The Advantage of Spring Latches

When it comes to products, the fastest and easiest solution with the highest possible quality is usually desired. This quick fix mentality goes for nearly any industry, large or small. One simple and small item that can offer quick solutions is a latch. There are an abundance of latch types that are used daily, in all aspects of life: home, work, travel, etc. However, one type of latch that sticks out is a spring latch. This specific type has some qualities that others do not that make it sought after in certain instances. Can you guess what it is?
Spring Latch

Photo Courtesy of Sierra Pacific Engineering & Products

The structure of a spring latch is simple. In the simplistic structure the size can vary quite a bit, while the overall design tends to be similar across applications. A metal frame holds a bolt and around the bolt a spring is fixed to always push the bolt to the furthest out position. When the bolt is pulled the spring compresses thus disengaging the bolt from whatever it is holding together (e.g. a gate). When released, the bolt shoots forward to its resting position with a decompressed spring. An easy way to visualize how a spring latch works is to imagine launching a pinball. After a quarter is put into the machine a ball pops out and rests on the bolt, but when you pull back the bolt there is tension from the spring around the bolt. When you release the bolt on the pinball machine, a forward force is exerted onto the ball making it launch into play.
Unlike pinball machines spring latches are used to hold two components together, either open or closed. The latches job is to make sure that neither component is moved from that desired position. The spring latch acts similar to a deadbolt but instead of the push pull action necessary for a deadbolt to engage and disengage only one movement is necessary because of the spring does the rest of the work for quick detachment. Spring latches can be used in a variety of applications, from windows and doors, to gates and truck beds.
The quick release mechanism of spring latches makes latching fast and easy for any application that it is used on. Where do spring latches make your life easier? Have you wished something you were using utilized this type of latch? Share your stories with us.