With each passing year, more buildings are relying on steel doors. While the door is an assumed feature of a building, its story has developed continually.
Result? The steel door -- always a fine upgrade to an industrial, commercial, or even residential building. But let’s look at the millenia-long road we took to reach door utopia:
History of Steel Doors
After your ancestors grew tired of cave life, they devised permanent structures complete with openings. Animal pelts helped keep heat inside. But your great-times-a-hundred-grandparents couldn’t keep out the elements or unwanted entrants. Thus began the wooden door many centuries later.
Wood was a marked improvement over dead animal parts. Unfortunately, the Great Fire of London showed that door craftsmanship still needed improvement. That terrible inferno of 1666 destroyed most of the city’s buildings and rendered 100,000 citizens homeless. Fire made short work of wooden doors, which had no built-in fire protection.
This got the wheels turning inside the minds of engineers and creators like Charles Dahlstrom. Mr. Dahlstrom invented and held all original patents on the first fire-rated steel door. In 1904, The Dahlstrom Metallic Door Co. was born (See early portfolio HERE).
Speaking of engineers and inventors, the Industrial Revolution brought factories to the forefront of America. The need to protect buildings and workers followed. Steel industrial doors eventually came to the rescue to offer protection against:
- Extreme temperatures
- Dangerous chemicals
Builders started to include fire-rated doors when designing areas with high human density, like schools.
Also in the 20th century, steel doors became a must for businessmen fearing break-ins. Decades later, the security trend spread to residential properties.
Steel Doors Today
How have metal doors and frames become the standard today?
- Long-term value via durability
- Safety and security
- Resistance to noise, pests, rotting, and other nuisances
Recently, architects have fashioned elegant and cutting-edge steel doors and frames for businesses and homes. The misconception that they’re a practical product that can’t be beautiful too is long gone. Ornate steel mouldings can be used to augment flush surfaces without affecting security or fire rating. Steel doors can now come in all shapes, sizes, uses, and designs.
No matter their look, doors’ security is also at an all-time high thanks to steel. Manufacturers are producing steel doors that feature ever-improving technology to make them the ultimate in security and safety.
And if you still prefer the look of wood, you can still buy a sturdy steel door and have it fitted with wooden outer panels. Then you gain the power of steel while keeping the homey feel of wood.
Surely more innovation will come. Fiberglass doors are a newer option that are mid-range in price, yet offer first-class thermal insulation. If you experience frequent cold weather at your home or business, these doors might be best for you.
If you choose steel for your door, you’ll potentially benefit from the standards of the Steel Door Institute. Since 1954 it has developed quality and performance standards for steel doors and frames. SDI Certified products guarantee a well-constructed, tested, and evaluated result that meets your specifications.
Design professionals can now specify “SDI Certified” when they send a request. This way you’ll know the manufacturer of your doors and frames will meet the highest industry standards. Many of the most reputable manufacturers are now SDI Certified.
Get With the Times
Seeking new inspiration for your aesthetic design. You can get it from steel! Need state-of-the-art protection from blazes and burglars? Steel can do that, too.
The trend goes beyond just doors. To get some mind-blowing ideas for residential and commercial steel window use, try this article.
“What is metal roll forming?”
Even design engineers with 20+ years of experience still Google this question. Despite its efficient and industrious nature, roll forming is a niche manufacturing process known to few and understood by even fewer.
When it comes to metal fabrication processes, roll forming is one of the most affordable available.
People not familiar with roll forming usually need some education regarding the machines’ capabilities and limitations – even people who regularly work in sheet metal roll forming. There’s a reason skilled roll form engineers are a coveted resource – this is complicated stuff.