US 3748881 A
A key ejector lock including a spring loaded coaxially disposed bar member extending into the key way of the lock so as to maintain a constant ejecting bias force on a key and all angular positions of said lock. The ejector mechanism is suited for use in a non-thermal conducting device for locking refrigerator devices where safety factors require ejection of keys to avoid shoulder tampering with such devices.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1 51 Jul 31, 1973 Elted States Patent 1191 Erickson 3,425,248 2/l969 vo sssx 3,465,557 9/1969 70 139 KEY EJECTOR LOCK  Inventor: Lloyd A. Erickson, Niles, Ill.
 Assignee: Illinois Tool Works Inc., Chicago, Ill. Primary Examiner-Robert L. Wolfe Jan. 4, 1972 App]. No.: 215,328
[ Pied Attorney-Robert W. Beart, Jack R. Halvorsen et a].
 ABSTRACT A key ejector lock including a spring loaded coaxially disposed bar member extending into the key way of the lock so as to maintain a constant ejecting bias force on a key and all angular positions of said lock. The ejector mechanism is suited for use in a non-thermal conduct- 80 7 80 8 3 1 I739 01 7 3 5 7 1 82 89 32 W; m 0 mu 7 "m WMMO ".oo Umm mmmg N n- "H.3 n I "0 uhu c .r. Na e "us L 0 r d Std I I UmF 11]] 2 00 555 [ill ing device for locking refrigerator devices where safety References Cited factors require ejection of keys to avoid shoulder tam- UNITED STATES PATENTS pering with such devices.
3,661,000 70/388 6 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTED 3,748,881
SHEET 1 BF 2 KEY EJECTOR LOCK BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In recent years a great promotional drive was carried out to improve the accessibility to the interior of refrigerators and freezers as a result of many deaths of small children who were captured within abandoned devices and due to their inability to escape, died of suffocation. Certain policing organizations of the public safety have made it mandatory that all refrigerators be capable of being opened from the interior by a minimum amount of force. In the case of deep freeze units were large quantities of expensive frozen foods may be stored, such devices have been equipped with locks. Recently, it has become mandatory that such locks be equipped with a key ejection mechanism so that the action of locking a freezer unit must be a willful act and not be capable of being carried out by happenstance of accident.
The differential in temperature between the interior and exterior of a refrigerated device results generally in a thermal conduction through a lock mechanism is removed from the lock mechanism by the refrigerated or frozen interior thereby lowering the mechanism and forming a condensing surface on which the moisture in the surrounding air can collect and in many instances freeze, thereby rendering the locking mechanism inoperative. An earlier attempt to overcome such a problem can be found in the solution offered in the patent issued to Francis E. Ryder, US. Pat. No. 3,465,557, in which he proposes theuse of a plastic body member for mounting a rotatable plastic latch, whereby the absence of thermal conductivity eliminates part of the problems of condensation and freezing of moisture on the exterior surface of a locking mechanism.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a non-thermal conducting locking device made of substantially all plastic materials, with the exception of the wafer tumblers, springs, and actuating key member, plus the addition of a key ejecting mechanism which constantly produces an ejecting biasing force against the extremity of the key. A spring loaded coaxially disposed rigid bar member extends into the key way of the lock and occupies a position which must be moved in order to permit the key to actuate the lock. The mechanism is so arranged that the key will be ejected from the lock at all angular positions between and including the lock and unlocked positions. The bar member is preferably a lubricious plastic material which is compatable with the latch in which it is mounted so that it will be operable at all temperatures of the environment in which it is found.
Thus, it is a basic object of this invention to provide a final safe key ejector which is operable at all times.
A further object is to provide a locking device, incorporating such an ejecting mechanism which can be readily manufactured in an economical manner from non-thennal transmitting materials and which is readily mountable in the workpiece.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a locking is to provide a locking mechanism which is capable of accepting a multiplicity of latch means adapted to be accepted by various structural designs in the devices where they are used.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a prospective view in partial section of a freezer chest showing an embodiment of the present invention, partially in phantom, in its mounted environment;
FIG. 2 is an exploded view in perspective of the various components making up the preferred embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view in partial section, taken along line 33 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a plan view in section showing a key member in its inserted position and operating the ejector;
FIG. 5 is a plan view in section identical to FIG. 4 except that the key has been removed; and
FIG. 6 is an elevational view in section of the device shown in FIG. 5 located about its axis.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring now to the drawings wherein similar reference numerals are used to designate similar parts, a key ejecting lock mechanism 10 of the type contemplated by the present invention includes a body member 12, a plug means or barrel 14, a latch or bolt 16, an ejecting mechanism 18 and a suitable key operating means 20.
The body member 12 serves as the mounting means for the lock mechanism. It includes a tubular main portion 30 having a hollow bore 32 passing throughout the entire length of the body with a laterally extending flange or face piece 34 and at the opposite end is reduced in thickness at 36. The reduced portion 36 includes one or more axially extending slots 38 to make the thin portion 36 resiliently expandable. The interior of the resilient portion 36 has a radially thickened extremity forming a shoulder 40 for purposes which will be set forth hereinafter. One or more of the side of the main body portion 30 may be provided with a flat 42 or other suitable non-circular means for preventing rotation within a complimentary apertured workpiece. The main body portion 30, in this embodiment, has one or more engaging or slot means 44 adapted to accept a retaining spring clip 46 to capture the body portion relative to the workpiece, with the flange 34 engaging the front of the workpiece and the clip 46 engaging the reserse side. If desired, a bezel 48 can be added to the outer surface of the flange 44 for decorative purposes. It will be appreciated that the number of slots 44 for acceptance of the retaining clip 46 is generally dependent upon the multiplicity of panel thicknesses within which a particular block member is expected to operate as well as accommodating normal manufacturing tolerances through the spring take up of the retaining clip 46.
The interior of body portion 30 and particularly bore 32 adjacent the end tearing flange 34 is provided with two or more axially extending slots or grooves 50, 52, 54 and 56 which are angularly spaced relative to one another, for purposes best set forth hereinafter.
The plug means or barrel 14 is a one piece elongated member having a generally cylindrical main portion 60 adapted to be accepted within the bore 32 of body 12 and in this embodiment a non-circular extension 62 projecting from one end thereof. The main cylinder portion 60 is provided with an interior chamber 64 which opens laterally through one side of the cylinder 60 and extends axially throughout its length. At the free extremity thereof it is provided with a pair of upstanding walls 66 each of which have one or more chordally disposed slot means 68. One or more wafer like tumblers 70 having laterally extending tangs 72 are adapted to be positioned within the chamber 64 and having their opposite free extremities extending through slots 68. A cavity within the chamber 64 is provided to accommodate actuating springs 74 which maintain the wafer tumbler 70 is a predetermined position by acting against the tangs 72 and the side wall of the cavity in the chamber 64. On the side opposite to the tangs 72 each of the wafers has a lug 76 for purposes best set forth hereinafter. A central elongated aperture 78 traverses each of the wafer tumblers. The cylinder 60 includes a pair of oppositely disposed slot means 80 which terminate in an axially disposed shoulder 82. To complete the assembly of the lock mechanism a cover means 84 is provided with a cover plate 86 having a centrally disposed key hole slot 88 disposed therein, a laterally positioned axially extending element 90 having an exterior radius of curvature generally complimentary to that of the cylinder 60. At the end of element 90, opposite the cover plate 86, are a pair of spring retainer arms 92 adapted to be complimentarily accepted within the transverse slot 80 and provided on the interior thereof with shoulder means 94 adapted to cooperate with the shoulder means 82. After the wafer tumbler 70 and their associated spring 74 are slid into mounted position within the chamber 64 the cover means 84 is snap assembled into covering relationship and thereby retained the wafers in mounted operative position. The aperture 78 in the chamber form with the slot 88 the key way for acceptance of the actuating extremity of the key 20, as further explained hereinafter.
The opposite end of the cylinder 60 adjacent to the non-circular extension 62 is provided with a circumferential groove 100 and a tapered cam surface 102 lead ing into the groove 100, for purposes best set forth hereinafter. Along one side of cylinder 60 and extending into the non-circular extension 62 there is disposed an axially extending slot or guide way 104 which communicates with the chamber 64. The key ejecting mechanism 18 includes a first rigid bar portion 110 adapted to be coaxially disposed within the chamber 64, a second offset portion 112 adapted to be complimentally accepted in sliding relationship to the slot 104 and and intermediate portion 114 which interconnects the main portion 110 with the offset portion 112. A cylindrical protuberance 116 is positioned on the backside of the intermediate portion 114 and is adapted to accept and locate one end of the actuating spring 118. The main portion 110 is telescoped within the aperture 78 of the wafer switches while the free end of the spring 1 18 abuts against wall 65 of the chamber 64. Thus, the offset portion 1 12 sliding in the groove or slot 104 provides the basis for retention of the main portion 110 in cantilever fashion from the intermediate portion 114 into its resiliently urged position within the key way. As can be best seen in FIGS. 4 through 6 a sealing O-ring 120 encircles the main portion 110 at its juncture with the intermediate portion 114, for purposes set forth hereinafter.
The non-circular extension 62 may take any desired configuration, in this embodiment it is generally rectangular in shape. At the free extremity of portion 62 there are provided fastening means which in the present instance are a pair of shouldered resilient legs 130 abrupt shoulders or stop means 132 positioned in spaced relation from their canned ends which facilitate entry into an aperture. The latch or bolt 16 may assume any desired configuration to cooperate with a particular strike. In the present embodiment the latch 16 includes a hub 140 having a through bore 142 which is complimentary in configuration to the non-circular portion 62 of the latch mechanism. In this embodiment the bore also includes a pair of opposite disposed slot means 143 which assist in the feeding end of the resilient retaining legs 130. As will be recognized the latch hub 140 can be positioned in the direction shown in FIGS. 1 through 3 or it can be rotated 180 to accommodate the positioning of the barrel 14 in either direction for purposes of locating the latch relative to a strike. To this end a secondary rectangular slot 144 is provided in cruciform relationship to slot 142 to accommodate the offset portion 112 as it slides in the slot 104, regardless of the position of the hub 140 relative to the non-circular portion 62. Extending laterally from hub 140 is a lug or latch 146 which includes a laterally extending tang 148 for locking engagement with a suitable strike.
As has been previously indicated it is preferable that the mounting body 12, the plug mechanism or barrel 14, the latch or dot 16, the ejecting mechanism 18 and the cover means 84 are preferably fabricated of a lubricious plastic material to reduce the thermal conductivity of the lug mechanism. To assemble the various piece parts after the wafers and their associated springs 74 are positioned within the slots 68. The ejecting mechanism l8, and particularly the main portion is fed into the aperture 78 and the device moves laterally with the spring being positioned against end wall 65 of the "chamber 64 and the offset portion 112 disposed within the slot 104. The cover means 84 is then latched into position and the entire barrel sub-assembly is telescoped within the mounting body means 12 by the introduction of the non-circular end 62 into the bore adjacent the flange 34. The device is moved until the shoulders 40 rise up over the cam surface 102 to dispose the shoulders 40 and the adjacent thickened portion of the end portion 36 within the slot 100. If the bezel 48 is desired to be used it may be positioned against the flange 34 prior to the telescoping of the latch mechanism 14. As can be seen in FIGS. 4 through 6 the bezel is provided with an inwardly directed flange arrangement 49 and located in a counterbore 35 within the flange 34 so that the cover plate 86 serves as a retention means for the bezel 48 and is mounted flush with the outer surface of the flange 34.
The sub-assembly of the body means or housing 12 and plug means or barrel 14 are telescoped within a complimentary mating aperture in a workpiece 162 such as the lid or door of a freezer chest. The retaining spring 46 is then laterally slid into engagement with one of the slots 44 to securely mount the device with the flange and key slot 88 exposed on the outer surface. A suitable complimentary latch or lug 16 is axially telescoped over the complimentary circular portion 62 until the shoulders 1232 fall behind the free extremity of hub 140 as defined by the end face 141. As can be seen in FIG. 3 a suitable strike means is positioned on the body 172 of the workpiece and is adapted to accept the tang 148, shown in phantom, in the locked position.
As best seen in FIG. 6, the wafer tumblers 70 are urged by their spring means 74 to extend laterally into locking engagement with the slots 54 and 56. In the present embodiment two wafer tumblers 70 are illustrated although it has been found that one is sufficient since the major purpose of such a lock is merely to prevent youngsters from leaving a freezer unit open and thereby destroying the efficacy of the unit for its intended function. Any number of tumblers can be provided if the security level desired is elevated. The introduction of the key into the key way through slot 88 will move the tumblers 70 into an aligned position with the bore 32 and permit rotation of the latch mechanism or barrel 14 within the housing 12. Since the body member or housing 12 is fixed relative to the workpiece by means of the non-circular portion 42 the latch or dog 146 will be rotated to engage the tang 148 with the strike 170. As can be seen in FIGS. 5 and 6 the main portion 110 of the ejector mechanism 18 passes through the aperture 78 in the wafer tumblers 70 and blocks the key 20 way. Introduction of the key 20 as shown in FIG. 4 results in a compression of the spring 118 as the main portion 110 is moved axially by the key. Axial movement of the ejector mechanism to the left, as viewed in FIG. 4, moves the offset portion 112 within the slot 104 into a position within the slots 144 of hub 140 which slidingly accommodates same therein. The main portion 110 maintains a constant force against the key so that it will be ejected in any position of angular rotation assumed by the barrel 14. The cross-sectional area of the main portion 110 is substantially smaller than the included area of aperture 78 in wafer 70 so that the movement of the wafer tumbler 70 by the key will not affect the ejecting action under the motive power of spring 118.
To further insure the elimination of thermal conductive transfer by the mechanism the cover means 84 is provided with a protuberance 95 at its free end adjacent the legs 92. This protuberance 95 forms the partial blocking of the lateral opening chamber 64 and in conjunction with a counterbore shoulder 121 in chamber 64 serves as a closure against which the O-ring seal 120 can seat to prevent the ingress of cold air from the freezer compartment into that portion of chamber 64 occuppied by the wafer tumblers 70. The cover means 84 also includes an internal recess 96, as seen in FIG. 5, adapted to accept the lugs 76 of the wafer tumbler to assist in their rotation and stabilized operation.
As has been previously stated the choice of latch or dog 16 to be utilized in this assembly is generally a matter of design choice to fit the specific environmental configuration in which it is located. While one method of fast assembly, i.e., the snap legs 130, has been illustrated as a means for assembling the latch to the barrel, it will be recognized that other forms can be utilized such as a screw and washer axially inserted into the barrel or alternatively suitable clip means, not shown. The specific configuration of the cover 162 and the box 172 are merely illustrations of an environment in which the mechanism can be utilized. Similarly, while the use of non-thermal lubricious materials have been indicated for use with this embodiment, it must be recognized that thermally conductive metals or other materials could be equally satisfactorily used with a key ejecting mechanism of the proposed type where the temperature differential between the interior and exterior of the block environment does not present the problems which have been contemplated by this inventor.
l. A lock adapted to be mounted in an apertured workpiece comprising first body means having a bore therethrough and plug means rotatably mounted in said bore, said plug means including an axial shank member and a latch member extending laterally of the free extremity of said shank member, said body means including a first means for engaging said workpiece, a hollow shank member extending axially from said engaging means for insertion through the workpiece aperture, second means carried by said shank for engaging the workpiece oppositely from said first means and cooperating therewith in securing said body means with respect to the workpiece, said plug means including chamber means within said axial shank member, an axially extending slot communicating with said chamber, shiftable elements positioned within portions of said chamber and shiftable in response to engagement by a key for releasably engaging said body means and locking said plug means against rotation relative thereto, said slot means being disposed axially in the outer surface and for a substantial extent of said shank portion of said plug means and rotatable therewith, ejecting means capable of constantly traversing said shiftable elements and reacting against introduction of said key to maintain an ejecting force against said key in all positions of both said shiftable elements and said plug means, said ejecting means comprising an elongated lubricious rigid first portion disposed in said slot and retained therein within the bore of said encircling body means, a second portion parallel to but offset from said first portion and connected thereto by an intermediate stepped portion, said second portion traversing said chamber and nonnally occupying a position within central apertures of one or more wafer tumblers which form said shiftable means, resilient means comprising a spring disposed within said chamber and acting on said intermediate portion to urge said rigid second portion into a normal position within said wafer apertures, said slot means further extending axially beyond the terminal end of said chamber to thereby maintain said first rigid portion in a readily movable arrangement without binding or cocking when moved axially by the introduction of a key against said second portion within said wafers, the ejecting pressure against the key being constant throughout the angular rotation of the plug means and whether in the locked, unlocked, or any intermediate position.
2. A key ejector lock including a first body means having a bore therethrough and plug means rotatably mounted in axial fixed relation within said bore and having a key-way adapted to slidingly receive a key, bar means coaxially positioned within said plug means and extending within said key-way to oppose the introduction of said key, spring means urging said bar into its extended position within said key-way to provide a constant ejecting force on said key at all angular positions of said plug means, said plug means including a central chamber and a laterally axially extending open slot parallel but spaced from the axis of said plug and communicating with said chamber, said bar including an elongated first portion of substantial extent axially disposed in said key-way within said chamber, an offset but parallel elongated second portion having substantial extent and extending in the opposite direction from 7 said first portion and slidingly accepted within said slot and an intermediate portion interconnecting said first and second portions adjacent their respective ends,
spring means housed at one extremity of said chamber, and acting on said intermediate portion, said chamber having transverse pockets at one end thereof opening to one side of said plug means and adapted to accept one or more spring urged elongated wafer tumbler means and associated spring means with said wafers extending beyond at least one adjacent side of said plug means, each of said wafers including an elongated cen tral aperture having end bearing surfaces adapted to accept and be acted on by said key, externally chordally disposed slot means terminating in abrupt shoulders, a cover means forming a retainer for said wafer tumbler means and serving as an enclosure for said one side of said plug means adjacent said chamber, a cover plate extending substantially perpendicularly to one side from one end of said cover means and including a keyhole, shouldered leg means extending laterally in the same direction as said cover plate from adjacent the opposite end of said cover means and adapted to be accepted and retained within said chordally disposed slot means.
3. A lock of the type set forth in claim 1 wherein said axial shank member includes a non-circular portion adjacent its free end, said latch member having a complimentary aperture adapted to telescopically accept said non-circular portion, and means for removably retaining said latch member and shank member in associated relationship.
4. A lock of the type set forth in claim 3 wherein said retaining means includes integral resilient shouldered finger means extending from said non-circular portion, said finger means adapted to flex during telescopic association with said latch member and to snap outwardly when the shoulders have passed through the aperture and engage the backside of said latch means to removably nomrotatably assemble same to said shank memher.
5. A lock of the type set forth in claim 2 wherein said body means, said rotatable plug and said bar are fabricated of lubricious low-heat conductive plastic materi als.
6. A lock of the type set forth in claim 2 wherein said plug means further includes circumferentially disposed slot means axially spaced from said chordal slot means, said body means including a radially extending flange at one end for contacting an apertured workpiece in which it is mounted, said bore at said one end being countcrbored to form an internal stop means and adapted to accept said cover plate in flush relation with said flange, said body means being provided with shoulder means resiliently biased at the opposite end to said one end and adapted to be complimentarily accepted to said circumferentially disposed slot means whereby said plug means upon telescopic association with said body means is axially captured but rotatably mounted therein, and means for engaging the workpiece in 0pposition to said flange for securing said body means relative to said workpiece.