Door handle


Door handle
A basic modern door knob.

A door handle is an attached mechanism used to open or close a door.[1] In the United States, door handle can refer to any fixed or lever-operated door latch device, including on car doors. The term door knob (or simply doorknob) tends to refer to round operating mechanisms.

Contents

History

The first documented invention of the door handle appears in U.S. Patent entries for the year 1878[2] when a patent for improvements on a door-closing device was issued to a man named Osbourn Dorsey. However, the use of doorknobs, as documented by illustrations and shop catalogues, extends back into the 18th century.

Parts of a basic door knob.

The traditional door knob has a bolt or spindle running through it that sits just above a cylinder, to which the spindle is connected. Turning the knob pulls the cylinder in the direction of the turn. The end of the cylinder is the latch bolt (more simply known as the latch), which protrudes into a space carved out of the door frame, and which prevents the door from being opened if the knob is not turned. A spring or similar mechanism causes the latch to return to its protruding state whenever the knob is not being turned. Escutcheon plates are typically placed around the knob and the place from which the latch protrudes.

Applications and usage

The location of the door handle on the door may vary between a few centimeters away from the edge of the door to the exact center of the door, depending on local culture, decorative style or owner preference. The distance from the edge of the door to the center of the handle is called the backset.

In Europe door levers are more common than the door knob, while in the US, door knobs are traditionally preferred over door handles.[citation needed] However door knobs can be difficult for the young and elderly to operate. For this reason, door handles in most American commercial and industrial buildings and in many households use a lever-operated handle, rather than a knob, as the lever does not require a tight grip. Levers are also beneficial on doors with narrow stile widths where the reduced backset leaves insufficient space to comfortably turn a door handle.

Most household door handles use a simple mechanism with a screw-style axle (called a spindle) that has at least one flat side, which is passed through the door jigger, leaving some length exposed on each side of the door to which the handles are attached. Some handles are attached on both sides by screwing or sliding them directly onto the spindle, and then securing one or more retaining screws (set screws) through the knob perpendicular to the flat of the spindle. Handles that lose traction can frequently be repaired by replacing or adjusting the set screw, which prevents them from slipping on the spindle. Other types of handles, typically used in Europe, slide onto the spindle but are affixed only to the door itself without use of set screws.

Types of household handles:

  • Entrance: These door handles are typically used on exterior doors, and include keyed cylinders.
  • Privacy: Typically used on bedrooms and bathrooms; while they are lockable (unlockable with a generic tool), they do not have keyed cylinders.
  • Passage: Also known as hall or closet, these do not lock and are used in hall or closet doors.
  • Dummy: These types are used for ball catch doors or other applications where a jigger mechanism is not needed, but a similar aesthetic effect is desired.

Car door handles might protrude from the vehicle's exterior surface or be streamlined into the vehicle's contour. In some automobiles, especially luxury vehicles, the door handles might be decorated with chrome and feature a key-less entry pad utilizing either a numerical code or thumb scan.

Foldable door handle

On a balcony whose door has an outside shutter, a special door handle is used on the outer side. The protruding part of such handle (usually ring-shaped) can be folded sideways, so that the shutter can be fully closed without being obstructed by the door handle.

Infection control

Of concern is the fact that door handles are instrumental in the spread of many infections.[3] However, some materials, e.g. brass, copper and silver, are slowly poisonous to many germs. The exact mechanism is not known, but is commonly thought to be via the oligodynamic effect, perhaps by some other electrostatic effect.[4] Brass and copper, for example, disinfect themselves of many germs within eight hours.[5] Other materials such as glass, porcelain, stainless steel and aluminium do not have this effect. Self-disinfecting door handles are particularly important in hospitals, but useful in any building.

Gallery

References

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • door handle — The interior or exterior handle for opening a door. Also see pull out door handle …   Dictionary of automotive terms

  • door handle — lever pushed with the hand to open a door …   English contemporary dictionary

  • door handle — Chiefly Brit. doorknob. [1825 35] * * * …   Universalium

  • door handle — noun chiefly Britain : doorknob * * * Chiefly Brit. doorknob. [1825 35] …   Useful english dictionary

  • pull-out door handle — An outside door handle which is pulled away from the door skin to open the door …   Dictionary of automotive terms

  • car door handle — noun A handle specifically designed to operate a car door You can also find articles concerning the installation of Toyota and other car door handles whether it is for customizing or just for repairing …   Wiktionary

  • Door furniture — (British and Australian English) or Door hardware (North American English) refers to any of the items that are attached to a door or a drawer to enhance its functionality or appearance. Decorative door in Florence, Italy. Design of door furniture …   Wikipedia

  • door — W1S1 [do: US do:r] n [: Old English; Origin: duru door and dor gate ] 1.) the large flat piece of wood, glass etc that you open and close when you go into or out of a building, room, vehicle etc, or when you open a cupboard →↑gate open/close/shut …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Door — Door, n. [OE. dore, dure, AS. duru; akin to OS. dura, dor, D. deur, OHG. turi, door, tor gate, G. th[ u]r, thor, Icel. dyrr, Dan. d[ o]r, Sw. d[ o]rr, Goth. daur, Lith. durys, Russ. dvere, Olr. dorus, L. fores, Gr. ?; cf. Skr. dur, dv[=a]ra.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Handle (grip) — A handle is a part of, or attachment to, an object that can be moved or used by hand. The design of each type of handle involves substantial ergonomic issues, even where these are dealt with intuitively or by following tradition. General design… …   Wikipedia


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