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Publication numberUS3592288 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 13, 1971
Filing dateSep 6, 1968
Priority dateSep 6, 1968
Publication numberUS 3592288 A, US 3592288A, US-A-3592288, US3592288 A, US3592288A
InventorsWalter Richard K
Original AssigneeConwed Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Acoustical panel for freestanding space divider
US 3592288 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Richard K. Walter St. Paul, Minn. 758,049

Sept. 6, 1968 July 13,1971 Conwed Corporation St. Paul, Minn.

[72] Inventor [21 App! No. [22] Filed [45] Patented [73] Assignee {54 1 AcousrrcAr. PANEL FOR FREESTANDING 1,896,844 2/1933 Hanson 1,955,443 4/1934 Spafford 18l/33(.1) 2,005,300 6/1935 Pfaizer 181/33(.12) 2,519,161 8/1950 Tucker..... 181/33(.1) 2,519,162 8/1950 Tucker 181/33(.1) 3,115,948 12/1963 Gildard et a1. 181/33(.l) 3,137,364 6/1964 Akerson 181/33(.1) 3,234,996 2/1966 King et a1 181/33(.1) 3,297,077 1/1967 Garbus 160/23l(R1) 3,314,551 4/1967 Plastow 160/23 1 (R) 3,441,465 4/1969 Pearson 181/33 X FOREIGN PATENTS 346,792 4/1931 Great Britain 181/33(.12) 663,897, 12/1951 Great Britain 181/33(.1)

Primary Examiner-Robert S. Ward, Jr. Attorney-Gunnar A. Gustafson, Jr.

ABSTRACT: An acoustical panel is provided for a freestanding space divider which panel is resilient transverse to the major faces thereof in order to provide for easy insertion into the frame of the divider and further to provide for application of additional finishing sheets to the surface after insertion in the frame.

PATENTED JUL] 3mm 3, 592,288

I INVEN'I'UR.

R HARD K WALTER H/S ATIUR/VE) MUUS'IICAI. PANEL FOR FREESTANDING SPACE DIVIDER In the copending US. Pat. application, Ser. No. 748,048, of James E. Aysta and William H. P. Tacke, which application was filed concurrently with this application, an acoustical freestanding space divider is disclosed.

In that copending application of Aysta et al. a space divider is disclosed in which the frame members have embracing arms to embrace the exposed surfaces of the panel and hold the same in the frame.

This invention is directed to an improvement in the panel member ofthe space divider disclosed in said copending application of Aysta et al. The improvement comprises the provision of resiliency in the panel so that the major faces thereof may be compressed toward each other to provide for more ready insertion ofthe panel in the frame.

Another advantage of the transverse resiliency of the panel of this invention is that after having been used for some period I of time, the surface appearance of the panel may be changed by the addition of sheets of surfacing material, the edges of which may be tucked under the frame by compressing the panel.

These and other advantages of the invention will be apparent'to those skilled in the art from the following specification and drawing in which:

FIG. I is a prospective view of a single section of a freestanding space divider,

FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross section taken along the line 2-2 of FIG. I with the surfacing material not shown, and

FIG. 3 shows a cross section similar to FIG. 2 in which the various laminae have been separated for clarity.

In FIG. 1 a freestanding space divider is shown as comprising a panel 12, a frame 14 and supporting legs 16. The frame 14 comprises four identical frame members 18, 20, 22, and 24. The frame members 18, 20, 22, and 24 are joined at their respective ends by coupling keys 26 thus forming the corners of the frame. The frame members 18, 20, 22, and 24 each have two parallel grooves 28 and 30 for the reception of various accessories including such accessories as legs 16. Such accessories have cooperating flanges for mating with an insertion into the grooves 28 and 30.

As best shown in FIG. 2 each of the frame members includes two substantially parallel arms 32 and 32 which extend along the length of the several frame members and embrace the opposite surfaces of the panel 12 to support the same. In FIG. 2 only the frame members 24 and are shown; however, each of the frame members has an identical cross section to that shown for the frame members 24 and 20. As further shown in FIG. 2 the parallel embracing arms 32 and 34 embrace the thickness of the panel 12 and firmly engage the surfaces 36 and 38 of the panel.

The specific construction of the frame and the manner in which it is formed by joining the frame members I8, 20, 22, and 24 with the coupling key 26, as well as the manner in which the panel 12 is held in the frame 14 by the embracing arms 32 and 34, is all disclosed in the copending application of Aysta et al. mentioned above. The improvement to which this invention is directed is the construction of the panel 12 itself in order to provide resiliency and compressibility of the panel 12 transverse to the faces 36 and 38.

As shown in FIG. 2 the panel 12 comprises three laminae 40, 42, and 44. The laminae 42 and 44 are shown as comprised of acoustical insulation board of the type commonly used for acoustical ceiling tile. Such material is not readily compressible and when compressed recovers poorly if at all. If such acoustical insulation board is pressed with an object it will retain a dent or depression therein, thus deleteriously affecting the appearance. In dimension, either the panel '12 must be dimensioned somewhat thin with respect to the dimension between the interior surface of the embracing arms 32 and 32 (in which case the panel 12 fits loosely within the frame 14) or the surfaces 36 and 38 of the panel are dented and damaged slightlywhen the panel 12 is inserted into the embracing arms 32 and 34. Careful quality control the the thickness of the panel 12 and of the distance between the embracing arms 32 and 34 is therefore required to insure good fit between the panel and the frame 14 while at the same time eliminating damage to the panel 12. Such extreme quality control is difficult and expensive to maintain. Accordingly, applicant provides for a resilient interior lamina 40. One suitable material for the interior lamina 40 is a resilient polyurethane foam or other like foams which are readily compressible and are resilient thus to recover substantially all of their original thickness after compression. The preferred material for the interior lamina 40, however, is a nonwoven fibrous mat such as that sold under the trademark Tufflex as Type R by Conwed Corporation of St. Paul Minnesota Such felted fibrous material is compressible and resilient thus permitting the laminae 42 and 40 to be pressed together toward each other and compressing the lamina 40 to make the overall thickness dimension of the panel 12 temporarily less than its final and intendedthickness. The dotted lines indicated by the numerals 36 and 38 indicate the possible compression of the surfaces 36 and 38 to the position indicated by the numerals 36 and 38 respectively. It will be seen that the interface 46 between the lamina 42 and the laminae 40 is also displaced as indicated at 46'. Similarly, when the lamina 44 is pressed upon, the interface 48 between the laminae 44 and the laminae 40 will be-displaced to the approximate position indicated at 48'. These interfaces 46 and 48 are displaced inwardly since the laminae 42 and 44 are relatively uncompressible, particularly with reference to the highly compressible and highly resilient internal lamina 40.

Each of the insulation board outer laminae 42 and 44 is suitably perforated as indicated at 50. These openings 50 extend from the surfaces 36 and 38 of the laminae 42 and 44 respectively into the respective laminae for some distance such as approximately three-fourths of the thickness of the lamina. These openings may be drilled or punched but are preferably punched. Because of the acoustical density of the insulation board and the openings 50 therein, the panel 12 is highly acoustically absorptive, which is an important consideration in the open office landscaping type of office arrangements in which there are no full partitions (or very few) and a number ofworkers employed.

For aesthetic purposes the surfaces 36 and 38 of the panel 12 may be painted or otherwise decorated, but the finish decoration must not obliterate the openings to the holes 50 since otherwise the acoustical quality of the panel will be deleteriously affected. Certain paint coatings may be applied without bridging the openings 50, or if other materials are to be placed upon the surfaces 36 and 38 such as wallpaper, plastic films, or the like, the openings 50 may be punched after the application of such surface or finishing sheets. In the interests of clarity such finishing sheets have not been shown ap plied to the panel 12 in FIG. 2.

In FIG. 3 the panel 12 is shown as comprising the same laminae 40, 42, and 44; however, the surfaces of the panel 12 are provided with decorative finish covering sheets. The covering sheets 52 shown in FIG. 3 are preferably burlap material although any aesthetically pleasing finishing sheet may be used such as plastic films, wallpaper, linen, other fabrics, or the like. It has been found that when laminating burlap and some fabrics, they are difficult to apply unless they are somewhat rigidified by having first been laminated to a sheet of paper such as indicated at 54. If the finishing sheet 52 is such as tobe readily applied without difficulty then, in that event, the underlying paper sheet 54 is not necessary. That is to say that thepaper sheet 54 serves no purpose other'th'an to make the application of the finishing sheet 52 easier. As indicated, the paper sheet 54 is first laminated to the burlap sheet 52 or purchased in that form and then the two layers 52 and 54 are applied together to the outer surfaces of the laminae 42 and 44. It will be recognized, of course, that the openings 50 into the laminae 42 and 44 must be drilled or punched after the layers 52 and 54 have been applied since otherwise the paper sheet 54 would block-off the openings 50 thus seriously affecting the ability of sound energy to enter into the absorptive layers 42 and 44. With certain fabrics that do not require the paper layer 54 it is possible to punch the openings 50 into the laminae 42 and 44 before applying the finish layer since such fabricsas, for example, linen are normally readily permeable to air and to acoustical energy and do not require openings therethrough. The same, of course, is true of burlap; however, as indicated, the burlap is difficult to apply in the absence of the paper sheet 54.

in assembling the frame 14 to the panel 12 any finishing layers such as the burlap 52 are first applied to the panel 12 and then the frame is applied by compressing the laminae 42 and 44 toward each other and inserting the same between the embracing arms 32 and 34. Upon release of the compression on the laminae 42 and 44, the panel 12 will then expand under the urging of the interior lamina 40 to press the surfaces 36 and 38 of the panel 12 tightly against the embracing arms 32 and 34. This engagement between the surfaces of the panel 12 and the embracing arms 32 and 34 is enhanced by the projections 62 and 64 on the arms 32 and 34 respectively. These projections 62 and 64 tend to imbed themselves into the surface of the panel 12 thus insuring adequate grip upon the panel.

Since the frame members 18, 20, 22, and 24 are placed upon the panel 12 one at a time and are then locked in position by the corner coupling keys 26, it is evident that it is not i 1 possible to remove the panel 12 from the frame 14 without at least partially dismantling the frame 14. Accordingly, if it is desired to change the surface of the panel 12 because it has become soiled in use or for aesthetic change or for other reasons, it is merely necessary to apply a suitable finishing sheet to the surface of the panel 12 and then to compress the panel and tuck the edges of the surface sheet under the embracing arms 32 and 34 by means of a suitable tool such as a putty knife. It will be evident, therefore, that the provision of a resilient internal lamina 40 not only makes the assembly of the panel 12 in the frame 14 easier but also permits neat application of additional finishing sheets at a later time, if desired, which sheet may have their edges firmly secured beneath the several embracing arms 32 and 34. In the absence of such a resilient lamina 40 it would be necessary to disassemble the frame 14 or to cover only the exposed faces of the panel 12 with any subsequent covering sheet, thus leaving the edges of the new covering sheet exposed.

It will be evident to those skilled in the'art that other resilient means may be provided in place of the resilient lamina 40 such as, for example, metal springs positioned between the laminae 42 and 44. Similarly, either or both of the laminae 42 and 44 could be resilient such as polyurethane foam, the same being of acoustical quality if desired; however, it is preferred to provide insulation board for the outer laminae and the nonwoven felted fibrous mat for the lamina 40 in preference to the other constructions just mentioned for reasons of economy and ease of application.

I claim:

l. A freestanding, movable space divider comprising a frame and a panel supported in said frame, said frame including at least one frame member, said frame member being elongated, said elongated frame member having along its length a pair of substantially parallel panel embracing arms, said arms extending over the opposite faces of said panel in engagement therewith, said panel being resilient in a direction transverse to the major faces thereof whereby said panel may be slightly compressed between said embracing arms and will recover substantially its original thickness to firmly engage said arms, said panel including two outer laminae and at least one internal lamina, said two outer laminae being of acoustical insulation board having acoustical openings therein extending from the outer surfaces thereof, and said internal lamina being a resilient sheet.

2. The space divider of claim 1 in which said panel includes a resilient foam material to rovide the resiliency.

3. The space divider ofc arm 1 in which said panel includes a nonwoven fibrous mat to provide the resiliency.

4. The space divider of claim 1 in which at least one of said outer laminae includes an outer finish covering sheet.

5. The space divider of claim 4 in which both of said outer laminae include outer finish covering sheets.

6. A freestanding, movable space divider comprising a frame and a panel supported in said frame, said frame including at least one frame member, said frame member being elongated, said elongated frame member having along its length a pair of substantially parallel panel embracing arms, said arms extending over the opposite facesof said panel in engagement therewith, said panel including at least three laminae, the two outer laminae being relatively incompressible with respect to the inner lamina in a direction perpendicular to the major faces of said panel, said inner lamina being easily highly compressible relative to said outer laminae in a direction perpendicular to the major faces of said panel, and said inner lamina being able to readily recover substantially its original thickness, whereby said panel may be readily compressed to a thickness less than the distance'between said embracing arms and will recover substantially its original thickness to firmly engage said arms.

7. The space divider of claim 6 in which said inner lamina is a resilient foam.

8. The space divider of claim 6 in which said inner lamina is a flexible bonded fibrous mat.

9. The space divider of claim 6 in which at least one of said outer laminae includes an outer finish covering sheet.

10. The space divider of claim 9 in which both of said outer laminae include outer finish covering sheets.

Patent Citations
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US1955443 *Jun 17, 1931Apr 17, 1934Wood Conversion CoInsulating structure and liner
US2005300 *Dec 15, 1933Jun 18, 1935Pfalzer Arthur MBaffle for loud speakers
US2519161 *Jul 18, 1946Aug 15, 1950Tucker Thomas TAcoustic testing structure, including sound absorbing panels
US2519162 *Mar 15, 1948Aug 15, 1950Tucker Thomas TAcoustic testing structure including sound absorbing panels
US3115948 *Dec 14, 1960Dec 31, 1963Koppers Co IncPanel for the reduction of sound transmission
US3137364 *Oct 6, 1958Jun 16, 1964Wood Conversion CoManufacture of perforated acoustic bodies
US3234996 *Aug 26, 1963Feb 15, 1966Won Door CorpSound retarding folding partition
US3297077 *Sep 10, 1964Jan 10, 1967Sol GarbusFolding door structure
US3314551 *Mar 11, 1965Apr 18, 1967Design And Production IncDisplay device
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3881569 *Sep 6, 1973May 6, 1975Jr William O EvansSoundproofing panel construction
US3934382 *Feb 27, 1974Jan 27, 1976Gartung Clifford WModular sound-absorbing screens
US4047337 *Aug 18, 1976Sep 13, 1977Formac International AbSound insulating panels
US4127196 *Jun 13, 1977Nov 28, 1978Melrose Displays, Inc.Adjustable display fixture
US4213516 *Nov 29, 1978Jul 22, 1980American Seating CompanyAcoustical wall panel
US4443986 *Mar 15, 1982Apr 24, 1984Stow/Davis Furniture CompanyPanel construction system
US5031683 *Apr 30, 1990Jul 16, 1991James MarvyStand for panels
US5048585 *Nov 27, 1989Sep 17, 1991Channel - Kor Systems Inc.Panel device
US5287909 *Dec 9, 1992Feb 22, 1994Steelcase Inc.Freestanding privacy screen
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US7677182May 25, 2005Mar 16, 2010Steelcase Development CorporationTwo person work environment
US8051617Sep 20, 2010Nov 8, 2011Lifetime Products, Inc.Modular enclosure
US8091289Mar 28, 2005Jan 10, 2012Lifetime Products, Inc.Floor for a modular enclosure
US8091605Jan 25, 2007Jan 10, 2012Jim Melhart Piano and Organ CompanyAcoustic panel assembly
US8132372Feb 8, 2010Mar 13, 2012Lifetime Products Inc.System and method for constructing a modular enclosure
US8161711Feb 1, 2010Apr 24, 2012Lifetime Products, Inc.Reinforced plastic panels and structures
US8783328Jan 9, 2012Jul 22, 2014Jim Melhart Paino and Organ CompanyAcoustic panel assembly
Classifications
U.S. Classification181/30, 160/351, 181/287
International ClassificationE04B1/84, E04B1/82, E04B2/74
Cooperative ClassificationE04B2001/8433, E04B1/8227, E04B2001/8452, E04B2/7422
European ClassificationE04B2/74C3D, E04B1/82E
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Dec 12, 1986ASAssignment
Owner name: LEUCADIA, INC., 315 PARK AVENUE SOUTH, NEW YORK, N
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:CONWED CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004655/0504
Effective date: 19861204
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:CONWED CORPORATION, A CORP. OF DE.;REEL/FRAME:004660/0016
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:CONWED CORPORATION, A CORP. OF DE.;REEL/FRAME:4660/16
Owner name: LEUCADIA, INC., A CORP. OF NEW YORK,NEW YORK
Owner name: LEUCADIA, INC., A CORP OF NY.,NEW YORK
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:CONWED CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004655/0504
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:CONWED CORPORATION, A CORP. OF DE.;REEL/FRAME:004660/0016