flow of air. For example, the panels may take the form of louvers.
It is customary with conventional assemblies of this type to provide aframe which carries the panels and which has ribs formed with panel-receiving notches into which opposed edges of the panels are placed for assembling the frame and the panels. The opposed edges of the panels are provided with a configuration conforming to the cross section of the notches and these opposed edge portions of the panels have a fairly snug fit within the notches so that the panels are frictionally retained in these notches to be carried by the frame.
However, this known construction is not entirely satisfactory because the panels are not reliably maintained connected with the frame. If such an assembly receives a shock of a sufiiciently great impact, the panels can simply bounce out of the frame. It is also possible by a simple twist applied to any louver to remove it from the frame, so that the reliability of the connection of the components of such an assembly is of a very low order. An easy removal of the blades of such assemblies, either by a simpletwist applied to the blades or as a result of the shock, is highly undesirable.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is accordingly a primary object of the present invention to provide a construction which will avoid these drawbacks.
In particular, it is an object of the invention to provide an assembly by the above general type capable of reliably retaining the panels connected with the frame structure even under conditions where the assembly is subjected to considerable shock or under conditions where unauthorized removal of a louver is attempted as by twisting the louver.
In particular, it is an object of the invention to provide an assembly of this type which can achieve the reliable interconnection between the components with very little extra cost, and in a manner which does not require any further components to form part of the assembly.
In particular, it is an object of the invention to provide for the assembling of such components a method which can easily be carried out in a time which requires hardly any perceptible addition to that which is in any event required for conventional assembly operations.
In accordance with the invention the frame has vertically extending, spaced ribs formed with notches while the louver panel has opposed edge portions of a cross section matching that of the notches and received therein so that in this way the panel is carried by the ribs of the frame. However, in accordance with the invention one of these ribs has next to its notch a deformable locking nib while the panel edge portion which is in the notch of this one n'b has a locking cutout into which the nib is deformed, by being bent into the cutout, in accordance with the method of the invention, so that in this way a positive interlocking relationship is achieved between the panel and frame preventing any easy removal of the panel from the frame, as under the conditions referred to above.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS The invention is illustrated by way of example in the accompanying drawings which form part of this application and in which:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective illustration of part of an assembly which is provided with the structure of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary sectional elevation taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1 in the direction of the arrows and showing the structure of the invention on a scale which is enlarged as compared to FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary sectional elevation taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2 in the direction of the arrows and showingboth ends of a louver panel and the frame structure associated therewith.
DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to FIG. 1, there is fragmentarily shown therein one of a series of frames 10 which may be made of any suitable metal, for example. Thus, the frames I0 may be extruded from a suitable metal so as to have the configuration illustrated in FIG. I. This frame 10 forms one of a series of vertical frames, in the illustrated example where an assembly of louvers is fragmentarily illustrated. The drawings show only enough of the structure of the louver panels 1 to afford a complete understanding of the invention.
It will be noted that each frame 10 has opposed flat parallel walls 12a and 12b interconnected by a web 14. On one side of the web 14 these walls 12a and 12b are integrally formed with a pair of ribs 16a and 16b which in the illustrated example are situated in a common plane and which are straight and parallel to each other.
The ribs 16a and 16b are formed at uniform intervals with notches 18a and 18b. These notches are defined in part by edges 20a and 20b which are situated in a common plane inclined with respect to the ribs and 16b as illustrated most clearly in FIG. 2. The edges of the notches opposed to the edges 20a and 20b thereof are :simply in the form of straight edges 22a and 22b which extend perpendicularly with respect to the ribs.
Situated within the notches 18a and 18b of the opposed ribs are a series of panels, and one of these panels 24 is illustrated in the drawings. These panels will be situated one above the other, and the several panels 24 will extend horizontally across the space between a pair of vertical, parallel frames 10, as shown in FIG. 3, so that in this way a louver assembly will be achieved in the illustrated example. In other words, the inclined panels 24 will form in this particular example louvers which extend perpendicularly across the space between and are carried by vertical parallel frames 10, such as those shown in FIG. 3, these louvers extending perpendicularly with respect to the frames 10, in a horizontal direction where the frames 10 extend vertically.
The panels 24 each have a flat wall portion 26 situated between a pair of opposed edge portions 28a and 28b. Thus, the flat wall portion 26 of each panel 24 will directly engage the edges 20a and 2012 which are situated in the common plane occupied by the flat wall 26 which thus extends at the illustrated inclination with respect to the ribs 16a and 16b of the frame 10. The opposed end portions 28a and 28b of each panel has a cross section matching that of the notches 18a and 18b so as to be snugly received in these notches in the manner illustrated in the drawings. As is apparent from the drawings the flat wall portion 26 of each panel 24 extends between parts of the opposed edge portions which are each of a substantially l .-shaped cross section terminating distant from the flat wall portion 26 in a pair of opposed narrow strips 30a and 30b which respectively overlie opposed surfaces of the flat wall portion 26.
If reliance were made solely upon a construction as described above in order to retain the panels 24 in the notches of the frame ribs, then the connection between the panels and frames would be very unreliable. When the entire assembly is subjected to a shock, for example, resulting from the impact of a tool, for example, or any shock resulting from any other source, it is possible for the panels 24 simply to be jarred out of the notches of the ribs. Furthermore, it is' a simplematter for any individual to grasp and twist a panel out of the rib notches whenever desired, so that unauthorized individuals could take the assembly apart at will.
In order to avoid these drawbacks, the structure of the invention includes at each of the notches of the ribs, and in particular at the edges 22a and 22b of the notches, permanently deformable locking nibs 32a and 32b.
For this purpose, the ribs 160 and 16b are simply formed adjacent the edges 22a and 22b thereof with small openings 34a and 34b which will define with the notches 18a 1812 the locking nibs 32a and 32b. Because the material used for the frame is capable of being permanently deformed, these nibs 32a and 32b can easily be bent as by a hammer or other suitable tool into a deformed condition.
In addition to these locking nibs, the structure of the invention includes locking cutouts 36a and 36b in the form of relatively small notches extending inwardly from the free edges of the narrow strips 30a and 30b, the width and depth of these locking cutouts 36a and 36b being sufficiently great to receive the deformed locking nibs 32a and 32b. As is indicated in the phantom representation at the lower part of FIG. 1, these narrow strips 300 and 30b are formed with the locking cutouts 36a and 36b at intervals which will correspond to the distance between the successive, vertical, parallel frames 10. Thus, with this arrangement the locking cutouts 36a and 36b will become respectively aligned with the deformable locking nibs 32a and 32b of the pair of opposed notches 18a and 18b which respectively receive the opposed edge portions 28a and 28b of each panel.
Thus, in accordance with the method of the invention the panels 24 will initially be located in the opposed notches of the ribs of the frame in the manner described above. Because the length of each panel corresponds to the distance between a pair of frames 10 (FIG. 3), it is possible to position the locking cutouts so that they will become automatically aligned with the deformable locking nibs. Then, in accordance with the method of the invention, the deformable locking nibs 32a and 32b are hammered, squeezed or otherwise acted on so as to be deformed into the locking cutouts 36a and 36b respectively, thus achieving, in the manner shown in the drawings, a positive interlock between the panels and ribs of the frame. Through this exceedingly simple structure and method it becomes possible to provide between the components and extremely secure connection which will reliably prevent any bouncing of a panel out of the frame due to impact and which also prevent any easy twisting of a panel out of the frame.
lt is to be understood that while the construction described above reference has been made to an assembly of louvers, the invention is equally applicable to all air guiding structures where blades, baffles and the like are assembled together by a frame so as to achieve a predetermined flow.
It is apparent that with the structure and the method of the invention no additional components are required to achieve the positive connection of the invention while at the same time during the assembly of the components, in accordance with the method of the invention the extra time and labor involved in achieving the positive interlock is practically of no econom c consequence.
1. In an assembly which includes a plurality of air-guiding panels and frames which carry said panels, each frame having a pair of opposed ribs respectively formed with notches for receiving opposed edge portions of each panel, respectively, said edge portions of said panel respectively conforming in their cross-sectional configuration to the configuration of said notches, respectively, and at least one of said ribs having nest to said notch thereof a deformable locking nib which after said panel is mounted at an edge portion thereof in said notch of said one rib may be deformed to lock said panel at least to said one rib of each frame.
2. The combination of claim 1 and wherein said panel is fonned at said edge portion which is received in said notch of said one rib with a locking cutout into which said nib is deformed for providing the locking relationship between said one rib and said panel.
3. The combination of claim 2 and wherein the other of said ribs is also formed at its notch with a deformable locking nib while the other edge portion of said panel is formed with a locking cutout into which the nib of said other n'b can be introduced for achieving a locking relationship at both ribs and opposed edge portions of said panel. I I
. The com matron of claim 2 and wherein said ribs of said frame respectively have at their notches edges located in common plane which is inclined with respect to said ribs, and said panel having a substantially flat wall portion situated in said plane and engaging said edges of said notches, said panel having elongated edge portions of substantially L-shaped cross section extending from said flat wall portion thereof and conforming to the configuration of said notches with said edges of L-shaped cross section terminating distant from said flat wall portion of said panel in relatively narrow strip portions overlying said flat wall portion, and at least said strip portion which forms part of said one edge portion being formed with said cutout which receives said locking nib when the latter is deformed into said cutout.
5. The combination of claim 4 and wherein both of said strip portions are formed with locking cutouts, the other of said ribs being formed at its notch with a defomtable locking nib to be received in the cutout of the narrow strip portion of the other of said edge portions of said panel.
6. The combination of claim 5 and wherein said ribs are straight and parallel to each other and situated in a substantially common plane with a free space between said ribs across which said panel extends.
7. The combination of claim 6 and wherein said frame is one of a series of parallel frames and said panel in one of a series of panels extending between the frames substantially perpendicularly with respect thereto, so as to form a louvered assembly the louvers of which are formed by said panels.