(19)
(11)EP 3 477 015 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
09.09.2020 Bulletin 2020/37

(21)Application number: 18205164.9

(22)Date of filing:  02.07.2012
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
E04F 15/04(2006.01)
E04F 15/02(2006.01)

(54)

MECHANICAL LOCKING OF FLOOR PANELS WITH A GLUED TONGUE

MECHANISCHE VERRIEGELUNG VON BODENPLATTEN MITTELS EINER KLEBEFEDER

VERROUILLAGE MÉCANIQUE DE PANNEAUX DE PLANCHER AU MOYEN D'UNE LANGUETTE COLLÉE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 05.07.2011 US 201161504576 P
05.07.2011 SE 1150635
26.08.2011 SE 1150775
29.08.2011 SE 1150777

(43)Date of publication of application:
01.05.2019 Bulletin 2019/18

(62)Application number of the earlier application in accordance with Art. 76 EPC:
12806893.9 / 2729643

(73)Proprietor: Ceraloc Innovation AB
263 65 Viken (SE)

(72)Inventor:
  • PERVAN, Darko
    263 61 Viken (SE)

(74)Representative: Välinge Innovation AB 
Patent Department Prästavägen 513
263 65 Viken
263 65 Viken (SE)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 2 078 801
WO-A1-2006/043893
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    Area of Invention



    [0001] The invention generally relates to the field of floor panels with mechanical locking systems with a flexible and displaceable tongue. The invention also relates to a partly bendable tongue for a building panel with such a mechanical locking system.

    Background of the Invention



    [0002] In particular, yet not restrictive manner, the invention concerns a tongue for a floor panel and a set of floor panels mechanically joined to preferably a floating floor. However, the invention is applicable to building panels in general as well. More particularly invention relates to the type of mechanically locking system that comprises a flexible or partly flexible tongue and/or displaceable tongue, in order to facilitate the installation of building panels.

    [0003] A floor panel of this type is presented in WO2006/043893, which discloses a floor panel with a locking system comprising a locking element cooperating with a locking groove, for horizontal locking, and a flexible tongue cooperating with a tongue groove, for locking in a vertical direction. The flexible tongue, which may be made of plastic, bends in the horizontal plane and is displaced in a groove during connection of two floor panels. The flexible tongue allows the floor panels to be installed by vertical folding or solely by vertical movement.

    [0004] The flexible tongues are generally connected into a groove with friction connections. One disadvantage with such connection is that the tongue may fall out from the groove when floor panels swell or shrink or when the groove is not made with sufficient tolerances.

    [0005] It is known that the tongue may be glued into the groove. For example, EP 2 078 801 A1 discloses a tongue for connection of a building panel, said tongue being of an elongated shape and being made of moulded plastic, wherein the tongue comprises a gluing part at a first long edge of the tongue which is suitable for being glued into a recess in a tongue groove of the panel.

    [0006] The problem is that it is difficult to glue plastic to wood and that part of the glue also glues the tongue in such a way that it cannot be displaced during the connection of the floor panels. The present invention provides a simple way to glue a flexible and displaceable tongue into a groove.

    Summary of the Invention



    [0007] The aim of present invention is to provide a tongue that is easy to glue in a grove. Useful areas for the invention are floor panels, preferably to be installed floating, of any shape and material e.g. laminate, wood, HDF, veneer or stone. However, the invention is applicable to building panels in general.

    [0008] The tongue may be used in any mechanical locking system that facilitates the assembling of building panels. The tongue may be used in the mechanical locking system for vertical locking of two adjacent floor panels. The locking system may further comprise additional elements for horizontal locking of the adjacent floor panels.

    [0009] A first aspect of the invention is tongue for connection of a building panel, said tongue being as defined in claim 1. The tongue comprises protrusions, preferably bow shaped, at a first long edge of the tongue. The protrusions are bendable in a plane parallel to the upper surface of the tongue and extending essentially in the parallel plane. The tongue has a second long edge, which is essentially straight over substantially the whole length of the tongue. The tongue comprises a gluing part configured to be glued into a groove at an edge of the building panel.

    [0010] The gluing part may be an edge section, which is spaced in the length direction of the tongue from the protrusions.

    [0011] The edge section may comprise a glue pocket.

    [0012] The edge section may comprise a flexible link that connects the edge section to the main tongue body.

    [0013] The tongue may be provided with said edge sections at each edge of the tongue.

    [0014] The advantage is that the edge sections are spaced from the main tongue body that is displaced during locking. The risk that glue will be applied in the part of the groove where the tongue has to be displaceable is eliminated.

    [0015] The edge section may be provided with a breaking part, configured to be broken when the tongue is inserted into the groove.

    [0016] The edge section may be provided with an outer protruding stop part, which overlap an inner stop part, which protrudes from the edge of the tongue, wherein said inner and outer stop part cooperates to limit the displacement of the tongue in the groove.

    [0017] The edge section may be provided with a protruding friction connection, configured to hold the tongue in the correct position until the glue is cured.

    [0018] According to the invention, the gluing part is a gluing strip extending in the longitudinal direction of the tongue, preferably along substantially the whole length of the tongue, and wherein the gluing strip is attached to the outer end of some of the protrusions.

    [0019] The advantage with such a gluing strip is that the tongue is attached steady to the groove of the building panel and with an improved position tolerance. It is also easier to provide the glue along the bottom of the groove, which is made possible by this embodiment.

    [0020] The outer end of the protrusions, at a first edge of the tongue, may be free and not attached to the gluing strip.

    [0021] The outer end of the protrusions, at a second edge of the tongue, may be attached to the gluing strip.

    [0022] The outer end of the protrusions may be provided with a thinner section for facilitating the bending of the protrusion.

    [0023] The outer end of the gluing strip may be provided with a bow shaped part for facilitating the insertion of the tongue into the groove.

    [0024] There may be an angle between the protrusions and the longitudinal direction of the tongue.

    [0025] A second aspect of the invention is a building panel provided with a tongue, according to the first aspect, in a sidewardly open groove at edge of the panel.

    Brief Description of the Drawings



    [0026] The disclosure will in the following be described in connection to exemplary embodiments and in greater detail with reference to the appended exemplary drawings, wherein:

    Figs 1 illustrate a known locking system comprising a displaceable tongue.

    Fig 2 show a first embodiment of the tongue according to the invention.

    Figs 3a and 3b shows an edge section of the first embodiment of the tongue.

    Figs 4 shows a second embodiment of the tongue.

    Figs 5 shows first edge section of the second embodiment.

    Figs 6 shows second edge section of the second embodiment.

    Figs 7 shows a third embodiment of the tongue.

    Figs 8 shows first edge section of the third embodiment.

    Figs 9 shows second edge section of the third embodiment.


    Description of Embodiments of the Invention



    [0027] Figure 1 shows a vertical locking of two panels where a flexible and displaceable tongue 1 is displaced in a fixing groove 1.

    [0028] Figure 2 shows a first embodiment of a flexible tongue 1, made of moulded plastic material, which comprises two edge sections 3, which are intended to be used to glue the tongue into a groove 2.

    [0029] The tongue is of an elongated shape and comprising in this preferred embodiment at least two protrusions (6) at a first long edge (L1).

    [0030] The protrusions are bendable in a plane parallel to the upper surface of the tongue and extending essentially in the parallel plane.

    [0031] The tongue has a second long edge (L2), which is essentially straight over substantially the whole length of the tongue.

    [0032] The edge section 3 comprises a glue pocket 4 where glue is applied, preferably by an inserting equipment, which also positions the tongue into a groove of a panel. Friction connections 7 may be used to hold the tongue in the groove until the glue cures.

    [0033] Figure 3a shows the edge section from above. Figure 3b shows a cross section of the edge section. A glue pocket 4 is preferably formed as a local cavity.

    [0034] The edge section is connected to the main tongue body with a flexible link 5 that allow the tongue to move in the groove 2 and in relation to the edge section 3 that is glued into a groove 2. A wide variety of glues may be used, preferably hot melt based glues.

    [0035] Figure 4 shows a second embodiment of a flexible tongue 1, made of moulded plastic material, which is provided with a gluing strip 8 configured to be used to glue the tongue into a groove 2. Parts 11, 12 formed by moulding inlets from a moulding tool are shown at the first 9 and the second edge 10 of the tongue 1. These parts are used to facilitate the insertion of the tongue into a groove 2 of a building panel, preferably a floor panel.

    [0036] The tongue is of an elongated shape and comprising in the second embodiment at least two protrusions 6 at a first long edge L1.

    [0037] The protrusions are bendable in a plane parallel to the upper surface of the tongue and extending essentially in the parallel plane.

    [0038] The tongue has a second long edge L2, which is essentially straight over substantially the whole length of the tongue.

    [0039] Figure 5 shows the first edge 9 of second embodiment of the tongue. The outer ends 17 of the protrusions 6 at the first edge are free from the gluing strip 8 to facilitate a movement of the second long edge L2 along the groove 2 of the building panel. The outer part of the gluing strip is bow shaped 16 to facilitate insertion of the tongue into the groove 2 of the building panel.

    [0040] Figure 6 shows the second edge 10 of second embodiment of the tongue 1. The outer ends 18 of the protrusions 6 at the second edge are attached to the gluing strip 8. The outer part 16 of the gluing strip is bow shaped to facilitate insertion of the tongue into the groove 2 of the building panel.

    [0041] The outer ends of the protrusions are provided with a thinner section 15 to improve the bending of the tongue.

    [0042] The gluing strip is provided with a protrusion 13, which makes it easier to remove the tongue from the moulding tool. The tongue body is provided with an aperture 14 adapted to the size of the gluing strip protrusion 13, which make it possible to push the second long edge L2 of the tongue 1 further into the groove 2 of the building panel.

    [0043] Figure 7 shows a third embodiment of a flexible tongue 1, made of moulded plastic material, which is provided with an edge sections 3 configured to be used to glue the tongue into a groove 2. The tongue has a second long edge L2, which is essentially straight over substantially the whole length of the tongue. The tongue is of an elongated shape and comprising in the second embodiment at least two protrusions 6 at a first long edge L1.

    [0044] Parts 11, 12 formed by moulding inlets from a moulding tool are shown at the first 9 and the second edge 10 of the tongue 1. These parts are used to facilitate the insertion of the tongue into a groove 2 of a building panel, preferably a floor panel.

    [0045] The protrusions are bendable in a plane parallel to the upper surface of the tongue and extending essentially in the parallel plane.

    [0046] Figure 8 shows the first edge 9 of the third embodiment of the tongue.

    [0047] Figure 9 shows the second edge 10 of the third embodiment of the tongue 1.

    [0048] The third embodiment of the tongue is provided with said edge sections 3 on each edge of the tongue. Said edge section is provided with a protruding friction connection, configured to hold the tongue in the correct position until the glue is cured. A flexible link 5 connects the edge section 3 to the main tongue body.

    [0049] The edge sections are each provided with an outer protruding stop part 22, which overlap an inner stop part 21, which protrudes from each edge 9, 10 of the tongue, wherein said inner and outer stop part cooperates to limit the displacement of the tongue 1 in the groove 2.

    [0050] The edge sections are further provided with a breaking part 20, configured to be broken when the tongue 1 is inserted into the groove 2.

    [0051] Glue may be used that glues to a wood based material and cures such that a part of the glue will form a small protrusion in the glue pocket and will connect the tongue mechanically even if the glue as such cannot glue the plastic material that is used to form the tongue.

    [0052] The principles shown above may be used to connect all types of tongues that are intended to be displaceable in a groove. Even tongues that are not flexible and displaceable may be connected according to the described principles.


    Claims

    1. A tongue (1) for connection of a building panel, said tongue being of an elongated shape and being made of moulded plastic, wherein
    the tongue (1) comprises at least two protrusions (6) at a first long edge (L1) of the tongue,
    the protrusions being bendable in a plane parallel to an upper surface of the tongue and extending essentially in the parallel plane, and
    the tongue (1) having a second long edge (L2), which is essentially straight over substantially the whole length of the tongue,
    wherein the tongue comprises a gluing part configured to be glued into a groove (2) at an edge of the building panel,
    said gluing part being a gluing strip (8) extending in a longitudinal direction of the tongue, and said gluing strip being attached to outer ends (18) of some of the protrusions (6) .
     
    2. The tongue according to claim 1, wherein the gluing strip (8) extends along the whole length of the tongue.
     
    3. The tongue according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the outer end (17) of the protrusion (6), at a first edge (9) of the tongue, is free and not attached to the gluing strip (8).
     
    4. The tongue according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the outer end (18) of the protrusions (6), at a second edge (10) of the tongue, is attached to the gluing strip.
     
    5. The tongue according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the outer end of the protrusions (18) is provided with a thinner section (15) for facilitating the bending of the protrusion.
     
    6. The tongue according to any of the preceding claims, wherein an outer end of the gluing strip (8) is provided with a bow shaped part (16) for facilitating an insertion of the tongue into the groove (2).
     
    7. The tongue according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the protrusions (6) are bow shaped.
     
    8. The tongue according to any of the preceding claims, wherein there is an angle between the protrusions (6) and the longitudinal direction of the tongue.
     
    9. The tongue according to any of the preceding claims, wherein a first edge (9) and a second edge (10) of the tongue comprise parts (11, 12) formed by moulding inlets from a moulding tool for facilitating an insertion of the tongue into the groove (2).
     
    10. The tongue according to any of the preceding claims, wherein an outer part of the gluing strip at a first edge (9) is bow shaped (16).
     
    11. The tongue according to any of the preceding claims, wherein an outer part of the gluing strip at a second edge (10) is bow shaped (16).
     
    12. The tongue according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the gluing strip is provided with a gluing strip protrusion (13) for making it easier to remove the tongue from a moulding tool.
     
    13. The tongue according to claim 12, wherein a tongue body is provided with an aperture (14) adapted to a size of the gluing strip protrusion (13).
     
    14. The tongue according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the tongue (1) is flexible.
     
    15. A building panel, such as a floor panel, provided with a tongue, according to any of the claims 1-14, wherein said tongue is displaceable in a groove at an edge of the building panel.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Feder (1) zum Verbinden einer Gebäudeplatte, wobei die Feder eine längliche Form hat und aus geformtem Kunststoff besteht, und
    die Feder (1) wenigstens zwei Vorsprünge (6) an einer ersten langen Kante (L1) der Feder umfasst,
    die Vorsprünge in einer Ebene parallel zu einer oberen Fläche der Feder gebogen werden können und sich im Wesentlichen in der parallelen Ebene erstrecken, und
    die Feder (1) eine zweite lange Kante (L2) hat, die prinzipiell über im Wesentlichen die gesamte Länge der Feder gerade ist,
    wobei die Feder einen Klebe-Teil umfasst, der so ausgeführt ist, dass er in eine Nut (2) an einer Kante der Gebäudeplatte geklebt werden kann,
    wobei der Klebe-Teil ein Klebestreifen (8) ist, der sich in einer Längsrichtung der Feder erstreckt, und der Klebestreifen an äußeren Enden (18) einiger der Vorsprünge (6) angebracht ist.
     
    2. Feder nach Anspruch 1, wobei sich der Klebestreifen (8) über die gesamte Länge der Feder erstreckt.
     
    3. Feder nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, wobei das äußere Ende (17) des Vorsprungs (6) an einem ersten Rand (9) der Feder frei und nicht an dem Klebestreifen (8) angebracht ist.
     
    4. Feder nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, wobei das äußere Ende (18) der Vorsprünge (6) an einem zweiten Rand (10) der Feder an dem Klebestreifen angebracht ist.
     
    5. Feder nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, wobei das äußere Ende der Vorsprünge (18) mit einem dünneren Teilabschnitt (15) versehen ist, der das Biegen des Vorsprungs erleichtert.
     
    6. Feder nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, wobei ein äußeres Ende des Klebestreifens (8) mit einem bogenförmigen Teil (16) versehen ist, der ein Einführen der Feder in die Nut (2) erleichtert.
     
    7. Feder nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, wobei die Vorsprünge (6) bogenförmig sind.
     
    8. Feder nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, wobei zwischen den Vorsprüngen (6) und der Längsrichtung der Feder ein Winkel gebildet wird.
     
    9. Feder nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, wobei ein erster Rand (9) und ein zweiter Rand (10) der Feder Teile (11, 12) umfassen, die durch das Formeinlassen von einem Formwerkzeug gebildet werden und der Erleichterung eines Einführens der Feder in die Nut (2) dienen.
     
    10. Feder nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, wobei ein äußerer Teil des Klebestreifens an einem ersten Rand (9) bogenförmig (16) ist.
     
    11. Feder nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, wobei ein äußerer Teil des Klebestreifens an einem zweiten Rand (10) bogenförmig (16) ist.
     
    12. Feder nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Klebestreifen mit einem Klebestreifen-Vorsprung (13) versehen ist, der es leichter macht, die Feder aus einem Formwerkzeug zu entfernen.
     
    13. Feder nach Anspruch 12, wobei ein Feder-Körper mit einer Öffnung (14) versehen ist, die an eine Größe des Klebestreifen-Vorsprungs (13) angepasst ist.
     
    14. Feder nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, wobei die Feder (1) flexibel ist.
     
    15. Gebäudeplatte, beispielsweise eine Bodenplatte, die mit einer Feder nach einem der Ansprüche 1-14 versehen ist, wobei die Feder in einer Nut an einem Rand der Gebäudeplatte verschoben werden kann.
     


    Revendications

    1. Languette (1) pour connexion d'un panneau de construction, ladite languette étant d'une forme allongée et étant constituée de plastique moulé, dans laquelle
    la languette (1) comprend au moins deux protubérances (6) sur un premier bord long (L1) de la languette,
    les protubérances pouvant être courbées dans un plan parallèle à une surface supérieure de la languette et s'étendant essentiellement dans le plan parallèle, et
    la languette (1) présentant un second bord long (L2), qui est essentiellement linéaire sur pratiquement la longueur complète de la languette,
    dans laquelle la languette comprend une partie collante configurée pour être collée dans une rainure (2) sur un bord du panneau de construction,
    ladite partie collante étant une bande collante (8) s'étendant dans une direction longitudinale de la languette, et ladite bande collante étant fixée aux extrémités externes (18) de certaines des protubérances (6).
     
    2. Languette selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle la bande collante (8) s'étend le long de la longueur complète de la languette.
     
    3. Languette selon la revendication 1 ou 2, dans laquelle l'extrémité externe (17) de la protubérance (6), sur un premier bord (9) de la languette, est libre et non fixée à la bande collante (8).
     
    4. Languette selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle l'extrémité externe (18) des protubérances (6), sur un second bord (10) de la languette, est fixée à la bande collante.
     
    5. Languette selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle l'extrémité externe des protubérances (18) est fournie avec une section plus mince (15) pour faciliter la courbure de la protubérance.
     
    6. Languette selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle une extrémité externe de la bande collante (8) est munie d'une partie de forme recourbée (16) pour faciliter une insertion de la languette dans la rainure (2).
     
    7. Languette selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle les protubérances (6) sont de forme recourbée.
     
    8. Languette selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle il y a un angle entre les protubérances (6) et la direction longitudinale de la languette.
     
    9. Languette selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle un premier bord (9) et un second bord (10) de la languette comprennent des parties (11, 12) formées par des entrées de moulage d'un outil de moulage pour faciliter une insertion de la languette dans la rainure (2).
     
    10. Languette selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle une partie externe de la bande collante sur un premier bord (9) est de forme recourbée (16).
     
    11. Languette selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle une partie externe de la bande collante sur un second bord (10) est de forme recourbée (16).
     
    12. Languette selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle la bande collante est munie d'une protubérance de bande collante (13) pour faire qu'il soit plus facile de retirer la languette d'un outil de moulage.
     
    13. Languette selon la revendication 12, dans laquelle un corps de languette est muni d'une ouverture (14) adaptée à une dimension de la protubérance de bande collante (13).
     
    14. Languette selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle la languette (1) est flexible.
     
    15. Panneau de construction, tel qu'un panneau de plancher, muni d'une languette, selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1-14, dans lequel ladite languette peut être déplacée dans une rainure sur un bord du panneau de construction.
     




    Drawing


























    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description