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Title:
INTERACTION BETWEEN KEY COMBINATION ELEMENT AND LOCK COMBINATION ELEMENT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2008/111089
Kind Code:
A3
Abstract:
A lock including a cylinder lock housing, a plug disposed in the cylinder lock housing, arranged for rotation relative thereto along a shear line and having a keyway, a key including a generally elongate shaft portion having a surface formed with key cuts that define a key combination surface, wherein at least one key combination element is movably disposed in the elongate shaft portion, and a lock combination element disposed in the plug and including grabbing structure for grabbing the at least one key combination element.

Inventors:
MARKBREIT, Dani (180 Jerusalem Street, Azur, 58001, IL)
BEN-AHARON, Effi (10 Yitzhak Ben-Zvi Street, Hod HaSharon, 45373, IL)
Application Number:
IL2008/000448
Publication Date:
December 24, 2008
Filing Date:
March 30, 2008
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
MUL-T-LOCK TECHNOLOGIES LTD. (PO Box 637, Yavne, 81104, IL)
MARKBREIT, Dani (180 Jerusalem Street, Azur, 58001, IL)
BEN-AHARON, Effi (10 Yitzhak Ben-Zvi Street, Hod HaSharon, 45373, IL)
International Classes:
E05B19/00; E05B35/00
Foreign References:
FR2521201A11983-08-12
US5520035A1996-05-28
DE3424307A11985-01-03
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KLEIN, David (Beit HaRof'im, 18 Menuha VeNahala Street Room 27, Rehovot, 76209, IL)
Download PDF:
Claims:

CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A key device comprising: a generally elongate shaft portion comprising a surface for forming thereon key cuts that define a key combination surface; and at least one key combination element movably disposed in the elongate shaft portion and shaped as a bobbin comprising a cylindrical shaft with shoulders at ends thereof.

2. The key device according to claim 1, wherein said elongate shaft portion comprises interface structure that defines a gap for grabbing thereat said at least one key combination element.

3. The key device according to claim 2, wherein said interface structure comprises a first interface and a second interface formed in the elongate shaft portion that have different depths.

4. The key device according to claim 3, wherein said first interface comprises a longitudinal furrow formed along said elongate shaft portion and said second interface is flush with said elongate shaft portion.

5. The key device according to any of claims 1-4, wherein said elongate shaft portion has key cuts formed thereon.

6. A lock comprising: a cylinder lock housing; a plug disposed in the cylinder lock housing, arranged for rotation relative thereto along a shear line and having a keyway; a key comprising a generally elongate shaft portion having a surface formed with key cuts that define a key combination surface, wherein at least one key combination element is movably disposed in the elongate shaft portion; and a lock combination element disposed in the plug and comprising grabbing structure for grabbing said at least one key combination element.

7. The lock according to claim 6, wherein said lock combination element is adapted to move said at least one key combination element in an outward direction from the key to permit rotating said plug along the shear line.

8. The lock according to claim 6 or claim 7, wherein said lock combination element is adapted to move said at least one key combination element to protrude outside the key to permit rotating said plug along the shear line.

9. The lock according to any of claims 6-8, wherein said lock combination element comprises a multiple lock combination element that includes a first lock combination element and a second lock combination element, and wherein said at least one key combination element defines a relative displacement between said first and second lock combination elements.

10. The lock according to any of claims 6-9, wherein said lock combination element comprises a multiple lock combination element that includes a first lock combination element and a second lock combination element, and wherein said at least one key combination element contacts both said first and second lock combination elements when they are both at said shear line.

11. The lock according to any of claims 6-10, wherein said lock combination element comprises a multiple lock combination element that includes a first lock combination element and a second lock combination element, and wherein said at least one key combination element comprises a member that is received between portions of said first and second lock combination elements.

12. The lock according to any of claims 6-11, wherein a thickness of at least one of said grabbing structure and said at least one key combination element contributes to a key combination that permits rotating said plug along the shear line.

13. The lock according to any of claims 6-12, wherein said elongate shaft portion comprises interface structure that defines a gap for receiving therein said grabbing structure, wherein when said key is inserted and slid in said keyway, said grabbing structure moves into said gap to grab said at least one key combination element.

14. The lock according to claim 13, wherein said interface structure comprises two interfaces formed in said elongate shaft portion that have different depths, wherein as said interface structure passes over said lock combination element, said interfaces cause relative displacement between said at least one key combination element and said lock combination element.

15. The lock according to claim 13, wherein said lock combination element comprises a multiple lock combination element that includes a first lock combination element and a second lock combination element, and wherein said interface structure comprises two interfaces formed in said elongate shaft portion that have different depths, wherein as said interface structure passes over said multiple lock combination element, said interfaces cause relative displacement between said first and second lock combination elements.

Description:

INTERACTION BETWEEN KEY COMBINATION ELEMENT AND LOCK

COMBINATION ELEMENT FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to locking apparatus generally and more particularly to a key combination element movably disposed in a key blank or key that can interact with a lock pin assembly.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

As is well known in the art, cylinder locks generally include a plug (also called tumbler) arranged for rotation in a lock cylinder housing. Plug pins are slidingly disposed in the plug and are arranged to move against driver pins, which are disposed in bores formed in the cylinder housing and are spring biased toward the axis of the plug rotation. Insertion of a properly cut key in a keyway provided in the plug moves the plug pins against the driver pins and aligns all the pins along a shear line defined by the plug outer circumference, thereby permitting rotation of the plug to cause operation of a latch or locking mechanism.

Cylinders locks are also known that are equipped with a movable element (e.g., pin) disposed in the key blade. An auxiliary locking pin is spring-loaded in the cylinder housing. Upon insertion of the key in the keyway, the movable element aligns with the auxiliary locking pin and interacts therewith to align with the shear line and permit rotation of the plug. Even if a would-be thief were to pick the key-cut combination of the key, he still would not defeat the lock without additionally aligning the movable element with the auxiliary locking pin. The latter action is very difficult without an authorized key, and thus the lock provides high security. Such locks are described, for example, in US Patents 5520035, 5784910 and 5839308 to Eizen et al., assigned to the assignee of the present application. These patents describe a key blank that includes a generally elongate shaft portion defining a key combination surface adapted to have formed thereon key cuts which define a key combination. The key blank includes a movable pin element retained within the elongate shaft portion. The movable pin element may be displaced in a single direction, outwardly from the key combination surface.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention seeks to provide an improved key blank, key and lock, as is described more in detail hereinbelow.

There is thus provided in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention a lock including a cylinder lock housing, a plug disposed in the cylinder lock housing,

arranged for rotation relative thereto along a shear line and having a keyway, a key including a generally elongate shaft portion having a surface formed with key cuts that define a key combination surface, wherein at least one key combination element is movably disposed in the elongate shaft portion, and a lock combination element disposed in the plug and including grabbing structure for grabbing the at least one key combination element. The lock combination element may move the at least one key combination element outwards from the key to permit rotating the plug along the shear line.

Embodiments of the invention may include one or more of the following features. For example, when the grabbing structure grabs the at least one key combination element, a thickness of at least one of the grabbing structure and the at least one key combination element may contribute to a key combination that permits rotating the plug along the shear line.

The lock combination element may be a multiple lock combination element that includes a first lock combination element and a second lock combination element. The at least one key combination element may define a relative displacement between the first and second lock combination elements. The at least one key combination element may contact both the first and second lock combination elements when they are both at the shear line. The at least one key combination element may include a member that is received between portions of the first and second lock combination elements.

The elongate shaft portion may include interface structure that defines a gap for receiving therein the grabbing structure, wherein when the key is inserted and slid in the keyway, the grabbing structure moves into the gap to grab the at least one key combination element. In the case of a multiple lock combination element, the interface structure may include two interfaces formed in the elongate shaft portion that have different depths, wherein as the interface structure passes over the multiple lock combination element, the interfaces cause relative displacement between the first and second lock combination elements to create the gap.

A key blank and key for the lock are described below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will be understood and appreciated more fully from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the drawings in which:

Figs. IA and IB are simplified side sectional and top view illustrations, respectively, of a key blank with key cuts formed thereon to form a key, and including a key combination element movably disposed therein, constructed and operative in

accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, wherein the key combination element is adapted for interaction with a multiple lock combination element in a plug of a cylinder lock;

Fig. 1C is a more detailed illustration of the key combination element shown in Fig. IB, as indicated by the circle;

Fig. 2 is a simplified pictorial illustration of first and second lock combination elements of the multiple lock combination element, constructed and operative in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

Fig. 3 is a detailed sectional illustration of the first and second lock combination elements of the multiple lock combination element before insertion of the key into the keyway;

Figs. 4A and 4B are detailed sectional illustrations of the first and second lock combination elements of the multiple lock combination element during insertion of the key into the keyway, wherein in Fig. 4A the key pushes against both the first and second lock combination elements and in Fig. 4B the key pushes only against the first lock combination element but the second lock combination element is free to move in furrows formed in the key, thereby creating a gap between the first and second lock combination elements;

Fig. 5 is a detailed sectional illustration of the key combination element disposed between the first and second lock combination elements, wherein both the first and second lock combination elements are at the shear line; and

Figs. 6A, 6B and 6C are pictorial and two different sectional illustrations, respectively, of the cylinder lock with the key inserted in the keyway thereof, corresponding to the position of Fig. 5, showing the orientation of the key combination element when the lock combination elements of the cylinder lock are aligned along the shear line, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

Reference is now made to Figs. IA- 1C, which illustrate a key 10 for use with a cylinder lock 12, constructed and operative in accordance with a non-limiting embodiment of the present invention.

The key 10 is constructed from a key blank 11 with a generally elongate shaft portion 14 having a surface with key cuts 16 formed thereon that define a key combination surface 18, as is known in the art. The key cuts 16 are cut for interfacing any kind of lock pins, such as telescoping lock pins, as is well known in the art, but the

invention is not limited to such key cuts (e.g., the key cuts may be formed on the side edge of the key instead of one of the flat surfaces).

The key 10/key blank 11 (herein simply "key 10") may define a reversible key, with symmetric key combination surfaces 18. Alternatively, key 10 may have a single key combination surface 18 or different key combination surfaces.

One or more key combination elements 20 (one is shown in the non-limiting illustrated embodiment) are movably disposed in the elongate shaft portion 14. In one non-limiting construction, as seen best in Fig. 5, key combination element 20 is disposed in a bore 22 and is shaped like a bobbin for thread, including a cylindrical shaft with top and bottom shoulders 59. Key combination element 20 is floating, i.e., it is free to slide in bore 22. The shoulders 59 prevent key combination element 20 from falling out of bore 22, and as is described further below, serve as structure for being "grabbed". In one way of assembling, key combination element 20 is initially inserted in bore 22 without one of the shoulders. Afterwards, attaching (e.g., by fastening with a press-fit or with screw threads) or forming (e.g., by swaging, stamping or peening) the remaining shoulder to the body of element 20 traps the element 20 in bore 22.

Referring again to Fig. IA, cylinder lock 12 may include a cylinder lock housing 24 (partially shown by a dashed line, for simplicity) and a plug 26, which is arranged for rotation in housing 24 and has a keyway 28.

Cylinder lock 12 may comprise elements common in any conventional cylinder lock. Briefly, as is well known in the art, plug pins are slidingly disposed in plug 26 and arranged to move against driver pins, which are disposed in bores formed in the cylinder lock housing 24 and are spring biased, e.g., toward the axis of the plug rotation. Insertion of key 10 in keyway 28 moves the plug pins against the driver pins and aligns all the pins along a shear line defined by the plug outer circumference, thereby permitting rotation of the plug 26 to cause operation of a locking mechanism.

Reference is now made additionally to Figs. 2 and 3. A multiple lock combination element 30 is disposed in plug 26. The multiple lock combination element 30 may include a first lock combination element 32 and a second lock combination element 34. The first lock combination element 32 may include a planar portion 36 with a bore 38 formed therethrough. Ear lugs 40 may extend from planar portion 36 spaced from the top of bore 38. The ear lugs 40 serve as "grabbing structure" for "grabbing" key combination element 20 as is described hereinbelow. A shaft 42 may extend from planar portion 36 on the opposite side of ear lugs 40 and next to bore 38. The second lock combination element 34

may include a body portion 44 with a bore 46 formed therethrough. A shaft 48 may extend from body portion 44.

The combination of first and second lock combination elements 32 and 34 may form a telescopic lock element (a telescoping multiple lock combination element) which is disposed in a bore 50 formed in plug 26. Shaft 42 fits into bore 46 and shaft 48 fits into bore 38.

Reference is made to Fig. 1C and Figs. 4A and 4B. The elongate shaft portion 14 may include interface structure 52 next to key combination element 20, wherein when the key 10 is inserted and slid in the keyway 28, the interface structure 52 aligns with the multiple lock combination element 30 and causes relative motion between the first and second lock combination elements 32 and 34, as is now explained.

The interface structure 52 may include two interfaces 54 and 56 formed in the elongate shaft portion 14 that have different depths. For example, interfaces 54 may be a pair of longitudinal furrows formed on opposite sides of interface 56, which is a surface flush with the shaft portion 14. As the interface structure 52 passes over the multiple lock combination element 30, the interfaces 54 and 56 cause relative displacement between the first and second lock combination elements 32 and 34, such that a gap is created between the first and second lock combination elements 32 and 34 into which is received the grabbing structure 40. This may be best seen in Figs. 4A and 4B. In Fig. 4A, the elongate shaft portion 14 of key 10 presses against the grabbing structure 40, and in doing so, imparts a pressing force against both first and second lock combination elements 32 and 34. There is no gap between first and second lock combination elements 32 and 34. After the key 10 has been inserted further into keyway 28 to the position shown in Fig. 4B, interface 56 presses against shaft 48 of second lock combination element 34, while the grabbing structure 40 is free to go into the furrows of interfaces 54. This creates a gap 58 between first and second lock combination elements 32 and 34.

Reference is now made to Fig. 5 (and also to Figs. 6A-6C). After the key 10 has been inserted further into keyway 28 to the position shown in Fig. 5, the shoulder 59 of key combination element 20 is "grabbed" or received in the grabbing structure 40, that is, the shoulder 59 of key combination element 20 fits into the gap 58 (Fig. 4B). At this orientation, the shoulder 59 of key combination element 20 brings and maintains both first and second lock combination elements 32 and 34 at the shear line 60. The shoulder 59 is a member of element 20 that is received between portions of the first and second lock combination elements 32 and 34. Thus the thicknesses of shoulders 59 and of

grabbing structure 40 are part of defining the correct combination that brings the pins to the shear line. Key combination element 20 may contact both first and second lock combination elements 32 and 34 when they are both at the shear line 60. Key combination element 20 defines a relative displacement (gap 62 in Fig. 5) between first and second lock combination elements 32 and 34. However, it should be noted that the invention may be carried out without a multiple lock combination element, wherein the key combination element 20 interfaces with a single lock combination element.

The key combination element 20 is fundamentally different from prior art movable pin elements retained within the key blade. Key combination element 20 is "grabbed" out of the key blade, unlike the prior art pin elements which push against a spring-loaded element or in which the pin element is pushed by a spring-loaded element or in which the pin element itself is spring-loaded.

The scope of the present invention includes both combinations and subcombinations of the features described hereinabove as well as modifications and variations thereof which would occur to a person of skill in the art upon reading the foregoing description and which are not in the prior art.