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Story 089 – 2030 – Quality Business model

Safety is also a question of materials

Wieland supplies primary material for locks and keys

Numerous manufacturers of cylinder locks rely on profiles and wires from Wieland. Special demands are made on the material, particularly with regard to dimensional accuracy and machinability. Wieland also supplies starting material specially adapted to the machining process for keys.

Cylinder locks are familiar to everyone. After all, they are the most widespread type of lock - practically all house and apartment doors are equipped with them. What is less known is how they work and what mechanical sophistication is hidden inside. Only the cylinder housing and the cylinder core that can be rotated within it are visible, which is why high demands are placed on both components with regard to their surface quality. What is less obvious is that the profiles from which they are made must have excellent dimensional stability and be as low-stress as possible. Only in this way is it possible to insert the long longitudinal bore into the cylinder housing, which leaves only relatively small wall thicknesses on the finished part. A key channel is also milled into the cylinder core over the entire length. One material which optimally fulfils these requirements is the alloy Z33 (CuZn39Pb3), which is why many manufacturers of cylinder locks purchase corresponding profiles from Wieland.

Inside the cylinder locks are concealed pin tumblers consisting of pin springs, core pins of different lengths and housing pins. The latter lock the cylinder core when the key is removed. Wieland's nickel silver alloys N31, N37 and N22 are used for these components in many locks and are supplied to the manufacturers as wires.

The keys for cylinder locks are also made of nickel silver. Wieland supplies customers with nickel silver profiles whose shape is already part of the later key profile. The final contour and coding of the key are then machined by the customer.

In the Mediterranean region – as well as for safes - forged double-bit keys are widely used. An important criterion for them is their good hot-formability in order to ensure rational production in large quantities by key manufacturers. These requirements are best met by Wieland Z48, a material optimized for hot forming.

Many lock manufacturers rely on Wieland's high-quality alloys and pre-materials - and thus offer their customers a reliable piece of security.

pin tumblers of a cylinder lock

Ingenious mechanism: The precisely manufactured pin tumblers of a cylinder lock are made of particularly robust nickel silver wires.

Bearded key

Proven principle: Bearded keys, which are used for safes, among other things, are forged. This requires good hot working properties such as those offered by the alloy Wieland Z48.

Many innovations, which were not yet possible in 2020, because they relied upon particularly fast networks and computer generations, but also new chip technologies, will fit together in 2030 and open up impressive possibilities. Copper demand will more than double by 2050; data volumes and data processing and usage will increase many times over.