How do Gas Springs work?
Different sorts of gas struts and dampers come in a variety of configurations and components, and the precise mechanics of any given spring will be defined first and foremost by its intended use. Gas springs found in vehicle compartments will most likely be set up differently to those used on doors, chairs, electrical goods or industrial platforms - but all have some key elements in common.
To better understand how gas struts work, it’s helpful to picture a standard bicycle tyre pump. Like most manual hand pumps, gas springs and dampers feature a piston and rod mechanism passing back and forth through a tight-fitting tube. Unlike the open-ended tube of a pump, though, the cylinder of a gas spring is sealed, so the volume of gas inside remains constant.
The piston in a gas strut allows a certain amount of this gas to pass around or through it, maintaining a balanced internal pressure while creating two varying pockets of different volumes and surface areas. By limiting the ease of gas flow through the piston one way or the other, manufacturers can adjust the force required to move it in a given direction.
The extent to which this ease of flow is balanced or biased, along with the overall pressure of gas and fluid contained in the tube, is what makes different types of gas strut better suited to either supporting, accelerating or damping movement.