Viewing blog posts in the Technical category.
Soft-close mechanisms are fitted within the profile of the slide at the rear and typically can take up between 80 to 100 mm. This has an impact on the length of the intermediate member and the ball retainer lengths. This in turn has an impact on the load rating of the slide, the available space for fixing points and the ability to achieve the travel / extension requirements.
The main problem is lack of space within the slide.
The movement in a telescopic slide is provided by ball bearings running in a ball retainer.
To get good movement and load rating, we need to maximise member length and particularly get good ball coverage. This translates to: the more ball bearings, the higher the load.
Once you get to shorter slide lengths the space becomes restricted and there will be less room for fixing points at the rear of the slide.
On our heavy duty soft-closing slide (5321EC and 5417EC) we have added extra fixing holes right at the back of the slide for this very reason.
The shortest soft-close slide we produce (3832EC) is 350mm long and the travel is restricted to 310mm.
Slides shorter than this would not have enough space for the soft-close mechanism. The intermediate member is too short and we cannot fit enough ball bearings to give a suitable load rating.
For slides shorter than 350mm, we suggest that you look out for an externally mounted, retro-fit, soft-close mechanism that can be fitted alongside the slide.
These pull the drawer closed for the last few cm and can be used either on one or both drawer slides depending on the load required.
There will still be a length of slide that is too short for any type of damper - unless you invent one; we’d be pleased to hear from you.
We cannot guarantee that slides will work effectively or survive outside of this range since extreme temperatures will affect the plastic components in standard ball bearing slides.
With the plastic materials we use, any temperature above 70°C will take them into their heat distortion temperature or softening temperature range.
Some slides will also have restricted temperature ranges due to their specialized parts. For example, the DZ5321EC has an operating range of 10°C - 40°C. Read the individual product datasheets for any additional information.
However, Accuride’s slides (regardless of material or finish) without plastic components can be used in temperatures between -20°C and 110°C. This is the operating temperature range of our standard lubrication.
The DS3031 is a stainless steel slide that uses high temperature food-grade grease and has no plastic parts, making it suitable for applications with a maximum temperature of 300°C. This is part of our off-the shelf range and can be ordered through your local Accuride distributor.
We already supply bespoke slides for use in extreme temperatures and we continue to work direct with OEMs on technically advanced techniques for these applications.
If you need a slide for a specific high temperature project then please contact our sales team to discuss how we can help you.
If you want to replace some old slides or upgrade your rollers to ball bearing slides then there some basic things that you need to know:
Once you know the answers to these questions you can go to the Accuride slide selector and work out which slides will be the most suitable.
For example, let’s put some answers in and see if we can work out which cabinet slide to use.
Now consider if you want a disconnect feature, hold-in, a self-closing slide – there are lots of options, so take your time and think about how often you use the drawer and which features will be of real benefit.
Many people now ask for a soft-close drawer. Accuride sells several versions depending on the drawer weight and width. Search for slide ranges with an EC suffix.
Watch our videos to see what these features do:
If in any doubt you can contact your local Accuride distributor or email our Technical Manager with your questions.
Download our slide selection guide pdf
Accuride slides have self-cleaning ball retainers that protect the raceways by removing the foreign particles between the ball bearings. However, there are times when particles get stuck in the ball track.
Not all slides can be removed easily from your application. The removal can vary between manufacturers and products. Refer to the manufacturer’s installation instructions.
Look for a disconnect lever or latch in the slide track. Or there may be a bracket or lancing holding the track. If you don't see any obvious removal method, try lifting the front of the drawer up then pulling the drawer out and up.
Wipe the dirt from the slide tracks with a clean lint-free cloth soaked in white spirit.
Some drawer slides have no disconnect feature, so you will have to clean them while still in place. Wipe the parts of the track that you can reach and use canned air to blow dirt from areas you can’t.
Accuride slides have a lubricant that is sufficient for normal slide life, but if you do clean the slides this will need to be replaced with quality grease rated for extreme pressure.
Do not use a solvent based product – this can affect the slide’s internal plastic components.
Most slide manufacturers refer to this as ‘side space tolerance’ and it will vary depending on the slide you chose. Always refer to the manufacturers’ installation guides; we can only talk here about the side space needed for Accuride drawer slides.
Look at the cross section drawings or the slide thickness measurements given for each of the slides.
For best performance it is important that the slide has room to move freely.
However, it is also important to understand that ball bearing slides cannot absorb large gap deviations between the cabinet and drawer. The space must be consistent along the whole length of the slide. Also, it must not be too large; this will pull the slide members apart and cause movement problems.
We recommend that you allow between +0.2mm and +0.5mm over the slide thickness.
For example, the 3832 slide is 12.7mm thick, therefore the side space should be between 12.9 and 13.2mm.
However, there are some slides that will need a different formula for working out the slide space. For the 5321 series of slides only, allow between +0.5mm and +0.9mm over the slide thickness.
Some slides are designed to allow a little bit of side space tolerance, which is often needed in woodworking projects.
Look out for slides with breathing tabs; a small tongue of metal with a U slot around it. This allows the tip of the tongue to bend just a little bit to help absorb those tricky tolerances.
Always read the manufacturer’s installation guide – not all slides will need the same side space allowance.
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