US 3648755 A
A panel door in which the plates are assembled and held in parallel side-by-side positions by hinge connections that, in addition to providing for relative pivotal movement of adjoining panels, operate to hold such panels with adjacent edges thereof in spaced relation. The spaces between adjoining panels are closed by the webs of U-shaped flexible metal strips which have their flanges connected with the adjacent edges of such adjoining panels along the length thereof, and in effect form part of the hinged connection therebetween. Upon relative pivotal movement of adjoining panels during movement of the door between its open and closed positions, stresses due to flexing or bending of the flanges and webs of the U-shaped strips are distributed uniformly over the metal therein. Such U-shaped hinge strips are especially suitable for panel doors in which the individual panels thereof are fabricated from sheet metal.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
llnitnd Mates Patent [151 mmnfififi 'lliiele 5 Mar. M, W72
 CUNNEC'HHNG CUl/ER @Tlllllll' AND 743,086 1/1956 Great Britain ..l60/229 R lllllN GE IFQR IPILIURAIL IPANIEIL DUURS Primary Examiner-J. l(arl Bell  Inventor: Robert IE. 'll'hiele, Murrysville, Pa. A"0mey RObert Leek, Jr.  Assignee: United States Steel Corporation ABSTRACT  Flled: Mm R970 A panel door in which the plates are assembled and held in  App]. No.: 31,956 parallel side-by-side positions by hinge connections that, in
addition to providing for relative pivotal movement of adjoining panels, operate to hold such panels with adjacent edges  lib. ICI JIM/2011, 49/383, 160/40, thereof in Spaced relation The Spaces between adjoining 160/229 panels are closed by the webs of U-shaped flexible metal strips  int. Cl ..lEtl5dl ill/00 which have their flanges connected with the adjacent edges f  Flew of Search 160/40 229, 235, 231; such adjoining panels along the length thereof, and in effect 150 form part of the hinged connection therebetween. Upon relative pivotal movement of adjoining panels during movement  References Cited of the door between its open and closed positions, stresses due to flexing or bending of the flanges and webs of the U-shaped UNITED STATES PA PENIS strips are distributed uniformly over the metal therein. Such 3,302,690 2 1967 H d ..160 201 x ushaped hinge Strips are especially Suitable Panel 1005 Ur l which the individual panels thereof are fabricated from sheet FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS metal- 528,42l 5/1954 Belgium 160/231 '7 Claims, 12 Drawing Figures H 3 HP-l. -3
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PATENTEDMAR 14 1972 SHEET 1 BF 4 INVENTO/P ROBERT E. TH/ELE' PATENTEDMAR 14 I972 SHEET 2 UF 4 ROBERT E. TH/ELE m w w PAIENTEUM'AR 14 I972 SHEET 3 BF 4 INVENTOR ROBERT E. TH/ELE CONNECTING COVER STRIP AND HINGE FOIR lPIJlUNAL PANEL DOORS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to doors constructed of a plurality of side-by-side parallel panels that are mounted for guided movement over trackways between open and closed positions in which, respectively, the door is located in horizontal or vertical planes. The invention relates more particularly to an improved hinge connection which provides for relative pivotal movement of adjoining panels as they travel to and from their closed positions, and is especially effective for doors in which the panels are fabricated from sheet metal.
In panel doors, adjoining panels are connected by hinges so that they may pivot relative to each other during movement of the door between open and closed positions over guide trackways at opposite sides thereof. The guide trackways usually include a vertical section that determines the closed position of the door, a horizontal section at the upper end of the vertical section that determines the open position of the door, and a curved section which connects the vertical and horizontal sections and over which the panels travel between the vertical and horizontal sections. The provision of the curved trackway section requires that the panels pivot relative to each other as they move between their horizontal and vertical positions, and the hinged connections that are required for this relative pivotal movement result in narrow passages or cracks between adjoining panels through which leakage of air or water may take place when the door is in its closed position. When the door is constructed of solid panels, each hinge connection between adjoining panels is designed to move adjacent edges of such panels into abutting engagement when the door moves to its closed position. In metal doors, the panels are fabricated from sheet metal, and a continuous hinge, in the nature of a piano-type hinge, extending over the entire width of the door, is commonly provided between adjoining panels and is designed to prevent leakage of air and water therebetween when the door is in its closed position. Continuous hinges of this type are obviously expensive and have not proved entirely satisfactory in practice.
OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION One of the principal objects of this invention is to provide an improved connection between the adjoining panels of plural panel doors which will be effective to seal the space between the adjacent edges of such panels against leakage of air or water when the door is in its closed position. Although the connection of this invention is especially suited for use in doors in which the panels are fabricated from sheet metal, it will be understood that such connection is equally effective in doors having solid panels which, for example, are fabricated from wood or molded fibers.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In a manner to be described, the improved panel connection of this invention comprises a hinge that operates to hold adjoining panels with the adjacent edges thereof in spaced relation, and a flexible strip that covers and seals the space between such edges. Such flexible metal strip, according to a preferred embodiment of the invention, is fabricated from sheet steel and has a U-shape in transverse section such that its web straddles the space outwardly of the hinge axis, and its flanges extend inwardly on opposite sides of such axis and are connected with the adjacent edges of adjoining panels along the length of each. The specific U-shape of this flexible hinge strip is effective to distribute the stress, which results from flexing or bending movement thereof upon pivotal movement of adjoining panels, in such manner that stress concentrations which would otherwise result in early fatigue and breakage of the metal strip are thereby avoided.
Other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF DRAWINGS In the drawings, there is shown a preferred embodiment of a panel door which is constructed with the hinge and protective connecting strip of this invention. In this showing:
FIG. I is a somewhat diagrammatic elevational view of a panel door constructed in accordance with the principles of this invention, the view being taken in a direction looking at the inside ofa door when it is in its closed position;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along the lines Il-II of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary elevational view, drawn to an enlarged scale, and showing in greater detail the structure of a portion of the door shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional view taken along the line l /IV of FIG. 3',
FIG. 5 is a view taken substantially along the line V-V of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is an exploded and fragmentary perspective view illustrating the manner in which the principles of the invention are applicable to doors in which the panels are fabricated from sheet metal;
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a further modification show ing a different form of sheet metal panel;
FIG. 8 is an enlarged sectional view taken along the lines VIII-VIII of FIG. 7, which further shows insulating panels installed on the sheet metal panels;
FIG. 9 is a view similar to FIG. 8 which shows the manner in which the U-shaped connecting strip of this invention flexes upon pivotal movement of adjoining panels relative to each other;
FIG. 10 is a fragmentary plan view taken in a direction along the line X-X of FIG. Ill and looking at the inside of the door, which shows a further modification of sheet metal panel;
FIG. III is an elevational view of the structure shown in FIG. It); and
FIG. 12 is an end view ofa double panel.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION The drawings show a panel door having a plurality of lights or panels P (FIGS. 1-4, 6-8) which are arranged in the usual side-by-side and parallel positions customarily employed in this type of door as perhaps best shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. Adjoining panels P are connected by hinges in a manner to be described for pivotal movement relative to each other about axis A-A (FIGS. 1,3,4) as the door travels between'open and closed positions. As customary in this type of door, guide rollers R (FIGS. 1,3,4) on opposite sides of the door are provided for guiding its movement over trackways T (FIGS. ll, 3, 4) at opposite sides of the door. Each of the trackways T includes a vertical section I, (FIGS. 24) a horizontal section 2 (FIGS. 1, 2), and a curved section 3 which connects the upper end of the vertical section I with the outer end of the horizontal section I. In the closed position of the door, as shown in FIG. 2, the rollers R are positioned in the vertical trackway sections 1, and the door panels P are in a common vertical plane. In the open position of the door, the rollers R are positioned in the horizontal trackway sections 2, and the door panels P are in a common horizontal plane. As the door travels between its open and closed positions, the rollers R travel over the curved trackway sections 3 and adjoining panels P must pivot about axis A--A relative to each other as they move between their vertically closed and horizontally open positions. The panel door thus far described and its manner of operation are conventional.
In accordance with the principles of this invention, adjoining panels P are connected by hinges H (FIGS. 1, 3) for pivotal movement relative to each other on axis A-A (FIGS. 1, 3, 4) as the guide rollers R, which form part of such hinges in a manner to be described, travel over the curved trackway sections 3. In addition to providing for pivotal movement of adjoining panels P, the hinges H operate to hold such panels F with their adjacent edges 4 (FIGS. 1, S, 7) spaced apart relative to each other and defining an elongated opening or space 5 (FIG. I) therebetween. The space 5 between each adjoining pair of panels P is covered by the U-shaped metal strip S (FIGS. l-3, 5-9) of this invention, which in a manner to be described, forms part of the hinge H joining such panels P. A portion of one of the strips S in FIG. 1 has been broken away to show the edges 4 of adjoining panels P and one of the spaces 5 therebetween. The panels P, incidentally, may be solid, that is fabricated from wood, molded fiber, or other solid materials, as illustrated diagrammatically in FIGS. 1-5, or they may be fabricated from sheet metal, either steel or aluminum, as shown in FIGS. 6-12.
Each of the hinges H, as best shown in FIGS. 3, 5 and 6, comprises laterally offset hinge lugs 6 and 7 on opposite ends of angles 8 (FIGS. 1-6), which preferably are U-shaped steel channels that extend along the length of each end of the panels P. In the case of the solid panels P shown in FIGS. 1-5, the angles or channels 8 serve to protect the ends 9 (FIGS. 3, 7) of the panels P, and, in the case of the sheet metal panels shown in FIGS. 6-12, the channels 8 serve to reinforce the sheet metal panels P against bending. The hinge lugs 6 and 7 are provided with aligned openings 10 (FIGS. 5, 6) in which a stub shaft 11 (FIGS. 3-5) is received and held by lock-washers and retaining rings 12 (FIGS. 3, 4) and 13 (FIG. 3). The guide rollers R are rotatably supported by bearings (not shown) on the outer ends of the stub shafts 11. If desired, the stub shafts 11 may be mounted in the openings 10 by a neoprene sleeve 14 (FIG. 6) which is inserted through the openings 10 in the hinge lugs 6 and 7 before insertion of the stub shafts 11 therein. When assembled in this manner, the shafts 11 function as pivot pins about which the hinge lugs 6 and 7 may pivot about axis AA (FIGS. 1, 3, 4) when the guide rollers R extending therethrough travel over the curved sections 3 of the guide trackways T upon movement of the door between its .opened and closed position.
The cover or hinge strips S are, as indicated above, U- shaped in transverse section, and are fabricated from relatively light-gage, low-carbon spring steel. Each of the strips S, when mounted in position on a door as shown in the drawings, has a web 15 (FIGS. 1-3, 5-9) which forms a portion of the outer surface 16 of the door, as shown in FIG. 5, and extends transversely with respect to the axis of the pivot pins 11. The side flanges 17 (FIGS. 1-3, 5, 7, 9) of each strip S are positioned on opposite sides of the axis of the pivot pins 11 and are spaced equal distances therefrom. Such flanges 17, moreover, extend inwardly from the outer surface 16 of the door, which is formed by the web 15, and have out-turned lips 18 (FIGS. 1, 3, 5-7) which are secured to the inner surface 19 of each of the panels P along the entire length of the edges 4) as best shown in FIG. 1. The flange lips 18 are secured to the panels P in any convenient manner, as by fastening screws not shown in the case of solid panels P, or by welding or crimping when such panels are fabricated from sheet metal. When mounted in this manner, it will be apparent that each of the strips S completely covers the space 5 between adjacent edges 4 of adjoining panels P, and it will also be noted that the flanges 17 will be sprung inwardly toward the axis of the pivot pins 11 when adjoining panels pivot relative to each other during movement between vertical and horizontal positions as best shown in FIG. 2 of the drawings. Due to the symmetric arrangement of the cover strips S with respect to the axis AA of the pivot pins 11, attention is particularly directed to the fact that the strips S in effect serve two additional functions. Initially, it will be noted that the strips S serve to maintain the spacing of the panel edges 4 relative to each other and, secondly, form an essential part of the hinges H during pivotal movement ofthe panels P relative to each other.
ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENTS Although solid panels P constructed from wood or molded fiber board may be used as shown in FIGS. 1-5 and as explained above, the panels P are preferably fabricated from sheet metal, and, more specifically, from sheet steel, as shown in FIGS. 6 et seq. of the drawings. With reference first to FIG. 6, the panels P are fabricated from rectangularly corrugated steel sheets, and each has a reinforcing strip 8 secured to opposite ends thereof. Opposite longitudinal edges 4 of each of the panels P are formed with a flange 20 (FIG. 6), which is secured along its length, as by welding or other suitable connection, to one of the edge flanges 18 of a hinge strip S. The end channels 8 and the rectangular corrugations 21 (FIG. 6) in the panels P render such panels P rigid and prevent their bending during movement of the door between its opened and closed positions. The hinge lugs 6 and 7 are pivoted together about axis AA by the roller stub shafts 11, either with or without the neoprene sleeve 14, as explained above in connection with the showing of FIG. 3. A door constructed and assembled as shown in FIG. 6 will operate in the same manner as one having solid panels P as described above in connection with the showings of FIGS. 1-5.
FIGS. 7-9 illustrate an additional modification of a panel door having panels P that are fabricated from sheet steel. Each of the panels P in this showing has a flat center portion 22 (FIGS. 7-9) of planar shape with box-shaped flanges 23 formed along opposite edges 4 of each panel. Each of the boxshaped flanges 23 is shaped to provide a web 25 (FIGS. 7-9) that is parallel to the center portion 22, and has flanges 26 and 27 (FIGS. 7-9) extending inwardly therefrom, the inner end of each flange 26 being integrally connected along a line 28 with one edge ofa center portion 22. The flange 27 extends inwardly to a point beyond the plane of the center portion 22 and each has an in-turned lip 29 (FIGS. 7-9) for connection with a flange 18 along one edge of a hinge strip S. In this manner, the box-shaped flanges 23, with reference to the flanges 27 and the provision of the lips 29 provide a recess 30 in which opposite ends 31 of an insulating panel 32 are received and held as best shown in FIGS. 8 and 9. A door using the panels shown in FIGS. 7 and 8 is completed by applying end strips 8 (not shown) along the length of each of the ends 9 of the panels P, and hinge connections therebetween for pivotal movement relative to each other about an axis extending centrally of the hinge strips S as explained above.
The enlarged showings of FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate the manner in which the hinge strips S flex or bend about the axis AA of the pivot pins 11 upon pivotal movement of adjoining panels P relative to each other as their respective guide rollers R move over the curved sections 3 of the guide trackways T. In FIG. 9, the relative axial position of one of the'stub shafts 11 has been indicated in broken lines and, with reference to this showing, it will be apparent that the web 15 and the side flanges 17 of each strip S have a uniform curvature about the axis AA of the stub shafts 11. Attention is particularly directed to the fact that the inner ends 33 (FIGS. 8, 9) of each flange 17 have moved toward each other during pivotal movement of the adjoining panels P out ofa common planar, either vertical or horizontal, position, and that as a consequence the web 15 of the hinge strip S has moved closer to the axis of the stub shaft 11. This flexing movement of the hinge strip flanges 17 and the web 15 results in their uniform curvature, as indicated above, about the axis AA of the stub shaft 11, and thus distributes the bending stress due to pivotal movement of the panels P uniformly over the metal in the web 15 and the flanges 17. As a consequence, there is no concentration of bending stresses at the points 33, or the corners 34, where the flanges 17 join with the web 15, and there is thus no point at which such bending stress is concentrated in a manner which would otherwise result in early fatigue and breakage of the metal in the hinge strip S.
In the constructions described above, the hinge strips S are fabricated separately and are subsequently connected to the panels P along the lengths of the opposite edges 4 of the panels P. The hinge strips S, however, may be fabricated as an integral part of each panel P as shown, for example, in FIGS, 10 and 11 of the drawings. With reference to these figures, each of the panels P comprises a flat sheet metal center portion 35 which has inwardly extending flanges 3t) and 37 extending longitudinally along opposite edges thereof. The flange 36 has an in-turned strap or flange 38 (FIGS. Ml, III) at its outer end, and a similar strap or flange 39 (FIGS. It), Illl) extends in an opposite direction from the other flange 37, the flanges 3t and 39 lying in a common plane spaced inwardly from and parallel to the plane of the central portion 35. The flange 39 is in tegrally connected with the flange 17 of a hinge strip S which has a second flange l7, and a connecting web between the flanges 117 as described above. The flange 17 to the left as viewed in FIG. III has an out-turned strap or flange 40 for connection to an adjacent panel P in a manner to be described. As shown in the drawing, the strap 40 is secured to the in-turned lip 38 on the flange 36 of an adjoining panel P. Channels 8 are applied to opposite ends of the panels P as described above and have hinge lugs 6 and '7 on opposite ends thereof as described above. At opposite ends, the flange M) has portions removed to provide notches ll. for the reception of the ends ll of the flanges 43 at one side of the channels ti. Both ends 44 of the flanges 45 at the opposite side of the channels 8 extend beyond the ends d2 of the flanges 43 for engagement with the web ll5 of the strip S to limit pivotal movement of the panels P relative to each other. The channels 8 are secured to the panels P in positions such that the openings III in the overlapping hinge lugs 6 and 7 are aligned for the reception of stub shafts Ill, which extend centrally of the space between the flanges l7 of the hinge strips 3 as described above. Although the hinge strip S is integrally connected with one of the panels P in this showing, it flexes and bends about the axis of the stub shafts III to provide for pivotal movement of the panels P in the same manner as the separate hinge strips S which are attached to the panels P in the other modifications described above.
If desired, a door may be constructed with two panels P integrally connected by a hinge strip S as shown in FIG. 12 of the drawings. This construction eliminates the need for a flange or strip 40 and a connection between it and the flange 38 as shown at the left of the modification illustrated in FIG. 11. Otherwise, the construction of the two panels P shown in FIG. I2 is essentially the same as that shown in FIGS. 10 and 11. To facilitate an understanding of the panel construction shown in FIG. ill, the positions of the stub shaft pivot pins II have been shown in dotted lines. Otherwise, the same numerals have been used in FIG. lit to designate the parts thereof that are similar to those shown in FIGS. lltl and II. For a double panel construction as shown in FIG. 12, the outer edge I of one panel P is provided with a flange as for attachment to a flange 47 along the edge of an adjacent panel. From the showing in FIG. 12, attention is particularly directed to the fact that the invention can be used to provide a door in which all of the panels P, and the hinge strips S between adjoining panels P, are fabricated from a single strip of sheet steel.
While several embodiments of my invention have been shown and described, it will be apparent that other modifications and adaptations of the invention may be made without departing from the scope of the appended claims.
I. In a door having a plurality of side-by-side parallel panels, each having an outer horizontal surface and an inner horizontal surface and movable over guide tracks between open and closed positions, the combination having:
a. pivot means connecting adjoining panels with adjacent edges of said panels, defining a space therebetween and having a pivot axis extending longitudinally and centrally of said space;
. a U-shaped flexible strip disposed in said space and havmg: 1. a web, and 2. sides, each extending through said space from said web and connected at the free end of said side to a portion of said inner horizontal surface of said panel, said U-shaped flexible member being adapted to close said space when said door is in said closed position;
d. said web and said sides having a uniform curvature about said pivot axis when said door moves from said closed position to said open position thereby distributing the bending stress due to the pivotal movement of said panels uniformly over said web and said sides and preventing early fatigue and breakage of said U-shaped hinge strip.
2. A door as defined in claim 1 characterized by said flexible strip being fabricated from sheet steel.
3. A door as defined in claim 11 characterized by the outer edges of said sides being connected with said panels along the entire length of said panels.
d. A door as defined in claim ll characterized by having at least one of said panel edges.
5. A door as defined in claim ll characterized by each of said panels having a reinforcing framework having angle members extending along opposite ends ofsaid panels.
6. A door as defined in claim 5 characterized by said angle members having end portions that respectively project beyond the opposite edges of the panel reinforced thereby, and by said hinge means including means connecting said end portions on adjoining panels for pivotal movement about said axis relative to each other.
7. A door as defined in claim 6 characterized by the said projecting end portions on adjoining panels overlapping and being offset relative to each other.
UNITED STATES PATENT onmcn @ER'MMCATE @l @QRREQHQN Patent NO. 35 489755 Dated March 14, 19172 Inventor(s) Robert E. T111618 It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patentare hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 2, line 53, "(Figs..l" should read (Figs, 2 line 54, "2)" should read 3) same line, after "section 3" insert (Figures 1,2) line 56, "1" should read 2 same line, "Fig.2" should read Fig. l ---5 column 6, line 38, after "edges insert integrally connected to an outer edge of a side Signed and sealed this l9th day of December 197:2.
EDWARD MELETCPERJR. ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents FORM PO-105O (IO-69) USCOMM-DC 60376-P69 a uts. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: was O-366334,