Every aspect of an industrial operation, down to the finest detail, has to be sturdy and strong to endure the stress and strain of manufacturing processes. Tools, machines, buildings, and storage areas are designed for constant and rugged use to ensure they will last and not need replacement. These requirements also apply to a part used in production that is frequently overlooked, the common and reliable hinge.
As with any part used in an industry, the industrial hinge has to be specially designed to have all the necessary qualities of longevity, durability, and reliability. These may seem to be logical attributes. In actuality, they require as much precision planning as any other part of production.
The most notable quality of industrial hinges can be summarized with the phrase “heavy duty”. Every producer of industrial hinges emphasizes this characteristic. Most of the doors for cupboards, cabinets, and entry ways in an industrial complex are heavy and made of some form of steel. Their hinges have to be able to provide support and stability so doors do not scrape or twist when opening and closing. They are usually made of materials that are comparable to the metal of the door.
A typical type of steel used for manufacturing heavy duty hinges is American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) grade 1018, a medium low-carbon steel, which is chosen for its formability, strength, and weldability. These characteristics offer manufacturers the flexibility to shape, design, and form hinges of varying sizes and lengths.
Stainless steel is a very popular alloy for the manufacture of a variety of products, including hinges. Most people believe that stainless steel is one type of metal like carbon, aluminum, or brass. In actuality, it breaks into multiple grades depending on its alloy mixture. For the producing of hinges, SAE 316L and SAE 304L are the most common grades used.
SAE 316L and SAE 304L are the perfect choice for the manufacture of industrial hinges since they are corrosion and heat resistant, have low temperature strength, and excellent mechanical properties. They are adaptable to any conditions making them ideal for environments with caustic liquids, high traffic, and fluctuating temperatures. As with ASTM grade 1018 steel, they can easily be shaped into any configuration for customization.
An unusual and necessary quality of hinges for industrial use is their flexibility. Hinges purchased at a hardware store have holes and are shaped to be installed. Hinges for industrial use come in the rawest form so that they can be adapted to fit the customer’s specific needs. This is necessary since industrial cabinets and doors are designed for their unique purpose and usually are not standardized.