Title:
RETRACTABLE DOOR DOUBLE ROLLER SUPPORT SYSTEM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides a double roller device that is adapted for use with overhead, retractable door constructions using a plurality of hingedly connected panels. The device may comprise a hinge roller assembly having a roller mounting plate with a plurality of rollers fixedly attached to a first face of the mounting plate. A U-shaped shaft of the device is secured to at least one hinge by inserting the shaft into the roller stem mounting tube associated with such hinges. The device of the present invention provides additional support for oversized, heavy door panels or in environments where significant external forces on the door system may be expected.



Inventors:
Coblentz, Michael (Millersburg, OH, US)
Schlabach, Dennis (Millersburg, OH, US)
Application Number:
10/908446
Publication Date:
11/17/2005
Filing Date:
05/12/2005
Assignee:
DENCO MARKETING CO. (Millersburg, OH, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47H15/00; E05D15/24; E05D5/06; E05D15/16; (IPC1-7): A47H15/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20050150080Dual-directional hinge for a mobile phoneJuly, 2005Lu et al.
20020129464Door hinge safety coverSeptember, 2002Davis
20020124351Pre-loadable hinge assemblySeptember, 2002Lowry et al.
20090265885Rack Bushing for an Automotive Steering SystemOctober, 2009Robertson et al.
20070101539Device for moving a movable furniture partMay, 2007Sutterlutti et al.
20100024163BREAKAWAY HINGE RECEPTACLEFebruary, 2010Collene
20050217071Wheeled packagingOctober, 2005Shinner
20070136999STRUCTURE FOR BONDING HINGE FLAPS AND DOORJune, 2007Huang
20070220710Handle for hand toolSeptember, 2007Hsieh
20070089269Mechanism having easily detachable rotation shaftsApril, 2007Shen et al.
20100000050Castor that is Braked Solidly and Stably Without Producing VibrationJanuary, 2010Tsai



Primary Examiner:
MAH, CHUCK Y
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HAHN LOESER & PARKS, LLP (Cleveland, OH, US)
Claims:
1. A retractable door roller support system, the system comprising: at least one roller provided on a first side of a mounting plate; and a mounting system provided on the other side of the mounting plate having a plurality of arms, wherein the arms are releasably secured into corresponding apertures of the mounting plate, wherein at least one of the arms is used to support a member attached to the retractable door.

2. The retractable door roller support system of claim 1, wherein support system further comprises: a threaded pin, wherein the pin is releasably inserted into a longitudinally threaded aperture in the mounting plate to selectively engage at least one of the arms for securing it with the mounting plate.

3. The retractable door roller support system of claim 2, wherein each arm has a distal aperture traversing each arm, such that when the arms are received into corresponding apertures of the mounting plate, the pin, when inserted into the longitudinally threaded aperture in the mounting plate, traverses the distal apertures of the arms and releasably secures the plurality of arms to the mounting plate.

4. The retractable door roller support system of claim 1, wherein the plurality of arms are connected to at least one other arm to distribute any load thereon through the at least one other arm.

5. The retractable door roller support system of claim 4, wherein the plurality of arms comprise a mounting shaft which is substantially U-shaped.

6. The retractable door roller support system of claim 1, wherein at least one of the arms is releasably inserted into a roller stem mounting tube of at least one hinge assembly and then releasably secured to the mounting plate.

7. The retractable door roller support system of claim 6, wherein at least one hinge assembly is an overhead retractable door hinge.

8. The retractable door roller support system of claim 6, wherein the releasably secured mounting shaft provides support for oversized and heavy door panels of a door system.

9. The retractable door roller support system of claim 1, wherein the plate is dimensioned to distribute a load from the at least one roller over its surface area.

10. The retractable door roller support system of claim 1, wherein the system is capable of accommodating higher loads than a standard roller design.

11. The retractable door roller support system of claim 1, wherein the at least one arm supporting at least one hinge connected to the door, and enables free rotation of the at least one arm within a horizontal tube of the hinge, as the at least one roller moves over a guide track portion of a door system when door panels are moved between open and closed positions.

12. The retractable door roller support system of claim 1, wherein at least two rollers are provided on the first side of the mounting plate, each of which engages a track of the retractable door.

13. The retractable door roller support system of claim 11, wherein the arm has a length to support at least two hinges.

14. A method of releasably connecting a roller support system to a garage door hinge for a retractable door system, the method comprising: providing a hinge, wherein the hinge comprises: a first and second hinged plate portion, each having a pair of spaced, upstanding portions supporting a horizontal bearing tube; providing the roller support system, wherein the support system comprises: at least one roller attached to a first side of a mounting plate; and a substantially U-shaped mounting shaft having a plurality of arms; releasably inserting one of the arms of the mounting shaft through the horizontal bearing tube of the hinge; attaching the plurality of arms to the mounting plate; and mounting the at least one roller in a track of the retractable door system.

15. A retractable door roller support system, the system comprising: a roller mounting plate with at least one roller attached to a first face of the mounting plate; and a substantially U-shaped shaft, wherein the shaft is releasably secured to extend from a second face of the mounting plate.

16. The retractable door roller support system of claim 15, wherein the U-shaped shaft is secured to at least one standard hinge assembly.

17. The retractable door roller support system of claim 16, wherein the U-shaped shaft is inserted through a roller stem mounting tube of the standard hinge assembly.

18. The retractable door roller support system of claim 17, wherein the arm has a length to support at least two hinges.

19. The retractable door roller support system of claim 15, wherein at least two rollers are provided in association with the mounting plate.

20. The retractable door roller support system of claim 15, wherein the axis of the U-shaped shaft is positioned in spaced relation to the plane of the retractable door system.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS/INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE

This patent application claims the priority to U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/570,536 which was filed on May 12, 2004, and is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a double roller hinge support system that is adapted for use with overhead, retractable door constructions wherein a plurality of hingedly connected panels are employed. The present invention provides additional support and structural integrity for heavier duty applications or conditions.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Overhead doors are well known. Especially common are sectional, roll up doors that employ a pair of roller guide tracks in which a sectional door assembly travels via a plurality of hinge and roller assemblies. Each track has a vertical portion for retaining door panels in a vertical or closed orientation, and each track has a horizontal portion for retaining door panels in a horizontal or open orientation.

There are numerous designs of overhead or retractable door assemblies that are commonly used for garage doors, truck doors, warehouse doors and the like. Such retractable overhead doors are conventionally constructed of a number of vertically arranged horizontal panels which can separate along the horizontal divisions between the panels via hinges therebetween, thereby enabling the doors to assume a curved configuration as they pass along a curved path provided by the roller guide tracks, as the door assembly is moved into its open or closed configuration. The panels assume a vertically juxtaposed planar configuration when lowered into a bottom position to thereby present a solid face and close the door opening.

The plurality of stacked horizontal panels from which such retractable overhead doors typically are constructed, are secured with two or more hinge assemblies between each of the adjacent horizontal panels. The hinge assemblies at each opposing side of the door include roller assemblies that run in roller support tracks that are installed on each side of the door. The tracks are formed to curve at the top between a vertical section adjacent the door opening and a horizontal section suspended from the ceiling of the building. Such doors can be manually operated, or can be automatically operated using electric motors or the like, to pull the panels of the door upwardly along the tracks, when the door is being opened, or push the door downwardly to a closed position, when reversed.

The hinges used to connect adjacent panels of an overhead, retractable door, are subjected to forces tending to separate adjacent door panels, such that as the door panels are shifted between a vertical, closed position and an open overhead position, the hinges connecting these panels must support the weight of the panels and withstand forces tending to urge the adjacent margins of the door panels away from each other. In various applications and environments, the loads carried by the hinges and rollers are significant, particularly with the larger door systems that are now being marketed. Further, it various environments, significant forces can be applied to the door systems, such as in heavy winds. Where such environments can be expected, such as in hurricane zones, it would be desirable to enable the door system to be configured to better withstand such forces.

With the roller hinges used in installation of such door systems, the hinge and roller configurations may not have sufficient structural integrity for a desired application. The material used in the construction of conventional overhead door hinges and roller configurations may not be sufficiently capable of supporting or resisting forces, causing various operational problems or failure of the door system.

Further, various door systems can be constructed of varying sections made of differing materials, such as glass, metal, composite materials or the like. Such materials may be heavy, adding to the problem of properly supporting such sections.

It is with these reasons that different types of hardware may be necessary during the installation of a sectional retractable door. It would therefore be desirable to have hinge assemblies that provide significantly more strength and support for various applications.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Based on the foregoing, the present invention is directed to a hinge device having increased structural integrity to facilitate properly supporting a retractable door system. It is therefore an object of the invention to provide a double roller device that is adapted for use with overhead, retractable door constructions using a plurality of hingedly connected panels. The present invention is therefore directed to a retractable door roller support system. The system comprises at least one roller having a roller stem fixedly attached to a first face of a mounting plate, and a mounting shaft having a plurality of arms, wherein the arms are releasably secured into corresponding apertures on a second face of the mounting plate.

Another embodiment of the present invention provides a method of releasably connecting a roller support system to a garage door hinge. The method comprises a hinge, wherein the hinge comprises a first and second plate portion each having a pair of spaced, upstanding apertured ears extending outwardly from a side edge of one of the plate portions, and a horizontal bearing tube extending through apertures and fixed to the ears. The method also provides a roller support system, wherein the support system comprises at least one roller having a roller stem fixedly attached to a first face of a mounting plate, and a substantially U-shaped mounting shaft having a plurality of arms wherein each arm has a distal aperture traversing each arm. The method also provides for releasably inserting one of the arms of the mounting shaft through the horizontal bearing tube, aligning and inserting the plurality of arms into corresponding apertures on a second face of the mounting plate, and releasably inserting a threaded pin into a threaded aperture that runs longitudinally down the mounting plate, wherein the threaded pin traverses the distal apertures of the arms and releasably secures the shaft to the mounting plate.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a retractable door roller support system. The system comprises a roller mounting plate with at least one roller fixedly attached to a first face of the mounting plate and a substantially U-shaped shaft, wherein the shaft is releasably secured in corresponding holes in a second face of the mounting plate.

The device, an embodiment of which is shown and described in the following description and drawings, achieves these and other objects and advantages of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a conventional prior art overhead garage door hinge in an extended position.

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the device prior to installation in a garage door hinge.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the device, as it would be used in conjunction with a garage door hinge.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

With reference to the drawings, an embodiment of the invention is shown in use with a standard hinge to increase the load support capabilities of the assembly. In this embodiment, a double roller configuration for mating the hinge assembly to guide tracks used in the door system is provided. The roller device may be used in substitution for a standard overhead door roller used with a standard hinge assembly, or may be provided as a separate construction if desired.

As illustrated in FIG. 1, a prior art conventional hinge and roller has a first plate portion 10 and a second plate portion 12. The first and second plate portions 10 and 12 are selectively attached to adjacent panels in the retractable door system in a known fashion. Each portion 10 and 12 have a pair of spaced, upstanding apertured ears 14 and 16 extend outwardly from the side edges of one of the hinge plates 12. A horizontal bearing tube 19 extends through the apertures and is fixed to the ears to provide a stationary support for the roller stem or shaft 20, having a single roller 22 mounted therewith. In the example shown in FIG. 1, the hinge assembly shown includes an offset roller mounting bearing tube 19, which in a known manner, enables proper mounting and movement in conjunction with a curved guide track used in the door installation. Typically, such hinges come without offset, being a #1 hinge, and successive amounts of offset in hinge configurations #2-#13, with standard hinge designs. The hinge element 10 pivots relative to hinge element 12 about hinge pin 17 in this hinge configuration, rather than the hinge pin and roller bearing being the same as in a #1 hinge. Alternatively, the invention may be usable with an adjustable hinge assembly, such as disclosed in the applicant's concurrently filed Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/570,536, which is hereby incorporated herein by reference. In the adjustable hinge configuration, the roller assembly of the invention may be used in conjunction with a bearing tube associated therewith, similarly to the standard #1 hinge configuration.

As illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, there is shown an embodiment of the present invention, showing a double roller device for use with an overhead retractable door hinge, generally designated by reference numeral 30. In this embodiment, the roller device 30 includes two rollers 32 and 34 with roller stems or shafts 36 and 38 are fixedly attached to a first face of a mounting plate 40. In an alternative embodiment, only a single roller is mounted in association with the plate 40. The plate 40 is dimensioned to distribute the load on the roller(s) over a relatively broad area, and has a thickness to accommodate significantly higher loads than the standard roller design. The plate 40 provides greatly enhanced stiffness to the entire hinge/roller assembly to accommodate the larger door systems and forces encountered in various areas.

The roller device 30 further comprises a U-shaped mounting shaft 42 removably attached to a second face of mounting plate 40. The shaft 42 has two arms 44 and 46 that are received into corresponding apertures 48 and 50 located on the second face of mounting plate 40. As an example of the connection of the mounting shaft 42 to plate 40, the apertures 52 and 54 may be formed through the ends of arms 44 and 46. The mounting shaft 42 is introduced into engagement with the mounting plate 40 by aligning and inserting arms 44 and 46 into corresponding apertures 52 and 54 of mounting plate 40. A threaded set pin 56 may then be inserted into threaded aperture 58 that runs longitudinally down mounting plate 40, and through apertures 48 and 50, to selectively secure the mounting shaft 42 to plate 40.

As illustrated in FIG. 3, the mounting shaft 42 of double roller device 30 is releasably inserted into horizontal tube 18 of a door hinge assembly, such as a standard #1 hinge, and then releasably secured to mounting plate 40. The configuration of the mounting shaft 42 provides not only the support for the roller(s), but also facilitates distributing the load imposed thereon more effectively. Upon mounting with a hinge assembly, the mounting shaft 42 directly carries the load on shaft portion 46, but also distributes the load to the plate 40 through the other shaft portion 44, to thereby significantly strengthen the assembly. The construction of double roller device 30 when used in conjunction with a standard door hinge enables the axis of the double roller device to be positioned a considerable distance away from the plane of the door panels, and thus materially facilitates the movement of the adjacent or interlocking portions of the door panels away from each other as the panels are shifted over the curved section of the track in which the rollers 32 and 34 travel. The provision of a double roller design in this embodiment further increases the load carrying capacity of the assembly, distributing the load over both rollers 32 and 34. The design of curved shaft 42, when releasably secured to mounting plate 40, enables free rotation of the arm 46 located within horizontal tube 18 as rollers 32 and 34 move over the guide track portions of the door system when the door panels are moved between open and closed positions.

Furthermore, the design of double roller device 30 when used with standard garage door hinges provides support to door systems which are oversized or heavy, or which may be exposed to significant external forces, such as wind or the like. In such circumstances, such door systems may be difficult top properly support using standard door hinge and a single roller devices, such as seen in FIG. 1. In an alternative embodiment of the present invention, curved shaft 42 may be designed in such a way that curved arms 44 and 46 are long enough to be used in conjunction with multiple standard garage door hinges so that one of the curved arms is positioned through multiple trunnion brackets of the garage door hinges thus providing further support of oversized and heavy garage door panels.

The foregoing description of the preferred embodiments of the present invention has been provided for the purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise forms disclosed. Obviously, many modifications and variations will be apparent to practitioners skilled in the art. The embodiments were chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention and its practical applications, thereby enabling others skilled in the art to understand the invention for various embodiments and with the various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. It is intended that the scope of the invention be defined by the following claims and their equivalents.