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Publication numberUS3734550 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 22, 1973
Filing dateSep 16, 1971
Priority dateSep 16, 1971
Publication numberUS 3734550 A, US 3734550A, US-A-3734550, US3734550 A, US3734550A
InventorsVance L
Original AssigneeEngineered Products Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Building construction assembly
US 3734550 A
Abstract
A building construction assembly including a first elongated structural member having a longitudinally disposed keyway having a base wall and a pair of sidewalls projecting from the base wall. Means providing an elongated restricted throat keyway opening. A second elongated structural member having a longitudinal axis disposed generally transversely with respect to the longitudinal axis of the first elongated structural member. The second elongated structural member having a locking channel having a bottom wall, a front wall and a rear wall. The second elongated structural member disposed with its locking channel in aligned relationship with respect to an end opening of the keyway. A locking key having a first portion extending into the keyway and a second portion extending into and in engagement with the locking channel. Means resisting undesired movement of the key into the keyway sufficiently far to permit removal of the second key portion from the locking channel. A condensate gutter element may be secured within the locking channel.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Uiifi States Patent [1 3,734,55Q

Vance 1 any 22, 1973 BUILDING CONSTRUCTION Primary Examiner-John E. Murtagh ASSEMBLY Attorney-Arnold B. Silverman '1 [.5] Inventor. Lawrence B. Vance, Pittsburgh, Pa. 57] ABSTRACT [73] Asslgnee: f fi g Products A building construction assembly including a first g elongated structural member having a longitudinally [22] Filed: Sept. 16, 1971 disposed keyway having a base wall and a pair of sidewalls projecting from the base wall. Means provid- [21] Appl' L082 ing an elongated restricted throat keyway opening. A

second elongated structural member having a longitu- U- Cl ..287/l89.36 A, 52/235, 52/397, dinal axis disposed generally transversely with respect 52/303 to the longitudinal axis of the first elongated structural [51] Int. Cl. ..E04b 2/88 membefi The Second elongated Structural member [58] Field 6! Search .52/235, 665, 495, having a locking Channel having a bottom wall, a from 52/730, 732, 463; 287/189.36 A, l89.36 G wall and a rear wall. The second elongated structural member disposed with its locking channel in aligned [56] References Cited relationship with respect to an end opening of the keyway. A locking key having a first portion extending UNITED STATES PATENTS into the keyway and a second portion extending into 3,456,966 7 1969 Muller ..287/189.36A f the lockmg Channel. Means resisting undesired movement of the key mto the FOREIGN ATE OR APPLICATIQNS keyway sufficiently far to permit removal of the second key portion from the locking channel. A conl,264,l30 5/1961 France ..287/l89.36A densate gutter element may be Secured within the locking channel.

12 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures 1 BUILDING CONSTRUCTION ASSEMBLY BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a structural joint established between two members by means of uniquely configured portions of each of the structural members and a cooperating locking key member.

2. Description of the Prior Art Various means of assembling building frame components into structural joints have been known. In connection with metal framing components it has been known to provide a wide range of structural member profiles which facilitate rapid and effective joinder of two or more of such components into curtain wall assemblies and other building construction assemblies. Among the known approaches to this problem, it has been previously suggested to provide recesses in a vertical member which receive a horizontal member, with retention being effected by means of independent fasteners. See U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,604,196 and 3,190,407.

Also included within known systems are joints which employ a strap-like member extending through a vertical structural element and cooperating with other means to secure the vertical element to another member. See U. S. Pat. Nos. 2,140,772 and 3,190,407.

Included within a number of prior art systems is an effort to obtain drainage of undesired water in order to prevent potentially destructive accumulation thereof within the building components. It has been known to provide various combinations of conduits which are adapted to transport collected water for ultimate discharge therefrom. See U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,336,705, 3,423,895 and 3,488,906.

There remains a need for a means of establishing a structurally efficient building construction joint which may be created without the need for screws, bolts, nuts and other conventional fastening means. In particular, there remains a need for such a joint wherein effective joint strength is provided, while facilitating free thermal expansion and contraction of the structural elements without adversely affecting the integrity of the joint. In addition, there is lacking a joint of the abovedescribed type which provides an economical means of automatically obtaining effective condensate discharge without requiring burdensome field installation practices.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The above-described need has been filled by the building construction assembly of this invention. It provides a first elongated structural member which has a longitudinally disposed keyway having a base wall and a pair of sidewalls projecting from the base wall. Means on at least one of the sidewalls establishes a restricted throat keyway opening along the length thereof.

A second elongated structural member has a longitudinal axis disposed generally transversely with respect to the longitudinal axis of the first elongated structural member. The second elongated structural member has a longitudinally extending locking channel having a bottom wall, a front wall and a rear wall. The second elongated structural member has its locking channel in aligned relationship with respect to an end opening of the keyway.

A locking key has a first portion extending into the keyway and a second portion extending into and in engagement with the locking channel. Means resisting longitudinal movement of the key into the keyway sufficiently far to permit removal of the second key portion from the locking channel are provided. These means may take the form of inwardly deformed portions of one or more keyway defining walls in order to provide a restriction in the keyway.

An elongated generally channel shaped condensate gutter element may be provided within the locking channel in order to provide continuous substantially horizontal transport of moisture to a vertical structural member or other discharge outlet.

It is an object of this invention to provide structural members having uniquely configurated portions which facilitate effective joinder by means of a locking key which may readily be introduced into portions of both structural members and thereby establish a highly efficient structural joint.

It is another object of this invention to provide such a structure wherein the joint is obtained without the use of screws, bolts or other conventional fasteners and the joint permits free thermal expansion and contraction of the components without adversely affecting joint integrity.

It is another object of this invention to provide such a joint assembly wherein means are provided within at least one structural member for efficiently and harmlessly disposing of undesired moisture.

It is another object of this invention to provide a joint between a vertical mullion and a horizontal member of a building structure in such a fashion as to permit the use of these structural components in securing wall panels, windows and other wall components.

It is yet another object of this invention to provide such a joint assembly which is adapted for economical use and rapid erection.

These and other objects of the invention will be more fully understood from the following description of the invention, on reference to the illustrations appended hereto.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a cross sectional illustration of one form of building construction assembly of this invention showing a vertical member and a cooperating batten element.

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional illustration of a form of assembly of this invention showing a horizontal member and a cooperating batten element.

FIG. 3 is a detailed cross sectional configuration of the form of vertical member shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a detailed cross sectional configuration of the form of horizontal member shown generally in FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is an end elevation of a locking key of this invention.

FIG. 6 is a front elevation of the locking key shown in FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a plan view of a locking key of this invention.

FIG. 8 is an exploded perspective view of portions of one form of building construction assemblies contemplated by this invention.

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary cross sectional view of a form of horizontal member illustrating a form of condensate gutter contemplated by this invention.

FIG. is a cross sectional illustration of a modified form of vertical member contemplated by this invention.

DESGRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now more specifically to FIG. 1, there is shown one form of vertical member 2 which in the form shown is a vertical mullion. The vertical member 2 has a rear wall 4, a forwardly facing wall 6 and a connecting wall 8. Two stub walls 10, 12-define an opening 16 which, in the form shown, is closed by a cover member 18. The cover member 18 has a pair of legs 20, 22 in snap-fit engagement with stub wall 12 and its inwardly directed flange 24. Cover member 18 also has a pair of legs 26, 28 disposed in snap-fit engagement with stub wall 10 and its inwardly directed flange 30. In this fashion, access may be had to the interior hollow 32 of vertical member 2 by means of demountably secured cover member 18.

The forwardly facing wall 6 provides base sectors 6a, 6b of elongated keyways 40, 42, respectively. Keyway 40 is defined by base sector 6a and cooperating generally parallel sidewalls 46, 48. Sidewall 46 has a generally transversely inwardly directed flange 50 which cooperates with flange 52 of sidewall 48 to define a forwardly open restricted throat opening 58 for keyway 40. Similarly, keyway 42 has substantially parallel sidewalls 60, 62 emerging from base section 6b and disposed generally perpendicularly with respect thereto. Flange 64 of sidewall 60 and flange 66 of sidewall 62 cooperate to define a restricted throat opening 68 for keyway 42.

It is noted that the keyways are disposed generally adjacent each other and extend longitudinally along the vertical member 2. The keyways have restricted throat forward openings 58, 68 and are provided with upper and lower end openings (not shown).

In the form illustrated in FIG. 1, the vertical member is cooperatively secured to a batten element 70 in order to effectively retain vertical marginal edges 72, 74 of panels 76, 78, respectively. This structure permits initial panel installation and subsequent replacement from the building exterior by removal and subsequent restoration of the surrounding batten elements. Panel 76 consists of an insulated window structure which has an outer pane 80, an inner pane 82 and an intermediate dead air space 84. Similarly, panel 78 is an insulated window having outer pane 86, inner pane 88 and an intermediate dead air space 90. The batten member 70 has a bottom wall 92 provided with a central bore 94. A pair of generally parallel walls 96, 98 project forwardly from the bottom wall 92. Walls 96, 98 terminate in outwardly projecting flanges 100, 102, respectively.

In securing the batten element 70 to the vertical member 2 a fastener, such as a bolt 106, is passed through bore 94 in bottom wall 92 through recess 108 in vertical member 2 and then through base wall 6 to emerge within hollow 32. A washer 110 and 112 secure the bolt in position. Flanges 52, 64 provide a firm backing surface which assists in obtaining an effective mechanical joint through tightening of nut 112. A thermal insulating material 114, such as vinyl, is inserted between flanges 52, 64 and bottom wall 92 in order to provide a thermal barrier between batten 70 and vertical member 2. It is noted that flanges 52, 64 cooperate with bottom wall 92 to compressively engage thermal insulating material 114 and thereby maintain the desired thermal barrier.

As is shown in FIG. 1, sidewalls 46, 62 project forwardly beyond flanges 50, 66, respectively, and have second inwardly directed flanges 116, 118, respectively. Flange 116 is provided with a forwardly open gasket receiving recess 120, which preferably has a restricted throat opening. Similarly, flange 118 has a forwardly open gasket receiving recess 122 which is provided with a restricted throat opening. A suitable glazing strip 130 has a base portion mechanically secured within gasket receiving recess 120 and is in sealing contact with the surface of inner pane 88. Glazing strip 132 is mechanically secured within gasket receiving recess 122 and is in compressive engagement with inner pane 82. These gaskets may be of any suitable material, such as neoprene, for example. Batten element has flanges and 102 provided with gasket receiving channels 134, 136, respectively. Gasket elements 138, are mechanically secured within channels 134, 136, respectively, and are in engagement with outer panes 86, 80, respectively.

It is noted that batten 70 is provided with a relatively deep recess 142 defined by bottom wall 92 and walls 96, 98. This recess is adapted to receive portions of window cleaning apparatus which must frequently be mounted on the exterior of taller buildings.

Referring now to FIG. 3, several additional features of the vertical member 2, shown in FIG. 1, will be considered. It is noted that keyway 40 has base sector 6a provided with a forwardly open recess 144 and keyway 42 has base sector 6b provided with a forwardly open recess 146. These recesses are adapted to receive a compressible gasket element (see gasket 248 in FIGS. 1 and 2) which provides effective rattle free securement of a locking key (not shown in this view) in a fashion to be described below. The compressible gasket element also serves to resist undesired relative axial movement of the locking key within the keyway.

Flange 50 has a relatively thin end sector 152 and a connecting sector 150. Flange sector 152 preferably has a thickness which is less than the average thickness of the remainder of sidewall 46. Similarly, flange 66 has a relatively thin end sector 156 and a connecting sector 154. Flange 156 is preferably thinner than the average thickness of the remainder of sidewall 62. In a preferred form of this invention, after the locking key (not shown in this view) has been introduced into a keyway, such as keyway 42, in order to prevent undesired longitudinal movement of the locking key within keyway 42, the passageway is restricted by deforming flange portion 156 inwardly to the position indicated by the dotted lines in order to create flange portion 156. The relative thinness of flange end sector 156 facilitates such deformation by any convenient means, as by hammering for example. If desired, transverse weakened or cut lines may be employed to define one or more deformable tabs which may be placed in keyway restricting position. In lieu of or in addition to this sort of restriction, the outer periphery of the locking key and the inner periphery of the key may be so proportioned as to provide frictional surface to surface interengagement which resists such movement. Compressible gasket 248 may be employed to provide or to assist with such retention. Also, a separate fastener or clip element may be employed to secure the key against excessive axial movement within the keyway.

Referring now to FIG. 2, there is shown a horizontal member 160 which has a body portion 162 and a depending lower flange 164 which terminates in a forwardly directed flange extension 166. The horizontal member 160 also has an upwardly open locking channel 168. For convenience of reference, the term looking channel as used herein shall be employed in a general fashion to refer to either the physical channel structure or the locking channel opening defined thereby, depending upon the context in which the term is used. The locking channel 168 is defined by bottom wall 170, which is a portion of flange body portion 162, upwardly directed rear wall 172 and front wall 174.

In the form shown, the horizontal member 160 cooperates with a horizontal batten assembly in securing insulated double paned windows 178, 180. The body portion 162 of horizontal member 160 receives window support block 182 and also has an enlarged free end portion 184 which cooperates with adjacent parts of body portion 162 to define a recess 186. Inner batten element 188 has a rearwardly projecting flange 190 with an upwardly directed flange extension 192. The inner batten component 188 is in snap-fit engagement with the horizontal member 160 with flange extension 192 projecting into and secured within recess 186. Batten cover 196 is secured to inner batten component 188 by snap-fit engagement of the projections 198 with projections 200 of inner batten component 188. Suitable glazing strips 202, 204 206, 208 are disposed in compressive engagement with the exposed surfaces of the insulated double windows 178, 180.

As is shown in FIG. 2, a gasket element 248 is disposed within recess 146 of keyway 42. The gasket element 248 is preferably provided solely in the recess regions adjacent the locking key 246. It is compressively secured between the upper locking key portion 220 and the keyway base 6b. This serves to provide resistance against rattling of the locking key 246 within the keyway and also serves to resist undesired axial displacement of the locking key 246 within the keyway.

Referring now to FIG. 4, several additional details of horizontal member 160 will be considered. The locking channel 168 has a bottom wall 170, a front wall 174 and a rear wall 172. Front Wall 174 has a front channel surface 212 which, in the form shown, is generally perpendicular to bottom wall 170. The rear wall 172 has a rear wall surface 214 which slopes rearwardly as it projects upwardly away from bottom wall 170. It is noted that the upper portion of rear wall surface 214 provides a curved pilot surface 216 which is adapted to facilitate positioning and entry of the locking key in a fashion which will be described below. In the form of horizontal member selected for illustration, the rear wall surface 214 has a plurality of horizontally disposed generally forwardly directed serrations or teeth 218 which facilitate improved interengagement with the locking key. It will be appreciated from the description which follows, however, that effective interengagement may be obtained through the use of a smooth rear wall surface 214 devoid of serrations 218.

Referring now to FIGS. 5 through 7, a preferred form of locking key structure will be considered. The locking key has an upper portion 220 and a lower portion 226. Upper portion 220 has a substantially flat top surface 222, a substantially flat forwardly directed surface 224 which extends downwardly into the lower portion 226 of the key and a substantially flat rear surface 228 which is generally parallel to the forward surface 224. The locking key also has a pair of substantially flat generally parallel end surfaces 230, 232. The locking key upper portion 220, therefore, preferably has a generally rectangular peripheral configuration. The locking key upper portion 220 has a peripheral configuration which is substantially the same as the contour of the keyway, but of reduced dimension with respect thereto.

The lower portion of the locking key 226 has a rear surface 234 which slopes generally downwardly and forwardly. The angle of inclination of locking key rear surface 234 is preferably substantially equal to the angle of inclination of locking channel rear surface 214, but in the opposite direction therefrom. The angles of slope of the two rear surfaces 214, 234 should therefore preferably be substantially complementary so as to permit insertion of the locking key into the locking channel 168 with the inclined plane effect creating firm mechanical surface to surface interengagement therebetween. As has been stated above, one preferred form of the invention contemplates both engaged surfaces 214, 234 being substantially smooth. In another form of the invention oneor both surfaces may be provided with serrations, such as serrations 218 on rear wall surface 214 and generally rearwardly directed spaced serrations or teeth 238 disposed on lower portion rear surface 234 of the locking key. It will, therefore, be appreciated that the effective surface to surface engagement may be provided between two smooth surfaces, between two serrated surfaces or between one serrated surface and one smooth surface. For simplicity of description, all such engagements shall be referred to herein as surface to surface engagements.

Referring once again to FIG. 5, it is seen that the locking key rear surface 234 of lower portion 226 terminates in a curved pilot surface 240. A connecting surface 242 which is disposed generally perpendicular to upper rear surface 228 extends from the lower extremity of upper rear surface 228 toward rear surface 234. It is noted that in the preferred form, when serrations 238 are provided, they originate at a position spaced downwardly from connecting surface 242 and upwardly from pilot surface 240.

Considering now the manner of effecting insertion of the locking key in order to provide effective joinder, as is shown in FIG. 2, the vertical member will have a longitudinal discontinuity disposed at a position spaced forwardly of forward facing wall 6. Sidewall 62 will have a lower end 62'. This provides the upper surface of a notch or recess into which the horizontal member is received so as to provide vertical alignment between the passageway of keyway 42 and the underlying upwardly open locking channel 168. It will be appreciated that the vertical discontinuity may be created either as a result of a notch in the vertical member or through use of the lower extremity of the vertical member. For convenience of reference, the term longitudinal discontinuity and words of similar import as used herein shall refer to discontinuities created by the presence of a notch in the vertical member and, in addition, it shall include the lower end of a vertical member and any other portion which permits ready access to a keyway end opening in such a fashion as to permit establishment of a joint of this invention.

In effecting assembly, the locking key 246 is first inserted axially into keyway 42 with the locking key upper portion 220 disposed above the locking key lower portion 226. The horizontal member 160 is then inserted into the notch to position the locking channel 168 in underlying communicating relationship with respect to an end opening of keyway 42. After this has been accomplished, the locking key 246 is urged downwardly so that the lower key portion 226 enters into the locking channel 168. The locking key 246 is moved into the locking channel 168 until rear surface 226 of the locking key 246 is in surface to surface frictional engagement with rear wall surface 214 of locking channel 168. This may readily be accomplished by means of a hammer, chisel or other implement which has been introduced into keyway 42 through restricted throat opening 68 (see FIG. 1) at a position above upper surface 222 of locking key 246. After the locking key 246 has been urged downwardly into the locking relationship, the flange portion 156 will preferably be deformed inwardly to create a keyway restriction 156 which resists upward axial movement of the locking key 246 within the keyway 42 sufficiently far to permit removal of the locking key lower portion 226 from locking engagement within said locking channel. Other restraining means including frictional retention and/or separate members may be employed in lieu of or in addition to the preferred means, if desired.

Referring now to FIG. 8, a joint of the type shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 will be considered. The vertical member 2 is provided with a horizontal notch 250 which terminates at a position spaced forwardly of forwardly facing wall 6. This provides substantial structural integrity for the vertical member while facilitating receipt of horizontal members 252, 256 therein. In this form two keyways are employed as batten structure 70 (FIG. 1) precludes the use of a continuous horizontal member extending across the vertical member. As is shown in FIG. 8, a first horizontal member 252 is received within the notch 250 and will be secured in such position by means of a locking key (not shown) which is anchored in keyway 42 and has a lower extremity in engagement within locking channel 254. Similarly, horizontal member 256 enters the notch 250 from the opposed side and has a locking key (not shown) engaged within keyway 40 and extending downwardly into and in engagement with locking channel 258. In this fashion, the two horizontal members 252, 256 will be secured with their longitudinal axes in substantially perpendicular relationship with respect to the longitudinal axis of vertical member 2. While no screws, bolts or conventional fasteners are employed, the joint will have high structural efficiency and yet will permit free thermal expansion and contraction without impairment of joint characteristics.

It will be appreciated that in those instances wherein a more conventional batten structure not having a recess 142 as is shown in batten 70 of FIG. 1 is employed a single horizontal member may pass continuously across the vertical member. Such a single continuous horizontal member may be secured to the vertical member by means of a single locking key secured within a single locking channel. One such exemplary structure is shown in FIG. wherein the vertical member 260 has a rear portion configurated more in the form of an I-beam than the hollow mullion structure shown in the vertical member 2 of FIG. 1. In this form of the invention a single elongated keyway 262 is provided by cooperation between forwardly facing wall 264 and a pair of forwardly directed substantially parallel sidewalls 266, 268. The sidewalls 266, 268 have transverse flange portions 270, 272, respectively, which define elongated restricted throat keyway opening 274. Sidewalls 276 and 268 have flange extensions in the form of glazing strip receiving channels 280, 282, respectively. Sidewall 266 projects forwardly a distance greater than sidewalls 268, 276 and terminates in a transversely directed flange 284. This flange cooperates with base wall 286 of batten 288 and an interposed insulating material 290 serving to facilitate the creation of a thermal barrier between the vertical member 260 and batten 288. A headed bolt 292 extends through bottom wall 296, insulating material 290 and flange 284 and is secured in such position by means of a washer 294 and nut 296.

Considering now an additional feature of the invention, reference is made to FIG. 9 which shows a partial section of a horizontal member 300 which is provided with a locking channel 302. A condensate gutter 304 has a bottom wall 306, sidewalls 308, 310 and upper flanges 312, 314. The condensate gutter 304 in the form shown is seated within the opening of locking channel 302 and is upwardly open. The condensate gutter 304 may be secured in place by gravity or may conveniently be retained by frictional retention effected between sidewalls 308, 310 and the upper portion of the sidewalls of the locking channel. Optionally, independent fastening means may be employed.

The condensate gutter is preferably longitudinally substantially coextensive with the locking channel 302 and is adapted to accumulate condensate and transport the same continuously horizontally to a discharge location. This discharge location is preferably disposed at a position where the condensate channel 304 communicates with a vertical member in order that moisture flowing out of the condensate gutter 304 will be carried downwardly harmlessly by means of the vertical member. With the present form of joint, the condensate gutter 304 will preferably terminate closely adjacent to a locking key.

While the vertical and horizontal members as well as the locking key of this invention may be made from a number of materials which possess the desired structural properties, aesthetic appearance, durability and other characteristics suited to the particular installation, steel and aluminum, as well as alloys thereof, are among the preferred materials of this invention. The sections employed for the various components may conveniently and economically be extruded to establish the desired cross sectional profiles and cut in accordance with predetermined needs. In connection with the use of aluminum, it is frequently desirable to manufacture the vertical and horizontal members from a different alloy than that employed to manufacture the locking key. For example, it has been found that the aluminum-magnesium-silicon alloys possess the desired properties and function well in the practice of this invention. A key may be made from 6061 aluminum alloy and the vertical and horizontal members from 6063 alloy, for example.

While for purposes of illustration curtain wall structures securing multi-pane window structures have been shown, it will be appreciated that the invention is not so limited and that a wide variety of structural joints which may on may not function as panel securing elements may be employed. The invention is also suitable for joints employed in building systems having load bearing walls. In uses where the joint forming elements also assist with panel retention, it will be appreciated that while the panels selected for illustration are windows, the invention is not so limited. A wide variety of panels composed of a wide range of materials may be employed. The panel might be single web or multiple web and may be composed of materials such as glass, metal, plastic, concrete, stone, insulating materials and combinations thereof, for example.

While for purposes of simplicity of illustration reference has been made to various orientations, it will be appreciated that these are intended as being illustrative and not limiting of the invention. For example, the keyway opening might well be rearwardly open" should the member be positioned so as to face the building interior. Similarly, the rear locking surface which engages the rear channel surface might well be forwardly disposed were the horizontal member oriented differently. In addition, while for illustrative purposes the two structural members have been shown as having one vertically disposed and the other horizontally disposed, and this will generally be the practice, this is not essential. For example, one member might be angularly disposed with respect to the other with a corresponding adjustment being made in the orientation of the keyway and/or locking channel in order to provide the desired relative alignment. Such an installation might be employed in a skylight structure with the vertical element disposed at approximately a 45 angle with respect to a horizontal plane, for example. Also, if desired, the vertical member described herein might be placed at other orientations including horizontal and the horizontal member described herein might be placed in other orientations including vertical orientation.

It will, therefore, be appreciated that the present invention provides an effective structurally efficient joint between adjacent structural members without requiring the use of through fasteners, such as screws, bolts or the like, and also without requiring the use of joining techniques such as welding. In addition, the joint provides for free thermal expansion and contraction without impairment of joint strength. This is accomplished by providing a uniquely configurated locking key which has one portion secured within a locking keyway in one component and a second portion secured within a locking channel. The locking key and locking channel have complementary sloping surfaces which are in effective frictional interengagement so as to resist relative separating movement of the joined structures. Supplementary positive mechanical means which retain the locking key in position may be provided. Also, a horizontally disposed condensate gutter element and the automatic positioning thereof are provided by this invention. Finally, the joint of this invention may be established rapidly and in an economical fashion.

Whereas particular embodiments of the invention have been described above for purposes of illustration, it will be evident to those skilled in the art that numerous variations of the details may be made without departing from the invention as defined in the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A building construction assembly comprising a first elongated structural member having a longitudinally disposed keyway defined by a base wall and a pair of sidewalls projecting from said base wall,

means on at least one of said sidewalls establishing a restricted throat keyway opening,

a second elongated structural member having a longitudinal axis disposed generally transversely with respect to the longitudinal axis of said first elongated structural member,

said second elongated structural member having a longitudinally disposed locking channel having a bottom wall, a front wall and a rear wall,

said second elongated structural member disposed with its locking channel in aligned relationship with respect to an end opening of said keyway,

a locking key having a first portion extending into said keyway,

said locking key having a second portion extending into and in locking engagement with said locking channel,

said locking key second portion is disposed in engagement with said locking channel rear wall,

said locking channel rear wall having a rear channel surface which slopes rearwardly as it extends away from said channel bottom wall,

said locking key second portion having a rear key surface slope which is generally complementary to said rear channel surface slope,

said rear channel surface and said rear key surface in frictional interengagement which resists relative separating movement between said first and second elongated structural members, and

means resisting longitudinal movement of said key into said keyway sufficiently far to permit removal of said second key portion from locking engagement within said locking channel, whereby said first and second elongated structural members are effectively secured to each other.

2. The building construction assembly of claim 1 including said first elongated structural member is a substantially vertical member, and

said second elongated structural member is a substantially horizontal member.

3. The building construction assembly of claim 2 including said keyway throat defining means on said sidewalls including a flange on each said sidewall extending transversely inwardly therefrom, and

said means resisting longitudinal movement of said key including keyway restricting means.

4. The building construction assembly of claim 3 including said keyway restricting means including a deformed portion of at least one of said transversely inwardly directed keyway throat defining flanges, and

said keyway restricting flange portion having a thickness less than the average thickness of the remainder of the sidewall from which said throat defining flange projects.

5. The building construction assembly of claim 2 including said locking key first portion provided with a peripheral configuration generally similar to the configuration of said keyway but of reduced dimension with respect thereto, and

resiliently compressed gasket means disposed intermediate at least one peripheral surface of said locking key first portion and an adjacent keyway wall,

whereby undesired movement of said locking key within said keyway is resisted. 6. The building construction assembly of claim 2 including said locking key rear surface having a number of generally rearwardly projecting serrations in engagement with said locking channel rear surface, and said locking channel rear surface having a plurality of generally forwardly projecting serrations. 7. The building construction assembly of claim 2 including an upwardly open channel shaped condensate gutter secured within said locking channel, said condensate gutter having a base disposed in spaced overlying relationship with respect to said locking channel bottom wall, and said condensate gutter element originating adjacent said locking key and extending longitudinally along said locking channel. 8. The building construction assembly of claim 7 including said condensate gutter having a pair of gutter defining sidewalls extending upwardly from said gutter base, each said gutter defining sidewall terminating in an outwardly directed flange which is disposed exteriorly of said locking channel, and said condensate gutter having an end in communication with said vertical member to permit discharge of water from said gutter to said vertical member for ultimate discharge therefrom. 9. The building construction assembly of claim 2 including said vertical member has a forwardly facing wall with a portion thereof providing said keyway base wall, said keyway sidewalls projecting forwardly from said forwardly facing wall, and said vertical member having a longitudinal discontinuity disposed forwardly of said forwardly facing wall defining a forwardly open notch.

10. The building construction assembly of claim 9 including said vertical member has a single keyway, said horizontal member extending into said notch with said locking channel being upwardly open and in aligned underlying relationship with respect to an end opening of said keyway, said horizontal member extends continuously across said vertical member notch, and a single locking key secures said vertical member to said horizontal member. 1 1. The building construction assembly of claim 2 including said vertical member has a pair of adjacent forwardly open keyways, said vertical member has a forwardly facing wall with portions thereof providing the base wall for each said keyway, said vertical member having a longitudinal discontinuity disposed forwardly of said forwardly facing wall defining a forwardly open notch, a pair of horizontal members extending into said notch from opposed sides thereof, each said horizontal member having an upwardly open locking channel disposed in aligned underlying relationship with respect to one said keyway, and a locking key in each said keyway having a portion in locking engagement with one said locking channel. 12. The building construction assembly of claim 11 including forwardly projecting anchor means disposed on said forwardly facing wall intermediate said keyways, an elongated batten element disposed forwardly of said anchor means, and fastener means secured to said batten element and extending into said anchor means securing said batten to said vertical member.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3844087 *Jun 22, 1972Oct 29, 1974Roper CorpSkylight structure
US3858375 *May 15, 1973Jan 7, 1975Silvernail Joe KCurtain wall with internal weep means
US3968608 *Aug 12, 1974Jul 13, 1976Swango Billy JCurtain wall panel support
US4055923 *Nov 3, 1975Nov 1, 1977Howmet CorporationWall framing system and components thereof
US4584804 *Apr 13, 1983Apr 29, 1986Tajima Junzo Seisakusho, Ltd.Mechanism for joining a mullion to a transom in a curtain wall
US4850167 *Feb 8, 1988Jul 25, 1989Architectural Aluminum, Inc.Structural glazing systems for skylights
US4896473 *Apr 10, 1989Jan 30, 1990Liebetrau Richard EMethod of converting to a security glazing system
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Classifications
U.S. Classification403/34, 403/256, 403/217, 403/240, 52/235, 52/302.3, 52/204.591
International ClassificationE04B2/88, E04B2/96
Cooperative ClassificationE04B2/965
European ClassificationE04B2/96C
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 4, 1984AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: BOHEM MANUFACTURING COMPANY, INC, 50 PORTLAND ROAD
Effective date: 19840324
Owner name: VANCE LAWRENCE T.
May 4, 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: BOHEM MANUFACTURING COMPANY, INC, 50 PORTLAND ROAD
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST. SUBJECT TO LICENSE RECITED;ASSIGNOR:VANCE LAWRENCE T.;REEL/FRAME:004263/0494
Effective date: 19840324
Owner name: BOHEM MANUFACTURING COMPANY, INC.,PENNSYLVANIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:VANCE LAWRENCE T.;REEL/FRAME:004263/0494