What are Piano Hinges?
Piano hinges are generally manufactured in long lengths, which is advantageous for providing support along the entire length of the rotational device the hinge supports, or for simply stocking a desired quantity of hinge locally, that can be pulled from stock, cut-to-length, and installed piecemeal as needed. Piano hinges are usually simple by design- flat, straight, and symmetric. (Though this is not always the case, as piano hinge customization at LaDeau is quite common). Piano hinges are most often manufactured at a length of 6 feet (72 inches, 1828.8 mm), and are of course named for their typical application on piano lids. Piano hinges are also often called continuous hinges, and the name is interchangeable. Piano hinges are continuous hinges and vice-versa.
Technical Advantages of Piano Hinges
Since piano hinges distribute weight and stress uniformly along the entire length of the 2 joining surfaces, they are tremendously strong and durable. As such, they are frequently used in instances where strength, security, and durability are of the utmost importance. Applications such as lockers, instrument panels, toolboxes, security doors, sheet metal work, as well as many other industrial and commercial applications often utilize piano hinges. Piano hinges are a favorite of the aerospace industry, due to their reliability and strength. In the close confines of aircraft interiors, cockpits, capsules, shuttles, and space stations- space is a premium. As such, fragile, mission-critical components are often installed on moveable panels secured by piano hinges. The very last thing anyone wants to deal with are damaged avionics components caused by failure of a hinge. The strength of piano hinges ensure appropriate factors of safety are achievable in the tightest of spaces!
In addition to the technical advantages of piano hinges outline above, their continuous design gives a “seamless” look that is quite attractive in many applications, including their instrument namesake. The seamless look also gives more privacy and security between the mounting components, eliminating gaps that may have been present from the use of butt hinges, and making destructive disassembly very difficult. Piano hinges are also very easy to align, and install, and particularly quiet in operation.
Piano hinges are often manufactured with forms, bends, holes, slots, dissimilar sized hinge halves, cut to length, or any number of additional customizations. They are also available in a great number of materials and finishes, such as Steel, Stainless, Steel, stamped Aluminum, or extruded Aluminum, enabling it great versatility to meet a vast number of applications across all sectors of manufacturing.