Title:
THREE SECTION GRAVITY DOOR
United States Patent 3805450


Abstract:
A three section gravity sliding door system comprising three inclined upper tracks arranged to hang the doors in two vertical planes, two juxtaposed bottom grooves aligned in the vertical planes and three doors arranged in sliding engagement between the respective upper tracks and bottom grooves. Each door is openable by being urged horizontally and upwardly along its respective inclined upper track and is automatically closable when released by utilizing the forces of gravity to slide downwardly along its associated inclined track.



Inventors:
FORCINA A
Application Number:
05/300660
Publication Date:
04/23/1974
Filing Date:
10/25/1972
Assignee:
VICTOR METAL MFG CORP,US
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
49/228, 49/404, 49/409
International Classes:
E05D15/08; E05F1/04; (IPC1-7): E05D15/06
Field of Search:
49/231,226,228,229,230,409,410
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3334444Sliding door closer1967-08-08Hargrove
3136396Reversible sliding door panels1964-06-09Sullivan
3074124Display refrigerator doors1963-01-22Bergstedt
2784445Sliding door1957-03-12Greig et al.
2485296Exterior sliding window1949-10-18Lescaze
1576098Door construction1926-03-09Deitz



Primary Examiner:
Taylor, Dennis L.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Spivak, Karl L.
Claims:
I claim

1. In a gravity closing door system for enclosing the front opening of a cabinet, the opening having a clear width defined between a right jamb member and a left jamb member and a height defined between a head and a sill, the combination of

2. two of said doors being positioned in a first vertical plane,

3. the third said door being positioned in a second vertical plane,

4. said doors being equipped with downwardly projecting bottom guides,

5. said doors being of rectangular configuration and each having a height and a width,

6. said upper track system including an inclined track for each door,

7. said bottom track comprising a pair of horizontal, spaced, elongate grooves, namely, a forward groove and a rearward groove,

8. the said bottom guides of the door projecting downwardly into the grooves to facilitate horizontally sliding movement of the doors.

9. The invention of claim 1 wherein the said front opening is unobstructed across its width and wherein there are no vertical jamb members interposed between the said left and right jamb members.

10. The invention of claim 2 wherein the forward bottom track groove positions in one said vertical plane and the rearward bottom track groove positions in the other said vertical plane, said grooves having a depth at least equal to the vertical component of inclination of an inclined track.

11. The invention of claim 2 wherein the inclined tracks for each door all terminate downwardly in bent roller engaging rails, the said roller engaging rails respectively cooperating with the door rollers to facilitate sliding movement of each door relative to its associated upper track.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to door closing devices, and more particularly, is directed to automatic door closers of the inclined track type.

The present invention is particularly applicable to cabinet constructions such as commercial refrigerators and freezers. The employment of three horizontally justaposed doors is useful in facilitating access to the interior of wide refrigerated boxes by arranging the plurality of doors to be self-closing. Prior workers in the field have long developed self-closing door hardware which utilizes inclined tracks for door closing purposes. U.S. Pat. No. 3,318,048 discloses the use of an inclined upper track for automatically closing a door and this general principle is employed in the present invention. However, prior workers in the field have been unable to develop satisfactory self-closing arrangements for cabinets and refrigerated boxes when the designed width was such that more than two doors were required to gain access to all parts of the interior of the box. It has been the usual practice in the past when more than two doors were required due to the width of the cabinet, to employ additional doors and frame work upon which additional pivotally openable doors were arranged in side by side juxtaposition. No one to applicant's knowledge has been able to employ the inclined track principle for use with more than two sliding doors within the same framed opening.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to gravity type, inclined track, sliding doors, and more particularly, is directed to a three section, gravity door system for use in closing a refrigerated cabinet.

The present invention relates to a plurality of at least three sliding doors which are arranged in horizontally juxtaposed relation to enclose the front of a cabinet, such as a refrigerated display case. A plurality of three inclined upper tracks are employed in side by side relation, one of which supports each of the three sliding doors. A pair of bottom positioned grooves align beneath the inclined tracks and retain bottom guides which are affixed to the bottom of the doors therein in all relative positions between open and closed of each of the three sliding doors. The geometry of the system is such that the inclined upper tracks are positioned in two horizontally juxtaposed vertical planes to receive the rollers of the individual door hangers of the three doors in rolling engagement thereon. The hangers of the respective doors so position relative to the inclined tracks that the right and left doors are aligned in the same first vertical plane. The said first vertical plane falls either in front of or behind a second vertical plane in which the middle door positions.

By hanging the right and left doors in the same plane, a system can be developed wherein either a right door and the middle door may slide relative to each other to expose either the right section or the middle section of the cabinet or the left door and the middle door can be functioned to expose either the left section or the middle section of the cabinet. By employing the present arrangement of three sliding doors of the gravity type which are arranged in two vertical planes, easy access may be gained to any interior section of the cabinet by simply sliding one door relative to the other doors. The inclined tracks serve to automatically and effortlessly close a door after it has been opened for cabinet access purposes.

The arrangement of the plurality of horizontally sliding doors of the gravity action type eliminates the need for extensive frame systems, pivoting connections, closure hardware and other more or less complicated constructions. The present construction greatly simplifies refrigerated display case access and due to the elimination additional frame requirements, the present arrangement of three horizontally sliding doors allows greater access to the cabinet interior contents.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved three section gravity closing door arrangement of the type set forth.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a novel three section gravity closing door system wherein three doors are respectively suspended each from a separate, individual inclined track.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a novel three section gravity closing door system for use with a refrigerated display case wherein two of the doors are arranged in a first vertical plane and one of the doors is arranged in a second vertical plane.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a novel three section gravity closing door system which includes means to arrange three doors in horizontally juxtaposed relation and further includes means to permit gravity, sliding type automatic closure of each of the doors.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a novel three section gravity closing door system that is simple in design, rugged in construction and trouble free when in use.

Other objects and a fuller understanding of the invention will be had by referring to the following description and claims of a preferred embodiment thereof, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference characters refer to similar parts throughout the several views and in which:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a refrigerated display case which is closed by a three section gravity closing door system in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view taken along Line 2--2 of FIG. 1, looking in the direction of the arrows.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged cross sectional view taken along Line 3--3 of FIG. 1, looking in the direction of the arrows.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged cross sectional view taken along Line 4--4 of FIG. 1, looking in the direction of the arrow.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged perspective view of the upper track system.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 5 wherein portions of the track have been partially broken away to expose details of interior construction.

FIG. 7 is an enlarged, partial, end elevational view, taken along Line 7--7 of FIG. 1, looking in the direction of the arrows.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

Although specific terms are used in the following description for the sake of clarity, these terms are intended to refer only to the particular structure of my invention selected for illustration in the drawings and are not intended to define or limit the scope of the invention.

Referring now to the drawings, I show in FIG. 1 a three section gravity door assembly generally designated 10 which comprises three doors 12, 14, 16 in horizontal, sliding arrangement to close the front opening 13 of a refrigerated cabinet 18. The front opening 13 is defined between a right jamb member 15, a left jamb member 17, a head 19 and a sill 21. The doors are provided and arranged to close the front of a cabinet such as a refrigerated cabinet and are horizontally sliding to permit easy access into all interior spaces of the cabinet 18. Each door 12, 14, 16 is of the gravity closing type and is suspended from a individual, inclined, respective track 20, 22, 24 as hereinafter more fully set forth.

As best seen in FIGS. 2, 3, and 4 the center door 14 horizontally slides in a vertical plane which is spaced forwardly from a second vertical plane in which the left and right doors 12, 16 horizontally slide. In the embodiment illustrated, the left door 12 opens to the right as indicated by the arrow 26 in FIG. 1 and the right door 16 opens to the left as indicated by the arrow 28. Each door 12, 16 is arranged to roll up the incline of its associated upper track 20, 24 to assume a position immediately behind the center door 14. The incline of the respective upper tracks 20, 24 causes the doors 12, 16 to automatically close in conventional manner upon removal of the forces which urge the doors upwardly along their respective tracks to their respective open positions. The center door 14 may be opened by pushing either to the right or to the left in front of a door 12, 16 as desired depending upon the design of the system and the direction of incline of the track 22. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, the center door 14 opens to the right, as indicated by the arrow 30 by pushing the door to the right along its inclined upper track 22. When fully open, the door 14 will position directly in front of the right door 16.

Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 4, it will be seen that each door 12, 14, 16 is provided with one or more respective bottom guides 32, 34, 36 which are slidingly associated within the bottom track 38 to guide the respective bottoms of the doors 12, 14, 16 when the doors are moved to either their open or closed positions. The bottom track 38 is preferably fabricated of high impact PVC plastic and extends entirely across the bottom at the front of the refrigerated cabinet 18 for door guide purposes. The bottom track 38 registers beneath the upper tracks 20, 22, 24 and is fabricated to provide two horizontally spaced, elongate grooves 40, 42 which are defined between the respective bottom track forward wall 44 and the center wall 46 and the bottom track center wall 46 and the rearward wall 48. The bottom guide 34 of the center door 14 horizontally rides within the forward bottom track groove 40. The bottom guides 32, 36 of the respective left and right doors 12, 16 horizontally ride within the rearward bottom track groove 42. It will be noted that although there are three doors 12, 14, 16 provided in the assembly, only two bottom track grooves 40, 42 are required. The bottom guides 32, 36 of the left and right doors 12, 16 utilize the same rearward bottom track groove 42, although the doors 12, 16 do not utilize the same portions of the rearward groove 42. It will be appreciated that the height of the forward and rearward track grooves 40, 42 is greater than the vertical height that a door is elevated by its associated upper track 20, 22 or 24. In this manner, the respective bottom guides 32, 34, 36 never ride upwardly free of their association with a bottom track groove 42 and never ride downwardly far enough to bottom against the grooves 40, 42.

As illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, the doors 12, 14, 16 are conventionally provided with one or more respective upper hangers 50, 52, 54 which are conventionally affixed to the doors 12, 14, 16 in well known manner, such as by applying rivets or bolts 56, 58, 60. Each upper hanger 50, 52, 54 is provided with means to journal the respective upper rollers 62, 64, 66 for door sliding purposes. Sufficient rollers are conventionally employed to permit horizontal, sliding motion of the doors 12, 14, 16 in well known manner in the directions indicated by the arrows 26, 28, 30. The upper rollers 62 of the left door 12 ride within the left door upper track 20. The upper rollers 64 of the center door 14 ride within the center upper door track 22. The upper rollers 66 of the right door 16 ride within the right door upper track 24. The upper rollers 62, 64, 66 may be fabricated of nylon or other hard, plastic material and the upper tracks 20, 22, 24 may be fabricated of stainless steel or other corrosion resistant metal in a manner well known to those skilled in the art.

As best seen in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7, the center door upper track 22 positions at the front of the track assembly 68 and has its roller engaging rail 70 opening rearwardly. The left door upper track 20 positions at the rear of the track assembly 68 and has its roller engaging rail 72 opening forwardly. The right door upper track 24 positions intermediate the left and center door tracks 20, 22 and has its roller engaging rail 74 opening rearwardly in the same direction as the center door upper track.

By facing the roller engaging rails 70, 74 of the respective center door and right door rearwardly as illustrated and facing the roller engaging rail 72 of the left door forwardly, the respective upper tracks 20, 22, 24 can be accommodated in a minimum space requirement to permit three section gravity door operation without interference, binding or rubbing of the doors when in operation. Thus, I have provided a construction wherein three doors are horizontally sliding in two respective vertical planes by employing an upper track assembly 68 having three upper tracks 20, 22, 24 and a bottom track 38 which employs two juxtaposed grooves 40, 42. It will be appreciated that while only three doors are illustrated herein, four or more doors can be provided in side by side, horizontally juxtaposed relationship by extending the bottom track to the required door opening width and by providing additional upper inclined tracks as necessary to accommodate the additional doors.

Although I have described the present invention with reference to the particular embodiments herein set forth, it is understood that the present disclosure has been made only by way of example and that numerous changes in the details of construction may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Thus, the scope of the invention should not be limited by the foregoing specification, but rather only by the scope of the claims appendant hereto.