A gas strut—also refereed to as a gas spring—is an object that uses compressed gas contained in a cylinder and compressed by a piston to exert force. These are most commonly found in car trunk lids or office furniture, but much larger gas struts are also used in many areas of safety, maintenance, and even industrial manufacturing where they can exert force ranging from 2,500-4000,000N—which is the equivalent of 40 tonnes.

So How Does It Work?

A gas strut is comprised of a piston rod which slides in and out of a sealed tube, which is filled with pressurised nitrogen gas and oil. Because the rod has a piston riveted at one end, this prevents it from being forced out of the tube when the pressure is allowed to escape. The oil stored acts as a lubricant which allows the piston to move smoothly. The higher the pressure of the gas, the more force the gas strut is able to exert. The pressure of the gas is typically around 170 times the normal amount of atmospheric pressure.

Everyday Uses and the Future

Gas struts are not only essential components in engineering, they’re also a part of daily life. As you read this, you’re likely sitting on an office chair. By releasing the lever that alters the height of the chair you’ll be able to feel the gas in the strut being compressed as the position of the seat changes. Likewise, when you lift the trunk of your car, you’ll notice that you can do so with just the strength of your little finger. All thanks to this little device.

Interestingly, new university studies have found that gas struts play an important role in tackling the problems of an ageing, global workforce. By studying the heart rate and psychology of a variety of differently aged individuals, a team from Leuphana University in Germany found that by assisting workers dealing with heavy loads, gas struts are able to decrease the amount of strain placed upon the handler.

Because of the importance the gas strut plays in many different designs, it’s crucial that you buy high-performance parte. You can find quality components from suppliers like SGS Engineering, all of which come with a two-year warranty as standard, and are available to purchase in quantities of 1 to 1,000,000. This is one area where quality matters and you shouldn’t cut corners.