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Publication numberUS3650080 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 21, 1972
Filing dateSep 19, 1969
Priority dateSep 19, 1969
Publication numberUS 3650080 A, US 3650080A, US-A-3650080, US3650080 A, US3650080A
InventorsLeale Frank J Sr
Original AssigneeLeale Frank J Sr
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Panel structure and assembly
US 3650080 A
Abstract
The edges of wall panels are designed to interlock when placed side by side. Projections upon the panels cooperate to hold either a spline, a bridging batten, or both. The unique edge structure consequently provides for concealment of the devices which fasten the panel to the wall and permit the addition of splines or bridging battens as decorative and architectural features.
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United States Patent Leale, Sr.

[451 Mar. 21, 1972 [54] PANEL STRUCTURE AND ASSEMBLY [72] Inventor: Frank J. Leale, Sr., 52 West Avenue, Malveme, N.Y. 11565 [22] Filed: Sept. 19, 1969 211 App1.No.: 859,301

3,374,590 3/1968 Kessler ..52/312 3,462,900 8/1969 Morrissey .....52/3l2 2,930,459 3/1960 Moser ..52/717 3,111,205 11/1963 Gresham... .....52/588 3,133,322 5/1964 Doug1as..... .....52/586 3,368,315 2/1968 Thurnau ..52/588 Primary Examiner-Henry C. Sutherland Assistant Examiner-Robert A. Schwartz Attorney-Robert R. Strack and James A. Eisenman ABSTRACT The edges of wall panels are designed to interlock when placed side by side. Projections upon the panels cooperate to hold either a spline, a bridging batten, or both. The unique edge structure consequently provides for concealment of the devices which fasten the panel to the wall and permit the addition of splines or bridging battens as decorative and architectural features.

7 Claims, 17 Drawing Figures PANEL STRUCTURE AND ASSEMBLY FIELD or THE INVENTION This invention is concerned with paneling materials and their assembly. More particularly, it is concerned with both interior and exterior paneling of the vinyl or metallic sheet type which is provided in preformed panels or strips.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART With the advent of new structural materials and the increased ability to fabricate existing materials, preformed panels have become available as facing members for use in both interior and exterior wall covering. To date, most of these new materials, such as vinyl and aluminum siding, have been formed as simulations of wood. Thus, aluminum and vinyl siding of the bevelled type and vinyl siding with a V- groove joint have been provided. In the utilization of such prefabricated panels for siding, it'is essential that adjacent panels be interlocked or engaged in order to provide a tight joint and also in order to provide means for concealing the fastening devices which secure these panels to the supporting surface.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is concerned with the fabrication of the edges of the panels in order to effect an interlock between adjacent panels, and also to provide means for securing a spline, a decorative batten, or both, over the joints formed.

It has been found that heretofore, the new structural materials available to the craftsman have not been utilized to their full extent. In other words, the characteristics of these materials have been submerged in the desire to merely simulate preexisting wooden structures. Utilizing the materials in this fashion, restricts the designer to the extremely onerous burden caused by the relatively restrictive characteristics of wood. On the other hand, metal sheathing and vinyl paneling offer a potential for extreme contour control and, in addition, enable one to extrude or preform panels so that they can be much more easily installed in any desired position.

The strength and durability of vinyl, for example, makes possible the fabrication of relatively thin sheet panels with extruded edges including integral parallel channels and projections that are not possible with wood panels. Selectively designed vinyl panels may include features heretofore unavailable, which features can make installation of the panels easier than that of wood paneling and simultaneously enhance their appearance.

From another aspect, one must recognize the effects of having the permanence of the finish that is available with vinyl materials, and the like. This characteristic has both positive and negative features. From one standpoint, such paneling offers the threat of an unchangeable decorative element. Although color, grain, and contour can be selectively provided, it is difficult and economically unfeasible to change these features after installation. On the other hand, wood may be repainted many times to suit the changing modes of a decorator. The present invention is concerned with providing means for possible changes in design and coloring of permanent finish panel installations.

While providing this potential for color and contour variation in permanent finish paneling, the invention offers the means for doing this with less effort and cost than comparable wood finished installations. Distinctively colored stripes and mouldings may be provided without the need for careful painting and repainting. In addition, means are provided for attaching pictures and other decorations to the paneling without damaging or puncturing its surface.

An object of the invention is to provide an improved panel structure enabling convenient installation of panels as decorative and protective wall coverings.

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved panel structure whereby adjacent panels are interlocked and conceal the means of the securing these panels to a support structure.

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved panel structure adaptable to the mounting of decorative strips or battens which can be removed at will.

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved panel structure adaptable to the insertion of splines, battens, or both without the need for special tools.

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved panel structure with integral edge jointing means which perform a decorative function and which also serve as mounting means for splines, battens, and other elements.

Another object of the invention is to provide a moulding compatible with the integral joints of the invention.

In accordance with one aspect of the invention, there is provided a panel having a face portion and first and second longitudinal edges. This panel is adapted for use in side by side assembly with similar panels of comparable construction. The panel structure comprises a first projection of predetermined length extending from one of said edges in a direction substantially parallel to the face portion. A second projection extends from a position on said face portion in a direction toward the second edge and in a plane substantially parallel to the face portion. Means for securing the projections against lateral displacement are provided when a pair of panels are placed with the first and second edges thereof adjacent to each other.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, third and fourth projections extend orthogonally outward from the face portion at the root of the first and second projections respectively. These third and fourth projections include mounting means for securing longitudinal splines therebetween or longitudinal battens thereover. The joint formed by the edges of these panels thus exhibits either a deep shadow effect, a bridged effect, or other effects in accordance with the surface contours and configurations of the spline and/or batten.

A more complete appreciation of the objects and features of this invention will be available following a consideration of the detailed description which is made in conjunction with the attached drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an elevation of a typical wall having paneling in accordance with the invention mounted thereon;

FIG. 2 is a top view of a panel in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3 is an isometric view of the top portion of the joint between a pair of panels exhibiting the features of the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a top view of the joint between a pair of panels having the structure of the embodiment shown in FIG. 2, and including a batten mounted thereon;

FIG. 5 is a top view of a batten illustrating the manner in which it may be distorted in order to apply and remove it from a panel joint;

FIGS. 6A through 6E illustrate further configurations for battens of the nature contemplated;

FIG. 7 is an isometric view of a joint formed with panels from a second embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 8 is a top view of the joint shown in FIG. 7, illustrating the placement of a spline;

FIGS. 9A-9C show typical splines that may be employed with the invention;

FIG. 10 is an exploded view of the joint between panels made in accordance with the second illustrative embodiment, showing the two panel edges, a spline, and a batten; and

FIG. 11 is a top view of a moulding designed to accommodate a spline and bridging batten and having the appearance of an assembled joint.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIG. 1 illustrates a plurality of vertical panels 10 arranged side by side with joints 11 between each panel. The joints 11 may produce a shadow effect. On the other hand; these joints may contain projecting bridging battens of the nature described hereinafter. In either case, the joints may be of a contrasting or complementary color from that of the panels themselves. Horizontally disposed panels 12 are illustrated above and below a window 14. The joints between these panels are designated 13 and, as in the case of their vertical counterparts, these joints may produce shadow effects or have projecting battens thereover. Here too, the panels and joints may provide contrasting or complementary colors.

It should be appreciated that the material of which the panels are made is not specifically germane to the invention. The material should be easily fabricated in the shape and configuration taught hereinafter. Thus, it is found particularly convenient to use vinyl panels which may be extruded with the characteristics shown. On the other hand, it is also convenient to use sheet metal such as aluminum. Other materials may also be used and may partake of the advantages made available by the structure of this invention.

A first embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIGS. 2, 3 ad 4. FIG. 2 is a top view of a panel. In order to give the panel simulated depth, ribs 24 project from the rear portion thereof. In some instances, flat panels or core panels may be used with similar effect. The face 21 is substantially flat and of planar configuration. A typical panel might have a width of eight inches and an indeterminant length in accordance with the position in which it is to be mounted. As will be immediately appreciated from FIG. 1, for example, it may be convenient to make the panels of varying width and the length may be determined by the joining assembly or it may be established at some convenient shipping length. Considering the left hand edge 22 of the panel illustrated in FIG. 2, it will be seen to include a projecting element 25 which extends in a plane parallel to the face 21 and beyond the edge 22. At the end of projection 25, a raised shoulder 26 is provided. This raised shoulder is adapted for engagement with a complemen tary shoulder 31 and projection 30 that appears on the opposite longitudinal edge of the panel. An orthogonal projection 27 also extends from face 21 at the edge 22. This projection 27 includes a concave portion 28 facing the center of the panel. This concave portion, as described hereinafter, performs the function of securing a bridging element in certain assemblies.

With reference to the right hand edge of panel 20, it will be noted that at some distance in from the edge 23 an orthogonal projection 32 is provided. A further projection 31 extends from projection 32 toward the edge in a plane parallel to the face 21. On the end of projection 30, the shoulder 31 is presented. A concave contour 33 is provided on the projection 32 and this is adapted for cooperation with the similar concave portion 28 on the other edge of a corresponding panel to support a bridging batten.

FIGS 3 and 4 illustrate that when panels are assembled adjacent to one another, the projections 25 and 30 engage in order to secure the panels against lateral displacement. In the drawings the convention has been adopted, that a second panel having similar configuration to a first panel in a Figure, has the various elements therein depicted by primed numerals.

When panels are adjacently disposed as shown in FIG. 3, elements 27 and 32 project orthogonally from the faces of the panels and in so doing, lie parallel to one another. As a result of the shielding effect of element 25 any fastening device that may be used to secure the right hand edge of a panel to the wall will be concealed. Furthermore, the left hand edge of the adjacent panel is securely interlocked at shoulders 26, 31, and therefore no specific fastening of this panel to the wall is required. The result is a completely shielded joint. In addition, the orthogonal projections, 27' and 32, create a shadow effect which may be decoratively employed in certain assemblies.

The concave portions 28' and 33 appearing on the external surfaces of projections 27' and 32 are provided in order to secure a batten or bridging cap. FIG 4 illustrates such a bridging cap 40 having an indented face 41 and side portions 42, 44. On the internal portions of side legs 42 and 44, convex projections 43 and 45, respectively, are provided. These projections are positioned upon the cap 40 in order to engage the concave portions 33, 28', of the projections from the panel edges. The batten may be of a length equal to the panel length, or it may be provided in shorter pieces to achieve decorative and/or functional effects.

FIG. 5 illustrates the batten 40 removed from the panel joint. It is contemplated that such a batten will be of flexible material such that compression at points 48 and 49 will result in an outward flexure at the rear ends 46, 47, of the batten. The dotted lines depict this type of flexure. As a result of this flexibility and resilience, battens of different colors and designs may be applied and removed at will.

It is contemplated, as noted above, that the battens may be of a contrasting or complementary color as compared with the basic color of the panel. Thus, the provision of removable battens makes possible variation in decoration and color throughout the life of an installation. This is a particularly important feature of the invention in view of the fact that the materials contemplated do not require any painting or surface covering. In fact, it is to be expected that the materials of the panel will be self-colored. Thus, the ability to insert relatively cheaply and with no special tools, strips or battens of any desired color, greatly enhances the esthetic effect potential of paneling in accordance with the invention.

FIGS. 6A-6E illustrate a number of possible configurations for typical battens of the type hereinabove described. The batten 50 in FIG. 6A has a channel 51 in the face thereof. The batten 60 in FIG. 613 has a corrugated effect as the result of grooves 61 in the face thereof. The batten 70 in FIG. 6C has a flat face 71 and might thereby provide a column-like effect. The batten is FIG. 6D has obliquely extending end walls 88, 89, from a flat face 87. This makes it possible for reentrant portions 81 and 84 to support perpendicular arms 82 and 85 which in turn have the necessary convex projections 83, 86, for engagement with the concave securing portions of the panel edge projections. FIG. 6E illustrates a further possible batten arrangement having projection 91 on the face thereof and short side portions with merely convex portions 92 and 93 for engagement with the projections on the panel.

It will be immediately appreciated that innumerable configurations of moulding or batten strips may be provided for mounting upon the panel edge projections. These strips are not restricted in configuration, other than that they provide cooperating securing means for engagement with the projections. The shape and coloring of the batten provide the important versatility that the present inventive pane] assembly seeks.

FIGS. 7-10 illustrate a second embodiment of the invention. In this embodiment, the projections 120 and 110' on opposing edges of a panel are of somewhat more substantial nature than those on the first embodiment. With the embodiment shown in FIGS. 710, it is possible to insert a spline covering the joints between panels and it is also possible to apply a bridging batten. These alternatives provide a number of conventionally recognized decorative effects. Thus, without either a spline or batten, one has a deep shadow between panels and nevertheless the means of fastening the panels to the walls is completely concealed. With a spline in position, one has a shallow shadow effect, the possibility of contrasting or complementary colors, and the possibility of an interesting surface configuration. With the batten mounted, one has a projection with the possibility of complementary the spline in position so that alternatives are available to the decorator with extreme ease of installation.

With reference particularly to FIG. 8, it may be seen that the right hand edge of a panel having face may have a rearward projection 10] in order to give the panel the semblance of depth. The right hand edge 102 projects some distance in the plane of the face itself. In addition, an aperture 103 is provided in relatively close proximity to the right hand edge in order to permit the application of wall fastening devices 109, such as nails. The left hand edge of a panel may also have a rearward projection 101, and includes a cavity 104' adapted to receive the projection 102 of a mating right hand edge. It will be noted that cavity 104 effects an interlock with the projection 102 that secures the left hand edge of the panel against movement away from the wall or other supporting structure. The outer wall of cavity 104' projects beyond the left hand edge as element 105'. Element 105 projects in a substantially parallel plane to the face 100 and has an indentation 106 in the area of aperture 103. Indentation 106' is provided in order to accommodate the head 108 of the fastening means used to secure the right hand edge of the panel to the wall. At the end of projection 105, an expanded portion 107 is provided which fits within cavity 125 in the projection 120 on the right hand edge of the panel. The result of this projection 107' is to hamper lateral displacement of the panel when the shoulder of this projection engages with the head 108 of any fastening device.

Attention is now directed to the projection 110 on the left hand edge of the panel shown in FIGS. 7-10. This projection 110 includes an outwardly extending inner wall having a V- groove 111 therein. The face of projection 110 is flat. The portion of the projection which faces thecomplementary projection on the other edge of an adjacent panel includes a channel 113' having substantially parallel side walls.

The corresponding projection on the right hand edge of the panel includes a V-groove 121, a flat face 122, and an interior face having cavity 123 therein. Cavity 123 is disposed in confronting relationship with cavity 113' of the left hand edge when panels are assembled side by side. Cavity 123 differs from the parallel side-walled channel 113'; in that the rear wall of cavity 123 extends at an obtuse angle from the face thereof. The reason for this specific configuration of the cavity 123 will be apparent from a consideration of the spline member 130. As illustrated in FIG. 8, a spline 130 having predetermined width may be inserted within the channels 123 and 113. In order to effect this insertion, one moves the spline 130 from a position (illustrated in dotted outline) until the left hand edge of the spline is at the root portion of the wall 124. At this time, spline 130 is rotated inwardly as shown by the dotted arrow past point 114 and then to the right in order to fit it into position. When in position, the spline is parallel to the faces 112, 122 ad it may be removed by grasping the outwardly extending projection 132.

FIGS. 9A-9C illustrate other configurations 140-142 of spline members. It will be understood that these members may have a length corresponding to the length of the panels in which they are inserted, and have a width relative to the constructed joint which will permit their insertion and removal from the joint. It is also contemplated that these splines may be shorter than the total length of a panel and they may even be provided in short blocks which may be inserted side-byside. They are securely held in position as a result of the cooperating configuration of the edges of the panel and may be inserted and removed at will. A particularly worthwhile advantage of this spline arrangement resides in the fact that items may be fastened to the wall by inserting a fastening device through or between splines. In this case, no interference with the permanently finished panel surface is required and the fastening may be inserted or removed at will.

The V-grooves 111, 121, provide the necessary securing means for a bridging batten of the type previously considered in connection with FIG. 8. As illustrated in FIG. 10, the batten 150 may have rearwardly projecting walls 152, 153, with complementary V-shaped projections 154 and 155 thereon. The projections 154, 155 are adapted to engage with the V- grooves 121, 111 on the panels. It will be immediately appreciated that any of the configuration shown in FIGS. 6A-6E may be adapted for use with the V-groove technique. It will also be appreciated that rather than having the grooves, one may desire to utilize the concavities employed in conjunction with the first embodiment. Such modifications are believed to be within the skill of the art and are intended to be covered by the claims attached hereto.

FIG. 11 illustrates a cross-sectional view of a moulding adapted to be used in conjunction with panel assemblies of the type herein contemplated. This moulding has a cross section substantially the same as the upper portion of a joint made in accordance with the invention. Thus, the moulding has side legs 161 and 162 with V-grooves 163 and 164 and internal channels 165 and 166. The moulding may be fastened to a supporting surface by means of an aperture 167 provided therein, or it may be secured by adhesives. Such mouldings may be placed upon the panel surfaces between junctions and may be positioned at will relative to the normal panel joints. The moulding may be employed in conjunction with splines and battens in order to serve as mounting means for other elements, such as pictures, upon the walls. There is no need to restrict the specific dimensions of the moulding to be identical to that of the junction assembly. It may be both wider and deeper, thereby permitting the establishment of such things as picture moulding and chair rail moulding, as well as baseboards, if so desired.

Several specific embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and defined. Features of the individual embodiments may be incorporated in either embodiment without departing from the basic teachings of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. A panel having a planar face portion and first and second longitudinal side edges adapted for side-by-side assembly of a plurality of such panels, comprising: a first projection of predetermined length extending outward from said first edge above and in a plane substantially parallel to said face portion; a second projection extending toward said second edge from a position on said face portion inboard of said second edge in a plane substantially parallel to said face portion, the plane of said second projection being offset from said face portion by an amount different from that of the plane of said first projection, whereby said projections overlap when two panels are assembled with their respective first and second edges in proximity; third and fourth projections extending orthogonally outward from said face portion at the root of said first and second projections respectively;

2. A panel as defined in claim 1 wherein said first and second projections include cooperating means for securing adjacent panels against lateral displacement when two panels are assembled with their respective first and second edges in proximity.

3. A panel having a planar face portion and first and second longitudinal side edges adapted for side-by-side assembly of a plurality of such panels, comprising: a first projection of predetermined length extending outward from said first edge above and in a plane substantially parallel to said face portion; a second projection extending toward said second edge from a position on said face portion inboard of said second edge in a plane substantially parallel to said face portion, the plane of said second projection being offset from said face portion by an amount different from that of the plane of said first projection, whereby said projections overlap when two panels are assembled with their respective first and second edges in proximity; third and fourth projections extending orthogonally outward from said face portion at the root of said first and second projections respectively; longitudinal indentations on the internal faces of said third and fourth projections; and longitudinal channels on the external faces of said third and fourth projections, the channel in one of said projections having parallel side walls and the channel in the other of said projections having the side wall nearest to said face portion of the panel disposed at an obtuse angle to the face of the projection.

4. A panel as defined in claim 3, including means in said first projection for securing said panel to a supporting surface.

5. A structure comprising in combination:

a. a first panel having a planar face portion and a longitudinal edge, a first projection extending outward from said edge above and in a plane substantially parallel to said face portion;

b. a second panel having a planar face portion and a longitudinal edge, said edge being placed adjacent to and parallel with the edge of said first panel; a second projection extending toward the edge of said second panel from a position on the face portion thereof inboard of said edge and in a plane substantially parallel to said face portion, the plane of said second projection being offset from the plane of the face portion of said second panel by an amount different from the offset of the plane of said first projection from the plane of the face portion of said first panel;

c. third and fourth projections extending orthogonally outward from said face portions at the root of said first and second projections respectively;

. longitudinal indentations on the remote faces of said third and fourth projections; and

e. a longitudinally extending batten having flexible side walls bridging said third and fourth projections and being secured by said longitudinal indentations on the remote faces thereof.

6. A structure as defined in claim 5, wherein said third and fourth projections include longitudinal channels on the opposing faces thereof, the channel in one of said projections having parallel side walls and the channel in the other of said projections having the side wall nearest to said face portion of the panels disposed at an obtuse angle to the face of the projection, and a spline secured within said channels.

7, A structure as defined in claim 5, wherein said third and fourth projections include longitudinal surface deformations on opposing faces thereof, and a spline secured by said longitudinal surface deformations.

Patent No. 3,650 ,080

Dated M r h 21, 1972 Inventor(s) Frank J.

Leale, Sr.

Column H, line ,6

Column 5 line 42,

line 69,

Column 6 line 41,

It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

After complementary, insert -or contrasting colors and, in fact, one may leave-- Change "ad" to --and-- Change "configuration" to -configurations-- After respectively g" add I -*and longitudinal channels on the external faces of said third and fourth projections, the channel in one of said projections havin parallel side walls and the channel in the other of saidprojections having the side wall nearest to said face portion of the panel disposed at an obtuse angle to the face of the projection.

Signed and sealed this 20th day of November 1973;

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR.

Attesting Officer FORM PO-lOSO (10-69) RENE D. TEGTMEYER Acting Commissioner of Patents uscoMM-Dc 60376-P69 Y LLSv GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1569 0-356-334

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3751131 *Aug 31, 1971Aug 7, 1973Celotex CorpRectangular wall cabinet for recessed or surface mounting
US3768882 *Nov 26, 1971Oct 30, 1973Celotex CorpDetachable collar for surface-mounted wall cabinet
US3807113 *Oct 1, 1971Apr 30, 1974E TurnerRoofing panel with interlocking side edges
US4790112 *Jul 17, 1987Dec 13, 1988Cheh WangAssembly of two interconnected similar plastic planks and a framework
US6050041 *Jul 24, 1998Apr 18, 2000Associated Materials, Inc.Splicing member for siding panels
US7478507Aug 5, 2004Jan 20, 2009Associated Materials, Llc.Splicer and siding panel assembly
US8381472 *Jun 17, 2010Feb 26, 2013Exterior Portfolio, LlcSystem and method for adjoining siding
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/469, 52/471, 52/588.1, D25/123
International ClassificationE04F19/06, E04F13/08, E04F19/02
Cooperative ClassificationE04F19/06, E04F13/0889
European ClassificationE04F19/06, E04F13/08R