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Publication numberUS3766959 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 23, 1973
Filing dateAug 31, 1971
Priority dateAug 31, 1971
Also published asCA1026920A, CA1026920A1
Publication numberUS 3766959 A, US 3766959A, US-A-3766959, US3766959 A, US3766959A
InventorsHimsl E
Original AssigneeMassey Ferguson Ind Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Pivoted panel connection and hinge
US 3766959 A
Abstract
A structural panel assembly includes a plurality of individual panel members hingedly connected one to each other by means of a common fulcrum-type hinge assembly which provides a 360 DEG orientation for each of the individual panel members. The common fulcrum-type hinge assembly is composed of a pair of threaded members comprising a male portion and a female portion. The head of the male portion is circumferentially axially recessed to provide a circumferential retaining channel, and each of the panel members is provided with lugs at each of their corners which are adapted to fit the circumferential channel in the head of the male member of the hinge assembly for retainment of the individual panel members in various angular positions relative to each other.
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United States Patent 1 Himsl 1 Oct. 23, 1973 PIVOTED PANEL CONNECTION AND HINGE [2 2] Filedi Inventor: Ernst G. Himsl, Kitchener,

Ontario, Canada [73] Assignee: Massey-Ferguson Industries Limited, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Aug. 31, 157i" [21] Appl. No.: 176,674

[52] U.S. C1. 160/135, 160/351 [51] Int. Cl. A47g 5/00 [58] Field of Search 160/135, 351; 40/68,

40/125 R, H, 2ll/47, 86,163,169; 52/64, 122, 127, 239, 584, 81; 287/2092 Y, 20.92 C, 14, 96, 99, 101, 189.36 R, 189.36 C

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,682,235 6/1954 Fuller 52/81 1,635,573 7/1927 Bertram.... /135 3,204,689 9/1965 Howell 160/135 3,337,059 8/1967 Le Hey"... 211/169 355 2352 2 1971 Magnuson 52 239 Primary ExaminerPeter M. Caun Attorney-Gerhardt, Greenlee & Farris s7 ABSTRACT A structural panel assembly includes a plurality of individual panel members hingedly connected one to each other by means of a common fulcrum-type hingeassembly which provides a 360 orientation for each of the individual panel members. The common fulcrum-type hinge assembly is composed of a pair of threaded members comprising a male portion and a female portion. The head of the male portion is circumferentially axially recessed to provide a circumferential retaining channel, and each of the panel members is provided with lugs at each of their corners which are adapted to fit the circumferential channel in the head of the male member of the hinge assembly for retainment of the individual panel members in various angular positions relative to each other.

8 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures 6/1970 Propstet a1 52/584 PIVOTED PANEL CONNECTION AND HINGE BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to panel assembly structures of the open plan or landscape concept and, more in particular, to a universal hinge-type connector assembly to connect individual panel members to each other.

Panel assembly structures of the open plan concept are known and are now widely employed in offices and public buidlings and at exhibitions since these panel structures lend themselves to a variety of arrangements in any desired configuration to suit any particular need. These panel structures are self-supporting, as is known, and can be quickly erected and rearranged within an open space to suit particular requirements.

Hitherto, various hinge-type panel connector means have been proposed to interconnect a plurality of individual panel members at a variety of angular positions to provide partitions and space dividers. The variety of open plan arrangements of these panel structures is practically limited only by the planners or architects imagination to obtain a variety of semi-private arrangements. Since the panels can be angularly positioned around a hinge connection through 360, virtually any shape of partition can be attained and which can be readily rearranged in a matter of minutes, should requirements vary. Generally, these free-standing panel assembly structures provide an uncluttered, efficient environment for maximum space utilization and provision of necessary privacy to fit any particular need.

In connection with the above described free-standing panel assembly structure, various proposals have been made for efficient and economical construction of hinge means for unitary connection of a plurality of individual panel members.

One such proposal provides a fulcrum tube at the intersection of the various panel members and tongues extending from the upper and lower edges of the panel members in hooking engagement within the open lower and upper ends of the fulcrum tube for hinge-type attachment of the panels to the fulcrum tube. Although this arrangement provides sufficient flexibility for angular positioning of the individual panel members around the fulcrum tube, the arrangement after assembly of the panel structure is not sufficiently rigid as must be required, and thus other stabilizing means must be employed to secure the panel assembly in the desired position.

Other fulcrum-type hinge connections for panel assemblies are known which, similarly, employ a fulcrum tube at the intersection of the individual panel members. In this known construction, the upper and lower ends of a fulcrum tube are provided with circumferentially slotted receptacle members adapted to receive outwardly extending lugs provided at the corners of the panel members. However, in this known embodiment, it is necessary to employ a tubular length of material at the fulcrum or hinge location of the assembly and the upper and lower ends of the fulcrum tube have to be provided with some threaded means to receive the circumferentially slotted receptacle for the lugs of the panel members. This arrangement requires the necessity of a threaded fulcrum tube at added transportation weight and increased cost of the panel assembly, whereas the primary object of these free-standing panel assemblies is to provide lightweight, economy and simplicity of erection and disassembly.

Accordingly, it is the primary object of the present invention to provide a highly economical and simplified fulcrum-type hinge assembly for a plurality of panel members to be assembled thereto in outwardly radiating positions and which is of such construction as to require no specific tools for assembly or disassembly while permitting an unlimited variety of angular positioning of the individual panel members to suit any particular requirement.

In accordance with the present invention, the top and bottom corners of the individual panel members are provided with outwardly turned lugs or flanges which are adapted, in cooperating relationship, to fit into an axial circumferential recess provided in a cap member which has a threaded shank to receive a nut for tightening engagement upon the outwardly turned flanges of the individual panel members. One such hinge arrangement is provided at both the top and bottom of the panel assembly to thereby retain a plurality of individual panel members in hinge-type fashion around common vertically aligned upper and lower fulcrum assemblies. This arrangement permits individual angular positioning of the panel members around the upper and lower fulcrum assemblies in any desired angular position relative to each other.

The above object and additional novel features of the present invention will become readily apparent by reference to the following detailed description when read in connection with the appended drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION With continuous reference to the drawings, and more in particular to FIG. 1, there is shown a panel assembly structure generally indicated by numeral 10 composed of a plurality of individual panel members 12. As will be noted, individual panel members 12 are each disposed within planes angularly intersecting each other and a plurality of such panel members (at least 2) are connected one to each other about a common fulcrumtype hinge assembly generally indicated at 14. Each of the fulcrum-type hinge assemblies 14 permit individual panel members 12 to be positioned at any desired angle in a vertical plane relative to each other. As particularly seen in FIG. 1, the fulcrum-type hinge assemblies 14 of the present invention are adapted to pivotally connect a plurality of panel members along adjoining lateral edges to permit the panel members to be positioned radiately in different directions from the common fulcrum 14.

The particular fulcrum-type hinge assembly of the present invention utilized in any of the hinge connections 14 of the panel assembly structure in FIG. 1, is more particularly illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3 and comprises a threaded female member 16 which is provided with a radial circumferential flange portion 18 and an axial threaded bore 20. One end of the female member 16, adjacent flange 18, is provided with a reduced diameter portion 22 which is concentric around the threaded bore 20.

The threaded female member 16 is adapted to be disposed, in assembly of the structure, between vertical lateral side edges of adjoining panel members 12 and the threaded bore 20 is adapted to receive the threaded shank 24 of a cap-type screw member 26. The cap-type screw member 26 has an enlarged head portion 28 and flat outer surface 29 which may provide for flat abutment upon the floor or other supporting surface S. The head portion 28, opposite the outer surface 29, is provided with a circumferential axial recess 30 inwardly of the outer end of the enlarged head portion 28 and in concentric relationship with the threaded bore 20 of the nut member 16 and threaded shank 24.

As will be noted, the circumferential recess 30 in head portion 28 of cap member 26 is within a plane normal to the axis of the threaded shank 24 and threaded bore 20.

As more particularly illustrated in FIG. 3, the upper and lower horizontal edges of panel members 12 are each provided with a longitudinal strap member 32 which is secured in longitudinal relationship along the edges of the panel, by means of fasteners 34. Each of the strap members 32 extends a distance beyond the vertical lateral edge of the panel members 12, at both sides of the panel member, to provide opposed tapered finger portions 36 which, at the outer end, are each provided with up-turned flange portions or lugs 38. The

up-turned flange portions 38 of the strap members 32 extend upwardly or respectively downwardly away from the edges of the panel members 12 and are curvilinearily shaped at 39 in a lateral direction in correspondence with the radius of the circumferential recess 30 in the head portion 28 of cap member 26. The height dimension of flanges 38 relative to the body portion of the strap members 32 substantially corresponds to the depth of the circumferential recess 30 and to the axial length of the reduced diameter portion 22 of the nut member 16.

The converging side taper formation of the outwardly extended finger portions 36 of the strap member 32, in the particular example illustrated in FIG. 3, are such as to accommodate four flanges 38 within the circumferential recess 30 of the cap member 26. However, it will be obvious that the side taper configuration can be varied to accommodate a larger or lesser number of similar type flanges in abutting relationship; the number of such flanges adapted to be accommodated in circumferential recess 30 being determined by the desired number of panel members to be assembled around a common fulcrum assembly 14.

The radial outer flange 18 of female nut member 16 is provided with radial apertures 40 adapted for insertion of a tool to rotate nut member 16 for tightening upon screw shank 24 of cap member 26.

In assembly, a selected number of panel members 12 will be grouped around hinge assembly 14 with the downwardly turned flanges 38 of strap members 32 which, as mentioned, have a curvilinear configuration 39 in place in the circumferential recess 30 of a cap member 26 as shown in FIG. 2 and 3 so that the number of panel members 12 radiate from cap member 26 at any desired angle relative to each other. The female nut member 16 is then threaded upon a shank 24 of cap member 26 by means of a tool inserted in radial apertures 40. The tool can be inserted between adjacent panels. It will be noted that the radial flange 18 of nut member 16 circumferentially projects over the other end portions 36 of the strap members 32 so that, upon tightening of nut 16 of cap member 26, the flanges 38 of strap members 32 will be, moved in tight abutment within the bottom of circumferential recess 30 at which time the surface of reduced diameter end portion 22 of nut member 16 will be in abutment with the upstanding central portion of the head 28 of cap member 26. After the lower edges of the number of selected panel members 12 are securely joined together in desired radiating position the top edges of the selected panel members 12 will be similarly joined together by an upper hinge assembly 14 which is identical to the hinge assembly shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 and described above except for being in reverse position. By utilizing the hinge assembly 14, at the top of the selected number of panel members, the cap member 26 will be disposed on top thus providing a pleasing appearance.

To further improve the appearance of the panel assembly and improved hinge joint, the nut member 16 and cap member 26 of the joint may be color-coated to supplement the coloring of said panel members 12. Similarly the strap members 32 at the top and bottom axis of the panel members may be colored. These members may be made of a plastic material such as nylon or of stainless steel, whichever is preferred.

The improved hinge joint 14 is adaptable to a variety of structural panel members, screens or the like presently utilized as dividers and partition members.

If desired or necessary for increased rigidity in a strugtural panel assembly, the bottom and top hinge joint assemblies 14 may be interconnected by a vertically disposed fulcrum tube 42, as indicated in FIG. 2. In this instance the body portion of nut 16 will extend into the lower end of the fulcrum tube 42 which tube will abut radial flange 18. Nut member 16 is rotatable in the tube for tightening on cap member 26 as described before. The fulcrum tube 42, if employed, provides a positive alignment means between the bottom and top hinge joint assemblies 14 which may be of advantage in certain installations and particularly when uneven ground surfaces are encountered which might cause misalignment between the top and bottom hinge joint assemblies. If fulcrum tube 42 is employed, it extends longitudinally between adjoining panel members 12 as shown in FIG. 2 and may be made of lightweight material such as aluminum or the like.

With particular reference to FIG. 4, in the event a fulcrum tube 42 is being employed in the. improved hinge joint assembly, the rotatable nutmember 16 can be replaced by a stationary nut member 44 wel ded internally of the tube 42 at either top or bottom end of the fulcrum tube or at both ends depending on the particular requirement. In this instance the threaded shank 24 of the cap member 26 will be rotatively threaded into the internal nut member 44 and in which case the end of the tube 42 would serve as abutment means for the flat trunk portions 36 of strap members 32.

Again referring to FIG. 1, some of the panel members 12 may be provided with casters or the like 46 at selected positions along the bottom edges of the panel members to permit the entire panel assembly to be moved around a ground surface by freeing the cap member 26 from engagement with the ground.

It will be evident from the foregoing description in connection with the appended drawings that the present invention provides an improved hinge joint assembly for a structural panel assembly which is of relatively simple construction involving only a few numbers of identical parts to be utilized as both a bottom and top joint to provide a unitary hinge for a plurality of panel members adapted to radiate therefrom in different directions.

The adjoining edgewise disposed panel members are securely retained in desired angular position by means of a circumferential groove in the hinge joint assembly and co-operating flange means provided on each panel member, adapted to engage within the groove. The improved hinge joint assembly permits easy and quick installation and subsequent disassembly for rearrangement or transport of the panel structure in a novel and efficient manner.

Where conditions require, a longitudinal fulcrum tube may be employed between opposite bottom and top hinge joint assemblies for a positive vertical alignment of hinge joint assemblies and increased stability of the complete structural panel assembly.

Although the present invention has been shown and described by way of preferred embodiment, it will be understood that the invention permits various modifications in detail and structural arrangement without departing from the spirit and central characteristic of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

What we claim is:

1. In a structural partition wall assembly comprised of a plurality of partitions interconnected one to each other on a common fulcrum axis, the improvement comprising a pair of partition connector assembly one each disposed at the bottom and the top of said plurality of partitions, each connector assembly characterized by a first member disposed between adjoining lateral edges of said plurality of partitions parallel to the fulcrum axis; a second member secured in a removable manner to said first member in axially aligned relationship, said second member having a head portion, said head portion having an annular groove therein, cooperating flange means connected to the top and bottom edge of each of said partitions and received within said annular groove of said second member and retained therein by said first member engaging said flange means to thereby retain said partition in radially disposed positions with respect to said connector assembly.

2. The improvement as defined in claim 1 characterized by one of said first and said second members having a threaded bore and the other of said first and said second members having a threaded shank portion rotatively engaged therewith and means associated with said radial flange portion to permit rotation of said first member relative to said second member.

3. The improvement as defined in claim 1 characterized in that said flange means of said partitions are curvilinearly shaped in a direction parallel to the axis of said annular groove and in correspondence with the curvature of the annular recess in said head portion.

4. The improvement as defined in claim 1 characterized by each of said first members having a radial flange means in concentric opposed relationship to said annular groove for retaining said flange means of said panel members by abutment therewith.

5. The improvement as defined in claim 4 characterized by one of said first members comprising a nut having a threaded bore, and the cooperative second member therefore having a threaded shank portion for rotative engagement within said threaded bore and said annular groove in the said second member being located in a plane normal to the axis of the threaded bore and threaded shank portion and in concentric relationship therewith.

6. The improvement as defined in claim 5 characterized by said second member having a head portion defining a cap; said annular groove being located in the inner surface of said cap; said cap being adapted to circumferentially engage and enclose flange means of said plurality of adjoining partitions.

7. The improvement as defined in claim 1 further characterized by the provision of a tubular member extending between said pair of upper and lower connector assemblies; said first members of said pair of connector assemblies being retained within the open ends of said tubular member.

8. The improvement as defined in claim 7, characterized in that said one of first members is non-rotatably attached within said tubular member adjacent an open end thereof.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1635573 *Oct 13, 1926Jul 12, 1927S M Howes CompanyMetal screen for fireplaces
US2682235 *Dec 12, 1951Jun 29, 1954Fuller Richard BuckminsterBuilding construction
US3204689 *May 6, 1963Sep 7, 1965Arlington Aluminum CoDisplay panel assembly
US3337059 *Oct 13, 1965Aug 22, 1967Le Hoy David PDisc holder
US3517467 *Jun 17, 1968Jun 30, 1970Miller Herman IncStructural support system for shelving
US3559352 *Mar 12, 1969Feb 2, 1971Beatrice Foods CoInterior space divider arrangement
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4020604 *Aug 18, 1975May 3, 1977Precision Mfg. Inc. - FabricationDivider screen assembly
US4880210 *Feb 8, 1988Nov 14, 1989Specialty Hoisting Services, Inc.Removable and stackable hoistway door assesmbly
US5105594 *Dec 10, 1990Apr 21, 1992Skyline Displays, Inc.Hinged connector for flat display panels
US5259164 *Oct 1, 1992Nov 9, 1993Martin WieseWall constructed with a plurality of detachable boards connected with one another
Classifications
U.S. Classification160/135, 160/351
International ClassificationE05D1/00, E05D1/04, E04B2/74
Cooperative ClassificationE05D1/04, E04B2/7444
European ClassificationE04B2/74C3E3C, E05D1/04
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 22, 1989ASAssignment
Owner name: SOCIETY NATIONAL BANK
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HAUSERMAN, INC.;REEL/FRAME:005048/0031
Effective date: 19890217
Feb 22, 1989AS06Security interest
Owner name: HAUSERMAN, INC.
Owner name: SOCIETY NATIONAL BANK
Effective date: 19890217
Feb 22, 1985ASAssignment
Owner name: HAUSERMAN, INC., 5711 GRANT AVENUE, CLEVELAND, OH.
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:HAUSERMAN, LTD., A CORP. OF CANADA;REEL/FRAME:004365/0824
Effective date: 19850214
Feb 22, 1985AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: HAUSERMAN, INC., 5711 GRANT AVENUE, CLEVELAND, OH.
Effective date: 19850214
Owner name: HAUSERMAN, LTD., A CORP. OF CANADA