A high-speed door is a type of automatic sliding or rolling door that is designed to open and close very quickly. The purpose of this type of door is to maintain the climate of enclosed areas by preventing excessive heat leakage in either direction. Such doors are most widely used in industrial or commercial settings with high traffic levels in and out of a given enclosed area, such as a warehouse. A high-speed door opens and closes rapidly in order to minimize the amount of heat that is able to escape or enter the enclosure, thereby keeping heating and cooling costs as low as possible. They can also be used to ensure that airborne pathogens cannot spread easily between areas, though this is not as common a concern.
The most common reason to install a high-speed door is to reduce heat flow between two areas. A normal door may be open for several seconds each time an individual walks through it, allowing plenty of heat to flow from one area to the other. This can be costly if it flows from a heated enclosure to the cold outdoors, as more energy and, therefore, money must be invested to keep the heated area warm. A high-speed door can help ensure that the door is not open for much longer than the time it takes for an individual to pass through the door.
Their ability to minimize heat leakage in or out of an enclosure makes high-speed doors particularly valuable in temperature-controlled areas. Some warehouses, laboratories, and stores have areas that must be maintained above or below a certain temperature. Substantial deviation from the required temperature can cause harm to products, specimens, or other materials. A high-speed door can minimize potential temperature fluctuations by ensuring that the temperature-controlled enclosure's exposure to outside uncontrolled temperatures is kept to an absolute minimum.
Safety is a major concern for those attempting to install and use high-speed doors, as a high-speed door may be quite heavy and tends to close fast enough to severely harm anyone caught in its path. As such, this type of door is generally installed with two or more highly sensitive and redundant safety systems. The door usually opens because of a pressure or optical sensor and will not close until an individual has left the sensor area. Furthermore, most systems have pressure sensors built into the doors, so if the door itself hits something when it is closing, it will immediately stop and open again.