US 3877190 A
A suspension system for flanged ceiling tiles and a method of supporting ceiling tiles are provided. Heretofore, flanged ceiling tiles have been affixed to furring strips and the like by stapling the flanges thereto. However, there has been no satisfactory means of suspending tiles of this type below an overhead ceiling structure. In accordance with the invention, an elongate supporting member for such tiles is designed to either suspend the tiles below an overhead ceiling structure or support them directly on an overhead ceiling structure. The supporting member includes an elongate channel having spaced, horizontally-extending flanges along one side thereof, the length of these flanges being less than the length of the tile flanges, with the spacing between the channel flanges preferably exceeding the length of the tile flanges. The supporting members are positioned relative to the ceiling structure so that the horizontally-extending flanges are directly opposite one another to support flanges of tiles extending between the members. These first supported tiles in turn, then support other tiles extending between the first ones.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
' United States Patent [191 Corcoran, Jr.
[451 Apr. 15, 1975 1 SUPPORTING SYSTEM FOR FLANGED CEILING TILES  lnventor: Neal A. Corcoran, Jr., Columbus,
 Assignee: Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corporation  Filed: Feb. 13, 1973  Appl. No.: 331,746
 US. Cl. 52/484; 52/488; 52/494; 52/747; 52/731  Int. Cl E04b 1/86; E04b 5/60  Field of Search 52/484, 495, 496, 497, 52/593, 747, 488, 494, 731
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,053,359 9/1962 Stanley 52/484 3,492,771 2/1970 Jones 3,581,453 6/1971 Jones 52/484 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 146,550 7/1920 United Kingdom 52/496 736,145 6/1966 Canada 52/495 1,005,253 3/1957 Germany 52/485 593,443 10/1947 United Kingdom... 52/496 589,978 3/1959 Italy 52/494 Primary Examinerl-lenry C. Sutherland Attorney, Agent, or FirmCarl G. Staelin; John W. Overman; Allen D. Gutchess, Jr.
 ABSTRACT A suspension system for flanged. ceiling tiles and a method of supporting ceiling tiles are provided. Heretofore, flanged ceiling tiles have been affixed to furring strips and the like by stapling the flanges thereto. However, there has been no satisfactory means of suspending tiles of this type below an overhead ceiling structure. In accordance with the invention, an elongate supporting member for such tiles is designed to either suspend the tiles below an overhead ceiling structure or support them directly on an overhead ceiling structure. The supporting member includes an elongate channel having spaced, horizontallyextending flanges along one side thereof, the length of these flanges being less than the length of the tile flanges, with the spacing between the channel flanges preferably exceeding the length of the tile flanges. The supporting members are positioned relative to the ceiling structure so that the horizontally-extending flanges are directly opposite one another to support flanges of tiles extending between the members. These first supported tiles in turn, then support other tiles extending between the first ones.
5 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTEBAPR 1 Ems slaw. 1 so SUPPORTING SYSTEM FOR FLANGED CEILING TILES This invention relates to a suspension system for flanged ceiling tiles and to a method of supporting flanged ceiling tiles from an overhead ceiling structure.
Decorative panels or tiles of mineral fibers, and particularly of glass fibers, are known in the art and are in common use. More recently, molded decorative tiles have found increased popularity. Such tiles can be molded in a variety of designs to provide interesting three dimensional surface contours, particularly be cause the glass fibers are more effective in fully assuming and reproducing the contour of the design on the forming dies or molds. These tiles are relatively highly densified in the molds to produce substantially rigid, self sustaining bodies. Two opposite edges of the tiles are equipped with outwardly-extending flanges while the other two opposite edges are recessed to receive flanges of adjacent tiles. Tiles of this nature are shown and disclosed more fully in Jones et al. US. Pat. No. 3,492,77 l.
Heretofore, tiles of this type have been supported from an overhead ceiling structure by being stapled or otherwise suitably affixed directly to furring strips or other solid ceiling structure. However, this supporting arrangement has been particularly unsuitable where suspended ceilings are desired, with the tiles suspended a distance below the overhead ceiling structure.
The present invention provides a supporting system for and a method of supporting flanged ceiling tiles in a manner such that the tiles can be supported at the overhead ceiling structure or suspended a distance therefrom. The supporting system includes an elongate supporting member forming a channel with a plurality of horizontally-extending flanges therealong. The length of these flanges is less than the length of the tile flanges and the channel flanges are spaced apart a distance exceeding the length of the tile flanges. The supporting members are positioned in parallel relationship with the horizontally-extending flanges aligned and facing one another to support flanges of the tiles therebetween. The spaces between the channel flanges are re cessed to receive flanges of ceiling tiles which are supported on the recessed edges of other ceiling tiles which, in turn, are supported on the recessed edges of those ceiling tiles which are directly supported by the elongate members.
The supporting members can be affixed directly to an overhead ceiling structure or can be suspended therebelow. Preferably, in either case, the supporting members are maintained in their parallel relationship by elongate, rigid members affixed to the upper sides of the supporting members to avoid interference with the ceiling tiles. The new supporting system is low in cost and light in weight, as well as being relatively easy to install.
It is, therefore, a principal object of the invention to provide a supporting system and method for supporting flanged ceiling tiles.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved method and system for supporting ceiling tiles.
A further object of the invention is to provide a supporting system and method for supporting flanged ceiling tiles either at or below an overhead ceiling struc- Yet another object of the invention is to provide a supporting system for flanged ceiling tiles, which system is low in cost and light in weight.
Many other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment thereof, reference being made to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of a room with a ceiling made up of flanged ceiling tiles supported in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary view in perspective of a ceiling tile supporting system according to the invention;
FIG. 3 is a somewhat schematic view of a plurality of flanged ceiling tiles, illustrating the method in which they are assembled with the supporting system of FIG.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged view in perspective of one of the flanged ceiling tiles of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken through two adjacent ceiling tiles as they are about to be assembled with one another;
FIG. 6 is a detailed view in transverse cross section taken along the line 66 of FIG. 2, and also showing a tile supported thereby; and
FIG. 7 is a detailed view in transverse cross section taken along the line 77 of FIG. 2.
Referring to the drawings, and particularly to FIG. 1, a room 10 has a decorative ceiling l2 embodying the invention. The ceiling 12 includes a plurality of elongate supporting members or rails 14 and a multiplicity of decorative ceiling tiles l6. Moldings 18 are located around the edges of the ceiling to support the ceiling tiles at the edges and to provide a finished appearance for the edges.
Referring more particularly to FIG. 2, the elongatesupporting members 14 are maintained in parallel relationship by suitable means such as a rigid spacing member 20 which, as shown, is affixed, as by fasteners 22, to the members 14. The spacing members 20 are only used every three to six feet along the supporting members 14, since the tiles and members are light in weight and accordingly require few supports. The spac-. ing members 20 can be either directly affixed to the overhead ceiling structure or can be suspended therefrom at a distance therebelow, as shown, by way of example, by means of suspension wires 24 extending through holes 26 in the members 20 and wound back on themselves. The elongate supporting members 14 are positioned in pairs facing toward one another, as shown by the left two members in FIG. 2.
Referring to FIGS. 6 and 7, each of the supporting members 14 includes a longitudinally-extending channel 28 formed by an upper wall 30, and two side walls 32 and 34. The side wall 32 has a plurality of spaced, horizontal flanges 36 at the lower edges thereof which extend inwardly. The flanges 36 are spaced apart by long recesses or notches 38 in the side wall 32 between the flanges 36. The other side wall 34 has a downwardly-extending flange 40 terminating in a lip 42 extending continuously along the length of the channel 28.
The ceiling tiles 16' are molded in matched metal mold halves or dies, being compressed from a thick pad or pelt to a thickness of about Va V4 inch. The tiles are typically made of glass fibers in the order of 0.00025 0.00035 inch in diameter, having an apparent density in the order of 15-35 pcf. The fibers have a thermosetting binder, usually a phenolic, which is cured when the pad is in the mold and subjected to a temperature therein of about 500F. for a period of 45 seconds. Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, the tile 16 includes a main fibrous body 44 having an obverse face 46 which, as shown, is planar but can be of almost any suitable contour. Two opposite edges of the tile 16 have outwardlyextending flanges 48 while the other two opposite edges have recesses or recessed edges 50. The recesses 50 are deep enough to receive the flanges 48 so that two of the adjacent tiles can be supported with their faces 46 in coplanar relationship when the tiles are assembled, with the flange of one extending into the recess of the other, as is about to occur in FIG. 5.
The ceiling tiles 16 are assembled with the supporting members 14 in a manner which will be discussed in connection with FIG. 3. Two pair of the supporting members 14 are shown in FIG. 3, with the horizontallyextending flanges 36 of each pair facing toward one another and being in alignment. The adjacent supporting members of the two pair have their side walls 32 facing one another.
Tiles designated A are first supported between the supportingmembers 14 of the two pair. This is accomplished by inserting the tiles A with their flanges 48 into the recesses 38 between the flanges 36, and then moving the tiles so that their flanges 48 are aligned with and supported on the horizontal flanges 36 (FIG. 6). The tiles A3 and A4 are spaced from the tiles Al and A2 a distance in excess of the width of the tiles, with the tiles A and A6 similarly spaced from the tiles A3 and A4. A second tile designated B1 is then installed, being supported by the first tiles A. The tile B1 is positioned with one of the flanges 48 inserted into the recess 50 of the tile Al. The tile A3 is then moved into contiguous relationship with the tile B1 with the other of the flanges 48 of the tile Bl inserted in the adjacent recess 50 of the tile A3.
A third tile Cl is then assembled with the tile Bl, with one of the flanges 48 of the tile C1 received in the recess 50 of the tile B1. The tile Cl is then held while the tile B2 is assembled with the tile A2. The tile B2 is then held to support the tile Cl, with the tile C1 then released, and the tile A4 is moved into position to support the tile B2. The tiles B1 and B2 then support the tile C1. The tile B3 is then assembled with the tile A3 and tile A5 moved into contiguous relationship. After the tile B3 is installed, a fourth tile D1 is assembled with the tile Cl and is held while the tile C2 is moved into position with respect to the tile B3. The tile C2 is then held to support the tile D1 while the tile B4 is assembled with the tile A4. The tile C2 can be released and the tile B4 held until the tile A6 is moved into sup porting position. The tile B4 can then be released to complete the assembly of the thirteen tile.
To achieve the installation of the tiles, it will be seen that the horizontally-extending flanges 36 of the supporting members 14 preferably have a length less than the length of the outwardly-extending flanges 48 and the recesses or spaces 38 between the flanges 36 have a length exceeding the length of the flanges 48 to receive the tile flanges which extend into the tile recesses 50.
The flanges 40 with the lips 42 engage the edges of the recesses 50 of the tiles when installed therewith to hold the tiles firmly in the supporting member 114 without movement. Since the tiles are light in weight, it is possible that they would otherwise move up and down or chatter in the supporting members, due to movement of air or wind therebelow.
From the above, it will be seen that the invention provides a means for supporting flanged ceiling tiles either directly at a structural ceiling or suspended therebelow. The system enables the tiles to be quickly installed, and is also relatively low in cost and light in weight. Since the supporting members 14 are of light gauge material, they also can be relatively inexpensively formed. It may also be noted that the supporting members 14 are completely hidden when the tiles are installed.
Various modifications of the above-described embodiment of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art, and it is to be understood that such modifications can be made without departing from the scope of the invention, if they are within the spirit and the tenor of the accompanying claims.
1. A method of supporting ceiling tiles from an overhead structure, which ceiling tiles have outwardlyextending flanges on opposite edges and recesses extending between the flanges along the two other opposite edges, said method comprising positioning a first one of the tiles with the flanges supported on two horizontally-extending flanges of two elongate supporting members, inserting one of the flanges of a second tile in one of the recesses of the first tile, supporting a third one of the tiles with its flanges on another two horizontally-extending flanges of the two supporting members with the third tile being in the same plane as the first tile and spaced from the second tile, positioning the second tile in the same plane as the first and third tiles, and moving the third tile into contiguous relationship with the second tile, with the other flange of the second tile received in one of the recesses of the third tile.
2. A method according to claim 1 characterized by placing a flange of a fourth tile in one of the recesses of the second tile with the fourth tile extending transversely to the row of the first three tiles.
3. A supporting system for ceiling tiles having outwardly-extending flanges along two opposite edges thereof, said system including a supporting member having side wall means, a plurality of spaced flanges extending outwardly in a common direction from a common edge of said wall means, said wall means having recesses along said common edge thereof between said flanges, said recesses having lengths exceeding the length of the tile flanges, a second supporting member having second side wall means, spaced second flanges extending outwardly in a common direction from a common edge of said second wall means, said second wall means having recesses along said common edge between said second flanges, said second recesses having lengths exceeding the length of the tile flanges, means for supporting said second supporting member in a position such that the flanges of said supporting members face another and are substantially directly opposite one another, a first ceiling tile having outwardlyextending flanges along two opposite edges thereof supported on directly opposite flanges of said first and second supporting members, a second tile having outwardly-extending flanges along two opposite edges thereof supported on directly opposite flanges of said first and second supporting members and spaced from said first tile, and a third tile having outwardly- 6 5. A supporting system according to claim 3 characterized by a fourth tile having an outwardly-extending flange extending through one of said recesses of one of said first and second supporting members and supported on an edge of said third tile.