Heavy Duty Hinges
Heavy duty hinges are hinges that are designed to support heavy weight applications. In order to handle and hold greater amounts of weight than the typical hinge, heavy duty hinges are often thicker and made of stronger materials than their average duty counterparts. Heavy duty hinges are available in a wide variety of sizes, styles and materials. The only difference between heavy duty hinges and other hinges is their ability function while supporting large amounts of weight. Otherwise, they look and function just like any other hinge.
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Design of Heavy Duty Hinges
Generally the material thicknesses in heavy duty hinges go all the way up to one quarter inch. Additionally, they can be made to virtually any length requirement. Some of the most common materials used to fabricate heavy duty hinges include aluminum, brass, bronze, copper, galvanized steel, stainless steel, steel and titanium. A customer’s choice of hinge material depends on the application for which the hinge will be used, because each material offers something different. Brass, for example, colored yellow-gold, is a very attractive alloy. In addition, it is reasonably durable and highly workable, so it is often used to create heavy duty, low-friction decorative hinges, especially for use with large door applications. Bronze, a copper alloy, is quite similar to brass, which is also a copper alloy, but it has a high concentration of tin, while brass has a high concentration of zinc. Bronze is ductile, corrosion resistant, fatigue resistant and approximately ten percent less dense than stainless steel. Bronze is also particularly resistant to corrosion by salt water. So, heavy duty bronze hinges are exceedingly common for use with marine applications and as the door hinges of doors that are situated near an ocean or salt lake. In general as well, they are used quite a lot to support heavy doors and cabinetry. As a rule, the more demanding the application, the more likely it is that a heavy duty hinge will be made of stainless or regular steel, because steel and steel alloys are so strong.
Types of Heavy Duty Hinges
To understand the scope of heavy duty hinges, consider the following hinge types, which are just a few of the many that can qualify as "heavy duty." First, heavy duty gate hinges support the suspension of and the ability of large gates to open and close. Heavy duty hinges used as gate hinges are sometimes even welded instead of fastened to provide extra support. Second, because its every knuckle is a load-bearing point, a heavy duty piano hinge is the perfect solution for a heavy door in need of support. Piano hinges, also known as continuous hinges, seamlessly convert into heavy duty hinges when they are cut to support the entire breadth of a door. Strap hinges are another type of hinge that work well as heavy duty hinges. Mounted to the front of a heavy door, strap hinges are usually fabricated from a heavy-gauge metal, usually stainless steel. Another type of heavy duty adaptable hinge is the slip-joint hinge, which consists of two leaves, one that is a male with a pin through it and one that is a female without a leaf through it. Heavy duty slip-joint hinges are designed for fast and simple door removal. Yet another type of hinge that can be designed for heavy duty purposes is the butt hinge, which is one of the simplest, most functional and most reliable hinge configurations available. Butt hinges are so simple that many operate with nothing more than two metal plates connected by a pin. Butt hinge plates are machined in such a way so that they interlock with each other to form a closed circle, in which the pin that unites them is placed.
Applications of Heavy Duty Hinges
Because of the broad criteria that defines them, heavy duty hinges may wear many hats. In some contexts, they are door suspension tools, characterized by durability, strong composition and high performance. In other contexts, heavy duty hinges are simply the strongest hinge in a group of hinges used for the same application. For example, a stainless steel hinge used to support the function of a metal industrial cabinet can be considered heavy duty in comparison to, say, a hinge used to support wooden kitchen cabinets used in a home. In addition, there are some hinges that are considered heavy duty no matter the context. Hinges like these are those that are designed to support door weights of several hundred pounds up to, in some cases, as much as 20,000 pounds. These heavy duty hinges, which are usually made of steel and may weigh up to 55 pounds, are often welded to doors instead of being fastened to them. Hinges like these have applications in high stakes settings. For example, the United States Army uses them on explosion-proof bunker doors.