Hardware is rightfully considered one of the fundamental components of a window. The duration of the trouble-free operation of the window system directly depends on its quality and reliability. It is the fittings that play a leading role in the ease of maintenance of the window, smooth and tight opening and closing of the sashes. The fundamental difference between metal-plastic windows and previous wooden ones is precisely the fittings, through which the window can be opened with one turn of the handle.
In addition, modern window fittings perform some additional functions, in particular:
- ventilation mode adjustment
- holding the sash in the required position
- protection against slamming in a draft
- burglary protection
Principle of operation
The handle is equipped with a 4-sided pin and is mounted on the window sash. It makes the rollers (or pins) move, pressing the window sash in several special places along its perimeter (the number of these places depends on the type of fittings). Now there is no need to plug up the cracks, to glue the frame for the winter: thanks to the window fittings, any, even the most insignificant cracks in the window are simply absent. The design, which provides different types of opening, is hidden in a groove in the sash.
Since window sashes will still sag sometime under the influence of their own gravity, the question involuntarily arises as to how to maintain such accessories. And the answer is extremely simple: plastic windows, equipped with modern fittings, are extremely easy to adjust using a conventional small hex key. Adjustment is carried out in three guides: width, height and pressure. A special adjustment of the pressure should be carried out in winter in order to realize the ventilation function.
Window fittings work according to a specific modular principle. The module, as a rule, consists of a mechanical drive (main lock), lower and upper groups of hinges, as well as a set of mechanisms that are designed to transmit movement. It is this operating principle that provides a relatively easy adaptation of the hardware mechanism to absolutely any brand of profiles..
Types of fittings
Fittings are classified according to a large number of criteria:
- permissible sash weight
- way of opening fittings
- door opening method
So, everyone knows about pivot fittings. This is the most elementary and simple type of fittings, however, it constantly undergoes various kinds of changes through the emergence of new elements that create a lot of additional privileges and conveniences..
There is also folding fittings, which are equipped with a fairly common type of opening – “fanlight”. The window sash with the help of the handle is thrown at a given angle, remaining in this position. As a rule, such fittings are equipped with a special tilt limiter.
Thanks to the tilt-and-turn fittings, the windows have been significantly transformed: automatically there is no longer any need for vents, which significantly reduce the light opening. All elements of such fittings are connected into a closed structure, which evenly distributes all emerging loads. The mechanism can be operated with only one handle. The windows open in the required direction depending on its specific position. The mechanism is based on scissors that allow you to open the sash in all planes. Such fittings can be installed on windows with one or several sashes..
The hinges are selected taking into account the sash weight. Its total weight includes the weight of the glass unit, the sash structure, as well as the weight of the fittings. Today manufacturers can offer hinges that are designed for sash weights up to 130 kg..
Modern window and balcony structures provide for the use of special parts that significantly expand the functionality of the fittings. The rotation limiter is designed to fix the window in the most extreme position when it is opened. With the help of an additional brake, the window sash will be fixed in any position in the degree range of 60-150.
With the help of the rotation lock, you can avoid sudden opening of the window when the sashes are tilted. The blocker is simply irreplaceable if you need to restrict the access of children to the window.
The microlift raises the sash sagging when closing. It is installed at the bottom of the sash, ensuring the operation of the entire device not only in one pivot position, but also in an unconventional tilt position, which significantly reduces the overall load on the hinges, guaranteeing a long service life of the fittings.
By installing special electronic components, it is possible to program the window to open automatically in order to ventilate or build in effective protection against various types of burglaries.
When buying fittings, naturally, a person focuses on the most basic technical indicators: durability, practicality and reliability, which are manifested in resistance to corrosion and various mechanical damage. According to the standards, the fittings must ensure operability for at least 10 thousand opening cycles..
To avoid corrosion, all, without exception, fittings that are made of any material, except stainless steel, must be coated with a special protective galvanic coating, less often with a special varnish. However, the buyer cannot physically calculate the number of openings and cannot measure the thickness of the protective coating, so he is interested in the specific warranty period for its performance. A period of 6-8 years is a weighty argument in favor of the correct choice of fittings during the installation of double-glazed windows.
It is also necessary to look at the method of attaching the hinges to the window frame: there should be an optimal number of screws in the area where the metal reinforcement is located, otherwise the hardware runs the risk of simply falling off along with the sash itself. You should not choose fittings that consist of an army of plastic elements on which the power function is laid. Such fittings can last a maximum of three years. Pay attention also to how the handle moves. The movement should be smooth and measured – this is another indicator of reliability.