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Anatomy of a roller shutter

Since most of the shutters we manufacture or supply are tubular motor driven we have shown below an exploded view of a roller shutter, following on with a component description.

Exploded view of a rubular motor roller shutter showing all components and parts
An exploded view of a tubular motor roller shutter (hover over the image for details).

Roller shutter component parts

Cheek plate

The roller holding the curtain in place is supported by two load-bearing cheek plates (also known as end plates). These cheek plates are secured to the building structure using adequate fixings to take the full load of the shutter.

Flag post

The cheek plate is either welded to a vertical angle or directly to the top of the guide giving the look of a flag post. The vertical angle of the flag post is also secured to the building structure to give additional support and aid the installation of the shutter.

Roller assembly

The shutter curtain is held in place by a full width roller, which is supported at each end by the cheek plates. The roller comprises of a steel tube with a tubular motor fitted at one end and a shaft at the opposite end.

Tubular Motor

A tubular motor is fitted into the shutter's overhead barrel assembly. Protruding from the barrel is the motor head which incorporates a manual override eye (when a manual override facility is included), the electrical wire feed, and a pair of limit switches to control the maximum travel distance of the shutter curtain. The motor is fitted with an operational brake to hold the shutter stationary when it is in its upper position.

Safety Brake

This centrifugal brake arrests the descent of the shutter if there is a failure in the motor. If the motor's operational brake fails to hold the shutter stationary when it is in its upper position, or the shutter descends at an uncontrolled speed, the safety brake will activate and bring the shutter to a complete halt. Some units also have a micro-switch that will disconnect the motor from the electrical supply. The brake, once activated, will need to be reset or in some cases, replaced. An experienced shutter engineer must carry out resetting or replacement.

U- Cup or Bearing

When a safety brake is not fitted, a U-Cup or Bearing is fitted to the cheek plate to support the barrel.


The curtain runs up and down through two side guides. These are 'u' shape in design.


The material that shuts off the area between the guides. This is generally made of steel or aluminium lath that interlock together. Tube and Link grilles are held together by horizontally-positioned rods.

Bottom Rail

The final bottom section of the curtain and is often 'T' shaped or 'L' shaped to give additional rigidity.

Canopy Cover

Also known as the hood. The fitting of this is generally optional. It is made of galvanised steel and is supplied folded to wrap around the cheek plates protecting the curtain and barrel from the rain and dust. It is also a safety requirement when the roller mechanism or motor is below 2500mm high.


Aluminium products can be anodised with a silver looking finish (00A05) or powder coated with a wide choice of colours available.

Steel products are supplied with pre-treated galvanised curtains and side guides which can be powder coated.

Polyester Powder Coating applies to both steel and aluminium products. Powder coating is a process whereby very fine dry paint is applied to the steel with an electrostatic charge. This is then baked onto the metal in an oven at high temperature. The powder coated finish is uniform and durable, very resistant to chemicals, chipping and general wear and tear.

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