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Custom Insulated Impact Traffic Door Popular in Malls

Large expansive malls and shopping centres have become the modern meeting place, replacing the historical marketplace. Since the first mall was established in Kansas City in 1922, these establishments have always needed doors, both in the retail and service areas.

When countries including South Africa started building the megamalls in the 1980s, developers used wooden doors in conventional metal frames to screen unsightly public ablutions located at the rear of the centres. These doors did not withstand the high levels of traffic and needed frequent repair and replacement, making this a costly option.

Next, black rubber flap-type flexible doors with PVC vision panels were used and continue to be used in many industrial applications today. Not only are these unsightly, but these rubber doors are not practical in a mall or shopping centre environment.

Wim Dessing, managing director of Apex Strip Curtains & Doors, says the decision regarding which door or closure system to use is dependent on the application. “There are a number of factors to be taken into consideration including the level of both vehicular and pedestrian traffic, the door’s location – internal or external – and whether it is subject to draughts, wind, rain or dust, its physical dimensions, height restrictions and other limitations,” he says.

Dessing says that over the past decades, a number of different insulated doors were imported and then more recently copies of these were locally produced. “These have always, however, presented limitations in that only certain, set sizes of doors were available. And this meant that openings had to accommodate the door instead of the door manufacturer matching the door to the architect’s design,” he explains.

“There was no flexibility in local manufacturing processes to meet non-standard sizes, and this prompted us to develop a solution and offer the flexibility of a door designed to fit the opening,” Dessing says.

Apex Strip Curtains & Doors has never looked back since its decision to enter the insulated impact traffic door market with its local produced Apex SR 9000 door. Dessing says it has been the benchmark in malls and shopping centres for several years and has started to gaining popularity in commercial and industrial applications.

Insulated impact traffic doors are used to shield customers from service areas such as ablutions, loading and refuse areas. The nature of this application dictates that these doors be capable of withstanding high impact traffic from trolleys with groceries or merchandise, bins with merchandise and general refuse bins as well as pedestrian traffic. This makes durability essential; however cost, safety and overall performance should also be taken into consideration when selecting doors.

The Apex SR 9000 door can be installed in existing or new access openings, and, if required, is supplied with a mild steel door frame. These frames can be galvanised, painted in a variety of colours or cladded with stainless steel, ensuring it matches the décor of malls and centres. Each door is made to order and delivery turnaround time is usually two weeks, which is very quick for a custom produced door.

The core of the door is polyurethane, foamed in situ within an outer steel frame and surrounded by rigid PVC gaskets. The inner and outer facings are covered with 3 mm ABS sheeting that allows the flexibility of virtually any colour. Each door has the option of a clear window to allow visibility for traffic approaching from either side. The hinges are stainless steel and of robust design, providing trouble-free service, even in doorways with heavy wheeled traffic. All doors are fully gasketed along the top, bottom and both sides to prevent access by rodents, insects or dust.

Opening and closing of the insulated impact traffic door offers little resistance to traffic and has a full 180 degree swing. Bumper or kick plates, depending on preference, provide further protection for the bottom of the door. Doors can be single or double leafed, depending on the application, and should move easily and return to its original position smoothly.

“The key to the success of the Apex SR 9000 door is its flexibility. We can produce a door size anywhere within the envelope of 1,5 metres per leaf in width and 3 metres in height,” Dessing concludes.

 

Category: Traffic Doors

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