SDI Announces New Technical Education Initiative

SDI has developed and updated technical standards and alerts on the use of hollow metal doors and frames in construction for more than 50 years. More than 30 technical documents are available at no charge to licensed architects and construction specifiers.

SDI standards are constantly revised to include improved testing procedures and updated terminology.

SDI is announcing the expansion of the technical standards and alerts program to provide additional information beyond the standards themselves.

Over the next several years the SDI Technical Committee will develop supporting information about each standard. These articles will cover the significant changes when a standard is updated or reviewed, and describe why any changes were made. This new supporting technical education will be distributed through the SDI newsletter and also published on the website.

The first article in the series (below) explains how the new testing procedure for thermal performance will help architects specify door openings that will provide the desired energy efficiency of a building.

Why Have Thermal Performance Ratings Changed?

SDI member manufacturers’ published U-values have changed as a result of an update to the testing method of SDI 113 (Standard Practice for Determining the Steady State Thermal Transmittance of Steel Door and Frame Assemblies). Previously, only the central portion of a door panel was tested. This does not reflect operable conditions as it does not include the entire door, frame or hardware, which affects the transfer of heat. The updated method now tests the entire operable assembly and employs the use of ASTM E1423-06 as the basic test standard.

diagram of previous test method and new test method

It may appear that SDI’s hollow metal door and frame manufacturers’ products have higher thermal conductivity than they did previously. But that is not true—the products perform the same as they did before. The difference is that the U-value now accurately reflects operable conditions. This improved data helps design professionals estimate the energy efficiency of the building. Always verify the doors and frames you specify provide U-values tested with the improved testing method.

FAQs are a Popular SDI Website Feature

The FAQ section of the SDI website is a great resource for answering your hollow metal door and frame questions. Our industry experts answer over 30 questions that were asked by architects and specifiers. The questions are divided into seven popular categories including door and frame construction, fire ratings and labels, and energy efficiency.

If you do not find the answer to your question in the FAQs, try searching for the keyword in the search bar on the SDI website.

Between the standards, FAQ, and glossary you will likely find your answer. If not, you may contact us for technical assistance.