Though wooden doors have their place in modern building, steel doors are the choice when safety, fire protection and thermal insulation are important. Certain buildings may require safety from intruders. A number of heavy duty safety doors are bulletproof. Other buildings, such as shelters may need a stronger door for protection against a tornado, hurricanes or other elements. Others may need fire protection. With steel doors, fire protection is rated by the UL in terms of hours of protection. The longer the door can withstand high heat, the higher the rating.
A quality metal door is normally a hollow shell composed of sheet metal, stainless steel or galvanized steel. The thickness or gauge of the steel varies depending on the needs of the building owner. Lightweight doors can use sheet metal as thin as 20 gauge metal. Standard duty doors are thicker and heavy duty doors can utilize metal as thick as 14 gauge. For thermal properties and noise reduction needs, the core is filled with a polystyrene sheet.
A metal door need not be bland or even ugly in appearance. Modern manufacturers are capable of producing an embossment to mimic wood grain or raised panel styling. Door edges can be seamless, as the manufacturer will bend the sheet metal to form the shell at the factory. Hardware, including hinges, pivots, locks and bolts are prepared using the heaviest steel thickness. Locks and other hardware fabricated by the door manufacturer are ensured to fit properly. Finishing can be done in a number of ways, from painting and powder coating to various skins.
When seeking a manufacturer, there are a number of things to consider. Some will only produce stock items of a limited variety. Others will custom manufacture products to meet architectural and engineering building specifications.
Adherence to both building codes and engineering standards are crucial. Ensuring the manufacturer follows ANSI standards for hollow metal doors is a must. For those seeking quality doors, or the uniqueness of a custom designed steel door, or to see the possibilities that are offered, click here.
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