US 3836218 A
In a system for modular constructions, it is necessary to have a minimum variety of basic components, to provide ease of erection without the aid of particular tools, to allow maximum flexibility to suit any spatial environment and to offer resistance to weight, pressure or impact. In this invention, there are two basic components comprising a basic cubical unit adapted to receive a basic connector item designed for longitudinal insertion along any of its edges, into mating grooves on the cubical unit, thus providing a system which can be manually assembled in a multitude of relatively strong arrangements in all directions and which is greatly resistant to the effects of weight, pressure or impact.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Hallal  Inventor: Alfred Jean Hallal, 4000 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W., Apt. 913, Westmont, Quebec, Canada  Filed: Nov. 24, 1972  Appl. No.: 309,164
 US. Cl 312/111, 312/108, 312/257 R  Int. Cl. F16b 12/02  Field of Search 312/108, 111, 257; 46/26, 46/29; 211/182  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,281,856 10/1918 Shaw 46/29 3,076,286 2/1963 Czecholinski 3,093,568 6/1963 Cox 3,150,903 9/1964 Chapman et al 3,661,434 5/1972 Alster 312/108 CONNECTING DEVICE FOR MODULAR CONSTRUCTIONS Primary Examiner-Paul R. Gilliam Attorney, Agent, or Firmlan Fincham [5 7] ABSTRACT In a system for modular constructions, it is necessary to have a minimum variety of basic components, to provide ease of erection without the aid of particular tools, to allow maximum flexibility to suit any spatial environment and to offer resistance to weight, pressure or impact. In this invention, there are two basic components comprising a basic cubical unit adapted to receive a basic connector item designed for longitudinal insertion along any of its edges, into mating grooves on the cubical unit, thus providing a system which can be manually assembled in a multitude of relatively strong arrangements in all directions and which is greatly resistant to the effects of weight, pressure or impact.
1 Claim, 4 Drawing Figures sum 1 or 3 mma sun 1 1914 Fig. 1
PAIENTEDsEPI m SHEEI 3 (IF 3 Fig.5
CONNECTING DEVICE FOR MODULAR CONSTRUCTIONS The present invention relates to a connecting device for the erection of modular constructions consisting of a plurality of interchangeable cubical units which can be easily assembled manually.
It is common in modular systems of this nature to either consist of a complexity of components and fasteners, thus requiring tools for assembling, or, in the simpler versions, to lack proper stability and resistance to collapse under weight, pressure or impact.
I have found that these disadvantages can be overcome by my system which consists of a minimum number of basic components, is easy to erect, requires no tools for assembling and cannot be easily disjoined by weight, pressure or impact.
The principle of the invention will be described in connection with the accompanying drawings which show, by way of example, a typical embodiment of the invention.
In these drawings:
FIG. 1 is an elevation of an embodiment comprising three cubical units.
FIG. 2 is a top view of the same embodiment.
FIG. 3 is a view in perspective projection of the basic connector item, and
FIG. 4 is a detail in perspective projection of the connection joining the three cubical units, shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, by means of the basic connector item.
FIG. 5 is a view in perspective showing the connector assembled with one module.
The cubical units 1, 2 or 3 illustrated in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 are joined together at their edges by means of the basic connector item 4 (two shown) illustrated in FIG. 3.
The connections 4 each is in the form of a section so designed as to permit the assembly of up to four cubical units perconnector along the length of their respective edges when the connector is inserted into corresponding longitudinal grooves such as those illustrated at 5 located at a specific distance from the edges of each of the cubical units, within the perimeter of each face, and running along the entire lengths of the units sides as shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2. The connector item 4 is shorter than the length of the cubical units sides as shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2. The connector item 4 is shorter than the length of the cubical units sides in order to permit sufficient clearance for the insertion .of other connector items 4 along the perpendicular grooves 5 for the addition of further cubical units 4 in other directions at right angles. The length of the connector item 4 in relation to the sides of the cubical units is illustrated in FIG. 2 and in the detail of the embodiment shown in FIG. 4.
The connection resulting from the longitudinal insertion of the connector item 4 into the corresponding grooves 5 of the cubical units hence becomes extremely resistant to collapse under the effects of weight, pressure or impact.
Basically, the connector item 4 comprises a pair of mutually perpendicular webs 6 and 7 that cross at their centres to form a cross. The free ends of the webs 6 and 7 are each provided with a flange each extending perpendicular to its respective web and projecting as locking elements 8a and 8b to equal distances on each side of its web.
The cubical units 1, 2, 3, etc... as above indicated are provided with grooves 5 which receive the locking elements 8a and 8b of flanges 8 to secure cubical units together. A pair of grooves 5 uniformly spaced one on each side of a corner of a unit (1, 2 and 3) are adapted to receive a pair of cooperating locking elements 8a and 8b formed by a pair of adjacent flanges 8 of a connector 4 (see grooves designated 5a and 5b in FIG. 1 and their cooperation with flanges 8a and 8b One typical joint is shown in perspective in FIG. 4. It will be noted that the connector item 4 is received in grooves 5, as above described, and that the connector item 4 does not traverse grooves 5 which extend perpendicularly to the ones within which it is received. The space between the cubical units 1 and 3 is indicated at 9 while the space between the units 2 and 3 is indicated at 10.
The term cubical unit is intended to include units in various shapes including ones with rectangular cross sections and may be of tubular form or may be in the form of open-ended containers and, as below indicated, may also include storage grids or even self-contained chambers or dwelling units for modular building construction.
It will also be apparent that for many purposes there need not be grooves 5 at each of the comers of the units 1, 2 and 3 only, and this is all that is required to connect these two units, 2 and 3 together so that for the specific application the other grooves 5 may be omitted.
It will, of course, be appreciated that there is practically no limit to the number of units 4 which can be so connected in all directions, thus providing extreme versatility to suit any spatial environment and that, while the system is primarily designed for the erection of modular and interchangeable furniture components, the method can be readily adapted for construction toys, storage grids and prefabricated modular selfcontained dwelling units.
What I claim is:
1. In a system for modular constructions, the combination consisting of l) a plurality of housing units and (2) a plurality of connectors designed for longitudinal insertion along any of its edges, into mating grooves on said housing units wherein:
each said connector comprises an elongated, solid,
' one piece, integral unit consisting of a pair of mutually perpendicular webs, intersecting substantially at their midpoints, there being four mutually perpendicular substantially identical T shaped arms extending from siad point of intersection, each of of said flanges being parallel to a plane containing one pair of said intersecting webs and all of said flange being of substantially equal lengths, sufficiently less than the length of the side of said housing unit to permit the insertion of similar connectors into mating grooves on adjacent faces of said housing unit and at right angles to said first connector, adjacent flanges forming first co-operating locking means therebetween, said first cooperating locking means having a substantially rectangular configuration and having an aperture at a projected corner where a projection of adjacent flanges would intersect, said apertures being diagonally opposed to a pair of intersecting webs, each of said housing units being an integral unit and having at least a pair of adjacent sides, said adjacent sides intersecting to form a right angle, each of said adjacent sides having an inwardly and outwardly facing surface, each outwardly facing surface having a channel therein, each channel being substantially equidistantly spaced from said point of intersection of said sides at a distance substantially equal to the length of said mutually perpendicular webs, each of said channels having a depth substantially equal to the width of said flanges, each of said channels having a width substantially equal to the thickness of said flanges, each pair of channels on said adjacent sides forming a second co-operating locking means, said second cooperating locking means having a substantially rectangular configuration equal to the rectangular said flanges being parallel held in a spaced-apart relationship with respect to a neighboring housing unit by a distance equal to the thickness of the webs of said connecting means, whereby any of said housing units may be removed from the assembly without disturbing adjacent housing units.