Common Causes of Failure in Clear Plastic Swing Doors and Plastic Strip Curtains

13 June 2017

Today, clear plastic swing doors and plastic strip curtains are considered a cold storage room staple. The space-segregating PVC panels prevent dirty air from circulating, they help cold storage areas to keep their goods cool, and also generally eliminate other zone-propagating invaders, including noise. There’s little that can go wrong with the tough plastic access points, although they are susceptible to the following site threats.

Physical Impacts 

A sweep of a staff members’ hand pushes aside the panel. No damage is done, so the workflow continues. In point of fact, the workflow is optimised because there’s no waiting for a rigid door to open or close. Still, there are other travellers crossing the coolroom floor. Trolleys loaded with meat cuts hit the clear plastic swing doors. Then there are forklifts cruising the indoor highways. The operators of these heavier vehicles take care when they cross one cooling zone into the next, but some damage is likely when plastic meets a loaded metal chassis.

Environmental Damage 

Tough engineering plastics won’t fail when the temperature drops precipitously low. The material is designed to handle the arctic cold. However, when installed on a loading dock, perhaps as a barrier while the warehouse door is raised, there are a handful of external threats that will weaken the plastic. Primarily, ultraviolet radiation (UV) discolours PVC. Combined with constant wear and tear, with large pallets of sharp objects passing through the entryway, the plastic panels and strips will turn a brownish colour. Generally speaking, the clear plastic swing doors and plastic strip curtains retain elasticity, but a small amount of polymer brittleness will seep into the material.

Susceptible to Mechanical Activity 

Transparent vinyl curtains swing closed on a rail system, they’re concealed behind a large warehouse door, and some are located a short distance behind strong freezer accessways. Similarly, clear plastic swing doors work on their own, plus they’re supported by mechanical opening and closing systems. When a single curtain strip becomes kinked, it ends up trapped in a gap between one of these doors and the door frame. Meanwhile, a rail system fails because of corrosion. The result is an energy leaking plastic barrier, one that could potentially damage the coolroom door.

Fortunately, a few plastic curtain strips are easy enough to replace. A large panel on a plastic swing door isn’t that much harder to replace, so problems with this environment segregator are readily addressed. Keep that fact in mind when plastic transparency fails, too, for this issue is considered a health and safety risk, one that could obscure an approaching forklift as it travels between cold zones.

Mark Connelly
C&M Coolroom Services
Mobile: 0412 536 315

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