When gates open, they need space to travel through to move into their new position.  Obviously, there can’t be obstacle in the path of moving gates or there’s going to be a collision.

Each of a pair of swing gates travels through the arc of a circle with a diameter equal to the length of the gate leaf.


Sliding gates move in the plane of their length into a space that must be longer than their length.



So, if you have unmovable obstacles in the path of hypothetical swing or sliding gates, are there alternatives that require less space, and can they be made from aluminium?

The answer is yes there are, but they are slightly more complex solutions than standard swing or sliding aluminium gates. They usually require more installation time and expertise, and may  use more components. These factors all add up to make aluminium gates for restricted spaces more expensive.


Aluminium Swing Gate Options

Bi-Fold Aluminium Gates

For aluminium swing gates, the main solution is bi-fold gates. These look like normal swing gates that have been cut in half vertically to make two, equally sized leaves. They can be operated with any standard gate automation motors suitable for the complete gate size or weight, but there is a limit to the size of bi-fold gates.


Bi-folding aluminium gate


As each bi-fold pair of aluminium gates opens, the outer section folds onto the section nearest the pillar or post. This means that the arc the opening gates travel through is nearly half that of a single swing gate covering the same sized opening.



To accommodate the concertina effect of the twin bi-fold gates, a track in the ground or a rail above the gates can be employed to ensure correct orientation of the gate as it operates. Careful installation is required to avoid binding in the track or rail as the gates open and close.

Rails above gates limit the height of vehicles that can pass through, and tracks need to be kept clean of debris. Consequently, a bi-fold gate kit that does away with the need for rails or tracks by using clever hinges has been developed.

Again, careful installation is required to ensure smooth operation, and a close stop is required for the gates to close onto.


Aluminium Sliding Gate Options

Bi-Parting Aluminium Gates

If sliding gates are to be installed, there are a few more options. The main requirement of a sliding gate is that the gate completely clears the driveway opening. One way to reduce the space required for the gate to move into is to use two bi-parting gates and two motors. Each motor is used to open one gate to one side of the driveway. 


Bi-parting sliding aluminium gates


Telescopic Aluminium Sliding Gates

A variation on this theme is to slide the two or even three sections of the sliding gate to the same side of the driveway opening. Here the sections slide against each other in a telescopic sliding gate arrangement. A system of cables co-ordinates the movement of each gate section and each leaf needs its own track to slide along.



Round-The-Corner Aluminium Sliding Gates

It’s also possible to produce a sliding gate assembled from multiple vertical sections hinged on both edges that opens along a curved track. These, round-the-corner sliding gates follow the obstacle (such as a wall) that a standard sliding gate would hit.


round the corner aluminium gate


As many of these gates are bespoke, please call Stargate on 033 022 34800 to discuss your requirements for gates in restricted spaces.