Sectional overhead door roller assembly

Abstract

A roller assembly ( 10 ) to engage a track ( 100 ) having opposing generally parallel and transversely spaced first and second track portions ( 111, 112 ), the roller assembly including: a frame ( 11 ) including a shaped hole ( 15 ) and a slot ( 17 ) spaced from said shaped hole ( 15 ); a first roller ( 12 b ) mounted to the frame hole ( 15 ) for rotation about an axis which is to be generally transverse of the track; a second roller ( 12 a ) mounted in the frame slot ( 17 ) for rotation about an axis which is to be generally transverse of the track; wherein the frame slot ( 17 ) extends in a direction having a component generally normal to said axes and said track portions ( 111, 112 ) when in use, and the second roller ( 12 a ) is movably mounted in the frame slot ( 17 ) for movement in said direction; and said assembly further includes a biasing member ( 18 ) mounted on the frame ( 11 ) and operatively associated with said second roller ( 12 a ) to urge said second roller ( 12 a ) in said direction so that in use the rollers ( 12 a , 12 b ) are urged into contact with said track portions ( 111, 112 )

Claims

1 . A roller assembly to engage a track having opposing generally parallel and transversely spaced first and second track portions, the roller assembly including: a frame including a shaped hole and a slot spaced from said shaped hole; a first roller mounted to the frame hole for rotation about an axis which is to be generally transverse of the track; a second roller mounted in the frame slot for rotation about an axis which is to be generally transverse of the track; wherein the frame slot extends in a direction having a component generally normal to said axes and said track portions when in use, and the second roller is movably mounted in the frame slot for movement in said direction; and said assembly further includes a biasing member mounted on the frame and operatively associated with said second roller to urge said second roller in said direction so that in use the rollers are urged into contact with said track portions. 2 . The roller assembly of claim 1 wherein said second roller is biased in a direction away from the first roller. 3 . The roller assembly of claim 1 wherein the frame further includes a second shaped hole, and the assembly includes a third roller mounted in said second shaped hole for rotation about an axis which is to be generally transverse of the track. 4 . The roller assembly of claim 3 wherein the frame is triangularly shaped with the two holes formed adjacent two of its vertices and the slot extends from adjacent its other vertex in said direction. 5 . The roller assembly of claim 3 wherein the biasing member comprises a spring operatively associated with said second roller. 6 . The roller assembly of claim 5 wherein the spring is a compression spring, a leaf spring or a torsion spring. 7 . The roller assembly of claim 6 wherein each roller includes an axle having a reduced diameter end portion which forms a shoulder in the axle, the axle end portion including a groove adjacent its distal end, wherein the axle end portion is inserted into the hole or slot of the frame such that the axle shoulder engages one side of the frame and a retaining clip is inserted into the axle groove on the other side of the frame to retain the roller to the frame. 8 . The roller assembly of claim 3 wherein the second roller includes an axle having a flat groove adjacent its distal end, wherein the frame slot includes an enlarged portion and a narrower portion distal from said holes, wherein the axle is inserted into the slot enlarged potion and moved such that the axle flat groove mutually receives the narrower portion of the slot to movably retain the second roller to the frame, the axle flat groove preventing rotation of the axle relative to the frame. 9 . The roller assembly of claim 8 wherein the first and third rollers each include an axle having a reduced diameter end portion which forms a shoulder in the axle, the axle end portion including a groove adjacent its distal end, wherein the axle end portion is inserted into the respective first or second hole of the frame such that the axle shoulder engage one side of the frame and a retaining clip is inserted into the axle groove on the other side of the frame to retain the respective roller to the frame. 10 . The roller assembly of claim 8 wherein the second roller axle includes a recess for receiving an end of a compression spring. 11 . The roller assembly of claim 8 wherein the frame includes a mid-portion transversely offset from its side portions, wherein the first and second holes are respectively formed in the side portions and the slot is formed in the mid-portion. 12 . The roller assembly of claim 11 wherein the frame mid-portion includes a tongue which can be bent to be inserted into a compression spring for retaining said spring to said frame. 13 . The roller assembly of claim 3 wherein the frame further includes a second slot extending in a direction having a component generally normal to said axes, and the assembly includes a fourth roller mounted in said second slot for rotation about an axis which is to be generally transverse of the track, the fourth roller being movably mounted in the second slot for movement in said direction, and wherein the biasing member is operatively associated with said second and fourth rollers to urge said second and fourth rollers in said direction. 14 . The roller assembly of claim 13 wherein the biasing member comprises a leaf spring. 15 . The roller assembly of claim 13 wherein the biasing member comprises two compression or torsion springs each respectively operatively associated with one of said second and fourth rollers. 16 . The roller assembly of claim 13 wherein the frame is rectangular shaped with the two holes adjacent two of its adjacent vertices and the two slots extending from adjacent its other vertices in said direction. 17 . The roller assembly of claim 1 further including an axle attached to the frame for connection with a hinge of a sectional overhead door. 18 . The roller assembly of claim 17 wherein the axle includes a portion distal from the frame member which is axially offset from the portion of the axle adjacent the frame member. 19 . The roller assembly of claim 17 , wherein the axle includes a sleeve for attaching to the door hinges. 20 . A sectional overhead door assembly to be mounted adjacent a building opening, the door assembly including first and second generally parallel, transversely spaced and co-extensive tracks, each track having a substantially vertical section to extend along each side of the building opening, a substantially horizontal section to extend adjacent a ceiling of said building, and a curved section extending between the vertical and horizontal sections, each track comprising opposing generally parallel and transversely spaced first and second track portions in cross-section, a plurality of contiguous door panels to each extend between said tracks, each door panel to be connected to an adjacent panel by hinges, roller assemblies in accordance with any one of claims 1 , 3 , 8 or 13 to be mounted to end hinges of said panels to engage said tracks, wherein, in use, the tracks and roller assemblies allow the door panels to be moved from the track vertical section where the door panels block the building opening to the track horizontal section to allow passage through the opening.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION [0001] The present invention relates to a roller assembly for a track having opposing generally parallel and transversely spaced first and second portions used for sectional overhead doors. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION [0002] Sectional overhead doors are typically installed in garages. As shown schematically in FIG. 1 , sectional overhead door 100 includes contiguous panels 101 , connected by hinges 102 , 103 . Attached to the panel end hinges 103 are respective axles 104 of wheels 105 . The wheels 105 run on tracks 110 having vertical sections 110 a which extend vertically along each side of a garage opening. The tracks 110 extend into a curved section 110 b and into a horizontal section 110 c disposed adjacent the ceiling of the garage. The track 110 and wheels 105 allows the door panels 101 to be moved from the vertical section 110 a where the door panels 101 block the garage opening to the horizontal section 110 c of the track 110 to allow passage through the opening. [0003] FIG. 2 schematically shows a cross-section of the track 110 and a wheel 105 received therein. Track 110 is attached to a wall or ceiling 120 via bracket 121 . Track 110 includes substantially opposed portions 111 , 112 . The bottom portion 112 is generally V-shaped to ensure that the wheel 105 is retained in the track 110 , especially for the curved and horizontal sections 10 b and 110 c. [0004] The track top portion 111 is spaced from the wheel 105 in order to allow rotation of the wheel 105 . This gap is also used for insertion of the wheel 105 into the track 110 by angularly positioning the wheel 105 relative to the track 110 as shown in FIG. 3 . [0005] The above present arrangement causes a number of disadvantages. Firstly, the wheels 105 are not securely retained in the track 110 because of the substantial gap between the wheels 105 and the track top portion 111 . This can allow the wheels 105 to be dislodged from the track 110 and cause damage to the door 100 . Also, the play between the wheels 105 and track top portion 111 allows the wheels 105 and their axles 104 to move relative to the door hinges 103 causing a rattling noise, which is especially prevalent in windy conditions. [0006] It is the object of the present invention to substantially overcome or at least ameliorate the prior art disadvantages. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION [0007] The present invention provides a roller assembly to engage a track having opposing generally parallel and transversely spaced first and second track portions, the roller assembly including: a frame including a shaped hole and a slot spaced from said shaped hole; a first roller mounted to the frame hole for rotation about an axis which is to be generally transverse of the track; a second roller mounted in the frame slot for rotation about an axis which is to be generally transverse of the track; wherein the frame slot extends in a direction having a component generally normal to said axes and said track portions when in use, and the second roller is movably mounted in the frame slot for movement in said direction; and said assembly further includes a biasing member mounted on the frame and operatively associated with said second roller to urge said second roller in said direction so that in use the rollers are urged into contact with said track portions. [0013] The second roller is preferably biased in a direction away from the first roller. In one embodiment, the frame further includes a second shaped hole, and the assembly includes a third roller mounted in said second shaped hole for rotation about an axis which is to be generally transverse of the track. The frame is preferably triangularly shaped with the two holes formed adjacent two of its vertices and the slot extends from adjacent its other vertex in said direction. [0014] The biasing member preferably comprises a spring operatively associated with said second roller. The spring can be a compression spring, a leaf spring or a torsion spring. [0015] Each roller preferably includes an axle having a reduced diameter end portion which forms a shoulder in the axle, the axle end portion including a groove adjacent its distal end, wherein the axle end portion is inserted into the hole or slot of the frame such that the axle shoulder engages one side of the frame and a retaining clip is inserted into the axle groove on the other side of the frame to retain the roller to the frame. [0016] In another embodiment, the second roller includes an axle having a flat groove adjacent its distal end, wherein the frame slot includes an enlarged portion and a narrower portion distal from said holes, wherein the axle is inserted into the slot enlarged potion and moved such that the axle flat groove mutually receives the narrower portion of the slot to movably retain the second roller to the frame, the axle flat groove preventing rotation of the axle relative to the frame. In this embodiment, the first and third rollers each include an axle having a reduced diameter end portion which forms a shoulder in the axle, the axle end portion including a groove adjacent its distal end, wherein the axle end portion is inserted into the respective first or second hole of the frame such that the axle shoulder engage one side of the frame and a retaining clip is inserted into the axle groove on the other side of the frame to retain the respective roller to the frame. [0017] In this embodiment, the second roller axle preferably includes a recess for receiving an end of a compression spring. The frame also preferably includes a mid-portion transversely offset from its side portions, wherein the first and second holes are respectively formed in the side portions and the slot is formed in the mid-portion. The frame mid-portion also preferably includes a tongue which can be bent to be inserted into a compression spring for retaining said spring to said frame. [0018] In another embodiment, the frame further includes a second slot extending in a direction having a component generally normal to said axes, and the assembly includes a fourth roller mounted in said second slot for rotation about an axis which is to be generally transverse of the track, the fourth roller being movably mounted in the second slot for movement in said direction, and wherein the biasing member is operatively associated with said second and fourth rollers to urge said second and fourth rollers in said direction. The biasing member preferably comprises a leaf spring. Alternatively, the biasing member can comprise two compression or torsion springs each respectively operatively associated with one of said second and fourth rollers. The frame can be rectangular shaped with the two holes adjacent two of its adjacent vertices and the two slots extending from adjacent its other vertices in said direction. [0019] The roller assembly preferably further includes an axle attached to the frame for connection with a hinge of a sectional overhead door. The axle can includes a portion distal from the frame member which is axially offset from the portion of the axle adjacent the frame member. The axle can also includes a sleeve for attaching to the door hinges. [0020] In another aspect, the present invention provides a sectional overhead door assembly to be mounted adjacent a building opening, the door assembly including first and second generally parallel, transversely spaced and co-extensive tracks, each track having a substantially vertical section to extend along each side of the building opening, a substantially horizontal section to extend adjacent a ceiling of said building, and a curved section extending between the vertical and horizontal sections, each track comprising opposing generally parallel and transversely spaced first and second track portions in cross-section, a plurality of contiguous door panels to each extend between said tracks, each door panel to be connected to an adjacent panel by hinges, roller assemblies in accordance with any one of the embodiments above to be mounted to end hinges of said panels to engage said tracks, wherein, in use, the tracks and roller assemblies allow the door panels to be moved from the track vertical section where the door panels block the building opening to the track horizontal section to allow passage through the opening. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS [0025] Preferred forms of the present invention will now be described by way of examples only with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein: [0026] FIG. 1 shows schematically a conventional sectional overhead door; [0027] FIG. 2 shows schematically a cross-section of a conventional door wheel received in a track; [0028] FIG. 3 schematically shows insertion of the wheel into the track; [0029] FIG. 4 shows (a) front view, (b) top view and (c) end view of a first embodiment of the present invention received in a track; [0030] FIG. 5 shows (a) front view, (b) top view and (c) end view of a modification of the embodiment of FIG. 4 using a torsion spring; [0031] FIG. 6 shows (a) front view, (b) top view and (c) end view of a modification of the embodiment of FIG. 4 using a leaf spring; [0032] FIG. 7 a shows a front view of another embodiment of the present invention using four wheels and compression springs, [0033] FIG. 7 b shows a front view of a modification of the embodiment of FIG. 7 a; [0034] FIG. 8 shows a front view of a modification of the embodiment of FIG. 7 a using torsion springs; [0035] FIG. 9 shows a front view of a modification of the embodiment of FIG. 7 a using a leaf spring; [0036] FIGS. 10 a and 10 b show end views of two modifications of the present invention using axles having axially offset distal portions; [0037] FIG. 11 shows a front view of a sleeve for use with the axle of the present invention; and [0038] FIG. 12 shows (a) exploded view, (b) front view, (c) top view of plate and (d) assembled views of another embodiment of the present invention. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS [0039] FIG. 4 shows a first embodiment of a roller assembly 10 according to the present invention. The roller assembly 10 includes a substantially triangular shaped frame 11 , top roller wheel 12 a and two bottom roller wheels 12 b . The frame 11 includes holes 15 formed adjacent its bottom vertices and a vertical slot 17 extending from adjacent its top vertex. The wheels 12 include axles 13 each having a reduced diameter end portion 13 a , which forms a shoulder 13 b in the axle 13 . Each axle end is portion 13 a includes a circular groove 14 adjacent its distal end. The axle end portions 13 a of bottom wheels 12 b are inserted into the frame holes 15 . The axle end portion 13 a of the top wheel 12 a is inserted into the vertical slot 17 . The axle shoulders 13 b engage one side of the frame 11 and retaining clips 16 (circlips) are inserted into the axle grooves 14 on the other side of the frame 11 to retain the wheels 12 to the frame 11 . [0040] The top wheel 12 a is moveable along the slot 17 . A compression spring 18 is inserted into the slot 17 , with a bottom end of the spring 18 abutting against the bottom end of the slot 17 and a top end of the spring 18 abutting against the axle 13 of the top wheel 12 a . A vertical middle formation 19 of the frame 11 in the slot 17 retains the compression spring 18 therein. The top wheel 12 a is thus movable along the slot 17 but is biased by the spring 18 toward the top of the frame 11 . An axle support portion 20 is attached to the side of the frame 11 opposite to the wheels 12 , to which a hinge axle 21 is attached. [0041] As shown in FIG. 4 c , the roller 10 is adapted for use in the track 100 having substantially opposing generally parallel and transversely spaced first and second track portions 111 and 112 . The second portion 112 is v-shaped to assist in retaining the roller 10 therein. The bottom wheels 12 b roll along the track second portion 112 . The top wheel 12 a is biased towards the track first portion 111 by the spring 18 . In effect, the top wheel 12 a is movable relative to the bottom wheels 12 b , and the spring 18 biases the top wheel 12 a away from the bottom wheels 12 b , such that the wheels 12 contact and roll along their respective track portions 111 or 112 . The hinge axle 21 can then be attached to the hinge of a sectional door roller in a conventional manner. [0042] By using multiple wheels 12 and having the wheels 12 movably biased away from each other into contact with their respective track portions, a smoother operation of the roller 10 is achieved. Noise and rattling of the roller 10 in the track 110 is reduced compared to the prior art. The roller 10 is held tightly in the track 110 and there is substantially no play therebetween. Thus, the disadvantages of the prior art described above are substantially avoided, resulting in a substantially rattle-free operation and less likelihood of the roller 10 being dislodged from the track 110 . Movably biasing one wheel relative to the others also allows the roller 10 to adapt to changes in track dimensions, as well as to roll along the curved sections of the track. The three wheel roller can be used for domestic overhead doors having 2 inch (5.08 cm) tracks (distance between the first and second track portions 111 , 112 ). [0043] FIG. 5 shows a modification of the roller 10 . In this embodiment, a torsion spring 25 is used instead of a compression spring 18 . As can be seen, one end 25 a of the torsion spring 25 is held by the frame 11 whilst a second end 25 b thereof biases the top wheel 12 a away from the bottom wheels 12 b. [0044] FIG. 6 shows another modification of the roller 10 utilising a leaf spring 26 . Two ends 26 a of the leaf spring 26 spring are attached to the axles of bottom wheels 12 b with a middle portion 26 b of the leaf spring 26 biasing the top wheel 12 a. [0045] FIG. 7 shows another embodiment roller 30 of the present invention utilising four wheels. In this embodiment, the frame 31 is rectangular shaped with bottom wheels 12 b mounted adjacent bottom vertices of the frame 31 and top wheels 12 a movably mounted in respective slots 37 formed adjacent top vertices of the frame 31 . The top wheels 12 a are biased via compression springs 18 in a similar manner as the embodiment shown in FIG. 4 . [0046] FIG. 7 b shows a roller 30 b substantially similar to the roller 30 except that the top wheels 12 a are offset inwardly towards the middle of the frame 31 . These four wheel rollers 30 , 30 a can be used for commercial overhead doors having 3 inch (7.62 cm) tracks. The three wheel rollers 10 can also be used with the four wheel rollers 30 as desired. [0047] FIG. 8 shows a modification of the roller 30 using torsion springs 25 with the middle portion of the springs 25 fixedly attached to a middle formation 27 of the frame 31 . End portions of the springs 25 are attached to the axles of the wheels 12 a and 12 b. [0048] FIG. 9 shows another modification of the roller 30 using leaf spring 26 , the ends 26 a of which are attached to the axles of top wheels 12 a . The middle portion 26 b of the spring 25 abuts the middle formation 27 of the frame 31 . [0049] FIG. 10 shows a modification of the above embodiments having axles 21 with distal portions 21 a thereof axially offset from proximal portions 21 b thereof attached to the axle support 20 . The offset distal portions 21 a allows these rollers to be used in conventional overhead doors which have adjacent door end hinges with axle receiving holes of increasing distance from the sectional door panels to provide a tilt to the door, which is conventionally known. [0050] FIG. 11 shows a sleeve 40 which can be used for the axles of the rollers described above to provide an even smoother and quieter operation. [0051] FIG. 12 shows another embodiment of a roller 70 according to the present invention, which is similar to the roller 10 . The roller 70 includes a substantially triangular shaped frame 71 , which as shown in FIG. 12 ( c ) includes a mid-portion 71 a is offset from side portions 72 a . The frame 71 includes holes 75 formed adjacent its bottom vertices and a vertical slot 77 (see FIG. 12 ( b )) extending from adjacent its top vertex. The vertical slot 77 includes an enlarged circular portion 77 a and a narrower portion 77 b adjacent the top vertex of the frame 71 distal from the holes 75 . [0052] The roller 70 includes a top wheel 72 a and two bottom wheels 72 b . Similar to the roller 10 , each bottom wheels 72 b includes an axle 73 having a reduced diameter end portion with a circular groove 74 adjacent its distal ends. The axle end portions of the bottom wheels 72 b are inserted into the frame holes 75 and retaining clips (circlips) are inserted into the axle grooves 74 to retain the bottom wheels 72 b to the frame 71 . [0053] The top wheel 72 a includes an axle 80 having a recessed portion 81 and a square groove 82 formed therein. The axle 80 is inserted into the enlarged circular portion 77 a of the frame vertical slot 77 and moved upwards such that the axle groove 82 mutually receives the narrower portion 77 b of the slot 77 . In this manner, the axle 80 is retained in the frame 71 but is movable along the slot 77 . The square groove 82 prevents rotation of the axle 80 relative to the frame 71 . [0054] A compression spring 78 is inserted into the axle recessed portion 81 , with a bottom end of the spring 78 being retained by a tongue 83 of the frame 71 . FIG. 12 ( b ) shows the tongue 83 prior to same being bent upwards into the spring 78 to retain the spring 78 to the frame 71 , as shown in FIGS. 12 ( a ) and 12 ( d ). The axle 80 of the top wheel 72 a is thus movable along the slot 77 but is biased by the spring 78 toward the top of the frame 71 . The top wheel 72 a is typically movable by a distance of 5 mm, as indicated by arrow 85 of FIG. 12 ( b ). [0055] An axle 90 is attached to the side of the frame 11 opposite to the wheels 72 a and 72 b . The axle 90 includes a circular groove 91 adjacent its reduced diameter end 92 . The end 92 is inserted into a hole 94 of the frame 71 and a retaining clip is inserted into the groove 91 to retain the axle 90 to the frame 71 . [0056] The bottom wheels 72 b are typically 30 mm in diameter and have a width of 8 mm. The top wheel 72 a is typically 25 mm in diameter and has a width of 8 mm. [0057] The rollers above can also be used for one piece tilting (track type) doors, rather than sectional doors. [0058] Although preferred embodiments of the present invention have been described, it will be apparent to persons skilled in the art that modifications can be made to the above embodiments or that the present invention can be embodied in other forms. For example, the rollers can comprise a belt rather than wheels. Also, both top and bottom wheels can be movably biased in the frame.

Description

Topics

Download Full PDF Version (Non-Commercial Use)

Patent Citations (15)

    Publication numberPublication dateAssigneeTitle
    US-2650387-ASeptember 01, 1953Donald D FossTop guide for sliding panel construction
    US-2807058-ASeptember 24, 1957David H MorganOverhead guide and roller for sliding doors
    US-3798839-AMarch 26, 1974Industrial Acoustics CoMovable wall panel
    US-4064590-ADecember 27, 1977Smith Lester LTop guide pivot for bifold doors
    US-4722150-AFebruary 02, 1988Acme General CorporationSliding door guide
    US-4831937-AMay 23, 1989Togo Japan Inc.Amusement ride device
    US-5349783-ASeptember 27, 1994The Stanley WorksTwin wheel guide for sliding doors
    US-5813350-ASeptember 29, 1998Oriental Sangyo, Ltd.Amusement ride with track
    US-5896952-AApril 27, 1999Inventio AgApparatus for coupling elevator doors
    US-5967051-AOctober 19, 1999Thrilltime Entertainment International, Inc.Vehicle human amusement ride track with centering arrangement
    US-5974738-ANovember 02, 1999The Stanley WorksTop guide with spring loaded wheel
    US-6105312-AAugust 22, 2000Belu Tec GmbhSectional gate
    US-6336246-B1January 08, 2002Antonio GiovannettiDoor mounting mechanism and assembly for door opening-closing with movements at right angles
    US-6449906-B1September 17, 2002The Stanley WorksTop guide for sliding doors
    US-884594-AApril 14, 1908Edgar Joseph, Gaston LacommeScenic railway.

NO-Patent Citations (0)

    Title

Cited By (9)

    Publication numberPublication dateAssigneeTitle
    EP-2503087-A4March 22, 2017Nabtesco CorpDoor hanging apparatus and door apparatus provided with the same
    EP-3045632-A1July 20, 2016Alpha Deuren International BVSensorische vorrichtung
    ES-2469342-A1June 17, 2014Adaico, S.L.Corredera de sujeción para elementos desplazables de cierre
    US-2005251958-A1November 17, 2005Denco Marketing Co.Retractable door double roller support system
    US-2014157545-A1June 12, 2014Enzo MaolaRollo-flex assembly
    US-2015257650-A1September 17, 2015First Sense Medical, LlcApparatus and method for detecting a presence of cancer
    US-7726378-B1June 01, 2010Savon Felix SDoor supported for movement on tracks between full and partial open and closed positions
    WO-2008000874-A1January 03, 2008Mecadetol, S.A.Clavette pour bâches de bennes de camions ou analogues
    WO-2017133959-A1August 10, 2017Maco Technologie GmbhFitting assembly