US 3641723 A
A connector assembly comprises an elongated member having opposed major and minor surfaces. A resilient clip is attached to both of the major surfaces and to one of the minor surfaces and the resilient clips releasably engage with mating surfaces on the structural members which are to be connected together.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Delcroix Feb. 15, 1972 154] STRUCTURAL ASSEMBLY EMPLOYING RESILIENT CLIPS  Inventor: Andre Delcrolx, 5, rue Pasteur, 59 Wattrelos, France  Filed: May 16, 1969  Appl. No.: 825,203
 Foreign Application Priority Data May 17, 1968 France ..19l04  US. Cl ..52/28l, 52/463 [51 I Int. Cl l ..E04b 2/56  Field of Search ..52/397400, 281,
[ 56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Swanson ..52/7 1 8 3,327,440 6/1967 Watkins ..52/582 X 1,398,852 11/1921 Gilbert..... ....287/l89.35
2,352,807 7/1944 Sheldon ..52/586 2,388,297 l1/1945 S1aughter..... ....52/282 3,265,416 8/1966 Downes ....52/238 3,293,812 12/1966 Hammitt ..52/238 Primary Examiner-John E. Murtagh AnameyRobert E. Burns and Emmanuel J. Lobato ABSTRACT A connector assembly comprises an elongated member having opposed major and minor surfaces. A resilient clip is attached to both of the major surfaces and to one of the minor surfaces and the resilient clips releasably engage with mating surfaces on the structural members which are to be connected together.
7 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENTEU FEB 15 m2 fi -J PRIOR ART STRUCTURAL ASSEMBLY EMPLOYING RESILIENT CLIPS The present invention concerns a structural assembly for at least two partitions of which the joints are hidden by joint covers or cushion frames, for example four elements. This assembly is provided by clips.
Until present, to provide this assembly with clips the edges of the partition elements being assembled had a groove provided with a U-shaped section of which the interior had reliefs to enable the attachment by clips or springs. These clips are associated in pairs which assure the joining between two partitions situated in the same plane or approximately in the same plane. The said clips are assembled in a removable and adjustable manner, for example by bolts, and their separation is assured by a spiral spring. Similarly, cushion frames or joint covers have an analogous section to enable them to be fixed by clips or springs associated in the same manner which has been described.
One of the principle disadvantages of this device is that the joints between the clips is difficult to carry out on site, so that much time is spent on the assembly of panels. Additionally, the join between clips, provided by bolts and springs, reduce rigidity.
The present invention sets out to overcome the above-mentioned disadvantages.
According to the invention, the assembly device for partitions and cushion frames with clips is essentially characterized by a central element having a part of the parts necessary for the assembly placed and oriented in a defined manner so that the edges of the partitions, the joint covers or cushion frames have the other part of the parts necessary for the assembly and can easily be fixed in the appropriate position.
The central element can be continuous or discontinuous. It is advantageously constituted by a single piece in synthetic resin but can be a solid or tubular bar on which clips are fixed.
The pieces to assemble comprise grooves of which the sides have reliefs behind which the complementary parts of the central element, which have an elastic play thus enabling them to be attached.
In certain cases, the intermediary parts connect the central element to certain parts to be assembled.
Other particularities and the advantages of the invention will appear from the following description, which describes in a nonlimiting manner several embodiments. This description is complemented by the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a horizontal cross section of a prior art type of structural assembly between three panels of which two are aligned and one is perpendicular to the two others, such as is traditionally provided in the prior art.
FIG. 2 is a generally horizontal transversal cross section of a connector device according to the invention.
FIG. 3 is a horizontal cross section of an assembly similar to that showing FIG. 1 with a connector device according to the invention.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a structural assembly according to the invention.
The traditional connector assembly, shown in FIG. 1, consists of three panels 1, 2, 3, the panels 2 and 3 being coplanar and the panel 1 being perpendicular to the panels 2 and 3, coacting with clips 4 engaging in a groove 6 of the U-shaped section 7 embedded in the edges of the panels 1, 2, 3. The sections 7 are fixed to the panels I, 2, 3 by screws 8. The breadth of the clips 4 corresponds exactly to the interior dimension of the sections 7 and to the distance separating the grooves 6 from this same section 7. The joining between the clips 4, which correspond to the panel 2, to the clips 4, which correspond to the panel 3, takes place by the bolt 9 a threaded screwing of which ensures the coming together of the panels and by a spiral spring 10 which maintains the separation between the two clips 4. The panel 1 is assembled to the two others by a special clip 5 which also engages in the groove 6, by two different sections 7, and which are joined to the clips 4 engaging in the section 7 of the panel I by a screw 11 having its head 12 turned towards the exterior and screwing into the clips 5 in one manner or another. So that the assembly retains its aesthetic aspect, there is provided a joint cover 13 attached to a clip 14 which is itself connected to a clip 5 by a screw 15 similar to the screw 11.
The difficulty of this assembly resides in the fact that it is difi'icult to adjust the screwing of the bolts, such as 9, and the screws, such as 12 and 15. In particular, the assembly of the panels 2 and 3 is very difficult to provide with the clips 4 which is difficult to manipulate and all the more that the joint provided by the bolt 9 and the spring 10 is mobile and it frequently happens that a clip already installed becomes removed. The consequence is large assembly times on the sites and a lack of rigidity of the resulting structural assembly.
In FIG. 2, there is shown a device according to the invention intended to replace the bolts 9, the spiral spring 10, the screws 11, the clips 4 and 5. All that is replaced by an elongated body member comprising a bar 16, having opposed major and minor surface and having the shape of a flatiron with a rectangular cross section. On the large sides or major surfaces are fixed resilient clips 17, the profile of which mates with and corresponds to the interior profile of the sections 7, and on the minor surfaces or edges of which are disposed another clip 17 and a clip 18 on the other hand. The clips 17 and 18 are fixed to the bar by riveting, welding or even by screwing. As seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, each resilient clip has arcuate locking surfaces configured to releasably lock or engage with complementary or mating surfaces on the structural members.
In FIG. 3 there is shown an assembly similar to that of FIG. 1 with the device represented in FIG. 2, so that the reference numerals of FIGS. 1 and 2 are used for the same parts as in FIG. 3.
FIG. 4 shows a device analogous to FIG. 2, but only to assemble two coplanar panels and the juncture of the two assembled panels is covered by a joint cover. For this reason, the device includes an elongated body member 16, two series of clips 17 and two series of clips 18. As clearly seen in FIG. 4, each clip comprises an elongated base section and a pair of arcuate locking surfaces connected to the base section and extending outwardly therefrom. The width of each base section is much smaller than the length of the elongated body member 16 and the base section is connected to the elongated body member such that the longitudinal axis of the base section is transverse to the longitudinal axis of the elongated body member.
To use the connector device according to the invention, it is sufficient to fix it on the edge of one of the panels, which is instantaneously done by means of clips 17 which engage in the groove 6 of the section 7, then to place the other panels or joint covers exactly in the same manner which is naturally carried out just as quickly.
Consequently, it is seen that an appreciable time is saved on the site. Additionally, the rigid joint of the clips 17 and 18 on the parts 16 or 19 assures a rigidity of the assembly of the panels. It must not be forgotten that the structural assembly of the device in a work shop can be performed with a great precision which is retained on the site.
What is claimed is:
1. A structural assembly comprising: a pair of structural members each having thereon means defining arcuate locking surfaces; and a connector assembly releasably connecting together said structural members comprising an elongated body member having opposed major side surfaces and opposed minor side surfaces, and at least one resilient clip connected to each of said major surfaces and having arcuate locking surfaces mating with said locking surfaces on said structural members and in releasable engagement therewith; another structural member having thereon means defining arcuate locking surfaces and positioned transversely to said pair of structural member; and wherein said connector assembly includes another resilient clip connected to one of said minor surfaces releasably connecting said another structural member to said pair of structural members, said another resilient clip having arcuate locking surfaces in releasable engagement with said another locking surfaces on said another structural member.
2. A structural assembly according to claim 1; wherein all said resilient clips are similarly configured.
3. A structural assembly according to claim 1; including means on the other of said opposed minor surfaces for releasably securing a cover plate in position.
4. A structural assembly according to claim 1; wherein said elongated member has a rectangular cross section.