Understanding Industrial Insulated Doors
What are they and what are they used for? We’ll begin this article with a discussion on the importance of insulation, considering the role that industrial insulated doors play and the R-value, before going on to look at some specific examples of where they are used.
The importance of insulation
Virtually every building can benefit from some kind of insulation, but it becomes crucial in industrial facilities for a variety of reasons. Manufacturing plants, for example, generate quantities of heat and noise – not to mention in some instances pollutants – that can be hazardous both to employees and also to the surrounding environment.
There’s also the issue of energy efficiency – energy consumption is an expensive business, and anything that can be done to reduce operating costs is of course welcome.
Thermodynamics tells us that heat will inevitably and always gravitate towards a cooler environment; thus areas that need to be hot will get cooler and conversely areas that need to be cold will get warmer. Insulation can minimise and in some cases virtually eliminate the heat (thermal) flow, providing effective climate control.
One more thing. Fire safety. Thermal door solutions can also provide protection against the spread of fire and smoke (the latter being the bigger killer) in the event of a fire breaking out.
Thermal values and the R-value
It may be necessary to have objective measurements of thermal resistance. The Lambda Value λ(w/mK) is the value of the insulating capacity of a product designed for thermal performance. For example, glass mineral wool loft roll comes in at 0.044w/mK. The lower the value, the better the insulating capacity of the product (for a given thickness). Combining the Lambda Value λ with the product’s thickness gives us the thermal resistance – or R-value – of each element in a structure. It equates to Thickness / λ, so that the higher the R value of any element, the better its ability to resist the transmission of heat.
The importance of climate control
As mentioned above, climate control is all about protecting the integrity of a particular environment, thermally or otherwise. Its importance can’t be over-stated, particularly when we consider that thermal cycling, condensate formation, and dust are the three biggest causes of failure in electrical enclosures.
Thermal insulated doors have a key role to play
Assuming that people and “things” will need periodically need to move in and out of any environment we are trying to keep insulated, the door through which they move can be considered a point of weakness. Therefore it is essential that the door itself becomes an integral component of the insulation system.
Example usage of industrial insulated doors
- Distribution Centres
- Cold Storage Facilities
- Food Manufacturing Plants
- Pharmaceutical Facilities
The list goes on – essentially any environment where insulation is critical. The harsher the environment – and the worse the consequences if the insulation fails – the more important the insulated doors become.
You’ll have gathered that it’s important to talk to the experts when you’re considering specialist doors, as there are numerous things to consider (not least the legal and regulatory requirements). This is where we come in.