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Publication numberUS3729889 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 1, 1973
Filing dateSep 14, 1970
Priority dateSep 14, 1970
Also published asCA941575A, CA941575A1
Publication numberUS 3729889 A, US 3729889A, US-A-3729889, US3729889 A, US3729889A
InventorsG Baruzzini
Original AssigneePet Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Modular insulated panel system
US 3729889 A
Abstract
A modular insulated panel system in which a series of panels are assembled together with panel locking and sealing members to form an enclosed insulated space adapted for different environmental conditioning than the contiguous area.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 91 Baruzzini [451 May 1, 1973 MODULAR INSULATED PANEL SYSTEM [75] Inventor: Gino L. Baruzzini, OFallon, M0.

[73] Assignee: Pet Incorporated, St. Louis, Mo.

[22] Filed: Sept. 14, 1970 [21] App1.No.: 71,735

[52] US. Cl. ..52/264, 52/481, 52/586,

52/403 [51] Int. Cl ..E04b 1/343, E04b 1/38 [58] Field of Search ..52/264, 272 275,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,021,867 4/1912 Goss ..52/711 2,137,767 11/1938 Betcone ..52/274 2,143,288 1/1939 Stolz ..287/189.36 D 2,223,016 11/1940 Parkhurst ..52/584 2,988,855 6/1961 Asfour et al..... .....52/711 3,392,497 7/ 1 968 Cushman ..52/584 3,508,369 4/1970 Tennison ..52/43 3,570,205 3/1971 Payne ..52/403 2,966,967 1/1961 Levy et al ..52/36 3,397,428 8/1968 Donald ..264/171 3,448,183 6/1969 Chisholm .....264/171 3,490,800 1/1970 Wissler ..52/586 3,512,819 5/1970 Morgan et a1. ...52/309 3,564,801 2/1971 Huerta ...52/309 3,626,652 12/1971 Hanley .l ..52/586 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 46,857 8/1936 France ..52/495 761,444 1/1934 France ...52/481 769,067 6/1934 France ..52/481 775,877 10/1934 France ..52/479 1,336,243 7/1963 France ..52/403 1,452,891 8/1966 France ..52/393 1,354,946 2/1964 France ..52/613 Primary Examiner-Frank L. Abbott Assistant Examiner.lames L. Ridgill, Jr. Att0rney-Richard G. Heywood [57] ABSTRACT A modular insulated panel system in which a series of panels are assembled together with panel locking and sealing members to form an enclosed insulated space adapted for different environmental conditioning than the contiguous area.

13 Claims, 39 Drawing Figures Patented May 1, 1973 13 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG.3

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FIG 4 Patented May 1, 1973 3,729,889

l3 Sheets-Sheet 5 PF F1521 Q ZL/flAL M-W Patented May 1, 1973 13 Sheets-Sheet 6 a w m n r. P 0 Z? .5 m 1 d WZ IW 0 4 V v c 4 4 n wa d I u 4 I] w 0 e H 4 4 a 0 A -///w/ a: kld V! w a 2 2 [H 2 ll G n H A Z Pat ented May 1, 1973 13 sheets-sheet 9 mm UE 6/ 1.3 67 Z/lY/ 24i? Patented May 1, 1973 13 Sheets-Sheet 10 III 19702.

Patented May 1, 1973 3,729,889

13 Sheets-Sheet 11 zwz 4M Patented May 1, 1973 3,729,889

13 Sheets-Sheet 13 MODULAR INSULATED PANEL SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The invention relates generally to panel systems forming partition walls or complete enclosures, and more particularly to insulated or isolated spaces having a controlled environment.

Many panel systems have been developed for installation in different types of facilities and for use by a wide variety of businesses or industries in which prefabricated partition walls or complete enclosures are required to form separate adjoining areas such as office cubicles, laboratory and research facilities, warehousing or storage facilities, production facilities, treatment rooms and the like. In many cases, it is essential or highly desirable to sound-proof certain areas or to maintain different environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, atmosphere and the like. It is manifest that the conditions of use will usually dictate the minimum requirements and specifications of any panel system and factors of strength, rigidity, durability, appearance, etc. will thus be determined. In panel systems forming enclosed spaces in which environmental control is to be effected, the integrity of the sealing arrangement is a major factor to maintain a uniform temperature gradient or minimize moisture migration or other interchange of atmosphere except as may occur naturally as a result ofingress or egress.

Without limitation upon the scope of the panel system invention to other applications in different industries, a typical and preferred embodiment of the present modular insulated panel system invention hereinafter selected for purposes of illustration and disclosure comprises a refrigerated enclosure of the type known in the refrigeration industry as a walk-in cooler. Such coolers may be installed in supermarkets or numerous other types of businesses for the storage of merchandise under refrigeration or other environmental conditioning than the adjoining area in which the cooler is installed. In the past such walk-in coolers have been fabricated with wall panels having a wooden frame within which an insulating material has been packed and covered by outer porcelainized metallic casing or liner sheets secured by an adhesive bonding material. These panels were secured together by spaced cam locking devices recessed into the wooden frame and accessible through exterior ports, with sealing gaskets being provided on adjacent abutting surfaces. Conventional wood or metal flooring has been utilized and ceiling or top panel structures were similar. Such panel systems, as others used in industry, have been expensive to build with problems of maintaining manufacturing tolerances and quality control, have been expensive to ship and handle due to the weight and bulk thereof, and have been expensive to install for like reasons.

SUMMARY OFTHE INVENTION component parts, novel panel locking members insertable into opposed channel means of adjacent panel members in interlocking relationship, and novel sealing members applied between adjacent panel members.

The principal object of the present invention is to provide a novel panel system permitting the orientation and assembly of panel members into various arrangements of partition walls and complete enclosures having sound-proof or insulation characteristics adapting the delimited area for environmental control.

Another object of the invention is to provide a panel system utilizing panels fabricated in a novel manner and having optimum strength, rigidity, and insulation characteristics, and which are light weight and economically manufactured, stored, shipped and handled. It is also an object to provide a panel system forming a complete insulated enclosure that may quickly and easily be assembled with minimum manpower, time and tools.

Another object is to provide a novel panel inter locking arrangement for positive engagement between adjacent panels and structural strengthening thereof.

Another object is to provide novel sealing means for a panel system that is quickly applied and provides positive sealing engagement between adjacent insulated members to assure the integrity of the system for environmental conditioning.

A more specific object of the invention is to provide a panel system forming a refrigerated enclosure or walk-in cooler for the refrigerated storage of food products or the like in supermarkets and other stores.

These and still other objects and advantages will become more apparent hereinafter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS For purposes of illustration and disclosure, the invention is embodied in the parts and in the arrangements and combinations of parts hereinafter described and claimed.

In the accompanying drawings which form part of the specification and wherein like numerals refer to like parts wherever they occur:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view, partly broken away, of an insulated cooler cabinet embodying the modular insulated panel system of the present invention,

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary perspective view of a typical side or end panel module,

FIG. 3 is a greatly enlarged cross-sectional view taken along line 33 of FIG. 2,

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view of a typical bottom or top panel module,

FIG. 5 is a greatly enlarged cross-sectional view taken along line 55 of FIG. 4,

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary plan view of one form of panel locking spline embodied in the invention,

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary plan view of another form of panel locking spline embodied in the invention,

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary perspective view of another form of panel locking spline embodied in the invention,

li Of FIG. 12 is a fragmentary perspective view of a comer post and another corner locking spline arrangement embodied in the invention,

FIG. 13 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken along line 13-13 ofFIG. 12,

FIG. 14 is a plan view of another panel locking form of spline embodied in the invention,

FIG. 15 is a plan view of still another form of panel locking spline embodied in the invention,

FIG. 16 is a fragmentary perspective view of one form of sealing gasket embodied in the invention,

FIG. 17 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken along line 17-17 of FIG. 16,

FIG. 18 is a fragmentary perspective view of another form of sealing gasket embodied in the invention,

FIG. 19 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken along line 19-19 of FIG. 18,

FIG. 20 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken FIG. 21 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken along line 21-21 of FIG. 1,

FIG. 22 is an enlarged cross-sectional along line 2222 of FIG. 1,

FIG. 23 is an enlarged cross-sectional along line 23-23 of FIG. 1,

FIG. 24 is an enlarged cross-sectional along line 24-24 of FIG. 1,

FIG. 25 is an enlarged cross-sectional along line 25-25 of FIG. 1,

FIG. 26 is an enlarged cross-sectional along line 26-26 of FIG. 1,

FIG. 27 is an enlarged cross-sectional along line 27-27 of FIG. 1,

FIG. 28 is an enlarged cross-sectional along line 28-28 of FIG. 1,

FIG. 29 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken along line 29-29 of FIG. 1,

FIG. 30 is an exploded perspective view illustrating the assembly procedure of the bottom panels,

FIG. 31 is an exploded perspective view showing the initial assembly procedure of the side and end panels with the bottom and corner post,

view taken view taken view taken view taken view taken view taken view taken FIG. 32 is an exploded perspective view showing further assembly procedure of the side or end panels with the bottom,

FIG. 33 is an exploded perspective view of the side panel and door frame assembly procedure,

FIG. 34 is a greatly enlarged fragmentary elevational detail of the door frame side and header panel assembly,

FIG. 35 is an exploded perspective view of the assembly procedure of the top panels,

FIG. 36 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view illustrating application of a typical sealing gasket,

FIG. 37 is a perspective view ofa special tool used in assembling the modular insulated panel system embodying the present invention,

FIG. 38 is a fragmentary perspective view of still another form of sealing gasket embodied in the invention, and

FIG. 39 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken along line 39-39 of FIG. 38.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT As previously indicated, a preferred embodiment of the modular insulated panel system invention herein selected for disclosure purposes comprises a complete refrigerated enclosure of the type known in the refrigeration trade as a walk-in cooler, generally designated by reference numeral C in FIG. 1. The cooler C may be installed in a Room R or suitable space such as the backroom or processing area of a supermarket having a floor RF and side walls RS as shown in FIG. 1. The cooler C includes a bottom section or floor CF, a top section or ceiling CC and opposed side and end sections or walls CS and CE, respectively, defining the enclosure and forming an internal storage space or area CA accessible through the cooler door CD. Although not shown in the drawings, it will be readily apparent that the area CA is provided with a suitable source of refrigeration which may be a conventional evaporator unit usually suspended from the ceiling CC and operated from a remote condensing unit or refrigerated air may be ducted into the cooler area CA from a remote evaporator unit.

Still referring to FIG. 1, the walk-in cooler C is provided with a plurality of groups or series of insulated modules, partitions or panel members of novel and like construction. The bottom section CF comprises a first series of sequential panel module or members B1 through B6 and the top section CC comprises a series of similar sequentially arranged panel module or members T1 through T6, although the top panel members are oriented in an inverted position relative to the bottom panels as will be described more fully. While each I of the side and end wall sections CS and CE comprises a second series of vertical panel module or members (and in other installations, such as partition walls, such a straight line series may comprise the entire panel system), the panel members of the side and end walls are sequentially designated as SE1 through SE12 in a counterclockwise order to correlate with a typical assembly procedure hereinafter described. In addition, one side or end wall section includes closure panels D1, D2 and D3 defining an opening in which door assembly DA for the cooler door CD is mounted. The side and end panels SEl-SE12 are sequentially assembled with corner posts P1 through P4 to form the rectangular vertical walls of the cooler cabinet. The cooler C may also be provided with a shelf assembly SA, which will be described more fully hereinafter as will the novel locking members for interlocking the panel system in assembled relation and the sealing members for sealing between adjacent panel members.

Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 3 wherein a typical side or end panel module or member SE (1-12) is illustrated, each of these panels SE is of predetermined dimension to accommodate the modular aspect of the panel system. For instance, a standard side or end panel may have an 8-foot vertical dimension and a width of 4 feet, except that the panels Se abutting the comer posts Pl-P4 will be narrower by the lateral dimension of the corner post, Le, a 2-inch post will require adjacent panels of 46 inches.

Each panel member SE (ll-l2) comprises inner and outer surface casings or liners 2,2a of rectangular configuration and having peripheral edges or margins 2b,

the liners 2,2a being spaced apart by peripherally aligned end caps or edge channel members 3 of generally T-shaped configuration to define a central cavity filled with and providing a foam insulation body 4 of polyurethane or the like. The liners 2,2a are preferably formed of cold rolled commercial quality sheet steel or the like, and the edge or channel membets 3 are preferably formed of extruded plastic, such as Acrylonitrile Butadine Styrene (ABS).

1 As shown best in FIG. 3, the edge or channel members 3 extend longitudinally along each peripheral margin of thepanel member SE or, in other words, the panel member is enclosed by opposed pairs of lengthwise and laterally extending members 3 of identical configuration arranged in overlapping and contiguous relationship with the juxtaposed marginal edges 2b of the liners 2,2a. The edge or channel members 3 are provided with spaced apart base portions 5,5a having exterior and interior sides or surfaces 5x,5i and first or liner abutment flanges 6,6a are integrally formed on the base portions 5,5a to define the lengthwise side edges thereof and extend normal to the base portions substantially parallel with the liners 2,2a. Closely adjacent to and extending in a parallel direction with the outer liner abutment flanges 6,6a are another set of locking flanges 7,7a, these. second flanges 7,7a being integrally formed with the base interior surface 51' at a slight outward angle therewith to define with the adjacent side flange 6,6d wedge or key-stone shaped channels 8,8a therebetween extending lengthwise of the edge members 3. A pair of opposed, spaced channel walls 9,9a are also integrally formed with base portions 5,5a adjacent to the mid-portion thereof to form the T-shaped configuration and define an elongated spline receiving groove, slot or channel lengthwise of the base extending peripherally around the entire side or end wall panel SE. A base or cross wall 1 1 is integrally formed across the walls 9,9a to close the groove 10 and includes integrally formed extensions 11a for displacement preventing bonding engagement with the insulation body 4. If desired, strengthening or reinforcing members 12,12a, such as rigid nylon or metallic strips, may be extruded into the channel walls 9,9a or may be bonded to either surface of the channel walls 9,9a. A plurality of opposed aligned pin receiving V bores or apertures 13,13a are provided through the groove walls 9,9a and reinforcing members 12,12a in predetermined spaced relation lengthwise of the edge members SE, anda plurality of spline locking lugs or pins 14 are pressed into and fixedly received in said opposed apertures l3,13a extending across the groove 10. It should be noted that the location and spacing of pins 14 in the respective panel members SE, B and T are specific in order to assure closely adjacent or abutting interlocking engagementtherebetween by the locking members to be described. As shown in FIG. 2, the lateral or shorter ends of a typical standard panel SE are provided with four pins, and the longitudinal or vertical sides are provided with seven pins 14, although other pin locking arrangements may be provided. In addition, longitudinally extending serrations or grooves 15,15a are provided lengthwise of the base portions 5,5a in the exterior surface 5x thereof intermediate to the flanges 6,611 and central channel 10 for sealing purposes, as described hereinafter.

Still referring to F I63. 2 and 3, in the assembled relationship of the components of the side and end panels SE, the extruded channel or first members 3 areprovided with the reinforcing strip elements 12,12a and the pins 14 are pressed into the opposed openings 13,13a in channel walls 9,9a. The channel members 3 are cut to end and side length with mitered ends and the liner or second members 2,2a are positioned with the margins 2b in the wedge-shaped channels 8,8a in abutment with the outer flanges 6,611. A specific or predetermined amount of polyurethane or like plastic is provided for each panel module SE and, in applying the froth foaming process, the plastic expands to completely fill the interior panel space to surround the pins 14 and channel walls 9,9a, 11,.11a and extend into the wedge-shaped channels 8,8a to firmly hold the liner margins 2b against flanges 6,6a. It should be noted that no otherfastening means or the like are utilized in forming the panel members SE.

Referring now to FIGS. 4 and 5 wherein a typical intermediate bottom panel module or member B (2-5) or top panel T (2-5) is illustrated, each of these panels is of similar construction to the side and end panels SE and of predetermined dimension to accommodate the modular aspect of the panel system. For instance, a standard intermediate panel may have an 8-foot length to correspond to the width of twoend panels SE and two corner post P and the lateral or end dimension similarly will be 4 feet.

The end or closure bottom panel members B1 and B6 (or top panels T1 and T6) are also of similar construction, but are dimensioned with shorter lateral ends, such as 2 feet to provide an overlapping or offset relationship between the joints of the bottom and top walls CF and CC relative to the joints of the side and end walls SE.

Still referring to FIGS. 4 and 5,, each of the intermediate panel members B (or top panels T) comprises inner and outer surface casings or liners 16,16a having peripheral edges or margins 16b, but the inner liner 16 is predeterminately shorter than the outer liner 16a.

The bottom panel member B (or top panel T) is provided with the T-shaped edge channel members 3 (identical to those described with reference to side panels SE in FIGS. 2 and 3) extending along its outer longitudinal sides to adjacent the ends. The lateral ends of the intermediate panels B are provided with L- shaped channel members 17 engaged in overlapping contiguous relationship with the juxtaposed marginal edges 16b of the liners 16,]l6a as described hereinafter, with insulation material 4 being formed into the interior chamber of the panel B in bonding relation with the liners 16,160 and edge members 3,17.

The L-shaped edge or channel members 1-7 are formed of extruded plastic, such as Acrylonitrile Butadine Styrene (ABS), and comprise spaced apart channel forming walls or legs 18,1830 including first or liner abutment flanges and an end wall or leg 19 formed at right angles thereto, the base walls 18,1811 extending in the plane of the short liner l6 and the end walls 19 extending normal thereto and defining the lateral end margins of the panel B. The spacedl base walls 1818a have exterior and interior sides or surfaces l8x,l8i and the inner surfaces l8i of base walls 18 adjacent the free margin thereof form abutment surfaces for the end margins 16b of the shorter panel liner 16. Locking or second flanges are angularly formed from these inner surfaces l8i to define wedge or keystone-shaped channels 21 with the base walls 18. Similarly, the end walls 19 of the channel members 17 are provided with right-angle edge flanges 19a extending in the plane of the other liner 16a and forming a surface abutment with the end margins 16b thereof, and locking flanges 20b are formed from the end walls 19 extending in a parallel direction with the edge flanges 19a and defining therebetween wedge or keystone-shaped channels 21a.

Each of the L-shaped channel members 17 is also provided with a pair of opposed spaced channel walls 22,22a integrally formed with the base wall portions 18,180 to form a T-shaped configuration similar to the channel members 3 and define an elongated spline receiving groove, slot or channel 23 lengthwise of the base walls 18,18a extending parallel with and adjacent to the end wall 19 at each lateral end of the panel member B. A cross wall 24 interconnects the inner ends of the channel walls 22,22a to close the channel 23, but does not extend laterally beyond into the body cavity in order to facilitate the flow of plastic into the end channel members 17 during fabrication. The channel walls 22,22a may also be provided with reinforcing strip members 25,25a extruded therein or bonded thereto, and spline locking lugs or pins 26 are pressed into opposed openings 27,2711 in predetermined spaced relation along the channel 23 and project outwardly of the channel walls 22,22a into the body cavity. These pins 26 are also specifically located to assure positive interlocking relationship between panel members. A series of adjacent serrations or grooves 28 are formed in the exterior surface 18x of the base wall portion 180 adjacent to the outer end wall 19 for sealing purposes. In addition, the L-shaped channel members 17 are provided with end caps 29 of rectangular shape and bonded to the base walls 18,18a and end wall 19 to close the ends of the channel members when assembled with the liners 16,16a and side channel members 3, the end caps 29 having grooves 29a conterminous with the channels 23. It will thus be apparent that the channel means 23,29a extend across the end portions of the inner panel member surfaces and are open whereas the channels 10 of the channel members 3 forming the longitudinal sides of the intermediate panel members B terminate at the end caps 29 and are closed by a suitable cap to retain the insulation material in the body cavity.

The assembled relationship of the components of the intermediate bottom panel modules or members B (or top panels T) is similar to that previously described with respect to the side and end panels SE, and the foam insulation comprises the means for holding these components together without other fastening means being needed. It should be noted that the wedge-shaped channels accommodate a sufficient tapering body of foam material to prevent the edge channel or first members 3,17 from pulling loose from the peripheral margins 211,161) ofthe liner or second members and also provide a bonding continuity with the main body of insulation 4. It will also be understood that the so-called wedge-shaped channels may be different configurations, and the term wedge or keystone-shaped channels is intended to cover all such alternate configurations.

Referring now to FIGS. 30 and 31 which illustrate steps in an assembly procedure for the panel system, it will be noted that the end or closure bottom panel members B1 and B6 (and, similarly, the top panels T1 and T6) are formed differently than the intermediate bottom panels 82-5 (and top panels T2-5). Only one longitudinal edge of the panel member B6 (FIGS. 30 and 31) has a T-shaped channel member 3 extending between L-shaped channel members 17 at the short lateral ends of the panel B6, and the other side is pro vided with an L-shaped channel member 17 formed with mitered corners to form a continuous upwardly opening connecting channel 23 in the upper panel surface (16) extending along the two short ends and outer longitudinal side. The door panels D1, D2 and D3 are similar in construction to the other side and end wall panel members SE, but the dimensions thereof will be determined by the width and height of the door CD.

The assembly or fabrication procedure for all panel modules (SE, B, T and D) is similar and, accordingly, the fabrication of only one such panel member SE will now be described. The edge channel or first members 3 are arranged in a suitable fixture or jig (not shown) to form the rectangular edge framing of the panel SE with the liner or second members 2,2a being positioned between the opposed flanges 6,8 and 6a,8a, respectively. The liners 2,2a are positioned and held against the outer flanges 6 and 6a such as by an opposed vacuumtype supporting platen (not shown) in surface contact therewith and forming a vacuum on the surfaces of the liners 2,2a while completing the supporting fixture to maintain the liners in spaced parallel planes during the foaming process. An aperture (not shown) is formed in one edge member 3 to receive the injection nozzle of conventional froth foaming equipment, and a regulated and predetermined amount of raw polyurethane or like plastic insulation material is injected into the body cavity of the panel member SE according to conventional froth foaming techniques. The nozzle is then removed and the aperture plugged during the period that the expanding foam material essentially fills the voids in, around and between the liners 2,2a and channel members 3 and cures to form a solid bond with the liners and channel members to set the pins 14 in the channel walls 9,9a and form locking wedges in the keystone channels 8,8a to firmly engage the liner margins 2b against the outer edge member lips or flanges 6,6a. When the insulation is cured or set, the plug (not shown) is removed and the aperture may be filled or dressed in a suitable manner.

The respective panel members herein disclosed are assembled together to form the panel system of the walk-in cooler C with the use of spline connecting or locking members S1 (FIG. 6), S2 (FIG. 15), S3 (FIG. 7) and S4 (FIG. 14). The splines 81-84 are each provided with a body 30 of flat strip steel or the like having a predetermined width, length and thickness adapted to be received in the panel grooves or channels 10,23, the outer edges or margins 30a,30b being provided on the body. As shown in FIG. 6, the spline S1 is provided with a plurality of like pin receiving bayonet slots 31,3la in predetermined spaced relation in the opposed edges 30a,30b thereof, respectively, for guiding and locking engagement with the cooperating pins 14 of certain channel members 3 of the panel members SE, B, T and D, and the spline S3 is provided with similar pin receiving bayonet slots 32,32a in its opposed edges 30,30a. The spline member S3 is used for locking engagement between cooperating pins 14 of side and end panels SE with cooperating pins 26 of bottom panels B, but not the top panels T.

The bayonet slots 31,3la and 32,32a of splines S1 and $3 each comprises an entry opening 330 to an elongated slot 33b extending lengthwise of the spline members 81,83 to a rounded pin abutment or seating surface 330, the entry opening 33a being defined on one side of an angular cam surface 33d connecting with the inner side of the slot 31,32 and the other side of the entry opening 33a has a rounded and inwardly sloping guide surface 332. In addition, tool slots 34 are centrally positioned adjacent each end of the splines 81 and S3 for use in assembly procedures and using a tool 35, FIG. 37. The tool 35 is formed of rigid sheet steel and has a keystone-shaped working portion 35b with inwardly converging margins 35b for positive engagement in slots 34, and a body 35c with end striking margins 3Sd for hammer actuation of the tool 35 and the spline member being driven thereby. It will be noted that the slots 31,32 on both splines S1 and S3 are formed on the opposite margins 30a,30b with the pin abutment margins 330 in lateral orientation for direct opposed or lateral alignment of pins 14,26 as will be described, and that the bayonet slots 31 of the spline S1 formed in each margin 30a,30b are oriented in the same longitudinal relationship whereas the slots 32 in spline S3 are offset and reversely formed on opposite sides thereof.

Referring to FIG. 15, the spline locking member S2 is adapted for cooperation only in conjunction with the spline S1 in certain panel installations in which a structural supporting or reinforcing spline is required. The spline S2 is provided with opposed pairs of Ushaped openings or pin receiving slots 36,360 extending laterally inwardly in predetermined longitudinally spaced relationship for releasably securing or locking engagement with the cooperating pins 114 of the panels. Elongated key-ways or slots 36b are provided in the body 30 of the spline member S2 and is of sufficient length to permit relative longitudinal movement of splines 81 into locking engagement.

Referring to FIG. 14, the spline S4 comprises a special final panel locking spline for the header panel member D3 over the door assembly DA illustrating one final closure arrangement for a panel system forming a complete enclosure, such as the cooler C. The spline S4 is a short locking member having only single bayonet slots 37,370 formed in each outer margin 30a,30b thereof similar to the slots 32,32a of the spline S3 and having similar numerals for like identifying parts. However, the slot (37a) on one side of the spline member S4 is extended from the pin abutment margin 336 to the end of the spline to form a marginal edge 30c adapted for end entry into a channel l rather than laterally through an entry opening 33a as in splines 51 and S3.

Referring to FIGS. 10, 11 and 22 wherein a typical corner post P is shown, the post P is a square (2X2) wooden center post 40 provided with a suitable outer casing 40a compatible with the panel system finish and,

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preferably, a plastic casing is extruded directly onto the post 40. The casing 40a has smooth exterior surfaces 40b on diagonally opposite comers 40c, and a plurality of parallel vertical serrations 46d are formed in each exterior surface immediately adjacent to the other diagonal comers 40c for sealing purposes to be described. The post P is provided with a corner spline locking or connecting member S5 of generally W- shaped configuration utilized for interlocking engagement between adjacent corner-defining panel members SE, the spline S5 having right angularly disposed base walls 41,41a in abutting relation on one of the diagonal corners 40c and being secured to the post P by screws 4112 or like fasteners. Rigid steel flange or spline walls 42,42a are formed integral with the base walls 41,4141; respectively, and extend outwardly at right angles thereto centrally of the sides of post P and have free outer margins 43,43a in which a plurality of vertically spaced bayonet slots 44,44a are formed. The slots 44,44a are identical to the slots 31,3la of spline S1 (FIG. 6) and are also laterally aligned and longitudinally oriented in the same direction. It should be noted that the base walls 4l,4la of the spline S5 may extend to the ends of the post P, but the ends of spline flanges 42,42a are spaced from each end of the post to obviate interference with the relative sliding locking action of splines S1 and S3 during assembly.

As indicated, the cooler C may include a shelf assembly SA, as shown in FIG. l, which will'comprise at least one shelf 45 supported on shelf brackets 45a vertically adjustably mounted on one or more interior walls of the cooler. It will be understood that neither of the shelves 45 or shelf supporting brackets 45a form a part of this invention, but that suitable standards must be provided to accommodate the attachment to and vertical adjustability of such shelves and shelf brackets on the interior walls. Referring to FIGS. 8 and 9, a combination shelf supporting standard and spline locking member S6 comprises a locking spline or connecting body portion 46 and shelf standard body portion 47, which may be formed separately and welded together or which may be formed as an integral member, as shown. The spline portion 46 is essentially identical in construction to the spline S1 and substitutes therefor where shelves 45 may be desired, and includes outer margins 48,48a in which laterally aligned and longitudinally oriented bayonet slots 49,49a are formed as in spline S1. The shelf standard 47' comprises an elongated tubular member 56 having predeterminately vertically spaced notches 50a adapted to receive the mounting lugs of a shelf support bracket 45a in a conventional manner, and the tubular standard member 50 is secured to or formed with the spline body 46 intermediate to the margins 48,48a by a connecting web 51 extending normal to the spline flanges on body 47 and of sufficient depth to span one base portion 5,5a from the channel 10 of a side panel member SE to position the spline body 47 in the channel 10 with the tubular standard 50 projecting beyond the panel wall 2. It will be noted that the upper and lower ends of the spline body 46 are shorter than the vertical dimension of the standard portion 47 as in the configuration of the comer post P whereby the upper and lower lateral channels of edge members of the side panels SE interconnected by the spline S6 will not be obstructed for relative sliding movement of a transversely extending spline member (S1,S3) crosswise of the ends of spline S6. In addition, a top wall CC support plate 52 may be welded or otherwise secured to the upper end of the shelf standard tubular body 50 and web 51, and is provided with openings 52a for supplemental attachment to the top wall panel T as with screws or the like (not shown).

Referring to FIGS. 12 and 13, a similar shelf bracket standard 53 may be provided on a corner post P, the standard having an angular base wall 54 abutting the base walls 41a,41b of a corner spline SS and being welded or otherwise attached thereto and the web 50a and tubular bracket mounting portion 50 projecting at a diagonal angle to the corner post P.

In connection with the shelf assembly SA and with reference to FIGS. 27, 28, 38 and 39, a novel sealing gasket or cover member G1 is provided for the shelf bracket standard 47,53 to prevent entrapment of foreign matter in the tubular portions 50 and to provide an interior seal of the joints between adjacent side walls SE interlocked by the spline and bracket standard member 36. The cover member G1 is preferably extruded from a suitable flexible plastic, such as Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA), and comprises an imperforate U-shaped body 56 having an interior wall 56a adapted to snugly receive and encase the tubular portion 50 of the shelf standard body 47 and a pair of diverging wing flanges 56b are formed integral therewith and have converging or tapering walls to provide longitudinal sealing lips 560 at the free edges. The U-shaped body 56 and wing flanges 56b are joined by a reduced wall thickness created by a longitudinal recess in the outer walls 56d to increase the flexibility and resiliency of the flanges and sealing lips for firm sealing abutment with the panel member walls 2. The imperforate body 56 is pressed over the tubular standard body 50 and, when the shelf bracket location is determined, a notch or kerf 562 (indicated in broken lines in FIG. 38) is made in the body 56 at the appropriate shelf standard notch 50a.

Referring to FIGS. 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 26 and 36, the form of novel sealing or gasket member G2 shown is adapted to be utilized in both exterior and interior sealing of vertical joints between adjacent panels and exterior sealing of horizontal joints between adjacent panels. This gasket member G2 is also extruded from a suitable flexible plastic, such as Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) into elongated sealing strips cut to predetermined length. In cross-section, the gasket member G2 comprises an arcuate outer flange or head portion 57 and an inner body portion 58 formed integral with the head portion 57 at the central portion and extending normal thereto. The head portion 57 has a thicker central portion 57a and the arcuate flange walls 57b converge or taper to form longitudinal sealing lips 570 at the outer free margins. The body portion 58 is also thicker at its juncture with the head portion (58b) and has converging or tapering walls 58b, and a plurality of directly laterally opposed V-shaped sealing lips 580 are formed on the body 58 at an outward angle extending toward the head portion 57.

Referring to FIGS. l8, 19, 22 and 25, another form of novel sealing or gasket member G3 is shown to be utilized in sealing both horizontally and vertically extending interior corner joints, this gasket member G3 may also be extruded of EVA or the like. The gasket member G3 has an arcuate outer flange or head portion 59 and an inner body portion 60 formed integral with the head portion intermediate its lateral edges. The head portion has a thicker central portion 59a and the arcuate, laterally extending flanges have tapering walls 59b forming longitudinal sealing lips 590 on the free margins. The body portion 60 has angularly related wall sections with a thick wall portion 60a connecting with the head portion 59 and extending normal thereto and a tapering wall portion 60b extending angularly therefrom. A plurality of opposed V-shaped sealing lips are formed on the body portion 60, but are offset relative to each other with a single major lip 600 being formed on the open, obtuse side at the juncture of the wall sections 60a,60b to extend in a plane substantially parallel with the general plane of the head portion 59 and a pair of minor lips 60d being formed on the other side of wall section 60b beyond the major lip 600 from the head section 59 at an outward angle extending toward the head section 59.

In addition to the sealing members G1, G2 and G3, conventional elongated gasket strips or tapes G4 of rectangular cross-section are utilized on certain joints of the panel members B and SE on the exterior sides adjacent to the floor RF and side walls RS of the room and the exterior joints of the ceiling panels T also may be provided with the gasket strips G4 although in many installations, where ample overhead clearance is provided, the gasket member G2 may be used.

I Referring briefly to FIGS. 1, 20 and 21, the interior floor of the cooler C may be covered by any suitable planking to prevent concentrated stresses upon the panel members B and translate any forces laterally of the centers of such panels through the edge members 3,17 to the floor RF. For instance, tool grade fiberboard sheets 61, such as Masonite Benelex may be used, and the joints between panels and around the periphery may be sealed with a suitable caulking or resilient thermo-expansion material 62.

Referring now to FIGS. 1, 29 and 33, the door'assembly DA comprises a main exterior frame 63 having side and header frame members 63a and 63b, respectively, formed of extruded fiberglass, plastic or the like compatible with the cooler panel construction. The frame members 63a,63b have foam insulation sections 64 and a wooden core section 644 separated by mullions 64b, the wood core 64a comprising a mounting post for the door CA, and plural hinge bases 65 being secured thereto. A peripheral flange 66 is formed to abut the adjacent door panel D1, D2 or D3 and a rubber adhesive seal tape 66a is provided therebetween. The exterior frame 63 is secured in place with the panels D1, D2 and D3 by an interior T- shaped frame 67, such as an aluminum extrusion having side and header members 67a and 67b, respectively, with outer peripheral flanges 67c abutting the panels D1, D2 and D3 in opposed relation with the flanges 66 and inner flanges 67d secured to the outer frame 63 by molyjacks and machine screws 68 or the like. Rubber adhesive sealing tape 68a is also applied between the flanges 67c, 67d and the panels D and outer frame 63, respectively.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification52/264, 52/396.5, D25/33, 52/396.4, 52/396.6, D25/1
International ClassificationE04B1/61, E04H5/10, E04B1/62, E04B2/74, F25D23/06
Cooperative ClassificationE04B1/6162, E04B2/7409, E04B2002/7468, E04B1/62, E04H5/10, F25D23/063
European ClassificationE04B2/74C2, E04H5/10, E04B1/62, F25D23/06B1, E04B1/61D3C4
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 26, 1982ASAssignment
Owner name: HUSSMANN CORPORATION
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:HUSSMANN REFRIGERATOR CO.;REEL/FRAME:003967/0206
Effective date: 19811211