What is the difference between a painted steel panel and the SDI FRP panels?
Painted steel panels are lower in initial cost and will perform great until they get their first surface scratch. Once the steel is exposed to the environment of an aging room or production space rust will begin to form. It won't be long before the panels are tough to clean and create an unsanitary condition and will need to be replaced. FRP (Fiber Reinforced Plastic) panels are a solid cleanable surface that will not rust or deteriorate. FRP has a much longer lifespan than painted steel so in the long run, they will cost you less.

What is the R (insulation) value of the SDI Panels?
We offer a range of cores in our panels. We can recommend the correct panel depending on your application.

  • EPS expanded polystyrene – R 3.85/in – Strong, Low Cost
  • EPS extruded polystyrene – R 5.2/in – High Compressive Strength, Highly Resistant to Moisture Permeation
  • Polyisocyurante – R 6.2/in – Best R/in, Fire Resistant
  • Mineral Wool – R 3.61/in – Fire Rated material

What sizes do the panels come in?
Panels come in thickness from 2” - 12”.

Each panel is 48” wide; coverage is 47.375”/panel

What do you mean by “Monolithic”?
When you build with wood or steel and then insulate with materials like fiberglass, your aging space is open to infiltration. Moisture and bacteria can build up inside the walls creating a wonderful environment for growing all the wrong things.   SDI panels are monolithic. A monolithic panel has a solid interior that is impermeable to not only vapor but vermin, bacteria, mold and yeast.

Where does my vapor barrier go – inside or outside?

The reality is that depending on the season (wet or dry - summer or winter) the vapor barrier needs to be located either inside or outside your insulation. Even if you spray foam traditional construction, wood studs hold moisture and steel will rust and act as a thermal bridge.  Because SDI panels are monolithic, the system creates both external and internal vapor barrier seals to protect the core and address issues of seasonal changes in ambient vapor pressure. That means vapor will not penetrate the panel and solves the complicated problem of a vapor barrier.

How do I clean my panels?
All our panels come with food grade facings on the inside surface and industrial facings on the outside. The panels should be cleaned and sanitized using a food grade enzyme cleaner.

What kind of design services do you offer?
SDI offers a full range of design services from re-purposing an old building to completely new construction. We will work with you, your architects, engineers or contractors to design a custom solution for your application.

Are the SDI panels structural?
Yes. Depending on the panel configuration you choose

Who can install Panels?
The panels can be installed by your contractor or we can work with you to find a contractor familiar with our installation procedures. We will provide complete instructions for proper installation and are always available for technical support.

What is THE BOX and is it better than buying individual panels?
THE BOX  is a quick, affordable solution for a smaller scale aging space using SDI Industrial Controls. THE BOX is truly a 'DIY' with cam lock construction and can be connected quickly by your refrigeration tech. THE BOX is a great way to get SDI industrial controls in a less expensive format. THE BOX has three size options (8x8, 8X12 and 12X12) and is only available in white enamel painted steel. THE BOX is perfect for a start up with limited cash or for any application where product needs to be isolated in a unique environment. While THE BOX can't replace the quality of a custom designed aging space, but it can get you up and running with very a high quality system.

PO Box 190511

St Louis, MO 63119

Phone: 314-517-4397

Fax: 314-647-5361

Sanitary Design Industries© All Rights Reserved

Frequently Asked Questions:

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Building Panels


Sanitary Design Industries

Sometimes my room is perfect and sometimes I can't get the conditions right. Whats going on?
We like to say “a broken clock is right twice a day”. Your aging room may be absolutely perfect in the spring and fall but in the heat of summer and the cold of winter you just can't get it right. There are many forces at work here but there are two major factors. The first is room construction (see more about building panels above) and the second is maintaining control of the environment.

The key to consistent conditions in any aging space is independent and fully modulating control of dry bulb and dew point. The SDI Aging Room System uses this modulating control to manage aging spaces to a very specific target. Many rooms are constructed without proper latent and sensible capacity, putting the entire inventory at risk. At SDI one size never fits all. The SDI system will be custom designed for your application to assure there is enough latent and sensible capacity to support your production.

Why not just use a room air conditioner?
Simply put, the 'air conditioner system' is a hack solution. This type of system will not provide any level of dew point control, and is only marginally accurate, probably within 5-7 degrees. Room air conditioners, no matter how they are modified, are not designed to perform the functions needed for proper aging space management. You can't 'fool' physics. SDI Industrial Controls manage Dew Point and Dry Bulb continuously using fully modulating control of air speed and coil temperature.

The fact is that your inventory is THE MOST VALUABLE thing in your entire facility.  Product that is cured, dried or aged in the correct conditions will have consistent quality. In addition, using reliable controls that CONSISTENTLY control temperature and vapor pressure can also deliver an increase in yield.

 How Does the SDI Aging Control Work?
The proprietary technology is based on controlling the dry bulb and the dew point in your room. By using our own algorithms the controller monitors the changes happening inside your aging space and will modulate the evaporator/condenser to maintain a steady state. When new product is brought in and the load changes in the space, the controller will automatically correct the conditions in the space to return to the desired setting.

What are the benefits of installing your Aging Room Control system. What benefits could we expect?
Beyond an improvement in yield, the SDI system delivers precise vapor pressure control - less cooling during de-humidification, less de-humidification during cooling. You will notice rapid colonization of healthy surface flora and less unwanted flora because of the tight control of the conditions. You can expect to have the happiest cheese possible!

Do we need the ability to mechanically increase humidity with using your control system? If so can you integrate the switching on and off of the humidity unit with your control system?
Many of our customer have found that they don't need to add supplemental moisture to their rooms once they have the controls in place because the dew point and dry bulb are much more stable than in a conventional cooling system. If you find that you still need a bit of moisture (which could happen during the dry winter months), SDI recommends using Aprilaire or Nortec Steam. The addition of a humidifier, is easily added to the control if necessary.

What do I do if I need to add heat to my room?
SDI offers a stainless steel supplementary heating unit that can be connected to your main control. Most of our customers have found that they do not need to add supplemental heat because of the enhanced capability of the control.

Is this system more efficient on energy use?
No data has been generated via official testing labs, however anecdotally we know the value is there.  The systems we see installed everyday are very inefficient at removing moisture because they are not designed to control dry bulb and dew point. The SDI system is fully modulating and a properly operating aging room requires a modulating system. A properly operating system will by definition, be more efficient.

Can I retrofit my current space with an SDI system?
Yes. The SDI system is very flexible and often we can work with some of your existing equipment. We can help you evaluate your current equipment's capacity to establish whether it can achieve the results you want.

I have a system from another manufacturer. Can I use an SDI Aging Room Control?
Absolutely. The patent pending Aging Room Controller can help you get control of your space. It is easy to install (your local electrician and refrigeration contractorcan do it) and we will provide complete technical support. Before we build your control, we will need the specifications of your current system to make sure we can achieve the results you want.

Can I use this system for meat/charcuterie?
Absolutely. While our history is in the cheese industry we have many installations in meat and charcuterie producers. Our system can reach the very specific dry bulb and dew point levels needed to properly age/cure meats.

What about Air Circulation and Air Changes?
The SDI Vertical Air Handler coupled with fabric ducts is the optimal solution for both Air Circulation and Air Changes. Air is properly controlled and conditioned with the modulated system so conditions are constant and consistent. We will work with you to properly design your room for proper air exchange. Air circulation means moving the existing air (microbes and everything else in that air) around the space. The key to effective circulation is to eliminate 'dead' spots and to minimize areas where there is excessive wind in one spot. Air Changes are the number of times in a given period that fresh air is introduced and unwanted gasses are removed. Different cheeses require different air changes and we can take this into account as we design your system. The key to effective air changes is that the air being introduced into the space is tempered. If it is not tempered, it is working against your system.

What is the difference between a Ceiling Mount Air Handler and a Vertical Air Handler?
All of the SDI Air Handling equipment, no matter which you select is 100% food grade and it is all crafted of stainless steel.

The ceiling mount system is designed for smaller applications and/or for lower budgets. It can be ordered in a variety of configurations to meet the needs of the room. The SDI Vertical Air Handler coupled with fabric ducts is the optimal solution for Sanitary Air Handling. Air is properly controlled and conditioned with the modulated system so conditions are constant and consistent.

Is this system NSF/ETL certified?
Yes – everything in the SDI line up is NSF and ETL certified.