I am researching a system that appears to have a hydraulic arm with some kind of "handbrake" as pictured below:

System Description:

  • Table that can raise and lock into place
  • Locking mechanism triggered by user releasing lever
  • Locking mechanism released by user pulling lever desk

I'm new to hydraulics, and I don't know what kind of component this is called. I've searched hydraulic cylinder with handbrake and pneumatic cylinder, but I'm not getting any good information. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Thanks in advance!


1 Answer 1


It is a gas spring. They are rated in units of pounds and travel in inches. Typically ranges are 10 to 200 pounds, and 6 to 24 inches. Here is one example : https://www.amazon.com/JR-Products-GSNI-5300-60-Gas-Spring/dp/B002UCAHAE/ref=lp_16413861_1_3?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1500165912&sr=1-3

The particular one being shown in your diagram is a specialized version with a locking valve which keeps the gas spring compressed until the valve button is pressed. They are a less common because they are used in more specialized applications, whereas the plain devices are used anywhere a door, lid, or window might be raised easier with the aid of a spring.

  • $\begingroup$ It's the exact same component (though with different specs) that lets an office chair rise and fall at the pull of a lever. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 16, 2017 at 19:41
  • $\begingroup$ I found some available as "remote release gas springs" at: mcmaster.com/#gas-springs/=18izgw2. It seems like the addition of the locking valve boosts the price from the $ 20 range to the $ 50 - $ 100 range though. $\endgroup$
    – Diode Dan
    Commented Jul 16, 2017 at 21:20
  • $\begingroup$ Good to know. I had never looked for them at McMaster. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 16, 2017 at 22:08

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