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Publication numberUS3584484 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 15, 1971
Filing dateNov 15, 1967
Priority dateNov 19, 1966
Publication numberUS 3584484 A, US 3584484A, US-A-3584484, US3584484 A, US3584484A
InventorsHermann Hallmann, Horst Willach
Original AssigneeHuwil Werke Hugo Wallach & Soh
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Magnetic lock
US 3584484 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

States Patent i 13,ss4,4s4

[21] Appl. No. [22] Filed [45] Patented [73] Assignee [32] Priority Nov. 19, 1966, Sept. 21, 1967 [33] Germany [31] 61034 IC/68a and 63957 lC/68a [54] MAGNETIC LOCK 15 Claims, 16 Drawing Figs.

52 use: 70/276, 70/350, 70/364, 70/413 51 lnt.Cl ..E05b27/00, 505047/00 50] FieldofSearch 70/276,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,172,203 2/1916 Fuller 70/276 2,090,302 8/1937 Montgomery et a1 339/12 2,393,428 1/1946 Stroud. 70/276 2,769,873 11/1956 Noregaardm 335/207 2,931,953 4/1960 Barney 317/134 3,111,834 11/1963 Felson 70/276 3,408,837 ll/l968 Felson 70/276 3,416,336 12/1968 Felsonm 70/276 3,303,677 2/1967 Bauer 70/358 Primary Examiner-Marvin A. Champion Assistant Examiner-Robert L. Wolfe Armrney- Stephen H. Frishauf ABSTRACT: Relative movement between a pair of elements, one of which can operate a latch, is controlled by magnetic tumblers, arranged according to a code. The tumblers are retained in recesses in the respective elements, one of the recesses being big enough to accommodate the entire tumblers, and the other part of it, to provide for coupling; the recesses have a region, or a liner of ferromagnetic material so that the tumblers will remain attracted thereto and hold their position even after removal of the key. The recess of the outer element is just beneath the outer surfaces thereof, so that a key, placed against the outer surface, for example against a face ofa cylindrical area, will effect locking (or unlocking) action, the lock being completely sealed to the outside, and a keyslot being avoided.

PATENTEU JUN? 5 19m SHEET 2 BF 4 Fig. 6 '5 z 723 I24 I27 hi "L PATENTED JUN] 5181:

SHEET 3 0F 4 Fly. 70

WP I: 4

MAGNETIC LOCK The present invention relates to a lock, and more particularly to a lock in which tumblers of magnetic material are used, arranged according to a code, and the key for the lock is a plate of magnetic material, having zones of magnetization impressed thereon in a code to fit the lock, so that, when key and magnetic tumblers are brought into proximity, alignment of the tumblers in accordance with the code on the key will permit operation (that is, locking, or unlocking action) of the lock. Specifically, the lock of the present invention is a further development of locks disclosed and claimed in application Ser. No. 569,212, now Pat. No. 3,495,425 (attorney docket 6050), and assigned to the assignee of the present invention.

The lock of the present invention has, basically, a pair of relatively movable elements, one of which is adapted to receive a key, and the other of which is an actuating element to, directly or indirectly operate a latch, to permit being moved by a handle, a pushbutton or the like, as is customary in doors for cabinet hardware, automobile doors or the like. The lock is enclosed in a housing. Tumblers, acting as looking elements or as motion-transmitting elements, depending on the design, transmit operating movement, that is opening or locking to a latch, a locking bolt or the like. Usually, such locks have an inner cylinder having a keyhole or keyslot. Upon insertion of the key into the keyslot, the tumblers are moved into an unlocking position in such a manner, that when the key is turned, the inner cylinder can also turn with respect to the housing. The inner cylinder is provided at its inner end with a locking bail, locking lever or the like which, upon turning of the cylinder, operates the lock. Upon removal of the key, the lock is again secured against turning.

The tumblers are formed of magnets, the magnetization of which is arranged in a code, so that the key which is inserted may have a smooth outer surface and only have a similar, coded magnetization impressed thereon, so'that the magnetic tumblers are selectively attracted or repelled in order to cause (or prevent) relative movement of the cylinder with respect to the housing. It is extremely difficult to determine the relative polarization of magnetic tumblers, and it is thus practically impossible to pick such a magnetic lock, or to open such a lock, without physically destroying its components.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a magnetic lock in which the effect and the position retention of the magnets is improved, and in which the combinations possible in a given space can be increased.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a lock which does not have a keyhole slot, but in which locking action can be obtained by placing a magnetic key against an outer surface thereof, so that the lock can be completely sealed against moisture or other contamination.

SUBJECT MATTER OF THE PRESENT'INVENTION Briefly, in accordance with an aspect of the present invention, relatively movable elements of a lock are formed with recesses in which magnetic tumblers are located. The recesses in one of the elements are large enough to wholly accommodate the tumblers; when the tumblers are wholly in one recess, free motion between the elements is possible. When the tumblers are located to span the recesses of both elements,

the two locking elements are coupled together. The particular position of the tumbler depends upon the insertion or absence of a key. The portion of at least one of the elements adjacent one of the recesses is made to be of ferromagnetic material, or a liner of ferromagnetic material is placed therein to provide for magnet interaction of the ferromagnetic material with the tumblers. Upon insertion of a key, the ferromagnetic material may further interact with the magnetic field of the key.

in accordance with another aspect of the present invention, one of the two elements is an outer closed covering element, within which an inner element is located movable with respect thereto. Recesses to hold tumblers are formed in both elements, the recess in the outer covering element being close to the outer surface thereof so that, when a key having zones of magnetization impressed thereon is placed against the outer surface of the outer covering, the tumblers will be affected by the magnetic field from the key. Thus, a completely enclosed structure can be provided without a keyhole or keyslot.

Providing a region of ferromagnetic material between the key and the zone where the tumbler operates, improves the effectiveness since the airgap between key and tumblers is now replaced by a magnetic circuit. This enables the use of small magnetic tumblers, thus increasing the possibility of combinations of locks. Further, when the key is removed, the tumblers will themselves adhere by magnetic action against the ferromagnetic region in the element, or the liner therein, in order to retain the position into which they have been placed upon withdrawal of the key. Another advantage in providing a ferromagnetic zone, adjacent the recesses, is that opposite tumblers may be arranged with random magnetization and not such to be mutually attractiveattraction now being provided by the ferromagnetic liners or regions.

By providing outer key placement regions, the interior of the lock can be totally enclosed so that dirt, dust or moisture can no longer penetrate the lock and providing better mechanical protection therefor. The keys themselves can be located against the lock in certain index positions, readily marked by cooperating index markers, thus avoiding the necessity to search for a small key opening, for example the opening of a weather-protected automobile lock. The outer housing can then, preferably, be made of nonmagnetic material such as plastic, brass, aluminum, or similar alloys and the magnetic flux concentrated towards the magnetic tumblers by means of ferromagnetic insert liners.

Locks in which the key is applied at the outside, against a surface thereof, for example against a facing surface of a cylindrical lock, are particularly useful in combination with latch handles, turn knobs, or press-to-open button arrangements. The key may then merely consist ofa flat plate, such as a disc, having magnets placed therein (or having zones of magnetization impressed thereon, if of ferromagnetic material). This disc can then merely be placed against the outer surface of an actuating part in order to move the magnetic tumblers placed therein. This effectively prevents any possibility to determine the magnetic coding of the tumblers within the lock, the arrangement of the relative polarity, and the strength of the magnets therein, greatly improving the protection afforded by the lock against unauthorized opening short of destruction.

The shape of the key itself is not critical, and may be made to match the shape of the outer surface of the lock against which it is to be placed. if the actuating surface is the flat face of a cylinder, the key may be a round disc, or a flat strip placed thereacross. The actuating region may also be at the side. The cylinder may be flattened off for use with a flat key, or the key itself may be rounded or have a shape matching the shape of the surface provided by the designer against which the key is to be placed. Combinations of locking actions, utilizing one or more keys can readily be provided-one key being specific to a specific lock and another key being specific, for example, to a plurality oflocks to act as a master key for a set of locks, or a pair of keys, to be placed against different regions of the lock can be provided to permit opening of the lock only upon presence of both keys simultaneously. Various combinations of keys, acting both on the sides and on the face can readily be provided, and the possibility of combinations for the lock designer is greatly increased.

The structure, organization, and operation of the invention will now be described more specifically with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a longitudinal sectional view of a locking cylinder in a housing, with key removed;

FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 with key inserted;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of a lock in a housing having an intermediate coupling cylinder and symmetrically arranged symmetrically poled coupling elements;

FIG. 4 is a different embodiment of FIG. 3 with a key matching the left coupling side;

FIG. 5 with a key matching the right coupling side;

FIG. 6 is a lock with a press-to-operate button, in longitudinal cross-sectional view, with a key inserted, in released position;

FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6 in operated position;

FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 6 in open position;

FIG. 9 is a transverse cross-sectional view along line IX-IX of FIG. 7;

FIG. 10 is a lock with a turn knob, with a facing key position, in longitudinal view;

FIG. 11 is a top view of the lock of FIG. 10, with applied key;

FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional view with an unlocking key applied;

FIG. 13 is a top view of the unlocking position of the lock of FIG. 12;

FIG. 14 is a longitudinal sectional view of a lock with a turn button, in disengaged position;

FIG. 15 is a view similar to FIG. 14 in engaged position; and

FIG. 16 is a cross-sectional view along line XVI-XVI of FIG. 15.

Referring now to the drawings and particularly to the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2: A housing 1, formed as an outer cylinder, surrounds an inner cylinder 3, into which a key 4 can be inserted. Both housing 1 and inner cylinder 3 are formed with radial bores 5 into which magnetic tumblers 6 are inserted. The magnetic tumblers are radially movable, and are arranged in a certain precoded pattern, for example as shown N-SN. The magnetization of the tumblers is such that the opposite side of the tumbler in a radial direction, has the opposite pole.

A holding or anchor element 7, formed of ferromagnetic material, is located at the base of the radial bores 5 of the inner cylinder 3. When the key 4 is removed, the tumblers 6 adhere to the holding element 7. This causes the tumblers to extend into the radial bore 5 of the outer cylinder, thus preventing rotation of the inner cylinder with respect to the outer one. These bores 5, which may also be formed as recesses, are of such size that the recess formed by the bore 5 within the outer cylinder 1 is large enough to wholly accommodate the tumblers 6. This position is illustrated in FIG. 2, in which a key having key magnets 4a located therein and poled as shown in FIG. 2, is inserted into the lock. Repulsion of the like poles causes the tumblers to wholly locate themselves within the recesses 5 of the outer cylinder, thus uncoupling the outer cylinder and the inner cylinder and enabling rotation of the inner cylinder so that a locking latch, or locking member 3a can be operated. The key, inserted into the inner cylinder, magnetizes the holding or anchor elements 7, causing effective and powerful repulsion of the tumblers 6.

FIGS. 3-5 illustrate a lock only in cross-sectional views; it being understood that it is generally cylindrical, having a housing 21 forming an outer cylinder, an intermediate or coupling cylinder 22 coaxial and rotatable therein, and an inner cylinder 23. The inner cylinder 23 is formed with a central keyhole slot 23a which has a different top and bottom outline to permit entry of a key in only one direction. The inner, or key cylinder 23 is formed at its circumference with longitudinally extending recesses 23b. Magnetic coupling elements, or tumblers 26 are located in these recesses, for example poled as shown in FIG. 3 and having four zones of magnetization reversely poled with respect to each other. The intermediate or coupling cylinder 22 is connected with the locking or latching element of the lock by means ofa follower, such as a locking lever similar to lever 3a I and 2). The inner surface of the coupling cylinder 22 is likewise formed with opposed recesses or chambers 22b, of the same cross-sectional outline as the recesses 23b, but having a depth such that only half of the tumblers 26 can be received therein. Anchor or holding elements 27 are located at the base of the recesses 23b of the inner cylinder 23. Again, the anchor element 27 contains ferromagnetic material, formed for example of steel or iron plate, wires, or wire mesh or other liners placed therein and either pressed, glued, adhered or cast into the inner cylinder. Further, the inner cylinder 23 may be made entirely of ferromagnetic material. A key, not seen in FIG. 3, is provided along its longitudinal direction and in its vertical height (with respect to FIG. 3) with permanent magnets (or provided with zones of magnetization when made of magnetic material), the magnetization matching the polarity of the tumblers but being oppositely poled with respect thereto.

The operation of the lock of FIG. 3 is simple. If no key is inserted, the tumblers 26 will adhere to the ferromagnetic zone, shown as liner 27 in FIG. 3, and will be retained in the adhered position. There is no coupling between the inner or locking cylinder 23 and the intermediate cylinder 22. Thus, locking cylinder 23 can spin freely and a locking bail attached to the intermediate cylinder 22 will not be operated. If a magnetically matching key is inserted into the keyhole 23a, mutually repelling poles of the key and of the tumblers will be located opposite each other. The key magnets will magnetize the anchor element 27 in the opposite direction, and the tumblers 26 will be repelled to be pressed in the recess where they will couple the inner cylinder 23 and the coupling cylinder 22 together. Turning of the key will then cause turning of the locking bail connected to the intermediate or coupling cylinder 22.

FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate a different embodiment, in which the coupling tumblers 26 are differently poled. The left tumbler 26a is provided with four zones of magnetization, whereas the right tumbler element 26b is provided with six adjacent zones of polarization. If a key 24a is inserted into the lock of FIG. 4, and provided with magnets only on its left side, only the magnets at the left side will be repelled and cause coupling of the inner cylinder and the intermediate cylinder 22. The right coupling tumblers 26b are not influenced and remain in the nonoperating position.

FIG. 5 illustrates insertion of a key in which the tumblers at the right side only are activated. Only magnets affecting the tumblers 26b are formed on the key 24c, these magnets, or zones of magnetization, being illustrated at 24d. Again, the tumblers will be pressed into coupling position similar to the arrangement of FIG. 4, and rotation of the key will turn the intermediate cylinder 22d and thus the lock can be operated. The left tumblers 26a remain in their nonconnecting position.

The lock in accordance with FIGS. 4 and 5 can thus be operated by two different keys. For example, locks can be made in which one side of the tumblers has coded zones of magnetization which are individual to individual keys, whereas the tumblers at the other side of the lock are all identical, to be operated all by one key, which then can serve as a master key for a group or set of locks.

Referring now to FIGS. 6-9, a housing is formed as a hollow cylindrical cap including therein a spring 121 against which an actuating member 122 bears, which is likewise in the form ofa hollow cylinder. Housing 120 can be secured in any manner well known in the art to a furniture door or drawer, an automobile door, or the like. The cylindrical element 122 is limited in its travel by a pin 123 inserted therein and traveling in a slot 124 formed in the housing 120. A generally cylindrical bolt 125 is located within the hollow bore of the actuating element 122. A notch 126 in element 122 and a matching projection 127 on the bolt I25 secures bolt and notch against relative rotation, similar to the arrangement of pin 123 slidable in slot 124.

The outer surface of the bolt 125 is formed with a recess 128, the bottom of which is provided with a holding or anchor plate 129 of ferromagnetic material. A corresponding recess 130, supplied with a ferromagnetic liner 129', is formed at the inner surface of the actuating member 122. A magnetic tumbler element 131, magnetized with zones of polarization, for example as shown in FIG. 6, is located in the recess 130, which is large enough to wholly accommodate the tumbler 131. Of course, the tumbler 131 may consist of more than one single element. Tumbler 131 is brought in its position shown in FIG. 6 by means of a key 132, which is transversely polarized as seen at 133, for example by separate magnets, corresponding to the magnetic element 131. As seen, the north and south poles, respectively, are located opposite each other, whereas the poles of the magnetic element are located next to each other. The key can be inserted into a key pocket, or key track 134, formed on the side of actuating element 122. As best seen in FIG. 9, actuating element 122 can be flattened off slightly, so that the key will fit flat against a key placement surface formed on element 122. Alternatively, the key may be rounded to match the outer circumference ofelement 122, or may be given different transverse shapes as desired.

Let it be assumed that bolt 125, as seen in FIG. 6, is in a locked or latched position, and held this position by external means not shown. In order to carry bolt 125 from its locked position, as seen in FIG. 6, actuating part 122 is pushed inwardly, as seen in FIG. 7. This compresses spring 121. If the key 132 is now reversed and placed in the keyslot as shown in FIG. 7, then the magnetic tumbler element 131 will be repelled. As clearly appears from FIG. 7, the polarity of the magnetic poles on the key and tumbler facing each other will be alike, and tumbler element 137 will be pushed into the position shown in FIG. 7, that is into the recess 128 of the bolt 125, which is not deep enough to wholly accommodate the tumbler element 131, thus coupling the bolt 125 and the ac tuating element 122 together. As soon as the press-to-operate actuating element 122 is released, spring 121 will expand and the tumblers will carry the bolt 125 along, to bring the lock into the position seen in FIG. 8. The lock is open.

The key can now be withdrawn, and even depressing the actuating element from the position shown in FIG. 8 will not permit locking because the tumbler elements 131 will remain adhered to the internal anchor plate 129.

To close the lock, the key is reversed and brought into the position shown in FIG. 6. This will cause attraction of tumbler element 131, bringing it wholly within the recess 130. Pushing the actuating element 122 then to the right'(FlG. 8) will move the bolt to the right, and the bolt can retain its position by external means not shown, permitting the actuating element to snap back into the position of FIG. 6. If it is desired to lock the locking arrangement of FIGS. 6-9, the key need only be inserted once and can be withdrawn immediately, the holding plate 129 ensuring adhesion of the magnets 131 within recess 130.

The lock of FIGS. 69 has an externally accessible key placement surface, and it will be noted that no keyslot in the conventional sense is needed. The retaining housing 134 is provided for convenience of placing the key, but not necessary. An arrangement in which a key can be placed flat against the end surface of a substantially cylindrical lock, rather than against a side surface, is illustrated in FIGS. 10-13.

A housing 40 (FIG. 10), which may again be secured to a door or other structure to be locked and schematically illustrated at 41, is surrounded by a turn knob 42. The cylindrical housing 40 has a central bore 43 which retains a motion-transmitting part or element 44, extending into the structure to be locked and there provided with a locking bail 45, which may be formed in any suitable manner as a latch-operating member or the like. The motion-transmitting element 44 is rotatable in the housing, but prevented from longitudinal movement therein by means known in the art and not specifically illustrated. At the end projecting towards the edge of the lock, the element 44 has an enlarged head 46, formed with a recess 47 (FIG. 12) in which magnetic tumbler elements, which may be single piece of material having zones of magnetization impressed thereon as seen in FIGS. 10 and 12 is located. The magnetic tumbler element 48 is movable in recess 47, which has at its inner end an adhering or anchor plate 49. The turn knob 42 is likewise formed with an internal recess 55, the inner end of which has a liner of ferromagnetic material 56 placed thereagainst. The outer side of knob 42, in the region immediately facing the recess, is formed with a key-receiving notch 50, into which a key 51 can be fitted. .Key 51 consists of merely a flat plate, having a handle member 52 and zones of magnetization impressed thereon, as seen in FIGS. 10-13. The handle member 52 fits within notches 53, 54, extending diametrically across the face of knob 42 (FIG. 11).

In the position illustrated in FIG. 10, the magnets of the key repel the tumbler magnets 48. The tumbler magnets 48 ap proximately match the shape of the magnets in the key, as seen in FIG. 11, that is they have a nonround (and preferably approximately rectangular) outline. Upon repulsion of the tumbler magnets 48, that is in the position shown in FIGS. 10 and 11, coupling between knob 42 and member 44 is effected, and rotation of knob 42 will cause rotation of element 44 and with it of latch-operating member 45. The key can be removed, and the lock can be continued to be operated, the tumbler 48 adhering to the ferromagnetic anchor plate 49.

If the key is reversed, so that the key handle 52 fits into notch 54, that is in the position of FIG. 13, the polarity of the key magnetization will be reversed, and tumbler element 48 attracted towards the outside of the knob 42, that is towards the key placement surface. This moves the tumbler element wholly within the recess in the knob 42, uncoupling the connection with the element 44 and thus latch operating ball 45. The tumbler elements 48 will retain the position shown in FIG. 12 due to their adhesion to the magnetic liner 56. The knob 42, now being uncoupled from element 44 will spin freely and the lock can no longer be operated, even after removal of the key from the lock structure.

FIGS. l4--16 illustrate a form of the invention which permits particularly simple operation of the lock. Housing 60, which again may be secured to a door, drawer, or other structure to be locked, by means well known by and in themselves, is formed as a cap surrounding an actuating element 61, likewise formed as a cap and inserted therein, but inverted with respect to housing 60. Actuating element 61 is both longitudinally slidable, as well as rotatable. The bottom 62 of housing 60 has a motion-transmitting element 63 located therein, which is rotatable in the housing and has the locking bail 64 connected thereto. In the interior of the housing, element 63 is formed with a flange 65, having axial grooves 66 therein to permit engagement with gripper or clutching claws 67, and are connected by means of coupling pins 68 with the free end 69 of actuating element 61.. A guide element 70, secured to the flange 65 of the actuating element 63, is formed with bores 70 through which the pins 68 can pass. A rotatable bolt 72 is journaled concentric with rotating element 63 within the guide element 71.

Bolt 72 is formed with a head 73 having a strong ring-type magnet 74 located therein. This ring-type magnet 74 is normally located against the inner side of the end 75 of the actuating member 61. A notch 77 is formed in the opposite side 76 of head 73, to match with a projection 78 extending from the inner surface of the actuating member 61 in a radial direction. A pair of helical springs 79, surrounding pins 78, press the actuating member 61 into the position illustrated in FIG. 15, in which position the coupling claws 67, secured to actuating element 61, are engaged with notches 66 of the operating element 63. When the central shaft 72 is in the position shown in FIG. 15, projection 78 matches with notch 77. Rotating actuating element 61 will cause rotation of locking bail 64 by transmission of motion both by coupling claws 67 with notches 66 and projection 78 in notch 77.

If the actuating member 61 is pressed to the right, with respect to FIG. 14, projection 78 will move beyond the head 73 of central shaft 72. Further, claws 67 will disengage from notches 66. Thus, connection between the actuating element 61 and the locking bail shaft 63 will be broken. Rotation of the actuating member 61 will then cause the head 73 to assume a position behind projection 78 (see FIG. 14), so that actuating member 61 cannot snap forward. Accidental change from this position is ensured, as seen in FIG. 16, by providing a pair of magnets 79, 80 on the head 73 and on the guide piece 71, respectively, to mutually attract each other and prevent relative rotation.

If it is desired to open the lock, a key 82 is placed within the central face, defined by a ridge 81. Key 82 is again provided with a strong ring magnet 83. if the zones of polarization of the ring magnet 83 match the zones of polarization of ring magnet 74, magnetic head 73 can be rotated, against the attractive force of magnets 79, 80 so that notch 77 can again match with projection 78 and coupling can be obtained by the actuating element 61 over the actuating claws 65 with the element 63. The lock can be operated. If it is desired to prevent operation, it is only necessary to push actuating element 61 to the right to cause an uncoupling. As soon as magnetic head 73 is freed from the restraint against rotation by notch 78, magnetic pins 79, 80 will rotate head 73 to a matching position, and engagement of the lock will be positively prevented by projection 78.

The embodiment of the invention as illustrated in FIGS. 14 and 16 can be varied in many respects. For example, coupling claws 65 and notches 66, as well as projection 78 and notch 77 may be omitted, so that the lock can be formed as a push-tooperate lock, coupling pins 68 then serving as locking bolts transmitting longitudinal locking motion.

Various embodiments of the lock according to the present invention have been illustrated. The magnetic lock of the invention can be changed in many respects to suit the requirements of eventual use and application. Thus, for example, the locks of FIGS. 1 and 2 may be provided with an additional outside housing, the outer cylinder 1 then taking the place of an intermediate, freely spinning cylinder similar to the embodiment illustrated in connection with FIGS. 3-5. By providing intermediate coupling elements, a longitudinally operating lock having an end surface key placement region can readily be designed.

The invention has been illustrated and described with respect to various embodiments of the rotatable and longitudinally slidable bolt type. Various structural changes and modifications, as determined by the requirements of particular applications or uses may be made without departing from the inventive concept.

We claim:

1. Magnetic lock for use with a key having zones of magnetization impressed thereon comprising tumbler means of magnetic material having their magnetization arranged in accordance with a code;

relatively movable elements located adjacent each other,

one of said elements being a key-receiving element and having a region adapted to have the key placed thereagainst, said elements being formed with complementary recesses in which said tumbler means are located, the total cross-sectional volume of said recesses being larger than that of said tumbler means to permit said tumbler means to move from a position wholly in the recess of one element to a coupling position interlocking said elements, said key-receiving element having a portion located intermediate the key placement region and said recess, said portion being at least adjacent said recess, of ferromagnetic material to provide for magnetic interaction with said tumbler means.

2. Lock according to claim 1, wherein said key-receiving element is of ferromagnetic material.

3. Lock according to claim 1 wherein said key-receiving element is of nonmagnetic material and a ferromagnetic liner is located in said recess of said element to magnetically interact with said tumbler means.

4. Lock according to claim 1 wherein one of said elements is a hollow cylinder having a central bore, and the other a cylindrical body fitting into said bore; and a pair of sets of complementary recesses are formed in said cylinders; and the coding of the magnetization of said tumbler means in each of said complementary recesses is different.

5. Lock according to claim 4 wherein the sizes of said complementary recesses, of said pair, are different, and the coding of magnetization of the tumbler means of one set of complementary recesses of any lock is different from any other lock; and the coding of magnetization of the tumbler means in the other set of complementary recesses of any lock is the same for a plurality of locks, whereby keys affecting the tumbler means of the other set will function as master keys.

6. Lock according to claim 1 wherein said lock is adapted to cooperate with a latch, one of said elements forming a coupling element connectable to said latch and movable between latched and unlatched terminal positions, and wherein said recesses are located in said one element to be complementary to the recess of the other element when said one element is in a terminal position.

7. Lock according to claim 1 wherein said lock is adapted to cooperate with a latch, one of said elements forming a coupling element connectable to said latch and movable between terminal unlatched and latched positions, wherein one of said elements is a cylindrical body, said other element is a covering surrounding said cylindrical body at least at an end region thereof;

and said complementary recesses are formed at the end face of the cylindrical body and in the interior of said surrounding body, respectively.

8. Lock according to claim 7 wherein said cylindrical body is rotatable; and said recesses have a substantially rectangular plan aspect.

9. Lock according to claim 7 wherein said key placement region is a flat face parallel to the end face of said covering surrounding cylindrical body.

10. Lock according to claim 9 including index means at the outer end face of said covering in the key-receiving region, and cooperating index means on said key.

M. Lock according to claim 1 wherein said lock is adapted to cooperate with a latch, one of said elements forming a coupling element connectable to said latch and movable between unlatched and latched terminal positions, and wherein a housing is provided; one of said elements is a cylindrical body, said other element is a covering surrounding said cylindrical body at least in an end region thereof;

and said complementary recesses are formed at a circumferential side of said cylindrical body, and said covering, respectively;

and said key placement region is formed on said coupling element along a side thereof.

12. Lock according to claim 11 wherein said body is slidable longitudinally of its axis in said housing; and said key-receiving region is located adjacent the side of said housing.

13. In a magnetic lock device, a first member, a second member movably mounted on the first member;

said members being of nonmagnetic material;

the first member having a hole therein and the second member having a socket therein in alignment with said hole, a permanently magnetized tumbler longitudinally slidable and fitted in said hole and socket, and positioned part in said hole and part in said socket, a film disc of magnetic material positioned fixed in said socket and facing the end of the tumbler which is in said socket;

said tumbler being capable of being entirely within said hole;

said tumbler in all of its positions, being attracted to said film disc, in combination with a key of nonmagnetic material having a permanently magnetized insert;

said disc being between said tumbler and said key, said key,

when placed in a position so that its magnetic insert is in alignment with said tumbler and acting to repel the tumbler so the tumbler is moved entirely within said hole in the first member, the second member will thereby be released for movement in relation to the first member;

the strength of the attraction of the tumbler to the film disc being such that, regardless of the line of direction of movement of the tumbler to leave the socket, it will be attracted by said disc film to maintain it entered into the socket when said socket and hole are in alignment and said key is away from said position;

the strength of said magnetic insert being such that regardless of the line of movement and direction of movement of the tumbler to leave the socket, said insert will -10. being accessible for the admission of the key therein.

15. A magnetic lock device as defined in claim 13, including means on said key and second member which come-into alignment upon placing said key so that its magnetic insert is in alignment with said tumbler, and upon such positioning of the key and when said tumbler is entirely Within said hole in the first member, the key can be manipulated to move the second member, in relation to the first member.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3797288 *Feb 8, 1973Mar 19, 1974Hallmann HMagnetically-operated locking and control device
US3855827 *Nov 9, 1973Dec 24, 1974Mrt Magnet Regeltechnik GmbhMagnetically-operated locking mechanisms
US4022038 *Feb 20, 1976May 10, 1977Engineering Systems CorporationMagnetically operated locking device and key
US4133194 *Dec 2, 1976Jan 9, 1979Bruce S. SedleyMagnetic key operated door lock
US4285220 *Nov 13, 1978Aug 25, 1981Tomomasa KajitaMagnetically operable lock
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US4317156 *May 30, 1979Feb 23, 1982Sachs-Systemtechnik GmbhLocking device
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Classifications
U.S. Classification70/276, 70/350, 70/218, 70/141, 70/493, 70/413, 70/181
International ClassificationE05B47/00
Cooperative ClassificationE05B47/0044
European ClassificationE05B47/00B7