When it comes to electric locks, magnetic locks, also called electromagnetic lock, EM lock, maglock, magnet lock, electric magnetic lock, electromagnetic lock, electronic magnetic lock, magnetic gate lock, and the like, is the important part that you can’t overlook.
Thanks to their low consumption, compatibility with access control systems, feedback signal output, low cost, noiseless operation, and combing feature for fire resistance and security, electromagnetic locks are widely applied to schools, hospitals, subways, communities, public buildings, businesses premises, shopping malls, offices and so on. The market demand for magnetic gate locks is so tremendous that they are popular for decades now.
How does a magnetic gate lock work?
Electromagnetic locks can be described in many ways. Theoretically, the briefest way to clarify what they are should be “locks requiring electric power to generate the electromagnetic field to lock the door”.
In practice, an electromagnetic lock acquires power from the power supply and generates the electromagnetic field through the wire coil. The holding force coming from the electromagnetic field sucks the armature plate to the maglock body and thus keeps the door closed. When the power is cut, the electromagnetic field disappears so there’s no force to hold the electromagnetic lock, and then it releases the door.
Constitution of an electromagnetic lock:
A magnetic door lock kit usually includes the lock body, armature plate, screw pack, and bracket (optional for use). Among these components, the lock body is the critical part of a maglock. Normally the magnetic lock body consists of the lock housing, laminated steel, wire coil, injected glue, and PCBA (some models have it while others do not).
With developments over decades, form multiple electronic types of magnetic locks.
As far as materials are concerned, electromagnetic locks can be classified as:
• Aluminum alloy and stainless steel magnetic locks
Generally, electromagnetic lock housing is made of aluminum alloy or stainless steel. Aluminum alloy housing has good value for money thanks to its widely-accepted strength and relatively lower cost, which makes it the leading model on market. Compared with aluminum alloy housing, stainless steel housing has even higher resistance against break and fire thus it’s more welcomed in the high-end market. To meet different market demands, TOPLOCK produces electromagnetic locks with both aluminum alloy and stainless steel.
• Copper wire, copper-clad aluminum wire, and aluminum wire magnetic locks
Wire coil plays an important role in the holding force of the magnetic gate lock. Wire coils can be pure copper wire, copper-clad aluminum wire, and aluminum wire, the electric resistivity of which increases sequentially. Accordingly, for these three types of wires, the electroconductibility decreases, power consumption rises, and the prices of which increase in the same sequence too.
To provide the best current to generate enough electromagnetic forces for electric magnetic locks, the copper wire should be the optimal option, however, the price is the highest among the three types. This wire is especially suitable for environments where high-temperature resistance is strictly required or high functionality is valued.
Aimed at the balance between performance and money, the copper-clad aluminum wire should be taken into account. It’s cheaper than copper wire because the wire core is aluminum. It’s easier and more convenient to maintain than aluminum wire because it has copper wrapping to protect against corrosion and temperature change.
Of the three, aluminum wire is the cheapest, but it has many disadvantages like high power consumption, inclined to overheat, easy to erode, more repair or replacement risks, etc. When you choose the magnetic gate lock, it’s advised to pay more attention to these potential issues that may even cost more money than a relatively expensive maglock but with good quality.
With the above being said, TOPLOCK ensures the lock-holding force of magnetic door locks by adopting the copper-clad aluminum wire or copper wire, without consideration of the aluminum wires.
In terms of installation, magnetic gate locks are divided into:
• Surface electromagnetic lock
Surface mounting for a magnet lock refers to installing the magnetic lock directly on the wall/doorframe or door leaf without hollowing a hole to embed the lock body. This way is extensively liked all over the world because it saves installation time and cost without hurting the wall or the door. The disadvantage is that the maglock is exposed and easy to becomes the tampering target.
• Hidden magnetic lock
Magnetic hidden lock means an electromagnetic lock body embedded into the wall or door frame. In this way, you need to hollow before installing the hidden magnetic lock. It would somewhat damage the wall or door frame, but the hidden magnetic lock can be prevented water and tampering.
Regarding the magnetic lock installation, some people like to assemble the lock body on the door frame or wall and attach the armature plate on the door leaf, while others want to do it in the opposite way.
For surface-mounted EM locks, if the wall， the door frame, and the door leaf have no suitable condition for installation, you need to use some auxiliary brackets to achieve it.
TOPLOCK offers a couple of electronic magnetic lock brackets, such as L-shape brackets, Z-shape brackets, U-shape brackets, and Z&L bracket kits to suit magnetic door locks under different circumstances.
L-shape Bracket: used to install the electromagnetic lock body underneath the door frame, making the lock body flush with the door leaf where the armature is mounted. This is suitable for out-swing doors. Or L Bracket can also assist the maglock body fixed on the wall above the door when there’s no door frame. In this case, the armature plate should be mounted on top of the door leaf by a Z bracket. This way suits the in-swing doors.
Z-shape Bracket: as mentioned above to be combined used with an L-shape bracket to set a magnetic door lock kit for the frameless door.
U-shape Bracket: used for the armature plate of the magnetic lock for the glass door. It helps the armature plate fixed on the lower frameless glass door. If the electromagnetic lock is installed indoor side, this only fits for the out-swing door, while the electric magnetic lock is installed outdoor side, which only fits for the in-swing door.
(Magnetic Lock Installation Diagram)
TOPLOCK also accepts customization for unique brackets to accommodate rare situations.
The magnetic door lock is normally used horizontally for metal doors, wooden doors, glass doors, or PVC doors. However, if you want the vertical mounting, a magnetic lock for the sliding door can be fulfilled too. Installation ways are the same as above mentioned.
With regard to the holding force, magnetic gate locks fall into various models:
Single-door electromagnetic lock:
The following holding force models are designed for single doors.
• 130lbs magnetic lock: suitable for cabinet or closet doors;
• 350lbs, 600lbs,700lbs electro magnetic locks: generally applied to interior doors; enough for normal security requirements so they are the most popular models for most markets.
• 800lbs, 1100lbs, 1200lbs electric magnetic locks: these models belong to heavy-duty locks, usually used when you have strict security requirements.
Double-door electro magnetic lock:
For double-leaf doors, magnetic door locks are doubled to produce double holding strength, like:
• 700lbs double magnetic gate lock
• 1200lbs double magnetic door lock
• 1400lbs double electromagnetic lock
• 2200lbs double electric magnetic lock
• 2400lbs double maglock
You can choose the magnetic lock by holding the force that you want. Generally speaking, the higher the holding force, the higher security, but also the higher the price.
TOPLOCK has manufactured both single-door and double-door electromagnetic locks for over 17 years, covering the major holding force range on market. With dedication and concentration on the main popular models, TOPLOCK EM locks meet almost all the market demands worldwide. Apart from these standard models, TOPLOCK also welcomes customization to satisfy special requirements, for instance, interchangeability with existing models, or unique size or holding force that is not sold on the market yet.
Besides multiple holding forces, the magnetic door lock can also supply functional options. Concerning functions, the electromagnetic lock includes the following types:
• Signal-output magnetic lock:
There are usually two types of signal outputs, created by DSS (Door Status Senor) and LSS (Lock Status Sensor).
DSS feedback requires an additional magnet embedded inside the armature plate or inserted into its edge, meanwhile, a reed switch is assembled inside the lock body, which the ordinary electromagnetic lock usually doesn’t have. When such lock body and armature plate stick to each other, the magnet of the armature plate affects the reed switch and accordingly outputs the signal to the access control system, indicating the door is closed. Because the lock body and armature plate are installed on the door frame/wall and door leaf respectively, the magnetic door lock kit (lock body & armature plate) touching with each other means the door is closed.
Nevertheless, this status only indicates the magnetic door lock kit is contacted but not necessarily electrified, so LSS is needed. To send the lock status signal, it’s normally required to set the hall-effect sensor inside the lock body which senses the electromagnetic field or electric current. When the electromagnetic field and electric current is produced, it means that the electromagnetic lock is electrified to work.
The electromagnetic lock with LSS or DSS or both generally work with the access control system to receive and handle such signal. If the maglock is used as a standalone unit, then such a feedback signal is not necessary.
TOPLOCK electromagnetic locks offer all these options: ordinary models without feedback, premium models with DSS or LSS, or both. You can select the one meeting your exact needs.
• Time delay electromagnetic lock:
The electromagnetic lock can be added with an adjustable timer. This is to allow some time for people to pass when the magnetic lock releases the door. For instance, if the magnetic gate lock is set with a 6-second delay, the lock body will generate the electromagnetic force to suck the armature plate in 6 seconds after each unlocking. For TOPLOCK em locks, the time delay duration is adjustable between 0~15 seconds.
• Beep buzzer magnetic lock:
An electromagnetic lock is able to involve a buzzer to alarm the exceptional situation. This function usually comes with the time delay function, as an auxiliary to facilitate the time delay. When the magnetic lock keeps unlocking beyond the set time delay duration, the buzzer will beep to attract people’s attention to fix it. For TOPLOCK magnetic door locks, the buzzer function is optional so you can decide whether to add it or not for the majority of maglock models.
• Waterproof magnetic lock:
For the surface-mounted magnetic lock, sometimes it’s required to be waterproof, especially when used outdoors. The most common way is to seal the PCBA of the electromagnetic lock with glue to protect against the water.
TOPLOCK also adds the waterproof IP68 maglock to the electromagnetic lock category. IP68 is the highest grade for waterproof electronic parts, whereas some other factories make the waterproof grade as IP65 or even lower IP54. When you judge a waterproof magnetic lock, you should realize this point.
Though fundamental parts and major functions of electronic magnetic locks are similar for various manufacturers, the lock details can be obviously different leading to different quality levels.
TOPLOCK electromagnetic Locks are produced with at least 11 major technical processes, and all processes are guided by standardized quality control systems (RoHS certified). They are also certified with FCC, CE, IP68, etc. to meet different requirements of different countries or regions.