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Publication numberUS3850223 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 26, 1974
Filing dateMay 14, 1973
Priority dateMay 14, 1973
Publication numberUS 3850223 A, US 3850223A, US-A-3850223, US3850223 A, US3850223A
InventorsTompkins M
Original AssigneeAmerican Standard Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Folding space divider
US 3850223 A
Abstract
A double-walled accordian folding door space divider, or operable partition employs sheet metal panels and sheet metal hinge members which capture the panels while providing for expanding and retracting movement accompanied by the pivotal movement of the panels within the hinge members. Two series of identical sheet metal panels are employed in opposed relation to provide a double-folding closure. Identical sheet metal hinge members are employed at the vertical edges of the panels defining alternating peaks and valleys. The peak hinges are free to move laterally opposite to each other while the valley hinges are connected together in a unitary structure, and the panels are supported by overhead trolleys which are connected at the valleys. The resulting closures may be termed "all metal" by reason of the fact that the major operating components are metal, the use of vinyl or elastomer composition being limited to the edge seals and the top and bottom sweep seals. A unique hinge construction is employed by means of which the panels are captured by the hinge members. The hinge members and panels are of roll-formed sheet metal.
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United States Patent [1 1 Tompkins 1 Nov. 26, 1974 1 FOLDING SPACE DIVIDER [75] Inventor: Melvin W. Tompkins, New Castle,

Ind.

[73] Assignee: American Standard Inc., New York,

22 Filed: May 14, 1973 21 Appl. No.: 359,976

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,205,707 11/1916 Cahill 160/235 X 2,027,992 1/1936 Maurer 160/199 X 2,858,883 11/1958 Rapin 160/235 3,223,147 12/1965 Holloway.... 160/84 H 3,348,628 10/1967 Dixon et a1. 160/84 R X 3,405,756 10/1968 Harris 160/183 X 3,485,287 12/1969 Milbourne, Sr 160/235 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 275,767 2/1965 Australia 160/84 R 611,003 10/1948 Great Britain 160/235 Primary ExaminerPaul R. Gilliam Assistant Examiner-Philip C. Kannan Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Biebel, French & B'ugg [5 7 ABSTRACT A double-walled accordian folding door space divider, or operable partition employs sheet metal panels and sheet metal hinge members which capture the panels while providing for expanding and retracting movement accompanied by the pivotal movement of the panels within the hinge members. Two series of identical sheet metal panels are employed in opposed relation to provide a double-folding closure. Identical sheet metal hinge members are employed at the vertical edges of. the panels defining alternating peaks and valleys. The peak hinges are free to move laterally opposite to each other while the valley hinges are connected together in a unitary structure, and the panels are supported by overhead trolleys which are connected at the valleys. The resulting closures may be termed all metal by reason of the fact that the major operating components are metal, the use of vinyl or elastomer composition being limited to the edge seals and the top and bottom sweep seals. A unique hinge construction is employed by means of which the panels are captured by the hinge members. The hinge members and panels are of roll-formed sheet metal.

4 Claims, 12 Drawing Figures sum 39F a PATENTEL REV 26 i974 FOLDING SPACE DIVIDER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to double wall folding accordian type closures or partitions. It is often desirable to use metal panels in such closures rather than the conventional cloth or fabric surfaces, to provide a closure that is highly durable, has a pleasing appearance, and good accoustical properties. One such system has been successfully made and sold by the assignee of the present invention under its trademark Audio Wall.

The closure system employs metal panels which are directly supported on an internal lazy tong hinge structure not unlike that shown in the assignees U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,559,860 of 1952 or 3,133,589 of 1964. The gaps between the vertical edges of the panels are closed by vinyl strips formed with edging beads received within loops formed in the panel edges.

While the panel system described above has been successful, and while it particularly provides good accoustic isolation properties, the employment of the vinyl connector does not provide the desirable all metal face construction to achieve security or structural integrity against fire. With respect to security, the vinyl could be slit at the panel peaks and the panels could be forced apart to provide access. Further in case of fire, the vinyl could melt thus decreasing the integrity of the wall. In addition, the use of vinyl connectors does not readily permit a uniform color or wood grain finish to be applied to the entire outer surface door.

Single wall folding all metal space dividers are not new, examples of such being shown in the assignees U.S. Pat. Nos. of Harris, 3,167,111 of 1965 and 3,405,756 of 1968. The Harris patents have no teaching of double wall folding partition closures.

Other examples of wall closures incorporating rigid panels, but not metal panels, are shown in the U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,669,827 of 1955, 2,885,000 of 1959, 3,205,935 of 1965, and 3,485,287 of 1969.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is directed to double wall folding space dividers which incorporate metal panels and metal hinge members for the opposite side walls. The panels are preferably formed identically with each other, as are the hinge members, and both are preferably formed of rolled sheet metal. The panels are not hinged directly to each other but are pivotally attached continuously throughout their length to intermediate hinge members, the latter being preferably of double channel shape in cross section. Hinge members are thus provided at the opposite peaks and at the valleys, and the space divider is supported at the valleys on trolleys. Preferably a trolley plate is sandwiched between the valley hinge members to form a unitary structure at the valleys.

A novel interlock is provided between the panels and the channel-shaped hinge members. The vertical edges of the sheet metal panel are roll-formed into a generally C-shaped configuration, to receive a roll-formed flange of the hinge channel. The relationship between these parts is such that the panel is free to pivot between an extending position and a stacked position while, at all times, being captured by a hinge channel.

An important object of this invention is to provide a space divider of the double wall folding type in which panels and hinge are formed exclusively of sheet metal.

Another important object of this invention is to provide a closure incorporating an improved metal-tometal hinge construction permitting movement of rigid metal panels between a stacked and an extended position.

These and other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description, the accompanying drawings and the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a space divider according to this invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary plan view looking down on the top of the space divider to FIG. 1, with the trolley plates and the panel retainers shown in partial section showing the divider in the extended position;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary perspective view of one of the panels;

FIG. 4 is a view similar to opposite edge of the panel;

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 2 showing the space divider in the stacked position;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary plan view, partially FIG. 3 but looking at the in section, of one of the peaks in the stacked position; I

FIG. 7 shows the peak of FIG. 6 in the extended position;

FIG. 8 is another fragmentary enlarged view, partially in section, showing one-half of a valley in the stacked position;

FIG. 9 is a view similar to FIG. 8 showing the valley in the extended position;

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary elevation view along the top edge of the divider looking generally along the lines 10-10 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 11 is a vertical section through the panel retainer assembly at the peak taken along the lines 11-11, FIG. 10; and,

FIG. 12 is a transverse section through the panel retainer assembly at the valley taken along the line 12-12 of FIG. 10.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT With reference to FIGS. 1, 2, and 5, a double wall folding space divider or operable partition is illustrated generally at 10 in FIG. 1 supported for transverse movement along a conventional overhead track 13. The door 10 at the left-hand side of FIG. l is shown in its extended position while a similar door 10A on the right-hand side of FIG. 1 is. shown in a partially retracted or stacked position. With reference to FIGS. 2 and 5, the double-wall, accordian folding door or space divider 10 is formed with two opposite series of rigid, vertically-elongated, identical sheet metal side plates or panels 15. The panels 15 are also shown in the views of the FIGS. 3 and 4. Each of the panels 15 may carry conventional pads of sound insulation 16 on the inside surface thereof, as seen in FIG. 2'. The space divider may also include an identical metal lead post 17 and trail post 18, the later being adapted for mounting to one of the walls in the room.

The panels 15 extend outwardly to opposite peak regions 20 and then inwardly to common valley regions 22. Accordingly, diametrically opposite pairs of panels define, for each of the series of panels, alternating peaks and valleys 22. Each panel is accordingly defined by a vertically-continuous peak edge 24 and a corresponding valley edge 25 as identified in FIGS. 3 and 4.

The space divider 10 is further characterized by two series of vertical sheet metal hinge consisting of identical hinge channel members 30. One such channel member is located at each peak 20, and a pair of identical channel members 30 are located back-toback at each valley 22. The members 30 are configured with a double channel shape to capture the adjacent edges 24 and 25 of the panels 15 while providing for a full range of movement from an extended position in which the panels form an inside angle of about 2225 with a median line, as shown in FIGS. 7 and 9, to a stacked position in which the panels form an angle to the median of approximatley 190, measured through the same inside arc. In other words, the hinge means defined by the channels 30 and the panel edges provide for pivotal movement through an angle of approximately 170 for a pair of panels. However, it is understood that the invention is not limited to a system which works through these angles as the general design can be varied to provide a wide variety of angular combinations.

Continuous sweep seals are supported along the top and the bottom edges in a manner which will be described hereinafter. Further, suitable vertical edge seals may be employed as is well known in the art.

The construction of the partitions at the peaks may be seen by references to FIGS. 6, 7, l0, and 11. Referring first to FIGS. 6 and 7, the sheet metal channel member 30 is roll-formed to define an opposite pair of generally inward directed double thickness flanges 50. The flanges are formed in two sections 50A and 50B separated from each other by a break line 52. The first section 50A extends outwardly at approximately 4 from a plane normal to a median line while a second section 508 extends outwardly at a greater angle of approximately 30. The terminal ends of the flanges define clearance spaces 54 with the back wall 55 of the channel 30.

The peak edge 24 of the panel 15 is formed with a generally C-shaped loop 60. A slightly modified C- shaped loop 65 defines the valley edge 25.

Each of the loops and is formed with a double thickness rolled nose portion and a partially encircling main portion 72 terminating in an inwardly turned end 74. The end 74 is offset somewhat outwardly of the nose portions 70. The nose portions 70 are proportioned to abut against the outside surfaces of the flanges 50. A curved outer back surface of the main portion 72 rides against the adjacent inside surface of the back wall 55, ans in this manner the panels 15 are captured within the hinge channels 30 throughout the range of movement between the stacked and extended positions as shown in FIGS. 67 and FIGS. 89. The extent of movement is controlled, in the extended position, by a spacing chain 75, FIG. 2. The fully stacked position is controlled by the spacing of the trolley plates 80, as shown in FIG. 5.

As shown in FIGS. 3-6, the individual panels 15 are formed with an offset or shoulder 82 for the purpose of providing the required working relation between the loops 60 and 65 and the channels 30. The offset 82 also provides space for the insulation 16 at the peaks 20.

Means are provided for retaining the individual panels 15 in the defined vertical alignment and for preventing vertical movement thereof in the form of clips received at the peaks and valleys. The clips take the form of retainer brackets 85 as shown in cross section in FIGS. 11 and 12. While the brackets 85 are provided along the top and at the bottom edges of the panels, they are shown in FIGS. 10l2 with respect to the top edge only. The brackets 85 are retained in abutment against the inside surfaces of the channels 30 by square spacers 86 and a pair of self-tapping screws 87. The relationship of the brackets 85 to the spacers and panel may also be seen in FIGS. 5 and 6. The upper ends 90 of the brackets 85 are turned forward to overly the panel edges in the regions at which the loops are received in the channels. Thus they effectively prevent the panels from sliding vertically with respect to the hinge channels. A single bracket 85 is positioned at each of the peaks 20. A sweep seal retainer plate 92 is also carried on the inside surface of the bracket 85 for clamping and retaining the sweep seals 45.

As previously mentioned, a pair of channels 30 are supported on a unitary structure at the valleys 22, as seen in FIG. 12. A pair of elongated square spacers 95 extend transversely between the channels 30, retained by opposite selftapping screws 87. Two of the brackets 85 are positioned back-to-back on either side of the trolley plates 80 sandwiched between the channels30. The trolley plate is formed with openings through which the spacers 95 pass and provide means by which the trolley plate 80 is attached in supporting relation to the partition. The sweep seals 45 are'also retained between the brackets 85 and the central trolley plate 80 as shown in FIG. 12. Conventional trolley wheels 97 are carried on the upper end of the trolley plate 80 for reception into the track 13.

The lower ends of the brackets 85 receive a pin 10 to which the chain 75 is attached, as shown in FIG. 12. Again the outwardly turned ends 90 effectively overly the open ends of the channels 30 to capture the panels and prevent them from sliding out of place.

As previously described, the width of the trolley plates 80 defines the stacked position of the space divider or partition, and in the stacked position as shown in FIG. 5 the plates are in edge-to-edge'abutment.

The lead post 17 and the trail post 18 are attached at valleys, and the construction of the valleys is the same as previously described. The lead and trail posts may be formed of identical aluminum extrusions with a pair of opposite generally C-shaped lips received within the adjacent channel 30, as best shown in FIG. 5. The panels and the hinge channels are thus formed exclusively of roll-sheet metal material and provide a structure which is relatively impervious to fire. There are no non-metal connecting members which will burn or melt to destroy the integrity of the partition. Furthermore, a decorative treatment may be applied to the outer surfaces of the metal partitions, and all of these surfaces may be treated, such as by a wood grain, to achieve a uniform and pleasing appearance. The construction of the hinge elements are particularly adapted to the simple roll forming technique and thus may be manufactured at a relatively low cost. The panels 15 are exclusively supported for pivotal movement at the hinge channels at the peaks and valleys, and provide a wide range of freedom of movement so that the double wall folding door can be stacked into a compact arrangement as shown in FIG. 5.

While the form of apparatus herein described constitutes a preferred embodiment of the invention, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to this precise form of apparatus, and that changes may be made therein without departing from the scope of the invention.

What is claimed is: i l. A decorative space divider of the double folding type having all-metal major panel components providing improved fire resistance, comprising:

opposed double folding walls consisting of two series of indentical, vertical-extending sheet metal panels arranged in opposed pairs of panels, each of said panels having peak edges and valley edges, said series of panels further having opposed series of vertical sheet metal hinges at said peak edges carried by said panels and pivotally joined with the adjacent vertical peak edges, means at said valley edges common to each of said series including an opposed pair of sheet metal hinges identical with said peak hinges pivotally joined with adjacent valley edges of said panels, said sheet metal hinges comprising channel members with opposite, generally inwardly-directed, doublewall flanges defining straight sections of sheet metal, said panel edges being formed with generally C- shaped retainers which are received in partially encircling relation to said flanges, said retainers further defining a nose portion which abuts against the outer surface of the associated said flange, and an inner inwardly turned end which abuts against the inner surface of said flange,

means joining each said opposed pair of metal hinges together into a unitary structure, said hinges at said peaks and hinges at said valleys providing for the expanding and contracting movement of the opposed series of panels, and

trolley means supporting said space divider for extending and folding movement, said trolley means having trolley plates joining with the space divider at said valley.

2. The space divider of claim 1 in which said panel inner ends are offset with respect to said nose portions.

3. A double-walled accordian folding partition having improved security and tire resistance, comprising:

two series of opposed, essentially rigid, verticallyextending sheet metal side panels, with adjacent pairs of said panels of each series being diametrically opposite corresponding pairs of panels on the other said series defining for each series alternating peaks and valleys,

each said series having hinges at said peaks and valleys, said hinges each consisting of verticallyextending sheet metal channel members, said channel members each having a back wall and a pair of opposite, generally inwardly-directed flanges, the terminal edges of said flanges being spaced from said back wall to define a pair of internal clearance spaces,

each said panel being formed with generally C- shaped loops at the terminal edges thereof received in partially encircling relation to one of said hinge flanges including a nose portion in abutment with the outer surface of the associated flange and an inner, inwardly-turned end in said clearance space in abutment with the inside surface of the associated said flange,

said hinges providing for the expanding and contracting movement of the opposed series of panels while capturing said panels at said vertical edges and providing for pivotal movement of said C-shaped loops about the flanges.

4. A double-walled accordian folding partition having improved security and fire resistance, comprising:

two series of opposed, essentially rigid, verticallyextending sheet metal side panels, with adjacent pairs of said panels of each series being diametrically opposite corresponding pairs of panels on the other said series defining for each series alternating peaks and'valleys,

each said series having hinges at said peaks and valleys, said hinges each consisting of verticallyextending sheet metal channel members, said channel members each having a back wall and a pair of opposite, generally inwardly-directed flanges, said flanges defined by two straight sections including a first section forming an angle of about 4 from a plane normal to a median line therethrough and a second section extending outwardly from such plane at an angle of about 30, the terminal edges of said flanges being spaced from said back wall to define a pair of internal clearance spaces,

each said panel being formed with generally C- shaped loops at the terminal edges thereof received in partially encircling relation to one of said hinge flanges including a nose portion in abutment with the outer surface of the associated flange and an inner, inwardly-turned end in said clearance space in abutment with the inside surface of the associated said flange,

said hinges providing for the expanding and contracting movement of the opposed series of panels while capturing said panels at said vertical edges and providing for pivotal movement of said C-shaped loops

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4104836 *Mar 2, 1977Aug 8, 1978Weibull Torsten WaloddiDoor device in goods depots or the like
US4658878 *Dec 16, 1985Apr 21, 1987Hough Manufacturing CorporationAcoustic type folding door with separate cover sections
US4724884 *Jun 2, 1986Feb 16, 1988Weem Petrus J PFolding wall
US4763712 *Apr 30, 1987Aug 16, 1988Pella B.V.Pliable partition
US4834161 *Jul 14, 1987May 30, 1989Won-Door CorporationFolding firedoor lead post assembly
US4924929 *Oct 12, 1988May 15, 1990Won-Door CorporationFolding firedoor lead post assembly
US5668203 *Jun 7, 1995Sep 16, 1997Xerox CorporationElastomeric articles containing haloceramer compositions
US6619364 *Sep 27, 2001Sep 16, 2003Bellsouth Intellectual Property CorporationPortable cubicle screen
US7290581 *Sep 26, 2003Nov 6, 2007Wan Young LeeHalf spread folding door
US7478663Apr 1, 2005Jan 20, 2009Won-Door CorporationMethod, apparatus and system for directionally controlling a movable partition
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US7886804 *Jan 30, 2008Feb 15, 2011Won-Door CorporationFolding partitions, components therefor and related methods
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US8960257May 31, 2011Feb 24, 2015Won-Door CorporationMethods, apparatuses, and systems for controlling lateral displacement of a movable partition
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Classifications
U.S. Classification160/84.8, 160/235
International ClassificationE06B3/94, E06B3/00
Cooperative ClassificationE06B3/94
European ClassificationE06B3/94
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 25, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: GATEWAY ACQUISITION INC., A CORP. OF DE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:AMERICAN STANDARD INC.;REEL/FRAME:004870/0607
Effective date: 19861022
Feb 3, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: FIFTH THIRD BANK THE, AN OHIO BANKING CORP
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:GATEWAY ACQUISTION, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004673/0674
Effective date: 19861023