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Samson Doors Glossary of Terms


Acoustic Door - Usually a hinged steel door or roller shutter used primarily to stop noise transmission from one area to another. Their value is measured by a decibel rating.

Aluminium - Material used mainly for various roller shutter door slats and components. Also used for certain profiles of sectional doors, high quality entrance doors and round the corner doors. Ideal material for strength but light in weight, best material to form into curves and profiles not possible with steel.

Anti-Drop Brake - A device fitted inside a roller shutter door mechanism to ensure the curtain cannot drop if there is a mechanical failure of any major component internally. Anti-drop brakes are used in manual and electric roller doors and definitely a requirement for any roller shutter used over a doorway or opening that can be passed through by people or animals.

Barrel - The metal tube section used for the roller shutter curtain to roll around. Houses the tube motor for electric single phase doors and springs in spring loaded shutters.

Barrel Motor - An alternative name given to a tube motor used in various types of roller shutter doors and security shutters. It is a long cylindrical motor that sits inside the tube or barrel which the shutter curtain rolls around.

Bi Parting - A door or gate made in 2 sections opening by moving away from each other in the centre. Bi parting doors are used on larger openings or where space might be limited to one or either side of the opening.

Block Frame - A reference used by European manufacturers to describe a fixing sub frame for a hinged door which is used to install the door in-between the aperture. It describes a fixing frame we are generally used to in the UK on most hinged door types used.

BS EN 12453:2001 - Industrial, Commercial, Garage Doors and Gates. Safety in the use of power operated doors – requirements. Includes operational safety of power operated doors including ‘Drawing in’ 'Limitation of forces’ and the drive system.

BS EN 12604:2000 - Industrial, Commercial, Garage Doors and Gates. Mechanical Aspects – Requirements and Classification. Covers the mechanical design of the product including strength calculations, safeguarding against dropping, manual operation forces.

BS EN 13241-1:2003 - Industrial, Commercial, Garage Doors and Gates. Part 1 Products without fire resistance or smoke control characteristics. Main product standard which call up the supporting standards.

Built In Shutters - A security shutter that is built into the fabric of the door or window opening during construction. The shutter box is usually built into the lintel section above the aperture.

Built On Shutter - A type of security shutter retrofitted and installed to the outside of a structural opening. It can be fitted inside, in-between or outside the aperture and all controls and locking are developed accordingly.

CE Marking - The indication that a product is compliant with EU regulations in order to allow free movement within the European market. It is vital that any major door products are CE marked to ensure compliance in the UK and complete a chain of responsibility and traceability.

CHAS - An accreditation for a supplier/specialist to ensure the supplier meets acceptable standards of health and safety; threshold standard or core criteria. CHAS is established as the market leader for health and safety pre-qualification in the UK. It is available to suppliers (those who provide goods and services) and to organisations (buyers) looking for suitably competent suppliers.

Collective Garage Door - A door used specifically for underground car parks or for the control of high levels of vehicle access. The collective doors are normally up and over, sliding or sectional in their mechanisms with high rated motor drive systems for 24 hour operation.

Concertina - Used to describe a retractable security grille or a traditional steel industrial door which travels and slides horizontally to open and close. Common other words used for describing this action are ‘folding’ ‘collapsible’ or ‘zig zag’.

Continental Shutter - A style of roller or security shutter defined primarily by the side guides, endplates and fixing points all being inside the outer edge of the overall product dimensions. In other words the overall width of a continental roller shutter has no other parts wider so it is neater and ideal for many installations where space might be tight or a neat finish is required. The electric motors for continental shutters are usually internal too, such as the tubular motors fitted inside the roller barrel.

CPD - Construction Products Directive. The CPD 89/106/EEC is one of the New Approach Directives. Its aim is to allow the free movement of construction products across Europe. The CPD is a product-specific set of standards, so rather than a generic risk assessment based standard applying to all machinery, each product has its own set of specific standards. From the 21 New Approach Directives that call for CE marking, 5 apply to roller shutter doors. To comply with a New approach directive you must satisfy the essential requirements of the directive. Third party testing, standards and risk assessments are methods by which compliance is achieved.

Direct Drive - A reference to an electric motor which is directly attached to the barrel shaft on a roller door directly driving the opening and closing cycles. Direct drive means there is no chain drive involved and therefore less ongoing maintenance.

Endplate - A steel or aluminium flat plate with various fixing lugs and profiles integrated to provide a support for either end of a roller shutter door barrel. The endplate support the barrel and enable the hood cover to be fitted too.

Fascia - A flat single or double skinned insulated material section used to cover a gap between the top of a door panel or frame and the lintel above. Fascias are most often used with roller shutter doors when the roller curtain is installed underneath the lintel and therefore the entire roll would be exposed if there were no fascia fitted in front of the curtain roll.  Fascias can be steel, aluminium, Upvc or timber.

Fast Action Doors - Also see ‘High Speed Door’. A reference generally used for a fabric roller curtain used in warehouse, factory and food industry applications where high levels of traffic in and out from the building or from one area to another dictate the need for a fast operating door to reduce weather ingress or heat escaping as well as contamination reduction and improving efficiency with faster flow of traffic for forklifts, etc. Also known as ‘Rapid Roll Doors’

Fire Curtain - A fabric fire resistant roller shutter used to prevent fire and smoke spreading in any building when a fire occurs. Triggered by various methods and generally more discreet than a fire shutter in size.

Fire Shutter - A type of roller shutter used to prevent a fire and smoke spreading by having a mechanism triggered by various methods such as heat or more usually these days the fire alarm system itself. The fire shutter is designed to close after the fire alarm is activated after a predetermined time period with closure at a controlled speed of decent. A fire shutter is designed to prevent a fire spreading throughout a building.

Galvanised - The process of applying a protective zinc coating to steel components to prevent rusting. The most common method is hot-dip galvanization, in which parts are submerged in a bath of molten zinc. Most steel roller shutter door curtains and components are galvanised as well as steel hinged doorsets, security grilles and many other steel products in physical security and industrial door use.

High Speed Door - A general term used to describe a roller, sectional or swing door set that operated at a higher speed than normal for the purpose of allowing high levels of traffic in and out from a building whilst retaining cold or heat internally and general weather protection. There is no defined speed and high speed doors will refer to steel doors as well as the most commonly used fabric high speed doors also frequently referred to as ‘Fast Action Doors’ or ‘Rapid Roll Doors’

Hold to Run - Hold to run means that the safety of the electrically powered door is provided by the user, who has to keep constant pressure on a switch. The door will stop when the switch is released. The switch MUST be used in a position that ensures that it can only be used in sight of the door by the person operating.

Incline Tracks - A term used to describe the internal tracking on a sectional overhead door which is not set horizontally. The tracks can be set from anything between 90 degrees (horizontal) to 180 degrees going directly upwards and anything in-between are referred to as incline tracks. Making the tracks and door panels follow the incline of the roofline has obvious advantages in terms of providing more internal uninterrupted space.

Infrared Safety Beams - Either a beam with a reflector or a transmitter and receiver system these are used to provide safety across door openings where electric doors are specified on a control system which can be operated by anyone and the door closes and opens without holding a button or a key in position. If the beam is broken the door stops immediately and usually reverses back up again. It can be one beam or many in a ‘light grid’ system but a single beam is NOT a compliant safety system on its own and should be an enhancement of another safety device in use.

Inverter - A power inverter, or inverter, is an electronic device or circuitry that changes direct current to alternating current. The input voltage, output voltage and frequency, and overall power handling depend on the design of the specific device or circuitry.



Laminated - The process of producing an enhanced material in layers. In door terms it refers to the application of a foil coating onto a steel surface to provide wood grain and other metallic finishes to the surface. Entrance Doors, garage doors and roller shutters all have laminated foil coated options which vary from one manufacturer to another even though they may have a similar name.

Louvre - A set of angled slats either fixed or hung at regular intervals in a door, shutter, or screen to allow air or light to pass through. Used extensively in steel doorsets where air ventilation is required and known as a louvre door set.

Machinery Directive - A directive to enforce compliance with CE regulations within the European and UK community. Covers only machines with a motor of some kind and this includes all powered doors and gates. Since the mid-1990s manufacturers of such products have been obliged to apply the CE marking and issue a Declaration of Conformity.

N track - A description used by Hormann UK to describe their torsion spring assembly used on their sectional garage doors. It is a front mounted torsion spring balancing system positioned above the top of the door panels.

Outboard Motor - An electric motor drive situated outside the constraints of the endplates and shutter curtain and barrel. Outboard motors can be situated at a 90 degree angle to the barrel or on the side of the endplate with various gearing arrangements.

Pass Door - See also wicket door or access door. It is a small side hinged door built into the larger sectional, roller or sliding door so that people can walk in and out through the pass door without opening the large door.

Pedestrian Door - Access door usually adjacent to the larger doors. Avoids the use of a sectional door as a legal egress and offers easy and safe entry/exit for people on foot.

Physical Security - The name used to describe various forms of security shutters, grilles and bars providing an actual barrier to break in in order to prevent the crime rather than alert the crime once a break in has occurred.


Roller Door - (also see roller shutter) A door type where the door curtain is constructed from many horizontal sections which roll up and down on a barrel. The roller door curtain is held inside a guide either side.  Not to be confused as it often is with a ‘sectional door’ this is one of the most common door types in commercial and industrial use. The use of the ‘door’ part is more often used when the application is for closing off an opening, whether domestic, commercial or industrial and virtually and size.

Roller Shutter - The generic name for any type of door that rolls up and down to provide a barrier and is constructed from individual horizontal slats but can also be a continuous curtain on some models. The word ‘shutter’ is often used more in reference to security shutters or where the ‘roller door’ is used to protect a door or window or even provide sound and heat insulation.

Round the Corner Door - A type of door where the panels or slats slide horizontally and then turn to continue travelling along the inside of the building. Most round the corner doors will turn 90 degrees into the building but many can take a different angle to optimise space use internally. A popular door for traditional style garages with extra wide openings or low headroom or where pedestrian access may be required frequently so the door can be partially opened.

Safety Edge - A safety edge is most commonly a rubber contact strip provided along the bottom edge of an electric powered door that will switch on contact and cause the door to retract to prevent injury or damage. A safety edge is required on any powered door that is NOT a hold to run system and does not have a force list sensor of any other kind.

Spiral Door - A new type of rolling door technology which effectively is the combination of a sectional door and a roller door in one. It is a high speed door system opening and closing at speeds of up to 2.5m per second and the real unique benefit is the non-contact technology meaning when the door panels roll up they do not touch each other at any point. It is an insulated, high speed and very secure door.

Sash - A referral to the stack of steel sections on a retractable security grille when it is fully opened. The other name often used is ‘bunch’ or ‘stack’.

SB Rolling Shutter - A reference to a ‘spring balanced’ roller shutter door manufactured by Hormann. It has a tension spring system to one side of the door and a motor driven the other providing a balanced and very safe roller door system with the benefits of low maintenance and reliable safety reverse systems when obstructions are met. The spring balanced system also allows for an easy manual override unlike all other roller shutters.

ThermoFrame - A Hormann reference for additional weather sealing on a sectional overhead door. The seal system provides a thermal break between the frame and the brickwork / steelwork and will give up to a 21% better thermal insulation value.

Torsion Springs - Springs mounted above the door opening. Torsion springs are tensioned manually when the door panels are fitted and then set to the shaft which runs through the spring. The spring turns the shaft, which raises or lowers the door via the cables winding on drums. These are the usual method of counterbalancing a sectional overhead door or domestic canopy garage door.

Track - Steel tracks provide a guide for the roller wheels of a sectional overhead type door. The vertical track is mounted to the structural opening with brackets on each side of the door opening. The horizontal track is supported from either above or the side and has a curved section leading into the vertical track section. In the closed position, the door is held and resting in the vertical track. In the open position, the door is suspended from the horizontal track. Sectional door tracking can also be inclined.

Up and Over - A door type where the whole door panel opens up as one piece and in its movement goes upwards and tilts over into the aperture. Usually domestic garage doors but also available are commercial car park up and over doors with high usage.

Vision Slats - A reference to slats within a roller door curtain where either holes or larger sections have been made into the slat to provide vision and also ventilation. The use of vision slats is common in security shutter for retail outlets or any application where high levels of ventilation may be required such as an underground car park.

Wicket Door - a smaller door set inside the large door for pedestrian access without having to open the main door.

Wind Load - The measurement for the amount of pressure a door can withstand which provides data to help specify the correct door on a building. It is the measurement of the lateral forces exerted on any door when fitted.

Wind Lock Guides - A type of guide used in a roller shutter door to lock the roller curtain onto the side guides and prevent the curtain being blown out on high winds or forced out in an attempted break in. Different methods are used for achieving this wind lock status but they are recommended more and more in modern shutters to prevent damage in high winds.



Z track - A description used by Hormann UK to describe their spring mechanism used on the single sized sectional garage doors. The Z track system uses side mounted tension springs either side of the garage door panels.