US 3688680 A
An air diffuser assembly has a plurality of hat-shaped members which individually fit over individual parallel spaced panels of a suspended ceiling structure to locate upper and lower flange baffles of adjacent members in the spaces between the panels. The upper baffle or weir forms a throat between the free edge thereof and the vertical portion of the adjacent members to regulate the flow of air therethrough while the lower baffle acts as a vane to deflect the air flowing through the throat along the ceiling to be diffused throughout the room.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Lambert V [4 1 Sept. 5, 1972  SPACED PARALLEL PANEL AIR 3,448,675 6/1969 Davies ..98/40 DL DIFFUSER ASSEMBLY 3,411,425 11/1968 Lambert ..98/40 D 2,180,945 11/1939 Morey ..98/40 D  Lambert Glendm 3,543,669 1/1970, Kodaras ..98/40 D  Assignee: Air Factors, lnc., Redlands, Calif. 3,366,029 1/1968 Reynders ..98/40 D  Filed: July 1970 Primary Examiner-William E. Wayner  Appl. No.: 53,449 Attorney-Miketta, Glenny, Poms & Smith T  US. Cl. ..98/40 D, 52/496  ABSTRAC 51 Int. Cl. ..F24l13/06 An air difiusdr assembly has a plurality of hat-shaved  Field of Search ..98/40 D, 40 DL, 40, 114-, members which individually fit over individual Parallel 52/303, 496 spaced panels of a suspended ceiling structure to locate upper and lower flange baffles of adjacent 5 References Cited members in the spaces between the panels. The upper baffle or weir forms a throat between the free edge UNITED STATES PATENTS thereof and the vertical portion of the adjacent members to regulate the flow of air therethrough while the Jones D lo er bame acts a a a e to t i flowing 3,429,250 2/1969 Kodaras ..98/40 D through the throat along the cellmg to be diffused 2,662,743 12/1953 Frenger ..98/40 D X throughout the mom 3,185,067 5/1965 Batchelor ..'...98/40 DL 3,277,622 10/1966 Jensen ..52/496 Y 7 14 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures BACKGROUND OF INVENTION This invention relates to air diffuser assemblies, and more particularly to such an air diffuser assembly for a spaced parallel panel ceiling structure.
A popular design of suspended ceiling for a room has a plurality of generally parallel spaced panels or slats mounted on a framework of panel carriers. The panels of such a ceiling are typically formed of sheet metal with a flat central portion and return bent edges or rounded borders giving an elongated, generally U cross-section. The return bent edges form borders which define a plurality of generally parallel elongated openings through the ceiling structure which are architecturally pleasing to the eye. These openings may be used to provide indirect lighting, ventilation and sound absorption for the ceiling.
Heretofore, the ventilation provided by the elongated openings was limited to providing pressurized conditioned air to the attic space above the panels to the ceiling structure, with the conditioned air passing through the elongated openings between the panels or slats and into the room in a plurality of streams. The volume of air flow to the elongated openings was greatest at the source of pressurized conditioned air, and decreased as the distance from the source to the elongated openings between the panels increased. The air flow pattern caused by the heretofore used method of ventilation gave the room a cold ventilated area under the'supply of conditioned air with the ventilated quality and the warmth of the air in the room decreasing as the distance from the supply of conditioned air increased. This type of ventilation is uncomfortable for the occupants of most areas of the room and therefore is unacceptable for modern design.
The variations in room temperature across the room can be solved by providing a multiplicity of air plenum chambers distributed on the suspended ceiling structure in the attic to supply air through certain sections of the elongated openings into the room below, with return air returning to the attic through other sections of such openings. The provision of the air plenum chamber divides the attic space between the suspended ceiling and the real ceiling of the room into supply sections surrounded by the air plenum chamber, and return sections between the air plenum chambers for returning the air along the attic.
The mere provision of a suitable number of air plenum chambers however, does not solve the air dislocated in the opening between the panels to cooperate with each other to regulate and deflect the flow of air between the panels, to. provide such an assembly wherein such baffles are flanges extending oppositely from adjacent panels, to provide such an assembly wherein these flanges are mounted on a mount over the panel, to provide such an assembly with the members having a horizontal portion from which flange means extend into the opening between the panels, to provide such an assembly with such members with an upper flange or weir on one side and a lower flange or vane on the other side, to provide such an assembly with such members which individually mount over individual panels, to provide such an assembly with such members which can be turned end for end to locate a different flange in a given opening between the panels, to provide an assembly with such members with vertical portions that extend over the borders of respective panels to hold the flanges thereof in the openings between the panels, and to provide such members which are inextribution problem since air cannot be permitted to flow Y in an uncontrolled manner down through the elongated openings between the borders of the panels or slats. Such uncontrolled air distribution would direct undesirable cold air streams directly down onto the room without creating an acceptable air flow pattern.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION to diffuse air throughout the room.
pensive to manufacture, simple to install and effective Generally the air diffuser assembly according to this invention for use with a suspended ceiling structure having parallel panels with longitudinal borders spaced apart to define elongated openings between the attic and the room therebelow, includes upper and 'lower baffles and means mounting the baffles in anelongated opening, each with one edge adjacent the panel and the free edge of the baffle in the opening adjacent the free edge of the other bafile to deflect a stream of air from the attic between the free edges along and beneath the ceiling to be difiused throughout the room. The baffles may be flanges on flange means of a horizontal portion of a mounting member'over each panel to locate the flanges in the elongated openings. The flange means may include vertical portions whose resilience holds the members to the associated panel. The upper baffle may form a throat between its free end and the vertical portion of the adjacent panel to regulate the flow of air therethrough. The 'lower baffle may act as a vane to deflect the flow of air along the ceiling.
Other and additional objects of this invention will i become apparent from the following detailed description and drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view partially in section, of a portion of a suspended ceiling structure having parallel spaced panels or slats with an air plenum chamber thereover, and an air difi'user assembly according to this invention thereon;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along the plane lI-II of FIG. 1 and showing the configuration of the panels of the ceiling and the configuration of the diffuser members of the air diffuser assembly;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of a side diffuser member for the air diffuser assembly; and
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of a central diffuser member for the air diffuser assembly.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings and particularly to FIG. 1, the air diffuser assembly according to this invention is generally denoted by the number 10. The air difiuser assembly 10 is located in a room 11 having an 3, attic space 12 divided therefrom by a suspended ceiling structure 15. Generally the suspended ceiling structure 15 includes panels or slats 16 mounted on a framework of panel carriers 22- secured to the ceiling by resilient hanger assemblies 25. An air diffuser member 30 for the panel 16 generally includes a horizontal body portion'31 over the panel 16 and with flange means 36 of upper and lower baffles 40 and 43 mounted to the horizontal body portion. An air plenum chamber 50 is mounted in the attic 12 over several panels 16-between the panel carrier 22 on the air diffuser members 30.
' As best seen in FIG. 1, each of the panels or slats 16 of the illustrative suspended ceiling structure 15 include a flat central portion 17 with borders. 18. The borders 18 and return bent edges 19 define an upwardly opening cavity 20. The return bent or rounded edges 19 have apexes 21 which define the overall width of the panels 16 and the width of the openings between panels as noted hereinafter.
The panel carriers 22 of the illustrative suspended ceiling structure 15 have a generally hat-shaped crosssection and are joined together to form a framework. The lower edges of the panel carriers 22 have a plurality of downwardly bent tabs 23 oppositely opening in pairs with suitable spacing to receive the return bent edges 19 of the panel 16 to locate the panels on the panel carriers 22 in parallel relationship. The borders 18 of the panels or slats 16 are spaced apart so that the apexes 21 of the borders 18 define elongated openings 24.
A resilient hanger assembly 25 of the illustrative suspended ceiling structure 15 hangs the panel carriers 22 from a real ceiling of the room 11. The resilient hanger assembly includes a number of apertured hangets 26 extending through keyhole openings 27 in the panel carrier -22 with a spring 28 hooked into the aperture in the upper half of hanger 26'. The upper end of the spring 28 is threaded to a respective threaded ceiling anchor 29 anchored to the real ceiling of the room 11. The use of the threaded ceiling anchor allows the spring to be threaded onto the anchor 29 to change the height of the panel carriers 22 as needed for leveling the structure 15 for accommodating different real ceiling heights, etc.
The air diffuser assembly for use with a spaced parallel panel 16 includes a multiplicity of side air diffuser members 30 and some central air diffuser members 130. Generally the members 30, 130 are identical in description and so where the parts are identical, the same number will be used to apply to both and where the members are similar but not identical, the numbers will be separated by 100.
Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 4, the members 30, 130 have a horizontal body portion 31 with an upper surface 32 and a lower surface 33. The horizontal body portions terminate on the right side at vertical portion upper edges 34, 134 and sn the left side at vertical portion-upper edges 35, 135 respectively. Flange means, indicated generally at 36 and 136 include vertical portions 37, 137 and 38, 138 extending downwardly from the baffle edges 34, 134 and 35, 135 to form hat sections 39, 139 respectively. On the lower edge of each vertical portion 37 is an outwardly extending flange or upper baffle 40. The flange or upper baffle 40 includes an inner edge 41 integral with the lower edge of the vertical portion 37 and a free or outer edge 42. Likewise on the left side, the member thereis provided a lower baffle or flange 43 with an inner edge 44 on the lower edge of the vertical portion'38 and a free or outer edge 45.
The center air diffuser member 130 as best seen in FIG. 4 is identical with the side air diffuser member 30 except that both of the flanges on the vertical portions 137 and 138 are lower baffles or flanges 140. The baffles or flanges thus described may be mounted to the panels by the associated horizontal and vertical body portion, or mount, as seen in FIG. 1.
The spacing between the vertical portions 37 and 38 of the flange means 36 of the horizontal body portion 31 is slightly less than the spacing of the apexes 21 of the borders 18 of the panel 16. The air diffuser members 30, 130 mount over the panel 16 by spreading the vertical portions 37, 38 causing the vertical portions 37, 38 to engage the apexes 21 of the panel 16 to hold the air difiuser members 30, 130 on the respective panels 16. 7
When the air diffuser member 30 is on the panel 16, the flanges 40 and 43 are located in the elongated openings 24 on either side of the respective panels 16. As seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, the members 30 are arranged so that an upper bafile 40 is provided from one member 30 while'a lower flange or baffle 43 is provided for the adjacent member 30. The lower bafiles 43 are spaced slightly above the plane of central portion 17 of the panels or slats 16 with the upper baffles 40 spaced slightly above the lower baflles 43 in the elongated openings 24.
As best seen in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, an air plenum chamber 50 is provided over selected panels 16 of the suspended ceiling structure 15. The air plenum chamber 50 has walls 51 of ductboard covered with sheet metal. The walls 51 extend between the panel carriers 22 and over several panels .16. On the lower ends of the walls 51 are sponge gaskets 52 which seal the walls 51 to the upper surface 32 of the horizontal body portion 31 of the air diffuser members 30, and to the panelcarrier 22. As is customary, the air plenum chamber 50 has an inlet 53 and a downwardly facing outlet 54 to direct conditioned air from the plenum chamber through the elongated openings 24 between the panels or slats 16 thereunder. The air plenum chamber 50 divides the elongated openings 24 into supply sections 55 thereunder with the openings 24 between the air plenum chambers 50 acting as return sections 56 to return the air to the attic 12 outside of the air plenum chambers 50.
A central air diffuser member 130 is provided over the panel 16 which is centrally located under the outlet 54 of each air plenum chamber 50. Adjacent the cen-- tral air diffuser member 130 are located side air diffuser members 30 with the flange or upper baffle 40 extending toward the center air diffuser member 30.
The vertical portions 37 and 38 of adjacent members 30 in a particular elongated opening 24 define a diffuser inlet 60 below the outlet 54 of the air plenum chamber 50. The diffuser inlet 60 terminates in a throat 61 formed between the free edge 42 of the upper bafile 40 and the vertical portion 38, with the upper bafile 40 acting as a weir to restrict the flow of air through the throat 61. The air from the throat 61 strikes the lower baffle 43 which acts as a vane to direct the flow of air past its free edge 45 and along the central portion 17 of the panel or slat 16 in the direction the lower baffle 43 extends, to be diffused throughout the room 11.
The side difiuser members 30 on the right and left of the central air diffuser member 130 are identically constructed as is shown in FIG. 3. The side air diffuser members 30 are turned end for end, depending on what side of the central air diffuser member 130 they are to be located. This arrangement of the members 30, 130 deflects the air both ways from the central member 130.
If air is to be deflected in only one direction from each of the plenum chambers 50, the central member 130 is omitted and the side members 30 are mounted with the lower baflles 43 thereof extending in the direction of the desired air flow. Various air flow patterns can be obtained, even opposite air flow paths from the same opening under a single air supply plenum,-through the positioning of the within disclosed diffuser members 30 and 130 on the associated panels or slats.
It should be readily apparent that if the panels or slats 16 were differently shaped or constructed out of a different material such as wood for example, the members 30, 130 could also be differently shaped. The important feature of this invention is to maintain the relationship of the upper and lower baffles 40 and 43 in the elongated openings 24 to provide a diffuser inlet 60, the weir defining the throat 61 and the vane for deflecting the air along the underside of the ceiling structure 15.
It should be noted that the appearance of the upper and lower baffles 40 and 43 in a particular elongated opening 24 is architecturally pleasing in appearance since the opening 24 appears from below to be solidly filled with a dark contrasting panel structure. The space between the free edges 42 and 45 of the baffles 40 and 43 does not show because it has as a background the dark inside of the plenum chamber 50 thereover. Thus by the provision of the upper and lower bafiles 40 and-43 of the members 30, 130 of the air diffuser assembly of the invention, the elongated opening 24 between parallel panels or slats 16 of the suspended ceiling structure is architecturally pleasingly filled while simultaneously passing conditioned air through the supply section 55 to' be diffused in either lateral direction from a single opening throughout the room 11 before returning through the return sections 56 to the attic 12.
1. The combination comprising a suspended ceiling structure having parallel panels with longitudinal borders spaced apart to define elongated openings between an attic thereover and a room therebelow, and an air difiuser assembly including:
upper and lower baffles, the baffles together having an aggregate width approximating the width of an elongated opening, and
means for mounting the baffles on the ceiling structure in vertical spaced relationship, each of said baffles having one edge thereof located adjacent one of a pair of longitudinal borders defining an elongated opening with the opposite free edge thereof positioned in said opening in vertical spaced relationship to the free edge of the other baffle, said mounting means including first and second baffle mounting members, each having a pair of oppositely extending baffles secured thereto, each of said members in a first position locating one of such baffles in an associated opening as an upper baffle and in a second position locating the other of said baffles in said associated I opening as a lower baffle, a stream of air from the attic being deflected by the cooperation of the baffles to be directed along and beneath the ceiling structure to be diflused throughout the room.
2. The combination as in claim 1 wherein the mounting means members each include a body portion extending over an associated panel and between a spaced pair of vertical portions, each portion mounting a baf- 3. The combination as in claim 2 wherein the panels are hollow with rounded longitudinal borders, apexes of said rounded borders defining said elongated openings, inwardly'facing edges of said'borders define upwardly facing cavities and each of said members is located over an associated panel and the longitudinal borders thereof.
4. The combination as in claim 3 wherein the vertical portions of said members extend downwardly from the body portion giving a hat-shaped section to the members and wherein the spacing between vertical portions of the members is less than the spacing between the apexes of the borders of the associated panel, said vertical portions being spreadable to position the members over the associated panel borders, the resilience of the members holding the member to the associated panels to locate the associated baffles in the associated opening.
5. The combination as in claim 2 wherein the baffles comprise outturned flanges on the vertical portions of the members.
6. In combination with a suspended ceiling structure having parallel ceiling panels with longitudinal borders spaced apart to define elongated openings through which air flows between an attic space thereover and a room therebelow, an air diffuser assembly comprising:
an opposed pair of air deflecting baffles and mounting means for each'baffle of said pair, including a body portion to which the associated baffle is secured and which is positioned on and supported by the top of an adjacent panel, for locating the pair of baffles in an elongated opening, said pair of baffles cooperating to deflect a stream of air passing through the elongated opening to be diffused throughout the room beneath the ceiling structure.
7. In combination with a suspended ceiling structure having parallel ceiling panels with longitudinal borders spaced apart to define elongated openings through which air flows between an attic space thereover and a the baffle in an elongated opening adjacent the,
panel to deflect a stream of air passing through the elongated opening to be diffused throughout the room beneath the ceiling structure; and wherein an opposed pair of baffles are provided for each is provided foreach baffle of the pair, said pair of baffles cooperating to deflect air along and beneath the ceiling structure; and wherein each mounting means mounts both a first baffle and a second baffle thereon, each said mounting means in a first position on a panel locating the first bafile in an associated elongated opening and when shifted into a second position on the panel locates ture having parallel ceiling panels with longitudinal borders spaced apart to define elongated openings through which air flows between an attic space thereover and a room therebelow, an air diffuser asthe second baffle in the respective elongated opening.
8. The combination as in claim 7 wherein the mounting means locates the second baffle in a second adjacent elongated opening when in said first position and locates the first baffle in said second adjacent elongated opening when in said second position.
9. The combination as in claim 7 wherein said bafiles each comprise an out turned flange provided at a lateral edge of said body portion.
10. The combination as in claim 9 wherein a first out turned flange at one edge of said body portion is vertically spaced from the top of the panel a distance greater than the spacing of a second out turned flange at an opposite edge thereof is spaced from the top of the panel, said out turned flanges being thereby located at different vertical positions in the associated elongated openings.
11. The combination as in claim 9 wherein the mounting means includes generally vertical portions mounting the flanges to the respective edges of the body portion, said vertical portions being spaced apart less than the distance between the borders of a panel and being spreadable to receive the panel therebetween the resilience thereof holding the mounting means to the panel and locating the flanges.
12. In combination with a suspended ceiling strucsembly comprising:
a first and a second baffle positioned in one opening of said elongated openings by, first and second mounting means on adjacent panels to form a diffuser opening between the adjacent edges of the baffles to direct a stream of air therebetween and generally along the underside of one of the panels, each said mounting means including a body portion to which the associated bafile is secured and which is positioned on and supported by the top of an adjacent panel.
13. In combination with a suspended ceiling structure having parallel ceiling panels with longitudinaly borders spaced apart to define elongated openings through which air flows between an attic space thereover and a room therebelow, an air diffuser assembly comprising:
an air deflecting baffle;
mounting means including a body portion to which the bafile is secured and which is positioned on and supported by the top of a panel for locating the baffle in an elongated opening adjacent the panel to deflect a stream of air passing through the elongated opening to be diffused throughout the 00m benea the ceil'n stru ture' and a bottom open i ng air pl erum c amber seated upon the body'portion and over the elongated opening for supplying air therethrough.
14. The combination as in claim 13 wherein the air v plenum chamber has side walls defining the bottom opening and wherein air seal means are provided along the bottom edges of the side walls.