|Publication number||US3866380 A|
|Publication date||Feb 18, 1975|
|Filing date||Apr 2, 1974|
|Priority date||Apr 2, 1974|
|Also published as||CA1053080A, CA1053080A1|
|Publication number||US 3866380 A, US 3866380A, US-A-3866380, US3866380 A, US3866380A|
|Original Assignee||Warren Ind|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (13), Referenced by (58), Classifications (11), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent 1 Benson [451 Feb. 18, 1975 1 1 CONNECTOR FOR WINDOW SPACER ASSEMBLY  Inventor: Henry Benson, Hialeah, Fla.
 Assignee: Warren Industries, Hialeah, Fla.
[221 Filed: Apr. 2, 1974 21 Appl. No; 457,314
 US. Cl 52/656, 52/616, 52/656,
52/758 H, 403/401  Int. Cl. E04c 2/54, F16b 7/00  Field of Search 52/308, 398, 399, 616, 52/656, 758 H; 46/26, 29; 403/401, 402, 403, 231
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,989,788 6/1961 Kessler 403/401 X 3,105,274 10/1963 Armstrong 52/616 X 3,307,316 3/1967 Gray 52/507 3,356,403 12/1967 Sak et a1. 52/758 H 3,368,836 2/1968 Storlie... 52/758 H 3,435,511 4/1969 Cooper et a1 52/758 H 3,485,519 12/1969 Chiu 403/402 X 3,546,842 12/1970 Blum 52/475 3,553,913 1/1971 Eisenberg 52/616 X 3,606,419 9/1971 Virkler 52/656 X 3,627,359 12/1971 Paul 52/656 X 3,643,989 2/1972 Sattler 52/656 X 3,782,054 l/1974 Goss 52/656 Primary Examiner-Alfred C. Perham Attorney, Agent, or FirmCaesar. Rivise. Bernstein &
Cohen [571 ABSTRACT A connector for use in a window spacer assembly for spacing a pair of panes of glass to form an insulated glass panel. The assembly includes at least two clongated tubular spacers, each having a predetermined internal cross-sectional area and arranged to be secured together by the connector for disposition between the panes. The connector serves to connect the spacers together at a predetermined angle, while enabling them to deviate readily from that angle without loosening the connection between the spacers to thereby facilitate the construction of the panel. The connector comprises a pair of legs connected at a junction at the predetermined angle and each ot the legs includes a resilient finger projecting therefrom to effect the frictional engagement with the interior of the spacer by the leg, irrespective of manufacturing tolerances in the cross-sectional area of the interior of the spacer. The cross-sectional area of the junction is substantially smaller than the crosssectional area of the interior of the spacer to enable the legs to flex from the predetermined angular orientation.
6 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures 1 CONNECTOR FOR WINDOW SPACER ASSEMBLY This invention relates generally to connectors and more particularly to connectors for use in the construction of insulated glass panels.
As is known, insulated glass panels include a pair of panes of glass slightly spaced from each other to create an insulating air space therebetweeen. It is a common practice in the production of such panels to utilize a spacer assembly disposed between the panels and within the panel-holding frame to maintain the panes at the proper spacing from each other. Such assemblies are composed of plural elongated spacers, which in the interest of weight reduction are hollow tubular members, and are held together by connectors in the overall shape of the periphery of the glass panel. To that end, the spacer connectors of the prior art commonly include a pair of perpendicularly oreiented legs, each leg being arranged to fit within the hollow interior of a respective spacer to effect the connection of the spacers at right angles to each other.
I-Ieretofore,' spacer connectors have been constructed of a rigid and generally inflexible material, such as die-cast metal. Such prior art spacers have several drawbacks which relate directly to the assembly of the panel. For example, due to the rigidity of prior art spacer connections, such connectors may not fit snuggly enough within the associated hollow interior of the spacer to hold the spacer in place as the assembly is assembled. The loose fit of the connectors is commonly the result of manufacturing tolerances in the cross-sectional area of the interior of the spacer. In addition, the inflexibility of the connectors may result in their slipping out of an associated spacer of the assembly should the normal angular orientation of the spacers with respect to each other be momentarily disturbed or otherwise varied as by being bumped or impacted as the glass panel is assembled.
Accordingly, it is a general object of this invention to provide a connector for use in insulated glass panel spacer assemblies which overcome the disadvantages of the prior art.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a connector for securely connecting a pair of hollow spacers to each other. irrespective of the manufacturing tolerancesin the cross-sectional area ofthe interior of the spacers.
It is still a further object of this invention to provide a connector for securly connecting a pair of spacers together at a predetermined angle, yet enabling the space ers to deviate therefrom without loosening the connection therebetween.
These and other objects of this invention are achieved by providing a connector for use with a pair of spacers to form a spacer assembly for an insulated glass panel. Each of the spacers is an elongated tubular member having a predetermined internal crosssectional area. The connector is adapted for connecting the space rs together at a predetermined angle while enabling them to deviate from the angle without loosening the connection between them. The connector comprises a pair of legs connected at its junction at said predetermined angle. Each of the legs includes a resilient finger projecting therefrom to effect the frictional engagement of the interior of the spacer by the leg, irrespective of manufacturing tolerances in the crosssectional area of the interior of the spacer. The crosssectional area of the junction is substantially smaller FIG. 2 is an enlarged sectional view taken along line I 2-2 of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view showing the connector in accordance with this invention for connecting a pair of spacers to each other.
Referring now to the various figures of the drawings wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts, there is shown in FIG. 1 an improved connector 20. Connector 20 is arranged to connect a pair of spacers 22 to each other to form the spacer assembly 24. The assembly 24 is arranged for disposition between a pair of planar panes of glass 26 to separate said panes and hold them in a spaced orientation with respect to each other and thereby form an insulating glass panel.
Each of the spacers 22 is an elongated tubular member having a'wide, inside wall 28, a narrow, outside wall 30 and a pair of side walls 32. The side walls 32 extend between the inside and outside walls and include a major portion 34 contiguous with the wide inside wall and a ledge portion 36 contiguous with the narrow outside wall. The interior distance between the ledge por tions of the opposed side walls is less than the distance between the major portions of the opposed side walls. The portion of the cross-sectional area of the interior of each spacer lying between the major portions of the side walls is hereinafter referred to as the major inter nal area 38. The portion of the cross-sectional area of the interior of the spacer lying between the ledge portions of its side walls is smaller than the major area and is called the minor internal area 40.
As will be described later, different portions of connector 20 are adapted for disposition within the major and minor areas in the interior of the spacer to effect the securement of the connector thereto and the concomitant securement of the spacers to each other via the connector.
The major portions of each side wall serves as a stop against which an associated pane of glass is held to effect the proper spacing of the glass. A conventional frame (not shown) serves to hold the glass panes and the interposed spacers in place.
The spacer 22 is formed from a flat metal strip, such as anodized aluminum, which is bent into tubular shape and includes a longitudinal seam 42 running down the center of the inside wall 28. The seam is preferably ser rated so that the spacer is enabled to breath to maintain a dry, even air balance within the insulated panel.
The details of the connector 20 of this invention are best seen in the perspective view of FIG. 3. As can be seen therein, connector 20 basically comprises a pair of legs 44 projecting at right angles to one another from a central portion or junction 46. Each leg terminates at a rounded free end 48 having a resilient finger 50 projecting upwardly therefrom and curving backwards towards the junction.
In accordance with the preferred embodiemnt of the invention, the junction, the legs projecting therefrom, and the fingers projecting from the legs, are all formed as an integral unit from a rugged, yet relatively flexible material, such as Nylon.
As can be seen in FIG. 2, each leg 44 of the connector is adapted for disposition within the interior of the spacer 20, withthe leg of the connector disposed within the major portion 38 and the finger 50 disposed within the minor portion 40.
In accordance with the preferred embodiment of this invention, the distance between the top edge 52 of the spacer 20 and the bottom edge 54 of the leg to which it is connected is slightly greater than the maximum internal distance between the walls 28 and 30 taking into account the variations in manufacturing tolerances, such that when leg 22 is inserted within spacer 20, the finger 50 is flexed slightly towards the leg to securely abut the inside surface of wall 30 while at the same time the edge 54 of the leg securely abuts the inside surface of the wall 28. Accordingly, the connector 20 can be firmly secured to a spacer 22 irrespective of variances in the dimensions of the interior spacer due to manufacturing tolerances. This feature enables. the facile assembly of the spacer to one another since it eliminates the delay caused by connectors falling out of the spacers or otherwise disabling the spacers to separate from one another.
In accordance with another aspect of this invention the cross-sectional area of the junction 46 of the connector 20 is approximately the same as the crosssectional area of each leg 44 and each is substantially smaller than the entire cross-sectional area of the interior of the spacers. This feature enables the legs to be flexed relative to one another so as to deviate from their normal perpendicular orientation. The ability of glass from each other to form an insulated glass panel,
saidassembly comprising at least two elongated tubular spacers arranged to be secured together for disposition between said panes, each of said spacers comprising a wide integral planar inside wall, a narrow outside wall and a pair of side walls extending therebetween, said walls defining a hollow internal space, said space being of a predetermined cross-sectional area and including a major portion contiguous with said wide inside wall and a minor portion contiguous with said narrow outside wall and being of smaller cross sectional area than said major portion, the improvement comprising a connector for disposition within the interior of the spacers to securely connect the spacers together at a predetermined angle while enabling the spacers to deviate readily from said angle without loosening the connection between said spacers to thereby facilitate the construction of said panel, said connector being formed of a plastic material and comprising a pair of legs connected to each other at a junction and at said predetermined angle, each of said legs being adapted for disposition within said major portion of the interior'of said spacer and being of such cross-sectional area so as to substantially fill said major portion and in contact with said wide inside wall thereof but not extending into said minor portion, each of said legs also including a free end from which a single, curved resilient finger projects backward and into the minor portion of the interior of said spacer to contact the narrow outside wall thereof to thereby effect the frictional engagement of the interior of the spacer by said leg irrespective of manufacturing tolerances in the cross-sectional area of the spacer, the cross-sectional area of said junction being substantially smaller than the cross-sectional area of the interior of the spacer but of substantially the same cross-sectional area as that of each leg to enable the legs to flex from said predetermined angular orientation.
2. The connector of claim 1 wherein said free end is rounded.
3. The connector of claim 1 wherein said predetermined angle-is a right angle.
4. A plastic connector for use with a pair of spacers to form a spacer assembly for an insulated glass panel, each of said spacers being elongated tubular members comprising a wide integral planar inside wall, a narrow outside wall and a pair of side walls extending therebetween, said walls defining a hollow internal space, said a space being of a predetermined cross-sectional area and including a major portion contiguous with said wide inside wall and a minor portion contiguous with said narrow outside wall and being of smaller cross sectional area than said major portion, said connector being adapted for connecting the spacers together at a predetermined angle while enabling them to deviate from said angle without loosening the connection between them and comprising a pair of legs connected at a junction at said predetermined angle, each of said le'gs being adapted for disposition within said major portion of the interior of said spacer and being of such cross-sectional area so as to substantially fill said major portion and in contact with said wide inside wall thereof butnot extending into said minor portion, each of said legs also including a free end from which a single, curved resilient finger projects backward and into the minor portion of the interior of the spacer to contactthe narrow outside wall thereof to thereby effect the frictionalengagement of the interior of the spacer by said legs irrespective of manufacturing toler ances in the cross-sectional area of the interior of the spacer, the cross-sectional area of said junction being substantially smaller than the cross-sectional area of the interior of the spacer but substantially the same cross-sectional area as that of each leg to enable the legs to flex from said predetermined angular orientation.
5. The connector of claim 4 wherein said free end is rounded.
6. The connector of claim 4 wherein said predetermined angle is a right angle.
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|U.S. Classification||52/656.6, 52/656.9, 403/295, 52/786.13, 52/656.2, 403/205, 403/231|
|International Classification||E06B3/667, E06B3/66|
|Jun 30, 1989||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: JW WINDOW COMPONENTS, INC., A DE. CORP.
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNORS:JW WINDOW COMPONENTS, INC., A CORP. OF DE. (MERGED INTO);WINDOW HOLDINGS CORPORATION, A DE. CORP. (CHANGED TO);REEL/FRAME:005159/0735
Effective date: 19890621
|Jan 29, 1988||AS02||Assignment of assignor's interest|
Owner name: JIM WALTER RESOURCES, INC.,
Effective date: 19880113
Owner name: JW WINDOW COMPONENTS, INC., A DE. CORP.
|Jan 29, 1988||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: JIM WALTER RESOURCES, INC., A ALABAMA CORP.
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:CELOTEX CORPORATION, THE;REEL/FRAME:004838/0959
Effective date: 19880115
Owner name: JW WINDOW COMPONENTS, INC., A DE. CORP.
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:JIM WALTER RESOURCES, INC.,;REEL/FRAME:004838/0962
Effective date: 19880113
Owner name: JIM WALTER RESOURCES, INC., A ALABAMA CORP.,ALABAM
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:CELOTEX CORPORATION, THE;REEL/FRAME:004838/0959
Owner name: JW WINDOW COMPONENTS, INC., A DE. CORP.,DELAWARE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:JIM WALTER RESOURCES, INC.,;REEL/FRAME:004838/0962