US 3760544 A
An extruded sealing gasket for installing between adjacent panel sections of wall structures and the like to seal and insulate therebetween, said gasket being constructed to facilitate its installation and to resist working loose and coming out after it has been installed.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 Hawes et al.
[ Sept. 25, 1973 SEALING GASKET WITH ELONGATED INTERNAL STIFFNER  Inventors: Frederick L. Hawes, Ladue; Michael A. Kubat, Oakland, both of Mo.
 Assignee: Tetra Plastics, Incorporated,
 Filed: May 27, 1971  Appl. No.: 147,348
 US. Cl 52/468, 52/309, 52/400, 52/403, 52/459  Int. Cl E04b l/68  Field of Search 52/461, 464, 468, 52/465, 472, 400, 459, 309, 395, 573, 403, I I v 396; 94/ 18.2
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,213,584 10/1965 Bush 52/400 3,292,330 12/1966 Tennison 52/468 2,016,968 10/1935 Marble 52/573 3,508,369 4/1970 Tennison 52/403 3,570,205 3/1971 Payne 52/403 3,604,169 9/1971 Smith 52/396 2,609,071 9/1952 Morgann et al. 52/400 1,833,925 12/1931 Weil 52/396 3,517,472 6/1970 Toth 52/309 1,069,886 8/1913 Lassam et a1. 52/468 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,183,750 3/1970 Great Britain 52/403 1,363,924 3/1964 France 1,103,501 2/1968 Great Britain 52/573 Primary ExaminerAlfred C. Perham Assistant Examiner-Leslie A. Braun Attorney-Charles B. Haverstock  ABSTRACT I An extruded sealing gasket for installing between adja cent panel sections of wall structures and the like to seal and insulate therebetween, said gasket being constructed to facilitate its installation and to resist working loose and coming out after it has been installed.
11 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures SEALING GASKET WITH ELONGATED INTERNAL STIFFNER Many gaskets and related devices have been constructed and used in the past for various purposes including to seal and/or insulate between adjacent panels and panel sections of wall members and the like. Some of the known gaskets have been constructed by extruding plastic and similar materials and some have been used to insulate as well as seal between adjacent panel sections. However, all of the known gasket constructions including those constructed of plastic have had certain disadvantages and shortcomings including being difficult to install, working loose and coming out when subjected to repeated temperature changes causing expansions and contractions thereof, undesirably changing their length with temperature and for these and other reasons, the known constructions have been unsuitable and unsatisfactory for many purposes including particularly applications where extremes in temperature are likely to be encountered. Also, known sealing gaskets have been so relatively flimsy and for this reason they have been difficult to install, and the spaces in which they are installed have had to be wider than necessary thereby increasing the chances for looseness and reducing the insulation and sealing effectiveness of the gaskets. These and other disadvantages and shortcomings of the known devices are overcome by the present construction which is an extruded plastic gasket construction that has formed in it and extending its full length a strip or insert of a different material than the material from which the gasket is formed, said strip being characterized by being stiffer, less bendable and less likely to kink than the surrounding gasket material. The strip preferably also has a different, preferably much lower, coefficient of thermal expansion and contraction than the material that surrounds it, and the strip or insert preferably but not necessarily is also of a material that does not adhere adhesively or unite integrally with the surrounding extruded gasket material so that some relative movement can take place between the insert and the extruded gasket material. The insert material should also be stiff enough so that it substantially strengthens the portion of the gasket in which it is located so that it enables the gasket to be installed by being forced into even relatively narrow openings or slits with a minimum of deformation and without kinking, while at the same time providing maximum sealing and insulating value. The addition of the stiffener insert also reduces creeping and other movements of the gasket after it is installed thereby minimizing looseness and other undesirable conditions.
It is therefore a principal object of the present invention to provide a novel extruded gasket construction which is relatively easy to install between adjacent sections and with a minimum of deformation.
Another object is to provide means for stiffening scaling gaskets and like devices constructed by extruding relatively flexible plastic substances.
Another object is to provide a relatively inexpensive sealing gasket construction.
Another object is to provide improved means for stiffening relatively flimsy flexible extruded plastic members.
Another object is to provide an extruded sealing gasket which resists coming loose or falling out whn installed.
Another object is to provide an extruded sealing gasket device which can be constructed in any desired lengths and sizes.
Another object is to provide improved means for sealing between adjacent panel sections.
Another object is to provide means for neutralizing the effects of thermal expansion and contraction in sealing members exposed to wide temperature variations.
Another object is to form extruded sealing strips of two different materials including materials having different stiffness and rigidity characteristics and different coefficients of thermal expansion and contraction.
Another object is to simplify and reduce the time required to assemble and seal between panel members in a paneled structure.
Another object is to facilitate on the site construction of paneled enclosures such as panels used in the construction of refrigeration enclosures and the like by providing improved means for sealing and insulating between adjacent panels in-the structures.
These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent after considering the following detailed specification which discloses several representative embodiments of the present sealing and insulating means or gaskets in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view showing portions of two adjacent connected together panel members with sealing means therebetween constructed according to the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a .view similar to FIG. 1 showing two connected aligned panel members with the subject gasket means installed therebetween;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view showing a portion of a sealing gasket constructed according to the present invention; and,
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view showing a portion of another embodiment of the subject gasket.
Referring to the drawing more particularly by reference numbers, number 10 identifies a sealing gasket constructed according to the present invention. Another modified embodiment of the subject gasket is identified in FIG. 1 by the number 12. The gaskets 10 and 12 are similar in construction and are used for the same or similar purposes which is to seal and insulate between adjacent structural members such as between the adjacent structural members 14 and 16 which are shown connected together at a right angle in FIG. 1. In FIG. 2, other similar connected structural members 18 and 20 are connected together in an aligned configuration.
The sealing gasket 10 (FIG. 3) which'is for use in places where the adjacent panel surfaces of the connected members are in alignment, can be formed in any desired lengths and sizes preferably by an extrusion process, and is of a suitable, relatively flexible plastic substance such as ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA). The
gasket 10 has a generally T-shaped cross-sectional shape as shown whichincludes a rounded cross-portion 22 and an integral stem portion 24 with one or more elongated sidewardly extending wings or tabs 26 extending from one or both opposite side surfaces thereof. Any desired number of wings or tabs 26 can be provided as required. During extrusion of the gasket 10 the stern portion 24 is extruded around a relatively flat stiffener member 28 preferably constructed of a more rigid and less flexible substance such as Nylon or the like. The stiffener member 28 can also be of an even harder and stiffer material such as being constructed of metal although Nylon or some other relatively stiff plastic is usually preferred. The member 28 is fed through the stern portion of the extrusion die opening (not shown) during extrusion of the subject gasket and the member 28 is preferably constructed of a material such as described which does not fuse or integrally unit with the surrounding plastic. This can be accomplished by the proper selection of the materials and by proper control of the extrusion environment. Also, in some cases it may even be desirable to coat the member 28 with a suitable material to prevent adhesion or uniting during extrusion although this is usually not necessary. In other cases, some adhesion or fusing may even be desirable, although this is usually not the case. The important thing is that the member 28 be stiffer, less resilient and less compressible than the softer more resilient surrounding material so that it will provide the support necessary to enable the stem portion 24 to be pressed into or forced into position even in a relatively narrow slot formed by and between adjacent panels without unduly distorting or damaging the gasket. The member 28 should also be wide enough to provide the necessary stiffness over most of the width of the stem portion 24 and as will be explained later, the member 28 should preferably also have coefficients of thermal expansion and contraction that are substantially less than those for the surrounding EVA material to prevent the gaskets from working out and coming loose when subjected to repeated temperature changes.
The modified sealing member or gasket 12 shown in FIG. 4 is similar in construction to the gasket but differs in shape somewhat because it is designed for use at an inside right angle corner as shown in FIG. 1 rather than for use along and between aligned panel surfaces. The modified gasket 12, like the gasket 10, has a somewhat modified T-shaped cross-section defined by a concave rather than a convex cross-portion 30 and an integral stern portion 31 which is shown formed by two connected but angularly related portions 32 and 34. The stem portion 34 which is the thinner stem portion, like the stem portion 24 above, has one or more wings or flanges 36 formed on one or both side surfaces thereof, and the portion 34 also has a relatively rigid insert 38 positioned therein at the location shown. The modified embodiment 12 also has a second wing or flange 40 which is shown extending outwardly from the opposite side of the stem 34 from the flanges 36 shown at the location where the portions 32 and 34 meet. The flange 40 therefore provides engagement and sealing action on the opposite side of the device from the flanges 36. Except for the differences in the shape and the somewhat different locations of the flanges 36 and 40 in the modified structure 12, the modified gasket is similar, performs similar functions, and is installed in a manner similar to the sealing member 10. The stiffener 38 also performs the same basic purposes as the stiffener 28, namely to provide support, backing and rigidity to facilitate installation of the gaskets by enabling them to be driven even into relatively narrow spaces without damage to the gasket and to prevent the device from coming loose and falling out by providing backing for the surrounding relatively soft, flimsy material. The stiffeners also, because they are preferably constructed of materials that have smaller coefficients of thermal expansion and contraction than the surrounding material, reduce and minimize movement after installation, which movements especially movements that cause changes in the length of the gaskets can be very undesirable.
The particular form of the structural members 14, l6, l8 and 20 as shown in the drawing are for illustrative purposes only and not part of the present invention. The structural members or panels are shown as hollow structures that are filled with an insulating material 42. Each panel structure includes spaced walls 44 which are connected along their adjacent side edges by closure members shown as extruded members 46 which members have surfaces 60 that are maintained in spaced relation by some means such as shown. The surfaces 60 with lengthwise extending serrations 62 formed therein, and the serrations 62 on the two adjacent members 46 are in spaced opposed relation on adjacent panels to cooperate with the wings or flanges 26 (or 36) on the gasket 10 (or 12) as clearly shown in the drawings. When two adjacent panels are installed and connected together in the manner shown and described, the spaces formed between the adjacent panel ends are sealed closed by inserting and pressing or driving the gaskets 10 (or 12) thereinto. This is accomplished by directing the free edges of stem portions 24 (or 31) into the spaces between the opposed surfaces 60 on the members 46, applying sufficient driving or pushing force against the cross-portion 22 (or 30) to move the stem portions into fully seated and sealed positions with the flanges 26 (or 36) engaging the serrations 62. This may require forcing the gasket into the spaces slightly further than their final seated positions which is possible because of the shape of the crossportions 22 (or 30) so that the wings will be able to fully seat and thereafter have their free edges engage a serration 62. If the gaskets 10 and 12 were constructed entirely of one piece of the relatively flexible EVA material without having the stiffeners in them, they would be too flimsy to take much force and it would be difficult, if not impossible, to apply enough pressure to drive or force them into fully seated positions and in the process of trying to do so the material in all likelihood would be damaged. Furthermore, the deformation that would probably result would complicate the problem by reducing the insulating properties, and even if it were possible to install such gaskets, their expansion and contraction characteristics which would be substantial would result in substantial changes in their length under changing temperature conditions and might even enable them to work loose and fall out. Also, if no stiffeners were provided it would most surely be necessary to provide wider spaces between the adjacent panels which would substantially increase the possibilities for movement after installation and would also reduce the insulating effectiveness of the subject gaskets. It can be seen therefore that the subject stiffening means are very important to the structure, installation, operation and effectiveness of the present gaskets. Furthermore, by providing the stiffener strips 28 (or 38) the stem portions 24 (or 34) are made relatively more rigid than they would otherwise be while the surrounding EVA material would be made thinner and weaker in the area of the stiffeners. This is desirable because it means greater force can be applied against the sealing strip to force them into very narrow openings and to fully seat them in the slots and it also means that the forces of expansion and contraction operating on the extruded portions of the stem 24 (or 34) that surround the stiffeners 28 (or 38) are substantially reduced or neutralized. Also, because the inserts 28 and 38 are preferably constructed to remain separate from, rather than being integral with the surrounding plastic some relative movement is possible therebetween which is usually highly desirable because the surrounding plastic preferably has the greater coefficient of expansion and contraction which under changing temperatures can cause some warpage or change its shape but without being able to exert enough force particularly lengthwise in the plane of the stem portions to enable the gaskets to change length. Hence, the stiffeners permit some relative movement and shifting of the extruded portions but without permitting the gaskets to come loose or change their position when installed. In fact, it has been discovered that the present construction almost completely eliminates gasket creepage which has been a major problem with known constructions. It is apparent that the particular forms of the subject sealing means or gaskets disclosed herein are for illustrative purposes only and the basic idea is equally applicable to other shapes as well. The subject gaskets can also be made in large and small sizes, they can be made in different thicknesses and lengths, they can have varying numbers of side flanges or sealing ribs which preferably are relatively easily collapsed into sealing engagement with the adjacent serrations, the side flanges can be shaped to have their free edges formed on portions that extend outwardly at a steeper angle than the rest of them to better engage the serrations, and the size and shape of the cross and stem portions of the subject gaskets can be varied considerably depending upon the shape and angular relationships of the structural members that are to be sealed together. One of the important things is that the subject sealing strips are constructed of two different materials preferably having different stiffness and hardness characteristics and different coefficients of thermal expansion and contraction, and which may or may not become integral or adhesively united during extrusion thereof so as to be movable relative to each other for the reasons stated. This is particularly important for applications of the subject gaskets where they may be subjected to widely varying temperature conditions such as when used to seal and insulate between panels of refrigeration containers, vaults and the like.
Thus there has been shown and described novel means for sealing and insulating between adjacent structual members such as panel members, which means fulfill all of the objects and advantages sought therefor. As indicated, however, many changes, modifications, variations and other uses and applications of the subject means will become apparent to those skilled in the art after considering this disclosure and the accompanying drawing. All such changes, modifications, variations and other uses and applications which do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention are deemed to be covered by the invention which is limited only by the claims which follow.
What is claimed is:
1. Sealing means comprising an elongated member defined by integrally connected cross and stem portions connected to each other in angular relationship, said stem portion being formed by angularly related portions at least one of which is formed by spaced wall portions and at least one elongated integral flange extending acutely angularly outwardly from a side surface of the stem portion toward the cross portion and at an intermediate location on the stem portion, said flange being movable toward the stem portion when the sealing means are installed to form spaces along the stem portion adjacent to said flange, and an elongated strip of a material that is stiffer, harder, less resilient and less compressible than said elongated member, said strip being positioned inside of the stem portion at an intermediate location between spaced stem wall portions and extending the length thereof, the material forming said strip having coefficients of thermal expansion and contraction that are less than the corresponding coefficients of the material in the stem portion, and said strip having a greater dimension in the plane of the stem portion than transversely thereof and said strip having a thickness that is relatively large in relation to the thickness of the stem portions on opposite sides thereof to be able to substantially neutralize effects of expansion and contraction of the said stem portion due to changes in temperature.
2. The sealing means defined in claim 1 wherein said stem and cross portions of said elongated member are constructed of ethylene vinyl acetate.
3. The sealing means defined in claim 2 wherein the elongated strip is formed of Nylon.
4. The sealing means defined in claim 1 wherein said cross-portion has an unstressed curved cross-sectional shape.
5. The sealing means defined in claim 1 wherein similar elongated integral flanges extend angularly outwardly from both opposite side surfaces of said stem portion, said flanges being thinner than the said stem portion at the locations where they are attached.
6. The sealing means defined in claim 1 wherein said integral flange has a free edge and a portion adjacent to the free edge that is at a steeper angle relative to the stem portion than other portions thereof.
7. The sealing gasket defined in claim 1 wherein the stiffener member is integrally united with the stern portion of the elongated member.
8. The sealing gasket defined in claim 1 wherein the stiffener member is adhesively united with the stern portion of the elongated member.
9. The sealing gasket defined in cairn 1 wherein the stiffener member and the stem portion are distinct members.
10. The sealing gasket defined in claim 1 wherein the stiffener member is thicker than the portion of the stem portion on at least one side thereof.
11. The sealing gasket defined in claim 1 wherein the plane of the stem portion of the elongated member is oriented at an acute angle relative to the cross-portion thereof.