The Working and Advantages of Magnetic Locks

Translated from German by Abha Vardhan (2019)

Magnetic locks are advanced security devices used by many people to keep their goods safe and secure. Also commonly referred to as the mag lock, they consist of an armature plate along with an electromagnetic plate.

How the Magnetic Lock Works:

A magnet is installed on the inside of the door opening in order to avoid any form of tampering with the lock. The armature plate is installed in the face of the door so that the magnetic system can work efficiently.

When the magnet comes into contact with the electrical source, it creates a powerful magnetic attraction due to the connection. This strong connection works to hold the magnet onto the plate tightly and lock the door securely.

There are two ways through which you can power your door lock. First, you can use a separate battery pack and second, you can use the electrical system of the building. You can also consider using the Direct Current (DC) power for your magnetic locks, which might need a converter unit.

The Application of the Electromagnetic Theory

The manufacturers employ the application of electromagnetism to create magnetic locks that are based on the fact that magnetic force is created when the current is permitted to flow through the wire. This strong magnetic force offers the required strength to keep the door locked when a certain amount of pressure is applied.

It is therefore not possible to open the lock cylinder without a matching key by means of "picking the lock". In addition, one cannot imitate the keys of magnetic locks without knowing the code, which additionally increases the security value.

For designing highly secure locks, manufacturers often make use of multiple wires wrapped around a ferromagnetic material that increases the production of the magnetic field and produces a huge magnetic force. This, in turn, enhances the potency of the magnetic force that is created during the procedure. These magnetic locks are comprised of electromagnets that pull a conductor with a huge force and avoid the door from unlocking.

Magnetic locks are available in several strengths on the market and their rates are based on the extent of pressure it can take before the door opens itself.

How to Operate Magnetic Locks

There are several advantages to installing magnetic locks for security issues. One of the important features of magnetic locks is that they cannot be easily tampered with, which in turn make them safer than standard locks. In addition, it does not require any key since it is linked with the electrical security system.

You will find that there are four simple techniques to operate magnetic locks, which are:

  • The system is linked with a buzzer and operated manually to discharge the locks when opening the door.
  • The system makes use of a keypad that needs numerical codes to trigger the locking mechanism.
  • It includes the utilization of card readers and this system is often used for buildings.
  • Magnetic locks can also be operated with the help of fingerprint scanners that offers entry to a building. There are many complex systems that include scanning body parts to unlock the door, such as facial features and eyes.

The magnetic lock has a built-in closed position detection sensor and an emergency opening function. It includes a powerful solenoid in both monostable and bi-stable versions. In the monostable version, the lock automatically locks the door as soon as the door hook is engaged by the locking pin.

To unlock the door, the lock is briefly energized. In the bi-stable version, however, the magnetic lock for locking and unlocking must be energized for a short time at all times.

The Fail-Safe and Fail-Secure Magnetic Locks

Magnetic locks are used for better security and are usually fixed on the door frame with an armature plate fixed to the door. They are available in fail-secure and fail-safe types.

  • The fail-secure magnetic locks are those that stay locked even when the power is switched off.
  • The fail-safe magnetic locks are those that get unlocked when the power is not connected.

Most magnetic locks are activated by a flowing current in the electromagnet that increases the magnetic flux. This flux allows the armature plate to pull the electromagnet and thus, locks the door. The magnetic flux creates a strong force that keeps the door locked after you apply pressure.

Fail-safe magnetic locks are not a good choice for places that don’t call for high security as they easily get unlocked when the power is disconnected. For the locks to work better without failing, there must be a backup battery so that the power remains on always.

You will find magnetic locks in exit doors since they work quite well during an emergency. These are powerful locks, yet they are available in an affordable range compared to several other traditional locks; therefore, they are used by many.

The best thing is that these locks don’t require doorknobs and levers as they’re activated by a simple switch that locks and unlocks the door. These locks are extensively installed in businesses and offices since you can depend on them during emergencies such as fires.

What are the Advantages of Magnetic Locks?

Magnetic locks are in high demand these days because of their unique mechanism and affordability compared to several similar lock systems.  They are low weight with compact design and consume little energy. In addition, they follow a simple control mechanism and works for a long time.

Some of the advantages of magnetic locks are listed below:

  • Fast to Operate: These locks are operated quickly as they only require an on and off button. This is why they are highly effective in organizations and offices with high traffic.
  • Durable: Standard locks easily get subjected to lots of wear and tear with time. However, the simple yet powerful mechanism of magnetic locks makes them more durable and efficient. You can expect them to last the lifetime of the door. The interesting thing is that they have no moving parts.
  • Simple to Install: The magnetic locks do not come with interconnecting parts, which make them extremely easy to install.
  • Strong: These locks don’t incur damages even if someone tries to pick them forcefully with a crowbar.
  • Safety: Magnetic locks are generally set up as fail-open, which signifies that when the power is disconnected, they get unlocked automatically. This system can work great when someone is trapped in a building in the event of a fire. Magnetic locks often save valuable time in helping people to escape a building as it avoids unlocking multiple doors.

One important advantage of magnetic locks is that they operate silently. The magnetic lock works on DC power and you only hear a soft click when you unlock the magnetic lock. The silent magnetic locks are great for use in homes.

These are some of the effective benefits of using magnetic locks; however, it is imperative to know that they need a regular supply of power in order to work efficiently. In the case of a power failure, the lock will de-energize and disable security.

Where are Magnetic Locks Used?

Magnetic Locks are suitable for a variety of different locking applications, such as:

  • Door locking technology and access control, such as fittings or turnstiles
  • In the aviation sectors, such as luggage flaps, galleys, or oxygenation
  • Medical and analytical fields, such as centrifuges and disinfection equipment
  • Devices and industrial equipment such as steamers, ovens, autoclaves or washing machines

Magnetic Locks are Secure

Locks with a magnetic code meet the highest safety requirements and are therefore used in highly secure locking systems. The high-security value of the magnetic locks is based not only on the magnetic code but also on the special conditions for the production of a secondary key. A duplicate can only be made if the magnetic lock code is known.

Since the rotors are not accessible from the outside with a magnetic lock, they cannot be manipulated and unlocked with other tools. Magnetic locks, therefore, have almost 100% security against decryption.

Enjoy Convenience and Security with Magnetic Locks

The magnetic lock is a cost-effective solution and offers high clamping forces in a compact size. It is suitable as a standard solution for all your security needs. They can tolerate more than 850 lbs. of force, thus providing you efficient security at all times. With this functional and highly reliable solution, you may rest assured that your goods remain safe at all times.

It is worth noting that magnetic locks should be properly installed to avoid any risk and to make sure that they are not prone to fire. Even though you can install magnetic locks safely at home, it is always recommended that you get in touch with expert locksmiths who are well aware of the installation procedure and the safety codes that one must follow when installing magnetic locks.

Sources:

  • kuhnke.kendrion.com
  • securityszene.de