Advantages & Disadvantages of Piano Hinges
A piano hinge, also known as a “continuous hinge,” is made up of two continuous elements or leaves conjoined centrally by stainless steel or brass pins. The pins freely rotate because the knuckle lengths are multiple hinged. Common materials used to make it include aluminum, brass, iron and stainless steel.
Widely used in making blast doors, it has a number of benefits and drawbacks.
One of the best advantages when using a piano hinge is that you can cut it in any length you desire, so the door assembler can easily match a hinge to the door or lid length. Because of this, the installation is sturdier and more rigid. It also allows the door to maintain its alignment with the door frame.
Installed correctly, piano hinges can guarantee even load distribution over the entire length of a door opening. They allow the assembler to accurately determine how to place the hinges so that the door is sufficiently supported onto the door frame. Because of this, piano hinges are often used in furniture manufacturing and metal works.
Degradation and Maintenance
Like all other metal-based materials, piano hinges corrode and can get contaminated with rust. This happens when moisture gets into the hinge knuckles and leaves. Although piano hinges stay rigid for long, they require regular lubrication to keep them rotating axially. Because of its design (longer and thinner than other hinge types), it can also be ripped off from the assembly if it receives too much force due to pulling or pushing. Piano hinges also come with smaller screws compared to other hinges.
During installation, especially for doors, working with piano hinges requires more than one person to put the hinge in — one screwing the hinges and one or more assisting hands to hold the hinged components together. Each leaf of the piano hinge also needs to be screwed properly, because small misalignments can result to an uneven installation and may even cause the door not to close properly.
Natalie Andrews has been writing since 2003. She has created content for print newsletters and blogs in the flower, transportation and entertainment industries. Her expertise lies in travel and home-decorating. Andrews graduated with a bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Houston in 2008.