Because of the extensive variety of contexts in which gates are used, and because of the variety of possible gates within each of those contexts, there are many possibilities for gate hinge composition and configuration. The heavier-duty the application, the heavier and stronger the hinge must be. Industrial operations often must secure their premises with gates and fences, and those gates and fences can vary widely in terms of their construction, design and their appeal to aesthetics.
The heaviest gates, the kind through which shipping trucks and employee vehicles pass, must be supported by heavy hinges. In some cases, such hinges can be welded instead of fastened to allow for extra support. In lighter-duty applications like residential yard gates, hinges are relied on for their contribution to security and appreciated for their aesthetic appeal. Such gates are often embellished with engravings or other visually attractive features.
Gate hinges can be designed in many configurations. The simplest design features a short metal rod fastened to a fence post and bent straight upward. The rod fastens with a U shaped flat or round metal piece attached to the gate. Such hinges allow movement almost completely around the hinge’s axis, assuming there is nothing to obstruct the gate’s movement. These hinges are useful in providing access to livestock pen contexts, but they are unlikely to pose much of a challenge to determined humans.
For this reason, they may not be appropriate for securing buildings, residential yards or other areas that are secured by fences. Butt hinges are a step up in terms of security and visual appeal. They are among the most recognizable hinge varieties, as they are commonly used as door hinges in homes and businesses. Butt hinges feature two plates, which in the context of hinges are called “leaves.” Each leaf is machined on one side so that when placed together, they can interlock like fingers.
These “fingers” are then rolled in to form small circles. Then, when aligned properly, a pin is placed through the circles to join the leaves together. Both leaves are then drilled with holes so that the hinge can be affixed to a door and to a gate post or other appropriate surface.