Heavy duty hinges can be welded on, and are primarily defined by their capacity to bear large loads. These hinges can be used for a variety of applications and are composed of a wide range of materials, from the lightweight aluminum to the stronger and more rust-resistant stainless steel.
The butt hinge is the most minimalistic configuration of hinge. It consists of two plates, also known as leaves. Each of the leaves, once machined on one of its edges, can interlock like fingers with one another. The interlocking “fingers” are then curled into circular shape, known as knuckles. The plates are aligned to ensure that the knuckles align. At this point, the two leaves are joined together when a pin is inserted, which can be either removable or permanent.
The leaves may have holes already drilled into them, or the holes can be drilled into them after the leaves have been joined together and the hinge officially formed. In specialized applications, the latter is much more common. There are some instances where manufacturers deliberately create spaces known as “end play” between the knuckles and between the leaves.
End play gaps assist in increasing the motion and fluidity in the movement of the hinge. Butt hinges can be applied once this process is finished. Butt hinges, in some cases, cannot be applied directly to a door or a door frame. Sometimes a recession in the shape of a hinge, known as a mortise, must be made into the door or the door frame.
There is a large amount of other hinges that are more complex in composition and structure than the butt hinge. Spring hinges can vary in design from simplistic to complicated. The most simplistic variety of spring hinge is essentially a butt hinge with a coil tightly wound around its pin. The coil is prone to unwind, which forces the hinge’s leaves toward or away from each other.
More complex spring designs can involve features such as more than one coil, or hidden coils.Continuous hinges, especially the type that can be found in containers, can be made with springs. Weld-on hinges are commonly used for suspending heavy doors. The more heavy-duty variety of weld-on hinges are capable of holding door weights anywhere from several hundred pounds up to 10 tons.
These heavy-duty hinges can be found in applications such as bank vaults and blast doors. The lighter variety of weld-on hinges can be found in applications such as wrought-iron gates. There are some applications where lightweight weld-on hinges can be painted in order to achieve a certain aesthetic appeal.
The most advanced variety of hinge are friction hinges. Friction hinges are capable of both creating resistance and allowing for a fluid range of motion. Friction hinges are used for container covers, doors, and an assortment of other planar items, and can either hinder or enable movement when desired. Over the years, the demand for highly functional hinges has risen since portable electronics have become less expensive; therefore, developmental advances in frictional hinges have been made.
Electronic items such as DVD players or laptops utilize friction hinges in order to perform functions such as maintaining screen positions and serving as a conductor for electrical components. Historically, durability and longevity have never been reputable characteristics of friction hinges. The friction-generating materials within the hinge are prone to wear and tear over a short amount of time, eventually rendering it unusable. However, advances in friction hinge technology have been made over recent years, and the failure rate of friction hinges has been on the decline.