Special-Lite Releases New Wood Grain All Fiberglass Door

Introducing the AF-219-1 All Fiberglass Composite Contemporary Wood Grain Door

DECATUR, MI, May 26, 2017–  Special-Lite, Inc. introduced a new door model to their All Fiberglass Composite Door series, adding the warm look of a wood door. Special-Lite will manufacture the new AF-219-1 Contemporary Wood Grain Composite Door in their Marshall, Arkansas facility. It features the same construction method as the All Fiberglass Composite door series. Constructed by factory bonding FRP face sheets to pultruded fiberglass stiles and rails, this method produces doors that are lightweight, strong, impervious to moisture, and resistant to rust, rot, and corrosion. The addition of the AF-219-1 adds a wood grain texture to Special-Lite’s existing FRP face sheet texture options: This contemporary wood grain FRP face sheet first gained popularity when Special-Lite released the SL-19-1 Contemporary Wood Grain FRP/Aluminum Hybrid door. The FRP face sheet has a realistic wood look featuring authentic cherry species replication in four standard stain colors:
  • American Cherry
  • Dark Cherry
  • Dark Walnut
  • Light Maple
  • Custom paint colors also available
 

About Special-Lite, Inc.

Special-Lite manufacturers engineered, made to order architectural products, including commercial entrance systems, interior aluminum framing with swing or sliding aluminum framed doors, and FRP restroom partitions. Complete entrance system products are fiberglass or aluminum flush doors with many door face texture options including wood grain, aluminum monumental (stile & rail) doors, and fiberglass or aluminum framing. Special-Lite’s products are used in new construction and renovation projects for educational, commercial, institutional, industrial and municipal applications. Founded in 1971, the company pioneered the use of fiberglass reinforced polyester (FRP) material for door skins. Today, Special-Lite is the largest volume producer of commercial FRP doors in the United States. pdf-press-releaseview-on-websitesales-sheet  

Special-Lite Expands Thermally Broken Aluminum Framing Product Line

More Design Options for Energy Efficient Entrances

DECATUR, MI, April 6, 2017— Special-Lite has engineered additional sill sizes for their Thermally Broken Aluminum Framing to provide a more robust offering to the product line. Both the SL-450TB (2″ x 4-1/2″) and SL-600TB (2″ x 6″) thermally broken framing provide excellent performance that matches or exceeds the thermal performance of glass. With the addition of new sill sizes (listed below), the added variations provide customers with a better energy efficient entrance solution. New thermally broken sill sizes:
  • 2″ x 4-1/2″
  • 2″ x 6″
  • 4″ x 4-1/2″
  • 4″ x 6″
  • 6″ x 4-1/2″
  • 6″ x 6″
 

Unique Finish Options for Your Thermally Efficient Entrance

With Thermally Broken Framing, you can even choose to have the interior side of framing a different finish than the exterior! This design option is possible because we apply the finish on the aluminum first. After finishing, the thermal strut completes the construction of the framing. Class 1 anodized finishes for the thermally broken framing include clear, dark bronze, black, champagne, light bronze and medium bronze. Special-Lite can also paint thermally broken framing with any of their established Kynar 500® paint colors. If you would like the look of wood without the maintenance, select the ‘Wood Expressions’ decorative finish as an option.

About Special-Lite, Inc.

Special-Lite manufacturers engineered, made to order architectural products, including commercial entrance systems, interior aluminum (Type II) framing with swing or sliding aluminum framed doors, and FRP restroom partitions. Complete entrance system products are fiberglass or aluminum flush doors with many door face texture options including wood grain, aluminum monumental (stile & rail) doors, fiberglass, and aluminum framing. Special-Lite’s products are used in new construction and renovation projects for educational, commercial, institutional, industrial and municipal applications. Founded in 1971, the company pioneered the use of fiberglass reinforced polyester (FRP) material for door skins. Today, Special-Lite is the largest volume producer of commercial FRP doors in the United States.   View PDF Sign Up for News Releases  
architectural-details
Architectural Details
product-page
Product Page
color-selections
Color Selections

A Win for School Security: Ballistic Door Wins New Product Award

ballistic-door-award

About the Award

College Planning & Management announced the winners of their 2016 New Product of the Year Awards in Mid-December. They state,
“The New Product Award program honors the outstanding product development achievements of manufacturers and suppliers whose products or services are considered to be particularly noteworthy in their ability to enhance the learning environment. An independent panel of judges from the industry selected 15 Platinum and 26 Gold winners in the second year of this contest. Twenty-nine additional products were awarded an Honorable Mention.”
We are excited to announce that Special-Lite’s AF-100BRwon the Platinum New Product award in the category of Doors for educational door and frame safety. We are so passionate about school safety and school security, and we continue to develop new products to meet these needs. You can read more about the award and other winning products here.
bullet-resistant-door-school-security

About our Ballistic Door & Frame

The AF-100BR3 Door is the first ballistic door manufactured using fiberglass pultrusion technology. This process produces a smooth-faced, corrosion and bullet resistant fiberglass door. This door is incredibly strong and is also fully sealed for easy cleaning. Special-Lite developed this bullet resistant door to support the need for increased security at educational, government and military facilities. You can read the details on our ballistic products here.

What is Fiberglass Pultrusion?

Is your building in a wet area and prone to rust and deterioration? Are you processing food, serving food, or needing to sanitize doors? Do you need easy care and maintenance in a beautiful, smooth finished door and frame with a long life expectancy? If you are asking any of these questions, your answer is FIBERGLASS. Now… how do you choose what type of FIBERGLASS door and frame? Let me explain… There are many different commercial fiberglass door and frame manufacturing methods, but the one that is proving to be one of the best – if not the best – is the Pultruded Fiberglass Door and Frame. Many are familiar with fiberglass pultrusion manufacturing process from its history in producing pultruded products such as FRP door frames.  Today, we use this high fiber-to-resin ratio approach in the production of the toughest fiberglass doors on the market.

What is the Fiberglass Pultrusion Process?

Pultrusion is a process where raw materials (in this case glass fiber reinforcements and resins) are drawn into a profile die by a mechanical pulling force.  These fibers are injected with resins while under tension where they are combined and cured. This technology is used to create an entirely pultruded door panel.  A high-density, closed cell polyurethane foam core accompanies the woven rovings, woven knits, veil and resins into the die.  This core reduces the weight of the door without diminishing its strength and delivers outstanding thermal performance. fiberglass-pultrusion-process Multiple layers of glass fiber reinforcing fabrics envelop both sides of the core panel as it moves through the process: a woven layer for impact resistance, two layers of random continuous filament for flexural strength, and a thin veil top layer to provide a smooth surface finish. Glass reinforcements wrap around the panel edges from both sides to improve the door’s structural properties.  This combination of reinforcing fabrics is necessary to consider, as it is this high fiber-to-resin ratio that gives the fiberglass door such impressive strength.   An FDA- and USDA-compliant resin fully saturates the glass fiber fabrics before the door enters the profile die. Here, the die compresses reinforcements around the core panel.  The resin fully cures around the core as the panel passes through the heated portion of the die.  This process produces a hermetically sealed, incredibly durable door panel free of voids.  The FRP has as much as a 65% glass content and provides excellent impact resistance and screw holding strength.  

Performance Beyond Avoiding Rust and Rot of Metal and Wood Doors

While fiberglass doors have gained favor in both the commercial and residential markets, it is important to point out key opportunities for improved performance that a fiberglass pultruded door delivers. The benefits go far beyond the avoidance of rust, rot, and the replacement cost of using wood and steel doors.  

Constructed with Materials that Last

There is no door built to last like a fiberglass door.  Fiberglass boasts impressive strength to weight ratio. Lighter weight allows the hardware attached to have a longer life.  All fiberglass doors, so long as they are sealed, are impervious to moisture, chemicals, seawater and salt solutions.  A fiberglass pultruded door delivers extraordinary performance.

No molds – No Gel Coat

The pultrusion process works without the use of a mold and therefore does not require the use of a gel coat.  A fiberglass pultruded door is prime coated and finished with a two-part urethane finish that delivers superior UV protection.  This 5 mil thickness finish is resistant to corrosive airborne agents and is not susceptible to chalking, discoloration, or leaching. The color maintains a high gloss appearance and flexibility for many years, even in full sun exposure and corrosive environments. This aliphatic polyurethane coating allows for easy surface damage repair. Pultruded doors with this finish are FDA and USDA compliant.

Hermetically Sealed – Really

A manufacturer can feed various core materials into the die. There is a bias toward the use of a closed cell polyurethane foam core to enhance its structural performance.  This process allows doors, in constant contact with water or high humidity, to avoid constant expansion and contraction. Continual expansion and contraction quickly deteriorates a metal or wood door and damages the physical properties of a fiberglass door.  Since pultruded doors are hermetically sealed, they avoid this damaging expansion and contraction. pultruded-door-diagram

Above and Beyond

Finally, pultruded fiberglass doors can use alternate cores adding scalable protection performance. You can order these doors manufactured with fire or ballistic cores adding safety performance to entry ways where needed. You even can order oversized doors pultruded in very long lengths without any seams! Click below to read the original article by Special-Lite VP of Sales and Marketing, Roger Stempky, as published in DHI’s November 2016 Doors + Hardware Magazine: pultrusion-article    

Elephant Doors: Swing Open Frame Units

elephant doors

Extra Large Doors Big Enough for an Elephant!

Do you have large equipment you need to move in or out of your building? Do you have a showroom where you regularly rotate large promotional items, such as trucks or cars? Will you need to occasionally move a large animal, like an elephant, from one building to another? If you shook your head YES to any of these questions, Special-Lite has your solution! We celebrate Special-Lite’s dedication to bringing engineered solutions to you. Does this mean we employ entrance designers and skilled craftspeople? Oh yeah!  We know that our customers sometimes need something out of the ordinary. Is there any better way to communicate to you our unique skills than to show you? Just look at how we solved this customer’s need.

The Showroom’s Entrance Solution

Would it be possible to bring massive products in and out of a beautiful building without huge roll up doors? Does function have to trump aesthetics? Working with Special-Lite, a showroom found the perfect solution. Collaboration between building owner, sales representative, installer, and Special-Lite resulted in a custom designed, large commercial opening, with all of the functionality and design appeal desired. The design uses an aluminum frame system that can swing out of the opening for ‘moving’ day, yet have man doors for everyday use! The side hinged frame sections and doors are equipped with continuous gear hinges for ease of use and durability, eliminating the need for trackways and side clearances. The frame units are locked down with flush bolts on top and bottom when closed to provide added security. You have the option for removable center posts for rigid support in securing the doors.  

Beautiful Doors with Secret Superpowers!

Special-Lite® Elephant Doors provide a brilliant solution for accommodating the passage of large objects in and out of a facility. They are perfect entrance solutions for shopping malls, convention centers, sports arenas, dealership showrooms, zoos, and museums.   elephant-doors-swing-out-storefront-frame Intrigued? Meet with one of our Special-Lite Reps and find out what we can do for your building!  

Fire-Rated Doors 101: Learn More about Commercial FRP Fire Doors

If you love one or all of our Special-Lite fiberglass doors, did you know we have a harmonizing fire-rated model available too?

Special-Lite is the manufacturing leader for fiberglass doors. In 35+ years, we migrated from the first and best fiberglass school door into many markets and industries – all having unique door needs. One of those needs is a fire-rated fiberglass door to use in rated entrance locations to match our door products. We solved this need through engineering and by challenging our expert craftspeople to manufacture fire-rated fiberglass doors and frames. They are perfect for new construction or retrofit projects.

We offer two fire-rated fiberglass door types: FRP/Stainless Steel & Fiberglass

What? Yes, both construction types use FRP face sheets, but the construction method and design are different. It is important that you understand the unique construction methods so you can select the type best suited to your location.

FRP/Stainless Steel Fire-Rated Door

Special-Lite builds FRP/Stainless Steel fire-rated doors using a fire-resistant mineral core in 30, 45, 60, and 90-minute rated versions. We chemically bond FRP face sheets to this mineral core. We screw-apply the stainless edges, then weld and buff the corners. Stainless steel vision lite kits are also an available option!

Our fiberglass fire doors are hand measured throughout the entire process to ensure we meet specifications. Custom-built punches used by skilled craftspeople deliver precision edge preps on the stainless steel edge pieces. These punches prep for hardware such as mortise locks, strikes, and flush bolts.

collage_fotor

Below you can see a graphic representation of the FRP/Stainless Steel fire-rated door’s construction. Fire-rated cores are ordered to fit specifications and are reinforced on the top, bottom, and hardware areas. The stainless steel door edge is durable and protects the door edge from damage involving gym bags, suitcases, hospital beds, and equipment.

fire-door-wood  

Fiberglass Fire-Rated Door 

Our other fiberglass fire-rated door construction does not utilize stainless steel door edges. We construct these doors with a fire-rated mineral core featuring edge blocking for superior screw hold performance. We again chemically bond FRP face sheets to the mineral cores. You can order these fiberglass fire-rated doors in many size variations, with fire ratings from 20 to 90 minutes.

  all-fiberglass-fire-01 cross-section-01  

In the drawing above notice the pultruded fiberglass fire-rated door frame! When you combine this pultruded fiberglass fire-rated framing with our fiberglass fire-rated door, you will enjoy a beautiful, complete and cohesive entry system!

Both the Fiberglass Fire-Rated Door and the FRP/Stainless Steel Fire-Rated Door construction uses our .120” thick fiberglass face sheets giving our customers many options:

fire-door-chart
  1. AMP Wood Grain (Fiberglass) Face Sheet We are very excited to offer you a faux wood grain fire-rated door, the Fire-Rated AMP-Clad SL-22! A wood grain look presents many design opportunities for a warm and home-like feel without sacrificing the durability of FRP.  This door is perfect for hospitals, long-term care facilities, retirement residences, hotels, educational housing, places of worship, and traditional education buildings. If your design team has chosen to use our SL-19 flush or SL-18 colonial doors, the SL-22 is the fire door for you! Below is a photo featuring a hotel with this door!
amp-fire-door-woodgrain
  1. Pebble Grain SpecLite 3® FRP (Fiberglass Reinforced Polyester) Face Sheet Our most popular FRP face sheet is used on both the SL-21 and the FR-20P/45P/60P/90P fire doors. The pebble grain FRP face sheet, our proprietary SpecLite 3®, unlike competitors’ pebble grain FRP sheets has a mylar coating. This coating provides scratch and graffiti resistance, as well as making doors incredibly easy to clean. This face sheet is available in 12 standard thru-color options. This option is the perfect choice for any location experiencing hard use or abuse. Also, this is the same face sheet used on the SL-17 and the AF-217 non-fire-rated doors so our customers may coordinate as required.
  2. Sandstone Textured FRP (Fiberglass Reinforced Polyester) Face Sheet You’ll find the sandstone texture FRP face sheet on both the SL-23 and the FR-20S/45S/60S/90S fire doors. The sandstone textured FRP face sheet provides a smoother look than the pebble grain for applications such as schools, childcare centers, hospitals, and industrial buildings. This face sheet is available in all 9 standard thru-color options. Also, this is the same face sheet used on the SL-20 and AF-220 door non-fire-rated doors so our customers may coordinate as desired.
  3. Smooth FRP Face Sheet We use our smooth FRP face sheet on only one of our fire-rated doors – the FR-20/45/60/90. This option provides a beautiful, sleek, modern, and easily cleanable surface. Hermetically sealed with no cracks or crevices, these fire doors are impervious to moisture, chemicals, and bacteria. Standard color selections include 10 standard colors, and the option to use custom colors. All finishes are industrial two-part aliphatic polyurethane, which meets USDA qualifications for incidental food contact. These fire-rated doors are perfect for food prep areas, schools, fitness centers, and pharmaceutical applications. We also think you could get creative with the modern look and color selection and use this durable door for a variety of industries or buildings. Gloss black in an upscale hotel, anyone? This smooth fiberglass fire-rated door works seamlessly with the AF-100 and AF-200!

Our fire-rated doors are compatible with a wide variety of hardware. Particularly relevant is the ability to have surface vertical rods less bottom rods on our FRP/Stainless Steel models, which is preferable by hospitals. Hardware compatibility for both fire-rated constructions is listed below:

hardware-compatibility-fire-rated

Complete Fire-Rated Entrance (Door & Frame)

Complete your fiberglass fire-rated entrance with a pultruded fiberglass frame that cannot rust or corrode! If you cannot replace the existing fire-rated frames, ask about Special-Lite’s insert frame and capping system for your retrofit project. Confused? Don’t be. Just call and let us help you select the perfect door and frame for your fire-rated location.

Infographic: Fiberglass Reinforced Polyester FRP Door

Learn More About How Fiberglass and Aluminum Innovations Can Benefit Your Facility

Your building’s first impression is its entrance doors and all who enter touch those doors. Is your visitor’s first impression one of cleanliness, safety, and welcome? Traditional options for schools, universities, and government entrances show the abuse they receive. These doors waste maintenance hours. They need frequent repairs, repainting, and replacement, and often have hardware malfunctions. Are your traditional hollow metal or wood doors eco-friendly? Do they lack the thermal performance to save on heating and cooling costs? These reasons may have you contemplating the investment of a more modern solution for a long, maintenance-free life: FRP. You may also hear them called Fiberglass Reinforced Polyester doors or FRP Aluminum Hybrid doors. These doors deliver the ideal combination of benefits which we’ve detailed in this FRP Door Infographic (select image for PDF): frp-school-door-infographic
  The SL-17 fiberglass door has swept the education market, becoming synonymous with “school door.” Special-Lite has also met the demand for custom options to suit aesthetics desired by many different industries! Our doors prove to be an excellent value for building owners. As a result, many door companies try to imitate, but never replicate, the design and materials. Contact us today about the unique construction and proprietary materials that make Special-Lite the most specified FRP door!

Special-Lite Introduces the BasiX™ Door

DECATUR, MI – A limited distribution sandstone-textured FRP (Fiberglass Reinforced Polyester) door that is designed as an “In Stock,” durable replacement door. The BasiX  door includes many of the features of a Special-Lite SL-20 sandstone-textured FRP flush door, but with no lead-time, and at a competitive price point. Doors are available in 4 standard sizes to fit existing standard steel or hollow metal door sized openings. Other features include doors being non-handed with aluminum square edge stiles, a 5# urethane foamed-in-place core, and are reinforced at the top of the door to accommodate standard door closers. Our innovative Lock Pocket (patent pending) is adaptable to cylindrical and mortised locks, as well as rim exit devices. The door’s flush bottom allows for a field applied surface sweep. The benefits of a BasiX Door are a quality, corrosive resistant, commercial grade fiberglass (FRP) door that is designed to fit into just about any existing frame. Doors are primed and ready to paint any color you choose. Our Limited Distribution Partners have this door in stock and available for you. To find a Special-Lite BasiX Door near you – call Special-Lite at 800.821.6531. About Special-Lite, Inc. Special-Lite manufacturers engineered architectural products, which includes commercial entrance systems, interior aluminum (Type II) framing with swing or sliding aluminum framed doors, and FRP restroom partitions. Our complete entrance system products are fiberglass or aluminum flush doors with many door face texture options including wood grain, aluminum monumental (stile & rail) doors, fiberglass and aluminum framing. Our engineered, made to order architectural products are used in new construction and renovation projects for educational, commercial, institutional, industrial and municipal applications. The company was founded in 1971 and pioneered the use of fiberglass reinforced polyester (FRP) material for door skins in the early 1980’s, and today is the largest volume producer of commercial FRP doors in the United States. View PDF

Special-Lite Introduces “All-Fiberglass” Doors

New AF Series products offer corrosion and impact resistance; also support healthcare and food industry sterilization requirements.

DECATUR, MI – Special-Lite, Inc. has announced the addition of two new All-Fiberglass (AF) series of doors and frames to the Special-Lite® line of heavy-duty entrance systems. Included are AF-100 Series doors, the industry’s only unitized, hermetically sealed, fully “pultruded” doors. Also included are AF-200 Series doors, which feature a completely sealed design with a range of finish options – including pebble grain, sandstone-textured and wood grain – shared with the company’s SL-Series doors. Roger Stempky, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, said “These new additions to the Special-Lite line reflect the quality and durability that have long been associated with the Special-Lite brand. The All-Fiberglass or ‘AF’ designation enables architects, specifiers and end-users to identify the products as suitable for applications requiring high corrosion and impact resistance, as well as easy sterilization for healthcare and food industry environments.” Stempky said “AF-100 Series doors are the former Industrial Series all-fiberglass pultruded products previously offered under the Universal Pultrusions brand and widely recognized as highly durable and corrosion resistant solutions, with a smooth, simple and elegant finish.” He said the renamed products will now be available exclusively through the Special-Lite sales organization as part of the Special-Lite line. The company will continue to produce its pultruded doors in Marshall, Arkansas. According to Stempky, “The AF-200 Series doors represent a new product innovation, marrying all-fiberglass technology with popular Special-Lite face sheet textures to create a completely sealed door with versatile and attractive finish options compatible with our SL Series products.” The AF-200 Series will also be available exclusively through the SpecialLite sales organization. Complete information about AF-100 and AF-200 Series products may be obtained at www.special-lite.com. About Special-Lite, Inc. Special-Lite manufacturers engineered architectural products, which includes commercial entrance systems, interior aluminum (Type II) framing with swing or sliding aluminum framed doors, and FRP restroom partitions. Our complete entrance system products are fiberglass or aluminum flush doors with many door face texture options including wood grain, aluminum monumental (stile & rail) doors, fiberglass and aluminum framing. Our engineered, made to order architectural products are used in new construction and renovation projects for educational, commercial, institutional, industrial and municipal applications. The company was founded in 1971 and pioneered the use of fiberglass reinforced polyester (FRP) material for door skins in the early 1980’s, and today is the largest volume producer of commercial FRP doors in the United States. View PDF