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    Blast Resistant Doors


    What are blast resistant doors?


    Blast resistant doors, sometimes incorrectly called “bomb-proof doors”, are designed to withstand explosions detonated by terrorist attacks or accidental industrial blasts that can occur at chemical plants or oil refineries.


    What other types of buildings use blast resistant doors?


    Any facility or building that could be vulnerable to an explosion – whether deliberate or accidental – could be considered a good candidate for installing blast resistant doors depending on numerous factors like the building type and function, perimeter standoff distances and visibility & opportunity as a potential target of hostile attacks. Examples include:


    • Military bases
    • Embassies
    • Nuclear plants
    • High profile government buildings
    • LNG facilities
    • Ports & Shipping yards
    • Financial institutions and banks
    • Airports
    • Train stations and rail yards


    Are blast resistant doors the same as ballistic resistant doors?


    No. Blast resistant doors protect from an explosive threat whereas ballistic resistant doors are designed to safeguard against ballistic fire from various weapons. That said, both blast resistant and ballistic resistant protection are often availble in one door. 


    How are blast resistant doors rated?


    There are several blast resistant standards for doors used throughout the protective design industry, including ASTM, ASCE and UFC (DoD). Manufacturers may use one or combinations of these standards when testing and rating their products so it can be daunting to unpack.  Our advice is to always discuss your blast resistant specifications directly with the manufacturer as they often have customizable options because blast testing is influenced by so many variables, including but not limited to, impulse, pressure, duration, rebound, response, and size of door opening. For this reason, many blast doors are made to order and engineered to the exact specifications required by your project.


    ASTM 2927-21 is ASTM’s Standard Test Method for Door Systems Subject to Airblast Loadings and encompasses the ratings Levels 1-4 with Level 1 being the highest, most protective rating.


    UFC 4-010-01 defines the DoD Minimum Antiterrorism Standards for Buildings by establishing minimum blast pressure requirements for doors. The requirements depend on the specifics of your project like location, architectural design style, and occupancy.


    The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) publishes guidelines and standards for blast resistant buildings in the oil and gas industries.


    The General Services Administration (GSA) Blast Resistant Glazing Standard tests the blast resistant capability of doors with window inserts. This standard is categorized by five levels of protection (LOP). The lower the LOP rating, the more protection the glazing (window) provides. Think of it like golf where a lower score is better. LOP 1 would be rated as "Safe" and having NO hazard level. LOP 5 would be rated as "Low protection" and a HIGH hazard level.


    Is a tested blast door the same as a certified blast door?


    No. Just because a product is “tested” it does not mean the product is certified for that standard/rating. A product can be tested but subsequently FAIL that test. Therefore, if your project requires a certified blast resistant rating, like in the case of a Department of Defense (DoD) building project, always look for rated and certified blast doors to insure the safety and well being of personnel. You can do this instantly using the Protogetic filter that can search by threat type and blast certifications & ratings. Protogetic even includes the certification documentation from the accredited testing lab that performed the evaluation. 


    What is Single Degree of Freedom?


    Essentially this is the principle that the weakest component of a blast resistant building project defines its degree of protection. A simple analogy would be that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Similarly, if you design a building to be blast resistant to 10 psi but then install a blast door rated at only 5 psi, the entire building will be rated at 5 psi -- the door’s lower psi rating.


    What is a “bombproof” door?


    Short answer: A misnomer. The term “bombproof door” is completely misleading because no door can protect against all explosion types and blast strengths. Using such a term is thus incorrect and moreover can create a false sense of security that could endanger lives. The term blast-resistant is correct and will be used here accordingly.


    What materials are blast resistant doors made from?


    Blast doors, short for blast resistant doors, can be made from a variety of materials. These include steel, wood, composites and aluminum. However, when it comes to high intensity blasts, the most common material used for protection is steel.


    Why is steel used for blast doors?


    In short, steel is approximately three times stronger than a material like aluminum, which holds an advantage in being lighter weight while still providing excellent blast protection. Steel has additional characteristics that make it well suited for blast protection because it actually absorbs the blast pressure and will “bend” inward to cushion the blast. It is also extremely heat resistant and fire resistant. Steel is excellent at withstanding a pressure wave, a component of an explosive blast that often causes greater injury than the explosion itself.  Learn more about an explosion’s effects and physical characteristics by watching our Proto-Talk video presentation -- BLAST! The Anatomy of an Explosion.


    Can blast resistant doors have window?


    Yes. Windows, or glazing, can be incorporated into a blast resistant door design. However, windows require separate testing to insure that the glass can also withstand explosive forces. It is vitally important to perform separate glazing tests because studies have shown that flying glass propelled by the pressure wave is responsible for more than 90% of bodily harm caused by an explosion. This is why it is critical to consider installing comparably rated blast resistant windows in your building project.


    What kinds of glass are used in blast doors?


    For obvious reasons, regular consumer glass, called annealed glass, is not recommended for a blast door as it is the weakest glass material and will not withstand explosive forces. More importantly, annealed glass generates extremely dangerous, if not deadly, shards of razor-sharp fragments that are responsible for the majority of blast injuries. For this reason, even heat-strengthened glass is not an optimal glazing product even though its partial tempering makes it approximately two times stronger than annealed glass.


    Not surprisingly, blast doors typically use fully thermally tempered glass, abbreviated TTG. This robust tempered glass has four-times the compressive strength of regular annealed glass and like car safety glass does not produce dangerous shard fragments.


    What is polycarbonate glazing?


    Polycarbonate glazing is a thermoplastic compound with very high impact strength that is approximately 250-times more protective than safety glass and 30-times more resilient than acrylic (Plexiglass). For this reason, polycarbonate is frequently used in blast and ballistic resistant doors not only because of its strength but also for its flexibility to dissipate the kinetic energy of a pressure wave. Polycarbonate can withstand explosive blasts in excess of 900 psi.


    What if my project has irregular dimension door openings?


    In addition to many standard door sizes, nearly all the manufacturers represented on Protogetic can produce custom versions of their doors. There are even retrofit blast resistant doors for renovation and upgrade projects where an entirely new doorframe cannot be installed.  If you have unique door dimensions, simply click on the "CONTACT MANUFACTURER" button on the product page and directly message the manufacturer’s sales rep to get answers to all your questions. For pricing/budgeting information,  click on the "GET QUOTE" button.


    Where can I find blast resistant doors?


    Protogetic showcases a large selection of blast resistant doors from leading manufacturers – all conveniently located in one fully searchable marketplace.  Our easy-to-use filter allows you to search by numerous blast criteria like blast response, blast impulse and blast pressure as well as aesthetic considerations like door style, leaf width and frame material to name just a few. Stop wasting time and instantly find the exact blast resistant doors and blast resistant wall systems for your project.