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How Gas Struts Work & Their Applications

Gas struts, also known as gas springs, are essential components across many industries, from medical to aerospace. They play a crucial role in ensuring safety, convenience, and efficiency. Learn more about what gas struts are.

In this article, we will take a look at the mechanics of gas struts, their applications, their benefits, and provide insights into choosing the right gas strut for specific needs.

How do Gas Struts work exactly?

Gas struts operate on a simple principle: the compression and expansion of gas. The cylindrical container holds nitrogen gas under high pressure, along with an internal piston. When an external force is applied, such as lifting a car hood or adjusting a chair, the strut compresses, storing potential energy within the gas. As the force is released, the gas expands, extending the strut and facilitating controlled motion.

The mechanics behind Gas Struts

Gas struts consist of several key components including the cylinder, piston, sealing systems, and grease; if required, oil for damping or soft closing may also be included as part of the gas strut's design. The cylinder serves as the housing for the nitrogen gas, while the piston regulates the flow of gas to control movement. Sealing systems ensure that the gas remains contained within the cylinder, maintaining pressure and functionality over time. These elements work together to provide smooth and controlled motion in various applications.

Which applications are gas struts used in?

1. Trailers

Gas struts play a vital role for trailer applications, commonly being used in trailer doors, ramps, and compartments, allowing for smooth opening and closing operations while securing cargo during transport.

They allow the user easy access to trailer storage areas and toolboxes, improving efficiency for operators and drivers. They also contribute to the safety of trailer systems by preventing sudden closures and minimising the risk of accidents or injuries during loading and unloading. Gas struts are important components in trailer design, offering reliability and durability to withstand transportation and heavy-duty use.

2. Medical Equipment

In the medical field, gas struts help to enhance patient comfort and workflow efficiency. Adjustable hospital beds use them to cater to individual needs, allowing for smooth height adjustments and reclining positions. Medical equipment, such as examination tables and diagnostic devices, benefit from the controlled motion enabled by gas struts, ensuring smooth operation during procedures.

3. Aerospace

Gas struts are vital in aerospace applications, where precision and reliability are highly important. They facilitate the use of landing gear, flaps, and doors in aircraft, ensuring safe and controlled operation during flight.

Additionally, gas struts are utilised in seating applications within aircraft cabins, providing adjustable heights and reclining capabilities to enhance passenger comfort during long flights. This includes crew seats, where ergonomic design and durability are essential for the comfort and well-being of flight attendants and pilots, as well as for first-class, business, and economy seating, offering tailored specifications to meet the needs of all passengers.

Whether it's providing extra legroom and luxurious amenities in first-class cabins, or optimising space efficiency and comfort in economy seating, gas struts are crucial in enhancing passenger experience and safety during air travel.

4. Marine

Gas struts have many applications in the marine industry, contributing to the functionality and safety of marine equipment.

They are commonly used in boat hatches, compartments, and storage areas, providing smooth and controlled opening and closing. They also help marine engineers to optimise space utilisation and play a crucial role in marine seating systems, allowing for adjustable heights and reclining capabilities to improve comfort for passengers and crew members.

Gas struts, particularly Bansbach gas struts, are highly durable and corrosion resistant, making them ideal for marine environments where exposure to water and harsh conditions is prevalent.

5. Defence

In defence applications, gas struts serve multiple purposes to support the operation and functionality of military vehicles and equipment. They are used in armoured vehicle hatches and doors, allowing for quick and controlled access for personnel while providing protection against external threats. They also help to improve user comfort and functionality for soldiers and personnel in the field.

The reliability and durability of gas struts in demanding environments make them essential in defence systems, where operational efficiency and safety are paramount. 

6. Automotive

Gas struts are ubiquitous in the automotive industry, serving multiple purposes to enhance safety and convenience. Car hoods, trunks, and hatchbacks commonly house them, and they provide support and control motion during opening and closing. Additionally, gas struts play a crucial role in convertible roofs, ensuring smooth and effortless operation. Their reliability and durability make them essential components in modern vehicles.

7. Furniture

Gas struts have become a staple in furniture design, particularly for ergonomic chairs and cabinets. They enable adjustable heights and reclining capabilities in chairs, offering users customisable comfort. In cabinetry, they facilitate gentle door closure, reducing the noise and impact associated with slamming doors. Furniture designers rely on gas struts to enhance user experience and save space.

What are the Benefits of Gas Struts?

Gas struts offer several advantages across various applications:

  • Smooth and Controlled Motion: Gas struts provide seamless movement, enhancing user experience and safety.
  • Space Optimisation: Their compact size allows for efficient integration into designs, maximising available space.
  • Reliability and Durability: They are engineered to withstand rigorous conditions, ensuring long-term performance and functionality.
  • Enhanced Safety: Gas struts prevent abrupt closures and provide stability, contributing to overall safety in diverse environments.

What to consider when choosing your gas strut

When selecting a gas strut for specific applications, several key factors should be considered, including:

1. Load Capacity: Determine the weight the gas strut needs to support for optimal performance.

2. Operating Environment: Consider the temperature range and environmental conditions to ensure compatibility and longevity.

3. Mounting Configuration: Choose the appropriate mounting configuration to ensure secure installation and efficient operation.

Learn more in our guide to selecting the right gas strut and how to determine gas strut size articles.

Unsung Heroes

Gas struts may often go unnoticed, but their impact across many different applications is undeniable. They are important for support, control, safety, convenience, and ensuring smooth and controlled motion in diverse applications. By understanding the mechanics, applications, and benefits of gas struts, engineers and designers can create innovative solutions and enhance user experience across various industries.

Find Your Ideal Gas Struts

Looking for gas struts to suit your particular requirements? Albert Jagger supplies a huge range of Gas Struts by Bansbach to choose from, covering a range of applications, sizes, and types. To find out if our gas struts will be a good solution for you, please fill out the enquiry form on our contact page, or call us at 01922 471000 or email at [email protected].

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