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Publication numberUS3866364 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 18, 1975
Filing dateMay 10, 1973
Priority dateMay 10, 1973
Publication numberUS 3866364 A, US 3866364A, US-A-3866364, US3866364 A, US3866364A
InventorsPollard Theodore O
Original AssigneeInt Product Dev Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Modular structure for use in merchandising operations
US 3866364 A
Abstract
A modular structure using a basic extruded elongate structural member and a plurality of associated framework parts provides total variation in shapes, sizes, and configurations of quickly assembled and disassembled structures for use in merchandising operations. A bare minimum of forming operations are required to be performed on the basic extruded elongate member for forming a wide variety of structural shapes. Disassembly is non-destructive preserving the parts for future use in new structure configurations. Off site fabrication of component parts provides for on site construction of the modular structures and quick uncomplicated on site modification.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[ Feb. 18, 1975 MODULAR STRUCTURE FOR USE IN MERCHANDISING OPERATIONS [75] Inventor: Theodore O. Pollard, Palo Alto,

Calif.

[73] Assignee: International Product Development Incorporated, Palo Alto, Calif.

[22] Filed: May 10, 1973 [21] Appl. No.:,358,865

[52] U.S. Cl 52/36, 52/122, 52/282, 52/738, 52/758 H [51] Int. Cl E04b 2/82 [58] Field of Search 52/282, 758 H, 720, 738, 52/730, 732, 36, 127, 476, 284, 285, 281, 122; 85/32 V [5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,744,714 5/1956 Parke 52/36 X 3,139,960 7/1964 Hammitt et a1 85/32 V X 3,186,561 6/1965 Strassle 52/282 X 3,263,389 8/1966 Heirich 52/720 3,451,183 6/1969 Lespagnol et a] 52/282 X 3,513,606 5/1970 Jones 52/282 X 3,566,561 3/1971 52/282 X 3,713,257 l/1973 52/36 3,772,837 11/1973 Hunt 52/127 Primary Examiner-Price C. Faw, Jr. Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Flehr, Hohbach, Test, Albritton & Herbert [57] ABSTRACT plicated on site modification.

26 Claims, 35 Drawing Figures PATENIEU im 1% SHEET 5 BF 6 PATENHZD B 3. 866 364 sum am. 6

FIG. 3|

MODULAR STRUCTURE FOR USE IN MERCHANDISING OPERATIONS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a modular structure, and more particularly to such a structure for use in operations which require frequent internal reconfiguration and rearrangement such as merchandising operations.

Store planners are continually pressed to make the most efficient use of store floor space area, while presenting merchandise in the most attractive and convenient manner for buyers, and while operating within a continually shrinking budget while required to frequently rearrange and modify floor space layouts for presentation of continuously changing stock and styles. The greater cost pressures have led many merchandisers to turn to modular building techniques. This provides plug in store elements, such as office and back room areas, which may have standardized partitions, the components for which may be manufactured off site and quickly assembled on site. Moreover sales areas open to the buyers must also be continually rearranged to present the latest stock acquisitions in the most favorable light to the buyers. Expansion and retraction of the sales areas and office and back room areas to meet the immediate current needs for any point in time must be undertaken at minimum costs to preserve narrowing profit margins. Attractiveness and efficiency at low cost in sales area structures have been difficult to achieve in the past due to the complexity of available temporary construction elements and the semi-permanent nature of the installations requiring destructive disassembly and consequent loss of the structural elements for new store floor space layouts required by changing stock inventories due to merchandising cycles.

There is a need therefore for a modular structure having simple parts manufactured off side for easy on site construction in a wide variety of configurations. There is also a need for a modular structure which may be disassembled nondestructively, the parts of which may be used many times in modified structural arrange ments.

SUMMARY AND OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION In general a modular structure is disclosed for use in merchandising operations which utilize a basic extruded elongate member having longitudinal grooves on the sides of the member, for use in combination with a number of other general purpose components which attach to the extruded elongate member. Self tapping screws which enter the longitudinalgrooves in the extruded member are used to join the basic framework parts thereto to form desired structures for merchandising display or for personnel or stock enclosures. Various joint members are provided for attaching elongate members together and various brackets are provided for constructing shelves, hangers, sliding doors, and structural and decorative panels.

In general it is an object of the present invention to provide a modular structure having innerconnected framework parts and providing an unlimited number of configurations to meet every floor planning requirement.

Another object of the invention is to provide a modular structure to provide a wide range of styled wall panelling to provide function, color, and pattern.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a modular structure which is self supporting.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a modular structure which is quickly assembled and quickly and nondestructively disassembled.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a modular structure which reduces construction weight and integrates office space, changing booths, and sales. service, display and storage areas.

Additional objects and features of the invention will appear from the following description in which the preferred embodiments are set forth in detail in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an isometric view of one form of the extruded elongate member.

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of the panelling in relation to the elongate member.

FIG. 3 is an isometric view ofthe extrusion insertions relative to the elongate member.

FIG. 4 is a plan view of the lap joint connecting a pair of elongate members.

FIG. 5 is a plan view of the tube joint.

FIG. 6 is an isometric view of the tube joint mounting square tubing.

FIG. 7 is an isometric view of the tube joint mounting round tubing.

FIG. 8 is an isometric view of a extrusion joint.

FIG. 9 is an isometric view of a 180 extrusion joint.

FIG. 10 is an isometric view ofa 108 extrusion joint.

FIG. 11 is an isometric view ofa extrusion joint.

FIG. 12 is an isometric view of a l35 extrusion joint.

FIG. 13 is an isometric view of a spring clip over for an extrusion joint.

FIG. 14 is an isometric view of an extrusion joint mounting a tube joint.

FIG. I5 is an isometric view ofa corner joint creating a butt joint assembly.

FIG. 16 is an isometric view ofa corner joint creating a miter joint assembly.

FIG. 17 is an isometric view of a hinge joint.

FIG. 18 is an isometric view of a hinge joint installation.

FIG. 19 is an isometric view ofa mounting foot installation.

FIG. 20 is a plan view-of a cross support bracket.

FIG. 21 is a plan view of a shelf bracket.

FIG. 22 is an isometric view of a shelf bracket tab.

FIG. 23 is an isometric view of a shelf installation.

FIG. 24 is an isometric view ofa hook plate assembly.

FIG. 25 is an isometric view ofa tension support wire installation.

FIG. 26 is a sectional view of a self tapping screw installed in a longitudinal elongate member groove.

FIG. 27 is an isometric view of a modular structure light well assembly.

FIG. 28 is an isometric view of a modular structure gondola assembly.

FIG. 29 is an isometric view of a rectangular changing booth.

FIG. 30 is an isometric view of a hexagonal changing booth.

FIG. 31 is an isometric view of a single panel assembly.

FIG. 32 is an isometric view of a double panel assembly.

FIG. 33 is an isometric view of a double panel assembly with mounting extensions.

FIG. 34 is a sectional view of a separate embodiment of the extruded elongate member.

FIG. 35 is an isometric view of assembled extrusion members and extrusion joints.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS I The modular structure for use in merchandising operation has a basic element in the form of an elongate member which may be formed from some readily extruded material such as aluminum or a relatively rigid plastic, or may be cast from some material lending itself to that process of formation, such as a number'of well known plastics. Referring to FIG. 1 an elongate member 11 is shown which may be formed as an aluminum extrusion. Extrusion 11 has longitudinal grooves 12, l3, l4 and 16. Longitudinal groove 14 may be seen to extend to the center line of the extrusion 11 having a circular cross section 17 in that portion of the groove 14. Self tapping or thread forming screws 18 in this embodiment are shown poised to enter grooves 12, 13, 14 and 16 from side directions at 90 intervals about the periphery of extrusion 11. Self tapping screw 18a is seen poised to enter the circular cross section portion 17 at the bottom of groove 14.

In FIG. 2 a longitudinal groove 19 is shown displaced to the left of longitudinal groove 12. A longitudinal groove 21 is disposed below groove 19 having the same width as groove 19 which is wider than the width of grooves for receiving self tapping screws 18 in FIG. 1. Longitudinal groove 22 is displaced to the right of Iongitudinal groove 12 having longitudinal groove 23 disposed immediately below. The width of grooves 19, 21,

22 and 23 is greater than the width of the grooves for receiving selftapping screws 18 in FIG. 1. Panelling 24 having a narrowest width is show in position to be inserted in grooves 12. 13, 14 and 16. Panelling 26 having a greater thickness is shown in position for entering grooves 19, 21, 22, and 23.

FIG. 3 shows various configurations of extrusion inserts. Insert 28 is designed to surround groove 12 and has depending edges 29 which fit inside flanges 31 on the sides of extrusion 11. Insert 28 presents an external surface flush with the tops of flanges 31. Insert 32 having a convex external surface 33 is formed with a single inwardly extending member 34 for insertion in longitudinal groove 16. Insert 36 has a central portion 37 for entering longitudinal groove 14 and upward extending edges 38 passing inside of depending flanges 39 on extrusion 11. Insert 41 has an inwardly extending portion 42 for entering longitudinal groove 13 in extrusion 11 and has an external T slot 43 for receiving decorative strip (not shown) or strip carrying written information.

Any combination of panelling and inserts as shown in FIG. 5 shows a tube joint 48 having a square flange 49 upon which is mounted means 51 for engaging the inside dimensions of a section of tubing. Means 51 takes the form of a boss extending from flange 49 and having a groove 52 therethrough with a bevelled side 53. A locating tab 54 is formed adjacent the bevelled side 53. A series of four small bosses 56 are formed at the corners of flange 49. A pair of through holes 57 having a hexagonal counterbore 60 extending through the boss forming means 51, and an additional hole 58 extends through flange 49.

Referring to FIG. 6 a section of square tubing 59 is shown in position to mount on tube joint 48. Tube joint 48 is mounted on extrusion 11 by inserting a pair of self tapping screws 18 through holes 57 for entry into longitudinal groove 13 in extrusion 11. A hole 61 in square tubing 59 is formed to allow clearance for self tapping screw 18. The four small bosses 56 contact the inside of the wall of square tubing 59 when placed adjacent tube joint 48. Hole 61 overlies groove 52 and locating tab 54 indicates that hole 61 overlies the bevelled side of groove 52. A self tapping screw 18 is passed through hole 61 and is started into groove 52 by the bevelled side 53 of groove 52 thus securing square tube section 59 to extrusion 11.

FIG. 7 shows tube joint mounted on extrusion 11 as described in FIG. 6. A round tubing section 62 having a hole 63 through the tubing wall is shown in a position to be mounted on tube joint 48. The outer periphery of the boss forming means 51 engages the inside of the wall of round tubing section 62 and the four small bosses 56 are positioned adjacent the external surface of the wall of round tubing section 62. As in FIG. 6 above a self tapping screw 18 is inserted through hole 63 when round tubing section 62 is placed adjacent to the flange 49 of tube joint 48 for securing tubing section 62 to extrusion 11.

Turning now to FIG. 8 a extrusion joint 64 is shown. A pair of surfaces 66 and 67 are formed on the back sides of extrusion joint 64 and the angle identifying the type of extrusion joint, in this instance 90, is taken between the posterior surfaces, in this case 66 and 67, through the body of the extrusion joint. A round hole 68 extends through each of the sides forming surfaces 66 and 67, and an elongate hole 69 also extends therethrough. An upper flange 71 and a lower flange 72 extend between the sides forming surfaces 66 and 67 having aligned holes 73 formed therethrough. A flat surface 74 is formed at the internal junction of the sides forming surfaces 66 and 67.

The extrusion joints shown in FIGS. 9 through 12 provide a joint 76 having a joint angle of l80, a joint 77 having ajoint angle of I08", ajoint 78 having ajoint angle of and a joint 79 having a joint angle of The posterior surfaces formed by the sides, holes therethrough, upper and lower flanges, aligned holes, and internal flat surfaces are all common to each extrusion joint in FIGS. 8 through 12, and are therefore assigned common item numbers. FIG. 13 shows a spring clip cover for installation over the open side of the extrusion joints after assembly to shield the interior of the joints from view. Spring clip cover 81 in FIG. 13 is formed to fit extrusion joint 76 and similar covers for the remaining illustrated extrusion joints differ only in length as the edge lengths of upper and lower flanges 71 and 72 vary with the extrusion joint angle.

FIG. 14 shows an extrusion joint, in this case joint 64, mounted by two self tapping screws 18 (not shown) which passes through one of the elongated holes 69 to enter slot 13 in extrusion 11. A pair of screws 82 are passed through the remaining elongated hole 69 and through holes 57 in tube joint 48 emerging within the hexagonal counterbores 60 surrounding holes 57. A pair of hex nuts 83 are placed within the hexagonal counterbores and screws 82 are turned to draw tube joint 48 tight against surface 66 of extrusion joint 64. In this fashion a square or round tubing section 59 or 62, may be mounted extending at various angles to the surface of extrusion 11 containing elongated groove 13.

Turning to FIG. a corner joint 84 is shown having a flat surface 86 and a hole 87 extending therethrough. A pair of arms 88 extend at 90 to flat surface 86 for entering longitudinal grooves 21 and 23 in extrusion 11. A second section of extrusion 11 has a hole 89 drilled through groove 14 into groove 12 for passing a small headed torque screw 91. Torque screw 91 passes through hole 87 in corner joint 84 entering the portion 17 in the bottom of longitudinal groove 14 for fastening the two sections of extrusion 11 together in a 90 butt joint.

FIG. 16 shows corner joint 84 used to secure a miter joint between two separate sections of extrusion 11. A section of extrusion 11 between grooves 21 and 23 is spot faced at 92 for receiving the flat surface 86 of corner joint 84. A hole 93 is drilled through the spot faced area 92 in line with hole 87 in corner joint 84. A self tapping screw 18 is passed through hole 87, hole 93, and entered into the portion 17 at the bottom of elongated groove 14 in the adjacent section of extrusion 11. Arms 88 on corner joint 84 enter longitudinal grooves 21 and 23 resting on the bottom thereof as in FIG. 15 securing the miter joint and preventing any slipping or twisting at the contacting surfaces in the joint.

FIG. 17 shows a hinge joint 94 having a pair of through holes 96 formed therein. Referring to FIG. 18 a bracket having the configuration of extrusion joint 76 in FIG. 9 is shown mounted to a section of extrusion 11 at the position of a butt joint between several sections of extrusion 11. A pin in the form of a screw 97 is shown passing through aligned holes 73 in upper and lower flanges 71 and 72. Screw 97 also passes through one hole 96 in hinge joint 94, and through a threaded spacer 88 which acts as a means for retaining screw 97. When a second bracket in the form of extrusion joint 76 is assembled in like manner having a pin in the form of screw 57 passing through the remaining hole 96 in hinge joint 94 it may be seen that the assembly attached to the second extrusion 11 may move in hinged relation to the assembly attached to the initial extrusion joint 76. It may also be seen that the flat surface 74 on bracket 76 prevents threaded spacer 98 from rotating.

Referring now to FIG. 19 a bracket similar to extrusion joint 76 is again shown mounted to a section of extrusion 11 in the same fashion as that shown in FIG. 18. A mounting foot 99 having a threaded extension 101 passes through aligned holes 73 and through an internally threaded spacer 102 for retaining mounting foot 99 at a previously adjusted height.

FIG. shows a cross support bracket 103 for extending between sections of extrusion 11. Cross support bracket 103 has a pair of centrally located holes 104 and a reinforcing flange 106 extending at right angles to the main body of the bracket. Cutout areas 107 are formed in either end of bracket 103 having narrow portions 108 breaking through the ends thereof.

FIG. 21 shows a shelf bracket 109 having one edge 111 extending at right angles from the ends, and having the opposite edge diverging from edge 11] at an angle of approximately 15. One end of shelf bracket 109 contains a pair of cutouts substantially identical to cutouts 107 in cross support bracket 103 and having narrow portions 108 breaking through the edge thereof. A pair of rectangular notches 113 are formed in edges 111 and 112 at a distance from the end of bracket 109 containing cutouts 107. Three holes 114 are formed near the outer end of bracket 109 beyond the distance defined by rectangular notches 113. A lip 116 is formed at the outer end of edges 111 and 112. A tab 117 as shown in FIG. 22 is formed having a notch 118 matching rectangular notches 113 in FIG. 21.

Referring to FIG. 23 a length of extrusion 11 is shown having a shelf bracket 109 mounted in longitudinal groove 13 by means of self tapping screws 18 having their heads positioned in cutouts 107 and their shanks passing through the narrow portions 108 into groove 13. Edge 111 is shown uppermost in this installation supporting a shelf member 119. Shelf member 119 has a width less than the distance to the rectangular notch 113. The tab 117 is inserted in notch 113 which engages notch 118 in tab 117. Tab 117 restricts movement of shelf 119 toward the outer end of shelf bracket 109. A tube joint 48 (not shown) is mounted to the end of shelf bracket 109 by means of screws (not shown) passing through holes 114 shown in FIG. 21. In the configuration shown in FIG. 23 a section of square tubing 59 is shown attached to the end of shelf bracket 109 by means of tube joint 48.

Referring to FIG. 24 a hook plate 121 is shown having a pair of through holes 122 and a centrally located threaded hole 123. A hook 124, of any desired configuration, has a threaded end 126 for mating with the threads in hole 123. Nut 127, also having threads mating with those on the threaded end 126 of hook 124, is turned onto hook 124 prior to inserting the threaded end 126 into threaded hole 123. Hook 124 is positioned as desired and nut 127 is drawn tight against the boss surrounding threaded hole 123 for locking hook 124 in place. Hook plate 121 is fastened to a section of extrusion 11 by passing self tapping screws 18 through holes 122 into one of the longitudinal grooves 12, 13, 14 or 16 shown in FIG. 1.

Turning now to FIG. 25 a bracket having the same configuration as extrusion joint 76 is shown mounted to a section of extrusion 11 in the same fashion as shown in FIG. 18. A pin taking the form of screw 97 passes through aligned hole 73 (not shown) through an eye bolt 128, and through an internally threaded spacer 129 which acts as a retaining means for screw 97. A single threaded turnbuckle 131 is threaded onto the shank of eye bolt 128. A wire 132 extends from the opposite end of single threaded turnbuckle 131. The assembly shown in FIG. 25 may be used for internal support in a modular structure by extending wire 132 between two points in the structure and drawing the wire 132 taut by turning turnbuckles 131. Wire 132 may be directed to extend to support points external of the modular structure for supporting the structure as in a hanging configuration.

Turning to FIG. 26 a functional explanation of the relationship between the self tapping screw 18 and the longitudinal grooves 12, 13, 14, and 16 will now be undertaken. By way of example one size of self tapping screw 18 has a 0.130 inch thread root diameter. The normal diameter for a hole in a die casting to accommodate such a screw is 0.154 inches. Extrusion 11 has a 0.125 inch wide groove at 12, 13, 14 and 16.. For this width an extrusion groove depth of %th inch is attainable. As seen in FIG. 26 when a self tapping screw 18 is threaded into the 0.125 inch wide groove a buildup 133 occurs around the periphery of the screw threads. Due to the movement of material as seen by the buildup 133 a resulting 62 per cent peripheral thread engagement occurs. To obtain 60 percent thread engagement a die casting hole must have a 0.151 inch diameter. The normal 0.154 inch diameter die casting hole mentioned above provides only 45 per cent thread engagement. The 62 per cent thread engagement in the grooves 12, 13, 14 and 16 in extrusion 11 is due both to the buildup 133 and to complete engagement of the threads from the major diameter to the 'root diameter. Thus it is seen that no side motion of the self tapping screw 18 is probable longitudinally along grooves.

A 45 lead in bevel is placed at the open end of all four grooves 12, 13, 14, and 16. This reduces surface marring at the top surfaces adjacent to the slots and reduces externally accessible burrs resulting from the entry of the self tapping screws 18. Self tapping screws of the above size have been tested to require from 12 to inch pounds of insertion torque, and to withstand 45 inch pounds of tightening torque. The self tapping screws 18 in use in the present embodiment have a theoretical 60 inch pound torque capability before thread pullout. The screw head will torque off of the screw shank at a torque level below theoretical thread pullout torque; approximately 52 inch pounds. The size of the extrusion 11 may be scaled up or down, but the size as typified by the 0.125 inch wide grooves 12, 13, 14 and 16 is optimum for most applications, and also for extrusion tooling and product costs.

Referring to FIG. 27 a light wall is represented utilizing the framework parts described herein and including panel sections 134 of a translucent material. Edge panel sections 136 in this embodiment are opaque.

In FIG. 28 a gondola is shown using the framework parts described above and including shelf brackets 109 and sliding doors 137 contained in the gondola base. The gondola of FIG. 28 may be used to store and display goods for merchandising and may contain a hanger bar 138 of tubing section 59 or 62 adjacent to shelf 119. FIG. 29 shows a different configuration including shelf brackets 109 assembled externally of a changing booth, shown generally at 139, and supporting a hanger bar 138 therebetween. Changing booth 139 has a rectangular floor plan and utilizes many of the framework components described herein, including the hinge joint 94 for supporting the swinging door 141. Conventional hinge joints may be used in place of hinge joint 94. FIG. 30 shows a booth 142 also having a swinging door 141 and displaying a hexagonal floor plan. Booth 142 has upper transparent panels 143 extending between sections of extrusion 11 which are joined at the corners of the hexagon by extrusion joint 78 shown in FIG. 11.

FIGS. 31, 32 and 33 are examples of panel combinations which may be used singly or in a multitude of combinations. Panel assemblies may have one type of panel 26 on one side and a different type of panel 26 on the other side to maintain a given decor on each side. Panels 26 may be, wood, metal, glass, or any of the fiberboards or plastics. They may be opaque, translucent or transparent. They may be fabric or carpet materials, and may be textured and colored in any fashion.

A typical assembly sequence could take the following form. The extruded member 11 is cut to desired lengths. Panels 26 are cut to size.- Panels 26 are inserted in the grooves 19, 21, 22 and 23 are desired. Corner joints 84 are used to form miter joints and butt joints as described above and in FIGS. 15 and 16. Extrusion joints as in FIGS. 8 through 12 are used to joint the panel assemblies, as seen in FIG. 35. Tubing members as in FIGS. 6 and 7 may be used to form integral parts of the structure having open areas. Extrusion members may be dressed with trim members 28, 32, 36 and 41 as seen in FIG. 3. Hooks as seen in FIG. 24 may be installed as desired. Structures having triangular, rectangular, pentagonal, hexagonal, or octagonal plan configurations may be built. Any combinations of the above plan configurations may be combined by using the extrusion joints of FIGS. 8 through 12 as desired. Common walls may be used between the structures and new structures may be added without disassembling those standing. The grooves 19, 21, 22, and 23 which are unoccupied may also be used to route electrical wiring.

A second embodiment of the elongate member is shown as extrusion 144 in FIG. 34. Extrusion 144 is used in applications requiring a narrower extrusion in one dimension than afforded by extrusion 11. Single longitudinal grooves 146, 147, and 148 are disposed on three of the four sides of extrusion 144. The fourth side of extrusion 144 has formed therein a pair of grooves 149. All five longitudinal grooves in extrusion 144 are formed to accept the threads on self tapping screw 18. Only panelling 24 as seen in FIG. 2 may be used with the extrusion 144 in any of the five grooves unoccupied by screws 18. Apart from that the use of extrusion 144 is similar to that of extrusion 11.

From the various construction features hereinbefore described it can be seen how the various framework components utilized in the typical arrangement shown in the Figures can be readily formed into the examples of FIGS. 27, 28, 29, and 30. From examining the fea tures pointed out above and the representative configurations shown in the last named figures, it can also be seen that many other types of arrangements may be readily formed merely by the use of additional framework components or by rearrangement of the components. Thus it can be seen that a merchandiser may readily fabricate on site different types of displays and enclosures with very little difficulty. When not in use, the modular structures may be disassembled and stored in compact form until required for the next modular structure configuration. It is also apparent from viewing the embodiments shown in the Figures that every effort has been made to make the modular construction as attractive as possible. There are no external connections having internal fasteners which are visible to the l. in a modular structure a plurality ofelongate members of constant cross section configuration having a plurality of longitudinal grooves on the sides thereof, said longitudinal grooves having smooth opposing side walls, joint means for interconnecting said elongate members, screws for forming threads on said smooth opposing side walls in predetermined ones of said grooves and for engaging and attaching said joint means to said elongate members, said screws extending into said predetermined ones of said longitudinal grooves and serving to prevent longitudinal movement of said joint means with respect to the elongate members, and panel means mounted in said longitudinal grooves forming a self supporting unitary upright structure.

2. A modular structure as in claim 1 wherein said sides of said grooves have a lead in bevel at the open ends thereof to reduce burrs and surface marring at the open ends.

3. A modular structure as in claim 1, wherein said screws have a thread root diameter greater than the width of said longitudinal grooves whereby the material at the sides of said longitudinal grooves is moved to provide approximately 62 percent thread engagement.

4. A modular structure as in claim 1 wherein said plurality of elongate members comprises an extrusion, and wherein said predetermined ones of said longitudinal grooves comprises a first configuration of said longitudinal grooves for receiving said screws, together with a second configuration of said longitudinal grooves for receiving said panel means.

5. A modular structure as in claim 4 wherein said joint means comprises a corner joint, a flat surface on said corner joint having a hole therethrough, means extending 90 to said flat surface for engaging said longitudinal grooves in a longitudinal direction, wherein one of said elongate members has a hole therethrough aligned with said hole in said flat surface, and a surface formed to lie against said flat surface on said corner joint, wherein said screws passes through said holes in said corner joint and said one elongate member to enter an adjacent elongate member in a longitudinal direction, and wherein the ends of said one and adjacent elongate members to be interconnected are cut at complimentary angles, whereby said elongate members are connected in a miter joint.

6. A modular structure as in claim 4 wherein one of said first configuration of grooves is formed to receive said screws in a longitudinal direction at the ends of said elongate member.

7. A modular structure as in claim 6 wherein said joint means comprises a corner joint, a flat surface on said corner joint having a hole therethrough, means ex tending 90 to said flat surface for engaging said longitudinal grooves in a longitudinal direction, wherein one of said elongate members has a hole therethrough aligned with said hole in said flat surface, and wherein said screw passes through said holes in said corner joint and said one elongate member to enter said one groove in an adjacent elongate member in a longitudinal direction, whereby said elongate members are connected in a butt joint.

8. A modular structure as in claim 1 together with extrusion inserts for retention in said plurality of longitudinal grooves whereby said screws are covered from view.

9. A modular structure as in claim 8 together with a plurality of elongate strips, and wherein said extrusion inserts have external T slots formed to receive and retain said plurality of elongate strips, whereby said elongate members are decorated and caused to display written information.

10. A modular structure as in claim 1 wherein said joint means comprises a lap joint having a plurality of through holes, said lap joint formed to overlap said elongate members to be connected, and said holes formed to pass said screws.

11. A modular structure as in claim 1 together with a tubing section having fastener holes through the tube wall near the ends of said tubing section, and wherein said joint means comprises a tube joint having a plurality of holes therethrough for passing said screws, means for engaging said tubing formed on said tube joint, and a plurality of additional screws, said means for engaging having a groove therethrough for receiving said additional screws through said fastener holes thereby expanding said means for engaging whereby said tubing section is secured to said tube joint extending laterally from said elongate members.

12. A modular structure as in claim 11 wherein said tubing section is a circular cylinder and wherein said means for engaging said tubing comprises a central boss formed to fit the inside diameter of said tubing section.

13. A modular structure as in claim 11 wherein said tubing section is rectangular in cross section and wherein said means for engaging includes a plurality of raised areas spaced to contact the inside of the corners of said tubing section.

14. A modular structure as in claim 1 wherein said joint means comprises an extrusion joint having a plu rality of holes therethrough, a pair of surfaces on said extrusion joint intersecting at an angle in the range of to l80, and side flanges extending between said pair of surfaces for structural support, whereby a pair of said elongate members are oriented relatively at said angle when said pair of surfaces overlie a side on each of said elongate members.

15. A modular structure as in claim 14 together with a spring clip cover for covering said extrusion joints after assembly.

16. A modular structure as in claim 14 together with an additional extrusion joint, having an additional pair of surfaces, wherein one of said pair of surfaces is fastened overlying one of said additional pair of surfaces for providing an angle of intersection at said remaining surface and additional surface exceeding 17. A modular structure as in claim 1 wherein said joint means comprises first and second extrusion joints having a plurality of holes therethrough for attachment to adjacent elongate members, a hinge joint having a pair of spaced holes therethrough, upper and lower flanges on said first and second extrusion joints having aligned through holes, first and second pins for passing through said aligned through holes and one each of said spaced holes, and means for retaining said first and second pins in said aligned holes whereby said adjacent elongate members are hinged together.

18. A modular structure as in claim 1 for resting on a floor surface together with a bracket having a plurality of holes therethrough, a plurality of additional screws for engaging and attaching said bracket to said elongate members and passing through said holes,

upper and lower flanges on said bracket having aligned through holes, a foot member extending through said aligned holes, and means for retaining said foot member in said aligned holes, whereby said modular structure is held above the floor surface when said foot member is in contact with the floor.

19. A modular structure as in claim 1 together with a tubing section having fastener holes through the wall near the ends of said section, a cross support bracket for extending between a pair of said elongate members, means for insertion into one of said plurality of grooves formed at the ends of said cross support bracket, a tube joint for engagement with said cross support bracket, means having a groove therethrough formed on said tube joint for engaging said tubing, and a plurality of additional screws for engaging said means for insertion for attaching said cross support bracket to said elongate members at each end and for passing through said fastener holes into said tube joint groove for expanding said means for engaging said tubing and securing said tubing section to said tube joint.

20. A modular structure as in claim 1 together with a shelf bracket for extending laterally from said elongate members, means for insertion in one of said plurality of grooves formed at one end of said shelf bracket,

a plurality of additional screws for engaging said means for insertion for attaching said shelf bracket to said elongate member, a shelf member supported by said shelf bracket, said shelf bracket having a notch formed in the top edge a distance from said means for insertion and wherein said shelf bracket extends beyond said distance, said shelf member having a width lying within said distance, a tab formed to fit in said notch for retaining said shelf within said distance, a tube joint, means for mounting said tube joint on the end of said shelf bracket extending beyond said distance, a tubing section having fastener holes through the tubing wall near the ends of said section, and means formed on said tube joint having a groove formed therethrough for engaging said tubing, and wherein one of said additional screws passes through said fastener holes into said tube joint groove thereby expanding said means for engaging said tubing and securing said tubing section to said tube joint.

21. A modular structure as in claim 1 together with a hook plate having a threaded hole and a plurality of holes therethrough, a plurality of additional screws for engaging and attaching said hook plate to said elongate member by passing through said holes and entering said longitudinal grooves, a hook having a threaded end for mounting in said hook plate, and a lock nut for engaging said threaded end whereby said lock nut locks said hook in place when said hook is mounted in said hook plate.

22. A modular structure as in claim 1 together with a bracket having a plurality of additional holes therethrough, a plurality of screws for engaging and attaching said bracket to said elongate members, upper and lower flanges on said bracket having aligned through holes, an eyebolt, a pin extending through said aligned holes and said eyebolt, means for retaining said pin in said aligned holes, a turnbuckle for engaging said eyebolt and a wire attached to said turnbuckle, said wire providing support for said structure when placed in tension.

23. A modular structure as in claim I wherein said panel means are translucent.

24. An elongate member for receiving selt tapping screws for attachment of a plurality of frame parts and panels in erecting a modular structure for merchandising operations, comprising an extrusion having a plurality of sides with at least one groove having smooth opposing side walls only formed in each side, said one groove on one of said plurality of sides having walls forming an enlarged circular opening extending along the groove length at the bottom thereof, said one groove in each of said other sides having a single width throughout, whereby the side walls of said one groove and the walls of said enlarged circular opening may receive the self tapping screws for holding therein.

25. An elongate member as in claim 24 wherein said plurality of grooves includes a plurality of additional groove configurations for receiving the panels.

26. An elongate member having four sides and two ends comprising a first side having a first longitudinal groove formed therein, a second side adjacent to said first side having depending edges, a first pair of longitudinal flanges depending from said second side forming a second longitudinal groove therebetween whereby first and second longitudinal panel grooves lie between each of said depending edges and one of said depending flanges, a third side adjacent to said second side having a third longitudinal groove formed therein, a fourth side adjacent to said third and first sides having depending edges, a second pair of longitudinal flanges depending from said fourth side forming a fourth longitudinal groove therebetween whereby third and fourth longitudinal panel grooves lie between each of said depending edges and one of said depending flanges, said fourth groove having an enlarged portion at the bottom, said first, second, third, and fourth longitudinal grooves having smooth parallel side walls and bevelled interior edges on said first and second pairs of depending flanges whereby framework parts may be attached to the elongate members with self tapping screws inserted into said longitudinal grooves substantially perpendicular to the sides and into the enlarged portion in said fourth groove in a longitudinal direction at the ends and whereby panel sections may be retained in said longitudinal panel grooves.

=l l l= =l

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Classifications
U.S. Classification52/36.5, 403/295, 52/126.4, 52/282.4
International ClassificationE06B3/96, F16B12/02, A47B96/00, A47B96/14, F16B12/00
Cooperative ClassificationF16B12/02, A47B96/1466, E06B3/9636
European ClassificationA47B96/14M, E06B3/96K, F16B12/02