Drawer sliders make it easier for drawers to open and close. The range of possibilities for drawer slides in automotive and industrial applications is essentially unlimited and includes anything from emergency and utility vehicles to server racks, battery trays, and medical equipment cabinets.
The solutions to a few questions are necessary to select the ideal drawer slide for your application.
- For what purpose is the drawer used, and what is the load capacity required?
- What are the environmental circumstances principally in which it will operate? Do the drawers have to lock in either the open, closed, both, or neither position?
- Is a disconnect necessary on the slides to enable full drawer removal?
- How much of the drawer has to be accessible and how much room is available?
- How frequently will the drawer be opened?
Your needed load capacity is frequently the most important factor to evaluate and the greatest place to start when trying to limit your selections. From there, you can start looking into your possibilities.
Materials Are Vital
Aluminum or stainless steel is more expensive than steel slides, which are adequate for many purposes. Environmental factors are another important consideration because steel does not have the same corrosion resistance as stainless steel or aluminum. The strongest, longest-lasting and most corrosion-resistant material is stainless steel. When you need to reduce the weight of your finished product, aluminum is a suitable alternative because it is lightweight and offers corrosion resistance.
Additionally, a user may think about a bottom mount in particularly difficult conditions (or under-mount slide). They are less exposed to the weather due to their location beneath the drawer box or bed than side mounting slides, making them naturally well-suited for challenging situations.
If You Should Lock, Lock
The needed locking position of the drawers, if any, is another important factor. Drawers may need to lock in the closed position in vehicular applications to prevent them from flying open during transit in the case of a latch failure. When frequent removal and replacement of the complete drawer (not just the contents) is necessary, slides with a quick disconnect mechanism are advised.
Requirements For Space
The following inquiries to address are space availability and necessary access. The amount of area you have to work with will influence how long your slides are. Numerous slides are offered in lengths ranging from 10″ to 48″ in 2″ increments. You can select a 34 extension, full extension, or even over-travel according to the available space and the amount of drawer that needs to be accessed.
Side Mounted Slides
Depending on their size, side mounting slides are simple to install and typically require between 12″ and 34″ of clearance between the slides and the sides of the drawer box. Slides mounted at the bottom often require more exact mounting specifications and vertical clearance. They require less horizontal space in exchange for often having more adjustability.
Bottom Mounted Slides
Slides with a bottom or under mount are best suited for applications with modest cycle needs and constrained space. Slides with a bottom mount may withstand loads ranging from light to extremely heavy. Light-duty bottom mount slides are frequently used in applications where appearance is of the utmost importance.
Ball Bearing Slides
For high-cycle applications, slides with ball bearings are the most dependable option. They are self-lubricating, smooth and silent, simple to pull open and push shut, and incredibly robust. From low duty (load rated for 50 lbs.) to heavy duty drawer runners (more than 1,000 lbs. ), they come in a variety of sizes and with a variety of locking and disconnect options.
Friction slides or solid bearings are a useful, affordable option for situations that only seldom need cycling. When ball-bearing slides are not advised, such as in a high-vibration environment where a loose ball-bearing could cause issues, they are a particularly good alternative.