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Designers looking for doors which combine slender frames with high strength and durability are increasingly opting for cold-formed tubular steel from members of the Steel Window Association.

Tubular steel extends the scope of steel construction into heavy-duty doors, screens and curtain wall systems by retaining the high strength of steel with long spans and slender lines.

Ideal for commercial buildings such as retail, office and leisure developments, these doors can be relied upon to withstand high levels of usage while retaining their elegant appearance. They are also widely used in public buildings – especially schools – which are subject to high levels of wear and tear.

Tubular sections offer lightweight frames which maximise the ratio of glass to steel, producing very light, transparent facades which are ideal for busy showcase entrances.

“These doors are a high quality alternative to aluminium, which is currently the dominant material in this sector” comments Paul Richardson, sales manager with Liverpool-based manufacturer REA Metal, a Steel Window Association member.

“Cold-formed steel is long-lasting and simple to design and install because you don’t need any secondary support.”

Insulated profiles incorporating thermal barriers are available which ensure the highest level of thermal resistance for external doors, allowing designers to meet ever tightening energy conservation requirements.

When fitted with triple-glazed argon-filled low-E warm edge insulating glass units, tubular steel doors can deliver U-values as low as 1.3 W/sq m K.

“Tubular steel doors can meet the latest energy requirements of the building regulations” comments Mr Richardson. “And they are of welded construction which makes them very strong.”

Where there is a requirement for fire safety combined with maximum daylight and vision, fire-rated tubular steel doors are unbeatable. Several SWA members offer fire-rated tubular steel designs.

Steel doors and windows are corrosion resistant because all modern tubular steel frames are rustproofed, usually by hot zinc-spray in accordance with BS EN22063:1994 and, where specified, are stoved polyester colour coated.