Over the last few years the UK has seen a growing trend for extreme weather patterns. Whether it’s the Beast from the East or a rolling conveyor belt of Atlantic driven storms, the UK is regularly battered by hurricane force winds. Louise Nurse, Sales & Marketing Manager of sara LBS, warns that owners and operators of warehouses and factories should make sure their industrial doors are designed to withstand anything nature is likely to throw at them.
Let’s consider the effects that a wind damaged door could have. Firstly, should the damage occur during working hours it’s possible that personnel or equipment could be struck by the curtain. This can lead to expensive damage or, worse, serious injury.
Beyond the immediate aftermath, a badly damaged door could render the loading bay total unusable until the door is fixed. The next issue is that the loading bay and surrounding area will be unprotected and exposed to the full extent of the weather; and Health & Safety won’t like that. Security from thieves will be compromised to the extent that a night watchman may have to be employed until a repair is completed.
Similarly, bio-security will fail and it is only natural that birds and small animals (up to the size of a fox or badger) are likely to come into the loading bay seeking shelter.
Industrial doors typically have very large surface areas so can be subject to considerable wind loads. In the UK a storm is typically named if it will have an average wind speed above 18m/s. On a 5m x 5m door this equals approximately 5,000N of pressure across the entire curtain.
Considering that the UK sees several weather events a year with recorded wind speeds above 44m/s (100mph), it’s a good idea to regularly check any external doors to make sure they are not likely to let you down during the next storm.
But how do you do that? There are three things that can be done quickly and easily: Firstly, you can do a physical check: see if the doors look robust and make sure they open and close freely; check around the edges to see if they seal into their frame or if there any gaps that could let wind through; look for signs of damage (wind induced or otherwise) and weakness.
Secondly, talk to the loading bay personnel; don’t ask leading questions but try to ascertain how the door performs when exposed to harsh conditions – does it keep the weather at bay, let wind and rain through, rattle in its frame, function as normal?
Finally check the owners’ manual or contact the manufacturer to confirm its certification against the standards of EuroNorm DIN EN12424.
Like all industrial standards EN12424 is great for bedtime reading – you will soon be sound asleep – but within its covers is some great wisdom about wind loads on industrial doors. At the core of EN12424 are four wind load classes (plus a Class 0 for when data is not available). These are as per the following table:
Any responsible manufacturer should be able to tell you what class their doors meet. They will probably include the information in the user manual and may even have it as boilerplate information on the door itself. All sara LBS high speed doors have a wind resistance class rating which helps to identify where they are suitable for installation:
• PVC curtain doors are typically Class 1 – EN 12424
• Aluminium profile doors are typically Class 3 – EN12424
This makes sara LBS PVC curtain doors, such as the Spring high-speed range, suitable for indoor use and for outdoor installations where they are protected overnight and during bad weather by an external heavy-duty door. sara LBS aluminium profile doors are suitable for all but the most extreme climatic conditions and ideal for use almost anywhere in the UK.
In 2018 we experienced some of the best and worst weather on record. No matter whether the sun is shining or the heavens are opening, warehouse loading bays must be suitably equipped to protect goods and facilitate efficiency loading and unloading. sara LBS offers free on-site inspections of loading bay doors and equipment and can assess whether your equipment will weather the next storm.