A hinge is a movable joint or mechanism that joins two items together. The hinge is one of the most popular categories of mechanical bearings. Butt hinges are a particular kind of hinge that have rectangular pieces that...
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This article is a summary and discussion of spring hinges in regard to their use and construction.
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A spring hinge is a self-closing hinge that automatically closes two connected workpieces using the action of a spring that is loaded into the hinge's barrel. They can be found in a wide variety of products such as eye glasses, cabinet doors, box lids, and hand held tools. The strength and durability of spring hinges make them an ideal piece of equipment for opening and closing hardware.
Spring hinges are used on standard commercial grade doors made of wood or metal. The spring of a spring hinge is located in the hinge cylinder or barrel and exerts pressure on the wings of the hinge to push them together or push them apart. The design of spring hinges makes it possible to adjust their tension to fit personal needs, such that a door or lid moves or rotates as needed.
A common mechanism used to automatically close doors is a piston operated door closer located at the top of a door. Most door closers have an air cylinder that closes the door automatically. In some cases, there may be two door closers, with one at the top and one at the bottom. As efficient and effective as they are, large door closers are bulky, cumbersome, and take up door space.
Spring door hinges that perform the same function as door closers can be installed like a standard hinge and fit on the door and its jamb. They come in different sizes and tension strengths to adapt to the specific needs of the user. The size and strength of spring hinges make them a perfect replacement for large door closing mechanisms.
The standard spring hinge has the same appearance as a butt hinge or a hinge that is installed into the abutting surfaces of the door jamb and the door. In order to make a standard butt hinge into a spring hinge, a spring is placed into the knuckles of the pivotal portion of the hinge and can be adjusted using an allen wrench.
When a door with a spring hinge is opened, it charges the spring such that the door is forced closed. The simplicity of the mechanism makes spring hinges less expensive and more practical than other door closing methods.
The unique structure of double action spring hinges allows a door to open in both directions, which has given them the names of saloon and café door hinges. They are made with two spring loaded pivots that allow a door a 180o rotation. Regardless of their range of motion, double action spring hinges are installed in the door and door jamb like standard hinges. In most cases, they are mortised or indented to allow the door to fit flat against the jamb.
The tension in the spring in double action spring hinges is adjusted to determine how fast or slow the door will open or close. High tension on the spring causes the door to close quickly with force, while less tension causes a door to close slowly.
Double action spring hinges are made of brass, bronze, stainless steel, or zinc copper and are used for café doors, kitchen doors, restaurant doors, and heavy doors that are opened and closed frequently.
Unlike the standard butt hinge, surface mounted spring hinges are connected to the outside face of the frame of an opening without being mortised. They can be used on openings that allow a small gap between the opening and its frame. Since they are an exposed hinge, they can be quickly and easily installed.
One wing of the hinge is attached to the door while the other is attached to a column, pillar, fence post, frame, or trunk body. The spring on a surface mounted spring hinge can be visible or placed in the hinge’s barrel. They have a non removable pin and are made of zinc, chrome, bronze, nickel, and low carbon steel.
Horizontal spring pivot hinges have a similar action as a large door opening and closing mechanism. They come in pairs with one part installed at the top or bottom of the door while the other is placed at the opposite end of the door. A tension spring is attached to a bracket that is aligned with the top or bottom edge of the door. The opposite portion of the pair simply rotates when the door is opened or closed.
On first observation, the mechanism of a horizontal spring pivot hinge may seem to be exactly like a door opener and closer. The difference between the two mechanisms is their placement. A door opener and closer is attached to the door jamb and has a cylinder and rod connected to the door. Due to its size, it is placed away outside the door and its frame.
The spring portion of a horizontal spring pivot hinge is aligned with the edge of the door and does not protrude from it. When the door opens, a bracket attached to the spring mechanism moves with the door while the spring remains motionless as it builds tension. As the door is released, the tension in the spring pulls the door back.
Piano hinges are long continuous hinges that are four to six feet long or longer. In the spring hinge piano hinge version or spring loaded piano hinges, springs can be located at various points along the length of the hinge but start at the middle knuckle. Spring loaded piano hinges are used for partitions, bathroom stall doors, and other light weight long panels.
A strap hinge has one or two long metal straps that form the wings of the hinge. They are a non-mortise hinge that attaches to the door and a column, wall, door frame, or other solid surface. The purpose of the long straps is to provide additional support and stability to the connected parts of the door as well as offer a large mounting surface. As with surface mounted hinges, spring strap hinges have non removable pins and are always installed in pairs.
The wings of a square corner spring hinge have the shapes of rectangles. They are on handed hinges that can fit on both sides of a door and have four screw holes for a secure and tight fit. Square corner spring hinges are easy to mortise or recess since the rectangular wings fit easily on top of each other. Depending on the weight of the door, two to four square corner spring hinges may be necessary.
Half mortise spring hinges are a special design of spring hinges where one of the wings or leaves is mortised into the door or jamb while the other wing rests on the surface of the door or jamb. The portion of the hinge that is not mortised has the same appearance as a surface spring hinge and is on the face of the door. Many half mortise spring hinges have decorative or aesthetically appealing unamortized wings.
A non-mortise spring hinge does not require any cutting or trimming of the opening or its frame. Once installed, a non-mortise spring hinge leaves a minor gap between the opening and its frame. Unlike standard spring hinges or square corner spring hinges, the leaves or wings of non-mortise spring hinges do not land on top of each other or overlap.
With a non-mortise spring hinge, one wing fits inside an opening in the other wing allowing the opening to close smoothly. To limit the gap between the surfaces, non-mortise spring hinges are thinner than traditional hinges.
Wrap around spring hinges are another form of non-mortise spring hinge. One of the wings of the hinge wraps around the opening or door such that it is connected to the door on two sides while the other wing is attached to the frame. The barrel and spring of the hinge are visible on the outside of the door. The portion of the hinge that is attached to the door is connected to the edge of the door and the back of the door to provide a tighter and more secure connection.
Swing clear spring hinges move the hinge barrel and door edge out of the way of the opening. The hinge wings are right angled rectangles mortised to the jamb and edge of the door. They provide more clearance through the door opening, which is especially helpful for hospitals, schools, and shopping malls. Swing clear spring hinges are adaptable and can have their opening and closing rate adjusted to fit the needs of any conditions.
Spring hinges for eyewear are tiny minute hinges that sit between the temple and rims of eyewear. They securely fold the glasses and keep the glasses securely positioned on the head and keep glasses from falling off. Eyewear spring hinges are also known as flex hinges. Like other spring hinges, eyewear spring hinges are exceptionally sturdy and durable.
Eyewear spring hinges have three barrels and a single small spring that allows the arms of the eyewear to move further than the normal 90o. The reason that spring hinges are recommended for eyewear is how comfortable they make glasses feel since they are held so snuggly by spring hinges.
Most of the various types of spring hinges are adjustable using an allen wrench, which is the easiest and most common method. Spring hinges have a hex hole in the end or top of the barrel that allows the spring in the barrel to have its tension adjusted. If the allen wrench is turned clockwise, the spring in the hinge is compressed. By turning the hex screw, the tension on the spring can be increased or decreased to change the rate at which the door closes.
Most of the various types of spring hinges come in sizes that can be used for cupboard and cabinet doors. They are very commonly found in kitchens with low tension springs so that they don’t slam shut and may include a hold open, making access to the cabinet or cupboard easier.
Although cabinet hinges are necessarily small, they have the same durability as larger spring hinges in order to be able to withstand constant use. It is for this reason that cabinet hinges are made of sturdy and strong materials.
There is an endless variety of spring hinges used in cupboards and cabinets with each type conforming to the needs of the installers. They range from the standard spring hinge to wrap around ones and depend on the design and materials of the cabinets.
Concealed spring hinges, or invisible hinges, are unseen and provide a smooth aesthetically pleasing appearance as well as excellent security since they are tamper resistant. The structure of a concealed hinge includes a cup and an arm. The spring for a concealed hinge is located in the arm. When the cabinet door is opened, torque is produced in the spring to close the door. The type of concealed hinge that is used for a cabinet depends on the design and construction of the cabinet.
Heavy duty and highly durable spring hinges have ball bearings at the top and bottom of the spring, which allow heavy doors and gates to open smoothly. As with all forms of spring hinges, heavy duty hinges have adjustable tension that is essential for heavy doors. The main issue with heavy duty spring hinges is the frequency at which they are opened and closed as well as the number of times they are slammed shut.
Hinge design engineers are aware of the stress that is placed on heavy duty spring hinges and have developed control methods and materials that can accommodate the problems. The major factor that requires adjustment is slamming, which places extreme stress on a spring hinge. By having meticulous control features that allow for precision control of the rate of the door, the wear on the spring of a heavy duty spring hinge is lessened to extend its useful life.
Butterfly spring hinges have the same functionality as strap hinges with leaves that are more decorative, distinct, and have the shape of butterfly wings. They are a surface mounted type of hinge, which is the reason for their unique appearance and are made of brass to further enhance their appeal. Butterfly spring hinges are used on cabinets, cupboards, chests, and boxes.
Designers add butterfly spring hinges to various interior doors as a decorative touch and to add character and style to cupboards and cabinets since the full hinge is visible when a door is closed.
Several varieties of materials are used to produce spring hinges since each type of spring hinge has different and unique demands. Hinges for residences and light duty work require materials that are strong but not as resilient as the materials needed for industrial door hinges and hospital door hinges.
The key to the strength of a spring hinge is the type of material from which it is made, which can vary from stainless steel and galvanized steel to brass and copper. Additionally, the environment where a hinge will be used can determine the type of metal and production process.
Although it does not apply to industrial use hinges, the type of metal for certain spring hinges is chosen for its aesthetic and visual appeal. Galvanized steel and stainless steel do not have the same decorative appearance as copper, bronze, and chrome plated spring hinges. When galvanized steel and stainless steel spring hinges are installed, they are usually out of sight but are important for their durability and strength.
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, making it easy to fabricate and gives it a gold like appearance. The proportions of copper and zinc vary depending on the properties that brass will have. Modern brass is made of 67% copper and 33% zinc but the amount of copper can vary from 55% to 95%, while the amount of zinc can vary between 5% and 45%. Additionally, a small percentage of lead may be added to improve the metal's machinability, which is necessary for producing brass spring hinges.
Stainless steel spring hinges are used in a wide variety of applications due to the strength and durability of stainless steel. Since stainless steel can be configured to meet the needs of any type of spring hinge, it can be found in residential, commercial, and industrial spring hinges.
The common grades of stainless steel used to make spring hinges are grades 304 and 316. Although stainless steel has several positive properties, the one property that makes it ideal for spring hinges is its resistance to the effects of moisture, which makes it long lasting.
The main use for copper hinges is for decorative purposes. They come in a wide assortment of styles and are commonly used as surface mounted spring hinges for cabinets and cupboards. Copper offers an antique quality to doors and is very subtle. When it is alloyed with other metals to form brass or bronze, it enhances the properties of the metals and offers special characteristics and protection.
Bronze is an ideal spring hinge material since it does not corrode and is self-lubricating. It is made by combining various percentages of tin and copper and is classified by how much of each metal it contains. The protective properties of bronze reduce wear and give bronze spring hinges a longer useful life.
The typical butt hinge has three basic parts, which are leaves or wings, a pin, and knuckles. These three components are the basis for all hinges and are the beginning elements of hinge construction.
Hinges are mechanical devices designed to allow a limited range of rotational movement between two elements that a hinge has joined. All doors are connected to a frame that holds them in place, whether the door is connected to a cabinet, cupboard, locker, or suitcase. Hinges give doors a range of rotational motion such that they can open and close.
The pin, wings or leaves, and knuckles are the parts of a hinge’s mechanism that hold the door and control its rotational motion. In the case of a spring hinge, which gives a door the element of automatic motion, an adjustable spring is added as an additional component and convenience.
The leaf or wing is the portion of a hinge that is connected to the frame or jamb and the door. How they are connected widely varies depending on the type of door, the design of the hinge, and their configuration. All spring hinges have two leaves or wings, which are highly durable, rigid, and strong.
Holes are placed in the leaves for screws or other forms of fasteners to secure them to the door and jamb. The holes may be placed in a series, staggered, or randomly. Again, this varies depending on the design of the spring hinge. To secure a spring hinge, holes are driven into the jamb and door. In some cases, recesses or mortises are cut into the door and jamb such that the door will be flush when closed.
The barrel is the main variation between a typical hinge and a spring hinge. Only certain types of spring hinges have barrels, which are solid tube like structures that hold and connect the leaves. The barrel contains the spring and has hexagonal holds on its top or bottom such that the spring can be adjusted. It is the rotational or pivot part of a spring hinge whose motion is controlled by the spring.
The knuckle is a typical part of hinges, whether they are spring or not, and are known as loops or nodes. They have the same hollow tube shape as a barrel but do not run the full length of the leaves as one unit but are divided into small segments or sections. Although knuckles are labeled as a separate component, they are formed as a part of the leaves during the manufacturing of a hinge.
In the case of spring hinge design, the spring may be placed as one of the knuckles through which the pin passes. In those instances, the spring is visible and easily accessed as can be seen in some surface mounted hinges. With other spring hinge designs, the spring functions like the barrel is visible and is held in place by brackets that join it to the leaves without the presence of knuckles.
In the piano spring hinge, pictured below, two of the knuckles have been replaced with springs to form a piano spring hinge.
Pins are a basic component of all hinges and are used to join the leaves. They are a solid cylindrical shape that is plug-like. Pins are inserted through the loops of the knuckles and easily slide the full length of both leaves to hold all of the components of the hinge together. They are made of hardened metals and have to be able to withstand the constant rotation and motion of the hinges. Pins are the only way that leaves can be brought together and connected.
The automatic opening and closing properties of spring hinges make them a time and money saving tool to help companies enhance their efficiency and promote energy reduction. It is interesting to consider that hinges can have so many positive effects on an operations performance.
The simple action of leaving a door open can have multiplying effects on a building causing electrical and sanitary problems. In environments that require exceptional hygiene, such situations can be damaging to processes and employee health. Spring hinges are used to protect against such problems.
Having doors open, even the slightest amount, can cause a drain on the energy of a building, whether the building is being heated or cooled. Spring hinges ensure that doors are closed and sealed but allow easy opening and closing. The speed at which spring hinges close and open saves on wasted energy.
An open door serves as a pathway for contaminants to enter an environment easily and freely. Though this may not be a concern for retail stores and homes, there are certain conditions that can be significantly damaged by such contamination. In those cases, spring hinges are a necessity and required. Hospital operating rooms, where personnel must enter without infecting their hands, require spring hinged doors such that personnel can use their body to push against the door and be ensured that it closes behind them.
The convenience and efficiency of spring hinges make it possible to keep sensitive environments clean. Their quiet and small operation is time saving and environmentally friendly.
In emergency situations, it is necessary to rapidly leave a building unobstructed by doors or other obstacles. Spring hinge doors make access easy as well as provide a quick method of exit without blocking others. This aspect of spring hinges makes them essential for building fire safety.
In kitchens, cabinet and cupboard doors are opened quickly and frequently to get ingredients and tools. Spring hinges assist in the efficiency of a kitchen by safely and quickly closing doors to keep them out of the way of workers while allowing convenient access. In many large food production kitchens, they are a necessity since kitchen applications have to move smoothly without obstacles.
Spring hinges are used in hospitals, rest homes, and offices as a method for maintaining confidentiality and privacy. This is especially true in hospitals where patients need to be protected. Spring hinges keep the integrity of a space by keeping doors closed and keeping the exterior atmosphere out.
In management situations, when an employer is speaking with an employee, spring hinges ensure that a door is closed and sealed.
Spring hinges are a simple mechanism that are dependable and efficient. As with all types of machinery, spring hinges produce friction that can damage them or slow their function. To protect spring hinges from malfunctioning or failing, they need to be lubricated.
In many cases, a spring hinge will let you know that it has to be lubricated by the sound that it creates when opening and closing. It is best to lubricate a spring hinge long before it produces such noises. Regular lubrication of a spring hinge can improve on its action and help increase its useful life.
Lubricants need to be able to cut through grime to coat the interior of the hinge. Regardless of the type of lubricant, the container must have a thin nozzle to fit the barrel or knuckle of the spring hinge. Common types of lubricants are:
Tension on the locking pin is released by placing an allen wrench in the hexagonal screw at the end or head of a spring hinge and turning the allen wrench in either direction.
The lubricant should be added in small amounts and allowed to run down the length of the pin and the spring. Moving the door back and forth and activating the hinge will distribute the lubricant such that it saturates the spring and pin.
The rate at which a spring hinge closes a door can easily be adjusted using an allen wrench. Although all spring hinges automatically close a door, in most cases, it is necessary to adjust the speed at which the door closes to match the conditions.
The tool used to adjust the spring on a spring hinge is an allen wrench, which is one of the easiest tools to use since the right size allen wrench fits perfectly into a hexagonal hole. Allen wrenches for Spring hinge adjustment are small and can be inserted by the long or short side, depending on the available space.
The hexagonal screw may be located on the top or bottom of the barrel of the hinge, depending on the hinge's design.
In order to adjust the tension on the spring, the cross pin has to be moved to be able to turn the allen wrench. There are a series of holes in a spring hinge that go around the top or bottom of the barrel. To be able to turn the allen wrench and adjust the tension, the cross pin has to be removed.
Once the allen wrench is inserted and the cross pin removed, the allen wrench can be moved left or right to reach the appropriate tension on the spring. When the desired tension is reached, the holes for the cross pin and hinge knuckles need to be aligned such that the cross pin can be reinserted. At that point, the allen wrench can be slowly removed.
A spring hinge is a self-closing hinge that automatically closes connected surfaces by the action of a spring loaded into the hinge’s barrel. They can be found in a wide variety of products such as eyeglasses, cabinet doors, box lids, and hand held tools.
The spring of a spring hinge is located in the hinge cylinder or barrel and exerts pressure on the wings of the hinge to push them together or push them apart. The design of spring hinges makes it possible to adjust their tension to fit personal needs such that a door or lid behaves as needed.
Spring door hinges that perform the same function as door closers can be installed like a standard hinge and fit into the door and its jamb. They come in different sizes and tension strengths to adapt to the specific needs of the user.
There are several varieties of materials used to produce spring hinges since each type of spring hinge has different and unique demands. Hinges for residences and light duty work require materials that are strong but not as resilient as the materials needed for industrial door hinges and hospitals.
A spring hinge is a simple and small tool that has excellent and consistent performance. The many varieties of spring hinges make them adaptable enough to fit the needs of any application.
A hinge is a movable joint or mechanism that joins two items together. The hinge is one of the most popular categories of mechanical bearings. Butt hinges are a particular kind of hinge that have rectangular pieces that...
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