|Publication number||US3635278 A|
|Publication date||Jan 18, 1972|
|Filing date||Jun 16, 1969|
|Priority date||Jun 16, 1969|
|Publication number||US 3635278 A, US 3635278A, US-A-3635278, US3635278 A, US3635278A|
|Inventors||Bocade Emil J|
|Original Assignee||Keeler Brass Co|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (15), Referenced by (10), Classifications (17)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent Bocade 51 .lan. 18, 1972  Assignee: Keeler Brass Company, Grand Rapids,
 Filed: June 16, 1969  Appl.N0.: 833,578
 US. Cl ..160/206, 16/150, 160/199, 160/231  Int. Cl ..E05d 1/02  Field of Search ...160/l99, 206, 231, 231 R, 84, 160/84 H, 84 V  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,215,223 2/1917 Vanderpoel...... 160/231 1,697,277 1/1929 l-loopes 160/231 2,321,507 6/1943 Oberdorfer et al. .....160/84 2,351,656 6/1944 Auten ..160/199 2,829,081 4/1958 Sween 160/231 UX 2,912,049 1l/l959 Kuyper.... ..160/183 X 3,102,582 9/1963 Rudnick ..160/206 3,111,076 11/1963 Martin et a1. ..160/84 X 3,302,690 2/1967 l-lurd ..160/231 X 3,373,791 3/1968 Milani 1 60/199 X 3,394,752 7/1968 McAlamey ..160/206 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 796,595 6/1958 Great Britain ..160/199 1,017,319 l/1966 Great Britain. ..160/199 551,903 1/1958 Canada ....160/199 1,166,702 11/1958 France ..160/206 Primary ExaminerDennis L. Taylor Attorney-Price, Heneveld, Huizenga and Cooper [5 7] ABSTRACT A collapsible barrier formed of inflexible panels joined to living hinges at each end thereof, each living hinge being separated from the hinge of the adjacent panel by a rib, so that each hinge is bent at the the open position not more than 90 from the closed" position or vice versa. The hinge is given a memory by extruding it from plastic along with the panels, while in a position in which the panels are angled 45, approximately, from their closed position. The panels may be either pivoted about pins located at their midpoints or about pins spacing every other pair of adjacent panels. These pins are constrained to move in a linear track.
17 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures I N I PATENTEU JAN 1 8 m2 SHEET 1 UF 3 QN W QNH ATTORNEYS PMEIE MM 8 am SHEET 2 BF 3 INVENTOR EMIL J. BOCADE ATTORNEYS COLLAPSIBLE BARRIER MEMBER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Barrier members have a wide variety of uses, particularly in the furniture industry where they may be utilized as collapsible doors for television cabinets, high-fidelity cabinets, bookcases, and record cabinets.
The hinging of a plurality of panels connected together by living hinges have always provided a problem in that the living hinges by reason of strain tend to deteriorate and break down. By living hinge I mean a flexible connection between two relativelyinflexible objects integral therewith, the connection itself doing the bending. Thus, a living hinge requires a flexible, necked-down portion integrally connected to relatively inflexible members at opposite ends of the necked-down portion, thus eliminating frictional rotational engagement of one of said members within the other. Prior to this invention, collapsible doors comprising panels connected together by living hinges required that the hinges, made out of plastic, bend up to 180. Even in cases not requiring a complete 180 bend, the living hinge pivots more than 90 as is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,441,975. Such a large angle of bend builds up so much strain that the living hinge discolors and cracks thereby making the door of the particular piece of furniture unsightly at best, and inoperative at worst. Attempts to prevent the effects of the strain by using superior materials have been impractical.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a collapsible barrier member with living hinges, such as a collapsible door for a piece of fumiture, constructed in such a way as to reduce the strain on the living hinges between the panels forming the member. Specifically, the invention provides a collapsible barrier member, the member comprising a plurality of panels, living hinges connecting the panels together, means for guiding the opening and closing motion of the panel along a linear path; and means for limiting the bending of the hinges to no more than 90 from a position occupied in the closed position, to a fully open position or vice versa. The guiding means and bending means include means for pivoting the panels about an axis of rotation between the panels during the opening and closing of the member. Each panel is connected to its neighbor by a hinge structure utilizing a pair of livinghinges spaced by a rib.
Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide an integral collapsible barrier member with living hinges which will survive the constant opening and closing thereof without breaking down at the hinges.
It is another object of the invention to provide a collapsible barrier member with living hinges of the above character wherein the hinges are constructed to reduce the strain thereon.
It is a related object of the invention to provide a barrier member of the above character wherein the hinges are formed with memories so as to bias the member tightly against the stops defining the open and closed position.
It is still another object of the invention to provide a collapsible barrier member of the above character wherein the panels are so joined together as to allow a minimum of hinge material to be utilized and still collapse the panels within the smallest volume possible when the member is fully opened.
Other objects and advantages will become apparent upon reference to the following drawings and detailed discussion.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a fragmented elevational view of the front of a collapsible barrier member constructed in accordance with the invention, generally illustrating only the left half thereof;
FIG. 2 is a bottom sectional view taken along the lines Il-II of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the line III-Ill of FIG.
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view similar to FIG. 2 but illustrating the member in its collapsed open position;
FIG. 5 is a plan view of the collapsible barrier member illustrating the shape thereof when it is extruded;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary elevational view similar to FIG. I but illustrating an alternate embodiment;
FIG. 7 is a bottom sectional view taken along the line VII- VII of FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary sectional view similar to FIG. 7 but illustrating the member of FIG. 7 in its completely collapsed open position; and
FIG. 9 is a plan view of the collapsible barrier member of FIG. 7 as shown in the shape in which it is extruded.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The invention relates to a collapsible barrier member such as a door for a furniture cabinet 10 wherein it serves as a closure member, but it is not limited for use on such a cabinet or just on containers but can be utilized as an attractive barrier such as a divider, wall or the like.
In accordance with the invention, the closure member comprises a plurality of panels 20 each of which has at each end thereof the living hinges 22 and 24. To allow the living hinges to bend not more than when the panels move from the fully closed position to the fully open position, the hinges 22 are in turn connected to and separated by ribs 26 which are integrally formed therewith. Thus, as seen in FIG. 4, each panel and each hinge need bend from the rib 26 through an angle alpha which is only 90 rather than if the ribs 26 were not utilized. To guide the opening and the closing of the panels in a linear path, pins 30 and 32 are inserted between the hinges 24 in a pin housing 33, the pin ends 34 being confined in a linear track 36. The pins 30 function as the ribs 26 in requiring each hinge 24 to bend not more than 90". Thus, each panel is connected to its neighbor by a first living hinge and a second living hinge and a relatively inflexible rib 26 or housing 33 positioned between the two; the rib housing and the end portions, at least, of the panels 20 being integral by definition with the hinges.
To allow the operator to grasp the end 38 of the closure member, a handle 40 is attached to the panel 20 adjacent to the end 38 by means of the pin 32, which pin is otherwise identical with the pins 30. Thus, it will be apparent that the pins 30 and 32' move within the track 36 while the panels 20 pivot outwardly and inwardly when the closure member is being opened and closed, respectively.
To insure that the closure member is retained in the closed or opened position, notches 50 and 52 are formed in the track 36, the notch 50 being utilized for the closed position while the notch 52 being utilized for the opened position. To retain the handle 40 in the closed or opened notches, a pin 54 of narrower diameter than the pins 30 and 32 is inserted into the handle in an opening 55 which is out of alignment with the track 36. Because of the flexibility of the hinge 32 adjacent to the handle 40, the handle 40 can bend enough during the opening and closing of the panel to allow the pin 52 to also ride in the track 36. Because pin 52 is considerably narrower than the other pins 30 and 32, and the notch 52 is only slightly larger than pin 52, there is no danger that the others will slip into the notch 52 during the opening thereof.
As indicated in FIG. 4, when the closure member opens, all the panels pivot outwardly rather than some inwardly and some outwardly. This preferential direction of the pivoting is achieved by the manner in which the closure member is manufactured. That is, to accomplish and to insure that there will be biasing of the panels so that they will tend to open when the closure member is shut and will tend to open when the closure member is shut and will tend to close when the closure member is open, the entire closure member comprising the panels 20, the hinges 22 and 24, the ribs 26, the housings 33, and the handle 40 are extruded from a plastic in the configuration indicated in FIG. 5. That is, extrusion of the panels at an angle beta" from the position occupied when the panels are closed, which angle beta" is different from the 90 angle alpha, insures that the hinges will have a memory which will bias them when out of the beta angle orientation so that they tend to return to the beta" angle orientation. The angle beta as shown in FIG. 5 is approximately 45, but any angle which is significantly different from 90 can be utilized.
To make the closure member attractive, the sides 60 of the panels 20 can be covered with a vinyl or other material which has thereon an artificial wood grain such as shown in FIG. 1.
To insure that the panels 20 are substantially inflexible, the side 64 thereof is extruded with vertical ribs 66 spaced therealong. Since these ribs are on the back side of the panels, they are not normally seen or exposed to view by persons utilizing the furniture 10.
FIGS. 6 thru 9 disclose an alternate embodiment of the invention wherein the panels and the living hinges are formed differently so as to open and close in a slightly different manner. Parts which are similar to those described in the previous embodiment bear the same reference numerals to which the distinguishing suffix a has been added. Thus, FIG. 6 illustrates in a furniture piece 100 a closure member comprising panels 200 which, except for the end panels have at each end thereof living hinges 22a. to allow the hinges 22a to bend through an angle alpha comprising only 90, the hinges are separated from each other again by a rib 26a (FIG. 8).
Unlike the previous embodiment, the pins 30a which cause the panels to move in a linear path are inserted in the midpoint of the panels 20a rather than in a housing between ribs 24 which occupies an alternate position with the ribs. Because of the midpoint location of the pins 30a, the panels 20a thus pivot a portion inwardly and a portion outwardly when the closure member is opened, the pivoting occurring around the rotatably mounted pin 30a. It will be readily apparent that because of this, twice the number of pins 30a are needed for the same number of panels as are needed in the previous embodiment.
Still another difference in this embodiment is the shape of the panels 20a, the panels having flanges 70 and 72 which project inwardly from the panels when the closure member is closed, thus giving the appearance of a smooth front of the closure member. To ensure that a minimum amount of hinge material 22a is needed to collapse the panel members, the hinges 22a attached to the flanges 70 differently from the manner in which the hinges 22a attach to the flanges 72. That is, the hinges 22a attach to the flanges 70 at the point where the flanges 70 join the panels 20a, while the joining of the hinges 22a to the flanges 72 occurs at the outermost edge of those flanges. It is by means of this alternating connection of the hinges 220 that the minimum amount of hinge material need be utilized and still have the panels collapse into the smallest volume possible. (See FIG. 8.)
As in the previous embodiment, the panels 20a, hinges 22a, ribs 26a and handle 40a are extruded from a plastic with the panels oriented at an angle "beta from the position occupied when closed, which angle beta is significantly different from the angle alpha through which the panel bends from the aligned position when fully opened. The angle beta again can be approximately 45 or any other angle significantly different from 90, the angle insuring that the hinges 22a will have the memory necessary to bias the closure member toward the open position when closed and toward the closed position when opened.
Also as in the previous embodiment, the handle 40 utilizes a pin 54:: held in opening 55a and the track 36a utilizes notches 50a and 52a for holding the pin 54a with the closure member fully closed and fully opened, respectively. The front 600 of the panels 20a may utilize as in the previous embodiment a vinyl material or other fabric presenting an artificial wood grain.
It will be apparent that modifications are possible within the scope of the preceding disclosure. For example, the shape of the ribs 22 and 22a need not have circular and square crossscctional shapes as shown. but can be any shape desired. The
entire closure member need not be extruded from plastic but can be extruded from any material which will have a memory tending to return the hinges to the orientation in which they occupied when extruded.
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
1. An integral rolled collapsible member, said member comprising a plurality of panels integral molded, living hinge means integral therewith and connecting adjacent pairs of said panels together, means for guiding the opening and closing motion of said panels along a linear path; and means for limiting the bending of said living hinge means to not more than when said panels are moved from a position occupied in the closed position to a fully open position or vice versa, including a living hinge construction having a first living hinge and a second living hinge positioned on opposite sides of an intermediate substantially inflexible member, each said hinge comprising a flexible, necked-down integral portion connecting said member to a different said two adjacent panels.
2. The member as defined in claim 1 wherein said intermediate member comprises a rib positioned between adjacent panels, said hinges joining each end of each such panel to one of said ribs.
3. The member as defined in claim 2 wherein said guiding means includes pins confined to move linearly, said pins being mounted in several of said ribs and alternating in position with others of said ribs.
4. The member as defined in claim 2 wherein said guiding means includes a pin rotatably mounted at the midpoint of each of said panels, said pins being constrained by said guiding means to move in a linear path only; and said rib is positioned between the ends of every mutually adjacent pair of panels and is integrally connected thereto by said hinges.
5. The member as defined in claim 4 wherein the point on said pairs of panels at which said rib is joined alternates from one pair to the next.
6. The member as defined in claim 1 wherein said hinges are integral with said panels, said hinges and panels all being integrally formed from plastic.
7. The member as defined in claim 1 wherein said hinges are integral with said panels, said hinges and panels being formed from plastic whereby said hinges have a memory created by the angles occupied by said panels in the forming thereof, said memory being sufficient to urge said member toward an open position when fully closed and to urge said member toward a closed position when fully opened.
8. The member as defined in claim 7 wherein said guiding means includes a track, said track having therein means for restraining said member against said urging by said memory 9. The member as defined in claim 8 wherein said pivoting means includes a plurality of pins; and said restraining means includes notches in said track, said notches having a width large enough to admit only one of said pins.
10. The member as defined in claim 7 wherein said angle is approximately 45 from the position the panels occupy in the closed position.
11. The member as defined in claim 6 wherein said guiding means includes a rib positioned between the ends of at least several mutually adjacent pairs of panels, said hinges joining each end of each said panels to one of said ribs.
12. The member as defined in claim 11 wherein said guiding means includes pins confined to move linearly, said pins being mounted in several of said ribs and alternating in position with others of said ribs.
13. The member as defined in claim 16 wherein said ribs are formed integrally with said hinges adjacent thereto.
14. The member as defined in claim 1 wherein said panels are coaligned when said member is fully closed.
15. The member as defined in claim 1 wherein said panels are substantially inflexible, one side of each of said panels including means for stiffening the same.
16. The member as defined in claim 15 wherein said stiffening means includes vertical ribs spaced along each said panel.
17. The member as defined in claim wherein said stiffening means is located opposite the side of said panel normally exposed.
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|U.S. Classification||160/206, 160/199, 160/231.2, 16/225|
|International Classification||E06B3/50, E06B3/48, E06B3/32, A47B81/00, A47B81/06|
|Cooperative Classification||A47B81/06, E06B3/482, E06B3/5045, E06B3/481|
|European Classification||A47B81/06, E06B3/48B, E06B3/50F, E06B3/48B2|