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Title:
A SET OF PANELS COMPRISING A FLEXING GROOVE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/059176
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A set of panels includes first and second panels 1, 2, and a mechanical locking device for assembly by vertical relative displacement of the panels. A locking strip 7 extends from a first edge 11 of the first panel in a direction parallel to first and second panel surfaces of the first panel. The locking strip includes a locking strip edge, and first and second locking strip surfaces respectively extending in directions substantially corresponding to those of the first and second panel surfaces 12, 13. The locking strip includes a locking element 3 cooperating with a locking groove at a second edge of the second panel for locking in a direction parallel to the first panel surface 12. Opposite edges respectively include cooperating tongue and tongue groove 5, 6 for vertical locking. The first and second edges respectively include first and second engaging positioning elements 18, 28 to decrease vertical movement of the panels in the locked position. Moreover, the set of panels has a thickness Q and comprises a flexing groove arranged with a width T so that the ratio of Q and T is in an interval of 0.05-0.40.

Inventors:
YLIKANGAS ROGER (SE)
MEIJER THOMAS (SE)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2020/058921
Publication Date:
April 01, 2021
Filing Date:
September 24, 2020
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
VAELINGE INNOVATION AB (SE)
International Classes:
E04F15/02
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ENGSTRAND, Ola (SE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A set of panels comprising a first panel (1), a second panel (2) and a mechanical locking device for locking the first panel (1) to the second panel (2), the mechanical locking device being configured for an assembly by a displacement of the second panel (2) in relation to the first panel (1) in a vertical direction to obtain a locked position of the first panel (1) and the second panel (2), wherein the first panel (1) comprises a first edge (11), a first panel surface (12) and a second panel surface (13) and the second panel (2) comprises a second edge (21), wherein the mechanical locking device comprises a locking strip (7) extending from the first edge (11) in a direction parallel to the first and second panel surfaces (12, 13), wherein the locking strip (7) comprises a locking strip edge (71), wherein the locking strip (7) comprises a first locking strip surface (72) extending in a direction substantially corresponding to the direction of the first panel surface (12) of the first panel (1), wherein the locking strip (7) comprises a second locking strip surface (73) extending in a direction substantially corresponding to direction of the second panel surface (13) of the first panel (1), wherein the locking strip (7) comprises a locking element (3) configured to cooperate with a locking groove (4) at the second edge (21) of the second panel (2) for locking in a direction parallel to the first panel surface (12), wherein one of the first or second edge (11, 21) comprises a tongue (5) configured to cooperate with a tongue groove (6) at the other one of the first or second edge (11 , 21) for locking in a vertical direction, characterized in that the first edge (11) comprises a first positioning element (18) and a second edge (21) comprises a second positioning element (28), the first and second positioning elements being configured to engage with each other and decrease vertical movement of the second panel relative to the first panel toward the second panel surface (13) in the locked position, that the mechanical locking device comprises a first flexing groove (8) extending from a transition between the first locking strip surface (72) and the first edge (11) and into the first panel (1) at a third angle (a) from the first panel surface (12), and that the locking strip is configured to flex by varying a shape of the first flexing groove (8) during the assembly, and that the ratio between a width (T) of an opening of the first flexing groove (8) and a thickness (Q) of the first panel (1) between the first panel surface (12) and the second panel surface (13) is within the range of about 0.05 to about 0.40, preferably about 0.1 to about 0.3, more preferably about 0.15-0.20.

2. The set of panels as claimed in claim 1, wherein the first and second positioning elements (18, 28) have corresponding engaging surfaces, and wherein a first angle(61) between the engaging surfaces of the first positioning element, and a second angle (d2) between the engaging surfaces of the second positioning element, are both about 90°.

3. The set of panels as claimed in claims 1-2, wherein the first positioning element (18) is located on a portion of the first edge (11), preferably located between the first panel surface (12) and the tongue (5) or tongue groove (6).

4. The set of panels as claimed in claim 3, wherein the second positioning element (28) is located on a corresponding portion of the second edge (21).

5. The set of panels as claimed in claims 1-2, wherein the first positioning element (18) is located on the tongue groove (6) and the second positioning element is located on the tongue (5).

6. The set of panels as claimed in claim 5, wherein the first positioning element is formed by the tongue groove (6) and the second positioning element is formed by the tongue (5).

7. The set of panels as claimed in claims 1-2, wherein the first positioning element (18) is located on the first locking strip surface (72).

8. The set of panels as claimed in claim 7, wherein the first positioning element is formed by the first locking strip surface (72) and an adjusting wall (75) of the locking element (3).

9. The set of panels as claimed in any one of the claims 1-8, wherein the third angle (a) is within the range of about 0° to about 30°, preferably within the range of about 0° to about 20°, more preferably within the range of about 0° to about 10°, even more preferably within the range of about 0° to about 5°. 10. The set of panels as claimed in any one of the claims 1-9, wherein the width (T) of the opening of the first flexing groove (8) is within the range of about 0.6 mm to about 2.5 mm, preferably about 0.8 mm to about 2.0 mm, more preferably about 1.6 mm.

11. The set of panels as claimed in any one of the claims 1-10 wherein the first flexing groove (8) has a depth (D) that is within the range of about 2.5 mm to about 15 mm, preferably about 4 mm to about 12 mm, more preferably about 5 mm to about 10 mm, even more preferably about 7 mm.

12. The set of panels as claimed in claim 11 , wherein the ratio between the depth (D) of the first flexing groove (8) and the width (T) of the first flexing groove (8) is about 2 to about 10, preferably about 3 to about 7, more preferably about 4.

13. The set of panels as claimed in any one of the claims 1-12, wherein the first flexing groove (8) has a bottom (81), the bottom is preferably convex shaped.

14. The set of panels as claimed in any one of the claims 1-13, wherein the first locking strip surface (72) has a length (Z) that is within the range of about 2 mm to about 10 mm, preferably about 3 mm to about 5 mm, more preferably about 4 mm.

15. The set of panels as claimed in claim 14, wherein the ratio between the length (Z) of the first locking strip surface (72) and the width (T) of the opening of the first flexing groove (8) is within the range of about 1 to about 6, preferably about 2 to about 5, or preferably about 2.5 mm.

16. The set of panels as claimed in any one of the claims 1-15, wherein a locking element (3) is chamfered, beveled or arch-shaped.

17. The set of panels as claimed in any one of the claims 1- 16, wherein the locking strip (7) comprises a second flexing groove (9) extending from the locking strip edge (71) into the locking strip (7), and that the locking strip is configured to flex by varying a shape of the second flexing groove (9) during the assembly.

18. The set of panels as claimed in any one of the claims 1-17, wherein the locking strip edge (71) is beveled or curved.

19. The set of panels as claimed in any one of the claims 1- 18, wherein the panels are floor panels or wall panels.

Description:
A SET OF PANELS COMPRISING A FLEXING GROOVE

Technical field of the invention

Embodiments of the present invention relate to panels configured to be locked together with a mechanical locking device. The panels may be floorboards to be locked together to obtain a floor product.

Technical background

Panels are known that are configured to be assembled by a vertical displacement and to be locked together in a vertical direction and in a horizontal direction. Such panels are disclosed in e.g., WO 2018/063047. A tongue and groove connection locks a first edge of a first panel to a second edge of the second panel. The first edge and the second edge furthermore comprise a locking element configured to cooperate with a locking groove for locking in the vertical direction and the horizontal direction.

The above description of various known aspects is the applicant’s characterization of such, and is not an admission that any of the above description is considered as prior art.

Embodiments of the present invention address a need to provide panels that can be easily assembled.

Summary of the invention

It is an object of certain aspects of the present invention to provide an improvement over the above described techniques and known art.

A further object of at least certain aspects of the present invention is to facilitate the assembling of panels configured to be assembled by a vertical displacement and locked together in the vertical direction and the horizontal direction.

A further object of at least certain aspects of the present invention is to improve the properties of the assembled set of the panels when is use, such as by minimizing undesired sound occurring when a pressure is applied on the assembled set.

According to an aspect there is provided a set of panels comprising a first panel, a second panel and a mechanical locking device for locking the first panel to the second panel, the mechanical locking device being configured for an assembly by a displacement of the second panel in relation to the first panel in a vertical direction to obtain a locked position of the first panel and the second panel, wherein the first panel comprises a first edge, a first panel surface and a second panel surface and the second panel comprises a second edge, wherein the mechanical locking device comprises a locking strip extending from the first edge in a direction parallel to the first and second panel surfaces, wherein the locking strip comprises a locking strip edge, wherein the locking strip comprises a first locking strip surface extending in a direction substantially corresponding to the direction of the first panel surface of the first panel, wherein the locking strip comprises a second locking strip surface extending in a direction substantially corresponding to direction of the second panel surface of the first panel, wherein the locking strip comprises a locking element configured to cooperate with a locking groove at the second edge of the second panel for locking in a direction parallel to the first panel surface, wherein one of the first or second edge comprises a tongue configured to cooperate with a tongue groove at the other one of the first or second edge for locking in a vertical direction, characterized in the first edge comprises a first positioning element and a second edge comprises a second positioning element, the first and second positioning elements being configured to engage with each other and decrease vertical movement of the second panel relative to the first panel toward the second panel surface in the locked position.

According to another aspect there is provided the set of panels, wherein the first and second positioning elements have corresponding engaging surfaces, and wherein a first angle between the engaging surface of the first positioning element, and a second angle between the engaging surfaces of the second positioning element, are both about 90°.

According to another aspect there is provided the set of panels, wherein the first positioning element is located on a portion of the first edge, preferably located between the first panel surface and the tongue or tongue groove.

According to another aspect there is provided the set of panels, wherein the second positioning element is located on a corresponding portion of the second edge.

According to another aspect there is provided the set of panels, wherein the first positioning element is located on the tongue groove and the second positioning element is located on the tongue. According to another aspect there is provided the set of panels, wherein the first positioning element is formed by the tongue groove and the second positioning element is formed by the tongue.

According to another aspect there is provided the set of panels, wherein the first positioning element is located on the first locking strip surface.

According to another aspect there is provided the set of panels, wherein the first positioning element is formed by the first locking strip surface and an adjusting wall of the locking element.

According to another aspect there is provided the set of panels, wherein the mechanical locking device comprises a first flexing groove extending from a transition between the first locking strip surface and the first edge and into the first panel at a third angle from the first panel surface, and that the locking strip is configured to flex by varying a shape of the first flexing groove during the assembly, thereby increasing a flexibility of the locking strip during the assembly.

According to another aspect there is provided the set of panels, wherein the third angle a is within the range of about 0° to about 30°, preferably within the range of about 0° to about 20°, more preferably within the range of about 0° to about 10°, even more preferably within the range of about 0° to about 5°.

According to another aspect there is provided the set of panels, wherein an opening of the first flexing groove has a width T.

According to another aspect there is provided the set of panels, wherein the width T of the opening of the first flexing groove is within the range of about 0.6 mm to about 2.5 mm, preferably about 0.8 mm to about 2.0 mm, more preferably about 1.6 mm.

According to another aspect there is provided the set of panels, wherein the ratio between the width T of the opening of the first flexing groove and a thickness Q of the first panel between the first panel surface and the second panel surface is within the range of about 0.05 to about 0.40, preferably about 0.1 to about 0.3, more preferably about 0.15-0.20.

According to another aspect there is provided the set of panels, wherein the first flexing groove has a depth D that is within the range of about 2.5 mm to about 15 mm, preferably about 4 mm to about 12 mm, more preferably about 5 mm to about 10 mm, even more preferably about 7 mm.

According to another aspect there is provided the set of panels, wherein the ratio between the depth D of the first flexing groove and the width T of the first flexing groove is about 2 to about 10, preferably about 3 to about 7, more preferably about 4 mm.

According to another aspect there is provided the set of panels, wherein the groove has a bottom, the bottom is preferably convex shaped.

According to another aspect there is provided the set of panels, wherein the first locking strip surface has a length Z that is within the range of about 2 mm to about 10 mm, preferably about 3 mm to about 5 mm, more preferably about 4 mm.

According to another aspect there is provided the set of panels, wherein the ratio between the length Z of the first locking strip surface and the width T of the opening of the first flexing groove is within the range of about 1 to about 6, preferably about 2 to about 5, or preferably about 2.5 mm.

According to an aspect there is provided the set of panels, wherein the locking element is chamfered, beveled or arch-shaped.

According to another aspect there is provided the set of panels, wherein the locking strip comprises a second flexing groove extending from the locking strip edge surface into the locking strip, and the locking strip is configured to flex by varying a shape of the second flexing groove during the assembly, thereby increasing a flexibility of the locking strip during the assembly.

According to another aspect there is provided the set of panels, wherein the locking strip edge is beveled or curved.

According to another aspect there is provided the set of panels, wherein the panels are floor panels or wall panels.

According to an aspect the core of the first panel and/or of the second panel may be a wood-based core, preferably made of MDF, HDF, OSB, WPC, plywood or particleboard. The core may also be a plastic core comprising thermosetting plastic or thermoplastic e.g., vinyl, PVC, PU or PET. The plastic core may comprise fillers. The core may also be mineral based board which may comprise e.g., MgO.

The first panel and/or the second panel may also be of solid wood. The first panel and/or the second panel may be provided with a decorative layer, such as a foil or a veneer, on one or more surfaces.

Brief description of the drawings

These and other aspects, features and advantages of which embodiments of the invention are capable of, will be apparent and elucidated from the following description of embodiments and aspects of the present invention, reference being made to the accompanying drawings.

FIGS. 1A and 1B each show a side view of a set of illustrative panels in an assembled state, using positional elements.

FIGS. 2A - 2C each show a side view of an illustrative first panel comprising a first positioning element and an illustrative second panel comprising a second positioning elements, wherein FIG. 2A is a side view of the panels in an assembled state, and FIGS. 2B-2C are side views during assembling. The first positioning element is located on a portion of the first edge between the first panel surface and the tongue groove. FIG. 2C shows an enlargement of the encircled area shown in FIG. 2A, during assembling.

FIGS. 3A-3C each show a side view of a set of illustrative panels wherein a first positioning element is positioned on a tongue groove 6 and a second positioning element is positioned on a tongue 5. FIG. 3A is a side view of unassembled panels. FIG. 3B is the same embodiment in the assembled state. FIG. 3C is an enlargement of the section wherein the first and second positioning elements are located on the tongue groove and the tongue respectively.

FIGS. 4A-4C each show a side view of a set of illustrative panels wherein a first positioning element 18 is located on the first locking strip surface 72. FIG. 4A is a side view of unassembled panels. FIG.4B is the same embodiment in an assembled state. FIG. 4C shows a side view of a set of the panels according to another embodiment wherein a first positioning is located on the first locking strip surface 72.

FIGS. 5A-5B each show a side view of a set of illustrative panels comprising a first flexing groove 8 extending at a third angle a from the first panel surface. FIG. 5A is a view in an unassembled state and FIG.5 B shows the same embodiment in the assembled state. FIG. 6 shows a side view of a set of illustrative panels in an assembled state wherein the dimensions of the first flexing groove 8 are disclosed.

FIG. 7 shows a side view of set of illustrative panels in an assembled state wherein the locking element is arch shaped and H1 is a height of the locking element 3 and H2 is a height of the groove 4.

FIG. 8A-8D each show a side view of a set of illustrative panels in an assembled state, wherein the first groove surface 41 is beveled. FIGS. 8A, 8B and 8D show different illustrative embodiments of the second flexing groove.

Detailed description

Specific embodiments of the invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings. This invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein; rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art. The terminology used in the detailed description of the embodiments illustrated in the accompanying drawings is not intended to be limiting of the invention. In the drawings, like numbers refer to like elements.

The terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular aspects of the disclosure only, and is not intended to limit the disclosure. As used herein, the singular forms "a", "an" and "the" are intended to include the plural forms as well, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

It should be noted that the word “comprising” does not necessarily exclude the presence of other elements or steps than those listed and the words “a” or “an” preceding an element do not exclude the presence of a plurality of such elements. It should further be noted that any reference signs do not limit the scope of the claims, that the example aspects may be implemented at least in part by means of both hardware and software, and that several “means”, “units” or “devices” may be represented by the same item of hardware.

The different aspects, alternatives and embodiments of the invention disclosed herein can be combined with one or more of the other aspects, alternatives and embodiments described herein. Two or more aspects can be combined. A first aspect of the invention is shown, e.g., in FIGS. 1A-1 B, which show a set of panels comprising a first panel 1 , a second panel 2 and a mechanical locking device for locking the first panel 1 to the second panel 2. The mechanical locking device is configured for an assembly by a displacement of the second panel 2 in relation to the first panel 1 in a vertical direction to obtain a locked position of the first panel 1 and the second panel 2. The first panel 1 comprises a first edge 11 , a first panel surface 12, and a second panel surface 13. The second panel 2 comprises a second edge 21.

The mechanical locking device comprises a locking strip 7 extending from the first edge 11 in a direction parallel to the first and second panel surfaces 12, 13. The locking strip 7 comprises a locking strip edge 71. The locking strip 7 comprises a first locking strip surface 72 extending in a direction substantially corresponding to the direction of the first panel surface 12 of the first panel 1. By “substantially corresponding” it is meant that the noted directions may form an angle within a range of +/- 10 degrees. The locking strip 7 comprises a second locking strip surface 73 extending in a direction substantially corresponding to direction of the second panel surface 13 of the first panel 1. The locking strip 7 comprises a locking element 3 configured to cooperate with a locking groove 4 at the second edge 21 of the second panel 2 for locking in a direction parallel to the first panel surface 12. The first or second edge 11, 21 comprises a tongue 5 configured to cooperate with a tongue groove 6 at the opposite first or second edge 11, 21 for locking in a vertical direction. The first edge 11 further comprises a first positioning element 18 and the second edge 21 comprises a second positioning element 28. The first and second positioning elements 18, 28 are configured to engage with each other and decrease the vertical movement of the second panel 2 relative to the first panel 1 toward the second panel surface 13 in the locked position.

This can be beneficial when panels slightly differ in height or when a flexibility of some portions of the locking element needs to be compensated for by positioning the second panel 2 relative the first panel 1 correctly. Such positioning can provide additional benefits, such as decreasing noise when the panel is in use. Such a noise may occur when assembled panels 1 and 2 move during use causing a temporarily displacement of portions of the locking element in relation to each other when the pressure is applied. Sometimes such displacement can lead to a noise, for example squeaking nose, which is not pleasant for a consumer. Above shortcomings can be at least partially overcome by providing positioning elements in accordance with any or all embodiments of the invention.

The locking strip may be integrally formed by the first panel, preferably by the core of the first panel. The tongue and the tongue groove are preferably integrally formed by the first and the second panel respectively, most preferably formed by the core.

The core of the first panel 1 and/or of the second panel 2 may be a wood-based core, preferably made of MDF, HDF, OSB, WPC, plywood or particleboard. The core may also be a plastic core comprising thermosetting plastic or thermoplastic e.g., vinyl, PVC, PU or PET. The plastic core may comprise fillers and or colour particles, and/or wear resistant particles. The filler may be one or more wood fibre and or glass fibre. The core may also be mineral based board which may comprise e.g., MgO.

The first panel 1 and/or the second panel 2 may also be of solid wood.

The first panel 1 and/or the second panel 2 may be provided with a decorative layer, such as a foil or a veneer, on one or more surfaces.

A second aspect of the invention is shown, e.g., in FIGS. 2A-2B, which show a set of panels comprising first and second positioning elements 18, 28. The first and the second positioning elements 18, 28 have corresponding engaging surfaces. A first angle d1 between the engaging surfaces of the first positioning element, and a second angle d2 between the engaging surfaces of the second positioning element, are both about 90°.

It shall be understood that the term “about” includes a margin for a measurement error which may be between 1° and 3°.

As shown in FIG. 2C, the first positioning element 18 has corresponding engaging surfaces S11 and S12, forming a first angle d1. The engaging surface S11 has a length LS11 , which may be in the range of about 0.5 mm to about 3 mm. The engaging surface S12 has a length LS12 which may be in the range of about 0.3 to about 2,5mm.

The second positioning element 28 has corresponding engaging surfaces S21 and S22, forming a second angle d2. Engaging surface S21 has a length LS21, and engaging surface S22 has a length LS22.

The length LS11 of the engaging surface S11 may be the same as the length LS21 of the engaging surface S21. This can help maintain a co-planar relationship between the top surfaces of the panels. The length LS12 of the engaging surface S12 may be the same as the length LS22 of the engaging surface S22. This can help minimize a visible gap between the top surfaces of the panels.

A 90° angle between engaging surfaces as exemplified in FIG. 2B can contribute to holding the locking element in a predefined position, in particular positioning the second panel 2 at a predefined portion of the first panel 1 and providing a fixed point for the flexible elements in a locked position.

An aspect of placing of the first and the second positioning elements 18, 28 is, e.g., shown in FIG. 2A. The first positioning element 18 is located on a portion of the first edge 11 , preferably located between the first panel surface 12 and the tongue 5 or the tongue groove 6. In addition to the advantage discussed above, a further advantage of this embodiment can be that the panels 1, 2 can be positioned in relation to each other close to the first panel surface 12 which would be typically visible to the consumer. A tight contact at a visible surface area of the set can be formed, thereby providing a smooth surface at a junction between the first panel and the second panel.

In another aspect of the invention, the first positioning element 18 may be located on a portion of the first edge 11 , preferably located between the first panel surface 12 and the tongue 5 or tongue groove 6. The second positioning element 28 is located on a corresponding portion of the second edge 21.

Another aspect of the location of the first and second positioning elements 18, 19 is shown in FIGS. 3A-3C. The first positioning element 18 may be located on the tongue groove 6 and the second positioning element 28 may be located on the tongue 5.

In a preferred embodiment, the first positioning element 18 may be formed by the tongue groove 6 and the second positioning element 28 may be formed by the tongue 5.

When the positioning elements 18, 28 are respectively positioned on a tongue groove 6 and a tongue 5, a potential advantage is that the flexible parts of the panels 1, 2 can be more precisely positioned in relation to each other during assembling. This can allow for an easy and precise assembling of the panels. Additional benefits can be apparent when the panels are in a locked position. For example, noise occurring when the vertical pressure is applied on the assembled panels during use can be decreased. Such a noise may occur when assembled panels 1 and 2 move during use, causing a temporarily displacement of flexible portions of the locking element in relation to each other when the pressure is applied. Sometimes such displacement can lead to a noise, for example squeaking nose, which is not pleasant for a consumer.

Another aspect of the location of the first and second positioning elements 18, 28 is shown in FIGS. 4A-4B, wherein the first positioning element 18 is located on the first locking strip surface 72. At least one engaging surface of the first positioning element 18 and a corresponding engaging surface of the second positioning element 28 are located in a plane corresponding to a plane of the first panel surface 12 and the second panel surface 13.

In another aspect of the disclosure the first positioning element 18 is formed by the first locking strip surface 72 and the adjusting wall 75 of the locking element 3.

One cooperative surface of the first positioning element 18 is located in a plane substantially perpendicular to the first panel surface 12.

One engaging surface of the second positioning element 18 may be located in a plane substantially perpendicular to the first panel surface 12 and/or the second panel surface 13, and may be formed by a wall of the locking groove 4.

FIG. 4C shows another embodiment wherein the first positioning element 18 is located on a first locking strip surface 72 between a first flexing groove 8 and the locking strip 7.

As shown for example in FIGS. 5A-5B, in another aspect the mechanical locking device comprises a first flexing groove 8 extending from a transition between the first locking strip surface 72 and the first edge 11 and into the first panel 1 at a third angle a from the first panel surface 12. The locking strip 7 is configured to flex by varying a shape of the first flexing groove 8 during the assembly, thereby increasing a flexibility of the locking strip 7 during the assembly in the direction of the second panel surface 12. This can make panels easy to assemble.

Due to the presence of the positioning elements 18, 28 the second panel may be positioned at a predetermined position relative to the first panel during assembling of the panel set, even if flexibility of the panels is increased. Further, a temporally displacement of the panels or portions of the locking elements of the assembled panel set can be minimized, in particular, when a pressure is applied in a vertical direction 10, when the panels are in the locked position. In another aspect the third angle a may be within the range of about 0° to about 30°, preferably within the range of about 0° to about 20°, more preferably within the range of about 0° to about 10°, even more preferably within the range of about 0° to about 5°. A smaller third angle a may be preferred for panels with a smaller thickness Q to allow for a first flexing groove 8 with a greater depth D.

As shown for example in Fig. 6, in another aspect an opening of the first flexing groove 8 has a width T.

The width T of the opening of the first flexing groove 8 may be within the range of about 0.6 mm to about 2.5 mm, preferably about 0.8 mm to about 2.0 mm, more preferably about 1.6 mm. The values are high enough to allow an easy assembling and low enough to allow a sufficient locking strength. A width T of 2 mm may provide an easier assembling and width T of 0.6 mm may provide a higher locking strength. The preferred value can depend on e.g. the material of the locking strip. A greater width may have the advantage that the risk for cracks are reduced, particularly for brittle materials, such as HDF and plastic material with a high amount of fillers.

In another embodiment the ratio between the width T of the opening of the first flexing groove 8 and a thickness Q of the first panel 1 between the first panel surface 12 and the second panel surface 13 is within the range of about 0.05 to about 0.40, preferably about 0.1 to about 0.3, more preferably about 0.15-0.20. The ratios are high enough to allow an easy assembling and low enough to allow a sufficient locking strength. A ratio of 0.4 may provide an easier assembling and a ratio of 0.05 may provide a higher locking strength. The preferred value can depend on e.g. the material of the locking strip. A greater ratio may have the advantage that the risk for cracks are reduced, particularly for brittle materials, such as HDF and plastic material with a high amount of fillers.

In another embodiment the first flexing groove 8 has a depth D. The depth D that is within the range of about 2.5 mm to about 15 mm, preferably about 4 mm to about 12 mm, more preferably about 5 mm to about 10 mm, even more preferably about 7 mm. The values are high enough to allow an easy assembling and low enough to allow a sufficient locking strength. A depth D of 15 mm may provide an easier assembling and depth D of 2.5 mm may provide a higher locking strength. The preferred value can depend on e.g. the material of the locking strip. In another embodiment the ratio between the depth D of the first flexing groove 8 and the width T of the groove 8 is about 2 to about 10, preferably about 3 to about 7, more preferably about 4. The ratios are high enough to allow an easy assembling and low enough to allow a sufficient locking strength. A ratio of 10 may provide an easier assembling and a ratio of 2 may provide a higher locking strength. The preferred value can depend on e.g. the material of the locking strip.

In another embodiment the first flexing groove 8 has a bottom 81, and the bottom is preferably convex shaped. A convex shape may have the advantage that the risk for cracks are reduced, particularly for brittle materials, such as HDF and plastic material with a high amount of fillers.

In one aspect of the invention the bottom 81 of the first flexing groove 8 may be essentially arch shaped. An arch shaped bottom 81 may have the advantage that the risk for cracks are reduced, particularly for brittle materials, such as HDF and plastic material with a high amount of fillers.

In one aspect the bottom 81 of the first flexing groove 8 may be essentially triangular.

In one aspect a cross-sectional shape of the first flexing groove 8 may be essentially rectangular or square.

In another embodiment the first locking strip surface 72 has a length Z that may be within the range of about 2 mm to about 10 mm, preferably about 3 mm to about 5 mm, more preferably about 4 mm.

In another embodiment the ratio between the length Z of the first locking strip surface 72 and the width T of the opening of the groove 8 may be within the range of about 1 to about 6, preferably about 2 to about 5, or preferably about 2.5.

In one embodiment a locking element 3 is chamfered beveled or arch-shaped. An embodiment wherein a locking element 3 is arch-shaped is shown on FIG. 7. A skilled person would understand how to form the locking element to be chamfered or beveled.

As shown for example in FIG. 7, the locking element has a height H1 measured from the second panel surface 12 to the highest point of the locking element in a direction substantially perpendicular to the first panel surface 12 and/or the second panel surface 13. The groove 4 has a height H2, measured from the second panel surface 12 to the highest point of the groove 4 in a direction substantially perpendicular to the first panel surface 12 and/or second panel surface 13.

In one embodiment the difference between the height H2 of the groove 4 and the height H1 of the locking element 3 may be in the range of about 0 to about 2 mm, or in the range of about 0.2 mm to about 1 mm, or about 0.5mm.

In one embodiment the locking strip 7 comprises a second flexing groove 9, as shown for example in FIGS. 8A, B and D, extending from the locking strip edge 71 into the locking strip 7. The second flexing groove 9 is configured to further increase a flexibility of the locking strip 7 during the assembly. The illustrative embodiment shown in FIG. 8C is free of a second flexing groove 9.

The second flexing groove 9 may be positioned on a lower portion of the locking strip edge 71 adjacent to the bottom surface of the locking strip 73.

The second flexing groove 9 may be positioned such that it extends into the body of the locking strip 7, as shown for example in FIG. 8B.

In an embodiment the second flexing groove 9 may extend into the locking strip 7 in a plane substantially corresponding to the first and the second panel surface 12, 13, as also shown for example in FIG. 8B.

In another embodiment the second flexing groove may be arch-shaped, as shown for example in FIG. 8D.

In another embodiment the locking strip edge 71 is beveled or curved.

A first groove element surface 41 may be beveled.

The first groove element surface 41 shape may be combined with any embodiment of the first flexing groove 8 and/or second flexing groove 9.

All the embodiments of the first groove element surface 41 and the first and second flexing grooves 8, 9 may be combined with any embodiments of the first and the second positioning elements.

In some embodiments the panels are floor panels or wall panels.

In an embodiment the first panel 1 and the second panel 2 are preferably floorboards configured to be locked together to obtain a floor product. In an embodiment the first panel 1 and the second panel 2 are wall panels to be locked together to obtain a wall product.

The first panel 1 and the second panel 2 may be of a rectangular shape.

The first panel 1 may comprise an edge opposite the first edge which is essentially identical to the second edge of the second panel 2.

The second panel 2 may comprise an edge opposite the second edge which is essentially identical to the first edge of the first panel 1.

The first edge and the second edge may be short edges of the first panel and the second panel.

The assembling may also comprise an angling motion along a long side of the first and or the second panel.

Further embodiments of the disclosure are described below:

1. A set of panels comprising a first panel (1), a second panel (2) and a mechanical locking device for locking the first panel (1) to the second panel (2), the mechanical locking device being configured for an assembly by a displacement of the second panel (2) in relation to the first panel (1) in a vertical direction to obtain a locked position of the first panel (1) and the second panel (2), wherein the first panel (1) comprises a first edge (11) , a first panel surface (12) and a second panel surface (13) and the second panel (2) comprises a second edge (21), wherein the mechanical locking device comprises a locking strip (7) extending from the first edge (11) in a direction parallel to the first and second panel surfaces (12, 13), wherein the locking strip (7) comprises a locking strip edge (71), wherein the locking strip (7) comprises a first locking strip surface (72) extending in a direction substantially corresponding to the direction of the first panel surface (12) of the first panel (1), wherein the locking strip (7) comprises a second locking strip surface (73) extending in a direction substantially corresponding to direction of the second panel surface (13) of the first panel (1), wherein the locking strip (7) comprises a locking element (3) configured to cooperate with a locking groove (4) at the second edge (21) of the second panel (2) for locking in a direction parallel to the first panel surface (12), wherein one of the first or second edge (11, 21) comprises a tongue (5) configured to cooperate with a tongue groove (6) at the other one of the first or second edge (11 , 21) for locking in a vertical direction, wherein the first edge (11) comprises a first positioning element (18) and a second edge (21) comprises a second positioning element (28), the first and second positioning elements (18, 28) being configured to engage with each other and decrease the vertical movement of the second panel (2) relative to the first panel (1) toward the second panel surface (13) in the locked position.

2. The set of panels as described in embodiment 1, wherein the first and second positioning elements (18, 28) have corresponding engaging surfaces, and wherein a first angle (d1) between the engaging surfaces of the first positioning element, and a second angle (d2) between the engaging surfaces of the second positioning element, are both about 90°.

3. The set of panels as described in embodiments 1 or 2, wherein the first positioning element (18) is located on a portion of the first edge (11), preferably located between the first panel surface (12) and the tongue (5) or tongue groove (6). 4. The set of panels as described in embodiment 3, wherein the second positioning element (28) is located on a corresponding portion of the second edge (21).

5. The set of panels as described in embodiments 1 or 2, wherein the first positioning element (18) is located on the tongue groove (6) and the second positioning element is located on the tongue (5). 6. The set of panels as described in embodiment 5, wherein the first positioning element is formed by the tongue groove (6) and the second positioning element is formed by the tongue (5).

7. The set of panels as described in embodiments 1 or 2, wherein the first positioning element (18) is located on the first locking strip surface (72). 8. The set of panels as described in embodiment 7, wherein the first positioning element is formed by the first locking strip surface (72) and an adjusting wall (75) of the locking element (3).

9. The set of panels as described in any one of the embodiments 1-8, wherein the mechanical locking device comprises a first flexing groove (8) extending from a transition between the first locking strip surface (72) and the first edge (11) and into the first panel (1) at a third angle (a) from the first panel surface (12), and that the locking strip (7) is configured to flex by varying a shape of the first flexing groove (8) during the assembly, thereby increasing a flexibility of the locking strip (7) during the assembly in the direction of the second panel surface (13).

10. The set of panels as described in embodiment 9, wherein the third angle (a) is within the range of about 0° to about 30°, preferably within the range of about 0° to about 20°, more preferably within the range of about 0° to about 10°, even more preferably within the range of about 0° to about 5°.

11. The set of panels as described in embodiment 9 or embodiment 10, wherein an opening of the first flexing groove (8) has a width (T).

12. The set of panels as described in embodiment 11, wherein the width (T) of the opening of the first flexing groove (8) is within the range of about 0.6 mm to about 2.5 mm, preferably about 0.8 mm to about 2.0 mm, more preferably about 1.6 mm.

13. The set of panels as described in any one of the embodiment embodiments 9-12, wherein the ratio between the width (T) of the opening of the first flexing groove (8) and a thickness (Q) of the first panel (1) between the first panel surface (12) and the second panel surface (13) is within the range of about 0.05 to about 0.40, preferably about 0.1 to about 0.3, more preferably about 0.15-0.20.

14. The set of panels as described in any one of the embodiment embodiments 9-13, wherein the first flexing groove (8) has a depth (D) that is within the range of about 2.5 mm to about 15 mm, preferably about 4 mm to about 12 mm, more preferably about 5 mm to about 10 mm, even more preferably about 7 mm.

15. The set of panels as described in embodiment 14, wherein the ratio between the depth (D) of the first flexing groove (8) and the width (T) of the first flexing groove (8) is about 2 to about 10, preferably about 3 to about 7, more preferably about 4. 16. The set of panels as described in any one of the embodiment embodiments 9-15, wherein the first flexing groove (8) has a bottom (81), and the bottom is preferably convex shaped.

17. The set of panels as described in any one of the embodiments 1-16, wherein the first locking strip surface (72) has a length (Z) that is within the range of about 2 mm to about

10 mm, preferably about 3 mm to about 5 mm, more preferably about 4 mm.

18. The set of panels as described in embodiment 17, wherein the ratio between the length (Z) of the first locking strip surface (72) and the width (T) of the opening of the first flexing groove (8) is within the range of about 1 to about 6, preferably about 2 to about 5, or preferably about 2.5 mm.

19. The set of panels as described in any one of the embodiments 1-17, wherein the locking element (3) is chamfered, beveled or arch-shaped.

20. The set of panels as described in any one of the embodiments 1-18, wherein the locking strip (7) comprises a second flexing groove (9) extending from the locking strip edge (71) into the locking strip (7), and the locking strip (7) is configured to flex by varying a shape of the second flexing groove (9) during the assembly, thereby increasing a flexibility of the locking strip (7) during the assembly.

21. The set of panels as described in any one of the embodiments 1-20, wherein the locking strip edge (71) is beveled or curved. 22. The set of panels as described in any one of the embodiments 1-21, wherein the panels are floor panels or wall panels.