What is the value of a membrane switch? Some customers will say, usefulness, price, performance, quality. Yes, all of these and one more that we at Sensigraphics consider the most important. Reliability.
Before we can understand the value of a membrane switch. It is important that we know what a membrane switch is. A membrane switch is a momentary on device in which at least one contact is on, or made of a flexible substrate.
A basic membrane switch is composed of multiple layers:
- An optional Graphic Overlay layer
- An optional ESD shielding layer
- A film containing a conductive contact (circuit)
- A spacer layer
- A flexible static layer and adhesive
The layers are laminated together to form low profile switches. The definition of membrane switch can include a graphic overlay laminated to the top of the layered switch.
For more information on Graphic Overlays, please click here
The graphic overlay can have many options included in it such as:
- ESD, RFI and EMI shielding
- Fiber optic and electroluminescent backlighting
- Embossed keypads
- Polydome tactile circuit layer and special finishes
This is just to name a few.
Membrane Switch Advantages:
A membrane switch offers a low cost, reliable alternative to mechanical metal and plastic switches. Membrane switches, because there is no way for dust or spills to ingress into the circuitry, are far less susceptible to those hazards than non-membrane switches. For that reason, they are useful in industrial control equipment, where they may be exposed to hazardous industrial ingredients. They are also very well suited to use in outdoor control panels and in interface devices like remote controls.
Membrane switch technology has become a reliable user interface solution where environmental concerns or frequent cleaning are an issue. The sealed nature of the technology coupled with its reliability and ability to offer considerable aesthetic flexibility make it the solution of choice for many industries. Membrane switches are environmentally sealed, easy to clean, chemical and abrasion resistant, low cost, and can be replaced in the field.
Membrane Switch Manufacturers:
In comparison to a discreet switch, a membrane switch creates a thinner, more attractive device with both versatile and economical alternatives. In addition, tooling costs are nominal, utilizing a steel rule die or laser cutting process.
The success of any membrane switch design is greatly enhanced by the effective communication between the customer and manufacturer. When searching for a membrane switch manufacturer, look for a company that will work diligently to cost effectively meet your design requirements and provide solutions that add value and profit to your products.
For more detailed and technical information on Membrane Switch design, please follow the link below to download our FREE Membrane Switch Design Guide or visit our website.