A leaf refers to the panel of a door or, to put it more simply, it is the part of the door that swings open and closed. Even simpler, it often has the handle or door knob on it. A single leaf door is what one typically thinks of when you mention a door. It is a one panel, traditional door that you see every day in most homes. An easy way to identify a single leaf door is it has hinges on only one side of the doorway passage. A double leaf door or what we all call a “double door” will have hinges on both the left and right sides of the doorway.
There are four primary materials for single leaf doors: wood, metal, PVC and fiberglass. The most common metal doors are made from steel or aluminum. Like high security windows, specialized, custom security doors can be made with more expensive materials depending on where they will be installed and operated.
In general, steel single leaf doors are less expensive and more durable than their wood or fiberglass counterparts. Most importantly, steel single leaf doors provide better protection and security, particularly against forced entry threats. This explains why they are frequently called security single leaf doors.
The standard for testing forced entry protection is ASTM F3038-14 or SD-STD-01.1. These are timed tests. ASTM attacks the door with six personnel armed with heavy tools, like sledgehammers, battering rams, saws and pry bars. When a test object can be passed through the breached opening, the timer is stopped. Ratings are given for 5-minute, 15-minute, 30-minute and 60-minute results.
Steel security doors sound like they would be overly industrial looking and thus unappealing in residential or even professional office environments. However, many brands are available in a wide variety of colors and finishes compared to raw or stained wood doors. As a result, these doors are now considered more “modern” looking and thus more applicable to contemporary building designs.
This answer really depends on a number of criteria like weight, thickness, security level, and corrosion resistance. Aluminum single leaf doors are typically less expensive than steel doors and are better at protecting against corrosion. However, an aluminum single leaf door does not protect as well as a steel security single leaf door against threat types like forced entry and FE/BR. When security is a primary concern, steel single leaf doors are one of the best choices you can make.
Protogetic’s protective design marketplace represents a comprehensive security single leaf door catalog of the industry’s top manufacturers. You can do a simple search for security steel doors by brand or leaf configuration. Or perform a much deeper dive by using the Protogetic Filter to identify threat types like forced entry, hurricane, tornado, ballistic resistant or fire-rated doors. For the highest level of protection, Protogetic also has a searchable database of rated and tested, blast resistant doors capable of protecting occupants from explosions.