A Guide To Different Types Of Electric Locking

Posted on: 15.12.2021
Close up of access control maglock door lock

Within the door hardware sector there is a vast array of mechanical locks, digital locks and electronic locking devices. This blog will break down the five main types of electronic locking mechanisms on the market today. Electronic locks are an essential part of an access control solution and can be controlled by a variety of different activation devices such as keypads or proximity readers. Electromagnetic locks are used in both commercial and domestic environments, including the hospitality sector, education, and care facilities, anywhere where access needs to be controlled, restricted or monitored.

What is a Maglock?

There are two basic styles of magnetic locks, surface mounted and morticed; commonly referred to as shear locks.

Surface mounted magnetic locks are available in a range of sizes with different holding forces and can be either monitored or unmonitored, to suit a variety of applications both internal and external.

The ML600 is a great example of a surface mounted magnetic lock that can be used to secure internal doors as it offers a 300kg holding force and can be supplied either monitored or unmonitored. If the monitored version is selected the ML600 will have an additional output allowing you to connect a light, alarm or monitoring panel that will send out a signal when the maglock is energized.

Shearlocks are concealed magnetic locks and are commonly used on aluminum doors. They can be fitted on swing and sliding doors and are available 12v or 24v in a range of holding forces dependent on the security level of application. The Adams Rite Armlock 1354 is a popular shearlock that offers a 1500Kg holding force and can be mounted either horizontally or vertically.    

When to Fit a Shearlock

Shearlocks are similar in appearance to maglocks in that they are comprised of an electromagnetic locking body, paired with a keep, but the pull force isn’t a direct pull, it is in a shear direction. Shearlocks have a greater holding force than maglocks, like the Alpro EMS1200 which has a 1200kg holding force and operates as 12/24V. Some models of shearlock can be installed both horizontally and vertically, and are suitable for use on timber and metal doors, making them an ideal choice where a clean aesthetic appearance is required. 

Fail Safe or Fail Secure?

The two main types of electromagnetic locks are fail safe and fail secure, which we’ll explore in relation to electric strikes. The function needed will depend on the access or security you require during a power failure. 

Fail safe electric releases will be unlocked when the power is cut to them, allowing for the free flow of traffic through the door. 

Fail secure locks will be locked or secured, when the power is cut to them, locking the door until power is restored. 

Electric strikes are installed in place of standard lock strikes, the selection of a compatible mortice lock and strike is crucial to ensure effective operation. As with other types of electronic locking, electric strikes can be triggered by a range of different methods including keypadsproximity readers and push to exit buttons so are a versatile, easy to install electric lock option. 

Fail secure electric strikes are ideal for installation on doors securing rooms or areas containing hazardous or highly sensitive material, ensuring the room is locked in event of a power failure. Our previous blog, details other key measures to take in order to keep your building safe and secure.

Solenoid Locks for Doors

Solenoid locks and motor locks look very similar in appearance to a standard mortice lock case but the lock is released by a low voltage solenoid or motor, that can be triggered by a keypad or wall reader.

Abloy manufacture a range of Solenoid locks for numerous applications including the popular Abloy EL560 which has electronically controlled handle operation externally. This allows the Abloy EL560 to offer a mechanical escape facility that is site reversible. The internal handle is always mechanically operated to allow for emergency egress in accordance with BS EN 179. The EL561 has handle control function on both sides of the door.

Motor locks such as the Abloy EL520 have a deadbolt that is withdrawn by low voltage motor and thrown by spring force. The EL520 is suitable for use in medium to high traffic applications.

As with traditional mechanical mortice locks, solenoid and motor locks are available with a variety of backsets and case depths and can be installed on both timber and metal doors. Installing solenoid door locks or motor locks, doors can have a similar appearance to mechanically operated doors within the same building, whilst giving the functionality of an access control door.

What is a Solenoid Bolt?

Solenoid bolts, also known as electric bolts, are a great solution when fitting an electric strike or magnetic lock, is impractical. These locking bolts can be installed on timber and metal doors, both single and double swing, but they have the additional benefit of being suitable for locking sliding doors. 

As with shearlocks, solenoid bolt installation must be accurate to allow for the bolt to shoot and engage precisely with the strike. The slimline design of a solenoid bolt allows them to be fitted in either the door or the door frame. The high-torque Trimec ES8000 V-Lock has the additional features of field-configurable fail safe or fail secure and can also be surface mounted using an accessory kit.

There are many compliant options for electric locking hardware, whether you have a fire rated store door, sliding office door or a high traffic entrance lobby requiring an access control solution. Electric locks can be operated by a number of different activation devices including keypads, proximity readers, sensors and many others.  

When installing electric locks to escape doors, best practice is to ensure that a complete performance-tested solution is installed that provides an escape function to BS EN 179, 1125, or 13637.

Electric locking can also offer solutions for installation on doors with lever handles, pull handle/push plate operation or fully automated. 

Choose from maglocks, solenoid bolts, electric strikes or shearlocks, depending on door type and configuration, fire rating and duty of use, then add your activation devices, operating door hardware and correct operating voltage, your access control system is ready to start protecting your building.

Explore our high quality products, or contact our team today to discuss your needs.

Related Products

Adams Rite 1500kg Armlock 1354 Mini Electro Shearmagnet Monitored

Code: EL1354

The Adams Rite 1500kg Armlock 1354 Mini Electro Shearmagnet Monitored is suitable to facilitate remote access and exit of most aluminium, timber and steel doors. The Armlock® 1354 creates a shear holding force of 1500kg. The product may be fitted in a vertical or horizontal position, but should not be fitted in the threshold.  It provides a fail-safe operation during power failure.

£510.00 VAT excl