Title:
Device for assembling panel edges
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Device for assembling edges of panels, laths or sheathing includes at least a male part provided on a longitudinal edge and/or a transverse edge of the panels, laths or sheathings and at least a female part of matching shape provided on the other two longitudinal and transverse edges of the panels, laths or sheathings. The device is characterized in that the male and female parts are provided with at least an element for assembling by impact or pressure two consecutive panels, laths or sheathings by their adjacent edges along an oblique direction, the panels, laths or sheathings being initially offset in height and mutually parallel and their male and female parts being then partly mutually engaged. The device is applicable in the building sector, for floor, wall or ceiling finish, in the form of panels, laths or sheathings made of different materials.



Inventors:
Becker, Arnaud (Rosheim, FR)
Application Number:
10/494282
Publication Date:
12/16/2004
Filing Date:
05/03/2004
Assignee:
BECKER ARNAUD
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/590.2
International Classes:
E04F15/04; (IPC1-7): E04B2/46
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SPAHN, GAY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NIXON & VANDERHYE, PC (ARLINGTON, VA, US)
Claims:
1. Device for assembling the edges of panels, laths or sheathings (1), constituted by at least one male portion (2) on a longitudinal and/or transverse edge of said panels, laths or sheathings (1) and by at least one female portion (3) of corresponding shape on the two other longitudinal and transverse edges of said panels, laths or sheathings (1), characterized in that the male and female portions (2 and 3) are provided with at least one element (6 and/or 2″-3″ and/or 2′″-3′″ and 5) permitting an assembly by impact or pressure of two consecutive panels, laths or sheathings (1) by their adjacent edges in an oblique direction, said panels, laths or sheathings (1) being initially offset in height and parallel to each other and their male and female portions (2 and 3) being thus partially mutually engaged.

2. Device according to claim 1, characterized in that the female portion (3) is provided in its upper sidewall, with a recess or concavity forming an element (6) permitting an assembly without deformation with the male portion (2).

3. Device according to claim 1, characterized in that the male (2) and female portions (3) are provided with elements (2″-3″, 2′″-3′″ and 5) permitting assembly by impact or pressure of two consecutive panels, laths or sheathings (1) by their adjacent edges in an oblique direction, these said elements (2″-3″ and 2′″-3′″ and 5) being in the form of contact surfaces (2″-3″ and/or 2′″-3′″) provided on the male and female portions (2 and 3), these contact surfaces forming oblique ramps for the insertion of the male portion (2) into the female portion (3) of the assembly device and being preferably interconnected by rounded concave guide means (5).

4. Device according to claim 3, characterized in that the contact surfaces (2″-3″ and 2′″-3′″) constituting the elements permitting assembly by impact or pressure are disposed discontinuously and offset relative to each other.

5. Device according to claim 1, characterized in that the male and female portions (2 and 3) have an orientation inclined relative to the upper surface of the panels, laths or sheathings (1).

6. Device according to claim 1, characterized in that the male and female portions (2 and 3) extend in a direction substantially perpendicular to an oblique plane joining the vertical joint plane between two adjacent sides of the panels, laths or sheathings (1).

7. Device according to claim 1, characterized in that the surface of the male portion (2) connecting the sidewalls of the male portion (2), as well as the corresponding surface of the female portion (3), have a flat portion parallel to the upper and lower surfaces of the panels, laths or sheathings (1).

8. Device according to claim 1, characterized in that the upper crest of the female portion (3) is cut or rounded, such that it extends in a vertical plane (PV) parallel to the one (P′V′) crossing through the junction crest of the base of the corresponding sidewall of the male portion (2).

9. Device according to claim 1, characterized in that the recess or concavity forming an element (6) provided in the upper sidewall of the female portion (3) is combined with the elements (2″-3″ and 2′″-3′″) in the form of contact surfaces (2″-3″ and 2′″-3′″) and the rounded concave guide (5) provided on the male and female portions (2 and 3).

10. Device according to claim 1, characterized in that the male and female portions (2 and 3) are offset out of the vertical joint plane of junction between the upper surfaces of the panels, laths or sheathings (1).

11. Device according to claim 1, characterized in that the end of the male portion (2) extends in line with the vertical joint plane of the junction between the upper surfaces of the panels, laths or sheathings (1).

Description:
[0001] The present invention relates to the field of construction, in particular coverings for the floor, walls or ceiling, particularly in the form of panels, laths or sheathing of different materials, such as wood, layered materials, synthetic materials. . . , and has for its object a device for assembling the edges of such panels, laths or sheathing.

[0002] At present, the covering elements for the floors, walls and ceilings are generally present in the form of panels, laths or sheathing made of different materials, such as solid wood, compressed particleboard provided with a synthetic coating or of solid wood or entirely of synthetic material having a textured exposed surface.

[0003] These different elements are generally assembled by known means of the type of tongues and grooves, two adjacent sides of these elements being for example provided with a tongue adapted to coact with grooves provided on two corresponding sides of corresponding elements. Thus, each element has two tongues on two adjacent sides, the two other sides being provided with grooves.

[0004] These assembly means generally permit greatly meeting the needs for connection of elements together and for placing these elements at the same level but requiring for holding the assembly and a perfect joint, the use of glue or else stapling means for the lower surface and securement of the latter on struts or the like.

[0005] To overcome these drawbacks, it has been proposed to provide panels, laths or sheathing, near the tongue and groove assembly means on their longitudinal edges, with a mechanical device improving the quality of assembly by creation of an anti-disassembly means in the assembled position, which is to say when two successive elements are assembled by tongue and groove and are disposed flat. This mechanical device moreover permits, in the assembled flat condition, a movement along the longitudinal axis of the elements, so as to promote the reception of their end tongues in the corresponding end groove of the adjacent element.

[0006] Such mechanical devices are essentially of two types, namely using supplemental locking mechanical portions, or provided with an integral locking portion.

[0007] The supplemental mechanical portions are either profiles of hook shaped cross-section, or hooks uniformly distributed along all the length of the elements and coacting with grooves of corresponding shape provided in the edges of said elements.

[0008] Such elements of course permit a correct connection between the panels, laths or sheathing, but require quite specific emplacement manipulation, namely, an engagement of the connection elements in an inclined position of the panels, laths or sheating relative to each other, then a return to horizontal position of these latter for their lateral engagement, or a preliminary arrangement of the connecting profiles with sections in the form of hooks, below the edge of one of the panels, laths or sheathing and the engagement of the other end of these profiles below the corresponding edge of the adjacent panels, laths or sheathing, the lateral engagement being carried out after this mechanical connection along the longitudinal edges.

[0009] These known devices for supplemental mechanical connection however have the drawback of being of relatively complicated construction, using simultaneously tongue and groove assemblies and a mechanical means for holding in service position, preventing any sliding of a panel, lath or sheathing relative to another perpendicularly to their longitudinal edges.

[0010] Moreover, in the case of provision of a mechanical connection between longitudinal edges by means only of the shape coaction of supplemental elements forming an integral part of the panels, laths or sheathing, and machined together with the assembly grooves and tongues, there arises, on the one hand, a problem of machining mechanical connection elements and, on the other hand, a problem of reliability over time of these mechanical connection elements. Thus, the known connection and assembly means are essentially adapted to ensure a perfect mounting of the panels, laths or sheathing into an assembly without play at the level of their joints, equivalent to a conventional assembly by gluing the panels, laths or sheathing together or by nailing these latter on support brackets, whilst permitting complete disassembly for possible remounting at another utilization site.

[0011] Moreover, the known mechanical connection elements are relatively complicated as to their construction and as to their use.

[0012] Finally, all the known assembly devices have the drawback of being relatively fragile at the joints, because the connection tongue between the panels, laths or sheathing is of relatively small thickness and must completely absorb the forces at said joints and in particular the large shear forces that are produced in the case of arrangement above an empty space due to an irregularity of the ground or the like.

[0013] There is also known from WO 00/47841, assembly means for the edges of panels, constituted by two opposite coaction lips each provided with a connection means for a vertical engagement and a vertical blocking means in the form of a lug or a hook adapted to coact with the upper surface of a recess.

[0014] The connection means according to this document are parallel to the edges of the panels to be assembled. It follows that, during mounting, the lower lip on one edge of the panel is subjected to substantial deformation due to the application of the upper lip, from above, in the recess delimited between the surfaces of the other panel, the lug of the first panel being applied, for its part, along a wall of said other panel. This interaction of the different elements during application of a vertical force has the tendency to induce wedging in the course of assembly, this wedging being able to be overcome only by deformation of the lower lip.

[0015] This requires that the dimension of the lug, in particular its length that projects relative to the edges, be limited by the elastic limit of the lower lip. As a result, a sufficient locking cannot be attained and such an arrangement is totally inapplicable to panels made of MDF or HDF.

[0016] WO 01/66877 discloses panels for covering the ground, which are adapted to be assembled by means of male and female vertical engagement elements. This document relates only to panels having different configurations of male and female elements for their assembly, the assembly of the panels being adapted to the production of a ground covering. This document describes moreover a use of assembly means of the document WO 00/47841 and this with the supplemental use of an intermediate part adapted to coact with the two upper male elements.

[0017] The present invention has for its object to overcome the drawbacks of the assembly and holding devices known until now, by providing an assembly device for the edges of such panels, laths or sheathing, permitting simultaneously by shape mating cooperation, promoting the assembly of said edges and ensuring a perfect and automatic junction of the adjacent edges of the panels, laths or sheathing and a self-locking of said panels, laths or sheathing against each other along said edges, in particular under a lathe.

[0018] To this end, the assembly device for the edges of such panels, laths or sheathing, which is constituted by at least one male portion on a longitudinal and/or transverse edge of said panels, laths or sheathing and by at least one female portion of corresponding shape on the two other longitudinal transverse edges of said panels, laths or sheathing, is characterized in that the male and female portions are provided with at least one element permitting assembly by impact or pressure of two consecutive panels, laths or sheathings, by their adjacent edges, in an oblique direction, said panels, laths or sheathings being initially offset in height and parallel to each other and their male and female portions being thus partially mutually engaged.

[0019] The invention will be better understood from the following description, which relates to preferred embodiments, given by way of non-limiting examples and explained with reference to the accompanying schematic drawings, in which:

[0020] FIG. 1 is a side elevational and cross-sectional view of the device according to the invention in a position at the beginning of assembly;

[0021] FIG. 2 is a view similar to that of FIG. 1 of the device in the final assembled position, and

[0022] FIGS. 3 and 4 are views similar to those of FIGS. 1 and 2 of a modified embodiment of the invention.

[0023] FIGS. 1-4 of the accompanying drawings show an assembly of two panels, laths or sheathings 1 by means of an assembly device for the edges, which is constituted by at least one male portion 2 on a longitudinal end or transverse edge of said panels, laths or sheathings 1 and by at least one female portion 3 of corresponding shape on the two other longitudinal and transverse edges of said panels, laths or sheathing 1.

[0024] According to the invention, the male portion 2 and female portion 3 are provided with at least one element 6 and/or 2″-3″ and/or 2′″-3′″ and 5, permitting an assembly by impact or pressure of two consecutive panels, laths or sheathing 1 by their adjacent edges in an oblique direction, said panels, laths or sheathing 1 being initially offset in height and parallel to each other and their male and female portions 2 and 3 being thus partially mutually engaged (FIGS. 1 and 3).

[0025] According to a first embodiment of the invention, shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the accompanying drawings, the female portion 3 is preferably provided, in its upper lateral wall, with a recess or cavity forming an element 6 permitting assembly without deformation with the male portion 2. Thus, as is shown more particularly in FIG. 1 of the accompanying drawings, at the beginning of assembly of two edges, which is to say when the male portion 2 is presented to the female portion 3 in an oblique insertion direction, said male portion 2 comes into contact, with a portion of its upper ridge, with the external edge of the recess or the tongue cavity forming the element 6 and is guided against this latter, whilst the opposite side of the male portion 2 is continuously bearing against the corresponding sidewall of the female portion 3, ensuring a sliding adjustment guidance, the inlet of the portion 7 into its corresponding recess 7′ in the female portion 3 corresponding to the final horizontal approach movement of the panels, laths or sheathing 1. As a result, the assembly is effected without any deformation, neither plastic nor elastic, of the male and/or female portions.

[0026] According to a modified embodiment of the invention and as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 of the accompanying drawings, said male and female portions 2 and 3 can be provided with elements 2″-3″, 2′″-3′″ permitting an assembly by impact or pressure of two consecutive panels, laths or sheathing 1 by their adjacent edges in an oblique direction, said elements 2″, 3″ and 2′″-3′″ being in the form of contact surfaces 2″-3″ and 2′″-3′″ provided on the male and female portions 2 and 3, these contact surfaces forming oblique ramps for insertion of the male portion 2 into the female portion 3 of the assembly device and being preferably interconnected by a rounded concave guide means 5.

[0027] The contact surfaces 2″-3″ and 2′″-3′″ constituting the elements permitting assembly by impact or pressure, are disposed in discontinuous and offset manner relative to each other.

[0028] As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 of the accompanying drawings, for the mounting of a new panel, lath or sheathing 1, it suffices to present this latter horizontally slightly above the panels, laths or sheathings 1 that are already positioned and by positioning their longitudinal and transverse edges corresponding to those of said panels, laths or sheathings 1 that are already emplaced, on the corresponding edges of these latter, with a slight transverse and longitudinal offset due to the positioning of the male portions 2 and female portions 3. In this position, shown in FIG. 3 of the accompanying drawings, the male portion 2, with an element 2′ projecting on its upper crest, is an abutment against the beginning of the corresponding internal surface of the female portion 3 and the elements 2″ of the male portion 2 and 3′″ of the female portion 3 are simultaneously in contact with the corresponding rounded concave guide means 5.

[0029] Thus, two adjacent panels, laths or sheathings 1 have parallel upper and lower surfaces at the beginning of assembly and this parallelism is maintained during final assembly. This latter is carried out by application of a force or an impact in an oblique direction corresponding to that of the vertical axes of the male portions 2 and female portions 3, the application of the assembly force or the impact on the panel, lath or sheathing 1 to be assembled is preferably carried out with the interposition, on the opposite edge to that of the assembly, of a wedge 4. In the course of assembly by pressure or by abrupt striking impact, the element 2′ slides on the corresponding internal wall of the female portion 3, whilst the element 2″ of the male portion slides on the element 3′″ of that portion. Then the element 2″ of the male portion engages on the element 3″, female, after passage on the guide 5, whilst the opposite element 2′ engages in the recess forming the element 3′, to dock itself in this latter, the coaction of the elements 2″-3″ and 2′″-3′″ locking the male portion 2 in position in the female portion 3 and ensuring perfect holding and blocking in the assembled position of the panels, laths or sheathings 1. Simultaneously, a blockage in horizontal and vertical directions is ensured. This forceful assembly, struck or by application of pressure, is carried out with a guidance with sliding contact without deformation of the male portion 2 or female portion 3, the male portion 2 penetrating the female portion 3 slidably.

[0030] The construction of the male and female portions 2 and 3 and the arrangement of the elements 2″-3″ and 2′″-3′″ and 5 permitting an assembly by impact or pressure, thus permits progressive and directional engagement of the male portion 2 in the female portion 3, this with an oblique movement, which has the effect of carrying out simultaneously an approach of the edges of the panels, laths or sheathings 1 in the direction of their vertical joint plane and their application on the horizontal support. Moreover, the arrangement itself of the male portions 2 and female portions 3 permits simultaneous assembly of panels, laths or sheathings 1 with the longitudinal and transverse edges of adjacent panels. Moreover, such a mounting preserves the decorative edges against any damage.

[0031] According to another characteristic of the invention, the male and female portions 2 and 3 have an inclination inclined relative to the upper surface of the panels, laths or sheathings 1.

[0032] Preferably, the male portions 2 and female portions 3 extend in a direction substantially perpendicular to an oblique plane joining the plane of the vertical joint between two adjacent sides of the panels, laths or sheathings 1.

[0033] According to another characteristic of the invention, not shown in the accompanying drawings, the surface of the male portion 2 connecting the sidewalls of the male portion 2, as well as the corresponding surface of the female portion 3, can preferably have a flat portion parallel to the upper and lower surfaces of the panels, laths or sheathings 1. There results a good distribution of the load in the joint plane practically without a component of force acting on the male and female portions 3.

[0034] According to another characteristic of the invention, and as shown in FIG. 1 to 4 of the accompanying drawings, the upper ridge of the female portion 3 is preferably cut or rounded, such that it extends in a vertical plane PV parallel to the vertical plane P′V′ passing through the crest of the junction of the base of the corresponding sidewall of the male portion 2 (FIGS. 2 and 4).

[0035] Finally, according to another characteristic of the invention, not shown in the accompanying drawings, it is also possible to combine the recess or concavity forming an element 6 provided in the upper sidewall of the female portion 3, with elements 2″-3″ and 2′″-3′″ in the form of contact surfaces 2″-3″ and 2′″-3′″ and the rounded concave guidance 5 provided on the male and female portions 2 and 3. In such a case, the facility of assembly is further improved.

[0036] According to another characteristic of the invention, the male and female portions 2 and 3 are offset from the vertical joint plane of the junction between the upper surfaces of the panels, laths or sheathings 1. Thus, the vertical shear forces are also displaced out of this plane and are distributed over the adjacent surfaces of the male and female portions.

[0037] It is also possible, according to another characteristic of the invention, to arrange the end of the male portion 2 in line with the vertical joint plane of the junction of the upper surfaces of the panels, laths or sheathings 1.

[0038] Given the length of the panels, laths or sheathings 1 relative to their width, the force of application exerted obliquely on the longitudinal edge is sufficient to permit assembly by snapping in of the transverse edges simultaneously with that of the longitudinal edges. Thus, the assembly of a new panel on panels already laid is carried out by an oblique movement, in the direction of two perpendicular edges of said panels that are already laid.

[0039] In the assembly position obtained according to the present invention, it will be seen clearly that the coaction of the different elements on the adjacent edges of the panels, laths or sheathings 1 to be assembled, permit turning out on the one hand a perfect positioning of a panel, lath or sheathing with the adjacent panel and, on the other hand, a gripping and locking in position of such panels, laths or sheathings to each other.

[0040] Moreover, the positioning of the assembly means forming the male portion 2, beyond the vertical joint plane, permits, during any application of force on a joint, a transmission of most of the force supplied directly on the corresponding surfaces, whilst the assembly device is practically unloaded directly and, in particular, is subjected practically only to very small shear force.

[0041] Thanks to the invention, it is possible to provide panels, laths or sheathings, whose assembly of the edges permits self-gripping and self-joining of said edges, as well as self-blocking of said panels, laths or sheathings in assembled position.

[0042] Moreover, the invention permits an optimum assumption and distribution of the loads, such as the resulting forces that are applied principally on the edges of the panels, laths or sheathings and that the assembly means properly so called is subjected to practically no force adapted to lead to its destruction by fatigue. Moreover, the assembly of panels, laths or sheathings 1 can be carried out with an oblique movement of inclination corresponding to that of the male and female portions 2 and 3 and by application of simple pressure or impact in this direction.

[0043] The panels, laths or sheathings thus made can be machined in a particularly simple manner with present tooling and with reduced requirement for intermediate adjustment of the tooling.

[0044] It results that the panels, laths or sheathings thus produced are of lesser cost than those known at present, whilst offering increased resistance in the joints.

[0045] Of course, the invention is not limited to the embodiment described and shown in the accompanying drawings. Modifications remain possible, particularly as to the construction of the various elements or by substitution of technical equivalents, without thereby departing from the scope of protection of the invention.





 
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