US 3759005 A
A panel edging and seal structure fabricated from a polymeric material including a trim portion of a relatively rigid polymer and a sealing portion of a relatively flexible polymer. The sealing and trim portions, in accordance with the preferred embodiment of this invention, are extruded simultaneously from suitable polymeric material.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 Smith 1451 Sept. 18,1973
 PANEL EDGE AND SEAL STRUCTURE 2,956,653 10/ 1960' Liskey, Jr. 52/403 3,521,404 7/1970 Hager et al. [751 Inventor al Grand 3,526,071 9/1970 Watanabe 52/403 1c  A w e Kidd & Comp". Inc FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS ss1gnee: a r e y,
1,173,666 12/1969 Great Brltam 52/126 Grand 452,163 5/l968 Switzerland 52/126  Filed: Feb. 16, 1971 Primary Examiner-Alfred C. Perham ] Appl' 1l5632 Attorney-Price, Heneveld, Huizenga & Cooper 52 us. c1 52/403, 52/623, 52/624  ABSTRACT  Int. Cl E04h 1/62 581 Field of Search 52/403 623 624- A edgmg and structure fabrlcated mm a 19/486 g polymeric material including a trim portion of a rela- I tively rigid polymer and a sealing portion of a relatively  References Cited flexible polymer. The sealing and trim portions, in accordance with the preferred embodiment of this inven- UNITED STATES PATENTS tion, are extruded simultaneously from suitable poly- 3,396,501 8/1968 Tate 52 173 meric mam-EL 2,256,206 9/1941 Knight 3,378,958 4/1968 Parks et a1. 49/498 X 5 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures I I E I I; "1 5 s L /4 L PATENTED SE?! 8 I975 [LII/III Km @v 0/ m wm Q N 7 Z W T 2.. w
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a panel edge and seal structure of the type Utilized to trim the abutting edges of structural panels and, more particularly, to such structures embodying means for sealing the joint between adjacent panels against the passage of air, water and -It is an object of this invention, more particularlysto provide a panel edge and seal structure which may be securely affixed to the panel edge or edges, which will the like. In its more particular aspects, this invention relates to such a structure particularly adapted for utilization in conjunction with panels such as those utilizedin an elevated flooring system. The preferred embodiment of the invention, to be disclosed in detail hereinafter, relates to the latter type of system although, as will be readily appreciated by those skilled in the art, the conceptual teachings to be found herein may well find applicability in other structural members such as wall panels and the like.
In the construction of rooms or areas suitable for computer equipment, clean-room manufacturing, and the like it has become customary to utilize an elevated floor system such as is illustrated generally in FIG. 1 of US. Pat. No. 3,396,501. The utilization of such flooring systems permits, as will be readily appreciated by those skilled in the art, the running of the various power and communication cables within the hollow space between the elevated floor and-the cement or other type of structure such that these facilities may be provided in the room with minimum'difficulty. The cavities formed beneath the false floor can function, additionally, as return plenums in clean room systems, the elevated flooring panels ordinarily being perforate in this particular situation.
Flooring panels. of the type under discussion, ordinarily are supported in elevated relationship with respect to the-floor by means of a series of vertically adjustable pedestals. A gridwork of reinforcing and stabilizing struts may be-interconnected between the pedestals in addition to the panels. One of the problems which has plagued the field heretofore has been the tendency of liquids such as water to seep between the panel edges when they are spilled on the elevated floor. Such seepage, as will be readily appreciated, can be extremely detrimental in certain situations. Another problem which has caused difficulty, where theare'a beneath the floor is being utilized as a return air plenum, is the tendency of air to leak between acjacent floor panels, such leakage detracting seriously from the efficacy of the systems involved. v
The prior art includes many attempts to develop panel edging structures which will function effectively to seal adjacent panels so as to prevent the flow o'f liquid, air or the like therebetween. While many of these attempts have met with moderate success, many problems have remained unsolved. These problems concern themselves, primarily, with the securability of the seal to the flooring panel, the incorporationof a trim edge or the like along the edge of the panel and, of course, the cost factors involved in producing the particular items in question.
OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of this invention, therefore, to provide a panel edge and seal structure which obviates many of the difficulties encountered with respect to prior art structures, only the more important of which are outlined in the preceding section of this application.
securely seal the space between adjacent panels against the leakage of air, water and the like and yet, whichwill provide a highly decorative and functional'edging o n the panel when viewed from the exposed surface thereof. It is yet a further object of this invention to provide such' a structure which lends itself readily to highspeed, relatively low-cost manufacturing techniques and, thus, a structure which may be produced and installed with little difficulty and with relative economy. These as well as other objects of this invention are achieved through the provision of a trim-seal structure adapted particularly for attachment to one or more of the peripheral edges of a panel, the panel being adapted to be positioned adjacent a similar panel in edge-to-edge relationship with the trim-seal structures, attached thereto in compressive abutment with one another. The trim-seal structure includes a first elongated the periphery of the panel after installation. Installation of the panels is effected such that the sealing portions of the structures compressibly abut one another and are resiliently depressed toward the panel to which they are attached forming the desired seal. In accordance with the preferred embodiment of this invention, the trim and seal portions are simultaneously and compos itely extruded from suitable polymeric materials.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THEINVENTION This invention will be readily understood by those skilled in the art from areading of the following specification and accompanying figures in which:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary, perspective view of the novel panel edge and seal structure; 1
FIG. 2 is a rear elevational view thereof;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional elevation of the structure attached to a typical flooring panel;
' FIG. 4 is a fragmentary-cross-sectional elevation of two adjacent panels in compressiveabutment illustrating the manner in which the seal portions of thestructure compressively abut one another to seal against leakage of air, water or the like; and 7 FIG. 5 is an enlarged view of the seal portions illustrated in FIG. 4. 1 I 7 Referring now to the figures, the trim. and seal edge 20 is adapted to be utilized in conjunction with a floor panel 10. The panel 10 includes a core 11 having a metallic re-enforcing sheathing 12. Upon the surface-of the panel to be exposed is suitably affixed a decorative tile surface member 13 and the peripheral edged the panel is provided with an elongated peripheral slot 14.
The particular panel structure illustrated in FIGS.3 and 4 is, of course, merely illustrative of a rather large number of panel configurations in conjunction with which the structure of the instant invention'may beutilized. The panel may, for example, be formed from suitably reinforced metal rather than wood and, in fact, may incorporate a decorative surface on either ofthe sides thereof such that it might be oriented vertically as a partition or the like. In the latter case, as will become readily apparent hereinafter, the seal and trim structure illustrated would be modified slightly such that the exposed surfaces thereof were identical and the body or skirt portion thereof positioned parallel to the panel edge rather than canted as illustrated in the figures.
The trim and seal edge includes a trim portion 21 having a planar exposable surface 22 along the upper edge thereof. From the upper surface 22, the structure necks down in inverted L-shaped fashion into a reduced thickness section 23, the exterior side of section 23 having a slottherealong forming a generally rectangular cavity 24.
Beneath or depending from the reduced thickness section 23 is a skirt section 25 which section, in the case of a flooring panel, preferably extends a substantial portion of the thickness of the panel in question. The skirt portion 25 terminates in an enlarged bearing portion 26 and there is provided on the interior side of the strip an elongated serrated tongue 27. Tongue 27, as is clearly illustrated in FIGS. 2 through 4, extends preferably along the entire length of the structure 20 and is received in somewhat compressed fashion within the peripheral slot 14 during installation of the strip 20 onthe panel edge. The tongue, if desirable, may have a suitable adhesive placed thereon prior to installation on the panel edge or, of course, other means may be utilized, when necessary, to firmly secure the member 20, to the panel 10.
The planar exposable surface 22 of the trim portion 21, as illustrated particularly in FIGS. 3 and 4, is sized and positioned in the resultant product such that its upper surface forms substantially a planar continuation of the tile surface member 13, its under surface resting to some degree preferably upon the edge of sheath 12 for vertical support. The resultant structure, as illustrated particularly in FIG. 4, permits the panels to be positioned adjacent one another'in compressive abutment to form a continuous, level surface.
From an examination of FIGS. 1 and 3, it will be noted that the cavity 24 in the member 20 is bounded on its exterior or exposed side by an outwardly curved seal member 28, this particular component being fabricated preferably from a polymeric material having relatively flexible and compressible characteristics.
In accordance. with the preferred embodiment of this invention, the member 20 including the trim portion 21 and seal portion 28 is continuously and simultaneously extruded by well-known extrusion techniques, the seal member 28 forming an-integral or composite part of the complete structure when the extrusion process has been completed. The particular polymeric materials utilized in such an extrusion process will depend, of course, upon the particular use to which the resultant product is to be subjected although, in a vast majority of cases, vinyls may be utilized with complete satisfac tion.
The member 20 is designed such that it cants with-respect to the vertical edge of the floor panel'10 after installation. This canting, as will be readily appreciated by those skilled in the art, is provided so that a particular panel at any location in the floor can be'swun'gup- When the floor panels 10 are installed in compressive abutment such as illustrated in FIG. .4, the outer surfaces of the soft, resilient seal members 28 contact one another and resiliently depress toward and into the cavities 24. The soft, resilient materials contacting one another provide the desired seal against leakage of air, water or the like. I
When a particular panel is removed from the installation, the seal 28 will resiliently expand to its original position and, when the panel is reinstalled, it will again compress in the manner shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 to form the desired seal in connection with the seal member on the adjacent panel.
In the floor panel environment, of course, it is contemplated that the trim and seal edge 20 will extend about the complete periphery of the floor panel 10. Each side of the panel, thus, will be sealed against an adjacent floor panel in the manner described above. It should be noted, additionally, that sealing will be obtainedadjacent a wall or the like since the seal member 28 will compress so long as the wall is in compressive abutment with the side of the panel member.
While a preferred embodiment of this invention has been illustrated in detail, it will be readily apparentto those skilled in the art that otherembodiments may be conceived and fabricated without departing from the spirit and scope of this inventionQSuch otherembodiments are to be deemed as included within the scope wardly without interference with the ad acent panels permitting selective entry into the cavity beneath .the floor for inspection, repair or the like.
of the following claims unless these claims, by their language, expressly state otherwise.
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows. l I
l. A trim-seal structure adapted particularly for attachment to one or more of the peripheral edges of a panel, the panel being adapted to be positioned adjacent a similar panel in edge-to-edge relationship with the trim-seal structures attached thereto in compressive abutment with one. another, said structure comprising:
an elongated trim portion having an exposable surface, said trim portion being formed from a relatively rigid polymer; 1
means for affixing one sideof said trim portion to the edge of said panel such that the exposable surface thereof lies in the general plane and forms a substantial continuation of one of the surfaces of said panel; sealing portion formed from arelativelyflexible polymer positioned along the side of said trim portion opposite from said affixing means, said sealing portion extending outwardly beyond the general plane of said opposite side of said trim and being resiliently depressible toward said trim strip; said flexible polymer sealing portion and said relatively rigid polymer trim portion comprising a simultaneous extrusion wherein said sealing and trim portions are integral, composite portions thereof; said trim portion including an elongated cavity along the said opposite side thereof, said sealing portion .bounding .the exposed side of said cavity. 2; The structure as set forth in claiml wherein said sealing portion comprises an elongated, curved seal member having its elongated edges integrally and continuously joined to the edges of said cavity.
'3. The structure asset forth in claim 2 wherein said panel comprises a flooring panel adapted to be positioned in elevated fashion adjacent a plurality of similar panels to form an elevated floor, and wherein said trimseal structure extends about the entire periphery of said panel such that the seal portions on adjacent sides of adjacent panels abut and resiliently depress one another.
4. A pair of trim-seal structures lying in abutting, sealing engagement with one another along parallel edges of adjacent panel members; each trim-seal structure comprising a simultaneous extrusion formed from a first polymer having a specified rigidity and flexibility and a second polymer having a rigidity less than said first polymer; said extrusions each including an elongated trim portion having an exposed, planar, support surface and formed from said first polymer; means protruding from one side of said trim portion for affixing said trim portion to an edge of one of said panel members such that said support surface lies in the general plane and forms a substantial continuation of one of the surfaces of said panel member, said affixing means formed from said first polymer; and a sealing means formed from said second polymer; said sealing means being integral with the side of said trim portion opposite said affixing means and extending in a curvilinear fashion beyond the general plane of said opposite side; said sealing means on said adjacent trim portions resiliently, compressively engaging one another thereby effecting a waterproof, hermetic seal between said trimseal structures; said trim portion including an elongated cavity along the said opposite side thereof, said sealing portion bounding the exposed side of said cavity.
5. A floor panel edge and sealing structure adapted to be secured along parallel, adjacent edges of floor panels elevated above a supporting surface; said edge and seal structure forming a water-proof hermetic seal between said panels, said panels including upper and lower surfaces and peripheral edges; said edges including a peripheral slot extending substantially around the entire periphery of said panel; the corners between said edges and surfaces being reinforced with rigid, metallic plates following the contour thereof and extending a specified distance across said edges toward said slot; said upper surface being covered with a layer of tile or suitable similar floor covering; said edge and sealing structure comprising an elongated trim portion formed from a first rigid polymer having an exposed support surface and a lip extending from one side of said trim portion forming an extension of said exposed surface; an integral, protruding, elongated tongue extending along said one side of said trim portion formed from said rigid polymer and including elongated, integral retaining means protruding along the length of said tongue'at spaced intervalsthereacross; said tongue being received in said slot and securing said trim portion to said panel edge at an inclined angle with said upper panel surface such that said exposed surface forms a flush continuation of the plane of said tile or floor covering while said lip is supported on said reinforced corner between said upper surface and peripheral edge; and an elongated, curvilinear sealing mem' ber formed simultaneously with said trim portion and tongue from a second polymer less rigid and more resilient and flexible than said first polymer; said sealing member extending along substantially the entire length of the side of said trim portion opposite said one side and extending beyond the general plane of said opposite'side; said sealing member having its ends joined integrally during the extrusion of said edge and sealing structure to the edges of an elongated cavity extending beneath said sealing member along the length thereof and providing an integral space into which said sealing member is compressed by a second sealing member during the compressive abutment ofsaid edge and sealing structure against a secondof said edgeand sealing structures secured to a second adjacent floor panel whereby said water-proof, hermetic seal is formed therebetween.