Common Door and Hardware Abbreviations and Terms
Here is a list of helpful terms and abbreviation meanings used in the Commercial Door and Hardware industry. This is by no means a complete list (there are terms people even make up on the fly!) but it contains a lot of the most commonly used words and phrases you’ll hear. Now you can be an expert and not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk.
- A60 – Galvannealed steel, treated steel that inhibits rusting and corrosion. Commonly applied to hollow metal frames and doors at exterior openings or in other corrosive environments.
- Active Door – On a pair of doors, the term “active” door is used to identify the door leaf that has the locking hardware OR it can be the door leaf that will be most commonly operated when approached from the secure side of the opening.
- AHC – Architectural Hardware Consultant, a qualified member of the Door and Hardware Institute who has been certified as having taken the requisite training and passed the necessary exams to assist in specifying hardware and consulting in matters of commercial doors and hardware.
- Astragal – An applied molding or member on the vertical meeting edge of a door leaf on a pair. Used to cover the clearance gap between door panels.
- Backset – The distance from the center-line of a lever or lock prep to the face of the latch on the edge of the door. When a beveled door is used, the measurement is always taken from the high bevel side.
- BHMA – Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association, a standard setting body that helps ensure quality and consistency of door hardware.
- Cam – Refers to the rotating portion on the back of a cylinder (typically on Mortise cylinders) that engages the internal locking mechanism of hardware.
- Cased Opening – Refers to a frame profile that has no integral stops.
- CFC – Cut for cylinder, specified on hardware that is to have a hole cut in to allow the installation of a cylinder.
- Change Key – Refers to a key that operates a cylinder with a unique combination. It only operate one group of keyed alike cylinders.
- CKC – Concealed Key Control, refers to the option of stamping keys and cylinders with a concealed indicator of the key symbol combination used for that particular key and cylinder.
- Closer – This refers to the door closer which is a piece of hardware installed on the door that controls the closing of a door.
- CMK – Construction Master Key, specified for cylinders or keys that are to be keyed to a Master Key system in use during the construction phase of a project.
- COC – Chain of Custody, required documentation that shows the chain of transfers for FSC Certified wood doors
- Core -Door Core OR Cylinder Core
- When referring to doors, the core is the internal portion of the door that is not seen but can have different properties such as insulating properties or fire resistance qualities
- When referring to cylinders, the core is the internal portion that contains the pins and keyway allowing for a key to be inserted and operate the hardware
- Crash Bar – Term often used to refer to exit device hardware.
- CRS – Cold Rolled Steel, refers to steel that is formed for use in hollow metal doors and frames. Typically used at interior locations that are not susceptible to moisture or corrosion.
- Cylinder – Cylinders are a piece of hardware installed in locking hardware that contains a unique combination of pins or other mechanisms that actuate the locking hardware allowing for the locking and unlocking of securing hardware
- DHI – Door and Hardware Institute, a body of industry experts that help guide education, certification and quality within the commercial door and hardware industry
- Dogging – Refers to a function used on Exit Devices which holds the latchbolt retracted, whether mechanically or electrically, allowing for free operation of the door without requiring operation of the lever or push bar.
- DPS – Door Position Switch OR Dust Proof Strike
- Door Position Switch is an electronic piece of hardware that is used to send a signal to access control systems that a door is ajar or is closed
- Dust Proof Strike is a piece of mechanical hardware installed in the floor that accepts flushbolt hardware but has a spring activated surface that prevents dirt buildup allowing for the proper functioning of the bolting hardware
- EMA – Existing Masonry Anchor, includes a recessed hole and expansion bolt in the door jamb, used on hollow metal frames to anchor the door frame to an existing concrete wall or existing CMU wall
- EPT – Electronic Power Transfer, installed on a frame and door to allow for passing wires through the opening between hardware (i.e. Electronic Lockset wired to a Power Supply and Card Reader)
- Exit Device – A type of hardware that allows immediate egress with the use of a pushbar or cross bar installed along the width of door.
- Fire Labeled Hardware – Hardware that has been tested and approved for use on fire rated openings and carries a fire label indicating it is approved for such. i.e. Fire exit hardware must have a physical label that indicates it is approved for use on fire rated openings. Some hardware is considered to be fire “listed” meaning it may not physically allow for a label to be applied but it has been tested and approved for use on fire rated openings.
- FSA – Fail Safe, a term used to describe the function of a piece of electric locking hardware in the case of power loss. When a piece of electric hardware is FSA it means that when power is cut or lost then the hardware remains unlocked. When power is restored, the hardware will be locked and remain locked until power is cut or lost again.
- FSE – Fail Secure, another term used to describe the function of a piece of electric locking hardware in the case of power loss. When a piece of electric hardware is FSE it means that when power is cut or lost then the hardware remains locked. This hardware remains locked until power is sent to the device.
- Grand Master Key – Refers to a key that operates two or more separate groups of cylinders that are each operated by different Master keys. Used on a key system that has three levels of keying.
- Hand – A term used to designate the direction of a door swing in an opening. Applies to both the door and the frame. The secure side of the opening is most often used in determining handing.
- Handed – Used to indicate that a piece of hardware or other door component must be used with the appropriate designated hand. For example, mortise locks often must be specified with a handing or else the function holes on the door may be drilled on the incorrect side of the opening.
- HM – Hollow Metal, refers to hollow metal material used for doors and frames.
- HMD – Hollow Metal Door
- HMF – Hollow Metal Frame
- HMMA – Hollow Metal Manufacturers Association, a body of industry experts that help in establishing standards of quality in the hollow metal industry.
- Inactive Door – On a pair of doors, the term “inactive” door is used to identify the door leaf that does not have the locking hardware OR it can be the door leaf that will not be operated when approached from the secure side of the opening.
- Jamb – Vertical member of a door frame, a strike jamb has the strike prep for latching hardware, a hinge jamb has the hinge prep(s) for hanging the door.
- JD – Jamb Depth, jamb depth refers to the dimension measured between the faces of a frame jamb, used for specifying frame sizes.
- KA – Keyed Alike, refers to the combination used when pinning a group of cylinders. All cylinders have an identical pinning combination when they are Keyed Alike. This means each cylinder will be operated by the same change key.
- KD -Knock Down OR Keyed Different
- Knock Down, refers to the method of construction for hollow metal frames. A knock down frame is shipped in pieces that are setup and installed in the field
- Keyed Different, refers to the combinations used when pinning a group of cylinders. All cylinders have a different pinning combination when they are Keyed Different. This means each cylinder will be operated by a unique change key. This is the most secure way to set up a key system.
- KIL – Key-In-Lever, refers to a type of cylinder typically used in cylindrical locks or tubular locks with lever handles. The core is an integral part of the lever.
- LC – Less cylinder, refers to a piece of locking hardware that is furnished without a cylinder included (i.e. cylinders are ordered separately)
- LDW – Less Door Width, often used when specifying hardware that runs the width of the door and helps simplify the work when multiple door widths are used (i.e. kickplates are specified as 2″ LDW, meaning the kickplate is to be equal to the door width minus 2″)
- LFIC – Large Format Interchangeable Core, can be visually identified by the figure 8 appearance with the top circle being smaller than the bottom circle. this is a type of cylinder core that allows for easy and convenient removal and installation of a core with a unique keyway and pinning combination. Many manufacturers have their own unique style of LFIC core, so these can have more control and security than SFIC cores.
- LH – Left Hand, refers to the handing of a single door panel. When approaching the door from the secure side of the opening, the hinges are on the left and the door is pushed open.
- LHR – Left Hand Reverse, refers to the handing of a single door panel. When approaching the door from the secure side of the opening, the hinges are on the left and the door is pulled open.
- LHRA – Left Hand Revers Active, refers to the handing of a pair of door panels. When approaching the door from the secure side of the opening, the active door has the hinges are on the left and the door leaf is pulled open.
- MC – Metal Cover, used to specify a metal cover for door closers.
- MK – Master Keyed, refers to a key system where master keys are utilized.
- Mortise Cylinder – A cylinder with a threaded body and a rotating cam that is used primarily in mortise locks and other locking hardware devices.
- Mortise Lock – A lock which is installed into a pocket mortised into the edge of a door.
- NRP – Non-Removable Pin, this refers to the pin in architectural hinges that can be supplied with a set screw installed which prevents the removal of the hinge pin when the door is in the closed position. It is a feature that adds security to the opening and is most frequently used on out-swinging doors because the hinge pin is exposed.
- Panic Device – A type of exit device that is not to be used on fire rated openings but functions similarly with the use of a pushbar or cross bar.
- Punch & Dimple – Refers to EMA anchors which have the appearance of being dimpled in the jamb of the frame. Used to anchor the frame to existing concrete walls or existing CMU.
- PR – Pair, can refer to a pair of doors OR a pair of hardware that is to be installed such as hinges (i.e. 1-1/2 PR Hinges means 3 hinges total will be installed)
- Rail – A horizontal section of a door’s construction.
- RH – Right Hand, refers to the handing of a single door panel. When approaching the door from the secure side of the opening, the hinges are on the right and the door is pushed open.
- RHR – Right Hand Reverse, refers to the handing of a single door panel. When approaching the door from the secure side of the opening, the hinges are on the right and the door is pulled open.
- RHRA – Right Hand Revers Active, refers to the handing of a pair of door panels. When approaching the door from the secure side of the opening, the active door has the hinges are on the right and the door leaf is pulled open.
- Rim Cylinder – A cylinder similar in size to a mortise cylinder but has no threaded portion on its body and that can be identified by it’s long tail piece, typically used for exit devices with locking trim.
- Secure Side – The secure side of a door is the side where the locking mechanism is located, i.e. the side of the opening where you would have to have a key to unlock the hardware before passing through the door. Sometimes it is also refered to as the “key side”.
- SFIC – Small Format Interchangeable Core, can be visually identified by the figure 8 appearance with the top circle being the same size as the bottom circle. This is a type of cylinder core that allows for easy and convenient removal and installation of a core with a unique keyway and pinning combination. It is physically smaller than the LFIC core.
- SGL – Single, often refers to a single door panel in an opening
- SUA – Setup & Arc Welded, used to refer to the construction of a frame. It is supplied to the job site already setup and welded for quicker installation than KD frames.
- SS – Steel Stud anchors, refers to the type of anchors used to install frames in openings where a steel stud wall system is installed.
- STC – Sound Transmission Class, refers to the accoustic reduction qualities of a door system and must be tested as a completely installed opening including the hardware. Most doors have some level of STC rating, but higher ratings require more material to reduce the transmission of sound through the opening.
- Stile – Vertical members of a door’s construction
- Trim – In terms of door hardware, trim refers to the knob, lever, pull or thumbpiece used on the outside of an exit device or other operating hardware to control the access to an area.
- Universal Stud Anchors – This refers to a type of frame anchor that can be used to install a frame in openings where either a steel stud OR a wood stud system is installed.
- VKC – Visual Key Control, refers to the option of stamping keys and cylinders with a visual indicator of the key symbol combination used for that particular key and cylinder.
- WS – Wood Stud anchors, refers to the type of anchors used to install frames in openings where a wood stud wall system is installed.
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