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Springs are components that are commonly added to assemblies to control motion and provide force, coming in a number of types to accommodate varying needs. The gas spring is a common type, serving as an alternative to conventional springs that are coil-based. With a gas spring, a cylinder filled with gas has a piston attached to one end. Extended by default, force will cause the piston to retract into the cylinder, resulting in an outward exertion when the force of compression is surpassed or drops. While simplistic in operation and design, gas springs provide various benefits that make them quite useful for applications such as door supports, office chairs, medical instruments, and more.
Despite consisting of numerous components, gas spring assemblies often require less maintenance than would be expected with other spring types. While piston and seal components often face wear and tear, their placement in the cylinder ensures that they are protected. Furthermore, there is no need for cleaning internal components or for lubrication. As such, the self-enclosed design of gas springs makes them fairly easy to handle.
Coupled with their design aspects, the functionality of gas springs promotes longer service lives that translate into cost savings. Rather than fully relying on mechanical methods of operation, the use of the gas-filled cylinder ensures that the rate of wear and tear faced by the component is minimized. For more conventional spring variations, the reliance on the extension and retraction of a coiled metal will often lead to an eventual loss in the ability to properly store energy.
While not true of every gas spring that is available, many provide for the ability to be locked in place. These locking gas springs, as they are known, feature an assembly containing a pressure pipe, piston rod, and a valve actuated by a release pin. To lock the component in a specific position, the valve is closed to ensure that internal gases are unable to move. This maintains the placement of the gas spring, allowing for a surface, hatch, door, or other equipment piece to be held in place as desired. As this feature is only found in locking gas springs, it is important that one discerns whether or not such abilities are needed prior to making a purchasing decision.
Gas spring components are also known for their ergonomic designs, allowing for retraction and extension to be performed smoothly. Rather than moving abruptly or in stages, the movement of the piston comes in the form of gliding in and out of the cylinder. As a result of this feature, gas spring devices commonly find use in various types of furniture such as office chairs, allowing for users to adjust the height of their chair without abrupt changes. When used in such applications, the use of compressed gas also allows for the chair to slowly lower when placed under the weight of an individual, rather than drop.
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