US20060225627A1 - Work surface, edge treatment and method for configuring work surface - Google Patents

Work surface, edge treatment and method for configuring work surface Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060225627A1
US20060225627A1 US11/101,835 US10183505A US2006225627A1 US 20060225627 A1 US20060225627 A1 US 20060225627A1 US 10183505 A US10183505 A US 10183505A US 2006225627 A1 US2006225627 A1 US 2006225627A1
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Prior art keywords
lands
edge
sheet
spaced
core matrix
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US11/101,835
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Kurt Heidmann
Dave Jones
Mark Slager
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Steelcase Development Inc
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Steelcase Development Inc
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Priority to US11/101,835 priority Critical patent/US20060225627A1/en
Assigned to STEELCASE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION reassignment STEELCASE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: JONES, DAVE, HEIDMANN, KURT, SLAGER, MARK
Publication of US20060225627A1 publication Critical patent/US20060225627A1/en
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47BTABLES; DESKS; OFFICE FURNITURE; CABINETS; DRAWERS; GENERAL DETAILS OF FURNITURE
    • A47B96/00Details of cabinets, racks or shelf units not covered by a single one of groups A47B43/00 - A47B95/00; General details of furniture
    • A47B96/20Furniture panels or like furniture elements
    • A47B96/205Composite panels, comprising several elements joined together
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47BTABLES; DESKS; OFFICE FURNITURE; CABINETS; DRAWERS; GENERAL DETAILS OF FURNITURE
    • A47B96/00Details of cabinets, racks or shelf units not covered by a single one of groups A47B43/00 - A47B95/00; General details of furniture
    • A47B96/20Furniture panels or like furniture elements
    • A47B96/201Edge features

Abstract

A steel two skin worksurface configuration is disclosed. The worksurface configuration includes a metallic core matrix including spaced coplanar top lands defining a first bearing surface of the core matrix and spaced coplanar bottom lands defining a second bearing surface parallel to the first bearing surface. A bridging structure connects the top lands and the bottom lands. The bridging structure has throughholes arranged around top lands and arranged inline between top lands and adjacent bottom lands. The bridging structure includes saddle shaped regions between adjacent top lands and between adjacent bottom lands. The worksurface configuration also includes a metallic top sheet bonded to the top lands, and a metallic bottom sheet bonded to the bottom lands. An edge treatment configuration having an edge channel that is bonded to a perimeter area of the bottom sheet is also disclosed. The edge channel receives various edge members. A system for mounting components, such as legs, to the worksurface configuration is also disclosed.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • Not applicable.
  • STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
  • Not applicable.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • The field of the invention is work surfaces and more specifically steel laminated work surfaces having a matrix type internal structure.
  • From a design perspective, a planar member used to form a work surface structure should ideally have certain characteristics and working properties. First, a planar member used to form a work surface should provide a completely flat surface as the work surface without any imperfections (i.e. bumps, ripples, grain patterns, cracks, etc.).
  • Second, a planar member for providing a work surface should be extremely stiff and should not bend when anticipated forces are applied thereto. In this regard, ideally the planar member is at least somewhat self supporting so that if an edge of the planar member extends past (e.g., two plus feet) a supporting leg there below, the edge of the member will not bend when force is applied thereto. Similarly, if member supporting legs are separated by several feet (e.g., six feet), a central section of the planar member should not bend when force is applied thereto.
  • Third, a planar member for providing a work surface should be workable into many different shapes including rectilinear shapes, curved shapes and other desirable shapes so that the member can be used in many different and diverse applications. For instance, in one application one end of a planar work surface member may be rectilinear while the opposite end may have a rounded and substantially circular shape.
  • Fourth, a planar member used to form a work surface should have a minimal thickness to increase the number of available design options. Here, where a specific design requires a thin table top, the planar member can be used and where another design required a thicker table top, two or more of the planar members can be stacked or one of the planar members can be stacked with some other type of flat member (e.g., non-structural) to provide the desired effect.
  • Fifth, a planar member for providing a work surface is ideally light weight so that the member can be used in many different applications.
  • Sixth, a planar work surface forming member should have a top surface that can be finished with many different finishes. For instance, in some applications it may be desirable to have a wood work surface finish while in other cases a metallic finish, a ceramic finish, a plastic finish, a rubber finish, etc., may be desired.
  • Seventh, an ideal planar work surface forming member should be easy to manufacture so that cost can be minimized.
  • The table and work space industries have attempted to provide planar members that have the optimal characteristics above but each attempt has had one or more shortcomings. To this end, while many different finishing coverings or layers can by applied to wood and wood can generally be processed to provide precisely flat work surfaces, in order to provide sufficient stiffness for many work surface applications, wood often has to be relatively thick and can be relatively heavy. In addition, because stock wood typically comes in dimensions that are less than work surface dimensions, it is relatively difficult to form at least some desirable work surface shapes out of planar wood material.
  • To overcome some of the limitations associated with wood as a work surface material, the industry has extensively used laminates that include several thin layers of wood or other fibrous material that are glued together. Laminated materials can be configured in virtually any shape and size, are easy to manipulate and use in manufacturing processes and can be finished with many different top layers. Unfortunately, to provide laminated work surface members that are sufficiently stiff for some applications, the laminated members have to be relatively thick (e.g., 1⅛ inches thick) and are often relatively heavy and hence difficult to work with.
  • Planar work surface members have been designed that have two spaced external sheets or skins of metal or the like and an embossed or formed sheet (hereinafter “the waffle layer”) therebetween that forms a “waffle pattern” intended to lend rigidity and strength to the assembly while allowing the assembly to remain relatively light weight. Hereinafter, unless indicated otherwise, these three layer arrangements will be referred to as “waffle assemblies”. In these prior waffle assemblies the inner rigidity imparting sheet has usually been formed or embossed to have a plurality of indentations on each side so that the sheet has a plurality of elevations on each side, terminating in relatively flat plateaus or lands to which the spaced skins are secured by welding or the like.
  • These waffle assemblies have several advantages. Specifically, like woods and laminates, waffle assemblies can be used to form flat work surfaces. In addition, waffle assemblies, like laminates, can be formed into virtually any shape and size. Moreover, minimally thick and relatively light weight waffle assemblies can provide greater stiffness than similarly thick laminate and wood members. Stiffness and rigidity can be maximized by forming the waffle layer to have a large number or lands that extend in either direction so that many points of contact exist between the waffle layer and the skins. This is particularly important proximate the edge sections of a waffle assembly so that edges of the skins are sufficiently supported.
  • Shortcomings with waffle assemblies generally have to do with the manufacturing processes used to form the assemblies. To this end, as well known in the metal working arts, when sheet metal is stretched beyond a threshold level, the metal tears or rips and the sheet has to be scrapped. Known prior art references teach that the middle waffle layer can be embossed in one of two ways. First, the waffle layer can be embossed by a die-shaping procedure wherein a flat middle sheet is fed from the sheet margins toward the center of the sheet during the forming process as the middle of the sheet is die pressed to form the lands. Here, the middle sheet material only stretches minimally and tears and the like occur to a lesser extent. While this die-shaping procedure results in fewer scrap pieces, the procedure causes material shrinkage as the margins of the middle sheet are drawn in toward the central portion thereof during the die-shaping process. Shrinkage is problematic as the shape of the resulting waffle layer is difficult to predict and the resulting waffle layer is difficult to cut into required shapes without deforming the waffle pattern generally.
  • Second, the waffle layer can be formed via a stretch-forming process by rigidly anchoring the margin portions of the middle sheet and striking or stretching the sheet via coacting dies to form the lands and the waffle pattern in general. Here, because the margins are anchored, the middle sheet does not shrink during shaping and an end shape for the waffle layer can be cut out prior to the embossing activity. Unfortunately, in the case of a waffle layer having a land pattern that provides a desired amount of stiffness and rigidity, it has been recognized that the amount of stretching required to form the waffle layer exceeds the stretching threshold level in at least some parts of the middle sheet during formation and therefore tearing or other irregularities routinely occur.
  • Another manufacturing shortcoming has to do with how to bond the waffle assembly skin layers to the waffle layer. The prior art contemplates several different ways to bond the skins to the waffle layer including welding and cementing. On one hand, cementing typically requires larger lands than welding to provide sufficient bonding activity and therefore reduces the overall number of lands that can be formed for a given work surface area. Welding, on the other hand, requires smaller lands and therefore can be used to increase the number of lands and hence member stiffness but can result in discontinuities (i.e., bumps, recesses, etc.) in the resulting work surface where the welding activity occurs.
  • One other manufacturing difficulty is related to how to finish the top surface of the skin that forms the work surface of a waffle assembly. In this regard, in many cases, it is relatively expensive to apply a finishing layer or coating (e.g., paint, ceramic, etc.) to separate work surface forming skins in a piecewise fashion. Nevertheless, where welding is used to secure the skin to a waffle layer, piecewise application of finishing layers after welding is necessary as the heat associated with welding would damage or destroy most finishes applied prior to welding.
  • In addition to the manufacturing issues related to waffle assembly type work surface members, one other problem is how to finish the edges of the waffle assembly. While various flexible nosing systems have been devised for more conventional type table tops (e.g., laminated tops, etc.), no known finishing edge treatment is known that addresses the particular needs of a waffle type assembly. In this regard, in addition to providing a finished appearance for the waffle assembly edge, a suitable edge treatment should provide support for the skin members along the edge as the lands proximate the edge typically are not fully supported and hence stiffness at the edges is often less than required for certain applications.
  • Still one other problem with a waffle assembly is how to mount supporting structure such as legs, pedestals, etc. thereto in an aesthetically acceptable manner. In this regard, while supporting structure must be rigidly mounted to the undersurface of a waffle assembly in many applications, for both functional as well as aesthetic reasons, the mounting structure should not be noticeable from the top working surface. Where a leg is to be mounted to the undersurface of a waffle assembly by four bolts that extend upward through a flange at the top of the leg, the bolts therefore must terminate within the thickness of the waffle assembly and hence can only be anchored to the bottom skin and/or the waffle layer which makes for a relatively flimsy mount.
  • Thus it would be advantageous to have a work surface forming assembly that is light weight, thin, extremely stiff and rigid, workable into many different shapes and sizes, is easy to manufacture and that can be finished in variable ways. In addition, it would be advantageous to have an edge trim configuration suitable for use with a waffle assembly type member and a suitable way to mount legs or other support structure to the underside of a waffle assembly type structure. Moreover, it would be advantageous to have a method that facilitates configuration of multiple work surface types having the aforementioned characteristics.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The foregoing needs are met by the present invention which provides a stiff, lightweight, two skin worksurface configuration capable of being produced in many of the same sizes and shapes of traditional worksurface configurations, such as rectangles, ovals, “L” shaped, etc., worksurface configurations, with minimal thickness. In at least some embodiments, the worksurface configuration includes: (a) a core matrix including (i) a first group of spaced coplanar top lands defining a first bearing surface of the core matrix, (ii) a second group of spaced coplanar bottom lands defining a second bearing surface of the core matrix, the first bearing surface and the second bearing surface being arranged in spaced apart relationship, and (iii) a bridging structure connecting the first group of spaced coplanar top lands and the second group of spaced coplanar bottom lands, the bridging structure having throughholes arranged around each land of the first group so that at least some of the throughholes are arranged inline between lands of the first group and adjacent lands of the second group; and (b) a top sheet bonded to the first group of spaced coplanar lands; and (c) a bottom sheet bonded to the second group of spaced coplanar lands.
  • The bridging structure of the core matrix includes curvilinear regions between adjacent top lands of the first group, and curvilinear regions between adjacent lands of the second group. In some cases, the curvilinear regions are saddle shaped. The top sheet may include a top surface layer comprising a material selected from ceramic coatings, polymeric coatings, laminates, and metallic coatings. Individual top lands are preferably dimensioned to have a larger surface area than individual bottom lands. In some cases, the top lands are circular and the bottom lands are circular.
  • The shape and design of the core matrix of the worksurface configuration provides for frequent connection to the top sheet and the bottom sheet minimizing local weaknesses in the worksurface configuration top. Also, the shape of the core matrix provides high strength through the double saddle form effectively connecting each attachment location, that is, the top lands and the bottom lands. Furthermore, a larger surface area for the top lands is advantageous in that this provides a larger surface area for adhesive bonding which is preferred to minimize damage to any surface finish applied to the top sheet. In the case of the bottom sheet, smaller lands will suffice in at least some applications as welding or other mechanical securing structure may be used.
  • The present invention also includes an edge treatment configuration that provides a method for finishing the edge of a worksurface configuration and that is compatible with the various geometric shapes mentioned above. The edge treatment configuration includes a flexible steel edge channel that is bonded or otherwise secured to a perimeter area of the bottom skin described above in at least some applications. This edge channel is capable of following the perimeter area through relatively tight internal and external bends. It is this flexibility that makes the edge treatment configuration compatible with the various geometries. Also, the edge channel may be formed from steel such that the edge channel is 100% recyclable.
  • The edge channel meets several functional requirements. First, the edge channel provides a structural connection between the upper and lower skins. This is essential in producing a stiff worksurface configuration that is capable of sustaining edge loads without a significant amount of deflection. Second, the edge channel can receive various finishing edge members including edge banding, edge molding, etc. The edge channel accomplishes this via a generally “C” shaped geometry. The lower surfaces of the edge channel are designed to be welded or otherwise secured to the bottom skin. The upper surfaces of the edge channel are designed to be bonded with adhesive or otherwise secured to the upper skin. Both the upper and lower surfaces of the edge channel may have offset sections. These offset section are designed to receive mounting fingers of an edge member. In at least some cases the offset sections include sharp barbs or points that are designed to penetrate into the edge member and securely hold the edge member in place.
  • The present invention also provides a system for mounting a component(s) (e.g., legs) to a worksurface configuration having a first sheet and a second sheet arranged to form an interior space in the worksurface configuration. The component mounting system includes a spacer having a side wall and a flange extending away from an edge of the side wall of the spacer. The spacer is dimensioned to fit in the interior space in the worksurface configuration. The component mounting system also includes at least one fastener for mounting the component to the first or second sheet of the worksurface configuration. Each fastener is suitable for extending through the sheet and engaging the flange of the spacer.
  • In one form, the spacer includes a top wall, and the spacer is dimensioned such that the top wall contacts an interior surface of the first sheet of the worksurface configuration and the flange contacts an interior surface of the second sheet of the worksurface configuration when the spacer is placed in the interior space in the worksurface configuration. In another form, the spacer includes a top wall and four side walls extending downwardly from the top wall. Each side wall terminates at its bottom in a lower edge of the spacer, and a flange extends outwardly from each lower edge of the spacer. The top wall contacts an interior surface of the first sheet of the worksurface configuration and the flanges contact an interior surface of the second sheet of the worksurface configuration when the spacer is placed in the interior space in the worksurface configuration. As a result, the spacers provide a further stiffening mechanism for the spaced apart first and second sheets of the worksurface configuration.
  • The component mounting system further includes a mounting bracket attached to the component. The mounting bracket has holes for receiving fasteners (e.g., screws), and the flanges of the spacer also have holes for receiving fasteners. When the component is mounted to the worksurface configuration, the holes formed by the spacer flanges align with the holes in the bracket.
  • The present invention also provides a method of manufacturing a worksurface configuration. In the method, a blank of planar sheet metal is first formed. The blank of planar sheet metal has central sections and throughholes arranged around a perimeter of each central section. The central sections form columns and rows. The blank is then deformed such that a first subset of the central sections in every other column and in every other row are used to form a first group of spaced coplanar lands at one side of the core matrix and such that a second subset of the central sections including central sections located between central sections from the first subset form a second group of spaced coplanar lands at an opposite side of the core matrix.
  • A second sheet is then welded to the second group of spaced coplanar lands. A plurality of spacers having a top wall, side walls connected to the top wall and lower flanges outwardly extending from the side wall are mounted to the second sheet by way of flanges like those described above. An edge channel is then secured to a perimeter area of the second sheet so that the edge channel forms an outward opening. A first metallic sheet is adhesively bonded to the first group of spaced coplanar lands, the top walls of the spacers, and the top surface of the edge channel. An edge member is then inserted in the opening of the edge channel. Support legs are next mounted on the second sheet by fasteners that engage the lower flange of a spacer.
  • These and other objects, advantages and aspects of the invention will become apparent from the following description. In the description, reference is made to the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof, and in which there is shown an example embodiment of the invention. Such embodiment does not necessarily represent the full scope of the invention and reference is made therefor, to the claims herein for interpreting the scope of the invention.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a worksurface configuration according to the invention with a top sheet and an edge member removed for illustration purposes;
  • FIG. 2 is a top, right perspective view of an embodiment of a core matrix suitable for use in a worksurface configuration according to at least one aspect of the present invention;
  • FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the core matrix of FIG. 2;
  • FIG. 4 is a bottom plan view of the core matrix of FIG. 2;
  • FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of the core matrix of FIG. 2;
  • FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of the core matrix of FIG. 2;
  • FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of the core matrix taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 3;
  • FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of the core matrix taken along line 8-8 of FIG. 3;
  • FIG. 9 is a top plan view of an embodiment of an edge channel suitable for use with a worksurface configuration according to at least some aspects of the present invention;
  • FIG. 10 is a partial front elevational view of the edge channel of FIG. 9;
  • FIG. 11 is a side elevational view of the edge channel of FIG. 9 before installation of an edge member according to the invention;
  • FIG. 12 is a side elevational view similar to FIG. 11, albeit where the edge member has been installed;
  • FIG. 13 is a top plan view of a spacer useable to mount a leg to a worksurface configuration according to at least some embodiments of the invention;
  • FIG. 14 is a side elevational view of the spacer of FIG. 13;
  • FIG. 15 is a bottom plan view of the spacer of FIG. 13;
  • FIG. 16 is a top plan view of a leg mounting bracket for mounting a leg to the spacer of FIGS. 13-15; and
  • FIG. 17 is a bottom plan view of the leg mounting bracket of FIG. 16.
  • Like reference numerals will be used to refer to like or similar parts from Figure to Figure in the following description of the drawings.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • Specific embodiments of the present invention will now be described. It should be appreciated that in the development of any such actual implementation, as in any engineering or design project, numerous implementation-specific decisions must be made to achieve the developers' specific goals, such as compliance with system-related and business related constraints, which may vary from one implementation to another. Moreover, it should be appreciated that such a development effort might be complex and time consuming, but would nevertheless be a routine undertaking of design, fabrication, and manufacture for those of ordinary skill having the benefit of this disclosure.
  • In FIGS. 1-17, there is shown an exemplary embodiment of a worksurface configuration 10 according to at least some embodiments of the invention. The worksurface configuration 10 includes a top sheet 36, a bottom sheet 42, a core matrix 14, spacers 84 for mounting legs 91 to bottom sheet 42, an edge channel 58 and an edge member 74. In FIG. 1, top sheet 36 and edge member 74 have been removed for illustration purposes.
  • In the exemplary embodiment of the worksurface configuration 10, bottom sheet 42 is a flat rigid sheet type member formed of about 0.030 inch (0.762 mm.) thick steel. Similarly, top sheet 36 is a flat, rigid sheet type member formed of about 0.035 inch (0.889 mm.) thick steel. The top sheet 36 includes a top surface that may be finished in any of several different ways depending upon the application that configuration 10 is to be used for. For instance, the top surface of sheet 36 may be painted, a laminate or veneer may be glued thereto, a thin film material may be applied, a spray ceramic coating may be sprayed on and then baked to cure, etc. Such a top surface treatment is shown as top surface layer 37 in FIGS. 11 and 12.
  • Core matrix 14, as the label implies, includes a matrix-type configuration. Core matrix 14, in at least some of the embodiments, is formed of flat sheet steel approximately 0.027 inch (0.686 mm.) thick, that is formed via a cutting and pressing process into the illustrated matrix structure.
  • Referring again to FIGS. 11 and 12, in general, sheets 36 and 42 and core matrix 14 are assembled such that core matrix 14 resides between top and bottom sheets 36 and 42, respectively, so that an interior space 40 is formed between sheets 36 and 42. Here, the thickness of core matrix 14 (i.e., the dimension between facing surfaces of sheets 36 and 42 when core matrix 14 is disposed therebetween) generally determines the resulting thickness of the assembled worksurface configuration 10. Exemplary configuration thicknesses may be as small as ¼ inch (6.25 mm). and can be as large as two inches (50.8 mm.), while particularly useful thicknesses include ½ inch, ¾ inch and 1⅛ inches (12.7 mm., 19.05 mm., 28.65 mm. respectively).
  • Referring now to FIGS. 2 to 8, core matrix 14 includes a first group of spaced top coplanar lands 16 defining a first bearing surface of core matrix 14, and a second group of spaced bottom coplanar lands 19 defining a second bearing surface of core matrix 14. The first bearing surface and the second bearing surface are arranged in parallel spaced apart relationship. In one exemplary embodiment of core matrix 14, bottom lands 19 are ½ inch (12.7 mm.) or less in diameter, top lands 16 are about 1 inch (25.4 mm.) in diameter, and there is about 2 inches (50.8 mm.) between each two adjacent top lands and about 2 inches between each two adjacent bottom lands. Here, top lands 16 have a larger surface area than the bottom lands 19 to provide a larger surface area suitable for adhesive bonding as opposed to weld-type bonding.
  • While weld-type bonding generally provides a superior bond, it has been recognized that welding can result in irregularities in surface appearance and texture. For this reason, while welding may be suitable in some applications where associated surfaces are not easily or intended to be observable, in other applications where an associated surface is observable, welding may not be suitable. Thus, in the present application where a top surface of top sheet 36 is often observable, adhesive attachment of sheet 36 to matrix 14 and hence relatively larger lands are often optimal.
  • Core matrix 14 includes a bridging structure 22 that connects the first group of spaced coplanar top lands 16 and the second group of spaced coplanar bottom lands 19. The bridging structure 22 has throughholes 25 arranged around each top land 16. Referring to FIGS. 2 to 4, the throughholes 25 are arranged “in line” between top lands 16 and adjacent bottom lands 19. Here, “in line” means that traveling down the surface of bridging structure 22 between one of the top lands 16 directly toward an adjacent bottom land 19, the line of travel passes through one of the throughholes 25.
  • The throughholes 25 are provided as illustrated to provide strain relief to core matrix 14 during the pressing formation process. Thus, it has been recognized that most strain on the core matrix 14 during formation occurs where throughholes 25 are formed. By removing the core matrix material at the throughhole locations prior to forming, material rips and tears are avoided or at least appreciably reduced.
  • Referring to FIGS. 6 and 7, bridging structure 22 includes curvilinear regions 30 between adjacent top lands 16 of the first group. In some cases, the curvilinear regions 30 are saddle-shaped regions. Referring also to FIG. 8, bridging structure 22 also includes curvilinear regions 32 between adjacent bottom lands 19 of the second group. In some cases, curvilinear regions 32 are saddle-shaped regions. Thus, core matrix 14 provides a double saddle form effectively connecting top lands 16 and bottom lands 19.
  • In the exemplary embodiment of core matrix 14, top lands 16 are circular and bottom lands 19 are circular, although other shapes are contemplated. Throughholes 25 are oval or elliptical, although other shapes are contemplated. In FIGS. 2 and 3, throughholes 25 are initially circular and then are oval after pressing. In FIGS. 2 and 3, throughholes 25 are circular when viewed from above (see FIG. 3), and oval or elliptical when viewed in perspective (see FIG. 2). In the exemplary embodiment, four throughholes 25 are equispaced around the perimeter 17 of each top land 16, and each of the four throughholes 25 is arranged in line between an adjacent top land 16 and one of the four bottom lands 19 proximate the top land 16. An edge 26 of each of the four throughholes 25 touches the perimeter 17 of the top land 16 in the exemplary embodiment.
  • In one version of the worksurface configuration 10, core matrix 14 is spot welded to bottom sheet 42 and adhesively bonded to top sheet 36. However, the invention is not limited to these attachment methods for core matrix 14, bottom sheet 42 and top sheet 36. For example, top sheet 36 may be welded to the core matrix 14 if damage to top surface layer 37 and top sheet 36 can be avoided. It should be appreciated that adhesively bonding core matrix 14 and top sheet 36 (including top surface layer 37) allows for efficient and flexible finish options without danger of damaging top surface layer 37. Relatively low, short duration heat is required (e.g., 220° F. for 6 seconds) to cure at least some types of adhesives. Most worksurface finishes will not be damaged by heating of this magnitude and duration.
  • Turning now to FIGS. 9 to 12, there is shown an edge configuration 56 for the perimeter of a worksurface configuration 10 according to at least some inventive embodiments. Edge configuration 56 includes an edge channel 58 and an edge member 74. Edge configuration 56 is mounted in a perimeter area 21 (see FIG. 11) between top sheet 36 and bottom sheet 42. In at least some cases, the edge channel 58 is formed from 0.020″ (0.5 mm.) thick steel.
  • Edge channel 58 shown in FIGS. 9 to 12 includes a back wall 59 having top or first and bottom or second edges 60 and 61, respectively, a first group of spaced apart upper tabs 64 extending outwardly from top edge 60 in a first direction, and a second group of spaced apart lower tabs 69 extending outwardly from bottom edge 61 in the first direction such that tabs 64 and 69 are substantially parallel.
  • Each of upper tabs 64 is similar in configuration and operation and therefore only one of the tabs 64 will be described here in detail. To this end, referring still to FIGS. 9-12, an exemplary upper tab 64 includes a proximal member 68, a distal member 65, an intermediate member 130, and a barb 66. As best seen in FIG. 9, proximal section 68 has a wide edge 150 proximate back wall 59, a relatively narrow edge 152 opposite wide edge 150 and generally parallel thereto and lateral edges 154 and 156 that taper from wide edge 150 toward and to narrow edge 152. The surface 176 of section 68 facing away from the bottom tabs 64 is substantially flat.
  • Referring still to FIG. 9, distal section 65 is generally “T” shaped in top plan view having a leg section 158 and two arm sections 160 and 162 that extend outwardly from a distal edge 170 of the leg section 158. Leg section 158, like proximal section 68, tapers from a proximal edge 168 toward distal edge 170.
  • Referring to FIG. 11, intermediate section 130 extends from narrow edge 152 of proximal section 64 toward bottom tab 69 and is generally perpendicular to section 68. Proximal edge 168 of distal section 158 is connected to section 130 opposite proximal section 64, extends away from back wall 59 and is substantially parallel to proximal section 64. Barbs 66 extend from the distal ends of arm members 160 and 162 in a direction away from bottom tabs 69.
  • In at least some embodiments, the wide edge 150 of each upper and lower tab is approximately ½ inch although other widths are contemplated. In addition, channels 58 are contemplated where the wide edge widths 150 may vary along the length of the channel depending upon functional requirements associated with an application.
  • Referring again to FIGS. 9-12, bottom tabs 69 have a design that is substantially similar to top tabs 64 and therefore, in the interest of simplifying this explanation, bottom tabs 69 will not be described here in detail. Here, it should suffice to say that each tab 69 includes a proximal section 73, an intermediate section 132, a distal section 70 and barbs 71 where proximal section 73 is connected to bottom edge 61 of back wall 59, intermediate section 132 connects proximal and distal sections 73 and 70, respectively, and barbs 71 extend from section 70 in a direction away from tabs 64. The surface 178 of section 73 facing away from top tabs 64 is substantially flat.
  • Referring yet again to FIGS. 9-12, surfaces 176 of top tabs 64 form a first bearing surface referred to hereinafter via label 176. Similarly, surfaces 178 of bottom tabs 69 form a second bearing surface referred to hereinafter via label 178.
  • Referring again to FIG. 9, back wall 59, upper tabs 64 and lower tabs 69 are typically dimensioned such that edge channel 58 has a thickness between bearing surfaces 176 and 178 equal to the thickness of core matrix 14 (i.e., the dimension between facing surfaces of sheets 36 and 42 when core matrix 14 is disposed therebetween).
  • Referring to FIG. 10, back wall 59 forms downwardly extending notches 63 a located between upper tabs 64, and forms upwardly extending notches 63 b located between lower tabs 69. Back wall 59 also forms holes between associated top and bottom tabs 64 and 69, respectively. In at least some embodiments each notch 63 a, 63 b is approximately ¼-inch wide.
  • Referring again to FIG. 9, it is believed that the tapered shapes of proximate section 68 and leg section 158 as well as notches 63 a and 63 b and holes 62 may enable channel 58 to be curved to fit many different applications more easily while also adding in manufacturing registration. Here, notches 63 a and 63 b and holes 62 render channel 58 relatively flexible while the tapered shapes of sections 68 and 158 allow inward bending (see bending about radius R is FIG. 9) without interference between adjacent tabs, barbs, etc. One exemplary embodiment of the edge channel 58 is capable of a 2″ (50.8 mm.) minimum internal bend radius R as shown in FIG. 9.
  • Referring again to FIGS. 11 and 12, edge member 74 includes a generally flat central wall member 75 (about 0.078″ or 2 mm. thick) and parallel first and second inwardly directed mounting fingers 76 and 78, respectively. Edge member 74 includes a first upwardly extending flange 77 that extends above the first mounting finger 76, and a second downwardly extending flange 79 that extends below the second mounting finger 78. Facing surfaces 81 of fingers 76 and 78 are substantially flat.
  • Referring specifically to FIG. 11, a thickness of finger 76 between surface 81 and an oppositely facing surface (not labeled) is similar to the length of intermediate section 130 of channel 59. Similarly, a thickness of finger 78 between surface 81 and an oppositely facing surface is similar to the length of intermediate section 132. Fingers 76 and 78 are spaced apart such that the dimension between facing surfaces 81 is similar (e.g., slightly larger than) the dimension between oppositely facing surfaces of distal sections 65 and 70 of tabs 64 and 69, respectively. Various constructions of edge member 74 are suitable. For instance, member 74 may include a semi-rigid, low profile plastic extrusion. In any case, member 74 is formed of a semi-rigid material.
  • Referring still to FIGS. 9-12, to attach channel 58 and edge member 74 to a sub-assembly including top and bottom sheets 36 and 42 and core matrix 14 like the subassembly described above, channel 58 is received within the space 40 between sheets 36 and 42 so that facing surfaces of sheets 36 and 42 contact first and second bearing surfaces 176 and 178, respectively and so that distal sections 65 and 70 are proximate edges of sheets 36 and 42 and extend generally in the same direction as the sheet edges. Channel 58 can be secured within space 40 in any of several ways including welding, adhesive, etc. Once channel 58 is secured adjacent the sheet 35 and 42 edges, the facing surfaces of top sheet 36 and distal sections 65 form an upper channel 67 and the facing surfaces of bottom sheet 42 and distal sections 70 form a lower channel 72.
  • Next, fingers 76 and 78 are aligned with upper and lower channels 67 and 72 and then are pressed into channels 67 and 72. While fingers 76 and 78 are pressed into channels 67 and 72, barbs 66 and 71 penetrate surfaces 81 of fingers 76 and 78 and hence hold edge member in position along the edge of the worksurface configuration (see FIG. 12).
  • Referring again to FIGS. 11 and 12, the cross-sectional profile of edge member 74 may take any of several different forms. For instance, the profile could be non-symmetrical so that when a decorative laminate is used, flange 77 extends up along the edge of the laminate. Here, if top sheet 36 is painted instead of laminated, the extrusion 74 may be reversed so that a shorter flange 79 points up but does not extend past the painted surface. In another instance, edge member 74 may have tall flange 77 that can be trimmed to the correct height after a top surface layer 37 has been applied to the top sheet 36. This method would allow various materials to be used as the decorative top surface layer 37 such as high pressure laminate painted steel, leather, wood veneer, solid surface materials such as Corian®, or veneers such as Forbo®. In addition, a second co-extruded material could be used to provide a more decorative edge 89 to the edge member 74. Here, the second material may include a softer durometer, similar to many existing “T” moldings. In an alterative embodiment, the edge of top sheet 36 may be bent downward so that some other nose edge type can be connected (e.g., via crimping, clamping, etc.)
  • Referring to FIG. 1 and FIGS. 13 to 17, the leg mounting system includes spacers 84, a mounting bracket 92 for each leg 91, and at least one fastener for assembling each spacer 84 and each mounting bracket 92. Suitable fasteners include without limitation bolts, dowels, pins, clip, rivets, hooks, nails, pegs, posts, and screws.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 13-15, an example spacer 84 is formed from 0.060″ (1.524 mm.) thick steel, and has a rectangular top wall 85. Side walls 86 a, 86 b, 86 c and 86 d extend downwardly from the edges of the top base wall 85 and are perpendicular thereto. Flanges 87 a, 87 b, 87 c and 87 d extend outwardly away from the lower edges of the side walls 86 a, 86 b, 86 c and 86 d, respectively. Flanges 87 a, 87 b, 87 c and 87 d include holes 88 for accepting fasteners.
  • The spacer 84 is dimensioned to fit in the interior space 40 (see FIG. 12) in worksurface configuration 10 such that top wall 85 contacts an interior surface 38 of the top sheet 36 and flanges 87 a, 87 b, 87 c and 87 d contact the interior surface 44 of the bottom sheet 42. In this configuration, the spacer 84 provides support to the top sheet 36 and the bottom sheet 42 of the worksurface configuration 10 in addition to providing structure for mounting a leg 91 in place. Thus, an example thickness for spacer 84 is equal to the thickness of the core matrix 14 (i.e., the dimension between facing surfaces of sheets 36 and 42 when core matrix 14 is disposed therebetween).
  • Referring now to FIGS. 16-17, mounting bracket 92 is a flat rigid member, and has a perimeter that generally corresponds to the perimeter around flanges 87 a, 87 b, 87 c and 87 d of spacer 84. Mounting bracket 92 includes holes 93 for accepting fasteners. Holes 93 of mounting bracket 92 align with holes 88 in spacer 84 when mounting the leg 91 to the worksurface configuration 10. The leg 91 may be mounted to the mounting bracket 92 in a conventional manner.
  • When mounting a leg 91 to the worksurface configuration 10, holes 93 of mounting bracket 92 are aligned with holes 88 in the spacer. A fastener (preferably a screw) is inserted through each hole 93 of the mounting bracket 92 and through the bottom sheet 42, and each fastener engages a hole 88 in one of the flanges 87 a, 87 b, 87 c and 87 d of the spacer 84.
  • Having described the components of worksurface configuration 10, an example sequence of forming construction operations can now be described. It should be appreciated that variations on the sequence are also possible and are contemplated.
  • Core matrix 14 may be formed by first forming a flat blank of planar sheet metal in the shape of a desired worksurface. Next, throughholes 25 are punched or laser cut in the blank sheet at equispaced locations along columns and rows. For instance, throughholes 25 may be spaced approximately two inches on center such that the centers of each group of four adjacent throughholes 25 form a square having a central section located between each group of four throughholes 25 and bridge regions located between adjacent central sections. During deformation, the central sections are pressed to form top lands at one side of core matrix 14 and bottom lands 19 at an opposite side of core matrix 14.
  • More specifically, where the central sections form columns and rows, the central sections in every other column and in every other row are used to form top lands 16 and the central sections between four of the central sections that form top lands 16 are used to form bottom lands 19. To form the core matrix 14 from the blank, a press is used that includes oppositely facing pins where a first set of pins is arranged to align with the central sections of the blank that are to form the top lands 16 and a second set of pins is arranged to align with the central sections of the blank that are to from the bottom lands 19. Next, the blank is aligned with the press pins and the press is activated to form core matrix 14.
  • In at least one version of the method, the blank is deformed such that a top plan view of the flat blank has the same perimeter dimensions as a top plan view of core matrix 14. It has been recognized that throughholes 25 can be formed at the locations where the greatest amount of stretching occurs during pressing which allow additional stretching to occur without tears or rips and so that the number of alternating top lands 16 and bottom lands 19 can be maximized without requiring a drawing die type process.
  • After forming core matrix 14, edge channel 58 is welded to an interior surface 44 of bottom sheet 42. FIG. 10 depicts one method for welding edge channel 58 to the interior surface 44 of bottom sheet 42. A welding tool (shown schematically in FIG. 10 as W) passes between upper tabs 64 at an angle in relation to the lower tabs 69 and spot welds lower tabs 69 to the interior surface 44 of bottom sheet 42 at location “X”. The edge channel 58 is spot welded to bottom sheet 42 around a part or the entire perimeter area 21 of bottom sheet 42. Edge channel 58 may alternatively be attached to bottom sheet 42 by adhesives or fasteners such as rivets. Also, sides of worksurface configuration 10 that do not require an edge member can have a straight C-shaped channel welded in place flush with the perimeter creating the edge on that side.
  • The formed core matrix 14 is then placed on surface 44 of bottom sheet 42 within the space defined by channel 58. If desired, reinforcement brackets 50, including a top flange 51 and a bottom flange 52 may be placed on bottom sheet 42 as in FIG. 12, at leg attachment locations or other critical stress zones (throughholes 25 in core matrix 14 provide space for these reinforcement brackets 50). The bottom flanges 52 of each reinforcement bracket 50 are then welded in place on bottom sheet 42.
  • The assembly is then placed in a spot welding machine and core matrix 14 is spot welded to bottom sheet 42 at every touch point (i.e., at the location of every bottom land 19). An automated welder may be programmed to recognize the presence of a touch point and make welds. In an exemplary operation, the spot welds used to secure bottom lands 19 to bottom sheet 42 are about an ⅛ inch (3.175 mm.) in diameter. In some cases, laser welding instead of high heat spot welding is used to weld core matrix 14 to bottom sheet 42 to avoid curling and other heat related deformations of core matrix 14. Where laser welding is performed, it is important to have a flat portion between bottom sheet 42 and core matrix 14 so that more than a point weld can be formed. Thus, in the most preferred embodiment, bottom lands 19 include a small flat circular surface so that a circular weld can be formed. Bottom sheet 42 of the assembly may then be powder coated, laminated or other otherwise finished.
  • Top sheet 36 is finished by, for example, gluing a laminate, powder coating or ceramic coating. In one exemplary embodiment, top sheet 36 may be covered with a spray on ceramic coating that is baked to cure after spraying. Here, ceramic coating is highly durable and the end product is environmentally friendly as the ceramic and steel are both recyclable. In at least some embodiments, top surface layer 37 and all edges of top sheet 36 are coated with the ceramic material. The ceramic may be selected such that the top surface layer 37 is akin to a whiteboard surface so that persons using a desk or the like that includes the surface can write and erase thereon. One suitable ceramic material for some applications is a porcelain enamel.
  • A number of spacers 84 (typically equal to the number of legs 91) are then secured to the bottom sheet 42 of the assembly where legs 91 are to be mounted. Adhesive is placed on all high points of the bottom assembly (i.e., top lands 16, upper tabs 64 of edge channel 58, top wall 85 of spacers 84, and top flanges 51 of any reinforcement brackets 50). The finished top sheet 36 is positioned on the bottom assembly and pressed in place and the adhesive is cured (e.g., by conduction, radiation or induction).
  • Edge member 74 is next installed in edge channel 58 around the perimeter of worksurface configuration 10. Edge member 74 is moved toward edge channel 58 such that first mounting finger 76 of edge member 74 enters upper channel 67 and second mounting finger 78 enters lower channel 72. Barbs 66 and 71 penetrate outer surfaces 81 of fingers 76 and 78 and securely hold edge member 74 in place in edge channel 58.
  • Legs 91 are next mounted to worksurface configuration 10. The holes 93 of the mounting bracket 92 are aligned with the holes 88 in the spacer 84. A fastener (preferably a screw) is inserted through each hole 93 of the mounting bracket 92 and through the bottom sheet 42, and each fastener engages a hole 88 in one of the flanges 87 a, 87 b, 87 c and 87 d of the spacer 84.
  • Worksurface configuration 10 has many advantages. The shape and design of core matrix 14 provides for an efficient blank and forming operation that does not require significant tonnage and does not change the overall plan view shape of the blank. It also provides for frequent connection to top sheet 36 and bottom sheet 42 minimizing local weaknesses in the worksurface top. Also, the shape of core matrix 14 provides high strength through the double saddle form effectively connecting each attachment location (i.e. top lands 16 and bottom lands 19).
  • Throughholes 25 formed between top lands 16 and bottom lands 19 are also important. In this regard, in order to maintain structural integrity of worksurface configuration 10 including all three layers (i.e., top sheet 36, core matrix 14 and bottom sheet 42), the number of lands (top and bottom) formed in core matrix 14 has to be maximized (large numbers of lands provide support even along arcuate edges and can be used to support less rigid external sheets). To provide large numbers of lands, a large amount of blank sheet stretching is required. When sheet metal is locally overstretched, the metal has a tendency to tear which is unacceptable in the present application. The specifically placed throughholes 25 in core matrix 14 enable a flat stock sheet of metal to be forced into the waffle or matrix shape via stretching without causing tears to the sheet material. Also, when throughholes 25 are specifically placed in the core matrix 14, when the sheet is stretched to form the waffle shape, the overall area of the sheet in plan view remains essentially unchanged (i.e., a 4 by 4 foot sheet will remain essentially 4 by 4 foot after waffling). More specifically, in the present invention, throughholes 25 are formed between top lands 16 and bottom lands 19 where the greatest amount of stretching is anticipated. Thus, the holes in the sheet advantageously allow large numbers of lands to be formed via a cold press process and also allow a manufacturer to produce known size and shape waffle members without any guess work.
  • Thus, there has been provided a worksurface configuration that is lightweight, thin, extremely stiff and rigid, workable into many different shapes and sizes, is easy to manufacture and that can be finished in variable ways. In addition, there has been provided an edge trim configuration suitable for use with a waffle assembly type member, and a suitable way to mount legs or other support structure to the underside of a waffle assembly type structure. Also, there has been provided a method that facilitates configuration of multiple work surface types having the aforementioned characteristics.
  • While the invention may be susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, specific embodiments have been shown by way of example in the drawings and have been described in detail herein. However, it should be understood that the invention is not intended to be limited to the particular forms disclosed.
  • For instance, while it may be optimal in some applications to weld the matrix core 14 to a lower sheet and adhere the top sheet to the core 14, in other applications both the top and bottom sheets may be adhered to or welded to the core matrix 14. In addition, in some cases other mechanical attachment means such as rivets, etc., may be used to secure the bottom sheet to the core. In another instance, while the top and bottom sheets are described as being formed of steel, other metals may be used or, indeed other types of rigid sheet including fiberglass, graphite, laminates, etc.
  • In addition, while each of the 3-layer worksurface sub-assembly, edge sub-assembly and leg mounting sub-assembly may be employed together, it should be appreciated that each of the assemblies has advantages alone or in conjunction with other sub-assemblies.
  • Moreover, while one matrix core design 14 has been described above, other designs are contemplated. For instance, instead of providing four throughholes 25 around each upper land 16 and in-line between each upper land 16 and adjacent lower lands 19, three throughholes 25 may be equi-spaced about each upper land and there may only be three lower lands equi-spaced about each upper land where each of the throughholes 25 is located in-line between the upper and an adjacent lower land. As another instance, five, two or other numbers of holes may be equi-spaced about each upper land or, in some cases, the throughholes may be other than equi-spaced.
  • Furthermore, in at least some cases the throughholes may be spaced from top lands and/or may “touch” bottom lands.
  • In addition, while the assembly illustrated in FIGS. 13-17 is described in the context of mounting a leg 91 to an undersurface of a worksurface, it is contemplated that other components may similarly be mounted to the undersurface or even to the top surface using a similar space structure. For instance, a space akin to space 84 may be mounted upside down so that the flanges face upward so that a monitor arm could be mounted to the top surface of the configuration 10.
  • Thus, the invention is to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the following appended claims. To apprise the public of the scope of this invention, the following claims are made.

Claims (78)

1. A core matrix for a structural member, the core matrix comprising:
a first group of spaced coplanar lands defining a first bearing surface of the core matrix;
a second group of spaced coplanar lands defining a second bearing surface of the core matrix, the first bearing surface and the second bearing surface arranged in spaced apart relationship; and
a bridging structure connecting the first group of spaced coplanar lands and the second group of spaced coplanar lands, the bridging structure forming throughholes arranged around at least a subset of lands of the first group, at least a subset of the throughholes being arranged inline between lands of the first group and adjacent lands of the second group, and the bridging structure including curvilinear regions between adjacent lands of the first group.
2. The matrix of claim 1 wherein:
the matrix is metallic.
3. The matrix of claim 1 wherein:
the bridging structure includes saddle-shaped regions between adjacent lands of the first group.
4. The matrix of claim 1 wherein:
the bridging structure includes curvilinear regions between adjacent lands of the second group.
5. The matrix of claim 4 wherein:
the bridging structure includes saddle-shaped regions between adjacent lands of the first group, and saddle-shaped regions between adjacent lands of the second group.
6. The matrix of claim 1 wherein:
individual lands of the first group are dimensioned to have a larger area than individual lands of the second group.
7. The matrix of claim 1 wherein:
the lands of the first group are circular and the lands of the second group are circular.
8. The matrix of claim 1 wherein:
the throughholes are one of circular, oval and elliptical.
9. The matrix of claim 1 wherein:
four throughholes are arranged equally spaced around a perimeter of the lands of the first group, and
the four throughholes are arranged in-line between the lands of the first group and adjacent lands of the second group.
10. The matrix of claim 9 wherein:
an edge of each of the four throughholes touches a perimeter of the land of the first group.
11. The matrix of claim 10 wherein:
individual lands of the first group are dimensioned to have a larger area than individual lands of the second group.
12. A structural member comprising:
(a) a core matrix including
(i) a first group of spaced coplanar lands defining a first bearing surface of the core matrix,
(ii) a second group of spaced coplanar lands defining a second bearing surface of the core matrix, the first bearing surface and the second bearing surface arranged in spaced apart relationship, and
(iii) a bridging structure connecting the first group of spaced coplanar lands and the second group of spaced coplanar lands, the bridging structure having throughholes arranged around at least a subset of lands of the first group, at least a subset of the throughholes being arranged inline between lands of the first group and adjacent lands of the second group,
(b) a first sheet member bonded to the first group of spaced coplanar lands; and
(c) a second sheet member bonded to the second group of spaced coplanar lands.
13. The structural member of claim 12 wherein:
the core matrix is metallic.
14. The structural member of claim 12 wherein:
the first sheet member is metallic.
15. The structural member of claim 12 wherein:
the second sheet member is metallic.
16. The structural member of claim 12 wherein:
the bridging structure includes curvilinear regions between adjacent lands of the first group.
17. The structural member of claim 12 for use as a top of a table wherein the table includes at least one leg member mounted to an undersurface of the second sheet member.
18. The structural member of claim 12 wherein:
the bridging structure includes curvilinear regions between adjacent lands of the second group.
19. The structural member of claim 12 wherein:
the first metallic sheet member includes a top surface layer comprising a material selected from ceramic coatings, polymeric coatings, laminates, and metallic coatings.
20. The structural member of claim 12 wherein:
individual lands of the first group are dimensioned to have a larger area than individual lands of the second group.
21. The structural member of claim 12 wherein:
the lands of the first group are circular and the lands of the second group are circular.
22. The structural member of claim 12 wherein:
the throughholes are one of circular, oval and elliptical.
23. The structural member of claim 12 wherein:
four throughholes are arranged equally spaced around the perimeter of the lands of the first group, and
the four throughholes are arranged in-line between the lands of the first group and adjacent lands of the second group.
24. The structural member of claim 12 further comprising:
at least one reinforcement bracket secured to an interior surface of the first metallic sheet and secured to an interior surface of the second metallic sheet, each reinforcement bracket extending through a throughhole.
25. The structural member of claim 12 wherein:
the first sheet member is one of adhered to and welded to the first group of coplanar lands, and
the second sheet member is one of adhered to and welded to the second group of coplanar lands.
26. The structural member of claim 25 wherein:
the first sheet member is adhered to the first group of coplanar lands, and
the second sheet member is welded to the second group of coplanar lands.
27. An edge treatment configuration for the perimeter of a worksurface configuration, the edge treatment configuration comprising:
a back wall having oppositely facing first and second edges;
a first group of spaced apart tabs extending outwardly from the first edge of the back wall in a first direction; and
at least one extending member extending from at least one of the spaced apart tabs in the first group along a trajectory at least partially aligned with the back wall and generally away from the second edge.
28. The edge treatment configuration of claim 27 further comprising:
a second group of spaced apart tabs extending outwardly from the second edge of the back wall in the first direction, and
at least one extending member extending outwardly from at least one of the spaced apart tabs in the second group along a trajectory at least partially aligned with the back wall and generally away from the first edge.
29. The edge treatment configuration of claim 28 wherein:
the back wall forms notches between the tabs of the first group that extend from the first edge toward the second edge, and
the back wall forms notches between the tabs of the second group that extend from the second edge toward the first edge.
30. The edge treatment configuration of claim 28 wherein:
the first group of spaced apart tabs define a first planar bearing surface, and
the second group of spaced apart tabs define a second planar bearing surface spaced in a substantially parallel relationship with the first bearing surface.
31. The edge treatment configuration of claim 30 further comprising:
an edge member including a first finger member and a second finger member;
wherein each tab of the first group includes an inwardly spaced distal section opposite the back wall, the distal section of each tab of the first group being substantially parallel to the first bearing surface, the distal section of each tab of the first group at least in part defining first channel for receiving the first finger member; and
wherein each tab of the second group includes an inwardly spaced distal section opposite the back wall; the distal section of each tab of the second group being substantially parallel to the second bearing surface, the distal section of each tab of the second group at least in part defining a lower channel for receiving the second finger member.
32. The edge treatment configuration of claim 31 wherein:
the edge member includes a first outwardly extending flange that extends beyond the first bearing surface when the first finger member is received in the upper channel.
33. The edge treatment configuration of claim 32 wherein:
the edge member includes a second outwardly extending flange that extends beyond the second bearing surface when the second finger member is received in the lower channel.
34. The edge treatment configuration of claim 27 wherein:
the edge treatment configuration is formed from a metallic material.
35. The edge treatment configuration of claim 27 further comprising:
an edge member including a finger member, and
wherein each tab of the first group includes an inwardly spaced distal section opposite the back wall, the inwardly spaced distal section of the tab of the first group defining a region for receiving the finger member.
36. The edge treatment configuration of claim 35 wherein:
the edge member includes a second finger member, and
each tab of the second group including an inwardly spaced distal section opposite the back wall, the inwardly spaced distal section of the tabs of the second group defining a second region for receiving the second finger member.
37. The edge treatment configuration of claim 36 wherein:
the distal section of each of the tabs of the first group has at least one outwardly extending member for engaging the first finger member; and
the distal section of each of the tabs of the second group has at least one outwardly extending member for engaging the second finger member.
38. The edge treatment configuration of claim 36 wherein:
the distal section of each tab of the first group is of reduced width in relation to a proximal section of each tab of the first group adjacent the back wall, and
the distal section of each tab of the second group is of reduced width in relation to a proximal section of each tab of the second group adjacent the back wall.
39. The edge treatment configuration of claim 36 wherein:
the first finger member of the edge member is arranged in spaced substantially parallel relationship with respect to the second finger member of the edge member.
40. The edge treatment configuration of claim 27 wherein:
the back wall is flexible.
41. The edge treatment configuration of claim 27 wherein:
the outwardly extending member comprises a sharp barb.
42. A worksurface configuration comprising:
a first sheet member;
a second sheet member arranged in spaced parallel relationship with respect to the first sheet member; and
the edge treatment configuration of claim 27 mounted in a perimeter area between the first sheet member and the second sheet member.
43. The worksurface configuration of claim 42 wherein:
the first sheet member is formed from a metallic material.
44. The worksurface configuration of claim 43 wherein:
the second sheet member is formed from a metallic material.
45. The worksurface configuration of claim 44 wherein:
the edge treatment configuration is formed from a metallic material.
46. A system for mounting a component to a worksurface configuration having first and second spaced apart sheets arranged to form an interior space in the worksurface configuration, the system comprising:
a spacer having a side wall and a flange extending away from an edge of the side wall of the spacer, the spacer being dimension to fit in the interior space in the worksurface configuration with the side wall extending between the first and second sheets and the flange contacting an interior surface of the second sheet; and
at least one fastener for mounting the component to the second sheet, the at least one fastener suitable for extending through the second sheet and engaging the flange of the spacer.
47. The system of claim 46 wherein:
the spacer includes a base wall transverse to the side wall, and
the spacer is dimensioned such that the base wall contacts the interior surface of the first sheet of the worksurface configuration.
48. The system of claim 46 wherein:
the flange extends outwardly from the edge of the side wall of the spacer.
49. The system of claim 46 wherein:
the spacer includes a base wall, four side walls extending laterally away from the base wall, each side wall terminating at its outer end in an outer edge of the spacer, and a flange extending outwardly from each outer edge of the spacer.
50. The system of claim 46 wherein:
the second sheet is a bottom sheet.
51. The system of claim 46 wherein:
the component is a leg.
52. The system of claim 46 wherein:
the system further comprises a mounting bracket attached to the component, the mounting bracket having holes for receiving the fastener, and
the flange has holes for receiving the fastener, the holes of the flange aligning with the holes in the bracket when the component is mounted to the worksurface configuration.
53. The system of claim 52 wherein:
the fastener is a screw.
54. A method of manufacturing a structural member including a core matrix, the method comprising:
forming a blank of planar sheet metal, the formed blank having central sections and throughholes arranged around a perimeter of each central section, the central sections arranged in columns and rows; and
deforming the blank such that a first subset of the central sections in every other column and in every other row are used to form a first group of spaced coplanar lands at one side of the core matrix and such that a second subset of the central sections including central sections located between central sections from the first subset form a second group of spaced coplanar lands at an opposite side of the core matrix.
55. The method of claim 54 wherein:
the material of the cells is deformed such that a top plan view of the blank has the same perimeter dimensions as a top plan view of the core matrix.
56. The method of claim 54 wherein:
individual lands of the first group are dimensioned to have a larger area than individual lands of the second group.
57. The method of claim 54 wherein:
the lands of the first group are circular and the lands of the second group are circular.
58. The method of claim 54 wherein:
the core matrix includes a saddle-shaped region between adjacent lands of the first group.
59. The method of claim 54 wherein:
the throughholes are one of circular, oval and elliptical.
60. The method of claim 54 wherein:
the central sections in the first subset are one of circular, oval and elliptical,
four throughholes are arranged equally spaced around the perimeter of the central sections in the first subset, and
the four throughholes are arranged on a line between the central sections in the first subset and the central sections in the second subset.
61. The method of claim 60 wherein:
an edge of each of the four throughholes touches the perimeter of the central sections in the first subset.
62. The method of claim 54 further comprising:
bonding a first metallic sheet to the first group of spaced coplanar lands.
63. The method of claim 62 further comprising:
bonding a second metallic sheet to the second group of spaced coplanar lands.
64. The method of claim 63 further comprising:
securing an edge channel to a perimeter area between the first sheet and the second sheet, the edge channel forming an outward opening.
65. The method of claim 64 further comprising:
inserting an edge member in the opening of the edge channel.
66. The method of claim 54 further comprising:
bonding a second metallic sheet to the second group of spaced coplanar lands;
securing at least one reinforcement bracket to an interior surface of the second metallic sheet, each reinforcement bracket extending through a throughhole; and
bonding a first metallic sheet to the first group of spaced coplanar lands and the reinforcement brackets.
67. The method of claim 54 further comprising:
welding a second metallic sheet to the second group of spaced coplanar lands;
securing an edge channel to a perimeter area of the second sheet, the edge channel forming an outward opening;
adhesively bonding a first metallic sheet to the first group of spaced coplanar lands and the edge channel; and
inserting an edge member in the opening of the edge channel.
68. The method of claim 67 wherein:
the edge channel includes a back wall, a first group of spaced apart tabs extending outwardly from a first edge of the back wall in a first direction, and a second group of spaced apart tabs extending outwardly from a second edge of the back wall in the first direction; and
the edge channel is secured to the perimeter area of the second sheet by inserting a welding tool between the tabs of the first group of spaced apart tabs and welding tabs of the second group of spaced apart tabs to the second metallic sheet.
69. A method of manufacturing a worksurface configuration, the method comprising:
providing a core matrix including a first group of spaced coplanar lands at one side of the core matrix and a second group of spaced coplanar lands at an opposite side of the core matrix;
welding a second sheet to the second group of spaced coplanar lands; and
adhesively bonding a first sheet to the first group of spaced coplanar lands.
70. The method of claim 69 wherein:
the first sheet is formed from a metallic material.
71. The method of claim 69 wherein:
the second sheet is formed from a metallic material.
72. The method of claim 69 wherein:
the core matrix is formed from a metallic material.
73. The method of claim 69 wherein the step of providing a core matrix comprises:
forming a blank of planar sheet metal, the formed blank having central sections and throughholes arranged around a perimeter of each central section, the central sections forming columns and rows; and
deforming the blank such that a first subset of the central sections in every other column and in every other row are used to form a first group of spaced coplanar lands at one side of the core matrix and such that a second subset of the central sections including central sections located the central sections from the first subset form a second group of spaced coplanar lands at an opposite side of the core matrix.
74. The method of claim 69 further comprising:
securing an edge channel to a perimeter area of the second sheet before adhesively bonding a first sheet to the first group of spaced coplanar lands.
75. The method of claim 74 further comprising:
inserting an edge member in an opening in the edge channel.
76. The method of claim 74 wherein:
the edge channel includes a back wall, a first group of spaced apart tabs extending outwardly from a first edge of the back wall in a first direction, and a second group of spaced apart tabs extending outwardly from a second edge of the back wall in the first direction; and
the edge channel is secured to the perimeter area of the second sheet by inserting a welding tool between the tabs of the first group of spaced apart tabs and welding tabs of the second group of spaced apart tabs to the second metallic sheet.
77. The method of claim 76 further comprising:
mounting a plurality of spacers in an interior region between the first sheet and the second sheet, the spacers having a side wall and a flange extending away from an edge of the side wall of the spacer, the side wall extending between the first and second sheets; and
mounting support legs on the second sheet, each support leg being mounted with fasteners that engage the flange of a spacer.
78. The method of claim 77 wherein:
each spacer includes a top wall, at least one side wall extending downwardly from the top wall and terminating at its bottom in a lower edge of the spacer, and a flange extending outwardly from each lower edge of the spacer, and
the top wall of each spacer is adhesively bonded to the first metallic sheet and the lower flange of each spacer is welded to the second sheet.
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