|Publication number||US3854165 A|
|Publication date||Dec 17, 1974|
|Filing date||May 14, 1973|
|Priority date||May 14, 1973|
|Publication number||US 3854165 A, US 3854165A, US-A-3854165, US3854165 A, US3854165A|
|Original Assignee||Arizona Glass & Mirror|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (11), Referenced by (19), Classifications (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent 1191 I Haley Dec. 17, 1974 1 41 PANEL DOOR ASSEMBLY i Primarv EraminerPaul R. Gilliam 75 I nt ames C. Hale Tucson, Anz. v l 1 or Assisran! Erammer-Peter A. Aschenbrenner Assigneel Arizona Glass and Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Cah ill, Sutton &' Thomas Tucson, Ariz.
22 Filed: May 14, 1973  Appl. No.: 359,796  ABSTRACT 52 US. Cl. 16/96 R, 49/410, 16/94 R A mounting Structure for Sliding Paril doors is 51 Int. Cl A47h 1/04 dosed The Panel doors, which may be transparent  Field of Search 16/88-106, Opaque, or reflecting, are circumscribed and retained 16/87; 49/404, 409 4|2 413, 425, 426 459 by rigid frames. Each of the frames include an asymv metric channel for receiving the edge of the circum- 5 R f Cited scribed panel. The rear lip of the channel adjacent the UNITED STATES PATENTS rear of the panel is of sufficiently massive construction 2 26 179 H941 P l 6/90 X to provide structural rigidity to the frame. The front eremi et a 2,650,387 9/1953 Foss 16/91 '9 pnmamy a st-ruptural F serves as a re taming element for the panel and mtrudes upon the 2,754,535 7/l956 Plemeng... 16/87 R 2.79m, 5/1957 Eichler 4 |6l94 R X front surface of the panel to a minimum extent. The 2 5 40 0 195 Barroero" N 49 410 X frame is suspended a I' Olll' mechanism, whereby 2.889.535 6/1959 L g |6/|00 X the frame, rather'than the circumscribed panel, is the 3.058.l73 10/1962 Brydolf '49/411 load bearing member. A valance, positioned in prox- 3,208,111 9/1965 Grossman 49/425 imity to the roller mechanism, overlaps the top edges 3.2611129 7/1966 Brydolf el 16/93 R X of the panel door and shields the roller mechanism. 3,509,665 5/1970 Bartlett et al l6/9l X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 3 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures 199.329 8/]958 Germany l6/95 R PANEL noon ASSEMBLY The present invention relates to sliding panel doors, and more particularly, to apparatus for hanging sliding panel doors.
Sliding panel doors are often used in place of swinging doors for closets and the like within dwellings. In some cases, the panels of the sliding doors serve a second function of acting as decorator items. That is, they may match or set off the room decor, or they may be mirrored to serve asa full length mirror and give the illusion of spaciousness.
The framework for the prior art sliding panel doors includes a generally symmetrical channel of extruded material, such as aluminum. Adjacent the channel, and often being formed as a part thereof, is the super structure' serving as an interface between the channel and the guide mechanisms. The guide mechanism at the top of the panel door includes low friction material secured to the super structure and sliding within an inverted track affixed to the lintel. The panel door is supported by a set of wheels running within a track to form the guide mechanism at the bottom of the panel door. A feature common to all the prior art doors is that of the structural necessity of having wide channel lips extending adjacent the front and rear surface of the panel doors forming a substantial and visible band about each panel door.
The requisite breadth of the channel lips and adjacent super structure, the top guide mechanism and the bottom guide mechanism rendered the sliding door arrangement aesthetically unattractive and focused attention upon the closet entrance. In an effort to overcome the aesthetic problems, the framework and channel members have been colored to give the illusion of a decorators touch. In some instances, a valance has been added tohide the upper horizontal frame and the inverted track. The use of the valance, did hide the upper edge of the frame and the inverted track butalso has the effect of calling attention to itself rather than panel doors.
It is therefore a primary object of the present invention to provide support structure for sliding doors, which support structure is essentially hidden from view.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide an unobtrusive door frame and valance structure.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a sliding door framework useable with any type of panel door.
Another object of the present invention is to provide support structure for sliding doors, which support structure is a primary load bearing member.
Yetanother object of the present invention is to provide a suspended load bearing frame for sliding panel doors.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a self-aligning mounting mechanism for sliding door frames.
A yet further object of the present invention is toprovide a unitary self-aligningtrack for a plurality of sliding panel doors.
These and other objects of the present invention'will become apparent to those skilled in the art as the description thereof proceeds.
The present invention may be described with more specificity and clarity with reference to the following drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 illustrates a pair of sliding panel doors incorporating the present invention.
FIG. 2 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the present invention taken along lines 22 as shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the present invention taken along lines 33, as shown in FIG. 1.
Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown a sliding door assembly 1 constructed in accordance with the present invention and disposed within the entrance way to a .closet. The sliding door assembly 1 includes a pair of doors 2 and 3, which doors are slideable adjacent one another. The doors are suspended by a mounting mechanism disposed behind valance 4. A pair of stops 5 and 6 may be secured to the floor intermediate jambs 7 and 8. Stops 5 and 6 inhibit swinging of doors 2 and 3 about their mounting mechanism.
The panels 9 and 10 forming doors 2 and 3, respectively, may be mirrors, as shown, wood paneling. or any other aesthetically attractive material complementary to the wall 11 surrounding the closet entrance way. Similarly, the pane l2 fonning valance 4 is of the same material as that of panels 9 and 10. In this manner, the combination of doors 2 and 3 and valance 4 present an essentially uniformally configured surface. It is therefore possible to have the total surface blend or contrast with the decor of wall 11. Where the panels 9, l0, and 12 are mirrors, the totality, presents an essentially mirrored surface As may be seen in FIG. 1, each of the door panels 2 and 3 includes a narrow lip 21 and 22 extending along the bottom. Lips 21 and 22 are a part of the framework within which the respective panels (9 and 10) are mounted. Similar lips 23 and 24 are disposed at the bottom and top, respectively, of valance 4. Strips (of which strip 20 adjacent panel 9 is shown) are disposed along the vertical edges of each of the panels 9 and 10. These strips are also a part of the framework. By incorporating the teachings of the present invention, it is possible to keep the width'of these lips and strips at a minimum, whereby they detract to a minimum extent from the aesthetic appeal of the total impression created by panels 9, l0, and 12.
In FIG. 2, there is shown the framing and support structure of the present invention. The horizontal framework for panel door 2 is formed by rails 24 and 25. Rail 24 includes a main support section 26 having lip 29 and arm 30 extending downwardly therefrom. A channel 27 is located adjacent section 26 and is defined by lips 29 and 3l, where lip 31 is of substantially lesser width than lip 29. Similarly, rail 25 is a duplicate of rail 24 and includes section 19, lip 23, arm 26, channel 18,
and lip 21. The horizontal edges of door panel 9 engage channels 27 and 18 of rails 24 and 25, respectively. Seating material 28 may be disposed intermediate pane 9 and the respective channels to firmly lodge the panel within the channels. Rail 24 is secured to support member 34 by means of a bracket 32, which bracket connected to a wheel 38 through support member 37 and journal mechanism 39.
The hanger structure 40 for supporting panels 9 and 10 is secured to the lintel 44 and includes a pair of parallel tracks 41 and 42. The extremities of these tracks are V-shaped, which V generally conforms to the configuration of the periphery of wheels and 38. In this manner, wheels 35 and 38 will tend to run true within track 41 and 42. Hanger 40 includes a pair of guides 51 and 52 extending downwardly toward the extremities of tracks 41 and 42. Guides 51 and 52, in combination with tracks 41 and 42, prevent wheels 35 and 38 from jumping the tracks in response to a lateral force acting upon doors 2 and 3.
Valance 4 is formed of vertical support member 46 and flange 45 extending therefrom. The lower horizontal edge of vertical support member 46 includes a channel having a lip 23. Similarly, the upper horizontal edge of vertical support member 46 includes another channel 48 having a lip 24. Panel 12, forming the facing of valance 4, is inserted intermediate opposed channels 48 and 50 and is seated therein.
The downward extremity of vertical support member 46 extends beyond the lower edge of lip 31 of rail 24 such that valance 4 effectively shields the support and mounting mechanisms for doors 2 and 3. The height of lips 23 and 24 are minimized so as to intrude upon panel 12 to a minimum extent and yet serve to retain panel12 within valance 4.
Referring to FIG. 3, there is shown a cross-sectional view of the side rail adjacent the vertical side of panel 9. Side rail 55 is a U-shaped load-bearing memher and includes a base 54 having a flange 56 and arm 58 extending therefrom. Flange 56 and arm 58 provide structural rigidity to rail 55. -In addition, flange 56 serves as a seating member for the rear vertical edge of panel 9. A strip 20 extends outwardly from base 54 and serves as a lateral con'straintfor door panel 9to prevent lateral movement thereof with respect to rail 55. Seating material 57 may be disposed adjacent flange 56 and strip 20 and intermediate panel 9. As may be understood from FIG. 3, the visible part of rail 55 is limited to the edge of strip 20. Thus, rail 55 intrudes upon the aesthetic appeal of the front surface door 2 to a minimum extent.
The means by which the horizontal support members can be secured to the vertical support members to form the panel circumscribing framework are well known to those skilled in the art. Therefore, a discussion of such details is believed to be unnecessary.
As shown in the figures, the cross-sectional configuration of each of the horizontal rails, vertical rails, tracks, and valance is uniform throughout its length. Therefore, these elements are easily formable as unitary, one-piece structures by well known extension techniques. In addition, aluminum, being easily extrudable, easily worked upon by technicians, is particularly suited for the above-enumerated elements.
- From the above descriptions of the vertical and horizontal rails, it may be appreciated that the main support functions of the rails are served by the robust members adjacent the rear of the panel doors. The necessary panel retaining lips and strips serve only the function of preventing the panel from becoming detached from the rails. As they are not required to serve as load-bearing members, their size can be minimized. Thus, the lips and strips derogate, only to a minimum extent, from the aesthetic appeal of the front surface of the panel doors.
While the principles of the invention have now been made clear in an illustrative embodiment. there will be immediately obvious to those skilled in the art many modifications of structure, arrangement, proportions. the elements, materials, and components, used in the practice of the invention which are particularly adapted for specific environments and operating requirements without departing from those principles.
1. A panel door structure for supporting a sliding panel within a post and lintel door opening, said structure being hidden from view such that it does not set off the decor of said panel, said structure comprising in combination:
a. a pair of horizontal rails forming the top and bottom sides of said framework, each of said horizon tal rails including a load bearing structural section and an inwardly directed asymmetric channel for receiving a horizontal edge of said panel, each said horizontal rail being formed as a unitary single element structure wherein said load bearing structural section includes a first and second leg in lateral spaced relation to one another and extending from a common first base coincident with the respective edge of said panel to define an inwardly directed horizontal channel, and wherein said asymmetric channel includes said second leg, a center section extending from said common base and a lip for retaining said panel, whereby each of said vertical rails extend lateral to said panel by an amount equivalent to the thickness of said common first base; j
b. a pair of vertical rails forming opposite vertical sides of said framework, each of said vertical rails including a further load bearing structural section adjacent the rear surface of said panel and a strip extending from said further structural section adjacent the respective vertical side of said panel without impinging upon the front surface of said panel, each said vertical rail being formed as a unitary single element structure wherein said further load bearing structural section includes a third and fourth leg' in spaced relation to one another and extending from a common second base to define an inwardly directed vertical channel, said strip ex tending from said second base in the plane of said second base, whereby each of said vertical rails extend lateral to said panel by an amount equivalent to the width of said strip;
a track depending from and extending along the full length of the lintel of the door opening; and
d. support means for suspending said framework from said track, said support means being the sole support for said structure within the door opening; whereby, said door panels are structurally braced and supported by said load bearing structural sections of said horizontal and vertical rails located at the rear surface of said panel and do not set off or intrude upon the decor of the front surface of said panel.
2. The combination set forth in claim 1, including a pair of said panel door structures disposed within the door opening, a pair of parallel tracks, and further support means for suspending one of said panel doors from each of said pair of tracks.
lence panel retained in place by said first and second channels, each of said first and second channels including further narrow lips adjacent the front surface of said valence panel to prevent lateral movement of said panel; whereby, said track and said support means for said panel and said support member for said valence panel are hidden from view.
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|U.S. Classification||16/96.00R, 16/94.00R, 49/410|