Warehouse with roller doors equipped with the Plustherm Hard system

©Junker + Radon GmbH

So that roller and industrial doors look great for years

Even commercial and industrial buildings need to look appealing. With PLEXIGLAS® Optical HC, the glass elements of large doors remain permanently protected against scratches.

Roller and industrial doors with large glass elements not only let a lot of light into the building, they also provide a view inside and outside. This lets customers at car dealerships look directly into the garage, or enables drivers of emergency service vehicles to see if there is anything blocking the exit at the station. These glass elements not only provide a functional use, but also characterize the appearance of the building.

Doors must be durable

“The glass elements must be scratch-resistant so that the view through them remains unimpeded and they still look good, otherwise they need replacing every few years,” says Jost Schulze, Managing Director at Junker + Radon, the largest independent manufacturer of glass systems for industrial doors and slide-in profiles for roller doors in Europe. For this purpose, the doors have to be durable, as they are subjected to different temperatures, humidity levels and sun rays over the course of a year, as well as being regularly cleaned. “One of the toughest tests for the doors is actually being cleaned,” Schulze explains. The glass elements are often not even made from glass, but from plastic as a weight-saving measure, yet they are cleaned in the same manner as glass. “This is often unintentional, but plastics are far more susceptible to scratches than glass,” says Schulze. “The typical cleaning scratches can often be seen within a year.”

Precisely for this reason, his company, which was founded in 1996 and merged with Junker to form Junker + Radon GmbH in 2015, produces a particularly robust thermally insulated glazing system called Plustherm Hard. It consists of PLEXIGLAS® Optical HC sheets which are glued together. This version of the brand acrylic glass from Evonik provides excellent resistance to abrasion and chemicals thanks to its scratch-resistant coating. “This means the glass is unaffected by the methods employed by commercial cleaning experts, and even graffiti can easily be removed using solvents without causing damage,” says Schulze.

Wipe test: Uncoated acrylic glass vs. PLEXIGLAS® Optical HC with scratch-resistant coating.

Scratch-resistant coating

The current Plustherm Hard system is Junker + Radon’s second attempt at making a scratch-resistant solution for permanently transparent door elements. “Up until a few years ago, we purchased sheets of a UV-stable version of a styrene-acrylonitrile copolymer (SAN-UV) and applied a scratch-resistant coating ourselves, but this was an expensive and complicated procedure which also caused problems with the warranty,” explains Schulze. The company switched to PLEXIGLAS® Optical HC in 2012 for this reason. “Evonik provides us with an economically attractive solution as the scratch-resistant coating has already been applied to the panels, thus allowing us to process them directly,” says Schulze.

The panels then just have to be cut to size and glued with a solvent-based adhesive. For elements with double glazing, both panes are made from PLEXIGLAS® Optical HC, whereas the middle panel in triple-glazed elements is made from uncoated PLEXIGLAS® XT. “This is not only far less expensive for us, but also provides an enormous improvement in quality as the PLEXIGLAS® is a higher-quality starting material compared to SAN-UV and the scratch-resistant coating is also far more robust than on the other product,” adds Schulze. Renowned manufacturers of roller and industrial doors use these windows in their products for industrial and commercial buildings worldwide.

Permanent high quality

Many other plastic panes look cloudy after this short time. This is not the case for our glazing solutions made of PLEXIGLAS® Optical HC.

Jost Schulze
Managing Director at Junker + Radon

Panes made from PLEXIGLAS® Optical HC, which Junker + Radon have been selling under the Plustherm Hard moniker, have been in use for over five years in some applications. “In our experience, many other plastic panes already look worn and cloudy after this short time, mainly due to mechanical influences,” says Schulze. “This is not the case for our glazing solutions made from PLEXIGLAS® Optical HC. These panes look exactly the same after five years as they do fresh out of the box.” This is because the material is not only scratch-resistant, but also ages slower than other plastics thanks to the UV protection characteristics inherent to the material. “Plustherm Hard is therefore virtually as robust as real glass, however without the risk of breaking, while weighing a lot less, thus making it perfectly suited for industrial and roller doors,” says Schulze.