An Introduction to Quarter-TurnsArticles, Quarter-turns
One of the most common types of latches, and one that we at DIRAK have a lot of history with thanks to our founder Dieter Ramsauer, the quarter turn comes in an almost endless number of variants (sometimes even with different names). In this article, we’ll try to shed a little light on it for you.
What is a Quarter-Turn?
A Quarter-turn, also sometimes called a cam latch or cam lock, is a type of latch that has been in use for many years on various types of access doors, drawers or panels.
It’s most commonly found on sheet metal enclosures in various different industrial and commercial applications.
It has a fixed base, or “housing” into which a rotating “insert” is mounted. This insert can be actuated with a conventional key, a special tool, or a handle. The other end of the insert is attached to a “cam’ that rotates 90 degrees (“quarter turn”) from a locked to unlocked position inside the cabinet.
The benefits of a quarter turn lie in its simplicity and versatility.
Due to their simple design, they are generally a robust and cost-effective way to secure a door or panel on a cabinet, making them a popular choice for many industrial applications.
Also, due to the many different actuation types, they are highly versatile and can be used for almost any type of access panel or door.
Additionally, DIRAK has even begun offering electronic quarter turns for integration into electronic access control and security monitoring systems through our E-LINE by DIRAK division, making them even more versatile than ever before!
Common Applications of Quarter-Turns
There is a seemingly endless list of applications for which a quarter turn can be used. At DIRAK, we are constantly amazed at the number of different industries we serve.
That said, there are certainly applications where they are almost ubiquitous. Some of the most common quarter-turn applications are:
- Switchgear cabinets
- Electrical enclosures
- Telecommunications cabinets
- Data/IT cabinets
- Industrial/office furniture
- Automation equipment
- Food-processing equipment
- Commercial HVAC equipment
- Generator Cabinets
- Busses and passenger rail
As you can see, quarter turns are used almost everywhere. While most people probably don’t pay them much attention, once you realize how common they are, you will likely begin noticing them almost every day.
Quarter-Turn Safety Tips
While quarter-turns don’t necessarily look like a safety device, they are often used in critical equipment and are tasked with keeping those working with said equipment safe from harm.
There are many safety considerations that should be factored in when designing them into equipment. Some of these considerations should include:
- Electrical grounding
- Material considerations
- Emergency operation from the inside of the cabinet
- Proper clamping force for adequate sealing
- Tamper resistance
- Security system integration
These are only a handful of things that need to be weighed from a safety standpoint. If you find yourself designing a new product, take the time to reach out to DIRAK or our representatives to go over your application so that we might help chose the right parts for your project.
Are Quarter-Turns Reversible?
One more question that people tend to ask frequently is whether quarter turns are reversible so they can be used in various positions on the door or panel. DIRAK is a pioneer in the modularization of industrial quarter turns, and therefore we’ve made sure that almost all our quarter-turn designs can be used in any orientation. To make certain a product is reversible, look for the R | L logo on the product’s website page like this.
Quarter-turns are one of the most common latching devices in use today, and you’ll find them almost everywhere. If you are looking for a simple, effective, and secure way of keeping something closed, maybe the quarter turn is the right choice for your application. Please consider filling out the form below to find out even more about quarter turns, as well as all our other industrial hardware, to see what will work best for you.