US 3878877 A
A blind having movable and orientable slats, incorporating a set of runners connected together by a flexible link which are mounted to be movable in translation in a continuous guide and which each carry an orientable shaft bearing a blind-slat. The runners on the one hand and the shafts on the other are connected kinematically to a single control member, which is rotatable and is connected both to a pulley which drives a tensioned cord fixed to the first of the runners, and to a rod equipped with worm gears each of which meshes with a pinion on a slat-bearing shaft. A first clutch is provided between the rotatable member and the drive pulley and a second clutch is provided between the rotatable member and the rod, each clutch being in its operative position when the other is in the inoperative position and vice versa.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 1 Bruneau et al.
[ Apr. 22, 1975 1 1 VERTICAL BLINDS [221 Filed: July 30, 1973  Appl. No.: 383,516
FORElGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Germany 160/172 Primary Emminer-Jr Karl Bell  ABSTRACT A blind having movable and orientable slats. incorporating a set of runners connected together by a flexible link which are mounted to be movable in translation in a continuous guide and which each carry an orientable shaft bearing a blind-slat. The runners on the one hand and the shafts on the other are connected kinematically to a single control member, which is rotatable and is connected both to a pulley which drives a tensioned cord fixed to the first of the runners. and to a rod equipped with worm gears each of which meshes with a pinion on a slat-bearing shaft. A first clutch is provided between the rotatable member and the drive pulley and a second clutch is provided between the rotatable member and the rod. each clutch being in its operative position when the other is in the inoperative position and vice versa.
13 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAPRZZ I575 SHEET 1 (1F 4 VERTICAL BLINDS This invention relates to vertical blinds comprising an upper rail in which is situated a mechanism for orienta tion and longitudinal movement of slats which hang down at right angles to the operating mechanism.
In the present state of the art, such blinds are made up of a shaped member in which slide runners supporting slats made of fabric, plastics or any other material. In most cases, the series of runners has a leading runner which is connected to the next runner by a flexible strip which determines the gap between them and of which the length is less than the width of the slats, and so on for all the runners. By means of the leading runner, a movement can be effected which extends from a fully folded position to a longitudinally unfolded position extending over the whole of the length of the rail. The unfolding operation takes place as follows:
The leading runner is acted on and draws along the next runner until stopped by the distance strip, and so on for all the succeeding runners. A cord passing over pulleys is frequently used to move the leading runner. Each runner further incorporates an orientating mechanism which imparts an axial rotation to the slats which are attached at right angles to the mechanism. All the runners have passing through them a shaft which transmits the rotary movement by means of a worm. This shaft may be operated by a cord, a chain, a crank, etc. Furthermore, it is only desirable to move the slats sideways if they are in a position at right angles to the open ating mechanism, so as to prevent rubbing which could damage the slats which are made of fabric, paper, etc.
A blind of the type referred to above is known in which both movements (translatory and pivoting) are obtained from a single operating member.
The present invention relates to a blind of this type which is controlled by using reliable and simple mechanical means.
To this end, the invention provides a blind having movable and orientable slats, of the type which incorporates a series of runners connected together by a flexible link, which are mounted to move in translation in a continuous guide and which each hold an orientable shaft supporting a blind slat, the runners on the one hand and their shafts on the other being kinematically connected to a single control member, characterized in that the said member is rotatable and is connected on the one hand to a pulley driving a tensioned cord which is attached to the first of the runners and, on the other hand, to a rod provided with screw means each of which meshes with a pinion on the shaft of a slat-support, a first clutch being provided between the rotatable member and the drive pulley and a second clutch being provided between the rotatable member and the rod, each clutch being in the operative position when the other is in the non-operative position, and vice versa.
The invention will now be further described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a schematic view in longitudinal section of the upper guide of a blind according to one embodiment of the invention,
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along line II-II of FIG. 1,
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line IIIIII of FIG. I,
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along line IV-IV of FIG. 3,
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along line VV of FIG. I,
FIG. 6 s a schematic view with partial horizontal sections, of the upper guide shown in FIG. 1,
FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along line VII-VII of FIG. 6, and
FIGS. 8 and 9 are sectional views of two different embodiments of the single control for a blind.
Referring to the drawings. it can be seen that a blind according to the invention includes an upper guide I formed by a profiled member which has two horizontal tracks 2 and 3 for the wheels 4 of runners 5. Each runner 5 incorporates a vertical shaft 6 secured to a pinion 7 and bearing an attachment 8 for a blind-slat 9.
In addition, each runner has passing through it two holes 10 through each of which passes one of the runs of a cord 11 which passes over a drive pulley l2 and two return pulleys l3 and whose ends are secured by wedges 14 in seatings in the leading' runner 5a.
Thus, when the drive pulley I2 is turned, the cord is drawn along in one direction or the other and pulls on the runner 50. All the runners are joined together by flexible strips I6 of predetermined length. In the direction in which the runners 5 space themselves out along the guide 1 (when the blind is closed), the strips I6 enable the runner 5a to pull along the next runner, and the next runner the one after and so on. In the opposite direction, which corresponds to all the runners 5 being closed up together at one side of the guide I (when the blind is open), runner 5a pushes on the next runner and the next runner pushes on its neighbor and so on.
Furthermore, all the pinions 7, which are mounted to turn in the runners 5, mesh with worms [7 which are keyed to a rod 18 which extends longitudinally inside the guide 1.
When the rod 18 turns, it drives with it the worms l7 and all the pinions 7 and, as a result, the shafts 6, the attachments 8 and the slats 9, which may thus be orientated as required.
The cord 11 on the one hand and the rod 18 on the other are controlled by means of a single rod 19 of any known type which may be operated either by hand via a crank, or by a motor.
In FIGS. I to 4 it can be seen that a known type of clutch is inserted between the rod 19 and the pulley 12. This clutch is produced in the following way. To the rod 19 is fastened a driving pinion 20 which is coaxial with a surrounding ring 21 having internal teeth, which is driven by planetary pinions 22 which mesh with both the pinion 20 and the ring 21. Welded spots 23 form stops which, at a certain point, prevent further movement of the planetary pinions 22 and, as a result, lock together the pinion 20 and the ring 21, which is integral with the pulley 12.
This assembly forms a clutch because the driving pinion 20 turns and the ring 21 remains stationary as long as the planetary pinions are free to move. During this free-wheel mode of operation, the pulley 12 also remains stationary. On the other hand, when the planetary pinions 22 are locked by the stops 23, the driving pinion 20 moves the driven ring 21 and the pulley 12 so that the cord 11 is actuated and the runners 5 are moved in one direction or the other, depending on the direction in which the rod 19 is turned.
A second clutch is provided between the rod 19 and the rod 18, this second clutch being linked kinemati' cally to the first due to the fact that the driving pinion 20 is integral with a bevel pinion 24 which meshes with a second bevel pinion 25 whose axis is at right angles to the first bevel pinion. these latter forming an angled transmission to a shaft 26 which carries a gear 27 meshing with a gear 28 carried by a countershaft 29 integral with a further shaft 30.
Thus, when the first clutch is freewheeling. rod 19 operates rod 18. The second clutch is produced as follows: A spring 31 the ends of which are bent back to form stops 32 and 33. is coiled around shaft 30. and the stops 32 and 33 are able to cooperate with the edges of a slot 34 made in the end of a driven shaft 35 fastened to the rod 18.
A sleeve 36 is positioned on the outside of the driven shaft 35 coaxially thereto and carries an internal projection 37 which extends between the ends 32 and 33 of spring 31. On the outside. the sleeve 36 carries a thread 38 which engages with a fixed internal thread 39 the last turn of which contains a welded spot 40 which forms a non-jamming stop for thread 38.
This second clutch operates as follows: When the shaft turns in the direction of arrow A. it drives in rotation the spring 31. End 32 butts against the edge of the slot 34 and tends to thrust it along but the latter resists with a force greater than the elasticity of spring 31, which therefore tightens. At the same time, the end 33 encounters projection 37 and drives round the sleeve 36, which slides axially due to the fact that the thread 38 is engaged in the internal thread 39. When the thread 38 strikes against the stop 40, sleeve 36 comes to a halt. During these movements, the shaft remains stationary, as do rod 18, worms l7, pinions 7, shafts 6, attachments 8 and slats 9.
As soon as the sleeve 36 comes to a halt, the rotary movement of the shaft 30 is transmitted to the slots 34 in the driven shaft 35, which results in rotation of the rod 18, the worms 17, the pinions 7 on shafts 6, the attachments 8 and the slats 9, which orientate them selves. When the movement is reversed, end 32 acts on the projection 37 and frees the sleeve 36 which is then able to slip on shaft 35.
The complete blind operates in the following manner:
in the position in FIG. 1, it can be seen that the blind is closed. The runners 5 are spaced out along the guide 1 and the slats 9 are orientated substantially in a plane parallel to that of guide 1.
By operating the rod 19, the pinion 20 is caused to rotate and to drive the planetary pinions 22. The ring 21 and the pulley 12 remain stationary. Pinions 24 and 25 are, however. driven and shaft 13 rotates via gears 27 and 28. The sleeve 36 is in the locked position so that the shaft 35 and the rod 18 also rotate. The slats 9 pivot through 90 to come into a position in which they are all parallel and at right angles to the plane of the guide 1. This angle is selected as being the most favorable for closing up the slats 9 towards one another (when the blind is opened). The action is achieved by working out the pitch of the thread 38 and of the internal thread 39 in a suitable manner. At this moment the sleeve 36 is released and slips on the shaft 35 so that the shaft 35, being uncoupled, ceases to move.
At the same time, the planetary pinions 22 reach the stops 23 so that the ring 21 and the pulley 12 are driven. The cord 11 moves and causes the runner 5a to slide and to push against all the other runners. When the latter are in the required position, the rod 19 is no longer actuated. By turning it in the opposite direction. the slats would straight away be pivoted before the blind could be opened.
ln other words, one of the clutches is in the operative position when the other is in the inoperative position and vice versa. so that the slats are always orientated at the most favorable angle before the runners move.
The rod 19 may easily be driven by a reduction motor and this can be done at a cost distinctly lower than that of the separate drive system. This is particularly useful when a plurality of assemblies are to be controlled by a single switch. The number of end-of-travel stops and switches will, of course, be smaller. This single control also enables more space to be gained by using a small motor which can be positioned right beside the guide 1.
Referring now to FIG. 8, it can be seen that the pulley 12 has integral with it two arcuate sections 51 and 52 between which are engaged splines on a sleeve 53, these spines extending into tongues 54 which pass unrestrictedly through holes 55 in pulley l2 and which, as will be explained below, are able to cooperate with a fixed set of teeth 56.
A spring 57 is coiled around the rod 19 and its two ends 58 cooperate with the splines on the sleeve 53 and the arcuate sections 51 and 52.
The rod 19 passes freely through a disc 59 which is provided with a plurality of recesses 60 which are symmetrically distributed with respect to the axis of the rod 19.
The lower face of the bevel gear 50 has the same number of recesses as the disc 59 so as to hold captive ball-bearings 61.
The gear 50 has an arcuate skirt 62 around which fits a sleeve 63 having an internal spline and external teeth 64.
A spring 65, similar to the spring 57 described above, is coiled around the rod 19 and its ends. which are folded back, cooperate with the vertical edges of the skirt 62 and with the internal spline on the sleeve 63.
The planetary pinions 22 mesh with the teeth 64 on the sleeve 63 and also with the fixed internal teeth 66 on an annular projection 67 integral with the housing.
Finally, a spiral compression spring 68 is inserted between the disc 59 and the pulley l2 and is locked against rotation by its two ends 69 which are folded back and engage between the two arms of a fixed fork 70. The device operates as follows: By turning the rod 19, the spring 65 is moved and its end acts on the splines on the sleeve 63. the teeth 64 on which cause the pinions 22 to revolve. When the planetary pinions 22 reach the stops they can no longer revolve and they lock the sleeve 63.
As long as the planetary pinions 22 are able to turn, the bevel gear 50 turns also and the transmission pinion 25 is itself driven around so that the rod 18 turns and causes the blind slats to be orientated.
When the planetary pinions 22 are locked, the rod 19 revolves in a direction such that the spring 65 tends to expand by butting against the spline on the sleeve 63, which enables the rod l9 to rotate while leaving the planetary mechanism stationary.
The disc 59 has a lower annular projection 590 into which the top of sleeve 53 fits with a certain amount of interference; since the latter is held stationary by the tongues 54 and teeth 56, a braking action is exerted on disc 59 while the bevel gear 50 is turning. The disc 59 rotates with it but, as a result of the interference. it lags behind the bevel gear 50 and the ball-bearings 61 cause the bevel gear 50 and the disc 59 to move apart due to the slope 60a in the recesses 60.
The sleeve 53 is thus held in position, which tends to expand the spring 57 and, consequently. to leave the pulley l2 stationary in spite of the rotation of the rod 19.
When the pinions 22 are locked, the bevel gear 50 comes to a stop. The disc 59, impelled by the spring 69, pivots under the effect of the ball-bearings 61, which bring the recesses 60 in the bevel gear 50 and the disc 59 opposite one another. The disc 59 rises and releases the tongues 54 which were locked in the teeth 56. The sleeve 53 is able to turn and spring 57 again tightens around rod 19 so that the rotary movement of this rod 19 is transmitted to pulley 12 via the arcuate sections 51 and 52.
The cord 11 is then moved to open or close the blind, after the slats have been orientated by the rod 18 which is driven by the bevel gear 50.
When the rod 19 is turned in the opposite direction, the bevel gear 50 and the rod 18 are again made to rotate before the pulley 12 turns and the cord 11 moves.
Referring now to FIG. 9, it can be seen that the mechanism driving the rod for orientating the slats via the pinion 2S and bevel gear 50 is the same as for FIG. 8.
in contrast, the mechanism for driving the slatcarrying runners by means of the cord 11 and the pulley 12 is produced in a different way.
In this case, the pulley 12 has integral with it a drum 71 provided with internal teeth 72, while a pinion 73 is keyed to the shaft 19. Planetary pinions 74 mesh both with the teeth 72 and the pinion 73.
Between the teeth 72 are provided as many stops as there are planetary pinions, so that the latter may be locked simultaneously after a certain amount of unrestricted travel when acted on by pinion 73 turned by rod 19. When locking occurs, the pulley 12 is driven by rod 19 via pinion 73, planetary pinion 74 and drum 71.
The operation of the device may be deduced from that already described:
When the rod 19 begins to turn, spring 65 connects together rod 19 and bevel gear 50 and the planetary pinions 22 are free. As soon as they are locked to the fixed annular projection 67, spring 65 opens to allow the rod 19 to turn freely, while the bevel gear 50 is stationary.
At this moment, the planetary pinions 74, which are free to turn, reach the stops and lock together rod 19 and pulley 12 which drives cord 11.
It is thus possible to orientate the slats from the same rod 19 before they are moved in either direction.
While particular embodiments have been described it will be understood that various modifications may be made without departing from the scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
l. A blind having movable and orientable slats, of the type incorporating a set of runners connected together by a flexible link which are mounted to be movable in translation in a continuous guide and which each carry an orientable shaft bearing a blind-slat, the runners on the one hand and the shafts on the other being connected kinematically to a singie control member. an improvement wherein the said member is rotatable and is connected on the one hand to a pulley which drives a tensioned cord fixed to the first of the runners and. on the other to a rod equipped with worm gears each of which meshes with a pinion on a slat-bearing shaft, a first clutch being provided between the rotatable member and the drive pulley and a second clutch being provided between the rotatable member and the rod, each clutch being in its operative position when the other is in the inoperative position and vice versa.
2. A blind according to claim 1, wherein the first clutch is fitted with a free-wheel intended to actuate the clutch automatically after a certain number of revolutions of the rotatable member.
3. A blind according to claim 1, wherein the second clutch is fitted with a de-clutching mechanism which de-clutches after a certain number of revolutions of the rotatable member.
4. A blind according to claim 1, wherein the driving member of the first clutch is kinematically connected to the driving member of the second clutch.
5. A blind according to claim 1, wherein the rod fitted with the worm gears is supported by a bearer which can be moved along the continuous guide for the runners between an end position corresponding to the runners being closed up together at one side of the guide and a median position corresponding to the runners being spaced out along the guide, this median position being defined by a stop which is fixed to the guide along the path of the bearer.
6. A blind according to claim 5, wherein the bearar has two holes through each of which passes one of the runs of the cord, one of the holes being larger than the other.
7. A blind according to claim I, wherein the two clutches are coaxial.
8. A blind according to claim 7, wherein the single control member comprises a central rod about which two springs are coiled at different levels, the folded ends of which are able to cooperate with radial stops on two parts which are each kinematically connected to one of the drive mechanisms for the slats, these springs locking or unlocking the said rod to the corresponding mechanism depending upon whether they are impelled in a direction in which their coils are tightened or released.
9. A blind according to claim 8, wherein the first drive mechanism includes a member capable of coopcrating with a fixed part in order to immobilise it when the second drive mechanism is operating.
10. A blind according to claim 9, wherein said memher is formed by at least two tongues integral with a sleeve which is subject to the action of one of the coiled springs, these tongues being opposite a fixed ring of teeth, a coil spring being inserted between the said sleeve and a disc provided with recesses in each of which is situated a ball-bearing, a bevel gear in the second drive mechanism itself having recesses which enclose the balLbearings, the recesses having walls which are inclined in a direction at right angles to the radii of the disc and the bevel gear.
11. A blind according to claim 7, wherein the two mechanisms are each kinematically connected to the single control member by a clutch having planetary pinions, a releasable connecting member being inserted 13. A blind according to claim 11, wherein the connecting member is formed by a spring coiled around an axial rod fastened to the control member, the folded ends of the spring cooperating with stops which are integral with the clutch and can move independently in order to cause the spring to be either tightened to or released from the rod.