US 3744396 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Raider 1 July 10,1973
1 1 COMPOSITE AIR DISTRIBUTING,
LIGHTING AND ACOUSTICAL UNIT George K. Raider, Lombard, lll.
Dynamics Corporation of America, New York, NY.
Apr. 14, 1972 Inventor:
References Cited UNITED. STATES PATENTS 12/1963 Kennedy 98/40 DC 1/1965 Archer et a1. 98/40 DL 6/1965 Sadlow et al. 240/47 Primary ExaminerWilliam E. Wayner Assistant ExaminerWilliam E. Tapolcai, Jr. Att0rneyTheodore R. Paulding [5 7] ABSTRACT A composite air distributing, lighting and acoustical ceiling unit for use in coffer-type ceilings and comprising a panel with a solid upper plate, a perforate lower plate and sound absorbing acoustical material therebetween. An air distributing device is supported in a suitable opening in the panel and discharges downwardly through the perforate lower plate. An incandescent lighting fixture is also supported by the panel and emits light through a central opening therein. Quick disconnect provisions for the air and electrical supply combine with detachable connecting devices to facilitate panel installation and removal. The latter comprises spring-metal arms with V-shaped end portions interengageable in connected relationship on upward movement of the assembled panel, air distributing device and lighting fixture. The panel connected arms are sprung inwardly with access about the panel edges for disengagement of the connecting devices and downward panel removal.
10 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures 1 COMPOSITE AIR DISTRIBUTING, LIGHTING AND ACOUSTICAL UNIT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Ceilings of the coffer type have been treated in the past for acoustical, air distribution and lighting in various constructions and configurations. Many such" arrangements, however, have not been found wholly satisfactory particularly with regard to the ease and convenience of installation, removal, replacement, servicing, etc.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is the general object of the present invention to provide a composite unit for use in a ceiling coffer, which unit provides air distribution, lighting and acoustica treatment and which at the same time. exhibits a high degree of ease and convenience in installation, removal, replacement, servicing, etc.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view through a single ceiling coffer and a composite air distributing, lighting and acoustical unit of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the cofi'er and unit at a somewhat reduced scale; and
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary, enlarged, vertical section ilustrating particularly the detachable connecting devices associated with the panel unit and coffer.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2, it will be observed that a concrete ceiling coffer indicated generally at takes a rectangular shape in cross section although such configuration may vary widely within the scope of the invention. The coffer 10 shown is merely illustrative and a multitude of such coffers are of course provided in a conventional coffer ceiling construction. The coffer 10 has opposing left and right-hand side walls l2, l4 and connecting side walls l6, 18, FIG. 2. An internally formed top wall is provided with a central through opening 22 for the downward introduction of an air supply conduit 24 and an electrical supply conduit 26.
A panel provided in accordance with the invention, takes a configuration somewhat smaller than but substantially conforming to that of its associated coffer and, in the preferred embodiment shown, the rectangular coffer 10 has an associated rectangular panel indicated generally at 28. The panel 28 is adaped to be installed in the interior space 30 of the coffer 10 as best illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 and has a solid upper or back wall 32. A downwardly spaced front or lower wall 34 is perforate, as best illustrated in FIG. 2, and foraminous sound absorbing acoustical material 36 is disposed between the said walls. Thus, sound generated in a room or other space beneath the panel 28 is substantially attenuated on entry through the small openings 38 in the perforate lower plate 34 of the panel.
In accordance with the invention, the panel 28 includes at least one opening for mounting an air distributing device. Such an opening is illustrated at 40 and preferably takes an elongated rectangular configuration as shown in FIG. 2. An air distributing device 42 is shown entered in the opening 40 and supported by means of small clips 42, 42 mounted on the back plate 32 of the panel 28. The air distributing device 42 preferably includes an adjustable valve means (not shown) for controlling the flow of air therethrough and a cylindrical collar is provided at an upper portion thereof (not shown). The collar is received within the lower end portion of the aforementioned air supply conduit 24 which preferably comprises flexible tubing of conventional construction. Thus, air supplied through the conduit or tubing 24 can be discharged at a desired level of flow downwardly through the aforementioned openings 38, 38 in the perforate lower plate 34 of the panel 28. The connection of'the tubing with the collar of the air distributing device 42 may be a threaded or frictional slip connection for quick-disconnect operation.
A lighting fixture indicated generally at 46 is associated with a vertical through opening 48 in the panel 28. As shown, an incandescent lighting fixture is provided and the fixture takes a generally cylindrical shpae with an opening 50 provided at a lower-most portion for the downward emission of light. The lighting fixture 46 may be supported on the panel 28 by means of small clips 52, 52. A quick-disconnect device provided at 54 permits the lighting fixture to be installed and lowered bodily with the panel 28.
Thus, it will be apparent that an assembled air distributing device 42, lighting fixture 46 and panel 28 may be moved upwardly and downwardly as a unit respectively for installation and removal. In order to provide for the desired ease and convenience in the mounting of the assembled air distributing, lighting and acoustical units within their respective coffers, and in accordance with an important aspect of the present invention, detachable panel mounting and connecting devices are provided. At least two such devices are provided, and in the presently preferred embodiment with a rectangular coffer and panel, four such devices are provided at 56, 56. i
The preferred connecting devices 56, 56 are adapted for automatic engagement on upwardmovement of an assembled air distributing device 42, lighting fixture 46 and panel 28. Thus, an installer may connect the air supply and electrical supply conduits 24, 26 with the panel in the lowered condition and thereupon raise the panel to the installed position of FIG. 1 with the connecting devices automatically engaging and securing the panel in such position. The connecting devices may vary widely in form, but in their presently prefrred form,.each of said devices comprises two complementary parts and, as shown, said parts are substantially indentical. Referring particularly to FIG. 3, upper parts 58, 58 of the devices 56, 56 are secured as by suitable bolts to the aforementioned side walls 12 and 14 of the coffer l0. Downwardly projecting arms have upwardly open V-shaped end portions 62, 62 with free end portions extending upwardly. The parts 58, 58 are preferably constructed of spring metal so as to be resilient and deflectable in a generally horizontal direction, best illustrated at the right-hand portion of FIG. 3. The lower parts 60, of the connecting devices, riveted to the panel 28, have upwardly projecting arms and downwardly open V-hsaped end portions with free end portions 64, 64 projecting downwardly. Said parts 60, 60 are also preferably constructed of sheet metal so as to be resilient and deflectable in a generally horizontal inward direction as best illustrated at the righ-hand portion of FIG. 3. As will be apparent, outer surfaces 68,
68 on the portions 64, 64 are inclined in a complementary direction with respect to surfaces 66, 66 on the portions 62,62. Thus, as a panel is moved upwardly, the surfaces 66, 66, 68, 68 interengage and serve to cam the arms generally horizontally away from each other whereby to allow the V-shaped free end portions 62, 62, 64, 64 to interengage as shown at the left-hand portion of FIG. 3. When it is desired to remove a panel, the lower-most part 60 of one connecting device is urged inwardly with access through the space between the edge of the panel and the adjacent coffer side wall whereupon the end portions 62, 62, 64, 64 of the parts of the device can be disengaged as shown at the righthand portion of FIG. 3. On lowering one edge of the panel, the opposite edge of the panel may be raised whereby to facilitate disengagement of the connecting devices 56, 56 associated therewith and, air and electrical supply conduits having been disconnected, the entire panel may then be lowered for replacement, servicing of parts, etc.
1. A composite air distributing, lighting and acoustical unit for use in ceiling coffers, said unit comprising a panel having a configuration somewhat smaller but substantially con-forming in cross section with the configuration of a corresponding ceiling coffer, said panel having a solid upper plate and a down-wardly spaced and perforate lower plate with foraminous sound absorbing acoustical material disposed between said plates, said upper plate having at least one opening for receiving an air distributing device and said upper and lower plates having at least one vertically aligned through opening for receiving a lighting fixture, an air distributing device mounted on said panel upper plate and entered in its corresponding opening so as to distribute air downwardly through said perforate lower plate, a lighting fixture mounted on said panel and extending into its corresponding panel opening with a downwardly directed light-emitting opening, and at least two substantially concealed horizontally spaced detachable panel mounting and connecting devices each having at least two complementary parts, one part of each said device being secured to an adjacent wall of said coffer and the complementary part being secured to said panel, and said complementary parts being automatically engageable in connecting relationship on upward movement of said assembled panel, air distributing device and lighting fixture into installed position within said coffer.
2. A composite air distributing, lighting and acoustical unit for use in ceiling coffers as set forth in claim 1 wherein each of said detachable connecting devices is accessible through space adjacent the edge of said panel and said coffer wall and movable from said connecting relationship to a disconnected condition through manual manipulation.
3. A composite air distributing, lighting and acoustical unit for use in ceiling coffers as set forth in claim 1 wherein at least one of said complementary parts of each of said detachable connecting devices is resiliently movable in a generally horizontal direction for engagement and disengagement with the other part of said device, at least one of said parts having a camming surface engageable with the other part whereby to be resiliently moved on upward movement of said assembled panel, air distributing device and lighting fixture.
4. A composite air distributing, lighting and acoustical unit for use in ceiling coffers as set forth in claim 3 wherein each of said parts of said connecting device comprises an arm having a generally V-shaped free end portion, said free end portions being arranged adjacent each other so as to provide inclined camming surfaces as aforesaid tending to resiliently deflect said arms in a horizontal direction during upward panel movement.
5. A composite air distributing, lighting and acoustical unit for use in ceiling coffers as set forth in claim 4 wherein each of said parts is formed of spring metal to provide for resilient general horizontal deflection thereof, the unflexed positions of said two parts being such that the free ends thereof are interengaged as aforesaid.
6. A composite air distributing, lighting and acoustical unit for use in ceiling coffers asset forth in claim 1 wherein said air distributing device has an associated flexible air supply conduit which is adapted for quickdisconnect operation.
7. A composite air distributing, lighting and acoustical unit for use in ceiling coffers as set forth in claim 6 wherein said lighting fixture has an associated electrical supply conduit including quick-disconnect provisions.
8. A composite air distributing, lighting and acoustical unit for use in ceiling coffers as set forth in claim 7 wherein said cofier takes a generally rectangular configuration in cross section with the panel taking a similar configuration, and wherein four substantially concealed detachable mounting and connecting devices are provided, said devices being positioned respectively adjacent corners of said panel and coffer.
9. A composite air distributing, lighting and acoustical unit for use in ceiling coffers as set forth in claim 8 panel movement.
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