US 3720026 A
A demountable partition for dividing a large room into smaller units and including a ceiling channel and a floor channel arranged in parallel and in vertical alignment. Wall panels are adapted to engage in the channels and spring means in the ceiling channel applies a downward force on the panels and floor channel. A trim strip is housed in the ceiling channel to distribute the spring load more evenly on the panel and improve the appearance of the ceiling channel when the panels are removed.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 11 1 Gasteiger 1 1March 13, 1973 [5 1 PARTITION 2,707,536 5/1955 Wooten .52 409 3,513,606 5/1970 Jones ..52/241 X  Invent g o fif' g b a 3,538,658 11/1970 Lavalley et al. ..52/241 x 1 e a 3 3,570,200 3/1971 Ritnern ..52/241 x  Filed: June 23, 1970 Primary Examiner-James R. Boler  Appl' 49l47 Assistant ExaminerGeo. V. Larkin Attorney-Rogers, Bereskin and Parr  U.S. Cl ..52/241, 52/401  Int. Cl. ..E04h 1/00, E04h 3/00, E04h 5/00  ABSTRACT  Field of Search ..52/24l, 242, 402, 480, 290,
52/4O1, 122 A demountable partitlon for d1v1d1ng a large room into smaller units and including a ceiling channel and a  References Cited floor channel arranged in parallel and in vertical alignment. Wall panels are adapted to engage in the chan- UNITED STATES PATENTS nels and spring means in the ceiling channel applies a 2,032,344 3/1936 Barrows et a1 ....s2/401 9 the and i A 2,443,548 6/1948 Wilson "52,122 trim strip is housed in the ceiling channel to d strlbute 3,412,510 11/1968 Harcuba.... 52/401 X the sprlng load more evenly on the panel and improve 3,462,904 8/1969 Napier ..52/402 the appearance of the ceiling channel when the panels 3,093,218 6/1963 Peterson ..52/241 are removed. 3,292,321 12/1966 Vander Schans.... ....52/241 X 2,076,388 4/1937 Venzie ..52/242 X 3 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PATENTEUMAmms 6 83 82 16 n 88 FIG. 8 100 102 OTTO FERDINAND GASTEIGER PARTITHON This invention relates to a demountable partition of a type which can be used to divide a large room into smaller units.
When designing office space, classrooms, and the like it is convenient to have relatively large areas which can then be sub-divided into rooms using demountable partitions. This has the advantage that as needs change, the partitions can be moved to different locations to rearrange the layout of the rooms. The principle requirements of such partitions are that they should be assembled and dis-assembled'easily and with a minimum use of tools. Also each part of the partitions should be of a size which is convenient for storage.
A number of demountable partitions are available. These fall into three main types, a first of which includes fixed upper and lower channels in which panel members are mounted relatively loosely. This type tends to vibrate and the channels must be disconnected and moved to a new site when the partition is to be relocated. A second type uses wedges for attaching the panels to the channels to prevent vibration and to more positively locate the panels. Here again, the difficulty is that the channels must be disconnected from floor and ceiling before they can be re-positioned. In the third type, the panels are mounted resiliently in the channels so that the vibration problem is substantially eliminated.
According to a particular preferred embodiment of the present invention, a demountable partition is provided having an upper or ceiling channel and a lower or floor channel arranged in vertical alignment. The channels are spaced-apart sufficiently to receive wall panels which are adapted to be engaged in the channels and biased downwardly by spring means housed inside the ceiling channel. The spring means is contained inside the channel by a trim strip which in turn bears against the top of the partition panels. The spring biasing means is adapted to provide sufficient downward force on the panel to hold the floor channel in frictional engagement on a floor. When the partition is to be repositioned, panels are first removed from the channels and then the floor channel is lifted off the floor leaving the ceiling channel in place. The trim strip is forced downwardly over the mouth of the ceiling channel to provide a more pleasing appearance and to disguise the purpose of the ceiling channel. Numerous channels are built into the ceiling of the area in which partitions could be used so that a modular room structure can be built up using the demountable partitions.
The invention will be better understood with reference to the drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a demountable partition'being constructed in a room;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view on lines 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view on lines 33 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view on lines 4-4 of FIG. 1;
FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 are sectional views of alternative floor channels;
FIG. 8 is a sectional view of an alternative ceiling channel; and
FIG. 9 is a sectional side view of a further alternative ceiling channel.
Reference is first made to FIG. 1 which shows an upright demountable partition 10 in a room 12 and extending at right angles to a wall 14 between the floor I6 and ceiling 18. The partition 10 includes an upper or ceiling channel 20 in vertical alignment with a lower or floor channel 22 and panels 24, 24', 24" removably engaged in the channels 20, 22. The ceiling channel 20 is attached to the ceiling 18 by glue, nails, screws or the like whereas the channel 22 is held in place on the floor 16 by frictional forces.
As seen in FIG. 2, the ceiling channel 20 has spacedapart generally parallel side walls 26, 28 extending downwardly from an upper web 30 and terminating at respective inwardly-turned lips 32, 34. The lips 32, 34 define a slot 36 for receiving upper ends of the panels 24, (FIG. 1). A trim strip 38 is located in the channel behind the lips 32, 34 and biased towards the slot 36 by a plurality of spaced-apart coil springs 40 to effectively close the slot 36 and improve the appearance of the channel when the panels 24 are removed. The floor channel 22 is shallower than channel 20 but is similar in shape to channel 20. Channel 22 has a web 42, upright side walls 44, 46 and inwardly turned lips 48, 50 which define a slot 52 for receiving lower ends of panels 24. The lips 48, 50 are provided to strengthen the channel and to present a similar appearance to the upper channel 20. If preferred however the floor channel 22 may be made without the lips 48, 50 in which case the side walls 44, 46 would define slot 52. Also any desired ornamental shape can be used consistent with providing the slot 52. The reason for the difference in depth between channels will be explained later in the disclosure. The springs 40 are attached to the web 30 by gluing or by any other conventional means.
Where the ceiling channel 20 is to be screwed or nailed to the ceiling 18 the trim strip is positioned behind lips 32, 34 after screwing the channel to the ceiling. The strip is positioned by slipping a longitudinal edge between the spring and a lip and then rotating the strip transversely against the springs to enter the other longitudinal edge behind the other lip. Upon releasing the strip, the springs force the strip into engagement with the lips. If required, glue can be used to more positively locate the strip on the springs.
Reference is now made to FIG. 3 which shows the ceiling channel 20 and floor channel 22 with a panel 24 in place in the channels. Springs 40 are partially compressed and the trim strip 38 is displaced upwardly off the lips 32, 34. The weight of the panel 24 together with the downward force exerted by springs 40 are sufficient to frictionally locate the lower channel 22 on the floor 16.
Adjacent panels 24, 24' are interengaged as shown in FIG. 4 to more positively locate one panel in relation to the next panel and to limit possible vibrational noises. The panels shown in FIG. 4 are typical of any pair of adjacent panels.
Panel 24 has an upright end face 53 on which is formed or attached a tongue 54. The other upright end face of panel 24 is similar to end face 55 on panel 24 which defines a groove 56 for slidably receiving the tongue 54. The groove can be of any depth and may be deepened as shown to house electrical services having an outlet 57 connected by an opening 58 to the groove 56. When not required the outlet is covered by a decorative plate. The other end face of panel 24 is similar to the end face 53 of panel 24. In general each panel has a tongue at one upright end face and a matching groove in the other upright end face.
To assemble a partition, a floor channel 22 is laid on the floor 16 in vertical alignment with a ceiling channel 20. Where many variations are required, the ceiling will be equipped with as many ceiling channels as may be necessary. Next a panel 24 is lifted vertically to engage an upper end in ceiling channel 20. The ceiling channel has sufficient depth to permit the user to push the panel 24 upwardly until the lower end of panel 24 can be dropped into floor channel 22. The springs 40 then bias the panel 24 downwardly to aid in holding channel 22 in place on the floor. Further panels 24 are then added as required and pushed into engagement with adjacent panel 24 to engage the tongue 54 into groove 56 (FIG. 4). If preferred, each of the panels 24 can be entered into channels 20, 22 from one end and pushed along the channels into the desired position. The partition can be disassembled by reversing the above assembly procedure.
Reference is now made to FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 which illustrate three alternatives for lower channel 22 (FIG. 1). As seen in FIG. 5, a channel 59 is provided having extruded serrations 60 on its underside for gripping a carpet 61. The serrations are positioned to prevent transverse displacement of the channel 59 across the surface of the carpet 61. A morepositively positioned floor channel is shown in FIG. 6. This second alternative includes a floor channel 62 which has a plurality of pins 64 spaced-apart along the channel 62 and extending downwardly from a web 66. Ferrules 68 are set in floor 70 and spaced-apart such that they receive the pins 64 when the channel is to be located on the floor 70. In this arrangement, ceiling channels are placed on the ceiling at intervals in positions where partitions may be required and corresponding rows of ferrules 68 are positioned in vertical alignment with the ceiling channels in the floor 16. When a partition is to be assembled the channel 62 is placed with the pins 64 in corresponding ferrules 68 and then the panels 24 are inserted in the channels 20, 22.
FIG. 7 shows a third alternative floor channel 72 having the usual lips 74, 76 together with a pair of coplanar ribs 78, 80 for engaging the underside of a panel 24 (FIG. 1). When the channel is positioned against the ribs 78, 80 there is a duct 82 formed below the panel 24 for containing electrical services and the like. The electrical connections can be made by bringing the conductors from the duct 82 upwardly between the panels in the grooves 56 (FIG. 4). The underside of the channel 72 has a friction pad 83 of rubber or any other suitable material for increasing the frictional grip between the channel 72 and the floor. This pad can be used whenever required and with other embodiments of the floor channel.
A further embodiment of the upper channel is shown in FIG. 8. A ceiling channel 84 is adapted to form an integral part of a suspended ceiling 86 which is attached by a suspension member 88 to a roof 90. Screws 92 pass through a web 94 in a ceiling channel member 84 and into member 88 to attach the channel 84. The channel is similar to channel 20 (FIG. 2) but for outwardly extending flanges 96, 98 which support respective acoustic ceiling panels 100, 102 of the suspended ceiling 86. Channels 84 are arranged to form rectangular spaces in which the ceiling panels 100, 102 are positioned. The resulting suspended ceiling 86 presents a pleasing appearance and can be used to receive panels such as panels 24, (FIG. 1) for forming rooms as required.
Reference is now made to FIG. 9 which shows an alternative for springs 40 (FIG. 2). In this figure a web 104 has -a leaf spring 106 attached by a rivet 108. A trim strip 110 is biassed downwardly by the spring 106. This type of spring is suitable in some situations but coil springs are preferable because their change in length takes place transversely of the channel whereas the leaf spring would become axially longer as panels are inserted in the ceiling channel. Consequently the leaf spring must be axially shorter than the extent of the ceiling channel if the ends of the spring are not to project beyond the ends of the channel when the panels are in place in the ceiling channel.
Because of the tongue and groove arrangement between adjacent panels, the panels must be moved along the channels before they can be removed. If it is desired to prevent disassembly a locking device can be inserted into one or both of the ceiling and floor channels to prevent sliding movement of the panels. The locking device can take any convenient form and be operated by a key.
Each of the channels and trim strips described is preferably of sheet metal formed into the required shape or of extruded aluminum. However a suitable plastic can also be used. Each of the panels 24 is of plywood faced with plastic or painted but any other suitable material can be used.
What I claim as my invention is:
l. A demountable partition comprising: an upwardlyopening floor channel on a floor; a downwardly-opening ceiling channel affixed to the ceiling parallel to and above said floor channel, the depth of the ceiling channel being substantially greater than the depth of the floor channel and the ceiling channel having a pair of inwardly extending lips defining a slot; a trim strip engaged in the ceiling channel and having a width greater than the width of the slot; and spring means housed in the ceiling channel above the trim strip for biasing the trim stip into engagement with upper surfaces of the lips; and panels having a thickness slightly less than the width of the slot for sliding engagement in the ceiling channel between the lips, each of the panels having respective upper and lower ends engaged in the ceiling and floor channels, the upper ends of the panels being engaged against the underside of the trim strip whereby the trim strip is displaced upwardly of the lips and the spring means is compressed to provide a downward force on the floor channel, each of the panels being removable by displacing the panel upwardly to further compress the spring means and thereby release the lower end of the panel from the floor channel whereupon the panel is removed from the ceiling channel by first moving the lower end of the panel away from the floor channel and then lowering the panels so that the upper end of the panel is removed from the ceiling channel.
2. A demountable partition as claimed in claim 1 in which the spring means comprises a plurality of coil springs in spaced-apart relation with their axes vertical.
3. A demountable partition as claimed in claim 1 in which the ceiling channel comprises a horizontally extending web, spaced-apart upright side walls dependent from respective longitudinal edges of the web, the lips being coplanar and extending inwardly from respective 5 lower ends of the side walls.