Folding partition

Abstract

Claims

1. A FOLDING PARTITION ADAPTED TO BE CONNECTED TO ONE SIDE WALL OF A ROOM AND BE EXTENDED TO AN OPPOSING SIDE WALL OF THE ROOM BETWEEN A CEILING MOUNTED SWEEPER AND A FLOOR MOUNTED THRESHOLD VERTICALLY ALIGNED WITH THE SWEEPER, SAID PARTITION COMPRISING: A PLURALITY OF PLANAR RIGID PANELS ARRANGED IN A ROW OF CONSECUTIVELY ARRANGED OPPOSED PAIRS IN WHICH THE PANELS OF EACH PAIR ARE DISPOSED ON EACH SIDE OF THE CEILING MOUNTED SWEEPER AND THE FLOOR MOUNTED THRESHOLD AND ARE ADAPTED TO MOVE FROM A POSITION ADJACENT THE ONE SIDE OF THE ROOM TOWARD THE OPPOSING SIDE OF THE ROOM WHEN SAID PARTITION IS EXTENDED THEREBETWEEN, THE PANELS OF THE RESPECTIVE PAIRS OF PANELS HAVING TRAILING VERTICAL EDGE PORTIONS THAT OVERLAP THE LEADING VERTICAL EDGE PORTIONS OF THE NEXT ADJACENT TRAILING PANELS WHEREBY ADJACENT PANELS ON EACH SIDE OF SAID THRESHOLD AND SWEEPER HAVE COOPERATING SEALING VERTICAL EDGE PORTIONS WITH THE TRAILING EDGE PORTIONS FACING THE ROOM ONE SIDE WALL, MEANS FOR CONNECTING THE PAIR OF PANELS OF SAID PARTITION THAT ARE IN JUXTAPOSITION TO THE ONE SIDE WALL TO FORM A PARTITION ANCHOR END PAIR OF PANELS, SEAL STRIP MEANS CARRIED BY ONE OF THE EDGE PORTIONS OF SAID COOPERATING SEALING EDGE PORTIONS AND EXTENDING SUBSTANTIALLY THE HEIGHT OF SAID EDGE PORTIONS, SAID COOPERATING EDGE PORTIONS CLOSING ON SAID SEAL STRIP MEANS IN THE EXTENDED POSITION OF SAID PARTITION, SEAL STRIP MEANS CARRIED BY EACH PANEL ON THE SURFACES OF THE UPPER AND LOWER EDGES OF SAID PANELS THAT FACE THE SWEEPER AND THRESHOLD, RESPECTIVELY, AND POSITIONED TO ENGAGE SAME WHEN SAID PARTITION IS MOVED TO ITS EXTENDED POSITION, WITH ADJACENT OF SAID PAIRS OF PANELS BEING CONNECTED TOGETHER BY SEVERAL VERTICALLY SPACED PAIRS OF LAZYTONG FORMING MEMBERS TO FORM A PARTITION STRUCTURE, SAID PAIRS OF LAZYTONG FORMING MEMBERS EACH COMPRISING CROSSED HORIZONTALLY DISPOSED LEVER MEMBERS EACH INCLUDING A TRAILING ELONGATE MOUNTING ARM THAT IS SUBSTANTIALLY PARALLEL TO AND IS FIXED TO THE INSIDE SURFACES OF THE PANELS OF THE RESPECTIVE PANEL PAIRS, CROSSING PORTIONS EXTENDING FROM THE LEADING ENDS OF SAID MOUNTING ARMS TOWARDS THE NEXT ADJACENT PAIR OF PANELS IN THE LEADING DIRECTION, AND LEADING END PORTIONS PIVOTED TO SAID ELONGATE MOUNTING ARMS OF THE NEXT ADJACENT PAIR OF PANELS IN SAID LEADING DIRECTION INTERMEDIATE THE ENDS OF SAID MOUNTING ARMS THEREOF, SAID LAZYTONG MOUNTING ARMS IN THE EXTENDED POSITION OF SAID PARTITION BEING IN PARALLEL COPLANAR RELATION ON EACH SIDE OF SAID PARTITION, SAID CROSSING PORTIONS OF SAID PAIRS OF LEVER MEMBERS BEING RESPECTIVELY PIVOTALLY CONNECTED TOGETHER BY VERTICAL ROD MEMBERS, AND BEING ANGLED TO DISPOSE SAID PANELS ON EACH SIDE OF SAID PARTITION IN THE CONTRACTED POSITION THEREOF IN JUXTAPOSED POSITIONS IN WHICH THEIR PLANES DIVERGE IN THE DIRECTION OF THE ONE WALL SIDE, MEANS FOR SUPPORTING SAID ROD MEMBERS FOR MOVEMENT LONGITUDINALLY OF SAID SWEEPER AND SAID THRESHOLD, WITH THE LEADING PAIR OF SAID PAIRS OF PANELS INCLUDING VERTICALLY SPACED PAIRS OF LEADING END LINKS, SAID LEADING END LINKS EACH COMPRISING A TRAILING ELONGATE MOUNTING ARM THAT IS PARALLEL TO AND IS AFFIXED TO THE INSIDE SURFACE OF ONE PANEL OF THE LEADING PAIR OF PANELS, AND LEADING END PORTIONS THAT ARE PIVOTED TOGETHER BY A VERTICAL ROD MEMBER, WITH THE LEADING ENDS OF THE LEADING PAIRS OF SAID LAZYTONG FORMING MEMBERS BEING RESPECTIVELY PIVOTED TO SAID ELONGATE MOUNTING ARMS OF SAID LEADING END LINKS INTERMEDIATE THE ENDS THEREOF, WITH THE ANCHOR END PAIR OF PANELS INCLUDING VERTICALLY SPACED PAIRS OF ANCHOR END LINKS, SAID ANCHOR END LINKS EACH COMPRISING AN ARM MEMBER HAVING ONE END PIVOTED TO THE MOUNTING ARMS OF THE NEXT ADJACENT TO SAID LAZYTONG FORMING MEMBERS INTERMEDIATE THE ENDS THEREOF, WITH THE OTHER ENDS OF SAID ANCHOR END LINKS BEING PIVOTED TOGETHER BY A VERTICAL ROD MEMBER, MEANS FOR SECURING THE LAST MENTIONED VERTICAL ROD MEMBER TO THE SIDE WALL, AND MEANS FOR RELEASABLY SECURING THE LEADING END PAIR OF PANELS TO THE OPPOSING SIDE WALL IN THE EXTENDED POSITION OF SAID PARTITION, SAID LAZYTONG LEVER MEMBERS, SAID LEADING END LINKS, AND SAID ANCHOR END LINKS BEING PROPORTIONED TO DISPOSE SAID PANELS IN THE RETRACTED POSITION OF SAID PARTITION ADJACENT THE ONE SIDE WALL IN CLOSELY SPACED STACKED RELATION, AND TO DISPOSE SAID PANELS IN THE EXTENDED POSITION OF SAID PARTITION IN SUBSTANTIAL PARALLELISM WITH THE PANELS ON EACH SIDE THEREOF BEING IN SUBSTANTIAL COPLANAR RELATION AND SAID SEAL STRIP MEANS BEING COMPRESSED BY SAID PANELS ALONG SAID VERTICAL EDGE PORTIONS AND SAID UPPER AND LOWER EDGES THEREOF, SAID COOPERATING EDGE PORTIONS LYING WITHIN THE PLANES OF THE RESPECTIVE PANELS IN SAID EXTENDED POSITION.
July 1s, 1957 R. ENSIGN I 3,331,425 FOLDING PARTITION Filed Feb. 19, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet l l \\{`/ZZ 4f Jzz/e 72 0f foer? H 5772591@ 5 ma Y 2cm, juy 18, 96? R. H. ENSIGN 3,33L426 FOLDING PARTITION Filed Feb. 19, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 ,fill R. H. ENSIGN FOLDING PARTITION July S, 96? 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Feb. 19, 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 v R. H. ENSIGN FOLDING PARTITION Zzmefzof zaleri .HE/ufff@ Nw. Mv.. NWN my i8, we? Filed Feb. 19, 1965 Juy 18, w67 R. H. ENSIGN FOLDING PARTITION Filed Feb. 19, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 I 110e?? Zar United States Patent O 3,331,426 FOLDING PARTITION Robert H. Ensign, Bronxville, N.Y., assigner to Hough Manufacturing Corporation, a corporation of Connecticut Filed Feb. 19, 1965, Ser. No. 433,866 4 Claims. (Cl. 160-199) ABSTRACT OF T HE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to a folding partition arrangement for use as a room divider in which the partition is made up of a row of consecutively arranged pairs of panels in which the panels of each pair are disposed on each side of vertically aligned ceiling mounted sweeper and oor mounted threshhold elements in which the panels are connected to a special lazytong linkage arrangement that moves the panels from a closely nested stacked relation in the contracted position of the partition in which the panels are at angles to the room anchor end side that diverge in the direction of the anchor side, to the extended position in which the panels on either side of the sweeper and threshhold are in substantial coplanar relation. The panels are arranged to provide effective seals about their top, bottom and side edges that close only in the full extended position of the partitions so that air is not entrapped within the partition even through a full seal is provided about the perimeter of each partition panel for maximum acoustic properties. The problem of temporary division of a large room into two smaller rooms by means of a movable or folding wall has been presented for many years, particularly in schools, churches, restaurants and the like where the available space is to be put to different uses at different times. Because of the importance of this problem in enabling efficient utilization of available space to be made, there have been many different structures proposed and used for this purpose. One common approach to the problem has been to provide a series of more or less conventional doors hinged tgether at their edges in a foldable relation and supported and guided at alternate hinged points, or at the lateral midpoints of such doors, and the supporting and guiding means has been located in some instances at the top of the assembly or in other instances at both the top and bottom. Such foldably related doors have, of course, accomplished the desired physical division of the room space, but the bulk and weight of such arrangements has been objectionable, and also, it is found that such an arrangement usually lacks the ability to attain the desired degree of acoustic isolation of the two rooms formed thereby. More recent efforts directed to this same general result have involved the use of accordion type folding doors having continuous foldable or bendable covers on both sides of an extensible inner supporting structure suspended from and movable along the overhead supporting track. In the original use of more or less conventional accordion folding doors of the aforesaid character, no appreciable acoustic isolation was attained between the two rooms, but in practice the acoustic properties have been improved in 3,331,426 Patented July 18, 1967 various ways as by addition of mass to the doors and -by providing a sealing means to the four sides of the doors so as to prevent direct passage of soun-d about these edges. In attaining the desired top and bottom seal on such accordion folding doors, flexible sweep strips have been provided at the upper and lower edges of one or both of the foldable covers and these sweep strips necessarily ride in a firm frictional contact with the opposed floor and ceiling surfaces. As a result, the weight of the accordion folding doors and the frictional resistance of the sweep strips has rendered the doors relatively diicult to operate between open and closed positions, and other problems have been introduced by the entrapment of air within the space Ibetween the opposed covers. Such accordion folding doors have in some instances been considered to be objectionable in appearance because of the different type of surface that is provided by the covers and because the covers do not lend themselves to decorative treatment in the original manufacture thereof nor in any redecoration operations. Further objection has been raised as to such accordion folding doors for this purpose based on a low tire retardant rating and upon the Vfact that they require factory assembly of the entire unit so that this entire unit forms a bulky and heavy single assembly that must be handled during the installation. VIn View of the foregoing, it is the primary object of the present invention to provide an improved movable partition adapted for temporarily ydividing a large room into two smaller rooms. A related object is to provide such a structure for this purpose which may be readily and easily operated by one person even though the partitions may be quite large in size. Another important object of this invention is to provide a new and improved foldable partition wherein favorable ratings are attained as to both fire retardant and acoustic properties, and an object related to the foregoing is to enable such favorable ratings to be attained by simple and economical means. More specifically, it is an object of this invention to provide an improved movable partition which in its closed position has its opposite faces defined as fiat parallel surfaces approximating -the form, appearance and sturdiness of conventional fixed walls, and objects related to the foregoing are to provide such fiat wall surfaces through the use of materials that are adaptable for factory finishing by lamination or otherwise, or for conventional on-,the-job finishing or redecoration as required, and to provide such flat wall surfaces in the form of a plurality of Vsubstantially rigid panels that are etlectually sealed with respect to each other and with respect to adjacent fixed walls as an incident to movement of the folding Wall to its closed relation. Further and related objects of the invention are to provide such a foldable partition that is adapted for embodiment in extremely large sizes, is constructed in a large measure from standard materials and by the use of conventional processes and machines, and which, in many respects, may be assembled and repaired in the field. Other and further objects of the present invention will be apparent `from the following Idescription and claims, and are illustrated in the accompanying drawings which show structure embodying preferred features of the present invention and the principles thereof, and what is now considered to be the best mode in which to apply these principles. In the accompanying drawings forming a part of this specification, and in which like numerals are employed to designate like parts thr-oughout the same, FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic perspective view of a room equipped with a folding partition constructed in accordance with this invention; FIG. 2 is a section taken as indicated on the line 2-2 of FIG. 1 illustrating the door in extended positions with Y mid-width portions thereof broken out; FIG. 3 is a developed sectional view taken as indicated on the line 3-3 of FIG. 2; FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional View corresponding to that of FIG. 3 and having mid-height portions broken out;V FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional View taken through the door to illustrate the lazytongs; FIG. 6 is a view of the lazytongs and mounted panels when the door is slightly openY and illustrates the initial separating movement between adjacent door edges; FIG. 7 is a plan view of a main link ofthe lazytongs; FIG. 8 is a plan view of a leading edge link of the lazytongs; FIG. 9 is a lazytongs; FIG. l0 is an enlarged fragmentary view taken as indicated on the line 10-10 of FIG. 5; ' FIG. 11 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view corresponding somewhat to that of FIG. 4 and illustrating further details of a modified door panel structure for providing sound insulation properties; FIG. 12 is a fragmentary sectional view illustrating the sealing relationship between adjacent edges of the door panels; and FIGS. 13, 14, and 15 are corresponding Views illustrating alternative edge configurations and seal arrangements for the door panels. Y Y For purposes of disclosure the invention is herein illustrated as embodied in a foldable partition or wall-2() installed -in a large room 21 in such a relation that the foldable wall may be `extended transversely across the room 21 to divide theA same temporarily into two smaller rooms 21A and 21B. As will become apparent as the description proceeds, the foldable wallV 20 of this invention is so constructed and arranged that it may -be readily and easily operated between open and closed position, occupies a minimum space when open, and when closed provides favorable acoustic and lire retardant properties and is defined by at exposed surfaces well suited to decorative treatment in manufacture or after installation. When the foldable wall 20 is in its open position, it assumes a folded or collapsed relation adjacent one wall of the room V21, as shown in broken lines in FIGJS. As will be evident in FIGS. 1 to 6, the folda-ble wall 20 comprises a plurality of elongated rigid panels'ZSA and V25B which, in the closed position of wall 20, are arranged in.V an edge-sealed relationship to each other, in two spaced vertical planes on opposite sides of and carried byan internal'supporting and operating mechanism so that the several panels 25A and 25B are swung in unison between the Vfull and broken line positions of FIG. 5 as the foldable wall 20 is opened and closed. When the wall 20 is in its extended relation, the top and bottom edges are effectually sealed'along opposite edges of a ceiling mounted sweeper S and a floor mounted threshold T, while the leading and trailing edges are sealed along stationary structures on the vertical walls of the room. The internal supporting and operating structure 30 is plan view of an anchor end link of the collapsible in character, as will be described, and is, in turn, supported by a plurality of vertical rods 31. The rods 31 may be supported at either the top or bottom ends thereof, and such support is provided by individual roller carriages 32 'or 132 adjustably secured to the ends of the rods 31 andrunning in weight supporting track means such as an overhead track 33, or in a guide track 133 formed in the floor mounted threshold T, as shown in l-- FIG. 16. Each rod 31 may be supported on either it upper carriage 32 or its lower carriage 132, so that alternate support systems are provided in the disclosed embodiment. Where a suspended mounting is used, the lower carriages 132 may be eliminated. The rods 31 form part of the collapsible internal structure 30, and these rods 31 have a plurality of sets of horizontally extensible lazytongs 35 (FIG. 2) mounted thereon in spaced horizontal planes so that the rods 31 serve as center pivots in the several lazytongs 35. VIn the present instance three sets of lazytongs 35 are employed so that each such lazytong may be connected to each panel 25A and 25B as will be described. The several lazytongs 35 are of identical-construction and each comprises a plurality of identical main links 36 (FIGS. 5, 6, and 7), a pair of leading edge end links 37 (FIGS. 5 and 8), and a pair of Yanchor end links 38 (FIGS. 5, 6 and 8).V The several links as shownY in FIGS. 7 to 9 are essentially of a gentlyV curving sinuous form. Each main link 36 has a horizontal mounting arm 136 extending as a tangent at one end thereof for iiush securement along the inner face of the corresponding panel. Each main link 36 has three equally spaced holes 36A, 36B and 36C therein, as shown in FIG. 7. vThe center toV center spacing of adjacent holes establishes a standardized link section with the dimension between the bearing openings 36A and 36C delining the overall effective length of the link 36. The leading edge end links 37 (FIG. V8) also have a similar mounting arm 137 provided in identical relation at one end thereof. The links 37 have holes 37A and 37B correspondingly spaced in'standardized re, Y lation to constitute a link section corresponding identically with the panel engaging half of link 36. The main links'36 are pivoted together in pairs by the respective rods 31 which extend through the center bearing openings 36B of the respective pairs of links 36 that are to be connected thereby. It should be noted that the Y links 36 of each pair are disposed in a reversed relationship such that the arms 136 thereof may project in the same horizontal direction and in a symmetrical relation as shown in FIG. 5. Similarly, the leading edge end links 37 are pivoted together-in pairs on a common rod 31 that e extends'through the holes 37B. Finally, the anchor end links 38 are pivoted together in pairs on a common rod 39 which extends through a plurality of supporting brackets 39B that are fixed to the right hand side wall. Snap ring assemblies 40 on the rods 31 and 39 above and below the various links 36, 37, and 38 serve to hold the links at the desired level on the rods 31. The links of adjacent pairs are interconnected by pivotrpins 41 extended through aligned bearing openings 36A and 36C so that corresponding portions of the various links are maintained in parallel relation at all positions of the collapsible structure 3l); In the mounting of several'roller carriages 32 are suspended from the overhead track 33, and Vthe right hand end of the structure as viewed in FIGS. V5 and 6 is anchored Vto the adjacent side wall. Thus, the right hand end of the foldable wall 20 is anchored and the left hand end thereof is movable along the path defined by the overheadV track 33, between the open position shown in Vbroken lines in FIG. 5 and the closed-position shown in full lines in FIG. 5. In such movement the several panels 25A Land panels to each other and to adjacent surfaces on the side walls, ceiling and door is such that an elective seal may Y be established about the top, bottom and ends of ,bothV panel groups of the movable wall as 4well as between the adjacent edges of the panels. the movable partition 20, the As shown in FIGS. 1 to 6 of the drawings, the adjacent vertical edges of the several panels 25A and 25B, while of irregularly stepped configuration are generally arranged at substantially a 45 angle with respect to the vertical plane of the door panels, and in practice compressible sealing means are provided between these edges as will be described in detail hereinafter. The effectual separation of the adjacent edges of the panels is attained primarily by providing predominantly lateral initial separating movements of these edges, and this enables compressible sealing material to be mounted on certain adjacent edges of the panel to produce the desired seal along these edges when the wall is in its closed relation, as will be described in some detail hereinafter. The vertical edges of the panels 25A and 25B at the right hand end of the wall are arranged to cooperate with stationary wall elements 42 mounted on the brackets 39B, andthese wall elements 42 have their edges formed the same as the leading edges of the panels so that they may cooperate with the trailing edges of the adjacent panels 25A and 25B in the manner above described. The desired seal at the upper end lower ends of the panels is also attained by reason of the above described pivotal or swinging movement of the several panels. Thus, as shown particularly in FIG. 11, depending strips S are secured to the ceiling 21C on opposite sides of the guideway 33 so as to provide vertical edge surfaces adjacent to the plane in which the inner surfaces `of the panels 25A and 25B are to be positioned, and the inner surfaces of the panels 25A and 25B have resilient strips 44 of foam rubber or the like secured thereto so that when the partition is in its closed relationship, the strips 44 Will be compressed against the vertical edges of the members S. The relationship of the individual strips 44 `on the several panels is such that when they are compressed there will be a continuous seal between the several panels 25A and 25B and throughout the entire length of the members S. A similar sealing relationship is attained at the lower edge of the wall by cooperation with the minimum height threshold T to be engaged along its opposed edges by compressible strips 46 secured to the inner surfaces of the respective panels 2SA and 25B. In the preferred practice of the invention, the leading edge of the door is open faced and the left hand sound wall as viewed in FIGS. l, 2, and 5 is equipped with hingedly mounted panels 125A and 125B having railing edge configurations matched to the leading edge configurations provided on the regular lead panels 25A and 25B of the door. The wall mounted panels 125A and 125B are shown carried on wall mounted hinges 125H and they are illustrated in their in use position wherein they flank a wall mounted keeper element 125K, located at a mid height region of the wall. The common connecting rod 31 that joins the leading edge end links 37 is equipped with a latch 47 swingable to engage the keeper 125K under the control of an end knob 47K, represented in phantom lines in FIG. 5. Each of the wall mounted hinge panels 125A and 125B is provided with a pivotal mounted latch 130 directly operated by means of an external handle 130H to move into locking relation behind the leading edges of the corresponding door panels 25A and B after the door has been fully closed and the latch 47 engaged in its keeper 125K. This completes the seal around the door edges. It should be apparent that the treatment at the leading edge of the door may be varied in that the side wall may be provided with a recess to receive the projecting extremities of the lazytongs, in which event separate panels such as 125A and 125B may be eliminated. Other door edge treatments will occur to those skilled in the art and where desired, the lead panels of the door may, themselves, be elongated to project beyond the lazytongs. 6 This would obviate the need for the wall mounted panels A and 125B. It has been pointed out that the panels 25A and 25B as herein shown have irregularly stepped generally angular leading and trailing edges, and in FIG. 13 a seal strip 43 is shown mounted on the trailing edge for effecting a seal. In FIG. 13 a sealing arrangement for plane angled edges has been showin Thus a compressible foam rubber -strip 48 is shown in position between the panel edges, this sealing strip 48 preferably being attached to the leading edge of the panel as indicated at 48L so that the strip will be compressed during the closure of the foldable wall in the manner above described. Other edge forms may be used on the panels 25A and 25B, and two additional edge forms are shown respectively in FIGS. 14 and 15. In FIG. 14 a hip-lap form is shown and the tongue 49 `of the leading edge of each panel is arranged to be disposed at the outer side of the wall. The tongue 49 has a vertical strip 50 of compressible material such as foam rubber fixed thereto so that it may be compressed against the outwardly facing surfaces of the related tongue 149 that is formed on the trailing edge `of the adjacent panel. In FIG. l5 the adjacent edges of the panels have a somewhat complex form so that near the outer faces thereof the two adjacent surfaces of the faces are parallel and are perpendicular to the plane of the door. Inwardly of these surfaces the trailing edge has angularly facing surface 249 that is in parallel relationship to an angular face 349 on the leading edge, and a compressible strip 150 is fixed to the surface 349 so that it will be compressed when the foldable wall is closed in the general manner hereinabove described. The sealing of the panels with respect to each other and with respect to the door, ceiling and side walls of the room is unusually effective, and this in itself results in the attainment of a relatively high acoustic rating. Over and above the acoustic qualities imparted to the door by the perfection of its seal, the thickness and weight and rigidity of the panels 25A and 25B contributes also to the attainment of desirable acoustic properties. The panel 25A may be made of plywood, chip board or other standard building products, and hence the panels may be given the desired decorative finish either at the plant or after installation. In certain uses, as for example in schools, it is desirable that an actual finish be provided that is adapted to be painted in the course of school construction or in the redecoration thereof. In other instances, the surface of the panel may be attained by other conventional means. Panels, of course, may be formed as a laminated construction including one or more layers of sheet metal rolled to the desired configuration and carrying such insulating or stiffening means as will be desired. The door panels illustrated in detail in FIGS. 2 to l0 are of hollow core construction and may be increased in acoustic rating by filling the same with a foamed in place plastic. The door panels illustrated in FIG. 11 are of solid type, and higher acoustic rating in this instance is accomplished by providing the inner surfaces of all or part of each panel with an acoustic layer of a material such as fiber glass as is indicated at 60 in FIG. 1l, such acoustic material 60 being secured to the respective panels by adhesive or other suitable means to achieve broad surfaced ush faced contact. It has been pointed out hereinbefore that the desirability of a particular foldable wall construction is determined in part by the re retardant rating or class thereof, and the panels 25A and 25B, being made from conventional building materials, may be chosen to attain the desired fire retardant rating. The fact that the panels 25A and 25B are made from conventional building materials that are available locally in most situations enables these parts to be replaced in the field and t-o facilitate this, the several panels 25A jacent edges of the panels and between the top and bottorn edges of the panels and the ceiling mounted strips S and the floor mounted threshold T. There is a potential leakage path, however, at the vertical extremities of the joints between adjacent panels, and a potential air iiow path of this type is illustrated by dotted arrows 160 in each of FIGS. 4 and 11. These paths are present in the edge to edge 'spaces at both the top and bottom of each panel joint region as indicated at L in FIGS. 12 to 15. Leakage paths of this type are minimized by effecting the panel to panel joint seal along a line close to the inner panel surfaces, so that the arrangements of FIGS. 12 and are most effective in this regard, and the arrangement of FIG. 14 allows more leakage than any of the other arrangements. In summary, some of the principal features of the folding partition as disclosed herein are that it exhibits a high stacking ratio, it accomplishes an effective air seal when in closed position to enhance its acoustic properties, it accommodates all necessary air ow during opening or closing movement by virtue of the quick sealing action that is effected at the very end of the closure movement and at the very beginning of the opening movement so as to prevent sluggish operation, and it achieves effective sealing without dependence or need t-o tolerate sliding friction as between the sealed parts. Thus, while preferred constructional features of the invention are embodied in the structure illustrated herein, it is to be understood that changes and variations may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the appended claims. What is claimed is: 1. A folding partition adapted to be connected to one side wall of a room and be extended to an opposing side wall of the room between a ceiling mounted sweeper and a door mounted threshold vertically aligned with the sweeper, said partition comprising: a plurality of planar rigid panels arranged in a row of consecutively arranged opposed pairs in which the panels yof each pair are disposed on each side of the ceiling mounted sweeper and the floor mounted threshold and are adapted to move from a position adjacent the one side of the room toward the opposing side of the room when said partition is extended therebetween, the panels of the respective pairs of panels having trailing vertical edge portions that overlap the leading vertical edge portions of the next adjacent trailing panels whereby adjacent panels on each side of said threshold and sweeper have cooperating sealing vertical edge portions with the trailing edge portions facing the room one side wall, means for connecting the pair of panels of said partition that are in juxtaposition to the one side wall to form a partition anchor end pair of panels, seal strip means carried by one of the edge portions of said cooperating sealing edge portions and extending substantially the height of said edge portions, said cooperating edge portions closing on said seal strip means in the extended position of said partition, seal strip means carried by each panel on the surfaces of the upper and lower edges of said panels that face the sweeper and threshold, respectively, and positioned to engage same when said partition is moved to its extended position, with adjacent of said pairs. of panels being connectedV together by several vertically spaced pairs of lazytong forming members to form a partition structure, said pairs of lazytong forming members each comprising crossed horizontally disposed lever members rection intermediate the ends of said mounting arms f thereof, said lazytong mounting arms in the extended position of said partitionV being in parallel coplanar relation on each side of said partition, said crossing portions of said pairs of lever members being respectively pivotally connected together by vertical rod members, and being angled to dispose said panels on each side of said partition in the contracted position thereof in juxtaposed positions in which their planes diverge in the direction of the one wall side, means for supportingV said rod members for movement Y longitudinally of said sweeper and said threshold, n with the leading pair of said pairs of panels including vertically spaced pairs of leading end links, said leading end links each comprising a trailing elongate mounting arm that is parallel to and is affixed to the inside surface of one panel of the leading pair of panels, and leading end portions that areY pivoted together by a vertical rod member, with the leading ends of the leading pairs of said lazytong forming members being respectively pivoted to said elongate mounting arms of said leading end links intermediate the ends thereof, with the anchor end pair of panels including vertically spaced pairs of anchor end links, said anchor end links each comprising an arrngmember having one end pivoted to the mounting arms of the next adjacent of said lazytong forming members intermediate the'ends thereof, with the other ends of said anchor end links being pivoted together by a vertical rod member, means for securing the last mentioned vertical rod member to the side wall, and means for releas'ably securing the leading end `pair t of panels to the opposing side wall in the extended position of said partition, said lazytong lever members, said leading end links, and said anchor end links being proportioned 'toY 2. The folding partition set forth in claim 1, wherein: said trailing and said leading vertical edge portions make angles on the order of 45 degrees with respect to the respective panels. 3. The folding partition set forth in claim 1, wherein: said trailing and leading vertical edge portionsinclude tongue portions that overlap when said partition is in its extended position and provide said cooperating ceiling vertical edge portions. 4. The folding partition set forth in claim 1 including: panel means interposed between said anchor end panels and the one side wall, and between the position that said leading end panels will assume in the extended position of said partitionandthe opposing wall, said panel means including vertical edge portions positioned to sealingly cooperate with corresponding References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 9/ 1932 Nordell 160-84 1/1936 Maurer 160-199 10 2,254,583 9/1941 Stuart 16C-159 2,512,736 6/1950 Brenner et a1. 160-84 3,235,915 2/1966 Glaser 160-40 X DAVID I. WILLIAMOWSKY, Primary Examiner. HARRISON R. MOSELEY, Examiner. D. L. TAYLOR, Assistant Examiner.

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Patent Citations (5)

    Publication numberPublication dateAssigneeTitle
    US-1877950-ASeptember 20, 1932Carl H NordellFoldable curtain
    US-2027992-AJanuary 14, 1936Herman W MaurerCollapsible partition
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Cited By (3)

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    US-2012080152-A1April 05, 2012Mcdonald Mark, Jack ZagorskiVertically collapsible barrier with improved sealing
    US-4763714-AAugust 16, 1988Hough Manufacturing CorporationDual wall partition
    US-8327905-B2December 11, 2012Railquip Enterprises Inc.Vertically collapsible barrier with improved sealing