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Details for Patent: 3,992,841

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Details for Patent: 3,992,841

Title: Panel construction and projection screen constructed from such panels
Abstract:Large projection screens, of which planetarium domes are typical, may conveniently be made up of a plural of prefinished panels, at least one edge of at least some of which panels overlaps another panel in a lap joint construction so that edges of the panels have a minimal effect upon light directed upon the screen from any angle. Panel edges overlapping another panel are tapered from a generally uniform thickness to substantially reduced thickness at the edge in a relatively short distance compared to panel dimensions and made to conform to and lay against the other panel. The panels are preferably made by a method which may involve either first shaping or finishing the projection surface of the dome panel. Each edge which will overlap another panel is then chamfered on the surface opposite the finished surface to form the taper. Finally the chamfered edge is deformed so that it will lay against and conform to the panel which it overlaps.
Inventor(s): Ward, Jr.; Robertson (Chicago, IL)
Assignee:
Filing Date:Aug 30, 1974
Application Number:05/502,157
Claims:1. A construction for a projection screen employing lap joints between adjacent, prefinished, upper and lower, non-intersecting panels each having a continuous one-piece reflective vinyl finish suitable for projection of light over the entirety thereof, the upper panel at each top joint being initially of generally uniform thickness and of such size as to provide a portion that will overlap at least one adjacent lower panel, the overlap portion of the upper panel lying in the plane defined by said thickness of the panel, the overlap portion of the upper panel rearwardly of said continuous reflective finish having a taper along at least the one edge intended to overlap an adjacent panel, whereby the thickness of said upper panel at the very edge is substantially reduced and tapers from said uniform thickness to the edge in a relatively short distance, and the tapered edge being deformed so that it will conform to and substantially lay against the lower panel it is intended to overlap without destroying the continuous character of the reflective finish, with the deformed tapered edge of the upper panel and the lower panel being located in adjacent non-intersecting planes, whereby the edge of the upper panel has a minimal effect upon light directed from any angle upon the screen in which said upper and lower panels are employed.

2. The construction of claim 1 in which the taper is uniform providing an essentially wedge-shaped cross-section.

3. The construction of claim 1 in which the taper is non-linear, beginning gradually and thinning the cross-section more rapidly toward the edge.

4. The construction of claim 1 in which the taper is compound in shape.

5. The construction of claim 1 in which the continuous reflective vinyl finish is provided by a uniform layer of vinyl laminated to a substructure, during the process of making the panel and before the panels are cut to size and shaped.

6. In a projection screen, employing an elongated lap joint between a panel, having a reflective face, and an adjacent reflective surface, wherein an elongated edge portion of the panel overlies the adjacent reflective surface with the panel and reflective surface lying in adjacent, non-intersecting planes, the improvement in construction, whereby said overlapping edge of the panel is to produce a minimal effect upon the reflection of light directed from any angle upon the reflecting faces of the panel and adjacent surface that together define a portion of the projection screen, comprising said panel including a substrate sheet of a material that is deformable and easily set upon deformation beyond the material's elastic limit a prefinished continuous face of reflective material being provided on said substrate sheet prior to deformation of the substrate sheet, the portion of the panel that overlaps the adjacent reflective surface being shaped and arranged and deformed, without destroying the continuous character of the prefinished reflective face on the panel, to have said prefinished continuous face of reflective material at the edge terminus of the panel terminate adjacent the said adjacent reflective surface, with the thickness of the panel adjacent said edge terminus being lessened resulting in a surface on the rear of the panel that lies adjacent said adjacent reflective surface, thereby reducing to a minimum the discontinuity between said reflective faces of the panel and adjacent surface.

7. In a projection screen, employing an elongated lap joint between a panel having a reflective face and an adjacent reflective surface, the panel and adjacent reflective surface being disposed in adjacent planes that do not intersect, and wherein an elongated edge portion of the panel that is located only within the plane of the panel overlies the adjacent reflective surface, the improvement in construction, whereby said overlapping edge of the panel is to produce a minimal effect upon the reflection of light directed from any angle upon the reflecting faces of the panel and adjacent surface that together define a portion of the projection screen, comprising said panel including a substrate sheet of a material that is deformable and easily set upon deformation beyond the material's elastic limit, a prefinished continuous laminate face of reflective material on said substrate sheet, the portion of said substrate, that is opposite the reflective face of the panel and is located at the region adjacent the elongated overlapping edge of the panel, being chamfered to reduce the thickness of said substrate sheet at said overlapping edge, said chamfered portion of substrate and face of reflective material being deformed, without destroying the continuous character of the prefinished laminate reflective face and in a direction toward the plane of the adjacent overlapped reflective surface and to a position within the plane of the panel at which the material of the substrate sheet becomes set with said chamfered face of said edge portion lying substantially adjacent the adjacent reflective surface, thereby reducing to a minimum the discontinuity between said reflective faces of the panel and adjacent surface.

8. A construction as in claim 7 wherein the face of reflective material on the panel is a continuous flexible sheet of material that covers the entire substrate.

9. A construction as in claim 7 wherein the face of reflective material is a vinyl covering of about 6-10 mils thickness laminated to the substrate.

10. A construction as in claim 7 wherein the entire substrate initially is of generally uniform thickness and is a sheet of soft aluminum whose thickness is in the range of 0.030-0.040 inches.

11. A construction as in claim 10 wherein the thickness at the edge terminus of the panel, after being reduced by chamfering, is about no more than 0.010 inches.
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