The present invention relates to means for supporting a
screening device in a frame structure with frame members comprising top and bottom
members as well as side members, said means comprising a pair of bracket members
having a substantially continuous external surface for mounting on each of a pair
of opposed frame surfaces of said frame structure, said screening device being brought
from a non-mounted position to a mounted position by movement in a mounting direction.
Screening devices for windows and doors such as roller
blinds, Venetian blinds, pleated blinds and internal and external shutters are conventionally
supplied together with supporting brackets which are specifically adapted to the
particular form of screening device and are engageable by engaging means provided
on the screening device, typically at either end thereof. During installation of
the screening device the supporting brackets must be mounted by the user himself,
which frequently results in errors, in particular if different left-hand and right
hand brackets are mixed up.
Although it is also known to incorporate supporting brackets
for a specific type of screening devices in the frame structures of doors and windows
during the production thereof, so that the door or window frame structure is supplied
with pre-mounted supporting brackets, such brackets have normally been designed
for use with a specific kind of screening devices such as roller blinds. If installation
of another kind of screening devices such as a Venetian blind is desired it has
been necessary in such case to replace the pre-mounted supporting brackets by brackets
specifically designed for the desired screening device.
In addition, unavoidable production tolerances for the
door or window frame structure may result in difficulties with respect to correct
mounting of a screening device.
DE patent No. 30 48 333
supporting means for a roller blind is disclosed comprising two support
plates, one of which is provided with a slot for receiving a square pin in one end
of the spring roller tube of the roller blind in a rotationally locked manner and
the other one is provided with a circular hole. For alternative mounting of a Venetian
blind, each support plate is provided with protrusions for engaging grooves in coupling
members connected with the top casing of the Venetian blind, said members being
pushed over the support plates. Subsequently, the side guide lists of the blind
are mounted, said lists serving simultaneously as support for the coupling members
and the top casing of the blind, i.e. as a safety against disconnection of the coupling
member from the support plate.
Although this support arrangement allows for use of the
same supporting brackets for different screening devices, the number of different
screening devices is limited and it is a further disadvantage of this design that
it has a less attractive appearance.
a supporting arrangement is disclosed comprising elongate slotted rails
secured to the side members of the frame structure and extending throughout the
height thereof and coupling members provided with hook-shaped engaging members to
engage in slots of said rails and projecting at right angles in front of the frame
structure. The less attractive appearance of this arrangement limits its application
to draperies, which will hide the supporting arrangement, and does not qualify to
meet current demands for an aesthetical and functional design of windows and accessories
like screening devices.
EP-A1-0 465 433
discloses an arrangement comprising a pair of identical tubular-shaped
supporting brackets secure to opposed surfaces of frame side members, in each of
which a transverse recess is formed to receive a resilient clamping member of a
form restoring the outer cylindrical form of the supporting brackets. This design
is intended only for roller blinds having engaging means in the form of projecting
cylindrical pins at either end.
discloses a roller shade mounted between a pair of supporting brackets
projecting at right angles from the front side of the frame structure and formed
with an undercut groove to receive a coupling member in the form of a slide engaged
by the roller shade.
a roller blind support is disclosed comprising a pair of L-shaped bracket
members in which edge flange portions on either side of a rectangular slit are engaged
by resilient legs of an insert slide which can be pushed into the recess and is
engageable by engaging means on the roller blind.
Applicant's published international applications Nos.
describe supporting means in which the supporting means comprise a first
pair of bracket members and a second pair of coupling members provided with engagement
means for mutual engagement. In the first-mentioned document, the bracket members
are provided with resilient engagement means, whereas in the second document, only
the coupling members comprise resilient engagement means.
With the design of the supporting means disclosed in each
of these documents a relatively attractive design meeting modern days user demands
is provided, and utilization of a variety of screening devices using various forms
of coupling members is made possible. However, in order to secure safe retention
of the screening device, the bracket member must be formed in such a way that the
coupling member is pushed over it either from inside the room or in a direction
substantially parallel with the longitudinal direction of the corresponding frame
member. Furthermore, the design possibilities are limited by the fact that the bracket
member must be able to retain the coupling member, at least temporarily.
On this background it is the object of the invention to
improve supporting means of the kind mentioned in the introduction with respect
to the overall appearance and flexibility of use, and by which the mounting process
is additionally facilitated.
This and further objects is met by the provision of supporting
means of the kind mentioned in the introduction, which are furthermore characterized
in that the cross-sectional dimensions of each bracket member increase in the mounting
direction over at least a part of the bracket member.
By forming the bracket members of the supporting means
with increasing cross-sectional dimensions, seen in the mounting direction, the
mounting is facilitated, as the screening device is easily orientated with respect
to the bracket members. In case the supporting means furthermore comprises coupling
members for co-operation with the bracket members, the user will experience a slightly
increasing resistance when pushing the coupling member over the bracket member.
Eventually, the appearance is improved, as the viewer will meet the smaller cross-sectional
dimensions at the nearer portion of the bracket member.
The bracket member may have a substantially wedge-shaped
or curved cross-section.
Although a wedge-shaped configuration provides for substantially
the same advantages as the curved cross-section, the curved cross-section is preferred,
due to its superior design qualities. In an advantageous further development of
this preferred embodiment, the bracket member has curved cross-section in at least
two directions. By providing the bracket member with a surface of double curvature,
the mounting is rendered extremely simple, as the screening device may be mounted
in virtually any direction ranging from, e.g. a direction parallel to the frame
member in question to a direction substantially perpendicular thereto.
In an alternative embodiment, in which the supporting means
furthermore comprises a pair of coupling members, each bracket member is provided
with engagement means for engagement with corresponding engagement means of a corresponding
coupling member. In combination with the easy installation due to the increasing
cross-sectional dimensions of the bracket member, this embodiment entails a particularly
safe retention of an arbitrary screening device.
In a particularly simple further development of this embodiment,
the engagement means of each bracket member comprises a shoulder portion.
In order to secure the engagement between such a coupling
member and the bracket member, the bracket member may comprise a protruding edge
portion to cooperate with one or more corresponding recesses in the coupling member.
In an alternative embodiment, which is particularly suited
for use with a roller blind, each bracket member is provided with means for reception
of a respective end of a screening device, said means comprising a rectangular slot
and a circular hole, respectively, and in which the reception means are covered
in the non-mounted position of the screening device. By this design, the screening
device may be mounted directly on the bracket member and the use of a coupling member
is thus rendered superfluous.
In an embodiment, which is advantageous i.a. due to its
aesthetic qualities, the cross-sectional dimensions of the part of each bracket
member positioned at the remote end of the bracket member decrease in the mounting
In a further aspect of the invention, a screening device
is provided, said screening device comprising means for cooperation with the supporting
The cooperation means may comprise coupling members for
cooperation with a respective bracket member. In an alternative embodiment, the
screening device may be a roller blind having a roller shaft, and a respective end
of said roller shaft may constitute the cooperation means.
In a still further aspect of the invention, a window comprising
such supporting means is provided.
Yet another aspect of the invention provides for use of
the supporting means for mounting on opposed frame surfaces in a frame structure.
In the following the invention will be described in further
detail and with reference to the schematic drawings, in which
- Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a window provided with an embodiment of supporting
means for a screening device,
- Fig. 2 is a perspective view, on a larger scale, corresponding to the bracket
member in the embodiment shown in Fig. 1,
- Fig. 3 is a perspective view, on a larger scale, of a bracket member in an alternative
embodiment of the invention,
- Fig. 4 is a cross-sectional view along the line IV-IV of the bracket member
in the embodiment shown in Fig. 3, and
- Fig. 5 is a perspective view, on a larger scale, of another embodiment of the
Fig. 1 shows the upper right-hand corner of a window with
a frame structure with a top member 1 and a side member 2. The frame structure will
conventionally comprise a further side member and a bottom member, not shown in
the figure. In the frame structure a sash structure is hingedly supported, said
sash structure comprising a top member 3 and a right-hand side member 4, which together
with a left-hand side member and a bottom member, not shown, frame a window pane
With a view to mounting a screening device at the interior
side of the window pane 5, a bracket member 6 has been secured to the side member
4 of the sash close to the top member 3, said bracket member constituting one of
a pair of bracket members, the other of which is mounted on the opposite left-hand
sash side member. It is noted that the sash thus constitutes the frame to be screened.
It is, of course, obviously possible to mount the bracket members on any suitable
frame, e.g. in order to screen a frame of a fixed, i.e. not openable, window.
The bracket member 6 is formed as an element having a substantially
continuous external surface. The bracket member 6 has a cross-section, which in
the embodiment shown in Figs. 1 and 2 is slightly curved and starting from a first
end edge 7 situated remote from the window pane 5 and ending in a second end edge
8 situated close to the window pane 5. The cross-sectional dimensions of the bracket
member 6 increases from a first thickness at the first end edge 7 to a second thickness
at the second end edge 8. The first thickness is relatively small, and thus, at
the first end edge 7 of the bracket member 6, there is virtually no visible edge,
as a smooth transition from the sash member 4 to the bracket member 6 is likewise
provided. The orientation of the bracket member 6 and thus of the increasing cross-section
defines the direction of mounting of the screening device indicated by arrow A.
It is thus possible to position the first end edge 7 facing downwards or, as shown
in Fig. 1, in a direction facing away from the window pane 5.
The bracket member 6 may be secured to the sash side member
4 by securing means provided on the side facing the sash side member as will be
described in further detail below. Fig. 2 shows the securing means on the rear side
of the bracket member. Two pins 20, 21 are designed with an exterior thread and
have an interior cavity, for instance in the form of a hole and two grooves (not
shown). At the mounting of the bracket member 6, the pins 20, 21 are taken into
predrilled holes in the sash side members 4, and the bracket member 6 is subsequently
pushed into place. This mounting is preferably performed in connection with the
manufacture of the sash structure, such that the window is delivered with a pre-mounted
first pair of bracket members.
If, for some reason, it is desired to dismount the bracket
member 6, the part of the bracket member 6 positioned above the surface of the sash
member is removed with a suitable tool, following which the pins placed in the bores
in the sash side members may be unscrewed with a suitable tool, for instance a tool
mating the interior hole of the pins or the exterior tracks formed by the grooves.
The bracket member 6 of the embodiment shown in Figs. 1
and 2 is intended for cooperation with a coupling member. Such a coupling member
is described in detail in Applicant's published international application
, the contents of which is incorporated herein by reference. To this end,
the bracket member 6 is provided with engagement means in the form of shoulders
9 at the second end edge 8 to provide a snap engagement with resilient means of
the coupling member.
An alternative embodiment is shown in Figs. 3 and 4. In
this embodiment, the bracket member 106 has a mainly wedge-shaped configuration
extending from a first end edge 107 to a second end edge 108, the end edge 107 having
the smaller thickness being intended for mounting in a position in which it faces
downwards or away from the window pane to define a mounting direction A. The bracket
member 106 may cooperate with a coupling member as described in the above. However,
in a particularly simple manner of utilization, the bracket member 106 itself comprises
means for reception of the screening device. The bracket member 106 shown in Fig.
3 is thus provided with a circular opening 130 corresponding to one end of the roller
shaft of a roller blind, whereas the other and opposite bracket member comprises
a substantially rectangular opening corresponding to the opposite end of the roller
shaft of the roller blind. As shown most clearly in Fig. 4, the opening 130 is covered
by a thin bridge of material 131 at the visible face of the bracket member 106.
The thin bridge of material 131 may e.g. be formed during manufacture of the bracket
member, which is particularly simple if the bracket member is moulded from an appropriate
plastic material. The bridge of material may also be formed by a separate element
which is e.g. adhered to the bracket member. During mounting of a screening device
such as a roller blind, the bridge of material is broken, e.g. by the roller shaft
itself, such that the ends of the roller shaft may be retained in the reception
means of the respective bracket member. It is of course conceivable to form the
bracket members with reception means having other configurations in order to receive
other kinds of screening devices.
Fig. 5 shows an embodiment, in which the cross-sectional
dimensions of the bracket member 206 are such that the bracket member is curved
in two dimensions. The bracket member 206 has a substantially rectangular plan view
and extends, in one direction, from a first end edge 207 having a small thickness,
to a second end edge 208 having a larger thickness, and in a direction substantially
perpendicular thereto, from a third end edge 209 having a small thickness to a fourth
end edge 210 having a larger thickness. The mounting directions possible with this
design of the bracket member range from a first direction indicated by arrow A to
a second direction indicated by arrow B, i.e. the screening device (not shown) may
be mounted in an arbitrary direction in the interval of 90° delimited by these
directions. The fourth end edge 210 protrudes slightly over a lower edge 240. The
recess formed under the fourth end edge 210 and the lower edge 240 functions as
an engagement means in case the bracket member 206 is to be used with a coupling
member as described in the above.
It is noted that the bracket member to be mounted on the
opposed frame surface may be identical, as indicated in the drawing and described
in the above. In particular, it is noted that the bracket member 206 of the Fig.
5 embodiment may be turned 90° due to the possibility of mounting the screening
device within an interval of mounting directions.
With an appropriate design of the bracket member of the
above embodiments, further engagement means, e.g. in the form of a snap lock, may
be rendered superfluous.
The invention should not be regarded as being limited to
the described embodiments. Several modifications and combinations of the different
embodiments will be apparent to the person skilled in the art.
For example the present invention comprises the following
- 1. Means for supporting a screening device in a frame structure with frame members
comprising top and bottom members as well as side members, said means comprising
a pair of bracket members (6; 106; 206) having a substantially continuous external
surface for mounting on each of a pair of opposed frame surfaces of said frame structure,
said screening device being brought from a non-mounted position to a mounted position
by movement in a mounting direction, in which the cross-sectional dimensions of
each bracket member (6;106;206) increase in the mounting direction (A,B) over at
least a part of the bracket member.
- 2. Supporting means according to embodiment 1, in which the cross-section of
each bracket member (106) is substantially wedge-shaped.
- 3. Supporting means according to embodiment 1, in which the cross-section of
each bracket member (6;206) is curved.
- 4. Supporting means according to embodiment 3, in which the cross-section of
each bracket member (206) is curved in at least two directions.
- 5. Supporting means according to any of the preceding embodiments, in which
the supporting means furthermore comprises a pair of coupling members, and in which
each bracket member (6;206) is provided with engagement means (9;240) for engagement
with corresponding engagement means of a corresponding coupling member.
- 6. Supporting means according to embodiment 5, in which the engagement means
of each bracket member comprises a shoulder portion (9).
- 7. Supporting means according to any one of embodiments 5 and 6, in which the
bracket member (206) comprises a protruding edge portion.
- 8. Supporting means according to any one of the preceding embodiments, in which
each bracket member (106) is provided with means (130) for reception of a respective
end of a screening device, said means comprising a rectangular slot and a circular
hole (130), respectively, and in which said means (130) are covered (131) in said
non-mounted position of the screening device.
- 9. Supporting means according to any one of the preceding embodiments, in which
the cross-sectional dimensions of the part of each bracket member positioned at
the remote end of the bracket member decrease in the mounting direction.
- 10. A screening device comprising means for cooperation with supporting means
according to any of embodiments 1 to 9.
- 11. A screening device according to embodiment 10, in which said cooperation
means comprise coupling members for cooperation with a respective bracket member
- 12. A screening device according to embodiment 10, in which screening device
comprises a roller blind having a roller shaft, and in which said cooperation means
are constituted by a respective end of said roller shaft.
- 13. A window comprising a frame structure with frame members including top and
bottom members as well as side members, in which the pair of bracket members according
to embodiment 1 to 9 are premounted on opposed surfaces of the side members of the
- 14. Use of a pair of supporting means according to the embodiments 1 to 9 for
mounting on opposed frame surfaces in a frame structure.