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Publication numberUS3771851 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 13, 1973
Filing dateMay 9, 1972
Priority dateMay 9, 1972
Publication numberUS 3771851 A, US 3771851A, US-A-3771851, US3771851 A, US3771851A
InventorsHeenan S, Majewski N
Original AssigneeAmerace Esna Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Display assembly
US 3771851 A
Abstract
A directable display assembly adapted to be mounted to a support in an outdoor environment is disclosed. The assembly includes a reflector display element held within and secured to a channel-shaped metal backing member by means of an eyelet fastener. The eyelet fastener serves the three-fold function of maintaining the reflector in position within the backing member, providing a mounting aperture for a first mounting fastener, and absorbing the loading forces from the fastener to prevent the relatively frangible reflector from cracking. A second mounting fastener bears solely on the backing member, leaving the reflector free to float and minimizing the possibility of the reflector cracking during extreme temperature variations.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Unite States Patent [191 Heenan et al.

[ 51 Nov. 1 3, 1973 1 DISPLAY ASSEMBLY [73] Assignee: Amerace Esna Corporation, New

York, NY.

[22] Filed: May 9, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 251,673

Primary Examiner-David Schonberg Assistant Examiner-Michael J. Tokar Att0rney.l0hn L. Downing et al.

[57] ABSTRACT A directable display assembly adapted to be mounted to a support in an outdoor environment is disclosed. The assembly includes a reflector display element held within and secured to a channel-shaped metal backing member by means of an eyelet fastener. The eyelet fastener serves the three-fold function of maintaining the reflector in position within the backing member, providing a mounting aperture for a first mounting fastener, and absorbing the loading forces from the fastener to prevent the relatively frangible reflector from cracking. A second mounting fastener bears solely on the backing member, leaving the reflector free to float and minimizing the possibility of the reflector cracking during extreme temperature variations.

9 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures DISPLAY ASSEMBLY BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a display assembly and more particularly to a directable reflective display assembly adapted to be mounted to a support in an outdoor environment.

Reflective displays are frequently required to be positioned on supports in outdoor environments subject to extremes of weather and temperature. Typical of such displays are the highly directable precision-made retroreflective reflectors which are widely used to delineate highway lanes, curves and ramps, thereby giving the nighttime motorist invaluable assistance in the safe guidance of his vehicle. These reflectors must be positioned accurately so that maximum light is reflected back from approaching headlights to the motorists.

eyes. Moreover, the reflectors must remain in position on the highways for long periods of time, exposed to dirt, rain, snow and extremes of temperature and suffer minimal damage or loss in efficiency as a result of this hostile environment. Because such reflectors are typically precision-molded of acrylic plastic they are relatively frangible and are vulnerable to'cracking, crazing and delamination of metallized coatings as a result of stresses applied to them during installation, or caused by their contraction and expansion during extreme temperature variations.

The present invention provides a precisely directable display assembly suited to meet these stringent demands. The display assembly provides a protective backing member which partially encloses a display element. The backing member provides both structural support to the less rigid reflector and serves to protect the back of the reflector from contamination by dirt or moisture. The reflector is held in position within the backing member by a single fastener. In a specific embodiment of the invention described hereinafter this fastener comprises an eyelet fastener which also serves both to to provide a mounting aperture for a first mounting fastener and to absorb loading forces from the mounting fastener which might otherwise to applied to a relatively fragile reflector. A second mounting fastener is used to hold only the backing member to a support. Since the reflector is fixed to the backing at only one point it is free to float within the backing member when experiencing thermally caused dimensional variations.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The directable display assembly in accordance with the present invention comprises a channel-shaped backing member, a display element and fastener means. The channel-shaped backing member has a back wall, two opposed side walls extending from opposite sides of said back walls and a lip portion extending inwardly from each of said side walls. The back wall has first and second backing member mounting holes formed therein. The display element has first and secnd display mounting holes formed therein and is positioned within said backing member so that said first and second display mounting holes are respectively aligned with the first and second backing member mounting holes, and the display element is partially enclosed by said back wall, side walls and lip portions. The second display element mounting hole is larger than the second backing member mounting hole. The fastener means passes through the first mounting holes to maintain the display element in position within the backing member.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a specific embodiment of a display assembly in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the display assembly shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the display assembly embodiment taken along line 33 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the display assembly embodiment taken along 4- 4 of FIG. 2.

DESCRIPTION OF THE SPECIFIC EMBODIMENT A specific embodiment of a display assembly in accordance with the present invention is shown in FIGS. 1 through 4. The display assembly depicted comprises a backing member 10, a display element 11 and afastener 12.

The backing member 10 is formed of aluminum sheet metal and has a generally rectangular back wall 13 in which have been embossed a plurality of longitudinal ribs 14 to increase the rigidity of the backing member. The ribs 14 also serve an additional function as described hereinafter. Extending perpendicularly from opposite sides of the back wall 13 are two side walls 15, and extending perpendicularly and inwardly from these side walls are two lip portions 16 which together with the back wall and sidewalls form the channel-shaped backing member 10.

Two backing member mounting holes 17 and 18 are formed at opposite ends of the back wall 13.

The display element 11 of the illustrated embodiment is a reflector which is generally rectangular in shape with rounded comers and dimensioned to be snugly positioned within the channel-shaped backing member 10 as shown in FIG. 2. Thereflector 11 is molded of a methyl methacrylate resin which is crystal in color, although similar reflectors may be made in a wide variety of colors. The upper surface 19 of the reflector is smooth, and the bottom surface 20 iscomposed of a multiplicity of precisely molded cube corner reflector elements which are coated with a metallic film to produce in a fashion well known to those skilled in the reflector art an efficient and highly directable'retroreflective reflector for delineating highway lanes, curves, ramps and the like. Two reflector mounting holes 21 and 22 are formed in the reflector 11 and so spaced 4 that when the reflector is positioned within the channel-shaped backing member 10 reflector mounting hole 21 is aligned with backing mounting hole 17 and reflector mounting hole 22 is aligned with backing mounting hole 18. When so positioned, the reflector 11 is partially enclosed by the back wall 13, side walls 15 and lip portions 16 of the backing member 10. The rib portions 14 press against the bottom surface 20 of the reflector to urge the reflector into firm contact with the lip portions 16.

The fastener l2'comprises a circular aluminum eyelet fastener inserted through the aligned mounting holes 17 and 21 crimped at both sides of the assembly to fasten the reflector 11 securely to the backing member 10. This eyelet fastener 12 performs the three-fold function of maintaining the reflector in position within the channel-shaped backing member, providing a mounting aperture through which a first mounting fastener may be inserted as described hereinafter, and affording a rigid bearing surface to absorb loading forces of such a mounting fastener to prevent such forces from being applied directly to the relatively frangible reflector. it will be recognized that other types of fasteners may be substituted for the illustrated eyelet fastener. For example, when aperture 21 is made larger than aperture 17 a first mounting fastener such as a bolt may be passed directly through the apertures 17 and 21. When the head of the bolt is dimensioned to fit snugly within the reflector aperture 21 and the under surface of the bolt head is brought to bear directly against the backing member the reflector will be maintained in position within the channel member, unsubjected to mounting fastener loading forces.

In use, the directable display assembly depicted in the drawing may be rigidly mounted to asupport by means of two mounting fastener elements such as bolts or wood screws (not shown). The first mounting fastener may be inserted through the eyelet 12 into the support, the eyelet serving to absorb the loading forces of the mounting fastener, thus minimizing the stress to which the relatively fragile reflector 11 is subjected both during and after the fastening operation. A second mounting fastener may be inserted through the mounting holes 18 and 22 into the support. The size of the second mounting fastener is chosen so that the diameter of its head is smaller than the reflector mounting hole 22 but larger than the backing member mounting hole 18. The head of this second mounting fastener thus bears directly upon the back wall 13 of the backing member and imparts no loading force whatsoever to the reflector element 11.

In this manner the retroreflective reflector assembly may be precisely positioned and aimed while being securely mounted to a desired support with only two mounting fasteners.

The backing member 10 in such an installation is rigidly fixed to the support by means of the two mounting fasteners and the reflector 11 is securely held in position relative to the backing member 10 by means of the eyelet fastener 12, and the enclosing and gripping action of the side walls 15 and lip portions 16 in conjunction with the rib portions 14. Although securely held, the reflector is free to float within the channelshaped backing member in response to changes in its dimensions resulting from temperature variations in the environment. This floating mounting arrangement minimizes the possibility of the reflector cracking, crazing or delaminating under such conditions, and maintenance expenses are further reduced because of the effective sealing out of dirt and moisture from the reflector assembly by the backing element.

The display assembly in accordance with the present invention may be constructed in various sizes and shapes according to the requirements of the application. The backing member and display element have been described as being rectangular in shape, but it will be apparent that the corners of the components may be rounded without exceeding the scope of the invention.

Finally, although in the specific embodiment illustrated herein the display element is a retroreflective reflector the invention is equally applicable to other light reflecting or transmitting elements. i

What is claimed is:

1. A directable display assembly adapted to be mounted on a support in an outdoor environment comprising:

a. a channel-shaped backing member having a back wall, two opposed side walls extending from opposite sides of said back wall and a lip portion extending inwardly from each of said side walls, the back wall having first and second backing member mounting holes therein;

b. a display element having first and second display mounting holes therein positioned within said backing member so that said first and second display mounting holes are respectively aligned with said first and second backing member mounting holes, and said display element is partially enclosed within said back wall, side walls and lip portions of said backing member, the second display element mounting hole being larger than the second backing member mounting hole; and

c. fastener means passing through said first mounting holes to maintain the display element in position within the backing member.

2. The display assembly of claim 1 wherein said fastener means has a mounting hole therethrough concentric with said first mounting holes.

3. The display'assembly of claim 2 wherein said fastener means comprises a metal eyelet fastener.

4. The display assembly of claim 1 wherein said display element is a retroreflective reflector.

5. The display assembly of claim 4 wherein said reflector is comprised of a plurality of cube corner reflector elements.

6. The display assembly of claim 1 wherein the thermal coefficient of expansion of the display element is substantially different from the thermal coefficient of expansion of the backing member.

7. The display assembly of claim 6 wherein the display element is a retrodirective reflector formed of a methyl methacrylate resin and said backing member is aluminum.

8. The display assembly of claim 1 wherein the back wall of said backing member has at least one rib portion formed-therein, said rib'portion extending toward said lip portions so that the display element when positioned within said backing member is urged by'said rib portion against said lip portions.

9. A directable display assembly adapted to be mounted on a support in an outdoor environment comprising:

a. a rectangular channel-shaped metal backing member having a rectangular back wall, two opposed side walls extending perpendicularly from opposite sides of said back wall and a lip portion extending perpendicularly and inwardly from each side wall, said back wall having first and second backing member mounting holes therein, and having at least one longitudinal rib portion formed therein extending within said backing member toward the plane formed by said lip portions;

b. a rectangular plastic retroreflective reflector having first and second display element mounting holes therein, the reflector being positioned within said backing member so that said first and second display element mounting holes are respectively aligned with said backing member mounting holes, said reflector being partially enclosed by said back wall, side walls and lip portions and urged by said mounting holes to fasten the reflector element to the backing element, and having a mounting hole therethrough concentric with said first mounting holes.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3029702 *Jun 20, 1960Apr 17, 1962Rupert Richard DHermetically sealed reflector
US3441336 *Nov 17, 1966Apr 29, 1969Gunderson Ralph RAdhesive reflector unit with flexible backing
US3485148 *Jun 25, 1968Dec 23, 1969Amerace Esna CorpPavement markers with selectively replaceable reflectors
US3525088 *Jan 5, 1968Aug 18, 1970Heinrich Benzing FaPlastic reflective element
FR1322824A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3864860 *May 31, 1973Feb 11, 1975Summit Plastic CorpTire display apparatus
US4070095 *Feb 2, 1976Jan 24, 1978Itl Industries, Inc.Pavement marker and reflector assembly
Classifications
U.S. Classification359/532
International ClassificationG09F13/16, G02B5/12
Cooperative ClassificationG09F13/16, G02B5/12
European ClassificationG09F13/16, G02B5/12
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 12, 1990ASAssignment
Owner name: STIMSONITE CORPORATION, C/O QUAD-C, INC., A CORP.
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:AMERACE CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:005437/0178
Effective date: 19900823
Aug 13, 1990ASAssignment
Owner name: AMERACE CORPORATION, A CORP. OF DE.
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:AMERACE ESNA CORPORATION, (CHANGED TO), A CORP. OF DE.;REEL/FRAME:005439/0834
Effective date: 19730424
Aug 13, 1990AS01Change of name
Owner name: AMERACE CORPORATION, A CORP. OF DE.
Owner name: AMERACE ESNA CORPORATION, (CHANGED TO), A CORP. OF
Effective date: 19730424
Aug 6, 1990ASAssignment
Owner name: MANUFACTURERS HANOVER TRUST COMPANY, NEW YORK
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:AMERACE CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:005465/0013
Effective date: 19900731