The purpose of a cold room door is to provide effective thermal insulation of the doorway, through which access (including pedestrian) may be required or goods are loaded into or from the store. While a variety of doors are available, offering different technical specifications, whichever type is chosen must avoid creating a thermal bridge, as this will adversely affect the efficiency of the cold store and increase running costs. At the same time, the door must be able to resist extremely low temperatures to be effective. Therefore, considering the various characteristics of different door types is essential when deciding which is most suited to your cold room requirements.
What Type Of Cold Room Door Should I Install?
Three different styles of cold store doors are available: hinged, sliding, and vertical. You should aim to select the opening style most suited to your business, to make the movement of staff and goods easier.
1) Hinged Doors
Hinged doors, which swing open, may be fitted singularly (for doorways up to 2m wide) or in pairs (also known as ‘double-hinged’). Depending on the height of the door, two or more hinges are usually fitted to support it on the doorframe, and hinges may be reversed so that the door swings in an outwards or inwards direction, depending on which is most convenient. Hinged doors are cost-effective, simple to install, and offer fantastic convenience to operatives as they enter and leave the cold store with goods.
2) Sliding Doors
Sliding doors are suitable for larger openings with intensive usage. A guide rail is fitted above and below the door, so that it can slide along on rollers. However, when the door is fully closed, it sits snugly by weight-bearing to form a tight seal to prevent the loss of cold from the store. Sliding doors may be fitted to roll either to the left or right, while automated drives may be installed for easier opening.
Sliding doors are durable and reliable, making them ideal for intensive use. They boast an excellent thermal seal to reduce costs and offer greater flexibility when a larger entry to the cold store is required, perhaps for the movement of oversized goods.
3) Vertical Doors
If sliding doors prove too inconvenient to install, vertical doors are a great option when the design of the cold store prevents other types from being installed. For example, when there is insufficient space to open sliding doors. Vertical types require an automated opening, as manual opening is challenging and impractical when you’re carrying goods!
Consequently, vertical doors tend to be more expensive to install. However, if hinged or sliding doors cannot be fitted, vertical options are an excellent solution.
Should I Invest In Medium Or Low Temperature Doors?
Hinged and sliding doors are available as medium temperature (from 0° and above) or low temperature (below -15° to -25°).
The effectiveness of the insulation – measured as the U-value – is determined by the thickness of the door, which ranges from 40mm (for medium temperature, semi-insulating stores) to 151mm (for low temperature cold rooms). Medium temperature chambers are most suited to the storage of products that would be damaged by sub-zero temperatures, such as fruit or medication, or which need to be used immediately without defrosting. Low temperature stores are ideal for preserving biodegradable products or extending the lifespan of foods that otherwise would be vulnerable to microbial decomposition.
Are There Any Other Specifications To Consider?
In addition to the type and thickness of the cold room door, you should consider how other features may be necessary for your business’s operation:
- Stainless steel/non-ferrous metal trims with polymer coatings, to reduce the corrosive effects of salt or wash down chemicals.
- In-built vision panels (internal windows)
- Different sorts of locks, valves, and handles including pull handles or handles equipped with push buttons to open.
- Accessories such as openings for hanging rails or hermetic sliding doors to reduce contamination.
Find Out More
At MTCSS, we supply and install a variety of cold room doors and can advise on the best option for your needs. For more information, please get in touch with one of our service team today.