Damped and torque hinges
The use of damped and torque hinges in a commercial environment has been growing recently. Soft-closing or damped hinges are quite distinct from soft-closing door stays and have evolved from the use of rotary dampers in lavatory seats. They give many of the benefits of a soft down stay without being visually intrusive and give clear access which can be very important in a consumer sales installation.
There’s usually more than one way to articulate a lid or door, soft-closing, stop anywhere friction hinges, damped stays, free hinges, or spring assist stays to name a few. Here we look at specific solutions being found by some of our customers right now.
The HG-JHM hinges are typically used in vanity tables in luxury hotels or private homes where a lid will have a mirror on the underside. In the images top left they are being used to support a discreet hatch for power and communications connectors in meeting room tables. The flush panel is opened by pushing on the rear of the panel behind the hinge. It opens slightly beyond the vertical allowing it to remain open and soft closes when the panel is tilted forward. The same approach has been used in impressive bespoke boardroom tables.
The same hinge is being used for a retail bakery where the customers are to be able to self serve. The damped hinge allows the lids to be opened by customers but prevents undue stress on the structure through slamming, which would be inevitable given the design of the bin. It also resolves health and safety issues from trapped fingers and the like whilst keeping things nice and quiet. The picture shows the prototype fitted with white HG-JHM16s.
Another prototype illustrates Sugatsunes willingness to work with manufacturers to come up with a solution that is just right for them. A food retailer, also selling baked goods is moving to display self-serve items in acrylic cabinets. The drop-down doors need to be damped but as the they are to be kept closed the stay arm is not required. Sugatsune’s development team adapted an existing stay mechanism, as used in the SDS stay, for this utilisation.
The soft closing solutions generally require the door to be fully opened before closing for the best effect. Sometimes this is not possible take, for example, pop up LCD screens where the user wants to adjust the position of the screen for use.
The LCD screens seen in the final photographs are for the media centre at a major sports arena in Europe. Originally the specification was for a damped hinge but when looking at the way in which the screens would be used, their weight and comparative sensitivity to shock it was decided to use a torque hinge. The HG-TA used will allow the screen to be held at any angle.