1. A MECHANISM FOR OPERATING A DOOR MOUNTED FOR MOVEMENT BETWEEN A GENERALLY VERTICALLY DISPOSED CLOSED POSITION AND A RAISED GENERALLY HORIZONTALLY DISPOSED OPENED POSITION, SAID MECHANISM INCLUDING AN ELEMENT ENGAGEABLE WITH THE DOOR WHEN THE DOOR IS IN SAID OPENED POSITION AND MOUNTABLE FOR MOVEMENT A SUBSTANTIAL DISTANCE WITH THE DOOR AS THE DOOR MOVES BETWEEN ITS OPENED AND CLOSED POSITIONS, A SPRING OPERATIVELY CONNECTED WITH SAID ELEMENT FOR URGING SAID ELEMENT FOR BIASING THE DOOR TOWARDS ITS CLOSED POSITION, AND MEANS CONNECTED WITH SAID SPRING AND WITH THE DOOR AND RESPONSIVE TO MOVEMENT OF THE DOOR TOWARD ITS CLOSED POSITION FOR MAINTAINING THE FORCES PROVIDED BY SAID SPRING WHILE THE DOOR MOVES FROM ITS OPENED POSITION TOWARD ITS CLOSED POSITION.
Jan. 12, 1965 R. R. JACKWIG 3, 65,143
DOOR CONTROL MECHANISM Filed Feb. 4, 1965 Sheets-Sheet 1 75 a 35 45 74 Z25 E 43 34 Egg: v 75 f I 7 i I 11$ I; l u
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DOOR CONTROL MECHANISM Filed Feb. 4, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States Patent Office 3,165,143 DQOR CONTROL MECHANISM Roy Ralph Jackwig, Galesburg, IlL, assignor to Rowe Manufacturing Co., Galesburg, Ill., a corporation of Illinois Filed Feb. 4, 1963, Ser. No. 255,766 8 Claims. (Cl. 160-189) The present invention relates to a novel closure control or actuator structure, and more specifically to a novel structure for controlling or operating overhead-type doors or similar closures.
As will be understood, overhead doors are usually mounted on tracks having generally vertical portions at opposite sides of a door opening and generally horizontally rearwardly extending portions above the door opening. Of course, the door is positioned along the generally vertical portion of the tracks in order to close the door opening and raised to the generally horizontally extending portion of the tracks when the door is open. Means, usually in the form of one or more springs, is provided for counterbalancing the weight of the door and urging the door toward its raised position for facilitating lifting of the door by an operator. The door and the counterbalancing or control means therefor are usually constructed so that when a substantial portion of the door extends along the generally vertical portions of the tracks, the weight of the door is sufiicient to overcome the counterbalancing or spring means for enabling the door to advance relatively slowly and in a controlled manner toward its lower and closed position under the influence of gravity. In order to promote ease of operation, it is desirable to construct the spring or control means so that the weight of the door is Very nearly entirely counterbalanced, but when this is done, difiiculties are sometimes encountered in lowering the door since the weight of the door may not be sufiicient to overcome the counterbalancing means, frictional losses and the like.
An important object of the present invention is to provide a door control or actuator structure having novel means for urging the door from a raised and opened position toward its closed position for facilitating lowering and closing of the door.
A more specific object of the present invention is to provide a novel structure for applying a door closing force along a substantial length of the path of travel of a door as the door moves from its fully opened position toward its closed position for insuring proper closing of the door.
A further specific object of the present invention is to provide a novel door control or actuating structure having yieldable means for balancing a fully opened door toward its closed position constructed in a manner for maintaining the application of a yieldable force while the door moves a substantial distance from its fully opened position toward its closed position.
A still further object of the present invention is to provide a novel structure of the above described type which is of simple and economical construction.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description and the accompanying drawing wherein:
FIG. 1 is a vertical sectional View showing a door construction and actuator or control means therefor incorporating features of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken along line 2-2 in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view similar to FIG. 1 but shows the door inan elevated or opened position;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view showing the door in a partially raised or opened position;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary perspective view showing the door in its fully opened or raised position;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing a portion of the mechanism for applying a door closing force to the door and for limiting rearward movement of the door and FIG. 7 is a fragmentary perspective view showing another portion of the door control actuator mechanism.
Referring now more specifically to the drawing, wherein like parts are designated by the same numerals throughout the various figures, an overhead door installation incorporating features of the present invention is shown in FIGS. 1-3. The installation includes a door 12 having a plurality of sections 14 connected by hinges 16. Rollers 18 are connected with the hinges at opposite sides of the door for cooperation with guide and support tracks 20 mounted at opposite sides of a door opening 22 in a building wall 24. The means for mounting and supporting the guide tracks 20 at opposite sides of the door opening may be of any known construction and need not be described in detail.
Each of the guide and support tracks 20, only one of which is shown, includes a generally vertical portion 26 extending along the side of the door opening and a generally horizontally and rearwardly extending portion 28 disclosed above the door opening and joined with the vertical portion by a curvedportion 30. If desired, the upper or generally horizontal portion 28may be slightly downwardly and forwardly inclined as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3 for aiding the proper. operation of the door.
The installation 10 'is provided with actuating or control means 32 constructed in accordance with the features of the present invention for not only facilitating lifting of the door from its closed position to opened position, but also for promoting subsequent closing of the door. The means 32 comprises a counterbalancing unit which, as shown in FIG. 2, includes a torsion spring 34 of known construction having one end fixed to a bracket 36 mounted on the wall 24 of the building and an opposite end secured to a shaft 38 which extends through the spring. The shaft 38 has its opposite ends rotatively mounted in brackets 40, only one of which is shown, secured to the wall 24 of the building at opposite sides of the door opening. Drums 42, only one of which is shown, are respectively fixed adjacent to opposite ends of the shaft 38, which drums have cables 44 wound thereon. The cables extend to and are connected to lower corner portions of the door. Suitable fastening means 46 indicated in FIG.
1 are provided for securing the cables to the door. When the door is lowered, the cables 44 are pulled downwardly for causing the drums 42 and thus the shaft 38 to rotate. This action causes the torsion spring 34 to be tightened. The torsion spring then provides a reverse torque tending to rotate the shaft 38 in a direction for winding cables 44 back up onto the drum and'thus lifting the door. In other words, the torsion spring 34 provides the force tending to counterbalance the weight of the door whereby an operator may lift the door rather easily with an upward push.
In accordance with an important feature of the present invention, the control and operating mechanism 32 is provided with means 48 adapted to provide a force urging the door from its fully raised and opened position toward its lowered position, for facilitating closing of the door. As shown best in FIGS. 46 the means 48 comprises a door engageable stop and pushing element 50 positioned for engaging the top or rearwardly facing edge 52 of the door when the door is adjacent to its opened position. Preferably a steel wear plate 54 is secured to the edge 52 of the door for direct engagement with the element 50.
The element 50 is preferably in the form of a tubular roller which is rotatably supported on a vertical shaft 56 which in turn is secured to and depends from a generally horizontally extending lever arm 58. The lever arm 58 is Patented Jan. 12, 1965 3 pi votally supported by a bolt or pin 60 extending upwardly from a bracket structure d2. The bracket structure 62 is adapted to be mounted on a rafter or other structural element 64 of building or on the track portion 28 adjacent the desired rearmost position of the door edge 52, or in other words, adjacent to the rearwardly facing end of the guide track 24). However, the bracket 62 is preferably positioned forwardly of the rearmost edge of the door when the door is fully opened for locating the element St) for engagement with the door while the lever arm 58 swings through a relatively large arc. In other words, the
. element St is positioned and supported for engaging the edge of the door not only when the door is in its fully opened and rearmost position, but also while the door moves a substantial distance toward its lowered end closed position.
In the embodiment shown the bracket structure 62 is of simple and economical yet rugged and efficient construction. More specifically, the bracket structure comprises an inverted U-shaped member 65 having laterally extending flanges 68 at its opposite ends, which fianges are adapted to be secured to the aforementioned element st of the building or to the track element 28 or a bracket, not shown fixed to the track. A second upright U-shaped member 713 is disposed between and welded to the opposite sides or the leg portions of the U-shaped member 66 so that the bight portions of the U-shaped members provide spaced horizontal sections for supporting the pivot pin or bolt 6i). A finger element 72 is welded or otherwise secured to one side of the bracket member 66 and projects above the upper end of the bracket member for providing a fixed stop engageable with an end portion of the lever arm 58 as shown in FIGS. 4 and 6, for limiting the forward pivotable movement of the lever arm.
An elongated tension spring 74 has one end thereof connected to the outer or free end of the lever arm 58 as at '76 and an opposite end thereof connected with one end of a flexible element or cable 78. The cable 78 extends forwardly and is wrapped around the shaft 38. It is important to note that an end of the cable 73 is fixed as at 80 to the shaft 38 so that the cable will wind onto and unwind from the shaft 3% as the door is lowered and raised. The arrangement is such that when the door is being opened and is being moved rearwardly, it first engages the element St when it reaches the position shown in FIG. 4 so that the element 50 and the arm 58 swing toward the position shown in FIG. with the door. This action causes the spring 74 to be stretched for providing a resilient force tending to bias the door toward its closed position. This force is correlated with the remainder of the structure so that the door will remain in its raised and opened position until an operator pulls downwardly on a cord 82 shown in FIG. 3 or otherwise applies a force to the door to start the door toward its closed position. Once the door has been started, the force applied by the spring 74 through the lever arm 58 and the pushing and stop element 56 keeps the door moving downwardly at least until a sufiicient portion of the door has rounded the curved portion 3%) of the guide tracks and entered the vertical portion of the guide tracks so that the weight of the generally vertically disposed portion of the door is adequate to keep the door moving downwardly. It will be appreciated that as the door starts to move from position shown in FIG. 5 toward the position shown in FIG. 4 and toward its lowered and closed position, the spring 74- will tend to contract and the force applied by the spring will tend to decrease. However, it is to be noted that, as indicated above, the cable 78 is fixed to the shaft 38 which rotates in a direction for winding the cable up on the shaft as the door moves down wardly. As the cable 73 is wound onto the shaft its effective length is, of course, shortened so as to maintain the spring 74 in a stretched or tensioned condition sufficient to apply a force to the upper edge of the door necessary to keep the door moving. In other words, the arrangement is such that the effective force applied by the spring 74 is maintained while the door moves forwardly a substantial distance from its rearmost position toward its lowered position and until a sufficient portion of the door has been advanced to the generally vertical portion of the track in order to keep the door moving downwardly. In the embodiment shown, the element 59 engages the door through about twenty-five percent of the travel of the door.
It may be observed, that after the forward pivotable movement of the arm 58 is arrested by the stop element '72 as shown in Fit}. 4, further downward movement of the door will cause continued stretching of the spring. The spring is constructed for accommodating this stretching and a reverse torque will be applied to the shaft 38 tending to slow the downward movement of the door, but this torque is insufficient to stop the downward movement of the door, particularly in view of the very short effective lever arm provided by the radius of the shaft 38.
While the preferred embodiment of the present invention has been shown and described herein, it is obvious that many details may be changed without departing from the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
The invention is claimed as follows:
1. A mechanism for operating a door mounted for movement between a generally vertically disposed closed position and a raised generally horizontally disposed opened position, said mechanism including an element engagcabie with the door when the door is in said opened position and mountable for movement a substantial distance with the door as the door moves between its opened and closed positions, a spring operatively connected with said element for urging said element for biasing the door towards its closed position, and means connected with said spring and with the door and responsive to movement of the door toward its closed position for maintaining the forces provided by said spring while the door moves from its opened position toward its closed position.
2. A mechanism, defined as in claim 1, wherein said spring comprises an elongated tension spring.
3. A mechanism for operating a door mountable for movement between a generally vertically disposed closed position and a raised generally horizontally disposed opened position, said mechanism comprising an element engageable with an upper edge of said door when the door is in its opened position and movable a substantial distance with said door toward said closed position, a tension spring connected with said element for biasing said element in a door closing direction, and an elongated flexible element connected with said spring and connectable with means adapted to wind said element up in response to movement of the door toward its closed position for maintaining the tension in the spring while the door moves toward its closed position.
4. A mechanism, as defined in claim 3, which includes means mounting said element for movement along an arcuate path of travel about a generally vertical axis.
5. A mechanism for operating a door mounted for movement between a generally vertically disposed closed and a raised generally horizontally disposed opened position, said mechanism comprising an element engageable with and moved by said door when the door is moving toward said opened position, a rotatable member mountable adjacent said door and connectable with the door for rotation in response to movement of the door, and means connected with and responsive to said rotatable member and connected with said element for urging said element in a door closing direction upon rotation of said member during movement of the door toward its closed position.
6. A mechanism, as defined in claim 5, wherein said means comprises a spring having one end operatively connected with said door engageable element and a flexible element operatively connected with an opposite end of said spring and with a rotatable member and adapted to be wound up on said rotatable member.
7. A mechanism for operating a closure mounted for movement between a closed position and an opened position, said mechanism including means engageable with said closure when the closure is in the opened position and movable a substantial distance with said closure toward said closed position, resilient means connected with the first mentioned means and providing a yieldaole force for urging the closure toward its closed position and means connected with said resilient means and responsive to movement of the closure toward its closed position for maintaining said force while the closure moves toward its closed position.
8. A mechanism foroperating a closure mountable for movement between a closed position and an opened position, said mechanism including a rotatable shaft mountable adjacent said closure and conneotable to the closure for rotation in response to movement of the closure and responsive to movement of the closure between said closed and opened positions, a torsion spring having one end connected with said shaft and a fixed opposite end for urging said shaft in a closure opening direction when said closure is in said closed position, an element mountable for engagement with and movement with said closure when the closure is in said opened position, a spring connected with said element for urging said element in a closure closing direction, and a flexible element connected with said last mentioned spring and with said rotatable shaft and adapted to be wound up on said rotatable shaft while the closure moves from its opened position toward its closed position for maintaining the force provided by the last mentioned spring.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,142,562 Greegor et al Jan. 3, 193