Title:
Double-wall frame member
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A double-wall frame member comprising a first and a second wall portion, in particular a drawer side frame member, wherein the two wall portions (1, 2) are connected together by way of a mechanical latching connection, wherein the second wall portion (2) can be hung into the first wall portion (1) into a first position, is displaceable in the longitudinal direction of the frame member and is latchable into a second position, wherein the first and second positions are displaced in a plane in normal relationship to the longitudinal direction of the frame member.



Inventors:
Bodingbauer, Markus (Hochst, AT)
Application Number:
11/151294
Publication Date:
01/12/2006
Filing Date:
06/14/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04C3/30; A47B88/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ING, MATTHEW W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WENDEROTH, LIND & PONACK, L.L.P. (1025 Connecticut Avenue, NW Suite 500, Washington, DC, 20036, US)
Claims:
1. A double-wall frame member comprising a first and a second wall portion, in particular a drawer side frame member, characterised in that the two wall portions (1, 2) are connected together by way of a mechanical latching connection, wherein the second wall portion (2) can be hung into the first wall portion (1) into a first position, is displaceable in the longitudinal direction of the frame member and is latchable into a second position, wherein the first and second positions are displaced in a plane in normal relationship to the longitudinal direction of the frame member.

2. A double-wall frame member according to claim 1 characterised in that the first wall portion (3) has a pivot bearing (4) in the region of its upper longitudinal edge, into which the second wall portion (2) can be hung and is pivotable relative to the first wall portion (1).

3. A double-wall frame member according to claim 2 characterised in that the pivot bearing (4) is of a substantially U-shaped configuration.

4. A double-wall frame member according to claim 2 characterised in that the pivot bearing (4) is formed by a portion which is bent over along its upper longitudinal edge.

5. A double-wall frame member according to claim 1 characterised in that the first wall portion (1) has preferably in the region of its lower longitudinal edge a latching device (5) into which the second wall portion (2) is latchable.

6. A double-wall frame member according to claim 5 characterised in that the latching device (5) is formed by a resilient and preferably profiled limb (9).

7. A double-wall frame member according to claim 5 characterised in that the second wall portion (2) is latchable into the latching device (5) of the first wall portion (1) and is displaceable in the frame member longitudinal direction.

8. A double-wall frame member according to claim 7 characterised in that the displacement travel in the longitudinal direction of the frame member is limited by an abutment (10) arranged or formed on the first wall portion (1).

9. A double-wall frame member according to claim 8 characterised in that the second wall portion (2) has a counterpart abutment (11) which in a first position co-operates with the abutment (10) of the first wall portion (1).

10. A double-wall frame member according to claim 8 characterised in that the second wall portion (2) has a slot-shaped opening (12) whose narrowest width at the bottom of the opening (12) corresponds to the width of the abutment (10).

11. A double-wall frame member according to claim 10 characterised in that in a second or latched position the abutment (10) of the first wall portion (1) is disengageable from the counterpart abutment (11) of the second wall portion (2) and can be inserted into the slot-shaped opening (12).

12. A double-walled frame member according to claim 11 characterised in that a positively locking connection between the two wall portions (1, 2) can be achieved in the second or latched position.

13. A double-walled frame member according to claim 8 characterised in that the abutment (10) of the first wall portion (1) is formed by a—preferably bent-up—tongue.

14. A double-wall frame member according to claim 9 characterised in that the second wall portion (2) has two—preferably profiled—limbs (8, 8′) of differing widths, wherein the counterpart abutment (11) is formed by the limb (8′) of greater width.

15. A method for assembling a doubled frame member according to claim 1 is characterised by the following steps: engaging the second wall portion in a pivot bearing of the first wall portion, pivoting the second wall portion relatively to the first wall portion, latching the second wall portion into a latching device of the first wall portion, relative displacement of the two wall portions in the longitudinal direction of the frame member until an abutment limits the displacement travel, and latching the two wall portions by pressing the two wall portions together.

Description:

The present invention relates to a double-wall frame member with a first and a second wall portion, in particular a drawer side frame member.

Frame members are used for example as side guides or side delimitation members for drawers and other pull-out systems, the hollow-chamber frame members being formed for example by two metal profile members. The spacing between the two wall portions provides visually wider side boundaries for the drawer, which are distinguished inter alia by an attractive appearance, low weight and a good movement characteristic. The two profile members—which besides metal can also be formed from plastic material—are usually releasably or non-releasably connected together by mechanical fixing means. Therefore, a suitable tool is required for assembling or dismantling the two wall portions, in which respect the use of fixing means or tools cause difficulty in the assembly procedure. In addition exact positioning of the two wall portions relative to each other is often found to be difficult as for example screws have to be passed through a wall portion and screwed into a screwthread provided for same in the other wall portion.

Therefore it is object of the present invention to propose a double-wall frame member of the kind set forth in the opening part of this specification, which avoids the above disadvantages of the state of the art.

According to the invention that object is attained in that the two wall portions are connected together by way of a mechanical latching connection, wherein the second wall portion can be hung into the first wall portion into a first position, is displaceable in the longitudinal direction of the frame member and is latchable into a second position, wherein the first and second positions are displaced in a plane in normal relationship to the longitudinal direction of the frame member.

By virtue of such a latching connection, the two wall portions of the frame member can be easily and quickly fitted together and separated again, without fixing means or tools being required for that purpose.

A preferred embodiment of the invention provides that the first wall portion has a pivot bearing in the region of its upper longitudinal edge, into which the second wall portion can be hung and is pivotable relative to the first wall portion. The two wall portions can be fixed relative to each other at their upper longitudinal edges by virtue of the arrangement of the pivot bearing, while in that assembled condition a pivotal movement and displacement in the longitudinal direction of the frame member is possible. The pivot bearing can basically be embodied in various ways. An embodiment of the invention provides that the pivot bearing is of a substantially U-shaped configuration, wherein advantageously the pivot bearing is formed by a portion which is bent over along its upper longitudinal edge. In that way it is possible to implement a pivot bearing which is simple, quick and inexpensive to produce for example by a sheet bending process. It will be appreciated that it is also possible to envisage other pivot bearings which for example can include a retaining groove or rail extending along the upper longitudinal axis of the first wall portion and which permit a pivotal movement of the second wall portion.

For fixing the second wall portion which has already been engaged in position and pivoted, on the first wall portion, it can be useful if the first wall portion has preferably in the region of its lower longitudinal edge a latching device into which the second wall portion is latchable. A structurally simple variant of the invention provides that the latching device is formed by a resilient and preferably profiled limb.

For relative displacement of the two wall portions relative to each other, the second wall portion is latchable into the latching device of the first wall portion and is displaceable along the longitudinal direction of the first wall portion. For precise orientation of the two wall portions, an embodiment of the invention provides that the displacement travel in the longitudinal direction of the frame member is limited by an abutment arranged or formed on the first wall portion, whereby the exact position of the wall portions relative to each other is established. Desirably the abutment of the first wall portion is formed by a tongue—which is preferably bent up. In a similar manner to the abutment of the first wall portion, it is provided that the second wall portion has a counterpart abutment which in a first position co-operates with the abutment of the first wall portion. In that respect it may be desirable if the second wall portion has two—preferably profiled—limbs of differing width, wherein the counterpart abutment is formed by the limb of greater width.

For the purposes of definitive latching of the two wall portions it is advantageous if the second wall portion has a slot-shaped opening whose narrowest width at the bottom of the opening corresponds to the width of the abutment. In that respect the configuration can be such that in a second or latched position the abutment of the first wall portion is disengageable from the counterpart abutment of the second wall portion and can be inserted into the slot-shaped opening. Desirably a positively locking connection between the two wall portions can be made in the second or latched position.

Assembly of a doubled frame member is characterised by the following steps:

    • engaging the second wall portion in the pivot bearing of the first wall portion,
    • pivoting the second wall portion relative to the first wall portion,
    • latching the second wall portion into the latching device of the first wall portion,
    • relative displacement of the two wall portions in the longitudinal direction of the frame member until the abutment limits the displacement travel, and
    • latching the two wall portions by pressing the two wall portions together.

Further feature and advantages of the present invention will be described in greater detail hereinafter by means of the specific description with reference to the drawings in which:

FIGS. 1a-1f show diagrammatic cross-sectional views of the two wall portions of the frame member, in successive assembly steps,

FIGS. 2a-2c show perspective views of the frame member in successive assembly steps,

FIGS. 3a-3c show diagrammatic and perspective detail views of the frame member in successive assembly steps,

FIGS. 4a-4d show diagrammatic cross-sectional views of successive assembly steps of a frame member which is engaged into a rail along the upper edge of the frame member, and

FIGS. 5a-5c show various embodiments of drawers with various frame members according to the invention.

FIGS. 1a-1f show cross-sectional views of the frame member 3 comprising a first wall portion 1 and a second wall portion 2 as well as enlarged detail views of the pivot bearing 4 and the latching device 5 in successive assembly steps. The pivot bearing 4 is in cross-section of a substantially U-shaped configuration which is formed by a bent-over portion along the upper longitudinal edge of the first wall portion 1. In a first assembly step as shown in FIG. 1a the upper portion 6 of the second wall portion 2 is hung into that pivot bearing 4. The upper portion 6 includes a polygonally shaped portion which becomes wedged within the pivot bearing 4 and is stabilised in respect of dislocation by two co-operating folds 7, 7′. After that engagement operation the second wall portion 2 can be pivoted in the direction of the first wall portion 1, as can be clearly seen from the illustrated Figures. In the region of its lower longitudinal edge the first wall portion has a latching device 5 into which the second wall portion 2 is latchable with its limb 8, as is shown in FIG. 1e. The latching device 5 is preferably formed by a profiled and resilient limb 9 of the first wall portion 1 and an abutment 10 which is arranged or formed thereon.

FIG. 1e shows the frame member 3 with the engaged second wall portion 2 in the latching device 5 of the first wall portion 1. In that assembly condition, the second wall portion 2 can be displaced relative to the first wall portion 1 in the longitudinal direction of the frame member 3 until the abutment 10 of the first wall portion 1 limits the displacement travel. That is made possible by a counterpart abutment 11 (not shown in this Figure) on the second wall portion 2, which co-operates in a first position with the abutment 10 on the first wall portion 1.

FIG. 1f shows the cross-sectional view of the frame member 3 in the completely latched position. In that second position the abutment 10 of the first wall portion 1 is out of engagement from the counterpart abutment 11 of the second wall portion 2. The two wall portions 1, 2 come into snapping engagement by pressing the two wall portions 1, 2 together, the connection preferably being effected in positively locking relationship.

FIGS. 2a-2c show diagrammatic perspective views of the frame member 3 in successive assembly steps in respectively enlarged and partly broken-away detail views. The second wall portion 2 is already engaged in the longitudinal direction of the frame member 3 with its upper portion 6 into the pivot bearing of the first wall portion 1, pivoted with respect thereto and latched into the latching device 5 of the first wall portion 1. In that assembly condition as illustrated the second wall portion 2 can be displaced relative to the first wall portion 1 until the displacement travel in the longitudinal direction of the frame member is limited by an abutment 10 which is arranged or formed on the first wall portion 1 and which co-operates with a counterpart abutment 11 of the second wall portion 2 in a first position, as is shown in FIG. 2b. The two wall portions 1, 2 can be optimally positioned relative to each other by the co-operation of the abutment 10 and the counterpart abutment 11. The second wall portion 2 preferably now has a slot-shaped opening 12 whose narrowest width B at the bottom of the opening 12 substantially corresponds to the width B1 of the abutment 10.

FIG. 2c shows the frame member 3 in a completely latched assembly condition. In this position the abutment 10 of the first wall portion 1 has been disengaged from the counterpart abutment 11 of the second wall portion 2 by pressing the two wall portions 1, 2 together. The abutment 10 is inserted substantially without clearance into the opening 12 of the second wall portion 2 and by virtue of that locking action permits a precise and reliable connection between the two wall portions 1, 2. If the two wall portions 1, 2 are to be separated again, they can be easily pulled away from each other, overcoming the positively locking forces.

FIGS. 3a-3d show partly broken-away detail views on an enlarged scale of the frame member 3 in successive assembly steps. FIG. 3a shows the frame member 3 whose second wall portion 2 has already been latched to the limb 8 of the first wall portion 1. FIG. 3b shows the frame member 3 after displacement of the two wall portions 1, 2, the abutment 10 of the first wall portion 1 co-operating with the counterpart abutment 11 of the second wall portion 2. The two walls portions 1, 2 are now correctly positioned relative to each other and can be definitively latched together by pressing the two wall portions 1, 2 together. The abutment 10 fits precisely into the bottom of the slot-shaped opening 12 in order to prevent displacement in the longitudinal direction of the two wall portions 1, 2 in the latched condition, as is shown in FIG. 3c. It can also be seen from this Figure that the second wall portion 2 has two profiled limbs 8, 8′ whose widths are different. In this case the counterpart abutment 11 is formed by the limb 8′ of greater width which projects beyond the limb 8 by the difference in width ΔS.

FIGS. 4a-4d show diagrammatic cross-sectional views of a frame member 3 which is already in a latched condition, being hung in a rail 13 along the upper edge of the frame member, in successive assembly steps. The frame member 3 can be additionally stabilised by the rail 13. The upper portion 6 of the second wall portion 2 is held by virtue of its polygonal shape and by way of the two co-operating folds 7, 7′, in the pivot bearing 4 of the first wall portion 1. Provided in the interior of the upper portion 6 is an opening 14 for receiving the rail which, as the following Figures clearly show, is held by clamping within the upper portion 6. By overcoming the clamping forces acting there, the frame member 3 can be quickly and uncomplicatedly removed from the rail 13 again.

FIGS. 5a-5c show various embodiments of drawers 15 with various double-wall side frame members 3 and 3′ according to the invention. The drawers 15 conventionally comprise a front panel 16, a rear wall 17 and a drawer base 18. The rail 13 is usually arranged between the rear wall 17 and the front panel 16. FIG. 5a shows an embodiment of a drawer 15, wherein the frame members 3 and 3′ arranged on both sides of the drawer base 18 are arranged at a spacing below the rail 13. FIG. 5b shows an embodiment of a drawer 15, wherein a lateral frame member 3 is arranged over the rail 13 and the second lateral frame member 3′ is latched to the rail 13 by the mechanism shown in FIGS. 4a-4d. That frame member 3′ has air slots 19 in the form of elongate holes which serve for better circulation of air in the drawer 15. FIG. 5c shows a drawer 15 with a frame member 3 which is spaced from the rail 13 and a frame member 3′ which is latched along its upper edge to a rail 13 and is substantially free of openings or air slots 19.

The invention is not limited to the illustrated examples but includes or extends to all technical equivalents which can be embraced by the scope of the claims hereinafter. The positional references adopted in the description such as for example top, bottom, lateral and so forth relate to the usual installation position or to the directly described and illustrated Figure and upon a change in position are to be appropriately converted to the new position. It will be appreciated that the present invention also embraces measures which for example all conventional arrangements also have for supporting or fixing the drawer base 18. Devices are likewise embraced, which serve to connect to the front panel 16 and the rear wall 17 respectively, which for example can have special adaptors for fixing purposes. The frame member 3 according to the invention can also be made for example in the form of a plastic member which can be easily produced by an injection molding process. The frame members are not only suitable as lateral boundaries for drawers 15 but also embrace inner frame members or transverse frame members. Basically the frame member 3 according to the invention is suitable for further areas of use, for example for wall portions in interior building.