US 3592493 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Inventor Alan Charles Goose Sheffield, England Appl. No. 828,242
Filed May 27, 1969 Patented July 13, 1971 Assignee Aluminum Systems Limited Yorkshire, England Priority May 30, 1968 Great Britain 25,978/68 CONSTRUCTIONAL SYSTEMS 6 Claims, 3 Drawing Figs.
[1.8. CI 52/656, 287/54 A Int. Cl Fl6b 3/00 FieldofSearch 287/189.36
F, 189.36 H, 189.36 C,l89.36, 189.35, 54 A, 54 B, 54 C; 52/656; 160/381  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,809,726 10/1957 Farquhar et a1. 287/189.36F 3,061,055 10/1962 Nijhuis 287/189.36 H 3,174,590 3/1965 Haker v 1 t .,287/189.36 F X 3,196,995 7/1965 Wilson etal. 287/189.36 F 3,285,643 11/1966 Ferguson 287/189.36 F 3,485,519 12/1969 Chiu 287/189.36 X
Primary Examiner Reinaldo P. Machado Assistant Examiner-Wayne L. Shedd Attorney-McGlew and Toren ABSTRACT: Connection members for constructional systems, based on extrusions having at least one channel formation in at least one of the sides thereof, are characterized by having a base member which fits into the channel formation of one extrusion and at least one side member which fits into the channel formation of another extrusion to be connected to the first, securement of the connection member to join the extrusions to draw them together.
CONSTRUCTIONAL SYSTEMS This invention relates to connection members for use in conjunction with constructional systems of the kind using standard extrusions or sections of aluminum or other light metals, plastics materials or the like. Constructional systems of this general kind advantageously use lengths of a relatively small number of related sections of different sizes; for instance, a system can usefully employ a first section which is square in cross section and so has a 1 unit side, together with a second section which is rectangular, having sides which are 1 unit by 2 units and a third section which is square, having sides which are 2 units by 2 units.
One such constructional system is based upon the use of integral aluminum sections, each comprising inner webs forming an inner rectangle or core, intermediate webs extending outwardly from at least the corners of the core and outer webs carried by the intermediate webs and defining at least the corner portions of an outer rectangle concentric with the inner rectangle, a longitudinal slot between provided being the corners of a least one side of the outer rectangle, this slot giving access to a channel formation along the section.
The intermediate webs may extend diagonally out from the corners of a square or rectangular inner core and also perpendicularly out from the center lines of the inner core or rectangle; also, the intermediate webs can extend out in other positions or angles, e.g. by extending the inner webs and defining another square or rectangular core in each corner of the section. Many other shapes of intermediate web can also be used and, in general, they have only to join the inner and outer rectangles together without obstructing the channel formation to which the slot gives access.
Sections of this kind allow an extremely wide variety of frameworks to be constructed by forming joints between lengths of the sections; it is an advantage of the constructional systems described that two-dimensional and three-dimensional frameworks can be readily made using a few standard lengths of the sections, without much, or in many cases any, cutting being required.
It is an object of this invention to provide a connection member for use with extruded sections of the kind described, whereby rigid joints can be simply and quickly made by making use of the channel formations in the lengths of extruded sections making up the joint. It will be understood that a channel formation, in this context, essentially has a greater width than the slot in the face of the extruded section which gives access to such channel formation.
According to the invention, a connection member for making joints between separate lengths of extruded sections, each having at least one channel formation along one face thereof, is characterized in that it comprises a base member which can be passed into the end of a channel formation in one section and secured in place therein by securing means actuated through the slot in the section giving access to the channel formation and, carried by the base member, at least one side member which can be passed into the end ofa channel formation in the other section and secured in place therein by securing means actuated through the slot in such other section giving access to the channel formation therein, actuating of the securing means in the side member serving to draw or urge the second section into a rigid fixed relationship with the first section.
Preferably, the connection member is for use with square or rectangular sections having cross sections whose side dimensions are a unit distance or simple integral multiples thereof and with a slot located in each side or in each unit distance of a side so that the slots, and thus the channel formations they give access to, are arranged in opposed pairs; the connection member preferably consists of a base member arranged to slide sideways into a channel formation of one section, carrying a pair of side members, arranged to enter the ends of an opposed pair ofchannel formations of the other section.
Referring to the accompanying drawing, various forms of the connections member and joints made with it are illustrated; in the drawings:
FIG. 1 shows a connection member in perspective view;
FIG. 2 shows a right-angle joint between two sections, shown in cross section, formed using the connection member of FIG. I; and
FIG. 3 shows in perspective view the formation of a joint between two lengths of l 2 aluminum section, one of which carries other connection members to illustrate the formation ofother joints.
Referring to FIG. 1, the connecting member shown has a base 10 ofrectangular cross section, which is an easy sliding fit in a channel formation of an aluminum section (not shown in FIG. 1). At its center, this base 10 has a hole housing a set screw 12 for tightening against the base of the channel formation in the aluminum section. At each end, the base 10 carries a pair of spaced parallel side limbs 14 having rectangular notches 16 where they join the base 10, for reception of the edges of outer webs of a section, as best shown in the other drawings. The side limbs 14 have tapered ends, as shown at 18, for easier insertion into the channel formations of a section. The side limbs 14 accommodate inclined threaded apertures containing pointed-end grub screws 20 which are posi tioned so as to form an angle of about 60 relative to the adjacent face of the base 10.
Use of the connecting member of FIG. 1 is illustrated in FIG. 2. The base 10 is shown inserted into an aluminum section 22, with the set screw 12 tightened against one ofits inner webs, 24, and the notches 16 receiving the outer webs, one of which is shown at 26. The side limbs 14 have been inserted in two opposite channel formations of another aluminum section 28. In order to provide adequate purchase for the inclined screws 20, the relevant places in. the inner webs 30 of the section 28 may be notched or indented before assembly, as shown at 32, for instance by means ofa manual indenting tool. Alternatively, a knurled screw, e.g. of the Allen" type is used, as the knurled portion firmly grips the metal which it is tightened against. Access to the set screw 12 is obtained through the slot 34 leading to the channel formation in the section 12 receiving the connection member by its base 10; another slot in the section 22 is shown at 35; access to the inclined screws 20 is obtained via the corresponding slots 36 of the section 28 and, owing to their inclined positions, on being tightened, they tend to draw the sections 22 and 28 together, forming a very accurate and rigid joint.
Referring to FIG. 3, this shows the formation of a joint between two lengths of aluminum section, shown for purposes of illustration as an upright length of 1X2 section, at 100, and a horizontal length of 1X2 section, at 101, the latter being disposed with its two-unit sides vertical and being prepared to make abutting contact with a one-unit side or the section 100. Such a joint would be required for instance at the corner of a doorframe made from 1X2 unit material.
FIG. 3 shows that the section ,100 is an extrusion having opposed pairs of shorter webs 102 and longer webs 103 forming a rectangular inner core, perpendicular intermediate webs 104 projecting normally from the centerlines of the longer webs 103, angled intermediate webs 105 projecting diagonally from the junction lines of the webs 102 with the webs 103, flat outer webs 106 on the webs 104 and angled webs 107 on the webs 105, the outer webs 106 and 107 being organized to form an outer rectangle concentric with the inner core; the gaps between the webs 106 and.107 produce slots 108 in the outer rectangle, there being one slot 108 in the narrower oneunit faces of the section and two slots 108 in the wider twounit faces of the section. These slots 108 give access to channel formations of symmetrical or asymmetrical trapezium shape in cross section which channel formations are wider than the slots 108, so that a member slid into the end of a channel formation can engage under the webs at either side of the slot 108. For reinforcing purposes, the junctions of the diagonal webs 105 with the corners of the inner rectangular core are enlarged to provide ribs 109 having side surfaces 110 perpendicular to the bases of the channel formations. These side surfaces 110 have the further purpose of providing lateral restraint of connection members located in the channel formations, in the forming ofjoints, as explained below; whereas a side surface 110 is thus formed at either side of a channel formation associated with a one-unit face of a section, such a side surface 110 is formed only at one side ofa channel formation in a twounit face of a section and another side surface can be readily formed at the other side by appropriately providing a rib in the extrusion, as illustrated at 111 in FIG. 3.
A connection member 112 is shown located in the slot 108 in the one-unit face of the section 100. This connection member 112 is generally similar to that shown in FIG. I, having a base 113 secured in the channel formation by a screw 114 tightened by means of e.g. a screwdriver passed through the slot 108; if the screw 114 has a socketed head instead of a slotted one, a suitable key is used to tighten it; at spaced points, this base 113 carries a pair of side members 115 each having an angled screw 116 located in a tapped bore therein, but these side members 115 are spaced widely so as to be accommodated in an opposed pair of channel formations in the one-unit faces of the l 2 unit section 101. When located in place by moving the section 101 into abutment with the section 100 into the position shown in chain'dotted lines, the angled screws 115 can be tightened by use of a tool passed through the corresponding slots in the section 101. The connection member 112 may have a longer base than the distance between the side members 115, having an extension such as shown at 117, receiving another screw 118 if required, provided at one or both ends. It will be appreciated that if this ex tension 117 is not present it is possible for the connection member to move slightly within the channel formation, by pivoting about the single screw usually provided, such as the screw 12 (FIG. 1) or 114 (FIG. 3). This could allow joints to be made which were satisfactorily rigid, but which did not have the respective sections properly aligned. To prevent this, the ribs 109 and (if required) 111 are provided and their side surfaces, such as 110, closely fit the connection member bases or 113 and prevent undesirable movement of the connection members, such as could occur when the screw 12 or 114 was being tightened.
Formation of a joint using one of the slots 108 in the twounit face of the section 100 is shown in FIG. 3, where a connection member 120, similar to that shown in FIG. 1, is illustrated, prior to attachment of e.g. a 1X! section to it. FIG. 3 also illustrates the formation of angled joints using angled connection members, such as shown at 121 in the other slot 108 in the same two-unit face of the section 100. This connection member 121 is generally similar to those already described, except that its side limbs 122 are angled e.g. at 45 or 60 relative to its base (not shown) and also relative to the two-unit face of the section 100. When another section is attached to the side limbs 122, it extends at the respective angle to the plane ofthe two-unit face of the section 100. The abutting end of this other section is cut at a corresponding angle, as indicated by broken lines in FIG. 3. Angled joints can also be made by using connection members having side limbs which are bent in other ways from that shown, the only requirement being that such side limbs shall be parallel and spaced so as to be receivable in an opposed pair of channel formations in a section.
It will be readily appreciated that most joints are at right-angles and so require no cutting of the perpendicular ends of prepared stock sections. It will also be seen that the connection member is entirely housed within the channel formations of the sections which itjoins together.
l. A connection member, for making joints between separate lengths of extruded sections each having at least one channel formation extending along at least one face thereof, with each channel formation having a predetermined cross section and includin a respective slot, defined by facing webs of the respective c anne formation, extending along the respective channel formation and providing access thereinto; said connection member comprising in combination a base member constructed to be inserted into the end of the first channel formation in a first extruded section for unrestricted movement along said first channel formation to any preselected position therealong; first securing means operatively associated with said base member and actuated through a slot in said first channel formation for securing said base member at a preselected position along said first channel formation; at least one side member carried by said base member and extending outwardly therefrom through the slot of said first channel formation, each side member being arranged to engage into the end ofa second channel formation in asecond extruded section; and second securing means operatively associated with each side member and actuated through the slot in said second channel formation, said second securing means being operable, on actuation, both to secure the associated side member in said second extruded section and to draw said second extruded section into a rigid fixed relationship with said first extruded section.
2. A connection member, as claimed in claim 1, in which said base member carries a longitudinally spaced pair of said side members.
3. A connection member, as claimed in claim 1, in which each second securing means comprises an inclined tapped hole in the associated side member; and a respective screw threaded into each hole.
4. A connection member, as claimed in claim 1, in which each side member has a tapered free end.
5. A connection member, as claimed in claim 2, in which said base member extends longitudinally beyond said side members.
6. A connection member, as claimed in claim 1, in which each side member, at its junction with said l;;;:? member, is formed with notches for the reception of said webs.