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10 Top Tips For Choosing a Telescopic Slide

Aug 2, 2008
Why use a telescopic or drawer slide?

A better question would be, 'What access problem can I solve?'
Because function, what it does, is more important than what it is.

A slide provides access and movement in thousands of different situations such as in residential and office furniture, domestic appliances such as oven shelves, sliding armrests in cars, electronic equipment, industrial plant, medical and laboratory furniture.

Take a look around; anywhere where movement or positioning is an issue or access is required... all could be solved using a telescopic slide.

10 things to consider when choosing a telescopic slide...

1. Confirm the load the slides will need to support. Will it need to hold dish towels or bricks? Think about the distribution of the load and how you intend to install the slides. Remember that over-loading a slide may result in drawer failure.

2. Load ratings relate to the maximum permissible load for a pair of side mounted slides - check that you know what the load refers to - is it limited to the length of slide or the distance apart that they are installed? A reputable slide manufacturer should be able to supply you with load ratings for each slide type and tell you the maximum drawer width allowed.

3. Ask the slide manufacturer if there is a safety factor built in and how many cycles the slides have been tested to. Will this cycle rating suit your project? Remember that in some situations the slide may encounter greater use and possibly abuse.

4. Slides lose load rating if they are mounted flat or on brackets. How do you plan to position the slides? Some slides must not be flat mounted.

5. Decide what extension you need:

75% opens approximately 75% of the total slide length, 100% opens the same amount as the slide length or 100%+ for the ultimate in access.

6. Confirm the side space available to fit your slide. Slides need space to function properly (they must not be compressed or pulled apart) so ask the manufacturer what side space is required for your chosen slide. Also slide height may be an issue.

7. Which fixing method is best? Do you need brackets, bayonets or special fixings? Remember that fixings will also have an impact on load rating. Generally manufacturers recommend what fixings should be used and state that all fixing positions should be used to guarantee the load rating.

8. What slide length suits your need? Generally it is always better to fit the longest possible slide your design will allow. Consider any slide deflection when at its full extension and under load.

9. Consider additional features that may make your project work better. For example, locks, disconnect levers, self-close, hold-in or hold-out, damping systems.

10. Consider surface finish needed. Do you need something that is corrosion resistant or light-weight?

By following these tips you should find the right telescopic slide for your project. It is always advisable to try a prototype if possible and to test your design. A reputable slide supplier will always provide good technical advice and backup.
About the Author
Accuride has evolved from beginnings in the 1960s making telescopic slides, Accuride is now at the forefront in the design and manufacture of access and movement.
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