Title:
Track assembly for an overhead door
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A track assembly for an overhead door (10) includes a generally vertically positionable track segment (14) and a generally horizontally positionable track segment (15). The track segment (14) includes a curvilinear portion (17) at one end thereof which is joined to a curvilinear portion (21) of the track segment (15) by a bracket (30). The curvilinear portion (17) of the track segment (14) has a smaller radius of curvature than the curvilinear portion (21) of the track segment (15). The bracket (30) has tabs (40) which are received in a slot aperture (42) in the curvilinear portion (17) to attach it to the bracket (30), and the bracket (30) has a lug (41) which is received in a slot (44) in the curvilinear portion (21) to attach it to the bracket (30).



Inventors:
Mullet, Willis J. (Gulf Breeze, FL, US)
Paquette, Derek S. (Robertsdale, AL, US)
Rusnak, Gregory M. (Milton, FL, US)
Cooke, Kenneth D. (Cantonment, FL, US)
Application Number:
10/421189
Publication Date:
10/28/2004
Filing Date:
04/22/2003
Assignee:
Wayne-Dalton Corp.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E05D15/24; (IPC1-7): A47H1/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
JACKSON, ANDRE L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Phillip L. Kenner (Akron, OH, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A track assembly for an overhead door comprising a generally vertically positionable first track segment including a generally straight portion and a curvilinear portion having a first radius of curvature, a generally horizontally positionable second track segment including a generally straight portion and a curvilinear portion having a second radius of curvature, said second radius of curvature being larger than said first radius of curvature, and means to attach said curvilinear portion of said first track segment to said curvilinear portion of said second track segment.

2. The track assembly of claim 1 wherein said means to attach includes a bracket having a face to be secured to said curvilinear portions.

3. The track assembly of claim 2 wherein the track assembly is supported by a frame and said bracket has a flange adapted to be attached to the frame.

4. The track assembly of claim 2 wherein said face includes opposed tabs and said curvilinear portion of one of said track segments includes a slot aperture, said tabs being received through a portion of said slot aperture and then said bracket being rotatable relative to said one track segment to attach said one track segment to said bracket.

5. The track assembly of claim 2 wherein said face includes a lug and said curvilinear portion of one of said track segments includes a slot to receive said lug.

6. The track assembly of claim 5 wherein said face includes opposed tabs and said curvilinear portion of the other of said first track segments includes a slot aperture, said tabs being received through a portion of said slot aperture and then said bracket is being rotatable relative to said other track segment to attach said other track segment to said bracket.

7. The track assembly of claim 5 wherein said slot is tapered from a first end having a larger opening to a second end having a smaller opening.

8. The track assembly of claim 7 wherein said lug is received through said first end of said slot and said one track segment is moved relative to said bracket to position said lug in said second end of said slot.

9. The track assembly of claim 1 wherein said track segments are U-shaped in end profile, the end of said curvilinear portion of one of said track segments having an enlarged U-shaped end profile to receive the end of said curvilinear portion of the other of said track segments.

10. The track assembly of claim 1 wherein said first radius of curvature is in the range of approximately four inches to approximately eight inches.

11. The track assembly of claim 10 wherein said second radius of curvature is in the range of approximately fifty inches to approximately eighty inches.

12. The track assembly of claim 1 wherein said second radius of curvature is in the range of approximately fifty inches to approximately eighty inches.

13. The track assembly of claim 1 wherein said first radius of curvature is approximately four inches and said curvilinear portion of said first track segment extends for approximately sixty-eight degrees.

14. The track assembly of claim 13 wherein said second radius of curvature is approximately seventy-one inches and said curvilinear portion of said second track segment extends for approximately twenty-two degrees.

15. The track assembly of claim 1 wherein the ratio of said second radius of curvature to said first radius of curvature is in the range of approximately twenty-to-one to approximately six-to-one.

16. A track assembly for the rollers of an overhead door comprising a first track segment having a generally straight portion and a curvilinear portion having a first radius of curvature, and a second track segment having a generally straight portion and a curvilinear portion having a second radius of curvature, said curvilinear portions of said track segments being attached to each other in such a way so as to form a continuous track for the rollers, the ratio of said second radius of curvature to said first radius of curvature being in the range of approximately twenty-to-one to approximately six-to-one.

17. The track assembly of claim 16 wherein said first radius of curvature is approximately four inches and said second radius of curvature is approximately seventy-one inches.

18. The track assembly of claim 17 wherein said curvilinear portion of said first track segment extends over approximately sixty-eight degrees and said curvilinear portion of said second track segment extends over approximately twenty-two degrees.

19. The track assembly of claim 16 wherein said track segments are U-shaped in end profile, the end of said curvilinear portion of one of said track segments having an enlarged U-shaped end profile to receive the end of said curvilinear portion of the other of said track segments to provide the continuous track for the rollers.

20. A track assembly for an overhead door comprising a first track segment having a generally straight portion and a curvilinear portion having a first radius of curvature, a second track segment having a generally straight portion and a curvilinear portion having a second radius of curvature, and a bracket being attachable to said curvilinear portion of said first track segment and being attachable to said curvilinear portion of said second track segment so as to attach said first and second track segments to each other.

21. The track assembly of claim 20 wherein said bracket includes opposed tabs and said curvilinear portion of said first track segment includes a slot aperture, said tabs being received through a portion of said slot aperture and then said bracket being rotatable relative to said first track segment to attach said first track segment to said bracket.

22. The track assembly of claim 21 wherein said bracket includes a lug and said curvilinear portion of said second track segment includes a slot to receive said lug.

23. The track assembly of claim 22 wherein said slot is tapered from a first end having a larger opening to a second end having a smaller opening.

24. The track assembly of claim 23 wherein said lug is received through said first end of said slot and said second track segment is moved relative to said bracket to position said lug in said second end of said slot.

25. The track assembly of claim 24 wherein said track segments are U-shaped in end profile, the end of said curvilinear portion of said first track segment having an enlarged U-shaped end profile to receive the end of said curvilinear portion of said second track segment when said second track segment is moved relative to said bracket.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The present invention relates to a track assembly for sectional overhead doors such as garage doors and the like. More specifically, this invention relates to such an assembly which is particularly suited for low headroom environments.

BACKGROUND ART

[0002] Overhead sectional garage doors or the like are typically provided with rollers that ride in a track system usually carried by a horizontally oriented angle member extending inwardly from the door frame. When the door is in the closed position, the rollers reside in opposed vertically oriented tracks, and when moved to an open position, the rollers travel up the vertical tracks, through opposed transitional tracks, and into opposed generally horizontally oriented tracks.

[0003] Traditionally, the transitional tracks are of a circular radius of curvature to make the ninety degree transition from the vertical tracks to the horizontal tracks. These transitional tracks may be a separate piece, having their ends attached to the vertical and horizontal tracks, or they may be incorporated into either the vertical tracks or the horizontal tracks thereby creating a two-piece system instead of a three piece system. In some instances, the track system may be formed as one piece incorporating the vertical tracks, the horizontal tracks and the transitional tracks.

[0004] The radius of the typical prior art transitional tracks generally varies between eight inches and thirty inches. Radiuses toward the upper end of the range are desirable because such provides for a smoother operation of the door. However, such requires more headroom. In situations where there is minimal headroom, transitional tracks with a short radius must be utilized to the sacrifice of smooth operation.

[0005] As a compromise, attempts have been made at providing a one piece track system which includes the vertical tracks, the horizontal tracks, and a transitional track portion having two radii of curvature. However, in order to accommodate for low headroom environments and yet still satisfactorily operate, the radii of curvature need to be quite different, that is, one of the radii needs to be substantially smaller than the other radii, and such cannot be readily accomplished in one piece.

[0006] Thus, the need exists for a track system which is not plagued by these problems of the prior art.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

[0007] It is thus an object of the present invention to provide a track assembly for an overhead door which has the benefits of smooth operation while at the same time being usable in areas having low headroom.

[0008] It is another object of the present invention to provide a track assembly, as above, which can easily be used with a header-mounted, pivoting motorized door operator.

[0009] It is a further object of the present invention to provide a track assembly, as above, which does not require the support of a horizontally extending angle member.

[0010] It is an additional object of the present invention to provide a track assembly, as above, which is easy to assemble and install.

[0011] It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a track assembly, as above, which can be connected to a mounting bracket without the need for fasteners.

[0012] These and other objects of the present invention, as well as the advantages thereof over existing prior art forms, which will become apparent from the description to follow, are accomplished by the improvements hereinafter described and claimed.

[0013] In general, an overhead door track assembly made in accordance with the present invention includes a generally vertically positionable first track segment which has a straight portion and a curvilinear portion having a first radius of curvature. A generally horizontally positionable second track segment includes a straight portion and a curvilinear portion having a second radius of curvature. The second radius of curvature is larger than the first radius of curvature. Means are provided to connect the curvilinear portion of the first track segment to the curvilinear portion of the second track segment.

[0014] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the track assembly which receives the rollers of an overhead door includes a first track segment having a generally straight portion and a curvilinear portion having a first radius of curvature. A second track segment has a generally straight portion and a curvilinear portion having a second radius of curvature. The curvilinear portions are attached to each other in such a way so as to form a continuous track for the rollers. The ratio of the second radius of curvature to the first radius of curvature is in the range of approximately twenty-to-one to approximately six-to-one.

[0015] In another aspect of the invention, the track assembly includes a first track segment having a generally straight portion and a curvilinear portion having a first radius of curvature. A second track segment has a generally straight portion and curvilinear portion having a second radius of curvature. A bracket is attachable to the curvilinear portion of the first track segment and is attachable to the curvilinear portion of the second track segment so as to attach the first and second track segments to each other.

[0016] A preferred exemplary track assembly for an overhead door made in accordance with the concepts of the present invention is shown by way of example in the accompanying drawings without attempting to show all the various forms and modifications in which the invention might be embodied, the invention being measured by the appended claims and not by the details of the specification.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0017] FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of a sectional overhead door having a track assembly made in accordance with the concepts of the present invention.

[0018] FIG. 2 is an enlarged elevational view of the portion of the track assembly encircled in FIG. 1.

[0019] FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of the components of the track assembly shown in FIG. 2.

PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

[0020] An overhead-type garage door is indicated generally by the numeral 10 and includes a plurality of panels 11, each having guide rollers 12 on the lateral edges thereof. Door 10 is formed within a frame which includes vertically oriented jambs J spaced by a header H, and is suspended by a conventional counterbalance system 13 which is schematically shown in FIG. 1. Rollers 12 ride in a track assembly which includes opposed generally vertically positionable track segments, generally indicated by the numeral 14, and opposed generally horizontally positionable track segments generally indicated by the numeral 15.

[0021] Each vertically positionable track segment 14 includes a straight portion 16 which, when positioned for use with door 10, is generally vertically oriented, and includes a curvilinear portion 17 at one end thereof. Both portions 16 and 17 are generally U-shaped in end profile having opposed branches 18 interconnected by a base portion 19. As such, rollers 12 are adapted to be received between branches 18 and directed thereby as they move along track segment 14.

[0022] Similarly, each horizontally positionable track segment 15 includes a straight portion 20 which, when positioned for use with door 10, is generally horizontally oriented, and includes a curvilinear portion 21 at one end thereof. Both portions 20 and 21 are generally U-shaped in end profile having opposed branches 22 interconnected by a base portion 23. As such, rollers 12 are adapted to be received between branches 22 and directed thereby as they move along track segment 15.

[0023] It has been found that the radius of curvature of curvilinear portion 17 can be in the range of approximately four to eight inches. A radius of curvature of about four inches extending over approximately sixty-eight degrees is preferred. The radius of curvature of curvilinear portion 21 can be in the range of fifty to eighty inches depending on the height of the panels 11 which make up door 10. A radius of curvature of about seventy-one inches extending over approximately twenty-two degrees is preferred. Thus, the ratios of the radius of portion 21 to the radius of portion 17 could be in the range of approximately twenty-to-one to approximately six-to-one. The combination of these radii provide for smooth operation while at the same time rendering the door 10 useable in areas of low headroom.

[0024] Curvilinear portion 17 is attached to curvilinear portion 21 by means of a flag angle or bracket generally indicated by the numeral 30. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, bracket 30 is generally L-shaped in configuration having a generally vertically oriented structural mounting face 31 and a generally horizontally oriented track engaging face 32. An offset rib 33 runs down mounting face 31 and extends into track engaging face 32, and a second offset rib 34 runs along the junction of faces 31 and 32. Together, ribs 33 and 34 add strength to bracket 30.

[0025] Mounting face 31 includes an aperture 35 to facilitate attachment to a portion of counterbalance system 13, and the top of face 31 is provided with a notch 36 to permit the passage of counterbalance system 13 therethrough. As shown in FIG. 3, face 31 is also provided with a mounting flange 37 having a plurality (one shown) of apertures 38 therein to facilitate attachment of bracket 30 to the header H or a jamb J of the frame around door 10. Flange 37 is integrally formed with a flange 39 on track engaging face 32 to further strengthen bracket 30.

[0026] Track engaging face 32 of bracket 30 is provided with a pair of tabs 40 spaced from face 32 and oriented 180° of each other. Face 32 is also provided with a lock lug 41 which is also spaced from face 32. The base portion 19 of track portion 17 is provided with a slot aperture 42 which is generally circular in shape with its circumference being interrupted by a pair of diametrically opposed semicircles 43. The base portion 23 of track portion 21 is provided with a tapered, generally tear drop-shaped, slot 44 having an end 45 with a narrow opening and an end 46 with an opening wider than the opening at end 45. The larger end 46 is positioned to be adjacent to the end of track portion 21.

[0027] In order to attach curvilinear portion 17 of track segment 14 to curvilinear portion 21 of track segment 15, and thereby install the track assembly for use with door 10, tabs 40 of bracket 30 are aligned with opposed semicircles 43 of slot aperture 42 and then pushed therethrough. Then, bracket 30 and track segment 14 can be rotated ninety degrees relative to each other so that bracket 30 is engaging track segment 14 as shown in FIG. 2. Thereafter, in order to attach curvilinear portion 21 to bracket 30 and to curvilinear portion 17 to track segment 14, the end of curvilinear portion 21 can be slid into, or otherwise telescoped into, the end of curvilinear portion 17. For this purpose, the U-shaped profile of portion 17 is enlarged near the end of portion 17, as at 47, to receive the end of portion 21. As such, there is a smooth roller transition between portions 17 and 21 so that there is no undue noise and so that there is otherwise no bumpy transition of rollers 12 as they pass between track segment 14 and track segment 15. At the same time that track portion 21 is slid into track portion 17, lug 41 of bracket 30 is received through the large end 46 of slot 44. When portion 21 is fully seated in portion 17, lug 41 will be positioned in the smaller end 45 of slot 44 such that bracket 30 is then holding track portion 21.

[0028] At this point, bracket 30 may be attached to the door frame while carrying and attaching one end of track segments 14 and 15, and the other ends of track segments 14 and 15 may be conventionally attached to the frame and surrounding structure so that track portion 21 cannot be slid out of track portion 17 and otherwise released from bracket 30.

[0029] It should be appreciated that a track assembly constructed and installed as described herein does not require the conventional horizontally extending support angle at the area of the transition of the track from vertical to horizontal because the long curvilinear portion 21 effectively acts to provide such support. In addition, this track assembly enables one to use a header mounted pivotal door operator without requiring additional components to account for the lack of headroom as was required in the prior art. That is, when door 10 is moving through the track assembly of the present invention, door 10 begins to move back almost immediately on track segment 15 which allows one to use a pivotal door operator which is desirable to lock the door in the down position.

[0030] As such, the track assembly described herein substantially improves the art and otherwise accomplishes the objections of the present invention.