Something You Need to Know about Membrane Switch

Label:Membrane Switches

Apr 12, 20237762

Something You Need to Know about Membrane Switch

You may be confused when hearing membrane switches. These components seem a little strange, but you can meet them everyday. Now, there is something you need to know about membrane switches. Let's dive in.


1. What Is Membrane Switch


You can think of membrane switch as an operating system that integrates buttons, indicating elements, and instrument panels. It consists of six parts: graphic overlay, upper adhesive, upper circuit, spacer, lower circuit, back adhesive. The upper and lower contacts of the membrane switch under normal circumstances are in open state.


When you press the membrane switch, the contact of the upper circuit deforms downward. It connects the plate of the lower circuit. After you release the finger, the contact of the upper circuit bounces back. The circuit is disconnected, and the circuit triggers a signal.


You make an acquaintance with membrane switch when seeing the touch keyboard. The component adopts an integral sealing structure composed of flat multi-layers.


This advanced switch is a fundamental change in the appearance and structure of electronic products. It replaces the key of conventional discrete component, and performs the tasks of the operating system more reliably.


The membrane switch consists of a rigid or flexible printed circuit board as the substrate. There are touch or no touch buttons installed. It is covered with a plastic (polycarbonate PC, polyester PET, etc.) film panel printed with colorful decorative patterns.


Regardless of the small size, membrane switch possesses powerful function, and plays big roles in daily life. The electronic component with the man-machine dialogue interface improves user experience. The connection between the circuit and the whole machine can be completed by welding or plugging.


2. Metal Dome VS Silver Paste Button


Metal dome is also called the button shrapnel. JRPanel has nickel plated domes in our factory. These domes have long service life of one million times pressing. Membrane switches with domes have strong strong tactile feedback. There will be a click sound when pressing.


What about silver paste button? We print silver paste on back of the upper substrate, and the silver paste circuit on the front of the lower substrate. Next, emboss the upper circuit with professional tool.


When we press the membrane swith, the upper layer of silver paste points will touch the lower layer of silver paste lines, then trigger the signal.


The feeling of silver paste button is soft and silent. We can control the key pressure according to the mold and punching strength.


The silver paste button has no shrapnel in the middle (like metal dome). As a result, the material is associated with the service life. Generally speaking, silver paste button is much more durable than metal dome.


The better the technology of silver paste, the lower the resistance. The more sensitive the buttons, and the longer the service life.


3. Color of Graphic Overlay


The top layer of membrane switch is called graphic overlay. As we all know, it is the panel.


We usually print text and patterns of different colors through silkscreen printing on the graphic overlay. We are proud to say, JRPanel controls error between the color and the design drawings within 10%. How do we do it?


We have 5 color notification methods: Pantone color card, Raul color card, CMYK, RGB color, and sending samples to the factory. We recommend you to choose the Pantone color card. The standard color card in the printing industry is the Pantone number. If you are still confused, just leave it to us. Send a sample to our factory, and let the colorist finish the job according to the sample.


JRPanel has a wide variety kinds of inks, which cover various common colors. When we want to adjust color, take out the basic one accurately. After color adjustment, the ink that finally meets the color required by the product can be obtained.


Our experienced colorists do the adjustment according to the color sample or Pantone color card number, and carefully fine-tun the ink. In the end, they adjust the ink to the ideal color. Solid color and translucent color are all avaliable.


4. Steps of Designing Membrane Switch


Find out the specific requirements of the product application. This includes determining the number and type of buttons or keys required, the size and shape of the switch, the required operating force, tactile feedback, and any other functional requirements.


Choose material. Choose the appropriate material for every element, including graphic overlay, adhesive, spacers, and circuitry. When considering the material, durability, flexibility, temperature resistance, and chemical resistance are all what we concern about.


Create membrane switch drawings. After knowing the product requirements, we create a detailed drawing including graphic overlays, circuitry and any other features such as LED indicators, windows and textures. JRPanel engineers create drawings by CAD or CDR.


Definitize the circuit layout. This part includes the location of outlet, contacts and wires. Make sure the circuit design meets the electrical and functional requirements of the membrane switch.


Test and refine the design. After we finish the design, set up a prototype of the membrane switch, then test it to ensure it meets the requirements. Optimize the design as needed to ensure optimum performance and functionality.


Bring on stream. After complete the design, we produce membrane switches with high-level manufacturing technology. Test and inspect all products before delivery to the customers. We make sure that they meet the required specifications.


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