When we talk about aluminum doors, we generally refer to a traditional swing door system, similar to the classic wooden doors that many of us have at home or in the office. Now, although they are similar in terms of functionality and purpose, which is to allow access to any closed space, in detail there are marked differences in the aluminum doors thanks to the hardware used.
Depending on the space where the installation of a door is required, there are factors that make it necessary to use accessories that provide new characteristics to the final assembly. In some cases it is not enough to use doors that only have a lock and hinges, but rather door closers, panic bars, latches and other special elements are necessary.
In this post, we will talk about the types of accessories and hardware for aluminum doors most used today. What are they for, in what cases are they necessary and much more. So without further ado, let’s start with the most common accessory that makes the opening movement of any door possible, the hinge:
The hinges are the element or hardware that makes the operation of any swing door possible. Without them, we would be limited to sliding doors or there would simply be no door concept as we know it. It is a simple assembly that consists of 3 parts, a fixed one that is embedded in the door frame, a mobile one that is embedded in the leaf or door itself, and an axis that is responsible for joining both elements.
They are installed on one side of the door and a minimum of 2 units are necessary for a door to work. The final movement is rotation in a single axis or 1 degree of freedom. Depending on the type of hinge, the parts may vary and the design too, but at the functionality level, they all fulfill the same task.
They are made of various materials, the most commercial being those made of stainless steel. The selection of the type of hinge and the material and final finish will depend to a large extent on the dimensions of the door, the place of installation, among other factors.
One of the drawbacks with traditional swing doors is the need to manually open and close them. This implies work on the part of the person who wants to access a space and if it is a busy or high-traffic space, it is not convenient to waste time on a repetitive task of this type. For these cases, there are interesting commercial solutions such as automatic doors, which use sensors and electric motors to control opening and closing. Now, it is not always convenient to use an automated system to assist the closing of a door and many times a mechanical solution is enough. In these cases, hydraulic door closers come into play.
Hydraulic door closers are presented as the solution for assistance in closing swing doors. It is a compact system for high-traffic areas that allows adjusting the closing speed of the doors, under a fixed closing force and with opening damping. There are two types, those that are installed on the pavement or the aerial ones. In both cases, the objective is the same, assistance in the controlled closing of doors.
Locks are the protection element in doors par excellence. It is a mechanical element (although there are currently digital and electronic variants) that allows a door to be secured to the frame and thus prevent the passage of a person. The traditional operation of a lock requires a key that is responsible for unlocking its internal mechanical system and allowing opening. This element, in combination with handles and latches, guarantee the safety of the installed doors.
Within the essential aluminum door fittings, traditional handles are handle-type mechanical elements that, through a turning movement, allow an assembly to be activated that opens or closes the door. In general, they are directly linked to the locks and the handles, since these together make it possible to secure or release the door leaf for its rotation movement in 1 axis.
When we talk about handles, there is a special type that is considered a plate handle or latch. This system allows a door to be locked since it is a type of pin that is activated and through a piston system inserts a pin into a hole in the fixed part of the door frame. They have been used in wooden doors for many years, with manual operation and today, thanks to their compact designs, they can be embedded in an aluminum profile and take up little visible space in the final design.
Pivots are elements that have a similar operating principle to hinges. The main difference between these and the previous ones is that they allow the door to be anchored for its rotation movement with the decentered axis of the lateral end of the door.
They are the ideal hardware to guarantee the opening of any door in emergency conditions quickly and easily. It is a bar or “handle” that opens the door when receiving a force in a horizontal or downward direction. They are installed inside the doors and thanks to their mechanism and full coverage over the width of the door, they are easy to find in case of accidents.
If you have in mind installing aluminum doors in your spaces, whether indoors or outdoors, we invite you to take a look at our section on aluminum doors and windows. Below you have some of our most recent projects for you to take inspiration:
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