Is There A Required Thickness in Commercial Coolroom and Freezer Glass Doors?

11 January 2018

Glass isn’t good at conducting heat. Take a look at a glass-lined thermos. It keeps its contents thermally stable for hours at a time. Glass windows do the same for the home, especially when they’re made from Low-E glass. How do coolrooms use this talent for minimizing energy losses? Well, transparent glass panels do materially maintain that cooling effect, but wouldn’t this insulation factor increase if the glass was thicker?

The Effects of Thicker Coolroom Glass 

The contents of a cooler are shown off by glass doors. Thin or thick, the glass remains transparent. If a busy shopper wanders the aisles of a frozen food department, only the contents of a frost-rimed shelf are on view, not the armoured glass. Thermal energy doesn’t work like the visible light spectrum. The heat just won’t penetrate denser glass. In effect, the material characteristics of the translucent panel pair with this augmented dimensional aspect to really stop all energy losses in their tracks.

What’s the Required Glass Thickness 

Measured in millimetres, see-through door panels can exceed 15-mm in thickness. That’s an impressively dense sheet of glass. Used in smaller plate sections, this type of reinforced glass is popularly employed in freezer doors as a small portal, a means of viewing the contents of a frozen enclosure. Out on the floor, standard coolroom enclosures employ panels that are between 5mm and 9mm thick. Remember, this is a door. It’s supported by hinges. If it’s too heavy, then the hinges will warp and the enclosure seal will fail. That’s why we install the more manageable but still energy efficient glass panels in conventional coolers.

Augmenting the Conventional Design 

So the concealed freezer is enjoying 15mm thick glass. It’s edged with a white frost, but the kitchen staff can clearly see the contents. The pure glass doors out in the frozen foods section can’t support the weight or expense associated with this thick material, but they can get around this issue. Instead of pure glass, the panels are double and triple glazed. They’re also fitted with a Low-E coating, a transparent film that rejects infrared heat. Finally, just to really bolster the insulation, the air between those glazed segments is replaced with argon or some other inert gas.

Coolroom and freezer glass doors employ some innovative insulating solutions. Denser glass is the first option, for glass does not easily conduct heat. That’s a strategy that works well on a reinforced freezer, but it can create more problems for a standard cool room because of the dense plating. When a lighter frame requires an insulated glass coolroom door, try opting for a triple glazed door with a Low-E film.

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

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