|Publication number||USRE43533 E1|
|Application number||US 09/399,545|
|Publication date||Jul 24, 2012|
|Priority date||Aug 29, 1996|
|Also published as||CA2213026A1, CA2213026C, CN1180781A, DE69725806D1, DE69725806T2, EP0826860A2, EP0826860A3, EP0826860B1, US5813191|
|Publication number||09399545, 399545, US RE43533 E1, US RE43533E1, US-E1-RE43533, USRE43533 E1, USRE43533E1|
|Inventors||Raymond G. Gallagher|
|Original Assignee||Ppg Industries Ohio, Inc|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (51), Non-Patent Citations (3), Classifications (20)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This invention relates to a spacer stock and/or spacer frame and to a multi-sheet glazing unit made using the spacer frame, and, in particular to a spacer frame having strengthened sidewalls to resist torsional twist.
European Patent Application Publication Number 0 475 213 A1 published Mar. 18, 1992 Bulletin 92/12 (hereinafter “EP Application”) based on U.S. patent application Ser. Nos. 578,697; 578,696 and 686,956 filed Sep. 4, 1990; Sep. 4, 1990, and Apr. 18, 1991, respectively (hereinafter the “EP Application”) and U.S. Pat. No. 5,531,047 discloses a thermal insulating glazing unit having an edge assembly having low thermal conductivity and a method of making same. In general, the EP Application discloses a thermal insulating glazing unit having a pair of glass sheets about and sealed to an edge assembly to provide a sealed compartment between the sheets, and U.S. Pat. No. 5,531,047 further discloses a glass sheet within the spacer frame of the edge assembly between the sheets. The edge assembly includes a spacer frame having a generally U-shaped cross section having a sealant on each of the outer surfaces of the upright legs, and optionally on the outer surface of the base of the spacer frame and an adhesive bead having desiccant therein adhered to inner surface of the base of the spacer frame.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,313,761 discloses a spacer frame for an insulating unit having a generally U-shaped cross section with portions of the upright legs of the spacer frame bent toward one another over the base of the spacer frame.
Although the design of the spacer frames disclosed in the EP Application and U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,313,761 and 5,531,047 is acceptable, it has limitations. More particularly, the sides of the spacer frame between the corners have incremental torsional twist because the outer legs of the spacer frame are only interconnected by the base. As can be appreciated, as the length of the sides between the corners of the spacer frame increases the degree of twist of the side of the spacer frame between adjacent corners increases.
U.S. patent application Ser. No. 08/529,180 filed on Sep. 15, 1995, in the name of Albert E. Thompson, Jr. discloses a spacer stock and/or spacer frame for use in the manufacture of insulating units that include a generally U-shape cross section and a base having a “T” shaped strengthening member to reduce the degree of rotational twist of the sides of the spacer frame. The strengthening member may be an insert mounted on the base between the upright legs or a strengthening member integral with the spacer stock and/or spacer frame.
Although the use of the insert and/or strengthening member disclosed in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 08/529,180 reduces torsional twist, it has limitations. More particularly, a strengthening member formed integral with the base of the spacer frame requires cutting out portions of the base when the spacer frame is formed from a continuous piece of spacer stock; further, inserts to resist torsional twist require the additional step of mounting the insert in the spacer stock or spacer frame and the carrying an inventory of inserts.
As can be appreciated by those skilled in the art of making multi-sheet glazing units, it would be advantageous to provide a spacer frame design that does not have the limitation of the presently available spacer frames to minimize if not eliminate torsional twist of the sides of the spacer frame.
This invention relates to spacer stock and/or spacer frame having a base interconnecting a pair of spaced upright legs to provide the spacer stock and/or spacer frame with a generally U-shaped cross section. Each of the uprights legs is formed to minimize if not eliminate torsional twist. In one embodiment of the invention, the upright legs in cross section have a first member and a second member connected to have a hairpin configuration with the first member connected to the base of the spacer frame and the second member having a radius end spaced from the base.
Further, the invention relates to a glazing unit having a pair of sheets spaced from each other by the spacer frame of the instant invention and secured e.g. by a sealant to outer surface of the first member of the legs of the spacer frame.
Still further, the invention relates to a method of making the spacer stock and/or spacer frame of the instant invention and/or of making a multiple glazed unit using the spacer stock and/or spacer frame of the instant invention.
The various embodiments of the spacer stock and/or spacer frame of the instant invention will be discussed in the construction of a glazing unit having a low thermal conducting edge determined using the technique disclosed in the EP Application or in U.S. Pat. No. 5,351,451 which disclosures are hereby incorporated by reference. As will be appreciated, the instant invention is not limited to a multi-sheet glazing unit that is thermally insulating and/or has a low thermal conductive edge, and that the embodiments of the present invention may be used with a multi-sheet glazing unit regardless of its thermal insulating properties, if any. In the following discussion unless otherwise indicated like numerals refer to like elements.
In the following discussion, the sheets 24 and 26 are glass sheets; however, as will become apparent, the sheets may be made of any material e.g. glass, plastic, metal and/or wood, and the selection of the materials is not limiting to the invention. Further, the sheets may be all of the same material or the sheets may be of different materials, and still further, one sheet may be a monolithic sheet and the other sheet may be a laminated sheet e.g. made of one or more monolithic sheets laminated together in any usual manner. Still further, one or more of the surfaces of one or more of the sheets may be coated e.g. glass or plastic transparent sheets may have an opaque coating of the type used in making spandrels or, an environmental coating to selectively pass predetermined wavelength ranges of light. U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,610,711; 4,806,220; 4,853,256; 4,170,460; 4,239,816 and 4,719,127 hereby incorporated by reference disclose coated sheets that may be used in the practice of the invention; however, as can be appreciated, the instant invention is not limited thereto. Further, in the practice of the invention, but not limiting thereto, one or more of the glass sheets may be coated and/or uncoated colored sheets for example, but not limiting to the invention, colored sheets of the type disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,873,206; 4,792,536; 5,030,593 and 5,240,886 which disclosures are hereby incorporated by reference.
The outer sheets 24 and 26 preferably have the same peripheral configuration and dimensions; however, as can be appreciated, one outer sheet may be larger than the other outer sheet, and one of the sheets may have different peripheral configuration than the other sheet.
With continued reference to
With continued reference to
Not limiting to the invention, a layer 50 of a sealant or adhesive-sealant may be provided over outer surface 52 of the base 34 of the spacer frame 22. The layer 50 may be material similar to the material of the layers 46; however, it is preferred that the material of the layer 50 be non-tacky so that the units 20 when stored or shipped on an edge do not stick to the supporting surface. Further, the units having the layer 50, have the spacer frame 22 preferably spaced from peripheral edges 54 of the outer sheets 24 and 26 to provide a channel filled with the layer 50 as shown in
As can be appreciated by those skilled in the art, the compartment 28 is usually filled with an insulating gas e.g. Argon, and it is, therefore, recommended that the sealant layer 46 be thin (the thickness of the layer 46 is measured between adjacent major surface of the sheet and the adjacent outer surface of the first member 36) and long (the length of the layer 46 is measured from the peripheral edge 54 of the outer sheets 24 and 26 upward as viewed in
Sealants that may be used in the practice of the invention include but are not limited to butyls, silicones, polyurethane adhesives, room temperature vulcanizable adhesives and preferably butyls and butyl hot melts such as H. B. Fuller 1191, H. B. Fuller 1081A and PPG Industries, Inc. 4442 butyl sealant.
With continued reference to
The spacer frame of the instant invention may be made of any material and configuration provided the spacer frame has resistance to torsional twist. Preferably, but not limiting to the invention, the spacer frame has structural stability to maintain the outer glass sheets 24 and 26 in spaced relationship to one another when biasing forces are applied to secure the unit 20 in a sash or a curtainwall system. Although the spacer frame of the instant invention may be made of any material e.g. wood, plastic, cardboard, compressed paper, metal e.g. stainless steel or aluminum, coated metals e.g. galvanized iron or tin coated steel, it is preferred in the practice of the invention that the spacer frame be made of metal and most preferably a low thermal conducting metal e.g. stainless steel, galvanized iron or tin coated steel such that the spacer frame has low thermal conductivity. More particularly in the practice of the invention the edge assembly of the unit which includes the spacer frame 22, the layers 46, the layer 50 (when present) and the bead 60 having the desiccant 62 (when present) has a low thermal conductivity or high RES-value determined as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,531,047.
Further, as can be appreciated, the spacer frame 22 is preferably made of a material that is moisture and/or gas impervious to prevent the ingress of environmental air into the compartment 28 and outgassing of the insulating gas from the compartment 28. Materials that are moisture and/or gas impervious that may be used in the practice of the invention, but not limited thereto, include metal e.g. galvanized steel, tin plated steel and stainless steel, halogenated polymeric material and/or spacer frames having a gas pervious core covered with an impervious film e.g. metal or polyvinylidene chloride film.
In regards to the edge assembly having a low thermal conductivity, a spacer frame made of aluminum conducts heat greater than a spacer frame made of metal coated steel e.g. galvanized or tin plated steel, a spacer frame made of metal coated carbon steels conducts heat greater than a spacer frame made of stainless steel, and a spacer frame made of stainless steel conducts heat greater than a spacer frame made of plastic. Plastics provide belter spacer frames from the standpoint of low thermal conductivity; however, metals are preferred for spacer frames because in many instances they are easier to shape and lend themselves more easily to automation than plastics and are less prone to outgassing.
In the discussion of the instant invention and in the claims, RES-value is defined as the resistance to heat flow of the edge assembly per unit length of perimeter. For a low thermal conducting edge of a multi-sheet unit of the instant invention, a RES-value of at least about 10 is acceptable, a value of at least about 50 is preferred and a RES-value of at least about 100 more preferred.
The discussion will now be directed to the features of the invention to reduce torsional twist. The degree of torsional twist is a term used to describe twist of an elongated piece e.g. a side of a spacer frame between adjacent corners or between ends of a spacer stock. By way of illustration, a side of a spacer frame having a 2 inch (5.08 cm) length may have one radian of twist. For each additional two inch length, the side of the spacer frame will have an incremental one radian of twist. Therefore for a side of a spacer frame 10 inches (25.4 cm) in length, the amount of torsional twist is 5 radians.
The amount of torsional twist is a function of the physical features of the cross sectional configuration of the spacer frame or spacer stock and the length of the side of the spacer frame under consideration or the length of the spacer stock under consideration. For example, for a spacer frame or spacer stock having a U-shaped cross section (see
Referring back to
In general, a spacer frame made of 304 stainless steel and having outer legs including only the first member 36, each first member having a height of 0.250 inch (0.63 cm), a base 34 having a width of 0.254 inch (0.64 cm), and the base and first member having a thickness of 0.010 inch (0.025 cm) is expected to have about 0.166 T radians/inch of torsional twist for each inch of elongated side of the spacer frame or stock, where T is the applied torque in pound-inch. By way of example but not limiting to the invention, for 1040 steel the torsional twist is 0.145 T radians per inch. In the practice of the invention, for spacer stock made of 304 stainless steel, an end to end torsional twist (end to end torsional twist is the length of a side of a spacer frame or the length between ends of a piece of spacer stock) of less than 0.15 radian per inch (8.6 degrees per inch) is acceptable, 0.075 radians per inch (4.3 degrees per inch) is preferred and no twist or zero twist is most preferred. For stainless steel, a maximum twist of 0.23 radians per inch is acceptable, 0.115 radians per inch is preferred and zero twist is most preferred. As can be appreciated the above examples are presented for purposes of illustration and are not limiting to the invention. Acceptable twist for other metals and non metals can be determined by one skilled in the art from the above information.
In the practice of the invention, the torsional twist should not be of a magnitude to permanently deform the side of the spacer stock by allowing shear stress to exceed the yield point of the material of the spacer frame or buckle the sides e.g. legs 30 and 32 (see
Referring back to
The invention is not limited to the shape of the outer legs 30 and 32 of the spacer frame 22 and legs 74 and 75 of the spacer frame 70, and the outer legs may have any shape provided the shape resists torsional twist or reduces torsional twist. For example as shown in
With reference to
In the practice of the invention the designs of the outer legs shown in
Most preferred in the practice of the invention is the spacer frame design shown in
As can now be appreciated, the spacer frame of the instant invention having strengthened outer legs to resist torsional twist may be used in combination with other techniques to resist torsional twist e.g. in combination with the strengthening member disclosed in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 08/529,180. Referring to
The spacer frame of the instant invention having resistance to torsional twist may be formed to have continuous corners e.g. of the type disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,351,451 or may be formed by joining ends of pieces or sections of spacer stock using corner keys or by welding as is known in the art of making multi-sheet insulating glazing units. As used herein, a continuous corner is a corner having at least the base of the spacer frame continuous (portions of the upright legs 30 and 32 may also be continuous) around selected corners of the spacer frame as contrasted to joining ends of sections of spacer stock together e.g. by corner keys or by welding.
The discussion will now be directed to forming a piece of spacer stock, and thereafter, forming a spacer frame, incorporating features of the invention.
With reference to
Although not limiting to the invention and with reference to
Another technique for making a spacer stock and/or a spacer frame incorporating features of the instant invention is to shape an elongated strip to provide one section of spacer stock having sufficient length to be bent to form a closed spacer frame. In the instant when the spacer frame has corners e.g. the spacer frame has a parallelepiped shapes the spacer frame has continuous corners, e.g. at least the base and optionally, portions of the outer legs are continuous, at at least one corner and preferably at at least three corners. Spacer frames of this type are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,351,451.
In the practice of the invention it is preferred to fabricate spacer frames having continuous corners. The invention will be discussed to fabricate a glazing unit similar to the unit 20 shown in
One of the glass sheets 24 or 26 is coated, and the coating is of the type sold by PPG Industries under its registered trademark Sungate® 100 coated glass. The coated surface of the sheet 24 or 26 faces the compartment 28.
With reference to
Each of the notched areas 272, 274 and 276 have vertical edges 304 as viewed in
The strip 238 is shaped in any convenient manner to provide the spacer stock 262 shown in
The adhesive-sealant layers 46 are extruded onto the outer surface 48 of the outer legs 30 and 32. The adhesive-sealant of the layers 46 may be of the type sold as H. B. Fuller 1191 hot melt butyl. The layers 46 have an applied thickness of about 0.040 inch (0.010 cm) and a height of about 0.250 inch (0.32 cm) to provide a layer 46 having a thickness of about 0.020 inch (0.05 cm) and a height of about 0.300 inch (0.08 cm) after the glass sheets are pressed against the outer legs.
As can be appreciated, the bead 60 having the desiccant 62 may be extruded onto the base of the spacer stock before, after, or during the extrusion of the layers 46 onto the outer surface 48 of the legs 30 and 32, and the bead 60 may be applied and/or the layers 46 may be applied during or after the strip 238 (
The spacer stock 262 is bent at the corner portions 284 and 286, at the corner portion 282 and thereafter at the corner portion 280 while the tapered end 260 is telescoped into the end 264 of the spacer stock 262 to form the spacer frame having continuous corners.
The holes 254 and 256 are aligned with each other and may be sealed with polyisobutylene, and/or joined with a close end rivet or screw. The outer glass sheets 24 and 26 are thereafter positioned over the layer 46 and biased toward one another to flow the layer 46 to secure the outer glass sheets to the legs 30 and 32 of the spacer frame. Thereafter the sealant-adhesive 50 is flowed into the channel formed by the marginal edge portions of the outer sheets 24 and 26 and the outer surface 52 and base 34 of the spacer frame 22.
With reference to
As can now be appreciated, the embodiments of the invention present are for purposes of illustration only and are not limiting to the invention and other embodiments are contemplated by the invention and within the scope of the claimed invention.
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|1||"Locked-in Value" brochure; TruSeal Technologies (Mar. 1999).|
|2||Advertisement from Lockformer Company (no. date).|
|3||Statement in Information Disclosure Statement.|
|U.S. Classification||52/786.13, 52/786.1, 52/786.11, 52/204.5, 428/34, 52/204.595|
|International Classification||E04B1/80, E04C2/54, A47G1/00, E06B3/66, E06B3/673, E06B3/64, E06B3/663, E06B5/00, E06B3/24|
|Cooperative Classification||E06B3/66366, E06B2003/66395, E06B3/66309, E06B3/67313|