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Publication numberUS3818662 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 25, 1974
Filing dateApr 23, 1973
Priority dateNov 19, 1970
Publication numberUS 3818662 A, US 3818662A, US-A-3818662, US3818662 A, US3818662A
InventorsDe Schutter C
Original AssigneePerfect Module Systems
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Wall retainer
US 3818662 A
Abstract
In a wall panel system having a plurality of wall panel sections connected in an end to end fashion, a plurality of vertically disposed retainers are utilized for joining the wall panel sections. One of the retainers comprises a longitudinal member having a U-shaped cross section, the base of which is provided with longitudinal extending deformations on the opposite side thereof adjacent the legs of the member. Tab means are provided at strategic locations along the length of the base adjacent each of the longitudinal deformations to form therein between compressive snap lock means to receive and hold portions of the wall panel sections. A second retainer has an H-shaped cross section. Longitudinally disposed deformations are provided on the legs of the second retainer and function to form compressive snap lock means when used in conjunction with other portions of the wall panel system. The base of the second retainer is provided with selectively positionable tab means, which in one position cooperate with the deformations formed on one pair of the legs to further secure the wall panel member positioned therein between.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[ June 25, 1974 WALL RETAINER [75] Inventor: Camiel R. DeSchutter, St. Clair Shores, Mich.

[73] Assignee: Perfect Module Systems, Inc., Mt. Clemens, Mich.

[22] Filed: Apr. 23, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 353,717

Related US. Application Data [63] Continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 91,083, Nov. 19,

[52] US. Cl 52/285, 52/220, 52/281, 52/496, 52/582 [51] Int. Cl E04b 2/00 [58] Field of Search 52/281, 479, 481, 758 D, 52/275, 758 R, 614, 716, 718, 717, 238, 241, 242, 582, 285, 220, 285

France 52/479 Primary Examiner-John E. Murtagh Attorney, Agent, or FirmWeiner, Basile and Weintraub [57] ABSTRACT In a wall panel system having a plurality of wall panel sections connected in an end to end fashion, a plurality of vertically disposed retainers are utilized for joining the wall panel sections. One of the retainers comprises a longitudinal member having a U-shaped cross section, the base of which is provided with longitudinal extending deformations on the opposite side thereof adjacent the legs of the member. Tab means are provided at strategic locations along the length of the base adjacent each of the longitudinal deformations to form therein between compressive snap lock means to receive and hold portions of the wall panel sections. A second retainer has an l-I-shaped cross section. Longitudinally disposed deformations are provided on the legs of the second retainer and function to form compressive snap lock means when used in conjunction with other portions of the wall panel system. The base of the second retainer is provided with selectively positionable tab means, which in one position cooperate with the deformations formed on one pair of the legs to further secure the wall panel member positioned therein between.

13 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures WALL RETAINER CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED PATENT APPLICATIONS The present invention is a continuation-in-part of copending U.S. Pat. application Ser. No. 91,083, filed Nov. 19, 1970 for Building Panel Construction System in the name of Camiel R. DeSchutter.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to building wall panel systems and, in particular, to retainers utilized in joining a plurality of wall panel sections in an end to end fashion.

2. Description of the Prior Art I-Ieretofore, numerous systems, devices and apparatus have been employed in the construction of wall panel systems in order to facilitate the simple, rapid and inexpensive fabrication of a wall. Samples of the prior art systems and structures which have heretofore been utilized are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,034,609, U.S. Pat. No. 3,609,933 and U.S. Pat. No. 36,223,290. Other examples of such systems are disclosed in Belgium Pat. No. 51 1,174. Although these systems provide apparatus and methods for the fabrication of wall panel systems, they do not have the versatility or ease of use which is provided by the disclosed invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention which will be described subsequently in greater detail, comprises a wall panel retainer which is utilized to form a joint between a plurality of wall panel sections that are assembled in an end to end fashion. The retainer is of a U-shaped configuration, having on opposite sides thereof, deformations that cooperate with transversely disposed tabs to form compression snap lock means which are utilized to fasten portions of the wall panel system thereto. The legs of the U-shaped member are also provided with lateral deformations that function to act as a snap lock means to fasten a wall component between the legs.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved retainer used for facilitating the fabrication of a wall panel system.

It is also an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved wall panel retainer which is extremely simple in its construction, design and method of manufacture.

Other objects, advantages and applications of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art of wall panel systems and the like, and in particular, to retainers utilized in such wall panel systems when the accompanying description of several examples of the best modes contemplated for practicing the invention is read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The description herein makes reference to the accompanying drawings wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the several views, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a plan elevational view of a building wall panel system having components which are constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary enlarged cross-sectional view taken along line 22 of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of FIG. 2 with several components removed for clarity.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings and, in particular, to FIG. 1 wherein there is illustrated a building wall panel 10 comprising a plurality of outer panel sections 12, separated by panel section joints 16. Along the bottom edge of the wall panel 10 there is provided a wall base moulding 18, while a ceiling moulding 20 is provided along the upper edge of the wall panel 10 adjacent to ceiling of the room in which the wall panel is employed.

Referring now to FIG. 2 and 3 of the drawings, wherein there is illustrated fragmentary views of the section joint 16 located at the end of the wall panel 10. The panel section joint 16 comprises a pair of vertical retainer members 22 which are disposed on opposite sides of the wall panel 10 and only one of which is illustrated in FIG. 3. The retainer member 22, as can best be seen in FIG. 3, is U-shaped in cross section and comprises a base portion 24, having a longitudinal recess 26 formed on both sides of the base 24 and extending the full length of the retainer member 22. Each longitudinal recess 26 terminates in upwardly extending wall that forms a longitudinal rib 28 which similarly extends the full length of the retainer member 22 on both outer edges of the base 24. The U-shaped retainer member 22 has legs 30, which are deformed at their ends to define longitudinal ribs 34 on which are provided longitudinal extending shoulders 35, for a purpose to be described hereinafter. At strategic locations along the full length of the retainer member 22 and on opposite sides of the base 24, there are provided punched out tabs 36 which traverse the recess 26 and ribs 28, defining sidewardly facing openings adapted to receive portions of adjacent panel members in a snap lock fashion as will be described hereinafter. Part of the snap lock arrangement of the retainer members is formed by an inward deformation of each tab 36, wherein a rib 38 is formed on the inner face of each tab 36 and a recess 40 is formed simultaneously on the outside of each tab 36. The manner in which the longitudinal recess 26, rib 28 and the rib 38 of the tabs co-act to form the compressive snap lock for the retainer member 22 will be described hereinafter with reference to FIG. 2. It should be also noted that the snap lock feature obtained by means of the recess 40 on the outwardly facing sides of each tab 36, will similarly be described hereinafter.

As can best be seen in FIG. 3, the retainer member 22 is provided at strategic locations along the full length of the retainer member 22, with a plurality of longitudinally disposed slots 42 having enlarged circular sections 44. A suitable fastening means, such as the fastening clip described in co-pending U.S. Pat. application Ser. No. 314,416, dated Dec. 12, 1972, is inserted within the slot 42 of the two opposing members 22, to fasten the two members together. Since the fasteners utilized to join the retainer members 22 forms no part of the present invention herein, a further detailed description of the same will not be had.

- As can best be seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, the outer panel sections 12 are joined to each of the retainer members 22 by means of a panel section coupling member 46,

which is generally U-shaped in cross section and extends the full length of the wall panel. The panel section coupling member 46 has U-shaped end section 47 defining therein between a snap lock receiving groove 48, within which is inserted in a snap lock fashion, one leg 49 of a retainer coupling member 50. The end 52 of the leg 47 is bent outwardly toward the central portion of the retainer coupling member 50 for a purpose to be described. Although not shown, the panel section coupling member on the opposite side of the wall panel has an end 52 which similarly is bent outwardly toward the central portion of the retainer coupling member 50.

Still referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, the retainer coupling member 50 is illustrated as having a H-shaped cross section with a base 53 and outwardly extending legs 54 that are rounded at their ends which extend rearwardly and outwardly beyond the base 53 to form the aforementioned legs 49. The legs 54 are both deformed to define opposing longitudinal recesses 56 on the inner side of each leg 54 and longitudinally disposed ribs 58 on the outer surface of each leg 54. The recesses 56 and ribs 58 extend the full length of the leg on the outside thereof. The extended legs 49 as can best be seen in FIG. 2, are inclined outwardly and deformed to define on the outer side of each leg, longitudinal ribs 60 and longitudinal recesses 62 on the inner sides thereof. As can best be seen in FIG. 2, the snap lock grooves 48 of each panel section coupling member 46 receive the extended legs 49 of the retainer coupling member 50 in a snap lock engagement with the rib 60 of each leg engaging a mating recess 64 formed in each leg 47 of the coupling member 46, while a notch portion of rounded leg 47 engages the recess 62 on the inner side of each leg 49.

As can best be seen in FIG. 3, the base 53 of the retainer coupling member 50 is provided with a plurality of longitudinally spaced punched out sections forming tabs 67, each having a width which is substantially equal to the width of the base 53. After the panel section coupling member 46 is attached to the retainer couplingmember 50, as aforementioned, the tabs 67 along the full length of the retainer coupling member 50 are bent outwardly toward the legs 47. The legs 47 are so designed that after they couplingly engage the 49 leg of the member 50, the ends 52 project inwardly toward the base 53 of the coupling member 50, and when the tabs 67 are bent outwardly and downwardly, the side edges thereof slidably engage the ends 52 of the leg 47 to force the same outwardly into a compressive fit with the recesses 62 to insure a tight and rigid coupling of the two members.

As can best be seen in FIG. 2, the legs 54 of the retainer coupling member 50 have their respective ribs 58 in engagement with the recesses 40 of the retainer member tabs 36 and are retained therein by the compressive action of a rib 66 formed on a portion of a panel spacer 68. The spacer, which is illustrated in FIG. 2, comprises an apertured central section 70 having four arm members 72, each of which is provided on the outer side thereof with the rib section 66. The spacer 68 is disposed between the two opposing retainer members 22, and thus, when the retainer members 22 are locked together by means of the aforementioned fastening means, the retainer members are forced together in abutment with the outer edges 74 of the spacer 68 while the ribs 66 on opposite sides thereof project into the recesses 56 of the retainer coupling member 50. Thus the spacer 68 secures to the retainer member 22 to the retainer coupling member 50 while functioning to properly space the retainer member 22.

As can best be seen on the left hand side of FIG. 2, the ends of the wall panel sections 12 are enclosed by a panel end cover 76 which is provided with a pair of inwardly extending legs 78 (only one of which is shown) having a deformation formed thereon to define a rib 80 and recess 82 which, when inserted between the tab 40 and recess 26 of the retainer member 22, engages the same in a snap lock fashion to secure the end cover 76 to the panel sections 12. A central U-shaped recess 84 at the center of the panel end cover 76 is provided with outwardly extending ribs 86 that engage in a snap like manner with a complimentary U-shaped recess 88 formed between the spacer legs 74, whereby the spacer 68, the end cover 76 and the retainer member 22 are secured to one another.

A joint cover 90 of a generally U-shaped configuration has a central recess 92 extending the full longitudinal length of its base 94 with the legs 96 thereof having recesses 98 that are engageable with the deformation 34 on the legs 30 of the retainer member 22 to secure the joint cover 90 in position.

Joint cover inserts 100 are provided for insertion within the recess 92 of the joint cover 90 and the recess 84 of the end cover 76, as shown. The joint cover inserts 100 are provided with rib sections 102 that engage mating recesses 104 in the side walls of the joint cover 90 and end cover 76 for attachment in a snap lock fashion.

The spacer 68 is positioned at selected locations along the full length of the panel section joint 16 to provide proper spacing between the retainer members 22 and to insure a proper snap lock engagement between the coupling member 50 and the retainer member 22. The spacer 68 is disposed along the length of the panel section joint 16 at locations which are adjacent a selected number of the tabs 66 carried by the retainer coupling member 50, such that these tabs 67 may be bent outwardly toward the spacer 68 to extend through the apertured 70 section and wrapped around the adjacent leg 72 of each spacer 68. This arrangement secures the spacer 68 to the retainer coupling member 50, all of which adds to the rigidity and stability of the panel system 10 to prevent the same from undesired movement or misalignment.

At the panel section joints 16 other than an end joint, the end cover 76 is replaced by a retainer coupling member 50 which, in turn, carried the panel coupling member 46 and panel sections 12, as aforementioned.

It should be noted that the wall joints 16 may be horizontally position as illustrated in FIG. 1, wherein an opening 17 is desired. The opening may be used to receive a sheet of glass or the like as described in greater detail in the aforementioned US. Pat. application Ser. No. 91,083.

It should also be noted that the other panel joints 16 between the wall panel sections 12 employ the retainer coupling members 50 and the wall panel coupling members 46 on both sides of the retainer member 22. Thus, at these intermediate locations, the cover 76 is replaced by the panel and retainer coupling member 46 and 50 and are attached to the retainer member 22 and spacer 68 in the same manner as aforementioned.

The system as hereinbefore described offers numerous advantages of the prior art system. Particularly, the snap lock engagement between the various components and the simple manner in which the joint cover members 90 and retainer members 22 may be removed from the wall panel affords easy accessiblity to the interior' of the wall. The space between the opposing retainers 22 and the apertured section of the spacer 68 easily facilitate the passage of wiring and conduits therethrough and access to this wiring and conduits is easily had by the removal of the joint cover member 90 and retainer 22. In addition, the space 108 between the joint cover members 90 and the outside facing wall of the retainer members 22 further facilitates the passages of smaller wiring such as telephone wiring. Since the joint cover member 90 simply snap on and off of the wall joints 16, access for ease of installation and maintenance is easily had.

It can thus be seen that retainer member 22 is provided with a unique snap lock fastener, which permits the retainer 22 to be attached to different components of a wall panel system and the snap locking feature thereon may be utilized in different ways, such as the manner in which the tabs 40 are utilized to couple the retainer coupling member thereto, or the manner in which the tabs 40 are utilized to attach the panel end covers thereto.

It can also be seen that the present invention provides a unique retainer coupling member 50 for attaching the same to the panel section coupling members 46 in a manner which secures the components together in a sure, fast and rigid manner.

lt can also be seen that the present invention provides a system which is extremely simple in its adaptability and accessibility for accommodating wiring and conduits such as piping both during installation and for maintenance within the wall panel system.

Although only one form of the present invention has been disclosed herein, it should be understood by those skilled in the art, that other forms may be had, all coming within the spirit of the invention and the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is as follows:

1. In a wall panel system having a plurality of end to end abutting wall panel sections, a vertically disposed retainer member for joining said panel sections in said end to end relationship, said retainer member comprising a longitudinal member having a U-shaped cross section, the base of said U-shaped member having longitudinally extending deformations on the opposite sides thereof adjacent the legs of said member;

a plurality of tab means carried by said base on opposite sides thereof and traversing said longitudinally extending deformations, said tab means and said deformations cooperating to form a compressive snap lock means therein between to receive and hold portions of said wall panel sections on said opposite sides of said retainer member, the end of said member legs having opposing deformations formed on the inner sides of said legs to define second snap lock means for receiving and holding a second component of said wall system.

2. The wall panel system defined in claim 1, wherein said tab means are disposed above said base deformations and define an opening on said opposite sides of said base to receive said portions of said wall panel sections, said tab means being deformed inwardly toward said base deformations to form on the surface facing said deformations a ridge cooperating with said base deformations and define said snap lock means, the opposite surface of said tabs associated with said tab deformation forming a second snap lock means to receive portions of said wall panel system and hold and retain the same in position.

3. The wall system defined in claim 1 further comprising a plurality of longitudinally spaced apertures extending through said base to permit the passage therethrough of a coupling means for fastening said retainer member to a second retainer member disposed in a space parallel relationship thereto.

4. The wall system defined in claim 1, wherein each of said longitudinal base deformations on each side of said base comprises an inclined wall extending downwardly from said base surface and terminating in an upwardly inclined wall, forming a raised protrusion along the longitudinal length of said base, said wall extending downwardly to form said leg, said inclined surface forming a recess extending the full longitudinal length of said base, said tab means being punched out portion of said base and including a rib section extending across said tab means, said rib section being disposed above said base recess, the opposite side of said tab rib having a recess form therein to form a second snap lock means.

5. A wall panel system having a plurality of wall panel sections disposed in end to end relationship, a plurality of vertically disposed retainer members for joining said wall panel sections in said end to end fashion, each of said retainer members having a U-shaped cross section, the base of said U-shaped members being in an opposing relationship with respect to each retainer member and paralleling the axis of said wall members, the legs of each of said retaining members extending in opposite directions from their respective retainer members, each of said retainer member bases having longitudinally extending deformations on the opposite sides thereof adjacent to their respective legs, a plurality of tab means carried by each of said bases on the opposite sides thereof and traversing their respective longitudinally extending deformations, said tab means and said deformations cooperating to form a compressive snap lock means therein between, said tab means forming on the opposite exposed sides thereof, second snap lock means cooperating with other portions of said wall panel section to secure the same thereon;

a second wall retainer having a U-shaped configuration, the legs of which have bent side walls extending backwardly and beyond the base portion thereof, said legs having deformations engagable with said deformations formed on the opposite sides of said tabs;

spacer means having opposing edges abutting the opposing inner side walls of said first mentioned retainer members and protrusions on outwardly facing surfaces of said spacer means engaging the opposite sides of said second retainer deformations to maintain said second retainer means in said snap lock relationship with the outer surfaces with said tab means.

6. The wall panel system defined in claim 5 further comprising means securing the opposing inner walls of said retainer means to each other.

7. The wall system defined in claim 6 wherein the base of said second member has tab means carried thereby which are movable and engagable with said spacer to fasten said spacer to said second retainer member.

8. The wall system defined in claim 6 wherein the projected portion of said second retainer member legs are engagable in a snap lock fashion with a component of said wall panel;

said second member base surface having tab means extendable outwardly into a sliding abuttment with said snap lock means of said wall panel component to compress said snap lock means into a locking engagement with the said extended portion of said second member legs.

9. In a wall panel system having a plurality of wall panel sections disposed in an end to end relationship and vertically disposed means for joining said wall panel sections, said means including a retainer member having a U-shaped cross section, the legs of which have bent ends that extend backwardly toward said base to project therebeyond, said legs and their associated bent sections, having outwardly deformations forming snap lock means adapted to engage other components of said wall panel, the projecting ends of said legs having deformations formed thereon for engagement in a snap-like fashion with other components of said system, said base portion of said retainer means having tab means extendable outwardly in the same direction as said projecting ends and spaced from said projecting ends a predetermined distance so as to abuttingly engage that portion of said wall panel which snap lockingly engages said last mentioned deformations.

10. The wall system defined in claim 9 further comprising additional tab means extending along the length of said base and selectively positionable on either side of said base.

11. The wall panel system defined in claim 1 further comprising a cover member attachable to said second snap lock means for enclosing the space between said legs of said U-shaped member, said space being of sufficient size to accommodate the passage of wiring therethrough, said cover member being releasably attached to said second snap lock means.

12. The wall panel system defined in claim 5, wherein the space formed between said retainer members is of a sufficient size to accommodate the passage of wiring and conduits therein between.

13. The wall panel system defined in claim 12, wherein said spacer means disposed between the opposing sides of said retainer members for maintaining said retainer members at a predetermined distance, said spacer means having an apertured section to facilitate the passage of said wiring and conduits.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1842144 *Oct 31, 1927Jan 19, 1932Hauserman Co E FPanel unit connecting clip
US2123458 *Aug 11, 1937Jul 12, 1938Niedringhaus IncStructural holding clip
US2307293 *Apr 24, 1940Jan 5, 1943Owens Illinois Glass CoWall joint
FR1301778A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4265500 *Jun 19, 1978May 5, 1981Ing. C. Olivetti & C., S.P.A.Metal furniture in sectional units
US5956916 *Oct 30, 1997Sep 28, 1999Steel Floors, LlcShear tab method and apparatus
US6301854Nov 25, 1998Oct 16, 2001Dietrich Industries, Inc.Floor joist and support system therefor
US6418694Aug 31, 2001Jul 16, 2002Dietrich Industries, Inc.Floor system and floor system construction methods
US6691478May 14, 2002Feb 17, 2004Dietrich Industries, Inc.Joist support apparatus
US6761005Nov 28, 2000Jul 13, 2004Dietrich Industries, Inc.Joist support member
US7240459Jun 23, 2003Jul 10, 2007Dietrich Industries, Inc.Joist support apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/282.3, 52/220.7, 52/281
International ClassificationE04B2/76, E04B2/74, E04B2/82, E04B2/78
Cooperative ClassificationE04B2002/749, E04B2/82, E04B2/7854
European ClassificationE04B2/82, E04B2/78C