US 3713474 A
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United States Patent 1191 Orlando 1 Jan. 30, 1973 154 PORTABLE WALL PARTITION 1,328,918 1 1920 Fulda ..52/615 I 2,412,900 12/1946 Mayer  lnvemm- James 3" ,4718 North 2,880,471 4 1959 Von Munch usen ..52/615 x Street,Ph0en1X.ArIZ- 85013 3,127,926 4/1964 Adelt ..52/615 x  Filed, April 26 1971 3,592,288 7/1971 Walter ..160/35l X  Appl. No.: 137,221 Primary ExaminerPrice C. Faw, Jr.
Att0rneyEric P. Schellin and John A. Robertson  US. Cl. ..l60/351, 52/239,-181/30  ABSTRACT  Int. Cl. ..E04b 2/74  Field of Search ..l60/351, 352, 135; 52/239, A Porwble Partition adapted to subdivide floor 52/238, 33, 621, 615, 63; 181/30; 223/72, space into optionally adjustably-sized privacy 74 40/125 F 125 H 129 R 322 modules. The wall part1t1on has a free-standing uprlght frame which substantially defines the shape of the par-  References Cited tition. Disposed on either side of the frame is a layer of acoustic barrier material. The partition is enveloped UNITED STATES PATENTS in an aesthetic flexible covering. Demountable feet support the partition upon the floor. 3,017,969 1/1962 Nielsen ..52/239 3,147,336 9/1964 Mathews ..52/615 X 4 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTEUJAISO 1975 3, 7 1 3,474 sum 1 or 3 INVENTOR.
JAWS V. ORLANDO BY? f ATTORNEY PATENTEDJAN 30 I873 3,713,474
sum 2 or 3 l/ J: INVENTOR.
- ATTORNEY PATENTED JAN 30 I975 SHEET 3 OF 3 INVENTOR. JAMES VORLANDO BY 9 r ATTORNEY nN\\\ I PORTABLE WALL PARTITION This invention relates to portable wall partitions.
More particularly the invention concerns a freestanding portable wall partition adapted to subdivide floor space into optionally adjustably sized privacy modules.
The prior art defines various portable wall partitions useful in subdividing floor space into adjustably-sized privacy modules. A primary type, of early origin, employs a series of upright elongate slats. Each slat is secured to the adjacent slat with a hinged arrangement to form an accordian-pleated panel. The offset slats provide dispersion over the floor to maintain the panel in a free-standing position. Such partitions are generally extremely aesthetic, having a natural woodstained finish, attractively painted, or even incorporating designs such as murals. Functionally these panels provide adequate visual privacy, however, they are of limited acoustical insulating value and stability and are, therefore, easily tipped.
Another singularly common and conventional subdividing wall partition is constructed in a manner analogous to a window panel. This embodiment employs an exterior frame circumscribing an inset decorative panel of plywood, plexiglass, or fiberboard. Feet attached to the lower member of the frame support the partition in the upright position. While providing visual privacy and portability comparable to the accordainpleat type, this design is generally more inherently stable in the upright position.
Numerous applications dictate that the function of portable wall partitions extend beyond the realm of aesthetic value and visual privacy. Portable wall partitions have been generally accepted as the practical solution in business office applications. The free-standing divider permits extreme flexibility in the sub-division of large rooms or office areas into smaller privacy modules. These privacy modules may include temporary offices, conversation booths, or independent work stations.
While beautyand visual privacy are desirable criteria for portable wall partitions, many applications, particularly those in business offices for use in dividing secretarial pools or conversation booths, have further requirements not contemplated by the prior art. One of these requirements is to provide an acoustical barrier such that conflicting conversations may be conducted simultaneously in adjacent conversation booths or such that the typing or other noise created by business machines is not disturbing to a secretary in an adjacent privacy module.- In fact, in many instances the visual privacy afforded by portable wall partitions is of only secondary consideration and benefit.
Accordingly, it would be highly advantageous therefore, to provide a portable wall partition having extended utility and it is a principal object of the present invention to provide a portable wall partition adapted to subdivide a floorspace into optionally adjustably sized privacy modules wherein the privacy modules are acoustically as well as visually insulated.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a portable wall partition that is ruggedly and durably constructed, and which yet provides improved aesthetic appearance.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a portable wall partition which is readily deployable and substantially stable in the free-standing position.
Yet still another object of the present invention, is a portable wall partition of the above type in which the functional mechanical components, including the frame, are hidden from view.
These and other, further and more specific objects and advantages of my present invention, will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description thereof, taken in conjunction with the drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a portable wall partition, chosen for purposes of illustration, and constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the portable wall partition of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the device of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a plan view of the device of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a side elevation view of the portable wall partition of FIG. 1, partly broken away to reveal the elemental components thereof;
FIG. 6 is an exploded partial isometric view, particularly detailing the method of construction of the portable wall partition of the present invention;
FIG. 7 is an elevation view, in section, taken along the lines 7-7 of FIG. 5, specifically detailing the means for supporting the portable wall partition upon a floor.
Briefly, to accomplish the desired objectives of my present invention, in accordance with a preferred embodiment thereof, I first provide an upright frame having a rigid perimeter member. This perimeter member substantially defines the shape of the partition. A flexible covering material, especially chosen for aesthetic value, envelops the frame such that the frame is hidden from view. Means, as for example detachable feet, depend from the frame to support the partition upon the floor.
The rigid perimeter member, preferably constructed of a metalic tube or bar, is reinforced by spaced vertical elongate braces fabricated from the same material as the perimeter member and are set there within and secured at their respective ends, as by welding. The frame is perimetrically encased with wood or other similar material for receiving nails or staples. A substantially rigid substrate, such as a heavy cardboard or light particle board, is disposed on either side of the frame and optionally secured by nails or staples to the encasement.
The sound dampening properties of the wall partition, in accordance with a preferred embodiment thereof, are layers of sponge rubber or other suitable materials disposed against each of the rigid substrates. A sheet of flexible covering material, such as leatherette or vinyl plastic especially chosen for its aesthetic value, is superposed over each acoustical substrata. The flexible covering is then drawn tight in a manner commonly known to upholsterers, and secured continuously about its perimeter to the encasement by the use of staples, upholstery tacks or by any other suitable fasteners. The exposed seam of the abutting edges of the covering material are disguised by a trimstrip or welting which encircles the partition and is glued thereto.
The substantially rigid substrate prevents the acoustic material from being drawn in between the bracing members to prohibit an irregular or wavy finished surface to the flexible covering. Threaded studs, welded to the lower portion of the perimeter member and depending downwardly therefrom, provide an attachment for the feet. Preferrably the feet would be made of a horizontally disposed metallic bar having a small skid-pad disposed adjacent the end thereof on the underside. A female threaded receptacle upstanding from proximate the center of the bar threadably engages the stud to support the wall partition in the upright position. A locking screw extending through the receptacle engages against the stud to retain the cross member in the desired position.
Turning now to the drawings, in which the same reference characters indicate corresponding elements throughout the several views, FIG. 1 shows a portable wall partition constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention. Shown here is the upright partition generally designated by the reference character 10, having its shape defined by the perimeter member as will be hereinafter described in greater detail. A pair of spaced floor supports 11 maintain the partition in the upright position.
FIG. 2 illustrates a portable wall partition comprising the same elemental components as the device of FIG. I, however the upright frame is arcuately contoured to form a modified panel A. FIG. 3 and 4 more favorably compare the upright panels 10 and 10 A. As particularly noted in FIG. 3 the upright panel 10 is substantially planar, while the upright panel 10 A as disclosed in FIG. 4 has a radius of curvature r about a vertical axis 12.
FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrates the elemental components of the device of the present invention, and the method of constructing same. A rigid perimeter member 13 provides the basis for the upright frame and concurrently defines the shape of the partition. Elongate bracing members 14 lying within the plane of the perimeter member 13, and having their respective ends welded or otherwise secured thereto, reinforce the perimeter member 13 and complete the base frame.
A wooden encasement 17 is perimetrically disposed about the perimeter member 13. The encasement 17 provides a medium for the fastening hardware employed in subsequent fabrication. The wooden encasement may be of any desired cross-sectional dimension and secured to the perimeter member 17 in numerous ways known within the art. As a practical expediency, however, the casement 17 of the present invention has substantially the same width as the cross-section of the perimeter member 13. The encasement l7 and the perimeter member 13 are positionally retained by subsequent fabrication without the necessity of direct bonding or fastening between the respective elements.
A substantially rigid substrate 18, generally congruent with the encasement 17, is disposed on either side thereof. A substrata chosen for its acoustic properties, shown here as a sheet of sponge rubber 19, is positioned against each substrate 18. The rigid substrate 18 provides a backing for the acoustic substrata 19 to prevent the substrata from being impressed between the elongate brace members 14.
A flexible covering 20, selected for its aesthetic value, is superposed over each acousticaly substrata 19 and secured to the encasement 17, about the perimeter thereof, by upholstery staples 21. A welting 22, as conventionally employed in the upholstery art, is bonded or otherwise secured as an encirclement about the partition to cover the exposed edges of the flexible coverings 20 and the staples 21.
Attention is now directed to FIG. 7 which illustrates a preferred method of supporting the completed partition of FIGS. 5 and 6 from the floor. A cylindrical projection 23, having a threaded end 24, is welded to the perimeter member 13 and depends therefrom. A floor bearing cross-member 27, having skid-pads 28 mounted on the underside and at either end thereof, supports an upstanding female threaded coupling proximate the center thereof. The coupling 29 threadedly engages the projection 23.
To provide a flat package for convenient shipping cross-member 27 may be disengaged from the projection 23 or simply rotated to lie parallel with the partition. At erection the coupling 29 is engaged with the threaded portion 24 of the projection 23 and retained at any selective pivotal position by the locking screw 30.
Various modifications and variations of the device herein chosen for purposes of illustration will readily occur to persons skilled in the art. The elongate brace members 14 hereinbefore described as vertical may be replaced by horizontal members, X or truss members, or substantially any configuration. It is foreseen that they could even be eliminated and their structural strength replaced by sturdier substrate 18. In a still further modification the upright frame, essentially comprising the perimeter member 13 and the elongate brace members 14, could be placed in a mold and entirely encapsulated within a moldable material such as polystyrene. The flexible covering 20 and the associated welting 22 are then optional.
These and other obvious detail modifications of the invention may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of the invention which is hereinbefore described in detail in connection with the drawings, as a preferred embodiment thereof. Having fully described and disclosed the present invention, and what I consider to be the preferred embodiment thereof, in such clear and concise terms as to enable those skilled in the art to understand and practice the same. I
1. A portable wall partition adapted to subdivide a floor space into optionally adjustably sized privacy modules and further adapted to provide an aesthetic appearance to said privacy modules; said wall partition comprising:
a. an upright rigid metallic frame including:
l. a perimeter member substantially defining the shape of said partition 2. elongate bracing members extending between spaced points of said perimeter member and lying substantially within the plane thereof;
b. a non-metallic encasement perimetrically disposed about said perimeter member;
c. a substantially rigid substrate disposed on either side of said frame and secured to said encasement;
d. an acoustical substrata positioned against each comprising:
said substrate; said substrate being substantially a. an upright frame including a rigid perimeterframe congrue h Sa d encasement; member which defines the shape of the partition; a flexible covering superposed Over each Said b. elongate bracing members attached at their acoustical substrata and secured at the perimeter 5 respective ends to spaced points f Said perimeter thereof fincasememiand frame member and lying substantially within the f. means depending from said frame to support said plane thereof;
wall partition upon said floor.
2. The wall partition of claim 1, in combination with a welting encircling said encasement; said welting en- 10 closing the secured perimetric edge of said covering.
3. The wall partition of claim 1, wherein said wall partition has an arcuate contour about a vertical axis.
4. A portable wall partition adapted to subdivide a floor space into optionally adjustably sized privacy modules and further adapted to provide an aesthetic appearance to said privacy modules; said wall partition c. means for supporting said frame upon said floor; d. a flexible covering substantially enveloping said frame so that said frame is hidden from view; and e. a substantially rigid substrate disposed between said frame and said flexible covering said substrate obscuring said frame from view and preventing concavity of said flexible covering between the frame members.