Deflector shields were used widely in the Star Wars series of films.
Obi Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and Supreme Chancellor Palpatine were imprisoned in a deflector shield on board the space ship Invisible Hand.
Gungan shields were used to protect the Grand Army during the battle of Naboo.
Wouldn't it be great if you could just secure your shed against unwanted visitors by installing an energy shield.
Unfortunately real deflector shields are a few years away yet.
The basic idea behind a roll up shed door is that the door is made from a series of long thin slats that are joined together to form a continuous sheet. The sheet of slats is kept on a reel above the door and then it can be lowered to secure the opening. The sides of the door are retained in guides that are bolted to the door jamb and then the bottom edge of the door is secured into a groove at the base of the door.
Roll up door offer a big benefit in that they are very space saving. When the door is not in use it is kept in a roll above the door lintel. This is contrast to other types of door that need space at ground level for the door leaves to swing, or a track for them to slide out of the way.
It is this ability for the door to be rolled out of the way that is the big attraction of this type of door. One down side of the roll up shed door is that you need to select the type of door that you choose for an appropriate level of security.
There are three materials that shed doors are commonly made from;
The different levels of security are combined with other desirable properties so lets find out a bit more about each of them.
PVC roller shutter doors are at the light weight end of the market. They do not offer a high degree of security but they do work in the same way as window shutters. For sheds with large areas of glass they can provide shading and some level of security in that the contents of the shed are hidden from view while the building is unoccupied.
PVC roller shutters are more often used as a supplementary screen to areas where there are traditional doors and windows already in place.
A higher degree of security is provided when the screen is made of aluminium.
A higher degree of security is achieved when aluminium is used to form the slat of the shutter due to the higher inherent strength of metal versus plastic. Aluminium can also be extruded in such a way that the core of each slat is initially hollow and is then filled with an insulating material. Insulating the doors in this way helps to reduce heat loss and means that the doors can be used as a barrier in themselves and not just as a screen to more permanent doors behind.
Aluminium has several advantages, such as being easily insulated and a higher level of security than PVC. However the most secure roll up shed doors are made of steel.
The highest level of security is provided when the roller shutters are made of steel. Steel is commonly used on door openings in factories and other areas that require high levels of security. The manufacturers of this type of door have detailed specifications for a range of different levels of security and the prices of each will reflect the level of abuse that each type will resist.
At this point you might be thinking "I like the idea of this type of 'deflector shield', but I want to work in my shed and wont they be a bit draughty?"
The main areas where draughts can get in to a building secured with roller shutter doors are along the sides and along the bottom. To stop draughts getting in along the sides of the door many systems have optional 'brushes' that are fixed adjacent to the guide slots and brush up against the door as it is closed. The brushes provide a fairly good barrier to stop the warm air escaping from inside the building.
For draughts along the bottom edge of the door pay attention to the threshold detail. There are various different systems here but the two basic varieties are for a cast in slot that the door fits snugly into, or a compressible rubber seal that fits to the bottom of the door. The cast in slot is more expensive and more often provides a better seal. The compressible rubber seal is an acceptable option but may require maintenance and occasional replacement.
PVC roller shutter shed doors are used mainly to screen existing doors from the sun and potential intruders. Roll up doors made from Aluminium and Steel offer higher levels of security and the problems of draughts can be overcome by paying careful attention to the sealing details around the edges and bottom of the doors.
Even the best roll up shed door could not imprison a Jedi knight, however they do offer good levels of security without taking up valuable space that is needed at ground level.