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Modular self-locking panel

Image Number 5 for United States Patent #5360263.

Self-locking panels connectable in a closed polygon in which each panel has opposing connecting edges and end edges with a plurality of first locking elements (1) spaced along one connecting edge and corresponding first locking element receivers (20) spaced along the other connecting edges to connect adjacent panels to prevent their separation in first and second directions orthogonal to their line of connection. Each panel also has a first backstop (30) along one connecting edge and a first backstop receiver (40) along the other connecting edge to prevent displacement of the connecting edge of one of the adjacent connected panels in the second direction. Further, each panel has a second locking element (50) adjacent one of the connecting edges and corresponding second locking element receiver (60) adjacent the other connecting edge to connect adjacent panels to prevent their relative displacement in a direction parallel to the line of connection. A third locking element (30, 70) along one of the connecting edges of one panel fits the connecting edge of the adjacent panel to prevent rotation of the adjacent panel inwardly of the polygon around the connection line. An elastically deformable member (80) is engaged between one of the connecting edges of one panel and the structure of the other of the adjacent panels to urge the latter in a direction orthogonal to the connection line and pushes the adjacent panels in a spaced apart relationship relative to the connection line.

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