Top Secret: Industrial Curtain Wall Enclosures

Industrial curtain enclosures are used across a vast array of industries and serve a multitude of functions. But what gives them their enclosing super powers? Shhhh…we will let you in on a little secret — industrial curtain wall enclosures are essentially an industrial curtain wall system with a ceiling cover. Yet as simple as that sounds, there are several key things you may wish to consider before you raise the roof.

How Industrial Curtain Wall Enclosures Are Constructed

Industrial curtain wall enclosures can be made using any vinyl, but due their ability to allow light to come through, 20 Mil. Clear and 14 oz. reinforced clear are widely used. Of the two light permissible options, 20 mil. clear is very popular. However, since it does not have any scrim or support inside of it, it is not the strongest material choice. For that reason, the use of the 14 oz. reinforced clear vinyl is highly recommended. It has a frosted finish, which will still allow light and shapes to pass through. However, unlike a 20 mil. clear, it has scrim inside of it, which makes it a stronger material. If you are looking for light to be blocked from entering your industrial curtain wall enclosure, using an opaque vinyl, available in a variety of colors, is another great option. A 14 oz. laminated or 18 oz. coated vinyl will provide strength and will also act as a light blocking ceiling cover.
Curtain Enclosure
In most cases, unless the enclosure is very small, it is not structurally sound to have the ceiling cover be one large piece of vinyl that stretches over the entire enclosure unsupported. To combat this, a ceiling grid is created in order to allow for support of the fabric cover. The grid is created using slotted angle and Unistrut hardware, and uses the existing ceiling to support it. This will provide adequate support for the cover itself, in roughly 50 square foot sections. The enclosure ceiling is typically suspended down from the existing ceiling structure of the building.
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Industrial Curtain Wall Pros & Cons

There are many advantages to adding a ceiling cover to an industrial curtain wall enclosure. The chief benefit is that it can act as a seal to your entire enclosed area. Whether you are trying to contain dust, maintain a certain temperature, or block out light, putting a ceiling cover over the top of an enclosed area will greatly increase the functionality of your enclosure. Certain industries, such as the food processing industry, require that their existing ceiling be covered if there are any non-food grade members in it, in order to be considered compliant. Additionally, spray booths often need a ceiling that is lower than their building’s existing ceiling. These are two examples of facility types that benefit greatly from using a ceiling cover on their enclosure.

The one slight disadvantage of the industrial curtain wall enclosure ceiling top is that it is typically more costly than an industrial curtain wall system that goes all the way up to the existing ceiling or utilizes a filler panel. The cost is largely due to the amount of support and construction needed for the enclosure. But in many cases, the added benefits of using a ceiling cover due to the increased functionality, far outweighs the additional expense. Installation may require a little bit of work, but with the detailed instructions and all the necessary hardware that we provide, we make installing the enclosure as easy as possible.

It’s not a secret that industrial curtain wall enclosures can enhance the functionality of your work space. From using a reinforced clear vinyl to allow the light in, to being an airtight enclosure, industrial curtain enclosure systems are beneficial to many industries. Our grid support ceiling cover will give your enclosure adequate long lasting support.

Learn more about industrial curtain enclosures by contacting AmCraft Manufacturing today.