Massively Strong Maglock (Securitron)

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Nov 16, 2016

One of the market's strongest maglocks has a twist: the 4,000 pounds claimed bond power is not purely magnetic.

Securitron's hybrid MM15 maglock uses a combination of electromagnetism and mechanical latching to achieve its strength, using a novel hybrid action to lock the maglock shut when needed.

Inside we examine this lock, the design features that gives its great strength, pricing, vulnerabilities, and comparison to conventional maglocks.

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Locking ******** ******

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Comments (30)

If the force is applied quickly enough, it should be defeatable at the lowest bond rating, no?

The demo is a bit weak in that regard.

Do you mean explosive separation of the armature from the magnet before the mandibles engage?

sure, that would work.

but on the demo door video, i think a baseball bat could knock it out before it closed. do you?

maybe someone running at a door would do the same?

Well, I don't think a bat would impart enough force to break even the magnetic bond.

It would also be quite the physics problem to determine the exact speed, mass, and door width/deflection needed to move the leaf faster than the mandibles engage, but I assume it is possible if most unlikely.

I'll reach out to Securitron to get a response to the question/ potential vulnerbility here.

Thanks!

Keep in mind that this isn't like breaking the bond on a typical low holding force door. There, the armature moves and the magnet stays stationary, so you only have to break that bond.

In the MM15, the magnet also moves, while the rest of the lock, where the mandibles are, stays stationary. If you pull the door, the armature pulls the magnet with it, which is what pulls the mandibles closed. So you'd have to break that bond without moving the armature forward, and I don't see how you'd do that.

Ok, I get what you are saying.

Curious then, wouldn't it still work even if there was only ten pounds of magnetic holding force?

It seems like it would work with a much lower holding force, though that might cause customers to worry that the maglock portion was too "weak" (just speculation on my part).

This makes it seem like a more normal maglock, with an additional layer of security, instead of a weak maglock with an extra feature to compensate for that weakness.

No that isn't going to happen. Soon as you start to pull on the door the mandibles close on the armature plate. The harder to pull the more they grab the plate.

Here is a pic from one we installed. I am pushing the door open as you can see the hooks are grabbing the armature plate.

One cool feature is a dedicated output to know when mandibles close. So you could get an alert when someone pulls on the door if you wanted to.

Does having that extra feature of the locking mandible incur some extra risk of having another part that may break? If something like that did break, or become jammed, did Securitron mention any quick ways to rectify that?

The mechanical mandibles do not engage unless the door is attempted to be forced open, so I'd expect that if these parts broke, it would mean a weaker lock but not one that is a life/safety danger.

I'll ask Securitron about that aspect too.

you had me a sex bolts.

If you're puritan, there's always 'axial barrel bolts'...

AKA, a "Chicago Screw"...

I have a pile of about 190 of these up for grabs if anyone is interested. ;-)

They were becoming a service issue - those mandibles would stick and either not release the armature or not allow the armature to grab. We did away with all maglocks.

Yikes. What did Securitron say about this?

Also, when you mention 'stick', do you mean physically bind?

I'm not sure what they said.

The mandibles wouldn't move freely which would in turn cause the armature to bind. It seems like we were handing cans of Houdini out at every building so they could clean them on their own. I have taken a few apart and they use a thick grease to lubricate the mandible on the holding shaft - I wonder if that collects debris and gums up the operation.

Considering you have ~$40,000 in MM15s there, I'd assume Securitron would show more than casual interest in solving the issue?

...those mandibles would stick and either not release the armature or not allow the armature to grab...

Some failed-safe,
some failed-secure,
but all failed-for-sure.

Here's Securitron's feedback on the mandible sticking issue:

As you probably know this product was originally introduced into the market by Adams Rite. After Adams Rite joined the ASSA ABLOY family of companies the product was transferred to Securitron Magnalock Corporation as it was felt that this would be a better fit with a Magnalock manufacturer.
I am curious about the age of your MM15's. I recall that just after the transition of the product to Securitron we did experience on early units the sticking mandible problem that you have described. Securitron investigated the issue and did find that the lubricant was the problem. Engineering put through a change request to the builder for another type of grease and we have not been aware of any problem since. As noted this was years ago, so I wonder if the collection that you have are the old Adams Rite versions or perhaps the early Securitron versions.
--
So if these were early units, Securitron has said they addressed the issue some time ago. Does that sound correct, or is this a more recent issue?

Fascinating. Yes, I would say the majority of them were installed around the 2006-2009 time frame.

No one can say you didn't give it a fair shot...

Dibs on the sex bolts, unless Armando objects

Is this an inappropriate time to suggest sharing?

When reading the article I was....

Then I saw Tyler's post and I was....

We've standardized on these locks for the last couple of years. They're rock solid and easy to install. No complaints.

I quickly scanned through the discussion and I don't see any mention of fire code issues which don't allow the use of locks with moving parts that restrict the exit to be used on fire exits.

Hello Paul: which code would that be? Is there a citation available?

Canada:

Sentence 3.4.7.12.(15) of the 1985 NBC and Sentence 3.4.6.15.(4) of the 1990 NBC permit the use of electromagnetic locks that do not incorporate latches, pins or other similar devices to keep the door in the closed position on exit doors other than doors leading directly from a Group F, Division 1 occupancy provided:

In reading that Canadian code, I believe the concern behind the exception is that whatever mechanical function of the lock used to bolster the bond may malfunction/break/ not release in emergency.

In areas where the code you cite is valid, I would say the Secuitron Maglock in this post is not allowed.

Note Tyler Graham's comment above. He mentions tearing out many of these maglocks due to the very problem behind the one your citation addresses.

Thanks for sharing it!

You said "Massive"

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