One of the main products of rolling mills is steel or aluminum lath for roller shutters. Roller shutters (also known as roller doors and rolling doors) are a common and well-tested way of securing many types of properties. Fixed to windows, doorways and other openings they provide a cost-effective way of protecting openings while still allowing convenient access.

Roller Shutters

A basic roller shutter consists of a curtain of steel or aluminium sections (known as lath) wound round a barrel: this barrel is then operated to raise or lower the shutter. This barrel can either be chain operated or electrically operated, the former involving manual operation and the latter powered by a tubular motor. Chain operation is generally only possible with smaller shutters as the effort of manually opening larger shutters makes chain operation unworkable. In addition to this, the increased production of tubular motors from China has made electric shutters very competitive in price when compared to chain operated roller shutters, so in many cases electric roller shutters are chosen even for small shutters as there is little difference in cost.

There are a variety of different control mechanisms available depending on the type of roller shutter. While manual shutters are only chain operated, electric shutters can be controlled in a variety of ways. Key switch, remote control and push button methods are all popular, but new methods such as induction loop and even radar control are becoming more common.

There are also a number of different finishes available to ensure any roller shutter fitted matches the colour scheme of the rest of the building and to reduce any problems resulting in fitting a new shutter in a conservation area. The basic finish for most roller shutters is galvanised steel, which is resistant to most harsh weather conditions. However, both steel and aluminium shutters can be powder coated in a variety of colours (based on RAL charts or other colour schemes) or for extra protection coated with Plastisol, a PVC-based paint coating. This also comes in a wide range of colours.

Types of Roller Shutter

Though standard roller shutters will do an excellent job of protecting properties in most circumstances, there are a number of specialised roller shutters that are designed to protect in specific ways. Fire resistant shutters are especially useful in areas where combustible materials are being used or if there is otherwise a higher than normal risk of fire. Rapid action shutters are electric shutters that operate at an increased speed: these are appropriate in areas where doors, windows and other openings must be open for as short a time as possible, for instance in cold storage areas where temperature control is paramount. Anti-cut roller shutters are useful in areas where crime is high as they are more resistant to break-ins than standard shutters. Insurance companies can offer benefits to organisations fitting such shutters.

Purchasing Roller Shutters

When purchasing roller shutters, it is important to assess exactly what is needed. It would be wasting money to fit an expensive plastisol coated rapid action shutter on an entrance where a simple galvanised steel keyswitch operated shutter would fit. Likewise, a standard chain operated shutter in an area where a fire resistant remote control door is required could mean trouble in the future. Surprisingly many roller shutter buyers have not judged correctly and have ended up having to change their shutters much more quickly than they should have done had an accurate initial assessment been carried out.

When contacting companies offering roller shutters, it is important to ask what services they will offer. Do they offer both supply and fit and supply only options, or only one of these? Do they offer a no obligation visit to assess and measure the job? Do they offer a guarantee on their products? If so, what does it involve? What type of maintenance program do they offer, if any? If you decide on purchasing a roller shutter at the lower end of the price range high levels of service and maintenance may not be available; conversely, if you do not require high levels of service and maintenance this should be reflected in the price.

Whatever type of roller shutter and service you require, it is important both to assess accurately beforehand and be clear in communicating this to any shutter company you contact.