The Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Types of Membrane Switches

Label:Membrane Switch, PCB Membrane Switch, Silver Paste

May 25, 202218280

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Types of Membrane Switches

Membrane switch panels have been developed for decades since they were created and continue to be used in a wide range of industries and devices. In order to comply with different usage occasions and better serve different user groups, different membrane switch structures and manufacturing processes have differentiated. Therefore, membrane switches began to differentiate into different types.

 

In this blog, JRPanel will sort out the most important types of membrane switches and explain the advantages and disadvantages of each type of membrane switch.

 

1. Metal Dome Membrane Switch

 

This type of membrane switch is the most familiar to us. It uses metal domes as the conduction medium.  

 

Advantages:

  • Good tactile feel;
  • Clear sound feedback;
  • Operating temperature range: -20°C ~80°C.



Disadvantages:

  • If the surface of the equipment or the liner is uneven, it may cause a short circuit or the key may not rebound.


Suggestion:

 

JRPanel recommends attaching the metal dome membrane switch to a flat surface for use.

 

2. Die-pressing Membrane Switch

 

Through the "die-pressing" , the silver paste disk of the button of the upper circuit is pressed into a certain spherical crown shape with a mold, and a certain elasticity is generated.

 

Advantages:

  • Long service life, up to 500,000 keystrokes;
  • Good tactile feel;
  • Key strength can be customized according to requirements.


Disadvantages:

  • Higher cost of key molds.
  • High temperature may lead to weakened key rebound.

 

3. Flat-key Membrane Switch

 

As the name implies, the Flat-key membrane switch has a flat surface and keys are not embossed. The conductive ink is printed directly on the film substrate without a secondary process.

 

Advantages:

  •  Long service life, up to one million keystrokes;
  •  Large circuit conduction point area, guaranteed key conduction rate;


Disadvantages:

  •  No tactile feedback, easy to cause repeated and mistake operations.


Suggestion:


Increase the spacing between keys when designing.

 

4. Capacitive Membrane Switch

 

Capacitive membrane switches use a conductive material to conduct.

 

Advantages:

  • It can sense the operators instructions within a distance like a capacitive touch screen;
  • The sensing distance can be customized according to requirements.


Disadvantages:

  • Low qualification rate of finished products;
  • Sensitivity to surrounding electromagnetic interference;
  • High design complexity;
  • The synergy of electronic components and chips cannot be omitted.


5. EL Cold Light Membrane Switch

 

Embedding a EL cold light source inside a conventional membrane switch, we get a cold light membrane switch.

 

Advantages:

  •  Compared with LED type membrane switch, the thickness of cold light membrane switch is greatly reduced;
  •  Cold light membrane switch can be in working condition for a long time, avoiding heat problems;
  •  Lighting area and color can be customized.


Disadvantages:

  •  Cold light source needs to be equipped with a power supply.


6. PCB Membrane Switch

 

PCB membrane switch uses PCB instead of traditional silver paste circuit.

 

Advantages:

  •  High precision of PCB circuit;
  •  More stable when soldering LEDs;
  •  Lower resistance
  •  Thicker PCB circuit layer can be used directly as a backing board.


Disadvantages:

  •  PCB is hard and cannot be bent.


7. FPC Membrane Switch

 

Similar to the PCB membrane switch, by replacing the silver paste circuit with the FPC, we get the FPC membrane switch.

 

Advantages:

  •  High precision of PCB circuit;
  •  More stable when soldering LEDs;
  •  Lower resistance
  •  Bendable like traditional membrane switches.


Disadvantages:

  •  Higher manufacturing cost.


These are the most popular membrane switches on the market today, each with different advantages and disadvantages. 


If you have a need for membrane switches, it is best to find out which one best meets your requirements first. Welcome to contact JRPanel.


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