What are Gas Springs?
Gas springs are versatile hydro-pneumatic (containing both gas and liquid) lifting mechanisms that help us raise, lower and support heavy or cumbersome objects more easily.
They’re most widely seen in various configurations of door hardware, but the potential uses are near limitless. In everyday use, gas springs are now very commonly found in vehicle compartments, supporting adjustable chairs and tables, on all manner of easy-open hatches and panels, and even in small electronic devices.
As the name suggests, these springs rely on pressurised gas - along with some oil-based lubricant - to support or oppose a range of external forces. The compressed gas offers a controlled way of storing and releasing energy as smooth, cushioned movement, transferred via a sliding piston and rod.
They’re also commonly referred to as gas struts, rams or dampers, although some of these terms imply a specific set of gas spring components, configurations and intended uses. Technically speaking, a standard gas spring is used to support objects as they move, a gas damper is used to control or limit that motion, and a damped gas spring tends to handle a bit of both.
With this in mind, how exactly do gas struts and dampers work in practice? Which types are most appropriate in which roles, and what’s the ideal setup for the job you have in mind? In the sections below we’ll explore these and other questions about gas springs, starting with a closer look at how most lifts, struts and dampers function.