- What needs to be done to improve battery performance with a screen
- Types of structures and materials
- Wooden screens
- DIY metal screen
- Glass screen
Cast iron radiators rarely fit well into the interior. Bimetallic or aluminum batteries meet the requirements of modern design, but they are no longer suitable for classic styles. To remove this dissonance, use a decorative screen for the battery, which you can make yourself.
What needs to be done to improve battery performance with a screen
The screen to some extent reduces heat removal from the surface of the battery. That is, the difference in temperature of the coolant between the direct supply and return will be less.
It is impossible to speak of an unambiguous deterioration in the convection speed due to the presence of a screen. Suffice it to cite as an example electric convectors, in which the heating element is located in a housing in the form of a box with an inlet at the bottom and an outlet at the top. Such a device even improves convection, since the box acts as a vertical duct, which increases the flow rate.
But what is good for convectors is not suitable for radiators. The battery works for both convection and radiation (radiation). And the screen absorbs some of the infrared radiation, and reflects some back. And if the thermal energy absorbed by the screen creates conditions for secondary convection, then the reflected energy heats the facade. This heat can be made to work for space heating. Even under normal conditions (without a screen), it is recommended to install a reflective plane behind the radiator, which returns infrared radiation from the inner surface of the battery to the room. Foil-laminated foam (or similar material) is usually used. When installing a screen, this recommendation is doubly relevant..
Types of structures and materials
The main element of the screen is a façade in the form of a flat decorative panel with openings for natural air convection. The top and side panels are not always used, depending on the place where the battery is installed. For example, the presence of a wide window sill and niche makes them optional..
The following methods of screen mounting can be distinguished.
1. Hinged. The screen independently or together with the box is suspended with an emphasis on the battery or to the wall on hooks.
2. Floor. The screen acts as a facade on the box in the form of a kind of narrow bedside table.
3. Installed. The battery is hidden inside the niche, and the screen is a decorative part of the overall wall surface.
The supporting structure of the box can be made of a wooden bar or an aluminum corner – it depends on the materials of the decorative panel and its frame. The panel itself can be made from different materials: wooden battens, plywood, laminated fiberboard or chipboard, metal mesh.
During installation, a frame made of a galvanized steel profile or a wooden bar is usually used as a supporting structure (by analogy with the technology of installing plasterboard partitions).
Decorative glass screens can be distinguished as a separate type. This is the only kind of material that is used in a pure sheet form, without holes. And in order not to disturb the convection, the panel is installed without top and side walls. Installation is carried out using special fasteners on the bearing elements made of cold-rolled decorative pipes, which provide the necessary ventilation gap between the battery and the panel.
The simplest screen to manufacture is a panel in the form of a lattice made of wooden slats fixed to a wooden frame. The position of the slats can be any – vertical, horizontal, diagonal.
If desired, you can make a mesh lattice by placing the slats at an angle to each other, and using two opposite directions of the layout. Moreover, the angle between them does not have to be right. But in order for the lattice to be flat, it will be necessary to make grooves at the connection points, and, given the thickness of the rail and the manual method of manufacturing, it will definitely not be easy to complete everything..
Another type is a blinds screen. Such a screen resembles classic wooden shutters-blinds on the windows. In order for the slats in the frame to be at the same angle to the plane, the same parallel cuts are made on the side racks using a miter box. Since the thickness of the hacksaw blade for wood is less than the thickness of the lath, each of them requires two cuts, and the excess must be removed with a narrow chisel.
Both the frame bar and the slats must be dry. Given the proximity of the screen to the battery, it is necessary that their own moisture content is not higher than 12% (these are general requirements for wood intended for carpentry work). There is a simple home check method – if you try to tie a thin chip into a knot, then it should break.
When making both types of screens, each strip must be carefully sanded before attaching to the frame. After they are fixed in place, the grating is primed, covered in two layers with varnish, paint or enamel.
As a decorative finish, you can fix wood or MDF platbands around the frame. If these are wooden platbands, then they must be processed in the same way as the lattice, but they do not have to have the same finish – the perimeter may be of a different shade.
When the battery is in a niche, the screen can either completely overlap it or hang on hooks, leaving small gaps at the top, bottom and sides..
When attaching the screen to the box, the side surfaces are sheathed with laminated fiberboard or chipboard. The ends of the sheathing need not be trimmed with a decorative edge if the screen trims cover them.
Another common type of wood screen is the use of plywood as a panel. If you know how to work with a jigsaw, you can cut out an openwork lattice with any pattern transferred to the surface of the plywood by a stencil. The finishing of such a panel does not differ from the grating: sanding, priming and painting.
Important! When choosing chipboard or plywood for the screen, you need to pay attention to their class. For plywood it should be E1, for chipboard – E0.
DIY metal screen
As a panel for the screen, you can use a metal perforated sheet or perforated mesh. There are ready-made expanded metal mesh with anti-corrosion treatment (for steel) and enamel decorative coating. Such a mesh can be fixed on a wooden frame and used in the structures described above..
But metal has a serious advantage over wood – a high thermal conductivity coefficient. This property allows screens to be made that rely directly on the battery. They even increase its heat transfer by increasing the surface. Moreover, a battery with such a screen works better not only for radiation, but also for convection – just look at the ribbed heating elements of convectors.
It is better to choose an aluminum corner for the frame, and an aluminum sheet or perforated mesh for the screen panel. It is easier to work with them, and the thermal conductivity of aluminum is higher than that of steel, almost 5 times.
A hinged metal screen is quite simple to make:
- Take two corners with a length equal to the sum of the screen height and battery depth.
- Along the fold line on one of the walls of each corner, two opposite cuts are made with a total angle of 90 ° (45 ° for each relative to the edge of the corner). Moreover, the cuts must be made so that the uncut walls of the corners look at each other.
- Bend the corners in the form of the letter G.
- A blank for the screen is prepared from a perforated sheet or perforated mesh. Its length is equal to the total length of the L-shaped corner.
- Three corners are made with a size equal to the width of the screen.
- Bend the screen blank and attach it to the L-shaped corners using screws and nuts with washers (in the holes specially drilled in the corners). It is better to drill holes in place – so that they fall into the perforation of the sheet or into the mesh cell.
- On the inside of the mesh, three corners are attached in the corner and at the edges, which serve as stiffeners.
- Paint the outer part of the L-shaped corners.
In order for such a screen to be in a stable position, a pair of dowels with straight hooks can be fixed in the wall, and holes can be drilled for them in the short parts of the L-shaped corners.
If wooden screens are well suited for traditional and rustic styles, and metal screens for industrial ones, then glass ones look great in modern interiors, such as high-tech, minimalism, fusion, pop art. It all depends on the decorative glass processing.
In principle, it is possible to order a self-adhesive film with large format printing for a glass screen. Or you can make a drawing on a matte or transparent surface using sandblasting or a paste for chemical etching of glass.
If you don’t want to mess around with decorative processing, then there are glasses with a matte surface or painted in bulk on sale – you just need to order the required size, and the edge can be processed yourself. The only condition is that the glass must be tempered..
The easiest way to mount the screen is to point the glass to the wall in four places. To do this, use special fittings with remote fastening.
But there is one drawback – holes must be drilled in tempered glass, but at home it is difficult to do this..
Therefore, it is better to use a cold-rolled thin-walled tube as the supporting structure of the screen. It (and fixtures for it and glass) is sold in stores that sell everything you need to make furniture. As a rule, such pipes and fittings are made chrome-plated, but you can order them to be painted in any shade from the RAL palette. Screen stands are fixed to the floor.
As an additional support for the uprights, you can fix two closed-type distance adjustable fasteners (with a pipe plug) to the wall. The glass is fixed between the posts with clamps.