Product Focus: Piano HingeShea Bethell
A Piano Hinge, also commonly referred to as a ‘continuous hinge,’ is a long hinge mechanism made up of two continuous pieces that are conjoined centrally by pins, usually stainless steel or brass. The pins are able to rotate freely due to the knuckle lengths being multiple hinged. The most common materials used to make piano hinges include aluminum, brass, iron or stainless steel. The name “piano hinge” was adopted for the obvious reason that these hinges are commonly used for supporting the lid of the popular musical instrument – the piano. The hinges are also widely used in the manufacture of blast doors.
Advantages of Piano Hinges
One of the biggest advantages to using a piano hinge is that the hinge can be cut into almost any desirable length, enabling door assemblers to easily match a hinge to a required door or lid length. As a result, the installed door is sturdier, more rigid and better maintains its alignment with the door frame.
If installed correctly, piano hinges can also guarantee an even load distribution over the full length of a door or mechanical opening. They allow the assembler to accurately determine how to place the hinges so that the door is sufficiently supported onto the door frame. As a result, piano hinges are often used in furniture manufacturing and metal works.
Degradation and Maintenance
Much like most other metal materials, piano hinges can corrode or even rust if the wrong material is used for certain applications. This is more likely to happen when moisture makes its way into the hinge knuckles and leaves. Even though piano hinges are able to stay rigid for long periods of time, regular lubrication is required to ensure they keep rotating axially. Due to the nature of their design (they are longer and thinner than most other hinges), piano hinges can also be ripped from their assembly if too much pull or push force is exerted on the door or mechanical opening. It is also important to note that piano hinges come with smaller screws when compared to other hinges.
When installing, it is recommended that more than one person installs the hinge, especially on doors. This is due to the need for one or more assisting hands to hold the hinged components together while another person screws the hinge in place. It is important that each leaf of the piano hinge is screwed in properly, as even a small misalignment can result in an uneven installation and cause the door or mechanical opening not to close sufficiently.