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Motion Control Engineering & Manufacturing Resources

3 Types of Heavy-Duty Hinges: Essential Traits of Spring-Loaded Hinges

3 Types of Heavy-Duty Hinges: Essential Traits of Spring-Loaded Hinges

Posted by Weber Knapp on Sep 7, 2021 11:46:00 AM

heavy duty hatch hinges

The most durable and versatile products can turn out to be intimidating to the user if the wrong type of heavy-duty hinges are used. Ask anyone that lifts heavy lids all day -- spring-assisted hinges are necessary for the safety and efficiency of your entire staff.

Whether you're working in the food, manufacturing, or medical industries, incorporating heavy-duty spring-loaded hinges into your design helps promote a safer, more ergonomic workspace. Mechanical spring design allows for quieter, safer operations that your end-users will appreciate.

Standard hinges, like those available at your local hardware store, can't stand up to heavy-duty spring hinges when it comes to lifting capacity, efficiency, durability,  and safety.   

Choosing the Correct Heavy-Duty Spring Hinge for Your Application

Choose the wrong type of hinge for your application and the result can be more than just tiring and wearisome, it can be outright dangerous for the end-user. Heavy lids, covers, and hatches are all potential workplace hazards that are best ameliorated at the design stage.

When a design calls for heavy-duty hinges, there are four types from which to select.

  • Gas springs
  • Spring-assisted
  • Vectis pivot spring-assisted
  • Counterbalance spring-assisted

So, which type of heavy-duty hinge will meet your criteria for safety, performance, cost-effectiveness, and design aesthetic? Let's take a closer look at four heavy-duty spring hinge options.

Gas Springs

Gas springs, also known as gas struts, are a mechanical spring alternative. They consist of a gas-filled tube with an internal piston. The piston compresses the gas (usually nitrogen) in order to create and control the motion of the spring. 

While the upfront cost is low, these springs are sometimes unreliable and cannot stand up to harsh environments like mechanical springs. Gas springs have an unpredictable shelf life, too.

These springs are also highly temperature-sensitive. Extreme cold adversely affects their performance, while extreme heat may result in an explosion! Gas springs are also known to leak, and in the food or medical industries, that could not only mean a costly lawsuit, it could also mean an explosion and severe injury to the end-user.

Gas springs perform best and are safest when combined with a mechanical spring and used in a moderate temperature environment.

Spring Assisted

Compared to gas springs, spring-assisted hinges are a better choice for food, medical, and pharmaceutical environments since they have no contamination risks. Spring-assisted hinges provide steady, reliable movement across their full range of motion. 

Vectis™ Pivot Spring Assist

A spring-assisted hinge with a Vectis pivot will have a more refined feel than a spring-assist hinge alone. The Vectis pivot adds additional constant, controlled friction that will help avoid lids or doors that slam shut unexpectedly. Vectis' high heat technology makes these hinges ideal for ovens, grills, and other "smoking hot" applications.

Counterbalance Spring Assist

Are you designing a door, lid, hatch, or cover and need to offset the weight or meet precise motion-control specifications? Then you'll want to consider a spring-assisted counterbalance hinge.

These long-lasting hinges offer consistent performance and a professional feel. They can be conformed to fit the space available and finished to blend in with the product. 

What to Look for in a Heavy-Duty Spring-Loaded Hinge: 

The features you need in a spring will depend on its intended use, the design of the product, and its projected cost. Fortunately, there are spring hinges available to meet any needs.

Depending on the product you're designing and its intended end user, you may want to consider features such as a soft-close or adjustable tension. Soft-close hinges contribute to a more serene work environment, while field adjustable hinges save time and money.

Another important factor to keep in mind is workplace ergonomics. The right type of hinges can help prevent problems like repetitive motion injuries.

The Importance of Using Heavy-Duty Springs in Your Products

From a design perspective, heavy-duty spring hinges provide a quality look and feel to your product. They make even the heaviest or most awkward door or lid operate smoothly and easily. For more on our full lineup of industrial hinges, check out the free resource below: 

Looking for Heavy Duty Industrial Hinges? Click to learn more.

Topics: Motion Control, Gas Springs, Counterbalance Hinge, Hinges, Industrial, Lid Support, Springloaded, Vectis