Gas springs offer an alternative to mechanical springs. They feature a container of compressed gas. When exposed to a force, the pressure of the gas will increase.
All gas springs use compressed gas, but some of them are able to lock in place. Known as locking gas springs, they are used for many of the same applications as traditional gas springs. Here are five facts about locking gas springs.
#1) Available in Extension Styles
Locking gas springs are available in extension styles. Extension styles are characterized by their ability to extend and become longer under load. Most extension-style locking gas springs feature a tube on the outside. When fully extended, the tube will become displaced, thereby locking the gas spring. The gas spring won’t compress while it’s locked.
#2) Compressed vs Extended Lengths
If you’re going to buy a locking gas spring, you should consider its compressed length and extended length. Compressed length represents the total length of a locking gas spring when compressed. The extended length, conversely, represents the total length of a locking gas spring when extended. Locking gas springs are available in different compressed and extended lengths, so you should check these specifications when ordering them.
#3) Some Feature an Activation Pin
You may discover that some locking gas springs feature an activation pin. Known as infinitely locking gas springs, they have an activation pin at the end of the rod. Exposure to a force will push the activation pin so that it opens a valve. The locking gas spring will then extend or compress.
#4) Low Maintenance
Locking gas springs are low maintenance. Because they contain compressed gas, some people assume that locking gas springs require more work to maintain than mechanical springs. Fortunately, this isn’t the case. Both traditional and locking gas springs are low maintenance. The cylinder in which the compressed gas is contained is sealed. As long as it remains sealed, it shouldn’t leak.
Locking gas springs are long-lasting. Some of them will even last longer than mechanical springs. Mechanical springs are exposed to mechanical stress. As a mechanical spring extends and compresses, it may lose its elastic properties. Gas springs are better protected against premature wear and tear because they use compressed gas rather than coiled metal.
Rather than choosing a traditional gas spring, you may want to choose a locking gas spring. You’ll be able to lock it in place. Some locking gas springs feature a tube that will become displaced when fully extended, whereas others feature an activation pin. Regardless, all locking gas springs can be locked into place.