One of the most common, uncomplicated, mechanical devices we use daily are hinges, which are found anywhere there is a cabinet, door, or window. They are one of the most durable pieces of equipment we depend to work flawlessly in all conditions and situations. Some of the best types of hinges are made of aluminum, since it is a strong and resilient metal, able to endure harsh conditions.
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Aluminum Hinge Benefits
When builders and contractors are deciding on materials for their projects, the first things that come to mind are endurance, strength, and tolerance. Those are qualities that guarantee that a building will last. For those reasons, builders choose aluminum hinges for their projects to guarantee the necessary strength cabinets and doors required.
The first thing that comes to mind, regarding aluminum, is that it is lightweight. A long sheet of it can be easily lifted. In many cases, people are deceived by its weight thinking that it is not strong enough for stressful conditions, but fortunately, that is not the case. Aluminum is chosen for hinges due to the fact that it is lightweight, but, most of all, for its strength, tolerance, and longevity.
The weight of aluminum is a key factor in airplane manufacturing since heavy components can make it difficult for a plane to take off. Most of the parts of an airplane are made from aluminum, including the hinges on doors and hatches. Approximately 75% of airplane parts are aluminum with a large portion of that being aluminum hinges.
Aside from aircraft production, there are many situations where aluminum hinges are chosen over stainless steel ones because it has the same durability and strength with 1/3 the weight making them a critical component of automobiles and saltwater boats.
Types of Aluminum Hinges
Two varieties of aluminum are used to produce hinges – 3003 and 5052. Of the two, 5052 has the highest strength and corrosion resistance and is used in stressful conditions. Though 3003 has the same corrosion resistance, appearance, and durability of 5052, it is more suited for use in construction such as kitchen cabinets since it can withstand daily use.
An attractive characteristic of aluminum is the layer of oxide it forms when it is exposed to the environment. This natural reaction is the main reason it is resistant to corrosion and rust. In conditions where there is the potential of fire and sturdy hinges are needed, aluminum hinges, that have been anodized to thicken their oxide layer, are used since they can withstand the potential danger and survive high temperatures.
Hinges made of aluminum have become commonplace in hospitals for their protective qualities. Doorways in hospitals are large and wide. They have to endure violent collisions from gurneys, wheelchairs, and stretchers. The smooth surface and durability of aluminum protects patients and ensures the safety of health workers.