Door Closers 101: Commercial Door Closer Types
Door closers serve a great purpose to the commercial industry. Precautions aside, door closers offer sustainability, mobility and security. Sure, fire safety is a primary benefit proposed by door closers, but the mechanisms offer a slew of other benefits.
Door closers, mainly installed in commercial and public buildings, are useful in many conditions. Keeping locations secure, door closers limit environmental factors while keeping areas secure. Commercial applications aren’t always contingent on hydraulic door closer types, but different door closers serve different purposes. Let’s look further.
The Building’s Needs: Traffic, Adjustment and Protection
Before settling on a door closer type and grade, determining a commercial building’s needs is important. Selecting a commercial door closer takes time, and it should be determined by a building’s traffic predisposition and security needs. Traffic, itself, is the industry’s primary concern. Areas with large traffic amounts will need heavier doors—and, in effect, heavier door closers.
Door Closer Grades
Grade 1 Door Closers
Door closers are available in two commercial grades: Grade 1 and Grade 2 designs. Grade 1 door closers utilize controls for sweeping and latching motions. Additionally, they maintain a backcheck to offer enhanced customization and adjustment. Commercial facilities receiving high traffic volume should invest in Grade 1 door closers, as their flexibility endures multi-directional traffic.
Grade 1 door closers are designed to withstand a traffic volume of up to 400 people, daily. A door experiencing so much traffic requires a long-lasting mechanism, and Grade 1 door closers last up to seven years before requiring replacement.
Grade 2 Door Closers
Grade 2 door Closers are durable, but they’re more effective in a business’s interior hallways and rooms. An establishment’s inner doors experience less traffic, and Grade 2 door Closers have been designed to offer consistent, yet accessible, use. Grade 2 door Closers are designed to withstand between 50 and 100 operations, daily.
Less traffic requires different materials and mechanisms, and Grade 2 door Closers utilize two valves to maintain operation. A Grade 2 Closer’s first valve controls the door’s sweep within the closure’s first movements. This sweeping motion delivers the door to the frame’s proximity, where the second valve furthers operations. A Grade 2 closer’s second valve completes the closure, adjusting the door, itself, to the surrounding frame—keeping it aligned. A Grade 2 door closer takes about six seconds to close completely. The beginning sweep takes about five seconds, whereas the “latch” action takes about one second.
An Extra Valve
Grade 1 and 2 door closers also contain an additional valve when applied to main doors. This extra valve controls a door’s opening speed. Such controls are necessary to maintain commercial standards, ensuring safety from a door’s sweeping motions. A door without such a valve may move too quickly, injuring traffic as it passes.
This valve is entirely optional, but it’s quite useful in doors experiencing large traffic quantities. The valve can be adjusted to “free up” movement, granting a loose range of motion until a predetermined point. Once this point is reached, a “cushioning” effect occurs. Commercial entities armed with such information can customize each doorway to their own appeal, creating dynamic office environments with quickly—or slowly—closing doors. Hydraulic door closers are highly customizable where movement is considered.
Electromagnetic Door Closers
While Grade 1 and Grade 2 door closers specify a commercial mechanism’s placement within an establishment, electromagnetic door closers are, themselves, an entirely different product. Commonly used in high-security establishments, residency areas and even hospitals, electromagnetic door closers offer supreme security with little damageable mechanisms.
Electronic door closers require an applied electromagnetic force to be “unlocked”. Often, electromagnetic door closers are linked to an establishment’s fire alarm system. The door closer, itself, may be applied to a fire exit. It may also be installed to “trigger” a building’s fire alarm when forced open or is otherwise exploited.
Electromagnetic door closers don’t require wedges. They don’t require door-opening rigs, either. Principally, an electromagnetic door closer swings free while closing itself after no resistance is met. Electromagnetic door closers are highly secure, and they’re relatively easy to fix as fewer moving parts yield fewer mechanical troubles.
Different Install Locations
Door closers can be mounted in different areas. Understanding where door closers are installed is important, as it can determine different product needs.
Surface-mounted door closers are available as regular arm surface mounted, slide-track arm, top jamb mounted or parallel arm surface mounted installations. Normally, overhead door closers are all surface-mounted door closers.
Concealed door closers are mounted inside a door’s frame. Installed in a pocket, concealed door openers are similarly established in the floor, directly beneath a door’s pivot point to remain hidden. Concealed installations are quite useful for high traffic areas and high-security locations.
Storm Door, Security Door and Screen Door Closers
Storm door and screen door closers, while not common in commercial buildings, still serve unique purposes. Both use piston-shaped mechanisms to provide security, storm and screen doors with added protection. Normally, these door losers are installed to defend against intruders, insects and weather. While interior door closers often use hydraulics to function, storm, security and screen door closers operate with air-based systems. Often, small metal washers, springs and an outer tube pressurize a door’s movement, slowing it down while creating an automatic closing motion.
Typically, these door closers are useful in areas receiving high commercial-based traffic. Construction and other movements are unrestricted when moving beyond an air-powered security door closer, as its movement is relatively slow. Recent Touch ‘n Hold door closers incorporate buttons to make opening processes quicker and easier.
Jamb-mounted door closers are concealed within morticed recesses. Located in both the door and door frame, jamb-mounted door closers are practically invisible when a door is closed. They’re available in both controlled and uncontrolled versions, according to a commercial building’s needs.
Of course, a wide array of variables exist. Choosing the right door opener isn’t, however, a matter of taste. Commercial entities have a lot to work with. Check out a few commercial-grade door closers based upon the building’s own operations and security needs. You won’t be disappointed.