US 3766696 A
A demountable wall partition system comprising a plurality of partition members secured in series by coupling means including outwardly and upwardly extending connectors on ends of adjacent partition members and connector strips carrying outwardly and downwardly extending connectors for releasably mating with the upwardly extending connectors as the connector strips are lowered between the adjacent partition members toward a floor-engaging base for supporting the partition members.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Watkins 52/282 X Totoonchie Oct. 23, 1973  DEMOUNTABLE WALL PARTITION 2,362,162 11/1944 Sheldon 52/586 X SYSTEM 2,958,403 11/1960 Robertson.... 52 241 M 2,621,378 l2/l952 Wilson 52/582 Inventor: Edward ter Totoonchle, Van 3,425,171 4/1969 Propst et al 52 585 Nuys, Calif. 7 A Si nee: Versa wau'lnc. Cane a park, Primary ExaminerPrice C. Faw, Jr. 3] S g Cafifi g Attorney-Ford W. Harris et al.
22 Filed: Feb. 4, 1972  ABSTRACT ] Appl. No.: 223,460 A demountable wall partition system comprising a plurality of partition members secured in series by coupling means including outwardly and upwardly extend- Zi g fg fii i d i lgg ing connectors on ends of adjacent partition members 52/236 238 241 and connector strips carrying outwardly and down- 1 0 wardly extending connectors for releasa'bly mating 287/20 2092 J, 36 2092 with the upwardly extending connectors as the connector strips are lowered between the adjacent partition members toward a floor-engaging base for sup-  uNlTE lg s l a r gs ggfrENTs porting the partition members.
3,026,977 3/1962 Pollock et a1. 52/582 X 3,327,440 6/1967 2 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures A/IO Patented Ot. 23,1973 v 3,766,696
. 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 DEMOUNTABLE WALL PARTITION SYSTEM The present invention relates to wall partition systems and more particularly to an attractive, fully demountable and reusable wall partition system for mounting on hard surface floor coverings or on top of carpeting, as desired.
Demountable wall partition systems generally comprise a plurality of support posts and panel-like partition members. Mating connectors on the posts and partition members releasably secure the partition members to the posts. 1
In' installation, the exact locations of the posts are first determined. Then, support feet for the posts are connected at such locations to the hard floor of the building or room where the partition system is to be installed. Such connection is usually by bolts driven from an air-powered gun into the floor through flanges extending from the support feet and fixedly secure the feet to the floor. Next, a post is vertically mounted on one of the feet and a partition member lifted and moved to a position adjacent thereto. By proper lifting and maneuvering of the partition member, the mating connectors on one side of the post and on one end of the partition member function to releasably secure the partition member to the post. Another post is erected and secured to an opposite end of the partition member and the process is repeated in series for partition member, post, partition member, etc., until the system is completed.
Even from the foregoing brief description, it should be apparent that the installation of conventional demountable wall partition systems is a time-consuming, laborious, and therefore rather expensive task requiringstrong and relatively skilled personn'el. The same is true of dismantling and rearrangement operations with conventional demountable wall partition systems. In fact, the cost of installation and rearrangement of such systems may well equal or exceed the initial purchase course,when the partition system is dismantled or rearranged, this leaves an unsightly floor condition.
In view of the foregoing, it is an object of the present invention to provide a demountable wall partition system which may be easily and quickly assembled and disassembled and which does not require fastening to the floor, thereby allowing the partition system to be readily mounted over the hard surface of a floor covering or on top of carpeting, as desired.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a substantially free standing, demountable wall partition system which does not require interconnecting and supporting posts for its partition members.
A further object of the present invention is to" provide I ered between adjacent partition members to tightly v urge the partition members together.
A still further object of the present invention is to provide a demountable wall partition system of the foregoing character which is readily dismantled by raising the connector strips from between adjacent partition members and by removing the partition members from the base.
The foregoing as well as other objects and advantages of the present invention may be more clearly understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered with the drawings which, by way of example only, illustrate one form of demountable wall partition system including the features of the present invention.
In the drawings:
FIG."1 is aperspective view of three partition members of a partition system embodying the features of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a sectional end view of one of the partition members taken along the line 2-2 in FIG. 1, a central portion of the partition member being removed; FIG. 3 is a fragmentary sectional front view of an upper portion of a coupling means for two of the partition members including a connector strip carrying connectors for mating with similar connectors on ends of the partition members, the coupling means being shown in a fully assembled state;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary top view of the coupling means taken along the line 4-4 in FIG. 3; FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view similar to FIG. 3, showing the coupling means in a state just prior to mating of the connectors as the connector strip is moved downwardly between the partition members; and
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of two partition members and a connector strip in the process of assembly on a base in the partition system. i
In the drawings, the partition system is represented generally by the numeral 10 and as shown comprises an elongated base 12 and a plurality of upright partition members 14, 16, and 18. The base 12 rests on top of the floor or carpet, as the case may be, and provides firm yet releasable bottom support for the partition members which, in turn, are releasably secured at adjacent e'nds by similar coupling means 20.
As illustrated most clearly in FIG. 2, the base 12 comprises two vertical side members 22 and 24 having flat horizontal tops 221 and 24t and flat horizontal bottoms 22b and 24b. The side members extend the length of the base 12 and are secured together by upper and lower lateral reinforcing members 26 and 28. The bottoms 22b and 24b are adapted to rest firmly on the top of a hard floor covering or rug. In this regard, if because of uneveness of the floor the covering or rug is not level, conventional handtumable leveling means (not shown) within the base 12 may be adjusted to insure that the tops 22! and 24: will be horizontal and provide firm and stable base support for the partition members.
As to the firm and stable support provided for the partition members by the base 12, it bears noting that the upper reinforcing member 26 is slightly below the tops 22t and 24!. Thus situated, the tops 22: and 24t and upper portions of the side members define a track 30. The track 30 is adapted to tightly receive a tongue 32 extending from a bottom member 34 of each partition when the partition is mounted in an upright position with the bottom member resting firmly on the tops 22: and 241 of the side members 22 and 24.
The partition members are of a hollow, yet sturdy construction, and may be easily lifted and maneuvered by just two installers during assembly and disassembly of the partition system. With respect to such features, and as illustrated most clearly in FIG. 2, each partition in addition to the bottom member 34, includes closely spaced parallel front and rear panels 36 and 38. The panels are connected together along their lower ends by the bottom member 34, along their upper ends by a longitudinally extending top member 40 and along right and left ends by vertical end members or fins 42 and 44. In addition, a lateral reinforcing member 46 extends between the panels below the top member 40. The bottom, top end, and reinforcing members may be secured to the panels 36 and 38, by screws or any other suitable connecting means to produce a sturdy, yet easy to handle partition structure. In this regard, it bears noting that the end members 42 and 44 are generally rectangular and have a width greater than the width of the partition members between an outside of the panels 36 and 38. Thus, as shown most clearly in FIGS. 2 and 4, the end members extend laterally beyond the panels. This not only provides the partition members with a unique and pleasing appearance, but also provides means for handgripping the partition members for easy lifting and maneuvering during assembly and disassembly of the partition system 10. Y
The appearance of each partition member is further enhanced by a decorative covering 48 and a top trim piece 50. The covering 48 may be of a vinyl or other suitable material secured by an adhesive to the outer surfaces of the panels 36 and 38 and over the top member between the end members 42 and 44. Lower marginal ends of the covering 48 extend over lower edges of the panels and upward into recesses 52 and 54 defined by elongated cutouts in the lower outer corners of the bottom member 34. The trim' piece extends along the top member 40 and between the end members 42 and 44. The trim piece 50 as well as the end members 42 and 44 may be wood stained to contrast with and accent the covering 48, as desired.
As previously indicated, the ends of adjacent partition members are releasably secured together by coupling means 20. Such a coupling means for adjacent ends of the partition members 14 and 16 is shown in FIG. 3 as comprising a connector strip 56 carrying a plurality of vertically separated connectors 58 for releasably mating with similar connectors 60 secured to the adjacent end members 42 and 44 of the partitions 14 and 16. The connector strip 56 is a generally rectangular vertical member having flat opposing faces 62 and 64, a height slightly less than that of the end members 42 and 44, and a width greater than the width of the base 12 in a direction substantially normally thereto.
Preferably, the connectors 58 comprise metal spring clips grouped in pairs on the opposite faces 62 and 64. Each spring clip includes a flat base 58b secured by screws 59 to one of the opposing faces with a finger 58f extending down at an acute angle from the base. A side of each finger 58f facing the strip 56 is serrated at 66 to tightly engage like serrations on a corresponding one of the connectors 60 as the strip 56 is lowered between the adjacent end members 42 and 44.
To accomplish the foregoing, faces 68 and of the end members 42 and 44 are flat and adapted to smoothly and slidably engage the flat opposing faces 62 and 64 of the connector strip 56, as it is lowered into position between the end members. Also, the faces 68 and 70 include vertical channels 72 and 74 for fixedly receiving the connectors 60. Further, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 5, the channels 72 and 74 are adapted to receive the connectors 58 for releasably mating with the connectors 60, as the strip 56 is moved downwardly between the end members. In this regard, vertical spacing of the connectors 60 within the channels 72 and 74 matches the vertical spacing of the pairs of connectors 58 on the connector strip 56 such that corresponding connectors 58 and 60are fully engaged when the bottom of the strip 56 rests on top of the base 12;
Further, the. connectors 60 preferably comprise metal spring clips similar to the spring clips comprising the connectors 58. In particular, each spring clip comprising a connector 60 includes a flat base 60b secured by screws 76 to the vertical base of one of the channels 72 or 74 with a finger 60f extending up at an acute angle from the base. A side of each finger 60f facing the base of the channel is serrated at 78 to tightly engage the serrations 66 on the corresponding one of the connectors 58, as the strip 56 is lowered into place between the end members 42 and 44. Because of the downward and upward inclined nature of the fingers 58f and 60f, as they engage each other there is a wedging action which urges the end members 42 and 44 tightly toward the connector strip 56. In this manner, the connector strip, as it is moved downwardly between the end members effects a tight and sturdy, yet releasable connection between the ends of the adjacent partitions 14 and 16.
With the foregoing in mind, the partition system 10 illustrated in FIG. 1 is installed in a manner most clearly depicted in FIGS. 5 and 6. In this regard, two installers rest the preconstructed base 12 on top of a floor covering or carpet, as the case may be. Then, they lift the partition member 14 and seat the tongue 34 thereof in the track 30 in the top of the base 12 to support the partition member in an upright position. Next, the installers lift the partition member 16 and seat its tongue 34in the track 30 to support the partition member on the base 12 with the end members 42 and 44 of the partitions spaced from each other. Then, one of the installers places the connector strip 56 between the end members 42 and 44 and raises it slightly, as shown in FIG. 5. The other installer slides the partition member 16 toward the partition member 14 until the opposing faces 62 and 74 of the connector strip abut the faces 68 and 70 of the end members 42 and 44. In that position (see FIG. 5) the connectors 58 extend into the channels 72 and 74 with the fingers 58f slightly above the fingers 60f of the connectors 60. One of the installers then lowers the connector strip 56 between the partition members, as by tapping on top of the strip with a mallet. As this occurs, the fingers 58f engage the fingers 60f and draw the end members 42 and 44 and hence the partition members 14 and 16 slightly toward the connector strip and thereby tightly together.
Having secured the partition members 14 and 16 on the base 12, the installers next lift the partition member 18 and introduce its tongue 34 into the portion of the track 30 extending at a right angle to the partitions 14 and 16. Then, to complete the partition system, one of the installers mounts a corner connector strip 56' at a junction of the partition members 16 and 18, in a manner similar to the mounting of the connector strip 56 between the partition members 14 and 16. In this regard, the corner connector strip 56' has a substantially square cross section and carries the connectors 58 on adjacent rather than opposing faces. Thus constructed, it is a simple matter for the installer to mount the corner connector strip in place and to thereby secure together the end members 42 and 44 of the partitions 16 and 18. This is accomplished by placing the connector strip 56' against the end members in a raised position as shown in FIG. 5 and then driving the strip downwardly onto the base 12 with a mallet. As this occurs, the connectors 58 on the strip 56 releasably engage the connectors 60 on the ends 42 and 44 of the partitions 16 and 18, in the same manner as previously described for the partitions l4 and 16.
In FIG. 1, it bears noting that the exposed ends ofthe partitions l4 and 18 are smooth, decorative surfaces. This may be accomplished by providingspecial end members 44 and 42 for the partitions 14 and 18 free of the vertical channels and connectors 60. Alternatively, a special connector strip (not shown) having connectors 58 only on one side may be attached to the regular end of members 44 and 42 of the partitions 14 and 18.
As previously indicated, the partition system is both easy to assemble and disassemble. To disassemble the partition system, an installer simply raises the connector strips 56 and 56' to release the connectors 58 and 60. This allows the partition members to be lifted from the base for storage or rearrangement, as desired. The raising of the connector strips may be easily accomplished by tapping upward on a lower end of the connector strips overhanging the base 12 between ad jacent end members 42 and 44.
From the foregoing, it is appreciated that the present invention provides an attractive partition system which may be easily assembled and disassembled by unskilled workmen. Further, the partition system does not require connection to a floor and may therefore be mounted over hard floor coverings or on carpets, as desired, without damaging the floor coverings.
While a particular form of partition system has been described in some detail herein, it is appreciated that changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the present invention. Accordingly, it is intended that the invention be limited in scope only by the terms of the following claims.
I claim: 1
1. A demountable wall partition system comprising:
elongated base means for resting on a floor to provide bottom support for aseries of partition members;
a plurality of upright partition members for mounting in series on said base means; and
coupling means between adjacent partition members for releasably securing said partition members in series, said coupling means for adjacent partition members including first connector means on adjacent ends of said adjacent partition members and extending outwardly and upwardly therefrom, and
a connector strip having second connector means extendingoutwardly and downwardly from oppo- -.-site sides thereof for releasably mating with said first connector means as said connector strip is lowered toward said base means between said adjacent ends of said adjacent partition members.
2. The partition system of claim 1 wherein said connector strip is an elongated vertical member having flat opposing sides and a width transverse to said base means greater-than a width of said base means whereby in said partition system said connector strip extends outwardly beyond said base means in a direction substantially normal thereto to permit driving of said connector strip upwardly as by striking a lower end with a mallet during a dismantling of said partition system.