Title:
DECORATIVE DISPLAY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A frame is provided for holding a sheet of fabric. The frame features a rail including a first flange and a second flange spaced from the first flange. The rail defines a connector extending an entire length of the rail between the first flange and the second flange.



Inventors:
Bowen, John (Mt. Clemens, MI, US)
Application Number:
12/238479
Publication Date:
04/01/2010
Filing Date:
09/26/2008
Assignee:
DOCKSIDE CANVAS CO. (Mt. Clemens, MI, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
40/700, 52/506.06
International Classes:
E04B9/10
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PAINTER, BRANON C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
YOUNG BASILE (TROY, MI, US)
Claims:
1. A frame for holding a sheet of fabric, the frame comprising: a rail including a first flange and a second flange spaced from the first flange, the rail defining a first connector extending an entire length of the rail between the first flange and the second flange.

2. The frame of claim 1, wherein the first connector includes a snap-fit connector.

3. The frame of claim 1, wherein the first connector includes a ribbed projection.

4. The frame of claim 1, further comprising an edge cover attached to the rail with a snap-fit connection.

5. The frame of claim 4, wherein the edge cover defines a female snap-fit connector.

6. The frame of claim 1, wherein the rail defines at least one channel for connecting an accessory to the frame.

7. The frame of claim 6, wherein the accessory includes at least one of a clamp for mounting the frame to a supporting structure and a connecting beam for connecting the frame to a second frame.

8. The frame of claim 1, wherein the first flange and second flange are obliquely angled.

9. A decorative display panel comprising: a rail including a first flange, a second flange spaced from the first flange, and a first connector between the first flange and the second flange; and an edge cover snap-fit to the first connector.

10. The decorative display panel of claim 9, wherein the first flange and second flange are obliquely angled.

11. The decorative display panel of claim 9, wherein the first connector includes a snap-fit connector.

12. The decorative display panel of claim 9, wherein the first connector includes a ribbed projection extending from the rail.

13. The decorative display panel of claim 9, wherein the first connector extends a length of the rail.

14. The decorative display panel of claim 9, wherein the rail defines at least one channel for connecting an accessory to the frame.

15. The decorative display panel of claim 14, wherein the accessory includes at least one of a clamp for mounting the frame to a supporting structure and a connecting beam for connecting the frame to a second frame.

16. The decorative display of claim of claim 9, further comprising a first decorative sheet connected to the first flange and a second decorative sheet connected to the second flange.

17. A false ceiling comprising: a rail defining a first flange, a second flange spaced from the first flange, and a first connector between the first flange and the second flange; a first sheet connected to the first flange; a second sheet connected to the second flange; and an edge cover defining a second connector, the second connector engaged with the first connector.

18. The false ceiling of claim 17, wherein the rail further defines a channel for connecting at least one of a clamp and a beam to the frame.

19. The false ceiling of claim 17, wherein the first connector is snap-fit to the second connector.

20. The false ceiling of claim 17, wherein the rail defines a longitudinal axis and wherein the first connector extends parallel to the longitudinal axis.

21. The false ceiling of claim 20, wherein the first connector extends an entire length of the rail.

22. The false ceiling of claim 17, wherein the second connector includes two spaced hooked cantilevers.

23. The false ceiling of claim 22, wherein the hooked cantilevers extend an entire length of the edge cover.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention generally relates to a frame for holding a sheet of fabric.

BACKGROUND

False ceilings can be used in entertainment halls, exhibition halls, and other buildings (e.g., commercial office buildings) to cover unsightly structural ceilings that often include exposed structures such as beams, trusses, electrical and hydraulic components, and HVAC ducts. Such false ceilings can include frames designed to hold panels below structural ceilings.

BRIEF SUMMARY

The present invention provides a frame for holding a sheet of fabric. The frame can be used as a component of a false ceiling, though the frame can also be used in another environment such as a display in a convention hall. In one example, the frame features a rail including a first flange and a second flange spaced from the first flange. The rail defines a first connector extending an entire length of the rail between the first flange and second flange.

In another example, a decorative display panel includes a rail and an edge cover snap-fit to the rail. The rail includes a first flange, a second flange spaced from the first flange, and a first connector between the first flange and the second flange. An edge cover is snap-fit to the first connector.

In another example, a false ceiling includes a rail defining a first flange, a second flange spaced from the first flange, and a first connector between the first flange and the second flange. A first sheet is connected to the first flange and a second sheet is connected to the second flange. An edge cover defines a second connector, and the second connector is engaged with the first connector.

A frame according to the invention can offer fast and easy installation of a false ceiling or a decorative display. Moreover, among other advantages, a frame according to the invention can allow an edge cover to be coupled to a rail for improved aesthetics by concealing a connection between a sheet of fabric and the frame.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The description herein makes reference to the accompanying drawings wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the several views, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is an exploded partial perspective view of an example of a false ceiling;

FIG. 2 is a cross section of the false ceiling of FIG. 1 along line A-A;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an example of a decorative display attached to a truss below a structural ceiling;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an example of a closed-loop frame;

FIG. 5 is a partial cross section view of the frame of FIG. 4 taken along line B-B;

FIG. 6 is a partial exploded, partial cut-away view of a decorative display;

FIGS. 7A and 7B are partial perspective views of a closed and an open clamp, respectively, coupled to a rail of the frame of FIG. 4;

FIG. 8 is a partial perspective view of a connecting beam;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of two frames attached using connecting beams;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a dual-sided decorative display arranged vertically; and

FIG. 11 is a partial perspective view of two rails attached with an L-shaped connector.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Examples of a frame according to the invention are discussed in reference to FIGS. 1-11. FIGS. 1 and 2 show a frame 102 used as a component of a false ceiling 100. The frame 102 can be secured to a truss 12 or other structure in order to conceal piping, ductwork, trusses 12, and other structures beneath a structural ceiling. The frame 102 can include a rail 104 and an edge cover 106. In addition to the frame 102, the false ceiling 100 shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 can include first and second sheets of fabric 108 and 110 and a clamp 70. Also, while the frame 102 shown in FIG. 1 includes a single linear rail 104, a frame can also include multiple rails 104 arranged in a closed-loop, such as a rectangular shape as shown in FIG. 4 or a circular shape, or include a curvilinear or polygonal rail.

The rail 104 as shown in FIG. 2 includes a first flange 112 and a second flange 114. The flanges 112 and 114 each include a first or outer surface 112a and 114a, respectively, and a second or inner surface 112b and 114b, respectively. The flanges 112 and 114 can be obliquely angled as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, though the flanges 112 and 114 can alternatively be angled differently from shown. For example, a rail 104 can include a pair of parallel flanges. The specific geometry of the flanges 112 and 114 can depend on, for example, the weight of the fabric sheets 108 and 110 and the type of connection between the flanges 112 and 114 and the sheets 108 and 110, respectively, among other considerations. For example, the size of the flanges 112 and 114 can be a function of the weight of the sheets 108 and 110 to ensure the inner surfaces 112b and 114b provides large enough areas for attaching the sheets 108 and 110 to the rail 104.

Still referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a first connector, illustrated as a ribbed projection 116, extends outwardly from the rail 104 between the flanges 112 and 114 such that the flanges 112 and 114 and ribbed projection 116 define a generally W-shaped groove 118 extending inward between the flanges 112 and 114. The ribbed projection 116 can extend a length of the rail 104, e.g., the rail 104 and projection 116 can be integrally formed by extruding metal stock. However, the rail 104 can alternatively include multiple discrete ribbed projections. While shown with three pairs of ribs, the projection 116 can alternatively include more or fewer ribs. Alternatively, the first connector can have a different structure, such as a groove formed in the rail 104 between the flanges 112 and 114. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the ribbed projection 116 can facilitate a quick snap-fit connection and disconnection of the edge cover 106 to the rail 104. As a result, the edge cover 106 can easily and quickly be installed or disengaged from the rail 104.

Referring to FIG. 2, the rail 104 can also define two component connecting channels 120 and 122 for connecting accessories such as the clamp 70 or a connecting beam 82 (described below in reference to FIG. 8). The channels 120 and 122 can be formed with opposing pairs of L-shaped extensions 120a and 120b and 122a and 122b, respectively, as illustrated. However, other component connecting structures can have alternative geometries to the illustrated channels 120 and 122. For example, a flange or a series of holes designed to accept screws can be included instead of one of the channels 120 and 122. As illustrated, one channel 120 can be located opposite the W-shape groove 118, with the channel 120 opening in the opposite direction as the groove 118 opens. The other channel 122 can be located along the rail 104 between the W-shaped groove 118 and the channel 120, and the channel 122 can open in a direction perpendicular to the openings of the groove 118 and channel 120. Instead of two channels 120 and 122, no channels, one channel, or more than two channels can be included if desired. For example, a third channel can be included on an opposing side of the rail 104 from the channel 122.

The clamp 70 can be engaged with one of the channels 120 or 122 to secure the rail to the truss 12 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The clamp is discussed in greater detail below in reference to FIGS. 7A and 7B.

The false ceiling 100 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 includes the first decorative sheet 108 and the second decorative sheet 110 connected to the rail 104. However, in some instances (e.g., if the rail 104 is positioned at an edge of the false ceiling 100) only one sheet 108 or 110 may be used. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the first sheet 108 can include an edge 108a folded to form an oblique angle to be aligned with the flange 112. The edge 108a can be secured to the inner surface 112b of the flange 112, and the second sheet 110 can similarly include an edge 110a folded to be inline with the other flange 114 and secured to its inner surface 114b.

To secure the sheets 108 and 110 to the rail 104, a fabric attaching structure such as strips of hook-and-loop tape 124a can be attached to the inner sides 112b and 114b of the flanges 112 and 114, respectively, and corresponding strips of hook-and-loop tape 124b can be attached to folded edges 108a and 110a of the first and second sheets 108 and 110, respectively, as best shown in FIG. 1. Alternatively, other types of fabric attaching structures such as clips, snaps, adhesive, or double-sided tape can be used to connect the sheets 108 and 110 to the rail 104. Alternatively, the edges 108a and 110a can be attached to another portion of the frame 102. When configured as the false ceiling 100, the sheets 108 and 110 can be in tension so as to be substantially co-planar (i.e., sufficiently co-planar to meet consumers' aesthetic requirements) as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.

The sheets 108 and 110 can be synthetic fabric, soft fabrics, vinyl, cotton, wool, leather, a blend, or another material suitable for the application. For example, the sheets 108 and 110 can be a fabric that is certified fire-retardant by a fire marshal when required by local building codes. Outer sides 108b and 110b of the sheets 108 and 110, respectively, can include graphics such as printed digital images of a company logo and/or product images, or be textured. The sheets 108 and 110 can be selected for their appearance, weight, sound dampening capabilities, fire retardant qualities, or other qualities. For example, the sheets 108 and 110 can be selected based on their compatibility with rear lighting.

FIGS. 1 and 2 also illustrate an example of the edge cover 106 including a decorative surface 106a and prongs 126 projecting from the opposing side of the cover 106 from the decorative surface 106a. The decorative surface 106a can match the outside surfaces 108b and 110b of the sheets 108 and 110. The prongs 126 define a groove 128. The groove 128 can be sized for snap-fit engagement with the ribbed projection 34 (i.e., the distance between the prongs 126 can be slightly greater than a maximum width of the ribbed projection 34), and each prong 126 can include a boss 130 for engagement with the projection 34. The cover 106 can be shaped to conceal the W-shaped groove 118 defined by the rail 104, for example by including edges 132 chamfered at an angle corresponding to the angle of the inner surfaces 112b and 114b of the flanges 112 and 114 and by sizing the edge cover 106 such that the decorative surface 106a spans a distance between the flanges 112 and 114. As a result, the edge cover 106 can conceal the folded edges 108a and 110a of the first and second decorative sheets 108 and 110, respectively, when connected to the rail 104. The edge cover 106 can be formed by, as examples, molding light weight plastic or extruding metal stock.

The edge cover 106 can be installed by urging the ribbed projection 116 between the prongs 126 for a snap-fit connection. When used herein, the terms “snap-fit connection” and “snap-fit engagement” refer to a self-locking connection of mating parts in which at least one of the parts flexes until the part slips past another part, thereby preventing unforced separation of the mating parts. When installed, portions of the edges 132 of the edge cover 106 can abut the sheets 108 and 110, and the decorative surface 106a can be generally parallel and nearly flush with both sheets 108 and 110.

In operation, the rail 104 can be attached to the truss 12 or another structure beneath a structural ceiling using the clamp 70 engaged with the channel 120 or using other means (as examples, bolting the rail 104 to the truss 12 or welding the rail 104 to the truss 12). Fabric sheets 108 and 110 can be attached to the insides 112b and 114b of the flanges 112 and 114. Other edges of the fabric sheets 108 and 110 can be attached to other rails 104 or other structures. The edge cover 106 can be snap-fit into engagement with the ribbed projection 116 to conceal the edges 108a and 110a of the fabric sheets 108 and 110. Thus, the edge cover 106 can create a seamless appearance between the sheets 108 and 110.

Additionally, a rail having the same cross-section shape as the rail 104 can be used for a variety of purposes other than as part of the false ceiling 100. For example, FIG. 3 shows a decorative display 10 secured to the truss 12, which is suspended beneath a ceiling 14. The decorative display 10 can include a decorative sheet 46 used as a medium for displaying an image, a texture, or a message. The decorative display 10 can be used in a variety of environments such as convention centers and office buildings. As an additional example, the decorative display 10 can be placed on the side of a truck for advertising purposes. The display 10 can be used for multiple purposes, such as improved aesthetics, advertising, sound dampening, and providing information.

The decorative display 10 as shown in FIG. 3 includes the first decorative sheet 46 connected to a frame 16 shown in FIG. 4 defining a first display area 42 and having a perimeter 44. The illustrated closed-loop frame 16 includes four rails 18 arranged in a rectangle formation. However, the frame 16 can have a non-rectangular shape. For example, the frame 16 can be circular, triangular, or polygonal. Depending on the shape of the frame 16, a greater or lesser number of rails 18 may be necessary. A circular frame can be formed of two semi-circular rails, for example, or a linear frame can include just one rail. Also, the frame 16 need not form a closed-loop (i.e., the perimeter 44 need not be continuous). For example, the frame 16 can be linear, with a single length of the decorative sheet 46 attached to the frame 16 and another portion of the first sheet 46 held in place by other means, such as another frame or gravity.

As illustrated in FIG. 4, the rails 18 have chamfered ends 20, and the rails 18 can be interlocked with each other using, for example, an L-shaped connector 39 attached to the rails 18 using bolts 40 as described with reference to FIG. 11, a friction or snap fit, glue, or welding. The rails 18 can be formed without chamfered ends 20, and whether or not chamfered ends 20 are included can depend on, for example, the shapes of the frame 16 and the individual rails 18. Each rail 18 can be formed by extruded or molded metal or plastic, as examples. As an alternative, the frame 16 can be formed as an integral body, for example by integrally molding or casting the entire frame 16.

The rail 18 is shown in detail in FIG. 5, and it can have the same cross sectional shape as the rail 104 shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. That is, the rail 18 in FIG. 5 can include a first flange 22 having an outer surface 24 and an inner surface 26 and a second flange 28 having an outer surface 30 and an inner surface 32. The flanges 22 and 28 can be angled such that the inner surfaces 26 and 32 are oriented obliquely relative to the first display area 42. The geometry of the flange 22 can depend on, for example, the weight of the first decorative sheet 46 and the type of connection between the flange 22 and the decorative sheet 46, among other considerations. For example, alternatively to the surface 26 illustrated in FIG. 5, the surface 26 can be perpendicular, parallel, or alternatively angled to the first display area 42. The size of the surface 26 can be a function of the weight of the first sheet 46, for example, to ensure the surface 26 provides a large enough area for attaching the sheet 46 to the frame 16.

While the second flange 28 can strengthen the rail 18 and provide a surface 32 for attaching an optional second decorative sheet 60 as shown in FIG. 5, in some applications only the first sheet 46 is attached to the rail 18, in which cases the flange 28 need not be included. If included, the flange 28 need not be symmetrical with flange 22 and can take other forms suitable for connecting the second decorative sheet 60 based on the same considerations relevant to the geometry of the flange 22.

Still referring to FIG. 5, a connector, illustrated as a ribbed projection 34, extends outwardly from the rail 18 between the flanges 22 and 28 such that the flanges 22 and 28 and ribbed projection 34 define a generally W-shaped groove 35 extending inward between the flanges 22 and 28. As illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6, the ribbed projection 34 can facilitate a snip-fit connection of an edge cover 54 to the rail 18. However, the connector can be an alternative structure for attaching the edge cover 54, such as a projection with a different shape or a groove formed in the rail 18 between the flanges 22 and 28.

Referring to FIG. 5, the rail 18 can also define two component connecting channels 36 and 38 for connecting accessories such as the clamp 70 or the connecting beam 82. The channels 36 and 38 can be formed of opposing pairs of L-shaped extensions 36a and 36b and 38a and 38b, respectively, as illustrated. Component connecting structures can have alternative geometries to the illustrated channels 36 and 38. For example, a flange or a series of holes designed to accept screws can be included instead of one of the channels 36 or 38. As illustrated, one channel 36 can be located opposite the W-shape groove 35, with the channel 36 opening in the opposite direction as the groove 35 opens. The other channel 38 can be located along the rail 18 between the W-shaped groove 35 and the channel 36, and the channel 38 can open in a direction facing away from the first display area 42. Alternatively, only one or more than two channels can be included if desired. For example, a third channel can be included opposing the channel 38 if desired. Alternatively, each rail 18 can be formed without either of the channels 36 and 38. Also, an annular spacer 37 can be positioned between the clamp 70 and the channel 38 such that the clamp 70 can be coupled to the channel 38 without creating an indentation in the sheet 60.

As shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, the first sheet 46 can include an edge 52 folded over the flange 22 and secured to the inner surface 26 of the flange 22, and the second sheet 60 can similarly include an edge 66 folded over the flange 28 and secured to the inner surface 32 of the flange 28. One difference between the false ceiling 100 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 and the decorative display 10 as shown in FIG. 5 is the direction in which the sheets 46 and 60 are tensioned when connected to the rail 18. That is, the sheets 108 and 110 in the false ceiling 100 are generally planar, while the sheets 46 and 60 in the decorative display 10 are shown as parallel but spaced apart. The orientation of the sheets 46 and 60 in the decorative display 10 allows the sheets 46 and 60 to be attached to other rails 18 in the same frame 16. However, the sheets 46 and 60 can be oriented at a different angle from shown in FIG. 5.

To secure the sheets 46 and 60 to the frame 16, a fabric attaching structure such as strips of hook-and-loop tape 68a can be attached to the inner sides 26 and 32 of flanges 22 and 28, respectively, and corresponding strips of hook-and-loop tape 68b can be attached to edges 52 and 66 of the first and second sheets 46 and 60, respectively, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. Alternatively, other types of fabric attaching structures such as clips, snaps, adhesive, or double-sided tape can be used to connect the sheets 46 and 60 to the frame 16. Alternatively, the edges 52 and 66 can be attached to another portion of the frame 16. The sheets 46 and 60 can similarly be attached to the other rails 18 of the frame 16.

The sheets 46 and 60 can be synthetic fabric, cotton, wool, leather, a blend, or another material suitable for the application. The outer sides 48 and 62 of the sheets 46 and 60, respectively, can be include graphics, for example, a company logo and/or product images, or be textured. The sheets 46 and 60 can be selected for their appearance, weight, sound dampening capabilities, fire retardant qualities, or other qualities.

FIG. 5 illustrates an example of the edge cover 54 secured to the ribbed projection 34. The edge cover 54 includes a decorative surface 56 and prongs 57 defining a groove 58 projecting from the opposing side of the cover 54 from the decorative surface 56. The decorative surface 56 can match the outside surface 48 of the sheet 46. The groove 58 can be sized for engagement with the ribbed projection 34 (i.e., the distance between the prongs 57 can be slightly greater than a maximum width of the ribbed projection 34), and each prong 57 can include a boss 59 for engagement with the projection 34. The cover 54 can be shaped to engage the groove 35 by including edges 61 chamfered at an angle corresponding to the angle of the inner surfaces 26 and 32 of the flanges 22 and 28 and by sizing the edge cover 54 such that the decorative surface 56 spans the maximum distance or another distance between the flanges 22 and 28.

The edge cover 54 can conceal the folded edges 52 and 66 of the first and second decorative sheets 46 and 60, respectively, when connected to the frame 16. The edge cover 54 can be installed by urging the ribbed projection 34 between the prongs 57. When installed, portions of the edges 61 of the edge cover 54 abut the sheets 46 and 60, and the decorative surface 56 forms a right angle relative to both sheets 46 and 60. Alternatively, the edge cover 54 can include a different structure for attaching to the frame 16. For example, the edge cover 54 can be U-shaped for engagement with the outer surfaces 24 and 30 of the flanges 22 and 28, in which case prongs 57 are not necessary. A separate edge cover 54 can attach to each side of the frame 16, or a single edge cover can be shaped to conform to a profile of the frame 16.

A clamp 70 can be attached to one of the channels 36 or 38, with the clamp 70 shown in FIGS. 7A and 7B attached to the channel 38. An example of the clamp 70 includes a U-shaped body 72 secured to the frame 16 with a bolt 71, a hinged portion 74 coupled to the body 72 by a hinge 76, a flange 78 on the hinged portion 74 defining a slot 79, and a handle 80 screwed on a bolt 81 that is pivotally coupled to the body 72.

As shown in FIG. 7A, the clamp 70 can be closed by inserting the bolt 81 into the slot 71 and tightening turning the handle 80 until the handle 80 engages the flange 78, thereby urging the flange 78 against the body 72. In the closed position, the clamp 70 can secure the frame 16 to a truss 12 or another structure as shown in FIG. 5. As shown in FIG. 7B, the clamp 70 can be disengaged from the truss 12 by loosening the handle 80, sliding the bolt 81 out of the slot 79 to disengage the handle 80 from the flange 78, and rotating the hinged portion 74 relative to the body 72. As an alternative to engagement with one of the channels 36 and 38, the clamp 70 can be attached at another position on the frame 16, for example by securing the clamp 70 to the frame 16 with a screw. Additionally, structures other than the clamp 70 can be used to attach the frame 16 to the truss 12, for example a U-shaped bracket positioned around the truss 12 and attached at each end to the frame 16. The clamp 70 can also be used with other frames, e.g., the frame 102

A connecting beam 82 as illustrated in FIG. 8 can be used to attach two frames 16 together as shown in FIG. 9. The connecting beam 82 can also be used to attach the frame 16 to a different structure. While the illustrated beam 82 is linear, the beam 82 can alternatively be curved or have another non-linear shape. The connecting beam 82 can include an expander joint 84 at each end for attachment with one of the channels 36 and 38 on the frame 16. Specifically, the expander joint 84 can be inserted between the L-shaped flanges 38a and 38b of the channel 38 in a closed state. As an adjustment screw 86 is turned, two teeth 84a and 84b separate as shown by the arrow in FIG. 8, thereby engaging the beam 82 with the channel 38 of the frame 16. The connecting beam 82 can include alternative connectors at each end, such as a snap-fit connector, a bracket for accepting a screw, or another type of connector. The connecting beam 82 can also include grooves 90 along its sides. Grooves 90 can be similarly shaped and sized as channels 36 and 38 for compatibility with the same sizes of clamps 70 and connector beams 82 that can be attached to the frame 16.

The connecting beam 82 can further include an angled flange 120. The flange 120 can include a first portion 120b attached to the connecting beam 82 and a second portion 120a angled relative to the connecting beam 82 as is discussed below in reference to FIG. 9. The first portion 120b can be bonded, bolted, welded, or otherwise attached to the connecting beam 82. The flange 120 can be formed by bending a piece of sheet metal, molding plastic, or using another method. Alternatively, the connecting beam 82 and flange 120 can be formed integrally (e.g., via extrusion).

A three-dimensional structure can be formed by attaching multiple frames 16a and 16b with connecting beams 82 as shown in FIG. 9. Additionally, other structures can be formed by attaching multiple frames 16 with connecting beams 82, such as multiple vertical walls defining a room. The sheet 46 can be secured to one of the frames 16a in FIG. 9, extend along the connecting beams 82, and be secured to the other frame 16b. Alternatively, the sheet 46 can wrap around the frame 16b, extend back along the connecting beams 82, and attach to frame 16a. Additionally, multiple sheets 46 and 60, for example, can be secured to the frames 16a and 16b. The second portion 120a of each flange 120 can extend between corners of the frames 16a and 16b to support any sheets of fabric that extend between the frames 16a and 16b. That is, a longitudinal edge 120c of the flange 120 can be aligned with corners of the frames 16a and 16b, thereby providing support for a sheet of fabric extending between the frames 16a and 16b.

FIG. 10 shows the frame 16 attached to a pole 92 in a vertical configuration. In this orientation, both the first display area 42 and a second display area 94 can be visible, and accordingly the sheet 46 can be secured across the first display area 42 and the sheet 60 can be secured across the second display area 94 to create a double-sided decorative display. Alternatively, a single sheet, e.g., sheet 46, can be spread across the first display area 42, folded around the frame 16, and spread across the second display area 94. Edge covers 54 can be attached to each side of the frame 16.

FIG. 11 shows the L-shaped connector 39 and two rails 18. Each rail 18 can define a hollow center 18a. A side of each rail 18 opposite the channel 38 can also define one or more apertures 19. The L-shaped connector 39 can define one or more threaded apertures 39a, and the threaded apertures 39a can be aligned with the apertures 19 defined by each rail 18 when the connector 39 is inserted into the hollow center 18a of the rail 18. To aid in the alignment of the apertures 39a and 19, the connector 39 can define a relief portion 39b that is offset by a height (as shown in FIG. 11) of the hollow center 18a. Once the connector 39 is inserted into the rail 18, the bolts 40 can be inserted through the apertures 19 and threaded into the apertures 39a to create a positive connection between connector 39 and rails 18. Additionally, multiple bolts 40 can be used to decrease the likelihood of the connector 39 and rail 18 becoming detached. As mentioned above, the rails 18 can be attached using other structures.

Additional features not illustrated can also be included. For example, the edge cover 106 as shown in FIG. 1 can define an aperture, and a tether can be tied at one end to the end cover 106 and at another end to the truss 12 or the frame 102 in case the edge cover becomes detached from the rail 104. Thus, the edge cover 106 can be attached to the truss 12 with a positive tie line. A similar safety tether system can be used on the frame 102 in the event the clamp 70 becomes detached from the truss 12.

The above-described examples have been described in order to allow easy understanding of the invention and do not limit the invention. On the contrary, the invention is intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the scope of the appended claims, which scope is to be accorded the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent structure as is permitted under the law.