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Motion Control Engineering & Manufacturing Resources

Gas Spring Alternatives: Mechanical Spring Innovations

Gas Spring Alternatives: Mechanical Spring Innovations

Posted by Weber Knapp on Jun 1, 2022 3:22:15 PM

heavy-duty gas springs

No one wants to have a heavy lid come down on their hand while they are focused on completing a project. Likewise, no one wants to see someone else injured when there are hinges available to help avoid these accidents. 

The hinge market includes a variety of motion control options, including both mechanical spring and gas spring hinges. While some prefer gas spring hinges, others opt for the mechanical spring alternatives. 

Weber Knapp recognizes the benefits of both types. Providing customers with hinges that fit their needs and allow for innovation in a constantly changing world is the mission of Weber Knapp engineers. 

Mechanical Spring Alternatives and Long-Term Benefits

Gas spring hinges handle medium-duty loads and achieve the purpose intended for various industries, from hospitality to defense. However, gas springs require optimal conditions for the preferred outcome. When it comes to extreme temperatures, for example, the reliability of a gas spring hinge declines significantly. This is not the only concern when gas spring hinges are in use. 

For some situations, such as the medical field, the potential for an explosion is an issue with gas spring hinges. Meanwhile, for industrial situations, the deterioration can mean more money spent to replace the hinges on a regular basis. This can be a hit to the budget and incentive to choose the mechanical spring alternative. 

Why Gas Spring Alternatives Are Necessary

While we have covered gas spring hinges and their potential downfalls in previous blogs, there are three main points of consideration: Unpredictability, Deterioration, and Recyclability. Oftentimes, as opposed to their mechanical spring alternatives, gas springs fall short: 

  • Unpredictability: Environments with significant shifts in temperature can be less than ideal for gas spring use. Not only do gas spring hinges deteriorate quickly in extreme temperature changes, but there is also a risk of explosion when the gas in the springs is exposed to higher temperatures. (This is due to a higher internal pressure in the spring.) There is also a risk of oil leakage from a gas spring, which means potential contamination of its surroundings. 
  • Deterioration: As noted above, temperature changes means faster deterioration rates for gas spring hinges. Withstanding major shifts in temperature, when compared with their mechanical spring hinge alternatives, Gas Springs often deteriorate faster in general. 
  • Recyclability: Today’s society is focused on sustainability and products that account for the opportunity to recycle in their manufacturing and packaging. Therefore, gas spring hinges are less ideal because they have to be recycled in pieces rather than as a whole. 

Learn more about Gas Springs by Reading these Blogs 

Gas springs have their uses. However, they can be trouble if they are used in certain industries. For example, the potential for leaks can be problematic for the medical industry. If you have gas springs installed on a product and want to switch, read more below:

Vectis: How Weber Knapp Provides a Customizable Economical Alternative

You may be considering gas spring hinges because the up-front cost could be lower. That is an important factor when you have a set budget at this time. However, looking forward to your five-year budget, can you fit in the same expense again? mechanical spring alternative

Gas spring hinges provide an attractive option with that lower cost now, but the decision becomes a bit more complicated when it needs to be replaced more often. 

That means you may be spending the same or more in three years to replace those hinges, rather than enjoying dependability from mechanical spring hinges that are still in good operating condition. 

While the mechanical spring alternatives can have a higher cost upfront, ultimately it saves money on replacement in any given five-year budgetary period. 

Vectis hinges provide a smooth lift that can be done with a finger in most cases, a safe design that helps reduce the risk of accidents, and flexibility, allowing the specific feel you want to have for the product requiring a counterbalance hinge solution. 

In today’s world, there is a lot to be said for thinking outside the box. Vectis is a result of decades of motion control engineering and provides innovative solutions to customers. The potential for effective use of the springs available in the Vectis line-up or customization for those who are looking for a unique solution leads to satisfactory results for all customers. 

The Vectis lineup can also be found in Hospitality, Outdoor Kitchens and Restaurant Settings

mechanical spring alternativeBoth hospitality and restaurant settings need hinges that can handle being opened and closed numerous times each day. In both industries, a hinge that can last up to 15 years is a strong draw, compared to gas spring hinges that need to be replaced on a more regular basis. 

Outdoor kitchens have to balance the need for repetitive opening with the exposure to heat and the elements. Therefore, counterbalance or spring assist hinges are required. A version of the Vectis hinge is used on the lid of the Smokin’ Ugly drum smoker to provide reliable motion when opening and closing the lid - no matter how many times you check on the meat. 

Consult Our Experts

Weber Knapp’s engineers are available to help with questions and concerns when it comes to whether the mechanical spring hinge alternative is the right fit for your product. Contact us today to get a conversation started. You can also download the Intro to Motion Control & Counterbalancing for Product Design resource below. 

motion control and counterbalancing for product design

Topics: Applications, Motion Control, Gas Springs, Hinges, Manufacturing