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How Do Automatic Doors Work?

10/7/2013 8:12:39 AM | by Anonymous

Doors: Automatic

Automatic doors are one of the best modern inventions. All we have to do is walk up to the door and it magically opens for us. An automatic door is a closing or opening structure that is used to restrict access to an entrance through the use of automated technology. Doors can come in many types, such as swinging, rotating and sliding.

The primary purpose of automatic doors is to allow for objects to pass through an area. However, they are also used to control the physical atmosphere, such as blocking wind from entering the building, or acting as a noise barrier. Some automatic doors have locking mechanisms that automatically open the door when a card is scanned or by scanning a fingerprint. Automatic doors can usually be found in many shopping malls and office buildings.

Types of sensors

Have you ever wondered how these automatic doors are able to magically detect you and open the door just as you approach it? There is no magic involved. The doors are able to detect somebody through the use of various sensors. There are many types of sensors that can be used. Most automatic doors use motion detection or optical sensors to activate the closing or opening mechanisms. The sensors are installed at the sides of the door to track motion. Automatic door sensors are used in industrial and commercial environments to allow easy access to a building, especially for disabled people. This makes entry to a building safer and more efficient.

One type of sensor is the pressure sensor. Automatic doors that use a pressure sensor have a large area that is placed in front and behind the building. The large area acts as a weighing scale. If the weight exceeds the weight limit that is set, then the door will open. Pressure sensors can also be used as a secondary sensor. If the primary sensor were to fail, then the pressure sensor will activate. If the pressure sensor detects while closing there is some sort of resistance, the door will avoid closing on that object.

Another type of sensor is the infrared sensor. Infrared sensors use infrared technology to open automatic doors. The infrared sensors are able to detect a change in temperature. When the sensors detect a temperature that is warmer, representing a human, it will activate the opening and closing mechanism of the door. Infrared sensors are usually used as in primary sensor in automatic door systems.

Another type of motion detector that doesn’t use infrared technology uses ultrasonic waves or microwaves instead. Like bats, the sensors generate pulses of ultrasonic waves or microwave energy to judge at detect if there is an object is in the way. If there is an object in the way, the ultrasonic waves and microwaves will bounce off the object. The motion detectors use the time taken for the ultrasonic wave or microwave to arrive back to determine if there is an object in the way.

Opening and closing mechanism

The motion or optical sensor is connected to an electronic drive train which controls the opening and closing mechanism. This mechanism is attached to the panels of the automatic door through a cog wheel or an auxiliary drive. The auxiliary drive or cog wheel is connected by rubber belts that control the motion of closing or opening the doors. In the case of automatic doors which are the sliding type, the door is installed with rollers which run along tracks to allow the doors to slide across easily.

Remote controls

Some of the automatic doors require a human interface remote to control the opening and closing of the door. One example of such a door is garage doors. When the door receives the correct signal from the remote control, then it will open. The wave is usually at a specific frequency.

Concerns of automatic doors

As automatic doors cannot be controlled by the people passing through them, they may get injured or harmed if the sensors fail and close on them. To prevent this from happening, multiple sensors are often installed to detect if there is an object in between the doors.

Thanks to automatic doors, we are able to easily enter a building even if we have our hands full. Also, thanks to the multiple sensors installed we don’t have to worry about getting closed on. Having automatic doors is a step further into the future where everything is slowly becoming automated.

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