Rugged Latches that Withstand the Elements

Extreme temperatures are a constant source of frustration for engineers designing for outdoor applications because hardware must be protected from the elements but still be fully functional. The challenge is finding the right material to suit your application; the solution is anticipating the elements and designing accordingly.

Southco engineers were recently consulted by a utility company about replacing the locking system on large, free-standing power boxes. Because the boxes are stationed permanently outside, the utility company had been forced to replace latches annually due to damage sustained by changes in weather. The company wished to ensure the front door of the box remained securely latched even in the event that its inner hardware became damaged by weather exposure.

Our engineers suggested Southco’s AC-30 and AC-40 Stainless Steel Actuators, to be used as a complete system with our R4 Series Rotary Latches. When combined with our cable and rod options, they become a complete rotary latch system. This complete system allows the engineer to install the R4 on the inside of the box and install the AC-30 or AC-40 on the outside, with both connected by the cable. When the operator triggers the AC-30 or AC-40, it releases the rotary latch within the interior, granting access.

Southco’s AC-30 and AC-40 are constructed of non-corrosive materials and are suitable for outdoor use in a wide range of working and extreme temperatures. A key-locking feature provides multiple key codes for added security, and a lock/unlock indicator provides visual feedback on lock status. Additionally, we offer an optional attached cam latch for push-to-close functionality with added compression.

Is temperature exposure a factor in your outdoor latching applications? Tell us in the comments.

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