Freezer curtains, wall panels and doors are more functional than ever



Since the 1970s, when insulated panels were first introduced for warehouse construction, they have been regarded as a commodity product with a solitary purpose: “Keep the cold in” and do it as efficiently as possible.

The panels were off loaded from trucks and mechanically fastened to the structural components of the building. The scope of their expectations was to remain in the “installed position” and provide many years of acceptable performance. Doors, on the other hand, were expected to provide another purpose. A door can be defined as a commodity that temporarily fills a hole in the wall at a defined location of planned egress. The door is expected to be non-existent to all egress traffic flow and not be subject to damage resulting from accidental confrontations. The basic requirement and understanding for a door is “they open and they close.”

So what’s new with insulated doors and panels?

All panel and door manufacturing companies will be switching to more environment friendly foaming systems within the next few years. The Environmental Protection Agency has mandates in place that require all manufacturers to change to new “Blowing Agents” within certain time frames depending on the agents that they are now using.

Presently, most manufacturers of insulated panels are involved with testing programs for several different reasons. Structural testing is being required due to the need for compliance with new and revised code requirements. A second reason for this testing is the need to comply with changes regarding insurance coverage of the facilities. To a certain degree, some of this testing is necessary due to the implementation of the new foaming systems being installed into various manufacturing facilities. New profiles and methods of mechanical attachment for the panels also result in the need for new testing programs.

A 20 year limited warranty for the interior finish on walls, ceilings, and doors is now offered by some panel and door manufacturing companies. This warranty is for a USDA Accepted, white coating, designed for use in high wash down areas. The availability of this warranty is dependent upon the formulation of the chemicals used for wash-down. Check with your panel and door supplier to verify your compliance with the conditions.

Engineering services are now available from panel manufacturing companies. These services assist contractors and design firms with the use of the insulated panels in the overall building designs. This assistance usually includes wind load calculations, fastening patterns, allowable spans product recommendations for code compliance, etc. Why not ask, “How can our panel supplier help us?” and make the call.

Door manufacturing operations are continuously trying to accommodate the requirements and/or preferences of their customers.

In general, doors are larger and faster than ever before. High speed operators, with speeds of 40” per second / per leaf, have become a common request for “Hard”, cold storage, horizontal sliding doors. Even though these doors usually include soft start / soft stop features with braking, have you ever seen a 10ft. x 14ft. door move at such speeds? These speeds are usually specific to opening speeds only, with justifiable reservations to closing speeds. The traditional speeds of 12” per second- open and 12” per second-close doesn’t seem to satisfy current needs in material handling strategy.

The entire door industry has migrated towards impact resistant door designs. The industrial door and cold storage door industries have introduced impact resistant/breakaway door designs for nearly every type of door in the market. We now have access to complete breakaway, flexible impact resistant and partial breakaway/impact resistant dock doors. We have similar designs for horizontal sliding, bi-parting, and bi-folding, interior cold storage doors. High-speed roll-up and bi-parting traffic doors have also taken to this niche in the market. These doors generally include an increased cost factor. The design efforts to minimize door damage within the facilities apparently have added so-called value engineering to the product. Apparently the industry requirements of moving more product, in less time, has taken its toll on the doors, thus creating increased maintenance and replacement costs. Ask your door supplier about the performance, types, costs and warranties for these products.

The stainless steel door is one of the newest offerings in the door industry. Primarily used in the Food Processing industry, these doors have now evolved into complete stainless steel units, with very little exception. Not only is the door finish stainless steel, but also the components of the operator assembly, mounting hardware, motor housing, control boxes, sprockets, shafts, etc. The intent of this design is to minimize the unsanitary conditions created by traditional components, due to rust and corrosion that is created through high wash-down conditions. This special design can be provided for horizontal, vertical, and overhead door designs.

Stainless steel INFIT door hardware has been made available for freezer and cooler doors. Hinges, Latches, Pull Handles, etc. are now optional in addition to the standard chrome and powder coated finishes.

Mechanically forced air, vestibule doorways are a relatively new door option. These units have been around for quite a few years but only in the past couple of years have they gained acceptance by the end users. The use of mechanical equipment and engineering design have provided a door treatment that includes not only the sealing off of a door opening, but also the tempering of the air immediately at the door opening. The application of these units into high traffic flow doorways seems to be providing a door solution that is requested by the end users, as well as the designing firm in the cold storage industry.

Internet websites are now being used by most door manufacturers as an integral part of Customer Service departments. Services such as parts sales, trouble shooting guidelines, technical drawings and personnel contacts are being provided for the convenience of their customers. Parts can actually be purchased from the website without waiting for personal service. Requests for information, trouble shooting assistance and various other inquiries are now being handled more conveniently through the use of e-mails in lieu of the traditional telephone service. These sites have become useful tools and deserve a visit. Comments about the websites and the services they offer are appreciated by the webmasters, so don’t hesitate to let them know how you feel.

A training seminar by factory representatives is one of the best services available to the installing contractors and the maintenance personnel at the facilities. These seminars are being provided on site, at the field locations, as well as in the manufacturing facility. The primary focus is the Maintenance of the specialty doors and Trouble Shooting for problem issues. Usually a one or two day session is sufficient, with the hands-on approaches that are used for the training. These seminars are a good investment of time and the few bucks that are usually involved. Contact your door provider for additional information on these seminars.

Parkland
Specialized paneling systems from Parkland Plastics provide an anti-microbial environment wall surface for dairy processing plants and other facilities requiring highly hygienic conditions. Parkland’s DURO-THERM™ wall and ceiling paneling systems are 100% waterproof and clinically proven to prevent the growth of black mold, E. coli, staph and other fungi and bacteria. The impermeable surface also resists harsh chemicals, allowing for washing with all types of cleaners and disinfectants. The sheeting material is permanently bonded to a fluted backing that promotes structural integrity while yielding an R3 insulation value. The panels are also lightweight and can be easily applied to nearly any surface, including studs, wood and steel framing, or unprepared walls. DURO-THERM has USDA and CFIA compliancy and is cost-effective compared to other paneling systems, making it ideal for industrial renovation or new construction projects. The company develops and manufactures 100% waterproof wall and ceiling paneling systems for a broad range of industries, including dairy processing. Parkland also produces wainscot, matching moldings and a diverse line of specialty and utility panels.

Parkland Plastics Inc.
800/835-4110
Write in 412
www.parklandplastics.com

Curtron
The new Curtronizer cooler/freezer strip door from Curtron Products has been engineered to incorporate a number of unique and innovative design features. First, installation is easy — taking less than 5 minutes, according to the company. Because the Curtronizer is extremely lightweight, the five supplied mounting screws are all that is needed to attach the basic hardware to the facing of the doorway header. It then takes about a minute to place the pre-punched strips onto the mounting pins, and snap the front cover shut, the company says. Worn strips can be replaced in just minutes without the use of any tools. Unlike competitive products, there are no nuts, bolts or metal parts. The product is made of 100% Food Grade Approved, non-corrosive polyethylene, and is fully compliant with all food service standards. It is designed for walk-in coolers, freezers, and other food service applications. The unique”living hinge” assures maximum flexibility in temperatures from 0 degrees to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Along with this “hinge” feature, the built-in end caps create a completely enclosed mounting bar package, eliminating the penetration of dirt and grease, making this an extremely sanitary system. The low profile design projects less than a half inch away from the mounting surface and it is only 1.5 in. high. Its universal design accommodates 6 and 8-inch wide PVC strips with overlaps from 25% to 100%. The mounting holes are 2 inches apart, eliminating the need for special strips with heat-sealed loops or custom hangers. The company also says that the strip door costs 30% less than competitive products.

Curtron Products Inc.
800/833-5005
Write in 413
www.curtronproducts.com

Ceiling and wall panels from Arcoplast are USDA compliant and designed for easy care and low maintenance. Virtually any configuration can be achieved with Arcoplast’s three ceiling systems constructed of fiberglass composite panels finished with either a permanently hard, impermeable, high gloss gel coat, or an extremely scratch resistant, fire-rated resin. The company features a full complement of wall components that are rugged, effective, flexible and technologically advanced. Panel sizes of up to 8' x 50' allow for minimal joints - an aesthetic and contaminant-fighting advantage. Wall panels are finished with gel coat or resin to offer maximum performance and product life. Arcoplast’s doors and windows are designed to be an integral part of the contamination-controlled environment. Solid core flush finished doors are constructed with fiberglass reinforced plastic. Both doors and windows, featuring Lexan glass and automotive gaskets, are resistant to oxidation, discoloration, corrosion, deformation and the wear of heavy traffic. These components can be purchased separately, or the company can provide complete, custom designed clean rooms, with microbial contamination control systems, and air filtration systems. The UVC biocidal emitter kills circulating and surface microorganisms in air handling systems to prevent the spread of contaminants. Integrated HEPA and ULPA filtration units can exceed all industry and federal standards.

Arcoplast
888/736-2726
Write in 414
www.arcoplast.com

Devcon
Floor Savers™ coatings from Devcon, are high-performance non- VOC (volatile organic compound) formulations for protecting plant floors, walkways, ramps, platforms, and walls against harsh chemicals, solvents, hydrocarbons, acids, and alkalis. They can be easily applied by plant maintenance personnel using a brush, roller, or squeegee — without special tools, equipment, or training. Epoxy Coat™ 7000 AR (Acid Resistant) is an epoxy novalac floor coating system with unmatched chemical resistance. Capable of withstanding sulfuric acid concentrations of up to 98%, it is ideal for protecting concrete floors and other surfaces in the vicinity of chemical storage tanks (piping, dike walls, containment areas, etc.). Epoxy Coat 7000 Non VOC is a 100% solids, self-leveling floor coating that can be applied to smooth or mildly spalled concrete. Epoxy Coat 6500 Non VOC is a self-leveling, 100% solids epoxy coating designed and conveniently packaged in 3-gallon containers for large, contractor coating jobs. It dries quickly to an extremely durable chemical-resistant finish. All of these Floor Savers products meet federal VOC regulations and cure to durable, attractive finishes that are easy to clean. Also from Devcon, Ultra Quartz™ Devcon is a heavy-duty, premium floor-patching system with excellent resistance to chemicals as well as to abrasion. Trowelable to a smooth, nonporous finish, it attains a compression strength of 9000 psi — more than three times the typical strength of concrete.

Devcon
800/933-8266
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www.devcon.com

Scherping
Scherping Systems, a manufacturer of cheese making equipment also offers doors, wall-mounted windows, enclosures, and floor drains, all constructed of stainless steel. Welded doors and doorframes are constructed of T304 stainless steel with a No. 4 finish. The doors are maintenance free, easy to clean and durable. They seal and insulate properly because they have one and one-half inches of polystyrene insulation sealed inside and are designed, engineered, and crafted for an exacting fit. Wall mounted viewing windows are made of a 14 gauge T304 stainless steel frame with all seams welded, ground smooth and polished to a No. 4 finish. The window retainer is made of 12 gauge T304 stainless steel with all seams welded and ground smooth and polished to a No. 4 finish. Phillips flat head countersunk machine screws are used to fasten the retainer to the frame. The windowsill is silicone sealed. Quarter-inch thick Lexan® glazing is also available. Steel enclosures feature continuous weld design, ground smooth with a contrasting satin finish, enhancing the overall appearance of the enclosure. Floor drain sumps have USDA accepted, sanitary, single piece, seamless construction. This means no unsanitary welds. Drains are provided with a removable, perforated basket. Drains are also available with stainless steel P-Traps, attached or separate, to customer specifications. The sturdy stainless steel drains can support heavy lift truck traffic and have excellent resistance to chemical attack.

Scherping Systems
320/485-4401
Write in 416
www.sherpingsystems.com