What Are Hollow Metal Doors Made Of?
It is a misconception that hollow metal doors are actually hollow. In this guide we explore what hollow metal doors are actually made.
Cold Rolled Steel
The exterior structure of a hollow metal doors is made from cold rolled steel sheets. The thickness of the steel varies, with an 18 gauge thickness being the norm for commercial block or brick buildings. 20 gauge thick cold rolled steel sheets are typically used on pre-engineered steel metal building construction. For buildings that require a heavier duty hollow metal door, 16 gauge cold rolled steel is used.
Within the hollow metal door is an insulated core. The two most common insulated core types are a polystyrene core and a honeycomb core. To better understand the difference in the core properties we must understand what the U and R value mean of each core type. The U value refers to how well the door keeps out solar heat. The lower the U value the better the hollow metal door keeps out heat. The R value refers to how resistant the hollow metal door is from heat. Typically the thicker the material, the higher the R value, the more it resists heat.
Many contractors request honeycomb core hollow metal doors. It gets its name because the cutaway of the core looks like honeycomb from a bee's nest. Within the hollow metal door is honeycombed shaped cardboard. The U range differs among manufacturers but can range anywhere from .53 to .59. The R value ranges from 1.70 to 1.90.
A polystyrene core is foam type core. The U factor range of polystyrene hollow metal doors is .35 to .41. The R value range is 2.40 to 2.80.
Comparing Honeycomb To Polystyrene - Which Should I Get?
Based on the U factor ranges of both doors, you can clearly see that the polystyrene core has a lower U factor, meaning it can keep out solar heat better than honeycomb core doors. Likewise, the polystyrene hollow metal door has a higher R value meaning it can retard the movement of heat much better than honeycomb doors. So what does this mean? Well it does not mean honeycomb doors are bad. In fact honey comb doors are an inexpensive door choice. When operating on a budget, a honeycomb door may be the choice for you. Due to the U factor and R value, honeycomb doors are typically only used on interior commercial door applications. Whereas, polystyrene core doors can be used on both exterior and interior doors due to their efficient insulation.
Other Components Within A Hollow Metal Door
It is worth noting there are other components within a hollow metal door, that are an important part of the construction. For example, higher quality hollow metal doors will include reinforcements that help increase its durability and function. Let's explore some of those.
Door Closer Reinforcement
High quality hollow metal doors, like the Patriot hollow metal steel door, feature a door closer reinforcement. This is a 12 gauge steel plate installed at the top of the door for the purpose of supporting commercial hydraulic door closing device. Without this reinforcement plate, the door closer would not have the proper support to attach to the hollow metal door. In many cases, you may have come across a door where the door closer has fallen off, or ripped off of the door. This was due to the contractor or building owner installing a hollow metal door without door closer reinforcement. Believe it or not, this is a very common occurrence, as building owners and contractors often search for the low price, unknowing to them what they are purchasing is actually going to cost them more money in the future for repairs and replacement.
16 Gauge Top and Bottom Cap
The top and bottom of the hollow metal door offers the structure and stability of the door. Good quality hollow metal doors will use a 16 gauge top and bottom cap to offer integrity to the door. The Patriot hollow metal door features a 16 gauge top and bottom cap. Again, buyers must be aware. Almost every time, the inexpensive hollow metal doors are priced that way for a reason. Shortcuts like door closer reinforcement and 16 gauge top and bottom caps are left off, allowing the door to be sold for a cheap price. But cutting corners, such as no reinforced 16 gauge top and bottom cap will result in the hollow metal door bending and denting very easily.
7 Gauge Hinge Reinforcement
The Patriot hollow metal doors feature a 7 gauge hinge reinforcements. Why does this matter? If you work on doors you may have seen doors with full length continuous hinges or doors that have hinges coming off. This is because there is no hinge reinforcements on their hollow metal door. Many times, a door will be falling of the hinges. The solution to most door repair companies is to install a continuous hinge to better distribute the door weight and by pass the weak hinge preps. This repair could cost hundreds of dollars. The better solution is to be sure your hollow metal door has hinge reinforcements. Hinge reinforcements will drive the cost of the door a little bit higher, but in the long run will save you thousands in constant door hinge repairs.
The Patriot hollow metal doors feature lock reinforcement, helping from vandals. Hollow metal doors are often bought for security. That is why the number one thing you should look at is the reinforcements of the door. With Patriot hollow metal doors, not only is the lock prep reinforced, but we also offer latch guards, to help prevent from vandals breaching the door. Once a vandal uses pry bar on a steel door without a latchguard, the door will need to be replaced. Be sure to save your self thousands of dollars in repairs by simply purchasing a hollow metal door with lock reinforcement and a latch guard!
In summary, there are many components that make up a hollow metal door. We have outlined important details and factors to look at when purchasing a hollow metal door. If you want peace of mind, order Patriot hollow metal doors. No corners are cut, and the products are high quality and still Made In America, just like the old days. Shop today and receive FREE freight.
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