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Publication numberUS3685235 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 22, 1972
Filing dateSep 21, 1970
Priority dateSep 21, 1970
Also published asCA972526A, CA972526A1, US3742674
Publication numberUS 3685235 A, US 3685235A, US-A-3685235, US3685235 A, US3685235A
InventorsMarshall Ira Lang
Original AssigneeBajer Ind Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Suspended ceiling system including a grid network
US 3685235 A
Abstract
A suspended ceiling system which includes a grid network for supporting a plurality of ceiling panels with this network being made up of a plurality of generally like grid modules. Each grid module is an elongated integrator member in the form of an inverted channel of suitable stiff material, such as aluminum. This inverted channel is defined by a cross web and a pair of transversely spaced, depending sidewall flanges that are integral with the web and between which supplemental equipment, such as selected utility units, may be mounted at any chosen location by anchoring means, such as screws, snap-in fasteners, interfitting parts or anchoring elements, e.g., bolts, extending through the web. The bottom edge of at least one of these channel sidewall flanges carries an integral, outwardly extending, panel-supporting flange, and both thereof may be so equipped when demanded. A pair of elongated, transversely spaced, upstanding and opposed flanges are permanently connected, such as by being made integral with the web at the junctions thereof with the depending sidewall flanges. Each of these upstanding flanges is provided on the inner side thereof with two upwardly spaced and laterally extending track flanges with these substantially aligned transversely to form two opposed pairs thereof. The inner opposed edges of each of these pair of track flanges are spaced apart to provide an intervening longitudinal access slot. The space defined by the lower pair of these track flanges and the web constitutes a first longitudinal, equipment-receiving track with both pairs defining therebetween a second upper, longitudinal, equipment-receiving track. The inner faces of the depending channel sidewall flanges are provided with transversely spaced and generally aligned, opposed abutment flanges with a wide intervening access slot defined therebetween. The resulting grid module has the general appearance of an H-shaped channel having the side flanges on opposite sides of the cross web equipped with a plurality of pairs of lateral flanges.
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United States Patent Lang [ 1 Aug.22, 1972 [54] SUSPENDED CEILING SYSTEM INCLUDING A GRID NETWORK [72] Inventor: Marshall Ira Lang, Wayne, NJ.

[73] Assignee: Bajer Industries Incorporated, Passaic, NJ

22 Filed: Sept.21, l970 21 Appl.No.: 73,806

52 us. Cl. ..52/59, 52/484, 52/488, 98/29 51 Int. Cl. ..E04b 5/55 [58] Field of Search ..52/474, 484, 487, 488, 173, 52/39, 29, 27; 98/29 Primary ExaminerPrice C. Faw, Jr. Attorney-Watson, Leavenworth & Kelton 57 ABSTRACT 1 A suspended ceiling system which includes a grid network for supporting a plurality of ceiling panels with this network being made up of a plurality of like grid modules. Each grid module is an elongated integrator member in the form of an inverted channel of suitable stiff material, such asaluminum. This inverted channel is defined by a cross web and a pair of transverselyspaced, depending sidewall flanges that are integral with the web and between which a selected utility unit may be mounted at any chosen location by anchoring means, such as screws or snap-in fasteners, parts of which are carried by-or formed in these depending flanges, or bolts extending through the web. The bottom edges of these channel sidewall flanges carry integral outwardly-extending, panel-supporting flanges. The web has a pair of integral, transversely-spaced, upstanding and opposed, inverted L-shaped flanges with their opposed lateral edges spaced apart to provide an intervening longitudinal access slot, the space defined by these L-shaped flanges and the web constituting an elongated track for receiving and holding nuts of anchoring bolts at any selected points. The inverted channel also may have integral with its web a second pair of such inverted L-shaped flanges located laterally outward of the first pair to house the latter with the legs of the second pair connected to the web outside of those of the first pair and in alignment with the depending channel sidewall flanges. The portion of the web within the legs of the first pair of inverted L- shaped flanges may be depressed below the web flanking portions.

7 7 Claims, 10 DrawingFigures i314?!4133323146214 Japan 11111501105800blame 03104511415452! PATENTEDmszz 1912 3.685235 sum 3 OF 5 NR Um llwm s Ev m m PATENTEDAvazz 1912 3.685235 SHEET a- 0F 5 SUSPENDED CEILING SYSTEM INCLUDING A GRID NETWORK BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to suspended ceiling systems 'which include grid networks for supporting ceiling panels and a variety of types of utility units at selected positions. V

Prior to the present invention such grid networks have been proposed which embody a variety of types of grid members, in the form of l-beams, T-bearns, open side and upright channels, hollow beams, guy interconnected hangers and other variations differing materially from the grid modules of the present invention. However, such prior proposals are chiefly characterized by structures which expensively require supplemental connectors, fasteners, hangers and housings to adapt them to limited services. By contrast, the grid network and module of the present invention effectively and economically eliminate the need for such supplemental equipment while assuring a sturdy system construction well adapted to perform a large variety of services, some of which the various prior proposals are incapable of performing without further provision of additional costly and complicating equipment that require more labor to install.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Embodiments of the present grid network include a plurality of similar, adequately load-bearing, grid modules which may be sections that are easily cut from a relatively stiff elongated integrator stock member with these sections having ends that may be simply fitted and connected together to define the grid network. This elongated integrator stock member may be, for example, desirably formed as a unity structure from extruded stiff or relatively rigid material, such as aluminum or certain well-known plastics. Such stock member has an inverted channel defined by a cross web and a pair of transversely-spaced, depending sidewall flanges that are adapted to receive therebetween any selected one of a large variety of utility units. The inverted channel is provided, either on or in its cross web and depending channel sidewall flanges with means to anchor any such utility unit or units at any chosen locations.

Such inverted channel is also provided with a pair of lateral and outwardly-extending, panel-supporting flanges with one thereof permanently connected or integrated with the outer side of each of the depending channel sidewall flanges at or in the vicinity of the bottom edge of the latter. It is further provided with a pair of elongated, transversely-spaced, upstanding and opposed, inverted L-shaped flanges permanently connected or integrated with the channel cross web. The opposed lateral edges of these L-shaped flanges are laterally spaced apart to define an intervening longitudinal access slot, with the space intervening these flanges and the web constituting an elongated track for receiving and holding at any selected point anchoring means, such as heads or nuts of hanger rods or bolts or clipping lips of conduit members.

The present grid network includes a plurality of junctions where four of the inverted channel integrator modules are joined together in cruciform pattern with their abutted, opposed ends being angularly shaped to points which closely interfit. Each junction preferably includes a cruciform connector plate having each of its four arms respectively overlaying the elongated track of one of these inverted channel modules and anchored thereto by an anchorage, such as a nut and bolt, that is slidably mounted through the access slot into the track. Preferably, in order to keep each cruciform connector plate arm substantially aligned with the elongated track that underlays it the channel integrator module has a pair of transversely-spaced, upstanding, guide flanges flanking opposite sides of the top of the track with the connector plate arm being slidably fitted between these guide flanges. One or more of such cruciform connector plates also may serve conveniently as an anchor for an overhead hanger to suspend the grid network, and the tracks of the modules may also slidably receive anchors of other overhead suspending hangers.

In a preferred form of the elongated integrator modules the inverted channel is provided with a second pair of elongated transversely-spaced, upstanding and opposed, inverted L-shaped flanges which also have their opposed lateral flanges transversely spaced apart to define therebetween a longitudinal access slot with the legs of this second pair also permanently connected to or integrated with the channel cross web, preferably at the junctions therewith of the depending channel sidewall flanges so as to form upward continuations of the latter. When the second pair of inverted L-shaped flanges are used the first pair preferably is nested within the space defined between the cross web and the second pair with the access slots of both pairs being substantially aligned. As a result, one longitudinal track is nested in a larger one. Also, it may be desired to drop down or recess part or all of the section of the cross web which constitutes the bottom of the inner longitudinal track, so that it is lower'than, i.e., below, the portions of this web which flank the junctions of the legs of the first pair of inverted L-shaped flanges that define the inner track to accommodate certain space demands.

The space within the inverted channel, intervening the depending sidewall flanges thereof, and the anchorage means provided on the inside faces or structure of such depending flanges, or on or in the overhead cross web, are well adapted to receive in any desired adjusted positions and to mount in simple manner a variety of types of utility units, such as automatic sprinklers, lighting fixtures, insulative electrical supply cable trackways, air supply and return outlets and intakes, tracks for sliding or bellows folding partitions and curtain walls, and also intervening blank filler strip sections where needed for decorative appearance. The inwardly-directed and opposed lateral flanges of the elongated top track or tracks also provide means readily available for anchoring thereto various types of anchorages, such as laterally-spaced and outwardlydirected lips, of conduit sections for embodying where needed fluid or air flow passages.

Other objects of the invention will in part be obvious and will in part appear from reference to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein like numerals identify similar parts throughout, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view, with parts in section, of

a portion of a room of a building equipped with the suspended ceiling system of the present invention, which includes a grid network supporting a variety of ceiling tiles or panels and utility units;

FIGS. 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1D respectively illustrate variations of the cross-sectionalshape of a grid module that is suitable for embodiment with others thereof to form the grid network of FIG. 1;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view to enlarged scale, with parts broken away and in section, of a section of the suspended ceiling system illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view to a still larger scale, with parts broken away, taken substantially on line IIIIII of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged transverse sectional view, with parts broken away and others shown in elevation, of a portion of the suspended ceiling system shown in FIG. 2, illustrating mount therein of an air supply conduit structure or duct;

FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of the structure shown in FIG. 4, with parts in longitudinal section and broken away;

FIG. 6 is a transverse sectional view, with parts broken away and in section, of the structure shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, but illustrating support by the grid module of a utility unit in the form of an air diffuser for delivery of air from the overhead air supply duct;

FIG. 7 is a transverse sectional view similar to FIG. 6 showing support by the grid module of a flow directing air delivery unit, and taken substantially on line VII- VII of FIG. 2;

FIG. 8 is a transverse sectional view, to enlarged scale, taken substantially on line VIII-VIII of FIG. 2, illustrating support in the grid module of a utility unit which is designed to supply electrical power to ceiling light fixtures;

FIG. 9 is a transverse sectional view similar to FIG. 8 illustrating a variant of the electrical power supply system supported by the grid module;

FIG. 10 is a transverse sectional view to enlarged scale, with parts broken away and taken substantially on line X-X of FIG. 2, illustrating a utility unit in the form of an automatic sprinkler that is readily supported by one of the grid modules;

FIG. 11 is a transverse sectional view of one of the grid integrator members with associated ceiling tile supported thereby and located adjacent one sidewall of the room, illustrating in full and broken lines on insert unit for supporting a window drape, taken substantially on line XIXI of FIG. 2;

FIG. 12 is a transverse sectional view of a grid module and portions of flanking ceiling tile or panel partially supported thereby, illustrating the support of a utility unit in one form of an air return and taken substantially on line XII-XII of FIG. 2;

FIG. 13 is a transverse sectional view taken substantially on line XIIIXIII of FIG. 3, illustrating the support of a utility unit by the grid module for the purpose of movably suspending a pair of sliding doors or other partition structure, which may be employed for closing the face of a closet opening or door; and

FIG. 14 is a transverse sectional view similar to FIG. 13, showing support by the grid module of another type of insert unit adapted for movable support of a bellows type of partition.

In FIG. 1 is shown a portion of a room 15 which may be equipped to advantage with an embodiment 16 of the suspended ceiling system of the present invention. In accordance with conventional practice the room 15 may be covered over by any suitable permanent ceiling construction 17 which may include load-supporting joists (not shown). The suspended ceiling system 16 of the present invention embodies a grid network 18 made up of a plurality of grid modules in the form of elongated integrator members 19 of similar construction which are connected together in a plurality of cruciform junctions 20, and which together support a plurality of ceiling panels or tiles 21, 121 and cofiers 221 to close the grid network, distributed as desired and as may be dictated by certain architectural planning. While the ceiling panels 21 may be substantially flat and uninterrupted panels, that may have their lower faces subjected to soundproofing treatment, the panels 121 may be equipped with recessed lighting units 22. It is also illustrated in FIG. 1 that room walls 23 and 123 may desirably support framed pictures 24 and 124, with elongated integrator members 19 or junctions 20 thereof suitably supporting a plurality of utility lighting units, such as spotlights 25, for high lighting such framed pictures.

FIG. 1 also illustrates the support by the elongated integrator members 19 of suitable suspending hangers, one of which is illustrated at 26, that are anchored in the joists of the construction ceiling l7 and distributed suitably for support of the grid network 18 with the provision of an intervening space 27. Within the space 27 intervening the permanent ceiling 17 and the suspended ceiling system 16 suitable air supply ducts 28 may be supported on the grid network 18. As will be more fully hereinafter indicated, such supply ducts 28 may be generally triangular in transverse section, formed of fiber glass or sheet aluminum sidewalls, and the like, each of which is open along a bottom edge with the lower edges of the sidewalls suitably equipped with clip lips for simple and easy anchorage to top portions of the elongated integrator members 19. Within the intervening space 27 may also be mounted suitable conduits 29 and distribution tubes 30 for supply of pressurized water to a plurality of suitably distributed utility automatic sprinkler units, some of which are indicated at 31.

FIGS. 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1D illustrate the cross-sectional shapes of variants of the grid modules 19, all of which embody the basic novel features of the present invention. These grid modules 19 preferably are sections cut from long lengths of die extrusions, formed from any suitable relatively stifi, load-bearing material, such as aluminum or certain conventional plastics, but may be otherwise suitably fabricated, if desired. The grid module 19A of FIG. 1A is in the form of an inverted channel 35 which embodies a cross web 36 that is intended to be disposed substantially laterally in mounted condition. At the longitudinal edges of the cross web 36 are connected a part of laterally-spaced, depending channel sidewalls 37 and 137, which are preferably integral therewith. In the vicinity of the bottom edges of the sidewall flanges 37 and 137 are provided outwardly-extending lateral flanges 38 and 138, which are also preferably integral with these sidewall flanges. This channel 35 thus has an interior space 39, into which is to be readily inserted a selected one of a uunen inn-v variety of types of utility units. The outwardly-extending side flanges 38 and 138 perform the service of supporting edges of ceiling panels or tiles thereon.- A pair of elongated, transversely-spaced, upstanding and opposed, inverted L-shaped flanges 40 and 140 have their upstanding legs permanently connected or integrated with the channel cross web 36. The opposed lateral edges of the lateral flanges 41 and 141 of the inverted L-shaped flanges 40 and 140 are spaced apart laterally to define an intervening longitudinal access slot 42. The inverted L-shaped flanges 40 and 140 and the section of the cross ,web 36 which intervene their legs together define an elongated track 43, to which the access slot 42 communicates. It will be noted from FIG. 1A that in this form of the grid module 19A the integration of the legs of the inverted L-shaped flanges 40 and 140 with the cross web 36 is effected laterally inward of the longitudinal junctions of the depending channel sidewall flanges 37 and 137 with the cross web.

In the grid module embodiment of FIG. 1B the inverted, open bottom, grid module 35, comprising cross web 36 and depending channel sidewall flanges 37 and 137, is quite similar to the embodiment shown in FIG. 1A. It differs chiefly in that the pair of elongated, transversely-spaced, upstanding and opposed, inverted L- shaped flanges 240 and 340 are permanently connected or integrated with the channel cross web 36 at the side edge junctions therewith of these depending sidewall flanges so as to form upward continuations of the latter. The opposed lateral edges of their lateral flanges 241 and 341 define an intervening longitudinal access slot 142 which communicates with an elongated track space 143 that is defined between the cross web and this pair of inverted L-shaped flanges.

The grid module variant illustrated in FIG. IC has all of the elements of the structure of FIG. 1B, with the addition thereto of the pair of elongated, transverselyspaced, upstanding and opposed, inverted L-shaped flanges 40 and 140 of the FIG. 1A embodiment, so that the legs of this first pair of inverted L-shaped flanges 40 and 140 are connected to or integrated with the cross web 36 laterally inward of the legs of the second pair of inverted L-shaped flanges 240 and 340, with the first pair nested within the longitudinal space 143 and with the longitudinal access slots 42 and 142 which intervene the opposed lateral flanges of both pairs being substantially aligned.

The further variant of FIG. 1D is quite similar to the structure of FIG. 1C except that the longitudinal section 44 of the cross web 36 which intervenes the legs of he first pair of inverted L-shaped flanges40 and 140 is longitudinally recessed to drop a portion of the track 43 that is within this first pair of L-shaped flanges below the longitudinal flanking portions 136 and 236 of the cross web. This feature provides a maximum height of the sides of the insert-receiving space in the inverted channel for facilitating anchorage therein of certain types of inserts without unduly increasing the overall depth of the integrator members or grid modules.

It will be seen from FIGS. 1C and ID that the legs of the second pair of inverted L-shaped flanges 240 and 340 provide a pair of transversely-spaced upstanding flanges which flank opposite sides of the top of the longitudinal track 43, between which any structural element, such as an elongated strip or plate, may be close- 1y fitted or slid to be rested upon the lateral flanges 41 and 141 of the first pair of inverted L-shaped flanges and 140, so that they will prevent this element from skewing. This is an important function in junctions of a plurality of such grid modules or elongated integrator members wherein connector plates are employed securely to connect such modules or members together. As will be clear from further reference thereto later such connector plates may have radiating arms with each so received in the elongated second track 143 of one of the four modules or integrator members that are brought together in such junction.

In the section of the grid network 18, which is illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, it will be best seen from the latter that each grid module or elongated integrator member is of the type indicated at 19C in FIG. 1D. As is illustrated in FIG. 2 by way of example, any one of the junctions 20, where four of the grid modules 19D are brought together in cruciform pattern, a cruciform connector plate is provided, the structural character and mounting of which is more fully illustrated in FIG. 3. Each cruciform connector plate 45 has four radiating arms 46, 146, 246, and 346 with each arranged at right angles to those on opposite sides of it and all of them being respectively anchored in like fashion to the four grid modules or integrator members 19C brought together in this junction. For example, the outer end of the cruciform connector plate arm 46 has a longitudinal slot 47 therein which receives the shank 48 of a headed screw 49 with a nut 50 threadably mounted upon this shank being slidably received in the track 43, beneath its lateral flanges 41 and 141. This cruciform connector plate arm 46 is of a width so as to be snugly slidable between the legs of the second pair of inverted L-shaped flanges 240 and 340, above the lateral flanges 41 and 141 of the first pair of'inverted L-shaped flanges 40 and 140. Tightening of the screw 49 into the nut 50 securely clamps this cruciform connector plate arm 46 to the end of the grid module or integrator member 19D into which it is so seated. This same clamping connection is effected with respect to the remaining three cruciform connector plate arms 146, 246 and 346 and the grid modules or integrator members 19D into which they are so fitted and anchored.

It will be understood that the cruciform connector plate 45 may be provided with a central hole 51 (FIG. 3) to receive the threaded shank 52 of a reach bolt 53 which may be anchored into the junction 20 by any suitable means, such as a nut which may be slidably mounted in the junction of the tracks 43 of the four grid modules or integrator members 19D. However, it may be desired to provide the hole 51 in a boss 54 that is raised in the central portion of the cruciform connector plate 45 into the concave underside of which such a nut 55 may be nested for this purpose. Also, the lower end 57 of such reach bolt 53 may be caused to bear firmly, in setscrew fashion, against the meeting tips of the cross web sections 44 of the grid modules 19D in the assembly junction 20, as is indicated in FIG. 3. The reach bolt 53 may be threaded into a connector 54 which, in turn, threadably engages a suspension stem 56 that is anchored to a ceiling joist, together'to constitute suspension assembly 126. It is also illustrated in FIG. 3 that the grid network suspension 26 may be-in the form of an eyebolt suspended in any suitable nruncn Inna manner, such as by a cable from a ceiling joist, with its bottom end carrying a nut 155 that is slidably received in one of the elongated tracks 43. The eyebolt type of suspension 26 is not limited to anchorageat grid network junctions 20, since it may be slid along any of the grid modules 19D to any desired location or point of suspension.

FIG. 2 further illustrates that marginal elongated integrator members 119D, which are to abut against faces of the room sidewalls 23 and 123, and room end wall 223 (FIG. 1) may be in the form of greater lengths of the grid module stock to bridge a plurality of the rectangular openings between grid modules 19D. Each of the longer integrator members 119D may be additionally anchored to the room sidewalls, with the use of bracket members 145 and 245. The side bracket member 145 may be one of the cruciform connector plates 45 with its arm 146 bent upwardly at right angles to its other three arms 46, 246, and 346, while the corner bracket member 245 may have both of the arms 46 and 146 bent upwardly at right angles to the remaining two arms 246 and 346. Any suitable fastening means, such as lag screws or anchor bolts, to anchor such bent-up bracket arms to the adjacent sidewalls. While the grid modules or integrator members 19D preferably are uniformly made in substantially equal lengths with their ends tapered to points by cutting them off from long lengths of grid module'stock with 45 bias cuts the longer marginal integrator members 119D are provided at the proper intervals with 90 V- shaped cuts into which such module pointed ends will substantially fit (FIG. 2).

As is best illustrated in FIGS. 2 to 7 inclusive, the air ducts 28 for supplying tempering air to the room area may be conveniently embodied in the suspended ceiling system 16 of the present invention. For example, air supply duct 28, which may be constructed of compacted fiber glass or aluminum sheeting, may be of generally triangular cross-section and have a substantially flat top panel 60 from which depend oblique sidewall panels 61 and 62. As is best seen in FIGS. 4 to 7, the lower edges of the sidewall panels 61 and 62 are equipped with elongated clip lips 63 and 163 which are turned outwardly to engage through the elongated access slot 142, into the grid module track 143, below the lateral module flanges 241 and 341. Springiness of the duct sidewalls 61 and 62 as well as that of the junctions of these sidewalls with the top panel 60, and flexibility of such clip lips 63 and 163, permit the turned out bottom edges of the latter to be sprung toward each other for entry through the access slot 142, so that when released they will engage firmly beneath the intumed lateral flanges 241 and 341. With the bottom edge of the triangular duct 28 open between the clip lips 63 and 163 the interior of such duct is in communication with the grid module track 143, as will be seen from FIGS. 4, 6 and 7. Cooling or heating air is supplied through the interior of the duct 28 from a suitable remote source to delivery or outlet utility units, which may be localized or extend considerable distances along aligned runs of the grid modules 19D, and are supported in the receptive channel spaces 39 of selected ones of these grid modules along which such air ducts 28 extend. The terminal ends of such air supply ducts 28 are determined by the locations of such utility air delivery units and, as

is illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5, may simply be provided by cutting off each such duct at a suitable point and blocking the open end by a trapezoidally shaped panel 64 secured thereto by strips of tape 65.

Wherever it is desired to deliver air from the channel track 143, whether this be at localized points or along extended lines of delivery, utility units in the form of suitable delivery outlet devices may be readily mounted within the receptive spaces 39 of the grid modules 19D concerned. For example, such a utility unit may be in the form of an air diffuser 66, suitably formed from any proper material, such as extruded aluminum or plastic, which has a longitudinally extending circular passage 67 communicating through a slot delivery mouth 68 to the room space. Communication between the interior of the air delivery duct 28 and the utility unit passage 67 may be effected by means of aligned holes 69 and 70 readily drilled respectively through the top of the utility air diffuser unit 66 and the cross web section 44 (FIG. 6). Such an utility unit, in the form of air delivery diffuser 66, may be easily secured in nested fashion within channel space 39 by a variety of types of fasteners. For example, the passage-defining body 71 of the insert 66 may be provided on opposite sides with screw-engaging wings 72 and 172, each equipped with a pair of spaced flanges 73 and 173 having their opposed faces equipped with a plurality of longitudinally-extending serrations or parallel ridges. Screws 74 may extend through the depending channel sidewall flanges 37 and 137 at intervals threadably to engage with such serratrons.

In FIG. 7 is illustrated a variant of the air supply insert of FIG. 6. In this form the insert 166 will direct air delivery angularly to avoid air blasts in critical room areas where occupancy may be located immediately beneath the location of grid modules along which supply ducts extend. The insert body 171 is provided with a pair of laterally-opposed and longitudinally-extending curved walls 75 and 175, which together define a curved outlet passage 76 that directs delivery flow from the mouth 168 obliquely to one side. This insert 166 is equipped with securing means similar to that of the FIG. 6 insert 66.

Such grid modules or sections thereof as are not occupied by air delivery inserts of the FIGS. 6 and 7 types, other variants thereof, or other types of utility units, may have the bottoms of their inverted channel spaces 39 blocked by suitable trim strips, which may be decorative in character. An example of such a trim strip is illustrated at 77 in FIG. 4. This trim strip 77 has a filler face plate 78, adapted to fit into the mouth of the channel space 39, from the side edges of which spring side flanges 79 and 179 project upwardly. Each of these spring side flanges has its lip shaped to provide a snap catch 80, or 180. The inner faces of the depending channel flanges 37 and 137 are provided respectively with longitudinally-extending grooves 81 and 181 into which the snap catches 80 and respectively snap when the filler strip 77 is pushed up into the channel space 39. In order to assure that such snap catches 80 and 180 will not override the grooves 81 and 181, means for limiting the degree of insertion of this filler strip is provided, preferably in the form of an upstanding post or longitudinal strip 82, with the top end or edge of the latter abutted to the underside of the cross web section 44.

The return of the air tempering system may employ a variety of types of conduit structuresand air suction utility units. For example, units of the type illustrated at 66 in FIGS. 3 and 6 may be employed for this purpose, with an end thereof connected in any suitable manner to a desired return line or duct, which may be of a type generally similar to the duct 28. Also such return air inserts may be connected to such return air ducts in the manner proposed in FIG. 6. If the space 27 between the present suspended ceiling system 16 and the overhead permanent ceiling 17 has return air suction applied thereto, such return air ducts may be omitted, with communication between the interior of the utility inserts 66 and such space being effected in any suitable manner up through the concerned grid modules 19 (such as 19D), e.g., flow holes 69 and 70 of FIG. 6. As is illustrated in FIG. 12, the return air insert unit may be in the form of an upright channel, as is depicted at 266. The bottom cross web 84 thereof has integrated with it upstanding side flanges 85 and 185 that nest in the inverted grid module channel space 39, which are secured to the channel sidewall flanges 37 and 137 by suitable means, such as that employed in FIG. 6 which includes screws 74. The interior space of such return air unit 266 may be partitioned by a lateral baffle plate or strip 86 having its side edges slidably resting on longitudinal ledges 87 and 187. One or more inlet holes, or slots, 88 in cross web 84 communicate through one or more openings 89 in baffle plate 86, with hole 70 in grid module cross web section 44. As is indicated in FIG. 12, the holes or openings 88 and 89, and the latter with respect toopening 70, are staggered so as to block ofl passage of stray light rays down therethrough, which may emanate from recessed lighting fixtures that may be located above and mounted in some of the ceiling tiles or panels.

FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate variants of utility units which may be employed to advantage for supporting'electrical supply wiring or cables to desired locations in the suspended ceiling system 16, for any desired purpose. For example, such purpose may be to energize the spot lights 25 (FIGS. 1 and 2).

As is indicated in FIG. 8, the grid module may be a further variant 19E of theintegrator channel member, differing slightly from that shown at 19D in FIG. 1D. The chief difference between these integrator channel members will be found in the substitution in 19E of two opposed pairs of top lateral flanges 241E and 341E for the opposed pair of single top lateral flanges 241 and 341 in 19D. These opposed pairs of lateral flanges 241E and 341E define therebetween opposed elongated grooves 90 and 190 which slidably receive the opposite side edges of an anchor plate 91 having an internally-threaded hole 92 which threadably receives the threaded shank 93 of a screw 94,.for anchorage of the latter. It is to be understood, however, that if desired, such anchor plate 91 may be rested upon the opposed lateral flanges 41 and 141, as is indicated in broken lines at 191. The shank 93 of anchor screw 94 also extends upwardly through a hole in a bottom anchoring bridge plate 95, with the latter serving to hold in nested position the utility unit 96.

The utility unit insert 96 is in the form of an I-I shaped channel having a medial cross web 97 and side flanges 98 and 198. The top ends of the side flanges 98 and 198 are provided with inwardly-extending and opl posed lips 99 and 199 respectively, beneath which the 2 side edges of the anchoring bridge plate 95 engage. So

that the anchor screw shank 93 may be inserted up through the hole in the anchoring bridge plate 95, the cross web 97 may be provided with an access hole 100.

An inverted channel space 101 is defined below the cross web between the depending portions of the insert side flanges 98 and 198. These depending portions of the insert side flanges preferably are equipped with pairs of opposed lateral flanges 102, 202 and 103, 203. Within the inverted channel space 101, a suitable molded insulative liner 104 is fitted to be held in secure position by the pairs of laterally opposed flanges 102, 202 and 103, 203. This liner 104, which may be a section severed from an elongated extruded stock member, is provided with suitable open channels that will snugly receive and securely grip bare electrical wires 105, 205 and 305, which will thus extend along runs of the grid modules 19E that are located along paths of thus suitably housed electrical wiring. If desired, the open slot mouth of such inverted insert channel space 101, intervening the opposed lateral flanges 103 and 203 may be suitably closed by filler strips.

A further variant 19F of the grid module may be employed, as is illustrated in FIG.'9, and this is well adapted to housing electrical supply cables as well as other utility units. For example, the grid module 19F may be quite similar to that illustrated at 19D in FIG. 1D, but may employ the opposed pairs of top flanges 241E and 341E of the grid module 19E, for slidable support of a closure plate strip 191. The inside faces of the sidewall flanges 37 and 137 are provided with the longitudinal latching grooves 81 and 181 of FIG. 4. The utility insert unit 196 is quite similar to the trim strip 77, with its face web 78 marginally supporting upstanding, integrated side flanges 79 and 179 that are shaped to provide longitudinally-extending snap catches 80 and 180. The face plate medially supports upstanding post or flange 82 which may be of a height greater than the distance up to the depressed mid-section 44 of the cross web 36 in structures where space economy is demanded by the design. Accordingly, the depressed cross web section 44 may be suitably slotted medially at to receive the upper end of this flange or post 82. The space 139 defined within the channel of the insert unit 196 may then be employed for laying therein lengths of electrical supply cables 106.

It will be understood that electrical supply cables may be housed in any runs of spaces or channels of a grid network of the present invention wherever they may be structurally defined by the structural characters of such integrator members, utility insert units associated therewith and desired trim strips. An example of such utilization of channel or enclosed space is illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 13 in connection with the mount therein of insert structure which may be employed advantageously to support a pair of roller doors, orpartitioning panels, as will be described later.

In FIG. 10 is illustrated a typical mount of an automatic sprinkler 31, to supply water to a source of heat or elevated temperature through a suitable conduit 30. One of the grid modules or integrator members 19D at a selected location will be provided with a suitable utility unit or insert 107, which may be in the form of a cast or moulded body 207 that will fit rather closely within the inverted channel space 39. The body 209 is simply fastened to the depending channel sidewall legs 37 and 137 in any desired manner, such as by screws 74. Conduit 30 extends down through a hole 270 provided in the cross web structure 136, 44 and 236, with its terminal end forming an internally-threaded socket or collar 108 for threaded reception of the externallythreaded stem 109 of the automatic sprinkler head.

FIG. 11 illustrates the mount of a suitable utility unit or insert 1 designed to provide a raceway or track for support of T-shaped hanger riders from which are suspended a curtain, such as the window curtain 1 1 1 illustrated in FIG. 2. For this purpose, the insert 1 10 may be in the form of an inverted channel having a cross web 1 12, through a hole in which projects upwardly the externally-threaded shank 193 of an anchoring bolt 194 that also projects up through hole 70 in the integrator member cross web section 44, for receiving thereon an anchoring nut 50 within the track 43. This insert 1 10 includes a pair of laterally-spaced depending sidewalls 113 and 213 which terminate at their bottom ends in intumed lips. The resulting longitudinal channels provided by such lips 114 and 214 will slidably support the series of T-shaped hangers, one of which is illustrated in broken lines at K in FIG. 11, for connection by a suitable hook to a gather of the curtain. It will be noted that the depending channel sidewall 237 of marginal integrator member 119D omits the ceiling panel supporting lateral flange, so as to permit snug abutment of this member to the room sidewall 123.

Since the grid modules or integrator members of the present invention are of such structural characteristics as to permit support thereby of a wide variety of utility units, they are well adapted to the support of inserts for providing raceways or tracks for suspension of sliding doors, as is illustrated in FIG. 13, or partitioning panels as is indicated in FIG. 3. For example, an elongated insert or cooperative shorter units, referenced 177 (FIGS. 3 and 13), may be employed to support conventional raceways or tracks for overhead suspension of a pair of sliding doors, portions of both of which are shown in broken lines at M and N in FIG. 13.

The utility unit insert 177 of FIGS. 3 and 13 is provided with a bottom face plate 178 that is medially equipped with an opposed pair of longitudinally-extending and transversally-spaced flanges 373, having their opposed inside faces provided with a series of Iongitudinal grooves and intervening ridges to anchor therebetween the threaded shank of one or more screws or bolts 274 at any desired locations therealong. The laterally-spaced flanges 373 are integrated by a top cross web or lateral bridging section 344, from the top side of which extends an insertion-limiting upright flange 182 having its top edge bearing up against the bottom side of the channel cross web section 44. Longitudinal wings 272 and 372 extend from opposite sides of upright flange 182 to carry at their outer ends suitable screw anchoring structure 273 into which the inner ends of externally-threaded setscrews 174 may be threadably anchored. Such screws 174 preferably are threadably received through intemally-threaded holes in the depending grid module sidewall flanges 37 and 137, so that when they are threadably retracted the insert 177 may be readily raised into the channel space 39 and these setscrews then threadably advanced to engage into their anchorages 273. As is illustrated in FIG. 13, the standard sliding door track, shown in broken lines at P, having a pair of longitudinally-extending inverted channels, will have its top cross web anchored by a plurality of the screws 274 to he anchoring insert 177. In the conventional manner, each of these channels has suspended therein a reverted track or raceway on which rollers ride with a plurality of such rollers that are associated with one of these tracks suitably anchored by brackets to the top of the sliding door therebeneath, for sliding suspension thereby of the sliding doors M and N.

Theinset 177 in FIGS. 3 and 13 may also serve conveniently for support of a plurality of partitioning panels, a portion of one of which is shown in full lines in FIG. 3 at R. Each such partitioning panel R may be suitably supported by suspension from a plurality of brackets 500, with each anchored by one of the screws 274 into the insert 177.

As is illustrated in FIG. 14, the grid module or integrator member 19D may have its inverted channel space 39 receiving an elongated insert 210. The insert 210 is in the form of an inverted channel having a cross web 212 with the side edges thereof integrated with depending sidewalls 313 and 413 thereof, respectively provided with intumed and opposed lateral flanges 314 and 414 to provide a track or raceway for support of a plurality of trolleys to glide therealong. Such a trolley unit, which may be of conventional structure, is indicated in broken lines at T in FIG. 14, with each supporting, by means of a clip in the usual manner, a section of the top of a folding bellows-type curtain wall or partition, indicated in broken lines at X. The track or raceway insert 210 is suitably supported in the inverted channel space 39 by any suitable means, such as screws 74 mounted through the depending channel sidewall flanges 37 and 137 into the insert sidewall flanges 313 and 413.

It will thus be seen that the objects set forth above, among those made apparent from the preceding description, are efficiently attained and, since certain changes may be made in the above constructions without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

Having described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is the novel subjects matter defined in the following claims.

1. In a suspended ceiling system which includes a grid network for supporting a plurality of ceiling panels and a variety of types of utility units, a grid module comprising 1. an elongated integrator member which is adapted to have its ends connected to those of other like integrator members together to define the grid network, with said member having a. an inverted channel defined by a cross web and a pair of transversely-spaced, depending sidewall flanges adapted to receive therebetween a selected utility unit,

b. means provided on said inverted channel to anchor therein at any chosen location such utility unit, and

c. a pair of lateral and outwardly-extending panelsupporting flanges with one thereof permanently connected to the outer side of each of said depending channel sidewall flanges in the vicinity of the bottom edge of the latter, characterized y 2. a first pair of elongated, transversely-spaced, up-

standing and opposed, inverted L-shaped flanges permanently connected to said channel web and said depending sidewall flanges, with the opposed lateral edges of said L-shaped flanges being spaced apart laterally to define an intervening longitudinal access slot, said web and said L-shaped flanges together defining a first elongated track for receiving and holding anchoring means at any selected point; and

3. a second pair of said elongated, transverselyspaced, upstanding and opposed, inverted L- shaped flanges having a. their opposed lateral flanges located upwardly of those of said first pair of L-shaped flanges and transversely spaced apart to define an intervening longitudinal access slot substantially aligned with that of this first pair, and

b. their legs permanently connected to said channel web, said depending sidewall flanges and the legs of said first pair of inverted L-shaped flanges, whereby the longitudinal space between said second pair of inverted L-shaped flanges and the opposed lateral edges of said first pair of L-shaped flanges constitutes a second, upper, elongated track which is located upward of said first elongated track and extends longitudinally substantially parallel to the latter, said second track and the opposed lateral edges of this tion, said anchor means being provided on said web and extending through thelatter into said first track.

3. The combination as defined in claim 1 characterized by one of a plurality of junctions in said grid network where four of said inverted channel integrator members are joined together in cruciform pattern with their abutted opposed ends therein being angularly shaped to points which closely interfit, a cruciform connector plate having each of its four arms respectively located in said second upper elongated track and overlaying the opposed lateral edges of said first pair of inverted L-shaped flanges and said first elongated track defined therebelow of one of said channel members and anchored thereto by an anchorage including a member slidably mounted in said first track.

4. The combination as defined in claim 3 characterized by each of said inverted channel integrator members having the connector plate arm which overlays said first track being slidably fitted between the upstanding legs of said second pair of inverted L-shaped flanges.

5. The combination as defined in claim 4 characterized by a plurality of said cruciform connector plates, one in each of said grid network junctions, each of said cruciform connector plates having a central portion provided with hanger means for overhead suspension of said grid network.

6. The grid module as defined in claim 1 characterized by the legs of said second pair of inverted L- shaped flanges being permanently connected to said channel web at the junctions therewith of said depending sidewall flanges to form upward continuations of the latter, the legs of said first pair of inverted L-shaped flanges being connected to said web laterally inward of the legs of said second pair of inverted L-shaped flanges with said first pair of L-shaped flanges nested within the longitudinal space defined between said second pair of L-shaped flanges and said web.

7. The grid module as defined in claim 6 characterized by the longitudinal section of said web which intervenes the legs of said first pair of inverted L-shaped flanges being longitudinally recessed to drop a portion of the track that is within said first pair of L-shaped flanges below longitudinal flanking portions of said web.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification52/39, 52/506.6, 454/292
International ClassificationA47H1/04, E04B9/02, E04B9/00, E04B9/30, F24F13/072, E04B2/74, A47H1/104, A47H1/00, F24F13/06, E04B9/14, E04B9/06
Cooperative ClassificationE04B9/006, A47H1/104, E04B9/064, E04B9/008, E04B9/14, E04B9/02, F24F13/072, H02G3/281, A47H1/04
European ClassificationA47H1/04, E04B9/00D, E04B9/00E, E04B9/02, E04B9/14, A47H1/104, F24F13/072, H02G3/28C, E04B9/06E