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June 2018

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Sliding Door Mechanisms

Sliding Door Mechanisms

Sliding doors are a category of doors that opens horizontally through sliding. They are usually installed in a parallel position with the wall. These doors could be fitted above tracks or suspended on tracks. Some doors will hide behind a wall upon opening. Sliding doors come in many types including bypass doors, arcadia doors, and pocket doors. Usually sliding doors will be used as glass doors, wardrobe doors, shower doors, screen doors, etc. Most vans are also fitted with sliding doors.

Sliding door mechanics

Sliding doors operate with a gear mechanism. Two standards are often applied with sliding doors: bottom rolling or top hung systems.

Top hung system

This is the common system applied on sliding doors. The doors are fitted on two trolleys that hang above the sliding door. The trolleys are concealed. The hangers carry the weight of these doors hence making the doors easy to slide. There are track stoppers fitted at the end so as to absorb any momentum coming from the sliding door. The stoppers are also responsible for holding the door in position when closed or opened.

There is a weight limit allocated to sliding door systems such as the trolley system is able to support. While making a choice for the most suitable sliding system it is important to consider the weight of the sliding door. You can get this advice from sliding door suppliers.

Hanging doors require bottom tracks to hold the door in position. This helps prevent the door from swinging side to side. Commonly used for this purpose is the clear threshold guide. This is a plastic guide that is 60mm in width. It is positioned beneath the door at the middle position against which the door slides.  A groove is usually cut beneath the door allowing the sliding door to fit and run over the guide. The mechanism prevents the sliding door from making lateral movements.

For glass doors the glove is cut on the threshold guide instead. Since the door is always sliding on the guide when in an open position the floor becomes clear making the threshold clear as well. There are many examples of top hung sliding doors for wardrobes that can be seen on a number of websites. This mechanism is considered safe since the bottom door region is held into position by the tracks. Rollers are fitted with safety locks which make it impossible for the door to run off these tracks. Other features such as dampeners and soft closers may be added to further enhance the usability and feel of the sliding doors.

Bottom rolling mechanism

Sometimes the weight of the door might not allow for top hung mechanisms to be applied. In such instances, the bottom rolling system is applied instead. This system is mechanized by two rollers also known as sheaves. The rollers are positioned at the door bottom and they run over the track, and two adjacent guides are positioned on top of the sliding door. The weight of the sliding door is entirely focused on the two rollers and hence more force is required to slide the door than it would be for the top hung mechanism..

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