Case Study: Mahana Condos

A Mission to Build the Brand

Project: Mahana at Kaanapali
Location: Maui, Hawaii
Architect: Fred N. Sutter and Associates
The Project: On the western shores of Maui in the Aloha state of Hawaii, the resort known as Mahana at Kaanapali consists of two hospitality towers, 12 stories each. For short-term stays in this very popular destination, it offers spectacular ocean-front views and luxurious one- and two-bedroom suites.
The Solution: Each of the suites features floor-to-ceiling windows with aluminum framing finished in dark bronze.
They also include open-air entrances consisting of a side stile aluminum door with accompanying framing and sidelite.
Special-Lite SL-15 aluminum monumental doors form all entrances to these suites.
All of the doors and sidelites are finished with a matching dark bronze anodized finish to provide a cohesive appearance.
Glazing is made up of a 1-inch assembly consisting of ¼-inch clear tempered solar reflective glass, a ½-inch dark bronze metal spacer, and a ¼-inch Santa Fe figured tempered glass to give it a broken mirror effect and to create a designer privacy motif.
To meet the need for fire separations throughout the facility while still achieving the intended design appearance, Special-Lite SL-23 FRP doors with stainless steel casing serve as 96 fire doors throughout the property.
Since the FRP is available in a variety of colors, it provided the designers with an ample palette for selections.
In utility settings such as those near waste-collection locations, more robust FRP/aluminum hybrid doors were installed.
The Results: The selection of different types of doors using aluminum, stainless steel, and FRP facing provides a durable solution for different parts of this busy hospitality facility while still meeting the sought-after design and appearance.

Case Study: Mission BBQ

Download the Case Study Here!

A Mission to Build the Brand

In the restaurant market, branding is a critical asset. This is especially true for restaurant chains. Here, building construction is heavily connected to the brand identity, even as local variations are permitted.
For MISSION BBQ (, the brand is reflected in their buildings (such as the corrugated metal awnings), in their people (they like to hire vets), and in their practices (such as standing for the national anthem at noon each day). MISSION BBQ, headquartered in Glen Burnie, Maryland, was founded on September 11, 2011. Their message is one of patriotism, service to those who serve or have served, and close relationships with first responders. And, let’s not forget the barbeque!
Each grand opening for a new location includes patriotic fanfare and VIP events. Their branded military vehicle typically makes it these grand openings and has even served as a backdrop for military weddings. They have even christened a military style boat, named Sea Brisket.
As of this writing, MISSION BBQ was in nearly 70 locations in 15 states, all east of the Mississippi. Each ribbon-cutting ceremony also brings out one or both company founders, Bill Krause and Stephen “Newt” Newton.
Another key player in the ribbon cutting ceremony is the distinctive entrance system. No matter how small or how large the location, the entrance system takes on an appearance of wood and the doors always offer the trademark external pulls constructed of black gas pipe mounted at a characteristic angle with elbow ends. If the elbows and tops of the pipe get a little worn through use, well, that simply contributes to the brand image.
Distinctive doors are the silent members of MISSION BBQ grand openings, such as this one in Gambrills, Maryland.
Photo credit: Barney Gomez, Imagetakers

Behind the branding, of course, are serious doors and hardware designed for heavy traffic—another trademark of MISSION BBQ.

For all but a few of the early MISSION BBQ locations, the doors are actually aluminum monumental or stile and rail doors. Here, the Special-Lite SL-15 has been the go-to product. The doors feature full lites of 1” clear Low-E and tempered glass and a powder coated “Wood Expressions” finish.
The doors are paired with Hager Companies hardware including 4500 series rim exit devices with surface vertical rods (often less bottom rods), Roton continuous hinges, 5100 series closers, as well as strikes, and door protection plates.
Mitch Pipgrass, of Mitchell Sales & Associates (, represents both Hager Companies and Special-Lite in Maryland, Virginia, and the nation’s capital. He brought these two product lines together for MISSION BBQ. “This client, like most others I have worked with, wanted a comprehensive solution to their entrance-related challenges,” Mitch says. He continues: “So I offered them both the functionality and the look they needed. A significant component of that functionality is robustness. They want it to look right, for sure. But they need flawless performance out of the entrance system so they can focus on what really matters—serving their customers.”
Alan Hamm Architects (, of Kensington, Maryland, is the firm of record for MISSION BBQ. Kevin Lorei is a senior architect with the firm. “We’ve dealt with a variety of buildings for this client,” he explains. “Some are new construction from the ground up while others repurpose existing structures.”
A typical MISSION BBQ location offers 3,500 to 4,200 square feet of floor space. Within the space, a 100+-capacity dining room is the centerpiece and is always decorated in patriotic flare. Another component is a full-service kitchen area with open service line. A separate food preparation and catering area is common in most locations. Outdoor patio dining is available in all new construction locations and for renovated sites when space permits. Average construction time across all projects is about 12 weeks.
Wherever space permits, an outdoor dining patio is created with its own branding characteristics.
Photo credit: Special-Lite, Inc.

The variation of geography and building type can challenge the architect. “Still,” says Kevin Lorei, “we achieve the intended branding through some common elements. Among these are the chosen doors and custom, gas pipe pulls.”

He continues: “Early on, we had been using wood doors but we had challenges with warping and maintenance issues due to the heavy traffic these doors experience. We then discovered the more resilient doors of Special-Lite in an American Cherry wood grain finish that fulfills our initial design intent. They look great and hold up well to the heavy use.”
Speaking of those unique external pulls, Mr. Lorei explains: “From the corrugated metal awnings, to the door color and pulls, and patio construction materials, we sought honest, hard-working materials that reflect the clientele of MISSION BBQ. It a rustic, hands-on image. And the aesthetics of the openings contribute to that image.”
Special-Lite doors on Hager hardware swing wide during opening day festivities in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Photo credit: Barney Gomez, Imagetakers
According to Linda Dotterer, Brand Ambassador for MISSION BBQ, it was the research done by their founders that led to the entire customer experience as well as the decor of their restaurants.
“Before we opened our first restaurant, our founders traveled extensively to barbeque hotspots across the country,” she says. “They sought out the masters of barbeque. Along the way they also noted elements of decor that led to an unpretentious dining experience. In particular, they noted the fusion of metal, wood, and concrete. You see plenty of these elements in our restaurants today.”
“As a chain, Linda continues, “we can’t replicate every feeling of the mom and pop barbeque. But we use these elements to strive for an authentic barbeque experience. You see it in our on-site smoker from Ole Hickory Pits. You see it our metal food trays with food served on butcher block paper. And beyond the gas pipe door pulls, you see that same look in our railings and in our paper towel dispensers!”
Many building products can contribute to the desired brand image of restaurants. Logoed signage may be the most noticeable. However, the entrance system offers numerous ways for the restaurant owner to create the desired customer experience. After all, it can provide choices in material, color, finishes, lites, and hardware to help establish and reinforce the brand.
MISSION BBQ is on a mission to build their brand. For them, the chosen doors are leading the charge.

Image Gallery

SecureLite Product Overview and Installation

In today’s security-minded world, we often find ourselves torn between the need to protect ourselves and the need to feel totally comfortable in our surroundings. These two needs often meet at the entrance or entry door.
Here, there are obvious security measures and door styles which can act as defensive barricades. But we also want to enjoy nature and sunshine with plenty of light. This is where SecureLite comes into play. When paired with security glazing, SecureLite offers a layer of protection while still allowing for spectacular views.
SecureLite has become the go-to product for security glazing and intrusion resistant applications. It offers a ½” or 1” glass bite. This means that it will never permit the glass from being pushed out of the frame or lite kit. It can accommodate glass thicknesses of ¼” to 1”, providing you with choice. And, SecureLite uses a through-bolt design with no visible fasteners, making it ideal for standard lites as well as intrusion resistant lites.
SecureLite is available in standard or optional anodized colors, as well as one of 20 Kynar painted colors. You will always find the finish that compliments the remained of your entrance system or design needs.
We have prepared a short video explaining these and related product features AND providing a field demonstration of an intrusion attempt. You just have to see SecureLite in action. Watch the 2-minute YouTube video here: SecureLite In Action
Installation of SecureLite is straightforward and to make the job even simpler we have created easy-to-follow instructions. You can download the instructions right from our website using this link.
So, when you want the element of protection while still enjoying the light and views of outdoors, choose SecureLite.

How to Refinish Wood Grain Fiberglass Doors

Why Refinish a Wood Grain FRP Door?

Every door, even the resilient doors of Special-Lite, need some periodic care to ensure both functional and appearance standards are met. You know that repainting a hollow metal door and refinishing a wood door require different processes. Most of the Special-Lite FRP doors are similar to the metal door in that, if the finish is looking too worn, a simple repainting will spruce it up.
But wood grain FRP doors, such as our SL-18 and SL-19 models, are yet another matter and their refinishing is similar to that of a wood door. (Although, if you wish, you can simply paint these as well.)

When is Refinishing Needed?

When is refinishing needed? It can vary greatly based on climate and UV exposure. But we generally recommend refinishing every 7 to 10 years for these wood grain FRP doors.
No need to guess about the process or the materials you’ll need, however. We have created easy-to-understand instructions for the process. And, we have put together a short video for the same purpose.
In short order, you’ll be a wood grain refinishing pro.

Download PDF instructions:


The Problem With Doors

Many of us have a love-hate relationship with doors. Overwhelmingly, it leans toward love. After all, they serve us by providing convenient ingress and egress. They protect us from such things as the weather or unwanted visitors. They lend us privacy. And many are majestic pieces of art. What’s not to love?
And the true value of doors? Just ask someone who’s survived a zombie outbreak!
But there is a problem with many doors. Or, we could say the problem is in us. What is it? We hate to touch doors. Why? One word: germs. Yes, many of us are germaphobes and the thought of placing our hand where MANY others have placed theirs, is just . . . well . . . uncomfortable. And unsanitary!
In fact, we will put ourselves through all sorts of contortions to avoid touching the door with exposed skin. Or if it has to be skin, such as handles on the pull side, we’ll try to use one or two digits, the outside of our hand, our elbows, our umbrella, or whatever. Round handles are, of course, the worst. There’s no choice but to fully grasp them.
In fact, this reminds me of getting gasoline in my car. Yes, I also hate to touch that fuel pump handle that so many have touched before me. That’s why, for one reason and one reason only, I like winter: I can wear gloves without looking foolish. But I digress.
Those of us in the door trade will go to great lengths to make touching the door easy. We’ll even place push plates on doors that really don’t need them, only to have users touch anywhere but that plate!
Now, I can be relatively happy on the push side of a door. After all, I have a shoulder, my forearm, my hip, or my rear end that I can use to get through such a door. This can, of course, be somewhat dangerous for someone who may be on the other side at the same time! And, yes, the return trip is more problematic.
Some hardware manufacturers have introduced antimicrobial finishes. They may claim to have a lifetime treatment. Now, I’m all for advancing technologies that make life better. But would I trust these handles more than another? Not likely. It just doesn’t make sense to me that the finish on hardware could really mitigate the effects of germs, viruses, bacteria, and fungi along with a host of other nasty things that can cling to the door or its hardware.
No, I would need to see something equivalent to a bug zapper at work to put my full trust into touching the door or its hardware.
So, the next time you are in the mood to observe people entering or leaving through a door, make note of their touching patterns. I’ll be the one reaching high on the push side, up where no one has gone before. (Or, at least that’s what I tell myself.) And, on the pull side, I’ll either be daintily touching the handle with my pinkie or I’ll be the one wearing gloves in 95°F temps.
If you see me in distress, toss me a bottle of hand sanitizer (unopened container preferred).

The Landing: Creating an Experience One Door at a Time

How do you design a restaurant that is as beautiful as the shores of Northern Lake Michigan, and as welcoming as your favorite local hangout? How do you enable a venue to stay as fresh and appetizing as the great food it serves its customers, all while battling a high-moisture environment and high-volume traffic? The Landing Restaurant in Charlevoix, Michigan shows us how.
Preston Parish, Owner of The Landing, decided to create a delightful experience for the community with these goals in mind. He accomplished this by making wise product selections, one door at a time, that would enhance the surrounding ambiance of this favored destination.
Doors are an important element to the building envelope because they welcome every visitor that visits the establishment. They may seem minimal compared to the food and hospitality created by the hosts of this fast-growing establishment, but they are the one building component that every visitor will touch.
The main entrance of a restaurant has many functions beyond separating the inside of the building from the outside weather, temperature, and unwanted visitors such as animals and intruders. The doors in the main entrance should reflect the brand of the restaurant, whether that be in size, color, texture or style. A “one-off” restaurant, such as The Landing, may choose to have the main entrance door designed specifically for that location or the owner’s preference.
The selection process will change for a chain of restaurants. For example, a chain of restaurants may want to have a recognizable entrance – or signature entrance – so traveling patrons will recognize their favorite restaurant in other cities. The main entrance must also be engineered for high performance, as the doors must continue to function properly even through max-capacity traffic levels. The front entrance should also be easy to maintain and have low maintenance requirements, enabling it to remain as attractive as the beautifully plated meals served inside the restaurant.
The Landing restaurant chose painted white aluminum stile and rail doors manufactured by Special-Lite, Inc. These doors feature a lifetime warranty on the tie-rod and corner clip construction. In high traffic areas, the corners are the typical location of door failure.
Many restaurants have side entrances to perform as exit-only doors, but some also serve as access doors to attractive outdoor eating areas. These doors may match the main entrance or have a coordinating design. Although these side openings may not see the foot traffic that the main entrance does, they must also function smoothly, be easily cleaned, and have low maintenance requirements. Many times, food servers must open these doors hands-free to deliver food and beverages to patrons.
One important feature on a side entrance used to access an outside eating area is to enhance visibility. Seeing what is on the other side of the door is an important safety feature– to the user as well as the unsuspecting person standing on the other side.
On the lake side, The Landing chose to match the front entrance with a painted white aluminum stile and rail door with a mid-rail. The painted aluminum surface is easy to clean and offers protection from corrosion in a wet environment.
The back door or service entrance of a restaurant is generally located at the back of the building and is the utility door used for delivery of food, equipment, and as an employee entrance. Even though this opening lacks the foot traffic from patrons, the action it does receive can be abusive. From the rigors of deliveries on handcarts to offering a secure door to keep unwanted or uninvited guests from entering – this door needs to be strong, resistant to dents and scratches, have low maintenance requirements and be easy to clean. This work-horse door also needs to match the building’s design and be available in extra wide sizing.
The Landing chose a Special-Lite wood grain textured FRP/Aluminum hybrid door for the natural look of wood without all the disadvantages of a regular wood door. They also went one step further and asked Special-Lite to ‘plank’ the corrosion-resistant FRP for that beachy feel.
In a restaurant, there are always patron restrooms. No one needs to be reminded how important these doors are to a customer. Patrons commonly infer clean restroom = clean kitchen. For an establishment to communicate that cleanliness is important, the restrooms HAVE to be clean. All architectural products for this very important room should be selected with easy cleaning as a priority.
The Landing knew this and wanted more coastal charm on the interior of their restaurant, so they again chose to use the Special-Lite wood grain textured FRP/Aluminum hybrid door– this time in a stained finish with the same ‘plank’ style.
Some may feel that doors are no match for a delicious lobster roll or citrus cured salmon florets– or above all– the relaxing social experience on this beautiful shoreline, but at The Landing, even the doors support the brand and the experience that Parish sought to create.
“We knew that the location, being near the water with the humidity, could be corrosive and harsh on the building products we used. We also believed the level of activity we generated would place a significant demand on the architecture and facility. These reasons are exactly why we chose Special-Lite for our building entries and other framing and partitioning solutions”, Parish explained.
The building, the setting, the food and the friendliness consistently draws loyal patrons, friends, and tourists to this gem located on Lake Charlevoix, near the Lake Michigan shoreline. They all enter this experience through a well-thought-out and professionally manufactured Special-Lite door.

Mid-Panel Adds Versatility to Monumental Doors

Mid-Panel Adds Versatility to Monumental Doors

Our SL-14 and SL-15 are aluminum monumental or stile and rail doors used to create memorable and robust entrances. Whether you choose the standard (SL-14) or wide stile model (SL-15), you have the option to add the SL-484 mid-panel. Why would choose this option?  Simply put, do it for the branding potential.
This 12″ wide mid-panel has a closed-cell foam core, two tie-rods for added strength and an aluminum or FRP skin.  Further, this skin can be branded with your chosen identity—corporate, collegiate, and more.
For example, consider what Drexel University did with their mid-panels.  The university emblem is the dragon.  It finds its way onto all identity materials and takes the form of the school mascot, Mario the Magnificent.  So, why not put it on the entrance doors as well?
Drexel University SL-15 Entrance with mid-panel
What branding ideas do you have in mind?  Share them with us and let’s see how your vision can look on your entrance system.

25 Do’s & Don’ts For Effective Selling at Trade Shows

25 Do’s & Don’ts For Effective Selling at Trade Shows

I’m not sure I’ve ever met a sales professional who really enjoyed working a trade show or related event. But we have to do them. So we might as well learn to do them well. Here’s my list of 25 do’s and 25 don’ts that I have compiled over many years.
  • get yourself mentally set for a positive, dynamic selling experience. Trade shows are exciting events full of selling opportunities.
  • get yourself physically fit for standing while you are on duty. Select footwear carefully.
  • get a good night’s sleep. Leave the late-night partying to others.
  • get thoroughly briefed on your staff assignment—attire, work schedule, handouts, visiting VIPs, lead management, etc.—well in advance.
  • rehearse your facts and figures so you can make convincing presentations.
  • formulate some open-ended, qualifying questions.
  • practice the art of continuing to probe with qualifying questions. This technique shows genuine interest and is very informative.
  • ensure that your on-duty wardrobe is in keeping with your booth presentation.
  • look your best when you step on to the show floor—hair groomed, shoes shined, clothes neatly pressed.
  • arrive for your duty several minutes ahead of schedule so you don’t create unnecessary worry for your fellow staffers.
  • stand straight in a relaxed pose with hands clasped or at your side.
  • project a warm personality by wearing a smile and using non-threatening conversation.
  • extend a friendly greeting and initiate a good business-like handshake.
  • be courteous to all visitors, gracefully disengaging from those who are not qualified prospects.
  • concentrate on good eye contact throughout the qualification process.
  • listen actively and intently for hidden needs. Let the prospect do most of the talking.
  • be sincere and honest in your presentation. MOST people can see through inflated claims.
  • display genuine enthusiasm for your organization, its products, and services.
  • put all leads and business cards in a secure place with other leads.
  • keep the booth clean, uncluttered, and well organized.
  • take a short break after every two hours of booth duty. A stale staffer is an ineffective representative.
  • be a good neighbor. Make an effort to get to know the staffers in the booths around you and explain your reasons for attending the show. They may send you prospects or be prospects themselves.
  • take time to walk the show, surveying competition and observing other exhibits and exhibitors.
  • make mental notes of how your company’s participation could improve and share appropriately.
  • be on your best behavior throughout. Remember, you and your company are on display 24/7.
  • come to the show with a negative attitude. Instead, take the view that is a positive change of pace.
  • expect your exhibit to sell your products or company. Your job is to use the exhibit as a stage for your presentation.
  • forget your name tag. Pin it on your right lapel or side so it’s easily read while shaking hands.
  • let anything in your personal appearance, such as extreme wardrobe, distract your audience.
  • block access to your booth with people or exhibitry.
  • fold your arms across your chest, put your hands in your pockets or lean or sit on the exhibitry.
  • act like a robot with no feeling about what you are selling.
  • fidget, frown, or look impatient, bored, or tired.
  • eat, drink, chew gum, or comb your hair in the booth.
  • allow literature, briefcases, coats, sales leads, or business cards to clutter the booth.
  • be afraid to initiate a discussion. Attendees expect this.
  • assume anything about the visitor to your booth.
  • be patronizing to any attendee, regardless of age, gender, race, or any identifying characteristic.
  • ask general, dead-end questions such as “May I help you?”
  • disappear from the booth for any reason without explaining your absence to a fellow staffer.
  • talk too much, especially about yourself or company.
  • pass out business cards, literature, sample, or novelties (SWAG) without first qualifying prospects.
  • be tempted to talk at length with poor prospects.
  • waste the time of good prospects. You’ll make a much better impression by respecting their valuable time.
  • hesitate to encourage the prospect to compare your products to others at the show. This sort of confidence usually prevails.
  • forget to close your conversation properly with a qualified prospect by asking a leading question such as “when do you plan to move forward with your purchase?”
  • miss an opportunity at the end of an important discussion to suggest an exchange of business cards or to swipe their badge to the lead management system.
  • put leads or business cards in your pocket where they can get misplaced or not shared with team members.
  • fraternize too much with your competition.
  • underestimate the power of trade shows.

Doors that Brand: The Making of a Winning Entrance

Do you need Doors that Brand your building? Follow the making of a Winning Entrance

In March, we completed our #inoticedoors hashtag photo contest, and we announced the winning photo by Mike of The Lazzaro Companies: an entrance at Peoples Bank in Highland, IN.


A Winning Design

This entrance is unique, featuring not only curved framing but also curved muntins that complete the circular shape. Where the curved muntins run thru the door– completing the circle design– vertical muntins begin and travel down to the bottom rail. What an intricate design!  Also notable– the vertical framing above the entrance echoes the lines of the inactive middle leaf. These are not your typical bank doors!

Arches with Curved Framing in Production

Little did anyone know, this entrance had caught our eye much earlier on! We had several projects coming through production with beautifully curved framing in December.


Any project with curved framing results in a show-stopping entrance– but it wasn’t until I saw the drawings that I knew this would be an entrance that brands a building!


An Entrance that Brands a building– and Endures

Many Peoples Bank locations feature a similar or nearly identical design with a circular shape and arched framing. However, this is the first to feature Special-Lite entrance products. According to Mike Nolan at The Lazzaro Companies, the original drawings called for aluminum-clad residential doors to suit the overall look the designer wanted. However, Mike advised the bank that Special-Lite was the way to go for this opening. Mike had experience using Special-Lite products in the past. He understood that residential doors do not accept commercial hardware well. In addition, residential doors are certainly not as durable as commercial entrance systems. With support from the contractor, Larson-Danielson, Mike worked with the engineering department at Special-Lite to come up with the opening you see in the photo.

Every entrance product at Special-Lite is made-to-order. This enables us to make a one-of-a-kind entrance such as this one, that stands out and communicates your brand. We love helping organizations create an entrance that leaves a lasting impression on all who enter!


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PART 3 of 3 – Bullet Resistance (Ballistic) and Blast Resistance & How to Choose a Level of Protection

Bullet Resistant (Ballistic)

It is sad to think that we live in a time where we need to design entrance solutions for keeping our families and property safe, but we must continually innovate to overcome the threats that present themselves in daily life. Bullet resistant doors or ballistic doors and complete ballistic-rated entrance systems are an important part of this innovation. (We previously discussed in Part 1 the reason we don’t use the term “bulletproof door” when referring to these products.) What makes a product bullet resistant? There are several ratings that could describe the level of bullet resistance in a product. The most common are:
  1.           UL 752
  2.           National Institute of Justice (NIJ) 0108.01
  3.           State Department SD-STD-02.01
  4.           ASTM F-1233
  5.           HP White Laboratories HPW-TP 0500.02
  6.           European Standard DIN EN 1063
  7.           British Standards Institution BS 5051
  8.           Councils of Standards Australia/New Zealand AS/NZ 2343
A certified test lab performs these tests in a controlled environment. The range of weapons varies from handguns to rifles, and the ratings are quite different depending on the standard to which you are testing. For example, you may hear someone refer to “Level 3”, which has a different meaning depending on which testing standard you are talking about. Level 3, UL 752, calls for a .44 magnum handgun. National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Level 3 calls for the use of a 7.62mm (.308 Winchester) rifle. So, as you can see, there is a difference. I have worked on several projects developing bullet resistant doors using a fiberglass pultrusion process. When deciding on a bullet resistant opening solution I strongly recommend exploring the pultruded ballistic door options that are available. Believe it or not, steel is not always the answer to solving these complex entrance problems. When used properly, fiberglass has excellent ballistic properties without the concern of deterioration due to rust or corrosion.  

Blast Resistant

In some cases, such as in government installations, there is a blast requirement for most if not all exterior entrance systems. There are a couple of different approaches to achieve a blast rating for a blast-rated door specification.
  1. Arena Testing- This is obviously the most fun. As you can imagine by the name, this testing occurs outside in a controlled area, by setting off explosives to achieve the desired load and duration. The entrance system is instrumented to record the forces felt during the explosion. The advantage of using an arena test is that you’re not limited to certain dimensions on the product you’re testing. The downside with this method is that it is more difficult to obtain a specific pressure and duration due to the variation in explosive behavior.
  2. Shock Tube- The shock tube is an instrument used to replicate and direct blast waves at a sensor or a model to simulate actual explosions and their effects, usually on a smaller scale. The advantage of using the shock tube is that you can repeat the test more accurately than arena testing. The disadvantage is that the size of the shock tube restricts the size of the specimen.
An Entrance Ready for Shock Tube Blast Test
Shock Tube

How do I know what level of protection I needed for an entrance?

To be successful when ordering these types of systems, I strongly recommend that you take the time to understand the science behind the products that will protect you and your customers. Understanding the requirements of your state or local jurisdictions and having all the information ensures that you and your customer have on-time deliveries and products that meet the requirements for the project. For example, the load results for HVHZ approved systems are calculated in pounds per square foot. With ballistic systems, you need to understand the caliber of bullet that your entrance must withstand in an attack. This information will dictate the level of protection required. For blast-rated protection, you will need to know the blast load the product (in this case, a blast-rated door) needs to withstand, calculated pounds per square inch (psi), as well as the impulse calculated in pounds per square inch and milliseconds (psi-ms). For intrusion resistance, you need to know the amount of time that you want to hold a perpetrator at bay and if you want laminated glass or polycarbonate glazing.

More From this Series:

Part 1 of 3: Proof vs. Resistant and Intrusion/Forced Entry Resistance Part 2 of 3: Hurricane and Storm Resistance

Related Articles:

Doors + Hardware Magazine | May 2017 | Proof vs. Resistant: The Truth is in the Test  What is Fiberglass Pultrusion? A Win for School Security: Ballistic Door Wins New Product Award