Hinges, in many ways, really do make the world go ’round – they allow everything from medical instruments to commercial vehicles to military equipment to perform, optimally, and in some cases, to perform at all!. Hinges have served humanity for thousands of years; and today, every diverse, complex and even simple aspect of our lives ‘hinges on hinges’.
There are many basic types of hinges which can, all, be modified in many ways, as well as custom hinges that serve very specialized needs. And even within niche types of hinges, such as butt hinges, for example, there has evolved an extraordinary number of forms to suit a wide range of applications. As with all types of hinges, precision hinges serve as a crucial solution to product-connectivity needs in industrial, architectural, manufacturing and aerospace arenas, to name just a few.
Applications for Precision Hinges:
The applications for precision hinges are virtually limitless; and high-precision hinges possess an exceptionally high strength-to-weight ratio and are fabricated for exacting precision and heft. Precision hinges deliver superior performance over standard hinges in a vast array of operational and environmental conditions. Here are only a few ways in which precision hinges are utilized:
Precision hinges are used to secure container doors, gates, lead-filled radiation doors in medical facilities and vault doors. Extremely-heavy doors weighing up to 40,000 pounds require precision hinges that offer unparalleled load-bearing capacities. Heavy doors and large wrought-iron gates used for residential, industrial and commercial applications rely on precision hinges that are tamper-proof where the hinge pin cannot be removed or manipulated. Functioning seamlessly for many years of maintenance-free operation is what precision hinges do in a variety of defense, military, aerospace and manufacturing venues.
Heavy-duty pivot gate hinges are one type of precision hinge intended for environments that take on high-traffic and lateral load-bearing activities. Pivotal, angular or oscillating applications demand the use of precision hinges that can be relied on for trouble-free operation and extreme durability. Industrial machinery environments, petroleum plants, marine and construction settings all require precision hinges that are specifically designed and fabricated to provide unparalleled performance and extreme durability.
Precision hinges play a much larger and more intensely-crucial role in aeronautics than most people realize; and its interesting to note how complex precision hinges support multiple aircraft platforms. Whether the setting is commercial, cargo or military, virtually every segment of a plane, jet or helicopter depends on the functionality of precision hinges to, quite literally, keep components together. Flooring, flaps, passenger/cargo & landing-gear doors, rudders and tail assemblies could not function without close-tolerance precision hinges that keep aircraft of all types, literally, flyable.
The use for precision hinges goes well beyond Planet Earth – space-vehicles and satellites require the most-durable hinges known to man since the merciless, unforgiving environment of outer-space demands it. Precision spring-hinges, for example, are designed to fit onto solar panels of spacecraft. These hinges offer a built-in 180-degree stop feature to ensure solar panels do not open beyond the tilt-parameters for which they are intended.
Then there is NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Mission which has utilized a number of Mars rovers to assess the Martian weather and landscape. Depending on the model involved, petal-like coverings protect the rovers; and the petal components are connected to the base of the rovers with precision hinges. These high-tech, precision-hinge hardware components allow the petals to open or close at just the right moment if a rover’s potential fall or tumble were detected, via computerized sensors. The petals opening at any precise moment enables Mars rovers to remain in an upright position, thereby, allowing their individual missions to continue, without being compromised.
The Air Force Research Laboratory is, currently, testing force and torque on a new generation of precision hinges that are lighter and stronger to meet more challenging performance goals for future space projects. This is due to the fact that the shape and strength of components of all types can change when subjected to harsh space conditions.
Whether connectivity needs involve doors, hatches or flaps in any market or application – earthly or beyond – precision hinges are precisely what are needed to get those jobs done!