09/29/2005

Flush Doors

New technology yields added value for cash-conscious owners

 

Glossary Relating to Low-Pressure Laminate Doors

  • Low-Pressure Decorative Laminate. A decorative surface paper that is saturated with reactive resins. During hot-press lamination, the resin flows into the surface of the substrate, creating a hard cross-linked thermosetting bond and permanently changing the characteristics of both the paper and the board. This process is also referred to as “thermal fusing.”
  • Polymer Edgeband. A highly impact-resistant, flexible material that is applied to the perimeter of the door to protect and aesthetically match the door face.
  • Delamination. Separation of plies or layers of wood or other material through failure of the adhesive bond. The thermal-fusing process eliminates delamination.
  • Scratch Resistance. Measure of the ability of a decorative surface to scratch by a diamond-tip tool. Specially formulated resins found in low-pressure laminate faces outperform wood and high-pressure laminates.

 

While most building owners and managers recognize that interior doors are vital to the appearance and performance of a facility, the challenge is to find a superior door product that won’t add to overall project costs.

Historically, commercial doors were designed to secure people and property, provide passive fire protection, allow a safe means of egress, and reduce sound transmission - yet be aesthetically pleasing. But today’s discriminating building owner is likely to insist on interior products that:

  • Have longer life-cycle projections.
  • Are produced from environmentally friendly, green materials.
  • Offer superior mechanical and physical properties.
  • Are economically efficient to operate.
  • Are easy to install.
  • Have fewer maintenance requirements.

In response to these stringent demands, the door industry has developed a new generation of performance-based, thermal-fused flush doors (also known as low-pressure decorative laminate doors) that are generally 5- to 10-percent less expensive than either pre-finished red oak or a comparable high-pressure laminate door.

Wood Door Evolution
When they were originally introduced in the early 1900s, wood flush doors consisted of a wood block (stave) core with low-density wood blocks and strips randomly arranged. A higher-density perimeter system (stiles and rails) was added that held the blocks in place and provided screw-holding power from the edge. A plywood face was then placed over the entire core and edge to create an engineered door.

The next significant development was the replacement of the stave core with an ultra-low density particle board core. While it was more reliable and stable, it lacked the ability to hold wood screws from the face. Soon afterwards, the door industry ushered in high-pressure decorative laminates - the same material used in kitchen and bath countertops - as an alternative to the thin, wood veneer face. Laminates provided consistent color throughout a project and a more cleanable surface than wood. But laminates looked like plastic and, worse yet, scratched and chipped easily.

The Green Factor
The newer wood flush doors are fashioned around a core that is 67-percent denser than older varieties, resulting in less sound transmission and improved overall mechanical and physical properties. Featuring recycled and recovered material, the core is environmentally friendly but adds no additional cost to door construction. Moreover, these doors project a desired look without the need to harvest even a single cherry, mahogany, oak, or maple tree.

Lower Installation Costs
Unlike other door systems, low-pressure laminate wood flush doors arrive at the jobsite ready to hang. Moreover, they never require priming, painting, or staining, further adding to the cost savings. They even come with pilot holes pre-drilled at the factory that accept hinge and lock screws.

What makes the low-pressure flush doors so durable is that the face and finish are fused to the door at the factory under high heat and pressure, thereby ensuring that the face will never delaminate. During the fusion process, manufacturers add a resin that allows low-pressure flush doors to be 50-percent more scratch resistant than units with wood or high-pressure laminate finishes. In addition, a 1-millimeter-thick, impact-resistant polymer band that matches the color and grain of the face is glued to the vertical edges and along the top and bottom of the doors. This banding prevents the doors from warping and allows them to latch each time they close.

David San Paolo is technical director at The Maiman Co. (www.maiman.com), an architectural door manufacturer located in Springfield, MO.

 


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

Yaskawa drives offer quality performance for air handlers and cooling towers on the roof to secondary chilled water pumps in the basement

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

Yaskawa drives offer quality performance for air handlers and cooling towers on the roof to secondary chilled water pumps in the basement

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.


 
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