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Dortek Ltd calls on the pharmaceutical industry to specify GRP doors for their cleanrooms or risk contamination

publication date: May 19, 2010
author/source: bluestorm

Dortek, one of the UK and Ireland's leading suppliers of hygienic doors to the pharmaceutical sector, is calling on companies to move towards specifying GRP (Glass Reinforced Polyester) doors in their cleanrooms, or risk contamination from poor hygienic door performance. 

Les Blennerhasset, technical director of Dortek explains:"We supply both steel and GRP doors to the pharmaceutical industry, but in areas where hygiene is important, there is really no comparison between the two. In every aspect, GRP doors perform much better than their steel counterparts." 

GRP doors comply to all latest GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) requirements in pharmaceutical and nutritional facilities, and thanks to their smooth, seamless construction, are easy to clean and will not harbour bacteria. GRP doors are completely water resistant, and will not warp, rust or rot when exposed to the prolonged use of disinfectants, chlorine releasing agents and VHP (vaporised hydrogen peroxide). 

The construction of steel doors leaves seams and crevices, particularly around vision panels and the top and edges of doors. These harbour bacteria and are difficult to clean, compromising the hygienic performance of the door, and jeopardising the cleanliness of materials and the validity of any research conducted in the cleanroom. They can also oxidise when exposed to regular cleaning regimens. 

GRP doors are also easier to use on a day-to-day basis than their steel counterparts. The biggest complaint Dortek hear about steel doors from its pharmaceutical and nutritional clients revolves around ease of use. The weight and hinging arrangement (piano hinges in some situations) make steel doors extremely difficult to operate, especially when fire rated. The differential air pressures caused by doors also exacerbates this problem. 

Whether fire rated or not, GRP doors typically weigh half that of steel doors, and differential air pressures have little effect on their ease of use if they are installed with the correct closing mechanisms.  

GRP doors are also cheaper than steel doors, when lifecycle costs are factored in. Depending on the type of structure, steel doors will often require additional heavy steelwork to reinforce the door opening before installation. In busy settings, doors are subject to a lot of wear and tear. The surfaces of steel doors mark very easily and require regular maintenance to ensure hygienic performance is not compromised. Also, should a steel door suffer impact damage, it can easily dent, and cannot be repaired in situ.  

Door openings for GRP doors require lining as with any door, but no additional steelwork is required. They do not need decoration, and suffer less wear on hinges. Similarly, GRP doors flex under impact and do not dent. If damaged, they can be easily repaired whilst still in place, and are extremely unlikely to need replacing during a normal lifecycle. 

Les Blennerhasset said: "Many major pharmaceutical companies have already begun to replace their existing steel doors with GRP, before the end of their lifecycle, due to poor performance. Our customers have been specifying GRP doors for some time, and they are rapidly becoming established as the site standard GMP door in many facilities. The rest of the pharmaceutical industry needs to follow suit, or risk contamination in key areas."

Dortek are market leaders in the manufacture and supply of hygienic door solutions to a wide range of sectors including the international pharma, healthcare, food and retail sectors. Recognised throughout the markets for it's commitment to innovation, quality and customer service, over the last 35 years, Dortek has manufactured and installed in excess of 150,000 door sets. Dortek have two facilities; one in Ireland and one in the UK.



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