Differences between gravity and hydraulic hinge
Hydraulic or gravity hinge? A key component for refrigerated cabinet design and production. Let’s analyse the two types by taking into account strengths, weaknesses, performances and usage comfort.
The choose of the hinge is not a step to ignore. The hinge is one of the main components of the refrigerated cabinet and door system and it has to suit the functional needs of the market. A performant hinge system is a synonym of:
- Energy saving
- Safe continuity of operation
- Maintenance – free or minimum maintenance
The two hinges show different performances, the high performance and the complete absence of maintenance of the hydraulic hinge compared to the economical simplicity of the newton’s gravity low.
A little mistake during the levelling of the refrigerator aisle and the gravity hinge doesn’t close the door anymore. An uncomfortable characteristic if we consider that the main role of refrigerated cabinets is to preserve food at specific conditions and temperature. The more the door remains open, the more problems arise:
- More energy consumption
- Cold loss which influences food preservation
- Condensation inside the refrigerator aisle
The hydraulic hinge brilliantly satisfies these needs and thanks to the pressure generated by the hydraulic circuit it ensures a smooth and pleasant door closing.
The gravity hinge tends to slam on the frame during the closing process. That generates serious problems to the entire system. Moreover, the gravity hinge doesn’t keep any pressure on gaskets which means that it can’t ensure the ideal door closing. As opposed to the gravity hinge, the hydraulic hinge, thanks to its controlled movement, smoothly moves the door maintaining a constant pressure on the gaskets, the whole thing in advantage of the refrigerated cabinet and door lifetimes.
Operationally, customers, maintainers and supermarket staff come into contact with the door every day and so it is crucial to avoid dangerous situations.
The door falling due to hinge failure and the glass breaking cover the pole positions between the most frequent dangers caused by the door.
The working system of the gravity hinge doesn’t avoid the dangers here above listed, meanwhile the hydraulic hinge, thanks to the closing speed control avoids violent shocks protecting frame and glass.
The comfort surely isn’t what you expect from a component made by leverages and gears. Both the hydraulic and gravity hinges are silent and able to blend in the supermarket environment. Both are easy to fix, but if we talk about the real comfort then the hydraulic hinge easily overtakes the opponent:
- Soft and smooth closing, pleasant for the refrigerated cabinet user
- An open-door end-stop at 90° which easies good loading process
- Perfect temperature for the goods inside the refrigerated cabinet and ideal environmental temperature for the customers who walk through the supermarket aisle.
In conclusion, the two closing systems show different characteristics even if they are considered substitute goods. It is up to the refrigerated cabinet producer to choose which component to use, and to the store manager to ask the performances listed at the beginning. The dilemma is pursuing with a traditional component or cutting the edge by moving to the next gear, maybe a hydraulic one!