US 3919928 A
A linear air plenum formed of duct board (generally a thickness of fiber glass) carries a linear diffuser. The air plenum-diffuser assembly is used with a ceiling having a series of main and cross-runner T-bars, or similar ceiling support members. With the diffuser carried by the linear plenum, a slot is provided in the ceiling by an air track; alternatively the slot may be defined by an air bar, which includes the diffuser elements in which case the air plenum is provided with an air outlet collar which registers with the air bar. A number of these assemblies are connected end-to-end and arranged parallel to one of the cross or main runners and at right angles to the others. The lengths of the air plenum and the attached diffuser, or air outlet collar, are related to the module upon which the ceiling is designed and the diffuser, or outlet collar, length is less than the overall length of the air plenum. The areas of the air plenums between adjacent diffusers, or air outlet collars, are closed and spaced above the runners to be capable of functioning as air return areas.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Lambert SUSPENDED CEILING AND AIR DISTRIBUTION ARRANGEMENT Primary Examiner.lohn J. Camby Assistant Eranziner-Henry C. Yuen ABSTRACT A linear air plenum formed of duct board (generally a thickness of fiber glass) carries a linear diffuser. The air plenum-diffuser assembly is used with a ceiling having a series of main and cross-runner T-bars, or similar ceiling support members. With the diffuser carried by the linear plenum, a slot is provided in the ceiling by an air track; alternatively the slot may be defined by an air bar, which includes the diffuser elements in which case the air plenum is provided with an air outlet collar which registers with the air bar. A number of these assemblies are connected end-to-cnd and arranged parallel to one of the cross or main runners and at right angles to the others. The lengths of the air plenum and the attached diffuser, or air outlet collar, are related to the module upon which the ceiling is designed and the diffuser, or outlet collar. length is less than the overall length of the air plenum. The areas of the air plenums between adjacent diffusers, or air outlet collars, are closed and spaced above the runners to be capable of functioning as air return areas.
8 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures  Inventor: Robert R. Lambert, Glendora, Calif.
 Assignee: Wehr Corporation, Milwaukee, Wis.
 Filed: Dec. 26, 1973  Appl. No.: 428,424
 US. Cl. 98/40 D; 98/114  Int. Cl. F24F 13/02; F24F 7/00  Field of Search..... 98/40 R, 40 D, 40 DL, 114,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3.301.165 1/1967 Stanley 98/40 D 3.319.558 5/1967 Bodian 98/40 D 3.353.472 11/1967 Lee et a1 98/40 D 3.383.999 5/1968 Fragnito et a1. 98/40 D 3.411.425 1l/1968 Lambert 98/41 R 3.420.439 l/1969 Meckler 98/40 DL 3.444.801 5/1969 Lambert 3.516.347 6/1970 May 98/40 D 3.577.904 5/1971 Lambert 98/40 D US. Patent Nov. 18,1975 Sheet10f3 3,919,92
US. atem Nov. 18, 1975 Sheet20f3 3,919,28
22 f4 Z5 3O US. Patent Nov. 18, 1975 Sheet 3 of 3 SUSPENDED CEILING AND AIR DISTRIBUTION ARRANGEMENT BACKGROUND or iNvENTioN This invention relates to ceiling type air distribution arrangements and, more particularly, to an improved construction for delivering air through a ceiling slot defined by either an air tract or an air bar.
In discussing this invention reference has been, and a will be, made to a slot, an air bar, and an air track. A slot is an elongated, linear opening, generally 1 inch or 2 inch wide, in a suspended ceiling defined between, for example, the horizontal flanges of spaced inverted T-bars. An air bar is a linear airdiffuser incorporating a means of pattern control and including a part of its assembly the basic ceiling support members (e.g. inverted T-bars) forming the slot. An air track is the same as the air bar but does not include the pattern control, a separate diffuser being used in association with the air track to provide pattern control.
Various air plenum constructions, diffuser constructions, and combinations thereof have been provided in the past. Examples of such prior constructions can ,be found in various U.S. patents issued to Robert R. Lambert, namely U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,227,063, 3,577,904, 3,601,032, 3,601,033, 3,690,243, 3,748,998, and 3,757,667.
This invention is concerned with such constructions and the problems presented thereby.
SUMMARY OF INVENTION Among the general objects of this invention is to provide a combination air plenum and airoutlet which achieves air delivery and return in a suspended ceiling with a minimum of subassemblies and on-site installation steps while improving air delivery charcteristics.
For the achievement of such objects, this invention proposes an elongated, linear air plenum having a passage defining wall which is closed except for an elongated, linear outlet opening. The length of the outlet opening is less than the overall length of the air plenum. An outlet assembly, e.g. a diffuser or a collar, is attached to the wall at the outlet opening and is adapted to register with an assembly defining an elongated, linear slot in a suspended ceiling. The air delivery arrangement so constructed is supported in the ceiling with the plenum being spaced from the ceiling support members so that air delivery is provided through outlet assembly and the slot with a return being provided through the portion of the slot adjacent to that portion of the slot receiving air from the outlet assembly.
A number of linear plenum-outlet assemblies can be arranged end-to-end with open communication therebetween to increase the overall length of the air plenum. The increase in length can be such as to extend completely across a particular room being serviced or across an entire building floor in which case it may span more than one room. The ceiling slot will also have the same basic extension. Outlet openings are provided on a plurality of the plenums and are arranged to maintain the relationship necessary to achieve alternate supply and return areas at the slot.
It will be appreciated that when the plenums are described as being closed allowance is still made for connection to a central airsupply through a flexible duct.
With this arrangement, a simple assembly is provided which can be used in a suspended ceiling to provide supply and return areas at a ceiling slot. A minimum of subassemblies have to be handled by the contractor doing the actual assembly and the pattern of supply and return can be readily varied using the same basic components and without disrupting the overall ceiling. Where a plurality of end-to-end arranged plenum-outlet assembly combinations are used and span a number of rooms or areas, the size of the rooms or areas can be varied as desired and the air supply adjusted to accommodate the change by cutting the plenum and inserting a dam at the appropriate joint or joints.
Other objects and advantages will be pointed out in, or be apparent from, the specification and claims, as will obvious modifications of the embodiments shown in the drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an air plenum-diffuser assembly;
FIG. 2 is a section view taken generally along lines 22 in FIG. 3;
FIG. 3 is a side elevation of a plurality of the air plenum-diffuser assemblies of FIG. 1 arranged end-to-end in a suspended ceiling;
FIG. 4 is a section view taken generally along lines 4-4 in FIG. 3; and
FIG. 5 is an end view, in section similar to FIG. 2, of an alternative embodiment.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS With particular reference to the drawings, an air plenum-diffuser assembly 10 is illustrated as including an air plenum 12 which is formed of conventional foil covered duct board. The air plenum has a generally triangular section 14 and a projecting portion 16. The triangular section forms a linear, elongated principal air passage and projection 16, which extends the length of the principal ain passage, forms an extension off of that principal air passage.
.A sheet metal collar 18 is attached to triangular section 14 and registered with an air entry opening 20 to provide for connection of the air plenum to a central supply of air. Diffuser assembly 22 is connected to projection 16 adjacent an elongatedopening 24(see FIG. 2) provided at the terminal end of projection 16. The construction of the diffuser and. the arrangement thereof relative to the air plenum will be described in more detail hereinafter.
In FIG. 3 a plurality of the air plenumdiffuser assemblies 12, 12a, and 12b are illustrated as they would be assembled end-to-end in a suspended ceiling. More particularly the joints between the adjacent air plemum-diffuser assemblies are connected by means of tape 26 and diffusers 22 extend between adjacent pairs of cross-runner T-bars 25. In a conventional manner, cross-runner T-bars 25 extend at right angles to the main runner T-bars. The main runners are parallel to the two T-bars 27 visible in FIG. 2 which are virtually identical to the main runners but are closer spaced than normal because they form an air track. Before describing the relationship of the air plenum-diffuser assemblies in the suspended ceiling, a specific description of a diffuser assembly and its connection to the air plenum will be made.
Referring to FIG. 2, diffuser assembly 22 includes side walls 28 and 30 spaced apart to provide an air supply passage 32 therebetween. The opposite ends of the air passage are closed by end plates 34 and 36, see also FIG. 1. Pattern control means 38 is provided within the air supply passage 32. The airpattern control includes 3 nesting channel shaped weir members 40 and 42. These weir members are mounted for sliding movement relative to each other in the air supply passage to provide pattern control as well as to control the volume of flow, or completely close a passage to flow if desired. The operation and connection of the weir members in the I diffuser are more completely described in Robert R.
Lamberts US. Pat. Nos. 3,411,425, 3,444,801 assigned to the assignee of this application, and reliance is placed oh those prior patents for a more complete description of the weir mounting and function should it become necessary. For purposes of this invention it should be sufficient to explain that nesting weir members 40 and 42 extend the entire length of the linear diffuser 22 and are supported a their opposite ends between mounting members 44 and 46. Members 44 and 46 (provided at both of the opposite ends of the diffuser but only one illustrated in FIG. 3) are connected to the side walls 28 and 30 and hold the weir members against vertical movement while permitting generally unrestricted motion of the weirs between the two diffuser side walls.
The actual connection of the diffuser to the air plenum is made by machine screws 48 which extend through the upper portions of diffuser walls 28 and 30, the duct board forming the opposed walls of projection 16 of the air plenum and through backing plates 50 and 52 provided on the interior walls of projection 16. The
. lower ends of walls 28 and 30 rest on the flanges of T- bars 27. Retaining springs 54 and 56 are provided at space points on the walls of the diffuser and engage the vertical leg of the T-bars. These springs 54 and 56 hold the diffuser rigid between the T-bars minimizing vibration and also will engae the enlarged upper heads 58 of the T-bars to prevent accidental withdrawal of the air plenum-diffuser from between the two T-bars.
As mentioned above T-bars 27 are in the nature of main T-bars runners, but are closely associated so as to form the air track described previously. In other words, the horizontal flanges of the T-bars are spaced apart to provide a slot 100 in the ceiling, the regular ceiling tile 60 being supported on the outer flanges of the T-bars.
With this-arrangement, air delivered to the air plenum through opening will flow through opening 24 in the plenum to passage 32 and will discharge through slot 100 into the room or other area being serviced.
The suspended ceiling in which the air plenum-dif-- fuser assembly is utilized is of conventional construction and thereforewill not be described in specific detail. It should be sufficient for the purpose of understanding this invention to point out that cross runners 25 are all parallel to each other and extend at right angles to the main runners 27, the main runners in turn being all parallel to each other. The cross and main runner T-bas are generally supported by wire hangers and on a specific dimension module, i.e. defining 2 by 2 feet squares, 4 by 4 squares, etc. When one or more air plenum-diffuser assemblies are utilized such as illustrated in FIG. 3, the length of the air plenum, the length of the diffuser attached thereto, and the position of the diffuser on the air plenum are all related to the ceiling module.
As illustrated, the end-to-end arranged air plenums 10 are positioned parallel .to the main runners and the length of the air plenum is selected such that it is greater than the distance between two adjacent cross runners (the plenums could be parallel to the cross runners). Specifically, as illustrated, the length of the air plenum is approximately twice the distance between adjacent cross runners and the length'ofdiffuser assembly 22 is approximately equal to the spacing between a pair of adjacent cross runners. With this arrangement, diffuser 22 extends between the cross runners 25 virtually completely filling that area of the slot 100 which is commensurate with the distance between those two cross runners while the extensions of the air plenum beyond the diffusers extend over the cross runners to approximately the midpoint of the adjacent pair of cross runners at which point it engages the next adjacent plenum.
In the specific illustrated embodiment the diffusers, being shorter than the air plenum, are centered on the plenums and areas 62 and 64 of projection 16 on either side of the plenum are closed. Slot 100 extends the entire length of the air plenum assembly, or assemblies as illustrated in part of FIG. 3. Thus, there will be a slot extending across the cross runners and not only those which have diffusers 22 associated therewith. With the air plenum arrangement described, the spaces between, or adjacent the diffusers, can be utilized effectively and without undue involvement to provide an air return.
More specifically, the portions of slot 100 which are immediately adjacent the slot portions registering with diffusers 22 will be positioned below the closed areas 62 and 64 of the air plenum and the air plenum is spaced above the cross and main runners as is illustrated in the drawings. This arrangement is partly illustrated in FIG. 4 wherein it can be seen that return air can flow upwardly through slot 100 into the attic between the suspended ceiling and the actual structural ceiling. Although no additional elements are necessary to provide the return air path, a baffleinsert 66 is provided in the air track mainly for aesthetic reasons. More specifically, overlapping horizontal walls 70 and 72 block the line of sight through slot 100 into the attic so that one in the room being serviced cannot see into the attic through the return air slot.
FIG. 5 illustrates an alternative embodiment wherein the slot 100 is formed in the ceiling by an air bar assembly 91. The air bar assembly includes main runners 27 and weirs 40 and 42' supported identical to that described in connection with the embodiment of FIGS. 1-4 and also functioning in the same manner. With this embodiment, a collar is provided at opening 24, the collar being provided by longitudinal side walls 82 and 84 and end walls 86, only one end wall is illustrated in the drawing. The collar has shoulders 88 which rest atop the air bar T-bars 27 so that the air outlet of plenum l2 registers with the air bar for discharge of air through slot and air is discharged in the same manner as in the previously described embodiment. The remainder of the air plenum-collar assembly is identical to that described in connection with FIGS. 14, returns, etc.
The longitudinal position of the diffuser or collar on the plenums can be varied as desired. Also, the plenum cross section illustrated is the type which would be used at a room perimeter or adjacent a light fixture. It can have other cross-sectional shapes and the outlet need not be at one side but can be centered or otherwise positioned between the sides of the plenum.
The ends of a single plenum can be closed in a conventional manner, i.e. end plates taped to the plenum body, where one plenum is used or the otherwise open ends of end-to end arranged plenums can be similarly closed.
Although this invention has been illustrated and described in connection with particular embodiments thereof, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the invention or from the scope of the appended claims.
I claim: 1. In combination in a suspended ceiling including a plurality of ceiling members, a plurality of ceiling support members and means defining an elongated slot in said ceiling the improvement of an air delivery arrangement comprising, in combination,
means including a generally closed tubular wall portion defining an elongated, linear plenum air passage,
means defining an elongated, linear opening in said wall portion and extending parallel to the longitudinal axis of said plenum air passage,
the length of said opening being less than the overall length of said linear plenum air passage, means for delivering air to said plenum air passage for discharge through said opening,
means having a length generally equal to the length of said opening and connected to said wall portion along said opening for connecting said opening to said means defining said slot only along a length of said slot corresponding generally to the length of said opening so that air delivered to said plenum air passage is discharged through a limited length of said slot generally equal to the length of said openmg,
and said linear plenum being spaced from said ceiling support members so that air is delivered through said slot from said opening while the length of said slot adjacent that through which air is delivered is in alignment with a closed extension of said tubular wall portion and provides an air return.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said means connected to said wall portion at said opening comprises a diffuser assembly including, spaced walls projecting laterally from said wall portion and defining a passage therebetween, and pattern control means in said passage to deflect flow through said passage prior to discharge through said slot.
3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said means connected to said wall portion at said opening comprises a collar having spaced side and end walls and projecting laterally from said wall portion to define a passage therebetween.
4. The combination of claim 1 wherein said ceiling support members comprise a first set of mutually parallel ceiling support members and a second set of mutually parallel ceiling support members arranged generally perpendicular to said first set,
including a plurality of said linear plenums all generally identical in construction and each having a length greater than the spacing between adjacent ones of said first set of ceiling support members,
wherein said linear plenums are connected end-toend parallel to said second set of ceiling support members,
and wherein at least two of said linear plenums include said opening and said means connected to said wall portions at said opening,
so that air is delivered through portions of said slot from said openings while the lengths of said slot adjacent those slot portions through which air is delivered are in alignment with closed extensions of said linear plenums and provide air returns.
5. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein said means connected to said wall portions at said openings comprise diffuser assemblies including spaced walls projecting laterally from said wall portions and defining a passage therebetween, and pattern control means in said passages to deflect through said passage prior to discharge through said slot,
and wherein said diffusers are centered relative to the length of said linear plenums.
6. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein said means connected to each of said wall portions at said openings comprises a collar having spaced side and end walls and projecting laterally from said wall portions to define a passage therebetween,
and wherein each of said collars are centered relative to the length of said linear plenums.
7. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein the ceiling support members of said first set are equally spaced,
wherein said linear plenums each have a length substantially twice the spacing between adjacent ceiling support members of said first set,
and wherein said'diffusers have a length substantially equal to the spacing between adjacent ceiling support members of said first set.
8. The apparatus of claim 6 wherein the ceiling support members of said first set are equally spaced,
wherein said linear plenums each have a length substantially twice the spacing between adjacent ceiling support members of said first set,
and wherein said diffusers have a length substantially equal to the spacing between adjacent ceiling support members of said first set.