Patent Covers System to Make Acoustic Ceiling Tile Earthquake-Safe
ORANGE, Calif. – Martin Integrated Systems, Inc., an Orange County, California, company that designs and installs specialty ceilings, has been issued U.S. Patent No. 9,127,455, for the Martin Wireless Interstitial Suspension System ("MWISS").
The MWISS is an innovative system to install lay-in acoustic ceiling tile to make it much more stable - and, therefore, safer - during an earthquake. The MWISS also eliminates the need for support wires.
Acoustic ceiling tile is commonly used in offices, commercial and retail buildings, schools and hospitals because it is economical, easy to install, adaptable to different room configurations and allows access to the ceiling plenum. Typically, lay-in ceiling tile is supported by a grid of metal upwardly projecting "T"-shaped members, i.e., the grid into which the ceiling tile is laid. This grid is then attached to the underside of the floor structure above by flexible wires, flexible metal hanging straps and metal posts, creating a significant problem in geographic areas that are prone to earthquakes.
When an earthquake occurs, it sends vibrations through a building. These vibrations move different parts of the building at different rates and in different directions, often crushing or pulling apart conventional ceiling grids. Crushing occurs when opposing walls both move inward, while detachment occurs when opposing walls move away from each other. Either type of damage can result in failure of the ceiling tile grid, causing the grid and tiles to fall onto people in the room below. Even in minor earthquakes, conventional ceiling wires loosen so that they are more likely to fail in an aftershock.
The patented MWISS system uses steel tubular seismic joists that are anchored to the wall studs by a steel track. In turn, rigid steel seismic hangers connect the ceiling tile grid to the seismic joists. As a result, the ceiling tile grid is attached to the walls rigidly, so that it will move with the wall vibrations during an earthquake, rather than sway independently.
Marty Hovivian, the CEO of Martin Integrated, commented on the milestone: "We are delighted by the issuance of this first patent for the MWISS and look forward to continuing to improve public safety in both new and existing buildings in Southern California and other earthquake prone areas."
Structural engineer and inventor Alvin Geller explained, "The MWISS will revolutionize the construction of suspended ceilings, since it integrates the walls and the ceiling assemblies into one rigid system. Component deflections will be minimized due to the mechanical connections employed in the construction. This will result in greater public safety for the occupants of the building during a seismic event."
To date, the MWISS has been installed in the following Southern California hospitals: Clovis Community Medical Center, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Scripps Cardiovascular, Torrance Memorial Medical Center, St. Joseph Children's Hospital in Orange, and Ventura County Medical Center.
Martin Integrated has other patent applications for the MWISS pending and expects a second patent to issue in February.
About Martin Integrated
Martin Integrated, located in Orange County, California, focuses on the design and construction of specialty ceilings, including insulated, acoustical, specialty metal, security and wooden ceilings. Martin Integrated has been recognized repeatedly by the leading industry trade publication, Walls Ceilings Magazine, as one of the "Top 50" contractors in the United States.
Additional information about Martin Integrated can be found at www.martinintegrated.com.
CEO of Martin Integrated
Web Site: http://www.martinintegrated.com