Home Builders Door Hardware

How to Choose Hinges for Your Commercial Door

 

The difference between commercial and residential door hardware comes down to grade or quality and better grade means you can pretty much use it more without it breaking. You wouldn’t want to put residential door hardware on a commercial application – this includes any type of door hardware, like hinges and any other misc. hardware for doors too. So today we’ll discuss things you need to know when choosing hinges for your commercial doors.

Commercial doors are going to get a lot of use, and there are multiple hinges for every application depending on the type of door that needs the hinge. Hinges provide a flexible point allowing the door to swing in one or two directions and also to support the weight of the door. There are certain things that you need to know before buying hinges for your commercial door, for example, how large, how many and where you would like to install it.

Because of the variety of commercial door sizes and weights, hinges are placed into three groups:

 Heavy Weight-Ball Bearing (5-knuckle) or Anti-Friction Bearing (3-knuckle) for use on heavy doors of high frequency usage;
 Standard Weight-Ball Bearing for use on medium weight doors of medium frequency usage;
 Standard Weight-Plain Bearing for use on lightweight doors of low frequency usage.

The two factors that determine the weight and structure of the hinge are the weight and frequency of use of the door. It is advisable to include in your calculations of door weight, the approximate weight of additional hardware (door closers, exit devices etc.) that will be installed on the door.

Bearing Structures

Plain Bearing: The hinges do not have any special bearing structure. They are standard hinges for use on lightweight doors in low traffic environments.

Anti-Friction Bearing (AB): These are made of concealed resilient engineering plastics that provide a self-lubricant and strong bearing surface. The nylon acts as a cushion for the door, yet allows the door to flow smoothly on the surface of the nylon with an extremely low wear factor.

Ball Bearings (BB): These are engineered to throw the knuckle weight against specially hardened steel raceways, which ride on the bearing surfaces.

Standard Weight Ball Bearing Hinges: These hinges contain 2 ball bearings for extra durability.

Heavy Weight Ball Bearing Hinges: These feature 4 ball bearing for additional smoothness.

How many hinges will you need for your commercial door?

As a general rule you will want to use one hinge per every 30″ of door or fraction thereof. Therefore:

 Doors up to 60″ need two hinges.
 Doors 60″- 90″ need three hinges.
 Doors 90″- 120″ need four hinges.

Pertaining to Door Width:

For commercial doors with a width greater than 37″ and up to 48″, an extra hinge can be used for additional strength. The extra hinge helps support the additional weight and tension applied to the frame created by the wider door width.

Choosing Hinge Base Material for your Commercial Doors

Steel has the greatest strength, but it is a corrosive material that will rust in unstable environments. The best application for steel hinges is a controlled environment such as inside a building where the temperature and humidity are controlled and they can be used on fire rated or labeled door openings.

Stainless Steel also has great strength and is rust resistant. Another advantage is that it can be polished to a satin or bright finish and it can be used on fire rated or labeled door openings.

Brass is non-corrosive, rust resistant and decorative; however, it has less strength than steel and stainless steel and it cannot be used on fire rated or labeled door openings because of its low melting point.

Have questions about hinges for your commercial doors? Give us a call today and we’ll be happy to help you choose the hinges that are perfect for your needs.

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