We can see clearly now | Breakthrough Funding

Friday, February 21, 2020

We can see clearly now

How do you design a virtually frameless sliding glass door that can stand up to the elements?

Bi-fold and sliding doors are increasingly popular with architects and homeowners as a way to bring in natural light and create an attractive link with the outdoors. But one UK company believed there was a way to improve the doors on offer, by virtually removing the frame and taking the view to a whole new level.

This was a project that would require significant research and development, due to the many complex factors that had to be considered. First of all, how could very large panels of glass be safely held and moved without cracking if they weren’t supported by a hefty frame?

The team set out to discover the answer and after significant experimentation, they managed to develop a unique design where each panel slides within a top and bottom track of the outer frame. 

But the solution had to meet the various essential requirements of a door, particularly for external use. Regulations in the UK include strict standards for air permeability, water-tightness and wind resistance. The solution had to meet weather, security, safety and energy efficiency standards, while losing the more bulky frames that are commonly seen on bi-fold or sliding doors.

The company’s innovative approach has achieved all this; what’s more, they’ve even designed a unique corner bi-folding system that allows users to enjoy all the benefits of bi-fold doors without having to step around so much bulk when the doors are open.

Another innovation is the development of an electric locking system based on a fob model. Following this, the team is now investigating the possibility of a mobile app-controlled locking system.

This company’s innovative activities qualified for R&D tax credits from the government. Are you working on a product or service to make our homes safer, smarter or more energy efficient? Tell us your story and let’s see if you’re eligible to make a claim.

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