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A folding door also referred to as an accordion partition is a door that is able to open by folding back in sections. This type of door has remained popular in many areas where one does not need to open a full door. For instance, in buses, kitchens and basement doors it considered useful because it helps in saving space. Accordion door may exist as a single or a paired opening. The presence of a curved track enables the door to open easily just with a simple pull. Folding doors operate under various mechanisms such as an open-drive mechanism used in the buses without the source of air pressure. Technology has made it possible to have a variety of folding doors.Currently, there are both interior and exterior folding doors made of glasses, wood, steel, fibre glasses or a combination of any of these materials. Consequently, it has enhanced efficiency by sound attenuation and saving of both time and space. However, some disadvantages associated with the development of folding doors make it quite unreliable as some people are now shifting to the other types of doors.
Folding doors have many advantages that make them marketable today. To begin with, the installation process of a folding door because it has similar dimensions as that of a conventional door. Secondly, a folding door has panels that make it strong and steady. Vinyl folding doors can be washed and maintained for durability. Folding door can fit in narrow corridors and passages.Thus, it saves on space. It can also be locked from both sides and in either open or closed position. Finally, it ensures silent shutting by the use of a special sealer that insulate sound and air in the door frame. These benefits have enabled folding doors to be acquired for use in almost every closet area.
Although the folding doors are beneficial in some way the following disadvantages discourages people from using them. Some folding doors are very expensive to buy and to maintain. For instance those made of glass can easily break especially if installation was not done properly. Moreover, folding doors may cause accidents for example when a finger is trapped on a moving folding door.
Folding doors are the best doors that every home, office or vehicles should not do without. This is seen with the number of advantages outweighing those of the disadvantages. However, to reduce the advantages list enough precaution must be considered. For example, when cleaning the folding doors made of glass the cleaner should not use ammonia based acid. In addition, all the edges of the mirror surface must be dried. Finally, proper installation should be done to help reduce the breaking of the mirrors in glass folding doors. Moreover, an ideal folding door should be selected when buying one. When one opts to buy folding door made of glass then he or she should go for the glass with a good quality. Moreover, a folding door should be used where other such as hinge doors fail to work.
Working mechanism of a folding door
A folding door has some special features that enable it to open in either direction. It has a panel leaves that perform many functions. The door is made to fold by a mechanism built by the upper edge of the leaf and the upper jump of the door frame. Latching operation on the upper edge of this leaf ensures that the door is closed without using a lock. Thus, the door is kept closed and does not sag while in this position. This feature has been employed in constructing doors of cars in large cities prevalent with parking problems. Doors are made to fold beneath the car for the passenger or the driver to alight or to board it. The design aimed at reducing the space in which the door could swing wide open. Opening and closing of the door should not be done with a lot of ease by making use of the couple of forces at the links. The forces cause the door to rotate freely at the hinges.
A Sample Diagram of Folding Door
This diagram illustrates how a folding door works on the mechanism of pivot system. A centralized hinge connects the door and the door frame. The closing and the opening of a folding door depends on the force applied on the door by the user. The hinges form a great portion in the functioning of a folding door. It is noted that the folding doors may open automatically or by a mechanical means. For instance a bifold door may be powered by electricity, spring or by an individual.
Components of a folding door
Folding doors consist of the following components for an efficient closing and opening operations.
- First door panel that is supported at one position of an opening door by a rotating slide pin.
- Second door panel.
- A hinge that connects the two door panels.
- Guiding rail that is fixed on the door to be opened.
- Slider that is mounted on the second door panel.
- Rotary damper that dampens the movement between slider and the second door.
- Doorframe sealer that ensures silent shutting.
Principle of operation
The first door panel is moved by inserting the rotating pins in the provided holes on the doorframe. Folding doors are designed in such a way that they can open and close smoothly. The door is sealed by the increasing the modulus of the sliding pins at the hinges. The insulation of the hinges between the door opening and the door closing is useful in this process.Moreover,the positioning of the pins both at the lower and the upper sides of the door opening facilitates the folding of the door. The rotary damper mounted on the slider enables the door to fold outwardly and inwardly smoothly. The axis of rotation of the hinges depends on the direction in which the door is to be moved.
Opening of the door
When a force is applied on the door, the hinge pushes the first door panel and the second door panel to fold in different directions. The slider moves at an inclined angle towards the fixing rotating pin on the first door panel. The slider does not rotate but the fixed bar on the second door panel pivots and the door opens. The angle of inclination shifts and the rotary damper changes its direction too. When the user leaves the folding doors, both first door panel and the second door panel move back to their initial positions and take a plane form. This movement restores the power of the hinges and the angle changes to the opposite direction. To avoid a banging sound while opening the door, a damping force is triggered on the rotary damper which ensures smooth movement. The rotary damper has an insulator containing oil that reduces friction between the doors. The direction of opening the door may be determined during the installation stage.Furthemore, the person opening the door should be careful when opening the door to prevent accidents.
Closing of the Door
When an individual tries to close the door by force, the damper receives an extra load and exerts a lot of pressure. The rotor moves in an opposite direction from where it was initially causing the hole meant for the rotating pins to close. As a result a damping force is released increasing the pressure in the damping chamber. A bypass is provided in the damper in order to reduce the pressure produced. However, when the pressure exceeds the maximum level the valve is opened to remove the excessive pressure exerted. Moreover, the strength of the damper can be increased by reinforcing a spring force for the door to be able to resist pressure. Finally the first door panel and the second panel are pressed to each other and they become flat taking the form of a plane. The movement of the door towards the doorframe enhances stability and security of the closet.
Why to Choose a Folding Door
Numerous features and benefits have made folding doors dominant in the business. They are used in both home buildings and commercial institutions. The ability of a folding door to fix at a corridor has made many people to go for it.Moreover, it has helped in saving space and reducing cost of installing other types of doors.Thus, it is preferred in small closets and partitioning walls.Nevertheless, the manufacturing of the folding doors has been able to cope with the new changes in technology. The use of durable materials such as steel and fiber glasses has ensured that a variety of products are availed to the customers.Consequently, valuable and aesthetically nice folding doors have been introduced in the market. Home industry has greatly improved with the volumes of high quality folding doors in the market today. For example, bathroom areas and toilets have embraced this technology. Limited space for erecting these facilities has increased the demand of folding doors by families. Popularity of folding doors has increased rapidly because of the existence of many sections that are used to suit the needs of the people using them.Furthemore, the possibility of a crisis occurring such as fire that can lead to the loss many lives when the door is shut has been reduced because a folding door is opened from both outside and inside.
Persistent and extensive research has facilitated the development of new kinds of folding doors. Competition among the home industries have contributed towards the provision of standard doors. Therefore, for a business organization to withstand the existing stiff competition it must be able to manufacture goods that will attract many buyers. The invention of glazing aluminum folding doors has helped in the transformation of the appearance of many homes and improved the physical environment of businesses through the development of infrastructure. The introduction of thermal glazing has complimented in the decoration of many buildings.
Opening and closing a door has been a very heavy task especially to the aged people. Some children have also suffered victims of door trap. A new technology has been developed to reduce the rate of accidents associated with the opening and closing of doors.Today, electricity is used in order to enhance automatic closing and opening of doors.However, this mechanism of using electricity has not been implemented in folding doors. Therefore, the use of couple forces has been adopted to promote the development of this type of door. In this technology, the door is moved with the help of forces that are regulated uniformly at different points on the door. For instance, when one end of the door is moved outside the main body of the door by the pivot a couple of forces act on the door hence rotates it at the hinges. The forces cause the other end of the door to exert an equal pressure on the opening/closing end of the door. As a result, the door is able to open and close when a simple force is applied on it.Moreover, the hinges are made in a manner that they facilitate the opening and the closing of the door. There are no protrusions that hinder the pushing or pulling from the pivot line. Consequently, a person can enter and exit in any direction when he or she applies a force.
This improvement is very significant because a person is able to open and close the door even when he applies the slightest force ever. Incidences where the door falls out as seen in the conventional slide door are not encountered again in the folding door opening and closing mechanism.Moreover, the security of air pressure in the main body of the door is possible by putting a lid at the opening of the door. Thus, flapping of the door by the wind during the opening and closing process is minimized. Furthemore, designing the outside part of the door is possible as opposed to the conventional door.
The multiple link structures discovered in this mechanism aid in connecting the main body of the door to t bar between the doors in an arcuate form.This link enables the door to be in coupled position and is able to move in any direction when a force is applied. A couple of forces rotate the door at the pivot point with the help of the multiple links. The bar modifies the extension level of the track by the door length. This invention has reduced the cost of maintaining the doors broken.
Folding doors are the best doors that should be used in order to reduce the cost of renting spaces. They are very simple to use and can be used in all sectors of life by making the world a good place to live in because of their pleasant appearance. However, we should be very careful when using doors that are made of glasses in order to minimize accidents when opening and closing the door. Moreover, technology should be embraced for us to have efficient mechanisms of door opening and closing that are friendly to everyone.