April 6, 2021

Precision Track Rollers Beat Metal and Plastic To Hold Up 1,280-Pound Glass Door

High-quality sliding doors are expected to open easily and quietly—a motion that largely depends on high-quality track rollers. Unfortunately, many materials used in door hardware fall short. For example, metal track rollers will wear out the aluminum rails typically used in sliding door installations. These rollers are also noisy. On the other hand, ordinary plastic rollers lack dimensional stability and can fail when exposed to real-world static and dynamic loads, temperatures, moisture or chemicals. Another challenge for sliding door applications is the weight of the door itself. 

In one application, a storefront supplier needed to design and install a sliding glass door that was five times heavier than the average door. Despite the heavier weight, the door needed to operate smoothly and safely with no maintenance. Fortunately, Intech track rollers were up to the challenge.

Meeting the Requirements of a Large Glass Sliding Door

Whether metal, wood or glass, providing the right materials for a storefront can be difficult. Not only must the storefront meet the customer’s unique vision, but the door, framing structure and other components must be easy to install and operate smoothly. In one application, a storefront supplier needed to install a sliding door system consisting of a large tempered glass panel. This panel, which was 10-feet wide, 20-feet high and 1.5-inches thick, weighed in at 1,280 pounds. The goal was to be able to slide the glass panel easily and smoothly in and out of place.

Metal track rollers were not an option because they require periodic lubrication, produce more friction and noise and easily wear out aluminum rails. Plastic or nylon components were also not an option, as they often fall short of the proper load capacity and can easily develop flats under prolonged static loads.

Standard sliding door hardware includes the rail, two-wheel trolleys and mounting hardware. Two trolleys, which are required to install a door panel, will carry doors up to 400 pounds easily and quietly. Additional trolleys can be added for heavier doors.

Power-Core™ Rollers Improve Sliding Door Performance

Intech track rollers overcome the challenges associated with metal and plastic door hardware. Unlike metal track rollers, the self-lubricating, precision-machined plastic tires in our Power-Core™ polymer track rollers require no lubrication and eliminate costly maintenance. The high-quality ball bearings encapsulated by the tire are also lubricated for life, and the composite tires absorb shock and vibration, don’t wear out aluminum rails and can run up to 10-decibels quieter than comparable metal track rollers.

Heavy Duty Door Trolley

In addition, our Power-Core™ track rollers:

  • Rotate with low runout, reducing noise and enabling easy rolling

  • Maintain dimensional stability and avoid swelling if exposed to moisture

  • Feature a crystalline molecular structure that makes it highly resistant to the compressive forces that cause flat spots

  • Exhibit lower rolling resistance than metals

  • Resist chemical degradation

  • Are available with stainless steel bearings and cleanroom-approved lubricants.

The heavy-duty door trolley.            

After our Power-Core™ track rollers performed well under tests, we designed a special shaft to incorporate into the track rollers for easy installation. Applying years of experience in designing heavy-duty guide rollers and cam followers for demanding industrial applications, our engineers designed the plastic-encased ball bearings to last over 100 million rolling cycles.

After we delivered the components, the storefront supplier performed additional tests using the semi-custom rollers, and our components performed perfectly. Once the door hardware was in place, the massive 1,280-pound glass panel could be moved safely using only one finger.

Learn More About Power-Core™ in Sliding Door Applications

Power-Core track rollers combine a polymer bearing surface with top-of-the-line roller bearings, avoiding the pitfalls of all-metal or plastic door hardware. Other sliding door applications include train doors, subway station doors, airport people movers and commercial buildings—to name a few. And, we can customize the rollers’ size and profile, as well as the shaft, to your door rails and mounting hardware.

To learn more, please visit our product page.


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