May 18, 2024

Gas Springs: An Efficient Way of Lifting and Lowering Loads

Introduction
Gas springs have become an essential component in many mechanical systems that require lifting or lowering loads smoothly over a predetermined stroke. From industrial applications to automobiles and medical equipment, gas springs are now commonly used wherever a resilient and controlled force is needed for movement. This article discusses the working, applications, advantages and considerations of using gas springs over other spring types.

Working of a Gas Spring
A gas spring consists of a concentric cylindrical gas chamber that contains compressed nitrogen. Due to the compressed state, the nitrogen exerts an outward force on the inner walls of the cylinder. The cylinder is partitioned by a piston sealed with O-rings. Attached to the piston rod is a piston which transmits the outward force. When a load is applied to extend the piston rod, the gas is compressed further leading to an increase in outward force which balances the load force. This balancing act allows smooth and controlled movement till the end of the stroke is reached. Upon releasing the load, the compressed gas pushes the piston back to the original position.

Applications of Gas Springs
Some common applications of gas springs include:
– Automotive applications: Gas springs are used in vehicle bonnet, boot and door operations to provide smooth lifting assistance. They replace conventional metal springs.
– Furniture: They are increasingly being used in office chairs, stools and other furniture items to balance the seated weight and allow adjustable positioning.
– Medical equipment: From hospital beds and wheelchairs to C-arm devices, gas springs smoothly position and balance various loads in medical equipment.
– Industrial equipment: They enable consistent upward and downward movement in machines used for assembly, fabrication, lifting and many industrial processes.
– Marine applications: Gas springs smoothly operate boat doors, handles and other deck fittings subjected to waves and vibrations.

Advantages over Coil Springs
The primary advantages of gas springs over conventional coil springs include:
– Consistent force: The gas pressure exerts a nearly constant force throughout the stroke unlike metal springs whose force changes with compression.
– Long operating life: Being unaffected by metal fatigue issues, gas springs can last over millions of cycles compared to tens of thousands of typical for coil springs.
– Compact size: Given the same load holding capacity, gas springs occupy much less space than coil springs.
– Vibration damping: Gas acts as a damping medium providing vibration isolation compared to resonance in metal springs.
– Maintenance free: Properly installed gas springs do not require any lubrication and have a far longer maintenance-free life.

Considerations when using Gas Springs
While gas springs offer several advantages in applications, some factors need consideration:

Size and Load Matching
The size of gas spring in terms of diameter and stroke must be selected based on the exact load it needs to support. An under-sized spring may not provide full assistance while an over-sized one will cycle faster than required.

Environmental Suitability
Gas springs are designed to work in standard environmental conditions. Factors like extreme temperatures, fluids, dust etc. may impact the spring life if not properly sealed. Applications in hazardous areas also need explosive gas tested springs.

Mounting and Installation
Gas springs must be mounted securely using brackets that allow free movement without binding. The piston rod end connections need robust fastening. Any damage to seals during installation shortens the spring life.

Repair and Recharging
Leaking or malfunctioning gas springs cannot be repaired and need replacement. However, springs that have lost gas pressure can be recharged by authorized service centers.

With correct selection and installation, gas springs prove to be a reliable and cost-effective choice for applications compared to other spring types. Their consistent performance over millions of cycles with virtually no maintenance have made them indispensable in many industrial and consumer product designs.

Conclusion
In this article, we discussed the working principle, common applications, key advantages and some considerations of gas springs. With properties like near-constant resilient force, long operating life, compact size and maintenance-free operations, gas springs continue to gain popularity for motion control needs. When specified appropriately considering load, environment and installation factors, they provide trouble-free precision movement in various mechanical systems.

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  1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
  2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it