US3802480A - System for movable panels - Google Patents

System for movable panels Download PDF

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US3802480A
US3802480A US24327372A US3802480A US 3802480 A US3802480 A US 3802480A US 24327372 A US24327372 A US 24327372A US 3802480 A US3802480 A US 3802480A
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floor
seal
panel
panels
movement
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E Daggy
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GATEWAY ACQUISITION Inc A CORP OF
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Trane US Inc
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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E06DOORS, WINDOWS, SHUTTERS, OR ROLLER BLINDS IN GENERAL; LADDERS
    • E06BFIXED OR MOVABLE CLOSURES FOR OPENINGS IN BUILDINGS, VEHICLES, FENCES OR LIKE ENCLOSURES IN GENERAL, e.g. DOORS, WINDOWS, BLINDS, GATES
    • E06B7/00Special arrangements or measures in connection with doors or windows
    • E06B7/16Sealing arrangements on wings or parts co-operating with the wings
    • E06B7/18Sealing arrangements on wings or parts co-operating with the wings by means of movable edgings, e.g. draught sealings additionally used for bolting, e.g. by spring force or with operating lever

Abstract

An automatic peripheral edge sealing arrangement for a foldable or movable system of rigid panels includes operable ceiling and floor seals which are brought into operation by the manipulation of a single lever on an expandable panel. An improved expandable panel employs linear motion mechanisms which both move and support one telescopic panel section with respect to the other section. The panels have improved floor seals which use constant tension springs so that the floor seal engaging effort does not change with variations in panel-to-floor clearance. In one embodiment, a panel floor seal mechanism is movable overcenter so that the panel is seal-holding in position when the floor seal is engaged.

Description

United States Patent 1191 1111 v 3,802,480 1451 Apr. 91, 1974 Baggy SYSTEM FOR MOVABLE PANELS Primary Examiner-Peter M. Caun E l N. D R h I [75] Inventor ar aggy 1c mend nd Attorney, Agent, or Fzrm-B1ebel, French & Bugg [73] Assignee: American Standard Inc., New York,

NY. [57] ABSTRACT [22] F1led: Apr. '12, 1972 An automatic peripheral edge sealing arrangement for [21] Appl- 243,273 a foldable or movable system of rigid panels includes operable ceiling and floor seals which are brought into 52 US. or. 160/40 operation y the manipulation of a Single lever on an 51 Int. Cl E06b 7/18 expandable p An improved expandable panel [58] Field of Search 160/40, 199, 201, 206; ployS linear motion mechanisms which both move and 49/127 31 4521 support one telescopic panel section with respect to the other section. The panels have improved floor [56] R f r Cit d seals which use constant tension springs so that the UNITED STATES PATENTS floor seal engaging effort does not change with variations in panel-to-floor clearance. In one embodiment, s 160/118 a panel floor seal mechanism is movable overcenter so 32503l4 5/1966 that the panel is seal-holding in position when the 3,347,305 10/1967 Urbanick Seal engaged- 3,176,757 4/1965 Lomaz 3,034,575 5/1962 Stroup 160/40 8 Clam, 13 Draw SYSTEM FOR MOVABLE PANELS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to folding partitions in which two or more essentially rigid panels are supported either from a floor track or from a ceiling, and are arranged to move from a stacked position to a generally coplanar position across an opening for the purpose of forming a temporary closure wall for each opening. The invention relates to the general type of partitions shown in the U.S. patents of Good et al, U.S. Pat. No. 3,380,506 of 1968, and White, U.S. Pat. No. 3,374,821 of 1968.

The accoustical and mechanical efficiency of movable panel systems depend in part on how readily an effective peripheral seal can be made between the panels, a celing, the floor and the opposite jamb posts or walls, after the panels are extended into their coplanar position across a room opening. Thus, one factor in determining the performance of a panel system relates'to the accoustical effectiveness of the seal while another relates to the ease of operating the panel system.

Concerning the problem of forming a compression seal between the adjacent panels, and between the panels and the walls, movable jamb members have been used with considerable success. One form of a movable or expandable jamb is shown in Good et al, U.S. Pat. No. 3,381,738 of 1968, while another form of movable jamb member, in which the jamb is formed as part of one of the panels, is shown in Canadian patent of Elhen, No. 889,687 issued .Ian. 4, l972. In each of these disclosures, the movable or expandable jamb or panel is employed exclusively for the purpose of forming an edge-to-edge seal between adjacent panels and between the panelsystem and the adjacent walls, and the floor seals are eitheroperated by another mechanism or are of the fixed sweep type. i

Concerning the problem of forming a seal between the panels and the floor, sweep seals are frequently used as shown in the Good et al patents. They are satisfactory where the floor is at a relatively constant distance from the panel bottom. This condition can best be met in new installations. The fixed or sweep type floor seal is least effective where there are substantial variations in the distance between the panel bottoms and the floor itself. A disadvantage of all sweep seals resides in the fact that they introduce friction to the movement of the panels, and when a large number of panels are connected in series, the total friction can be substantial.

Movable or operable floorseals have also been employed. One such movable floor seal is shown in White and has been proved to be highly satisfactory. This seal requires the employment of a separate seal operator. Floor seals which operate by movement of one panel against thenext adjacent panel are shown in the U.S. patents of Wetzel, U.S. Pat. No. 2,870,495 of I959 and Simbulan, U.S. Pat. No. 3,111,981 of 1963. In each of these, the effort required to cause the seal to engage the floor is not uniform but increases with increasing distances between the panel bottom and the floor surface. Such arrangements can require substantial total or cumulative forces to bring all of the associated floor seals into firm engagement with the floor.

The seal between the top of the panel and the track structure or the ceiling is commonly of the sweep variety, particularly with overhead suspended panels, since the distance between the top of the panel and the track structure or soffit panel should remain constant. However, even these sweep seals add considerable friction to the movement of a large number of serially connected panels and, in the folded position, provide an undesired irregular appearance due to the fact that some portion of the seal is contacting the soffit panels on either side of the track while the remaining portion of the seal is standing free or clear.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is directed to an improved panel system employing a plurality of individual, essentially rigid panels and to improvements in the panel sealing arrangements.

The invention includes, in part, a system of panels in which an expandable panel not only forms the seal be tween the panels and the adjacent walls, but also operates automatically to form a seal between the bottom of the panels and the floor and, preferably, between the top of the panels and the ceiling. With the system of this invention, it is only necessary to move one operating lever after the panels are in coplanar position to complete a peripheral seal.

The invention further includes an improved arrangement of an expanding panel including the employment of a linkage mechanism which eliminates the need for providing separate guided support for the movable portion of the panel. In addition, an improved automatic floor seal is disclosed in which the force required to operate the seal remains constant regardless of variations in distance between the seal and the floor. Also, the invention includes an automatic ceiling or top seals which are operated by relative movement of the panels, preferably by movementof the expandable panel, to bring the top seals into engagement with the ceiling or the track soffit. The automatic top seal substantially reduces the friction and resistance'to movement of a series of panels.

It isaccordingly an important object of this invention to provide a fully operable room divider in which all .of the movable seals and vertical compressible seals between the panels are brought into engagement by the use of a single operator.

Another object of the invention is the provision of an improved expandable panel.

A further object of the invention is the provision of the improved operable floor seals and ceiling seals.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description, the accompanying drawings and the appended claims. 1

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a plan view of a room divider assembly according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged vertical fragmentary section through the top or ceiling seal mechanism taken generally along the line 22 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary vertical section showing the panel operating mechanism in a retracted position, taken generally along the line 55 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a section similar to FIG. 5 but showing the parts in an extended position;

FIG. 7 is a partially broken away transverse section through one embodiment of an automatic floor seal of this invention taken along the line 77 of FIG. 9, and showing the floor seal in the retracted position;

FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 7 but showing the floor seal in the lowered position;

FIG. 9 is an enlarged transverse section of one of the floor seal operating mechanisms taken along the line 9--9 of FIG. 7;

FIG. 10 is a section similar to FIG. 9, but showing the floor seal in the lowered position, taken along the line l0l0 of FIG. 8;

FIG. 11 is a plan view of a somewhat modified form of a space divider assembly;

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary section of one of the panels showing a modified form of floor seal used with the panels of FIG. 11, the floor seal being shown in the raised position; and

FIG. 13 is a view similar to FIG. 12 showing the floor seal in the operated position.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS A room divider according to one embodiment of the invention is illustrated in elevational view in FIG. 1 as comprising a plurality of serially connected, essentially rigid individual panels 10, joined by hinges 11. While the panels 10 are shown as being serially hinged, they may also be hinged in pairs as shown, for example, in FIG. 11. The room divider assembly of FIG. 1 further includes one expandable panel 12 shown in further detail in FIGS. 4-6. The panels 10 and 12 are shown in FIG. 1 as being supported from pendant bolts on individual trolleys 13 received within a conventional overhead track 13A, the track and panel assembly extending between vertical jamb members 14 on the opposite walls of the room. The panels 10 are preferably constructed according to the teachings of the U.S. patent application of Daggy filed concurrently herewith, Ser. No. 243,272, filed Apr. 12, 1972. The system or assembly of panels as shown in FIG. 1 is provided with an automatic sealing arrangement, including a combination of vertical edge seals between adjacent panels, between the end panels and the jambs l4, and operable floor seals and top seals, all of which are brought into operation by the manipulation of a single lever 15 on the expanding panel 12. In other words, all that is necessary to complete the closure of the panel system of FIG. 1 is the operation of the lever 15, after the panels have been brought into the coplanar position as shown, to effect engagementof the top and floor seals as well as the vertical seals.

Referring to the operating details of the expandable panel shown in FIGS. 46, the panel 12 includes an outer vertically-extending panel portion and an inner vertically-extending portion 22. The inner portion 22 is mounted for transverse telescopic movement within an open end of the outer portion 20.

The outer panel portion 20 is formed with a pair of sheet metal face skins 24 and 25 which may have outer surfaces finished the same as the outer surfaces of the remaining panels 10. A vertical opening within which the inner portion 22 is received is formed by the rolled edges 26 of the skins 24 and 25. The opposite vertical edge of the outer portion 20 is closed by a vertical channel 28, similar channels being employed at the top and at the bottom of the panel portion 20 in the manner disclosed and claimed in the said concurrently-filed Daggy application. Fixed floor and ceiling sweep seals may be employed across the top and the bottom of the expanding panel 12 and these may be constructed and supported in the manner disclosed in the said Daggy application.

The skins 24 and 25 are rolled over the vertical frame edges as illustrated at 29. These vertical edges support a generally Z-shaped vertical metal edge seal 30. The edge seals 30 carry tube-like compression seals 31, as more fully described and as claimed in the said Daggy application.

The inner panel portion 22 is formed with a generally channel-shaped vertically-extending frame which has an outer covering 36 of a suitable elastomeric and sound-deadening material. An additional insert 37 of elastomeric material is formed at the nose of the panel 22 to provide a compressive seal for direct engagement with the adjacent wall or a jamb member on such wall.

The inner portion 22 is exclusively supported on an operator mechanism illustrated generally at 40 in FIGS. 5 and 6. The operator mechanism 40 includes an internal vertical channel 42 formed in the outer panel section 20. The channel section 42 extends partially the height of the panel portion 20 and is retained by screws 44 on internal stiffening angle frames 44, as shown in FIG. 4. The handle 15 is mounted on a transverse shaft 45 which is supported for rotation on the side walls of the channel section 42. Plate-like lever means comprises a pair of identical lever plates 46 mounted for retation on the shaft 45. The side walls of the channel section 42 are slotted at 47 to receive a pair of adjustable push rod slides 48 for limited vertical movement. Means connecting the lever plates 46 to the push rod slides 48 includes a pair of identical connecting links 50 which have their inner ends pivoted on pins 52 between the plates 46 and which have their outer ends pivoted respectively on one of the slides 48, so that rotation of the shaft 45 results in either outward or inward movement of the slides.

The opposite end of the slide rods 48 are each connected to the longer lever 55 of one of a pair of linear motion Scott-Russell linkages. The Scott-Russell straight line linkage is described in Volume 1 of Jones, Engenious Mechanisms for Designers and Inventors, The Industrial Press, New York, 1935. It has also been described as an Evans linkage by Rappaport, Product Engineering, p. 86, Oct. I2, 1959. The linear motion linkage includes a long lever 55 and a short lever 56. The short lever 56 is one-half the effective length of the long lever 55 and is pivoted at 58 at the mid point of the lever 55. The other end of the short lever 56 is pivoted at 59 in direct line with the direction of movement of the slides, as defined by the track slots 47.

The inner portion 22 of the expandable panel is mounted on the link 55 for linear transverse expanding and collapsing movement is response to the rotation of the shaft 45. The inner panel mounting means includes a pair of mounting plates 60 on which are mounted threaded adjusting rods 62. The rods 62 carry nuts 63, which are pivotally connected to the remote end of one of the links 55 by a pin 64. The nose or face 37 of the panel portion 22 is formed with apertures 65 through which access may be had to the head of the associated rod 62, to effect adjustment of the position of the inner panel portion 22 with respect to the outer portion 20, to regulate the overall expansion of the panel 12 and to compensate for any misalignment of the panel with the adjacent jamb or wall. The operator mechanism is such that the inner panel portion 22 is exclusively supported by means of the Scott-Russel linkages to the outer portion, thus eliminating the need for the usual guides and slides between the relative moving panel portions.

As outlined above, one of the features of the present invention is the provision of an automatic top seal which is brought into operation by the lever 15. The details of the top seal are shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 as including an extruded top seal operator and support 70 which extends substantially the width of each of the panels 10. The support 70 is formed with recesses which support a pair of extruded vinyl sweep seals 72. The seals have individual fingers 73 adapted to engage the lower surface 74 of the ceiling or track soffit board 75. The seal support 70 has a lower portion received within a plastic channel-shaped extrusion member 76, and is formed with inwardly-extended flanges 77 which carry tubular seals 78 thereon. The seals 78 bear against the adjacent side walls of the member 76. to form a soundproof seal therebetween. The ends 79 of the member 76 are enlarged to provide a trim-like closure between the edges of the support 70 and the sides of the associated panel.

As previously stated, the top seal is mounted for limited vertical raising and lowering movement with respect to the surface 74. For this purpose, the seal support 70 is pivotally mounted at a pair of spaced-apart locations on the door frame. The upper frame member of the door preferably consists of a framing channel 80 as fully described in the said copending application of Daggy. The channel 80 provides means for supporting a pair of seal operator mechanisms illustrated generally at 82 in FIG. 3. The mechanisms 82 include a. lower support channel 83 and a short link 84 pivoted on the channel 83. The support channels 83 are suitably received within cut-out portions formed in the base of the extrusions 76 and are directly mounted to the upper surface of the channel 80 as by'attachment screws 85 (FIG. 2).

For each of the mechanisms 80, there is an inverted bracket 88 mounted on the under surface of the support 70, and providing a pivotal attachment for the link 84. A tension spring 89 extends between the bracket 88 and the channel 83 and tends to draw the seal support 70 into its lowered position shown in FIG. 2. The length of the support 70 is proportioned so that it will come into end-to-end abutment or engagement with the adjacent support on an adjacent panel, and for this purpose, the support 70 is preferably provided with angle brackets 90 at its opposite ends supporting adjustable bolts 92 providing a means by which the effective operating length of the support 70 may be regulated. Thus, the top seal support 70 is in fact a seal operator and it abuts with its associated top seals operators, and with the mechanisms 82 effects raising and lowering movement of the seals with transverse movements of the operators. It will be seen in relation to FIG. 2 that it is only necessary to provide the minimum of clearance for the lop seals 72 to provide ease of opening and closing movement of the individual panels. Accordingly, only a small transverse movementof the operator support 70 is required to bring the top seals up to engagement with the surface 74, and this is accomplished by the expanding movement of the panel 12 and the corresponding lateral shifting of each of the associated panels 10 with respect to the seal operators 70.

The automatic floor seal mechanism is illustrated in FIGS. 7-9. It can be seen by reference to FIG. 9 that the panel is formed with a bottom frame channel 100 as disclosed in the said copending Daggy application, which supports the panel skin 102. Accordingly, the bottom channel 100 provides an open recess in which the floor seal mechanism is received.

The floor seal mechanism includes a transversely movable floor seal operator 105. Operator 105 has opposite ends which are engageable with an adjacent opposite end of a corresponding operator in an adjacent panel. However, in the case of the panel 10 which is adjacent the lamb 14, this operator comes into engagement with an abutment plate 106 forming the lower part of the jamb 14. Means on the operators 105 for mutual engagement comprise molded male and female nose pieces which are illustrated best in the left-hand portions of FIGS. 8 and 9. Thus, the operator 105 .is shown as having a molded plastic male noise piece 107 which cooperatively mates with a female nose piece 108 on the adjacent operator 105A in the adjacent panel. However, on the right-hand end of the operator 105 which engages the abutment plate 106, the operator 105 is modified to the extent that it supports a roller or ball 108 so that there is a minimum of friction as the seal operator 105 moves between its normally raised position as shown'in FIG. 9 and its lowered floorengaging position as shown in FIG. 10.

The floor seal mechanism of the present invention also includes an improved floor seal as illustrated in FIGS. 9 and 10. The floor seal 110 is formed with an outer relatively soft elastomeric portion 112 which deflects when engaging the floor 113 substantially as shown in FIG. 10. The floor seal further includes an inner relatively hard elastomeric portion 114 for gripping the floor with a minimum of deflection, again as shown in FIG. 10. The outer seal portion 112 comprises a pair of oppositely-directed wings which extend transversely outwardly and downwardly with respect to the inner portion 114 and may be bonded integrally thereto. For an example, the outer portion may have a durometer rating of 60 on the Shore A scale, while the inner portion may have a durometer rating of on the A scale. The inner portion 114 is formed with a pair of outwardly-directed generally wedge-shaped points 115 assist in gripping the floor l 13 and provides lateral stability to the panel when the floor seal is in'the lowered position as shown in FIG. 10.

Constant tension floor seal operator mechanisms provide for the movement of the floor seal from its normally raised position as shown in FIG. 9 into the lowered floor-engaging position as shown in FIG. 10, and includes a pivot link mechanisms illustrated generally at 120 in FIGS. 7 and 8. Each of the mechanisms 120 includes a downwardly-opening support channel 122 received within a cut-out opening formed in the top 123 of the frame channel 100, and is retained on the channel at outwardly-flared flanges 124 by screws 125. The operator itself isan upwardly-opening channel member received within the frame channel 100. The spaces between the side walls of the operator 105 and the frame channel 100 are closed by horizontally-extending sweep seals 126 which are retained on the inwardly-turned channel ends 127 by screws 128. The screws also retain an intermediate stiffening member 130 which extends between the inwardly-turned ends 127 and the inside upper surface 123 of the frame 100 where this member is also attached by the screws 125.

Operator and seal support 105 is attached to the support channel 122 by means of a tubular link 132. The lower end of the link 132 attaches to a short channel section 134 mounted on the upper surface of the member 105, as shown in FIGS. 8 and 9 by a cross-pin 135. The sides of the tubular link are formed with an elongated slot 136, a portion of which is shown in FIG. 8. The upper end of the link 132 is pivotally attached to the channel 122 by another cross-pin 138 extending through the link 132 and received within the slots 136. A compression spring 139 between the cross-pins 135 and 138.

Constant tension floor seal return spring means comprises a tape-type constant tension return spring 140 coiled about a pin 142 on the channel 122 with its lower end connected at 145 to the lower end of the link 132. The spring 140 provides a constant return force irregardless of the extent to which the tape has been extended from the coil. The upper or retracted position of the link 132 is defined by a tab 145 formed on the side of the channel 122 which engages the upper surface of the link 132, as shown in FIG. 7.

It is believed that the operation of the automatic floor seal mechanism as shown in FIGS. 7-10 is largely selfevident from the foregoing description. The panels are brought into the generally coplanar position as shown in FIG. 7 and are moved toward the fixed jamb 14 in the direction ofthe arrow I48 (FIG. 7). Thereafter the handle 15 on the extcndable panel is rotated to urge all of the panels laterally in edge-to-edge compression resulting in the engagement of the operator 105, specifically the ball 108 with the abutment plate 106, causing a corresponding downward movement of the floor seal into engagement with the floor 113 as shown in FIG. 8. This movement is transferred simultaneously by means of the male and female members 107 and 108 to each of the subsequent floor seal operator mechanisms in each panel 10. The slot 136 in cooperation with the pin 138 and the spring 139 provide for compression of the spring 139 with variations in the height or distance between the floor 113 and the floor seals themselves. The downward movement of each of the automatic floor seal mechanisms of each of the panels is accompanied by a paying out of the spring 140 from the coil 142. This is accomplished with uniform tension throughout so that regardless whether a large or small amount of movement is required until floor contact is achieved, substantially the same force isrequired to bring all the floor seals into operative engagement with the floor.

When the floor seals come into engagement with the floor, the relatively soft floor seal members 112 engage the floor first and flare out somewhat as shown in FIG. 10. Thereafter, the relatively harder seal portions 110 engages the floor, specifically the inclined wedgeshaped ramps 115, thereby forming a gripping action with the floor.

FIG. 11 illustrates a somewhat modified form of the floor seal which has been described in connection with FIGS. 8-10 for use with a closure system comprising individual panels or pairs of connected panels movable from a stored position, such as by hand, a coplanar position. Thus, for example, panel pairs 10A may be hinged by hinges 150, and panels 103 also form a pair joined by hinges 150. Panel 10C is a passdoor which is hinged to the jamb 14A by means of hinges 150. In the present embodiment, the floor seal mechanism 160 is movable over-center to provide a self-holding action for the panels. A slightly elongated floor seal operator 105A is employed, which is elongated at 155 at the forward end of the panels, in order to provide the additional transverse movement required to throw the link 132 over-center into the position shown in FIG. 13. In this position, the link 132 has moved beyond the perpendicular into a position in which it is canted rearwardly in the direction of movement of the operator 105A. In this position, the panel 10A or 108 is selfholding with respect to the floor and will stay in position. The over-center movement results in compression of the adjacent edge seal of the panel with the jamb. The first leading panel of the next pairs of panels 108 are then brought into position against the self-holding panels 10A and the extended nose piece 155 again contacts the operator and causes these floor seals to move over-center substantially as shown in FIG. 13. Thus both floor and edge-to-edge sealing are achieved simultaneously. The employment of the constant tension spring again permits floor seal engagement with minimum effort regardless of variations in distances between the floor and the floor seal.

While theforms of apparatus herein described constitute preferred embodiments of the invention, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to these precise forms of apparatus, and that changes may be made therein without departing from the scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. In a room space divider having plurality of individual essentially rigid panels movable on a track system extending between room walls from a stacked position to an extended generally coplanar position between said walls, the improvement in automatic sealing arrangement comprising means on each of said panels defining vertical edge seals which are mutually engageable with an adjacent said edge seal of an adjacent panel in said coplanar position, means in one of said panels defining a vertically-extending portion, means mounting said portion on said one panel for transverse telescopic movement with respect to the remainder of said one panel to exert a transverse force to said panels in said coplaner position thereof to assure edge-to-edge sealing engagement accompanied by limited transverse movement of said panels, each of theother of said panels having an operable floor seal mechanism, each said mechanism including a vertically-movable floor seal movable between a normally raised position clear of the room floor and a lowered floor-engaging position, each said mechanism further including a transverselymovable floor seal operator having opposite ends engageable with an adjacent said opposite end of a corresponding said operator in an adjacent said panel, means connecting each said operator to its associated said floor seal to effect lowering movement of said floor seal with transverse movement of said operator, stop means on one of said walls engageable with the operator in the adjacent said panel when said panels are in said coplanar position, said operators being movable in unison with respect to said panels upon said force-applying movement of said one panel portion to effect engagement of said floor seals with the floor concurrently with said edge-to-edge sealing.

2. The divider of claim 1 further comprising an operable top seal mechanism in each of said other panels, each said mechanism including a top seal movable between a normally lowered position providing for ease of movement of said panels and a raised sealing position, said top seal mechanism further including a transversely movable top seal operator having opposite ends engageable with an adjacentopposite end of a corresponding top seal operator in an adjacent panel, said top seal operators being connected to the associated said top seals to effect raising and lowering movements thereof with transverse movements of said top seal operators, top seal abutment means engageable with the top seal operator of one of said panels in said panel coplanar position, said top seal operators being movable in unison relative to said panels and substantially simultaneously with said bottom seal operators upon said extension movement of said one panel portion to effect automatic top seal engagement concurrently with floor seal engagement.

3. The divider of claim 1 in which said floor seal comprises an inner relatively hard elastomeric portion for gripping said floor with a minimum of deflection and an outer relatively softer elastomeric portion for deflecting when engaging said floor.

4. The divider of claim 1 in which said means mounting said panel portion on said one panel for transverse movement comprises a transverse shaft in said one panel, handle means for rotating said shaft, lever means on said shaft, means in said one panel defining a pair of vertically-oriented track means, a corresponding pair of slides one each received in one of said track means, means connecting said shaft lever means to said slides to effect opposite vertical movement of said slides in said track means with rotation of said handle mean s a ti rof linear motion Scott-Russell linkages each having its longer lever pivoted between one of said slides and said panel portion and each having its shorter lever pivoted between the center of the associated said longer lever and a fixed point on said one panel providing for said telescopic movement of said panel portion with respect to said one panel with said vertical slide movement.

5. The space divider of claim 1 further comprising constant tension spring means normally urging said floor seal operators into said raised positions.

6. In a room space divider in which a plurality of individual essentially rigid panels are movable on a track system into a generally, coplanar position between room walls, the improvement in automatic floor and ceiling seal arrangements comprising an operable floor 10 seal mechanism in each said panel, each said mechanism including a vertically-movable floor seal movable between a normally raised position clear of the room floor and a lowered floor-engaging position, each said floor seal mechanism further including a transverselymovable floor seal operator having opposite ends engageable with an adjacent said opposite end of a corresponding said floor seal operator in an adjacent said panel, means connecting each said floor seal operator to its associated said floor seal to effect lowering movement of said floor seal with transverse movement of said operator, means on one of the room walls engageable with the floor seal operator in the adjacent said panel when said panels are in said coplanar position, said floor seal operators being movable in unison with respect to said panels upon transverse movement of said panels to effect engagement of said floor seals with the floor, an operable top seal mechanism in each of said panels including a top seal movable between a normally lowered position providing for ease of movement of said panels and a raised sealing position, said top mechanism further including a transversely movable 'top seal support having opposite ends engageable with an adjacent opposite end of a corresponding top seal support in an adjacent panel, said top seal supports being connected to the associated said top seals to effect raising and lowering movements thereof with transverse movements of said top seal supports, said top seal supports being movable in unison relative to said panels and substantially simultaneously with the movement of said bottom seal operators to effect top seal engagement concurrently with floor seal engagement.

7. In a room space divider having a series of individual rigid panels, the improvement in operable floor seal mechanisms for said panels comprising a floor seal support associated with each said panel extending substantially the width of the associated said panel, seal means on each said support adapted to engage the floor and form a seal therewith, pivot means mounting each said support for movement between a retracted position in which the seal is clear of the floor and a lowered position in which the seal is engagement with the floor, and a tape-type constant tension spring connected between each said panel and its associated said support, said springs resisting movement of said supports into said lowered positions providing a substantial uniformity of floor seal operating effort over variations in the clearance space of said supports from the floor.

8. The improvement of claim 7 in which each of said floor seals comprises an inner relatively hard elastomeric portion for gripping the floor with a minimum of deflection and an outer relatively softer elastomeric portion for deflecting when engaging the floor.

Claims (8)

1. In a room space divider having a plurality of individual essentially rigid panels movable on a track system extending between room walls from a stacked position to an extended generally coplanar position between said walls, the improvement in automatic sealing arrangement comprising means on each of said panels defining vertical edge seals which are mutually engageable with an adjacent said edge seal of an adjacent panel in said coplanar position, means in one of said panels defining a vertically-extending portion, means mounting said portion on said one panel for transverse telescopic movement with respect to the remainder of said one panel to exert a transveRse force to said panels in said coplaner position thereof to assure edge-to-edge sealing engagement accompanied by limited transverse movement of said panels, each of the other of said panels having an operable floor seal mechanism, each said mechanism including a verticallymovable floor seal movable between a normally raised position clear of the room floor and a lowered floor-engaging position, each said mechanism further including a transversely-movable floor seal operator having opposite ends engageable with an adjacent said opposite end of a corresponding said operator in an adjacent said panel, means connecting each said operator to its associated said floor seal to effect lowering movement of said floor seal with transverse movement of said operator, stop means on one of said walls engageable with the operator in the adjacent said panel when said panels are in said coplanar position, said operators being movable in unison with respect to said panels upon said force-applying movement of said one panel portion to effect engagement of said floor seals with the floor concurrently with said edge-to-edge sealing.
2. The divider of claim 1 further comprising an operable top seal mechanism in each of said other panels, each said mechanism including a top seal movable between a normally lowered position providing for ease of movement of said panels and a raised sealing position, said top seal mechanism further including a transversely movable top seal operator having opposite ends engageable with an adjacent opposite end of a corresponding top seal operator in an adjacent panel, said top seal operators being connected to the associated said top seals to effect raising and lowering movements thereof with transverse movements of said top seal operators, top seal abutment means engageable with the top seal operator of one of said panels in said panel coplanar position, said top seal operators being movable in unison relative to said panels and substantially simultaneously with said bottom seal operators upon said extension movement of said one panel portion to effect automatic top seal engagement concurrently with floor seal engagement.
3. The divider of claim 1 in which said floor seal comprises an inner relatively hard elastomeric portion for gripping said floor with a minimum of deflection and an outer relatively softer elastomeric portion for deflecting when engaging said floor.
4. The divider of claim 1 in which said means mounting said panel portion on said one panel for transverse movement comprises a transverse shaft in said one panel, handle means for rotating said shaft, lever means on said shaft, means in said one panel defining a pair of vertically-oriented track means, a corresponding pair of slides one each received in one of said track means, means connecting said shaft lever means to said slides to effect opposite vertical movement of said slides in said track means with rotation of said handle means, a pair of linear motion Scott-Russell linkages each having its longer lever pivoted between one of said slides and said panel portion and each having its shorter lever pivoted between the center of the associated said longer lever and a fixed point on said one panel providing for said telescopic movement of said panel portion with respect to said one panel with said vertical slide movement.
5. The space divider of claim 1 further comprising constant tension spring means normally urging said floor seal operators into said raised positions.
6. In a room space divider in which a plurality of individual essentially rigid panels are movable on a track system into a generally coplanar position between room walls, the improvement in automatic floor and ceiling seal arrangements comprising an operable floor seal mechanism in each said panel, each said mechanism including a vertically-movable floor seal movable between a normally raised position clear of the room floor and a lowered floor-engaging position, each said floor seal mechanism further including a transversely-movable floor seal operator having opposite ends engageable with an adjacent said opposite end of a corresponding said floor seal operator in an adjacent said panel, means connecting each said floor seal operator to its associated said floor seal to effect lowering movement of said floor seal with transverse movement of said operator, means on one of the room walls engageable with the floor seal operator in the adjacent said panel when said panels are in said coplanar position, said floor seal operators being movable in unison with respect to said panels upon transverse movement of said panels to effect engagement of said floor seals with the floor, an operable top seal mechanism in each of said panels including a top seal movable between a normally lowered position providing for ease of movement of said panels and a raised sealing position, said top seal mechanism further including a transversely movable top seal support having opposite ends engageable with an adjacent opposite end of a corresponding top seal support in an adjacent panel, said top seal supports being connected to the associated said top seals to effect raising and lowering movements thereof with transverse movements of said top seal supports, said top seal supports being movable in unison relative to said panels and substantially simultaneously with the movement of said bottom seal operators to effect top seal engagement concurrently with floor seal engagement.
7. In a room space divider having a series of individual rigid panels, the improvement in operable floor seal mechanisms for said panels comprising a floor seal support associated with each said panel extending substantially the width of the associated said panel, seal means on each said support adapted to engage the floor and form a seal therewith, pivot means mounting each said support for movement between a retracted position in which the seal is clear of the floor and a lowered position in which the seal is engagement with the floor, and a tape-type constant tension spring connected between each said panel and its associated said support, said springs resisting movement of said supports into said lowered positions providing a substantial uniformity of floor seal operating effort over variations in the clearance space of said supports from the floor.
8. The improvement of claim 7 in which each of said floor seals comprises an inner relatively hard elastomeric portion for gripping the floor with a minimum of deflection and an outer relatively softer elastomeric portion for deflecting when engaging the floor.
US3802480A 1972-04-12 1972-04-12 System for movable panels Expired - Lifetime US3802480A (en)

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US4395854A (en) * 1980-12-15 1983-08-02 American Standard Inc. Universal latch means for drop seal assembly for a moveable wall
US4619095A (en) * 1979-10-02 1986-10-28 Kenross Nominees Proprietary Limited Reversible panel arrangement
EP0424973A2 (en) * 1989-10-27 1991-05-02 Dr. Hahn GmbH & Co. KG Sealing arrangement for a door
WO1994020716A1 (en) * 1993-03-08 1994-09-15 Modernfold, Inc. Electrically operated expandable jamb for operable walls
US5467559A (en) * 1994-07-19 1995-11-21 Modernfold, Incorporated Electrically operated drop seal for pass doors in operable walls
US6108989A (en) * 1995-10-17 2000-08-29 Dorma Gmbh & Co. Kg Wall partition system and a device for securing a wall partition system
US6112466A (en) * 1997-02-21 2000-09-05 Hufcor, Inc. Seal mechanism for partition
US6167937B1 (en) 1998-08-13 2001-01-02 Hufcor, Inc. Seal setting mechanism
EP1029997A3 (en) * 1999-02-19 2002-08-21 DORMA GmbH + Co. KG Mobile partition with closure profile
EP1029996A3 (en) * 1999-02-19 2002-08-21 DORMA GmbH + Co. KG Mobile partition with closure profile
US20030140564A1 (en) * 2001-12-14 2003-07-31 Joe Delgado Panel guide and impact separation system for a sliding door
US20050076570A1 (en) * 2001-12-14 2005-04-14 Joe Delgado Reset mechanism for a panel guide and impact separation system for a sliding door
US20060248826A1 (en) * 2005-05-05 2006-11-09 Owens N D Soffit assembly for moveable wall system and removal tool therefor
US20090199491A1 (en) * 2005-06-14 2009-08-13 Wilfried Boldt Rail-Mounted Mobile Wall Element
US20100192493A1 (en) * 2009-02-04 2010-08-05 Nakai Gary T Free standing partition
US20120080152A1 (en) * 2010-10-01 2012-04-05 Mcdonald Mark Vertically collapsible barrier with improved sealing
US8601749B2 (en) 2010-05-05 2013-12-10 Allsteel, Inc. Modular wall system
US8955271B2 (en) 2012-09-17 2015-02-17 Steelcase Inc. Sliding door assembly

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Cited By (32)

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4619095A (en) * 1979-10-02 1986-10-28 Kenross Nominees Proprietary Limited Reversible panel arrangement
US4395854A (en) * 1980-12-15 1983-08-02 American Standard Inc. Universal latch means for drop seal assembly for a moveable wall
EP0424973A2 (en) * 1989-10-27 1991-05-02 Dr. Hahn GmbH & Co. KG Sealing arrangement for a door
EP0424973A3 (en) * 1989-10-27 1991-08-07 Dr. Hahn Gmbh & Co. Kg Sealing arrangement for a door
WO1994020716A1 (en) * 1993-03-08 1994-09-15 Modernfold, Inc. Electrically operated expandable jamb for operable walls
US5358023A (en) * 1993-03-08 1994-10-25 Modernfold, Inc. Electrically operated expandable jamb for operable walls
US5467559A (en) * 1994-07-19 1995-11-21 Modernfold, Incorporated Electrically operated drop seal for pass doors in operable walls
US6108989A (en) * 1995-10-17 2000-08-29 Dorma Gmbh & Co. Kg Wall partition system and a device for securing a wall partition system
US6112466A (en) * 1997-02-21 2000-09-05 Hufcor, Inc. Seal mechanism for partition
US6167937B1 (en) 1998-08-13 2001-01-02 Hufcor, Inc. Seal setting mechanism
EP1029997A3 (en) * 1999-02-19 2002-08-21 DORMA GmbH + Co. KG Mobile partition with closure profile
EP1029996A3 (en) * 1999-02-19 2002-08-21 DORMA GmbH + Co. KG Mobile partition with closure profile
US20070234641A1 (en) * 2001-12-14 2007-10-11 Joe Delgado Reset mechanism for a panel guide and impact separation system for a sliding door
US20050076570A1 (en) * 2001-12-14 2005-04-14 Joe Delgado Reset mechanism for a panel guide and impact separation system for a sliding door
US7117637B2 (en) 2001-12-14 2006-10-10 Rytec Corporation Panel guide and impact separation system for a sliding door
US7565770B2 (en) 2001-12-14 2009-07-28 Rytec Corporation Reset mechanism for a panel guide and impact separation system for a sliding door
US20030140564A1 (en) * 2001-12-14 2003-07-31 Joe Delgado Panel guide and impact separation system for a sliding door
US20070144070A1 (en) * 2001-12-14 2007-06-28 Joe Delgado Panel guide and impact separation system for a sliding door
US7222457B2 (en) 2001-12-14 2007-05-29 Rytec Corporation Reset mechanism for a panel guide and impact separation system for a sliding door
US20060248826A1 (en) * 2005-05-05 2006-11-09 Owens N D Soffit assembly for moveable wall system and removal tool therefor
US20090199491A1 (en) * 2005-06-14 2009-08-13 Wilfried Boldt Rail-Mounted Mobile Wall Element
US20100192493A1 (en) * 2009-02-04 2010-08-05 Nakai Gary T Free standing partition
US9284729B2 (en) 2010-05-05 2016-03-15 Allsteel Inc. Modular wall system
US9206600B2 (en) 2010-05-05 2015-12-08 Allsteel Inc. Modular wall system
US8601749B2 (en) 2010-05-05 2013-12-10 Allsteel, Inc. Modular wall system
US8615936B2 (en) 2010-05-05 2013-12-31 Allsteel Inc. Modular wall system
US8613168B2 (en) 2010-05-05 2013-12-24 Allsteel Inc. Modular wall system
US9765518B2 (en) 2010-05-05 2017-09-19 Allsteel Inc. Modular wall system
US8327905B2 (en) * 2010-10-01 2012-12-11 Railquip Enterprises Inc. Vertically collapsible barrier with improved sealing
US20120080152A1 (en) * 2010-10-01 2012-04-05 Mcdonald Mark Vertically collapsible barrier with improved sealing
US8955271B2 (en) 2012-09-17 2015-02-17 Steelcase Inc. Sliding door assembly
US9518387B2 (en) 2012-09-17 2016-12-13 Steelcase Inc. Sliding door assembly

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CA971874A (en) 1975-07-29 grant

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