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Title:
PEDESTAL CAP FOR ACCESS FLOORING SYSTEM AND ACCESS FLOORING SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2007/007306
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
An access flooring system comprises a plurality of floor panels (10) and a plurality of support pedestals for supporting the floor panels (10). Each pedestal has a pedestal cap (30). The cap (30) has four equi-spaced apart separators (2) which ensure a gap is provided between adjacent panels (10). The separators (2) are connected to the pedestal cap (30) at a base portion (3) and extend upwardly from the pedestal cap (30). In lateral cross-section, the separators (2) taper inwardly from the base portion (3) to a top separator portion (4) thereof. The separator (2) is configured to avoid contact between the panels (10) and the separator (2) at the base (3), and to facilitate contact between the separator (2) and the panels (10) at the top portion (4) of the separator (2).

Inventors:
SAMPSON DAVID (GB)
Application Number:
IE2006/000072
Publication Date:
January 18, 2007
Filing Date:
July 11, 2006
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
KINGSPAN HOLDINGS IRL LTD (IE)
SAMPSON DAVID (GB)
International Classes:
E04F15/024
Domestic Patent References:
WO2005042874A12005-05-12
WO2005021890A12005-03-10
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
O'BRIEN, John, A. et al. (Third Floor Duncairn House, 14 Carysfort Avenu, Blackrock County Dublin, IE)
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Claims:

Claims

1. A pedestal cap for an access flooring system, the pedestal cap having a separator extending upwardly for engagement with side walls of adjacent panels on assembly to maintain a gap between adjacent panels, wherein the separator has a height substantially greater than 7 times the thickness of the pedestal cap.

2. A pedestal cap as claimed in claim 1 wherein the separator has a height of between substantially 7 and 20 times the thickness of the pedestal cap.

3. A pedestal cap as claimed in claim 1 or 2 wherein the separator comprises a tapered form.

4. A pedestal cap as claimed in any preceding claim wherein in lateral cross- section the separator tapers inwardly from a base portion to a top portion thereof.

5. A pedestal cap as claimed in claim 4 wherein the top of the separator has a width of less than 70% of the width of the base thereof.

6. A pedestal cap as claimed in claim 4 or 5 wherein the top of the separator has a width of less than 60% of the width of the base thereof.

7. A pedestal cap as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the separator is formed to avoid contact between the side walls of adjacent panels and the separator at a base portion thereof and to provide contact between the side walls of adjacent panels and the separator at a top portion of the separator to maintain a gap between adjacent panels.

8. A pedestal cap as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the top portion of the separator comprises a groove.

9. A pedestal cap as claimed in claim 8 wherein the groove is configured to enable lateral compliance while maintaining a gap between adjacent panels.

10. A pedestal cap as claimed in claim 8 or 9 wherein the groove is located substantially centrally at the top of the separator.

11. A pedestal cap as claimed in any of claims 8 to 10 wherein the groove has a width of between 30% and 70% of the width of the top of the separator.

12. A pedestal cap as claimed in claim 8 or 9 wherein the top of the separator comprises a plurality of grooves.

13. A pedestal cap as claimed in any of claims 8 to 12 wherein the groove extends the length of the top of the separator.

14. A pedestal cap as claimed in any of claims 8 to 13 wherein the groove has a depth of between 40% and 90% of the width of the top of the separator.

15. A pedestal cap as claimed in any of claims 8 to 14 wherein the groove has substantially a u-shaped form.

16. A pedestal cap as claimed in any of claims 8 to 14 wherein the groove has substantially a v-shaped form

17. A pedestal cap as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the separator extends radially of the centre of the pedestal cap.

18. A pedestal cap as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the pedestal cap has a number of separators which are spaced-apart around the top of the pedestal cap.

19. A pedestal cap as claimed in claim 18 wherein there are four separators which are equi-spaced apart around the top of the pedestal cap.

20. A pedestal cap for an access flooring system, the pedestal cap having a separator extending upwardly for engagement with side walls of adjacent panels on assembly, wherein the separator is formed to avoid contact between the side walls of adjacent panels and the separator at a base portion thereof and to provide contact between the side walls of adjacent panels and the separator at a top portion of the separator to maintain a gap between adjacent panels.

21. A pedestal cap for an access flooring system, the pedestal cap having a separator extending upwardly for engagement with side walls of adjacent panels on assembly to maintain a gap between adjacent panels, wherein a top portion of the separator comprises a groove.

22. A pedestal cap as claimed in claim 21 wherein the groove is configured to enable lateral compliance while maintaining a gap between adjacent panels.

23. A pedestal cap for an access flooring system, the pedestal cap having a separator extending upwardly for engagement with side walls of adjacent panels on assembly to maintain a gap between adjacent panels, the separator comprising means to facilitate lateral compliance while maintaining the gap between adjacent panels.

24. A cap as claimed in claim 23 wherein the means is configured to facilitate local deformation of at least one panel.

25. A cap as claimed in claim 24 wherein the separator comprises an engaging portion for engaging a panel, and a non-engaging portion to facilitate local deformation of at least one panel.

26. A cap as claimed in claim 25 wherein the engaging portion is provided at an end of the separator.

27. A cap as claimed in claim 25 or 26 wherein the non-engaging portion is provided at the centre of the separator.

28. A cap as claimed in any of claims 25 to 27 wherein the separator has a substantially dumb-bell shape in plan.

29. A pedestal cap for an access flooring system substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to the accompanying drawings.

30. An access flooring system comprising a plurality of floor panels and a plurality of support pedestals for supporting the floor panels, the pedestal having a separator extending upwardly for engagement with side walls of adjacent panels on assembly to maintain a gap between adjacent panels, wherein the panels have depth D and the separator has a height greater than or equal to D/2.

31. An access flooring system as claimed in claim 30 wherein the separator has a height greater than or equal to % D.

32. An access flooring system as claimed in claim 30 or 31, wherein the floor panels comprise inclined side walls.

33. An access flooring system as claimed in claim 32, wherein the side walls are inclined outwardly from the base to the top thereof.

34. An access flooring system as claimed in any of claims 30 to 33 wherein the separator comprises a tapered form.

35. An access flooring system as claimed in claim 34 wherein in lateral cross- section the separator tapers inwardly from a base portion to a top portion thereof.

36. An access flooring system as claimed in claim 34 or 35 the top of the separator has a width of less than 70% of the width of the base thereof.

37. An access flooring system as claimed in any of claims 30 to 36 wherein the separator is formed to avoid contact between the side walls of adjacent panels and the separator at a base portion thereof and to provide contact between the side walls of adjacent panels and the separator at a top portion of the separator to maintain a gap between adjacent panels.

38. An access flooring system as claimed in any of claims 30 to 37 wherein the top portion of the separator comprises a groove.

39. An access flooring system as claimed in claim 38 wherein the groove is configured to enable lateral compliance while maintaining a gap between adjacent panels.

40. An access flooring system as claimed in claim 38 or 39 wherein the groove is located substantially centrally at the top of the separator.

41. An access flooring system as claimed in any of claims 38 to 40 wherein the groove has a width of between 30% and 70% of the width of the top of the separator.

42. An access flooring system as claimed in any of claims 38 to 41 wherein the top of the separator comprises a plurality of grooves.

43. An access flooring system as claimed in any of claims 38 to 42 wherein the groove extends the length of the top of the separator.

44. An access flooring system as claimed in any of claims 38 to 43 wherein the groove has a depth of between 40% and 90% of the width of the top of the separator.

45. An access flooring system as claimed in any of claims 38 to 44 wherein the groove has substantially a u-shaped form.

46. An access flooring system as claimed in any of claims 38 to 44 wherein the groove has substantially a v-shaped form

47. An access flooring system as claimed in any of claims 30 to 46 wherein the separator extends radially of the centre of the pedestal.

48. An access flooring system as claimed in claims 30 to 47 wherein the pedestal has a number of separators which are spaced-apart around the top of the pedestal.

49. An access flooring system as claimed in claims 30 to 48 wherein there are four separators which are equi-spaced apart around the top of the pedestal.

50. An access flooring system as claimed in claims 30 to 49 wherein the pedestal has a cap and the separator is provided by the cap.

51. An access flooring system comprising a plurality of floor panels and a plurality of support pedestals for supporting the floor panels, the pedestal having a separator extending upwardly for engagement with side walls of adjacent panels, wherein the panels have inclined side walls and wherein the separator is formed to avoid contact between the side walls of adjacent panels and the separator at a base portion thereof and to provide contact between the side walls of adjacent panels and the separator at a top portion of the separator to maintain a gap between adjacent panels.

52. An access flooring system comprising:-

a plurality of floor panels;

a plurality of support pedestals for supporting the floor panels; and

at least one pedestal cap as claimed in any of claims 1 to 29 mounted to at least one of the support pedestals.

53. An access flooring system substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to the accompanying drawings.

Description:

AN ACCESS FLOORING SYSTEM

Introduction

This invention relates to an access flooring system of the type comprising a plurality of floor panels and a plurality of support pedestals for supporting the floor panels. The pedestals are distributed over a subfloor, such as a floor of a multi-storey building, and the pedestals are arranged to support the floor panels such that floor panels may be individually removed to gain access to the chamber below the floor panels. When assembled, the floor panels provide a relatively flat and strong floor to support office personnel, furniture and the like.

There is a potential problem of floor panels contacting adjacent floor panels and whilst being walked upon causing a noise to be created in the form of a metallic squeak.

In one current approach a spacer may be placed between the top side edges of adjacent floor panels. However, this has the problems of affecting aesthetic appearance and additionally of being difficult to install on-site.

There is therefore a need for an improved access flooring system which addresses at least some of these problems.

Statements of Invention

According to the invention there is provided a pedestal cap for an access flooring system, the pedestal cap having a separator extending upwardly for engagement with side walls of adjacent panels on assembly to maintain a gap between adjacent panels, wherein the separator has a height substantially greater than 7 times the thickness of the pedestal cap.

According to a further aspect the invention provides a pedestal cap for an access flooring system, the pedestal cap having a separator extending upwardly for engagement with side walls of adjacent panels on assembly, wherein the separator is formed to avoid contact between the side walls of adjacent panels and the separator at a base portion thereof and to provide contact between the side walls of adjacent panels and the separator at a top portion of the separator to maintain a gap between adjacent panels.

Because there is no contact between the side walls and the separator at the base portion, this arrangement enables the dimensional tolerances at the base portion to be relatively approximate. Typically the dimensional tolerances at the top portion are controlled relatively strictly.

Because of the less strict tolerances at the base portion, this arrangement leads to a relatively easy to install system.

The invention also provides in another aspect a pedestal cap for an access flooring system, the pedestal cap having a separator extending upwardly for engagement with side walls of adjacent panels on assembly to maintain a gap between adjacent panels, wherein a top portion of the separator comprises a groove.

The groove facilitates lateral compliance in the system while ensuring that the gap between adjacent panels is maintained.

In another aspect the invention provides a pedestal cap for an access flooring system, the pedestal cap having a separator extending upwardly for engagement with side walls of adjacent panels on assembly to maintain a gap between adjacent panels, the separator comprising means to facilitate lateral compliance while maintaining the gap between adjacent panels.

The above pedestal caps according to the invention comprise alternative embodiments as follows.

In one embodiment the separator has a height of between substantially 7 and 20 times the thickness of the pedestal cap.

In another embodiment the separator comprises a tapered form.

In a further embodiment in lateral cross-section the separator tapers inwardly from a base portion to a top portion thereof.

In one embodiment the top of the separator has a width of less than 70% of the width of the base thereof. Preferably, the top of the separator has a width of less than 60% of the width of the base thereof.

In another embodiment the separator is formed to avoid contact between the side walls of adjacent panels and the separator at a base portion thereof and to provide contact between the side walls of adjacent panels and the separator at a top portion of the separator to maintain a gap between adjacent panels.

In a further embodiment the top portion of the separator comprises a groove.

In one embodiment the groove is configured to enable lateral compliance while maintaining a gap between adjacent panels.

In another embodiment the groove is located substantially centrally at the top of the separator.

In a further embodiment the groove has a width of between 30% and 70% of the width of the top of the separator.

In one embodiment the top of the separator comprises a plurality of grooves.

In another embodiment the groove extends the length of the top of the separator.

In a further embodiment the groove has a depth of between 40% and 90% of the width of the top of the separator.

In one embodiment the groove has substantially a u-shaped form.

In another embodiment the groove has substantially a v-shaped form

In a further embodiment the separator extends radially of the centre of the pedestal cap.

In one embodiment the pedestal cap has a number of separators which are spaced- apart around the top of the pedestal cap.

In another embodiment there are four separators which are equi-spaced apart around the top of the pedestal cap.

The groove may be configured to enable lateral compliance while maintaining a gap between adjacent panels.

The means may be configured to facilitate local deformation of at least one panel. The separator may comprise an engaging portion for engaging a panel and a non- engaging portion to facilitate local deformation of at least one panel. The engaging portion may be provided at one end of the separator. The non-engaging portion may

be provided at the centre of the separator. The separator may have a substantially dumb-bell shape in plan.

According to a further aspect the invention provides an access flooring system comprising a plurality of floor panels and a plurality of support pedestals for supporting the floor panels, the pedestal having a separator extending upwardly for engagement with side walls of adjacent panels on assembly to maintain a gap between adjacent panels, wherein the panels have depth D and the separator has a height greater than or equal to D/2.

In one embodiment the separator has a height greater than or equal to % D.

In another embodiment the floor panels comprise inclined side walls. The individual side walls facilitate contact between the side walls and the separator at the top portion while avoiding contact between the side walls and the separator at the base portion.

In a further embodiment the side walls are inclined outwardly from the base to the top thereof.

In one embodiment the separator comprises a tapered form.

In another embodiment in lateral cross-section the separator tapers inwardly from a base portion to a top portion thereof.

In a further embodiment the top of the separator has a width of less than 70% of the width of the base thereof.

In one embodiment the separator is formed to avoid contact between the side walls of adjacent panels and the separator at a base portion thereof and to provide contact

between the side walls of adjacent panels and the separator at a top portion of the separator to maintain a gap between adjacent panels.

In another embodiment the top portion of the separator comprises a groove.

In a further embodiment the groove is configured to enable lateral compliance while maintaining a gap between adjacent panels.

In one embodiment the groove is located substantially centrally at the top of the separator.

In another embodiment the groove has a width of between 30% and 70% of the width of the top of the separator.

In a further embodiment the top of the separator comprises a plurality of grooves.

In one embodiment the groove extends the length of the top of the separator.

In another embodiment the groove has a depth of between 40% and 90% of the width of the top of the separator.

In a further embodiment the groove has substantially a u-shaped form.

In one embodiment the groove has substantially a v-shaped form

In another embodiment the separator extends radially of the centre of the pedestal.

In a further embodiment the pedestal has a number of separators which are spaced- apart around the top of the pedestal.

In one embodiment there are four separators which are equi-spaced apart around the top of the pedestal.

In another embodiment the pedestal has a cap and the separator is provided by the cap.

According to a still further aspect the invention provides an access flooring system comprising a plurality of floor panels and a plurality of support pedestals for supporting the floor panels, the pedestal having a separator extending upwardly for engagement with side walls of adjacent panels, wherein the panels have inclined side walls and wherein the separator is formed to avoid contact between the side walls of adjacent panels and the separator at a base portion thereof and to provide contact between the side walls of adjacent panels and the separator at a top portion of the separator to maintain a gap between adjacent panels.

In a further embodiment the side walls are inclined outwardly from the base to the top thereof.

In one embodiment the separator comprises a tapered form.

In another embodiment the separator tapers inwardly from a base portion to a top portion thereof.

In a further embodiment the top of the separator has a width of less than 70% of the width of the base thereof.

In one embodiment the separator is formed to avoid contact between the side walls and the separator at a base portion thereof and to provide contact between the side walls and the separator at a top portion of the separator to maintain a gap between adjacent panels.

In another embodiment the top portion of the separator comprises a groove.

In a further embodiment the groove is configured to enable lateral compliance while maintaining a gap between adjacent panels.

In one embodiment the groove is located substantially centrally at the top of the separator.

In another embodiment the groove has a width of between 30% and 70% of the width of the top of the separator.

In a further embodiment the top of the separator comprises a plurality of grooves.

In one embodiment the groove extends the length of the top of the separator.

In another embodiment the groove has a depth of between 40% and 90% of the width of the top of the separator.

In a further embodiment the groove has substantially a u-shaped form.

In one embodiment the groove has substantially a v-shaped form.

In another embodiment the panels have depth D and the separator has a height greater than or equal to D/2.

In a further embodiment the separator has a height greater than or equal to 3 A D.

In one embodiment the separator extends radially of the centre of the pedestal.

In another embodiment the pedestal has a number of separators which are spaced- apart around the top of the pedestal.

In one embodiment there are four separators which are equi-spaced apart around the top of the pedestal.

In another embodiment the pedestal has a cap and the separator is provided by the cap.

The invention also provides in a further aspect an access flooring system comprising:-

a plurality of floor panels;

a plurality of support pedestals for supporting the floor panels; and

at least one pedestal cap of the invention mounted to at least one of the support pedestals.

Brief Description of the Drawings

The invention will be more clearly understood from the following description of some embodiments thereof, given by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which: -

Fig. 1 is partially cut away view from the side of a pedestal cap according to the invention in situ between two adjacent panels;

Fig. 2 is a top plan view of the pedestal cap of Fig. 1 ;

Fig. 3 is a view along line B-B in Fig. 2;

Fig. 4 is a view along line A-A in Fig. 2;

Fig. 5 (a) is a top plan view of an alternative pedestal cap according to the invention;

Fig. 5(b) is a view along line A-A in Fig. 5(a);

Fig. 5(c) is a view along line B-B in Fig. 5(a);

Fig. 6 is a perspective view of another pedestal cap according to the invention.;

Fig. 7 is a side view of the pedestal cap of Fig. 6;

Fig. 8 is a plan view from above of the pedestal cap of Fig. 6;

Fig. 9 is a plan view from below of the pedestal cap of Fig. 6;

Fig. 10 is a partially cross-sectional, side view of the pedestal cap of Fig. 6 and two floor panels; and

Fig. 11 is a plan view of a part of another pedestal cap according to the invention.

Detailed Description

Referring to the drawings, and initially to Figs. 1 to 4 thereof, there are illustrated various elements of an access flooring system according to the invention. The

system comprises a plurality comprising a plurality of floor panels 10 and a plurality of support pedestals for supporting the floor panels 10. Each pedestal has a pedestal cap 1, as illustrated in the drawings, mounted to the pedestal. A gap is provided between adjacent panels 10.

The cap 1 has at least one, and in this case four equi-spaced apart separators 2. The separators 2 comprise a base portion 3 and a top separator portion 4. The separators 2 are connected to the pedestal cap 1 at the base portion 3 and extend upwardly from the pedestal cap 1. In lateral cross-section, the separators 2 taper inwardly from the base portion 3 to the top separator portion 4 thereof. The top portion 4 of the separator 2 typically has a width of between 30 and 50 per cent of the width of the base 3 thereof. The angle of the taper is essentially determined by the angle of the sides of the panels 10 being separated. The form of the separator 2 is such as to avoid contact between the panels 10 and the separator 2 at the base 3 and to bias the contact between them to the upper edge or top portion 4 of the separator 2, as illustrated in Fig. 1.

In this case, the separators 2 also taper inwardly from the base 3 to the top 4 in longitudinal cross-section. The separators 2 extend radially relative to the centre of the pedestal cap 1.

The pedestal cap 1 comprises a lower face 7, a top face 8 and a raised platform portion 9. As shown in the drawings in this case, the raised platform portion 9 has a cross-form. The pedestal cap 1 has an increased thickness at the raised platform portion 9. This is determined by the construction of the panel 10 and accommodates the rebate used on the underside of the panel 10 whilst ensuring the load transfer point is on the edge of the panel 10.

In this case, the top of the separator 2 comprises a groove 5 provided between two ridge portions 6 (Fig. 4). The groove 5 and ridge portions 6 extend the length of the

top of the separator 2. The arrangement of the groove 5 between the ridges 6 permits some deformation of the top portion 4 of the separator 2 on contacting the side walls of adjacent panels 10. This arrangement facilitates lateral compliance in the system but ensures that the gap between the adjacent panels 10 is maintained. Under the forces exerted by adjacent panels 10 on the top portion 4 of the separator 2, the top of the separator 2 is compressed and the ridge portions 6 moved towards each other. The groove 5 has a substantially u-shaped or v-shaped form and is located at the centre of the top portion 4 of the separator 2. The groove 5 has a width of between 30 and 70 per cent of the width of the top of the separator 2 to provide the required lateral compliance.

The separator 2 on engaging the side walls of adjacent panels 10 acts to control the gap between adjacent panels 10 so as to prevent contact between adjacent panels 10. The separator 2 is robust and of a material which has sufficient mechanical strength to maintain a gap between adjacent panels 10. Taking account of the form of the side walls of the panel 10, the separator 2 is formed, so as to provide adequate positive contact between the top portion 4 and the side walls, and having sufficient mechanical strength to maintain that gap.

The panel 10, in this case, comprises a central core or substrate 13 which may be of chipboard or the like, and an envelope comprising a top 15 and a base 14 enclosing the core 13. Side walls 17 of the panel 10 are typically inclined at an angle of between 3 and 10 degrees, preferably between 5 and 7 degrees. As shown in Fig. 1, the side walls 17 are inclined outwardly from the base 14 to the top 15 of the panel 10.

In practice, within the limits of the panel production process, there is often tolerance in the geometry of the panel 10, with the tolerance being greatest at the base 14 and the lower portions of the side walls 17. Typically in production, the dimensions which are most carefully controlled are those of the top 15 of the panel 10 since this

traditionally sets the grid and is visible when the floor is laid. The dimensions of the base 14 are often less stringently controlled in both dimension and position, making the base 14 a poor surface from which to datum.

As shown in the drawings, the separator 2 extends upwardly from the pedestal cap 1 and is configured to be positioned between adjacent panels 10 so that it contacts the side walls 17 of the panels 10 near to the top 15 thereof and acts to control the gap between the panels 10.

The separator 2 of the invention has a height of between 7 and 20 times the thickness of the pedestal cap 1, preferably between 10 and 15 times the thickness of the pedestal cap 1.

For a panel 10 having a depth D, the separator 2 has a height > D/2, and preferably >

3 AO.

It has been found that by providing a separator 2 having a relatively high vertical extent, relative to the depth of the panel 10, the effectiveness of the separator 2 is increased since it is designed to contact the panels 10 near the top portion 4 thereof where the tolerance in the geometry of the side walls 17 of the panel 10 is reduced. This ensures that an improved contact is provided between the separator 2 and the adjacent panels 10.

Example

Referring to Figs. 5 (a), 5(b) and 5(c), a pedestal cap 1 according to the invention is shown.

In this case the separator 2 have an overall height of 23mm when measured from the face 8 of the cap 1 and 22mm from the platform portion 9 of the pedestal cap 1.

The pedestal cap 1 has an increased thickness at the raised platform portion 9, for example for a pedestal having a thickness of 1.5 mm, the thickness at the platform portion 9 may be 2.3 to 2.7mm, preferably 2.5mm.

The separator 2 in this case has a height 15 times the thickness of the pedestal cap 1 and substantially 9 times the thickness of the pedestal cap 1 at the platform portion 9 thereof.

Taking the lateral cross-section of the separator 2. At the base thereof the separator 2 has a width of 5mm and tapers inwardly to a width of 2.05mm at the top thereof. Overall the width decreases by 2.95mm from the base to the top, i.e. the width at the top is 41% of the width at the base. Taking the decrease in width of the separator 2 as a percentage of the height of the separator 2, the overall taper from base to top is between 12 and 14 per cent.

Taking the longitudinal cross-section of the separator 2. At the base thereof the separator 2 has a length of 18mm which tapers inwardly to a length of 16 mm at the top thereof, an overall decrease in length by 2mm, i.e. the length at the top is 88% of the length at the base.

As noted above the width of the top portion of the separator 2 is 2.05mm, and in this case the groove 5 has a width of 1.05mm and a depth of 1.5mm.

In this case the separator 2 has a height of 23mm which is suitable for use with a panel 10 having a depth of 30 to 33mm.

The system of the invention provides means for engagement of adjacent panels 10 with the pedestal separator 2 which enables accurate control of the gap between adjacent panels 10 and avoids the problem of adjacent panels 10 touching. This

minimises the risk of squeaking or grinding noises at the joints between panels 10 when personnel walk over the panels 10.

Referring to Figs. 6 to 10 there is illustrated another pedestal cap 30 according to the invention, which is similar to the pedestal cap 1 of Figs. 1 to 4, and similar elements in Figs. 6 to 10 are assigned the same reference numerals.

In this case no groove is provided at the top of the separator 2, as illustrated in Fig. 7.

A metallic plate 31 is coupled to the pedestal cap 1 on the upper side of the raised platform portion 9 (Fig. 6). The plate 31 comprises two securment fingers 32 to couple the plate 31 to the pedestal cap 1. Each finger 32 extends through an opening 33 in the pedestal cap 1 and extends along the underside 7 of the pedestal cap 1 (Fig. 9). In this manner the fingers 32 act as hooks to couple the plate 31 to the pedestal cap 1.

The plate 31 acts as an electrical conductor.

In Fig. 11 there is illustrated another pedestal cap 40 according to the invention, which is similar to the pedestal cap 30 of Figs. 6 to 10, and similar elements in Fig. 11 are assigned the same reference numerals.

In this case the separator 41 has a substantially dumb-bell shape in plan view at the top portion 42. The top portion 42 defines a panel engaging portion 43 at each end of the top portion 42, and a non-engaging portion 44 at the centre of the top portion

42.

In use, the engaging portions 43 engage the adjacent floor panels 10. The non- engaging portion 44 does not engage the floor panels 10. Because the non-engaging portion 44 does not engage the floor panels 10, this facilitates local deformation of

the panels 10. In this manner the pedestal cap 40 facilitates lateral compliance while maintaining the gap between adjacent floor panels 10.

The invention is not limited to the embodiments hereinbefore described, with reference to the accompanying drawings, which may be varied in construction and detail.




 
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