Designing a long-lasting enclosure requires the inclusion of long-lasting hardware. Neglecting to prioritize the quality of a hinge, latch, lock, or handle can lead to structural failure, resulting in expensive repairs or loss of product. When considering the hardware you want in your design, pay special consideration to these three materials:
This versatile metal is used to create everything from buildings to common kitchen appliances. Stainless steel is perhaps the most popular hardware material among designers, and it’s easy to see why:
- It resists corrosion. Stainless steel is far less likely to rust and deteriorate than other metals, such as iron.
- It’s low-maintenance. Stainless steel is easy to clean and requires very little upkeep or replacement over the years, even when exposed to moisture or direct sunlight.
- It’s economical. While other materials may cost less upfront, the durability of stainless steel means that you’ll ultimately spend less on repair and replacement.
When selecting metal hardware for your enclosure, stainless steel will almost always be your best choice for a long-lasting, trustworthy design.
Containers that are expected to withstand consistently high temperatures can benefit from high-performance plastic hardware, which is designed to withstand service temperatures between 300 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit. As a plastic, this material carries no risk of corrosion and is unlikely to break down to the point of failure even when exposed to outdoor elements.
The anti-friction qualities exhibited by high-performance plastics make them ideal for articles with moving parts. Their lightweight nature also makes them a great choice for enclosures that need to be frequently transported; the weight of even a few locks and hinges can make a big difference when combined through a large number of containers.
If your enclosure is designed for outdoor use, ensuring that your hardware has undergone zinc galvanizing is crucial to prevent failure of steel parts. Zinc spray has anti-corrosion properties that make it ideal for preserving steel and iron objects that are prone to rust.
A zinc finish is recommended for any piece of hardware with metal parts, but it’s especially crucial for designs that are more likely to be exposed to harsh weather conditions or kept in a humid or moist environment. Ensuring that the hinges or locks you’re using have a zinc-based finish can keep your design functional for years to come.
A Time-Tested Investment
The materials you choose for your enclosure’s hardware can make the difference between a product that lasts a lifetime and a product that turns into a money pit of replacements and repairs. To invest in your hardware is to invest in your design as a whole, and that process starts with choosing materials that will outlast time, weather conditions, and physical duress.
Contact us today to learn more about how to choose the best material for your design’s hardware.