We created our own test lab and conducted reviews periodically. First test was to guide us on the best finish for a project such as a spiral staircase, pool security fence, or sustainable ironwork railing at the shore, subjected to harsh salt air elements.
We looked at what the finishing industry uses: ASTM B-117 is a salt spray chamber; exposure is measured in hundreds of hours to achieve AAMA-2603, AAMA 2604, or AAMA-2605 ratings. Ocean salinity is typically 35%; our salt spray salinity runs slightly higher. Additionally, we’ve added UV exposure and temperature variation to increase the lab credibility.
To meet the requirements, you need the following hours:
- AAMA-2603 – 1,500 hours
- AAMA-2604 – 3,000 hours
- AAMA-2605 – 4,000 hours
For years, we were building visually stunning, custom driveway gates utilizing industry standard iron gate hinges. We were dissatisfied with the quality of the hinges, as they didn’t match the top caliber of our driveway gates.
We did research and talked to others in the industry, and they recommended polymer bearings. Yet we still did more research and ended up designing our own 100-year hinge. The goal was for the hinge to last a century.
We set up the test lab and had the 3-gate hinges advanced polymer, industry standard, and our 100-year hinge. With automated air cylinders and cycle counters, we tested the hinges, rain or shine, snow and ice, hot or cold, 24/7. The advanced polymer was the first to fail at 108,000 cycles. The industry standard hinge failed at 150,000 cycles. Our 100-year hinge went to 450,000 cycles. It gave us tremendous insight on the demands and strain that a driveway gate hinge is subjected to.
We did additional engineering on our 100-year hinge with a focus on million cycles-zero maintenance. If a cycle is worth a dollar, we will then have a “Million Dollar” hinge. We restarted testing and the hinge went for 815,389 cycles. We were happy, but not satisfied. We are in the process of reengineering to do further testing. Meanwhile, we have a hinge that will outperform industry standard by 500% and provide clients with the best custom driveway gate hinges for less strain on automatic gate openers.