Hinges are jointed or flexible devices that are designed to allow limited turning or pivoting. These mechanical bearings work by connecting two solid objects at a fulcrum, so that they turn or rotate relative to each other on a fixed axis of rotation.
Quick links to Custom Hinges Information
Types of Custom Hinges
There are many, many kinds of hinges, including but most certainly not limited to:
- Barrel Hinges
- Butt Hinges
- Butterfly Hinges
- Case Hinges
- Concealed Hinges
- Continuous Hinges
- Friction Hinges
- Pivot Hinges
To begin the journey of purchasing custom hinges, a customer should know a little bit about these different types of hinges, as their custom hinges will most likely be based off of one of these standard designs.
Whatever their type, standard and custom hinges generally function with the assistance of three basic components:
- The Pin
- A rod that holds the leaves together inside the knuckle.
- The Knuckle(s)
- Hollow and typically circular, is the portion of the hinge that creates the joint through which the pin is inserted. The knuckle is also known as a curl, loop, joint or node.
- The Leaf (Leaves)
- The names of the portions that extend to the side of the knuckle, revolving around the pin.
Aside from the basics, custom hinges may be designed in a wide variety of sizes, styles and shapes. Specific variables include hinge length and width, knuckle length, leaf width, gauge (the thickness of the leaves), pitch (the distance from one end of a knuckle to the corresponding end of its adjacent knuckle on the same leaf) slop (the angular movement of the leaves relative to the pin) and material choice.
Materials Used in Custom Hinges
Common materials used to make custom hinges include:
The material choice of a custom hinge should depend upon the environment in which it will be used and the way it will be used. For example, door hinges, especially those supporting doors of retail centers or other high traffic buildings, are used almost constantly, by people entering and exiting. Door hinges, therefore, need to be made of a material that can withstand this constant use and resist corrosion. They may also need to be heavy enough to support heavy doors. Doors to the outside also need to be able to withstand environmental wear and tear, such as the effects of moisture brought on by rain, snow or salt air, like rust, to which hinges near salt water are especially vulnerable, and the effects of rain, and the effects of smog, extreme temperatures and UV light exposure. In the case of door hinges, most customers select metals or metal alloys like brass and bronze.
- Brass or Bronze
- Brass and bronze are common choices in general for custom hinges that have to face the elements because they are sturdy, durable and resistant to the negative impacts of all kinds of weather conditions.
- Bronze in particular is an excellent material for custom hinges that will be used in marine applications, because it is exceptionally weatherproof. Brass, on the other hand, requires extra treatment if it is to adequately endure salt air exposure.
- Stainless Steel
- Stainless steel is another popular material used to design custom hinges, though it is not appropriate for outdoor use since it does not respond to any coating materials. Stainless steel is far more popular with hidden or concealed hinges, which are most often found on furniture doors such as kitchen cabinets and dresser drawers.
- Most hinges are made from some kind of metal, but custom hinges can be fabricated from plastics or any other material that meets the needs of the application for which they are being made. In addition, many materials, aside from stainless steel, can be coated with a finishing that helps them withstand certain conditions or enhances them visually.
- Common coatings include bronze and brass plating, galvanizing and japanning. No matter your application and requirements, there are custom hinges out there for you. To secure the right fit, familiarize yourself with hinge types and styles, then contact a reputable custom hinge manufacturer that will lead you in the right direction.
Application for Custom Hinges
Hinges are used widely, but some of the applications for which they are most purchased and commissioned include:
- At-Home Furniture
- Work-Related and Industrial Furniture
- Building and Vehicle Access
- Building Construction
- Spacecraft Deployable Structures
Because the world of hinge requirements is such a diverse one, manufacturers offer not only a myriad of standard hinge options, but custom hinge options as well. Custom hinges are a great opportunity for those customers looking to receive the best possible solution for their application; manufacturers can design them to fit extremely well within and with the exact industry, work environment, specifications and requirements in which they will be used.