US 3759001 A
A modular wall construction for offices and the like employing widely spaced vertical studs with a wall panel extending between the studs and slightly overlapping them, the panel being secured to the studs by panel holders which extend along the respective lateral edges of the panel in the form of strips of zig-zag cross section, each panel holder having a forwardly projecting leg for enclosing the raw edge of the panel, a rearwardly projecting leg for positioning against the inside surface of the adjacent stud and a flat central portion which is sandwiched between the panel and the stud with means being provided on the studs for detented engagement of the rearwardly projecting leg to maintain the panel seated with respect to the front surface of the stud.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 Judkins et al.
[ Sept. 18, 1973 DEMOUNTABLE WALL CONSTRUCTION  Inventors: Thomas E. Judlrins; David Jack Roles, both of Baltimore, Md.
 Assignee: Eastern Products Corporation,
 Filed: Sept. 23, 1971  Appl. No.: 183,149
Primary Examiner-John E. Murtagh Attorney-Wolfe, Hubbard, Leydig, Voit and Osann, Ltd.
 ABSTRACT A modular wall construction for offices and the like employing widely spaced vertical studs with a wall panel extending between the studs and slightly overlapping them, the panel being secured to the studs by panel holders which extend along the respective lateral edges of the panel in the form of strips of zig-zag cross section, each panel holder having a forwardly projecting leg for enclosing the raw edge of the panel, a rearwardly projecting leg for positioning against the inside surface of the adjacent stud and a flat central portion which is sandwiched between the panel and the stud with means being provided on the studs for detented engagement of the rearwardly projecting leg to maintain the panel seated with respect to the front surface of the stud.
The studs are interconnected by upper and lower horizontal members of hollow rectangular cross section. The lower edge of the panel is supported upon a lower panel holder of channel shape and the upper edge of the panel is enclosed by a cap strip. Detented retention of the panel holders is accomplished by clips formed of spring metal which are secured to the inside surfaces of the studs, a single clip serving to retain panels on both sides of the studs. The raw lateral edges of the panel are held captive in the holders by sharp prongs struck out of the forwardly projecting leg and bent at right angles to penetrate the adjacent edge of the panel.
7 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures DEMOUNTABLE WALL CONSTRUCTION It is an object to provide a modular wall system which is attractive, easy to install, flexible in application and which is inherently inexpensive requiring only a limited number of parts and with those parts being susceptible to economical manufacture on a production line basis.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent by reading the attached detailed description and upon reference to the drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an assembled modular wall constructed in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a vertical section looking along line 2-2 in FIG. 1.
FIG. 2a is a fragmentary section taken along the line 2a-2a in FIG. 1 and showing how the panel is tipped into seated position.
FIG. 3 is a horizontal section looking along the line 3-3 in FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged horizontal section of a panel joint based upon FIG. 3.
FIG. 4a shows a panel holder strip in enlarged cross section.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a section of panel holder strip.
FIG. 6 is an enlarged perspective view of a stud section showing the associated clips and with the panel holder strip down in dot dash outline.
While the invention has been disclosed in connection with a preferred embodiment, it will be understood that it is not-intended to limit the inventionto the particular embodiment shown, but it is intended, on the contrary, to cover the various alternative and equivalent forms of the invention included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
Turning now to the drawings there is shown at 10 a typical installation of modular wall construction including three panels 11, 12 and 13 and with an interposed doorway 14. The panels are supported on framework generally indicated at 20. The framework includes vertical studs 21 of hollow rectangular, or square, cross section, a base member 26 of hollow rectangular construction preferably in the form of an upwardly facing channel, and an upper horizontal member 27 also of hollow rectangular construction and which is preferably in the form of an inverted channel, the horizontal members 26, 27 being suitably secured to the floor 28 and ceiling 29, respectively. The studs 21-25 and the horizontal members 26, 27 are of the same thickness so as to present flush mounting surfaces for the panels 11-13.
In accordance with the present invention, the inside surfaces of the studs, which are inwardly falling and opposed to one another, are spaced by a distance which is slightly less than the width of the wall panel so that the panel overlaps the front surfaces of the studs by a predetermined amount, panel holders being provided along the respective lateral edges of the panelin the form of strips of zig-zag cross section, each panel holder having a. a forwardly projecting leg for enclosing the raw edge of the panel, b. a rearwardly projecting leg for positioning against the inside surface of the adjacent stud and c. a flat central portion which is sandwiched between the panel'and the stud and having a width equal to the amount of panel overlap, with means on the inside surfaces of each of the studs for retentive engagement of the rearwardly projecting leg to maintain the panel seated with respect to the front surface of the stud.
Thus as shown in the drawings (with particular reference to FIGS. 4 and 4a), there is interposed between the stud 21 and the panel 11 a panel holder strip 30 having a forwardly projecting leg 31 which may also be referred to as a fin, or flange, as well as a rearwardly projecting leg 32 intended to lie flatly alongside of the inside surface of the stud 21. The forwardly and rearwardly projecting legs are joined by a central leg 33 which is intended to lie flatly against the front surface 34 of the stud 21, the portion 33 having a dimension 0L which is equal to the amount of lateral overlap of the panel 11 with respect to the stud. The three portions 31, 32 and 33, which lie in zig-zag or Z configuration, are adequate to perform the mounting and retention functions to be described. However, in accordance with one of the aspects of the invention the central portion 33 has an extension 35 which increases the area in supporting engagement with the backside of the panel. The portion 35 is preferably formed by an auxiliary leg which is reversely bent at 36. It is convenient, when considering the preferred construction shown in FIG. 4a, to think of it as being of T-shaped cross section, with the rearwardly projecting leg 32 forming the central leg of the T and the portions 33, 35 forming a cross member at right angles thereto, the cross member being distinguished by a sharp reverse bend 36 along one edge and by provision of an integral fin or flange along its margin 37 at which there is a right angled bend to form the forwardly projecting flange or leg 31.
For the purpose of retaining the holder 30 in its flatly nested position with respect to the stud surface 34, the stud carries along its inside surface, indicated at 39, a spring clip 50 having a cantilevered portion 51 presenting a leading edge 52 and which is secured to the inside surface of the stud by means of screws or rivets 53. If desired, the clip may be secured to lugs integral with the stud. Alternatively, lugs may be provided on the clip fitting into openings in the stud. The cantilevered portion 51 of the clip, since the clip is formed of metal of a springy nature, is biased in the direction of the stud and therefore serves as a retentative pocket for insertion of the rearwardly projecting leg 32 of the holder. Preferably in accordance with the invention, the clip 50 is provided, along its inside surface, with a groove 55 which is longitudinally, i.e., vertically oriented, and which detentingly accepts a ridge 56 which is deformed out of the metal of the holder strip-and which extends in vertical mating relationship. The metal of which the clip is formed is preferably bent, as shown in the region 52 of the presented edge so that it provides a tapered guidance surface for entry of the leg 32 of the holder.
For the purpose of maintaining the panel 11 pocketed in the holder, sharp prongs 60 are preferably struck out of the metal flange 31 and turned at an angle of 90 for entry into the raw edge 61 of the panel. Alternatively, the portion 31 of the holder may be provided with an integral lip shown in dot-dash at 62 for the purpose of overlying the edge of the panel to maintain it in seated position. The use of prongs 60 is, however,
, preferred where the panel is of a porous or fibrous na- It is one of the features of the present invention that the structure is repeated on opposite sides of the studs as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. Thus there is, opposite the panel 11, a panel 11a which is supported along its lateral edges by holder strips 30a, and with the elements of the panel and holder strips being indicated by corresponding reference numerals with addition of subscript a. Moreover, the retaining clips 50 are extended in both directions, providing cantilevered portions 51a terminating in a leading edge or lip 52a and with grooves 550 cooperating with ridges 56a on the holder strips.
For the purpose of supporting the lower edges of the panels 11, 11a a lower panel holder member 70 is provided having upwardly facing channels 71, 710 which are joined by a horizontal bridging portion 72 the width of the bridging portion being sufficient to bridge and snugly enclose the upper, open side of the horizontal member 26 which is in engagement with the floor. At their upper edges the panels 11, Ilia are enclosed by, and protected by, cap strips 75, 75a which are of inverted channel shape and which are dimensioned to snugly embrace the panel edges. The amount of overlap of the panel downwardly and upwardly over the members 26, 27 is preferably of the same order of magnitude as the lateral'overlap over the studs 21, 22.
The mode of installation of the panels will be apparent upon consideration of FIG. 2a. First the holder strips 30 are secured along the respective lateral edges of thepanel, each strip being lightly tapped in place to embed the prongs 60 in the raw edge of the panel and to permit seating of the leg 31 to enclose the raw edge. Next, the panel is supported at an angle with its lower edge directly above the channeled receptacle provided by the lower panel holder 71. The panel is then tipped inwardly toward the studs in the direction of the arrow as shown in FIG. 2a so that the inwardly projecting legs are enteredunder the clips 50 which are arranged at spaced intervals along the height of the studs. The panel thus snaps into place with detent action until the ridges 56 on the 'holder strips are captively seated in the grooves 55 of the clips, whereupon installation is complete. The cap strips 75 may be applied along the upper edge of the panel either before or after the panel is installed. I
The operation is completed at the opposite side of the studs by swinging a corresponding panel 1 la having corresponding panel holder strips 30a into seated position. v
The process is then repeated as necessary to form a complete wall which has a permanent, finished and attractive appearance when viewed from either side.
It will be apparent that while the panels may be readily snapped into place under the retaining clips it is, when necessary, a simple matter to removea panel simply by inserting a prying tool between the studs and the central portions 33 of the holder strips. t I
The space between the edges of adjacent panel which gives access to the stud, will normallyflbe left open and provides an attractive vertical accent. However, it will be apparent that any desired wall fixtures may be directly anchored to thestud in this region. For example, as shown in FIG. 4, pilaster strips for shelving may be secured directly to the exposed surfaces ,ot'. the studs. Such a strip, indicated at 80, will be recognized as being of the conventionally used channel configura:
I tion having a series of vertically spaced slots 81 and conveniently secured in place by a series of machine screws 82 which threadedly engage holes tapped in the wall of the stud.
In the preferred form of the modular wall construction the holder strips 30 are secured, in vertical position, to the lateral edges of a wall panel, with the lower and upper edges of the panel being enclosed by horizontal channel-shaped members 71, 75. It will be apparent, however, thatthe invention is not limited to this particular orientation and that if desired, holder members corresponding to the members 30 may be provided along the upper and lower edges of the panel, thereby to secure the panel detentingly to the lower and upper supporting members 26, 27. In such event lower and upper members 26, 27 would be provided in the form of complete rectangular cross sections of metal with four walls including an inside wall similar to the inside wall 39 on the studs. Accordingly, as used herein, and in the appended claims, the terms studs and horizontal members and the terms vertical" and horizontal are interchangeable and shall be considered in a relative, rather than absolute, sense.
.The modular wall construction described above is ideally suited for use in modern buildings to provide walls between adjacent offices. Where sound proofness is desired, it will be apparent that the space between the panels for example, as indicated at 90 in FIG. 3, may be filled with a batt of glass wool or similar fibrous, or particulate, sound insulating material.
The modular wall structure is not only of simple construction, and easily installed, but it is highly versatile in usage, not being limited to any particular stud spacing. Whatever the spacing of the studs and whatever the vertical spacing between the lower and upper supporting members, the panel may be tailored to provide the standard overlap'OL about all four of its edges. F 01- lowing this the standard holder strips 50 may be tapped to seat along the raw edges and the panel snapped into place 'as described. The raw edge left by a saw cut need not be finished and is completely hidden and protected in the final assembly.
. While the holder strips 30 preferably extend along the entire dimension of the panel, and the retainer clips 50 are relatively quite short, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that the-relative lengths of the strips 30 and clips 50 in a matter of designer's choice and that the invention is not limited to any particular length thereof.
Also, while the lower panel holder member provides channels 71, 71a which are integral, being connected by a bridge 72, it will be apparent that the bridge may be omitted by longitudinally severing it and bending the severed edges downwardly so that the channels may be individually hooked overthe adjacent edge of the lower member 26 to provide the necessary support. Finally, while it is preferred to space the legs 31 of the panel holder strips so that there is a vertical gap between them, such gap may be bridged if desired by a light metal channel dimensioned to fill the gap.
1. In a modular wall construction for offices and the like, the combination comprising a pair of studs of rectangular cross 'se'ction having front, back and inside surfaces, a wall'panel for securing to the studs and bridgingthe space between them, the inside surfaces being inwardly opposed to one another and spaced a distance which is slightly less than the width of the wall panel so that the panel overlaps the front surfaces of the studs by a predetermined amount, panel holders along the lateral edges of the panel in the form of continuous metal strips of zig-zag cross section, each panel holder having a body of T-shape including a. a cross member for seating under the edge of the panel, the edge of the cross member opposite from the flange being reversely bent so that one-half of the cross member is formed of double thickness and b. a central rearwardly projecting leg for positioning against the inside surface of the adjacent stud, retention means on the inside-surfaces of each of the studs for engagement of the rearwardly projecting leg to hold the cross member sandwiched between the panel and the stud, each of the panel holders having c. an integral forwardly projecting flange along the margin of the cross member dimensioned to enclose and protect the presented raw edge of the panel, and means on said flange for engaging the edge of the panel to hold it captive within the holder and seated with respect to the studs.
2. The combination as claimed in claim 1 in which the retention means includes a spring clip secured to the inside surface of each'of thestuds, the spring clip and rearwardly projecting leg having a detent in the form of mating protuberances and recesses.
3. The combination as claimed in claim 1 in which retention means includes a spring clip secured to the inside surface of each of the studs, the clip being formed to provide a groove extending longitudinally thereunder and the rearwardly extending leg being formed to provide a mating longitudinal ridge so that the rearwardly projecting leg is held captive upon being inserted under the clip.
4. The combination as claimed in claim 1 in which the retention engagement means is in the form of a clip having a lip biased toward the studs terminating in a leading edge which is turned outwardly away from the surface of the stud to facilitate entry of the rearwardly projecting leg between the clip and the stud.
5. The combination as claimed in claim 1 in which the forwardly projecting flange includes means for engaging the raw edge of the panel for holding it captively seated with respect to the studs.
6. The combination as claimed in claim 5 in which the engaging means is in the form of a series of sharp projections struck out of the forwardly projecting leg and turned inwardly for insertion into the raw edge of the panel.
7. In a modular wall construction for offices and the like, the combination comprising upper and lower horizontal members of hollow rectangular cross section, the members together presenting a flush mounting surface, a pair of vertical studs of hollow rectangular cross section interconnecting the horizontal members to provide an opening, the studs having front, back and inside surfaces, a pair of wall panels for bridging opposite sides of the opening and of such size and to slightly overlap the horizontal members and studs by a predetermined amount, panel holders along the lateral edges of each of the panels in the form of strips of zig-zag cross section, each panel holder having a. a forwardly projecting leg for enclosing the raw edge of the panel, b. a rearwardly projecting leg for positioningagainst the inside surface of the adjacent stud, and c. a flat central portion which is sandwiched between the panel and the stud and having a width equal to the amount of panel overlap, adjacent lower panel holders of channel shape with their open sides upwardly directed, the holders being secured to the lower horizontal member for supporting the lower edge of each of the panels, the adjacent lower panel holders being formed integral with one another and having a central portion which extends bridgingly over the lower horizontal member, a cap strip of inverted channel shaped coextensive with the upper edge of each of the panels for protecting the same, and means including clips on the studs for snugly retaining the rearwardly projecting legs of the holders.
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