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Publication numberUS3093920 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 18, 1963
Filing dateApr 20, 1962
Priority dateApr 20, 1962
Publication numberUS 3093920 A, US 3093920A, US-A-3093920, US3093920 A, US3093920A
InventorsEpstein Irving Alfred, Adolphe J Girardy
Original AssigneeIndependent Lock Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Reinforced key
US 3093920 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 18, 1963 1. A. EPSTEIN ETAL 3,093,920

REINFORCED KEY INVENTOR 5 l'rvLrL Alfred. EpsteL/z Zphe PFelo ART United States This invention relates to a key device, and more particularly to an ornamental key of the type used for operating the locks of automobiles, doors or the like.

Still more particularly, this invention relates to a key having decorative indicia bearing insert means iixed to the head or bow thereof characterized by ease of afiiXation of the insert onto the key head and further characterized by permanence of attachment of the insert to the head.

In rthe plast, it has been proposed to provide a key to which there may be aihxed plates bearing indicia, such as monograrns, initials, or other identifying or decorative matter. The plates have been secured to the key head or bow by a variety of means, including threaded fasteners, mechanical spring retainers, soldering, brazing and the like. It has also been proposed to ailix the plate to the key through the use of an adhesive bond, the present invention being directed to an improved construction of the latter sort.

In forms of the mechanical-ly and the adhesively bonded constructions heretofore known, the key has been provided with a recess or depression, the indicia bearing plate having border dimensions corresponding substantially with those of the depression, being, respectively, fastened or bonded within the depression. While reasonable permanence of attachment between the key and the plate has 'been obtained through the use of mechanical fastener means, such means greatly increase the cost of production of the device and the time required for assembling the plate with the key.

Also, since such fastening device is normally visible on the surface of the key, the attractive appearance thereof is marred.

It Will be observed from the above that adhesive bonding of the plate to the key is thus preferable both from the economic and the appearance standpoints. However, despite the advantages of adhesive bonding, and the development of myriad highly effective `adhesive substances and lformulations, no key device heretofore available has enabled the formation of a reasonably permanent adhesive bond between the plate or insert and the key.

. The unsatisfactory nature of such devices is believed to be due, in a measure, to the failure of the art to appreciate that the aiiixation by adhesive of a plate or insert to a key involves special problems. 'l'hese problems are occasioned by the fact that the key head or bow is a torque transmitting agency, and that in the normal use of a key there will be a flexure or deformation of a more or less temporary duration of the bow or head por tion thereof. VIt is common knowledge that a key is used by inserting the shank or tumbler orenting portion into the rotatable plug of a lock mechanism, and thereafter twisting the head or bow portion thereof.

In certain instances, particularly where rotation of the plug is employed to withdraw a spring projected latch bolt or the like, considerable torque must be applied by the fingers of the operator to the key head. In other instances, where the plug may, in normal use, require little torque for its operation, a large torque may occasionally be required or applied by the operator due, for example, to a temporary jamming of the plug, an -improper insertion of the key shank into the plug, or an arent attempt to turn the plug beyond its intended limiting rotated position.

The application of torque in the manner aforesaid results in a twisting of the key head and, in adhesively bonded ornamental keys before known, has resulted in a more or less gradual deterioration or abrogation of the bond between the plate and the key by inducing strains in the key head which, in turn, cause a relative movement between the plate and the key. It will be recognized that such relative movement will compromise the bond of even a relatively flexible rubber adhesive in that air, moisture or detritus may be admitted between the bonded parts. Although the relative movement aforesaid may be very slight, the net eifect will be the eventual loosening and displacement of the plate from the key, such eventuality being accelerated where the key is frequently employed.

It should be noted that the employment of a depressed area or recess for receiving the adhesively bonded plate in keys heretofore known magnies the problem since such area provides a thin section directly behind the plate, and thus permits a high degree of relative eXing movement between the key and plate at such relatively weakened area.

Accordingly, the present invention has for an object the provision of an improved, adhesively bonded key and plate device, eliminating the tendency experienced in bonded devices heretofore known for the plate to become dislodged after use.

A further object of the invention is to provide a key device of the type described including a depressed or recessed area within which the plate or insert may be positioned, which device is constructed in a manner to prevent relative movement of the plate and key upon the application of torque to the key head.

:Still a further object of the invention is the provision of a device of the class described wherein the face opposite the plate carrying face presents a novel and decorative appearance.

Still a further object of the invention is the provision of an attractive key device which may be readily customized or personalized by the adhesive application thereto of a plate or insert carrying indicia or decorative matter.

To attain these objects and such further objects as may appear herein or be hereinafter pointed out, reference is applied to the key head.

As shown in FIGURE l, there is provided a key 10 including a bow or head 11 and a shank or lock operating pontion l2?. The head or bow 11, in accordance with the invention, is formed on its front face 13 with a concave or recessed portion |14 which, in the illustrated embodiment, is generally rectangular in plan but Which need not be restricted to such shape. The portion 14 is outlined or delineated by walls 15, 16, 17, 18. The rear face 2t) of fthe key, in an `area registering with the recessed portion 14, is provided with a raised reinforcement portion 21 which, `as shown in FIGURE 2, might take the form of an emblem, crest or other decoration. The reinforcement portion 21 optionally but preferably covers substantially the entire tarea of the rear face 29 which corresponds to the area of the front face covered by .the depressed portion 14.

A plate or insert 30, 4which may be flat or may, for appearance sake, be cupped or concave-convex, is secured within recess 14 by an adhesive mass or layer 3l disposed between the rear face 32 of the insert and the floor 19 of the recess 14.

It will be understood that the `adhesive or cement employed may be of any type suitable for joining the key and insert 30, both parts normally comprising metal although the use of plastic inserts is contemplated as well. Also, the plate or insert 3G may, for convenience, be precoated over its entire back portion with a stay- Wet type adhesive, such as a water insoluble rubber adhesive, the insert in such case being provided with the usual protective layer temporarily secured to the adhesive, to be removed just prior to use.

Preferably the outline of the insert closely conforms to the inner edges of walls 1S, d6, 17, 18, whereby the positioned insert will be engaged with such walls and will 'aid the cement layer in preventing a shifting of the insert. Also, the overall depth of the insert 30' is such that together with the thickness of the adhesive layer 31, the outer edge of the insert does not project beyond the face 13 of the key.

In FIGURE 3 there is shown in solid lines a sectional View of a key in accordance with the invention. In FIGURE 4 la similar View is shown of a prior art key. The dot and dash lines in each of FIGURES 3 and 4 represent, on a somewhat exaggerated scale, the conigurationsV of the keys upon application of `torque to the key bow, with some resistance to turning of plug P of lock cylinder assembly C being assumed. It should be understood that the torsional stresses `and strains herein referred to are limited to the head of the key since the shank of the key is received within and maintained in aligned condition by the keyway slot of the plug P.

In both instances there is considerable lateral deiiection of the lobes or edges E-E of the bow from the initial planar alignment of the latter. However, it will be seen that the floor 19 of the key in accordance with the invention, FIGURE 3, has been distorted hardly at Iall from its initial position and that there is thus present no significant ilexionor unseating tendency to separate or crack the cementitious mass holding the insert 30 in the recess 14. This is because the reinforcing element 21 has restricted flexion rof the bow to the areas of the bow outside of the area wherein the insert is secured. In contrast, it will be seen in FIGURE 4 that the flexion in the bow of the prior art key is distributed substantially across the entire bow of the keyV and that-there is considerable strain concentrated at the area where the thinner bow section which is recessed for receipt of the insert or plate joins the thicker bow portion or section. It will thus be readily recognized that in the prior art key there will be an eventual separa-tion of the plate from the key bow due to theV constant stressing arising from continued operations of the lock plug.

It will thus be seen that while the prior art devices provided a recessed tarea to aid in assuring a firm attach-Y ment between the key and inserts, this area actually weakened or compromised the said attachment.

The reinforced area of the key of the invention effec` vide on said bow portion an area having substantial re-.

in the critical area, permits the -use of a wider range of cements than heretofore since a relatively brittle cement may now be employed without fear of cracking or crumbling of the latter.

The above described key device provides a durable, inexpensive and attractive customized article. By reason of the constructional features aforesaid, Va durable and permanent cemented connection between the key and the plate or inesrt is obtained, a feature not found in cornparable key devices heretofore known.

The reinforcing portion, in addition to performing the functions aforesaid, enhances the appearance of the key. If desired, the floor T19 of the recess Vmay be stamped with a marking 19a which corresponds with or identities the keyway section of 'the key to facilitate selection of the` proper key by the key cutter and at the same time provides a roughened surface to augment the effectiveness of the adhesive bond.

It will be understood that the described decorative key device is supplied to the locksmith or other key cutter along with plates marked with numerals or other indicia. The locksmith then cuts or bits the key shank in known manner to correspond with the hitting or pattern of the key supplied by the customer. The insert or inserts bearing the selected initial or indicia are then mounted in the recess of the key either by application of cement to the rear face of the plate or in the recess or, in the case of an adhesive bearing insert, by stripping the protective layer from the back of the insert and pressing the insert into the recess.

By the construction which has been provided, there may be employed an alloying material of the kind which does not `sacrifice rigidity and long wear and which is susceptible of accurate formation by forging, without limitation, an additional feature which may prolong the utility of the union between the emblem 30 and the key bow, during its course of use, even to the point of rigidity of union of the insert or emblem '310v within the seat or recess 14 by a friction tit about its periphery to augment or even substitute for the adhesive union.

Having thus described the invention and illustrated its use, what is claimed as new and is desired Yto be secured by Letters Patent is:

l. An ornamental key comprising a shank portion and a bow portion, said bow portion being formed to define a recessed area on one face thereof, the other face of said ibow portion including a raised reinforcing portion substantially in registry with the recess of said one face and extending outwardly beyond said other face to provide on said bow portion an area having substantial resistance to deformation under torsionalV stress, independent inse-rt means positioned within said recess and having outer marginal edge portions conforming substantiallyY to the outline of said recess and an adhesive layer interposedY between said recess Iand said insert means and bonding said'means to said key, all portions of said insert means lying within said recess and beneath the plane of said one face, whereby said recessed area will be substantially unaffected by torsional stresses applied to said bow to minimize relative movement of said insert with respect to said ICCGSS.

concave area and spanning an larea on said other face substantially coex-tensive with said concave area, to prosistance to deformation under torsional stress, independent insert means positioned within said concave area and having outer marginal edge portions conforming substantially v to the outline of said last named area, and an adhesive layer interposed between said insert and portions of said concave area and bonding said insert within said area, all portions of said insert means lying within said concave area and beneath -the plane of said one face, whereby said concave tarea will be substantially unaiected by torsional stresses applied to said bow to minimize relative movement of said insert with respect to said key.

3. A key in accordance with claim 2 wherein said raised reinforcing area includes a coined decorative emblem on the outer face thereof.

4. An ornament-a1 key blank comprising ya shank and a bow portion, said bow pontion being formed to deine a recessed area on one face, the other face of said bow 10 including a raised reinforcing portion substantially in registry with the reoess of said one face, and extending outwardly beyond said face to provide on said bow an area having substantial resistance to deformation under torsional stress, whereby independently attachable insert 15 2,781,594

6 means positioned within said recess and having outer marginal edge por-tions conforming substantially to the outline of said recess, upon being bonded within said recess to said key, will be substantially unafeeied by torsional stresses applied to said bow, to minimize relative movement of said insert with respect to said recess.

References Cited in the le of this patent UNlTED STATES PATENTS 312,545 Zeilen Feb, 17, 1885 1,444,963 Fay Feb. 13, 1923 1,573,536 Benham Feb. 16, 1926 1,629,343 Katz May 17, 1927 Stuppell VFeb. 19, 1957

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US312545 *Feb 17, 1885 heffry zeilijst
US1444963 *Feb 14, 1919Feb 13, 1923William Fay JosephKey
US1573536 *Mar 10, 1924Feb 16, 1926Mosler Lock CompanyKey
US1629343 *Sep 22, 1926May 17, 1927Forry Laucks SKey-identification device
US2781594 *Aug 27, 1954Feb 19, 1957Signa Craft IncDecorative plate and mounting
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3324586 *Dec 10, 1964Jun 13, 1967Mitchell Nancy JIdentification of key-use
US5181927 *Jul 31, 1991Jan 26, 1993Song Chang JFrame lock mechanism for a key light
US6604308Oct 25, 1999Aug 12, 2003Sergio F. RoblesKey with identifying system
WO1995024709A1 *Mar 7, 1995Sep 14, 1995Ralph C DeuschleKey identification device
WO2008128101A1 *Apr 11, 2008Oct 23, 2008Brian A MooreLabel system
U.S. Classification40/330
International ClassificationE05B19/04
Cooperative ClassificationE05B19/24, E05B19/04
European ClassificationE05B19/04