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Unlike keypads, membrane switches can be as thin as 0.01″ thick and highly flexible allowing for them to fit in small applications. The low profile nature gives membrane switches an advantage over other interface methods when space is a premium.
Having a flexible and durable tail come off a switch and route to a control board can eliminate extra cables. These tail connection points can be configured into any type of termination option.
High-usage products can experience heavy surface wear, and cleaning your products’ clear windows can produce visible scratches. Selecting the correct material for the product’s environments will ensure longevity in meeting its maximum lifespan.
Top graphic overlay layers are resistant to even the harshest chemicals. If you select polyester or polycarbonate, it’s important to understand which materials will be able to perform in the myriad environments the product will be exposed to. We offer at request, data sheets explaining all the resistances tested, and can help select a suitable graphic overlay material for any application.
The most common backlighting methods are Fiber Optics and Electroluminescent panels. Both of these options add significant cost to tooling and unit price, and require an exterior light source or additional layers. On the other hand, Sigma 6 Electronics works with a proprietary LED design which offers the same uniform backlighting over a large area. Our technology embeds a few LEDs to light up a large area and is relatively less expensive.
Graphics are sub-surface printed to overlay materials using silk screening or a digital printer. Overlay stock material comes clear or with a texture, depending on client need, and areas where no printing occurs become windows.
Embossing membrane switches enhances the look of your graphic overlay, giving it a three-dimensional feed. We recommend embossing any graphic overlays that will be activating micro switches, with a button material that is 1 to 1.5 times the thickness of the base material.
We offer three types of embossing: full, dome and border. Contact a Sigma 6 Electronics sales engineer to request a membrane switch sample showing all of our emboss types.
Several options are available for protecting and shielding membrane switches from electromagnetic interference (EMI), electrostatic discharge (ESD), and radio frequency interference (RFI). The shield is usually connected to the ground through the connector, or by means of a grounding tab with a slot for a fastener.
Shielding may add another layer between the graphic overlay and circuit layers, based on your requirements (in Ohms per square inch). More often than not, shielding is not required; however, Sigma 6 Electronics can help determine the best shielding approach for your membrane switch based on your protection requirements.