What are roller shutters and what makes roller shutters different from other industrial doors such as overhead doors and sectional doors?
Roller shutters close off the opening by rolling up above the so-called aperture.
That method of rolling up is also used for other applications such as roller shutters for houses or for shop windows and high-speed roller doors where a plastic sheet is rolled up at high speed.
The history of the roller shutter dates back to the 1970s. Up until then, wooden sliding doors or large folding doors had primarily been used to close off large openings. However in the 1970s, the roller door was seen as the replacement for these heavy and costly doors. Because insulation had not become an issue at that time, roller shutters consisted of single-walled steel slats which had to be kept as thin and narrow as possible in order to prevent the door from taking up too much space when rolled up. But the roller shutter was popular with farms where agricultural machinery was regularly brought in and out, for example, because it was virtually indestructible and the costs were relatively low.
As a result of the energy crisis at the end of the 1970s, insulation became more important when people became conscious of energy costs and the demand for better-insulated doors slowly increased.
It was soon found that the roller shutter could no longer satisfy this demand: the thin and narrow slats meant that the roller shutter was unsuitable for providing insulation.
One of the ways to keep the heat inside a building is by opening the industrial door as little as possible and by fitting a so-called personnel entry door, people can still be allowed to go in and out. However, that was not an option either with a roller shutter. There was clearly a need for an alternative.
That alternative – the Compact door – was developed at the end of the 1980s by combining the benefits of a roller shutter, i.e. being small and compact, with those of an overhead door such as insulation value.
The universal rail system enables the Compact door to be installed anywhere that would be suitable for a roller shutter. A Compact door folds upwards above the opening in the same way as a roller door rolls upwards. However, a Compact folding door consists of panels which provide insulation, it can be fitted with a personnel entry door and there is also a wide variety of glass panels or windows to choose from.
All this means that an architect is given a great deal of freedom when it comes to design and can adapt the door to match the exterior of the building.
Depending on the situation, there are many reasons for using a Compact door rather than a roller shutter. Today, insulation value is an important consideration when designing a building and the Compact door is made up of sandwich panels, which help to improve this. The Compact door is also an excellent alternative for letting more daylight into the building. If, for example, a lack of installation space means that there is no room inside the building, the Compact door can be mounted on the facade so that external installation provides the answer to the problem.
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