- Created: 17-12-21
- Last Login: 17-12-21
While it may seem odd to some, cabinet hinges are a passion of ours here at H?fele—whether they be for kitchen, bath, furniture or outdoor applications—we appreciate the simplicity of a quality hinge as well as the value this essential hardware can bring to one's everyday life.
Simply put, your cabinets work as well as they do because of the hinges you choose. And these sturdy, durable pieces of hardware pack a whole bunch of functionality into a small package—everything from full adjustability to soft close settings which can be personalized to your liking. We carry a wide variety of cabinet hinge styles and options from top-tier manufacturers such as Salice, Grass, Aximat and many others—all at a variety of price points.
Whether you're in the market for concealed hinges for furniture, oil rubbed bronze hinges to match the design and color palette of your kitchen or Grade 1 institutional hinges for government buildings or workplaces, H?fele has you covered.
The only thing more expansive than our love and knowledge of cabinet hinges is our product line. Our selection of hinges comes in a wide array of dimensions and open-degrees. Starting at 94° and going on up to 270° for folding doors, we're sure to have the right hinge for your cabinetry.
We've also got a great line of minimalist hinges for glass and aluminum doors and cabinets. Glass can be a fantastic aesthetic addition to any kitchen, but finding cabinet hinges can sometimes be difficult. We've developed our line of glass hinges as push open system and hardware with you in mind. With the product breadth to cover any design, we've got what you need to install great looking glass doors.
What are Gas Springs?
Gas springs are versatile hydro-pneumatic (containing both gas and liquid) lifting mechanisms that help us raise, lower and support heavy or cumbersome objects more easily.
They're most widely seen in various configurations of door hardware, but the potential uses are near limitless. In everyday use, gas springs are now very commonly found in vehicle compartments, supporting adjustable chairs and tables, on all manner of easy-open hatches and panels, and even in small electronic devices.
As the name suggests, these springsm, including furniture gas spring, rely on pressurised gas - along with some oil-based lubricant - to support or oppose a range of external forces. The compressed gas offers a controlled way of storing and releasing energy as smooth, cushioned movement, transferred via a sliding piston and rod.
They're also commonly referred to as gas struts, rams or dampers, although some of these terms imply a specific set of gas spring components, configurations and intended uses. Technically speaking, a standard gas spring is used to support objects as they move, a gas damper is used to control or limit that motion, and a damped gas spring tends to handle a bit of both.
With this in mind, how exactly do gas struts and dampers work in practice? Which types are most appropriate in which roles, and what's the ideal setup for the job you have in mind? In the sections below we'll explore these and other questions about gas springs, starting with a closer look at how most lifts, struts and dampers function.
How do Gas Springs work?
Different sorts of gas struts and dampers come in a variety of configurations and components, and the precise mechanics of any given spring will be defined first and foremost by its intended use. Gas springs found in vehicle compartments will most likely be set up differently to those used on magic sliding doors, chairs, electrical goods, drawer slide or industrial platforms - but all have some key elements in common.
To better understand how gas struts work, it's helpful to picture a standard bicycle tyre pump. Like most manual hand pumps, gas springs and dampers feature a piston and rod mechanism passing back and forth through a tight-fitting tube. Unlike the open-ended tube of a pump, though, the cylinder of a gas spring is sealed, so the volume of gas inside remains constant.
The piston in a gas strut allows a certain amount of this gas to pass around or through it, maintaining a balanced internal pressure while creating two varying pockets of different volumes and surface areas. By limiting the ease of gas flow through the piston one way or the other, manufacturers can adjust the force required to move it in a given direction.
The extent to which this ease of flow is balanced or biased, along with the overall pressure of gas and fluid contained in the tube, is what makes different types of gas strut better suited to either supporting, accelerating or damping movement.
What are Gas Springs used for?
Gas springs for doors
Given the myriad door types that benefit from gas spring applications, it's no surprise that there are almost as many options for which sort of strut will fit which scenario.
Household, school or workplace doors usually incorporate some sort of traction or pull-type gas spring, to help them open easily under pressure but return quickly to a closed position when not in use. Conversely, cabinet doors and access hatches often require the exact opposite function, allowing considerable weight to be lifted easily, and remain fully open until manually pulled shut again.
In either scenario, a locking gas spring might also be useful, enabling the door to hold itself in place midway between fully open or closed. Certain doors - such as those with folding mechanisms - may even require a variable speed gas strut, to allow for smooth operation as different parts of the door move at different rates, and to dampen movement as partitions slide into one another.
As with all such fixtures, the correct type of door gas struts to choose will depend entirely on what job you want them to do once mounted. Gaining a clear idea of the desired action and activation force is always the best place to start when figuring out which gas spring product will best suit your needs.
Gas springs for cars
Some cars will incorporate multiple sets of gas springs into the design of their various hoods, panels and compartments, but by far the most common usage is in boot-lifting mechanisms. In particular, nearly all hatchbacks and estate cars will have gas struts affixed to the rear assembly, helping to lift, support and lower their heavy tailgates smoothly and effortlessly.
In fact, the action on most car-fitted gas springs is subtle enough that many drivers don't realise they're actually helping to raise the tailgate, as opposed to just holding it in place once it's up. It's easy to tell how much heavy lifting these fixtures do once they start to wear and degrade, though - especially with some estate-type rear doors, which can feel remarkably heavy if their gas struts are overdue for replacement.
Gas springs for chairs
The gas springs commonly used for office chairs are generally arranged in more of a 'damping' configuration, where greater resistance is met as the chair is lowered, and less as it's raised. This cushions the downward movement of the seat when you're in it, but allows it to spring back to its starting position with no manual force when empty.
Office chair gas struts are nearly always lockable one way or another, although it's worth noting that the locking mechanism is sometimes entirely separate from the spring itself. In these cases, rather than being a built-in feature of the strut, the lockable component functions more like a quick-release clamp positioned around the sliding central column.
Both types tend to be equally effective at holding a comfortable position, and are similarly easy to adjust for the user.