Aluminium sliding doors are aluminium frames that hold, in most circumstances, glass or plexiglass panels that are at least 6 feet, 8 inches tall and up to 8 feet wide. Mounted in aluminium tracks, the frames slide to open and close, allowing access to patios, decks, balconies and the like. Aluminium sliding doors consist of many parts, large and small, with different purposes. A manufacturer can assemble a sliding door set in a factory, or ship the parts to have the door and frame constructed on-site and installed into the wall.
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The doors consist of a metal frame holding a glass pane. Manufacturers glue the glass to the frame to secure and seal it and to prevent it from moving. They will assemble the frame either by screwing the four sides together or by welding them. Some styles of sliding door have two door panels, both of which are capable of sliding, while in other styles one panel is fixed, or locked in place, and cannot move, while the other door slides open and closed. Moving doors have rollers attached to the top and bottom that make opening and closing them easier as they slide in the tracks. Fixed doors do not have hardware attached to them. Some patio door sets also have screen doors that slide open and closed parallel to the glass door.
The head and sill are the upper and lower tracks that hold the doors. They usually have a pair of tracks high and low to hold two doors. A sill track cover, usually an optional part, prevents track wear and allows the door to slide more smoothly along the track. The head and sill both have rubber stoppers to stop a sliding door from slamming into the frame.
The jambs are the vertical parts of the frame. The top and bottom of each jamb connect with the head and sill to create the entire frame holding the sliding or fixed panels. The jamb has slots that fit and hold one side of a door when a person closes the door. A jamb that holds a moving door also has a place for the lock to connect into and securely hold the door to the wall.
The hardware consists of the door handle and the locking mechanism. The appearance of the hardware varies the most of all the parts of an aluminium sliding door. Different brands market doors with curved or straight handles of various sizes, while others may embed the handle into the frame of the door itself with indents for a person to grab to pull a door open and close. The door may have a deadbolt or a surface-mount lock, or some other style of keyless lock.
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