Lateral release mechanism for movable roof panels

  • US 7,594,360 B2
  • Filed: 03/03/2006
  • Issued: 09/29/2009
  • Est. Priority Date: 03/09/2005
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. The system for supporting a large overhead structural member for stable movement with respect to an underlying structure, comprising:

  • first and second transport mechanisms, each of which is constructed and arranged to permit the large overhead structural member to move in a predetermined path with respect to the underlying structure, said transport mechanism comprising a single trolley rail on the underlying structure with no additional rail and a plurality of rail follower wheels on the large overhead structural member that are adapted to ride on said single trolley rail; and

    a lateral release system for each of said transport mechanism, interposed between said rail follower wheels and the large overhead structural member, for maintaining the transport mechanism in a predetermined orientation while simultaneously permitting a limited amount of movement of the large overhead structural member in a direction that is nonparallel to said predetermined path, wherein said system transmits a very small side load to said single trolley rail with no need for additional lateral reinforcement, said lateral release system comprising a linear slide bearing.

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