US 3862524 A
The specification discloses a partition including recessed hanger strips to receive hangers for supporting components as desks or the like which has a cover member to close the entrance opening to the hanger strip when it is not in use to thereby preserve the general aesthetic appearance of the system. The cover member is displaceable upon insertion of a hanger into the recess opening and returns to close the opening when the hanger is removed.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 McCrackin Jan. 28, 1975 1 1 HANGER SYSTEM FOR PARTlTlONS  Inventor: Lonnie 1,. McCrackin, (irundvillc,
[731 Assignee: Steelcase lne., Grand Rapids, Mich.
221 Filed: Sept. 28, I973  Appl. No. 401,653
 US. Cl .,52/36, 52/239, 248/243  Int. Cl. A47b 5/02, A47g 19/02  Field of Search 52/36, 239; 248/243;
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Miles et a1. 248/243 X Schulze-Robbecke v. 248/243 X Keller 52/36 Nelson 52/36 X Irinmry l;'xamirwrPrice C. Faw, Jr. Attorney. Agenl, or Firm-Price, Hcneveld, Huizcnga 8L Cooper  ABSTRACT The specification discloses a partition including recessed hanger strips to receive hangers for supporting components as desks or the like which has a cover member to close the entrance opening to the hanger strip when it is not in use to thereby preserve the general aesthetic appearance of the system. The cover member is displaceable upon insertion of a hanger into the recess opening and returns to close the opening when the hanger is removed.
8 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures SHEET 2 OF 2 FIG. 6.
HANGER SYSTEM FOR PARTITIONS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relatesto space divider partition systems for modular office furniture arrangements. Such partition systems generally include one or more partition panel assemblies arranged in various relationships with respect to each other to divide an area as required. Generally the individual panels include hanger support means for receiving hanger brackets so that desk tops, cabinets, files, shelves and other components can be secured to the panels. The fastening means includes hanger strips, fixed on or in the panels, having a plurality of spaced apart slots to receive hook-like tab portions on hanger brackets fixed to the components. When the hanger strips are not in use they remain visible and severely detract from the overall appearance of the panels. In some systems hanger strips are recessed into the panels and an opening is provided through the face of the panel for access to the hanger strip. Even when recessed however, the entrance to the opening itself is unsightly and at certain angles of view even the hanger strip is visible and unsightly.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In the present invention the hanger support means are recessed in the panel and the entrance opening through the panel is completely closed when not in use. A cover member is employed which can be displaced when a hanger bracket is inserted through the recess opening and positioned in the hanger support means but which resumes its position concealing that opening when the hanger bracket is removed. Preferably the cover is locally deformable so that it is displaced around the inserted bracket only and the remainder of the opening remains covered.
The many importantobjects and advantages of the invention will be more fully appreciated by those skilled in the art when reading the following description with reference to the accompanying drawings illustrating a preferred embodiment thereof.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating a plurality of panels interconnected to form a space divider system;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary, enlarged, cross-sectional view taken generally along the plane IIII of FIG. 1 illustrating the hanger strip, the closure member and the portions of the panel forming the entrance opening to the hanger strip;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken I along the plane III-III of FIG. 2 illustrating the hanger DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The hanger system of the present invention employs a cover member 30 for the opening 21 to a recessed hanger strip '18 in a space divider partition panel 10. A
representative panel assembly is shown in FIG. 1 wherein a plurality of panels 10 are arranged in a space dividing layout. Each of the panels having a general hollow interior 11 (FIG. 2), a decorative top trim 12, bottom trim l4 and side trim strips 16. The panels have an interior construction formed generally of sheet metal panels 13 covered with an outer surface of particle board or the like 15 which in turn may be covered with a decorative fabric 17 or the like. As a component of the interior structure an elongated vertical channel 18 provides a side edge support for the interior construction, serves as a hanger strip for hanging components and forms a foundation upon which panels 15 are mounted. Vertical channel 18 is generally U-shaped having a pair of sidewalls 19 terminating in a pair of outwardly directed ears 20 which are spaced a slight distance from cover panels 15 to form a slight gap or entrance opening 21 therebetween. The outer decorative side trim 16 is secured as by fastening to ears 20 and forms the decorative side edges of an individual panel. Vertical channel 18 additionally includes a plurality of spaced apart slots 22 (FIG. 3) in walls 19 which cooperatively form an integral hanger strip extending vertically within the interior of the panel behind entrance opening 21. A resilient cover member 30 positioned within the panel closes entrance opening 21 and preserves the general aesthetic appearance of the panel.
Each of the individual panels 10 includes similar hanger strips 18 adjacent each side thereof. A number of modular components as desks 21, a shelf 23, files 25 (FIG. I) and the like are positioned on the panels and held inplace at hanger strip 18 by means of a hooktype hanger bracket 40 (FIG. 6).
' Hanger bracket 40 is of generally conventional construction and includes a number of spaced apart downwardly depending hook-like hangers 42 which are received in slots 22 of hanger strip 18 in a conventional manner. Gap 21 between cover panel 15 and trim strip 16 forms the entrance opening to slots 22 in hanger strip 18 and it is through this gap that bracket 40 is inserted as shown in the lower right hand corner of FIG. 2.
Cover 30 for entrance opening 21 is preferably formed ofa resilient material as for example a semirigid polyvinyl chloride (FIGS. 2, 4 and 5). Cover 30 is elongated having a generally Z-shaped crosssectional configuration, including a base portion 32 in which a number of spaced apart mounting slots 33 are arranged along its length. A back wall 34 extends upwardly from base 32 at generally an acute angle. The back wall extends upwardly a distance slightly less than the outer extremity of entrance opening 21. A flexible leg or flange 38 forms the top of the Z-shaped cover 30 and is connected to back wall 34 at a curved juncture portion 36. Because the material of cover 30 is flexible. juncture portion 36 serves as a hinge, in a sense, for flexible flange 38.
Flexible flange 30 is secured within the panel assembly to vertical channel 18 by means of conventional snap-type fasteners 24 passing through elongated slots 33 and into suitable openings provided in side walls 19 (FIG. 2). Elongated slots 33 provide for limited vertical movement of flexible flange 30 within the panels to facilitate vertical adjustment during installation.
When cover 30 is installed and when no components are suspended on the panel leg flange 38 assumes generally the position shown in the upper right hand corner of FIG. 2. Back wall 34 abuts particle board I5 at one side of opening 21 and leg 38 extends outwardly to abut the inner facing wall of side trims 16 at ears 20 to thereby completely close entrance opening 21. When it is desired to suspend one of the modular components on the panel, bracket 40 and hooks 42 are simply fit into opening 2l thereby resiliently displacing flexible leg 38 of cover 30, inserting hooks 42 into slots 22 and fitting the component in position. Flexible leg flange 38 is preferably made of a material which is resiliently deformable in localized areas so that it will be deformed sufficiently to allow the insertion of bracket 40 while in areas above and below the bracket the resilient nature of the material at flexible leg 38 will cause the flexible leg 38 to assume the position shown at the upper right hand corner of FIG. 2 keeping entrance opening 21 closed in areas where brackets 40 are not installed.
When the suspended component is removed, bracket 40 is drawn out of opening 21 and flexible leg flange 38 of cover 30 again assumes the position closing entrance opening 21 thereby preventing an unsightly appearance of the opened channel and the hanger strip therein.
Those skilled in the art will recognize that the present invention provides convenient and relatively inexpensive means for covering the recessed channel and the hanger strip in a partition system. The flexible flange member covers the channel opening so that the hanger strip is completely hidden and yet the flange is flexible so that it can be pushed aside upon insertion of the hanger bracket to allow easy mounting of the bracket in the recessed hanger strip. Those skilled in the art will also recognize that the flexible flange can be provided in any of many decorative colors to complement the exterior surface finish of the individual panels in which they are installed. Other arrangements of this invention can be provided by utilizing the teachings of this invention and accordingly it is intended that all modifications of the invention are considered as included in the appended claims unless these claims by their language expressly state otherwise.
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
1. In a partition having a recessed hanger support means accessible through an opening in said partition said hanger support means being adapted to receive hanger means for supporting components on said partition, the improvement comprising;
cover means for said opening, said cover means being hingedly displaceably mounted adjacent said opening and extending to close said opening, said cover means being deformable upon insertion of a hanger means through said opening and into said hanger support means.
2. The partition of claim 1 in which said cover means is made of a flexible, resiliently deformable material whereby said cover means is deformed to allow a hanger means to pass thereby.
3. The partition of claim 2 in which said cover means is sufficiently flexible that it is locally resiliently deformable whereby it deforms around a hanger means when a hanger means is inserted thereby and remains in position concealing said opening on either side of said hanger means.
4. A partition as defined in claim I wherein said cover means is formed from flexible polyvinyl chloride.
5. In a partition having a recessed hanger support means accessible through an opening in said partition. said hanger support means being adapted to receive hanger means for supporting components on said partition, the improvement comprising: cover means for said opening, said cover means being mounted adjacent said opening and being displaceable upon insertion of a hanger means through said opening and into said hanger support means, said cover means having a base portion, said base portion being secured internally of said partition adjacent said hanger support means, an arm member extending outwardly from said base portion toward said opening and a flange supported on said arm, said flange extending into said opening and being resiliently deformable to close the gap in said opening.
6. The partition system as defined in claim 5 wherein said flange is locally flexible at the area of penetration of a hanger through said opening and into said hanger support means whereby the remainder of said opening remains covered when a hanger is installed in a selected localized portion thereof.
7. The panel system as defined in claim 5 wherein said hanger strip comprises an elongated channel-like member having a plurality of spaced apart slots therein, said slots being adapted to receive a hanger member and wherein said flange is locally deformable in the vicinity ofa selected one of said plurality of spaced apart slots to thereby cover the remainder of said opening when a hanger bracket is inserted therethrough.
8. In a partition system having a recessed hanger support means accessible through an opening in said partition, said hanger support means being adapted to receive hanger means for supporting components on said partition, the improvement comprising:
cover means for said opening, said cover means being hingedly mounted adjacent said opening. and extending to close said opening, whereby a hanger means can be inserted through said opening to thereby open said cover means and allow said hanger means to be mounted on said hanger support means.