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Storm Doors Clad with Thermoplastic Alloy Resist Weather,
Impact, Cleansers

Storm Doors Clad with Thermoplastic Alloy Resist Weather, Impact, Cleansers
 

Finished doors clad with proprietary thermoplastic alloy complement architectural styles, and withstand harsh weather and everyday use.
 
Storm Doors Clad with Thermoplastic Alloy Resist Weather, Impact, Cleansers
 
Thermoplastic alloy sheet stocked by DAC for cladding of storm door substrates.
 
Storm Doors Clad with Thermoplastic Alloy Resist Weather, Impact, Cleansers

Storm Doors Clad with Thermoplastic Alloy Resist Weather, Impact, Cleansers
 

Thermoplastic alloy sheet is CNC routed to precise sizes, eliminating the need for trimming after lamination.
 
Storm Doors Clad with Thermoplastic Alloy Resist Weather, Impact, Cleansers
 
Scrap is sold back to Boltaron for recycling.
 
 
 
 

RURAL HALL, NC — The products manufactured by family-owned DAC Products consist mainly of point-of-purchase displays, modular sales counters, portable sample kits and other sales tools, but the company also maintains a steady business in a seemingly unrelated niche: cold-pressed component parts for residential storm doors. These are fabricated particleboard substrates on which DAC laminates rigid vinyl or aluminum sheet. The laminated composites are shipped to manufacturers that fit the doors with a variety of hardware components, ready for installation.

"The storm door industry is what we started with when we opened in 1987," says Todd Woods, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, "and was a stepping stone to growth and diversification in a number of areas."

The market is very competitive, quality-conscious and price-sensitive, and since storm doors must resist harsh weather and everyday use, extreme durability is a key selling point.

According to Squire Irwin, plant manager, the vinyl sheet DAC originally sourced began to exhibit surface irregularities and was prone to delamination. The supplier's inability to rectify the problem prompted DAC to subject sheet products of several competing suppliers to a battery of tests including adhesion strength, resistance to heat and cold, abrasion resistance, chemical resistance and delamination.

In the end, DAC selected a rigid, proprietary thermoplastic alloy produced by Boltaron of Newcomerstown, OH, and converted to the new material in late 2009 after informing its customers.

Because the Boltaron sheet offers improved impact resistance, DAC was able to down gauge the sheet it orders from 0.022 to 0.018 in. (.56 to .46 mm), and save on the cost of material, which is priced primarily by weight. "The material's thinness, impact and adhesion strength and other attributes helped DAC improve its door composites," says Stephen Frantz, of CartierWilson LLC, manufacturer's rep for Boltaron.

The sheet also offers resistance to a wide range of chemicals, allowing cleaning of door surfaces using strong cleansers, with no staining or fading.

"An unexpected benefit is that the Boltaron product has almost no static charge," says Irwin. "With the former material, a worker standing several feet from one of the processing machines would frequently get shocked from discharge of static build up," he says, adding, "Static build up also attracted scraps and particles to the sheet, which if not removed, affected laminate adhesion and quality, a problem we no longer experience."

Most of the sheet DAC specifies for storm door surfacing is white, with a Naugahyde-like exterior texture and a smooth second side. Boltaron ships pre-cut blanks in sizes slightly larger than the trimmed sizes of DAC's doors.

The sheet is cut to a precise size for each component by a CNC router. "Some customers order 4 in. (102 mm) jams, some order 3-15/16 in. (100 mm) jams," Irwin says. "We cut the sheet to a specific size for each part." One benefit of CNC cutting is low scrap, which DAC collects at the router and sells back to Boltaron. "We have good, clean scrap," says Irwin. "Very little goes to landfill."

The particleboard substrates are comprised of a header, a main panel and two jams. Once glued and cured, the assembly is run through a planer and a double-headed sanding machine, reducing it to 0.036 in. (914 mm). Adhesive is applied to both sides of the substrate which is then sandwiched between two thermoplastic sheets, and stacked 25 high in a cold press for about 30 minutes while the adhesive catalyzes, yielding composite parts measuring 3/4 in. (19 mm) in thickness.

DAC adds a urethane sealer to the bottom edge and sides to seal out moisture prior to shipping to storm door manufacturers, who add aluminum surrounds, master frames, glass panels, weather stripping, handles and decorative accessories.

DAC employs approximately 100 in an 80,000 sq ft (7500 sq m) facility located in Rural Hall, NC.

Storm Doors Clad with Thermoplastic Alloy Resist Weather, Impact, Cleansers Storm Doors Clad with Thermoplastic Alloy Resist Weather, Impact, Cleansers
Panel saw cuts particleboard substrate components to precise sizes, eliminating need to trim after gluing.
 
Radio frequency curing of glued substrate parts.
 
Storm Doors Clad with Thermoplastic Alloy Resist Weather, Impact, Cleansers Storm Doors Clad with Thermoplastic Alloy Resist Weather, Impact, Cleansers
Glued, four-piece particleboard substrates await planning
and sanding to 0.036 in. (914 mm).
 
Storm Doors Clad with Thermoplastic Alloy Resist Weather, Impact, Cleansers Storm Doors Clad with Thermoplastic Alloy Resist Weather, Impact, Cleansers
Adhesive is applied to both sides of the substrate prior to sandwiching between thermoplastic sheets.
 
Freshly glued composite sandwiches will be placed in this cold press for approximately 30 minutes.
 
Storm Doors Clad with Thermoplastic Alloy Resist Weather, Impact, Cleansers Storm Doors Clad with Thermoplastic Alloy Resist Weather, Impact, Cleansers
Moisture-resistant urethane sealant is applied to all edges. Finished composite ready for finishing by storm door manufacturer.

 

 

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