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How To Choose a Slide

Sliding Systems has an extensive range of products including telescopic drawer slides, linear rails and tip-down drawer systems, drawer handles and much else besides. The help notes below relate only to the drawer slide part of our range and provides an explanation of the terms we use and some general guidance about how to select the right set of telescopic drawer slides for your application. Telescopic slides come in all shapes and sizes with capacity to carry loads at full extension ranging from a few kilograms to several tonnes. If you don't find an answer to the questions you have here then please contact us on +44 (0)1691 770303.

Which slide is suitable for your needs?

Sliding Systems offers the largest range of telescopic slides and linear rail available in the market, only a limited number of which are available to purchase through this online e-commerce site www.gsf-promounts.com. You will be able to see a much fuller range of our products including drawer slides on our www.gsfslides.com website where you will have access to our slide selector tool.

The GSF promount website offers you a selection of our products to buy online which cover a range of applications. When choosing a drawer slide or pair of drawer slides there are a number of key points to consider:

  • Drawer Slide closed length – this is the length of the slide when closed and usually relates to the depth of the compartment the slide is to be mounted in.
  • Drawer Slide extension – There are three basic types: (1) partial or 70% extension; (2) full or 100% extension; and (3) over or 150% extension. This is the amount by which you want the drawer or slide-out system to extend relative to the closed length. A 100% extension slide with a closed length of 500mm will extend by 500mm. A 150% extension slide with a closed length of 500mm will extend by 750mm etc. Each slide is made up of a number of beams. A partial extension slide will be made up of 2 beams. To achieve 100% extension the slide must usually have 3 beams, and to achieve 150% extension a slide must have 4 beams. Most slides are made with ball bearings between the beams, held in position by ball cages. Other types, particularly many higher precision high repetition slides, work with rollers (roller bearings). When choosing a slide, the first issues to decide are closed length and extension.
  • Load – the third most important issue to decide is what load (weight) a pair of slides must carry when fully extended. All slides will have a load capacity, and this is invariably deemed to be the load for a pair of slides and which is assumed to be evenly distributed over the length of the extended part of the slide. If your project is based upon the load being applied only on the end point of the extended slide then load capacity data given on the Siding Systems websites will not be valid. If this is the case or you are in doubt about what slide to choose please consult Sliding Systems on +44 (0)1691 770303 who will help you select a slide that is right for your application. There is a difference between what load a slide will carry when fully extended in absolute terms before it is likely to break (Static Load), and what load a pair can carry, whilst operating normally without damage over a number of open and close cycles (Dynamic Load). Most load data with reference to telescopic slides is based on Dynamic Load.
  • How to Install a Slide - Slides should normally be installed in pairs and so as to carry load on their major axis. Some slides, however, particularly Sliding Systems' Shock Resistant range of reinforced high strength sliders can be mounted flat and will carry load on the minor axis (see illustration below), subject to a significantly reduced overall load capacity. Unless you are certain the slide you are choosing is designed to be able to carry load on its minor axis, you should only mount your slides vertically.
  • Telescopic Slide Height and Width – It is also important to consider the dimensions of the slide itself what is its height, and what is the width of one slide – slide length (Closed Length) is referred to above. This can be important particularly where there is only a certain size of gap between the compartment wall and the drawer body. Sliding Systems offers the largest range of telescopic slides available in the market, which means that we are more likely to have a slide to meet your overall length, width, height, extension and load capacity criteria. You can use the Slide Selector on the www.gsfslides.com website to input load, length, extension, and slide height and width criteria to identify a shortlist of slides likely to meet your criteria. If you can not find what you are looking for, please call us on +44 (0)1691 770303, and we will be glad to help.
  • Operating Environment – Slide selection must also take into account the overall environment in which the slide will be operating. If a slide is likely to be exposed to prolonged vibration - for example it is to be mounted on a vehicle, or will be carrying a running generator or pump - then a vibration resistant slide should be selected. This will usually mean a telescopic slide fabricated from cold drawn steel (as opposed to cold rolled steel) should be selected. Similarly if the slide is likely to be slammed shut or open whilst carrying a heavy load. Drawer slides have built-in end-stops that which have to be strong enough to take the shock of the slide being slammed open or shut. Drawer slide to be used in an office or warehouse environment do not have to be as strong as slides mounted on a vehicle or vessel where vehicle movement can impose much higher forces on all the slide components. When selecting a slide, you should consider at least the following questions, and if you have any doubts about the choice of telescopic slide, please call us on +44 (0)1691 770303

Consider the following when choosing a slide:

  • Is the drawer slide going to be mounted on a moving platform (vehicle, vessel etc)?
  • Is it likely to be subject to rough treatment?
  • Is it likely to be exposed to extremes of temperature?
  • Will it be in a corrosive environment (sea air or particular gases or radiation)?
  • Will it be subject to high repetitions (many thousands of openings and closings)?
  • Is very high precision required (minimal deflection etc, eg machine tool or automated applications)?
  • Will the operating environment be dusty and will slide maintenance be easy or difficult?
  • Will the telescopic slide be used in a food related environment?

It is not possible to cover all possible questions that could be relevant to the choice of slide.  The choice of slide is ultimately the responsibility of the application designer, but with over 20 years of practical and professional experience and knowledge, as well as probably the largest range of telescopic slides available on the market, Sliding Systems is well placed to help you make the correct choice of slide.  Please call us if you need assistance.

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