ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Interchangeable Core System

Updated on February 14, 2011

Definition

Interchangeable Core: A cylinder designed to be removed and replaced without tools using a special key called a control key.

Many companies offer interchangeable core (IC) cylinder systems. Most common is the Best-compatible interchangeable core system, otherwise known as small format IC, or SFIC. These are called ‘Best-compatible’ because they are basically copies of the IC system first developed and marketed widely by the Best Lock Company. Best-compatible interchangeable cores are available from Best, Arrow, Falcon, KSP, Ilco, Medeco, Schlage and many other companies. These cores are typically available in all of the Best common lettered keyways, A through Q, and/or in a few proprietary or restricted keyways that may be offered by each company.

Below is a picture of a small format interchangeable core.

Source

Only slightly less common are systems that are not Best-compatible such as Schlage, Corbin, Medeco, Yale, Sargent and ASSA. These are referred to in the industry as large format interchangeable core systems (LFIC). When first encountered LFIC may be difficult to distinguish from SFIC since the hole that receives the core is basically the same figure eight shape. Below are pictures of popular large format interchangeable cores.

Note that although the small format interchangeable core above looks larger, it is actually smaller than the cores pictured below.

Source
Source

Housings and Preps

If you look closely at the cores above you will notice that the Schlage large format core is different than the others because the top cylindrical part is smaller than the bottom cylindrical part. This makes Schlage large format IC much easier to distinguish than others.

An IC system is comprised of two major components: the core and the thing that accepts it. The accepting part could be a cylinder housing – so called because unlike a standard cylinder it has no pins or inherent way of accepting a key, but instead has a hole to accommodate insertion of an interchangeable core (see pictures at right).

Source

Cylindrical Locks Prepped for IC Core

Housings such as the one pictured above are used with mortise locks, rim locks and many exit devices, both for exterior entry and for cylinder dogging. Cylindrical locks do not take housings but are manufactured with a hole for an interchangeable core instead of a cylinder. Such locks are said to be “prepared for interchangeable core.” Pictured at right is a cylindrical lock prepped for interchangeable core.

Typically interchangeable cores are used in large master key systems. The chief advantage of an interchangeable core key system is that only the initial installation need be done by security hardware installation professionals. Subsequent key changes can be performed by anyone who can competently use a key.

Construction Cores

Most manufacturers have a construction core program. This allows the project manager to purchase temporary cores for use by workers during the construction phase that can then be easily removed and replaced with permanent cores. Construction cores are said to be “construction keyed” (usually keyed alike), and use what are called “construction keys.” IC construction keys are not materially different than regular IC pass keys. The construction cores can be easily replaced by a security officer or facilities manager.

Interchangeable Core Keys

Interchangeable cores are usually keyed to three basic keys: passkey, control key and master key. The pass key is the one handed out to tenants so that they can access their space; the control key is the key that is used to remove and replace the core; and the master key may open all locks or a group of locks within a given system.

Best format SFIC keys differ from all other keys in that the “shoulder” of the key is located at the tip of the key instead of near the bow (head) of the key. Other interchangeable core formats place the shoulder of the key in the usual place near the bow. SFIC keys place the shoulder at the tip because the cores are too small of a diameter to accommodate a standard key. That is why one usually only encounters them in the Best lettered keyways, A through Q. Large format cores are usually offered in all of the corresponding manufacturer’s standard keyways. For example, if you want an interchangeable core system in a Yale GA keyway, you need a Yale large format interchangeable core system.

Interchangeable core systems offer property managers or security officers the ability to quickly and easily change the locks within the system. All they need to do is keep a sufficient quantity of cores with keys on hand. Manufacturers offer different options as regards key control and security. I recommend in-depth study of several before deciding on which manufacturer’s interchangeable core system is best for your situation.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)