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What is an Astragal?

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In the realm of commercial door hardware, astragals play a crucial role in ensuring security, privacy, and compliance with various standards. Whether you're dealing with fire-rated Dutch doors or pairs of doors in a commercial building, selecting the right type of astragal is essential. In this blog post, we'll delve into the world of astragals, exploring their functionalities, applications, and the importance of making informed choices.

Understanding Astragals: An astragal is a molding or strip designed to close gaps in door openings. Its applications are diverse, ranging from covering spaces between pairs of doors to enhancing security in various door configurations. One key application is in fire-rated Dutch doors, where astragals are mandated to ensure the synchronized closing of upper and lower leaves.

NFPA 80 Standard and Model Building Codes: While the NFPA 80 Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives may not mandate astragals for fire-rated doors, some manufacturers require them for compliance. Model building codes may also necessitate astragals at certain pairs of doors, even if they are non-fire rated. To get a comprehensive understanding of astragal requirements, Lori Greene's blog on NFPA 80 is a valuable resource.

Types of Astragals:

  1. Overlapping Astragals:
    • Ideal for preventing both leaves from being active simultaneously.
    • Coordination is crucial; a coordinator may be necessary for self-closing same-swing pairs.
    • Not recommended for push/pull pairs or openings with vertical rod exit devices on both leaves.
    • Enhances security when mounted to the outside of the active leaf.
  2. Split (Meeting) Astragals:
    • Comes in two pieces, each attaching to one of the leaves.
    • Gasketing meets in the middle, covering the gap seamlessly.
    • Allows both leaves to remain active without specific opening or closing sequences.
    • Suitable for push/pull pairs and openings with vertical rod exit devices on both leaves.

Choosing the Right Astragal: Selecting the appropriate astragal involves considering factors such as security, door usage, and manufacturer specifications. Overlapping astragals provide heightened security but require more coordination, while split astragals offer flexibility in leaf activity. The manufacturer's listing often guides the choice, specifying the type of astragal suitable for particular doors, especially in the case of fire-rated doors.

Astragals may seem like a minor component, but their impact on door functionality, security, and compliance is significant. Whether you opt for overlapping astragals for added security or split astragals for flexibility, understanding the nuances of each type ensures that your commercial doors meet the required standards and serve their intended purposes effectively. Choose CDF Distributors for your astragal needs, where expertise meets excellence, ensuring that your commercial doors are equipped with the right solution for security, compliance, and seamless functionality.

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