The term “Membrane Switch” is an extensive category of methods or procedures of switching, and/or activating, an electrical route. That route could be a thin sheet of polyester or could be as thick as a printed circuit board. Now the question is - how is a membrane switch made? Let’s see how it made.
In a nutshell, a membrane switch is nothing but a user interface device made up of high quality lamented layers utilized as a switch that turns a circuit on or off. Whilst the material selection as well as the design may vary from product to product, normally most membrane switches are made out of the below primary layers.
• The rear adhesive backer layer
• The silver circuit layer
• The retaining adhesive separator
• The top graphic overlay
Normally, a custom membrane switch is manufactured by the screen printing that is the circuit directly onto a plastic substrate and with silver or carbon conductive ink.
The Basic Components
There are three basic components of membrane switches. These are:
• Interface Layer
• Switching or Circuit Layer
• Adhesive Layer
There is an interface layer in a membrane switch. This interface layer plays a significant role in a membrane switch as “the aesthetic value will sometimes be essential to the consumers for the purpose of durable products, as these are the products that are sometimes used for years”.
Imagine you are thinking to buy an expensive stove or oven. It is an important appliance that you might be using on a regular basis. Once you will narrow your choice down by features the next question will: does it look good? The interface layer of the membrane switches that all of the end users look for and work with. There are a few different choices on the interface layer of the membrane switches, like rubber keypads, graphical overlays, captive switch overlays, to name a few.
Importance of Switching Layer
The switching layer is the most important layer. After the user looks at the product, the next action would be to communicate or interact with it. There are mainly four primary options available for switching methods, such as steel domes, polyester domes, mechanical switch and capacitive switch. Each method has an individual sense of touch. It plays a role in how a computer recognizes the value in a product.
The next but most important is the adhesive layer. Different environments need different types of adhesives. Therefore, some switches would be exposed to salt spray, high humidity as well as sunlight. On the other hand, few switches are used in a desert with high heat as well as dust. Although, membrane switches need to function by way of these environmental trials.
Customized Options & Specifications
You have multiple customization options for the membrane switches. A membrane switch component can include many things, like metal panels, LEDs, connectors, printed circuit boards, ESD protection, light blocking, electronics, and other things. Each option builds on the value of switch and adds extra functionality that we have already discussed earlier in the blog.