When it comes to enclosure door mechanisms, several different types of hinges can be used. Some electrical enclosure hinges offer a higher degree of convenience, while others offer more security. Ultimately, the type of hinge you choose will be dependent on the needs of your application.
This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the different types of enclosure hinges that are available, as well as their key features and benefits.
Electrical Enclosure Hinges
Electrical enclosure hinges help to secure the doors of enclosures cabinets or boxes. They are typically simple in design consisting of a pair of metal flaps, mostly steel metal, that are connected by a hinge pin.
Depending on several factors such as the size and weight of the door, as well as the frequency of use, different types of hinges may be more suitable.
As such, you must select the right type of enclosure hinge for your application to ensure optimal performance. Read about the available options for these products below.
Types of Electrical Enclosure Hinges
Electrical enclosure manufacturers make different types of hinges, each with own set of features and benefits. Because hinged electrical enclosures vary in terms of size, weight, and intended use, the type of hinge you select should be based on these factors:
- The size of the door: Heavier doors will require stronger hinges that can support the weight without sagging. Likewise, larger enclosure doors will need wider hinges for stability.
- The frequency of use: If the enclosure door will be opened and closed frequently, then you will need a hinge that can withstand constant use without wearing out prematurely.
- The environment: Enclosures that will be used in harsh environments such as outdoor or corrosive settings will need hinges that are rust-resistant.
Some of the most common types of electrical enclosure hinges include:
1. Continuous Electrical Enclosure Hinge
As its name implies, a continuous enclosure hinge is a type of hinge that runs the entire length of the door. Also called a “piano hinge” the continuous hinge is ideal for heavy-duty doors, as they can distribute the weight more evenly.
Continuous hinges are also less likely to sag over time, making them a good choice for applications where the enclosure door will be used frequently. They do not easily come loose, as there are more points of contact between the door and the hinge.
2. Butt Electrical Enclosure Hinge
Butt electrical enclosure hinges are the most common types of hinges used for electrical enclosures. They consist of two metal flaps that are connected by a small pin. The advantage of butt enclosure hinges is that they are relatively small and unobtrusive, which can be important for aesthetic reasons.
They are also relatively easy to install. However, because they only have two points of contact, they are not as strong as other types of hinges and may not suit heavy enclosure doors.
3. Concealed Electrical Enclosure Hinge
Concealed electrical enclosure hinges are designed to be hidden from view, giving the door a cleaner appearance. Concealed hinges are a good choice for applications where aesthetics are important.
They are also less likely to be tampered with, making them a good choice for security-sensitive applications. However, because they are hidden from view, they can be more difficult to install and adjust.
4. Bullet Electrical Enclosure Hinges
These electrical enclosure hinges are designed for use with doors that are relatively light in weight. They typically consist of two metal barrels. One of the barrels is mounted on the door, while the other is mounted on the frame. A small pin connects the two barrels, allowing the door to swing open and closed.
Bullet hinges are a good choice for light-duty applications where space is limited. And although they produce minimal friction, they are not as durable as other types of hinges.
5. Friction Electrical Enclosure Hinge
Friction hinges are designed to keep the door in a fixed position. This can be important for security-sensitive applications where it’s important to prevent the door from being opened unexpectedly.
These enclosure hinges use friction force to keep the door in place, rather than a latch or lock. Friction hinges are available in several different styles to suit a variety of applications.
6. Flag Electrical Enclosure Hinge
Flag hinges feature two metal plates, male and female posts, and a small pin. The male plate is attached to the pin, thereby giving the hinge its flag-like appearance.
A hinged electrical enclosure with flag hinges are a good choice for applications where the door needs to be opened at 180 degrees. They are also relatively easy to install and adjust.
7. Constant Torque Enclosure Hinges
These are designed to provide a consistent opening and closing torque, regardless of the door’s position. This is important for doors that need to be opened and closed frequently, as it helps to prevent wear and tear on the hinge.
These enclosure door hinges often come with a built-in damper to help control the door’s speed and prevent it from slamming shut.
8. Block Enclosure Hinges
Block hinges are designed for use with doors that are relatively heavy in weight. They feature two metal barrels and square-shaped block. The block fits into a recess in the barrel, allowing the door to swing open and closed.
An electrical enclosure with hinged cover that uses block hinges is a good choice for heavy-duty applications where space is limited.
Electrical Enclosure Hinge Requirements
Depending on the enclosure application, hinges must satisfy different requirements for both material and attachment method. For example, a hinged polycarbonate enclosure may use plastic hinges. Generally, any hinged electrical enclosure will have hinges manufactured from one of these common materials:
- Stainless steel
Stainless steel makes durable hinges that resist corrosion, while both brass and bronze are provide a good appearance. On the other hand plastic hinges can be manufactured in many different colors and often used on hinged plastic enclosure types.
Hinges also use different ways to attach to enclosure doors and enclosure frames. The three most common attachment methods are welding, bolting, and using rivets- sometimes also gluing.
There are many different types of electrical enclosure hinges. When choosing the right hinge for your application, it’s advisable consider the weight of the door, the frequency of use, the security requirements, and the aesthetic considerations. That’s because the wrong type of hinge can result in decreased performance, increased wear and tear, and even security vulnerabilities.